Arizona 3 Braves 1


Two streaks came to an end today. The most important being the Braves nine game winning streak. The other being BJ Upton’s 11 game hitting streak. I am sure Joe DiMaggio‘s family is relieved to stop following the Braves around waiting on BJ to break the record.

Alex Wood only gave up three hits, three walks and two runs over seven innings. Wade Miley was just a little better. That has been a common theme for Wood this season.

Congrats to Freddie Freeman, Julio Teheran, and Craig Kimbrel on their much deserved All-Star selections. Justin Upton is on the ballot for the last spot. Here is the link so you can go vote him in.  Having to watch his brother’s historic streak end is cause enough to want to send him to the game.

The Braves close out the first half against the Mets and what’s left of the Cubs.


232 thoughts on “Arizona 3 Braves 1”

  1. @csg I don’t think it’s a big deal for position player though. I definitely don’t want Teheran and Kimbrel to be pitching in that game.

  2. @3
    I know there’s a lot to be excited about! His 71 strikeouts to only 8 walks in 49.2 innings is unreal. This year, he hasn’t really had a lefty/right split, just great against whoever he faces. I’ll try to get a “stuff” report soon.

  3. I’m starting to wonder if the Braves gave Venters a million and a half bucks this season as a way of saying, ‘Thanks dude, for throwing your arm off for us.’

    If I’m Chasen Shreve, I’d be taking some arm insurance out.

  4. Chasin’ Shreve

    have just found the skinny on Shreve
    his stats can be hard to believe
    K’s more than he faces
    the bunts that he chases
    he fields with a scoop of his sleeve.

  5. @4-6: Fact that his K rates have never been this high leads me to suspect a new pitch or grip. That or, as implied by @5, our farm system made a Mephisophelean choice to teach the dark arts of unhittable pitching to otherwise foundering career minor leaguers, understanding that these very same mechanics would bring ruin to any ligaments used as a vessel to employ them. I’m just saying we can’t rule out the possibility that a trickster demon played a role here.

  6. Continuing the discussion from last week regarding Kyle Kubitza and whether or not his 895 OPS in AA at age 23 truly makes him a top prospect and one who might be able to help the team this yr. I think he is still being underrated by some.
    As noted he does have multiple skills that should translate to the majors and has improved as he has advanced. Of note, his offense is getting better as the season has progressed, OPSing 1044 his last 10 games and I have not seen park factors mentioned. Mississippi is by far the most suppressive park for offense in the Southern League with a PF of 91. Assuming 50/50 home/away games played should normalize his OPS to 935, I think, and I wonder if he would be getting alot more notice and respect. His home park actually suppresses power quite a bit more than 9%.

  7. How many all-star game haters are there around here?

    I’m putting myself on the record as being agin’ all of you. I love the all-star game!–minus, of course, the bloated media buffoonery that accompanies it.

  8. @9

    He has already made 20 errors, that is terrbile. His doubles need to start turning into home runs soon. He is 23, so if it were going to happen, it would would be by now.

    He doesn’t have the glove for third or the power numbers to play a corner OF spot.

  9. @8, excellent analysis.

    And K rate stabilizes as quickly as any statistic. So, there is something fiery in that smoke somewhere.

    This was exactly the way Venters emerged. I remember picking up on this pitcher in AA (?) with a 10 to 1 K to BB ratio and 9 K / 9 innings and thinking, “there has to be something to that.”

    I still think that Venters 95 mph lefthanded sinker was the single best pitch I have ever seen. Righties couldn’t hit it and lefties looked silly trying to.

    A lot of our guys are picking up the knuckle curve / spike curve and having good success with it. The rap against that pitch used to be that it was hard to control.

  10. @10-

    I would love the ASG if….

    1) The home run derby was short and sweet and featured a bunch of long home runs and not anything else.
    2) It didn’t Count(TM).
    3) The worst teams received no representatives (unless there was a valid choice). I’ll never forget the horror show that was the ’08 ASG, when we were treated to an extra-inning marathon of Orioles, Pirates, and other assorted riff raff.
    4) Chipper Jones was posthumously awarded the starting spot at 3rd in 1999. Matt Williams, Christ.
    5) All votes from Midwestern fans count for only half a vote.
    6) It didn’t Count(TM).
    7) Seriously, it didn’t Count(TM). That it Counts(TM) is among the five dumbest things in the history of American sports.

