Braves 2 Mets 1 Jason Heyward is healthy.

Mac use to say that nothing cures losing quite like the Mets.

Shame on us for ever doubting Mac’s philosophy of streak breaking.

Dillon Gee mastered the Braves again, this time taking a no-hitter into the sixth. Julio Teheran was almost as sharp, only allowing one run over six and punching out six batters. The one run came in relation to a ball Justin Upton tried to make a diving catch on that went to the wall.

It looked like was going to be another one of those night where the Braves were going to leave a small village on the bases. In the sixth, they loaded the bases, only to come up with nothing, again.

In the top of the ninth the Braves realized who they were playing and Brian McCann and El Oso Blanco led the inning off with singles. Dan Uggla hit into a fielder’s choice and John Buck helped out with a passed ball. Chris Johnson hit a weak tapper that brought Gattis in to tie it. Reed Johnson came off the bench and singled in Uggla to put the Braves up.

Craig Kimbrel came in and had obvious issues gripping the ball due to the rain. He hit a batter and gave up a walk.

The Mets looked to be in business.

Justin Turner then hit a pitch to left center field when IT happened. Jason Heyward, getting the start in center and positioned in right center field, broke on a ball that appeared to be a game winning double. Jason summoned his inter Andruw Jones and made one of the best catches of the year.

If you haven’t see it yet, here it is. 

The lead is seven. The Nats lost again and fall eight back.

97 thoughts on “Braves 2 Mets 1 Jason Heyward is healthy.”

  1. I’m all for keeping J-Hey in CF for as long as he likes.

    Oy vey. B-Upton is coming back. And bringing his 0-4, 2 ks and lack of spectacular defensive plays with him.

    Stole one tonight boys…and girls.

  2. Anyone else surprised that the Mets played back with CJ at bat with runners on 2nd and 3rd, effectively conceding the tying run? Thank you, Mets.

  3. I was surprised they didn’t load the bases and go for a double play after the pass ball.

  4. not to get too far out infront of our skis, but unless I’m mistaken, the current playoff scenario would have stl playing the pit/cin wc game and us taking on the Dbacks, correct? that is a scenario I would take in a heartbeat right about now.

  5. AZ has 21 last at bat wins this year. That’s a lot, although I’m not sure if it means anything.

  6. @8

    No, it would be against the NL West winner. Best record in the NL automatically plays the WC winner even if it’s in the same division; that’s why we would have played Washington if Sam Holbrook and three errors had not intervened.

  7. Remember that time that the Mets lost the NLCS to the Braves off a bases-loaded walk? In an inning that had major contributions from such notables as Gerald Williams and Bret Boone? In a game that saw Ozzie Guillen- Ozzie Guillen!- get a game-tying hit off of Armando Benitez?

    That was pretty awesome.

  8. I’ve watched it 5 or 6 times now.

    No way BJ catches that. No way. That made me love Heyward even more.

  9. @17 – I agree completely. Heyward’s catch is the best I’ve seen in a long, long time.

  10. Andruw also had to lay out three feet up in the air over a surface that was essentially concrete.

  11. Just saw the replay. What a catch. So, why did we sign an inferior fielder to a 75 million dollar contract?

    Lost in the shuffle, Reed Johnson with a clutch single.

  12. I believe this is the list in players implicated by Biogenesis: Ryan Braun, Brewers (suspended for the remainder of 2013), Alex Rodriguez, Yankees, Francisco Cervelli, Yankees, Fernando Martinez, Yankees, Melky Cabrera, Blue Jays, Everth Cabrera, Padres, Bartolo Colon, Athletics, Nelson Cruz, Rangers, Yasmani Grandal, Padres, Jesus Montero, Mariners, Jhonny Peralta, Tigers, Cesar Puello, Mets, Jordan Noberto, Fautino de los Santos, (free agents)

    -Gio Gonzalez has also been in reports as linked the the Biogenesis Clinic by Major League baseball, but with an asterisk – (*legal substances).

  13. @6,7: I heard the interview with Collins after the game. He said he would never play the shortstop in there, preferrring to give up the tying run to avoid the bloop hit over the shortstop’s head. (1st and 3rd were playing in). Bobby Ojeda, the Mets’ network’s Brian Jordan, agreed. No one asked about walking Chris Johnson, whose run was pretty meaningless, I agree.

  14. @6 – I was a little surprised, but with a runner on 2nd, playing in increases the chances of giving up the go ahead run. I guess that is what they were worried about.

