Braves 2, Pirates 0

Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Box Score – May 24, 2011 – ESPN.

I mean, Jair Jurrjens wouldn’t want to be greedy. Two runs is plenty! Jurrjens was superb in the early going and very good in the middle part of the game, and he’s now 6-1 with a 1.56 ERA, which is pretty good even in the neo-deadball era that Fredi Gonzalez is helping to create. Through the first four innings, Jurrjens was doing prime Greg Maddux material, something like 39 pitches, 33 strikes. He started getting squeezed a little and wound up with “only” 71 strikes in 97 pitches, striking out four and walking just one.

Charlie Morton has a 2.61 ERA, but c’mon, it’s Charlie Morton and you can do better than that. (You can certainly do better than being struck out 1-2-3 in the ninth by Evan Meek, but that’s another story.) The Braves got one run in the second on singles by Alex Gonzalez and Freddie Freeman and a sac fly from Brooks Conrad (starting in Dan Uggla‘s overmuscled, underhitting place). In the third, Jordan Schafer (leading off, don’t ask me) walked and scored on a Martin Prado double. That was it for the offense.

Jurrjens gave up a two-out single in the eighth and was pulled for Jonny Venters, who then struck out a pinch-hitting Matt Diaz, who is still better than Uggla. Craig Kimbrel struck out two in the ninth for the save.

273 thoughts on “Braves 2, Pirates 0”

  1. Charlie Morton’s been doing that to a lotta people this year. He’s 5-2 with a 2.61 ERA. Let’s be happy we beat him.

  2. Not great results, but I loved Schafer’s swings. They look like he’s finally healthy. I hope he has the CF job for the rest of the season. And he’s fast as hell.

    I love Emma Stone

    twitter.com/iloveeEmmaStone

  3. kc,

    Your ‘logic’, which is based on ‘evidence’, found to be ‘true’ by people that have ‘studied’ the game much longer than 99% of the mainstream media or blog commentators has absolutely no place here.

  4. I know I haven’t been visiting as much as I used too, but I didn’t realize this place has become so hostile.

    ILoveEmmaStone, if Morton starts cutting his walks, then I would start believing. For now, he is still the disappointing Charlie Morton that I knew from his Braves days.

  5. Who is this new poster? And Schafer’s swings looked good? Well, I kindly disagree. They looked like he made good contact, sure, but it also looked like his power is completely gone. Inquiring minds want to know why Schafer weighs about 20 pounds less than what he used to…

  6. Good time at the ballpark tonight. Sixth row behind the Braves dugout was Braves central, with lots of people cheering JJ, holding their breath whenever the ball was hit to Conrad, and agreeing that we were glad to be there rather than Philly.

    PNC is undeniably beautiful, and would be a great scene if any sort of crowd showed up. I still give the edge to Pac Bell, though.

    Is there a Bizarro Braves Journal where people are happy about victories? What’s that like?

  7. I just really like Schafer over McLouth. Plus, Schafer looks a little bit like Eminem, and we also have a Mathers on the team, and since my favorite artist is Marshall “Eminem” Mathers, I think both should have a spot on the 25-man

  8. 11 — Except that whole thing where McLouth’s major league numbers are superior to Schafer’s Triple A numbers.

  9. Fun fact: It has now been more than two weeks since the Braves won by three runs. In their last nine games, the Braves haven’t even led by three runs. Hard to be too happy when you’re this anxious, and your offense this inept.

    Oh, and I find the lack of musical taste of some on this group disturbing. Will the Real Slim Shady please shut up?

  10. Schafer looked like a little kid up there. With his weight loss I’m not surprised his power is gone.

  11. and frankly i don’t care about Shady’s power. As long as Slim can get on base and be fast as hell, he’s fine with me, especially considering Em’s defense is top notch

  12. His defense isnt top notch, unless he got a lot better while recovering from his injuries. He has good range and a plus arm, but generally doesnt take good routes.

  13. That’s an experience thing, though, and his routes might get better. I’m not wild about Schaefer, but it’s not a bad idea to see if he can do the same as McLouth at a twentieth the cost.

