Commie Birds 2, Braves 5

ESPN Box Score

Fun game! Fun series! Allofasudden, the ills of last week’s roadtrip seem so petty and distant! The Braves completed the sweep with another strong pitching performance, this time coming from Kris Medlen. He went 6 allowing two runs (one partially due to poor defense) and generally looked okay except when he didn’t, which was for like an inning and a half. He could’ve gone more, but with the game tied at 2 in the bottom of the 6th, Fredi brought in Joey Terds who, for the second day in a row, got an unconvincing (but still totally counting!) RBI pinch hit. Jayson Heyward followed with another single as Cards manager Mike Matheny demonstrated who he learned from and used 3 pitchers to give up 2 runs to 4 hitters. This included bring in a lefty to face a lefty right after having left in a righty to face a lefty. Whatever, man.

Since he had a home run in addition to the aforementioned RBI single, ESPN decided that Heyward was the player of the game. It wasn’t. It was Andrelton Simmons. I mean, wow. He had the winning hit yesterday, and today, he had two big hits and one phenomenal defensive play. (Plus a few “routine” ones that our beloved Pastor wouldn’t have made.) Some day 15 years from now, someone is going to make a whatever-they-call-it-then video of his defensive highlights, and it’s going to be amazing to watch. Meanwhile, Regression keeps on not regressing, going 3-for-4 and taking over the lead for the NL batting title.

So that’s a sweep, folks.


PS: The one negative from the game was Reed Johnson leaving with some kinda ankle or leg injury sustained running the bases. Because what we needed was another hurt OF.

342 thoughts on “Commie Birds 2, Braves 5”

  1. I didn’t talk about it in the recap because it’s more of a personal thing, but it really bugs me when folks whose job it is to speak for a living suck at it. The team doing the game tonight was horrible. For example, the insisted that Chris Johnson was hitting mostly from the “5, 6, or 7 hole” this year, when he’s almost certainly had most of his ABs from the 8 spot. Then there was the chestnut about Matt Holliday not being a well-regard OF when for years he dominated the defensive metrics leaderboards in LF.

    And my impression was that it wasn’t just the jock but also the play-by-play guy throwing these things out there. It’s just… common, guys. Don’t say things that are blatantly not true.

  2. Going into tonight, CJ had 114 PA batting 8th, 76 batting 7th, 50 batting 5th, 38 batting 6th, and 47 in other spots in the order. So if “most” is a majority, the ESPN announcers are barely right (164 to 161).

  3. Excellent recap, Mavery. I’m with you on the ESPN crew; I didn’t see the whole game, but what I did hear, I couldn’t stand.

  4. Oh, one more thing to make sure I wasn’t misunderstood earlier: I was sincere when I said I respect Sabermetrics. I love Bill James and I own Tango’s Book and I was rooting for DiPodesta all the way through reading Moneyball. What I’m not always clear on is the definition of some of the more arcane stats and how they’re arrived at; the more the stuff resembles calculus, the farther behind I get. But I really do get a lot out of the discussions between those of you who are clearly well-versed in it, and I meant it when I said I’m grateful for your contribution to my never-ending baseball education.

  5. Medlen says Hudson must be feeling better. He got this text after the game:"Shelby Miller really ripped your (behind), just like I would."— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) July 29, 2013

  6. What a great game. To watch Andrelton Simmons is to appreciate greatness. Hershiser and O’Brien kept on making a big deal about Heyward being too big for lead off. That is stupid. I like him there and I hope he stays there for the rest of the season. I don’t care if he steals a single base.

    It was pointed out last night that the Cards, the NL’s leading scoring team have the fewest steal attempts in the league. I thought that was interesting.

  7. Nomar Garciaparra was a pretty tall guy and I seem to remember him being quite the leadoff hitter in his early years.

  8. See, for all the talk about our regression guy, the Cardinals’ extremely high BAs just scream “somewhat fluky” to me. Not to mention they seem to be built entirely on high averages with RISP, which is certainly somewhat flukey. They said Craig was hitting like .500 in that situation. GL sustaining that going forward, my friend. “MVP candidate” my ass.

  9. I think Johnson’s D is getting better too. I think that has more to do with playing all the time.

  10. One of the cool things about last night’s telecast was the segment showing Reed Johnson tutoring Gattis on the finer points of outfielding. It’s sort of taken for granted that LF is the easiest position on the field but when you think about it, even easy is hard.

    I don’t get to watch as much baseball as some of y’all but it seems to me as if someone has strapped kryptonite to Justin Upton. I’m thinking the ball girl can hit harder than he can now. I wonder what gives.

