Dodgers 7, Braves 2

Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – Box Score – April 23, 2012 – ESPN.

The Braves have problems — everyone does — but they have one big problem, and that is Jair Jurrjens. Jurrjens is now 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA. If you’re looking for a bright side, he didn’t allow a homer, but that’s not much of a bright side. He didn’t strike out anyone either, and gave up three hits an inning.

The Braves loaded the bases in the first, but Jason Heyward struck out swinging. As usual, they wouldn’t get many other chances against longtime nemesis Chris Capuano. The Dodgers put together a little rally for one run in the bottom of the inning to make it 1-0, but David Ross tied it up with a homer in the top of the second.

The bottom of the inning went double-single-double, and suddenly it was 3-1. The Braves had a reasonable chance in the fourth, as Heyward and Ross got on leading off, but they wound up sitting at second and third after a strikeout and one of those nonsense bunt-the-runner-to-second-forget-about-the-man-at-third they’re so fond of these days.

Livan Hernandez could have hit for Jurrjens, and as it goes, should have. It seems like we’ve had a lot of guys who couldn’t get that first out of an inning this year. By the time Livan was in the game, a run was in and two were on. The Dodgers added a run to make it 5-1.

Livan staunched the bleeding for awhile, but the Braves didn’t seriouly threaten until Dan Uggla‘s eighth inning homer cut it to 5-2. Livan tired in the eighth — he is, after all, 423 years old — and gave up two runs, having to be relieved by Chad Durbin, who is actually an immortal demon sent to test managers’ souls. 7-2.

241 thoughts on “Dodgers 7, Braves 2”

  1. From previous thread: I think Bradley’s analysis is silly. Perhaps the loss of velocity has affected JJ’s confidence but it’s not because of the speed gun. If you throw 98 and slip to 94 you have more margin for error; if you throw less hard and lose a little, then you may be in trouble. He probably needs to make adjustments to his loss of velocity-some pitchers have been able to do this successfully and others have not. But I think it’s a cop out to say it’s mental. It often takes time for a pitcher to realize his stuff has changed and that he needs to adjust. I’m not sure what role McDowell has in this but that seems to me what you would hire a pitching coach for. But, let’s face it, JJ wouldn’t be the first pitcher with somewhat marginal stuff who was successful for a while and then declined.

  2. I’m impressed with Fredi’s use of crappy relievers so far this season. Durbin and Livan both suck, but if you have to use them this is the game to do so. Of course the better option would be to bring up Flande, but that’s a story for another day.

    I also like sending JJ to AAA.

  3. 1 – Delgado is here to start, and I think he is doing pretty well.

    Take away that one bad inning in Arizona and what are his numbers?

  4. @4
    Why is Medlen not here to start? Why would the better pitcher, capable of starting as proven previously, receive less innings?

    I’ve used the argument in the past about taking away a bad inning, but who can that not be said about? I mean, what pitcher constantly spreads his damage out equally amongst several innings? Furthermmore, in his young career, the “one bad inning” seems to be Delgado’s main problem.

  5. So who is taking JJ’s spot on the roster for now. It might make sense to call up Flande and see what he looks like until Huddy comes off the DL. Braves could then decide what the best rotation/pen set up could look like and they would probably have 3 options.

    1. Delgado #5 SP, Medlen and Durbin in the Pen, Flande optioned back to Gwinnett.
    2. Delgado #5 SP, Medlen and Flande in the pen. Durbin released.
    3. Medlen #5 SP, Delgado sent back to Gwinnett, Durbin/Flande stay in the pen.

  6. Delgado is a young prospect who needs to start, either here or in Gwinnett. So if he’s here, he should be starting.

  7. Best of luck to JJ, but I am excited about the prospect of Delgado getting some more starts. His rapid progress is impressive and I think that he will adapt (with some hiccups) to the majors and become a very good pitcher….

  8. Medlen hasn’t started in a while. If he’s going to start again, they’ll probably find somewhere to stretch him out–not that I believe that is necessary, but that’s probably what they’d do.

  9. Ugh. AJC sportswriting at it’s finest – vague unsupported premise (focus on velocity detracts from performance) followed by a misplaced appeal to authority (He had a better age 26 W/L record than Glavine, so QED he is a pitching peer), and a flawed inspection of the opposing premise (he was throwing harder before and winning, now he’s not and isn’t, but Maddux never threw hard so that can’t be it).

  10. I’ve got a large group of friends coming in town for the game Friday night. Any chance that it will sellout or do you guys think we would be ok waiting to buy tickets at the ticket booth before the game?

