226 thoughts on “Opening Thursday Game Thread: Mar 31, Braves at Nats”

  1. @2

    Yes, quite so. Regrettably I’ve no time for a quick jaunt to the haberdasher, so I shall be forced to spectate in sweatpants.

  2. It looks like they’ll get this thing in. There’s only a 10% chance of rain ’til 4, and then it jumps up to 70.
    1.Prado LF
    2.McLouth CF
    3.Jones 3B
    4.McCann C
    5.Uggla 2B
    6.Heyward RF
    7.Gonzalez SS
    8.Freeman 1B
    9.Lowe RHP

    So, it’s really happening. Heyward bats 6th.

  3. If McLouth can somehow put up a .350OBP Im fine with Heyward batting 6th.

    Opening Day boys, its about time.

  4. Ah, the familiar feeling of trying to cram as much work as possible into the first part of the day so if my boss calls after the game, I can say, “Here, here is what I have been doing. I have been productive, and I have not been watching baseball for three hours.” Sorry, Mr. Facebook. I must neglect you for productivity. I will make it up tomorrow when the Braves do not play, and I can pace myself appropriately.

  5. The lineup construction is ok, but not optimal. I’d rather Heyward get more at-bats.

  6. Oh, and I’m all about spreading your good players through the lineup. If Freeman ends up being any good, there’s no spot in this lineup with two crummy players in a row.

  7. Just wanted to stop by and wish everyone good luck. I’m not going to follow the team this season, so I won’t be around. Hopefully this will be a tremendous reverse jinx and you all will win the World Series.

    A lot on my plate this year, I can’t really justify carving out the time to watch this team. The chances of me finding any enjoyment watching a team assembled by Frank Wren, managed by Fredi Gonzalez, broadcast by Chip Carey and featuring Alex Gonzalez as a daily reminder of organizational incompetence is pretty low. So I’m moving them into ‘Paul Hackett at USC’ territory – just ignore them until something in the leadership changes.

    It will be an interesting summer, I’ve been watching 100+ games a year since Skip, Pete, and Ernie in the mid-80s and posting here in one form or another for at least seven years. Thanks to Mac for the years of putting up with me, I’ve left a little something in the tip jar. Take your girl out for a nice dinner on me.

  8. Can’t wait for Livan to throw the first pitch. From that moment on I will close the book on the scar that Paul Emmel (Human element!), Mike Winters and the comedy of errors left me with back in October.

    Happy Opening Day, everybody!

  9. I’ve recording the game on my DVR, and can’t decide if I want to wait until I get home or follow along on the internet at work.

  10. If the Braves are an incompetent organization, what does that make the Pirates, Royals, Orioles, Cubs, Nationals, and Mariners?

  11. Don’t worry, Stu — the internet is chock full of people who don’t understand how good they have it!

  12. Ugh… Livan. Are we ever going to see the end of this guy or is he just destined to torture us for all eternity?

  13. Cross posted from BBTF, but atlanta-centric and hilarious. The full article is a must read. I would buy a newspaper every day if they had content like this.

    GIANTS IN A FIST FIGHT.; Atlanta “Fan” Pummels Mathewson, Meyers, and Bridwell at Ball Park.

    “The New York giants came near losing the services of three of their star players this afternoon when they engaged in an altercation with one of the Atlanta fans, the trouble resulting from a “kidding bee” between the rooter and the New York team on Wednesday. “

  14. hey look – it’s getting…less unsunny here. Anybody got a broadcast link (radio or video) for the game?

  15. What lovely words: Game Thread.

    I think DC’s rain has come to Port Orange.

    Go Braves! 162 and 0.

  16. Gut feeling says McLouth has a better year than last, but still ends up in the 8 hole and Heyward in the 2 by the end of the year.

    I don’t like that Gonzo is behind Heyward. Pitchers are going to work around Jason and go after Agon. Blah.

