Braves 3 Phillies 2

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Maybe we were wrong about BJ Upton batting leadoff. Probably not, but let’s enjoy it while we can.

As noted above, BJ was the hitting hero of the day. He drove in two runs in the second with a triple. Gerald Laird also drove in a run in the fourth with an extra base hit.

Aaron Harang did his best “Joe, he just knows how to win” performances, scattering 11 hits and walking two over seven innings. Shae Simmons continues to show signs of being the go to set up guy, with two Ks in the eighth. The Kraken was released in the ninth, gave up two hits (I assume he was bored) before slamming the door.

The Braves went 8-3 on their longest road trip of the season. It’s really hard to do better than that. The Bravos are back in tonight Atlanta to welcome our ole pals The Mets.

169 thoughts on “Braves 3 Phillies 2”

  1. TBH, after losing the last two against the Nats to surrender 1st place, I wasn’t feeling great. But when both JUpton and Freddie are hitting, this team can score enough to win if everyone else is just not Dan Uggla.

  2. Guys, I claim responsibility for the wins as I have been away from my new wife and have been travelling here in the US for four days now. I am hanging around until July 4th, so expect the Mets to be swept as well. You’re welcome. Go Braves.

    Edit: Oh and how nice to stay in some hotels who offer MLB Network. This is paradise.

  3. Thank you, Timo, for taking one for the team. Thanks, Smitty, for Volunteering the recap; and amen, Alex, let’s kill the Mets dead.

  4. It’s hard to think that after almost exactly half of the season, you could feel any different about a team after they play 1/40th of the season. However, the Braves played, uncharacteristically, really well. As mavery said, JUpton and Freeman can carry the team.

    It is becoming difficult to watch Andrelton’s at-bats. The guy leads the universe in first pitch pop ups.

  5. Who knows. Maybe B.J. is thinking that the leadoff spot demands that he cut down his swing and do more to put the ball in play. Doubtful, but nice to see.

  6. @6 Andrelton hit a whole lot better in the 2nd half of 2013 (.789 OPS) than in the 1st half (.630). He’s currently rocking a .642 OPS this year; maybe it’s time for him to pick it up? A near-.800 OPS from Andrelton for the rest of the season would be a several-win boost for the Braves.

  7. Andrellton will never pick it up as long as continues to employ a swing that most nine-year-olds use but are coached out of.

    Why our hitting coaches can’t coach him out of it, I do not know. Have they even tried?

  8. @9

    Greg Walker: “Hey Andrelton, stop swinging out of your shoes every time. I have told you and showed you how to cut down on it a million times.”
    Andrelton Simmons: “Sure coach. I’ll do better this time.” – 1st pitch pop up on another all out swing.
    Greg Walker: “If you can’t stop doing that, I am going to find someone who can.”
    Fredi Gonzalez: “Walker, what are you talking about put someone else out there. We do not have anyone else.”

    (In this skit, you can insert several of our players in Andrelton’s role.)

    Thus, the reason the Braves are in the situation they are in.

  9. I don’t think that Andrelton’s problem is swinging too hard. No coach is going to get real far telling guys “don’t swing so hard”. Everyone swings hard. It looks like his head is coming off the ball, and his pitch selection leaves a lot to be desired. The first thing can be fixed. The second thing I’m not so sure about.

  10. Jason Heyward now has the worst numbers in the majors against LHP: a .451 OPS. That’s troublesome.

  11. @ 12

    He also has a a lower SLG% than Billy Hamilton, which is troublesome. Playoffs or not, I imagine Greg Walker won’t be back next year.

  12. If guys could be ‘coached’ to be .300 hitters don’t y’all think that there would be more .300 hitters? For Chrissake! It ain’t the hitting coach. They may fire Greg Walker but it isn’t his fault. It’s talent. The talent to make a split second decision to swing at a round object spinning all different directions at different velocities with a wooden cylinder that has a 2 inch square sweet spot and create enough impact to propel the ball somewhere where there isn’t a defender.

