Braves 8, Mets 2

As a proud alumnus of The University of Alabama, I was watching with excitement in October 2005 when Urban Meyer took his first Gator team into Tuscaloosa and got dismantled. Brodie Croyle threw all over the Florida defense, Joe Kines’ Bama D shut Chris Leak down, the game was in hand, and then…

Tyrone Prothro, the fastest receiver in the SEC, still in the game in garbage time, went up for a ball in the end zone and shattered his ankle on the way down. (WARNING: Video link is not safe for breakfast.) Prothro was never the same after that (my brother, class of ’08, said that a couple years later, the fastest guy in the SEC was unable to outrun random students from my brother’s dorm rushing him as an intramural flag football QB), and neither was 2005 Alabama.

I bring up Prothro tonight because I turned on tonight’s game just in time to see Tim Hudson on a stretcher and the sort of long, quiet pause in a broadcast reserved exclusively for a Big Horrible Injury. Think Ware, think Lattimore, think McGahee. Fox Sports refused, and continues to refuse in the post-game to show the replay, but the clip is here (again: NSFB), and yeah… that’s probably really bad.

If you don’t want to watch the clip – and I do not blame you for this – the sequence of events is as follows:

1) Eric Young hits a sharp grounder to first, which ricochets off Freddie Freeman. Freeman keeps the ball in front of him though, and

2) throws it to Hudson covering first. Hudson’s doing that awkward thing where you have to find first with your foot and look at the first baseman and the ball with your eyes though. He winds up putting his foot across the heart of the first-base bag, which

3) Young is running full-speed toward. And the way Hudson has his foot positioned (which he could not have controlled, as mentioned above), there was nowhere for Young to run but

4) directly on top of Hudson’s ankle and the couple inches of leg above the ankle. It looked bad and it was bad; the Braves announced a few minutes ago that Hudson fractured his ankle on the play. All indications are that he’s out for the season if not more; if this is the last we’ve seen of Hudson in a Braves uniform, it’s been a privilege to watch him over the last almost-decade. And it’s fitting that he threw 7 2/3 innings, struck out nine, and only gave up two runs because they had to rush a pitcher in as an injury replacement and Luis Avilan gave up a long double.

The play itself was a freak accident and Young seemed to take it harder than anyone. No one was at fault; Hudson wanted to find the bag but couldn’t take his eyes off the ball, and Young was running hard in a straight line in real time. It just sucks. I hope it’s a clean fracture and Hudson heals quickly and can pitch again if he wants to.

Other than that, pretty much everything that happened tonight was good. Evan Gattis got his homer back on again, Dan Uggla continued to tell you that as frustrating as he can be, at the end of the year he’ll be a 30-homer second baseman and that’s not a thing you can really bitch about, and Andrelton Simmons joined the dinger party too. Both teams traded a couple of sloppy runs after the Hudson injury, but that’s understandable under the circumstances. The Nationals lost and the Phillies are down eight in the 8th; the division lead will probably be 8 games by the time you read this. Brandon Beachy threw six innings of two-run ball in his final rehab start for Gwinnett. His place in the rotation, once a topic of debate, is now rather obvious.

207 thoughts on “Braves 8, Mets 2”

  1. I know I said at the beginning of the year that Hudson was the one guy that we couldn’t afford to lose. On reflection, that was a stupid statement, but I think his importance to this team has been underestimated. Even considering his mini slump in late May and his winless streak when he pitched well in June, he has been a very valuable member of this team. He was predictably becoming our most reliable starter and will be greatly missed.

    I won’t throw out the “we’re doooomed” mantra, but we definitely need someone to step up. We definitely need the 2012 Medlen to return to the rotation!

  2. One other thing that I wanted to say was that I really gained some respect for Eric Young. As was stated above, the injury wasn’t his fault, but he took it hard. He showed class in every way.

  3. @2

    I’m not surprised. I know some people close to the Rockies who were broken up when Eric Young, Jr. was DFA’d. Classy guy, active in the community, does the right thing. He’s blameless. Just a sad situation all the way around.

  4. I wonder if we should at least think about making an offer for Ervin Santana. We can’t count on Beachy or Wood being a full replacement for Huddy, and Santana looks to be the best SP available.

  5. When you are up 8 games, you don’t trade for a guy that won’t crack your long-series playoff rotation. Ervin Santana is posting a career high LOB% and a BABIPA of .259. He is Jeff Suppan 2013. We have a handful of potential, capable fifth starters with far more upside in house.

