Braves 12, Phillies 6

Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Box Score – August 08, 2012 – ESPN.

Maybe Tim Hudson should concentrate on offense. In the second inning, he had what looked like the big hit in the game — a two-run double to break up a 1-1 tie, following which he scored on a Martin Prado single. Michael Bourn‘s two-run homer in the fourth seemingly put the game away at 6-1 — Hudson is well-known for always winning when he gets that many runs. (Of course, so would almost any decent pitcher.) But in the fifth, he had an old-fashioned episode, and by the time Fredi got him out of there Ryan Howard‘s three-run homer had tied the game.

It stayed even to the seventh, when Dan Uggla had the actual big hit of the game, a bases-clearing double. (This time it was Freddie Freeman who scored from first. Everybody’s doing it! Well, not Brian McCann.) Uggla then scored on an error to make it 10-6. In the eighth, Bourn doubled in Tyler Pastornicky, then scored on Freeman’s groundout to make it 12-6.

Excellent work from the bullpen in 4 2/3 innings; everyone but Cristhian Martinez got a turn. Collectively, they struck out six, walked one, and allowed one hit (off of Eric O’Flaherty). Chad Durbin got the win. As usual, Craig Kimbrel was the best — nine pitches, eight strikes, two strikeouts.

154 thoughts on “Braves 12, Phillies 6”

  1. We should expect the Nationals to win every game for the rest of the season, as no one really seems to have any interest in beating them on the baseball field.

  2. I think our Bravos are just going to have to step up and take 5 out of 6 in the games left with the Natspos.

  3. @1

    Well, they actually kind of struggled with the Colt 42’s (is that what we are calling them now?)

    It could be nothing, but they go to Arizona this weekend. The DBacks are much better than Houston. But then again, so is Sam Houston State.

  4. If fWAR is to be believed, we have three of the 30 best position players in baseball in our outfield.

  5. Nats and Braves are both beating teams that they should be beating. I have to believe these are the best two teams in the NL. Hopefully we can pick up a few games and catch them, but I cant keep thinking about the last 4 game series where we gave up the lead in the 3rd game and trotted out JJ to start the 4th.

  6. @5

    I agree. If we take those last two game, I think they would have gone in a tailspin. We had a chance to land a big blow and didn’t.

    I blame Fredi

  7. 6—Yep, that’s why I said, “if.” Alfonso Soriano’s defensive numbers this year are enough reason, alone, to be skeptical.

  8. I wont put all the blame on Fredi, but Fredi/Wren do deserve some blame on not getting Medlen in the rotation right after getting him stretched out in Gwinnett. He may not have won every game, but we wouldve gotten better innings from him.

  9. Or at least kept Delgado in the rotation over JJ. JJ’s performance in Atl and Gwinnett didnt warrant more starts from him over Delgado or Medlen.

  10. Left fielder defensive numbers are particularly useless for some reason. I don’t really know why, but I suspect it has something to do with LF being populated by some of the worst position player athletes, creating a skewed range of results. Since the other positions have mostly weeded out the worst fielders (and dumped them in LF), what you have left is a narrower and more consistently reliable data set.

    And so, a team that can put Martin Prado in LF does gain a real advantage — but stats like fWAR want to describe that advantage as being solely a reflection of player skill, without regard to roster strategy. Anyway, that’s my theory, and I’ve spent too much time thinking about it.

  11. Hopefully the Nats come down to Earth a bit in the last 50 games because does anyone want a one game playoff against the Cardinals?

    I didn’t think so…

  12. I think sending Medlin down hurt the bullpen, then we didn’t use him as a starter, so that time was kind of wasted.

  13. I’m assuming the Cardinals are going to go on a tear towards the end and will be the team to beat. They have the best run differential by far.

    I’m just hoping we can get the other WC spot ahead of the Pirates/Dodgers/etc. We’ve played really well for a good stretch, and I think we’re due for a bad week or two.

