Red Sox 6, Braves 3

There are some good things that you could say about last night’s game if you wanted. Aaron Harang actually pitched quite well. Jason Heyward hit a leadoff homer, which was nice. The Offense — Freddie Freeman — went 2 for 5, and the rest of the offense went a respectable 8 for 29 with three four walks.

But then you get to thinking: how in heaven’s name does an offense get 10 hits and 4 walks and only score three runs? Aaron Harang grounding into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs was a major contributing factor but hardly the only one. We had men on base all night, just like the previous game, and far too many of them were left stranded.

Chris Johnson is dangerously close to the doghouse right now. He committed an error in the first that led to the first Sox run scoring, and in the 7th he was unable to move a few steps to his left to corral what wound up being a two-run single, the final blow in the game. He also went 0-3, though he was credited with two RBI because he hit a sacrifice fly and also hit a bloop that fell in right, where the fielder was able to throw out Justin Upton because Upton had to stay near first to see if it would be caught. Johnson is batting .258/.278/.339 with bad defense, which means that both second base and third base are complete black holes right now.

98 thoughts on “Red Sox 6, Braves 3”

  1. Heyward, this season, is pretty much a larger version of Jose Constanza. Last nights home run not withstanding, he is a singles hitter who draws a lot of walks. MLB’s biggest Judy.

    Johnson was terrible last night. His highlight play, where he barehanded a dribbler to throw out, I think it was David Ross, occurred only because he took a step in the wrong direction at the crack of the bat. Since Uggla has been demoted from Official Braves Journal Whipping Boy to Most Irrelevant Brave, I am hear by nominating CJ for OBJWB.

    I found myself yelling at the TV ‘Aaron just strike out dammit!’ sigh.

  2. Watched the game on DVR after I returned from Motown last night. What can you say? Another bad effort, with so many little things adding up to a loss in a very winnable game: Playing hot potato in the top of the 1st, gift-wrapping a run; Harang’s 1-2-3 DP; JUpton’s WTF-are-you-doing? baserunning; etc.

    Hopefully, they can out-longball the Sawx in the next two. Would love to see JUpton take out a window at the House of Blues on Lansdowne Street.

    More charming news out of Cobb County:
    http://deadspin.com/opponents-barred-from-speaking-as-cobb-county-approves-1582556255

  3. @2

    I hope to see one more championship before they decamp. My niece is a public school teacher in east Cobb, and relies on parents to help provide needed materials for her class. October 2016 will likely mark the end of my Braves fandom.

  4. @1

    I agree. Why was he even swinging there? Even a squeeze bunt made more sense and would have been so Fredi.

  5. Mark Bowman ‏@mlbbowman 7m
    The #Braves have promoted Tommy La Stella to the Majors. A corresponding move has not been announced.

  6. I sure hope the kid doesn’t suck. Of course all he has to do, really, is suck less than Pena, Pastornicky and Uggla.

    I’m a little more sanguine than most about La Stella’s potential. Is he going to be a star? No, but I think he can be at least a replacement level 2b and probably more than that, at least on the offensive side.

  7. Well, either Simmons is going on the DL, or we’ve seen the last of Uggla or T-Pas. I think I’d rather bid a fond goodbye to Dan out of all those choices.

  8. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Pena shift to SS and Simmons on the DL. Gives LaStella a short window to show what he can do.

  9. @2, Between the pre-announcement land purchases by a select few, squelching of public comment, unfunded transportation costs, and the fine print making clear the Braves have no actual obligation to put any money towards development, I hope everyone is getting a bit of a civics lesson on how things work IRL.

  10. Well, i guess some injuries made the move with LaStella earlier then they really wanted.

  11. Uggla’s salary is a sunk cost. The Braves need to quit thinking about losing $13 million a season. They are paying that anyway. Cutting him and replacing him with La Stella will only cost the league minimum extra – not $13m + league minimum.

    If La Stella can even bring .1 WAR then the small bit of extra cash is worth it.

  12. La Stella finally homered yesterday, so now’s as good a time as any. Go get ’em, kid.

  13. They could just be sending a pitcher out for now while they decide whether or not they need to DL Gattis or Simmons.

  14. @1

    Last night’s at bats after the first inning notwithstanding, Heyward has the 3rd lowest K-rate out of all the position players on the team, the 2nd highest walk rate, has been the team’s best base-runner and defender, has yet to ground into a double play in 21 plate appearances with a runner on first and less than two outs, and is trending the way we want him too (.278/.371/.367 over the last month, .326/.404/.391 over the last fortnight).

