Braves 13 Mets 5

I was fortunate enough to attend this afternoon’s game (I am 4-0 on the season.Yes, I have Division Series tickets)

I could go down all of the scoring plays of the game, but that would take way too long. Instead I will run down some observations I made at the game:

1) Freddie Freeman(2-5, 2B, HR 5 RBI) may have taken over Chipper’s minority ownership of the Mets. At the very least, he probably ended the American baseball career of Dice K.

2) BJ Upton (2-4 2 2B, BB) is either starting to put it together, or the Braves are cheating and letting Justin hit for his brother.

3) Regression (2-4) isn’t regressing.

4) Jordan Schafer (4-5 3 SB) isn’t regressing either. He has step into the lead off spot and continued to hit.

5) Dan Uggla (1-4, BB) still can’t see.

6) Paul Maholm  is not a post season starter; as of now.

7) Justin Upton, Brian McCann, Regression, BJ and Uggla saw more than 20 pitches today. It’s not clear if Uggla really saw them. Justin saw 30. That is a lot of pitches.

8) Andrelton Simmons drove him in three and would have been the hitting hero if not for Freeman.

9) It is a good idea to wear sunscreen if you are going to sit in the outfield.

10) The Mets suck.

59 thoughts on “Braves 13 Mets 5”

  1. Great, I submit my entry the same time Smitty posted the recap. Anyway, responding to the messages in the previous thread:

    @57 Finding a replacement for Chipper who can replicate his production is not easy. I honestly think “he’s been merely filling the shoes of Chipper” is already quite an accomplishment even if we are talking about the 2012 version of Chipper.

    @56 Schafer has to be in the playoff roster. He is our backup plan in case either Jason can’t come back in time or BJ’s recent surge is just a fluke. Honestly, I think he deserves to start in the playoff.

    Maholm can’t possibly start in the playoff. He is at best a long reliever.

  2. #10 is my favorite too. Fine recap, and glad you got to attend such a great game!

    @1, I agree totally with your comment about Chris. My point wasn’t to denigrate Chris. It was to clarify what Chipper has been doing for us the last few years. There were quite a few people (only a few here, I’m speaking in regular Braves fandom) who couldn’t wait to see Chipper go. But his numbers were amazing. Everyone’s rightly cheering on Chris Johnson as he pursues a batting title, but his number are pretty much the same as Zombie Chipper. That’s good for the Braves on both counts.

  3. The interesting thing about that ESPN preseason link is that for the most part, they got it right. Everyone over-picked on the Nationals – not just ESPN; everyone really. And no one saw the Pirates coming at all. The big misses in the NL come down to the Nationals severely spitting the bit and the Pirates outperforming the similarly cratering Giants.

  4. And in the AL: Judging just from the ESPN picks, gotta give it to the Red Sox this year. Nobody picked them at all, outside of a WC slot. FWIW, about 20 people picked Toronto to win the East.

  5. Zombie Chipper provided essentially the same production as Chris Johnson while Chipper made $13M and Johnson is making $2.8M. They may be putting up the same numbers, but Johnson is providing a lot more value and playing every day injury-free. Chipper is my favorite all-time player, but what Johnson is doing right now is much better for the Braves.

  6. Another fun Johnson/Chipper connection: Johnson went to Stetson University in Deland, FL, Chipper’s hometown.

  7. Braves are 34-34 on the road & 50-19 (.725) at home. Pretty outrageous.

    Incidentally, the all-time NL home-wins record is 64-17 (’75 Reds); MLB record is 65-16 (’61 Yanks). Both clubs went 44-37 on the road & both won the WS.

  8. @3 Pedro Gomez is a genius!
    @12 I think I heard on a spring training broadcast that Chipper’s dad and CJ’s dad were roommates in college. Might want to double check that but I do remember hearing it.

    Glad to see Teheran getting a rest. He’ll be needed when it counts.

  9. @19/20 Agree to rest Teheran. But Loe? There must be somebody better. I’d even go with Gilmartin. Anybody really.

  10. Gilmartin is hurt right? We probably would’ve pitched Garcia today but Wood crapped all over himself against Miami.

  11. @25 In my coffee deprived state I read “Chris Johnson’s dad is Don Johnson” and I thought “whoa the Miami Vice connection? No way!”.

