Diamondbacks 4, Braves 2

The loss left the Braves 1-14 in home games, the worst home start for any team since the 1913 Yankees lost their first 17 home decisions, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Yankees had one tie in that span.


The Braves continue to hate playing at home. Shelby Miller got his first win since October 4, 2015, and he did it facing the team that helped him lose 16 straight decisions from May 17 to September 27. He and Julio Teheran locked horns today, and they pitched more or less equally effectively: Miller went six innings and allowed two runs on two walks and four hits (including a solo shot by Freddie Freeman), and Teheran went five innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on two walks and five hits. Julio got five strikeouts while Shelby got one, but Shelby’s pitch count was a lot lower.

Of course, ballgames don’t stay tied very long when Bud Norris enters the game. His first two batters walked and doubled, and that was the winning run.

Fifteen Braves checked into the game, including five pitchers and two pinch-hitters. Of them, at least three are clearly not major-league caliber players right now. First is Norris. Second is A.J. Pierzynski, who as our cleanup hitter went went 0-4, dropping his batting line to .203/.257/.246. That’s more than 100 points of OPS worse than Adonis Garcia (.260/.319/.308), whom we recently sent to the minors, and Drew Stubbs (.237/.310/.316), whom we dropped.

And third is Erick Aybar, who booted a relay throw on a play that would have been an easy rundown, where his error allowed Jean Segura to score the second Arizona run. Oh, and he’s hitting .184/.213/.214, 76 points worse than Pierzynski.

It isn’t Fredi’s fault that they’re on the roster. Blame the suits for that. But it is his fault every time they read their names in the starting lineup. Norris started five games but was mercifully kicked to the pen. For the love of Pete, Fredi had better do the same to Aybar and Pierzynski.

74 thoughts on “Diamondbacks 4, Braves 2”

  1. Maybe the Braves’ best hope for this season is to hire an announcer with Skip Carey’s laconic wit. Or Bob Uecker’s sense of humor.

    Uecker once said that anybody could make a career hitting .300. It takes real talent to hit .200 and stick around as long as he did.

    The Braves have a lot of players with that kind of talent.

  2. Patrick Corbin has been dealing with a “fatigue” problem that the DBacks want him to work through. Let’s see if we can rejuvenate him.

  3. @1
    I will say Chip had had some good one liners this year. This has been his best performance with the Braves.

  4. More Lost Notes from a Loss:

    -Aybar also botched a play in the ninth that would have kept Atlanta only a run down with one at bat to go. Two outs, man on third, routine grounder to short–the throw pulled Freddie way off the bag.

    -This team is terrible, but don’t tell Chevanka. I think he’s from New York; nothing but bagels so far.

  5. @3

    Chip threw out a wild stat in last night’s contest, team home run totals to this point.

    41 to 6. Hard to know what to say after that.

    On the broader point of commentary Chip and Joe will do me, we are not the ’27 Yankees.. MLB Extra Innings via Dish lets you watch any game any time, apparently no blackouts, including the indulgence of a snap view of others during Braves commercials. So over a month you get a earful of other booth blowhards. Save Hernandez/Darling who has anything interesting to say? Please tell. It’s all pander city. Even the hallowed Vin Scully should go home now, he’s repetitively, boringly charming. Where are Harry/Steve/Hawk, people with an original thought?

    Chip will never be Dad, or Grandad, but he had one last night.

    41 to 6.

  6. It’s pretty telling regarding the current state of the Braves when this blog starts becoming anything less than roundly critical of Chip…

  7. I fear that Aybar will be with us all year; in fact, he will probaly be part of the signature of the 2016 Braves.

    That said, I wonder how much more of Bud Norris we have to take….

  8. The Braves must be good – they’re deep enough to option and release two guys tied for 2nd on the team in home runs.

    On the other hand, Eric O’Flaherty is tied for 3rd in home runs amongst players on the active roster, with 0.

  9. @9

    So is Dan Winkler, and he doesn’t even have an elbow. This team is deep.

  10. @6 Blazon are you serious? Vin Scully needs to go, but you pine for the halcyon days of Hawk Harrelson? In the event you’d forgotten, Hawk was one of the most obnoxiously homer-ish announcers of all time. Granted – viewer preferences may differ on how much a home team broadcaster can/should express a preference for the home team to succeed, but Hawk took it beyond all reasonable bounds. No pretense of objectivity, no desire to give the opposing team credit for anything. If I want to hear drunken bloviating about my team, I can go to the local sports bar… but Hawk was doing national broadcasts. It was, frankly, unprofessional.

    I’ll just leave this here: http://awfulannouncing.com/2013/the-hawk-harrelson-meltdown-compilation.html

  11. Chevanka has 14 straight appearances with no runs. He’s like the 2012 Jonny Venters. It concerns me that he was the Braves’ fifth option for lefty relief.

  12. The main difference between the 2015 and 2016 Braves is that all the veteran trade bait acquired last year played pretty well, and the one that didn’t, Callaspo, got traded for one who did (Uribe).

