Sybil 3, Spicoli 1

This Braves team seems to suffer from a mental disease or defect. I am not sure if it is Multiple Personality Disorder or Schizophrenia. Whatever it is, it seems as if a different team shows up every few days and replaces the other team. Perhaps it is an alien visitation. Well, not alien, undocumented space travelers.

With only a few hours to experience the second hand smoke, maybe the Braves didn’t get too spaced out. Except for their rookie starter, Christian Bergman, the Rockies kind of seem like they had spent some time taking advantage of the marketplace in the Mile High State. Maybe Gavin Floyd was just that good over his first 6 innings, but I don’t know.

Braves took a lead after B.J. Upton (and, he really has played better lately. Not like superstar, maybe not even like good, but at least not historically awful) led off with an infield single and Braves got 2 in the 4th. Stayed that way until the 7th.

In the Colorado 7th, Chris Dickerson took Floyd deep. And Luis Avilan came in and everybody cringed. But, 2 more outs, and that ended the threat.

In the Atlanta 8th, Justin Upton, the younger, scored on a Chris Johnson hit (what? A “whose” hit?). Actually Johnson had 3 on the night. I wish my Johnson still could have 3 hits in it in a night.

So, with the bullpen a little shaky, Fredi goes to Shae Simmons. He isn’t money like Kimbrel, but he is at least an upper middle class man’s Craig Kimbrel. Then, Kimbrel was his usual Kraken self, and one win in the books.

If we can just stay out of the marketplace this week, maybe it will all work.

149 thoughts on “Sybil 3, Spicoli 1”

  1. I think what you are seeing from the Braves is your basic middle-of-the road team; not the Tampa Bay Rays and not the SF Giants. That can change but I don’t see that winning one game against a bad team says much in particular about the Braves other than they aren’t terrible. Of course, the vast majority of MLB is middle-of-the road (which is why the Braves are in first place), which is good or bad depending on your taste. Scoring three runs in Colorado doesn’t exactly get me excited.

  2. Just watch, this will be the Braves club that manages to win a playoff series..

  3. I will claim credit for this victory. I dropped Floyd and I was sure he would do well after that. You guys can go ahead and claim him.

  4. Just looked at BJ’s splits on BRef, I know arbitrary end points, but dang, he is just plain awful on offense.

    @2 – And we just lost 3 out of 4 to the last place team in the other division. This team is pretty tough to get excited about.

  5. At least BJ is markedly better than last season – Fangraphs has him at 0.5 WAR, B-Ref 0.3 WAR now. BJ’s still below replacement level but at least he’s semi-playable. If he finishes 2014 with 1.5 WAR that’d be a 2-3 WAR improvement over 2013… still terrible but not the dumpster-fire-disaster that was 2013 BJ Upton.

    From a hitting standpoint I think BJ can still manage a .230/.310/.390 line going forward.

  6. Looking at our prospects list, 20 of our top 30 are pitchers. Is that a normal split, or are we too pitching-heavy?

  7. Johnny @ 1,

    Well, I really thought the line about Johnson was better, but then again, I am 56.

  8. @7: I assume you meant “below average but at least semi-playable”? I agree, we can leave with what we’re getting from him… if Heyward stays locked in, Freddie gets hot again, and Simmons stops his recent slide.

  9. @11 – Yeah the Johnson line was funny too. I’m your age so I can relate.

    @7 – and there it is ladies and gentlemen, your second highest paid Brave.

  10. Are Freddie’s eyes bothering him? I thought I heard something a few weeks ago about him complaining about dry eyes or something.

  11. @mlbbowman: The #Braves have not officially made a move to activate Walden, but it sounds like Wood will be going to Gwinnett to stretch out

    @mlbbowman: If Wood does go down as expected, he would definitely be back by the June 28 DH in Philly. Or sooner if a trade is made

  12. @12 Yes, I meant to say that BJ would be below MLB average for a starting player (2 WAR) but above replacement level and a huge upgrade over his 2013 self.

  13. @9, that’s a good question. I think generally it’s good to go for a Best Player Available strategy. However, one of our strengths is developing pitching, and we’ve often been able to flip that pitching for other talent we need, from Michael Bourn (Clemens/Oberholzer) to Justin Upton (Delgado) to Tim Hudson (Dan Meyer). That being the case, I think it isn’t necessarily a bad thing that our draft class is pitching-heavy, as long as we can develop enough of them into serious prospects.

