Phillies 5 Braves 1 and Tennessee Preview

Not a good night on or off the field. The Braves lost 5-1 (it wasn’t even that close) and a fan fell to his death at Turner Field.

With all that said, I figured this was as good of time as any to bust this out:

SEC Preview:

The Tennessee Volunteers

For a school that boasts a tradition of great coaches like General Bob Neyland, Doug Dickey, Johnny Majors and Phillip Fulmer; the last two hires have been pure whiffs.

The Lane Kiffin one night stand was fun, but we woke up and found out he was engaged to some Southern California chick. Then we moved on to our rebound fling Derek Dooley.

Derek Dooley was the worst head football coach in Tennessee history. He was worse than even the pre Neyland years when most of the coaches were students. I’m pretty sure that Vince Dooley adopted Derek. There is no way those two are related.  The 2012 Volunteers could have easily won eight games, and probably even a few more.  Instead they won five and Dooley now works for the Dallas Cowboys. I predict Dez Bryant  is arrested for assault in early October.

Enter Butch Jones.

Butch Jones was easily Tennessee’s third or fourth choice to replace Dooley. At first most Tennessee fans were displeased, we felt we shouldn’t have to settle for the Cincinnati coach.

Around day three of the Jones hire, little stories started to come out. The first came from two older Tennessee fans that were eating at a Waffle House. Jones walks in and sits at the counter . The two men (wearing Tennessee caps) engage Jones in a brief conversation. Jones finishes his meal and leaves. When the two men ask for their checks, the waitress informs them that Jones paid for their meals.

I understand that really isn’t a big deal. Just know this, Derek Dooley doesn’t even know what a Waffle House is.

Jones has hit the recruiting trial hard. By some prognosticators notes, he currently has the number one recruiting class in America.

Let’s just say, we are excited that we had to settle for the Cincinnati coach.

2013

This team is nowhere as talented as the 2012 team, at least at the skill positions. Tennessee lost QB Tyler Bray, WRs Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson to the NFL. Those are some big shoes to fill.

Justin Worley will be given the first opportunity to replace Bray. While he doesn’t have the arm of Bray, he also doesn’t have the 10-cent head.

The offensive line should be one of the better units in the SEC and is anchored by LT Tiny Richardson.

On defense the Vols are shifting back to a 4-3 scheme and have vowed never to speak the name of former DC Sal Sunseri again.

The front seven and safeties should be a solid group this year. The Vols will be expecting some underclassmen to step up and man the corners. That can lead to some mistakes and they will give up some big plays down the field. However, I expect this group to play much better than last year.

Schedule:

The Vols have three cupcakes on their schedule and some tough road games.

The Wins

 Austin Peay, Western Kentucky, South Alabama and Kentucky

The Losses

@Oregon, @Florida and @Alabama

The Maybe if We Get a Break:

Georgia and South Carolina (we played both very close on the road last year)

Toss Ups:

@Missouri, Auburn and Vandy

I’m wearing my Butch Jones Big Orange Glasses and say we win seven. There is more talent on this team than people realize. I think if Worley can be at least serviceable, Tennessee could be the surprise team in the SEC.

Wait, my bad, as Mac would say 0-12.

117 thoughts on “Phillies 5 Braves 1 and Tennessee Preview”

  1. I feel like I should point out that we’re still undefeated post-Waffle-House-in-the-Ted when the game doesn’t have a rain delay.

  2. I jumped the gun and assumed that the guy that fell to his death was drunk, and I’m sorry for that. It seems like this was just an accident.

  3. Justin Morneau is on waivers. That would be one heck of a LH bench bat. No way he falls to us though.

  4. I dunno; he might. He’s owed $14 million this year, meaning still owed like $5 million for the rest of the season, and he’s not the bat he used to be.

  5. The fall seems to have happened in the smoker’s pen that overlooks the players’ parking lot. That area gets crowded sometimes, especially on nights like last night where a lot of addicts were cramped up in the non-smoking concourses while the rains came through.

    Unfortunate all around.

    Go get Justin Morneau. He’s better than Joey Terdoslavich.

  6. Huh. Maybe I want to take that back. DOS 2.5 is actually a pretty good comp for 32 year old Justin Morneau, has more defensive utility, and is more likely to improve.

