Braves 7, PURE EVIL 0

Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins — May 17, 2012 — ESPN.

Brandon Beachy is clearly the Braves’ best pitcher right now. That’s true even though the 25-year old just pitched the first complete game of his career, let alone shutout. (His previous career high in innings pitched was 7.1, which he accomplished on April 20 and last July 29.) The 122-pitch effort was also 10 pitches more than his career high.

Mac always complains that Beachy is inefficient, but it’s hard to nitpick last night. Beachy gave up five hits, four singles and a double, struck out six, and didn’t walk anybody. He didn’t even go to a three-ball count. He only went to one three-ball count. He’s just good.

The Braves didn’t take long to go up for good. Michael Bourn led off with a single, and Michael Bourn Martin Prado drove him home with a triple off the center fielder’s glove. Emilio Bonifacio is more of a utility player than a center fielder; it was well-hit, but Bourn would have caught that ball. (He later robbed Hanley Ramirez when he caught a ball on the warning track in center in the 4th. It was one of the few hard-hit balls all night by the Marlins.)

Of course, despite the fact that Prado got to third base with a “triple” with no outs in the first inning, the Braves stranded him there, and it looked like one of those nights. But Beachy wasn’t giving up anything, and the Braves eventually piled more runs on. Freddie Freeman, alternating between eyeglasses and contacts — take care of those peepers, Fred — hit a long solo shot in the third, and the Braves later got an RBI double from McCann and RBI singles from Bourn, Chipper Jones, Jason Heyward, and Beachy himself.

The kid’s really good.

145 thoughts on “Braves 7, PURE EVIL 0”

  1. Do you mean that Beachy didn’t go to a 3-0 count? I don’t know if that’s true or not, but Logan Morrison flew out to left on 3-2 in the 4th.

    …Aaaaand, that’s literally the only 3 ball count he did go to. That surprises the hell out of me. Quite a performance.

  2. Michael Bourn is so good that he leads off with a single and then triples himself in. When you’re hot you’re hot! ;)

    Nice write up, Alex.

  3. Of the six pitchers currently trailing Brandon Beachy in the NL ERA category the Braves have faced five of them… and have won all five of those match ups by a combined score of 26-12.

  4. 6/Stu: In all seriousness, I think Bill James was saying the other day (on his Hey Bill letter bag feature) that that’s an underrated feature of pitching for particularly good or bad offensive teams. People often think of it in terms of getting run support and helping the pitcher rack up wins, but it’s also the case that C.C. Sabathia’s ERA is materially lowered by never having to face the Yankees’ lineup, and that Felix Hernandez would be even better if he got to breeze through the disastrous Mariners a couple times a year.

  5. 8/Alex: Hate to keep on criticizing, but you need a little practice on this whole “blogging” thing. The correct approach, when an error is pointed out, is to fix it such that no later visitor can tell a mistake was ever made, and then to delete the comments pointing out the error. Doing it your way makes you seem like a very humble guy, and humble guys finish last on the Internet.

  6. Well, Doug Fister actually has a lower ERA than Derek Lowe :).

    BTW, Lowe is walking more hitters than striking out. His K/9 has dropped from 6.59 to 2.22. It will catch up to him.

  7. Even if he pitched exactly the same, he’d have no chance with this infield defense.

  8. Derek Lowe is no longer on our team, no longer in our league, so I don’t worry about him at all.

    If he wins 20 games, good for him. I hope we face him in the World Series.

  9. Lowe has a WHIP of 1.44 compared to career average of 1.22. Dude knows how to win, be traded to weakest division in baseball

  10. For those tethered to Gameday (or other modern versions of the smoke signal), Braves/Tampa is the mlb.tv free game today.

  11. The normal lineup except throw Hinske in at 8th and slide Pastornicky down to 9th.

  12. @14

    I guess we would then be able to say we bankrolled a 20 game winner for someone even if we’re too cash-strapped to make a trade deadline deal to improve our own team. Call me crazy, but I reserve the right to think ill of someone who for the majority of his time on my team underperformed while sucking up a large portion of my team’s payroll only to have success for another team while still sucking up a large portion of my team’s payroll. I have no delusions of him being 6-0 in an Atlanta uniform if that were still the case. I can’t lie though. As long as it lasts, his success will annoy me even if he is doing it crappy peripherals. I can’t say I am on board with wanting to face a team in the WS whose payroll my team bolstered by $10 million either. That would be a particularly bitter pill if we lost under such circumstances.

