Dodgers 5, Braves 0

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – August 19, 2012 – ESPN.

The “doesn’t know how to win” jokes are starting to lose their humor. Mike Minor had one of his best games, plenty good enough to win — seven innings, five hits, no walks, two strikeouts — and got hung with a loss because nobody else showed up. Minor made one mistake, a fifth inning solo homer by the generically named Luis Cruz. The Dodgers also threatened in the third, but he pitched around that despite a dumb decision (take the out, stupid) by Brian McCann.

The Braves had only three hits on the day and just one extra-base hit — a fourth-inning triple by Jason Heyward that at least broke up a no-hit bid, but came with two out. If not for Minor keeping the Dodgers from scoring further, the Braves would never have been in it. This was showed well after he left. Chad Durbin allowed a run in the eighth, and Cristhian Martinez had a catastrophic ninth inning (aided by some sloppy defense) in which he gave up three runs to end all hope.

317 thoughts on “Dodgers 5, Braves 0”

  1. This was the sort of game that used to occur in June.

    It’s still a streaky offensive team that’s more built around hitting than pitching. Fortunately, our pitching’s coming around. Unfortunately, they can’t win when we get shut out.

  2. Martinez didn’t have a catastrophic ninth so much as he was forced to get 5 outs–as both Heyward and Bourn misplayed pop ups that fell for “hits.” He continues to be the second best righty out of the pen.

  3. Tomorrow. This is freely available information and not at all difficult to find. In the future, click on the side bar link for “Braves Schedule”. Or just Google “Atlanta Braves”.

  4. You gotta admit, lowercase zig was really funny and added a lot to the discussion.

    Here’s Brian McCann’s August: .111/.289/.111

    Yikes.

  5. @25. I am starting to get very worried with BMac. I am not expecting much from him this season anymore but hope he will bounce back next season after he gets his shoulder issue fixed. Based on Fredi’s decision in benching him and his own reaction to the rest, it seems Iike he is the kind of person who would be honest with his own injuries.

  6. I think the upcoming series with the Nationals is pretty much it for the Braves as far as the division. They have to at least win 2/3. The fact is, the Braves have been pretty mediocre or worse against the better teams:

    Washington 4-8
    Cincinnati 1-5
    San Francisco 1-2
    Los Angeles 3-3
    St. Louis 5-1
    Pittsburg 3-3

  7. Guess some days you just have to tip your cap to the sun…. Even though that probably means you’ll drop another ball as you take your cap off to tip it….

  8. Yeah this is a huge series, but we do have our 3 best starters going. Im hoping for a series win, but my guy tells me thats probably not going to be the outcome.

  9. #35
    For a minute there, I thought you were connected to a sports psychic or something.

    #37
    It wouldn’t break my heart to see Pittsburgh & Baltimore make the post-season.

  10. Yeah we have to sweep this series to have a real shot at the division. Just don’t get swept…the WC lead is thin enough as it is.

  11. What is the Braves’ record on national TV? It seems as if they lose almost every nationally televised (MLB, ESPN, Sunday TBS) game.

  12. This Melky story is truly hilarious. I have this vision of Melky and his crew sitting around a bong hatching this plan.

    But I do have a serious question: what role did the banned substance play in Melky’s remarkable turnaround?

  13. Don’t look now, but aren’t we in exactly the same position as last year?

    You know, when the collapse (led by McCann) began?

  14. It’s a better team than last year if, for no other reason, the bullpen is better rested. Losing two games does not constitute a collapse but if they struggle badly on the road trip, the Braves could be in some trouble.

    The crazy thing is that Chipper Jones is still the (at worst) second or third best player on the team and certainly still the best hitter.

  15. @43, In what’s by far the worst year of his career, with a BABIP .070 below his career norm, McCann is still a 2.0 fWAR player. (In other words, even if you’re trying to plant the seed of McCann hate with subtle insults in parentheses, it’s probably not going to take hold.)

