Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Box Score – April 07, 2011 – ESPN.
Well, at least it wasn’t another one-run loss. Though it very easily could have been! Tommy Hanson gave up a bunt single and a homer to fall down 2-0 in the first, the Braves tied it with a two-run single from Martin Prado in the second, only to see it go 3-2 with a fielder’s choice grounder scoring a run in the bottom of the inning. And then it stayed that way for awhile as the Braves, once again, couldn’t get anything going.
Hanson was actually quite lucky to allow only three runs in 5 1/3, as again his velocity was down. In addition to the homer, he allowed seven total hits, two of them doubles, and struck out only two. Something’s not quite right with him, but it’s early. George Sherrill and Scott Linebrink, somehow, got out of a problem in the sixth to keep it 3-2, but then Moylan loaded the bases while getting no outs in the seventh. (It wasn’t entirely his fault, as nobody covered first base on a sac bunt attempt to really get the inning going.) Jonny Venters did a great job to get out of it with only one run scoring.
The Braves loaded the bases themselves, with two out however, in the eighth, but Alex Gonzalez grounded out. It’s not like they’re not getting any run-scoring opportunities, but they’re not getting too many.
Again, I think he’s probably going through a dead arm period, which is typical during spring training or early in the season.
3-4 on a 7 game road trip to start the season, while uninspiring, isn’t cause for alarm.
We could be the Red Sox.
Even if they were, god forbid, to get swept by the Phillies, 3-7 this early is not that big a deal. After all, they lost 9 in a row in April last year. You just cannot evaluate a team after 7 games, as frustrating as these losses are. I’m not sure the Braves are as good as they are supposed to be (they have a number of holes in the lineup), but poor starts are nothing unusual even for good teams. (But it would be nice to start 35-5 or something like the Tigers did one year. :))
Now that the season is over I can look forward to getting my Hohner Special 20 tomorrow. Now I just need to know how to play it.
Is it too early to say that the upcoming series against the Phil’s is the most important series of the season?
I know the old adage is that you can’t win a divison in April, but games in April count the same as they do in August The manner in which we managed to blow of a couple of these games is alarming.
Fredi may want to change his resting 1 starter per game philosophy.
But every team is going to lose games like this at some point in the year, no matter how good they are. Every team will lose some games they should win and win some games they should lose. It’s just the nature of baseball. Obviously, it would be better to get off to a fast start but it’s no more (or less) alarming to blow games in April than in July.
Having said that, it’s obviously possible to dig a hole too deep to get out of. And Hanson worries me. But the Braves are far from that and last year we certainly thought the season was over during the losing streak.
Anyway, can you imagine what’s going on in Boston right now?
Wilson Valdez 4-4 with 3 RBI on the day. I hate the Phillies.
That’s what the Mets and Phillies said about the Braves in the 90s. Sigh!
Sucks to lose what seemed like winnable games, but can’t go crazy right now. We win the series this weekend & we’ll feel differently.
My little takeaway from the Brewers series:
Up 5-1 with 2 runners on last night, Milwaukee pitched to Heyward.
Up 4-2 with 2 runners on today, Milwaukee didn’t give him much to hit.
And I’d do the very same thing. Gonzo’s probably going to see plenty of these situations. Let’s hope he makes ’em pay at some point.
The team is healthy now. They’re also facing pitchers whose checks aren’t signed by the Phillies’ owner. Sucks that they’re wasting it.
The combination of the Braves’ inability to hit and the Phillies’ remarkable early-season offense is making me furious. I know it will turn around at some point, but… it still sucks.
I would apologize for being the worst general manager in baseball, but I just don’t have time, because I’m simply too busy trying to make the Braves worse.
He was basically like this in the 2nd half of last year. I’m with you, it’s early and there are plenty of other plausible explanations other than we’re doomed, but I’d be lying if I said I weren’t just a bit concerned.
In the last two months of the 2010 season, Tommy Hanson posted a nice ERA but, in 78 innings, recorded only 45 strikeouts. He now has punched out only three batters in the first nine innings of 2011. Thus: in his last 87 innings, Hanson has a k/9 of just under 5 (!).
I’m working with a very small sample size, obviously, but the dropping strikeout numbers could also be a warning sign that something is wrong. Clearly, at some point, something changed. Some folks commented on the trend last year, and really the thing I’ve been watching the most this year has been less the ERA or even the hits than the strikeouts. His velocity is down and his strikeouts seem to be disappearing–so yes, I’m concerned. It may be nothing, but I’m concerned.
You should just apologize for being one of those annoying people who post as a fake player/coach/gm, and call it a day.
I’m sure Bobby Cocks and the gang over at the AJC blog are already missing you.
RE: Earlier discussion about DOB’s slow transition to becoming a mouth piece for the organization.
I blame people who post on the AJC articles/blogs and people who post on twitter. They say the dumbest crap, running around like chickens with their heads cut off at the slightest hiccup. I think DOB got so used to defending reasonable/correct team policies against crazy criticisms that he eventually started defending questionable team policies against reasonable criticisms.
A second thought is that a big part of DOB’s success involves having good realtionships with the players and the organization. I’m not trying to impugn the man’s journalistic integrity. I think if there is a real problem, he would report it. But if he needles the team about every criticism a fan on his blog or twitter raises, he may think that will result in less forthcoming players in the clubhouse (which means worse stories).
Ah, the first troll of the season.