    I used to think that plate discipline is a learned behavior but now I’m not so sure. Simmons would tell anyone that every pitch he swings at was hittable. Walker can go over 200 hours of film showing him that a lot of them weren’t but Walker ain’t standing at the plate when the pitch is coming.

  13. @16

    I’d like that, but I wonder if he’d do it. Who was the last Braves hitting coach whose reputation was enhanced by the gig?

  14. 18: There isn’t one, really. Major league hitters are what they are. Some pitching coaches have shown a real ability to raise the level of the staffs that they work with, but I defy you to point to a single example of a hitting coach who gained renown for actually helping (or in any substantial way affecting) the hitters he worked with.

  15. I really liked TP–he just got shuffled around after the regime change, back when whats-his-face got to ride in on Fredi’s coattails-er…extra-long baseball-jersey tuck-in part.

  16. Walt Hriniak is often given a great deal of credit in implementing the Charlie Lau system as hitting coach of the White Sox in the early ’90s, but that was a matter of convincing a bunch of young, developing hitters to all adopt more or less the same batting stroke (no stride, stiff front leg, downward swing plane). I don’t know that there are any “gurus” left.

  17. Couple Heyward notes:

    Last 14 games, he’s only batting .205, but his OBP is .404. 12 walks v. 6 strikeouts. That’s fabulous. That’s like…lead-off fabulous. It’s cool, though, we’ve got BJ Upton there.

    @12
    His performance this year v. left handed pitching is particularly strange given that he had an .801 OPS against them last year.

    What a funny hitter he can be. I hope his strike-zone recognition is back for real.

  18. @18 – I’m not sure that there is a good argument. It’s been tradition I guess. From the stuff that I’ve read about the job, a hitting coach first and foremost has to be a good listener. Someone that can intelligently discuss the various mechanics of hitting with a player. One would have to think that Walker and minion would be telling Simmons over and over again not to swing at everything. I am sure that they are. Simmons simply cannot execute. Simmons a guy with preternatural hand to eye coordination simply cannot recognize pitches out of the hand of the pitcher as well as he can balls off of the bat of a hitter. I’m sure as hell that they have been telling BJ that all the moving parts of his swing are making him late 80% of the time. But BJ can’t execute.

    I laughed at all the folks here that sounded the dooooooooom alarm when Leo Mazzone left. Mazzone was a great pitching coach. Mostly because he ‘coached’ Glavine Maddox and Smoltz for most of his career.

  19. gonna have to argue a bit about Mazzone and pitching coaches in general -theres a good bit of anecdotal evidence (Burkett,Wright,Hammond) that indicated Mazzone had some ability to help pitchers succeed

  20. “Last 14 games, he’s only batting .205, but his OBP is .404. 12 walks v. 6 strkeouts. That’s fabulous. That’s like…lead-off fabulous.”

    It would be nice if he actually got a few hits occasionally and a home run every once in a while.

  21. In my entirely uneducated opinion, hitters are better served by personal gurus than a hitting coach.

  22. @24 Not gonna argue about that at all. I laughed at the doomsayers because Mazzone was given an inordinate amount of credit for the success of the Braves pitching staffs here at Braves Journal and in the mainstream press. Leo was a good pitching coach. But my main argument is that MLB coaches simply don’t have the level of influence on individual play that they have in other sports. Their main purpose is to have dinner with Fredi on the road.

    Heyward’s numbers are good for a CF. For a RF, not. Love the OBP but the big guy has to start hitting with more power.

  23. I’m on board with questioning the vast majority of conventional baseball wisdom, but “there’s no proof that hitting coaches help,” is just a bridge too far for me.

    Sure, it’s difficult or impossible to quantify the effect of a hitting coach on a hitter. But that is at least in part because the specific work of the hitting coach, and the relationship that work has with the hitters, is absolutely unknowable to us.

    We see that hitters are streaky. We see that hitters can be “in a zone” or can be completely lost up there. Every hitter can use a pair of eyes watching their weight transfer, their load, their swing plane. Every hitter can use a sounding board to talk approach, to help them understand the patterns pitchers are using to get them out. Every hitter could use a therapist every once in awhile.

