Nats 3, Braves 2

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals – Box Score – May 06, 2010 – ESPN.

The question isn’t so much if Jason Heyward is ready for the big leagues. We’ve got an affirmative on that one. It’s if hanging out with these bozos will mess him up. Heyward didn’t start because of his groin pull, but had a pinch-hit two-run single in the eighth that at the time tied the game at two. The rest of the team had nothing, and Infante followed Heyward with a GIDP with the go-ahead run at third.

Tim Hudson certainly pitched well enough to win, going seven and allowing two runs on five hits, and what’s more striking out four with no walks. But two of the hits he allowed were solo homers. In the ninth, after O’Flaherty allowed the leadoff man on, Moylan gave up a double, walked the next guy, and allowed a single to end the game. This all kind of sucks.

71 thoughts on “Nats 3, Braves 2”

  1. “Kind of sucks?” Not buying that. It is full-on late night hose beast ultra-suckitude.

    I wouldn’t mind continuing the Braves direction discussion that started right before the bottle of wine…

  2. I laughed out loud at the bozos part. I pictured Glaus in a orange wig and bright red nose.

    but seriously… seeing Heyward lead the team in all offensive categories is beyond amazing. I can’t wait to go to a live game and see his holiness in person (May 25-27 here in Miami)

  3. I think the question is, is this team good enough at its core to try to add offense via trades, or do we sell and get ready for next year. I think its a decision thats going to have to be made soon, unless the bleeding stops soon. I think Frank Wren needs a good ass chewing from JS, or JS needs to take back the GM duties. Oh, and as a Magic fan, I commend your Hawks for coming back and playing hard last night, I hope they make it interesting at least, but I want to see the Magic go all the way.

  4. Well, if we had started Heyward in AAA, we would be looking at the #1 draft pick.

  5. I, for one, am not one that blames the Birdman for our troubles. I understand that the Braves have financial constraints (I’m looking at you, Derek Lowe). I think Frank Wren has done a pretty good job (except for that one signing–again, I’m looking at you, Derek Lowe). I really want to like Kawakami, too, since he’s from my adopted country. But he did win that dude a million dollars, so good for him.

    And I can’t be bothered to look at the last thread to see who it was that brought up McCann and Heyward as evidence that the Braves can develop bats. And even when I’m sober and I do, I won’t hold it against you, dude. Hug? Seriously, though, McCann is a slow starter and Heyward has played about a month. Really? Bats. Batsbatsbatsbatsbats. Please?

  6. Compare and contrast: Jason Heyward, 2010, and Wally Berger 1935 (led the league in homers and RBI in a pitcher’s park on a team that won 38 games).

    Jason’s OPS is now more than 200 points higher than anyone else’s.

  7. Probably an obvious answer… but anyone know who was the last rookie OF to start in an All-Star game? .. Did Pujols do it his rookie year?

  8. “And I can’t be bothered to look at the last thread to see who it was that brought up McCann and Heyward as evidence that the Braves can develop bats. Seriously, though, McCann is a slow starter and Heyward has played about a month.”

    Thanks for not holding it against me. You really must be drunk because that sentence makes no sense and I don’t see how it invalidates my comment.

  9. @9: I don’t know if he was the last, but I think Fred Lynn started his rookie year in 1975.

  10. Marc,

    Yeah, I’m pretty drunk. I’ll look into it tomorrow. Maybe.

    Was Pujols an OF when he came up?

  11. “rookie” Ichiro did it in 2001
    did Fukudome do it when he was a “rookie”?

    the last NL OF to do it was Richie Ashburn (PHI) in 1948

  12. I’m not blaming Wren for our problems and I’m not giving up on the Braves yet. It’s hard to blame Wren for at least 6 players in our daily lineup batting below any reasonable epectations.

    If we end up staying bad, I don’t think we make wholesale changes. We don’t need to sign a first baseman that will keep Freeman off the field next year and we’re stuck with our entire infield (if Chipper starts hitting and Escobar comes back strong, that may not be a bad thing). Replacing Melky and/or McLouth would be nice, but a good centerfielder can be very expensive and would cost us more prospects than we can afford. At this point about all we can do with the Melkman is release him – I’m not against this, but I don’t see it happening soon.

    KK and Lowe need to make major turnarounds, if not, they are untradeable. As I said, staying basically where we are with only minor changes and waiting for our minor leaguers (Schafer, Freeman, Kimbrel, …) is our best course of action.

