July 7, 1994 |
Steve Avery hadn't won in almost seven weeks, struggling to seven no- decisions and one loss since his last victory on May 20 at Colorado. The frustration ended yesterday as the lefthander limited the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates to six hits and struck out eight in eight innings as the Atlanta Braves beat the Pirates, 4-2, in the second game of a doubleheader. The eight strikeouts is one fewer than his season high. The Pirates won the first game, 3-1, with two runs in the eighth and a strong outing from Zane Smith (9-6)
July 17, 1990 |
Pitching, it has been said, accounts for anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of the game of baseball, depending on who's doing the talking. Exhibit A is the New York Mets, who are generally regarded as the premier organization in baseball when it comes to drafting pitching talent. Mets draftees include Nolan Ryan, Dwight Gooden, Tim Leary, Randy Myers and Rick Aguilera, which wouldn't be a bad pitching staff for any team. However, the organization that is generally regarded as presently having the best corps of young arms is none other than the Atlanta Braves, whom the Phils play tonight in the middle game of a three-game set. The Braves have drafted a pitcher in the first round of baseball's amateur draft in four of the past five years and have used that first-round pick on a pitcher all but two times in the 1980s.
October 8, 1992 |
One year ago, 21-year-old lefthander Steve Avery took a magical ride through the National League Championship Series. It involved two starts, two wins and no runs allowed. Going into Game 2 of the NL playoffs, a sort of basic logic took over. Avery couldn't keep it up. Nobody could. Could he? Avery couldn't, as it turned out. The Pirates stopped his major league record streak at 22 1/3 scoreless innings with four runs in the seventh. But that came after Atlanta had built an eight-run lead, so it hardly mattered.
October 12, 1992 |
Pitching for the Atlanta Braves was Steve Avery, a fresh-faced lefthander who had already established impressive postseason credentials. Pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates was Bob Walk, a veteran with visible mileage who had been passed over in the second game of the National League Championship Series. And was there any better reason to believe that the Braves would finish off the Pirates last night at Three Rivers Stadium, clinching their second straight NL pennant? No, there wasn't.
May 27, 1992 |
The Phillies' second baseman tonight against the Braves will be (insert pause here for dramatic effect) . . . Mickey Morandini. This is big news, mind you. It means that the last three times the Phillies have faced a lefthanded starter, Morandini has been in the lineup. Greg Swindell, Steve Avery, now 1991 National League Cy Young Award winner Tom Glavine. These are not stiffs we're talking about. For more than a season now, the Phillies have dangled the prospect of playing regularly in front of Morandini.
October 4, 1993 |
Ron Gant has a message for the Phillies and it goes like this: You wanted us instead of the Giants? You got us. "If I'm not mistaken, there's been a few quotes from them saying they'd rather play us than those Giants," the Braves' leftfielder said amid the celebratory clubhouse yesterday. "Well, that last trip in there was important to us. It showed that we can play with them. Earlier in the year, they took care of us pretty good. But maybe they're going to be a little more nervous about us now than they were the first half of the season.
October 10, 1991 |
Pirates shortstop Jay Bell, watching from the dugout, saw pitcher Doug Drabek swing. He heard the crack of the bat and smiled as the ball carried over the head of Atlanta centerfielder Ronnie Gant for a double in the sixth inning, scoring the fourth Pittsburgh run. Then he watched Drabek, who had a shutout going at the time, round second and start running for third and he had a sudden thought. "Idiot," Bell said later. "He's the type of guy who thinks he's an everyday player.
July 27, 1999 |
The Atlanta Braves, who had problems, now have a crisis. In a related frenzy of personnel moves yesterday, catcher Javy Lopez will undergo season-ending surgery within the week to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament on his right knee, just 12 days after being activated. Rookie Odalis Perez's season has ended; the lefthander will undergo surgery for a partial tear of the ulnar ligament in his left elbow. Rightfielder Brian Jordan will miss at least several games after being diagnosed with a pinched nerve in his neck that was causing numbness in his right hand.
January 11, 1997 |
The Boston Red Sox signed lefthander Steve Avery to a one-year contract, hoping he can rebound from a ribcage injury and lead a staff that lost Roger Clemens. Avery, 7-10 with a 4.47 ERA last season with Atlanta, became expendable after the Braves obtained lefty Denny Neagle in a trade with Pittsburgh. Avery was the MVP in the 1991 National League Championship Series, but was less successful in last year's postseason. In Game 4 of the World Series against New York, he walked Wade Boggs with the bases loaded in the 10th inning, forcing in the go-ahead run in an 8-6 Yankees win. Avery, 26, who missed nearly two months last season with the rib problem, is 72-62 lifetime in seven seasons, all with Atlanta.
October 26, 1995 |
Give Braves manager Bobby Cox a pinkie ring and a diamond stickpin, slip him into a tuxedo, pull his chair up to the baccarat table. And you know what? He's still going to look a lot more like the career baseball man he is than a high roller. But make no mistake. Cox rolled the dice last night in Game 4 of the World Series. Risked a large chunk of his stake on one spin of the wheel of fortune. Doubled down. Could have started Greg Maddux, the best pitcher of this generation, last night at Jacobs Field.