Braves 4, Reds 1 (by spike)

Another radio rodeo, as I do not have the cable teevee and really need to drink at home to keep costs bearable.  

Well another gorgeous spring evening on the front porch with Jim, Don, a pack of Camels and a twelve pack. Looked like the bottom was going to drop out there for a minute when Hale started with not much control and worse, being wild in the strike zone.  With two on and two out, Ludwick poked one pretty good out to center scoring Phillips, but a good carom and a somewhat inexplicable decision by the 3b coach to hold  Bruce at third limited the damage to a run.

The bottom half of the frame yielded far more pleasant result after BJ got his 1000th “hit” and Freeman followed up with a swing at a pitch up around the club level that he managed to not only get wood on, but poke over the wall for two runs. Hale apparently adjusted his Maddux Polyjuice Potion between innings and started mixing in hard breaking stuff with a lively fastball to great effect, and it was Leake’s turn to get slapped around a bit. After Freeman just missed homer number two in the third, Justin and Gattis followed up with a couple of shots that didn’t miss and it looked like the rout was on.  

But Leake too figured it out, and we got to enjoy Hale going eight, with very little drama as he did not allow another hit after the first. Did Not See That Coming.  

Kimbrel looked pretty much like old Kimbrel striking out three two (Votto was awarded first base to make it interesting I guess) and that was that. Glorious afternoon to go for the sweep and move to a whopping ten games over in April. Whoda thunk?

115 thoughts on “Braves 4, Reds 1 (by spike)”

  1. I approve of the polyjuice reference. At some point we should drink and listen to the radio broadcast together.

    Today’s a good day for fans of pitching. You could go from 1:35 through the last game with nothing but sub-3 ERA starters:

    Reds (11-13) @ Braves (16-7), 1:35pm
    CIN: Johnny Cueto (#47, 28, RHP, 2-2, 1.38)
    ATL: Julio Teheran (#49, 23, RHP, 2-1, 1.80)

    Pirates (10-15) @ Cardinals (13-12), 2:15pm
    PIT: Edinson Volquez (#36, 30, RHP, 1-1, 1.93)
    STL: Adam Wainwright (#50, 32, RHP, 4-1, 1.46)

    Cubs (7-16) @ Brewers (18-6), 2:10pm
    CHC: Jason Hammel (#39, 31, RHP, 3-1, 2.60)
    MIL: Wily Peralta (#38, 25, RHP, 3-0, 2.19)

    Rangers (15-9) @ Mariners (9-14), 4:10pm
    TEX: Matt Harrison (#54, 28, LHP, 0-0, undef)
    SEA: Brandon Maurer (#37, 23, RHP, 0-0, 2.08)

    Angels (11-12) @ Yankees (14-10), 8:05pm
    LAA: Garrett Richards (#43, 26, RHP, 2-0, 2.52)
    NYY: Masahiro Tanaka (#19, 25, RHP, 3-0, 2.15)

  2. Braves starter ERA is 1.65 through 152ip/23 starts with a 3:1 K:BB ratio. That’s a 2002 Pedro-in-August line.

  3. “and move to a whopping ten games over in April.”

    This is the team’s best start, in terms of record, since 2000, when they had 20 wins before suffering their 7th loss (which ended an early-season 15-game winning streak).

  4. Bryce to the DL with a sprained thumb. Says he’ll be ready in two weeks, but in my experience sprained thumbs stay sprained for a long time.

  5. Dan somehow went from Fredi’s doghouse to having the pictures. What does Ramiro need to do to get a start at second?

  6. Didn’t have depth on the replay. Inconclusive. Hand might have snuck into the backside of the bag. Won’t overturn that.

  7. Too bad Cueto has such a quick move. You can’t waste chances against this guy.

  8. Replay is worthless unless you have at least two camera angles on every base. Going by the single replay on FSS’s feed I would have said he’s out.

  9. Whenever Laird is catching the thing I fear most is the pitcher pulling a muscle in the back lunging to catch those stupid lollipop throws back to the mound.

    *knock on wood*

  10. All high pop-ups are going to be murder today. Phillips already lost one last inning that he just managed to catch in his bare hand.

