Braves 9, Rockies 0

Colorado Rockies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – July 31, 2013 – ESPN

This is fun!

For the third straight game, the Braves offense scored six runs in a single inning, and they’re now 6-0 since the Waffle House stand popped up at Turner Field. Tonight, it was the third inning, in which the first nine hitters went walk-single-single-single-homer-single-K-double-single. That staked Mike Minor to a seven-run lead (which would become a nine-run lead), and that was six (and eight) runs more than he would need.

Because Mikie was on. (Again.) 95 pitches in seven innings, with only two base-runners surrendered (both singles) and six Rockies struck out. Obviously, he gave up no runs, and his season’s ERA now sits at a very pretty 2.75, good for 8th in the league. Of those 95 pitches, 70 were strikes. It was a pleasure to watch.

Pretty much everyone, including the apparently-reinvigorated Justin Upton, is hitting the ball hard, right now. Jason Heyward is getting on base, while Andrelton Simmons is thriving at the bottom of the order. Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman are raking, too, and Chris Johnson (!!!) has a 12-point lead in the NL batting race.

The late innings were most notable for baseballs traveling at high velocities and injuring non-players’ arms. Snitker’s right wrist couldn’t get out of the way of an Uggla foul ball, and home-plate umpire Marty Foster’s left forearm was literally dented by a 92-mph Wilton Lopez fastball, causing him to leave the game and, I can only assume, go scream into the nearest towel for a while. (Whether this excruciating pain was deserved, given the severity of his second-inning botched call on a play at the plate, will be left for the reader to decide.)

As for the trade deadline, Scott Downs remains the only addition — so far. It seems clear from Wren’s quotes that a lefty-hitting infielder will be added to the bench at some point in the next month, and I sure would feel better if we added another starting pitcher, too, given the health/performance uncertainty in the rotation — only Minor and Teheran feel like sure things, and when a 22-year-old is one of your sure things. . . . Anyway, I wouldn’t mind taking on the salary of a Phil Hughes or Joe Saunders for the rest of 2013, just for a little insurance.

The Braves are starting to look like the best team in the league again. The fourth and final game of the series is tomorrow, when the aforementioned Teheran will be tasked with completing the sweep. Frankly, I like his chances. Go Braves.

Author: Stu

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I've been married since July 17, 2004 to my beautiful wife, who also doubles as my best friend. We have an almost-three-years-old Boston Terrier named Lucy who's also pretty awesome. My wife and I both graduated from Vanderbilt University in May of 2004. I graduated from Law School at the University of Georgia in May of 2007 and am now practicing in Nashville, Tennessee. I really, really love the Atlanta Braves.

154 thoughts on “Braves 9, Rockies 0”

  1. While obviously no one truly wishes injury on another, the merest insinuation that a little karma might be involved in Foster’s mishap brought a one-sided smile to my lips. ;-)

    Great (and speedy!) recap, Stu. Now I’m all nervous; it’s my turn in the rotation tomorrow and I wanna keep the line moving. In J-Teh I trust.

    What a great last week, huh?

  2. Just remember that we’re probably not going to have six run innings every night. Most nights, but not every night.

  3. Stu, why would you want to add a Phil Hughes or Joe Saunders when we already have Maholm? You have more confidence in those guys than in Maholm?

  4. OK @Indians fans. Don't want to overstate this, but it has a little '95 feel to it. 2 walk offs in 3 nights? C'mon!!— Chris Rose (@ChrisRose) August 1, 2013

    How did Cleveland’s 1995 season end again? Can’t quite remember.

  5. 4—Not necessarily. Like I said, there’s just uncertainty with all four starters behind Minor and Teheran. Adding another credible innings-eater would mitigate risk.

  6. Rave Braves.

    I’m a sucker for a pitchers duel & I’m watching a pretty good one right now: Kuroda vs. Kershaw. Yes, that’s a lotta Ks.

  7. Per Elias, this is the first time the Braves have scored at least six runs in an inning in three straight games since September of 1900, when they were the Boston Beaneaters.

