Braves 2, Rays 0

Atlanta Braves vs. Tampa Bay Rays — May 20, 2012 — ESPN.

Offense? What offense?

Okay, honestly, I can’t complain about a series win against the Rays. I shouldn’t even nitpick. Fredi Gonzalez sent out a Sunday lineup against Tampa Bay, with Chipper out because of that barking ankle, McCann out because it’s a day game after a night game, and Pastornicky out because Tim Hudson‘s a groundball pitcher and Tyler sucks at defense. So our offense may have been slightly worse. Ross is awesome at everything, of course, so he hit a solo homer and caught Ben Zobrist stealing.

Including that homer, Francisco, Ross, and Wilson were the Braves’ 7-8-9 hitters, and they went 2-for-12. The other guys didn’t do much more; a broken-bat RBI single by Jason Heyward produced the only other run the Braves would muster, as stymied by David Price as they were last night by Alex Cobb. But, of course, Price is very good at baseball and it’s no crime to struggle to hit him. Fortunately for us, Hudson was even terrificker.

I promised I wouldn’t complain, but it bears mentioning that Jonny Venters isn’t right. It’s hard to say whether it has more to do with his lack of use this year — this was his first appearance in two days and just his second in the past week — or with his overuse last year, but Venters has had some serious control issues, allowing 5 earned runs and hitting four batters in just 6 1/3 innings this month. Today, he hit two men and only got out of it when a hard-hit grounder by Luke Scott happened to hit Carlos Pena as he was running the bases, causing an automatic out. Hey, we’ll take it.

Tomorrow, Mike Minor will take on the Reds. He may not be pitching for his job, but he’s definitely pitching for my not hating him. Thus far I’m willing to chalk his struggles up to growing pains, bad luck, and a rough patch. If he sucks tomorrow, I will stop defending him.

230 thoughts on “Braves 2, Rays 0”

  1. Enjoying your recap–lets hope that Minor can get it done. He may very well be at a decisive point in his development. I hope that he fares better than Jo Jo did not long after he was exposed to big league hitters….

  2. So, would Uggla have gotten to Scott’s hot smash or not in the 8th? It sure looked to me like he would have had a chance, but then again, his name IS Dan Uggla.

    Anyway, Hudson was due some luck, and I’m glad to take 2 out of three from a very good Rays team.

    Did you guys know, that if we win 1 game in Cincy, we will have won as many games on the road as we’ve played at the Ted so far?

  3. It looked to me like the grounder was directly at Uggla, and TBH, he’s usually good at at least knocking them down. I can’t actually remember any plays off the top of my head where he just booted a grounder hit to him. Frankly, I think the his defense is underrated. The ball was smoked, but it looked like it was basically straight at him.

    As for Minor, bad luck or whatever, there’s definitely a baseball/pitching/mechanical reason he struggles. When he’s going well, he looks really, really good. He hits his spots, his changeup gets whiffs, etc. Maybe it has something to do with him being in the stretch (IIRC his numbers w/ runners on are WAY worse than otherwise), but some times he just elevates the ball, and when that happens he tends to get crushed. His last start seemed like a perfect example to me. He looked fantastic through 3, but after that he just fell apart. It wasn’t him being “lucky” early and “unlucky” later. (As an aside, I think “luck” is an overrated or at least dramatically misunderstood notion in baseball.) He was throwing good pitches in innings 1-3 and bad pitches after that, and that’s why the results were what they were.

    I really hope he gets whatever his issues are straightened out, because I still think he can be a very good pitcher. It’s just a consistency thing at this point, IMO.

  4. Uggla said he isn’t sure if he would be able to field it.

    Expecting Minor to pitch well at Cincinnati?

  5. Without checking the fly ball ratios, I do not have happy thoughts about Mike Minor in the Great American Ballpark.

  6. Minor better have a decent start or the Braves may not have a choice but to demote him.

  7. And, yeah, huge thanks to Alex for filling in for the fill-in on extremely short notice.

  8. Great job, Alex, as always.

    My fingers and toes are crossed for Minor tonight. They seems to have narrowed in on the issues from the stretch, so maybe there will be progress in that area.

