Braves 5 Cheating Kent Hrbek’s 1

ESPN Box(LeBron was 4-4)

On a night when Dan Uggla hit a three run homer and BJ Upton hit a popup that carried to deep shortstop, the hero of this game was Julio Teheran. Joe Simpson would have you believe Gerald Laird’s outstanding game calling skills was the difference, like he was Crash Davis or something.

Nuke Teheran went eight and a third shutout innings  before Josh Willingham hit one off the bull. (But he gripped it like an egg…)  No word if the Braves will send Teheran to see Dr. Andrews, just to beat the rush.

After Willingham won a free steak, Luis Avilan forced a fly out to right and Corey Gearrin came on picked up the Save (TM).

On another note, the Braves only struck out four times tonight. The last three games have probably been the three best pitched games of the season.

That’s four in a row, it’s called a winning streak. 





284 thoughts on “Braves 5 Cheating Kent Hrbek’s 1”

  1. Smitty, you just had to bring back the horrible Kent Hrbek memory…you may as well mention Ron Gant! How about Puckett vs leibrandt tomorrow and Lonnie Smith v chuck knoblauch on Wed?

    Thanks for the recap!

  2. @3 I agree. We should have won in 1991, period. Hell, we should have won in 1996 too.

    I am bitter again.

  3. Even if the Twins has a pretty putrid offense by most standards, that was still a fantastic game by Julio. He has impressed me with his progress from the early season struggles.

    He threw a couple pitches at 94 mph in the 9th too I think so he still had some steam. I don’t think he goes more than 110 pitches at most if it wasn’t for the chance at the shutout, which I don’t have a problem with, I think it was good for his continued confidence.

  4. Hope Teheran has turned the corner like Minor did last year. He’s going to make the Beachy return a tough decision.

  5. @9 The development of Minor has been incredible. Seeing Teheran having success is very satisfactory as we have been hearing his name for years.

    I still think we should trade Maholm for bullpen help when Beachy returns.

  6. @1—Yes, and it always drove me nuts because I liked him.

    I haven’t checked the stats to make sure of this, but I feel like last season all of Gearrin’s earned runs came in a couple of outings, and other than that he was lights out. I’m pretty sure that’s been the case this year, too. His ERA is under 1.00, and I think he gave up multiple runs in one of his appearances and nothing in anything else. When he’s on he’s nasty, but when he’s off he’s incredibly wild and prone to big innings. Fortunately, those instances have been few and far between in the big leagues for the past couple of seasons.

  7. I’m generally pretty “okay” with stretching starters out a bit longer than normal, especially when they’ve been pretty efficient overall, but I didn’t see the point in sending Teheran out there for the 9th. 8 shut-out innings in 110 pitches is plenty.

    But whatever. Great outing by Teheran.

  8. @12 At least Fredi has a sense of what he is doing. As long as he is not another Dusty, that’s good enough for me.

    “Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez gave Teheran a chance to finish the game, but he and pitching coach Roger McDowell had agreed before the ninth that they wouldn’t let the 22-year-old go past 125 pitches.”

  9. Pitch counts shouldn’t be an end-all-be-all to pitcher management. They have value, but should be taken in the context of a particular pitcher on a particular day, how hard he has worked, how tired he looks based on mechanics, etc.

  10. And the Nats are reduced to spot starts by Zach Duke, who got pounded tonight.

    If WASH splits the last 2 in SF, they’ll end up with the same recent road-trip record as ATL—4-6. (But I’ll root for 3-7.)

    Braves are 8-over at home & .500 on the road, and they’ve played the fewest home games in the NL.

  11. “Starting in place of southpaw Ross Detwiler, who is nursing a right oblique injury, Duke finished 3 1/3 innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits while striking out one. Just hours after the team learned reliever Ryan Mattheus broke his right hand by punching his locker following Sunday’s 13-4 loss at San Diego, Duke couldn’t deliver the long outing the Nationals needed so badly.”

