Braves 6, Padres 0

San Diego Padres vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – August 16, 2012 – ESPN.

After losing the first game of this four-game series, the Braves made the rest look like a blowout tennis match (6-0, 6-1, 6-0) with the last set — uh, game — the most dominant. Kris Medlen threw the first complete game of his career, a five-hit shutout. Meanwhile, Chipper Jones celebrated Chipper Jones Bobblehead Night with two homers.

Michael Bourn led off the bottom of the first with a double, but was still on second two batters later. But the fourth batter of the inning was Chipper, who homered to make it 2-0, which is how it stayed for some time. The Padres got singles in each of the first two innings but nothing else. Their best chance of the game to score came when pitcher, and old friend, Jason Marquis doubled leading off the third, going to third on a groundout by the next batter. But the next batter hit a comebacker to Medlen, who gunned Jason down at the plate. Medlen settled down to retire eleven in a row.

Marquis got the first two in the fifth, but then Jason Heyward homered, and Chipper followed with his second homer (his 2700th career hit) and it was 4-0. After a walk, a double, and an intentional walk Marquis was history, and Paul Janish then singled in two to make it 6-0. I’ve always thought that slow as he is, Brian McCann was a smart baserunner, but there he was, making the third out of an inning at third base. At least this time it didn’t really matter.

The Padres got a single in the sixth and another in the eighth, but that was it. Medlen wound up the game with six strikeouts and no walks, 104 pitches thrown, 76 of them strikes. He even allowed a couple of stolen bases to add to the whole Madduxian feel of the night. How do you even think of moving him out of the rotation if he keeps this up?

202 thoughts on “Braves 6, Padres 0”

  1. The next ten games are huge. Fingers crossed that Hanson and Sheets can keep the ball rolling.

  2. You can’t make the simple analogy that Beachy had complete game shutout/hurt arm, thus, Medlen complete game shutout/will hurt arm.

    Even if there is some correlation between Beachy’s complete game and his injury (which I find highly dubious), it doesn’t necessarily follow that it will happen to every pitcher. It seems to me that pitcher injuries are pretty much random and there isn’t much you can do to avoid them other than not pitch.

  3. Ridiculous. Pitchers used to throw nothing but complete games. We’re to believe Medlen throwing an extra dozen non-stressful pitches is going to mean anything? That we will watch him be awful due to fatigue in the (hypothetical) postseason and think: “this is all the fault of that unnecessary one inning more he pitched on August 16th”?

  4. looking ahead, can somebody explain how we go from a night game in Washington next Wednesday to a night game in SF on Thursday? Who starts a road trip like that? Seriously. that ain’t right.

  5. Some people just believe that pitching the 9th inning makes a starter more prone to getting injured. We probably wouldnt have this debate if Medlen had gone back out in the 7th and finished at 104 pitches.

    BTW, Flowers hit a 470ft HR last night.

  6. Will be interesting to compare Hanson’s start tonight with Medlen’s.

    Were I Tommy, I’d be good tonight. Right now, it’s between Sheets and Hanson who sits.

  7. A lot can change in two weeks, but Id say its between Sheets and Hanson at this point. Who knows, if its successful Fredi may ride it all the way through Sept. We can add some extra arms to the pen Sept 1st.

  8. Santana has not recovered from throwing a 130+ pitch no hitter, but he was coming back from an injury. So is Medlin.

  9. What’s wrong with Fredi? He isn’t using the bullpen enough. They won’t have enough work when the playoffs come.

  10. How dare Medlen and Gonzalez give the entire bullpen a day off in the midst of the Braves playing twenty games in twenty days (next off-day in August 30.)

  11. Its highly possible that Atlanta and Washington could have the two best records in MLB at the end of the season. Its pathetic to think that one of these two will be facing a 1 game playoff.

  12. BTW, there are some bobbleheads from last nights game on ebay. One has 3hours left and is at $63.00

  13. Is it? In 1993, the Giants had the second best record in all of MLB, and they didn’t even get a play-in game.

  14. There are a handful of 100-win teams in the history of MLB that didn’t make the post-season (’93 Giants & ’80 Orioles among them). Them’s the rules—win the division or face the consequences.

    BTW, that was one fun game to watch last night.

  15. Beachy’s a young pitcher, unfortunately. He was always pretty likely to get injured, and one complete game doesn’t much change that. But I was opposed to the complete game at the time, and I was opposed to Medlen’s. I’m consistent in my absolute paranoid fear of pitcher injury.

    To answer mravery’s thought experiment on Chipper Jones:

    Obviously, I hope that he doesn’t unretire. It always leaves a bad taste in your mouth when an athlete takes a goodwill victory lap and then changes their mind, a la Brett Favre or Roger Clemens.

