Braves 3, Nats 2

Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – August 18, 2010 – ESPN.

Not as comfortable as last night, but a win’s a win. It started out a lot last night, as the Braves couldn’t do anything against Livan Hernandez. Meanwhile, Tim Hudson had a rough third inning in which he allowed four singles and a walk, but was able to hold the Nats to two runs because Roger Bernandina, who drove in the first run, got himself thrown out trying to advance on the throw. (To that thing about not making the first or last out of the inning at third, you shouldn’t make the second out at second if there’s a runner on third, though the runner did wind up scoring anyway.)

The Braves finally did something in the fourth, Prado doubling and McCann and Hinske drawing walks to load the bases with nobody out. Melky hit the first pitch he saw for a 4-6-3 double play, which at least scored a run but was not what you’re looking for. The Braves lucked out when Gonzalez‘s popup fell fair for a hit because of terrible outfielding.

Hudson after the third settled down a bit, but the Braves couldn’t get him a lead. In the bottom of the seventh, they loaded the bases again, this time with one out, but Infante‘s line drive was caught, and Heyward flew out. Venters relieved Hudson, getting two strikeouts and pitching around an infield single. Wagner struck out the side in the ninth.

In the bottom of the inning, AAG grounded out, but Ankiel followed by pulling a lefty reliever for a single. Ross, in the game after McCann had been run for, drew a walk against the righty the Nats brought in, but Omar struck out. Heyward, who had been having an awful night, got it to 3-0, and then hit a rocket up the middle for the game-winning hit.

As you know, the Braves traded three pitching prospects for Derrek Lee. He won’t join the team until they join him in Chicago on Friday, but the Braves put Troy Glaus on the DL anyway and called up Brandon Hicks again to take the spot. Hinske’s playing first base in the interim.

58 thoughts on “Braves 3, Nats 2”

  1. Today was a great day to be a Braves fan. I cannot wait to see Lee, Friday can’t come soon enough!

    Also, this is another no-one-saw-it-coming trade from Wren.

  2. I am at northside. About to lose my appendix

    But the braves won. And we got another big bat.

    It was a great day.

  3. Fire Terry Pendleton, too!

    I wasn’t around for the game thread, but we can all agree that Huddy’s Andrew Sullivan look gets a thumbs down, right?

  4. DOB tweets, “Hudson on whether he’ll keep the beard: “I don’t know, man. I feel like I had ants on my face out there. I’ll have to see.”

    SHAVE IT.

  5. does anyone else think it’s going to be incredibly strange for derrek lee on friday when he faces his old team on a road game in his first game with a braves uniform?

    wren talked about the braves needing a legit 3 hole hitter and derrek fit the bill. surely bobby goes with prado and infante as the 1-2 punch and moves heyward to 5th or 6th.

    1. prado 2. infante 3. lee 4. bmac 5. heyward 6. gonzalez 7. hinske/diaz 8. melky/ankiel

    …drool! I’M SO FRICKIN’ PUMPED FOR LEE!

  6. I think Joel Youngblood was once traded between games of a double hedder. Or maybe it was Chris Speier.

  7. A Chicago Tribune sportswriter’s take on the Cubs losing D. Lee to the Braves:

    “But, sorry, if there is a first baseman in Chicago whose departure should result in hand-wringing and wistfulness, it is not the guy in the midst of one of his worst seasons.

    Counterpart Paul Konerko of the White Sox, also a free agent who could be gone before 2011, has hit 48 more homers and driven in 77 more runs than Lee since both have been on their respective sides of town.

    Lee may have better numbers on his contract — he makes $1 million more per year than Konerko’s $12 million salary — but not on the back of his baseball card. Konerko leaving the Sox would create a shriek. Lee getting traded to the Braves for three minor-league prospects and a $1.7 million savings in salary, to me, warrants little more than a shrug.

    He was going to be a former Cub in 41 games anyway. This is Jim Hendry’s classy parting gift.

    In a contract year, Lee has produced more like a guy living off a fat contract, hitting .251 with 16 home runs and 56 RBIs. In any explanation of why the Cubs are among the most underachieving teams in baseball, Lee’s name comes up in the first couple of sentences.

    You usually don’t mourn the loss of things that made you wince.”

    Fair?

  8. @21

    I’d say fair in the context of the 2010 Cubs, but patently unfair with respect to Lee’s career as a Cub. Warrants far more than a shrug.

  9. I think Bobby leaves Heyward there, a little for his OBP, and a little to maintain the lefty-righty balance. Bobby doesn’t want to run out McCann, Heyward, Hinske, Gonzalez, Ankiel, Pitcher. Even if you move Gonzalez in front of Hinske, that’s still easy pickin’s for a late-inning loogy.

