Brewers 4, Braves 0

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – September 25, 2013 – ESPN

Great, I’m recapping another weird-fight game.

Getting the boring stuff out of the way on the front end: T–he Braves lost again, despite a nice effort by Paul Maholm — especially by Paul Maholm standards — and are officially in a dead heat with the Cardinals for home-field advantage, meaning they’re gonna have to get two wins against the duo of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in order to play in the NLCS. The hitters just continue to not hit. It’s pretty gross to watch.

Milwaukee’s first run came when Carlos Gomez hit a bomb in the first inning, after which he preened and jawed at Maholm — Paul Maholm — for most of his “run” around the bases, making the Jose Fernandez homer celebration look like a Jerry Riche touchdown catch. Freddie Freeman was not happy. Brian McCann was really not happy, and stood several feet in front of the plate, in the baseline, refusing to let Gomez get past him. Benches cleared, Reed Johnson threw a shove-punch at Gomez for which Freeman was ejected, butthurt Brewers fans and the other usual suspects (think Joe Sheehan) lamented the Braves’ lack of class on Twitter, etc. Apparently, Gomez was jawing because Maholm had hit him with a pitch in June? Or something? Whatever the case, I actually thought the Braves, apart from Johnson, handled it pretty well. (I’d buy Brian McCann a beer for his work, for sure.) Oh, and all of this led to Dan Uggla, Three-Hole Hitter, so the “Braves 0” part of the above-mentioned score was kind of hard to avoid.

Chip Caray is so bad. When he’s not making you think a routine fly ball is ten rows deep via his ridiculous-sounding Excited Voice, he’s just inaccurately describing the very (basic) things you’re watching, like bunts rolling foul or pitches being strikes. It’s pitiful and maddening. Hilariously, he was forced to read a promo for an upcoming special on NC State football (!), so at least his producers are messing with him, even though they won’t (can’t?) fire him.

That’s all I got. See y’all in the playoffs.

Author: Stu

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I've been married since July 17, 2004 to my beautiful wife, who also doubles as my best friend. We have an almost-three-years-old Boston Terrier named Lucy who's also pretty awesome. My wife and I both graduated from Vanderbilt University in May of 2004. I graduated from Law School at the University of Georgia in May of 2007 and am now practicing in Nashville, Tennessee. I really, really love the Atlanta Braves.

130 thoughts on “Brewers 4, Braves 0”

  1. Carlos Gomez whining about being hit in June = He’s just having fun! Cool bro!

    Brian McCann having it out to kick Gomez’ ass = Stoic boring white people!

    Thanks for clearing that up, Sportswriters On Twitter!

  2. Braves have to sweep the PHI (or win 3 of 4 and hope CHI wins 1 @ STL). Otherwise, hello Kershaw/Grenke/Ryu/Norlasco.

    Matchups:
    Hale vs Cloyd
    Medlen vs Lee
    Minor vs Undecided
    Teheran vs Z. Minor

    This is reminding me of the ATL 2000 team.
    Led most of the season, won 15 in a row, but cooled off and blew hope field advantage the last week of the season. Went to STL and go swept.

  3. Missed the game. Was in The Bronx instead, watching the Yankee ship officially sink. Evan Longoria had a lot to do with that.

    Seeing the crazy 1st-inning highlights, I’m reminded of Mr. Blonde from “Reservoir Dogs”: “Wow, that was really exciting—I’ll bet you’re a big Lee Marvin fan…”

    Sure, Gomez transgressed against the NL’s Home Run Police, but I do like how everyone stuck up for Maholm. McCann looked like a Hell’s Kitchen beat cop. Bully for him.

    Most importantly, can we start hitting now?

  4. Most annoying are the Braves fans (like Calcaterra) and sympathizers (like Sciambi) who are so hell-bent on appearing like Enlightened Baseball Guys to their not-worth-impressing writer buddies (guys like Neyer, Sheehan, and Jaffe) that they ignore mitigating factors and add their cute snark to the anti-McCann/Braves chorus.

