Braves 9, PURE EVIL 8

It is an axiomatic rule of Braves Journal that the Marlins are never to be counted out, because they are, as is well known by now, PURE EVIL. Last night provided a good example: after two innings, the Braves were up 5-2; after five innings, they were up 8-5. A glance up at the score above tells you that last night was a game for the vultures. The win went to Andrew McKirahan, who gave up three runs to get three outs, and he’s frankly lucky that’s all he gave up, considering that he yielded three singles (one bunt and two clean), a walk, and a hit batsman.

Matt Wisler continues to take his lumps — a 3.43 ERA in his first seven starts, a 10.80 ERA in his last two — but he’ll be fine in the end. Marlins starter Jose Urena has had a similar season: 3.66 ERA in his first seven starts, 11.57 ERA in his last two. He left after a ball was lined off his leg; it was one of six hits he gave up. (Eury Perez and Matt Wisler also sacrificed, and Nick Markakis hit a sac fly; in effect, Urena only got three real outs.

The Braves had a balanced attack; every batter 1 through 8 had at least one hit, and the top two batters, Peterson and Perez, went 4-8. Adonis Garcia hit his fourth home run, a two-run blast in the fifth that increased the margin from 6-5 to 8-5. He’s batting .220/.250/.520, which means that he’s basically a good Juan Francisco.

I’d rather win ugly than lose pretty. Let’s get another one.

90 thoughts on “Braves 9, PURE EVIL 8”

  1. Fun game! The Braves occasionally look like they’ve got some spunk. Also, Peterson’s been hitting with a bit more authority lately. Could be a promising sign for things to come.

  2. Change of Ownership.

    Do you miss Ted and Jane? Are you also worried by the obscene size of these new local TV contracts that threaten to put us all back in the Minors?

    So am I .. and then… I suddenly had this strange bout of euphoria last night watching the shenanigans at the Quicken Loan Arena..a change at the (very) top.

    He’d be perfect. Liberty would be swept aside, with a flourish of course, happy as sandboys with their check. Whoever is the new Commissioner(can you remember his name?) would already be in full panic mode with attorneys coming out his ears. The National League East, confronted by our $400M payroll, becomes a mere stepping stone and this time we won’t stop at 14.

    He is beyond excited. It hadn’t occurred to him before, the attention he’ll get buying the Braves and blowing the opposition into the weeds. Never mind that other thing. He can’t believe it. The center of attention, every year, not every four, orgasmic!

    Now don’t take the moral high ground on me here. Embarrassing? Our bullpen is embarrassing, until you watch our hitters. Can you imagine our new line up?

    Would you rather be miserable? Or happy? What about happy and embarrassed, settle for that?

  3. Fun fact: Bryce Harper’s .461 OBP is the highest anyone has had since…Chipper’s .470 OBP in 2008. (Per Buster Olney)

  4. It’s not a bad move to go ahead and get that salary off the books after one year.

    But it probably means we won’t be going after David Price. Saving bullets for 2017.

  5. As reported this deal makes no sense at all. Bourn is due 13.5 million next year. This season aside, we’d be paying 28.5 million to dump the 16.5 left on CJ’s deal. There must be money or some good prospects coming back to us.

  6. Anything less than 11 million and this deal makes no sense. Neither Swisher nor Bourn have any value whatsoever.

  7. This team’s front office is drunk. I’ve lost the plot. They’ve lost the plot. They’re just trading anyone associated with Wren’s tenure for any old thing they’re offered. Watch out, Freddie and Simba…

    I don’t like this ownership, this management, or these players, but I like you guys, so I will write you a recap tonight. Whether I watch the game preceding it is a 50-50 proposition at this time, but that I’ll be intoxicated when I compose it is a near-lock.

    I’m all in for Owner Trump. Fact, as of two falls ago: If you Hotwire a reasonably priced five-star hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, you’re getting the Trump. If you hand the desk guy a $20 as he processes your room assignment, you’ll get bumped to a suite as long as you’re visiting on an off-peak weekend. You give me a choice between the proprietor of that fine establishment and the grift-suckers running this organization currently, it’s a no-brainer. Trump 2016… to buy the Braves.

  8. So we essentially lost a roster spot but unloaded CJ. The money looks even. Next season is shaping up to be a stinker. Might want to dust-off the powder blue uni’s.

  9. This would be an incredible deal if it was 2010. Not so great for 2015. If cash is involved it looks good that we dumped Johnson’s salary. I don’t see much to get angry or excited about in this.

  10. Both Bourn and Swisher have only vesting options for 2017 which require 550 plays appearances in 2016. That’s not going to happen, so they will be entirely off the books after 2016, whereas CJ’s money is guaranteed through 2017.

    So even if it’s a wash in total money, the obligations are being shifted forward, which makes sense in a rebuild. It allows for more financial flexibility the year where it might actually make a difference.

    Not sure what there is to complain about here. We knew we weren’t going to be competitive for a couple years. This is how that process works.

    Edit: What @28 said.

  11. This is a “hello, friends, we’re punting 2016 too” trade. It’s salary-neutral over time, but it accelerates the dead money into ’16.