  14. Either that, or the Cardinals will stop having such an amazing run differential, because they’re currently getting out-of-their-minds performances from Kyle Lohse, Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, Yadi Molina, Allen Craig, David Freese, Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, and Skip Schumaker.

  15. Well if you’re going to go by what could’ve happened in the last Wash series then we had no business winning the first game of the series when we were down 9-0 to Strasburg. Would’ve loved to take 3 of 4, but after the start to that first game I’d say we were lucky to leave town with a split.

    This seems like a weird year in the NL. I may be remembering wrong, but it seems in years past you could hover around .500 and still be in the thick of the wildcard race and that was when there was only one wildcard. This year, we’re 17 games over .500 and even with the extra wildcard it feels as if we can’t ever lose or we’ll be staring up at STL and Pit.

  16. The fact that the Pirates are coming out of nowhere to have an amazing year has to be especially galling to Royals fans.

    Not least because, as Rany Jazayerli pointed out, the Pirates got James McDonald in a trade for Octavio Dotel. When the Royals traded Octavio Dotel, they got… Kyle Davies.

    I am deliriously happy for Pirates fans. I’ve always liked Pittsburgh. The food’s terrible for you but tastes good, the beer is cold, and the people are the salt of the earth. It’s a city that punches above its weight.

  17. Don’t get me wrong I think Pittsburgh is a great story, it just seems there is not as much mediocrity in the NL as there has been in recent years.

  18. So no R.A. Dickey in the Mets series. Good for us. He’s beating the Marlins easily right now.

  19. @23 you’re right, 2 out of his 3 losses this season came against the Braves. This season, in 2 games against the Braves, Dickey gave up more than 25% of his runs!

  20. A Nats/Bucs WC game would suit me just fine–say, Strasburg vs. Burnett.

    Of course, if it’s Atl/Pit, you’d have quite a different storyline. Frank Cabrera should expect a few phone calls.

  21. #27
    Maybe, but if they’ve got one game to win & he’s available on full rest…

    BTW, anybody going to the games in Flushing this weekend?

    If the rain stays away, will be there Saturday night (along with JonathanF). Intriguing match-up: Medlen vs. Santana.

  22. I was watching some ESPN game awhile back and one of the announcers mentioned that the Nats had unequivocally said that if they did shut Strasburg down, they would not crank him back up until the following year. Which I mention not so much to contradict #28 as to wonder at the implications- do the Nats have some sort of data that says an entire off-season’s worth of rest is required to get a young arm fully healed? I’m really curious if they’ve found something that they can actually measure biometrically and it shows that less than a full offseason’s rest is insufficient. Anybody heard anything about this, or am I just reading way too much into an ESPN comment?

  23. Bethany, FYI, North Carolina is a valley between two mountains of pride, Virginia and South Carolina.

  24. Speaking of questionable sources of pride, my sister’s company hosted some of their European clients last week and put them up at the Stone Mountain Inn. She said they were flummoxed at all the evidence of continuing preoccupation with a 150-year-old war….

  25. Columbia isn’t a bad place. I went to college at USC. It’s within relatively close driving distance of Charleston, the beautiful South Carolina beaches, and Atlanta.

  26. Thirty, hundred. hard to keep up. Either the Lutheran were taking out the Catholics or vice versa. Big tourist thing on the Romantic Road.

  27. Congrats Bethany. The opportunity to pick up and move to new places is the privilege of the young and unencumbered!

  28. Financial filing from Liberty Media:

    “The filing also disclosed the amount of money the Braves currently have committed to players and coaches in guaranteed long-term contracts beyond this season: $20 million in 2013, $13 million in 2014, $13 million in 2015 and $1 million thereafter.”

  29. #34: What an odd reaction to have. After doing a considerable amount of travel in Europe, I think it safe for me to say that they showcase a continuing preoccupation with wars considerably older than 150 years…and some even more recent than that.

