2008 Pacific Division Champion Braves Season Highlights
Regular Season Summary
After losing a couple of key players from last year's championship team, repeating was not our first thought; especially with the league reorganization giving us a much tougher schedule than last year. As it turned out, the new players provided more than enough and kept us consistent throughout the season.
The season ends with an overall record of 15-5 (10-2 in division). The team batted .318.
Regular Season Hitting Highlights
- Advincula – .553 AVG, 26 H, 13 RBIs, 4 HRs.
- Edmonds – .449 AVG, 31 H, 24 RBIs, 10 2B's, 3 HRs.
- Bejarano – .326 AVG, 15 RBIs.
- Bellew – .319 AVG
- Constantino – .350 AVG
- Cordeiro – 23 BBs, 10 RBIs, .529 OBP.
- Kaye – .341 AVG
- Lee – .340 AVG, 11 RBIs, 2 HRs, 13 SBs
- Painter – .314 AVG, 12 RBIs.
- Rodrigues – .304 AVG
Regular Season Pitching Highlights
- Advincula – 7-1, 1.83 ERA, 56 K’s.
- Edmonds – 5-2, 2.98 ERA, 73 K’s.
- Key spot starts were provided by Codiga, Guiliano and White.
We opened the playoffs as the #1 seed against the #4 seeded White Sox at Independence HS. Though we had success during the regular season against them, we knew the playoffs would be different; they would be bringing their best against us.
Semi-Final Game One
The first game pitted Jeremy Advincula of the Braves going against Daniel Flores of the White Sox. Both pitchers brought their "A" game. The Braves won 3-1, all runs being scored in the first inning.
The White Sox scored one run in the top of the first with Advincula stranding the bases loaded. In the bottom of the inning, the Braves scored three; a 2-run home run by Edmonds and an RBI single by Kaye.
As the ninth starts, Advincula hit Schulz of the White Sox for the third time and must leave the mound. He finished with 14 strikeouts. Codiga came in from left field and retired all three batters he faced for the save; three flyballs – one, a nice catch in left by Bejarano.
Semi-Finals Game One Hitting Highlights
- Edmonds – 2-3, 2 RBIs, HR
- Lee – 2-3
- Kaye – 2-3
Semi-Final Game Two
In the second game, Edmonds pitched a 9-inning, complete game in a 6-1 Braves win, with 7 K’s. The White Sox scored their lone run in the ninth inning.
Semi-Finals Game Two Hitting Highlights
- Codiga – 2-3, 2B
- Advincula – 3-4
- Edmonds – 3-4, 2B, HR, 4 RBIs
- Lee – 2-3, 2B
- Bellew – 3-3, 2B
The Braves head into the championship series against the Cardinals who had swept a tough Blue Jay team the week before.
Finals Game One
Advincula pitched a 9-inning, complete game, which the Braves won 14-6. Only two of the Cardinal runs were earned, as the Braves uncharacteristically committed several errors. The game was actually closer than the score would indicate, as the Braves scored seven runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Finals Game One Hitting Highlights
- Bellew – 4-4, 2B, 4 RBIs
- Advincula – 2 RBIs
- Cordeiro – 2B, 2 RBIs
Finals Game Two
Codiga of the Braves and Mitchell of the Cards started the second game as the Braves were trying to end it and the Cards were fighting to play another day.
Going into the bottom of the fifth, the Braves appeared to have the game well in hand, leading 12-3. In the fifth, the Cardinals started pounding the ball and scored six, to narrow the score to 12-9. The Braves put up 3 runs in the top of the sixth to go up 15-9 and provide, what appeared to be a nice cushion.
The never say die Cardinals proceeded to put up five runs against relief pitcher Edmonds and it was now a one run game, Braves ahead 15-14.
After the Braves put up a run in the top of the seventh, the Cardinals scored three in their half to go ahead for the first time 17-16, though Edmonds struck out three. With the lead, the Cardinals brought in Hicks to close the game out. The Braves scored three in the top of the eighth, getting RBIs from Constantino, Kaye and Codiga. In the bottom of the inning, the Cards scored one on an RBI single from Young, narrowing the score to 19-18.
After the Braves went scoreless in the top of the ninth, they go into the bottom of the inning up by one run. A sore armed Edmonds finds another gear and proceeded to strike out the side to give the Braves back-to-back championships. Edmonds finished with 9 strikeouts.
Finals Game Two Hitting Standouts
- Advincula – 4-5, RBI
- Constantino – 3-5, 2 RBIs
- Bellew – 3-4, 2B, 5 RBIs
- Kaye – 2 RBIs
- Codiga – 3-4, RBI
- Lee – 2-5, 2B, 3 RBIs
- Ramirez – 2 RBIs
- Painter – 2 RBIs
Props to the Cardinals for outhitting us and never quitting, despite being down by nine at one point. The consensus in our dugout, with all the years of baseball we all have played, was that none of us had ever been in a game like that.
As a side note, during the Cardinal sixth inning rally, Marino was hit square in the head with a line drive while standing in the on deck circle. He was taken away in an ambulance for precautionary measures. Thankfully, x-rays proved to be negative but at the time it was scary.
The Braves go through the playoffs 4-0 and bat .362 as a team:
Playoffs Hitting Highlights
- Bellew – .714 AVG, 10-14, 3 2B, 10 RBIs
- Advincula – .533 AVG, 8-15
- Codiga – .462 AVG, 6-13
- Constantino – .429 AVG, 3-7, 3 RBIs
- Edmonds – .462 AVG, 6-13, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBIs
- Kaye – .385 AVG, 5-13, 4 RBIs
- Lee – .429 AVG, 6-14, 2 2B, 3 RBIs
- Rodrigues – .333 AVG, 2-6
Playoffs Pitching Standouts
- Advincula - 2-0, 1.59 ERA, 19 K’s
- Edmonds - 2-0, 16 K’s
- Codiga - Save