Braves 4, Pirates 3

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – April 29, 2012 – ESPN.

A come-from-behind victory. Nice. Kind of a weird come-from-behind, as the Braves twice got a run more through Pirate weirdness than anything else.

Tim Hudson, in his first start of the year, gave up two runs in the second inning on a bases-loaded double, but managed to hold it there. Limited to five innings (he was on a 100-pitch count and his control was shaky) Hudson allowed six hits and two walks, but struck out six.

Hudson reached on an error with one out in the third, moved to second on a walk, to third on another error, and scored on a Freddie Freeman sac fly. In the fourth, Tyler Pastornicky tied with with a double to score Dan Uggla with two out.

In the fifth, Michael Bourn singled leading off, and Martin Pradoo walked. Brian McCann walked with one out to load the bases, and Uggla walked with the bases loaded to give the Braves the lead. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get any more runs.

Somehow, Chad Durbin continued his recent good work with a 1-2-3 sixth, and Eric O’Flaherty followed with a similar seventh. Prado got the Braves what turned out to be a key insurance run with a homer leading off the seventh.

Jonny Venters gave up a double and a walk in the eighth, but got two strikeouts to get out of it. In the ninth, Craig Kimbrel allowed a one-out double that turned into a run after a wild pitch, but bookended the inning with strikeouts.

105 thoughts on “Braves 4, Pirates 3”

  1. Well, the weirdest run of them all was scored by the Pirates in the ninth. That “double” landed right in the line and rolled to the corner, which was extremely bad luck considering the fact that the Braves hit at least two balls juuuust foul with RISP. Then, the “wild pitch” by Kimbrel actually hit the batter – who SWUNG at the pitch – in the foot! Still, the runner raced home from second and scored easily. I have no idea what the rulebook says on that, but I assume it should have been a strike and a dead ball.

    Anyway, one run did no harm. Great win.

  2. Good day from the Minors as well…

    Jurrjens: 7IP 4h 3BB 1R (Gwinnett’s pitchers are putting up great numbers)
    Evan Gattis’ stat line today: 2 doubles 2 walks OPS back over 1.300
    Tommy La Stella’s 2 hits today put him 1.100. He has 6 stolen bases with 0cs.
    A.Simmons: 4-4 with 2SB and average up to .321

  3. Runner was on third, having advanced to third on McCutcheon’s comebacker to Kimbrel – who thought about throwing to third apparently, but made the right call with a two run leaqd to take the second out at first.

    Then the nasty slider in the dirt, with the batter swinging at it, missing, getting hit in the foot, ricchoceting off the home plate umpire’s shin guard, allowing Tabata to stroll home.

  4. I would rather live in a world where I didn’t have to root for Bryce Harper. He’s such a douche.

  5. The Rockies may not have much choice at this point, as they’re losing in the bottom in the 11th, but backup catcher Wilin Rosario is currently pinch-hitting for Belisle.

  6. Bryce Harper is 19 years old. People come down awfully hard on people who are really just kids.

  7. Most of my distaste for Harper comes from jealousy, I’ll admit. He’s living my dream.

  8. I think the name ‘Bryce” in enough rationale for distaste.

    Only Skylar would be worse.

  9. 12: Makes me want to punch a guy. “Bryce”? “Cody”? What is it with these unsporstmanlike jerks with the wussy names?

  10. I just watched the last two games, and I’ve got to say, the Pirates had the most punchy-dink-over-the-infielder-for-a-single/double I’ve seen in a while. Meanwhile, felt like the Braves were hitting it hard but right at guys or just foul.

    Oh well. Can’t complain too much about a series win!

    And FWIW, Bedard was nasty.

  11. Inge is going to sign with the A’s. Phew. Glad we dodged that one.

    I think our pitchers may have woken up Pedro Alvarez. He was hitting doubles to all fields against us, after never being able to hit big league pitching at all before this.

  12. 19 years old is no longer a kid. I know humans are all about extended adolescence but he’s a man, a young man, sure, but still a man.

  13. Oh well. Can’t complain too much about a series win!

    Braves have to win tomorrow for that.