  17. Finally!

    Greetings all, it’s good to be back here haunting this site. Mac, thanks for all the wonderful work you do.

    It’s going to be a great day, some Braves baseball, steaks on the grill tonight. Go Braves!

  18. McLouth 2nd? Am I the only one completely disturbed and frustrated by this?

    Happy opening day everyone, lets beat those annoying Nats. I got a really annoying comment on Facebook from a Nats friend of mine who’s going to the game (this makes me miss living in DC) and decided to inform me that the Nats are unbeaten against the Braves on opening day. Can we PLEASE fix that?

  19. Thank you, Alex brethren. I was seeing an awful lot of “oh, that’s just fine” with McLouth. Man some of you have short memories.

    Classic pathetic Baseball analysis from the moron twins at ESPN this morning. Greeny was picking the Braves – at first- for the wild card and then not really based on stats, or players, he says to Golic they should “do something different” and switch the Braves WC pick to the Rockies. Not that the Rockies won’t be a good team, but it pisses me off to see the Braves being dismissed based on just random, stupid chatter.

    They are an embarrassment.

  20. Yes, no reason to follow the Braves this year at all. They’re only projected as one of the two best teams in the National League. They really are an embarrassment and don’t deserve our time and/or energy.


    If precedent holds, I’m sure I’ll eventually unwittingly draw your ire over something…heh.

  21. I’ll withhold my frustration with lineup construction for at least a few weeks. Let’s give Louth a third season here to prove he can’t hit.

  22. Hey gang, if you see joelk on here, make sure to tell him congrats on the new job he will be starting this summer.

  23. 42—Hmm, you’re a good candidate, Nick. There are plenty of people who annoy me, or have annoyed me over the years, but Robert is the only one whose insight a actually respect. I respect your opinions, generally, but the biggest problem with your candidacy is that you aren’t as consistently-irritating as Robert.

  24. lol @ the Frank Wren commercial. Dunno if it’s old but that was the first time I saw it.

    Also does anybody think that Robert just loathes Wren so much because of an irrational fear of birds?

  25. I can’t decide whether I’m relieved they are going with Livan instead of some random unheard of unknowable pitcher. Either way, we will probably get summarily shut down, I’m just not sure which is more frustrating.

  26. I think Livan and a random pitcher we’ve never faced before are normally about even on the frustration meter.

  27. What a day. Quit my job, now sitting at London Heathrow airport, watching the mlb.tv. GO BRAVES!

  28. This is the most excited I’ve been about a Braves opening day lineup since Gary Sheffield and Andruw Jones were part of it.

  29. Ugggggh not only do I have to follow on Gameday, I have a tutoring at 2 and will miss most of it. This is lame.

  30. That bodes well, Livan stepped on the chalk walking to the mound. You never, ever step on the chalk.

  31. Is anyone else having trouble getting the Braves broadcast from mlb.tv? I can only get the Nationals feed for some reason.

    Also, CHIPPER!

  32. JoeyT
    Chipper wasn’t stopping for anyone. He was on his horse ready to prove he’s healthy.

  33. I guess I don’t really pay attention to the other team’s players because I am just now noticing how muscular Dan Uggla is.

  34. So, I bought a Roku so I could stream MLBTV and Netflix on my 42inch, rather than my 15 inch computer and I LOVE IT! GO BRAVES!

  35. Does anyone know how I can switch off the Nats “feed” on MLB.com and get the Braves feed? They’re annoying me.

  36. sdp – pitch was high and away, and Heyward hit a laser. Scraped the wall on the way by, but it was certainly hit hard. A Gary Sheffield number.

  37. How’s the quality of everyone’s mlb.tv? Is there frequent lag? Are you able to stream HD without lag?

  38. Whew. Got through the boss call. It is unlikely he’ll call again today, so my full attention can be on Derek Lowe’s surprising effectiveness.

