Braves 4, Rockies 3

Colorado Rockies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – April 18, 2010 – ESPN.

So, Jason Heyward.

The Braves spent eight and two-thirds innings not able to get a hit with runners in scoring position. They actually got one in the second, but Melky, apparently running in quicksand, was thrown out trying to score from second. The rest of the game — runners all over the place. They scored two runs, one on a sac fly in the first, the other on a bases-loaded walk by Heyward in the third. The Rockies had tied it up in the second with a single, runners first and second, but Jair Jurrjens got out of that jam with no further damage, and out of a couple of others.

He did, however, allow a solo homer in the seventh to tie it up, and another solo homer leading off the eighth to give the Rockies the lead. The Braves blew an easy chance to tie it in the bottom of that inning, when Heyward led off with a walk, went to second on a Melky bunt, and to third on a wild pitch, but couldn’t come home on a sharp grounder by Hinske. In the ninth, Prado led off with a single. Chipper flew out, then Prado went to second on a balk and McCann walked. Glaus grounded into what sure looked to me like a double play, but was called safe at first. Yunel walked to load the bases, and then Heyward hit a hard grounder past the third baseman, scoring Prado from third and pinch-runner Conrad from second.

O’Flaherty got the win in relief. The Braves had eight hits and eleven walks. Jurrjens had only allowed five and three, and O’Flaherty was perfect in his inning. Yet, they probably should have lost. Go figure. The Braves now lead the league in walks.

212 thoughts on “Braves 4, Rockies 3”

  1. as of right now, heyward is a .300 .400 1.000 player.
    Absurd for a rookie no matter the sample size.

  2. 111 from the last thread,

    Now they work counts and make pitchers fight through nearly every at-bat. I think that bodes well for this team.

    Exactly. I bet Chip hates walks because they rob him of a chance to say “BELTED”, “FISTED”, “HAMMERED” and the like.

  3. Glaus was definitely out, but obviously you gotta take what you can get. Chipper was safe on that pick off at second, so…

  4. I said Heyward is a beast. I give credit where credit is due, RYAN! Plus this is a free speech blog, when the players make mistakes I’m going to point them out. Quite frankly I think Diaz is overrated despite all the stats you can throw out. He’s an average player at best and the fact he’s such a free swinger makes him a target of good pitchers because he’s going to swing at everything. But that’s really besides the point, Heyward’s the man and came through today with a win that will be remembered throughout the season. This was a monster victory, giving the team momentum going into the series with a Phils. A loss would have proved devisating to the the moral of the team going into this key series. To gain a game on the phils was huge today.

  5. Quite frankly I think Diaz is overrated despite all the stats you can throw out.

    So, you will cling to whatever preconceived notion you think is “right”, regardless of evidence. That tells me pretty much everything I need to know.

  6. @10 My impression was that he looked a bit off in the beginning, but honed in later on. I was only watching off and on, though.

  7. @10

    A lot better. His velocity was back up. Outside of the homers, he looked really good.

  8. Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt, Braves baseball; I love this blog, thanks Mac! I think we should pick a game and rent a special box and all get together sometime. I’d be happy to share some of the cost.

  9. I, aswell, watch with my own eyes. I, also, don’t care about the numbers. Tell me all you want about Diaz batting average, or his slugging percentage… I don’t care what actually happens on the baseball field… I care what the players look like while it happens.

    Also, Heyward is too tall to play baseball. I don’t care that he is batting .300, has an OBP of .400. He’s too tall, and that big strike zone is going to be exploited by good pitchers.

  10. Come on, let’s not forget what’s important here- actual hitting with RISP! To win a game!

  11. Quite frankly I think Diaz is overrated despite all the stats you can throw out.

    Well, he has minimal value against RHP, is an average defender and average baserunner. He’s a lefty-masher and a good one but it’s probably more than fair to describe a platoon player as average.

    And a big thank you to Jeff Nelson for this one, Glaus was out.

  12. Well, he has minimal value against RHP

    Again, in the three seasons he had more than 300 PA’s, his OBP/SLG split for RH/RH were 400/477, 350/406, 349/400. That’s quite a bit better than minimal, considering a 750 OPS is going to be around a 100 OPS+. It’s OBP heavy too, which means OPS+ is understating the value somewhat. He’s no Ruth out there, but is certainly underrated as a starter.

  13. “Quite frankly I think Diaz is overrated despite all the stats you can throw out.”

    Thanks to this statement, I can’t get past the idea that Stephen A. Smith posts here incognito.

  14. So Bobby won’t use the late innings relievers with a 1-run lead in the 7th but he’ll use them with a 4-run lead in the ninth as a matter of routine. Someone let me know when they’ve figured this out.

    Heyward rules.

  15. What was that people were saying about starting Heyward in the minors because what difference would a few games make?

  16. @20 – There was no reason to take Jair out at that point. Besides, we hadn’t had a starter make it to the 8th inning once yet. It’s good to give them a little rest on occasion. We shouldn’t need to use 3 or 4 relievers every game with this pitching staff.

  17. It’s good to see Chipper finally swinging the bat well again. He put good swings on the ball every time up. I thought his first and last at-bats were homeruns when they came off the bat.

