Great show guys! And yes the mint julep is underrated.
I was fair on Teheran’s start. It was about what I expected from a 20 year old making his debut. I liked how well he changed speeds on the fastball and his changeup is a plus-pitch. A little fine-tuning the curve ball will do him some good. Anyone else think he was slow on the mound? Just soaking up the moment i guess.
Right now I really like how deep our rotation is. So I have to go foul on trading Derek Lowe. What would he get in return? I really only want Andrew McCutchen, he’d be perfect, who’s on board?
In regards to the Braves against other division leaders. Pitching, Defense, and timely hitting win championships right? In Team ERA, Defensive Efficiency, and Avg. w/ RISP our MLB ranks are 2nd, 4th, and 4th. Winning! Only teams that scare me are the Angels and Cardinals right now.
I thought Bobby and Orel were great last night — I actually thought the whole broadcast was very fair, except for the extended Gonzo love fest. He’s good, to be sure, but they had him up there with Wagner.
Ham – was Gamescore (GSC) the pitching stat that you were referring to? Hudson’s 1-hitter had a GSC of 90, tied for 4th-best this season. And yes Steve, it “equaled awesome”. Liriano’s no-hitter only had a GSC of 83 (18th place). http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/topperformers
Here’s a stat I noticed today that surprised me — in spite of our hitting problems earlier in the season, our run differential is now at +43, second only to the Cardinals (+44)!
Great show, guys. Our pitching is ridiculous. I think Fredi came out and said the pitchers have adjusted to Jason and now he needs to adjust to them. This is coach speech, but it is also true.
I like the idea of making a pitching move after the season. You never know what the depth will look like in late September. Plus, as you guys mentioned, Lowe has been outstanding in clutch situations. I think the reemergence of JJ, the success of Beachy, and the possibility of Teheran and Minor has some folks thinking a trade is in the Braves future. It makes me curious about what might be available.
I find the Braves’ base stealing stats humorous more than anything. No one can ignore the fact that we are terrible at it, and thus, since this is a professional sports team, it is probably worth improving rather than ignoring. The Braves are apt to hit a run scoring lull, so being able to put yourself in scoring position on a walk or a single can be pretty crucial. But like the guys said, it’s not a huge issue. We are obviously scoring runs and winning baseball games.
Hey i agree with the stolen base issue…if we did look for one…who do we get…is ther any speed threat in AAA..or is it a trade issue? I feel it would really put us over the top if we had some more speed…we need it
Encouraged by Teheran – Fair
Good to see that his first appearence in front of 40K people didn’t phase him too much. The HR was more McCann’s fault… yes the pitch was up, the problem was not up far enough… you get Howard out with pitches up, he likes the ball down and that is where McCann was calling for them…
Support trade of Lowe – Foul
When your starters are pitching their roles as well as they are (i.e. 2-5 don’t have to try to live up to a #1 spot…) leave well enough ALONE! Once Medlen has “returned” (i.e. has gotten his feet back under him, so to speak), we might talk…
Concerned about lack of stolen bases – Foul
Outs are always more valuable than bases. If you don’t have a high percentage (like 75-ish+), you are not helping yourself…
Long time listener but only my first comment.
I don’t think we should be looking to move ANYONE on the big league club. Yes, we can always use bullpen help and now, more than ever, with Moylo being out for the year most likely. But that can be done with mid level prospects. A major move like trading Lowe will only hurt. The lineup is very good, on paper and performance wise. And this is happening with JHey and Uggla under performing greatly. When they hit their stride this is the best lineup in the NL and maybe the Majors.
The only position that can be considered to be replaced in Nate in CF. If someone said Nate will bat 8th all year and hit .250/.350/.380 with 15HR and 60RBI, we all would have taken it. He may not hit 15 dingers and have a fair opportunity at 60 RBI, his performance can dip and he’ll still have better numbers than that slash line.
Plus, we all know how much this team talks about chemistry. I think Nate is a big part of that chemistry as he really seems to be liked and respected by everyone. And I think the team really appreciates how he handled himself last year and the work he put in during the offseason to get where he is today. If we play to our potential (like we have this past week) we won’t need an upgrade in CF.
