Angels 4, Braves 1

Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Angels – Box Score – May 22, 2011 – ESPN.

When you’ve reached the stage where the other team takes a 2-1 lead and people immediately start typing, “Ballgame”, you have a problem with your offense. The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the second on a single by — who else — Joe “Franchise” Mather, but blew several chances to get more runs because once they get a runner on base the team gets even more hacktastic than usual. Derek Lowe couldn’t make the one run stand up.

In the fourth, Torii Hunter, Medieval Outfielder hit a two-run homer, prompting the “ballgame” comments. They were right. The single runs in the sixth and seventh were really just icing on the crap cake that was this game, and this roadtrip. After seven innings of making Tyler Chatwood, a mediocre-at-best pitcher, look like Roy Halladay, the Braves were shut down by Scott Downs in the eighth, then after a leadoff single from Eric Hinske in the ninth — just their second hit after the third inning — went out meekly, highlighted by yet another inneffectual bat ending in strikeout by Dan “Five Years, $62 Million” Uggla.

Chipper Jones did not start the game due to hamstring “tightness” and Jason Heyward is still on the shelf with rotator cuff “inflammation” (neither of these are diagnoses in any real sense of the word). And then Nate McLouth, in the leadoff spot again because Fredi was so impressed with his 1-7 last night, left the game with a strained oblique he contracted while standing there watching ball two and was replaced by Diory Hernandez, who not only provided his usual offense — none — but also threw a ball away playing third base leading to the Angels’ fourth run, though it was scored “earned” off of George Sherrill.

174 thoughts on “Angels 4, Braves 1”

  1. Tyler Chatwood just dominated the Braves. Dude had a 3.89 k/9 and 5.52 bb/9 coming into the game.

    I hate Dan Uggla.

    That is all.

  2. So our CF and RF are injured, and so is Chipper, which means our LF should be playing 3B.

    Can we make a trade for an OF now?

  3. I’ll be in Pittsburgh for the games Tuesday and Wednesday. I would not have dared to dream that I would be going to see an outfield of Hinske, Mather, and Wilkin Ramirez!

    My final preparation this morning was to pick up Wednesday’s Pirates SP James McDonald for my fantasy team….

  4. Long way to go, etc.

    This team isn’t going to the playoffs. They might as well start throwing games and hitting sub .200 as a team so that the Blunder Twins Fredi and Larry get a swift kick out of the door.

  5. @4
    Using Heyward in the field yesterday when there’s even a remote chance that he goes to the DL is Frediotic!

  6. I would think that it would be Wren’s job to let Fredi know if it looked like Heyward might go on the DL, and how or if he should be used.

  7. I wonder if there’s a panic move with our “surplus of young arms”. Feels like we’d be in a better position to negotiate if it was about adding a piece and not trying to salvage the season. Feel like we might rush a deal. Caveat: I don’t know anything about negotiation.

  8. I think bargaining position is a bit over emphasized… If there is more than one team interested in your player/prospect, that’s all the leverage you need. How bad you need to make the move is irrelevant, provided you have multiple options.

  9. Even Chip and Joe questioned letting Jason play defense and how he probably should go on the DL.

    Uggla, McCann and Chipper are the cogs that make this offense work. Chipper is planing his sabbatical and Uggla has some sort of a disease.

    I really think Fredi’s biggest blunder of the season has been to keep Uggla in the five hole and letting Freeman hit behind him.
    I understand why he isn’t going to sit Uggla, but it is time to move him to the seven hole.

  10. 14 – McCann has not been very good either. And I would say Heyward is a “cog” too.

  11. I agree that Heyward is very important, but Chipper, McCann and Uggla are the big three. Heyward’s struggles and injury have been a huge blow.

    I would say the biggest surprise this season has been McLouth, and he hasn’t been that good.

    I really think we should pull the plug on Parrish.

  12. I don’t really think the Braves are the type to make a coaching change midseason. Unfortunately.

  13. I don’t know. Teams have pulled the plug on hitting coaches mid season many times. Didn’t the Phillies fire one last year or the year before?

