Braves 3, Phillies 7

ESPN Box Score

A disappointing end to a disappointing series to close out a very disappointing week of Braves baseball. This was the second consecutive divisional series the Braves lost. Wasn’t this supposed to be the “easy” part of the schedule?

Today, Kris Medlen was bad, but recent problems with runners on reared their head to make sure the Braves ended up getting Pettiboned. The Phillies rookie held the Braves to just one run over 5.1 innings. It really felt like it should’ve been more. The Braves had the same number of hits as the Phills, including a double and a HR (Chris Johnson regression watch is officially postponed until post-ASB) , but I guess when you rely on the pitcher to get the sole RBI in a 2nd-and-3rd with nobody out scenario, you can’t really expect much. When you’ve got batters getting kicked out in early innings arguing balls and strikes (and even worse, being on the wrong side of the argument) it feels like the focus is no longer on winning the baseball game. As frustrating as the Uptons are right now, it’d be so much easier to root for them if they didn’t act like dicks all the time. Folks used to complain that the Chipper Jones-era Braves were emotionless. Well, I’ll take a lack of reaction to bitching at the ump on every borderline call.

Anyhow, the Braves got behind early, squandered chances throughout the game, and just when you thought maybe they could get back into it, put together enough boneheaded plays to ensure it was over.

308 thoughts on “Braves 3, Phillies 7”

  1. BJ Upton is really frustrated. I don’t blame him for having such a short fuse given how terribly his year has started.

  2. #1 – Being frustrated and acting like a dick in the batters box every AB. There’s a huge difference. Hell it makes me respect Uggla that much more.

    @mlbbowman: Beachy will make a rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday.

  3. BJ Upton needs the All Star Break more than any player I have ever seen. He looks like Reggie Sanders out there

  4. Our pitching is becoming a problem. I figure our offense will keep doing what it does, both good and bad, but we need better pitching to ride out the bad.

  5. No, Sam. We are embarrassed by his lack of sportsmanship in a gentlemen’s game. However, he has been on the wrong side of arguments while in a Braves uniform much more than the right side, and that should embarrass him.

  6. Unfortunately, the Braves knew what they were getting when they signed him. Ask a Rays fan about BJ’s definition of his strike zone.

  7. BJ questions almost every called strike against him, and the replay shows him wrong almost every time. This bush league crap appears to be spreading to other players, too. Wanting to “get calls to go his way” is a pretty generous way to define what he does on a consistent basis. Agreed… Uggla at least knows how to fail with dignity. I pull for Uggla to turn it around, and I pull for BJ to get miraculously traded.

  8. BUpton will be here awhile. Hopefully he’ll do what he has done in the past and go on a tear after the break. His bad attitude will somehow, then, look like passion, and most complaints here will suddenly disappear.

  9. I hope BJ turns it around and I don’t mind him wanting calls to go his way. I just don’t like the chip on his shoulder and the constant argument of calls, esp. when he’s on the wrong side of it. He suppose to be a representation of this franchise. He just needs to play baseball and play it well.

  10. Wouldn’t mind both Uptons going on the DL for a while. They need some time off to figure things out and I need a break from watching them play.

  11. BJ is having a historically bad half even by his own standards. His OPS for the first half is .577.

    His previous low (once he became a regular in 2007) is .664 in the second half of 2009. Last year he posted a .679 OPS in the first half. Those are the two times he’s ever posted an OPS under .700 for a half-season.

    I’m in the crowd that is trying desperately to love him despite his poor play so far, mainly because we’re stuck with him for 4.5 years. I don’t like the constant barking at umps for strike calls. He does not pick his battles.

  12. @12
    Another fair weather backhanded, unprecedented comment at the braves joiurnal bloggers. No matter how BJ plays, if his attitude doesn’t change, he will always be hard to root for. Truthfully, I can’t remember a player ever acting like this in a Braves uniform. I wonder if his bitching sparked the “suffer in silence” shirt that Reed Johnson gave to all of the players.

  13. Man you guys have certainly forgotten how Bobby Cox holds the record for most ejections ever. It seems pretty unlikely that he was right about every call he ever argued and I never saw anyone here complain that Cox whining to the umps.

  14. I sometimes thought Bobby went a little overboard jawing at umpires from the dugout over balls and strikes. I don’t know that it hurt his reputation with them too much. I’m sure some umps hated his guts, but unless I’m mistaken he was generally well liked by umpires in general.