Obviously, if a team is desperate and offers some unbalanced trade like Uggla’s for a CF we should consider. But in all likely trade scenarios, moving Nate will only hurt us. And I haven’t even mentioned what the loss of Lowe would do.
Also, I was at the game Saturday. While I was hoping for a 12K gem like one of you said, I remained realistic. I was very impressed in our future ace. That was a very big game for us as all our against Philly. But this is a time when we are turning things around and it was a road start coming off a great win. When he left the game, I still felt we had a chance to win. That is all you can ask of any pitcher, especially, a 20 year old making his big league debut.
Jeff. It’s a great point. Still being in it, with your 20 year old pitching for the first time in such a hostile road environment, that also happens to be a little league park … it was pretty impressive.
A quote from Tim Hudson in Jerry Crasnick’s article about baseball and DUI’s. Sounds like a bunch of excuse making to me:
“Ballplayers aren’t like everybody else, where you, your wife and your family deal with it and that’s it,” said Braves pitcher Tim Hudson. “A lot of times you may not actually be guilty of DUI, but you’re charged with it. And in the public’s eye, everybody in America thinks you’re a drunk and you were reckless driving and endangering yourself and other people. That may not be the case, but everybody’s opinion is made as soon as your name and your face are plastered all over the TV.”
Braves starters lead the NL with a 2.90 ERA, ahead of the ballyhooed band of aces rotation of Philadelphia (3.14). For the Braves, that 2.90 ERA includes one start (and loss) apiece from Julio Teheran (5.79 ERA) and Mike Minor (10.38).
Without the eight earned runs that those two rookies allowed in their combined nine innings, the rest of the Braves’ starters – their regular rotation, in other words – has a collective ERA of 2.69 in 214-1/3 innings.
Oh Huddy, what a weak and empty defense. Explain LaRussa falling asleep at the wheel, DLowe racing, and Fookie’s multiple DUI’s. I am sure that there are a few exceptions to that, but I imagine if it looks like a DUI and smells like a DUI . . .
Still on trade rumors:
I just listened to ESPN Baseball Today, and here’s what Keith Law has to say about Atlanta’s pitchers:
“Atlanta’s is cheap and they have extra arms. If you are Atlanta, at some point you need to trade for a bat and I think they will. You’ve got Beachy or Minor. You’re not trading Teheran. But one of Beachy or Minor? Pretty good trade bait. A 3rd or 4th starter say who makes 400 grand, and 400 grand next year? That’s an incredibly valuable piece of trade.”
“They’ve got this fountain of arms coming up through the minors, which is great for depth, but is also great for trade bait. If they just sent word out Mike Minor is available for the best young hitter you’re willing to give us, they’d get some pretty good offers.”
When you have so many pitchers, you really will reach a point where you go beyond depth and have to trade somebody. We all know how great Minor is and how is upside is huge. But you can’t help but be tempted with getting a consistent hitter in our line-up.
“Good velo, good change-up, breaking ball needs some help. I’d love to see a better breaking ball from him. He’s a baby. You could see it. He’s got the baby face, the gangly arms. He’s gonna grow into his body, and then he’s gonna be a monster.”
Hey Vinnie, how’s that for a nickname for Teheran? “The Monster”.
Best nap ever. Went to sleep, 7-1. Woke up, 7-6. If anything, what I will take away from this game is that Chip Carey is the worst announcer in professional sports. That, and Jason Heyward should really peel off more when he hears the CF call for it.
Leah – we came back and then led off the bottom of the 9th with Diory. Fredi should have pinch hit for him. I know there’s no other SS on the club right now. And both Hinske and Mather were already out of the game. But that lead off by Diory was a killer.
Yeah, another case of a Braves’ player playing with what seems to be a serious problem. I don’t know if I feel better or worse that the Braves actually knew about this one and kept him out there to the point that his hand was going numb.
Are the trainers culpable in this “not telling about injuries” stuff? I mean, if your wrist is broken or if you’ve got a bulging disc or whatever (that sounded filthier than I intended) – aren’t the trainers skilled to spot stuff like that and, oh, I don’t know – tattle?
