Braves 3, Marlins 2 (10 innings)

Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins – Box Score – June 08, 2011 – ESPN.

Though six innings, Dan Uggla had more hits (1) than the Marlins (0) as Derek Lowe was pitching a gem and a half. That he got no-decisioned is just one of those things, I guess. That the Braves almost lost the game in extra innings is due to the mystical nature of Fredi Gonzalez‘s mind and should not be attempted to be understood lest you go mad.

The Braves took a lead in the first when Jordan Schafer singled and stole second, and came in on a single by Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball. (This is a Googlebomb I am trying.) They got a second run in the fifth, when Schafer tripled with two out and came home on an Alex Gonzalez single. But that was it for regulation.

Lowe looked like he might make it hold up, though, having allowed only one baserunner (on a walk in the second) through 6 1/3. But the Marlins got back-to-back singles then, and after a groundout Lowe walked the bases loaded. Eric O’Flaherty came in and had a weird sequence where he threw three breaking balls in the dirt to go 3-2 on Giancarlo Stanton, but got a strikeout on a fastball. Jonny Venters, naturally, had little trouble in the eighth, getting two strikeouts and a HBP before Omar Infante flew out to end it.

Craig Kimbrel blew away the first two men he faced, but then walked the next, followed by a double. Giancarlo fell behind 1-2 then singled past Freddie Freeman to tie the game, though Kimbrel managed to strike out the last man to extend the game.

With one out in the tenth, Chipper Jones walked and Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball, singled. Freeman came up and worked the count, then singled in Chipper. Dan Uggla, of course, struck out (the best possible outcome) and so did Joe Mather, but the Braves were in position to win.

Of course, their manager decided that the man to save the game was Scott Proctor, Dan Kolb being otherwise occupied. Proctor actually got an out before allowing a double and walking the winning run. Fredi brought in George Sherrill, and it says a lot about Proctor that a huge sigh of relief was heard around Braves Country. (Oh, and Proctor gets a hold for that. Kimbrel gets a “win”. Baseball rules, ladies and gentlemen!) Sherrill struck out his man, and then Fredi went to Scott Linebrink. Scott 2: Electric Poopaloo managed to strike out Gaby Sanchez to end it. Sanchez protested, and he had a point: it was Scott Linebrink after all.

103 thoughts on “Braves 3, Marlins 2 (10 innings)”

  1. My wife is upset that I’m interrupting Top Chef, I’m laughing so hard at “Scott 2: Electric Poopaloo.”

  2. “Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball.”

    Let’s keep it going.

    Mac, you are not giving Fredi any credit for this? He managed to get three outs from Proctor/Sherrill/Linebrink. He has to deserve something?! Right?

  3. Above average game by Uggla tonight. Maybe he can build on this. :-|

    Very quietly Freddie Freeman is becoming our second best hitter.

  4. 4: He deserves summary termination. Clean out your locker, Fredi, and stop trying to retroactively save your job as Florida’s manager.

  5. I wonder if Larry Parrish is even still alive. Haven’t seen any change in Struggla’s approach, like maybe get him to start from some spot where he can actually reach the outer half of the plate without just weakly rolling over on pitches.

    Also, another good game by Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball.

  6. Ahem…might I note that those self-same Marlins have scored 7 more runs than us, with a collection of hitting talent which is, by any reasonable measure, considerably less impressive than the Braves’ Opening Day lineup? So yeah, I guess it’s just a reformulation of the age-old question: why has Larry Parrish still got a job?

  7. If the Mets can beat the Brewers tonight, the Braves will move into a tie for the Wild Card lead.

    I don’t see the Braves firing Parrish in the middle of the season. Doesn’t seem like a Braves thing to do.

  8. Although I don’t like Procter in the least, it is quite hard to blame him for that double. that was an absolute filthy pitch. The guy just happened to go down and get it.

  9. Good win tonight. We’re in decent shape right now. We needed to take it to the Marlins.

  10. Larry Parrish must have had a really interesting answer to “Where do you see yourself on 10 years?” Because I can’t see any other reason he should be employed.