    It’s not as if Gattis has been tearing it up lately but am I the only one wondering if BJ should take his time healing his adductor?

  11. I think there’s a chance that 2 weeks away from the daily grind might have healed BJ’s mind a bit. I don’t expect it to be night and day, or anything, but I guess what I’m saying is, if anything was gonna fix him, giving it a rest was probably it.

    And besides, I will welcome the return of another able-body to the outfielding corps, and frankly, I’m about whatever it takes to get Justin out of RF.

  12. It was driving me nuts that several times we had guys strike out looking and whoever was announcing would say “he fans again”. In my mind “fans” is slang for struck out swinging not struck out looking. I mean how do you fan anything without moving? Stupid announcers are stupid.

  13. @15

    It appears to be a timming issue to me. He looks just a hair late of pitches.

    He may be tired and he has been banged up.

    Once we start to get some guys back, we can rest him. I’m not worried. He is also a very streaky hitter.

  14. @17- YES! I knew I’d forgotten something! You can’t “fan” if you don’t swing the bat! How hard is that to see? I mean….

  15. At this point I’d like to get BJ back and into CF, Heyward back into RF, and Schafer and Gattis spotting Justin in LF to give him some time off to rest and maybe reset a little.

  16. My favorite ESPN moment came when Hershiser said something like: “We’re not just praising Allen Craig because it’s ESPN’s job on Sunday night to hype the game. We think he’s really worth your attention!” Which I took to be a tacit admission that most of the time they know what they’re saying is complete BS.

  17. I would leave Heyward in CF for years to come. I think his D is a bit under-utilized in RF. We can live with shaky corner defense when we’re this strong up the middle.

  18. If you were going to play Heyward in CF, you don’t sign BJ to 5/75. That ship has sailed. I view RF as an easier/less stressful defensive assignment that will keep Heyward healthier and leave him more able to focus on hitting. There are the positives I’m looking at given that for whatever reason, it was decided early on that he can’t play CF and now he’s not going to going forward.

  19. Right, if you could magically move BJ’s contract you might think about a Gattis/Heyward/JUpton defensive OF, with Schafer as a caddy, and then use the money to resign BMac. But as the man says, that ship has sailed.

  20. 75 million reasons to put Jason back in RF. Good points all. I was in the lets keep him in CF camp. I’m convinced otherwise.

    Did anyone else cringe when Mr. Glass dove for the 1st base bag?

  21. Who’s BJ? I thought I had successfully repressed those memories.

    If Jason hits I don’t care where he plays. If he doesn’t hit then CF at least maximizes his overall contribution. He’s had a few good games at the plate lately so I’m cautiously optimistic that he’s got things figured out.

  22. @29 – I sure hope you haven’t jinxed us. He and Justin have teased the crap out of us this year. Just as they look to go on a tear they revert back to being ass. At least BJ has been consistently ass this season.

  23. I think you guys may be expecting too much from national announcers. It’s not likely to get much better than last night, and that was way better than your average Chip and Joe broadcast.

  24. @Ken_Rosenthal: Trade: #Braves announce acquisition of LHP Scott Downs from #Angels for RHP Cory Rasmus. Strong add to bullpen by Atlanta.

    Yeah, I’m happy about this deal.

  25. @31/32

    That seems a curious assertion. Announcers whose job it is to broadcast games for a national audience on a regular basis should be, one would expect, the best in the business. Instead, ESPN has long employed on the color side guys who were well known as players but pretty awful as commentators (I’m looking at you, Joe Morgan).

    It may depend on your criteria. If your main criterion is comprehension of the game and its strategies (which is certainly a criterion worth defending), then of course a guy like Chip is gonna seem like the worst thing ever. I’m more offended by ex-player color guys like Rex the Wonder Dog and Karros, who literally add nothing that you can’t see with your own eyes.

    And my issue with Hershiser et al is that they tend to not have done their homework on teams they don’t see a lot. Example: one of them said yesterday that Medlen’s last start “wasn’t good at all,” an impression one might get from a cursory glance at a scoreboard page. In fact, as we who watch the Braves regularly know and someone here actually said at the time, Medlen’s last start was actually really good (for five+ innings), until all of a sudden it wasn’t and he got pulled. That kind of dilettante-ish lack of preparation bugs me something awful.

  26. Also, getting Scott Downs for Cory Rasmus is exactly the kind of deal that Frank Wren excels at, minor incremental acquisitions that fill a team need with a role player while giving up virtually nothing of value to the future of the organization. I don’t expect a blockbuster from Wren, but he’s awfully good at that.

