214 thoughts on “Written in advance game thread: April 7, Cubs at Braves”

  1. The situation: Jason Heyward is ridiculous and the Braves are on pace to win 162 games, and to score a whopping 2,592 runs.

    The Question: Will the Braves win 7 consecutive world series titles?

    take it away Alex…

  2. Man, our April schedule is pretty tough. At least we’ll figure out rather quickly how good this team is.

  3. Chipper is on pace for 162 steals guys!

    …Derek Lowe is on pace for 162 starts…

  4. I called Heyward’s HR (before he came to the plate, I said, “He’s going to go yard up in this mug.”) but I didn’t write it anywhere, so I’m going to make my predictions beforehand: Heyward’s going to go deep in the bottom of the 4th with Glaus on second. :)

  5. Stu from previous thread.

    I believe various noun and verb forms of “mother’s finest” are the appropriate fill ins for “Papi” (which also is an off color reference).

    Amazing how well guys like Ortiz and Ozzie have command of a certin portion of their second language.

  6. I’m sure the Mets released Figueroa to make room for Manny Acosta on their ML roster.

  7. Note to Big Papi:

    This is called “Life in the Big City.” At this very moment, I’m listening to Yankee fans complaining about C.C. Sabathia’s first game & the way Joe Girardi managed it.

    All that joy, adulation & money you get when you win is offset by tough questions (from the media) & some irrational insanity (from the fans) when things don’t go perfectly. That’s how it works.

    Can’t take the Beantown heat? Go play in Kansas City.

  8. Interesting stuff if Hittracker.com is to be believed.

    Here are ALL the homeruns to LEAVE THE BAT at faster than 120 MPH since 2005 (when their data begins):

    1.) 122.5 – David Ortiz – 09/06/05
    2.) 122.3 – Vlad Balentien – 10/02/09
    3.) 122.3 – Jeremy Hermida – 07/19/08
    4.) 122.1 – Reggie Abercrombie – 04/19/06
    5.) 121.9 – Hanley Ramirez – 07/04/08
    6.) 121.6 – Wily Pena 04/17/05
    7.) 121.3 – Alex Rodriguez 06/15/06
    8.) 121.2 – Jonny Gomes 07/09/05
    9.) 121.0 – Mark Reynolds 09/18/07
    10.) 121.0 – Josh Phelps 08/20/07
    11.) 121.0 – Prince Fielder 04/18/06

    12.) 120.9 – Jason Heyward 04/05/10

    13.) 120.8 – Adam Dunn 09/27/08
    14.) 120.7 – Travis Hafner 08/20/06
    15.) 120.5 – Ryan Braun MIL 09/23/07
    16.) 120.5 – Travis Hafner 06/27/05
    17.) 120.4 – Alex Rodriguez 05/27/06

    So it wasn’t just your eyes… That’s some world class batspeed on J-Hey.

  9. jjshiller, now that is cool stuff. Okay two questions: (1) Does Hittracker only present data on home runs? What about other hit balls that did not result in a home run? (2) Obviously trajectory and estimating methods will affect the outcome, but does Hittracker tell you how far these HRs traveled?

    P.S. – Maybe those are three questions.

  10. I know that someone asks this every year (and I never remember the answers), does anybody know where you can watch tonight’s game online for free? I’m sick of MLB TV and trying to avoid it.

  11. Oh wow, playoffs. I probably should have been able to figure that out myself. Man I’m clueless.

  12. 14,
    Hit Tracker doesn’t publish anything but home runs at the moment, though they’re going to carry long fly balls soon, or so says their maestro. They keep track of true distance (aka. how far the ball actually went if it had traveled uninterrupted to ground level) and standard distance (aka. how far the ball would have traveled on a 70 degree, windless day at sea level). Their glossary explains it better than I can.

  13. @19, thanks that’s cool too. Interesting term “Lucky Homer,” meaning a HR that would not have cleared the fence on a calm 70 degree day. Having spent three years in school in Chicago, I’d recommend the Hittracker guys go to some April/May games at Wrigley and measure the “I Got Screwed Fly Ball,” defined as a fly ball that would have been a “No Doubt” HR if it had been struck on a calm 70 degree day.

  14. Was just listening to the peachtree tv mic checks…

    Didn’t realize Ernie Johnson was gonna be a part of the broadcast team. I haven’t heard him call a baseball game in years, but I’m a big fan of his personality and work on Inside the NBA.

