Pirates 3, Braves 0 (by coop)

Pitching, defense and timely hitting win championships. Today the Braves shut out the Pirates in eight of nine innings. Andrelton Simmons and Jace Peterson made major league defensive plays, and the rest of the Braves caught everything that was hit at them.

With bats in their hands and runners in scoring position, the Braves’ hitting was less than timely. Although they collected six hits, four walks and were plunked twice, the Braves did not score. With runners in scoring position in seven at bats, our players flailed and failed. It’s hard to win when you don’t score.

Alex Wood shut out the Pirates for four innings. In the fifth, after an opening strikeout, Alex walked the plank.

Not really, but he did walk Gerrit Cole. Josh Harrison followed with a single. Then Jordy Mercer singled to load the bases with one out for Andrew McCutchen. But Alex rallied and struck out McCutchen, and hope blossomed. Alas, Starling Marte singled, driving in two; and Jung Ho Kang followed with an rbi single of his own. BALL GAME.

Wood retired Jose Tabata, mercifully closing out the fifth, but the game was already lost. Wood challenged home plate umpire Mark Carlson on his strike zone, walked to the dugout only to discover he’d been ejected. “I didn’t know I’d been thrown out until I heard it in the clubhouse,” Peanut reported Wood as saying.

Based on results achieved, this was the best game the Braves bullpen has had in quite a while. Cody Martin pitched a scoreless sixth; Brandon Cunniff got the Pirates six up and six down in the seventh and eighth, and Trevor Cahill held the Bucs off the board in the ninth, although he tried not to. A nifty Jace to Simba to Freddie double play followed by a good play by Jace kept the deficit at three.

Three was three too many. Braves lose.

Of note:
Gerrit Cole throws hard. He nailed Freddie in the lower leg with a 97 mph pitch in the third. Then he hit Andrelton in the left armpit with perhaps an even faster pitch in the fourth. Ouch.The Braves loaded the bases with one out in third and the sixth. We ain’t scored yet.

Despite the Braves’ futility, today was a very good day. Today’s a good day because it’s the birthday of the most beautiful girl in the world. Sophia Grace Wolfe is four years old today, and she is the most beautiful girl in the world; but don’t tell her older sister or her mother or her grandmother that. It will be our secret.

199 thoughts on “Pirates 3, Braves 0 (by coop)”

  1. Gondee on Twitter: “Fredi is a bad tactical manager. That should be obvious by now. He has no other traits that warrant keeping him.”

    I had no idea what a deranged lunatic of a Fredi hater Martin Gandy was. Just astonishing!

  2. @2, I’ll respectfully await the mods’ decision, Rob. In the meantime, consider what exactly about Fredi criticism throws you into conniptions. I, like you, once had all the greatest hopes for him to be great, or at least decent. Unlike some, including DOB, I was brutally honest with myself for how misplaced that optimism was. He’s awful. He’ll be fired soon enough because damn near everyone who isn’t emotionally invested in him realizes he’s as bad as they come.

  3. I think Rob’s point may be more along the lines of: we get it already, we’re all with you.

  4. @5, you for sure. But I don’t think you’ve paid attention to how aggressively some, including Nick and Sam Hucheson have attacked me personally for criticizing Fredi. There is, perhaps, no creature I fail to understand so much as the Fredipologist. He is motivated to rabid defense by forces I cannot conceive of.

  5. John, while I’m not completely with you (I’m kind of on the fence about Fredi, leaning ever so slightly towards the “fire Fredi” side), I do completely get your viewpoint, and look forward to… not hearing it every 5 comments. I get it.

  6. And yes, the Journal has been very Sam-free lately. What gives?

    By the way, whenever anyone references “the Journal”, one should respond, “Oh, you read Braves Journal too?”

  7. IMO Sam’s main points, re: Fredi — Fredi has never been the worst problem the team has faced at any given time; Fredi likely won’t be better or worse than any other run-of-the-mill manager — are both true.

    But we should still fire him. I’m just tired of his crap, and we should try to do better. If it’s the same with a different manager, at least there will be a period of novelty.

