Braves 5, Orioles 4

Box Score

Got to be frustrating to be the Orioles. Not only to you have to share a division with the Yankees, you have a game like this, where 13 hits and three walks turn into only four runs.

Of course, at least they don’t have a special needs manager, like Fredi Gonzalez, who got David Ross caught out at home on a squeeze play in the third, but hey, that’s Fredi! Scoreless through three, things happened in the fourth. The Orioles got a two-run homer from Mark Reynolds in the top of the inning, then all hell broke loose in the Braves’ half. Not until two out, though. Chipper doubled, and after falling behind Freeman was hit by a pitch. Uggla lined out to the left fielder, but the latter dropped it and for some reason — pity, I suppose — it was scored a hit. McLouth worked a walk to load the bases, and David Ross, the best backup catcher in baseball, hit a grand slam to make it 5-2.

Tim Hudson kept stranding baserunners; in six innings he allowed eight hits and three walks, but struck out six. The only run he allowed after the fourth was a solo homer, again to Reynolds. Scott Linebrink came in to pitch the seventh and give up another solo homer to make it 5-4; Eric O’Flaherty came in and got a long flyout to end the inning. Pitching the eighth mostly in a downpour, O’Flaherty struggled a little, giving up a couple of hits, but got out of it. Craig Kimbrel gave up a one-out single (that Heyward should have caught) in the ninth, but finished things off with a strikeout.

181 thoughts on “Braves 5, Orioles 4”

  1. I’m not prone to defend Fredi, but on the radio they said they thought the squeeze was a safety squeeze, but Ross never saw the ball. Not sure if that was the case or not. A safety squeeze would make more sense than a suicide.

  2. Postgame radio show talked to Fredi and it was a squeeze, since (paraphrasing) he had a gut feeling the other pitcher were going to shut us down, so you roll the dice.

    Yes, really.

  3. IMO, Schafer bunting for a hit and Ross delaying to make sure it went past the pitcher would have been a decent call. Since Fredi says that wasn’t it, I retract my statement and agree that it was a dumb call. Ross must have just gotten a slow start. Imagine that, a catcher getting a slow start!

  4. Given Fredi’s desire to bring the bunt back, I wonder, do the Braves work a lot on bunting? Maybe one of the reasons why Parrish seems to be such a failure is that he’s not focusing enough on bunting. But then again, if they are going to bunt so often, maybe the hitting coach should be someone who used to bunt successfully a lot, like Jay Bell (who used to be pretty good at it).

  5. Man, some fans will nit pick about every little thing, even in a win. We’re 10 of the last 12, friends. The Prado will be back soon and runs seem to be more plentiful despite his absence. I’m not going to micro-analyze the game. I’ll just enjoy the recent success.

  6. Thanks Bethany. We need you for Philly series. You will get a few days off for All Star break.

  7. #7: I am enjoying the recent success, too. But that doesn’t mean stupid calls can’t be called for what they are.

    Look how that inning set itself up: Ross did indeed surprise everyone by bunting his way on, an error allowing him to get to second. Hudson bunted him over. Decent call. But now after two bunts, a squeeze is called? What’s up with that? Ross is out easily, Schafer hits a fly ball and there’s your third out. Remember, there was still no score up to that point. Of course, the O’s hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 4th.

    The only reason we scored all those runs in the bottom of the 4th was because with two outs Uggla hit an error that was called an out. Without that error, we don’t get the grand slam.

    All our runs came about because of a 2-out error. Without that, we’re looking squarely at a stupid suicide squeeze as being our sole chance at scoring. I’d rather depend on good management to win ballgames, not other team’s propensity to make errors.

  8. Yeah, for a team that bunts as much as the Braves do, you’d think they’d at least be good at it. Schafer seems to be the only position player any good at it. Lowe and Hudson seem to be the only pitchers who are good at it.

  9. @10, Agreed completely. Just because a stupid managerial decision didn’t hurt us today doesn’t mean they won’t eventually. Hopefully he learns from them.

    But still, it’s great to see the Braves playing so well.

  10. Meanwhile in Detroit, Guillermo Mota came into the game with a 15-0 lead and got a save. Gotta like that rule even more than W/L.

    On Fredi: He’s just dumb. With him, Snitker and Parrish, we might have the worst coaching staff in MLB history.

  11. It’s sweep time again, get it done.

    …and we are still four games behind the Phillies, and we are four games ahead in wild card. How amazing is that. This is another prove that strong starting pitching means everything in regular season.

