Braves 6, Giants 3 (by sansho1)

The Bravos combined an effective start from an increasingly honed-in Julio Teheran with some timely and controlled swings throughout the lineup to prevail 6-3 over the San Francisco Giants Thursday night to open their four-game series at AT&T Park.

The Giants got on the board first via a run-scoring single by Buster Posey off a Teheran curveball, scoring Marco Scutaro. The Braves quickly assumed the lead in the top of the second when Brian McCann lined a two-run HR off Ryan Vogelsong just short of McCovey Cove, scoring Uggla ahead of him. Forgive BMac if he’s a little behind the team-wide trend of cutting down on swings – this is his April, after all.

Posey struck again in the bottom of the third, taking a Teheran belt-high spinner over the left field fence to make the score 3-2 Giants. The good guys then went through the batting order in the fifth, featuring two triples (yes, Chip, dad was a drinker, har har) and some seriously iffy Giants defense to score four times for a 6-3 lead that held up. Teheran ended up going seven innings, giving up the three runs on seven hits and no walks, striking out three. He had much better command of his fastball – his two-seamer in particular showed some nice movement, and that curveball is looking like a quality pitch (as long as it, you know, curves). The newly lesser version of O’Flambrel finished up without much incident. Good game all around. Hudson vs. Cain tonight at 10:15.

Random notes:

The Braves have found out in the last few years what the Giants have long known – cream-colored uniforms are a damned good look.

Except on Pablo Sandoval. If anyone on the Braves was disappointed with his day, it was probably Juan Francisco, who surely wanted to get to third base at least once just so he could stand next to Sandoval for a minute.

Speaking of Sandoval, he sported an odd-looking fingerless foam sliding glove. Maybe we should ask him about it, if we can’t get some of our guys to stop sliding headfirst.

The patrons of AT&T Park clearly believe themselves entitled to any ball they can reach. I went to a game there a few years ago, and while the ballpark is a real beauty the fans there don’t get enough credit for obnoxiousness.

Joe Simpson really enjoys talking about fat people. He just lights up.

81 thoughts on “Braves 6, Giants 3 (by sansho1)”

  1. This strikes me as rather naive. I’m not sure what’s so shocking about this. Isn’t this the way corporate America operates anyhow? Because they call them “commissioners” people have this idea that they somehow are there to look out for the interests of the game in general, but that’s obviously never been the case. CEOs are worried about making money for the shareholders; consumers are important only to the extent that you obviously need them to buy the product but corporations certainly don’t put customers above the interests of the shareholders.

    Perhaps I’m missing something here, but aren’t you just agreeing with Zimbalist? How is it naive to make that conclusion? It strikes me more as cynical, or realistic. I mean, I guess you could argue that it’s naive to oppose certain elements of corporate business behavior, for such behavior is inevitable, especially in markets as large as MLB’s. But I don’t really see much difference between your argument above and Zimbalist’s frustration. Neither of you, for good reason, seem too happy about Selig’s priorities, pragmatic as they may be.

    Also, nice recap.

  2. Also, yes to this: Joe Simpson really enjoys talking about fat people. He just lights up.

    He’s such an asshole.

  3. The reason that Selig has probably been the best commissioner in baseball history is basically twofold: first, he brought peace to labor negotiations after two decades of serious labor strife; and second, he managed to get all the owners to get along rather than damaging the sport with their constant bickering. If anything, it’s harder to get large-market owners to agree with small-market owners than it is to get management to come to terms with labor.

    But Bud has done it very, very effectively for 20 years.

  4. @3 Yeah, outside of a few instances (Miami, mostly, but nothing there isn’t messed up) you don’t have owners in small markets threatening to move the team to a bigger city and that’s not something we should overlook.

  5. I think Chip heard that “triples” story from his dad. No proof, but I need no stinkin’ proof.

  6. On Teheran and his changeup- I don’t know how many he threw last night (and I am a little behind the times in knowing the best places to go check that), but I know I saw him throw one very nasty change. It was the pitch that got the 2nd strike on Blanco the last time he faced him- it broke down and away and ended up way outside, but Blanco looked absolutely hopeless against it. Now, for all I know he threw it 20 other times and they were all flat and terrible; but after seeing that one pitch there has GOT to be potential there.

  7. Haha, Fredi:

    “We’ve just got to stop going around the country and feeding people.” Pizza in Cincy, brats here, “But if we do that and we get W’s, we can make fun of it.”

  8. Oh, and here are Julio’s last three starts:

    7 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 3 K, 0 BB (90 pitches)
    5 1/3 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 5 K, 1 BB (91 pitches)
    7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 K, 0 BB (93 pitches)

    He needs to strike out more guys, but he isn’t walking anybody, and he’s pitching reasonably efficiently; perhaps most importantly, after giving up five homers in his first three starts, he’s only given up one homer in his last three starts.

    There will still be some growing pains. But this Julio looks like a reasonable pitcher, while the last Julio looked like a Quad-A headcase.

  9. His pitch count is down due to low K rate. He is getting people out by avoiding good contact with bat. Sometimes trying for Ks leads to giving up HRs.

