Braves 6, Brewers 2

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 02, 2011 – ESPN.

More strong pitching from Jair Jurrjens, and more offensive heroics by Alex Gonzalez — seriously — and the Braves got off the mat and won in come-from-behind fashion. Go figure.

The Braves took the lead in the third, on a David Ross homer, but it didn’t last long. Jurrjens allowed a couple of singles in the fourth, then McLouth botched a fly ball into a two-run, two-out triple to give the Brewers the lead. Given Hibernation Mode, you couldn’t be too optimistic.

But in the sixth, Chipper led off with a walk. Uggla singled, and Freeman walked to load the bases. Gonzalez’s double cleared them to give the Braves the lead. McLouth made up for it a little with a single to score AAG and make it 5-2. The Braves had another bases-loaded situation in the seventh, but got only one run out of it, a sac fly by Freeman, to make it 6-2.

Jurrjens was pulled after a couple of infield singles in the eighth; Eric O’Flaherty got Vegetarian Fatboy to ground out to end that threat. Jurrjens finished with seven hits allowed, four strikeouts, and no walks. Craig Kimbrel got back on the horse pitching the ninth in a non-save situation, allowing a walk but striking out two.

119 thoughts on “Braves 6, Brewers 2”

  1. Since the start of the road trip: 7-10, 8-10, 8-11, 8-12, 9-12, 10-12, 11-12, 11-13, 12-13, 13-13, 13-14, 13-15, 14-15, 15-15.

    We’re inching towards Ocelot territory!

  2. At the end of April last year we were 9-14. I wasn’t being talked down from the ledge then, and I’m definitely not now.

    If football coaches get more than a year to be evaluated, why is our manager barely getting a month?

  3. 12th in OPS and 3rd in era. That basically makes us an average ballclub, hence the 15-15 record.

  4. And once again I bring up the point: Fredi should start working Ross a bit at 1st.

  5. I think the OPS will get much better, hopefully the ERA will stay at its current level. This team should be better than .500 if our manager can stay out of the way.

  6. After he retires early due to being out of shape, Fielder needs to go low-carb or primal, if he doesn’t want to die prematurely. Vegetarianism isn’t actually healthy. And Fielder looks like he pursues a very doughy, sugary vegetarianism.

  7. @5
    Concerning OPS…
    I think you’re right. Looking at the numbers, Ross is the only player overperforming and Chipper and Alex look to be the only other players putting up what’s expected of them. The other 6 position players are underperforming as is our pitchers. 2-0 in May thus far.

  8. Didn’t Vegetarian Fatboy once opens for the Ramones, back in the day?

  9. May batting stats:
    18/62 8bb 3 doubles 2HR 11rbi .802OPS

    That sounds about right…

  10. 2—Well, as I’ve said, I’m surprised that I’ve been able to form an opinion so quickly, but I don’t think the football-coach comparison is a good one. Football coaches are typically installing new offensive or defensive schemes, so it makes sense that there will be an adjustment period, as new personnel has to be brought in over time, and/or the current guys need to learn the new ways.

    There aren’t — or at least, shouldn’t be — new managerial schemes. The manager just manages, and we have a pretty good sense of what good managing looks like. The new hitting coach has some effect, although how much is anyone’s guess. It’s pretty easy to evaluate a manager’s tactical acumen, though. Fredi keeps using the wrong reliever, or using the wrong pinch-hitter, or bunting way too much, or sending runners who keep getting thrown out, or publicly throwing his rookie first baseman under the bus, etc.

    He’s been pretty awful, so far.

  11. Yeah, being at .500 with 75% of the offense under-performing and plenty of regression to be expected – that’s reason for optimism. Some of the pitching is due for regression too, but just back to really good from otherwordly. Starting pitching’s ERA/FIP/xFIP/BAbip/LOB%:

    Jurrjens 1.52/2.70/3.50/.264/87.4 %
    Hanson 2.57/2.71/3.02/.277/77.4 %
    Hudson 3.48/2.97/3.71/.275/66.5 %
    Lowe 3.72/2.74/2.98/.339/73.7 %
    Beachy 3.47/3.41/3.60/.237/74.1 %

    So Jurrjens is really likely to take a tumble with a low BAbip and LOB%, and Beachy’s going to give up more crappy little singles than he has been, but Hanson looks like he could get a vote for 3rd place on somebody’s Cy Young ballot, and Hudson and (especially) Lowe look due for some better luck. If the offense got back to just average in the league, the team could play .550 (88 wins) for the rest of the year. Surely the offense is better than that.

