Braves 9, Phillies 2 (by Stu)

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – April 03, 2013 – ESPN

I mean, isn’t baseball just the best, y’all?

Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, and Evan Gattis each homered, and the Braves moved to 2-0, keeping JonathanF’s prediction alive for another day. The one from Gattis was particularly special, because (a) El Oso Blanco, and (b) his father was being interviewed on the TV broadcast as the ball was being sent over the left-field wall. Just a really neat moment.

It wasn’t all pretty — the weather was nasty; the Phillies had nine hits; the Atlanta’s defense was shaky, at times; Christhian Martinez and BJ Upton were particularly ineffective at their assigned tasks; and the Braves struck out 16 times — but the game was never really in doubt, either, and it’s hard to complain about much when your lineup knocks Roy Halladay out of the game in the 4th and sees 184 pitches in eight innings.

The Braves, looking to complete the opening-series sleep sweep tomorrow night, will send Medlen to the mound to square off against against Cliff Lee. Baseball!

Author: Stu

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I've been married since July 17, 2004 to my beautiful wife, who also doubles as my best friend. We have an almost-three-years-old Boston Terrier named Lucy who's also pretty awesome. My wife and I both graduated from Vanderbilt University in May of 2004. I graduated from Law School at the University of Georgia in May of 2007 and am now practicing in Nashville, Tennessee. I really, really love the Atlanta Braves.

91 thoughts on “Braves 9, Phillies 2 (by Stu)”

  1. I feel like Fred Freeman may be rad as well. The speed and talent of the three guys in front of him in conjunction with the way he’s swinging the bat bodes really really well for my fantasy team. 120 RBI’s seems reasonable.

  2. Don Sutton referred to Kris Medlen as a “new daddy” on post game radio. May I suggest that as his new nickname?

    I like K-Med. I like Med Dog. New Daddy Med-Dog has a music sound to it.

  3. 19 hits, 6 being HR, and 9 walks through 2 games. I’ll take it! I’ll also take a 3.50 era from the staff!

  4. If Simpson’s commentary tonight is any guide, he’s eagerly awaiting a cold streak in the offense to rant about how they’re striking out too much and it’s killing them.

  5. Well, that was fun. The only thing that would have made Gattis’ HR better would have been security leading the fan who got the ball straight over to Gattis’ dad.

    I thought Gattis framed pitches pretty well, though it bugs me that he doesn’t often show the pitcher an open-mitt target. His discomfort (jitters, I’m sure) showed a couple of times in the odd details — he almost forgot to check with the third base ump on a check swing, and there was a bit of a standoff between him and Maholm on who would get a ball that popped out of his glove and rolled back towards the mound (that’s your ball, catcher).

  6. Just got back from the Ted. Other than the unending rain and the ridiculously cold-for-Atlanta-in-April temperature, I’d definitely classify this one as the most fun game I’ve been to. When Oso Blanco first hit that ball, everyone leapt to their feet in excitement, and then our collective heart sank for a moment when we saw the trajectory of the ball (we all thought it was popped up too high and would die at the warning track), but then the ball cleared the yellow line and we went completely apeshit. What an amazing moment for Evan and his family. J-Up’s homer was a thing of beauty too–such a short swing, but it flew like it was shot out of a cannon.

  7. Just got back from Yankee Stadium where I saw some really bad baseball in windy, 30-degree weather. Time for the good ol’ Braves replay…

  8. Still feeling a high from the game last night, what a fun game.

    Remember, Auburn got through an NCAA investigation after the NC. Either all this happened and they didn’t care, or it’s just some former players making a few bucks for “sharing their stories”.

  9. Don’t really care much about what happened two years ago. All I care about is that Auburn is the front runner to finishing last in all three major sports this academic year and that makes me smile. A triple crown, of sorts.

  10. Also, let it be known that I will likely be owning one of these very soon, and I will likely be wearing it to the Braves Journal gathering in July.

  11. As the Cassandra of this hallowed place, I’m currently having myself lashed for being so daggone giddy after only two games.

    But, dayam!, this is encouraging.

    And how about Maholm?

  12. It’s difficult to care about the cesspool of college football at this moment of infinite possibility for the hometown nine.

