Braves 5, Pirates 2

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 30, 2010 – ESPN.

How do you score runs? Well, if you’re the Braves, you get Kenshin Kawakami out of the game. It’s hard to see how a pitcher could be such a drag on the offense, especially in a game in which he hits a ground-rule double, but the evidence is pretty hard to ignore. With Kawakami, who as I’ve said is never going to win another game, in, the Braves could score only two runs and left about ten men on base. Once he left, they got three runs and a win for for Takashi Saito, which only shows that the Braves’ inability to win for Kawakami is not driven by anti-Japanese sentiment (presumably stirred up by Furman Bisher).

The Braves got an early lead, a run in the first on a sac fly by Glaus to score Prado. But in the second, they loaded the bases with nobody out and couldn’t score as McLouth and Kawakami (see, it is his fault) struck out and Prado flew out. In the third, Glaus hit a solo homer, but the Braves left the bases loaded again after a McLouth lineout. They had two on, one out in the fifth, and couldn’t score. After Kawakami’s double in the sixth, he couldn’t score on a Prado single, and Infante popped out and Heyward grounded out to end the threat.

Kawakami, however, was dealing, and as it’s only the Pirates, a 2-0 lead might hold up. Except that it didn’t. In about a minute, Kawakami (a) seemingly had the leadoff man in the seventh struck out only to have the K erased by the third-base umpire who ruled strike three a foul-tip that Ross didn’t catch (I actually thought it was the right call) (b) walked him, and (c) allowed a homer to tie the game. He got the next two, but wasn’t allowed to finish the inning as Bobby brought in O’Flaherty to get Akinori “.173” Iwamura.

The Braves didn’t do anything in the seventh, but Saito destroyed the Pirates (two strikeouts and a weak flyout) in the eighth. With one out, Nate McLouth helped show one of the great things about baseball. After being probably the game’s premier goat for seven innings, and having an awful series both offensively and defensively, he worked a walk and stole second; McCann, pinch-hitting, was semi-intentionally walked. They got Prado, and it looked like a repeat of the rest of the game, but Zombie Chipper came through with a single to score McLouth. They brought in a lefty to face Heyward, who, being Heyward, tripled to left to score two runs and make it 5-2. Wagner had absolutely no trouble in the ninth, throwing ten pitches. I do wish he and Saito hadn’t had to work so much with the Phillies coming up, but you can’t have everything.

39 thoughts on “Braves 5, Pirates 2”

  1. Wow.

    Adjusted OPS+
    1. Heyward (ATL) 169
    2. Willingham (WSN)159
    3. Votto (CIN) 153
    4. Werth (PHI) 152
    5. Braun (MIL) 149
    6. Pujols (STL) 147
    7. Dunn (WSN) 143
    8. Hart (MIL) 142
    9. Soriano (CHC) 141
    10. Utley (PHI) 141

  2. since it’s his last year, i really have the feeling that wagner has already told bobby cox to “wear him out”. so i dont think bobby will have any problem doing so.

    great win!

  3. After watching the replays, I think that KK had the strikeout, and whoever was batting missed the ball, it wasn’t even a foul-tip. Then again I might be wrong, but I think that KK got robbed.

  4. 2,
    Qualified rookies all time adjusted OPS leaders:

    1. Jason Heyward — 169
    2. Johnny Mize — 161
    3. Ted Williams — 160
    4. Albert Pujols — 157
    5. Mitchell Page — 154

    Qualified 20-year-olds all time adjusted OPS leaders:

    1. Jason Heyward — 169
    2. Ty Cobb — 167
    3. Mel Ott — 164
    4. Al Kaline — 162
    5. Mickey Mantle — 162
    6. Alex Rodriguez — 160
    7. Ted Williams — 160
    8. Rogers Hornsby — 150

    Nobody 19 or younger has cracked 150.

  5. I didn’t think the batter got a piece of the ball, but Ross certainly didn’t catch it.

    Either way, nice win. Runners on base all day, but we couldn’t get ’em in until late. Still, I guess it’ll do. :-)

  6. Prado has 69 hits in 50 games putting him on pace for 223 hits, which would smash the Atlanta Braves season record (Ralph Garr 219, 1971) and put him within striking distance of the franchise record (Boston Brave Tommy Holmes 224, 1945)

    Without looking (this is, cheating) who can name the last Brave to have 200+ hits?

