San Diego 17, Gwinnett 2

Atlanta Braves vs. San Diego Padres – Box Score – April 12, 2010 – ESPN.

Yes, it’s the old “The Braves played like minor leaguers” trope. They couldn’t even get three runs so I could break out “Chargers 17, Falcons 3”. I suppose they could have gotten a safety.

Where to begin… Well, Jesse Chavez faced five men and struck out four of them, allowing the other one to get a hit. And that is the only thing that went well tonight.

It was 1-0 Padres through three, when the roof caved in. Jair Jurrjens completely fell apart in the fourth, and it was 6-0 by the time Bobby got him out of there. Since it was 6-0, he decided that he might as well bring in Jo-Jo, but you can imagine how much help he was. After allowing a double to score two more of Jurrjens’ runners, he gave up three more runs in the inning, two on a homer, then gave up a three-run homer in the fifth and three more runs in the seventh before Bobby finally brought in Chavez, presumably on the basis that the game could, technically, last forever if Reyes couldn’t get the third out in the inning and showed no signs of doing so.

The Braves’ only two runs came in the sixth — yes, already down 14-0 — and even then they left the bases loaded. They had only four hits for the game, one of them, inevitably, by Prado. Chipper was back but he didn’t do anything, not that anybody did anything much.

112 thoughts on “San Diego 17, Gwinnett 2”

  1. The Padres didn’t score more than 13 all last season. Padres 4:13, “With Jo-Jo Reyes, all things are possible.”

    This recap made me laugh out loud. Thanks, Mac.

  2. So if the Braves are waiting the required 22 days or whatever to bring up Proctor, will Reyes make it till then? I understand when guys don’t have their best stuff, but Reyes was incredible tonight. He was telegraphing every pitch and didn’t seem to have one pitch that worked.

  3. If we are going to lose, I appreciate them getting it out of the way early so I can get some work done.

    I blame this fiasco on the ridiculous 3:35 local start time. What’s that about? I’ve been to San Diego, they work until five like everybody else. It’s like they wanted to keep the game a secret.

    That Joseph couldn’t even get outs with the afternoon shadows helping him in an extreme pitchers park is not really the best sign.

  4. I’m just glad I quit watching in the 3rd inning to go outside and spray round-up on my weeds.

  5. McLouth is looking like spring training with his .118 avg and 3Ks tonight (at least his OBP is around .400). Although admittedly he missed a Grand Slam by a foot. Melky has looked even worse, but hit a few balls hard tonight. Hopefully at least one of these two will pick it up, but this is ridiculous. When can we get a real leadoff hitter?

  6. If we are going to lose a game, JoJo is a great guy to use to make sure the game is out of reach and Bobby wouldn’t bother to bring in the important relievers.

  7. Ill still take Nate anyday over Melky in the leadoff role. He can take a walk and can still run. Our fastest guys are 7th and 8th in the order

  8. @9,

    It’s certainly worrisome considering that weird injury before spring training.

  9. 9,
    Not really. It smells like he couldn’t get his mechanics straightened out, to me. Or possibly his “dead arm” period.

    UCL injuries are usually immediately noticeable, the pitcher feels tightness or pain in his throwing elbow. If he hasn’t felt any abnormal elbow pain, he’s probably not headed to see Dr. Andrews re: his UCL.

    More probably if he’s injured it’s his shoulder, not his elbow. That’s what bothered him during the beginning of spring training and what the team ordered an MRI of. This is also a much bigger concern, seeing as shoulder injuries are generally more career threatening than UCL replacement surgery. The imaging people found no structural damage in his shoulder, though, so this is probably nothing more than just a bad day.

  10. I certainly hope this is the case. We need EVERYONE to be healthy and performing up to expectation in order to have any chance.

  11. We will get a real leadoff hitter about the same time we get a real firstbaseman. Meaning not this year…

  12. If Prado led off. Stole Second and Third every time. We may be able to sac fly him in for a run every 3 innings. All we need to do is find guys capable of really long fly outs to right field.

