Friday, June 18, 2010

The Series Cynic: Braves Bedevil Rays (too easy)

Posted By on Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Cynicism Lineup:
—Kenshin Kawakami
—Hitting with runners on base

When Kenshin Kawakami steps onto the pitching mound, you can expect two things to happen: the Earth will continue its orbit of the sun and the Braves will lose.

Atlanta has won just three of KK's 13 starts in 2010 and his role as the team's fifth starter is quickly becoming an open casting call—especially with the imminent return of Jair Jurrjens, who is currently rehabbing in Triple-A, and the recent dominance of the pre-teen wonder, Kris Medlen.

Kawakami hasn't pitched horribly that often this season, but with a record of 0-9 and a pitching repertoire consisting of hanging, belt-high breaking balls and batting practice fastballs that are basically on a tee begging to be hit, it's time for Kenshin to take a bow.

But before he does, there might be a way to salvage the Braves' Japanese import and get some use out of him after all.


Yep, that's right—GM Frank Wren is going to trade Kawakami to the Phillies.

Why? It makes perfect sense, really.

The Braves desperately need to get rid of KK and what better way to do so than by trading him to one of your biggest N.L. East contenders?

Proposed Trade
Phillies get:
-Kenshin Kawakami, a RHP with a knack for posting zeroes (in the win column)
-a copy of the "Buckmaster: Huntin' with Chipper and friends" DVD
-one free membership to Dumbasses Anonymous, a place where Philly fans can learn how to attend a ballgame without getting arrested

Braves get:
-a stronger rotation
-another spot in the dugout, seat on the team plane and room in the hotel not occupied by a translator

Let's get serious...
The Braves left so many ducks on the pond in the Rays series that Chipper Jones considered retirement solely to crack open his gun rack and start shooting.

Atlanta left 25 runners on base and hit just 6-for-29 (.207) with runners in scoring position during the three-game series.

Getting runners on base hasn't been the problem—it's getting runners in that has been downright impossible at times.

The Braves have been a clutch club so far in 2010, but hitting with runners on base is something they'll need to improve on if they look to stay clear of a surging Mets team and the defending division champion Phils.

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