April 22, 2012

Show #180: The Braves Dominate with Bats and Starters

The 5 – 2 week.  Hudson’s return.  And the back end of the bullpen.



117 Responses to “Show #180: The Braves Dominate with Bats and Starters”

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  1. 76
    David Says:

    Wait, Curt, I thought this was your job. You mean you do something else?!?!

    All this talk about stats — Shaun, to go along with your points, Prado’s batting average is .254, but he’s doing well in moving runners over. For example, when Bourn is on second, it seems that Prado always tries to hit it to the right side to get him to third. The result is a lower batting average that helps the team score that run — simply put, smart baseball.

    I’m assuming that there’s already something along the lines of a MRO stat (Moving Runners Over), and furthermore, probably a MROTES stat (Moving Runners Over That Eventually Score). I’m sure it’s not abbreviated like that, but the batting average line doesn’t reflect that; neither do RBI or sacrifices.

    Anyway — I get what you’re saying. For a lot of baseball fans (like me), that stuff is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too esoteric and mind-numbing that it sucks all fun out of the game. There are tons of factors in play during each and every pitch of a ballgame, and rather than look at numbers that analyze each of those situations, I’d rather just sit there and either a) furiously shake my head and curse the universe if the Braves lose or b) decide that this world really isn’t such a bad place as long as the Braves win.

  2. 77
    Shaun Says:

    David, I remember a playoff game a few years ago when the Angels got a runner on first with a walk or a single, the next guy hit a double to put runners on second and third, the next guy got a hit or a sac fly or something to drive in the guy from third, and the inning ended without the guy who hit the double scoring a run. So the most valuable event of that inning was probably the guy that got the double, yet he gets no RBI and doesn’t score a run.

    Offense is gaining bases and avoiding outs (slugging and on-base). Run distribution in terms of which players happen to pick up the RBI in their own stat lines, isn’t necessarily telling as to which players did the most to create runs.

    The unfortunate thing is that batting average, homeruns and RBI became THE stats a long time ago and now, even though it would be better to have no stats than those stats, those are what a lot of casual fans look at because that’s what they’ve been spoon fed by tradition.

    I can understand the concern about being bogged down with stats but I’m not sure what the solution is other than people trying to come up with better stats, since the game has been about flawed stats (in the sense that they don’t tell us much of anything useful about individual players) for so long.

    In my writing, I do my best to keep it simple. This player does or doesn’t get on base, avoid outs and slugs well, he does or doesn’t swing and crushes hittable pitches and he lays off bad pitches.

    I heard Kevin Goldstein say in an interview one time that his view of sabermetrics is that once you are “enlightened” by them, you really don’t need them.

    I think he meant something like that once you understand that the game is about getting on base, slugging, advancing and avoiding outs, throwing strikes, preventing walks, missing bats and keeping the ball in the park, you really don’t have to know the nitty gritty of sabermetrics to have a better understanding of baseball. You will be better off than when you saw the game through the lenses of batting average, homers, RBI, runs, pitcher win-loss and ERA.

  3. 78
    Walker Says:

    I actually dont like when Prado swings just to hit a dribbler to 2nd base. Especially in the early innings. I wish he would swing for a base hit and try his best to avoid an out. Hitting to the right side early in the game is slightly overrated.

    Shaun would you agree?

  4. 79
    Curt Says:

    Shaun, I’m with you. And to add to the meaningless stat and or number, pitch speed. I know someone pointed it out early comparing Farnsworth and Hoffman. I think this obsession with pitch speed has screwed with JJ. He’s mentioned it in his dejected postgame comments. It’s messing with his confidence that people are so hung up on that. Mark Bradley or Jeff Schultz wrote an article about this and pointed out that Greg Maddux never threw it through a wall and told him at some point to go stand on a highway and to tell him which cars were going 70 and which were going 75.

    Despite how lucrative the ABT shop has been, I still have to go into work every day.

  5. 80
    Shaun Says:

    Curt, I think pitch speed matters. The faster the pitch, the harder to hit. But I’m with you that a pitcher doesn’t have to throw 95+. And also a guy throwing 95+ isn’t necessarily a good pitcher because major league hitters are good if it’s straight and they have an idea it’s coming.

