Braves 3, Astros 1 (11 innings)

Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 17, 2011 – ESPN.

It was supposed to be Brian McCann‘s day off. But since every game McCann doesn’t start is a nailbiter, he wound up pinch-hitting. And sending the game into extra innings. Once Brian figured out that if he didn’t do something quick, his day off could easily turn into catching nine innings, he ended it.

Derek Lowe and Wandy Rodriguez were the starters in a traditional pitchers’ duel. Lowe only blinked once, a leadoff homer by Wallace in the seventh. But Rodriguez didn’t blink at all, throwing eight shutout innings and holding the Braves to five singles and two walks. They had a couple of chances, but couldn’t do anything with them.

The Astros blew some chances too. Of course, they got to face George Sherrill and Scott Proctor. Sherrill failed in his designated duty of pitching to the opposing starter, allowing a leadoff single to Wandy, then screwed up the inevitable bunt (the hot read among today’s skippers is Managing the Deadball Way by Fred Clarke) to make it first and second. Fredi brought in Proctor. They gave him a free out with another bunt, which Fredi countered with a free baserunner on an intentional walk, because why not, everybody comes to the park to see the managers. Carlos Lee (the Astros’ Uggla) popped up, then Wallace struck out swinging at ball four. Jonny Venters pitched the ninth without incident.

Rodriguez threw 113 pitches, so it was time to go to the bullpen. Uggla — predicably — led off the ninth with a groundout, the fourth of his five outs on the day. (He’s now hitting .196.) Hinske looked like he tied it up with a drive, but was robbed at the wall by Hunter Pence. McCann pinch-hit for David Ross, and tied it up with a homer to left center.

Eric O’Flaherty allowed a walk with two out in the tenth but that was all, plus his usual two strikeouts. McLouth walked to lead off the bottom of the inning, after which Fredi sent up Conrad to bunt. (The idea of not bunting being obviously insane, couldn’t he at least have used Hudson or Jurrjens?) Martin Prado flew out, and after a walk to Heyward (back in the lineup, 1-3 with two walks) Chipper took strike three looking.

With Craig Kimbrel unavailable, it was Cory Gearrin‘s turn. The leadoff man reached on a bunt single (the reason for all these bunts is perhaps that since we can’t field them, Fredi thinks it’s productive) followed by a stolen base and an intentional walk. Matt Downs, the next batter, tried to reach by sticking his arm into a pitch, but for once the umpire didn’t fall for it and he had to play fair, and struck out. Gearrin then walked the bases loaded, but got out of it with a double play.

Uggla’s fifth out of the day started the bottom of the eleventh. Hinske walked on four pitches, then McCann homered on a 1-0 pitch to end it.

431 thoughts on “Braves 3, Astros 1 (11 innings)”

  1. The Astros have 5 saves in 16 chances, the worst start through 16 chances since 1969.

  2. That is truly amazing….why in the hell do we have Cheryl, Linebrink, and now Proctor?

  3. Alright, I’ll say it: Proctor’s stuff looked much better than I remembered — it actually tantalized me. 95-mph gas, accompanied by that cutter/slider, is a pretty good relief combo, assuming his command improves. I can see how he dominated AAA with that stuff. I … I want to see more.

    Gonna go shower now, because I feel filthy.

  4. I guess they don’t feel they can send Proctor right down again, but there’s simply no way to justify keeping Linebrink over Gearrin.

    Linebrink might as well be sitting in the bullpen with a neon sign overhead flashing “Sunk Cost.” His worth can’t really be any clearer.

  5. I don’t remember his exact salary, but my recollection is that the Braves are only on the hook for $1 million.

    Which is about $1.5 million too much…

  6. We need proven veteran leadership in the bullpen. I can’t force Fredi to pitch Sherrill, Linebrink, and Proctor, but by God I’m going to keep stacking his bullpen with 30-year olds until he has no choice.

  7. 14 – ububba is exactly right. Braves are paying Linestink $2 mill, which is 600k less than the Rays are paying the Farns. Just sayin.

    Am I the only one that looks at games like today and start to come around more to the idea of a DH ? I never thought I’d see the day where I would even think that, but I’d sure as hell rather see 15-20 (or more) games a year where Pimpbot16 gets four ABs, rather than watching the pitchers hack. Maybe I’m just thinking this because the Braves pitchers have been terrible this year and I’m sick and tired of watching anybody in a Braves uniform bunt the ball.

  8. Won’t they just bring Gearrin right back after Teheran’s start, since a fifth starter won’t be needed again until 5/31? I don’t get what the big deal is.

  9. I predicted the Gearrin demotion for Proctor about 5 days ago on Talking Chop. Simply put, the Braves aren’t ready to give up on Linebrink quite yet even though they should be. The DOB article concerning Proctor made it sound like he was replacing Moylan, which was essentially replaced by Gearrin.

    Sansho, they can’t bring him back up for 10 days unless someone’s injured. Also, if they send Teheran back down, I bet they’ll bring up a bat for a few games (preferably Gomez).

  10. Well, my prediction is Gearrin will be gone for all of one day. And while seniority shouldn’t count for all that much, yes you do jerk around a rookie making the minimum in this small way, rather than a veteran.

