Padres 7 Braves 6

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Even though the Braves lost the game; there were a lot of positive signs that have to make Braves fans excited.

1)      Jason Heyward is starting to wake up. He hit two home runs and is now batting a cool .207

2)      BJ and Justin Upton each had two hits

3)      El Oso Blanco is the most feared pinch hitter in the Major Leagues

4)       No matter what the score is, this team is always in the game and thinks they have a chance to win

Julio Teheran wasn’t as sharp as his last outing (but how could you be?) He five runs on six hits over six innings. He picked off yet another runner and didn’t walk anyone. However, he only struck out three and gave up two long balls.

Cory Gearrin came in for mop up duty and gave up two runs, which would latter prove very costly.

Going into the eighth Heyward went deep to cut it to 7-2. In the ninth, Gattis came off the bench to do what he does, hit three run homers. Heyward then hit his second bomb of the night to make it a one run game.  Justin Upton struck out on a close pitch (too close to take) to end it.

Tonight the Braves play their last 10:00pm game of the season (yay!) That’s right, after tomorrow the furthest west we go is Kansas City. Between now and the All-Star game (winner take all) we play three teams over .500.

If you are going to lose a game, this is how you want to go down. It also looks like our weak three (Uggla, BJ and Heyward) are starting to wake up.  This team is fun to watch.

62 thoughts on “Padres 7 Braves 6”

  1. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
    Like a Colossus, and we petty men
    Walk under his huge legs and peep about
    To find ourselves dishonorable graves.’

  2. For some reason, my Yahoo Sportacular app completely ignores the fact that Gattis has 14 homers. I guess it’s programmed to do that if someone is ineligible for the batting title. One more smash and he breaks the tie with Upton for the most on the team with the most in MLB. What a story.

  3. @2

    Alex, you feel if Shakespeare had known Gattis Cassius would be out the window…that roar last night, in an opposition park, in a losing cause, was at the level of drama he lived to create…ha!

  4. Shame that Fredi keeps sending Cory out there to put games out of reach.

    Has there ever been a more successful pinch hitter through 2 months than Evan Gattis?

  5. I still think Gattis is the best all-around hitter on the team. Period. Pinch-hitting should not be his “forte”. He is one of the top 8 players on the team and he should play every day. I know it’s logistically difficult, but it’s not impossible. Fredi, if you want to win, play the Bear more.

  6. I agree Gearrin is being misused. He needs to be in Gwinnett. His current splits.

    vs RH – .283/.368/.362
    vs LH – .237/.326/.279

  7. Just went back and watched the homer replays from last night. Some really great swings from Heyward and especially Gattis. Wow. He just destroyed that ball. Really incredible story. The look on Freeman’s face in the dugout is funny as Gattis is rounding the bases.

  8. Watching some of the replays again, I notice there are a lot of Braves fans in San Diego.

  9. Francoeur was awesome his rookie year. It would have been a crime to make him a part-time player that season, and of course they didn’t do that – he played every day.

    If Gattis turns to complete suck then he’d of course play less. Seems like it makes sense to play the guy that’s killing the ball until he stops.

  10. The point was to not get overly excited about a player after his first two months. Teams have not begun to pick him apart yet. Let’s at least go through that period where teams don’t throw him a fastball inside and instead feed him outside off speed pitches. Let’s wait until the league adjusts, and then make evaluations.

    Believe me, I’m loving some El Oso Blanco, but we’ve been here before with a lot of players. Gattis will probably have a correction period like the rest of them.

  11. Didn’t stay up to watch but I noticed BJ had two hits.

    Even though we lost, if this signals that BJupkis is turning it around, it’s a win.

    Wasn’t as worried about Heyward, but BJ looked broken.

    Is it wishful thinking or did he look like he was seeing the ball at last?

  12. 17- I agree that there are adjustment periods, along with just plain ol’ slumps, in El Oso Blanco’s future, but the only way to get through them is to learn by doing. It’s ridiculously hard to learn how to hit when you only get a handful of at bats in a week against live opposition.

    Sending him to Gwinnett would be better for him than being a substitute and super-duper pinch-hitter. Wouldn’t be as good for the team this year, though.

  13. @17, it’s ok to be excited. Gattis passes the “eye-test” much more than Francoeur. Quick bat, simple mechanics, good plate coverage, isn’t an OBP machine but does walk every now and then. He’s homering at a pace that we’ve rarely seen from *anyone* in a Braves uniform.

    Do you really think that it takes the league several months to decide to feed him outside breaking balls? He sees that plenty right now. And he doesn’t swing at most of them. If anything you might be able to get him to chase the high-fastball…but you better locate it.

  14. Gattis is too important to this team. He doesn’t belong in Gwinnett. He’s getting valuable experience seeing these pitchers and teams that he will be facing for the next few years.

  15. BJ Upton has been the second or third* best hitter on the team in June. You might want to stop thinking in terms of April at bats.

