Braves at Mets August 5 game thread

This could be the second-to-last time Chipper visits New York as a player. I was wondering, how do you think Met fans would act if Chipper announced his retirement before the last trip, at the end of this month? They can be unpredictable.

86 thoughts on “Braves at Mets August 5 game thread”

  1. Being Mets fans, they’d probably poo themselves. And like it.

    (This has been your obligatory poo related post for this thread.)

  2. Carroll Rogers

    August 5th, 2011
    3:27 pm
    Nate McLouth had sports hernia surgery yesterday in Philadelphia, performed by Dr. William Meyers. Recovery time is expected to be six weeks. The Braves aren’t ruling out a return this season and it would only leave him with two weeks to play in September.

    I think this is something McLouth has been trying to play through for a while.

    Two lineups posted, one with, and one without Chipper. He was just out taking some groundballs at third. Will tweet from downstairs when I find out which way the Braves are going.

  3. @3, wait, does that mean we’re stuck with this Constanza guy, or are they going to bring Wilkin back up?

  4. I like the Constanza guy! He has been fantastic at the dish while driving in a few runs and helping out, i say leave him in the line up!

  5. Arguing Heyward over Constanza is one thing, though way too much was made of that. Arguing Ramirez over Constanza is something else. Ramirez did nothing while he was here. Constanza has already done more in three games. What could possibly be the problem with keeping Constanza instead of Ramirez?

  6. So do we think Wren did not know about McLouth’s injury or do we give him credit for knowing about the injury and realizing where our *real* need might be in the real near future? I think everyone who was saying maybe the front office knows something more than people posting on blogs deserves a pat on the back.

  7. 1) Wilkin is a better hitter than Constanza. OMG I’m so controversial.
    2) Wilkin is right handed.

  8. I don’t think it’s at all clear that Ramirez is a better hitter than Constanza. If you look at their AAA numbers Wilkin has a way better slugging percentage, and therefore a better OPS, but Constanza has a better OBP and a better batting average. On the whole, they probably have about the same overall value. If Ramirez is slightly better, it’s certainly not by nearly enough to get all worked up over, especially when, as previously stated, Constanza has already done more in the majors over three days than Ramirez did in three weeks.

  9. Wilkin Ramirez is a 25 year old journeyman OF with a 4 year career line of .245/.308/.418 at AAA. He’s hitting .267/.308/.456 in Gwinnett this year. He’s hitting .231/.333/.308 in limited action as the Braves’ 5th OF this year. Bats right. Limited to the corner OF slots defensively. Moderately useful as a pinch runner.

    Jose Constanza is a 27 year old journeyman OF with a two year career line of .316/.368/.374 at AAA. He’s hitting .312/.361/.351 at Gwinnett this year. He’s hitting .391/.391/.435 in limited action as the Braves 5th OF this year. Bats left. Can play all of the OF positions effectively. Plus defense, and his 23/8 SB/CS ratio suggests he’s an effective runner.

    Wilkins = RH power.

    Constanza = LH OBP + defense.

    I stay with Constanza. Unlike Wilkins, he doesn’t seem overmatched in the bigs just yet.

  10. “@5 “stuck” with a guy hitting .390 isnt that bad a thing…”

    I can’t tell if this is meant as a joke or not. Anyway, hopefully the Braves get a real right-handed outfielder soon.

  11. We shouldnt have to be choosing between Wilkin and Constanza. “#13-Anyway, hopefully the Braves get a real right-handed outfielder soon”…exactly

  12. So tonight it’s Tennessee (RA Dickey) vs. Auburn or Chattahoochee Valley Community College (Hudson)—however you wanna view it.

    BTW, here’s Frank Wren on WFAN today. Nothing earth-shattering, but he did say that if he’d acquired Beltran he would not have played CF for ATL.

  13. Decent odds that McOut’s Atlanta career is over. Heyward hitting 5th tonight…hopefully that’s a confidence boost.

  14. I won’t be shedding any tears for McLouth. He probably would have been fine as a 4th outfielder, but whatever.

  15. So the wife and I are taking in a game in Minnesota (our final ballpark) and it just so happens to be Gant-Hrbek bobblehead night and 1991 World Champions reunion weekend. Blah.

  16. Why does Caray think every team is a playoff hopeful?

    The Mets are eight out of first in the wild card (not to mention their division deficit), .500, traded away some good players and have about a half-dozen teams or so to leapfrog. They’re not going to be in the playoffs.

