Cardinals 8, Braves 2

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 28, 2012 – ESPN.

What we have here is a bad baseball team — at the moment, the worst team in baseball. They are not only getting beat, they aren’t even competitive. I doubt that they will stay this bad, but they are basically burying themselves. Even the return of Brian McCann didn’t do any good — in fact, he allowed a passed ball for the game’s first run. Considering the Braves’ (generally admirable) refusal to overreact, I doubt that Fredi is going to get fired any time soon, but I have to think his seat is getting warm.

Tommy Hanson‘s Jair Jurrjens bag of tricks didn’t work today, as he went two innings then imploded. He gave up a couple of runs in the third, followed by a two-run two-out homer, then Rafael Furcal hit one with one out in the fourth. This was followed by one more, inherited (by Kris Medlen) run to make it 6-0. The Braves actually got two runs in the bottom of the inning on a Juan Francisco two-out single, but in the sixth Medlen gave the runs back on a two-run double.

Okay, Chipper Jones is out, and David Ross and Freddie Freeman are out, and Matt Diaz is playing through illness and McCann is probably still weak. But the pitching has also collapsed, and none of the hitters except Martin Prado is doing much of anything. It’s bad right now.

307 thoughts on “Cardinals 8, Braves 2”

  1. Joe took a shot at the Twitter crap today when he mentioned Ross’s haircut. He said something about giving them something to talk about. It’s bad when half of one of the worst duos in the game starts making fun of your tactics.

  2. It’s bad when Joe says anything.

    It’s bad that they’ve already fired one intern (or maybe she quit because she had an ounce of self-respect).

    It’s bad when the Braves act like they’re a real baseball team.

    It’s just bad.

  3. How long would this streak have to go for Fredi to get canned? And likewise, if we pull out of the nosedive somewhat but are in last place heading into the All-Star Break, does he get the axe nonetheless? One would have to think so.

    It’s funny because I wouldn’t say this is his fault. I’m much more pissed at our pitchers. And Heyward.

    I wonder who would replace Fredi.

  4. Braves losing streaks, eight games or longer, April 1990-August 2011: Two.

    Braves losing streaks, eight games or longer, last 60 games: Two.

  5. Oh my god. This blows. Hadn’t paid attention to Freeman’s injury. Do opponents toss sand into our player’s eyes a al some wrestling heel?

  6. “My guess is that Fredi Gonzalez will manage the Braves for most of two seasons, being replaced by a coach in late 2012 with a record a little better than his Marlins record. I hope I’m wrong.” -Mac, 10/13/2010

    Fredi ready

  7. I think what is most upsetting to me about this is that I think the team is going to steadily decline after this year. This was our best shot at a real run.

    @10 Heyward has a much better track record than Francouer, but he has been unable to keep his head above water at the MLB level since the book got out on him.

  8. I miss winning. And a good defensive shortstop. And Chipper and Fredi and the real BMAC.

  9. 10- Better than the next Komminsk, which has also occurred to me. Heyward seems to do alright until he has his first twinge, owie, or day when he doesn’t want to get out of bed, at which point he’s virtually useless for the rest of the season.

  10. Heyward is just overrated, like most Braves prospects end up being. He has flaws in his swing that may not be fixable.

  11. We’ve reached a whole new level. This team needs some offensive and defensive help and soon. We have the worst infield defense in all of baseball. Two of those guys have OBP under .290. How is it you can be awful at the plate and in the field while keeping a job on whats suppose to be a contending team? We need at least one starter to help upgrade the rotation, we probably need at least two more arms to upgrade the bullpen. We need a new team eye physician. Whole new level.

  12. @csg

    Between a -10 UZR, a .944 fielding percentage and a .287 OBP, I’m fairly certain Pastornicky is the worst everyday player in baseball.

  13. #18 – Well, I wont argue with you thats for sure.

    BTW, our old pal Jairo Asencio has been DFA’d by Cleveland.