    *depends on how you value Gattis; both are behind Heyward this month, obviously

  16. What?! I can understand the “play Gattis more, find him at bats at any position” arguments. But the idea of sending that sort of weapon down to AAA just…because? The purpose of the 2013 season is to win the 2013 World Series. You do that by having your best players on your ML roster, not by rosterbating your most feared slugger down to Gwinnett in order to preserve some sort of projection system into 2014. Good lord, man!

  17. I think the league has already made at least one adjustment to Gattis. Keep in mind that scouts are always out and about, and with video footage of every game available easily as well it’s not like he has to actually face a particular team before they have any idea what to do. We’ve already seen pitchers pounding fastballs up in the zone to try and get him. It worked for a bit, but he seems to have also adjusted and isn’t chasing quite as many.

  18. 25- Sam, the problem is that we can only put eight position players on the field at any one time, and Gattis isn’t usually one of them. Who do we sit for him? McCann? Freeman? JUpton? BUpton? Heyward? All are hitting well now except JUpton, who carried the team in April.

    The problem with accumulating players is that they do you no good unless you actually use them.

  19. @12 I was at the game last night and yes there was a ton of braves faithful. Great game! BJ misplayed a couple balls that turned into runs but it didn’t matter cause Julio clearly did not have it.

  20. I have a hard time looking at this situation and not thinking it’s working out fantastically well so far.

  21. @27: The problem with accumulating players is that they do you no good unless you actually use them.

    Um… Gattis is being used. Quite effectively. Last night he was used to great effect. Nearly helped us overcome some sketchy pitching. Why on earth would you want to reduce the quality of the ML bench in order to increase the quality of C at Gwinnett?

    Evan Gattis doesn’t need reps in AAA to develop his game. He’s doing fine as is. Evan Gattis a ML quality bat and a ML quality defensive catcher. He doesn’t need to develop any skill sets by getting regular play in the minors. So you keep him where he is; on the MLB team helping the MLB team win MLB games in pursuit of an MLB pennant (and hopefully a WS title.)

  22. Fredi can be creative and give Gattis 4 starts per week. This isn’t Paul Janish we are talking about folks. Gattis can sub for all of the players listed above and our offense will not see any dropoff. These guys need off days. I can’t believe some believe that the best thing for the Braves and Gattis is for him to be in Gwinnett.

    The man is hitting .263/.326/.603 and .750/.778/2.375 as a PH’r. We finally have a slugger that can play a couple of times and be a serious threat off the bench everyday and some think he should be demoted.

  23. @33 Do you think Gattis will play winter ball this year? Playing DH last winter helped his offense. Do you think he needs rest and off season workouts more?

  24. @27

    How many games has Gattis won or contributed to winning this year? Just because he doesn’t play EVERY day doesn’t mean there is no place for one of your best hitters and he should be in the minors just so he can play every day. What an inane argument. Gattis will be this team’s starting catcher next year and will play as often as he can. Not sure where we’d be without him at this point honestly.

  25. @36 – Honestly, it’s a question I don’t think any of us have enough information to decide. My gut instinct is that he’s going to be tired, having played in the DR all last winter and now competing at the highest level over a very long ML season. Gattis has never played a 162 season at any level. (I won’t be shocked if he wears down as the summer drags on for that reason, although he’s so damned strong he might not.)

    My blind stab at it is that they give him the winter off and he comes back as the starting C next year with Laird as his caddy.

  26. I too have far more faith in Carpenter and Wood than Gearrin. Pete Moylan sort of spoiled us to the uses and abilities of a side armer. Gearrin just isn’t a top flight ML reliever.

  27. If O’Flaherty is EO’F, can Gattis be EOB?

    Anyway, EOB is putting up Rookie of the Year type numbers even when he’s not playing everyday. I think we need to remember the old saying ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ And EOB definitely ‘ain’t’ broke.

    Fredi has used him extraordinarily well, and having a guy on the bench who can crush the fastball is very important nowadays when it seems every guy in every pen comes in throwing 94mph+. So, keep running him up there in PH situations, and start him 1-2 times a week at C and maybe a LF start or two and let’s watch him hit 30 HRs.

  28. @42 It’s a long season and rest is good. Just a guess, does El Oso Blanco do better with relievers who rely mainly on fast balls?

  29. @43:

    vs Power pitchers – .250/.386/.639/1.025
    vs Finesse pitchers – .295/.337/.648/.984

    I see no real trend there. He’s more patient against power pitchers, apparently. But SSS and all that.

  30. It’s a long season that hopefully includes an extended post-season.

    Maybe it’s best to use Gattis exactly the way he’s being used.

  31. @45

    I agree. Plus he did play winter ball. I would hate to see him hit a wall in August.

