Braves 4, Dodgers 3

Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – Box Score – April 24, 2012 – ESPN.

Back to last year’s formula — pretty good starting pitching, just enough offense, and a shut-down bullpen. As last year showed, it can work pretty well, at least for a little while.

The Dodgers got two runs in the first off a homer versus Mike Minor. After that, they got six more hits off him through six innings, but no walks, and none of the hits were for extra bases. This is another thing that may not be pretty, but tends to work.

Chipper Jones‘ birthday homer in the fifth cut it to 2-1, and Martin Prado grounded out to score Jason Heyward to tie it later in the inning. The Braves took the lead on a wild pitch in the sixth, but tied it on a double play in the bottom of the inning.

After that, it was the battle of the bullpens. Kris Medlen started the seventh, got the first two guys, then was relieved by Eric O’Flaherty for lefty/right reasons. O’Flaherty got through that and gave up only a two-out walk in the eighth.

Taylor Pastornicky singled in the ninth. Fredi came up with one of his pinch-bunt schemes, but since it was Jack Wilson it didn’t matter. He did get Pastornicky to second. He could have scored from first, as Prado drove him in with a two-out triple. Craig Kimbrel did his thing, allowing a single and a walk while striking out three.

208 thoughts on “Braves 4, Dodgers 3”

  1. Winning is so much better than losing.

    Mike Minor is really backing up his talk from spring training. He looks like a frontline starter, and he is demonstrating that’s exactly what he can be. It was great to see him keep his composure and hold the line for six innings after that mammoth home run, keeping us in the game so that the offense could tie it up and then take the lead. He’s our best pitcher right now.

  2. I really like watching Minor pitch. Looks like he’s gonna be a good one. (May already be there)

    Good luck today, Mac.

  3. @1
    I think Brandon Beachy and his league leading 0.67 ERA might have something to say about that, but having those 2 guys pitch like aces is sucha huge plus for our rotation.

  4. It would be interesting to see KLaw’s impression of Minor this season. He was really down on Minor when he was drafted.

  5. @last thread – “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. – mravery

    I agree. However all the run expectancy numbers show the odds are not in your favor. Most number show that with runners on first with no outs the odd are higher than a runner at 2nd with 1 out. It worked so Im happy, I just dont like giving closers free outs.

    Here’s the calculation
    Runner on 1st, no outs – 0.929
    Runner on 2nd, 1 out – 0.714

    But again I dont know how accurate those numbers truly are and how they are calculated. I just think Pastornicky could score from first on anything in the gap and Id rather see Hinske swinging the bat. Of course the double play would be in order and then Id be yelling about why we didnt bunt. So there you go.

  6. #1 – I dont know if Id say he’s our best, but he and Beachy are definitely leading this staff right now. Cant wait for Huddy to step back in there also. Minor challenges hitters and throws all of his pitches with really good command. He kept his composure last night and Im glad the Braves/Scouts brought this guy in.

  7. csg, I’m not sure which chart you’re looking at, but it seems like you might be looking at the runs-expected chart rather than the chances-of-scoring-one-run chart. The idea is that, yeah, you’re decreasing your chance of a big inning with the bunt, but you’re increasing your chance at that first run, which is what you wanna do in the 9th inning.

  8. Why don’t we hear from Tad when Chipper hits a home run?

    BTW, from the last thread,I have this vision of a 1950s blog where the commenters are screaming to get rid of this Mays bum after his first 26 at bats. That Durocher is an idiot for continuing to play Mays when he obviously sucks.

  9. csg-

    Those are the run expectancy numbers (ie, average number of runs you will score given whatever situation), not the probability of scoring at least one run. These are quite different. Run expectancy is what’s called an expected value. Suppose there were only three instances when the situation “runner on 1st, no one out” had occurred. We’ll call these occasions S1, S2, and S3, and suppose the results for these three were:

    S1: scored 0 runs
    S2: scored 1 run
    S3: scored 5 runs

    The expected runs scored for “runner on first, no outs” would be average number of runs scored in these three situations, or

    (S1+S2+S3)/3=6/3=2 runs

    This is basically what they do when they calculate run expectancy tables, except instead of only having three times when there’s been a runner on first with no one out, there are thousands and thousands of them. (It’s debatable how far back you should go when calculating these things, since the numbers will vary depending on the offensive era and perhaps even year to year.)