  18. @20

    Was just thinking the same thing. Bobby’s bullpen management is one of the last great mysteries to me. Every time I think I have him figured out, I get thrown into LF. Maybe someday…

  19. Maybe Bobby was trying to give JJ a chance to get a W to boost his confidence. Just guessing, of course.

  20. Lots of rest for our big three in the pen, I like it. None of Wagner, Saito or Moylan has pitched since getaway day in San Diego on the 15th. Nice and fresh for three close wins over the Phils next week.

  21. @17

    I think calling Diaz an average baserunner isn’t quite a fair assessment of his value on the bases. Most of that is because with the exception of the Cabrera/McLouth platoon and maybe Yunel (with special bonus points to Jurrjens who is perhaps the fastest person on the team), the Braves have the baserunning prowess of Terrell Wade. And while that doesn’t exactly make the fact that he was our top base-stealer last year (with credit again to McLouth, who had the same amount with about 15 less times on base), if he’s not going to be starting he can at least be valuable as a pinch-runner in addition to his pinch-hitting.

  22. They should have walked Heyward and pitched to Melky. Extra innings is better than losing.

  23. 22,
    You could argue Jair should’ve started the seventh (I don’t think he should’ve, he wasn’t particularly sharp through six) but there’s no argument a starter should be allowed to face the batting order four times in a row in a tie game with all of the late innings relievers on 2 days rest.

  24. Diaz has consistently rated near the bottom of the Braves baserunning stats. And of the 846 players rated by BPro’s baserunning stats in 2009, he was #795. This jibes with my observations of him on the bases — below average speed, below average instincts. He gets thrown out on the bases quite a bit, occasioning his familiar wistful mien.

    Bobby uses Diaz the same way as Earl Weaver would have — hence, he’s being used correctly.

  25. There’s no doubt that Diaz has a platoon split – which pretty much puts him on par with every other hitter in the league. The point is, given the lineup the Braves have now, you could make a really good case for Diaz as the everyday guy, and Melky as a 4th OF exclusively, with perhaps a spot start here and there against tough righties.

  26. Melky hasn’t done anything yet, but Diaz is no better historically vs RHP than he is, and if you’re going to choose one of them to go .350/.400 against RHP IMO it might as well be the guy who wouldn’t be playing at all otherwise.

  27. I think that the people who think that Diaz is overrated/sucks should be forced to watch not-so-old games featuring mortals such as Garrett Anderson, Jeff Francoeur, Gregor Blanco, Willie Harris, Ryan Langerhans or Raul Mondesi.

    If there was a bravesoutfielderworth+ stat like ERA+ or OPS+, Diaz would be higher than Chip on crack.

  28. “historically” is the key word. My issue was with the assertion that Diaz was “inconsistent” as a starter which is factually incorrect. I am also not quite seing the virtue of starting melky because otherwise he wouldn’t start. If melky has no platoon advantage, and is comparitively worse against LHP, what’s the point?

  29. @33

    I guess my observation is tainted by trying to compare him to the rest of the team. I don’t doubt a second that his instincts are below average from watching him take the field over the years, but if his speed is below average, it just seems to be better because he’s being compared to the swift feet of Brian McCann, Scott Thorman, and Garrett Anderson. For what it’s worth, his SB/CS jibes pretty well with the Braves averages, though I don’t remember what the successful percentage was that indicated a positive impact, but I feel like it was 75%, which isn’t too far off of the 66% that he gets. But I really don’t know what I’m talking about, so I’ll stop trying to argue my point. He’s obviously no Luis Durango

  30. one hell of a final inning. Did anyone think Heyward wouldnt have come through there? I honestly thought he’d take a bases loaded walk, but Morales had two pretty good pitches that Heyward laid off of that were strikes. I dont think he couldve done much with those. I love the fact that Jason has already adapted to the way he’s being pitched. He was trying to pull those pitches the first week, now he’s just crushing them the other way

    With that said, Chip Caray sucks and is awful. He had me all excited on Chippers shot to center, but it was 15 yards short of the warning track.

    Great to see Jair hitting 95mph today also

  31. Platooning is the point — if neither gives you an advantage against RHP, the better choice is to give both of them playing time.

    Which also depends on the number of LH starters we face. I don’t know how it stacks up this year, but it seems like we’ve been facing 35-40% LH starters the last couple of years. A good opportunity to utilize the whole roster.

  32. one more thing. The umps could call a balk on every pitch from Betancourt and Morales and yes I mean every pitch

  33. I think that the people who think that Diaz is overrated/sucks should be forced to watch not-so-old games featuring mortals such as Garrett Anderson, Jeff Francoeur, Gregor Blanco, Willie Harris, Ryan Langerhans or Raul Mondesi.

    Well sure and that’s why some think (I don’t) he’s overrated around here because by comparison to that slag he looks like an all-star.

    but there’s no argument a starter should be allowed to face the batting order four times in a row in a tie game with all of the late innings relievers on 2 days rest.

    Well sure there is, obviously just not with you. Pitchers can actually go more than six innings without breaking. Other teams do it all the time.

    JJ did great, the offense – as usual for his starts – let him down. Bullpen management had really nothing to do with this game.