  11. @11

    I don’t know a damn thing about Kubitza, but surely that sort of production with the bat–if it holds up in MLB–is enough to warrant a trial on the bench for us. Uggla, Pena, Schafer–we’ve got some dead and dying weight that would be nice to replace.

    Edit: Of course, that could leave us Conrad’ed too.

  12. @13

    With you on the Count(TM)ing too.

    I thought the aggregate fan votes were pretty good this year, though.

  13. I used to think of Venter’s sinker as a ‘Bugs Bunny’ pitch, as in that cartoon where Bugs whiffs three batters in a row as the pitch just jumps up and down unpredictably.

  14. “One-two-three-you’re-out-One-two-three-you’re-out-One-two-three-you’re-out-“

  15. @9 – Good points about the park effects. This is Kubitza’s first really stand out year unless you count 44 games at Danville. High OBP, high strikeout rate, low power production, lousy fielder. I don’t want to stunt his development by bringing him up to sit the bench this season. He’ll probably get to AAA late this season or next. I like him, I hope he is competing for CJ’s job next spring or spring after next.

  16. Scouting report on Chasen Shreve from Kyle Tait of mbraves radio.0

    Throwing harder with better command and he’s deceptive. w/low slot. RT @baldheaded1der: @MBravesRadio what’s the scoop on chasen shreve?

    On Kubitza: Don’t let the errors fool you quite yet. He’s been said by the entire braves scouting department to be an above average defender.

  17. I don’t think anyone’s stance on Kubitza, the last time we did this, was that Kubitza is a non-prospect. But he’s one of two things: a flawed prospect, or an unfinished prospect. He might be both.

    He’s made 20 errors, and maybe that is because he’s so rangey. That’s fine for a prospect, because you have time to fix it. But it takes reps to fix it, and you don’t want an error prone 3B getting his reps at the big league level, unless he’s an elite bat.

    And an elite bat, he just ain’t. The offensive advances he’s made this year are completely batting average dependent. His ISO and walk rate are what they were last year. He’s hitting .315 instead of .260. I’m not saying he isn’t actually a better hitter, but he hasn’t taken a leap or anything.

    Also, about the idea being bandied about last time, that he could be a “super-utility,” I don’t know where this idea came from. In his professional career, he has played 3B, and has twice stood in LF, but has never had a defensive chance there. I don’t care what he did in college or high school. He’s not a utility player. You can make him a utility player, if you start moving him around, in the MINOR LEAGUES, but he is not going to play 2B, LF, RF, 1B in the big leagues.

    Kubitza is a nice player. He might turn in to a good defender at third. He might be a .300 hitter at the big league level. Maybe he has the flexibility to be a utility player. But he’s none of those things today. He needs to play baseball games to become those things. He won’t become ANY of those three things, sitting behind Chris Johnson. The idea that you can stick him on the ML roster and get anything useful out of him is, simply put, a fantasy.

  18. @21
    I assume that was a response to my post @14?

    In which case: all good points, except for your last sentence, because we’re not getting anything useful out of several roster spots right now. Uggla, Doumit, Schafer, Pena, and Pastornicky all have posted fewer than 0 wins per replacement so far this season according to both Fangraphs and Baseball-reference. Chris Johnson, in 86 games, tallies .1 WAR according to Fangraphs–but he has actually been the least valuable player of all according to Baseball-reference at -1.3 WAR (although, not as bad on a per game basis as Dope Boy). And BJ Upton can’t hit.

    So as a team, we’ve got to turn fewer of our plate appearances and more of the opponent’s plate appearances into outs. Kyle Kubitza, for all the reasons you outlined, might not be the guy to help us do it. But if we’re not giving him a shot this year, we need to give it to someone. He seems like a good crapshoot to me.

    Edit: A platitude to summarize my point: Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  19. I should add, for his minor league career, he’s struck out in 24% of his plate appearances. In their minor league careers, Chris Johnson and BJ Upton struck out 18% and 19%. Chris Johnson’s major league percentage is 24% and BJ’s is 26%. This kid would be Mark Reynolds (23.5% minor league K%, 33% in the major leagues) with all the errors, and none of the power.

  20. @22 – It was more directed at ryan c who has been banging a drum for Kubitza for maybe a week or so.

    I understand the “he can’t be worse than what we have,” argument. But I think A.) he will be worse than what we have, and B.) he might improve. We keep hearing “he’s 23, he’s old,” but he’s not old. He’s still 1.6 years younger than the league he’s playing in. He’s too old to become a hall of famer, he’s too old to rank high on Keith Law’s prospect list. He is not too old to become better than he is, and become a useful baseball player. Something that he would not be, at all, if he were to ride the pine behind Chris Johnson.