    Neither here nor there, but to me, the bigger advantage of our L-R balance, other than preventing opposing managers from utilizing their best LOOGY on all of our lefties in one inning, is the mis-matches that can be created by TEMPTING them to do that. If the Phils want to bring in Romero to face Heyward, if they’re tempted to keep him in there for McCann, then Derrek Lee gets a shot at him in the middle. Conversely, if they choose not to do that, one of Heyward or McCann will face a righty, or the opposing teams SECOND best LOOGY. Etc, etc.

  10. kc I really like that lineup.

    I fear we’ll see Prado, Heyward, Lee, Mac, Gonzalez, Hinske, Infante, Ankiel, however.

  11. I actually like the lineup in 27 more than the one in 26, but then, I don’t believe Infante’s going to hit .340 the rest of the year. :-)

    If I was going to change anything, it’d be to add Melky in there for Ankiel.

  12. @Tiger224:

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    I’m digging the Braves right now. This has got to have Phillies phans’ panties in a bunch. They’re playing well but can’t make up any ground.

  13. “Derrek is a fantastic first baseman, we all know that. We’ve seen him play for a long time….I obviously don’t harbor any ill will, it’s something that made our team better. Hopefully I can come back in 15 days and be the third baseman and make us even better than that.”

    Troy Glaus on the trade. Seems like he thinks he will be the regular third baseman.

  14. Also, does anyone else not get the “last at-bat wins” stat? I understand the home games, but with the away games, if we pull ahead in the top of the ninth, there will generally be one more Braves at-bat (an out) to end the half inning.

  15. When they say ‘At-Bat’ they mean the teams turn at-bat, not final batter.

    Consequently, as the home team, you can get a “Last At-Bat Win” by taking the lead in the 8th inning and holding it, as there would be no bottom half to the ninth inning, hence the 8th was the team’s last turn at bat.

    EDIT: “Walk-Off” obviously is exclusively the home team winning in the bottom of the ninth, and there being no need for a 27th out to be recorded.

  16. Ben @ 35:

    i guess medical science has perfected a knee replacement surgery if Glaus thinks he’s playing 3B in a couple of weeks.

  17. I would guess that Glaus is just getting some time there and he is not going to come back up and play 3B everyday. He will be a reserve corner infielder with some power.

  18. I actually have to give Glaus some props. He has a ton of money in the bank, he has won a World Series, has had a pretty good career. He could have gotten pissed and viewed it as essentially being replaced and taken his mitt and gone home, but he didn’t. I hope he does get healthy, goes down to Gwinnett and hits the crap out of the ball and comes back up in September.
    I wouldn’t mind Glaus at third, Prado back to second and Omar playing a lot of CF or playing virtually every day keeping people fresh.

  19. @40 I think he knows his own limitations and see this as his last chance to get another ring…which he will do whatever it takes to stay on this ship.

  20. There’s really nothing bad you can say about Glaus. He was obviously hurt but kept toughing it out, doing the best he could. Now he’s replaced, which will cost him some money in lost incentives, and he takes it in stride and is willing to even go to AAA to try to make it back and help out. A lot of respect for Troy. Very professional.

  21. @13 – I don’t get it. Guys like Wes Helms are a dime a dozen. Extended? After the crappy season he has had this year? Got to give the guy some props, according to B-R he has made over 12 MILLION dollars.

    Troy Glaus is a team first professional. I have a lot of respect for that. Odds are against it but I hope he finds the magic knee ointment and comes back and mashes in September.

    And I have a lot of respect for how the Braves and Frank Wren are treating him. It takes a classy organization to recognize his major contribution to our success this season and give him the opportunity to stay with the team.

  22. @ 42 – Well said

    Glaus carried this team from the ashes of April to the top in May and June. I don’t have any ill feeling toward him at all. He was obviously playing hurt. He has played hard all year. For example, how many time has he went 1st to home this year? He just has been awful over the last 50 games.

    I welcome D. Lee, but I hope Glaus gets the ship righted. If Glaus does get the ship righted and the Braves do make it out of the east, it would be nice to have a healthy, productive Glaus as a DH in the W.S.

  23. @24
    i dont really understand the logic of keeping heyward batting 2nd, so help me out.

    here’s my opinion: heyward has been pretty terrible against lefties and great against righties. his numbers are so extreme that they cant be ignored.

    infante seems like an ideal #2 hitter. he can bunt, go opposite field, has decent pop and, for most part, puts the ball in play (so hit and run is an option).

    heyward, imo, should be a #3 hitter against rhp and much lower against lhp. my ideal lineup has venezuela, at all times, representing the 1 and 2 spots.

  24. Imagine a healthy Glaus an Lee in the middle of our order. I think if Glaus can get his legs back, playing third 4-5 times a week would be great.

