Braves 5, Reds 4

ESPN Box Score

Too close for comfort, but a win’s a win. The offense scored five quick runs off Homer Bailey in the first three innings and then went to sleep, and Ervin Santana had his first hiccup as a Brave, cruising through the first five innings but running into trouble in the sixth and seventh.

Santana had six strikeouts and no walks through the first five, but he opened the sixth with a leadoff walk, which isn’t a good idea, then gave up a double and a single, and frankly was lucky to get out of the inning with just two runs scoring.

He wasn’t able to make it out of the seventh, getting yanked with a run in and a man on — Luis Avilan came in and promptly allowed the Grybo, and was just as promptly replaced by David Carpenter, who induced the final out. The Kraken came in to preserve the one-run lead in the ninth, and he flirted with disaster, allowing a single and a walk to Zack CozartZack Cozart! — but then he remembered who he is and struck out the next two guys and got the groundout to end it.

B.J. looked nerdy with his new glasses, but he got an infield hit and scored on his brother’s three-run homer. Game ball goes to Freddie Freeman, who had three hits and preserved the win when he dove forward while miraculously keeping his foot on the bag to catch a throw from Chris Johnson for the last out of the game.

81 thoughts on “Braves 5, Reds 4”

  1. @88, 90 from the previous thread:

    Unfortunately, we can’t just stash Gavin Floyd. A rehab assignment is not just a vague thing, it’s a specifically defined roster exception and there are rules to that effect. You get 30 days for pitchers.

    If you could just stash guys on indeterminate rehab assignments, pitching depth wouldn’t be a challenge at all. Everybody would have a couple Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano guys hanging out in AAA. Instead, you have to go another rung down on the talent ladder, and get guys who actually ACCEPT minor league assignments, like Freddy Garcia did last year.

    This is the reason there’s “Extended Spring Training.” Those games aren’t games. But the Braves didn’t leave him in Extended Spring Training because they anticipated needing him. So they sent him out there to start his assignment on April 3, so 30 days puts us at May 2.

    I’m sure there are ways to fidget with it, say he had a setback and send him to Extended Spring Training for a little while, and then rehab him again. But he’d have to be on board or you’d have a union-grievance.

    And that’s the second issue, his consent. He’s on a one-year Major League deal, heavily incentive loaded. So on the one hand, his incentives say he should try to get to the big leagues as quickly as possible and start getting innings. On the other hand, his one-year deal says he’s he shouldn’t pitch in real games until he’s sure he’s ready to get guys out. Because $10k here and $40k there for innings bonuses, doesn’t outweigh the $7-10m he’d like to get next year if his rate stats show he’s healthy.

    So you might get him to go along with a little funny business, but only if he thinks he needs the extra time.

    But you don’t bring guys in on one-year deals and start screwing them around. You have to respect their labor rights, rather than daring them to invoke them. Unless you’re the Marlins. Or the Phillies.

  2. Does anyone know whether annual mandatory vision tests are a part of the Braves’ spring training program? I know that’s been asked before. Seems like a simple concept — everyone’s vision deteriorates over time, but you can’t really predict when or how rapidly. So everyone gets tested every year (or, better, twice a year). There is no rational basis for not doing it.

    And while we don’t know for sure whether BJ’s vision is the problem, the arc of his career conforms entirely to what you would predict for a player with prematurely deteriorating vision. I wonder how many players with front-loaded numbers like BJ’s could have enhanced their careers by assiduously attending to their vision?

  3. At this point, just tell all the players they have vision problems, give them all glasses, and enjoy the placebo effect while it lasts.

  4. @3 DOB said on Twitter that teams do have extensive vision tests every year. BJ said he’s had to wear glasses to drive at night since he was a teen, so it makes me wonder why no one had this idea before. Since the vision tests presumably never showed anything wrong, this may just show how much of BJ’s struggles are mental. If it works, though, I’m all for it.

    @4 Why not? It could be Brian McCann’s enduring legacy.

  5. ryan c,

    Congrats on getting the interviews! The radar gun at Bayfront Stadium hadn’t been working until this week, so maybe they have a few bugs worked out. Drop me a line the next time you’re over this way, and we’ll try to catch a game. (You’re over near Grayton Beach, aren’t you?) jeremy [at] gmail [dot com]

    Go, Braves!

  6. I’d still like to see both guys throw a decent game before making their Braves debuts. I’m in no hurry to watch 88 mph fastballs land in the outfield concourses.

    Huge game for the Hawks about to tip off. Must win…maybe the biggest home game in Phillips Arena since it was built. If they win they have a very legit shot to advance and their round two opponent won’t be unbeatable either.

  7. The Braves are apparently on the verge of selling Ernesto Mejia to a Japanese club.

    I guess they want to free up AB’s for Terdoslavich.

  8. I’m I the only one that’s noticed issues with the column width of the middle of the page here? I usually have two windows open on my widescreen monitor that take up half the screen, and when I do it on BravesJournal, all of the posts get pushed down to the middle of the page. It’s annoying more than anything, but I figured I’d at least bring it up.

  9. Ugh…being a fan of Atlanta sports is truly exasperating sometimes. Oh well, gotta do it the hard way now. Series is not over but that was our best chance.

  10. @12, 15 – I use Chrome on Windows 7, and I see what he means. I don’t browse that way, but if you send the browser to one half of the screen, the two sidebars pinch out center comment thread, and you have to scroll to the bottom of the right-hand sidebar before you can read the thread.

  11. @15, fyi changing the min-width on the left and right sidebars to something a bit smaller than 180 will fix it…140 worked pretty good for me.

  12. Yeah, I’m using Chrome on Windows 7, but I just checked on IE and it does it there as well.

  13. Hale has absolute zero command so far. His balls aren’t close and his strikes and dead-red.

  14. If BJ starts getting one hit a night, this game will get a lot easier. Also I am glad I can’t see the uniform on the radio

  15. According to FSS, the current Reds hitter has a season batting average of .286, and a season OBP of .250. Is that possible?

  16. @30, it’s possible due to sacrifices not counting against AVG but counting against OBP. Whenever you see that it’s usually a light-hitting hacker that never walks.

  17. Just settled in to watch the braves tonight. I’d like to pick the minds here on Braves Journal a bit as I finished up broadcasting one of the weirdest baseball games I’ve ever seen at any level. We saw five people picked off, two caught stealing, a 112-foot double (it was up in the Kansas wind and blew back), the catcher get tossed in the middle of an AB, the coach get tossed two innings later all in the midst of “my” team shutting out the opponents 7-0.

    So what is the wackiest/wildest/weirdest game you’ve seen?

    Go Braves!

  18. 33- I think THAT game against Pittsburgh in 2011 is pretty hard to top. Nineteen innings, our worst pitcher not only gets the win but drives in the winning run thanks to a truly spectacular blown call, and “Let’s Go Pirates!”

  19. @33 Saw an honest to goodness pine tar game in single A ball. HR reversed on appeal and verification of excess tar. Manager lost his s%&t and everything. And this was before minor league ball got all boutique and all so you know it wasn’t a work. Probably the wildest one for me.

  20. @33, a few other memorable wild Braves games for me are the Rick Camp homerun game against the Mets and that one against the Red a few years ago where we came back from being down seven or eight runs and Brooks Conrad hit a walkoff grand slam to win it.

    I think the craziest game I was ever a part of was a high school game in which the opposing pitcher’s dad got physically removed from the stands for being a giant ass. The pitcher went on to have a nice major league career, but that day really stuck with me for some reason. As for the game, I think we got like two hits and were shutout, but I did walk once and was pretty proud of it.

  21. The Rick Camp game is the beginning, middle, and end of any such discussion.

    Sorry, I wasn’t born yet when that game happened.

    That 19-inning Pirate game in 2011 was it, for me.

  22. That fireworks still went off after the Rick Camp game — at 4 a.m. — sent an already surreal game into absurdist territory. Confused people who lived near Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium were roused from their sleep and dialed 911, thinking Atlanta was under attack. I doubt that night ever gets topped.

  23. We’re sitting on Leake’s breaking ball, and he keeps throwing it. JUpton is especially good at guessing offspeed and mashing it.

  24. @33 the brawl-fest between the Braves and Padres in 1984 was the wildest one for me. My brother and some friends took me to the park for a birthday celebration. We had upper deck seats on the 1st base side at old Fulton County stadium. We cheered like crazy for the first couple of brawls but by the 4th one, we were absolutely sick of it.

  25. @53, oh man I had almost forgotten that one. I vaguely remember Pascual Perez carrying a bat around as a weapon during one of the brawls. And fans threw beer at a Padre that went after Bob Horner near our dugout, and then other fans jumped on the field and got right into the middle of it. Good times.

  26. 19 and 20 better show some respect to hale, i bet minor is going to pitch worse than anyone in the current strting rotation when he comes up.

    hale reminds me of glavine with those first inning problems

  27. @33

    The craziest games I saw in person were the The In Field Fly Rule and The Nolan Ryan Robin Ventura Fight.

  28. Craziest games:

    The July 4th game against the Mets in at #1.
    #2 would have to be the brawl game against the Padres. My goodness! Out guy Pascual was pretty nutso, but the Padres had some guys that were kinda scary too. I think it was Shirtless Graig Nettles that had the crazy demon eyes going when he came out of the clubhouse during one of the later fight relapses. Or maybe it was Craig Lefferts. Whoever it was, they had blood in their eyes. That was a wacky game all around.

  29. At some point we have to start taking David Hale seriously outside of flash-in-the-pan status, right?

  30. Many memorable games but the first memorable one stands out right now. It was 1966, the Braves first season in Atl. Tony Cloninger hit 2 grand slams, the only pitcher to do so still and one of the rarest feats in baseball. My dad and i would regularly listen to the games. I was only 6 and too young to understand how incredible that was but I remember my dad got more excited than I ever saw him get, especially for a sporting event. I was hooked right then on Braves baseball.

  31. I watched the ’84 brawl game in a hotel room in Myrtle Beach, while my buddies were out beating the bushes. About the 9th inning, a girl knocked on the door, and said every time she walked by our window she saw me sitting there by myself and that she felt sorry for me.

    That is the wildest game I ever watched most of.

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