Brewers 4, Braves I Don’t Want To Talk About It

The best thing about yesterday’s game, from a Braves perspective, is that Mike Minor pitched well. He wasn’t particularly efficient, requiring 115 pitches to make it through 5 2/3 innings, but he only yielded two hits and two walks while striking out eight.

The worst thing was, well, everything else. The Braves’ sole run scored on a double play. The double play was hit by Andrelton Simmons; he doesn’t get an RBI, but still, thank goodness he’s back. The Braves somehow managed to turn 10 hits and three walks into exactly one run. I say “somehow,” but actually, I pretty much know exactly how: in addition to the Simmons GIDP, Jason Heyward got thrown out stealing second, Freddie Freeman got picked off of first, Martin Prado got thrown out trying to advance to third on two separate occasions. Normally our problem is runners left on base. The Braves appear to have solved that problem. I wish they’d picked a different solution.

Oh, yeah, the bullpen kind of sucked too: Venters gave up a seeing-eye single, then he walked the guy who was trying to bunt him over, then he threw the ball away when the next guy tried to bunt them over. Somewhere, Mac is shouting, take the out, stupid.

Chad Durbin then came in with the bases loaded and the score tied 1-1, and managed the rare Tryple Grybo by giving up a two-run double, a sac fly, and an intentional walk, and nearly threw the ball away when trying a pickoff throw to first that Freeman mucked. Cristhian Martinez then came in and got the next four outs, which was nice of him, but the offense had no hope. This Braves offense is like the mutant spawn of Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar.

79 thoughts on “Brewers 4, Braves I Don’t Want To Talk About It”

  1. Can anyone explain the rationale behind not getting an RBI for hitting into a double play, but getting one for hitting a ground out with a runner on third? I don’t see much difference. The Yankees won the 1962 World Series on a double play ground out; it the guy had struck out or popped up, the run would not have scored. I guess the idea is that you should be trying to hit a ground ball if the infield is giving you a run but not if the result will be a double play?

  2. I think the idea is that the double play ruins a big inning so the batter shouldn’t get any credit. Seems pretty arbitrary to me. The run was definitely “batted-in”. You can make the same argument for runs batted in via errors.

  3. Anytime an earned run crosses the plate the someone deserves RBI credit. Simmons double play had the exact same result as a sac fly.

  4. One of the worst games of the year, which says a lot. Still, just one game, and so far, September 2012 has been very good for the Braves. If we manage to win one of the next two in Milwaukee, we’ll be alright.

  5. I never thought I’d pull for a double play, but as bad as the Braves have been hitting, it definitely beats 2 strikeouts and a pop-out – a very common result lately.

  6. “The Braves appear to have solved that problem. I wish they’d picked a different solution.”

    Nice Alex. Thanks for the great recap of an otherwise crappy game.

  7. “The Braves appear to have solved that problem. I wish they’d picked a different solution.”

    Nice Alex. Thanks for the great recap of an otherwise crappy game

  8. If anyone wants to buy tickets in the Braves post-season pre-sale (WC game & 1st round), they’re on sale until 11:59 pm tonight. Here’s the link:

    http://tinyurl.com/cwo64ud

    Password is: POST12

    Not sure if this is just my password or a general one, but I can’t make it to Atlanta for the game(s) anyway, so have at it.

  9. I think the reason is that, in many circumstances, teams would prefer to take the double play to nailing the runner at the plate. (This is obviously not true in all circumstances, but it probably is true in a high-run scoring environment early in a game.) Then you don’t want to reward the batter with an RBI is the fielding team chooses to give up the run in return for two outs. the analogy is with defensive indifference in which we don’t reward the runner with a stolen base because the defense chose not to get out of position to try and stop it.

    My preferred alternative would make this an official scoring call, like defensive indifference. If it appears to the official scorer that the defensive took the DP on purpose rather than cut down the run and leave men on 1st and 2nd, then no RBI.

  10. I saw something the other day that I hadn’t seen before. Is it true that under the new WC system that the winning WC team can now play a team from their own division in the first round? So, as it stands now, the Braves can play the Nats? that’s certainly stated at http://espn.go.com/mlb/huntforoctober

  11. Livan Hernandez is on Milwaukee’s roster. We might see him this series. His zombie tour of the back end of every MLB bullpen continues apace.

    He’s 3-0 with the Brewers despite a 5.40 ERA in 33.1 innings, because of course he is. If I were Ron Roenicke I’d give him a start this series just to let him do what he does best, which is troll us so hard.

  12. Mac wasn’t the only yelling for Venters to take the out.

    Great writeup, Alex; but there’s nothing uncommon about that. Hope you get a game today worthy of your recap skills.

  13. Is it true that under the new WC system that the winning WC team can now play a team from their own division in the first round?

    Yes thats correct

  14. Yup, the WC-game winner will play the club with the best record, no matter the division.

    Also, for this year only, the WC-game winner will open the NLDS at home (first 2 games, then the remaining 3 away, if nec).

  15. @11 thanks for the link, Ububba. Looks like there are plenty of tickets available as of now. Service charge per ticket is $6 – can anyone confirm that you’re refunded ticket price (but not service charge) if the Braves go on another fail-spree and miss the playoffs again?

  16. Nice, Alex. I had to keep from laughing out loud while around a group of people at work when I read “the mutant spawn of Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson”.

  17. There are lots of situations where the defense is essentially giving up an RBI akin to defensive indifference. For example, 9th inning, team ahead by 3 and hitter comes up with runner on third. He hits a ground ball and gets a meaningless RBI. This is one reason, I think, why RBIs can be a meaningless statistic. The point is, there are situations where hitting into a double play with the bases loaded is more significant than hitting a ground ball to second with a runner on third.

