Eric O’Flaherty

The third part of the Braves’ three-headed bullpen monster posted a freakish 0.98 ERA in 2011. (It wasn’t an “unearned” runs fluke — only one of the nine runs scored against him was scored unearned.) While he didn’t strike out people at Venters’ rate, much less Kimbrel’s, he was still strong there (8.2 K/9) his control was much better, and he had the same ability to inhibit home runs (just two allowed all year). When you get ground balls, you strike people out, and you don’t walk them, baseball is a very simple, and low-scoring, game.

O’Flaherty’s year was probably a bit fluky compared to the other two’s, as it doesn’t really have the components to sustain that level of success. (Few do.) On the other hand, his .285 batting average on balls in play was the same as in 2010, so it wasn’t that fluky. He had a lot of good timing. He’s just an outstanding relief pitcher, who is really ready to move up to a more glamourous role. That probably wouldn’t be with the Braves. He’s going to start getting expensive in a little bit, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he were traded after the season, or worse during it (because that would mean that the Braves were out of it).

Eric O’Flaherty Statistics and History –

109 thoughts on “Eric O’Flaherty”

  1. Regarding Minor, I believe there was an article with Lowe talking about how Minor had some social/confidence issues and struggled to fit in when he first came up, so I think the kid just has some self esteem problems. Hopefully he grows out of it. You’re playing major league ball and went to a great school, Mike, you’ll be fine.

  2. The Braves want to win. They aren’t going to bury a good pitcher just because he says he wants to pitch. This isn’t 1995 anymore.

  3. So just how good is Eric, really? He doesn’t give up homers and his control has improved a great deal. He’s got a low-90s fastball and a really good sinker.

    By ERA, he just had the best season of any Braves reliever since Chris Hammond in 2002, when Hammond famously posted a 0.95 ERA after having been out of the league for four years. He has probably posted the best three back-to-back-to-back seasons any Braves reliever has had since Mike Remlinger’s amazing four years from 1999-2002.

    But I can’t quite understand why he’s so good. Obviously, I’m not expecting him to have another ERA under 1.00 again. But he’s one of the best lefty relievers in baseball, including Jonny Venters. How is he doing it? How is he so good?

  4. Marc,
    (from your previous thread).

    The 29th also included Guard guys from North Carolina. One of the poignant / great stories about that was relayed by David Brinkley who was a few years older out of the same neighborhood and of all of the Wilmington boys that didn’t come back.

    I have had some World War II vets spill a few (actual war condition) stories my way. One man from here almost never talked about what he did and I knew enough to know it was big (armored car company commander on point for Third Army across most of France, Belgium, and Germany). One day he told me about what had to be Patton’s rage at his superior who was waiting on more troops before going into Chartres. The history books say that Patton said something like “I say there is token German resistance in there and you better take Chartres or your successor will (with some expletive flourishes)”. In fact, patton was right and German resistance cracked almost immediately.
    My friend was captain of the honor guard at Patton’s funeral.

  5. Patton “reckless” attacking approach saved lives that a cautious attack would costs. His rants were motivated because he hated for his men to be killed or wounded.
    Similiar to the O’Ventbrel approach to pitching,

  6. And so we have what must be the world’s first comparison of Fredi Gonzalez to General George S. Patton.

  7. “A pint of Jonny Venters’ sweat saves a gallon of Frank Wren’s blood.”

    “The object of baseball is not to squeeze with your slowest runner on third but to make the other bastard squeeze with his.”

    “It is foolish and wrong to mourn men who were caught stealing. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

  8. I credit Billy Wagner for the development of O’Ventbrel. His mindset rubbed off on them.
    Francoeur needed the slap.

  9. No poor SOB ever won a game by taking one for his team. He made the guy on the other side take one for his team.

  10. Alright folks, this is decidedly off-topic, but I need some help.

    Braves baseball is the last thing keeping me from ditching cable. I’d love to switch to a streaming box, like Roku. I could stream an MLB TV subscription through such a box, but Braves games would still be blacked out thanks to MLB’s archane restrictions.

