Queens 4, Termini 3

For philosophical perspective:

“I met a possum on the road.
I asked where he was gwine [for those not competent in my culture “gwine” = “going”]
He put his tail upon his back,
And showed me his behind.”

Confronting these METS last night was similar experience, in multiples. It was not a pretty sight to look at and had an unfortunate smell associated with it.

I could end the recap here, but posterity needs a little more info as to why this stunk like a possum’s ass.

Mike Minor actually seemed to be putting it back together. One run in the second and a David Wright solo shot in the 3rd, then goose eggs. Meanwhile, the stick wielding useless wonders hibernated. A few hits here and there, but no runs to show.

So, in the 8th, the Offense, individually manifested as Freddie Freeman and collectively, comes to life with two outs. 6 in a row reached safely and 3 scored to take the lead.

But our New Year’s wonder, Luis Avilan, did not prospero. Curtis Granderson hit another damn home run off of a lefty. That tied it and sent it to extras.

In the bottom of the 11th those offensive wonders Juan Lagares and Ruben Tejada combined to get the winning run home.

190 thoughts on “Queens 4, Termini 3”

  1. Re. Red Sox speculation, I second the Andrew Miller idea. I like that one for a couple of reasons.

  2. Germany playing Brazil in the semi finals in an hour. If you have a chance to watch, you should. This should be a good one.

  3. Fat Juan is slugging .521 for the Jays this year with 14 HRs in 190 ABs. Kinda wish we hadn’t given up on him.

  4. Tale of two seasons for him. .275/.365/.596 with 9 homers in April/May, .185/.233/.420 in July/August, which is a lot more recognizable to us.

    He’d be a lot more useful if he could be a 2B/3B like Brooks Conrad, but I’m not sure he can fake it at 2nd, and a backup with no defensive flexibility who can’t make contact isn’t that useful, even if he does have monster power.

  5. I always thought that Wren made the wrong call cutting bait with Francisco and hanging on to Johnson. Just hope Wren can swallow his pride and figure out some way to upgrade third base in the offseason.

  6. I supported Francisco over Johnson last year, rather vociferously, but Johnson over Francisco was clearly the right call in 2013. I’m still skeptical about the extension, but Francisco has never once had a year remotely as good as Johnson had in 2013.

  7. Can’t say I miss Fat Juan, either. Chris Johnson was the better player. The mistake was in marrying Chris Johnson. Should have gone year to year. He’s going to make $10m* in 2017. (*$9m plus a $1m buyout if his $10m option for 2018 isn’t exercised.)

  8. Juan Lagares is Jason Heyward with a swing…all else is the same…the greater physical attributes of the one are wasted at the plate… in the field and on the bases the two are a fine match.

  9. 13: I think Francisco is the better player. Defense counts, and Johnson is a disaster at third while Francisco is fine.

  10. Boston Globe reporting Braves in discussion with Red Sox about Peavy. I’d like to nab him, but don’t want a bidding war with Cards.

  11. So Peavy is supposed to supplant Harang?

    They better not waste any bullets that would preclude a more meaningful deal going through, because Aaron Harang is not the teams biggest problem.

    Unless, Mike Minor is on the table in another deal?

  12. To me the biggest problem is the lack of production from 3B, CF, SS and RF. Hard to see how any of that is fixable given the circumstances – just have to hope they figure things out. I still think that two of those guys (Heyward and Simmons) are pretty likely to do better from this point forward.

    Trading for a bench bat is just rearranging deck chairs – the bench isn’t important at all. Trading for a lefty reliever would marginally improve things, but our bullpen has been really good again this year and I don’t really need to see this year’s version of Scott Downs or whatever warm body they try to acquire.

    So…that leaves trading for a starting pitcher that’s better than the ones we already have.

  13. Francisco spent years proving he’s a subpar major league third baseman. I can’t think a half a season spent in a homer haven changes that at all. He’s in the right place is probably the best thing to say.

