Instead of the usual Game Preview in the Game Thread...I conducted a quick interview with my brother, Scout, Braves' Fan and Source For All Things Baseball to get the inside scoop on this year's Atlanta Braves...as they head into a three-game series in Nationals Park this weekend.
Q: Who is making up for Andruw Jones' offense so far?
A: Not Teixeira(Atlanta first baseman, Mark), who's started off slowly. No one player really has. They've all chipped in, but they were counting on Teixeira to make up Andruw's offense.
Q: I heard Tex is a slow starter?
A: Check his splits? That's what I heard but check...
(ed. note - "In his career, Mark Teixeira's hit .248 in April...and he hits .277 or higher in every other month, doubles, HR's and RBI's all increase all season long.")
Q: Is Mike Hampton ever going to pitch again?
A: (Laughs) I guess we find out after 15 days.
Q: Why is Tim Hudson (5-1 record, 1.25 ERA, 9 runs allowed in 64.2 IP) so dominant against DC?
A: I don't think he's just dominant against DC?...Some of your lineups haven't had a lot of pop, that could be one reason, or I could go with one of the "Some guys just have it over some teams" cliches.
Q: How's Larry doing?
A: (Doesn't laugh.) Chipper...He's the only one that's been reliable so far, and he hasn't shown any signs of injury, that's the important thing.
Q: Should Chipper have taken the Gold Glove From Wright last season?
A: I don't think Wright should have...I don't think they should have had to "take" it away they should have given it to the right person in the first place? The one with 9 errors instead of 21??! That award's too subjective anyway, they give it on rep instead of defensive play.
Q: Is Yunel Escobar good enough to replace Edgar Renteria?
A: Uh? I think he's good enough, but he hasn't played up to what I thought he would so far...hasn't hit in clutch situations...You could always count on Rent when you needed one. I think they'll just about equal out in the end, have the same numbers, I'd be surprised if they didn't.
Q: Why not bring Maddux back too?
A: (Laughs) Seeing what's happened so far they probably should have. I think Maddux pretty much wanted to stay out West though, I think he pretty much said so.
Q: What's Bobby Cox's nickname for Mark Kotsay?
A: (Laughs) The, uh, Fox Sports South...doesn't mic him, Bobby Cox, as well as last season, so I don't know if I've caught his, Kotsay's.
A: Kots? I don't know...
Q: Did Pat Corrales just like Manny Acta more than Bobby Cox?
A: Maybe he thought he had a better chance of becoming a Manager in DC, if you want to get snarky?
A: (no response)
Q: Jordan Schafer? C' mon! Who gets caught now?
A: I think it proves one thing, steroids can't make you old enough to make the lineup, if you're twenty, you're still going back to Double-AA.
Q: Who is the player to watch this series on the Braves?
A: Chipper always hits against you guys, Chipper's the one to watch, but I want to see Jair Jurrjens, don't know if he lines up actually...I think it might be Smoltz Sunday?
Q: Tell DC fans the Braves' weak spot?...
A: Their bullpen. Since you won't see the back end of the rotation, I'm guessing. Soriano's hurt, Moylan's been getting hit by lefties, Acosta's gonna have to be the closer for the next few weeks. Though I have heard rumors, that Mike Gonzalez, who they got from Pittsburgh, is progressing well.
Q: Who takes this series?
A: Braves! What did you think I'd say. You'll be crying about 0-10 on Monday. How's that?
Thanks Scout. Good luck this series.
Washington vs Atlanta. First of three in the weekend series. Matt Chico vs Tim Hudson. The Nationals must break the losing streak...Tonight.
Check the NatCast if you're headed to Nationals Park.
Avoid Eight Straight!! Avoid Eight Straight!!!
7:10 EST starting time in DC...