167 thoughts on “Do the game thread: April 7, Braves at Brewers”

  1. From the last thread. We dont need to worry about Freddie just yet, but there was ZERO reason for him to be in the two hole last night.

  2. Another day game? Sheesh. I’m really not going to get anything done at work this afternoon.

  3. Lemme just say that trying to work logistics to get to and from Turner Field tomorrow, when many of the people are leaving work at different times, is much more difficult than it should be.

    Surely it’s not this difficult in other cities.

  4. per Bowman, per Twitter, per the Internet:

    Prado 5 McLouth 8 McCann 2 Uggla 4 Heyward 9 Gonzalez 6 Freeman 3 Young 7 Hanson 1

    Young gets a second start.

  5. At least Heyward’s moving to the 5 spot in the lineup today – that’s a step in the right direction. Obviously given that he’s the best OBP guy on the team (with the possible exception of Chipper) he should be hitting #2 or #3 but still, I have a feeling based the things Fredi has said that Heyward will be in the top half of the lineup by the end of the month.

    Freddie Freeman hasn’t hit well at all thus far, but 1) it’s way too soon to draw the conclusion that he can’t hit, and 2) from what I’ve seen, he’s not overmatched at all; he just needs to settle down and exercise some better plate discipline. That said, I don’t think he’ll hit all that many HRs with his current swing; like Heyward, Freddie’s swing doesn’t have a lot of natural loft to it.

  6. from last night’s recap: “Moylan got some good defense to get out of a jam”

    one of the coolest double plays i’ve seen turned and all poor AAG gets is a “good defense” compliment haha. it’s tough being the whipping boy i tell ya.

  7. Re Freddie: I was at the game on Sunday and, FWIW, he absolutely scorched one ball right at the shortstop. It almost knocked him over but he caught it.

  8. 9—Yeah, the awesomeness of that, featuring big-time MLB prospects Sonny Gray, Navery Moore, and Jack Armstrong, Jr., cannot be overstated.

  9. #11 – Barry Bonds used a small bat. Freddie just needs to cut down on that swing and his trying to lift the ball.

  10. Do you know what would be cool? It would be cool if the goddamned earthquakes would let up for a while.


  11. I believe Francouer is the only player who has hit a ball around the earth. I saw a video of it, courtesy of Delta I think. On the rare occasion that he actually makes contact, he ruins lives.

  12. #Braves manager Fredi G. plans to use his full lineup for the weekend series vs. Phillies, now that most backups have had a start/ABs

  13. DOB tweet:
    Those who’d bat #Braves’ Heyward 2nd, where u hitting McLouth? 6th? Want McLouth, Gonzalez, Freeman, pitcher 6-7-8-9? Protection for Uggla?

    Protection makes so much sense (in theory) that it’s a difficult mythical beast to slay. Just get Heyward more atbats…

  14. DOB…

    Apparently not. All about “losing PAs.” RT @matt_T: @ajcbraves did these folks not see Heyward DRIVE IN MCCANN AND UGGLA LAST NIGHT? lord.

  15. I have totally given up on that guy being anything other than a quote getting errand boy with a miserable attitude as a bonus

  16. DOB was good before he started that blog.

    His attitude is bad and he really is a errand boy. Reading his stuff you feel like Fred Hickman or Jerome Jerenovich wrote it.

    Really, he attacks anyone who disagrees with anything the organization does at any level. Then he adds some song lyric to the end.

  17. He tweeted a longer explanation about the realities of Chipper being the number 3. That makes sense. But that doesn’t change that I’d like to see Heyward get more chances:

    DOB tweet
    It’s clear to seemingly everyone close to the team that Heyward is the #Braves’ future No. 3 hitter; just a matter of time. While Chipper still hitting, though, it’s difficult to find another spot for Heyward with this particular team’s personnel, even though you obviously wouldn’t normally have such a quality hitter (OBP, slugging, everything) in 6-hole. If McLouth or Matt Young hits, then you could move one of them down in order. But currently, you can’t realistically expect a lineup with some order of McLouth/Gonzalez/Freeman/pitcher in bottom four spots to be an improvement. And they spent $62 million on Uggla, a 3o-homer-a-year man. Not to have him hit without any good protection behind him. Again, Heyward fits the 3-hole perfectly. But in real world, not Fantasy, Chipper currently stays in the 3-hole. That’s just how it is. Not my decision, but I also understand the manager not wanting to move him from that spot until it’s obviously time. Say, if Chipper hits like he did at beginning of last season. He’s far from that, right now.