  13. Well, at 12-16 through 28 games, we’ll need to go 10-2 to reach the 90 win pace through 40 games. I just can’t see that happening with this roster.

    That then raises the question – When do the Braves cut bait on the 2010 season and work for 2011? The 60 game mark? 80? Personally, I would hope that if nothing much changes between now and July 1st, we’ll need to start exploring options for next year.

    July 1 should give the Braves 70-ish games to see where they stand, and whether they have a shot at the post-season. If they aren’t .500 or better, then trade Wagner to a contender for prospects (to include a 3B prospect), and dump Melky/Glaus/Ross off for whatever we can get for them. Saito as well. Call up Schaeffer and build around McCann and Heyward.

    Ooo, even better, dump Wagner AND Lowe on a contender for a bag of balls and two bats. We get out from under Lowe’s contract in exchange for Wagner.

  14. That kind of makes me wonder about Japanese pitchers coming over to the US. I think (this is in no way substantiated by any in-depth baseball knowledge) they can get away with a lot more junk in Japan. My guess is that when they make mistakes in the US, they go out of the ballpark, instead of into the gap.

    *Again, bottle of Shiraz. Sorry.

  15. “I think Frank Wren needs a good ass chewing from JS, or JS needs to take back the GM duties.”

    so now its the GM’s fault that these guys arent hitting with runners in scoring position? or making bad baserunning mistakes. Lets always put the blame on others, right? These guys need to be accountable for playing bad baseball, hell, fine the whole team. Maybe that will wake them up. Lets also remember, JS left Wren with a rotation of Jurrjens/Morton/Campillo/Reyes/Carlyle and an OF of Francoeur/Infante/Norton

  16. I think if we can find a power bat, we will be ok. But finding one at this point may be hard. By the time we can get one, it will probably be too late

  17. I think it would be nice to find a good power bat, but the biggest problem is that *nobody* is hitting. When some of those bats come around, we should be okay, but then again, that may be too late, too.

  18. If the Braves are going to suck — and it appears that they are — at least they’re providing us with drunk-but-self-aware billy-jay.

    All you need to know about my Braves-induced depression is that I’m listening to a lot of country music from the past 25 years.

  19. Stu, I don’t think I can answer that until I’ve had another beer.

    Maybe two.

  20. Chipper, Mac, and Yunel. If we get those three back to normal, we would be fine. But what’s the chance of that? Especially with Chipper?

  21. @18, I can always count on csg to put things in perspective. That’s a nice little reminder.

    I think the Braves, for better or worse, will at least be in the running for a big bat by the deadline for Bobby’s sake. Hopefully it won’t just be a win-now acquisition.

  22. @24, “Bad Chipper” is still doing better than most of the other Braves.

  23. There’s still a ton of games left in the season. Last year at this point for instance, we were still roughly a month away from sending down Schafer, 2 months away from trading Jeffy, and 3 months away from acquiring Laroche. Even if the Braves wanted to make a big move, there just won’t be any impact players available for another month or two. We’ll just have to hope that all the struggling hitters start hitting like they were expected to, that JJ returns quickly and pitches better, and that Kawakami gets better as the season goes along like he did last year.

  24. Mac, I think you’re forgetting Mike Hampton. I’m pretty sure he’s available.

  25. Im sure Wren and Co would want to see at least 100AB’s or more before considering him. Who knows with 3 of the other 4 hitting under .200 though. Whats Elijah Dukes up too?

  26. Having Adam Dunn would be nice. Pretty sure Barry Bonds could roll out of bed and man 1B and give us more production for the year than everyone else. Even with the 50 game suspension.

  27. If you’re going to blame Frank Wren for the team’s problems, you have to point to specific moves and suggest a realistic alternative based on the information we have available.

  28. I almost typed somthing about signing Barry Bonds and violating the morality clause. Which I’m sure would be subordinate to sucking. I’m not that drunk yet.

    Check back tomorrow morning.

  29. The only possible impact bat right now is Schafer. He’s 4-11 with three walks on his rehab assignment, but it’s low-A.

    -rolls eyes-

    12-16 isn’t the end of the world considering the team hasn’t hit at all. The good news is that the NL is all bunched up right now and it doesn’t look like anyone is going to run away with the wild card (which is already happening in the AL), unless you are a big believer in the Padres.

    The 685 team OPS has got to improve at some point.

