Nats 5, Braves 4 (13 innings)

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals – Box Score – August 20, 2012 – ESPN.

Braves pitchers combined for eleven consecutive scoreless innings — and lost. It’s kind of annoying, really.

The Braves took the lead in the top of the first when Martin Prado doubled and Jason Heyward singled him home. But Tim Hudson had a terrible first inning, allowing hits to the first three batters then a two-out homer, giving the Nats a 4-1 lead. He settled down from there, though, and allowed just three more hits.

The Braves rallied to tie. Freddie Freeman scored on a Paul Janish infield single in the fourth, then Heyward hit a two-run homer, scoring Prado again, in the fifth. And then we settled in for a long succession of shutout innings.

Jonny Venters took over from Hudson in the seventh after a leadoff double and allowed an intentional walk but nothing else. Eric O’Flaherty got in serious trouble in the eighth, two hits and a walk, but got out of it somehow. Chad Durbin pitched an inning and Luis Avilan pitched two. Meanwhile, the Braves left a number of baserunners on. Perhaps their best chance came in the eleventh, when Prado led off with a double, but he didn’t advance.

Cristian Martinez pitched a perfect twelfth. In the thirteenth, he had terrible luck, allowing two infield singles and a Dan Uggla error to lose the game. Two infield singles and an error.

117 thoughts on “Nats 5, Braves 4 (13 innings)”

  1. I don’t see why it’s so obvious the Nats are a better team than the Braves, and I certainly don’t see how a 13-inning, one run game proves that whatsoever. I think they have a better overall pitching staff, but I’d take our position player roster over theirs, no question. When Simmons comes back, we’re every bit as good as they are — in fact, if you want to go stat geek on the question, the difference in the standings is just about wholly attributable to his absence.

  2. It’s sort of depresssing that the division race is likely over. It’s hard to get excited about fighting for a chance to play a one game play-in. But when you are 4-9 against the team ahead of you, what can you expect?

  3. Its very annoying to watch some of these AB’s as soon as we get a runner in scoring position. The bottom of this order Bmac, Uggla, Janish, pitcher is just brutal and there is no reason for it. If Bmac is hurting that bad then get Ross in there, but Bmac’s .136/.296/.136 this month is killing the offense. Should I mention that I hate losing a game as big as this one with Kimbrel not even getting the ball?

    Hinske is done also.

  4. The difference in the standings is also due to the fact that they’ve stomped our guts out head-to-head (9 of 13 games).

    The Nats are having a magical year. Hope we can somehow screw it up for them in the end.

  5. Why was the infield playing in with 1 out and runners at 1st and 3rd with Chad Tracy hitting? We got the double play ball but Uggla had no idea where to go with it.

  6. I saw this movie last year. I would bet that Strasberg shuts us out tonight, and Medlen takes a tough luck loss tomorrow, and we leave town on a 5 game losing streak and 8 game back.

  7. I thought McCann looked better than he’s looked in a while. The only position player without a hit was Bourne – although he got a few walks. I still think Bourne is the team MVP.

  8. McCann, who is hurt and probably shouldn’t be playing, was 2 for 5 with a walk yesterday…

  9. It would have been a difficult play even if he made it because the runner was going on contact. It would have been bang-bang at the plate at best. I can’t get that upset at mistakes like that, especially when they had so many opportunities before.

  10. He could’ve turned 2 easily there by tagging the runner (who had stopped) and then flipping it to first. The indecision and then fumbling of the ball made it all moot. Like everyone else has said, the game was lost due to our missed scoring chances. We got like 5 walks in the 7th/8th/9th and had nothing to show for it. The Nats tried to give us the game repeatedly, but we didn’t want it.

  11. Yep, this is what cost the Braves the ballgame.

    Braves RISP: 2-12 (C Jones 0-1, P Janish 1-1, T Hudson 0-1, J Heyward 1-2, D Uggla 0-2, B McCann 0-2, M Prado 0-2, F Freeman 0-1)

  12. If Uggla had run at the runner on first and then gotten the force at first then the run would not have scored, correct?