    Basically the Braves are treating Turner Field the way I treated my high school second semester of senior year. Grab a couple AP credits that will be useful at the next stop, cease to give a crap about anything else, count the days until you move. OK.

  12. Bourn was basically Eury Perez last year but has dropped off significantly this year. Swisher fell off the face of the earth in 2013. Don’t think he’ll be in a Braves uniform long if at all.

  13. @28 — There’s also the fact that I never have to see Chris Johnson take the field ever again.

    Trump has proven himself capable of bankrupting a casino, so I’m not sure I’d want him dictating finances for anything precious to me.

  14. I’ll echo the thoughts of “if it were 2010…” and the possibility of moving Maybin. Both came to mind when I saw the news.

  15. Spit and bailing wire at the Ted next season. Walls crumbling. Grass dying. Scoreboard stuck on Kiss Cam. A small lake of Dippin Dots forming in the right field corner. Nightly pump-cheese nacho explosions. Only safe place’ll be in the Pullman car in the museum.

  16. FWIW, can’t say that I’ll miss CJ too terribly much.

    I have never wanted a baseball season to end quicker than this one. My team sucks now & for the near future, and everyone around me is talking Subway Series. Doesn’t get much worse than that.

    Although I still really enjoy going to the games — last night’s Yanks/Sawx game in The Bronx was a crisp, taut & quick 2-1 affair played before 48,000+ — I just don’t want to see either of the locals win their final contest.

    Bring on the Saturday games.

  17. I honestly don’t understand why some hates this deal so much. This is a reasonable deal for both side. We can’t use CJ and we are getting couple of recognizable names. Yes they suck now but it’s not like we have better internal options. Bourn can play a little LF and swisher can play first base when Freddie is still on DL. Financially it’s a wash so we are shifting the liabilities a year early and to the outfield. An outfield of Bourn/Swicher with Maybin and NM. If I have to bet on a lucky bounce back season, I would rather bet on them then on CJ as CJ wouldn’t get any playing time anyway as we have now bet on Olivera big time.

    It’s not a fantastic deal, but it’s not that bad honestly.

  18. I think this deal is fine. It’s not exciting. The money looks to be about even. The advantage (and to me, it’s a major plus) is that we don’t have to seen Dorn bouncing blunt objects off of Terry Pendleton anymore.

  19. Our long (Braves) national nightmare is over! Rejoice! I guess I’ll be blaming Fredi for everything again.

  20. It’s tempting to think that there is a conspiracy in Bourn being traded to Atlanta. I wonder if he gave the Indians an ultimatum. Hopefully he will find his identity in Atlanta and establish supremacy as a leadoff hitter.

  21. Doing the math, it looks like we’re taking on 7 million more than we get rid of. So if they give us 3.5 million, it’s even between the teams, and any more than that is gravy.

  22. @46. That I didn’t know but I never thought much of that ever since the braves put up with
    Brian hunter and Ryan klesko playing there.

  23. If you are hoping for anything out of Bourn or Swisher, you’re hoping for too much. This is a money trade. Bourn has a better chance of contributing than Swisher, but his days as a difference-making player are over.

    It’s a shame, because I’ve always liked both players (at least when they weren’t playing for the Yankees), but such is life as a bad contract.

  24. We’re clearly just maintaining our asshole quota with the Swisher half of the deal. AJP will enjoy the company.

    Bourn sucks now, but I really loved him in his first Atlanta stint, and the trade to get him the first time around was one of the shining jewels in Wren’s crown, so I consider this a baseball-talent-neutral, nostalgia-positive trade.

    But yes, not that there ever was, but its clear now that there’s zero chance of the team trying to compete in 2016. Punting on two consecutive seasons before they even start is a fantastic way to kill off your fan base.

  25. Terdoslavich, Garcia, and Cunningham in the lineup tonight. None of them should get used to it.

    23, 51- No Trumpy Dumpy. The asshole quota on this team is high enough as it is.

  26. It’s probable that you guys are right and that we’ll only make a half-hearted (at best) attempt to contend next year, I suppose, despite the one-year Fredi extension and the Olivera trade not making as much sense unless we try and do something next year. But since Cleveland is sending us money to even out the deal, I don’t see how our ability to contend next year is any less at this moment than it was yesterday. I admittedly don’t know for which year the $10 million the Indians sent us will be applied, so it’s possible we’ll have a little more locked up for next year than we did previously, but I doubt it’s prohibitive.

  27. Time for some “veteran leadership” to pave the way for the youngsters coming up… But really, just a salary dump. Probably some hope that one of them catches fire and can be flipped. The other perhaps can become an overpriced bench part for next year, I guess (or waived).

  28. @53-The Braves took on about 28.5 million in salary for next year. Even if they get 10 million they still have to lay out 18.5 million next year, or about 11 million more than they would have had to pay Chris Johnson next year. That obviously effects our ability to contend. 11 million would buy, for example, a bullpen.

    What they don’t have to do is pay anything else in 2017 whereas the Indians are still on the hook for 10 million to CJ.

