Greetings from HOTlanta! We’re visiting Turner Field this weekend for the Braves game against the Washington Nationals. Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals ace (who is pitching as well as any pitcher in the national league) is slated to pitch against Atlanta Braves rookie Mike Minor. Minor was a coveted pitching prospect when he was coming up, but his skill level hasn’t yet translated to much in the way of major league success. For the record, I believe Minor will eventually be a very good #3 starter for the Braves, but he’s not there yet.
The two teams will clash amidst a heat wave with record setting temperatures up and down the United States. The temperature high in the ATL on Saturday is slated to be 111 degrees Fahrenheit
Projected lineup (Braves)
Michael Bourn, CF (having his best season) .309/.353./.445
Jason Heyward, RF (Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has, after years of avoiding it, been batting Heyward here lately. His on-base skills demand it, especially on this team. I was expecting his numbers to be bad, but he’s actually having a very good year .282/.353./.520)
Martin Prado, LF (having a quietly stellar season at the plate, hitting .317/.377//453)
Dan Uggla 2B(power hitting 2B hasn’t had his trademark HR streak yet. I think it’s coming. Soon)
Brian McCann C(having an off year at the plate. Fredi will probably bat him cleanup because he doesn’t believe in silly run scoring)
Chipper Jones 3B(in his final season. Had a nice game last night against the Diamondbacks, going 1-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored, and an RBI)
Freddy Freeman 1B (Finally done with his eyeball problem. The man can’t cry! He cannot produce tears, because he’s that awesome)
Andrelton Simmons, SS (rookie called up when Tyler Pastornicky showed he couldn’t hit is playing very well, hitting .326 in 77 AB with an OBA of .361)
And for the Nats:
Danny Espinosa, 2B (was terrible in the 1st half, now improving. Too slowly, but I think he’ll have a good 2nd half.
Bryce Harper, CF (what more can be said? he’s already the team’s best hitter.)
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B (slowly rounding into form)
Michael Morse, RF (recent returnee from a particularly difficult back injury, isn’t all the way back yet)
Ian Desmond, SS (Still not getting on base enough, Desmond has flashed the power stick in greater frequency than previous seasons.)
Tyler Moore, LF (another rookie, this one’s hitting. The Nats love this guy, he’s homered in back to back games, and if he and Adam LaRoche are both hitting, Morse will be the right fielder.)
Adam Laroche, 1B (his superior OBP means he should probably be batting fifth at least, possibly higher. Having a surprisingly good season after a lost 2011 due to injury)
Jesus Flores, C (doing a capable job in Wilson Ramos’s injury-caused absense)
EMAIL: Email the show at email@example.com! Thanks much to Abby for putting this together. Two of these are actually facebook messages (also at facebook.com/scott.eiland)
1. From Downstairs TV Kristin: Can I get a Twins segment in time for my birthday? What has happened to them and why are they so bad? What about their draft? I’m assuming that you could fill an All Star Team with players the Twins used to have.
2. From Brian in Syracuse: Are you a wrestling announcer now? I saw this link on you tube and heard you yelling about two chicks fighting.
3. “What is a triple slash line and what do the numbers mean, the three percentages next to players’ names?)
Zach Levine writes that the Astros may remove the train from Minute Maid Park as well as the hill in center field. Just say it ain’t so!