  13. If we get to play anyone in the World Series—the Tribe, the Twins, the Tupac/hologram version of the ’27 Yankees—I’ll be happy.

  14. Rather see a regular get to DH each of these games, but whatever. Play to win.

  15. I take your point, but Ross and Diaz against Shields is kind of a non-starter. Given Hinske and Francisco as my LH options, I think I’d rather have Chipper, Prado and Freeman in the field.

  16. @31
    I think we’ll see this lineup today and if they score muchos runs we’ll see it again tomorrow (with one sub maybe being Francisco for Hinske). Sunday might be the day when it gets odd. I’d expect Ross catching and Diaz at DH

  17. My prediction: Tommy Hanson goes 5 innings and allows three runs, Chad Durbin, Livan Hernandez, and Cristhian Martinez each pitch an inning and allow one run each, Medlen pitches a scoreless 9th, and the Braves lose 6-4.

  18. @33- Since the extra bat is Hinske, I’d play Francisco at 3b and DH Chipper.. Francisco and Hinske are pretty similar bats.

    But to win TODAY, if this was the WS, yeah, this is the best lineup.

  19. #39: I saw that. Did something similar the other night when he was scoring from second (or was it first) on an extra-base hit.

    Oh, great. And now Chipper’s hobbled over at third.Took a ball off the ankle?

  20. Ouch. Yeah. Took a hot grounder flat off the top of his ankle. That’ll hurt a guy. He’s staying in the game.

  21. #41: I was about to point out another great Bourn at bat. It was a K but he made Shields work work work.

    #44/47: Freddie was off the bag, Uggla was nowhere to take a feed. Nobody was going to make that play even if Hanson hadn’t taken a weird direction on it. Bad D.

  22. And this is only Hanson’s second trip through the lineup. This could get out of control the next time around.

  23. @50, Looked like Freddie was still close enough to the bag, and was waiting, to make the play, to me. It’s more the lack of effort hat bothered me. I mean, you gotta try.

  24. Hanson doesn’t miss close with pitches either…for example his 3-2 pitch to Pena. He telegraphed a breaking ball but threw it so bad not even Pena would swing. By far the most frustrating pitcher on the staff

  25. Watching Tommy pitch is painful, but he’s got the future balk down. Go get ’em, boys.

  26. Well, at least they made our guy throw a lot of pitches… Oughta get him out early…

    Wait, what?

  27. Who’s doing the game on the radio with Don? Jim Powell is off, but I like this guy.

  28. The Rays TV guys are a nice change from Chip too, Sam. There are sometimes unintended benefits to blackouts in central Florida.

  29. I prefer “pretty bland” in announcers, actually. Baseball is a game played in a giant open field while the sun shines down on humanity. I hate people who call it as if it were a damned football game.

  30. Also, Tommy has taken just 15 pitches to get through the past two innings. He’s retired eight men in a row and is at just 74 pitches for the night. He is maddening to watch but still a decently effective pitcher.

  31. And credit where due; the offense gave him two more runs, put him back ahead, and Tommy Hanson went out there and blasted through a 1-2-3 inning like a pro. More of that, Chucklehead!

  32. I like Powell a lot, but I tire of his snide homerisms. He comments sarcastically with regard to the effort, ability, and decision-making of the opposing players… Beltran and Soriano come specifically to mind.
    I don’t mind a homer. Skip and Pete were homers. But try to be fair.

  33. Verlander just touched 100 with a fastball, then threw three straight disgusting curveballs to strike out the side in the 8th. Watching him is like watching Pedro 12 years ago. I don’t know how anyone ever hits him.

  34. Anyone with a vuvuzela should be drawn and quartered. Learn how to play a trombone, farkwad.

  35. Remember when the (Devil) Rays tried the softball team of Fred McGriff, Greg Vaughn, Jose Canseco and Vinny Castilla in teh late 90’s? I remember seeing them all on the cover of Baseball Weekly and thinking it was fun. People thought they might have 4 guys hit 40 homers.

  36. @17

    Kind of surprised. I thought KoA did fairly well as far as sales. I bought it and thought it was a pretty good experience, and was excited to see the Amalur universe continue.

