Phillies 5, Braves 4

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 13, 2011 – ESPN.

I don’t know where to begin. How about with all the damned bunts that Fredi Gonzalez called tonight? Yeah, that’s a good one. Four of them. Nate McLouth, hitting second, bunted Martin Prado over three times. The morons in the booth, with supplementary bonus moron Brian Jordan, loved the whole damned thing. How do you expect to win when you keep having two-out innings?

Anyway, Brandon Beachy gave up a three-run homer to Ryan Howard in the first, then managed to leave the bases loaded. He got through the second fine, then left the game with a strained oblique. It was 3-1 then, as the Braves had scored only one run in the first after getting the first three on base, which is oh so typical.

Cristian Martinez came in for Beachy and was tremendous. he threw four perfect innings with four strikeouts, and with two on in the fifth hit a two-run double to tie the score. By all rights he should have gotten the win after Alex Gonzalez scored in the sixth on a wild pitch.

But in the seventh, after getting the first two, Cory Gearrin gave up a double to Jimmy Rollins, and then Fredi brought in Eric O’Flaherty, which was the right call for once. O’Flaherty struck out Shane “Burn In Hell” Victorino on three pitches, but the third pitch, right down the middle of the plate, was called a ball. The umpire even stuck his hand out to call it a strike, then called back Brian McCann as he was walking to the dugout, having changed his mind. Burn In Hell promptly singled home the tying run.

Joe Mather actually had two doubles on the night, but misplayed a Ryan Howard single into a double in the seventh (originally scored single and error, then changed as part of the official scorer’s plot to drive up Brave fielding percentages). Then Freddie Freeman basically decided not to play a Raul Ibanez grounder at all, allowing it to go into the outfield for the game-winning hit.

The Braves had numerous chances to score in the last three innings, but kept giving them away through the terrible bunts and general incompetence. Dan Uggla is particularly noteworthy, as his 0-5, three-strikeout performance dropped his batting average to .199 for the season. The season is no longer young, and Uggla is a problem.

169 thoughts on “Phillies 5, Braves 4”

  1. I don’t see how bringing in O’flaherty to face Victorino was the right move. Victorino has a worse split vs. RHP for his career, not to mention he is destroying Lefties so far this season.

  2. …and then Fredi brought in Eric O’Flaherty, which was the right call for once.

    Was it? In 2011:

    Victorino vs. left-handers: .382/.447/.853, 1.300 OPS

    Victorino vs. right-handers: .257/.317/.416, .733 OPS

  3. Can we get Bobby back ?? At least he would have went out there and stood up for his team and got thrown out !!!! FG just sat there like a knot on a log !!

  4. With a tired pen, a reliever up temporarily for Beachy? Asencio for a day then Proctor?

  5. Surely Beachy heads to the DL tomorrow with Proctor coming up in his place. If I know the Braves, they will wait until the day they need a spot start before they call up either Minor, Teheran or (gulp) Lopez.

  6. Proctor can’t come up until Sunday. (It’s a transaction rule.) So probably Asencio or maybe Abreu will come up tomorrow for Beachy, then he or Linestink will go down the next day.

  7. Oh. Didn’t realize that. In that case, I’d love to see Abreu. His Ks are up, his walks are down, and from what I’ve read, he’s throwing faster than ever (reaching 96).

    There’s good news on the farm as Vizcaino pitched tonight for Lynchburg and pitched well: 7IP 2h Or 6k

  8. A bunch of bad game management…but still, two key calls changed the entire game:

    The 1-1 pitch to Howard in the 1st…was a very nice strike that was not called. Howard then deposited the 2-1 pitch in the CF bleachers.

    The 1-2 pitch to Victorino in the 7th. No doubt about it. Was a strike that should’ve ended the inning. Instead, he hits the 2nd or 3rd pitch later for a RBI.

    Home plate umpiring was horribly inconsistent.

    Then again, so was Dan Uggla with man on 3rd and less than 2 out. That killed us.

  9. 12 – Very encouraging news about Vizcaino.

    Why not bat the pitcher second if all he is going to do is sacrifice when the leadoff hitter gets on?

    These f’ing bunts have got to stop.

  10. If your team is down 3-0, and your leadoff guy gets on, and then you call for a sacrifice bunt… you might be a moron.

    If you do it over and over again, and keep getting the same awful result, you might be a lunatic.

