Braves 10, Rockies 2 (Game 2)

So, a 10-2 win in Denver is more or less a 5-0 win anywhere else, which makes Julio Teheran’s turn in the order last night all the more impressive. Yes, the offense hit more home runs, which is to be expected, but the real talk track out of yesterday’s double dip should be Mike Minor, Teheran and the various relievers of the day holding any team to five runs over 18 innings in mile high air. That’s hella impressive.

Okay, jacking six HRs and barely missing three or four more is also hella impressive. But at some point, you sort of stop noticing the fact that you’re sleeping with a supermodel, right?

The Rockies took a brief lead in the bottom of the third by scraping three singles together. Michael Cuddyer, who continues to rake, drove in that one. But then Teheran got the human pinball gaming system to fly out to Melvin and the threat was over. At that point, Atlanta’s offense went to work. Freddie Freeman continued to prove his case for “wow, we really missed that guy” by walking in front of Juan Francisco’s blast into the RF seats. Braves lead, 2-1. Gerald Laird followed that up with a single, and then, the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen happened. I’ll just go directly to the gamecast play-by-play feed.

“With Andrelton Simmons batting, Gerald Laird steals (1) 2nd base.”

Go ahead. Try to wrap your mind around that one, kids. As Laird getting a hit and then following it up with a stolen base wasn’t enough of a set phasers to stun moment, Success! then drove him in with a single to center. I’m still trying to get my rational brain to process the fact that the Braves’ third run came via a Laird hit, a Laird SB, and a Jordan Schafer RBI single. The only thing that makes any sense to me in that entire sequence was Andrelton Simmons making a useless out between the SB and the RBI. Unfathomable.

Teheran went out in bottom-four and did exactly what you want after you score three, going 1-2-3 against the lower half of the Rox order, getting the Braves back into the hitter’s box quickly. That turned out well, with the Uptons going yard back to back, the first time that’s happened since the Waners of Pittsburgh did it 75 years ago, and only the second time brothers have ever hit back to back jacks in MLB history. So that was interesting. Also of interest; Justin Upton has homered in every game his big brother has homered in for Atlanta, and his solo shot here increased his April HR totals to 97, which is good.

At that point, up 5-1, Julio Teheran went to work and was pretty damned awesome. The offense tacked on five more, to make it silly, and Cory Gearrin and Jordan Walden were defrosted from cryo to mop up the eighth and ninth, but the primary story out of game two should really be Teheran’s seven innings of 1-run ball in the thin air, and the fact that Gerald Friggin’ Laird stole second.

As a final note from yesterday’s play, the outfielders replacing Jason Heyward in right field went a combined 6 for 8, bringing their daily total hits (6) to within one of Jason Heyward’s total hits for the year (7.) Which isn’t to say we’re looking to Pipp the guy, but damn.

210 thoughts on “Braves 10, Rockies 2 (Game 2)”

  1. Thanks Sam.

    And thanks Stu – I got my El Oso Blanco shirt yesterday and have now slept in it and worn it again today. I am not homeless.

    Also, if anyone is looking for a home alternate Gattis shirt or a second one for the wife (as will be the case for me), my coworker did this: teespring.com/maultheball

  2. Also, the Fighting Pete Kozmas beat the Douchbag Centrals of Washington 2-0 last night, so the the Braves lead the NL East by five full games this morning.

  3. It should be noted that Laird would have been out by a mile had the throw not almost sawn off the second baseman’s head. He is faster than McCann, but slower than any other human being alive.

  4. Edit: HA! Perfect answer to Johnnys question @7:

    I had some time and was bored. Here are some selected stats:

    ML Leader Batting Average: Chris Johnson .397
    ML Leader Home Runs: Justin Upton 11
    ML Leader ERA: Buchholz (0.90), 2. Harvey (0.93), 3. Maholm 1.03
    ML Leader Saves: Kimbrel 8 (tied with two other)
    ML Leader Home Runs, Team: ATL 35, 2. NYY 28
    ML Leader OPS, Team: COL .809, 2. ATL .781
    ML Leader ERA, Team: ATL 2.38(!), 2. TEX 2.84 …17. WAS 3.99
    NL Leader Walks, Team Pitching: ATL 47
    ML Leader BAA, Team: PIT .211, 2. ATL .233
    ML Leader OBP, Team Pitching: ATL .280
    ML Leader SLG, Team Pitching: ATL .322
    ML Leader WHIP, Team Pitching: ATL 1.09(!)
    ML Leader SO, Team Hitting: KC 112,… 26. ATL 175, 30. HOU 200
    ML Leader AB/HR, Team Hitting: ATL 19(!), 2. NYY 24, 3. COL 25, 9. WAS 28, 30. MIA 116

  5. Loving the hot start by the bench guys, too.

    Gerald Laird: 320/393/400 in 28 PA
    Jordan Success: 462/533/538 in 15 PA
    Ramiro Pena: 343/405/457 in 37 PA

    It all adds up to 343/425/457 in 80 PA

    BTW, on Laird’s SB, he saw that the Rox weren’t holding him on 1B & he just took off. He has 21 career SBs.