  14. @22
    WAR from bench players last year, according to Fangraphs:
    Schafer: 0.9
    Laird: 0.9
    R. Johnson: 0.2
    E. Johnson: 0.1
    Paul Janish: -0.2
    Joey Terdoslavich: -0.2
    *Evan Gattis: 0.9

    Last year, our bench was worth, at least, 2 wins. Gattis was other-wordly off the bench (7 hits, 1 double 4 HR, 13 RBI, and a 2.107 OPS)and I’d be willing to bet that his numbers alone off the bench would be pretty close to 1 WAR. This year, our bench has been worth -1.0 WAR.

    The bench is important and needs to be dealt with.

  15. John Farrell said they have a move to announce after the game tonight. Interesting…

  16. I’ll take peavy depending on the cost. Move Harang for a bench player. Then find a way to get Avilan in Gwinnett and Wright or Russell in our pen.

  17. @22, I don’t think improving Schafer or Uggla’s spots is going to help nearly as much as getting a decent starting pitcher. Spending money or prospects on the bench spots doesn’t make any sense to me. Spend the money on the guys that do play.

  18. The team is 6th in runs allowed, and 28th in runs scored. So, sure, by all means, spend your capital on more pitching.

  19. @33, the crappy offense is totally entrenched. And you can’t have too much pitching.

  20. The idea that we can’t platoon a guy just because he’s under contract for more than just this year, perplexes me.

  21. Ugh. The nine-game winning streak was a lot more fun to watch than the past few games have been. Can we go back to that please?

  22. We’ll lose four or five more in a row after a loss like last night’s.

  23. This is a classic Episode right here. We haven’t seen one of those in awhile.

  24. Julio is pitching like in his rookie year. He’s mad about how its going and now he’s just chucking it up there.

  25. Meanwhile on the other side of the ball, we’ve sent 8 men to the plate, and 5 of them have struck out.

  26. Well that was exactly how much Julio I could take tonight. Me and Fredi have something in common. Wuddya know.

  27. I’d march right on the field and pull Bethancourt and BJ Upton. You want to quit becaurse you’re down 5? Take the night off.

  28. In the words of John McKay, “Those of you who need showers, take them.”

  29. Good to see that Carpenter’s performance was not impacted by his trip to the DL. He’s picking up right where he left off.

  30. Bethancourt is backhanding balls, one in to a passed ball, one that at least bounced, so it’s a wild pitch. BJ ran lazily after a double over his head, and then almost immediately played a flyout to center into a second double.

  31. So, I was at Fenway park last night and heard some interesting buzz. By the way, it is an awesome park to visit, but the food there is completely horrible.

    Anyways, they did not even allow Andrew Miller to warm up or throw in the bullpen. Apparently, the Red Sox are talking to a NL East team about including Andrew Miller and possibly Brock Holt in a trade.

    I figured it could be the Braves, but most people were saying it was the Nationals.

  32. You realize how much of this sport is all about pitching when you see we are in first place with a truly horrible lineup.
    We have 2 legit hitting threats in Freeman and Jupton and a 3rd in Gattis when he is in the lineup. The rest is just junk, pure junk.

  33. Doesn’t Brock Holt hit LH? Seems like a good fit.

    Edit: Just looked at Holt’s splits, and he actually hits LHPs better. Not a big sample, though.

  34. I would love it if it was the Braves. Brock Holt plays every position but SS and C. He bats LH and hits for average. Also, you toss in Andrew Miller as a LH reliever, and it would be a heck of a haul in.

    I can believe it is the Nationals over the Braves though because the Nationals seem to have more to offer in return.

  35. @mlbbowman: Since being moved to the bench on May 6, Uggla has gone 2-for-27 with nine strikeouts. He’s made just two starts since May 23

  36. @69

    Yeah, I think us paying him what we owe on his contract is totally worth cutting ties with him. We already have to weak of a bench to continue to have him on it.

