South Side Stall…Julio’s Hair… Braves 4, Sox 5…by blazon.

Charitably we could put it down to the infection, the ‘inverted hair’- and who knew what they were talking about?  Toenails yes, hair? After the heroic histrionics of the past two days the Braves could not quite catch up the 4 run deficit  Teheran donated when, given the early lead, he lollygagged away five runs in his first three innings looking anything but sharp in the process. There were to be no more but that was enough. Jose Quintana had apparently lost 7 of his last 8 decisions due to poor run support, averaging about 2 runs a game but Julio obligingly solved that problem for him in this All Colombian Pitch Out. His final line showed an improvement that came too late -6IP,9 hits, 5 runs, just the one walk. He was not himself and if he pitches like that next week in the All Star Game he will embarrass himself and us.

Offensively for the Bravos it was a mixed bag with more good than bad- only Aybar was rubbish reverting sadly to type with 7 K’s in these 2 games. Flowers had to give way early to AJ with what Chip said was a hand strain- or was that a hammy strain, hopefully not.The Changing of that Guard, mid innings, gave rise to the moment of the game, the crowd’s long sustained standing O for the return of AJP. It was patently sincere, unforced, old ladies standing and hollering with the best of them. A cynic, Wilde reminds us, is one who knows the cost of everything(errors), the value of nothing. It was clear from what we heard and saw then what value AJ had brought to that club and its fans in his long years there.

Another who has featured too often in our bad books, Francoeur, hit a 2 run homer late to pull us close. Check his line, please, he’s a significant asset to this team and has been over a period of time, let him enjoy his renaissance.

Beckham had homered in the first, Freddy later, the first leftie to do so against Quintana in something like 20 years so they say. Ender in the last 24 hours has made three outfield catches running vast distances to the ball. It is fascinating to watch him, there is no machismo evident here. Rather his gait seems to copy the other gender, short steps, pitter patter, but reeled off at incredible speed that can take your breath away as he approaches his target. Love watching him.

Oh, one more thing. The Tag of the Game! Freddy, late, pounding after the tiny Eaton ball in hand, catching him somehow with a mighty, thrusting tag that completely flattened him. Embarrassment and smiling apologies all round as FF and Adonis helped him back up.

And so to the rubber game tomorrow. It is finely balanced, the two teams enjoy each other.

58 thoughts on “South Side Stall…Julio’s Hair… Braves 4, Sox 5…by blazon.”

  1. Agreed, Francouer is good enough to play for this team. The Braves are becoming somewhat watchable. I think that’s all most of us are asking.

  2. I didn’t realize we had a day game and missed it. Why didn’t Markakis homer?

    To Edward from the last thread and all others who were waiting for me to reveal the answer, player A was Tyler Flowers and player B was Matt Weiters.

    Here was the question:

    Player A: .254/.345/.428
    Player B: .264/.317/.427
    They play the same position. Player B makes 8 times what player A does, yet some here clamored to sign him before this season.

  3. So, what you’re saying @2 is, if we had Weiters behind the plate and an outfield full of Jason Heywards, we probably wouldn’t have a better record than the one we have now?

  4. I think we will see Mustelier in September. He was our bonus player for the Fort Bragg game, but unfortunately didn’t get any action. It would be kinda cruel to not call him later this year and let him take a few swings. (Assuming he keeps playing at the level he has been.)

  5. The problem with Olivera was he was Adonis Garcia, but we acquired him anyway. What’s one more?

  6. We have cornered the market on 31-year old right-handed Cubans whose bats are not good enough for left field and gloves are not good enough for third. We’re set.

  7. Bah, defense doesn’t matter. A run prevented is theoretical and therefore doesn’t happen. I would put Evan Gattis at shortstop and let him hit 25 HR and those babies would count bc YOU KNOW they went over the fence.

  8. Praise My Father John Hart and His Son John Coppolella for Nick Markakis and Erick Aybar, who are way better than those expensive guys who don’t play for us and will never be good again–to the Cosmic Sorrow of the Nerds. #dontcountinvisiblethings

  9. Nikki Don’t Lose That Number

    We hear your OPS is just okay
    We thought this little debate would soon be done
    Five home runs kind of scored yourself, you hit and run
    Could Edward have a change of heart?