  14. @21, It seems like Alvarez’s binge started in the previous serious, but yeah. I was so looking forward to hearing what Stu might have to say about Alvarez, and look what happened.

  15. He can’t keep the weight off, and he can’t hit or lay off of breaking balls. He’s basically Juan Francisco at this point, which is not what the Pirates signed up for, obviously.

    He sure was fun to watch in college, though. My favorite Pedro moment was captured here. Random midweek game in Memphis. A few fans — students, I think — start chanting, “Over-rated!” before a Petey PA. First pitch, he launches one about 450 feet.

    Great dude, too. Still rooting for him.

  16. Pastornicky has 8 hits in his last 5 games. So far so good at the plate.

    Bourn leads the team in hits by a healthy amount, tied for the team lead in walks, yet is only third in runs scored. What gives?

  17. People root for the laundry. That’s a given. With that said, some of the people who wear the laundry you root for are oftentimes dicks and asshats. Tommy Hanson, whom I hate by the way, comes to mind.

    That said, every indication is that Bryce Harper is a grade-A, class-1 dicknozzle. If you don’t believe the reports of people who have interviewed him, just look at the damned eye black. I look forward to his crash and burn career.

  18. Oh, also of note, Nats fans are apparently a bit up in arms with Davey Johnson for letting Tom Gorzelanny face Matt Kemp with the game on the line…

  19. There’s also the “throw my helmet off while I run the bases because the world needs to gaze upon my handsome face” thing.

  20. 41- showing his handsome face??? I thought he was showing off his hideous haircut. ;)

  21. The amazing thing to me about Derek Lowe so far this year is that despite his early success he has a K/9 of 2.6.

  22. @39 Durben would have walk Kemp on 4 pitches. Natpos are winless with Dicknozzle, who does not know how to win,

  23. I hate Bryce Harper because he is on the nationals. I am going to cut him some slack on some of the other stuff like the eye black and that awful haircut. He needs to learn a lesson or two on humility, but hopefully some Kimbrel heat will do that in a few 9th innings this year.

    I am just glad I was not judged as a person on how I handled things as a 19 year old. Hell, I am glad Facebook and twitter were not around 14 years ago. I shudder when thinking of those times, but I learned lessons, and hopefully am a better person today.

    However, as he grows up, it is not judging to point out things if they do not change. At some point you do call an apple an apple, an orange and orange, and a dicknozzle a dicknozzle.

  24. @42 Yes, the haircut is awful. But we root for a team where the players frequently sport that bizarre mohawk… thing, so I can’t judge on the hair alone.

  25. There’s nothing wrong with Bryce Harper that a sustained campaign of major league fastballs to the midsection won’t cure.

  26. @47

    Much as he is entertaining in a caveman sort of way, and even as he wears the proper laundry, Dan Uggla does exhibit a certain degree of dicknozzle tendencies.

  27. I agree Harper has been a dick. But lots of guys are dicks when they are 19, especially if they have unusual talent. I imagine Bill Gates wasn’t exactly Albert Schweitzer when he was 19. (He wasn’t such a nice guy when he was much older either.) I imagine Chipper Jones was pretty arrogant when he was that age too. If you are going to hold things against a guy when he is 19, there aren’t many people that will pass muster. If he doesn’t change, that’s different. From everything I can tell, Barry Bonds is a 100% asshole. But the fact is we don’t know these guys as human beings other than what the media reports. And, really, do we care? Chad Durbin might turn out to be the greatest guy in the world, but that won’t mean damn thing when he gives up a couple of home runs.

  28. Harper seems to remind me of how Schafer was when he was first called up. I’d like to see him blow a kiss to one of our starters and then let Venters or Kimbrel take care of the rest.

  29. Does Jon Heyman dislike Harper? If so, I’m going to have a tough time not cheering for Harper.

  30. If Bryce Harper accomplishes even half of Barry Bonds’ career, I’ll give him credit where due. Right now, he’s an arrogant dicknozzle who seems to think being appointed by SI as “chosen” actually makes him great. Yes, there are many self-obsessed, arrogant, jackass 19 year olds on the planet. Yes, many of them believe their athletic talents and physical gifts make them special and better than others and worthy of praise and worship before they do a damned thing to so much as earn any of it.

