I don’t know how these guys are winning game thread: July 20, Padres at Braves

They have really only two good hitters, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick “No Relation” Hundley. Their outfield is better than ours but it’s not good, and they have Jerry Hairston Jr. playing shortstop. Their pitching is good, but nobody but Latos really stands out. Their bullpen is outstanding, I’ll grant. And there they are, with the best record in the league. Let’s do something about that.

196 thoughts on “I don’t know how these guys are winning game thread: July 20, Padres at Braves”

  1. “Is there gas in the car?
    Yes, there’s gas in the car!”

    Greatest song ever written (and only one I know of) about an LSD manufacturer.

    Yes, let’s put some doubt into the Padres.

  2. Great vid, Mac–and an effective rebuttal to the slight thrown your (and the Dan’s) way on the previous thread.

    I’m not wading into the Beatles vs. Stones/Elliot Smith/anybody else argument, but I will say that in terms of musicianship, Steely Dan bests them all.

    In other news, over at AJC Mark Bradley has posted excerpts from a Philly writer who does a lot of “damning with faint praise”–along with some old-fashioned, unadulterated damning, full-stop–of the Braves. Surprisingly, there are some thoughtful responses from the readers.

  3. Well, you obviously can’t take everything Gammons says seriously, but he is tuned into the Red Sox, and if he says they’re shopping Lowrie, and the asking price isn’t too high, it probably is the truth.

  4. David Eckstein learned How To Win on the set of She Spies. It has something to do with the chick from Species, but his lips are sealed.

    edit: Tumbling Dice is the Stones’ best song.

  5. Tonight’s lineup: Prado – 4 Heyward – 9 Infante – 5 Glaus – 3 McCann – 2 Diaz – 7 Gonzalez – 6 Cabrera – 8 Jurrjens – 1

    Do we know that McLouth did actually get activated?

  6. 7—Actually, it was two threads ago, and it wasn’t a slight. I see that you missed the joke, even though spike took great care to spell it out!

  7. how did we not see Spiezio’s demise coming? That head of greasy hair and overly-trimmed mustache just scream *substance abuse*.

  8. 13–No, I saw the smiley face on spike’s post and took it as good-natured ribbing. Sorry if that didn’t come through in my post.

  9. @14- what happened to Spiezio? A new thing? Or just a general recollection of his screw ups?

  10. @16 Spike, ribbing, come, post….plz get your mind out of the gutter.

    I liked this board better when it was less about music and penises and more about eating chicken wings, listening to metallica, drinking Keystone Light, and wanting to get into the stadium to scream as loud as you can. and penises (read: francoeur)

  11. Any word on whether Will Venable will be back with the Padres for this series? The most recent thing I’ve read was this post off of the fantasy wire yesterday:

    Jul 19 Venable (back) is currently with Double-A San Antonio, where he is slated to play two games and rejoin the Padres in Atlanta (where the team starts a three-game series Tuesday) or for the team’s weekend series at Pittsburgh at the latest, the Padres’ official site reports.

    If he’s back, I fully expect at least 8 RBI from this asshole in the series. The dude inexplicably owns us. (1.238 OPS with 5 HR in 9 career games against us.) Wouldn’t mind seeing him sit this one out.

  12. Random players owning the Braves, while forever inexplicable, became par for the course years and years ago.

    I blame Jurrjens for this one. Venable is .400/.400/.800 against him for his career.

    Now that he’s healthy and has been showcased a few times, should we be moving Jurrjens sometime soon?

  13. Max Venable is the new Jack Fimple. Or RJ Reynolds.

    BTW, did you know that Max Venable’s full name is William McKinley Venable?

    Who the hell names their kid after that president?

    Who’s next? Franklin Pierce?

  14. McKinley was a pretty good president, actually… According to DOB, McLouth is at the park, no decision on activation yet. I think Blanco has more value off the bench.

  15. According to the San Antonio Missions official twitter feed, Venable will still be with the Missions for tonights game, and not in Atlanta. Nice!