  11. Dan Uggla on John Mallee (the guy the Marlins just fired)

    “Big-time impact [on me]. With how much he looks at film and my at-bats against the guy I’m supposed to be facing that day, he gives me a plan on how to attack them and it really helps out. He’ll tell you what to look for and how to react, and you’re going to get him on this pitch. You’ve already conquered it in your head.”

    Even if we don’t fire Parrish, can we hire this guy as Dan’s personal hitting coach?

  12. What on earth is going on? Melky has eight HRs, freaking Brent Lillibridge has seven HRs. What’s going on?

  13. Should’ve been game over in the 9th with Kimbrell.

    Borderline pitch (when your pitcher is dominating) did not get called…for strike 3…game set match.

    But we won…and made a fool out of Helms for once.

  14. Bmac is by far the best consistent offensive catcher in baseball. Nice game from Lowe and Schafer too. Somehow, it was a good win and they need another tomorrow.

  15. I just watched the game on mlb.tv. I really wanted to slap F’n Gonzalez three times in just the tenth. A game like this, where his insanity “worked,” will just encourage him.

    You’re right about the sigh of relief with Sherrill. He totally should have worked that whole inning. There would have been a lot less drama.

  16. @27,

    I wouldn’t have brought Proctor in, but outside of the Fredi went with the match-ups and it worked

  17. Just watched the Lowe-cop-video… Amazing. Good you have things like this on video and Lowe’s able to kill any doubts about this “incident”.

  18. @30,

    That is a good question. Linebrink maybe? I don’t know. It worked out. I’m not overly concerned.

  19. RH vs Sherrill: .470 OPS

    Sherrill should have worked the whole inning. He’s a good pitcher.

  20. Gearrin could’ve started it. Or even The Lisp. Generally, in a one-run game, I prefer not bringing in the worst pitcher on the staff.

  21. Did anyone else notice during Stanton’s ABs versus O’Flaherty and Kimbrel that he couldn’t catch up to the high heat? Stanton K’ed on a belt-high fastball from O’Flaherty, and had no chance in his next AB until Kimbrel threw him a fastball down by the knees. It resulted in an infield chopper, sure, but I feel that if Kimbrel had elevated his pitch as O’Flaherty did that Stanton strikes out, game over.

  22. Regardless of how he did it, the game tonight proves the inanity of “saving” the closer on the road in extra innings until the team has the lead. Obviously, it wasn’t an issue tonight but even with what the Braves threw out there in the tenth, they still managed to get three outs and win the game.

    From Keith Law:

    John Schuerholz (Atlanta’s Draft Room)

    Other than Minor (who was the no. 7 overall pick and still is likely a 4th starter at best), no player in Braves Top 10 prospects was chosen after I joined MLB Draft Reform Committee in 2009 and forced my team to pay players at slot levels. Is this a problem?

    Klaw (3:05 PM)

    Don’t you think so? Sometimes I wonder if Liberty Media has any clue what is going on in the company they own, or if they don’t care because it’s a blip on their balance sheet.
    ______

    It’s things like this that make it hard to be a Braves fan. Even the Nats ownership now seems to care, unlike the Braves. It’s not that Liberty doesn’t notice, it’s that they actively prevent the Braves from spending money. As long as you can field a decently competitive team without spending much money, Liberty is happy. I haven’t been that upset about Liberty until now, but it’s one thing not to spend on free agents and another not to spend on the draft either. Of course, Liberty will be long gone when the Braves are sucking because of their poor drafts.

  23. @38 – the Braves have not had a lot of inspiring drafts in recent years (Heyward aside), and we certainly haven’t taken on many difficult/over-slot signees. On the other hand, the Braves have focused a lot of time and money on signing international players, and that may prove to be a better use of our resources (until enough teams move in that the low-hanging fruit is picked, so to speak).

  24. @38,

    Maybe but you can’t say the Braves have been overstocked with high-impact position players from there. Where are all these great internatonal players? They aren’t playing centerfield, shortstop, or second base. The home grown starters are all from the draft. As I said earlier, the Braves apparently have a great player development system but you can’t make caviar out of chicken salad. When you take a 4/5 starter as your no. 1 pick, that’s going to show up eventually.

  25. @39

    Signing international prospects may be a better way to go. It is easier to scout them adn you don’t have the risks that you do in the draft.

    However, I forsee a time very soon that there is a draft for all players.

  26. Yep, willful competitive disadvantage when there’s not even a moral high ground to claim is pretty freaking stupid.

  27. Does it really matter if we have deep drafts and stock the minors with a bunch of above-average players? We’ve got an OF at AAA OPSing 900+ and he can’t crack the lineup-of-suck that features Schafer/Mather/Hinske/Prado. Position-player depth is far less important than pitching depth. I would say that we’ve done a decent job of drafting and developing MLB-quality pitching. If operating on the cheap means that you have to focus on just one area then that’s definitely the area to focus on.

    Still, you kinda need to draft a Chipper/Heyward/Freeman every third year or so just to keep up with natural turnover. But when these type of guys pan out, then they get entrenched on the team for 5+ years. There’s definitely not a need to draft that type of player every single year. It would be nice, but it’s not possible.

  28. OK, I’m a day late to the party but I wanted to comment on the Chipper-Heyward debate from the other day and after sifting through the comments, I’d say my position most closely resembles Smitty’s.

    First, I’ve been a Chipper critic in the past and I do think he’s (occasionally) a poor man’s Charles Barkley where he doesn’t need to comment on everything.

    In addition, just a month or so ago, Chipper was DEAD WRONG when he made the comments he made about our pitching – sure, we have some bums in the relief corps, but our starting pitching (and McCann) is the main reason we’re still alive in the East. I ripped Chippuh hard on that.

    But I am with him 100% on the Heyward thing and I am sorry, but if ever a player knew about playing through pain, it’s Jones.

    I also think the way Chipper talked to Jason (albeit through the media) was instructive – and keep this in mind – Chipper’s been the clubhouse dad for a while and he’s planting seeds in Heyward NOW so that Heyward can take the mantle downt the road (although this is ostensibly, Brian McCann’s team, now).

    But Chipper has a point – every guy out there in June is playing through injuries and he’s not saying to play when he’s too hurt to play because as has been pointed out, a 65% healthy Heyward is ineffective. But as was stated, if Heyward is about 80% and they can rehab him while he plays, I’d rather have him than Mather/Hinske in Right. Yes, I’d rather have an 80% Heyward than Mather/Hinske.

    Unfortunately, the real culprit here is Uggla. If Uggla was producing effectively in the middle of the order, Heyward’s absence wouldn’t be as painful. (pun intended). yes, I still think Chipper would need to make a point to Jason, but if we were averaging say 5 runs a night even, it would be less of an issue.

  29. #21

    Thanks for posting Dan Uggla’s remarks on the firing of John Mallee.

    Larry Parrish, right now, is easily the worst hitting coach in Baseball – by MILES AND MILES.

    If Uggla is openly saying in the media that the now fired Marlins hitting coach made a huge difference for him, why in God’s name is Frank Wren immediately not getting that guy to essentially walk to the other dugout today and put him in a Braves uni.

    We can debate all we want about why Uggla’s offense has been so poor – but it doesn’t change the fact that Uggla made what was essentially a public cry for help – that was clearly Dan’s way of saying: “Please, for the love of GOD, get me away from Larry Parrish, he’s given me the offensive equivalent of Syphilis”.

  30. One final rant today (I generally like to rant in threes).

    The bullpen.

    At what point do we not give a more permanent role to some of the effective guys in Gwinnett? It’s now June – we’re well past those “first two months” and we’re closing in on the All Star break. Enough is enough.

    Isn’t there a farm (in a box by the side of the road) we can drop Scott Linebrink off at, like the way Lots o Hugging Bear was dropped off in “Toy Story 3”?

  31. Linebrink’s pitched okay. I’m more confused on why Proctor, who looks awful, is on the team instead of Gearrin, who looked pretty good in his brief call up.

  32. @48 – Linebrink is really the only one that has been consistently ineffective. Sherrill and Proctor both have good stats, maybe better stats than the reality of their performances, but still. Of the 3 it seems like Fredi uses Linebrink the most so I guess I’d agree that it’d be nice if he was moved down in the pecking order a bit.

    Once Moylan and Medlen return we’ll have more pitchers than we know what to do with.

  33. Gearrin looked good his first couple of outings in April, but his May wasn’t terribly impressive. He got hit pretty hard that month. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that the kid has something to work on before he gets slotted into the standard bullpen rotation.

  34. I didn’t think the Proctor thing was that big of a deal, though I’d probably prefer to see LISP escape his pre-determined role as “long reliever.”

    I also think, when we bring in O’Flaherty with two outs in the 7th, that he could pitch the 8th too. Fredi could then use one of either Kimbrel or Venters to pitch the 9th. I think the problem last night, insofar as there was one, is that we burned through our three great relievers in order to record just 7 outs–and we did that because each guy has an excessively rigid “role” assigned to him.

  35. @52

    I think it was antoher one of those nights that you had to use those three.

    We need to score more runs so we can use Linebrink in the 9th up five runs

  36. I’m with Adam M. EOF can totally go another inning and save Venters some wear (or, in the case of a Kimbrel burp, save him for later in the game).

  37. 53 – But why do we need all three for just 7 outs? EOF has been great–even against right handed hitters this season he has a FIP below 3. In all likelihood he’d be one of the top 2 guys in a bullpen almost anywhere else. My point isn’t that critical of the bullpen usage, mind you: I’m just saying that if one could find fault with last night’s bullpen usage, the mistake probably occurred long before Proctor came into the game in the 10th. It seems reasonable to use two guys to get 7 outs, and then have the third either rested or ready to come in if the game goes to extras–as Braves games tend to do.

    As far as the hitting, sure, of course. The Braves need better hitting, and it’s hard to imagine them winning much this season without a significant improvement there.

  38. Kimbrel has blown 5 saves and we’re not halfway through the season. And he’s still beyond reproach. I’d bet that Proctor or Linebrink could match that.

  39. If you really think that the Scotts are better than, or even comparable to, Kimbrel, or that Kimbrel’s blown “saves” are any sort of evidence to that effect, I have a bridge you might be interested in.

  40. He’s also second in the league in saves. His success rate’s pretty good. When you have a team with awesome SP, awesome 7th and 8th guys, and an anemic offense, you’re going to get a lot of save shots. The sheer number of opportunities makes his raw counts higher.

    Nobody’s saying he’s a better pitcher than Venters, though. Except Freddi.

  41. Kimbrel actually threw strike 3 before he gave up the single hit to Freeman (which was shot right to him and could have made a play on). I wouldn’t reflect upon the bad luck in the 9th for Craig.

  42. I’m not saying Kimbrel sucks, I’m just pointing out that there’s a double standard since he’s the object of a large collective man-crush here.

    Anyone on the team would probably have pretty good success rate if they started the 9th up one or two runs with nobody on base.

    Would you bring in Kimbrel with the bases loaded and the game on the line? Hell no. Venters or EOF all the way there. It’s actually a good thing that Kimbrel is the designated closer since it saves Venters for getting us out of the bad spots when the game is truly on the line and there’s inherited baserunners involved.

  43. Except that Venters isn’t used that way. He’s used in the 8th inning with the lead. Dot. Freddi’s not really flexible.

  44. The case has been made by many smart Baseball people for a long time that the 8th inning is arguably more important, especially if there are runners on – and since Venters is unquestionably the best relief pitcher we have, I am not opposed to him being used in the 8th.

    But it does concern me that he is the only truly reliable reliever we have. Some have good numbers and at times, Kimbrel is unhittable, but only Venters is consistently great.

  45. I think Venters is easily the best relief pitcher on the team (possibly in all of baseball), and EOF is a solid second. If you put a super high value on closers (the media definitely does), Venters should be the closer. However, I’m fine with the approach being taken now. I definitely don’t want to bring in Kimbrel often with runners on base. His 1-2-3 innings are extremely rare.