  16. I love McCann, but facts are facts.

    The team’s collapse coincided directly with his last year. Everyone contributed, but as an ostensible team leader, McCann’s poor performance was significant.

  17. You try leading the team with a severe oblique strain or what he’s got going on this year, according to my fantasy baseball notes: McCann says an MRI done “a while ago” showed a cyst on his joint and a frayed labrum. The cyst is pressing on the joint, causing pain when he bats, but not when the throws. He does well enough with it on a normal swing, but when he gets extended and finished with a one-handed swing, that’s where it gets him.

  18. You’ve probably all seen this, but just for the record…Boras on Derek Lowe: “Derek Lowe in the bullpen is a Lamborghini because he can do it all. He can pitch long, he can pitch in the seventh, eighth, or ninth. This man is a Renaissance man.”

  19. I wonder whether this injury would be severe enough to disable a lesser player. Does McCann get to play with what sounds like a significant injury due to his team leader status? Or because he’s a catcher, whose responsibilities on the field extend beyond the parameters of physical health?

  20. Are Lamborghinis versatile?
    Does this Lamborghini have cargo space? How about sliding rear doors so the kids can get in and out themselves?
    Sounds like this “Renaissance man” is more like a minivan in the bullpen… an old, beat up minivan that burns oil and smells like the family dog lives in it.

  21. Ross and McCann should maybe swap roles…just a thought.

    Not so bold prediction: if Uggla continues to be completely awful then we won’t make the playoffs. I think we really need him to carry the team for like a two week stretch while some of our other guys regress to their means.

  22. Timo,

    Thanks for the link.

    I’ve got tickets to tomorrow night’s game here in Pensacola. Hope to see Hamilton break the record. Now if the rain will hold off . . . .

  23. Back when the Dodgers were in Brooklyn, Roy Campanella won the MVP basically playing with one arm. He hit barely above .200, although I do think he had a bunch of home runs. He won the MVP because of his “leadership qualities.”

    Of course back in those benighted days before Sabermetrics, we old fogies believed that some players brough intangible qualities like leadership, etc. to the game.

    On the other hand, BMac is having a miserable offensive year, but what other catcher hitting in the seventh slot has helped his team more?

    Can the Braves afford to pay Brian $13 mil a year for the next five years? No. Does he still provide value? I think so, but then I believe in intangibles.

  24. I don’t doubt for a moment that he provides value. He’s a smart player who does literally all the little things right. But he’s trending down at an age where you expect catchers to trend down, and I just don’t believe that there will be a way to square what I see as his value going forward with what he’ll cost to keep as a free agent.

  25. Roy Campanella DID NOT win the MVP hitting .200. Here are his three MVP seasons:

    1951-.325/.393/596-33 hr
    1952-.312/.395/.611-41 hr
    1955-.318/.395/583-32 hr

    He did have a bad year in 1954 (I think his hand was hurt most of the year) and hit .207.

  26. Goes to show what relying on memory does, huh, Marc?

    Campy still had value, but my story was obviously a made up memory. Coming from a family of librarians, you’d think I would have learned to look things up.

    Sorry for the organic fertilizer.

  27. Coop,

    It happens to all of us-I know! Campy had a number of poor seasons sandwiched around his MVP years, which is what you were probably thinking about. He hit .207 in 1954 but still made the All-Star team. In 1956, the year after his last MVP, Campy hit .219/.333/.394 with 20 homers but still made the All-Star team. I think Campy is a good example of what happens to catchers-it’s such a difficult position that it’s hard to stay healthy with age and your hitting declines. But, at least reputationally, Campy was known as a much better receiver than McCann, whose value is almost entirely offensive.

    Of course, one bad season doesn’t mean it’s over but I don’t think McCann is a good bet to sign long-term as he moves into his 30s.