  11. Glad I did not see it…Uggla is indeed a problem and thought of seeing this kind of expensive underperformance for the next 4 and 3/4 years is hardly an inspiring prospect.

    Do we know how long Beaachy will be out?

  12. Just sad. Game No. 24553 we should have won and did not. Bases loaded in the 7th, game tied, 3-0 count and we don’t score. Then the Phillies manufacture the one run they need to win it. Very frustrating.

  13. The Uggla situation is horrible; he has a .256 OBP (!), which is beyond the pale awful when you consider his new contract. Meanwhile, Freeman has a 682 OPS at first base, and has been pretty lousy in the field to boot, and McCann has lost his power, and Heyward is hurt. That means the Braves have a good pitching staff, a bad offense, and a sub-par defense. Couple in the idiot manager and I am actually a bit relieved they’re not below 500, run differential be damned.

    At what point does reality start to set in and we realize that the Marlins–who have been great so far even without Hanley hitting well–are just better than the Braves?

  14. Melky,Frenchy,Betemit,Pena. All of our Kansas City Castoffs are better hitters than Uggla right now. Chilling.

  15. Wait, Freeman’s been “lousy in the field”? What games have you been watching?

    And FWIW, the Braves have scored the 4th most runs in the NL as of like Yesterday. So it may look like they’re struggling now (and Uggla and Freeman are both certainly struggling to hit singles), but it’s not like the offense has been BAD. Our run differential is like 2nd in the NL. Basically we’ve lost a lot of close ones. Kinda like last year.

  16. Freeman is -7 in defensive runs saved (the only defensive stat I trust). Yeah, there is some noise in this stat, but 7 runs worse that the average first baseman this early in the season is pretty bad.

  17. The fact that our run differential is so good, and our record so comparatively bad, is IMO more likely to be an enduring feature than a statistical blip.

    If we had a potted plant, a desk lamp, a random number generator, or some other inanimate object in charge of managing the team, things would eventually even out. But we have Fredi, and Fredi calls bunts.

    We’re 4-7 in one-run games, 2-5 in two-run games. Basically the only way we win is by scoring enough runs that Fredi doesn’t have to manage, as was observed in one of these threads a few weeks ago. Maybe I’m overinterpreting a 40-game sample size, but it stands to reason that when you go out of your way to do dumb things, you’re going to get bad results.

    STOP BUNTING. I think that ought to be this site’s new motto.

  18. JC, does that stat consider only batter balls fielded? In Freeman’s case, he may not be rangey, but his strength seems to be saving the other infielders errors

  19. McCann should wait to hear ‘Steerike!’ before he runs off the field next time.

  20. Looking at Fredi reminds me of the manager in “Mr. 3000.”

    Uggla will be all right.

  21. Freddie’s thus far uncanny ability to bail out the other infielders on erratic throws mitigates that -7, I’d have to think. Honestly, he’s doing about what we should have expected.

    Uggla, on the other hand, I’m now officially concerned about. Not that he can’t, or won’t, turn it around, but we’ve banked a few losses already that he was brought aboard to turn into wins.

  22. Total runs scored paints a rosier picture than the reality that is our offense. We’ve scored 3 runs or less in 18 games. 2 runs or less in 13 games. I think we’re lucky to be above .500, even though our overall differential is outstanding.

    Before the season I think we all were worried about Chipper and McOut, and the rest of the lineup looked pretty stout. Now those two are the least of my worries and the lineup looks full of holes. Definitely didn’t count on Uggla being the worst player in the NL, or Heyward being fra-gi-le. Figured that Freeman would struggle a bit but others would soften the impact as he adjusted.

    It’s still early and I think Uggla is going to hit, and when he does he’ll carry us for a month. The most concerning thing is that our manager is a dolt and doesn’t understand that there’s only two times that bunting should be considered – when you know that you need one run to win (bottom of last inning), or when the pitcher is up. Doing it any other time is just putting your team in a losing position. Getting the leadoff runner on and then immediately forfeiting and out is flat out crazy. The sad part is that the Braves’ org is full of “baseball men” that think this is the way the game should be played. We are gonna have to somehow beat the Phillies while overcoming this handicap.

  23. I was at the game and here is what I noticed:

    Victorino was out and Fredi should have argued the call like a monster. Is he ever going to argue a call? I am not sure he could manage a 7-11.

    Uggla is terrible and I would like to nominate him for whipping boy. When do we start dicussing Prado moving back to second?