    I have this side thing I’ve been working on for the Eephus League that I launched today. It’s an online “magazine” with lots of writing and fan submissions. If you’re looking for a way to kill some time today, i hope you’ll read it!

  9. @18 I would be more worried if he weren’t having such good ABs… I think he’ll come out of this mini slump just fine.

  10. Let’s see:

    A Southerner moves to NYC and starts rooting for the Devils OVER the Rangers.


    Agree with the others – good job, Alex.

    Intentional or not, it had a very Thomasonian feel to it.

  11. Stu, gonna be in Nashville for a day and a night next month. Any recommendations on what to see and more importantly what/where to eat?

    Alex, great job on the game recaps.

  12. Johnny, where in Nashville? What kind of food do you like? What day of the week will you be in town?

  13. Looking at next years payroll: assuming (the obvious) we pick up McCann’s/Hudson’s options, the Braves should be committed to between 55 MM – 60 MM in payroll after all the arbitrations.

    Swisher, Bourn, Quentin, and (though the thought is repulsive) Victorino seems like potential candidates. Figure we’ll need a CF, and potentially a LF depending how the Francisco/Prado situation is played.

  14. Braves should shift Prado to 3B, resign Bourn, and hope Gattis is ready/capable for LF duty. I dont see how the Braves could look at Fransisco as an everyday 3B. Hopefully Simmons will be ready for SS.

  15. Thanks, guys.

    Part of me wants to resign Bourn, and part of me knows he’ll never be as hot as he is right now again. But, with a big outfield like ours, is the defense worth it by itself?

  16. Re: Bourn.

    My brain can’t reckon with the concept of the Braves negotiating with Scott Boras. Has there been an occasion in the last 20 years where they have and I’ve just missed it?

  17. Lowe wasn’t a Schuerholz signee, was he? Wasn’t that Wren’s first big FA signing? Maybe he’s not going to shut out Boras clients?

  18. Bethany,
    Liking that old-school aesthetic.

    Long story short (or I’ll try): When I was a kid in Columbus, Ga., my next-door neighbors moved to K.C. One holiday (had to be 1975), they returned for a visit & my friend brought me a hockey stick signed by the brand-new Kansas City Scouts.

    The Scouts moved to Colorado & then to New Jersey in 1982. I kept an eye on them, but could never watch them (for obvious reasons). Early on in Jersey, they were so bad that, after a 13-4 loss to the Oilers, Wayne Gretzky called them “a Mickey Mouse operation.” I thought, “Now, that’s an underdog.”

    When I moved to the NYC area, I settled in Hoboken, N.J., and decided I was going to try to like the Devils. (I thought the same with the Nets, but that didn’t last long.) So, when I went to a particularly tense pair of playoff games in 1991 (vs. Mario Lemieux & the mighty Penguins), that was it—I was hooked. (Plus, I loved the relative challenge of understanding a “new game.”)

    So, if you’re a Devils fan, the Rangers are the enemy. Simple.

    They’re the only NYC-area team I genuinely care about—and yes, I still have that hockey stick.

  19. There was never a refusal to deal with Boras. They resigned Andruw when he was with Boras, and Wren signed Lowe obviously. There was always a refusal to sign contract with no-trade clauses, which practically locked the Braves out of the big name deals (including Mark Teixeirra) from Boras clients, because he always demanded a full no-trade and/or an early out to re-test the market if it was in his client’s best interests (the ARod thing.)

    The only agent the Braves have said they refuse to deal with is the guy that used them to set terms with the Dodgers and Furcal before they signed Lowe.

  20. @30, Here were all players under contract from a previous thread.

