Dodgers 5, Braves still deplaning

If you are going to win 54, and you’re going to lose 54, and it’s the 54 in the middle that makes the difference, you wouldn’t be too far out of line to suggest that a 10PM start after a cross country flight to LA, without the traditional off-day, with Zack Greinke on the mound, might be part of the third you punt. Greinke’s been struggling to live up to his contract this year, but there’s no doubt he’s got the talent. And last night, he got the results.

Greinke wasn’t dominant, per se. He scattered 4 hits and 3 walks across 7 innings. But he also struck out 7 Braves when he really needed to and kept them off the board entirely. The strikeouts came predominantly against Justin Upton (3K’s, 3LOB) and Dan Uggla (2K’s, 2LOB.) It wasn’t the stuff of legends. It wasn’t Julio Teheran v the Pirates. But it was enough to make a piddling little RBI ground out off the bat of Skip Schumaker in the 2nd stand up.

With the way the Braves treated the Dodgers’ bullpen, particularly Kenley Jansen when they were in Atlanta, you held out hope going into the top of the eighth. But it was for naught. Jansen gave up a lead off single to Success!, but that was quickly erased on a runner-going, fly-out, doubled-off-first scenario off the bat of Andrelton Simmons. There were baserunning hijinks just to add insult to injury, too. Jason Heyward then singled with two out, but JUpton whiffed for the third time and that was done.

In the bottom half the Dodgers put it away off of Cory Gearrin. Two one out singles, a walk to Hanley Ramirez and a yakker to Dodgers wunderkind Yasiel Puig and it was all over but the six hour tour of LA’s state of the 1950’s-art freeway system. The Braves went meekly top nine and that was that.

Braves fans looking for some upside here should note that Tim Hudson put together his second high quality, Tim Hudson-esque start in a row. Perhaps we were a bit premature with the grave digging. He says that he and Roger McDowell identified a mechnical flaw – he was apparently collapsing his front leg and thus leaving his pitches up – prior to his last start in Atlanta. If so, that start plus tonight’s effort is a good sign. Other good signs include Heyward getting two more hits (both singles) and BJ Upton drawing two walks in three PAs, while striking out none times. Otherwise, it was the type of game you regret staying up late to watch.

Get some sleep and take the next two, fellas.

205 thoughts on “Dodgers 5, Braves still deplaning”

  1. Dan Uggla’s OPS with RISP is .549. 4 hits in 38 at-bats. It’s one thing to let him play in the early innings in the hopes of getting walks and the occasional home run, but Fredi is hurting the team by not pinch-hitting for him with RISP in situations that are close and late.

  2. Ready for another blockbuster trade with the diamondbacks?

    Arizona gets
    Paul Maholm
    Dan Uggla
    Tyler Pastornicky
    Lisp

    Braves get
    Martin Prado
    Wade Miley

    Miley becomes our O’Flaherty, Prado comes back home to a starting 2nd base job, and the logjam is no more.

  3. Glad I feel asleep in the 1st then.

    I think Dan Uggla’s walks don’t help the team much because they are coming in front of the 8 and 9 hitters mostly. The other day where he walked and BJ homered was the first time I can remember those two doing anything back-to-back.

    I guess it’s good that we’re turning the lineup over just a bit faster, so there’s that, but if Uggla was benched for the remainder of his contract I would be fine with that.

  4. Agreed with Sam. You just write this one off and hope the Braves got a little suck out of their system. It’s awfully annoying to watch Fredi leave Gearrin in when it’s clear he doesn’t have it, but maybe Fredi was trying to show confidence in his right-hander while throwing up a mental white flag.

    Oh well. Let’s kill ’em today.

  5. You know how we were all “WHERE IS GATTIS GOING TO PLAY?!” like 2 weeks ago? I think Justin Upton needs a few “days off” now and then.

  6. hits fall within, the center cannot hold
    misguided relays go not where they’re told
    the throw is loosed, it could land anywhere
    the back up catcher has a vacant stare
    the best lack all conviction while the worst
    to Rome, Gwinnett depart, sadly accursed.

