September 03, 2012

Show #199: Two Bright Spots for Braves in a Rough Week

Chipper’s homerun. Medlen’s continued dominance. The September collapse. Faith in Hanson?



70 Responses to “Show #199: Two Bright Spots for Braves in a Rough Week”

  1. 1
    Steve Says:

    Regarding the discussion of Medlen’s inning limit ala Strasburg. Had anyone else seen mention of that at any point this year?

  2. 2
    DAP Says:

    Steve, dont know where, but i think i saw some quotes from Fredi about discussions he and Wren had about handling Medlen. They started him in the bullpen to limit his innings, because, as Wren told Fredi “Once you put him in the rotation, you won’t want to take him out…”

  3. 3
    DAP Says:

    sorry steve, i responded before hearing that part of the podcast. im pretty sure what im mentioning is the same thing y’all were talking about.

  4. 4
    Sam in Charleston Says:

    Wren went on Sirius/XM this morning and talked about Medlen’s place in the rotation. Said their thoughts about Medlen’s limit weren’t related to TJ, but his career innings pitched. Said at Spring Training, they didn’t consider Medlen would be a starter until after June. As usual, Wren is a little blustery and defensive on the call, so who knows what the real story is.

  5. 5
    Leah Says:

    Great show. I believe D. Uggla will produce once again but for now I’m sure glad he’s riding the pine.

  6. 6
    Eric Says:

    Hi Guys,

    I remember pretty clearly hearing a quote from someone the first time they sent Medlen down to get stretched out that the delay was for an innings limit. I can’t remember where I heard it, it could have just been Don or Jim on the radio broadcast.

    At the time, I thought the Braves were brilliant. I’d much rather have Medlen in the post season than the first two thirds of the year. Given how they handled him after he was stretched out, I think it is all bologna. They just need a story line convince themselves they know what they are doing!

    Thanks for the show!

  7. 7
    Shaun Says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious they wanted to limit his innings but I’m skeptical that there was a plan to put him in the rotation at some point this year, definitely, unless there was an emergency. I give them credit for doing it but I have a hard time believing they knew he would be anything close to this great and that they were just waiting for the right time.

    Regarding Uggla, I’m concerned that benching him might not do much, as far as adding to the overall offense. Reed Johnson is a league-average offensive leftfielder. If he plays only against lefties, that’s very good, but I don’t think Constanza is much of an answer against righties.

    I dislike the Uggla contract and I’m as frustrated as anyone that the Braves are stuck with him (or at least a significant portion of his contract) beyond this season. I’ve been a proponent of trying to trade him in the off-season is something similar to a Derek Lowe type deal, where the Braves get what they can. But I’m not sure that benching him for most of the remaining games this season actually helps the offense.

  8. 8
    Shaun Says:

    DOB: “Innings limit was never once mentioned to media as reason to put him in bullpen instead of rotation out of spring training, or mentioned to Medlen. It was all about how they had so many other starters and how Medlen’s value was great to the bullpen to bridge gap between starters and big three relievers who got so overused last year.

    “Only now, in past two weeks, has that — innings limit — been presented as the big reason Medlen wasn’t in rotation out of spring training. So I have a tough time writing it now as if it were the plan all along, when it was never told that way to us in the dozens — and I mean dozens — of times that we asked during spring training about the decision to put Medlen in ‘pen and whether they were thinking any differently as he kept out-pitching most other starters during spring.”

    Just theorizing here, but perhaps they didn’t want other pitchers looking over their shoulders and didn’t want Medlen to be anxious about when his opportunity will come.

  9. 9
    Steve Says:

    @8- or maybe they were just hell bent on having him cover up for deficiencies in the starting rotation. Remember that last year, both Beachy and Minor were 5 inning pitchers and that was about it. And Wren couldn’t stand the thought of seeing the bullpen burned out again. All that said, I still don’t get why it’s being presented this way now. Why bother?

  10. 10
    Curt Says:

    Just because:

  11. 11
    Leah Says:

    OMG! Kris Medlen choking up talking about baby on the way. Killing me.

  12. 12
    Steve Says:

    Can only follow tonight’s game on my phone. How crazy/awful was the strike out, thrown out at the plate with Ross and Prado?!?!?!

  13. 13
    Adam Says:

    @12: It wasn’t that bad. Heyward was in a rundown between first and second to try and give Prado time to go home. The Rockies played it perfectly though and made a good throw to get Prado.

  14. 14
    Steve Says:

    In related news, the Rockies are a terrible team with terrible pitching yet the score reflects neither of those things.

  15. 15
    Anonymous Says:

    …I mean, it’s like I’m watching a rec ball game tonight! Throwing the ball all over the place out there. I know we can’t run the table the last month of the season but geez, can’t we aks the boys to compete tonight?

  16. 16
    Walker Says:

    Uhhh….. Shouldn’t we be winning this game.

  17. 17
    Curt Says:

    “They had early scoring chances against rookie left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who came in with one win in 16 starts and was 0-5 with a 7.04 ERA in his previous nine games.”

    Guess the Chipper homer bounce was a brief one.

