Braves 10 (!), Brewers 1

Well, that was thorough. Matt Garza and Julio Teheran both basically cruised through six innings. And then the wonderful terrific 7th inning happened. This was the sequence:

Single.
Single.
Bunt.
Single, run scores.
(Will Smith relieves Matt Garza.)
HBP.
(Smith ejected for use of a foreign substance. Neal Cotts relieves.)
Single, run scores.
Single, two runs score.
Single, run scores.
Double, run scores.
Man safe on error, run scores.
Fly out.
Ground out.

I’m not certain that the Brewers lost because Will Smith got ejected — he came in with two on and a run in, and promptly plunked the only batter he faced — but the floodgates opened as soon as he left, and for that, Fredi deserves all due praise.

The game ball goes to Cameron Maybin, who had a walk, a single, two RBI, three runs scored, and a pivotal put-out of Gerardo Parra, who was trying to advance to second on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. It limited the damage and helped Teheran get out of the inning with only one run scored.

I think Mac would have loved this season, but one of the things he would have loved best was getting Maybin as a throw-in in the B.J. Upton trade. He’s exactly the kind of guy that Mac loved: a center fielder with speed, power and defense who clearly needed a trade of scenery and who was worth basically nothing to the team that got rid of him. And for us he’s probably been the MVP of the last month.

66 thoughts on “Braves 10 (!), Brewers 1”

  1. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s (Maybin) been the MVP of the last month (a Mr. Miller on line 1.33 would like to speak with you, AAR) – but I will say he’s provided more than anyone could’ve expected.

  2. @91 (last thread): Then what was on Kimbrel’s cap? He was constantly rubbing his hand over whatever was on there.

  3. Fredi managed to do something really smart (calling out the schmear on smiths forearm) and something really stupid (pinch hitting Ciriaco for the switch hitting Cunningham) in the span of 1 batter

  4. @2 rosin and dirt. Rosin is legal but it’s very sticky and will build up on any fabric

  5. I agree. Mac would have liked this team.
    I know Maybin was just a salary dump for the Pads but, so far, what a great pick up. I just looked at his numbers. If you would have told me that we would get that kind of production out of CF, I would have scoffed, chuckled or broken into a hearty guffaw. Hell, Wisler can turn into a pumpkin and we still win the second trade with the Pads by a big margin.

  6. Dang. We could have won the second Padres trade just by getting rid of BJ and the $30 million in salary we saved. Seriously, if we gave the Padres Kimbrel in exchange for $30 million dollars and we DFA’d Upton I would have been happy. Getting Maybin and the number 2 prospect in our system in Wisler was amazing. This may go down as the best trade in Braves history.

  7. I’m loving Maybin so far, and Jace Peterson. This is definitely a fun team to watch, and I’m enjoying having lower expectations of a season. I can sit back and enjoy without worrying about results. Being back at .500, though, is nice. I was going to say these new Braves aren’t a half bad team, but I suppose their record shows they are just that at the moment–half bad but no more.

    @2 It was rosin and sweat, built up there because part of his routine was always adjusting his cap in the exact same spot between batters. It always seemed to become an issue during interleague play, when managers who didn’t see him a lot would mention it. Every time the umps looked at it, though, they always agreed there was nothing illegal there. But Craig Counsell is a new manager, so he may have indeed tried to get the umps to check it this series if Kimbrel was still a Brave.

  8. Maybin has the 2nd highest OWAR on the team according to BR.com.

    BJ Upton had the 2nd highest spot in our batting order for a significant number of games last year.

    Matt Kemp has been worth -0.3 WAR for San Diego. We’ll see what Melvin can give them–that’s really what they replaced Maybin with, Melvin and Kemp

  9. Maybin was a stud in the minors putting up this slash line .303/.390/.476/.867 He has been a disappointment in the majors although he put up a 4.5 WAR season in 2011. Here is hoping that I don’t see EYJ in CF the rest of the season except in a mop up situation.

  10. Fun game last night – I’ll go ahead and apologize for tonight’s impending loss, since I will be at the game in person. Looking forward to seeing Alex Wood, and all the new guys in person.

  11. For some unknown reason I’m pulling for Cunningham to get the regular LF job. When KJ comes back he and CJ can share 3b.

  12. The quote below from Craig Counsell is amazing. Did he forget that his pitcher beaned a guy the batter before he was ejected???