    I’m more of a “every $10m investment in a player warrants a personal $100k hitting coach” who needs a hitting coach,” guy.

  24. Asking for more production from Heyward is like hitting a hornet nest with a stick around here.

  25. @29, more often than not that person is their dad, maybe their high-school coach, maybe a family friend. I don’t see how you get to the majors as a hitter and not already have your go-to support guys in place.

  26. I think that everyone also has to remember that not everyone is as intellectual about hitting like Chipper. When Chipper would talk it was clear had a full understanding of the kinesiology of hitting. At least his own.

    @29 – That is the role of a hitting coach. Part big brother, part therapist, part physiologist. I was being sarcastic about being a professional dinner partner. But blaming a hitting coach for a hitter’s failure is just plain dumb.

  27. @32 When one your your offensive corner stones is slugging less than Billy slap and run Hamilton then I say I have a right to bitch.

  28. Heyward is the 5th most valuable player in the NL according to WAR. He’s the 71st most valuable hitter, but the best fielder by a mile.

    I think it’s totally ok to look at the situation with a bit of scepticism. He’s going to want to get paid as a top 5 player when he hits free agency. I don’t want my team to spend their money on RF defense.

  29. We’ve had a long discussion about WAR and its deficiencies as a metric. Heyward is a good player but he isn’t as good as Justin Upton or Freddie Freeman. Offense is the more important contribution from a corner defense player.

  30. @34

    That’s a great comparison to prove the point that on-base percentage is more valuable than slugging percentage, actually.

    Heyward trails Hamilton in OPS by .001. Heyward gets on base more. Hamilton averages more bases per at bat.

    Heyward’s WRC+ this season is 105. Hamilton’s is 98.

    Which isn’t to say that I don’t want Heyward to hit more doubles, home runs, and triples than he has–but if the choice is one or the other, I’m happier to have him on base.

  31. @32 – I think you’re universalizing the Chipper Jones story. We had two star players here, in Chipper and Brian McCann, whose dads were professional hitting instructors. The vast majority of guys do the vast majority of their work with their coaches. It was a story last season when BJ’s father was called in to work with him, a story of the “nothing else has worked,” variety.

    Sure, most guys do learn to hit from their fathers or youth coaches. And maybe they call those guys to ‘get back to their roots,’ once in awhile. But if high school coaches could figure out major league pitchers, they’d teach their high school pitchers to pitch that way.

    I think you’re taking your assumptions there and taking a Evel Knievel canyon jump sized leap to a conclusion.

    @33 – I see what you’re saying about blaming the coach, but again, I think it’s unknowable. Sure, the coach can’t go up and hit for guys. But he has to help the players stop their slides. If he can’t figure out the problem, or he can but can’t communicate it, or can communicate it but can’t get the player(s) on board, he’s not an effective instrument.

    All of us, obviously, have no first hand understanding of the team’s offensive issues. But that being said, I don’t think it’s fair to blame the coaches for Dan Uggla. People we assume to be experts who have weighed in and mostly say that it’s bad speed and pitch recognition. He may have just aged out of those skills. I admit they are only opinions and I can’t qualitatively determine an expert from a blowhard, but opinions on BJ Upton say his problems are mechanical and/or mental. With the amount of time they have gone on, it might be fair to say the right coach would have made progress with him by now.

    Andrelton Simmons, I think, must be just pounding himself on the head with the weighted bat when he’s in the on deck circle. There’s really no other explanation for a man who we believe dresses himself and ties his own shoe laces to be so absolutely brain dead when he steps in to the batters box. I don’t know who you can blame for Andrelton Simmons.

  32. @34 Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad Heyward is getting on base like his rookie year and he is playing the field better than anyone. I like Heyward. But the team needs him to be more than what he is. He has to hit with more consistently and with more power. Especially since its apparent that BJ, Simmons and Johnson have little interest in the offensive aspect of the game. I am convinced and disappointed that what we are seeing this season is all that he is. A complementary part on a team.

