Braves 6, Rays 2

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – June 16, 2010 – ESPN.

The Braves put up 13 hits and led from the third inning on as Tommy Hanson was electric. For the first five innings, he allowed only one hit, that a bunt against a shift for a single. In seven shutout innings of work he allowed just three hits and one walk, and struck out six. He had one jam, in the sixth, when he gave up two of the hits and the one walk, but got a break when a Rays player was thrown out trying to score on a passed ball.

The Braves took the lead in the third on a two-out double by McCann which scored Prado, followed by a single from Glaus to score Heyward and McCann. It held there until the sixth when Hinske hit a solo homer. They got two insurance runs in the eighth as Melky singled in Blanco and Prado followed with another single to score Yunel.

Moylan opened the eighth with two strikeouts, but walked the next batter and was replaced by Venters, who got the out to finish it. Venters gave up two two-out hits in the ninth to allow two runs to score, forcing Wagner to start warming up, but got a groundout to end it.

Prado had three hits and is now hitting .338. The Braves also got three hits from the left fielders (two by Hinske, one by Blanco) and Yunel even had a double among his two hits, getting his slugging percentage above .300. Hey, it’s a start.

74 thoughts on “Braves 6, Rays 2”

  1. I forgot who said this team doesn’t have an ace. Sorry dude, if Hanson is not one right now, I don’t know what is an ace.

    @1 Who care about the Mets? They will fade once they start playing real teams.

  2. That may have been me. And he sure looked like one tonight, but he’s been doing a lot of things that made me wonder when (not if, mind you) he would get it together.

  3. I think that Hanson just had some minor mechanical difficulties (release point, maybe) that he’s worked out now.

    The Mets’ upcoming schedule:

    At Columbus
    Vs. Scranton-Wilkes Barre
    Vs. Clemson

  4. Yeah, everyone is complaining about the creampuffs the Mets are playing while we get the Twins and Rays, but next series, we get the Royals while the Mets play the Yankees. So it evens out at least a bit.

  5. The Mets will play the Tigers and the Twins too, so I am not worried about them

    I personally think Hanson is much more advanced than Smoltzie at the same age.

  6. Last night the braves looked like posers, tonight they looked like the best team in baseball. I guess the old adage is true “Momentum is the next days starting pitcher”.

    I don’t get it, I don’t understand this team, but it was fun to watch tonight.

    The mets are as good as anybody……2 out of every 5 nights.

  7. Greg Blancor Appreciation Club, Member #3

    Mac, give Clemson a break. We are mediocre at everything and suffer enough during football season.

    Wow, Tommy…keep it up brotha

  8. Even though David Wright has been blazing hot for the last couple weeks, Mets sure have real offensive flaws. On the mound, they’re counting on the Takahashis & RA Dickeys of the world—still, it’s better than Maine & Ollie.

    And, yes, anytime Santana or Pelfrey are on the mound they have a good chance to win.

    BTW, they beat the Yanks 2/3 last time around. That really saved their season because there was a real possibility that Manuel wasn’t going to survive that weekend.

    Interesting Subway Series matchup: Saturday, it’s Pelfrey (9-1, 2.39 ERA) vs. Hughes (9-1, 3.11 ERA).

  9. The Braves 1-5 hitters are all ranked between 11th and 19th in the NL in OBP. That will get the job done.

  10. The weird thing is that Mets fans have come to hate David Wright and blame him for everything that goes wrong, even though he’s clearly their best player by far.

  11. AAR,
    I believe he is. He induces ground balls & still strikes people out.

    He’s added a splitter & it’s been a great out pitch. It looks like he’s got a killer repertoire now.

    And, according to the beat reporters, he’s brimming with confidence. In the past, he was just the opposite.

    Mac,
    Most Met fans love Wright. He’s by far the most popular Met. But he had some big-gag, end-of-the-game early season moments. He seemed to strike out with the game on the line twice a week.

  12. I’m pissed that MLB pitchers have been horrible enough to allow Francoeur to raise his BA over 60 points in the last several weeks.

  13. #21
    You’d think they wouldn’t throw a first-pitch fastball to him anymore and, sadly, we’re as guilty as anyone.

  14. Anyone got a video link for the play at the plate?

    Terrible call, but look at it as a pre-makeup call for what’s going to happen tomorrow:

    link

  15. @23, 21 – His BaBIP during June was .440 a couple of weeks ago. Seems like a mirage to me.

  16. I’m just sick of seeing him hitting us. We should know how to pitch him and somehow we throw him get-over fastballs that he clunks off the fence.

    We should dare him to take a walk.

    Edit: And yes, we got a helluva break on that call at home. Easily safe.

  17. So… what does the NL East race look like if the Mets pick up Cliff Lee or Roy Oswalt?

  18. @27 I don’t think the Mets have anything good to offer unless they include their young talents at the major league level. They just keep rushing prospects that they have nothing left in the minor…

  19. Proctor with the Beach last night.

    1 IP, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 H, no R (earned or otherwise).

    However, against High A, even a diminished Proctor should do that. So, IF he ever makes it back, it won’t be in the next few weeks. I figure 2 to 3 more lower minors appearances followed by at least 3 or so at a higher level.