  34. Diaz is hard to gauge as a player as he is so wildly inconsistent in everything he does as a hitter. I’m sure his numbers normalize with more playing time, but he is still difficult to analyze. I’m sure the opponents scratch their heads with him because at various times he looks great, and then sometimes within the same game, awful. He can seemingly miss a hittable fastball, then hit a pitch off the plate hard. At times I see him reach for an outside fastball and pull it, and then hit a breaking ball the other way. He is enigmatic for sure, and I don’t think anyone really knows what to make of him or how much to use him. One thing I do know: he is a better option than Cabrera. Maybe not every day, but more than he’s currently being used. Matt Diaz is not an every day play IMO, but he’s not a 4th outfielder like Cabrera either. Hence, he should play more than Melky, who seems to have no skills that I would classify as even “good”.

    Nice game by Jurrjens today. He is starting to look like his old self out there.

    The Rockies look good. They’ll be formidable this season.

  35. I happen to think Diaz will eventually usurp some playing time from Cabrera — Cox is giving the new guy an extended look. It’s a people management thing. If Melky doesn’t improve and ends up the 4th OF, he’ll never say he didn’t get his chance.

  36. I don’t care of Diaz is over- or under-valued. The guy is a damn useful player at a reasonable cost, which is the most important thing.

    The Braves are drawing walks and striking out less, which is very nice to see.

    Who is that Heyward kid again?

    I didn’t watch the game, but the BB/K ratio has told me JJ was good. The Rockies are not a bad team.

    Yes, we should all be worried about Glaus, but if you are not concerned by the lefthanded swing of Chipper, you are not paying attention.

  37. I think the bullpen question (when it was brought up earlier) relates to leverage. Bobby tends to use the best relievers, even if it’s not close, to nail down a win, but not in a close game if the Braves are down. (The question’s not as much about when to pull the starter.)

  38. @14, I know there are some DC area people who post here along with me…if anyone wanted to have a braves journal get-together at a braves-nationals game at nationals park, i’d definitely be interested…

  39. Everyone’s awfully snappy and short-tempered today. Is there a full moon or something?

  40. Jason Heyward is everything that is great about Major League Baseball. I just love this guy. I can see him becoming one of the most popular guys in baseball.

    Interesting series. We put up 9 in the first game, get no-hit in the second, and win in our last at-bat in the rubber game. Taking 2 of 3 and overcoming a really good performance from the opposition is what I’d like to take into a big series against Philly. It’s only April, but I think we can really get some momentum with a good series here.

  41. Heyward’s out-of-the-gate production has been better than I expected, but — and this is just an observation, not a complaint — he is striking out more than I expected him to. It’s early, small sample, etc., I know, but still.

  42. @32 – but there’s no argument a starter should be allowed to face the batting order four times in a row in a tie game with all of the late innings relievers on 2 days rest

    I’ve seen Halladay do it ALOT. It’s a long season. Rest your relievers when you can (especially if Cox is your manager). Like I said, we’ve had to bring in 3 or 4 every game this year. Let some of them get a rest.

  43. @52 Yes, Stu, the strikeouts and hitting against lefties are both his weakness at the moment, but if he doesn’t have those weaknesses he would be a MVP candidate already. That’s why he is a rookie, right? Even the best prospects need an adjustment period, but I am sure you can sense that he has a great idea on his strikezone.

  44. 54—Of course. Like I said, not a complaint. I just had him pegged as a less-than-100-Ks-a-year kinda hitter, and his early pace projects a lot more than that.

    I think we should keep him, though. :)

  45. @55 Yeah, I would be very concerned with the strikeouts if not having a chance to watch his at-bats in live, but you can tell he is already making adjustments in his approach.

    His BB/K rate will eventually be very similar to Chipper, but that will come next season I think when he has a chance to see everybody.

  46. I have officially jumped w/ both feet on the Heyward bandwagon. I went to the 2-0 Cubs shutout game, and bought my 1st ever jersey. #22, Heyward.
    Just hope I don’t jinx him…though I’m sure he will be way above my jinx abilities

  47. When it comes to nicknames, I don’t really like The J-Hey Kid — I appreciate the Willie Mays reference, but the whole first initial of the first name, first three letters of the last name template is so played out — A-Rod, K-Rod, T-Mac, and on and on.

    From now on, in homage to my favorite player, I’ll be calling him Bad Jason.

  48. Heyward!

    Seeing this replay about 10x, I am not so sure Glaus was out.

    Yeah, Heyward is striking out more than I thought he would. But, come on, it’s hard to worry.

  49. @60 I hate that nickname too. I am just going to call him Jason as if there is only one Jason on this planet.

    I have to apologize to all the Jasons on this blog, but that’s the way it is going to be for me, ha.

  50. AAR – I don’t think you can fight the J-Hey Kid. It has too much momentum already.

    Wainwright had the CG win against the Mets tonight. As much as I like him, I still do not regret the trade.

    I would bet I am in the minority.

  51. There hasn’t been a good nickname in baseball since “the Big Hurt”.

  52. @60

    I don’t mind a derivative nickname, but we should at least keep it in the family. I vote for “Bad Henry County”….

  53. 65—I respectfully disagree. “Man Muscles” is awesome.

