I am feeling so confident with this offense. Even without Chipper and Heyward we were able to score some runs against a Kennedy, who was a Cy Young nominee last year. Looking ahead against the Dodgers and Pirates, we are facing some league average to slightly above league average starters. Names like Harang, Lilly, Capuano, and Bedard don’t scare me. These are all #4 or #5 starters. We should be able to go 6-0 or 5-1.
Also, Fredi’s reason for not starting Heyward was puzzling. Jason is not working at Applebees or Walmart. You don’t reward good performance and hard work with a day off. You reward it with more playing time because playing pro baseball should be more like fun instead of work.
jim powell is a very talented broadcaster and does a good job. don sutton has a lot of goo dstuff to add, but i think he comes up short on play by play. all in all, the radio broadcast is very good.
i dont have a problem with getting heyward a day here and there. the braves havent had a day off in awhile, and heyward just had his hitting streak broken. day game after a night game, seems like a good day for a rest for heyward.
Regarding Fredi’s decisions, I think it’s best to look at things from a longview. You guys have weekly broadcasts (which I LOVE) and have a pretty focused perspective, so I think it can be hard to look at things — like benching/resting Heyward yesterday — for their full value.
For example — right now, many of us are wondering why in the world Fredi would ever want to bench Heyward, the future face of our franchise and our starting RF. Perhaps we shouldn’t make the call until later in the season. Who knows? If we’re in mid-September and Heyward is an MVP candidate, then perhaps a key part of that is Fredi resting him once every 10-15 games in order to keep him fresh?
On the other side of the coin, I have very little confidence in Fredi being the manager to oversee Heyward’s development. From day 1, he hit Heyward in the #6 spot after he was in the top 3rd of the lineup from mid-May to October the year before. He benched him in favor of Constanza. Fredi doesn’t give him his due in the press. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — if Heyward doesn’t turn out to be the behemoth that he was hyped as, I think that Fredi will have had some part in preventing Heyward from reaching his full potential. And if Heyward does reach his full potential, it’ll be in spite of Fredi!
Also — I just got done listening to the podcast. Great job as always, and I had an idea.
You guys finish each show with your weekly predictions, and I really enjoy hearing ‘em. So much so, in fact, that I think y’all oughta let us message board dwellers in on the fun too!!
Do y’all think it’d be possible to get some kind of game on the site where we all make our weekly predictions? Say, they have to be locked in one hour before the start of Monday’s game? You could have a) the prediction for the upcoming week’s record (4-2 or 3-3, for example) and so many points for that, AND/OR b) let each person predict the outcome of each game — for example, “W, L, W, W, W, W,” and I would get a point for each one that I got right….does that make sense?
What do y’all think, Steve, Curt, and Ham? Or, a la O’Ventbrel, “Curvilton?” I know it’d take a little bit of work — more time than y’all probably have, and more than I’ve got — and if it is too much time, perhaps there’s someone here that could get that kind of thing going?
#5 David, I love the idea of everyone getting in on the weekly action, but not as much as I love “Curvilton” (if only because I get 5 letters and Steve only gets one – it also has a great baseball nickname to it). I don’t know if our site can handle that kind of game, but maybe our FB site could. We’ll look into it.
At any rate, what are everyone’s predictions for this week?
Its just a case of this franchise not being sabermetrically inclined. Prado needs to be hitting 7th and Jason needs to be hitting 2nd. I guess since Jason isnt a small middle infielder type then he can’t hit 2nd.
how does fredi expect us to win when JHEY is hitting so low in the lineup? Cisco is sitting after hitting three homeruns in limited time. Wilson back in the SS position so thats an out. I’m okay with Rossy getting the start but where’s Cisco and why JHEY so low in the lineup???
#14 – Hey, O’Flaherty has only one letter in O’Ventbrel! Seriously – no disrespect intended…just couldn’t come up with something better at the moment. Maybe it should just be Stevestevesteve?
I’ll go 4-2 for this week. Is it bad that I’m already chalking up tonight’s game to a loss, considering that JJ is pitching and Kemp isn’t on the DL like Chris Young? I have confidence in Beachy and Minor to continue their good work, and I think that we take the Pirates series as well. When do we face Burnett? For some reason, I think he beats us, but we take the other two games.
Not to constantly belabor a point, but another city that would never be called out for its fans, a 1st place team hosting one of the hottest teams in baseball, tens of thousands of empty seats. I’m sure Sportscenter will point that out tonight.
I keep hearing “put the best players on the field” and yet you gig Fredi when he puts into the line-up the person on the team with the second best career batting average against Caqpuano… Diaz (.333, 6 hits in 18 AB)
Francisco is a lefty who has never faced him and Henske (another lefty) has two AB and a .000 average.
So who did you want him to play?
He is already playing:
Bourne (.222), Prado (.111), Freeman (.000, 6 AB), Uggla (.188), Heyward (.000, 0 AB), Ross (.300, 10 AB), Wilson (high man on the team against Capuano with .370, 27 AB)
I appreciate he is trying something to “change out luck” against this guy… Capuano vs. Braves (career) 2-0, 1.26 ERA, 3 games pitched, 2 games started, 1 HR, 2 BB, 19 SO, .163 BAA
Fortunately, Freeman is so locked-in right now, it just doesn’t matter who he hits against…
I get what you guys were saying on the show about it not being a Braves move, but Delgado gives us a better chance to win right now. Hopefully JJ can get his act together and be back soon in his old dominant form.
