Braves 5, Cardinals 4

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 29, 2012 – ESPN.

At long last, the Braves won. Barely, and only after almost blowing a four-run lead. Randall Delgado, who has so often suffered from lack of support, got the win.

The Braves took the lead in the first on a leadoff homer from Michael Bourn. They got a real lead in the third, when Dan Uggla hit a three-run homer, the sort of thing that the Braves haven’t been getting lately.

Delgado let the first three on in the fourth, and two of them scored to cut it to 4-2. In the fifth, Jose Constanza (hitting ninth, with Delgado hitting eighth) scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch, but the Braves couldn’t get a hit to get any more runs.

Delgado allowed a solo homer in the sixth, then gave way to Chad Durbin, because it was a close game. Jonny Venters had another rough outing in the seventh, allowing three singles and one run to make it 5-4. But Eric O’Flaherty, now apparently the eighth-inning man, and Craig Kimbrel had no problems in their innings.

189 thoughts on “Braves 5, Cardinals 4”

  1. Venters had two ground balls up the middle which, if played, would have probably gotten him out of the inning unscathed. He actually seemed to be pitching a tiny bit better than recent outings. Granted, he was wild at times, but at least he was inducing some grounders. Uggla almost got to one of the ones up the middle. We need some infielders with a tad bit more range or better defensive positioning (or maybe both). Still, when Venters walked off the field at the end of the inning he looked beaten down; he appears to have lost a lot of confidence and that can’t be good for him or the team.

  2. Both of the grounders were solidly hit. Not what you’d call a “seeing eye grounder”. He’s been doing that a lot this whole year, actually, giving up sharply hit grounders. And this IF just doesn’t do well with sharply hit grounders.

  3. “What’s the latest on Freeman’s eye(s)?”

    Still dry and cant wear contacts. His oakleys are suppose to come in today and he has another pair of under armour glasses coming in friday. Its up in the air if he will be able to play tonight.

  4. @7: he always has blinked a lot at the plate. I was watching his ABs from his ML debut and he was blinking and generally looking uncomfortable with his eyes.

  5. What the hell’s wrong with Wren, drafting players with bad eyes? There should be a blanket policy-don’t draft guys that can’t see. Francouer never had problems with his eyes.

  6. Alex Gordon is apparently back on the trading block according to Rotoworld…any chance Wren gets in on that action?

  7. #11 – Probably not.

    Alex Gordon lf
    4 years/$37.5M (2012-15), plus 2016 option

    ■4 years/$37.5M (2012-15), plus 2016 player option
    ■signed extension with Kansas City 3/30/12, replacing 1 year/$4.775M deal signed 2/9/12, avoiding arbitration, $5.45M-$4.15M
    ■12:$6M, 13:$9M, 14:$10M, 15:$12.5M, 16:$12.5M player option

  8. I guess its easier to say that Id rather be paying Bourn $10-12 mil per year over Alex Gordon.

  9. I don’t see us meeting Boras’ asking price for Bourn. I am very intrigued by Gordon, especially since he came up as a 3rd baseman and Terdo is hitting sub 200 in AAA

  10. #19 – I agree. He has had one great season and one good one.

    Has anyone heard how Gattis is doing?

  11. Hawk Harrelson is going absolutely *ballistic* on the air, yelling at the home plate ump, for tossing ‘his’ pitcher. I think he (Hawk) is actually right – the pitch was low and just seemed to get away from him, and ended up going behind the batter. Apparently a White Sock(?) was hit last inning but no warning was issued.

    All that to say, I’ve never heard an announcer just lose it and go crazy about an umpire like that. As bad as he thinks the ump is, he’s even worse at his own job, and doesn’t even know it.

  12. @13 – I agree, but it’s gonna cost more than $10 – $12 million/year to keep Michael Bourn.

  13. Yes, we used to have Escobar. And Gonzalez (still have one). And Johnson. And Constanza.

  14. All that to say, I’ve never heard an announcer just lose it and go crazy about an umpire like that.

    Skip went on a couple of great “Who does he think he is?” umpire rants. Wish I could remember the games.

