Braves 2, Brewers 1

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – July 15, 2010 – ESPN.

It’s like they never left. The Another Alex Gonzalez era began with a win, behind more strong pitching from Jair Jurrjens and the bullpen and a couple of solo homers.

The Brewers started the scoring with a first inning solo homer of their own from hideously ugly All-Star Corey Hart. The Braves did their scoring in the third, with solo shots from The Prado and Chipper. And that was it for the scoring, as the two teams combined to go 0-11 with runners in scoring position and leave fifteen men on base. The Brewers blew their best scoring chance in the second, when they made the foolish decision to challenge the arm of the recently returned Jason Heyward and wound up making the first out of the inning at third base. The Braves had a number of two-on situations in the middle innings but couldn’t do anything with them.

Jurrjens tired in the seventh and left with two on and two out, 91 pitches thrown, but Moylan finished the inning with a groundout. The Brewers got the first man on against Moylan in the eighth with an “infield single” that Peter actually made a great play on but Glaus couldn’t handle the throw. He got the next two man on a forceout and Venters got another force and a popup to end the Brewers’ last threat, as Wagner was his usual dominating self, with two strikeouts and a weak popup.

Heyward went 0-4 in his return with a strikeout, but looked better at the plate and made a great running catch (that knocked him silly when he ran into the foul pole). Gonzalez was 1-3 with a walk (counted as intentional, but the catcher didn’t stand up until it was 3-0).

107 thoughts on “Braves 2, Brewers 1”

  1. welcome another alex gonzalez. may you hit them far and continue this new walking thing youre doing.

  2. I’m no fan of the deal but it’s nice to have a SS wearing #2 back in our lives. Reminds me of Raffy’s homer at Shea.

  3. i’ve spoken of this on the other thread, but i cant help myself. i get so excited!

    brandon beachy’s numbers since becoming a starter:
    31 ip 3er 6bb 44k

    this “non-prospect” is ripping it up! add him to the list of braves minor league pitchers kicking some major ass!

  4. The standing ovation of Alex Gonzalez should tell you everything you need to know about how much Yunel Escobar needed to go.

  5. #9 – No it tells me he wasn’t well liked. The team was playing just fine with him.

  6. I find this standing ovation….bizarre. Could they have hated Escobar that damn much?

  7. Should we be concerned that the Bravos scored two runs off the great Dave Bush?

  8. Will this Buster Posey replace McCann as the best hitting catcher in the NL? @15 I was thinking the same thing.

  9. This is awesome. I have the biggest man crush on Billy Wags. I can’t wear jogging pants in public when he’s on the mound.

  10. Premonition: our bullpen is so good that we’ll make it to the World Series and win it in seven.

    It’s the missing piece from most of our “close-but-no-cigar” years.

    Bobby Johnson’s actions can be viewed in two entirely different ways. If I’m on his staff, I’m his forever. If I’m Vandy’s hierarchy, I’m a little miffed at being played. (But willing to see if he did me a favor.)

  11. Btw, beautiful game today. JJ is awesome. It’s good to have him back.

    AAG, welcome onboard.

  12. Dave Bush has actually been very effective this year, 15 of 18 GS he’s had 3ER or less

    5 straight starts with 2ER or less

  13. I’d like to see the Braves score some more. I’m not sure they can hold the Yankees to one run.

  14. Day 1 as Frenchy being a bench player, what comes 1st?

    a. trade to the Royals
    b. he openly complains to the media

  15. @24 It only takes the national media a year to find out what we already know. I am impressed.

    @33 I will take b. It will take a while for Minaya to dump Frenchy and even longer for Moore to agree to give anything to the Mets for Frenchy. I wonder if Frenchy will be traded t o the Pirates for Ryan Church. That would be awesome.

  16. If the Braves are the third most popular team in MLB, then why don’t they get more media attention?

  17. AAR, it’s on the AJC site. I have yet to figure out how to copy and paste from my phone.

  18. Hey but Jeffy is great in the clubhouse, you can’t take that away from him. And if I’ve learned anything since yesterday from this site it’s that you cannot overstate the importance of a really friendly card game before taking the field.

