Braves 6, Reds 2

Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 15, 2012 – ESPN.

With this up-and-down offense, “up” is a lot more fun.

Brian McCann opened the scoring with a solo homer in the second, but it was the third that was the big inning. Jack Wilson actually singled, but Tim Hudson couldn’t get the bunt down and Wilson was out on a fielder’s choice. Then Michael Bourn, Martin Prado, and Chipper Jones all singled, followed by a sac fly from Dan Uggla. After a walk to McCann, Jason Heyward capped the scoring with a double to score Chipper. In the fourth, Prado singled in Bourn to make it 6-0.

That was plenty for Hudson, who had a shutout going through six before allowing two runs in the seventh. He allowed nine hits and struck out just three while walking two, so it wasn’t the most sparkling outing of his career. Kris Medlen allowed a couple of hits in the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel walked two in the ninth.

137 thoughts on “Braves 6, Reds 2”

  1. 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.

    Have you considered the possibility that Gonzalez’ comments were said ironically? In jest? Tongue in cheek?

  2. Also, have you considered what value or truth their might actually be to the old adage in question, that a sinker baller needs work to maintain consistency?

  3. Oops — JC’ed. I was responding to Adam’s comments, too:

    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.

    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.

  4. 2—Have you considered just how unlikely it would be for him to have not considered those things before making that comment?

  5. You know, with Hudson and Beachy at the top of our rotation, I actually like our pitching staff. I believe in Minor despite all the homers, I really like what Delgado has shown, and for all of Hanson’s struggles and high-wire act, he’s still a more than adequate mid-rotation starter.

  6. In fact, I have. If @1 were the case, I’d hope our beat writers would’ve picked up on it. Maybe my faith in them is misplaced, but given that overuse of our big three is (unfairly, IMO) the prevailing criticism of Fredi, that’d be some serious black humor on Fredi’s part.

    @2, I actually tried looking into it, but found nothing, perhaps because I’m using a phone, not a computer.

  7. 8: What’s wrong with what we’ve been doing? If he gives us something down the road, fine, if not, we’ve given up.

  8. 5.5 million reasons not to keep him in AAA? I know, sunk costs.
    My desperate attempt to steer the discussion away from Chad Durbin.

  9. By the way, is it just me or are the crowds at the Braves games dead. On TV, it feels like they are playing in a museum. Perhaps it’s just they don’t pick up the noise, but the crowds seem noticieably unenthusiastic. I don’t expect it to be Fenway Park but how about a little enthusiasm for a team in first place? Or are they all just waiting for SEC football to start?

  10. The one game I’ve been to so far was pretty energetic, but it was the extra innings thriller against Philly. A crowd of corpses would’ve been excited about that one. I don’t think any crowd is going to get overly excited about a game like last night’s, wherein the home team takes a big lead early and then coasts. General contentment is a much more reasonable expectation from that crowd.

  11. I’ve been to most of the home games this year and only a few of them have been dead. Last night the crowd was small but mostly they were into the game pretty good I thought. Things will probably pick up when schools start their Summer breaks and we get a few more butts in the seats.

  12. I went to the extra innings game against Philly, and I felt like the place was rocking, personally.

  13. The only time I’ll discuss Chad Durbin today (or this week, if I’m smart):

    After getting torched in each of his first 3 appearances (3 G, 3 IP, 6 ER), Durbin’s given up runs in 3 of his next 14 appearances (14 G, 10 IP, 5 ER).

    Hey, it’s something.

  14. I didn’t have a problem with Fredi’s comments. The second part I took to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, and the first part I think has some truth to it.

  15. Braves crowds are oftentimes lethargic, but no moreso than most ML crowds. Very few games have the intensity from start to finish as a Yankees-Red Sox tilt. In addition, the way the Ted is miked for television often transmits a more dampened environment than is actually there.

  16. On the other hand, have you seen the crowds in Minnesota? 40,000 fans to watch a team 16 games below .500.

  17. On the other hand, have you seen the crowds in Minnesota? 40,000 fans to watch a team 16 games below .500.

    In Minnesota, though, the alternative is freezing to death.

  18. @18,

    I was thinking it might just be the way the field was miked. Some of the fields seem to be miked in a way to pick up more of the crowd noise. I don’t necessarily like baseball crowds that act like football crowds, ie, roaring on every pitch the way the Metrodome was when the Twins were in the playoffs.

  19. On another topic, why all the local-media hand-wringing over whether or not we re-sign Brian McCann? I understand Bourn to a certain extent, as this would be his last year (though I still think we should probably just shut up and enjoy it, and worry about the offseason in the offseason), but McCann is essentially signed for next year (there isn’t a chance in hell that $12 million team option isn’t getting exercised). Even if he does become a free agent, we have two more years before that happens. I mean, the team should obviously be engaged in trying to figure out what to do about it, but I haven’t the foggiest idea why us fans should be staying up nights worried about it at this point.

