Totally agree with Nate (#45) – Braves are in the second group of teams that look very average or very good depending on the week. It is a long season, with ebbs and flows – this is not college football where every week is do or die. That said, I can not figure out the lack of runs – or, more accurately, I can figure out the lack of runs, given the low OBP and SLG, but I can’t figure out why it seems so many Braves are not performing even to their historical numbers. Are the Braves using a humidor?
46 Well, unlike in years past where Puj was 7 – 10 wins above replacement, this year he is under 2.5… so, it may not be quite so hard for them to do without him for 4 to 6 (of course, that could translate to 6 – 8 before he is on the field).
But, then again, his presence can cause extra stress dealing with him so others may benefit, but I guess that remains to be seen…
Their usual pitching probably won’t be able to “carry” them…
#52 – I don’t know Kate. Turner Field is a house of horrors for Jo Jo (career 5.81 ERA there) and he’s a worse pitcher in day games (career 7.01 during the day vs. 5.09 at night). AND I believe that Beachy going to look great tomorrow. AND Jo-Jo is bad.
DAP (#43): Curt’s .500 record comment aside, what do you really think about the team right now? I get that you’re arguing a point, but do you think they’re a top tier team? Do you think, with the past 75 games as your data, that this team will make it and go far in the playoffs?
I just look at the combination of the amazing pitching and the almost league worst average (13th), OBP (13th) and runs scored (11th) and it feels like it will soon collapse on itself.
Despite my #57, pretty great game tonight. Everyone got at least one hit (except Uggla, of course) and double digit hits didn’t result in 1 or 2 runs as they have in the past.
My one complaint is Fredi bringing in Venters in the 9th with a 4 run lead. Rest the kid as much as you can given his ungodly number of appearances already. Linebrink has only giving up runs in one of his last 16 appearances. He seemed like an obvious choice. And only one of the first three batters was a lefty. Not smart bullpen management.
#58 re Venters – I commented a while ago about “hidden” injuries and how much the trainers may or may not be culpable. In the same vein, I wonder how much argument/pushback Fredi gets from Eddie Lopez (he’s still the bullpen coach, right?) or Roger MacDowell when he calls to say, “send in so & so.”
I’m watching on Gameday and like how they have a graphic for the pitchers for what % of their game is which pitch. 32% cutters, 22% sliders, whatever. Jo-Jo has like, three pitches, and forgets to use two of them most of the time.
Steve @ #57, my response to Curt is how I usually respond to irrational negativity.
To answer your questions, I think the team right now is very good, because of the great (not good) pitching staff, and good defense. The Braves’ players’ track record suggests they can be a good offensive team as well, though they certainly aren’t right now.
I don’t think they are a top tier team, but all they would need is for some of those offensive rankings to move to middle of the pack, and they would be, because of the pitching.
I do think this team will make the playoffs, and will make it far, barring injuries. I think we would have advanced last season if we hadn’t been missing Jones and Prado.
I can’t think of a single team the Braves wouldn’t match up well against. The pitching is that good.
I saw where the following was suggested on a web site:
Braves Get: LF Josh Willingham and 2B Scott Sizemore
Athletics Get: CF Nate McLouth and SP Arodys Vizcaino
Justification (from the article):
Braves built to win now.
Future rotation (two to three years): Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado, Arodys Vizcaino, Mike Minor, and Brandon Beachy. At least two are left over as trade bait. JJ & Hanson are not going anywhere. Would have to be BIG deal to pry away Teheran, Minor or Delgado. Beachy contributing at ML level, but Vizcaino has more upside and value in trade.
Braves need help in OF. McLouth under performing, Prado out for a while. Willingham 10 HR, 42 RBI and .333 with runners in scoring position. Sizemore (.265 (.343 in June), 1 HR, 10 RBI), relagated to bench, could spell Uggla.
Willingham is DTD with an Achillies problem at the moment…
Steve (#56), sorry, wouldn’t know how to do a link if I had one (a generational thing). Here in Colorado, the talk of Braves being sold started with the story you can google and probably already read: “Forbes: Malone’s Liberty Media may want to sell Atlanta Braves.” As you know, the Braves were used to balance out a bigger business deal. Liberty Media employees live in my area (Douglas county, Colorado) and they do feel that the company wants out. Also, the subject occassionally hits the talk shows here so I was wondering what is being said elsewhere. You probalby also know that the CEO made $87.1 million last year (Similar to the total Braves payroll). Must be nice milking your acquisitions!
DAP, I would have gone with predictably cynical or numbingly pragmatic. Irrationally negative just doesn’t work. Particularly when you then spout out all the things I have been saying for weeks. And if this is still about me saying the Braves were a .500 team when they were actually 5 games over…seriously?
Moving on. Article I read today said Cuban was interested in the Dodgers, but with all the lingering problems out there, he might not go for it. Liberty went into the Braves deal with the agreement (with Selig) that they would own the Braves for at least 4.5 years. That timeframe is apparently up at the end of the season, and as john j points out, the team isn’t a core asset for Liberty, and we can all hope. Cuban would be at the top of the list for potential owners for me, and with the bright future of the franchise, they would certainly be attractive. No way his involvement wouldn’t be met with huge fan support.
#67: Vizcaino is a very prized prospect. That said:
Here are Sizemore’s career numbers: .241 .324 .332 – No thanks. Plus, we’ve got a 2nd basemen signed for 5 years, like it or not.
And Willingham’s: .262 .362 .469 He’s a decent piece, but not Vizcaino worthy.
And Michael Bourn: .266 .335 .355 Again, a decent player, but I’d not give up a prized pitching prospect for him either.