    Counsell, managing in just his 17th big league game, was asked after the game if he could envision a scenario in which he would call out an illegal substance on an opponent.

    “When I’m seeing three of our guys getting hit in the head … not really,” Counsell said. “No, I don’t.”

  13. According to Heyman we “inquired” about acquiring LuCroy from Brewers and were told he’s unavailable.

  14. @13

    Hmmm, that says a lot to me about Bethancourt and that the front office thinks this team might have a playoff push in them.

  15. The way they’ve treated Bethancourt this year is nuts, and giving up on him right now strikes me as kind of insane. No one in baseball thought that he was ready to hit in the major leagues this year — he’s barely hit in the minors. And sitting him on the bench three or four days a week isn’t doing him any favors, as they’ve basically made him into A.J. Pierzynski’s second catcher. I don’t understand what they thought they’d get from him this year.

  16. Lucroy would be a good get no matter what phase of a rebuild/pennant push you are in. It seems likely that eve if Milwaukee tears it down, they’ll still keep him.

  17. @ 15
    It’s another unfortunate consequence of not firing Fredi, as he has no incentive to allow Bethancourt to develop because he’s managing for another contract. Legend or not, deferring to Bobby Cox on retaining Fredi always struck me as insane. Who cares if you piss off Bobby Cox for a little while? We cut Tom Glavine after he had surgery and made three rehab starts; he eventually got over it.

  18. @15 – I don’t think its nuts. We all know that that AJP will get over his Harang and come back to Earth, but I don’t blame Fredi for playing the far superior hitter while he was hot. The propaganda was that we expected to contend this year.

    What is insane is that the Braves think that Bethancourt is going to hit enough to justify his arm, which is his one true defensive skill. He has shown exactly no evidence that he is going to hit enough to be an MLB starter.

  19. Is everyone forgetting that Bethancourt went 3/4 last night with two runs scored and an RBI?

  20. [Bethancourt] has shown exactly no evidence that he is going to hit enough to be an MLB starter.

    Disagree. He’s typically been one of the younger players at each minor league level, and has improved with the bat when given a second shot at any given level of competition – for example, he OPS’ed .566 in AA in 2012, then .741 in AA in 2013, before putting up a .716 OPS in AAA last year. Catchers often take longer than other position players to develop their offensive game, and CBeth seems to pass the eye test to me – he looks pretty athletic/toolsy at the plate (poor results to date notwithstanding). I doubt he’ll ever turn into a dominant offensive force, but quality defensive catchers – much like shortstops – don’t need to hit much in order to be valuable commodities. I’m optimistic that he’ll be an important part of the Braves’ next run of success.

  21. In spring, I watched Bethancourt hit an opposite field homer (or was it just a double?) off an outside corner fb at the knees. Early in the season, he was hitting ropes right at ’em and took a few underserved 0-fers, and yes, last night he went 3-4. His BABIP is .231, which supports the idea that he’s gotten unlucky.

    What’s insane is the idea that we know this 23-year-old kid can’t hit after 180 plate appearances in the MLB. All he’s done is improve as a hitter every season since he made AA in 2012.

    He’s going to hit and with a little power, too. My problem with him is mainly his walk rate. Maybe that can be helped–he’s only 23.

  22. It is entirely possible that Bethancourt won’t hit enough to start in the big leagues, but the Braves don’t have enough evidence to make that call yet, and looking for veteran replacements would ensure that they never will.

  23. @20, yes, I agree. He probably should have repeated Triple-A this year, but if they wanted to let him learn to hit major league pitching in the majors, then that’s fine — they should have done exactly that. Jerking him around isn’t going to help his bat.

    I know that Fredi uses this as a motivational tool — he basically did the same thing when he sat Jason Heyward for Jose Constanza. But I’m not convinced that its benefits outweigh its weaknesses. I don’t think Bethancourt has struggled because he’s insufficiently motivated. I think he has struggled because he’s a really raw hitter who needs a lot more experience of seeing major league breaking balls.

  24. @23, yeah but if he were REALLY trying, why would his BABIP be .231? That’s just poor effort

  25. @17: Well, Glavine may have gotten over it, but it probably helped that the Braves put him on the payroll as Special Assistant to the President. They probably fear that Bobby would walk away from his role as Special Assistant to the GM.

  26. Additionally, I find it pretty odd from a Human Resources perspective that the Braves have an Assistant General Manager and Special Assistants to the General Manager without an actual General Manager.