    I’ll hang up and listen

  13. It’s certainly time to give up, since the Braves are clearly the first team in baseball history to get blown out or to be below .500 the first week of the season. As we know, the Giants are on pace to win 134 games, which will, of course, happen.

  14. @17 – trust me, I hope the braves pull it together as much as the next fan, but this team has shown some serious holes the first week of the season. They aren’t the Royals, but they sure as hell aren’t the Phillies either. More realistically, they have some serious work to do to stay even with the Rockies, dodgers, Brewers, et al for the wild card.

  15. #9 & #11 – Im going more with the weather and just a bad outing. Jurrjens didnt trust his stuff yesterday and for good reason. Every pitcher that Ive seen has reported the elbow soreness immediately and Im sure he wouldnt have been able to throw almost 85-90 pitches without saying anything.

    Didnt Diaz hit over .400 in the leadoff spot last season? I still think Nate and this team is better off with him leading off. You dont need speed in the 8 hole so the pitcher can sacrifice him over, thats where Melky needs to be if he’s in the lineup

  16. I think we all knew the Braves had holes, but you cannot make a judgement off one week. You could take a bad week for the Yankees and say they exhibited holes. You just can’t say that one bad week means they have “serious holes.” What if Glaus starts hitting next week; all of a sudden, there is no hole. I’m not typically pollyannish about the Braves, but making judgements off one week is sort of silly.

    And we knew they probably weren’t the Phillies. But,I bet the Phillies will have some weeks where they struggle too. As a matter of fact, the Yankees were below .500 for several weeks last season.

  17. @21 – Your points are well taken, but I think what scares some Braves fans is the similarities between how this season has started and how last season started. It seems like they have the same, unfixed problems.

    Agreed, small sample size. I hope they regress to a much better mean.

  18. What the hell do you mean we can’t make a judgement off one week? This is the internet – judgement making off flimsy or non existent evidence is our thing. It’s what we do.

  19. I remember some pretty terrible April teams during “the run.” I’ll pass judgment until about game 40 of the season.

  20. The overreactive side of my brain says glaus, mclouth, and cabrera need to stay in the bottom of the lineup, and chipper is not a #3 hitter anymore.

    My gut tells me heyward and hinske need to get more abs.

    My eyes tell me Jojo Reyes sucks.

    My heart begins to doubt the hope that was there to begin the season.

  21. An off-day after a supreme ass-kicking? I have a feeling we’ll see a genuine sense of purpose tomorrow.

    Ringer,
    Did he tell you how great he was?

  22. As angry as I want to be at Jo-Jo, instead I feel a wave of sympathy. He has been nothing but awful as a major-leaguer. I think he’s pretty much toast. I remember a few years back when the Panthers were playing the Falcons, and the Panthers instituted a third-down play where they took the QB off the field and gave it to the same running back every time. Same formation, same play, every time. After each first down (it worked about a dozen times) the camera flashed over to Falcons coach Jim Mora, Jr. and then to Panthers QB Chris Weinke. They both had the same look on their faces that Jo-Jo had yesterday. The expression is “my career is probably over.”

  23. ryan c, right there with you. Chipper isnt a #3 hitter anymore. Glaus, Melky, Nate, have turned into Francoeur, KJ, Schafer from 2009. I havent given up hope, its been 7 games and we are one hanging slider from a 4-3 record instead of 3-4. (Why were we throwing a slider anyways, Renteria cant catch up to 100mph on his hands) However, if we drop these next two I’ll probably jump on the bandwagon. Didnt Chipper and the boys say they wanted to play hard for Bobby this season? We’ll see tomorrow I guess.

  24. Why are they having a day off in SAN DIEGO? Are they really afraid of bad weather? Isn’t that an insult to the city?

    It’s not a matter of “playing hard.” I have no doubt that they always play hard. It’s a misnomer that in baseball playing harder means playing better. If anything, you would argue that they are pressing. But again, it’s seven games. They could easily be 5-2. Giving up hope? Aaargh!