    Brian McCann 15000
    Freddie Freeman 700
    Dan Uggla 13000
    Tyler Pastornicky 495
    Martin Prado 6850
    Juan Francisco 495
    Jose Constanza 485
    Jason Heyward 5000
    Tim Hudson 9000
    Brandon Beachy 565
    Tommy Hanson 4000
    Mike Minor 700
    Randall Delgado 495
    Julio Teheran 480
    Craig Kimbrel 700
    Jonny Venters 2000
    Eric O’Flaherty 3300
    Kris Medlen 1500
    Arodys Vizcaino 483
    Cristhian Martinez 1500
    Anthony Varvaro 490
    TOTAL 67238

  21. Stu, we are coming in on Sunday 6/10 and we need to be near Vandy. One of my daughters has an orientation for an undergrad research grant there. We will be leaving for Charleston SC on 6/11 so we’ll have about a day in Nashville. We are omniverous.

    Wow. What a website Bethany. I didn’t get to read much of it as I am (ahem) at work but I will give it a shot later.

  22. How is it we’re paying Varvaro 490k and he’s down in Gwinnett while we have Disturbin’ Durbin in Atlanta? Was Varvaro injured coming into the season? He seems to be pitching acceptably in Gwinett. Lotsa Ks.

  23. Kudos to all the MLB clubs honoring Chipper Jones. He must have done something right.

  24. Some FA OF options – there’s some good choices out there, and maybe the number will suppress the market a bit.

    Left fielders

    Josh Hamilton is the big name. His contract will depend heavily on his 2012 season. Delmon Young will have age on his side at 27 years old. Several others who are currently penciled in at center or right field will be options in left.

    Center fielders

    Hamilton can play some center, but this is a deep group with Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton, Shane Victorino, Melky Cabrera, Marlon Byrd, Grady Sizemore, and Angel Pagan.

    Right fielders

    Andre Ethier, Carlos Quentin, and Nick Swisher will be seeking big paydays. Ichiro Suzuki and Torii Hunter will represent the old guard.

  25. I don’t think we dealt with Bucky Woy again after he killed Bill Lucas (not really…well, maybe kinda).

  26. Chipper must still be hurting.


  27. My arb-number guesses for Braves next year…
    1. Prado: 7 million- could be slightly more or slightly less

    2. Heyward: 3 million-B.J. Upton probably a good comp for Heyward

    3. Venters: 1.6 million- just a blind guess really, but he’ll surely earn less than closers but more than an average setup man

    4. Hanson- 4 million (could be more depending on his health the rest of this year)

    5. Medlen- 1.2 million- TJ surgery killed his chances of the big payday
    O’Flaherty- 3.2 million- assuming he gets everything under control or he’s not injured

    6. Martinez- 1 million- players like him never get big money
    Total: 21 million for 7 players

    With Hudson coming in at 9, Uggla at 14 and McCann at 12 (doesn’t look like ’13 is incentive laden for McCann), it looks like the Braves will be at 56 million for the 10 players mentioned above.

    Assuming the Braves offer contracts to Freeman, Kimbrel, Pastornicky, Simmons, Minor, Delgado, Teheran, Francisco, Beachy, and Vizcaino, the Braves will have seemingly committed about 61 million dollars to 20 players. If this year’s payroll is a reflection of what the Braves have for 2014, then there 30-32 million for FAs. Sounds fun!

    The Braves could give 2 million each to Ross and Hinske and still have ample money to go after a LF (if Gattis isnt ready) and Bourn. The problem would start rearing its ugly head in ’14 and ’15 when our arb-eligibles start to get really expensive.

  28. Ethier is already well into his decline phase, and Hamilton is so fragile that he’s sure to have a short peak. Cabrera is an interesting option, because he seems to be peaking now, but we can’t take another chance on him. Upton and Victorino are headed into a decline but due to their age it could be gentle.

    Funnily enough, Bourn probably suits our needs the best out of everyone on that board. He won’t be the most expensive, but he’ll be expensive. Still, I’d certainly be willing to offer 5/$75. The question is whether it will take 6/$90.

  29. If any of our scouts/coaches suggest Melky returning to Atlanta, he should be fired immediately. Maybe he just really likes the food in Atlanta, but whatever it was, he should never be allowed to come back to Atlanta again – except as part of a visiting team!