  14. Oh, I dont doubt he’ll get better with more experience. I just dont think you can label his defense as top notch right now. He’s an upgrade over Nate defensively and I hope he can contribute. The Braves could certainly use his services and use that cash elsewhere. Im skeptical, he did bring up a .633OPS from AAA. With his power outage he’ll need to get on base at a .340-.350 clip to be a useful part of this ballclub.

  15. He’s Gregor Blanco with more speed and less walks at this point. He walked 14 times and had a .309 OBP at Gwinnett. In contrast, McLouth at least has a .332 OBP and 20 walks, which is about league average.

  16. Freddie Freeman…

    On Schafer’s speed:

    “For him to be able to score from first, especially with that huge helmet he had on, it’s pretty impressive…He has a small tiny head, so they didn’t’ have a helmet that fit him so they had to go with that thing. It’s a little bit embarrassing, but it didn’t slow him down at all luckily.”

  17. Well, if Schafer can put up a .340-.350 OBP in today’s neo-eighties environment, play good defense and steal a few bases… well, you can live with that, and focus on the shortstop issue this offseason. I doubt it will actually work, but I also doubt it will be a big problem.

  18. I don’t think Schafer will get on base that much when he was barely breaking .300 at Gwinnett.

  19. Schaefer in the big helmet is already more entertaining than Nate’s just-sucked-a-lemon stupid face.

  20. McLouth always looks like you’ve just presented him with Slothouber–Graatsma puzzle.

  21. @130 from the earlier thread, just to continue the silly SEC fan tennis…

    I know who I’d rather see topless.

  22. Charlie Morton – the Braves castaway.

    Does he have the potential to make the Braves/Pirates trade look horribly lopsided?

    I still can’t get over how bad McLouth has looked in a Braves uni and how great he looked in a Bucs uni. What the hell?

  23. I thought about that earlier, but Cholly had a 7.50 ERA last year in 17 starts. We traded him at his peak value when considering he would have been out of our organization at some point during that debacle. The Pirates could afford to stick with him since they aren’t playing for anything anyways and since he was the “centerpiece” of the “blockbuster trade” when we acquired that “Gold Glove” “centerfielder”.

    At the same time, I think Joe said that the Pirates’ ex-pitching coach made him quit throwing the sinker, so maybe he would have been vaguely average for us or better.

  24. Jurrjens rocks! is he really that good?! looking forward to watching the afternoon game. go Minor!

  25. I thought that helmet that Schaffer was wearing last night made him look like Marvin the Martian of looney tunes fame.

  26. I have to say, it was nice to see him score from first. That’s playing GWinning Baseball.

  27. Let’s not overhype Jordan’s night. He walked, ran fairly fast, and scored once. With the ball making it all the way to the fence and pinballing around, I would venture to say that McLouth would have made it home as well. He also had 4 other at-bats that he did nothing on (including one strikeout on a ball in the dirt). A .200 obp isn’t going to cut it no matter his defense.

  28. I’m happy that Morton is having a good year and hope he keeps it up. I think he is in the perfect organization for him right now. A team like the Braves that tries to contend every year couldn’t have put up with the horrible year he had last year without sending him to the minors and eventually giving up on him. Fortunately the Pirates were able to be more patient and it seems to be paying off for both parties. If he keeps pitching like this, he’ll either get traded to a contender at mid-season or will have a chance for a nice free agent contract at some point (most likely the former). Either way, it is a win-win for Morton.

    I vote that we call Mather “The Beaver”. Wasn’t it Jerry Mather who starred in the Leave it to Beaver tv show many years ago (it was even before my time except for reruns)?

  29. Speed doesnt matter when you cant get on base. I dont think he’ll stick in Atl, I hope Im wrong. There was only one person here last night that was impressed with his 1st game. Nate wouldve scored from 1st last night also.

    #40 – Agree 100%

  30. I didn’t read the game thread, but I assume everyone noticed that Schafer looks to have lost 20+ pounds of muscle as compared to early last year? He looks straight out of those Georgia Meth Project commercials now. We may never know exactly what happened with Schafer’s minor league drug suspension, but his drastic change in physique certainly makes you wonder what happened.