    It was remarkable how good Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe, AJP, Cameron Maybin, Jason Grilli, and Jim Johnson were for us last year. I think all those guys had 1.0 WAR or better seasons for us. The ones who are still with us are now awful, and the new vets we’ve acquired have been worse.

  13. Maybe last year they could kid themselves into believing they could surprise people, but this year’s crop (including, and maybe especially, the returnees) is under no illusion that there’s any plan to compete. KJ came here last year, got himself traded, played in the World Series, and the best offer he had afterwards was to come back here again? How dispiriting is that?

  14. I think these guys are still trying their best (the veterans). Last year was an amazing fluke. One of the greatest overachieving teams in Braves history won 67 games. It kept us from realizing how historically bad we were, and many imagined we’d win 72 games this year.

  15. @15

    Bingo, bingo. There’s just nothing out there for these players. AJP, Grilli, Beckham, and maybe even Aybar will never play major league baseball after this season. AJP and Grilli were healthy last year, and they clearly are cooked now. I’m still not quite sure what the problem is with Aybar and KJ; one would think they still have something left in the tank. Francoeur has sucked for years, and I guess they were hoping for a dead cat bounce from Francoeur, Swisher, or Bourn, and no one could perform an exorcism in Atlanta. Maybin was 28, from North Carolina (and clearly loved playing close to home), connected well with Seitzer, and was getting to play every day for the first time since 2012. Uribe seemed to be luck, as he hadn’t OPS’ed above .800 in 6 years, and has since gone right back to being terrible.

    I bet the entire roster is just sick of the video game-esque shuffling of players, amongst other things. I said that last year, and they’re doing the same thing this year. Just moving players around like it’s Baseball Mogul.

    We are seeing a clear theme that the players that factor into the Braves’ plans long-term are performing well, but the retreads don’t seem to want anything to do with this experiment.

  16. These players are washed up. Do you really believe that if Grilli, KJ, JJ, AJP, and Bud Norris were on a contender (which would never happen), they would start trying harder and actually stop looking totally washed up?

  17. Jenkins and Fried both got lit up yesterday. It’s not a great day in the minors when Gordon Beckham is one of the only highlights.

  18. @14, Yeah, it’s easy to forget how much fun this team was in the first half of last year. I wish we still had Uribe at third. He looked like a major leaguer in the field.

  19. If you watch that Hawk Harrelson compilation, you get to see Beckham’s blunder on that game-ending popup. I was showing my wife that compilation (because of how much of a jackwagon Harrelson is), and when we saw that play, I said, “Oh don’t worry, he plays for the Braves now.”

    Beckham is more of a “never was” than a “has been”, but he certainly fits in the discussion. He actually hasn’t been completely terrible, but give him time.

  20. Dear Mr. Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media,

    I want my team back. A professional sports franchise is no place for an emotionless, detached, owner who primarily views the team as an ‘asset’ (your words, not mine), rather than as a joyful, passion-filled, fanatical obsession.

    I hope you don’t take this as any level of disrespect – I very much do respect the business acumen of anyone like yourself who has advanced to the top levels of corporate America. As the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you no doubt have an experienced wisdom in terms of how to manage a business, and maximize profits. Kudos to you – you unquestionably have my respect.

    While I very much want someone like you running my company, and I mean no offense in what follows, I don’t want your company running my team.

    You see, sports has no place for it. The owner of a franchise shouldn’t be a corporation, and especially not one who acquired the team as a means of an ancillary detail in a tax-swap.

    You see, that really makes it feel like you made a great financial deal for your business and the Braves were a throw-in that you didn’t really seek, but got with it.

    You see, as a fan, when I hear you say things like ‘Liberty has been a company that has tended to move through assets’, in an interview with the Atlanta Business Chronicle, about the Braves, it makes me cringe. You don’t view my team the same way I do – as a privilege, and as fun. It’s not an asset that you move through.

    You see, I want an owner who is excited about the team, truly enjoys it, and puts his/her entire heart and soul into it. Not someone who, again in your words, has ‘tended to move through assets.’ That just makes it feel like you’re going to unload the team as soon as it makes sense for your business, which again, reinforces that you’re only here for the value, not because you truly love the Braves.

    Now, I don’t think you’ve been the worst ownership in the world, it’s just that your brand of ownership has no place in sports. Not every team can have a Mark Cuban, or a George Steinbrenner, but at least allow us an owner who views it as a dream come true. Perhaps it’s the putrid product I’m watching on the field this season, or perhaps it’s the recent stock offering you opened on the Braves, but I can’t take having my team owned by a corporation any longer. It’s time for someone to take over who is running the team because he/she wants to!

    I hope it doesn’t come to this, but if Liberty doesn’t reconsider a short-term selling of the Braves, to an owner who wants to be here and doesn’t view it as a cold value-proposition, I think that Braves fans have no choice but to retaliate in a way that you’ll understand in a language that you speak – revenue.