  8. Fredi constantly makes terrible in game decisions. My biggest pet peeve is watching him let pitchers hit in big spots only to have a short leash and pull them in the next half inning. His obsession with bunts has seemed to decrease, but his bullpen management has become brutal.

    He’s not a great manager by any means and the next one might not be any better, but we’ve seen multiple late season collapses and he lost the team last year.

  9. @8: every word but the names. And your comment re Bobby’s defense of Fredi at the end of the thread was spot on.

    Sorry.

  10. @John

    You seem to have the “Fredi is an idiot” angle covered…quite violently, I might add. It doesn’t really provide much in the way of interesting conversation to agree with everything you say. The irony is that the person here most intolerant of different viewpoints is you.

  11. While Fredi’s bullpen management has been awful in the past, I don’t think the bastard lovechild of Miller Huggins and Tony LaRussa could do much better with this year’s crop the Braves have run out there so far.

  12. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Fredi lost Cox today. Seriously, the combination of not throwing at Cole, then not sticking up for Wood, THEN throwing at McCutcheon, then throwing Wood under the bus is about as fucking anti-Bobby Cox as you could ever possibly get. It wouldn’t surprise me if Fredi is fired by the end of this homestand.

  13. @9, but it hasn’t been every 5 comments. I mean, I’ve worked extra hard to give FREDI credit for stuff. Don’t believe me? I’ll show you. Just ask.

    I don’t hate him as a person, and I’d love to have a beer with him and make car noises.

    But it is undeniable that some get psychotic when Fredi is criticized. I don’t understand that and I want to bring it to light.

  14. @16

    The possibility is probably greater than zero, actually. More likely, though, is that he hangs on for now and the season continues on its downhill path, which it would have anyway regardless of who the manager was because of the awful bullpen. However, I can’t imagine he didn’t lose some respect in the clubhouse today. How much remains to be seen, but there’s no way Bobby can save him at the end of the year if he loses the clubhouse.

  15. Fredi has lost respect countless times including the time when he didn’t trust the greatest reliever in a generation to do the thing he promised he could do. When Boche went to MudBum in relief, it was the epitome of a mgr trusting his superstar. Fredi is a neanderthalic stick in the shorts who can’t conceive of such an unorthodox arrangement.

  16. @14, Violently? You accused me of wanting to kill him. And yes, that makes you a sick, sick fuck. you think I’m intolerant because you don’t know how to think.

  17. @20

    Jesus, man! I accused you of being obsessed with him. I then joked that he might want to get a bodyguard and again joked that you were working on a voodoo doll of him. You’ve gotta twist that pretty severely to conclude that I actually think you want to kill him.

  18. @21,

    Ball crushingly stupid. Why would he need a “bodyguard” unless I wanted to physically injure him? You’re such a microscopic intellect you can’t even understand your own horrendous poo flinging. Hey, go get an education and don’t be such an ineffectual intellect.

  19. LOL…hilarious. Again, the only one here calling anyone names is you. The only one that won’t allow a certain viewpoint to even be presented here without making sure everyone knows you think anyone holding it has a mental condition is you. The only one on here who took me saying that thing about a bodyguard as anything but a joke is you, I’m pretty sure. (If I’m wrong, I hope Alex will let me know and I’ll apologize.) The only one on here ever trying to start anything is you. The only one on here making it impossible to actually have a conversation is you. Do you want me to go on?

    You’d think you’d take the hint by the fact that most people on here agree with you but still wish you’d shut up. But no, it’s your world. You’re right. Every time someone speaks up even a little bit to suggest that maybe Fredi is merely a below average manager rather than the stupidest living thing that has ever graced the Earth and that maybe he isn’t the cause of all of our problems, it’s the pro-Fredi hatchet men trying to silence you. You’re right. I’m wrong. The entire world is one giant conspiracy trying to keep Fredi Gonzalez as the manager of the Atlanta Braves.

    You want my motivations? Fine, here it is:

    1) Empathy for a guy who is in over his head and is in a bad situation. How would you like it if every time you screwed up people were calling for you to get fired? I know I wouldn’t like that, so I try not to suggest that my team’s coach or manager be fired every time he makes a decision I don’t like.

