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Posts Tagged ‘Rockies’

State of the National League East

Posted by sportsallday on September 3, 2010

With Thursday night’s loss to the Mets and Colorado’s subsequent choking against Philly, the Braves NL East lead has been shortened to two games right as we enter the home stretch here in September. While I am still fairly positive about the Braves postseason chances, we saw some of the same recurring Braves struggles tonight. Those struggles primarily being a lack of consistent offense and poor fielding. The Braves rank 3rd from the bottom of MLB with 103 errors and it is a trend that has persisted throughout the season. The biggest problem with the offense remains a lack of consistent power from the three-four-and five spots in the lineup. Brian McCann is a power-hitter by catcher’s standards, but it is not a good thing that he leads the team with 20 HR’s with 28 games left in the season. First base remains a black hole for production as Derrek Lee has failed to produce anything resembling power numbers since joining the team and Troy Glaus has been miserable, save for his tear from May to mid-June. Freddie Freeman likely won’t have an impact until next season, although he may be forced to if these veterans keep slumping. The biggest problem is that it seems the Phillies have finally started playing like they’re capable of, with Ryan Howard and Chase Utley hitting bombs recently, and Shane Victorino finding a hot streak

All rights for picture go to "The Recliner GM" http://www.reclinergm.com/reclinergms-2010-mlb-preview-phillies-infield/

Phillies First-Baseman Ryan Howard hits yet another home run.

What I’m really trying to emphasize is the Braves’ offense has to pick up, as the pitchers can’t win game by themselves. The bullpen has clearly fatigued, with a noticeable decline in the performance of Johnny Venters and Peter Moylan, and the starters aren’t showing the consistency of previous months. The offense may not need to step up to make the postseason but they’re going to have to pick it up if this team really wants to make a run come October, which they are capable of doing. Most importantly, if the Braves are going to rely on pitching to determine their outcome the rest of the year, THEY HAVE TO START PLAYING BETTER DEFENSE. This is a team stacked with veterans who have “been there” before, but the veteran players have had too many mental lapses with fielding the whole season and ultimately, this will be the Braves’ great undoing if they don’t clean up the fielding.

I only say this because I know that I, as well as the rest of the Braves nation, would like to see Bobby Cox go out on top. This Braves team has a special aura to it, leading the MLB in walk-offs and comeback wins, but they could have another few wins this season if they had better fielding. With the Phillies getting hot, the Braves have to fix this issue to really cap this season off like they are capable of and doing so could be key in the Braves’ chances at a pennant.

Until next time,

Thomas

Posted in Baseball, MLB | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

NBA Playoffs, Welcome to the Highlight Factory!

Posted by sportsallday on April 17, 2010

Playing with the same poise and perseverance that carried them through the regular season the Atlanta Hawks notched a 102-92 win at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. Many people have questioned the Hawks’ legitimacy as playoff contenders, but any uncertainties were put to rest in the first half when Atlanta came out firing and went into halftime with a commanding 62-40 lead over the visiting Bucks.

Joe Johnson led the steady Hawks attack with 22 points as well as notching 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Josh Smith contributed a 12 point 10 rebound effort while pacing the Hawks on defense with four blocks and on offense with his usual intensity and rim-rattling dunks. The real story of the night was the rebirth of Mike Bibby as a staple of the Hawks’ offense. Missing only one shot all game long, Bibby shot eight for nine from the field including three for three from behind the arc to end up with 19 points. In his first career playoff game, Jamal Crawford once again established himself as THE Sixth Man of the Year, coming off the bench to score 17 as well as helping contain Milwaukee’s dynamic duo of Brandon Jennings and John Salmons.

The Bucks put up a fight in the second half, outscoring the Hawks 52-40 but it was simply not enough as Jennings’ 34 point effort was wasted in the series opener. Expect the same intensity and sense of urgency from the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, as they look to extend their home winning streak to 14 games and secure a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Bogut-less Bucks.

Coming later, the first no-hitter of the season and first in franchise history for the Rockies in Atlanta. Also, a look into the first day of the NBA Playoffs and what to expect tomorrow.

Until then,

Josh

Posted in Basketball, NBA, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »