Oakland 2, Welcome Back Braves 7

Box Score

Well, THAT certainly was a pleasant surprise.

The Braves busted out the whoppin’ sticks in welcoming the Oakland A’s to town last night. And Alex Wood was the benificiary, as he cruised to his 9th win of the season. Wood went six innings, giving up four hits and three walks. The only blemish was a 4th inning two run homer he surrended to Nate Freiman.

But that was more than matched by Atlanta, as Justin Upton and Evan Gattis hit solo shots in the 2nd, Freddie Freeman drilled a three run shot in the 3rd, all off Oakland starter Jason Hammel. Phil Gosselin finished the scoring with a two run homer in the 6th off Jesse Chavez.

Fredi turned to the pen, and with the Rietsma Room the 5 run lead afforded, David Carpenter, Jordan Walden, and James Russell went 9 up and 9 down to finish up the game.

Win, win, win. Well, win anyway. Let’s try for win, win tonight with Julio Teheran facing off against Sonny Gray in a duel of young studs.

57 thoughts on “Oakland 2, Welcome Back Braves 7”

  1. Reitsma Room: Adding runs to a lead to make it so large even Chris Reitsma can finish the game. See Atlanta Save. (Added July 24, 2006, suggested by Ububba.)

    Just a fyi for you young’uns who don’t recall Chris Reitsma. Or, like me, you old’uns who have mercifully let your advancing years carry away his memory.

  2. With this outfit, is 5 runs really Reitsma room?

    It frustrates the hell out of me. Last night is what our team should be like. Not that clown show that played the Dodgers.

  3. @48 from previous post

    I have no idea how no one caught you on the Freddie Freeman has regressed comment. Freddie’s numbers as of August 15th for his 4 years in the big leagues.

    2011: HR 16 RBI 60 Runs 56 with OPS .831
    2012: HR 15 RBI 71 Runs 69 with OPS .809
    2013: HR 14 RBI 80 Runs 65 with OPS .863
    2014: HR 17 RBI 67 Runs 76 with OPS .872

    His first 2 years in the league he slumped at the end of the season. Last year, he flourished in September. His September numbers were as follows:

    Sep 13: HR 6 RBI 21 Runs 19 with OPS 1.068

    It, also, might be good to note that he is heating up if you look at the month of August numbers. His August numbers halfway through are as follows:

    Aug 14: HR 2 RBI 8 Runs 6 with OPS 1.084

    The thing some people should accept is Freeman is a consistent good player. He is no Trout, but he is well worth what we will be paying him. To be honest with the way the market is inflating, we might end up having him for a steal in the long run of the deal. I will gladly take 20 HR 85 RBIs 85 Runs and an OPS of .850 each year for the next 8 years.

  4. It wasn’t my post, but I’m pretty happy with Freeman–most of the time. It’s very troubling when he goes dark for a couple weeks, particularly so since, unlike Heyward, he isn’t piling it on in lots of different ways. Freddie’s a wonderful bat, but he’s all bat.

    But they all seem to go dark for multi-week stretches often enough. Heyward, Upton, Gattis, Freeman. It makes one crazy. On top of the players this year who have been, more or less, dark all year, it can be a bit much.

    So I see the feeling behind the comment beyond the fact of it. Still, you’re right, Salty. By the end of the year, we may have Freddie’s best season on the books. Heyward and Gattis, too, for that matter.

    Sidenote: Where is Heyward’s power? Where is Heyward’s power? Where is Heyward’s power? Over the last four weeks he has a .410 on-base percentage. That’s wonderful. He’s running the bases really well. Wonderful. He’s playing fabulous defense, as he has all year. Double wonderful. But no home runs! It’s so very strange.

  5. Random observations from zombie night at the Ted last night… When I discovered it was zombie night the very first thought I had was “well the Braves have been playing like the walking dead lately”. Chris Johnson’s zombie-fied picture on the big screen was actually quite scary. I hope he never becomes a zombie. On the other hand, Jason Heyward’s zombie picture just looked like Jason Heyward. That’s kind of scary too.

  6. When was the last time we hit a 3-run HR? That was fun. The power of the undead might be enough to turn this ship around.

  7. @5 Disagree. I find defense metrics particularly useless at first base, but Freeman appears to me a very good defensive first baseman.

  8. 8: The guy has no range at all. He has pretty good reflexes, but most first basemen get to balls to either side–and particularly to the right–better than Freeman does.