    2) Annoyance at you for essentially suggesting that I (or people who hold my viewpoint, at least) am an imbecile and doing so 10 times a thread.

    There. I’m sure that just blew your mind! You’ve now figured out what motivates the unintelligible creature that is the “Fredi apologist.”

    By the way, did you even stop to realize that I’m not apologizing for him today? Or did you bring up something I said three freaking days ago instead?

  20. @24, before reading your wall of text…you accuse people who disagree with you of being homicidal maniacs. That makes you a sick fuck, and it really is that simple. And your wall of text changes that not one iota.

  21. @22, 25. As someone with no dog in this fight, let me just say from a position of neutrality, Nick was clearly joking and you sound absolutely crazy…and I still don’t understand why you are cursing at him.

  22. @26, right when someone accuses you of being a homicidal maniac, I will be all “WTF WHAT IS YO PROLLEM ISSA JOKE LOL”

  23. JohnWDB should become JohnWTF…see what I did there?

    Dude’s crazy. Like Mel Gibson in the paranoid movie.

  24. @29, exactly! Bc why does he defend himself when fokes accuse him of awful things. What an idiot! LAWLZ @ him

  25. Fredi sucks but he isn’t out there pitching. We can fire Fredi and hire someone else but that’s not going to make the bullpen better. This team wasn’t supposed to win and they are hovering around .500, as long as that is the case Fredi will still be the manager.

  26. Swearing doesn’t make your argument valid; it just tells the other person you have lost your class and control.

  27. tea for two
    and two for tea
    fellas who
    cannot agree
    he for you
    and you for he
    can’t you see
    how happy
    you could be?

  28. @33 – From the previous thread. The Upper Midwest accent is very distinct. One of my buddies is Filipino but he was, for practical purposes raised in Wisconsin. Heck he even says the word Wisconsin in that distinct cadence. I’m of Japanese decent but I was raised in the south. So you have two Asian guys talking to one another with the some of the most unique accents and colloquialisms in the country. I reckon it would be funny to an outside observer.

    And y’all just need to stop typing at the guy. He isn’t going to change his ways.

  29. @38, I don’t get it. Dude had his facts right. When he said he was first, he was first. When he said he was 46th, he was 46th.

    Edit: AND on further reflection, that beats out “Game, Blauser” and “Our New Insect Overlords” as the best handle I’ve seen here

  30. Just sitting here, going through my Monday-morning routine of catching up on all that I missed at JohnWDB Argues With Everyone Journal over the weekend…

    Shout-out to spike for the yicketty reference a couple recaps back. Made me smile.

    Think Fredi will be gone pretty soon. When front-office mouthpiece Bill Shanks is publicly criticizing you…

  31. Yeah, Mac would always remind everyone that this isn’t the AJC blog. Do you get a prize for posting first?

  32. Any good player quotes from yesterday buried behind the AJC firewall?

  33. @34 – Truth. With expectations being low this year and the team over performing, this may be Fredi’s best managing performance. How is that for irony?

    The retort: Well Fredi’s managing has nothing to do with the fact that the team is over performing.

    And so when the team doesn’t perform Fredi’s managing has only a negative effect?

    Sigh. I sure hope that this post doesn’t stir up 200 comments from John what’s his face. Sorry if it does.

  34. It can’t be that hard to find a tactically superior manager, even if the value-added is miniscule. It just can’t. If not for the benefit of the team, for the sanity/enjoyment of fans everywhere.

  35. Aardsma’s debut at Gwinnett was promising. How long does it take to drive from there to the Ted?

  36. So I went back and watched the highlights of the Alex Wood ejection incident last night, as I hadn’t seen it live and I was curious about what had happened. Fredi’s argument that he didn’t know the conversation with the umpire was that heated holds absolutely no weight, as far as I’m concerned.

    First, he saw (or should’ve seen) that Alex was upset with the umpire that whole inning leading up to it, so any conversation was a potentially heated conversation, especially given his history. Does anyone remember him flat cussing out CB Bucknor on his way off the mound a couple years ago? Clearly Fredi didn’t.