  20. Because it’s presented as an either/or proposition (i.e. a big fat logical fallacy) and since Bourn is up for renewal at the end of the year, playing well, and a Boras client, it’s time to stress about it.

  21. Well, here’s an interesting lineup that I’m sure will get torn to shreds on here, even though it’s a one-night thing:

    Pastornicky SS
    Prado LF
    Freeman 1B
    Uggla 2B
    McCann C
    Diaz RF
    Heyward CF
    Francisco 3B
    Minor P

    Per Chris Vivlamore on DOB’s blog

  22. Nothing wrong with the guys in the lineup–Bourn needs his time off. I’m at a bit of a loss why Fredi would think sticking Pastornicky in the leadoff spot is even an okay idea. Kid’s rocking a .306 OBP out of the 8 hole.

    Oh well, it’s only one night! I do wish Chipper and Bourn weren’t both getting the night off, though…

  23. I kinda like it. It’s kind of odd that these giving-a-guy-a-day-off games have to come when we’re facing a lefty and Chipper’s getting a day off, too, but oh well.

  24. Mark Buerhle’s career splits are not dramatic:

    vs RHB (7,908 PA): 275/319/419
    vs LHB (2,605 PA): 265/304/421

  25. Id rather not see Bourn getting today with Chipper sitting. Id rather put Prado at the top of the lineup with JHey batting 2nd also.


    Would be my choice, but maybe it will work.

  26. I think that Pastornicky at the top is more of an experimental thing than anything else. He did leadoff some in the minors, and since it’s hopefully only a one-time thing (or once every two months thing, anyway), might as well see how he handles it.

  27. Famous last words, but…it’s hard to take a team seriously that uses Austin Kearns as a cleanup hitter.

  28. I mean, he couldn’t have beat it out either way, but… why umpire there? It was right on the line. How are you gonna get a better look at it than the third base ump?

  29. He was looking really really sharp in the first three innings. Maybe it’s one of those adjustment things after the first time through the lineup.

  30. Maybe we could stretch out Medlin and call up Jaye Chapman or Gearrin to take his spot in the bullpen.

  31. Fredi has his mind set on Medlen being a reliever I think. Just have to hope Minor can figure it out.

  32. On the plus side, Jurrjens’ k/9 in AAA might get above 4 after tonight’s game.

    Good thing Medlen is sitting in the pen as the 5th-most important reliever.

  33. Not looking good tonight. So keep it close, pull out a late rally, and steal one.

  34. I’m okay with Medlen too. Minor needs to be sent down though. He’s just not getting the job done, no more so than Jurrjens was previously.

  35. Now I know why Chip doesn’t just watch the Outfielders before he opens his mouth.

  36. Everytime we begin a day with a share of first place, we lose.

    If, somehow, the Nats managed to lose on the same day, Martin Prado would probably have to like, dislocate his brain or something

  37. Minor is a head case, and I’m not sure he’ll be able to get past that. He’s looking to be just another JoJo Reyes.

  38. I told you last night that probably what would happen is that Minor would give up his normal 6 runs and that we could rest Kimbrel after freddie used him in a situation last night when he didnt need too .. I said martinez and hernadez and durbin would get sonme work .. Im right on minor, martinez .. we will see when hernandez and durbin get to work

  39. actually Im right on 6 runs by Minor, Kimbrel gets rest, Venters and EOF get rest … pretty bad when you can already say whats gonna happen .. no wonder he let Bourn and Chipper have night off

  40. If we’re benching Minor for a while after this game, I’d just as soon see Livan get a start. I like Medlen’s current role.

  41. Giancarlo Stanton is the devil. Then again, they all are. Damned franchise shouldn’t even exist.

  42. Tonight is an off-night after all. Good try offense, but you can take the rest of tonight off.

  43. If only they could have kept the last Marlins’ half-inning scoreless and not run into a really stupid out at third base to begin this inning.

  44. Minor’s been pretty bad recently, and some time at Gwinnett might do him some good, but any comparison to Jo-Jo is downright laughable. He’s already shown far more at the major-league level than Reyes ever did.

    I think I’d pick Medlen over Livan, if they’re making a switch, too.

  45. And this is by far the most annoying game of the season, so far. So much fail, and so varied.

  46. @93 Actually Stu, JoJo did have couple of good games when he was with the Braves. Regardless, Minor has to show us more.