    66—That has my vote. Very nicely done.

  54. So I guess we have to take a bad, stinging or downright humiliating defeat against each opponent. But if that means we win 3 of every 4 series, I can handle it.

    Bring on the Phillies.

  55. It took a lot, but Phil Collins might actually suck less than someone according to a scientific poll.

    It’s always the same. It’s just a shame. That’s all.

  56. If you type “chip caray” into my browser’s search engine, these are the prompted search items:

    chip caray mistakes
    chip caray fired
    chip caray blown call
    chip caray wiki
    chip caray quotes
    chip caray twitter
    chip caray base hit
    chip caray braves
    chip caray blunders
    chip caray errors

    When you take into account that “chip caray base hit” is a probably a reference to his most famous blown call, six of those ten phrases are references to his mediocrity as an announcer.

    And it’s seven, if you count “chip caray quotes.”

  57. I had forgotten about the “Line drive base hit…. caught!” call in the tie-breaker game until today. The ball, off the bat, was a line-out all day. I don’t care if the LF was playing Kelly Johnson-esque deep, that ball was caught. Why he thought that was a base hit is beyond me. As I’ve said before, though, I still like his energy, and more announcers need it. It just needs to be intelligent energy, which he’s clearly lacking.

    I have to say that Braves Journal surprised me last night. I was telling my friend that I expected to come on here and hear that the sky was falling, the season is over, and they’re tearing down Turner Field because the Braves got no-hit. However, there was more appreciation for Jiminez’s performance than I was anticipating, and I really appreciate that. To be honest, I feel better about getting no-hit by Jiminez while getting 6 walks than getting perfected by the 2004 version of Randy Johnson.

  58. 73 – Regarding Jimenez, I felt pretty much the same way. That’s why the fans in Ponanski’s take kind of annoyed me. I can’t even imagine ridiculous it would be to actually be at the park for a no-no. Odds have to be like 20,000:1.

    Went out last night and missed the game. Also missed Randy Johnson’s game. The only no-hitter I’ve actually seen live from start to finish was the Jon Lester one that Poz is referring to. It was awesome. We were at college and the game just started out in the background, but going through the whole thing was almost a surreal experience. Since the Braves are pretty much the only team I watch, I would easily trade a loss to see a no-hitter.

    EDIT: With a cap of two per season. I think the novelty would wear off at that point.

  59. #73–As Jimenez’s achievement fades a bit from view, it has been enjoyable to read the commentary on Braves Journal. I can only add that I remember seeing Ken Forsch no-hit the Braves in 1979…..

  60. Tiger 224 @78,

    It is early, but Wren’s pitching moves are looking awfully smart.

    1. Vazquez will probably be better, but he almost certainly won’t equal or come very close to last year.

    2. Cox blew Gonzo up (who already has a bad health history).

    3. Soriano will still be a little streaky and little bit of a head case.

    4. Wagner is the absolute real deal. Only issue is risk of injury, and on that, see above two.

    5. Saito still has it. Also risk of injury or decline from over use, but I am glad we have him.

    6. Not getting antoher “$2 to 3 million reliver.” I thought he needed that to make sure we were solid. However, look at Venters. Jesse Chavez. And every Minor League level seems to have relievers that are blowing people out. That may not have been a good use of resources.

    7. Swapping Logan for Dunn will look awfully smart over the next few years.

    All in all, pretty good job.

  61. @64,

    Parish, can’t agree with you about Wainwright. Braves got one year of Drew and, admittedly, a division title, in exchange for an ace. With Wainwright, this would be a truly awesome rotation and probably no need to have signed Derek “he knows how to win and JJ doesn’t” Lowe. I won’t come down too hard on Scheurholz because these things happen; he made lots of similar trades that did not come back to haunt us, but this one has.

    I have no problem with JJ pitching 8. At some point, the starters need to provide some innings–six just doesn’t cut it. These guys are good pitchers but not terribly economical with their pitches. When I see the Marlin pitchers throwing complete games against the Phillies, I wonder why our pitchers can’t do that. I didn’t see the game, but it sounds like JJ was pitching well, except for the home runs. I hate the modern game where six (or sometimes even five innings) from a starter is considered acceptable, although I understand that conditions have changed. Lowe was supposed to provide innings, but obviously he isn’t. But at least he’s not Jason Marquis. And, after watching Livian Hernandez totally dominate the Brewers for the Nats on Saturday, I think I would rather have him than Lowe.

    By the way, the last time the Braves were no-hit, they ended up winning the division.

  62. Agreed on Wren’s pitching decisions.

    However, Ike Davis is the pick the Mets made with the compensation given to them for us signing Glavine. That looks like a bad move, in retrospect.

  63. It’s not much of a nickname, and he’s 10 years younger than I am, but I think I would call him Mr. Heyward if I were to meet him.

  64. Before we start annointing him with nicknames previously reserved for Hall of Famers, let’s see what happens when he goes through his first real slump. I’m superstitious enough, I guess, to not want to get carried away by a great start. He’s still 20.

  65. So… are we going to take 2 of 3 from the Phils? (I would guess Hanson and Huddy win, and Lowe doesn’t)… leaving us tied atop the division, or probably tied 1/2 game back from the Marlins?