    I root for each and every one of them to crash and burn in their chosen field of endeavor. Preferably while being embarrassed by someone who’s worked for it on national TV.

  31. And I find it really odd the “oh, he’s just young, give him a break” attitude coming from the fan base of a team with Jason Heyward in house. Heyward’s had some setbacks, but he’s *always* been a good person and shown absolutely zero dicknozzle red cards along the way.

  32. Most players learn how act like pros. Some of them are so good that, in their self-absorbed minds, they never have to because, y’know, it’s all about them. That’s where we get our villains. I welcome Bryce Harper to that category.

    BTW, after reading the Steve Jobs book, which I recommend highly, Jobs beats out Bill Gates in the Youthful Dick category every time.

  33. I’m not sure what Bill Gates ever did that would qualify him for this category.

  34. Marc,
    Name a baseball player in the past 20 years, prior to Major League success, that has been so unapologetically arrogant as Bryce Harper.

  35. Harper’s arrival reminds me a little bit of JD Drew. While Drew has had some good years, he’s definitely not lived up to the hype – very few can.

  36. #56: I was about to highlight that distinction as well. We have Jason Heyward, as exemplary a role model for class and couth on (and off) the field as one can imagine. No slack for Brycey-Boy.

  37. God I love Heyward. I’ve had the supreme fortune to get owners box tickets to Wednesday’s game, immediately on the other side of the net from the on deck circle, and I’m trying to think of an adequate way in which to express my love to Jason himself. I drew a portrait of him to take to a Marlins game in ’10, but I wasn’t anywhere near the field. Maybe I could just preemptively file a restraining order against myself on his behalf. Probably the nicest thing I could do for him.

  38. Oh goodness. There have been any number of players that are overtly brash cocky – I recall a very young Chipper in that number, which he freely admits. And Drew has done quite a bit better than “had a few good years” – if everyone you drafted made it through 14 seasons averaging 4 WAR per, you’d be pretty damned happy about it.

  39. Harper’s interesting, that’s for sure.
    He’s young and foolish now, but with time he has a chance to get older.
    Waiting patiently for the first “Brycie being Brycie” story..

  40. Re Gates: well, for one thing, he arguably obstructed justice. For another, he suppressed competition in the software industry. (I worked for a time on the government investigation of Microsoft.) Gates was a dick long before Harper was ever born and his dickishness had much more effect on most people lives than Harper. Of course now, like all robber barons, Gates is giving his money away to assuage his conscience (although his wife might be the driving force behind that).

    I don’t doubt that Jobs may well have been worse than Gates. Frankly, most really successful people have some dickishness in them; they don’t become successful by being nice guys.

    As for Heyward, he does seem like a nice guy but I guarantee that if his career doesn’t take off, people on here will be treating him as if he was Osama bin Laden.

    I agree that Harper has been a jerk. But there were many guys in my dorm in college that were jerks as well. Presumably some, if not most, grew up to be decent people–although I have doubts about some.

  41. Oh I am okay with that – Star Wars is no fun without Darth Vader. I just think guys like Harper who get (self?) selected for the meme have little choice in the matter once it’s entered the popular consciousness. Only those actions that support the notion will be paid attention to (much like JD Drew).

  42. If Harper accomplishes even half of Barry Bonds’ career, I’ll give him credit where due. Right now, he’s an arrogant dicknozzle who seems to think being appointed by SI as “chosen” actually makes him great.

    Did Harper get a Francoeur-style “The Natural” SI cover?

  43. Harper was on the cover of SI as a 16 year old, as the feature article entitled The Chosen One.

  44. I had to get out of my hammock when a friend called me about this and crank up my computer. (gas-operable)
    Most of us would share our beer and beach sunsets with a lady who loves baseball but I don’t remember any like this when I was back in high school. (shortly after the earth cooled.)