  12. So, if I have this straight, asking a guy who is hitting 224/293/306 for the year, and 211/306/296 over the last seven games, who’s one discernible offensive skill this year seems to be bunting; a guy who the group-think mob here wants to demote to AAA; asking that guy to bunt is grounds for divorce?

    You guys are fucking cartoons of yourselves, sometimes.

  13. I disagree with the call not because it was Schafer but because Arrieta couldn’t find the strike zone AT ALL that inning. He was all over the place. Squeeze plays are a good idea when you can count on the pitcher being around the plate. The pitch Schafer got was just impossible to bunt.

  14. I didn’t see the pitch so I’ll take that at your word. Still, it’s not like he sent Brian McCann up there to move the runners up.

  15. Gotta love Tim Hudson…

    On two pitches to Reynolds:

    “One of the pitches was a decent pitch. The first homer he hit was a fastball away, a little bit more up than I wanted it. He drove it to center field, the biggest part of the field. You’ve got to tip your hat there. The second one, sometimes pitchers are stubborn. Had a nice lead, had a three-run lead. I’m not going to dance around him at all. We had a little pissing contest and he beat me. “

  16. The official Braves Journal Whipping Boy, Fredi Gonzalez. Ya’ll are harsh. #10 says it best, the guy is guilty of trying to make things happen when the team’s offense is str-uggla-ing.

  17. Lugo starting today…
    1. Schafer 2. Heyward 3. Chipper 4. McCann 5. Freeman 6. Uggla 7. McLouth 8. Lugo 9. Beachy

  18. Interesting tweet from Bowman about Schafer’s attempted squeeze:
    “Clubhouse sentiment was Schafer should have never been asked to squeeze there. Fredi sided w/ those of you who said pitch was tough to foul.”

  19. @20, when he fouled the first pitch of the second HR at-bat straight back I thought to myself “that would be last strike you see from me”.

  20. McCann is the starting catcher in the All-Star Game. (I’m guessing I’m the only person on here lame enough to be watching this right now.)

  21. As I’ve said previously, if Fredi loses the clubhouse, I’ll reassess. Otherwise, you boys would bitch about fucking a supermodel because it wasn’t the best of all possible supermodels. Children.

  22. So the Cubs activated Marlon Byrd last night. Before his 6 week DL stint (facial fractures from HBP) he put up a line of .308/.346/.419/.765. Nate McLouth, in what somehow manages to feel like a bounce-back season, has a line of .232/.346/.335/.682

    Byrd is 33, right handed, probably subpar in CF, and under contract next year for $6.5m.

    Nate McLouth is 29, left handed, probably subpar in CF, and has an option for next year at $10.65m.

    Obviously, Nate isn’t going to be paid $10m next year, by anybody. But what plans do the Braves have for CF for 2012? Are they counting on Schafer or are they hoping to acquire someone?

    I’d obviously prefer a deal for a young, cheap, true-centerfield type who is right handed and hits with power. (Who wouldn’t?) But I think Marlon Byrd, at $6.5m would be a decent stop-gap. That’s on top of being a (likely) available and (possibly) affordable upgrade to a 2011 club that’s already built to win.

  23. @33, Careful – once you get typecast into the role of prickly swearing iconoclast you’ll never get any other kind of work.

  24. No Hanson, no Kimbrel. And Bochy picked three of his starters with his manager selections, including Ryan Vogelsong.

  25. Vogelsong’s a great story — he hasn’t pitched in the league in 5 years and he’s carving up the league. But it really does put the managers in an awkward position, to have to choose between their own players and others who may be possibly more deserving.

    However, Venters over Kimbrel is indisputably the right call.

  26. Bochy hasn’t learned yet that no one Fears the Beard anymore. A 1.42 WHIP (compared to Kimbrel’s 1.12) attests to that.

    Venters over Kimbrel is a good call, but Wilson over Kimbrel is not. (Corrected)

  27. They said Wilson was actually voted in by the players.

    I’m just watching it on TV and relaying it, spike.

  28. A great honor for Venters which I wish he would graciously decline.

    But that is asking waaay too much, I know.

  29. I’ve got a family member like Sam.

    Smart, well-spoken, quick-witted but, like Sam, always takes it one comment too far. Sigh.

  30. Cal Ripken called Hanson the biggest snub for the NL, although they refused to call it a snub. Lincecum and Cain over him is pretty weak I think.

