Braves 3, Mets Swept Out of Town

ESPN Box Score

Julio Teheran is good.

I just wanted to point that out in case anyone had any lingering doubts. Tonight he went 7 innings and allowed only 1 run on 4 hits; he also had the opportunity to show off his pick-off skills when he caught Eric Young Jr. running on first move in the sixth inning.

Bossman Jr., The Original Simmons, and The Offense all reached to start the game, and the night looked like it might be an offensive explosion for the home team. Justin Upton struck out, though (his first of three on the night), and Jason Heyward hit a fly ball to right that was too shallow to plate the run. Just when it appeared the Braves would not be able to capitalize on a bases loaded-no out situation, Regression silenced his critics and picked up his teammates with a bases clearing double.

Fortunately, those runs were all Teheran would need, because Hibernation Mode hit and hit hard. The Mets held the Braves scoreless for the rest of the game, but that effort was not enough to keep them from getting swept, since they were only able to pick up a single run in the fourth.

Sweeping the Mets is always awesome, no matter what their record is coming into the series.

Don’t look now, but BJ and Simmons have been a good combination so far at the top of the order. The team has not only been winning with them up there, but they’ve both been contributing to those wins. Simmons had another multi-hit game today, and BJ extended his hitting streak to nine games.

If you missed Tommy La Stella’s brilliant play in the eighth, take a moment to check it out. You really can’t make a glove flip any prettier than that. It’s incredible that he is (was?) considered defensively weak.

The winning streak is now at seven, which incidentally ties our longest losing streak of the season. It’s nice to have that balanced out now. The Braves are off tomorrow and return to action against the Diamondbacks on Friday.

Natspo(s) delenda est.

41 thoughts on “Braves 3, Mets Swept Out of Town”

  1. The team has really been playing some good ball lately. I’d much rather see us get hot now and carry it through the rest of the season than do what we did last year by being hot at the beginning and basically playing .500 ball the rest of the way.

    If we can get Gattis back in good shape in a couple of weeks, we will be a force to reckon with now that the lineup is starting to get some identity and the bullpen is starting to look like it has in the past. The combination of Simmons, Varvaro, Walden, and Kimbrel might put 7th, 8th, and 9th inning on lockdown.

    It is starting to look like it will be an exciting second half of the season.

  2. How did we win seven straight? Oh yeah, we played the Phillies and the Mets…but wait, we never seemed to play well against them regardless of their record. well done!!!

  3. @Timo from previous thread: aren’t you the one whose road trips away from your wife ensure a Braves win? If so, we appreciate your patience with being stuck on a plane while the team completed the sweep. You may return home for the off day, but then you have to find some sort of weekend getaway while the D’bags are in town.

  4. Seriously, the Braves need to consider bringing Kyle Kubitza to the show. Because of his athleticism and ability to cover a pretty large area, he’s been a bit error prone at 3rd, but his stick is legit: .306/.403/.481 with 21 doubles 6 triples 4HR and 15 stolen bases (1cs). He would immediately make an impact as a supersub. The Braves have had him work exclusively at 3rd base due to superior SS at each stop, but he can play all positions in the infield as well as the corner OF positions. A left-handed threat off the bench, inserted into the lineup 1-2 times per week would be a great addition to a team that has been pretty terrible against RHP and god awful off the bench.

    Team against RHP: .657 OPS
    Bench Overall: .568 OPS

    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=&sid=t430&t=p_pbp&pid=605323

  5. @9

    Kubitza has a reverse split for a left handed hitter, so bringing him in against right handed pitching probably would not give us as much help at the MLB level as you think. He has never played above Double AA and has a high strikeout total which we already do exceptionally well with our major league roster, so why bring another all out swinger up. He does draw walks which I like. As far as defense goes, everything I have heard on him says the reason he is at third is because they have tried him other places and that it is his least error prone position which he still is not that great at.

    Basically, the guy has okay numbers, but you can expect a drop off with each stat area as he progresses between the levels. His numbers against lefties would drop once he hit the pros due to lefties knowing how to get lefties out, and his numbers against righties would get even worse.

    In the end, I will give you one thing about him. He would still be an upgrade on Dan Uggla on the bench, but the team would need to see him keep his current numbers at the Triple AAA level before they would trust him on the MLB roster. Nothing about his numbers screams skipping an entire minor league level. He is a September call up at best right now.

  6. In BJ’s 9 games since being installed at leadoff, he’s got a .740 OPS. Given the circumstances of the last 1.5 years, I’ll take that smiling.

  7. @8 BMan, that’s me. Unfortunately I am flying back to my wife tomorrow, so during this roadtrip, I’ve been perfect. 7 straight. I should extend it or make sure I am traveling the entire month of October.

