Braves 2, Brewers 1

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 05, 2011 – ESPN.

Sweep! The Braves got another impressive performance from Brandon Beachy, who unfortunately yet again was left with a no-decision, and just enough offense. Beachy struck out seven of the first ten men he faced and wound up tying a career-high with nine over six innings. He led 1-0 after two on a solo homer by Eric Hinske, who started at first base.

The one run Beachy allowed came in the fifth. The inimitable Brandon “Hits Like Hanson, Fields Like ConradHicks committed a throwing error allowing Yuniesky Betancourt to reach. He went to third on a single and scored on a sac fly. Beachy was clearly out of gas in the sixth, allowing a walk and a single, then struggling to retire Vegetarian Fatboy before throwing a wild pitch. He got out of it thanks to a nice play at first by Hinske.

O’Flaherty pitched the seventh, as is his wont, striking out two and giving up one hit. Venters allowed a leadoff single in the eighth but finished things with a bunt single and strikeouts of Ryan Braun and Fatboy. Leading off the eighth, Martin Prado turned on one; the only question was if it was going to be fair. It was, and the Braves led 2-1. Kimbrel, looking much better, sailed through the ninth, striking out the first two with ease then getting a groundout to end it.

The Braves had three doubles (two by Prado and one by Chipper) but just couldn’t put two hits together. It didn’t help that the only walks they drew were intentional to McCann, and that Uggla couldn’t make them pay.

73 thoughts on “Braves 2, Brewers 1”

  1. Chipper had the two doubles – tying Roberto Alomar on the all time switch hitter doubles list.

  2. There is no way on earth I would have thought Beachy would be this good. This is unreal.

  3. Awesome. I hope the team is turning the corner, because they look like a completely different team. The lack of runs tonight had to do with the pitcher throwing a great game with some help from the ump.

  4. Yeah, Beachy has been quite amazing. Even though he did labour a little at the end giving up only 4 hits and 1 walk over 6 innings is pretty good.

  5. Beachy, because he isn’t racking up W’s probably won’t get ROY consideration. Kimbrel, on the other hand, has to be frontrunner on this young season.

  6. It’s funny how Beachy and Medlen are similar in a way that both of them have endurance issue. It’s amazing…with all the starting pitcher talents that we have, Medlen may never have a chance to be a starting pitcher again.

  7. I really wonder about Medlen. I like him a lot, but I wonder if he hasn’t been passed by. His promise exceeds his trade value, I’d have to think. But middle relief seems to sell him short, so I have no idea what they’ll do with him.

  8. @11 Setup man for Kimbrel. I imagine he will handle the seventh inning. I think this season will be the last season Moylan will be with us.

  9. Vizcaino pitched tonight, but only threw 1 inning. He might not make it as a starter.

  10. “O’Flaherty pitched the seventh, as is his wont,”

    Mac nails the recap again, as is HIS wont :-)

  11. Wow, Beachy can deal it. Such a simple motion and delivery. What a joy to watch.

    Gotta say, I did like the AAG and Freddie defensive replacement moves from Fredi. Devil his due, etc…

  12. In the time since Medlen was injured, Lowe helped pitch us to the postseason, Hudson has shown remarkable staying power, Jurrjens has come back from injury as good as ever, and Beachy has emerged from nowhere. Hanson is doing his thing, Minor and Teheran are getting ready, and Delgado’s not too far behind. Medlen had some awful timing.

  13. Really nice performance tonight. Felt like Beachy wasn’t getting the same calls that Marcom was, but Beachy made it work. Regarding the throwing error, it was as much Hinske as Hicks. Freeman makes that play 9/10 times, and Alex Gonzalez makes that throw 1/10 times, so I put the blame about equally on the two defenders. Still, when Hinske’s hitting homers and Hicks is, well, not, it’s easier to forging Hinske.

  14. I would love to see the Braves employ a bench of Hinske, Ross, Conrad, Ed Lucas, and who ever the 3rd best catcher is on the 40-man roster.

    Lucas isn’t hitting much right now, but he couldn’t be any worse that Hicks. He can backup SS and CF on occasion, and at the very least, he can draw more than his fair share of walks.

    Let Mather go, and you now have the best bat on the bench getting meaningful pinch hit opportunities. No Mather, less Conrad, more Ross… all good things. And of course, you have the backup catcher security net to help Fredi sleep better at night.

  15. It would be nice if some folks would start hitting. Given the tone here, help me recall. Was Fredi Gonzalez part of the whipping boy competition?

  16. 5.5 runs per game over the last two weeks, with no one or two players carrying us. I’d call that hitting.

  17. @26

    More or less. It’s that same stupid fauxhawk you see on half the players in the league.