  7. Terdo can also play 3B, in theory. I am a bit surprised they haven’t done it at the big league level yet.

  8. In the “break in case of emergency” file – i.e. “now batting with a playoff game on the line, Paul Janish” – I’d do two things over the course of the next two months.

    1. Get Terdoslavich reps at 3B, at least in practice.
    2. Tell BJ Upton to find his old 2B glove, just in case.

  9. #8 – Terdo being someone who could play third in a pinch is the exact reason why Janish shouldn’t bat losing in the ninth. I brought it up that Fredi should’ve brought in Terdo down 1 in the ninth for Janish. One swing could’ve won that game for us.

  10. Things are looking good when you’re thinking about worst case scenarios in the playoffs.

    Hopefully the Braves are learning their lesson from the “Chipper Jones jump-throw means Troy Glaus and Brooks Conrad at third in the playoffs” situation. I’d say, at the very least, Janish at third is a step-up from that scenario. I’d also imagine that there’s only a few situations where Gattis would not be able to pinch-hit for Janish if it came down to that.

  11. Can Bethancourt play SS or 3B? His names reminds me of Bethany. We need $$$ to resign some younger guys.

  12. I would like Gattis to learn to play third and move CJ in the winter.

    Or have CJ learn second and move Uggla.

  13. I’ve been thinking about the grousing about the grousing thing, and I’ve realized there’s one very important data point that leads me to feel concerned whenever I see the Braves, oh, say, get shut out twice in three games:

    The Los Angeles Dodgers.

    We’re very good. We just had a 14-game winning streak, and on any given day we’re clearly one of the three best teams in the league. The Dodgers are 38-6 in their last 44, though. That’s almost two months’ worth of flat-out unstoppability. They were weaker when we played them; they’re not now. I’m not sure anyone in the NL can beat them.

    I’m just being honest and confessing my darkest fears. Tell me why I’m wrong.

  14. @18

    You’re not wrong, but it will be hard for them to stay at this level.

    I would like for them to play Pittsburgh in the first round. Their pitching matches up better with them. Anything can happen in low scoring games.

  15. because a 162 game season represents a more accurate indicator of team strength as opposed to a 44 game selected subsample? Because they only have a winning record against 8 of 19 teams played? Hanley Ramirez isn’t really a 193 OPS+ hitter? Ysiel Puig isn’t reall a 188 OPS+ hitter? The Braves own Kenly Jansen?

  16. To beat the Dodgers in a playoff series you’ll probably have to win a game against Kershaw. Certainly not impossible, but daunting.

  17. If Kershaw start 3 games of a 5 game series or four of a seven, it means you get a guy on very short rest in a deciding game. Yes please.

  18. @21 – If I recall correctly, we handled them fine. It was the Giants and Padres who handed us our lunch.

    But I believe Hanley was DL’ed and Puig had yet to arrive.

  19. If we’re talking LA, StL, Pit & Cin, any team we face in the post-season will be formidable. But if we must see the Dodgers at all, I’d rather see them in the NLCS.

  20. Kershaw’s really good and all, especially in Chavez Ravine. I respect what they’ve done for two months, but I think that they’re getting a lot of things breaking right, just like we did when we won 14 and a row.

    The Dodgers have had a pretty bad last couple of decades and I’m not shedding any tears over that. It’s been a long time since they got punched in the mouth and remained standing.

  21. Uggla to have eye surgery and went on the DL, Pastornicky recalled. I’d be willing to bet we’re on the market for an infielder now.

  22. smitty – why would you want to have CJ somewhere else?

    Last I saw, he was leading the league in BA and has recently become one of our most reliable hitters with two out and RISP.

    Unless Machado is coming this way, I’m pretty happy with Chipper’s replacement.

    Uggla? Now you’re talkin’…

  23. We were 5-2 against with 4 coming in LA and one of their wins was in extras. If memory serves Puig had just come up before the 4 game set.

    Yes they are playing well but they are battling injuries and the offense isn’t that formidable especially if Puig comes back to Earth. They are basically relying on Crawford Adrian Gonzalez and Puig at this point, though they may get Kemp and HanRam back at some point. Kershaw worries you a bit especially pitching 2 games of a 5-game set but Greinke is beatable and I prefer Beachy/Wood/Medlen to Ryu/Capuano/Nolasco if only slightly.

  24. @21 Not particularly, no. Although they did have Puig by the second time we saw them.

