Looking at the Last 5 Former Atlanta Braves to Face Their Old Team
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The Atlanta Braves have had several players over the year who have spent many seasons with the team, including the pitching trio of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz as well as third baseman Chipper Jones, who will have his number retired by the club in a pregame ceremony tomorrow at Turner Field.
The Braves have also been home to some players who have underperformed with them before going somewhere else and setting Major League Baseball on fire. A guy like Melky Cabrera, for instance, has had his best seasons since leaving Atlanta -- although performance-enhancing drugs certainly seem to have played a part in his improved stats.
Within just the last two weeks, the Braves have found themselves going up against a number of their former players, with the majority of them making positive contributions for their new squads. During that time Atlanta has struggled to maintain consistency, continuing its up-and-down play since an incredible April.
Nevertheless, it's usually exciting to see guys who once donned the navy, scarlet and white experience success -- more so when they play against other teams, but still. Whether said players began their career in Atlanta or provided one of baseball's top franchises with solid production in the middle of their career, it's generally said that once you're a Brave, you're always a Brave.
While players like the aforementioned Cabrera debunk that belief, at least in my eyes, I have found myself cheering for many former Braves for the rest of their careers.
With a few more former Braves returning to Atlanta this weekend -- the Arizona Diamondbacks' Randall Delgado, Martin Prado and Eric Hinske -- I decided to look at the last five former Braves to face their old team.
San Francisco Giants left fielder Gregor Blanco kicked off a three-game weekend series in Atlanta on June 14 with a two-hit performance that included a solo home run as part of a 6-0 Giants win.
Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Juan Francisco, who platooned with Chris Johnson at third base for the Braves during the early part of the season before being traded for a minor league reliever in May, had just one hit during last weekend's three-game set in Milwaukee. But it was a big one, as he drove in one of the Brewers' two runs in Saturday's 2-0 victory.
Brewers left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez tossed a scoreless inning both Saturday and Sunday, allowing just one hit and striking out one. While the Brewers lost 7-4 on Sunday, his seventh inning on Saturday helped Milwaukee hold a lead in the late innings of what ultimately sewed up a series win.
Despite going 0-for-3 in Wednesday's 4-3, 10-inning win over the Braves, Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur delivered a perfect throw to the plate early in the game that prevented an Atlanta base-runner from scoring.
Royals left-handed reliever Bruce Chen, who started his career with the Braves way back in 1998, was ineffective against his old club, recording no outs while giving up one run on one hit in Wednesday's victory.
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