  7. Puig was here in Chattanooga be for the call up. His nickname here was “The Cuban Missile”

  8. Loved the write up. From the last thread you would think the Braves were collapsing and lost their 10th in a row. The jury is still out on Gearrin and I know his 1.76 ERA coming into the game was not a great indicator of his effectiveness (3.20 now), but I definitely don’t understand the sentiment to send him to Gwinnett after 1 grand slam! I bet Fredi gets him back in tonight as soon as the opportunity arises.

  9. By leaving Gearrin in Fredi also bailed himself out of a tough situation. If it’s still a one-run game he has to pinch-hit Gattis for Uggla the next inning. Correct me if I am wrong, but Uggla was benched for a while last year but I don’t think Fredi has ever had someone pinch hit for him. They have a history after all.

  10. 10—Well, that’s pretty uncreative, given that that’s Aroldis Chapman’s nickname. Get it together, Chattanoogans.

  11. When you score 0 runs it doesn’t matter what the relievers do. We had a bad game. There will be more like it. This feels like a very streaky team to me.

  12. Thinking about it, I’m disappointed that I never thought to call Livan the “Cuban Sandwich.”

  13. Hudson now has a 9.7% swinging strike percentage, which would be his highest since 2004. Basically, he has looked pretty good this year – a couple clunkers, but everyone has those – but is being hurt still by a low strand rate. I expect both his ERA and FIP will be below 4 the rest of the season.

  14. @3 — all well and good but Arizona aint picking up Uggla contract for 2 more years at 15 Mil ..we are stuck with Struggla.

  15. And I sure wouldn’t trade Maholm until we know for sure that Beachy is going to be back to his usual self. And that no one else gets hurt. In other words, we aren’t trading a starter in my opinion.

  16. @18
    Look at Prado’s year thus far and they owe him 33 more million, whereas Uggla is owed 26.2.

    @20 I’m not so sure. Wren seems to be set on getting a reliever and it’s going to cost something, and I’d be willing to bet we’re done trading prospects for a while. Furthermore, it might not be smart for his arm this year but I’m sure the Braves would have no trouble moving Wood into the rotation if someone were to go down, especially if we find another lefty for the bullpen.

    Terdo with 2 more hits last night.

  17. Boring day, some tweets for you.

    @ajcbraves: #Braves Fredi G on Uggla striking out with runners on corners and nobody out:
    “A productive out is better.”

    @ajcbraves: #Braves Heyward, was fly was in no-man’s land? “Was absolutely in no-man’s land, but I take responsibility for not knowing (B.J. location)”

    @mlbbowman: Gearrin’s 9 app. in which the game was tied or one-run separated the 2 teams: 7.1 IP, 12 hits and 7 earned runs. #Braves

  18. @mlbbowman: Since recording four hits in his 5/13 return to Arizona, Justin Upton has batted .189 (14-for-74) with one HR, one double and 30 Ks

    @ajcbraves: #Braves Uggla and B.J. Upton have more K’s than total bases, B.J. by a lot — 68 K’s, 49 TB. Uggla has 75 K’s, 70 TB.

  19. RE: JUpton – arbitrary end points can make anyone look great or terrible.

  20. I know Hudson has said before that his sinker sinks better when he is tired. Would this would be because he wouldn’t be throwing it quite so hard and therefore gets better movement on it?

    Last night Gearrin’s sinker wasn’t sinking, and he hadn’t pitched in a week. Correlation? Also, his numbers in close situations are terrible and so different from when the game’s not close. Could that be because he tries to throw harder when it’s close, and that affects the movement on his pitches?

    He’s such an enigma. At times he looks brilliant, and then he’ll have an outing like last night. I really wish he could become an effective Moylan 2.0, because that would be nice to have in the bullpen (and on that note, I really hope we don’t face Moylan in an important situation this series, because I really want him to do well now that he’s made it back to the majors, but I’d have to root for us to beat him).

  21. @26
    “The draft will continue Friday and Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. each day and going through 40 rounds total.”