    There seems to be to be a big difference between a manager taking it to an ump on behalf of his players, and those same players taking it direct to the ump at the plate in full view of the fans.

  15. I think the difference is Bobby usually didn’t care if he was right – he typically did it just to protect his players.

    I can understand how folks find BJ hard to root for. I too get annoyed when he constantly grumbles about pitches that are clearly strikes. But I also know he legitimately wants to do better, and unlike Uggla whose skill set is clearly declining, for instance, I don’t for a minute believe BJ is actually this bad a player (and I don’t point this out to shit on Uggla, I think I like him a good bit more than average here). So I hope he not only gets things going, but that maybe relieving the pressure he must be under – in terms of coming to a new city and getting a big contract and then sucking – will improve some of the behavior as well.

  16. You guys are going nuts about BJ Upton, and I’m over here like, “I like Barves!”

  17. B.J. gives off a vibe like Wesley Snipes’ character in “The Fan.” I think that speaks to likability. Interestingly, Snipes’ character was traded from Atlanta and started sucking after the trade. In this case, B.J. started sucking after arrival to Atlanta. I know we’d all like to see it work because of the money involved, but this appears to be a worse year than Francoeur ever had in the show.

  18. If the Braves blow this big lead that is 2 big collapses in 3 years, and you have to think Fredi would be on the hot seat.

    Didn’t we just have a 7 game lead like a few days ago?

  19. this appears to be a worse year than Francoeur ever had in the show.

    Jeff Francoeur put up a -1.1 fWAR in 2008, a -1.4 fWAR last year, and a -.8 fWAR so far this year before the Royals let him go.

    BJ has only a -.1 fWAR this year, because he at least he is giving something positive defensively.

  20. @28 What that stat measures doesn’t necessarily prove anything about his bat speed. Lateness is not only caused by slow bat speed, it’s just one possible cause. A guy with his demonstrated power has to be generating a lot of bat speed, and that isn’t going to suddenly be lost at age 25. I suppose there could be a mechanical issue that is slowing his bat down, but my guess is it’s a timing issue.

  21. I think Gattis and Shafer should get well and inhabit left and center fields for a bit. Surely the offensive stench would improve more than the defense would suffer.

    In any case, go laundry.

    Edit: Also, thanks for the recap, mavery.

  22. Adam, I must have misunderstood your original statement to mean that the board is fickle and will forgive Bupton’s assholishness if he produces. I will always pull for the Braves but Justin’s behavior, in my opinion, doesn’t reflect the way the Braves have done business for years. If he produces, I will cheer, but I will never like him if he continues to be a grown baby.

  23. @32

    I ragged on him too in the last game thread.

    That said, I do think that we, as fans, are a bit fickle (including myself), and that winning and/or hitting covers up a lot of these issues. I also think he’s legitimately frustrated. But when he complains, it calls our attention back to him and his horrific season. In the end, BJ Upton will probably be okay – he has consistently been an above average baseball player, and his skill set doesn’t usually suddenly disappear at 28 – and that this is simply a (really) down year. It’s just too bad that Heyward and JUpton are underperforming as well, since that only further exposes BUpton’s awfulness.

  24. BJ Upton has never seen a strike in his life. Sometimes it gets so boring that he swings just for fun, but those are never strikes either.

    It’s pretty remarkable, really. The man has reached the pinnacle of the sport, having never faced a single opponent capable of throwing him a strike.

  25. Look, it bugged me a bit when Hinske would throw his helmet and do other “passionate” stuff. But he was a bench guy getting paid dick all and I didn’t have to see it all that often. With BJ, it’s like once a game basically. And I think it’s made that kind of stuff more acceptable in the clubhouse. I see Freddie and Heyward do the “throwing equipment” thing and the “complaining/staring/not walking away immediately” thing after getting called out on strikes more than in previous years.

    Maybe he’ll be less of a dick when he’s hitting better than Kris Medlen, but I’m not holding my breath.

  26. I think my main frustration with BJ is that it will often happen very early in an AB that he will disagree with a strike call and that will take him out of the AB. He seems to carry the frustration over and doesn’t seem to battle back. Just my observation, could be off.

  27. So when Gattis and Schafer come off the DL do you start playing them more? BJ, good Lord does he look lost. Despite the decent June, I’m not convinced he is getting any better.