  21. I follow, and I’m with you. It’s hard to imagine what “worse than what we have” could be, but I guess it’s possible.

  22. The Kubitza to the bench thing was floated by ryan c, on the basis that Kubitza would take AB’s away from Johnson and BJ Upton, because he’d play left field and Heyward would move to center. He’s also be a super-sub, because he’s rangey and would play shortstop if there weren’t better defenders on each team he’s played on.

    I’m trying to illustrate that Kubitza is a worse minor league hitter than Johnson was, and that he has exclusively played 3B, without even an appearance at another infield position, in his professional career. He has 2 appearances as a LF, but has had no defensive chances, and minor league stats don’t count innings, only games, so I’m guessing those were single innings, after an ejection or a double-header or extra-inning game.

    He’s not a non-prospect. But he’s not ready. He may be useful someday soon, but promoting him to play him twice a week would lock him in as what he is now, a non-useful player.

  23. @26
    I’ve seen Kubitza several times, live and on TV, and I respectfully disagree. He has the athleticism to fake all positions, and his K-rate is more reflective of his walk rate than anything. He’s characterized as being too patient.

    The Braves have him at 3rd because they want him there. If they want him to start seeing time around the horn, he’ll do that. He can play the positions, but we will see what the Braves think over the next year or so.

    And this is directly from Kyle Tait: “Kubitza is a 10-15 HR/year guy as built right now with room to expand to 15-20.”

  24. @21, 23, 26. Yes, he has flaws and I agree Kubitza should be playing everyday, for now. But again it’s easy to claim his ISO is the same when looking at raw numbers, but as I mentioned, his home park factor should be adjusted for. Mississippi’s HR park factors the past three yrs have been 85, 80, and 83. It seriously suppresses power and HRs in particular. Once you adjust for that and his OPS approaches closer to 950 this yr it’s hard to argue that’s not an ‘elite bat’ for a guy who can hold down 3rd Base. Add to that the scout’s praise for his athleticism and it appears he may be more of a prospect than many are giving him credit for.

  25. sorry for the double post. And on what basis do you make the claim that he is a worse minor league hitter than CJ, who also played most of his age 23 season at AA and posted a 870 OPS, but in a hitters park?

  26. @13,

    I pretty much agree on all counts. I wish they would do away with the Home Run Derby entirely. I get the point that major league hitters can hit batting practice fastballs a long way. And I can do without Chris Berman going nuts everytime someone hits a ball a long way and the players jumping up and down as if it means something. As I recall, Hank Aaron’s non-tape measure home runs counted the same.

    I was a fan-in re-runs-of the original TV Home Run Derby series from 1959 where you had stars (Mays, Aaron, Mantle, Mathews) competing to see how many homers they could hit in a minor league park, with the winner receiving $500 (which meant something back then even to stars), and then having awkward interviews with the host after the competition. I loved the minimialism. They had high school kids chasing balls in the outfield. I don’t even watch today’s version at the ASG.

    I certainly agree that it should be an exhibition. I never understood why people got so bent out of shape that the one game ended in a tie. So what? Now, home field in the World Series may be decided by some random guy from a team not even in contention.

    But, then, I would do away with interleague play entirely, make the home field in the WS dependent on team records, require relief pitchers to face at least two hitters (thereby dooming LOOGYs), and institute a timer so that we don’t have interminable delays while pitchers and hitters try to figure out how to play baseball.

  27. I’m pretty much on board with everything on here about all-star games, with the exception that I LIKE having each team represented. I remember watching all-star games in the 70’s hoping to see an appearance by Phil Niekro or Gary Mathews.

  28. @31 Marc, As a kid I watched the weekly telecast of HR Derby, and was thrilled that Hank was the overall winner. However, there was really no bracket or championship to speak of. Mantle might lose one week, and be back again later. There’s also a card set from Home Run Derby that’s extremely hard to find.

  29. I liked the bunting derby they tried one year. Seems like I remember Maddux doing well in that (but I may be wrong). I don’t like that the All-Star game “counts” but if it does have to count then I don’t like that the selection process is basically a popularity contest. I want to stuff the American League ballot box with the worst selections possible so the National League has a better chance of securing home field advantage.

  30. @31 – No divisions, no DH, no helmets for the batters, only sissys wear helmets. :)

  31. I would like to see the Home Run Derby become, “Who can hit the ball the furthest?”

    That would be fun.