  19. Anyone else a bit worried about the way JJ pitched? He wasn’t exactly blowing people away, and he was getting a TON of help from his OF. The best thing you could say is that he didn’t walk anyone until the 7th, and don’t get me wrong, that’s great, but he was elevating pitches, especially early on. I guess he’s still working his way back into form, and it’s hard to argue with the results, but I’m just the slightest bit worried.

  20. #48 – Not really. He was throwing hard enough. His command was in and out but, as you mention, not so bad that he was walking people. Even Hart’s home run was on a good pitch that he somehow golfed opposite field. I thought it was a solid performance against a solid offensive team.

  21. @48 This is JJ’s sixth spring training game, ha.

    @47 Frenchy is great in the clubhouse, and that’s where he belongs. Yunel is not great on the field and off the field, so he is with another team completely.

  22. Greetings from Denver…

    Got off the plane, cranked up the MLB app to catch the Braves score & hear the end of the Mets/SF game. Yes, rewarded.

    Y’know, we’re in pretty good shape.

    Thanks, Cubs. Thanks, Mr. Lincecum.

  23. I am so happy I jumped out of bed this morning and performed a rousing rendition of living in America (by his Highness James brown). I got up on the hotfoot.

  24. Just bought plane ticket, booked hotel and bought two tickets for the Saturday and Sunday game. Yayyy!!

  25. If the GlausBeast is stirring, we could start a nice second half run.

    He was 2-4 tonight and I seem to remember the solid singles and loud foul balls as the beginning of his earlier rampage.

  26. #48 – not a bit. JJ is going to have game’s where he gets hit hard. This Brewers lineup has some pretty good hitters too. We have two guys, JJ and Medlen, who are fastball/change up pitchers. If they keep the ball up its going to get hit

  27. JJ get tired/wild after about 80 pitches. He will soon be able to go longer. With a solid relief and with rest of starters going 7+ a big problem.

  28. question – we have small sample sizes, but what are the chances that Lipka beats Salcedo to the majors?

  29. AAR,

    How about another rant about how you hate this fu**g team? They only scored two runs off Dave Bush. JJ was giving up hard hit balls. Heyward clearly is the worst RF in baseball. Wren should be fired immediately for trading Escobar and not getting Josh Willingham and Adam Dunn in return.

    Tony, thanks for the heads up on the free MLB. I watched most of the Mets game. I don’t understand why Jeff Francouer was not in the lineup. You could see Lincecum breathe a sigh of relief that he did not have to face the feared Francouer; after all, he is good in the clubhouse.

  30. Yesterday we were 6 out of 7 on the minor league beat.

    Newsmaker was newly minted starting pitcher Brandon Beachy. He struck out 13 in 5 innings, but Mississippi was the only loser because of bad relief work.

  31. DOB just posted this on Twitter in relation to Alex Gonzlez’ arrival in he clubhouse:

    “For those who haven’t heard, Alex Gonzalez got a standing ovation from teammates when he first arrived in clubhouse. Should tell you plenty.”

  32. In relation to the debate going on Bravesjournal between most of us abotu liking or not liking this trade, to me, the reaction of the Spurs to have a quality SS in the clubhouse that’s NOT Yunel Escobar speaks volumes.

    At the end of the day, we can all talk about Yunel’s age or the year he had last year and the potential he could have to get back to that, but it appears the overwhelming # of reports that Yunel was strongly disliked within the clubhouse are true.

    This makes me feel even better about this deal. I for one say nice work, Frank Wren.

  33. ‘the reaction of the Spurs to have a quality SS in the clubhouse ‘

    Is this SpursJournal now? Did the Atlanta MLB franchise change its name to the more shiek Spurs post-Madonna? :)

  34. Holy schnikeys! Thanks for pointing that out, AAR. Some on here are aware I’m a big Spurs fan in basketball. Well, I suppose that was bound to happen, eventually.

    (and in the past, I’ve pointed out many strong similarites between the two franchises and in Bobby Cox and Gregg Popovich, but I digress).

    Still, it does raise the point that a well run, classy organization like the Spurs have made similar moves to the Braves – getting rid fo a talented, yet troubled guy. This is what good, well run franchises do.