  11. Gearrin has to stay down for ten days (a very necessary rule to keep teams from effectively having 27- or 28-man rosters and jerking players around) unless someone gets hurt. Linestink does have “inability to pitch” but that might not work.

    Joey, are you talking about the site admin thing at the top? I guess they upgraded today and that thing is part of it. I’m trying to figure out how to turn it off.

  12. #19

    No DH. I’ve been going to AL games for years & they last for-freakin-ever.

    In baseball, everybody hits, everybody wears a glove.

    DH is not baseball. It’s a gimmick.

    BTW, don’t worry. Interleague’s coming. You’ll probably get to see one of our catchers DH in Anaheim.

  13. To turn off the bar, just go to your user profile and uncheck the boxes next to “Show Admin Bar.”

  14. 26 – ububba, thank you for talking some sense back into me. I just want more Brian McCann whenever possible.

    Is it too early to start worrying about the appearances being racked up by EOF, Venters and Kimbrel ? Somebody else has to pitch the 7/8/9th every once and a while. Hopefully Proctor can pick up a few of those, even if they are when the team is behind.

  15. 31 — The Everyday Twins, Eric and Jonny, are on pace for 88 appearances and Kimbrel 77, so I think it’s fair to worry a bit about it.

    The Braves need some other relievers to step up a bit and Fredi to use them. A good start would be to not carry around the dead weight that is Sherbrink.

  16. If Cheryl and Linestink are still going to be on the roster, then the Lisp needs to pitch more than once every two weeks.

  17. What the Braves really need are some blow outs. They can’t score enough to ensure a Linebrink/Sherrill/Proctor-safe lead, and they pitch well enough to justify using their three best relievers almost all of the time.

    It boggles the mind that Wren is doubling down on crappy veterans after the last six weeks of Linebrink and Sherrill. I mean, we use the latter almost solely to get out opposing left handed starting pitchers (they’re 1 for 3 against him), and yet Gearrin goes down? Huh?

    The Braves are a good team, and a solid organization. Frank Wren, however, is testing my faith right now.

  18. Sure, we need better performances from our middle relievers, but having the bad-ass, end-of-game guillotine to drop is pretty cool.

    We’re playing well & if Scott Linebrink is our biggest pitching issue, we’re in good shape. We do, after all, have the best ERA in baseball.

  19. It seems like we’re playing everybody well except for the Natspos. Even my most anti-Braves friends believe Uggla is going to pull the team together. The pitching has been incredible pretty much all year. Keep on winning boys. (and Chipper, be healthy).

  20. It’s an incredible luxury to have those 3 guys at the end of games and might be hard to resist lowering the boom on other teams from the 7th inning on, but it would be really great to have some other relievers to lean on just in case one or more of the O’Kimbers trio goes into a funk.

    Right now going by any of WAR/FIP/xFIP stats they are 3 of the 8 best relievers in all of baseball. That may or may not keep up for a full season.

  21. Boy, when McCann excels he excels epically. He excels like Bama’s D, he excels like Billy Bob in “Sling Blade”, he excels like Vandy’s, uh, er …

    I’ll get back to you.

  22. I dunno why they don’t bring KK up for relief at least. Other than the fact that the Braves hate KK more than dwarves hate being tossed.

  23. It should not go unremarked that Downeaster @182 (previous thread) deserves a standing ovation.

  24. Phillies lost. Deservedly so, on yet another stupid non-use of a closer. Bottom ninth, 1-1 tie, top of the order up for St. Louis.

    Yeah, definitely the time to use Danny Baez and not your closer.

  25. The braves actually did something smart by playing those two double headers early in the year.

    There have been approx. 30 games already rained out this year. A lot of teams have a back log of games to play later this summer.

    Heck, the braves have already played 3 more games than the phillies already.That is going to help down the road somewhere.

    Need to handle business in Arizona and Pittsburgh. The 2 or 3 in LAA would be nice too. 5-2 would be very nice road trip.

  26. We sure picked up 4 games on Philly in a hurry.

    BTW, the Mets canceled their game with Florida around 3:30 today. Weather forecast was bad. Thing is, it never rained until 11 or so. (Reminds me of the time, I sat through a 90-minute rain delay at Yankee Stadium, but it never rained. The Yanks gave us free tix for another game.)

    Whatever. That’s one more game the Marlins have to play down the road.

  27. ububba is on the money, as always. If Scott Linebrink is our biggest issue, then we are in great shape. We have 9 legitimate starting pitchers while most teams really only have 4, we have a front end of the bullpen that is as good as any, and our offense is staying afloat in a tough offensive year for everyone.

    If I’m worried about something, it’s about position depth in the minors. Prado will get expensive very soon, Gonzalez is a placeholder, and Heyward is perhaps injury prone (hate to say it). There’s no A+ position prospect in the system.

    This year, however, I like our team about as much as I have in years past. We are primed for something big this year.

  28. It’s true: if middle relief and the fear of injury are your biggest problems, you’ve got a good team.

    what the offense needs to do is to bunch up those runs so you have days where you don’t need to go with the triple threat in the 7,8,9 and save ’em. It’s pretty killer when you’ve got it.

