Braves 2, Padres 0

Atlanta Braves vs. San Diego Padres – Box Score – August 28, 2012

Two things happened yesterday.

First, Kris Medlen threw 8 scoreless innings, allowing just five singles, striking out 9 men and walking nobody in 100 pitches, while the Braves scored two runs on a Chipper Jones RBI double and a Dan Uggla solo homer.

Then Mac tweeted:

So it was a pretty good day. Even so, all wasn’t bread and roses: for the second day in a row, the Braves offense got shut down by a random Padres rookie starter. This time it was someone named “Andrew Werner” (note: the Bucs Dugout blog also referred to him as “someone named Andrew Werner” when he beat the Pirates a week ago). The Padres signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2010 out of the Frontier League. Werner had a 5.79 ERA in Triple-A before he was called up a week and a half ago; he wasn’t one of John Sickels’ Top 40 Padres prospects for 2012. His average fastball is around 88 miles an hour, which is actually a historical improvement for him, as he told the North County Times:

Definitely [a late bloomer]… I wasn’t a hard thrower in high school or even the first couple of years in college. I started throwing harder my senior year.

He’s a completely anonymous lefty with no fastball who sucked at Triple-A. He’s basically the platonic ideal of a guy that the Braves absolutely can’t hit.

But we won. We’ll take it, day by day.

146 thoughts on “Braves 2, Padres 0”

  1. The Nats are facing their first real adversity of the season. And not necessarily responding very well. Manager and GM having shouting matches. Guys getting called out by the Nats announcers/homers for not running hard to first, etc.

    The Marlins have some guys who can hit lefthanded pitching so there is a decent chance they can beat Detwiler today (although Turner is a wildcard). We know The Amazing Tommy will put on his usual show, but if we can also somehow pull out a win the pressure on the Nats is going to start mounting big time.

  2. If there ever was an opportunity for Hanson to turn it around then it would be against this lineup and in this ballpark.

  3. J.R. Graham was just named Southern League Pitcher of the week. His past two starts: 2-0, 12 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 13 K. Not bad for a guy after only 1 month at AA.

  4. I am not a big “Must Win” guy, especially for games in September. However, this feels like a game we need tonight.

  5. We’re up against the lefty Stults, who got us pretty good last time.

    The Nats sure have been in a tailspin, but we’re both 4-6 in our last ten games, so we haven’t been poised to take advantage.

  6. If a better Hanson doesn’t show up tonight we absolutely cannot waste any more starts with him. Interestingly, with the off day Thursday, it would be easy to slot Teheran into his next start. As ridiculous as that sounds Teheran has gone 8 innings in 2 of his last three starts, giving up a total over those 2 starts of 7 hits and 1 BB to 18 Ks. Admittedly the start in between was a disaster but if he has another strong start next time out it might be worth the gamble. With roster expansion you can keep Hanson ready in the pen.

  7. No reason to start Teheran, could just drop Hanson and go back to a 5-man rotation.

    I think Tommy will turn it around today though. 7IP 5H 1R 1BB 7Ks. Braves win 4-2.

  8. @6

    I saw it with subtitles — not intentionally, I just happened to buy a ticket to a subtitled screening. I think it probably helped here and there, because overall I thought Bane’s voice was one of the best things about the movie. The metallic, Auto-Tune sound combined with Tom Hardy’s wry delivery was super-creepy, I thought. He began sounding more human towards the end, for some reason, and I thought it was less effective (although more easily understood).

  9. Also, although I would love to see Tommy put up that line, I note that he has only had 3 starts all year with a WHIP of under 1.00 and none since June 9th.

  10. #12 – I dont think he’s had but like 2 1-2-3 innings in his past 5 or 6 starts combined. Joe made reference to it in his last start and I dont have the time to go look. He’s been awful though. Maybe they can give him run support.

  11. Joe, wow I totally missed that Sheets hit the DL, my bad.

    And I agree that line will be tough, but this is the Padres in SD.

  12. I just wish Bane’s voice had been a little deeper the whole time. There were a couple scenes he had where his voice was deeper, and it sounded a lot more menacing.

  13. @20 I really like it. They’ve done a lot to revitalize the area I’m in and there’s a lot to do and plenty of good food. Thankfully the worst of summer is over so I missed the heat. I really like the people at my job too.

  14. @19. Hah! Well done. I just saw the movie and while at various points I acknowledged that what I was watching was in many important respects a real piece of crap, I was also greatly entertained. This may have been because it was the first movie my wife and I have seen in the theater since the second baby, but I suspect it is also because it was in IMAX (the real kind). Funnily enough the only reason we saw it in IMAX was because it had a reasonable start time (when did theaters start having their evening showings start so late? I’m too damn old to stay up until 9 to watch a 3 hour movie). But the scenes shot in IMAX were completely engrossing. I remember being bored through most of the action scenes in the last one, but for whatever reason seeing it in 70MM seemed to make a huge difference. It almost felt like it was worth the 18.50(!!).

  15. Since Sheets’ pixie dust has worn off we don’t really have anyone any better than Hanson to replace him with. And Hanson hasn’t been that bad.