  14. Quick check:

    2013: 19 pitchers out of 41 picks
    2012: 17/41
    2011: 20/51

    Don’t have time to do all of the recent drafts; maybe after I get back this evening. But 2014 seems to be a heavy outlier. The last few classes have been toeing the 50/50 line on pitchers versus non-pitchers.

  15. The beat writers have been floating around this idea that the Braves are going to move a starter this month. Who would have guessed that one at the beginning of the season? Floyd or Santana are who DOB speculated would get moved.

  16. Floyd and Santana have the most return value. Harang doesn’t get you much if you’re actually looking for a useful piece.

  17. Harang gets you the least but I also trust him the least. Maybe Harang and a prospect gets you something useful.

  18. A team that plans to sign Santana to an extension after trading for him might give us something of value. I guess the same could be said for Floyd, but not as likely.

  19. We aren’t trading for a huge return. We are trading to free up a spot for Wood in the rotation. The return won’t be significant for any of them. Wren needs to find another useful bullpen piece or two.

    What’s Venters status these days?

  20. Venters is going to come back as the first left-handed knuckleballer at this rate.

    Why aren’t there any lefty knucklers in the biz?

  21. Per DOB, Wood optioned to make room for Walden. Avilan the only LHP in the ‘pen.

  22. There’s no point in trading someone just to make room for Wood. You trade an excess of talent (starting pitching for the Braves) to fill a need (some sort of bench help, or relief help perhaps.)

    You don’t count on Jonny Venters for anything. Dude is on his second “setback” from his second Tommy John. For all intents and purposes with regard to Major League Baseball games, Jonny Venters is dead.

  23. We wouldn’t be trading any of them if the Braves didnt think that Wood was an upgrade to the Rotation.

  24. Only lefty knuckleballer I can ever remember was Wilbur Wood, who was outrageous for a couple years on Chicago’s Southside.

    And talk about eating innings… between 1971-75 he averaged 336 IP. Somewhere in there, he even started both ends of a doubleheader.

  25. @35
    Definitely not. They’ll trade a veteran. The Oakland Athletics would be a good matchup. They need a starter and have lefties to spare.

  26. The Yankees could definitely use a starting pitcher, too. I’m just worried about trading a starting pitcher when we had so little depth in spring training that we had to make a panic trade and lose a first-round draft pick.

  27. I think they will probably flip Harang for a LOOGY and a minor league project. Not crazy about it, but at least we have Wood and Hale as depth. Santana or Floyd won’t be traded because that will make us look bad for future free agents. Harang was only a scrap heap pick-up, and since his first 5 starts he hasn’t been anything special, so I think he will be the one to go.

  28. Trade Harang. I don’t trust him when the pressure comes. Use him to get bullpen help and a project as braves14 said. I am all for it.

    Isn’t it great that we don’t need to trade prospects this year to get help? What a wonderful signing by Wren. Originally we thought it would be great if he can provide cover for the first couple months. If we can get something in return for him, that would be amazing.

  29. Had Freeman hit a home run, he clearly would have killed this first inning rally. Instead, by his grounding out to empty the bases, we’ve gotten three straight hits. Way to go, Freddie!

  30. @49 Freeman’s approach to getting an RBI was clearly superior to Simmons’.

    Come on Mike, you have a seven run lead. Seriously.

  31. I wonder if any team in history has ever blown a seven run lead in the bottom of the first inning? This could be a historic night.

  32. I like how Chip and Joe talk about playing in Denver like it is playing on the moon.

  33. I have never been a Minor fan and this effort doesn’t help that fact.
    Keep nibbling clown… You will get zero calls when u don’t throw strikes

  34. Anyone know why Justin came out? If Fredi thought the game was over after 1 then that might tend to light a fire in the other dugout.

  35. There’s no way the Braves can blow this five-run lead against the down-and-out Red Sox.
    There’s no way the Braves can blow this four-run first against the Mariners.
    There’s no way Kimbrel will blow a save against the Diamondbacks, who never win at home.
    There’s no way the Braves will blow two leads/saves in the same game.

    There’s no way the Braves will blow a seven-run lead.

  36. Chip and Joe will undoubtedly use the “too much nitrogen in the air” bit at least once tonight.

    I figure Justin must’ve tweaked something because you’d have to drag a hitter kicking and screaming out of the lineup when in this park, regardless of the score.

  37. Thanks Dan. I would much rather hearing you saying we would definitely blow this lead!!!

  38. Bowman tweeted that in the last game Bobby managed in Colorado, the Braves scored 10 runs in the first three innings and lost 12-10. A similar fate tonight would not surprise me in the least, although Mike Minor is no Jair Jurrjens.

