231 thoughts on “Sleep game thread: April 19, Braves at Dodgers”

  1. I made a prediction over at Talking Chop yesterday afternoon that McLouth wouldn’t bat 2nd. I should have made a better prediction, like this one…

    We’re going to take the next 2 and the offense is going to frickin’ explode.

  2. I don’t see much evidence that aggression is our problem.

    Walks don’t really seem to be the issue. We’re on the low end, but reasonably close to the league average. More would be better, but I don’t see enough here to pin our offensive woes on too few walks.

    Our problem is that we have 6 of our 8 regular position players hitting .250 or below. Our team average is .229. Unless everyone is drawing walks like Heyward, of which we know everyone is not capable, that’s obviously not going to cut it.

    We’re right in the middle on strikeouts, too, so contact doesn’t seem to be a problem, either. It’s what we’re hitting that is the issue. We have the highest ground ball % of both leagues, and the third lowest line-drives. We have the worst BABIP in the NL.

    Simply put, we’re not getting good wood on the ball. Why? That’s another question, I guess, but it doesn’t look to me that impatience is a sufficient explanation for why we jave no production and so many poorly hit balls.

  3. When is the Nate McLouth experiment over? He’s struck out 12 times to only 3 walks. Caught Stealing twice to only 1 stolen base. .295 OBP, no homers, no triples. A measly .321 SLG. he’s been bad for over 2 years – pls spare us the agony

  4. @4

    I would think a high amount of ground balls means we are swinging at a lot of balls outside of the zone, thus being too aggressive and not working the count to get a good pitch.

  5. With the late game tonight, I’m passing the time watching Indians/Royals. Jeff Francour ended the last inning stranding runners on 2nd and 3rd with a weak grounder to the pitcher. Bruce Chen is pitching. He just gave up consecutive fly balls to Frenchy and Melky.

    This is weird.

    Edit: HAH! Brayan Pena just stepped up to the plate!

  6. We just need Prado and Uggla to heat up and the offense will be fine again. At the minimum, Prado should start draw walks to at least be on base more often.

    Nate is Nate.

  7. I hate to say it, but the Phillies are going to run away with this division. Matter of fact, I threw up when I said it, but the point stands.

  8. Chief Nocahoma fills a recently vacant niche at bravesjournal. Since Gadfly, Coach and the like are gone, and Robert is taking the year off, the role of pessimistic contrarian must be filled to keep the comments vital during hard times. For your services, Chief, I thank you.

  9. Beachy’s kind of been Kyle Davies-ish his last two starts. Hopefully he puts that rest tonight.

  10. OK, I totally want a Fernando Venezuela fleece blanket. And I would absolutely, without a doubt, buy a ticket for a Phil Niekro fleece blanket night at the Ted.

  11. There’s no doubt in my mind that Chip wanted to say Heyward was safe because Loney touched the base w/his bare hand.

  12. @18

    Im only going if it is a Rafael Belliard hitting a home run or Otis Nixon spiking that pitcher in the chest or doing some blow.

  13. @22 Fortunately, I think technology will make your vision a reality faster than you might think.

    Can we just get one damn run?

    Edit: Guess not.

  14. Uggla looks like vintage Andruw Jones at the plate. By vintage I mean tries to hit every curve ball out of the park.

    It is getting to the point where Uggla is going to start getting “hats for bats” and pouring drinks for Joe Boo

  15. @7 It’s certainly possible, though not the sole possible explanation. It seems odd, though, that such over aggressiveness wouldn’t show more apparently in strikeout totals, given how dramatically bad is our BABIP.

  16. Beachy might be the new Hanson. 93-94 on his fastball with good location, for the most part. To be clear though, Hanson is awesome and I subscribe to the theory that he’s intentionally taking something off his fastball to help with his early shaky control.

  17. Why can’t our offense be off to as good of a start as Gwinnett’s? Everyone’s getting on base over there.

  18. These Georgia Power tips are stupid.

    “Turn off you lights before you leave. Also remember breathing is important”

  19. Man, Heyward’s just looked bad lately. He’ll get it turned around soon, I’m sure, but he’s swinging at such bad pitches.

  20. At least Chipper hit the ball hard that half-inning. As with last night, I’ll be very surprised if we score more than 3 runs tonight.

  21. Nice AB Freeman

    BTW, the Angels have scored 14 runs tonight. Have we scored that many all season?

  22. Not sure if you guys talked about it yet in here or caught Chipper’s comments where he essentially blamed the starting pitchers & threw THEM under the bus for the reason our offense sucks so horribly bad.

    This is one of those times Chipper should REFRAIN FROM TALKING. Chipper, you are officially an idiot.

    I suppose tonight the offense hasn’t scored under all the pressure Beachy has placed on you with all those runs he’s given up…? Oh wait…

    I think it’s in shockingly poor taste for Chipper to go there. The starters haven’t been perfect in the last week (except Jurggjens) but considering how bad Chipper and the offense are, the pitchers must feel they have to be perfect to give us any chance. The Braves poor start this season is on this offense, plain and simple. Chipper should back off.