    Then again, I’m a Gen Y-er and like video games and fantasy, so I might see the whole situation differently.

    Re: the current baseball game: is it just me, or does the field look awful? It has these huge, ugly blotches on my TV that are huge and ugly.

  37. Tigers SS should have dived, no? Maybe it’s just the angle, but that looked kind of bad.

  38. Fine night’s work for Hanson. Give him a seat and let Ventbrel take it from here.

  39. Given that it was Jhonny Peralta, you’re probably right. Still would have liked to see more effort given the game situation.

  40. I was expecting 5 innings fron Hanson, 6 if he was lucky. Medlin for 2 innings?

  41. It wasn’t crushed, but it was placed well. That’s a solid single unless you have a defensive whiz of a SS covering massive range up the middle. When you have Jhonny Peralta… Might have gone with the fastball instead of the offspeed pitch.

  42. Juan Francisco PH’ing for Chipper. I suspect that knee is barking from the slide earlier.

  43. Just noticed the Rays star-like logo splortch in center field was in fact a logo splortch and not one of the innumerable common splortches that dot the field.

  44. This is the first time since last Saturday that the first-place team in the East will stay there for a whole day.

  45. And they did it! The Orioles are winning through smoke and mirrors, but for the moment, I don’t care.

  46. Marteen is having the best year of any NL left fielder not named Ryan Braun. Actually, there’s a case to be made he’s been more valuable than Braun, but it depends on left fielder fielding metrics that I put no stock in. Still….

  47. The OBPs for our normal starting lineup:
    .386, .396, .335, .360, .338, .372, .346, .306

    I’ll take it.

  48. Check out Verlander’s avg fastball velocity by inning tonight.

    1st – 92.4
    2nd – 92.3
    3rd – 92.2
    4th – 93.8
    5th – 94.1
    6th – 94.0
    7th – 97.8
    8th – 97.8
    9th – 97.9

    That shouldnt be possible.

  49. ***CHIPPER JONES

    Upon showing reporters his badly swollen, bruised lower left leg, above ankle

    “It’s pretty safe to say my career in Tampa is over.”

    Just a bruise, a contusion?

    “Yeah. I mean, I would be able to tell if it was broken. But, my gosh, that really hurt. Really.”

  50. @127. That means he was saving himself in the early innings. Imagine he is a relief pitcher…

    Where can you find that info?

  51. Just saw our division standings. Every team is above .500. There are 8 teams in the NL above .500 and 5 are in our division.

  52. •Dave O’Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution hears the Braves have not ruled out signing Roy Oswalt, but he assumes their interest depends on the price (Twitter link).

    Wow. We probably won’t really be after him but the FO even speculating a move tells a lot about what they think of our 5th starters.

  53. With none of Jurrjens, Minor or Teheran looking all that serviceable for 2012, I’d be talking to Oswalt too.

  54. And while I too am happy with the first quarter results, this club was 25 games over .500 on September 1, 2011. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

  55. Teheran was having a good year prior to his last start. I haven’t given up on seeing him in the rotation at some point this season.

  56. He was giving up too many homers even before the last start.

    Oswalt would be awesome, but I’m not holding my breath.

  57. Well, Minor, Jurrjens, and Teheran are all having disastrous seasons. I can’t imagine Wren feels good about the starting pitching depth anymore.

  58. I agree that Teheran has been ok in AAA – but that’s hardly a ringing endorsement for promotion – all of his peripherals are off, esp. walks and HR.

  59. And something needs to happen with Minor soon – either improvement or replacement.

  60. The fact that we keep playing well generally is giving Minor a little extra rope, I think. It’s easier to run him back out there when we’ve won at least 3 of the 4 games since his previous start, especially now that our other starters are getting deeper into their games.

  61. Ozzie Guillen yesterday:

    “I don’t care because I’m going to talk crap about them. If I take you out of the game it’s for a reason. You think I want to take you out of the game? You think I want to pinch-hit for you? I pinch-hit for you because you suck. There’s somebody else I thought was better than you.”

    As Skip would have said, Ozzie Guillen is a beauty.

  62. I agree Minor will get some more chances – but even if we are winning his starts, I am not sure letting him get his brains get beat out is a long term good thing.

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