Twins 2, Braves 1

Atlanta Braves vs. Minnesota Twins – Box Score – June 11, 2010 – ESPN.

You see, this is what happnens when you don’t strike anybody out. Heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Braves led 1-0, but fell behind 2-1 even though the Twins didn’t really hit the ball hard that inning. They got a single on a chopper up the middle that Prado fielded but couldn’t get out of his glove. They got another on a routine double play ball to third that Zombie Chipper just kind of… watched… go by him. They loaded the bases on a swinging bunt that was at least a “legitimate” infield single in that it would have taken a perfect play to get him. They got two runs on two further singles, and won the game. The Braves actually played good defense behind Hudson much of the night (especially Heyward, who made a leaping catch at the wall, Yunel, who made several nice plays, and Melky) but if you are relying on them putting the ball in play, they’re occasionally going to hit some where they ain’t, and some where they are but can’t do anything with it.

The Braves took the lead in the second when Glaus and McCann (DHing) singled and they played some NATIONAL LEAGUE BASEBALL with Yunel bunting them over and Infante driving Glaus in with a groundout. I’d rather have tried for a hit, but Yunel does ground into a lot of DPs. They had a few scoring chances late in the game, mostly of the runner at second, two out variety.

Heyward took the Golden Sombrero, 0-4 with four strikeouts; sending a lefthanded rookie, even a supremely talented one, against Francisco Liriano’s slider is kind of unfair. He was not alone; Liriano struck out eleven, and closer Jon Rauch struck out the side (including Heyward) in the ninth.

62 thoughts on “Twins 2, Braves 1”

  1. This is what happens when you don’t strike anybody out.

    So true. When you’re relying on balls-in-play for all your outs, you’re going to get your ass bit.

  2. So I never would have thought so, but it turns out first place SUCKS.

    I know this is a long road trip, and I know we’ve faced some tough pitching, and some solid teams.

    But outside of a couple of offensive innings, this whole road trip they have been bad at baseball.

    These guys have done things on the field that are just STUPID.

  3. So what portion are you blaming the loss on the fact that Hudson didn’t strike anyone out?

  4. I think 10% can be blamed on Hudson’s allowance of the opposing team putting the ball in play. Then about 60% of the fact that Liriano pitched lights out combined with 30% of: our outfielders can’t hit at the moment and chipper needs to retire.

  5. I’m still waiting for how long it takes everyone to come to the consensus that Chipper is one of the larger issues on this team.

  6. Jason Heyward has a hole in his swing on balls at his belt. He is going to have to get that fixed and quick. Quite frankly he has been horrible since the Pirates series (8-46). They need to get him out of the two hole, but they have no one else.

    Chipper is awful. Hinske is coming back to earth, it is not long until Glaus comes back to earth. This whole road trip has been an exercise in frustration, and I don’t think the rest of the year is going to be any better.

  7. In comparison, 14 of the 26 outs that the Twins got at bat (27 minus Melky’s double single) were strikeouts. That is taking pressure off the defense.

  8. @8 I have been saying Chipper should be retired for couple months. His swing just looks horrible.

    @9 The guy’s thumb is hurt. That’s probably the reason why there is a hole in his swing right now.

    June has always been horrible for the Braves. Just ride this out and we should be fine.

  9. Mac

    I think that even when Chipper calls it quits after this year, you still won’t admit that he should have never played this year. Granted it’s his choice and no one can tell him when to hang it up but in my mind its about a 99 percent chance he retires. He’s quite proud and I’m sure his anger and frustration over his performance is 1000 times more amplified than ours.

  10. Texas A&M sucks. If they wanna bring Texas with them, we can talk.

    Hudson gave up 2 runs tonight. The story of the game was the straight number on the scoreboard for the Braves. If they could have scored their season average, no one would have cared about a couple of infield singles and a Prado.

  11. If that was Escobar who stared at that ball and not Chipper, Esco would have been pulled from the game.

  12. Texas isn’t going to the SEC that’s for sure. They will go to the Pac Infinity with Tech, Ok, and Ok state. Package Deal. You’re not getting Texas alone

  13. Someone actually wrote the following in the comments on the main site:

    “Heyward needs to get his act together. He has struck out more than anyone in the lineup and about killed Nate McClouth. If he is not ready for the bigtime send him back down. He is hurting the team now.”

    Thank God for the Journal… I am baffled by this person’s stupidity.

  14. I’m still waiting for how long it takes everyone to come to the consensus that Chipper is one of the larger issues on this team.

    You want credit for recognizing that the guy being payed $14 Mil to slug .350 is a problem? What’s your next revelation? That the $15 Mil for Derek Lowe’s 80 ERA+ isn’t helping either?

  15. I’m loving how I’m being accused of coddling Chipper after calling him a zombie and basically blaming the entire loss on his non-play at third.