  6. @4

    I’d rather see a play for Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, especially since the Dodgers have reportedly pulled out of the running, which might hold his price in check a bit.

  7. @7

    I’ve been assuming we wouldn’t ultimately stay in it for him, but I agree with you – and maybe Wren will be more determined to get him, given present circumstances.

    @6

    I’m not sure you could say that with certainty, although I take your point. I’ve just felt all season that to have a good chance of going deep in October we needed another true #1 starter anyway (although others have noted correctly they’re hard to come by at the moment). The loss of Hudson just makes that need more urgent, to me. Minor, Medlen, and Teheran are fine pitchers and Beachy may be again, if he can get back to where he was last season when he was hurt. But that’s a big if; the anecdotal evidence is against him getting that good again that quickly. Without him being so, we have a rotation that might get us through one postseason series, but it’s hard to see them taking us deeper than that. ONIO may have the best solution in Gonzalez. We shall see.

    EDIT: I should add, what I’m most concerned about with our other starters is their inexperience, especially in terms of postseason play.

  8. One big reason that so many teams want Gonzalez is that there is no limit to spending on him — while the latest CBA placed a cap on the draft and on most international free agents, like Dominican teenagers, there is no cap to what teams can spend on Gonzalez. The Braves can bid, but odds are good that they’ll get outbid.

  9. @8 I am sure we as Braves fans would know how much postseason experience really means in the postseason.

  10. I’d like to point out that the 1991 Braves were young and had no experience in the postseason. They were one indecisive moment by Lonnie Smith away from winning it all.

  11. I thought of that rejoinder. On reflection, strikes me as the exception rather than the rule (especially as one might point out 1991 was the very first year any team went worst-to-first, quite possibly for the very reason we’re discussing). Put another way, I think that’s a juicy way of rationalizing the situation. We are not as well equipped for post-season success as we could be, or as I wish we were. And with arguably our best, unquestionably most experienced post-season pitcher now out for the year, we need to improve that state of affairs if we can. To argue we do not is wishful thinking.

  12. What worries me is our new starting rotation, sans Hudson and Maholm (personally, I don’t see how they can keep trotting Maholm out there).

    1. Alex Wood, a rookie, is four years removed from TJ surgery, and we don’t really know what he can do. My take on him is he still has those rookie jitters. He just looks shaky out there sometimes, like “I can’t believe I’m in the majors. Holy crap!”

    2. Kris Medlen, who seems to have lost his magic from last year, is two years removed from TJ surgery. I think he experienced that post-TJ resurgence last year, and now his arm is starting to get tired again. All of the literature indicates that pitchers feel stronger when they start pitching again after surgery, but then experience a sophomore letdown, so to speak (maybe a regression to the mean).

    3. Brandon Beachy, who displayed some brilliant stuff before going under the knife, is a year removed from TJ surgery. He will need to be closely monitored, but he may have some of that post-surgery magic.

    4. Julio Teheran, depending on which one shows up, can be either nasty or pretty hittable, and usually gets burned with a few bad pitches when he’s hittable. We need nasty Teheran to keep showing up.

    5. Mike Minor, who many wanted to be sent down last year before turning it up a notch, has had a pretty good season.

    Wren has to make a deal right now. Trade deadline is looming, and there’s a chance that the team could lose at least one of the guys above for some crazy reason. I mean, we saw in last night’s game that freak accidents occur.

  13. And what’s the combined ML service of our new rotation? Is it even seven years? Huddy has about twice the ML service of the entire new rotation. If they play October baseball, I wonder if it would be the least experienced rotation to ever pitch in the playoffs.

  14. I agree Wren should be looking for a starter, but he shouldn’t make a panic trade. If we are going to get a starter, let’s go big and get a true ace. I don’t know who that is now, but I’ll go see my barber and get back to you.

  15. For those advocating to trade for a starter…
    Teheran-3.25 ERA
    Minor- 2.98 ERA
    Medlen- 3.64 ERA
    Beachy- An ace, if healthy
    Maholm/Wood- either are very capable 5th starters..

    Why search for a SP when there are still 6 SP candidates, of which 4 have proven healthy and reliable all year? A good SP via the trade market will cost more than we can afford in an already depleted farm system. Let the 6 above sort the 5 SP spots out, use one as long relief, go get a Utiltiy Infielder that can hit and a LH reliever that can pitch, and hope that our offense continues to hit like they did last night. There’s no SP available that we can afford that would be better than any of our current candidates.