  15. Someone on the Royals-Indians broadcast just said Jeff Francoeur is “one of the best athletes in baseball” and “he could be playing in the NFL every Sunday if he had wanted to.”

    -_-

  16. Hawk Harrelson is, I think, definitively worse than Chip. And that’s saying something. Both are unlistenable, but whereas Chip comes across to me as pathetic, Harrelson is straight up detestable.

  17. After those games, I was pretty sulky in mood myself.

    (At least, I had the Devils through all this Braves mess.)

  18. @31 I disagree. Hawk is a huge homer which probably does turn off most Sox fans, however, he has his moments where he’s actually pretty sharp.
    If Hawk was a Braves announcer we would probably tolerate him whereas I don’t think we’ve ever really tolerated Chip. He’s just not good at what he does.

  19. Chip was on when I jumped into the middle of a broadcast. He is so bad, when he mentioned the game being at Turner Field, I actually scanned the screen to make sure he hadn’t messed up.

  20. Skip really hated JB Bucknor. He rarely missed an opportunity for a jab. The thing is, Skip would also admit when the Braves got a break and in both cases he didn’t harp on it throughout the game. Same can’t be said for Hawk.

  21. Excuse me folks, Freeman is playing.

    Bourn
    Prado
    Bmac
    Uggla
    Freeman
    Heyward
    Constanza
    Wilson
    Hudson

    I guess thats the best we can do defensively at this point.

  22. I’m willing to admit I don’t listen to Hawk enough to have an informed opinion. But that’s because I’ve never been able to make myself listen long enough to hear anything insightful.

    I caught a game where Buerhle was wrongly determined to have balked a couple times, and Hawk was completely beside himself. It was embarrassing. I had to mute it. I’ve also heard him proclaim Alexei Ramirez the best shortstop in baseball at times when it wasn’t remotely true, no matter the sample size he could’ve built his case around.

    That’s not to say anything positive about Chip. I agree. Being an idiot and trying too hard isn’t a good combination of traits for a broadcaster.

  23. Hawk Harrelson is the worst sort of homer there is in the broadcast booth, his venom towards umpires and opposing pitchers has kept him from serious consideration as a broadcast Hall of Famer (he’s got motre than enough years in the booth to be enshrined, if he wasn’t such a douche); even the excellent Steve Stone can’t calm him down very much. In the Tampa Bay series, Stone was replaced by Tom “Wimpy” Paciorek, who has always been intimidated by Harrelson and does nothing to temper his excesses. On the other hand, Hawk does know baseball and, when he’s not on a rant or throwing out one of his stupid “tag lines,” he can be entertaining and informative–when you catch him in a rain delay for example, talking about hitting or his experiences as a player, especially good at stories about Ted Williams.

    Chip Carey and his partner on TV, while not obnoxious like Harrelson, never say anything that any semi-knowledgable fan wouldn’t already know. Chip, despite the blood line, is a complete cipher when it comes to analysis of the game. It’s not his fault; he just doesn’t get it. What is surprizing is his lack of personality, given his father and especially his grandfather. Simpson, who is supposed to be the expert, also seems deficient. If he couldn’t praise hitting to the opposite field, he’d have nothing to say at all. It would be good if the Braves would return to the musical chairs system of broadcasting. Sutton and Powell (despite the latter’s uncanny voal resemblance to his former partner, Bob Uecker) are terrific on the radio. Acouple of games for each on them on television per week would not only make a more enjoyable and informative broadcast, but might help the ratings–not that that matters given the Braves’ give-away TV contract.

  24. I’m dating myself but I always liked Milo Hamilton and Ernie Johnson. Ernie was just the right antidote to Hamilton’s arrogance, but I do think Hamilton was a very good announcer.

  25. Joe says insightful stuff all the time, including about hitting. He gets overly excited about opposite-field hitting, sure. But you know, going with the pitch is a successful strategy a lot of the time….