  14. wow we are sruggling … never thought Chipper could have that much influence on a team .. can we resign him for another 5 years … nobody can play unless he is in lineup … Heyward for sure has too long of a swing and too many holes … like francour takes too long to get thru the hitting zone .. they both have to start swing too early and either get fooled or cant catch up .. Why arent we bringing up an OF or Catcher that can hit or a 1st baseman Mejia to hit against lefties .. this team is not only struggling but the management is strugging even more !!! looks Bad !!! 1st to last in 8 games in division .. Phils gonna get well .. looks like we are gonna be fighting to stay out of dungeon.

  15. Heyward obviously isn’t the only problem on the team but he doesn’t seem to be the solution either. I’ve been watching Bryce Harper and I just watched Mike Trout hit a home run on TV. They are both younger than Jason but they both seem to have much better swings. Heyward has some good at-bats periodically but I have no confidence that he is anything more than an average player. Saying he is “only 22” is a weak excuse at this point-he is in his third full season in the majors. It appears that the only pitch he can really handle is down and in and pitchers can stay away from that for the most part.

  16. @7 .. free Andrelton, Mejia, Constanza or one of the other OF’s at AAA that is hitting .. get a backup catcher up here that can at least swing the bat a little till Mccann and Ross get healthy .. Diaz is hitting a little but Heyward and Diaz arent getting it done .. get Jurrgins back and give teheran another shot .. cant hurt. Gotta shake it up a bit

  17. I still think Heyward is going to be really good, but damn if it gets old seeing him swing through strike 3 on the condensed games.

  18. McCann/Uggla/Freeman have to improve a lot for this team to do well. The meat of our order has been awful for a month. Heyward just isn’t going to be all that great unless he changes his swing, which is pretty tough to do while in the majors. Meanwhile, the pitching sucks. It’s not like we’re just one or two players away.

  19. If anyone wants a positive, the 2010 Atlanta Braves had a 9-game losing streak and made the playoffs.

    Hopefully the curse of Alex and Stu will rectify now that Mac is back.

  20. I go on vacation for a week and you lot let this happen?! You are all very bad fans.

  21. Also, “will be rectified.” I don’t think the curse itself will be rectifying anything, per se.

  22. I never said Heyward was “the” problem. But he is supposed to be more than just a guy and he isn’t. If your number 1 draft pick is “just a guy” it seems to me you have significant problems. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect more from Heyward in his third season. Whether because of injuries or whatever, he is a very average (at best) player right now and has been since he hurt his shoulder his rookie year. I’m not saying give up on him but he is a big disappointment.

  23. I’m not going to panic. I think we will still make the playoffs.

    We need to address our starting pitching issues. We also need another arm in the pen.

    I imagine we can address the pen internally. We need to go out and get a starter.

    I think our hitters are just really streaky. Also remember we have played 19 games in a row. This team needs an off day.

    Another issue no one is talking about is; Why can’t they get Freeman’s eyes fixed?

  24. The problem with Heyward is that we were sold a playbill for Dave Winfield’s second coming (at the least) and so far we’ve gotten something between B.J. Upton in RF and a shinier, happier Delmon Young. That’s a disappointment no matter how you slice it.

    The fact that the majority of Heyward’s value comes from defense these days doesn’t help.

  25. I have thought for a while Heyward and Freeman are the second coming of Francoeur and McCann. Seems like the first one to make it to the MLB team is overly hyped, then disappoints. Meanwhile there is very little noise made about the second one’s arrival to the team and they turn out to be the real deal. Now with Freeman experiencing “dry eye” problems *just like McCann did* it is just eerie how similar the pairs of players seem to be tracking.

  26. Francoeur never put up anything close to the minor league or major league (first season) numbers of Heyward. It’s not really a fair comp. Heyward’s been a disappointment and hasn’t lived up to expectations. No one with any inkling of a clue should have ever had expectations for Francoeur.