    What I was talking about was the probability of scoring at least one run, which in this case would be 2/3. To get this, you take the times at least one run has been scored (rather than the sum of the runs scored) and divide by the total number of times the situation has occurred. I’m not sure where to find information on likelihoods of scoring at least one run, but someone’s done the legwork on it somewhere.

    Basically the difference is that you don’t get credit for scoring more than one run, which is how I think it should be for that 9th inning situation, where scoring more than one run doesn’t really help you a lot. When you make the sacrifice bunt there, you’re pretty much giving up on the hope of a big inning in favor of trying really, REALLY hard to get one run. The same reason I hate this move in the early innings (much lower chance for scoring 2 or 3 or 4 or w/e runs) is the same reason it’s useful late (higher chance of scoring at least 1).

  10. Would someone please remind the Nationals that they’re still the freakin’ Expos and tell them to knock this shit off?

  11. #14 – They have to shut down Strasburg at some point right?

    BTW, Huddy had another solid AAA outing last night. 5.2IP 6H 1ER 2BB 4K. He’ll be a welcomed upgrade over JJ.

  12. Well, the Expos had some pretty damn good teams at times and, if you remember, were pretty much toasting the Braves in 1994 before the lockout. The Nats can really throw some pitching out there but the offense is lacking.


    Here’s speculation based on no scientific evidence: good looking people are favored in this society and, therefore, develop more confidence. Confidence helps performance in all areas. Thus, good looking players perform better because they are more confident in themselves. And, possibly, they get more sex so they feel better. Of course, this doesn’t explain Yogi Berra.

  13. Why don’t we hear from Tad when Chipper hits a home run?

    Why on earth would you want to?

  14. Feh. The Nats pitching is well over its head right now. None of them are going sub-2.00 ERA guys, and Gio Gonzalez and Ross Detwiler are way, way, way overboard on the “out of their minds” side of the equation. We’re talking Jeff Francouer in 2005 out of their minds.

    Strasburg and Zimmerman have talent, as long as they can stay healthy.

    The Nats just aren’t that good. They’re certainly not .750+ winning percentage good.

    Also, Yogi Berra having sex. Thanks for that image, man.

  15. Minor and Beachy are better than anything we thought they would be. I guess the Braves are still pretty good in developing pitchers…

  16. Obviously, the Nats aren’t a .750 team–that would work out to 121 wins. I’m just saying the starting pitching is good. The fact is, if you have to face Strasburg, Zimmermann, and, yes, Gonzalez, it’s not a walk in the park. Health is always an issue but there is no particular reason to think Strasburg and Zimmermann won’t be healthy.

  17. Sure would be nice to see Gilmartin pick up a few mph on his fastball and progress like Minor did.

  18. Evan Gattis probably should have been in AA to start the season. In A+ ball he’s currently hitting: .424/.507/.898. Maybe turns into a Carlos Quentin type.

  19. Last year’s formula will have to work sometimes against stacked teams like the Dodgers. I have to admit, though, that I like when blowouts save the bullpen arms as we’ve seen recently.

  20. Would the Braves promote Gattis to AA or AAA and change his position at the same time. Seems like they should try him at LF or 3B, but he needs to move up out of A ball/

  21. Rome (AA) has Christian Bethancourt and Adam Milligan at C and LF, respectively.

    Gwinnett (AAA) has JC Boscan and Stefan Gartrell.

    I say push him up to AAA and see if his stick is that good.

  22. Is it just me or does Pastornicky need to play a little more up the middle? I recall seeing at least 3 singles up the middle that were on the left field side of 2nd base that Pastornicky was nowhere near gloving.

  23. #32 – Wilson also missed one up the middle in the 9th. Like Sam said maybe the pitchers missed their spots or maybe thats the way the coaches are having them shift.

  24. @13 – I could see maybe Beachy. But my wife (who I will defer to on matters of male attractiveness) has made fun of both Minor’s goofy ears and scraggly goatee thing.

  25. @32, 35

    Chipper playing 3B sort of necessitates the SS playing in the hole. It does hurt the defense, though — we have the lowest SS assist total in the league.

  26. @34, his age is the other factor, agreed. He’s literally a man among boys at Lynchberg. We get it. He can hit those kids. He has nothing left to prove down there, especially if he’s not going to be working on his defense at C.