  39. By the way, for any McLoser defenders, I’m not letting up until Freddie gets him the hell out of the lineup. He’s horrible and should not be in there.

    I have to hope beyond hope that Freddie doesn’t sit on his hands for 6 weeks like Bobby would and pulls him sooner.

  40. Who else goes there? If we had any other viable option in center, I’d agree, but I don’t think we do.

  41. I love watching Hernandez. He throws more junk than any paid pitcher I’ve ever seen.

  42. He only throws junk. It’s all he has left.

    And then by only throwing junk he sets down nine in a row.

  43. I’m listening on the radio, has Chip Caray said FISTED LITTLE SQUIBLER yet or something as good?

  44. This umpire’s strike zone’s so bad that he’s got Livan walking off the mound on pitches three inches off the plate expecting strikeouts.

  45. Yeah. Gameday didn’t show me the last pitch, but none of the ones Heyward took were on the plate. You could argue that the first called strike nipped the corner, but everything else was well off.

  46. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Adam LaRoache. How does he hit anything with that big slow swing?

  47. Livan will challenge any ump’s strike zone. His crap flies all over the place and ranges +/- 25 mph.

  48. I’m still waiting for the Braves to call me. I’ll gladly go with the team and do the play by play duties.

  49. Chip just unveiled his first laugh-awkwardly-at-his-own-unfunny-joke sequence of the year. Good times.

    Kill me.

  50. Poor Freddie Freeman. With that infield, he maybe digging out a lot of bounced throws this year. Poor kid.

  51. #122

    Ha ha :) I meant the OTHER Freddie…

    The other options aren’t great. BUT – McLoser has already proven he’s completely useless.

  52. Oh speaking of that horrific “Mike & Mike” broadcast this morning, who SAYS ESPN is biased towards the Yankees/Sox.

    Their MVP and CY picks? Robby Cano and CC Sabathia.

    Seriously, Mike Greenberg should just be slapped…hard. (like Chip Caray).

  53. @146, I was watching ESPN before the game, and one guy picked a Red Sox sweep of the awards (except Rookie), Gonzalez MVP, Lester Cy, Crawford SB, etc. all the way down to Ellsbury as comeback player of the year. One of the other guys agreed, except he thought Youkilis would be MVP.

  54. Alex, I really don’t understand the hostility directed at McLouth. By all accounts, he’s a good dude and a good soldier. And, he actually had a pretty great Spring. He absolutely should not be hitting second, but that’s on Fredi.

  55. The Nationals announcers just talked about how Lowe wouldn’t throw anything down the middle of the plate at a 3-1 count and the strike box shows a pitch straight down the middle.

  56. Less than a minute after the broadcast flashed the 57:45 strike:ball ratio, Joe Simpson: “Can’t say enough about Derek’s command today.”

  57. Oh man, first second-guessable decision by Gonzalez.

    And yes, Bobby would’ve given him at least another batter to try and finish the inning.

    EDIT: Not saying I disagree with the decision BTW

  58. I don’t have an issue with going to the bullpen early considering this is Lowe’s first start of the season, he was over 100 pitches, and the bullpen has a day off tomorrow.

  59. @156 – How is that second-guessable. First start after spring training. Nobody has thrown close to 100 pitches yet, and you expect him to allow Derek to throw 105 – 110 on opening day? No brainer here. 3 or 4 weeks in, he pitches another inning.

  60. I think a .190/.298/.322 in 2010 would more than justify any lingering hostilities towards McLouth.

  61. Oh, when I brought it up I wasn’t second guessing the decision. I was just making an observation. FWIW, I like the move, considering how many times Lowe lost it in the 6th last year and this being his first start of the season.

  62. Heyward grabbing his bat with emphasis after that sketchy called strike is “Angry Heyward”.

  63. Note that I also liked the Fredi move. I was merely pointing out that it was his first actual in-game decision as Braves manager, which in hindsight was a fairly pointless thing to point out.

