Cain and Lincecum time. Well, maybe the Jurrjens of the first half will show up tonight.
THE BAND – The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down from Paulo Video Files on Vimeo.
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Cain and Lincecum time. Well, maybe the Jurrjens of the first half will show up tonight.
THE BAND – The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down from Paulo Video Files on Vimeo.
124 thoughts on “Now the hard part game thread: Aug. 17, Giants at Braves”
Well perhaps we can kill two birds with one stone and just hit Cain
I agree with whoever it was on the last thread that said you don’t start a beanball war with a team falling out of the race and give them something to be fired up about. Win two more games and go 7-0 against SF this year, that’s plenty of retaliation for the general douchey-ness that is Cody Ross.
And the walk-off celebrations are much more over the top than a homerun trot, and someone’s going to get hurt eventually like the Angels guy last year who still isn’t back. They were fun for a while, but considering we’ve got like 22 last at bat wins this year, act like you’ve been there before.
Per DOB’s twitter account, today’s lineup: 1. Bourn CF, 2. Prado LF, 3. McCann C, 4. Uggla 2B, 5. Freeman 1B, 6. Jones 3B, 7. Constanza RF, 8. Lugo SS, 9. Jurrjens P
Same lineup as yesterday, except Lugo in for AAG and batting #8, Constanza moving up to #7. No word yet as to who JHey will pinch run for today.
Jonah Keri on Bill Simmons’ Grantland today, analyzing Atlanta’s playoff chances:
The offense also looks better now than it did earlier in the season, thanks to the addition of Bourn and Uggla going from Bill Bergen to Joe DiMaggio in a span of a few weeks. Still, Uggla (.325 wOBA), Martin Prado (.317 wOBA), Jason Heyward (.315 wOBA), and Alex Gonzalez (.266 wOBA) have all disappointed.
Fredi Gonzalez might be the most by-the-book manager in the game, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. The Braves skipper has drawn ample criticism for his batting order strategies, bunting fetish (three teams have bunted more often than the Braves this year, but Atlanta loves to sacrifice with position players, too, getting 18 sac bunts from its outfielders alone), and bullpen usage. Gonzalez’s latest attempt to drive statheads mad is his allegiance to recent call-up Jose Constanza. Constanza’s .382 batting average this season might excuse Gonzalez’s love affair with the diminutive outfielder. But Constanza is also a 27-year-old minor league lifer with a career high of two homers in a season, riding an unsustainable wave of good fortune. He’s stealing playing time from Heyward, who’s hitting just .219 … but with 12 homers, 15 doubles, and enough talent to fill 100 stadiums. Gonzalez says he’s just playing the hot hand right now. But if we get to the playoffs and Heyward’s sitting in favor of a player NBC Sports blogger Matthew Pouliot called a “modern-day Bo Hart,”4 Atlanta will burn again.
The playoffs scream out for creative managing, starting pitchers brought on in relief, ace pinch-hitters coming up early in a game when a high-leverage situation warrants it, closers used in nontraditional roles. Bruce Bochy’s outmanaging Ron Washington wasn’t the only reason the Giants beat the Rangers in the World Series last fall. But it did help. Braves fans better hope their team’s playoff life doesn’t come down to a managerial battle of wits.
That’s a pretty well-put assessment. I sure hope Fredi gets out of the way of this team, they’ve got a legit shot at the WS this year.
“… act like you’ve been there before.”
“The Braves skipper has drawn ample criticism for his…bunting fetish (three teams have bunted more often than the Braves this year, but Atlanta loves to sacrifice with position players, too, getting 18 sac bunts from its outfielders alone), and bullpen usage. Gonzalez’s latest attempt to drive statheads mad is his allegiance to recent call-up Jose Constanza. Constanza’s .382 batting average this season might excuse Gonzalez’s love affair with the diminutive outfielder. But Constanza is also a 27-year-old minor league lifer with a career high of two homers in a season, riding an unsustainable wave of good fortune. He’s stealing playing time from Heyward, who’s hitting just .219 … but with 12 homers, 15 doubles, and enough talent to fill 100 stadiums. Gonzalez says he’s just playing the hot hand right now. But if we get to the playoffs and Heyward’s sitting in favor of a player NBC Sports blogger Matthew Pouliot called a “modern-day Bo Hart,”4 Atlanta will burn again.”