    Second, A.J. Pierzynski saw that something was happening and almost got there in time to get between Wood and the umpire and he was no closer than Fredi was to start. Pierzynski gets there just as Wood is being ejected and Fredi doesn’t show up at all. I hear (though the video I saw didn’t show it) that he showed up a few seconds later for a token argument in which he didn’t seem the least bit upset about the umpire’s behavior toward Alex.

    All in all, a pretty unacceptably lame reaction from Fredi even if we don’t even touch the beanball war that he brushed off as no big deal. This is an actual issue that Fredi should come under some heat for, frankly. And again, if there are clubhouse issues because of this, I’m not sure there’s a whole lot anybody will be able to do to save him at the end of the year.

  37. @49 – The big hole in your assertion is that Wood himself has stated that he didn’t know he was ejected until he got back to the dugout and his teammates told him. And he was a participant in the discussion with the umpire.

    http://www.talkingchop.com/2015/6/7/8744091/alex-wood-ejected-atlanta-braves-pittsburgh-pirates

    “As I was walking away, I guess he decided that it was going to be good to throw me out of the game, which I didn’t think was appropriate,” Wood said. “I didn’t try and show him up, didn’t say anything to him during the inning, didn’t even know I got tossed until I got up into the clubhouse.”

  38. Contrast Fredi’s lack of reaction to Alex’s ejection and that of Joe Girardi when CC Sabathia got run yesterday. Girardi, as shown on the Sportscenter highlights, actually VAULTED over the dugout rail to try and get between Sabathia and the ump (even if he was too late), and got run along with his pitcher.

    Hard to believe that Fredi was so clueless as to the developing situation, that this happened. I think that as a major league manager, you HAVE to know the dynamic, and a failure to be aware is the worst sort of managing.

  39. The sad/funny thing is, if we had a bullpen that was worth a tinker’s dam, we might have the same outside shot at the second Wild Card that we would have had if we hadn’t sold the team for scrap last winter. At a certain point, you have to start seriously considering tendering a contract to Rafael Soriano.

  40. AAR, I think it is important for the FO to do something to show these guys, and the fans, they really care.
    This team is solid and can make some noise with its starting pitching and defense.
    Soriano replacing Johnson as the 8th inning guy makes the pen much better.
    Get it done!

  41. The sad not so funny thing is that all of us here on the internet say stuff like ‘Middle relievers are fungible.’ ‘1 WAR players are a dime a dozen.’ but when it comes down to it finding guys that are any good at all, if for just one dang inning of pitching, it is very hard.

    edit: I’d cosign anything that improves the team. But I have to have my cake and eat it too. We cannot trade any of the top prospects, the scrap that Alex alluded to earlier to get a relief pitcher. Now if a power hitting LFer becomes avalable ……..

  42. Brighter days lie ahead, undoubtedly. The Braves are an organization on the move, literally and figuratively. Albeit, we might enter the Promised Land under new day-to-day leadership. Fredi doesn’t pitch, he doesn’t hit, he doesn’t slide or make the turn …but I’m not sure what unique value that he may be presenting to the team at this point in time. Boy, I’d love to be a fly on the wall during strategy sessions involving the front office and Fredi. I wonder how plugged in Fredi is to all of the changes over the last year and the overall strategy behind them.

    Keep up the great work Journal gang.

  43. It’s actually not that hard. Every other team in baseball seems to be doing all right at it currently.

  44. Didn’t realize you were old enough to be a Walt Kelly and Pogo fan, AAR. I have increased respect, sir.

  45. Relievers are fungible. It isn’t automatic to find a good one, but it isn’t exactly hard. In the last several months, the Braves have traded 10 relievers, and most of then are guys we got more or less off the scrap heap, like David Carpenter and Ian Thomas and Gus Schlosser. Jordan Walden was a former closer who we got for the smoking remains of Tommy Hanson because the Angels worried about Walden’s health. There’s obviously a lot of attrition, so you probably have to run through 20 relievers to find 5 good ones, but it isn’t hard to find the 20. The hard thing is living through the innings that the 15 flameouts toss before you cut them.

