153 thoughts on “Game Thread: August 16, Giants at Braves”

  1. Just a note on the steroid testing issue…My understanding is that the biggest reason why we did not have testing is that the player’s union was completely against it at all costs. Rather than a prolonged strike, it was shelved.

  2. Ron,

    I thought the owners knew about it and didn’t do anything because they were greedy and wanted money. ;P

  3. Wickman has thrown a lot of pitches the last 2 days. If we’re tied or winning in the 9th, I think he’s gotta get the day off, no?

  4. Maybe Moylan will close tonite if necessary. Personally I’d rather us just win 12-2 and move on to facing Webb tomorrow.

  5. The logical choice would be Moylan (or Soriano…), but knowing Bobby’s tendencies lately he might put a tired Wickman out there anyway in the 9th.

  6. This isn’t related to tonight’s game at all, but several have questioned the “options” process recently, and I thought this was a very helpful answer provided by Keith Law today in his chat:

    Good question. The main issue is his options. A player who gets a major-league contract goes right on the 40-man roster, so he takes up space there and may lead to another prospect being exposed to the Rule 5 draft. If you’re on the 40-man roster and don’t make the team, you are sent out on an optional assignment, and the first time that happens in any year, you are charged with one option. Players get three options, although players with fewer than five full years of pro experience can be granted a fourth option. But for a lot of players, especially HS players, four years isn’t enough development time. After 2011, Rick Porcello will be out of options. What if he struggles a little in AA? What if he gets hurt and misses most of a season? It’s a risk you run with major-league deals. That’s how Adam Loewen ended up in the big leagues as quickly as he did. Now, with a polished college guy like Price, it’s not a big deal.

  7. We were actually +12 (24-12) on May 12.

    By the way, an interesting note I read in teh Hardball Times says that the two leading teams in Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) are the Detroit Tigers and the Atlanta Braves. I don’t know if that’s good. My understanding is that if your offensive performance is based on a high BABIP, it means it’s more a result of luck than skill. Is that right?

  8. BABIP for batters is not random. It is a controllable skill to a certain extent.
    They have a fairly high LD% too
    Yea, they hit a lot of GBs, and they are sneaking thru, but if you look at the players per se, there is no significant overachiever you can put your finger on.
    Chipper and Renteria are playing a bit better than career norms. KJ looks like this is his niche, but we don’t know. Yuni certainly looks like he is overachieving, and you don’t know with Frenchy, because of his new approach and his raw strength.

    May not see a dropoff this year, but will be interesting how they perform next year..

  9. Not to insult anyone who’s really heavy into the stats thing, but that may be the most useless stat I’ve ever seen. I’m not even sure what it tells you. I guess the higher teams are “luckier” than the lower teams, but just because you’re high doesn’t mean that your offensive production is entirely based on luck and just because you’re low certainly doesn’t mean that your offensive production is more based on skill. Maybe I’m not seeing something with that stat.

    Also, I wonder what hilarious umpiring adventures we will have tonight. Angel Hernandez should be the home-plate umpire, so God knows what will happen. Let’s see if they go for the sweep of atrociously umpired games.

  10. I don’t know if that’s good. My understanding is that if your offensive performance is based on a high BABIP, it means it’s more a result of luck than skill. Is that right?

    Yes, but only to an extent. Good hitters are more likely to maintain a high BABIP than bad ones. The Braves’ flukiness on balls in play can probably be chalked up almost entirely to Harris, Chipper, and maybe Diaz and Renteria.

    Other than the left fielders, the Braves don’t really have anyone who would cease to contribute if they suddenly stopped hitting .330, so I’m not too concerned about balls in play luck catching up with them.

  11. Dude has an OPS of 1.667!!!

    I have a feeling that Angel will throw Bobby out again just for the ESPN face time.

  12. I must admit that I’m more excited about Jason Heyward than any first-round pick the Braves have made since Chipper.

  13. Hey, guess what! Unless this game is played in record time — unlikely, with Chuck James pitching — it’s going to be another morning recap. Sorry.

  14. Has anyone compared Jason Heyward to any players? Like, Heyward could be this guy or that guy? Those always give me a glimpse of their upside and the type of player they are.

