AZ and the Brew Crew just lost. giving us a clean 4 game lead in the Wild Card race. Braves and Phils pulling away from the pack. Just 2 weeks ago there was a logjam of five teams at the top of the WC standings. Braves have really stepped on the gas.
Great win last night, and a great job by Jurrjens. He definitely had no-hit stuff, and it looked like if the infield wasn’t play Adam Jones to pull, then Alex Gonzalez would have a good chance at making the play. But nevertheless — excellent start by Jurrjens.
I just read Brave in New York’s blog (great stuff, btw), and I agree with Fredi being a bit too calm as a manager. In his postgame comments, too, it seems like he’s being really…what’s the word…diplomatic, especially towards players on other teams. Last night, for example, he had the whole “their guy pitched a great game too, let’s not forget that” thing, which he often says. Now, this thing isn’t so bad, and I kinda like it that he says it, although it can get a bit old…
No, something that he said last night really served as a stark contrast to Bobby Cox, and I don’t think it’s in a good way. I was watching the postgame clubhouse interviews, and someone (Dave O’Brien at AJC?) asked him if he thought Jurrjens’ performance earned him the starting spot for the All-Star Game. Fredi’s response? “Well, I think he’s got one more start before that, but this was a pretty good performance that can get some attention to give him an opportunity to at least be on the team.”
“At least be on the team”?!?! What kind of endorsement is that? There’s no doubt that JJ will be on the team, and in fact he definitely deserves to be in strong consideration along with the Philly pitchers. Can’t you just hear Bobby’s response if he were manager this year? “Well he would be for me, there’s no question about it! He’s had a helluva first half, and I think he’s certainly earned it. If I were in there, I’d let him pitch 9 if they’d allow it, he’s that good.”
Fredi’s comments, though, either seem to be saying one of two things: that JJ’s all-star worthiness isn’t solid, which would be bad for him to say; or that he wants to be respectful of other players in the league just as much as he respects his own. The second one is also bad, b/c I think a manager should stand behind his player, hold him up, give him that boost and confidence, etc. I’m sure that Fredi does do that and his players know that they’ve got his support and confidence — it just doesn’t seem to shine through as much in his postgame interviews.
And also, I would just point out Heyward’s comments on the issue of whether JJ should be All-Star starter: “Do I think he should? I would not be mad if he did. It counts and I feel pretty confident, but there’s a lot of other guys worthy also.” Again — these are rather strange comments to be coming out of a Braves’ clubhouse, especially when we’re used to seeing Bobby as well as fellow players holding each other up.
Just some things I noticed and was curious about in the midst of what’s turning out to be a great week. Let’s make it 5 in a row tonight!
David, I noticed Fredi’s and Jason’s comments, too. Super awkward moment for Jurrjens. What a lame couple of endorsements.
With Heyward, I have to seriously start to suspect he is socially immature. Not a super bad knock on him, but I just don’t think that when he reaches for something to say, he comes back with a natural or appropriate response half the time. “Always frontin” as we used to say. Hopefully he’ll develop a little grace as he goes along, because he’s not coming off very likeable at all.
Fredi tries to be real in postgame, which I appreciate. But damn is he dumb.
David (#227) – Fantastic post. And yeah, both those comments are downright perplexing. I imagine, for Fredi, it’s some kind of taking the high road, or something crazy like that, but – C’MON! Like you said, of course he’s on the AS Team. The only question remains about he or Halladay starting the game.
Steve — thanks! I agree about Fredi trying to take the high road or something, but there’s no shame in the Bobby approach, either.
I’m thinking that it’s gonna be Halladay who gets the nod. He’s the reigning Cy Young, he’s got a million complete games this season alone, he’s got more IP and strikeouts. Jurrjens has him in ERA and the distinction of being the first to 10 (and 11) wins in the NL, and those are nice, but Halladay has the “name” and recognition as being the very best starting pitcher in all of baseball, and unless someone is able to totally out-do him, I think he’s the guy that Bochy will select.
But why else will it be Halladay over Jurrjens? It’s the Braves’ bridesmaid syndrome. As a team, they had it during the 14 division title streak, but now it’s affecting Braves players themselves in things like these — Jurrjens, Heyward, Hanson, Frenchy all finishing 2nd (or 3rd) in Rookie of the Year; Andruw 2nd-place MVP; McCann always being the runner-up for All-Star; etc.
Don’t get me wrong — I am rooting 100% for JJ to get the start, cause he’s definitely deserved it. And hopefully I am wrong, and it will be JJ over Halladay (and Lee and Hamels, for that matter).
Let’s go Huddy! Also — I’m smelling a big game from Schaefer tonight.