    Or what JF said…

  15. Yes, Jason can play on my team whenever he’s healthy. He made a great catch.

    Can we beat the mutts the rest of the week with less drama, please, scoring tons of runs and giving up none or less? Thank you.

  16. In re: Jason’s catch: I think the wet grass helped him, as he seemed to treat it like a slip-n-slide.

    Observation about Biogenesis that is interesting to me: Ryan Braun appears to be the only non-Latin player on the list.

  17. @31 I believe you’re right, Braun is the only non-Latin player connected to Biogenesis so far. He played college baseball at the University of Miami, near Biogenesis’ office in Coral Gables, so presumably that’s how he got involved.

  18. @28

    The only reason to not walk him is because a bases loaded walk would thne tie the game.

    It doesn’t matter. Reed’s ball was smoked and taht ended it.

  19. So Cruz, Colon, and Peralta appeal, and everybody else accepts their punishment this year. I wonder if Melky and Yasmani will be forced out of baseball.

  20. You don’t walk him because if you can’t get Reed Johnson out, you probably can’t get Andrelton Simmons out either.

  21. @32: Ah, that makes sense now. Thanks for the insight.

    Oh, and a show of hands for how many people are glad the Braves didn’t have to deal with Melky and his PED scandal.

  22. Man, Kyle Wren is fun to track right now. He had 3 more hits last night playing CF for Rome. He’s up to a .982 OPS with 15 SB and 0 cs. He’s probably on the Matt Young career path (which is probably the reason I like him), but nonetheless fun to follow.

  23. Oh, that was incredible. I was at the Nats game last night ($1 dogs!) and I was following the Braves game on the scoreboard in right. The Nats lost with two on and two out in the bottom of the 9th in Atlanta, and I didn’t get to see what happened until this morning. What a play, Jason! WOW.

    And hey, Reed Johnson getting a hit! Who ‘da thunk?

    PS, the Nats game was actually really entertaining. Charlie Morton (former Brave) had a no-no into the 5th before doing his thing and walking/hitting guys immediately before giving up HRs. Our boy Adam LaRouche had a couple of HRs, too, including the solo shot that broke up the no-no. But this was all after Andrew McCutcheon hit two two-run HRs early on.

    Long story short, Grilli’s in for the save up 3-6, but he walks (hits?) LaRoche and immediately gives up a HR to Jason Werth. [Sidebar: best part of Nats games is when Werth comes up and they play Wearwolves of London. They had to cut the music during the chorus, and we got to hear half the remaining crowd howling. Pretty funny.] Grilli got two and put one on and (bizzarely) had to leave the game with some kinda injury. Vin Mazzaro wrapped it up. Nats lose! Nats lose!

  24. @38 Wren sure has dominated so far! It’s not impossible that he has value at the major league level, but the deck is definitely stacked against him. A guy his size (listed at 5’10”, 172 lbs) is going to have to rely upon fielding, defense and baserunning value to compensate for his offense. There are few guys his size in the majors who help sketch out the theoretical upside case – Adam Eaton and Eric Young, Jr. come to mind.

  25. 2 — I immediately thought about that play when Heyward made his last night. And yes, Andruw had to go farther.

    Why would anyone ever think playing on astroturf would be a good idea?

  26. Does anyone know of a good highlight reel of Andruw’s catches on the interwebs? I searched YouTube last night and didn’t find much – a couple of clips of individual catches (like the one in Montreal), and a bunch of highlight reels from his time with the White Sox and Yankees (which I don’t care about).


  27. 35 — They were talking about walking Chris Johnson with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out, not about Reed Johnson.

  28. Andruw’s catch is superior from a skill standpoint, but Heyward’s was bigger in the context of the game: if he doesn’t make that catch, two runs score and the Braves lose.

  29. In five years, we’ll be talking about how scrappy Kyle Wren is as a player. I hope we’ll be talking Dustin Pedroia-scrappy, but that is highly unlikely.

    But, I can dream, can’t I?

  30. Dustin Pedroia, Jim Wynne, Joe Morgan. Those are small stature guys that had good careers that I could think of right away. Kyle Wren may not amount to much but remember the perfect baseball build recently for the Braves was one Francouer, Jeff.

  31. Andruw is absolutely incredible when he was at his prime, but that should not take away the quality of the catch Jason made last night. I hope BJ learns a thing or two from that.

  32. Marcus Giles was pretty good for a few years, and he was about the same size as those guys.

    One reason they stick short guys at second base is that they have to reverse their momentum and wheel their bodies around a lot — throwing to second while running to their left, throwing to first while running to their right, etc. Helps to have a lower center of gravity.