    Any ideas about how I could ditch cable and still watch most all Braves games in real time?

  11. #20
    Watch it from a frowned-upon website (like I’ve heard that some do with out-of-market NFL games), but that obviously runs the risk of shutdown.

  12. Any ideas about how I could ditch cable and still watch most all Braves games in real time?

    Buy season tickets.

  13. @20 – I tried to ditch cable a few years ago and unless something has changed, there is no legal way to watch a majority of braves games without cable, providing you are in the blackout area for the Braves as you mentioned. MLB.TV is a great product otherwise.

  14. I’ve not been able to find a good solution, and I’m out of the blackout area (my 4g modem pops up as Alabama, apparently). I’ve never been able to get a proxy to work.

  15. Well, Congress is acting like they’re going to repeal that particular blackout law (the one pertaining to blackout of national broadcasts/webcasts when it’s on local TV, not the NFL one where they can blackout non-soldout home games). So it’s possible you’ll be good to go on that, though how long that’ll take is anyone’s guess.

  16. We just ditched cable. Much like Spike, my solution to live sports is

    1) digital receiver (basically modern “rabbit ears” for high def local TV, which should pick up PeachtreeTV)

    2) radio

    3) attending games

    4) the local pub

    Granted, with my travel schedule I’m not in town nearly often enough to watch every game anyway, so I’m not cutting out a lot of TV time by cutting out the Braves broadcasts.

    I can also say that I am not contributing to the boycott of the Braves absurd TV deal.

  17. Hadn’t checked in here for a day or so and I’m treated to a great discussion and the Patton paraphrasing that is simply superb.

    I love this bar.

    Thanks, Mac.

  18. Recently, I believe, O’Flaherty credited McCann with helping him excel.

    What, exactly, did McCann do? Anybody know?

  19. I was too young for Vietnam and too old for Desert Storm, so I have no idea how I would have acted in combat. Not poorly, I hope.

    But how those guys who witnessed what was happening to the first wave at Normandy could make themselves get off those boats … well, I guess “the greatest generation” is a pretty apt description.

  20. Moved him to the other side of the rubber, apparently, to give him more tilt/deception or something.

  21. Noc-A-Homa, I got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7inch wiFi for christmas and I have NHL Gamecenter for my laptop. Local games are blacked out on my laptop, by on the Tab, they are not for some unknown reason.
    I dont know if MLB will work the same way but I will let you know.

  22. DOB with some interesting tweets

    Question to DOB: Why doesn’t Oswalt think about being a Brave? Close to home.
    DOB: It’s not been entirely ruled out by #Braves.

    Rebuttal: No way Braves add Oswalt when we have more than enough Starting Pitching

    DOB: As things are now, no. Things happen.

  23. So, would you guys trade Jurrjens, right now, for 2 minor league studs and sign Oswalt to a 1 year/6 million dollar deal?

  24. Will Braun just revert to his mean this year or will he have deeper decline? CJ has lost weight and seems serious about winning. After his rehab was he ever 100% last year?

  25. @36, I think it’s been pretty clear Wren would too, but that the market wants to see some improved performance out of JJ before he’ll command anything like that price.

  26. So if you didnt think our SS position could be any worse, here is this news.

    – Braves shortstop Jack Wilson will be sidelined with a right calf injury for four to six weeks, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said internal candidates such as Josh Wilson and Drew Sutton could back Tyler Pastornicky up until Wilson returns.

  27. Per Mac’s write up, Josh Wilson may be the best defensive option, and he’s not that unlikely to hit notably worse than Jack Wilson.

    Depends on how much creedence you give to that Thomason fella.

  28. So, would you guys trade Jurrjens, right now, for 2 minor league studs and sign Oswalt to a 1 year/6 million dollar deal?

    Who’s going to give up two “studs” for Jurrjens now? Nobody did all offseason, and Jurrjens was by all accounts available.

    Braves shortstop Jack Wilson will be sidelined with a right calf injury for four to six weeks

    Season over!