  11. JJ has his problem, but the team has enough starting pitching depth to overcome it. Good luck to JJ and wish he can rediscover his skills. Worst scenario would be non tendering him this offseason, which is not a big deal.

    One issue which the Braves have no internal solution is shortstop. This is a bigger issue than JJ.

  12. #21 – I agree and the Braves cant keep throwing Wilson/Pastornicky out there.

    BTW, check out these numbers from JJ. August 2011, ST, and 2012 season

    14GS 66IP 94H 50ER 13HR 33BB 33K

  13. On reconsideration, perhaps they should have moved Jurrjens when he was hot last year.

  14. Someone just offered to trade me Pastornicky for a certain SS on my roster who was eminently available last offseason. I found this amusing. Said SS makes $1,150,000 and is hitting .250/.362/.350 with 7BB/8K. Not setting the world on fire, but I don’t doubt we’d take it at this point.

    Looking at contracts, I didn’t realize we could buy Hudson out for $1 mil, saving $8 mil next year. Unless I’m reading things wrong. If our rumored impending pursuit of Swisher has anything to it, maybe we don’t retain Hudson. Swisher would solve our 3B/LF issue, but not for cheap. And then there’s CF, probably SS, hopefully an extension or two, and smaller things like Ross and Hinske.

  15. Swisher in RF.
    Heyward in CF.
    Prado in LF or 3B.

    All holy beat down in spring training between Francisco(3B), Terdoslavich(3B) and Gattis(LF) for Chipper’s old spot.

  16. I may want to hold on to Huddy and trade Hanson while he’s healthy and has value. We wont be able keep him in FA anyways.

  17. Either way you pick up Huddy’s option. He is worth way more than his salary and would likely be a valuable trade piece.

  18. @17

    It’s very unlikely that any of the games vs the Pirates this weekend will even approach a sell-out. The schedule has Friday listed as a “C” game meaning a high turn-out is not expected. That being said the advantages of buying early are that:

    1) A considerable amount of walk-up tickets are sold on weekend games. Depending on factors such as opponent (though not necessarily in the case of Pittsburgh), weather and how many ticket booths they decide to open that night and the time you show up to the park, buying tickets at the window can sometimes be more of a hassle than it’s worth. Especially where large groups are concerned.

    2) Unless you’re ok with nosebleed seats, large groups can be a bit trickier to seat together. It’s a slow-moving process when negotiating seating location with the ticketing agent for large groups particularly when (a) the game is about to start or (b) the people you’re holding up behind you are starting to lose their patience while you ask the agent to search again in a different section. Ordering through Ticketmaster is one way to avoid this possibility, but if you can get someone on the phone it may make more sense to order them that way. A ticket rep tends to have more flexibility for seating arrangements than a website.

    3) The third factor, starting this year, is that ticket prices may actually increase day-of if the demand for tickets is higher than expected at the last minute. However the money you save buying early will probably be negated by service charges associated with Ticketmaster(unless you drive to stadium and physically buy them a day or two before)

    If you don’t care about any of the above then you should have no problems getting tickets on the night-of. It’s the best way to avoid service charges and make sure that no one in your groups stiffs you on the cost of the tickets you would ordinarily charge to your credit card. This all goes along with the usual advice of giving yourself more time than you think you would need to fight traffic, park, wrangle your group, and stand in line. Keep in mind that you’ll probably have folks wanting to buy food, drinks and the like before sitting down. Also, cram as many people to a car as you can due to the high price of parking.

    Other than that, have fun and enjoy the game.

  19. #17
    Sellout?

    And a sellout for the Pirates?

    I can pretty much guarantee that you can show up & get tickets at the window.

    However, my advice would be: if know how many people are actually coming to the game, you might as well pick your own tickets online. The selection should be a tiny bit better.

  20. Ryan C – I see that others have answered what it means that “Delgado is here to start.”

    I think it is also fair to point out that Delgado has had one bad inning on the year. JJ, for one, had more bad innings than that last night.

    I do share your frustration with our use of Medlen, though. I think he would be very valuable as a starter. I am afraid to trade him, but don’t know how we fit him in.

  21. Until Hudson returns and can go 6-7 innings regularly, and Hanson/Minor/Beachy all prove that their stamina from last time out is a trend rather than an outlier, Medlen is more useful to this team (as currently constructed) in the pen.

    You want him available on any day where you have a chance to win but your starter is faltering, rather than only available on a single day where he starts.

