Braves 3 Marlins 0

These are the games that really show you how good Mac was at this.

For the second night in a row the Braves got the best of the Fish, but this one was a lot less dramatic.

Martin Prado connected for a solo shot in the first. This was the Marathon Homerun Jackpot inning on the radio and some lucky listener is getting free gas for a long time. I would also imagine they will be buying a Prado jersey later this week.

The most exciting play of the game happened in the sixth inning. With Dan Uggla on third and Paul Maholm at the plate, the Marlins pitched out three times expecting a squeeze. The third time they were right, except they are the Marlins and the botched the pitch out and Uggla “stole” home. Get ‘em on, Get ‘em over, Get ‘em to make a mistake.

(As I was writing this, Craig Kimbrel was notching his fourth strike out of the ninth inning. That was more exciting.)

Maholm went six and two-thirds of shut out baseball and looked better than he had in his last few outings. The Braves move to 13-4 on the season against the Marlins and Tommy Hanson will be on the mound going for the sweep tomorrow night.

Not that it matters, but Philadelphia was rallying from a five run deficit late against the Washingtreal Natspos. Don’t worry, Jason Werth just busted it open. KEEP HOPE ALIVE!

SEC Picks (home team on the right)

Ole Miss 10 Alabama 45
Arkansas 12 Texas A&M 24
Tennessee 3 Georgia 48
South Carolina 35 Kentucky 0
Towson 3 LSU 34
Missouri 28 Central Florida 10

118 thoughts on “Braves 3 Marlins 0”

  1. This was the Marathon Homerun Jackpot inning on the radio and some lucky listener is getting free gas for a long time.

    Not only that, but someone else won the stolen base inning when Constanza stole second. Now if only the drill would ever win the tool race, I could die happy.

  2. Too generous toward Tennessee and Arkansas, I think.

    The Phillies chose to return to uselessness to keep us four back. On the other hand, the Cards trail the Astros 2-0; if that score holds up, the Braves will definitely host the WC game if we don’t catch the Natspos.

  3. It’s a final: Houston 2-0. If they’d done that last year… well, we’d have probably lost the play-in game, but still.

  4. If Georgia holds Tennessee to 3 points, I’d be really surprised (but plenty happy).

    BTW, can we sit down McCann for a few days? He looked like he was really in pain after that 8th-inning AB.

  5. “Kimbrel was the first Braves pitcher to record four strikeouts in an inning since Mark Wohlers against the Cubs on June 7, 1995.”

    We all know what happened in 1995.

  6. It’s fair, I think, to say the Braves don’t have a dominant “ace”.

    Yet I defy anyone to find more better pitching performances throughout games than the Braves.

    Simpson caromed into this Truth when he (out of the blue) noted that the quickest way to competence is a strong bullpen. (Anyone in Pittsburgh listening?)

    Remember when quietly dominant pitching performances were taken for granted around here? Well, those days are back. When four strikeouts in an inning is not really all that surprising, well, I’m looking around for Michael J. Fox.

    Win the play-in game and I like our chances of going pretty far. Pretty far.

  7. Useless, stupid, shallow Phillies.

    So, anyone still rather have Michael Vick than Matt Ryan? Hmmm?

    Have the Hawks ever had a high-level center? Moses doesn’t count (past his prime).

  8. #13
    Maybe play Boscan for a few games. I think no matter what we do, we end up playing St. Louis at The Ted on Oct. 5.

    Zelmo Beatty… Walt Bellamy.

    Tree Rollins was all-NBA defense, but he had no offensive game.

    Moses was really good his first year in Atlanta.

  9. Attendance so far for Chipper’s last homestand on a team that’s going to the postseason is really embarrassing for Atlanta.

  10. EO’F! Did you know that last night was his 27th consecutive scoreless appearance since July 15?! Unreal.

  11. It’s fair, I think, to say the Braves don’t have a dominant “ace”.

    I disagree. Kris Medlen has not only been “ace” like, he’s been the best pitcher in baseball since he got moved to the rotation.

    77.2IP 54H 9ER 9BB 80K

  12. After the “best ever” stats that Chip and Joe showed last night regarding Kimbrel’s historic year, how realistic is Cy Kimbrel?