  18. @24 Absolutely. And remember, RBI are already subject to official scorer’s judgment in the case of an error. This seems to be a case where the official scorer is denied the ability to make a judgment call for no particular reason.

    Here’s an even odder case: bases loaded, no outs, 3-2 count, bottom of the ninth in a tie game. Runners go, one hop liner to the second baseman who steps on the bag, tags the runner coming from first and then throws home where the tag is a split-second late. No RBI under the rule, even though the second out, which the second baseman took because it didn’t really slow him up in any (let’s say) was irrelevant.

  19. David O’Brien ‏@ajcbraves

    #Braves lineup: 1. Bourn CF, 2. Prado LF, 3. Heyward RF, 4. Jones 3B, 5. McCann C, 6. Uggla 2B, 7. Overbay 1B, 8. Simmons SS, 9. Hudson P

  20. @25 – not to pick nits (oh who am I kidding – sometimes I like nothing better) – but in your example, if the 2nd baseman stepped on the bag, he would have already forced the runner who was going to 2nd (so he would not have any reason to tag him).

    Wouldn’t any 2nd baseman (or any infielder, really) automatically throw home in that situation? Much easier to get a force out by the catcher stepping on the plate, plus it keeps a DP possibility alive for the next hitter. I don’t see how the possibility of getting a DP outweighs the absolute necessity of cutting down the run at the plate in that situation…

  21. They just showed a man at the Nationals-Mets game wearing an Atlanta Black Crackers Negro League shirt.

  22. @27: Good point… I take it back. I’ve looked at the official rules and the official scorer is given no leeway on either a force double play or a reverse-force double play but has leeway in lots of other situations.

  23. Many teams will prefer an easy out or to taking a chance on throw home or 3rd. Wish Venters had done so. Sac fly when behind by a bunch late in game worth little.

  24. RBIs are stupid, like unearned runs. They both attempt to account for something – a hitter’s contribution to a run that scored, a pitcher’s lack of culpability for a fielding mistake – but they don’t do a good enough job of separating the signals from the noise. The exceptions to the rules attempt to correct for some of that: my understanding is that a double play doesn’t yield an RBI because the hitter really shouldn’t be rewarded for doing something so offensively bad as hitting in one; similarly, a pitcher is spared the ERA catastrophe of every run he gives up after a two-out error prolongs the inning because he “should” have gotten out of it.

    But these are minor exceptions, and there should probably be a lot more. The problem with errors isn’t that errors aren’t bad plays, it’s that they’re a small, unrepresentative subset of the complete set of bad plays. Likewise, the problem with RBIs isn’t that they do not indicate something about the runs that a team creates, it’s that an RBI delivered via a single is a lot better than one delivered via ground out, even though they’re worth the same in the box score.

    The exceptions and judgment calls in the rules are old attempts to fix stats that have always been acknowledged as imperfect. We just have better stats now.

  25. Chip just likened Simmons’ swing to Francoeur’s. If that had come from the lips of any other baseball commentator I’d have been worried. But we all know Chip is nuts.

  26. Allow me to come to RBIs’ defense.

    Most of your criticism of RBIs is valid, but omits an obvious point- you don’t win games by collecting more hits, walks, and other offensive components. You don’t win games with higher Total Averages or Pythagorean expectations. You win games by scoring more runs at the end of nine innings; you win pennants by winning more games in a 162-game season. The Baltimore Orioles, according to advanced stats, are the second-worst team in the AL East and should be fifteen games back. I don’t think they care right now.

    As important as it is to reward the proper process and probabilities, shouldn’t we at least take note of what actually happened?

  27. I think we can forget about RBIs. I’m now rooting for unearned runs, balks, catcher’s interference, and wild-pitches.

  28. 44- That’s almost a real word, but it’s in plural form, and you can never really have more than one run at once.

  29. Andrellton seems to be faring well. Is it too late to call up other AA or high-A players? Our big leaguers sorta suck.

  30. Damn, this dude isn’t fooling anyone and we are scorching some balls…unlike normal hibernation mode

  31. Andrellton’s not perfect, but he can still play on my team. I don’t feel that way about many of the other Braves position players at this point in time.

  32. @56…me too.

    No way it happens without a sweep this weekend, and I really don’t see that happening. Of course I didn’t see 9 wins all of last September happening either.

  33. Least favorite Braves of all time:

    1) Melky (non-negotiable)
    2) Uggla
    3) Garret Anderson
    4) Douxeira
    5) Kenny Lofton

  34. Lots of room for other putrid Braves- Keith Lockhart, Buddy Carlyle, Chris Woodward, Corky “the hamster” Miller, and how could we forget Jeff Reardon and Dank Lob?

  35. Least favorite Braves

    1. Melky Cabrera
    2. Kenny Lofton
    3. Raul Mondesi
    4. Livan Hernandez
    5. Jeff Francoeur/Dan Kolb

  36. I would put 1, 3, and 5 up against anyone in terms of lack of effort. Lots of players suck, but relatively few have the lack of character to just mail it in on a playoff contender.

    2 and 4 have a lot of financial/acquistion cost/expectation going on. Would add that I greatly dislike Teixeira’s public persona (which is probably indistinguishable from everyday Teixeira).

    Uggla does at least give good effort, but he’s making way too much for that to be any sort of a justification for his play outside of three months. It’s a bit silly to have him that high, but he’s extremely current. I’m thinking I’m going to either have to actively root against him or just boycott his starts (and two decent games probably buys him every game for the next three years).

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