Braves 7, Cards 2

Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Box Score – May 12, 2012 – ESPN.

Maybe it was just the conditions in Wrigley that slowed us down, because the Braves are right back in high-scoring mode. In the first, a pair of bases-loaded walks (one to Dan Uggla scoring Michael Bourn, one to Brian McCann scoring Martin Prado) accounted for the scoring. In the third, McCann singled in Uggla to make it 3-0.

Brandon Beachy, meanwhile, no-hit the Cards for three and shut them out through five. No problem there, except that he’d still not very efficient. With the bases loaded in the fifth, Tyler Pastornicky beat out an infield single to score Uggla, and Beachy singled to scoree McCann, making it 5-0.

The Cards finally got to Beachy, loading the bases with none out, but St. Louis only got one run, on a sac fly, before a double play. A rare Michael Bourn homer made it 6-1, but Kris Medlen, in his second inning of work, gave up a leadoff triple, the run scoring on a single, before getting a double play to end the threat. Bourn hit a two-out double to score Pastornicky, leading to the final score. Crristhian Martinez got two strikeouts in getting through the ninth.

132 thoughts on “Braves 7, Cards 2”

  1. @1 on last thread.

    I think your numbers are way off.
    1. McCann will likely make 3 million more due to maxing out his bonuses
    2. Heyward, Venters, Medlen,the Lisp, and Minor are arb-eligible leading to much more significant raises than 200k. We’re probably looking at 4-5 million for Heyward, Venters at 2, Medlen and the Lisp at 1.5 each, and Minor probably around 3.

    We still will probably have some money to spend, but the subtotal thus far has to be creeping up to 70 million.

    Hopefully, the team makes the right calls with our young guys and tries to start locking them up long term because arbitration in ’14 and ’15 is going to get terribly expensive.

  2. from previous thread:

    Mac – I think the Yankees will play Bourn in right. He might lead off, but I think they’ll bat him seventh.

    Right after their DH, Brian McCann.

  3. Venters is going to make more than 2 million in arbitration. Hopefully we will sign him to a three year deal for 10+ (assuming he is healthy). 4-5 million sounds about right for Heyward. The Lisp will be traded. Medlen will sign for less than 1.5. Mike Minor will not be arb eligible until 2014!

  4. @4
    You’re right on Minor. Not sure what I was looking at. The real point I was trying to get at was, while we will have some $ in 2013, the $ will get tighter unless we start locking up our young players.

  5. @2, Thanks. We’re at $67 mil. I’m going stop thinking about Swisher now.

    Something will have gone incredibly wrong if we fail to lockup Heyward before arb.

  6. #5: Likewise.

    We’ll look back on the McCann/Ross combo one day and never know how good we had it. That’s why losing so spectacularly last year hurts beyond just the losing – it was having not only the Best Catcher In Baseball but also the Best Backup Catcher In Baseball and not be able to capitalize on that while he’s still cheap and productive.

  7. This team would be really good…
    Swisher: 4/44 million
    Bourn: 5/65 million
    Pick up Hudson’s option at 9 million
    Trade Jurrjens to restock the minors after he rebounds.
    Sign J-Hey for 3 years/20 million
    Sign Venters for 3/11 million

    Payroll breakdown:
    SP- Hudson:9m Hanson:4mil Beachy:600k Minor:600k
    Delgado/Teheran:600k
    Lineup- Bourn:13m Prado:5m Heyward:6m Freeman:600k McCann:15m Uggla:13m Swisher:11m Simmons:600k
    (79 million running total)

    Bullpen- Medlen:1.5m Martinez:1m Venters:3.66m Kimbrel:700k Vizcaino:600k Flande:500k O’Flaherty: 3m
    (90 million running total)

    Bench- Ross:2m Hinske:2m Gattis:500k Pastornicky:600k Francisco: 600k
    (95.7 million running total)

    Gattis receives spot starts in LF and Fredi is finally able to use the strength of the backup catchers’ bats off the bench in close and late situations. Pastornicky takes over the role that he was destined to become(utility), defense becomes strong at 3rd, SS, and stays strong in the OF. Swisher gets spot starts at first/RF opening up more options to have Francisco/Gattis start in good matchups. Once again, Prado’s versatility will create significant flexibilty on the roster. Veteran presence stays strong with the re-signings of Ross and Hinske.