  10. @8- Thanks, that is awesome. SSS and all that, but Teheran got as many whiffs on 10 changeups as he did on his 83 other pitches, that has to mean something. Wouldn’t mind seeing a few more- according to the data from last night’s game, it looks a lot like his two-seamer so it should play off that well- but all in all, throwing it about 10% of the time seems like a decent ratio.

  11. @3 — Reposting this from the previous thread, as I’m not sure on balance I agree with you, and by the time I finished it everybody had already migrated to this thread.

    I think this conversation needs to take into account what the office of the Commissioner of Baseball was designed to be.

    As anyone who’s seen John Sayles’s film “Eight Men Out” will remember (and if you haven’t, go do it RIGHT THIS SECOND), the position of Commissioner was created by the owners following the Black Sox scandal of 1919. They did so in the hopes that it might ward off Congressional antitrust legislation that might have forced Major League Baseball to conduct its business by the same rules as every other industry in America (thus being subject, for example, to laws against owner collusion). The owners approached retired judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, a jurist perceived in some quarters as having unimpeachable integrity, to take the position, hoping his age would make him easy to manipulate.

    Landis was both wilier and less malleable than they expected, however. Comprehending the owners needed him and the imprimatur of respectability and trustworthiness he would lend their sport more than he needed their money, Landis countered their offer of a fixed-term position accountable to them with one of his own: the Commissioner would be all-powerful, would be accountable to no one, and would hold the position for life, if he so chose. The owners, desperate at the thought of losing a) their stranglehold on the nation’s sporting dollar and b) their freedom to exercise that clout in whatever manner they liked without fear of Federal interference, took Landis’s deal. Major League Baseball retained the inexplicable anti-trust exemption it still enjoys today, and Kennesaw Mountain Landis became the first Commissioner of Baseball.

    Naturally, Landis hadn’t been in office two seconds before the owners started scheming. If they couldn’t rid themselves of this new proctor, they could at least chip away bit by bit at his power over them. After Landis, it wasn’t long before they started installing commissioners they felt fairly certain would be more amenable to their way of looking at things. And in the early 1990s, after the death of Commssioner Bart Giamatti (father of actor Paul) and early signs of feisty independence from the next commissioner they chose, Fay Vincent, Bud Selig organized what amounted to a coup, persuaded the other owners to throw out Vincent on no solid grounds, and “reluctantly” accepted the job of commissioner on an interim basis until a suitable replacement might be found.

    That was over 20 years ago. At some point, Selig stopped pretending he had any intention of turning over the job to someone else. Even now, having claimed he was planning to step down at least three times, he has yet to put any machinery in motion for that to happen.

    During his reign, Selig has unquestionably overseen an huge expansion of the economic value of the leagues and the franchises therein, and promoted a number of innovations of his choice some of which have been hits with consumers (interleague play, expanded playoffs) and some of which have not (determining home field advantage on the basis of who wins an exhibition game in July). A passionate fan of the then-Milwaukee Braves as a young man, he has also managed to effect on two different occasions realignment forcing awkward asymmetry in the leagues — realignment the achievement of which involved his threatening the Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros with forced transition to the AL (and of course he made that move a requirement of the Astros’ recent sale, which is why they’re now in the AL West playing mostly teams two time zones away). Why? Simply to close the circuit on his insistence in 1998 on moving his Milwaukee Brewers to the NL, which was as close to achieving his dream of owning the Milwaukee Braves as they were in the 50s as he can come.

    My point is not to beat down Bud Selig, although I think one could make a pretty good case case that he’s done at least as much harm as good. My point is simply to note that Selig and the other owners have succeeded in transforming what was designed to be an oversight position that would keep their excesses in check into a first-among-equals potentate who, as others here have pointed out, has anything but the fans’ wishes at heart. Ask Brewers and Astros fans how they felt about their teams changing leagues. Ask fans of whichever playoff teams are unlucky enough to be in the league that lost the ASG how they feel about the impact of that capricious and risible “This Time It Counts!” decision on their teams’ chances for a championship. Ask anyone outside their team’s designated geographical rights zone who’s had to put up with the effect of the Fox Saturday blackouts on their ability to watch their favorite team play. Ask players who’ve been colluded against — oh, wait. You can’t. Because no one’s policing the owners.

    Because I love baseball, I’m willing to live with MLB’s Federal anti-trust exemption, as long as abuses of it are mitigated against in the way they were intended to be when the office of the Commissioner was created. In truth, though, it’s been a long time since any commissioner has even had the proper perspective, much less wielded the proper authority, to make that role anything but a joke. Bud Selig is the owner di tutti owners; he got them to install him; he is of them and makes decisions for them. And no one with any power to change that has any interest in doing so. (Until and unless PEDs or the threat of a team leaving rouse some somnambulent senator into threatening hearings on the matter. But that stuff has never come to anything, and the smart money says it never will.)

    Long live the king.

  12. Wow, MLB just announced they gave a two-game suspension to the crew chief from last night’s Angels/Astros game and fined the other three umps for misapplying a rule. Didn’t really expect that.