  13. Stu, you’re right, Prado’s plate approach is maddening. But he’s an awfully good hitter.

    Re: Chipper’s comments, I think he’s right. We’re unlikely to be a “force,” which to me is a 95-win team. We’re very likely to be an 89-win team. That’ll back you into the playoffs now. We won’t be juggernauts, but we’ll be in it.

    Hell, that seemed to work for all those damned teams that beat us in the first round.

  14. He would’ve needed to field it cleanly before doing anything. It was a hard-hit ball that he had to go to the ground to get. Not an easy play anywhere by any stretch.

    ANYHOW, rather than worry about that, I’m going to look forward to beating Strasburg tonight.

  15. @20, correct…as long as the last out is a force out then the run doesn’t score. So throwing to 1st and then getting the trapped runner in a run-down would’ve been a losing play as well.

  16. Tonight looked like a lot of the same ol’ same ol’ Braves. Got out to a good start. I didn’t like it, but I thought it was not a “bad” play to go for 3rd by Heyward. Had he got in, then that fly ball from Freeman would have led to a run.

    However, as seems to be custom, the Braves couldn’t get out of their own way, blew the lead, then fought back bravely, but took a ton of incredibly bad swings in extras and lost a game they needed. Same song, umpteenth different verse.

    I am over this team right now. This is a WC team at best and quite frankly they have overachieved to be in this spot. Now the lineup is shortened because Uggla and McCann are not hitting. When your lineup only goes 5 deep, 2-12 with RISP will happen alot.

  17. The team has traveled a bit of an odd road so far, but they are on a 93-win pace. I think most folks would’ve signed for that at the beginning of the year.

    There’s 40 games left. In our last 40 games, we’re playing .675 ball.

  18. I don’t just mean we’re an 89-win team this year. I mean we’re an 89-win team for the next five years, for the foreseeable future. We may well win more than 90 games this year. We’re a good team and, other than the last three games, have been playing very, very well.

    But I don’t think we’re built for dominance. We’re built for hanging around.

  19. With our tv deal (someone should die), there’s no way Braves-love doesn’t start whimpering soon. (Good Old Boy speak truth.)

    I think I’ve figured it out about Prado: when it’s a clutch situation, he does his best Alex-Gonzalez-at-the-plate impression. Drives. Me. Crazy.

    Otherwise, I love everything about him.

  20. OK, Santayana, riddle me this:

    I’d like to not be doomed to repeat the past, but what should I have learned from last year’s collapse?

  21. I agree Alex but I think that’s the way this team has been built these last several years. They are built to win 85-88 games and, if things go right, sometimes 90+. They are not built-and probably can’t be given the payroll-to be a consistently dominant team. And it’s not even clear they can or want to hold onto to the Heywards and Freemans as they develop into dominant players. Until they build a bus or rail line to Turner Field, that’s probably the way it’s going to be.

  22. But I don’t think we’re built for dominance. We’re built for hanging around.

    Stagnant payrolls and a bad tv deal gives you exactly this scenario. Now we are afraid to spend money on the draft as well. Our scouts better do a great job because our money spent in the FA market hasnt paid dividends.

  23. #34, I heartily suspect the lack of a subway stop to be as much if not more a function of the Braves FO not wanting to hurt parking receipts at the time of system construction.

  24. I get the feeling you all are saying we are


  25. For all of those who wanted Nick Swisher this offseason, he’s reportedly asking for the same deal Werth received, 7/$126. I guess everyone who plays in New York gets to overvalue themselves by $50 mil or so.

  26. The Nationals farm system is definitely a huge part of their surge. It doesn’t hurt that they were able to scout well and were among the first 5 or 6 teams picking in the draft for the last several years. Atlanta’s budget has remained constant for several years now. I don’t think this changes unless we make a playoff run this year.