  8. Or forget about Hudson’s option and go after Cole Hamels/Zack Greinke/Matt Cain. Start Francisco at 3B and keep Prado in LF (he is third in the league in UZR/150 among all outfielders). Resign Diaz and start Prado at 3rd when lefties pitch.

  9. Hamels is going to be way too expensive. Cain would be too but he already signed a huge extension with the Giants.

  10. I would say it’s certainly too early to be looking at next year. We have no idea who gets dealt at the deadline, who gets injured, who becomes ineffective, and what other teams do with their players.

  11. @9 – Looks pretty good. I’d question the ability to “restock the minors” via a Jurrjens trade. What would any team honestly give up for him right now? Not much. Plus, he may get flat out released in offseason.

  12. @11: I forgot about Cain’s extension.

    I was going off @9’s idea. So, Hamels is not more expensive than Swisher at $11mil + Hudson $9mil in the short term and probably only slightly more expensive than that combination in the long term ($13-16/4-6y sounds about right). The real question is who (Hamels, or Swisher+Hudson) gives you more WAR per dollar: Hudson turns 39, Swisher moves past his prime, and any SP like Hamels is an injury risk over the long term. Hamels has averaged about 5.5 WAR the last two years, Huddy about 3.5, and Swisher about 1.5 (due to poor defense). Would be a tough call.

    Free agent starting pitching does seem a bit silly given how much of it we have in the minors, but we could just as easily use that surplus to trade for cheaper and more abundant hitters.

    And yeah speculating now is pointless. Speculating at any time is pointless, really, since we aren’t in the front office. But it’s fun, so why not? Baseball is a sport in which you should always think ahead for the future, so it’s never really too early to discuss future moves.

  13. As @13 says injuries happen. Players improve as Pastornicky has. Win this year and next year will take care of itself

  14. Pastornicky, to his credit, is running the same development path in the Majors that he did at each stage in the minors. Originally overwhelmed with no standout skill set to fall back on, but eventually just “gaming” his way into a useful player.

    He’s not the future of SS at the MLB level, but he’s a useful player to have around for a while.

  15. @20

    Stupid decision to try for a steal there. Bad call, but why even risk it when you gain very little

  16. Nice pitch to Beltran. Don’t remember seeing many backup sliders from Tommy.

  17. My prediction: Freeman, McCann, Heyward and Venters are signed to longer term deals. Prado, Medlen, Francisco and Livan agree to one-year deals or are offered arbitration. Hanson is traded to the Angels for Peter Bourjos and three solid prospects including Kaleb Cowart. Jurrjens is non-tendered.

    1B-Freeman
    2B-Uggla
    SS-Simmons
    3B-Prado
    C-McCann
    LF-Gattis
    CF-Bourjos
    RF-Heyward

    Pastornicky, Francisco, Constanza, journeyman catcher and other detritus.

    SPs-Hudson, Minor, Beachy, Delgado, Teheran
    BP-Kimbrel, Venters, Medlen, Livan, Vizcaino and anyone other than Durbin.

  18. Well, Tommy figures he’s gonna try to strike everyone out today in order to prevent stolen bases.

  19. The Cards announcers (KMOX) seem pretty cheesed about the ump’s zone today.

  20. 3 days in a row Heyward sees bases loaded. Hope he comes through – he’s scuffling.

  21. Thirded, fantastic at-bat. Great to see after he had some less than stellar swings yesterday.

  22. It looks like Greg Walker’s philosophy of “make the pitcher work hard and turn the AB into a positive one” is paying off.

  23. Also, Lynn is now at 81 pitches through three innings. It’s really, really nice to see the Braves work that many pitches out of the opponent starters.

  24. Just when my faith in Jason wavers, he reminds me of what he could become. Amazing at bat.

  25. Everyone get ready to complain about the squeeze bunt with Hanson and Ross.

  26. Oh. I was doing that in another venue. The first three innings from Hanson were brutal to listen to. Apparently KMOX announcers think the Cards are getting screwed on balls and strikes.