  30. He’s a helluva hitter and a decent fielder, but he’s 31 and he’s having his career year in a walk year. This is almost certainly the best season he’ll ever have. And just remember, entering this year, he has played five full seasons in the major leagues, and has played a total of 589 games: that’s an average of 118 games a year. (By comparison, in the same period, 2007-2011, Chipper Jones played 626 games, an average of 125 a year. Hamilton is really, really fragile.)

    I’d like Josh better in the AL, where you could rotate him between the field and DH to rest his body. In the NL, he just will be off the field a lot.

    I have to assume that those five years he took off from the game poisoning his body couldn’t have helped his stamina or recovery time. He has an inspirational story, and I love his bat, but I’m worried that he’s not going to be effective as a full-time player for very much longer.

  31. I’m becoming more and more in the camp where we re-sign Bourn, sign a decent but not great left fielder, and pick up McCann’s option for next year. We then try to work out a deal with him, and are flexible based on how good he is these last two years and some other factors related to other players, but are fully prepared to go into the 2014 season with Christian Bethancourt as our starting catcher. We would also have to find a decent but not great LF or 3B under this scenario. I’d take the LF and send Prado to third, as a personal preference, but either way’s fine, in reality.

  32. Hamilton’s next contract is going to be very interesting, because no team in its right mind is going to give him one that doesn’t have some very specific clauses.

    Honestly, he’s kinda like Mickey Mantle, if you swap the booze for something much worse. And he’s older than many might think—he’s 31.

  33. Blasted editing thing! Didn’t mean to double up on the LF, but you get the picture.

  34. Ya know what’ll be cool about 2013? It’ll probably be the first year in a decade and a half where we’ll have a +defensive team to go along with a +offensive team. If Simmons turns out to be the SS by year’s end, it could happen even earlier.

  35. @47 – The problem would start rearing its ugly head in ’14 and ’15 when our arb-eligibles start to get really expensive.

    That points to a deadline trade this year for 1.5 years of a fairly pricey player under club control until the end of ’13 then, right (or this offseason for 1 year of said pricey player)? He fills out next year’s budget for $15-20mill and then walks, dropping us down enough to afford the expensive arbitration-eligibles in ’14-15. Anyone know of a list of 2014 free agent outfielders/3rd basemen? That seems more relevant than the 2013 FAs.

  36. Ethier is already well into his decline phase

    Not sure we have the same definition of “decline phase”. He’s 30. He may not be worth a 6 year deal – but he is quite capable of putting up career seasons for a little longer – like for example this one, in which he already is over halfway to his career high in 1/4 of the season, in line with his ZIPS projection to have a career year.

  37. So they acquired a player to be named. Does that mean they acquired a baby soon to be born? Man, they are just starting these kids on a lifetime of baseball WAY too early.

  38. They gave the Braves cash for Sutton and then traded him for a PTBNL the next day. Whats the point? Thats why they are the Pirates.

  39. Rangers put Neftali Feliz on the DL with right elbow tendonitis. Doesnt sound good.

  40. @16

    That’s awesome Bethany.

    I really liked the piece with Lindstrom and his work. Love the style and format magazine too. Definitely something I will continue checking out.

    Btw, I had completely forgotten about your scorebooks. I’m going up to see a couple Braves games the weekend they retire Smoltzie’s number, so I will be picking up one of those soon.

  41. Bethany, I strongly approve of any effort to return writing and design to the internet, in lieu of blogging and aggregator sites.

  42. Pretty slick Bethany. Is this a one-off, or will you be doing it monthly?

    And COMPLETELY off-topic, but when Lloyd Brevett died a few days back, and the Skatalites were briefly discussed here, I completely neglected to mention that even those unfamiliar with the band may have heard them on “Simmer Down” by the Wailers. (Back when “the Wailers” was the name of the vocal group that Bob Marley was a part of and not the name of the band that played behind Bob Marley.)