  16. More gloomwatch than doomwatch this morning

    The Braves are winning this division

    There will be a postseason where everyone starts from scratch and experience doesn’t count for as much as rising to the occasion

    On balance, the glass is still half full

  17. Finding a Hudson replacement is a head-scratcher. I don’t know what about Peavy isn’t ace-like, performance-wise, but health/contract make it not the best idea. I guess if the White Sox send a bunch of money over, but then what great prospects would we give them? Sims?

    Kuroda is known to be finicky about where he plays his home games, huh? Too bad. I guess the Yankees would be loathe to wave the white flag too.

  18. @13 – When Wood came in and pitched against a good Reds lineup he looked poised and in control. I have no way of knowing but I think it was that 3 inning stint that convinced the Braves to stretch him out in Gwinnett.

    I am with #17. Unless we are trading BJ Upton for an arm I’m thinking that Wren is thankful for our depth and continues to look for a LOOGY.

    .207/.377/.367/.744 – Jim Wynn 1976
    .203/.319/.431/.749 – Dan Uggla 2013

    As a kid, I remember thinking what a crappy player Jim Wynn was as a Brave. This was before my enlightenment which was reading my first Baseball Abstracts. I just threw Uggla’s numbers up there for comparison.

  19. With BJ & SUCCESS! on DL Barves lack the PH strenght that has help them this year. I know BJ does not PH. When will Laird be ready to play?

  20. I was of the belief that we needed a true #1 before last night, so I am definitely on the “Wren Needs to Make a Move NOW” banndwagon.
    I know Josh Johnson has struggled with injuries and inconsistency but he’s the type of starter we need, a flame throwing bulldog that can dominate the first game of a playoff series or, God forbid, win a wild card play-in game all by himself.

  21. My question to all those advocating a trade is who do we trade and whom do we trade for?

  22. Josh Johnson is an interesting option, if we can get him cheap.

    I would really like to get a starter with a little more experience than what we have on staff. I saw people throwing out the ’91 staff. Just remember, that staff did have Charlie Leibrandt who had a bunch of experience both regular and post season. And there were two HOF arms in that rotation (there isn’t one in the present day rotation)

    While as shut down ace would be nice, it doesn’t look like there is one to be had. If Wren can find a rental with some experience for cheap, then pull the trigger.

  23. @EYJr: For ppl who think I would purposely try 2 hurt someone,& felt they needed to say that 2 me…I will continue 2 pray for u as well.#godbless

  24. I say go with the kids. I am thoroughly unconvinced that playoff experience has much value. There are plenty of anecdotes going each way. I know Hudson is Hudson, and I like him a lot, but he did have the highest ERA of any starter. He was very valuable this year as an innings eater, but innings eaters are not particularly valuable in the playoffs given the offdays.

    My big fear (somewhat tempered by the lead the Braves currently have to *reach* the playoffs) is a Doyle Alexander trade, which, as you recall, was just what the doctor ordered for Detroit way back when. Wren has shown an admirable restraint for that sort of trade, at least judged after the fact, given the success of Marte and Delgado (so far). But what Smitty says @26 is what I’m really leery of. It sorta depends on what you mean by cheap.

    If we need an innings eater for the rest of the season, I say go to the scrap heap and find one — hell, Derek Lowe is available, and I dislike him, but the guy could eat innings and put up a not-far-from-.500 record. Kevin Millwood is still younger than Hudson, and available. And that’s just two former Braves pitchers who can eat innings on the way to playoffs, at which point they can get a hearty handshake, because their services will not be required in the playoffs.

  25. THing is, with the aforementioned 6 potential starters, you don’t need to pick up an innings eater.

    This team, with all the injuries to the BP, underachieving bats, now the rotation starts to get hit…is one that is easy to fall deeply in love with.

  26. DWonder…
    If he could be attained for nothing more than salary relief, I’d be down for Josh Johnson and moving A. Wood back to the bullpen, but it still doesn’t change the fact that there is a surplus of SP when a SP is acquired. If we traded for JJ, I’d like to see this happen…

    Johnson, Minor, Teheran, Beachy, Medlen

    Kimbrel, Wood, Avilan, Walden, Carpenter, Maholm, Ayala

  27. I never had much of an opinion before last night about Eric Young, Jr as a ballplayer. I still don’t for that matter – one way or the other. BUT, I do now have a very high opinion about Eric Young the person after the way he handled himself. I hope he will be able to put this accident behind him and play well.