    I really think Jurrjens’s problems have mostly to do with his knee injuries. When a good, still young player performs poorly for no particularly obvious reason it’s almost always injury. The question is are his knee issues chronic. I just don’t know about that.

  6. 81
    Steve Says:

    Hi all. Been buried in work like crazy and just coming up for air.

    Great, great series in LA. Coming from behind like that does really make us like a complete team.

    And JJ being replaced by Huddy makes me so confident in this starting pitching staff that’s it’s ridiculous. JJ was the black hole all year, and it’s just magically gone. And if he can get his stuff figured out it would be nothing short of unbelievable to the staff.

    Can’t wait for the series this weekend. Another good measuring stick for the Braves. This time around, measuring if they’ll play down to their competition as they’ve done in the past.

  7. 82
    Curt Says:

    Watch out for that pitching staff

  8. 83
    Walker Says:

    Huddy is a question mark too. Hopefully his back is ok.

  9. 84
    Anne Says:

    A Pittsburgh friend is giving me grief and says Burnett is “the real deal.” Whatever that means!? Watching the game tonight at a decent hour. Haven’t seen Glavine in the booth yet this season. Go Hanson, Go Braves!

  10. 85
    Anne Says:

    PLEASE keep showing Clint Hurdle chewing gum and magically moving his hat in unison

  11. 86
    Anne Says:

    Pirates 1B rocking a SERIOUS beard. (feel like I’m live-tweeting now; I’ll stop)

  12. 87
    Anne Says:

    Anybody else miss seeing Chino Cadahia on the dugout bench?

  13. 88
    Anne Says:

    It would be lovely to see some more runs here. Go Braves!

  14. 89
    Anne Says:


  15. 90
    Steve Says:

    Not happy about this McCann injury.

  16. 91
    Ham Says:

    What a dominant, dominant win. The Mac injury sucks, but damn we looked good.

  17. 92
    Leah Says:

    We’re going to have to deem all inner core muscle pulls “Mac’s” if he keeps it up. Sad but D Ross is awesome. Great game. Did anyone else notice after Uggla and the Rev collided Uggla tried to high five the Ump? The Ump was showing a big out with his fist and Uggs put his hand in the air like he was going to give him 5. Funny!

  18. 93
    Anne Says:

    “Three inning save” confuses me a bit (anyone surprised? hands up? what? moving on…) in that I figured the save happens if it’s what, 2 runs or more apart? I guess it’s a thing because the pitcher not only keeps the save but guts through even more innings? Kawakami aside, Medlen’s great.

  19. 94
    ham Says:

    Isn’t the save stat essentially based on if the tying run reaches the on deck circle? Therefore if we have a five run lead, Medlen only needs to face 4 batters to get the save? So he could have gotten a two inning save, but he pitched 3. (why FreGon made him pitch three is not so obvious).

    Smart people or Curt, am I right about the save? Don’t ask me to explain the hold, that’s above my pay grade.

  20. 95
    Anne Says:

    “Smart people or Curt” = good times, Hamilton.

  21. 96
    Kate Says:

    A pitcher earns a save by doing one of the following.
    1. Pitching the final inning with no more than a three run lead.
    2. A pitcher enters the game with the tying run on base, at bat, or on deck and records the final out. You can’t pitch yourself into a save situation.
    3. Pitching at least 3 innings.

  22. 97
    Walker Says:

    It’s not a coincidence, the games Chipper doesn’t start we lose.

  23. 98
    Curt Says:

    Anne, don’t be such a soft audience.

    That game bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew.

    Bedard had pitched really well this season, despite his record. But they missed a bunch of opportunities. Looked like the 2011 Braves

  24. 99
    Shaun Says:

    Wow. No matter what you think of Bryce Harper, he’s must watch. Tonight he’s shown off his 80 power (rocket shot over the head of CF Matt Kemp that hit off the base of the wall) and his 80 arm (guns Jerry Hairston Jr on a perfect throw to the plate but the catcher Ramos can’t hang on).

    Could this be one of the best years ever for Major League debuts: Cespedes, Darvish and now Harper?

  25. 100
    Anne Says:

    Go Huddy…Go Braves!!

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