Tomorrow It Will Still Be Yesterday In Northern California Game Thread, May 9

The Braves are in San Francisco, which means that tonight’s game will be very very late, and by the time the game is over, it will be May 10 here on the East Coast, while the fools over there will still think it’s May 9. And they think they’re on the cutting edge! Technology ain’t worth a damn if it can’t tell you what day it is, bub.

142 thoughts on “Tomorrow It Will Still Be Yesterday In Northern California Game Thread, May 9”

  1. Incidentally, it sounds like Jason Heyward is pretty close to being game ready:

    Heyward struck out twice against Carpenter, swinging in the first — taking a hearty cut on a 2-2 fastball on the outside edge — and looking in the fourth. In between, he hit a soft grounder to second base in the second inning. While he was thrown out, 4-1, on the play, he erased any question about his ability to run by going hard out of the box and making the play close at first, nearly beating Wright to the bag.

  2. Our lineup this evening:

    Success rf, Simmons ss, JUpton lf, Freeman 1b, Uggla 2b, McCann c, BUpton cf, Francisco 3b, Teheran p.

  3. @2, I think Chipper’s pretty much joined by everyone in the world in this particular circumstance. Joe Torre in the MLB office issued a statement acknowledging that the call was wrong. I can’t imagine that he enjoys having to acknowledge that the umpires screwed up an call that was completely obvious from the replay.

  4. If Selig had an ounce of respect for the office of commissioner he would have overturned the call and had the game replayed. But apparently the job of commissioner is to brush any negative attention under the rug until everyone forgets about it so all of his cocktail party buddies don’t lose any money.

  5. But apparently the job of commissioner is to brush any negative attention under the rug until everyone forgets about it so all of his cocktail party buddies don’t lose any money.

    Well, yes. That’s exactly what it is.

  6. It’s funny how Laird and Johnson become redundant with the development of Success and Gattis. It’s not supposed to be so easy.

  7. It won’t be. At some point over the summer, someone else will get injured. The one certainty in baseball is that a strength can turn into a weakness incredibly quickly. Fortunately, we’re starting to look like a team with reasonable depth. So it’s a good thing that Success, Laird, and Johnson are all getting their hacks in.

  8. @10 You are right, but I sure don’t want to see one of McCann, Freeman, Uptons and Heyward getting hurt for an extended period. Especially BJ. We are paying him $15m. I want him to be good.

    Or Fredi can employ a very aggressive resting schedule on his regulars so that Schafer and Gattis can have sufficient at-bats…which is a good thing to do considering the long season.

  9. On the subject of depth, according to Bowman Venters threw off a mound today but felt “discomfort” and stopped after 10 pitches. That is not what the bullpen needs to hear.

  10. It’s also likely that Schafer and Gattis will not remain excellent. In Schafer’s case there is a much longer track record suggesting that he can’t hit, and once the league adjusts to his newfound patience, he’ll have to be able to hit consistently. In Gattis’s case, he has to show that he can readjust now that the league has begun to adjust to him; his first two weeks still far outstrip the past three.

    Then again, I’m good with Reed Johnson going away. Laird unfortunately isn’t going anywhere.

  11. Uggla’s resurgence (if sustainable) adds a great deal to that perception of depth. As does the daily presence of Freddie Freeman, who is suddenly my favorite Brave.

  12. Actually, as a friend pointed out to me today, Schafer has shown very good ability to walk in the majors — his 10.8% walk rate in 947 major league PA is well above average. The real issue with him was that he struck out too much. So the question is, has he actually cut down on his strikeouts?

  13. @12 That’s such a wonderful news.

    @14 The presence of Laird allows Gattis to get more pinch hit at bats.

    @16 If he is indeed shortening his swing and changing his batting approach, I think it can happen.

  14. Meanwhile, Andrelton Simmons is currently the best shortstop in baseball; and it looks like he’s trying to get better, e.g., working with JUpton in the cage during a rainout.

  15. @8

    I guess I’m still just naive and idealistic then. I think it would be kind of neat if the commissioner used their authority to fix problems rather than ignore them. Like, maybe setting a precedent that players determine the outcome of games, not a group of good ol’ boy blowhards dressed in blue. Especially not ones that have a history of being bad at their jobs.

    Oh well. So it goes, c’est la vie, que sera sera, and all that.