  9. I can’t find a good source for minor league splits. If anyone has one, I’d love to see it. But as of right now, in keeping with my previous support of Jose Constanza vs Utterly Broken Jason Heyward, I’m all for running Phil Gosselin out as the LF against RHP until he proves he can’t outplay BJ.

  10. It’s ok to admit that Freddie has experienced some *gentle* regression this year. You have to split his stats in some arbitrary way not to notice it, and he’s still quite good, but it’s there. I do find it funny that we don’t demand that he is Paul Goldschmidt, but Heyward is a disappointment because he’s not Mike Trout.

  11. The only reason people are acting like Heyward is disappointing because he’s not Mike Trout (or at least the primary reason) is the group of people who insist that Heyward is going to turn into Mike Trout any second and go ballistic when anyone points out that he hasn’t turned into Trout yet, and it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that he ever will.

    Ironically, Heyward’s biggest detriment is the baggage that his largest supporters constantly throw on his shoulders. Freeman doesn’t suffer from that. In addition, Freeman had an MVP-caliber season last year. Heyward has never had one. So there’s that, too.

  12. @11

    To be honest with you, it is only a few people on this board that have a big issue with Heyward which @Nick pointed out in @12. For the most part, we are all happy with his play. I think the only question most people have is where did his power go. I think it goes back to his should injury at the beginning of last year. His swing has not been quite the same stroke since then.

    With his current numbers and looking at what he did last year, I think lead off might be the perfect fit for him if this is what we are going to get out of him. I’ll take a career .350 OBP at the top of the lineup with speed and baserunning smarts all day. Toss in his glove defensively, and he is a fine player in my opinion. Heyward is in no way this teams issue. He is a bright positive that I hope will be a Brave for a long time.

  13. @14

    I agree with everything in that last paragraph. Don’t have a problem with him at all. One of the best players on the team and it’s clear the team is better with him in the lineup. The question was asked: Why no backlash against Freeman given the constant backlash against Heyward? The answer: The Heyward superfans create the backlash without realizing it.

  14. It is strange that Heyward has lost his power but as salty said, he could be a tremendous leadoff hitter for us and that is okay, we all saw more power in his game but he can be just as valuable as an OBP/ base running machine.

    Now we just need to fix the CF position and we are getting somewhere.

  15. BBRef

    2014, so far: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2014-batting-leaders.shtml (look, there’s Heyward!)
    2013: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2013-batting-leaders.shtml (where’s Freddie?)

    2014: http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2014&month=0&season1=2014&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=21,d (Heyward…4th in NL)
    2013: http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=nl&qual=y&type=8&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0 (Great season Freddie! Maybe you’ll take the leap to an MVP season soon!)

    Total Runs
    Just for 2014, sorry I can’t be more thorough: http://www.billjamesonline.com/stats/ (hey who’s that hunk right behind Trout and Lucroy?)

    Or were you referring to Freddie Freeman’s unbelievable .897 OPS which was…well, somewhere out of the top-10 in baseball. But if you pair that with his unbelievable range at first and his speed on the basepaths…

    Oh, but you must have meant his career best 23 Home Runs last season which ranked…15th in the NL? Tied with Jedd Gyorko? And 4 homers behind Heyward’s career best season total?

    Or was it his .319 batting average that caught your eye? Because that was 3rd in the league. Right behind fellow 2013 MVP candidate Chris Johnson.

    Jason Heyward does not play baseball as well as Mike Trout. This year, however, he’s pretty close. Freddie Freeman, meanwhile, is a fabulous ballplayer who hasn’t yet had a season where he’s the MVP of his team, let alone the league.

  16. @16

    If only there was an easy way to fix our CF. I truly do not know how we can dig ourselves out of this one. The Braves parted ways with Uggla, but there is no way they release B.J. That type of failure would never be admitted by the Braves front office even though it is obvious by looking at the numbers.

    There is one positive to B.J.’s game though. The guy has scored 60 runs this year. Imagine what he could do if he got on base more. If he gave us a .325 OBP, he would probably have 80 runs at this point. Dang you B.J. for being so frustrating.

  17. The way you fix CF is develop a CF or develop enough pitching arms to trade for a young, league average center fielder.

    In order for the Braves to significantly increase talent on offense is by doing what they’ve always done best: develop pitching. They need to develop enough pitching to not only replenish the bullpen and back-end of the rotation, but they need to be able to trade some of it for a position player. Tall order.