    I don’t know if they’ve got kid gloves on Kimbrel’s psyche, but i’d love to see venters, o’flaherty and kimbrel mixing it up, spelling each other and each getting saves.

  29. excellent effort by Lowe by the way. Did a good job keeping the Astros off base.

  30. Folks, you owe the win yesterday to my daughter Gracie. She was born at Northside at 118pm.

    Braves are now 2-0 on days that my kids are born.

    As tempting as it is to try to have 30 or 40 kids…in order to pad our eventual lead over the Phillies & Fish…I’m not sure if we have enough room in Loganville. Cheers.

  31. @50

    To your point about the Braves having 9 pitchers: ATL sports radio floated a rumor last week that Derek Lowe is reportedly back on the block. Chernoff over at 680 The Fan suggested the Braves try to trade Lowe to the Yanks for Curtis Granderson.

    Lowe is pitching well…but that is some serious daydreaming.

  32. @55 Congrats on the bundle of joy!!

    I think a more realistic trading oppturnity is Rodrigo Lopez for someone who helps our bench, bullpen or both. I wish they would have called him up instead of Tehran just to flaunt his trade value.

    I really hope sherril and linebrink are cut soon.

  33. We can blame the winning streak if bull pen gets overworked. Are the Brave starter averaging more innings this year than last? This year starters seem to pitch 7 often. Last year they went out after 6 a few times, especially Medlin. Or do I misremeber?

  34. @59 – If we bring up Lopez, he will have to clear waivers before he is sent down. I agree on Sherrill and Linebrink, although Sherrill was looking a lot better until his last outing. I’m not crazy about Proctor, but I think the Braves scouts know several things that I don’t on this. I will give him that his first outing was okay.

  35. @55, consider yourself lucky in many ways – my child was born during The Farnsworth Debacle. I kept sneaking out to get a final score, and the damn game was still going on each time.

  36. If I remember correctly several times last year rain delays caused starter to pitch only a couple innings. That has not happened lately.

  37. The Braves should be actively shopping Lopez right now. If we doesnt bring good value back then throw him in the pen. He wont be used as a starter for the Braves.

  38. @68 thanks. Even one out in 9 reduces Bullpen work by 11%, excluding extra inning games.

  39. Marty B.: The grounds crew did an incredible job despite what that whiner and excuse-maker Chris Carpenter complained about the mound and the smoke after the fireworks. Travis Wood didn’t.

    Jim Kelch: You know, it’s always something when (the Cardinals) come in here.

    Marty: Yeah, that’s the line that (Cardinals bench coach) Joe Pettini laid on the media that every time they come in here it’s always something with that team. Oh really? You might be the most disliked team in baseball and it’s always the other team?

    Marty: It was interesting Tony La Russa’s take on what happened yesterday … he said he had no issue at all with the pitch that Cordero threw that hit Albert Pujols in the wrist. His take was that there’s no way they’re going to put Pujols on and have to deal with Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman. But you couldn’t tell that to Joe Pettini or catcher Gerald Laird or that infantile pitching coach Dave Duncan.

  40. Paul, those are tenths of innings, so right now there’s a negligible difference. Fredi is at least willing to entertain the notion of the starter pitching into the ninth inning. That has happened three times this season, compared to zero all last season.

  41. I think it’s more a product of better pitching for the Braves (even though it’s mostly the same guys, they’ve been better this year) and the overall environment in baseball being more pitching-friendly.

    At least, I think it’s more this than differences in managerial philosophy.

  42. As of right now, Prado is on pace for 99 RBIs. From the leadoff spot, that’s amazing, especially considering how poorly the pitchers have hit this year.

  43. I am no TLR fan by any stretch, but I can’t side with Marty Brennaman. Ever.

    Living in the Ohio River Valley, I get to listen to many Reds broadcasts. Marty’s cranky old man shtick only kinda worked when the Reds were terrible and he was railing against drunk Cubs fans (is there any other kind?). Now his team wins a few games and he becomes even more annoying.

    This may be sacrilege, but the Reds booth of Marty B and Jeff “Cowboy” Brantly is worse than any booth helmed by Chip Carey. Actually, that’s a fun brain-teaser – Which broadcaster + Chip creates a booth more unlistenable than Marty + Cowboy?

    Chip + Hawk Harrilson?
    Chip + Tim McCarver?
    Chip + all four Black Eyed Peas?

  44. I’d take Hawk and Wimpy over anything that we trot out there. Struggla is my pick-to-click tonight.

  45. @87 – Just ’cause they moved Linda Cohn to the midday SportsCenter is no reason to go all Whore of babylon now!

  46. @90
    Invoking her name spreads East Coast bias into the world.
    Still, cute for an old goalie.

  47. Speaking of such things, my stepsister was in Hannah Storm’s graduating class at Westminster…in 1979. Talk about still getting it done….

  48. @78 I think that .1 refers to a third of an inning. Which works out to a whole inning every 3 days.

  49. I wasn’t at that one, but it’s an annual tradition for the D’Backs to make their one trip to Atlanta and embarrass us in one of the games. Since 2007, they’ve won at Turner by scores of 12-6, 9-3, 12-0, 11-1. I was at all but the 9-3 game…which is weird because I only go to about six games a year.