    Wow. I didn’t realize the baseball draft was 40 rounds. Amazing that some guys can even go undrafted with that many rounds.

  22. Including at least one future ace (Beachy) — and that was with a 50-round draft.

  23. Braves draft Carlos Salazar in Round 3. Another hard throwing RHP.

    http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/06/06/3331824/draft-drags-along-as-salazar-waits.html

    “But the 6-foot, 210-pounder and once first-round projection made this clear as a group of about 100 family and friends were departing the home of Ramon Chavez: If he doesn’t receive second-round bonus money — even as a third-rounder — the odds will increase significantly that he’ll honor a commitment and attend Fresno State: “Yes, for the most part.”
    MLB’s recommended signing bonus for the final pick of the second round is $760,000.”

  24. He’s such an enigma. At times he looks brilliant, and then he’ll have an outing like last night.

    We call those “relievers.” Add an extra 20-sided die to your WTF roll if said reliever is a side-armer.

  25. 32—Well, he was an infielder in college — teams can draft you to be whatever they’d like you to be. Just as the Braves signed him as a pitcher, they could have drafted him as one and announced that at the draft.

    But the point I was highlighting is that the Rule-4 Draft, even with that many rounds, is an incredible crap-shoot.

    33—Don’t think the Braves would have taken him in the third if they didn’t think they could get him signed. And I’m guessing that at least one of the two guys they took last night will be signing an under-slot deal.

  26. If the Braves sign Salazar this draft could turn out to be pretty damn good. A teenage pitcher who already throws 97 with a plus breaking ball? Yes please.

  27. Braves took another C in the 4th round

    @Jim_Powell: In Rnd 4, #Braves draft C Tanner Murphy, Malden HS, MO. @jimcallisBA: could be a P if catching doesn’t work out. Big arm/power. SIU commit.

  28. In the future, the Braves will field teams made only of power pitchers and converted catching prospects.

  29. @38: I’d just point out that if those are the players you have competitive advantage in developing, that’s exactly what you should do, and then trade them for the other players you need. Of course, your minor league records will suck, but I presume nobody cares about that.

  30. With our fifth pick we just took A&M SS Mikey Reynolds, a guy who “projects as a utility player.” Being a senior he is easily signable so if getting this guy cheap helps us sign Salazar I am all for it.

  31. Ian Thomas: IP, 0H, 0ER, BB, 2K (30 IP, 1.80 ERA, 47K/10BB)
    I can’t believe this guy hasn’t gotten a call up, given the state of our bullpen.

  32. Round 6: Steve Janas of Kennesaw State. First words of draft profile: “After undergoing Tommy John surgery last March…” Of course.

    Seriously, he does look like a decent prospect, as he set the conference record for lowest ERA (1.14).

  33. Nong Nong:

    I meant to post on here that I saw Thomas pitch in Chattanooga in the game Beachy was rehabbing and he was very impressive. Swing and miss stuff and made it look easy. I think we may see him this year. FWIW the Dodgers scout I was sitting behind really liked him and Salcedo and told me some cool stories about scouting Gattis in A ball.

  34. My dream to reacquire Prado by trading Maholm is still alive as Daniel Hudson re-tore an elbow ligament during rehab.

  35. 7th Round Braves draft RHP Ian Stiffler from PA another one without a scouting report on MLB.

  36. Well…Wren’s actually pretty good. He sure annoyed the hell out of me in his two games against VU, last weekend.

  37. @51, I just hate the egregious conflict of interest it sets up throughout the organization.

  38. Has hit hit the ball at all in recent memory? Hes swinging through everything.

    Serious question, with 3 important players around or below .200 at the All Star break (and don’t kid yourself, even if they get going, it’ll take at least that long to get batting averages back up to just plain bad) are Walker and Fletcher going to be on the hot seat?

  39. I believe Justin had three hits in a game recently. I recall at least a couple of those being hit reasonably hard.

  40. Kyle Wren is pretty good. A bit of a rough season last year but this year and his Freshman year were legit. 8th round seems OK. I just wish we had taken Zane Evans instead one of the catchers we took.

    They’re both juniors and I would love to have them come back from another year, obviously, but I’m guessing that’s not going to happen.

  41. The big problem to me is that Justin has all of one XBH (a double) in 66 ABs since the grand slam against the Dodgers. That’s not gonna work for #3 hitter.

  42. @55, I am still sort of shocked that these are all being documented, and featured, on mlb.com video.

  43. Upton has had a couple of multi hit games recently. He’s just missing fastballs he was driving out of the park earlier.

  44. Yes, I do remember the three hit game. Three groundballs through the shortstop/3B hole.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d take that performance everyday. But I’m going to go out on a limb and call that a fluke. He was bound to get some of those grounders to short to go through, he just happened to get three of them in a row.

    But, still, three grounders to short would still be better than his standard 3 k’s and an infield pop, if only because 1 or 3 might sneak through.

  45. @55 Karma. If he had taken the time to touch 3rd batter would have beaten throw to 1st.

  46. The Braves have the 7th-best wRC+ in baseball. I think the hitting coaches are not going anywhere.

    Plus, only with BJ Upton is the problem inexplicable. There is a good argument – and its probably an argument the front office accepts – that Heyward has been unlucky and Dan Uggla is declining. You can’t fire someone because BJ Upton hits like shit. If you credit that to the hitting coaches, then you also have to give them credit for all those crappy bench players hitting like batting champs.

  47. 53—I hear you. I just mind Wren less than Schuerholz and Snitker because he can actually play a little.

  48. Lineup:

    Simmons ss, Heyward rf, JUpton lf, Freeman 1b, Gattis c, CJohnson 3b, Uggla 2b, BUpton cf, Maholm p.

    (And as per tradition, Gattis will be removed if he reaches base by any means other than a dinger.)

  49. I get the potential nepotism problems for the Braves organization drafting Wren.

    But what about from Wren’s perspective? Will playing for the Braves, his dad’s organization, make it easier, or harder, for him to reach his potential?

  50. I’d be curious to know how negotiating the singing bonus works. Do they just pay him slot? Does the kid hire an agent?

  51. For those it will benefit, we’re the free game on MLB.tv tonight and Sunday afternoon.

  52. @66

    Thanks for that. By the way, was he asked to leave? I wonder what the politics were for figuring out who stayed and who went.

  53. Scully is doing a bad imitation of Chip tonight. “Takes low and away with a half swing foul”

  54. And just when Chip was so happy about El Oso’s Productive Out! ™

    Edit: Uggla simulates usefulness!

  55. What’s the record for assists in a game? At this rate, Simmons will break that tonight.

  56. The Buddha walks up to a hot dog stand at Dodger Stadium. The man at the counter asks him what he wants, and he says, “Make me one with everything.”

    Nonplussed, the vendor makes his dog and hands it over, and the Buddha gives him a $20 bill. After a few seconds, the Buddha requests the change from his purpose, and the vendor tells him, “Change must come from within.”

    And the Phillies just lost.

  57. I’ve lost my feed, am now listening to Don Sutton, and have no idea what’s going on except for what I can glean from the crowd.

  58. There are two kinds of people. Those you can put into a category and those you can’t.

  59. I’m just wishing Maholm wouldn’t throw that… whatever the hell kind of curveball that is.

  60. I’m getting really sick of this Puig guy already. I hope Gattis does something tonight to reestablish who the most exciting rookie in baseball is this year.

  61. Never mind.

    BTW, the name appears to be from Castilia in Spain, so I guess it’d be where Castilians have gone.

  62. Can’t throw the same pitch in the same spot twice to a good hitter. Paul is throwing the ball great tonight but that was a bad pitch selection.

  63. BJ seems to be making contact, at least. He’s hit the ball hard all three times tonight.

    Baby steps.

  64. Upton is getting that foot down and is squaring up a lot of balls. Looks much better.

  65. Seems like we never score runs in this park. Not sure if I can stay awake through all this excitement.

  66. I sure do love watching Justin Upton run.

    As to Simmons leading off… probably not, but lineup construction just doesn’t keep me up at night. As long as you mix your handedness and keep your best hitters near the top, pregame lineup construction is probably more important as a motivating tool than as a tactical edge.