    Anyway, I think the main mitigating factor, to me, is that it’s Paul Maholm. Maholm is, like, the most mild-mannered, and arguably the nicest, guy on the team. Given that, why was Gomez behaving like such a douche? Because he just is a douche, that’s why! He wasn’t just “doing what a lot of guys do,” as the Enlightened Baseball Guys want us to believe — he was going well above and well beyond, in order to show up…Paul Maholm! Maholm didn’t even say or do anything, even as Gomez was putting on that demonstration as he circled the bases.

    So, his teammates stuck up for him, and like ububba said, I think that’s nice to see.

  5. Brian McCann is probably one of, if not the most, respected guy on the team. His respect level grows even higher when he does stuff like this.

    I love stuff like this.

  6. I’m sorry, aren’t we the team who hit Bryce Harper 3 times for one home run trot that was actually shorter than the average J Upton trot? And now we’re enforcers of home run etiquette?

    Not a fan of how the Braves reacted. Try beating some of the sub-.500 cupcakes you’re up against this month, Bravos, instead of acting macho. All the screaming and posturing in the world doesn’t change the fact that you’re blowing it against crappy teams and you can’t even scratch a run across most nights.

  7. @7 – Yes, the Braves do need to start hitting. But any, repeat ANY, professional team would have reacted that way or worse to Gomez’s posturing. That is just part of the game, right or wrong.

  8. @9 Obviously McCann didn’t react as any player would, because none of us can recall a catcher physically blocking a player to prevent him from crossing home plate on a home run.

  9. 7—What do the hitting struggles have to do with their reaction to a first-inning homer celebration?

    10—When has a catcher been confronted with a batter’s actions like those of Gomez? I don’t buy this McCann-was-the-only-one-acting-unusually nonsense, and neither should you. No one does what Gomez did, either. Probably because they know they’ll get exactly that sort of reaction, or worse, from the opposition.

  10. I wish the Braves would hit and pitch with a chip on their shoulder. But not a cow chip or a Chip Caray (same thing).

  11. @12 This isn’t about me being swayed by anyone else’s opinion, it’s my response to the things I’ve seen. I don’t really care how the media is reacting to what happened. I’ve never seen a reaction like McCann’s and if I had I wouldn’t approve. I wouldn’t approve even if Gomez did cartwheels while flipping off the team around the bases.

    You don’t get to pitch hissy fits, especially when you’re tanking, in my opinion.

    What Gomez did doesn’t matter to the Braves, but how they react to it does. McCann broke an unwritten rule too by going out there, and it’s made worse by the fact that this is the second time he’s taken it upon himself to chew someone’s ear off over their home run celebration.

  12. I wouldn’t approve even if Gomez did cartwheels while flipping off the team around the bases.

    Well, that’s enough to see that there’s no point in engaging further.

  13. @10 – Oh Christ, this is professional baseball, not tea time. This is the game of drinking, cheating, spiking, roiding, snorting coke in the clubhouse, cheating on your wife, stealing signs, etc….I’d really like to know what you expected to happen once Gomez starting pimping that homerun.

    I will say that it once again reminded me that professional baseball players are very childlike and most of them are lunkheads, and this is coming from a lifetime baseball fan. Come to a site like this and you think the game is all about analytics and statistics, but to most baseball players that is the furthest thing from their mind.

  14. Bethany. They’re baseball players. They’re not reading the collected works of Hannah Arendt in their spare time.

  15. @5- My issue is there, too, and also with the way pasty, paunchy desk-jockey sportsshouters- even the Good Ones- cloak themselves in the lived-in experience of POC with this stuff. It’s ridiculous, presumptuous, and slightly offensive. Yeah, Sheehan, you’re really sticking up for inner-city youth.

  16. @18 – Yes that is my point. I’m OK with them being lunkheads.

    @17 – “Men will be men”. Strawman if there ever was one. There are plenty of men who would have reacted the way that you want them to – but very few of them have ever played professional baseball. You know that. That is not the culture of the game.

  17. @20- Rape apologists are *slightly* different than those who note that this yutz was itching for a fight and got one.