  20. we might have another #1 mlb prospect very soon. what a freak teheran is turning out to be.

  21. To get Saito, JJ and Proctor into the fold over the next 4 weeks is quite an upgrade for this team.

    Now one more real outfielder.

  22. @34 – If we can get the 2009 version of Matt Diaz back I think this will definitely meet our need for one “real” outfielder. A Diaz/Hinske platoon in left looks pretty good. Now, if we can get a real centerfielder, we’ll be in good shape.

  23. oldtimer?, dont forget about Diaz

    td, I think we can learn to live with a Melky/Nate platoon if the 2009 Diaz returns and that platoon takes off. You gotta think McCann, Yunel, Nate, and Chipper SLG better in the 2nd half than what we’ve seen so far from them

  24. Your right, I did.
    We could platoon league average in those positions and be okay.

  25. This is the Hanson we need. He needs to step up and be the ace. The Braves have a lot of pitching depth (4 or 5 or 6 competent starters once JJ gets back depending on how you feel about Lowe and KK), but no one that can really go out and dominate the way Hanson can. One day he will face off with Strasburgh and that will be worth seeing.

    As for the Braves looking bad one night and great the next, they are playing the team with the best record (or tied now) in baseball; they aren’t exactly cream puffs. In fact, they are 9-6 in June despite playing 12 games against either first place teams or the NL champions). Even if the Mets slip into first place, it’s no big deal at this point, especially given the upcoming schedules.

    Is Heyward a concern? Is he hurt or just struggling? Certainly, he has been facing some tough lefties that would be difficult for even an experienced hitter. I did not expect him to keep up his early pace, but his power seems to have disappeared entirely. Is he being pitched differently? I suspect that one problem is that, with all they hype he got early in the year, teams are really focusing on him and with the disadvantage of seeing pitchers for the first time, he is being pitched tougher than the typical rookie.

  26. Informal poll question:
    If you’re buying a new Braves jersey, what name do you put on the back?

  27. Sam,

    Is that counting the fact that the Phillies get an extra home series out of the deal?

  28. @39:

    McCansonward.

    Don’t know what number. Screw it, go with 14.

    Edit: McCansonwardo!

  29. Heyward has stopped going to the opposite field. Trying to pull everything.

    That was what was so remarkable about his early success. He was hitting like a polished pro – taking a pitch HARD wherever it was thrown.
    ———-

    Standing ovation to Hinske. Not for the homerun, but for actually bunting into the shift. Do that enough times and they’ll have to make a calculation.

    McCann should do that every now and then.

  30. I just watched the video of Matt Ryan throwing out the first pitch. Really depressing seeing all the empty seats, looked like a Macon Braves game the first week of school.

  31. 44—McCann’s tried a few times; he just can’t ever get the bunt down.

    39—Minor. :D

  32. Is that counting the fact that the Phillies get an extra home series out of the deal?

    I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure they’re just looking at strength of schedule for the opponents. Regardless, an extra series at home vs the Yankees is a lot tougher than a road series in Pittsburgh.

  33. I have “Smoltz” on the back of my jersey. Figure it’ll last a lifetime that way.

    I don’t own a jersey since my #31 wore out in the late 90s. If I were to get a new jersey it would almost certainly be a #10.

  34. Win.

    I think the Phillies get their extra home series against the Jays, but that’s still much tougher than playing the Pirates.

  35. Rays giving Hanson some props…

    “Good fastball, he was locating it,” B.J. Upton said. “I got some pitches to hit, but fouled them off. You can’t do that against pitchers like him. [I] didn’t take advantage of his mistakes, and [when] you do that, he gets to his nasty stuff.

    “We know he’s good, but he definitely had it tonight. You tip your hat to him, he threw a great game.”

    Nine times since May 21 the Rays’ offense has scored two runs or fewer in a game. Maddon chose not to fret over that statistic. Instead he pointed to Hanson’s performance.

    “This guy tonight, it’s easier for the manager to sit in the dugout and bemoan the fact you didn’t score more runs than you did,” Maddon said. “But you’re not going up there checking out all that good stuff.

    “I mean this guy was hitting up to 96 [mph]. He had his breaking pitches working. He had his cutter working. He threw a couple of nice changeups. He was pitching to both sides of the plate, so that just happens.”

  36. Rafael Ramirez, #16.

    I have a Braves jersey, but I never wear it. It’s mostly polyester, so it’s a little too warm to wear in the summer.