  33. @49

    I don’t think it’s taking away the quality at all. On the contrary, I love the fact that it’s made us go back and relive Andruw’s greatest catches as a comparison point.

    For the record, Andruw’s greatest catch IMO is either that Spiderman one or the one he made to rob a home run in Baltimore, which I haven’t been able to find yet on a basic five-minute YouTube search, but I’m sure is out there somewhere.

  34. I’m very excited that a Braves active player has not been linked to PEDs while all this crap has been going on. It seems like Melly was on PEDs after Atlanta, and clearly Ken Caminiti was off PEDs by the time he came to Atlanta.

    Uggla, please stay out of trouble.

  35. I’m not sure 90 at bats of a 22 year old in the low minors is reason enough to trot out the Toy Cannon comps…

  36. Yeah, I guess the E in PED is enhancement. BJ for sure isn’t on any of that stuff.

    @54 Like I said he may not amount to much. Just throwing out some good small guys off the top of my head.

  37. The thing is being popped for PEDs cannot void a contract. That was part of what was agreed upon when testing was allowed in the first place. Braun will be vilified for sure but I think he’s still got $117 million coming to him, easy to see the motivation.

  38. @50: I always thought Marcus Giles was on steroids. Either that, or he was some freak of nature. I’ve never seen a guy his size crush balls into the batter’s eye at Turner Field like he did.

  39. @59 – It’s easy to assume that Giles was using. He was a tiny guy, a gym rat, and his power mysteriously disappeared around the time the league started testing. Additionally his brother was a similar story, and they were both from San Diego, where some of the original PED supplies were supposedly coming from. But that’s more “just so” reasoning than anything conclusive.

    It’s also the case that Giles’ decline as a player coincided with two back-to-back massive concussions received while playing for the Braves; one on a collision in CF with Andruw, the other on a play where Mark Prior destroyed his head with a knee on a play on the base paths in Chicago. All of which is also “just so” reasoning as well. But either story works with what we know of the facts. There’s no reason to think either Giles was using, moreso than anyone else in the era.

    It also bears mentioning that the only known, scientifically tested use for steroids or PEDs is to help muscles and injuries heal faster. Famously, Andy Pettitte claims that he started using while attempting to recuperate an injury. And that being said, everyone’s favorite knucklehead of a HOF 3B sure did start succumbing to nagging injuries, after year upon year of being an iron horse at third, right there at the 2003 “league started testing” line of demarcation.

    Again, no evidence. Just anecdote and storytelling, just like the rest. But it’s widely assumed that Javy Lopez was using during the time he “bulked up in the gym” (and stopped the year he “decided to drop muscle weight and increase flexibility” prior to his walk year.) So there’s no reason to think the Braves clubhouse was any more clean than any other MLB clubhouse. And there’s plenty of narrative possibilities that any number of Braves took a little chemical help to stay competitive now and then.

  40. @61 – “It also bears mentioning that the only known, scientifically tested use for steroids or PEDs is to help muscles and injuries heal faster.”

    That is not correct. PEDs included in the MLB policy include a number of types of drugs that have a variety of other effects. Among other things, HGH is used to increase red blood cell production which boosts energy levels, muscle performance during activities, etc. There are several PEDs (e.g., adrafinil, pemoline) that are stimulants, and these increase awareness and mental activities that allow athletes to be active longer without tiring.

  41. I won’t trash any organization (on an *organization* basis) for PED use, because the 2003 Atlanta Braves happened, and that was “just so,” as Sam has said, enough for me.

    Individuals, though? Fair game. Braun’s a tool.

  42. I would wager that quite a few Braves used PEDs…as did quite a few players on every team (and not just the really good ones). I don’t get too worked up about it though. I know I’m definitely in the minority but I think it’s common sense to assume that every possible avenue to gain even the smallest “edge” would be in play when there’s hundreds of millions of dollars on the line.

    If baseball really wanted it banned they could do so. Right now I think it’s more like baseball is having buyer’s remorse on some of these huge long-term deals (Pujols, ARod, et al) where the market price of the contract was based on steriod-era realities that do not exist any more – especially the high-level-production-into-the-late-30’s aspect.

  43. Braves I WISH had been using PEDs:

    Keith Lockhart
    Corky Miller
    Raul Mondesi
    Kevin Grybowski
    Kim Jong-Il
    etc etc

  44. @61 “everyone’s favorite knucklehead of a HOF 3B sure did start succumbing to nagging injuries, after year upon year of being an iron horse at third, right there at the 2003 “league started testing” line of demarcation”

    Yes, Chipper started missing substantially more games beginning in 2004 than he had in previous years, but give me a break… the guy was 32 that season. At some point, every player is going to start having health issues. To take one example, the Dark Lord Chase Utley averaged 151 games per season ’05-’09, and once he turned 32, a mere 100 from ’10-’12. Also, while Chipper’s games per season decreased beginning in ’04, he was just as good a hitter from ’05-’08 as he was during his prime healthy years – so if his sudden fragility was a result of PED testing, it somehow didn’t affect his hitting.