    Brandon Cunniff and Cody Martin are decent examples of this. They are the sort of guys that every club has in Triple-A. The trouble is that we have had several guys who truly could not get anybody out – Veal, Jaime, Cahill, and at times Masset and Johnson – and as the season has worn on, Cunniff and Martin have had their promising early starts undone by overuse.

    The Braves should keep signing guys like Masset and Aardsma and even Veal, because, again, this season is a write-off. The goal is to find guys who will actually be decent bullpen pieces in 2016.

  46. We cannot trade any of the top prospects, the scrap that Alex alluded to earlier to get a relief pitcher.

    Yeah, but we have non-top prospects too. Someone could probably make some case that we shouldn’t trade Jason Hursh for a competent middle reliever, but I’m not sure I’d buy it. This is what fringy prospects are for.

  47. The O’Ventbrel triad people are so nostalgic for consisted of a waiver claim, a failed minor league starter, and a career reliever who had no idea where the ball was going until he hit the big leagues. Sometimes it all comes together, and sometimes it doesn’t.

    Kimbrel’s even been pitching like garbage this year, and Carpenter was recently DFAed, so we can’t even make the argument that the pen would be better off if we hadn’t sold off all the pieces.

  48. Ah shoot. Now you’ve gone and poked holes in the premise that Wren was a master at building bullpens. That there is some skill to that endeavor.

    Now you are telling me that its just signing everyone with an arm attached and seeing if you can find some wheat in the chaff?

  49. I think Wren did a very good job of building bullpens by getting a bunch of chaff — undoubtedly aided by scouts and Roger McDowell and whoever else telling him they thought that one guy was fixable and another one wasn’t — but he wasn’t perfect, as he did a terrible job in 2008, just as John Schuerholz did an abominable job in 2003. (It was a striking irony that the 2002 Braves had a lights-out bullpen but couldn’t really hit, while the 2003 Braves had one of the best offenses in the league and arguably the best of their entire run, but the bullpen sucked.)

    It is also clear, from Hart’s tenures in Cleveland and Texas, that bullpen assembly is not his strength. I’m not saying it’s a no-brainer to do it — just that, as Tanto says, it’s something that most teams in baseball manage to do, and something that the Braves under Wren managed to do quite consistently, despite the fact that a lot of their key relievers were acquired through glorified dumpster diving.

  50. I’d believe that strategy before I believed that somebody was particularly good at it. The Angels were good at building bullpens, until they weren’t. The Astros were good at building bullpens, until they weren’t. The Royals’ bullpen was a joke, until it wasn’t. The Braves followed up the 2002 bullpen with several years of trainwrecks, Smoltz’s dominance aside, and now they’re following up several years of dominance with another trainwreck.

    Show me the magic bullpen formula that isn’t “grab a bunch of live arms and cross your fingers that some of them show sustained effectiveness.”

  51. @68 ‘Show me the magic bullpen formula that isn’t “grab a bunch of live arms and cross your fingers that some of them show sustained effectiveness.”’

    Summed up with one word, luck.

    I hope we can find something/anything to alleviate our current bullpen mess. I know its foolish to hope but I really like this team. I’d love for it to get into the mix, get hot and win something.

  52. @56 The only thing left to wonder about your assessment is… what’s a “tinker’s dam”?

  53. There are a lot of things to like about this team, even if it’s not for 2015.

    Just about everyone outside of Washington would love to have our starting rotation. (And maybe even them now as they are piling up the injuries.) The oldest guy in the rotation is 24 and they have lots of potential. This team has Andrelton Simmons who is the best shortstop since Ozzie Smith, and Freddie Freeman is one of the better hitters in baseball. Cameron Maybin looks like he is figuring it out. Jace Peterson is Andrelton-lite. And the organization has a lot of prospects.

    It’s not all gloom and doom.

  54. @71 I love our prospects going forward but I’m greedy. I want us to truly contend this year. Especially when, according to some folks here, the main problem, our bullpen is an easy fix.

  55. We need a slugger bat as well in LF. Kelly Johnson coming back will help but a guy like Justin Upton would be perfect.

