Braves 2, Blue Jays 0

Box Score

Tim Hudson didn’t quite win the game by himself, but that’s largely because he ran out of gas in the ninth. Hudson allowed a hit in the second and a hitter reached on an error. They were the only baserunners that the Jays got before the ninth. Meanwhile, Hudson was the offense, hitting a two-run homer with two out in the seventh, after Dave Ross had been thrown out trying to score from third on a Diory chopper.

The Braves had all sorts of blown opportunities. In the first, Jordan Schafer led off with a single, then got stealing before Jason Heyward hit a double. In the fourth, Nate McLouth flew out on, I believe, a 3-1 pitch with two on and two out. AAG led off the sixth with a double and was eventually erased on a Dan Uggla (who else) double play. Hudson eventually had to take matters into his own hands.

Hudson tired in the ninth, walking the leadoff man then giving up a single up the middle to Yunel. Kimbrel came on and struck out the side to get the save.

162 thoughts on “Braves 2, Blue Jays 0”

  1. So, Bethany – do y’all roll Toomer’s Corner tonight?

    Great job by my favorite Braves pitcher not named Smoltz or Maddox.

  2. Does Kimbrel get some All-Star consideration? I know he’s had a few bumps but he’s still been pretty damn good this year.

    Could we possibly have 4 pitchers on the All-Star Team? Jurrjens, Hanson, Venters, Kimbrel?

  3. @6 I doubt it will happen. It will be two of the four. Adding Mac, we will have three all-stars this year.

  4. Kimbrel and Venters are certainly deserving of a spot on the All-Star team, but I’d love if they were overlooked, if only for selfish reasons. Hell, I wouldn’t mind if B-Mac were overlooked too. Those 3 days off could do those guys wonders.

  5. I’m with you, @8. Hope they are overlooked and get some rest. I wouldn’t mind if they selected Uggla as a joke, and the entire Phillies pitching staff. They don’t need any rest.

  6. @5 There’s not much left to roll, if you’ve seen the trees lately. I think the plan is to set up an alternate rolling location, because they aren’t going to let us roll the dying trees, and they’d get flack for ripping them up before they were completely dead.

  7. I bet we are absolutely dead last in scoring in an inning where we have a lead-off double. That event seems to put us right into zombie mode.

    A crying shame that our offense is as pathetic as it has been…where a pitcher not only has to pitch a shutout…but has to give himself the only supporting runs. Sheesh.

  8. @13, Agreed. After a few months of giving him the benefit of the doubt, I’m in the “fire Larry Parrish” bandwagon.

  9. Seems like every time I go see a show at Brooklyn Bowl, something crazy happens in the Braves game. One night it was that nutty game that McLouth hit the walk-off, tonight it’s Huddy.

    Hey, if we’re in a pitchers duel, we might as well win the damn thing.

    And yeah, Kimbrel was Mr. Nasty tonight, too.

  10. Sarcasm aside, I think criticizing the offense is totally valid. We have the second best record in the league thanks to our phenomenal pitching, which has somewhat masked our pitiful offensive numbers (offensive is right).

  11. Hopefully with Prado, Heyward, and Chipper coming back healthy, we will be fine again. Of course, we can continue to hope for an Uggla turnaround.

  12. Uggla needs to go to AAA and spend a month not thinking about anything but meaty fastballs. His timing and mechanics are just jacked up right now.

  13. Actually, I have become optimistic: despite the fact that we have had our share of injuries, the Braves are doing well. The Braves are 8 over .500 and if the season ended today, we would win the Wild Card. Not bad by itself, but pretty amazing when measured against the challenges faced by the Braves…

  14. Sam @21 is right. Uggla’s front shoulder is flying open like a juiced Single A kid.

    Every now and then, he’ll run into one which probably just keeps him from addressing the obvious flaws.

    This is the thing about our hitting coach that befuddles me. It’s pretty clear what he’s doing wrong, yet I see no evidence that he’s been instructed to alter his approach.