    Also ILoveEmmaStone @ 9 – please refrain from insulting other posters in your incredibly wrong support of Charlie Morton. His current K/BB rate is 1.14, which is terrible. The last time he had a K/BB rate that low, in 2008, he posted an ERA of 5.14. Morton owes his current run of success to a very low BABIP and very high LOB %, and those rates will regress towards average over time. By comparison, Jurrjens is also benefiting from excellent BABIP and LOB% right now, but his K/BB of 3.67 will help support a low (3-ish ERA) even when his luck starts evening out.

  31. I’m concerned about not having a three run lead in the last 35 games (give or take) that the Braves have played. If good teams blow out the opposition, what are the Braves? Are they doing it with smoke and mirrors? Will this offense eventually fall out of the sky crushing the pitching staff beneath it? (Hopefully Sherbrink takes the brunt of the crash..)

    Or, on a more optimistic note, is this team the next iteration of the ’60s Dodgers, with Hanson and Jurrjens playing the role of Drysdale and Koufax? And where three runs is an offensive explosion. And can a team win in today’s climate with that pitching+defense and to heck with offense strategy?

  32. 58—The Braves have the third-best run differential in the NL and the sixth-best in baseball; the lack of blowouts doesn’t appear to be a problem.

  33. I don’t mind a lack of blowouts. A lack of offense is tougher to deal with, though. We’ve got a 2B who hits like Mark Lemke, a center fielder who hits like Otis Nixon, a first baseman who hits like Sid Bream, and a shortstop who hits like Jeff Treadway.

    But we don’t have a manager who manages like Bobby Cox.

  34. The offense sucks, run differential is due to the pitching staff being lights out.

    When we hold the other team to 2 runs or less we are 20-2.

    When the other team scores 3 runs or more we are 7-21. And we have a losing record when allowing just 3 runs.

  35. Prado is sitting…bad idea with an off day on Monday and another tomorrow.

    Schafer
    Gonzo
    Jones
    Bmac
    Hinske
    Uggla
    Freeman
    Mather
    Minor

  36. Regarding Morton, he’s pitched a bit ahead of his periferals this year, but that was mostly in the early going. Recently he’s started recording a few more strikeouts, and regardless, he’s been getting gobs of grounders the whole year. He hasn’t been sub-3.00 ERA good, but he’s a guy I wouldn’t mind starting for my team. Well, if my team didn’t have starting pitching like the Braves do.

    Either way, good for him. He’s bounced around a lot, so it’s good to see things working out for him a bit.

  37. Good to see Fredi isn’t sticking Uggla back in the five spot after the day off.

    He’s still the Prince of Morons though.

  38. @67,

    Me too. Good call moving him down in the order. Maybe he will relax and start hitting.

  39. Uggla and Prado were the only guys who had started every game prior to this series.. They could each use a rest… And Bobby always loved to do that, too, a game off right before or after a day off with no game… Managed to give a guy a real, full rest and only miss one game. Fredi managed to get that for both guys by staggering their games off here. I kind of like it.

  40. I think Morton’s K/BB ratio will come around as he gets used to pitching with that delivery, and I think he’ll end up being pretty good. He always had a good arm and showed two really good pitches yesterday.

  41. Uggla took out the lineup card last night, and Prado did so today. Doesn’t Fredi understand the concept of a day off? Idiot!

  42. @74,

    I think Prado is banged up from a ball he hit off his leg.

    I think letting Uggla have two days off was more of a mental thing for Uggla.

  43. So what happened with Chipper and JJ yesterday? I never noticed anything, but some announcers on the radio are saying they got into it during the game? Anyone hear anything?

  44. @77 I think they’re referring to the fake indignation Chipper had after making the diving catch off the bunt late in the game. I don’t know what happened exactly, but it ended with JJ giving him a hug, so I don’t think there was an altercation.

  45. @77

    They may be talking about what happened in the dugout after Chipper made that play over by third. I don’t know what was said, but Chipper looked upset that JJ didn’t say anything about it or something.

    When it happened Joe and Chip talked about it like they were just playing around, but Chipper didn’t look that happy to me.

  46. Found it…

    “I called the wrong bunt play and I jumped all over Jair after the play was over, and I was the one who got it wrong,” said Jones. “I thought we had put on the pick-off play and we actually put the wheel play on. So if I’d been where I should have been, I would have made that play standing up.”

    Back in the dugout, Jones found out Jurrjens was right; they had put on the wheel play. The best he could do was offer Jurrjens a big bear hug.

  47. Runner at 3rd with no outs and 4-5 hitters coming up. Huh, sure think we couldve scored one there.

  48. For all of the attention Uggla has received, McCann’s bad season is also a pretty big reason for the Braves’ offensive stagnation.

  49. Adam,

    Coming into today, McCann had an OPS+ of 105. Not a typical McCann season, so far, but it’s not “bad” or “suck”-y, either. Remember, all of baseball is down, offensively.

  50. BMac’s career OPS is .842, he currently sits at .735 3rd highest on the team. Uggla’s career OPS is .823 and he’s sitting at .600. The attention being directed towards Uggla, our power addition/big contract guy, is justified. Heyward being injured is another big blow to this offense.

  51. According to the gameday thing on mlb.com is showing the umpire is squeezing Minor early on.

  52. #93, both pitchers seem to be getting squeezed. tight strike zone tonight apparently.

  53. Adam M Says:
    14 – McCann has not been very good either…
    May 22nd, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Adam M Says:
    None of this excuses McCann’s utter uselessness.
    May 24th, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Adam M Says:
    McCann continues to suck.
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Adam M Says:
    For all of the attention Uggla has received, McCann’s bad season is also a pretty big reason for the Braves’ offensive stagnation.
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Did McCann run over your cat or something?

  54. 90 – Well, his wRC is also 98, and the Braves simply need him to be very good, not average. It’s true that a .317 wOBA isn’t horrible for a catcher, but if that catcher is supposed to be your best hitter and cleanup hitter, then you’ve got a problem.

    As far as “sucks” goes, I’m just venting at this point.

  55. #91 – Adam, I think that was a minor league gun being off. Minor averaged 90.9 last season according to fangraphs.

  56. Good grief, with all our regulars AAG has the third highest batting average .269. Chipper sits at .268

  57. @103 – at least we can guarantee Minor a win if he throws 9 shutout innings, right?

  58. Vanderbilt players and commits on the BA draft top 200:

    12. Sonny Gray – Jr. RHP
    35. Tyler Beede – HS RHP
    56. Grayson Garvin – Jr. LHP
    59. Aaron Westlake – Jr. 1B/OF
    77. Jason Esposito – Jr. 3B
    102. Kevin Comer – HS RHP
    113. Navery Moore – Jr. RHP
    152. Jack Armstrong, Jr. – Jr. RHP
    173. Taylor Hill – Sr. RHP

    It really is amazing what a talent pipeline Corbin has turned this into. Now, about Omaha…

  59. Anybody else find the sarcasm/cutesy level of the MLB Twitter writer a little — or a lot — annoying?

  60. Minor has been pretty good, not too efficient but didn’t get some close calls and a couple of infield hit for the Pirates. Not bad at all.

  61. I’d say more unlucky than lucky. The Pirates have hit maybe 2 balls hard, all day.

  62. He’s throwing a lot of pitches — I’d say he’s lucky about the choice of opposition

  63. The Pirates offense is about as good as the Braves. Or bad?

    Minor seems to be getting more comfortable as the game progresses.

  64. Mark Lemke sounds like he’s calling the game while watching TV at home and worried someone might hear him. And might have just done one of the worst home run calls ever. Poor Lemmer.

  65. Is there a team in baseball with a less productive 2-6 order in the lineup?

    Edit… then Hinske hits a homer

  66. I wonder how Teheran wouldve done against these guys instead of at Philly and Ariz.

  67. Did you see Minor checking the bullpen to see who’s coming in to hold his lead. Surely he didn’t like what he saw…

  68. Yeah, Lemke is atrocious at play-by-play. His inflection never changes except when it shouldn’t, and the upstate new york accent is hard to listen to.