    Well, starting tomorrow, anyway….

  28. @13 I’ve never heard of any studies showing that TJ pitchers “feel stronger when they start pitching again after surgery, but then experience a sophomore letdown”. You might want to ask Adam Wainwright about that.

    Personally, I think the Braves should go with the starting rotation we’ve got now. Beachy/Wood/Maholm should be plenty good for the two open spots in our rotation. This really isn’t a team that’s short on SP depth, and we can’t afford to trade for a #1 (not that there are any on the market anyway). I say roll the dice, damn the torpedos and let the chips fall where they may.

  29. @31 – I dont know what Johnson’s current price is.
    But I like that rotation alot better than what we’re staring at now.

  30. I called my barber for an appointment, he gave me this nugget on the phone and said it is an early proposal:

    ATL Gets: Luis Valbuena, Kyle Lohse , Mike Gonzalez & Orlando Arcia

    Mil Gets: Travis Wood, Joey T, Corey Rasmus and Jose Peraza

    Chi gets: Todd Cunningham and Ian Thomas

  31. I’m in the “playoff experience is overrated” camp.

    I do think we ought to have a potential shut down starter for a playoff run, but Tim Hudson wasn’t being counted on to be that guy anyway, so that component of our team is really no different than it was two days ago.

    I’d be for a trade as long as we don’t trade a Smoltz for an Alexander. If that’s the price, I’d be willing to roll the dice with the rotation we have in place.

  32. I think we tend to take the preseason view of “depth” and then improperly reassign it to actual, isolated events.

    What I mean is, before the season, you can say “We’ve got Justin Upton, BJ Upton and Jason Heyward, and you can count on 550 plate appearances from each. A combined 400 plate appearances from Schafer and Johnson will be just fine.”

    But that’s not the same as “Jason Heyward separated his shoulder, and now Reed Johnson is going to play RF for the next two months and we’re going to be fine.”

    Beachy/Maholm/Wood may have plenty of combined talent for the 4/5 slots. If Maholm falters, you just plug Wood in.

    But how long does Maholm “falter?” Does that means three losses? And if Wood is anything like Mike Minor or Julio Teheran, he might need 20 starts at this level before he pitches like a big leaguer.

    Yeah, so we have three guys for two slots:

    One is coming back from Tommy John surgery and has yet to reach his normal velocity (He touched 92 last night) and is walking 5 guys per 9 IP.

    Another has exactly ONE major league start.

    The third has an ERA of 5.38 over his last 16 starts. FIVE THIRTY-EIGHT over SIXTEEN STARTS. That’s half a season. (Seriously, Maholm came out of the gate with 3 scoreless starts, then a 6 IP, 3 ER start, and since those FIRST FOUR STARTS, he has an ERA of 5.38!!) What does he have to do to qualify as “faltering?”

    If it was March 1st, you could look at that and go to battle with it. You’d say “Well, Maholm is a veteran, he’ll probably be solid, if unspectacular.” Or “Wood will have ups and downs, but after 20 starts, he’ll have his feet sufficiently wet.” Or “Beachy has a track record of success. He’ll probably get back to his normal stuff.”

    “And besides… if anything goes wrong.. You make a deal at the trade deadline!”

    Well it ain’t March 1. We don’t have 20 starts for Wood to get it figured out. We don’t have 20 starts for Beachy to build himself back up. Maholm hasn’t been solid, if unspectacular, he’s been garbage. And the trade deadline isn’t 6-months-of-additional-data away. It’s ONE TURN THROUGH THE ROTATION AWAY.

    The other difference between March 1 and today, is that we have an 8 game lead on the division. So, yeah. We can probably coast through with those guys and reach the playoffs.

    But if you want to compete for a championship, you want a slightly more sure thing.

    My stance: Make the best of it. Huddy’s out for the year. That’s terrible. But it opened a rotation spot for somebody better than Huddy. Go find him.

  33. I agree with the sentiment that the only way the Braves should make a trade is if the guy they bring back is an ace, not another Paul Maholm. The Braves have plenty of decent pitchers, Kris Medlen included. Unfortunately, there are few “difference makers” on the market. My friend suggested going all out and getting James Shields. I can get behind that one.

