Reds 3, Braves 1

Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 14, 2012 – ESPN.

What is with this team? When was the last time they scored three or four runs? It seems like they either score lots or hardly any, and unfortunately last night was a hardly any game.

Randall Delgado did a fine job keeping the Braves in it, allowing only one “unearned” run in 6 2/3. It came in the fourth when Tyler Pastornicky threw away a potential double play ball with runners first and second, one out. In the fifth, Michael Bourn hit a one-out triple and came home on a Martin Prado sac fly that really wasn’t deep enough to score him but the catcher bobbled.

With two on and two out in the seventh, Fredi relieved Delgado with Chad Durbin, which, whatever, but it worked. But in the eighth, Jonny Venters imploded after an infield single, throwing a wild pitch then allowing two doubles to make it 3-1.

The Braves loaded the bases with two out in the eighth but couldn’t get a hit. In the ninth, Madd Diaz singled leading off but then the next three hitters struck out. The Braves out hit and out walked the Reds, but had only one extra-base hit while the Reds had four.

116 thoughts on “Reds 3, Braves 1”

  1. Actually, the ball that Pastornicky threw away came with two outs. He tried to shovel it to Uggla at second base — only Uggla wasn’t on the bag. He should have just taken the out, stupid, and thrown it to first.

  2. The last time they scored 3 or 4 runs was the middle game of the Cubs series, a win (3 runs). But the last time before THAT was… goodness, April 29th, against the Pirates (4 runs). May has been a complete feast or famine month–that Cubs game is the only win in which they’ve scored fewer than 7 runs, and the May 1st 4-2 loss to the Phils is the only time they’ve score more than a single run in a loss.

  3. Two outs, runners going, the play is to first all the way.

    Catcher wasn’t blocking the plate and tried a catch sweep tag in one motion. The ball from Bruce was just off line enough for the catcher to miss the ball. I like watching Bourne play.

    Durbin only had to get one guy as pitchers spot was coming up. IMHO a perfect spot for him. Delgado was done, but he pitched a hell of a game.

  4. After reading that, I’m actually really excited about Gattis. He could be something special.

  5. Delgado has looked terrific his last few times out. And to my eyes, the real difference has just been that he’s attacking the strike zone. Rather than falling behind the hitters constantly, he’s throwing strikes. That’s the adjustment that Jo-Jo Reyes literally was never able to make. If he can keep it up, then I like his chances to be a mid-rotation starter for a long while.

  6. @4 – Disagreed about Durbin. I’m not as adamantly opposed to his mere existence as many around here, but that was a godawful time to use him, and he gave up a fly ball that would’ve put us in a three run hole if the game was in Cincinnati. Medlen for four outs would’ve been far preferable, especially since you have no idea if the game will go past 9 at that point.

  7. @6 – Delgado had ridiculous command for a good portion of the game last night. He was nailing corners low and away with his two-seamer and then throwing changeups for strikes. If he can do that occasionally he can be at least an average starter, and if he can do it consistently he can be very good.

  8. Durbin only had to get one guy as pitchers spot was coming up. IMHO a perfect spot for him

    I disagree. Durbin’s perfect spot isnt to come in with the tying runs on base when Medlen, Venters, Oflaherty, and Kimbrel are all available. As brought up yesterday, Durbin cant get out right handed hitters but he’s being used as a right handed specialist. BTW, he gave up a 400 foot fly. Braves were lucky that was hit to center field.

  9. •#Braves 1B Freddie Freeman has a slight corneal abrasion, not serious, could be available tonight or Wednesday. 3 hours ago

  10. Conversation on the mound before Durbin’s brief flash of excellence:

    “Hey Mac, should I throw a batting practice fastball, a juicy meatball, or just toss it up there underhand?”

    “Well the fence in center is pretty deep here, so give him the meatball over the plate so he’ll square it up and fly out to the warning track. He might pull the slow-pitch toss, but there’s no need to go all out with your best BP fastball.”

  11. @12

    I think the first question asked by Durbin was, “Do you think he can hit my underhand softball pitch? I have been striking my 6 year old out on it at home. I think it could be my go to pitch!”

  12. The only time bringing in Durbin would be the right choice is if the choice was between him and my grandmother. He’d get the nod, but not by much.

  13. Chad Durbin was asked to face one batter and get him out.

    Chad Durbin faced one batter and got him out.

    Last I checked, fly balls to the OF are outs too.

  14. @6- I was only following on the MLB Gamecast, but it seemed clear that Delgado’s command started to go away rapidly in the 6th and more so in the 7th. Maybe this is a tautology but that might be the giveaway for when to get Delgado out of a game…

    As an aside has there been any research done on methodology for determining when to pull a SP before real damage is done? No idea how to go about it but that would be a very useful tool.

  15. @17 I’ve largely agreed with the points you’ve made on Durbin thus far, but that is incredibly obtuse. Of course fly balls are outs too, but if you’re evaluating someone’s performance and usefulness, a 400 fly ball isn’t exactly the same as, say, a strikeout. Both are outs, but they don’t tell you the same thing.