  12. @27
    Why? He’s probably no better than Loe or Garcia. Do we really need 3 emergency starters to rest our regular starters? The Braves have had Loe in the organization since May 11th and Garcia was traded for on August 23rd. Harang did not get DFA’d until 8/26.

  13. @16: having written the home field advantage piece before the season started, I am perhaps particularly sensitized to the issue of home road splits, but in particular check out the opening chart here: Does anybody see an obvious reason why the Braves should have such large splits? I mean I’m sure someone can make up something after the fact, but did anyone look at this team and argue it was made to play at Turner Field? For the moment, my judgment on why is what I call the Micheal Ray Richardson Explanation of Everything: “Be’s that way.” So my basic prediction is regression: I expect the Braves to play above .500 on the road for the rest of the season and below .725 at home… and that includes the playoffs.

  14. Sleepers for NFL fantasy football this year? I’d like to add either a RB/WR. Here’s my roster…

    RB- Forte
    RB- McFadden
    WR- Ju. Jones
    WR-B. Marshall
    TE- V. Davis
    W/R- Dwayne Bowe
    K- Gostkowski
    Def- 49ers

    Bench is Rothlissberger, M. Ingram, De. Williams, Josh Gordon, S. Johnson, H. Miller.

    If a suggestion to add a player is made, please advice on who you’d cut as I’ve been out of touch with the NFL for a bit. I thought my draft was solid for a 12-person league. Thoughts?

  15. The Braves currently have a 2 game lead over LAD for HFA, and a 4 game lead of PIT. The balance leans toward getting your kids rest down the stretch. No HFA makes up for having starters with rag-arms.

    There’s no good reason not to start Loe or Garcia there. Either gives you the same odds of winning as any other AAA starter, and the org gets the player-friendly cred of giving a couple of veterans a month or so more pension time.

  16. @30, not all coin flips are created equal. Braves have home games left against NYM, SDP, MIL, and PHI – bad teams with nothing to play for, who will almost certainly be more interested in looking at their minor league talent for the remainder of the year. The Braves definitely have something to play for, a better team, and whatever advantage there is from playing at home. I suspect they will be running their healthy position starters out the rest of the way as well.

  17. @32: That’s not the way regression works, but sure, it’s possible.
    @34: Fair point, spike, but .725 is a pretty steep hill to climb and those teams have individual players who are looking to impress for next year, combined with seeing a bunch of players you’ve never seen before, especially young pitchers.
    Plus, it works both ways: I assume the other half of my prediction, >.500 against the road contingent of PHI, FLA, WAS and CHC should be good for the same reasons you cite, right?

  18. @33, agree with the resting part. Not my issue. My issues is specifically Loe who has not track record of doing anything as a starter. You will end up digging deep into your bullpen early in the game. This game feels like a forfeit to me. Maybe it’s just me and I am taking this one game too seriously. I’ll be quiet now aout Loe.

  19. Assuming Medlen doesn’t blow out early tonight, I suspect Wednesday’s plan is for Loe to start and Garcia to be there if/when he falters. Between them and Luis Ayala, I don’t expect the major players in the pen to get worked too hard.

    It’s September. The rosters are big and the lead is bigger.

  20. FWIW I think Loe had given up 0 or 1 run in 4 of his last 5 minor league starts. Seems like that’s worth a spot start to me.

  21. Also here’s a quick rundown of the ESPN predictions for WS participants:

    Was – 29 (WS – 16)
    Cin – 6 (WS – 3)
    Atl – 4 (WS – 0)
    LAD – 4 (WS – 1)

    Det – 27 (WS – 17)
    TB – 7 (WS – 2)
    LAA – 5 (WS – 3)
    Tor – 4 (WS – 1)

    What’s surprising to me is how little love the Cards and Rangers get here, these are teams with recent postseason success and no one even thought they could get to the WS.

  22. I guess that was my point though, the Cards won it all in 2011 and were eliminated in game 7 of the NLCS last year. The Rangers made the WS in 2010 and 2011 and made the playoffs last year, seems like recency bias would’ve favored those teams a little more?

    Granted I see that Tex was going through some overhaul on the roster, but I picked STL over Was in the preseason and Det over TB with STL winning it all, seems odd that none of the 43 experts believed in STL at all.

  23. It seems that the common theme among nearly all analysts is that the Braves are least likely to plow through the playoffs. I can understand if there is some reluctance to ride the bandwagon now thanks to injuries, but whether it be due to recent melt downs or purely numbers no one wants to pick Atlanta to get hot. Not one person wants to pick the Braves to win the World Series even if this team has shown remarkable resiliency all year long. Really?