  29. At noon today, I became a daddy. Margaret Frances (“Maggie”) looks like her mother, which means lots of future heartburn for me.

    Mrs. Stu is one tough lady. 30 (!) hours of labor, followed by a C-section. I’m a lucky guy.

  30. Congrats, Stu!

    I think Sutton would be our best option to replace Wilson and might be able to make the 25 man roster anyway.

  31. I’m sure I’m late to the story, but the Liberty media story makes me sad. I know the Braves are just a line item to them, but I wish someone would make them a Godfather offer.

  32. Congratulations Stu. My child was born during L’affaire Farnsworth. Thank god I had something to take the ball game off my mind.

  33. Stutastic!

    Until my daughter (our first) was born, I’d always held it as a point of pride that I could handle anything life through my way. (Too many John Wayne movies, I guess.)

    When I held her for the first time, I looked skyward and thought “You got me. There’s now something You can take away that will bring me to my knees.”

    Nothing changes you more.


  34. Stu,congratulations! I just experienced the pleasure of my only daughter’s wedding last July. She is 23 and a half. My only advice is to cherish each moment, as the ride is very short. I was also blessed that Alyson looks like her mother. There may have been a few moments during the high school years that I failed to cherish.

    Margaret Frances is a beautiful name.

  35. I still don’t think 80 appearances are too many, but I looked at the records of the top save men of all time. Most of them had seasons early in their career where they threw more innings than Kimbrel and Venters did last year, but generally with somewhat fewer appearances, peaking in the low seventies. The most I find is 74 by John Franco.

  36. Congrats, Stu!
    @62, Ha! My daughter was born while my ‘Dawgs were getting smoked by Tebow & company 41-17. I’ll always be grateful to her for that.

  37. Stu can post late at night when he is up attending to his child’s needs. I just posted on my niece’s aunt face book page. She was born Feb. 29, so I wished her a happy 14th birthday. I talked to my niece who is 14 and told her to face book that they are same age even though born 42 years apart.

  38. Except for the almond sshaped eyes, olive complexion and dark brown hair my kids look like their mother. My daughters are beautiful and my son handsome so they escaped the curse of heredity.

  39. Any chance Pastornicky kicked Wilson in calf? J/K How many wins are not having Lowe and the two Scotts be worth? How many wins will a healthy Prado and Heyward be worth? I know we are doomed, but everyone can win WS in Spring Training

  40. Whoa. With so many new posts on a Saturday, I figured we got a SS or something. But now I see even better news. Congrats, Stu.

  41. I don’t know nothing about kids, but I will be having drinks at H. Harper Station on August 13, prior to sliding on down to Opening Day at Turner Field. Just in case any of you are just jonesing to see the show in real life…

  42. Yep. Friday, April 13, prior to the game vs the Brewers. I’ll probably wrap work a little early that day and head over to Harper’s for a pre-game.

  43. They served us last night, Spike. Not sure if it’s new ownership or what, but Harper Station is still open.

  44. I’m concerned about her range factor and isolated power. I would also hesitate to make a decision without 3 years of UZR data.

  45. Pearl handled???? Real babies don’t carry pearl handled rattles! They carry IVORY! Pearl is for…well…this is a family website, right?

  46. Stu,

    Congrats! Don’t let her grow up too soon-I get sad when I see pictures of Molly when she was 4 or 5. Now she is looking for colleges. Of course, she was born the day before the Braves won the World Series so I think she is a lucky charm.

  47. That means…this year’s incoming college freshmen have no memory of Atlanta Braves, World Champions. Ay caramba….

  48. @102,


    Look at it this way. most centenarians (I looked it up-means people between 100 and 109)have no memory of the Cubs last championship. So it could be worse.

  49. Well, no Oscars for Moneyball this year. Was hoping for Best Adapted Screenplay but oh well. It was cool seeing it feature so much.

  50. Pit Bull?

    Whatever good will is generated throughout the season, NBA All-Star Weekend does its best to wash it away.

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