Braves 6, Marlins 0

ESPN Box Score

Shelby Miller had a no-hitter going until there were two outs in the ninth inning, and the Braves got a five-run second inning. So, no, the ballgame wasn’t particularly close. In a three-game sweep, the Braves outscored PURE EVIL 16-6, and it may have been the best three-game stretch of starting pitching all season. To wit:

 IPHRERBBSO
Teheran5/155.292115
Wood5/16772121
Miller5/17920014

The only earned run given up by either Julio Teheran or Alex Wood was a leadoff home run to Giancarlo Stanton in the bottom of the third inning — same spot, both games — and Miller obviously didn’t give up a blessed thing. Both Teheran and Wood are still serving up too many home runs, but it was a good sign that both managed to avoid a big inning. Notably, the Marlins never scored more than a single run in any inning of the series.

The Marlins believed that they could contend for the playoffs this year, and things have not remotely gone according to plan. They’re 16-22, and the Braves are the single biggest reason for the season’s disappointment, as the Braves have swept them twice at home in the first two months of the season, going 7-2 against the Marlins overall. The Marlins were so disappointed by this latest loss that they announced the firing of manager Mike Redmond immediately after the game.

This was the second complete-game shutout of fewer than 100 pitches in Shelby Miller’s last three starts. He is really, really good.

139 thoughts on “Braves 6, Marlins 0”

  1. Marlins may want to talk to Bo Porter. I hope not, that’s who I want to replace Fredi

  2. It is absolutely amazing what role expectations play in how you view a team. I love this team, and it’s a freaking .500 team. This is the everyman team, this is the Major League (movie) team, this is the team that many on here picked to be worst in baseball. If you’ve been written off by someone, this is your team.

  3. If this team gets pitching like it’s capable of from the top 3, I feel confident that they can be above .500. It may be just two or three games over, but that would be awesome. How could you not love the moves they made? Their pitching prospects are showing a lot of promise and Peterson is looking like a ROY contender. Mallex Smith is also looking like the leadoff hitter of the future. If Rio Ruiz can turn it around, we’ll really be in good shape.

    Of all the moves we made, losing Kimbrel was the hardest. However, having Wisler as the number 2 prospect in our system, actually having what appears to be a competent center fielder in Maybin, and shedding $30 million in payroll could be one of the best deals we’ve ever made.

  4. Law is saying that Jeff Conine appears to be the next manager for the Marlins. He’s never managed at any level

  5. @6 Continuing the latest craze of teams employing 1990s era players as first-time managers.

  6. @5, Dustin Peterson may quickly supplant Rio Ruiz as the organizations top corner prospect.

  7. @BNightengale: Correction: Jeff Conine will NOT be the next #Marlins manager, a front official insists.

  8. @11, Yes. It was a very good trade from the outset for that exact fact. Heyward could hit like Ruth for the Cards, and it would still be a very good trade for the Braves. Miller’s dominance makes it so very full of win, though, it’s kind of hard to fathom.

  9. This could be our roster in 2016:

    C-Bethancourt
    1B-Freeman
    2B-Peraza
    SS-Simmons
    3B-Jace Peterson
    LF-Free Agent/Trade Recipient
    CF-Maybin/Mallex Smith
    RF-Markakis

    Rotation
    Teheran
    Miller
    Wood
    Folty
    Wisler/Banuelos/Trade Recipient/FA

    Bullpen
    FA/Trade Recipient Closer
    Simmons
    Vizcaino
    Avilan
    Martin
    Some Guy
    Some Guy

    That team could win 90 games and be incredibly cheap. That’s assuming we don’t re-sign Grilli, Jim Johnson, AJ, Gomes, and Mike Minor. Chris Johnson is either traded or relegated to backup 1B/3B or platoon. The team is light on power still and could be easily blown apart by injuries. But it also assumes that Lucas Sims, Rio Ruiz, Tyrell Jenkins, and Dustin Peterson don’t turn the corner, and Max Fried is still injured/developing. And of course, if Williams Perez is at all what his minor league numbers portray him to be, he’s in there in some capacity.

