This Offense Is Pretty Much Driving Me Crazy Game Thread

We’ve played 33 games. We’ve scored more than one run 20 times. Five shutouts and eight one-run games on the season — and four of those one-run performances have come within the last six games. This offense is a lot like Kelly Johnson or Adam LaRoche or Yunel Escobar — hey, come to think of it, we’ve had a lot of guys like this — when it’s good it’s pretty good, and when it’s bad it is unconscionable. Our team is collectively batting .234/.293/.380 (non-pitchers are batting .243/.304/.399), and the only thing uglier than watching one of our hitters try to swing for a hit is to watch them try to bunt.

THAT SAID, we lead the majors in ERA and FIP despite the fact that we lost two of our top starters in spring training, missed Mike Minor and Gavin Floyd for a month, and missed Ervin Santana for two weeks. We’re also third in baseball in UZR, largely thanks to Andrelton Simmons being literally the best defensive shortstop since Ozzie Smith and the best defensive player since Andruw Jones, and Jason Heyward being probably the best defensive corner outfielder in baseball.

This is a pitching and defense team, and you can win a lot of games with pitching and defense. The 1914 Miracle Braves hit .251/.323/.335 and won the World Series. The 1906 White Sox Hitless Wonders hit .230/.301/.286 — which admittedly is a better on-base percentage than we have, and it was the Deadball era, and it was more than a century ago, but we’re slugging 100 points more.

This offense is driving me crazy.

91 thoughts on “This Offense Is Pretty Much Driving Me Crazy Game Thread”

  1. In other news of things that are making me go crazy: I’m listening to Locust Abortion Technician by the Butthole Surfers for the first time. In fact, I’d never heard any of their albums before. This is absolutely brilliant.

    Man, these guys are weirdos.

  2. Looking forward to the Butthole Surfers’ Keltner during the ASB.

    Every day I look at La Stella’s minor league stats. I feel like I should stop because he seems to be slumping. Bleh.

  3. @2
    He’s still getting on base. He was 0-2 yesterday, but had a HBP and a walk. The day prior, he was 0-2 with a walk and a sac-fly.

    Just a continued reminder that this team was 4th in the NL in runs scored last year, and the team is no different than last. An infusion of patience would do this team some serious good. Please, God. Let La Stella get called up soon.

  4. #1
    When the Braves are scoring about one run per game, it’s probably best to divert your attention with some damaged art.

    My fave on that record is “Human Cannonball,” but “22 Going on 23” & “Kuntz”… sheer lunacy.

  5. @3, It is reassuring to see that his patience doesn’t slump.

    How can you go wrong with “The O-Men”?

  6. @1

    “If you see your mom this weekend, be sure and tell her SATAN SATAN SATAN!!!” –this line cracked me up every time

  7. When a player has indeed hit at some level of acceptance, but falls into a deep, dark hole, it’s always been a mystery to me why the organization doesn’t send him to Triple (Double?) A to exhale and hopefully recalibrate.

    For the Braves, this obviously applies to BJ and Uggla. In both cases, this seems (to me, anyway) to be such a logical approach.

    Their contracts are too large to simply jettison the asset, so for their sake and the Braves, why not? If they are balking because of pride, well, remind them who is paying their ridiculous salaries.

    I’m sure there’s a logical explanation, but I’d sure like to hear it.

  8. Absolutely stunned that a desperate Dimitroff held his ground and picked the only player available that can address our single greatest weakness.

    If the Falcons held the Number One pick, Matthews was still the way to go.

  9. Vandy’s freshman middle infielder is a young man named Dansby Swanson.

    It was a true pleasure watch him over the years. (He went to Marietta High School, but lived in our District – Kennesaw Mountain.)

    Coached against him in Youth Basketball and Baseball over the years. He was such a completely dominant player in everything I saw him do. Kicked our butt (and everybody’s) but was simply one of the classiest kids you’d ever want to meet.

    Smart, instinctive, and understood sportsmanship as if he developed the concept.

    If you get a chance, watch him in the SEC Tournament. You won’t be disappointed. Braves should be looking VERY hard at him (and probably are).

  10. @8, it’s less about the player’s pride and more about the front office’s pride. Sending either to AA could easily result in them not performing well there either. Then what? The front office would look really really bad there. Allowing them to fail at the MLB level makes it all about the player.

