Braves 1, Marlins 0

Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins – Box Score – June 07, 2011 – ESPN.

So, the Marlins broke out Brad Hand, a lefthander from AA who had never pitched in the majors before. Inevitably, he held the Braves to one hit and one walk through six innings. Fortunately, 1) that one hit was a solo homer by Alex Gonzalez in the fourth, 2) Tommy Hanson, though he allowed two whole hits and walked five, kept the Marlins off the scoreboard for six innings, and 3) Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters, and Craig Kimbrel finished it off with no sign of Fredi bringing in the Proctologist.

The Braves had only one other hit in the game, and that was by Martin Prado with two out in the ninth. Jordan Schafer and David Ross drew walks. The Marlins’ best chance came against Hanson in the sixth, when he loaded the bases on walks with two out, but got a groundout (Dan Uggla almost loafed it into a run) to end it. O’Flaherty allowed a leadoff hit in the seventh, and Venters a two-out single in the eighth, and Kimbrel walked a guy with two out but the next hitter lined out to end it.

99 thoughts on “Braves 1, Marlins 0”

  1. At least we got that second hit…because a win with 1 hit would have been embarrassing.

  2. Chip Carary during Braves Postgame – “Offensively tonight the Braves were only able to drop a deuce on the Marlins”

  3. Why don’t we discuss how terrible our game scouts are? This always happens. When we see a guy for the first time, just called up or just haven’t faced him, we look terrible.

    Don’t we have scouts? The Marlins AA team is in Jacksonville and they play in the same league as the Braves AA team. Would it be hard to call Rocket Wheeler and ask him about Hand?

    Or are our scouts just like, “It is going to be hard to beat (Insert Soft tossing lefty), he has great command on the mound, Really reminds you of Glavine.”

    Now Fred Hickman and Brian Jordan are talking about how it is hard to get motivated to play they Marlins because they have no fans. Jordan said it was hard to play them when the were in Montreal too.

    I figured it out. Brian Jordan is our head scout.

  4. I hope we enjoy September baseball when Linebrink is our closer, Sherrill is our setup man, Martinez is our 7th inning guy, and Scott Proctor is our LOOGY (you heard me) because EOF, Venters, and Kimbrel all have an appointment in Birmingham. They’re all on pace for 80 games pitched. Freaking ridiculous.

    Peter Moylan, I dearly miss you.

  5. We don’t have enough offense to not use our good relievers constantly. I thought we went over this every other year ever.

  6. I’m ashamed to admit that after Hand left the game, I almost hoped (just a little) that the Marlins would score a couple of runs just so Mac might title the recap “Florida 2, Pearl 1.” What an absolutely pathetic offense. That would have been a sad showing from the double-A team.

  7. Fredi on Uggla.

    “He’s been off-the-charts defensively. He’s run the bases aggressively. And he has helped us win ballgames, not with his bat but with the way he plays the game, the other parts.”

    Uggla -3.7UZR -9.3UZR/150 -0.8WAR, but ok.

  8. I’d take the sucky fielding Uggla if I could get the good hitting Uggla back…

  9. I listened to Fredi’s pre-game interview on the radio. He spent most of his time bragging about how good the scouts were in preparing them for minor league call up pitchers. I don’t think I agree.

  10. @14- in fairness to Fredi, those defensive numbers ARE off any chart that doesn’t show the negative y-axis…

  11. @17-It turns out that Liberty outsourced scouting another division in the corporation. The talent scouting in that division, however, sees balls in a much different way than do most reputable baseball scouts.

  12. We aren’t missing anything with Heyward out. Hinske and Mather are perfectly capable of hitting .200 as well.

  13. Y’all chill out. you all know the braves are better than the phillies, and we’re only 3 games back. june is time to take over.

    Troy

  14. Chipper sounds like a moron, not a doctor. Maybe he should just worry about keeping his batting average above .250 before spouting off.

  15. Yes, I agree. Chipper Jones doesn’t know anything and should shut up because he’s batting .250.

  16. Chipper is at his best when he keeps his mouth shut.

    And yeah, we all KNOW the Braves are so much better than the Phillies. Sure.

