Atlanta Braves Blog

The Atlanta Braves blog by David O'Brien, baseball writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Braves have as many wins in past 13 as they had in first 38

MILWAUKEE – When you start the season at historically bad paces -- 9-29 through 38 games and 18-46 through 64 --, well, then a .500 stretch over 48 games qualifies as a surge, particularly when it includes nine wins in the past 13 games.

And, so, your surging Braves will go for their 10th win in 14 games tonight and a 4-1 start to their 10-game trip when they face the Brewers in the second game of a four-game series at Miller Park, and rookie pitcher Tyrell Jenkins will look to continue the promising start to his career.

Jenkins is 1-1 with a 3.81 ERA in his first five starts, including a 1.59 ERA in four starts outside of Coors Field. Tonight he’ll face veteran right-hander Willy Peralta (4-7, 6.68).

Jenkins’ overall numbers (1-2, 4.33 ERA in nine games including four relief appearances) are skewed by the terrible day he had at Coors Field on July 24, where he gave up seven runs, eight hits and three homers in 3 1/3 innings. In his other four starts, he’s allowed 15 hits, four earned runs and one homer in 22 2/3 innings.

In two games since the loss at Denver, Jenkins is 1-0 with an 0.75 ERA and .175 opponents’ average, albeit with more walks (eight) than strikeouts (six) in 12 innings of those home games against the Phillies and Pirates. He’s the first to say, the walks need to be reduced. He’s working on that.

Jenkins lasted six innings in each of his past two starts despite issuing four walks in each. He gave up just one (unearned) run and four hits against the Phillies and one run and three hits against the Pirates, with the Braves winning both games. This will be his first time facing Milwauee.

For the Brewers, Peralta has struggled this season at Miller Park, where he has has a 7.79 ERA and .379 opponents’ average in seven starts and has served up eight homers in 34 2/3 innings.

Peralta hasn’t made it through six innings in any of his past six starts, going 2-3 with a  6.60 ERA and .341 opponents’ average in that stretch. But it should be noted, one of his only two wins in that span was a May 26 win at Atlanta in which he limited the Braves to two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

In fact, he’s always pitched well against the Braves, posting a 2-1 record and sparkling 1.65 ERA in five starts including one in each of the past five seasons. In May 2015 he gave up one hit in four scoreless innings of a start in Atlanta. Then again, this is a largely different Braves team.

He hasn’t faced the Braves with Matt Kemp in their lineup: Kemp is 7-for-14 with a homer against Peralta. Freddie Freeman is 3-for-10 with a homer against Peralta, and Jeff Francoeur (2-for-3) is the only other Brave with multiple hits against him.

• Streaking Inciarte: Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte will try to extend his hitting streak to 20 games tonight. He’s gone 28-for-76 (.368) during his career-best 19-game streak with a double, a homer, 26 singles, five walks, four RBIs, 14 runs and a .402 OBP, and the Braves are 10-9 in that span.

• Big addition: In 20 games since the All-Star break – 13 of those with the Padres – Braves newcomer Matt Kemp has hit .288 (23-for-80) with five doubles, eight homers, 16 RBIs and a .650 slugging percentage. In his past three games, he’s 5-for-13 (.385) with a double, a homer and four RBIs.

Oh, by the way, I’m hearing a lot fewer people question the Olivera-for-Kemp trade than I did four days ago.

• Progress under Snitker: The Braves are 24-24 with a 3.89 ERA, 198 runs scored and 45 homers in 48 games going back to June 15, including 9-4 with a 3.25 ERA, .295 BA, 64 runs and 11 homers in their past 13 games.

After going 9-28 before the firing of manager Fredi Gonzalez, the Braves are 33-42 since Brian Snitker took over as interim manager on May 17. Part of that is a bit tough to explain: They had 11 homers in 37 games with Gonzalez managing and have 61 homers in 75 games under Snitker.

• Etc.

A.J. Pierzynski’s home run Monday was just his second this season, but his fourth in 17 career games at Miller Park, where the 39-year-old catcher has hit .350 (21-for-60) with seven extra-base hits and a .600 slugging percentage….

Nick Markakis homerd Monday and has a .357 career average (15-for-42) with nine extra-base hits (eight doubles) and a .619 slugging percentage in 10 games at the Milwaukee ballpark.

• Rock fans of a certain age might be aware that Violent Femmes came from Milwaukee, but did you know Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads (and Modern Lovers) is also from there (or here, since I'm in Milwaukee)? And so, here's the mighty Talking Heads (with Bernie Worrell on keyboards, no less) and trippy mastermind David Byrne doing one of their many great songs.

"LIFE DURING WARTIME" by Talking Heads

Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons,

Packed up and ready to go

Heard of some grave sites, out by the highway,

A place where nobody knows

The sound of gunfire, off in the distance,

I'm getting used to it now

Lived in a brownstone, lived in a ghetto,

I've lived all over this town

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,

This ain't no fooling around

No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,

I ain't got time for that now

Transmit the message, to the receiver,

Hope for an answer some day

I got three passports, a couple of visas,

You don't even know my real name

High on a hillside, the trucks are loading,

Everything's ready to roll

I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nighttime,

I might not ever get home

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,

This ain't no fooling around

This ain't no Mudd Club, or C. B. G. B.,

I ain't got time for that now

Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?

Heard about Pittsburgh, P. A.?

You oughta know not to stand by the window

Somebody see you up there

I got some groceries, some peanut butter,

To last a couple of days

But I ain't got no speakers, ain't got no headphones,

Ain't got no records to play

Why stay in college? Why go to night school?

Gonna be different this time

Can't write a letter, can't send no postcard,

I ain't got time for that now

Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock,

We blended in with the crowd

We got computers, we're tapping phone lines,

I know that that ain't allowed

We dress like students, we dress like housewives,

Or in a suit and a tie

I changed my hairstyle, so many times now,

I don't know what I look like!

You make me shiver, I feel so tender,

We make a pretty good team

Don't get exhausted, I'll do some driving,

You ought to get you some sleep

Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks?

They won't help me survive

My chest is aching, burns like a furnace,

The burning keeps me alive


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About the Author

David O'Brien has covered the Atlanta Braves for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution since 2002.