  16. Andrew Zimbalist wrote a good book about the nature of the commissioner’s office in baseball, “In the Best Interests of Baseball?: The Revolutionary Reign of Bud Selig.” Basically, he argues that the role of the office of commissioner is to align the interests of the two major stakeholders in baseball, the owners and the players, so that both can benefit from a good business. The fans don’t have a seat at that bargaining table. Selig’s job is to keep the players and owners happy. The fans are not at the top of his priority list.

  17. MLB Extra Innings on Comcast indicates the Braves/Giants game is supposed to be televised, but it ain’t bein’ televised. Anyone?

    Never mind. They must have been late picking up the feed, but I just got to see strike 3 on Justin. AWeSEOME!!!

  18. Unfortunately for Giants fans, San Francisco’s pizzerias are evidently smarter than Cincinnati’s.

  19. Just a reminder: Vogelsong has the highest ERA among all qualifying major league starting pitchers.

  20. I don’t know if maybe Buster Posey is the absolute worst at framing pitches, or what, but Gameday says Francisco saw a bunch of close pitches, and my eyes told me Vogelsong came no where near with any of the 5…

  21. Wow, Posey is a dick. Stands up and walks off before a call. Gutless/clueless umpire just gives it to him out of confusion.

  22. Well, to be fair, sometimes the umpire will call it verbally before gesticulating. Like a “Yes it is!” or a “Yeah he did!”

  23. That’s true, but something about the look he gave over to Posey and Freddie’s reaction makes me think that didn’t happen. Could be wrong.

    Perhaps I just want to believe Posey is a dick. He was out, after all.

  24. I could really get used to this new Dan Uggla we’ve seen over the last week or two.

  25. You’d think that if Schafer leads off EVERY OTHER INNING we’d be scoring a few runs..

  26. At least Teheran will not need to lead off the next inning…

    @52 That’s a great sign of improvement. I am encouraged.

  27. Incidentally, that pitch on the Posey home run might have been the worst curve ball of all-time.

  28. I would love to see statistics on how many reviewed plays Angel Hernandez’s crew has overturned over the years. I think there’s a 50-50 chance that he just has his crew stand in the hallway for two minutes never looking at a replay and then they come back out and automatically stick with their original call.

  29. @58, that’s awful. That’s not an obscure rule, that’s a very well-known rule. It’s hard for me to comprehend how none of the umpires on the field was able to enforce that rule during the game.

    I think part of the problem is that the crew chief has too much leeway to be wrong. I’d like to see a greater culture of empowering the three other umpires to overrule the crew chief when they all agree that the chief is wrong. This isn’t a judgment call. It’s one of the most unambiguous rules in the rulebook.

  30. @58

    Well, that’ll be interesting. If Houston wins that game, how can MLB not uphold the protest and force a replay from that spot? By rule, they almost have to.

    EDIT: Upon looking up the score, I’m disappointed to find that the Angels have come back to take the lead in the eighth.

  31. @61 Yeah, no excuse for an umpire not to know that rule. Decentralizing power from the crew chief might help, though I don’t know if it’s viable. Someone has to have a final say. MLB just needs to get serious about enforcing competence. Serious question, has an umpire even been fired simply for being bad?

  32. They were talking about us having two triples in the same inning, and he said something to the effect of: Well I don’t know about the same inning, but I know some members of my family who’ve had two triples in the same night.

  33. I didn’t hear anything funny beyond a crack at his dad — something like “The Braves have two triples in this inning and some people in my family have done better than that.” Actually, as long as he doesn’t do his voice imitations of his father and grandfather I’m not disgusted. But it’s not up to his dad’s level.

  34. Eventually, someone’s going to have to explain to me how it’s beyond the pale for Skip Caray’s son to do a voice imitation of him. All other issues with Chip’s announcing aside, you’d think that if anyone is “allowed” to do an imitation of Skip, it would be his son.

  35. Here’s the thing, Nick. First, the imitation is atrocious. Second, someone who only has a job because of his father should go easy on alluding to it. But I haven’t heard him do it yet this year, so I’m giving it a pass at the moment — maybe somebody talked to him about it.

    Or, to put it another way… did you ever hear Skip imitate *his* father?

  36. I pay for MLB Gameday so I can listen to the radio broadcast precisely for the reason that I don’t have to listen to Chip.

    Turn up the computer speakers, mute the TV, listen to Jim Powell and Don Sutton while watching the game. Best of both worlds

  37. Teheran fields his position reasonably well and appears to be a pretty good hitter for a pitcher. His game on the mound is still progressing, but it’s nice to see that he’s actually a reasonable athlete. (Unlike, say, Tommy Hanson.)

