Padres 8, Braves 2

Atlanta Braves vs. San Diego Padres – Box Score – August 29, 2012

So there are two horrible things you could use to frame the debacle last night. The first thing I could point out is that Tommy Hanson allowed 4 runs (3 “earned”) in 4 2/3 innings. Here is what Tommy has done in three starts since returning to the rotation, compared with his performance in his first 22 starts, and his performance for his career before 2012:

W-LIPERAWHIPK/BBOpp. OPS
2009-201132- 22460 1/33.281.182.91.660
Apr-Jul 201212-51264.291.442.11.788
August 20120-215 2/35.741.851.71.884

So Tommy hasn’t just sucked. His suck has been accelerating at ludicrous speed. But it’s hard to blame the pitching staff for losing two out of the past three when the Braves offense has scored four runs in the past three games, after exploding for fourteen runs in our last two games in San Francisco.

Last night, they mustered seven hits off lefty Eric Stults, a lefthanded journeyman whose average fastball this year is 87.4 miles per hour. Over the course of his six-year career, he has a 2.48 ERA in 29 innings against us, and a 4.42 ERA against every other team in baseball. He also destroyed us on August 13. The Braves had just one extra- base hit, and it didn’t come until the 9th inning, when it was already 8-1, and David Ross hit a solo shot to cut the Padres’ lead to 8-2. The game was already safely out of reach, because the Pods had scored four runs in the 8th off Chad Durbin and Jonny Venters.

And, oh yeah, Jonny Venters still isn’t right. So I guess you could say there are three horrible things you could use to frame the debacle last night.

161 thoughts on “Padres 8, Braves 2”

  1. I admit that I used to take Tommy Hanson for granted. And now, for different reasons, I do so once again.

    I’ve harped on the non-pitching aspects of Hanson’s game before, and those were certainly on display again yesterday. He looks befuddled, like things just move too fast for him. On the Mount Rushmore of Braves with body language and facial expressions that agitate me, he’d go alongside Garret Anderson, BJ Surhoff, and Yunel.

  2. As I suggested yesterday the Braves should push Teheran’s start to tonight (he would go on regularly scheduled rest). If he has another dominant start, as he has in two of his last three, which have arguable been the best starts of his career, then he can slot right into Hanson’s next scheduled start. If he sucks it up then hold back Delgado instead. It’s not particle physics, Frank.

  3. Bobby Cox would’ve pulled Hanson after that non-play on the dribbler to the mound. You have to think Wren and company took notice. The guy has issues that are not pitching related.

  4. Great. Our offense has gone to hell and our pitching staff has gone to plaid.

    Joe, we have the day off today. Tomorrow happens to be the last day before rosters expand. Any Delgado/ Terehan starts are unlikely until at least Saturday.

  5. Fredi’s comments after the game make it sound like he is willing to give Tommy a few more starts to get it going. Nuts.

  6. Yeah, and sometimes Fredi’s deeds don’t match his words. It’s pretty clear he uses the No Red Meat guiding principle in interviews. Bobby V could take a lesson.

  7. Brian we have an off day today but we will need a fifth starter on Tuesday. There is no way around that. As it happens I see that Gwinnett has now changed there announced starters for today, which is now a doubleheader. Delgado will go in the first game, and I suspect Teheran in the second.
    I fully expect that whichever pitches better will get the ball against the Rockies on Tuesday.

  8. Honestly, they should just bring Delgado back and bury Hanson in the bullpen for the rest of the season.

    In or under, whatever.

    He is so, so frustrating to watch. And I was only half-watching.

  9. In keeping with tradition (only a little different)

    SEC Picks:
    Bama 28- Michigan 10
    Arkansas 52 Jack St. 17
    Auburn 24 Clemson 23
    LSU 32 North Texas 3 (if they play)
    Old Miss 38 Central Arkansas 33 (For Scottie Pippen)
    Miss St. 34 Jackson St. 10
    Texas A&M and La Tech -TBD at a later date

    Florida 40 Bowling Green 3
    Georgia 55 Buffalo 7
    Kentucky 17 Louisville 32
    Missouri 45 SE LA 14
    South Carolina 28 Vandy 17
    Tennessee 34 NC St 31

  10. There’s no point being frustrated by Hanson. He is what he is, probably because of injuries. No one would complain about his “facial expressions” or lack of athleticism if he was pitching well. Lots of great pitchers (e.g., Sandy Koufax) could do nothing but pitch. He isn’t trying to suck.