  11. Good recap, Alex. Catch the damn ball, BJ; or at least get knocked out by it.

    Edit: tough sky but these guys are paid to catch pop ups.

  12. Useful in that *somebody* has to catch every fifth day…but it really seems like Gattis rarely ever plays three games in a row.

  13. Two bang-bang plays right in a row there…umping ain’t easy, but I think they missed both of those calls.

  14. Good quick delivery there, impressive to catch Hamilton despite short hopping the throw.

  15. Remember when Heyward was supposed to be Dave Winfield?

    What’s everyone’s feeling on Jason now? Disappointed? Frustrated? Apologetic?

    It the guy’s 5th season and he his best season at the plate was his rookie year. We’re the expectations too high? It’s not been easy to watch guys like Stanton, Mccutchen, Trout and Harper pass him up as the next big things.

  16. Cueto’s good, and I wish we had him; but Julio’s matching him pitch for pitch. First team to one might win.

  17. As an aside from my comment yesterday on BravesJournal not displaying correctly on a half-screen, the website can be fixed if the min-width styling is removed in the CSS of the leftnav and rightnav div elements. Making the min-width smaller works too, but removing the style completely will make the website work best for any size window. I don’t know who has the ability to mess with the WordPress stylings on here, but if someone could fix it for me I would really appreciate it.

  18. 31- Frustrated is the word. Superstar talent that’s just been streaky and subject to freak injuries.

  19. @31, frustrated but still hopeful. His swing needs a lot of work. That nervous thing he does with his hands just can’t be helping.

  20. Not sure if anyone’s reading my comments anyway, but I just downloaded Stylebot on Chrome and set the min-width of leftnav and rightnav to 0px to fix my issue. I’ll have to do this on all my computers, but it fixes my issues. Still, this should probably be fixed at some point!

  21. His approach was awful there, and that’s one of his biggest overall problems.

    He was perfectly content to let Cueto put him on the open base, and only belatedly tried to swing once the advantage was back with the pitcher.

  22. I think sometimes you have to give the opposing pitcher credit. Cueto painted 3 straight low and away. I’d be more upset if he actually got a hitter’s pitch and missed it.

  23. Geez Heyward….
    yeah, I’m close to jumping on the constanza train, as ridiculous as it sounds. just think about it, he’s doing worse than BJ…BJ!

    I’m thinking the braves might have dodged a Francoeurian bullet there by not giving him a bigger extension.

  24. BJ does look better with the glasses. Maybe just maybe he’ll be useful this year.

    Cueto is just mowing us down. Nobody has even put a good swing on one except for Simba.

  25. Bunting with the pitcher with one out to move guys to 2nd and 3rd is not a terrible move, statistically, but when the pitcher is Julio and the leadoff hitter is the current version of Jason it is a bad, bad move. You have to let Julio hack away.

  26. .179/.205/.219 for Uggs since the grand slam. And yet Pena gathers dust.

  27. @46 – Certainly a fair point. But he still had a lousy approach. Its not like it was a surprise that he was stepping in against a guy with strike-out stuff. You have hit the guy who’s out there, and that means to be ready to put the ball in play.

    Just because you get an 2-0 count, doesn’t mean you can expect a fastball belt-high, inner-half. Not against an ace. Your 2-0 advantage in that case is the ability to guess. You have to guess realistically. “Okay, he’s fallen behind, but he still wants to get me out. How will he try to do that?” Then THATS the little zone you guess. Not “what pitch can I drive best?”

    When he took strike one outer half, it was fait accompli they’d get further out from there.

  28. That was not a strike, though the Braves probably can’t complain too much about the umpiring.

  29. Uggla’s hasn’t had a day off in awhile. Gotta think this is the last ditch effort to get him going.

  30. Gotta think this is the last ditch effort to get him going.

    By having him hit against one of the better pitchers in the NL?