  18. Any Braves fan who has an issue with how the Braves reacted last night is looking through the situation through a drastically skewed lens. Either the drastically skewed lens of trying to obtain hipster cred or the drastically skewed lens of unrealistic expectations. However, if Bethany wishes to continue to stew and work toward the never-ending goal of having social and cultural mores on the athletic field align with those in everyday life, that’s her business.

  19. 25—See, that’s the thing. McCann didn’t even push him a little. He just stood in his way and told him, to his face, that that was not going to fly against the Braves. He’s getting absolutely shredded in some (admittedly-lame) circles, while I’m ready to buy him a beer for showing such restraint in getting a point across. Of note, here, as with the Fernandez incident, the offending opposing player acknowledged that McCann handled the situation well. But that’s not going to stop Enlightened Baseball People from telling you how wrong McCann, the Braves, Braves fans, baseball culture, testosterone, and confrontation are!

  20. @26

    The Enlightened Base People (I love this term, by the way) are the same one who don’t want to keep score in little league baseball.

    There is an unwritten code in baseball. These people may no like it. It isn’t going to change.

  21. Wow seems like a lot of Braves Journalists post with a chip on their shoulder. The ordeal last night just bored me and took away from the important topic – this offense blows.

    Here are some other topics that would be more fun for today:

    1. Playoff rosterbation. Does uggla start? Who stars game 3 in Dodger stadium?

    2. Can anybody find another instance of a playoff caliber team that had 2 regulars bat under .200 for the year?

    3. The Braves haven’t own game 1 of a playoff series since 2001 against the Astros.* Why has this been the case? Bad luck? No dominant aces to start game 1?

    *And winning that game took overcoming a 3-run deficit in the 8th. I still have no idea why Larry Dierker brought in Mike Jackson instead of Octavio Dotel but I thank him.

  22. Bethany, @20 you not only make a weak analogy that has no real bearing on the situation from last night, but in the process you severely devalue the crime of rape. Rethink that one.

  23. @31 No. I’m not going to be lectured on THAT subject by you. I’m a hell of a lot more qualified to speak on what guys think they can get away with by virtue of being “lunkheads” than the entire lot of you.

  24. I kind of agree that we come off as a whole team of self-annointed-home-run-etiquette-cops, which has the stench of d-baggery about it.

    That said, none of these games matter and I’m ready to fast-forward the season. Watching this team lately is like taking ambien.

  25. @32- Again, you’re comparing rape culture with some cool bro asking for a fight and getting one. I might as well stand outdoors naked, get arrested, and compare the cops to rapists. Huge, huge difference.

    And yes, I am a man. If this devalues my opinion here, consider the argument concluded.

  26. You can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!

    Look… everyone knows that media coverage is designed to gin up viewership, and one of the major ways to do that is to have a bunch of talking heads vomit up STRONG OPINIONS about things. And here we are, playing right into their sweaty little hands. Please, can’t we all just drop this etiquette topic and chew over more important topics, such as the Braves’ rapidly deteriorating playoff chances?

  27. @34, we’re going to stop that conversation right there.

    Between Fernandez and Gomez, the Braves have been in a lot of situations recently where they’ve spent a lot of time standing up for their own dignity while losing a bit of it in the process. Gomez had murder in his eyes for Maholm the whole at-bat; Fernandez is a 20-year old rookie who one day or another was going to need to learn a lesson about not admiring his own home runs. That said, jawing back and clearing the benches is not the best way to preserve the moral high ground.

    The statement that “baseball players are idiots” should not be in much question. But if you believe that, you should still be willing to criticize them for acting like idiots.

    I’m glad Maholm’s teammates want to stick up for him. I hope they’ll stop clearing the benches for him and start hitting for him.

  28. The goal is not to maintain some unwritten rules, the goal is to win the fucking game.

    Fans strutting around like roosters after a loss is a bit pathetic, regardless of what else may have happened.

  29. The goal is not to maintain some unwritten rules, the goal is to win the . . . game.

    Whose goals are you talking about? Certainly not the players’, since we know they would disagree with your first clause and your implication that those goals are mutually exclusive. Right or wrong, the Braves are pretty obviously trying to do both.