    By the way, not sure how many of you saw this, but good piece by Bowman the other day on this deal:

  35. Johnny, read the comment I just posted. I’m also a diehard San Antonio Spurs Basketball fan. It was an accident. :)

  36. What do people think? Personally, I’m not sure the Nats would do the deal because there is a lot of pressure here in DC to keep the middle of the order together.

    Would Mike Minor for Willingham get done?

    Klaw (1:59 PM)

    I know the Nationals were heavily considering Minor at 10 last year, so I’m guessing they’d still have interest.

  37. Still, it does raise the point that a well run, classy organization like the Spurs have made similar moves to the Braves – getting rid fo a talented, yet troubled guy

    Is that why the Spurs let Stephen Jackson walk? Because that was terrible mistake.

    The workplace is not a popularity contest.

  38. Oh yeah, Robert? Well, in the words of Chief Nocahoma:

    Gonzalez absolutely sucked tonight. Oh wait he didn’t.


    I bet you feel like a fool, now, don’t you?

  39. #79 – Don’t worry man. Me too. Despite the one game sample size I am now convinced that AAG is the superior player.

  40. #76

    Robert, after we let Stephen Jackson walk, we somehow managed to “scrape by” with an additional championship.

    Stephen Jackson is very talented. But he’s been a problem child in Golden State, Indiana, San Antonio and everywhere he’s been. The personality didn’t fit with guys like Ginobili and Duncan.

    One thing about the Spurs is their top player (Duncan) sets the example and Popovich is the 2nd longest tenured NBA coach for a reason. They have a model of success and 4 rings – kinda hard to argue when they get rid of someone who doesn’t fit that mold.

  41. Yeah, considering that Jackson (a) hasn’t won since he left San Antonio, and (b) helped start a riot, I don’t think that the Spurs have missed him.

  42. Wow, gotta give credit to the mainstream media on this one. The negative drumbeat seems to have worked.

    Former teammate Tim Duncan once labeled Jackson as the “ultimate teammate” during his days in San Antonio. ESPN analyst and sportswriter Michael Smith finds Jackson to be “articulate, charming, and thoughtful.” Former coaches Rick Carlisle and Don Nelson have constantly referred to Jackson’s high character. On the Jim Rome show, Nelson stated Jackson is not simply a good person in the limited world of the NBA, but one of the finest people he has ever known

  43. The Astros have the fewest walks and fewest HR in the league. So Jeffy is already the perfect Astro, it’s about time they gave him a uniform.

  44. Robert, as a diehard fan of the Spurs since 1991, I 100% will disagree with you about how people viewed Jackson.

    You need to understand something about Tim Duncan. He doesn’t bad mouth anyone, ever. Tim could get along with Hugo Chavez. Just because he says nice things in public doesn’t change what the San Antonio Express News guys who cover the Spurs say, nor does it change what I know for a fact from a good source I personally have who works for the Spurs.

    But whatever, clearly you’re an expert on the Spurs so who am I to argue. I only have followed the team daily for 19 years but, you know, whatever.

  45. We have the largest first-place margin in baseball. I dunno, but that certainly has to bode well.

  46. @88

    That would have been dumb. At least at what the Hawks gave him which was more than Wade/Lebron/Bosh all got. The Spurs don’t do dumb.

    And the Spurs won 2 titles after Capt. Jack left so I don’t think they missed him too terribly regardless of how great his character was.

  47. @88

    A lot of silly money being thrown around the NBA this offseason, but leave it to the Hawks to give out the one franchise-killing contract.

  48. I was checking Chipper’s splits to see how much of an uptick he was getting. Basically April, May, and June he was high 700’s in OPS. July (limited sample size) is 840 or so.

    The real shocker was that his problems are almost all on the road. His home split is roughly 280 / 400/ 500. And, Turner is a pitcher’s park. Everywhere else he has cratered.

    Part of that may be that we have had more home games lately than earlier, so time of hitting away correlates with “bad start” and time of hitting at home correlates with “improving output”, but still, that kind of split is a shocker.