    I really want to be watching the game when Jason Heyward stops swinging through fastballs and rolling weak grounders to second base. But this ain’t that game.

  67. Well, at least we got the situation we wanted: Gattis in high leverage against a reliever he’s beaten before.

  68. The score may be tied, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the game was just lost.

  69. Noticed the crazy scar on Maholm’s head which caused me to do some quick googling.

    From an old Pirates blog:
    That scar is present because Maholm had the left side of his face and nasal cavity basically reconstructed after he was hit by a line drive back up the box on May 15, 2004. That surgery involved the doctors basically peeling back his face from the top of his head down for the reconstruction of his face.

    Pretty wild.

  70. @146 Maholm was very vocal on Twitter after Happ was hit earlier this year about pitchers NOT wearing helmets. He basically said that’s the risk you run as a pitcher. The doctors told him an inch one way or another when he was hit while pitching in Lynchburg and he could have either been blinded or killed. I thought his response about the helmet debate was really interesting, since he had gone through it before.

  71. Yeah I saw that, but he was on deck in the previous inning, too.

    You could pinch hit for, and replace both of those players in the field. They’re both terrible defensively.

  72. Every single pitch to BJ in that at bat was a strike, and he’s going to stand there and argue that he was called out on the 3-2.

  73. Strike three appeared to be in the exact same location as ball three. I get BJ’s displeasure.

  74. If you watch games on the iPad app, you will understand what I mean when I say this: the Geico gecko must …
    die … NOW.

  75. They made Dodger Stadium just big enough for us.

    The Braves have played eight extra-inning games this year, but only one has gone beyond the 10th.

  76. @156. I’ll trust you. I don’t have the game day app running. Hard to tell with the camera angles. The turner field centered camera has spoiled me.

  77. What??? He totally beat that. I could see that in real time it wasn’t even close!

  78. He’s terrible. He was in no position to make that call cause of the angle of the throw. A competent umpire moves so he isn’t screened by the first baseman.

  79. JUpton was very safe according to everyone but the umps. Bucknor? Why am I not surprised?

  80. Something has to be done about all of these missed calls. Upton was clearly safe.

  81. @179—that is depressing news. I’m not optimistic about winning any games in this series right now.

  82. It’s kind of amazing that Mattingly didn’t pinch run for Hernandez. Not that it matters – he’ll score – but still.

  83. The record of four wild pitches in one inning, cited in “Major League,” will be in jeopardy at some point this year if Varvaro is regularly used.

  84. I hate west coast games and west coast teams and especially west coast walk off wild pitches. What a debacle.

  85. Currently on C.B. Bucknor’s Wikipedia page: “He is also the first blind person to ever be an umpire in the MLB.”

  86. 197 — LOL, I was about to post the same thing.

    Also, from that page:

    “Bucknor has consistently been regarded as the worst umpires in major league baseball in anonymous polls of active ballplayers:

    In a 2003 Sports Illustrated survey of 550 active major league players, Bucknor was voted as the worst umpire in MLB, with 20.7% of the vote.[1]

    In an updated 2006 SI survey, Bucknor was again voted MLB’s worst umpire, with 21% of the players’ votes.[2]

    In a 2010 ESPN survey of 100 active players taken after Jim Joyce’s blown call that cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game, Bucknor was once again named the worst umpire in baseball (while Joyce was named the best).[3]”

  87. This is what you get for ganging up on Daft Punk.

    Never underestimate the power of the Tin Pan.

  88. Well that was frustrating to wake up to today. It’s weird, because the Braves had like 3 runners called safe on plays at first throughout the game, and I thought the play in the 10th was one of the clearest. Justin was safe.

    On another note, Puig. Wow. He hits balls off the end of the bat, gets under them, hits what look like normal fly balls to me, but instead they end up on the warning track or beyond. That guy is some kinda strong.

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