  33. @38, certainly not everyone will be just like Chipper or McCann, but don’t underestimate the fact that you are watching the absolute best of the best on tv every night, and to make it to that level these guys were all pretty much pushed/molded/groomed from an early age by parents and coaches. Those are the people that they turn to when things aren’t going well.

    All these guys have hours of videos of each and every pitch of every single one of their ABs. They dissect the videos on a daily basis, looking for mechanical flaws, approach flaws, etc. They pretty much all do it. Even the guys that can’t hit a lick at the mlb level.

    If anything I would say that there might be too much analysis going on. That’s what I think is going on with Walker/Fletcher. Hard to hit a 95mph fastball when you are thinking about 10 different things.

  34. @38 – Simmons is the poster child for my position on the efficacy of a hitting coach. It is obvious that he has more raw athletic ability than anyone on the team except maybe Heyward. Why can’t he be ‘taught’ to hit? Blaming Walker/Fletcher is nonsense. You KNOW they have been working with this young bundle of fast twitch muscles and hand to eye coordination to help him improve. Why hasn’t he? Is it Walker and Fletcher’s fault that Simmons sees a pitch at his ankles as hittable?

  35. The trend of batting the guys with the lowest OBPs in the lineup 1st and 2nd continues! Also, Bethancourt back behind the dish tonight batting 8th. Rest is normal.

  36. Well have YOU ever tried to put a bear on the disabled list? They can be pretty testy.

    Edit: Actually, I read a bit at Beyond the Box Score today about his particular rhomboid injury. The gist of the article is that throwing is a bad motion for it, but hitting right-handed actually protects it somewhat. If any of that is true, he could be el oso banco tonight.

    By the way, “el oso banco” is the best phrase I’ve ever written at bravesjournal. I’m very pleased with myself.

  37. “Evan we’d like you to take a couple weeks off and get healthy…”
    “No. (grrrrr)”
    “Ok then.”

  38. I think if you can hit, you can hit. Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, they were going to hit if I was the hitting coach. Obviously, those are the outliers but I think the value of a hitting coach is helping hitters with their mechanics and, perhaps, with their approach. It’s not making bad hitters into good hitters. Unlike pitching, I think hitting is a much more instinctive, reflexive skill. I’m sure some hitting coaches are better than others and have had success. But plenty of hitting coaches have success in one place and not another. I think there is a place for hitting coaches and they are important on the margins. But I don’t think any hitting coach is going to cure BJ Upton or make Andrelton Simmons a selective hitter. Maybe I’m wrong; maybe Greg Walker is a drooling idiot and there is some hitting coach that would repair Upton. I just doubt it.

    I also think it’s a mistake to assume that a guy who is “athletic” should, therefore, be able to learn to hit. I think a lot of athletic skills don’t necessarily translate into hitting.

    @

  39. ‘I also think it’s a mistake to assume that a guy who is “athletic” should, therefore, be able to learn to hit. I think a lot of athletic skills don’t necessarily translate into hitting.’

    Thats the point I was trying to make.

  40. Hitting is really hard, a ton harder than it looks. It might be the hardest thing to do in any sport.

    I wish every fan could get the chance to get in the box and watch 95mph in on the hands followed by 82mph slider away. Just the slightest timing glitch can make it look like you’ve never played the game before. Sometimes we forget how hard it is, when our guys are struggling we think “if only they would just do *this* then they’d be fixed”. I’m very guilty of doing this, as are most all fans.

  41. Simmons is the poster child for my position on the efficacy of a hitting coach. It is obvious that he has more raw athletic ability than anyone on the team except maybe Heyward. Why can’t he be ‘taught’ to hit?

    This drastically underestimates how hard it is to hit Major League pitching. Being athletically gifted doesn’t make you capable of learning to ID pitches out the hand, track the ball deep, or generate bat speed while maintaining a compact, manageable stroke. For all of his physical gifts, Andruw Jones never could be “taught” to identify a slider and lay off of it. For all of his athletic gifts, Jeff Francoeur could never be “taught” to cut down the swing and lay off outside pitches. For all of his athletic gifts, Mike Kelly could never be “taught” how to do anything much more than run fast. Deion Sanders may have been the most talented pure athlete to ever wear a uniform for any professional Atlantan team. He still was a mediocre baseball player because he couldn’t really hit very well.