  37. I was hoping for a 7-1 score so I can say the Braves suffered the same score in defeat as the Brazilians today.

  38. Truth be told, I faced Andrew Miller when he played for Bucholz High School in Gainesville. The results of those plate appearances are irrelevant.

  39. Last year, our bench was worth about 3 WAR. This year, they’re coming in at a scorching -1 WAR. Ugh…

  40. Well, Gattis became a starter. I’d imagine a chunk of that’s gotta be him. He had something like a 2.000 OPS from the bench.

  41. amid the Citi dross…

    Jason Heyward had great AB’s last night, he’d clearly read my earlier post calling Linares a pint sized replica with a sweet swing…there had also been his bravery the previous night at the plate which could not go unnoticed…I remain so conflicted about him and were you to ask why I just wish he could relax at the plate as he does everywhere else and we might then end the WASTE – his power, like Prometheus,still bound.

    From another Arena this morning’s Headline of the week…BRAZIL WAXED.

  42. At one point about 18 months ago a Philly fan friend of mine(say that fast a few times and it makes you sick) got me excited about the BJ Upton signing and the new awesome outfield we would have. Power, speed, defense….

    Boy how wrong he was.

  43. It would be ironic if this is the year the Braves actually go deep in the playoffs with probably the worst team they have had in several years. And, then, BJ Upton leads off the bottom of the 9th in Game 7 of the WS with a triple and then scores on a squeeze bunt by Jason Heyward. It could happen.

  44. Most of us were excited, and that damned song didn’t help matters. Upton here, Upton here.

    I guess they are making many of us lose our minds, at that.


  45. @80 Yeah, but it is a LOT more likely that he’ll flail at 2 pitches in the dirt and/or in the LH batters box, then take a called strike down the middle (which he will then complain about). Plus that is a big IF about the playoffs.

  46. More likely scenario. BJ gets beaned advances to first base. Heyward rolls over on a high fastball for a slow roller to second. Double play.

    @79 – I hear ya. Lots of talk about the BOIB best outfield in baseball that year. SIGH.

  47. Maybe it makes me a bad fan, but it’s nigh impossible for me to imagine most of the hitters in this lineup doing big things against big pitchers in big playoff games.

  48. Well, if BJ Upton doesn’t come though, we still have our secret weapon-Dan Uggla. He will be rested and ready to go come playoff time!

  49. Pity parties are fun, and we’re still even with the Nats… until tonight.

    Braves streak stands at three; BJ’s at two.

  50. My barber says a three team deal looking like this:

    Atl: Miller, Peavy and Matt Joyce and cash (Uggla released)
    Rays: Schafer and Mookie Betts
    Sox: Hale, Schlosser and Mauricio Cabrera

  51. I would think that Hale has the most trade value of players we’d be willing to give up.

  52. I agree that Hale is probably the most attractive player we would be willing to give up, but we have no idea when or if we will get back Medlen or Beachy next year. I think Wren keeps Hale around to be in the starting rotation next year.

    He has showed he can be a productive starter. Plus, he will be cheap for the next few years.

  53. Depends on how you feel about Big Handsome staying decent, Mike Minor abandoning his gopher pitch, and all of our ligaments holding til November.

  54. how well does Bethancourt have to play for Fredi to plop Gattis in LF upon his return from the DL and send BJ to the bench?

  55. I’m not sure there are any pitchers available that make the Braves demonstrably better.
    Given Wren’s track record on blockbuster deals (Texiera, Uggla,& Upton Bros) I’m gun shy at the moment. Wren seems to excel when rummaging around in the bargain basement. Maybe a testimonial to the Braves scouting dept. as much as anything.

    Hale’s obviously a starter long-term and I hate, HATE, hate, to trade pitching! The minute you think you have enough, you don’t.

    Exhibit A: spring training 2014

  56. Bourn? Maholm? Those deals worked out. Do your thing, Wren. Wherever you can upgrade this team, I’ll take it. I’m not picky.

  57. Something that could be explored would be sending Ervin Santana to a contender to free up cash for a front-end starter under contract after this season.

