Braves 7 Bucs 2


One of baseball’s oldest clichés is “Get ‘em on, Get ‘em over, Get ‘em in.” Well tonight the Braves were getting guys on and then just hitting two run homers.

Brian McCann, Jason Heyward (yes Jason Heyward) and Freddie Freeman all had two run shots. Kris Medlen was very effective throwing seven innings of one run ball. Alex Wood came on and threw two innings and also gave up a run.

BJ Upton’s hitting streak was snapped just as he had gotten within 54 games of Joe DiMaggio, but he did have a walk. Heyward had a couple of hits and maybe he is starting to come around.

All in all, this was a good synopsis of what this team was built to do. Get someone on base, hit a home run and have solid pitching performances from the starters and the pen.

The Pirates are a pretty good team with their best starter on the mound, so nice win. The Nats were off so the lead moves to seven over the Natspos. With the Phillies beating Toronto’s AAA team (Miami), they move within a half game of Washington.

Also worth noting, Brian McCann picked up his 1,000 hit. That is 662 more than Joe Simpson.

76 thoughts on “Braves 7 Bucs 2”

  1. Nice game: good pitching, good hitting, good recap. Thanks, Smitty. (And Jason, wow.)

  2. Wow, seven games lead with both teams played the same number of games….how can there by any complains?

  3. But Joe knew how to hit the other way, so that’s gotta count for something… but probably not 600 plus hits.

  4. Going back to the discussion on the previous thread, if someone wants to know if overuse or usage patterns leads to injury, ask some of the folks at the American Sports Medicine Institute. You can call or email Dr. Glenn Fleisig (his info is on the page). Fleisig is infatuated with the repetitive use injury because, in his words, “I can study it.” Once upon a time, I was writing a paper titled “Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction of the Medial Elbow: An Overview”, and had the opportunity to speak to him on the phone about one of the biggest studies that had ever been done on UCL injuries and post-surgical outcomes after TJ surgery. The study had not yet been published in 2008, but I’m sure it’s out there now for the curious. See: “Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction of the Elbow: Results of More than 1000 Cases with Minimum Two-year Follow-up” by Cain, Andrews, et al.

    As a side note, I received one of the biggest surprises of my life one day because of this paper. I had sent it to a researcher for review and comment, and a few weeks later I received a call on my cell phone from Dr. Frank Jobe, the one who invented Tommy John surgery. Dr. Jobe had actually read my paper. If overuse doesn’t lead to injuries, he’s certainly not convinced. He told me some interesting things on the call. He advocates for pitch counts for Little Leaguers, and states that they should only throw fastballs. His premise is that injuries are bred at the younger ages, and I tend to agree. I burned myself out throwing curves and too many innings (including lots of batting practice sessions) from age 10-15. I think Sam has asked for science. Well, I will provide you with one of the papers I cited in my review of literature: “Elbow Injuries in Throwing Athletes: A Current Concepts Review” by Cain, Dugas, Wolf, and Andrews (yes, that would be Dr. James Andrews). Rather than post the entire abstract, I think I’ll be safe in just quoting a little of it without violating copyright. “Repetitive overhead throwing imparts high valgus and extension loads to the athlete’s elbow, often leading to either acute or chronic injury or progressive structural change…Recent advantages in arthroscopic surgical techniques and ligament reconstruction in the elbow have improved the prognosis for return to competition for the highly motivated athlete. However, continued overhead throwing often results in subsequent injury and symptom recurrence in the competitive athlete.” Fleisig, Andrews, and Jobe all agree that overuse leads to injuries. Personally, I think more people should listen to former pitcher (and relief workhorse and Ph.D.) Mike Marshall regarding biomechanics and injury prevention.

  5. @4, Thanks, DG. I wouldn’t have known or not known there were any studies on this issue, but it’s nice to know there are. I just assumed from common sense that repeating an unnatural motion like throwing an extremely light object extremely hard could lead to unhealthy outcomes if done in excess. I mean, it obviously leads to fatigue, and how there can’t then be a correlation made between something that produces fatigue with something that also leads to a partial or total breakdown of muscle,, ligament or bone, well…like I said, I just considered that common sense and factored it into my opinion about Fredi and his riding O’Ventbrel really hard.

  6. Didn’t watch the game and I’m only now catching up with highlights. Was it just me or does it seem like BJ Upton could have caught that Gaby Sanchez ground-rule double?

  7. Thanks, DG.

    Mike Marshall’s approach is fascinating, but the radical change of delivery required is quite a hill to climb.

    A Marshall disciple was kind enough to spend an afternoon with me and my then-12-year-old son. It made surface sense, but it was just soooo different. I’m not aware of any MLB pitcher that has adopted that style.

  8. Surely Beachy will start in the pen?

    And, yes BJ should at least have gotten closer, but the one that bothered me was Justin’s uninterested attempt at catching the first inning pop-up that went in the books as a double.