  14. 18 – Or I could just point out that the Braves are only 2 games back of the Marlins, who just DL’d Josh Johnson with a shoulder injury.

    But I won’t point that out.

  15. Heh. I just got one of the Yahoo! fantasy analysts to agree that Fredi should be canned.

    The campaign is underway.

  16. How does Frank Wren escape blame for all of this. He assembled this cluster screw of a roster.

    Dude threw money at Uggla when no one else was going to when he had an all star 2B on the roster. OF has been an issue for years now, and his solution is to trade for a dumpy 2b and move his all star 2b to LF. He over reacted in 2008 and spent too much on the bullpen and left the SP to rot, then in 2009 he over reacted and bid against himself for D. Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami. Don’t forget, we still owe Lowe 15 million next year as well. He gave Chipper a huge extention when he has obviously decline. Don’t forget we owe him 13 million next year too. Oh, Uggla is on the books for 62 million for the next five years.

    He has overseen as the minor league position depth at most positions has become laughable, yet most people seem to think he has done a good job. He has stockpiled pitching, but when this team had a look at a championship last year his idea of an upgrade to the OF was Rick Ankiel.

    Oh year, he hired Fredi and indirectly hired Larry Parish.

    Wren sucks, Fredi sucks, Ownership sucks.

  17. @23 Uggla is not a “dumpy” 2b. He was, at the time of the trade, arguably one of the best second basemen in the game, who also happened to fill the need of a right handed power bat. No one could have predicted Uggla would start this poorly in Atlanta.

  18. Honestly, when Joe Mather is carrying the hotest bat and all the key players are either slumping or hurting, it’s kind of hard to blame everything on the GM and the manager and the coaches. At the end of the day, the players play. The only guy who is producing at his normal level of expected performance is AAG. No manager or coach can do anything about it, it’s up to the player to turn it around. I am not saying Fredi has zero fault on his decisions, but I think we have to start saying more Prado sucks, McCann sucks, Heyward sucks, and Chipper sucks. This whole offense sucks right now.

    I am not giving up on hope yet because this offense is too talented to keep hitting this way, but the whole offense(except pitchers) sucks right now.

  19. Great. Fits right in.

    From DOB:
    “Ramirez, 25, was hitting .248 with 15 extra-base hits (seven homers), 16 RBIs and six stolen bases in 33 games at Gwinnett, with a .513 slugging percentage but a skimpy .294 on-base percentage.”

  20. The Heyward DL thing is the one of the biggest fckups from Fredo. Putting him in as a defensive replacement no less the other night. Fire Fedi!

  21. I am sure Fredi is a great player-manager, but he surely has some serious weaknesses on the technical side of being a manager.

  22. I don’t think the DL thing will matter, unfortunately, because I’m assuming at this point that Heyward’s injury is serious and he wouldn’t have been able to come back by whatever the retroactive date would’ve been.

    I’d love to be wrong.

  23. looking at Schafer & Ramirez’s numbers, i’m starting to wonder if Schafer ran over Wren’s family cat with his Hummer.

  24. 32 – Like Mac has mentioned, they seem to be dealing with symptoms. It wouldn’t surprise me if the rest helps him feel better and then it gets aggravated again. But I’m hoping that it somehow just gets better and he can get going and do some critic silencing.

    Come on Jason… heal thyself.

  25. Well, sometimes things do get better with rest. That’s the way a lot of things are healed. But it’s preferable that we know what the actual problem is.

  26. I think if McLouth has to go on the DL, you will see Schafer.

    It would be nice to sit Uggla for a few games, but with 2/3 of our outfield hurt and Chipper getting ready to take his family to the beach, you almost have to keep playing him.

  27. looking at Schafer & Ramirez’s numbers, i’m starting to wonder if Schafer ran over Wren’s family cat with his Hummer.

    Huh? Schafer has a .648 OPS and his slugging percentage is barely over .300. Ramirez sucks too, but at least he’s hit for some power.

  28. Oh, great. Now I have to watch us lose to the Pirates and pine over their much-coveted centerfielder.

    It’s like watching the crush of your life with another guy …

  29. Is Gregor Blanco still available?

    Or Matt Diaz?