Glad someone said it.
But whenever the trio of DOB-Bowman-Simpson simultaneously shills for a player, you know they’re infecting the minds of the casual fans to keep supporting the manager’s idiocy.
I think it’s a little early to say how Fredi will manage in the playoffs, given he’s never done it before. It’s possible that he will recognize the vastly increased importance of each individual game and manage accordingly. I mean, it’s not like he could be any more by-the-book in the playoffs than Bobby Cox was.
Also, if we get to the playoffs and Constanza is still vastly outplaying Heyward, wouldn’t you want him to stick with Constanza at that point, even if you’re currently in favor of playing Heyward, for the very reasons stated above? Over the long haul, I can understand the argument that it might be better to stick with Heyward and let him figure things out. But the playoffs are not the time to do that.
I like the celebrations. At least they’re not pounding the hell out of each other on top of the head like they were a few years ago (reportedly so that Francoeur “would feel something up there”).
You know sansho, I mostly have liked the celebrations too, but I’ve kind of gotten to the point where I’m a little irked at how over the top they are (and how reckless). I don’t want them to not have fun, but now every walkoff is like, how can we top last time’s pounding of the game-winning hitter. For example, I think I read where Freddie was quoted as saying his foot was hurting from someone stomping on it after Monday’s win. Can you imagine if we lost a key player for the rest of the season to something as moronic as that?
Also, I know I fume about seeing some of the closer celebrations (K-Rod specifically) but really they’re quite tame and they’ve just ended a ballgame albeit not as dramatically as a walkoff. I just think it lacks a little class.
And still, many will not see the hypocrisy in saying those celebrations are acceptable; but anything short of a player jogging around the bases at the perfect speed with a static, emotionless face so as to not “show up” the pitcher after hitting a home run, must be met with retaliation.
@10 – I know things are going pretty well when the hot topics on Braves Journal include “are the Braves’ walkoff celebrations excessive?” and “Constanza’s deal with the devil has to expire sometime, right?”
Geez, let the guys have some fun with the walk-off celebrations. They are people after all, and probably naturally far more emotional people than they types who sit around blogging like we do. I’d be disappointed if someone gets hurt, but they haven’t.
8: I don’t know if Fredi will or won’t be more “by-the-book in the playoffs” than Bobby, but was Bobby really as by-the-book as that comment implies?
9: The only thing I don’t like about game-winning celebrations – and this is a league-wide complaint and not just the Braves – is that all the players mass up in one group and hop up and down like they’re on pogo sticks. It’s been going on for a few years now and it’s just absolutely boring. At least last night featured some rosin bag action that was kinda new.
10: I do not recognize the hypocrisy. Game-winning celebrations between teammates is incomparable to the flaunting of an individual’s ego during the game. In the former, the outcome has been decided, usually during a sustained period of taut drama and attendant anxiety. Celebrating is a legitimate form of release and team bonding. Flipping a bat and doing a lame little hop when the game outcome is still to be determined? That’s entirely a different thing, at least in my mind.
“Flipping a bat and doing a lame little hop when the game outcome is still to be determined? That’s entirely a different thing, at least in my mind.”
Maybe so, but the notion that it warrants a “ball in the ear” is ridiculous. The Braves’ priority should be winning baseball games, not reinforcing gender stereotypes. They can get even by winning.
my second favorite walk off celebration: Nate hit a walk off HR last year and as he was rounding the bases, the whole dugout emptied into the clubhouse so that when he got to the plate, no one was around. He had to get to the house to celebrate. Inventive and fun.
What was my favorite celebration you ask? it involved Sid Bream at the bottom of a huge pile!
I have to say one thing I don’t like is teams celebrating playoff wins on the other team’s field–maybe because it’s happened to the Braves so often. Go into the clubhouse to celebrate as in days of yore.
@91 from previous thread:
I do antitrust work at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington.
The Braves’ priority should be winning baseball games, not reinforcing gender stereotypes.
No offense, but I seriously doubt anybody in organized baseball – the men that actually make the decisions about what’s a priority and what’s not – thinks in these terms.
And as far as I’m concerned, I haven’t said (nor would I ever mean literally) we should be hitting a guy in the head with a pitched ball. Even Cody Ross, who might tempt me…
The walk off celebrations are a bit much at this point.