Walker – bottom of the 9th you could have had Conrad pinch hit for Diory and then Ross pinch hit for the pitcher’s spot. If you go to extra’s, you play Conrad at SS. Not ideal, I know. But the move would be an all in, win it in the bottom of the 9th kind of thing. Maybe it’s not the smartest move. And you’re without a back-up catcher if you go into extras. That said, doesn’t Conrad/Ross/Prado seem much better than Diory/Conrad/Prado?
#41 Pure- I agree 100% with you; this happened last year with his thumb. He was not productive and it took weeks for him to finally give in and go on the DL. If someone is hurt and performing poorly, it is not helping the team. Arg!
I can accept that he’s hurt a lot. But he needs to be forthcoming. The injuries could be navigated to limit further damage to his body and to team production. But as long as he remains stubborn about it, and doesn’t rest until it’s MRI time after a month of strike outs (similar to last year’s waiting until he couldn’t even grip the bat), each injury is going to inflict maximum damage on the team.
From Bowman’s article about Heyward’s shoulder. WTF?!?! Does he get blasted by the coaching staff and the front office for not being forthcoming about this stuff?
“Heyward has seemingly kept quiet about this shoulder discomfort he said he has been battling for nearly two months. When he addressed the media, Gonzalez said his young outfielder had only been battling discomfort for a couple weeks.”
Steve, the Braves treat Jason with kid gloves (heh, pun). Did you read Fredi’s comments, how he’d never bench Jason for a slump? Why not? What if he’s slumping through another silent injury?
Last year he waited until he couldn’t grip the bat.
This year he waited until he couldn’t feel his arm.
After Schafer, Heyward, McCann, and Heyward again … hiding injuries and draining the team’s production for weeks of precious games, the Braves had better change the culture regarding injuries. This is so unnecessary.
“Fredi doesn’t seem too concerned about Heyward’s shoulder injury, said he hoped he’d be able to play after a day or two of rest and treatment. But he’ll have the MRI tomorrow, Braves want to rule out anything structural and give him peace of mind.
Heyward said numbness in hand is gone today, but shoulder still feels awkward or uncomfortable Strength tests they’ve done indicate it’s not anything structural. Could be inflammation of some kind, but they just don’t know.”
This sounds like good news on one hand, but also like code for “we’re not going to give him the rest he needs to make this right.”
They showed a stat of the Nats’ record against the NL East since 2008. We are the only team they have a winning record against. I think they’ve beaten us twice as much as they have Philly in the last 3 years.
Nate, I would be willing to bet that stat doesn’t just apply to the NL East. There can’t be more than 2 or 3 teams in baseball that the Nats have a inning record against. And when you finish 2 or 3 games out of the playoffs and you lose to the Nats 10 times, there is a correlation there.
I absolutely agree, Curt. Also, The Phillies seem to always go through stretches where they rarely lose for weeks at a time. I bet it’s mostly a case of them beating the teams they should beat. Something the Braves rarely do. Maybe that’s a sign of a veteran team, and the Braves not taking advantage of a weaker schedule is a sign of young, inexperienced team that doesn’t know how to bring it everyday and stay focused throughout a 162 game season. I seem to remember a particularly abysmal stretch last year where we lost consecutive series to the Nats and Pirates. We may have even gotten swept by the Buccos. It was late in the year. After we had already blown the 8 game division lead we had on the Phillies, which I believe we had up until late July.
Another thing they mentioned last night on the broadcast was the fact that Lanaan can never beat the Phils but pretty much owns us. He falls into that Livan Hernandez category of pitchers we cannot beat but I’m sure the Phillies crush. There has to be a correlation there also.
I bring it up twice a year or so, but it’s worth repeating. When the Braves ran through the 90′s on their unprecedented stretch, they beat sub .500 teams at a +.650 rate. The last few years, that number has dropped below .500. It’s ok to drop a series here or there to a lesser opponent, but you have to be able to take care of inferior opponents to get to where you want to be. If you lose to the Nats and the Pirates and the Padres year after year there is something wrong with your motivation. You are playing to an opponent instead of playing to win.