  17. A nice win–and one that helps to take the sting out of an appalingly bad draft.

    As for ‘ban the Dan’, I think that we once had a good and serious poster named ‘Dan’ and I hope that he comes back….

  18. Chipper said the same thing about Drew when Drew was hurt in the early part of the 2005 season. I know where Chipper is coming from, but I don’t really agree with him. The kid is still learning his limits in terms of playing through injuries. He had one experience last year and he is trying another way this year. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Chipper KNOWS his limits, Heyward doesn’t. The kid played the another month with a broken thumb last year and was never the same afterward. I think I understand why Jason is trying to make sure everything is ok this time before he comes back. It has nothing to do with “ball up” or not.

  19. KC–Good point–I guess I cannot get over the fact that the Braves refuse to invest in the Draft. That said, in this draft the Braves turned down numerous opportunities to select players with high ceilings. Last year I was unhappy that they threw away a 2nd round pick on Todd Cunningham–because he does not have a very high ceiling (unless he can hit for power). At least last year we wound up with Lipka, Simmons, Filak (who is imploding) Leonard (who does not appear to be making much progress)Cunningham (who might have been available in the 3rd or even the 4th round) and Gosselin. At least the Braves also drafted players who had sleeper potential.

    In this case, the first two picks are solid and then its pretty much an adventure. Now, in any draft, most players selected after the third round will not make it. However, the Braves used to be good at taking players in later rounds who did develop. When you are drafting seniors from tiny schools, there is little time for them to develop into prospects. In some ways, it is only important that they become prospects. After all, once a player becomes a prospect he becomes an ‘asset’–which can then be used for trades. It is hard for me to see how an unsually large number of these players can become ‘assets. Obviously, I hope that I am wrong about this.

    For the record, I am ok with the first two picks (though did we really need another SS?), don’t know enough about picks 3 +5, and like the 4th pick and think that 7-10 are probably ok. I cannot believe that the 6th round pick had to be taken then–when there were many good players left to be drafted. Collectively over 30 picks, it looks like the weakest Braves’ draft in memory.

    To put this in perspective, when you examine the drafts of other teams (not including the Rays, which was unusual) its hard to see that the Braves have actually helped themselves as much as they might….

  20. The Braves are taking the low risk/low reward approach, which is completely the opposite of what we used to do. I wish they would have balanced their approach a little bit. And I don’t quite understand where the love on fast/little power midfielder is from. We used to NEVER draft that kind of players.

    Where is the power? Where is the power? Hello?! Does the word exist anymore?

    I am not as frustrated with the individual picks as I am with the overall approach. What the Braves are doing now is a boring approach. We will keep developing decent players but there is no more STARS in the system once our top three pitching prospects “graduate”.

  21. The Braves will keep developing pitching prospects that nobody will want to trade, because what if?

    Re: Chipper and Heyward

    I guess if anybody knows about playing injured, it’s him. But if he comes back 80% and hits ,200, we’ll all be upset at Jason for trying to be tough.

    Then again, if he can only play at an acceptable level when 100%..

  22. I am still holding out hope for Andrelton Simmons (and to a lesser extent Lipka) to be a STAR, but yeah the Braves will draft Todd Cunningham and hope that he will become another Mark Kotsay, rather than draft other available outfielders who have some chance of becoming a Gant or a Justice.

    I totally agree: the imbalance in this draft looks like an exercise in overcompensating….

  23. Chipper said the same thing about Drew when Drew was hurt in the early part of the 2005 season.

    Drew had played in 22 of 30 (73%) games prior to Chipper’s comments, and he played in 123 of 132 (93%) games afterwards, and had the best year of his career. I’m glad to have someone in the clubhouse who is willing to remind young players that their teammates have expectations of them. Anyone who’s been in a leadership position recognizes the value of knowing who you need to call out and when, and then doing it in a constructive manner. That’s huge. You’d rather have the Club Med approach that the Mets’ clubhouse has been for the last few years?

  24. The problem with Heyward’s situation is that there’s not any sign from the tests that he is really injured, or at least teh Braves are painting it that way. He’s had several instances of doing baseball activities such as falling back into walls or sliding and come up acting like he was hurt. Remember the game late last season where he hit off the fenced portion of the scoreboard and acted like he was going to keel over right there on the field? I think players notice that kind of thing and I can understand their frustration.