  18. 18
    ham Says:

    #17 “blah blah blah blah blah blah left-hander blah blah blah blah Braves lose.”

  19. 19
    Leah Says:

    I hate baseball.

  20. 20
    Walker Says:

    This is a weird team.

  21. 21
    ham Says:

    In honor of Kris Medlen being named NL Player (not pitcher, PLAYER) of the month for August, here is Grantland’s recent take on the Bravos:

    “A 4-10 stretch threatened to knock the Braves from their perch as the top NL wild-card team. Their two most reliable starters wouldn’t let that happen. Chipper Jones’s second walk-off homer of the year was a three-run bomb Sunday that capped a huge comeback from a 7-1 deficit against the Phillies. Chipper’s line for the season: .302/.381/.500, putting him on pace for his best year since 2008’s ludicrousness.

    Then Kris Medlen fanned 12 Rockies and walked none en route to a complete-game win Monday. Medlen’s effort hiked his line since joining the rotation to 7-0 with a 0.54 ERA, with 50 strikeouts, five walks, and just one homer allowed in 49⅔ innings. An unearned run cruelly ended his scoreless-innings streak at 34⅔ innings. But the Braves’ in-season bullpen-to-rotation switch serves as a reminder that such moves can work if done right. By using Medlen as a reliever for more than two innings five times over the course of the season and giving him ample time to heal from Tommy John surgery and gain strength, Atlanta gave its surprise pitching beast enough long-form preps ahead of his transition. Daniel Bard is shaking his head right now.”

    When does Meds pitch again? I don’t like that they give the Front Office credit, because i truly believe it’s revisionist history, but still . . .

  22. 22
    Bub Says:

    I’m late to this, but the Front Office Medlen Myth is enough to turn the stomach. They’ve derp’d him around for 2+ years and now they’re some kind of geniuses??? In what world does the same organization that tried its damnedest to burn the best reliever in baseball to a crisp suddenly have some kind of Super Protecto Voodoo going???

    Remember when this organization had the best reputation in the game for doing the little things right? It wasn’t that long ago.

    I’m glad Meds is such a good sport.

  23. 23
    David Says:

    I can’t provide a link to it bc I’m on my phone right now, but I just read an article by Bowman that includes some praise from Tommy John himself about how the Braves have handled Medlen. Its the exact opposite of what y’all were talking about on the show – this article is trying to make the Braves look like this was part of their plan all along, which is pure hogwash.

    If that were the case, why complete trades for Dempster and, when he vetoed that one, complete another trade for Maholm?

  24. 24
    Walker Says:

    I’m glad everybody is calling the Braves out on their BS.

  25. 25
    Walker Says:

    Kimbrel in the 8th . Wow

  26. 26
    Walker Says:

    Now Fredi uses his best reliever in high leverage situations. Nevermind the other 2-3 wins we could of had if he did this before.

  27. 27
    Adam Says:

    I like seeing Kimbrel finish off the 8th. Good move by Fredi.

    …that felt weird typing

  28. 28
    Curt Says:

    Lots o pitches for Kimbrel

  29. 29
    Adam Says:

    Great game for Minor and our pitchers, but pretty horrible for our offense. 0-10 with RISP. Our only run was unearned.

  30. 30
    ham Says:

    I agree with Curt/Steve’s tweet. Be disappointed in Uggla, don’t boo him. I hate when fans do that. It doesn’t mean you’re a real fan – it means you’re a fair-weather fan. If your team stops trying (Escobar) or you are an idiot (Rocker/McDowell), then boo away, but if your guys are trying and they can’t get it done, be classy about it.

    (Steps down from soapbox.)

    (Back up on soapbox.)

    The offense is atrocious.

  31. 31
    Bub Says:

    I’m for the boo’ing. They can take it. But I understand where you’re coming from. You’re probably right.

  32. 32
    Bub Says:

    The Rockies announer was giving the Braves crowd some serious grief about their lackluster response to Minor’s performance. You know, the traditional applause you gve when the first hit finally comes? He was right, too. It was pathetic. Like a handful of people slow-clapping without standing up. People staring into their cell phones.

  33. 33
    Warren Says:

    I’m going to be honest. If you suck enough. I might just boo you. Sorry.

  34. 34
    Curt Says:

    My tweet. I’m all for booing jerks. All for booing bad guys. I just don’t think it is cool to boo a guy who is struggling, but who is a great teammate and continues to work hard. I’m disappointed I his season. He is killing us. But he has been benched and that to me is that.

    Our offense really is so bad right now, its shocking. And that’s pretty pathetic about the fans not supporting Minor. They must have been worn out from booing Uggla.

    Anyone see that Chipper called out the fans on Twitter? Wondering why no one was showing up for these games. Another really weak crowd last night.

  35. 35
    DAP Says:

    curt “Lots o pitches for Kimbrel”

    just 25 pitches. thats not way more than what is normal for him in an outing. i think he will be good to go again today.

    the offense is in a serious downswing right now, but still 4th in the league in runs. it will turn around soon, i think.

