The Braves and Giants Tread Water (by AtlCrackers Fan)

Ed. note: to see the previous installment in the 1914 Braves saga, click here

From August 26 through September 3, 1914, Boston essentially matched the New York Giants, as both teams travelled the entire period.

The Standings thru August 25:

New York Giants59480.5515-11
Boston Braves60490.55013-4
St. Louis Cardinals62530.539111-6
Chicago Cubs59540.52237-10
Cincinnati Reds52600.4649.56-10
Philadelphia Phillies51590.4649.57-10
Pittsburgh Pirates51590.4649.511-7
Brooklyn Dodgers49610.44511.59-11

The Braves finished their series in Chicago by losing 1-0, as the Cubs’ Larry Cheney tossed a one-hitter. Moving to St. Louis the next day, Boston dropped its second game in a row, a ten-inning nailbiter, matching its longest losing streak since July 4.

The Braves faced St. Louis for three more games in the next two days, a Saturday doubleheader followed by another game on Sunday. And they showed their mettle. Indicative of how Boston’s season had turned, Bill James tossed a four-hit shutout in the first game, and then the Braves scored four in the 8th to capture the second game 6-4 of the doubleheader. They won the final game of the series 2-0 on a one-hitter by Lefty Tyler.

They then moved to Philadelphia and swept another double-header on September 2, running their winning streak to five, before finally dropping another game on September 3.

There were no player moves during this stretch, but Stallings moved a slumping Rabbit Maranville from cleanup to 7th in the lineup. Maranville responded by going 10-for-31 with two doubles and a triple. The combination of Larry Gilbert and whomever Stallings chose to play right field took over the clean-up position in the lineup.

Meanwhile, Christy Mathewson did his utmost in keeping the Giants even with Boston, recording three of New York’s six victories. The Giants spent the entire period on the road (assuming one considers Brooklyn a true road game). The 6-3 mark doesn’t include an 11-inning tie played at Pittsburgh.

The Standings thru Sept. 3:

New York Giants6551.5606-3
Boston Braves65520.5560.55-3
Chicago Cubs6458.52545-4
St. Louis Cardinals6460.51652-7
Pittsburgh Pirates5563.466114-4
Philadelphia Phillies5463.46211.53-4
Cincinnati Reds5565.458123-5
Brooklyn Dodgers5464.458125-3

72 thoughts on “The Braves and Giants Tread Water (by AtlCrackers Fan)”


    My beef is that on THIS team, Heyward needs to hit with power. He was counted on to hit with power. That aspect of his game has been very disappointing. The author of the Talking Chop article is probably correct in saying that all would be forgiven if Heyward was a Centerfielder and not a corner outfielder.

    Edward, please don’t deluge me with statistics. :)

  2. @1

    My problem with this team is BJ Upton, Chris Johnson, the black hole at second base, Bj Upton, Simmon’s bat, the hitting coaches, Fredi, BJ Upton, Dan Uggla and BJ Upton.

  3. Maranville and Andrelton are not completely unlike. Can you imagine the heads exploding if Fredi were to bat Simmons cleanup? #firestallings

  4. “The Braves finished their series in ______ by losing 1-0, as _________ tossed a one-hitter.”

    This could be a template for the rest of this season’s recaps.

  5. @1

    Even I can’t argue that Heyward has been a power hitter this year.

    Edit: but I can hope for a great 25 games to close out the season!

  6. I wish Jason were our centerfielder. Gattis in left and JUpton in right sounds good to me right now.

  7. @7 Which you are essentially replacing BJ with Bethancout/Laird and we had discussed that thousands times.

  8. @DOBrienAJC: Jordan Schafer in 27 games with Twins: .333 (29-for-87) with 5 doubles, 1 triple, 10 RBIs, 10 walks, .402 OBP, 11 steals in 12 attempts.

    Good for him

  9. This season is War Games:”The only way to win is not to play. ” If we could just take every day off, we’d be unstoppable.

  10. Schafer’s line for the season is now all the way up to .251/.332/.317.

    Compared to last year’s .247/.331/.347. So the full picture is who he is.

    Can this be the last time anybody pines for him? It’s absurd.

  11. @17

    I haven’t been on the pine train for Schafer, but the ~.330 on-base percentage looks awfully nice compared to center field, short stop, third base, and much of the bench.

    The real sentiment here is “too bad he wasn’t doing it for Atlanta this season.”