  16. 12 – exactly what I said before. Why didnt they wait with McLouth? He could’ve been getting swings in the last two days. Two of the next three days Bobby will sit him vs a LH. Doesnt make sense at all and doesnt help Wren with making his decisions

  17. DN Nation, @196 from the previous… Who says we’re not still listening to Beethoven? Pretty confident more folks buy his records than Deerfoot. And whether or not we’ve managed to do better – you are welcome to your opinion, but stating it as a fact that must be acknowledged by all…well you would have done better and been more suasive had you stuck with that Cage silence thing.

  18. @15 – unless the question is “Name the ugliest trio of all time” the answer is certainly not Rush.

  19. McL’s activation may be decided just before a game to see if heat is still affecting him.

  20. What happens if the Braves win (or lose) big today and tomorrow and Venters isn’t needed? Will the Braves withdraw their appeal? Seems to me that it would be better to get the suspension over with now.

  21. All-Ugly Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame

    Ugliest drummer: Ginger Baker.

    Ugliest bassist: The guy from Atlanta Rhythm Section.

    Ugliest guitar player: The guy from Stone Temple Pilots.

    Ugliest singer: Tiny Tim (OK, not really rock-n-roll), so Shane MacGowan (not rock enough for you?), OK, Lemmy from Motorhead.

  22. Sure those are individual awards, but Rock is a team sport. And no trio has a higher UPS+ (Ugliest people on stage, normalized for similar costumes, hair, and makeup) than the dudes who sing about fighting trees and shit.

  23. Better to wait until O’F is back and facing a weak, mainly right handed hitting team. Good chance of reduction since Brewer hit 2 players unintentionally.

  24. Does Prince Fielder’s gravitational pull not factor into the consideration as to whether a pitched ball that strikes him was intentionally thrown at him, or merely not thrown hard enough in the opposite direction from him to reach escape velocity?

  25. Re: Rush
    They rock as a team and, yes, they ugly as a team.

    And to think that they would write about “Living in the Limelight…” (At least Gary “Geddy Lee” Weinrib is a baseball fan.)

    Re: SD
    I’m not afraid of the Padres, but we gotta respect ’em for what they’ve done. Don’t let their 1B beat us and we might be alright. Just hope we can tack on some runs this week.

  26. Brandon Phillips:

    “I feel like I’m the best all-around second baseman in baseball. If you don’t think you’re the best, why go out and play this game? Chase Utley is the best-hitting second baseman. Do I think I’m better than him all-around? Yes, I do. That’s just my opinion. That’s not me being cocky. It’s about me being confident and believing in myself. You have to believe in yourself to play this game, because this game will kill you.”

    Maybe top five second basemen right now, but definitely not the best.

    p.s. at 43, is that a word?? Sounds like a bad one.

  27. McClouth is about to steal at bats from someone better.

    Just read the Bradley piece on Yunel hitting .471 with Toronto. Again, PERSPECTIVE. He wasn’t hitting anything in Atlanta. This was obviously a wake up call to him, getting traded.

    The bottomline for all the “I Told you so” crowd is that there’s every reason to believe if this trade doesn’t happen, he’s still hitting .238 with no homers. It’s a shame he couldn’t grow up here in Atlanta. We could have used the new numbers he’s NOW posting. UGH.

  28. That’s not the point Alex. I’ve shut up about this, because it’s a done deal, and lets just forget it. But this trade was done in haste and for non-baseball reasons, and represents the kind of Milwoodian/Madduxian/Sorianian/Vazquezian asset management that has stalked the Braves for years and makes me insane each time it happens. As someone posted earlier, we managed to turn a pitcher and a shortstop both regarded as among the best in the league preseason into Melky Cabrera, Alex Gonzalez and some lottery tickets, the best of whom is already hurt. I’m sorry, I don’t give a crap about chemistry or clubhouses or whatever. It’s piss poor asset management, and the FO ought be held accountable.