  46. “Larry Parrish, right now, is easily the worst hitting coach in Baseball – by MILES AND MILES.”

    You have about as much basis for saying that as I do for saying someone is the worst brain surgeon in the world. You have no idea whether he is any good or not–other than the fact that the Braves aren’t hitting. You don’t know how he works with hitters before the game, you don’t know what he is telling them. And, even if you did, you wouldn’t know whether it makes sense or not. Do you have any idea what makes a good hitting coach–other than having good hitters? Have the Braves ever had a hitting coach–other than perhaps Don Baylor–that people didn’t think was the worst hitting coach in baseball?

  47. There’s an awful lot of evidence — for instance, the 30-point drop in on-base percentage from last season — that Parrish is indeed the worst hitting coach in baseball by miles and miles. When the team as a whole collapses offensively, and nobody has a year better than projected, it’s fair to look the hitting coach’s way. If he isn’t responsible, you have to ask if there’s any reason to have a hitting coach at all.

  48. @65 – I will not defend Larry Parrish and I think he should be fired immediately to shake things up. But I also agree with Marc that the offensive stats can’t tell the story. It’s a different mix of hitters/injuries/etc. compared to last season and offense is down across the entire league. The data alone don’t tell us whether, for example, a different hitting coach would have produced a worse set of data. But, I believe strongly in coaches being held accountable for performance. Fire him. Yesterday.

  49. At this level pretty much every single player already knows how to hit and the mechanics of the swing. I think the hitting coach can maybe help with preparation and scouting pitcher tendencies, but that’s also something the player can do on his own. I’m not sure why hitting coaches exist, but maybe it’s just one of those things that we do because it’s always been done that way.

    You seriously think that Uggla doesn’t know he’s pulling off the ball? He knows. He just can’t stop it for whatever reason. Everyone in that clubhouse can give him advice, but only he can execute it.

  50. @47: The problem there is that Dan Uggla is a grown-ass man and a professional ballplayer. No one, I assume, is putting a magnum to his head and forcing him to

    – Stand six miles from the plate
    – Try to one-arm golf everything

    I know in these sorts of specifics professional players can have the tenacity of grape, and maybe something just clicks with the right guy throwing you soft-toss…but I’m more inclined to think he just sucks right now. And that he’s semi-toast.

  51. @21 – While I agree that Wren needs to bring in someone to help Uggla, and Mallee appears to be Uggla’s favorite, I’ve got one piece of coaching advice:

    Dan, he’s going to throw you a slider. If it starts in the middle of the plate, don’t swing. If it starts right at your left hip, swing hard at the middle of the plate. Geez, he’s so lost.

  52. Ahh, I genuinely missed Marc Schneider always targeting my statements, but alas, I know the vast majority agree with me about Larry Parrish ;-)

    But Marc, this is my FAVORITE part of your response:

    @65
    “You have no idea whether he is any good or not–other than the fact that the Braves aren’t hitting”

    Call me crazy, but isn’t his title, ‘hitting coach’?

    It would be like saying, “Alex, you have no idea that Anthony Weiner didn’t tell the truth about his twitter account being hacked, other than the fact that he admitted he lied about his Twitter account being hacked.”

    Anyhoo…thank you Mac for the additional statistical evidence to back up mine and many other Braves fans arguments that Parrish be fired. At a MINIMUM, maybe we could at least hire the recently fired Marlins coach to work directly with Uggla? I mean, if we could even turn Dan Uggla’s season around with this one hire, it would actually help Parrish keep his job and our lineup might actually score more than 2 runs a night. And Uggla hitting helps everyone else, plus takes pressure off Heyward to rush back.

  53. I just went back for my five-year reunion last weekend. There were something like 500 or 600 of us there. There were maybe three of us who never went to law school or graduate school.

    And I’m going to Harvard this fall. So, ultimately, I’m part of the problem too.

  54. “Larry Parrish, right now, is easily the worst hitting coach in Baseball – by MILES AND MILES.”

    I originally scanned over this and thought it was saying that Les Miles said this. I know. I’m insane. But then I thought, “You know, Les might actually be a better hitting coach.”