    The Fox announcer, Tom Verducci noted Heyward’s hand movements before he hits, saying that he has seen no one that does that. I wonder why Jason does that? Seems like you would want your grip set before the pitch comes.

  28. I do thnk BJ is quick to argue balls/strikes, but it has really nothing to do with his sub par hitting or the Braves winning.

    I am sure more hitter argue balls and strikes, we just don’t see it as much with the ads for “In My Own Words: Why Chipper Jones wears an oragne skull cap while being interviewed” and the replays of the Coors Light Cold Train Catch of the Day! (Which is often shown in the second inning, we have seven more innings and we are willing to say there will be no better catches?)

  29. @38, he’s always done that hand thing but it does seem a bit more pronounced this year than in past seasons. If he’s re-gripping the bat while the ball is in the air he’s got no chance.

    But I’m not sure that explains why 98% of his balls-in-play are ground balls to 2B…

  30. Verducci said that Walker believes in that rush for a final grip, he’s rotating his wrists and locking himself up. If true, that would help explain rolling over everything. If you’re locked up, you’re not getting much control over the bat-head.

  31. In B.J.’s defense, sometimes he asks the home plate umpire if the ball was a strike. He’s trying to get a sense of what the strike zone is on that particular day. I don’t enjoy watching temper tantrums at the plate–not with Klesko, B.J. Upton, or anyone else–but it’s unfair to say that B.J. is being impetuous all of the time.

  32. I don’t get the whole likeability thing with BJ and Justin. I like them just fine as long as they’re hitting and don’t really dislike them as people when they’re not hitting. BJ questioning balls and strikes is not a big deal if he’s hitting – it’s just another thing to find annoying if he’s not. If he hits, most of our problems are solved.

  33. #37 – basically the exact thing that I wanted to say. First borderline pitch that he doesn’t get the call on takes him out of the AB.

  34. Great hitters are extraordinarily disciplined. Watch Ted Williams or Hank Aaron – their focus once the pitcher begins the windup is otherworldly. Hank’s anticipatory skills approach clairvoyance.

    BJ may be the most undisciplined well-paid hitter I’ve ever seen. If he’s not late with his front foot plant, he’s pulling his head. I’m not sure it will ever change. You don’t usually learn hitting discipline at 28.

  35. they’ve analyzed the Upton gene
    and found it falls right in between
    a self important hipster
    one termed by his own sister,
    a somewhat sulky drama queen.

  36. @41 – Yeah, I remember Verducci saying that. Watching him, I’ve seen both hands flexing as he awaits the pitch. Whether he is locking his wrists or not it seems like that it would put him at a disadvantage. Ironically the comment from Verducci came after Heyward hit a laser beam over right center.

    I can’t figure out what BJ is complaining about. He’ll bitch if he takes and gets called for a strike when a ball is close but then swing at a pitch (usually) below the zone. I’m just keep telling myself that he’ll eventually snap out of it.

  37. memento mori? just a threat
    the swings and misses we’ll forget
    the 0 and 2 meatball
    the cruelest pitch of all
    is no excuse, at least not yet.

  38. Hey Braves fans —

    Spent most of morning voting for your boy Freddie Freeman in the ASG last-guy-in vote. He deserves it. I hope he edges out Puig.

    Go Astros (yikes, I know).

  39. For those that don’t know, voting for Freddie is as easy as texting n2 to 89269. I did it 25 times in 2 minutes.

  40. @51

    It would be so hilarious if Freeman beat Puig with all the national media cheerleading and demanding votes for Puig. I do acknowledge that it really doesn’t matter in the end, but I don’t care. If Freeman wins, the media can shove it four feet up their ass.

  41. @51 Maybe there will be a “Puig exhaustion” sentiment that rallies voters to the best chance to keep him out of the All-Star game, which appears to be voting for Freddie.

  42. Puig was here in Chattanooga a few weeks ago. That aint right.

    However, we all know he will still make the team.

    I want Freeman to go.

  43. We have 30 interns in our office…and they may or may not be voting for Freeman 350 times each by the EoB Thursday..not because I told them to mind you. Strictly because they’ve seen the light and realized it’s the proper thing to do.

    There’s another 10K. I’d tell them to let them decide to vote more, but they do have other work as well.

  44. Is there a vote limit per person for this final vote?
    I just voted, and re-voted….about 40 times. When I voted on the standard all star ballot it had a limit of 25.
    I guess I put in another 5 minutes of voting then…

  45. There are always last-minute injury replacements for All-Star selections… seems to me the chances are pretty good that one of the NL outfielders (Beltran? CarGo? Harper?) will bow out citing injury, paving the way for Puig to make the roster as a sub.