  50. Was 12-0 a Max Scherzer start? If so, I was at that one, although I had it in my mind as 16-0.

  51. Uggla STILL in the lineup, STILL hitting fifth.

    1. Pado LF, 2. Heyward RF, 3. Jones 3B, 4. McCann C, 5. Uggla 2B, 6. Freeman 1B, 7. Gonzalez SS, 8 McLouth CF, 9. Teheran P

  52. @97 What is a tenth of an inning? No one pitched more than 2 tenths? Thirds I can understand and makes more sense.
    Fulchino pitched 1.1 innings last night. McCain’s second HR came with 1 out.

  53. @103
    First, do you really think it’s a good decision to bench the guy ya just signed for 5/60 million? Secondly, Freeman or Gonzalez shouldn’t hit 5th either. Uggla’s where he should be, but dammit, he better start hitting.

  54. You’re looking at the wrong column. IP/GS is phrased in tenths. 5.5 for Beachy, 6.9 for Hudson, etc.

    A tenth of an inning is the same thing as a .297 batting average — the result of two numbers that don’t divide evenly. 270 1/3 innings divided by 44 starts.

  55. Stu, I forgot you were at that game. I was, too. As I recall, by around the 7th inning, most people in the stadium were cheering Johnson every time a Braves hitter made an out. Pretty disspiriting, but then again, I didn’t mind too much. We weren’t even close to getting a hit off him that day. I’d rather watch the Braves get shut down by arguably the best left-hander ever than watch them get shut down by Wandy Rodriguez.

    Sansho, in the IP/GS column, the decimals are tenths. But in the IP column, they are not — like Mac said, it’s just a notation style, where .1 refers to 1/3 of an inning and .2 refers to 2/3 of an inning. Pretty sure you know that, but just to clarify.

  56. 109—Yeah, I wasn’t actually cheering him on … but by the 7th inning, I was definitely not against seeing history. I was there with my mom who, in classic my-mom fashion, was angry that I wasn’t angry about the perfecto and stood out in the concourse, refusing to witness history, for the last inning and a half.

  57. My mom is kind of insane, especially when it comes to the Braves.

    For example, she hates — and I mean, hates — Scott Rolen, because he said something as a rookie about being as good as Chipper.

    “But, Mom, that was like 15 years ago, and he’s widely considered one of the best teammates in baseball…”

    “I don’t care. I hate him.”

    She also still hates Jim Thome — another good dude, from everything I’ve heard — for slinging a bat in the direction of the Braves’ dugout, after drilling a homer back in the ’95 Series.

    Like I said, insane.

    EDIT: Mom, if you read this … I love you!

  58. 112 – Your mom sounds fucking awesome. I hated Scott Rolen for a long time too, but I have a policy of siding with anybody who argues with Tony LaRussa, so I couldn’t hate him after that.

  59. @108 It seems inconsistent to have IP in first column in thirds and switch to IP/GS in tenths. I did some math by pencil and obtained an average of 5.88 IP/GS IN 2010. Which would be 0.22 IP/GS lower than your figure of 6.1 in 2011. I guesstimated that starter than pirch some games in relief averaged 1 inning per relief appearance. The improvement of 0.22 IP/GS would save relief pitchers 36 innings over 162 game schedule. Check my math.

  60. I always respected Rolen for the way he played, and I even respected the way that he turned down a big payday from Philly on the grounds that they hadn’t shown they were going to actually commit to building a team. After he chucked their money back at them, they threw too much money at Bobby Abreu and wound up having to trade him for peanuts a few years later.

    Rolen cost himself tens of millions of dollars for taking a stand, but what the hell, he won a ring in St. Louis. His career wasn’t as good as Chipper’s, but he’s had a marvelous career, and I’d totally support him for the Hall of Fame.

  61. Whenever anyone makes a mistake around my mom, she enjoys saying, “Line drive, base hit, caught, out there!” regardless of whether they get it or not.

    Skip made her fall in love with the Braves, but she adjusted rather well to Chip.

  62. The only significant difference in IP/GS is JJ’s improvement of 5.8 IP/GS to 7.2 IP/GS.

  63. I got 5.87, Paul. So BBRef’s 6.0 appears to be incorrect. In addition, the 6 and one tenth for 2011 is rounded down from 6.14.

    Going by outs (just to avoid further confusion), starters retired 2895 batters last year, and are on a pace this year for 2986. That’s 91 extra outs, or 30 1/3 innings not pitched by the bullpen due to starter usage patterns.

  64. It should be noted, though, that in 2011 we no longer have KK in the rotation. And we also got 14 starts from a swingman (Medlen), so those starts were bound to be a little shorter on average.

  65. Events that consume 1/10th of an inning:

    – Opposing catcher calling for a low and away slider to Uggla.
    – Prado receiving a steal sign.
    – Fredi noticing that someone is on first with McClouth stepping in and less than 2 outs.
    – Mather entering the on deck circle.

    All of these discreet events are typically good for at least about 1/3rd of an out. Tenths of innings are very real things.