  27. @40 – Dave Winfield didn’t have a season as good as Heyward’s rookie year until he was 25, and Heyward is still on pace to have a year as good as Winfield’s 24 season this year despite being 1-2 years younger. The problem isn’t that Heyward was billed to be the second coming of Winfield and didn’t turn into that, the problem is that he was billed to be the second coming of Winfield (or similar) and then didn’t follow the career path of ARod. He’s having exactly the kind of start to a career you’d expect an extremely talented young baseball player with the potential to compete for a couple of MVPs someday to have, but fans don’t know how to aim their expectations somewhere between best player of all time and bum”

  28. I think part of the problem is that 2012 marks the 3rd straight year that a starting position has been handed over to a rookie. How many teams do that and contend at the same time?

  29. I’m sure that will be some consolation when Heyward blossoms into an MVP contender with some other team, well after the very, very small window for the Braves to compete with him has closed tight.

  30. When I start to panic about a streak like this, I just look back at the late 80’s when our ‘ace’ was Rick Mahler and I relax just a bit.

    I don’t know if this team as constructed can contend, but it IS possible. I knew that Gerald Perry, Terry Harper, Zane Smith, et al were never going to contend.

    So there, now all you young punks get off my lawn!

  31. @40,

    That’s a good point. Heyward is a perfectly serviceable player with significant power and (overall) a fine right fielder. But he obviously isn’t the player the Braves were hoping for, especially when you look at guys like Stanton, who is a monster. Maybe the expectations were unfair. I don’t know whether it’s a case of the Braves overhyping their prospects in general or injuries. But it’s happened a lot. And, obviously, the Braves have not been in positon to draft the Strasburgs or Harpers or Stantons.

  32. I just said the first guy in the tandem was overly hyped. IIRC, both Heyward and Francoeur were on the cover of SI. I was not trying to make a direct comparison between Heyward and Francoeur (I think Heyward is far superior); I was only trying to draw a comparison between the pairs of players and how it seems to have played out so far: first guy gets the hype but disappoints while second guy is hardly mentioned but performs.

  33. @48

    I think it’s a matter of wishcasting, both internally (in the org) and externally (in the fan base.) Everyone and their mother *knows* the Braves don’t need a perfectly serviceable young outfielder who may grow into an MVP candidate one of these years. The Braves need someone to replace Chipper Jones. *Now.* And every day Jason Heyward fails to be that guy is a day Jason Heyward fails to live up to expectations, fair or not.

  34. You know, Sam, sometimes you make sense (and it’s scary). This team needs a superstar.

    The team that I think provides the best case scenario comp to this year’s Braves would be the 2005 White Sox. Didn’t have one real superstar performance (although Konerko was aces) but built a winner around 3 things:
    1) Solid, good-not-great starting pitching. Essentially had four #2’s.

    2) Health. Position players and starters (4 guys with 200+ innings) avoided big injuries.

    3) They owned their division. Beat some pretty good Indians and Twins teams and feasted on the division’s dregs. This probably had the most to do with beating their pythag by 8 games.

    To me, this Braves team would need to follow this model to win. So far, they are 0-for-3, but still time to turn it around.

  35. @48,

    That’s a great point, Sam. The Braves are trying to survive by relying on young players while ostensibly still trying to win. The fact is, the Braves are trying to win only within the parameters that Liberty has stuck them with. If it’s a matter of winning vs. saving payroll, saving payroll wins out. The Braves aren’t going to spend money to bring in an established player-other than temporary rentals like Teixera and Bourn- so they have to rely on young, cheap players and sell the fan base on the idea that these guys are going to be great players. Same with the pitching; they got sort of burned with Lowe so they are trumpeting these pitching prospects who, while they might be really good some day, aren’t really what you need right now to compete for a championship.