    If you call off all-in and hit your gutshot straight, it doesn’t mean you made the right play just because you won. In the long run, you’re going to go broke.

  16. Chad Durbin beats out my grandmother . . . but not my aunt. My aunt drinks his milk shake.

  17. Fredi has used a reliever to get 4 or more outs more often (25 times) than any other NL manager except Dusty Baker (27).

  18. Derek Lowe Update: Today he pitched a complete game shutout with 0 strikeouts. His record is now 6-1, and his K/9 is down to 2.2.

  19. No one is asking Durbin to strike out batters. We know he’s not going to do that. If he retires batters on balls in play, he’s done his job.

  20. I suppose we’re thinking inside the box about Durbin again today. Fortunately the box is just big enough to hold our thoughts. They flew to the edge of the box, but thankfully it’s a pitcher’s box.

  21. Freddie-less lineup:

    Bourn
    Prado
    Chipper
    Uggs
    McCann
    Heyward
    Hinske
    Wilson
    Huddy

  22. 23.8% of fly balls hit against Durbin this year are home runs. That is impressive. His numbers are hilariously bad no matter how you look at them, and the fact that we’re trying to celebrate him only allowing a warning track fly ball (to Zach Cozart, monster power hitter) is depressing.

    But Durbin is going to suck no matter what we do, and Fredi seems determined to use him in important situations, so I guess we just have to keep hoping he gets keeps getting lucky every other appearance.

    I’m more worried about Venters. Since when is he so hittable?

  23. Then it should be titled BABTLIP (batting average on balls that land in play).

  24. So far this year, Durbin has given up 17 hits (5 home runs) and 7 walks, allowing 11 “earned” runs, all in 13 INNINGS. So, on second thought, I’m putting Grandma in.

  25. 32/ryan c: That wouldn’t be accurate. Many of the batted balls that are factored into BABIP are caught in flight, and do not “land” anywhere in the baseball sense of the term.

  26. @24 Quit moving the goal post. Whether or not he is expected to strike people out isn’t the point, and it should have been perfectly clear that I was merely using that as an example to prove that not all outs are not created equal when projecting future performance.

    The point you dance around, which I can only assume you do because of an inability to muster a coherent argument if forced to address it, is that outs based on luck are far less likely to continue producing results than outs based on skill. Giving up a 400 ft. fly ball is as good as any other out in the scorebook (assuming there’s no one opportunity for a runner to tag), as you so succinctly pointed out, but it is not the same as any old out when your purpose is to determine how good a pitcher is, and when he should be used.

    And when your WHIP is almost 2, retiring batters is clearly not something you’re particularly good at compared to almost any potential Major League replacement.

  27. A 400′ fly ball to dead center field at Turner Field is an out. The same fly ball ten yards to the left or right is a three-run home run.

    Durbin has allowed a .387 OBP to all hitters this season, .425 against right-handers. The odds of his getting that out last night were barely better than a coin toss. We can and must do better.

  28. For the record, BaBIP = H-HR/AB-K-HR+SF

    I agree that the HR portion does point out an obvious limitations in using it a s a measure of pitcher effectiveness.

  29. It’s possible that Durbin’s low leverage index is just dumb luck. That may not have been Fredi’s intention at all. We’ll know in a month. As of right now I’m far more concerned with the quality of the bullpen than I am with Fredi’s usage of it.

    Though bringing in Durbin last night in that spot was stupid.

  30. 46- The problem with DHing the Pastor is that, as we all remember learning during the 1995 World Series, we can’t DH for the shortstop.

  31. It would be tempting to me to give McCann 4 days break from behind the plate. I know Chipper will be DH at some point.

  32. Derek Lowe Update: Today he pitched a complete game shutout with 0 strikeouts. His record is now 6-1, and his K/9 is down to 2.2.

    The Braves are paying ten million dollars for one of their top starting pitchers to pitch someplace else.

  33. 51- No such good luck; no off days until May 31.

    I like this “Driving runners in from 3rd with less than two outs” thing. I like it a lot.

  34. The problem with DHing Chipper, is you lose his glove. While Prado is better at third, we all know who Fredi will put out there.

  35. What is with this team? When was the last time they scored three or four runs? It seems like they either score lots or hardly any…

    Looks like it’s a high-scoring night, tonight.

  36. Tremendous AB by Bad Henry County there.

    @38

    BABIP isn’t really a measure of effectiveness — its usefulness is in revealing hidden effectiveness (or ineffectiveness).

  37. 74- It’s good when we’re not posting. Cruising to a win doesn’t generate anything to argue about, like whether Durbin should be fed to wolves or dumped in a lake.

  38. Yeah, that would be the difference between outstanding and damn near invincible, AAR. But the Kimbrel we’ve got is pretty good, and so is being back in first place.

