Once again, IWOTM(arlins), but the problem with losing the second game of a home series against a team like Miami is that you then really have to go out there and nail down that third game so you donâ€™t look like a bunch of chumps letting the worst team in the division hand you only your second home series loss of the season. (And I donâ€™t care that theyâ€™ve played better lately. IWOTM[arlins], dammit.)
On this drippy, dreary Independence Day, there were no rockets (with red glare or otherwise); there were no bombs bursting on the good side of the fence (unless you count the one hit by little Miami Roe Marcell Ozuna to left in the top of the 4th off a less-than-stellar Julio Teheran, which, since it was hit by the Fish Eggs, I donâ€™t). There was the promise of a big night, and then nothing. Braves fans were left to wonder which means more, the teamâ€™s marvelous first month or its decidedly average May and June.
Just so Grst doesnâ€™t lose all hope for humanity, letâ€™s honor the good first. And that first Braves inning certainly qualified. After Teheran struck out the side to open the game (hey, look! We didnâ€™t give up runs in the first inning!), Andrelto n Simmons opened the bottom frame with a single, which the almost-resurgent-enough-to-believe Jason Heyward followed with a double to Giancarl o Stanton in right, pushing Simba to third. After a Justin Upton popout, Freddie Freeman singled to center plating both runners, and Brian McCann You Please Stick Around a Few More Years For Cheap (I know, dream on, Abernathy) did the same, plating Fab Five Freddie.
Hope you enjoyed that action, â€˜cause it was all you were gonna get. The Roe crept back a run at a time over each of the next three innings, on Ozunaâ€™s homer, a couple of singles and an Ed Lucas groundout, and a Logan Morrison double followed by an Ozuna single, respectively. The Braves, on the other hand, did squat. I mean, literally: they scattered three hits and a walk the rest of the way.
David Carpenter spelled young Julio, who really needs a nickname, in the 6th inning and, after giving up hits in a shaky beginning, settled down and held the line. He faltered in the 7th, but Luis Avilan relieved him in almost every sense of the word donâ€™t get punchy). Jordan Walden pitched a hitless 8th, and youâ€™ll notice Iâ€™m giving a lot more detail on innocuous relief innings because you gotta write about something when the bats go all Ambien on you.
In a move that warmed the hearts of soaked Braves fans (and was definitely the right call given the tie game at home), Fredi Gonzalez brought in Craig Kimbrel to keep the Fishies at bay (see what I did there?). The Cobra didnâ€™t get any help from presbyopic home plate Mike DiMuro, but the calls is the calls and he wrapped â€œwalksâ€ to Lucas and LoMo around a strikeout to Stanton. Ozuna struck out swinging and Kimbrel had pinch-hitter Donovan Solano down to his last strike, but the rule book sez you get three, and Donavan caught the wind (see what I did there?) and lined to right, scoring Lucas.
That was all the Little Havana Tobiko would need. To be fair, the Braves did get robbed of what seemed like certain rally-starters by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (off the bat of Heyward leading off the 6th) and Not Our Mike Stanton (off that of Dan Uggla, bottom 9). I mean, seriously, two balls that looked tagged for big outfield action, but were snagged by two of the best defensive plays youâ€™ll see this month. But in the end, of course, it didnâ€™t matter.
Two other minor events of note: First, Joey Terdoslavich, newly called up to replace the DL-d Schafer (who is no doubt really wishing at this point that he hadnâ€™t pitch hit on Tuesday), got his first Major League plate appearance out of the way in the 8th. The result was a swinging K on five pitches, but hopefully next time heâ€™ll have calmed down and can show a tad more patience.
The other event was uni-related: All ML teams celebrated July 4th, as they have for the past several years, by wearing special caps for the purpose so that MLB can sell some merch. Much like last yearâ€™s edition, the caps this year were made of the BP cap material; home teams wore white and road teams wore gray, with each teamâ€™s logo rendered in star-spangled navy blue and featuring a bill of either navy or red, depending on the teamâ€™s preference. The Braves are lucky, as they sport what is probably already the most Independence Day-ready home uniform, and their white-with-blue-bills caps complementing the red, white and blue weekday home unis nicely (some may call it an â€œice cream manâ€ look, but to me it summons images of 19th century ballplayers). The Marlins, however, like their orange-and-black-clad compatriots the Orioles and Giants (not to mention the green-and-gold Aâ€™s and the purple-mountains-majestic Rockies), look terrible on these occasions; thereâ€™s just no fixing the clash. Sad. As both a proud American and an avocational follower of baseball graphic design, I wish they could find a more sartorially pleasing way to exploit Our Nationâ€™s Birthday (Or Thereabouts) for commercial gain. They probably wonâ€™t, but a boy can dream.
