June 19, 2011

Show #152: The Braves Stumble At Home

Can the team be better?  Heyward’s star. The starting rotation. And batting the pitcher 8th.



165 Responses to “Show #152: The Braves Stumble At Home”

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  1. 1
    Jo-Bu Says:

    Here are my thoughts:

    1) This is who we are: 60 games is a reasonable sample and we’ve already played something on the order of like 73 games.

    2) For me to my opinion to change would have to see 3.5 to 4 weeks of winning baseball — not so much in win streaks but winning series.

    3) The Braves just cannot seem to get over the hump of one of those teams that make you feel confident. They really do play like a .500 team though you look at the back of these guy’s baseball cards and say wow, we really are under performing as a team.

    1) The shine is coming off of Heyward: FAIR! And guys, I’m glad you all mentioned that interview as the point that your views might have started downward because that interview was exactly when I thought, OMG, is this guy another jerk like Barry Bonds is/was? It doesn’t cost him a damn thing to be nice to anyone and he seems a bit entitled if you ask me. I’m also tired of the media treating him with kid gloves except for Brian Jordan.

    2) Worried about starting pitching. FAIR, I guess. It’s really kind of a grey area for me right now. Hanson makes “still” makes me nervous then he goes out and puts up 14 Ks (which is my point exactly) you just don’t know which Tommy, Huddy, or Lowe will show up each time. But we pretty much know which Lowe will show up. I don’t care what anyone says, I really think Huddy is hiding something that is nagging him whicih is why I think he’s now a box of chocolates.

    4) Batting Pitcher in 8th Spot: FAIR. What the hell, we’ve shuffled the top of the order so what difference does it make if Nate or Hanson bats 8th or 9th. I mean, what have we got to lose here?

    UGGLA METER – Ok, I confess, I was dazzled by his brightness and baffled by his b.s. in Houston but at least he’s appears to be more patient.

    Has anyone paid any attention to Freddi Freeman’s little mini slumps after he jacks one out of the park? He’s learning and actually I think for a rookie he seems to be learning quicker each time though I don’t have his stats in front of me. Gonzo has all of a sudden become a free-swinger in his slump. And Stevie, I agree, he’s a veteran and should know better and have a heck of a lot more discipline up there.

  2. 2
    Jo-Bu Says:

    In comparing 2011 Braves to the 2010 Braves, I don’t seem to be hearing/reading, as we did last season, the stories of love for each other. Could this be a reason for the longer slumps this season? Maybe that’s a FOUL but I just haven’t heard any of those kinds of stories this season.

  3. 3
    Walker Says:

    Boy oh Boy We are a spoiled bunch. We have been riddled with injuries, haven’t had our starting lineup since early May, we have Matt Young, Diory Hernandez, Conrad starting games yet we are tied with the NL Wild Card Lead. But we complain and complain. Lets complain if we suck when Chipper and Prado come back.

  4. 4
    Jo-Bu Says:

    #3. We have stunk with the opening day lineup out there and that’s why we are complaining.

  5. 5
    Walker Says:

    Also, Heyward’s shine is dimming in my eyes only because he is injury prone. If Jason Heyward plays 162 games healthy I have no doubt he CAN hit 25-35 HRs with a .300+ average. Dude can hit. He’s done it at every level. He just wasn’t completely prepared for the rigors of a MLB season. And lets all be honest here. There are numerous times when Chipper, Uggla and Gonzalez don’t run out ground balls but no one calls them out. And thats a fact.

  6. 6
    Walker Says:

    @4 Early in the season not everybody hit their stride. Freeman was getting used to MLB pitching, Heyward shoulder was not 100%, McLouth was batting second for no apparent reason, and we weren’t aware that Uggla sucked that much.

  7. 7
    Jo-Bu Says:

    Yeah but you know the old saying: No one is 100% healthy after the first week in the Bigs.

  8. 8
    Bubdylan Says:

    For the “is this just who we are” question, I have to say: absolutely not. Three of the main four cogs of our offense – Prado, Heyward, and Uggla – are contributing at a fraction of their ability. That’s the Braves hitters with the three largest Wins Above Replacement numbers from 2010 currently injured, half injured, and brain injured, respectively.

    I guess it’s “who we are” for an indefinite period of time, but at some point, surely … SURELY … that will change. Or else, we’re just cursed. Which, when I look at Yunel’s new contract and current offensive numbers, doesn’t seem out of the question.

    The team is still boiling with potential. Freddie Freeman is showing a ton of upside I hadn’t expected at ALL. Delgado looked really promising to me. Teheran less so, but he went right back to blowing doors off in the minors, and since he’s clearly no Jo Jo Reyes mentally, I fully expect him to get through the MLB wall sooner than later upon next call up.

    As Mike Minor’s biggest supporter in these parts, I’m ready for him to go bye bye.

  9. 9
    Bubdylan Says:

    Heyward’s shine was dimmed for me by his ridiculous comment to Stevie and his half baked twitter feed. He puts off a very obnoxious “too cool for school” vibe. It’s so mild and tolerable compared to the Bryce Harpers of the world, and I try to keep that in mind. But I’ll probably always root for Jason in a fairly mercenary capacity. I have no desire to see him become the face of the franchise. Would rather see McCann, Jurrjens, Freeman, Teheran, Delgado, or (a fully recovered) Dan Uggla holding that torch.