    In summary: Sam, I’m sure you’re just trying to play devil’s advocate here, but the case for Chipper and PEDs is super weak. The same cannot be said for Javy, Marcus Giles, Gary Sheffield, Brett Boone and I’m sure many others I’m not thinking of right now.

  45. To me Chipper looked like (body-wise) he was using something. Again, I don’t care, and I don’t think it makes these guys horrible people, and of course there’s probably never going to be hard proof for most cases anyway. In my mind I think it’s just highly likely.

  46. @67 – If Corky Miller was using PEDs, could you imagine his OPS without them? It’s hard to imagine anyone putting up much worse numbers than his 2008 season – .083/.152/ .133. The amazing thing is that he’s still around and has put up a .100/.280/ .100 line with Cincinnati this year. He also has the classic reputation of being a great defensive catcher (I’ve never seen it) simply because he can’t hit.

  47. Schafer never actually tested positive did he?

    Asked how Major League Baseball determined that Schafer used HGH, Mike Teevan, MLB’s manager of media relations, said, “We have non-analytic means of identifying players. He falls under that category.”

  48. PEDs have never really bothered me. If taking a ligament from a cadaver and inserting it into your elbow is legal, then I don’t know how you can get worked up about anybody taking supplements.

  49. Chipper’s connection to PEDs are no more or less tenuous than those of Marcus Giles. Or anyone else who doesn’t have a red flag positive test or has admitted use. The entire point is that PED allegations are mostly hearsay and storytelling.

  50. PEDs are not supplements, by definition. There are certainly differing minds on the issue, but it’s hard for me to see the similarity between reconstructive surgery and taking illegal drugs with demonstrated health risks.

  51. Baseball has created its own mess by taking the holier-than-thou angle and then making half-hearted attempts to self-police. The NFL has taken the more intelligent path (with respect to the sport’s popularity and perception) and just basically decided to ignore it and keep it out of the media narratives.

    Maybe my great-grand-kids will be arguing one day about the sanctity of the record books and whether the Braves should sign more mutant-cyborgs.

  52. Football has more immediate and serious problems to deal with — like killers and violent maniacs making daily headlines.

    One wonders whether all the brain injuries and PED use will later be linked to the violent off field stuff.

  53. What are the demonstrated health risks of adult HGH use? I thought this was firmly in the “we need more studies on the subject” phase rather than “it’s 100% confirmed that it’s really really bad for you” phase.

  54. Each to their own, I suppose, but I’ve never understood the “Steroids in sports don’t bother me all that much, and in fact, I think sports are better with steroids” line of thinking. What is this, professional wrestling? This affects the outcomes of games and championships (not to mention records, which probably aren’t as important, but still…). Do the Brewers make the playoffs in ’11 if Braun isn’t using steroids? Do the Giants make the World Series in ’02 if Bonds isn’t using steroids? Do the Cubs win the wild card in ’98 if Sosa isn’t using steroids? Do the A’s win three straight AL pennants in the late 80s if the entire freaking team isn’t using steroids? You might as well be saying “Oh, the fact that players are gambling tens of thousands of dollars per game on their own team doesn’t really matter to me.”

  55. So it’s okay for players to undergo invasive surgery to overcome injuries but not ok for people to take PEDs that help them recover more quickly from nagging ailments? The line is more blurred than you think.

  56. @80 –

    I recall during the Bonds media storm a CDC report about the effect of HGH on creating and exacerbating cancerous tumors. In laymen’s terms (as I understand it), HGH causes rapid cell reproduction which in turn creates more cell errors that can lead to cancer. HGH also causes existing cancer cells to reproduce more rapidly.

    There are medical conditions that are treated with HGH, but use as a PED does not have any medical benefits.

    @82 – Not in my mind. Doctors recommend surgery when less invasive means will not succeed. Doctors may also prescribe certain steriods and other drugs to treat injuries or medical conditions, when rest and therapy do not work. But self-treating “nagging injuries” (if the althlete is **really** using the PED for that reason, as opposed to just trying to get a performance edge) with PEDs is not anything close to reconstructive surgery in my book.