  25. Can somebody explain to me why “normal wear and tear” is an acceptable answer from the Braves concerning Heyward’s shoulder?

    There is nothing “normal” about a shoulder hurting too much to swing a bat. IMHO.

  26. But it’s not a fight, and you don’t have to be “with” one or the other. Chipper is drawing a distinction between sufficiently healthy and flawless, and reminding Heyward that the team could use even limited production from him. If whatever is bothering him can be treated while he plays, then his focus should be on getting back, not getting perfectly healthy.

  27. When I first heard about what Chipper said I was a little taken back. But after I read the quotes, he is 100% right.

    Everyone on this team is banged up some. Prado isn’t 100% but trots out there everyday. Chipper isn’t 100%, AAG, hell, even Schafer isn’t 100%. Heyward was probably about 65% when he went out, but if he is 80% now, he needs to come back.

    Henski is over exposed, 150% of Joe Mather and Matt Young isn’t close to 70% of Heyward.

    I am not saying (and I don’t think Chipper is either) that Heyward is being a baby, but there comes a time when you have to man up and play. He is 22 years old, outside of his arm falling off, he needs to play ball.

  28. @36- If you can draft anyone outside the first/supplemental round and have them turn into Mark Kotsay, you’re way ahead of the curve. 1998-2004 Kotsay could play legit CF and was an above average hitter. I’d take that in a second right now.

    And that’s not even mentioning Jamie Kotsay, who I think he should get extra credit for bringing into our lives for a little while

  29. I don’t know if I agree or not with Chipper’s comments, but I certainly think saying it to a reporter instead of Heyward is ridiculous. What is gained by making this a public spat?

  30. @46,

    That is a fair point, but then again we don’t know that he hasn’t talked with Heyward.

  31. I think the Braves are part of a secret government time travel experiment in which they have been transported back to 1968 and offense is non-existant. I expect to see anti-Viet Nam war protesters at their games any time now. (And, free love, let’s not forget that part of the sixties either.)

    I don’t see the point of having Heyward play if he can’t hit. Just being out there isn’t going to help. It would be one thing if he had a pulled muscle or something and he couldn’t run but could still hit. How much help is it to have him hitting ground balls to second? Uggla can do that. And Hinske has played pretty well. The real problem is that other guys that are supposed to hit aren’t.

    Maybe the Braves will bring Francouer back. He’s silencing his critics.

  32. @3, I could be wrong but I seem to recall one of the things that happened when Liberty Media took over (or maybe even before then) was to trim the budget they somewhat decimated the scouting department. I think the area that was hit the hardest was our advance scouts. If I am remembering this correctly then I think that’s the answer to your questions. When Bobby was GM he built an organization which was complete: advance scouting, minor league development, talent scouting, etc. When the budget to support all of that went away those were the areas the Braves targeted for cuts…. and now we are reaping the results.

  33. “Yes, I agree. Chipper Jones doesn’t know anything and should shut up because he’s batting .250.”

    Ah, strawmen, the life blood of the internet.

    @33

    The Braves this season could not pay over slot at all. That is political more than anything else–it’s not a financial decision. Then again, it’s not like they are ever that aggressive with the draft, and I understand the frustration. Moreover, there were sexier, higher ceiling players than Gilmartin in the 1st who would pay for slot, so the early round decisions don’t necessarily make that much sense even now. I have to think that Gilmartin provides a replacement for Minor, who may be dealt soon.

  34. 40 — The Braves said there was nothing “structurally wrong” with his shoulder but that he had “inflammation.”

  35. Still reeling over passing up Mikie Mahtook for Sean Gilmartin. Just so you know.

  36. The Braves are one of the most boring teams in pro sports. Maybe a little controversy will do us some good here. Why does the organization keep reiterating that there’s no damage to the shoulder? I’m thinking that Chipper is not the only one a little displeased with the situation.

  37. I agree with Bethany. I remember that same play and others like it where Heyward really played it up.

    He was always missing time in the minor leagues, and I assumed it was at the insistence of the organization, in order to take no risks with their best player.

    I’m starting to think that because he’s been special his whole life, he’s been babied his whole life and might not realize that there’s a difference. THESE are the games they were saving you for. There’s no next level that makes this one not worth the risk.