    Also, there’s still time for us to Dangle Uggla to the Blue Jays.

  58. @102

    Santana comes off the books at the end of the year. Who would take his spot in the roatation?

  59. @103
    The pitcher acquired with Santana’s money. Unlikely scenario following:
    Braves trade Ervin Santana to Yankees for Kelly Johnson
    Braves trade Christian Bethancourt to Phillies for Cliff Lee

    These aren’t thought out, but that’s what I was getting at.

  60. @104 Making an old team younger and a young team older makes a lot of sense. Bethancourt for Lee with the balance evening out is a pretty good idea for both teams.

  61. Why would the Phillies trade Cliff Lee for Bethancourt et. al? Surely they could do better than that.

  62. He’s just trying to illustrate a scenario where we dump Santana somewhere and use the budget space to acquire a frontline starter. Doesn’t have to be Lee, although if the Phillies want our quasi-prospects, I will gladly pay their megabus fare to 30th Street Station.

  63. @102 – Why do the Jays want Uggla? Why does anyone want Uggla?

    Wren has done good in the trade department. Not so good in the FA acquisition department. I agree Hale or Shae > Bethancourt as trade bait. Problem is that the areas where we need the most improvement CF/3B are locked up by players under contract.

    Although, Johnson has .290/.330/.390/.720 slash line the last 28 days.

  64. Yeah, but he’d be a better use of a roster spot than Dan Uggla. If the team could ever decide to cut bait on Uggla, Johnson could be a 2B/3B backup with a better bat than Ramiro Pena. It’s a low bar, but I think he can still clear it.

  65. I think it might be just about time to pass the hat around Cobb County and say, you know, you’ve already ponied up hundreds of millions of dollars. Couldn’t you find another $20 million worth of nickels and quarters to pay the Braves to cut him?

  66. If any team wants Dan Uggla they are just waiting for him to get cut where he can be had for nothing. No one trades for a bad defensive 2B that can’t hit and the Braves aren’t going to move Uggla and add a good piece (hale, Simmons) just to see him gone.

    Braves should cut him and keep their useful pieces. Some other team might give him a shot with a spring training invite next offseason.

  67. We need some contenders to have catastrophic injuries and create a demand for Uggla, Bupton and Johnson.
    That is the only way to get rid of all that rotten, termite infested wood we are carrying.

  68. No doubt that I essentially agree with all of you about Dan Uggla. The only reason I stated such is they’ve lost 2 of their best players in the past 3 weeks and, should the gods be so good, might be desperate. They’re most definitely searching hard for a 2nd baseman and already found success with a player who sucked here. Hopefully, they’re superstitious over there.

    And I’ll admit, I’m no dummy, the Uggla trade scenarios are unworthy of being called far-fetched.

  69. The only way there’s demand for Dan Uggla is if a club has invented a time machine.

    There’s just no reason any team should want him, including us. At some point, and perhaps soon, we’ll eat the contract & that’ll be that.

  70. @117

    I would not be surprised if the Braves make a move with the Red Sox. The Sox are trying to move to a younger team, and Bethancourt would be a nice addition for them. They might even pay high on the guy because the American league has the luxury of the DH which makes having an average to possibly subpar bat at catcher much more bearable. At any rate, Bethancourt does appear to be a better talent than the kid Vazquez they called up to take Pierzynski’s spot.

    We could possibly get a LH pitcher and okay bench player out of the deal.

  71. 118 – They are calling up their young catching prospect. I think they’ll give him every opportunity.

  72. @120

    I agree that the prospect will get a look. It was just a thought from what I heard floating around Fenway the other night when I was there. Like I said in a post last night, the word was that the Sox were in talks with a NL East team. I, honestly, think it would be the Nationals they were talking to, but it could be the Braves, too.

  73. @122
    Piggybacking that, Gardner is out with a mild abdominal strain and Carlos Beltran is out after he got hit in the face with his own foul ball. Have a day, Yankees!