  12. Gearrin has become the new Peter Moylan. I’m really pleased.

    I think Fredi was basically making a point to Teheran: if he pitches a whale of a game, then he’s going to get to keep the ball. It’s a worthwhile point. Julio learned that his manager has his back.

    For all his occasionally baffling maneuvers, the players seem to like Fredi, and I think you can explain a lot of his moves by his desire to create a sense in the clubhouse that if you play well, you’re going to get more responsibilities. For example, Gattis was supposed to split time with Laird in April but he became the starter, until McCann came back; and Johnson was supposed to split time with Francisco but he became the starter, until he went through a massive slump.

    I generally approve of that. Even if you don’t believe in “hot hand” theory, it’s good for players to feel like their good performance will be rewarded. It’s a good incentive structure.

  13. @14- I agree. But he’d clearly lost a little bit on his pitches the 9th, and with a kid that young, I’d rather be just a *bit* more conservative. That’s why I thought the 8th was okay. But in the 8th, he started to give up some strong contact and had already set career highs for IP and pitches thrown, so I figured it would be his last appearance in the game.

  14. Fredi did something similar with Beachy last year. Beachy was working a shutout and was over 100 pitches, and Fredi gave him the chance to finish the game (which he did) I am sure it means a lot to players to be given an opportunity to pitch a complete game shutout.

    The winning streak is made doubly as sweet with the Nats recent struggles.

  15. @21

    Not to play devil’s advocate, but Beachy had an appointment with Dr. Andrews less than a month after that shutout.

  16. Just a thought, but I wonder if the Braves limit Beachy to bullpen duty for the majority of this season to keep his innings count low. Seems odd, but they did it with Medlen, evidently purposefully.

  17. I’m glad someone brought up the game I thought I remembered from Beachy. I looked it up. Yes, Fredi let him go to 120 pitches in a complete game. Then they tried to go easy on him, allowing him only 92 pitches his next start, even though those 92 pitches got him through 7 innings. Then a 105 pitch effort. Then 115. Then 108. And then his arm exploded on the 57th pitch of his 5th start after the 120.

    I’m not going to draw a correlation there. And I agree that running him out there is a huge pat on the back for a young kid we want to build confidence in. But it’s good to look back. If Julio does have any trouble in the next month, we’ll have two data points.

  18. I once had a shutout going in the minors. Then I got drilled in the back by the opposing pitcher. Next inning I was laboring, but still getting outs. Coach pulled me anyway.


    By “minors” I mean the year after coach pitch. So I was 7 or 8. I’ve gotten over it, but stories like this always reopen those wounds. heh heh.

  19. And Stephen strasburg went under the knife after pitching very little. We don’t know enough about injuries to make that call. Plenty of guys pitch 120 and are fine. Kid had a chance for his first Major League complete game shutout. You prep for a quick hook but let him try to close it out.

  20. @27 – They mentioned on the TV feed last night that Joe Mauer was the #1 pick in the draft and that Mark Prior was #2 that year, making a contrast between the careers of the two and of the Twins and Cubs since then, respectively. Interesting to think about re: injuries to pitchers. Boy, Mark Prior was like a pitching Adonis out there.

    Also, if I’m not mistaken, Mauer was the consensus #1 football prospect in the country his senior year in high school and was committed to play at Florida State. I’d say he made the right choice in pursuing baseball.

  21. @30 It’s good that the major health risks in football are coming to light. When you consider that, and the fact that NFl money isn’t guaranteed in most instances, baseball starts looking like a much better bet. After all, Jeff Francoeur is still employed.

  22. I think there is something to the way Braves have handled their pitchers.

    It is to the point where most of the pitchers have had Tommy John. Is it bad luck, or what?

  23. New poll question idea.

    Which of the Braves five starters do you have the least confidence in right now?

    I’m struggling to think of the answer and of course it’s different than “Who should go to the bullpen when Beachy returns?”

  24. I beat out a guy in high school who went on to play professional ball (offensive line) with the Seahawks. He sustained a major spinal injury and is struggling to this day. I’ve got to say that I’m thankful I wasn’t talented enough to make it to the pros or even major college. I really have no good explanation for why I beat him out, but I will say his work ethic improved immensely.