  31. @59, he takes too many pitches for my tastes in general, so I don’t really disagree…I just think that usually if you swing at a 2-0 fastball on the black you end up hitting a grounder to your pull side. I didn’t mind him taking that one (if he was indeed looking inner half). I’m just saying that sometimes you get 3 pitcher’s pitches in one at bat and there’s not much you can do but try to get’em again next time.

  32. Heyward is certainly scuffling at the plate, but he’s still a valuable player because of his amazing defense and terrific baserunning (when he does manage to make it on base). Unlike Uggla, who just doesn’t give you anything if he isn’t hitting. And he isn’t hitting.

  33. @66, probably not. But I’m not as much of a lineup absolutist as some. As long as we’re winning games, I don’t mind not rocking the boat. The key is getting him back to a place where he’s stinging the ball. Whatever it takes, I’m okay with.

  34. @64, nobody with an OPS in the 500’s is a valuable player. The only difference is that Heyward is still young and cheap.

  35. @69, then he’s the most valuable .500 OPS position player in the league. Teheran and Harang are both flyball pitchers. Heyward isn’t Simmons out there, but he’s still one of the best defensive outfielders in all of baseball, and he’s a big part of the reason our pitchers have been amazing. McDowell doesn’t have a glove.

  36. I know I just criticized his approach, and I know he just made another soft-out, but Heyward DID just have a six game hitting streak snapped, in which he hit like .390. There’s a stick in there. Uggla he ain’t.

  37. @74, I would trade 400 more points of OPS for some worse RF defense…can we at least bat him 7th or 8th until he figures things out. Simba is spraying line drives everywhere but losing one AB per game hitting so low in the order.

  38. Fernandez twice and Cueto once in a six-game span is something I wish the Nationals could experience.

  39. Ramiro, Simmons, Freeman, JUpton, Gattis, CJ, Heyward, BJ.

    Switch Ramiro and Jason when Jason gets going.

  40. Dear Fredi, please pinch-hit the bear for Dan. We’ve all got yard work to do.

  41. FFS, Fredi, send up Pena now.

    EDIT: OK, what can I say regarding Andrelton that he can hopefully prove wrong, at least for one PA?

  42. Good grief, I got fairly nervous that the boom brothers, Cozart and Bernadina was going to drop the hammer there.

  43. Nats fall four back. Would be nice to bury them before Fister, Ramos and Harper are off the DL.

  44. “You know what I’ve learned here. No matter what postgame interview we do, DeRosa’s been a teammate of him.” – John Smoltz on MLB Postgame (Mark DeRosa is apparently part of their crew now)

  45. Also, we need to get Heyward going and start mixing Uggla out of the lineup ASAP. With 20 games against the Cardinals, Brewers, Giants and Red Sox, May offers far and away the toughest stretch of schedule all year (by contrast July features 20 against the Cubs, D-Backs, Marlins, Mets, and Padres).

  46. Fredi Gonzalez makes Bobby Cox look wishy-washy. Most stubborn (and lucky) manager I’ve ever seen.

    Uggla should NEVER start against right-handers.

    Apparently, Wren will need to actually cut Uggla to get him out of the lineup – unless this insane directive is coming from him.

    OT: we need smarter Hawks.

  47. Back from the rainstorm. A gigantic 5 o’clock rainstorm on a sunny day — THAT’s the Atlanta I remember from 40 years ago.

    I got to see a run! Ready to retire undefeated and unscored on at The Ted. Sweetwater IPA is a nice substitute for a milkjug full of Michelob.

    I know everybody is wondering about how traffic at the new stadium is going to work, and I don’t disagree, but I was very surprised that the trip from Peachtree and 14th to the Gold Parking lot took an hour. My plan to walk around the Ted for 30 minutes before the game was rudely quashed. Could the new park be much worse?

  48. 10 games above .500 helps extend the leash to Uggla. He’ll get another month to see if there are any signs of life left. How’s La Stella doing in AAA, last I heard he was struggling at the plate also. Our starting pitching is really really good.

  49. I swear. Three guys not hitting. 2/5 ths of our projected starters out for the season. Our star lefty on the DL. AARON E’FFING Harang????? First Place? Its preposterous! I’m starting to wonder if the best deal Wren made was with the devil.

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