    Moral: Eat more beans.

    EDIT: Eleven games is the Braves’ biggest division lead since October of 2004.

  8. Friends-

    alas, when Bupton returns and in his first game strikes out thrice, hits into a BP…and misses a cutoff man.

    What do we do???????

  9. 9- And the Beaneaters went 66-72 that year. Good defense (273 errors- that was the fewest in the league) and pitching (3rd in the league in ERA in a strong hitters’ park), but mediocre offense (average OPS and runs scored in said hitters’ park) despite a league-leading 48 homers. Bad luck, too, as those games with the big innings illustrate- the first one on September 24 ended in a 14-14 tie with the Giants before sweeping a DH 8-0 and 8-1.

    Not the best role model. Fortunately, we’re built a bit differently than the team of Herman Long and Bill Dinneen.

  10. Pweeg runs into the Dodgers’ first baseman Mark Ellis, causing Ellis to drop a popup and letting in two Yankee runs. Fun in LA.

  11. @1

    For those curious, apparently Molina has no structural damage in his knee. He’s on the DL with a sprained knee, which he got drained today. At this rate, though, who knows what he comes back to in 15 days, assuming he does.

    Also, I’ve been saying for awhile that all we need to do is avoid having Washington take 7-of-9 or more. Well, at this point, if they took 7-of-9, they’d still be six games back.

  12. @17 I am not worried. This year’s Natspos have more trouble scoring runs for some reason, and their pitching has regressed. They are not a threat.

  13. After what happened in 2011, I’m not going to count the chickens before the hatch. What was it again? An 8.5 game lead in early September and a 10.5 game lead in late August?

  14. @15 In Puig’s defense, he was calling for the ball and it was his to take. That blunder’s on Ellis.

  15. I remember when the consensus was Minor was picked for signability and he would never be much more than a middle rotation guy. With the 7th pick you don’t take guys like that, teams normally take big upside guys.

    Well, I saw Mike in AA dominate one night, he hit 94 on the gun a couple of times and I thought, WOW, this guy could be really good. I don’t think even I thought he would be this good. After his rough patch last year, he has really blossomed. I can be as hard on Wren as anybody, but they got this pick right.

    As far as the rest of the season goes, the Braves just have to worry about themselves, get and stay healthy, give guys rest and not bomb that roadie in the middle of August and I think they are safely in the playoffs.

    The Braves will have to lose the division, Washington won’t win it.

  16. Minor is definitely looking like a good top of the rotation pitcher. The credit has to go to our scouts on this one. Apparently they saw something in his delivery that masde them think he was capable of more than what he had shown so far. I remember his velocity going up 3 to 4 mph very soon after he was drafted.

  17. Minor, Teheran, Beachy, Wood, Medlen, Kimbrell, Avilan. That’s a lot of homegrown pitching.

  18. I’m not greedy, but now that Lord Douchenozzle has declared that this shit isn’t over I would like to win the division by 20 games. Curb stomp them, gentlemen!

  19. Dan @19 – thank you! It’s only August 1, fercryinoutloud.

    ===================

    Certainly, the Braves organization is Top 5 and Wren has executed some very savvy technical moves. But his crippling, high opportunity-cost Glamour Signings have cost us.

    I know I’d certainly rather have McCann at C and Schafer in CF than McCann elsewhere and BJupkis in CF.

    I can just imagine the smothered laughter: “He signed BOTH Uptons? Bwhahahaha!”

    Tell me again what was wrong with Michael Bourn?

  20. 26: All their victory scenarios start with them sweeping 9 games from the Braves. It’s a little sad that after 108 games, it hasn’t sunk in with them that they just aren’t in the Braves’ class. They’ll be lucky to salvage a single series win.

  21. They have to sweep all nine games. If they take 2 of 3, they would still be nine back.

    I look forward to ESPN’s excuses for them. You go first Mr. Kruk

  22. Well how about we just keep winning and have maybe a 12 game lead before we see them on Monday, and make it academic.

  23. @22 and @25—That’s kind of incredible. This organization does so many things right.