    Freeman is starting to look like he might not be ready.

    This club can’t win with Fredi at the helm. He had several bad calls that he got lucky didn’t blow up in his face.

  24. Runners on 1st and 2nd with no out against Cole Hamels with a lefty at the plate and the 2 best run producers in the lineup next, in my opinion, is not a bad time to bunt. The other 3 times, yeah…stupid.

  25. Who bunts down three runs in the first??????????????????????????

    When the Lisp hit the double, in reality, he should have been hit for.

  26. There is almost no good time to give away outs. You don’t know how many runs it’ll take to win the game (until the last inning). Fredi’s bunting drastically reduces the odds of having a big inning. I don’t want to harp on this too much because I know it’s not going to change, but it’s just not the optimal strategy. Most teams have realized this already. Hell, Bobby realized it – we sacrificed a lot with the pitcher and that was about it – he played for the 3-run bomb for the most part, and when he didn’t have speed he seldom hit-and-ran or called for steals.

    We have to get the other guys out 27 times. They have to get us out 24…over the long haul that is going to lead to more losses than necessary.

  27. I dont like Mather, but can he really play 1B?
    Maybe him in LF and Prado at 1B against good lefties, because Freeman looks awful right now.

  28. @33,

    Prado need to play second and UGHLA needs to go sit next to his fellow Marlin saboteur on the bench.

  29. From Uggla hit chart at Turner Field only(and if all the bunched dots at 3rd base and pitcher were counted correctly!):

    Of 36 outs, 25 outs were by infielders, (assuming balls hit in inside a 200 feet radius were handled by infield), with only 11 outs probably caught by outfielders.

    Only 11 hits (balls that hit the ground on a fly and were possibly line drives and one of his 4 doubles) traveled 250 feet or more in the air, 7 over 300′, 3 over 350′, none over 400′. His 2 homeruns were barely over the left field fence.

    If he were playing in a 300′ softball field, he would have a total of 12 homeruns, if hit high enough to clear the fence.

    If you take his 17K’s and add his 25 infield outs, he has, in Turner Field, not gotten the ball out of the infield 42 times in 74 batting attempts.

    For someone31 yrs old, averaging 31.8 HR, 95.2 RBI with .345 OBP, .482 Slugging% and .827 OPS…
    this is not just a “slow start”.

    Shades of Andruw. I hope not.

  30. Ross is great too. That’s why he’s batting EIGHTH

    1. Martin Prado, LF
    2. Nate McLouth, CF
    3. Chipper Jones, 3B
    4. Eric Hinske, RF
    5. Dan Uggla, 2B
    6. Freddie Freeman, 1B
    7. Alex Gonzalez, SS
    8. David Ross, C

  31. I was going to write that it always seems like Uggla has 2 strikes on him, but the harsh reality is that he almost always has 3 strikes

  32. Serious question: Why McCann didn’t rest yesterday against the lefthander, instead of today against the righthander.. it makes no sense

  33. I like the “Dan is trying too hard” crap.

    On a side note. I like both teams unis today

  34. 53 – Because Ross is now Jurrjens’ personal catcher. And that means McCann will be more exposed against lefties, which is too bad. I wouldn’t hate for him to sit a couple days in a row, personally, especially if the power remains gone.

  35. Dan’s just utterly lost at the plate. He’s fouling off pitches he should be able to square up. Early on, it looked like he was hitting the ball right at people; now, it just looks like he’s lost his confidence and swing mechanics. Don pointed out that his swing looks like it’s just gotten longer. He isn’t going to be able to swing his way out of this slump. He needs to get his swing fixed.

  36. Polanco bailed Jurrjens out there–thanks Placido. You owe us a couple more.

    Hey, if there’s a no-hitter going into the later innings, how will Chip handle it? You can already hear his brain working through the possibility.

  37. Chips only mentioned that jair has retired every batter he’s faced 68 times this game. If I was god, chip caray would never get the opportunity to call a no-hitter.

  38. Is there something wrong with McLouth’s voice? How many times can we see the corner outfielders almost run him over?

  39. That’s like 3 or 4 times this year Prado and McLouth have done that. I’m left wondering if Prado just can’t hear McLouth or if he just ignores him. It’s weird, and we’re really lucky there haven’t been any dropped balls or collisions out there.