    Label me happy for the rebuilding effort.

  10. Rob, rebuilding should not be this easy and that lineup really lacks power. Nevertheless, the outlook is looking quite good especially on starting pitching

  11. I don’t think Folty will end up a starter. That doesn’t seem like a 90-win rotation to me, and you gotta figure one of those arms will go down, if only because we drew the wrath of the baseball gods by penciling them all in.

    If Heyward’s batting 8th, then they start counting with 8 in St. Louis…

  12. Let’s not worry about next year until next year. Let’s just enjoy watching these guys this year.

    Between Simba and Jace up the middle, and the electric stuff from Miller and Folty, and Jonny Gomes and his helmet, this looks to be a fun year to just sit back and soak it in.

  13. Was driving up from Maryland, listening to the game, when I ran into a huge traffic jam in Delaware by the 8th inning. Luckily, I inched toward one of those huge interstate rest stops as things got really interesting.

    Just as the bottom of the 9th commenced, I got off the road, pulled into the parking lot & fired up the MLB.TV app. Of course, with that single, the steering wheel took a punch.

    But, hard not to like #17 right now.

  14. @ 2…

    life in a nutshell, so true…the fancy blonde who can’t talk, those are long seasons…

    in Cinci last week another factor became evident…see them in the flesh, they’re really fun…a certain boyishness perhaps, there is something there that attracts…

  15. AAR is correct to point out that the Braves are more directly responsible for the Marlins’ shitshow than any other team. Boy, that is delightful.

  16. I’m going to start a petition to the commissioner to let the Braves play the rest of their road games this year in Miami. Who’s in?

  17. @24: Where do I sign?

    Spirits are higher after sweeping the Fish than after dropping two of three to the Reds. Go figure.

  18. Let’s all take a moment to shout out Justin Bour, who (clearly) reads Bravesjournal and stepped up to the plate with two outs in the ninth knowing he needed to keep my prediction of Foltynewicz throwing the next Braves no-hitter alive.

    Great work, Justin Bour.

    Great game Shelby Miller. You are so much better than I realized.

    Missed the whole thing. While it was all going on, the Athens ultimate frisbee squad was busy getting game-theory-jobbed out of the Spirit-of-the-Game award down in Destin.

  19. #17 – they tried Heyward at lead off last night and it was the standard 0-4 with a couple of weak broken bat grounders on inside pitches. He’s currently in a platoon with Randal Grichuk

  20. Jason Heyward has started 33 of 36 games (sitting one out for a muscle tweak) for the Cardinals this year and is hitting .378/.452/.541 in 42 plate appearances against left-handed pitching.

    So quit your asinine trash-talk.

    (That said, getting Shelby Miller for him looks damn good right now.)

  21. His struggles against RHP this year are entirely out of context for the rest of his career, in which he has been a good hitter against righties and a poor hitter against lefties, and it suggests that he’s getting unlucky. But while I was happy to make excuses for him when he was in a Braves uniform, now that he plays for someone else, I think it’s fair to just call him what he is: a very good defensive player who has had nearly 3000 plate appearances and looks a lot like he may never be more than a league-average hitter.

    (League-average, in this case, is exactly what he’s been. Thus far in 2015, major league right fielders have a tOPS+ of 115 — meaning that, if you take the performance of all hitters in baseball as an OPS of 100, then right fielders have a relative OPS+ of 115. Last year, it was 110. Jason Heyward’s career OPS+ is 112.)

  22. @31 – Yes. He is just a good player. Average with the bat and an outstanding defender. This is fundamentally where Edward disagrees with everyone on the planet. That he struggled in April is not a surprise. That he can’t, thus far, hit right handers is down right perplexing.

    @29 – Where did you read that he is in a platoon? I’ve looked all over but didn’t find that info.

    Ahh, here I go again, perpetuating JHey Journal again. Sorry.

    I am sure sorry I missed Shelby’s dominance yesterday. Gosh, if Teheran and Wood get back to being Teheran and Wood again consistently we may have another big 3, at least for a little while.