  39. I remember that game. What’s our highest score this season. I don’t recall any other 8-9 run games.

  40. I’ll always take the 8 hole hitter bunting and giving us an out.

    Minor, you suck tonight

  41. Must be a difficult night for a pitcher. Can’t really blame Minor. This is what Coors field is all about. Keep battling Mikey.

  42. As much as I like pitching duels, it’s actually refreshing to see a slugfest for once this season.

  43. Is there any struggling hitter in the majors whom Simpson doesn’t think would be doing better, if only they’d try going the other way more?

  44. Id say you can blame Minor. He’s walking batters, hitting batters, and giving up hits to the pitcher. Pretty piss poor outing for him. He needs a shutdown inning now.

  45. There’s a noted difference between the usual sucking at Coors (i.e. less break/movement on pitches) and just having no control at all. Though I’m sure just pitching there can mess with your head and I wouldn’t personally blame Minor much for tonight. Of course, he could obviously have been better.

    Edit: Also, we need more runs.

  46. There is way too much hyperbole and exaggeration about hitters and pitchers in Coors Field, to the point some act as though Corky Miller would be Ty Cobb if only he hit there.

    Minor has been terrible tonight. It’s not all Coors Field’s fault.

  47. We do need 20 runs tonight, so we are half way there!

    Take one for the team Mikey. The options in the bullpen aren’t any better!!!

  48. Ah crud, I had my television on mute when Simmons slid head-first into first base. Did Simpson and Caray go crazy?

  49. Hey everyone, I’ve been dark for about a month now after sharing that my son was diagnosed with a genetic heart condition that was potentially pretty serious (think Hank Gathers). We were pretty shaken up and I was really touched by the support that all of you showed. So I thought I should share that after finally getting the definitive tests, the specific gene is dormant at the present time. So other than yearly checkups, he is good to go back to a normal routine of being a middle school kid. We’re all so relieved and I thought it proper for me to let you all know too. Thanks again for your support, and let’s score some runs! (or at least play some defense)

  50. “We wanted to try to get Mikey the win.” — Frediot, two hours from now

    Kruger, that’s the best news we could hear!

  51. @101—That is great to hear! I’m happy it is dormant and hoping it stays that way permanently.

  52. @101, great news!

    Hopefully Hale get out of this unscathed so we can tack on about 5 more runs.

  53. This wacky inning has at least ensured that the Braves won’t suffer the indignity of another 12-10 loss in Denver.

  54. Nothing like putting yourself in a situation where you can easily give up the tying run.

  55. Jordan Walden was just making sure he solidified Shea Simmons’ status as our 8th inning guy.

  56. Eleven guys in our lineup, everyone that’s had an at bat, have had a hit. That includes both pitchers that batted: Minor and Hale.

  57. Alright. That was the kind of game I’ve been wanting to see. The offense carried the pitching rather than the other way around.

  58. Tomorrow’s thread title has to be Falcons 13, Broncos 10. (Or, perhaps, Bulldogs-Buffaloes.)

  59. Avilan, Simmons, Kimbrel and Hale all pitched effectively. It was just Minor and Walden who gave up all those runs. I don’t see a need to project worthlessness on pitchers who don’t pitch well in Colorado because, well, baseball wasn’t meant to be played at that altitude.

  60. But the previous game was 3-1 so unless the environment changed significantly overnight, I don’t think you can simply blame Coors Field for bad pitching.

  61. If Shae Simmons is getting showcased for a trade, mission accomplished. He has been outstanding.

  62. I think it’s pretty undebatable that Colorado poses challenges for pitchers. That’s pretty much been made known. Just because a set of pitchers have success doesn’t mean the set that doesn’t have success isn’t impacted by the environment.

  63. Exceellent news kruger! Here’s to continued good health for everyone in your clan.

    I don’t blame Walden too much, as it was his first MLB action in over a month. I agree he should have been pulled after walk number two, especially as he couldn’t get his off-speed stuff over for a strike.

  64. Thanks for the update, kruger. Very happy news.

    Hale gets more groundballs and throws fewer breaking balls than Minor, so arguably Minor is just more prone to the Coors Effect. Perhaps a look at PITCHf/x data could tell us if perhaps Minor was struggling with mechanical issues or — gulp — is hiding a new injury.

    But who knows. Maybe he had a huge fight with a friend or relative before the game or something. There are a lot of factors at play in a pitcher’s performance. That’s one good reason why it’s best not to draw firm conclusions based on a small sample.

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