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Atlanta Braves news and links: Shelby's rut gets deeper

Shelby's winless streak continues on, Olivera continues to sit, and the SunTrust Park bridge probably won't be built in time for 2017. Other than that, it's good to be a Braves fan right now!

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports


Shelby's winless streak continues as Jays wreck Braves 9-1

The bad news about last night's game, of course, is the fact that the Braves lost and that Shelby Miller's winless streak has continued. This time, it wasn't really a case of wretched luck for Miller. Instead, the Blue Jays and their potent offense just hit Miller early and often.  The good news about this game, and this series in general, is that the Braves won't get swept in a home series! That has to count for something, right? Right? Please end this season quickly.

Olivera continues to sit; Will be played on a matchup basis

Considering the fact that Hector Olivera is one of few Braves who is absolutely guaranteed to be back next season and is hopefully going to play a very important role in the Braves' rebuilding plans, you'd think that the Braves would be giving him as many reps as possible. That hasn't been the case, as Fredi has decided to play Olivera on a matchup basis and has chosen to go with the "hot hand" in Adonis Garcia.

The Braves have said they need to take a patient approach with Olivera. Still, it was surprising to see the much-hyped third baseman on the bench while Garcia started the first two games of this week's series against the Blue Jays.

"I want to see [Olivera] as much as I want to see him, but I also want to put the best lineup out there to give me a chance to win ballgames," Gonzalez said. "I don't want to go in there and say, 'We're playing for 2016.' I'm not going to do that. I come in every day and try to put the best lineup together to win a ballgame."

Braves may go after Cespedes in free agency

If the Braves seriously plan on being a legit competitor by 2017, then they'll probably have to get aggressive in free agency for the next couple of offseasons. We've already heard rumors that they'll use the free agency market to improve at the catcher position, and now we're hearing that the Braves may be going after one of the linchpins for the Mets' run to a potential NL East title: Yoenis Cespedes. The Braves already have a gang of outfielders at their disposal, but Cespedes would easily be the best one in town if he chose to sign with Atlanta. The Braves' financial resources may not be enough to make it happen, but the pursuit could indicate that the Braves are serious about being aggressive in free agency.

Braves bridge at SunTrust will be delayed by a year

Earlier this year, we heard that the pedestrian bridge connecting the Cobb Galleria with the SunTrust Park development wouldn't be ready in time for Opening Day. Now, we're hearing that the entire project won't be ready for Opening Year.

The announcement comes one week after The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that the Georgia Department of Transportation did not provide any funding for the bridge, or the $3.5 million estimated cost to reinforce the Galleria’s parking deck to which the bridge would attach.

That decision left funding for the project in question.

And over the weekend, the Marietta newspaper ran a gossip column that quoted an unnamed member of the Galleria Authority saying that [Tim] Lee did not have enough votes from that board to get approval for the bridge.

That is just great news for traffic in Cobb County. Terrific news! Best possible news that we could've possibly gotten! It's going to be a breeze to get to games in that area! What awesome news!


Alex Wood dominates Rockies over eight shutout innings

Former Braves starter Alex Wood delivered what was probably his best start of 2015 last night. He threw 78 pitches over eight innings and completely flummoxed the Rockies with his performance. You might be wondering "Hey, wait a second: 78 pitches over eight innings? Why didn't he go the full nine innings?" Apparently Don Mattingly wasn't willing to take any chances with seeing Wood go for the CGSO, so he brought in Kenley Jansen to make the save. Honestly, it's a nice problem to have -- Even if Alex Wood wasn't exactly a huge fan of the decision.

Rangers demolish Astros 14-3, take 1.5 game lead in AL West

I've already professed my casual love of the Astros on this blog, so you know how much it's hurting me to report that they're now one-and-a-half games behind the Rangers in the AL West. The Rangers earned that lead after they absolutely smoked their Texan rivals by eleven runs. The Rangers are peaking at exactly the right time, and this might be the push that takes them to a divisional crown. Meanwhile, former Braves catcher Evan Gattis hit a home run with one hand. If swag gave you extra runs, then the Astros would've won based on this alone.

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