  46. I think they both make it. I haven’t looked at the roster but I suspect several vets would sit out citing some type of ailment. Do they still have Tulo as the starting SS? He’s been out for a long period of time.

  47. RE Freeman vs. Puig, I note the following:

    1. There are more Braves fans than Dodger fans, thanks to TBS and confirmed by merchandise sales.

    2. There are many more fans who hate the Dodgers than hate the Braves. (You can bet every Giant fan is voting for someone other than Puig or Gonzalez.)

    3. It doesn’t help either Puig or Gonzalez that they’re both on the same team. The Dodger fan vote is going to be split — almost certainly in Puig’s favor, but split just the same.

    4. There are a lot of baseball fans who don’t think it’s right that a kid with a month+ of ML experience should make the All-Star team. They are more likely to vote (and re-vote) than casual fans, who will probably make up more of the pro-Puig bloc.

    5. Silver Linings Scorebook: Honestly, Puig is playing like a house afire at the moment. I want Freddie in there, but if Puig wins, it’s not like it hurts the NL’s chances of winning the game.

  48. Also, here’s a bit of news I didn’t realize, from the MLB Twitter page:

    “MLB ‏@MLB
    Have you voted 100 times yet? Why not? There’s no limit to how many times you cast your #FinalVote:

    Apparently the 25-vote limit doesn’t apply to the Last Man thing. Vote early and often!

  49. How many games has Puig (who I never heard of before today) played in? How do his stats compare to Francoeur in 2005 after the same number of games?

  50. I used to post on a board with Bill Shanks back in ’05 when Francoeur came up, and it was obvious he was putting every single one of his “Scout’s Honor” eggs into the Francoeur basket. It just wasn’t as off-putting back then. Nowadays he’s beyond ridiculous, but as the devolution of the AJC sports page shows you, TEH WEB HITZ are the only thing worth pursuing. Once you remove all the “in their parents basement”-level trolling, Shanks leaves us with this thesis:

    “Heyward is a good player, but he has not lived up to his high expectations — at least not yet.”

    Hey, thanks for that update, Bill!

  51. 2013 Puig – 32 games
    135 PA — 8 HR — 19 RBI — .409/.437/.677

    2005 Francoeur – first 32 games
    122 PA — 10 HR — 29 RBI — .370/.385/.739

  52. Very lucky. IIRC they offered him a McCann like deal. Thank God Frenchy turned it down.

  53. If I remember right, the deal they offered Francoeur was said to be greater than the McCann deal. Though I’m not sure if that was in terms of years, money or both.

  54. Marlins tv tonight in Florida may be a nice break from Chip. It would be nice to win.

  55. Philly is up 1-0 on Wash in the top of the 1st. Have the bases loaded also.

    Also, Ryan Howard is out 6-8 weeks with knee surgery.

  56. I couldn’t tell if Uggla started trotting there because he thought it was a homer or because he thought it was a routine flyout. No harm done, though.

  57. You’d think a .174 average would be enough of a clue to Fredi that BJ needs to work on his splinter collection, but he and we just haven’t taken enough punishment yet.

  58. I’m just looking at BJ’s batted ball profile, and it’s a mess. He’s making contact on only 67.4% of his swings – his career rate is 74.7% – and almost all of that difference is attributable to a substantial drop in his Z-Contact%, which is the percentage of pitches inside the strike zone with which he makes contact. Meanwhile, he has a ridiculously high Infield Fly Percentage, at 23%. His career rate is 9%.

    Taken together, BJ Upton is missing an abnormally high number of strikes, and when he does make contact, is popping up a ridiculously high number of pitches.

    Most of that looked better in June, when he was a very good hitter overall, but July has seen another reversal back to suck.

  59. @81

    Just like you’d think a sub-.290 OBP would be enough to place almost anyone else in the leadoff spot while Schafer is on the DL, but alas.

  60. 83- That’s really the thing that stands out to me. Maybe Fredi has the Francoeurian approach to OBP (it’s not on the scoreboard!), which is why Simmons keeps leading off. But that .17X average and 19 RBI from a guy who’s started nearly every day? BJ actually looks *better* using advanced statistics- merely lousy as opposed to once-a-decade pathetic.