  27. I should say, even though I don’t expect a blockbuster, he’s certainly pulled off a few. Even if Jupton is permanently broken — which I highly doubt — it was a hell of a trade at the time, and so was the Javier Vazquez trade.

  28. I like the deal, but hope Fredi uses Downs primarily as a LOOGY. He has always had platoon splits, but the last couple years those splits have widened.

  29. I would like a left handed bench bat w/ pop and possibly a starter.

    We can address the left handed bat in August.

  30. @ 42 I think the Bourn trade (and concurrent outmaneuvering of Ruben Amaro) remains his masterpiece. Especially now that we’ve reacquired Success! just in time for him to (hopefully) figure it out.

  31. Yeah, after Walden, and now sending them Rasmus… I can imagine Wren on the phone “Rasmus, huh? Can’t I send you something else? I mean, I want you to answer the phone when I call in the future. Isn’t there anybody better than Rasmus that you’d like?”

  32. In his desperation to avoid being DFA’ed, maybe Tommy reverted to his old, shoulder-shredding mechanics to pump up the MPH a bit.

  33. It’s 2 months of Scott Downs, a FA after the season. Not surprising all it cost was a small piece. GJ Wren for filling a need.

  34. @53 Yea, and the deal’s not that terrible from the Angels perspective as some are making it. It’s great for us considering what we need, to be sure, but they’re basically out of it for this year, so giving up an aging, soon-to-be free agent for a young arm makes sense. The only question is if they could have got more for him from someone else.

  35. @55

    I also agree. They are giving up nothing of value for a guy that has been pretty good in the minors.

    I am sure we will pick up the cost for the rest of the year too.

  36. MLBTR says the Rangers called about McCann and we said no.

    Wonder what they were willing to give up

  37. @50 Not so fast on Hanson! After a brief spike up to ~94 mph his fastball is back down to a ~ 91 mph average in his most recent start. Overall he’s thrown only 57.2 IP in 11 starts (5.15 ERA/1.51 WHIP). In short, Hanson has been slightly worse this year than last, plus with the arm issues Hanson won’t even reach his 174 IP total from 2012. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Braves won the challenge trade of “pitches with funky deliveries and injury concerns”.

  38. @57

    I’m guessing it went something along the lines of, “You can have Joe Nathan as your setup man and pick a prospect or two from this approved list.” I’d much rather have Scott Downs for Cory Rasmus, though, thank you very much.

  39. @61: Huh, that kid’s got some decent hand-eye coordination. I wonder how he’d do on the infield.

  40. @64
    I wouldn’t think it’s even up for debate. Depending on the starters and their situations, the ‘pen will most certainly be Kimbrel, Walden, Avilan, Downs, Carpenter, Ayala, Varvaro.

    If everyone’s healthy, there’s no place for Maholm on this team.

  41. @65

    You don’t think Maholm will slot right back into the rotation at the end of his DL stint, knocking Wood back to AAA (or the bullpen, but probably AAA) until the 40-man call-up? Because I do.

  42. @67
    Yes, I do think that will happen, but it doesn’t change my opinion that it shouldnt happen. Maholm has been a poor pitcher dating all the way back to April 20th where his ERA over that time is over 5 and his OPS against is an abysmal .830 (and to boot, he’s also given up 6 “unearned runs”). That’s not going to win many ballgames.

  43. It really makes no sense for the Braves to stretch out Wood. There’s no chance that he will stay over Medlen and Maholm. He was an effective piece out of the pen also.

  44. Braves pitch mag lev train from GA State station to Turner Field

    The Atlanta Braves are partnering with a private company to build a maglev train from MARTA’s Georgia State station to Turner Field as a way to improve fan accessibility to the stadium.

    But before that project can begin, the Atlanta Braves must first negotiate a new agreement with the city of Atlanta. The baseball team’s lease of Turner Field runs out on Dec. 31, 2016. The Braves would love to reach a new agreement — with more favorable terms — as soon as possible.

  45. There’s nothing so felicitous as an Atlanta Braves-Simpsons meme all-star matchup!

  46. bet the farm on roughened odor
    offer broder, roeder, schroeder
    this diamond in the rough
    we just can’t pay enough
    hail this prussian muzzle loader.

  47. All Simpsons jokes aside, is anyone else as legitimately excited about this monorail as I am? A dedicated connection from MARTA to TF is on my Atlanta transportation top-five list.

    And to do it without shaking the city down for funding… these people are my new heroes if they can pull it off. The shuttle system is the jankiest thing in the history of public transit; the few times I’ve tried to ride it I’ve immediately regretted not just riding to Georgia State and walking to the ballpark.