  30. “Should,” huh? That is quite a position to take, Alex.

    I’m actually not sure what I think, other than that Brian McCann was not wrong in doing what he did, but I would probably be at least a little sympathetic to the position that weeding out disrespectful, unsportsmanlike behavior is, in fact, more important than winning a game.

  31. I was echoing your line earlier, “neither should you.”

    I share your belief in the value of respect. But I don’t think that value was particularly well-served by the Braves’ display yesterday. I think that the Braves will engender more respect by playing the right way than by yelling at other people when they don’t.

  32. Yeah, it’s tough for “should” not to come across as paternalistic and preachy, in any context, but I hope you can see the difference between “you should ignore faulty factual premise X” and “you should value subjective preference Y more than subjective preference Z.”

    As for the Braves’ actions, I am a bit surprised that you don’t find as laughably absurd as I do the suggestion that the Braves should have just ignored what Gomez was doing. But I can’t see how my continuing down this line of conversation, with you or anyone else of that opinion, will be profitable, so I’m going to bow out until my next recap duties.

  33. I found a lot of the tweets after the game to be laughably absurd, and much of the media response, as you noted — it’s basically all just shocked moralism in response to shocked moralism. But I think that the Braves should do a good deal less grandstanding on their own behalf and just win the damn ballgame.

  34. You gotta know that the next smartass to take one deep against us is gonna round first and ask Freeman if he’s running fast enough.

  35. Choose one.

    (A) Freddie Freeman and Brian McCann stick up for their pitcher.

    (B) Third baseman Terry Pendleton walks off the field in disgust when Marvin Freeman refuses to send a message to an opposing batter.

  36. I haven’t read any post-game quotes, but I think it’s possible that it could be a mistake to interpret McCann’s behavior as “self-appointed guardian of baseball’s unwritten code.” To me, that seems like sportswriters’ strawman.

    It seems at least somewhat more justifiable to me that McCann would feel the need to respond in kind to Gomez in particular, rather than make a bigger statement about any kind of code. We all agree Gomez was asking for it.

    From a standpoint of ethics, McCann’s decision is certainly questionable. But from the perspective of helping the team win, to me, it’s an open question. Something rings true to me in this proposition: The psychology of professional athletes requires them to rise to most any challenge on the field of play; otherwise, it could be expected that something in the player or the team will have internalized defeat, as immature as that sounds. And if the players aren’t all currently mature enough to ignore Gomez’s showboating, maybe it’s better in the immediate short-run sense of trying to win a baseball game that they do respond the way McCann did, because more often than not, it brings the team together, fires them up, etc.

    Do things like players sticking up for each other in these kinds of brawls actually help teams to pull together and win games? Is it too much to expect highly competitive people who are bent on defeating their opposition not to take the bait in these situations? I have no idea.

    But I also don’t know what McCann’s exact thinking was, and it may or may not be justifiable, so I more or less just look on with casual interest…

  37. Hey, the Braves don’t make the rules — we just enforce them.

    It was a weird historic moment watching TP try to restrain Braves from getting it on. In his MVP year in 91, he was playing third in a game in which a Brave had been drilled, and Marvin Freeman was on the mound. Anyway, Marvin did not see fit to avenge his comrades and after a couple of batters had not been dusted off in the way that Terry thought appropriate, TP simply walked off the field and into the clubhouse and started undressing. I loved it, other fans thought it childish. It was the kind of leadership and “we’re in this together” that earned him the MVP and propelled that team to go worst to first.

    Anyway, watching Terry be the cooler head in this tempest reminded me of that game and how times change.

  38. I don’t blame them for wanting to fight Gomez last night. In a perfect world the whole team should’ve tackled Gomez somewhere between first and second. I just think overall we’re involved in too much of this unwritten-code nonsense.

    Anyone notice Reed Johnson coming in and landing a few random punches? That’s gonna draw a suspension for sure (not that we’ll notice). Hitting other guys on the Brewers not named Gomez is kinda bizarre. I’m sure they were just as baffled as we were when watching that display.

  39. Mike M @28: The early 70s Orioles featured Mark Belanger, but I think he was slightly above Mendoza line and nobody else on that team was that bad.