  24. To be fair, those were preseason predictions, not sure what it would look like now if asked to pick the playoffs, but I bet LA would get most of the love followed by ATL and STL (if they win the division).

  25. Not that it’s keeping me up nights, but from most of the radio & TV baseball people I hear currently (beat reporters, announcers, etc.), they’re not in love with the idea that the Braves don’t have the obvious, dominant #1 starter. No Carpenter that carried the Cards in 2011. No Kershaw, who’s obviously the best starter in the game.

    But history tells us that it may not matter either. Braves & Phillies fans can tell you that a bad-ass starting staff doesn’t guarantee anything.

    I’m looking at these Braves like the ’90 Reds, another wire-to-wire winner, but a somewhat-under-the-radar club with super-dominant relief. Get a lead & strangle the other club with The Bullpen of Doom.

  26. Gattis is back:
    B.J. Upton 8 J. Upton 9 Freeman 3 McCann 2 C. Johnson 5 Gattis 7 Uggla 4 Simmons 6 Medlen 1

  27. Bupton (CF)
    Jupton (RF)
    Freeman (1B)
    McCann (C)
    Johnson (3B)
    Gattis (LF)
    Struggla (2B)
    Simmons (SS)

    Pretty sick lineup, y’all.

  28. I’m with you ububba.

    The Braves appear to be good from top to bottom. Only their bullpen is truly elite. In spite of that, Braves hitters will see a lot of pitches. Opponents are likely to need their bullpens to step up. Conversely, the Braves rotation seems to keep them in the game. Where they typically don’t shut people out, they usually do go 7 innings. This team sticks around. Their tendency to linger makes the late innings important.

    I hope that’s the Braves team that shows up in the playoffs.

  29. @30 et alia, this is totally not testable, but my working theory regarding the huge home-road splits this year has to do with my shock at hearing both Braves (both Uptons, CJ) and others (Bryce Harper, e.g.) praise the fervor of the Atlanta crowds this year. The Uptons specifically pointed to that early on as the main reason the team performed better at the Ted, and as we know Harper used the unlikely example of our crowds to dis his own. I’ve gotten the sense – and, again, totally unscientific and unprovable – that the Uptons, at least, really do feel more energized by the home crowd, for what that’s worth.

    It’s ironic to me, given the Atlanta crowds’ reputation for nonchalance (and absence), but then it occurs to me that there are a lot of young people who don’t remember the last time we even won the division. Maybe, as in politics, demographics are destiny and there’s finally a generation if Braves fans who don’t take trips to the LCS for granted?

    Anyway, that’s been my train of thought on the subject.

  30. @53: coming out of Tampa Bay and Arizona, respectively, I expect the new-Braves crowds are in fact rather noisy and rousing for the Uptons. And as noted previously, the current day Ted atmosphere is not the same as the 2002-5 Braves crowds. Anecdotally, I personally think the great bottle-throwing incident of 2012 was a sea change. I was so very proud of our fans for that.

  31. @53: As long as you acknowledge it’s not testable, I respect your right to hold any position you like. Fan’s privilege, as it were. Check out the link for the chart @30, though. EVERY team has had a year or two where they have huge splits. It seems highly unlikely to me that mercurial fan support from year to year is the reason. And all these wide splits from year to year are in the normal realm of random drift, so that’s my best explanation.

  32. @54 Me too. I was throwing things at the TV.

    @55, Yeah, obviously not verifiable in any way, and I would never suggest otherwise. As a dramatist, my stock in trade is thinking about emotional dynamics and relationships and the cause-and-effect between them and the actions individuals take. One thing I love about science and statistics is that those areas of human thought are usually a lot less fuzzy than what I traffic in; learning about them makes for a glorious mental vacation. That said, though, my emotional radar is pretty sensitive (that’s both part of why I went into this line of work and part of why I’m good at it), and I’d love to get the chance to ask some Braves what they would attribute the splits to and check my Spidey-sense. :-)

  33. There is a game from the 1998 NLCS on Youtube of the Padres at the Braves. While it is a sellout, the crowd is completely dead the entire game (though the Kevin Brown shutout may have had something to do with that).

  34. Another reason analysts aren’t picking the Braves in the playoffs — the Braves almost always screw up somehow.

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