  16. If there’s anyone I’m willing to put in the lineup every day even though he sucks, it’s Chipper. I hope he doesn’t sink the season, but he’s earned it.

  17. Earned it? That’s the problem. He’s earned a HOF bid, but he hasn’t earned playing in the lineup this year.

    Mac if you have come to this revelation I appologize. It’s just that I rarely hear you point out Chipper as a problem. You are usually someone who backs him no matter what and gives him the benefit of the doubt.

  18. This conference realignment deal is really exciting. I would love to see the Big 12 and either the ACC or Big East being dismantled, with the SEC, Big 10, and the Pac-10 becoming these crazy super conferences. I’m tired of crap conferences like the ACC and Big East taking BCS bids from really good teams.

  19. Jon-

    He’s earned it by being a great Braves player that I want to root for even now that he’s a shadow of his former self. Admitting you’re not longer one of the best around at something must be incredibly difficult, and for me, it’s okay with me if he proves it to himself before being summarily dismissed by a team for which he’s given more than he’s ever had any obligation to.

    I understand the point of view of people who don’t agree with that, but it’s the way I feel. :-/

  20. I lurk often and seldom post, and that fact that Mac is being taken to task for not admitting Chipper is done baffles me. I’ve read this site regularly for almost five years and if anything, I’d say Mac leans ever so slightly towards being too quick to write players off (including Chipper). Maybe our definitions of backing a player are different.

  21. @25

    Nice! Couldn’t agree more. I still think there will be a Mountain West and an ACC. I think eventually your going to see 16 teams in Pac, Big ten, SEC, ACC and mountain west

    Big Ten new members: NEBRASKA, RUTGERS, PITT, Mizzou, and ND

    SEC new members: Texas AM, Miami, FSU, and South Florida

    ACC new members: Kansas, WVU, Louisville, Uconn, Cinny, SU, East Carolina

    Mountain West new members: Boise State, Houston, Baylor, Nevada, Fresno State, Iowa State

  22. @26 mraver, I do agree in a certain way that Chipper has earned it, but I don’t like the “earned” it concept. He is paid $13M to perform at the end of the day.

    @22 No worry Mac, some people just don’t read.

  23. @28 M&A even at the college football level. Goldman Sachs must have been behind those deals!!! Soon there will be credit default swaps available to be bought on college football!!!

  24. I’m not too worried about the Mets, given their eighth inning guy is Elmer Dessens. Before that it was Fernando Nieve, who is probably even worse than Dessens.

  25. This made me laugh. Obviously the NCAA attempting to make an example of USC has scared everyone else straight.

    The letter states in part: “I just met with [Baxter] and he told me that he received phone calls from five institutions [June 10th]. All of the institutions asked if he was interested in transferring from USC due to the NCAA decision. Would you please speak with these schools to remind them they cannot speak to this student athlete?”

    In a letter written by USC director of compliance Matt Billings to Pac-10 Associate Commissioner for Governance and Enforcement Ron Barker, Florida, Washington, Oregon, Fresno State and Alabama allegedly contacted Baxter.

    Fresno, swinging for the fences!

  26. With Infante hurt now, the Braves are deciding to call up Hicks instead of Schafer.

  27. Wow, low level of discussion here lately. Even the recap (sorry Mac, you’re the best, but today Hudson was NOT the problem. He was brilliant today and all year. Give him some credit).

    What I don’t get at all is all the negativity here after a game like today. We ran into a hot pitcher, he beat us. So what? Shit happens. We are in FIRST place! We haven’t lost a series in OVER A MONTH! These are good times.

    And may I remind some of you that Jason Heyward is TWENTY years old? As awful as he has been this month, kids will go through stretches like this. The talent is there, all he needs is time (and a healthy thumb).

  28. And while I’m at it, may I remind some of you that after this roadtrip, the Braves will have played 25 games at home an 39 (!) on the road? Our home record is 19-6. JJ will come back at the end of this month, and so will be Saito. We’ll be fine.

  29. @32, Robert, you may not have seen this from ESPN’s Joe Schad before you posted:

    Source at one of schools accused of contacting Dillon Baxter says Baxter allegedly “lost his phone” since calls

    In other words, it’s horseshit. This is just Kiffin doing as Kiffin does, point fingers elsewhere as a smokescreen for his own ineptitude. Enjoy. He is such a bitch.

  30. Chipper on the ball he lost in the backdrop: “I still haven’t seen it. I felt like an idiot, but I never saw the ball.”

    “I mean, I was playing at the perfect angle to hit that little eight-foot little stretch of wall, and I never saw it. I turned around and it was rolling in the outfield. I did not know where the ball was until it was by me.”

  31. Also, on the face of it, the Baxter kid didn’t get an Alabama offer when he was a recruit* so why would the Tide bother with him now? A Youtube highlight? We’re not hurting that bad for scout team RBs.

    Add to that, Baxter is from San Diego so there’s no regional tie.