    Still, awful injury. Almost made my pregnant wife vomit.

  34. I think you guys are underestimating the plans the organization has for Alex Wood for the remainder of this season. He wasn’t getting stretched out for no good reason.

  35. I’m also in the camp that postseason experience doesn’t matter one bit. I’d go as far to say that I’d rather have guys that have zero experience than guys who’s only experience is losing.

  36. Go get em Wood. Jason must be sore from jogging in to check on Huddy.

    @ajcbraves: #Braves lineup: Simmons 6, RJohnson 8, JUpton 9, Freeman 3, Gattis 7, Uggla 4, CJohnson 5, Laird 2, Wood 1

  37. Peavy would be a tasty addition, but we’d have to battle other win-now, playoff-bound clubs like Boston or St. Louis for his services, one assumes. Not impossible, but the ChiSox would be looking for some kind of haul or gem prospect.

    Adding LHP bullpen help & a starter wouldn’t hurt, but at what cost (esp. for the latter)?

  38. I thought Johnson was doing worse than he is. Him over Peavy, just based on age/skills. Throw in the contract, and it’s a no-brainer.

    Just a reminder that there are better ways to judge pitchers than by ERA. By those measures, it happens that our current good starters are still pretty good, just maybe half a run worse across the board, per 9 IP.

    Also worth noting that if Randall Delgado’s newfound control is real, he’s already become a damned good pitcher at age 23.

  39. The White Sox could be one stop shopping. Peavy, Keppinger and Lindstrom aren’t world beaters, but they’d make this team better.

  40. The thing is, if the cost was JR Graham for a rental, this place would go nuts. @39 I see where you are at but I’m not sure if there is anything out there that is better than what we have.

  41. Yeah there are better ways of judging pitchers than ERA. There are indicators that will tell you the guy with the 3.90 may be a better bet than the guy with the 3.18.

    But 5.38 tells you about all you need to know.

  42. @34: I seem to recall a study from ASMI about it, but I probably should have said “doctors” instead of “literature.” I can remember Dr. Jobe telling me the exact thing he told this interviewer: http://static.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/bp/1431308.html

    Pitchers pay more attention to conditioning after surgery, and their arms are stronger because the ligament is more stable. After they cut down on the conditioning and the ligament starts to degrade normally again, they start heading toward the pre-surgery performance level. My fear is that Medlen felt he was strong and almost invincible after last year, cut down on his conditioning, and/or the ligament is already starting to degrade again. As far as a sophomore letdown, I didn’t mean it literally. It really depends on the pitcher, but that ligament will degrade again through natural use, and each pitcher may have a different conditioning regimen. I look at Medlen and I see someone who doesn’t look right out there.

  43. Okay I’m probably wrong about Keppinger. I somehow had the idea that he was having a bad year but had been better lately. But he looks like he’s playing himself out of the league.

  44. The third has an ERA of 5.38 over his last 16 starts. FIVE THIRTY-EIGHT over SIXTEEN STARTS.

    I know nobody cares to hear this, but those 16 starts were composed of

    1-8ER
    1-7ER
    1-6ER
    1-5ER

    TWELVE OF 4 OR LESS.
    and of course ~6ip per.

    And of course, there’s those other 4 starts conveniently cherry picked out of his totals because, well they happened at the beginning of the year, so that can’t happen again or something. Maholm’s far, far from great, but he’s also far from the worst guy out there, especially for both what he’d cost to replace and what you’d be likely to get. His injury of course, makes this moot for a time at least.

  45. @ajcbraves: #Braves aren’t in bidding RT @b_w00dworth: @ajcbraves does Miguel Gonzales profile as a #1? And will the braves be able/willing to make run?

    Oh well.

  46. I think there’s a recency bias against Maholm – is that a term? In any event, he was at his best in April and at his worst in July, but all told he has been what you’d expect him to be. So spike’s point is well taken.

    The question is, though: will Kris Medlen, Alex Wood, and Brandon Beachy all be better than him the rest of the way? If so, then you move him to the pen. If not, then you move one of the other guys. Personally, I don’t have an answer.

    Peavy would be an interesting addition. Jesse Crain too.

  47. @mlbbowman: Heyward is just getting a chance to rest today. He played CF the past three days after not playing the previous 10 days. #Braves

    Sorry, but all of these guys are playing through some type of injury or soreness. Justin Upton had a leg injury and he’s still out there.