    Basically, he was potentially a very good pitcher whose career-at least at this point-got derailed because of injuries. End of story. If the Braves keep running him out there, that’s management’s problem.

  11. That’s pretty much my stance on Hanson too, Marc. I get the frustration felt by everyone towards him, but it seems like there’s a collective lack of memory of his first three years when there was legitimate reason to think he could contend for Cy Youngs in his prime. Hanson isn’t Jurrjens, who succeeded with smoke and mirrors for a while before everything crumbled around him – Hanson was really really good and there was every reason to think that should continue until his shoulder started hurting. Hanson’s story is a lot more tragic, and I wish everyone would give him a break because of it.

    That’s not to say that he should still be pitching for the Braves – I think they should shut him down for the rest of the season and either get him some surgery or try to recapture his old delivery with the crazy recoil at the end that gave him a low-mid 90s fastball instead of an upper 80s one. If that leads to more rapid onset of surgery, then fine, because what he’s doing right now isn’t much good for anyone.

  12. Isn’t the frustration borne of the memory of his first three years? Buddy Carlyle, now there’s somebody of whom it could be said there’s no reason for frustration, because he is who he is.

    Marc is right that nobody would care about Hanson’s facial expressions (or, as he dismissively puts it, “facial expressions”) if he was performing well. I’m not sure that’s an argument for ignoring them when he does badly, though. I want him to seem like he’s up to the challenge. We all look at faces and make judgments all day.

  13. Hanson has only pitched 6 complete innings in 4 of his last 12 starts. I was one of the biggest Tommy fans, but I wouldnt be upset to see him go. I just wish these guys wouldnt kill all of their trade value first. If Fredi keeps giving him more starts in Sept and the Braves collapse again, Fredi wont have a job come October. Sheets should be off the DL soon and there is no reason to stay with the 6 man.

  14. I don’t share the negative fascination with Hanson, but it doesn’t bug me that people have one. IMO, there’s nothing wrong with finding certain players particularly annoying.

    Re: SEC games
    Did you know that in Buffalo, NY, the pro team is called the Bills & the college team is called the Bulls?

    For UGA/Buffalo, sorry, that’s all I got.

  15. I don’t share the negative fascination with Hanson, but it doesn’t bug me that people have one. IMO, there’s nothing wrong with finding certain players particularly annoying.

    Poor production leads to negativity.

  16. @24 I was more worried until I saw the interview with the kid who is replacing him. Very sharp, wants to be a doctor, knows the playbook well. I’m hopeful, but they are a wildcard this year, no outcome would surprise me.

  17. He has I think 6 live snaps of college football. I think Robinson will be a very pleasant surprise at tackle, but I think it will be hard for Auburn to score. Defense looks good though – they can definitely win the game, but it will be close if so.

  18. I understand being frustrated with lack of production and I understand the negativity but people often make it into a personal character flaw. People did this with Andruw Jones when he started struggling-he wasn’t serious enough (often smiled after striking out), he didn’t hustle, didn’t care, was too fat (which was true), etc. But people respond to stress, disappointment differently. Hanson’s problem, IMO, is not that he doesn’t show the proper emotion. It’s that, at this point, he just doesn’t have the talent to be a good major league pitcher.

  19. It’s evident the Braves need to do something, whether it be going back to the recoil delivery or him going under the knife. It’s just that people don’t recover from shoulder injuries.

  20. I hope I’ve stopped short of accusing Hanson of not caring. Of course he cares. It’s just…isn’t looking at the people playing the game a part of watching the game?

