Braves 1, ChiSox 3

ESPN box score

An inauspicious way to begin after the All-Star Break. The Braves had 9 singles and 4 walks and scored 1 run. The White Sox had 4 singles, a double, and 2 walks and scored 3. Go figure.

Mike Minor pitched a complete(ish?) game, giving up 3 runs (2 earned) and striking out 8 over innings, but it wasn’t enough against the generic lefty of the day (Jose Quintana) who managed to only give up hits when no one was in danger of scoring. I’m trying to think of what else went on, but there really wasn’t much else. I mean, interesting things happened during the game. Andrelton Simmons made a great play (but also booted one, accounting for the lone error of the game and eventually one of Chicago’s runs). The Braves started three catchers (one in LF and one at DH) and one of them (Gerald Laird) had a weird infield single before leaving after getting hit on the wrist by an inside pitch. Minor, after needing 40-odd pitches to get through the first two innings, got through the other 6 in less than 60. The Braves used 1 pitcher, but the White Sox needed 5.

But regardless, the result was a 2-run Braves loss making them 1-2 in against one of the worst teams in the AL. Luckily, the Nationals suck (I got to watch them lose in extras last night. Hahahhahaha! #NATITUDE) and no one in the NL East besides the Braves is above .500. It’s not necessarily the way you want to win, but it sure beats the alternative.

222 thoughts on “Braves 1, ChiSox 3”

  1. I didn’t see the game, but checking the highlights this looks like one where we just couldn’t catch a break. Multiple hard hit balls with bases load where we come up empty and a robbed game-tying homerun…meanwhile they score on an easy grounder that beat the shift and a bloop.

    Baseball.

  2. Well done, Mavery.

    Matt Harvey pitched today. We’re going to miss him again. Incredible.

  3. So Fredi will indeed move our gold glove rightfielder to centerfield until BJ is back…while the move makes sense by keeping Gattis in the lineup, we will see how long Jason will survive…

  4. “It’s not necessarily the way you want to win, but it sure beats the alternative.”

    Disagree, I would rather lose than win like this. Backing into a division sucks. This is a mediocre team and has been for most of the season.

  5. We’ve definitely been mediocre for most of the season, but as long as we get into the tournament I don’t care how we do it. I feel like we’re cosmically due to win a world series while not being the best team. Since we don’t have a shut-down starter it’s going to be tough. We’re going to need to be really hot with the bats during playoffs. It could happen…

  6. @5: I’m taking my grandson to his first game either Tuesday or Wednesday (haven’t quite made up my mind yet.) I’ll text you when I know, but it looks like I’ll have my hands full.

  7. @6 – Gads, a classic example of the wisdom behind the saying don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I am okay with winning, even if it is the bite-your-nails kind. We can worry next off season (and maybe a little bit at the trading deadline) whether there is a better way to win.

  8. We are a straky team and we knew it would be like this.

    I would rather back into winning than lose any day, but I don’t think we are backing into anything. This is a good team.

    Yesterday was just one of those games. The Sox came up with some great plays an hard hit balls. I bet we will win a game this year off walks and dinky slow base hits.

  9. 6, that’s absurd. How many times have the Braves been knocked out of the postseason by a mediocre team? Just need to find a way to get into the tournament.

  10. @7. If Jason thinks he is ready, then he must be ready (or more than ready!). He has gone through enough in the past couple years not to mess around his health.

  11. They don’t host a beauty contest for your W-L record at the end of the year. They have the third best win total in the NL right now. If they win 90+ games, I really can’t be bothered about what order they came in.

  12. @6 – the ’00 Yankees, ’02 Angels, ’03 Marlins, ’04 Red Sox, ’06 Cardinals, and ’11 Cardinals say hi, and “lolwut”

  13. @6: Everyone would like them to play better than worse, but I disagree as well. Indeed, one of the worst things you can do is to play so well in the regular season that you regard the playoffs as a foregone conclusion. Granted, there are no Braves fans who feel this way (any more) but there is ample evidence that the playoffs really don’t care how many games you won in the regular season.

  14. @13-

    It felt like Joe was giving him shit early on in the broadcast for staying out another day. Personally, I was fine with it. Don’t rush back. Especially not to play a more demanding position and face a lefty. Give Johnson another start. No problem.