    Nicky don’t lose that number
    We don’t want to own nobody else
    WAR is just some numbers that won’t help
    Nicky we use that number
    It’s the only one we want
    If we use it we might feel better
    About our team.

    I have a friend on here, he hates your name
    He says your defense is old and slow
    We could stay inside and crunch UZR, I don’t know
    Could AdamR have a change of heart?

    Nicky don’t lose that number
    We don’t want to own nobody else
    WAR is just some numbers that won’t help
    Nicky we use that number
    It’s the only one we want
    If we use it we might feel better
    About our team.

    He tells himself you’re not his kind
    But don’t worry cause you’re still mine.

    Nicky don’t lose that number
    We don’t want to own nobody else
    WAR is just some numbers that won’t help
    Nicky we use that number
    It’s the only one we want
    If we use it we might feel better
    About our team.

    FINIS

  10. @18 I’m still glad that we traded him but wish we’d have gotten someone better than Newcomb. Seeing who Newcomb is though, tells you what the market for a great glove, no hit guy, though. But I’m saying Newcomb’s just a guy, others may still have higher aspirations.

  11. Albies homered and continues to hit well at AA. Blair struggled again but only gave up 3 thru 5, which for him is an improvement. Danville’s Isranel Wilson (one of the few true power OF bats in our system) and the just-drafted Brett Cumberland went 0-9 and have started the season ice cold. Kyle Muller pitched 3 good innings and only allowed one unearned run.

  12. Appreciate the shout, @16!

    I just added Gordon Beckham to my fantasy squad. I feel dirty.

  13. I certainly have my concerns about Newcomb’s control as much as the next guy. But according to Baseball America, Newcomb is the 12th highest rated pitching prospect and 3rd highest rated lefty. And he’s 23, which means he’s younger than one of the two higher rated lefties. So that’s “just a guy”. Please tell me, Chief, who is not just a guy? Can you give me some clarity on this? Here are some options since I’m sure you haven’t thought it through:

    -If you’re not the top rated pitching prospect in all of baseball, you’re just a guy.
    -If you’re not in the top 5 of highest rated pitching prospects, you’re just a guy.
    -If you’re a pitching prospect, you’re just a guy.
    -If you haven’t pitched in the big leagues yet, you’re just a guy.
    -If you haven’t had a full season of above average pitching in the big leagues, you’re just a guy.

    Also, just one more follow-up question: how many “just a guy’s” does an organization need to have for you to feel comfortable with the long-term direction of the farm system?

    Coach me up.

  14. In his last month, IN DOUBLE A, his ERA is 7.59. He is at least striking out about a batter/IP, which I suppose is something.

    I just looked at a few #1 or #2 MLB starters and they rarely if ever had months in AA that bad. Ever.

    And its called an opinion. We need a ton less ‘just guys’ and a lot more actual prospects that strike out batters at a higher rate than what we have, and we need some damn hitters that can hit the ball over the fence.

  15. I’ll just say it troubles me that we don’t have a single minor league squad with a record over .500. Even Danville after 16 games has joined the losers out of the gate with a 7-9 record. You’d think we’d have at least one really put together team down there.

  16. @25 That’s a clue…

    @26 Of those 4, I’ll guess one will ever be a positive WAR MLB pitcher. I’ll go with Allard. Possibly Fried. He’s age appropriate at Rome and his K/IP is good. Sims walks way too many people.

    And VERY oversimplified but the best MLB pitchers strike people out. A lot of them. It’s a theme. The bad ones don’t. Simple.

    So since I’ve been getting hammered I’ll expose my evaluational criteria for minor league players. And they are simple. Very.

    For pitchers, what’s their K/IP and K/BB ratio. I don’t really care about ERA TOO much(I do but its not a be all end all) because fielding and constant lineup changing as well as poor managing contributes. How does their age compare to the league average. How do they fare against older hitters. Baseball Reference makes this easy. How much of their stats are padded against ‘younger’ hitters, etc.