  38. @90

    All I’m saying is that I’m inclined to let people honor their deceased fathers in whatever way they see fit.

  39. So I just looked at our lineup’s slash lines, and I’m pleasantly surprised. If they all kept up their current rates for the entire season, I’d be satisfied with almost everyone’s production. McCann would need to get the OBP up, and BJ’s line still looks dreadful, but Simba and Uggla are now hitting within my expectations, and Juan’s doing better than I expected.

  40. @86, Something about his dad and a couple of triples in an inning. It was pretty endearing.

    I thought it was funny, anyway.

  41. The one and only redeeming quality Chip has, in my opinion, is that he causes me to think about Skip more often than I otherwise might. So in that sense, let him bring him up as often as he likes. I don’t care if the jokes are funny or the impression is any good.

  42. It looked to me like he took an inside-out swing in order to beat the shift. That’s not too easy to do. Ask Brian McCann.

  43. Couple that with his one handed top-spin lob on that breaking ball, and he’s looked like Tony Gwynn tonight!

  44. Hell of a night by Julio. He over-threw some, and he made some mistakes; a couple hanging breaking balls and a couple of fastballs that drifted back over the plate. And it seemed like every single mistake got spanked. But he didn’t cave after early trouble like he would have last year. And he was pretty efficient, too.

  45. Honestly, I would have rather seen Teheran go one more inning — or at least get one batter to see if he could — than EOF.

  46. Yeah when he began the 7th with 80 some pitches, I thought they could maybe get 8 out of him. But going in to the 8th with 96 pitches thrown, top of the order due up…

    I’m a believer that if you’re going to send a guy out there “on a short leash,” ie, you’re going to pull him if he allows a baserunner, then just pull him. If you’re going to use O’Flaherty anyway, let him start clean and get three outs rather than only have to get two, but have to do it with a man on second.

  47. @109

    Might just be confirmation bias on my part, but somehow I don’t recall him ever having more than one strikeout in an appearance against the Giants. In one of his appearances against them last year (when he was striking out pretty much everyone, of course), he didn’t have any. I think their hitters just happen to be good at making contact against him; luckily, they can’t do anything with it when they do.

  48. With another solid start by Teheran, we can safely say he is here to stay. Our rotation is solid enough that we will win many games this season….assuming our bullpen can hold leads.

    While I am a little concerned with Craig, I will wait until summer before making conclusion. Once summer comes, I think the Ks and the velocity will be back.

    Tonight is a very solid game all around.

  49. I think the swing JUpton put on the pitch he hit to right center for a triple may be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

    @23 – yes. Sadly so, but yes.

  50. So, when Beachy comes back around the ASB, do we pull a MedDog on him and stick him in the pen for the rest of the year to let him ease his way in?

    (I say yes, btw).

  51. @24 Basically every argument from fans about the DH is that it makes the game “more exciting” and people who don’t like baseball whine that it’s “too boring.” I don’t want either group having any kind of input as to how baseball is run. I’ll take an infield fly rule debacle a few times a year and a stupid rule about the ASG over fundamental distortions to the game of baseball.

    Listened to the game last night as I slept. I came to for McCann’s homer, Buster’s homer, then the bottom of the 9th. Watched the condensed game this morning. McCann looked incredible and so did Uggla, and good for Teheran that he was able to settle in and keep the Giants under control after the homer.

  52. I set my DVR for extended play and it replied “Success!” The machines are big fans of Jordan.
    Uggla made a Simmonseque play and now swings a big bat. We need someone with range in right field in San Fran. Not a good place for Gattis to play outfield. FWIW BJ is looking better at bat. 3-1 road trip from Hell against teams with 2 of the best six records in National league.
    Ball parks dictate different games in Cincinnati and San Fran.

  53. No one thought 3B platoon could replace a Hall of Famer, even one who is 40. Small sample size, but good approaches from both.

  54. “If Selig had an ounce of respect for the office of commissioner he would have overturned the call and had the game replayed. ”

    Does Selig even have the authority to do that? Being Commissioner is not a plenipotentiary position; he can’t just do anything he wants. As I understand, they can overturn calls based on a misinterpretation of the rules; I have no idea if Selig could overturn a judgement call. There are rules after all. People keep bitching about Selig as if he is king of baseball but he’s not. Plus, once you start overturning judgement calls, no matter how egregious, where does it stop? I get tired of the constant whining about Selig as if other Commissioners had some Solomonic wisdom to decide on the best course for the game.