  47. If I was GM for a day, I would trade or cut Francisco’s dumb ass for that baserunning stupidity. It definitely cost them one run, and quite possibly 2 or 3. Send a message. But maybe I’m harsh.

    Also, considering the Bourn discussion, what if ML owners/GM’s decided not to do business with Scott Boras? Here’s an agent whose business acumen, while good for his clients, has arguably been really bad for baseball as a whole. Would the MLBPA have a grievance for potential collusion? It’s just like “Moneyball” the movie…poorer teams are getting pushed out of the bidding on his free agents.

  48. 95 &97—Just…no. Note that I didn’t even complain about the Horacio reference. The point is about Jo-Jo, who never showed much of anything in the majors. Minor has shown flashes of real brilliance. He’s also struggled. He’s also gotten remarkably unlucky, although most, including the notoriously emotional and reactionary Bethany, predictably grant him no leeway because of Mike’s dumb trade comments in the Spring.

    Anyway, I would not mind seeing Minor demoted (as long as Jurrjens isn’t the replacement.) I do mind ludicrous comparisons, but that’s because I like logic, not because Mike went to my school.

  49. Removing Medlen from the bullpen weakens our options when we get a lead. O’Flaherty and Venters have been shaky enough that I’d like to have Medlen as a late-inning option, as there’s a steep dropoff after him.

  50. 103—But doesn’t putting him in the rotation increase our chances of having a lead to protect?

  51. I happen to be in a bar watching the game, and the twitter thing is completely validating not getting cable.

  52. @104 I agree, Medlen is the best option to start, but I don’t think they’ll do it. If it’s between bad Minor, JJ and Medlen, I want Medlen starting.

  53. Livan’s been okay. Plus, you could probably ask him to go seven innings tomorrow and he could do it.

  54. It’s amazing how unappealing all of these fifth-starter options seem, given how pitching-rich the Braves are. Minor’s a wreck, JJ’s even worse, Medlen’s too valuable in the ‘pen (and isn’t stretched out), Teheran still doesn’t seem ready, Livan is Livan…

  55. I forget from year to year how much I hate the Marlins.

    I hate them deeply. More than the Phillies. More than the Mets. More than LaSorda’s Dodgers. More than Josef Stalin and Pol Pot (but I digress).

    Here’s the problem with our Division – we suck against them and we play them all the freaking time. I hereby call for realignment:



  56. Im going to Vegas …. I said last night that Minor would give up 6 runs and that Martinez , Durbin and hernandez would get their work in and save Kimbrel, EOF and Venters … just luck I guess !!

  57. Free Todd Redmond! This is partially a plea based on realities (JJ got lit up in AAA) and a belief that Redmond has paid his dues. I realize that Teheran will probably be the next up, but he is beginning to find his 2011 form at AAA.

    At least Redmond won’t be any worse than Minor–who at this point appears to be any differnt than Jo Jo….

  58. On the bright side — hey, look what Martin Prado can do when he’s not wracked by staph infection! Why, it’s almost enough to make you believe his 1400 plate appearances from 2008-2010 weren’t a fluke after all….

  59. Im gonna say Beachy goes 7 and leaves with a 5-3 lead and EOF gives up a run in 8th and Kimbrel closes for a 5-4 win.

  60. I really wanna see Minor do well, but it’s gotten pretty ugly. I wonder how many more chances he’ll get.

    IMO: For most of Medlen’s major- & minor-league career, he’s been a successful reliever. I agree that he’s most valuable in that role.

    And whew, these NHL playoffs are doing a number on my nerves…

  61. I think Minor can succeed in the majors. I don’t know what’s going on here, but it looks like his control has really come and gone. I don’t really see him nibbling — Jo-Jo’s infuriating and fatal flaw, as well as the flaw that characterized Odalis Perez and Bruce Chen’s Atlanta careers — as much as I see Minor’s inability to actually maintain good control throughout a ballgame. He was quite good for the first couple innings, and indeed for his first few starts this year. Then it fell apart.

  62. Stu @ 100

    I agree. There is no reason to give up on Minor. he is young and has show flashes of being great. He needs to go to AAA and work some stuff out.

    If I were Frank Wren, I would be on the phone with Tom Glavine and set him up with Minor.

  63. “Also, considering the Bourn discussion, what if ML owners/GM’s decided not to do business with Scott Boras? Here’s an agent whose business acumen, while good for his clients, has arguably been really bad for baseball as a whole. Would the MLBPA have a grievance for potential collusion? It’s just like “Moneyball” the movie…poorer teams are getting pushed out of the bidding on his free agents.”