    I don’t think Uggla can be played. BJ yes but not every game.

  40. I’ll bet Selig tries to get the DH into the NL before he goes… seems like the kind of rotten slimy legacy he would want to leave us with and be gone before anyone can hold him responsible.

  41. @48, Yeah, I remember watching that game. That sure was a dramatic moment. TP is a coach now, though, and I don’t want to see them get directly involved in this stuff outside of trying to break things up and protect their players from getting hurt.

  42. The conversation may be over, but it’s a stupid analogy.

    The Braves wanted to stand up for their players (unwritten rules) AND win the game. It’s not an either/or.

    Digging into it, apparently there’s a thing between Maholm and Gomez going back to a HBP in 2010 as well. That’s back when Maholm was a Cubbie. Reed Johnson, coincidentally enough, was a Cub on those same teams. So some of the set-up here seems to go back to some Cubs/Brewers shit from before we acquired Maholm and Reed.

    Still, you stand up for your teammates.

  43. Scenario 1: Braves down 1-2 in 1st round of playoffs. Does Fredi really start F. Garcia?

    Scenario 2: Braves up 2-1 in 1st round of playoffs. Does Fredi really start F. Garcia?

    I hope the answer to both is no.

  44. A lot of stupid things being said on both sides of this.

    But I gotta say, I’m definitely on board with the faction depicting Brian McCann as defending white pride against the sniveling apologist white liberal hordes. Love that take. That’s definitely the first thing I thought of.

    Glad to see I haven’t been missing much around here..

  45. Who has convinced the Braves that Elliot Johnson and his .608 OPS as a Brave is worth starting over Dan Uggla and his .674 OPS? Probably the same person that convinced Frank Wren to sign Elliot Johnson after he was let go by the worst ran team in the Majors.

    WAKE UP FREDI! No matter how nice and funny he might be, he’s just not that good!

    Too late to bring up La Stella? Ugh…

  46. So what are the chances of Uggla being in a braves uniform next season? It’s not the perfect time to trade him, but someone might risk trading for him if we eat half of what’s left.

    In other news, Cano wants 10 years $305 mil. Good luck with taking on that deal.

  47. @28 Jason Stark wrote an article recently stating that not only has no playoff team had two regulars under .200 but no team has had two players under .200 since 1917.

  48. @64 Wow, that’s an incredible stat. I don’t know which I want to do more: give Fredi credit for winning the division with two regulars hitting so low, or blame our hitting coaches that our two highest-paid players just made us the answer to a trivia question.

  49. #62
    It’s just 2 bad options. One has power, the other has speed. One’s a righty, the other’s a lefty. Bat either one at the bottom of the order & hope for the best. (Personally, I’d go Uggla & hope he can wreck a game with a HR & save Elliot for PR duty.)

    Of course, Robinson Cano (who reportedly asked the Yanks for 10 years/$305 M) could be available next year…

  50. Well yes he kind of has. With ATL .279 OBP with no power is pretty bad, granted he’s had some big moments and I don’t mind him getting the occasional start but Uggla (.308 OBP with power) is still who you go with for my money.

  51. Elliot has been painted by Skip and Joe as having found success since coming to the Braves merely because his batting average has been better than it was in KC.

  52. If the Braves sucked, I’d be more annoyed by the macho man routine. As it happens though, they have the 2nd best record in the league so they can get away with being the enforcers. Carlos Gomez, playing for a team that is absolutely horrible, is the one that looks like a jackass.

  53. Elliot has done some things with his speed to scratch for a run here & there, and maybe he can help win a game in the post-season. I’d just prefer a guy who might hit a 3-run HR to a guy will steal a base/take an extra base.

    Nonetheless, I don’t lose sleep about either one. If they contribute, great. In order to win a series, we’ll need something out of a few of our good guys–Justin, Freddie, McCann, Heyward, etc.

    Off to the airport. Headed to Georgia/LSU—go Dogs!

  54. The Braves will win or lose in the postseason with OBP and power or lack thereof.
    So I’d play Uggla and hope he gets lucky, and has more games with a walk, two strikeouts, and a HR than a walk and three strikeouts.