  6. @12

    It did seem a lot like a patented Brian McCann stolen base, where he gets like 30 feet off the bag with his lead and they’re still not holding him, and he just decides, “The hell with it.”

  7. BTW, on Laird’s SB, he saw that the Rox weren’t holding him on 1B & he just took off. He has 21 career SBs.

    I’m going to continue to operate on the principal that this was the first time this ever happened.

  8. Random stat: B.J. Upton has a 31.6% infield fly percentage and 31.3% strikeout percentage. Those are both awful, especially the former. Neither his .191 BABIP nor his .161 batting average will see much change until those two rates come down.

  9. @12

    I thought it was a botched Hit and Run, Simba took an ugly swing at a ball in the dirt on that steal, but then again that could just be Simmons being Simmons

  10. Just win, baby.

    Simmons being Simmons is okay, as long as he doesn’t forget that magical glove.

  11. @17 I agree, I believe it was a hit and run. The pitch was in the dirt and Simmons could not make contact. A good throw nails Laird easily.

  12. With the thin air at 5000 feet breaking pitches do not break. Denver relies on fast balls and Barves kill fast balls. Atlanta at 1000 feet used to be major league city highest above sea level.

  13. The Aarons still hold ML record for most HRs hit by brothers. Tommie just did not his behind Hank enough, I guess.

  14. This guy Chatwood going for the Rockies has a career minor league WHIP of 1.47 with pedestrian K and K/BB ratios. In recent years I would have thought that meant we did not stand a chance today. But with this team a blowout is possible.

    Our pythagorean winning percentage is basically identical to our actual record. And our pythagorean is easily best in baseball and better than every other team except the Rangers by at least .1. That is impressive.

  15. @22 It’s Only The Natspros have given up more runs than they have scored. They have played worse than their .500 record. They need to play It’s Only The Fish more.

  16. @23: I like that. I like less that the Nats have compiled their mediocrity against the Reds and Cardinals, while we’ve been running roughshod over the Phillies, Cubs, Marlins, and Rockies and struggling against the Pirates. I would think of our 5-game lead as more of a 3-game lead after factoring in some of the tough schedule the Nationals have already played.

    The head-to-head series coming up is actually reasonably big. If the Nats leave Atlanta still five games back, I think the Braves become clear favorites in the East.

  17. @24 The Natspros are 8-2 against teams below .500 and 2-8 against teams at or above .500

  18. 24-The Nats have only played 5 games against the Reds and the Cardinals, one fewer than they’ve played against the Marlins. They also had a three game series against the 7-12 White Sox (.454 Pythagorean). And the Mets, although off to a surprisingly good start, are nowhere near as tough a matchup as playing the Rockies in Coors. The only thing that argues that the Nats have had a tougher schedule than the Braves thus far is the fact that the Nats have played us, while we have played them.

  19. Effect of altitude & temperature on distance
    of batted balls.
    1000 feet of increase in altitude +7 Feet
    10 increase in degrees of air temp +4 Feet
    Denver is 4000 feet higher than ATL 28 feet farther.
    50 degrees cooler yesterday 20 feet farther.
    The fences are more than 8 feet further back.
    I assume the balls are kept at normal temperature

  20. @30: The Cubs are worse than the White Sox. And I am not so sure that the Rockies at Coors are a tougher matchup than the Mets. I’m not really sure what Coors even has to do with it; it increases offense for everyone, as the Braves demonstrated last night. Mets may been a little underrated, given the quality of starting pitching they’re flashing early; they could be an 85-win team, maybe, while I see the Rockies as a losing club this year.

    Anyway, my only point is that the Nationals have definitely had a somewhat tougher schedule than the Braves so far. It doesn’t invalidate what the Braves have done, it’s just reason for caution, given that they will also need to face off against the Reds and Cardinals later in the season.

