April 03, 2011

Show #141: Winning Ways in Braves Opening Series

Looking back on the Nats series.  McLouth bats second.  And Good and Bad Signs in the first three games.



115 Responses to “Show #141: Winning Ways in Braves Opening Series”

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  1. 51
    Danny Says:

    Glad Jason was batting sixth there!

  2. 52
    Leah Says:


  3. 53
    Danny Says:

    Tough loss! On the brighter side, our defense looks way better than I expected.

  4. 54
    Walker Says:

    Excuse my language but are these umpires retarded? I mean at least set up in a position where you can see if the catcher tags out the runner. I mean these are MAJOR LEAGUE UMPIRES! Crazy.

  5. 55
    Kate Says:

    Why didn’t Fredi pinch hit for Young in the 9th? Isn’t that kind of situation the reason Conrad made the team?

  6. 56
    ham Says:

    Kate – I totally agree. That loss was much more disheartening than Tuesday’s.

  7. 57
    Steve Says:

    I was disheartened for a couple of reasons:

    1. I’m conditioned now to expect that we’ll struggle against a no experience scrub from AAA. It was clearly a different flavor of that last night. 4 runs is fine, but we had him and didn’t capitalize. And I’m still dejected by Freeman’s first inning at bat.

    2. I want win every series, dammit (or tie). And now we’re in the hole and I hate it. If we’d been up 2 – 1 in the series and last night’s game played out in game 4, I’d not be as disappointed today.

  8. 58
    Kate Says:

    Lineup 1. Prado 3B, 2. McLouth CF, 3. McCann C, 4. Uggla 2B. 5. Heyward RF, 6. Gonzalez SS, 7. Freeman 1B, 8. Young LF, 9. Hanson RH

  9. 59
    Steve Says:

    Can we be worried about Hanson yet? I’m not waiting for an answer and going to straight to worry.

  10. 60
    Bubdylan Says:



  11. 61
    BRAVEinNY (Matt) Says:

    I agree

  12. 62
    ham Says:

    I am going to do a little revisionist history and change what I said on Sunday’s show. I think that the Braves will be lucky to win 1 of 4 against the Brewers. I also think that it is going to be painful and embarrassing to watch at times. I will also go out on a limb and say that McLouth batting second will prove to NOT be our only problem.

    I also feel that we will be lucky to win one against the Phils, but I think I said that already.

  13. 63
    Nate Says:

    I don’t know what Hanson’s deal is. I only caught parts of the game, but there always seemed to be at least one Brewer on base. I’m much more concerned with the state of the offense. Like Steve said, we are struggling to get runs off guys who are barely above the AAA level. Tomorrow night we get a Cy Young candidate. We saw what Gallardo did to us, I’m expecting much of the same from Lee. The schedule isn’t getting any easier for about a month. It’s time for the bats to come alive. That said, it’s only April. Last April we won like 9 games and still made the playoffs.

  14. 64
    Walker Says:


    I’m hoping we will be a little more consistent this year than last year.

    16 wins a month is fine by me.

  15. 65
    Steve Says:

    Good ol’ Martin. Quote from after today’s game:

    “It’s hard. It’s hard to swallow right now. The only thing we can do is just keep going and try to get better at-bats and see more pitches, see what happens.”

  16. 66
    QC Bravo Says:

    I just it is not a sign of things to come … I knew the Brewers had great pitching, but if they can do this, I shudder to think what the Phillies can do. Ugh. At least back under the sky and back in Atlanta.

  17. 67
    Anne Says:

    Breaks my heart I can’t be there live for opening day, but will keep my phone on At-Bat Live throughout rehearsal. Go Braves!!

  18. 68
    Nate Says:

    Cool article in the New York Times Magazine on the greatest rotations of all time based on VORP. The Phillies staff came in 5th. Three of the rotations ahead of them were the 98 Braves, 93 Braves, and the 97 Braves, which were ranked number one overall. The 97 Braves edged out the 56 Indians. Huddy’s in the top 10 twice with the ’02 and ’01 A’s. The 99 Braves came in 8th. Pretty cool.