    I’m tentatively hopeful that Gattis will turn out to be one of those steals that come along every now and then. He certainly seems to have a ML quality bat. You find a defensive position for a guy like that, assuming he doesn’t wash out offensively in the high minors.

  27. I agree that Gattis probably could safely be advanced, but I don’t think there’s a burning need to find a clear road to the majors for him. I’d rather the Braves continue to take it slow. Hell, Earl “Rock” Averill didn’t play a game in the majors till he was 27, and he put together a Hall of Fame career.

    Gattis is arguably more of a prospect than Milligan at this point. Milligan can platoon in right with Cory Harrilchak, who’s basically a nonprospect.

  28. #41 – Good.

    Part of that link that stands out…

    Evan Gattis has no business being in the Carolina League. He had another phenomenal day, cracking out a pair of home runs and driving in 5. Through 16 games, he has a .424 average, a .507 OBP (seriously, he’s getting on base more than half the times he comes to the plate, that’s insane), and a .898 slugging percentage good for a 1.405 OPS. In addition to his great day at the plate, today was a big day for his future, as is was the first time in his career he’s played in the outfield. Lynchburg hitting coach Bobby Moore, and former outfielder who had a cup of coffee with the Royals in 1991 and played parts of 5 seasons for the Richmond Braves, believes Gattis has the athleticism and work ethic to make himself a solid left fielder.”

  29. I would like to see Gattis pushed to AAA for purely selfish reasons. I’m not travelling to Mississippi, but I’ll ride up to CoolRay to see him hit.

  30. RE: his defense in the OF, I have no idea what he’s capable of out there, having seen nothing of him but some bad, 10 second video from him catching in spring training this year. But his build and athleticism suggests to me that he’ll be as good as Ryan Klesko, and that will do.

  31. “Evan Gattis has no business being in the Carolina League….(seriously, he’s getting on base more than half the times he comes to the plate, that’s insane)….”

    That’s why they had to get Barry Bonds out of the major leagues.

  32. Celebrating Chipper:
    I wanted some statisical cues to remind me of the kind of ballplayer he’s been.
    When I tell younger people about Hank Aaron, I ask, “Do you think 180 hits and 35 homers would be a pretty good year?”
    “Duh. Do it every year for 20 years and you still won’t pass Hank Aaron’s numbers.”
    Then wait for it to sink in.

    Chipper will be a little different. His best AB I saw in person was probably in Cincinnati a couple years back,a pinch-hit strike out, including a foul off his foot. An 11 pitch at bat.
    The Reds pitcher didn’t come out for the next inning. He was toast. Braves won the game. I got a new definition of “productive out.”

    Statistically, I still think of Chipper’s everyday production. On average, he’s going to get a hit every game, maybe two. There’s a 60% cahnce he’ll get a BB that game, too, although probably not an intentional one.
    (Only 95 IBB in over 10,000 plate appearances. Whatever happened to not letting one guy beat you?)
    If you were lucky enough to catch him for a series and he got 5 hits, two of those were for extra bases.
    Now imagine this guy doing this every day for 18 years.

    “Chopper to Chipper,” Skip said about a million times.
    Gonna miss that.

  33. We also put Garrett Anderson in LF. We really dont have high expectations. Most people were ok with the Braves trying to take a flyer on Adam Dunn for LF duty.

  34. @50
    Thanks. If anybody else has a vivid Chipper memory, I’d love to read it.
    Something to add to “Switch Hitter, owned the Mets…”

  35. Would somebody who watched last night’s affair mind explaining how Minor’s run was “earned” when Uggla had his error? I know they can’t assume a double play, but Gordon advanced two bases on the play. Did Kemp get in a rundown that allowed Gordon to come around?

  36. With Chipper, I think you can just say he’s the 3rd best switch hitter to ever play the game and leave it at that. Though I guess it’s also nice to say that he hit .300 from BOTH sides of the plate.

    You could probably do something comparing his stats left-handed to some HoF 3Bs, and then mention that he also had a decent career as a RH hitter on top of that.

  37. @53-

    Not sure how it was earned, since he clearly advanced on the throwing error.