  18. I’m a 26-year-old college grad who is down with social media, but I am always confused when I read these twitter posts:

    “RT @matt_T: @ajcbraves did these folks not see Heyward DRIVE IN MCCANN AND UGGLA LAST NIGHT? lord.”

    I have no idea how to interpret who is talking to whom here, so I just make wild guesses and speculations

  19. In this case, someone calling himself matt_T posted a tweet calling attention to DOB (ajcbraves). matt_T’s post was:

    did these folks not see Heyward DRIVE IN MCCANN AND UGGLA LAST NIGHT? lord

    DOB broadcasted matt_T’s post (as a “retweet” indicated by the RT) and added to it:

    Apparently not. All about “losing PAs.”

  20. You’d think the concept of “put all your best hitters in front of your bad hitters” wouldn’t be so tough, and yet… And DOB WAS good before he got this gig – that’s the part that hurts. When he first started, I had a lengthy email exchange with him on OBP weighting in computing OPS+. You don’t go from that to this without a serious case of Stockholm Syndrome or worse.

  21. @34

    Seriously, what’s with the lyrics thing?

    I mean, I get it.. being well traveled, the guy thinks he has the best/most unique taste in music that is humanly possible for a mere blogging mortal. But come on, I feel like I’m reading a 16yr old’s myspace page ever time I finish reading one of his blogs.

  22. The argument isn’t that Heyward wouldn’t be better in the 2-hole than McLouth. I think everyone everywhere knows that. The argument is that Heyward in the 6-hole is WORLDS better than McLouth because (1) Heyward will do more with the RBI opportunities and (2) McLouth’s speed would mostly go to waste in that position.

    I disagree with this because giving Chipper, McCann, and Uggla more RBI opportunities matters more than having someone behind them to drive them in, and if McLouth were to get on, he’d be more likely to run with the bottom of the order behind him than he would be with Chipper and McCann.

    In the column of “no one will ever like this”, you could always do a McLouth/Heyward/Chipper/Uggla/McCann/Prado/Freeman/AAG lineup. Aside from the obvious flaw of McLouth leading off, this would work quite well.

    But when it comes down to it, this is a lineup that’s going to have a lot of holes in it unless at least one of McLouth and Freeman starts hitting well.

  23. I’d still like to see Chipper hit 2nd, but, as DOB rightly mentioned, the reality is that he’s the number 3.

  24. @41, today it was Led Zeppelin. That’s fresh! Seriously, not to pile on but what makes it worse is that if that guy posts something, it’s guaranteed to be at or past it’s sell-by date. He’s got a link to The Clash Online website for christ’s sake.

  25. He might be going through a dead arm period typical in spring training or early in the season.

  26. I don’t care that it’s only his second start, I’m officially worried about Hanson. Good God, his pitches are put on frickin’ tee.

  27. I read last week that Tommy said his back was bothering him. I will try to find the source. In any case, Ryan Braun owns him.

  28. I’m watching on game cast, is Hanson really sitting 90-91 with his fastball still? Maybe I’m crazy but i feel like he usual is around 93-94.

  29. Hanson’s struggling but the problem, as it was last year for much of the year, is the offense. The Braves should really be 5-1. But they seem to have so much trouble hitting even mediocre starting pitching.

  30. Hanson FA averages
    2009 – 92.2mph
    2010 – 92.7mph
    2011 – 90.9mph

    small sample size but he may be aiming his pitches or just not getting loose this early in the season

  31. The only problem with a day game like this…other than Hanson pitching is I have to leave to broadcast a baseball game over the web and can’t catch the conclusion.

  32. Also, I can’t remember the last time the Braves had a sequence like that, with two little grounders, a walk, and a sac bunt resulting in two runs. Great thing to see.

  33. As far as the lineup goes, we can’t do it now, but I’ve been thinking that if we can get McLouth going, a lineup of McLouth/Prado/Heyward/Uggla/McCann/Chipper/Freeman/AAG would be ideal. Now this is obviously in Dream World, because we would never move Chipper, and it would require McLouth hitting at least .250, but oh well…it’s the lineup I like.