    Congratulations on the job, Bethany. Columbia has its merits. A girlfriend and I had a really nice weekend there when she sang at an opera at USC. They got some cultcha there…

  30. Bethany,
    Please unpack your treadmill first!
    It’s going to be an anxious Septemberfor Braves’ fans.

    Go Braves!

  31. Speaking of questionable sources of pride, my sister’s company hosted some of their European clients last week and put them up at the Stone Mountain Inn. She said they were flummoxed at all the evidence of continuing preoccupation with a 150-year-old war….

    That makes zero sense. Europe is obsessed with plenty of long-over wars.

  32. Well, I wasn’t in the room, but the tone of the remembrance and their understanding of the nature of this particular conflict surely worked into their reaction. Don’t worry, they’ve all gone back home by now.

  33. “That makes zero sense. Europe is obsessed with plenty of long-over wars.”

    But, for some reason, not with their most recent war.

  34. Let’s face it: Stone Mountain (the “Confederate Mount Rushmore,” not the actual town) is pretty weird to some people. Probably more than anything, that massive monument marks an obsession to a long-over war—that, and all the Confederate memorials facing north.

    (Historian/author Shelby Foote said that the South’s lingering connection to the Civil War was simply explained like this: “You remember the battles you lost with much more clarity.”)

    Still, with modernity, the place began to mean different things to different people. To a lotta folks, like my mother who was from Connecticut, they saw Stone Mountain & imagined sinister things (like Klan rallies, which did happen there). Yet to Georgians of a certain age, especially 96-Rock radio listeners, they see it & think of laser-light shows playing “Dark Side of the Moon.”

    That’s a long way from Chickamauga.

  35. Non-scientific, Debbie Downer-styled prediction for tonight’s game: the Braves will struggle mightily against a pitcher they’ve never seen, Paul Maholm will pitch well enough to win but will won’t, and thus will begin to develop an identity as this year’s hard-luck loser on the Braves staff.

    Prove me wrong, Bravos . . .

  36. @55 – I would have given a 95% chance of this happening last year, but with our new pitching coaches I think we’re in better shape. My attitude has changed a little bit about pitching hitting coaches this year. Our new guys haven’t been able to stop Uggla’s slide, but overall I think they’ve had a significant impact on team OPS and our overall offensive numbers. Our approach with some pitchers (like Dickey) has been much better imo than in years past.

  37. Probably more than anything, that massive monument marks an obsession to a long-over war…

    So is all the stuff one can find in Massachusetts, things such as monuments and annual reenactments, about a war that ended 229 years ago just as “weird”? Or are only certain sides/wars allowed to be remembered?

  38. In my post @55, I meant to write, “Maholm will pitch well enough to win but won’t.” I didn’t say “will won’t” because I was trying to be ambiguous, the way John Lennon was when he sang in “Revolution” (the White Album version), “Don’t you know that you can count me out in.”

    Anyway, TD, I hope you’re right. But from what I’ve seen (which isn’t much, I admit), this Harvey kid is pretty good.

  39. @ 59, thanks Mac.

    I just saw where Braves had 2 strange minor league moves.

    1. Released Chris Masters. I remember somebody on here had coached him in Legion Ball and thought he was the real deal. He showed flashes, but never consistently got it together.

    2. Signed an NDFA as a high schooler. Anybody have any scoop on that? My susupicions are (a) he was a sudden bloomer Brandon Beachy type (and got a bigger bonus than lots of draftees) or (b) didn’t have college academics and took peanuts for a chance.

  40. #54: “You remember the battles you lost with much more clarity.”

    As with war, so also with baseball, at least for me–though I wish it were otherwise.

  41. BTW, for the past hour, it’s been raining like mad in Queens/Nassau.

    Tonight’s game will certainly test Citi Field’s drainage system.

  42. Gotta say, first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Stone Mountain is Birth of a Nation. Can’t blame anybody who gets a funny feeling about the place.