  43. Some quick, Braves tidbits after 42 games:

    2nd in Runs
    4th in walks & OPB
    4th in HRs

    10th in runs allowed
    11th in ERA (mostly due to 3 guys)

    1st in Fielding Percentage
    1st in fewest errors (22, incl. 6 by Uggla, 4 by Pastornicky)

    McCann is 8/25 in throwing out runners; Ross is 4/6

    They’re 8th in stolen bases; 8th in being caught—29 for 41.

    In 78 IP, Jurrjens, Minor & Durbin are a combined 7.50 ERA—nobody else is near that. When one of those 3 guys isn’t on the mound, the Braves have a 3.05 ERA. At this point, I figured Livan might be part of the bad numbers, but his high-wire act has worked (3.03 ERA) so far.

    Our top 3 starters more than give us a chance to win, and Delgado’s been OK. Beachy’s out of his mind right now, Hanson’s been solid & I don’t think I’m alone believing that Hudson’s ceiling can be pretty high.

    Call me crazy, but this team can improve.

  44. Thank you all again, it really means a lot. @71 I will probably do it quarterly or bi-annually, unless I get a flood of submissions.

    I feel like I need to make a chart of all of the bizarre on the field injuries Chipper has sustained. A line drive straight to the shin is bizarre, but not as random as getting a black eye from a ricocheting ball in BP.

  45. Bethany puts some of us to shame. Opponents laugh at my drawings when I play pictionary and my teammate looks at my opponent’s drawings. I have no skills.

  46. @75- I’ve always been more fond of Jamaican music from the period 3 or 4 years after the aka-craze; the late rocksteady-era into the organ-heavy skinhead reggae period.. to me its kind of analogous to doo-wop and the Stax soul periods in America.

    But I get a huge kick out of the early ska and vocal trio stuff done by artists who later made their name in reggae. The Wailers, Toots and the Maytals, the Heptones… All their early stuff fascinates me. But i can’t get into the Laurel Aitkens and Prince Busters in the same way.

  47. For those of you who are sick of Chip Caray and in the blackout zone, tonight’s game on ESPN hasn’t been blacked out, for some reason. It’s Sean McDonough, Rick Sutcliffe and (I think) Aaron Boone. I’ll let you decide if trading Chip for McDonough is worth having to deal with Sutcliffe.

  48. Ka-boom. Slugfest?

    Re: Marley/Wailers
    Like a lotta folks, I was more of a early/mid-’70s Marley fan. He’d become a terrific songwriter & the records really moved me. As a teenager, that’s bound to happen, right?

    I’m sure my Marley tastes aren’t terribly esoteric, although I was a huge fan in high school. “Natty Dread” & “Burnin’” probably have the very best songs, but my fave album all the way through has gotta be “Rastaman Vibration.”

    And don’t sleep on the live album. Only 7 songs, but the performances are pretty ace.

    Hard to pick a fave song, but “Trenchtown Rock” is right up there:

  49. The announcers almost put me to sleep with call of that HR. Made Chip look halfway decent.

  50. This is a pretty wretched job of pitching by Minor. I know Francisco fouled up that grounder, but that put a runner on first with two outs, for God’s sake!

  51. @93

    I have been thinking the same thing. But you would have to think he would have figured out that he was tipping them by now.

  52. Ditto on the live record. That and Joy Division taught me how to play bass (weird combo, I know.) I’m more of a dub guy these days. King Tubby, Augustus Pablo and Garvey’s Ghost. But my favorite reggae record of all time is probably Linton Kwesi Johnson’s Dread Beat and Blood. True dub poetry. Title track.

  53. I am shocked and appalled that people are not acknowledging the world-class skill involved in inducing a lined smash directly at the baserunner.

  54. I hope Minor doesn’t watch a recap of this game on ESPN. The announcers were pretty brutal toward him there in the second inning.

    Or maybe he should watch it.