  25. @32: Everyone has Tommy John. I bet the lifetime incidence of that surgery for MLB pitchers is around 60-65%.

  26. Not a conversation-changing note, but, I think Tommy John surgeries are on the rise, in part, due to the now nearly-automatic success rate. In years past, you might wait and see, you might just pitch ineffectively through it. I think the question changed from “Are we out of rope?” to “Will this make me better?” And for the quality of these guys careers, and for the quality of the ball we get to watch, that’s a very good thing.

    I say it all the time, but pitchers have ALWAYS blown up their elbows. The 350 inning marathon men were the result of the game selecting for physical freaks of endurance, where as now, the game can select for the physical freaks of “stuff,” and then just fix the guys who don’t have the freak “endurance” genes.

  27. I agree that nothing is definitive when it comes to pitch counts. But I don’t think “lots of ambiguity remaining” is the same as “we have no actionable information.”

    And like I said, I didn’t think Teheran had great stuff in the 8th, so sticking him out there for the 9th with such a high pitch count was, IMO, a needless risk.

  28. I’m not getting the whole “trade Maholm for bullpen help” thing

    I understand the principle, but the principle is flawed. There will not bu full value in a viable starter for bullpen arm(s) trade, and the Beachy/Medlen parallel is an obvious starting point for a close of season solution

    I would suggest that fungible bullpen help will be readily available at the deadline if necessary

  29. @43

    True, but I think the starting pitching market is going to be slim. Maholm might actually might bring a couple of arms back.

  30. I think we would be crazy to trade Maholm unless we have another SP waiting at AA/AAA. During the course of the season I will be very surprised if at least one of our SPs doesn’t go on the DL for over 15 days. Also, Beachy returning to what he was doing before his injury is not a given. Breaking Beachy into the bullpen is a great use of his talents and addresses our need of bullpen help. If he’s effective, I have no doubt he’ll get his chances as a starter – if nothing else, Hudson will probably need some rest.

  31. The increase in TJ surgery is the interplay of a number of factors:
    (1) Success rate of TJ surgery
    (2) Changes in pitching mechanics and expectations of what pitchers are supposed to be able to do which put more stress on elbows
    (3) Maybe.. just maybe… less work, or maybe the wrong kind of work (Leo thought so)
    (4) Increased need for pitchers as a fraction of all players bumping up against declining marginal quality

    I think all of these are important.

  32. Pitch counts seem like mostly a way to pass-the-buck on managerial decisions. All baseball players, not just pitchers, throw the ball (hard) tens of thousands of times in their playing careers. Think about how many stressful throws an 18-yr old shortstop might make during his 40 hours a week of infield practice. A lot of damage to pitching arms is done long before the guy throws his first MLB pitch.

    I agree with the guys saying that TJ surgeries are on the rise because of the preponderance of successful outcomes, not because of systemic misuse/overuse. If there is systemic overuse then maybe I’d point the finger add youth leagues and travel ball and year-round play that all the top young prospects have to endure. If anything, the pitch-count mania at the pro-level should be leading to less overuse and less injuries…since it doesn’t seem like it’s helping much we have to look deeper for the true causes.

    I’ve also heard anecdotes for young pitchers that have the TJ procedure electively/preventively … not sure how widespread that is, but that’s back to the notion of it being a career enhancer/extender rather than a risky hail-mary.

    There’s so many young hard throwers now…I think we need a change in philosophy in the player-development wing of MLB organizations. Call them up young and get the most pitches out of their 20-yr old arms, before it falls apart. It’s maddening to me to watch power guys dominate AA. If you think you have a Dwight Gooden, call him up and give him the ball. Don’t wait until he’s “ready”. By then he might be hurt.

  33. @47, Alex Wood would be pitching for the Atlanta Braves if I were GM. Thankfully for all of us, I’m not the GM. But I think we’ll see Alex sooner or later this year.