    Seems like we’re down an outfielder or two. (Or three, if Prado has to go to 3B.)

  30. Predict the Charlie Morton line versus the Braves:

    I’ll go first with a prediction of

    6.2 5 1 1 3 9

  31. #33 – what numbers are you referring too?

    Schafer – .323SLG, .633OPS
    Ramirez – .513SLG, .806OPS

  32. Seat, no chance he doesnt get further into the game. He already has two complete games this season. He’ll pitch into the 8th inning, he may even get another complete game.

    BTW, his last two starts

    16.2IP 12H 1ER 3BB 10K

  33. Schafer sucks, too. Does it really matter who’s brought up between him and Ramirez?

  34. @33/42:
    Schafer definitely has nothing to complain about for not being called up. With numbers like that, he may not be in the Braves organization much longer.

    The guy who may have a minor complaint (no pun intended) is Stefan Gartrell: .508 SLG, .822 OPS.

    Don’t know anything about him except he’s 27 and played briefly at Chattanooga this year. Can the guy field and/or play center? If so, he would be my choice over Schafer if McLouth goes down. The outfield depth in the minors hasn’t changed much – it’s still poor.

  35. csg,

    I obviously computed the presence of The Mather when I came up with Charlie’s projected line. I figure with the way he’s playing, he’s personally good enough for 2 walks and 3 hits in the 6.2 innings. Of course, that requires both the umpires and the Pirates to not notice him batting out of order every inning…..

    Edit: I wonder if we should sell high on Mather at this point. I hear the first sacker for St. Louis is having an Uggla-esque stretch. I wonder if the Cards would like to have Joe back?

  36. Minor is starting in Hudson’s place on Wednesday. Hudson will be scheduled to pitch again on May 30th. Minor will start again on May 31st.

  37. @4, Official site says Heyward’s DL is retroactive to yesterday.

    Atlanta Braves placed RF Jason Heyward on the 15-Day disabled list retroactive to May 22, 2011. Sore right shoulder.
    Atlanta Braves transferred RHP Peter Moylan from the 15-Day disabled list to the 60-Day disabled list.
    Atlanta Braves called up Wilkin Ramirez from Gwinnett Braves.

  38. The number one trade we need to make is to trade Dan Uggla’s current imposter for the real one. The current version of Dan Uggla is killing us.

  39. trying to convince fellow Braves fans that Fredi is a dope is going to be an uphill battle, my friends. Right now, I’m having the fight of my life on a GT message board…just trying to prove that bunting isn’t awesome. It’s amazing how much people know about baseball through cliches like “get em on, get em over, get em in”. the fact that you’re giving away outs is lost on these people

  40. Everybody STEP BACK off the ledge. We are TWO (2) games out of the Wild Card right now. Heyward hasn’t been hitting all year, so for the moment we aren’t really losing anything. Oh, and it’s May. We’ll be fine. What you really should be focused on is trying to introduce me to my love, Emma Stone.

  41. Speaking of fun names, I know someone who plays on a co-ed softball team named:

    “Where My Pitches At”

  42. I have no faith in the Braves’ offense either–I feel confident that I have made this clear over the past month or so. But there’s something about Charlie Morton that has gone unmentioned here: he absolutely, positively cannot get lefties out. He has shut down a few of the righty-heavy offenses in the NL Central, but the Braves, bless their LOOGY-phobic hearts, have like 76 left handed batters on the roster. It may not go the way we fear it might.

  43. @67 I would never project him on the Alabama fanbase, but I have no problem adding him to the list of reasons never to live in Texas.

  44. I know that Kentucky is not Auburn in Bama fans’ eyes and that they usually just pat us on the head, but I will say that I’ve been to most of the stadia in the SEC and Bama fans are the most pleasant of the lot and it isn’t close.

    It’s gotta drive true Bama fans crazy that this moron just reinforced the (largely northern) stereotype.

