Braves 3, Cubs 2

Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – April 07, 2010 – ESPN.

Winning different types of games is also good.

The Braves struck first, scoring a run in the second. McCann led off with a walk. Glaus and Escobar struck out — more on that later — but Brian stole second on the latter K. Jason Heyward then struck again, lacing a double into right to make it 1-0.

The Braves couldn’t extend their lead in the second, and then didn’t do anything much for the next several innings, getting mowed down by Ryan Dempster. Jair Jurrjens was able to keep things under control, though, until the fifth inning, a near perfect storm of bad umpiring, bad defense, and bad luck, in which he threw 40 pitches and had to get five or six outs. He was lucky to get out of it with only two runs allowed.

Medlen pitched two innings, allowing a single in each and recording a couple of strikeouts. Moylan got a double play to end the eighth. And in the bottom of the inning, Prado (who had a couple of good old-fashioned Prados in the game) doubled with one out. Chipper then followed with a long homer, righthanded, to give the Braves the lead. Wagner came in and did what he has so often done for various teams over the years, blowing the other side away with three strikeouts, though he did allow one single.

The biggest concern right now is Troy Glaus, who simply has looked overmatched the first two games of the season. Of course, it’s just two games, but after taking the Golden Sombrero tonight he’s now struck out six times in seven at-bats. He has also looked shaky on defense, including an error tonight that played a major role in the Cubs’ rally, though he has mixed in some nice plays with the bad ones.

66 thoughts on “Braves 3, Cubs 2”

  1. Chipper is actually now a better hitter from the right side, but other teams haven’t figured that out yet.

  2. Moved from old thread:

    If anyone has the ability to capture it, I would love to see Wagner’s inning again. And again and again.

  3. I just watched Francoeur work a walk from an 0-2 count. If you’ll excuse me, I have to go scrape my brain off the ceiling.

  4. The thing about Wagner… Other than knuckleballers, pitchers generally last longer depending upon their strikeout rate and velocity. Who threw the hardest and struck out the most guys? And who lasted the longest? In all cases, Nolan Ryan. Wagner isn’t Ryan — though to be honest, he’s a better player in his role than Ryan ever was in his — but he throws really hard and strikes out lots of guys.

  5. Are we on Freddie Freeman watch yet?

    Seriously, you’d be hard pressed to come up with a script for two better games – from a Braves perspective – than these two.

    Love me some Prado.

  6. Bobby has never been too shy about shuffling his lineups when need be. If Glaus is still scuffling in another week or so, I’d love to take Mac’s advice and swap him with Yunel.

    I liked seeing Medlen do some nice work in long relief. Now we’ll just have to figure out how we can keep Moylan and Wagner on the bench tomorrow.

  7. “he throws really hard and strikes out lots of guys”–the rest of that is great but really I’m fine with just this

  8. During Chipper’s homer at-bat, I thought about this Poz article and called a home run when the count went to 3-1. My friend was amazed.

    The only other time it’s worked for me was during a Sunday night baseball game, Joe Mauer was in a 3-1 count and I bet my sister $10 he’d hit a home run. And he did. And my sister didn’t pay up, just as I wouldn’t have paid up had he walked or grounded out or struck out on the next pitch.

  9. On Glaus: He reached base three times in the first game, scoring twice. It’s the second game of the season. He looked fine this spring and even started to hit with some power near the end of it. He’ll be fine.

  10. I just posted the link to this post on Facebook. The site gave me Captcha confirmation words for some reason — and they were “hanking” and “heyward”.

  11. Was at the 755 Club tonight for a pre-game event and the first 6 innings.

    Instead of paying 14 bucks or so for a “ultimate hot dog”, we went with an expensive pepperoni pizza…and it was surprisingly delicious.

    Althought it could’ve been the Newcastles.

    Watched the awesome finish from home…what a beautiful Chipper Jones swing.

    Hope we see Glaus pick it up a bit.

    After watching (and wanting him in a Braves uni) Billy Wagner since, what, 1996?, it sure is awesome to see him closing games in the ATL. Damn…how many MORE games would’ve we won if he’d signed with Atlanta about 10 years ago.

  12. 14 — 755 club has delicious food. Yes, it’s very expensive, but at least you get tons of good food.