    Some may have said last year that the Phillies were being built for both the short term and the long haul. I’m glad we’re not in their shoes this year.

  27. 44 – This ridiculous TV deal probably has us following the Marlins model, rather than the Phillies.

    Build cheap and re-stock via fire sale.

  28. The Marlins model won two WS, so I guess things could be worse. I’m more worried about us adopting the Atlanta Hawks model.

  29. It’s my belief that the tv deal won’t matter much longer, that viewership will move to the Internet — where it’s shared by all the teams.

  30. MLBTR…Swisher has never appeared on an MVP ballot or won a major award. He has never hit .300 or driven in 100 runs. And he has never generated five wins above replacement in a year. What’s more, Swisher was a below-average defensive right fielder in 2011. He entered the 2012 season with average arm strength and accuracy, but below-average range, according to the publication. He turns 32 a few weeks into the offseason, so it’d be unreasonable to expect considerable defensive improvements at this stage.

    And this guy wants $100+ mil

  31. Hey, I’m a good deal worse at baseball than Swisher is, and I would also like to be paid a hundred million dollars to play the game. Can’t fault a guy for trying…

  32. Fascinating, Mac. Your forty-page report on this is due in the morning.

    Seriously, if you (or others) would like to elaborate on this, I’d really love to read it and I’d guess I’m not alone.

    If there’s any way out of this TV-deal Hell …

  33. I agree with Mac. I think the whole TV deal isn’t the end of the world.

    The Braves have been built around developing tallent and making moves using this tallent. This plan has worked for over 20 years.

    You don’t have to have a $130 payroll, you just have to build around and with tallent.

    Plus, Liberty Media could sell the team in the next few years and a super rich dude could spend a lot of money, Uncle Ted style.

    We shouldn’t be worried about next years team or the 2015 team. Let’s focus on this team. A lot can happen between now and next August.

    The Mets, Phillies and Marlins will still suck next year and the Nats could have a ton of injuries.

  34. I would agree with Mac, except for old people. Particularly for those 60 and older, they’re not going to want to figure out MLB TV just so they can watch the games they had on their local sports afiliate. I don’t disagree that content is rapidly moving towards the internet, but a sizable portion of MLB’s viewership is old people, and they’re going to be the slowest adopters. If you’re talking a 10 year horizon, I agree. But over the next 3 or even 5 years, it’ll be in fits and starts, and I think MLB will lag behind other major sports in using the internet as the primary platform for their distribution.

  35. And normally I might agree with you, but MLB has been the most aggressive of the major sports in utilizing the Internet. It MIGHT be ten years, but no longer.

  36. Maybe that’s what the Braves were figuring when they signed the deal. In other words, they were visionary geniuses instead of dumb bastards.

  37. Yeah, all I had to do was jailbreak my phone to make really awesome. It also helps that the quality of the TV stream has improved immensely over the last two years. It’s now better than broadcast. Being able to watch whatever game on whatever device whenever I want really helps me stay interested in the sport beyond the Braves.

    It’s also a really good price, compared to something like Sunday Ticket, which was $350 before this season (It’s still $200. Geez. Get over yourself, NFL.) and only on DirecTV.

    MLB gets it. The future of any sport in this country always hinges upon people being able to see the games they want to see. Boxing PPVed itself out of existence, and MLB is a blackout policy away from resuming its role as national pastime.

  38. @64

    I think you’re overstating it a little, as the degree to which the NFL can crap all over its fans and still suffer no repercussions at this point is truly mind-boggling, but you’re right that MLB is very well-poised to take advantage of online TV. I would say surprisingly so, given the sport’s traditional history.

    Also, I think we found out last night that Dan Uggla is no Walt Weiss.