    And there was no run down. Kemp saw the ball get away and made two lunge steps towards second after running threw the bag at first before casually walking back to the bag. McCann saw him try for second, though, and got Freeman to tag him out before he reached the base. Heads up play by McCann. As long as Kemp’s hitting like he is, no one’s really going to complain, but that and his missplay of Prado’s long fly in the 9th really hurt the Dodgers that game.

  38. @53—I think it was “earned” because Minor allowed an infield single after the double play, so even if the run hadn’t scored on the double play, it presumably would have on the hit.

  39. Looking at the play-by-play, it says there was a “single to pitcher” by the next batter. Maybe they are saying that Gordon would have scored from 3rd on the single anyway (had the error not let him score the play before)? Assuming that a guy would score from 3rd on a ball to the pitcher seems a stretch to me.

  40. #54 – He’s just about a .300/.400/.500 hitter from both sides of the plate.

    vs LH – .305/.392/.503 2372AB’s
    vs RH – .304/.406/.544 6257AB’s

    Simply incredible

  41. For Chipper, I’d pay a lot of money to have a DVD of every one of his at-bats against the Mets.

    My favorite at-bat might be from last year. It was just a single to the off field, but it was a thing of beauty. He adjusted to the change-up, and you could see him make the adjustment in a split second. He’d already started to swing, but he intentionally slowed his bat speed down to put the bat head on the ball right where he wanted it.

    Single, drove a run in, like he’d done hundreds and hundreds of times before. Tad sucks.

  42. #41 – I read something over at Talking Chop about how the Braves were going to try Gattis in LF at Lynchburg before promoting him. Putting him at AA Pearl may be the best thing though. You don’t want to stunt his growth by overmatching him in AAA. I could see him playing 3 levels this year. I am excited about his prospects but I also understand not to get too excited about a 25 year old tearing it up in high A ball.

    #26 – thanks for sharing that. Good stuff.

    On Beachy and Minor. The Braves reputation for excellent scouting for pitching gets yet another boost.
    Also Matt Diaz killer Jordan Parraz is starting out very hot at G-town.

  43. 57—The “single to the pitcher” bounced off of Minor’s glove/leg and trickled toward the gaping hole between Freeman and a charging-toward-second-base-to-get-the-would-be-liner-up-the-middle Uggla. Gordon definitely would have scored on that, anyway; thus, the run was “earned.”

  44. @60
    I’m not sure you’re poking fun at Diaz, but if so, he has a .983OPS against LHP this year. Diaz is earning his money.

  45. I actually think that calling Chipper the third-greatest switch-hitter ever tends to underrate him. I prefer to call him the fifth-greatest third baseman ever.

    Obviously, it depends a bit on whether you consider Alex Rodriguez an SS or a 3B; currently he has 179 more games played as a SS than a 3B but he’ll probably retire with more games at 3B. Also, Chipper is currently around 2 WAR behind George Brett. I think there’s a fair chance he catches Brett this year.

    The only people who are indisputably ahead of him? Michael Jack Schmidt, Eddie Mathews, and Wade Boggs. (fWAR has Brooks Robinson ahead him, rWAR has Brooks way behind him.)

  46. MikeM with 2 outs runner was going home, with one out he would go to keep away from DP.

  47. Not sure if it’s close to Chipper’s greatest moment, but it was pretty memorable for me.

    Early season 2007 game at Shea, first Braves trip into NYC for the season. Mets had won the division the previous year, so their fans were really feeling their oats.

    Top of the first inning, KJ singles and as soon as Renteria is retired, even before Chipper even steps into the box, you can hear the chants: “Larry! Larry! Larry!”

    It was louder than I ever remember, and with a genuine hint of venom this time. After all, what can make your more emboldened than winning your first division title in 18 years, right?

    If it wasn’t the first pitch, it was the second. Chipper hit a laser over the RF fence off Mike Pelfrey. You never heard 40,000 people shut up so fast.

    I had decent seats that night (behind the visitors dugout) & I could see that little Chipper grin break out as he rounded third. I laughed out loud with genuine glee. I couldn’t help it.

    I turned to my Met fan friend. who had participated in the chants, & said, “That’s Larry Wayne Jones, Jr.. to you…”

  48. Chipper is the third greatest 3B in history, behind only Brett (1) and Mathews (2) by any clear margin. You can make arguments for or against Brett or Boggs, but Boggs was a creature of Fenway forever and a day, and Brett was a DH and a 1B for a heck of a long time there at the end.