    Add to that, no way Nick Saban or anyone on his staff would contact this kid with the NCAA problems of our recent past.
    –well, unless it’s to ask him to hand the phone to junior CB T.J. Bryant ;-) The secondary is a little thin and Bryant’s from Tallahassee and held an Alabama offer, but I digress.

    So, no, I don’t buy it.

    http://recruiting.scout.com/a.z?s=73&p=8&c=1&nid=3208589

    *Baxter offers from: USC, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee and UCLA

  32. On SEC expansion, if the conference feels the need to expand (and I prefer a 12-team conference–for scheduling and other reasons), then adding Texas A&M would be fantastic.

    I am not interested in adding the Texas Longhorns as they are simply not a team player. It goes without saying that every conference they have ever entered has failed. They’ll want special treatment and don’t have the pull for it in the SEC. Let the PAC-16 fight them until the league collapses.

    Oklahoma is a great football power, but this expansion seems to be more about TV sets and the state of Oklahoma just isn’t a big enough prize. Plus, overextending the conference geographically isn’t a desirable outcome. I’d be happy enough to see them go to the PAC-16 with Texas and others. Also, taking OU with A&M would cause a major divisional realignment in the SEC which would stink.

    As for Texas A&M, it would give the SEC entry into the Texas market for television and could expand recruiting opportunities there as well. Plus, the Aggies have good historical rivalries with SEC members Arkansas and LSU.

    I would like to see the SEC stop at 14, at least initially, so the other team would likely be added to the SEC East. My first choice would be Virginia Tech as a football first ACC school. The Hokies would extend the footprint into another fertile recruiting ground including a major market (DC). Also, they do not compete in-state with any current SEC member.

    Beyond the Hokies, any of the following would be fine additions (in my order of preference): Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville. They all have the in-state conflict issue, but Florida is big enough for UF and FSU. I really don’t think we’d have to go past Clemson actually.

    So there you have it, Texas A&M to the SEC West and Virginia Tech/Clemson to the SEC East. Fire it up with two 7 team divisions, keep the cross division rivalry games (Alabama-Tenn, Auburn-UGA, etc.) and expand into new territory. Done.

    And if it looks like we should go to 16, that can be done at a later time. A&M is available for a limited time only. Pounce!

  33. A&M and VaTech? I just don’t see what they bring.

    Certainly, they have fine football traditions, but this is about television viewership. And with all of the other major Texas schools going to new WAAC (Western Academic Arrogance Conference), A&M will be an afterthought in their own backyard.

    And I’m not sure all this isn’t fool’s gold, anyway. “Pots of gold await!!” Really?

    This is all Notre Dame’s fault.

  34. I am assuming that the Hudson complaints are being at least slightly sarcastic. 8 innings of 2 run ball, Blame it on the offense but not the pitching. I guess he doesn’t know how to win…

  35. From DOB: The Braves have a pending decision to make regarding Triple-A pitcher Chris Resop, whose contract stipulates that he must be added to the major league team by June 15 (Tuesday) or be traded. If not, he can opt for free agency.

    Please call him up and give him a shot. What more can he possibly do to earn a second chance?

  36. College football sucks. Its just more of corporate America. Maybe BP should join one of the super conferences.

    As much as I like. Heyward he doesn’t deserve to start in the ASG.

  37. Both of Hudson’s strikeouts were during the one inning that the Twins scored. I don’t think the lack of strikeouts were the problem.

  38. @46, And I only caught the last bit of the game, but it seemed as if Hudson was getting squeezed a little.

  39. Well, he also allowed 6 balls in play that inning, not like he did a particularly good job of fooling hitters and missing bats.

    The biggest issue is not his performance last night, but whether or not he’ll be able to sustain even a league average ERA with a K/9 under four.

  40. there were only about 4 plays all night that actually put PRESSURE on the defense. Twins didnt square anything up all night. This was just a pitching dual and you cant fault a guy who pitched a complete game and only gave up 2ER, which mostly came off two infield singles and a soft liner

  41. Praise be to Kagan…can the mighty legal lord pick us up to win the remaining two games!

  42. what is Kagan?

    we better be praying that the good Derek Lowe shows up. This offense and these LH against him doesnt bode well

  43. after scrolling through the glossary, should we say that Huddy had an “episode” yesterday?

  44. Hate to shift the focus away from baseball, but I just gotta say that everyone here needs to see The A-Team. It was easily the most fun I have had at a movie theater in a long, long time. For me, it is the movie of the summer so far, and I don’t see anything coming out that can top it.

  45. @55, Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve been working at home a lot and need to get out of the house. Sounds like a good excuse to me.

  46. @56 It’s the cheapest choice. With the pending lockout, I am not surprised.

    Mac, since Nate is now on DL, I guess you should consider changing the “Featuring Nate McLousy” subtitle.

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