    You’re way right about the extra-base hits. But Heyward’s a positive on this team in 2014 so far, and I bet he’s going to be a big positive going forward. Doesn’t make much sense to cast him in too negative a light right now.

    Also, Georgie is terrible.

  15. From DOB:
    ‘Uggla still is owed more than $21 million, including the rest of his $13 million salary this season and a $13 million salary in 2014, the last season of the five-year, $52 million contract extension he got after the Braves traded for him prior to the 2010 season. Uggla is expected to remain with the Braves for now, as they continue trying to find another team willing to pay at least a small portion of his remaining salary.’

  16. @18 – I am venting some frustration. I don’t disagree with anything you said. After the home run Heyward looked like hell. I am getting the nagging feeling that this is all he is.

  17. The only reason to keep Pastornicky ahead of Uggla is because you’re just pissed at Uggla for making money. They have Pena on the bench as a defensive sub. Uggla is the better option on the bench, because at least he might blind-squirrel himself into a HR.

  18. Jason Heyward since 4/20: .289/.366/.383/.748 He’s not the problem…not near. Also, he’s been getting steadily better the whole year.

  19. I don’t advocate keeping Pastornicky ahead of Uggla.

    I am surprised that the team is still hallucinating about finding a trading partner for Uggla though.

    @24. I didn’t say Heyward is the problem. Just that he is a Judy. .337 SLG for the season.

  20. Honestly the only reason to get rid of Uggla over Pastornicky is having Uggla will always tempt Fredi to play Uggla, which is not typically a good thing. I agree he could have some value as a bench bat.

  21. The problem is that Heyward needs to be one of this team’s superstars, not just another guy. He’s just another guy right now.

    2B, 3B, and CF are bigger concerns. If Gattis only plays 100 or so games that’ll be a problem too.

  22. ATL 2b this year .165/.253/.250 La Stella this year .293/.384/.359 and career .322/.407/.474.

    It’s a good day.

  23. @29 – ‘The problem is that Heyward needs to be one of this team’s superstars, not just another guy. He’s just another guy right now.’

    My sentiments, exactly.

  24. I’m generally not a knee-jerk advocate of “any change is better than what we already have,” especially in May, but… as it relates to the 2B situation, I’m totally down. CJ & Heyward gotta be better overall, no doubt, but something’s gotta happen at 2B.

    Also, having a high-contact guy like LaStella could be pretty refreshing. Bring it on.

  25. @29, @33

    Yeah, at the beginning of the season, when you forecast what it’s going to take for Atlanta to be a WS contender, you don’t pencil Jason Heyward in for a 700 OPS.

  26. David O’Brien @ajcbraves · 23m
    #Braves Fredi said La Stella will get opportunity to play on regular basis, Uggla will play when good matchup

  27. The Braves are the ultimate example of a corporation that manipulates politicians and the public to get what they want and pretend that it will benefit said public. But they aren’t the only team that has done this-basically every team with a new stadium did it. You would think people would get fed up-but, in fact, the stadium will benefit enough people-including many fans-that they will overlook the outrageousness of stifling dissent. And the Braves have thrown out a few crumbs by handing out these extensions to the young players, thus cementing enough support for the stadium.

  28. So we have used four different second basemen over the past five innings. Let’s hope this one sticks for awhile.

  29. Can we stop sending people into the stands to harass parents and family of rookie players DURING their very first at bat? Good god, let them enjoy it.

  30. Good God, B.J. Upton is an imbecile…

    Should La Stella have caught it? Yes. But why in the hell is Upton stopping and staring at La Stella when he can still get to the ball and can see that La Stella has stopped?

  31. LaStella should have peeled away once he stopped on the play. If BJ kept moving we would be back to Uggla at 2B because BJ would have went straight into him.
    Always man coming in over man going out.

  32. LaStella just stood there and the ball almost dropped on his head. Almost wish it had, at least then the Braves’ bad play would be comical.

  33. This whole team is one big pile of half ass suck right now. Is Uggla really worse than these other guys? I mean, at least we were winning when he played

  34. @54 Boy, you know rooting for the Braves is hard when you start yearning for the days Dan Uggla was in the lineup every day…

    I know losing is a part of sports, but I’d much prefer being beat by a better team than handing the other team wins through hapless play. Defensive errors—both physical and mental—drive me crazy.