    If he ever hits two hard line drives to right center in the same game, we’ll know he’s on the road to recovery.

    And did Andruw really walk to first on that double play or did he tweak something and couldn’t run?

  15. Teheran update: In 29 June innings, he has struck out 27, walked 2, and surrendered 3 runs.

  16. I was at the game last night and saw several things I have never seen before. At the beginning of the game, while waiting for TV commercials to end, the umpires were all standing around home plate and the home plate umpire started playing “mound ball” with all the balls in his pouch. I think he threw about 8 balls out to the mound. Then in the 1st inning when Yunel was put out and was trotting across the infield Hudson threw his rosin bag at Yunel and hit him in the leg with it. And finally late in the game Hudson took his hat off and scrubbed his head with the rosin bag! It was a great game last night but full of strange things to see.

  17. Wren on Schafer: “If he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll be fine. He’s doing everything we want him to do right now.”

    Is this a joke?

  18. This is bizaare even by the standards of AJC commenters:

    “Hate to say it, but Bautista probably gets healthy against us, as so many other struggling hitters have this year.”

    Does this guy watch the games? The Braves lead the league in ERA. It doesn’t sound like a lot of hitters have been getting healthy against the Braves.

    Is anyone starting to think J-Hey may be a bit overrated? I’m sure the injuries have retarded his development but all is see is him hitting weak ground balls to second. He has not been the same hitter since he hurt his thumb last year.

  19. 27 – I don’t know if he is overrated, but he has definitely had a disappointing season. It’s hard to say if that’s related to the general problems Braves hitters are having this year – that is, if it’s simply a product of the flawed team-wide approach to hitting – or if this is just a case of a sophomore slump. I’m no expert on swings.

  20. the jordan schafer thing annoys me. the guy has a 300 obp and a 299 slg. clearly, you want him at the top of your lineup

  21. It was nice to see AAG have a double last night. Its still moronic to have Schafer/AAG in the top two spots, but we do run out an AAAA roster regularly. MRSA doing his best.

  22. @30 Schafer is also getting on base by forcing errors. I haven’t had a problem with his performance either, and currently he’s our best option to lead off.

  23. Given the current non-DL’d options, who other than Schafer should be leading off? Uggla? Gonzalez? Diory Hernandez? Nate McLouth?

  24. Considering McLouth’s OBP is 30 points higher, I’d prefer he hit higher than Schafer. But I’m crazy like that.

  25. Is the difference between one extra at bat per game for Schafer over McLouth really something to worry long and hard about?

  26. I posted a couple days ago about Nate’s numbers being inflated from hitting 8th, but I did it from my phone so copying and pasting his other splits were impossible.

    Batting 1st: 7 PA .143/.143/.143/.286
    Batting 2nd: 81 PA .235/.307/.324/.630
    Batting 7th: 32 PA .103/.188/.103/.291
    Batting 8th: 80 PA .313/.443/.484/.927

    Overall: 201 PA .237/.335/.337/.672

    Lots of sample size problems with this… but you can see he was an All-Star in the 8 hole, and pretty terrible everywhere else. I’m willing to concede that you can’t attribute a causal relationship between hitting 8th and hitting batting 70 points higher, or slugging 150 points higher… But I think you can associate hitting in front of the pitcher with a 110 point increase in OBP.

    He’s not REALLY been a .335 OBP player this year. Or, more fairly, I don’t think you can say he’d get on at a .335 clip if you set him firmly in the leadoff spot.

  27. I for one couldn’t sleep last night over the whole Schafer/McLouth thing. I hope MRSA resolves this situation soon, because I desperately need to be functional this week.

  28. For comparison, Schafer’s line is: 110 PA .227/.306/.299/.605, all from the leadoff spot. Blech.

  29. Until a better option comes along (and it ain’t McLouth), I hope we give Schafer a loooong look at leadoff. He’s got the tools to be special (or, at least, solid) in that role.

    Now if he can just do it.

    We’ll only have McLouth for another half year anyway.

    Anybody see Mitch Williams busting Hudson’s chops about his slow path around the bases? Hilarious.