  32. Paul Maholm, Cory Gearrin, and the Lisp for Adam Duvall and Javier Lopez. Get it done, Wren!

  33. Time for one more historic note: Gattis now has roughly the same number of at-bats as did the famed “Hurricane” Hazle for the Braves in 1957, who also came up as a 26 year old rookie (though not until the 100th game of the season):
    Hazle’s line in 155 PA: .403/.477/.649/1.126
    Gattis through 175 PA: .263/.326/.603/.928

    Hazle helped the Braves win the 1957 WS, and was out of baseball by 1959

  34. Lots of good stuff from the Minors last night…

    1. Terdo hit his 11th HR and is up to a .916 OPS
    2. Pastornicky collected 2 hits and is up to a .314/.360/.420 slash line
    3. Ryan Buchter is a LHP at Gwinnett and is up to 47K in 28.2 innings (but has 24BB)
    4. Mississippi scored 5 in the bottom of the 9th and walked off on Christian Marrero’s 2nd HR of the night
    5. Juan Jaime pitched 2 scoreless innings, now as an ERA below 2 with 23K ins 14.2 IP
    6. Ryne Harper has a 2.25 era with 20K in 20 IP
    7. Josh Elander hit his 11th HR of the year and is now sitting at a .970 OPS
    8. Kyle Kubitza hit his 5th HR of the year and now has an OPS over .800 with a very good walk rate.

    Some not so good…
    1. Bethancourt still can’t hit and his fluky beginning has dipped down to a .579 OPS
    2. Mycal Jones, although he hit a PH HR last night, is probably making his way towards a DFA
    3. Salcedo’s numbers are declining rapidly
    4. La Stella looks to be hurt again
    5. Matt Lipka will probably never live up to his draft pick
    6. Elmer Reyes can hit for average, but has little power and doesn’t walk

  35. #50
    I kinda look at Gattis as a Johnny Blanchard-type character—-the 1961 version.

    Blanchard was a lefty-hitting, career backup catcher with some power (8 seasons @ 239/317/441), so the Yankees found opportunities to put him in LF & RF, and he pinch-hit a good amount.

    Blanchard, if you recall, had that one outrageous season in part-time duty. In 1961—-on a team that sported 2 other pretty good catchers, Elston Howard & Yogi Berra—-Blanchard hit 305/382/613 in 275 PA (with 21 HR & 54 RBI).

    As a pinch-hitter in 1961, Blanchard was a Gattis-like 269/406/731 in 32 PA (incl. 4 HR).

    If Brian McCann is our Yogi Berra, Gerald Laird is certainly no Elston Howard, but I think Gattis, who will obviously get more than 275 PA, fits the Blanchard bill just fine.

    Of course, it would be great to see Gattis finish the storybook season the way Blanchard did—soaked in champagne.

  36. Cory Gearrin minus his last 2 appearances…
    1.80 ERA .648 OPS against, 1 HR

    With that being said, Cory Gearrin is a ROOGY, no matter what his SSS numbers show this year and has had much more success than failure in his career. It’s madness to suggest he deserves to go to AAA. If he goes, it’s because we have better options but his numbers don’t suggest he deserves it.

    Puig, who is hitting .500 in his time at the Majors, took Cory deep after Cory had already shown he didn’t have it. Then, he was asked to do multiple inning mopup duty, of which he has barely any experience in doing at any stop in his career, and that goes back to the Braves not having a multiple inning relief guy on the staff. Cory’s job is to get out of jams by inducing ground balls and get RHH out. Yes…he’s being misused. Right now, his last 2 games have been a fluky misrepresentation of Gearrin’s skillset causing his stats to be lopsided against RHH. Furthermore, the RHH that have hit HR are the best RHH in the game: Puig and Miguel Cabrera.

  37. I drove the “Fredi’s an idiot for misusing Gearrin” train for a while at times last season, but have now reached the conclusion that Cory’s just not much of a major league reliever. A ROOGY is the least important specialization in a bullpen; if a team is going to fill that role at all, their guy better be as good as Moylan was a couple of years back.

  38. If a guy’s only skill set is a ROOGY, he’s not a quality ML reliever. LOOGY’s are wastes of roster space. ROOGY’s are even worse. Relievers need to be able to get multiple guys out and go on back to back days. Cory Gearrin can’t.

  39. 51-

    You might have left out the most impressive performance of all. Lucas Sims went six innings giving up only three hits and zero walks against seven strikeouts. He is dominating A-ball as a 19 year old.

    Juan Jaime is already on the 40-man. I’m ready to swap him in for Gearrin right now.

  40. @40
    You infer that Peter Moylan was a quality ML reliever but then state that ROOGY’s are a waste of roster space. Moylan was, and still is, a ROOGY and while Cory’s numbers against LHH have been worse than Peter’s, his numbers against RHH have been better.

  41. @10

    Michael, yes, Freddie is a demonstrative fellow, easily our most emotional with a lovely sense of humor and always worth a look facially when something out of the ordinary happens…

    i have a theory about the crowd reaction to the Gattis homer…in an earlier post i called it a roar, and roar it was…but on reflection there was something else,first, a collective gasp, a massive intake of breath over which the audience has no control, friend or foe…

    that over the individual can decide to cheer, yell, or boo w.h.y. according to his loyalties…i still believe most of them roared! and i love the gasp – he is a man apart as far as i’m concerned…

  42. @61, that’s somewhat amazing. I wonder how that stacks up against the rest of the franchises. The Braves have to be near the top.

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