Bygones. Meet me in Philadelphia tomorrow night. (Best cheesesteaks are at Dâ€™Allesandroâ€™s, BTW, and donâ€™t let anybody tell you different.)
Awesome recap. D’Allesandro’s huh? Do they use Cheese Whiz?
It’s an option, yeah. 🙂
to me it summons images of 19th century ballplayers
Yes! That’s what I was noticing about the uniforms but couldn’t quite put my finger on. Nice observation.
And fear not, my simultaneous faith and lack thereof in humanity is secure. Good recap.
Do the Hawks want Bogut? He’s available.
55 (I believe) days until collegiate toe meets collegiate leather.
Good recap – full of the right mixture of optimism and disgust.
Apparently we’re switching Hudson and Maholm – Maholm starting tonight and Huddy going tomorrow, to give him an extra day of rest, according to DOB.
Peter Gammons tweeted that Hudson has told some “former teammates” he thinks he could be traded. Really? Would he accept it?
a recap worthy of your arrival in Philly…
we have no all stars – strange…
it’s odd that for this all star game
there really isn’t one to name
and yet we still fly high
which makes us wonder why
these contracts, are they slaves to fame?
This doesn’t help his trade value.
@mlbbowman: Hudson says his neck has been bothering him for about six weeks. He says it’s not a big deal.
I don’t think we would get enough value trading him. Plus, he’s about the only guy with post season experience. Beachy, Minor, Medlen, Maholm, Teheran would be a pretty inexperienced playoff rotation.
@mlbbowman: W/o being asked, Hudson said there’s no basis to @pgammo’s recent tweet that said Hudson has told former teammates he thinks he’ll be traded
@mlbbowman: Hudson only brought it up because he had been caught off guard when some current teammates asked him about it a few minutes ago
Gattis still leads NL catchers in home runs.
Hudson is a 10/5 guy. Even if the Braves wanted to I highly doubt he’d accept.
12 beers in this offseason Huddy tells Chipper “hell, they might even trade me!” and it’s official that Hudson “told former teammates he might be traded.”
Probably not possible, but I’d love to add Cliff Lee to this rotation. Our stud lefty looks a little whiny these days.
Hell, let’s dream big. Lee and Utley! 😛
I think I’m in love:
No. I know I’m in love.
@17, that was awesome.
Yes, it was.
Y’all are so predictable.
Yes, we are.
Wow, what a terrible call.
Greetings from Chicago…
Let Lee go AL & keep the Dark Lord Utley in Philly.
Here’s to magic-quick healing powers for Evan Gattis.
And why would we trade Hudson?
Don’t see Freddie make that throw all the time,
Oh. Look. We gave up a 1st inning run. That never happens.
Obvious balls called strikes and a throw sailing into left field. Cliff Lee doesn’t need this kind of help.
Doesn’t help that the umpire is squeezing.
Sadly, one good defensive play doesn’t counteract the bad one.
You’re a real winner, BJ.
Every person on this team sucks at everything that happens on a baseball field.
I can’t watch us lose to another crappy team again.
What is a Quintero?
Another guy who exposes the inadequacies of our rotation.
Great, it’s a Braves fan that looks like a total buffoon and should be ejected from the park. JUST WATCH THE DAMN GAME, IDIOT.
Even worse — now he’s texting and calling his buddies. Proud of making an ass of himself. One-year ban from any baseball park at any level, if I made the rules.
Looked like a home run to me.
I blame the people designing these stadiums. Fans should not be able to reach over the outfield fence. Ever.
What’s stupid is that if they hadn’t called homerun on the field they wouldn’t have changed it on review either. Still too much weight given to the first dumb call.
So, the Mississippi Hawaiian isn’t doing so well.
Well. I applaud Laird for calling Angel out on his bullcrap.
It’s so weird to see someone who looks exactly like Fredi Gonzalez getting ejected.
I’d be tempted to just pull my team off the field. We won’t participate in league games officiated in such a manner. Make the league address that.
Wow — Angel Herndandez actually ejected the real Fredi Gonzalez, too. So now we’re being managed by Carlos Tosca.
Yeah, I’m done.
It’s a band box for both teams, but I’m done. Y’all win, y’hear
I missed the first three runs, but when I turned on the TV I sure didn’t miss that last one.
Maybe Paul Maholm should try to get thrown out.
For those of us not able to enjoy the game live, would you mind sharing what the heck is going on?
Well, Angel Hernandez — as always! — has a mighty suspect strike zone. In particular, he’s calling a bunch of extremely high strikes, which sort of gives Cliff Lee a supremely unfair advantage. Gerald Laird got very pissed off at being rung up, and Fredi came out and halfheartedly tried to defend him, and then Hernandez finally tossed Laird, and then we went to commercial, and when the game came back we found out that Hernandez had tossed Fredi, too.