  30. 40 – Ok, but why the higher batting average? By the same logic, he’d get fewer, not more pitches to hit in the strike zone. Why would a pitcher give him better pitches to hit if the pitcher is on deck? So yeah, maybe McLouth walked more because he was batting 8th, but he also enjoyed a higher BABIP in that spot, something that is not related to his spot in the batting order.

    I think the more important info is McLouth’s career OBP, which is significantly higher than Schafer’s numbers the past few years (most of which were in the minors!). Those have the most predictive value. Conversely, I don’t think you can just write off the sample size issue there with a caveat; McLouth’s numbers batting 2nd and 7th this season are in no way predictive and tell us little about how he’d perform batting 1st. It’s just too small a sample.

  31. @44- I didn’t say anything about his batting average, and I didn’t say anything about his slugging. I noted the small sample size, but wanted to illustrate the difference between his walk rate when the pitcher his behind him, and when Chipper Jones hits behind him

    Batting 8th (IN FRONT OF PITCHER): 80 PA .313/.443/ (about 13% walk rate)
    Batting 2nd (IN FRONT OF CHIPPER): 81 PA .235/.307/ (about 7% walk rate)

    He’s not a 10% walk rate player.. Maybe he isn’t a 7% walk rate player either. But his career rate is 8%.

    For his career he’s .251/.336 (about 8% walk rate.)

    After putting up the worst season of his career last year, this year he’s putting up the SECOND worst season of his career.. I don’t think his career OBP is worth a damn, in a predicative sense. I think he’s in decline. I don’t think he can hit for a .261 BA anymore, like he did before he came to Atlanta. I think he’s going to hit for closer to a .231 BA, like he has since he came here. And if he’s not hitting in front of the pitcher, I think it’s fair to guess he’ll walk about 8% of the time, not 13%.

  32. @46 – AAR, that sure was a wild game. I don’t remember it at all – must have been after my bedtime. There sure were a lot of names in that lineup I had completely forgotten about (Bill Pecota? wow…)

  33. McLouth scored 9 runs in 88 PAs batting first or second. Schafer has scored 19 runs in 101 PAs batting first. Neither is a great option, but at least Schafer is crossing the plate every once in a while.

    More to the point, I’m more tired of watching McLouth suck than I am of watching Schafer suck.

  34. The Braves last made the World Series rotating a toast Otis Nixon, a toast Walt Weiss, a toast Ozzie Guillen, and Ice Williams at the leadoff spot, with Bret Boone hitting second the entire year. That was fun.

  35. I was at that game. I really didn’t remember anything about it other than Stanton’s offense. I always loved him after that — of course, a few years later, he won a bunch of World Series rings and no one remembered he’d been a pretty good pitcher with the Braves. And then a guy stole his name and started cranking homers, and no one remembered he was a pitcher at all.

  36. I’m really getting tired of hearing about all these pitching duels that consist of our Top Notch Pitching Staff shutting down their Prolific Offense while their milk-toast spot starter from AAA holds down our punch-less offense.

    To heck with blaming the pitching coach (aka the scapegoat), I say we hire either a raft of bug-eyed hypnotists or an exorcist.

  37. Mclouth clearly has a better approach batting 8th. I doubt if many of the walks were with 2 outs and someone in scoring position. Maybe the pitcher relaxes more when CJ is not on deck. Compared to Melky I would credit Schaffer with the equivalent of say .200 Ops. No facts, just some nightmares from last year. He pays better D than McLouth too. I expect that Prado may play 2B & 3B a couple times a week when he returns. Last night McCann could have play center, maybe even I could.

  38. For the record, I’m not trying to say Schafer is clearly a better option than McLouth.. But considering how close their actual numbers are, if you gotta run both out there, I’d prefer Schafer hit lead off, and McLouth hit 8.

    Nate is who he is. Schafer may or may not improve. Schafer actually steals some bases, and hitting 8, he wouldn’t.

    Schafer may have a future here, Nate doesn’t. We might aswell see if Schafer can learn on the job.