  36. 36
    Leah Says:

    Just finished watching last night’s game. I don’t like booing someone who is struggling but when you’re hovering around .200 and living in the valley of sucktitude for 2 months? You deserve it. I don’t know if I would have booed louder than under my breath but I don’t blame those at the game who did. And I don’t hate it. Did I just agree with Bub? If so, I change my mind. :)

    Could our offense BE any worse?

  37. 37
    Curt Says:

    Leah, not very Christian of you.

  38. 38
    Bub Says:

    Oh no he dint.

  39. 39
    ham Says:

    Whoa Curtis! Hello, pot – it’s me, kettle.

  40. 40
    Walker Says:

    Only in baseball. I’ll take it.

  41. 41
    David Says:

    37 – it’s spelled Cristhian.

    I just hope that whoever we play in the World Series makes one error so we can win the game.

  42. 42
    Nate Says:

    Can Hudson play second base?

  43. 43
    Curt Says:


  44. 44
    Frigatedoc Says:

    So when was the last time a “playoff bound” team won 2 games in a row with both runs (the only runs) were scored by an error in both games?

    What was it today? 0-6 with RISP? BAD!!!!

  45. 45
    Steve Says:

    @41 – So good.

    What a weird series. 3 of 4 but being so inept on the offensive side. However, I’d rather have the pitching remain solid and the bats struggle. Because, as DAP said earlier, I believe that bats will come around soon.

  46. 46
    Leah Says:

    Please bats come around soooooooon!

    Curt, of course, I would only boo under my breath. I would, however encourage all the othe heathen fans to boo loudly. See? I’m clean as Uggla’s jersey. Ya know, when his dip doesn’t dribble down his shirt.

  47. 47
    Bub Says:

    “I’m clean as Uggla’s jersey.”

    That’s really good.

  48. 48
    Leah Says:

    I wish the Nats and Cubs played one more game. I also wish their coaches would be caught stealing signs and everyone realized they’re not really that good. Buncha cheaters.

  49. 49
    Leah Says:

    Wow…I was just kidding. I know they arent really cheaters.

  50. 50
    Leah Says:

    Mets are struggling with RISP. This game could never end.

  51. 51
    Curt Says:

    Pretty amazing to have 3 shut outs in a row

  52. 52
    Leah Says:

    Dan’s post game interview cracked me up. If he can decide when he’s back like he decided to flip a switch then why did he ever leave? I mean great game…so glad he’s “back” and all just hope it’s for real. Go Braves! Great win!

  53. 53
    Walker Says:

    Maybe Bud Selig should have waited until next year with this extra wild card idea.

  54. 54
    Curt Says:

    @52 – and why wasn’t that switch turned on 2 months ago

  55. 55
    Steve Says:

    From a DOB tweet this morning. So crazy: In their past 5 games, #Braves are 4-1 with an 0.60 ERA and a .216 batting average and 11 runs scored.

  56. 56
    Steve Says:

    Can’t wait to see more details about the “more mental” than “physical” reasons behind the shutdown of Strasburg. I hope he says that the Nats created the problem with all the innings limit focus.

  57. 57
    Walker Says:

    Mark it down. The Nationals are NOT winning the World Series. Who does this? They could have easily strategized and handled him this season in a way that would have allowed him to pitch all season. They could have skipped starts. They could have had him skip the whole month of April. They could have done something. If I’m in that Nationals clubhouse I’m pissed. It’s obvious their front office had no confidence in them competing this year.

  58. 58
    will Says:

    Med Dog

  59. 59
    Curt Says:

    I forget where I read the article about the researcht hat went into the Strasburg decision and the other young guys who came back too quick from Tommy John. A lot of great young pitchers who were ruined by pitching too much in their first season back. The decision to limit his innings is right on, the way it has been handled, not so much – as you note Walker. But, I also think the Nats thought they were a year away. Not that you should play to lower expectations, but I think they were not prepared for their own success. Which is kind of strange considering their talent and the pitchers they brought in during the offseason.

  60. 60
    Curt Says:

    THAT is an insane stat:

    Uggla this year – 27 infield pop-ups
    Jeter last 10 years – 26 infield pop-ups

  61. 61
    Walker Says:

    Uggla & McCann!!

  62. 62
    Walker Says:

    I never really thought about an infield pop fly being equivalent to a strikeout. But it’s so true. Both are worthless outs. #baseball aha moment

  63. 63
    Walker Says:

    Marlins and Giants couldn’t hold on. Hopefully the Cardinals and Pirates lose.

  64. 64
    Leah Says:

    Anybody know what channel part 2 is on?

  65. 65
    Leah Says:

    Nats walk off. Arg.

  66. 66
    Bub Says:

    No longer rooting against the Nats. We ain’t catching them. And facing them without Strasburg after beating a WC opponent is as good a gig as any, so let them secure the best record.

  67. 67
    Leah Says:

    Bub…never give up!

  68. 68
    Walker Says:

    Bub with the two playoff home games, I somewhat see your point. However, it’s one and done.

  69. 69
    will Says:

    nats goin down
    chop harder!

  70. 70
    Walker Says:

    Kimbrel in the 9th? Looks likes somebody has learned how to manage a bullpen.

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