  39. MLB.TV is by far the best internet service for watching sports. That’s definitely not the problem. The problem is MLB’s media infrastructure, where media contracts are done locally by teams. MLB is currently negotiating national broadcast rights, like the Sunday Night and Saturday games that Fox and ESPN have. And they’re still going to be exclusive. They’re STILL going to be blacked out on MLB.TV. And these are the few national games that local owners have already ceded control over.

    The real problem is that there are currently 30 exclusive contracts (one for each team) out there that MLB would have to re-write or renegotiate to get rid of MLB.TV blackouts. They all have varying lengths. They all have varying costs per game. It’s a completely unwieldly mess, and given that MLB doesn’t appear interested in getting rid of the blackouts it would relatively easy for them to eliminate, I just don’t see them trying to take care of the local contracts.

    The other issue is how to divide the revenue. If MLB were to go to a primarily net-based delivery system, they’d either have to share revenue from it across the board, which would piss off teams from major markets (NY, Boston) whose media contracts are worth TONS more than the other teams (Royals, Padres). If you want to get around it, then you have to start giving the teams with more money a bigger slice of the revenue, which is also something that will be fought against.

    Other leagues will not have any of these problems because the bulk (all?) of their media contracts are negotiated directly through the league. Individual franchises don’t negotiate direct, exclusive agreements with local sports broadcasters. Franchise value isn’t tied nearly as much to how big of a media contract you’re able to get from Fox Sports YourRegion like it is with baseball. All of this makes it much easier to have a single product available to everyone everywhere to watch your games.

    MLB may currently have the best platform for internet delivery of their content. They also have the worst league infrastructure to expand this system. Other leagues will copy MLB.TV, and the results won’t have blackouts.

  40. Your koan for the day… if this game is rained out, do these 2.2 innings count against Strasburg’s shutdown limit?

  41. CJ played a game and a half last night. The 6 man rotation may be fine, tommorrow’s starter can pitch 7 innings tonight on 4 days rest. Everyone else moves up a day.
    @72 Depends on who is counting

  42. Billy Hamilton steals third to break Vince Coleman’s minor league stolen base record (145).

  43. @67 I knew Ray Easterling from working out at Y. He was a kind person. That was before he suffered for years,

  44. @2 – Marc pretty much sums it all up. Would have to win all 5 games left against the Nats.

    @29 – I agree. Don’t think this team has been “built for dominance” since 2000.

    Spent a the past weekend in Atlanta and got to the game on Friday. Extra-inning win and Chipper’s homer were great. Stayed at the Holiday Inn next to the ballpark (thanks to the braves journaler who suggested) and laughed for 90 minutes after the game as rows and rows of red tail lights trying to leave the parking lot. I know nothing about the city, but couldn’t figure out why more people didn’t take I-20, since the access to I-75 seemed to be the worst. I gues everybody lives north?

    Also had great times at the georgia aquarium (saw Whale Sharks during shark week!!), eating at the Busy Bee Cafe, and at the asian restaurants on Buford Hwy. Definitely left town jealous of all the cuisine options in town. And I apologized for rolling my eyes at my wife when she suggested tube-floating on the Chattahoochee River – it was really fun.

  45. There’s still some hope- we’ve been able to hit Strasburg before. (I know, but someone’s got to say something positive.)

  46. MLB.TV went out on me before Flores went out on Maholm, so I missed the pain.

    The Nats have moved up on my hated teams list.

  47. If they can keep all this pitching together then the Nats are going to dominate our division for years to come.

  48. Something has to wake this team up. By week’s end we we’ll be looking up at the two wildcard teams.

  49. Why are Uggla and McCann still playing when they’re obviously hurt? Who’s running this team?

  50. A good start to waking them up would be benching Uggla. The fact that he plays ever day is inexcusable. And more proof that Fredi is an idiot.

  51. This reminds me of Venters, who continued to pitch weeks after it was obvious that he was injured. Are our trainers lying to Fredi, or is Fredi incapable of telling these guys that they’re hurting the team?