    The problems with the umpiring are obvious but the solutions are not so easy. Selig has to deal with a variety of interested parties, such as the umpires’ union; he can’t just unilaterally decide the umpires suck and fire them or replace them with some sort of computerized system. He isn’t Roger Goodell, who seemingly has unlimited powers in the NFL-and often uses them unwisely IMO.

  55. I think the harder test is yet to come here in SF. With their other starters, you’re not cashing in any 4-run 5ths.

    But it’s amazing what a little more length to the lineup can do.. A healthy McCann and a warmed over Uggla and we’re hot before you even notice.

    Without two big meltdowns from Kimbrel, we’re riding a 6 game winning streak. Obviously, if you changed one thing in every game, you’d have a 50 game winning streak, but, it just illustrates how suddenly the lineup is clicking.

    The names on the jerseys, man. We’ve got a BUNCH of guys who can carry a team for a week at a time. We don’t have to click on all cylinders to win in bunches.

  56. Speaking of the condensed game on the MLB app:

    I invite anyone who appreciates a good Buster Keaton-esque comedy scene to watch the Giants half of the 9th inning–no, I’m not referring to anything our guys did in the field; Uggla was very, very good that inning.
    It’s the ground rule double / fan interference play. The guy with the striped bloomers and the baffled expression.

    Truly great wordless theatre.

  57. @111, 114 – That was a nice start last night by Teheran, but even taking into account yesterday’s game, his 2013 line is 4.84 ERA / 1.53 WHIP. I think better days are ahead – he’s got a crazy-high BABIP and HR/FB right now that should come down – but he’ll likely need to push his K rate from current levels (sub-Hudson) up a bit to firmly establish himself.

    I just checked, and overall the Braves haven’t gotten many Ks from their starting rotation at all – 6.9 K / 9 IP (20th in MLB). Our starters’ ERA of 3.53 is so low primarily due to a .266 BABIP, 2nd best in baseball (thanks Andrelton!).

  58. “Andrew Zimbalist wrote a good book about the nature of the commissioner’s office in baseball, “In the Best Interests of Baseball?: The Revolutionary Reign of Bud Selig.” Basically, he argues that the role of the office of commissioner is to align the interests of the two major stakeholders in baseball, the owners and the players, so that both can benefit from a good business. The fans don’t have a seat at that bargaining table. Selig’s job is to keep the players and owners happy. The fans are not at the top of his priority list.”

    This strikes me as rather naive. I’m not sure what’s so shocking about this. Isn’t this the way corporate America operates anyhow? Because they call them “commissioners” people have this idea that they somehow are there to look out for the interests of the game in general, but that’s obviously never been the case. CEOs are worried about making money for the shareholders; consumers are important only to the extent that you obviously need them to buy the product but corporations certainly don’t put customers above the interests of the shareholders. Why would baseball (or any sport) be any different? Fans will always be there and there will always be demand for the product. It’s obvious that the Commissioners of all the sports are hired by the team owners to safeguard their interests and make the sport more profitable for them. I also question Zimbalist’s conclusion that Selig is trying to align the interests of the players with the owners. To the extent he does this, it’s because the player’s union is strong enough to give themselves a place at the table-unlike the unions in other sports.

  59. Selig is Supreme Dictator of MLB and solely responsible for all that is currently wrong with it:

    •The DH rule
    •Stadiums with roofs
    •Unbalanced schedule
    •Interleague play
    •Expanded wild card
    •Sam Holbrook

  60. @123: I think Selig is getting better. Selig was responsible for Dan Kolb, and now he’s gone.

  61. I’m actually rather disappointed that the Angels came back to win that game last night, meaning they’ll drop the protest and MLB won’t have to deal with the mess. I’m guessing MLB just won’t comment on it at all now, which is a shame, because I’m really curious how the hell five people who’ve worked in baseball all their lives and have reached the top of their profession, four of whom have the job of applying the rules fairly and accurately, could possibly be confused about that rule.

  62. @125

    I don’t understand how the Umpires Union is so strong. I remember when they striked and he fired a bunch of them.

    He should fire about 1/3 of them now.

  63. I don’t think he technically fired them. He just didn’t renegotiate a new contract with them after they pulled the stunt of “retiring”.

  64. I don’t really know if the current union is strong or not; the old union was dissolved after the failure of their mass resignation stunt and this new one formed thereafter. But strong or not, like almost every union the WUA sees it as their job to protect the most incompetent among them. Which is great for Angel Hernandez, but terrible for the game of baseball.