  13. Nah, the voters can’t resist the allure of making Dickey the first knuckleball pitcher to win the Cy Young award.

  14. Kimbrel is going to have Aroldis Chapman, who is doing similar (if not quite as impressive) things for a playoff bound team to deal with. So, if someone is thinking about voting for a reliever, he has competition for that vote (even if most would agree that Kimbrel’s stats are better, it’s not like Chapman sucks).

  15. And as far as the knuckleball thing, I have a feeling that there are just as many voters who won’t vote for Dickey because he’s a knuckleballer as will because they think it’s cool. There’s been a surprising amount of passive-aggressive negativity toward Dickey this season, from LaRussa essentially not starting him in the All-Star Game because he’s a knuckleballer (he came up with some BS excuse, but I think we all know the real reason) to Dickey kind of getting the short end of the stick in Cy Young talks all year long. It will be interesting, because the top three candidates are all people that stodgy baseball folk would probably prefer not to vote for (knuckleballer and two relievers). Although Verlander did rightfully win the AL MVP last year, and I was pretty convinced that wasn’t going to happen, so maybe it’s not as bad as I think.

  16. I guess what I’m thinking is that McCann looked injured enough that it’s possible we’ll be needing Ross to at least platoon, if not be the starting catcher, for the rest of the year, including postseason.

  17. @32

    Without any knowledge whatsoever, other than what the team has already said about his injuries, I think that it’s probably just his bad shoulder acting up. If what the team has said so far is true, he can’t really injure it any further, it’s just an issue of pain management. I doubt he did anything new to it. Maybe they’ll rest him for a couple of days to get it to relax a bit, or have him miss the entire Pittsburgh series so that they can give him another cortisone shot leading into the playoffs or something, but I don’t think we’re gonna look up this afternoon and find out he’s done for the year or anything.

  18. So the matchups in the STL series favor the Cards bigtime:

    Jackson v. Wainwright
    Wang v. Lohse
    Zimmerman v. Lynn (tossup)

    While Atl has

    Niese v. Hudson
    Young v. Minor
    Meija v. Medlen

    I see a real chance to gain 2 or 3 games there. And the Cards can’t clinch until Saturday at the earliest so they should all be meaningful games for them.

  19. 2 things –

    I was at the game last night, and we were sitting pretty close. I don’t think the high pitch was a pitch out, but I thought at the time Maholm made contact with the pitch. Watching replays later, I am fairly certain he did. Did anyone else see that?

    Second, would anyone take the opportunity to extend McCann’s contract? Is it possible that 4/44 or even 4/40 gets it done?

  20. ATL and STL share the best record in the Natl League over the past ten games. Both are 8-2. Just a little bit of added excitement for a week from tomorrow. (As if it’s necessary).

  21. We have the perpetual top prospect Christian Bethancourt and Evan Gattis in the minors. I think those are the top catching prospects.

  22. ATL and STL share the best record in the Natl League over the past ten games. Both are 8-2.

    Yeah, but for the Cardinals, nine of their past ten games have come against the Cubs and 105-loss Astros, who combine for a -353 run differential.

  23. I think Gio has a good shot at the Cy Young. The media is going to want to give the Nats as many awards as they can.

  24. @19: [RANT] I couldn’t agree more. The complaining about the replacement refs is almost a perfect real-world example of availability bias. (Daniel Kahneman won a Nobel Prize for naming/measuring it.) Calls were more heavily scrutinized and everything even marginally wrong was blamed on refs. How many offensive pass interference calls are missed in a typical game? I’d guess about 5, because the refs are given less-than-subtle hints to favor the passing offense. As to the interception/catch, I’ve seen far worse calls than a simultaneous catch in that situation upheld. (I think an interception would have been upheld as well, but as Einstein taught us, simultaneity does not exist so it’s by definition a judgment call.)
    The only thing that makes it less than a perfect bias example is that I think players were really starting to ramp up their dirty play on the assumption they wouldn’t be caught, so the quality of play probably was starting to decline somewhat. but nothing like the furor this little labor dispute caused. But even that would have settled down eventually. [/RANT]

  25. @42

    I get that argument, and certainly there was a concerted effort to highlight the occasional buffoonishness of the replacements. That said, if you believe in a causative correlation between experience and aptitude (a correlation we take for granted in most other professions), you have to believe that the regular refs are head-and-shoulders above the quality of what we’ve been seeing. I think it’s an insult to the idea of professionalism to say that a JUCO ref could step onto an NFL field and do just as good a job.