    (First time to try a link, and it doesn’t turn blue. I may be low on gas.My bad.)

  45. No, that is why we have Durbin.

    Venters and Kimbrel throw harder. Im sure if Johnny V will put one in the back of Prince, he wont mind letting one or two more get away.

  46. Heyward choosing to wear the number of his high school teammate guarantees that there will always be one person who doesn’t think of him as a dicknozzle.

  47. Gattis promoted to Double-A. I thought they might jump him straight to AAA. I still think he will be there by mid-summer.

  48. Someone mentioned Brien Taylor. Taylor still lives with his parents on Brien Taylor Lane in the middle of nowhere on the North Carolina coast. That house is pretty much the last remnant of his mammoth bonus money from the Yanks. I mean, just damn.

  49. Just looking at the A’s batting splits — they’re not getting even a .270 OBP from any of the five infield positions, and their 3Bs are batting a robust .122/.153/.207. If not for Cespedes panning out so far, they might be looking at a historically bad offense. Even with him, their 597 team OPS is the worst in the AL since the 1972 Texas Rangers (one of my favorite teams of all time — a Ted Williams-managed team that had no players with over 5 PAs and a .260+ BA).

  50. As for Heyward, he does seem like a nice guy but I guarantee that if his career doesn’t take off, people on here will be treating him as if he was Osama bin Laden.

    Or Heyward could become Andruw Jones and have all the people on the DOB blog calling him a “huge disappointment” after putting up pretty good numbers for the Atlanta Braves.

  51. Heyward could be a huge bust as a player, and I will note as much if that is the case, while still maintaining his grace and class as a person, so long as that lasts.

  52. Has anyone noticed that the Braves hitting has returned to normal? which is bad. In the last 8 games, they have averaged less than 4 runs per game. Of course, they are 5-3 over that period because the pitching has improved. Granted, they have seen pretty good pitching, but they also missed Kershaw. Obviously, they couldn’t keep scoring 7 runs a game, but that period when they were scoring a lot of runs seems more like a fluke now.

  53. Justifying a move out of Oakland is the new market inefficiency. (It’s no coincident that Beane’s rosters suddenly became less talented when part of his compensation package suddenly included a stake in ownership.)

  54. @92 – the Pirates came into this series with one of the best starting staff’s in the game. Yes, it’s weird, but true.

  55. #85
    It’s funny. I remember playing the ’72 & ’73 Rangers teams in APBA when I was a kid.

    My friend & I would play tournaments & if one of us ever drew Texas, we’d just say, “Can I just forfeit? This team cannot win. ABPA does not allow it to win.”

    And believe it or not, the ’73 team was worse.

  56. Amazing. Looking at that ’73 team, they had some real players — Toby Harrah, Jeff Burroughs, Jim Fregosi, and the beeg boy himself, Rico Carty. And, of course, David Clyde.

    It appears that they played in a real pitchers’ park; none of their hitters could do anything and even their pitchers who had superficially decent ERAs had terrible ERA+. Do you know anything about the old Arlington Stadium? Why were those teams so bad?

  57. If the A’s (or any other team) hope to move, where are the likely destinations?

    Seems like all the good ones are taken. (But then I’m a bit of a fan of contraction. In all professional leagues.)

  58. The A’s want to move down the road to San Jose. Basically, out of Oakland, which is poor, and into silicon valley, which is not poor.

    Outside of San Jose, the only semi-viable markets for teams to move to would be Charlotte, NC (questionable, in the Tampa/St. Pete manner) or Brooklyn/NJ (completely, totally viable for a franchise, but carving territory out of the Mets/Yankees cartel would take a planetary alignment.)

  59. On another point, I just purchased the Strat-Matic-computer version. The computer gives a play-by-play account. Apparently, the company does not have rights to use the team nicknames because, when I played the Braves against the Dodgers, the computer calls the teams the “Tomahawks” and the “Bums.” With SF and Arizona, it was SF and D-Backs, but it never used “Giants.” Weird that Strat-o-Matic would not have rights to use the trademarks.

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