    I got scared for a second when Chip’s laugh and comments started coming through on Joe’s mic, thought he was gonna be part of the P-TV team still, which would mean we’d have to strap in for 162 games of him all year. But he was just passing through. Looks like Ernie, Joe, and Smoltz tonight.

  15. @22 – You beat me to posting on the Peachtree TV mic checks. It was funny to hear Ernie doing his vocal exercises and Joe Simpson fielding bets on the Masters.

  16. Yeah, Joe talking about the Masters pool was lol.

    I’ve come to expect this kind of presentation over the past 3 years for the out of state peachtree tv broadcasts. It’s like this everytime. Though usually, the sound guy will cut their mics off during down time. I’m a big fan of the behind the scenes look it gives you. Like Joe’s Masters pool comments, lol.

  17. I was at the opener on Tuesday. It was, without doubt, one of the finest games I have ever attended

  18. I wonder if Dempster and Piniella are thinking that they shoulda walked Heyward…

  19. Missed it. Anyone else having trouble with MLBtv? I can’t even get the main site right now…

  20. I don’t think Esco was aware that he had a 3 ball count.. That swing was to protect McCann, but a walk woulda done it too…

  21. In the already extensive history of Brian McCann being snubbed by all-star voting, Geovany Soto in 2008 may be the most ridiculous example.

  22. mlb.tv went to a commercial break in the middle of Byrd’s at bat, but I switched to the cubs broadcast and it was working.

    mlb.tv is always a little buggy during the first month.

  23. @38, I think it would be hilarious if McCann made the Hall, played in 15 All-Star games, but was never voted a starter.

  24. it is nice to see a braves jersey with ‘cabrera’ on the back. Hopefully that doesn’t wear off too quickly

  25. Glaus can’t swing at that. That’s shoulder-high.

    EDIT: Argh. You can’t swing at that crap, Yunel. Three straight sliders? Really? You’re better than that.

  26. Despite that PA, I’d rather have Yunel hitting in the 5 spot, both because I don’t want to put too much pressure on the kid just yet and because I’d rather have a righty after McCann. Just move Heyward up to sixth, then Glaus.

    I don’t know how to look up the WPA, but Yunel’s strikeout, according to ESPN Gameday, lowered the Braves’ chances of victory by four percent, from 69% to 65%.

  27. Carlos beat me to my reason for jumping on now. How long do we wait before Heyward replaces Glaus the stiff in the 5th spot.

    Glaus is clearly another washed up guy about 5 years past his prime. We collect at leats 1-2 every year.

  28. jjschiller-

    Maybe so, but I’d still rather have Esco 5th in comparison to that ancient stiff, Glaus.

  29. I don’t know if you can say Glaus is clearly anything after two games. It’s hard to tell if he has enough left to play over Hinske.

  30. You can’t tell much, but his bat looks really slow to me. That fastball was like in his mitt before he started to swing.

  31. Heck, with the Braves playing Freeman in Gwinnett to start the season (which still surprises me) I wonder who would replace Glaus if he hangs on for a couple of months then gets benched/released.

  32. What does Jurrjens have to do to get some of that run support? The old rum, cigars, and Jobu approach?

  33. Such a promising start. How much pitching around B-Mac to get to Glaus will it take to get Bobby to adjust the lineup.

    I say 2 months.

  34. When was the last time EJ, Jr. called a baseball game?

    He’s a billion times better than Chip.

  35. Glaus’s bat speed looks a little off to me. Wonder if it will get better.

    Is that John Smoltz in the booth with Joe and EJ?

  36. Seven AB’s and you’d think he was Francoeur.

    I think I’d let him complete at least a series before I released him.

  37. I’m not even watching and I can tell that EJ is better than Chip — not that that would be hard. But he’s got a lot on his plate. I’m guessing we’re about to lose him to basketball in a couple of weeks anyway.

    JJ, even Francoeur would be hard-pressed to strike out four times in seven PA, all (I believe) with runners on base.

  38. Listening to the radio broadcast and Don said Jair was grimacing. Is he grabbing his shoulder at all, or any showing of being hurt? I hate having to listen to the radio.

  39. 75 — I’m not suggesting anything about Glaus, yet. I’m just saying what I saw with his swing.

  40. BOLD PREDICTION:

    Glaus will be just fine, put up an .850 OPS, and keep his starting job all season whenever he’s not hurt.

  41. I know it’s an overreaction on Glaus, but B-Mac was intentionallt walked in front of him.

    That’s frustrating.

  42. …and Jurrjens at least gets the bat on the ball.