  25. Hiroki Kuroda has zero hits in 50 plate appearances, which is sixth all-time for most PAs w/o a hit:

    1. Bob Buhl, 1962, 85
    2. Bill Wight, 1950, 75
    3. Ernie Koob, 1916, 57
    4. Ron Herbel, 1964, 54
    5. Karl Drews, 1949, 54
    6. Hiroki Kuroda, 2010, 50

    He’s got a great shot at #3. I’ll try to pay attention to the pennant race, but following this will be taking up most of my time.

  26. Sorry I am late: best of luck Iiger—I hope you have a speedy recovery as well.

  27. From previous thread:

    AAR-I will be more than happy to buy Jason a coke (does it have to be at ballpark prices?) I will even acknowledge that perhaps we should not trade him. :) Look, I admit my criticism is more out of frustration; I really want to see Jason become a great player.

    On the Zimmerman ejection, I admit that I root for the Nats when they aren’t playing the Braves so I am biased, but I think the ump had no business throwing the team’s best player out of the game in the 9th innning because he was pissed for striking out. (Obviously, I’m glad the Braves won.) Maybe Zimmerman’s behavior crossed the line, but these umps need to realize it’s not all about them. And, Zimmerman rarely does anything even approaching showing up umpires. The umpires are way too sensitive and too eager to assert their authority. And if they threw out every guy that started to first base thinking he had walked, there would be no one left to play.

    re Mac’s comment about guys breaking their ankles on feet-first slides. With the death of Bobby Thomson, it’s appropos to remember that he broke his ankle sliding in the spring of 1954 while playing for the Braves, opening up a spot for some fellow named . . . Henry Aaron.

  28. From the Neyer article –

    “But unless Lee helps get them into the playoffs, the trade might look really, really silly in a few years.”

    Is there any trade this can’t be said about? And he doesn’t even bother to offer an explanation (other than PWH’s thumbnail profiles) of why this might be. I am really astonished at the decline of analysis in Neyer’s stuff – he’s the guy that pretty much introduced me to thinking critically about baseball.

  29. After careful research, I’ve decided that Tracy Stallard (1960-66) is the winner of the all-time major league Sad Sack Award. He:

    – posted a career W/L record of 30-57, third worst in history for any pitcher with at least 85 career decisions

    – was a member of the rotation for the 1963-64 Mets, and led the league in losses in ’64, with 20

    – has the most career plate appearances of anyone who never drew a walk, 258. This contributed to his all-time worst K/BB ratio as a hitter, 88/0. He successfully executed only 11 sac hits, so he couldn’t bunt either.

    – gave up Maris’ 61st HR in 1961

  30. Tiger224,

    I hope your recovery takes less time than Chipper’s (6 months?) :)

    Agree with the words about Glaus. But it’s probably easier to be gracious when you have had a fairly long career and made some money.

    I like the trade for Lee. I agree that Neyer’s analysis is silly–any trade could turn out to be a disaster. The chances of any given trade of prospects turning out bad is pretty low. The column in Chicago about Lee seems petty given his overall career. It seems to reflect general bitterness with the Cubs; but “journalists” are supposed to be more than fans. I’ve never heard a bad thing about Lee.

  31. As Mac said several months ago, a low A pitching prospect is a crap shoot. I would imagine that a prospect in A ball having a pretty poor year (even though he’s very young and started strong last year) is even more of a crap shoot. Lopez may turn out to be a great pitcher or a total bust, who knows, but I have to think giving him up is worth the gamble. If Lee can help us win 2 to 3 more games than Glaus would have during the regular season (something he’s very capable of doing) I think it’s worth it. I also think the possibility of having Lee and Glaus for the playoffs is exciting. I don’t think calling up Freeman during the middle of a playoff run is a good gamble.

  32. I am really astonished at the decline of analysis in Neyer’s stuff – he’s the guy that pretty much introduced me to thinking critically about baseball.

    This exactly expresses the way I feel about Neyer now. He used to do interesting research, and his column really introduced the whole world of sabermetric thinking to me — now all he does is read a lot and post links. I think blogging has given him the excuse to become really, really lazy with his analysis. I’d much prefer that he occasionally admit when he hasn’t studied an issue closely, than come up with lazy knee-jerk responses to everything.

    Quite frankly, Craig Calcaterra is just much better at what Neyer does now than Neyer is — could be one reason that Neyer has linked to Craig daily for the last year or two.

  33. WIth Tiger on DL will he have to rehab at Gwinnett? He deserves better. If Glaus gets better will be be likely to come back next year. If Glaus had gone on DL before Chipper had got hurt we would have made deal when CJ had got hurt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *