Braves 3, Marlins 2

Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins – Box Score – June 09, 2011 – ESPN.

It’s not very common to score seven runs in a three-game series and get a sweep, but I guess I’ll take it. The Braves’ formula of excellent starting pitching and just enough offense works; it’s just that a lot of the time they don’t get just enough offense, but none at all. Chris Volstad had a no-hitter going through five. Chris Volstad! Luckily, Jair Jurrjens was on the mound for the Braves, doing his Greg Maddux imitation.

Matt Young (Matt Young!) broke up the no hitter with a swinging bunt that stuck to the first-base line in the sixth. After Jurrjens bunted him over, he came in on a double off the wall by Alex Gonzalez. In the seventh, the Braves had four hits and scored twice. Chipper Jones reached to start the inning, but was erased on a truly boneheaded hit-and-run with Freddie Freeman at the plate. (Seriously, someone get Fredi Gonzalez a table game, nobody would do that in my league.)

Freddie then singled (Freddie good, Fredi bad) and after an Eric Hinske strikeout Brooks Conrad (in for Dan Uggla) singled as well, and it looked like the hit-and-run was a really big mistake. But Freeman scored on a wild pitch, and after Young was walked Jurrjens singled in Conrad to make it 3-0.

But Jurrjens suddenly was vulnerable, and with two out in the seventh allowed a homer to Giancarlo Stanton, a double, and a single to make it 3-2; he had to get Wes Helms pinch-hitting to keep the lead, and did. The Braves got a couple of baserunners in the eighth, highlighted by a double from Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball, but stranded them. Eric O’Flaherty allowed a one-out double to Omar Infante in the eighth, then hit the next guy (the pitch after seemingly striking him out) but got out of it with a popop and a groundout. With Craig Kimbrel tired, Fredi actually used his best reliever — anyone’s best reliever — to finish it. Jonny Venters got them 1-2-3, ending it with a strikeout. Dan Uggla, defensive replacement, struck out in his only plate appearance. Braves are now two games under .500 all-time.

71 thoughts on “Braves 3, Marlins 2”

  1. Actually, the Marlins have too (17-11), and weirdly, the Padres have a better winning percentage (15-12).

  2. Uggla-Watch-2011 – .170/.235/.304

    170 is now the Uggla-Line. Surely this is the bottom?

    Lost in the shuffle (and hilarity) of this 3-game sweep is that Chipper is really struggling lately. AAG/McCann/Freeman are the entire offense. You only have to watch the 8th and 9th innings of all of our games, since the most you’ll miss is a couple of runs, a caught stealing, some bunting, and lots of outs.

  3. Hickman showing his outstanding knowledge of archery.

    “If you have an arrow in the quiver you might as well shoot.”

    Do the Braves intentionally hire idiots?

  4. Conrad with a sizzling 1 for 3 brings his average up to .171 (.001 points ahead of Uggla). Young’s 1 for 3 performance brings him all the way up to .138

  5. “Jair Jurrjens was on the mound for the Braves, doing his Greg Maddux imitation.”

    You know, I have always thought JJ would become a poor version of Maddux and Hanson would be the poor version of Smoltzie. I guess they are both doing pretty well! No wonder why the Braves keep looking for a poor version of Glavine.

  6. @10 – yep…both teams are sprinting towards Pythagoras now. We’re just one game away I think.

  7. I think Hanson is doing more of a Javy Vazquez 2009 impersonation than a Smoltz impersonation.

  8. Cubs just went back to back in the top of the 9th to take the lead on the Phillies. The homer is in question and being reviewed. It’s too close to overturn, but it is questionable.

    Minors notes: Teheran through 8 innings, struck out 11, gave up 0 runs and 0 walks.

  9. The frickin’ HR was overturned. In my opinion, there wasn’t conclusive evidence to overturn it. It should’ve stood.

  10. That is one helluva start by Teheran. We’ve got the best pitching prospect in baseball, and it could be two years before he’s more than our 6th starter. I’m quite delighted by the state of our pitching. Any shred of offense at all would just seem like a bonus.

  11. Any shred of offense at all would just seem like a bonus.

    I present Jair Jurrjens, Cy Young frontrunner and hitter extraordinaire.

  12. The Braves have the best starting pitcher in baseball, the best reliever in baseball, and in Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball. Shame about the rest of the lineup.

  13. Fredi’s table game is our burden, but I’ll go with it—because I have to. I have no conrtol.

    Still stranded at JFK (due to weather), so the crew watching hoops is pretty funny (and kinda drunk).

    Warning, Name-Drop Alert: Hanging at the bar with wrestling announcer “Mean” Gene Okerlund and (how weird is this?) Master P watching the game. Unbelievably nice folks (but, where’re they gonna go, right?)

    I’m so happy the Braves won, but… please get me on this plane. Five-plus hours is a bit much…

  14. Braves tied with Milwaukee for the wild card lead. And we already won the season series against them. We may move within 2 of Philly. Heyward should be back soon. If only Uggla would start hitting…

  15. Phillies lose. We’re 2 games back.

    Now, to get someone, anyone to hit the ball.

  16. Now Heyward. No McLouth. Uggla hitting like…well, last year’s McLouth. 2 back. Sort of shocking, really.

  17. #26
    What’s really weird is that they actually knew each other, cuz they did a wrestling show together once.

    OK, my 7 pm flight is now a 1:45. Guess I’m sleeping in a bit tomorrow.

  18. “I had ice and heat on it all day [Wednesday],” Prado said. “I guess it worked, because it feels better today. [But] I don’t want to get out there and perform at 50 percent.”

    Come on Martin, you at 50% is still better than Uggla. Chipper, you have to talk to Martin about that.

  19. @23, I’m a little surprised you think that.

    I know you’re not using any kind of defense-independent measurements, as Halladay destroys everyone in those. You appropriately hate using earned runs, so you’re probably using RA. At the top of the list we have:

    Josh Johnson: 9 starts, 60.1 IP, 1.94 RA
    Jair Jurrjens: 10 starts, 72 IP, 2.00 RA
    Josh Beckett: 12 starts, 76 IP, 2.01 RA

    The other JJ has a better RA, but he’s pitched less. Really, Josh Beckett stands out. He’s all of 0.01 higher in RA while facing a DH instead of a pitcher every time through the lineup, and he’s pitched more innings. If you’re looking at actual, unadjusted results, it’s hard to beat Beckett. (If you’re looking at quality of pitching, it’s hard to beat Halladay.)

    Beckett: Most effective pitcher so far this year.
    Halladay: Best pitcher so far this year.

  20. I admit to have a little bit of a man-crush going…

    On faltering a bit in bottom of seventh, when he gave up the homer, double and single all with two out

    “I think I let my guard a little down. I just wanted to throw a slider for a strike to Stanton, and I threw two in the dirt [before the pitch he hit]. That shows you you need to keep focused until the last out. It was a good lesson for me, to concentrate until I come out of the game.”

  21. Mac asked me this last night, but yes, I am driving from Austin to Houston tomorrow morning and going to see the Braves-Astros game Saturday night. Tickets are pretty inexpensive so I have great seats – Braves side of course :)

    The downside is it appears the game I am going to will be started by the current weakest Braves starter (ahem), Tim Hudson.

    The other downside is the Braves are vowing to sweep Houston on just 4 total runs. Good luck with that!

  22. Hunter Pence is kinda the girl at closing time – better than nothing, but …

    If I can’t have McCutchen, I’m leaving alone.

    Again.

  23. random question…are we retiring Smoltzy’s number? didn’t we retire #31 & #47 the year after they retired?

  24. Just remembered: I believe Jurrgens said something about Venters showing him his sinker grip.

    Is that correct?

    Anybody have a photo of said grip?

    Thanks!

  25. #40

    You are aware Mac’s full name is that, although spelled differently.

    Mac, I think (maybe wrong ;) you were officially just propositioned – congrats!

  26. Johnny Venters – the best reliever in baseball to Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball.

    Got a nice ring to it.

  27. Saying McCann’s the best catcher in baseball makes me feel kind of icky because it’s due to another player’s injuries.

    I’ll just stick to “best catcher in the league.”

    However, there isn’t really any ickyness in saying Venters is the best reliever in baseball.

  28. When the offense sucks, why not shake some things up?

    1. Jordan Schafer is not a Major League baseball player.
    2. Matt Young (tear) is not a Major League baseball player.
    3. Joe Mather (tear) is not a Major League baseball player.
    4. Diory Hernandez is not a Major League baseball player.

    Are the Braves really that worried about passing any of these 4 through waivers? Meanwhile…
    1. Gartrell has an .898 OPS at Gwinnett
    2. Constanza has a .375 OBP at Gwinnett with speed
    3. Gomez has a .912 OPS at Gwinnett
    4. Brandon Hicks is OPS’ing .878 at Gwinnett

    Hicks might be a fluke, but their also could be some truth to his philosophy change in hitting that he discussed during Spring. He was horrible offensively for 2 years, but he looks to be finding his power stroke once again.

  29. @49: Not sure I get your meaning. Neither “best catcher in baseball” nor “best catcher in the league” has anything obvious to do with injuries; both are just talking about a current state of affairs. The only distinction I can see is that one refers to the NL, and one refers to all of MLB, but that’s irrelevant as to Posey, who plays in the NL.

    Moreover, I think Brian was the best catcher in baseball even when Posey was active.

  30. I don’t feel icky with Mac calling B-Mac the “best catcher in Baseball”.

    First, even healthy, I wouldn’t have put Buster Posey ahead of him. (Giants fans would, but they’re biased).

    Second, It’s not Mac’s fault that Posey and Mauer are injured, nor did Mac wish for them to be injured. The reality is, they are injured and there’s no debate here – with Posey and Mauer laid up, McCann laps the field on being the best catcher. I think Mac should absolutely keep saying it – right on.

  31. #4–I am waiting to see if people bet on the day of reaching the new Uggla line of .160….

    And just deep is the bottom?

  32. There’s always gonna be some guy playing well in AAA and some AAAA guy not playing well here. It does not mean we have to turn our entire bench over once every two weeks.

  33. 27 – probably Halladay, but Josh Johnson was close before he got hurt. Much as I think some people go overboard with their reliance on metrics that measure fielding independent pitching, I’m no less weary of excluding FIP entirely from the discussion–and you just can’t call Jurrjens better than Halladay (or others) unless you focus only on runs allowed. But whomever is the best, one thing has become clear: Jurrjens is great.

  34. Anyone notice this in Fredi’s post game comments:

    On Jurrjens getting down bunt in 6th and RBI single in 7th

    “When a pitcher can get a sac bunt, field his position and help himself out with the bat, a manager has a tendency to leave him in longer.”

    I guess he’s talking about Hanson?

  35. There’s always gonna be some guy playing well in AAA and some AAAA guy not playing well here. It does not mean we have to turn our entire bench over once every two weeks.

    Thank you, Nick. We’re really agitating for the promotion of Stephen Stefan Gartrell?

  36. Maybe that’s why managers kept on leaving Mike Hampton in games, despite the fact he typically lost even more effectiveness beyond the fifth inning.

    Pitchers should be able to field and bunt. But Fredi’s obsession with bunting and running needs treatment. Is the Braves alleged “batting coach” teaching bunting? He was 31 for 36 on career sacrifice bunts, according to Baseball Reference. That same site says that Hanson is 5 for 6 in sac bunts, while JJ is 5 for 7.

  37. It also bears mentioning that Stefan Gartrell, aside from being a 27 year old journeyman with no real skill profile, was also traded back to the White Sox 10 days ago.

    Hmmm. I may be misreading the lines. He may have been traded to Gwinnett after 7 games with Charlotte this year. Still, he’s no better an option than Joe Mather.

  38. Braves need to quit worrying about these AAAA players and they need to get Heyward, McLouth, and Prado back all together. If thats not possible then make a trade.

  39. @66 – I don’t think it would be all controversial for me to say that Hanson can not hit, can not bunt, can not field, and can not throw.

    When it says he’s 5 of 6, they must mean of the 6 times he’s gotten it down, only 1 time has the baserunner been thrown out. That can not account for the times he’s been called upon to bunt, and ended up striking out.

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