  26. @43: I’m definitely not saying that the real refs aren’t hugely better. You should see the quality of refs in the Ivy League, and those guys are supposedly way better than the guys the NFL was using. All I’m saying is that people look to attribute absolutely everything to the change, ignoring the variance that happens all around them under normal circumstances. It’s not all clear to me that the particular play that everyone’s talking about couldn’t have happened to the normal refs. But I agree that these guys were worse, and that the players were beginning to take advantage of it.

  27. Put it another way. You could bring me in to call balls and strikes, and I’d miss a whole bunch of them. And I’d probably be worse than CB Bucknor… but I wouldn’t count on that being true on every call.

  28. @44

    That seems fair. I know I’m tired of hearing about that particular call, but I appreciate its usefulness as an initiating event to resolve the issue.

  29. @45

    I think baseball umpires are much more easy to replace (as seen durring their last labor issue).

    There are a ton of guys in the minor leagues that could step in and no one would notice. Actually, there are probably at least 50 guys in the minors right now that are better than Angel Hernandez, CB, Joe West and a few others.

  30. Sure, but that comes from replacements one level down. I suspect if you replaced NFL refs with FBS refs there’d be little difference after some training. But would you replace MLB refs with guys who’ve never seen a 75 mph fastball?

  31. Frankly, I’m not even sure it’s right to call FBS college refs one level down come to think of it.

  32. In addition to the calls, the management of these NFL games have been terrible with the new refs. To me, that’s the biggest issue.

    Plus, these other refs were not respected by the players & the coaches, while led to a perception of chaos on the field.

    We’ve seen bad calls impact seasons before (Vinny Testaverde’s phantom TD in ’98, for example), but it’s never been this difficult to actually sit thru & watch a game for fans.

    Not that anybody cares, but I wasn’t going to watch until the new guys came back. I found the whole thing exhausting & insulting.

  33. The more I think about it, the more likely it seems that Kimbrel will win the Cy Young. No starter is having a year that stands out among the other contenders — you could pick Cueto, Dickey, Gonzalez, Kershaw, and maybe Cain or Lohse out of a hat. Meanwhile, Medlen’s amazing run would cast some doubt on voting for any of them. And Kimbrel’s only bullpen competition is Chapman, and he’s been slightly but demonstrably better across the board than Chapman.

  34. Sansho – I think having a bunch of good starting pitcher options for the Cy Young would only make it more difficult to select between those options, rather than making Kimbrel or Chapman a more compelling selection.

    Predicting an actual winner – I am guessing the vast majority of voters will look at the following: 1) W/L record; 2) ERA; 3) Strikeouts; 4) Bonus for being on a playoff team.

    Based on this criteria, I think you can eliminate Kershaw (too few wins, Dodgers fading) and Lohse (too few wins, low Ks). Cain has an excellent ERA and good peripherals, but he’s 3-4 wins behind Dickey/Cueto/Gonzalez. Of those 3, Cueto is missing 40+ Ks, and Dickey plays for a bad Mets team, which by process of elimination leaves Gio Gonzalez.

    DISCLAIMER – I don’t think Gio has been the best pitcher in the NL this year or that he should win… but based on historical trends, he’s most likely to win.

  35. Also, Dave Cameron just posted an excellent article on Michael Bourn’s free agent value over on Fangraphs:

    The upshot of the article is that Cameron guesstimates Bourn as a 4-win player moving forward, but says players with his offensive profile (K% between 17%-23% and an ISO under .125) are rarely better than league average offensively, and many players who fit that description (Gardner, Bonifacio, Maybin) have gone through periods of severe regression. Overall, he says he wouldn’t give Bourn more than 3 years / 50-60 but that he’ll likely get 5 years / 75 – 100M.

    I’m guessing the Braves would go for something like 3/45 or 5/70; it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

  36. You have a reliver doing something extraordinary, and a weak crop of starting pitcher candidates; seems ideal to give Kimbrel the award.

  37. #54
    After King Felix took the title, I’d move W/L down the ladder of importance among voters. Personally, I wouldn’t discount it, but it’s certainly not viewed the way it once was.

    FWIW, Dickey could win #20 today. He’s up 6-3 in the 6th.