    Andrelton Simmons is a revelation with the glove. We all hope he will develop as a hitter. But there’s no reason to think he can be taught pitch recognition or a compact swing any more than his natural skills *at the plate* will allow. Playing defense, even doing it otherwordly, isn’t the same skill set. Just ask Pacman Belliard, Rey Sanchez, or Rey Ordonez.

  42. Well, it’s not like Andrelton is a soccer player or track star that they said “He’s an athlete, he’ll figure it out.” The guy won a batting title in the minor leagues. And in the minor leagues, pitchers throw fastballs and sliders and change-ups, just like big league pitchers do.

    But what big leaguers do is a.) have a plan to get you out, and b.) execute it with a minimum of mistakes.

    Andrelton possesses all the physical ability to get the bat head to where the ball is, and hit it squarely. He either can’t recognize pitches or can’t recognize patterns. One should be coachable, the other may or may not be. Either way, you can’t really contend that Andrelton proves anything one way or the other about hitting coaches unless you know why he can’t hit and what they are trying to do about it.

  43. Tonight’s lineup:

    B.J./Simmons/Freeman/J.Upton/Heyward/Johnson/LaStella/Bethancourt/Wood

    Wow, It sure would look nice with Gattis in there dropping some of those further back in the lineup and pushing Heyward to the 2-hole where all the walks he has been getting might be better placed.

    I didn’t get to see the game where Bethancourt started, but from what I get from y’all, he has Andrelton’s hitting approach. Is this true? I’d like to be prepared for what I am going to see tonight.

  44. “This drastically underestimates how hard it is to hit Major League pitching.”

    According to Jason Werth, it’s the hardest thing to do in the galaxy. (He did say that.)

  45. Simmons won a batting title in what, Lynchburg? Pitchers at A+ do not throw three pitches with control. In A+, you can sit and wait for the fastball and hit it when they throw it over the plate.

  46. According to Jason Werth, it’s the hardest thing to do in the galaxy.

    Jason Werth has clearly never fought a talking Raccoon and his sentient tree.

  47. If his problem is pitch selection, then that doesn’t sound like taking until you get a fastball will help.

    His problem isn’t that he can’t make contact. He makes tons of contact. His problem is that he DOESN’T wait for the fastball. He swings at the first thing he can reach.

  48. Again, his problem seems to be a variant of the Andruw Jones/Jeff Francoeur “wait, that wasn’t a straight fastball?!” issue. The most underrated, and I would argue unteachable skill in baseball, is recognizing the pitch out of the hand. Some of that can be “coached up” by getting smarter batters (i.e. not Frenchy) to think through the at bat with the pitcher and catcher and sort of “guess smarter.” But barring some significant advancements in improving eyesight, the batter is going to see what he sees.

  49. @51

    When Simmons won the batting title in 2012 Double AA, his AVG/OBP/OPS line was .311/.351/.759. He had 29 walks in 550+ Plate Appearances. This was really his only full season in the minors, and it was Double AA. At this level, they are more worried about developing players than they are worried about defensive alignment and working the count as a pitcher. There are no telling how many of his hits that led to that average were the same dinky grounders that we see on a daily basis now.

    I think it more or less goes with you said about the MLB players having a plan. The guy can get the bat on the ball obviously due to low strike out ratio, but he does not understand how pitchers work at the MLB level, or how good the defense is with alignment adjustments. If they know you will swing at junk and pop out or ground out, why should they ever throw you a pitch that you can actually square up on?

  50. I reject the premise that Andruw Jones, Jeff Francoeur and Andrelton Simmons have the same “problem.”

    Andruw Jones had a 10.3 career walk percentage. Six seasons it was better than 12%. He also struck out 20% of the time for his career, put the ball in play 63% of the time and put up a career isolated power of .231.

    Jeff Francoeur walked 5% of the time, struck out 20% of the time, and put the ball in play 73% of the time with a .156 ISO.