    Robinson’s not even in the conversation.

  49. I told this one already, but it’s a favorite of mine.

    First inning at the Marlins’ old digs. Chipper is facing A.J. Burnett, who has retired the first two batters on two pitches. Burnett knows that Chipper will be aware of this. So Burnett has an idea. Thinking that Chipper will want to get his pitch count up at the least, Burnett figures to take advantage of Chipper’s presumed patience and get ahead by laying in a fastball for strike one.

    Burnett thought wrong, however. Chipper is very much aware of Burnett’s pitch count, but as Pete said in the broadcast that day, Chipper wouldn’t be Chipper if he didn’t know exactly what Burnett would be planning before getting into the batter’s box. Sure enough, Chipper absolutely crushes the first pitch he saw, so far past where anyone was actually sitting that day that no one got up to get the ball.

  50. To me, Chipper is an illustration that, while there may be no such thing as a “clutch” hitting skill, there are particular hitters that are harder or easier to get out in clutch situations. Chipper has always been a “difficult out” because he does make adjustments and takes what the pitcher gives him. All hitters have weaknesses but there is no obvious, easy way to get Chipper out. On the other hand, the last person I would want up in a clutch situation is someone like Ryan Howard (assuming you have a decent lefty in the bullpen)because he has such an obvious exploitable weakness. Of course, Chipper is simply a better hitter than Howard anyway so maybe that’s the real point but we all know that Howard is great because he has so many RBIs. (Sarcasm.)

  51. Clutch hitting is a myth, but it only a myth as a *positive* skill set. If you flip the board and define clutch hitting as a negative skill set – specifically as the ability to maintain your standard production in pressure situations (i.e. “not choke”) then clutch hitting is not a myth at all.

  52. I told this one already, but it’s a favorite of mine.

    First inning at the Marlins’ old digs. Chipper is facing A.J. Burnett, who has retired the first two batters on two pitches. Burnett knows that Chipper will be aware of this. So Burnett has an idea. Thinking that Chipper will want to get his pitch count up at the least, Burnett figures to take advantage of Chipper’s presumed patience and get ahead by laying in a fastball for strike one.

    Burnett thought wrong, however. Chipper is very much aware of Burnett’s pitch count, but as Pete said in the broadcast that day, Chipper wouldn’t be Chipper if he didn’t know exactly what Burnett would be planning before getting into the batter’s box. Sure enough, Chipper absolutely crushes the first pitch he saw, so far past where anyone was actually sitting that day that no one got up to get the ball.

    Hmm. I have this exact memory, right up until your description of where the ball lands. In my memory, it barely cleared the right-field wall.

  53. @70

    I was assuming that Sam meant Schmidt at 1 when he said Brett, since he went on to talk about Brett later and Schmidt is the consensus best third baseman of all-time.

    As far as Robinson goes, he’s clearly the best fielding third baseman of all-time. That’s enough to get him on the Top 10 list overall, but offensively he just doesn’t measure up, and offense is more important.

  54. spike beat me to it. I’d rank the third basemen like this:

    1. Schmidt
    2. Brett
    3. Chipper
    4. Matthews
    5. Boggs
    6. Robinson
    19437. Oberkfell

    ARod will probably slide into the top spot by the time he’s done, as he’ll have more games at 3B than anywhere else. But if you only count stuff while playing 3B, I’ll stick with that list. (Maybe move Oberkfell down a spot or 400.)

  55. Yeah, I mistyped Brett at #1 when it’s obviously Schmidt.

    Also Ran

  56. Is Gearrin with the team in LA? I know he was called up yesterday, but with an off day tomorrow I don’t know if he went to LA or if he’s just going to ATL for the Friday game.

  57. Both fWAR and rWAR are park-adjusted, so you’re double-counting if you try to dock Boggs further.

    The thing about Boggs is that he was a really good defensive third baseman for a while there. At his best, Chipper was pretty much just average.

  58. Just going back to the beginning of the thread–I don’t understand where this idea comes from that you play for one run on the road in the ninth. You actually don’t know how many runs you need, because as Guerra demonstrated last night, closers aren’t sure things, and closers dragging around 19% walk rates are pretty far from sure things. I love Craig, but giving him some breathing room is never wrong. That leads me to the conclusion that the pinch bunt was a dumb play.