  32. There’s a piece on yahoo today stating that Shae Simmons might be our answer of how to rid our team of Dan Uggla. I honestly think that’s a mistake. Just cut Uggla and consider it a lost cause. I’d much rather keep Simmons around and us move Walden for the bench help.

  33. Id watch the HR derby if Bermann was gone, the players had aluminum bats, and it took less than 3 hours.

  34. @27 – Somehow you are reading my words and not understanding my meaning. Kubitza may be as athletic as you think he is, his strikeouts may be the result of a “too-patient approach.” Even if I grant you all of that, those are still things you figure out in the MINOR LEAGUES. You don’t learn the assignments of a first or second baseman on the fly, at the big league level. You don’t learn to play the outfield at the big league level. You don’t develop better footwork at 3rd base to turn from rangey-but-error-prone to rangey-and-sure-handed, at the big league level. You don’t learn to balance patience and aggressiveness at the big league level.

    And IF YOU DO, if you do have to learn all those things at the big league level, you do it getting 400-500 PA’s like Manny Machado or Mike Olt. You don’t get it playing twice a week.

    All of the things you’re saying about Kyle Kubitza could be true, but the tools you swear you’ve seen in him in the several times you’ve seen him, in person and on TV, are not big league ready, and they won’t develop sitting on the bench.

  35. @31-

    “I never understood why people got so bent out of shape that the one game ended in a tie.”

    I hope this isn’t too political, but…

    I think it was a time and place sort of thing. The 2002 ASG was right in the middle of the anti-roid backlash *and* at the same time as labor negotiations, so there was a lot of “these money-grubbing coddled cheating players” bitterness in some segments of baseball fandom. I thought the game itself was fine and couldn’t care less that it ended in a tie. But there were some fans who somehow felt cheated by those damn players because the exhibition didn’t end with a victor.

  36. I think it just really annoyed the purists. Major League Baseball games do not end in ties. They just don’t. And to sort of suspend the rules felt like a bizarre switcheroo — like, you thought we were playing this according to the baseball rulebook, but we actually weren’t. I understand why they did it, but it was shocking at the time.

  37. I like Kubitza and think he could be a platoon type with CJ sometime in the next couple of years(since we’re stuck with CJ), but I think jjschiller makes good points about him not quite being ready. We would be better off making a trade for a LHB 3b for this season to platoon with CJ.

  38. 37: That’s just Liberty Media’s answer for how to avoid paying Dan Uggla. Wren and Fredi have already developed a workable solution in-house for avoiding Uggla’s harm to the team: stop playing him. It’d be nice to have that roster spot back, but Shae Simmons is a very high price to pay for roster flexibility. (And of course, it is possible to just cut a dude who is terrible, and in the end I think Wren will remember that.)

  39. @44,

    Well, my point is, I think they (Selig) overreacted to criticism of what was really a pretty flukey event. Admittedly, having the ASG decide home field in the WS does add a bit of interest but it’s not as if it has really changed how the game itself is played. No player is ever going to treat the ASG the way they did in the 40s and 50s and, realistically ratings for the game aren’t going to be what they were when there was less baseball on TV.


    I think your analysis is correct.


    Play all World Series games in the day and require that the fans be mostly men dressed in business suits.

  40. @47- Tampa Bay has the worst winning percentage for the three professional sports leagues it has teams in. Outstanding.

  41. @50

    It’s no surprise. At some point in the last 20 years, each of the Tampa Bay franchises could lay claim to being the dregs of its respective sport for a multi-year stretch. Over the long haul, Bay Area teams have two years of ineptitude for each season of playoff contention. But the area has two championships — as many as Houston, Seattle, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Kansas City, and more than Atlanta, Charlotte, Phoenix, or San Diego — or Cleveland (in the last half-century). Feast or famine.

  42. @44 do the purists have the same problem with spring training games ending in ties? aren’t they exhibition games too?

  43. Purists understand there is an overriding interest in ST games ending in ties. Why should the all star game not gone on another half inning or two?

  44. James Russell’s name is popping up again in Braves trade rumors. Lots of interesting gets out there in Chi-town: Bonifacio, Russell, E. Jackson, Schierholtz, Valbuena.

  45. @38

    I’d be more likely to watch the derby if they tied Berman to the front of the screen that protects the pitchers.

  46. @57
    I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt this time as the ball looked crushed to me. Keep an eye out for Jason’s batting stance tonight. Seems different. I wonder if he heard what Frank Thomas had to say on the broadcast the other day.

