Good show, guys. The Spy Kids franchise really took one on the chin.
I would love to see this lineup:
Bourn, Chip, Mac, Uggla, Freddie, Prado, J-Hey/Diaz, Gonzo, P
I am hoping all of our guys just find some consistency so Fredi has to do very little tweaking in the postseason. I completely understand resting O’Ventbrel if the plan is to just use them + Moylan in the postseason.
The Hanson news has me feeling much much better. JJ is kind of a huge question mark in terms of what pitcher you’re going to get. Kind of like Lowe. IMO, that makes JJ a lot cheaper when it’s time for a new contract.
I know this team is on cruise control but we haven’t clinched the wild card yet. The Giants pose no threat but with the way we are playing the Phillies the cardinals could gain a couple games and make the lead 6.5. Then we play St. Louis for a three game series and if they sweep its 3.5 with 2 weeks to go. It’s unlikely but we need to get it going.
I totally agree that 12 innings into this series and it just gets more depressing. They do look beaten down and they certainly look overmatched. Pain.
I am getting the feeling that Fredi is going to start Constanza in the playoffs. It’s just ridiculous. Constanza is a one infield hit starter. That’s it. And a crappy outfielder. Heyward’s upside game to game is so much higher.
I know J- Hey isn’t having a ideal year, but October is a new year and by starting Constanza throughout the playoffs we potentially lose out on at least one HR and maybe a couple doubles which could be HUGE.
Constanza is proving his lack of worth every time he flails at a outside breaking ball for strike three. It seriously is a crime that Heyward isn’t starting against a righty that we will hopefully see in the playoffs.
Suggestion for a new segment on the podcast: who do you want managing the Braves in 2012?
Showalter is cool but his teams always start off well but never obtain next level success with him as manager. Maybe he isn’t given more time but right after the Yankees and D-backs fired him they won World Series championships.
Question: does Bourn steal on his own, or does Fredi decide when to send him? Perhaps this is just a good dose of Fredi-hating, but I’m seriously wondering if Fredi’s not at least partly to blame for Prado’s two GIDPs when Bourn is on first.
And how many times have we seen Fredi hit-and-run when slower runners are on base? And it seemingly never happens when Bourn’s on? Is that just me?
I wish I felt like me right now. Why the hell do you pitch Martinez there? And leave him in to give up 2 runs? Insane. Martinez is the long inning guy, or the blowout game guy. Not the “hold them right there” guy.
And the Constanza experiment really needs to end. If he is going to flip flop guys, at least let it be Diaz and not Constanza.
And Raul Ibanez? Again? Is it a good sign when there 5 beats our 1? And there 5 has been getting slapped around recently?
Apparently we won’t see O’Ventbrel unless we have a lead or the game is tied. We don’t even use them down 1 to our division rival, whom we trail in the division. We’re playing not to lose the Wild Card from here on out. Lame. He called out the offense and seems to be confident that they will make up for the extra runs given up while he rests his bullpen. Because there is so much data this year to support that happening. Maybe if we cut down on the unnecessary appearances by O’Ventbrel during the season we could use them more in September.
Is Fredi really going to rest all of those guys in St. Louis in the same situation?
Not to add to pessimism, but Hudson pitches poorly against St Louis (cannot pitch to Albert). I think I feel more confident in Teheran & Delgado (concerned about their workload at this point) than those of the show; but y’all do show more confidence in Lowe than I do. Lowe won’t get hurt or become tired if Braves make playoffs, but he’s not enough help if the offense doesn’t pick things up, b/c he doesn’t shut teams down.
Steve, this “Georgie/Heyward” thing must really be throwing you off your game.
“hit and run with slow runners”… OF COURSE you hit and run with slow runners… That is the point, to try and stay out of a double play! The fact that the batter can’t make contact isn’t Fredi’s fault.
I think mostly you can atribute not “hitting and running” to Bourn having a green light to steal most of the time…
My wonder is if perhaps Prado can’t deal with “taking pitches” to give Bourn a chance to run… He may not be the #2 hitter we need…
I am not sure that Jason would be well served there either. He did well hitting 2nd behind Prado, but then again, Prado was not really a threat to steal… But it is hard to tell in that, last year Jason took a lot of walks so he was seeing a lot of pitches and hit pretty well in deep counts, which would bode well for him as the #2 hitter behind Bourn…
Alex G has a serious problem when it comes to using his head while at bat. Pitcher shows some wildness in the inning so instead of making the pitcher pitch to him, he swings at 3 balls and strikes out. This guy may have some skills but he must be about as dumb as they come.