  66. I don’t think I’d go so far as to say I’d rather have Livan (contracts aside)… he’s doing well so far, but his ERA was over 5 last year and he’s really 5 years removed from pitching a lot of innings with a reasonable (below 4.9) ERA.

    (oh, and I’m just referring to Mr Heyward as Jesus).

  67. Wow…here we go again.

    People are complaining about Jason Heyward strikeouts? Good grief.

  68. @85,

    Agree, I got carried away, but just making the point about how bad Lowe has been.

  69. fun stat of the week:
    90ks in 109.2 innings of work for the braves pitching staff. given hudson’s struggles to k batters (2 in 12.2 innings), that’s pretty good.

    not so fun stat of the week:
    the braves pitchers have yet to get a hit or score a run this season: 0 for 24

    adding to the madness: derek lowe is the only pitcher to record a sacrifice and he has 3.

  70. Hah!

    Fun with sample sizes:
    The Braves have played 12 games.
    In the first week of the season (6 games), Jason Heyward had 9 K and 3 BB.
    In the second week of the season (6 games), Jason Heyward had 7 K and 6 BB.

    Like a velociraptor, he’s learning…

  71. i still like shaft. he’s a big, smooth, black guy that is dangerous with a shaft. how perfect can one nickname be?

  72. In the small sample size realm:
    I’m amazed at Frenchy actually… he’s not only hitting for power and average, he’s not striking out. Even the last two games when he’s 0-10, he’s only got 1 K… all season he’s got 8 walks (as many as Chipper or Pujols) and 4 Ks… he only had 12 walks in the 82 games he played for us, and another 11 in the 75 he played for the Mets. Kid MIGHT be progressing as a hitter.

  73. @86 If you consider that as “complaining”, then you obviously haven’t seen us complaining about things. We love the kid.

    @92 I can’t care less about the Mets. I love Minaya, he keeps making the Mets worse like what Ed Wade did to the Phillies.

  74. 43,

    Well sure there is, obviously just not with you. Pitchers can actually go more than six innings without breaking. Other teams do it all the time.

    The question is not “can Jurrjens pitch past the sixth without breaking?”, the question is, “does using Jurrjens or the relief aces give the Braves a better chance to win?”. And the answer is the latter.


    I’ve seen Halladay do it ALOT. It’s a long season. Rest your relievers when you can (especially if Cox is your manager). Like I said, we’ve had to bring in 3 or 4 every game this year. Let some of them get a rest.

    Well, yeah, Roy Halladay is one of the best pitchers in the game. Just because he can do something doesn’t mean everyone, or even most players, can. Still, statistically, when managers let even Roy Halladay face the batting order for the fourth time, they’re making a mistake more times than not.

    Normally I’m with you on the saving the relievers thing, but Moylan, Saito, and Wagner were all on two days rest and the Braves are off today. The situation screams “use the best available pitcher”. That wasn’t Jurrjens.

  75. Even if it was, using O’Flaherty in the ninth instead of Wagner or Saito (in a game where the Braves could not have a save situation) was dumb.

  76. I loved this line in Passan’s thing on Yahoo:
    “Jimenez followed his no-hitter by running six miles the next morning. Hernandez followed his shutout by unequivocally not running six miles.”

  77. Marc, if we never made the prospects for proven veterans trades like the Wainwright for Drew the Braves wouldn’t be in the conversation as one of the leagues great franchises. In retrospect giving up Wainwright looks bad but at the time …

    Anyone still think Heyward should have stayed at Gwinnett for 10 days or 2 months? Yeah yeah yeah I know small sample size, blah blah..he could turn into a pumpkin tomrrow but I’m glad he is out there instead of me having to endure melky as …. oh shit wait a minute i’m enduring melky anyway. never mind.

  78. I think Heyward is rubbing off on Chipper too. He’s taking big confident swings and being aggressive on the basepaths (he was safe on the pick off yesterday of course). It’s good to see.

    It would be so like the Mets to have Francoeur emerge as one of the best hitters in the league and still finish last.

  79. 101 – You right, and also Biemel balked by turning the wrong way anyway.

    100 – I agree to a point, but the Braves have this habit of trading Wainright, etc for one year rentals. Once and awhile you have to keep a Tex or a Drew for more than one year to justify the trades.

    I weep everytime I see Wainright, and Neftali pitch.

  80. Marc, I would not argue with your statements about the Wainwright trade; I was certainly fully aware of them when I said I did not regret the trade.

    My reasoning is simply this:

    Without JD Drew, the Braves would have lost the division in 2004. He extended our historical streak by 2 years.

    I will suffer the loss of Wainwright for that payoff.

  81. @90 “Like a velociraptor, he is learning.”

    AAR, sometimes nicknames just present themselves.

    Of course, if we call Heyward “the Velociraptor,” we might have to rename the Ted to “Jurassic Ballpark.”

  82. Velociraptor was really about the size of a turkey. I am keeping my nickname options open at this point.

  83. #105 agreed. And I am pretty confident that no one predicted that Adam Wainwright would become a star. In the end good for him and good for the Cards. You have to give something good to get something good back.