  45. “Well, I’m just a very unhealthy Alabama fan,” he says. “I live it. I breathe it. I think about Alabama football, I’m not exaggerating, 18 hours a day. I have always been that way. It just didn’t start. That’s what people don’t understand. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is get on Tiderinsider and see what’s going on. I mean, I know it’s not healthy. I’ve been knowing that a long time. I have a daughter 33 years old named Crimson Tyde.”

  46. I think every fan base has idiots like this (most don’t act on their first toughts). I would say most SEC fans are pretty decent. Yes, even a good percentage of Gator fans are probably okay people (see Mraver and Rob)

    It sucks that fools have to ruin things for everyone else.

  47. John Sickels likes what he’s seeing from Arodys Vizcaino so far this year:

    **Atlanta Braves prospect Arodys Vizcaino entered ’11 needing to show that he was healthy after missing portions of ’10 with elbow trouble. He looks good so far for High-A Lynchburg, with a 2.97 ERA in eight starts and a 32/10 K/BB in 33 innings, 28 hits allowed. Scouting reports indicate that his low-to-mid-90s fastball, plus curveball, and workable changeup are all working well. He did miss one turn in the rotation with a sore back, and he’s been on tight pitch counts so far, averaging just over four innings per start, although he’s picked up 12 innings in his last two appearances. I had him as a strong Grade B pre-season and would retain that rating right now, with a B+ upcoming if he stay healthy through mid-season.

  48. @72 Even if we don’t end up doing anything this season, I can take comfort in knowing our pitching is STACKED.

  49. A trade is inevitable. We have no positional depth in the minors– who is the next 3B? SS? 2B? CF? LF? I understand we have a few nice prospects here and there, but nothing on the level of Heyward or even Freeman.

    On the other hand, our pitching is very, very, incredibly immensely deep. In the next 3 years our rotation may include: Hudson, Hanson, Jurrjens, Teheran, Medlen, Minor, Delgado, Vizcaino, Beachy, Oberholtzer. Some of those guys may switch to the bullpen, sure, but that is a lot of arms.

    Then you take Lowe off the books next year and boom we just freed up 15 mill.

    It may not happen during the season, but I think this offseason may be very interesting

  50. CF and SS are open after this season, and 3B is a questionmark. Tbe Braves rarely go after free agents. There isn’t anyone remotely ready in the farm system or they would be up now. You do the math.

  51. The Braves will free up salary by moving Lowe and probably JJ this offseason. Nate and KK will also be off the books. They will protect almost all of their young pitching.

    They’ll get some mediocre bats via trade or FA, pay their arb figures, and sign some useless veteran relievers. Then they’ll pocket as much cash as possible.

    Its a trend, it wont change.

  52. The sad thing is, Julio Lugo immediately became the second best MLB capable SS in the org.

  53. @79
    I’d rather have Lugo who was actually a good major league for a number of years rather than sending Diory out there.

  54. Tyler Pastornicky is having a good year at Double A. The Braves may decide he’s ready to take over SS next year. I would imagine that when Chipper retires that Prado will move to third and the Braves will bring in a LF from outside the organization. They will have to do that for CF.

  55. On Schafer – Wow. I guess he can play centerfield – not much else at this point. We’re in trouble if he’s the best we’ve got.

  56. Funny, I assumed Schafer would be DFAed to make room for the person called up to replace McLouth.

  57. I found myself chuckling at one of the tweets when I googled Schafer for a source on the callup info. I was about to repost it here when I saw that it was from @bravesjournal.

  58. Hopefully Mather is a trend setter and Wilkin and Schafer, who were both royally sucking for Gwinnett, will be AWESOME for Atlanta.

  59. I would have recalled Young. Now we probably have to see Schafer play everyday…I’d rather have Mather play center.

  60. @94 Stuff ’em with Big Lots “magazines” and make pillows for the couch? I’m sure zip-ties are involved somehow.

  61. Everybody STEP BACK off the ledge. We are TWO (2) games out of the Wild Card right now. Heyward hasn’t been hitting all year, so for the moment we aren’t really losing anything. Oh, and it’s May. We’ll be fine. What you really should be focused on is trying to introduce me to my love, Emma Stone.