  26. @46, He still is. This is his final year withthe Astros.

    Interstingly, there’s no love lost between Milo and the Carey family. Milo was in line to become the number one broadcaster for the Cubs when Jack Brickhouse (an awful, but long running broadcaster in Chicago) retired. Instead, the Cubs hired Harry Carey, who with Jimmy Piersall, had revoloutionized play-by-play broadcasting while with the White Sox, and bumped Milo back to second fiddle. He hated it, and the fued between Hamilton and Harry Carey spilled over to, at least, the Carey family. It must have really burned him when Chip was hired to succeed his grandfather in the Cubs booth and, when Harry died, either that year on the next, Chip became the number one voice in the Cubs’ national broadcast team, while Milo remained with the samll time Astros.

    Chip remained the number one Cubs broadcaster until a players’ revolt forced him and Steve Stone to lose their jobs. That’s another story.

  27. I dont mind Joe Simpson. Maybe Im just relieved to hear his voice over Chip Caray.

  28. Don Sutton is a treasure and is being hid on the radio. Him and Jim Powell are great.

  29. If any of you are responsible for the DOBoner twitter account, very, very well done.

  30. I like Joe Simpson just fine. He gets hell for the “go the other way” thing, but it’s a pretty stupid complaint. Nobody thinks singles to the opposite field are somehow inherently better than singles to the pull field. He’s just saying that a willingness to put an outside pitch in to the opposite field makes it tougher to pitch to you.

    I do find it irritating how he dismisses “advanced” metrics, except when, you know, he, uses them.

    But he does say insightful things. He’s not the best around, but he’s a familiar voice, so I’d keep him around.

  31. Completely off-topic, but… is there any kind of information on things like when a spot in the batting order is likely to hit in the game?

    Because when Fredi tried the ‘hit-the-pitcher-eighth’ thing last year, I remarked to my dad that “Well, it does seem like the pitcher leads off the third inning an awful lot. Maybe clearing him one batter earlier will help.’

    Probably just confirmation bias, but our 8th-hitting pitcher made third-outs in his first two plate appearances last night, leaving the Constanza, in the 9 spot, to lead off the next inning. Westbrook, batting 9th, did lead off once, and made the final out of an inning, only after the 8th place hitter was intentionally walked to get to him….

    Is the single most likely place for the pitcher to make his first plate appearance leading off the 3rd?

  32. My guess would be that the #1 spot would be the most likely to lead off the third inning, since that would mean 3 of the previous 9 hitters reached base, for a .333 OBP.

  33. @49 If I remember correctly, Stone’s and Caray’s criticisms of the terribly underachieving 2004 Cubs team, and Dusty Baker’s on and off-field managing of the team, became an every day thing. The television was always on in the clubhouse and the players really got fed up with the constant jabs from the booth. (What made it worse, was that Stone’s criticisms were invariabley correct and, more often than not, predictive rather than second guessing. For example, he’d complain about a type of pitch or Baker’s managerial decision BEFORE it was made and turn out to be right. Stone is still uncanny that way, to the chagrin on the less than prescient Hawk Harrelson.)

    So, the Cubs players, ex-Brave Kent Mercker comes to mind, began complaining to the press and management–as well as calling the broadcast booth–about what they perceived as unfair criticism. There were efforts made to ban Chip and Stone from the team’s charter planes. Moises Alou supposedly went after Stone either in the clubhouse or a hotel lobby, I don’t remember which. Chip got in trouble for praising opposing playersmore than members of the Cubs.

    At the end of the season, Stone allegedly turned down a contract extension and Chip left his job, one of the best in the business, with no replacement position secure. The press reported the departures as “voluntary,” but most thought not.

  34. Joe’s fine. Don’s fine. Ernie Johnson was the best, with Pete and Skip being in Ernie’s neighborhood.

    Milo Hamilton I never learned to love or even like.

