Jair Jurrjens may not get the start at next week’s Midsummer
Classic, but the Atlanta Braves right-hander is well-deserving of
his first All-Star nod.
Coming off his first shutout, Jurrjens looks to become the NL’s
first 12-game winner Wednesday night when the surging Braves
continue their series against the visiting Colorado Rockies.
Selected on Sunday to the NL squad, Jurrjens (11-3, 1.89 ERA) is
thrilled to get the chance to compete with the game’s elite in
Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
“It would be an honor to be in the same locker room with the
best of the best in this league,” he told the Braves’ official
NL manager Bruce Bochy could start Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee or
Roy Halladay, but Jurrjens would also be a solid choice. The
right-hander, who leads the NL in ERA and is tied for the lead in
victories, tossed a one-hitter with a season-high eight strikeouts
Friday in a 4-0 victory over Baltimore.
“Outstanding,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “It was one
of his best performances of the season so far. He’s been the most
consistent pitcher we’ve had, and today was no different.”
Jurrjens, the first Brave to post 11 wins in his first 15 starts
since Tom Glavine in 2002, is 4-1 with a 4.02 ERA in seven starts
It’s uncertain if he’ll face Carlos Gonzalez (bruised right
wrist) or Troy Tulowitzki (right quadriceps tightness). Both missed
Tuesday’s 5-2 loss as the Rockies (41-45) fell for the 21st time in
27 games at Turner Field.
“I laud the effort, as short-handed as we are,” manager Jim
Tracy said. “There’s a ton of baseball left. We’ve got to find a
way to win a few ballgames.”
That could be difficult, though, with Atlanta (51-36) winning
eight of nine at home and 12 of 15 overall.
Colorado will try to avoid its first six-game road losing streak
since an eight-game skid to end 2010 with right-hander Aaron Cook
(0-3, 4.66) on the hill. The veteran sinkerballer, making his sixth
start of the season after breaking the ring finger on his pitching
hand in March, has not won since Sept. 8.
He was in line for a victory Thursday against the Chicago White
Sox, yielding one run in six innings, but the Rockies’ bullpen
allowed five runs in the 6-4, 10-inning loss.
“It would have been nice to get (Cook) on the board in the win
column,” Tulowitzki told the Rockies’ official website after that
game. “He struggled a little bit early, but he found it. To get him
six innings, one run, it’s a game we should win.”
Cook, 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA in nine starts versus Atlanta, should
be careful pitching to Freddie Freeman. The rookie first baseman
has three homers in the first two games of this series after going
“I’m not missing my pitches right now,” said Freeman, who has
five homers and 12 RBIs in his last 11 games.
All-Star third baseman Chipper Jones, who returned to the lineup
Tuesday after missing one game with a sore right knee, is a career
.348 hitter (8 for 23) against Cook with three doubles and a