  12. I’m enjoying a bit that Arizona is now experiencing the “other” side of Kelly Johnson.

    @11 – We always say that about Jurrjens, but his career BABIP is .282 and he’s pushing 100 career starts. At some point, I think you have to start crediting the pitcher.

  13. No clue, but he’s got a .402 wOBA at 117 PA’s and counting. If he keeps it up, we’ll all start to be bombarded with critic silencing.

    Don’t get it. His BB and K rates are identical to last year, but his iso has more than doubled. I’d love to cry Canseco on him, but he looks almost scrawny compared to past seasons.

    I can just see Dayton signing him to a five year extension in two weeks if he can hold on until then.

  14. I mean, Jurrjens isn’t gonna keep up a 2.00 ERA all year, but he’s looking a lot like the guy he was in 2008-2009. I fully believe that’s the pitcher he is when healthy.

    We don’t need Doumit. We have two great catchers, and he’s a lot more ordinary offensively anywhere else on the field.

  15. I don’t mind the idea of Doumit but – he’s expensive, his hitting has declined pretty sharply, he’s expensive, and I am not sure he would be fond of the idea of being 3rd catcher/5th OF and bench bat. He’s not much of a lefty masher either – 258/.323/.378 lifetime.

    2011 $5,100,000
    2012 *$7,250,000 $7.25M Team Option
    2013 *$8,250,000 $8.25M Team Option, $500k Buyout

    2012 & 2013 options must be executed after 2011 season

  16. @13 – Agreed. I don’t think he sucks or anything – if his strand rate comes back to earth a little and his BAbip reverts to .280, he’ll still be really good. Just not 1.52 ERA good, especially with 5k/9 like he’s doing so far this year. The point was that the pitching isn’t going to get much worse barring extended DL trips for more than half the rotation.

  17. I know he is going to be a starter, but with Moylan out, wouldn’t you have to consider bringing Julio Teheran up? Who would you rather have in the game Teheran or Linebrink?

  18. Stephen Marek has surely got to be the first option out of the minors for right-handed relief. There’s also the Juan Abreu kid, and Asencio was better than Linebrink when he was up too. Teheran’s got too much future value to mess around with him in the name of 6/7th inning relief help right now.

  19. What was JJ’s pitch count when he was pulled? Should he have started the 8th?

  20. Fredi would cure a lot of ills by just stopping his overmanaging. He’s been bunting way too much and trying to steal bases when we suck horribly at it, and the bases-loaded squeeze play with 2 strikes was a legendarily moronic play. Giving away outs and running out of innings has not helped the offensive cause.

    I’ve been mostly okay with his pitching staff management. I don’t think he’s overused Venters or Kimbrel. It’s not his fault that all of the right-handed relievers other than Kimbrel and maybe Gearrin suck.

  21. To be fair to McLouth, it was a tough play. Yuniesky hit the ball really hard. Which was true of a lot of balls Jurrjens let in play last night. The defense behind him played really, REALLY well.

    Wasn’t infield defense supposed to be the weakness of the club going into the year? They’ve been phenomenal, especially up the middle. And Freeman has been making those stretches and digs at 1B that always piss me off when I see the other team’s 1B making them. Let’s keep that up!

  22. @22- When’s the Super 2 date? Honestly, if you could spin JJ right now for a legit SS or CF prospect, you do it. Minor is more than ready and, barring a setback, Teheran will be by the AS break

    Maybe Jurrjens and Marek to the Orioles for Manny Machado and Felix Pie?

  23. Keith Law on Teheran (and Fredi)

    6. Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta: Five starts so far with a 1.80 ERA, 25 whiffs, and 8 walks in 30 innings, although he’s been particularly good in his three most recent outings (19 strikeouts, 2 walks, 20.1 innings), increasing his strikes/pitches ratio to just a shade under 70 percent. His big league arrival is more a question of Atlanta’s other rotation options, as they’re quite deep in the rotation and could really use a centerfielder who gets on base or a manager who can set a logical lineup

    Aaron Hicks might be another guy worth targeting w/Minnesota’s pitching struggles and his slow start.

