Braves 6, Astros 3

Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros – Box Score – April 11, 2012 – ESPN.

Very similar to last night. The Braves seem to have learned that if the other team starts to come back, you should score more runs. Jason Heyward had a big day, with three hits, including a homer, two RBI and two runs scored, even though — I know it’s hard to believe — the Astros started a lefty.

The Astros struck first, with a solo homer against Randall Delgado in the first inning. But the Braves tied it up in the second, when Uggla singled, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Heyward’s single. Unfortunately, Dave Ross couldn’t advance Heyward after he stole second, and Jason was stranded, but Ross made up for it later.

Fourth inning. Chipper Jones leads off with a single Uggla hits a double play ball that the shortstop botches, all hand safe. Heyward singles, loading the bases. Ross steps up, works the pitcher, then doubles to right-center, scoring two. Jack Wilson then pulled off a squeeze play (I know!) to score Heyward, making it 4-1. The Braves got two more runners (Delgado reached on an error and Prado walked) but couldn’t score.

The Astros crawled back. They couldn’t score after loading the bases with two out in the fourth, but in the fifth Jordan Schafer scored on a groundout to make it 4-2; Ross ended the inning by picking a man off of second.

In the seventh, Eric O’Flaherty gave up a two-out bases-loaded walk to bring it to 4-3, but preserved the lead. Heyward’s homer in the eighth made it 5-3. Jonny Venters was his usual self (a man reached on an error and was erased on a double play, the other out on a strikeout.) Martin Prado scored on a throwing error after a Chipper single, and Craig Kimbrel had a walk, a single, and three strikeouts.

81 thoughts on “Braves 6, Astros 3”

  1. Missed most of the game, but the posts and the recap pretty much sums it up for me. Im glad Heyward started last night, he pretty much won the game for the Braves. Fredi really needs to start using Ross’ bat in PH situations when he can. Freeman’s K totals are a bit alarming.

  2. In a lot of ways, the Astro offense was very Braveslike yesterday. They left the bases loaded in both the 3rd and the 7th and left 10 men on base overall. If they weren’t the worst team in baseball, the score might have been very different.

    I love a win as much as the next guy, but this was hardly a dominant performance, and it was more of a tightrope walk by the pitching staff than I’d ideally like to see.

  3. #3 – Agree, both of these wins seemed to be very difficult against what everyone considers the worst team in baseball. We had a lot of trouble putting this weak lineup away for most of the series. Our starters are going to have to get deeper into games.

    Wandy is a good pitcher though and it was good to see us put up some early runs off a lefty.

  4. It is probably just my imagination but in recent years it has seemed the Braves struggle against the bottom dwelling teams. Everyone sees the Mets and Astros as two bad teams this year. Maybe when we start playing some better teams we will see better performance from the Braves?

  5. •Use your imagination. RT @chip_hendrix: @ajcbraves. What does the letters “BMFT” stand for on Tommy Hanson’s glove? 1 hour ago

    Any guesses?

  6. “Bring My Footwear Today”

    It’s well established that Tommy has trouble remembering to bring his shoes to the park.

    The best thing the Braves could do for the offense would be to sign a washed up, decrepit, sad sack with the ability to squat behind home plate for an inning or two. Then let Ross PH more.

    Of course, that hinges on the idea that Fredi is smart enough to realize that a third catcher would allow him to PH Ross more. He’d probably just save both of them, just in case McCann AND Ross got hurt in a 53 inning game.

    Fredi is the dumbest man alive.

  7. I read the post game article and apparently Ross was nervous last night to the point of being sick. In a weird way it’s endearing to know that the professionals still get butterflies.

  8. Isnt Diaz an emergency catcher? Id much rather Ross get the last AB and leave Diaz on the bench for that last swing.

  9. Off-days are always better after a win.

    From previous thread…

    It’s the MLB app, which allows you to watch or listen to the game, from either club’s “perspective.” It’s just like “MLB At Bat ’12,” but because I already bought the subscription, I can use the app on iPhone & iPad for “free,” just by punching in my username & password.

    For an out-of-market Braves fan, it’s pretty vital.

  10. @6 – I’d agree (although with no data to back this up) that it seems they have kind of played to the level of their competition the last few years. Really, that’s what has separated the Braves from the Phillies – the Phillies have been able to really beat down the dregs of the league during their recent run.

    I’ve wondered before if it has something to do with teams built around big offenses being better suited to beat bad teams. If you only score 1 run, it’s almost as hard to beat the Pirates as it is the Yankees.

  11. @18

    He was rushing to try to get a throw off from *deep* in the hole and got a bad grip on the ball, which slipped out. So the end result was silly looking.

    Now watch that GIF without looking for something to laugh at at the end. Note that the ball is hit to 3B and skip-hops past Prado (who misses with his ole attempt.) By all rights, the LF should be picking that ball up. You can’t tell exactly where he was positioned to start, but unless he was playing *way* over towards 3B, Wilson showed incredible range to even get to that ball.