  22. @35
    I’m not denying that Delgado probably needs to start, but so does Medlen. Is Neftali Fel

  23. (continued) iz going to suffer a setback in Texas because he closed for a few years? Is it really that necessary for a SP to continue starting his entire career? What are the repercussions?

  24. Medlen doesn’t need to start — he’s been a swingman since 2008, and he was a reliever before that. Since he’s proven he can be effective in a flexible role, what’s the harm in keeping him in that role?

  25. Looks like the Braves have other ideas for Flande. I had no idea that they had him starting in Gwinnett. He’s started in his last 3 appearances.

  26. Flande leads the IL with a .096 BAA. He also leads the League in ERA.

    Good. We need more pitching.

  27. I didn’t know they’d converted Flande to a starter either.

    You can never have too many mid-to-high level starting pitching prospects. So Flande basically replaces JJ Hoover.

  28. @42
    Except that he’s the better pitcher and he’ll wind up pitching about 1/3 of the innings as Delgado, nothing.

  29. …who was called up by the Reds today, interestingly*.

    *I realize that this may not be interesting to everyone. I apologize to anyone who’d rather read discussions about, for example, the shape of Fredi’s goatee.

  30. Stu, have you decided you must play the role of curmudgeon with Sam being so docile the past few days?

    Personally, I thought Fredi’s goatee was in fine form last evening.

  31. But Medlen is coming in during contested games and pitching multiple innings, and helping us win. Isn’t it the answer sometimes to someone doing well in a particular role to keep him in that role?

  32. The argument for high-leverage innings would be an argument for Medlen in the pen (if used properly.)

  33. The thing is, I fantasize that Medlen could be a Maddux-type pitcher.

    His stuff is not overpowering; it’s good, but he seems to know exactly how to maximize it and has the control to pull it off. Add to that his extreme focus and study of the game, and you’ve got “The Professor, Part II.”

  34. @32

    Hudson’s value as a trade piece is exactly what Hudson wants it to be, since he’s a 5 and 10 guy he can veto any trade.

  35. (if used properly.)

    Thats my biggest concern. Id rather see Medlen starting every 5th game because I dont believe he will be used properly. He hasnt pitched in 7 days. Most of that is due to the amount of runs we were scoring, but if our starters are doing there job getting through 6 or 7 innings I dont think Medlen will see that much action. Fredi will use Venters and Kimbrel.

  36. @61
    That’s the way I see it as well. The Braves seem to have finally scrapped the dreaded 100 pitch count which, in turn, let’s their pitchers pitch deeper into games decreasing the work load for the big 3. If this were last year where it seemed as though our starters couldnt get to the 6th inning, I might see it differently.

  37. @61

    -Agreed. The only type of game Medlen seems valuable for is if both the Braves and the opposition score a lot. If we’re dominating or behind by any amount: Durrible/Livan time. If it’s low score scoring and we’re leading: O’Ventbrel. If it’s high scoring on both sides, then the starter probably isn’t going deep and Medlen could get some run…well, either him or the Lisp. I think the Frediot bullpen chart a few threads ago spelled it out pretty well.

  38. Okay, guys, I didn’t want to post this with all this hash on the screen and the site maybe needing repairs. But here goes…

    Tomorrow I am going to have surgery. It is fairly minor surgery; for most people it would be outpatient, but they’re being careful. Hopefully, it will help with this perennial congestion issue of mine.

    Stu will be handling the writeup for Wednesday’s game.

  39. Good luck, Mac. My thoughts are with you tomorrow.

    I’m sure everything will be fine, Stu, as long as the Braves don’t intentionally walk the eighth-place hitter to get to the pitcher. ;)

  40. I’ll probably have to work harder on this one than on the last recap I did. (At least, I think that was my last one — it’s the only one that sticks out in my mind, because I enjoyed doing it so much.)

  41. Mac, minor surgery happens to other people. When it happens to one’s self it’s a big deal. always. good luck.

  42. Mac, here’s to you & your surgeon’s steady hands. Best of luck.

    And Stu will be fine. Why wouldn’t he be? Minor’s pitching…

  43. Stu the Curmudgeon is one of my favorite characters in the Braves Journal Narrative. I throw roses at his feet.

    It seems like the Braves are playing a bit of the olden days Bobby routine of “wake me up in 45 days and we’ll see what team we have” and the “we ain’t taking no shyster” stance that other teams employ. I like that they are taking an early hook on Jurrjens (stuff’s clearly not right there), but that they are giving Livan a decent shot based on his track record.