  48. There has been extensive evaluation on Beachy by our scouts. If they feel like he can return to pre-injury form, I don’t think we’ll make a trade – if not, I think Wren has already started the trade wheels turning. I imagine we’ll find out before the trade deadline.

  49. So, yeah, that sucked.

    Looking forward, the only name brands on the starter pool are Santana, Jake Peavy and Kyle Lohse. Not sure how the Braves stack up for any of those. I think more likely you’ll see Mike Gonzalez back in Atlanta and Minor/Teheran/Beachy/Medlen/Wood/Maholm as the rotation options.

  50. @59, maybe it’s that Heyward can’t hit and giving him a day off every now and then actually improves our offense? I will only start getting upset about Heyward not playing when/if he actually starts killing the ball. Right now Reed Johnson isn’t really a step down.

  51. On May 1st if you’d have told me that JUpton would have 16 HRs on July 25th I’d have slapped you in the face. His bat looks terribly slow, I just hope he’s not hurt.

  52. @ajcbraves: #Braves Wren: “Our goal is to win a World Series. That’s going to be first and foremost in our thought process.”

  53. So far Wood looks like every other rookie pitcher. Nibble around, pick at the corners, go deep in the count and then throw one down the middle.

  54. @68 – That suggests to me that Alex Wood is being shopped for veteran pitching.

  55. @CST_soxvan: Jesse Crain played catch and apparently it didn’t go so well. No bullpen today.

    Take him off our list.

  56. @70

    That’s an interesting point, because it could very well help to explain why we were suddenly so keen on stretching him out as a starter and potentially giving him starts over Medlen.

  57. You’re all out of the fan club!

    Were the hits to left that Wood gave up his fault or Gattis’ fault?

  58. Did Andrelton just swing at the first pitch he saw, and pop it up to an infielder??????????

    He is the opposite of Joey Votto.

  59. Wheeler threw 31 pitches in the 1st. The Braves, generous as always, then made 6 outs on 22 pitches.

    Also: I still can’t get over the fact that the team’s worst OBP guy is leading off.

  60. @62 Heyward since June 1st (arbitrary endpoint alert, so for what it’s worth) is .274/.352/.439, Reed Johnson since June 1st is .235/.328/.294

  61. Rotten wood. Gattis would have stopped that last run with a better throw, but the die for today’s outing has been cast.

  62. The Mets are showing that a bunch of singles can, in fact, result in a bunch of runs.

  63. Don Sutton with the worst home run call of all time. Well, except for maybe all of his other home run calls.

  64. Is anyone else watching on MLB.TV? I haven’t been able to switch to the Braves feed the past two days. I am forced to watch the SNY feed.

  65. So Justin Upton is back to being horrible. Like Heyward, he got hot for a couple of weeks, fooled me into thinking everything was back to normal, and now is back to being an out machine. I suppose this may be the new normal.

  66. @70

    I agree, Sam. That’s why I brought up the possibility the other day. It doesn’t make sense to me for them to sub Wood permanently in for either Moholm or Medlen, neither of whom Wood is likely to outpitch at this point. I think they’re increasing his immediate value for a trade.

    @104

    I’m watching the Braves feed on MLB.TV.

  67. Did we have no one better to bring into a one-run game with runners on?

    Edit: Guess it worked out.

  68. At least we know Loe sucks. Just on the intentional walk he threw one to the backstop, one in the dirt, and one almost over the plate.

  69. I just realized Loe was still pitching… I guess Fredi Gonzalez is uninterested in winning this game.

  70. If a guy has been released by two losing ball clubs already in one season, then it’s probably not that good of an idea to pick him up. It’s an even worse idea to put him on the 25-man roster. And it’s positively insane to use him in a close ballgame.

    Call me cynical.

  71. Not a fan of Reed’s sticking his hands up while the ball’s still in play.

    But I am a fan of Fredi making the argument and paying the Coxian price of ejection.

  72. If I’m the GM, I’m calling down to the dugout to grant Loe his unconditional release about 5 minutes ago.

  73. I get the decision to sign Loe. He costs nothing, and if one of our scouts saw something they liked, then I don’t have a problem with signing him. It’s using him that’s a problem.

    Of course, with Wood on the mound, we don’t really have a long man in the pen.

  74. His presence on the team, I’m not questioning. I’ve seen enough to trust the Braves scouts and Roger McDowell’s ability to fix relief pitchers.