  43. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have brought it up. Ah well.

    That’s terrible news about the Honey Badger. I love watching that guy play. He’s really the quintessential LSU football player — sometimes brilliant, sometimes boneheaded, never boring.

  44. @65, whoa! Can’t imagine why he’d bother with FCS though. What’s he got left to prove? He’s not going to grow any taller and will just be risking injury. But I guess one has to stay active.

  45. Letting my freak flag fly, I guess, but if Honey Badger was kicked off for getting caught smoking pot three times, why not just stop testing for marijuana?

    Some will say, “Where do you draw the line?”

    You draw the line at marijuana.

  46. I think you could assemble a pretty good stoner squad if you get to start with Dyer, Crowell, Watkins and Mathieu.

  47. Lineup – Bourn CF, Prado LF, Heyward RF, Jones 3B, Freeman 1B, Uggla 2B, Ross C, Janish SS, Maholm LH

    Fredi to explain McCanns absence in 10minutes

  48. I find it rather amusing that people get so upset about college students smoking pot. How many of the college presidents, faculty, and parents smoked pot when they were in school? This is my generation. One semester I had a roommate who smoked pot every night and kept a towel under the door so that I couldn’t use the key to open the door. At UGA, I had another roommate who, every night, went out to smoke a joint before going to bed. I mean, how hypocritical do you have to be to be a football coach or school administrator?

  49. Why in the world would you blame the coaches and administrators when athletes are being handed an incredible opportunity and all they have to do is not screw up for a few years, years they are supposed to be spending working on their profession or school. I’ve got no sympathy for those who choose to do idiotic things instead. Doesn’t matter how commonplace it is, it’s still illegal and until that changes it should be punished.

  50. If anybody cares, Christian Bethancourt was hit in the wrist by a pitch last night and is now in a hard cast. Haven’t read if anythings broken, but probably safe to assume.

  51. And Brian McCann has shoulder pain, received a cortisone injection and that’s why a third consecutive day off. Good time to do it, with Ross catching Hudson followed by an off-day. Only missing one day he wouldn’t typically miss.

  52. @79, I don’t think blame is being placed as much as the athletes are being supervised and disciplined by a group tha almost assuredly participated in or witnessed similar behavior that resulted in few penalties during their own amateur days.

  53. I am all for players getting kicked off the team for smoking pot – especially LSU players. Come to think of it, I’m good with any good college football player not playing at Alabama getting kicked off the team. In all seriousness, the Honey Badger didn’t get kicked off the team for smoking pot. He got booted for breaking team rules. I have never been a big supporter of Les Miles, but in this case, good for him. If you don’t hold players accountable to following team rules (whatever they are), you will pay for it later.

  54. and @78, why ought civilians act as de facto members of the police? Prohibitions for PEDs I can sort of understand, although I don’t support them, but drug testing seems draconian and problematic for a civil libertarian like myself.

    /stopping before arousing the ire of the boss.

  55. @79 Sodomy was illegal in lots of places until Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. I can only imagine how well it would have went over if programs tried to punish homosexual activity. Legal is not always right and illegal is not always wrong, and school officials are not law enforcement officers. They don’t need to go out of their way to enforce every law on the books, no matter how pointless.

  56. @84 They aren’t turning them in to the cops, are they? There’s no legal ramifications here. They are taking away privileges for breaking school rules.

    It won’t do me any good to continue weighing in on this as I’m in an extreme minority on the subject. Sorry for any feathers ruffled.

  57. Miles said it wasn’t a “legal issue”. But maybe that’s just acknowledging there’s only so much legal trouble pot smoking in and of itself can get you into.

  58. It’s legal where I live, and kids still get kicked off CSU and CU teams for it all the time.

  59. If a player knows the team rules, gets a break here or there, yet still lets his teammates down by getting busted for it repeatedly, that’s on him. Fine, I suppose.