    This is the kind of park where Mike Minor pitching doesn’t terrify me.

  47. I remember when the Padres wore camo uniforms. They didn’t look as ridiculous as the Mets do now, but maybe that’s because Mets.

    @58, Hilarious visual.

  48. The Padres, being in a military town and using camo as part of their identity, get a pass. Every other team should ditch the look posthaste. It’s trash on a baseball uniform — any sports uniform, really — even on a one-off basis.

  49. Tommy La Stella can keep hitting singles every other at bat as long as he wants.

  50. Wtf was that baserunning?

    Remember when Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz got every bunt down?

  51. The game’s action he was tasked to tell
    But his judgement was straight from Hell
    ‘Swung on, belted!’, his cry
    For but a warning track fly
    Dammit Chip, learn when not to yell.

  52. @52,

    People pay a lot more for tickets to the ASG than to ST games. But I agree generally.

  53. 73- The difference being that ST games don’t Count! ™ If All-Star Games didn’t Count! ™ then we wouldn’t complain any more than about the other weirdness involved.

    To answer your next question, leave a space between the tm in parentheses and the previous word.

  54. Mike Minor is Chuck James. I hope they move him at the deadline, in a deal for a better pitcher.

  55. No, Chip, Major League Baseball does not need the Mets to be “relevant.”

  56. WTF Chip??? “As a Braves fan, you really want the Mets to be relevant.”

    The only relevance I want out of the Mets is for them to be a regular joke of a punching bag as we continue to haunt them with the glory years of Chipper domination. Why the hell would any Braves fan want them to be more than that?

  57. 83- I can understand that you’d want the Mets to have a sense of crushable hope every few years so that we can record wins that are more fun than usual, but the Mets’ only relevance is in losing to the Braves.

  58. Met’s announcers say our guys are lazy, don’t run out groundballs, and don’t run to their positions. Also, that the team isn’t “what you’d call functional, but all they do is win.”

    EDIT: For my part, I don’t know about lazy. But I’m pretty sure they are an exceptionally stupid bunch.

  59. @84, Small allowance for crushable hope, yes.

    By the way, Braves, learn to $*%@ing bunt.

  60. The one time Jason Heyward doesn’t ground out to second, and it could cost us a run.

  61. @85

    they haven’t been running out ground balls for some time now…as though they called a meeting

    anyone notice?

  62. I was glad that Upton double didn’t clear the fence because it would have killed the rally.

  63. IWOTM, but Minor pitched a better game tonight; even if it looks like it was only good enough to lose.

  64. And he’s going to end up putting a guy on base, and getting pulled before he completes an inning.

  65. I dunno. Minor almost worked a walk. Let’s say he takes first, you send Schafer in to pinch run for him…that’s positioning yourself to score some runs right there.

  66. 94 — Fredi pulls this shit all the time. It’s magnified when we’re in a close game but losing.

  67. .240/.263/.388. Yup, that’s BJ’s line since “earning” the leadoff spot, a whopping .651 OPS, even with a 10-game hitting streak.

  68. Bringing in someone just to face Heyward is a little unfair isn’t it? he’s going to ground out to second, why do we have to make this dramatic?

  69. That guy playing first, who cut that ball off, is the same guy who played third in the series in Atlanta, who couldn’t field anything hit near him. He’s the gift that keeps on giving.

  70. Fredi wasn’t expecting to play with a lead this inning, obviously.

  71. @119

    I think Chip Caray’s dream job would be tracking line drives for a site like fangraphs. He’d be terrible, but it’s not like that has ever held him back before.

  72. 125- I hate it when those warm fuzzies turn into the stuff that used to be in my fridge.

  73. Fu%$#6 Avilan.
    Can we please send him away. Why bother with him if he can’t get lefties out, Simmons is better.

  74. Avilan again as the goat. Dude should have hooves and horns on his head by now. It is awful that he is the best lefty option available, but I blame Fredi for putting him in time and time again

  75. Well they’ve already burned their best relievers, and we’ve just burned our worst… so I think we’d have a bullpen advantage if it goes extras.

  76. We need a good lefty reliever to to set up, we need a solid lefty reliever to push Avilan back to Gwinnett, and we need serviceable outfielder to replace Schafer.

    All of those should be available at the deadline, but we’re a bit short on dispensable pieces.

  77. 0-5. Yep, BJ’s back to normal. His batting average went up 12 points during his mighty hitting streak, and he’s already lost 8 of them yesterday and today.