  36. My expectation level, fair or not, is that Heyward is the next Andruw Jones. So far he’s not. Comparing him to the best CF I’ve ever seen is probably irrational, but it’s players like Andruw Jones that took the Braves to the playoffs and World Series on a regular basis. You need at least one or two players like that, imo, rather than the collection of “pretty good” guys that we have right now. Our best teams had Chipper and Andruw both near their peaks. We’re very far removed from that now, imo.

  37. I agree with Sam. I’m not worried about Heyward. In fact, I think he might be our CF next year.

    His numbers in center would look a lot better

  38. Heyward in CF and Josh Hamilton in RF would balm a lot of concerns. (You could make the money work if you spun it hard enough.)

  39. @51: if I recall correctly, the 2005 White Sox had amazing starting pitching, and were getting flukey-amazing relief pitching out of unexpected guys such as Neal Cotts and Bobby Jenks.

    That ain’t this year’s Atlanta Braves.

  40. RE: this year’s Atlanta Braves, the bottom line is if 1) Chipper Jones doesn’t play, 2) Brian McCann doesn’t hit, 3) Jason Heyward doesn’t hit, 4) Freddie Freeman’s eye is consumed by flesh eating bacteria, 5) the only starter who can reliably get out of fifth is the 37 year old with back issues, and 6) the shut-down pen regresses to mean from last year, this team *WILL NOT WIN.* Period. End of story. And there’s not much a manager will do about that one way or the other.

  41. @53

    Actually, so far he is more or less Andruw Jones. With the bat, anyway.

    Heyward OPS+ by season through age 22: 131,94,105 career, 114

    Andruw OPS+ by season through age 22: 80,93,116,114 career, 107

  42. @53,

    Andruw was important, but I think Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz, etc. had a lot more to do with the Braves winning than Andruw. If Andruw (circa say 1998) were on the team today, I don’t think the team would be much better.

  43. Andruw’s career dovetailed quite nicely with Javy Lopez’ career, as one of the “other guys” in the Braves order aside from Chipper. The problem with the late era Braves isn’t that they don’t have enough “other guys.” It’s that they don’t have *Chipper,* or someone who can replace him.

  44. Andruw’s peak was HOF worthy. It’s kinda short-changing him to lump him in with the “other guys” who were complimentary “nice pieces” alongside of Chipper. But to add to @61, not only do we not have a Chipper-level replacement, our “other” guys aren’t even close to doing what good-Andruw and good-Javy were capable of.

    @58, Andruw’s 3rd season was pretty darn good, 30+ HRs and a decent OPS. Heyward is not on that pace so far.

  45. In their stronger years the Braves would have a couple of players cracking 900 OPS. Some years it was Andres Galarraga or Javy Lopez. Some years it was Andruw or Gary Sheffield or J.D. Drew. One year it was even Brian McCann.

    Every year, it was Chipper.

    There are a couple of guys on this team who can put together 900ish OPS seasons in onesie-twosie fashion, and a few more who can provide the 100-120 OPS+ in support as well, but without a player of Chipper’s caliber to provide the backbone onto which the standout years and supporting players glom onto, the offense will continue to be feast or famine as it has been for the last couple of years.

    Chipper is 40 damned years old. Some of the kids need to have stepped up and become someone for *him* to support by this point, and they haven’t. And now we don’t even have the starting pitching to cover up that fact any more.

  46. I just realized that the Braves haven’t won since I launched my magazine. It’s not Alex or Stu’s fault, it’s mine!

  47. Can’t do this b/c I am on the road (I have been fortunate to miss every game since the Rays series.), but how are Heyward’s batted ball stats?

    I looked a little over a week ago and his LD% was way up and his GB% was down, with his BB% up and his K% down a little. It looked like he was striking the ball better than his rookie year with good plate discipline peripherals. His BABIP was very low though.

    I think people may be little too focused on batting average over a partial season.

  48. Stupefaction – the Fredi Reaction.

    I’m pretty sure it’s what you don’t see that defines a good manager and you don’t see good managers allowing their teams to fall and stay in a roadside ditch for extended periods of time on multiple occassions.

