2010 Atlanta Braves season
The 2010 Atlanta Braves season was the franchise's 45th season in Atlanta along with the 135th season in the National League and 140th overall. It featured the Braves' attempt to reclaim a postseason berth for the first time since 2005. The Braves once again were skippered by Bobby Cox, in his 25th and final overall season managing the team. It was their 45th season in Atlanta, and the 135th of the franchise. Finishing the season with a 91–71 record, the Braves won the NL Wild Card, only to be eliminated in the NLDS by the San Francisco Giants in four games.
|2010 Atlanta Braves|
|National League Wild Card|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Frank Wren|
Fox Sports South
Atlanta Braves Radio Network
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Offseason additions and subtractionsEdit
|Players||RHS Javier Vázquez (traded to Yankees)
RHR Rafael Soriano (traded to Rays)
LHR Mike Gonzalez (signed with Orioles)
LF Garret Anderson (signed with Dodgers)
1B Adam LaRoche (signed with Diamondbacks)
2B Kelly Johnson (signed with Diamondbacks)
1B/OF Greg Norton (retired)
OF Ryan Church (signed with Pirates)
RHS Boone Logan (traded to Yankees)
|LHR Billy Wagner (Signed as a free agent) |
RHR Takashi Saito (Signed as a free agent)
1B/OF Eric Hinske (Signed as a free agent)
1B/3B Troy Glaus (Signed as a free agent)
OF Melky Cabrera (Acquired in trade from Yankees)
LHR Mike Dunn (Acquired in trade from Yankees)
RHR Jesse Chavez (Acquired in trade from Rays)
RHR Scott Proctor* (Signed as minor league free agent)
RHR Juan Abreu (Signed as minor league free agent)
OF Mitch Jones* (Signed as minor league free agent)
OF Brent Clevlen* (Signed as minor league free agent)
2B Joe Thurston* (Signed as minor league free agent)
RHS Arodys Vizcaíno (Acquired in trade from Yankees)
- *Player was non-roster invitee to Spring training (not on 40-man Roster)
Names highlighted in bold appear in the table above.
Frank Wren began the offseason for the Atlanta Braves with the acquisition of relief pitcher Scott Proctor to a split contract. The contract assured Proctor would earn the minor league minimum while playing in the minors and earn the pro-rated portion of $750,000 plus a possible $250,000 in the major leagues.
November 12, 2009: Veteran starting pitcher Tim Hudson agreed to a three-year/$27 million contract extension with a club option for 2013 at $9 million.
November 24, 2009: The Braves signed minor league free agent Juan Abreu, a right-handed relief pitcher, to a one-year minor league contract.
December 2, 2009: Veteran closer Billy Wagner and the Atlanta Braves agreed to a one-year contract. The six-time All-Star received $6.75 million in 2010, and his deal included a $6.5 million club option for 2011 with a $250,000 buyout.
December 3, 2009: The Braves signed closer Takashi Saito to a one-year/$3.2 million deal, with an additional $2.3 million to be earned through incentives. He served as the set-up man to Billy Wagner during the 2010 season.
December 22, 2009: The Braves traded starting pitcher Javier Vázquez and relief pitcher Boone Logan to the New York Yankees for outfielder Melky Cabrera, relief pitcher Mike Dunn, and relief pitcher Arodys Vizcaíno.
January 5, 2010: Infielder Troy Glaus and the Atlanta Braves agreed to a one-year/$1.75 million deal, with an additional $2.5 million to be earned through incentives. He served the Braves in 2010 at 1st base and 3rd base.
January 5, 2010: Utility man Eric Hinske and the Atlanta Braves agreed to a one-year/$1.5 million deal.
|New York Mets||79||83||0.488||18||47–34||32–49|
Opening Day startersEdit
|Starting Pitcher||Derek Lowe|
|First Baseman||Troy Glaus|
|Second Baseman||Martín Prado|
|Third Baseman||Chipper Jones|
|Left Fielder||Melky Cabrera|
|Center Fielder||Nate McLouth|
|Right Fielder||Jason Heyward|
April 5, 2010: During the first inning of a 16–5 Braves walloping of the Chicago Cubs on Opening Day, rookie Jason Heyward launched a three-run home run during his first Major League at-bat. Heyward became the eleventh Braves player to homer in his Major League debut, and just the fifth to go deep in his first at-bat.