No one knows how Gonzalez will manage in the post-season, but that never stopped Jonah from running on a bit before.
People who don’t want to drill Cody Ross in the ass are pansies who never played the game of baseball.
Whores are good.
Garth Hudson is a talented dude.
“Whores are good.”
I think Sam is serious about this.
The Canadian guys in The Band couldn’t really sing that one, could they?
Well, I never want anyone to get hit in the head for watching a HR. However, he’s showing up a rookie pitcher and its uncalled for. One in the ribs should let him know that there is no place for crap like that. Hit the ball and run to first base. Its simple…
Sam is adamantly pro-prostitute. Sam is adamantly pro-Constanza. Prostitutes sell their bodies to Sam. Constanza sold his soul to…Sam?! Sam might be the devil, guys.
“People who don’t want to drill Cody Ross in the ass are pansies.”
Paging Dr. Freud . . .
Not to be pedantic, but I’m pro-whore, not simply pro-prostitute. Certainly a working girl can be a whore, but not all whores are working girls. Some are just…fun, because they like it!
26: I like adventurous girls, but since I am scared of STDs I am risk averse to whores. I do, however, have a penchant for Catholic girls, so I get the best of both worlds.
Quick question: When Craig Kimbrel comes into the game at Turner Field, does he have an entrance song?
Someone was asking me, but I couldn’t remember.
@17, Congrats on your success!
I watched a very explicit interview with a former hooker/porn star (can’t remember her name) recently and man, it made me feel pretty sick.
Then again, “Cathouse” and “Gigolos” are guilty pleasure shows.
Look, I am as much a fan of loose women and gratuitous violence as the next guy, but A:, I am not sure I’d place the former in the category of “whores”, and B: what exact purpose is served by drilling Cody Ross that simply winning the game and virtually eliminating them from playoff contention doesn’t achieve? And as an aside, the role of violent misogynist really doesn’t suit you. Definitely feels forced.
Brian Wilson had a date with Dr. James Andrews for a sore elbow today. The Giants, now that’s a team that needs to make a deal with Sam…er, the Devil. I’m actually kind of disappointed that we won’t get to hang 2 runs on Wilson in the 9th anymore this series.
Edit: Actually I guess it could be that they already made their nefarious bargain and are simply paying the price 10 months later.
“People who don’t want to drill Cody Ross in the ass are pansies”
Not everyone swings that way, Sam.
Braves Radio pre-game round table on the matter of Cody Ross. Leo stressed the point that retribution doesn’t have to come this series. Maybe next year you can drill him. Brought up the past incident with Greg Maddux getting back at Andy Benes the following year he showed the team up. He asked Bobby, “You want me to take care of him?” Bobby said, “Hell yeah, go get him!”
I vaguely remember this Benes affair. Anyone want to fill in some details for me?
Speaking of The Band and closer intros, if I was a closer I would definitely go with the organ solo to open ‘Chest Fever.’
Good to see Fredi is still an idiot re: Heyward and Prado.
Fancy footwork by Bourn there.
Thanks, Panda bear…
If I were a closer, it would be one of 3 intros:
Ohio Players’ “Fopp”
Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”
Kraftwerk’s “Radioactivity,” and I’d just loop the beginning.
No word on Kimbrel’s intro?
Chipper is such a smart hitter
34: Love that intro.
Here comes Lil’ Pesky with the bases loaded and two outs.
Would Alex Gonzalez have taken that walk?
My fantasy team is falling apart. I have Hanson, Hamels and Wilson and all our experiencing “tightness”
Simpson: please stop implying that Constanza is more terrifying in this spot than Barry Bonds.
39 – I think you know the answer to that question.
Braves signed Wes Helms. He is going to AAA
“And as an aside, the role of violent misogynist really doesn’t suit you. Definitely feels forced.”
I am, however, intrigued by this new turn. Let’s see where it goes.
“Braves signed Wes Helms. He is going to AAA”
Mac will just love that signing.
@22 Ububba, why not? a Canadian wrote it after all.
@46 Not according to Levon Helm.
Come on BMac, bring them home!
Gah, at least they made Cain work.
I love Manuel & Danko on the mic, but Levon Helm is from Arkansas & it rings with way more authenticity than anything the other guys could’ve mustered.