  62. Also, I’m going to ignore his minor league data and assume Schafer comes up hitting and maintaining plate discipline, basically being a better version of Jacoby Ellsbury. Don’t disappoint me, Jordan. Also, I love Emma Stone

  63. braves14, somehow/someway Schafer is an upgrade over Matt Young. He just has to be, right?

  64. Well, I was thinking that Young wouldn’t have to play everyday but Schafer probably will.

  65. Zip ties? That’s some Yankee substitute for Alabama chrome*, isn’t it?

    *aka duct tape

  66. Consider the parallels between Jordan Schafer and Tony Mandarich. Mandarich did have a successful career as a decent guard, so maybe Schafer can be an okay fourth outfielder.

  67. Writeup on Schafer over at talkingchop says he’s having a “decent return” this year. I guess the author has lowered his standards if he thinks a .634 OPS is a “decent return”.

  68. If I was going to stalk someone it would be Zooey Deschanel or Emma Watson. Maybe Kat Dennings.

    Oh right Braves. Uh.. Fredi is so dumb that it’s not tasteful to make fun of him.

  69. With the exception of a few, I’ve found Talking Chop to be only a step or 2 above the AJC blog in intelligence.

  70. Schafer has to at least be a defensive upgrade, right? I mean he can probably throw it on a fly from shallow center to 2nd. Offensively it doens’t matter because that’s not a terribly important skill for this team.

  71. Seems like a nice kid. For 20 years my answer to that question has been Marisa Tomei, and it remains so. She and Tim Wakefield are about the only people left who I can point to and say, “See, I’m still just a youngster.”

  72. 105 – You and me both Stu. We’re the last two.

    F***ing defensive replacement time.

    I’m hoping Wilkin Ramirez is spanish for Charles Thomas.

  73. How to Tell It’s an Off Day Part 35- Talking about who we would stalk…

    For what it’s worth if I was forced to stalk someone it would probably be Emma Stone or Diane Kruger.

  74. My current TV girlfriend (it changes periodically) is Rashida Jones.

    Murph just dissed Lady Gaga on Twitter. The man is a true American hero.

  75. @112, Zooey Deschanel is phenomenally gorgeous, but after I saw her in a couple of interviews, my interest in stalking her waned. If I was interested in such things, I’d have to go for someone like Mindy Kaling.

  76. Thank God the Todd Raleigh era is over. Hopefully the Mike Hamilton era is close behind.

  77. @107, Well, it is Florida we’re talking about. They probably think duct tape has something to do with boating shoes.

  78. Anyone see Manny Acta right now? Hey Fredi take notice, you can take up for a player when they are right. Hell of a managing job he’s doing in Cleveland right now.

  79. Manny Acta has long been one of my favorite managers. He not only takes up for players but is pretty statistically savvy.

    It also helps that he has a great offense. I would give three Dan Ugglas for one Asdrubal Cabrera right now.

  80. #94
    Was at the Yankee game tonight & this guy wearing a Florida sweater kept coming & going thru the row. Finally, I said, jokingly with mock annoyance, “Oh, no! Here comes that Gator guy again.”

    Completely misreading me & pointlessly attempting to curry favor, he responds, “I know, I know. Everybody hates us, but I’m a Yankee fan, too.”

    I just mumbled to my friend, “You have no idea.”

  81. I like the Lugo signing….

    I had hoped that Schafer would spend more time at AAA, but least his defense should be good.

    Yes, it is way too early to give up hope.

    Otherwise, off to HK….

  82. Vizcaino was dealing tonight. No runs, no walks, and only 3hits in 7 IP. He will prob be in AA soon.

  83. I wonder what the lineup will be like the next couple of weeks. Prediction:

    Prado LF
    Gonzalez SS
    Chipper 3b
    McCann C
    Hinske RF
    Uggla 2b
    Freeman 1b
    Schafer CF

  84. Where’s Mather at in that lineup ? Don’t tell me it doesn’t Mather.

    I’d like the opinion from others around here that follow the minor leagues closer than I do, but it looks like Delgado & Vizcaino are pretty close to ready to be moved up.