  66. On the other hand, Jurrjens was coming off of several injuries, and Beachy was a rookie — not to mention his one-inning start.

    Western game = morning recap.

  67. “If Scott Linebrink is our biggest issue, then we are in great shape.”

    Sure, of course, absolutely. Unfortunately, he is not our biggest issue. I would say having a bottom 3rd offense and a generally sub-par defense (in terms of range) are bigger issues than Scott Linebrink, George Sherrill, or Scott Proctor.

    The thing is, nobody said Scott Linebrink was the team’s biggest issue. People were complaining about the fact that the Braves are using three roster spots on crappy veteran relievers when better options are available in the minors. That seems like a reasonable complaint–one tailor made, if you will, for a blog such as this one–and any attempt to dismiss that on the grounds that we have a great team ERA is also a textbook definition of a red herring.

  68. It’s not clear to me that we have a bottom-third offense. We’ve scored 183 runs, which is third-best in the NL, and of course our run differential is the best in the league. (Which makes our -2 Pythagorean slightly infuriating, but still.) Yes, our wOBA is 10th out of 16 teams, and it’s only that high because we’re the opposite of last year’s team — our OBP is low (11th in the league) while our SLG is decent (7th in the league).

    But we’re second in the league in homers. Yes, of course, that’s padded by all the solo shots we’ve hit. 33 of our 47 homers have been solo, by far the most in the league. Still, better a home run than a duck left on the pond.

    Unlike last year, we’re actually scoring MORE runs than you might think given our crappy on-base abilities.

  69. He also said “good”, not “great” shape, and didn’t imply that it shouldn’t be discussed. If you’re going for the logical fallacy angle, you gotta tighten it up a bit.

  70. Our game is the free one tonight on MLBtv…which, if previous games this season have been any indicator, means we’ll play poorly. Here’s hoping Teheran proves my theory wrong!

  71. BTW, Teheran will be optioned back to Gwinnett after tonights start. Fredi said if Teheran gets deep into the game they will add a bat, however if they have to go to the pen early it will be a reliever. They’ll make that decision either tonight or tomorrow.

  72. The larger point that I was raising about Cheryl, Linestink and the Lisp (if he’s only going to pitch once every two weeks) is that if they continue to not absorb any innings, combined with Moylan being hurt, that puts a lot of stress on the back end of the bullpen. The three guys at the end are all on track for over 80 appearances. That may not be a huge problem at the moment, but has the potential to be a huge problem going forward.
    Kimbrel/Venters/O’Flaherty all can’t keep pitching every 5 out of 6 days.

  73. #131

    Weird that he would allow the difference of a couple of innings by Teheran tonight determine the roster makeup for the next week or more.

  74. Current staff ERA is 2.88 – if that held up over a full season, it would be the lowest mark in the majors (exception below) since the ’81 Astros at 2.66.

    As good as that is, the Oakland Athletics are at 2.68, easily the best ERA of any AL team since the introduction of the DH (you have to go back to the ’72 Orioles at 2.53 to find a better mark in the AL).

  75. Uggla looked like someone trying to kill a softball and can’t….

  76. I’ve seen a lot of bad tattoos, but that sir is the worst tattoo I’ve ever seen.

  77. Well, he hit .248 in his career with RISP. That doesn’t seem like much, but it’s six points higher than he hit in all situations.

  78. Angel Hernandez and Joe West somehow are still major league umpires — and are on this crew.

    Teheran threw 27 pitches in the first inning. I guess Ascencio may be recalled.

  79. 150—Gotta be a scouting-report thing. They’re all going after the first pitch.

  80. Mac, I was talking about Roberts’ neck tat, but any Chip Caray self-portrait ink would certainly take the crown.

  81. Redmond through a complete game 3 hit shutout tonight and his ERA is now at 2.59. What in the world is going on in Gwinnett?

  82. Only Jose Reyes has more hits than Martin Prado in all of MLB right now. Thats pretty impressive after his bad start.

  83. Saunders is terrible, right? His stuff reminds me of Harris from ‘Major League.’

  84. BTW, Saunders has had 29 starts against NL teams. Out of these 29, he has only 1 shutout start and that came against ATL on June 15, 2008.

    7.1IP 6H 0ER 0BB 3K

    So I guess this isnt a surprise.

  85. D-bag announcers have spent this entire inning discussing Justin Bieber. Is it possible that I miss Chip Caray? Please tell me he’s talking about something equally asinine.

  86. Uggla now .194

    Might need to start Prado at 2B and Hinske in LF for a game or two.

  87. It’s to the point where bad righty SPs should probably go left-handed against us. Either that, or teams should just stream organizational fodder lefties.

  88. I just looked it up, and was surprised to see that there are six other teams worse than the Braves at hitting lefties. Nobody is close to as bad as the Nationals.

  89. Dave Justice?

    Nope, though he homered in postseasons for 3 different WS teams. Game 6 was his only WS homer.

  90. Somebody tell me why Teheran is up again? Did Minor sleep with the wrong person or something?

  91. The strikezone is freaking microscopic tonight. That said, Terehan doesn’t appear to have the lights-out kind of stuff that his minor league numbers had led me to expect. Maybe he’s just overthrowing and losing velocity or something, but I didn’t think he’d be consistently around 92 mph on the fastball.