    @20 When you’re talking about overall excellence, the larger sample size matters, of course. (Those of us who root for a team that went to the playoffs fourteen straight times and only won one championship might say its importance is paramount.)

    But it’s an utter irrelevant argument in October; for most intents and purposes, the slate is wiped clean and everyone starts over. (Asterisks for wild card play-ins and teams with home field advantage.) Postseason series are won by teams who get hot at the right time, and JonathanF and other statisticians on this blog have demonstrated amply that better teams are more likely to be hot at any particular time. (And spend much of the rest of the time hovering around .500 ball.)

    I’d say the key datum therefore isn’t performance over a full season, but recent performance adjusted in some way by total season performance. That being the extent of my mathematical understanding, I leave it to someone else to work out. (I’m now going to go back work writing video games. :P)

  25. Season record is irrelevant to the standings in the playoffs, but then so is everything else. You’ll have to go a long way to prove the “peaking at the right time” theory around here.

  26. I’m not trying to prove anything; I’m sharing my semi-rational fear and asking for someone to convince me it’s irrational. So far, the only argument proffered is pretty unpersuasive.

  27. But shouldn’t you have something PERSUASIVE to support it before buying into it? The end of the baseball season is screwed up by roster expansion and contention. There is literally no reason to buy into the idea of late season “heat” being indicative of anything.

    On what grounds do you deem it semi-rational?

    Don’t let me talk you out of a good time though – carry on.

  28. Well, I’m as hard or harder on Dan Uggla than anybody else, but I’m a fan and I’m eager to be convinced, so lets hope this Lasik fixes things once and for all.

    OPS in five seasons in Florida: .818 .805 .874 .813 .877
    OPS in three seasons in Atlanta: .764 .732 .696

    I know a great deal of that decline is just general aging. But it’s a pretty precipitous decline. We can suppose he’s lost some strength, and we can suppose he’s lost some quickness. But we KNOW he’s lost some vision. And since that’s the only one of the three that can be fixed, let’s cross our fingers that it really does it.

    The Dan Uggla we acquired could hit 5th in anyone’s lineup. If we get even one step closer to that, he makes us a much better team.

  29. @34 LOL Okay, fair enough. But man, the Dodgers’ play over the last two months sure FEELS persuasive. But you’re right, that in and of itself doesn’t mean much, I guess.

    But I sure wish they’d start losing a little. Or we’d stop getting shut out. Or both.

  30. Silver lining…

    If Tyler Pastornicky flops, we might be seeing La Stella sooner than later. His .909 combined OPS at Lynchburg and MS sounds delicious!

  31. Probably a good idea to get it done now so that it will be a thing of the past come October.

    Edit: Uggla’s LASIK, that is.

  32. He’s not on the 40 man. Not that there isn’t room for him, but it would start his clock for a 2 week stretch when the division is already sewn up.

    In a pennant race, I think the club is bold enough to do it. But in the current situation, I’d say fat chance.

  33. This just drives me crazy. Why in the blue hell wouldn’t he have gotten the surgery IN THE OFF-SEASON?

  34. You won’t see La Stella this year. Uggla will be back before the post season.

    @ajcbraves: #braves lineup: 1. Heyward RF 2. J’Upton LF 3. Freeman 1B 4. McCann c 5.. C Johnson 3B 6. Pastornicky2B 7Schafer CF 8.Simmons SS 9. Medlen p

  35. Uggla might be back in a couple of weeks…or he might not be able to play until next season. Lasik outcomes and recovery times seem like they are all over the map. Why he didn’t do it over the all-star break or even earlier will remain a giant mystery.

  36. @43- That may be, but it doesn’t mean we didnt claim him.

    It isn’t a literal waiting list, where a team of thinks about, then passes, and the next team gets to think about it. All 30 teams are on the clock simultaneously, and have 24 hours to put in a claim. Then of the claiming teams, the team with the highest priority is awarded the claim.

    So the statements “we claimed him,” and “he never even got to us,” can both be true.

    EDIT: please forgive if the above comes off condescending. I just keep seeing different references to how to Derosa thing played out. I just wanted to offer my understanding by way of a clarification.

  37. Wait a minute – are you guys saying Uggla is getting the LASIK done NOW?!?

    EDIT: just saw the story. For crying out loud.