    That said, a one run game is maybe not the time to test your work, or observe you’re new project.

    Even worse, we subsequently tied the game. And now being the 6th inning, it’s no long “early.” It’s okay to go to your good relievers in the sixth inning of a tied game.

  75. Joe, as disgusted as the rest of us: “And…there’s nobody up in the bullpen.”

  76. Maybe if Loe is bad enough he can get released after this game and not hang around to ruin any more. Some good might yet come from this disaster.

  77. I don’t get it. It isn’t over. He’s given up 3 runs, and has two more men in scoring position. We’re about to be 5 runs down. Get somebody up!

  78. Gotta love the way they claw their way back from a three-run deficit, only for some random reliever to instantly give it all back.

  79. What a freaking joke that call was! That same umpire makes more-or-less that same call correctly two innings earlier with the Uggla homer, but can’t be bothered this time. He also can’t be bothered to confer with the rest of the freaking umpiring crew, including the second-base ump, who almost assuredly had a better view of it. Add Chad Fairchild to the pile of worthless, overly self-important umps.

    EDIT: Allow me to agree that the Braves Radio Network is actively making itself an inferior product by allowing Don Sutton to do play-by-play. I don’t know why they’d let the warm fuzzies trump the ability to know what is going on during the middle innings of their broadcasts. Either have Jim Powell give the play-by-play all game every game (which would be my personal choice, as I don’t have a problem with Sutton generally) or get Sutton out of there and hire somebody who can do play-by-play, but please stop the madness.

  80. The game was lost the moment they left him in the game to start the 6th (with the top of the order due up). The guy had allowed 9 home runs in 15 innings this season on the Cubs and Mariners. This was not the moment to show him loyalty. You pitch him when you’re down 4+ runs, if at all.

  81. Credit where it’s due: That was some big league third base played by Chris Johnson there. Waiting on the first to roll foul, then picking and throwing for that bang-bang play.

  82. I think the appropriate thing to happen here would be for Laird to work a leadoff walk, and then Constanza pinch-bunt him to second, when we’re losing by 3 in the 7th.

  83. Constanza’s gonna hit an inside-the-park fielder’s choice, with Laird thrown out at the plate, but Constanza so close on his heels that Buck can’t tag both.

    Alright, maybe not..

  84. Someone tell Aardsma to just pitch. It’s only going to take one to retire Simmons.

  85. Don’s fine as a commentator. It’s the three innings where he does play-by-play that hurt him..

  86. I would give back every homerun that Andrelton has ever hit if he’d agree to stop trying to hit more.

  87. “Why do all these streets have to be paved with gold here in heaven?”

    Tough crowd

  88. Jose Constanza, Andrelton Simmons, and Reed Johnson: a murderers row, right there.

  89. @156, agreed completely.

    If I recall correctly, Jim and Don switch around color and play-by-play because that’s what the old TBS crew did. Thing is, Pete Van Wieren could do both play-by-play and color. Don can do one, but he sure can’t do the other.

  90. I can live with three innings of Don doing the play-by-play if the alternative is no Don at all.

  91. 161- Damn sight better than any combination featuring Juan Francisco, BJ and Simmons.

  92. Don > Joe, Chip, and Bob Rathburn

    It’s three innings on the radio. I like him on play-by-play just fine.

  93. I agree. I learned much of what I know about pitching by listening to Don. I can tolerate his play-by-play in return.

  94. @159

    I’m sorry, and not to defend Chip Caray, but in a world where every single off-center thing he says is immediately devoured as if by a school of piranhas, how is it remotely acceptable for the Braves Radio Network to willingly present at least three innings a night where you have no clue on this Earth what in the hell is going on? On the radio, that’s the one thing you need to get right above all else.

    I remember Sutton being better at play-by-play before, but ever since he’s come back, he’s been an absolute disaster in that area. If he wants to stick around as analyst-only, I’m perfectly fine with that, but it’s not the 90s anymore, and Braves fans deserve to be able to follow what is going on when listening to the radio. If doing that results in Sutton leaving altogether, c’est la vie.

  95. @162,
    Did my 8 year old mind mislead me, or did the radio and TV teams used to switch roles in the fifth inning?

  96. Yeah, I honestly have no idea what is going on when Sutton is announcing. I usually just listen to the crowd to get my answer. The Uggla home run call today was so awful that it beggars belief.