  59. Then again, if you compare Chipper in the postseason to Boggs in the postseason…

    Boggs: 39 games, 174 PA, 2 HR, 16 RBI, .273/.337/.383
    Chipper: 92 games, 412 PA, 13 HR, 47 RBI .288/.411/.459

    Boggs is ahead of Chipper — 89 rWAR to 82.7 rWAR, 94.8 fWAR to 88 fWAR. Chipper’s postseason performance just might tie them up.

    Especially if he manages a few postseason swings this year. I hope we get him there.

  60. I don’t think it hurt anything to let Gattis play left for a few weeks in A ball to get comfortable. Really, he should have been doing it more in the spring.

    My favorite Chipper moment is in 1999 when the Mets came to town in the last month of the season thinking they could win the East, then Chipper told them “no”

  61. I really don’t count any WAR stat that attempts to count defense. It’s just not good enough to matter yet.

    I’m comfortable with Chipper in at an easy #3.

  62. Andrelton Simmons last 3 games: 7 for 15 with 3 doubles, a walk, 3 runs and 7 RBI. Small sample size, I know.

  63. @78

    If you’re Fredi, you have to assume that Kimbrel is going to get three outs without allowing the run in the ninth and go with maximizing the chances of scoring one run. He hasn’t given us any reason not to trust him to do that. If we had a less reliable closer, I might agree with you.

  64. If your closer was Mark Wohlers or Greg McMichael, sure. But Kimbrel’s job is to get three outs in the ninth without giving up the lead. You play for the run there, because the one run is more important than potentially 2 runs or more.

  65. You play for one run on the road because the other team gets to go bat last. You cannot afford to ever let them get the lead, as you lose right then. QED, a good chance of taking a one run lead has more value than a coin flip between a larger lead or no lead.

  66. If you are the manager and you have Kimbrel and that nasty gas/hook in the bullpen, you’ve got to play for the one run. Seems like a pretty easy call to me.

  67. Saying he’s not injured, who are some pitchers that were of JJ’s caliber at some point and hit a wall as quickly as he did?

    Dontrelle Willis?

  68. I always felt like JJ was just barely hanging on, and his early success, rather than his eventual struggles are what surprised me more.

  69. I kind of think Steve Avery’s pretty close, though the shape of their in-season value is different.

  70. Micheal Pineda has a torn labrum–surgery required.

    Cha-ching, go the Mariners. A torn labrum is one hell of an injury to come back from.

  71. Uh, that’s crazy. The first trade of top prospects for each other that I’ve heard of, and one of them is probably screwed. Shoulder’s not like the elbow; we can fix the elbow just as good as it was before, but if he comes back from the torn labrum at all he won’t be the same pitcher.

  72. Luck, Mac! Ask for the good stuff, the stuff they keep up on the top shelf, ikf you know what I mean…man.

  73. Yea Mac! Yea drugs!

    I’ve been lucky to live in a couple of places that have baseball teams–first NY in the 90s, and now in Houston. So I’ve got several great memories of seeing Chipper. At the moment, my favorite is the most recent.

    The last time I had gone to a game to see the Braves, Chipper blew his knee out. I thought that was gonna be my final memory of seeing him in person. (I didn’t go to any of the games in Houston last year–I was out of town.) When I heard Chipper was coming off the DL early, I made sure to go to his first game back, just in case. And he didn’t disappoint. That game was all about him, from the first inning attempted bunt by Schafer to the final out. Oh, and he homered, which made me so happy that I laughed out loud. Luckily no one was sitting near me. It is Houston, after all–nobody goes to the games here.

  74. Clete Boyer was one of the better defensive third basemen, but he’s largely forgotten now.

  75. @82-I saw Simmons on Sunday when the Miss Braves came to the Ham. He did not look very good at the plate, though he did manage a couple of hits, including as I recall, the game winner. Frankly, it looked like a little leaguer who just stuck the bat out and happened to hit the ball.

    But the fielding, man, the fielding, he is unreal slick at short. Just awesome to watch. He would be an upgrade right now in the field.

    Also saw Gilmartin go 8 strong innings. I like his stuff as a lefty. He has high “lefty” velocity, and bore down well in the one inning he got hit a little bit.