  84. Seeing how Adam Wainwright was a first-round pick and the top pitching prospect in the organization from the day he signed, there was certainly a chance that he’d be a star, for all that the Braves disparaged him after the trade.

  85. @ 93 – I really like the “Heymaker” nickname too. I’ve seen Craig Calcaterra using it and I’ve been hoping it will catch on. He used it here, with a great photo from yesterday.

  86. @105,


    I probably liked the trade at the time and, of course, many trades for prospects don’t hurt. But, in retrospect, they traded one division championship (they won the next year without Drew) for, potentially, a decade of dominant starting pitching. It just doesn’t seem like a good tradeoff to me. In fairness, I would probably think differently if they had gone to the World Series.

  87. My vote made it 46-46. Someone vote to give him the lead!

    This also got me thinking, if the Braves were to get into a brawl, who would be the best one out there? I’ve always thought Hudson would go pretty wild out there. O’flaherty might have some of that Irish fighter in him, but he doesn’t seem very intimidating. Heyward is a big dude but you can’t really tell how he would handle himself in that situation. But I feel like Hinske would probably be the one you want out there most.

  88. First of all, anybody who thinks Diaz is a good baserunner has forgotten about how our season ended last year rather quickly. In fact, people around here have pretty much let Diaz slide for that horrible, horrible pickoff at third. I don’t really have a problem with this. We weren’t going to make the playoffs, anyway, and there’s no point in holding a grudge against the guy when he’s given us a lot and clearly felt bad about it, but don’t come on here and say that he’s a good baserunner. We all know that he isn’t.

    I really don’t know how I feel about the Diaz/Cabrera platoon situation. I continue to believe that Diaz is simply a platoon guy, and would be ineffective as an everyday starter. In fact, everyone forgets that the one time we tried him as an everyday starter he sucked. But on the other hand, Cabrera is awful. I would probably start giving Diaz a few starts against righties just to see what happens at this point.

    One thing I do know is that Bobby should stop platooning Cabrera with McLouth. Of the three non-Heyward OFs, McLouth is by far the most likely to provide us significant offense at some point. He should be starting every day so that he can pull out of this slump.

    The everyday OF situation should be: RF-Heyward, CF-McLouth, LF-Diaz/Cabrera.

  89. Glaus is enormous. Way bigger than the official stats, or everyone else is lying

  90. Glaus is too slow and that shoulder could come back and bite him in the later rounds.

    Ill take Heyward

  91. Im not sure Diaz is an everyday guy, but he is better than just a platoon guy. Kind of a tweener. But he would be one of the best players in KC if the Royals had kept him. Stupid Royals.

  92. Here it is Pirates, since you were so sad to see McClouth go….you can have him back for Andrew McCuthen. Take it or leave it.

  93. our AAA team has 7 players sporting an OBP under .300 right now and only one has an OPS over 730. Clevlen is off to a nice start and the only bright spot in that offense. What did Clevlen look like in ST?

    didnt we trade Yates for Todd Redmond? check out his line

    14IP 7H 0BB 15K

  94. Reason number one million why The Legend Of Jason Heyward is more promising than Francoeur:

    Remember that at-bat against the Cubs when it was close, late, and The Legend Of Jason Heyward whiffed on three straight pitches a mile from the strike zone?

    Heyward does.

    How, Heyward was asked, does a 20-year-old do such a thing?

    “It helps the more you go through it,” he said.

    And how many times has he gone through it? Well, there was that one. “The last time we were at home,” he said. “The last game against the Cubs. There was an at-bat I could have done better.

    There’s a reason why that’s the only at-bat this season (that I’ve seen) where he looks like Francoeur. Even if he slumps for the rest of the year, I like his chances for the long haul.

  95. I knew he mashed us, but look at these numbers (via DOB):
    Ryan Howard is 1-for-3 with a homer against Hanson, and the Phillies slugger has a .341 career average with 32 homers, 87 RBI and an 1.152 OPS in 84 games against the Braves.

    that’s an average of 60 HR and 170 rbi per season. maybe we should pitch around him this go around.

    concerning the upcoming series: the phils have yet to announce who will be starting the 2nd and 3rd games of the series and their first pitcher, kyle kendrick, has a whopping 17.47 era this year and it’s approaching 5 for his career.

    might be a good time to play the phils.

  96. @125,

    Meanwhile Francoeur talked trash about the organization when he was sent down to the minors for having a bad approach all year. That is encouraging.

    I’ll stop venting about Francoeur one of these days.

  97. The Phils pitching decision will be interesting. We should win game one (Hanson vs. Kendrick), game two is listed on ESPN as Happ vs. Hudson, which would be 50/50 (Happ has yet to give up an ER this year), and game three Lowe vs. Halladay (Phils winning, obviously).

    If I were the Phils, I would start Happ vs. Lowe and Halladay vs. Hudson, which me thinks would give the Phils an edge in both games. Halladay last pitched on Friday, so Wednesday vs. Huddy would be his regular turn anyway.