  17. Yeah, I could definitely get used to constanza’s brett gardner impression he’s pulling off right now. Not at heyward’s expense though, of course. Ha.

  18. I’m finishing up my fourth hour of online “comedy” driving school. It’s 20 minutes of information stretched out to 4 hours with silly noises and really bad impersonations. I may never laugh again.

  19. 39- Only way he doesn’t is if Kimbrel is great down the stretch, and the votes get split between them.

  20. I’m curious. Is throwing the knuckleball effectively such a difficult task that it requires all of a pitcher’s practice time to master it, insofar as that is possible? Just wondering why you never see a guy who can still throw a MLB-average fastball use the knuckler as a second pitch instead of, say, a slider.

  21. Seeing Willie Harris on first for the Mets is roughly as painful as seeing Pete Orr playing second for the Phillies. At least Matt Diaz left the NL East.

  22. No walks so far again tonight. That’s a bit troubling.

    /and now we’ve got Bourn bunting with no outs. Wow.

  23. 51 — I think you read him wrong. He said that nobody today that has a good MLB fastball uses a knuckleball as a 2nd pitch.

  24. I was just teasing. Smoltz never used it much.

    /and the reason is you’ve got to be able to get it somewhat near the catcher’s mitt when you throw it, which apparently is the hard part.

  25. @51/54- I knew Smoltz messed around with a knuckler, but I didn’t actually remember him throwing it in-game. My memory is awful.

    I understand that it is difficult to throw the knuckleball consistently for a strike, but would a pitcher have to spend much more time developing and practicing the pitch than they would a changeup? I guess the obvious answer is yes, given that nobody does it. Just seems like it would be an awesome change of pace and given that nobody can hit it when they know it is coming, it would be even more effective when unexpected…

  26. I would also guess it would require slowing the arm action down dramatically which would telegraph it.

  27. Plus, the fact it is not spinning telegraphs it. A good changeup looks like a fastball.

    A knuckleball really needs to be moving.

  28. “telegraphing” the knuckler isn’t the issue. Everyone in the world knows Wakefield is going to throw one. It’s getting enough movement on it that it doesn’t matter, while not throwing it into the seats.

  29. Yeah, but the point of the knuckler is that it doesn’t matter if they know it’s coming, right? I guess telegraphing it gives the hitter some chance, but they still make worse contact than on other pitches, hence knuckleballers having lower sustaind BAbips than other pitchers. A knuckleball with the arm action and apparent spin of a fastball would be the only pitch anyone threw, because it would be so freaking good.

    Edit: or what Spike said.

  30. If someone used it as a secondary pitch though my guess would be that it wouldn’t exactly be a Wakefield-type knuckler.

  31. It was always my understanding that you couldn’t throw a knuckleball too hard, or it wouldn’t move. This limits the arm action. That said, I think RA Dickey throws what is generally acknowledged to be the hardest knuckler in baseball history… mid-80;s as opposed to the Niekro/Wilhelm/Hough mid-70’s. Wakefield is high 70’s-low 80’s.

    Thus, the reason pitchers don’t use a knuckler as a second or third pitch is that they work so hard to make all their pitches look the same… a pitch that looks completely different is counter to what they are generally trying to do.

  32. @69 – A similar point came up on the book blog, or somewhere like that a few weeks ago – apparently someone did a study in which college batters in a cage did significantly worse against straight fastballs that were randomly varied in speed by increments of 5mph from like 65-90mph than against more typical pitching arsenals. I think I’m remembering that right. The problem is that doing that would wreak havoc on mechanical consistency. If you could do it all with grip, then maybe, but changing arm speeds/motions intentionally like that would be really tough.

  33. @73, I didn’t see the pitch count, but his command seemed a little off toward the end.

  34. I think we’re all saying the same thing – that a knuckleball has to be good to be effective. I’m just trying to say that you can’t just throw a bad knuckleball and call it a changeup.

  35. Did anyone else notice that Freeman was favoring his left groin after scoring on Uggla’s single?

  36. He was at 99. I’d have at least waited until he put someone on. But perhaps he asked out, to be fair. Is it ridiculously hot there? Brutal in GA today.

    @77, lane change.

  37. It takes a long time to develop effective knuckle ball. Many try it but few can do it well. If you have a live arm you do not develop it. A bad knuckle ball gets killed. Mickey Mantle supposedly had a great knuckle ball.

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