    I remain optimistic about this team come playoff time. Julio Teheran still has another gear that we’ve glimpsed for maybe a game or two at a time. If he hits his stride at the right time…. (Or Beachy or Medlen or whatever.)

  15. Listening to the end of the game yesterday coming into a gate at Hartsfield the radio guys didn’t sound so sure about Maholm making his next start. When I was walking towards baggage claim, there was a limo driver holding a sign that said Paul Maholm. Anyone know if there might be a connection?

  16. @18

    Yes. He was to fly back to Atlanta for test/treatment.

    If he misses a start, they should DL him.

  17. They sent him back early to have his wrist examined.

    @6 Really?

    Hope Mr. Glass can handle the rigors of CF. Any news on BJ’s progress?

  18. Marc is just upset because he’s actually a Nats fan. Last year it didn’t count because we weren’t winning our division. This year it doesn’t because we’re beating the Nats. Honestly, to classify this as backing into the division so far is unbelievably absurd. Who else deserves to win this division right now?

  19. I can see what Marc is saying, and playing poorly at the end of the season doesn’t lead to success in the postseason. Most of the teams listed previously that had success in the postseason got hot in September and ran through October. That may not be Atlanta.

  20. @23

    Did I somehow sleep through the end of July and all of August? It’s September already?

  21. Nick, the idea is the Braves have been a .500 team since May, so unless something changes, they’re going to continue to be a .500 team. Comparing these Braves to the lightning-in-a-bottle WC teams imply Atlanta will get hot in September. There’s nothing right now that suggests that’ll happen.

    Now, I think something will change, and it’ll be our offense. I can imagine Heyward/Upton/Upton will recover and improve. However, if they don’t, this team is probably dead in the water.

  22. Out starters have to be more consistent for us to win. Minor was good yesterday, but Malhom was not. If he had been decent, we win 2 of three easy. Like I said before, yeterday was just bad luck.

    This team goes as the starting pitching goes.

  23. @25: And, rob, the idea going the other way is that we infer that teams caught lightniing-in-a-bottle whent hey did no such thing. Those teams were always that good — they just weren’t winning. i can’t find it at the moment, but there is very good evidence that your September record is less predicitve of your October record than your season’s record, and that your season’s record is at best a tiny component of your October record determinant.
    There is still very, very little evidence that thios team is really any worse than the the team in the first two weeks of the season, which means that they can easily have another spell like it in the next month. Or in the palyoffs, or both. But if they have a 12-1 streak of games at some time in September, it still says virtually nothing about their playoff chances. Nor does dicking around at .500 the rest of the season, subject to them actually getting to the playoffs.

  24. There’s nothing right now that suggests that’ll happen.

    well other than the fact there some guys due to return from significant lost time to injury (Gattis/Schafer) and key guys guys hitting well below their historical norms (as well as admittedly some above, but I think Uptons regressing up and Johnson regressing down is a net gain).

  25. @26, Maholm has been mostly bad this year. I don’t think he’s pitching for us at all in Sept/Oct. Maybe not anymore this year.

    We have a decent shot of improving this position by promoting from within the system – Beachy or Wood (or both if Medlen goes to the pen). I feel like we need to roll into the playoffs with our best K/9 starting rotation. Right now that’s Minor, Teheran, and…nobody. Wood and Beachy are both high K/9 types. I think our playoff rotation will end up being three of those four. No Medlen. No Hudson. That’s what I would do if I wanted to maximize our chances of winning a short series – keeping balls out of play via the K is the only way I know of to avoid ‘bad-luck’.

  26. @26, Maholm has been mostly bad this year.

    It feels like I’m his only defender around here, but Maholm has 4ER or less in 16 of 20 starts, 4R or less in 14 of 20, 3R or less in 10 of 20. He averages 6ip per start. We have really different ideas on what “mostly bad” is.

  27. @29

    Unless he is hurt or we don’t make it, Hudson would be in the post season rotation.

  28. @20 I am pleased to see the “Mr. Glass” meme catching on. :-)

    RE the discussion about whether it matters how you go into the postseason, I think the question is, “Are you happy just getting in?” The answer, of course, depends on context. If you’re a Pirates fan in 2013, you’ll celebrate like it’s Papa Willie Time all over again; if you’re a Braves fan in 2004, getting into the first round *feels* easier and less like an achievement, because you’ve been doing it every year since 1991; if you’re a Yankees fan in the early Aughts, anything less than a World Championship leaves you empty. (Honestly, i pity them.) You don’t get that cathartic sense of fulfillment unless your team succeeds in doing better than you expected.