  55. Well Minor is okay through three. The 4th is where he has been falling apart. Better score 7 here

  56. My personal favorite reggae record is Junior Murvin – Police and Thieves, even if its a little tired by now. The first track is just so good, I listen to the whole record everytime I start it

  57. Can we send Minor back to Vandy for a statistician grad student or something?

  58. I think Mike’s just going through a down phase, similar to any struggling young pitcher like Glavine or Smoltz early in their careers.

    But I don’t wanna lose games while he’s doing it!

  59. I wonder if Minor is hurt or there is something wrong with his stamina. This is the part of the game that seems to bite him.

  60. At this point I hope they leave Minor in and he sets a record by giving up 5 in a row. He certainly appears capable.

  61. LOL. Alright, stupider new thing this year: Braves Live’s Twitter feed or the Gameday scout?

  62. @140

    I don’t understand how Fredi has time to do both, and still manage an MLB team.

  63. Scout, just because I’ve been exposed to it more. It may even beat out Fredi now.

  64. #100
    Speaking of hooks… I’m sure Joy Division’s Peter Hook got a lotta bass players started.

    OK, runs please…

  65. I was in Steamboat Springs visiting some friends a few weeks ago and blindly wandered into an free outdoor Toots & the Maytals show at the base of the mountain. Got to stand in the front row. Toots sang to my daughter, who was on my shoulders.

  66. Brave’s live Twitter thing is terrible. It would be better if they answered questions, but things like, “Chipper Jones is cool. He is my brother’s favorite player, ever!”is just pointless and makes us all dumber.

  67. I think Minor is going to be a fine pitcher but he doesn’t seem to have any damage control and something is definitely off. Send him down, take the pressure off.

  68. That’s Mike Minor. When things start to go wrong, it just snowballs. Seems like only a matter of growing up.

  69. Needs a second pitch he’s comfortable with throwing with three balls. Anybody can sit fastball. The Stubbs at bat is a perfect example – you’ve got a hitter who expands the zone and strikes out a TON, yet Minor kept chucking fastballs in there at the same speed. They can time your straight ball, Mike.

  70. He’s walked four men in 5 innings. Even if he weren’t giving up a homer to everyone and their grandmother, that would be worrisome. He’s still not commanding his fastball — he’s either leaving it belt-high or missing the strike zone. They can lay off the breaking stuff and wait for the belt-high fastball because they know he can’t command it.

  71. 154- As AAR points out, that’s not even true in a “other than that, how was Dallas, Mrs. Kennedy?” way. These four runs could easily be six or seven.

  72. Some truly craptastic at-bats against mediocre RHPs Saturday and tonight.

  73. @107 , yeah, that’s a classic. Then again, I’m a sucker for a falsetto. Oddly enough I’m putting together a playlist for my wife’s b’day party on Saturday and that one will fit in nicely. Thanks for the reminder.

    Here’s another fun one Pablo Moses – A Song.

    @144, no doubt.

    Let’s get some runs!!!

  74. 164- It looked at the calendar, checked our starting pitcher, and decided it wasn’t really needed tonight.

  75. A guy who is struggling has 107 pitches, and we are losing by 3 runs…so let’s have him hit!

  76. Yeah, Minor has sucked. Overlooked, because he didn’t give up a run, was that second inning where he threw a mental fit over Francisco’s two-out, bases-empty, one-base error and threw 15 extra pitches because of it.

  77. #162: Strangely, I fear lousy pitchers like Leake more than I do the good ones. We seem to do pretty well against the latter. The former is a crapshoot.

  78. That worked. I have no idea why it was tried, but Minor stopped sucking just long enough for us to see him throw more OopsBalls (patent pending).

  79. 174- That’s not a good thing. It’s like the restaurant where the food’s awful but the portions are large.

  80. That fan that caught the two homerun balls is a better fielder than Pastornicky

  81. Two hits all night, and 16 of the last 17 Braves make outs.

    We got them old Monday blues.

  82. Monday Monday, can’t trust that day,
    Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
    Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
    Oh Monday Monday, how yould cou leave and not take me.