  15. Can’t find the link but Baseball America said Heyward has as much upside as any player in the draft. He possesses a rare blend of strong tools and feel for all phases of the game. He draws physical comparisons to Fred McGriff, while his tools are similar to Willie McCovey’s and his approach is comparable to Frank Thomas’. Heyward’s father played basketball at Dartmouth and his uncle played basketball for John Wooden at UCLA. He led McDonough High to the school’s first state championship in baseball as a junior, when he was used as a center fielder, first baseman and pitcher. He’ll play right field as a professional, where he’s a solid-average defender with average arm strength. He’s an average runner. His plate discipline and pitch recognition are outstanding, though some scouts left his games frustrated that he wasn’t more aggressive. He rarely misses his pitch, and he shows above-average bat speed and a willingness to use the whole field. He has plus-plus raw power. Heyward will need to lower his hands in his set-up to improve his ability to get backspin on balls, helping his power translate into more home runs.

  16. By the way, does anybody have the Wellman “grenade toss” vido link? I have been trying to search the archives and can’t seem to find it.

  17. And for all the Heyward love, Cody Johnson rips 2 more HRs.
    Contact is still an issue for him though

  18. I think it’s a lock that Heyward is the team’s #1 prospect going into next year.

    Tommy Hanson has really struggled since being promoted to Myrtle Beach. He could be passed up on prospect lists by Rohrbaugh; Bryan Smith of BP is higher on Rohrbaugh.

  19. Jo-Jo Reyes pitched 7 shutout innings in his last start, allowing 3 hits, 0 walks, and struck out 6

  20. BABIP can be revealing for individual players. It might explain the difference in McCann ’06 vs. McCann ’07, for example. His ’06 BABIP was .344 — this year it’s .297. That difference accounts for nearly all the difference in his batting average, and it jibes with my memory of an awful lot of flared singles last year.

  21. BABIP can be revealing for individual players. It might explain the difference in McCann ‘06 vs. McCann ‘07, for example.

    Difference between ’06 McCann and ’07 McCann = One got hit on the wrist trying to effing bunt, and one didn’t.

  22. Way to go Chuck.

    He may now be this team’s 5th starter.

    Actually, we have Smoltz & Hudson, a #4 starter in Carlyle, and 2 #5 starters in James and Cormier.

  23. And the best part? The Phils and Mets are already winning both their games.

    It’s like trying to claw uphill through quick sand.

  24. Humidity can be a major factor for teams not used to it. Luis Castillo left a game a few weeks ago with heat exhaustion because he wasn’t used to it.

    It ain’t over yet.

  25. Based on that baseball america profile in post 25 and knowing nothing about the guy I bet that Heyward is black. Why else would he be compared only to black players? Am I right?

  26. What disappoints me in Chuck is this — all we’re really asking of him is to keep the team in the game. Six innnings, 3 runs. Shoot, that’s an ERA of around 4.50. He can be a freaking below-average starter and that’s all we need right now — and he’s not even that.

  27. @ 38 Skip said Hernandez went to Wrigley as part of his normal rotation. Alas, he was not fired.

  28. Luis Castillo left a game a few weeks ago with heat exhaustion because he wasn’t used to it.

    The dude played for a decade in Miami.

  29. Luis Castillo left a game a few weeks ago with heat exhaustion because he wasn’t used to it.

    The dude played for a decade in Miami.

  30. By a year and a half. It’s not like he’s 50. I think it’s a stretch to say he’s “not used to it”.

  31. Chip Caray, talking glowingly of Cox hating LaRussa, now needs to be beaten senseless. I hate you Chip.

  32. Unfortunately, the Giants are running up Chuck’s runs count. He should be embarrassed. And shot.

    I’m out, guys.

  33. I am beyong sick of James. This is not a #3 or #4 starter. This is a middle reliever at best. He can’t last and gives up the gopher ball.


  34. LOL. I didn’t really need to check but a google image search reveals that Heyward is indeed black.


  35. I don’t know if you’re joking or what, dude, but that’s the most ignorant statement I’ve ever read.

  36. All caps plus really stupid statements equals sarcasm. Check out the baseball america profile quoted in post 25. Look at the players that Heyward “projects” to be. They are all black. Any time I’ve ever seen “projections” white players project to be other white players. Black players are projected to be like other black player. Latin players are projected to be like other Latin players. That’s racism folks.

  37. Granted he’s pitching a terrible game, but we really didn’t think Chuck could have gotten their pitcher out?

  38. Okay, I’m sure there’s a logical explanation for using your former 7th inning pitcher in a long relief spot. I’m sure there is.

  39. Is Chuck available to throw for the Home Run Derby next year? He just made the Giants look like the 1927 Yankees.

  40. That’s racism folks.

    If so, it’s of the most harmless flavor imaginable.