@18, I absolutely agree with both of these things, and it’s very fair to point them out. Still, there’s a way to do it without being a Lord Haw Haw about it. I appreciate that he can’t be hyper-critical, but I think a bit more objectivity shall we say would be a big improvement. And with the stupidity that gets posted on his blog, he’s insane to engage them, let alone argue. It really would be a civic service to just turn off commenting altogether there.
It pains me to have to break character to point this out, but I am a humorous satire on the super-serious Braves fans who call for my head after every single loss.
That having been said, I am a moron, and the only reason I haven’t traded Julio Teheran for Kyle Farnsworth is that Andrew Friedman doesn’t believe I’m serious when I call him to ask.
Frank is cool and is not a troll, guys.
Agreed. Not defending. Just hypothesizing how things may have gotten the way they have.
I got a win from Shaun Marcum because of today’s game, does that make me a bad person?
No, you were probably a bad person already.
@19 And he would not be able to keep his job.
Lol, ok.. Sorry I lumped you in with those other guys Frank.
I got into an argument with DOB on twitter earlier, so I was a little on the jumpy side.
Mac, you are a genius as always, ha.
I got a win from Marcum too. Doesn’t feel good, but it’s not our fault.
I had Hanson and Marcum going against each other, Im not happy
17 – Those numbers are very interesting. I’m willing to attribute last year’s declining strikeout numbers late in the year to some sort of adjustment to pitching late into the season for the first time, but the decline in velocity this season is what concerns me.
I’m hoping it’s just early, and Tommy’s just going through a dead arm period.
Psst … we need to trade Hanson before the rest of the league figures out what we are slowly coming to accept.
His mechanics scream flameout.
Gonzalez had a chance to bat Heyward 3rd last night and didn’t do it. It would have made a lot of sense.
Hanson is an awesome pitcher. He pitched pretty well yesterday. The Brewers just have some really good hitters, and it looks like Hanson doesn’t match up well (especially against Braun). I feel a lot better about him now than after his first start, when he was throwing crud.
I feel really good about this season so far. Most of the hitters have looked pretty good at the plate, hitting the ball hard, but just being a bit unlucky. Our pitching has looked fantastic, and I really hope Lowe and Beachy can keep being this awesome.
If the Braves keep playing like this, the wins will come. I’ve been pretty impressed so far. The only serious problem is that McLouth hasn’t looked good, and there’s not really a good starting option to replace him (since they refuse to put Heyward in center).
Hanson is not an “awesome” pitcher. He’s yet to prove anything other that his 2008 was a fluke.
I like the guy, but with the bevy of arms we have, it might be time to trade Hanson and his controlability for a bat, preferably a SS or 3B (anyone think we could pry Chisenhall from the Indians?).
Anyone ready to fire TP yet? I was ready 2 seasons ago.
Why is TP doing a bad job at 1B?
#36 – I disagree with your opinion 100%. The guy has an career era under 3.25, ERA+ of 123, whip under 1.2.
If its time to trade an arm, lets trade Lowe and get rid of his salary. We can then buy a SS or 3B. If we need to trade another arm we can trade JJ to clear his salary. Tommy is a very good pitcher and he’s cost controlled for a few more seasons. The Braves need him in the rotation.
TP isn’t batting coach anymore? When did that happen and who replaced him?
@36 That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read on here, Coach comments included. Hanson was a consensus top pitching prospect in the game. He came up and pitched insanely well with a ton of strikeouts for half a year, did exactly the same thing at the beginning of last year, and sometime after the all-star break the strikeouts tailed off, despite which he still posted 4 fWAR and had a 3.33 era and almost identical FIP, mainly because his control is excellent, as in < 2.5 BB/9 excellent. Clearly something is off with him right now – maybe it's his back with which he had trouble in spring training. But sure, let's trade our 4 WAR, $400,000/year pitcher for prospects. I think Heyward strikes out too much, and last May was just a fluke – maybe we could package him in the deal.
#40 – welcome back Lando. Larry Parrish is now the Braves batting coach and TP is at 1B
Saw a man riding a bike and drinking a 40 at 8 o’clock this morning. Can you guess what city I’m in?
@43 That was me after a bad breakup in college, assuming you were in Atlanta and the guy was on his way from midtown to Ponce. I didn’t handle that one very well, no I didn’t.
Ryan, I am going to guess Memphis.
Thanks, never left just haven’t felt like posting very often. Who is this new hitting coach?
1 year as a hitting coach and we hire him…. I hope he is better than TP.
43 – Philadelphia.
@43 – Detroit? That would, of course, presume that there are still people there.
With regard to Hanson – yes, his mechanics are awkward, but mainly I think he’s so frustrating to watch because it appears that he has the potential to be completely dominant ace, and to date he’s been somewhat erratic. I think that’s to be expected – Hanson’s young and he’s also tall, which complicates his pitching mechanics somewhat. I don’t believe we’ve seen the best of Tommy yet.
43- I’ll say New Orleans.
Saw Randall Delgado last night. Looked pretty good and struck out five of the first seven batters.
Other highlights were Sweet Jesus getting three hits, Ernesto Mejia crushing a 400 foot home run, and Pastornicky getting a couple of hits including a scorching double. He played some good defense too. And we all agreed that he looked like Gary Busey’s kid. That might have been influenced by it being dollar beer night but the designated driver wife was the first one that noticed it. We took to calling him Busey for the rest of the evening.
New Orleans. It’s strange to say that seeing people like the above described is why I loved the city and also why I moved away.
Game thread is up.
@ 54 – I had a girlfriend like that.