  12. @18 BJ hadn’t charged a ground ball and it had allowed a runner to go first to third. Joe made a huge deal about it (as negative as I can remember him getting about BJ—”If Bonifacio were out there, ______ wouldn’t be on third base.”) but Harang got out of the inning without the run scoring. When they came back from commercials they showed that clip, then nothing more was said about it.

  13. Id trade both Uptons today to get rid of BJ Upton. It would clear a bunch of salary and help us in the long run. No chance we can afford Justin long term. Someone will give him an absurd amount of cash. Probably too many years also.

  14. We’ll trade BJ. The sweetener will be Evan Gattis.

    Who cares about Schafer. He had chances here. He’ll eventually go back to being Jordan Schafer soon.

  15. Schafer is still in his 100 at bat WTF period that he tends to do every new stop.

    The Braves are back in possession of the second WC spot thanks to Milwaukee’s continued putrescence.

  16. If I could trade BJ’s salary by including Gattis, and reinvest that money in extending Justin at a not-too-long deal, I would.

  17. Yup. Then you put the world’s largest slap hitter in CF and find someone that can play a corner OF. Maybe you give one of the young infielders an audition out there but with BJ’s pay off the books maybe the Braves can find a hitter.

    How long has it been since Freeman has hit a home run?

  18. Plus, Gattis just seems like the type who is going to age horribly. People point to the fact that he hasn’t put many baseball miles on his knees, but he doesn’t have a favorable body type and I would venture to say that during his time “finding himself,” he probably didn’t take great care of his body. The upper body non-contact injuries that he has had already are fairly alarming.

  19. The whole Jason Heyward power thing is very oriented to pitch placement. How he was able occasionally to demolish low and away in the past, but now can’t, I don’t know. He seems to be a long way off the plate to allow him to get to inside stuff.

    If only he could develop a “Dale Murphy take that low and away curve / slider and lift it over the oppo fence” swing, then he would again become a much more forceful offensive terror. When Murphy got to where if he sat on that type of pitch, he could lift it over the power alley sign at “the launching pad”, then he went from a good player to a superstar. Heyward has the raw power to hit the ball out to left. He just needs a mechanical approach to get there.

  20. @27

    That low mid-to-outside corner area is traditionally Heyward’s bread and butter, the pitches he drives to center and right-center with a lot of strength and a lot of backspin. Spitballing unprofessionally here, but I also think he’s a little far off the plate–or, if not too far off the plate, then a little hesitant to step into those pitches. Not sure if what I see as “hesitant” has to do with the jaw fear or with a concerted change in his approach.

    Sometimes, though, it just seems like his bat isn’t in the right place: slightly too high or slightly too low, and he’s swinging and missing on pitches he used to crush. I don’t think it’s timing. I think it’s where the barrel of the bat ends up–this could also be related to his right-side grounders when he’s in a slump.

  21. I think Freeman could use a day off. I am not sure of the logic of him playing all 162 games. Seems like the goal though.

  22. The “too far off the plate” thing has dogged him his entire career. I don’t disagree with you. The trouble is, he has a long swing, and they still try to bust him inside — if he stood any closer he wouldn’t have a prayer on the ball inside.

  23. Jason has a long, loopy swing. He’s simply not fast through the zone. And he likes to get his hands extended to generate power, which he can’t do on inside pitches. So he sort of slaps them.

  24. @32

    Right. I don’t think it’s so much where he sets up, but where his torso goes during the course of his swing right now. The anti-Sheryl Sandberg.

  25. From my living-room-couch hitting coach position it’s all about Heyward’s hands. He doesn’t use his top hand enough and doesn’t have the quick wrist action that all short/compact power swings have. I would like him to raise his back elbow and get his top hand much more involved. His current approach, with both elbows pointing down in an upside-down V shape, is how they teach girl softball players to hit. I hate that approach. All you’ll ever be a an oppo-field slap hitter.

    I want to see Heyward stand at the plate like Bonds or Griffey. Back elbow raised, wrists cocked, ready to uncoil. But it’s probably too late to relearn how to hit. He is what he is.

  26. Bo Porter and Ron Washington. And Terry Pendleton, I guess. The short list for the Fire Fredi contingent…

  27. In his statement, Washington said he resigned “in order to devote my full attention to addressing an off-the-field personal matter.”

  28. @40 – Why are they limited to those guys? Why not try and find the next Joe Madden?