  64. Filling out the line-up card with McLouth second and Heyward sixth was pretty second-guessable, too.

  65. If AGony isn’t going to get sufficiently pissed off at his own predictable failures, I’m going to find him significantly more annoying than I have, to this point…

  66. Well, good thing Heyward’s walks won’t go wasted in the 6-hole.

    I guess he just needs to take a page from the Dusty Baker playbook and be more aggressive, not take so many pitches and “make something happen”.

  67. Well, if McLouth sucks again this year I wouldn’t be surprised to see Heyward go back to the 2 spot. It’s suboptimal, but I don’t think it’s worth getting that upset about unless Nate really sucks again.

  68. Believe it or not, this is the first game of the season, and we are winning. You wouldn’t know it from reading this thread.

  69. I am a little surprised Fredi didn’t go to Moylan after that double. I guess he’s keeping his options open for the pinch-hitter.

  70. Filling out the lineup card with McLouth – PERIOD – is second guessable.

    And Stu, #159 is right on the $$. A lot of us are very very justified in hating him and wishing he would not be in a Braves uni.

    I simply don’t care that he’s nice. He could spend his off hours rescuing puppies, killing terrorists and dating ugly women to build their self esteem, and I’d say “great, go do that with another team – you suck.”

    By all accounts, Chris Reitsma was like the nicest guy ever. Someone raise your hand if you wish he was still a Brave?

  71. I take a guilty pleasure in thinking of Moylan’s AC/DC intro every time I see him pitch.

  72. A lot of us are very very justified in hating him

    Saying it doesn’t make it true. He was awful last year and, as I said, has no business hitting where he’s hitting — I just don’t see how any of that justifies “McLoser” and the like.

    But, you know, whatever.

  73. @176,

    Some interview(s) said he worked hard on it during the offseason and is feeling a lot more comfortable throwing it to both lefties and righties.

    He also named it Dave.

  74. Freeman looks really good in the field. If he can just be an average hitter, he’ll be a net plus at first.

  75. Yeah, gotta love Freeman defensively at first. Even if he gets off to a slow start at the plate, that’s a huge upgrade for us. Especially with the questionable defensive prowess of the rest of the infield.

  76. Ugh, I forgot how annoying watching games online can be. I have a 20MBPS and there’s still freezing and buffering issues.

  77. A few opening day thoughts:

    – Yeah! Baseball!
    – Nice start for Lowe even with a little help from Welke. He definitely earns his $15M a year if you count pitches.
    – Sweet 5 pitcher shutout.
    – Good to see Fredi take Lowe out when he did, Bobby would have let that ride 2-3 batters too long.
    – Yeah! for another Heyward opening day HR. He looks so great at the plate, even against the reportedly tough lefty.
    – Freeman looks great at first. But the rest of the infield defense is going to bite us every few games. It seemed like every throw was in the dirt or up the line at the runner. Freddie might need to up his insurance.
    – Chipper continues to look comfortable at the plate, running and fielding. Here’s hoping for 135 games!
    – AGon flashed several nice glove plays. Gives me a little more hope for all our groundball pitchers.
    – I think Fredi tipped his hand and we’ll see Venters setup and Kimbrel close for the foreseeable future. Fredi didn’t play the L-R matchups.
    – Nate still looks lost when the games start counting. He needs to take more pitches.

  78. It aint like watching it but listening to Don and the other guy was great. Nice win. Good to see Alex back with his reasonable expectation posts. :)

    Baseball finally.

  79. Good pitching can a manager smart. Good to give those relievers work with off day tomorrow. Venters was efficient. Ump helped pitchers on both sides except Kimbrel in 9th.

  80. Other way to interpret Fredi’s handling of the 8th/9th with Venter/Kimbrel: rather than having Kimbrel be the 9th inning guy, he might’ve thought the hitters up in the 8th were tougher (I certainly did) and went with the guy he trusted the most to pitch to them.

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