  61. Aw, I wanted Freddie to make another campaign commercial for that last All-Star spot. C’mon, McCann!

  62. BJ has a chance to put up a for-the-record-books full season of suck. Mandatory playing time due to contract size and duration is a relatively modern phenomenon. When I was a kid if you hit .170 for a half season you usually didn’t get the chance to turn it around.

  63. You’re a AAAA pitcher. You’re barely hanging on. One more bad start, and you’re optioned to Rochester or Colorado Springs or Tucson or wherever. And then you see your next start is against the Braves, and you realize you’re safe for another five days.

  64. Whatever happened to that “Peach Clobbers” thing FSN pushed so hard in April? They sure buried that quickly.

  65. This is beginning to be a fiasco….tonight our hottest hitter, Mac, looks lost . We spend all game long giving up hits with 2 strikes and 2 outs, yet flail aimlessly in the same situation

  66. I’d be more encouraged by this pitching change if this team didn’t look like it’d get shut out in batting practice. Or its hitters could consistently count to three.

    103- And I’ll swear at your dog, too!

  67. By the way, Jason has been striking for extra bases off a few lefties lately. The triple just now, I believe his 3-run homer in the rout a few days ago was off a lefty, and the solo shot on an 0-2 pitch was off a tough lefty reliever. Good signs!

  68. Does Freeman have a hit since the all star team was named? Doesn’t seem to be seeing the ball real well all of the sudden

  69. Jason whacked that ball and ran like he was being chased. I may have to say something positive about him if he keeps this up.

  70. Nice work, Mike. Enjoy your shower. After the last two innings, I sure as heck wouldn’t put him out there again.

  71. That was more nerve-racking than any AB for Jeff Mathis ought to be. Nice escape, Mike, and good job, B-Mac.

  72. I remember Vinny Castilla’s first year with th braves in ’02 when he hit like .230-ish as being a disaster. I couldn’t fathom a quality major league team running out a regular who hit so poorly. Now i see a roster with five guys sub-.250 and still cant believe this is a contending offense. Now, I came of age in the late 90’s which seems like it will go down as an era of inflated offensive numbers, so I’m sure I’m still not adjusting properly to the new normal for hitters, but when I step back and look at those batting lines… ugh.

    Have things changed so much in a decade that a division-leading batting order looks like this?

  73. Dan Uggla must be pondering what a shit-stain of a park this is.

  74. ESPN’s bottom line: “Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig currently second behind Braves 1B Freddie Freeman.” A word choice and sentence structure that continues the big-market cheerleading asshattery at which ESPN remains the worldwide leader..

  75. 122- You’re not kidding! Their Gamecast just posted a picture of Justin leaving the batting box with the caption:

    Atlanta Braves’ B.J. Upton heads to run the bases after hitting a double against the Miami Marlins in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, July 8, 2013, in Miami.

    Except there’s a letter S in front of hitting.

  76. Walden looking sharp. Things are just not very fun right now. Feels like the June swoon in July

  77. Yep, sharp as a billiard ball. (I know your comment’s sarcasm, but it needs amplifying.)

  78. Are these bases being stolen on the pitcher, or does McCann now throw like Juan Pierre?

  79. Why is there an alarm clock going off in Marlins Park for over an inning now?

  80. @123

    I just screen-captured that on my iPad. That’s priceless.

  81. I guess it could be somebody playing a triangle. Perhaps someone at Marlins Park simply owns a triangle.

    And has no regard for their personal well-being. Or no fear.

  82. Pitching staff has struggled some lately, but tough to pitch every night with little run support (except for Saturday).

  83. That is not what we needed to bolster your candidacy, Freddie.

  84. Heyward has been putting in his application for defensive player of the month lately.

  85. Yeah that was a nice catch. Ruggiano has sure hit a lot of balls hard against us.

    I just turned on the tv and noticed they have the cf camera on the rf side of the mound – nice change of pace from the usual angle. You can really see Avilan’s fastball tail away from the righties.

  86. Better score here. The Braves have played 10 extra-inning games going into tonight, but nine of them ended in the 10th.

  87. Papelbon tries to blow the game for Philly, but he can’t quite succeed and the Nats lose 3-2.

  88. Since the Braves are pretty clearly never going to score another run, I think you’ve got to go for the forfeit here. Do something to really piss the Miami fan off so he starts a riot, or somehow cause the Marlins to use up every single one of their players.