    I vote we just win all 9 games left against the Nationals. That seems like the best solution to me.

  24. B.Harper is still not impressed by the Braves. Maybe ESPN can do another 1 hour special so that Harper can explain to everyone why Chris Johnson’s batting average isn’t worth any media attention, along with everything else the Braves do. Maybe get his deep thoughts on other sports and world events too.

  25. The only attention I want is covearge of the parade in downtown Atlanta in late October. Then maybe a few seconds when the team hangs out with Obama durring one our first trip to Washington next year.

  26. They may or may not have to sweep all nine games, depending on what we do in-between, though it’s seeming likely that they’re going to have to win 8-of-9 or something of the like. But one thing they absolutely have to do is sweep us when we go up there for a three-game series early next week. If we leave there more or less in the position that we started, having effectively laid waste to a third of their chance, they’re boned. Because their chances of sweeping the remaining six are not especially good with half of them in Turner Field.

  27. The Braves are 6-0 since the Waffle House opened @ Turner Field. The power of covered, smothered and flopped is not to be trifled with, people.

  28. I fear to mention this because of 2011 but Baseball Prospectus and Cool Standings both have us with a 99.3% chance of making the playoffs and a 99.1% chance of winning the division. BPro also gives us an 11.6% shot at the WS title which is tops in the NL (LAD 10.6% and admittedly this is a function of the high probability of winning the division) and 2nd to only Det (22.2%) in MLB.

  29. Also, to add to my thought @34, we play them three times at home and three times on the road in early-to-mid August. The other three games are in mid-September. Those last three games are liable to mean precisely squat if they don’t win all of the first six (and as previously mentioned, three of those are in Atlanta) and then make sure our lead is still five games at the absolute most when we go in there in mid-September.

    Remember when we swept the Nationals in three games in mid-September last year and it didn’t mean anything at all? I believe they came into Atlanta for that series with an 8.5 game lead and left with a 5.5 game lead (though I’m going from memory on that). That’s more or less what they’re looking at if they don’t cut our lead down in a big hurry starting next week.

  30. OTOH the Dodgers have gained something like 15 games on AZ in about 5 weeks so a lot can happen. To Nick’s point I think the Nats would be wise to sweep but I wouldn’t say taking only 2 of 3 (or even 1 of 3) puts them out of it, there’s a lot of baseball left. We lose the next 4 while they win the next 4 and we go into that series only up 7 and they have a chance to cut it to 4. I’m with Sam, let’s make the lead 20 games leave no room for doubt.

  31. It’s one thing to have an overperforminig team “come back to the pack” against others that have been having normal good years. Washington isn’t just not winning games at the same rate as Atalanta, they are not winning much period. That is a horse of a very different color.

  32. Matchups for the week: (can you tell I’m “on the bench” at work and have time on my hands?)

    …that didn’t work so well…editing…

    Date
    ATLOpp
    ATLStart
    WASOpp
    WASStart

    8/1
    COL
    Teheran
    OFF
    OFF

    8/2
    PHI
    Medlen
    MIL
    Zimmerman

    8/3
    PHI
    Beachy
    MIL
    Ohlendorf

    8/4
    PHI
    Wood
    MIL
    Haren

    8/5
    WAS
    Minor
    ATL
    Strasburg

    8/6
    WAS
    Teheran
    ATL
    Gonzalez

    8/7
    WAS
    Medlen
    ATL
    Zimmerman

  33. Hey CarGo is doubtful for tonight’s game and we have Teheran pitching against Jerome Bettis? Not sure how much The Bus has left at his age but this will be the one we lose I’m sure.

  34. Still wonky.

    Raw data:

    Date, ATLOpp, ATLStart, WASOpp, WASStart
    8/1, COL, Teheran, OFF, OFF
    8/2, PHI, Medlen, MIL, Zimmerman
    8/3, PHI, Beachy, MIL, Ohlendorf
    8/4, PHI, Wood, MIL, Haren
    8/5, WAS, Minor, ATL, Strasburg
    8/6, WAS, Teheran, ATL, Gonzalez
    8/7, WAS, Medlen, ATL, Zimmerman

  35. I’ve got tickets for Monday. Hadn’t checked the matchups yet but Minor/Strasburg should be fun. Fun to watch Strasburg get completely outclassed by a better pitcher taken in the same draft, that is.