    The team also needs to figure out what to do long term at 3b and C. Uribe is 36 and they don’t seem to like Bethancourt.

  56. I don’t know if I would say it’s “luck”…that seems too simplistic.

    Some pitchers aren’t as effective if they can’t max out over an inning, or if hitters see them more than a couple times a night because they’ve really only got two ML quality pitches or something about their mechanics.

    Otherwise, you’re looking for all the same things, right? Velocity, whiffs, groundballs, command and control, health, deception. I guess some guys can or can’t deal with the irregular schedule that comes with the gig.

  57. I’d never heard the ‘dam’ story – interesting. Tinker is an early and still commonly used synonym for gypsy, so tinker’s damn=gypsy curse was always how I unpacked it.

  58. Someone could probably make some case that we shouldn’t trade Jason Hursh for a competent middle reliever, but I’m not sure I’d buy it. This is what fringy prospects are for.

    I’m not sure why Lucas Sims or Jason Hursh can’t be converted to the reliever, and just go with that. Reduce their rep to two pitches and throw harder for one inning. Just as likely to become a quality arm in the pen as some guy you trade them for who is older, cost more, and just as likely to blow out as Jason Grilli.

  59. To change the subject, has anyone taken a look at the All-Star balloting recently? There is some ballot-stuffing of incredible magnitude going on there. At this rate, it’s going to be the NL All-Stars versus the Kansas City Royals, guest-starring Mike Trout.

    Also, the Braves’ homepage amused me by encouraging me to vote for Eric Young Jr., a guy who not only hasn’t had a starting job in over a month, but was also recently released.

  60. For those of us not paying attention to the farm so much, what exactly is going on with Lucas Sims and Jason Hursh this year?

  61. Anybody else getting excited for the draft? Mayo and Callis both think we will go with local SS Cornelius Randolph at 14. Watching the video, he has a quick left-handed swing. But something kind of idiosyncratic about it. Sort of lifts his hands as brings the bat through the zone. Hard to see that body not growing out of shortstop. Third baseman or right fielder, I’d say. Speaking of right field, his body reminds me a lot of Vlad Guerrero.

  62. Braves have messed up Jason Hursh by trying to turn the guy into a starter. He was already a competent almost-MLB-ready reliever when we drafted him. But Lucas Sims is way too young to give up on as a starter, and unlike Hursh, he already has the tools. I wonder if he isn’t injured though.

  63. Apparently, this is seen as one of the weakest drafts in recent memory, but there’s a fair amount of strength in shortstops. With a ton of high picks in a weak draft, the Braves basically have to hope that they can exploit their historically strong scouting of Georgia prep talent to catch some guys who are underrated on other people’s boards, and then hope that at least a couple of those guys pan out.

    With guys like Sims and Hursh, they’ll get every chance to prove they can stick at starter, which would allow the Braves to dangle them as a trade chip. But if they can’t stick — as seems somewhat likely at this point — they’ll get converted to relief and promoted relatively quickly.

  64. Nobody seems to know what the Braves are planning, so the mock drafts always cop out by giving them the best available Georgia high schooler. The word is that the Braves really want Tyler Stephenson, but it’s unlikely that he makes it to 14. For his part, Brian Bridges gave a complete nothing interview to Peanut where he talked about how he wanted guys who carried their own Gatorade, rather than getting their moms to bring it to them, and I wish I was making that up.

  65. Blaine Boyer, Jonny Venters, and Luis Avilan are examples of guys who were converted to relief and quickly promoted to The Show.

    None of those guys were highly touted prospects.

  66. Generally speaking, can you take a struggling AA arm and make them a competent enough MLB reliever right now? That’s the reason I would say, hey, let’s just trade Hursh now for a LOOGY or whatever. I don’t think he’s going to pan out as a starter, and cashing in for some bullpen help now, IMO, is worth the loss in future value.

    For some reason, I’m a little more skittish to do the same with Sims, but looking under the hood, I don’t know why I should be anymore.

  67. How the heck did I miss that EYJ got released? I guess it was to make room for Uribe or something like that?

  68. @86 – Don’t forget another failed starter that went on to a pretty decent major league relief career – Mariano Rivera.