  48. Yes, if implemented how it’s being presented, it would be pretty awesome. It would require getting off at Five Points and transferring to the East-West line for a lot of people (me included), but that’s certainly better than getting off at Five Points, walking all the way through Underground Atlanta, then having to get on a bus. It would definitely be a great addition.

    BTW the ring came off my pudding can!!!

  49. I’ve been perusing the rosters of all the teams that I’d expect to actually consider themselves sellers, looking for a left handed (or switch hitting) IF with some pop.

    I can’t find any that aren’t either A.) Young and promising (Meaning, not available.) or B.) Playing so poorly they wouldn’t be additions at all.

    But expanding the search to include outfielders, as if we need any more, one name caught my eye: Raul Ibanez.

    Hell yeah I’d go in to the playoffs with Ibanez available off the bench. And he has veteran presents or whatever Chip prattles on about.

    EDIT: And for what it’s worth, he’s a pending free agent, and Endy Chavez has played 80 games at CF for the Mariners…

    Schafer would be too high a price to pay, I guess?

  50. I’d welcome a monorail to Turner Field (…I mean who wouldn’t?) but it’s already 20 years too late and it would probably take them about 10 more years to build it. By then we’ll have a new stadium probably.

  51. The monorail song is one of my favorite Simpsons moments, as it wonderfully sends up public works boondoggles. That said, this particular project is past due and it serves a very specific, very necessary need.

  52. @96

    That article said they hope to have it completed by 2015, and that the Braves are looking to extend their stadium lease, which runs out in 2016.

  53. Brad Hawpe was just released by the Angels. I think he would be a great addition in Gwin-Town.

  54. What worries me is that the Braves don’t have a real backup option at 3b if something happens to CJ. We’re looking at Tyler Pastornicky, everyday 3b, in that situation.

  55. 94: Unless I’m mistaken, we don’t control Schafer’s rights beyond this year, so he would in fact be too low a price to pay, since the Mariners are going nowhere this year.

  56. 96- It all depends on how long the new stadium lease is. Another 10 years and the monorail makes no sense; another 25 and it could be worthwhile. The problem is that there’s so little else near the stadium that would be worth the cost of access via mono… d’oh.

    100- There is Paul Janish, who can certainly handle the position but whose bat stinks on ice. But I see your point.

  57. Schafer’s under team control until 2017. His first arb year would be next season.

    Being released doesn’t make you FA eligible. If you are released with team control remaining, any team that signs you gets that team control.

  58. @95, it seems from the article that MARTA would be a partner with but not the operator of this line. MARTA’s infrastructure would remain the same; if this report is to be believed, this company would put up for the monorail line and probably split the revenues with MARTA in exchange for the connection point and fare reciprocity agreement.

    @96, they’re talking about doing this for the 2015 season, but that does seem massively optimistic. I’d wager on sometime between that and 10 years.

  59. 102 — Yeah, I don’t consider Janish as anything more than a late inning defensive replacement.

    For this reason I am surprised Pastornicky hasn’t played any 3b at all at Gwinnett this year.

  60. The area around the Ted- and by that I mean Capitol Avenue and most definitely not Mechanicsville- comes up now and then when some intown development firm tells Creative Loafing or the AJC, “hey, we might build something there once we’ve commissioned a group to consider releasing a study,” and then nothing much happens after that. If you really wanted to get (overly) optimistic, you’d accompany the train connection at Turner Field with the kind of development they have at Lindbergh Center. Though honestly, that particular development has become the Island of Closed Bars and the apartments have always been slow to fill up, so make with that idea what you will.

    I’ve always thought the Braves should’ve invested themselves in better ways to get asses to the games. When MARTA was threatening to get rid of the Braves Shuttle, I was wondering why the team didn’t bother just doing it themselves.

  61. Why the GA State station? Someone traveling from the north or south would have to switch trains at Five Points, and then switch to the monorail at Ga State. Seems like a pain in the neck for a fan base already reluctant to embrace public transportation.

  62. @111, a line from Ga. State could just about track straight down Capitol Ave. the whole way, whereas a line from 5 Points would have all kinds of downtown streets to try to cut through/over/etc.

    It does make things a bit harder coming from the north-south line, but we’re already used to doing that for every single Dome/Philips event so I don’t think it would ultimately be a big deal. Would be nice if they ran more east-west trains on weekend evenings though.

  63. @109, if nothing else it could lead to the rebirth of Azar’s Package Store! I miss seeing that place’s neon light arrow from the upper deck…

  64. If you wanted to have a straight-shot track to Turner Field from a North-South station, it’d be West End, not Five Points. All you’d basically have to do is track it down Ralph David Abernathy through Mechanicsville.