    James is really something tonight. Tateriffic.

  41. You are right that it’s pretty harmless. I’d say it does point to a deeper problem.

  42. So Yates came in just to retire the other team’s pitcher? Seriously? Most pointless move ever?

  43. Robert,

    My guess is that Cox knew the pitcher’s spot would come up the next inning with the Giants pitcher scuffling and so he didn’t want to waste a long relief guy on one batter.

  44. Why did he waste anybody on one batter? James couldn’t have gotten the pitcher out? Weird. I guess he wanted to send Chuck a message or something.

  45. Thorman is your classic AAAA player. In other words, he has a bright future with the Royals.

  46. Not that James has pitched well in his last 3 starts, but he was pretty much lights out in most of June and July. He didn’t pitch that many innings, but that’s good for him in future years. He’s just 25.

  47. I think he was referring to the stat the announcers gave, saying that in Villarreal’s outings when he goes 2 innings his ERA is like 2.50, and his ERA in 2+ inning stints it’s at 4.24. But I don’t know about how much stock goes into that with sample size and all.

  48. I don’t know if he’s the answer, but I’d certainly give him a shot.

    He’s having a bad night, but so did our alleged third-best starter. Oscar’s been very, very good lately.

  49. I won’t argue in favor of James. But I also don’t want to see Oscar plugged in there. We can agree to disagree.

  50. This game really sucks. Chuckie looked like a batting practice pitcher.

    I’m out of here. Of course, I just got here. :-)

  51. Well, it’s not like said company made it 5 innings, like ever.

    It’s all a moot point though because apparently Villarreal is a Reliever and that is Final.

  52. Well, at least we took another series. We won’t make up any ground until the Mets start losing anyways.

    But yeah, this sucks.

  53. Career starts: 4
    IP/start: 4.5
    ERA in starts: 3.50
    WHIP in starts: 1.17
    K/BB: 10/3

    Stamina could of course be a problem. I wish they’d started stretching him out earlier, like instead of calling up Reyes.

  54. Just joining the game and yes this really sucks–but I think it was always going to be a tall order to sweep the Giants….

  55. If they stretched Villareal’s arm, who knows. I was referring to the stat about the high ERA in 1+ (?) innings of work as a reliever.

    Regardless, when Villareal is your best option (and hey may very well be), that’s not good.

  56. This is getting crazy with the East! It’s like watching the pitafull Central Division! Can you say Cardnials?

  57. Classic Bobby from Braves Notes:

    “Wick impressing Cox: Although he blew a save opportunity for the second time in his past six opportunities Tuesday night, closer Bob Wickman has garnered plenty of recent praise from Braves manager Bobby Cox.

    “He’s pitched great,” Cox said. “His stuff is good.”

    …”I don’t know how much better you can get,” Cox said.””

  58. @139
    i don’t know how much closer to suicide he can take me. blob and bobby need to get their collective shit together.
    chucky was total pants tonight, and to be that bad against that poor of a lineup isn’t very inspiring. i can only hope we pick up some help of the waiver wire soon, other wise it’s gonna be along 41 games.

  59. There is something to be said for a live arm that that hitters have never seen before. It can be a big advantage for a pitcher down the stretch. The Braves have some talented, live arms in Acosta, Ascanio, and Devine that the hitters in our division haven’t seen a whole lot of. I hope Bobby uses that to our advantage down the stretch.

  60. I would give the Braves a 11% chance of winning tomorrow, I know, I know, thats way too high.

    Who stole our Chuckie and replaced him with this clown?

  61. Some of Chuck’s comments after the game make me wonder if he’s going through a dead arm period.

  62. But it does concern me. I’ve heard that pitchers can regain life on their pitches after working through a dead arm period. Also, I don’t think the Braves need to do any damage to his arm.

  63. I saw this headline in the NYT: “Long-Studied Giant Star Displays Huge Cometlike Tail.” Further proof that Bonds used ‘roids?

    Winning 2/3 is okay, but at some point the team needs to put together a few 5/6 streaks if they are to overtake the Mets. If they can’t do it vs a terrible team like the Giants, who will they do it against?

  64. Going to be hard for the Braves to put any long streak together when James, Carlyle and Cormier are making 60% of the starts.

  65. 150. I read that about Heyward, also Cody Johnson hit two more home runs and is leading his league in home runs. It is great to see both guys doing so well.

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