  27. It beats having an Assistant to the Regional Manager. Could you imagine Dwight Schrute helping to run a baseball team?

    “Our first order of business will be to FIRE JIM HALPERT!”

    “Uh, Dwight, there’s no one here by that name.”

    “Then fire Jim JOHNSON!”

  28. Stilts gets the start for Alex Wood (stomach virus).

    Edit: meant Stults, but I think I’ll just leave Stilts there.

  29. Everyone look up “sturts”, the verb–I think we have a winner.

    Edit: And my condolences, Jonathan.

  30. Tanyon Sturtze gave up 271 hits pitching batting practice in 2002. It was good enough to lead the league, as were his 18 losses.

    Tanyon Sturtze is also one of many acceptable answers to the trivia question “Name a pitcher who has recorded at least one 3 WAR season”. However, he is almost certainly the last one I would ever guess.

  31. Another example of why Kershaw wasn’t as good as his WAR last year.

    Sixth starters are terrible.

  32. The radio guys said they really couldn’t even tell if Freddy being hit. Doesn’t sound like much of a beaning – do you think it was intentional?

  33. Honestly, I just turned on the TV and didn’t see it but Twitter was blowing up about it. Chipper called it “weak”

  34. Should we push Sturts for four? Let’s not. Two runs is hard enough to overcome.

  35. @40 Freddie tried to avoid it (Amen). If he Choo’s it, it hits him right in the butt.

  36. And why are we using Stults or Cahill? Especially both during the same game. Might as Wel just let Cahill throw about 80-90 pitches now

  37. Ok – checking in from the “game”. We were down 2-0 before we could even get to our seats. When they issued the intentional walk to what’s his name, you could see it just setting up walking the pitcher for a run. And got to thinking – I know there are a lot of old school ace pitchers they used to call “firemen”… Cahill is the arsonist (I’m sure others have said this about other pitchers over the years, but what else do I have to keep my mind occupied). Oh well, the 6 year old had fun “running the base” up on the 4th level, guess I’ll go get some nachos. We’ll get ’em tomorrow!

  38. Holy Christ! I just flipped over from the Hawks game during a commercial and uh…let’s just say I think I picked a good night to ignore the Braves game.

  39. Now we see why the Braves are ready to move on from Bethancourt. He’s lazy behind the plate

  40. I don’t think anyone’s mentioned how Fredi Fredied again tonight, allowing Cahill to hit for himself and then putting Thomas in to pitch the next inning. I know we were down by 10 runs at the time (and Cahill got a base hit), but if you have a bench why not use it? Probably the more pressing question right now, though, is why am I still watching this game?

  41. Shelby needs to be traded for a guy with higher ceiling. The cool thing about prospects is that they all have higher ceilings than actual existing players who exist in the real world of realized potential and not imagined potential.

  42. @55

    It was a true Fredi moment, and it elicited the highlight of the night from my perch in the stands — an ovation that was at once sarcastic and sympathetic.

    The other apex of the night was explaining to my wife how Cahill was attempting to execute a “Triple Grybo” and stick the landing, but, alas, he surrendered the double to Ryan Braun because, well, Cahill sucks.

  43. Greetings from Detroit…

    Went to see El Oso Blanco take on the Tigers tonight. He had one long shot, but it was caught in deep CF. Game was quick, so was happy to get back to the hotel to see the hoops.

    I should’ve found a bar instead. Hawks are having a lot of bad luck, but the reality is… they’re playing against the greatest player of this generation & he’s probably never been more motivated to win. I hope the Hawks can get a win in Cleveland, but Lebron is still on another level.

  44. @BravesReddit: Josh Elander, the player traded for Trevor Cahill, has been released by the Diamondbacks

  45. @51 I’ve always liked the “fireman” concept. The idea of giving ManBan the last three or four innings in a close game doesn’t seem that bad. Rest the bullpen, give yourself a chance to win, give a kid some meaningful innings.

  46. @59 I saw it mentioned several places yesterday, chatter along the lines of “if the Braves are sellers at the deadline, will they trade Miller?”, backed by people pointing out the increase of scouts who are coming to his starts. My response everytine I saw that was 1) Who do we really have left to “sell”, and 2) Why in the heck would the Braves trade Miller? We just “sold” Heyward to get the young, contract-controlled player. Why is this even being talked about?

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