  55. 51 —

    Cory Gearrin, May:
    8.1 IP, 0 HR, 4 BB, 11 K, 4.32 ERA

    Scott Linebrink, May:
    11.2 IP, 1 HR, 2 BB, 4 K, 3.86 ERA

    Scott Proctor, May:
    6.2 IP, 0 HR, 4 BB, 3 K

    Looks to me that Gearrin is better than Linebrink and Proctor. He’s a little unlucky with the ERA, but gets far more strikeouts and groundouts than the other 2. Linebrink and Proctor both allow more flyouts than groundouts.

  56. Anyone who thinks Linebrink and Proctor are better than anyone else in the pen is insane. They are the worst two relievers, period. Why are we even complaining about anyone on the pitching staff, you cant blame any of them for anything at this point.

  57. Nobody is saying they are better. It’s just they they haven’t been as bad as the comments here would imply. It’s not fair to bitch and moan about using Venters/EOF/Kimbrel every night and then also bitch and moan when someone else is brought in.

  58. “But it does concern me that he is the only truly reliable reliever we have. Some have good numbers and at times, Kimbrel is unhittable, but only Venters is consistently great.”

    It seems a bit much to ask that the other guys be “consistently great.” Look at it this way: the Braves’ bullpen has posted the second best ERA, the best FIP, and the best xFIP in the majors. As a group, the relievers are probably even more deserving of praise than the starting pitchers, and have been, league-wide, great by any definition of the word.

  59. To be clear, I’m no great fan of Scott Proctor or Scott Linebrink, but the groupthink wailing that goes on around here, about pretty much anything Fredi does, is absurd. If Gonzalez had gone with Chisthian Martinez last night and given up the lead in the 10th, there would be wailing. If he had gone with Cory Gearrin and given up the lead, there would be wailing. That he went with Proctor/Linebrink/Sherrill and got the win, yet still there is wailing, is the absurdity of it all come to a point.

    Fredi Gonzalez isn’t a perfect manager, certainly. No one is. But it’s not his fault (nor, really, Lance Parrish’s fault) that Dan Uggla has been taken over by the Can’t-Hit-A-Lick demons that seem to possess Nate McLouth in 2010. It’s not his fault that Jason Heyward is gimpy again. And it’s not his fault that he only has 2.5 reliable arms in the pen, what with Moylan gone.

    I’m not sure Scott Proctor has anything left aside from being a warm body. I’m also not sure he’s notably worse than Cory Gearrin or The Lisp. I do know that virtually every successful manager in the history of modern baseball has assigned his relievers roles, not out of pure mathematical probability charting, but because human beings, of which relief pitchers tend to one of, work better with assigned roles and responsibilities.

  60. @82

    But Reaganman, I greatly appreciate you bringing that up, even if it’s from October, 2010. Considering how desperate we are for offense and how badly Uggla is killing us, is there ANY way we can get word to Frank Wren to hire this guy, even if it’s just to be Uggla’s personal coach?

    Think of all the $$$ we spent on Uggla. I imagine it will be a drop in the bucket to hire a recently fired Marlins hitting coach – and if he succeeds in helping Uggla, we will finally start to get our money’s worth from Dan’s huge contract.

    I don’t see how much longer any of us can take the Uggla-Parrish combination.

  61. #76–Thank you for reminding me that I have missed my 30 year Yale reunion–Good Luck in Cambridge….

  62. I love the Scott 2:Electric Poopaloo line–especially as my two year old is having almost as much success with toilet training as Uggla is with the bat….

  63. Yeah, that was what I was thinking. Try something to make it work since we are stuck with Uggla for better or for worse. This thing isn’t going to work if Uggla continues like this.

  64. It’s been discussed here before that a hitting coach probably has very little influence with veterans. To be fair, the two guys on the team that would seem to be influenced most by Parrish are Heyward and Freeman. Heyward’s performance has dropped significantly from last year, but Freeman has definitely shown improvement since the first of the year. The other young guys (Mather, Conrad, Diory, Schafer, Hicks, Young, …) are pretty bad to start with and it’s a small sample size.