  29. Yoko is 8-for-17 with 2 HRs with the Jays. Big deal. It appears that anyone can hit HRs in Toronto, even a limp noodle like him. He’s still 252/346/317/663 and 2 HRs on the year.

    And last I checked Javy was having a pretty bad year, so looks to me like the lottery tix were a good bet.

  30. Spike, they will be held accountable for the Yunel deal. But it goes on the same ledger as the deal that traded Charlie Morton for Nate McLouth and Tyler Flowers for Javier Vazquez. Since the beginning of 2009, the Braves are 140-114, ninth in baseball, fifth in the National League, and tied with the Tampa Bay Rays — only, like, the most efficient franchise in baseball.

    I get that you don’t like the deal. But, ultimately, the Wren Front Office has done a lot of good for this team, and in the final accounting, I think it’s pretty clear they’ve done a lot more good than bad.

  31. #48 – Im mad at Yunel for not producing when we all knew what he was capable of, Im not mad at Wren for noticing how bad he was and making a move to improve the team.

  32. spike, your missing a huge piece of the turning a pitcher into Melky speech. That trade also allowed us to sign Hinkse and Glaus with the cap space, plus we were able to resign Huddy.

    Bottom line is Wren has turned a sub .500 team in two years to a team with the 4th best record in the MLB. Gotta give some props. Plus he hasnt traded away any of the future.

  33. Perhaps my point is too nuanced here – moving the players is fine – but by acting hastily, we decreased our own position and got back a less than optimal return. Far less in some cases.

  34. maybe, or it could be that fans over-estimate market value for their own players.

    Seriously, flip the situation. What would you give up for a pitcher with a career .500 record, one year left on a contract for $11 mil? Or what would you give up for a SS with a lot of potential but hitting .230 with a sub .600OPS and an attitude problem. Wren fielded offers for both players, I doubt he took the worst one

  35. How did Wren act hastily in trading Javy? It was an off-season (December) trade.

    I had forgotten each of the guys who Wren traded to the Sox. In effect, Wren traded Brent Lillibridge, Tyler Flowers, Jon Gilmore, and Santos Rodriguez for 15 wins, 10 losses, Melky Cabrera, Arodys Vizcaino, Michael Dunn, and some salary wiggle room. I’d make those trades again.

    p.s. – I didn’t hear folks here barking when Wren traded Francoeur at the nadir of his value. We’re trying to win now, and a sulky out machine with a death wish for our first baseman was dragging us down.

  36. How did Wren act hastily in trading Javy? It was an off-season (December) trade.

    Why take a shitty offer in December? Why not wait for someone to get hurt in ST? And if that someone is Vazquez, then insurance pays and you are off the hook.

    In effect, Wren traded….

    You don’t get to aggregate trades. Selling Ruth for cash is still stupid even if you traded Anderson for Bagwell the day before. Sheesh.

  37. When Yunel hits HRs in Toronto: Big deal, anybody can hit there.

    When Alex Gonzalez hits HRs in Toronto: This guy could be the power we need to carry this team to the playoffs. Good job Wren.

  38. p.s. – I didn’t hear folks here barking when Wren traded Francoeur at the nadir of his value. We’re trying to win now, and a sulky out machine with a death wish for our first baseman was dragging us down.

    Frenchy never had much value, except to the Braves. The barking occurred when they DIDN’T move him when he did have some value, and that is something that Wren should be justly criticized for. He waited until it was patently obvious to the dullest observer that Frenchy was near useless.

    a sulky out machine with a death wish for our first baseman

    Gonzalez is ten times the out machine Yunel ever was, and he’s already made the same play that Esco did to the 1B. Where’s your outrage?

  39. Big whoop. Yunel hated Atlanta and I’ll say it: he packed it in and was poor offensively on purpose.

  40. Francoeur is an awful, awful baseball player. Yunel Escobar is not. It’s not the same thing just because Francoeur also happens to be a jackass.

  41. Most trades get made well before spring training because those who wait tend to lose their trading partners (who end up making other trades at address their needs). One year of Javy for Melky, two high upside prospects and cash is not a bad deal.