  89. Stanton, Ozuna, Morrison. Here’s where you ought to use your best remaining arm. Of course, there’s as much a chance of that as there is of Fredi not batting Simmons leadoff nowadays, numbers be damned.

  90. Braves hitters have given up, it seems. I mean, sure – this Marlins pitching staff is amazing, right?

  91. It would be nice to sneak one out in extras here. 5 is much better than 4.

  92. Hope Anthony didn’t pull a hamstring there. Yikes, that looked painful.

  93. Figured Joe would love that gritty hustle bunt attempt.

    C’mon Simba, close your eyes and swing hard and put one on the board.

  94. Just a geyser of bad choices there. A bunt, and a head-first slide to first. Meanwhile, Joe orgasms on-air over an out. New announcers for 2014, please.

  95. I don’t mind the attempt there since he was going for a hit against a tough pitcher. Almost pulled it off, just a bit too hard off the bat.

  96. And there’s a good way to end your season short…Braves’ braintrust needs to sit their stars down and have a tough-love talk about sliding head first.

  97. For the last time, gentlemen:

    Head-first sliding into first base … DOES … NOT … HELP.

    If a coach or manager is advocating these dives into first, he ought to be fired tomorrow.

  98. Maybe someone should remind ESPN that Puig was one of the main guys in the Arizona brawl. That doesn’t scream AllStar.

  99. You slide to avoid the tag. It’s kinda hard to be safe if the pitcher can just reach over and tag you.

  100. Fredi obviously trusts Avilan and Varvaro to get through their innings, and wants Kimbrel to hold things here for another shot at the lead before going to the “who’s got an arm” section of the pen.

  101. If the play at 1B is a swipe tag, head first slide is good. If the play is “get to the bag first” obviously running through the bag is better. If you’re off stride or off balance as a runner you might take the slide rather than over-striding the base.

  102. The reason you don’t slide is because it’s one of the worst risk/rewards in the game. You can jam a shoulder, break a wrist/finger, get stepped on, and generally ruin your whole season. A 2-out infield single in July is not worth it.

  103. Another game on the second place team in your division is worth it. You play hard. You play to win.

  104. One game is not worth Heyward being out for 2 months. BJ should slide head first into every base though.

  105. It’d be pretty hilarious watching him slide head first after being out by four steps.

  106. We’re talking about our *best* shitty outfielder here. Although maybe this team could use a bit of Constanza…

  107. 170- It is if you also replace the 573 OPS in center field and the 630 OPS since May 1 in left field.

  108. That it’s a game in July is one of those things that’s hard to keep in mind when going full out down the line in extra innings.

  109. Braves are two innings away from having 27 guys retired in a row. Come on bullpen! Keep this one alive so that the Marlins pitchers can do it!

  110. Fredi not deploying Kimbrel “correctly” according to the politburo here*: travesty; how can you not try to win the game?!?

    Heyward trying to get to 1B by any means necessary: travesty; how can you risk injury by trying to win the game?!?

    *yes, I know Fredi actually used his pen correctly tonight.

  111. Who has criticized the bullpen use tonight? I think he has managed this one well (so far).

  112. He tried to get to 1B by the dumbest means possible. You can either applaud the grittiness or ask him to be more careful. Kinda like how you might ask Bryce Harper to stop running through walls for no reason (although I hope he keeps that up).

    Nobody got on Fredi for using Kimbrel. It’s unanimous in the positive. Joe and Chip were bewildered though, which does happen.

  113. Has anyone here ever complained about bringing in Kimbrel? I think historically it’s mostly been complaints in extra-inning games where Kimbrel isn’t even used.

  114. Yes. The complaint is that Fredi doesn’t bring in Kimbrel to hold extra inning games. And that minor decision is shouted down for days at times. So when it’s a minor decision about your closer and which point to call him in, a single game is MASSIVELY IMPORTANT. But when a runner is trying to get to first base by any means possible, he’s supposed to say “nah, I’ll lay back here, it’s just one game.”

  115. Sam, you’re going just a wee bit overboard. I blame our hitters for not ending this game when they should have, hours ago.

  116. That’s a very strained analogy but you are working hard so I’ll go with it. I still think the important fact isn’t that it’s “any means possible”…it’s “the worst means possible”.

