So Freeman is definitely an All Star with no Prince or Albert in NL, right? Freddie’s homer after getting pegged was so great. That’s one of the few times I can remember seeing the guy actually hit a HR after being HBP in his previous AB. He’s special.
I think we get over the Big Bad Bird. 4-2 this week.
i love the bullpen management so far. the only thing i would say is that fredi might UNDERuse the big three if he isnt careful. id like to see medlen get a bunch of three inning saves this year, along with leaving guys like livan, and martinez in this pitch multiple innings some night. (got each of them a save, too.)
DAP – I think the Phillies are definitely in the fans’ heads. I just think that Wednesday’s game was such an opportunity to show dominance against a weaker opponent and the fact that they could only muster 3 hits against a mediocre pitcher is meaningful.
Steve and DAP, I have to be honest, I didn’t watch Wednesday’s game.
I’m sort of with DAP on this one. I don’t know that the players see it as the Phillies being in their heads. I think they know the Phillies are more talented than their record indicates (or at least will be at some point this season) and that they aren’t going away.
Looking at the play-by-play stuff on BaseballReference.com for last Wednesday’s game, it looks like a lot of deep fly balls and line drives to the outfield and liners to the infield off Blanton. So it looks like when the Braves were hitting him, they were hitting the ball hard but just not getting the results. Plus both Chipper and McCann were out of the lineup.
I think that performance and some others this season speak to the need for one more bench bat than the Braves would feel comfortable putting in there defensively when Chipper is out and when McCann happens to be out the same day, whether that’s a leftfielder or a thirdbaseman. Maybe Gattis can be that guy.
When I get the chance, I will be more than happy to load all the stats and records to indicate the Phillies’ dominance of the Braves over the past few seasons. I can also put Chipper’s quotes up about it not being a rivalry anymore because the Braves can’t beat the Phillies. The players are more than aware of their problems with the Phillies, whether their best line-up is in there or not. It is a big hurdle they have to overcome this season to get to where everyone wants them to be. That’s the point. Call it whatever you choose to call it.
shaun “So it looks like when the Braves were hitting him, they were hitting the ball hard but just not getting the results.”
that was the case on Thursday. alot of swinging early in the count, to.
Curt, the braves are 25-32 against the Phillies since 2009, which is pretty lopsided in the Phillies favor. but, the Phillies have been one of the best team in baseball over that stretch. Most of the difference in record was because of last season when the Phillies won 102 games.
Looks to me like the Braves play them pretty tough most of the time. During that stretch the Braves have even swept the Phillies a few times, and won 3 game series.
My only contention with your claim that the Phillies are in the Braves’ heads, is that the Braves were down 6-0 on the best starting pitcher in baseball against a team that gives the the heebie jeebies (allegedly)…how in the world did they come back and win that game? in fact, they took back the lead 3 different times in that game! That team is not afraid of the Phillies.
Sure, they have to beat the Phillies this season. Is it some huge psychological hurdle? I say no.
Curt @6, I don’t know. Maybe. I’m sure the players are aware of what the Braves have done against the Phillies. But I don’t know if they doubt they can, say, take the season series from the Phillies. I honestly think the players realize that this season they are both around 90-win teams and either could take the season series.
I’m kind of with DAP on this. If the Phillies truly were in the Braves’ heads, how were they able to come back twice Wednesday? Were they in their heads or were the players only thinking about it on Tuesday and Thursday but weren’t thinking about it on Wednesday?
The most obviously reason the Phillies have played very well against the Braves over the last, what, three, four, five years is because the Phillies have been the best team in the NL over those years. Maybe it could be something psychological but I have my doubts, otherwise, why wouldn’t the Braves have been even worse against the Phillies.
There are 10 NL teams that have played worse than the Braves against the Phillies and there are 4 teams that have played better against them, since Opening Day 2009.
I think the Phillies are in the Braves’ head a little, probably not a lot. Little enough that one series could end it.
Steve, of all movies for you to only mildly like. I loved the Avengers and booted up the podcast looking forward to your unmitigated praise. That’s the most fun I’ve had at the movies in five forevers. I laughed out loud about 15 times, and absolutely guffawed at the Hulk-Loki gag.
It helped that we sat behind a row of special needs teens and young adults who were having the time of their lives. Just enough light in the theater to see the sides of their faces frozen in complete awe during the fight scenes. And when (name withheld to avoid spoiler) punched (name likewise withheld) unexpectedly, one guy spit all over himself laughing so hard.
It had flaws, but I was highly entertained.