  8. I’ve been trying a lot of arbitrary end points for BJ’s stat line trying to put lipstick on the pig. I won’t say anything though. I’m not superstitious but I don’t want to jinx him, if you know what I mean.

  9. @chopchop

    Almost every player on the MS Braves team has hit LHP better than RHP, which probably speaks more to the LHP they’re seeing than the batters’ numbers. Kubitza’s calling card is hitting, not splits. The pitching in the Southern League is equally as good, or better, than what Kyle would see at Gwinnett, so I disagree that the Braves would need to see what he’d do at Triple-A.

    I’ve been reading up on Kyle for quite a while now and while he has been error-prone, not one single report has his defense as below average. He’s also been highly regarded as “incredibly athletic”, “quick-handed”. “strong-armed” by not just the Braves but by outside scouts. Furcal was also labeled error prone in the Minors for the same reason, but never below average defensively.

    Another interesting candidate who is destroying baseballs at AA:
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=hunter001ced

    His contact rate most definitely does not scream Quad-A. He’d be worth a look.

  10. Can’t give enough credit to Johnson. We were one strike away from letting them get out of bases loaded, no one out, and he got in the 3 runs we needed.

  11. #13
    Oktoberfest in Georgia is calling, then.

    I hear they have quite a party up I-75 in Helen, Ga.

    Let’s just hope there are games to be played.

  12. @16

    I come from just south of Brandon, MS and have watched the Mississippi Braves on several occasions this year when I have went home to see family. I share your opinion that Kubitza could be something nice to add as a bench bat and supersub player to the pro roster, but I do not think the big club is going to let it happen til September. It allows them to keep another year of control over the player. Plus, he is a great athlete, but the kid does have his fair share of mental mistakes in the field which he needs to improve upon.

    As far as Hunter goes, there is a reason the guy has 4000 career plate appearances at the minor league level and none in the majors. The guy is a horrible baserunner and not exceptionally fast. He has hit for power so far this year, but over his career, he has been a subpar power hitter. I do not see him making our big league club any better than what we already are.

  13. I tend to be conservative when it comes to prospects, particularly when it comes to high-strikeout guys. Mac used to make a point about Triple-A, and the reason why it is often a good thing for prospects to play in AAA rather than skip straight from AA to the majors.

    Basically, it goes like this: Double-A is where all of the blue-chip prospects play, and if a guy has a blazing fastball he will often advance quickly through the minors and jump to the majors. So in Double-A, a lot of the players are toolsy, raw, and young, whereas in Triple-A, the players tend to be older, craftier, and a lot less innately talented. Triple-A is home to a lot of 27-year old pitchers like Buddy Carlyle who get by throwing slop, and hang on waiting to get called up as an injury replacement. Literally the only reason that these players can hang around is that despite not having a great fastball, they know how to exploit the weaknesses of players who do not know how to adjust.

    A guy like Kubitza, who is promising but flawed, could gain a lot by facing pitchers who have been in the major leagues before and who will find holes in his swing that he never knew he had. Conversely, if we brought him up to the major league bench as a supersub, he would struggle to get more than five at-bats in a week, and he would not improve. If we want to maximize his future potential, I really think that we shouldn’t bring him up now. Ideally, that is the reason that you want to carry guys like Ramiro Pena, who’s already a finished product, and who really can’t be harmed by rotting on the bench for a couple of weeks at a time.

  14. @21
    The Major League game has changed in the last half-decade and the Buddy Carlyle’s of the world are staying at AAA and those flamethrowers you speak of are filling out rosters. While I don’t doubt Kubitza has a whole heck of a lot to learn, there’s nothing within me that can agree that he wouldn’t be better than the current options.

    And I do agree that bringing Kubitza up would have to be under the assumption that he needs to get some fairly regular playing time against RHP that could come at the expense of BJ and CJ.

    Cedric Hunter on the other hand? Can’t be worse than Jordan Schafer, a punchless, strikeout prone, pinch-runner.

  15. @23, Ryan, that’s exactly what I said. The flamethrowers skip from Double-A to the majors, and the Buddy Carlyles stay in Triple-A where they feast on deeply flawed strikeout-prone hitters like Kyle Kubitza.

    In my opinion, it would harm his development to advance him to the majors now, after barely 300 plate appearances above the low minors. Remember Jeff Francoeur? Or Elvis Andrus, who went to the majors after just 535 PA in Double-A. If we bring him up now, he might marginally improve the major league club, but he may never reach his actual potential. We have so few hitters in the minor leagues that I think that would not be prudent in the long term.