  65. And it’s not like the 5 points station is hard to navigate. Instead of going to the buses you jump one stop east to the monorail!

    If this couples with a new lease that ameliorates some of the horrible radio/tv deal..,

  66. They want to use the GSU station because GSU students already use Ted lots for parking for class. The train would also repla e GSU shuttles.

  67. @97

    And sending up the “Trouble in River City” number in “The Music Man,” to boot.


    Since my last posted thoughts on the willingness of the Mariners’ FO to sell, they’ve gone on a couple of winning streaks (they’re sort of the Bizarro Phillies). The conventional wisdom in Seattle at the moment is that the FO needs the team to keep winning this year to keep the fan base optimistic and thus preserve their jobs, which are very much in peril. (Parenthetically, Eric Wedge had what is being called “a very minor stroke” last week and has been out recuperating ever since; this may or may not have been inspiring to his team in a “win one for the Gipper” way, depending on whom you believe; after two lackluster losses Friday and Saturday, Wedge showed up to give them a rah-rah locker room speech Sunday morning (and left after ten minutes), at which point they turned around and whacked the Twins.

    Point being, I think it unlikely Jack Z would part with Ibanez at this point. But it never hurts to ask, I suppose.

  68. I dunno. The Mariners are 12 games out of the division, and 7.5 games out of the second wildcard. They’re roughly as bad off as the Phillies. Ibanez is on a one-year deal, he’s 42 years old. He’s as likely to retire as he is to keep playing, and, being a guy who’s already served 3 separate stints in Seattle, if he keeps playing, he’s as likely to sign back in Seattle as he is all other places combined.

    If I’m Seattle, I’m moving Ibanez.

  69. Perhaps I live in NeverLand, but that fact that a player is making a lot of money should not have anything to do with his playing time.

    Besides, when BJ goes to CF, Justin goes to LF and Oso goes … home?

    And if anyone saw the play upon which BJ hurt himself, well, let’s just say it makes Gattis’ blunder last night quite forgettable.

  70. Its about as close to immutable truth as you’re going to get, to say that BJ Upton is a better outfielder than Evan Gattis.

  71. Kameron Loe was not with the relievers going to the bullpen. I only saw the other 6 familiar guys.

  72. @118

    If I’m them, I agree with you. But I can tell you the local Seattle media has been talking about it a lot and doesn’t see it happening.

    That said, I agree we should make a reasonable offer and see what happens. Could be this year’s Mike Deveraux.

  73. I’m not so sure I like having anybody but McCann behind the plate with Beachy making his first start. I certainly wouldn’t start Gattis, anyway.

  74. Brandon’s leaving too many pitches up. This would be downright hellish if it were at Coors Canaveral.

  75. Could be this year’s Mike Deveraux.

    Deveraux was only 1995’s Deveraux for 4 games. He was terrible during the season for us, and didn’t do much in the NLDS or WS.

  76. I think the little pause in this guy’s windup is going to take a while to get used to. But we need some life out of the offense to wake things up. This game has a case of the Mondays.

  77. Crap game so far. Crap broadcast — stuck watching the Rockies’ rah-rah feed and their pathetic attempts to pronounce “Terdoslavich.” Crap plate appearances in the bottom of the second. Just feels like a flogging in the making.

  78. If Beachy can settle in, we can score 3. I’d like to not give them anymore, though.

  79. Oh lord, Joe claiming to quote Braves office folk saying that they like Downs because he can get both lefties and righties out. Said they think he can pitch whole innings.

    I really hope they know better. Downs as a loogy is great. If they think he’s more than that we could be in trouble.

  80. So for ball three, Beachy missed his target, which was on the inside corner, and threw what was actually a strike on the outside half, that Gattis caught poorly. And Tulowitzki spit on it like it was nowhere near.

    And you see that pretty often. Are these maybe guys who are peeking at location?

  81. #138

    Plus, Fredi seems averse to the situational label. Even 45% of the batters George Sherrill faced were righties.

  82. Yes, I have no clue why McCann isn’t catching this game.

    Also, I was thinking Beachy might go 5-6 innings tonight and give up 4-5 runs. At this point, that might be a tad optimistic.

  83. I’m not watching – why is McCann not catching the reason Beachy is giving up extra base hits?

  84. @138

    If they look at his lefty/righty splits of the last two seasons (> .800 OPS to RHBs, nearly 4.6 xFIP vs. RHBs) and think of him as anything more than a LOOGY unless an emergency arises, the front office has forfeited its right to be entrusted with making an intelligent decision.

    And it’s one game, but this is frightening. Brandon’s not ready. Too much left up. I think this is past the point where you can simply blame the catcher.