  21. @33 I largely agree, but the Rockies may have also been a little underrated coming into this season. That’s a legitimate offense, and the pitching isn’t nearly as bad at it was last year. I think they, like the Mets, stand a good chance to finish the season above .500.

  22. Highly entertaining and laugh-worthy recap, Sam.

    I refuse to believe Gerald “Fredi” Laird has 21 career steals. I see the number in his stats, but it’s got to be a glitch. Or someone hacked into his career and planted it and nobody’s noticed it until now.

  23. Brian McCann has 23 career stolen bases. Laird is apparently almost twice as fast, but has only been on base half as many times.

  24. 33- You do realize that since the stadium opened the Rockies have won 228 more games at Coors than they have on the road? Rockies have always been a much tougher team to beat at Coors than on the road.

  25. 40- True, but this version of the Braves might be a perfect Coors team. The offense makes contact less often than most, but walks more than average and kills mistake pitches. The pitching staff walks and strikes out fewer than average- yes, even with Kimbrel around- but covers lots of ground on defense, especially in the outfield.

    Honestly, imagine Justin and El Oso Blanco playing half their games at Coors. Try not to drool on your keyboards.

  26. @1 While the Braves have been pitching really well, the underlying stats say the staff is in for some pretty substantial regression – the Braves’ staff has
    the lowest LOB%, second-lowest BABIP, and third-lowest HR/FB% in baseball. While the Braves have far and away the best ERA right now (2.38), their xFIP (which attempts to correct for luck in opponents’ batting average and home runs per flyball) is 3.66, tied for 10th with the Giants.

    It’s certainly possible that the Braves pitchers will continue to pitch just as well as they have so far, yet surrender an additional run per game, on average. Even so, the Braves look like a good playoff team – for instance, if they score 4.5 runs per game and surrender 3.6, they’d have a Pythag record of 97 – 65.

  27. BABIP does not take into account defense. I expect that the outfield plus Simmons, Freeman and sometimes Pena has a lot to do with that low BABIP. I agree though, we’ve given up a lot of fly balls in Miami and/or windy conditions that will turn into home runs over the course of the year. But I think we are better than the xFIP suggests.

  28. The roles played by Luis Ayala and Jordan Walden this year were played by Chad Durbin and Livian Hernandez last year.

  29. I disagree a bit Sam, I think, last night especially, that Walden reminded me of Durbin.

    Although to give him credit, with a 9 run lead, he threw enough strikes to not walk anyone and made the Rockies hit their way on. Which is what he was supposed to do.

  30. I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on Walden’s outing yesterday one way or the other. Until the Rockies had two men on he threw pretty much everything right down the middle of the plate.

  31. Would have liked to see Success do a bit better than a three pitch groundout, but I am quibbling

  32. Not a full-fledged Episode yet, but I think we’re gonna need another “Timmy goes for 200” thread next week.

  33. If Huddy can’t bump that 88ERA+ if/when Beachy returns, it will be a dilly of a pickle.

  34. Is it terrible to think “at least we cleared BJ so the real hitters can go to work in the fourth?”

  35. We are going to need BJ before the season is out. I was really hoping he’d get some confidence building hits in a high offense environment.

  36. Nats lost to the Cards again today. Come back and win this one and it’s a 6 game lead in the east.

  37. The Kaufmann Tire fourth inning four bagger challenge is not at all what I thought it would be.

    //good job Freddie.

  38. Those Nats keep cooperating. With Matt Harvey pitching in Flushing tonight, Washington could drop to 3rd.

    Alright, rallytime. Let’s pull this one out.

  39. Not advancing these runners will hurt someday… Ohh well good going Fat Juan !!!.

  40. There you go, Huddy…

    I generally like Don’s pitching insights, but I wish he was only allowed to do color commentary. He’s just not a great radio play-by-play guy. He simply doesn’t describe the action well.

  41. I, for one, am not nearly as in love with the radio feed as others here. I do like Powell’s play by play, but the 4th through 6th innings are absolutely awful.

  42. Simpson seemed to really want a squeeze play there, despite the bases having been loaded.

  43. Jim Powell just accused all third-base coaches in Major League Baseball of being worse than Brian Snitker.

  44. It’s nice of Fredi to have made the worst hitter in today’s line up the leadoff hitter.

  45. Powell was dead right about nobody backing up costing the Braves a run. Bet the TV guys didn’t say that.

  46. Ball came off the wall while Success bounced to the ground (hit an fence post), so Uggla fielded the carom.

  47. #90
    Ball hit high off RF fence, eventually retrieved by Uggla.