  38. Oh, for pete’s sake. Look, when Heyward was hurt last year, and tried to play through it, he sucked. When he was hurt this year, and tried to play through it, he sucked. It’s not like he’s a hypochondriac. He’s legitimately been bad at baseball due to injury. He might as well try to get healthy.

    Of all the people to criticize other players for not sucking it up and playing more, Chipper Jones is about the last person who has call to do that. His comments to the press were fairly mild, and I’m sure that he feels like he’s educating Heyward about how to carry himself in a big league clubhouse, but Mr. 130 Games a Year doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

    Stu, I’m right there with you. But I do find it funny that you’re obsessed with multiple people named “Mikie.”

  39. Well, I’m not really obsessed with Mahtook — I was just shocked that he was sitting there when the Braves picked and extremely disappointed that they went with a low-ceiling starting pitcher over an advanced outfielder with tools and skills. Mahtook could seriously be in a MLB outfield by the end of next year.

    But at least we’ll have eleven MLB-caliber starters.

  40. Remember the Smoltz/Chipper spat back in ’07? Here’s Round 2, I guess, with Chipper assuming the Smoltz role.

    Wise or not, Chipper seems to be attempting to serve some greater purpose with those comments. Hope it works, but I suspect Heyward will play when he feels like he can play & contribute.

  41. @57

    So we can finally reach our goal of an 11 man rotation without any outfielders that can hit.

  42. Alex has summed up what I’ve been thinking about Heyward. I don’t think an injured Heyward has much of an impact. Get well soon, Jason.

    Oh, for pete’s sake. Look, when Heyward was hurt last year, and tried to play through it, he sucked. When he was hurt this year, and tried to play through it, he sucked. It’s not like he’s a hypochondriac. He’s legitimately been bad at baseball due to injury. He might as well try to get healthy.

  43. Oh, for Pete’s sake, Chipper Jones is 39 years old, and not including his Sept call-up in 1993, has averaged 141 games a year for 16 years, and that includes a strike-shortened 1995 where he played 140 out of a possible 144. For the first 10 years of his career, he missed an average of 7 games per season.

  44. I don’t have a problem with what Chipper did.

    I have a hard time imagining that he’s not savvy enough to have talked to Heyward before going to the press. I also have a hard time imagining Chipper going to the press where there wasn’t a need to do so. He’s not Carlos Zambrano. I’d be willing to bet that his characterization of the situation is right: Heyward is well enough to play, and play better, but is waiting a few extra days to get to full strength.

    And just because Chipper only plays 130 games a season doesn’t mean he’s also not playing some games where he’s 80% — which is what he’s asking Heyward to do. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. I actually wish that Heyward would be more like Chipper and be willing to take the time off in a more preemptive fashion, as opposed to trying to pay through an injury that could get worse that way.

  45. “I have a hard time imagining that he’s not savvy enough to have talked to Heyward before going to the press. I also have a hard time imagining Chipper going to the press where there wasn’t a need to do so. ”

    By that logic, he’s never wrong because he is Chipper Jones. That is deeply problematic logic. In fact, it’s not logical at all: it’s a tautology standing in as reason. The reason I am not willing to bet that his characterization of the situation is right is because (1) he is not Jason Heyward, and (2) he is not a doctor. Playing baseball for a long time gives you no more wisdom about other people’s bodies than someone who has not played baseball for a long time, or than someone who has never played baseball at all.

  46. 63—I’m going to refrain from stating my extremely-strong opinion on the average cop.

  47. You know, health isn’t a single toggle switch. You are rarely either fully healthy nor fully unhealthy, and this is especially true for athletes. Listen to what Chipper (and Smitty) actually said. Are you 60%? Maybe that’s not enough. Are you 80%? Maybe that is. Is it going to get worse if you play? If yes, sit out. If not, we may not have all year to wait for you.

    Look, Chipper didn’t say this the day Heyward went on the DL. He said it once the 15 days were up, and news filtered to the clubhouse that 1) nothing structural has yet been found, 2) physical therapy has been ongoing, and yet 3) he’s not trying to swing a bat yet. So he put a bug in his ear.