  34. At the professional level, isn’t TJ only prescribed when a ligament tear is found? To those who are saying the surgery is on the rise because the outcome has been successful, please reverse-engineer this for me — are you saying 1) the diagnosis of ligament tears has improved, 2) other methods of treating ligament tears have fallen out of vogue, or 3) false diagnoses of ligament tears are being supplied to the media to cloak the fact that it’s being done electively?

  35. @48- I’m with you, until the last part.

    When Julio Teheran was posting a sub-2 era at AAA, striking out everyone who came to the plate, he posted a 5+ era in the big leagues.

    Although I guess you’re referring to holding them back for injury prevention, rather than holding them back til the scouts say he’s ready. But I think it’s kind of a dual benefit situation.

  36. I don’t have the numbers to back this up, but I feel like the Braves are approaching cluster status on ligament tears. I would be gratified to hear that the coaching staff’s methods are being reviewed from the ground up.

  37. @51, I’m not sure what “bringing him along slowly” entails – probably some injury-prevention and some “seasoning” or learning. I’m not sure what Craig Kimbrel learned in the minors. Same goes for anyone that throws 97. That’s hard to hit at AA, and hard to hit in the majors. How long can you throw 97? A few years? 5? 10? Seems like most can only do it for a few years. Nolan Ryan’s just aren’t born every day. Why waste two of those years making AA hitters look bad?

  38. @50- Guys are having the surgery instead of pitching through it. Arodys Vizcaino might be an example. He had a partial tear, and the surgery was imminent. There was some conflict over whether or not to do the surgery. Someone elected to wait, and he had the surgery a year later. That was probably more common previously, and becoming more rare by the day.

    See Eric O’Flaherty. He said he’s been wrong since September. They diagnosed it as flexor tendon. Never performed the MRI. He’s been pitching through it. It flared up, and they finally did the MRI. Damage to the ligament. EOF openly wondered, to the media, if maybe he might keep pitching until he was unable. But “unable to perform” is no longer the threshold. “Sufficiently significant benefit” is.

    I think guys pitched until they couldn’t, then had the surgery. That’s becoming less common. That’s all I’m saying.

  39. @53- Kimbrel learned to trust his stuff and throw it down the middle. When he quit walking a man an inning, he came up.

  40. My question is, why aren’t these guys getting MRI’d more often? Is this a medical-morality thing? Is the radiation exposure from an MRI dangerous enough that an MRI can (should?) only be performed to diagnose an acute injury?

    Because barring that, I’d MRI guys when I drafted them, kind of like the base-line brain scans in concussion diagnosis. And then I’d be MRI’ing them every year with their physical to see what damage I’d done to my property, err, pitchers.

    Hell, I’d install an MRI machine on the door to the clubhouse, like a metal detector at a government building.

  41. I think this guy should be our next relief LHP

    IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9

    45.2 11.43 2.96 0.79 A
    24.1 14.05 2.59 0.37 AA

    This is 26 year old AA pitcher Ian Thomas, who spent the last few years in Independent/Canadian ball.

  42. IIRC, Don Sutton attributed a majority of today’s arm injuries to pitchers not playing enough long toss when they were younger. They haven’t developed their arms at a slow and steady rate.

  43. Does any other team have a list like the Brave’s recent TJ recipients? Hudson, Medlen, Beachy, Venters, O’Flaherty. Am I missing someone?

  44. -57

    As I understand it, MRI scans don’t give the patient a potentially harmful dose of radiation like x-rays, and especially CT scans(which are basically multiple, longer x-ray shots) do.

    So far–from what I’ve read–MRIs appear not to have long term negative effects on those who get them.

    One possible problem: scans may give “false positives” even on healthy patients, and that could lead to a lot of unnecessary worry–even unneeded procedures.

    Personally, if I were a GM, I would do exactly as you suggested. But long term I can imagine it leading to more “performance-enhancement”
    type work being done, and that would lead to ethical questions similar to those to do with juicing.