    Yes, I believe they would have a very strong argument for collusion. But for the ridiculous antitrust exemption, that would be about as classic a violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act as I could imagine. The Braves aren’t poor-Liberty just refuses to pay the going rate for free agents.

  64. Mike Minor’s career, so far (we’re in his age-24 season): 170 1/3 innings, 8.7 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9

    Jo-Jo Reyes, through his age-24 season: 190 2/3 innings, 5.9 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 1.5 HR/9

    I mean, come on; that’s not even close.

    And, if you’re interested, check Ben Duronio’s Twitter feed from last night for a series of informative tweets and re-tweets on just how bad Minor’s luck has been, so far.

  65. I think people think of the comparison because, generally speaking, both guys dominated in the minors and struggled in the majors, but the quality of these guys’ pitching in the majors has been vastly different.

  66. I don’t get how Scott Boras has been bad for baseball. Bad for some baseball owners, perhaps. People are entitled to representation when engaging in civil contracts. I guarantee you there is an anti-Boras working for each team in baseball whose job it is to suppress salary, and no one seems up in arms about that.

  67. @122 My reason for comparing was the minor/majors thing and because I think there’s a mental… “toughness” isn’t the right word, but there’s an intangible that guys like Medlen and Beachy have that I don’t think Minor and JoJo have. It’s not just that Minor is struggling, it’s the way he’s carried himself though the struggles that have me worried. He’s obviously a very smart guy and has a ton of talent and I hope whatever mechanical/mental/whatever thing is holding him back gets resolved.

  68. Well, you haven’t really seen Medlen or Beachy struggle like this, so I don’t know how you know how they’d react. I remember a lot of visibly-upset episodes from Beachy last year, when he kept getting pulled before six innings. (This is not a criticism; as I’ve said, Beachy is probably my favorite Braves player; Medlen’s probably second.)

    I don’t know what’s wrong with Minor. As Alex notes, it’s this weird thing whereby he starts off dominant and then just falls apart. Both the stats (see Duronio’s tweets) and at least some observation (listen to Don Sutton) are blaming bad luck, but he’s definitely struggling.

    It would not surprise me if his own stupid comments in Spring Training are weighing on him at this point. He knows he put his foot in his mouth and has got to realize he’s on the verge of forcing the Braves’ hand.

  69. Luck had nothing to do with Minor’s performance last night. He was rolling through 3, then started leaving pitches up. When he was hitting the FB low and away to RH hitters, he was crushing it because he could follow up with his change to that spot and they’d miss. That’s how he got his first two strikeouts. After the 3rd, though, he could no longer make that pitch. (The FB I mean.) Just look at the first AB of the 5th inning. After getting ahead 0-2, he leaves a FB up in the zone and bam. Leadoff single.

    Minor just needs to get more consistent, because the guy who was out there for the first three innings could be a #2.

  70. JJ certainly didnt help his case last night did he?

    •In case you missed it, #Braves Jurrjens’ final line for Triple-A Gwinnett on Wed. at Buffalo: 4-2/3 IP, 12 H, 11 R (10 ER), 2 BB, 3 K. 2 hours ago

    No team will offer us anything for this guy before the trade deadline. We may not see him again this season.

  71. He’s still getting ahead of hitters, but his secondary pitches arent good enough right now. When he’s 0-2 he’s either way off the plate or giving them something over the middle.

  72. @114

    Redmond has been pitching well — I wouldn’t mind seeing him. The Mayor of Lawrenceville has certainly paid his dues.

  73. Well, fingers crossed that Delgado can keep on his good streak. It will be easier to give Minor time to work things out if everyone else is pitching well.

    It’s really a shame about JJ. To be unable to help a very competitive team and have the chance to earn yourself a solid payday, only to have everything just leave you has got to be an awful experience. From a selfish perspective, I often think of what we could have gotten for him if we had traded him last year.

  74. If I was JJ, I’d probably ask for a second opinion on that knee now. He should get rid of that knee brace and those orthopaedic shoes. That will be the only way for him to see if he’s actually fully healthy or not.

    #131 – I think we are all thinking about that.

  75. @124

    Minor is throwing strikes, but he is missing with his pitches (all are strikes, but not where he wants them0

    The difference is, big league hitters don’t miss strikes.

  76. Will Jurrjens get the Kawakami treatment, and just seemingly disappear even while still in the organization?

  77. @122,

    No offense, Bethany, but you don’t have the slightest idea what you are talking about. You are simply engaging in amateur psychoanalysis on people you know nothing about except through their performances. You have no idea about “intangibles”-you just don’t like how Minor is pitching and you do like Medlen so you come up with some “explanation.”

    Next thing, you will be talking about how Medlen is a “winner” and the Minor just doesn’t know how to win.

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