  16. Alex,

    I have been to Helen many times, but not during Oktoberfest. I will let the faithful with more insight on the beer related activities that go with that.

    If you have never been, it is a strange first sight. Helen was a sawmill town that helped cut down tens of thousands of acres of hardwood trees in that area. then, the sawmill closed when the National Forest bought up the land and replanted. Now, it is hard to know that 100 or so years ago, those mountains were mostly bare of trees.

    Some local came up with the kitschy idea to make everything look Bavarian. They did a good job of converting the old stuff and maintaining the look on new stuff. It has your typical tourist shop stuff in downtown, but also atypical (my wife and I bought vintage balsamic vinegar and flavored olive oil in a shop just 2 weeks ago). The upper Chattahoochee runs right through town and tubing it is a big thing. Tubing would probably be fine into mid September, maybe a little cold after that). Several restaurants have plazas for sideriver cafes along the river.

    Several zipline establishments run. One does an all day and another does shorter intervals. My sister and daughter both did one just a few weeks ago (the shorter interval).

    Appalachian Trail cross the highway about 1000 feet up and 8 miles north of town at Unicoi Gap.

    You can tag me back by e-mail if you need more info.

  17. I say we should let all our players skip AAA. It worked out great with Andrelton Simmons.

  18. And Rafael Furcal and Brian McCann. BMac, Raffy and Simba all came up and went directly to playing every day. However, I tend to agree with Alex here. Kubitza is a good prospect, not a great one. His long term potential may be worth more than he can contribute in a part time role this season.

    Ryan, I can see where you are coming from but I don’t see the Braves going to a straight platoon and giving Kubitza most of the PAs over their newly signed veteran 3b.

    Sometimes I wonder if Heyward had a full season in AAA if he would be a better hitter than he is now.

  19. There are some players who are just so off-the-charts special that they’ll be successful where ever they play. But for guys who are just “nice,” you’re doing them, and your team’s long term interests, a disservice advancing them too quickly.

  20. Rafael Furcal is a very interesting example. He posted the highest OBP of his career in his rookie season. He developed a bit more power after that, but did so at the cost of on-base percentage. If anything, one of the most frustrating things about him is that he didn’t really develop much as a hitter beyond where he already was.

    At the very least, there is an argument to be made that he would have been a better hitter if he had had more time in the minors. Andrelton, too.

  21. I love Helen’s Oktoberfest more than I probably should. It’s a Saturday night in some bizarro Bavarian town tucked into the North Georgia mountains drinking draft beer out of giant plastic beer steins and watching college football with fans from all over the south. Which is to say, a combination of three of the greatest things this life has to offer.

  22. @Alex
    My point was that the Major League pitching and AA pitching are much more similar these days and the crafty veteran that exposes holes instead of blowing it by the batter is a thing of rarity, which interprets to “He won’t be seeing that guy in the Majors as often as before”. Yes, saying the same thing but making very different points.

    Elvis Andrus was 20, Jeff Francoeur was 21 (and lacked all offensive skills except for power), and Jordan Schafer has been a shell of a player he once was pre-PED, and there are just as many counter-examples for success directly (or very close to directly) from AA as not(Gattis? McCann? Furcal? A. Simmons? Heyward?). Kyle is no spring chicken as he turns 24 in less than 2 weeks time and has nearly played in 400 games at the Minor League Level. An .884 OPS showing at Mississippi is legit offensive production. I think he could really help the club right now, and if he received a decent amount of playing time, I think his development would continue. Admittedly, that’s the hard part and Fredi would have to be a ballsy manager to look at CJ and BJ, both of which have fairly large contracts and say “You 2 will be sharing some time with this guy”. I don’t think the scenario is in the realm of reality, but it doesn’t change my perspective that he’d be the best shot to fill both CF/3b platoon holes and good pop off the bench.

    The bench SHITuation is a stagnant poop-filled pond and I don’t like stagnant poop-filled ponds. If the 1MM guys such as Pena and Schafer can’t produce, move other, less than 1MM guys into their spots, and keep the productivity moving forward. Both the bench and the lineup are one of the worst in the majors and need to be addressed. If the Braves cannot address it via trade because they’re unable to take on money, Kyle and Cedric, in my opinion, look like good starting points.

    Point being, I see your points, I just don’t agree with them. I know I might stand alone on this one, and I’m ok with that.

  23. The Braves infield is 29th in turning grounders and bunts in to outs. Why does everyone talk about our awesome defense?

  24. Ryan, why do you say that Double-A and the majors are more similar in pitching talent than they were in the past? That’s not something I’ve heard.

    I agree that the bench needs to be improved. I’m happy to agree to disagree.

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