  74. I wonder if we could find a bad-contract deal, three or four teams if necessary, that swaps BJ out for Carl Crawford or something? At least Crawford is left handed..

    Who has an over-priced pitcher and needs a CF?

  75. If Crawford could play CF, then they wouldn’t pretend that Andre Ethier was a center fielder. As bad as B.J. has been, Crawford’s owed about $15 million more than he is over the next three seasons, and we already have two corner outfielders.

  76. We apparently want Andrew Miller.@ajcbraves: #Braves have 1 of their top scouts on #Cubs, who have pair of LHRs who could fill ATL’s priority need, James Russell & Wesley Wright

  77. What do you think it would take to get Nick Franklin from Seattle? He is handcuffed in their system due to productive players above him on the pro team. He is a switch hitter best suited for 2nd, SS, and OF but can, also, play 3rd. He seems like a great national league super-sub player who could evolve into an everyday starter. Between filling in at 2nd, SS, 3rd, and OF, he would get at least 2 to 3 starts a week with the Braves.

    It would be nice if we still had Mejia in our Minor League system. The Mariners need more power to help them in that AL West and Wildcard Race. I bet they would have swapped Franklin for Mejia at this point.

  78. Great at bat B.J. It sucks that you had to go and get yourself thrown out at second though. Granted, Simmons would have just grounded into a DP there had you not attempted to steal, LOL.

  79. This is looking like the four-game sweep by the Red Sox. This team is just doing so many little things wrong.

  80. They’re not doing a heckuva lot of things right either, but Jason plays a mean right field.

  81. The Braves have a habit of making a lot of pitchers look like Cy Young winners when they are not hitting on all cylinders.

  82. I would love to think the horse wasn’t stolen in the first inning, but I have no faith that the Braves can score the two runs needed to win.

  83. @128

    I like the idea of Nick Franklin. I used to live in Seattle, so I still follow them. They brought him up way to early last year, and he was not ready for the majors. He will be trade bait for them around the deadline because they have nowhere to put him for the foreseeable future, and they have a few needs. I do not really know what the Braves could offer to get him though.

  84. How the hell did that happen? We score a run and still goof it up.

    Edit, maybe it wasnt BJ’s fault after all.

  85. not sure about that, bj may have just kept our pitcher away from a play at the plate.

  86. Yeah, i dont Dacenzo really had time to make a call to BJ on that play.
    The Mets got lucky on that one really.

  87. @156

    He sent him thinking, “I cannot trust the next hitter to get this guy in with 2 outs.” I do not blame him there. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  88. So pathetic that it feels like one more Mets run = ballgame.

  89. Laird is just awful at framing. He just made a borderline pitch look like it was in the dirt.

  90. And if this finishes 2-1 the loss should go to the lazy left fielder, not Santana

  91. Now, the loss can go to Santana. Woof. That’s a Mike Minor pitch.

  92. La Stella has led off 3 innings tonight and is 2 for 3. Who would have thought batting 7th would basically be a lead off spot?

    Also, Laird should give bunting lessons to the rest of our team. He does have some mad bunting skills.

  93. Trade the whole bunch of them. Heyward and his wasted potential, J-up and his lazy defense, BJ with the ineptitude, blah blah blah. This has just been an awful season, yet they are tied for 1st (for a couple of more innings anyway)

  94. At least Doumit only accounted for one out instead of the two I was expecting.

  95. At this point, I think I would bench any player outside of Fredi who swung at a ball on a 3-0 or 3-1 count. I know Doumit was safe, but I would have much rather him watched one more pitch.

  96. Now I remember why the winning streak didn’t have a good feel to it. We all knew that the next loss would turn into 4 or 5.

  97. Boy. I just saw that TP told the media he thinks NY was the wrong move for McCann, and Brian had to respond.

    I can’t believe this team just got even more difficult to enjoy.

  98. So sick of seeing the same holes day in and day out. For God’s sake, designate someone for assignment, Wren. We need a bench player that can actually HIT! We need a LH 3b that can actually HIT!

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