    Unless you are trying to guess the realistic list from which Braves brass might choose, then I’d agree. The Atlanta front office does not seem to be among the most progressive in the leagues. Probably a 3 on a scale from Arizona(1) to Oakland(10).

  29. I think a managerial move is more likely to happen the year before we make the move to NewCrackerStadium. There might be a need to create some buzz/energy around the team, especially if we lose key parts of the roster to free agency.

    That move might be accelerated if we finish poorly this month. Rumors abound, but the guys close to the team are playing it like there’s a 0% chance Fredi isn’t back next year.

  30. I don’t have that strong an opinion as to whether Fredi should be let go if we don’t make the playoffs — but I agree with @44 that, for marketing reasons, the FO won’t want to be doing a managerial search in the 2016-2017 offseason.

  31. We’d already established the full proper name months ago: NewCrackerStadiumAtWhiteFlightField

    But that’s a mouthful. NCS@WFF might have to suffice.

  32. New Cracker Stadium at White Flight Field. Memorize it. There will be a test.

    The problem with “hunting the next Joe Maddon” is that you’re just sort of making up a unicorn because you want one to exist. Who is the “next Joe Maddon?” Who should be on that short list of candidates, should the Braves want to rocket up to a 5 or 6 on your magic “be like Oakland who hasn’t done notably better than the Braves but hey, we like the GM and his stats friendly rhetoric” list?

  33. How did the first Joe Maddon get found? Lucky accident?

    I would assume that you’d start by making analytics-saviness a desired quality in the hiring process. The Braves have absolutely never done that. But that doesn’t mean they can’t or shouldn’t ever try…right?

    The not-stats-friendly org is not likely to hire a stats-friendly manager, so if you want the next Joe Maddon then you’ll want to clean house at the top first.

  34. Harang, over the last few games, has reverted to the man on the back of his baseball card.

  35. Correction: The Braves in Miami make for a miserable Friday night. Why do we always seem to be playing the Marlins?

  36. One thing I’ll give Constanza, he hustled down the line. Don’t see enough of it, even on squibbers like that one.

  37. A lot of pitchers seem to go straight from “We just haven’t seen him a lot, we have to figure him out,” to “He’s always tough on us.”

  38. I’m to the point where I think I want to trade everyone except Heyward, fire Fredi and Frank and Bobby and the rest, rename the team, and start over.

  39. @57

    That seems reasonable.

    I will say this is, without a doubt, a gigantic ass-kicking.

    EDIT: @49 – Anything’s possible, but given how anti-fun the Turner Field ushers always seem to me, I’m guessing they’d tell you to take it back to your car. If you can’t stand during a playoff game, it seems like playing a trumpet would be beyond the pale.

  40. I’ll settle for just replacing Fredi with someone that won’t bat their worst hitter 2nd. And banning the Chop in the new stadium.

  41. Hockey cliche time (ububba will appreciate this): We’re going to lose, but maybe we can gain some momentum headed into tomorrow with these late runs.

  42. Sam, your “there are other bad managers in baseball, and two of them no longer have their jobs” is a poor argument against the “Fire Fredi” contingent.

    Gay Talese wrote a stooge-ish book in the 1960’s about the mafia; and its big point was “Other people do bad things, so why is okay to prosecute the mob?” Same idea, only yours is harmless opinion on a blog where it’s fun to discuss whether to fire a guy who tells adults when they’re allowed to hit a baseball, and his was a puffed up piece of poison masquerading as a balanced story.

  43. How many balls that weren’t homers tonight would’ve been in almost any other park? It seems like about 15.

  44. No kidding. I don’t remember who put it this way–maybe Posnanski? maybe everybody did–but he said that Petco Park was a place where the hitter could win the pitcher v. hitter battle and it would still be an out on the warning track. Makes for a very different game.

    That being said, it sure is hard to keep gappers from getting to the wall in Miami.

  45. Harang last 5 starts: 6.91 ERA, 5 losses for the Braves. Seems like ol Harangutan has missed the branch lately.

  46. Didn’t watch the game but my phone blew up with several texts when BJ dropped a ball in CF. Apparently he loafed after one and then tried to make a catch more difficult than it should have been. Was that about right?

  47. last night’s shellacking was Fredi’s 275th as Braves manager. It moved him past Fred Mitchell into 13th on the all-time Braves list for losses as a manager.
    Mitchell took only 3 seasons to rack up his 274 losses, as the Braves lost 100 games in both 1922 and 1923.

    It seems Harang has reverted to his norm as the season entered the last 3rd.

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