  23. By the way, maybe Chipper will blame McOUT’s rally killing double play last inning on Beachy’s shutout. That would make sense, right Chipper?

  24. Adam,

    Agreed and Beachy tonight has looked great…but again, it’s gotta be his fault we can’t hit the damn ball. Like I said, Chipper = idiot.

  25. @65

    I didn’t read it that way at all. I think you’re misrepresenting his statement, as he described the offense as “struggling.” It’s just a fact that immediately giving up a bunch of runs is not good when your offense is sucking. Saying that is not throwing pitchers under the bus. Also, Chipper hasn’t been bad at all.

    For those who want the actual statement and not someone else’s (mis)representation, here’s Chipper (not throwing pitchers under the bus in bold):


    “I think our problem right now is we’re having problems getting through the first inning,” Jones said. “We’re down two or three to nothing in the first, and when you’ve got an offense that’s struggling, that’s like eight or 10 [runs].”

    Braves pitchers have the league’s third-highest first-inning opponents’ average (.284), after leading the NL last season (.224).

    “It’s just one of those things where our starting pitching is not doing badly, it’s just not getting off to good starts” early in games, Jones said. “The offense really hasn’t clicked at all yet. And [with the first-inning deficits] it’s like ‘here we go again’.”

  26. Uber kudos to Beachy for bouncing back so well.

    If 6 innings of scoreless pitching from your pitcher isn’t enough o “loosen” you up, Chipper, what is?

    Next Chipper will say that the pressure of getting a run when the pitcher was doing so well threw the offense off.

  27. I think Chipper already knows this offense is sucking it up. Hell being down 1 run feels like too much for these guys.


  28. I doubt that Chipper would give a quote to the AJC that would take anybody in the clubhouse by surprise. He’s known as pretty outspoken, and if he’s frustrated about early deficits, I’m betting that everyone on the team is — including the pitchers.

    Of course, as Alex says, it’s a curious complaint – the problem isn’t that the team gives up early runs, it’s that the offense has been miserable. (Which Chipper admits, but doesn’t dwell on.) So, I don’t read it as him throwing the pitching staff under the bus, exactly — but it’s not the sign of a happy clubhouse. Then again, with a losing record, you wouldn’t want them to be happy.

  29. 74 – I agree that that’s not too bad, but seriously, the conversation should be about how the team’s horrible hitting is overshadowing its excellent run prevention. There shouldn’t be a mention of pitchers’ struggles. They’re gonna give up some runs early–remember when Glavine gave up his runs? He still won 300 games. And that’s because he didn’t have this shit offense.

  30. PRADO! Ok Heyward, maybe at least hit your groundball to short. You know, build on the momentum.

    Edit: That was basically the equivalent.

  31. @74

    Ummm, no, he’s clearly putting the onus on the starting pitchers and I read the same article so thanks for providing the link – I stand by my comments 100%

    “When you’re struggling offensively, you put a lot of pressure on yourself to begin with. And when you’re down 3-nothing in the first inning, it tightens guys up even more.”

    That quote is pretty clearcut. (and along with his “here we go again” remark…nasty little comment).

    The starting pitching has been great. Guess what, our starters aren’t going to be perfect every inning or even every first inning. But they’ve been amongst the best in baseball.

    What Chipper should be saying: “The offense stinks, we’re horrible. We can’t hit our way out of a paper bag. Maybe my dad will come to the park and help me hit or else I should retire now”.

    Sorry, Chipper’s comments angered me. No matter what, I’d rather see the Braves stick together but for the voice of the part of our team thats killing us to blame the part of our team that’s doing their job, is ludicrous.

  32. @88 Alex

    When he starts consistently getting on base (not just hits, but walks too), we can stop bitching.

  33. Okay. I’m going to start calling him “Uggly” until he does something that isn’t at the plate.

  34. Have there been any home runs, other than that Heyward 3-run bomb in Milwaukee, that have not been solo shots? I can’t remember any others, but I’m not sure.

  35. 94 – Agreed, if Prado hits .500 the rest of the way–or hell, even .400–I will not mention his BB totals, or walk rate, or inability to see more pitches per plate appearance than Jeff Francoeur.

  36. BAbip. It sounds like such a weak excuse for a struggling offense, but it’s really a big part of the problem right now. Pure, unadulterated bad luck on balls in play.

  37. I seriously doubt Chipper just called up the AJC and said “I have a statement.” They probably asked him a question about the early deficits and he gave an honest (and accurate) answer. Think before calling someone an idiot, and if you’re going to do so, at least don’t lie about their performance in the process.

  38. I like seeing Beachy back out for the 6th. His fastball was still sitting around 93 in the 5th and his k-rate has been accelerating. Ride him a little longer and keep Sherril on the bench.

  39. But yeah, bad strike zone tonight. That was a beautiful strike, but that’s the first time tonight it would have been called.

  40. Yeah, allofasudden the ump is giving him the corner. Not that I’m complaining….

    ETA: By FAR Beachy’s quickest inning of the night. Whoda thunk.

  41. i’m in LA for work right now, and i have to say, Vin Scully calls a helluva ballgame. really enjoyable.

