Braves 3, Pirates 1

Julio Teheran is schooling folks down at the school yard.

Julio turned in yet another dominant performance last night, going 7 2/3 innings giving up 5 hits, no walks, no runs, and 3 strikeouts. I didn’t like the hook he got in the 8th inning being at only 91 pitches, but when wins are scarce, you have to get the win. Interestingly, we brought in Arodys Vizcaino for yet another 4-out save, but we’ve been hesitant to at other points. Vizcaino did give up a no-doubter to Jung Ho Kang, but he did his job.

We continue to pound out hits like we’re a respectable baseball club (10 tonight), but the runs are still scarce. We’re starting to leave the yard more often, as Tyler Flowers launched one into the centerfield seats. Flowers had 3 hits, and Ender Inciarte is coming on strong, as he had another 2-hit night. Gordon Beckham, who is quietly becoming a very helpful addition to our team, had a pinch-hit, run-scoring double in the 9th.

Man, it’s nice to win one.

Mike Foltynewicz is going tonight against Jeff Locke, whom you may remember was traded so that we can begin our run of putrid centerfielders.

47 thoughts on “Braves 3, Pirates 1”

  1. Julius of Persia is now, according to Bill James’ World’s #1 Starting Pitcher rankings, the 20th best pitcher in baseball. (http://www.billjamesonline.com/polls_ratings/starting_pitcher_rankings/) He began the season at #28.

    For those who don’t know, it’s a fun metric using game score-type statistics to raise or lower a pitcher’s rating, and it uses 3 years of data, weighted for the most recent period. The current top-5 are Kershaw (by a HUGE margin) followed by a nice bunching of Jake Arrieta, Chris Sale, Madison Bumgarner, and Max Scherzer.

    No other Braves are currently in the top-100. Shelby Miller is at #53 (and falling fast); Alex Wood is at #54 (and gaining steadily).

  2. Well, I’m on my way,
    I don’t know where I’m goin’.
    I’m on my way,
    I’m taking my time, but I don’t know where.
    Goodbye Coppy, King of Rebuilding,
    See you, me and Julio down by the ball yard.

    In a couple of days
    They come and take me away,
    But Delta let the story leak.
    And when the radical Priest
    Got Olivera released,
    We was all on the cover of Newsweek.

  3. The funny thing with the conversation about a “true #1” pitcher is that there are generally only a dozen pitchers or so who are “true #1’s” spread across 30 teams.

    A quarter of the way through the season and there are 4 teams in the NL east above .500. Who called that?

    If we keep winning like this, we’re in danger of forfeiting the #1 pick to the Twinkies.

  4. I really appreciate what AJ Pierzynski did for us last year, and he was paid well for it, but his skills have clearly eroded and he is officially over-the-hill. It’s time to move on from him being in anything more than a back-up catcher role. Maybe it’ll help him stay fresh.

  5. I think the most massive middle finger that the FO could give to us at this point, would be to trade Teheran for prospects. That means in essence the rebuild is a never ending story.

  6. I would think the best catching usage would be 4-5 days a week of Flowers and 2-3 days a week of AJ.

    It would probably be good for AJ as well.

  7. 6 & 7—I’ve been giving this some thought, given that Teheran’s value appears to be cresting again, and I think it just depends on the prospects. I think I would be quite displeased if he’s dealt for a couple more pitching prospects. If he can get us some legit corner power, though, I’d be in favor of it — and that would be speeding up the rebuild, not prolonging it.

  8. Rusty S. at 2,

    Excellent use of song parody (one of my favorite forms of artistic expression). Not that I am that good with it, but I like doing it.

  9. What’s the competitive window timeline? 2017 or 2018? You gotta keep him for that, right? Any longer and I’d say trade him.

  10. Julio is young enough, cheap enough, and controlled enough that he will be in his prime for even pessimistic competing projections, and it would be hard to get better value in a trade. We would need a blue chip OF or 3B power hitting prospect as a starting point. Any of the suggestions I’ve heard, such as Soler and garbage, have been absurdly light.

  11. @10

    I agree. I think we would more than Soler at this point (which is what we were rumored to be getting previously)

    If we could do something like this:

    Atl gets- Baez, Willson Contreras, Albert Almora and Eloy Jimenez

    Chi gets- Julio, Inciarte, Williams Perez and Vizcaino

  12. If we want the kinds of hitters we need to make this team competitive, then trading Julio is a must. One could argue that we set the market for a high end 2 starter with the Miler trade. Although I’m pretty sure no other front office gives ip that amount of value. We clearly need bats that are on the same trajectory as Albies and Swanson, and we clearly have far more depth in the rotation. Julio will net us some huge fish.

  13. I’m not crazy about Javier Baez, and I’m less crazy about trading Vizzy or Inciarte in a package.

  14. I think there’s the potential to re-shape and prune the roster in one big trade, but it will have to be either a big deal like the rumored Yankees deal, a deal like Smitty listed, or a 3-team deal. Those are just so hard to get done, and there’s a lot of risk (see: Olivera, Hector).

  15. @19

    If we can get a corner bat that is close to ready, then we should include Inciarte. Vizcaino would really sweeten the pot, plus we have Simmons close to ready.

  16. At least he’s batting, Smitty. That’s a baby step. Speaking of baby steps, is little Smitty running all over the place now?

  17. @24

    Yeah. She never learned to walk. Strait into running.

    She is 20 months old now. When I walk in the door, I know what it’s like to be a Beatle.

  18. A slight quibble with Rob Cope’s remark on Jeff Locke, however: Nate McLouth didn’t start our run of putrid centerfielders.

    We traded for him in June of 2009 because the guy who got the job in spring training stank up the joint for two months: Jordan Schafer, better known around here as “Success.”

    Schafer got the opportunity for the job because of the utter failure of the 2008 platoon of Mark Kotsay, Josh Anderson (whom we started calling “Shanderson” to differentiate him from Garret “Tanderson”), and Gregor Blanco, who as it happened was only about four years from being an effective major leaguer.

    We got Kotsay in January 2008 by trading Joey Devine, whom we had panic-drafted with the 27th pick in the first round in 2005, mainly because he was perceived as being close to the major leagues. The guy who went with the 28th pick, of course, was a native of Columbus who had gone to high school in Alabama and despite looking like an utter scuzzbucket would have still been a way better center fielder than any of those stiffs — Colby Rasmus.

  19. He really hustled through that plate of wings; Snitker is already making his presence known.

  20. That’s wonderful, Smitty. Cherish every second that little girl shares.

    Aybar: still a Teixeira.

  21. Day to Day
    a polite injunction forbidding him to play
    extend to week to week
    we’d then reduce our frequent fits of pique.

  22. I see a great new nickname for Aybar coming. Wishbone? Although he’s played in a manner that no one would ever wish for. It is everyone’s wish that he be removed from the roster though.

  23. Dansby has a .909 OPS in AA now. Albies is slowly getting his OPS back up and is sitting at .674. Sadly, he has 10 errors and a .950 fielding percentage. He has also logged all of his innings at SS, so I’m interested to see how that plays out.

    In honor of the Furcal Watch, can we implement the Swanson Watch and Albies Watch? Boy, how things have changed since the Furcal days. We thought Furcal, IIRC, was 19 at the time, and after having a .718 OPS in A+ and then 11 ABs at AA, we called him right up. It’s because of this that I’ve wondered if Albies is older than he says, but it seems you can’t really fake that nowadays. If he was 22 the way Furcal was “19”, then he’d be up tomorrow, I guarantee it.

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