  117. Well clearly eveyr hitter is going up there with an “end it” mentality every swing.

  118. I guess that’s why this is a good thing that our games so rarely go beyond ten innings.

  119. That 60 yd race between CJ and Laird was far more entertaining than this shitty game. I want more replays. And I will need to know if McCann and/or Freeman are in the set of things faster-than-Laird.

  120. Using Kimbrel appropriately is pretty neutral to his health. Sliding head-first into first is pretty dangerous. Is this really the comparison you’re making?

  121. So when we lose this one, we will be at .500 over our last 76 games. That’s special.

  122. In what world are the under-.500, eight-back-in-the-loss-column Phillies “knocking on the door”, Caray?

  123. 197- In a world where the Braves can’t get a hit to save their lives. (You’ll have to imagine that in the late Don LaFontaine’s voice.)

  124. No way to really stop that one.

    Edit: I’d be pretty happy if the umps actually called those pitches as balls when people actively “get hit” and/or those elbow shields got outlawed.

  125. The Barves would’ve given up a 2-out walk off after than sweet DP. The Braves must still be in there somewhere. Someone jack one already.

  126. Marlins are out of players except for one bullpen guy, so I like our chances if this thing goes 23 innings.

  127. I admit to assuming Hechavarria was going to single softly to win the game.

  128. Remember: we are 3 outs away from the Marlins throwing a perfecto in the middle of a game.

    Edit: No more!

  129. Timely jinx @211. Might be worthwhile to mention that the in-game no hitter is still intact.

  130. Simba took that make-an-out-on-purpose thing a bit too far. Seemed like the right call by the umps though.

  131. I’m not even angry about that bunt attempt. Simmons would probably have hit into a double play.

  132. It’s that kind of night, folks.

    On the plus side, however, kudos to Iassogna for conferring with the other umpires to ensure the call had been made correctly; had Angel Hernandez been behind the plate, Fredi would have been ejected almost immediately.

  133. Right call, and just another example of why Simmons should not be leading the team in plate appearances.

  134. Probably just as well Simmons ran into the ball. If it falls down right there in front of the plate the catcher has an easy double play.

  135. Goddamnit, that was nice, Jupton.

    I love how Jason almost scores from first before the ball gets back to the infield. He is damn fast around the bases.

  136. honest question..why was simmons called out? he was not in the box when he contacted the ball, but he was not in fair territory either, he was in the air at the time. still correct call?

    also, yea!

  137. Who does Fredi have left to get three outs in the bottom half? I don’t trust David Carpenter for a third inning. (Granted, I didn’t trust him for a second either.)

  138. If I wasn’t paying close attention, I wouldn’t have known that we just had a go-ahead hit. I’m listening to Don Sutton on MLB Radio, and Don just doesn’t get excited AT ALL. He gets just as excited for an opposing team’s hits.

  139. @238 The plate is considered fair territory, and since the ball was over it when he made contact and he wasn’t in the box, it happened in fair territory.

  140. @241
    Wood and Ayala are left in the bullpen. With 3 left-handed batters due up for the Marlins, and (at least) a two-run lead, I’d be inclined to go with Wood.

    And that goes double as it appears the wheels are beginning to come off for the Fish.

  141. TPas totally could’ve dove and made that play a lot cooler. Instead he took the boring route and just ran through the base to get there faster.

  142. Their stadium is so quiet you can hear Uggla’s f-bombs like he’s in the same room.

  143. @244 not to be obtuse, but whether or not the ball is fair isn’t the question in my mind, it’s the batter who needs to be in fair territory. or not?

    also, yea again!

  144. If the ball is in fair territory and it strikes the batter, the batter is in fair territory by definition. If the ball is over the plate and the batter touches it, he’s in fair territory (with the ball.)

  145. Someone just looking at the final score will think this game was a good one for our offense.

  146. Chris “Regress This” Johnson with another hit.

    You can stop now, Braves. Scoring double digits didn’t work so well overall in the last two series.

  147. @263 My understanding, and this could be one of those many rule quirks that are hard to get right, is that it only matters where the batter is if he’s in the box. Otherwise it matters where the ball is. In almost every case they’re both either going to be in fair or foul territory, so it’s not like it really ever comes up. But if the player makes contact with a fair ball before a fielder has a chance to field it he is out (if it happens behind the fielder he is not).

  148. @263, the ball hit his foot again as he was stumbling across the LH batter’s box. Not sure if that’s why they called it though.