  12. I keep hearing about Petrino. Petrino, Petrino, Petrino. I don’t know jack about this guy other than he was the Razorbacks head coach, he ditched a bike with a woman that was not his wife riding behind him, and a lot of folks seem to really loathe him.

    Can anyone here give a quick primer on this guy for me? If this guy needs another hater, I can do that, but I don’t join in without first making an informed decision. Thanks!

  13. He was briefly the Falcons’ coach, and he bailed on them at a really tough time (all the Vick mess) when Arkansas came calling. And he did so without meeting with the players to let them know — left letters in their lockers, IIRC. That’s why a lot of ATL people hate him.

    Before that, when he was coaching at Louisville, he was right in the middle of that Bobby Lowder/Tommy Tuberville thing — he was the guy Lowder met with and to whom he tried to give Tommy’s job.

    Now, the thing with this girl — who was doing more than just “riding behind him” on the bike, which caused the accident. He’s married with kids; she’s engaged to some other Arkansas coach in some other sport. They’ve had this relationship for a while. He hired her to a university job with a $55K salary, and of course state university salaries come from state taxpayers’ pockets. And then he initially lied to his superiors about the circumstances of the accident and the particulars of this relationship, apparently believing the Arkansas police were going to cover this up for him.

    Mucho embarrassment for a long line of family members and employers.

    And he’ll be Tennessee’s coach within a year, and then I’ll really start to hate him.

  14. He was an OC at Auburn under Tuberville before leaving to become the Head Coach at Louisville. After one year at Louisville he secretly interviewed with Auburn for the head coaching job at Auburn even though Tuberville was still employed there.

    He then decided to make a move to the pro ranks and took the Atlanta Falcons head coaching job. He walked out on them with 3 games left in his first season to take the Arkansas job.

    Good coach who cares about only himself and believed he was untouchable. Problems follow him wherever he goes, but Im sure another school will take a chance on him. Oh yeah, and he cheated on his wife while employing his mistress and mislead the school.

    edit: same thing Stu just said and yes, I could see him at UT in a year.

  15. I didn’t see the play live – just the gif. I have to say from what I saw it was a damn fine effort to even get to that ball, and that Wilson was trying to make a do-or-die play and he died.

    And yes, the throw looked funny, but it was a heck of an effort to even get into position to look that foolish. No hate from me for that play Jack W.

  16. @22

    LOL, I don’t think we will touch him.

    I am thinking he will be out for 2-3 years and turn up at like UTEP or WKU.

  17. Re: Petrino/Tennessee

    I would really like to think we wouldn’t do that, but if we do, I would have some serious personal issues to work through, and it’s possible that it would end in me no longer caring about Tennessee football, at least while he’s there. Such is my loathing for Petrino.

  18. @29

    If Dooley is gone after this season (and I think it is 50/50) then I think they spend huge money going after an NFL guy or a big college name.

  19. …and it’s possible that it would end in me no longer caring about Tennessee football, at least while he’s there.

    Nick, that might be best for your sanity, anyway, what with James Franklin taking over the state and all.


    30—It would definitely take huge money for you guys to get someone of that ilk, IMO. Which isn’t to say that you couldn’t at least do better than Dooley.

  20. @32

    Who is James Franklin? ;-)

    The next coach at UT will make big money and be a big name. That being said, I like the moves Dooley has made with the staff.

  21. @32

    You still have to, like, beat us in an actual game, Stu. Let’s not put the cart before the horse here…heh.

  22. 34—Believe me, I know, and I was of course joking.

    But I don’t think there’s a single school in the country, including in Knoxville, that would rather have Derek Dooley than James Franklin.

  23. The sad thing about the Petrino mess is the quotes from Arkansas “students” about how they don’t care what he did as long as he wins. Apparently, anything short of murder (maybe) is acceptable as long as he wins SEC games. And some comments about how it’s not our business who he sleeps with. That’s true but that’s not what got him fired. What Petrino did would get any other university employee fired immediately and I give the university administration some credit for doing so.

    It seems to me that the last two games are typical of the Braves generally. Every game they win comes down to the bullpen having to get a lot of outs because (1) the starters can’t go more than 5, and (2) the offense can’t put teams away. How often do the Braves go out and crush someone? This is the way they play, whether it’s the Astros or not. (Although it would help if they could limit their schedule to the Astros.) I think the starting pitching is really a problem. As highly touted as it is, how long can you get away with starters going five? I don’t know much about Roger McDowell but he doesn’t seem to be doing a very good job of bringing these young pitchers along. I thought Beachy was awful the other night (notwithstanding the errors) and he just seems unwilling to challenge hitters.

  24. Franklin, at a previously-irrelevant program, has completely alienated UT and UGA fans in year one. Wonder what year two has in store.