  21. Delgado had a decent but not great start. 7IP 1R 7H 2BB 5K. Threw 109 pitches. Rained out the second game. Who knows who see on Tuesday. Hell, I’d rather see J. R. Graham than Hanson.

  22. I was wrong about Teheran’s start. The first game just got shortened. Julio is stinking it up again. If anybody, it’s Delgado.

  23. Minor league double hitters are 7 innings. Once they were 9 and 7. Too short a season and not enough arms

  24. He started strong then pretty much stunk it up in the fifth. Ended up giving up 7H and 3BB and 2ER in 6.1 innings. And the third run was only unearned because of his own throwing error. All of that against one of the worst AAA lineups I’ve ever seen. Four guys with OPSes under .650, a .763, a .695, and three other guys with fewer than 20 AAA ABs.

  25. 39—You obviously haven’t watched a lot of VU football games. :)

    41—What makes you think he didn’t see it?

    Anyway, it’s hard to get too worked up about it, given how poorly we played and how little we deserved to win. There for the taking, and we just refused to grab it.

    Lots of room for improvement before next week…

  26. I think I’ve seen this Vandy game before.

    Vandy couldn’t run & Carolina couldn’t pass. Unfortunately, Vandy didn’t stop the run enough. (Props to the Carolina QB.)

    The non-interference call was tough to take. No guarantee they score the TD there, of course, but you wanna see ’em get a legit shot. IMO, however, that regrettable first-half screen pass near the goal line was the game’s biggest play.

  27. Can anybody recommend a good magazine or source that gives preseason assessments of the year’s NFL teams?

    I’ve recently married a woman who loves to watch football and I can’t find a resource that can tell me which teams will be worth following here early in the season.

    Many thanks and Go Braves!

  28. 46—Yeah, that pass was brutal. Just awful. Terrible play-call, terrible decision by Rodgers.

    That said, if our best lineman doesn’t miss his assignment on the play, Stacy’s walking into the endzone untouched.

  29. I had no dog in the fight, but it was an entertaining, if error prone game to watch:

    – Vandy’s D line is tiny. In video game football, you run it every time against that defense.
    – Vandy’s speed really impressed me. If not for 2-3 boneheaded plays, they win the game. It’s obvious they have upped their talent level at least at the skill positions.
    – Shaw is a gamer.
    – So is Lattimore.
    – How do you not sell out your home opener against USC in your most anticipated football season ever? Can we just start calling VU football the Marlins? What about the Grizzlies?

  30. – How do you not sell out your home opener against USC in your most anticipated football season ever?

    OK, a list of (obvious) reasons:

    1. Nashville is not a college town. There are many other things going on. The Titans even had a game last night. Believe it or not, the NFL team is still more popular with the locals than the college team that’s made it to four bowl games in the past sixty years.
    2. VU has made it to four bowl games in the past sixty years. This level of performance does not attract crowds.
    3. It was a Thursday night.
    4. VU has a tiny fanbase, and much of that fanbase (alums) lives around the country/world. If every single alum in the Nashville area came to the game, that would only fill half the stadium. Even the most die-hards have a tough time making it back, especially on a Thursday.

    It was a great crowd, probably 98% full and less than 15% of that being SC fans. The Marlins or Grizzlies (or Braves or Hawks) would kill for that kind of crowd. Keep winning, keep showing the commitment to football, and they’ll keep attracting more of the locals who’ve been turned away by decades of incompetence.

  31. On the Vandy game

    – That SC QB is a man and he’s not even 40.
    – The personal foul caled on the Vandy player was a stupid play and that was the turning point, I thought.
    – There were two missed PI calls (on against each team). THoguht the missed one against Vandy was bigger.
    – Why didn’t SC run the ball in the thrid quarter more?

    I agree with you Stu about the filling the seats. However, I think there were more than 15% SC fans.

    For that game, I think they should have gone to local schools and given away the rest of the tickets just to put butts in the seats.

  32. You know what bothers me about the way the Braves are playing lately? Nats fans have no sense of dread that we’ll make a run at the division, and they don’t care that Strasburg is getting shut down.