  18. I know I keep going back to this, but I’m going to ask the question again: is it THAT hard to find a league average outfielder? Johnny Gomes was a throw-in to the Lester-Cespedes trade. I get that he’s a butcher in the outfield, but does Heyward in center/random league average outfielder not improve our club? Is offense down so much that finding a .700 OPS outfielder with average defense is such an insurmountable task?

    I honestly don’t get how we’re struggling so much with a core of Teheran/Wood/Santana/Kimbrel/Freeman/Simmons/Heyward/Gattis/JUpton/La Stella/Walden. Even Harang and Hale are trying to convince the world they’re above average players, and Laird is about as competent as any back-up catcher in the league. That’s 14 players that are what our club needs. Can we really not find a decent arm or two in the pen, a guy that can pinch-hit on the bench, and a guy who can be league average somewhere in the outfield (Heyward can play center/JUpton can play right). I don’t get it.

    Sorry, I’m ranting.

  19. @Sam
    Minor League Splits are fairly easy to find (on each player’s MILB page), but only for the current year. Gosselin has hit lefties to the tune of a 1.072 OPS. That’ll do…

  20. If we’re going on splits alone, Gosselin should be starting in LF against LHP with OF shifting to sit BJ. Also, he should be starting against RHP with OF shifting to sit BJ. If a pitcher is ambidextrous, Gosselin should also start with OF shifting to sit BJ. Platoon solved.

  21. That is, if we’re willing to believe that minor league numbers tell us anything. I know you do (generally), but I just don’t. Gosselin has certainly been interesting so far, and definitely better than the vast majority of our execrable bench. But naming him our starting LF is a bit much IMO. I’d rather play Bonifacio than Gosselin, if we’re replacing BJ.

  22. I think we should see how Gosselin does the remainder of the season. If he can show that he can play the IF and OF competently and keep an OPS somewhere between .675 and .725, we may have our super sub player for next year. This kid, if he lives up as advertised, could get 400 ABs next year as a sub player by covering everybody in the IF and OF like Prado used to when players needed days off or were injured.

    Now if his OPS shoots up above .725 and sustains there, the kid has to be discussed to start somewhere. As stated though, we just need to see how he does the rest of the season. So far, I have been happy watching him and La Stella play this season.

  23. 26: Agreed. Pitchers’ duels should be the spice of baseball, not a twice-weekly occurrence. Lower the mound or something.

  24. I simply find it interesting that the teams are wearing throwback uniforms from a time when some of the players on the field today wouldn’t have been allowed to play or, quite possibly, even watch the game in the stadium.

  25. I will never, ever be convinced that BJ Upton is the best option the Atlanta Braves have.

  26. @nick
    Actually, I don’t really believe Phil’s numbers are legit as this year is a bit of an outlier. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think he can’t outperform BJ. However, I agree that Bonifacio should be the BJ replacement before Goose.

  27. Pitches down the MIDDLE he is turning and looking back at the umpire. Anything middle away, he has no chance on. He seems to have no plate coverage at all.

  28. Pirates just coughed it up in the 8th. Laroche two-run dinger ties it.

    Really conflicted about who I should root for there.

  29. Or let me put it this way: I’m not sitting here openly rooting for the Nats, and if they lose to a team like the Pirates or the Reds or the Cards (or if they had lost, I guess), I wouldn’t be upset about it or anything. But I think it’s likely time to acknowledge that we’re not winning the division unless we take 5-of-6 from them or something.

    EDIT: Jesus, Jordan…that was unnecessary.

  30. We caught them in the middle of a bad streak of their own. Hopefully this is the start of a nice run for us. If we can run off seven or eight in a row we’ll be back in business.

  31. Possible lineup tomorrow:

    Heyward CF
    Gosselin LF
    Freeman 1st
    J. Upton RF
    Johnson 3rd
    Gattis C
    La Stella 2nd
    Simmons SS

    I say that agreeing that you ride the hot hand in Gosselin. Plus, I would like to see if he can really play the OF.

  32. You know you have a really bad center fielder when you want to move your right fielder to center, your left fielder to right, and teach a second baseman with a .715 OPS in 21 ABs to play left. We are, however, a 3-3 day for Bonifacio from advocating he take his .700 OPS to the outfield.

  33. Not really sure why Regression is hitting in front of OSB, but whatever. Gattis probably sits tomorrow on getaway day.

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