    Andrelton Simmons walks 6% of the time, strikes out only 9.3% of the time, puts the ball in play an astounding 82% of the time and has a career ISO of .133.

    Anecdotally, it seems like Andruw couldn’t lay off the slider away. I remember a lot of swings and misses at that pitch, too. But the fact of the matter is, he worked deep counts, and he got the walks and the strikeouts that came with it. You don’t walk 12% of the time without taking some pitches. And he got pitchers to cave in to him often enough that he hit for good power.

    Jeff Francoeur struck out just as often as Andruw, but without the walks. It’s evident he wasn’t working deep counts, he was just over matched. Jeff swung early and often and made very little contact, and when he did, it was weak contact.

    Andrelton Simmons does not walk OR strikeout, he puts pitches in play too early for either to be a possibility, and he does it with absolutely no secondary average. He just swings at what he can reach, and unfailingly, he makes easy outs on the infield.

    Maybe that’s coachable. Maybe it’s not, I can’t say. But you’re way too down on Andruw if you’re lumping him in with these two, and Andrelton has a contact skill that Frenchy didn’t have. So he has a chance.

  51. To some extent, wouldn’t pitch selection be a function of how confident you are you can hit a certain pitch? My impression of Francoeur was that he had a “slider speed bat” and that he had to start swinging early to get to the fast ball. That left him vulnerable to being fooled by pitchers and missing a lot. Whereas, a guy with a quicker bat-e.g., Chipper Jones-could afford to wait longer and, therefore, be more selective. I don’t know if that has anything to do with Simmons, but pitch selectivity is, I think, partly a matter of having particular skills.

    Maybe, in some way, that was a factor in Andruw not being able to lay off sliders low and away-although obviously not as much as Francouer. Of course, I’m just speculating.

  52. I feel like Andrelton hits a fair share of line drives and hard grounders. I think he’s been pretty unlucky BABIP-wise this season. His LD% is sucky, but not off-the-charts bad.

    The frustrating thing to me has been the popups on fastballs down the middle. He does occasionally get good pitches to hit (pitchers do mess up from time to time), but he’s not doing much with them other than foul them back or pop them up. That’s indicative of being late on the timing.

    I wish everyone had short/compact powerful swings like Gattis and Freeman, but outside of those two we’ve got a bunch of long and complicated swings in the lineup. I don’t think that can be “taught”. I think that’s just how it is. Simpler has to be better when dealing with split-second reactions, but retraining muscle-memory learned as a kid is probably impossible at the mlb level.

  53. Get behind 2-0 to a veteran HR hitter & he’s gonna be sitting on the fastball. Just don’t make it a fat one next time, Alex.

  54. Maybe we should bat Freeman 1st, LOL. He is by far the best at working the count and getting on base.

    (Total joke guys. Don’t take it seriously.)

  55. Two ABs for B.J., 12 pitches seen with a groundout and a walk. I really do not mind those numbers.

  56. @73

    The steal was right on. I mean he was safe except for the pop up part. The play wasn’t even close. Plus, you saw what Andrelton did next. Ground out to SS. Would have been a DP for sure.

  57. Tommy La Stella is going to have to hit .220 before I turn on him. I love watching his AB’s.

  58. So from listening to Joe and Paul, Peraza is being deemed the 2nd baseman of the future thus Pastornicky is learning to play the outfield to become a super utility guy. What about La Stella? Is he not considered a long-term option?

  59. @77

    I agree. This is why I posted the @78 post. I do not understand why Joe and Paul are talking about this Peraza kid like he will be there next year and La Stella will be gone.

  60. As long as La Stella hits, Peraza won’t give him any trouble until 2016. A lot could happen between now and then.

  61. @80, they are talking about him because there’s literally nobody else to talk about.

  62. In my ideal world, La Stella turns in to Placido Polanco, Peraza turns in to Rafael Furcal, and Simmons turns into 4 great prospects.

  63. I always enjoy when fantasy writers hype a flawed pitcher because they happen to a) have one dominant start against us and b) throw right-handed. I love it when fantasy owners then act on this misinformation. #keepingitpositive

  64. @87, in my dream we pump Simmons with roids and he’s our 3B for the next 20 years.