  25. I also think 7 games can’t say much, but I am certainly very disappointed in seeing Chipper getting hurt so soon into the season and his continue inability to find his lefthanded swing.

    That I am very concerned.

  26. @28 And yet, as per the ole’ Boys Club rules of professional sports, Mora in fact got another head coaching job a few years later. That, of course, ended in inevitable failure. I love sports.

  27. Wait, there was still hope in JoJo before yesterday? We gave him almost 200 bloody innings to prove himself already. Giving him more innings would only yield the same result.

    However, I love the fact that JoJo makes sure there was no false hope in yesterday’s game. That I will give him credit.

  28. @28

    I’d agree with you about Jo Jo except for two things:

    Dayton Moore and the Kansas City Royals.

    We’ve seen how it plays out a few times now.

  29. Would anyone else like to see Matt Young get a look as the leadoff hitter? He’s fast and gets on base, and though I know it’s early, I really have no confidence in Melky and Nate turning it around.

  30. @34

    Completely unfounded prediction — next DL trip for Chipper, we trade Reyes for Kala Ka’aihue, and bring him up along with Michael Dunn.

  31. Michael Dunn? Wasn’t that the name of the height-impaired actor (trying to stay politically correct here) who played Dr. Loveless on The Wild Wild West?
    He would have a tough strike zone.

  32. You never know how things will play out, but the Braves were 34-40 last year and ended up 86-76. I hope they don’t wait that long to turn it around (if they do), but there is a long time to fix things, especially with the WC. And I’m not convinced the Phillies are the 1927 Yankees yet.

    But I agree that the Chipper issue is very problematic. He seems to get hurt these days if you look at him wrong.

  33. @37

    All practical thought says that the deal would never go through. But I’d be lying if I said I had never contemplated the idea – Kila has been ML ready for about 2 or 3 seasons now (and even took a step back last year for whatever reason) but the Royals organization just hates him – to the extent that he’s a minor league free agent after this year. Given Dayton’s natural affinity to Braves castoffs, it makes a good fit

  34. Looks like Kala Ka’aihue is in the Athletics organization now and has gone back down to high A Stockton. His brother Kila is still in the Royals organization playing at Omaha. Batting .211 but already has 2 homeruns. (The Omaha Royals roster is an interesting mix of guys failed Braves farm hands of a while back and recent years. Anthony Lerew, Wilson Betemit, Scott Thorman, and Bruce Chen.)

    I have some faith that Nate is going to come around if for nothing else he’s still drawing a lot of walks. Melky on the other hand, I just can’t help but feel like improvement would be getting his average up to .250 with no walks, power, or secondary offense of any kind.

    So my question is two fold. 1) Would there be any trade market for Melky for even a middle of the road A ball prospect just to keep from releasing him? Surely there could be better use for the 3.1 mil he’s getting paid this year. (Luckily the Yanks are paying $500K of it.)

    and 2) Gary Sheffield’s still a free agent, had a decent year last year with an .823 OPS (.372 OBP .451 SLG) and seems to get along with Bobby. Would he work in a Diaz platoon and would he come for 2.5 million?

  35. sdp, you’ve got to be the horniest guy on the planet.

    i think trading melky and signing sheffield would be AWESOME, however i doubt he’d be anything but a bat off the bench. the platoon would have to be diaz/hinske.

  36. Melky will come around and hit some. It’s not really a big deal. We need to get something out of first and third to be a dangerous offense. I’m not sure that’s going to happen with the age and injury concerns.

  37. Id rather Hinske get AB’s over Melky. It is a big deal that our worst hitting OF’r is leading off every game

  38. For whatever its worth, Sheffield played in 100 games last year with 312 at bats. (Would be 53% of the at bats he took for us as starting right fielder in 02). Baseball reference credits him with the most time for the Mets last year in left field.