#32 — I agree that Delgado gives us a better chance to win now. And I also think that the prospect of Delgado having a big inning in 5-6 innings is much better than Jurrjens having several “small” innings in a 3-4 inning start that puts strain on the bullpen. I saw none of last night’s game, but it looks like Livan came through in a big way last night, and we were fortunate that JJ’s short start didn’t cause us to use too many relievers.
I said it last week that if Delgado pitched well when Hudson came back that they should demote J.J. Steve had it as one of the “fair or foul” questions. They, and I NEVER thought this would happen. Now that is has happened, I am happy AND sad. Sad, because I feel bad for the guy, but happy because it was a wise and gutsy move by the Braves. Look at it this way, at least he has tried to pitch. Hampton hardly never pitched and he was paid a gazillion dollars. Let him go to the minors to get his mojo back and either pitch him or trade him. Either way his days in a Braves uniform is numbered. He may never be back. It sucked seeing him alone on the bench. I think he knew what was coming. Maybe there is something else that we do not know?
BTW (in honor of the guys) I wil say it…. .”This was a very “unBobby’ish” move by the Braves.
It seems like most people are glad that JJ was sent down, just shocked either that they did it so soon or that they actually did it.
One thing that comes to mind is the Francoeur demotion in 2008, but I think that was a completely different situation for several reasons. First, the Braves have another player (Delgado) forcing their hand and making the Braves make a decision on whether or not JJ should stay. Delgado’s not pitching lights-out, but he’s definitely doing a lot better than JJ. With Francoeur, there was nobody else knocking at the door — no other outfield prospects in the minors that were tearing it up, and so Francoeur’s job security wasn’t really threatened. Does anybody remember the name of Francoeur’s replacement? I had to look it up – Jason Perry. Our other starting outfielders that year were Gregor Blanco and Mark Kotsay; Brandon Jones was a 4th outfielder for a bit that year, and he wasn’t tearing it up either.
I think that some might be surprised that JJ’s demotion happened so quickly — only 4 starts into the season and they send him down. But with the timing of Hudson’s return and JJ’s poor second half last year, I think that they gave him plenty of opportunities to improve, and with Delgado pitching well, they couldn’t keep giving him chances and expect for him to succeed.
Going back to the start of Spring Training, he has had two good starts — both against the Astros’ AAA split squads. All of his other starts against major league hitters have not gone well, which I think raises the question: if he does well in a few starts in the minors, how will we really know if he’s fixed his problems?
David, well, it’s just like any other player. Got to look at the performance and what is behind the performance to determine whether it would translate to the majors.
I would be kind of surprised if the Braves aren’t looking to move him for something of value, hoping some team is willing to take a shot on a pitcher who may have some injury issues and who never missed a ton of bats to begin with. We’ll see if there is such a team out there.
Maybe we will see something like a Francoeur-Ryan Church deal. I could get behind that. Church was a very useful player at the time. Good on-base guy with occasional pop.
Before his demotion, I’d been thinking that if Jurrjens can put together a few starts, Boston might be interested in him. If they’re not desperate for pitching yet, they will be soon. Talk about a team that is imploding.
However, I don’t think that they’d give up anything of value at all until he actually shows that he can pitch effectively against major league teams, and considering the amount of strong hitters in the AL East and press in Boston, I doubt that they’d be interested in him.
46 – I know. It continues to be maddening that our leading OPS player and 2nd in OBP and AVG (behind Bourn in both categories) is stuffed down in the lineup. I love Prado, but he needs to be hitting 7th and JHey needs to be hitting 2nd. And I’m still thinking that since JHey has kinda cooled off since ending his 10-game streak (2-for-13 in his last 4 games).
By the way, did y’all know that JHey’s middle name is Adenolith? What an AWESOME name. I kinda wish that he went by Adenolith Heyward, cause then we could call him Adenolith The Behemoth.
I hate when Prado gives his at bats away by trying so hard to hit to the right side of the infield. I prefer for him to swing like he normally does for a hit. That strategy might be good for a tie games in the 7th or 8th inning. But we should be playing for multiple runs in the 1st inning.
Prado=pure awesomeness. It turned out well but I was concerned when Fredi brought EOF in to get the last out I the 7th. If only he didn’t act like he ha an eating disorder in the mound….I think he’d pitch better.
wOBA essentially weighs hits and walks more accurately than on-base or slugging. Slugging, for example, treats a double as twice as valuable as a single. wOBA weighs singles and doubles and other events according to their run values.
Curt @70, I see your point. However, perhaps some more thinking needs to be done so that we don’t, for instance, judge individual players on stats like pitcher wins and RBI.
Now, to get sort of philosophical…
Hopefully people dig into what stats are actually measuring to get a sense of how useful they are or are not. I don’t think the folks that do such things should avoid trying to construct better, more telling stats in order to keep people from over-thinking.
There’s always the danger that bringing in more stats will open the door to those who want to quote batting average against LHP on Wednesday day games on natural grass.
If one doesn’t want to dig into the meaning behind certain stats, probably best to use no stats than the wrong stats, i.e., “baseball card” stats.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
“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.
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.
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.
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?
Yes, Ma’am! Nothing like time with our partners/soul-mates, to help rtnjveuaee, re-energize, and rev-up the happy engines! Glad to hear you’re basking in the glow of your wonderful family, as you should!