  92. I actually agree with Joe. Arizona is probably not a good place for a pitcher that relies on serious break from his curveball.

  93. Teheran has been at 94-95 almost all night. Also, if this team could actually score a run for him that would help too.

  94. It seems questionable to me to jerk him up and down. Minor is older and seemed ready–he hasn’t pitched poorly, either. I mean, they undoubtedly know what they’re doing; I just want to understand what they’re doing.

  95. Considering the fact that Teheran probably won’t finish the next inning, that was probably a good place to pinch hit.

  96. Is this like a rite of passage or something, where the Braves don’t score any runs for young pitchers?

    “Sorry kid, we don’t start scoring runs until at least your 4th or 5th start.”

  97. Nice job boys…way to take advantage of 2 on and nobody out. Starting to dislike Prado up with men on 1st and 2nd

  98. Facing 3/4/5, averaging over 20 pitches per inning so far, at 83 pitches, third time through the order. I’d say there’s a pretty fair chance Teheran gets pulled in the middle.

    Or now. Wow, Fredi, that’s terrible.

  99. So, Fredi knew he was going to pull Teheran but left him in to bunt, rather than using someone who could hit. He’s just so terrible at everything.

  100. Wait… so Teheran isn’t even starting the 5th? Why the hell was he up there to bunt? Somebody please tell me that it’s not because Fredi was unable to conceive of Not Bunting in that situation, and so figured he wouldn’t waste a pinch hitter.

  101. @190 – I think Fredi is down at the end of the bench drooling on himself. Someone needs to go over there and wake him up and tell him we’re playing tonight.

  102. Sweet 5 step throw, Chipper.

    Asking Cheryl to get 4 outs is irresponsible. I guess he did, if you count a pickoff.

  103. You know what’s remarkable? It’s not even that Fredi Gonzalez is horrible at his job, and devoid of logic, and unable to grasp even the basic tenets of what it takes to improve his team’s chances of winning. Ok, admittedly that’s somewhat remarkable.

    But what’s really remarkable is that there is an entire cottage industry of highly paid men who either cannot see his incompetence, or who work tirelessly to defend him from dumbfounded, logic-espousing critics.

  104. So, why in the hell did Teheran hit when they were going to pull him anyways? Fredi is a moron.

    edit: I see its already been addressed

  105. I guess it could have made more sense if Teheran looked like he’d ever actually seen someone bunt before. At least use someone that has some chance of getting the job done?

  106. Yeah, if you’re bunting, leaving Teheran in is better than burning Brooks Conrad to do it again.

    But in the sixth inning, in this park, when you’re about to bring Cheryl in to pitch, I have no idea why you think it’s a good idea to be bunting there.

  107. Another ridiculous out on the basepaths. Sigh.

    C’mon Struggla. You were my pick-to-click tonight after all.

  108. I’ll take “Bad Baserunning” for $1000, Alex.

    “What Little League rule did the Braves violate in the last inning?”

    “What is ‘Never make the last out at third base’?”

  109. I thought “don’t be a massive dumbass by repeatedly making unnecessary outs at third” was one of the unwritten rules of baseball. Guess not.

  110. Cheryl is in for the second inning. Did Fredi bet on the Diamondbacks?

    I don’t even care if it works.

  111. The team is slow, but that doesn’t explain all of their base running problems. It’s going to be hard to overcome all of the little things that they aren’t doing well…

  112. Chip seems to like it. Just trying to make “something happen”.

    Meanwhile Sherril is mowing them down. This game is far from over if we can just get out of our own way.

  113. 239- Well, he’s blown a ton of money on his bets on the Phillies and Astros the last few days; he’s gotta make it up somehow.

  114. Fredi figures you are going to lose 60 games anyway, why worry about winning them all…

  115. @243 (really @Chip):

    Getting hits tends to make things happen. Moreso when you have baserunners.

  116. chipper’s out was at least defensible. he outfielder caught the ball on the warning track facing the wall, he just made a fantastic throw.

    Uggla’s though… what are you doing? You’re scoring from 2nd on any hit, why take the risk? and you JUST SAW the outfielder gun down chipper. so stupid

  117. Linebrink is coming in! Oh joy. I think I’ll gargle with razor blades to take my mind off of the carnage shortly to commence.

  118. I didn’t see the jump Chipper got, but if he had to go back to tag 2B at all, he shouldn’t have gone.

    2 singles, a double, a walk, and a warning track sac fly. 1 run, 3 outs.

  119. David, Chipper had to go back and tag up on the play. He shouldve been standing on the bag and he wouldve easily made it to 3rd.

  120. It’s like we’re giving the D’Backs 5 strokes per side. Crazy non-pinch-hitting, baserunning, and now the dynamic duo back to back. This is the kind of game where you half-expect the Lisp to go yard in the 12th for the win.

  121. 256 – If Fredi has any say, Lisp will get his chance to hit before it’s all said and done. So I suppose it’s possible.

  122. 259- If you saw that last play, there can be no possible doubt. Fredi can’t really be this stupid, can he? Or does he have “pictures” of McLouth?