  39. For whatever it’s worth, I would rather have Schafer in the lineup than McLouth; his defense is just so much better. As for who should bat leadoff–provided they’re both in the lineup–I don’t think it much matters over the course of the season, let alone a few more weeks. My main point is that McLouth’s performance batting 8th this year is probably just noise.

  40. As of right now, I’d rather see the outfield we ran out last night, Chipper back, Prado at 2B and Uggla working on his mechanics in Gwinnett. Assuming Uggla gets his shit back together somewhat, I’d find at bats for Prado as a rover, playing LF, 3B, 2B and 1B against tough lefties. I think the improvement of the OF defense, with McLouth/Schafer/Heyward out there, is worthwhile. It’s been a long time since the Braves fielded a defensive OF that didn’t have glaring holes in it.

  41. Smitty – You were on fire last night.

    Best line: Hudson was seen between innings selling beer in the stands and helping an old lady to her seat.

    Very, very funny.

  42. @58- I mostly agree with you there.. but Uggla isn’t going to go to the minors.

    I’d just send McLouth to the bench, and give Prado his job back. Between Chipper, Prado, and Heyward, McLouth will be seeing plenty of action.

    A righty in CF, sending Schafer to Gwinnett or away in trade would be nice, too.

  43. You know who’s three months younger than the recently rehired Marlins manager?

    The greatest manager in history, Earl Weaver.

    Make it happen, Braves front office.

  44. If onlys…
    Heyward and Uggla were normal…
    Prado, Moylan, and Medlen were healthy…
    Hunter Pence were a Brave…

    Nate McLouth could become a 4th outfielder
    Jordan Schafer and Scott Proctor could go away
    And the Braves could win the world series…

  45. I’d rather have Bourn than Pence. That said, I don’t think either is THE outfield impact bat the Braves need.

    Of course, when Uggla and if Hayward figure it out, the Braves won’t need a bat at all.

  46. @46,

    The really amazing thing about the game is the attendence. When’s the last time the Braves drew 47,000+?

  47. Nate McLouth has a career OPS+ of 103…

    Hunter Pence has never had a single season that low. Year by year he’s been 129, 105, 116, 114, and 141.

    He’s having the best year of his career, sure… But he’s always been better than McLouth.

  48. 115 from a SS is impressive. 115 from a corner OF? Meh. Not worth what you’d have to give up to get him. Just as likely to get equal impact from Dan Uggla forgetting to suck.

  49. Hunter Pence’s WAR rankings for NL OFs…
    2011- 12th
    2010- 18th
    2009- 8th
    2008- 15th
    2007- 7th

    The only Brave OF to lead Pence in WAR during the course of his career is Jason Heyward last year. He’s been a consistent force year after year and is hitting his prime. He basically averages out to being the 12th best OF in the NL over the past 5 years. I’ll take it…

  50. Prediction: when the Braves go to an AL city and use Ross at C and McCann at DH, the Braves offense will blossom.

  51. Prediction: when the Braves go to an AL city, they will use McCann at C and someone other than Ross at DH, because MRSA will be afraid that McCann could get hurt, then Ross would have to move to C and he would lose the DH, forcing the pitcher to hit. And the offense will still suck.

  52. Are we certain that Minor warms up before his starts? Does somebody watch to make sure he’s not just hanging out down there reading comic books and sneaking cigarettes? He sure looks terrible early in games.

  53. Umpires should be fined for calls like that. That was practically a pitch out. Bobby Cox would’ve been ejected by now. Meanwhile, Frediot is halfway through a Sodoku and can’t be bothered.

  54. That doesn’t require a makeup call — more like four or five of them.

  55. How come we are so awful at stealing bases? Is TP not clocking the the pitcher’s time to the plate.

  56. This situation was a little different. The catcher caught it high so he didn’t have to come out of the crouch to throw. The reason you run with three balls is because the other team can’t do exactly what they just did.