    With that said, I want some flame-throwin’ SOBs in our pen, if that’s indeed what this Flande character is. I don’t want to be playing around with the Chad Durbags of the world while we have unproven crotch-punchers in the system.

    Go Braves.

  44. Mac, good luck on your surgery. You’re the man, and may the Lord be with the surgeons. Hopefully not Jurrjen’s Surgeons. They can’t keep anything healthy right now.

  45. More bad news for the Mets: Mike Pelfrey, who was off to a good start, to the DL with a swollen elbow.

    That’s a starting pitcher & a starting OF to the DL in the same day.

  46. Well done, Mac!

    Stu, I hope Minor pitches another brilliant game in your honor tonight.

  47. Oh, Minor’s pitching tonight? You’re all safe, because I’m recapping tomorrow’s game.

  48. @61 – If the team coalesces into a consistently high scoring offense whose starters go deep into games, well, then Kris Medlen’s value is probably highest as part of a trade package (or back filling as a starter for after you deal Delgado or Hanson or whomever.)

    As of right now, it’s far from a given that the offense will remain at the levels we saw in the 10 game hot streak. Nor has any of the younger three starters proven themselves capable of going deep into games on a regular basis. Until those small samples embiggen themselves a bit, I don’t see a problem with having Medlen in the pen and Delgado in the rotation.

  49. If the 2012 Braves have a consistently high scoring offense and starters who can go deep into games, combined with expected performances out of the three top bullpen arms, and some team in need of a starter down the stretch was willing to part with a real LF prospect in return for Kris Medlen, the Braves should worry about that trade.

    If the offense falters (it will at some point) or the starters don’t go 7 every night (they won’t) then Medlen is more useful in the pen than as a fifth starter.

  50. Braves shortstops Tyler Pastornicky and Jack Wilson are a combined 10-for-64 (.156) with two walks, 13 strikeouts and a .179 OBP – DOB

    Thats not worth $1.5 mil.

  51. Fearless prediction:

    Juan Francisco will not end the season with an OPS over 900.

    Combined SS will not end the season with an OPS below 500.

  52. For all of you out of market folks, tonight’s game is the MLB.TV game of the night. Free on the internets unless you’re in the LA home market.

    You’re welcome.

  53. What makes for a better bullpen: crotch punchers or guys with huge sh–?

    Do you need both?

  54. How does one prove himself as a crotch puncher?

    (I’m still laughing at that one, Rob.)

    (Triple post!)

  55. Tonight’s lineup

    1. Bourne in the USA, cf
    2. Nitram Odarp, lf
    3. Buzz McAlister, cf
    4. Remaining Baby Brave, c
    5. Banged a Porn Star, 2b
    6. Geriatric, 3b
    7. Hason Jeyward, rf
    8. The Rev, ss

  56. #107: I don’t get it?

    Hey, does anyone have a link to those Japanese Bob Horner commercials? Someone posted them last year and like a damned fool I didn’t link to them.

  57. Trying to log onto the MLB.tv broadcast. Says there’s technical difficulties, try again later. Anyone else having said difficulties?

  58. @115 It finally let me on.

    Bourn starts the game with a double. Now he’s playing like a guy on the hunt for a long term contract.

  59. “Just out of the reach of Dan Uggla” – Chip

    Seems like we hear that almost every night.

  60. I had no idea they called Minor “Mike the Spike” at Vandy because he had so much gel in his hair. What else are you holding out on us Stu?

  61. I honestly have never heard that.

    I do recall that a bunch of extremely Vandy Vandy fans had a problem with the way he cocked his hat to the side while pitching for the ‘Dores.

  62. @132-

    Just heard Vin Scully say it, not sure where he got that from. Thought it was funny but I could not care less what he does with his hair as long as he pitches well.

  63. I still think that Prado is being fed this productive out crap and has a hard time changing his approach in different situations.

  64. @136-

    Both the gelled-up spiky look and frosted tip rank at “Texeira” on the douche scale to me, I’ll live with it as long as Minor doesn’t go JJ on us.

  65. Man, Uggla palmed that ball. Don’t know how he caught that and made such a smooth transition to throw.

    Oh, and Kemp was safe. But I’ll take it!

  66. It’s just like Chipper to save his homeruns for his birthday…Solo, too…So he can have all the glory for himself…Selfishness perfonisied…

  67. Why does “don’t make the first or last out at third” imply that making the second out there is acceptable?

  68. Tad parody @146, FYI.

    Seems the Hibernatron 2000 in the Braves dugout is on the fritz temporarily.

    You know what’s not on the fritz? Vin Scully. I sense absolutely no drop off in the quality of his broadcasting.