  39. He’s always walked people. Last year was by far the best year he’s had of his professional career, probably his life, as far as walks go. He gets out of it most of the time. We’re gonna have to get used to the fact that he’s gonna be a high-wire act closer.

  40. Freddie the “I dont know what Im doing ” MGR Shoulda just let medlin finish up .. now he wont have Kimbrel avaialble tommorrow night cause he threw 26 pitches .. we will have EO and “I wish I was my old self” Venters to cleanup tommorrow night .. but who knows .. Minor goes out and gives up his 6 runs and we will get to rest those guys too .. Durbin and Martinez and Hernandez will get to throw

  41. I love MLB Extra Innings and being able to watch the Braves on their local feed up here in the Pacific Northwest. What I don’t love is that girl from SportSouth reading stupid Twitter posts like they are news. “JoeBlow42 says, ‘My man Huddy turned the Reds to silly puddy.’ Back to you, Jerome and Ron.” Are they actually trying to make the “Idiocracy” plot come true?

  42. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa..

    Shouldn’t Tad be banned until Chipper starts to slump or hits the DL?

  43. Guess who’s back to doing Martin Prado-type things? Martin Prado, that’s who.

  44. Im proud of Chipper … he has stayed healthier than even I thought he could … but its early ….

  45. Quit complimenting Chipper…you’re playing against type…this does damage to the sport I make of your posts…

  46. Kimbrel will definitely be available tomorrow. He was only pitching tonight because he hadn’t pitched in four days.

  47. Kimbrel will definitely be available tomorrow. He was only pitching tonight because he hadn’t pitched in four days.

    Yeah, plus did you see what was going on there at the end of the game tonight? Sure we were up four, but there were two runners on base. That’s when you want Kimbrel in there.

  48. We have passed a quarter of the season and Kimbrel has only pitched 13 innings, Venters pitched 13.2 innings, and EOF pitched 14 innings. Fredi has managed them well this year. They may not be as effective as they were last year so far, but I think they will be much stronger when September comes.

  49. But he is playin well … defensively about as goos as Ive ever seen … Im impressed … I will have to say I was wrong .. he is playin better this year than he has the last 2 years. fountain of youth has hit.

  50. Meanwhile our friend Derek L. has piched his first shutout in seven years. Good for him.

  51. We will certainly understand how good it will feel when we no longer have to pay up on his contract….

  52. Is it just me, or does Venters’ sinker seem to have less drop this year?
    ————

    Cleveland nightlife v. Atlanta nightlife

    Cleveland Lowe v. Atlanta Lowe

    Coincidence? I think not.

  53. When Chipper gets inducted into the Hall of Fame, Tad will be there to inveigh against him, “Hall of Famer my ass-the guy was hurt all the time.”

  54. After what happened in September, the question is whether Fredi actually pays attention to what happens when the Braves play, or whether he has the memory of a goldfish.

    I keep wanting to say nice things about Fredi, and he seemed to have learned his lesson, but… Argh.

  55. At this point, anyone who takes everything Fredi says post-game to heart is deliberately trying to find things to be upset about. He’s just BSing, trying to find stuff to say. It doesn’t mean anything. Even if he did mean it, which I doubt, it still has to get through McDowell, Tosca, Wren, and maybe a few others, with none of them saying, “Uh, Fredi…”. Let’s relax until it actually happens, shall we?

    I was actually kind of glad when DOB said they weren’t gonna do postgame quotes anymore because it meant that we wouldn’t have to deal with people going through every thing Fredi says with a fine-toothed comb, looking for something stupid, this year. I guess they’re still doing them, though.

    I

  56. I don’t take Fredi’s comments at face value. They mean no more than those of his predecessor, but while Bobby was charming and folksy and clearly had a plan (to support his players), Fredi’s attempts at obfuscation somehow manage to annoy.

    I guess part of the difference is that Bobby wouldn’t discuss strategy much. It was all kept at this basic “We’ll get ’em next time” level. Fredi’s mistake probably is to try to have a conversation on the reporters’ terms, so he’s forced to say things that reinforce the perception that he’s an idiot, when he’s just trying to be misleading.

    I will say, the way things are going now with our offense, if Fredi was Parrish’s principal protector last year, they should still fire Fredi now.

  57. At this point, anyone who takes everything Fredi says post-game to heart is deliberately trying to find things to be upset about.

    Especially when Gonzalez’s predecessor, ‘Baghdad Bobby’, could look everyone square in the eye and say with a straight face that a pitcher with an ERA over six and pitching like total crap is “throwing the ball well” and “just had a few bad breaks.”

  58. Point being, there are ways to misdirect without making yourself seem like you forgot the one big lesson from last year that, fair or not, everyone expects you to have learned.

  59. True enough. But I really don’t think he’s really concerned about what we think of him. As it is, his bullpen use this year has actually been pretty decent, especially given that his starters keep on running into a wall in the sixth inning. I wish Fredi would just get rid of Durbin so he wouldn’t keep on pitching innings for us, but otherwise, Fredi has done a pretty good job of spreading the innings around.

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