“The bells were rangin’… the people were sangin’…”
Dunno if you’ve ever heard Joan Baez’s version, but it never did it for me either.
trouble is, Benes played for ARI in ’98, and faced Smoltz in his first two starts against ATL, and was not hit. In his third start against ATL, in September, he did face Maddux, but again, was not hit. In July of ’99, Benes hit Brian Jordan twice and didn’t get hit. He hit Walt Weiss on 4 September, and didn’t get hit. In fact, I didn’t see him ever getting hit, by any Brave, as a D-back, or the following year w/ St L. So something is off here. Maybe Bradley is referring to his return to the NL with the Cards, after San Diego…nope faces Maddux on April 9, not hit. So something is amiss here.
Sounds like he wasn’t hit, but got knocked down.
@48, I think even Levon admitted that he had a part in the lyrics where Robbie had the music, but not a story powerful enough, till he visited the south.
either way, great song, great singer. and i agree on the baez version, didn’t do if for me either.
Whew, thanks Bourn!
@52Well maybe, but he faced the Braves several times prior to facing Maddux. Did Greg not remind anyone else, or was Smoltz a pansy?
Maybe Smoltz forgot.
Uggla’s hitting streak would be at 37 but for Darwin Barney. (Honestly, what were Darwin’s parents drinking?)
Freddie Freeman in August: 18 Ks and 2 BBs. Worth noting.
This would have been a great place to squeeze.
well, if nothing else, we are getting closer to what has to be a tired Giants bullpen
We’ve got to be what, 0-7 already with RISP?
I just turned it on just before the last AB ended. Was that a two out bunt or just a weakly hit ball?
Bah, what poor luck.
This is turning shitty in a hurry.
Jurrjens ain’t too sharp tonight, huh?
Wow, making the Giants’ offense look good.
Giants are lucking their way through this one.
The wheels on Jair have fallen off, off, off…
Sac. flies? Those exist?
A “regression to the mean” inning.
Eli Whiteside’s head reminds me of Don Sutton’s head.
Odds we see Linebrink tonight going way up.
It’s a shame, because it sounds like Cain doesn’t have his best stuff.
I’m officially worried about Jurrjens. Was already officially worried about Hanson.
It’s his first outing since the DL. If Jurrjens gets knocked around in his next start I’ll officially be worried. I’ve already given up on Hanson’s health, anything we get out of Hanson down the stretch, in the playoffs and in 2012 will be a bonus in my mind.
Jair is done… Lowe looks better out there then he does right now.
If the wall was 2 feet closer it would be 102-1 Giants.
Well, he was pitching terribly before the DL stint too. It could have been injury related, but then against tonight might be too–and so this might be the pitcher we get the rest of the way.
In his last five starts (counting this one), Jurrjens has given up 21 runs, all earned, in 28 innings. He also has given up 6 HRs with a 1.67 K/BB rate, which is horrible.
Funny how quickly some things can change, like JJ from Potential All-Star Starter to this. On the other hand, it’s really more sad than funny. I know the Braves wouldn’t have traded Jurrjens mid-season regardless (we only do that with valuable players at their absolute lowest value), but I was really hoping we’d trade him for a nice return a month or two ago.
I’m going to prefer to think that Jurrjens is rusty coming off the DL just like Linebrink, and that he’ll be completely back to normal in his next appearance. Yes, that’s what I prefer to think.
Yeah, I’m trying to think that the knee injury was responsible for his ineffectiveness in his last hand full of starts and that rust is the problem tonight. I’m well aware that he may likely be done for the rest of the season.
I know I’ve said this three or four times now, but I’m always pleasantly surprised when I remember I can switch my MLB.TV feed to Don Sutton and Powell.
Two outs to deep centerfield by Freeman and Jones. Guess that means Georgie’s gonna ground out to deep second.
EDIT: Or maybe he’ll air condition the ball is it goes deep into the back of the catcher’s mitt.
He did only have the one bad inning, set up by a couple of lame flairs. He’s looked pretty good the rest of the game. I think it’s pretty silly to assume he’s meat the rest of the year. If he were injured, why was he allowed to pitch those last two innings?
This would be a great time to hit Ross.
Sigh,I guess it is on me tomorrow night to heckle Ross for pay back.
@90 Was just thinking the same thing. Down 4, not using the top end of the bullpen, a win reliant upon a second unlikely comeback in three days … yeah, send his butt flying further than his bat.