  24. 20—I’m thinking we could probably afford the 2011 dollars, and he’s not supposed to be a lefty-masher, since he hits left-handed. To me, he’d replace Conrad perfectly — more defensive value, and you replace Brooks’ switch-hitting with situational use of Ross/Doumit.

  25. I am fine with what we are getting from AAG right now. Uggla may be starting to hit. The most logical place to upgrade is center and there are not a lot of CF we can get right now.

  26. @32, Doumit is a switch hitter. His line against righties is better, but not great – .270/.334/.456. I got no prob with him, but he costs 5.5M for this year plus a buyout.

  27. 34—Oh, I see that he is. My bad. Of course, in my imagined scenario, he’s rarely batting right-handed.

    Really, I’m just desperate for any sort of bench upgrade. I feel like the bullpen issues can be worked out internally — whether they will be may be another matter… — but we’re going to have to get bench bats from somewhere else. Hicks, Mather, and Conrad — just wow.

  28. I like the idea of Ross as our bench upgrade. If we can free him up by replacing one of the low-end bench guys with a “third catcher”, by all means do it.
    ———-

    Really feel that now is the time to consummate a trade involving either JJ, Hanson or Lowe. We’re swelling with excellent recent performance, getting closer and closer to eclipsing our most fullsome expectations, not sure how much longer we can keep this up …

    Uh, yeah, it’s been a little while.

    Still, I do think it’s the right time to pull of a good (emphasis on GOOD) trade.
    ———–

    Well, well. Max Johnson actually earned some of his money last night.

    Anybody else think we should have maybe played Jeff Teague a little more this year? Nice job, kid.

  29. Just watched last night’s condensed game. What a night both Ross, who got robbed of a double as well, and Alex Gonzalez had. Looks like his defense is even better than last year. Seems like one to two highlight plays every night. Nice.

  30. McLouth’s OBP is .350 right now. Which is absolutely fine. If you want to take issue with Nate’s production at the plate this year, you can criticize his (lack of) power, but not him getting on base.

  31. If we get a third catcher, he will have to be able to play another possition other than just catcher.

    We need an Eli Morrero type.

  32. #30

    no way in hell the Angels trade Trout. No. Way. Whatsoever. I know it was probably a bit tongue in cheek, but still. #28, did you ACTUALLY just propose the Orioles trade Machado? WOW. Just stop. That’s like us trading Heyward 3 years ago for RYAN DEMPSTER (who was pretty much JJ 3 years ago). I COULD see a Desmond Jennings deal, but the Rays need hitting more than we do. Could the Rays be tempted to do a Delgado for Jennings deal? I could see that.

  33. 40—Doumit plays the outfield, too.

    41—Your proposal is almost as ridiculous as the ones you’re mocking. The last thing the Rays need is young starting pitching.

  34. @43, yeah, that’s what made me think of him, plus the Pirates had been wanting to move him.

    I really think being able to use Ross as a PH would solve a lot of the bench issues

  35. Why would the Rays trade Jennings for Delgado? They may well have more starting pitching prospects than the Braves.

  36. @41- You’re overvaluing prospects. Manny Machado is in A ball right now. Kicking ass, but in A ball. JJ has almost ten WAR for his career, is still cost controlled for more than two and a half seasons, and is pitching as well as anyone in the league right now.

    The Orioles signed a bunch of one year guys with the hope to compete this season. The back end of their rotation sucks and they are even considering devolving to Kevin Millwood. If they think they can make a run at it, JJ has immense value, and Machado won’t contribute this year.

    It happens all the time. Santana for Blake, Renteria for Jurrjens, Renteria for Marte, etc, etc. I don’t know how the Orioles think, but that’s the type of return I would expect for JJ.

  37. @46 – Vasquez for Vizcaino and Dunn (Melky counts as negative value) too. A healthy, starting Vizcaino should be a top 50 prospect in the game, and we got him for an old starter with a one year contract. Jurrjens has a lot of value to the right club (specifically a club that would inordinately weight a 1.50 ERA), and Baltimore seems just gullible enough to give up something good for him.