    Moreover, even if he had not announced his retirement, I would prefer my last memory of him to be in a Braves uniform, rather than in another team’s.

    But honestly, it won’t tarnish my memories that much. I still adore John Smoltz, even though he retired a Cardinal.

    Now, if he did the Clemens or Favre thing, of dangling retirement and then unretiring for four or five years, playing for a new team almost each time, then I’d be pretty pissed off. I don’t think that it would completely sully all the memories, but that would be the worst.

    I don’t think he will, though.

  16. Well, the rules are dumb. Everybody knows it. Divisions are dumb. Balanced schedule, and let the four best teams in from both leagues.

    Like most of you, I’m sure, I have a bad feeling about Tommy today.

  17. I’d guess that Chipper won’t come back, mainly because of the many times he’s mentioned how much pain he must endure just to get thru certain portions of the season (like spring training).

    Even when he goes double-yikkity, he’s probably feeling it the next morning.

    I’m down with balanced schedules (no matter the league layout), but I tend to doubt that the annual race for fourth place will generate much excitement.

  18. 1954 Yankees won 103 and finished 8 games behind the Indians.

    I just don’t see how one more inning is going to have any effect on whether a pitcher gets injured. Or, conversely, I see nothing to suggest that avoiding that one additional inning will keep a pitcher from getting hurt. Beachy was probably going to get hurt whether or not he pitched the complete game. And, frankly, I like to see complete games. Sports have become too specialized. Let the guy get the shutout. If it was 1-0 and he had thrown 130 pitches, that’s one thing. But it was 6-0 and had less than a 100 pitches.

  19. So, the most compelling reason I can think of for being concerned about Medlen is that he’s still “transitioning” to being a starter. But he threw 79 pitches two starts ago, 88 last time, and 104 over 9 innings last night. Seems like a perfectly reasonable progression. And it’s not like he had any stressful innings.

    Honestly, would ANYONE be saying ANYTHING if he’d thrown 104 in 6 innings or 7 innings instead of 9? Wouldn’t it have been WORSE, since higher pitches per inning indicates more high-stress pitches?

    Medlen had throw, I think 80-something pitches after 8. Why one earth WOULDN’T you send him out there for the 9th?

  20. The only Braves reliever in the to 20 for appearances, or on pace for 70+, is Durbin. O’Flaherty and Kimbrel have been a lot more rested this year.

  21. The front office has been saying all year they’ve been trying to limit Nedlen’s innings. Other than that, that’s the perfect situation to let a guy go 9.

  22. Here’s some cool news: MLB has installed advanced replay systems at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, and will be testing them in games starting next week. They’ll clearly be testing to see how well the systems handle fair/foul calls; not sure if they’re looking at any other applications.–mlb-to-test-two-different-advanced-replay-systems-during-games-next-week.html

    Of course, these systems are only here for testing (at this point), and won’t be used to make any game calls. That said, this is the first step to getting the modern replay technology that every other major sport has, which is great.

  23. Well, I’m back in America after a summer in Central Europe.

    That means I can bore Braves Journal with posts like this:

    In his first three games with the 1987 Detroit Tigers, Doyle Alexander was 2-0, with 21.1 innings pitched, 19 hits, 6 walks, 8 strikeouts, an ERA of 3.38, and slashmarks of .244/.298/.333/.631.

    In contrast, in his first three games with the 2012 Atlanta Braves, Paul Maholm is 2-1, with 23 innings pitched, 14 hits, 5 walks, 20 strikeouts, an ERA of 1.57, and slashmarks of .177/.235/.342/.577.

    In other words, Arodys Vizcaino is going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

  24. Wore an old Maddux jersey to work today. In Reds country.
    Was amazed by how many people commented, wanted to talk about the Braves and Chipper’s last go ’round.

    Best summer in a long time. Go Braves!

  25. Great baseball fans in Cincinnati.

    Tommy’s line today will be: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 SB

  26. Yeah, there’s absolutely no evidence that the shutout had anything to do with Beachy’s injury at all. Why is the ninth inning any harder than any other inning? If Medlen had 104 through seven, nobody would’ve had a problem whatsoever. I mean, if we’re that paranoid about it, we could always go the Nationals’ route and keep them from pitching at all. It’s pretty much the stupidest plan I’ve ever heard of, but it is guaranteed to keep Strasburg from getting injured. Why not take Medlen out after the seventh or the sixth or the fifth or the fourth? Why even play the game? One of our players might get injured. You guys should probably seek professional help.

  27. Sorry for the double post, but clearly the Mariners shouldn’t have allowed Hernandez to go for that perfect game. He might’ve been injured.

  28. Anyone been watching Randall? How’s he looking?

    Doubt the Braves would go to a six-man rotation because Delgado forced their hand.