    Specifically, I invite fans to join me in a boycott of any products that Liberty Media is associated with, or invested in, such as Sirius radio. I think you could find that unlike our owners, we are passionate, and since we have a team who can’t fight, just maybe we will. The full list of Liberty investments is below, and I invite my fellow Braves fans to join in the cause of a Liberty Media-boycott. Please – release us to an owner who wants us.


    Signed not as one person, but on behalf of Braves’ Nation.

  21. @18

    I don’t claim to know. But the first four players you listed were all legit contributors for the Braves just last year. Merely playing badly doesn’t necessarily tell me the difference between washed up and unmotivated. At their age a lack of motivation can certainly lead to washed-upedness, so maybe the question is which came first? A depressing workplace affects everyone’s productivity.

  22. This team is indeed awful, but I am not yet ready to write off Grilli, Beckham or KJ. I suppose they believe that if they play well, they might get traded to a contender (like KJ last year). But JJ? After his experience with the Dodgers no one will trade for him–and he probably knows it.

    Bud Norris was awful last year and at least he is consistent.

    One of the things which I did not like in the offseason was trading Maybin–but then we had to have Ian Krol, who has never been a competent major league pitcher….

  23. That Harrelson compilation also predates his “Typical Asian motion. Deception involved!” comment. I’d rather hear the boom goes the dynamite! guy call a game.

  24. On Fredi:

    “We finished last with you, we can finish last without you.” -Branch Rickey

  25. #27–Agreed, but I understand why we didn’t. I would rather have had Maybin in the outfield than Frenchy or Garcia….

  26. @27 It’s a crying shame the Braves waited too long to trade Maybin and Grilli last year… if we’d played our cards right, we could have had another couple broken former top pitching prospects!

  27. 5 pitches in and Folty hasn’t recorded an out yet–trade him for trash!

  28. @12…

    sorry, yes I am..

    in a grey world i find myself tending towards the black and white. There’s been a bit of that lately.

  29. @35 Compared to his last start, you can tell that he is much more relaxed today. Mixing in fastballs at 92 to locate with that slider and the 97 fastball. Nice inning!

  30. It is not fair to our young, VALUABLE pitchers that Aybar is kicking double plays. I don’t think I’ve ever hated a player as much as I’m starting to hate Aybar. Melky maybe? This is ridiculous. Pull yourself together.

  31. Guh… Aybar blows a routine DP, which of course (OF COURSE!) leads to the opposing pitcher driving in a run.

    The Braves have a ton of embarrassingly bad position players right now… but on the plus side, none of our minor league prospects are blocked, so…?

    I don’t want to rush Swanson or Albies to the majors yet, but it sure would be nice to have a competent SS again soon.

  32. Aybar yet again. I know fredi didn’t put him on the team but he keeps playing him and he keeps hurting the club

  33. Forget about dWar and all that stuff. My eyes tell me that we would have won 5-6 more games with our previous SS. Already, I mean.

  34. Did AJ or Flowers catch Folty’s last game?

    Maybe I’ve been too hard on Folty. He looks pretty good today, but give some credit to Flowers. We are mixing pitches a lot better this time than his last start.

  35. @ #37

    Melky, definitely. Maybe Kolb? The only thing Aybar can do halfway decently is bunt.

  36. 9 straight scoreless innings for Folty going back to his last start. Yes, I’m not holding him accountable for that run.

  37. I think it’s pretty clear at this point that Flowers gives us the best chance to win.

  38. Folty on Goldschmidt…wow

    Aybar..is there another sport in the world where you repetitively play old garbage at a crucial position while slavishly following venerable maxims which keep two gifted alternatives out in the weeds? no there is not. Baseball in general and the Braves in particular need to wake up to what is changing.

    Basil Folty
    no longer eats all his meals at Chipolte
    his law suit implies
    he throws better without those illegal Mexican fries.

  39. Someone’s head needs to roll in the next 24 hours. 1-15 at home while continuing to play trash like Aybar is a middle finger to what’s left of the paying customers.

  40. Remove an effective pitcher an inning too soon, leading to a rally? That’s the sort of thing the Braves would do.

  41. Jeff Francouer vs RH Pitcher, down 2 strikes

    how could we all have been so wrong!!

  42. Is Kelly Johnson injured and I didn’t see it? Could have batted for d’Arnaud or Castro here with a righty on the mound.

  43. Geez, we got away with that one. Why wouldn’t the dbacks challenge? Also, why did Aybar hesitate and not get to the bag faster?

  44. Pretty cool moment just now where Chip just said, “a lot of room in right center”, and Joe chipped in, “if he hits one there, we can dance in the streets.” Only the real Braves fans were waiting for that.

  45. @67 maybe never?

    …it’s brutal these days watching the other team turn a double play at twice the speed thus half the time.

  46. I’d settle for two home runs a week from the entire team at this point.

  47. Awful nice of the Braves to give their old friends Shelby and Randall their first wins of the year.

  48. You guys seriously think they are gonna roll with this band of scrubs for an entire season? No way in hell that happens. We’ll lose 120 games if they try that. Swanson and Albies are starting for us as soon as the super 2 cutoff passes.

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