  31. AL hitters are 2-29 with 2 walks against Kimbrel this year (069/ 129/ 069). 16 Ks. ERA of zero, 7 saves.

    They’re 7-26 with 4 walks against Wilson (269/ 367/ 346). 2 Ks. ERA of 4.05, 3 saves.

    I think you’re right, Bethany.

  32. I think Kimbrel is pretty underrated as a snub BTW. There’s no reason that both he and Venters both couldn’t make it, and Kimbrel has been the best closer in the league, thus far.

  33. That comment @51 was in response to the question of Marlon Byrd, for the record. If the Cubs were willing to take McLouth and a mil or two of Byrd’s 2012 salary (basically buying out that deal and getting the option to decline McLouth’s option) I’d do a straight up challenge. McLouth and Schafer have the same sort of skill sets, and Schafer plays better D. Byrd/Shafer would be a more complete platoon option.

  34. I don’t see any reason they’d want McLouth. The only thing McLouth will do better than Byrd is go away sooner.

    I think they’d start with Schafer straight-up, and we’d balk.

    I could see Schafer and a non big-three pitching prospect (and maybe more) for Byrd and Kerry Wood.

  35. How likely is a trade when we are winning and in virtual tie for 3rd best record in Baseball? Maybe a good deal, but no gambles. Prado coming back means we will have backups at Of positions and at 2B, 3B and 1B. best backup at catcher and Lugo will be OK at SS. Next time no complaints when Ross starts unless you are superstitious.

  36. Remember, there are always lots of substitutions for the ASG. Hanson and Kimbrel may yet make the team.

  37. If the Braves were to trade for Marlon Byrd (assuming he can actually see), there’s no way in hell he would platoon with Jordan Schafer.

  38. The Braves are still undefeated in games that I had a chance to go to or seriously thought about going to, but didn’t. (Only about 4 or 5 games, but still.) My wife told me on Friday night that we were going to Louisville on Saturday to visit some friends, THEN told me that her brother was going to a bachelor party on Saturday where they rented a suite, and had an extra spot. Thanks, babe.

    These games are also good bets for something cool to happen. One of them was back around 2006, when a still-liked Frenchy hit a walk-off HR. I think a David Ross grand slam qualifies.

  39. 55 — Very likely the Braves will make a trade of some sort before the deadline, though it will probably be for bench help and not a regular barring an injury.

  40. @61 – Consider the notion of an offensive/defensive platoon. It’s not unheard of, and given their skill sets, I could easily see Byrd being shifted over to LF if the Braves had a lead in the second half of games.

  41. 65 — That’s not really a platoon, though. That’s a late inning defensive replacement.

  42. @66 Minor and Beachy are better choices than I am. An old broken down slowpitch 3B.

  43. Both UZR and DRS rank Byrd as at least an average center fielder over the past 6 or 7 years. He is, meanwhile, an above average corner outfielder. If the Braves were, say, to remove Chipper from the game in late innings, move Prado to 3B, shift Byrd to LF, and put Schafer in CF, they’d have a pretty damn good late inning defense.

    Also, Schafer looked out to me.

  44. That new Starburst commercial is possibly the worst I’ve ever seen in almost every way.

  45. Hanson not getting in is ridiculous, but the biggest absurdity is Jeter will be starting

  46. Again, there’s a good chance Hanson and Kimbrel will be selected when some of the current picks opt out due to their pitching rotation or little nagging issues.

  47. but the biggest absurdity is Jeter will be starting

    I’ll go with the Cubs having a 134M payroll and needing the “every team must have a rep” rule.

  48. That new Starburst commercial is possibly the worst I’ve ever seen in almost every way.

    Which one?

  49. I like it when Glavine talks more, keeps Chip and Joe from making as many idiotic statements.

  50. @79, I assumed we were seeing the same commercials on MLB.TV, which is probably not true. I was talking about the Starburst commercial with the dog sticking his butt out the window. It’s playing twice every commercial break on my MLB.TV feed and slowly driving me insane.

  51. Does anyone remember that Seinfeld episode where Jerry does “the voice” (Helloooooo) and everyone else keeps on telling him the joke is played?

    That’s where the whole ‘Bethany running’ thing is about now.

  52. We should probably look into trading Heyward while he still has some residual value left from that 1 month where he was good.

