Pure, we face Halladay, Lee, and Hamels with Lowe, Beachy, and Hanson. If Uggla and Heyward catch fire, maybe. Short of that, I think we’ll enter the ASB where we are now, about 4 back.
But I’m really proud of the Bravos. Playing with a severe handicap in Fredi Gonzalez. (Seriously, how many ways did he try to beat us today? Bogus suicide sqeeze number 4 on the year, batting Gonzalez in the top of the order, and not having Venters available because he was used with big leads last week… that’s three right off the bat).
Nate, I would so much hate to be without either Freeman or Kimbrel. According to Fangraphs, Billy Wagner was worth 2.2 wins above replacement last year. Kimbrel has given us 1.8 already, leading ALL MAJOR LEAGUE RELIEVERS by nearly half a win, which is nutsville.
Freeman has been worth 0.3 wins above replacement* so far, where Glaus gave us 0.6 for all of last year. For what it’s worth, Freddie and Troy had the same number of homers, nine, to this point of the season.
So, we replaced Wags and Troy, surpassed them really, for pennies on the dollar to say the least. And both stand to improve from here, whereas Troy and Wags regressed in the second half.
* (Warning: sabergibberish ahead) I actually used Freeman’s oWAR, or Offensive WAR, here instead of his full WAR for two reasons: 1. UZR, the defensive component of WAR, is unstable with less than a season or two of data. Most saberheads get grumpy if WAR is used to analyse any batter’s ongoing season for this reason. 2. Specifically, Freddie is punished by a poor UZR, which is probably just from too much noise in the data. We’ve all seen with our own eyes that he’s an asset defensively. So I just basically threw that value out.
Actually moved over the line into Olive Branch a few years ago, but the monicar started while I was living in Memphis and that’s the way folks on several podcasts know me, so I have kept it. Can’t quite “throw and rock” and hit Memphis, but I am close…
I understand picking Halladay over JJ to start the All-Star game.
Halladay has done it longer. He regularly throws complete games. Almost never fails to strike out a bunch. He almost always “looks” dominant in the games he pitches. Is defending Cy winner, and IS defending it… (i.e. is in the running for another…)
JJ doesn’t “look” as dominant. He was on the DL to start the year. He doesn’t “always go nine”.
But, the starter in the All-Star game has a chance to lose the game, but has no chance to win it. They never go the five innings to qualify. But, after the starter, whomever is the pitcher of record when the team takes the lead, he “wins” the game. If JJ doesn’t start, he has a chance to be the game winner…
re #227-228 – did any of you notice how lukewarm the handshakes and high-fives for JJ were after the game? McCann seemed cold to him, and a lot of players seemed more congratulatory towards Heyward than they did to JJ. I was surprised, I thought there would have a warmer response.
Did I make this up? What’s the book on JJ as a teammate?
On JJ — I did see a game a few weeks back where he showed up his teammates when a grounder got through the infield. As I remember it, he kind of tossed his glove in the air and rolled his eyes.
I can’t believe that Sunshine Steve is shooting down my first-place prediction/prayer. It’s something to aim for — a stretch goal. Unlikely, true. Where’s the excitement in predicting that we’ll still be four games back by next week?
Scott Proctor in a high leverage situation. Sorry to be negative when things are so good, but Fredi Gonzalez is an unmitigated moron. Just as we all figured, Fredi has been unaware just how close Proctor has been to losing every single game he’s pitched in without extreme luck. That they sent Martinez down instead of cutting Proctor when they called up Gearrin is absolutely mindboggling.
Every. Single. Step. Of the way, from his signing to his first call up, I have screamed that this guy is a loss waiting to happen. Everybody has seen it but the Braves. Unreal.