If they just win the series against sub .500s they can accomplish what the 90s teams did. It is so frustrating to watch. They don’t bring it as hard because they know they have a weak team on the schedule, but if it’s the Phillies they get jacked and go up there and win the series beating Hamels and Lee. Then you come home and lose to Marquis and Lanaan?
P.S. We miss Infante… so clutch off the bench. so clutch.
One has to wonder why Jason was playing in Spring Training with shoulder soreness? He is obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I wonder if the front office comes down on him a little for letting Brian Jordan be the first to know he has a sore shoulder. DOB’s investigative piece has me thinking this whole thing is pretty absurd. Either he had the injury and didn’t tell anyone or he is using it as an excuse for his struggles. Either way he doesn’t look good.
“They don’t bring it as hard because they know they have a weak team on the schedule”
This is hard for me to buy. Baseball is the most individual sport, and these guys make their paychecks off building their statistics up. It seems more likely the struggle against the Nationals is in the same department as the Braves’s post season struggles: it developed naturally enough (bad luck, among other things) and then got in their heads. Player interviews bear this out; once a negative trend is established, no matter how arbitrarily it was established to begin with, it’s hard to shake it mentally.
By the way, if you subtract the Nats’ games against the Phillies, a team the Nats similarly can’t shake (even above the expected talent difference), the Nats would be 17-13 right now.
I’m as ready as anyone to jump on the team for lack of focus and fire, but in this case, I think it’s just back to back screwy games.
The Royals beat the Yankees
The Blue Jays beat the Red Sox
The White Sox beat the Angels
The Astros beat the Reds
and the Cubs beat the Cardinals
I know this doesn’t negate the Braves playing .500 ball against poor teams in recent history, but I would hesitate to assign this team, which is still finding itself, and has several new impact players from last year, the same mojo as previous ones.
Bub – I agree that the head games play a part of it, but there’s got to some component of “energy” involved, in my opinion. The team must, collectively, be more jazzed up to play the Phillies or a sexy franchise like the Dodgers than the Phillies or the Marlins.
In last night’s game, did you think the following plays lacked energy, focus, or drive?
Prado’s arm twirling around to wave Chipper in on McCann’s 1st inning double?
The fist pumps and high fives in the dugout on this same play?
McCann’s screaming F-Bomb (#500) on a stolen base throw?
Hinske’s full tilt sprint for the right CF catch in the 5th?
Gonzalez’s slammed bat on the strike out in the 6th?
Tommy Hanson’s obvious displeasure at being relieved in the 6th?
Gearrin’s fist pump at striking out the last batter of the 6th?
McCann’s ear-to-ear smile after throwing out the runner at 3rd?
The dugout celebration after Hinske’s late homer?
Chipper Jones screaming F-Bomb after striking out in the 8th?
McCann repeatedly punching Linebrink in the face after the game?
Okay, I made the last one up.
I just think it’s too easy to chalk up losses to personality-based traits. I’m the world’s worst at it. But I didn’t see a lack of effort in these two losses. I saw jumping, diving, hard running, cussing, smiling, fist pumping, and frustration. It would be different if there were a bunch of absent minded baserunning blunders or lack of hustle.
If I went into the first game of the series, I’d start by talking about Freeman’s and Uggla’s great defensive plays, in spite of the costly errors. Etc, etc.
I think the team is trying pretty hard to win these games.
Heyward got cortisone shot today, could be back in a few days. Could pinch-run tonight, but probably won’t swing for 2-3 days while medication takes effect.
GM Frank Wren said, “It’s not serious.”
It’s inflammation in his non-throwing shoulder. It’s been a little sore since he took an awkward swing in spring training, Wren said, but nothing that would keep him out of lineup until a couple of days ago when he probably took a swing that aggravated it. Again, it’s not serious.
Other players on the current roster have similar conditions, be it a shoulder or knee or whatever, on their rundowns on the daily trainer’s report, but Heyward’s got a little worse two days ago.
I’m assuming Nate is referring to the news that Kendrys Morales is going to miss the entire season to have more surgery on the ankle he broke jumping on to home plate after hitting the walk off grand slam early last season. Bub, I think you had some choice words for that idiotic celebration at the time.