    Fortunately, Medlen was able to get out of it and finally began locating like he did last year in the later innings.

  9. I wonder if “overuse” isn’t really “constant use”.

    Starters throwing 130 pitches and then getting proper rest vs. Everyday Johnny/Eric/Craig might be a different study?

  10. Lewis Yocum, who just passed away, published a number of articles that are available on PubMed, many related to Tommy John surgery or other types of surgery to address sports-related injuries.

    Frank Jobe has coauthored even more:

    And James Andrews has published a boatload:

  11. Also, here’s a relevant study:

    “Effect of pitch type, pitch count, and pitching mechanics on risk of elbow and shoulder pain in youth baseball pitchers,” by James Andrews and his clinic. Here’s the abstract:

    METHODS: Four hundred and seventy-six young (ages 9 to 14 years) baseball pitchers were followed for one season. Data were collected from pre- and postseason questionnaires, injury and performance interviews after each game, pitch count logs, and video analysis of pitching mechanics. Generalized estimating equations and logistic regression analysis were used.

    RESULTS: Half of the subjects experienced elbow or shoulder pain during the season. The curveball was associated with a 52% increased risk of shoulder pain and the slider was associated with an 86% increased risk of elbow pain. There was a significant association between the number of pitches thrown in a game and during the season and the rate of elbow pain and shoulder pain.

    CONCLUSIONS: Pitchers in this age group should be cautioned about throwing breaking pitches (curveballs and sliders) because of the increased risk of elbow and shoulder pain. Limitations on pitches thrown in a game and in a season can also reduce the risk of pain. Further evaluation of pain and pitching mechanics is necessary.

  12. If the conversation has now switched to 9-14 year old kids, I’m all in for the “only throw fastballs and very few of them” train.

    I do not see where this translates in how to use a 25 year old grown man like Jonny Venters.

  13. In the risk of interrupting the “overuse” debate, did anyone else see that UNC-FAU game last night?


  14. Nats questions:

    I know it is too early for this, but at what point do they become sellers?

  15. With 2 wild card teams, if they’re hovering at .500, then they’ll buy at the trade deadline.

  16. I didn’t see it, but I was keeping up on it via the internetz. The SportsCenter highlights made it look like the most exciting thing since sliced bread (or Tiger’s latest triple bogey, or Yanks-Sawx DCCLVII).

  17. the throwing arm it needs propel
    the rising fastball hot from hell
    a hundred more sir please
    allied with curves that tease
    and then, perhaps, a rest as well.

  18. DG, the link @17 looks interesting and I’ll read it fully some time today. That said, I’m not sure it’s on target for the question we’ve been debating the last couple of days. Here’s the abstract from the linked study:

    When a professional athlete injures an elbow or shoulder,the uninjured joint must receive as much attention as
    the injured joint. Is there a relationship between injury of one joint and subsequent injury of the other joint?
    In the prospective study reported here, we created a database (a) to determine whether injury to one joint was more likely to result in a problem with the other joint and (b) to analyze for trends and correlations. A survey was administered to all pitchers on a professional baseball team to collect data about shoulder and elbow problems during their careers. Eighty-four pitchers (737 seasons of experience, 52 index injuries) were evaluated.
    Of the injured players, 27 were treated surgically. Risk for later injury was 4.6 times larger for players who had an index surgery than for those who had not. Of the players who had ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction, 42% later sustained a shoulder injury. No player with rotator cuff surgery sustained a subsequent elbow or shoulder injury. There were significantly more upper extremity injuries with right-handed throwers. An elbow injury was more likely to result in shoulder problems, specifically after UCL reconstruction. Players who required surgery were almost 5 times more likely to have a later injury or
    surgery than players who did not require surgery.

    From the abstract, this study is looking at the relationship between initial injuries and follow-up injuries. They seem to find that having an elbow injury puts you at greater risk to have a future shoulder injury (but the inverse is not true; shoulder injuries don’t drive future elbow injuries.*)

    Again, looks really interesting and I’ll read it fully after clearing the email tray this morning, but I’m not sure it’s spot on for whether or not “over use” or heavy usage patterns drive the initial injuries or not.

    *probably, though just guessing here, because shoulder injuries so regularly end careers entirely that follow on complications from other joints is far less likely.

  19. Sam @ 21: Sometimes these studies make some other points that weren’t necessarily the primary focus. I thought I caught a couple in there of interest, but I’ll let you decide for yourself if they are worthy of consideration.

  20. Terdo with another home run last night and he’s now up to 10 on the year with a .928 OPS. A few concerns…
    1. He’s not walking (11 in 240 plate appearances).
    2. He’s a switch hitter that is really struggling from the right side of the plate (.638 OPS)

    Other than that, he is looking really good and should be in Atlanta in September.