    I think the recurring malaise in Braves Country comes from a sense of having underperformed more often than not over the past 22 years. It’s not necessarily accurate, but emotions care nothing for facts. I expect most Braves fans will feel sanguine about the season if the team gets into and wins an LDS; anything less will feel like we fell short of the minimum our potential suggested was probable. Which, again, may not be fair; in Billy Beane’s sage words, “My shit doesn’t work in the playoffs.”

    I have to disagree with @27, though. Fourteen weeks of play may not be the truest sample size (just as any map of the California coastline is going to be imprecise to varying degrees unless it’s actually the size of California), but it’s a lot truer than two weeks of play. The most recent evidence suggests this team’s issues will limit it to roughly .500 ball unless one or more of its sluggers goes off and carries the team for a while. That could happen sometime between now and the end of October, but I don’t know the odds of it happening and I’m not sure I’d put money on it at this point.

    Although obviously I’d love to be proven wrong. ;-)

  29. @28-31 I keep wondering why we never hear of Wren going after a true #1 starter. It seems like everyone recognizes you need one to go deep into October, and so far none of our SPs has quite gained that kind of dominance. I keep thinking of how adding Maddux to Glavine and Smoltz really got us over the hump and wondering if we just don’t have the cash to get that final piece. (Which would matter more in the postseason than another bat, history would seem to suggest.)

  30. But, Rob, check out who we play for the second half. Granted, we just lost 2 of 3 to the White Sox, but we play an awful lot of the Fish, Mets, Phils, Brewers, Padres, etc. No quicker way to “get healthy” than to beat up on the bad teams.

  31. @33

    I would like us to get a stud #1. But our rotation has actually been pretty good this year and there just aren’t any real aces to be had at this time

  32. @35 If only Cliff Lee didn’t play in our division. No way Ruben’s trading him to us. :-)

  33. @36

    In a way, I don’t want them to sell. I would hate to see Utley in LA or Pittsburgh come October

  34. @30 – He’s below average in every pitching metric there is this year, defense dependent or independent. A reasonable definition of average might be ‘half bad and half good,’ in which case being below average makes him literally ‘mostly bad.’ Plenty of teams would be thrilled to have a below average, above replacement starter as their #5, but I’m not sure why a Braves fan would want to see more of such mediocrity at the expense of watching younger guys that should be at least as good with the potential for much more.

  35. @32 I don’t think anyone disputes that 14 weeks is “a lot truer than two weeks of play.” The point is that 16 weeks is more so than 14.

    The first two weeks happened. The Braves won those games with largely the same players they have now. It’s no more informative or accurate to cut those weeks out than it is any other random two weeks of the season.

  36. @39 – True and I agree. But, teams figured out the book on Justin at the plate and he hasn’t adjusted yet.

  37. Justin Upton has been hitting pretty well lately. Also, why does everyone keep saying that the book came out on him in May? He has been playing for years. It’s not as if he came out of nowhere this April – he didn’t even change leagues.

  38. “For the two weeks starting Monday, June 10 and ending Sunday, June 23, the Braves were 5-9. If you get rid of those two weeks, they’re 50-34 or a .600 team.”

    That’d be good for second in the NL, behind the Cardinals. I didn’t even have to look that hard. If you’re more dilligant than I, you can probably do better. Point is, taking out a random two weeks can make this team look mediocre or like one of the best in MLB.

  39. JUp last 28 days – .316/.368/.468/.836 – adjusted a little?
    Mr. Glass last 28 – .279/.362/.492/.854 – you just don’t get the sense that he has hit this well. You’re not sure how long he’ll stay in the lineup. But its an upward trend from two important parts of the offense.

    Uggla and BJ remain drags on the offense. Who knows what Gattis will do in LF going forward except better than BJ which is a very low bar.

    I think Smitty said it earlier, the team will live and die with pitching. Wood and/ or Beachy in the wings is a nice luxury to have.

  40. @38, Who exactly are these “younger guys” that nefarious Maholm is stealing innings from as of today? Beachy? How ’bout he gets healthy first? Maholm has also been “average*” over his career and he’s 31. We should dismiss all of that because he’s off to a “less than average*” start over 20 starts? In May Huddy was finished, and last year it was Minor who was a waste of skin at the all-star break.