  85. Beachy is getting completely lit up…blaming the catcher is probably not where I’d point the finger first. This game feels like one of those trap games after a big win in college football. Crowd is dead, we’re giving them nothing to cheer for, and I’m stuck listening to our shitty announcers after a nice hiatus over the weekend.

  86. @144—Gattis had been out to the mound a few times already. Beachy is shaking him off a lot. And last inning there was a passed ball that Gattis just missed with a guy on second. I don’t know if all of that is affecting Beachy at all, but some of it might be.

  87. I don’t know about THE reason, but he’s made about 3 trips to the mound this inning, and also got crossed up once for a passed ball.

    They’re obviously not on the same page. He’s never even SEEN this guy pitch before, and Beachy is struggling with his command.

    I don’t know that he’d pitch better with McCann back there, but, why take the chance? Why not give Beachy every single opportunity to be successful in his first start coming back from career-altering surgery?

  88. @148 – I’m not blaming Gattis. But I don’t think it’s radical to suggest that McCann catching would benefit Beachy. Virtually all of his success has been throwing to McCann, McCann knows his repertoire, McCann knows how he likes to attack hitters, McCann knows the hitters, McCann is a better defensive catcher all around. McCann has more experience working with pitchers in general. If Beachy is struggling because he’s over-amped, McCann is more likely to be able to calm him down. If Beachy is struggling with a mechanical flaw, McCann is more likely to notice it, and would be better able to communicate to him the solution.

    It just seems like a foolish day to give McCann the night off.

  89. This will be one of those classic “let Beachy hit” then relieve him in the next half inning.

  90. @156 – Yes, you’re clearly on to something there. You’ve really gotten to the bottom of this one.

  91. Beachy didn’t pitch well in AAA either…because McCann wasn’t catching him.

  92. @156—I don’t mind Gattis catching normally, but considering he’s never caught Beachy before, I’d think it would set him up for better success to at least let him see Beachy pitch in a game in person before he catches him. But De LaRosa is tough on lefties (although you’d never know that from this inning), so in that sense a night off tonight for McCann makes sense.

    If Gattis hits a grand slam here, I’ll completely shut up.

  93. Yikes, five runs for the Rockies. So much for the “it’s like acquiring a big piece in a deadline trade” line.

  94. @158 – You’re really on to something there, krussell. I think you’ve really hit the nail on the head.

    We should probably have McCann carry his luggage for him on the road, too! I’m surprised I hadn’t thought of that one before now!

  95. @164, I’m just messing with you…I would’ve started McCann too, but I wouldn’t do a lot of the things Fredi does. I don’t think it’s really that big of a deal. Beachy is unlikely to pitch well for a few months…

  96. Meanwhile, Simmons is killing the ball lately…what a bonus if he could keep this up.

  97. And all without a home run! Damn, we aren’t following the script at all tonight.

  98. @134

    And also was the MVP for the NLCS. No fair cherry-picking statistics. :P

    Man, it is truly great having such a tough lower batting order, isn’t it?

    EDIT: @175 Bite your tongue. :-)

  99. 4 game set against a big hitting team. How soon you want to start burning your bullpen?

  100. @169 – My point was pretty clearly stated, and in good faith, in 154. And I think it’s pretty obviously the case that if Gattis is to be a catcher, he will eventually have to catch Mr. Beachy. I guess I didn’t think we were so litigious around here that I would have to state aloud that I understood that.

    Of course Beachy will eventually have to throw to Gattis. But Beachy will only have to make his debut one time. I’m merely suggesting that it would be more wise to give him every possible benefit in that debut.

    Disagree with that if you will. Do anything you like with it. I guess you’ve already done just that.

  101. I like our starters and bullpen better than theirs. My money’s on us. Start burning.

  102. 185 — The way Beachy is pitching he is going to have to burn them sooner or later anyway.

  103. @186, Beachy is hopefully going to make many more starts this year. He’ll hopefully get a lot better than this. He hasn’t pitched in over a year and he’s not locating, not throwing as hard as he used to, and his fastball has no movement. I’m just saying that that’s the most likely reason he got completely shelled.

  104. I have no problem with sending him back out to see if he’d settle down. And I have no problem with pulling him now.

    Of course you’d rather burn your bullpen to preserve a lead than to preserve a tie, but in the 4th inning, it was worth finding out.

  105. Yep. And boy did he look mad about it.

    No worries. He’ll get better. Our pen can handle this. (Is Wood back yet?)

  106. Long time Braves Journal readers will remember Mac saying that leaving a struggling starter is a losing strategy, since he will likely give up more runs and you’ll have to go to the bullpen anyways.