    For hitters, age vs. league average. Control of the strike zone, i.e. K/BB ratio. Do they have any power? At all? For example, I am very skeptical that a player like Swanson will ever be a superstar in the modern MLB. He’s going to be an 8 HR guy in the MLB at SS without elite level defense. How valuable is that? Not very.

    Same with Albies, in 941 miLB ABs he’s hit 5 HR. That tells me in MLB, he’ll hit 2-3 per year. How many guys in MLB history have ever been valuable doing that? Answer, short list.

    In 1761 miLB ABs, Rio Ruiz is slugging .395. In miLB. How do you think that will translate into MLB.

    We make this stuff much harder than it is. Baseball is a game of numbers but more importantly, patterns of numbers. I.e. you can look at others before’s numbers and see what successful players DID before. And then you can look and compare.

    Our guys DO NOT COMPARE WELL in meaningful ways to successful MLB players track records. THEY JUST DON’T.

    So, at least you can see that I read our guys stats on BR on a daily basis, I just don’t spew opinions without at least some science behind me.

    I think the Braves Farm System is comically overrated based on what I see.

  17. Albies is way under league avg age. He probably won’t ever be Jose Altuve, but I think there’s value there.

  18. I also think Folty is going to be an 1-2 guy if he can stay healthy.

    Garcia has really improved at third.

  19. I think Folty can be a 2-3 type starter if he can get some movement on that 97-99 fastball. If it stays straight he will struggle

  20. I am only on Gameday, but it seems fundamentally unfair that fat Melky is allowed to have a play at first reversed. He never ran hard when he played for the Braves.

  21. So several of us castigated Coppy for all his veteran acquisitions being busts this year, and I think we need to eat crow. Nearly all of his signings have exceeded expectations. Francouer is having his first positive WAR season since 2011. Gordon Beckham and Tyler Flowers have been solid, as was Bud Norris.

  22. I was thinking about Aybar, olivera, and inciarte, the players on our team acquired in trade over the last year. That isn’t to say all the trades were bad ones

    Actually I like inciarte, just wish he would hit just a little

  23. @35

    One of two things have to be true, and they cannot both be true.

    -Snitker has turned literal sh*t into gold.
    -Snitker has been fortunate to have several players who were absolutely awful in April (Freeman, Aybar, Jace, Ender (and injured), Neck, Flowers, Bud, and JJ) to have now been able to become either average or above average.

    If it’s the first one, then you really have to look at letting him keep the job. I think the only way you can explain a more than 50% increase in win frequency other than Brian Snitker is a really good major league manager is acknowledging that some of these established veterans actually started playing the way they’re supposed to. I had opined that Snitker has been given a much better team to work with than Fredi, but many disagreed saying that the roster was simply too similar to reach that conclusion.

  24. I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive, but I’m more inclined to believe these players are internally motivated. Hard to believe Jace and Aybar were just dogging it out of Fredi hatred. Jace was skating on the edge of never getting another chance to be a MLB regular and Aybar was playing for a contract.

    By the way, if what you’re suggesting is true, I think it would say more about how toxic Fredi was than how magic Snitker is.

  25. Umps got 2 challenges correct today, one call overturned for each team (or the review office got it correct)

  26. What’s the deal with Vizcaino? Snitker just giving him an extended break? I’m sure this isn’t helping his trade value

  27. We probably won’t trade vizzy. We absolutely have to trade JJ, who has been dominant for a good stretch here. Maybe to the sox.

  28. JJ is exactly like KJ. Sign him to a 1 year contract, trade him before the deadline for ‘spects.

  29. Ok here’s one…

    Player A: Isn’t hitting well.
    Player B: Isn’t hitting well.
    Player C: Isn’t hitting well.
    Player D: Isn’t hitting well.
    Player E: Isn’t hitting well.

  30. @51 In the postgame interview, Snitker said that Vizcaino had “a spot” on his elbow, “a topical thing”, nothing internal. Snitker claimed Vizzy threw on the side today and could have pitched if needed.

    All things equal, I’m happy that JJ pitched and got the save (and looked good doing it) considering that it’s in the Braves’ interest to pump up JJ’s (relatively minor) trade value.

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