  65. IWOTM, but Alex has settled down nicely. It would be nice to put some runs on the board for him.

  66. Can Peraza play OF? From what I hear, the kid is fast and has a heck of an arm. Come 2016 season, we will be losing either J. Upton or Heyward or possibly both.

  67. @94, I’m sure he could play OF, but he’s got no power (and he makes up for it by never walking). He’s young so there’s still time to develop, but he’s not a big guy at all. Picture a faster and more athletic La Stella.

  68. @95

    Yeah, I just looked at his stats. His minor league stats almost mirror those of Andrelton’s minor league stats with a little more SB potential, and I just do not believe there is anyway his glove measures up to Andrelton’s. Hopefully, he develops and improves.

  69. I’m guessing that all the talk about Peraza is probably another Nick Ahmed/Charlie Morton situation… get the local media to talk the guy up so you can trade him.

    But for now, I’m comfortable dreaming about Furcal 2.0. (Or as I like to say, Fookie 2: Electric Boogalo)

  70. Good thing we have Andrelton Simmons hitting in the most important spot in the order.

  71. Gattis to the DL. Dang It!!!

    I guess we get to see what Bethancourt is all about now for an extended period.

  72. La Stella owns the 7-hole, LOL. Why the heck couldn’t that translate to the top of the order who knows. To be honest, I like the guy lower in the order. It keeps me from getting that impending doom feeling when we get to the bottom 3 of our order.

  73. What an inning! Somebody give Greg Walker an extension!

    This “hit ’em where they’re at” offense is working wonders.

  74. I mean seriously. Maybe Freddie changes it here, but we haven’t made them “pay” for any of these mistakes… Each mistake has only meant that there will be another opportunity for them to make another mistake with the next hitter. We haven’t done anything to capitalize, other than taking the bases they give us.

  75. Bases loaded walks against the Mets are my favorite. They remind me of Andruw in the 1999 NLCS—an awesome moment in Braves history.

  76. Hey, the Mets made a routine play! Everybody politely cheer for the Mets like it’s a 5-year-old tee-ball game.

  77. I mean sure, I’ll take it, but it almost feels dirty. Did we even do anything at all that inning other than not strike out?

  78. @150 I think that is a pretty good accomplishment for this bunch. You never know what might happen when you can avoid the Ks.

  79. You’re really gonna apologize for the Mets giving us a game? Who are you people??? It’s the freaking Mets!!!

  80. If we’re gonna feel smudged about an impending win, Mets fans gotta feel like they’re covered in wet garbage & maybe a little radioactive.

    C’mon Kraken, nail this one.

  81. Well, Justin and Heyward had two legitimate singles. And Doumit and Freeman took walks.

  82. @153

    I think you’ve found the Mets’ new slogan: “Covered in wet garbage and maybe a little radioactive.”

  83. To me beating the Mets is about the same feeling you get when you reject your 8-year old’s shot in a game of one-on-one in the driveway.

  84. #156
    Right, we’re their daddies — and still in 1st place for another day.

    #155
    Yep, NY sports radio’s gonna be pretty funny for the next 18 hours or so.

  85. The arguments about Greg Walker are basically like this:

    A: surely someone else could do better

    B: no, in fact hitting coaches have a near-zero impact on performance

    A: but look at andrelton and bj and heyward

    B: they are bad hitters. Greg walker can’t help them

    A: you’re telling me he can’t tell BJ to stop wagging his bat so he won’t be late most of the time?

    B: sure he can tell him that, but even if he did BJ wouldn’t be able to change because hitters are what they are and can’t be improved by coaching

    A: but…

    B: no

  86. @164

    In regards to your B.J. wagging his bat comment. They have gotten him to stop wagging his bat at different points last season and this season. It is not the wagging that throws off his timing. He has a hitch in his swing as the ball is delivered. It is this that makes him late on so many pitches. Not the wagging of the bat pre-swing. Hitches in swings are much harder to correct because most are habits formed when one first began playing ball, so he has probably been doing it since little league.

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