@92, I do get what you mean, but what if Bochy decides to return the favor? Is it worth the moral victory to risk injury (HBP) and suspension (charging the mound) for a position player on the Braves to indulge the salving of some wounded pride here?
Cody Ross isn’t worth the effort it would take to throw at him. I really didn’t get all the hand-wringing about that today. If you were legitimately peeved by that for any longer than it took for him to round the bases and re-enter the dugout, you probably need to chill a little bit. I’m sure it was the longest home run he’s ever hit, if that makes people feel any better.
@93 Bochy ought to be wise enough to know that the score is evened and the give-and-take concluded once Ross hits the deck.
@93- There is no doubt in my mind that these Gints would retaliate, then complain to the papers, and file an official complaint to MLB. They are jerk-babies.
Meant @95, rather
OH MY GOD! You just changed my life.
96: I think I disagree on that. As a team, the Giants were very respectful towards the Braves and Bobby Cox last year when they sealed the deal on the LDS in Atlanta. Very admirable.
It’s Cody Ross that’s the little jerk-baby.
94: I dunno. My threshold for being peeved about things that happen in baseball is definitely set below “legitimate.” Sometimes I get peeved just because I feel like it. In Cody Ross’s case, it’s not just because he flipped a bat. If David Ortiz or Adam Dunn did the same thing, maybe I’m not as upset. But because Cody Ross looks like a coach’s son, a little twerp, well…I just think he ought not be doing that kind of thing. So I get peeved and want to see him get taught the error of his ways.
You’d say that’s just dumb, and maybe you’re right. But I just think that’s baseball.
Back to the game: Way to wriggle out of that, C-Mart!
By the way, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually like the Wes Helms move. He was a very good pinch-hitter as recently as a year or two ago. It costs us virtually nothing to get him a week or two of AAA ABs and see if he can work as our RH bench bat. If he can, it’ll work out nicely. It’ll certainly be better than relying on Julio Lugo as our main RH bench bat, and he’s probably better than Conrad is from the right side, as well, allowing us to save Brooks for more effective LH pinch-hitting opportunities.
EDIT: Note that I wouldn’t be upset if we decided we had to plunk him in the backside. I just don’t see the necessity for it.
Guess we’ll be tipping our hats after this one.
@98, Happy to spread the good news! I don’t know how long that’s been an option but I’m glad I discovered it.
@100 Ditto on your edit.
I think signing Helms to the minors is a GREAT move. If he’s not on anyone’s roster, he can’t beat us. That seems to be the only reason the Marlins kept him around.
… and Cody Ross sucks and deserves to be plunked, just BECAUSE he’s Cody Ross.
So, who wants to take the bet that helms gets called up when rosters expand and gets actual pinch hit ABs as the “right handed bench bat”?
Well, crap. Linebrink is still rusty. Shoot, if he was just gonna walk Cody, he coulda just plunked him!
Oh, and another thing I don’t like about Cody: His name. Cody! Don’t get me started.
104: Sounds fine by me. Like Nick says, what’s to lose?
Linebrink taking Proctor’s job as the “Comeback Minimizer”.
Seven runs? Is that a Giants’ 2011 season high?
Nope. They’ve scored 8 or more runs eight times this year, including a 15-3 win over the Tigers on July 2.
Good job, Jason!
Project: Re-Hey-Bilitation has begun!
(Sorry, trying to get in touch with my inner Chip Caray…)
This might have been mildly exciting if not for Linebrink.
Those Linebrink runs look especially bad now.
I would say Heyward’s at bat was positively Constanzan, but it made it out of the infield grass.
Another unlikely comeback perhaps?
Tie game if not for Linebrink…
(Thanks genius manager.)
We’d be tied if not for “Rusty” Linestink. [/sorry but it’s true]
Let’s go B-Mac! Big hit here!
Damn, that last pitch McCann fouled off is one I know he wants back.
Was Heyward’s hit against that lefty pretty authoritative? I didn’t see it (listening on radio).
I really don’t want to take it for granted that we’re coasting to a wild card slot or not capable of catching the Phillies. Therefore, I really want to see less Linebrink. That is all.
I’m proud that the team made their pen work. It’s frustrating to have a game like this where your pitching fails so badly.
@120, It was a solid hit, for sure. It reminded me of one of his game-winners last year.