  98. Well with Lowe’s run support of late, we might win.

    It would be nice to take 2 of 3, but the Phillies are good, but we have won 4 of our last 5

  99. I think Bobby is unhappy that Diaz isn’t a mute Rickey Henderson and is going to stamp his foot until he is.

    Say what you want, but Diaz is CLEARLY one of the best three outfielders on the roster and a VERY serviceable player with good speed, above-.300 hitting prowess and a good enough fielder to man left field.

    Until and unless we get somebody better (and that person isn’t on the roster or at Gwinnett), Bobby should be grateful he has him and continue to put him at leadoff. But, watch, Cox will keep moving him in and out and up and down until he messes with his head again.

  100. Can I go on the record as finding the quote number being appended to the URL after posting annoying? When you refresh the page, it takes me back to my last post regardless of how many new ones there are. No big thing, though

  101. If you are going to go the dinosaur route for Heyward’s nickname, might I humbly suggest J. Rex?

  102. @133: For years, when at my laptop, I’ve been selecting from the pound on, hitting delete, then hitting return instead of hitting refresh.

    What would be better would be an anchor at the bottom called “last” or something and redirect to #last instead of the comment that was just posted. That would really help out on a smartphone.

  103. Tom at 128,

    ESPN’s listings are out of date. Elsewhere on site they confirm that next up for Happ is a bullpen session on Saturday. Happ has “forearm stiffness”. Phillies had earlier announced that Moyer was taking Happ’s start (announced late Sunday?), but ESPN doesn’t have that up.

    And, no matter what the ERA or last year’s record says, Happ is no better than a serviceable #4 or #5 on a division winning caliber team. Hudson is a vastly better pitcher than Happ. And, with our “right handed lineup” the Braves can punch out a lefty. Braves’ problem now is righties.

  104. #126 – its not the fact that we should pitch around Howard its just more of a problem that we never pitch him inside. I dont know why but they always pitch him away and let him get his arms extended. When he does that he’s strong enough to drive balls all over the field. I want to see Hanson getting a 94-95 mph pitch in on his hands and see what he can do with it.

  105. 136, thank you for clearing that up. So what we’re looking at is Hanson vs. Kendrick, Halladay vs. Huddy and Moyer vs. Lowe.

    Well, chances are the Braves will win the series 2-1 and Lowe will be 4-0 with another 10 runs or so of support.


    If you look under the text of every comment, the date and time is there printed in blue. This is a link. If you click this link, before refreshing, you will refresh the page with this comment centered, and all new comments below.

  107. Classic Frenchy PA. Swinging strike on a slider low and away, foul ball on a fastball way inside and up, pop up to the SS on the infield grass on the 3rd pitch.

  108. @140

    Off days do suck.

    And they seem to suck even more after your team wins one in walk off fashion, with their stud rookie..

  109. @150 Oh, I don’t care – it just speaks to the extremely uncharacteristic start to Frenchy’s year that has founded all these hopes in the first place. This blind squirrel found quite a few acorns in the first 10 games.

  110. Anyone checked out the newest Baseball Mogul game? I downloaded the demo the other day and noticed that Chris Resop is in the Braves system…as a left fielder. Thought that would be something I should share with everyone.

  111. I heard a discussion today on WFAN (between a host and the Mets beat writer) about how, in the wake of David Wright’s seeming reluctance to step forward and be more vocal in the clubhouse and with the media, Francoeur had become the team’s leader.

    We’ll see if he’s still so talkative when he returns to pumpkin status.

  112. Gotta leave it to the insiders to determine the degree of his clubhouse leadership, but just from reading the beat reports it seems clear Francoeur is the team spokesman, in that he earnestly spouts all the shopworn ballplayer cliches. “110 percent” — he used that one just yesterday. He seems to sincerely embrace all that rah-rah stuff in a way that I doubt Wright ever could. Hell, he’s probably the best man for the job — if the job is smokescreening by bland proclamation. He’s who I’d pick.

  113. As long as he has clubhouse leadership all season in important statistical categories, I’ll be happy. Even if they’re ones that don’t show up on the scoreboard.

  114. Thank you jjschiller.

    It seems to me that the Braves (and others) concede too much of the plate to Howard and, particularly, Utley. Utley, in particular, leans over the plate so far, one day I think he is going to fall over. In the old days, that wouldn’t last long unless he was willing to pick himself up off his ass. I realize this isn’t 1967, but, surely, they could knock them off the plate a little.

  115. instead of refreshing why dont you just select the most recent post on the right hand column, it takes you straight to the bottom

  116. With all of this talk about not calling players up to reduce their service time, I find it odd that the Mets are the only team to call someone up yesterday. (Keeping someone down until yesterday guarantees he won’t get a full year of service time this year, delaying his free agency.)

    I guess all of the other teams with hot rookies are also looking to avoid Super-Two. That Lincecum thing must have really gotten to execs. We could have two rookie callup days. The “large payroll” call up day to keep a player’s rights an extra year and the one for all the teams that need to avoid super two.

    Yet another reason we need the Coney Island Marlins.

  117. I know this is old news, but does anyone know why we called up Dunn for two days, didn’t let him pitch, then sent him down and called up Venters? My first thought was that the Braves were looking for a right handed reliever, but of course that doesn’t work since both Dunn and Venters are left handed. Any thoughts?