  27. Freeman now has seven walks in his last four games. Looks like his poor walk rate in April was an anomaly… or another small victory for Greg Walker.

  28. He’s also in a groove. Retired the last 9 in a row. Easy inning in the 6th.

  29. The rookie is also 25, not exactly a baby. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Matheny sending him back out there.

    If he’s back out for the seventh, that’ll be a little much.

  30. @60, and the ST L pen has been stressed hard the last two nights, and no day off tomorrow.

  31. @63: Agreed, over 24 there’s no real reason to treat a guy with significant professional experience differently from any other pitcher. You really worry about pitch counts when a pitcher is still growing and maturing.

    The Cardinals are looking really smart by signing Beltran instead of panicking and resigning Pujols for his absurd terms. At least for now.

  32. You know what? I’m ok with that homer. Yeah, it was right down the middle and a meaty pitch, but it was low in the zone and a strike. Leadoff walks are the enemy. At least he gave it a shot.

    Of course, you could have avoided the 3-ball count all together…

  33. Fredi decides not to press his luck. Keeping Durbin out there would have ended in a Whammy, er, home run.

  34. Durbin continues to lead the Atlanta Braves in appearances despite the above eight ERA.

    What do Wren and Gonzalez see in him? Guess it’s the same ‘thing’ as it was with Yates and Proctor.

  35. You hate to see Durbin at all in that spot, but give Fredi credit for giving him no more room to kill us than he “had” to. Nice quick hook–key tool for dealing with Durbin.

  36. Well, they’ve kept from overworking Kimbrel and Venters, which is very important, but their taste in which pitchers to use behind them leaves a lot to be desired.

    So has O’Flaherty’s performance so far this year, but this is a great time to turn it around.

  37. I had a thought the other day: What if they let the players themselves call their own errors? Let the fielder make the call whether or not he should have made the play.

  38. How many times will Pastornicky fail to make the tough play? He has terrible range out there. I’m not a stathead, so what do the fielding metrics say about him? They can’t be good.

  39. B-R agrees with you, DG, showing him 6 runs below average defensively this year (projecting to *34* runs below average over 1200 innings).

  40. @75: The appearances stat is deceiving. Durbin has not often been used in high leverage situations. He is near the bottom of the list among Braves relievers in WPA per batters faced. I don’t care if the guy comes in 7-2 games.

  41. Random notes concerning the Greg Walker Era:

    • Braves are second in the NL in walks
    • Braves are third in the NL in BA, SA, and OPS
    • Braves are below league average in SH
    • Braves lead the NL in SF

    So far, Greg Walker, it looks like you’re doing damned good.

  42. Durbin has not often been used in high leverage situations.

    What about, oh…just today?

  43. Durbin definitely came in today in a high leverage situation. But it’s true: his Game Leverage Index is the lowest on the team. He has also somehow performed well in the high leverage situations he has faced, but I’d doubt that will continue.

    I’d like to see Fredi used Martinez and Medlen a bit more often, EOF treated a little more like a LOOGY, and Durbin used exclusively in low leverage situations, but I don’t have any major complaints about the bullpen usage this season.

  44. Was Pastornicky playing behind second on the ball Jay hit? That didn’t look far enough in the hole for him to need to make that little backhand slide move.

  45. @109: Right, I think a lot of the people who bitch about Fredi are just as clueless about the aggregate, ex ante consequences of decisions as he is. Get informed and then complain. Don’t bring this weak eyeball stuff from your couch then pretend you are somehow superior to the guy who eyeballs it with experience.

  46. @115-

    I agree, it was a heck of a play. I was just curious if he was shifted up the middle.

  47. @112: That was the plan before the season. It would be good to let Medlen share EOF’s role when the upcoming dangerous hitters are righty.

  48. It sure is sweet revenge to come into the home of the defending World Champions (who wouldn’t have been in the playoffs at all if the Braves had won 2 more games) and beat them like a rented mule.

  49. The only thing wrong with this series is that it didn’t happen last September.

  50. They didn’t intentionally walk him, Martinez just couldn’t find the strike zone with him at bat. I don’t mind pitching Beltran cautiously. He annihilates us.

    Serving up a 3-run jack to Allen Craig is less awesome, though.

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