    Jace Peterson is a pretty good defender. At least by the eyeball test. I haven’t looked at his metrics. I really like this kid. Nice pick up by the Braves.

  23. #31
    Yeah, I think we know who Heyward is by now.

    I’m not rooting against Jason, but I’m not especially rooting for him to help the Cardinals win either. He’s just not keeping me up nights.

  24. @33, I’m still not sure that we do.

    But it’s pretty fair to call the spade here. Sure beats just making things up, a la @29.

    And Johnny’s right about where I disagree with folks, even as Heyward starts a third consecutive year off slowly–there was too much good, too often for me to believe it’s gone.

  25. As Branch Rickey used to say, it’s better to trade a guy a year too early than a year too late. He may figure something out, and he’s a superb athlete, so I wouldn’t count him out. But from a coldly rational perspective, the Braves clearly made the best move for their team.

  26. Shelby Miller wasn’t the only pitcher acquired in the Heyward trade to show out yesterday.

    Tyrell Jenkins pitched 7 innings of shutout ball, allowing only 3 hits. He did walk 5 and only struck out 3.

    He’s running a nice little string of starts together since his 9-run catastrophe. That makes 20 innings, allowing 1 earned run in his last 3 starts on 17 hits and 7 walks.

    His 26 K’s and 19 BB in 45 innings need significant improvement, but he has a nice 3.00 ERA for whatever that is worth, and he’s a lanky 22-year old in his first season vs AA hitting.

  27. @35, Shelby Miller’s incredible pitching is what makes it seem that way. I was somewhere between “too skeptical” and “flat-out wrong” about that guy. I thought we were getting a scrawled question mark. Turns out he’s an exclamation point.

  28. That bus accident for the Mudcats landed 3 of our top prospects on the DL: Dustin Peterson, who had been setting the world on fire, Lucas Sims, and Andrew Thurman. Dangit! I haven’t been able to find out what the injuries were, but they were said to be minor…

  29. So, if Free Williams Perez manages to stick in the rotation, when do we cut bait on Stults and Cahill?

  30. Talking Chop has a good perspective on all of our trades, so far. And I do mean to emphasize SO FAR, so good.

    I’m not big on who wins and loses trades but I do have to admit that I’m perusing stats on other teams to see how the Braves ex pats are doing.

    I like this team. A lot. We aren’t going to win a damn thing this year but they have been very fun to watch.

  31. Certain people’s vehement and indefatigable defense of a certain ex-Brave is gradually making me openly dislike that player, and revel in their current struggles, when I otherwise would have felt complete indifference.

  32. But it’s pretty fair to call the spade here. Sure beats just making things up, a la @29.

    Yep, Edward is correct. My main goal in life is to come on here with useless information that I have made up. You figured me out. I was simply referring to the information on Heyward’s ESPN fantasy page. I cant copy and paste here so Ill type it up and try not to add any made-up info.

    May 16, 11:41 AM ET

    Heyward is out of the lineup for Saturday’s game against the Tigers. The writing on the wall has been worrying for Heyward’s owners since he was dropped to eighth in the Cardinal’s lineup. Now, Randal Grichuk is batting leadoff and taking over right field for Heyward. The two are likely in a platoon situation for the time being given that they are facing left handed David Price. This is a major hit to Heyward’s value in the short term.

  33. Question for WAR folks. If you have 25 replacement level players on your team what would be your expected win total?

  34. Pretty solid information from the fantasy department, csg. Day-game after a three-and-a-half hour Friday night-game in which he went 2-3 with a homer. Then he pinch hit against Price in the 6th on Saturday and hit a double.

  35. @43, Certain people’s insistence on bringing up Heyward every time he fails and/or Miller succeeds, thus baiting Edward and making us sit through this discussion again, are making me root for a player on the Cardinals when I would’ve otherwise been indifferent…well, maybe slightly favorable to Heyward.

    Some people just love to hate the guy. Anyhow, Shelby Miller Braves apparel…purchased.

  36. @51, it is sour grapes. If Heyward turns in an MVP season and/or HOF career for another team (especially such a successful team), it will be painful for any of us who imagined him doing that with Atlanta.