    My guess is Wren wasn’t thrilled with Bobby’s choice of Fredi but couldn’t (or wouldn’t) say anything and is drumming his fingers near the EJECT button at this very moment.

  49. @66 Thanks for the link Alex.
    Some days I wonder where the rumors originate. Ther was taklk of Youklis above. Can anybody find more on that?

    I mean, anyone can sit and look at last place teams and speculate. (Yeah, Dempster can still pitch and that sounds like something Wren might try. Or, Soriano, maybe, but he drives me crazy in fantasy leagues).

    It’s such a pleasure (mixed) to see what you posted.

  50. Fredi tells DOB “but the one thing we’re doing, you see our team playing hard…”

    Well, sorry Fredi, that’s precisely the one thing I’m NOT seeing. Too many base running and fielding errors — too much nonchalance in general to get that judgment.

  51. @72

    That’s just observational bias on your part. Many of the errors are made *because* the players are trying to hard, pressing, rushing throws, etc. You assign it to “nonchalance” because the outcomes are bad, not because they are indicative of a lack of trying in and of themselves.

  52. I didn’t mean to compare Heyward to Francoeur in terms of skills. What I was referring to is two highly regarded right field prospects who came up with the Braves and enjoyed very good rookie seasons only to slip considerably thereafter. It took Jeffy a few years to regain any offensive value. I sure hope that doesn’t happen to JHey. I like him and root for him every day.

    If it does take a few years he probably won’t be in Atlanta when it happens.

  53. @70
    The only news that came out about Youkilis was the Braves were scouting him on his AAA rehab assignment.

    Bowman has suspicion that big changes could be coming for Atlanta: 1. Simmons up to the Majors
    2. Medlen to the Minors to stretch out for starting.

  54. posted at AJC…cant verify

    Mark Bowman ‏@mlbbowman
    Braves have optioned Medlen to Gwinnett and recalled Jose Constanza. Medlen will make 2-3 starts before joining ATL rotation

  55. cant verify this also.

    Atlanta Braves ‏@Braves
    Tonight’s lineup vs. STL (7:10, SPSO/680AM/BRN): Bourn 8 Prado 5 McCann 2 Uggla 4 Hinske 3 Heyward 9 Pastornicky 6 Delgado 1 Constanza 7

  56. Before the wailing and gnashing of teeth commences, a question or two:

    1) How well has Constanza been playing at AAA?

    2) Is it better or worse to have Juan Francisco’s bat and glove at 3B, or Prado’s glove at 3B and Constanza’s bat and glove in LF?

  57. Gondee at TC says Constanza has been struggling of late, for the record.

  58. He’s hitting .288/.363/.381 at Gwinnett this year. He hit .312/.361/.351 at Gwinnett last year.

    Actually, I don’t hate the move. With Chipper on the DL, Prado needs to be at third base, and I don’t think Constanza’s glove is necessarily worse than Eric Hinske or Matt Diaz’s bat. He shouldn’t suck up all the starts, but I don’t mind if he gets a few, as long as he doesn’t Wally Pipp Heyward again.

  59. I would guess that we’ll play short 1 bullpen arm for a few games until McCann and Ross are fully recovered. When they get better I bet we’ll send Boscan down and call up Gearrin or Carlyle. Anyone have other thoughts, or is this the plan?

  60. @73,

    Absolutely agree. People are looking to pin everything short of global warming on Fredi. Teams go through slumps; as I recall, both the 10 game losing streak in 2006 and the 9 game losing streak in 2010 were on Bobby’s watch. Fredi is no John McGraw but, IMO, the big difference between Bobby and Fredi is that Bobby had much better players. When he didn’t, Bobby didn’t win either.

    The fact is, losing streaks build on themselves because players start pressing, not because they aren’t trying. They probably care too much. Pastornicky’s mental errors occurred because he was trying to do too much, not because he doesn’t care. Whenever a team is playing badly, they look flat and make mistakes and people say they aren’t trying. It’s not “nonchalance” that causes mistakes; if anything, teams play better when they are more relaxed.