One small spoiler: Captain America tipping Fury a dollar (or whatever it was) was awesome. One of the best things about the series is that it’s been politically aware without really being preachy, Iron Man’s weapons theme notwithstanding.
Honestly, with the playoffs being such a crapshoot anyway, and after years of run-prevention themed Braves, I would absoltuely take 162 games of offense-first ballgames at the cost of the playoff advantage of run-prevention.
Great show guys! Curt, your bathing babies with the dishes sounds very efficient! Wish I’d thought of that.
I think Freddie had to reach up for two bad throws from the Rev yesterday. One definitely higher than the other but that guy saves a ton of runs. I don’t think it’s a bad thing for Fredi to listen to the rumblings of others. As long as it keeps working. I also like him leaving relief guys in for more than one inning. I don’t really know what I’m talking about here but once a guy warms up I’d use him and give someone else the night off. Again, I know very little so take that with a grain of salt.
I don’t understand plunking Harper. What did Harper do to Hamels? I always thought grown men hitting each other with baseballs to solve problems was pathetic. And LOL @ Hamels. He doesn’t know the definition of old school.
Chipper Jones, at age 40, has been the best hitter on a team that is leading the majors in runs scored. On Saturday night, he became just the second Brave to have five RBIs in a game while 40 or older. The other? Babe Ruth, with the Boston Braves.
I really have nothing against Harper right now. He’s a moron, just look at his choice of hairstyle. On the other hand, I do loath everything Cole Hamels represents. The plunking was just silly, and the kid ended up stealing home. Why wait to do it until game 3 or is this just some Hamels/Harper beef?
A pitcher simply plunking a player because he was rookie and that’s how they did it in the “old school” is pretty weak and just as bad or worse than anything Harper has reportedly done since he’s been in pro ball (or before, for that matter).
It’s also just dumb for Hamels to put a target on his back and on the backs of his middle-infielders, catcher, etc. The Nationals can go hard in to secondbase and MLB can’t do a thing about it because that’s legal, unlike admitting you are throwing at a guy simply because he’s a rookie. And Harper’s the type that would just as soon slide in to a middle infielder or run over a catcher than play little games with Hamels.
Maybe I’m in the minority but I think Harper’s make-up, on the whole, is going to be a plus for his team. Sure I think there are going to be things that will make it tough on his teammates, first with the Nationals then with the Yankees six years from now. But overall I believe his make-up is a plus.
I have no idea if the Phillies are in the Braves’ heads. But I don’t think a comeback against Halladay is very persuasive evidence to the contrary compared to the Braves losing the series and something like 8 of the last 9 against the Phillies.
#16: Speaking for me only, I try to stay with both. There’s not that much cross-over in terms of the people themselves between this comments board and the FB page.
#11: Bub, one of us is completely crazy because my recollection of my Avengers movie review was that I absolutely loved it all up. If that did not come across, then shame on me. I loved the hell out of it. And yes, all the Hulk stuff was perfect. The crowd in my theatre cheered for Stan Lee’s cameo, which was crazy cool. They could not have given the project to a better person than Joss Whedon. It really was awesome. I need to go back and listen to that part.
#13: I think it’s kind of silly that Hamels hit Harper. My comment was loving the fact that Hamels shamelessly admitted to it. Lots of unfiltered stuff happening in baseball these days.
If I had real bad OCD, I wouldn’t be able to watch a game because it really bothers me that neither Chipper or Heyward are hitting 2nd. Especially against a righty. Besides Bourn they have the two highest OBPs. I’ll be ok. I’ll be ok. Breathe…….
Who would win in a fight, Chipper Jones or Jamie Moyer?
Knight: Moyer. Obviously, Moyer is operating with a different skill set here involving sorcery and Jedi mind tricks. As a big Chipper Jones fan I know that all you have to do to beat him in a fight is kick him as hard as you can in his surgically repaired left knee. Then, victory dance.
Orris: Chipper would easily win either a physical or emotional battle with Moyer. How many players have publicly called out Moyer’s “fastball” coming in at 78 mph? Chipper was the one who challenged Old Man Moyer to scrap in the hallway and Moyer backed down. Also worth considering: Chipper spends his down time hunting on his private ranch.
Burdine: On paper, Chipper has to be the overwhelming favorite. He has four inches and 25 pounds on Moyer and he is almost 10 years younger. Plus, you have to think Chipper’s right and left are equally dangerous weapons. However, Moyer is a crafty lefty who probably throws deceptive punches from odd angles, and he can obviously take a beating. So he might put up a better fight than most think. Still, I’m going with Chipper.