  65. @122 et al — I think this conversation needs to take into account what the office of the Commissioner of Baseball was designed to be.

    As anyone who’s seen John Sayles’s film “Eight Men Out” will remember (and if you haven’t, go do it RIGHT THIS SECOND), the position of Commissioner was created by the owners following the Black Sox scandal of 1919. They did so in the hopes that it might ward off Congressional antitrust legislation that might have forced Major League Baseball to conduct its business by the same rules as every other industry in America (thus being subject, for example, to laws against owner collusion). The owners approached retired judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, a jurist perceived in some quarters as having unimpeachable integrity, to take the position, hoping his age would make him easy to manipulate.

    Landis was both wilier and less malleable than they expected, however. Comprehending the owners needed him and the imprimatur of respectability and trustworthiness he would lend their sport more than he needed their money, Landis countered their offer of a fixed-term position accountable to them with one of his own: the Commissioner would be all-powerful, would be accountable to no one, and would hold the position for life, if he so chose. The owners, desperate at the thought of losing a) their stranglehold on the nation’s sporting dollar and b) their freedom to exercise that clout in whatever manner they liked without fear of Federal interference, took Landis’s deal. Major League Baseball retained the inexplicable anti-trust exemption it still enjoys today, and Kennesaw Mountain Landis became the first Commissioner of Baseball.

    Naturally, Landis hadn’t been in office two seconds before the owners started scheming. If they couldn’t rid themselves of this new proctor, they could at least chip away bit by bit at his power over them. After Landis, it wasn’t long before they started installing commissioners they felt fairly certain would be more amenable to their way of looking at things. And in the early 1990s, after the death of Commssioner Bart Giamatti (father of actor Paul) and early signs of feisty independence from the next commissioner they chose, Fay Vincent, Bud Selig organized what amounted to a coup, persuaded the other owners to throw out Vincent on no solid grounds, and “reluctantly” accepted the job of commissioner on an interim basis until a suitable replacement might be found.

    That was over 20 years ago. At some point, Selig stopped pretending he had any intention of turning over the job to someone else. Even now, having claimed he was planning to step down at least three times, he has yet to put any machinery in motion for that to happen.

    During his reign, Selig has unquestionably overseen an huge expansion of the economic value of the leagues and the franchises therein, and promoted a number of innovations of his choice some of which have been hits with consumers (interleague play, expanded playoffs) and some of which have not (determining home field advantage on the basis of who wins an exhibition game in July). A passionate fan of the then-Milwaukee Braves as a young man, he has also managed to effect on two different occasions realignment forcing awkward asymmetry in the leagues — realignment the achievement of which involved his threatening the Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros with forced transition to the AL (and of course he made that move a requirement of the Astros’ recent sale, which is why they’re now in the AL West playing mostly teams two time zones away). Why? Simply to close the circuit on his insistence in 1998 on moving his Milwaukee Brewers to the NL, which was as close to achieving his dream of owning the Milwaukee Braves as they were in the 50s as he can come.

    My point is not to beat down Bud Selig, although I think one could make a pretty good case case that he’s done at least as much harm as good. My point is simply to note that Selig and the other owners have succeeded in transforming what was designed to be an oversight position that would keep their excesses in check into a first-among-equals potentate who, as others here have pointed out, has anything but the fans’ wishes at heart. Ask Brewers and Astros fans how they felt about their teams changing leagues. Ask fans of whichever playoff teams are unlucky enough to be in the league that lost the ASG how they feel about the impact of that capricious and risible “This Time It Counts!” decision on their teams’ chances for a championship. Ask anyone outside their team’s designated geographical rights zone who’s had to put up with the effect of the Fox Saturday blackouts on their ability to watch their favorite team play. Ask players who’ve been colluded against — oh, wait. You can’t. Because no one’s policing the owners.

    Because I love baseball, I’m willing to live with MLB’s Federal anti-trust exemption, as long as abuses of it are mitigated against in the way they were intended to be when the office of the Commissioner was created. In truth, though, it’s been a long time since any commissioner has even had the proper perspective, much less wielded the proper authority, to make that role anything but a joke. Bud Selig is the owner di tutti owners; he got them to install him; he is of them and makes decisions for them. And no one with any power to change that has any interest in doing so. (Until and unless PEDs or the threat of a team leaving rouse some somnambulent senator into threatening hearings on the matter. But that stuff has never come to anything, and the smart money says it never will.)

    Long live the king.

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