  16. @25

    Well, he hasn’t been that good either. He’s been perfectly cromulenent since his return from the DL.

  17. Over his past six starts Hanson has averaged 5IP and an xFIP of 5.01. I don’t know how bad he has to be, but it’s hard to be much worse and remain a major league pitcher.

  18. He’s our #5 starter, plain and simple, and his results right now are those of a decent #5. I can’t envision him getting a postseason start, unless it’s in the fourth game of a 3-0 or 0-3 series.

  19. As far as I can tell, no one is talking about Hanson’s career. At this point the question is how many bad starts in a row do you let a guy make, and what reasonable expectation should you have that he is going to improve.

  20. He’s awful. It’s amazing how good luck and a fantastic outfield defense can mask being awful when you’re a flyball pitcher, but he’s awful.

  21. Trade idea: Trade Hanson to the Nats for Strasburg.

    They can shut Hanson down so he’ll be fresh for next year. We’ll ride Strasburg all the way into the playoffs and destroy his career.

    Win/win!

  22. Why aren’t we still gushing about Medlen?

    I told you he’d become one of our most important starters but does anyone listen to me?

    It’s because he’s short, isn’t it? Well, isn’t it?

    Tall does not equal talented, people! All these useless scouts who say someone “projects” because they could dunk if they could chew gum and jump at the same time ought to be fired.

    Give me Hudson and Medlen with their pitching humility and winner’s heart every single time.

    Pitching (especially starting pitching) is about keeping the best hitters in the world off-balance and guessing for as long as you can. The day Mike Minor learns that is the day he’ll start to earn the king’s ransom that will come his way if he gets his oft-petulant head out of his ass.

    Hanson? No heart. Less head. If it’s not easy he’s not interested.

    Delgado might not be Pedro but he’s a fighter. Have no idea why the Braves haven’t stuck with him.

    Hudson, Medlen, Beachy, Minor (yes, I think he’ll get there) and Maholm will be the best rotation in baseball in the second half of 2013. If one of them falters, bring in Delgado. They won’t get a lot of acclaim, but who gives a shit? They’ll give the Braves a chance to win nearly every night.

    It’s the perfect rotation for a team in (self-imposed) Salary Cap Purgatory. If Wrenn can solve our offense, we’ll be right there again next year.

    All of which is to say, TRADE HANSON NOW!! And don’t hang on to Teheran if someone wants to overpay.

    Play your hand, Frank. If you play it adroitly, we’ll be good for years. Hesitate and we’ll be the Royals before you can say Francouer.

  23. Hanson has no trade value right now. If we can build up his value and make him look like an inning-eater — a Joe Blanton type, say — then we might be able to get something for him next year midyear. Right now, if I’m a team on the playoff bubble, I wouldn’t be interested in him.

    I supported the decision to send Delgado back to the minors. There’s a lot to like about the guy, but he just wasn’t throwing strikes consistently. I think that we’ll see a lot more of him in Atlanta, but I don’t have a problem with him being in Gwinnett right now. Same with Teheran, obviously.

  24. If you look at Hansons career up to last july it was quite good. I still say this is all injury related and it can be corrected, probably with a date with a scalpel.

  25. Tommy’s missing high and away with about half his pitches. But this is what you get from a fifth starter–in and out of trouble all day, just hope he can be lucky enough or get enough help from the other team to give you around five innings and give up fewer than three runs…

  26. It’s amazing how good luck and a fantastic outfield defense can mask being awful when you’re a flyball pitcher, but he’s awful.

    No kidding.

  27. Bourn’s clearly got the right mindset: Tommy’s not going to get the outs himself, so his defense had better steal them for him.

  28. 57- True, but he gets the most out of his nothing, which still isn’t much. Our offense… Eric Stultz? Really?

  29. Four pitch walks keep your pitch count low. What’s inefficient is working to a full count before losing the batter.

  30. Well, that’s one of the things about having nothing- it’s hard to tell when exactly you’ve lost it.

  31. Okay, Tommy advocates, I tried to be positive; but Hanson drives me nuts. I’ve seen enough of him in a Braves uniform.

  32. I just noticed Prado at first. Where will he play in the Phillies series? Catcher? Relief pitcher? Selling peanuts?

  33. Here is a good brain teaser: Who would win in a head-to-head matchup, the team with Tommy pitching and eight Medlens playing the field, or the team with Medlen pitching and eight Hansons playing the field? Seriously, think about that and see if you brain doesn’t break.

  34. Honestly, a game like this would make me go get Delgado, were I Frank Wren. Just can’t live with this level of performance.

  35. Even in the midst of his afternoon nap Dick Enberg pointed out that Hanson had plenty of time to get the runner, even after whiffing with the barehand, and he just stood there. Insanity.

  36. Hanson’s not THAT bad… OK, maybe he is, but Thorman and Melky never had seasons that matched what Hanson did for us in 2009-11. Better to put someone like Buddy Carlyle on Rushmore instead.

    Avilan demonstrates that he’s basically a spot on the roster that says “insert pitcher here.”