  78. Apparently Jim Powell is busting on TLS for getting thrown out in a rundown in the 8th when CJ scored. I disagree with Powell on that one. You can either draw a throw and guarantee the run scores, or you take third when the throw goes home. Seems like basic late-innings, tie-game baserunning to me.

    The earlier blunder when Minor lined out to left was definitely a mistake.

  79. Gah. Take the out they give you.

    EDIT: You can count on MLB to screw up any fundamentally good concept, like replay.

  80. They can’t possibly review this. It’s not a grey area at all. They distinctly addressed neighborhood plays.

  81. This is incredibly awkward. This is definitely a neighborhood play and thus not reviewable, but Andrelton was clearly not on the base, and now that they’re reviewing, they can’t help but overturn.

    And there goes the special dispensation for the neighborhood play.

    Andrelton gets an error, which makes no sense if you presume a “bad throw” pulled him off the bag. This is a major league umpire review screw up.

  82. @143, it looked like CJ would’ve been out at home had they not cut the throw, so TLS did the right thing by drawing the first baseman’s attention. That’s just bad announcing on Powell’s part.

    And apparently the neighborhood play isn’t reviewable, except for the half a dozen times I’ve seen it reviewed this season. I don’t think anyone knows the rules. Listening to Chip describe this should be gold.

  83. He was safe, but it makes no sense that play could be reviewed. This doesn’t make any sense at all. I agree, Smitty, this game should be continued under protest by the Braves.

  84. Kudos to Fredi. I’ll bash him for using Avilan, but he did the right thing now. Poor Bobby would have probably had a stroke protesting this.

  85. I think Simmons was hoping for some redemption there. Too bad he missed the catch, but nice he still got the out.

  86. If the Braves lose and lodge a protest, the league must either agree with the protest or abandon the neighborhood play. How can it be anything other than that?

    I guess they could lie and say it was a bad throw that pulled him off the bag, even though it hit Andrelton square in the glove, chest high.

  87. The league never changes course and never admits fault.

    You play it under protest, you lose your protest, you throw the league under the bus in the media, and take your fine.

  88. @161, don’t you have to lodge the protest during the game? And then if you win the appeal you get to start the game again from that point on? I don’t think you can wait and protest if you lose.

  89. Yeah, it has to be before the next pitch, and I believe it is supposed to be announced.

  90. That’s okay, Shae. Get the hitter.

    Edit: just like that. And the Orioles take the lead in northern Virginia.

  91. The umpires probably told him he isn’t permitted to protest. The league does what it wants.

  92. The neighborhood play is incompatible with an instant replay regime. Its ongoing support relies on opposing managers not making it an issue, but we clearly saw that go by the wayside in this game. The umpires had a chance to support the replay protocol and they didn’t. They screwed up.

    It’ll happen more times in just as embarrassing a fashion.

  93. Great thinking by Freeman there. That would have been tough to hit the pitcher running from that far out.

  94. So he didn’t protest? Well…shoot. What’s the point in getting thrown out, then?

  95. Theoretically when you protest, the umpire informs the pressbox, who announces it to the crowd, like a pinch hitter, and it’s displayed on the scoreboard.

    But the umpire who just threw you out is the one who has to advocate your protest to the pressbox, so go figure.

  96. Let’s score a run here and get S. Simmons a win—he deserves it after that inning.

    Edit: Or not.

  97. The worst part is some dumbass in New York allowed them to review it. oh… right…

  98. Under what circumstances would a manager be forbidden to protest a game?

    Is there a rule that extends to instant replay reviews being non-contestable by protest?

  99. @182 – I would imagine that the umps told Fredi that it was not, in their judgment, a neighborhood play, making it a judgment call.

    I’m not sure what they would be basing that on; it seems a misapplication of the rule.

  100. Don’t know about the Braves, but I’m watching this game under protest. I protest the use of Luis Avilan in the 8th. I don’t want to ever see him pitch again unless it’s for some AL team. Gawd he sucks. And Bethancourt should kick his arse for insisting on throwing (and missing) inside to Granderson.

  101. Killing a Met would have gold-plated BJ’s season, no matter what his batting average is at the end of the year.

  102. Why do so many pitchers struggle with throwing intentional balls? It can’t be that hard, can it?

  103. Should have used Simmons in the eighth. Time to give him that inning and be done with it. All that followed could have been prevented.

  104. At least we’re still in first.

    193- I think you forgot to say Fuck Shitty Field. And Fuck the Mets.