Also, Maholm sucks tonight.
I like Maholm. He’s a pro. (He’s awful tonight, but still.) Too bad this will be his last year in Atlanta.
I like Maholm a lot, too. He’s been tremendous for us. We couldn’t have asked for any more — and by all rights should have expected a good deal less.
Between innings, apparently, Angel Hernandez went three-quarters of the way down the first-base line to talk to Freddie Freeman, who had argued about a called third strike in the previous half-inning. Impossible to know what he wanted to talk about, or just how friendly he was being. But it seems wildly inappropriate for the home plate umpire to walk out to first base to talk to a player who had taken exception to his strike zone.
Five pitch inning for Lee. Carlos Tosca needs to take his club aside and give them a little talk.
Has McCann ever made a play at the plate?
BJ misjudges, Dan’s cutoff throw sails, B-Mac drops the ball. Bah humbug.
I’m not sure I can watch BJ Upton for 6 seasons. Least favorite player ever.
It’s just a five-year deal, but I’m sure it’s gonna feel like six.
We’ve got a ballgame suddenly.
HIS NAME IS DAN UGGLA!!!!
I saw Beachy in the dugout. So he’s up now with the team? Rehab over? Is he penciled in to start?
Another mass resignation by umpires that MLB honored would be out-freaking-standing.
Beachy is about to go on rehab assignment. I guess he’s just hanging with the team.
@61, Them’s some harsh words.
This is the second game this year where the umps have blown a HR call even after using replay – both went against us. Hopefully we can rally in the 9th and make it all better.
It is truly amazing that the likes of Angel Hernandez and CB Bucknor continue to be employed by MLB.
We gotta be able to touch Papelbon. We just gotta!
Even the slightest bit of luck in this game would have been nice.
Great play by Mayberry. Bah!
COME ON, TERDO!!!
Woo hoo! First major league hit! What a special moment. 🙂
Hooray for Joey! Now we have to hope Andrelton does something unSimmonslike.
Too bad Simba is next.
Hell of an effort by Brown there. C’mon Simba.
I want Andrelton Simmons as far away from my team as he can get.
Glad Simmons gets more ABs than anybody else on this team.
Lead will probably be 5 unless the Padres stage a miracle comeback. Nothing more to say right now except that we don’t look like that good of a team.
Alright, getting whiny in here. I’m out.
What a shocking twist ending! He never pops out! (Oh wait, yes he does. All the damn time. Fredi, you might as well bat BJ leadoff- Simmons has a .261 OBP batting leadoff compared to BJ’s overall OBP of .272.)
Simba should be playing every day and batting eighth every day. Fredi, this isn’t that hard. Anyone but B.J. is a better option at leadoff. (And he has a better OBP, so perhaps he is, too.)
@75. You’re as big a whiner as anyone, ironically.
Well, Andrelton certainly shouldn’t be leading off. He should be hitting 8th. If the rest of the other hitters were more consistent, his bad bat wouldn’t be so noticeable.
Here’s the question: do the Braves lose the division lead in July or August?
At this point, my reaction to seeing Simba atop the daily lineup is similar to that of Billy Beane in the film adaptation of “Moneyball” upon being informed each day that Carlos Pena was at first base.
@80 Braves aren’t going to lose the division lead because the Nats are freaking awful. They played above their heads last year.
By the way, BJ is back to sucking again.
I really think the homers Andrelton hit in the WBC hurt his swing and approach. He’s trying to pull and lift everything.
@78 Ignoramus. How is it “whining” to recognize how ridiculously illogical it is to snark about a team not being elite, or speculate when they’ll blow a division lead, or otherwise conclude it sucks based on one, two or three games? I seriously wonder how people who think such nonsense can even function as human beings in every day life. Also, go fuck yourself.
That freaking awful team just got a game closer tonight. The Nats may be bad, but HotSpur articulated the many holes on this team in the previous thread. Little things like a ball getting away after a play at the plate are making the difference. Big things like Kimbrel giving up the lead late in the game are also happening. The Braves are too inconsistent and have too many weaknesses (the Brothers Upton being the two biggest). I think it will take about five weeks to lose the lead, as the Nats will pick up another game a week.
@85 They are good enough to win the division. Are they going to make a playoff run? I don’t know, but they are a stronger team than the Nats despite all those problems. The Braves have been playing .500 ball for 2 months and the Nats have done nothing but do the same.
Kruss @ 55. Very true, after 3 months BJ has been abhorrent,and to think of 5 plus years at huge money is very disconcerting, but he does still have some room til he reaches Ken (worst ever Brave) Oberkfell territory.