May 20, 2010: Going into the bottom of the ninth down 9–3 against the Cincinnati Reds, the Braves scored seven runs to beat the Reds by a final score of 10–9. The late rally was capped by a Brooks Conrad pinch-hit grand slam that scored the final four runs to win the game by one. Conrad's walk-off grand slam to overcome a three-run deficit was the 23rd in Major League history, and just the second time it has been done by a pinch-hitter. The last pinch-hitter to do so was Jack Phillips of the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1950.
May 31, 2010: The Atlanta Braves defeated the then-first-place Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field to take sole possession of first place in the National League East standings, a position they had maintained for exactly one hundred days until losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 7, 2010, to relinquish the lead back to the Phillies. The last time the Atlanta Braves had led the NL East on September 1 was in 2005.
June 3, 2010: Winning the first game of a four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Braves extended their winning streak to nine games. It was the longest winning streak for the Braves since they won sixteen in a row in 2000.
July 13, 2010: At the 2010 MLB All-Star Game in Anaheim, Braves catcher Brian McCann was awarded the All-Star Game MVP Award for his clutch two-out, three-run double in the seventh inning to give the National League its first win in the All-Star Game since 1996. He became the first Brave to win the MVP Award since Fred McGriff did so in 1994.
August 22, 2010: Facing the Chicago Cubs, Mike Minor struck out twelve batters through six innings, setting an Atlanta Braves single-game rookie strikeout record. The previous record holder, Tommy Hanson, struck out eleven against the San Francisco Giants on July 20, 2009. This was also the last game for Lou Piniella as the Chicago Cubs manager before his retirement.
August 27, 2010: In the ninth inning of a 1–7 loss to the Florida Marlins, Braves veteran closer Billy Wagner recorded his 1,170th career strikeout, getting Mike Stanton. The strikeout set a new left-handed reliever strikeout record as Wagner passed Jesse Orosco in career strikeouts. After the game, Wagner declined to speak to the media, simply stating, "We lost".
September 25, 2010: Upon defeating the Washington Nationals by a 5–0 score in Washington, D.C., Braves skipper Bobby Cox won his 2,500th career game as a manager. Cox became just the fourth manager in MLB history to win 2,500 games.
October 3, 2010: Entering the final scheduled regular-season game of the year tied for the NL Wild Card lead, the Atlanta Braves defeated the Phillies in an 8–7 victory in front of a sold-out crowd at Turner Field. Approximately two and a half hours later, the San Francisco Giants defeated the San Diego Padres to give the Braves the Wild Card and their first postseason appearance since 2005.
October 8, 2010: In the tenth inning of Game 2 of the NLDS, Braves closer Billy Wagner injured himself while fielding a bunted ball by Giants center-fielder Andrés Torres. This was the last Major League appearance for the veteran left-handed reliever.
October 10, 2010: In Game 3 of the NLDS, Braves second-baseman Brooks Conrad committed three errors, pushing his error total in the NLDS to four. His four errors set a new Divisional Series record for errors by a single fielder. The errors allowed the Giants two unearned runs, which were the deciding factor in the Braves' pivotal Game 3 loss. Conrad was benched the following day, after committing eight errors in his final seven games.
October 11, 2010: Losing Game 4 of the NLDS by a score of 2–3, the Giants eliminated the Braves from the postseason, winning the series three games to one. This game was the last Major League game ever managed by long-time Braves manager Bobby Cox.
Legend Braves Win Braves Loss Game Postponed
|2010 Regular Season Game Log|
Composite box scoreEdit
- Source: Baseball Reference
|Date||Team||Acquired by Braves||Traded from Braves|
|July 14||Toronto Blue Jays||SS Álex González
LHP Tim Collins
SS Tyler Pastornicky
|SS Yunel Escobar|
LHP Jo-Jo Reyes
|July 31||Detroit Tigers||OF Wilkin Ramírez||Player to be named|
|July 31||Kansas City Royals||OF Rick Ankiel
RHP Kyle Farnsworth
|OF Gregor Blanco|
RHP Jesse Chavez
LHP Tim Collins
|August 18||Chicago Cubs||1B Derrek Lee||RHP Robinson Lopez|
RHP Tyrelle Harris
LHP Jeffrey Lorick
Accolades and awardsEdit
Record vs. opponentsEdit
2010 National League Records
|2010 Postseason Game Log|
National League Division Series (1–3)
National League Division SeriesEdit
As National League Wild Card winner, the Braves faced the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 National League Division Series. It was the first postseason appearance for the Braves since the 2005 team was eliminated after four games in the 2005 NLDS versus the Houston Astros.
|WP: Tim Lincecum (1–0) LP: Derek Lowe (0–1) Sv: None|
The first game of the NLDS was a pitching duel that matched the Giants' two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, in his first postseason start, against the Braves' Derek Lowe, a seasoned veteran of postseason play.