  107. @179, looking at 14 ABs without taking into account all the rest would be “cherry picking” by definition, wouldn’t it? I’m glad he did what he did, but he wasn’t very good as a Brave. Acquiring Ibanez would cost Gattis AB’s which I’m not fond of, and cause a pretty massive OF logjam with RJ and Schafer on the team as well. I don’t see the marginal improvement along with the corresponding roster issues as being particularly worth it. Feel free to make the case though.

  108. One thing that has remained consistent for Justin this year is his awareness of the strike zone. He gets called out on close strikes a lot, but he’s always correct that the pitches are not over the plate. Close, and probably too close to take at times, but on the borderline pitches, if he doesn’t swing at it, it’s a ball.

  109. @204 it wasn’t in the dirt but it was off the plate inside – same pitch that Beachy threw about fives times and was called a ball.

  110. With the DFA of Loe my song parody inventory drops by one, so I have to have a new one with the arrival of Downs. Apologies to all — I really can’t help myself

    Don’t Let Scott Downs Throw to A Righty
    (Apologies to Elton John and Bernie Taupin)

    I can’t bear any more bad matchups
    All those pitchers seem to fade and give up leads
    Arms growing tired and double switches looming
    Frozen fear in the bottom of the sixth
    Too soon to save the day with Kimbrel
    I took a chance and thought of our new pitcher
    But you misled and made a substitution
    Batter walks and now comes power from the right

    Don’t let Scott Downs pitch to a righty
    Although it might seem right, it is not, Fredi
    It’ll lead to line drives in the gaps, wand’ring free
    So losing everything is Scott Downs facing a righty

    I don’t mind, when the right call goes awry
    But misuse Scott and see the way I feel
    Don’t ignore me — just because you think I’m a SABR nerd
    But these stats I have they bring wins yes I’m for real

    Don’t let Scott Downs pitch to a righty
    He’s just a LOOGY now– understanding this is key
    He’ll mow down lefty’s all you want, earn his fee
    But losing everything is Scott Downs facing a righty

  111. @199, I wasn’t making the case, jjschiller was. My initial comment was that, as a Seattle resident who pays some attention to the local media talk about the Mariners, I doubted they’d be willing to trade Raul Ibanez now (as opposed to several weeks ago, before they got a hope infusion). I then said I wouldn’t mind having him if they would trade him and the price was right, and made a tongue-in-cheek reference to Mike Deveraux. I then responded to jj’s comments about Deveraux’s general lack of value with an equally tongue-in-cheek (complete with emoji) reminder that Mike D did in fact help the ’95 Braves to their World Series win by performing at such a level during the LCS that he was named the series MVP.

    Having summed up what I shouldn’t have to sum up, how about we keep the thread of who advocated what in our minds and pay some attention to emojis with tongues sticking out of their mouths, k? Kthx.

  112. Well we kept them from scoring for an inning…so that’s better.

    @207, instant classic.

  113. Why would you take that as anything other than an honest question? There were no pejoratives

  114. Chris Johnson is ridiculous. This whole having a CJ at third has worked out pretty well for the Braves.

  115. Uggla coming through! Nice to see an offensive explosion after a weekend of pitching battles.

    Edit: I love pitching duels, and would prefer to watch them normally. But getting hits and scoring in multiple innings is fun to watch sometimes, too.

  116. Dan! Either the Man, or an acceptable substitute.

    NB: This is the Braves’ first game this season in which each team has scored 7 runs.

  117. Has Simmons ever bunted successfully? I’ve seen him try to bunt six or seven times now and he’s popped out, lined out, etc. Everything except a successful sacrifice or base hit bunt.

  118. Okay, apparently baseball reference lets you find that info:
    Simmons career #s (for fair balls):
    5 sacrifice bunts, 3 bunt popups

  119. Why in the heyull is Carpenter hitting for himself?

    Sac bunting in an 8-7 game in the 5th is all kinds of wrong.

  120. @208 – I never made any comment about Devereaux. I think that entire exchange was between Spike and you.

    @199 – I didn’t say that I WOULD do it. I was bringing it up for discussion. But, since you asked, here IS the case for it:

    On a team that has Ibanez instead of Schafer, your OF depth chart would look like this:

    LF: J Upton, Ibanez, Gattis, R Johnson (Constanza, minors)
    CF: B Upton, R Johnson, (Heyward) (Constanza, minors)
    RF: Heyward, (J Upton) R Johnson, Gattis (Constanza, minors)

    Your CF depth remains roughly equivalent to the rest of the league. Not many teams carry 2 pure CFs like we do (when Schafer and BJ are healthy.)