    *a really poor term to use with pitchers, esp starters – not-good ones don’t pitch as much as good ones, so there are inherent weighting problems. The statistical “average” is nowhere close to the average quality of the set of all available starting pitchers, or even pitchers who will start a game this year.

  41. @31, I know he will be…I’m just saying I personally would prefer him not to be. It’s not that he couldn’t pitch a gem and get us a post-season victory – he’s certainly capable. I would just rather go into the games with guys that can strike people out. The less balls in play, the less chance for bloop hits, seeing eye grounders, and the less chance that our good-in-the-regular-season defenders totally choke and boot routine balls under pressure.

    We’re probably going to strike out 10-plus times a game against whatever ace we match up against in the playoffs, so I’m hoping we can counter that with something similar on our side.

  42. @44 – Wood for one. And the use of “nefarious” to make a caricature out the argument is unnecessary. I don’t hate or even dislike Maholm. I thank him for his services over the last calendar year. But the post you responded to asserted that he’s been “mostly bad” and that seems like a totally defensible argument. He’s a 31 year old who has, in fact, been a little below average (your disagreement with the term duly noted) over his career, and, now on the down-hill side of his peak, is a little worse than that this year. Nothing about that seems out of line or even unexpected. Players decline when they get older, and he didn’t exactly start out on the mountain top.

    I don’t think he’s very likely to be any better than Wood and then Beachy (not to mention Medlen who seems to be the consensus choice to move to the ‘pen upon Beachy’s return) during the stretch run, and I think they clearly have much higher ceilings than his. He’s a great guy to stash in the bullpen if Beachy or someone else doesn’t pan out.

  43. @32: “Fourteen weeks of play may not be the truest sample size…but it’s a lot truer than two weeks of play.”

    I believe that, but that’s not what I said. What I said was that 14 weeks of .500 ball is consistent with a .600 team. (It’s also consistent with a .400 team, by the way.) Thus, the fact that you’ve seen 14 weeks of .500 is weak evidence that you’ve got a .500 team when you also have two weeks of .900 ball. Simulate it yourself if you don’t believe me. Simulate a .561 team for 82 games. See how often this team is at .500 or below in a full half season of play. it happens a lot — around 16 percent of simulated years. Now simulate that same team for the remaining (roughly) 70 games. They win over 40 of those 70 games almost half the time. And NOTHING changed about the quality of the team.

    So the last 80 games or so profoundly reject the notion that we are a .900 team. That’s why your statement is true. But it says almost nothing about whether or not we’re a .580 team.

  44. @43
    Uggla hasn’t been a drag on the offense for a few months now. Since June 4, Uggla is OPSing .803. Actually, if you go all the way back to May 1st, he’s OPSing .776. Uggla is not hurting this team, at least offensively.

  45. I would be in favor of keeping Maholm around as insurance in case Wood totally struggles or in case we have to deal with more injuries. He might have a tiny bit of trade value in that he’d eat innings for a contender that needs a known-quantity 5th starter, but I tend to think he’s more valuable to us than what we might get in return would be (for the rest of 2013).

  46. He threw a pitch and then flexed and grabbed at his wrist/forearm area a little.

  47. @52 – I think Fredi or another coach mentioned that he initially hurt it swinging at a pitch in an earlier at-bat.

  48. This is why. http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/justin-upton-is-suddenly-bad-at-everything/

    Except he’s not “bad at everything” anymore. He was in a slump, now he’s not. The book on him has changed – as it does for everyone over time – but again, there was already one to begin with, and he didn’t suddenly come out of nowhere. You can’t make arguments about Justin Upton as if he just came up and is having to adjust to the league for the first time.

  49. He didn’t bat since it was a DH game. He grabbed his wrist after 3 innings of ineffectiveness and they promptly took him out – but they were probably going to take him out soon anyways. It’s anyone’s guess how severe this injury is.

  50. @43
    Uggla hasn’t been a drag on the offense for a few months now. Since June 4, Uggla is OPSing .803. Actually, if you go all the way back to May 1st, he’s OPSing .776. Uggla is not hurting this team, at least offensively.

    But but but the narrative is “he sucks!” You can’t argue with the narrative. The narrative is Truth. Uggla sucks, and no amount of evidence to the contrary will, apparently, change the minds of folks on this board.

  51. The shitty outfield is hurting the team the most (as much as a first-place team can be “hurt”), but that narrative also doesn’t play well here or anywhere else really.