  18. 28 — It’s a good question. I’m also curious to know if the phanatic filled in for Charlie, would anyone notice?

  19. @ 19

    “Vizcaino may well be another Feliz.”

    Except Vizcaino has more than 2 pitches.

  20. Vizcaino may not have the body for starting, and all along I’ve been reading reports that say he will probably end up as a late inning reliever. I’ve also read that Medlen projects poorly as a starter because he too won’t hold up physically. Who knows, though?

    At this point, with Beachy pitching so well, I’d be perfectly comfortable slotting Medlen into the bullpen when he returns this season. I think he could team up with Venters, Kimbrel, and O’Flaherty to give the Braves the shut-down pen they have so far been missing.

  21. @32, if he doesn’t have the bat for center, I am pretty sure RF isn’t going to be a good career move.

  22. 2013 rotation and bullpen:
    Hanson
    Hudson
    Teheran
    Beachy
    Minor

    Kimbrel
    Venters
    O’Flaherty
    Vizcaino
    Medlen
    Abreu
    Marek

    Yup…I’ll take it.

  23. @33 – The whole too-small-to-start thing just smacks of confirmation bias. All pitchers get hurt, but when it happens to a small-bodied one, it’s because he’s small, not because he’s a pitcher. If it happens to a big tall guy, it’s because he has an inverted-W motion or some other voodoo nonsense. Injuries happen to everyone, and blame is allotted after the fact based on preconceived, unsubstantiated notions of how things work, then the cycle repeats because ex post facto “predictions” have been supposedly confirmed. So it goes. All you can do is try to get as much value as you can out of a pitcher while he’s healthy and make decisions based on the quality and variety of his pitches.

  24. @40
    Arb-eligible for the 3rd time and not “veteran-y” enough. I think he’ll be traded by then, maybe even this offseason.

  25. JJ looks like a guy whose career arc is trending upward – if he keeps this up (and he’s the right age for a pitcher to make the next big jump)I am not sure you want to move him. He “is” what you hope Teheran et al “will become”.

  26. No, I think we hope Teheran becomes Lincecum, but with velocity that sticks around. Jurrjens doesn’t strike out enough people to be really really elite.

  27. I think JJ will be traded but I don’t agree that he “doesn’t strike out enough people to be really really elite”. His k/9 for his career is 6.3.

    Greg Maddux had a career k/9 of 6.1
    Tom Glavine – 5.3

  28. Different eras. When Maddux and Glavine were as old as Jurrjens is the league’s K/9 was around 6. It was 7.4 last year.

    EDIT: not that I agree a player has to strike out a lot of batters to be elite. It helps, but there are other paths to success.

  29. For his career, Hudson’s K/9 is 6.0 and Lowe’s is 5.9, but they’re two of the more extreme sinkerballers in baseball, which helps. Lowe’s career groundball percentage is a crazy 62.8%; this year it’s just 55.4%, but that’s still awfully good. Hudson’s career GB% is 59.4%, and this year it’s 62.1%.

    Jurrjens’s career rate is 45.5%, and this year it’s 52.2%. For someone like him who isn’t an extreme sinkerballer, more strikeouts would be nice.

  30. Speaking of GB%… did anyone read the Jonny Venters article posted on fangraphs earlier today?

    His current GB% is 91.4!

  31. JJ has 3 full seasons – 1 very good, 1 excellent, 1 poor and injury plagued, and is on his way to another outstanding year, and he’s 25. I just can’t get caught up in the peripherals enough to dismiss that.

  32. I see that Jordan Schafer played right field recently in Gwinnett. Have the Braves finally given up on him as a center fielder?

    I don’t think so. He plays CF quite a lot in Gwinnett. I think it mostly means Gwinnett has a lot of CFs on their roster and rotate them through positions (and DH) a lot. Last Saturday, with Teheran starting (and thus the haul up to the suburban hinterlands to watch) the DH was their leadoff guy, little slap hitting CF type.

  33. JJ has 3 full seasons – 1 very good, 1 excellent, 1 poor and injury plagued, and is on his way to another outstanding year, and he’s 25. I just can’t get caught up in the peripherals enough to dismiss that.

    People who ceasely cite Jurrjens peripherals rather than his actual results are this decade’s version of Joe Sheehan waiting expectantly for Tom Glavine to “go Mullholland.”

  34. Agree that JJ is quite good despite any peripheral argument. The problem is we have a few options that look like they could be just as good and cost a lot less. If one or two of them pan out, don’t we trade the more expensive Jurrjens with less future team control to fill one of our other needs?

  35. If Teheran demands a position (and he certainly seems to be demanding one soon) AND you can get value in return for Jurrjens, you make the cost-efficient move. With that said, the idea that Mike Minor is a better option for the 2013 rotation than either Jurrjens or Medlen is a bit of a stretch.