  34. “He has six hits this year, and five of them have come against the Braves!” — Chip Caray, on Nyjer Morgan

    Man, just think of all the other games he’s played against other teams!

  35. Because they thought they could get a weak ground ball and an out at the plate. And they got the first part, but Morgan just got there so damn fast it didn’t matter.

  36. Ok, so in Hanson, we have a guy with questionable mechanics, iffy control and a completely inability to prevent baserunners from stealing at will. Why was he hyped so much?

  37. McCann probably catches a better throw, but he would’ve gotten steamrolled.

    Maybe a little chin music for Morgan next AB.

  38. I’m really frustrated that Yahoo deletes its fantasy notes. Someone else had to have seen this. It was after Tommy missed his last ST start due to back soreness.

    Tommy said he dealt with it last year, that he focused his offseason exercises around strengthening his back, and thought it had worked until it struck again at the end of ST, which we know. He said he planned to pitch through it just before the Nats start.

  39. No harm there, but I disagree with bringing the infield in this early, especially with Morgan on third.

  40. Also, christ, guys, it’s two starts. Hanson was fantastic last year. He’s a really good pitcher having a couple bad outings. Have some patience.

  41. #81 –

    2009 – 2.89ERA 1.18WHIP
    2010 – 3.33ERA 1.17WHIP
    after allstar break – 2.51ERA 0.977WHIP

  42. Hanson just makes things difficult on himself sometimes. He gets ahead 0-2 and cant finish them off.

  43. @81 @89, It probably also had something to do with his total dominance of the minor leagues…best exemplified by a 10.71 career K/9 that put him on the doorstep of the majors at age 22…you know, just a guess.

  44. @70-I’ve been thinking the same thing for awhile now. The way he cocks his wrist prior to releasing the ball is similar.

  45. Blanco is less of a threat on the basepaths than Young. Or at least that’s my understanding.

  46. @96 – When did a Braves lineup ever go into a game with a cohesive plan to work the count and make a starter labor? Lack of offensive game plan was one of my favorite things to blame on TP, but that was probably unfair. I just don’t think the Braves have enough of those type hitters. The Red Sox and Yankees we ain’t.

  47. I wonder how much of the adjustments Hanson made on his delivery to keep runners close this spring is playing a part in his velocity.

    I’d trade a stolen base now and then for dominant Tommy.

  48. Someone explain Matt Young…I don’t get it. We’ll be longing for the good old days with Melky soon enough.

  49. So the Brewers are going to turn the Folk Hero around an let him hit from his good side?

    Fredi, don’t burn Henski here!

  50. Uggla is a serious defensive downgrade, but I don’t care. We need bats and his will be key this year.

  51. @60,

    I was being facetious in that a number of people last year were calling for Hanson to be traded when he was struggling.

  52. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer somebody covering first on a bunt attempt. I can’t put all the blame on Moylan, it should be first and second one out right now.

  53. Defense doesn’t matter if you only score two runs a game. Still desperately need a legitimate outfield bat. But we needed one last year, and the year before, etc.

  54. Jonny Venters should never under any circumstances be intentionally walking Yuniesky.

  55. Pretty encouraging use of Venters there from Fredi. Seeems mighty progressive, but I guess since he’s not the (de facto) closer, it’s somewhat easier to use him in a non-save situation, PR-wise anyway.

  56. Hop commiseration as a Milwaukee past time was actually a pretty good line from Chip.

  57. Wow, good thing we’ve got AGony “protecting” our best hitter. Heyward saw some awesome pitches in that at-bat. Sure did.

  58. Random comment:

    In that particular situation, with a runner on third and two outs and a force at 2B, the baserunner shouldn’t slide. They should run through the bag because even if they’re later tagged out, the runner going from 3rd could get there before the tag is applied and hence score, whereas if the player is forced out (rather than tagged), the runner cannot possibly score.

    As is, that was a really close play.

  59. Our bottom of the lineup is a deep black hole at the moment until Freddie finally starts hitting.

  60. Damn. Had a couple hard-hit balls today, just right at ’em. Actually, I think those were the only hard-hit balls the Braves had….

  61. Sigh… Braves. Well, if this is the low point of the season, that would be awesome, right?

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