  52. Eh, Justin’s fine.

    BJ is dragging the Upton rep down and probably kept his brother from wheezing into the All-Star game because potential Justin voters were suffering from Upton Fatigue and virtually stayed virtually home.

    That .198 Uggla average kinda makes any positive contribution suspect, but if he keeps doing what he’s been doing for the last month or so, we’ll be fine at 2B.

    But unless we’re willing to go with Gattis in LF, Heyward in CF and Justin in RF (not how Wren, et al, drew it up, is it?), BJ’s coach- and team- and GM-killer presence in the lineup is going to remain the elephant in the room.

    You’d think that three days of DH would have been exactly what the Braves ordered. Sadly, no.

    In truth, Wren has invested his big dollars poorly and his marginal dollars shrewdly – the true definition of penny-wise and pound-foolish.

    But, yeah – those who say we’re a slightly better than .500 team hoping to get hot at the right time are more accurate than we want them to be.

  53. We draw our share of walks and seem to have a lot of innings where we get one or more guys on. Yesterday’s game is an good/extreme example – we had runners all over the place in the early innings. We’ve just been really bad hitting with RISP. Is that something that will just randomly improve over the rest of the season? Let’s hope so.

  54. @58. Really? Your argument is that the outfield doesn’t come under heavy fire here? Fascinating.

  55. Some analysts decry the usefulness of RISP.

    All I know is the top five teams in RISP are:

    Cardinals
    Tigers
    Rays
    Orioles
    Red Sox

    At least three of those are mid- to low-market teams that are leading or challenging for their respective Division leads.
    ———-

  56. All of those teams are also good-to-great hitting teams. The only thing decried is the belief that hitting above career norms with risp is a sustainable skill. Obviously it’s good to get timely hits; but you can count on over performing in those situations forever.

  57. Wood for one. And the use of “nefarious” to make a caricature out the argument is unnecessary

    Wood is the only one, and if you’d suggested starting Wood over Maholm any time before late June you’d have been hooted at. Beachy hasn’t been ready. The original claim of youngster”S” is both specious and overstated, so a little hyperbole on my part too seems fair.

    a little below average (your disagreement with the term duly noted)

    And immediately handwaved away. Look you like Wood, fine. He may well be a better starter than Maholm right now. There is a finite set of assets that the team has to manage right now, and until the DL today, Maholm was one of them. His performance was within the league norms for his role on the team. Jerking guys around every time they go through a cold snap is a piss poor way of managing, and is an object lesson that is certainly noticed be the other players. As a bonus, trading /role changing guys while at the bottom of their value pretty much guarantees they will stay there. Once you advertise to the rest of the world you think Maholm is done, I am sure the other teams will take your word for it.

  58. @65 I meant “you can’t count on overperforming in those situations forever.”

  59. A 12-pitch AB, then THAT. This team makes me want to pound my head into a wall.

  60. @55 – You asked why everyone says the league figured Justin out in May. Fangraphs answered. Hopefully he has it figured out now or has recovered from some unannounced nagging injury. Either way, your response is a non sequitur.

  61. I’m sorry, but it’s a balk. Sure, I’m glad it doesn’t get called a balk. But it’s a balk. You can’t just move everything at once, which is exactly what he does. And in that particular case, he flinched before he did it. He balked twice on that one.

  62. @55 – You asked why everyone says the league figured Justin out in May. Fangraphs answered. Hopefully he has it figured out now or has recovered from some unannounced nagging injury. Either way, your response is a non sequitur.

    No, the article made the same observation everyone here has made – that Upton was swinging through fastballs in May and June, that he was suddenly hitting more grounders, etc. It did not prove, or even attempt to prove, that Upton was “figured” out by the league in a way he had not been before. Cwik actually suggested that the problem may lie with Upton himself: “Upton has had some issues with his swing mechanics in previous seasons, and that could be what’s happening here.”

    More to the point: If the book on you was that you can’t hit fastballs, then the book would probably have been written before your 5th season. Upton hit fastballs in April, not in May or June. That suggests the problem lies with his mechanics, and not with the league having figured him out.

  63. Braun is now shown to be what he clearly has been, and the Janus-faced explanation with lawyerly qualifications only shows the callousness. This is a “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” situation. What a dirt bag.

    @79 – Non sequitur response is still non sequitur.

