193 thoughts on “Braves 4, Royals 1 3”

  1. Pithy. The very soul of wit.
    ————-

    As delighted as I am to see Heyward figuring it out, two of BUpton’s swings last night were things of beauty and reminiscent of earlier this year.

    Get both of them going …

  2. I’d been trying to trade for Heyward. He eventually went for Oswaldo Arcia, Aaron Hill, and Glen Perkins. Sold way low.

  3. I’ve been thinking about this a bit.

    We’re 45-33, the third-winningest team in the league, and in first place six games ahead of the Nationals. But, if anything, we’ve had a lot of guys either perform to expectations or do worse than expected.

    Basically, our offense has been a lot worse than we’ve thought: as mravery (I think) said a few days ago, we’ve traded a few more homers for a ton more strikeouts, and overall we’re not a very productive offense at all. It is reasonable to expect that we will get a fair amount of improvement from the group of Simmons, Upton, Upton, and Heyward, even if McCann and Uggla basically stay where they are and we assume that Freeman can hit .300 with moderate power.

    The team is being held together by its starting rotation, which is more or less performing as well as we might have expected, and the bullpen, which frankly is doing better than expected and I think both Fredi and Roger McDowell deserve a lot of credit for getting a whole lot of good innings from Walden, Carpenter, Varvaro, and Avilan after both Venters and O’Flaherty went down. And Alex Wood has looked good, too.

    (By the way, Varvaro has more innings than anyone else in the pen, but he only has 38 innings through 78 games. So he could lead the pen with 80 innings pitched, and Kimbrel is on pace to throw somewhere in the 60s. That’s a lot healthier than 2011.)

    So our bullpen may or may not stay this lights-out — it’s hard to know just how long David Carpenter can remain reliable, since he was basically a Quad-A journeyman before this year, and he’s basically in the Chad Durbin role. And Craig Kimbrel’s walking a tightrope more than in previous years.

    But the offense is almost certain to improve. And while the guys who are overperforming are part-timers like Jordan Schafer, the guys who are underperforming are full-timers like Heyward. Considering that we’ve been playing pretty well this whole time, I think that bodes well for the future.

  4. Re: Carpenter, it’s not that unusual for 28 year old relief pitchers to suddenly figure it out, and to stay productive through their peak, especially when they average 94.6 MPH on their fastball and stop walking guys.

    But if he does lose it, it’s no big deal, Juan Jaime is throwing 100MPH and basically unhittable in AA.

  5. @5 – Alex, that’s the glass-half-full approach and I think it’s the right one. Or, at least the reasonable one.

    I worry that Oso’s injury might burst the balloon because (hide your eyes, sabermetricians) his presence in the lineup or on the bench adds the needed testosterone to give this team the swagger (God, I hate that word) it lacks otherwise. (Chipper used to provide that, but in increasingly smaller doses as he aged.)

    Here’s hoping Gattis returns intact. Soon.

  6. Definitely more reasonable than the “We’re really the team that has shown up when we’re playing our worst, and the Nationals are really a team that hasn’t shown up yet at all, so we’re doomed” approach.

  7. I can’t fathom how utterly boring this place would be if everyone posted nothing but “go Braves!” and “I heart Chris Johnson!!” and stuff.

  8. Perhaps our definitions of misery are different, but I don’t think the mere act of being critical of a manager or certain players is a sign that one is “miserable”.

    I enjoy cheering my team on, but I also enjoy venting about the things that that I perceive are going wrong.

  9. @11 12 – I agree, but you’d think from some of the tone that we are the Royals or something.

    Alex, your right and its damn perplexing. My hope is that as Johnson and Schafer pumpkinize that Heyward and at least one of the damn Uptons gets hot or at least plays to their averages. I don’t hold very high hope that Uggla will get better or that Simmons is much more than what he is right now.

  10. I think Rob Cope just stumbled upon the site’s new tagline.

    Braves Journal: The House that Mac Built
    I like Barves.

  11. @21

    And though it’s admittedly very early, their preliminary case against him looks pretty damning. If they can prove a plausible motive, he’s in big trouble.

  12. 20- Let’s not overdo things. I can find things to love about BJ and Uggla and Gearrin, but Fredi remains a waste of space.

    21- And a Browns player has been charged with attempted murder. To quote Sideshow Bob, “Now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel Prize for Attempted Chemistry?”