  11. Obviously Uggla is out of options and if we sent him to AAA, he would be open to being picked up by another team – which is exactly what we want! Problem is couldn’t he just turn us down based on his contract? If he did this wouldn’t we either have to take him back or release him and pay his full salary? We’ve already said we don’t think it’s financially wise to release him. I kind of think that’s what we’d be doing if we tried to send him to AAA. Am I missing something?

  12. Actually he’s going to the pen for short stints with some starts mixed in. They are skipping his next start but then will make his next one. DOB said they will use him this way.

  13. Why isn’t it financially wise to release a player when you are benching him anyways? Either way your paying him to not play. Benching him keeps you from making a roster move that could be beneficial for the club

  14. So Uggla isn’t going anywhere so don’t plan on seeing LaStella.

    @mlbbowman: Fredi plans to sit down with Uggla within the next few days to discuss how he plans to use him moving forward.

  15. Hey out-of-towners (and Southerners with creative network skills) – Cubs @ Braves is the MLB.tv free game of the day.

    Uggla should be released. He’s the definition of a sunk cost. I’m sure some Liberty accountant can figure out how to make it tax-deductible somehow.

  16. I was kind of hoping to have an actual game to distract me while rotting in the Greensboro airport, waiting for an ever-receding flight to New York. Are they gonna get this game in?

  17. BJ is as BJ does. (Did you know that movie will be 20 years old in a few weeks?)

  18. Just started watching. Who is that who just suggested that a lock down closer(tm) is one of the most important pieces for a rebuilding team?

  19. I was about to crack wise about how given that most batters fail most of the time when batting with RISP, the Braves are simply more consistent than other teams. But Chris Johnson shut me up. Keep shutting me up, Braves!

  20. 30 — That was Smoltz. Then Joe went on a tangent about how sabermetrics suck and that everything should be based on scouting.

  21. 41- That can’t be right; our roadtrip to Denver isn’t until next month.

  22. Does playing Major League Baseball make one wrong about the way in which to win games? Evidence, the Joes: Simpson and Morgan.

    That conversation a few years back, between Simpson and Sciambi, in which Simpson claimed OBP wasn’t as important as being aggressive, still rings in my mind.

  23. Teheran has thrown just 14 pitches in the last two innings. Nice to see another team with a fundamentally poor approach to hitting; makes the games a more even match.

  24. Predict the date of the next game in which the Atlanta Braves score at least five runs.

  25. Would anyone mind if we got a hit before we have two outs? Or am I asking too much, here?

  26. @56, my God, that was a different era.

    “Hampton went 8 2/3, struck out four, walked three, and allowed seven hits. Pretty much what he’s done all season.”

    I can barely remember ever thinking of Mike Hampton as being consistently, reliably effective.

  27. Sounds like the boos for BJ are becoming a bit more plentiful. Seemed like the same thing for Uggla back when he played last too. I am surprised it took this long

  28. With BJ and Heyward struggling it would be nice to see Schafer playing and leading off some.

  29. You have got to be f—ing kidding me, Justin.

    This feels like June 2006.

  30. Glad we played the percentages and took Julio out. Cubs were clueless against his changing speeds so let’s change it up and bring in a whole different philosophy. Now Kimbrel is mist likely unavailable tomorrow night after 20+ pitches

  31. @69 like Smoltz mentioned earlier, they aren’t walking much this year. Their whole approach seems flawed and it has all season.

  32. You’d think it would be really hard to gather any assortment of 25 putative major leaguers, and have not a single one who’s capable of touching a fastball. But Wren has somehow done just that.

  33. Straight fastballs to Simmons and Doumit.

    Braves offense 1bb 9k

    Having Schafer playing isn’t desperation it’s just an acknowledgement of this bunch sucking. Pastornicky should probably get some starts too. At least those two guys can take a pitch.

  34. Ninety walks for the season coming into tonight, tied for 12th in the NL. 297 Ks, fourth in the NL.

  35. Hard to win games when you don’t put guys on base or put pressure on a defense.

  36. Nicely done, Alex. Now we need five more like that.

    Yu Darvish of Texas has a no-hitter against the Red Sox through 8.

  37. I like Heyward when he doesn’t suck at hitting. He can’t touch lefty relievers. I’ll pull for a walk.

    Edit: that’s best case scenario. Now steal a base and let Upton get you over.

  38. Our offense still sucks. Now let’s see if the Athletics can beat the Nats for us.

  39. LOL Cubs. While walking Justin in that situation isn’t necessarily a bad idea, it’s never a good idea to intentionally walk anybody to get to Freddie. And if you do intentionally walk somebody to get to Freddie, it’s never a good idea to throw it anywhere near the plate on the first pitch.

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