  36. It’s

    Teheran/Chad Bettis
    Medlen/Ethan Martin
    Beachy/Pettibone
    Wood/Lannan
    Minor/Strasburg
    Teheran/Gio
    Medlen/Zimmerman

    Nats next 3:
    Zimmerman/Gorzelanny
    Haren/Hand
    Jordan/Lohse

  37. @44

    The ESPN promo:

    Steven Stasburg and Bryce Harper are at home tonight for the first of three critical games that could decide who wins the NL East!

    Coming up on Sport Center: Stay tuned fore more Yankee highlights from their 10-3 loss on Sunday. Jeremy Schap sits down with Jake Peavy to discuss how awsome Boston is. Then: Tom Brady and Johnny Football talk about what it takes to win.

  38. I’m not sure why our Friday game against Philly shows Medlen vs. TBA. That’s Cliff Lee’s turn. I don’t see why they’d skip him.

  39. smitty, you pretty much nailed it but you forgot the “Urban Meyer is the classiest football coach in college” segment.

  40. No Tebow?

    Also: it’s basically all A-Rod, all the time right now at the worldwide leader.

  41. same old, same old

    Atlanta Braves:
    1. CF: Jason Heyward
    2. RF: Justin Upton
    3. 1B: Freddie Freeman
    4. LF: Evan Gattis
    5. C: Brian McCann
    6. 3B: Chris Johnson
    7. 2B: Dan Uggla
    8. SS: Andrelton Simmons
    9. SP: Julio Teheran

  42. Apropos of our CF discussion last week, I gotta say, you never saw Andruw make a play like Edmonds makes here:

  43. Both Atlanta & Washington have 54 games remaining.

    If the Braves go 27-27, the Nats gotta go 38-16 just to tie for the division.

    So, in that scenario, we’re talking about a club that’s 4 games under .500 now going 22 games over the rest of the way.

  44. Actually given the Braves remaining schedule I think it’s more likely that Was goes 38-16 than ATL only going 27-27. 38-16 is tough and of course it doesn’t seem likely but LAD for example was 30-42 on June 21 9.5 games out of first. Before yesterday’s loss they had run off a 27-6 stretch and gained 13 games in the standings. I think that would have seemed unlikely for a 30-42 team as well but it happened.

  45. I know I’d certainly rather have McCann at C and Schafer in CF than McCann elsewhere and BJupkis in CF.

    And I know you certainly wouldn’t have said anything even remotely close to that this time LAST YEAR. Or LAST WINTER. Absolutely no one was sitting around saying “oh, we picked up Jordan Schafer, who just got cut by the Astros, off of waivers; centerfield is saved!” You nor anyone else would have been happy or willing to go into 2013 with Jordan Schafer as you starting CF. Because until he was relegated to a strict platoon player who never, ever sees a LHP in his life, Jordan Schafer was washed out of baseball and was lucky to have been picked up by the Braves to be stashed in AAA as Jose Constanza’s backup.

    Tell me again what was wrong with Michael Bourn?

    If they had signed Bourn instead of BJ Upton you’d be getting 284/337/378, 13 stolen bases with 8 caught stealings, and you’d STILL be losing Brian McCann this offseason.

  46. Bourn would also almost certainly have been more expensive and probably would have required a 5 year deal to sign early in the offseason, and I know no one would have been happy not having any center fielder signed in February.

    When Cleveland signed the deal there was pretty much no market left for him.

  47. BJ had a quality June, but then regressed for his 11 games in July before the injury. I doubt they rush him back if he’s not hitting at Gwinnett, but he does bring proper defensive alignment back to the OF, and it’s not like Evan Gattis’ 609 OPS in July is the stuff dreams are made of.