    But I, too, have a hard time getting worked up over weed. (IMO, if anything, it should be a misdemeanor.) I often wondered why football programs tested for weed in the first place. (It’s not like Mary Jane is a performance-enhancing drug in the world of football.) Is weed-testing just another method of control?

  60. If they broke the rules, the coach had no choice but to kick them off. I was really just reacting to what is often the holier-than-thou attitude that you see in the media when someone is caught smoking pot as if this is something no one else has ever done. It’s sort of like the policeman in “Casablanca” saying he’s shocked to see gambling in this establishment-right before someone hands him his winnings. People killed Rickey Williams for smoking pot when he was only doing something that a large percentage of people of my generation did on a regular basis. Movies were made based around people sitting around smoking pot. (And, yes, I did it a few times.) I realize times change but there is some hypocrisy going on.

  61. It has always seemed to me that if you voluntarily sign up for an organization, then you willingly concede that you will abide by their rules, and if you violate them then you’re rightfully subject to whatever sanctions the organization has stipulated will arise from said violation. I guess there’s some grey area when you consider doing something on your “own” time versus doing it on the organization’s time, but otherwise this seems clear-cut to me- he broke a team rule, repeatedly, and he paid the price. What am I missing?

  62. Scanning quickly.. So the Honey Badger was kicked off LSU’s football team for committing sodomy at Stone Mountain. Holy christ.

    To the Twitter..

  63. @92, we are hardly talking about signing up for scouting here – the “voluntary” part doesn’t seem so voluntary when your ability to attend college at all (in many cases) let alone pursue your career goals are incumbent upon your “voluntary” participation. Given the vast amounts of money generated by the volunteers for people and organizations not held to the same standard, I empathize with them.

  64. @94- Thanks for your thoughts. Certainly added some nuance to my very black and white stance. Can’t find fault with your reasoning- any objection that the kid had other options probably gets political and may be disingenuous anyway.

    I still believe that once he made the decision (or accepted the necessity) to go the football route, then he committed himself to abiding by whatever rules were in place; common sense alone dictates that you don’t kill the golden goose. But when I was his age, common sense was in short supply; I can certainly empathize with that!

  65. Nice work, Jason! Sadly, you’re probably not going to be able to follow in Chipper’s footsteps… because Citi isn’t a good name for a kid.

  66. Look, if he got kicked off because there’s a dumb NCAA rule forcing you to test for pot, then that’s dumb. If he got kicked off because LSU has an internal team rule against smoking pot, and he broke that, then it’s clearly the right thing to do.

    If his getting kicked off has nothing to do with pot, then we’re all just being stupid.

  67. @86 – My point wasn’t that the Honey Badger didn’t smoke pot. My point was that it was a team rule and he broke it – he knew the consequences. They could have had a team rule to not drink Pepsi. Considering he’s being given an opportunity for an education, it doesn’t matter what rule it is. He signed up for it when he joined the team and apparently broke it a few times at least.

    Btw, I guess players no longer aspire to silence critics. The headline from the MLB sites reads, “Sheets silences doubters with improbable comeback”. Is it harder to silence doubters than silence critics?

  68. I am very much digging the Paul Maholm era. It would be nice if the Braves’ at-bats would last longer than it takes the ads to load on mlb gameday, however.

  69. Amen about Janish. Pastornicky would’ve turned that into a ground rule double somehow.

  70. Dan! The slump may really be over; if that’s the case, this could be a really fun offense.

  71. Until we get our good-field, good-hit SS back. Anyone hear an update on Simmons in the last week?

  72. Bethany, students taking SATs are given speed and other drugs to help them on test. Not just sports.

  73. I think I could tolerate about 10-12 more starts like that from Maholm. Guy’s already growing on me.

  74. I gave “The Wire” another shot after a discussion on here a few weeks back and I’m officially hooked. It took me a few episodes to get into it but I’m glad I powered through.

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