  19. 69
    Bubdylan Says:

    So, who’s winning in the fantasy stuff?

  20. 70
    Kate Says:

    Over/Under 50 games before Fredi moves Heyward higher in the batting order?

  21. 71
    Steve Says:

    Bub – Top 4 are as follows: Kate, Leah, ME, and Brandon. Had you asked last week when I was 2nd from the bottom, I don’t know that I’d have been so fast to respond.

    Kate – it all depends on if Gonzo and Freeman turn it around. At the risk of giving Hammy props, he had a good point on the last show that if you swap Heyward and Nate, the second half of the lineup is almost non-existent. Like 2008 and 2009 bad. And that has only gotten more pronounced since this past weekend as Gonzo went 1 – 14 and Freeman went 1 – 13 in the MIL series. I didn’t answer your original question. Too depressed …

    Speaking of, I have little faith about this series. I’m really just hoping not to get swept at this point.

    By the way, I’ll be at the stadium tonight and Sunday tweeting. Talk to me out there if you follow us on Twitter.

  22. 72
    Eric Says:

    It doesn’t really get much better with Gonzo. He’s a career .248 hitter with an OBP of less than .300. He got off to a fast start with Toronto last year (which was completely out of whack with rest of his career), Wren and Bobby got tired of Escobar, and overreacted. Not a great trade – we’d be better defensively and offensively with Escobar still on the team.

  23. 73
    Steve Says:

    Eric – I don’t think the team makes the playoffs last year with Escobar on the team. They really disliked him. Really disliked him. The chemistry was so important last year and helped them overachieve. That doesn’t happen with Escobar on the team.

    On the other hand, I’m growing convinced that Gonzo sucks. Leaving us nowhere.

  24. 74
    Bubdylan Says:

    lol, the two girls winning. The handsomest ballplayers must be having a good start.

    (I keed, I keed)

    I don’t agree with the idea of spreading out the good players to keep from having a weak bottom half. I think it’s been proven that piling up runs in an occassional inning is the most effective way to win ballgames. It makes sense anecdotally if you think about it: yeah, the pitcher would have to deal with at least one good hitter in the bottom third, but why should he care? One good hitter, unless he hits a homerun, isn’t going to cost him much.

    By contrast, even five good hitters in a row, hitting .300 each, aren’t all going to get hits. But your best chance to actually SCORE is if two or three of them do.

    Add to that the simplest factor: batters higher up come to the plate more. For my money, pile the best guys up top. If there are innings where the pitcher gets off clean, that’s fine. I’d rather that than the pitcher never gets off clean but runners are stranded all day long.

  25. 75
    Eric Says:

    I’d read that Escobar was not popular in the clubhouse because of mental lapses on the field, a nonchalant attitude, and a general resistance to integrating with the rest of the team. I also read that Alex Gonzalez is well-liked and professional.

    I disagree, though, about the Braves not making the playoffs. Baseball isn’t like basketball or football. Chemistry is nice, but not a necessity because it’s the most individual of team sports. That’s part of the reason why baseball is more statistically driven than other sports. While Escobar was with the team, the Braves were 37-27 for a winning percentage of .578. Without him, the team was 54-44, a winning percentage of .551. Pretty negligible difference.

    I don’t know if Escobar would/could have turned his season around in Atlanta last year, but he significantly outplayed Gonzalez in the second half of the season, and he’s outperforming him now. I remember an anonymous quote from a teammate after Escobar got traded that was something like, “We didn’t mind him so much when he was hitting .290, but it’s tough to take his BS when he’s hitting .220.” That’s all the chemistry you really need in baseball – do your job well, and we’ll work the rest out. And it won’t really matter how much the guys like Gonzo if he’s hitting .230 with 4 homers in June, which is about what he hit in 2004 – the prime of his career.

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