  37. In my restaurant managing days, I would occasionally have to ask in exasperation, “Is there someplace else you’d rather be?” Fredi should be asking Hanson that right now. Honestly, they should just bring Delgado back and bury Hanson in the bullpen for the rest of the season.

  38. If Hanson is hurt, just put him on DL and don’t waste anymore time to “work things out”. Now is not the time to “work things out”.

  39. In my ridiculously uninformed opinion, Hanson hasn’t been able to adapt post surgery to his new mechanics (I’m sure it’s almost like being in a new body) and skill set (much less velocity). A more obtuse version of myself would say someone like Medlen has adapted to lacking certain physical traits and learned to make the most of what he has, while Hason was more naturally gifted and perhaps the lack of adversity has made adapting to his new set of tools more difficult. But that’s silly. But maybe I still believe it >_>

  40. Tommy reminds me of that old Mediterranean folktale about the precocious boy who learns to juggle and becomes famous by dazzling crowds with his flaming torches. But then he eventually starts to get old and everyone has seen his tricks and they aren’t as impressive and it just seems tedious. And as he keeps getting older people start watching again, even more intently than when he was young, because he is getting weaker and weaker but insists on still juggling the flaming torches until one day, finally, he drops a flaming torch, setting himself on fire. The last act of The Amazing Tommy Show.

  41. I would argue at this point that Medlen is more physically gifted overall than Hanson ever was.

    Even at Tommy’s best, he’s a terrible hitter and fielder. That counts for something, even if you don’t really need it to be a good or great pitcher (see Tommy, 2009-2011).

    The injury did him no favors, to say the least.

  42. How is that Uggla can hit a ball 450 feet but has a hard time throwing a ball from second to home?

  43. Three runs scored in 25 innings. It’s easy to beat up on Hanson (fun, too), but he’s not our main problem here.

  44. They both missed the obvious Greg Maddux trivia question. Maybe we can trade Hanson for better announcers.

  45. Alright, real question. If we miss the playoffs again is it a done deal that Freddi is gone? I know it is not really his fault his teams melt down during the stretch but it is hard to live with.

  46. Yes, he’s gone. Miss the playoffs again and the Master of Stupefaction will be kicked to the curb.

    My guess is a big part of Wrenn can’t wait.

  47. 114- Then we should make it clear that there’s no reason to wait! I’m sure Bobby wouldn’t mind coming back as an interim manager to beef up that ejection record.

  48. this is my fault. I looked at the schedules the rest of the way and noted to a friend of mine that winning the division was still doable. Of course I jinxed them. Im sorry

  49. Welp, back to my episode of “Intervention,” which is somehow less of a train wreck than this game.

  50. Well, that was certainly one of the Braves’ worst performances of the year – special shout-outs today to Hanson, Janish and Venters for their “contributions”, so to speak. David Ross was great (homered, made a great play at the plate, threw out an attempted base stealer) and was really the only bright spot on the evening. Amazing, what a stark contrast this game was to Medlen’s start yesterday.

    Alex, any news on Mac?

  51. Marlins had runners on second and third, no outs, and couldn’t score. Put not your faith in other teams, especially when they suck.

  52. Thinking next year, our rotation will be Hudson, Maholm, Medlen, Minor plus Delgado/Teheran before Beachy comes back. Looks great to me.

  53. @125- More like how did we lose to the guy who was originally Marty McFly before being replaced because he sucked?

  54. Glad I didn’t get to see this one. So basically the only way we win is if our starter throws a shutout. Offense fading in the second half again. Not enough power and every lineup we throw out there has 4 sure outs in it. I’d be thinking about rushing Simmons back right about now.

  55. @130 With Chipper, Lowe, JJ, and Hanson out of the picture, I think we do have the money to make one big signing…whether it is on Bourn or on a big power bat is up to be seen, but I am pretty sure we will at least make a qualified offer to Bourn.

  56. 130- Remember that we’ll have a full year of Simmons, another year of development from Heyward, and Uggla can’t possibly be this bad again, can he? And yes, we’ll make an offer for Bourn, possibly even for all the money.

  57. @92 – I’d have to think that Dan Kolb and Chris Reitsma have their spots secured on the Barves Mt. Rushmore of Suck, at least for this century.

    Although the argument could be made that it wasn’t Reitsma’s fault that some fool in the Braves management thought he could close games.

  58. @126: I think the Braves are playing like Spicoli right now: a champion in his dreams, but ina stoned daze in reality.

  59. @135 Reitsma is certainly always in the mix. I just have always hated Melkey and Lockhart so much, and Thorman is probably the one that should be replaced by Reitsma. He never did anything wrong except for failure live up to someone’s view that he had great “potential”.

  60. @32,

    I think that’s the best trade idea ever-Hanson for Strasburg. If Wren was any kind of GM, he would do it. But no!

    Right now, other than Hanson, I think the Braves rotation is better than it was last year. They are getting pretty consistent innings from Hudson, Medlen, Maholm, and, even Minor. The bullpen is well-rested, although Venters obviously isn’t what he was last year. The problem is the offense, especially against lefties.

    But to be fair, the Padres have been playing very well.

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