    The thing I don’t understand is how much a hitting coach is involved in the game by game strategy for a hitting approach for each pitcher. This seems to be horrible. I don’t know how Gonzalez operates, but this seems to be more on Fredi’s shoulders. I’m great with letting Parrish go, but I suspect it’s just as much or more Fredi’s fault – not surprising. Any thoughts?

  65. #84
    I hear you. It almost matters not what actually happens or what actually succeeds. The chorus will always be there. But it was there with Bobby, too. I find it generally tiresome, but blogs need content, right?

    As it relates to last night, I just think that Fredi wanted to save The Lisp in case the game got stupid-long. He gambled with our 2 shakiest guys (and let’s not forget that the other guy, Sherrill, dominated his batter on 3 pitches), and he won. Good for him, and lucky for us.

    In that instance, I’ll take the result & tip my cap to the manager.

    Re: Hitting coach.
    I have no idea. I think they’re generally overrated, until they become pawns for a shake-up.

    I don’t think any hitting coach is going to make Jordan Schafer a genuine offensive threat, for example, but it’s hard not to be alarmed by our shocking inability to generate offense for the first 9+ weeks of the season.

  66. I just don’t understand why he used EOF and Venters for 4 outs. He should have picked one of those guys and let them get all four outs.

  67. I think it’s time for a “feel good” article on Parrish from the AJC or Peanut.

  68. I’d guess they feel privileged to be drafted (a) at all and (b) by such a commendable organization.

  69. Dan,

    Well, as a UGA Graduate living in Texas, the news yesterday that the Rangers drafted JT, officially made me a Rangers fan. (and not at the expense of the Braves – I will always be a Braves fan first). But I had an opening for an AL Team and the Rangers Triple AA affiliate is here in Austin, so this cemented it.

    The additional upside is I get to root for Elvis Andrus again.

    But joking aside, an incredibly classy move by the Rangers. Just a true, feel-good story. And if I were a kid drafted after JT in a round as late as 33, I’d probably just be happy I got drafted and hope to prove other teams wrong when you start your minor league career.

  70. “Wonder what the people drafted after him think”

    I wonder what John Ashcroft thought when he lost to Mel Carnahan in 2000.

  71. There’s a time and place for a pick like that, and the Rangers handled it perfectly. Meanwhile, the Braves continue their practice of drafting the sons of coaches and executives in earlier rounds when there is actual talent on the board.

  72. Kimbrel (who needs a changeup) seems to pay dearly for every little mistake. Venters, on the other hand, seems to thrive when the ice is thin.

    As such, I think I’d switch their roles.

    Unless, the eighth is indeed the more important inning. (I’d love to see more discussion of that.)

    Oh, and I think Schaefer stays awhile. He brings an element we haven’t had recently. I’d like to see if it pans out.

  73. I also think linking Uggla’s woeful start to Parrish is kinda ridiculous. I, like many others here, wouldn’t mind firing the guy to shake things up, but he’d be a scapegoat.

    If Uggla really learned a lot from the Marlins’ now-ex-hitting coach, why hasn’t he taken that knowledge into this year? The idea that a player like Uggla, who has played anywhere from very good to excellent throughout his career, suddenly forgets how to hit when spring training comes around and needs a hitting coach to remind him is silly.

    That said…what the hell is wrong with the guy?

  74. I think Uggla’s initial struggles this year were from trying to hit a 5-run homer every time up so impress his new team and to show that he’s worth the contract. Now that we’re deep into the season I think the whole thing has just snowballed to the point where he might need a phone up Smoltz’s sports psychologist.

    I’m sure he knows what he’s doing wrong, but when he gets to the plate for each at bat it looks like he’s about to jump out of his skin he’s so anxious to hit the ball, and his gameplan gets overriden by the bad muscle-memory that he’s ingrained during this stretch.

    I hope it’s something mental like that, since that should be correctable eventually. The other option is that he’s just “lost it” and is “done”. That option sucks.

  75. So here’s a question, who would you rather have on your team: Uggla or Francoeur?

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