  40. I think Prado is just so competitive that sometimes he is so far in his own head that he’s not paying attention to things like that. Remember when Alex fussed at him about it?

  41. How’d that play go down? Gameday sez Jurrjens > Uggla > Freeman, so I’m confused.

  42. Jick, it was a grounder up the middle that kicked off Jurrjens’s cleat toward second base. Uggla had to reverse directions immediately, barehanded it and flung it toward Freeman, who made a nice stretch as they got the guy by a step.

  43. I guess now they need to get out of hibernation mode and tack on a couple of insurance runs

  44. Chip is already talking about winning the series. I, for one, would be extremely happy if we would win this one.

  45. Nice work by Uggla to get the walk, and great job by him hustling to get to second… he might have been out by a millimeter, but he did everything he could to get there, and now we have two on with just one out.

    I want to like the guy. He clearly tries hard, he hustles, he gets himself dirty, like AAG. I don’t want to hate him.

  46. Wow, Ross continues to be impressive… the only bat on the bench besides Hinske with any clue

  47. @94
    Me either, Alex. But as a Braves fan in Atlanta since the 60’s, he is very frustrating and it is now causing me some sleeping problems.

    Last night, after falling asleep reading Mac’s great recap and other comments on my iphone, I began dreaming that Dan Uggla had, due to my recent disapproval of his “underperformance”, invaded our home in retaliation.

    He came at me with a bat. I stepped forward, and leaned to my left, down and away. He swung fiercely and stepped in a bucket that I had strategically placed to my right.

    As he missed me, I yelled, “See that! You should be batting 8th…or even 9th!!

    Before I woke up with a smile on my face, he chased me out of my home but, being a dream, I outran him! Well, then again, he did still have the bucket on his left leg.

    Hey, great rally while I was typing this (with 2 fingers.)!

  48. I hate when MLB announcers say “good cut”. they’re not in little league for crying out loud.

  49. Remember, Prado was robbed of 2 more rbis earlier by polanco and lined out in his other AB.

  50. It would be great if JJ could throw another complete game and rest the bullpen.

  51. Bases loaded, nobody out and we don’t score a single run. Now give Kimbrel a chance to blow this one.

  52. @134 no kidding. It really pisses me off how great they make it out to be especially considering how much natural gas mining rapes the environment around the mining area and pollutes the water system.

  53. He’s been done for a couple innings, but had been bailed by the defense and good luck.

  54. The board is depressing today. We’re winning by 3 and 70% of the posts are complaints.

  55. There’s no way Freddie is bad on defense unless you’re just counting range and nothing else.

  56. @135, 134 I’d be willing to bet that you see that commercial during every Philly game. Target market and all that…

  57. Definitely a tough catch to make. That was a Heyward-like line drive by Rollins.

  58. I don’t understand it, but every single advanced defensive stat absolutely hates Freddie, though of course they measure range rather than ability to catch the ball.

    He’s at -4.7 with UZR, -5 with TotalZone, and -7 with Defensive Runs Saved, as JC mentioned above.

  59. Martin, UGGLA, and freeman are all below average defenders so far this year, according to fangraphs. My eyes, that have basically watched every game one way or another, tell me differently.

  60. I guarantee you, defensive stats based on 1 month’s worth of data are useless. Freddie’s an above-average defender at 1B. Heck, I’d say his range is above average.

  61. I feel ya @148, Alex. Freddie can flat-out pick it with the mitt. Where do they measure the range from? Where his feet are when the ball is hit? The glove?

  62. The sample size the defensive metrics are drawing from is miniscule at this point. Most batting stats haven’t stabilized at this point in the season, and batters have far, far more data on them than fielders. There just aren’t that many opportunities to field balls at any given position during a game, and the come randomly, so early on a few bad plays can do bad things to the defensive metrics.

    Edit – @154 they’re all looking at the same plays, and it’s entirely possible that Freddie hasn’t made a few you’d expect him to. It’s just that a handful have a magnified effect when there’s so little else with which to compare them. And UZR at least completely ignores his clearly superior receiving abilities.

  63. Someone needs to create a DIG stat for defense. You could easily measure how many bounced throws a first baseman was able to catch, out or not. I’d count them thrown from any position on the field. If it bounced, it counts.

  64. @166 FF’s impact could be measured in the reduction of throwing errors by other infielders. You do the math, not I.

  65. of course many dropped balls at 1st are ruled hits and not errors for some reason.

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