Braves 3, Rockies 2

ESPN Box Score

I didn’t watch most of this one — I was at the new X-Men movie, which is good. Went to a bar afterwards and managed to catch the last few innings.

The good: Gavin Floyd pitched a very good game, 6 2/3 innings, no runs, 7 strikeouts against no walks, 72 strikes in 102 pitches. B.J. Upton was 2-3 with a walk, and he was 1-3 with a walk yesterday, so in a two-game sample size he’s hitting well in the second slot in the batting order. And Jason Heyward went 2-4 with a pair of singles; he’s batting .303 in the month of May and has raised his average to .247, which is a damn sight higher above the Mendoza line than he was a few weeks ago.

The less good: we got 10 hits and 2 walks and only scored three runs. We left at least one man in scoring position in every inning but the fourth, and in the seventh they managed to load the bases with one out and couldn’t scratch across a run. Chris Johnson had to be yanked out of the game after throwing yet another dugout tantrum. Fortunately, he was appropriately apologetic after the game and said that he agreed with Fredi for taking him out. He’s having a bad year. So is Dan Uggla, who was at second, which meant that Ramiro Pena was free to sub in for Johnson — but Uggla threw in another ohfer at the plate with a hat trick of strikeouts.

It’s fortunate that we’re catching these guys in Atlanta instead of their home field, which is on the moon. The Rockies always have a pretty wide home-road split, but: this year, they have a +53 run differential in 23 games at home, where they’re 16-7 and averaging 7.0 runs a game. They have a-6 run differential on the road, where they’re 10-15 and averaging 3.9 runs a game.

Craig Kimbrel nailed down the win by striking out the side on 13 pitches. It didn’t seem like much, but it’s his second lowest pitch total of the season, and in 14 of his 19 appearances he’s thrown more. There was a telling on-screen graphic that displayed one way in which he hasn’t been quite as sharp this year as in years previous: in 2012, he averaged 14.9 pitches per appearance. In 2013, it was 15.3. This year, it’s 17.5. To the naked eye it has appeared that he’s been battling a bit more, and the numbers bear that out. However, he may be settling down. It was good to see.

41 thoughts on “Braves 3, Rockies 2”

  1. I really don’t get the tantrum thing, and this comes from a serial thrower of things when they don’t do my bidding. A momentary outburst I get, but anything more than that is just kabuki for yourself, plus looking like an ass to everyone else thrown in for good measure.

  2. CJ just signed a three-year contract extension for $23.5 million. Would that I could have such a bad year.

  3. In fairness, Uggla worked a walk his first time up and managed to come around and score our first run, so he wasn’t completely useless. He also missed a double by an inch or two later in the game, and it would have plated the go-ahead run had it stayed fair. So the strikeouts (and his patented swing and flail away at an outside pitch that is nowhere close to the strike zone) were annoyingly way too familiar and expected, but, ironically, he was nearly a hero.

    When CJ threw his temper tantrum, he managed to hit both the Original Fredi Gonzalez and Another Fredi Gonzalez at the same time with pieces of his shattered bat. That takes some talent. I’m glad no one was hurt, though.

  4. Don’t think I saw a curveball from Craig last night. I wonder if he warmed it up in the bullpen and then just decided he didn’t have it last night.

    The fastball command was a little wonky last night, too, despite the swings and misses.

  5. I think Fredi’s holding it together pretty good this year. There’s a lot happening that could derail this team, but that hasn’t happened. Given the injuries and slumps he has done a very good job keeping this team on the right track.

    There have definitely been teams that fall apart for less

  6. I struggled with losing my temper growing up (and it didn’t help that my Dad was schizophrenic), and so I kinda feel for CJ. If you grow up watching psychos, and maybe you’re naturally an emotional person, throwing a stressful thing like professional baseball into the mix can be really hazardous. I hope he can get it together because he’s a great player, but he can really derail his career by losing control often. The Braves could also find themselves trading a really productive player because of attitude issues, while we’re stuck with BUpton and Uggla who are “nice guys”.

  7. Right, but I didn’t mean the high ones. He missed the glove badly on the horizontal at least once.

    Is there a way to view his pitch chart from last night?

  8. Just spent a couple minutes filling out an all-star ballot. Here’s how I punched them.

    AL
    Pujols
    Altuve
    Ramirez
    Donaldson
    Norris
    Bautista
    Choo
    Trout
    Cruz

    NL (went pretty home-r here without going full-idiot)
    Freeman
    Utley
    Tulowitzki
    Wright
    Lucroy
    Puig
    Upton
    Heyward

    For better or worse, I’m never not going to vote for Heyward. Too bad there are so many good NL outfielders this year. I’m happy not to vote for Giancarlo, but McCutchen and Gomez are guys who play baseball so enjoyably (despite the latter’s wild attitude swings) that it eats at me a little to leave them off.

    Seth Smith is putting up some kind of season, huh?

  9. Oh my God, will Simpson please stop talking about going the other way? I know it’s his ‘thing’, Mac was making jokes about it over a decade ago, but this is ridiculous today.

  10. I’m working on a theory that Andrelton Simmons is the result of an MLB pilot program, creating players in test tubes, genetically engineered to generate outs at a blistering pace, in order to solve baseball’s perceived length of game problems.

  11. Reposting from last night, because it’s true:

    I really like Michael Cuddyer, expect when he plays the Braves. Then I can’t stand him.

  12. So Simpson thinks Simba is swinging for the fences and f’ing things up. Maybe he should tell him.

  13. @13: I disagree. I never want my players at the ASG. To me, it looks entirely like potential downside with almost no upside.

  14. I mean, practically, yeah. There’s the potential for injury, plus they’ll have less rest than they otherwise would. The only real upside is bragging rights – but, hell, isn’t that mostly the point of being a sports fan?

  15. Well, if you count getting invited as part of bragging rights, maybe. But when Uggla got invited with the Marlins and stunk up the joint, the bragging rights are pretty ephemeral. In the old days, when a Bruce Benedict got invited and didn’t play, the bragging rights aspect was pretty hollow. Even the game where BMac was the MVP was one swing in a really lackluster game. I’m a fan, but I can’t just bring myself to care much about the ASG.

    Finally, the way players are selected is so haphazard that the guys at the margins can hardly be said to have bragging rights of any sort. Freddie last year, for example — though it looks good on his BRef page, I guess,

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