    The day I have dreamed of — the day when we’re not everybody’s “second-favorite SEC team” — is fast approaching.

  25. “Franklin, at a previously-irrelevant program, has completely alienated UT and UGA fans in year one.”


    “The day I have dreamed of — the day when we’re not everybody’s ‘second-favorite SEC team'”

    Franklin didn’t beat UT or UGA but made a horse’s ass of himself in both postgames, thus delighting other fanbases throughout the SEC and people like Jeffy Schultz. That is the very *definition* of being “everybody’s second-favorite SEC team.”

  26. Also, Franklin loses points for not releasing the kraken after Penn Wagers’ ship of fools cost Vandy the game against Florida. If there’s ANY program you should go on two-hour tirades trashing, it’s those clowns. (Or what’s left of them. What was the attendance for UF/FSU? 60K?)

  27. Likely to take a step back on D, this year. Shoop is an enormous improvement over Fowler, though; you’re right about that. Offense should be improved. Given a pretty favorable schedule, we might actually make another bowl game.

    Franklin has assembled a very good staff, and he’s obviously a great motivator. Most importantly, though, he’s gotten the administration to finally buy in, and he’s actually recruiting at an SEC level. Nobody thought either of those things was possible before December of 2010.

  28. Best outcome for Franklin is to be a vague approximation of what Rick Barnes was when he coached at Clemson. Pick fights with rivals who think you’re beneath them, win a few more games than you should, then bolt.

  29. @35: as a type 1 diabetic, I wish I could sit down with donuts and a jug of chocolate milk.

  30. And I’m telling you that you are wrong. He’s paid extremely well and has a ridiculous — as in, prohibitive — buyout. He’s going to be here for a while.

    I worry about losing Shoop, but I’ll have to trust Franklin to continue making good assistant hires.

  31. My father always told me…”Son, its not the first look that gets you. Its that second long look that starts to get you in trouble.”

    Screw the money, how is anyone worth losing your wife and 4 kids?

  32. What got me was Petrino’s justification for his cover up that he didn’t want to hurt his family, as if having an affair wasn’t hurting his family.

  33. @59 – Bethany, not all men. The Robin Williams quote about the amount of blood an average male has is the only explanation I can think of.

  34. It’s just not possible to interview Steve Spurrier and not come away with at least one pretty-funny shot across the bow of one of his rivals. From Chris Low, yesterday afternoon:

    His thoughts on the Georgia-South Carolina game moving from the second week of the season to the sixth week in 2012.

    “I don’t know. I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”

  35. Well, if the News From Rome is right, Huddy might be out a little longer than we hoped as he works his way back into shape.

    Let’s Go Delgado! (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)

  36. Bethany,

    As a (almost) 56 year old male, I can understand it without approving it. I think sports and sex (with younger women) are two ways that men try to fight aging. I don’t thinkyou can say he was “choosing” to give up the money or his family; for whatever reason (probably hubris) he didn’t expect to get caught. Guys like Petrino (and politicians) think they are invulnerable and that they will be able to get away with stuff like this. They try to compartmentalize their lives; unfortunately for them, this usually doesn’t work.

  37. #66 – ???. DOB posted this morning that Huddy feels great and could return as early as April 27th.

    “DOB – With at least two more rehab outings, Hudson could return on April 27 against the Pirates at the earliest. Or if the Braves give him an extra day here or there, he could return later in that home stand against the Pirates or Phillies.”

  38. ububba, thanks, I was thinking if there is anything else outside of what MLB is offering. Thanks again!

  39. @59, If you are really wondering why, there’s a bit too much attention paid to the 51 part, and not enough on the $18M part. People who make that kind of jack think (justifiably, in many instances) that normal rules do not apply to them. It may be “hubris” as Marc calls it, but it’s a hubris born of seeing/engaging in/getting away with behavior that may not be the norm for folks in a typical social environment, but certainly seems to occur with great frequency for multimillionaires. It’s not a stretch for people to think they are above it all when presented with significant anecdotal evidence that they in fact are.

  40. csg – I was referring to Huddy’s poor outing – getting smacked around in Rome, not any health concerns.

  41. @72

    Carrol Rodgers said last night that most of the hits were “seeing eye” soft singles that would have been outs most of the time. She indicated that he actually looked a lot better than his line. Of course, she could be the designated mouth piece this year

  42. I am not worried about Huddy’s performance in Rome. He could have been working on one specific pitch or something, great pitchers rehab in the minors and get knocked around all the time.

  43. Lefty parade continues today with Randy Wolf. Who thankfully has been pretty crappy against the Braves for his career.

  44. Well, the melodrama seems to at least rise from passionate public interest, which we also don’t have here – but yeah, we seem to prefer our sports pundits/company shills generally optimistic and sunny rather than bitter and vindictive.

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