    Of course, a sane person will note that all of this bullshit is only necessary because we are owned by Liberty Media. If the Braves were owned by someone like Ted Turner, it would make a lot more sense to just waive CJ because, barring a deflationary spiral, fixed obligations get cheaper over time.

  29. With Gomes and AJP leaving, Hart is filling out the “veteran quota” for next season. If Bourn can be somewhat useful in lead off and playing left and Olivera is as decent of a hitter as he is supposed to me, we are a catcher away from a half decent starting lineup.

  30. @55. If the braves can be owned by the US government, money can keep being printed to solve all the problems!

  31. I’m not sure 11 million does buy a bullpen. Elite closers cost more than that, and lesser relievers are a crapshoot.

    I’m not all that worried about the bullpen next year anyway. Grilli will be back, Chris Withrow, Paco Rodriguez, and Shae Simmons will be working their way back, and we’ll hopefully have a full year of Vizcaino. Add in a long man and a LOOGY and you’ve got a pretty decent bullpen without spending a dime. Supplement with live arms, reclamation projects, and failed starters as needed.

    Much more important is a hitter, preferably at catcher, and a reliable 200-inning starting pitcher.

  32. @59 – I’ve started talking myself into Matt Wieters, but we’ll probably resign AJ for triple the money, and then continue to run him out there every night when he’s slugging .280 at the AS Break.

  33. Does Dunn still have a reverse platoon split? If not, this is…weird. Or it could be an epic troll revolving around Game 3 of the 2010 NLDS against the Giants…

    EDIT: Thanks for the free run, awkward Marlins catcher!

  34. I really enjoyed seeing McGriff on tv. At 51, the guy still looks like he can play. It’s great to hear the he’s still in our organization. Seems to be a class act in every way.

  35. Expect Bourn to be sent to Mississippi because Wren once traded for him!!!1 Or something? How do I play this game?

  36. There’s going to come a point where we acquire someone capable of .450-.500 SLG power, but I like acquiring Bourn. He’s young enough to where he can bounce back, and maybe Swisher has a little bit left in the tank. But as it stands, assuming AJP doesn’t return, we don’t have much power at C, 2B, SS, 3B (Olivera is not going to be a middle-of-the-order bat), LF, CF, and RF. Something is going to have to be done or this is a seriously punch-less lineup.

  37. Olivera has power. That’s the whole reason they acquired him. He doesn’t have, like, Giancarlo Stanton power, but pitchers won’t be knocking the bat out of his hands or anything.

  38. @37

    beautifully conceived, imagined and written exposition of decay where it hurts…are you one of the writers on True Detective?!

    ‘Change and decay in all around i see’

    Hymns Ancient & Modern

  39. @70

    couldn’t agree more – what an unexpected delight inserted into that stuffy bunch..

    Articulate, funny,, well informed, enthusiastic…I had no idea he was on board.

    So a debut not unlike his first as a Brave, when he set the house on fire!

  40. @37..

    a further thought on your evocative piece vis a vis True Detective..

    we should ape their famous cinematographer – whoever he is – and put him in a helicopter next year to hover over an empty Ted at a wet, chilly November dusk..

    the key of course is its altitude…not the usual 400ft but 1000…that was his breakthrough discovery..in a series where it was generally difficult to follow what the hell was going on and who was doing what to who and more particularly why, those aerial shots from that height of a corrupted California landscape were ravishing…

    what better lament for our Ted.

  41. Alex, I’m going to be travelling tomorrow and will have access to neither the Braves broadcast nor internet.

    I apologize for the short notice, but please see if you can find someone to recap the game for me.

    Again, I apologize and am truly sorry for the inconvenience.

  42. I see this deal as something similar to the Uribe trade. There is a chance that one or both players will re establish some value. If so they can be traded for prospects during the off season or at the deadline next year. Maybe it works, maybe not.

  43. All of the analysis of this trade can be condensed to: “We got CJ out of the locker room and off the field permanently.” Recently he’s had a few hits, which helped his marketability a little. When he forgot how many outs there were the other night and gave away a run was the final nail. Swisher replaces Terdo, at the plate and defensively. Bourne takes some innings from Gomes. A good thing. The only downside I can find, is that I was beginning to like Eury, who becomes the 4th outfielder.

  44. In reviewing the 40-man roster, it appears that only a handful of players appeared in games last year. Freeman, Simmons, Terdoslavich, Bethancourt, Cunningham, Teheran, and Minor. Is that really it? Depressing.

  45. Eury Perez, Michael Bourn, Todd Cunningham, Cameron Maybin…

    This team has a glut of useful 4th and 5th outfielders, just like its glut of 4th and 5th starters.

  46. @84 I’m pretty sure Cunningham didn’t appear in a big league game last year. He was up in 2013 for a handful of games, though.

  47. We are paying all of the money we owe CJ in one year instead of across two, which means, I don’t know, accounting or something. But to the team, it’s a positive.

    And we turned one CJ, who was never actually good, in to two veterans who used to be good, which translates to two chances they may regain value and become tradeable.

    For Cleveland’s part, they turned two players they didn’t want and didn’t have a use for, in to one player they don’t want, but at least has a place to stand in the field.

    Win-win, in the world of wasted money.

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