  7. I looked. I was way off. Though the year I was thinking of (2003), he got really close (194).

  8. I’d go with TP.

    #7, not only that but we’re getting the worst three man stretch of their rotation in Blanton, Hamels and Kendrick. A series win and I may actually get confident this team could do some damage, especially with a deadline pickup.

  9. Furman Bisher? I hadn’t thought about him for 20 years. (I left Atlanta and came north in 1974.) It took a quick trip to Wikipedia to show me the old fool was not only still alive, but still writing! Jeez. I still have my copy of Miracle in Atlanta, though, which I got when the Braves moved to Atlanta. It tels the story of the Braves moving from Milwaukee.

  10. 11—I was thinking TP, too. In his MVP season, right? I seem to remember him leading the league in hits that year. Beat Andy Van Slyke, maybe?

  11. 12,
    Nobody and anybody provided the Braves don’t have to eat money at this point.

    I doubt they could move him without eating salary, though.

  12. Question my Dad and I were arguing about:

    Who blinks first in a Milton Bradley for Derek Lowe deal, straight up? We’d save a couple million this year and next, but the biggest benefit would be not being on hook for for Derek’s 15MM in 2012. On the other hand, it’s Milton Bradley.

    Also, how pissed must Mariners fans be at Carlos Silva right now? I can see Bavasi drinking whiskey in a dark room by himself while watching the game last night.

  13. Yeah, that’s true.

    It’s just that when looking at the roster and farm system, I think the team’s main strength over the next 5 years will be having a cost controlled rotation that is worth significantly more that what they’ll be paid.

    Hopefully that will allow the team to use their financial resources for augmenting the lineup. Derek Lowe is the white elephant in the room in this scenario. Paying him 15 MM per the next two years will be terrible not only in the sense that his skills don’t warrant it, but also that it will probably keep a much better player out of the rotation, especially in 2012 (Minor, Teheran, Delgado, etc)

    The only other semi-reasonable idea I can think of is with Detroit. I remember they really wanted Dunn in the Granderson deal. Maybe Lowe and Dunn for Carlos Guillen?

  14. Quick question: is there anyone in baseball, from Pujols to Felix Hernandez, that you would trade Heyward for? Think in terms of one of Bill Simmons’s NBA Trade Value columns — keeping in mind talent, future performance, and money owed, is there anyone in baseball worth more to the Braves than Jason Heyward?

  15. I wonder if KK has a secret clause in his contract that pays him an extra $10 million if he gets 3 wins this year.

  16. (Heyward is leading the NL in SLG and OPS, and is third in the NL in OBP. He’s tied for 3rd in RBI, tied for 7th in 3B, tied for 8th in HR, and he’s 11th in BB. In short, and I don’t think I’ll surprise anyone by saying this, by any measure, he’s been one of the best offensive players — and arguably the single best hitter — in the National League for the first two months of the season. As I’ve been saying, and as Peter Hjort said, I think he’s a dark horse MVP candidate.)

  17. -27

    Keeping roster construction in mind? If not, with his contract, I’d listen for Longoria.

    Howard got 10MM in his first year of arbitration as a Super 2, and while things can definitely change, if Heyward keeps at this pace he’ll be right there. He’s gonna get expensive really quick.

  18. Alex, if Heyward goes year to year in arbitration, I think Longoria would be more valuable because he’s locked in as far as salary goes. I mean the Rays paid Longoria $550,000 last year and are paying him $950,000 this year. I understand your point, the list is not too long. Ethier, when healthy, has been the only hitter better than Heyward in the NL this year, in my opinion.

  19. 5, here’s hoping that Heyward will turn into Ted Williams and not Mitchell Page.

  20. Even if you consider the dollars and cents, NO. I will not trade Heyward for anybody…ok, I may listen if the Cards will give us Pujols and Wainwright.

  21. I absolutely love Wag. I loved it when we signed him, and I am loving him even more now. We haven’t have this kind of ninth inning domination since Smoltzie. You can see from the opponents’ eyes, they absolutely hate hitting against Wag.

    Hope Wag can pitch for one more year for us.

  22. DOB:
    “Kawakami has 2.41 ERA in past three starts, working six innings or more in each, allowing only 16 hits and 3 walks in 18-2/3 innings over that span. Yet he’ll be 0-1 in those games. Sad.”

  23. I am the primary editor of Furman Bisher’s Wikipedia page, and I will cut anyone who defaces it!

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