This game sucks worse than when Old Yeller was shot.
This series sucks wore than when the girl from Precious ate all that chicken running down the street and got sick.
If the Phillies come into town and we play like this, it will suck worse than when Godzilla stomped on all those kittens. (Okay, that’s not a real movie scene, but if we keep playing like this, I’m going to film it)
Speaking of Sunday…word on the street from my usher friend is that tickets are not selling well for this coming Sunday’s game. For Atlanta to have such rich history and us to have the Civil Rights game broadcast on national TV, I’d hate to have the camera pan to the seats and see so many empties. If you live locally, get yourself a seat – 1:30pm versus Philly. Go Braves!
Wow, if we can’t sell tickets for Tim Hudson versus Roy Halladay & the first place Phillies, on a Sunday, for a televised special event, we are taking a nosedive. Bad as it’s been for empty seats, this could be a “special” year.
Aussie Kenman – re #95. You’re right. The management of his pitch count seems pretty indefensible. Forget the fact that he’s the #1 pitching prospect in ALL OF BASEBALL! and should be handled gingerly, but he’s clearly on the big club’s near term radar for this year, given his spot start last weekend. It makes no sense.
I’m with Brian Jordan (I think I threw up in my mouth a little…), tell Uggla to move up on the plate. He is so quick inside, dare them to try to get one by him… They are killing him with that pitch down and away…
I think the Uggla’s and McCloth’s of the world suffer from larger baseball market syndrome. They put too much pressure on themselves to perform. I sure hope it doesn’t take Uggs a season and a half to stop pressing at the plate. Fredi says he’s not pressing but I’m not buying it. This ain’t Miami or Pittsburg, this is Atlanta and the expectations are higher here the players know it.
What I can’t stand is the annoying electronic strum they use when the score board goes up to the corner. Terrible. Great win! Especially without Chipper and Heyward and with Huddy half gimpy. Fantastic end to a somewhat frustrating week.
Did anyone catch the pre-game ceremonies? Carlos Santana had to ruin it in my opinion. Apparently, we here in Atlanta and Arizona should be a shamed of ourselves. Leave it to some entertainer to inject politics into such a class event as this. I’ve lost any amount of respect I’ve ever had for Carlos Santana after hearing his little childish jab.
I’m going to blow a fuse if Atlanta’s next pitching move is to spare getting rid of Scott Linebrink, as is being rumored (they say they might let Martinez have the spot start to keep from making any roster moves).
It has been since 2008 since Scott Linebrink was worth a crap to any baseball team. He has been terrible now for, ready for it? ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY GAMES. He was terrible before he came here, terrible the year before that, and has been terrible since he got here. He is not suddenly going to become a valuable pitcher. Grow some balls and cut this guy right stinking now.
Why right stinking now? Because if you let the long bullpen man, Martinez, have a spot start, you are losing your long man during a no-off-days stretch, and with your bullpen already very taxed and very vulnerable.
This one stubborn move, to keep Linebrink, could do a TON of damage, if that’s indeed the main player in their decision. And on top of the damage, again, YOU STILL HAVE TO HAVE SCOTT LINEBRINK IN YOUR BULLPEN. UGH! Sometimes this front office makes me bananas. Somebody at ESPN said they’d never seen a crazier mixture of savvy moves and absurd ones as with the Atlanta front office.
Keeping Linebrink is going to really, really hurt us. And these are the things I remember when we get a what-could-it-hurt response from people on the acquisition of a bad player. It can hurt a lot, because this club will let a bad player do ridiculous amounts of damage to the Win-Loss column, the team psyche, and in this case, the team health, before they’ll get rid of him.
That said, I hope they make this post look silly by cutting Linebrink in the next 24 hours.
Yep, need to 86 Linebrink. George Sherrill has at least made up some of his earlier misgivings. I don’t remember which game it was but I only recall one single inning where Linebrink looked good. The Braves don’t turn to him that much anymore so maybe they’re thinking about cutting him loose.
Jones again: “The thing that bothered me about that Washington series is that we looked like we were sleepwalking. That’s the difference between the two teams. The Phillies don’t come into a series wanting to take two of three — they want to sweep.”