  64. Never mind. Apparently when Gameday shows four balls, it’s not actually a walk. Thank goodness; walking the pitcher rarely ends well.

  65. Another crap call. Chris could have done without the pump, but the bottom line remains that the throw was in time. While we’re shuffling off miscreant players into the Springfield Mystery Spot, why not send the umpires while we’re at it?

  66. @89, it’s close. The Braves have had their share for sure as well. CJ has trouble with just about all aspects of the position though. I guess he should get credit for having a decent arm though.

    Meanwhile, Dillon Gee is well on his way to no-hitting us.

  67. Gee, last two games vs. the Braves:

    12.1 IP
    0.649 WHIP
    3.33 P/PA
    1.46 ERA

  68. It’s hard to believe that just 2 years ago Justin Upton was one of the top defensive RFs in the game.

  69. That is exactly the sort of play I said before epitomized Justin’s defensive play to me. There is absolutely no excuse for not keeping that ball in front of you. It seems like he’s so intent on making a fancy-looking play that it never occurs to him to just play smart baseball.

    Oy.

  70. Maybe he got really bad at defense in a short amount of time…or maybe defensive stats are total garbage.

  71. Dillon Gee isn’t even a real name, let alone a real pitcher. Just like Justin’s not a real right fielder.

  72. Speaking of Tom Seaver, I was unaware of this per Wikipedia:

    In 1966, he signed a contract with the Atlanta Braves, who had drafted him in the first round of the secondary June draft (20th overall). However, the contract was voided by Baseball Commissioner William Eckert because his college team had played two exhibition games that year (although Seaver himself hadn’t played). Seaver intended, then, to finish the college season, but because he had signed a pro contract, the NCAA ruled him ineligible. After Seaver’s father complained to Eckert about the unfairness of the situation, and threatened with a lawsuit, Eckert ruled that other teams could match the Braves’ offer.[3] The Mets were subsequently awarded his signing rights in a lottery drawing among the three teams (the Philadelphia Phillies and Cleveland Indians being the two others) that were willing to match the Braves’ terms.

    So apparently if it hadn’t been for Eckert, Seaver would have been a Brave.

  73. “Let’s sleepwalk and hope the Nats and Phils keep stumbling.” This appears to be the Braves’ strategy, and it’s a bold one. Let’s see if it pays off for them.

  74. @104

    And if that had happened, no one would remember the 1969 Miracle Mets, and the Atlanta Braves might have two world championships.

  75. @48

    Yeah, I followed that statistics discussion last week, and I defer to it. I guess my point, though, was that, without the full-season data set that we won’t have until, obviously, the end of the season, I personally am a bit more persuaded by the fourteen-week sample. (Dammit, Jim, I’m a writer, not a statistician. :P)

    More importantly, I’m uncomfortable with the offensive streakiness. A team with an offense like St. Louis’s may not be very different from Atlanta’s in terms of total run production, but its consistency makes me less nervous. Seems less susceptible to being totally shut down by a generic lefty rookie, much less Clayton Kershaw or Adam Wainwright.

  76. What a quality leadoff man we have. Play him every day and bat him eighth. It isn’t that hard, Fredi.

  77. How come the Mets are catching the ball? I thought their defense was supposed to be shoddy.

  78. I seem to remember a game earlier this year where Gee took a 1-0 shutout to the 9th but Freeman hit a walk-off 2 run homer.

  79. And just when you think you can’t get any more cynical, I present not Ryan, not Koufax, not Gibson, but Dillon freaking Gee

  80. I remember in years like 2007 & 2009 thinking that, man if those Braves teams could just get into the playoffs they could be dangerous and I’d take their chances. This year I kind of get the feeling that they will make the playoffs but be the team most likely to get embarrassingly swept.

    There, negative comment out of the way. Now Braves can start a rally. Or at least get a hit.

  81. Julio has pitched a wonderful game. I hope Justin’s misplay doesn’t cost him a loss.

    Thank you, Freddie.

  82. Thanks for the bad throw. El Oso, do your worst!

    Edit: El Oso hit it a bit too hard to bring in Freddy. Dan, be the man!

  83. Goddamn, stop the effing hit-and-run with Freeman on first, you got lucky that time.

  84. I’m not convinced Teheran was a worse option there. Terds does nothing for me.

  85. that was godawful by CJ and the turd, I swear I’m going to stop watching this team.