  97. Don’s no Red Barber, but I don’t have a problem following the game when he’s the PBP guy.

  98. @169

    Since you think I’m going overboard, while we’re here let’s take this to it’s logical conclusion and see what happens when I say this: If I have the choice between getting rid of Chip and getting Don off play-by-play and I can only choose one, I’m keeping Chip and getting Don off play-by-play, and I’m not kidding… . I will now duck.

  99. @172: I agree, and I’ll even add my $.02. I can listen to the audio of Chip doing play-by-play on TV and know what’s going on a heck of a lot more than I can with Don on the radio. It’s been said that TV guys don’t have to do as much work, but while Chip says some stupid things sometimes, he can make even a blind fan feel included. Don is terrible, and the radio play-by-play is critical, especially since I’m paying for MLB Radio. I’ve said it on the board before. He rarely gets excited, and I can’t even tell when someone gets a hit. It’s the same tone whether it’s a fly out to left or it drops in for a hit.

  100. @172

    That’s fine. I’m not trying to pick an argument. I just like Don Sutton. He is alright with me on PBP and one of the best color commentators going. Plus, he is our last connection to something great (TBS Braves in the 90s) So I will defend him no matter what.

  101. @175: Smitty, I have to go with Nick, and I respect what you write on the board. Like you, I also have sentimentality regarding the TBS connection, but the compromise is to keep him on color. He was much better on PBP back when he was on TBS, even on the radio feeds through their flagship station at the time.

  102. @175

    Uh…Joe is a connection to TBS in the 90s.

    Generally, I agree with you. I like Don Sutton and like having him around on radio. I just can’t stand him on play-by-play anymore. If they take him off PBP and he sticks around as analyst, I’ll be perfectly happy, even if the Hee-Haw act between he and Powell sometimes gets a little grating. I can live with that.

  103. @177

    Joe Simpson is dead to me after last year’s Wild Card game, so I don’t count him.

    I will agree that Jim is great at PBP and Don isn’t what he once was. We are talking about three little innings in the middle of the game to give Jim a rest so he cna finish strong.

  104. I give Joe a pass on his comments during the wildcard game.

    I mean, if I had been there, I probably would have thrown stuff on the field.

    And if I’d thrown stuff on the field, I’d feel pretty embarrassed and ashamed of myself for having done so.

    I mean, seriously. If you threw shit on to the field on national television, you’re gonna get mad at the guy who says you should be ashamed of yourself?

    What are we? College football fans?

    :::ducks:::

  105. Nats are trying to blow a 4-run lead in the 9th. 7-5 now based loaded two out.

    Edit: And the Pirates tie it up.

  106. LOLNats. Down 7-3 entering the ninth, the Pirates have now tied it. So on a scale from merely over to extinction-level nuclear winter, where is the Nats’ season right now? Discuss.

  107. The Nats will:

    a) Give up and play for next year
    b) Panic and sell of young players to try and “make a run”

    Either will be fun to watch.

  108. The Nats are going to be buyers or stand pat. I’m not sure who they’d be “selling” anyway.

  109. OT, but apparently Matt Ryan finally signed his contract extension: five years, $103.75 million. $59 million guaranteed, $63 million in first three years, $20.75 million per season.

  110. @188 definitely cursed that ending. Still wagered on Pittsburgh as SU dogs 3 games up a net of 3 units. I’ll take that every day of the week.

    @189 do you follow Football Outsiders at all? They are not very optimistic about their chances. In fact, they have tabbed a team from that division to realize the crap to the playoffs trend that seems to pop every year. care to guess who?

  111. I don’t like Kameron Loe’s face or stats. I’m ok with him pitching in games where the Braves are either up or down by five or more, but I’m not sure there’s a spare place on the roster for a guy like that.

  112. OK, Matty Ice, you got paid.

    Now no more Matty Brain Freeze, ok?

    No excuse for this offense to score less than 35 per PLAYOFF game.

  113. Still trying to figure out what Loe was doing in that game. If I was managing to lose, that’s exactly how I would manage it. Actually, it may be too obvious…

  114. I imagine they work slightly different for everybody. In his case, they didn’t really have their intended effect, but they did turn him into the largest asshole on the planet.

  115. @194 ::applause::

    I will now be calling him Cameron Poe. “Put the bunny back in the box.”

  116. If Fredi wins manager of the year, it means the Braves will have played far better in August and September than they are playing now. I’ll take that.

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