    I don’t like IBB, but intentionally walking McCann, a hot lefty, to get to consecutive righthanders you had already struck out is a pretty obvious move.

  43. 73- Hope you’re wrong about Jair, because he’s really doing fine work tonight.

  44. Does Bobby put less effort into the argument when it’s obvious the ump blew the call?

  45. I sure wish they hadn’t let Jair throw so many pitches in that inning. Having to get 5 outs in one inning when you aren’t your sharpest or healthiest is tough.

  46. The umpire did cost us out #2, which probably means we’d be still winning 1-0 right now.

  47. I’d like to point out that at the start of that PA, Melky was 1-7, and the graphic had his BA at .274. Um, fellas…

  48. Hard grounder went under Prado’s glove, was scored a hit.

    Glaus just bailed him out with a lunging stop on a line drive and doubled off the runner on first.

  49. Speaking of Prado…

    If you have DVR, check out his footwork at second on the double play we didn’t get. He set up on the first base side of the bag, and had to reach back and tag the bag with his left foot, which should have been his front foot, and then made a throw in the dirt and the ump missed the call.

    If he gets it in the air or just stronger, ump doesn’t blow it.

    Also, he’s supposed to cover 1b for a throw back from McCann. He coulda been there for Glaus, too.

  50. Well, mostly. It was hit real hard over to his right, so he took a little backhanded slide and just missed it. It’s the sort of play they usually call a hit, even though the fielder’s usually right there. It’s the sort of play that Chipper botched into a hit on Opening Day.

    Okay, Troy needs to stop swinging at high fastballs.

  51. Dempster looks really good tonight. The fastball has been good, but it seems that every slider has been for a strike.

  52. Credit the Cubs pitchers tonight, but there’s been a lot of anxious AB’s up there tonight…lots of swinging at pitcher’s pitches.

  53. At least they remembered that Diaz is still here. Wish it’d worked out a bit better, though.

  54. I think defense might continue to be a problem for this team.

    Who are the plus defenders? Escobar, maybe Cabrera and Heyward in the corners?

  55. Honestly, Dempster’s the one who was killing us. Mid-90s fastball and a hard slider, both thrown for strikes, are pretty tough to deal with. I’d love to see us beat up their bullpen a little, but their guy was pretty darn good.

  56. I’m going on record to say that Melky will prove to be a bigger issue than Glaus.

  57. If that had been Glaus instead of Chipper, he would have been retired on 3 pitches, looking really old.

  58. Glaus did walk twice yesterday, but that’s not necessarily a good sign. It may just be that he can’t hit any more but sometimes sees the ball well enough to lay off.

  59. Glaus looked uncomfortable at the plate when I saw him in Spring Training, though others said he looked good. I’m not willing to completely give up on him yet. But I don’t want to have to live through another month of him looking like that while hitting #5.

  60. I never understand why people would doubt Billy. I love his signing from the beginning.

  61. Good Lord that last breaking pitch to Soto was absolutely, Tiger Woods skank filthy.

  62. Ouch. I’m watching the Cubs telecast on the free Extra Innings week, and one of them just said ‘Well, now the Cubs have to count on Randy Wells being just a little better than Tommy Hanson tomorrow.”

    Yeah, about that…

  63. I love not feeling like I’m about to have a nervous breakdown with one run leads in the 9th

  64. Excellent.

    Always glad to see the Braves get a win, but I particularly like to see them overcome some defensive trouble with some good hitting. (I’d call it post-hibernation hitting, but Dempster was on tonight. Have to give him credit.)

  65. BTW, I agree with you Smitty, on your comment earlier about the 3 announcers. They were good.

  66. Two of our old guys were awesome tonight.

    One of our old guys looked really old.

    But, hey, 2-0, baby. Let’s go for the sweep.

  67. I won’t call it classic Braves baseball — it was about 7 innings of offensive nothing, with some good pitching and, in the end, Chipper being Chipper. I’ll take a win any way I can get one. But I will say that, between Monday and tonight, it’s gratifying to see that we can win both when the runs are coming and when they aren’t.

  68. Always good to beat up the Cubs.

    @206 As long as we don’t hear Chip, we are all in good shape.

  69. Man that was satisfying. Good to see the home crowd getting behind their team too.

    I know this is premature, but if we can find an impact bat at the trade deadline, I like our chances. Hell, I kinda like our chances anyway.

  70. @208 Low scoring game, good starting pitching, One or two long balls to win the game. Isn’t that our formula in early 90s?

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

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