  42. Bobby would have pulled Beachy, but his stuff looked sharp in the 5th and Freddi was proven right to bring Beachy out for one more inning in the 6th…that was arguably his sharpest inning. I think that was a good call by Freddi.

  43. Can’t complain about Beachy’s performance tonight. Great job, especially after throwing a lot of pitches early.

  44. Tom O.,

    Vin Scully is like a Rolls Royce while Chip Carey is like a Ford Focus with a bad engine and smashed out windows. Listening to Vin on my MLB.com broadcast has been an absolute delight. What a treat, even as an opposing fan.

  45. So…Beachy in the 7th? Dusty Baker wouldn’t think twice about it. I guess this is Fredi’s big chance to prove whether he’s more Bakerial or Coxian.

  46. I dont think I’ve ever heard so many boos at dodger stadium. Is it just the mikes that SS is using?

  47. Adam,

    I don’t know how Vin gets his stories and frankly, I don’t even care if he makes half of them up. That’s arguably the best voice in sports to listen do. Dodger fans are lucky to have him. And though not saying Ernie Sr. was quite as good, but listening to Vin really makes me reminisce about Ernie Johnson Sr. from my childhood.

  48. Vin,

    “Growing up in San Diego, Brooks had posters of Tony Gwynn”.

    If he could just HIT like Tony Gwynn…

  49. #138

    Pinch hitters being 1 for 26 is the fault of our starting pitchers. They’re putting too much pressure on them with their shutouts through 6 innings.

  50. Yay! Prado gets on and Heyward, despite his batting order spot, comes up with the bases juiced.

  51. Damn. I thought the catcher had a play at 2B too.

    EDIT: sigh. alright, heading to bed. Hopefully they can hold the lead. The hits will start to fall, and eventually they will fall with RISP to boot.

  52. First pitch pop up by Chipper.

    I think I am even more justified in telling Chipper to stop talking. Period. Ugh.

  53. Chipper deliberately missed that ball to make a pitcher look bad. What an asshole! Oh wait…

  54. Hey Fredi, don’t rush to get Linebrink out of there or anything. And can someone explain WHY Linebrink is our 7th inning pitcher in a tight game?

  55. Ugg. Linebrink was looking good. FB velocity in the right spot, pitches down… Then once there were base runners on, he couldn’t locate at all. Yuck.

  56. Grst, you make a snide comment back to defend Chipper’s D (which was excellent on that play) but what about the first pitch pathetic pop up the inning before that would have extended our lead? Are you going to ignore that?

  57. If you can’t add on with the bases loaded and one out, you will get beat in close games, especially with Scott Linebrink on the mound.

  58. The sliders were nasty, but Thames’ flailery was a big part of that. Still, whewww! And as a bonus, we get to see Kimbrel make people look intimidated and silly in a meaningful situation!

  59. Impressive that he pitched so well even getting squeezed and with his control on the fritz.

  60. Venters is something else. He looked like Steve Carlton against Thames, who is one of the game’s better lefty-mashers.

    I’ll assume that’s the first time Thames ever saw him because he looked hopeless.

    Hey…. how ’bout them pinch-hitters tonight! Breakout city.

  61. 2-2, 3 RBI. Not a bad night of pinch-hitting for Hinske. And the way the Dodgers’ pen is pitching, it might not be over…

    Ah, I jinxed us. Sorry.

  62. Congratulations to Brandon Beachy on his 1st ML win.

    I picked a good night to stay up and watch the whole game.

  63. Normally I would be like, ‘save some for tomorrow’, but tonight, screw it, we need to the lineup to feel good and get it going.

    That HR by Hinske may be where we look back and say, ‘hey, season got going right here’

  64. Bonjour! Early morning in Cannes…waking up and watching an eight run inning. Gonna be a great day!

  65. That was another terrific play by Gonzalez.

    Bonjour, Timo. South of France is a beautiful place, especially when it’s 10-1.

  66. Freddie has had a couple of huge picks tonight. Defensive 1B are not exactly the most valuable asset in the world, but it’s still nice

  67. big night for Alex Gonzalez too. that win had to feel good for these guys. felt damn good for me.

  68. 206- Last July 24th at Florida, the Braves scored 8 in the 8th to win 10-5. The big blow was Conrad’s second grand slam of the year.

  69. Bonjour ububba… south of France was even a good place last night after yesterday’s 2-4 loss ;-)

  70. 8-run innings are always welcome. This one was worth staying up for. Last night…not so much.

  71. Beautiful. Walks are back. Now we just need Jason to heat up and the offense will be awesome. Nate can stay in the eighth spot.

  72. 114,
    When a pitcher is tired you usually don’t see his stuff deteriorate, it’s his control/command that goes out the window.

  73. Happy for Beachy on his first win tonight. Nice to see an actual big inning with the bats. I wouldn’t mind if next time there’s a lead in the seventh while Moylan is on the DL, that The Lisp gets a shot first instead of Linebrink. While Peter’s out, I’d like to see if The Lisp or Luis Valdez could get some outs in the 6th/7th with a lead, because it’s apparent that Linebrink can’t.

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