    Your “aggregating deals” point is a non sequitur. Wren did in fact trade each of those players for Javy and Boone Logan and then traded Javy and Boone Logan to the Yankees. The fact that they were separated by a year only adds value for the Braves, since that year included a pretty fine performance by Javy.

    p.s. – AAG did not lollygag, period. To say otherwise is pure fiction.

  42. @ 62 – My point wasn’t at all that Yoko is as poor a player as Francoeur. It was that spike’s “timing” point misses the point.

  43. Your “aggregating deals” point is a non sequitur.

    100% crap. The fact that Wren got a deal on Vazquez does not excuse trading him for magic beans.

    that year included a pretty fine performance by Javy.

    And he STILL only got Melky + lotto tix for him.

    p.s. – AAG did not lollygag, period. To say otherwise is pure fiction.

    I didn’t say otherwise because I don’t care what the cause was. I doubt Glaus’ wrist would know the difference either.

  44. If you weren’t so consistently pigheaded about the topic, I’d wonder if you weren’t just playing the devil’s advocate. One year of a quality SP at $11.5M is usually worth less than two years at $23M. And the value of “lotto tix” is measured both by how much they pay and how likely the owner is get paid. Dunn is starting to pay ML dividends now and his minor league numbers and stuff look really very good. Arodys is a few years away but looks like a stud, injury notwithstanding. Those are not 1-in-a-million odds lottery tickets.

    p.s. – A physical mistake on a throw is one thing, sleepwalking through a game is another. AAG has a very good reputation, Yoko does not. I think the cause matters.

  45. And he STILL only got Melky + lotto tix for him.

    Okay, I’ll bite. The Texas Rangers got Saltalamacchia + lotto tix for Teixeira. Most of the players we traded to turned into crap: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Matt Harrison, Beau Jones. The problem is that the two skinny teenagers we traded them went ahead and turned into All-Stars. Sometimes, trading for lotto tickets is a great idea. And Vizcaino — pre-injury, anyway — is one of the best lotto tickets in the minors.

    Look, I didn’t like the deal when it happened. But I don’t hate it.

  46. Another thing to think about with the Vazquez deal is that Wren had obviously been told to dump salary. All things considered he got a good deal.

    The season as a whole so far has justified Wren’s decision not to sell off the future for Bobby’s last year. We had a middling team that worked out and now we’re able to make moves to make a run.

  47. I’ve been trying to forget about this dumb trade,but it was horrible. Old Bobby didn’t like Yunel, and apparently Chipper didn’t either and he is gone. The Braves will regret this trade.

  48. Another thing to think about with the Vazquez deal is that Wren had obviously been told to dump salary.

    Which is why I specifically used the term “FO” to start this conversation. It got changed to “Wren” somewhere along the way, and I didn’t stay clear. My apologies.

    A physical mistake on a throw is one thing, sleepwalking through a game is another.

    Well he’s been here for 4 games and been a part of 3 errors/Prados that directly led to losses. I’m glad he was trying hard though.

    The Texas Rangers got Saltalamacchia + lotto tix for Teixeira

    Much better rated ones at the time than we got (but for a much a better player, I concede). But the Teix trade was in fact specifically for prospects. Maybe in the Vazquez case, Vizcaino was thought of as a steal for Atlanta by the FO at that time – but that view was far from universally shared, given his middling ranking in the Yankee system.

    Anyway, go on and have the last word, everyone – I will try to drop it again.

  49. I don’t think anyone will regret this deal, not the Braves, not Yunel.

    It’s my personal belief that Yunel mentally checked out this year. And so… he sucked. He sucked ass & didn’t seem to care. And I did not have the confidence he would return to form as an Atlanta Brave.

    If there’s anyone to get mad at, it’s Yunel Escobar.

  50. $11.5 extra large for someone 7-7 for likely best offensive team in ML. Not much of a loss. Doubt NYY get anything for him. Yunel had made more enemies than Chipper on team. No need to risk a chance for playoffs.