The game's only run came in the fourth inning. Giants rookie catcher Buster Posey singled to left, stole second in a controversial play where he was called safe while appearing to be out, and then scored on a two-out single by Cody Ross. The run was the only one Lincecum needed, as the Giants' ace was dominant, pitching a complete game shutout, allowing only two hits and striking out a franchise record 14 while walking only one. Lowe pitched only 5 1⁄3 innings before being lifted for the bullpen. Jonny Venters, Peter Moylan, Michael Dunn, and Craig Kimbrel combined to pitch the final 2 2⁄3 innings of the Braves loss.
|WP: Kyle Farnsworth (1–0) LP: Ramón Ramírez (0–1) Sv: None|
ATL: Rick Ankiel (1)
SFO: Pat Burrell (1)
Braves manager Bobby Cox was ejected from the game in the top of the second inning, arguing that Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff's foot did not stay on base on an Álex González ground-out. In the bottom of the second, Giants starter Matt Cain also hit an RBI single, scoring Cody Ross, who had doubled earlier. The Giants led the Braves after two innings by a 4–0 score.
Braves first baseman Derrek Lee hit a lead-off single in the top of the sixth inning and advanced to second base on Pat Burrell's fielding error. Brian McCann singled him home in the next at-bat to end the 14 scoreless innings streak for the Braves in the series.
The Braves struck back in the top of the eighth inning. After consecutive singles by Lee and McCann, the Giants brought in closer Brian Wilson for a six-out save; however, the next hitter, Melky Cabrera, hit an RBI ground ball that scored Lee from third base and Cabrera beat the throw to first base due to Giants' third baseman Pablo Sandoval's throwing error. Following Brooks Conrad's sacrifice bunt, Álex González's RBI double scored both runners and tied the game at 4–4.
The game remained tied and went to extra innings. In the bottom of the tenth inning, two consecutive bunts (one resulting in a single, one sacrifice) knocked Braves closer Billy Wagner out of the game because of injury. Because Wagner retired following the 2010 season, it was the last time Wagner ever appeared in a Major League game. Relieving the injured Wagner, Kyle Farnsworth hit the next batter, Freddy Sanchez, then walked Huff to load the bases. With the winning run at third base and one out, Posey followed by grounding into a double play to end the inning.
In the top of the eleventh inning, Rick Ankiel hit a go-ahead solo home run into McCovey Cove on the fly to give the Braves a 5–4 lead, their first lead in the series. Farnsworth threw a scoreless bottom of the eleventh inning for the save and handed the Braves their first (and ultimately only) win in the series. The NLDS was tied one game apiece as it headed to Atlanta.
|WP: Sergio Romo (1–0) LP: Craig Kimbrel (0–1) Sv: Brian Wilson (1)|
ATL: Eric Hinske (1)
Game 3 was yet another dramatic matchup of strong pitching. The Braves sent right-handed veteran Tim Hudson to the mound to face Giants lefty Jonathan Sánchez. The Giants took an early lead in the top of the second inning after leaving the bases loaded in the first. Third baseman Mike Fontenot started the inning by driving a triple off the right field wall. Cody Ross, the next batter, lofted a pop fly that was dropped by Atlanta second baseman Brooks Conrad, giving San Francisco a 1–0 lead. Hudson rebounded by pitching seven strong innings, allowing only the one unearned run. Sánchez pitched a no-hitter through five innings against the Braves. With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Braves starter Hudson collected the team's first hit, a single to right field. Sánchez kept the Braves off the scoreboard until he was lifted with one out in the eighth.
With a runner at first and one out in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Giants still nursing their 1–0 lead, Giants setup man Sergio Romo, a right-hander, relieved Sánchez to face the right-handed Troy Glaus as a pinch-hitter. Braves manager Bobby Cox countered by sending left-handed utility man Eric Hinske to the plate instead. With two strikes on him, Hinske turned on a hanging slider from Romo and drove it just inside the right field foul pole for a home run, giving the Braves a 2–1 lead and electrifying the crowd at Turner Field.