  28. Thanks, Marc. I love BMac and wish him nothing but success in the future with his new American League team.

  29. If you look at HOF catchers like Campy, Berra, Bench, and, eventually, Piazza, their offense fell off significantly in their early/mid thirties. But they all were much better than McCann. If this is what he doing now, it figures to be much worse in a couple of years.

  30. Hudson, the stopper, is on tonight. McCann is clearly injured. I think it’s too early to write him off just now.

  31. Well, Adam’s BABIP stat is a significant part of what is going on with McCann. All his other peripherals are consistent with his career norms. He’s been somewhat unlucky this year, and would certainly be on my list of bounceback candidates, either later this season or in 2013.

    Beyond luck, though, there are issues with 1) the increased deployment of overshifting, which seems to have affected McCann’s success, and may need to be accounted for in any projections, and 2) frankly, his weight. He could stand to lose, what, 30 pounds? Being even a step faster would affect how deep in short right field the 2B can set up in the shift.

  32. I really think this series will hinge on Medlen’s start. He has been as good as anyone in the rotation, but he’s had the benefit of starting against Miami, Houston, San Diego, and the Mets.

    We really need Hudson to be great tonight. Washington has hit him hard this year. 12IP 8.53ERA

  33. Death, taxes, Alex complaining about Andruw, Marc complaining about Heyward, and hank complaining about McCann.

  34. @69, I don’t disagree. I read an article somewhere that the shift was impacting McCann’s BABIP exactly as much as you’d expect it to, statistically. Isn’t it crazy that it took this long to come up with a way to mess with McCann’s game?

  35. BTW, Joe Poz’s book on Joe Pa is out tomorrow.

    Here’s a brief USA Today column (brief, for him) that he wrote about doing the book:
    http://tinyurl.com/clxyavu

    At the very least, the circumstances around the book appear to be fairly unique: He was at PSU doing the book when the scandal broke–obviously, the project took a bit of a turn.

    FWIW, he’ll be on WFAN tomorrow at 2 pm to discuss it. You can listen online: http://www.wfan.com

  36. Braves have signed Lyle Overbay to a minor league deal, and apparently plan to bring him up in September.

    What say y’all?

  37. @82 – Looks to me like they may have given up on Hinske. Overall it looks like a decent move. Will he be elgible for post-season?

  38. zig’s posts, in this thread and the previous one, came off as more intelligent than Emma’s did before his ban.

  39. From the AJC article:

    “He’s had interest all along, but I think he wanted to take his time and make sure he made the right decision,” Wren said. “We’ve been talking about once a week since then, just checking in. There wasn’t a great deal of urgency on either side. He does need to start playing and we need to have him in the organization prior to Sept. 1.”

    By virtue of being in the Braves organization before Sept. 1, Overbay would be eligible to make a potential postseason roster. He could be added in place of someone who’s on the disabled list. Overbay played in the National League Division Series last year with Arizona, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in two games against his former Brewers team.

    Overbay would fill a similar role as Eric Hinske, who is also a left-handed hitting first baseman. But Hinske is hitting only 7-for-45 as a pinch hitter (.156).

  40. Emma predicted the collapse. It was crazy, true, but it also happened to happen. zig is… something else.

  41. It’s great to try to stir something up, but Jason needs to learn that you don’t give outs to the Nats.

  42. Gosh, this is even more fun living near DC and having to listen to the home commentary.

    Lets get a triple play?

  43. I’m not sure what’s the bigger concern in the short term: Hudson’s thumb being examined or his 9.00 ERA this season against the Nats.

  44. Seriously, guys? We’ve already got a run off Zimmermann, and it’s the second inning. Pretty early to throw in the towel…

  45. Actually, Hudson might be the right guy for the one-game playoff, if the Braves qualify. He just has to be bypassed against the Nats at all costs.

  46. This is how pretty much all of our losses against these guys go. Get behind early and have the pressure turned way up on every subsequent at bat. Just once it’d be nice to take a 3 or 4 run lead into the middle innings against them.