  13. The braves have arguably played the toughest schedule in all of baseball. We’ve played more road games than anyone and I believe we just completed a stretch of 48 games in 50 days. Is that correct?

  14. Talking about how easy our remaining schedule is seems to directly lead to losing series the Mets and Brewers and whatnot. I, for one, have complete respect for the professional teams we’ve yet to play. And I’m going to take it one game at a time.

  15. Ya know, I love my Gators, but man, we have had some hoodlums come through the system. After all, every team has their fair share of run-ins with the law (free shoes/Dillard’s scandals at FSU, the Hurricanes of the late-80s, early-90s), but we’ve had some bad eggs. And yet… Tebow… in the middle of all of this. Weird.

    @24 – That’s another thing about the situation: if all the evidence is true, how could he be so dumb? If anything, use all of your money and power to separate yourself as far away from the murder as possible. Have an alibi, leave the country at the time of the murder, call from a payphone, keep it away from your house, anything to throw the scent.

    As for the Barves, I really appreciate Alex’s summation of everything. His objective, rational, fan-colored analysis is like music.

  16. Why would Mac need a night off with an off-day on Monday and another one tomorrow? I mean, if he asked off, fine. If Fredi just decided to do it… strange, strange man.

  17. @31, Murderers typically ain’t that bright. The dumbest are typically the ones who are convinced they’ve got a foolproof plan.

  18. 38- The arrests are public record, so “allegedly” isn’t suitable there. They’ve definitely been arrested, but may or may not have committed their alleged crimes.

  19. 32 teams, 53 players on each team. That’s 1,696 players. 27 players in five months would be a rate of 65 per year, or just under a 4% arrest rate per year. For young men with generally more money than brains, that’s high but not outrageously so.

  20. I understand the reasons people think Jason Heyward *should* be a 2-hole hitter in the hypothetical. It seems to me, though, notwithstanding his decent last couple of weeks, that he has yet to show he can actually *be* a 2-hole hitter in the present reality. (The Book, of course, saying that slot should go to your best all-around hitter, which Jason is not now and has rarely been.)

    Certainly not saying he can’t ever earn it, but I’m confused as to why he’s been left there so often when he hasn’t yet done so. Can anybody enlighten me?

  21. Oh, my. We’re going to manage to not score after getting runners on second and third with no outs.

  22. After he checked his swing on a breaking ball 3 feet off the plate, was there any doubt he’d get another one, a little close, and swing this time?

  23. pop out is correct …. boy we miss somebody who can put ball in play like Ramiro Pena … would have been nice to have him play some 3b from time to time.

  24. Do you think that even Andrelton Simmons hates Andrelton Simmons? I don’t see how he couldn’t..

  25. Ramiro Pena might be out for the season. It’s time to fall in love all over again with Paul Janish and The Rev.

  26. I’m sorry, why are we blaming Uggla and Laird and not the three guys who couldn’t make a productive out (or god forbid get a hit)?

  27. As president of the Andrelton Simmons fan club, I must protest. There are plenty of candidates to hate in that inning,not just my favorite Brave.

    Two outs were made with runners on before AS put the ball in play.

  28. Well Johnson had the decency to strike out. If Andrelton had had the chance, his weak contact had 6-4-3 written all over it.

  29. @71, Well, Laird is 0-for-1 career against Mendoza, so he’s got that going for him. But with wraparound off days and facing a righty, it seems like McCann’s the automatic start here.

  30. He hasn’t thrown a breaking ball for a strike yet, but we’ve swung at most of them. Just sit fastball and spit on everything else until he gets some called strikes with the breaking ball.

  31. I thought for a moment that might have been another “HE DID IT FROM HIS ASS” moment, but he did not in fact do it from his ass.

    And there’s the duck fart to bring in a run.

  32. Hey, guys, that’s what a hit looks like with two outs and a runner in scoring position. Watch and learn.

  33. Minor is throwing batting practice. Gonna find something less miserable to do for a while.

  34. And there’s the booming double to keep Minor from feeling bad about letting in a run on a ducksnort.

    And this is gonna be a long night for the pen.

  35. I suppose every player weathers a down time during the season. Maybe it’s a good thing that Minor’s getting his out of the way now. Then he can get back on track and dominate the stretch run and (hopefully) playoffs.

  36. Because someone has to, I’m going to try to look on the bright side. We can have a player randomly get hot and drive in three runs, and the KC offense isn’t really this good against a pitcher who’s on his game. We can still win this.

