Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Gwinnett(?) Braves Come to Town

Games 4: Bulls 3, Braves 0
Wrap, Box

Gwinnett is a county in Georgia. Go out from Durham to I-85, head south towards Atlanta for about 350 miles and you’re there. The nearest town to the stadium appears to be Lawrenceville. This is the new home of last year’s Richmond Braves, Atlanta’s AAA team. Richmond apparently couldn’t do as nice a deal as Atlanta wanted and the Gwinnett County folks would. The stadium is only about 30 miles from Turner Field. So the possibility now exists that if an Atlanta pitcher gets into real trouble, you could see some very creative delaying of the game while someone gets called in from the bullpen at Gwinnett. Maybe a ride in a nice long truck with a mound and plate in the back so the reliever could warm up on the way?

We got our first look at Carlos Hernandez and, after the first inning, he looked pretty good. See Indy Week for interview and analysis. For our little band behind first base the best part of the night was seeing Jon Weber really put some life into the leadoff spot. He got on base 4 out of 5 times with two walks, a single and a double. His OBP is up to .415, just the sort of numbers you want for a leadoff man. Montoyo seems to be using Jon as leadoff against righties and Ray Olmedo against lefties.

Justin Ruggiano continues his exploration of the outfield. He’s now played all positions at least once. Chris Richard was out with shoulder problems, the result of his collision at second base on Sunday night.

Tampa Bay opened its season at home by crushing the Yankees 15-5, putting at risk their business model of filling the stands with opposing team’s fans. But what do they care? They’re last year’s champs.

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