    BJ wasn’t backing up and, as Powell accurately mentioned, it appears to have cost us the tying run.

  48. Thanks, guys. Glad to see that BJ can’t field even though he can’t hit. Wait, “glad” wasn’t the word I meant.

  49. In fairness, Powell said Uggla or BJ should have been backing up -I did not see the play, so I am not sure who ought be faulted.

  50. Commercial on Colorado radio broadcast: “You’ve just heard the bottom of the fifth. If you’re at the bottom of your fifth, get to Applejack Liquors.” Beautiful. Sounds like something Skip might have said.

  51. #97
    He did, but Uggla’s playing with a bad wheel & it’s Basic Centerfield 101 to back up. In my view, it’s on BJ.

    Thanks, Rox!

  52. @98, Skip’s quote, iirc, once upon a very bad time was “And welcome back to Atlanta-Fulton County stadium, where it’s always the bottom of the fifth and I’m leading the league in doubles”

  53. 97 — Both should have been, playing defense isn’t that exhausting that you can’t do that run.

  54. Boy, just imagine how many times the Braves might have scored if they hadn’t hit into 4 (!) double plays.

  55. Sitting just up the first base line, that ball was into the stands, anyway, so it wasn’t going to be called interference.

  56. In the end sum, that was as good as I’ve seen Tim Hudson pitch at this park.

  57. Didn’t look like it was in the stands from the replay; thought they made contact out over the field. But it wasn’t the easiest angle to judge.

  58. Wondering if something is wrong with Walden. He was supposed to be a set-up man but he rarely pitches.

  59. The only mascot “race” dumber than the Home Depot tools: the “Comfort Dental Tooth Trot,” featuring a toothbrush, toothpaste and a molar.

  60. Am I mishearing, or are Caray and Simpson seriously saying today is Chipper’s 49th birthday? They said it multiple times, and they never said they were joking or sounded like they were.

  61. Larry Wayne Jones (twitter: @RealCJ10)

    Positions: Third Baseman and Leftfielder
    Bats: Both, Throws: Right
    Height: 6′ 4″, Weight: 210 lb.

    Born: April 24, 1972 in Deland, FL (Age 41)

  62. @120 I think the “something wrong” with him is that he’s just not as good as the other guys we’ve got in the pen.

  63. It’s kind of amazing how Avilan and EOF continue to get outs without striking anyone out. Wonder how long that can continue.

  64. I haven’t kept up with the game too well: Does Dan have two or three hits? The boxscore gives him 2 hits, the play-by-play credits him with three.

  65. I blame the giant purple triceratops behind home plate.

    Can’t imagine what gave them the idea for a big, dumb purple dinosaur mascot in 1993.

  66. It should have been caught, though Kimbrel should just not give up a double, single and flyout to the wall. I blame the stupid park and altitude.

  67. My friends here in Colorado don’t understand what I mean when I tell them the Braves succeed in spite of their manager until they see Frediocy first-hand.

  68. @165

    Dinosaur fossils were excavated on the construction site of Coors Field.

  69. I don’t think Fredi has been that bad (edit: past his first season, I should say), but I definitely agree that he has been overmanaging in the last few games.

  70. @170, Wow, I never knew that. Thanks for sharing.
    These Rockie fans are obnoxious.

  71. Are the frat boys behind home plate annoying everybody else? I hope uggla punches one of them through the net with his popeye arm.

  72. Ready to see Pena back on the bench. Also ready for BJ Upton to stop being the worst hitter I’ve ever seen.

  73. Guess we’ll have to be content with 2 out of 3. But Schafer stealing third and the squeeze were both ill advised moves.

  74. Had to tune out after the fifth and just watched the replay. Every sentient being in the entire damn universe knew Fredi was going to try to squeeze.

  75. A lot of things went wrong for us to lose a game that should have won. Taking two out of three in Denver, I will take that every year.

  76. I will take a tough luck loss in Denver for that thank you very much win in Washington in Game 1.

  77. Ichiro Suzuki is standing at 2620 career hits after started playing major league baseball at the age of 27. Incredible.

  78. That’s just… wait, what? Who designs these things?

    Edit: Which isn’t to say those decisions might not look completely reasonable in 3 weeks. But still. They’re assuming a lot by making those decisions.

  79. Yes, in retrospect the Hawks should have gotten something for Josh when they could have. Really hoped it would work out.

    I don’t know where they go from here. Build around Al and Teague? That leaves a lot of building to do.

    I say bring DeMarcus back to the South.

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