  53. On a positive note, JoJo Reyes is about to beat Cliff Lee. The Jays are batting in the bottom of the 8th, up 7-4. That is as close to a miracle as it gets.

    Of course, the Phillies might still win 8-7.

  54. We just scored four runs without a long ball? Color me super happy and surprised.

  55. How does Simpson withstand sitting in such a close proximity to Chip Caray when he raises his voice in excitement like that? Caray rapes my ears and I’m just listening to him on the television.

  56. Announcers have those mute buttons on their earphones/mics. I assume Joe has his muted all the time.

  57. This year’s Scott Proctor is not actually a terrible reliever (he’s not good of course but you could do worse) — he’d be better served as a middle reliever in low leverage situations — but he gets used in high leverage spots waay too much.

    I guess Fredi wanted to give O’Flaherty and Venters days off.

  58. I really don’t like that Atlanta opera singer.

    Fredi Logic: See everyone? I use someone other than Venters and he blows the game. I was right to use him every chance I could.

  59. He just shouldn’t be on the roster. If EOF and Venters are unavailable, then he was bound to come into the game. So this one is on Wren, not Fredi.

    Edit: Heyward continues to be worthless.

  60. Why Proctor is still on this team is a joke, but Fredi can’t escape blame if he continues to use him

  61. Thank goodness for the corpse of Derrek Lee, at least. I harbor him no ill will but that guy is done- 85 OPS+ from your 1b is tough to stomach…

  62. 121 – Exactly.

    Moylan being hurt has hurt the pen. He would have been out there in some of these innings the O’Venterable trio has been pitching, and he would have been out there in some of those innings Linestink, Proctologist, and Cheryl have had to pitch.

    McCann, best catcher in baseball, but you got to know fly balls die in the corner and you gotta be moving.

  63. Just to make sure we don’t come back, let’s leave him in for another inning.

  64. Good job, Scott. You’re going to be a great addition to the Gwinnett Braves.

  65. I’m in awe of this organization’s infatuation with Scott Proctor.

    He’s. Just. Not. Good.

  66. I usually think it’s tacky for the home crowd to boo their own player, but Uggla is an exception.

  67. Here comes more hit and run fun with Freddie Freeman on 1st. At least Uggla isn’t the hitter.

  68. At least we cleared to the top of the order. Kinda wish McCann was still batting third though.

  69. If Fredi would’ve made Uggla sacrifice, Freeman could’ve gone to third on Nate’s fly out and scored on Lugo’s hit. Of course, that assumes that Uggla could have actually sacrificed, and that McLouth and Lugo would have still done the same thing.

  70. Every MLB.TV commercial is overplayed. That Nick Swisher commercial in extra innings nearly killed me one time.

  71. 152 – But as our crack announcers pointed out, you can’t ask a guy like Uggla to sacrifice. He’s an RBI guy.

  72. @153, The razor one with Papelbon? That one is pretty bad.

    Unfortunately the Starburst commercial plays twice in a row every commercial break. It’s painfully unfunny and poorly shot.

  73. @156

    Yeah that one. Played a few times in a row just like this one. I can handle this one a bit more easily.

    Can still hear Swisher saying “ITS IN-CREDIBLE” over and over in my head.

  74. Here comes a guy with a BB/9 of 5.74. Let’s make him throw some strikes.

    Of course, if the damn umpire is going to call balls strikes, there’s not much anyone can do.

  75. Whenever the camera guy cut to Bobby after a questionable call, he was bitching at someone or yelling at the ump. Whenever they cut to Fredi, he looks like a boy who lost his parents at the mall.

  76. That was some BS…would’ve had Mac up with a chance to win it. Guess Mr. Blue got tired of being there.

  77. Bobby Cox would’ve chewed that guy out. I’m tired of our manager being a big pussy.

  78. I can’t believe that just happened. To be sure, I have zero confidence the Braves would have plated the run Chipper represented, but that was absolutely horrible.

  79. The Swisher-Papelbon commercial is cringe-inducing simply because of how uninterested they sound when they’re supposed to be passionately arguing over shaving wet or dry or whatever.

  80. Well a couple hundred thousand people now know exactly what kind of man Mark Ripperger is.

  81. 173 – Yeah, somebody should’ve been giving that guy an earful. What’s he gonna do, throw you out?

  82. I don’t care how much faux patriotism Sports South wants to shove down our throats, Fred Hickman needs to get out of that camo t-shirt *right now.*

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