    Bethancourt caught, but did not really stand out to me, other than his size. He is a big and obviously athletic guy.

  76. While you’re all hopped up on goofies ask the nurse if she’d mind “milking the horse.” They love it when you do that.

  77. Url, that is not an ugly ballpark; I’ve been there.

    And Mac, get your sleep, take your drugs, drink your teeth, stay in milk, get eight hours of school, no wait, I’ve gotten confused. Stay healthy, Mac!

  78. I’ve been to that stadium several times and I’d say its one of the best venues in MLB to see a game.

  79. I think Dodger stadium is overrated. It is not a bad place to watch a game, but the park is very dated feeling so it does not rate with the new parks built in the last 20 years, and it is not on par with Wrigley or some of the more iconic ballparks like some folks on TV would have you believe.

    This is just one guys opinion.

  80. @118, Fair enough. That Dodger blue/dirty khaki color scheme has always given me the twitch.

    How about Beachy? Mofo has the best forearms in baseball.

  81. I always forget about Beachy when I mistakenly call Kris Medlen my favorite Brave. I freaking love this guy.

  82. By the way, to Sam @14- no shit. They won again tonight. If Harper was to come up after the All-Star break to play CF and actually hit (I think he’s struggling so far so that may be far-fetched) they could be trouble.

  83. Beachy and Minor are quickly becoming my two favorite starting pitchers to watch. These guys throw the ball exactly where Bmac puts his glove.

  84. Pujols sucks.

    How long before Angels’ fans start referring to his contract as ‘the Al-batross’?

  85. When you come to think of it, it’s amazing that a guy named Pujols doesn’t get taunted about his name. Say it to yourself a few times.

  86. So it seems like our offense has come back down to earth. And then it kept going, farther and farther underground. I think we’re at least into the mantle at this point.

    @71, You sure? I do prefer my way better.

  87. Yeah, and that confirms the other thing I thought I remembered differently but didn’t mention — the game was in Atlanta.

  88. You’ve got Medlen, O’Flaherty, Venters, Gearrin–hell no! Give me Durbin in a one-run game!

  89. asking EOF to get two outs and walk kemp was too much. we had to have durbin out there. at least he wont be available in extras if this thing goes long.

  90. He’s been in top-10 prospect lists for the Braves in recent years. Off the radar the last few, though.

  91. Fredi’s thought process… “I can’t use the best reliever in baseball to face the best hitter in baseball in a one run game. that would be crazy. it’s not the eighth inning. give me durbin.”

  92. I think this guy straight up took a bullet to the chin and he’s shaking it off like nothing happened. Damn.

  93. Random question: Does Wilson have the arm for 3B? You know, if we want a defensive sub for Chipper ever?

  94. This is a classic case of do not listen to the guy struck in the face by an object at 100 mph when he says he’s fine.

  95. I do think that is probably an important life lesson, David O. I wouldn’t be utterly surprised if I learned tomorrow morning that Guerra has a hairline fracture of the jaw or a mild concussion or something.

  96. This is like final destination, Guerra didn’t get hurt by a flying object so apparently someone else has to

  97. The other thing is that even if he was more or less physically alright, he couldn’t be mentally alright. I have to think it is nearly impossible to get hit in the face with a line drive and then immediately focus on getting the most important out of the game.

  98. I did not see this one coming. I LOVE this team. Just waiting for all the outfielders to sit down when Venters/Kimbrel enter the game.

  99. Really disappointed in Kimbrel for not finishing the game with a K. I mean, making somebody field the ball? Simply irresponsible.

  100. 200- Kimbrel’s got 14 strikeouts, not eight. Before Gordon’s groundout to end tonight’s game, his last eight outs had been K’s.

  101. @193: And it should come as no surprise that after narrowly avoiding a shot to the junk on Sunday, Delgado proceeded to walk the pitcher on 4 pitches with the bases loaded and allow a grand slam two pitches later.

    The difference might be that Javy is going to remember this one for a long time to come, especially if he is seriously injured. I hope he’s ok. It was negligent to leave him in on Mattingly’s part.

  102. Wow–what a game!

    I’m hoping this momentum carries through the weekend and that there are no hunting accidents from Chipper’s birthday celebration.

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