    I think if we played the Nationals 100 times we’d win about 30 or 35 at most.

  47. Groundhog Day.

    OK, we’re 4-8 vs. Wash. In 9 of 13 games so far vs ATL, the Nats have scored in the first inning. In 5 of those games, they’ve scored at least 3 first-inning runs against us.

    Hope we’re in a hitting mood tonight.

  48. Oh Lordy, they’re not going to score with runners on second and third and less than two outs, are they?

  49. Janish really does seem to get on board more when I watch. Test for this theory – I’ll be at the game the next two nights. Janish to go 6/8 over those games.

  50. We’ve made Zimmermann work, 102 pitches in five innings. That’s probably the last we see of him. That’s a good thing.

  51. Bethany, what’s your preferred email font?

    I’m sending out an email to about 3000 faculty/staff. I’m leaning toward Verdana 10pt.

  52. Fredi has the mindset of sticking with starters longer right now because of the smaller 6 man bullpen.

  53. So glad Frediot let Hudson hit there. Clearly they didn’t need to try and score there, and Hudson has shown so much he needed to be sent back out.

  54. Sending Hudson back out was the smart move, given the way he’s pitched in innings 2-5. It just isn’t working out, though, and it’s time for the ‘pen.

  55. OK, maybe it did work out. Still really uneasy about sending Huddy to face the top of the lineup in the 7th. A few runs might ease my stomach.

  56. The good news is, we won’t have to commission a statue of Chipper. We can just use the one standing next to 3rd base.

  57. That was the most graceful slide I’ve seen in .003 seconds.

    It was like the death throes of a harpooned whale.

  58. You’d think last year would have taught the club it’s a bad idea karmically to advertise postseason tickets too soon.

  59. The camera work is pretty awful overall. That center field camera needs to be moved over about 10 feet. It’s way to difficult to see balls and strikes on TV.

  60. 190: I think it was Fangraphs did an assessment of all the centerfield cameras in baseball for how straight-on they are on the plate, and the Braves had the best camera for watching pitches.

  61. Well, at least Uggla’s predictable strikeout made the fact that Chipper wasn’t running on Freeman’s single irrelevant

  62. @193, Yeah, they ran that piece last year. I know I’m spoiled, but it shouldn’t be that hard to fix, buy some cables, move the camera over.

  63. @198 — Even Janish to 2B for Uggla when Simmons returns might be an improvement at the plate. It certainly would be defensively.

  64. Free baseball ahoy.

    Putter, I agree that a mediocre-at-best lifer versus strong hitters should end in disaster, but somehow it worked.

  65. Uggla has single-handedly cost us a chance to win this game. He missed two fastballs right down the middle in earlier AB’s with runners on, and now this last one was just flat out horrible. He’s not even good enough to be the whipping boy.

  66. Wonder why Fransisco is hitting here and not a couple of innings ago when Hinske couldnt touch a fastball.

  67. If not for Brooks Conrad, Hinske would’ve been a Braves hero. Worthy of salute anyway. But he’s done.

  68. Will always remember Conrad for the grand slam against the Reds and that terrible defense in the 2010 NLDS.

  69. I seem to recall Gonzalez being pretty dadgum good more often than not. But maybe I was just hypnotized by his butt shimmy.

  70. @236 This would be the kind of loss that lingers like a valet’s B.O. and leads to a sweep.

  71. Harper was talking to his bat before he came up. Just staring intently at the bat held in front of him and clearly talking.

    It’s kind of endearing, really.

  72. More mention should be made nationally of the Nats’ bullpen. Hard to find a weak spot there.

  73. This woulda been a great time to bring in Craig early, given the significance of the game and that it’s the heart of a right-handed lineup.

  74. Not that anyone has seriously suggested it, but I think having Sheets come in for a relief appearance in this spot would be /hilarious/.