    It’s like watching the girl who dumped you turn around and date a guy you can’t stand. And she got in amazing shape–just salt in the wound.

  37. @52 – Boom! Mind blown. Not Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, Spahn, Neikro? Whoa.

    @51 – Should we start calling this place Baiting Edward Journal?

  38. Heyward is enigmatic, so I can see the draw to debate it. And since Heyward is enigmatic, then of course he would draw the affection of Edward E. Nigma.

  39. @52

    Yeah, that’s the sort of stuff special seasons are made of. The difference between a good pitcher and a great pitcher isn’t so much about the ability to stifle the other team as it is about the ability to stifle the other team over and over and over and over again. Maddux in so many years, Medlen in 2012 had strings like that (although not to start the year, obviously). Really, really, really excellent job from Shelby.

  40. @52: It is mind-blowing, but the “start of a season” thing makes it kind of dubious. Maddux, for example, pitched in 736 strings of 8 games, but only 22 of them were at the start of a season. When I read that stat, I immediately thought of Buzz Capra in 1974 (that’s the way my mind works, unfortunately) and while he went 9-0 in a series of 11 starts, the streak didn’t start until May 15th of that year. (He also gave up 3 runs in one of the no-decision starts, but that doesn’t really detract from the basic point, which is that hot 8 game streaks can happen.)
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=caprabu01&t=p&year=1974

  41. Following up: Maddux 1995 A streak of 13 and another streak of 8 starts in the same season giving up 2 or less. Maddux 1998 A ten game streak of 2 runs or less.

  42. I wonder if Heyward had left the Braves by his own decision if the results on here would be different? It seems to me a number of people don’t especially want Heyward to succeed since he is no longer a Brave (and I understand that point of view) so when he struggles some of those folks point it out. Unfortunately that has the unwanted affect of trolling Edward… and then when Edward responds to the trolling it drives others on here nuts because this is *Braves* Journal, not *Ex-Braves* Journal. I am wondering if Heyward chose to leave if that would cause the people who are still such strong Heyward fans/supporters/sympathizers to be a little less vocal and Heyward focused.

  43. #59
    I’m old enough to remember Buzz Capra as well. Will never forget watching him throw a 10-hit shutout vs. Expos that year. His ’74 season, in which ended up winning the ERA title, really was like finding money.

  44. @36 Saw this on TC, no source though:
    Since spring training, first-year manager Bo Porter has randomly offered hints he’s a believer in the modern version of baseball, which is still defined by effort, execution and on-the-field production, but increasingly supported by metrics and analysis.

    Saturday, Porter took his belief a step further.

    “Batting average to me is the most overrated statistic in baseball,” said Porter, prior to a game against the Athletics at Minute Maid Park.

    Like most players, Porter barely paid attention to advanced stats when he roamed the field. But since becoming a coach, the youngest manager in MLB has started to delve deeper into the inside-baseball side of the game.
    Porter keeps a chart of hard-hit balls and the numbers factor into lineup decisions. He pays attention to hitters who clean up only against poor pitching. He understands the value of batting average on balls in play.

    “I have my own theory when I’m talking about (signing) a free agent,” Porter said. “The first thing I’m going to do, I’m going to eliminate all his numbers against my team. … People make this mistake a lot. They go, ‘Well, this guy kills us.’ And then you get him on your team. Well, you know what? He did 40 percent of his damage against your pitchers.”

    Asked if he has a Sabermetrics card, Porter said yes. He appeared to be joking. But he sounded like a proud member.

    “It’s easy to look at batting average, wins-losses, ERA,” Porter said. “I mean, that information is available to everybody.”

  45. @64

    I would really like to give him a shot. I actually though he got a raw deal in Houston. It was a young team and they seemed to play well for him.

    When the Braves hired him, I though he might be Hart’s guy to replace Fredi long term.

  46. Here’s a good article on Fredi’s deep understanding of and reliance on modern analytics:

  47. ESPN Power Rankings came out. We have a better record than the 6 teams in front of us, including the team we just nearly no-hit and are 6-0 against. This is a farce.