    With our current roster, assuming everyone’s healthy, you have a table-setter type on the bench from each side, R Johnson and Schafer. But you have only one power bat, in Gattis.

    If you made that trade, you’d have one table setter, but you’d have a power bat from each side.

    So as far as roster construction for THIS year, it’s a question of how you value power off the bench versus table-setters off the bench.

    If that were all that were to it, that’s a trade I’d make in a heartbeat. I value instant-offense in a bench bat.

    To me, the only complicating factor is Schafer’s service time. The fact that we can keep Schafer for two more years is what gives me pause.

  121. Good work, David.

    For those hating the Cardinals, they are getting plastered by Pittsburgh.

  122. Maybe Downs will pitch an inning. I would assume Walden closes unless he’s tired too. I’d feel better if we could tack on about five more so Varvaro can pitch.

  123. Nobody steals three straight against Gattis! Nice throw Evan. Now go hit something.

  124. Uh, oh. This is getting interesting again. Let’s go back to getting them out, shall we?

  125. I always forget about Varvaro. I don’t know how I do that since he pitches more than anybody on the squad.

  126. Am I imagining it, or is Constanza a former switch hitter who gave up the right side?

  127. Outman might be the best name for a pitcher ever. I liked his old-school stirrups too.

  128. Damnit. I hate all baserunners in the 9th. I especially hate free ones, and fast ones.

  129. Downside of a sweep with three tight games. And now facing Gonzalez and Tulo. This could get real ugly real fast.

  130. If anything was ever a foregone conclusion, Gonzalez getting a hit right there was it.

  131. Mistake by Jason there. Not sure I want to see Downs vs Helton. But I for sure don’t want to see Walden vs Helton.

  132. I’d much rather see Downs v. Helton than Walden v. Cuddyer, personally.

    EDIT: One pitch, one out! Welcome to the team, Downs.

  133. I’d feel better if Downs had not been shelled yesterday.

    EDIT: Shut my mouth. Lovely glove work. Now let’s get him the one-pitch win.

  134. Helton’s not what I’d call loogy bait, though. He can poke a single against anybody, seemingly at will.

  135. Well, the new guy’s efficient.

    Also, Gattis and the infield all coming up to Downs and clearly saying, “Hey man, nice to meet you. Now how about we get an out here,” was pretty hilarious.

  136. Didn’t exactly seem like a screaming liner. Simmons might have been able to make a play on it.

    Calling the Gattis walk-off now.

  137. If we walkoff here, Downs would get the win. Not a bad deal, considering he’s been on the active roster for all of 4 hours.

    Edit: Or, not. Extra innings works, too.

  138. I’m sending Downs back out there BTW. I’m sure that means he’ll face a righty, but I don’t really care at this point.

  139. Free baseball and our pen is about spent. Fredi probably has nightmares about this type of game.

  140. Not sure I’ve ever seen a starker contrast from one half-inning to the next.

    Belisle made our guys look like garbage.

  141. Well, if he can get EVERY lefty out, and make one of those a DP… then he’ll only give up about 5 runs this inning.

  142. @301 He’s got two catchers left, so Fredi’s good.

    Besides, if we run out of pitchers there’s always Simmons.

  143. Dexter Fowler’s righthanded stance looks like he’s doing an impression of Andrelton Simmons.

  144. You could walk two righties and set up lefty-lefty with Gonzalez. Cripes. Would you like the gas chamber or Old Sparky?

  145. I was just typing “Will Downs not throw his breaking stuff to righties? He’s thrown only sinkers so far.” And then it threw a nasty slider.

  146. Well, we’ll see McCann this inning…unless Uggla and/or Simmons win it first, of course.

  147. Well, we’ll see McCann this inning…unless Uggla and/or Simmons win it first, of course.

    Hope you’re happy.

  148. Are we undefeated with Simmons in the 8-hole and J-Hey at leadoff? I think we found a winner!

  149. Andrelton!

    I wish he’d become a .300/.400/.400 lead off hitter with 30 SBs and Ozzie Smith-defense for the next 15 years, but I’ll take him how he is today!

  150. @331
    Whoever it’s up to, it was scored a triple, at least according to my MLB at Bat app on my phone

  151. If he reached third before Uggla crossed home plate, it’s a triple. If not, it’s a double.

  152. Exciting game! Didn’t watch but caught the last few innings on radio. Lets hope this was just Beachy working out nerves. A
    few starts toget his strength back and he’ll be pitching well.

    Strange how Minor has the most starts of anyone in the current rotation. He’s our veteran right now.

    Oh, and kudos to Fredi for sticking with the new order.

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