  38. @57: And without attempting to peer into the minds of voters, 20 wins on a bad team is clearly a better accomplishment that 20 wins on a good team. The voters had no trouble giving Steve Carlton a unanimous vote in 1972 on a terrible team. Dickey is nowhere near that good, of course, but 20 wins today is not all that different from 27 wins in 1972 given the difference in rotations.

  39. @49

    True, but there really isn’t one level down form the NFL. College football is fast, but no where near as fast as the NFL. The diffrence between college football and the NFL is about the same as Jr College baseball and the MLB (maybe even more)

    I like the idea of the league adding more officals to start grooming guys.

  40. The solution was the obvious one. The NFL caves on the money issues and the union in return allows the NFL to start training more guys, meaning some of the crappy refs will eventually get canned.

    What doesn’t make sense is why it took so long.

  41. I got the three obvious ones off the top of my head. Of the other two, only one would I have ever gotten. The other one is more famous in my mind for beating another Met pitcher in one of the most famous college baseball games of all times. (Famous because it was written up beautifully by Roger Angell in The New Yorker.)

  42. #64
    I think one guy’s not so obvious, for people under a certain age.

    It should, all things being equal, IMO. But they’re not.

    You’re talking about a guy who’s gonna throw over 230 innings vs. a guy who may top out at 65. I’m not saying Kimbrel shouldn’t or won’t win the CYA, but nobody has ever won it throwing so few innings.

    1977–Sparky Lyle (137 IP)
    1981–Rollie Fingers (78 IP in strike season)
    1984–Willie Hernandez (140 IP)
    1992–Dennis Eckersley (80 IP)

    1974–Mike Marshall (208 IP–with 0 GS, wow)
    1979–Bruce Sutter (101 IP)
    1987–Steve Bedrosian (89 IP)
    1989–Mark Davis (92 IP)
    2003–Eric Gagne (82 IP)

    Also, Phils fireman Jim Konstanty won the 1950 NL MVP (CYA didn’t exist) with 151 IP.

    It’s a little bit like that Mariano Rivera/Goose Gossage conversation. How do you compare them, if they were used so differently? How would Rivera’s numbers look if he were asked to pitch 100+ IP a year? Would Gossage’s numbers be dramatically better if he were only a one-inning closer?

    I’ll say this: If anyone’s gonna ever win CYA with so few innings, it’s gotta be for the kind of season we’re seeing from Kimbrel.

  43. My thinking was that having several similarly qualified starting candidates would split the vote sufficiently for Kimbrel to win it based on a few first place votes and a bunch of seconds and thirds. But Dickey is now a 20-game winner in New York, with enough peripherals to appeal to statheads, along with a season-long narrative that began with an emotional autobiography and is ending with a movie. So….yeah.

  44. #69
    Well, I think I’m older than most here, too. ;)

    Yeah, that’s a real all-hands-on-deck boxscore, plus Dick Ruthven, who always gives me a chuckle. And quite a game from Willie Montanez.

  45. Here’s a fun fact: dating back to his July 14 start, Tommy Hanson has only pitched a full 6 innings once (out of 11 tries).

  46. It would be really nice if Tommy could locate the fastball like that with consistency. And not leave too many hanging breaking balls.

  47. Uh, Ububba, are you going to tell us who they are? I can think of 3 of them beginning with Seaver but not the others.

  48. Hanson is headed for an 0-5 record in his last eight starts. If you want to know where the four extra wins we needed to win the division could have come from, basically ABH (Anyone But Hanson) could have gotten us at least half of them.

  49. Nats tied 3-3 now. Big swing tonight either way. 5 our with 6 to play and we can wave the white flag. 3 out and it’s still very interesting.

  50. We did win the three games in which Hanson didn’t take the loss. I doubt a generic ABH would be good enough to deliver a 5-3 record in these eight games. Besides, we’re only two down. Even this offense can manage that.

  51. So Joe said to Strasburg’s Comeback Player of the Year chances, “Sorry, no thanks. You should have played the whole year.” However, he thinks Medlen deserves it, and he ignored the fact that Medlen didn’t play the whole year either. I understand being a homer, but come on.

  52. Trace: I guess I should have looked it up before I stuck my foot in my mouth. For some reason, I thought he started the year in AAA.

  53. A healthy Venters is also nice to have, but it’s like having an Alabama football player get slightly faster- it’s just an embarrassment of riches that you might not be able to use properly.

  54. I thought their rotation is supposed to be pretty good. Who are those people they are throwing out there pitching?

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