  45. @66 I would hate to see the Braves give up a legit SP prospect to re-acquire Mike Dunn (or basically any other bullpen arm). I know a shutdown bullpen is a huge help and whatnot, but the Braves have a ton of arms in the system – there have got to be some guys (aside from our Alex Wood-level prospects) that we can leverage for relief innings. Good relievers are fungible, good starters are not.

  46. -57

    X-rays and, to a much greater extent, CT scans give you a dose of higher energy radiation that accumulates in your body over your lifetime. They’ll do you no harm UNLESS you exceed a certain cumulative lifetime threshold.

    With MRIs this is not an issue. They’ve not so far (after about decades of use) shown any negative side effects for patients. And there’s no similar cumulative dose you can’t exceed like with x-rays.

    Personally, if I were a GM I’d do exactly what you said as far as getting a baseline image and follow up scans.

    One potential problem though would be “false positives”, which might lead to unnecessary worry or even unneeded invasive treatments for players.

  47. @60

    Actually, quite a few teams. The Royals come to mind as a team whose entire load of pitching prospects went under the knife during the past 18 months.

  48. Lineup: Simmons ss, Heyward rf, JUpton lf, Freeman 1b, McCann c, Uggla 2b, Francisco 3b, BUpton cf, Hudson p.

  49. I’m very hopeful that BJ will figure it out, but a few days ago, I dropped him for Nate McLouth on my fantasy team.

    Of course, considering how good I am at fantasy baseball, that pretty much means that BJ will start hitting immediately.

  50. Heyward scores from first before the ball even gets back to the infield, he can really fly.

  51. Am I crazy in believing that Freddie’s more likely to be the “face of the franchise” than Heyward?

  52. I like scoring like this. Hope nobody hits a home run to ruin it.


    Thanks, Dan! You didn’t hit a home run to ruin it.

  53. Their center fielder Aaron Hicks is batting .144, or only one point ahead of BJ. There’s an attainable goal for you, Bossman!

  54. The way Hudson is pitching these days, we need to score six just to have a chance.

  55. @116, that’s fine — he really doesn’t say much of interest. He’s pretty cagey. As of right now, I think that Teheran is the likeliest candidate to go into the pen, because they’ll have the convenient excuse of wanting to limit his innings in his first full big league season. But if history is any guide, there’s a good chance someone gets hurt between now and that choice having to be made.

  56. @118, Yeah, Teheran couldn’t possibly have his arm ruined in the bullpen in his first full big league season.

  57. Why didn’t they put a retractable roof on Turner Field? It always rains in Atlanta.

  58. You’d use a retractable roof maybe 10 times a year, it would prevent maybe, 2 rainouts a year.. And it would make the stadium experience SUCK for 71 other games.

  59. Google images of Miller Park and Safeco Field. Then google images of Turner Field and Target Field.

  60. @121, a retractable roof on Sunday day games in the dead of summer wouldn’t be the worst thing.

  61. A beautiful day game at Miller Park, with the roof open… Looks like baseball in a County Civic Center.

  62. Is it still raining at the Stadium? It’s been stopped for nearly an hour here.

  63. What’s going on at Turner Field? It seems about 20 minutes ago Tim Hudson was standing on the mound while a groundskeeper was raking the dirt in front of him. Then the Extra Innings feed dropped out and hasn’t come back on yet. Has rain returned?

  64. It’s as though Huddy used everything he had left to get past 200. This is painful.

  65. Baseball and football are outdoor games, and a roof (retractable or not) would suck. Why I’ll never go to a Falcons game.

  66. Well great. I’ve never heard of this guy. And the Twins apparently think he’s worse than Mike Pelfrey.

    So he’s going to throw 4 innings of two-hit shutout ball.

  67. Joe thinks that Brian getting the day off yesterday was a stroke of genius. “Well-timed. He’d started 4 days in a row..”

    Has Joe not noticed that Laird catches Teheran?

  68. BJ!

    Pedro Florimon Fun Fact: Besides having a girly name, Pedro Florimon is from the same hometown as Antonio “Six-Fingered Devil-Slayer” Alfonseca: La Roman, Dominican.