  57. How long until we adopt Mets Blog conspiracy theories like Uggla is a secret agent from the Marlins, out to destroy us?

  58. I just joined Twitter for the sole purpose of getting baseball updates (and okay, “Breaking Bad” updates). Maybe this happens all the time, but I thought it was cool that Mark Bowman replied to my tweet about Fredi not arguing like Bobby used to:

    mlbbowman Mark Bowman
    I think Bobby would have been ejected at least five times already this season.

  59. @113, I would like to congratulate the Brian Jordan on being less than smart. I have the radio broadcast on.

    I don’t think I remember a team getting thrown out at third more.

  60. Minor looks pretty fantastic. There’s a lot more Glavine than JoJo in him, I think.

  61. Not gonna get too crazy on a night when we’re actually smacking the ball a little bit, but, yeah, the baserunning has been a real adventure tonight.

  62. I gotta say, Schafer has made some great adjustments. I particularly like the “get a base hit instead of striking out” adjustment he’s been making.

  63. Brian Jordan is a terrible color commentator…but he may have a point when he says that Dunggla should try something different like moving his front foot towards the plate to stop pulling off of every freaking pitch.

  64. Brian Jordan isn’t great by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m finding it hard to completely hate him. I mean, he kind of sounds like snoop dogg if you don’t listen too closely, which is kind of cool, and he’s offering some actual analysis of Uggla’s batting stance. He’s almost like an offensively-minded, homeboy Smoltz minus the corny jokes.

  65. 128- I’ve heard rumors, but does that really exist?

    I wouldn’t mind having the Lisp pitch the last two if Minor could go 7.

  66. I think Jordan actually has potential. He has gotten more comfortable and is pretty decent when he is just talking about the game. I think he is much better in the both than he is on the post game show.

    I kinda like a Simpson-Jordan booth. I mean it isn’t a Sutton-Powell or Simpson-Glavine, but it ain’t bad.

  67. @133, Brian Jordan doesn’t scream for no reason and his voice is a little more listenable than Glavines. In any case, its the lesser of 3 evils.

  68. 133-I really liked Boog and Joe. You knew it was only a matter of time before ESPN gobbled up Sciambi. It was the same with Erin Andrews when she was on TBS.

  69. @135,

    Hey, I didn’t say he was fantastic. I really think he has gotten a lot better and is a lot better than some of the hacks they have put in the booth over the last six years.

  70. This is the best Ive seen Minor. I know he had a big strikeout performance last year, but he’s getting ahead of everyone and hitting almost all of his spots. He looks confident for once.

  71. One run through seven innings against a random left-handed pitcher with an ERA that was above five. The Blue Jays’ offense looks like the Braves.

  72. Brian Jordan might be alright if they made him the color guy and then replaced Simpson with an actual PBP guy.

    As it stands, they have two color guys which just doesn’t really work and turns out this sort of awkwardness.

    Chipper Jones to ESPN for Boog.

  73. Been listening to the Blue Jays announcers. They can’t believe Minor will have to go back to minors when Hanson comes off the DL. This kind of depth is almost nice enough to make one forget about the Jorge Campillo days.

    141-The BJs’ usually crush lefties too. Minor’s been impressive

  74. Good to see EOF pitch well. He needed the work. Score some runs to make it Proctor time.

  75. Good to see Uggla go 0-4. He needs to save some of his magic for the second half.

  76. Wouldnt it a good idea to get umpires to stand directly behind the plate? This guy is almost behind the LH batters box.

  77. Three more hitters Ventilated. Always nice to see. And the Braves return to being a .500 franchise for the first time since the distant past of last Monday.

  78. Didn’t see much of this game, but what I saw of the strike zone annoyed me. Frazier was definitely getting calls Venters was not. That last called strike against Freeman was channeling Eric Gregg.

  79. Wow, we own the second best record in the NL (how did that happen?), and we are still five games behind the Phillies…I guess the Phillies are pretty good…and I really haven’t been following the standing…

  80. Also 4th best in baseball (I think we were third, but the Yankees passed us). It boggles the mind.

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