5. September 5th
4. Kimbrel’s first 161 games
3. Freeman’s entire season: Are people forgetting how badly we’ve needed a first basemen these past few years?
2. Uggla hit streak
1. McCaan’s double homerun walkoff amazingness
It’s no news that the offense was a huge weakness for the Braves this season, even though there were bright spots. Freeman’s rookie season, Uggla’s hit streak, Chipper’s solid year.
I hate to dwell on the negative, but I think that these are some very telling stats — the tag-team performance that Uggla and McCann did this year. These two guys had only a few weeks when they were good at the same time.
March 31 – July 4: .173 / .241 / .327 (.568 OPS), 12 HR, 29 RBI, 77 K
July 5 – Sept 28: .301 / .386 / .596 (.982 OPS), 24 HR, 53 RBI, 79 K
March 31 – July 4: .316 / .389 / .520 (.909 OPS), 14 HR, 47 RBI, 43 K
July 5 – Sept 28: .204 / .296 / .387 (.684 OPS), 10 HR, 24 RBI, 46 K
**Aug. 14 – Sept 28: .180 / .292 / .346 (.638 OPS), 6 HR, 16 RBI, 32 K
So, for the first 3 months, Uggla was terrible while McCann was his usual great self. For the final three months, Uggla was great while Mccann played very poorly — largely, I suppose, as a result of spending some time on the DL and going “cold” during that time.
Can you imagine how we’d be if McCann hit just .200 during the final month and a half of the season? Even if he had another 6 or 7 hits since coming back from the DL — especially timely hits — we might be looking forward to game 3 at Turner Field tomorrow.
I’ll end this post by acknowledging that we could point to several other players’ struggles during September — Lowe, Beachy, Venters, Kimbrel — but I really think that McCann’s struggling was a key part of our collapse.
Good show, guys, and thanks for another great season of following the show. To me, this wasn’t nearly as bad as ’96 or even ’04 or ’05 when the Astros had our number. It’s an epic collapse, but I think the sting of it is lessened because now I don’t have to watch us get 2 hit in playoff games and lose by an error or a reliever walking the leadoff man.
There are a lot of questions going into the offseason. I do expect a pitcher to be traded, and I expect Derek Lowe to also be traded. Some team will take him for 3 million a year to be a #5 starter, as you guys said in the show. I would expect JJ to be the odd man out between him and Hanson. He is really the only one of the young guys to not come up through the ranks, so I don’t the organization has as much of an attachment to him. There was so much buzz around Hanson and how he was going to help solidify the rotation for years. I expect out rotation next year to be Huddy, Hanson, Beachy, Delgado, Minor/Teheran with Medlen and Vizcaino in the ‘pen as long relief/spot starters. That is still a lot of depth in case of an injury.
One guy we really missed this year was Omar Infante. He was always a guy who could come off the bench and spark the lineup. I would love it if Wren could go out and find another guy like that via FA or a trade.
#8 – David, great points about Mac and Uggla and what could have been.
#9 – Nate, it’s a great question about what the money gets spent on. We’re talking about 8MM from KK and about 5MM (after the 1.5 buy out) for Nate. 13MM. And maybe add 3 more for what a team picks up on DLowe’s contract. 16MM. 3MM for raises. 5MM for bench and bullpen. Leaves 8MM for a new right fielder. I hope that’s a joke.
How much of the KK/McLouth contracts this year and the Hudson/Chipper/Lowe contracts next year gets invested in the following players: Bourn, Prado, Heyward, Freddie, JJ, Medlen, Hanson, O’Flaherty, Venters, Kimbrel, Beachy, Minor, Delgado, Teheran, Vizcaino.
All those contracts are probably over 50MM of the payroll, which is mostly depressing.
Are they expect Stephen Marek to finally do something in Atlanta next year? It would be nice to finally see some return on the Teixera deal.
Wow all of these posts just makes me wonder about the potential of this team. We won 89 games with Heyward Prado, Uggla, McCann, Gonzo struggling, and half the year with a hole in CF. What if all these guys just had average or above average seasons. Not great seasons but just good consistent seasons which they are capable of. I can pretty much guarantee our pitching will be great next year but this offense is the key. I’m glad we fired Parrish because if there was any year a hitting coach negatively affected a MLB team ,it was this year. 641 runs scored is unacceptable. And it would great if we could minimize the injuries next year. I also hope Frank can acquire a dependable reliever that can give Venters and O’Flaherty rest. Medlen will be huge next year. If he was healthy this year we would still be playing. I forgot how valuable he was.
Hope we have seen the last of Lowe; too bad it wasn’t sooner. Get a feeling that Wren couldn’t accept the fact that he screwed up on the long term deal so, Fredi just kept pitching him hoping for a turn around. Too bad the team has no ability to make changes during the season (some teams actually drop starters from the rotation and fire batting coaches during the season); if they had made these changes and others, Braves would be playing now. This ending is on Wren and Fredi.
I do hope Heyward can turn it around and gets the chance to do so.
Walker, to your point, this team grossly underachieved. The injuries to JJ, Hanson, the ineffectiveness of Lowe, the offensive woes, blah, blah, blah. The talent on the field was better than the result. They won 89 games imploding in September. Who knows if they have a half way decent month where they might have ended up. It seems like a completely wasted year for the team.
I know it won’t be popular, but, while I think O’Ventrel was over used some by Fredi, it is hard to fault him too much.
Harken back to the begining of the season. SO many screams on the board whenever Sherril, Linebrink or Proctor came into a game… but since the bullpen basically consisted of those three and O’Ventrel (- reference my thoughts on faulting Wren for not providing “parts” -), what was Fredi supposed to do if the game was close.
We scored 2 or fewer in 34%-ish of our games (about 54 games – which doesn’t take into account those that were close that got more than 2 runs late).
Nothing can beat those fall baseball blues (and lord knows the Braves fans have’em) than thought of spring time in Florida. Just received the “tentative” 2012 Braves Spring Training Schedule from Disney today:
Mar 3 Tigers 1:05 PM
Mar 6 Nationals 1:05 PM
Mar 9 Mets 1:05 PM
Mar 10 Yankees 1:05 PM
Mar 11 Blue Jays 1:05 PM
Mar 14 Nationals 6:05 PM
Mar 16 Astros 6:05 PM
Mar 17 Blue Jays 1:05 PM
Mar 18 Orioles 1:05 PM
Mar 19 Cardinals 1:05 PM
Mar 22 Marlins 1:05 PM
Mar 23 Mets 1:05 PM
Mar 25 Astros 1:05 PM
Mar 28 Yankees 1:05 PM
Mar 30 Astros 6:05 PM
Mar 31 Tigers 1:05 PM
Apr 1 Phillies 1:05 PM
Apr 2 Astros 12:00 PM
Much better than last year when it seemed like we played the Mets every other game. Get to play the Yankees twice, Tigers twice, Cardinals once, and Phillies once. Four of the eight playoff teams. Strange, no Tampa Bay Rays? Also no Red Sox this year. Do get the Orioles which is rare. Three night games. Four Astros games – ugh!
Can’t wait for camp to open and to see what “changes” we have on the club.