  48. The Power Rankings are basically a mixture of who’s hot in the short term and the preseason predictions of which teams were supposed to be good — which is the only reason that it makes sense for the Marlins to be ahead of us, because everyone knows how awful we’re supposed to be. I think you could make a case to rank us a couple spots higher, on the back of that sweep, ahead of teams like the Marlins and Reds.

    But I don’t truly believe that we’re a better team than the Orioles or Pirates or Mariners or Red Sox or Blue Jays. Do you?

  49. @72, how awful we are supposed to be is exactly why Redmond got fired. How could you let the Braves sweep you twice–at HOME???

  50. AAR, yes I do. I believe this lovable team of underdogs will win the World Series in 7 games this year and will have numerous Disney movies and sequels made about it.

    And if not…. that’s baseball, right?

  51. @63

    I remember going to a game sometime in the late 90s in which Dennis Martinez threw a 12 hit shutout. One of my favorite games I’ve attended ,as Andruw (my favorite player at the time) hit 2 triples and a homer.

  52. @75

    Andruw’s still my favorite player, beege; but Andrelton’s gaining on him. Those island boys can catch the ball.

  53. @77 I’m with you on that. Andruw may always be my favorite player, but if anyone unseats him, it will be Simmons.

  54. And the way things are looking right now, in a few years we may fall in love all over again with Ozhaino Albies, who is the third-youngest player in the Sally League right now, and is also one of the best players in the league.

    Of course, he’s an 18-year old in A-ball, so anything could happen. But it’s a hell of a lot of fun to dream.

  55. When I was 7, my parents put me on a public rec girls softball team, that only had enough players to form two teams. Two days before the season started, the league informed the coaches that rather than being a coach-pitch league, as had been the plan, they would have to find a player to pitch. There was no one on my team who could remotely find the strike zone with any consistency, so the coaches took the best hitter and gave it their best shot on converting her to a pitcher. She was able to throw one strike to every 2-3 balls, and unfortunately the other coach decided he cared more about winning than he did his players learning how to play the game, so he instructed his team to never swing. More often than not, then, my team simply walked batter after batter until the mercy rule for the inning kicked in, and then we returned to the dugout to bat. I, fortunately, was the catcher, so I was involved in pretty much all of the action on the field. For all my teammates, though, “playing defense” was painfully boring.

    My coaches took the view that the only way girls ages 7-9 would learn how to play the game was to actually try it, so they encouraged us to try to learn how to identify good pitches and swing at them. We could all hit their pitches in practice, and occasionally we got lucky in the game, got a good pitch, and made contact. More often than not, though, especially early in the season, we struck out and our coaches would encourage us with things like, “you had a great swing there! Next time, try to wait to swing until you get a pitch that is in the air, and not on the ground…”

    With only two teams and the differences in coaching philosophy, a typical game usually saw us lose 19-2, or thereabouts. It was pretty brutal.

    In the next-to-the-last game of the season, a small miracle occurred. Our pitcher had gotten a little bit sharper, and was able to get strikes over with a little more consistency, which forced the girls on the other team to have to swing their bats. Since they had not really done that all season, they naturally struggled to make contact. Our bats that game, though, came alive, and we scored several runs and ended up with our only win of the year. We were absolutely ecstatic.

    The opposing coach was livid, and he sat his players down along the right field line and began yelling at them, obviously making no attempt whatsoever to keep his voice from reaching the girls on my team. With obvious disgust, he pointed a skinny finger toward my team, as we were still high-fiving, hugging, and grinning ear-to-ear in the middle of the infield, discovering for the first time what it felt like to win a game. With obvious disdain he looked back at his team, still pointing, and said, “you lost to THAT team?!”

    When I read yesterday that the Marlins had fired Mike Redmond right after the game, I immediately got a picture in my mind of Jeffrey Loria making his way to the tunnel as the Marlins were heading back to the clubhouse, pulling Mike Redmond aside, getting into his face, pointing a fat finger toward the field where the Braves were shaking hands, and snarling, “you lost to THAT team?!”