  118. #161 – I think Buster Posey will get called up very soon. They may even move him to 1B for the remainder of the season which would be a strange move

  119. @162, I think Venters was the one they wanted to call up, but he needed some rest, so they called up Dunn for two days until Venters was ready to go. It would make sense that they would want to replace Reyes with a starter to take the role of a long relief lefty.

  120. Yeah, it checks out. He started on the 12th, so they weren’t going to call him up on the 15th. Might as well have Dunn on the roster for a couple of days in case you need a guy, although I guess it burns one of his options.

  121. That’s what I heard as well — Venters is more of a long relief guy. With Kawakami pitching that day, and Medlen having worked two innings the day before, etc. Damn if it didn’t work out, so to speak.

    I guess that’s the advantage of having our AAA team in Gwinnett — when both teams are at home, we’ve got a 24-man pitching staff!

  122. I guess that’s the advantage of having our AAA team in Gwinnett — when both teams are at home, we’ve got a 24-man pitching staff!
    With that in mind, I sure wish we’d drop down to an 11 man staff, and just rotate the 10th and 11th guys between Atlanta and Gwinnett.

  123. @166 The Braves must be thinking there is no way they wouldn’t call up Dunn at some point this season, which I agree.

    @156 Frenchy always has a big mouth, and so does Adam.

    @159 People keeps saying McCann is good at calling pitches, but I don’t think he has called enough inside pitches to back hitters off the plate. It seems like he is getting too comfortable calling outside pitches. I don’t know if that’s all on Brian, but I have been seeing this tendancy for couple years.

  124. According to Zeke Spruill’s Facebook, he’s got a broken hand–surgery tommorow. I can’t find anything else about it. He’s also got a case of shitty taste in music.

  125. Spruill is listed as Active on the Pelicans’ roster. Nonetheless, it would be just one more piece of bad news from the farm….

    RSF has a broken hand–does anybody know when he is expected to return to Rome?

  126. @159

    Been waiting for that for some time now…but don’t hold your breath. In the SF series, if Aaron Rowand would have been hanging over the plate much more he’d have been in the left handed batters box.

    I understand working the outside of the plate, but that’s less effective if you don’t have hitters hanging all over the plate. A little friendly buzz in the kitchen is perfectly acceptable.

  127. 149—I actually find off days a lot more tolerable after good wins. After tough losses, I find them brutal.

    Jeff Francoeur is a lot less likable than I wanted to believe.

  128. Re: Spruill

    His sister called him an idiot on the Facebook post. Perhaps he punched something or hurt it doing something risky outside of baseball?

  129. @172–read mid June in the local fishwrap.

    Anyone have a link for vid of Furcal’s unassisted triple play? I sniffed around YouTube and other places with no luck, but would like to track it down to show my kid who pulled one yesterday in little league.

  130. @170,

    I think philosophies should adapt to changed circumstances. But it’s not just the Braves; no one seems to want to push Utley off the plate.

  131. @178 Stupid MLB locks up all the footage and refuses to make it available.

  132. If Spruill did something irresponsible to injure himself outside of a ballgame, his stock may fall fast with the Braves. It was rumored that he was demoted last year due to disciplinary reasons.

  133. Lots of chatter about a forthcoming PED suspension of an NL pitcher. I wonder who it is?

    *Fingers crossed for Halladay…or at least Derek Lowe*


  134. Halladay on PEDS – that would crush them

    Its probably a Mets starter not named Santana, which could only help them upgrade the rotation

  135. *Fingers crossed for Halladay…or at least Derek Lowe*

    That had me laughing out loud.

    Death Lion

    I liked J.Rex a lot, but Death Lion is more bravesjournalish – nobody outside this blog will ever get it.

  136. @192 – they never recovered from Michelle Wie not living up to the hype.

  137. Wow, All-Star balloting has started today? Seems like it gets earlier and earlier each year.

  138. Boy, Hammond comes across as a total dick. Braves bring him back off scrap heap for a miracle season, signs a 5M 2 year deal with the Yanks as a result, gets to pitch in a ALCS and WS as a result, and he whines about how cheap they were. Really low rent.

    Glavine’s remarks are equally classless. After taking a marginally higher offer to play for the Mets, he has a beef with Atlanta firing him because he couldn’t make a comeback. I really wish these guys would just STFU instead of embarrassing themselves.

  139. I don’t blame Hammond or Glav too much. I’m sure it hurt at the time, but it sounds like they’ve put it past them. Glavine’s back with the Braves, after all.

    I remember the last time a supposedly “semi-big” PED name was going to be revealed… and it turned out to be Matt Lawton.

    I don’t think this will be big news.

  140. Sad news today about Keli MCGregor.
    The Rockies have become a great competitor for us. I think he’ll be sorely missed.

  141. Yes, condolences to the McGregor family. They’re a really, really solid club over there. Though I hope they never no-hit us again.

    Interesting tidbit from ESPN (not an oxymoron!):

    Jason Heyward is 8-for-11 (.727) with runners in scoring position, and just 5-for-32 (.156) otherwise. He leads the majors in batting average and OPS with RISP.

  142. @202, it’s all water under the bridge for sure – I just didn’t see the point in their reiterating a sense of entitlement after the fact.

    @204, that was a nice read.

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