  57. @79 – Football as presently constituted is an unbelievably violent game, and it is going to attract some violent people as players. Plain and simple. I think the violence off-the-field is only going to escalate. The NFL is complicit in letting the on-the-field game get so fast and so violent because the bucks kept rolling in by the billions. They are only stepping in to slow things down and protect players heads now because players are committing suicide so that their brains can be studied as to the impact of all of those collisions. The NFL sees the writing on the wall.

  58. Does MLB’s anti- trust exemption have anything to do with the heightened scrutiny from Congress? Or does the NFL also have such an exemption?

  59. I agree there is likely some selection bias in football, but it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem: Are more violent people the best football players? or do the best football players become more violent (through injury or drug use)? or are both true?

  60. @83, you are going to have to show me multiple comprehensive studies done by reputable scientists – a WebMD article that says it might be bad for you isn’t going to cut it. Common sense says that HGH use for enhanced athletic performance is a relatively new thing and we don’t have much data about what happens to these people 30 years down the road.

  61. @87 – Hah. (If my goal was to satisfy a doubting mind, I might respond substantively. I suggest you do your own home work if you’re really interested in challenging untutored notions.)

  62. @87

    Oh, by all means, lets make it legal for the next 30 years, then, while these studies are compiled.

    It’s not illegal because it may or may not cause cancer, it’s illegal because of its performance-enhancing benefits. It would be illegal even if it had no side effects whatsoever. And that’s the other thing. These things are illegal because the collective bargaining agreement says they’re illegal. Sudafed is illegal in Olympic competition. You may think that’s stupid, and I may agree with you, but those are the rules, and the competitors know those rules. So if I don’t have a great deal of sympathy for them, you can imagine how little I have for baseball players using HGH and steroids in a performance enhancing way, even if it hasn’t been 100 percent proven that all of these substances have horrific side effects (though it certianly seems likely). The side effects aren’t the issue. They’re a nice moral arrow to have in the quiver, but they’re not much more than that.

  63. @88, There’s no real homework to do – there’s not enough data. There’s a lot of educated guesses.

    In an attempt to drive the conversation in a slightly different direction, I’ll pose this question: Should all PEDs be banned across the board, or just ones that have adverse health risks? What if there’s a super-supplement 5 years from now that makes you faster/stronger/smarter without any downside – is that policed out of the game because we just can’t stomach the home-run record being smashed, or does it become part of the mainstream culture and you’d be considered an idiot if you *didn’t* use it?

  64. Grass-fed beef is the next thing to be banned.

    Whatever Melky and Bartolo took, I want some of it. I’m in St. Augustine at the moment and am planning on skinny dipping in the Fountain of Youth.

    Flagler College is amazing.

  65. @92 I think baseball’s anti-trust exemption is based on SCOTUS decision, subject to possible congressional review.

  66. It’s time to get JC Bradbury posting here again. He has convinced me that the effect of HGH in normal humans is probably entirely psychological. Steroids are another matter.

    The line between PEDs and non-PEDs is completely arbitrary — I don’t think anyone disputes that, do they? Nick’s example of sudafed should help make that clear. And I think Nick is entirely right — set a rule and then enforce it, whether it makes sense or not.

    Baseball’s problem in this regard is that there are all those “funny” stories of pitchers doctoring balls to get an edge in violation of the rules. (I’m looking at you, Mr. Sutton.) If you wink at violations, in effect encouraging players to do whatever they can just short of getting caught, well, you reap what you sow. How about a ten game suspension for a player who claims to catch a ball that the umps can clearly see he trapped? I’d be happier if baseball were more golflike in its expectations, but that’s just me.

    And as to a harm standard, there are two different audiences here. If it’s about the players harming themselves, I have no sympathy. We allow lots of people to do really harmful things in pursuit of our amusement — boxers, linemen, Cirque du Soleil acrobats, Siegfried and Roy, etc, etc.

    If we’re worried about an emulation effect, I’d worry a lot more about the emulation effect that leads young men to ignore school and chase unattainable dreams than about the few who might have some detrimental health effects.

  67. @94 – The liability issue is also important. MLB is also worried about be sued by players who use and are harmed by PEDs.

  68. @95: It seems to me that it would be easier to achieve that in a standard employment contract than by banning PEDs. That’s particularly true here where the usage happens off the clock, as it were.

  69. The same could be said of releases for injuries due to contact, but courts / juries are willing to ignore contract provisions where they appear (often after the fact) to lead to socially undesirable outcomes (i.e., you use drugs that will harm you, I’ll look the other way and pay you millions, but you can’t sue me later if you bet wrong).

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