  29. There’s plenty of evidence that overuse leads to injury or ineffectiveness. If it didn’t, no pitcher throwing well would ever get pulled. As to what constitutes overuse in a particular pitcher — I don’t know, but you don’t either. I do know that managers talk all the time about worrying about leaving a pitcher in too long in order to achieve a personal goal. I know that rooting for a good story is not a rational basis for dismissing the chance of an injury.

  30. True, overuse can destroy an arm. Fredi basically told Melden he would be on a pitch count in the 105-110 range. So I guess it worked out just fine.

  31. If you can come up with a damned good argument for why those nine pitches were a colossal injury risk, then fine. Until then, you’re just being paranoid. Who do you think has a better idea of when a pitcher’s overuse limit is? The manager or you? For what it’s worth, after the game Fredi said that if he had gotten to 110 pitches, he’d have taken him out, if that makes you feel better.

    I personally think managers are being paranoid, as well. There is no reason why everyone starts crapping their pants when a pitcher goes over 100 pitches other than it’s a round number. If the magic number were 120, I don’t think the instance of pitcher injuries would go up by any significant amount. There are more pitcher injuries today with pitchers being given a blankie and a warm glass of milk and told to go home after six innings than there ever were back when they threw 150 pitches a game. The fact that no one has stopped to notice that in this world where the Nationals may be about to torpedo their entire season needlessly coddling a pitcher is very amusing to me.

  32. Off-topic somewhat:

    Does anyone have a good guess as to the budget number of a small college baseball team?

    (And if I’m really lucky) would you know how it is broken down? (schollies, equipment, travel, etc.)


  33. More stress on arms because each pitch is more intense than years ago. That is why offense is down.

  34. If you can come up with a damned good argument for why those nine pitches were a colossal injury risk, then fine. Until then, you’re just being paranoid.

    I can play the “prove me wrong” game, too.

    If you can come up with a damned good argument for why those nine pitches posed no risk, then fine. Until then, you’re just being dense. (followed by a Very Manly Paragraph, blah blah)

    He’s been injured recently. He’s not accustomed to throwing a lot of pitches, and so he was already into uncharted territory. Asking your ligaments and tendons to do things they aren’t accustomed to doing can lead to injury. Duh. That’s not being mommy, it’s fucking physiology. That’s the argument.

  35. @54 A friend left his college baseball job because college cancelled spring road trip. (30+ years ago) Many schools do it as cheaply as possible) Many pay own way or share schilarships for love of game. Not making enough money caused the divorce.

  36. Hanson’s line tonight:

    9.0IP 0H 0R 0BB 7Ks 0SB 112 pitches

    24th perfect game in MLB History. People on here will put him down because his fastball only hit 93 three times and his K rate wasn’t high enough.

    Not to mention he pitched nine innings.

  37. Though I don’t understand why we never gave Redmond more of a chance, I am not viewing that trade with much remorse.

  38. I personally think managers are being paranoid, as well. There is no reason why everyone starts crapping their pants when a pitcher goes over 100 pitches other than it’s a round number. If the magic number were 120, I don’t think the instance of pitcher injuries would go up by any significant amount. There are more pitcher injuries today with pitchers being given a blankie and a warm glass of milk and told to go home after six innings than there ever were back when they threw 150 pitches a game. The fact that no one has stopped to notice that in this world where the Nationals may be about to torpedo their entire season needlessly coddling a pitcher is very amusing to me.

    Loud noises! Outrage! Indignation! Mike Rizzo is a wuss!

  39. @56

    I suppose it wouldn’t do very much good to say that it’s impossible to prove a negative, therefore it’s up to your side to prove it, not mine.

    Mike Rizzo’s not a wuss. He’s just pissing all over his fan base and telling them that it’s raining. And amusingly, they believe him for the most part.

  40. We are tajking about one inning and a dozen or so pitches, The Natspro plan to shut down Strasburg after 160 innings come hell or high water, Major Wuss,

  41. Here’s an article about it with actual doctors and stuff.

    “Nats general manager Mike Rizzo told ESPN he made this call after consulting with one of America’s most esteemed orthopedists (and noted Tommy John surgery pioneer), Dr. Lewis Yocum, and other sports-medicine experts. And guess what?

    The sports-medicine community couldn’t be more delighted to see a team — any team — take a courageous stand like this, with a player this prominent, on a team that might be risking its shot to win a World Series in favor of protecting its ace’s health.

    Let’s hear now from three members of that community — three men who have spent years trying to peer beyond the surface of pitchers and their often-troubled arms:”

  42. Strasburg’s longest outing this year has been seven innings and has averaged less than 6 innings/game. He has gone over 100 pitches several times but has been starter all year,

  43. One of the nuggets of wisdom from one of the actual doctors and stuff:

    “”In baseball, this is as groundbreaking as ‘Moneyball’ was in 2001,” said Stan Conte, senior director of medical services for the Dodgers and a man who has been tracking baseball injury data for more than a decade.”