  13. If the Astros had won the game I don’t think anything would’ve happened. Good to see that umps can be suspended just like players and managers can be.

  14. Great recap. Thanks, sansho1.

    For the record, I’m a fat guy; and I like Joe Simpson. I’ll take hin over a lot of announcers I can think of.

  15. I could stand to lose a few, myself. And hey, it’s not like I didn’t take a shot of my own at Mr. Panda. But there’s something about skinny guys taking a little too much time on the topic that bugs me.

  16. Lineup:

    Schafer 9
    Simmons 6
    JUpton 7
    Francisco 5
    Freeman 3
    Uggla 4
    McCann 2
    BUpton 8
    Hudson 1

  17. @18 – the league would do that more often, if they had the leverage.

    To understand the lack of punishment for umpires you have to understand 1) the rule book and 2) the agreement between MLB and the umpire’s association. Basically, the league can only publicly hammer umpires for bad calls if the call is about a misapplied rule. If the call is a bad judgement on a play that is “umpire’s discretion” the league is essentially bound from punishing them.

    So a play like the “double” that was really an obvious HR is “umpire’s judgement” and not punishable. But a sequence like last night, where they just clearly had no idea what the rule book said or meant, that’s a punishable offense.

  18. New lineup. Apparently there was a prank wherein Hudson was originally listed as the cleanup hitter.

    Schafer 9, Simmons 6, J Upton 7, Freeman 3, Uggla 4, McCann 2, B Upton 8, Francisco 5, Hudson 1

  19. Guess Carlos Tosca is gonna use this opportunity to play a few hunches. FatJuan is the pick to click I guess. Also he must’ve told Melvin, in no uncertain terms, that this is his mf’ing team and you are gonna bat 8th only because I can’t bat you 11th.

  20. I went a way for a week and while I was gone the Braves somehow found a way to revive the dying embers of Dan Uggla’s career.

    Not at all surprised that no one is worried about Andrelton’s bat anymore but I really didn’t expect that he would manage to be worth 1.O WAR in only eight games in May. Looking back through the highlights he might have played defensively the best single week of shortstop in the history of the club.

    Finally, Frank Wren was on the road to watch Alex Wood’s start last night. He threw another seven scoreless innings allowing all of two hits. His ERA is now a miniscule .47, his WHIP less than one. I may have to eat some crow for dismissing the idea that the Braves would rush him to the majors this season. Right now I’d have to think he’s vaulted up to being one of the top ten pitching prospects in all of baseball.

  21. @31 I know. I lvoe the idea of a balanced schedule, but then I realize that means more west coast games and I like it a whole lot less.

  22. I’ve never seen a SS with the ability to move to their right, turn and fire across the entire infield like Simmons does. Most shortstops would have to make the leaping throw and he just slings it, usually without having to firmly plant his feet.

  23. I’d like west coast games a lot more if I lived on the west coast. But then I’d probably like a whole lot of things more if I lived on the west coast.

  24. @36 In the Mountain Time Zone, West Coast games are fabulous. I can actually count on not being at work or stuck in traffic during the first few innings. A nice change from usual.

  25. I actually really like the MTZ. As far as time zones go.

    Posey, who was definitely once out, is also very much great. What a throw.

  26. @ 35,
    You’re absolutely right. And that brought home AAR’s analogy to Andruw for me. Where Jim Edmonds or Torii Hunter make a spectacular diving catch, Andruw runs kinda hard and makes a nice grab. Where Jeter or Tulowitzky makes an acrobatic leaping throw, Andrelton calmly slides into position and throws a strike a billion miles an hour to Freddie’s chest.

  27. @42/43 Three, because one preceded Schafer’s ill-advised steal attempt. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make him look any better.

  28. I’m really concerned about the Braves’ hitting tonight. Only 1 regular has struck out – not a good sign!

  29. Well, there’s no room for an episode with Cain on the mound, regardless of his current ERA.

  30. Yeah, that’s an Episode, even though that’s a stupid Baltimore Chop over Freddie — which only got over him because Freddie was holding the runner, so he was even with the bag instead of back in his normal position.

  31. I forgotten how frustrating Huddy’s episodes are. I’d been enjoying an episode-free year.

    Got the ground ball from Cain, but in the wrong place. Unbelievable.

  32. This is as Episodic as an Episode gets. Mix an inability to get strike three with a bad break or two, at least one well-hit ball and a decision that comes back to bite you in the rear.

  33. As horrible as that inning was, it could have been a LOT worse. Come on Braves, start striking out so you can score some runs!

    Edit: I was checking on Game Day and thought it was out 3. It was a LOT worse.

  34. 5.5 runs a game the last five games. C’mon, boys, there’s time to get out of this.

  35. Two good, patient plate appearances to start that inning. Too bad not everyone grasped the lesson there.

  36. Well, I got to see McCann’s homer, at least. i’m not sure what’s worse: getting 3 hit by a guy who wasn’t throwing many strikes, or allowing the punchless Giants to score EIGHT RUNS.

  37. I don’t think the Giants lineup is as bad as it has been as one might think it is. Scutaro, Sandoval and Posey are all hot right now and Pence seems to be back to where he was a few years ago.

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