  13. Also, great, great beer in the 755 club. Wish I could remember the name of what was on a tap, but it was very good.

  14. @5: Freeman can’t come up until opening day next year, when he will hit a home run in his first MLB at bat. It’s in the script.

  15. Wow, KJ now with 2 homers tonight. I think he’s going to have a very good year, but I’m still happy with Prado.

  16. Glaus will be fine. It’s two games. Geez. Freeman isn’t close to ready. If Glaus breaks, Hinske gets the job, and he’s totally acceptable.

    Glaus walked twice last game. Tonight, Dempster was kind of on fire. I am not at all worried about Glaus’ ability to hit the baseball.

  17. Hinske’s more of a replacement-level filler type than “fine”. I mean, he won’t be near as bad as, say, Thorman, but Glaus sucking will almost certainly necessitate some sort of trade.

  18. Glaus sure did a nice job snagging that liner and turning it into a double play. He’s raw out there, but he sure ain’t Jorge Posada.

    I view Glaus as medium-high risk, medium-high reward. If he’s still the guy he was in 2008, or even 85% of that guy, he could hit 20-25 homers for us, which would be better than a whole lot of the 1Bs we’ve trotted out there, and is better than what Hinske would do, even if you gave him 600 at-bats. Hinske’s a known quantity: he basically provides Omar Infante’s offense with less defensive versatility. He’s a great bench guy, but has been completely overexposed in every starting role he’s been given since his ROY season. I want Glaus to get a full chance to fail, because Hinske doesn’t have nearly the potential or raw power that Glaus has.

  19. Or Ken Caminiti.

    Guess it’s too much to ask for a Nats win over Philly. The Mets, however, had one of those big-comeback-then-lose-anyway games. WFAN oughta be fun tomorrow.

  20. mraver @ 25,
    Actually, as the left handed part of a platoon at first, Hinske is o.k. Hinske is 800 to maybe 850 against righties, 650 to 700 against lefties. The problem for the Braves in platooning him is that Glaus has a reverse split and over as many at bats as he has, that may be “significant.” So, if a platoon happens (or an “eject” Glaus or injured Glaus) I would consider putting Prado at 1B against lefties and Omar at 2B.

  21. As well as Soriano pitched for us last year, Wagner just has an extra gear on his stuff that is just nastier.

    Glaus’ troubles are worrisome. In a somewhat related note, ESPN showed a comparision of David Ortiz’s and Mark Texeria’s swing and Miss rate. Ortiz has a 41% swing and miss rate, whereas Tex is at less than 10%. The meaning of that is that while Tex is 0-10, he is not looking over matched, while Papi is.

    I think Glaus’ miss rate has to be a 75 percent right now, and that is very troubling. His bat just looks slow. He has always been a right handed Adam Dunn type, so he will strikeout alot. The D at first will come. I think the error yesterday was more of rush job due to a brain lock than anything else. He has shown pretty good hands at first. Best thing for the lineup is the bat Yunel 5, Heyward 6, and Glaus 7, that would give the braves a nice LH, RH mix throughout the lineup.

  22. I dunno. I love Hinske’s swing and would like to see him at first against righties for about a month.

    I’m trying to keep an unofficial “players moving from American League to National League” compare / contrast to see if it’s hype or truth.

  23. Let’s all give Glaus more than 9 PAs and 41 pitches seen before we declare him overmatched. His swinging strike percentage is 35%, not good but hardly 75%.

  24. For the last few years I’ve thought maybe Chipper should just bad right-handed. I wonder if he’s even considered it.

  25. FWIW, Cubs radio announcers spent some time yesterday talking about how Glaus now has a slider-speed bat.

  26. FWIW, Adam LaRoche is 0-12, 6K, with a swinging strike percentage of 23%. Looks like he’s starting slow as usual too.

  27. Man, you know it’s only 2 games into the season when Jeffy is .333/.444/.500, 2BB, 0K, OPS+ 149.

  28. The guys on SNY were congratulating Francoeur for not striking out in the last two games. Unbelievable.

  29. One thing I’ve noticed: Heyward has got some unreal bat speed. His bat is just dynamite through the zone.

  30. Just watch the ninth inning again…you want to know the definition of gas? That is the most impressive relieve performance I have seen since I don’t know when…

    …I love Billy.