    By comparison, true nothing but pinch hitter/bat off the bench Greg Norton last year appeared in 95 games (or three less) but “only” had 97 attempts to hit. (I say only because based on those 97 at bats it felt like 600 at bats.)

  39. It is a big deal that our worst hitting OF’r is leading off every game

    Well, right. If he doesn’t hit then there are guys on the bench to take his spot. If Chipper and Glaus don’t produce or can’t stay on the field, the team just won’t score much. Those are the key spots.

  40. #48 – I think I didnt explain that thought very well. Jurrjens lost his release point at some point in the game yesterday and maybe even in his pen session before the game. It just appeared that something mechanically was wrong and he couldnt correct it. Thats all

  41. saw this over at ajc

    Jo Jo has had 41 major league appearances and hasnt had a single scoreless outing

  42. Regarding all this Melky v. McLouth v. Diaz v. Hinske stuff, I think Wren should bring back Dye. Then Melky would be the 5th-best OFer when he leads off.

  43. If Reyes gets used like the LOOGY that he is, surely he’ll snap that streak pretty soon. He was abysmal yesterday, but we knew he would be.

  44. Good point, Mac. As a little test I checked Jair’s game logs who, like Jo-Jo is a starter with 4 years ML experience. Jo-Jo = 41 appearances, 37 as a starter, 0 scoreless appearances. Jair = 74 appearances, all as a starter, 8 scoreless appearances (using runs scored, not earned runs).

  45. another interesting tid bit:

    Jason Heyward jerseys are flying off the shelves faster than . . . well, not quite faster than his home runs leave the ballpark, but you get the idea. T-shirts and jerseys with Heyward’s name and number 22 went on sale at Turner Field in the fifth inning of Atlanta’s opener last Monday — the point when the game, and Heyward’s standing as a full-fledged union member, became official. Since then — covering just 2 1/2 home games — the Braves have sold 1,052 Heyward T-shirts and jerseys at Turner Field. That’s an average of 46 T-shirts and jerseys per inning.

  46. Derek Lowe has 35 appearances in a row without recording a scoreless one, dating back to opening day, 2009. Also, Derek Lowe currently leads the NL with 10 walks. 3 more years!

  47. I am in the airport lounge and ESPN is on, which I don’t get at home. I would like to punch that smug smile of Jim Rome’s until my arm got tired and then switch hands. That is all.

  48. @62, fair enough, but Lowe had six scoreless appearances the prior year (2008) alone.

    I think we can rest assured that we will not have three more years of Jo-Jo.

  49. @33, that was more than Kyle freakin’ Davies ever did for the Braves.

    Just settle that you stink already! (he did for me, but he also had his supporters)

  50. I think we’ve seen enough of Melky to want to get rid of his tagline at the top of the blog (yes I get that it was ironic but still). I suggest that in honor of Jason Heyward that Mac change it to, “Jeff who?”

  51. Add me to the list of people concerned about Jurrjens’ pitching arm.

    An unexplained drop of velocity is never good news. Remember when the Braves couldn’t figure out why Hudson had a sudden drop in his velocity a couple of years ago? And Mike Gonzalez before him?

  52. Of course, this opens the possibility that Jurrjens is feeling such pain and not telling anyone. PItchers do that, to the detriment of their teams and careers. But I am willing to write this off as an isolated bad day as long as it isn’t duplicated.

  53. This is probably an oversimplification, if not just flat-out wrong, but I think that velocity is usually shoulder and control elbow — though a velocity problem will probably lead a pitcher to overthrow and have control problems too.

  54. The Giants have OF Fred Lewis on a rehab assignment that ends Thursday. He’s out of options, so a trade is likely.

    I know it doesn’t necessarily fit our situation, but, I’d take this guy over the Melk Man.

    Twenty-nine years old, bats left, .277/.355/.420 OPS of .775, minimal platoon split as, against RIGHTIES is .286/.362/.443, OPS .805. Plays all 3 outfield spots, but mostly LF. UZR likes him there. Will strike out, 243 K’s to 106 BB in 1048 PA’s.