  35. I know ESPN likes to drool over the Yankees and Red Sox, but it’s sad that even one of our own announcers (Caray) seems to think of them as the rest of baseball’s betters.

  36. The wind must be blowing in 50 mph or something. That is 20 rows deep at Turner Field.

  37. Hard to win with only 2 hitters on the team. This looks like pretty much every Braves loss ever. Hopefully us faithful few that are still watching the whole wretched game will be rewarded with something to cheer for eventually.

  38. What the heck is wrong with BJ tonight? He’s spent as much time looking at Justin and La Stella as he has looking as the baseball.

  39. We’re going to get swept over four games by a last-place team that had lost 10 in a row. I repeat myself, but this is just beyond bad.

  40. Are those the on deck circles that are nearly on top of the plate, or are they just random circles of dirt?

  41. Ok, signs of life. Heyward has a chance to do some damage. Let’s see if we get the three hopper to 2nd, or something a bit better.

  42. We have two hitters. Freddie and Justin. We pretty much need both of them to hit in order to win. We’ll win the occasional 2-1 game against some of the terrible NL offenses, but we don’t match up well with pretty much any AL teams that’s not named Astros.

    The rest of the team is all singles hitters (at best) and none of them walk. Getting 3 singles in an inning is a tall task.

  43. Same exact mf’ing pitch was called a strike against Freeman. Fredi G needs to get tossed. Or break a bat over Chris Johnson’s empty head. Something. Anything.

  44. Per Lackey’s Wikipedia page:

    On August 30, 2011 Lackey filed for divorce from his wife of almost three years, Krista. She had been battling cancer, having undergone a double mastectomy in March and chemotherapy through June. [31][32][33][34] The divorce was finalized by February 2012.[35][36][37]

    John resides in the Fort Worth area in the off season with his girlfriend and their daughter.

  45. Ever since Glavine gave his thoughts during the Rockies series on Hale vs. Wood in the bullpen, I’ve become convinced Wood really should never be a reliever.

  46. By the way, how did the rest of y’all Crowhoppers fail to nab TomStar before me today? I picked him up like 20 minutes ago.

  47. @85 Basically that simple mechanics work best for relievers, since they don’t get regular bullpen sessions like starters do. Glavine said that someone like Wood who has a complicated delivery might need that regular schedule and those bullpen sessions to work through any problems that might arise. Pitchers like Hale who have simpler mechanics have less that can go wrong and they can work through problems more easily during in-game action.

    Hale’s vs. Wood’s bullpen numbers seem to back up the comparison he was making.

  48. We look like baseball’s version of the Washington Generals. It’s going to be a long summer folks.

  49. Having watched this team for 40 years I feel like I’m a connoisseur of bad baseball. This team smells like a bad team to me.

    The good news is that it’s still extremely early and there’s time for the guys that aren’t hitting to figure it out. The bad news is that our pitching is smoke and mirrors.

  50. @90

    Rather unfortunate that the next opponent is the Marlins in Miami, where they (supposedly) steal signs and a few weeks ago outscored us 23-7 to hasten the fall from 10 games above .500.

    And those Marlins are about to be within a half-game of first.

  51. @93, I’ll readily agree that this team is certainly not the worst we’ve seen (I remember the 70’s hoping for Rowland Office to hit a 6 run homer to cut the lead to 7…).

    Good teams don’t get shut out at the rate we’re seeing so far. Are we really way better than this and just on a bad stretch? Maybe. Possibly. I hope so.

  52. @93

    The ’08 team had the exact same record after 52 games as this one. The ’06 team was one game worse. I don’t think this team is like those — and hopefully this month is the “swoon” month that June was for those editions. But there’s a lot of easy outs in this group.

  53. Well, last year the Braves had a losing May as well so May now seems to be the new June. Clearly, the Braves caught the Red Sox at the worst possible time; there’s no way they were as bad as they were playing and eventually they were going to make someone pay. But it’s hard to get by 3-12 (maybe 13) against the Giants, Cards, and Red Sox. The team obviously has holes and the pitching had to regress. Offensively, the team, as it was last year, is almost entirely dependent on home runs and that’s a hard road against good pitchers, plus they seem to flail at a lot of bad pitches. I’m sure the Braves aren’t as bad as they have looked recently-particularly once they get out of the AL-but they seem to have a pretty limited ceiling.

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