  38. @46 – At the All-Star Break we were only six games up on the Nats, everyone thought they were going to make at least a semblance of a run, and the medical staff and Dan Uggla thought that they could maybe fix the problem with contacts.

    Now we’re 14 games up and the contacts have failed (again.) Just get it done now. But in July you weren’t quite sure you wanted to lose Uggla for a big series with only a 5-6 game lead.

  39. Apparently the Lasik was the team’s idea. Uggla wanted to do it this offseason. Given his performance over the last month, I can see why they wanted it done now.

  40. Jjschiller, I thought of a couple of commercials:

    Paul Janish is sitting on a boat. This boat is sitting on a trailer, not in the water. Janish loses his balance and falls out of the boat. (He is unhurt.)

    Andrelton Simmons is sitting at a desk. He has one of those childhood toys in front of him on the desk. It is a popper. He is playing with the popper, continuously turning it inside out and watching it pop up into the air. Simmons is enthralled with this.

  41. Considering how far the drop is to his replacement at the moment, it’s not a good thing. Uggla, for all he doesn’t do, does two things pitchers hate, and that’s walk and hit homers. His replacements have all of his vices and none of his virtues.

  42. I propose that this is Tyler Pastornicky’s last chance to earn any sort of big league career at all.

  43. I’d think we’re all over the waiver wire at this point, looking for anything that can play 2B.

    In the meantime I bet Janish will get more reps than TPas

  44. Keppinger fills the bill, though without the power. Can play anywhere on the infield, good contact hitter. And a former Bulldog too, for what that’s worth.

  45. In the meantime I bet Janish will get more reps than TPas

    Bet he won’t. Unless the Braves do in fact acquire someone to play 2b, making Janish a defensive replacement and regulating Pastornicky to either PH status or Gwinnett.

    But I get the feeling the Braves want to see if Pastornicky can show any major league skills before discarding him to 4a pergatory.

  46. Pena may well have turned into a pumpkin at some point, but I think we can all agree he is sorely missed, as I feared he would be.

  47. I think Pnicky can play in the big leagues.

    If his situation were better, he’d stick as a starting second baseman for a second-division club. He could then parlay that in to a career as a backup on first-division clubs.

    It’s a lot harder when you’re asked to work that path in reverse.

  48. What’s all this about us not playing well against the Dodgers this year? We swept them in Atlanta, bringing them to the brink of firing their manager, then we took two of the four in LA. Admittedly they didn’t have Ramirez or Puig in the Turner Field series, but they were in all three games. We just absolutely tore their bullpen to tiny, tiny shreds. It’s the same bullpen they have now.

  49. @61 And I as well. I think I’m just remembering those “meh” series we played against the Giants and applying that to all west coast teams.

    Uggla’s OPS for August is under 300 and he’s under 600 post all star game, sooo… Yeah. Let’s hope that Lasik helps.

  50. I’m still trying to come to grips with the fact that we’ve got Schafer and Pastornicky in the starting lineup and it feels like an upgrade in both spots.

  51. If I may make a humble suggestion, Justin…if you know that’s a strike, maybe you should swing?

  52. Geez, how long does it take before Uggla realizes he can not see properly? He is one hell of a stubborn person.

  53. McCann tonight: 0-4 with a popup, two K’s, and a bases-loaded double play.

    That’s about as bad a night as you can possibly have at the plate.

  54. So Medlen bats in the 7th, pitches to one batter in the 8th and gets pulled. We need a term for this and need to add it to the glossary.

  55. Sheer lunacy. Utter stupidity.

    Neither are catchy. But they perfectly describe the practice.

  56. Medlen was Barves hottest hitter with double and walk. Almost got his second hit. Barves are one reliever down with Walden day to day.

  57. Pirates are beating the Cards. I want to best record, but I want the Pirates to knock the Cardinals right out of the wildcard spot. Conflicting.

    Pirates have made Wainwright throw 95 through 5.

  58. @78. I imagine fredi wants to keep his SP in the game as long as possible, but he would pull the trigger when he sees the first sign of trouble. Honestly, our starting pitchers have been pitching into the seventh and the eighth inning much more often than before. I have to give him credit for that.

  59. True, Roger deserves a lot of that credit though. Especially with the pen. However in a close game there is zero reason to let your pitcher hit in the bottom half to only allow him one batter in the top of the inning. If the hook is that quick, lets pinch hit and let the good pen arms start the next inning.