  105. If they ever deserved to get beat, they deserved it tonight. Nobody could do anything right, and we were only in it because Mets.

  106. There are few things more miserable in sports than losing to the Mets. Losing to them in extra innings is even worse.

  107. Do we get discounted shipping if we send Varvaro and Avilan to Gwinnett in the same box?

  108. I will never trust Anthony Varvaro no matter the numbers. He just looks SOOOOO hittable.

  109. I was actually more upset with burning walden to pitch to just one hitter and then replacing him with another righty. Game was tied at that point so it looked like extras.

  110. Bethancourt called for a fastball away, Avilan shook him off. Bethancourt calls for the fastball away again, Avilan shakes him off again. Bethancourt calls for a fastball in and Avilan gives him the nod. Avilan then grooves an inside fastball that Granderson hits about 400 feet.

    Avilan shouldn’t have even been in the game.

  111. The utter horror that has become our bench is not worth the following rant…
    Scenario 1: Pitcher’s spot due up 2nd in Top 7, Fredi lets Minor bat. Would he have let him bat if there were a high OBP guy on the bench?
    Scenario 2: Top 8th, Christian Bethancourt hits with the game in the balance and comes through. Would he have let him bat if there were a trustworthy power guy on the bench?
    Scenario 3: Ryan Doumit leads off the 9th inning. Would he have done so if there were a trustworthy OBP player on the bench?

    The Braves are simply handcuffed when it comes to their bench. Aside from Laird, there needs to be a serious makeover.

  112. Fredi said the umps told him the throw pulled Andrelton off the bag.

    They’re asshole liars is what they are. Millions of people are supposed to live with this blatant lie and accept it as truth? Fredi pointed out rightly that they couldn’t assess Andrelton an error if it was a bad throw.

    This does not make baseball look good. And for what?

  113. I was trying to figure out why I’ve been so uneasy lately. Other than trying to get on a heart transplant list (which has been going on for awhile, now), nothing is particularly bothersome at this point.

    I think I’ve identified it. I’ve been trying to convince myself that BJ has somehow turned a corner and won’t become the worst signing in the history of baseball – a title currently held by Dan Uggla who just recently passed Derek Lowe.

    This is the same behavior I’ve exhibited for over forty years in thinking Kentucky Football has turned the corner. This much cognitive dissonance (a fancy term for “damned foolishness”) has got to take its’ toll.

    We are sooooo screwed.

  114. @204- And that’s how the can prohibit him from lodging formal protest. “No, we know the rule. We’re not interpreting the rule. we’re JUDGING that the throw drew him off the bag. I know that we initially called him out because we didn’t think the throw drew him anywhere, and I know we had to discuss whether or not we were even allowed to have it reviewed… But now that we are, officially, it’s because in the 3 minutes after the play ended, the throw became a bad throw. Sorry.”

    The league does whatever it wants.

  115. The White Sox have two solid lefty relievers available.
    Lets go overpay for one.

  116. Yes, Avilan sucks. That was a horrible pitch, bad enough that if this were the World Cup I’d say there was obviously some game-fixing going on.

    But that call at second really irks me. He certainly was safe, but the whole “we have the rule but we decide not to enforce it” mentality is staggering. DOB posted these ump quotes on Twitter:

    Umpire Mike Everitt: “We reviewed the call because, in our judgment, we felt the throw took the fielder off the bag….We judged that the throw took him off the bag.”

    …Which is ABSOLUTE BS. So then you have this one:

    Ump Tim Timmons: “He’s trying to complete the double play quicker. He’s trying to gain an advantage.”

    …Mind-boggling. Ultimately, do we or do we not want shortstops and second basemen to leave their ankles in there for the breaking? If I were a Mets fan, I’d be pissed if they didn’t overturn the call, especially if the Braves had turned the double play, but I’d understand why they did it.

    What if Buster Posey played middle infield?

  117. @210 Not only do those quotes say opposite things, but neither of them are valid. In regards to Everitt’s, if the throw took Simmons off (and I’m not sure how a throw right to the center of the chest can do that), then why does Simmons get the error? The Braves should at least appeal that error.

    And in regards to Timmons’s, what middle infielder isn’t trying to gain an advantage with the neighborhood play? I’d bet that 95% of the time, the fielder’s foot isn’t touching the base during a neighborhood play. Yes, part of that is safety with the runner bearing down on the fielder, but there are probably many double plays that would not have been turned this season in MLB if the fielder had to keep a foot on second until he caught the ball and could only then begin his throwing motion.