  123. Let’s just keep poorly bunting…I don’t recall Fredi being this stupid when he managed Florida.

  124. Another failed bunt. Here’s another out for you Arizona…no big deal, we’ve got 8 more to give.

  125. At what point does Fredi realize that everyone on this team blows at bunting? Even if it were a smart move, which it isn’t, our guys will screw it up anyways. If we could just do it like 90% less often, I think we’d be a lot better.

    McLouth is going to get thrown out here, isn’t he.

  126. a bunt success rate of 90% makes it an arguable play. A rate of 10% makes it foolish.

  127. Maybe the Braves have done some little things to help themselves when things are going wrong, Joe. But they should have at least 6 or 7 runs in this game, so odd timing.

  128. So, how much would we be leading by if we hadn’t been giving away so many outs?

  129. Chipism commentating on this particular inning: “You talk about the ultimate get’em on, get’em over inning”

    Who’s worse at their job? Fredi or Chip?

  130. Wait…you mean we’re winning? I was just following along on here, and therefore thought we were down by 15 runs.

  131. Could anyone have seen this coming? I was skeptical of Fredi when he was hired, but did he bunt 5 times a game in Florida? Seriously out of hand. WTF

    On a happier note — a lead!

  132. When our manager is Fredi Gonzalez its very very easy to get in a complaining mood.

    Hey, its Proctor time!

  133. The Diamondbacks owed us a run there. I’m grateful to KJ for being in the middle of it.

  134. 287- Just try to tell us that we don’t have good reason. I dare you.

    Here’s one of those good reasons on the mound.

  135. I’m sure Cheryl/Linebrink/Proctor will combine to shut down all our opponents for innings on end. No need to question Fredi’s judgment.

    Those extra runs we’ve given away wouldn’t come in handy here. No sir.

  136. Having said that, I will now complain, too, because I’ve about had it with Joe and his obsession with the stupid game summary hats.

  137. Going to the game tomorrow night, and I’ll be taking requests for any and all comments/insults/bodily damage you’d like me to throw Fredi’s way. This should be fun.

  138. 286 – the win/loss seems unimportant after seeing yet more inarguable proof that our manager is a bleeping idiot. It’s going to take everyone a few days just to come to terms with it, and to accept that which we cannot change. We get 22 to 24 outs per game, and the other team gets 27, and that’s just the way it is.

  139. I see this as the Braves saying, “Okay, we sent down a solid reliever to keep you here, so screw up and you’re gone”

  140. On Fredi: I completely agree with the board. He’s not smart. And Proctor’s not good.

  141. Happy thoughts. No complaints. Two-base wild pitches happen all the time. Proctor is still money.

  142. I’m not usually one of those knee-jerk guys, but the manager needs to be fired as soon as possible.

  143. This is an exercise in the absurd. How many chances can you waste/create for the other team and still win the game?

  144. Every time Fredi does something stupid – so 4-5 times a game, minimum – we should play this clip:

  145. Yes, because I refuse to have a massive coronary every time a decision is made that I don’t 100 percent agree with, I’m a Fredi apologist. Glad we agree on that.

  146. 317- No one should ever have to think about kissing Fredi, even to let him know that he’s a dead man.

  147. Looking for Doug Uggla to turn things around here.

    Oh Yeah! That was a nice-looking groundout.

  148. When someone makes as many errors as Gonzalez does, it’s really hard to justify letting him keep his job. I don’t usually care about managers, but he consistently hurts this team’s chances of winning games.

    At least EOF is in now. That’s legit.

  149. If O’Flaherty was available… where was he in the 7th? Moreover, where the hell is Lisp? Did get left behind in Atlanta?

  150. Joe: It amazes me that teams will throw change ups to Chipper, then try to sneak a fastball by him…

    -93 mph fastball whizzes by for strike three-

    Chip: Sinker for strike three.

  151. If I hear Joe Simpson say “Ric Flair” one more time, I’m going to punch a hole in my tv.

  152. I love how Joe has determined that the Braves’ patience in Proctor has somehow already paid off. He sucked last year, they almost had to pay him 50x what he’s worth on the open market (1.5 million, was it?), and in two games this year, he nearly walked in a run and gave up one on a two-base WP.

    He’s been great for Gwinnett, though. I guess that’s something.

  153. Yep, Freeman has been flat out terrible. Imagine how good we’ll be when these guys start hitting.

  154. Well, if waiting five years to fire him is stupid (which it is if he doesn’t win anything), firing him after a month and a half is equally stupid in the other direction.

  155. There’s Chip going nuts over a ball that wasn’t really that close to being fair.

  156. Open question: Fredi Gonzalez or Ozzie Guillen?

    I hate how it takes Chip about four seconds after the rest of the universe knows a ball is foul to figure it out for himself.

  157. Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie. Yeah, he’s a loudmouth, but he’s demonstrated that he can efficiently and effectively run a team. Fredi… hasn’t.

  158. The 2005 White Sox model of winning despite your manager is what gives me hope for this season.

  159. We’ve already scored out 3 run allotment, but maybe if this goes 16 innings we’ll be allowed to score one more.

    C’mon Venters…we want to see the good guys try a couple more sac bunts. Gotta find a way out of this mess.