    Probably wouldn’t cost a lot. But they wouldn’t want Melky, already having an OF of Derosa, Rowand, and Bowker.

  55. What about a lineup with Prado at leadoff. He’s got a much better on-base pct than either McClouth or Melky. Then we could move Heyward up to the 2-hole. He’ll probably have a good OBP even if he goes through some tough times, which i’m sure he will. This will give more RBI opportunities for Chipper and McCann.

    For now I say platoon Diaz/Hinske in left, and Melky/McClouth in Center. So far none of our outfielders have shown any kind of offense except for Heyward. I think Cox should go with the hot hand and give Hinske a shot out there as well. Maybe even Infante, now that Chipper is back. We need some offense, and neither Melky nor McClouth are cutting it right now. I know it’s early and we shouldn’t panic, but they both look like easy outs every time up. I don’t know which one is worse. They both are awful.

    One last note. In the Friday game against the Giants, Cox brought Conrad to pinch hit with the bases loaded in a crucial spot with McCann on the bench. I know it was a lefty lefty matchup, but at that point, wouldn’t you want your best hitter up there instead of a utility guy who barely made the team? McCann’s average vs. righties and lefties were pretty similar for 07 and 08. Last year he seemed to have a tough time vs. lefties, but that might have been due to the vision problems. In any event, I think you use your best player in that situation, and put the game away. Not the last guy who made your team. Just my two cents.

  56. ‘ rel=”nofollow”>Jurrjens average fastball velocity chart

    If I stuck that last data point somewhere in the middle of the graph, you wouldn’t be able to pick it out.

  57. At any rate, we may as well accept the fact that the statistics indicate that Jurrjens will eventually fall prey to Tommy John surgery.

  58. Reason 32842 why Charles Barkley is entertaining:

    Watching basketball on TNT and they did a plug for MLB on TBS.

    Chuck’s response, “Or as I like to call it, the AL East on TBS.”

  59. Guys, I’ve struck it big. I have a really good friend of mine who’s in high A with the Blue Jays and is from Canada. In the offseason he hits with Peterson Thomas Gordon Orr and Scott Thorman. I love my friend, but I just snicker. Says my friend (about Thorman): “He plays so hard, takes such violent hacks… but he’s just so dumb.”

  60. I know it sounds too good to be true, but I promise. I found out when we were watching a Royals Spring Training game and Thorman was up at bat. He took this crazy hack, rolled it over to 2nd, came out of his shoes sprinting to 1st, and was thrown out by 2 steps. Randy said that’s just how he is. Every hack in the cage is like that, but he just doesn’t have much of a plan. He really likes him though.

  61. If you were going to make up a story about a ballplayer, would you really choose to make it up about Scott Thorman? Really?

  62. @76,

    I also cringed when Brooks Conrad was hitting in that situation on Friday. The Braves have seemingly always ignored the bench and ended up nobodies (except in 1995). Bobby was going by the baseball “book” that you never use your last catcher to pinch hit in case the other guy gets hurt. Having said that, they did have a two run lead with Wagner coming. Closers blow leads, but no reason to think he couldn’t hold a two-run lead. You really aren’t asking a whole lot-don’t give up more than one run in the inning. You can’t always expect to blow the game open. I just can’t understand why pitchers insist on speeding up a guy’s bat when he has shown he can’t hit the heater. No way Renteria hits a fastball out of the park.

  63. He’s averaging about 1 strikeout every 5 atbats. What strikeout ratio would be considered a red flag and what would be considered “under control”? I really have no clue.

    also, does anyone know where salcedo is starting out? i cant find any info on him anywhere.

  64. Over the course of a 162-game season, 1 strikeout every 5 at-bats translates to 130 strikeouts per season. That’s acceptable if he’s high OPS.