  69. There’s value to taking pitches out of the starter’s arm, even if you’re not getting hits. There’s more value in getting hits, obviously, but given a sub-300 OBP that works the count deep and, say, Alex Gonzalez’ theory of three pitch at bats…

  70. Would have been nice if that hit had snuck through and gotten Heyward home, though.

  71. If Pastornicky is your starting SS, you have to show some faith in him in situations like that. He won’t get comfortable at the ML level if you pinch hit for him in every crucial at bat.

  72. With the lead, I think you let Minor hit. He’s settled in. IF it had still been tied then I think you go to the bench.

  73. Our own Eckstein would be just about a best-case outcome for Pastornicky, and I’d be ecstatic if that’s what he turns into. Eckstein has been worth about 20 Wins Over Replacement in his career. He was an All-Star in 2005 and 2006, and probably deserved to be one in 2002.

  74. A decent throw and the umps dont have to make the right call. Uggla has been absolutely brutal so far defensively.

  75. It’s a bit like Yunel’s. Free swinger, doesn’t work the count nearly enough; when he’s right, he hits for a pretty high average, but when he isn’t he looks absolutely lost. Difference is that Martin’s a redass and Yunel’s a space cadet. No wonder Bobby adored one and hated the other.

  76. 188—I think of him as a more-talented Omar Infante. Willing to take first-pitch strikes 99% of the time; unwilling to take ball-four 99% of the time.

  77. I hope Fredi doesn’t just go to Venters in the 8th because he’s the “8th inning guy”. I hope he lets O’Flaherty continue.

  78. Stu, I think that’s a good comp. Also, the Infante trade isn’t mentioned much now but it was one of Wren’s finest hours, trading a minor league pitcher who never amounted to anything for Ohman, a shut-down lefty, and Infante, one of the best supersubs in the league while we had him.

  79. “Juan Uribe running gingerly toward the stands in foul territory” is a thing I think I could watch over and over.

  80. Move him over. Get him in. Bring in Kimbrell. Save Hinske in case it goes longer and you need a potential HR later.

  81. Yeah, the bunt there was the right call, IMO. I’m just relieved that Fredi didn’t go all hit-and-run-with-Jack-Wilson again.

  82. Prado didn’t bail out the decision. It was the correct decision. Early in games, at bats are more important than bases. In a tie game in the top of the ninth, the base is more important than the first out of the inning.

  83. A note for MLB.com and GameDay: If a guy bringing 98 MPH heat on the outer half doesn’t register a high “nasty factor,” your factoring algorithm is broken.

  84. MLB.TV decided to crap out two strikes into that last batter. I miss watching baseball on TV like a regular person. Man oh man did I take TBS for granted.

  85. Decent start by Minor, great relief by the bullpen, and an offense that snapped itself out of hibernation mode.

    All that and a Chipper homer? I’ll take it!

  86. 231: I was just thinking that recently, Rob. I grew up in Florida near Vero Beach, which despite the Dodgers being spring training legends, it was definitely Braves Country. Even when we were terrible. I watched every single game on TBS from 1982-1987, and a lot from 1988-1989. (None in 1990…) Picked it back up in 1991 and of course watched a lot of ball on TBS from then on.

    Not anymore. The Marlins and the Rays have naturally crowded most other baseball out down here, but now that TBS isn’t broadcasting the Braves anymore, weeks go by down here without a Braves game on TV. It feels so damned weird, and I don’t like it one bit.

  87. Terrific win for the Braves. Had its messy moments, but you gotta love going 4-2 on the Left Coast with a game in hand.

    And a great OT playoff win for my NJ Devils. On to Game 7…

  88. Just finished watching the game on MLB TV then reading the thread. A few things jumped out at me.

    Why all the Uggla hate? The throw that let Gordon score was certainly horrid, but there aren’t a lot of 2B in the league that would’ve gotten to the bloop single in the 1st (or whenever), and he did a great job to double up Kemp (bang-bang play).

    Bunting is undoubtably the right decision once Pastornicky (I like to call him “pasty nickers”; not sure why) got on in the 9th. You want one run there, so you maximize the probability of scoring at least 1 run. Earlier in the game, it’s more important to maximize the expected total of runs scored, since you’re not sure how many you’ll need. Here, you just want to get it to Kimbrel.

    And speaking of Kimbrel, OMFG nasty is he. You watch the FB explode out of his hands, and then he backs it up with that slider…. Those last two pitches to get whatever hapless shmo the Dodgers sent up to get the last out were just filthy.

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