  85. Ugh-la and Freeman don’t need to be next to each other in the lineup. They need to be spereated like two 8th grade girls that won’t stop talking in math class.

  86. #138 – Fredi loves the Righty-Lefty thing too much

    Prado
    Freeman
    Chipper
    Bmac
    Uggla
    Hinske
    AAG
    Schafer

    He’s having dreams about how many sac bunts he’ll have against Charlie Morton tonight.

  87. Its not really a communication problem, Fuentes just needs to realize that he’s a pitcher (not a closer) and should be ready whenever he’s called on.

  88. It might also be a communication problem, though. On the one hand, Fuentes comes off sounding like a jerk. On the other hand, what he’s describing is awful. If other pitchers feel that way about Geren, he’s facing a low-level mutiny.

  89. He’s also a really crappy pitcher, which makes the whole thing hilarious. The A’s have like three other relievers who are way better than he is.

  90. Pastornicky having a real nice year at AA. I don’t know much about the kid’s defense (heard it was average with plus range and average arm), but he can run (80% SB success rate with the ability to steal 30-40 bases a year), has always had good plate discipline, and is showing more power this year (.462 slugging up from a .371 career average). He seems like a Martin Prado type who slips under the prospect radar, but might actually be a good major leaguer.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=pastor001tyl

  91. He’s only 21 and one of the few decent position players in our farm. Its ok to be a little excited about the season he’s having.

    13 errors in 42 games isnt exciting though.

  92. @149,

    He only played like half a saeson at AA last year. From what I can tell he was at high A when we got him and we sent him strait to AA

  93. Woof!!

    When was the last time an American made it to, hell, the quarters in the French?

  94. Y’all are right. Pastornicky only played 38 games in AA. I’m officially sort of excited but his performance thus far is an aberration.

    They say you can never have too much pitching but what if you don’t have any position players?

    Is this Jordan Schafer’s last effing chance to make a positive impression?

  95. Jordan Shafer is getting another chance only by luck. He certainly hasnt earned it, but Ill hope for the best.

  96. Which is now final. Nadal took the last two sets 6-2, 6-4. Like AAR said, Americans just cant get it done in tennis anymore.

  97. I like Isner a lot, and it was awesome to watch part of that interminable Wimbledon match he played. He’s a great server, but he isn’t a great player. Nadal won 6 games in every set of the match for the same reason that the Wimbledon match went for three days: Isner can hold serve, but he can’t break serve.

  98. Dan Uggla is batting 1-for-11 (.091) in his career against Charlie Morton, with four strikeouts.

  99. @164,

    Ok so Ugh-la goes 2-3 tonight with both hits bouncing off the topp of the wall. He will get thrown out at second both times.

  100. More evidence for my “Uggla’s shirts are too tight” theory. His last good game was the Civil Rights game, where he was forced to wear a man’s sized shirt.

  101. Everyone was wearing a Cheryl-sized shirt that day. There’s got to be some middle ground between busting out and getting lost in the folds.

  102. @166… Madoff or no Madoff. This is the dumbest part:

    “SI also reports that the Mets turned to Madoff to help them get rid of outfielder Bobby Bonilla, a clubhouse malcontent, after the 1999 season. If the team released Bonilla, it would have had to pay him $5.9 million for the 2000 season. Mets officials instead offered to pay Bonilla nearly $1.2 million per year for 25 years, for a total of $29.8 million, beginning this July. The payments to Bonilla were based on an interest rate of 8%; the Mets planned on investing the Bonilla money with Madoff, whom they expected would give them a 10% to 12% return.”

  103. #170
    That should tell you what kinds of returns Wilpon/Katz were actually getting, and for years.

    Anyone interested in this stuff (and I find it fascinating) might want to read Harry Markopolos’ book, No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller, which details how the author (a financial industry math-genius/”quant”) pegged Madoff early, alerted authorities about the fraud several times & tracked him for years, but…, well, just read the title.

    The Mets aren’t in the book, but it explains much of the scam, especially how lots of people made lots of money & why plenty of people kept pitching loads of cash into the kitty.

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