    For all this talk about how badly Heyward was sucking…his OPS+ is 99. If he’s up to doing that right now, do you or do you not want him back? Because even that would be a huge help to this team.

  48. @64-

    The issue then becomes to what extent Chipper is speaking in the infinitive as opposed to concentrating on this particular injury. With regard to the latter, I think most would agree with your point, but I think Chipper is eminently qualified to help shape the paradigm from which Heyward approaches the game, and IMO, that’s mainly what he’s trying to do.

  49. 66 – I don’t want him back for that, no, especially if he can get fully healthy and then perform as he should. If he has no risk of re-injuring himself by playing, then that’s a different story, but it’s rarely the case that that’s true. When players play hurt they naturally overcompensate and tend to put stress on different parts of the body unintentionally, which itself runs the risk of leading to a new injury.

    The irony of all of this is that in recent seasons most of us have grown deeply annoyed by the Braves’ medical staff’s inability to diagnose injuries properly, by management’s insistence that certain players were healthier than they let on, and by the culture permeating the entire organization that leads to such beliefs like “it’s better to play through pain than heal.” Here is a classic example, a not uncommon one in a professional sport rooted in idiotic assumptions about masculinity (see the earlier comment: “Heyward needs to ball up”), and we’re now defending it because Chipper is 39 years old and good at baseball.

    When conventional medical wisdom conflicts with conventional baseball wisdom, I’ll throw my lot in with the former.

  50. 67 – But we still don’t know what paradigm from which Heyward approaches health; this particular injury is, at this point, no more than this particular injury, and it tells us little about Heyward’s beliefs. It is very possible, if not incredibly likely, that both Jason Heyward and Chipper Jones share many of the same assumptions when it comes playing through pain–they’re both professional baseball players, after all–but in this particular instance Heyward has determined that he needs to be fully healthy to be effective.

  51. #46–a Kotsay type is a best case scenario. The Braves drafted him with the #53 position and there were plenty of players available whose best case scenario was much higher.

    Jamie Kotsay we can count as one of thoes ‘intangibles’….

    The top end of this draft does not bother me as much as it does some–but the mid-lower rounds appear to be uncharacteristically bland. I fear that this draft may come to remind us of the 2002 draft where it quickly became apparent that between the 4th round and Chuck James in the 20th, there were almost no players who made any substantial impact on the organization (Wes Timmons being an exception) or become prospects.

    All of that said, at least the Braves have not fallen in love with the radar gun the way some organizations and would be scouts have. I suspect that in a few years some of this ‘pitching depth’ will be exposed–relying on radar guns has driven up the value of some pitchers more than it should. In this context Gilmartin looks like a very good pick.

    Again, I am glad that the Braves are less reliant on the Southeast. Last year the Braves mounted more of a national draft and they repeated it yesterday. This is a welcome trend….

  52. It is very possible…that both Jason Heyward and Chipper Jones share many of the same assumptions when it comes playing through pain

    Very true. I’ll even stipulate it and still say it’s okay for Chipper to say what he said. It was a fairly gentle reminder (and most likely in response to a particular question) that there are competing variables at play, and to be mindful of them. I certainly hope Heyward’s psyche isn’t as sensitive as others’ seem to be on his behalf.

  53. I’d just like for it to be known that my senior year in high school I got a hit off the Brewers’ 24th round pick.

  54. @63, overcharging is a significant revenue stream. I love the “stop lying!” part, and the fact he doesn’t appear drunk at all, let alone enough to warrant a field sobriety test. The ol’ “strong odor of alcohol” standard apparently wasn’t enough to make anything stick even though refusal to blow rates an instant license suspension. I would LOVE to see the whole video, although just that small part is enough to see why the State AG dropped all charges. Too bad Lowe has an image to protect, or somebody would have been sued into the ground.

  55. I think it should be asked, if Prado had the same injury as Heyward, would he be playing?

  56. You can see the full video here.

    There’s a pretty funny conversation in which Lowe tries to explain to the cops that he pitches for the Braves. I think it was right around the 10 minute mark.

  57. I move that Mac leads every topic with a Steely Dan song.

    Well, never mind. Only a fool would say that.