  69. Until extremely recently, when college closers started to go higher in the draft (I think Chad Cordero was one of the first, and then of course we got into the act with Joey Devine), nearly all great relievers were failed starters, by definition. There were a couple exceptions — good starters who got converted to the pen after long careers in the rotation, like Dennis Eckersley and John Smoltz, and there were always a reasonable number of guys who were only decent as starters who got moved to the back of the pen to see if they did any better back there, like Tom Gordon, Derek Lowe, and Ryan Dempster (who wasn’t very good until he got moved back to the rotation after he flamed out as a closer).

    But pretty much all great relievers are guys who couldn’t hack it as starters.

  70. Oh, man, Joey Devine. Remember when they insisted that they weren’t drafting for need when it was blatantly clear that they totally were? Remember Bobby’s absolutely inept handling of him when he finally got called up? Good times, good times.

  71. I do. I also remember that the guy we were supposed to take was Colby Rasmus, who has been a major disappointment for like all of his teams, but he still would have been better than a lot of the stiffs that we’ve run out in center field in the Post-Andruw Era.

  72. Those stiffs all were compared to Andruw. Remember when it was all Andruw’s fault?

    I miss Andruw, but Maybin’s doing fine so far, thank you.

  73. Bethancourt on the bench again. I don’t know if the kid can hack it as a starter, but the Braves sure won’t find out with the way he is currently being used.

  74. 95 – Gotcha, I just saw it referenced on Twitter. So Gwinnet has better relievers than Atlanta. I find that odd

  75. Chip had a cute story. Talking about Simba getting hit yesterday, Chip reported that Andrelton was proud of himself. “I didn’t cry,” he said.

  76. Cunningham can’t strike out looking with the pitcher following him. Swing the bat kid

  77. Randolph went to the Phillies at 10. So much for that. I think we take a soft tossing lefty.

  78. @105 — They’d better not. Taking a cheap pitchability guy every year is how they got into the situation where they had to sell off the whole team in the first place. They need impact talent.

  79. And the Reds take Stephenson at 11. Whoever the Braves take, it’ll be a surprise. Probably a high school pitcher, from the looks of things.

  80. 105 — Wren is not the GM anymore, so expect a hard throwing HS pitcher from Georgia.

  81. Rumor has it that Daz Cameron is asking for the moon and stars, or else he’d be gone by now.

  82. I think probably Allard too. I was just kidding about the soft tossing lefty.

  83. if its a weak draft and we have money, why not get one of the bright spots and a local kid in Cameron?

  84. Allard has huge upside, but he’s also a big risk. He could be the best pitcher taken in this draft five years from now, or he could be a lot of nothing. He’s already injured, so he suits the Braves perfectly.

  85. I assume everybody just heard Roy Clark on Allard. I hope the rest of the draft goes as well.

  86. Keith Law doesn’t think Allard’s injury is serious, for what that’s worth. Looks like a good pick, until the Atlanta Sports Curse rips his UCL apart four years from now.

  87. Let’s say Miller has a good second half. Some regression is probably to be expected, but let’s say he still pitches well. You’ve got to talk extension in the offseason, right? Maybe throw Madison Bumgarner’s deal at him and see if he bites?

  88. We’ve got him for a while, but I wouldn’t mind making that a longer while. During negotiations, the Braves need to remind Shelby who’ll be playing shortstop behind him.

  89. “Jim Johnson is warming up in the bullpen …”

    Words that fill me with dread.

  90. Quackenbush is an awesome name for an athlete.

    Even better as a pitcher because the announcer has to say it all the time.

    Also that is a major drag

  91. How come the teams picking before the Braves always take a guy in the studio, so we have to sit through that whole production before they can pick?

  92. @131 – Good win against a game Aussie team. I love soccer when the goals are in the run of play.

    I’m getting a man crush on Cameron Maybin.