  33. Oh, there are plenty of folks here who are very worried that Strasburg will be shut down. I don’t think many folks worry that no Strasburg will mean no pennant since the offense has been carrying the team. But a lot of folks worry that the postseason would be very different without him.

  34. 52—The personal foul wasn’t even clearly a personal foul (he led with the shoulder), so I’m not sure it’s fair to call it “stupid.” And which not-called-PI are you talking about? The one where Ladler was faceguarding? Faceguarding is legal in college, and he never made contact — that’s textbook non-PI.

    And I’m being generous when I say 15% SC fans. It was almost certainly less than that.

    As for turning points, ububba’s right about the game’s biggest play, but I thought it was decided in the third quarter when SC had Dylan Thompson in the game, was refusing to give Lattimore the ball, and we still couldn’t pull away. I think we had eight possessions in SC territory that resulted in only six points. That’s why we lost.

  35. I thought that guy launched himself. That is why they made the call. Ladler grabbed his arm, but I’ll say it was boarder line.

    My brother was there and said at least 25% SC fans. He was shocked.

  36. I was there, too, and your brother’s pretty bad at estimating. SC returned 2K of its 6K ticket allotment, and they did not have 6K walk-up fans. Not close.

    Where is “launching” in the rulebook? It’s a matter of the type and location of contact. I think that call gets made more than not, but it’s definitely subjective. Not stupid of a defender to lead with his shoulder in trying to cause an incompletion in that situation, IMO.

    As for Ladler grabbing an arm, your TV feed must have shown something that mine did not.

  37. The no-call at the end of the game must be maddening for Vandy fans. We get the same treatment in Lexington (ours is usually the holding call when we start to make an SEC Big Boy sweat a little).

    Anyone notice how relatively calm Spurrier was? I don’t think it’s just age.

    I think Spurrier is resigned to the fact that for USC to contend for the SEC title, he has to play a brand of football in which he has scant interest. I don’t think he’s old, I think he’s bored.

    I learned almost nothing from last night’s game. Vandy looks talented but inconsistent and the Gamecocks look to be good-not-great. If Georgia doesn’t win the East this year, they never will.

  38. So we managed 3 runs off of Kelly, Werner, and Stults. Now we get Halladay, Lee, and Hamels. Why do I feel better about that?

  39. #61
    Well, UGA did win the East last year (for the 4th time in the Richt Era).

    This year, we “benefit” from our weakest schedule since the Dooley years. Our D should be very good & I think our QB Murray will grow up some as well, but I’ll wait ’til Week 2 (@ Missouri) before I get any idea of how good we are.

    I think Carolina will be OK. Their D is still really active & it’s going to cause problems for anyone they play.

    If Shaw’s not really hurt, I’ll assume he returns to 2011 form–a run/pass threat. Of course, if they don’t get that passing game going somewhat, Lattimore’s going to take a real beating.

    I see Carolina at 9-3, but if things break right for them, they could win 10 games.

  40. csg did i miss something about sunday’s game. it was slated to be worley but i think he was dl’d but espn still says undecided and hamels going on monday.

    your point is good though, for some reason you like you chances better against these guys than the sd dregs.

  41. Dusty, thats what the title of DOB’s blog said. I didnt read it, but it reads Spoiler alert…halladay, lee, and hamels. I could be wrong though

  42. @63, Clowney is going to be a monster this year.

    OT, the pic of Schultz in the ajc “Sack Schultz” banner ad is truly frightening – crappy corduroy blazer, ill fitting wrinkled khakis, shirt half-tucked and an expression that evokes Trollface with really ill-advised facial hair. Yeesh.

  43. Which can only mean the Braves think Andrelton is due back in our lives very soon. Doubly awesome news.

  44. Same thought bounced around my empty head, Bethany. It’s not a good sign when you give up after the other team scores one run.

  45. At least the AJC has a story that Gonzalez knows who’ll get the blame if the Braves fail again.

    So playoffs or Fredi fired. Win-win.