For the record, Steve and I spoke before the call and both declared the Richard Donner “Superman” with Christopher Reeve one of the great super hero flicks ever. #2 isn’t too shabby either with General Zod and the Phantom Zone.
But he lacks a darkness that makes for good cinema. He needs an edge. And a slew of other DC titles have been awful. Green Lantern, anyone?
Just reading all the Braves websites and their comment sections. Everyone is saying how absolutely dumb it is to Chip/ Heyward so low. It time for a change and Frediot better do it. I mean this man doesn’t even know had to make a lineup. Sad
@47: Heard Fredi on the radio yesterday talking about how he considered putting Prado lower down in the lineup (keeping Chipper at 2, I think was his point) but that “it didn’t look right.” He said the lineup looked “longer” with Prado in the 2 and Chipper and Heyward down lower.
I 100% agree that Prado and Heyward should switch. And switch Chipper and Uggla, too.
That said, we’ve scored the most runs in the majors, so do you think Fredi will really make any changes like that in the foreseeable future?
I was listening to the Baseball Today podcast not too long ago and remember them talking about the epidemic of clueless managers in the big leagues. I mean there are so many horrible managers in the game right now. It makes you wonder.
Bub — Nats are ahead in percentage points, but we’re tied otherwise. I think the determining factor is games above .500 — both teams are 7 games over .500. Nice to be in first, even if it is a tie!
By the way, isn’t that a bit of a misnomer to say that a team with a record of 19-12 is 7 games above .500? Shouldn’t it be 3.5 games above .500, where .500 would be…um…15.5-15.5? or 15-15-1? Ah, forget it.
Of the clueless managers in the MLB, I wonder how many are former players? Many have said that Chipper would make a great batting coach…so many players DO go on to manage, but I wonder if the old adage, “Those who can’t – teach” might be the way to go. Guys who would otherwise be superfans or umpires? I dunno.
I have to say that I sort of agree with Fredi. While he may not have his bestest hitters at the right spot, it really is a nice feeling to have J-Hey and Chipper coming up late in the lineup. It feels like a luxury. And do you guys really have issues with a top 3 of Bourn, Prado, Freeman? Then Mac, Uggs, Chipper? I know you can make a case for mixing things up, but since we are leading the NL in runs scored, isn’t that a case for not changing things?
ham @ 62, the players in the lineup mean more than the order. And the Braves’ top six or seven hitters are all somewhat similar in terms of overall quality.
I do think Heyward should be near the top of the order simply because I think he has the best on-base abilities. There are some other changes I would prefer, but I don’t have any big issues with the batting order.
Could it cost the Braves the few extra runs that could make a difference at the end of the season? Sure. And I think we should worry about that when it comes to things like batting the guy with tremendous on-base potential so low in the order so often. But that worry can be overblown, and we are probably all guilty of it as baseball fans.
The bigger concern for me is what batting order says about a manager, and what he values in players, not necessarily how many runs one batting order may cost over another.
Last year batting McLouth second to start the season was just weird and I was more concerned over what it said about Fredi: That he thought the second spot should be about speed, hitting behind the runner, bunts, etc.
What a weird series. We were hot coming in against an obviously inferior team. Yet our offense was flat and had enormous bad luck. The Braves hit more line drives right at defenders than I’ve seen in awhile. It’s usually fun when the Braves go to Wrigley but this series sucked.
Fredi definitely has found favor with God. Apparently he’s been helping lots of old ladies cross streets or something. He puts in Livan with Beltran, Craig and Molina due up; the Cardinals load the bases with one out; and Livan gets out of it.
Of course it works out, affirming to all the misguided out there that the way to go is to save your closer for a save situation in a road game that’s tied in the 9th inning or later.
There are probably, what, two managers that do not manage their bullpens this way?
I feel more confident with Livan in for an inning after the Braves have a lead than I do him pitching in a tie game.
O’Flaherty didn’t pitch in his customary 7th-inning role. Maybe Fredi was planning to give him the night off but couldn’t considering the circumstances. Or has Medlen jumped over him in the bullpen depth chart?
Now THIS guy adds the well needed pop to the Braves radio broadcasts. I like Don, Jim Powell is goofy but I think Ben adds that needed touch of “big media radio voice” that is missing in Atlanta Braves broadcasts.
If the Dodgers lose their game today (they trail by 2) and the Nats win theirs (they lead by 1), we will see the ultimate absurdity of the new Wild Card rules in a microcosm: the Braves will have the second best record in the National League and, should the season end today, they’d have to play a team with a LOSING record in the one-game playoff. Think about that. I hate the rule more than I hate Fredi’s managing.