  75. Not sure why you don’t use Kimbrel for an inning somewhere. But it doesn’t matter since we were hours in to deep hibernation mode. Dunno when we’ll score again. Maybe next series.

  76. It’s over. Glad we had our ace going tonight. Glad we ran ourselves out of innings. Glad Martin Prado had such great at-bats with runners on. Glad Fredi refuses to use Kimbrel in tie games. Glad Liberty Media owns the team.

    Let’s fight for the one-game playoff.

  77. Not using Kimbrel didn’t blow the game…it’s just bizarre that you’d leave your best pitcher on the bench in the biggest game of the year so far. I hate when managers do that. Especially ours.

    If we’re giving out awards tonight then Uggla gets all credit for blowing the game. He was spectacularly bad in all phases.

  78. #297
    They got a scratch infield single, then we treated the ball like it was made of Kryptonite. The Lisp was terrific.

    I mean, which goose-egg inning did we want to use Kimbrel anyway? The 9th? The 10th? The 11th? The 12th? Bring him in for the 13th when we have nobody else left?

    This game was lost with all the runners we left on base from the 7th inning on.

  79. I’m too angry to rewatch that Uggla play again but what happened? It’s like the infield was playing hot potato all inning.

  80. @300, I’m not sure if he could’ve thrown the runner out at home even if he fielded it cleanly. The runner was going on contact and the last replay that I saw made it look like our only hope was to turn two. Once he bobbled it all bets were off.

    Give credit to the Nats for great baserunning in that last inning. Taking an un-covered third on that crazy high hopper was a heads-up play. Just seems like it’s their year.

  81. Maybe this’ll make us feel better:
    In 1987, Tommy Lasorda knew he had a good team, the core of which eventually won the WS in 1988.
    But they couldn’t catch the damn ball.
    In the midst of a clubhouse rant, he demanded to know what 3rd baseman Pedro Guerrero was thinking out there.
    “I’m thinking I hope they don’t hit it to me,” Pedro said.

    Tommy exploded. “You can’t think that way! You just can’t! Now tell me what you’re really thinking, Pete.”

    After a minute, Pete replied, “I’m thinking I hope they don’t hit it to Sax, either.”

  82. @305,

    Anger.

    I agree with Alex. They Nats are a little better than we are right now.

    Tonight’s game is a must win.

  83. Bizaare game. I was there and Heyward’s home run was hit about as hard as any ball I have ever seen. It got out in a flash. It sounded like a rifle shot.

    The Nats are good and they have been having good things happening to them. They could easily have lost two games in Houston. It reminds me of the 1969 Mets to some extent.

  84. I really, truly want to love Martin Prado. I love most things about him.

    But, his approach at the plate has always had me pretty close to hating him. I’ve just gotta start changing the channel when he’s up.

  85. Both teams had numerous chances to win the game. It was a really good game. The Braves did a really nice job of running up Jordan Zimmermann’s pitch count. They played well defensively until the last inning and the bullpen pitched well. They just couldn’t get runners in (and neither could the Nationals). McCann had a terrible at bat with runners on second and third; Prado had a couple of poor at bats with runners on. But if the Braves had one, everyone would be talking about the Nats failing to score when they had the bases loaded in the 8th and so on.

    Here is an interesting quote by Chipper in the Washington Post:

    “I can sit here and say unequivocally I think Washington is going to be a force in the National League for the next four or five years,” Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said before the Nationals’ 5-4 victory in 13 innings. “I can’t sit here objectively and say that about this [Atlanta] club.”

  86. Well, yeah. Even to be competitive next year, we either need to replace Chipper and Bourn, or Heyward needs to become our Chipper and then we need to replace this year’s Heyward and Bourn. And we need Teheran or Delgado to take off.

  87. Prado did have a great AB in the 11th when he ripped double down the line. Only to be left at second.

    Chipper miss playing the ball in the first inning was huge.

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