  51. Yunel was coming around at the plate ….it’s funny how people want to ignore that. Futhermore after watching Kelly….nevermind, I will let you body language experts continue to make your expert analysis. I just wish Smoltzie was still around to call Chipper out.

  52. @71 re: Arodys Vizcaino

    …given his middling ranking in the Yankee system.

    You just made that up. Baseball America had him as their number 3 prospect overall and number 1 ranked pitching prospect.

  53. How was that not a balk? LeBlanc almost fell down and didn’t even pitch the ball.

  54. I just pray that Heyward is not ruined for the rest of the year b/c mgmt failed to see he was injured. He has already probably lost ROTY to Strasburg or Posey…..

  55. The best thing I heard all season is when EJ compared LeBlanc to Charlie Liebrant.

    I wonder if we could sign Kirby Puckett’s corpse for a game.

  56. Weren’t the Padres supposed to give Gonzalez to the Red Sox two months ago for what ever scrubs on the bench the Sox wanted to give them?

  57. if you have tivo or mlb.tv ….

    go back and watch the close-up replay of Heyward’s hit. after he makes contact, Heyward is looking up in the sky thinking it’s a fly ball. weird.

  58. Damn, it wasn’t Brown…it was the guy who came to mind for me first but I changed my mind.

    104 — Yep.

  59. I think I could go out there and pitch left-handed and the Braves would have a hard time hitting.

  60. If LHPs were more common than RHPs, would Diaz be one of the best players in the game?

  61. Is there away of looking at a pitcher’s ERA in the half inning after his team scores?

  62. @120, indeed. Especially since he’ll often look silly swinging at bouncing balls or head high fastballs, but you just have to learn to laugh at it. There’s no way around loving the guy :)

  63. That’s pretty cool, Mac. I like reading your old stuff to see what you thought about events at the time they happened.

  64. I actually am one of the few people who voted for the Mets in the poll. That’s mainly because I think the Mets have a better starting rotation.

    Behind Halladay and Hamels, it’s praying for rain for the Phillies…and Moyer, who was the 3rd starter for most of the year for Philadelphia, has been slumping lately and now apparently injured.

    The Phillies, who are built on offense, sure are playing a lot of low OBP guys right now.

  65. I think he just took an extra dose of fiber pills this morning, because he forgot he took the first dose.

  66. “I was really wanting to see (the Panamaniac) hit…”

    Coach is Joe, Joe is Coach!

  67. The San Diego broadcast just played out the inning to “London Calling.” Not sure why, but…awesome.

  68. this may be BMac’s best game of the yr behind the plate. Nice block in the 1st and two caught stealing

  69. JJ seems like he gets hit hard early in games, but gets a lot better once he gets the change-up going second time through the order.

  70. It ain’t over yet, but this is the kind of game we used to routinely have no chance in. For that alone, this has been a great season no matter how it turns out.

  71. That was almost a screwup. Heyward really should take off there — you’re better off with runners first and second, one out, than one at third, two out. But the pitcher bailed us out.

    Diaz is ridiculously hot right now.

  72. A relief pitchers gets a four day suspension “to take away two games”? Wot? So a starting pitcher would get something like 15 days?

  73. Home/road splits for the Padres starters in this series are pretty much what you’d expect. Hope that bodes well in the next couple of games also.

  74. Venters hitting 97 several times this inning (and judging by JJs pitch speed the gun didn’t seem faster than normal), he really is a crazy find.

  75. Mac, I can’t tell you how much I love the Belliard website. Especially the mugshot.

  76. What a fun game. Bit of drama, late inning rally, and a shutdown bullpen again. It’s a great season to be a Braves fan. Big win.

  77. DOB is tweeting about the Braves scouting Cody Ross tonight:

    Braves have not one but two special assts at Marlins game, Jim Fregosi and Dom Chiti. Cody Ross as CF possibility seems the likely interest…

    …That’s just speculation regarding which Marlin the #Braves are interested in, but fact is they have two top special assts there. Unusual.

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