76, with any luck Constanza will replace Prado and NOT Heyward. Prado is NOT a number 2 hitter and right now, is not a hitter at all. .219 August. .139 last 10 games. Take away his walk off and he has been nothing short of worthless for 2 months but still plays and bats second.
Fredi considered this a game/series that means nothing so maybe fans shouldn’t take it so seriously. NO manager puts a guy coming off of rehab in the game when the game is on the line if it is an important game.
Beachy looks like the veteran stud big-game pitcher that Lowe and Hudson should be with their experience (and are paid to be). After Beachy, the most exciting thing was Heyward and the most reliable continues to be Chipper.
Can McCann see? .146 August. .182 last 10. .206 post all star. No one else squints like him. Prado and McCann are currently 2 likely outs at the top of the line up.
Fredi’s Cred: does he have any? Does benching Hanley Ramirez outweigh years of horrendous decisions with bullpens? Is this team better because of Fredi, or the fact that EOF has really improved, we have arguably the 1,2,and 3 in the ROY voting, we acquired Bourn, and we acquired Uggla?
Fredi is an idiot! I can understand not pitching Kimbrel due to the doubleheader tomorrow in NY, but hey, the baseball book says, you worry about tomorrow, tomorrow! So with that, Fredi chose to gamble. As Tony Soprano might say: Fredi, he’s a degenerate gambler!
I guess we’re stuck with Fredi G for like about 5 years because that’s the
#89 – And to think that (according to Mark B.) Wren didn’t even entertain the thought of interviewing the 2, 3 and 4 candidates for the job. That’s worse than the Braves not even getting to see KK before they signed him.
Dangit. That is the worst way to lose a ballgame. Good news, Tommy Hanson is on the rebound (via Hardball Talk): “Braves reliever Tommy Hanson … is making steady progress and could be ready for the final week or two of the regular season.”
St. Louis is now 6 1/2 back in WC. The Cards are probably playing their best baseball of the year, and are 7-3 in their last 10. The Braves are 3-7 in their last 10 games. I’m really nervous about this WC race being a lot closer on Monday morning with most of our starting pitching either struggling or on the DL.
I was thinking that yesterday… especially how Chipper is batting w/ runners in scoring position… However, I wonder if this will negate Bourn’s speed… Is Chipper going to take pitches to give Bourn a chance to steal? He certainly WON’T be called on to bunt him over… something you wouldn’t hesitate to do w/ Prado (until you watched him try to do it – sorry, that was ugly…)
My suggestion for a Fredi segment is “how badly did you want to punch Fredi in the face this week.” It can be a scale of 0 to 10, zero being your child and ten being a drunk Phillies fan that just puked on a 9 year old girl.
Well, I said a couple or maybe even a few weeks ago that I hoped we weren’t peaking too early. I think the boys have a chance to catch fire again but they need to catch fire at the right moment. Otherwise, I don’t see us getting past the first round just like last year.
Well, not the best game, but we didn’t quit. Minor showed something… he could have “folded his tent” after that first inning, but he didn’t. Vizcaino had a good outing, hopefully gave him some confidence and let him know he has to hit his spots to pitch here, can’t just get by on talent at this level, but also let him know he IS capable of pitching at this level… Hopefully Prado got a little confidence… he hit bullets and got nothing in Philly… he hits three “softies” and gets three base hits…
Even with a few misguided pitching moves by Fredi and the injuries, it doesn’t look like pitching is the main issue with this rough patch. In the last 8 losses by the Braves, they scored 2,0,2,6,1,0,3,2 runs; that’s an average of 2 runs a game. Take out the 6 run loss, the average in the other 7 goes to 1.4 runs per game that they lost. Not hard to figure why they lost these games. Since a lot of the young bats haven’t developed like we expected, maybe it is time to start looking at Fredi’s buddy, Parrish.
So, while we’ve been focusing on the Brewers as our opponent in the NLDS, perhaps we should also look at Arizona, who is only 1.5 games behind Milwaukee for the 2nd-best NL record.
Chase Field has not been a very friendly place for the Braves it seems. We lost both games this season, one a 2-1 game where JJ pitched well but got no run support; and the other one in which Kimbrel blew 1-run a save opportunity in the 11th inning. We were 2-2 against them at Chase last season, and in one of those games Heyward took out McLouth in the outfield.
Still, I like our chances against Arizona a lot better than I do Milwaukee, who’s playing Philly this weekend while Arizona plays SD. I think Milwaukee is a much better team and will wind up with the better record, but I would think it’d be in our favor to play Arizona instead.