  30. 24,
    I meant to comment on the Chipper criticism from the last thread. He has a .400 OBP. He’s still a well above average offensive 3B and he’s not the reason we’re losing games.

  31. If you’re going to blame Frank Wren for the team’s problems, you have to point to specific moves and suggest a realistic alternative based on the information we have available.

    Letting Bobby Abreu go to the Angels on the cheap and ending up with Garret Anderson?

    Signing Tom Glavine as a FA, giving the Mets our 1st round pick to get Ike Davis?

    This is easy, give me a tougher one.

  32. However, Chipper is hitting third and his slugging percentage is .385. Similarly, McCann has a .396 OBP but only a .378 SLG. Glaus is at .327 and .315. That’s the team’s three supposed power threats.

    Still at least they’re not total offensive zeroes like the non-Heyward OFs.

  33. I think its time for another Good, Bad, and Ugly.

    THE GOOD. (Or at least comparative good.)

    Jason Heyward .294 avg / .413 on base / .624 slugging / 1.037 OPS
    Martin Prado .327 / .384 / .442 / .826 OPS
    Chipper Jones .231 / .400 / .385 / .785 OPS
    Brian McCann .243 / .396 / .378 / .774 OPS
    Eric Hinske .286 / .333 / .429 / .762 OPS
    Omar Infante .296 / .333 / .407 / .741 OPS

    Troy Glaus .228 / .327 / .315 / .642 OPS
    Nate McLouth .187 / .311 / .320 / .631 OPS

    Yunel Escobar .215 / .295 / .266 / .561 OPS
    Melky .191 / .287 / .225 / .512 OPS
    Matt Diaz .190 / .242 / .257 / .501 OPS

    Looks like we need a left fielder something awful.

  34. 36,
    How do you know the Braves had money in the budget for Abreu, or that he wanted to play in Atlanta?

    Signing Glavine was a giant waste of cash and draft pick, for sure. I doubt the Brave would’ve taken Davis at 18, though, given Freeman’s presence. And in a perfect world, Davis would still be in AAA–he’s no more MLB ready than Freeman is. Granted, there’s a decent chance either one is an upgrade over Glaus and/or one of them could be moved for something useful. Still, I think the point is moot.

    Neither one of those moves has a whole lot to do with this team, though. And no GM has made zero mistakes or moves that didn’t work out.

  35. Couple of DOB tweets:

    “If this were not Bobby Cox’s final season, I’d be more inclined to say Terry Pendleton’s job might be in danger after much more of this….And by that I mean, if it came to it I think Cox would fight/refuse to allow Pendleton to be fired. Still, if this continues much longer…”

    About blaming Wren — just as the best time to evaluate a trade is at the time it is made, I think the best time to evaluate a GM is at the end of spring training. And since the Braves were a sheik pick among the media to make the playoffs, I’d have to say he set us up pretty well.

  36. “sheik pick” Hi-freaking-larious. That DOB makes incredible malapropisms all the time – or am I reading which parts are his wrong?

  37. What the hell does “sheik pick” mean? Sigh, just an old guy out of touch with the popular vernacular.

    Egad! Next you’ll be trotting out Brian Jordan’s slash line and he’ll look like Albert freaking Pujols compared to the Smelk man.

    Good God! Like Terry Pendelton is the reason 7 guys are sucking ass right now.

    edit: whew! just a typo. I thought I was really out of touch you dang nimrod.

  38. Even funnier is my first impulse was to spell-check “sheik”. Nope, I thought, that’s not the problem…I don’t think I need the “h” at the end………Oh.

    I guess it’s too much to hope that my actual point wasn’t lost?

  39. sansho1, it wasn’t lost on the guys who spent all night drinking. I’m not sure what that means.

  40. What “sheiks” were picking the Braves? Would they be willing to trade oil for the Braves? Or, alternatively, if they bought the Braves, there would be the deep pockets.

  41. Wasn’t it the shiek’s decision to run the second Cannonball Run? If so, Cannonball Run II is the shiek’s pick.

    The bigger question is which sux more, Cannonball Run II or the Braves?