  49. “I wish the Spurs had signed Joe Johnson.”

    I just wish somebody else would have signed Joe Johnson. I hate the ASG so very, very much.

  50. I 100% will disagree with you about how people viewed Jackson.

    I don’t doubt that management had a negative view of him or else they wouldn’t have let him walk. But Stephen Jackson has matured into one of the best guys out there. Larry Bird called him the toughest player in the league. I would say there is a way to say something nice without playing the ‘ultimate teammate’ card.

    Out here we are a little more free of the ESPN stranglehold (which is why ESPN threw money at Texas to prop up the Big 12, yet I digress) and I guess I forgot that the agreed to storyline is the Jackson is a crazy thug. The Lakers and their fans have been lusting after him for years (and thankful the Spurs let him go).

    The typical Jackson line is that he’s one of the few guys that his teammates would take a bullet for and, considering is off the court lifestyle, he’s one of the more likely guys where that would be required.

  51. That Blue Jays way article reminds me a lot of the Mets blogs blowing up over Francoeur.

    All of the argument about “Chemistry comes from winning,” is a little off-base. You’ve got to remember, this very same Braves team lost 9-games in a row. They didn’t panic and they didn’t pout. Now they are in first place by the widest margin of any team in baseball. That’s where professionalism and “chemistry” come in. The old saying should really be, “chemistry is easy when you’re winning.” Chemistry is IMPORTANT when you’re losing.

    The problem with Escobar isn’t that he’s annoying, or that he’s arrogant, or that he’s flashy. It’s that he’s a pouter. He’s a stubborn pouter. This Braves team had the make-up to overcome their drought early in the season. The Braves were betting that Escobar does not have the make-up to overcome his.

    It seems to me that the Braves aren’t betting that Gonzalez will be better than Escobar for the rest of this year, or for the rest of his contract, or that they’ll gain more value with their return than the Jays will.

    It seems to me that the Braves felt that Escobar wasn’t handling his stuggles well, and were betting that he wasn’t going to rebound in this environment.

    If he goes to Toronto and succeeds, good for him. But coming to work everyday, in a locker room with guys who were tired of him, irritated by him, knowing that he was mostly at fault for it, but was too proud to admit it, and pressing too hard to prove them wrong… that wasn’t going to turn around this season.

    It’s a classic change of scenery play, for me.

    And as far as the return. The Braves didn’t get the return they could have. If they weren’t winning, they wouldn’t have sold him so low. If they had a shortstop waiting in the wings, they wouldn’t have been handicapped by their need to acquire a shortstop in return.

    The Braves think they can win the World Series. They aren’t dumb, they KNOW that Escobar of last year would help them. They decided that Escobar of this year was going to hurt them. Escobar of NEXT year doesn’t matter to them today.

    So they had to find a team with a solid shortstop, who needed a shortstop. How on earth could that be? Well, you find a team that has it’s horizon a few years further down the road than you do, but has a quality shortstop who’s contract will likely be up before they are going to be competitive.

    That’s a tough match to find. They found it. The Jays had Gonzalez for this year and next, and decided, based on their talent at all levels of their system that he wasn’t going to be around anymore by their next opportunity to win.

    Then, because the Braves had to have a starting major leaguer at a premium position, that handicapped their ability to ask for top minor league talent. So to even things out, they asked for a pair of solid, if unspectacular, prospects.

    It’s the way it goes. Blame Escobar. Blame the fact that we don’t have any real depth at the shortstop position.

    But Frank Wren made a solid move here, in my opinion. He gave up probably the best defensive shortstop in the game, and he got the fourth or fifth defensive shortstop in the game. He managed to find a guy relatively cheap, (he’s more expensive than Escobar this year, but will be cheaper than him next year) who’s weakness (on-base skills) happen to be a team strength, and who’s strengths (slugging) happen to be a team weakness.

    He made the best of a bad situation. In a vacuum, yeah, I get the criticism. But Frank Wren is running a professional sports franchise. He’s got to make moves in a real world. We’re blowing our know-it-all horns on a blog for god’s sake.

  52. 100—That’s a very, very good run-down. Almost perfectly states how I feel about the whole deal.