  46. I’m disappointed that no one is talking about Chipper’s collision. Sure the catcher held on, but it was pretty badass that Chipper collided with the catcher, then tagged home, and just walked off like it was nothing. Man, I’m going to miss him.

  47. #86
    I kinda wish Chipper had tried to slide around the catcher, but that collision’ll probably be in some kind of highlight film.

  48. Unfortunately at this point I think Chipper is so immobile that he had no choice but the collision. Luckily for all involved he wasn’t moving very fast.

    Minor is snake bit.

  49. Bunt single to the statue, then a broken bat blooper. Not exactly a melt down. Just bad luck.

  50. Atta boy Danny!

    @63 – I’m stoked for that game (Mizzou/UGA). Made sure I cleared the weekend so I could be there. Should be a good barometer for both teams. I think you guys have more “talent”, but with it being Mizzou’s first SEC game, the home field should be as crazy as it’s ever been, and our guys have had the date circled for awhile now.

    A group of us are going to the Tennessee game this year, but over the next few years, I want to try to hit up all the SEC stadiums.

    Also, all the SEC fans I’ve (and most of the Mizzou fans I know) encountered have been really hospitable about Mizzou joining the league. I know there are a ton of SEC people on this board, so I just wanted to say it’s been truly appreciated around Missouri. I think we’ll be a real asset in basketball, and like to hope we’ll be competitive in football.

    I should be at most Mizzou home games, so if anyone here ever makes a trip to Columbia, let me know, and you’ll have a friendly tailgate to throw a few down at.

  51. Speaking of D.Lowe, he’s getting tattooed by the O’s in 9th-inning mop-up duty in The Bronx.

    Mark Reynolds has 2 HRs–when he hits ’em they’re pretty Ruthian.

    BTW, after tonight, the Orioles will be only 2 GB the Yanks.

  52. Simmons looked good in that video. Sounds like he’ll be on a rehab assignment on Tuesday.

  53. He definitely should have tried to score. They would have had a play but pitchers rarely seem to make that tag.

  54. A professional at bat? I guess those are the ones he gets paid for, as apposed to the ones he does pro-bono.

  55. Nobody knows what a “professional hitter” is. Remember how Garret Anderson was referred to as one about 1,000 times by Simpson in 2009?

  56. Whatever. The Braves are just playing for a chance to be in a play-in game. It’s not like any of this matters anyway.

  57. Here is why closers are overrated. It’s all nice when Kimbrel blows the side away with a three run lead. But he has shown a disturbing tendency to blow important games with one-run leads. Obviously, any pitcher is going to give up runs, but let’s face it, the only reason to have a dominant closer is to save close games.

    Harold Reynolds said it on MLB and I actually agree with him-if you score five runs off Roy Halladay, you have to win the game. The Nats lost five in a row but then came back and started crushing teams. What do the Braves do? I’m pretty disgusted with this team.

  58. That’s Kimbrel’s 3rd blown save of the year and his first in 6 weeks, if I am reading his game log right. Not sure what more you could ask for.

  59. Well, I could maybe ask not to give up a home run on an 0-2 pitch to a nobody in a one-run game.

  60. It also sucks that out of those two losses in this year’s record when leading after seven innings, both of them were from Kimbrel giving up a homer like this, if memory serves.

  61. Kimbrels’ HR/9 rate is a Rivera-esque .3 – it happens.

    Exceptionally rarely, as in 6 times ever in 146 ip, but it happens.

  62. ububba,

    Would you mind refreshing my memory about the particulars of the Jim Harrick academic fraud issues? There’s a point to this.

    Thanks.

  63. Well, I guess this is what happens when you draft guys because they are “signable” rather than because they are good. (Minor)

  64. Good grief. Minor is 24 and has shown signs that he will be very good–probably as early as next year. Had the Braves gone with the higher upside Tyler Matzek, whom many here were calling on them to draft, the pick would have been a debacle. In the end, the team just lost last night because Kimbrel blew a save. It happens. It says nothing about closers, or draft strategies, or the team’s hitting–it just happens.

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