Diamondbacks 5, Braves 3 (by W.C.G.)

Tim Hudson had another unfortunate inning, the Braves left 12 dudes on base, and Atlanta finished a road trip that ended 4-6 but felt about 4-60 for as long and futile as it was. Baseball back at Turner Field can’t come fast enough.

The Braves and Diamondbacks traded early runs and were deadlocked through four innings. In the top of the fifth, Atlanta appeared to seize the upper hand when Freddie Freeman knocked in Jordan Schafer, (who had reached base on a bunt single inelegantly fielded by Martin Prado), and Justin Upton (who had walked). The lead would not last long.

In the bottom of the inning, Arizona put a pair of runners on with one out. Didi Gregorius – and allow me to settle this question, he’s a Trappist Dubbel available at your neighborhood’s best beer bar in a special goblet for like $9 a pour – hit an RBI single to get the Diamondbacks back on the board. Paul Goldschmidt – who, if we’re playing this game, is a form of boilermaker popular with college kids looking to get hammered on cheap booze – struck out, but Eric Chavez doubled to score two and put the Diamondbacks ahead. Cody Ross drove in an insurance run, and that was all Arizona needed.

In each of the next three innings, the Braves put runners on first and second and could go no further. The best you can say about those situations are that twice they occurred with one out and Fredi successfully resisted the impulse to bunt, although the results don’t give us much ammunition to tell him not to next time. Heath Bell, who is the second-highest paid player on the Marlins this year, gave up just one baserunner in the ninth, and that was the end of that road trip.

The Braves get out of Arizona, which is good of itself because Arizona is just a font of stupidity. Their fans booed Justin Upton, who they had themselves helped run out of town for 50 cents on the dollar, and who reached base nine times during the series. Their sports media folk continued to pander to stupid by making arguments like this. And their uniform design people continued to act like putting “D-Backs” across the front of a jersey in a snakey-looking font is a valid way to dress grown men going out in public. I understand “Diamondbacks” is a long, awkward thing to try to fit across the front of a shirt, and I have to admit it’s at least better than what they did back in the day, but really the only logical move for that franchise is to forgo the word entirely and just put the club mark on one side of the shirt. Last time they did that, they won a World Series the same year. I’m just saying.

Though, if that were to happen this year, the internet might break from the weight of all the Justin Upton troll columns coming out of Phoenix, so maybe just forget I said that. Losing that series was annoying enough.

34 thoughts on “Diamondbacks 5, Braves 3 (by W.C.G.)”

  1. “Their sports media folk continued to pander to stupid by making arguments like this.”

    When you said pandering to stupid, you weren’t kidding.

  2. @2 Fredi needs to assign the following Ronnie Dawson song as homework. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

  3. Leave Didi alone. The reason why they were no longer insisting on getting Simmons from us was because they got Didi. We have to thank him!

  4. I mean, let’s be real here. With two runners on in the 8th, the Braves hit the ball hard twice but it was right at guys. This was a tough loss, and I honestly thought the Braves played better. If that ball doesn’t stick in Simmons’s hand….

    But yeah. Let’s see how some home games help the team out. I’m inclined to believe they’ll do quite well.

  5. Natspos lose, as did the entire division. We’ll still be in first place on Friday night.

  6. The Braves were unlucky yesterday and hit the ball hard all afternoon. Hopefully that’ll carry over during this homestand.

  7. @12

    I felt that way too. There were a lot of bloop hits by the Giants and DBacks that fell in too.

    That’s how baseball is though.

  8. We haven’t scored first since the second game in Cincinnati. Getting an early lead was one of the keys to our fast start in April.

  9. @11: In Bryce Harper’s case, literally!

    @12,13: Taken in the context of our losing tailspin, it’s hard to see it that optimistically for many.

  10. The Braves are through the hardest part of their schedule (and 25% of the season) in first place and on a roughly 90 win pace without significant contributions from Heyward or BJ Upton, limited help from McCann, and inconsistency from the pen. They also have more road games than anyone else in the division (and have the best road record, BTW). I like their chances.

  11. I think the only thing that’s really surprised me this year is BJ’s horrendous start. Did you guys see him after his last AB last night? He restrained himself from slamming his helmet, handed it to TP, and stared out towards the outfield with his fingers half clenched at chest level, as if he was an actor in an action movie and the love of his life was just murdered before his eyes.

    He’s a wreck and it’s hard to watch.

  12. Oh, and nearly half (55/120) of the remaining schedule is against the bottom two teams in each division, including 33 Mets/Miami games.

  13. @16
    Good point

    @18

    I agree. This guys is a hard worker. I have gotten to the point where I am really pulling for him to do well.

  14. “I have gotten to the point where I am really pulling for him to do well.”

    Beyond just wanting him to do well because he’s on the Braves, there’s also the matter of four and three-quarter more years of him under contract for us to want him to do well.

    I have a bad feeling that this is going to be one of those sub-.200 years you see on the back of his baseball card. My only exposure to him is his flailing with the Braves, so that’s all I’ve got to go on.

  15. We’ve got one outfielder returning from the DL and another struggling to hit a foul ball.

    What would Branch Rickey do?

  16. Yup, the big picture is: We’ve fallen to 1st place.

    I never get too wound up about early season baseball, certainly not one game, but I found yesterday’s loss a little annoying. Really wanted to close the trip with a win.

    But, as is said, hard shots got caught and a couple of good pitches got hit (esp. the Chavez double). That’s baseball. Get ’em tomorrow.

  17. I’m coming to believe that the solution for BJ might be a trip to the DL for a sprained eyelid or some such thing, and then a long rehab assignment in AAA. He’s clearly playing his heart out, but a change of scenery and not seeing a .140 batting average on the scoreboard every day might be what it takes.

  18. Here’s where the Brother Act gets tricky.

    One brother is tearing it up, the other can’t hit a lick. What are the dynamics of sending one down?

    Is it better that the AAA team is 20 miles away or would it be better in Outer Mississippi?

    I’m sure Wren did all the if/thens before putting it together. At least I hope so.

    But, yeah, Brian J is right – time for a trip to the DL if only to stop the bleeding.

  19. The AAA thing has already been discussed. No way its happening. I think he gets at least a 100 games before he starts seeing the bench.

  20. Johnny, you’re probably right but that means that a player who is currently contributing is going to be sent down or away.

  21. True fact: In yesterday’s write up, I came *thisclose* to saying “Paul Goldschmidt” sounds like a seasonal worker at Liberty Tax, but then I pulled it out of the recap to avoid people taking it too seriously. Then I wrote about it here instead. Because I’m an idiot.

    I accept the fact of Didi Gregorius as Belgian tripel as settled science.

  22. I’m sure you’re right, Johnny. We do have Dan Uggla’s 2011 start (.173 on July 4th) as an indication of Fredi’s pain threshold. But this really isn’t any fun for us or BJ to endure.

  23. The way I look at it: we may suck, but we seem to suck less than anybody else in the division. Whose future would you rather be worried about? BJ Upton’s or Stephen Strasburg’s?

  24. And this was supposed to be such a kick-ass division before the season, too. The Nats were supposed to be the best team in the NL, the Phillies were supposed to age somewhat gracefully, the Mets were supposed to be turning things around, and the Marlins were supposed to be… better than the Astros, anyway.

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