    Moneyball reduced to its essence was about winning the World Championship without any of the perceived advantages of your competitors.

    How does shelving Strasburg move them any closer to winning a world championship? What, they’re gonna win it next year when they shelve him in September again?

    If a player is not going to help you push on to the World Series, why have him at all?

  44. Like AAR, I fear the worst for our young pitchers. admittedly, this is irrational. However, Brandon Beachy pitching sure beats the heck out of Brandon Beachy on the DL, and the folks for whom baseball is a businessseem to favor erring on the side of coddling young arms. I’m glad we have Medlen back in the rotation. I wish a healthy Beachy was in there with him.

  45. I’m coming around to the idea that Washington is the best team in the league with or without Strasburg. Still, I hope they shut him down just so we can see more drama.

  46. @68, because players that good don’t come around often, and you’d like to get the maximum benefit out of them? There is an opportunity cost here to be factored in as well as “flags fly forever”. I don’t know that I agree either with this strategy, but I seriously doubt this was done without a lot of critical thinking and cost-benefit analysis. And baseball teams, like every other business ever created, are here to make money. That’s it. If championships further that goal, then great, but an asset like Strasburg has a significant value to the team making money outside of winning the WS.

  47. That was as if to say, after those horrible three at-bats in the first inning: “I’ll show you how it’s done.”

  48. Santana gives up a gland slam to Morse…

    If you can’t count on the Mets, who can you count on?

  49. Martin plays a solid left field. Maybe we should look for a third baseman instead for next year.

  50. Don is so bad at play by play. He was talking for nearly a minute before he got around to saying no one scored on that fly ball to Prado.

  51. Nice escape, Tommy. You really haven’t tortured me at all so far.

    A few more runs would be nice.

  52. So I see Fredi isn’t watching the games anymore. No way Tommy should have been out there for the 6th

  53. #73: “I seriously doubt this was done without a lot of critical thinking and cost-benefit analysis.”

    You say this as if you believe that every decision ever made in baseball is done with a lot of critical thinking and cost-benefit analysis. I don’t believe that about any endeavor of human activity, let alone baseball, which is staffed largely by ex-jocks who actively believe in superstitions and mythology.

    I was looking for some sort of comment in that article from the wise doctors that said this strategy would allow the 23-year-old to eventually physically mature to the point where his every pitch doesn’t have to be monitored to see if it’s gonna be the one that’ll cause his arm to fall off at the shoulder. You know, to be sort of like the Hall of Fame pitchers he’s been likened to.

    But there was no quote like that. Only, “What the Nationals are doing is great because it’s going to be less likely that a player will be injured. And since we’re doctors, and we don’t like injuries, this is of course really great.”

    It’s a good thing doctors don’t run baseball, because while that thinking may be great for doctors who are squeamish about players getting injured, it isn’t baseball. Guys on the 25-man have to go out and play. If they can’t do that for a 162-game schedule, what’s the point?

    If that’s his career right there, to be a guy who pitches through September only to get shut down, Strasburg should just quit and become a pitching coach. Or guide tours at the Washington Monument. Or be a press flack for a sports injury medical association.

    Anyway, let’s just all be glad that Chris Capuano doesn’t pitch for the Nationals. We’d never win the division.

  54. 113- Not every decision ever made in baseball was the result of analysis, but every such decision is now. The days of teams run as quasi-public utilities or rich people’s playthings is gone. There’s too much money at stake, too many people watching, and too much awareness of the players’ post-baseball careers. Those ex-jocks have too many guys looking over their shoulders now to make the calls.

    I actually agree with you that we may be erring too much on the side of caution, but this is not a decision made on the grounds of mysticism. It may be wrong, but there is a method to the madness.

    And Victorino? Can still burn in hell.

  55. 125- I understand, but mine is more directed at Fredi (who should never have sent Hanson out for the 7th).

  56. Freddie and Ross provided the sort of patient, pitch-consuming at-bats we could have used earlier.

  57. Here’s a chance to make up for some bad swings in the final AB Sunday, Jason.

  58. Wow, a smart move by Fredi putting Kimbrel in now. We’re not in the business of showing mercy here.

  59. Who knows, it probably works, but dumb to pitch to Chipper here, right? Prado too since it would have set up a double play.

  60. Baseball is a funny game, but there’s one thing you can count on: If contact will score a run, Martin Prado will strikeout.

  61. @187- Me too. I am in literal disbelief that he’s battling .220. I must only remember the basehits, because I’d swear he’s hitting .350.

  62. I hope folks will remember this stretch, regardless of the final outcome. The team has been playing great despite some significant challenges. I love a pennant race.

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