  37. Well if Mike manages to record another out before allowing a hit, then the Royals will only be batting .500 against him tonight.

  38. Never thought I would see a day when I see Francour hit .210 which would make me happy we got rid of him .. then realize he is hitting better than 3 of our starters a 2 of our 3 outfielders … can we get Francour back and let them have BJ Upton .. Francour’s 210 is even cheaper. I wish we could see a lineup tonight of Shaefer – CF, Pena – 2b ( Hurt) , Freeman – 1b, Gattis (hurt) – DH, McCann – c , J Upton -LF , Heyward – RF ,C johnson -3b, Simmons- ss …

  39. Wow. This team just can’t seem to score a run these days. Plenty of balls hit hard. At least two hits up the middle taken away by the shift….

  40. You know who Minor probably wishes he could face? The Braves. It doesn’t matter how easy the schedule is: if you can’t score, it’s gonna be a struggle.

  41. Just wait until we get all those games against the Mets, Brewers and Royals. We’ll get it straightened out.

  42. This lineup is making some mediocre to replacement level pitchers look like All-Stars. Painful to watch.

  43. You can’t hide Simmons, not even with the DH. Then again, nobody would notice if Heyward and the Uptons were doing what they’re supposed to do.

  44. Being tied is much better than being behind by three. Thanks, Royals bullpen!

    Now, let’s work on going ahead, to make this evening really fun.

  45. Did Jason get Snitker’d there?

    Or was it an attempt to make sure the run was going to score?

  46. Tad, idea… Change your handle to Negative Nancy. Fits ya better.

    There goes Avilan, being all tightropey again.

  47. @127

    I’m watching on the Fox Sports KC feed and it looked as if at the last moment, Cain threw almost awkwardly to third. Jason made a horrible slide, which made me think Snitker signaled him to third and then Jason made the awkward slide forcing a play and giving Johnson a couple of extra steps to the plate.

  48. Maybe they just wanted to say they got a starting pitcher for him, even if he was about to fall apart. I remember Walden’s elbow being a cause for concern, too.

  49. I believe the Angels thought Walden’s and Hanson’s shoulders were equally likely to fall apart. Still might be. But Walden’s been pretty damn good so far.

  50. That’s a dumb move by Yost. Why pinch run one of your better hitters, on first base with 2 already out?

    EDIT: Eek.

  51. Ned Yost should be fired tomorrow for that monstrosity. Pinch running at first base with 2 outs? Even Fredi’s not that stupid.

  52. I love it when Heyward hits those outside pitches to left field.

    Here’s an idea, don’t steal here.

  53. So, do we think Fredi is letting Laird hit here because he’s earned the chance, or is something wrong with McCann?

    Edit: That stinks.

  54. Well either way the pitcher is going to have the handedness advantage. So do you want Laird facing his same hand, or McCann facing his same hand?

    McCann facing his same hand at least gets him into the game now instead of allowing Yost to save him for Heyward and Freeman in another inning.

  55. Well either way the pitcher is going to have the handedness advantage. So do you want Laird facing his same hand, or McCann facing his same hand?

    McCann facing his same hand at least gets Collins into the game now instead of allowing Yost to save him for Heyward and Freeman in another inning.

  56. Miguel Tejada? Is he trying to be like Julio Franco and play into his 50’s?

    I think you walk Gordon here.

  57. Well, darn it. Tough loss there.

    Hope nothing is wrong with McCann. Curious he didn’t start or pinch hit in this game.

  58. Well, I disagreed with every decision Fredi made in the last 15 minutes. And I feel pretty justified.

    He sucks.

  59. Recapped.

    Our best catcher didn’t hit.
    Our best closer didn’t pitch.
    They walked our hottest hitter.
    We pitched to their hottest hitter.
    We lost in extras.

  60. Hey why all the sad faces? We’ve still got a 7…er….6…no….5 game lead! We should be in first for at least another week and a half.

  61. When you make Ned Yost look smart, it’s time to reassess your place in the world.

  62. Did Pena stay in that game he hurt his shoulder in? Adrenaline is a crazy thing. That stinks for him to finally have a breakout season and then have to have season-ending surgery. Stinks for the team, too.

  63. Cant believe he pitched to Gordon with a base open .. wait a min ..I can too .. we are talking about the worst late inning mgr in baseball …

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