  61. One quibble: Pastornicky’s “mental error” occurred because Dan Uggla dropped the damned ball.

  62. I’m not sure a straight platoon of Diaz and Constanza in LF isn’t the best option right now. Constanza can defend at least.

  63. @25 – @7 .. free Andrelton, Mejia, Constanza or one of the other OF’s at AAA that is hitting ..- Tad

    Im blaming you.

  64. @92,

    Well, I don’t think Uggla was expecting the ball and the throw was into the runner. I’m sure he assumed Pastornicky was going to first. I blame Pastornicky more than Uggla. It was the wrong play at that point.

  65. A complete list of the Gwinnett players with an OPS higher than Jose Constanza:

    Ernesto Mejia (1B)
    Stefan Gartrell (OF)
    Christian Marrero (1B/OF)
    Jordan Parraz (OF)
    Lance Zawadzki (SS)

    Not a very inspiring list, and I’m pretty sure that Constanza can out-defense all of them. Even if he wasn’t the best choice he was a defensible one.

    God, I miss Gregor Blanco so much more than I reasonably should.

  66. wants me to come visit them tomorrow to see if I want to work there. But I just started here in Boston. I don’t know what to do.

  67. @98 It’s the people/having no way to meet people that bothers me most, the city itself is fine. I feel like it’d be a pretty big jerk move to ditch my job this soon.

  68. Eliminating the non-OF options:

    Stefan Gartrell (OF) – Bats: Right, Throws: Right

    Christian Marrero (1B/OF) – Bats: Left, Throws: Left

    Jordan Parraz (OF) – Bats: Left, Throws: Left

    Gartrell is redundant to Matt Diaz, plus he K’s every third at bat in AAA. He’s not really an option to help the ML team.

    I would assume Marrero is a negative asset defensively, but all I have to go there is the 1B/OF split.

    No idea on what pushed Constanza ahead of Parraz.

  69. I for one would rather see Constanza than endure another game with Juan, soon to be in Gwinnet, Francisco. That guy sucks.
    At least the Braves are trying something.
    So once Medlen stretches out, does Minor or Delgado lose their spot?

  70. What I saw of Jordan Parraz in Spring Training didn’t impress me, though that doesn’t say much. He looked a lot like Joe Mather to me, which is to say a tall white guy who looks like he ought to have power but doesn’t.

    Then again, Mather has actually been useful for the Cubs this year, so what do I know?

  71. Francisco can’t be sent down, can he? I thought he was out of options.

    I really want a good defensive shortstop instead of Pastornicky.

  72. I’m not a big fan of Francisco, but outside of Prado, he may be our best hitter over the last 10 games. He’s 9 for 32 (.281) with 2 hrs and 6 rbi. Not great by any means, but still better than most anyone on the team. This is a pretty sad commentary!

  73. Adding to my point, batting averages over the last 10 games:
    Prado .333
    Francisco .281
    Diaz .238
    Uggla .207
    Heyward .188
    Pastornicky .172
    Bourne .171
    Ross .167
    Hinske .120

    This is pretty ugly!!

  74. Im assuming that another bad outing defensively from this crew might be enough to get Simmons a call up. Has there been a worse defensive infield ever over Fransisco/Pastornicky/Uggla/Hinkse?

  75. Yeah, I’m thinking Pastornicky gets the rest of May before the Braves make a change there. But I’m thinking if he doesn’t start hitting a change will be made.

  76. I don’t mind the Constanza move, either. They needed another bench player and he can add a pinch-runner and late defensive replacement. And he might hit some singles.

  77. Being the worst defensive SS in MLB and sporting a .289OBP = Not the best way to have a long career in the majors.

  78. He’d be cheaper than Wilson for sure. When is Gattis due back from the DL? Maybe it’s time to raid AA.

  79. 118- In Mississippi, maybe. He can’t hit for average, has no power, can’t field shortstop, and isn’t a good runner. Other than that, yeah, he’s a fine utility infielder.