  36. @56
    If the difference in salary is 8-9 million dollars and a good trading partner, then it isnt a stretch at all.

  37. From the Bowman article about Heyward’s agency switch:

    “Heyward had been affiliated with CSE since the Braves took him with the 14th overall selection in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. During this time, he formed a strong bong with Victor Menocal, who served as one of CSE’s agents before leaving the agency in early April.”

    Lowe gets a DUI and now Heyward is lighting up on off days?! This never would’ve happened under Bobby.

  38. If the difference in salary is 8-9 million dollars and a good trading partner, then it isnt a stretch at all.

    Jair Jurrjens is 25 years old, has a 40-17 record in the bigs with a career ERA+ of 121. Those numbers are skewed downward by his injury plagued 2010.

    Mike Minor is 23 years old, has a 3-3 record in the bigs with an ERA+ of 61. He has performed well in the minors, admittedly, but when he was Minor’s current age Jurrjens was posting an ERA of 2.60 over 34 starts, for an ERA+ of 159 in the majors.

    I’m not sure we have any evidence to suggest that Jurrjens isn’t $8-9 million better than Mike Minor.

  39. “The whole too-small-to-start thing just smacks of confirmation bias.”

    Maybe so, and I hope Vizcaino becomes an effective starter in the majors. Who wouldn’t? But chances are the Braves will move him to the bullpen, which is where most scouts have him pegged, and if they do, he’ll probably be fast tracked to the majors.

  40. @62
    fair enough. however, the chance of one of the plethora of prospects (delgado, hoover, minor, oberholtzer) or medlen being within a million or 2 of jurrjens value is quite possible. and, assuming that jurrjens will be a free agent the next year, why not get value in a trade to plug holes that will obviously be present in 2013?

  41. Believe me, I love Jurrjens, and I believe in him. But that’s the way that the strikeout argument goes. Thus far, he’s been succeeding despite a below-ideal strikeout rate. He has good movement and good command of all of his pitches, so that’s certainly one reason that he’s succeeded. But he’s been succeeding despite peripherals that are worse than a lot of comparable pitchers.

  42. Believe me, I love Jurrjens, and I believe in him. But that’s the way that the strikeout argument goes. Thus far, he’s been succeeding despite a below-ideal strikeout rate. He has good movement and good command of all of his pitches, so that’s certainly one reason that he’s succeeded. But he’s been succeeding despite peripherals that are worse than a lot of comparable pitchers.

    The error here is in applying the general to the specific, even when given ample evidence that the specific case does not conform to the general rule. This sort of thing is one of the cognitive roadblocks of statistically oriented analysis, and has been for quite a long time.

    The general rule that K/9 is an indicator of talent, and thus projectability, is true. The general rule must be reconsidered when a specific case generates contrary results. Outliers exist, and we have a large data set of actual results to strongly suggest that Jair Jurrjens is an outlier to the general rule.

  43. Is there a difference between fly ball pitchers and gopher ball pitchers? Grounders can go through infield more often than weak fly balls drop in. Location, location, location are the 3 rules of pitching.

  44. Tough break on Marek. Unlike Schaeffer he was not in majors when it happened. Hope he comes back in a year.

  45. @63 – I agree. It’s a shame if he gets relegated to the bullpen, but given our overcrowded rotation, it might work out for the best anyway.

  46. Just saying that Jair Jurrjens is an “outlier,” and leaving the analysis there, is intellectually void. If Jair Jurrjens doesn’t conform to one type, the groundball type, and he doesn’t conform to another type, the flamethrower type, then we have to figure out the model that does fit him best. We agree that he succeeds. But there have been thousands of pitchers in major league history. Instead of just saying, “Well, he’s unique,” I think we owe it to ourselves to try to better understand what he’s doing — and how long similar pitchers have been able to keep it up.

  47. Just saying that Jair Jurrjens is an “outlier,” and leaving the analysis there, is intellectually void. If Jair Jurrjens doesn’t conform to one type, the groundball type, and he doesn’t conform to another type, the flamethrower type, then we have to figure out the model that does fit him best.

    Well, no, we don’t. We don’t actually *have* to shove him into a “model” at all. Models are used for predictive purposes. At some point you stop running the models and start assessing actual performance.

    Jurrjens has moderately good “stuff,” good-to-excellent command, a K rate good enough to keep hitters honest and an approach intelligent enough to maximize effectiveness when healthy. His performance to date suggest that his “model” is “a right handed Tom Glavine.” Is he likely to be a HOF calibre pitcher for his entire career? No, of course not. But the fact that he consistently gets major league hitters out, over and over again, and has (when healthy) for five years now, suggests that the need for a “model” to assign him to is overthinking the problem.

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