  53. @76 – “The workplace is not a popularity contest.”

    Robert, I thought this had been asked yesterday and maybe you responded, but I didn’t read it:

    Exactly what kind of workplace do you work in?

    I’m not trying to be condescending when I ask that; I am honestly curious, because you seem to be pretty emphatic about popularity not being a factor in the workplace. I have worked at a few different places, big companies that you have heard of and have a pretty big impact on people’s everyday lives. And I will say that in every one of them, how you are viewed is at least as much about popularity as it is about performance. Good performance usually leads to popularity, yes, but if that is the case, and Yunel Escobar was so awesome, then I’m wondering why he isn’t wearing a Braves uniform right now.

    Maybe the first place Braves are just funny that way.

  54. #100 – Excellent.

    Buster Olney’s blog post says pretty much the same thing. But your summary is excellent. Way better than my attempts.

  55. JJ,

    Your point about the Braves not panicking during their losing streak and demonstrating their professionalism is well taken and cogent. But Escobar was on the team at the time of the losing streak (and the winning streak) so how much of a disruption or affect on team chemistry could he have had? I think part of the problem is definitional–what do you mean by chemistry? Do you mean people all like each other and get along? Or that each player does his job and acts like a professional? They aren’t necessarily the same. The Yankees in the 70s didn’t get along but they were able to recover after being 14 games behind Boston. There was obviously some professionalism involved regardless of how divided the clubhouse might have been.

    The problem with Escobar, IMO, is not that he’s a pouter per se or that the players don’t like him but that his moodiness transfers to the field and his performance. He could pout all he wants if he didn’t let it affect how he plays. His effect on the clubhouse, if any, comes from the fact that he made stupid plays that hurt the team.

    The fact is, as I noted earlier, if Yunel Escobar was playing like Hanley Ramirez (or, even like 2009 Escobar)he would still be in Atlanta regardless of his lack of professionalism and the other players would simply deal with it. Look at Manny Ramirez as an example. Last night he played a single into a double with real lackadaisical play. That was ok when he was hitting .340, but I think it’s less ok as he becomes a less dangerous hitter.

  56. Marc I think we basically agree, but are using different words.

    When I say he’s a pouter, I MEAN that he’s taking it on to the field with him. He loses a degree of focus, because he’s still ‘woe-is-me’ing the call that went against him, the line-drive he hit right at somebody, whatever it is.

    He, justly, feels like his teammates don’t like him, the papers don’t like him, the organization doesn’t like him. He should feel that way, because of the leaks to the papers about him that have been coming out for 3 years now. Whether he deserves that or not you can debate.

    But he feels like everyone’s against him, and when he fails, which is part of the game, he feels like they all were waiting for him to fail, and well, to hell with them.

    The fact that he’s peaved his teammates, or, alternately, the fact that he’s got so many people against him, has led to this social/mental/emotional mess. So with that as his working-day back drop, a slump became a serious slump, and his way of carrying himself DURING that slump, has worsened his standing in the clubhouse, and has led to further struggles for him, making the situation untenable.

    He probably is misunderstood. He’s also probably very sensitive.

    I think if we didn’t have such a good chance at having a special season, the team would try to ride it out. But this season they don’t have any outs to waste.

    I said the same thing in my post, that the Braves KNOW that 2009 Escobar would help them. This move wouldn’t be made if he was having that kind of season. But that’s what I’m getting at. If he was having that kind of season, his relationships in the locker room, and his ability to handle failure, the other players ability to relate to him and willingness to empathize with him, wouldn’t matter.

    But they think he’s a jerk, and he gets no sympathy for failure, no benefit of the doubt when he screws up, and he reacts to that by being even more of whatever he’s trying to be that makes them think he’s a jerk.

    To try to make sense of my ramblings: the bad “chemistry” was there, the poor social relationships. The failure made the chemistry worse, and as it got worse, there was less hope for decreased failure, because there was decreasing support for the player, and the player could feel it all piling up on him. It just had become untenable.

  57. One of the very first things I learned about managing people is that when an employee fails, it is as much a reflection on the employer/manager as the employee, FWIW.

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