  80. And it would definitely be Minor’s spot in the rotation Medlen would replace, barring any more injuries.

    Randall Delgado hasn’t been that bad. You’ll take a 4.50 ERA from a back of the rotation starter.

  81. Chip: “Fredi batted the pitcher 8th a lot last year!”

    No, Chip, you are wrong. It happened, what, 4 times?

  82. How long does it take to get from the TED to Gwinett? I think Pastornicky just bought a ticket.

  83. I have this horrible feeling that we’re stuck with Tyler all year no matter what. I really hope I’m wrong.

  84. 138- That’s grossly unfair to Lockhart. He was a competent fielder and could hit a little for a while.

  85. I will stuff Pastornicky into a locker and throw him off a boat before I suffer watching him do what he thinks of as playing baseball for much longer.

  86. Oh come on, AAR. Lockhart wasn’t brilliant, but he was Rogers Hornsby compared to Pastornicky. Lockhart only had one sub-replacement year as a Brave (-0.4 WAR in 2001, saith B-R). Also, Cox used him sensibly, usually as a benchie rather than as an unprepared starter.

  87. Isn’t WAR a counting stat? So Pastornicky’s will get worse the more he plays.

  88. It really, really doesn’t make sense to use WAR to assess a guy who has been a starting player for two months.

    Keith Lockhart was a below-average above-replacement player whom Bobby Cox leaned on way, way too much for years. Tyler Pastornicky is an overmatched rookie who has been a starter for all of two months. No, Keith Lockhart never had a full season this bad, but neither has Tyler — and I’m pretty sure that Lockhart had some godawful months, because I was alive then.

    I think Tyler should probably be back in the minors and I’m about 48 hours from saying that Andrelton should be the starter, but I’m not about to say that Tyler’s worse than Keith Lockhart.


  89. Like the sarcastic-sounding way in which Ross called Simpson and Caray’s broadcast “entertaining.”

  90. Pastornicky doesn’t have the reflexes to play in or the arm to play deep in the hole.

  91. Tyler’s consistent, you gotta agree. Equally skilled in every facet of the game!

  92. Pastornicky didn’t look this hopelessly inept when he first came up. I would wager that he has lost his confidence — which would be unsurprising, considering that we have lost confidence in him, too, and he has plenty of good reason to have lost confidence in himself. He doesn’t just have to contend with the fact that he has fringe-average tools. He also has to deal with the mental.

    And now Delgado is back to that thing where he can’t find the strike zone. Sigh.

  93. What’s the opposite of silencing your critics? Amplifying? Pastornicky is amplifying.

  94. This is random…but it’s really cool how Martin Prado was never much of a prospect and how he has become an All-Star caliber player.

  95. 214 — Let’s hope so. With Hudson pitching tomorrow at least he’ll be out for sure.

  96. Tim Hudson is the only pitcher in history to have his own personal shortstop

    Good work Durbin

  97. @219 Very true. He was also a guy who was clearly meant to be a bench player, like Tyler. Hell, is Tyler even good enough to be a bench player?

  98. @231

    That is why he isn’t an everyday player. Same with Ross, they are expsoed after 4-5 games.

  99. One-pitch groundout. Gee, every time I think I’m being a bit rough on Tyler, he convinces me that I’m being too nice.

  100. Pastornicky grounds out on the first pitch again. It’s not just that he’s 0-3, it’s that he’s 0-3 while having seen a grand total of seven pitches, five of which came during a strikeout in the fourth inning.

  101. He’s Jon Venters, yes, Jonny Venters

    He makes every game a whole new adventure

    So won’t the real Jon Venters please show up, please show up, please show up?

    He’s Jon Venters, yes, Jonny Venters

    He might be hurt, at least so I’d venture

    So won’t the real Jon Venters please show up, please show up, please show up?

