Braves 2, Tribe 0

Here are the official highlight videos from MLB.com. I didn’t get to see a lot of this game, but from what I did see:

Alex Wood was off of his best game, but effective enough to get through 5+ scoreless. 105 pitches, only 62 of them for strikes. Part of being and MLB starter is figuring out how to win without your A game, and Wood was pretty clearly working off of his B or C deck last night. Still, he managed to get through 5.2 unscathed despite 9 base runners. The pen did the rest.

The offense was generated on one swing of Elliot Johnson’s bat. If the Indians had Jason Heyward rather than Drew Stubbs in RF, we might still be playing. But as it happened Johnson’s fly ball to the deep warning track ticked off of Stubbs’ glove, two runs scored, Not Ernie Johnson legged out a triple and that was the extent of “scoring runs” for the entire game. In a sure display of how expectations set our ability to enjoy a player’s performance, Johnson is developing a bit of a fan club in Atlanta. He’s hitting 278/278/389.

Craig Kimbrel is nasty Kraken-boy again. Seems to have put his struggles from earlier this year back in the box. Here’s to getting Dan Uggla back in the lineup.

77 thoughts on “Braves 2, Tribe 0”

  1. If you spell your name Eliot, instead of Elliott, it should be pronounced not “Ell-ee-ot,” but “ee-lee-oh.”

  2. Was it Mac that always pointed out that the majority of triples are just poorly-played doubles?

  3. Kraken relied solely on fast balls last night. It will improve his pitch count. His breaking pitch will be saved until needed.

  4. I wonder if Eliot, with his diminished skill sets, has a major league job because of how well he probably gets along with everyone in the clubhouse.

  5. My understanding was that Eliot Johnson is an outstanding defensive 2B and that’s why he keeps finding work.

  6. Nice recap. “Not Ernie Johnson.” Heh. I’m gonna have to steal that. :-)

    But I believe he spells his name Elliot – two Ls, one T.

  7. Eliot Spitzer, one l
    Eliot Ness, drink is hell
    Eliot T.S.
    a Wasteland no less
    George Eliot-sex? cannot tell.

  8. Anyone who had to listen to the inane conversation between Chip, Joe and Dale on pitching innings (although not nearly as inane as their discussion of defensive metrics) will be pleased to know that, as far as we can measure at the moment, pitching injuries are uncorrelated with innings worked. (There are a number of things you need to do to do this kind of study correctly, and I haven’t read it yet, so I don’t know if they did, but JC just tweeted this tantalizing paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23090322
    “Although some interesting trends were noticed…it was found that no cumulative work metric was a significant predictor for future injury.”

  9. @14

    They did hit on soemthing I think is to be noted. Guys throw much harder now than they did ten years ago. That may have something to do with it.

  10. welcome Daniel, welcome home
    leave Gwinnett, bye bye to Rome
    do tell us what you see
    there, at its apogee
    it’s white, a ball? an open Dome?

  11. @Braves: Tonight’s lineup vs. CLE (7:10, SS/680AM/BRN): Schafer 9 JUpton 7 Freeman 3 CJohnson 5 McCann 2 Uggla 4 BUpton 8 Simmons 6 Maholm 1

  12. “Who,” goes Uggla, say the Swedes
    “Bam!” goes Uggla, hitting seeds
    “Whiff” goes Uggla, ‘gainst our needs.
    “Oops,” goes Uggla, fielding deeds.

  13. Interesting that they don’t find a direct correlation with innings pitched. Have they ever found a correlation? I believe it’s obvious that pitchers get hurt a lot more these days than they used to. It has to be pitching mechanics or simply how hard they are throwing each pitch–I make this assertion based purely on perception believing that the statistical studies should show that.

  14. @23, is it obvious that pitchers get hurt a lot more these days than they used to? It may be the case that they get diagnosed as being hurt more than they used to, but that isn’t the same thing.

    However, I think it is very likely that a higher proportion of a pitcher’s total pitches are max effort, compared to the past. There are at least three reasons I can think of. First, radar guns. Second, starting pitchers no longer expect to complete the game, so there’s a greater expectation that they will be maximally effective while they are in the game. Third, the talent level is so great throughout baseball that there are probably fewer banjo hitters in an average lineup than there used to be.

    It is likely that max effort pitches contribute more to injury than non-max effort pitches. On the other hand, the human arm was not designed to throw baseballs; pitching is an inherently unnatural activity, and injury is always going to be pretty likely.

  15. It would definitely be interesting to see career-ending injury (which is surely what UCL tears were before the advent of Tommy John surgery) stats from pre-Tommy John. It certainly does seem like almost every pitcher in this day and age needs that surgery at least once and sometimes twice. Surely that can’t have been true formerly?

  16. @23: since I haven’t read the artivcle, just the abstract, I’m not sure. As I said above, you have to be really careful in assessing these things. Are you really sure pitchers get hurt more than they used to? How would you know, exactly? The last line of the abstract says it’s probably some combination of mechanics and usage. Note that one of the authors is with the Orioles.