  86. And then he bitches at the umpire.

    Yeah, nothing wrong with this offense at all. Not a thing.

  87. It’s very rare that I have the time and opportunity to watch the Braves game, but choose not to. Tonight I opted to skip the Braves, and it has been a marvelous decision. They really and truly do suck right now.

  88. Fascinating how some of our worst hitters do the most moaning at umpires.

  89. In Joey’s defense, he fouled the ball off. Cooper missed it.

    But he still looked like a moron even offering. Another pitch would have just been delaying the inevitable.

  90. Saving him for a big AB against a lefthander that will never materialize.

    More of Fredi managing like he’s tied when he’s actually losing.

  91. Joe Simpson just said Justin “wasn’t able to keep” Buck’s ball he let go to the wall for a triple “in front of him”. That’s a lie. Justin CHOSE not to keep it in front of him; instead, he opted to take a high-risk, low-odds shot at a shoestring catch. Poor judgment, not bad luck. Not at all.

    The Cardinals are gonna kill us this weekend.

  92. I do so like Luis Avilan, but I wish O’Flaherty and Venters were back and healthy.

  93. I guess Laird and Reed are unable to swing today. Terdo looks completely overmatched at the plate right now. That was piss poor.

  94. Something is contagious, because Freeman just swung at balls one, two and three. Don’t let the suck around you bring you into the vortex with it, Freddie.

  95. Obviously, the fast start can’t be completely discounted, but barring an unlikely rally, this will now be more than a half-season of .500 play (42-42). It is easily, statistically justifiable to call this an average team. You’d think that would be enough to spur some changes, but beyond transposing Simmons and Johnson in the lineup, we’re stuck with this team as is. And I don’t have faith in the powers that be to make even that obvious switch.

  96. I think this would be a good opportunity to terminate the manager to fire this team up.

  97. It’s unfair that I have to consider that single a disappointing result, considering our success rate in driving in RISP.

  98. Uggla with RISP: .638 OPS.
    CJ with RISP: .818 OPS.
    (if it gets that far) Reed Johnson with RISP: .566 OPS.

    It’s CJ or nothing.

  99. Can we get just an average fly ball to get this run in?

    Edit: That works, but I’m far from excited.

  100. I’m going to keep assuming losses in these situations, because it seems to work.

  101. Joe thinks bunting with two outs and the go ahead run at 3b “isn’t a bad idea.”

    Thank you Reed!

  102. Always scared of Kimbrel in these kinds of games. It’s like he doesn’t get warm if he isn’t certain he’ll be coming in.

  103. @176 – in that case it was an element of surprise/it’s raining and a barehand play would be difficult sort of bunt. Which is different from the “LET ME GIVE YOU THIS OUT SO THAT I MIGHT HAVE SECOND BASE” bunt that I tend to rail against. If he got it down it totally would have worked. But no big anyway

  104. Parnell gets a strike two inches above the zone when pitching to Chris Johnson, and Kimbrel hits the top inside corner on the first pitch to Lagares and it’s called a ball.

  105. Submitted: The Braves lead the league in innings played in driving rain this year.

    I have no means of verifying the accuracy of that hypothesis.

  106. In D.C., Pirates closer Jason Grilli is proving that even as print slowly dies, the SI cover jinx remains as robust as ever.

  107. Gattis’ mitt looks very small – I guess b/c he’s so damn big. Still looks a bit weird though.

  108. WOW!

    That counts as a win somehow I think. And before you get any delusions, offense, you still suck.

  109. Andruw makes that play running and robs us all of our fist pumps.

    Stupid, lazy Andruw.

  110. BJ doesn’t make that play. That was the best catch I’ve seen from a Brave OF in a long long time. Kimbrel’s reaction was awesome.

    Nats lose again too. Not a bad turn of events.

  111. @Buster_ESPN: Close the web gems for the night: Jason Heyward with a game-saving diving catch. Amazing.

    @JonHeymanCBS: my goodness, what a play by jason heyward. #jheykid

    @RealCJ10: Wow whatta play by JHey!!!!

  112. @214 – lol. A lot of this board is frustrated with the team, which I get on a day to day level, but there are 24 teams who would be glad to trade places with us by record, and 29 teams who would be happy to have our position w/r/t the division lead.

    Baseball’s just a long season that gets frustrating for everyone, even if you’re good. And like five times as much if you’re a Mets fan.

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