Position: Second in NL East; wild card leader by 6 ½ games
X-Factor: Martin Prado
Maybe the most consistent hitter in baseball the past three seasons, Prado is having his worst year, down to .260 with a terrible .307 OBP. Unlike with Jason Heyward, whom manager Fredi Gonzalez has benched for not hitting, Prado continues to bat second for the Braves. This is a problem if he doesn’t hit — not only is his low OBP crippling the offense in the most important spot in the order, but as a right-handed groundball hitter, he’s a huge double-play threat. Prado is fourth in MLB (min. 200 PA) in double-play rate, grounding into one every four chances he has. The Braves need the line-drive Prado back, or their already shaky offense could fall off the cliff.
#182 – Joe Simpson made a comment (though unconnected with his benching) that, him being out of position at second base to catch the throwdown by David Ross might have been attributed to Gonzales’ mind being on his previous AB, where I believe he popup up in a bases loaded situation.
…and I agree with Fredie on that move. If a guy wants to take his defensive play down with his offense, let him think about it on the bench. Besides, we all know the game has been finding Alex in those situations all year long. I say, give Wilson a shot.
And just to answer a bit of the grief I took over a post earlier (from the same article – see the last line):
Neither Gonzalez nor Jones want the veteran to change his approach at the plate. In other words, don’t expect any bunts. It will also be important that Jones not take hittable pitches should Bourn get on base, in an effort to allow him to steal. That became an issue in the first few games after the Braves acquired Bourn as Martin Prado passed on strikes.
Martin’s problem was he didn’t understand that you don’t have to completely change your approach just because of Bourn. Maybe now he can realize that in baseball, it all about driving the ball. All that cutsey stuff about a #2 hitter poking the ball through the right side of the field and taking 2 pitches is overrated. Instead of a runner on second and 1 out, how about runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs.
Can we put Freddie and Linebrink on the waiver wire. I believe Freddie is on the take after that debacle. No rational thinking individual with his team in the playoff hunt puts their worse pitcher on the mound in a tie game situation except Freddie.
Is anyone else extremely worried about Jonny Venters? Fredi pretty much blew off a question about Jonny the other night. Given the Heyward injury debacles, the McCann issues, the Schafer issues, I would not put it past this staff to have no clue if something is up with Jonny. He’s a gamer, so he’d probably keep going out there without asking for rest or extended periods of time off. I really hope we haven’t already used him up. I 100% do not believe Fredi when he says that Jonny is fine. I can’t remember him ever giving up runs in 4 or 5 consecutive appearances. Ever.
Must win tomorrow. We got our best pitcher against an average pitcher. Gotta win tomorrow. I swear it’s never easy with his team. It sure would be nice to set up our rotation and rest some position players & bullpen arms before playoffs.(If we get there.)
I think it time to panic. Remember we end the season against the Phillies and they end against he Astros. The only thing that keeps me optimistic is that they have to play the Phillies in a 4 game series soon.
As usual, the only guy who shows up is Chipper. Can’t wait for the next time we hear that he should retire or take a pay cut. He IS the team and he better stick around until his hall of famer replacement, McCann, learns how to hit after the all star break.
Got to love the Braves web site talking about the “Road weary Braves”. If that isn’t BS, I don’t know what is. Young guys making more in one year than most folks make in 10 or a lifetime and they can’t get up to play hard for 3 hours at the game they love? Anybody willing or able to step up in serious games? This team is hitting bottom at the wrong time.
Right now the trend is the Braves will either lose the WC in the next two weeks or will slide in for a first round elimination. Which is worse? Time for football.
Look at this difference. One guy is BSing and the other is telling it like it is:
On his statement before the game that the Braves weren’t playing bad baseball
“We’re not. We’re not playing bad baseball. One inning here and one inning there throughout the course of these last six games — not counting the doubleheader in New York — and we got swept. You don’t want to lose. You don’t want to get swept. But let’s just go home and starting winning series.”
Tough to get home, regroup and forget this trip?
“Man, we better forget it, because it was brutal. We did nothing right. We didn’t pitch, we didn’t hit … I guess we played OK defense. But when this team’s playing well, we throw strikes, we get outs, we get runners in from third with less than two outs. And when we don’t, it’s pretty ugly.”
“And we’ve gotten WILD all of a sudden. We’re walking guys, we’re hitting guys – that’s a recipe for disaster when the offense is struggling to score three or four runs a game.”
Walker you are dead on – Freddie is just not very bright. Probably a nice guy but does not get his players excited and he has trouble during the game understanding the numbers and what move to make. Chipper is the heart and soul. Glad he is coming back next year. Wish Constanza could get back into the game as he always managed to score.