    You can agree or disagree with the rule (or, I guess in this case, the play would be an exception to the rule), but as long as it is the rule, major league umps should be forced to enforce it. I mean, that is kind of their job.

  118. @210, What they’ve done is expose the neighborhood play as untenable. In order for instant replay to work, it had to be consistent one way or the other in regards to the neighborhood play. Either you fold it into instant replay, or you don’t. The league chose “don’t”, allegedly to safeguard the health of middle infielders.

    But that means you have to be consistent about applying the rule. Fielders, runners and managers need to know the score. And now, they don’t.

    There was no need for this. Totally an unforced error. It all hinges on Andrelton being pulled off the bag by a bad throw from Chris Johnson, which is as fraudulent a take on reality as there can be. As JJ noted, the original call was “out.” Their eyes saw the truth then. At some point, they decided “No, what we really saw was a bad throw.” The replay guys in “New York” with all that technology available to them claim to have seen “incontrovertible evidence” that it was a “bad throw”, which is a willful denial of reality.

    The throw was chest high, center of the body, right to an unmoving glove hand, on the money.

    The league absolutely has to do a mea culpa on this. Since this allegedly had nothing to do with the outcome of the game, it would cost them nothing to do so. Just come out and say, “My God, that was a horrible application of instant replay. We’re going to reevaluate our communications to our umps in the field and in the replay control room so that we’re all on the same page and this doesn’t happen again.” Will they?

  119. In the end, the play didn’t cost us the game. Therefore, it will be allowed to die.

  120. Smitty’s barber just gave me a hot shave and passed along this hot trade rumor!

    Cubs get: David Hale, Ramiro Pena, Juan Jaime, Dan Uggla, and Jordan Schafer,
    Braves get: Edwin Jackson, James Russell, Nate Schierholtz, and Emilio Bonifacio

  121. By the way, I hadn’t realized this, but saw it in a Jonah Keri column: Curtis Granderson’s turned it around, and we’re not the only ones he’s killed. Since a .468 OPS in April, he’s hitting .275/.389/.507.

    Luis Avilan still cannot be anywhere near a high-lev situation. He’s either only to be used in garbage time, or he needs to go back to the minors to turn it back around. He simply has no idea where the ball is going and is completely unreliable.

  122. One would think the Braves are debating internally how to get Chasen Shreve to the Major Leagues.

  123. Bonifacio is expected to come off the DL after the ASB. What’s the rule on trading for players on the DL?

  124. Braves have had some top scouts watching the Red Sox the last few days. Let the speculation begin!

  125. Koji baby, unless the Red Sox expect him to be a type-1 free agent after the season.

  126. How about Uggla and Avilan to the Blue Jays for say Lawrie or Brett Cecil? They have fallen out of the AL east lead in the last 3 weeks and might be desperate enough to try to shake things up to revive their season that we can take advantage of.

  127. I don’t think there’s a reason not to take a look at Soriano. We could certainly use a bench bat, and he’s probably more useful to us than Ryan Doumit. The question is whether he’s willing to be a pinch hitter, or whether he just wants to retire. Or, if he doesn’t want to do either of those, he could try to go back to Japan, where he started his career.

  128. Also, no rule against trading for someone on the DL — remember, we traded Arodys Vizcaino to the Cubs while he was on the DL.

    However, trading for a guy on the DL is relatively rare, because 1) his value is often closer to a low than a peak, so teams are loath to trade away a player who is likely to rebound in value once he’s healthier, and 2) you’re never quite certain of what you’re getting: Vizcaino missed all of 2012 and 2013, and is still trying to make it back. He’s currently getting shelled in Triple-A.

  129. Lawrie has a broken finger and is on the DL. The only spot I see upgrading is CF or platooning CJ or Heyward. Don’t see them doing it with Heyward but he needs to sit against lefties.

    Wesley Wright could be a target.

  130. I’d take Middlebrooks on my team, but they’d have to take Johnson. Middlebrooks won’t be cheap much longer, will he?

  131. Actually, this is just his second full year — he basically played a half-year in 2012 and another half-year in 2013. I can’t tell whether he’ll be a Super Two. They’re trying to market him for his power, but he’s already 25, and it isn’t clear that he has anything else. His glove may not be as leaden as Chris Johnson’s, but he’s an awfully flawed hitter.

  132. Too much money tied up in our OF right now, gotta think targets are: the bullpen, 3b, bench bats, SP(should something fall into our laps). probably in that order.

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