  38. Career OPS+, Atlanta Braves history:

    1) Aaron (ATL years only) – 160
    2) Carty (!) – 143
    3) Chipper – 142
    4) Ross – 139
    5) Lonnie Smith (!!) – 131

  39. @46, I like you point, but I think the O’s knew they were not going to compete this year and brought in some vets to put around the youg guys in an effort for them to learn. They then can move the vlads of the world in hopes of getting something in return.

    I am not sure they are in the dealing prospects/ young MLB cost efficent guys just yet.

  40. Oops, some of Carty’s numbers were compiled w/Milwaukee. New list:

    1) Aaron, 160
    2) Chipper, 142
    3) Carty, 140
    4) Ross, 139
    5) Smith, 131

  41. Yunel: .267 AVG, .321 OBP, .397 SLG, .759 OPS, 2 HR
    AAG: .241 AVG, .280 OBP, .420 SLG, .699 OPS, 4 HR

    Defense and all other things (clubhouse issues) considered: Fair trade now?

  42. What’s the weather looking like in Atlanta? We were hoping to catch tonight’s game on our way back home from Florida, but it’s been raining almost the entire time, and I fear at this point we may just be making a long, unnecessary detour. (We’re about an hour from the Ted and it is still raining pretty good.)

  43. How did you get these results, Sansho1?

    I tried using B-R’s pi index, and it returns different results
    http://tinyurl.com/63f5yyr (yay tinyurl!)
    I can’t see the top 10 because I’m not a subscriber, but obviously there other players coming before Ross, or maybe you used different criteria. It’s probably the PA number, but anything higher than 320 excludes Ross.

  44. Thanks, spike. Though I’m still a little worried, cuz we keep getting closer and it just keeps raining.

  45. The issue with the AAG / Yunel trade wasn’t just what they would do in 2010, or in 2011.

    A big part was that AAG would be gone after 2011, and Yunel had years of control remaining.

    But yeah, I’m not unhappy about the trade and never was. I understood then, and I’m content with a defense-only SS if he’s making plays like AAG does.

    But then again, I don’t stalk outside AAG’s home with a machete and a bottle of ether like downeasterjc does.

  46. AAG isn’t getting on base, but of course that’s not his game. He’s playing Gold Glove defense and he’s slugging .420, one of only three regulars on the team above .400. He’s been a lot better than his keystone partner, or his former keystone partner, in every phase of the game.

  47. I never thought I’d see a day when AAG was praised here. Count me as one who’s very happy with how he’s played this year.

  48. Yunel has been a slightly better hitter this year, but Gonzalez has in all likelihood been even better with the glove. To be sure, I’d prefer it if Escobar was under team control next season, but (1) I didn’t have to play with him and (2) his absence won’t be the difference between winning and losing this season.

  49. I will not slag on AAGs’ play, but I will wait for a few more data points before getting on the bandwagon.

  50. Nasa, it was a 4-step process:

    1) Take the existing Braves team leaderboard
    2) Ignore all pre-Atlanta results
    3) Add Ross while ignoring all other players who didn’t reach B-R’s PA requirement
    4) Leaving off Justice for no reason

    Ta-daa! OK, your solution is more elegant and more correct. But if we say there’s an arbitrary 3-season minimum, Ross is #4.

    (FYI the list you generated is Aaron, Drew, Sheffield, Teixeira, Chipper, Galarraga, Carty, Ross, Torre, Justice)

  51. Remember that super-cheap extension Ross signed? I’m sure glad he likes it here, because I think he could’ve gotten a lot more on the open market.

  52. I think most were a little surprised by Ross’ contract at the time too and most thinking that he liked Atlanta and didn’t necessarily want to play every day.

  53. There’s already a “In My Own Words: Fredi Gonzalez”? Never want to see that.

  54. @41
    Do you think the Angels would trade Trout for Hanson?

    Do you think the Braves would pull the trigger on that deal?

    I haven’t followed the Angels that closely over the years, but it seems like they’re generally a “Win Now” type of team. Adding Hanson to Haren and Weaver makes them formidable WS contenders.

  55. It just occurred to me that Mike Bibby may well get a championship ring. That prospect severely annoys me.

  56. I hope not — two months ago I put $20 on OKC to win it all at 20-1. Was loving it before the first Memphis game….

  57. Joey, when it comes to labor wars between the millionaires and the billionaires, I’ll hold my nose and root for the millionaires, but I’d say that the extensions were awesome for the fans of the team too.