  31. I love pestering my friend Jen that we have Wagner now and her team has Frenchie… though she doesn’t hate Frenchie yet, so it’s mostly that we have Wagner.

  32. I got a trade proposal in my league and I wanted to know some of your opinions.

    Me-Trade Brian Wilson (Giants closer) for Billy Wagner straight up?

  33. That’s a tough one. The Giants and Braves will probably end up with a similar number of wins. The way he looked last night, Wagner will get more strikeouts.

    I’d probably do it just because I’m a Braves fan.

  34. @43 – I’d think Wagner is more of an injury risk. Plus with the Giants’ good pitching and bad offense, they seem likely to be in more close games and therefore more save opportunities.

  35. Hey, anyone know how to find out which teams have had the greatest margin of victory in games won? I ask because I’d like to track how well the Braves compare to historical standards.

  36. “When life throws you a curve, remember: you could be a Mets fan.”

    Or, you could be the Mets’ rightfielder–meaning there’s almost no way you’re going to hit that curve.

  37. Despite the save total, Brian Wilson looked pretty bad last year. I watched a lot of games with my roommate and he almost never had a 1-2-3 inning and, like Gonzalez last year, his command was either superb or downright terrible. Not that Wagner is a sure thing over Wilson, but I’d go with Wagner.

  38. What are the odds tonight’s game gets played? I keep hearing about rain down there.

  39. I dunno, I’m on the Tech campus and its supposed to be raining pretty hard right now but it isn’t. Kinda torn on this, I want it to absolutely pour because the pollen has gotten out of hand around here, but I don’t want the game to be canceled.

  40. It’s spring here at Clemson which means I catch myself saying “Damn.” in excess of 15 times per day.

  41. 43

    As someone who’s had Braves closers on my teams before I say don’t trade for Wagner. They may wind up with similar numbers, but it really sucks rooting against the Braves offense when they have a 3 run lead in the 8th.

  42. @54,

    MSN’s weather shows the back side of the rain on a line from Birmingham to Chattanooga to Knoxville right now.

    They also show “partly cloudy” by 6:00 p.m. (Consistent with 11 Alive this morning).

    So, they will almost certainly get this one in. I hope it doesn’t run late (it will be hard enough to turn it around tomorrow for a day game).

    In fact, shouldn’t MLB prevent the Giants from doing this? It seems very unfair and inappropriate.

  43. 54, 56,

    I think it’ll eventually clear up enough to play the game, though I’m not so optimistic about it starting on time. At least that’s what weather.com thinks.

  44. So I’ve been back and forth w/ my Mets fan friend @jenconnic on twitter today (I may have posted links to the Frenchie triple play, and mentioned Wagner getting our save)… and she brought up the “Braves Lost the World Series a Lot” thing to mock me with… so I was working on a metaphor and these are what I came up with:

    @jenconnic teasing the Braves about losing in the world series is like:

    Teasing Brad Pitt about being Angelina Jolie’s 2nd choice for serious relationship
    Teasing Tom Glavine/John Smoltz about being the 2nd best Braves pitcher of the 90s
    Teasing Bill Gates about not being the richest man in the world anymore

    It’s sort of missing the f$%^ing POINT.

    And then the less “kosher” one:
    Every year, every baseball team is like a high-school senior, and the World Series is the prettiest girl in school. Losing in the World Series is like only making out and getting a bj from her on prom night instead of having a steady relationship w/ lots of … till the next year starts and she leaves you… both are fleeting, one is obviously more enjoyable, but you’re an idiot to complain either way.

    I settled on:
    “teasing the Braves about the 90s WS losses is like teasing Warren Buffett about all those years Bill Gates was the richest man.”

    Anybody have a better one?

  45. I think you have to use the Human element on Glaus before we jump ship.

    1) He missed most of last year. There is going to be some rust.
    2) He is learning a new position, which is backwards from his old one.
    3) He is playing for a new team in a new city.

    He might be done, but I think we have to give him a little wiggle room before we bail ship. He was just a little late on a couple of high fastballs last night. Let’s give him a few weeks and see what he does.

    He has made some bad plays at first, and then some great ones. I think he has potential.

  46. I just listened to Jim Powell’s call of the Heyward homer–nearly brought tears to my eyes.

    @63: Damn. I had seen 110.5 MPH from ESPN. 476 feet?! Wow.

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