  160. Venters’ stuff is just so good. Even a bit more control and he’d be unstoppable.

  161. I ask again, how can anyone possibly think that Freeman has been a defensive liability this year?

  162. Worst comment to hear…”Great cut or what a cut.” after missing a straight fastball.

  163. One of the good things about this team is if they run out of relievers, they can use a starter and still have Minor available to call up in a couple of days. They can either use Hudson or use JJ and pitch either Minor or Hudson on short rest. It’s a great option to have.

  164. Just think how many runs they would have if they didn’t run themselves out of so many innings

  165. Let’s hope the Braves are all out of ways of messing up now, if nothing else just for Mac to be able to write another incredulous “behind pitching and… Diory Hernandez?”

  166. 385—And Matt Williams is a third-base coach, and Eric Young is a first-base coach. This Arizona staff makes me feel extremely old.

  167. 383- They’d probably have about four, maybe five, runs now. And the game would have been over half an hour ago.

  168. @382 Why don’t you just use a proxy to go around it? Its pretty easy to figure out.

  169. Its amazing what this team has done this month with absolutely nothing from Chipper, Uggla, Freeman, and Heyward.

    edit: more importantly, with Fredi’s management

  170. @392 Because I was only using it for the free game, as I’m not paying a premium when I can’t watch games two timezones away because of a blackout.

  171. When I heard the crack of the bat from Branyan, I thought the worst. I didn’t think that guy hit singles.

  172. Mather should be sent back to A ball and shunned for the rest of his career.

  173. Kimbrel better lose his closing job…enough of the be patient crap…he has blown enough games that the Braves would be leading the division if he had closed them out

  174. Would anyone have a problem if they terminated Fredi tonight?

    I’m happy for Kelly. I have no idea why McCann called for a first-pitch fastball, though.

  175. I was worried about Kimbrell coming into this one. He was off yesterday, but had pitched three straight prior to tonight. He doesn’t have the same rubber arm that Venters has.

  176. Fredi Gonzalez is literally the worst manager I’ve ever seen, and I’m stuck cheering for the team he manages.

  177. Ugh. I’d like to tip my cap to everyone that stayed up and watched every inning of that shit.

  178. Great. Now I’m pissed and need to immediately go to sleep. Awesome.

    Kimbrel’s on pace for what, 15 blown saves? Too bad we don’t have any unhittable relievers who could step into the Closer(TM) role…[if we must be married to the idea of the Closer(TM)]

  179. kimbrel needs more seasoning; even mariano rivera had to start out as the setup man for wetteland. johnny V., the closers spot awaits!

  180. Kimbrel would have gotten the save if he just hadn’t tipped the groundball up the middle. He still might have gotten the save if Uggla hadn’t dropped the ball to end the game and had instead just thrown home. Kimbrel isn’t the problem with this team.

    Joe Mather is the problem with this team, and what Joe Mather represents: a manager and a general manager who are willing to let people who cannot play baseball continue to have opportunity after opportunity to screw up, while David Ross remains on the bench for all eternity.

  181. Like probably everyone else who reads Mac’s awesome blog, I’ve worn Braves gear to many a stadium. In Yankee and the Vet I had people threaten to kick my ass. In Shea and Busch I was ridiculed and derided. In the heyday of the Big Three maybe even envied in some places. But never, until tonight at very friendly, easygoing Chase Field, had I been pitied. I much prefer being threatened or insulted. No doubt this is overblown but it was basically humiliating to be a Braves fan tonight.

  182. What would reversing the current roles of Kimbrel and Venters accomplish? The game would be blown in the eighth inning instead?

  183. From DOB: Great. Bunt you, Fredi, you have no clue!?

    “When you’re on the road, you’ve got to push guys back a little bit, because you can’t use your closer on the road in the ninth inning of a tie ballgame. You’re looking for this type of situation [that he used Kimbrel in tonight]. No, that’s the order we want to go to, and he did a nice job.”

    [I’m not sure what he meant by pushing guys back a little bit so as not to use closer in ninth inning of tie game, because it was a 3-2 Braves lead entering bottom of seventh.]”

  184. 426- Appropriate name. “I hate big bunts and I cannot lie…”

    422- By my count, the Braves have at least *five* players like that on the roster- Conrad, Linebrink, Mather, Proctor, and Sherrill. Perhaps McLouth too. They’re here not because they can hit, field, pitch, or otherwise contribute to on-field success but because Wren and/or Gonzalez fixated on their being “good guys” at some point in the past, contrary to the current judgments of the other 29 major league teams.

  185. The Braves bullpen has blown 10 leads this year.

    The Phillies bullpen has blown 1.

  186. @428,

    I dsagree about some of those guys. The Braves have been after Linbrink for a long time. Conrad had a nice year last year and hasn’t been too bad this year off the bench.

    We picked up Mather becasue he was cheap. Sherrill came over because we though he would be okay as a LOOGY.

    Honestly, this is a really good team that Fredi has held back. Uggla has been terrible at the plate and Heyward is slumping.

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