  102. Venters will get two quick outs and the fun will start

    What’s next, Nostradamus?

  103. These have all been groundballs that have found holes, if that’s any consolation.

  104. If we possition our SS and 2B up the middle when Venter’s pitches, we might be better off.

  105. And next it’ll be time for our closer, What’s His Face. You know, that guy we used when this team was good.

  106. What’s worse- Chip guessing Kent Mercker as the last Brave to have 200 Ks in a season, or Chip guessing Larry Walker as the last Cardinal to have 30 SB in a season?

  107. Guessing Walker is pretty damn bad though, seeing as how he was a Cardinal only in the last leg of his career.

  108. 100 MPH. Still gotta love that speed. Control needs a bit of polish, but Craig’s still not yet what he’ll become.

  109. Forgot about Chuck Brown. That guy was a pioneer, for sure. And yet, most people wouldn’t know a Go-Go tune if it bit them. Which it might.

  110. Oh man, I was in DC when it happened, literally and metaphorically. Great thing to see in it’s day.

  111. I’ll bet. Wow. It’s like DC made ‘Nawlins funk even nastier. Must have been amazing.

  112. So apparently they are not going to go all season without winning another game. So that’s good.

  113. Bullpen ERAs over their last 10 games are below. Since Kimbrel has only pitched 3 of the last 10 games, it’s realistic to say that Durbin has been our most effective righty during that time span. He has actually not allowed an earned run in his last 9 appearances.

    Combine the performances below with our hitting woes and it’s not hard to understand why we lost 8 in a row. Add some very bad starting pitching and it’s been painful. Of course, I don’t need to remind you guys!

    O’Flaherty 1.08
    Kimbrel 2.70
    Durbin 3.52
    Hernandez 3.95
    Martinez 4.40
    Medlen 4.63
    Venters 5.63

  114. I’ve been assured by people who know that Chad Durbin can’t possibly be useful.

  115. An item for Ripley’s, the hit Durbin allowed tonight was his first in 8 outings. He has now allowed only 1 hit and no earned runs in 6 and 1/3 innings (9 appearances).

  116. @298 Really, that’s what people said? Cause all I remember was people saying that Durbin was sucking, which he was, and therefore shouldn’t be used in situations where you need someone who doesn’t suck.

    Now that he’s proven himself not to suck all the time, you can certainly say he’s earned more responsibility. But that hardly requires use of such a snarky strawman.

  117. If one never followed the Braves or baseball this year, and read Sam’s posts here, they’d probably think that Durbin was pitching lights-out and people were still irrationally bashing him. Instead of what was actually happening.

  118. Reading this thread…I feel pretty bad for Tyler Pastornicky.

    But, Free Andrelton.

  119. This game just shows the importance of starting pitching. The Braves didn’t do all that much after the early innings, but a bad outing by Westbrook put the Cardinals in the hole and the Braves hang on. If the Braves’ starting pitching had been better, they could have won at least a couple of the games they lost. In the 90s, that often happened; team would struggle but being able to throw out Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz meant that they would still win some games even when not playing well overall. Fredi doesn’t have that luxury other than maybe Hudson when he is healthy. It’s amazing how having three Hall of Fame caliber pitchers can make the game a lot easier.

  120. @303 – Andrelton is doing pretty well in AA, current slash line is .299/.380/.431 with a reasonable .318 BABIP. He’s developing more power – ISO up to .132 from .097 last year and .079 in ’10 – and still walks more than he strikes out. Moreover, after 26 SB / 18 CS last year, he’s at 10 SB / 2 CS this year. All in all, solid improvement across the board.

    I’m guessing the Braves will want to keep Andrelton down a little while longer so he misses the cutoff for Super 2 eligibility. The CBA changes made it slightly easier to qualify for Super 2 status, so the Braves would probably have to keep Andrelton in the minors for another month or so to be safe.

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