    @17

    You’re right, Maholm should not be forgotten in the general giddiness over the offense. Nice work by him.

  13. So if Gattis was to be on fire when McCann returns, he’d still be benched right? The Braves wouldn’t let themselves have a $12,000,000 backup catcher.

  14. I actually didn’t think Maholm had much last night, but he kept runs off the board, so that was nice.

  15. @19, the 12M is spent, regardless of whether McCann starts or sits. I am not sure what you do in that situation, but I certainly would hope they wouldn’t let salary make the decision.

  16. If El Oso Blanko is on fire and McCann is ready, you may have a platoon.

    Let’s not forget, a healthy McCann is an all star calliber player.

  17. I see Maholm broke out that slow curve last night. He buckled some knees with it in Spring Training this year also. Wren hasn’t gotten enough credit for that trade.

  18. Think the folks withholding credit are waiting to see what Vizcaino does when he starts pitching again.

  19. The records for strikeouts in a season is 1,529 by Arizona in 2010

    The Braves are on pace for 1,944

    The Astros are on pace for 2,322

  20. Anybody concerned about El Oso Blanco’s mild hot-dogging of that homer? First HR in the second AB in the bigs, I don’t know that a ” rel=”nofollow”>bat flip was necessary. Maybe an in-the-moment kind of thing, I dunno.

  21. @27 Gattis should would’ve looked silly/stupid if Brown had caught his flyball… but on the other hand, he didn’t, and the legend of Oso Blanco grows.

  22. @27- Personally, I wasn’t impressed by it. If I’m to be intellectually honest, I hate 8 some-odd year veteran Cody Ross’s bat-flipping, so I have to frown on Gattis doing it on his first ML homer.

    BUT, as a Braves fan, as entitled to construct my own narrative as anyone else, I feel it wasn’t a “I am just amazing,” kind of thing, and more a “this just keeps getting better” kind of thing. Gattis seems pretty grounded, and the whole team seems to love him. The guys Twitter avatar was a picture of his old JanPro janitor ID badge hanging in his locker. Seems like a guy who knows where he’s been, and thus appreciates exactly where he is.

    He ain’t Jordan Schafer.

  23. Gio Gonzalez on pitching in cold weather….

    “It was definitely difficult. I felt like I was making love to my hand.”

  24. And yes, the bat flip was a bit disappointing.

    On McCann…if Gattis continues to hit well and catches adequately, shopping McCann, especially considering he’ll likely walk for nothing, seems smart.

  25. @25

    Maholm provided dependable innings at a crucial juncture of the season, and helped us get into the “postseason”. Getting exactly what you need when you need it is an awfully big chunk of what makes for a successful transaction. Alexander-for-Smoltz is the fearful analogue, of course, but you can’t paralyze yourself presuming all your good prospects are future Hall of Famers, right? I’m putting it in the win column now, especially should he serve out the remainder of his contract in health and an ERA somewhere in the threes.

  26. 27—“Concerned” is way too strong, but I definitely noticed it.

    33—Oh, I completely agree and have publicly called it a good deal since the day it was made. Just saying, I don’t think anyone who’s failing to credit Wren for the deal is doing so because they’re disappointed in the performances of Maholm and Johnson.

  27. I think there’s virtually no chance that McCann will sit for Gattis. Nor do I think there should be any chance, unless McCann is clearly Not Right, with the shoulder still bothering him and sapping his production. McCann has got the track record, and you don’t shop your All-Star catcher in a season where you’re going for a title.

  28. If you’re winning, Gattis is holding his own, and you know you’re not resigning McCann next year, you absolutely shop your All-Star catcher, IMO. Enormous “ifs,” especially the second one, but still.

  29. I hear what you’re saying — and I love McCann and don’t wanna lose him — but if your plan is to let him sign elsewhere in the offseason, you’re going to make the fans sad at some point, anyway, so you should get something for him while you can. One of the toughest things about being a mid-market team.

  30. McCann is every expendable, but I doubt you could get much for him given the contract situation. We’ll definitely give him the everyday job when he’s back healthy – but who knows when/if that will be the case. Meanwhile, Gattis can catch every fifth day and play 1B once a week. Hopefully that’s enough to keep him sharp. I see no reason to keep that bat at AAA.