    And I’d trade Heyward for Stanton in three seconds.

  10. 10
    Nate Says:

    Awful week.

    Heyward’s shine has definitely worn off.

    How is the worst sign not Tommy’s shoulder injury?

    Yunel getting out of Atlanta was the best thing for both parties. Kind of funny that we see him and Elvis in back to back series. I think most people, like myself, we’re upset about the Yunel trade because we gave him away for virtually nothing. He was our MVP in 2009, and in 2010 we gave him away to the Blue Jays… Goes to show kids, you can hit .180 and start everyday (see Uggla/McLouth), but a bad year coupled with a bad attitude will get you traded.

  11. 11
    Nate Says:

    Gonzo’s defense keeps us in a lot of games, but he will swing at pretty much anything.

    McLouth had a swing yesterday with Heyward on 2nd and Freddie on 3rd that was pitcher-worthy. Why not hit him 8th?

  12. 12
    Nate Says:

    “Why not hit him 8th?” or 9th

  13. 13
    Nate Says:

    It would be awesome if we could acquire Hunter Pence with a package of Minor/Pastornicky/Oberholtzer(or some other pitcher of that quality).

  14. 14
    Nate Says:

    1. Prado
    2. Pence
    3. Mac
    4. Chipper
    5. Freeman
    6. Uggla
    7. Heyward
    8. Gonzo
    9. P

  15. 15
    Walker Says:

    Stanton for Heyward? I don’t think so. LOL

  16. 16
    Steve Says:

    “Goes to show kids, you can hit .180 and start everyday (see Uggla/McLouth), but a bad year coupled with a bad attitude will get you traded.”

    So true, but I’d add hitting .180 and making more than 7mil per year.

    Walker – I get the spoiled comment comment. In response I’d say that this team should be sooooo much better and that’s what’s frustrating.

  17. 17
    Nate Says:

    Fortunately for us the Cards and Brewers seem to be following us step for step, so I still feel really good about the Wild Card. I’m getting closer and closer to feeling that we have no shot at catching the Phillies, though.

  18. 18
    Nate Says:

    We’re hitting like the Padres, and we have so much more money invested in our lineup. That needs to change. Fans should be frustrated. Anyone who watched the Braves play last week should feel frustrated. Especially if you paid money to see it in person.

  19. 19
    Curt Says:

    Walker/Steve – I don’t get the spoiled comment. How are we spoiled? By having a .500 baseball team playing well below its potential? And by what are we getting spoiled with?

    Here’s a plate of food. Half of it is delicious, the other half is the worst food you could imagine. Eat it all and only point out how great the one half is, but don’t mention the bad. Oh, and regarding the bad half, we have all the ingredients and skill to make it good, we just don’t want to figure out how. We are relying on the fact that the good half will compensate.

    If this team can not get their offensive house in order, they will only make the playoffs by backing into them. July starts next week. This is more than a blip on the radar.

  20. 20
    Steve Says:

    Curt – my acknowedgement of spoiled is that we are 7 games over .500, in second place in the East and tied for 1st in the WC. That said, and to our doom and gloom last night, it all goes away if we keep playing like this.

  21. 21
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Has the shine worn off on Heyward?


    “Worn off”, no. Wearing, yes.

    BTW – Guys, you have got to let the interview go. You know Steve, Heyward doesn’t. He had probably answered 50 reporters on the thumb injury and telling them it wasn’t an excuse. We know Steve wasn’t trying to do so, but if you took the question out of the context of Steve asking it, it could have come off (at least when I heard it) as someone trying to get a “sound bite” to be able to headline “Heyward admits injury caused slump” (or something like that). And the rest of the interview was a guarded Heyward being careful of what he said.

    Guess I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  22. 22
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Am I worried about the pitching?


    I think Hudson was over-acheiving all year. He just doesn’t miss a lot of bats. If he isn’t throwing “ground balls” all the time, he gets hit hard.

    I don’t know how Hanson is going to react to his shoulder problem. It may give Beachy a chance to see what he can do, but I don’t want him to pitch too many innings in his first season “in the biggs”.

    It is feast or famine with Lowe and he doesn’t seem to “taper off” any more. It is like at a point in the game, he just falls off a cliff.

    JJ has been really good. He seems to have learned to be a pitcher instead of trying to “blow everyone away” (wish he could teach that to Kimbrel – i.e. back off just a hair so you can put the ball where you want it and let the natural movement on your pitches do the rest). However, with JJ, you end up with a couple of hits sandwiched around a four-pitch walk in the middle of an otherwise stellar performance… inexplicable.

  23. 23
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Bat pitcher 8th.


    It wasn’t hard for La Russa to try and get people on in front of Pujols. If Chipper is in the batting order, maybe it is good.

  24. 24
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Slump is over.


    I was still foul from Houston. Almost all his hits are still on mistakes on the inner half. He is still trying to pull EVERYTHING.

  25. 25
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Best sign of the week:
    Rallying to win the final game of a series to prevent being swept at home twice in one week.

    Worst sign of the week:
    Having to rally to win a final game of a series to prevent being swept at home twice in one week.

    Honorable mention:
    Hanson going in the DL.

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