Braves 6, Astros 1

Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – August 05, 2012 – ESPN.

For a while, it looked like the Braves might repeat last night’s game, but some sloppy play by the Astros let them off the hook. Plus, Chipper and the best backup catcher in baseball.

After blowing a two-on, one-out situation in the first, the Braves took the lead in the second on a solo homer by David Ross. But they couldn’t put anything else together, and in the sixth the Astros chased Kris Medlen and tied the score. Fortunately, the good Jonny Venters showed up and got a strikeout and a ground ball to prevent further damage.

In the bottom of the inning, singles by Chipper and by Freddie Freeman looked to go to waste when Dan Uggla popped out, but Ross reached on an infield single to load the bases. I had to wonder why Fredi didn’t hit for Paul Janish, but it worked out. First, pitcher Bud Norris threw a magnificent wild pitch to score Chipper, and then Janish singled up the middle to make it 4-1.

With two out in the seventh, Chipper doubled, scoring Jason Heyward from, yes, first base. In the eighth, Michael Bourn singled in Ross to make it 6-1. Let the record show — closer than the score indicated… Cory Gearrin gave up the hit allowing the tying run to score in the sixth, but otherwise the bullpen did a pretty good job. It was patchwork, and Fredi managed to not use Eric O’Flaherty or Craig Kimbrel. The Lisp got the Atlanta Save with a perfect ninth, including two strikeouts.

42 thoughts on “Braves 6, Astros 1”

  1. With Montreal playing the Astros, itwould be awfully nice to take two out of three from the Phillies. Minor vs Hamels will be very interesting to say the least.

  2. Do you guys think the Braves will consider re-signing Sheets after this year if he continues to pitch well?

  3. Oh, I didn’t realize that.

    I’d expect if he finishes the year with no missed starts, and an era below 3.50 he’ll get $7m from someone.

  4. Got JC’d in last thread.

    This may have been mentioned before, but it seems that the Braves’ roster this year is primarily made up of players who were either born or grew up in the south (including Texas). With Huddy, Maholm, and Minor starting with either BMac or Ross behind the plate; Venters, Gearrin, and Kimbrel closing it out; Bourn and Heyward in the OF; and Chipper, Janish, and Uggla in the IF leaves only two players from California with Freddie at first and Johnson resting Prado (oh, Medlen is also from California).

  5. Yeah if he can prove his health someo e will put up. I dunno if he’ll have any loyalty to us or not but I’m glad we’ve got him for now at least.

  6. When do you start talking about buying out Craig Kimbrel’s arbitration years? He’s going to get expensive.

  7. Well he’s under team control through 2016 but his arbitration years might get pricey if he continues to pitch like the best reliever/closer in baseball.

    I’m talking like a McCann-esque type deal to lock him up reasonably for the next 5-6 years.

  8. I hope they don’t lock up Kimbrel. Sure, he’s the best at what he does, but what he does a lot of the time is not hard, and it’s way, way cheaper to develop an option internally than to pay for an established performer.

  9. Yeah, the Braves are setting up Kimbrel’s payday very nicely. In a market where teams aren’t hesitant to give out $50 million to aging, regressing 31-year old relievers, I fell that Kimbrel’s gonna guarantee himself at least 60 or 65 million in Free Agency.

    Some teams can live and thrive with giving that contract to a reliever, but I doubt Atlanta is one of them.

    On Heyward… please get it done, Frank. He’s only going to make himself more and more expensive.

  10. Cory Gearrin in 2012

    Jun 11 – 2.0 IP, 1 K, 3 H, 1 BB
    Jun 12 – 0.2 IP, 1 K, 1 H, 0 BB (1 H was a HR)
    Jun 13 – Sent down
    Jul 30 – Recalled
    Jul 31 – 1.0 IP, 1 K, 0 H, 0 BB
    Aug 01 – 2.0 IP, 3 K, 1 H, 0 BB
    Aug 02 – 1.0 IP, 0 K, 1 H, 0 BB
    Aug 03 – Did Not Pitch
    Aug 04 – 0.2 IP, 1 K, 1 H, 1 BB
    Aug 05 – 0.0 IP, 0 K, 1 H, 1 BB (1 H was a 2B)

    He’s pitched 5 out of 6 days, and he finally gives up an extra base hit, and we can finally “dispense with the “Gearrin is good, Fredi just uses him wrong” theory?”

  11. We got extremely lucky with Kimbrel. Remember the days of Reitsma, Kolb, Gonzo, and Wickman?

    As in Mike Gonzalez? Thought his one full season pitching for the Braves (2009) was really good.

  12. @21 I remember Gonzalez being ultimately very effective, but way beyond Hanson levels of frustrating to watch. It always felt like he was putting himself into a jam only the slither out of at the the last moment.

  13. I know it’s a cliche by now to say it, but I was reading the game thread before checking on gameday during the 6th inning yesterday after Medlen came out and would have figured Gearrin gave up 2+ runs and Venters wild pitched in another.

  14. Bethany, are your standards for guys as high as your standards for pitchers. I guess you can pick and choose with guys.

  15. I’d probably trade Kimbrel before he got really really expensive. Maybe we could get a decent return there from a team that over-values closers. I hope we’re not the team that ends up over-valuing a closer. Still, we have a few years before we have to worry about that.

  16. There is no chance that Hanson will go to the pen. Medlen is the only one who can transition. Braves may try and trade Hanson this offseason if they want Medlen in the rotation moving forward. It would be selling low, unless of course he never regains his velocity.

  17. Had Mike Gonzalez on my fantasy team during his full year with the Braves. So I know very well how frustrating he was to watch. Beth’s right, seems there were always self-inflicted jams he was wiggling out of. Too many walks, mainly.

  18. DOB indicated that Medlin may stay in the rotation and that Minor wasn’t going to be the odd man out.

    By default that leaves Hanson.

  19. The thing with Kimbrel is not the saves. Its how insanely unhittable he is. I’m not saying it’s worth a billion $$ over 6 years or something, but he’s just crazy good right now. Really hard to value appropriately, IMO.

  20. #30 – It always works itself out, but here is all Ive seen.

    He’ll stay in the rotation at least until Tommy Hanson returns from the disabled list, and if he keeps pitching like he has it might be difficult to move him back to the bullpen.

    “When Tommy comes back if I go back to the ‘pen, I’m going to help just as much,” Medlen said. “It hasn’t change my mindset at all. I know the situation. I know what I can do personally, and if there had to be one person on the pitching staff who had to go back and forth, I would pick me. I just think I’m mentally strong enough, and I’ve been through it before.”

  21. Fyi – Gattis was hit by a pitch yesterday in the top of the 5th and came out in the bottom of the 6th.

    Not exciting since this is what initiated his long DL stint that just ended.

  22. Count me on board with trading Kimbrel over the offseason. His value will be at a peak and as Venters and countless relievers past have proven, bullpen success is fleeting thanks to the near-guarantee of injury when throwing 99mph on an irregular schedule.

  23. The odds are extremely good that Kimbrel’s arm will fall off at some point in the next couple of years, as that’s what generally happens to closers. The odds are also good that he’ll come back and pitch effectively afterwards. A reasonable 5-year contract could could account for both of those eventualities. After the Papelbon and Heath Bell contracts, I have to imagine that 5-year closer contracts will be less popular this winter.

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