    @24: Leo thought this too, remember, or a version of it. He thought that pitchers didn’t throw enough side sessions. If pitchers were really too coddled, of course, then injuries would decline with increased use, but they don’t find that either.

    The thing I worry about in studies like this is that they are using workloads in the prior year to predict injuries in the next year. But pitchers who injure themselves in the prior year may have lower work loads as a result and are highly likely to have another injury the next year. Since I haven’t read the study, I don’t know if they’re correcting for this or not.

  17. @26, they just blew out their arm and never pitched again, often long before the majors or early in their ML career, so you never heard of them. Those who made it were self-selected by inspection to be in the group “avoided Tommy John necessitating injuries”.

  18. @27, I do recall Leo’s theory on the subject, and seeing some research on staffs under his tutelage – but it’s a small, and very heavily weighted sample size to work from when you start with Glavine Maddux and Smoltz, not that it necessarily disproves any of his ideas.

  19. @29: I agree completely, spike. I would note, however, that a 33 percent ligament tear rate among the big 3 is actually above the average, small sample or not.

  20. @25 All good observations. It’s also very hard to separate out some of the different factors when comparing periods of time, because not only are you talking about different players, but may well be talking about different types of players. I think the success rate of returning from TJ has also impacted how teams select pitchers and their willingness to invest in guys that might be injury prone. Pitchers are being selected more for power and less for durability in the past.

  21. Leo’s theories were just an extension of Johnny Sain’s and one study of Sain’s staffs yielded similar success iirc and thus results in a much larger sample size to draw conclusions from. can’t remember where i read this, much less find a link. it was prob at least 8 yrs ago.

  22. JC Bradbury studied Leo a while ago: http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2004/12/how-good-is-leo-mazzone/

    More recently, Russell Carleton (aka Pizza Cutter) took a look at him, though the article is behind a paywall: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20317

    I seem to recall that Bradbury looked at Sain, too, but I can’t find it right now. My recollection is that he found that Leo Mazzone’s effect on improving pitchers was FAR greater than Sain’s effect.

  23. If that at-bat is any indication, post-LASIK Uggla is seeing the ball as well as pre-LASIK Uggla was.

  24. I don’t think Don Sutton realizes it, but saying Jacobs Field is in downtown Cleveland and saying it’s in a “beautiful location” are contradictory statements.

  25. You can call it whatever you want. It’s Jacobs Field. It’s also Enron, and Jack Murphy Stadium.

  26. Jesus… BJ is gifted a rare chance on base with a glancing HBP and he even manages to blow that by getting picked off. His ineptitude is hard to fathom, frankly. It’s almost as though he’s been possessed by the Ghost of Braves-Era Nate McClouth…

  27. Of all the positive surprises this season (Chris Johnson, Pena, Carpenter, Wood, Gattis’ start, Fredi Jr. hitting things) I think Success! is probably the biggest one to me.

    I really didn’t expect *anything* from him.

    Edit: Oh, come on, ump, he was practically on top of the base when he got tagged.

  28. @54: True, but I slowed it down and that play was incredibly close. If Success was safe, it was less than a frame’s worth.

  29. Avilan has been struggling a bit recently. Hope he gets back to his mid-summer form before October.

  30. Question for the crowd on behalf of my wife: other than the reprehensible Phil the Bucket and Two Bit the Drill, what are the names of the other tool race contestants? Amazingly, this question appears to have no answer on the internet.

  31. From what I could find, Cutter the Saw and the hammer seems to be named Hank, but I’m not sure what exactly it was.

    Edit: Source

  32. Good god, the brush is called B-Rush. That’s the worst thing I’ve heard today. Thanks for the info though, Tomas!

    Good win! And thanks AAR for getting the .com back!

  33. On the one hand, it’s hard to buy how fast Kubel has fallen, and you think “There must be SOMETHING left in there.”

    On the other hand, if you can’t hit in Arizona, where can you hit?

  34. Is there something about Kubel that explains his terrible year this season? He’s been a reasonably useful LH slugger and is only 31. He has a career line of 275/339/485 against RHP. With Heyward questionable* into the playoffs, it wouldn’t hurt to have a lefty slugger on the bench, but I’m not sure if Kubel brings much more to the table than Joey Terds.

    *was nice to see Heyward in the dugout and on the field celebrating the walk-off with his teammates tonight. He was well removed from the bouncing pile-on at 1B, but was there to give high fives to Regression as he ran off the field.

  35. With Terds, Schafer, and Gattis having success in the outfield that we didn’t envision going into the season, and the fact that our projected outfield was BJ Upton, Justin Upton, and Jason Heyward, it is confounding that we are scouring the waiver wire looking for outfield help. You’d think that with those 6 guys, we’d have 3 guys to run out there, and yet, we don’t.

    On the flip side, it is equally confounding that we are not scouring the waiver wire looking for bullpen help after we lost O’Flaherty and Venters for the season.

    Weird game, this baseball thing.

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