  149. I am worried that David Carpenter could be injured. He’s made five appearances and pitched 6 2/3 innings in the last six days, and in his second inning, he had lost a couple miles off his fastball and had trouble locating the ball. I really hope he’s okay, and I really hope that they give him a few days of ironclad rest.

  150. Worth mentioning again: they retired 24 Braves in a row, and then gave up 6 runs. Sometimes life isn’t fair. Sometimes crappy organizations get what they deserve. Screw you, fish.

  151. Momentum probably doesn’t exist in baseball, but man it sure seems like if you blow a golden chance to score in extras (like the Marlins did the prior inning) then more times than not the other team comes up and lays it on you.

  152. @261,
    I have to agree.

    Gerald Laird, in 72 PA – .290/.371/.403
    David Ross, in 75 PA – .185/.274/.400

    Very SSS and all, but Laird looks practically like a bargain at this point. Certainly much better than I could have expected or even hoped for.

  153. 278 — Hopefully it’s (and I’d attribute it to) just fatigue. Even Kimbrel lost a couple of mph on the fastball at one point when he pitched, I think, 4 games in a row.

  154. Fatigue is when you’re most likely to get hurt. I never imagined that Carpenter could be this good for this team, but he’s basically become our 2005 Blaine Boyer, a guy who sort of comes out of nowhere to pitch every day and will probably wind up getting hurt. Of course, Carpenter’s a big boy — he’s already 27 years old, so he may be a little less breakable, and he’s also a journeyman Quad-A guy who’s become a dominant reliever in the Show. So I’m not exactly shedding tears for him. I’m just hoping that we can keep him healthy.

  155. Laird has a career .305 OBP. That he is at .375 this year is a very pleasant surprise.

  156. You don’t just waltz into Marlins Park and expect a win. You have to earn it. I’ll take 50 more ugly wins just like this.

  157. 280 — Depending on what you define momentum as I wouldn’t rule it out. Psychology has a big impact on lot of top level (non-individual) sports.

    Seeing the other team fail when you thought the game might be over could give a “being let off the hook” feeling and maybe the hitters weren’t as tense the next inning and likewise the new pitcher tightening up a bit trying to “for sure not blow the game now.”

  158. Alternately, the Marlins could have been down to the “last man standing” in their pen who hadn’t pitched an inning all year and had no idea where the ball was going out of his hand.

  159. rule 6.03 states that a batter’s legal position is established with both feet within the batter’s box.
    rule 6.05(g) states the batter is out when he touches a fair ball.
    Hence Simmons was correctly called out. I apologize for the self answered q&a, but I learned something in the process and we won. good night all in all.

  160. @291, the mental lift is most certainly real, but I’m not sure how much the outcome was due to that, or if it was just that we finally got to the dregs of their pen and were able to put bat on ball.

  161. Not knowing where the ball is going doesn’t necessarily mean the Braves are going to hit it of course.

  162. @285: Really? That’s probably my favorite incessant Geico commercial. Miles better than the Dracula one.

  163. The good: Justin flat ripped the shit out of that game winning double. Heyward played great in all facets of the game. Our pitching was nearly perfect all the way through to the last man in the pen.

    The bad: we nearly got no-hit for a 9-inning stretch.

    I will give the Fish credit. Some guys at the front of their pen are really tough. That Cishek (or however you spell it) would look good with an A on his hat.

  164. Simmons is a disastrous leadoff hitter, obviously. But I think it’s possible that batting leadoff is actually contributing to his struggles — which certainly seemed to happen to Marcus Giles in 2006, although in retrospect the fact that his career would be over in two years seems to suggest that there were other problems too.

    However, in Andrelton’s case, I think that he may be putting a lot of additional pressure on himself at the top of the lineup. They need to slide him way down in the order for his own good.

  165. Yeah, anyone but Andrelton needs to lead off. BJ. Reed Johnson. Chris Johnson. Anyone but Andrelton Simmons.

  166. @302 Seriously. I don’t give a damn what Simmons does at the plate, his defense is that good. He shouldn’t be leading off, however, but I can’t blame that on him.

  167. @298 ok, now I have entered the ‘overthinking it zone’. Someone (Harper, Trout maybe?) famously hits the ball with his back foot off of the ground therefore according to 6.03 is no longer established with 2 feet in the box.

    Ignoring for the moment that Simmons had already bunted the ball, was he still in a legal position to hit the ball, in the air? Then he probably should have been ruled a foul ball. sigh. anybody interested in furthering this discussion or should I let it die at this point?

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