  21. I agree with the camp on 9-14 year olds only needing to throw fastballs and change ups. It’s gotten so competitive that some coaches in our area are teaching 11-12 year old here how to throw curveballs. Their arms aren’t developed or strong enough to throw those pitches.

    With that being said, somehow I’ve seen a 13 year old with a thicker beard than mine. Need to check that birth certificate.

  22. 18-Even with two wild card spots, if they are well back at the deadline with multiple teams ahead of them (they are currently 5.5(!!) games out of the second spot) reality is going to set in.

    But who do they actually have that would a) be available and b) possibly worth picking up? Laroche and Haren are basically it, right?

  23. @26

    I think they would like to move LaRoche and have Zimmerman play first. At some point in the future, that is what will happen

  24. @3: Fittingly, or something, McCann’s 1000th hit was in fact the other way. Must have brought a tear to ol’ Joe’s eye.

    @9: On the popup double, I read it not as disinterest but as a failure to take charge and a concern that he was going to collide with Andrelton. Justin was a bit too deferential to Simmons on that play; while that’s understandable in a general sense, that’s the left fielder’s ball.

  25. This is a very special place. I can understand both sides of the discussion, which for me, is quite an accomplishment.

    Assuming that Fredi believed he had a better chance to win a game by using his best relievers, doesn’t the question become the decision between risking a loss versus risking the long term health of your pitchers? If so, which one of us is going to tell Fredi it is OK to win 86 games rather than 94, if it means Venters is still healthy three years later?

    Did Fredi overuse the bullpen in 2011? Yes. Has he shown indications that he has learned from that mistake? Yes.

    Thank you for not killing a poor man who is not quite as deep a thinker than others here. I used to do research, and took pride in my logic, but I don’t give a crap about that stuff now. Just win, baby. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

  26. 28-In my view Justin deserves zero blame. Leftfielders don’t have much experience taking charge on plays like that because usually there isn’t a shortstop flashing into their field of view. Simmons might be the only shortstop in the game that even comes close to getting there. And where possible collisions involving two of your best players are concerned, I am happy for everybody to err on the side of caution.

  27. JC Romero just opted out of his Nats deal – somebody will take a flier on a LOOGY project, I’ll bet.

  28. @29

    If I were the Pirates, I would consider it. They need all the bats they can get.

  29. #20
    Feeling the limericks, so my juvenile attempt:

    A reliever from south of Nantucket
    Could no longer rare back & chuck it
    But he just didn’t stop
    ‘til he felt a bad pop
    ‘cause Fredi & Bobby’d said, “Fuck it…”

  30. @24 Of course, you’d rather a switch-hitter be good from the left side than the right (hi, Ramiro Pena!) considering at least 2/3rds of a player’s ABs will be against a right-handed pitcher. That said, Terdo would become a whole hell of a lot more valuable if he could fake it at 3B even to the level of, say, Chris Johnson.

  31. The Yankees started Lyle Overbay in RF last night. They’d take a call about Adam LaRoche.

  32. RE: Terdoslavich: it’s a numbers game, and the Braves aren’t really hurting for defensively challenged corner position sluggers. I think Terdo’s season is a big reason they decided to cut bait with Francisco, but I don’t think he’s going to push Gattis, JUpton or Freeman off the roster any time soon. Nor Reed Johnson, for that matter.

    He’s a September call up. (And his low walk rate and struggles as a LHB indicate that he’ll be eaten alive, a la Scotty Thorman, in the bigs.)

  33. Obscure in the minors was Venters
    But into the 7th he enters
    “Pitch him again!”
    Is the constant refrain
    Now appearing in medical centers.

  34. No baseball content, but since we’re doing Limericks, here’s one of my favorites:

    A young man from Lyme
    Had three wifes at a time
    When asked “Why a third“?
    He said “One is absurd
    And bigamy is a crime.”

  35. If any of our bench players struggle, I could see Atlanta bringing Terdo up to be a PH/DH.

    Speaking of DH, the Braves may have a legit answer to the AL in the World Series with Gattis. Not many full-time DHes in the AL match Gattis.

    Gosh, just imagine a world where Heyward, Uggla, and BJ are at career norms and Gattis is hitting the way he is. That’s 1927 Yankees stuff!

  36. “Gosh, just imagine a world where Heyward, Uggla, and BJ are at career norms and Gattis is hitting the way he is. That’s 1927 Yankees stuff!”

    We had a taste of that early on in the season. Here’s hoping we recapture it.

  37. Heyward and Uggla + Gattis: maybe. Hopefully.

    Dan Uggla is done. He is on the downward path. “Career norms” is wishcasting.