Rookie right-hander Craig Kimbrel came out of the bullpen to start the top of the ninth for the Braves, relieving Jonny Venters, who had struck out the side the previous inning. Kimbrel retired Ross on a popout to Conrad for the first out. Travis Ishikawa then pinch-hit for Romo and drew a walk. After striking out leadoff man Andrés Torres, Kimbrel gave up a single to second baseman Freddy Sanchez and was removed from the game, leaving runners on first and second base with two outs. Another rookie Brave, lefty Michael Dunn came on and gave up a game-tying single to Aubrey Huff. Dunn was then pulled for a right-hander, Peter Moylan, who induced a grounder from Buster Posey, which proceeded to bounce through the legs of Conrad, the second baseman's third error of the game. Sanchez scored on the play, giving the Giants a 3–2 lead. Conrad's three errors set a NLDS record for most errors in a single game. Kyle Farnsworth came on and got the third out, but the damage was done.
The Giants brought in their closer Brian Wilson for the bottom of the ninth. He held the lead, giving up a single to Brian McCann, but retiring Nate McLouth on a grounder to end the game. After being one strike away from a commanding 2–1 series lead, the Braves found themselves facing elimination with another loss.
|WP: Madison Bumgarner (1–0) LP: Derek Lowe (0–2) Sv: Brian Wilson (2)|
SFO: Cody Ross (1)
ATL: Brian McCann (1)
With their backs against the wall, the Braves sent Derek Lowe to the mound on three days' rest. The Braves scored first in the bottom of the third inning when Brian McCann hit a sacrifice fly that drove in Omar Infante.
Lowe took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but the Giants tied the game with one out on Cody Ross' first-pitch homer off of a Lowe cutter. McCann answered with a home run of his own in the bottom of the inning off the Giants' rookie starter, Madison Bumgarner, to take back the lead.
Lowe was relieved after 6 1⁄3 innings. After walking Aubrey Huff and allowing an infield single to Buster Posey, Bobby Cox made his way out to the mound, apparently to remove Lowe from the game; however, after talking to him, Cox elected to leave Lowe in, prompting huge cheers from the Atlanta fans. The next batter, Pat Burrell, walked on a 3–1 pitch near the inside corner and Lowe's night was done. He struck out eight while allowing only two hits and walking two. Braves' relievers Peter Moylan and Jonny Venters could not hold the lead as the Giants scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning on Juan Uribe's RBI fielder's choice and Cody Ross' RBI single. The Braves had an opportunity to escape the one-out, bases-loaded jam; however, Álex González's throwing error, his second in the game, cost them. Both of the errors were debatable. The first was a ball hit into the hole that he didn't field cleanly with the speedy Andrés Torres running. The second was another crucial controversial call that went against the Braves in the series. With two on and one out Juan Uribe hit a weak groundball to González. González elected to go to second but threw it high, causing Omar Infante to edge up; however, the umpire ruled he came off the base.
Left-handed Giants reliever Javier López entered the game with two outs in the eighth, and pinch-runner Nate McLouth as the tying run at second base. López struck out Jason Heyward to end the inning. In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Braves had one last chance to rally. With one out, Giants closer Brian Wilson walked Rick Ankiel and Eric Hinske to put the winning run on base. Omar Infante followed by striking out swinging and Melky Cabrera grounded out to end the game and the series. The Giants won the series three games to one.
After twenty-five overall seasons as the manager for the Braves, Game 4 proved to be the last game for the retiring Bobby Cox. After the game ended, he came out of the dugout briefly to acknowledge the fans. He was greeted with loud cheers from the entire stadium, as well as an ovation from the Giants' players and coaches.
|2010 Atlanta Braves|
Stats through the end of the 2010 regular season
* = Acquired Mid-Season
† = No longer with Braves
"()" = Stats with Braves
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; R = Runs; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In
|Rick Ankiel *||74(47)||211(119)||31(17)||49(25)||.232(.210)||6(2)||24(9)|
|Gregor Blanco †||36||58||9||18||.310||0||3|
|J. C. Boscán||1||0||1||0||.000||0||0|
|Yunel Escobar †||75||261||28||62||.238||0||19|
|Álex González *||157(72)||595(267)||74(27)||149(64)||.250(.240)||23(6)||88(38)|
|Derrek Lee *||148(39)||547(129)||80(17)||142(37)||.260(.287)||19(3)||80(24)|
Note: G = Games played; IP = Innings Pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned Run Average; SO= Strikeouts; WHIP = Walks and Hits Per Innings Pitched; HLD = Holds
|Jesse Chavez †||28||3||2||0||36.2||5.89||29||1.42|
|Jo-Jo Reyes †||1||0||0||0||3.1||24.30||2||3.90|
|Chris Resop †||1||0||0||0||2.0||22.50||2||4.00|