    Bobby never seemed too bright, either. And he probably wasn’t exactly an A student. Obviously, comparing a dumb manager to Bobby Cox is like comparing a lefty with no fastball to Tom Glavine, but as long as Fredi’s players respect him, he’ll do what he needs to do. If he loses their respect, all the book larnin’ in the world won’t do him good.

  58. I thought Mikan was a robot.

    #75
    Yup.

    Example: Charlie “I Done Growed Up” Manuel.

    Nobody’s exactly clamoring to see his sheepskin.

  59. All I have is a blank screen. Does anyone with more knowledge have an ETA on first pitch?

  60. They’re showing the Phils-Nats game on the jumbotron at the stadium, so not only do I not get to see the Braves, I have to watch the Phillies beat the Nationals. It just started raining harder again, and at this point I’m expecting a DH tomorrow, though that’s just my uneducated guess. Anybody know how long they will wait before postponing it?

  61. Doubt it. With the off day next Monday, Hanson will have 5 days rest after his 3 days rest.

  62. The Braves could call up Minor and send down Gearrin or the Lisp if so desired, but it’s probably less likely with Marek on the DL.

  63. More unlikely event: pitcher with an ERA over nine throws a no-hitter in which he walks six and strikes out two, or Jo-Jo Reyes throws a quality start?

  64. Anytime you get a chance to pick up a 28-year-old corner outfielder with an 812 OPS in AA, you pretty much have to do it.

  65. It’s not even Derby Day and we’re reduced to accepting that we’re playing for the Wild Card.

    Man for man, the Phillies (and certainly not the Marlins) are not better than the Braves. Yet we struggle to reach .500.

    Does this franchise need the dreaded “culture change”? Too often, that leads to a decade or so of wandering in the wilderness.

    But there’s something wrong. We’re too talented to be losing this often. Anyone agree with that? If so, got any ideas for fixin’ it?

  66. As the percentage of state funding of public universities creeps ever closer to zero, is Clemson the next Vanderbilt?

    What (he asks on this rained-out night) would be the pros and cons of going private for, say, Bama or UT or Kentucky or UGA or …

  67. DOB at his best:

    “Gonzalez predicted the Braves, who were 15-15 entering Tuesday night’s game, might be three or four games’ under without Gonzalez.”

  68. KC@107,

    I’m going to go with Fredi for the first and Alex for the second.

  69. Apparently our GM likes to stash mediocre LH OFs in AAA just in case all the left-handed pitchers of the world fall off tractors in tragic “right-handed world” injuries.

  70. Well Fredi is right about that. Of course, without Fredi, we would be 4-5 games over.

  71. 107 – I agree with that.

    Strangely enough this statement is also true:

    Gonzalez predicted the Braves might be 3-4 games over without Gonzalez.

  72. @104 – You know, Francoeur really is a fascinating case. I can’t say fascinated is the way I was feeling towards the end of his time with the Braves, but his career arc would make a great case study after he is done playing.

    He started out as The Natural playing for his hometown team, has looked like the worst player in baseball at times, turned down a huge extension from the Braves, and has streaks where sportswriters get all excited about him in spite of his history. He even hit into an unassisted triple play, which has only happened 15 times.

  73. Maybe. But you could also think of him as another version of Corey Patterson, the guy whose tools keep getting him second and third and fourth chances, but who will simply never put it together. He’s the outfield equivalent of a live arm with no control.

  74. I do enjoy the thought of Frenchy being the hitting equivalent of Daniel Cabrera.

  75. About to get my first look at R. Delgado and Pastornicky here in Chattanooga. Game starts at 11:15. Second game of the DH will have Oberholzer but I can’t stay for that one.

  76. Stu @ 43

    actually, Delgado’s ceiling is higher than anyone in the Rays organization outside of Hellickson. So, “ridiculous”? Machado? Trout? I even SAID that the Rays wouldn’t do it b/c they need hitters. Jesus, learn to read.

    @45

    “They may well have more starting pitching prospects than the Braves.” care to prove that outside of hyperbole?

    @46

    “overvaluing prospects?” LOL. seriously. ok. i’ll let you continue to think that.

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