  31. Yeah, he’s gotten some work in the OF too so Gattis could still play 3-4 times a week, the question would be, would we let him be that guy and keep Laird instead of Schafer? I would so Fredi wouldn’t have to worry about using Gattis to PH.

  32. Gattis won’t be this good all year. He’ll definitely play behind McCann. I just hope he shows enough to be considered the starter behind the plate next year.

    Also, he’s a catcher, so even if he’s a backup, it’s not like he’ll be sitting every game. He’s right handed, too.

  33. @38 – the question is, what could you get? That’s a trade you make if you’re out of contention, but if you’re in it, hell, you’d probably trade a prospect for an expiring contract veteran anyway, so maybe not trading McCann counts as making that type of trade by omission.

    I can only think of two positions that warrant going out and looking for an upgrade on the market on this team: 3B and SP. Doubt anyone’s trading a blue-chipper at either of those positions for a rental catcher, so I say we treat this as a very nice problem to have and one that will be very useful when the injury bug inevitably hits in midsummer. Then worry about 2014 after we’ve determined if any banners are hanging for 2013.

  34. Can anyone give any example of a team shopping one of their starting position players when that team is favored to make the postseason? Selling a veteran is a move you make when you’re falling out of it and want to get some prospects. I suppose there’s no reason in principle why you couldn’t shop McCann as part of a package to upgrade at third base, except that… teams just don’t do it. Not expecting Frank Wren to start setting trends in unconventional transactions.

  35. The thing about the bat flip is that he did it even though the ball barely crossed the fence. I remember Br*t B**ne doing that all the time, thinking that one day he was really going to look like a horse’s ass. (Moreso than Roidy McBraces already did by default, mind you.)

    But whatever, I thought it was a cool moment, good for him.

    There’s really nothing worth watching about the Phillies right now. Old, diminished power, mostly slow. Just kinda going through the motions out there. W.C.G. and I were at the game last night and came to the conclusion that if they’re pretty much out of it at the break- and they likely will be, IMO- they’ll hit the auto-destruct button. Says here in the ledger that the Eagles are a laughingstock and the Sixers are built around a guy who’ll never play for them, so it’s nice to see Philly sports return back to that dust.

  36. 44—I have to think it’ll be a Gattis-vs.-Schafer decision, if everyone’s healthy. Don’t think the guy to whom they gave a two-year deal is going anywhere.

    47—Yeah, that’s always the question in making a trade…

    (I realize the Braves are not trading McCann. I think an unwillingness to even shop him would be a mistake, though.)

  37. The bat flip doesn’t bother me at all – not from Gattis or anyone else. It was almost a very humbling moment though – I think on a normal night that ball is 15 rows into the stands, but in the cold/wind/rain it became a wall scraper.

  38. I have a feeling that BJ’s body language will end up being the subject of more debate than Gattis’….

  39. 53- I’m internally weighing how long it’ll take before “BJ Doesn’t Care” becomes the meme-of-choice.

  40. BJ is going to be the focal point of the sabr-strikeouts-aren’t-a-big-deal debate…speaking of which, that debate has always seemed kinda funny to me. It doesn’t take much insight to realize that if you K a lot but also have great power and draw your share of walks then you are still valuable, but if you K a lot and you don’t hit for power or walk much then you just suck.

    BJ is going to K a lot. The rest of it…I dunno. I’m hopeful.

  41. BJ seems to have a serious hitch in his swing. I’m guessing it has always been there but it is still somewhat concerning.

  42. And he’s homered in every game in which he’s played, so if Fredi would just play him more, he’d get more than that.

  43. Gattis still has some bat-flippin’ work to do. The one 10 seconds in the video might be the most awkward, awesome bat flip in history!

  44. I was very pleased to have seen that Gattis homerun. That it happened during an interview with his dad was truly special. Was it his dad that said, “there he goes?”

  45. The Mariners’ marketing staff has always delivered the goods. Here’s one of my favorites from 2001:

  46. 81 homeruns will be nice from Gattis.. but it won’t touch Freddie Freeman’s season when he finishes up at .719 with 81 HR 486 RBI

  47. @48 – The example that comes to mind is the Red Sox trading Nomar in 2004.