    Every other day, every other day,
    Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
    But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
    You can find me cryin’ all of the time

  83. Juan Francisco demands consideration for the Concrete Glove competition, dammit!

  84. Francisco is quite clearly the worst fielder playing baseball today. The most defensively hapless DH would look like a wizard in comparison.

  85. Livan makes a fabulous last man in the pen.
    If only that spot wasn’t already taken by the Derbster.
    In 24.2 innings, Gearrin has a whip of .89, and 29 strikeouts to just 7 walks. Just sayin.

  86. @Gwinnett Braves ‏

    Jurrjens leaves in the bottom of 5th giving up 2 more runs. Final line: 4.1 IP, 11 Hits, 7 Runs/6 Earned , 1 BB, 3 K’s. Leaves trailing 7-0

  87. @199 We tried, but nobody was stupid enough to take JJ off our hands. At least we can DFA him at the end of this season. More payroll room to resign Bourn!!!

  88. So I’m sure that I’m the only person who was interested in this, but apparently the reason for the non-blackout is that ESPN can show up to three Monday night games in local markets. I’m not sure why they added that rule but it’s the only non-exclusive national package that can do that. ESPN themselves can’t do it on Wednesdays.

  89. @202 I believe we have $4M to spend if I remember right. If we stay in first place, we have a good shot in signing him.

  90. My theory is that Shane “Lex Luthor” Victorino synthesized a “mental collapse” disease from Jo-Jo Reyes’ DNA and is slipping it to Braves pitchers.

  91. Yeah, starting pitching is our main weakness at this point. Signing Oswalt would make a lot of sense.

  92. We had 4 million…before we signed Durbin and Livan right before season’s start.

  93. Rick Sutcliffe just suggested that we pinch-hit Diaz for Heyward…and pronounced it Dee-az, for good measure.

  94. So will Minor throw anyone under the bus post game? Last time it was the defense.

  95. Perhaps something like “if we could have put up a couple runs, we’d have been back in the game… But it went the other way.”

  96. After his last start, 6 earned in 4.2, he said

    “I threw a curveball to (Bonifacio) on the groundball to Francisco….It could have been a big break for me if that was a double play and it went the other way”

    Which is what I’m poking fun at.

  97. @218 Or he could say “If Jason had hit a three-run homerun at the end of the game, I would be getting a no-decision instead of being stuck with a loss.”

    We really love Mike.

  98. Who wouldve guessed that Jurrjens, Teheran, Delgado, and Minor would all struggle this much. As bad as it sounds, give Livan a start.

  99. “It’s a teaching moment, a good moment for him to go back out there. He only gave up four solo home runs. I thought the kid pitched OK. It was a good chance for him to go back out there and hang around. We keep talking to our pitchers about just hang around, give yourself a chance to win a ballgame. – Fredi

    Yes, he said that. He ONLY gave up 4 solo HR’s.

  100. @221

    Minor pitched well in his last two innings, and at this point, Fredi’s alternate options are all not ideal. He’s clearly gonna see if any confidence can be gained from those last two innings and run him back out there, and that’s probably the right move, in all honesty. Trying to make sure that confidence is instilled would be a large part of that process.

  101. @221 Minor was lucky that all four are solo homeruns. At the same time, pitchers need time to develop. Especially for the case of Minor, he is obviously not as matured as Beachy in terms of facing adversity.

    @220 I actually think Delgado has done all right. He is actually doing better than Minor with less major league experience.

  102. Todd Redmond has been flukey this year. He’s sporting a 2.48 FIP, whereas over the past three years it’s been averaging around 4.00. Also has a .331 BABIP.

    If the Braves had better options in AAA, they’d be pitching in place of Minor.

  103. Another poor outing by Jurrjens in Gwinnett:
    4.1 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 11 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 6.10 ERA

  104. We beat up Johnny Cueto, but get embarrassed by a shoplifter.

    Oh well, looks like we could use some Monday off-days (or rainouts).

  105. #223: But can’t we talk about the value of that at bat leading off the 6th inning, down 4-1? Do we really turn that into an out just so our pitcher can have a “teaching moment”?

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