  69. It’s too bad that Hudson wasn’t able to reach last inning, and clear Andrelton.

  70. I’ll also say this.. Andrelton is the only player I’ve seen who I’d say makes TOO MUCH contact.

    He swings at EVERYTHING. Which is maddening enough. But at least if he’d miss one or two, he might see 4 pitches a game. Instead. he ALWAYS grounds the first pitch of EVERY at bat EXTREMELY softly to an infielder.

  71. I just happened across this, but I think you’ll all agree with me on this:

    Happy Birthday, Bobby Cox! 72 years young today.

  72. The fan they showed when Justin lost his bat looked uncannily like Harmon Killebrew.

  73. He did not nearly pick off Morneau. He threw the ball 95 miles an hour to a base where the baserunner was standing safely. He did something stupid.

  74. I’ve seen enough of Simmons. I know he’s a great defender. But he’s a part time player.

  75. Why not Kimbrel now, with their best hitters up and the game on the line. Instead we get Avilan who has pitched the past three games.

  76. jjschiller @ 155: I’m delighted that I’m not the only old man to post on Braves Journal.

  77. Haha, I’m not. I just happen to have met Harmon Killebrew a number of times. I live in Fort Myers, FL, and the Twins train down here.

    I used to soak up February and early March practices at the Twins and Red Sox parks. At the Twins’ stadium, Killebrew would be rolling around on a golf cart, joking around with fans, signing autographs and handing out bottles of water. He might have been the kindest person I’ve ever met.

  78. @163 Hahahahaha, that’s a good joke, Simmons a “part time player”! Whoooo! Oh, that was meant to be serious?

  79. Not liking Avilan in the high leverage situation after pitching 3 days in a row. He is all over the place

  80. This inning is a result of our underwhelming bullpen choices at the moment…not exactly sure when that is going to change either

  81. Yes, I obviously am aware that Andrelton is a valuable commodity. And he is the best defensive shortstop in the game.

    But his plate approach doesn’t stink. It doesn’t exist. He’s made 5 outs in 4 ABs on about 7 pitches.

    He’d be my starter. But on my team, he would lose more starts to Pena than he has so far.

  82. We’ve had so many strike calls go against us tonight at the plate…and Gearrin couldn’t get that one (that was actually a strike)? So frustrating…

  83. Doumit should have struck out, but you can’t throw him a grapefruit at 3-2 either.

  84. GAHHHHHHHHH this home plate ump is terrible, and the Twins are getting all the breaks right now.

  85. 177-Right, so on your team Andrelton would lose starts to a guy who is a much, much worse defender but only a somewhat worse hitter. A fine team you would have.

  86. That was an unjust outing for Gearrin. Freeman can pick it but his range is non-existent. And the home-plate ump can pick it, also. His ass, that is…

  87. We’re going to pretend Andrelton doesn’t have a .283 OBP because he can pick it?

  88. Brian McCann is the only one who seems to have stuck around through the rain delay. The rest of these guys are already at home.

  89. 186- The problem is that our alternatives, both for shortstop and for batting leadoff, are even worse. And Simmons does have that glove that makes him worth the stretches of Francoeurian swinging folly.

  90. So is this the first of probably a few games the Braves would have won if O’Flaherty was still around?

    Wren needs to get a good reliever, because Avilan/Gearrin ain’t going to cut it.

  91. I think if you expect our bullpen to pitch half the game every night, and never give up any runs, ever, then maybe you have set the bar a little too high. This loss, assuming we don’t rally, is on the offense.

  92. If the Braves end up losing this game – note that I’m still holding out hope for a comeback – it will be a prime example of how random chance affects baseball scores to a greater degree than the other major sports. What a frustrating game this has been… by all rights, the Braves have been better today, and yet here we are.

  93. You know you’re suffering from a lack of bullpen options when a AAA pitcher gets the relatively important task of holding the deficit at just a run in the ninth inning.