  65. But generally prospects who strike out at that rate do not succeed in making it through the minors.

  66. “I can always tell when Reyes is pitching, even blind folded, by the sound coming off the other team’s bats” — Bobby Cox

    In all seriousness, Reyes is the 25th man on the roster whose position can be easily improved by Proctor, Kimbrel or probably even a guy like James Parr. He’s not the issue. The issue is the LF and CF, which is basically three straight outs in the 8 – 1 positions right now. McLouth and Cabrera, or someone playing their positions, needs to start hitting. Glaus has found himself on the wrong side of the LOB statistic thus far, but at least he’s hit a few balls hard and for some reason I’m extending a little more rope to him.

  67. “Glaus has found himself on the wrong side of the LOB statistic thus far, but at least he’s hit a few balls hard and for some reason I’m extending a little more rope to him.”

    Maybe because they have played seven games and have 155 left? I mean, c’mon, we have all seen enough baseball to realize how players have ups and downs in a long season.

  68. Agreed. 8-1 is terrible, that’s why I think Prado in the leadoff spot makes sense. He’s not a prototypical leadoff guy, but with what we’ve got, he is the best solution. With Prado and Heyward 1 and 2, we can make pitchers work right off the bat. Work the count, and get guys on base for Chipper and McCann. I think Diaz should start regularly, but he is not a patient enough hitter to bat leadoff. Bat him 7th, and Melky/McClouth 8th.

  69. My guess is if Bobby told Diaz that he was leading off and wanted him to be more selective, Matt would be more selective.

    Worth a shot.

  70. @95 – Yeah, against Jo-Jo even a bat in the hands of the weakest of hitters sounds like Heyward’s bat.

  71. The Braves have played about 4.3% of their 2010 season. If the season were a game, they’d still be in the top of the first. How many managers call for a pinch hitter in the top of the first?

  72. Isn’t there some simulation tool which determines the optimal batting order for our position starters?

  73. 101,
    Baseball Musings has a Lineup Analysis Tool that uses on base average and slugging percentage. Ideally we’d have one that also uses things like speed score, GB%, etc. to account for the interactive nature of offense, but Markov chains are really hard.

  74. I feel bad for John Maine. I kind of liked the guy — seemed like a professional, didn’t ruffle feathers, just took his low-90s fastball and slider and went after guys, hit his spots, threw strikes, and was one of those guys who always seemed to pitch better than you thought he would. Getting him for Kris Benson was one of the smarter things the Mets front office did in the mid-’00s. It’s really too bad his arm fell off.

  75. There is really no reason to get bent out of shape over lineups. Put the better players toward the top and the worse ones at the bottom. Split some guys up by handedness to make the other team burn relievers. That’s about all you can do. The difference between reasonable (i.e., don’t bat the pitcher and shortstop 1,2) alternate line-ups is tiny.

  76. @96

    I posted this in the Sunday game thread:

    ———————————————————————

    2 out of 3 was right there for the taking against a probable contender, they just couldn’t close out game 1. Also, the Giants aren’t the type of team it’s best to face when you’re missing you’re #3 hitter. They have too much quality pitching and their park is not hitting friendly.

    I’m not ready to draw any conclusions about teams or players after 6 games. With that said, this team will go as far as the hitting takes it. The pitching looks good so far and the defense should be ok.

    ———————————————————————
    I’m obviously conceding it is a long season, and i’m not ready to make any changes at this point. But you have to concede that McLouth has struggled all spring, and Glaus hasn’t hit for power yet, which is what he was brought in to do. I’m not ready for anyone to lose their job, and I sincerely hope they all turn it around, but the situation bears monitoring. I feel certain Braves management has some concern about these guys, especially Wren, who is directly responsible for these players.

  77. Booby’s changing it up:

    Diaz lf
    Prado 2b
    Jones 3b
    McCann c
    Glaus 1b
    Escboar ss
    Heyward rf
    McLouth cf
    Hanson p

  78. really like the lineup and hopefully we’ll see more of a diaz/mclouth platoon from here on out.

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