  37. Looking at the overall season picture – right now, the Braves have the best run differential in the NL (+59), ahead of Saint Louis, San Diego and San Francisco (+54). To date, our success has been based more on run creation (2nd in the NL, behind Cincinnati) than run prevention (263 runs allowed, about the same as the Mets and Phillies). Comparing to the AL, the Braves’ run differential is slightly better than Minnesota (+57) or Boston (+55), and behind only the two best teams in baseball to date, Tampa (+99) and NYY (+105).
    Numbers from here: http://espn.go.com/mlb/standings

    Moving forward, I think the Braves will be able to largely sustain their offensive output, especially if they can keep getting large numbers of runners on base. Nobody in the lineup is getting unsustainably lucky (though I wouldn’t be surprised to see some regression from Glaus, Hinske and Prado) and our offensive success has come despite underperformance from Yunel, McLouth, Chipper, and Melky (or maybe he’s just this bad), among others.

    Pitching-wise, the Braves’ starters have been pretty good, but not world-beating, and their performance seems quite sustainable. The only starter who’s been getting lucky so far has been Hudson, but hopefully his regression will be offset by contributions by Jurrjens, Kawakami and/or Medlen. I really like our relievers too; with Venters stepping up, we’ve got a number of reliable bullpen arms, many with good strikeout rates. Braves have got arguably the 2nd best pen in the NL right now, behind the Padres.

    Summary: the Braves deserve to be in first place right now. I still think the Phillies will start hitting again and challenge the Braves, but the Mets should fade back towards .500.

  38. And you didn’t even bring up the home/road game difference going forward. I like the Braves chances, barring injury. The big black cloud is that Heywards’ performance on aggregate has been more than satisfactory, but the current state is troubling.

  39. @44- I noticed the same thing last night. His second single was on a pitch to the outside corner that he rolled over on. It was impressive that he was able to get around on it enough to sneak it through that hole. At the same time, I seem to remember him driving that pitch the other way earlier in the season. I’m glad to see him putting up hits, but he’s just not quite doing the same things he was earlier in the year. I’ll chalk it up to him having a rough patch, and his initial pace being, you know, historic and all. He’ll snap out of it eventually.

    ETA: The one thing I worry about is the pressure being put on him by the whole “Chipper thinks you should take over for him in the 3-hole!” thing, which just sounds like a lot for a 20 year-old kid to deal with.

  40. take away hanson’s awful start vs CIN and you get these numbers

    80.1IP 65H 23ER 26BB 84K 2.58ERA

  41. I actually like our chances tonight. I’ll take Hudson most nights.

    Plus, we’re facing a guy who has gotten blasted his last 3 outings. (15.2 IP, 20 ER, 30 H)

    Thing is, Shields doesn’t really walk people.

  42. I fully expect the Braves to win tonight

    we have the pitcing matchup and the home field advantage. The Rays havent been playing as good as they are capable of.

    James Shields last 3 starts

    15.2IP 30H 20ER 5BB 11K, ERA has jumped from 2.99 to 4.55. Gotta get him early tonight

  43. Yeah, Shields has been terrible lately. But he’s still striking people out and not walking anybody, so he’s always dangerous. I like our chances with Hudson as long as Bobby has a quick hook.

    I’m happy with this series so far. The Rays are probably the best team in baseball, and we lost the game we should have lost — David Price vs. Kenshin Kawakami — and won the game we should have won — Tommy Hanson vs. anybody. Tonight’s an even matchup, so I’d love it if we won, but I won’t beat myself up if we lose. As long as we take care of business in the NL East and beat up on the bad teams, I’m happy just hanging tough with the best team in baseball.

  44. I would be more than pleased if Heyward ended up with stats comparable to Chipper’s first full year (.265/.353/450) with 23 home runs. It would be especially impressive because he is younger. Chipper hit third but I think there was less pressure because the pitching was so good and there were other veteran hitters to take up the slack.

    But I wish Jason had a personal hitting coach like Chipper did with his father (and I guess McCann too). I’m not convinced TP can do much to help; the fact is the Braves are thriving from an approach which seems diametrically opposed to TP’s philosophy, which doesn’t say a hell of a lot about his role.

  45. I saw Shields pitch earlier this year at Yankee Stadium & he was good (7.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 H, 7 K, 1 BB). The bullpen tried to blow it, but they hung on for the win.

    That was when the Rays were on a 116-win pace, right before they got swept at home by Boston. They’ve come to earth a little bit.

    Headed up to the Bronx again tonight—just can’t get enough Phillies baseball, I guess. I’ll be rewarded with Kyle Kendrick.

    And let’s go Tribe tonight!

  46. DOB Twitter:
    Tim Hudson is 1-12 with a 6.78 ERA in 15 interleague starts for ATL. Hard to believe. Tonight’s his first start vs. Rays as a Brave.

  47. @70

    They showed that stat on SportSouth during his start in Minnesota and it nearly knocked me out of my chair. That line is barely even possible. I would be shocked if you could find a 15-start stretch when he was with Oakland where he came even close to 1-12 with a 6.78 ERA.

  48. Not sure if I’m visible on TV, but I’m about 10 rows up over the catcher’s right shoulder.

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