  58. I couldn’t bear to watch that all the way through. When the cops try the “who’s on first?’ routine, I nearly puked. That and letting someone go that had purportedly been doing 90mph on a city street because he was “honest”. Time to break out those MDC records.

  59. Question for ububba:

    saw a video of a rap version cover of Neil Young’s “Old Man” (pretty good, imo). Thought I heard ole Neil in background.

    What is the proper industry term for that type of sampling / cover ?

    Thanks!

  60. I usually enjoy low-scoring well-pitched games, but not when they’re every single game. I’m not ready to lower the mound yet, but the league needs more offense.

  61. Cops like that… I mean… I’ve seen it before & all, but… incidents like that one really make you lose faith in our institutions. And thanks Spike, I might break out that MDC vinyl now. Been awhile.

    #79
    Industry term? Probably “illegal,” if it was commercially released without the copyright owner’s permission.

    Haven’t seen it, but it’s probably a “mash-up” video.

    “Mash-up” videos create a very grey area because on one hand they promote the original song, but many of them remain technically illegal.

  62. It’s drafts like this that make me question the entire Braves program. They talk about scouting and drafting but they aren’t even taking the best players available. But it’s an odd situation. The Braves don’t seem to be aggressive in the draft, yet they always seem to produce a couple of guys capable of being average or above average starters–McCann, Heyward, Freeman, Hanson. Yet, at the same time, they seem to have little organizational depth outside of pitching and, outside of Heyward, have had little in the way of outfield talent. It’s a hard team to figure. The Braves seem to do a fantastic job in the minors of developing the real prospects so that they are more ready to play once they get to the majors.

  63. Francoeur could be productive for ten years if he keeps switching teams.

    2005 – 274 PA with Braves – 126 OPS+
    2009 – 308 PA with Mets – 120 OPS+
    2010 – 56 PA with Rangers – 123 OPS+
    2011 – 258 PA with Royals – 119 OPS+

    Really, who didn’t see this coming? My guess – he falls off a cliff starting about two weeks from now.

  64. Jeffy’s fall may already be starting. Even with his 2 for 5, 3 RBI performance last night, he’s just 3 for his last 22, and all of those hits have been singles. He hit .233/.287/388 in May. This is definitely more like the Jeffy we know.

  65. I think Francoeur cast a spell on Nate McLouth last year and stole his talent to impress his new team. I think Uggla was targeted this year. Anyone know a witch doctor?

  66. Joey, Frenchy is already free falling down that cliff.

    OPS by Month
    April – .912
    May – .675
    June – .658

    OBP by Month
    April – .361
    May – .287
    June – .258

    However, he is still hitting lefties to a .352/.362/.685 clip. Uggla on the other hand has a nice .098/.179/.131 line with about the same amount of PA’s

  67. I can’t wait until Frenchy is out of baseball. I’m tired of feeling good that he’s still bad.

  68. If this topic hasn’t already been discussed…

    How much of the Braves recent draft strategy (staying within slot) has to do with Liberty and how much has to do with JS being part of the draft reform process?

  69. JF’s stats for June are a a .267 avg with a .258 OBP. How can he have a higher avg than obp?

  70. Also, fwiw, Lowe does kinda look drunk to me. You gotta give him the benefit of the doubt because he, like anyone, is probably nervous and jittery in blue and red flashing lights talking to Sergeant Slaughter there. But his walk around the car to spit out his dip, the way he counted his steps way ahead of actually taking them. He just didn’t seem very, athletic.

    The cop was a total turd, but that doesn’t make Lowe sober. That’s all I’m saying.

  71. TD – I think it’s sacrifice flies that do that.. They aren’t AB’s, but they are PA’s.. I’m not sure, but I’ve seen that before. Best theory I could come up with.

  72. When I lived in Florida, I once got stopped in Pompano after a date. I was trying to find the entrance to I-95 to get back to Miami and, given my sense of direction, was lost and kept driving up and down the road. Also, it turned out my lights weren’t working which I didn’t know. So this cop thought I was drunk and stopped me. I hadn’t had a drop–which, of course, he couldn’t have known. He did not give me a breathalyzer–I think he didn’t have the kit on him–but he made me walk a straight line, which, of course, I could do. Nevertheless, the cop said he still thought I was drunk and would have arrested me if he had actually had some proof.

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