    Worked out for that team, but I don’t think there’s any chance Braves move McCann.

  48. Clearly I’m in the distinct minority here, but I thought it kinda sucked that Gattis’ family was being interviewed and having to answer mind-numbingly stupid questions while their kid hit his first HR. I’d be like, can’t you leave me alone until the pitcher’s hitting or something.

    Actually thought the whole broadcast was pretty awful last night (some of it due to conditions obviously) but bad audio, bad camera angles on two HRs (the shot of the Gattis HR was obstructed by a player directly in front of a camera at one point. And of course Chip and Joe.

    Still really excited about this club but I’m also reminded that that Washington team is really good to and one of us will most likely be destined for the Selig game.

  49. To be fair to Gattis, it sure sounded like a no-doubter at first. The wind and rain and cold were crazy last night. I’m sure the ball would’ve been several rows deep if not for the weather.

  50. In fairness to Gattis, the wind was definitely knocking down the ball. All three HR’s barely got out. “I thought i killed that ball” was Gattis’ quote after the game, and Heyward’s HR definitely looked like a goner that wound up nearly being (probably should have been) caught by Mayberry.

    //or what fm said.

  51. Kinda makes Jupton’s oppo-no doubter more impressive. :-o

    But I agree with Gattis. With that swing he put on it, I’d thought he’d crushed it. I also agree with @69. I was like, “Just leave them alone!” after they kept interviewing the data for 5 minutes after the HR. Let them enjoy the moment in peace.

    And what if he’d struck out during the interview? Yeesh. How awkward.

  52. Gattis shows some raw talent with the bat flip, but he has some work to do if he’s going to become Kleskoian out there. I was a bit disappointed with a mere 1-4 night.

  53. You’ll never get predictable trends if you don’t keep interviewing the data, man.

  54. @76 a line drive with back spin hit into the wind will go farther in the air. It actually flies like an airplane.

  55. Nomar may end up being a pretty good point of reference for McCann. The front office has already alienated McCann to some degree, and if McCann lets his current situation with the team get to him enough to affect his play, I don’t think the team would hesitate to give him the Nomar treatment — more subtly than is done in Boston, but the Nomar treatment just the same. Which would be a sad ending to things.

  56. But…. airplanes don’t have backspin. :-(

    Or does the ball’s rotation mean the air above the ball moves faster than the air below it?

    But doesn’t that just create lift? I would imagine the air moving against it would still make it slow down faster.

  57. I love McCann as a player as much as anyone (maybe) but you don’t drop midmarket cash into aging catchers unless they give you the home team discount. If they could move Uggla then you might take a chance on McCann, but if it comes down to keeping Heyward and the younger Upton, you shake hands and let him go play in New York.

  58. Backspin creates lift which keeps it aloft longer, but headwinds do not help the aerodynamics of either airplanes or baseballs.

  59. @83: Some articles have suggested his benching in favor of David Ross in game 163 was the so-called first-stone being thrown.

  60. If benching him when his shoulder is hamburger and he’s hitting like Corky Miller is a “stone being thrown” then throw more stones. He’s a baseball player, paid millions of dollars to perform. He’s not a four year who gets a participation trophy just for showing up.

  61. @80 and 82. The lift from the backspin keeps the line drive in air. The longer air time allows it to reach seats. Air planes take off into wind because they can leave ground easier. The air speed is higher than ground speed. Aircraft carriers go upwind to allow planes to take off and land easier. Line drives hit with top spin hit ground quicker for same reason. Fly ball hit with top spin just die softly.

  62. It’s short notice, but I’ve had a rough week (inclusive of time spent in Piedmont’s cardiac labs) and, having survived to troll another day, have declared April 5 to be “Sam’s Not Dead Day” world wide. I will be at 5 Seasons Westside in Atlanta tomorrow night, starting around 630, hefting glasses with my wife and hopefully some friends or three.

    Feel free to drop by if you’re in the area.

  63. @ 82. I was explaining why head wind hurt fly balls the most. They keep line drives in air longer so they go over fence and not off fence.

  64. Do you rember me ? I’m little zig . My grandpa chats on here . I changed my name to my real name ethan . I’m getting into sports too . Braves won by 7 last night ? They beat the smoke out of the phillies !

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