  35. Simpson was a lot better when he was paired with Sciambi. Caray seemingly brings out the worst in Simpson.

  36. A three run first ought to set Huddy up for the night. It’s good to have Freddie back.

  37. I think I’ll name my next virus on the “Plague, Inc.” game “Pastornicky.” Highly contagious.

  38. I don’t get the Venters’s move. I think Wilson is overrated with the glove too.

  39. Well, I wouldn’t say great. Maybe more like “Best possible outcome, Georgie!”

  40. This will probably be the only time I’ll ever say this, but I feel sorry for Fredi.

  41. Doth mine own eyes deceive me or are the Mariners really beating the Rangers 17-0 through 4? Know what’s crazy? The Rangers could still come back.

  42. @148 In addition to being emotional and reactionary, I can see into the future.

    Good to get the win, no matter how ugly.

  43. Here are some shortstops on bad teams that could be targets come deadline:
    Jed Lowrie
    Alcides Escobar
    Starlin Castro
    Brendan Ryan

  44. 153: I have to feel like Castro is basically untouchable for the Cubs. Theo’s trying to rebuild a franchise over there, and a young, cost-controlled shortstop with a solid bat is a piece to build around, not to ship off.

  45. @157

    He may need more time in the minors — question is, do we need what he can do right now more than he needs said time?

  46. @160 I’m starting to think we need his defense too much to hold off any longer. Neither option is acceptable defensively or with the bat.

  47. Age, which gets us all in the end, has slowed his bat and his legs. He’s 34, never walked much, and had good doubles/ triples power that has also atrophied.

    It’s now 17-5, Seattle. Crazier things have happened.

  48. Well, good for the Braves. They are trying to fix the most glaring problem on the team first. It sucks we’ll have to wait until Friday to see Andrelton in action.

  49. In a strange turn of events, with Prado at 3rd, Constanza in left, and Simmons at SS, this team will probably now have + defense.

  50. Pastornicky’s year has been eerily similar to Schafer’s first year. Largely untested rookies who were given the starting job despite not being ready, both had their good moments, both were sent down at the end of May, and their offensive stats are almost identical. Maybe in two years Tyler will be traded along with 3 OK pitching prospects for like Starlin Castro or something.

  51. Things are going to start happening to the Braves pitching staff’s ERA/xFIP gap now.

    (Sorry.)

  52. I think Wilson’s ineptness with the glove is as much responsible for the callup as Pastornicky’s. If Wilson was playing a great SS, I think the Braves might have waited a bit.

    Early on, I was against bringing up Simmons, but given his success at AA and the just god-awful defensive showing we’ve seen from SS these past few weeks, I’m 100% okay with this move, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the kid can do.

  53. “It’s disappointing,” Pastornicky said. “I haven’t played my best defensively. It’s been kind of a grind. Even in Spring Training, I wasn’t where I wanted to be defensively. It’s kind of tough. Once you get that knock on you that you’re a bad defensive player, it doesn’t really matter what you do out there. You’re always going to have that against you.”

    If it wasn’t for the rumors from all the naysayers around here, he’d be a much better defender.

  54. @183 – Well, in his (ahem) defense, you don’t really shake it. Defense is all reputation.

    And, more to what he means to say, he does look like it’s gotten in to his head. He has always had below average range, but now he’s trying too hard to be too perfect, and it’s piling up on him.

    With some more walks or some more power, he’d have a career as a 2B (CF???) somewhere. He may hit .300 if given an extended chance. But I don’t know if he’ll get it. Certainly not here.

  55. Fixed.

    Mravery, this is exactly how I feel.

    Early on, I was against bringing up Simmons, but given his success at AA and the just god-awful defensive showing we’ve seen from SS these past few weeks, I’m 100% okay with this move, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the kid can do.

    Now.. here’s hoping we didn’t just replace one kid who wasn’t ready for prime time with another kid who isn’t ready for prime time, because there ain’t any more major-league ready shortstops down on the farm.

  56. @186 We can always move Chipper back to shortstop!!! That guy deserves to retire by returning to his original position!!!

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