  38. As long as they hit like the 27 Yankees and pitch like the 90s Braves in October…

  39. Terdoslavich value is at it’s highest point ever. He may be worth more as trade bait.

  40. Every team is composed of folks under and over achieving their perceived true talent level. Heyward/Upton/Uggla and Gattis/Pena/Johnson/Schafer is the damndest set of variable performance data I’ve ever seen aggregated into a single team season.

  41. I don’t see much to be concerned about in Terdo’s low OPS as a RHB this year. It is a pretty small sample size, only 50 ABs, whereas over the previous two seasons he was 50 points better (2012) and only 25 points worse (2011) from the right side than the left. I think the odds are better that he bridges most of the gap with more ABs than they are that he puts up Ramiro Pena-like career splits.

  42. @6 – when I saw the Gaby Sanchez double, the first thing I did was tell my kids (age 10 and 12) that before he got fat, Andruw Jones would have had that ball every time.

    On another note, the umpire’s strike zone sure seemed finicky.

  43. NL #ASG voting leaders:
    1B: Votto
    2B: Phillips
    3B: Sandoval
    SS: Tulowitzki
    C: Posey
    OF: J. Upton
    OF: Harper
    OF: Braun

  44. @54
    Haha, that’s amazing. That means he has voted for himself for over 16,800 consecutive days in a row (only 25 votes per day!)

  45. I think there is an effect where a popular player who gets traded gets a voting bump, because he gets votes from two fanbases. It helps if he’s playing well, of course (unlike Prado).

  46. @57 That would account for the additional 103 votes that I was not taking into consideration.

  47. No Pena no Gattis again today:

    #Braves lineup: Simmons 6 Heyward 9 J. Upton 7 Freeman 3 McCann 2 C. Johnson 5 Uggla 4 B.J. Upton 8 Minor 1

    Edit: Tough lefty tonight surprised at no Gattis, Pena makes sense. If I’ve learned one thing watching Fredi though anytime we perform well offensively one night he almost always goes with the exact same lineup the next night, not a criticism, just an observation.

  48. Yeah, he’s rewarding the two LHB who homered last night (McCann, Heyward) with the start (and hoping it’s the start of Heyward being Jason Heyward for a change.)

  49. All kidding aside, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Braves and D’backs discuss an Uggla for Prado trade this offseason.

  50. Yeah, tough to disagree I mean who do you sit? Seems the options are Freeman, Heyward, McCann and one of the Uptons and I can’t say I’d start Gattis over any of them, as getting Heyward and BJ some momentum seems more important right now.

    I think Pit throws a lefty at 12:10 tomorrow so I’m sure Gattis will catch then.

  51. @62

    Well, has Teheran graduated to the point where they will let Gattis catch him, even if a lefty is on the mound for the opposition?

  52. I’ve no problems with Fredi’s lineup tonight or most nights really. The only thing I might change is that I would sit Uggla more than Fredi does, and I would try to play Gattis more, but the latter means that someone “good” has to sit. Gattis is certain to catch tomorrow anyways.

  53. Aside from the well trod “how do you get BJ Upton and Jason Heyward back on track” ground, the real question of the Braves lineup is “Who between Chris Johnson and Dan Uggla deserves to play against RHP?” Because you can only put Ramiro Pena at one position.

    I’m leaning toward Johnson, to be honest.

  54. I am just not ready to give Jeff Locke tough lefty status yet. He’s had a nice start – but it includes a whipping he took from the Braves (6H, 4ER, 3HR in 4.2ip).

  55. Yeah, I think Pena vs. righties at second is the way to go. Johnson’s hitting righties better than Uggla.

    Johnson and Uggla vs. lefties is still clearly the answer, sadly. Pena is hitting a robust .118/.211/.118 against lefties. Ouch.

  56. I wish Gattis could have been worked in, but Freeman and McCann have been mashing everyone lately and it’s important to let Jason build upon the success he had yesterday.

  57. Jeff Locke seems to be the most valuable commodity in that Nate McLouth deal.

    Oh, and from the wires:

    “The Nats have called up Anthony Rendon and Ian Krol and designated Henry Rodriguez for assignment. Danny Espinosa’s locker has been cleaned out, per a tweet from Washington Times beat writer Amanda Comak.”

  58. Pena is going to get at bats at all three infield positions. And rightly so. Simmons hasn’t exactly played himself into a “never sit that guy down” position quite yet.

    At some point you have to think about getting Freddie some rest too. That’s a Gattis start.

  59. Jeff Locke also has a 4.13 FIP and 4.20 xFIP, so there’s some reason to believe his great ERA is a mirage.

  60. Well you know someone will convince themselves they can fix Rodriguez. He won’t be unemployed long.

  61. #Nationals add Werth, Rendon (recall, AAA), Ian Krol (selected, AA) to roster. Place Espinosa on DL (right wrist), DFA Rodriguez and Duke.

    A bit more on the nats move

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