  94. Yeah I’d say we’re lucky that Varvaro got through the first two innings without allowing any runs. This is on the offense. They let another lousy 6th starter type to just shut them down.

  95. I lineup without Gattis is not an optimal lineup. Wouldn’t kill me to see Freeman lose ABs.

  96. It’s former Brave (for half a second) Wilkin Ramirez!

    EDIT: Nice job by the aforementioned AAA guy.

  97. Gattis could get some of Freeman’s, Bmac’s, and BJ Uptons ABs. For whatever reason, I guess Fredi has decided not to play him.

  98. Really wish now that Uggla hadn’t struck out on a ball (for the second time tonight).

  99. @223, I thought he deserved to get rung up on the pitch prior to the called strike three. And I thought the called strike three was actually a strike.

  100. Does Frank have his receipt on the B.J. Upton contract? I wonder if there’s a return policy.

  101. From MLB Network- That was Gattis’ 4th HR to tie or take the lead in a game in the 8th inning or later.

    No other major leaguer has more than 2.

  102. We strike out Doumit and the ump misses the call. Then Uggla and BJ get rung up on balls. Yep, I’m all for replacing umps somehow

  103. I always worry about Craig in these kinds of games. When we are losing and suddenly tie or take a lead, or when we’re winning big and the margin is cut in the 8th. He always seems a bit off if he doesn’t know he’s definitely coming in.

  104. Try as I might, I just can’t work up any sympathy for guys who slide in late and get their heads knocked off. If someone had to get hurt, I’m glad it’s the guy who slid late, and not the infielder who has the right to the base.

  105. Figures- most of our good players are fragile as Christmas tree ornaments; most of our bad ones have Wolverine’s healing factor.

  106. From the looks of it, the ump has been awful for both sides tonight. This makes sense, considering that he’s awful.

  107. Yeah, I’d like to see Simmons back in the 8-hole. But that doesn’t mean I want BJ Upton in the lead off spot.

  108. Giants announcers just mentioned that Laroche is tied for the league lead in called strikeouts, with 18. He’s tied with BJ Upton.

  109. Gattis is our best pinch hitter since Julio Franco. The kid is amazing. One game per week at catcher, first base, and left field. That’s three games per week. That’s easily 15 at bats per week if we also count pinch hit opportunities, which means more than 300 at bats this season? That’s achieveable, right?

  110. I know that Freeman and McCann are mostly fine against lefthanded pitching, and that they want Heyward to face them, or he won’t ever learn. But, right there you’ve got three lefthanded bats that you can rest in favor of Gattis. Sit ONE of them against every lefty we face, and get Gattis on the damn field.

  111. Greg White just tied it up for the Giants with a triple over the head of Harper.

  112. Sandoval homers and the Giants win 4-2. Natinals down to .500 and 4 1/2 back.

  113. @277
    And they play Philly this weekend. Gnats also have a smiliar strange 2 vs Baltimore followed by 2 @ Baltimore, same days we do they same with Toronto.

  114. Let’s sweep the Twins and bury the Nats even further down the standings. Last night’s game was a lose/lose scenario. Early lead, rainout, get the lead back, then hibernation against guys we should be hitting. If we win, well, we should have, and if we lost it would have been awful. Thank the baseball gods for the White Bear. God I love him. I was listening to the radio last night and I just knew he was going to knock it out.

  115. It’s been a while since we’ve been lectured about how good the Nats are and how much easier our schedule has been etc. etc. Meanwhile they are 3-6 on a roadtrip featuring 7 games against the Padres and Dodgers and are .500 for the season even though they are the only team in baseball with a record five wins better than their pythagorean. It could be that even with Harper and two stud starting pitchers they are simply mediocre.

  116. just caught the hilite package on kudos to hudson for coming back out after a 70 min rain delay and save the bullpen some innings. veteran leadership.

  117. Hudson’s strikeout and swinging strike rate are both up this season. His peripherals actually look better than they did last year. I still think he’s fine and that his ERA will drop this summer.

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