  42. The Sheik List (ESPN.comistan):

    Rob Neyer, Keith Law, Jayson Stark, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian, Orel Hershisher, Jim Caple, Jerry Crasnick

    Lesser sheiks (same region):

    Steve Berthaiume, Tristan Cockroft, Gordon Edes, Pedro Gomez, Christopher Harris, Joe McDonald, Amy K. Nelson, Peter Pascarelli, James Quintong, Jon Sciambi (compromised), Dan Shulman, Chris Singleton

  43. @52 – You know, we laugh, but that’s a very interesting question in reality:

    How long until a wealthy Russian, Chinese, or Saudi Arabian buys a baseball team? If I’m not mistaken the new owner of the New Jersey Nets is the richest man in Russia. I personally vote for the Saudi Arabian, only so we can see Chipper Jones riding off into the sunset in a gold-plated Lamborghini.

  44. @37, yes, they are all being outslugged by last night’s hero Willie Harris (.432 slg)!

    Don’t think that will be the case at season’s end, but it underlines the lack of sock thus far. We’ll bounce back somewhat.

  45. so Bobby will take his loyalty to the end, gotta respect the man for it…right? either way, I think Wren will bring in HIS guy to replace Bobby and I doubt TP will be on that list, esp. now

  46. @40, re: Lost 2008 Draft Pick, Lonnie Chisenhall sure would look good to take over 3B from Chipper though.

    Not that the Braves would’ve drafted a character question like that.

  47. Im not sure why, but when was the last time we had TWO good OF’rs at the same time?

    Francoeur and Andruw, 2005?

  48. You know, the Dodgers are looking for starting pitching and we are looking for offense. Anyone see a potential match there, at some point?

  49. I feel like this may have been mentioned already, but is anyone up for making the future Braves 3B Mr. Alex Gordon of the KC Royals? They seem to be in the process of giving up on him (not for nothing), and it seems like a good buy-low, change-of-scenery opportunity.

    How does Dayton feel about Melky? He can bring a champion’s attitude to Kansas City. SeRiOuSlY.

    (okay, Cole Rohrbough? )

  50. @61

    unless they take lowe or kawakami…no

    and aside from that, who could we get from them? they’re not trading kemp or ethier, we cant afford manny, and there 4th/5th oufielders are reed johnson and the sloth. can you explain your thinking spike, b/c i dont see it.

    at this point, we have to be looking at trading melky for a “scenery swap” type of deal. noone comes to mind though.

  51. 2004
    J.D. Drew
    Charles Thomas
    90 games of Eli Marrero having an astounding outlier season.

    I thought league average outfielders grew on trees. We must be in the wrong forest.

    I don’t see a match with anyone right now. Its still too early in the season.

  52. I don’t know who the Dodgers would want from us, apart from Hanson or Jurrjens. No way we trade Huddy, neither Lowe nor KK seem like they’d solve any problems for the Dodgers.

    Mid-season, big-leaguer for big-leaguer trades just don’t happen often, unless it’s two under-achievers (say, KK for Corey Hart or something.)

    Speaking of under-achievers, Alfonso Soriano’s kinda shut people up so far, huh?

  53. Tonight’s lineup: Infante 6 – Prado 4 – Jones 5 – Glaus 3 – Diaz 7 – Ross 2 – Cabrera 9- McLouth 8 – Lowe 1

    It worked so well yesterday, let’s try it again. Was thinking McCann might be hurt, but I guess Bobby just decided to make today his off day with the lefty going and a day game tomorrow.

  54. All you need to know about my Braves-induced depression is that I’m listening to a lot of country music from the past 25 years.

    Have you listened to Jim Lauderdale? I just relistened to his album Honey Songs, and I think it’s just terrific.

  55. It occurred to me the other night that this particular team—Jason & The RISP Gaggers—is beginning to remind me of the late Dale Murphy Era, which included lots of injured Bob Horner & plenty of healthy Ken Oberkfell.

    Basically, after 1984, I got conditioned to seeing guys cough it up in big spots, so my interest only seemed to perk up when #3 came to the plate. Same thing for #22 these days.

    Hope things change & quickly.

  56. I wonder if Rohrbourg for Alex Gordon might be about right.. Probably would take more than that though. Maybe more like Zeke Spruill and a Gregor Blanco or Matt Young type?

    PW, I don’t think a Gordon move blocks Salcedo. Gordon would have to seriously turn it around, AND Salcedo would have to live up to expectations. And if both happened, I feel like by the time Salcedo was banging down the door, Gordon would be expensive enough to be worth trading.

    Also, if the Astros decide to unload Berkman, he’s definitely a no-go for LF? It’s knee surgery he just came back from, correct? Also, what would it take? Certainly, half a season of Berkman isn’t worth Randall Delgado. And I doubt a Redmond type gets that deal done.

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