  60. No one knows what it’s like
    To have a bad bat
    To be the sad bat
    Behind crap eyes

    No one knows what it’s like
    To be hated
    To be fated
    To hitting short pop flies

    But my sight
    Is just as lousy
    As my OPS+ seems to be

    I’ll get LASIK, on the DL
    My goal is vision
    I want to see

    No one knows what it’s like
    To strike out this much
    It’s just me
    ‘Cause I can’t see.

    No one does as many arm curls
    Impressing no girls
    None of my pain and woe
    Gets results

    But my sight
    Is just as lousy
    As my OPS+ seems to be

    I’ll get LASIK, on the DL
    My goal is vision
    I want to see

    When I swing wildly, pity me please
    At a slider I could not track
    When I swing, it’s always bad news
    Every whiff becomes another hack

    If I go under the laser
    Burn my cornea as you will
    When its over, please give me an eyepatch
    I’ll be back, with all the old skill

    No one knows what it’s like
    To be the bad bat
    To be the sad bat
    Behind crap eyes

  61. @78 I was under the impression that act had already been added to the glossary as “pulling a Fredi,” or, in the Community homage version I prefer, “Frediing.” As in, “He Fredid it.”

    @88 Nice Who pastiche!

  62. @88 – Excellent. Hopefully in three weeks you can write him “I Can Hit Them Miles and Miles.”

  63. @89 It was a tough 8 or 9 pitch at bat. Medlin could have gone 8 with a bit of luck. With a 14 game lead improve Medlen’s confidence and rest the pen.

  64. @88,
    Short, buff and blind boy lives in a quiet vibration land…
    Strange as it seems, his slugging dreams, are really quite bad.

  65. @93, I think you meant:

    Drives us to distraction
    Don’t see no sliders or curves
    Can’t see the fastballs coming
    Still swings with lots of verve
    Seldom makes good contact
    His whiffs cast quite a pall
    That short buff and blind guy
    Sure plays some bad baseball

  66. This Pirates-Cards game is crazy. The number of extra-innings scoring chances that have been squandered is truly staggering.

  67. The Pirates gave up a 2 out double, so they walked the bases loaded, moving tge winning run from second to third, in order to get to the pitcher.

    The Cards are out of position players, so they let their reliever, with two career ABs, up to hit for himself, and he struck out.

    Then Matheny sent a new pitcher ouf for the next inning.

    Couldn’t he have maybe at least sent a starting pitcher up to pinch hit?

  68. Well, somebody finally managed to not walk face first into the sliding-glass door. And as luck would have it, it’s the team that could extend our lead to 2.5 games for home-field.

  69. If he’s really having eye issues then now is a good time for Uggla to get LASIK. The division is at hand so no rush coming back.

    @17 can you imagine CJ at 2nd? That would be horrendous… Gattis at 3rd would probably be awful too. I know Simba’s amazing but he can’t play the entire infield.

  70. @17: I can’t tell if you were being sarcastic or not. CJ, while his defense is not the greatest (but has seemingly improved), is a darn good hitter. Why get rid of a good thing?

  71. I agree with Medlen pitching in the 8th. We earned the chance to go 8. He is needed in the post season.

  72. I know Simba’s amazing but he can’t play the entire infield.

    It would be fun to watch him try, though.

  73. @105

    In a vacuum, there’s no problem with letting Medlen pitch into the eighth. If this were a DH game or Medlen’s hadn’t been due up in the bottom of the seventh, I would agree that he should’ve gone back out there. The problem is that his spot was due up, so you’re lessening the chances of adding on insurance in a close game when you know that you’re gonna pull him if he lets even one guy on base next inning, anyway. And he looked like he was tiring in the seventh, as well. That is annoying.

    I’m not gonna go ape about it like JJ…for now. But if he’s still pulling that act in the postseason and it costs us a game, I am going to go ape. Extremely ape.

  74. Sad, but we are better with Schafer/Pastor both replacing our two highest paid players. BJ and Uggla are some expensive bench bats.

  75. Is there some reason we are not getting a recap for last night’s game today? I just hate seeing the most recent recap being a loss.

  76. @109 – Well, in my defense, I didn’t really go ape, per se. Ape would be 3 or more comments. That was more just, in the moment frustration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.