    As for BJ, I liked the OF during the Braves winning streak with Hayward, J.Up, and Gattis, with Gattis replaced by BJ in late innings.

    The Braves absolutely will lose in a contest of smallball skills. Freddi needs to resist that urge and roll the dice hoping that his power hitters catch fire in the postseason.

    Particularly now that the Braves bullpen has started giving up runs, they cannot just try to get one run up by the 6th inning and count on the bullpen to zero out the game.

  55. EJ’s career slash line .215/.268/.315 , 26.7% K rate
    EJ is a 31-year old sub-replacement player batting 2nd in a game the Braves really need to win.

    I think Fredi just wants to play anyone not named Uggla (or BJ).

  56. Found this a little entertaining.

    @AdamMcCalvy: Gomez said he didn’t know why Reed Johnson took particular offense Wednesday night. “I didn’t even know he was still playing,” Gomez said.

  57. I don’t get why Jupton needs an off day when we have 4 days after this series. He’s our hottest hitter right now.

  58. I thought there was some rule outlawing the Braves from making relatively unknown replacement pitchers look like just that.

  59. It wouldn’t hurt them (or maybe it physically would, who knows) if Chip and Joe actually tried to understand the stats if they are going to joke around about them, sheesh.

  60. …and McCann goes down. Just great. At least we have Jason back, and at least Gattis didn’t just take him out with that foul.

  61. Four extra-base hits tonight for Jason- pace yourself, don’t use ’em all up! We’ll need them next week!

  62. I regret that we have but one prospect to give to our rotation next year. (Unless you still count Teheran. Work with me here.)

  63. It’s really sad that the Braves choose to employ announcers who peddle ignorance and disinformation. It’s a disservice to their fans.

  64. Heyward with the five hit game. Guy was broken in the jaw last month and he’s got a five hit game. If he’s not careful, he’s going to lose the tag of Mr. Glass.

  65. Anybody able to get a presale code for NLCS tickets? On the broadcast they said to go to braves.com/postseason but I wasn’t able to figure out how to register, and now it looks like they’ve closed registration.

  66. I’m watching the game on dvr delay, so I’m just now getting to Joe and Chip’s discussion of defensive metrics (after almost throwing a shoe through the tv an inning earlier when they talked about babip.) Chip receives a lot of flak on this site, and deservedly so. However, I hate Joe so much more. Chip is just a doofus and beneficiary of nepotism. Joe is a willfully ignorant, arrogant a-hole.

  67. @123 I had to mute the TV when Chip and Joe starting their dismissive, frankly anti-knowledge “coverage” of advanced baseball statistics. As we’ve discussed on here many times, it’s a shame that the vast majority of baseball TV personalities are actively hostile towards advanced stats. Jon Sciambi seemed to be making some halting progress in that regard during his short tenure on Braves telecasts but obviously it couldn’t last.

    In happy news – today’s victory pulls the Braves even with the Cardinals again in the race for the best record in the NL and home field advantage. Because the Braves have the tiebreaker, all the Braves have to do is match the Cardinals’ W/L record for the last 3 games.

  68. And Joe kept on saying, “I’d really like to know how they account for such and such with these statistics.” If you’d really like to know, spend a half hour reading about it on the web and maybe you’ll find out! Oh how I wish FireJoeMorgan was still around.

  69. Just got back from the game. I’ve never seen a five hit game in person before and am happy that of all players on this team to get one it’s JHey. Heyward had some lucky bounces for sure, but his hustle out of the box gave him two doubles where most players would’ve had singles.

    Disappointing to see the team go into hibernation mode after two innings but still 7 runs is something we haven’t seen for a while. Based on some of the comments I’m seeing, I’m glad I got to sit and enjoy the performance of David Hale without my thoughts being rudely interrupted by Chip & Joe.

  70. I honestly can’t believe that anyone could be genuinely offended that a player took a couple of seconds to watch a home run ball they hit. Just seems a goofy thing to be upset about.

    And Simpson’s exasperation over defensive metrics was something to behold.

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