  69. I’m not sure what excited me more last inning: the fact that Hinske hit a homer or that Uggla hit a fly ball.

  70. Lemke is pretty good in conversation with Powell though, I’ll give him that. Just no more play-by-play please.

  71. Lemke has a bad voice and is devoid of insight, but he still is infinitely better than Chip Caray.

    I would feel better about the world if we could score more than two runs in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  72. “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” during the stretch. A crowd-pleaser that knows no boundaries….

  73. 147 – Exactly for that reason… because even the Pirates can get a couple runs too, and the Braves will have to score more to win.

  74. I feel good about a Schafer bunt here.

    I swear I posted that before the pitch. Of course I was joking.

  75. I’ve been noticing Chipper take a lot of strikes this year. Pitches he would normally swing at.

  76. Well sometimes, Chipper shouldnt even have a bat out there. These K’s looking are a concern.

  77. #164, Parrish has a different approach with Chipper compared to the rest of the team maybe.

  78. Pull Uggla now.

    No Chip, David Beckham won’t be playing randomly for teams he isn’t contracted to in their biggest game of the year.

  79. With a more loosely-fitting jersey, the ball wouldn’t have bounced so far away, and he might’ve made that play.

  80. Mather, you’re our franchise player. Easily the best hitting talent on the team. We need you to come through here.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say that Uggla strikes out and starts pouting.

  81. I was just hoping for a fly ball. Instead, on a 3-1 pitch Uggla hits a 3 hopper to third. Awesome.

  82. 3-1 pitch and he still cant do anything with it. He hasnt been showing up for the extra bp sessions for what reason?

  83. OK, Mather. Need a home run here.

    Oh well, lazy fly out. No worse than a walk. Or a triple.

  84. Yay! Let’s find ways to lose other than not driving in runs. Fantastic :)

  85. If Venters gets the loss, can we at least give him credit for three innings of work since we’re giving away outs? Unbelievable.

  86. Jonny Venters is such a beast.

    I think I’d rather have gone ahead and lost, though.

  87. Thank god we are playing the Pirates. Any other team and that would have been game over.

  88. Only downside of that double play is that our offense is going to see some more action.

  89. Moylan, FWIW, on the botched DP:

    Not lack of communication. Gonzos bag but had to charge the ball. Uggla trying to help!!!

  90. We have to be setting records for # of extra inning games played. Hardly a surprise, when you combine our excellent pitching with our anemic offense.

  91. McCutchen was shocked to see Sherrill and promptly grounded out in disbelief.

    Now, its apparent Chipper put on Neil Walkers uni.

  92. Fredi knows all our extra-inning games go at least 11, so it doesn’t really matter who pitches the 10th.

  93. Say what you will about Brooks’ defense but the guy has more game winning hits than any other Brave I can think of…

  94. #260 – Its Fredi we are talking about, never put it past him to ask for a bunt.

  95. I never thought I would say this, but I don’t have a problem with Sherrill or Proctor at this point. They aren’t Johnny Venters (unfortunately), but they’re both pitching at a decent level. Linebrink is a different story – fortunately he didn’t see any action today.

  96. For all the moaning lately, we have a 15-8 record in May. Only Boston better at 16-7 and SF is tied with us at 14-7 (though they’re % points better).

    That said, the opposing pitching on that road trip set up really nicely for us and we didn’t take advantage. Now it’s six at home versus Cin and SD before a 10 game road trip against NYM, FLA and Hou(4). Hopefully we can pull of a 10-6 strech there, which would get us to .500 all-time. Right now we sit at 9973-9977 and I’d love to get to 10,000 wins before 10,000 losses.

  97. You can complain all you want about the incompetence of Freddi or Wren or Uggla or whomever, but the Braves, without most of their outfield, are 2.5 games out of first. Don’t know how long they can stay competitive like this, but I would say we probably should wait at least a couple more weeks before we abandon all hope. :)

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