  93. Soroka was trained by fellow Albertan Chris Reitsma. Make of that what you will.

  94. http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1479152-bsb-cal-baseball-lands-big-righty-in-soroka?s=166

    A top arm like Soroka – rated the No. 45 right-handed pitcher in the 2015 class – usually draws some draft buzz, but Soroka is dead-set on going to college.

    “I’m committed; I’m going to Berkeley,” Soroka said. “Unless things really happen in the spring, and we get an offer that we just can’t turn down, it’s been a lifelong dream to go to college, and to have that at Cal-Berkeley, too, that education is really hard to turn down.”

  95. I wouldn’t be opposed to the rest of the team going on strike until the bullpen is revamped.

  96. Melvin scoring the tying run is like rubbing salt in a wound. Freddie’s failure to jump over Uribe’s hit looms ever larger.

  97. Shocked the game is still tied after a Masset appearance. When I saw him coming in I mentally called him The White Flag, which made me miss the days we could actually nail down a single White Flag in our bullpen. Now, when the Braves take out the starting pitcher, they are waving the white flag.

  98. Melvin scores the tying run; Justin will score the winning run; Kimbrel will get the save. For we are Atlanta.

  99. At least when Kimbrel shuts us down we can pretend he’s still wearing the right uniform and we have one good reliever.

  100. wow .. 2 Freddies fall asleep this week .. 1st the other night .. out RH pitcher gets 1st 2 batters out and FG goes with a LHP pitcher .. he gives up hit to Pirates LH and then has to face Marte who prombtly hits game winner … if the had left the kid in who was pitching good .. even if the LH got a hit he would still have the RP to face Marte .. FG is the worst late inning mgr in baseball … then tonight Freddie Freeman falls asleep and gets hit by batted ball .. then laughs about it after inning .. dont think Uribe thought it was funny ..

  101. wow .. why are you trying to pick off runner when you just successfully kept a runner from getting to 3rd with less than 2 outs .. giving them a run to tie … boy our bullpen stinks

  102. 182- True. They can’t pitch, they can’t field, but at least they make really poor tactical decisions.

  103. We’ve probably drafted two guys tonight who could make the team tomorrow. Not because they’re all that great, but because of the competition or lack thereof at their positions.

  104. Seriously, call up David Carpenter, Moylan, Aardsma, and Eveland. Send Masset, Martin, Cahill, and Cunnif somewhere else. Then go sign the former David Carpenter

  105. I’ve been dancing around it for weeks now, but I can finally say with confidence that I don’t think this team is more fun to watch than last year’s.

  106. The bullpen is just crippling the team. 3 innings a game we’re just not competitive. Can’t win too many games like that.

  107. They’re pretty fun for the first 5-6 innings. An early bedtime may be the key to enjoying Braves baseball this season.

  108. To follow up on my comment at @94, here is a list of the stiffs who have played at least 50 defensive innings in a single season in center field since Andruw Jones left the Braves, in reverse chronological order:

    Cameron Maybin
    Eric Young, Jr.
    Jordan Schafer
    Emilio Bonifacio
    Melvin (B.J.) Upton, Jr.
    Jason Heyward
    Reed Johnson
    Michael Bourn
    Nate McLouth
    Melky Cabrera
    Rick Ankiel
    Gregor Blanco
    Ryan Church
    Mark Kotsay
    Josh Anderson

  109. I just realized you guys were talking about me earlier. How nice of you. Such neighborly. Wow.

  110. It’s too bad really. We are actually fielding 8 sometimes 9 real live major leaguers out there. Last year we were lucky if we had 3. And the bullpen, the bullpen of all things, just sucks. What the hell was Grilli doing?

    Wait, deep breath. I know. Sounds like I had some hope there for a minute.

    Cameron Maybin. There, now I feel a little better.

  111. ‘Pen still made up of players that are filling roles they shouldn’t. JJ should be a ROOGY, Grilli a set-up man, Avilan a LOOGY, and Martin a long reliever. 3 spots, come and get ’em!

  112. @192

    That Prado-Bourn-Heyward outfield was something special. That ball was never going to the wall with them out there. They were all hitting, too.

  113. I really enjoy what we have as a foundation for a team but good lord that pen. The creative ways of blowing a lead are just depressing,

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