    I didn’t think it was possible for me to think any less of Loria, but as soon as my mind connected him to the opposing team’s coach from my age 7 season, I found I was able to despise him even more after all.

    I’m sure Mike Redmond is a good guy, and he definitely got a raw deal with the Fish, but I can’t help but draw the connection that, because, as AAR pointed out, the Braves are the single biggest reason for the Marlins season not going according to plan, while Redmond used to absolutely own Glavine when he played, the Braves ultimately picked up their pitcher and, in the end, Redmond got owned by them.

  56. If Albies becomes an above-average major leaguer, Roy Clark needs to get a vacation home in Curaçao.

  57. @80

    Great story!

    Now their GM is their manager. I will never understand the Marlins.

  58. Thank you for sharing, ‘Rissa. I’m ready to promote Albies in my fanhood meritocracy. Hope he makes our dreams come true.

  59. Great story, ‘Rissa. But I suspect that Loria’s typical lurching comes from a GM who tried one too many times to absolve himself from the result.

  60. @82, I always figured the player development team just kept some sort of posh study abroad house down there already.

  61. I guess we aren’t expecting to play Garcia a whole lot because of his defensive liabilities, but .351 with an .836 OPS is not too shabby at Triple A.

  62. Manny Banuelos turned in another good start last night with 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 hits, 1 BB, 6 K.

    In his last 4 starts, he has pitched 23 innings, allowing 3 total ER over that stretch, never more than 1 ER per game.

    @87, Adonis Garcia has raked the last 2 seasons at AAA. .319/.353/.474 @ Scranton last year. Has a Dorn-like walk rate but a low K-rate to offset it a bit and decent XBH rate.

  63. Williams Perez is first in the pecking order as he is less likely to be a long-term solution for the Braves due to the high-ceiling guys coming through (Folty, Wisler, Fried, Jenkins). I like this method and hope the Braves leave Wisler in AAA to marinate for most, if not all, of the season. If Wood and Teheran can find consistency once again, a Teheran, Wood, Folty, Wisler, and Miller rotation for 2016 could be elite.

  64. The team will need more than five starters even if everything goes to plan. You need insurance for Hanson/Minor type scenarios. There’s also the possibility of shifting some of them to a relief role, or trading one for offensive help.

    “Too much young pitching” is not a problem that any team has ever had.

  65. Cody Martin optioned to AAA? I’m suddenly sad. Cody was one of the fun stories of the first month of the season.

  66. @94 Braves signed Nick Masset, so Martin is being sent down to make room on the 25-man roster. John Cornely was DFAed to make room on the 40-man.

  67. I’m sure Cody will be back soon. Gwinnett’s close and he has options, which makes him a flexible person to send down when needed and call back up when necessary. After being used almost constantly in the early going — he pitched in 16 of our first 31 games — he has only appeared once since May 10. My guess was that overwork had given him a dead arm, and that is something he’ll be able to work on (or rest) at Gwinnett.

  68. It’s like the Braves are kicking the Marlins in the nuts some more by signing Masset. Strange that the Marlins put him on waivers (and that he cleared waivers!).

  69. Why is Maybin still batting 8th?

    L, R, L, L, L, L, R, R, R is the lineup construction

  70. Furcal retired.

    Simmons is a better overall defensive player, but I still think Furcal had the strongest infield arm I ever saw.

  71. Nick Masset has the illustrious distinction of once being traded for Ken Griffey Jr.

  72. Shelby Miller has vaulted to the top 20 in world starting pitcher rankings (a goofy, but pretty fun new Bill James leaderboard). It’s the largest jump by any pitcher so far this year by a hair over Dallas Keuchel. (Sonny Gray is ranked higher at 15th, but he started at #42, whereas Shelby started at #58.)

    The leaderboard is made by counting game scores over a long period of time, some way some how (the specifics are up somewhere; it does take post-season pitching into account). The current top-5 are Kershaw, Scherzer, Felix, Bumgarner, and Greinke.

  73. Lots of Braves related news for this afternoon. Little guys like Furcal always seem to throw harder than the big guys, but I think Simmons beats him in a gun draw.