  52. At least tomorrow we have Medlen going. I’d watch him pitch even in the midst of inevitable collapse.

  53. For long periods of time over the last two years, Dan Uggla has been one of the worst players in baseball. Brian McCann, whether due to injuries or not, is right now one of the worst catchers in baseball.

    Anyone still think the Braves are better? Is there one starter on the Braves that would be more than a number 4 on the Nationals?

  54. How much of Uggla’s salary would we have to swallow to dump him in the offseason?

  55. Medlen is our best shot, but Detwiler owns us. The matchups in SanFran look not-so-great either. Kimbrel should be well rested for the Padres.

    Oh well, at least there’s only 39 more games of Fredi to endure.

  56. This 6 man rotation is off to a great start, but hey, we didnt hurt anyone’s feelings at least.

    You really cant blame the pitching when the offense is 3 for its last 30 with RISP. We wonder why theyve lost 4 in a row.

  57. OK, so Strasberg didn’t shut us out. Maybe that means Meds won’t take a tough luck loss tomorrow. I went negative yesterday, let’s go optimistic today.

  58. You people… always so apocalyptic! Miserable game. The Braves needed one hit and Maholm gave one up to Jesus Freaking Flores at the worst possible time. Coulda gone the other way… It’d be good to at least salvage a win tomorrow.

    Heyward’s been hitting something fierce lately. I love how he’s been staying on those breaking balls away from him and lofting them into left field. And then he turns on one and rips a shot in the hole for a hit in the 9th.

    And it’s now gotten to the point where Uggla’s slump looks never-ending. Between him and McCann, we’re missing half the lineup’s firepower, and it shows particularly when Chipper’s out of the lineup.

  59. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a guy hit .200 for the better part of 2 years and not get benched or sent down.

  60. Dan Uggla has the best OBP out of our 5-8 hitters last night with his .340 OBP.

    How bad has McCann been this year, Uggla in August has a .316 OBP. McCann is sitting on .306 for the year.

    OBP for 5-8 last night .340, .306, .301. 297. The line stops moving after Freeman. That .340 from Uggla is decieving. His slash lines for the last 3 months are(June) .160/.327/.321 (July).115/.281/.179, and (Aug.) .206/.316/.412 Of course Uggla is 2-23 since his last HR in game 3 of the Padres series.

    At some point, the braves are going to have to think about sitting Uggla….they won’t do it, but for the good of this team they need to.

    I want to say it is just a phase, everybody goes through stuff like this, but it is not. This is a trend over the last 3 years. Unless McCann or Uggla start hitting again, the WC will be lost. The division was lost on Monday.

  61. The Nats have it all. Their lineup is a bit better than ours (remember that Morse/Desmond/Werth have missed a ton of games) and their pitching is far better. Everyone in their lineup has a bit of power. The left side of their infield is probably the best in baseball. There’s no weaknesses anywhere.

  62. Play T-Pas at second for a couple of games, please.

    Less than 24 hours later, I take back what I said @24.

  63. The Braves have become the Nationals’ bitches. Or, alternatively, the Nationals’ Mets. For the most part, the Nationals have creamed the Braves; most of the games have not been close. After 14 games, I think it’s fair to say the Nationals are simply better than the Braves.

    Having said that, it’s a little unfair to get down on them for not hitting Strasburg. He is really a different pitcher since the last time they faced him. He is not throwing as hard, has relaxed some, and is getting amazing movement on his pitches. No one is going to hit this guy. He’s too good. There is no shame in getting shut down by him. Of course, the lack of hitting later against the bullpen is more disturbing.

    The Braves are still ahead in the WC. Obviously, it’s hard to have confidence in this team after last year, but they are better off than last year; the bullpen is better rested, the offense, even with its struggles recently, is much better than last year, and the starting pitching has become decent although not in the Nationals’ league.

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