    Nick Masset is ok. That’s about as far as anyone should go.

    Cody Martin should have never been used in the role he was serving before demotion. A great long relief guy.

    Hopefully Cornely passes through waivers without getting claimed. He could be a good one if he can lower is BB rate.

    Braves need Stults and Cahill to rebound…or at least give them a shot to rebound so they can trade them for something at the deadline. That is…unless they’re trying to compete.

  74. Braves have the 10th best ERA in the NL as a team. If you take out Cahill’s “performance”, they’d have the 7th best ERA, just a skosh behind the Nationals.

  75. @107 It seems like getting anything for Stults or Cahill at this point is well into pipe dream territory, especially since it appears that both have been demoted out of the rotation indefinitely.

  76. @91 – Agreed. The Braves need a stable of contingency options based on their recent track record. Those scenarios have played out often with Braves starting pitchers in the last five years – Hanson, Minor, Medlen, Beachy, Jurrjens, etc.

  77. @ 101

    Lineup construction is actually:
    L R L L S L R R R.
    Cunningham is a switch hitter.

  78. @102, 103. IMO, although Cubs Homers like our own effing announcer might object, Simmons has a better arm than even Dunston. Dunston had a cannon, no doubt, but he had to get planted and use his whole body. Furcal, same deal. I can’t remember either of those guys ever throwing a bullet while sitting on their asses, or from deep in the whole with all of their momentum still headed out into left field. And neither guy could catch a relay from the outfield and drop a laser right on top of the plate the way Andrelton can.

  79. Furcal deserves a little more than a resounding “Andrelton’s better,” even though that’s true…I enjoyed watching Furcal play. I loved how much his ROY performance demoralized my friends who were fans of other NL East teams — it was clear that we would just keep restocking and never be defeated. He walked so much that year, but all I remember were the stolen bases and the insane arm.

  80. I agree that Simmons has a better arm than either Furcal or Dunston had. If he did the wind-up-and-unleash bit that the other two did, he might kill Freddie.

    Heck of a career for Furcal, which included a miraculous off-season in which he aged three years!

  81. Furcal was a weird player, in that he never drew more walks during any season than he did in his rookie season, and he never surpassed his rookie OBP, either. Durability was part of the problem, of course — he only played 150 games five times in his career. But it was a very good career.

    On the other hand, he had multiple DUIs. It’s impossible for me to forget that.

  82. You guys have stated it well. Dunston or Furcal may have been able to throw 93 mph fastballs to first compared to Simmons’ 92 mph throw. However, I don’t think anyone has ever been able to throw 80 mph sitting on their butt until Simmons.

  83. The greatest benefit of the Braves playing Florida teams is that I get to watch the games on the boob tube without having to hear Chip say a single word.

  84. DOB says, “I’ve never seen any shortstop as good defensively as Andrelton Simmons, and I can say that with absolute certainty. The only position player I’ve seen comparable to Simmons defensively was peak-era Andruw Jones in center. That’s it.”

    Amen, DOB; and I’ve been watching since the early 1950s. Say DOB, have you been reading Braves Journal lately?

    Great read, by the way. Here’s the link:

    http://atlantabraves.blog.ajc.com/2015/05/19/simmons-instincts-and-arm-separate-braves-ss-from-rest/

  85. Re Furcal, Let’s not forget the 96 SB in a single year

    Also lead off triples are a drag

  86. @121, the man certainly has let’s say a GED of the obvious. Also, first inning runs are also a drag.

  87. I hate to see a rookie pitcher get blooped to death. It’s hard enough to fool ML hitters, but when they succeed even when you do, it’s demoralizing.

  88. I don’t want to see Folty ever throw to second again.

    Re 127, Souza actually hit a rope.

  89. Souza seems ok – lucky it didn’t hit his head or he’d be seeing stars and stripes forever

  90. I have been in the camp that says Todd Cunningham can’t hit .700 for a full season. He’s working on me though…

  91. I am never surprised when Simmons pops up, as his swing looks as if he were trying to do so.

    I am surprised that Simmons is surprised that he pops up.

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