    Granted, that’s better than his OPS from June…

  48. This team is so exciting when they’re playing well. I guess that can be said of any team that’s playing well. But this team is so young, and the talent seems to be so evenly spread through the different areas of the roster, that a fan can be forgiven for letting his mind wander past this season.

    I maintain that I can imagine a reality in which we keep Brian McCann. As far as I know, his agent is still BB Abbott, Chipper’s childhood friend who only got in to the agent business to represent Chipper. As far as I can tell, the only players he’s ever represented are Chipper (Floridian) Chris Sale (Floridian) Brian McCann (Georgian) and Jonathan Broxton (Georgian).

    I really feel like if Brian McCann was planning to chase the dollars, he would have changed agents coming in to this season.

    But I digress. The larger point is that we’ve got so much of this team cost controlled, and we don’t really have any holes we know we’ll have to plug going in to next season.

    Alot of guys are going to be going through arbitration in the next couple years. But that’s not STRICTLY a bad thing. There’s a lot of flexibility there.

    I’m not saying I WOULD do this, but imagine the kind of talent you could get in trade for a Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Kris Medlen or Mike Minor in say 2015. To alot of teams, an arb guy is viewed through the lens of “Only in his arb years,” rather than “He’s coming up on his arb years.” That’s incredibly valuable to a Rangers or Red Sox team that expects to win year in and year out.

    What I’m getting at is, you can move a James Shields for a Wil Myers. You can’t just say “We can’t afford McCann because we’re going to have to pay all these arb guys.” There’s flexibility in this team. And sure, trading Mike Minor or Kris Medlen or even Jason Heyward is just as tough of a decision as letting McCann walk. But maybe it’s the right thing to do, since McCann walking doesn’t help you reload. And at premium positions like CF, SS and C, you just might be better off paying for the “sure thing” (as sure as anything can actually be.)

    Just for example, you could pay McCann what he costs, include Medlen in a deal for a Cliff Lee type, trade Freddie Freeman to replenish the system, and stick Gattis at 1B. Is that team better or worse than a team with Freeman, Medlen and no McCann and no extra prospects? (Again, I feel I have to say I haven’t thought specifics through, I’m speaking only conceptually here.) My simple point is: We have options.

  49. Bourne, older, skills likely to decline faster, as Alex mentioned, a Boras client, Lefty singles hitter when we needed a righty power bat.

    Upton, righty power bat, younger at 28 in his prime years. signable. Yeah there were warts on him but it was a good signing. Odds are that this is a blip in his career. We will see.

  50. RE: ESPN – I had 30 minutes between finals this morning so I sat down in front of a tv to catch some baseball highlights in the student center. In the time I was there, Sportscenter featured a reporter waiting for Arod to emerge outside the clubhouse at the Yankees’ facility in Tampa, an absolute jackass bugging Boston police about why they hadn’t drained a 25 acre lake to find the Aaron Hernandez murder weapon yet (seriously), some footage of a Michigan football boosters meeting to promote the season opener (on ESPN, of course), and an interview with Michael Vick about his racist Eagles teammate. When I had to leave, the sidebar said that additional Arod coverage was imminent followed by more coverage of the Hernandez gun search. Whose idea was it to completely abandon actual sports coverage, and who watches that crap now? And it’s not like it’s even working – ratings have been down every month of the year so far.

  51. I think McCann’s playing so well partly because he feels somewhat spurned by the Braves already. And I’m sure if he squints ten or twelve times, even he can see the New York/LA/Boston/Texas payday coming his way.

  52. I do feel for BJ. What he’s going through isn’t easy. But then I remember that he’s making $75 million and I don’t really feel all that bad for him.

  53. @69: I don’t think it’s completely implausible that McCann re-ups with the Braves. It’s just that most guys won’t take a hometown discount, and the Braves will need one in order to sign him. You point to some valid circumstantial evidence that McCann isn’t most guys, and maybe you’re right, but I still suspect Mac is gonna want more dollars and years than Wren will feel comfortable giving.

    I do hope I’m wrong, and that they bring him back on a reasonable deal. Gattis is great for what he is, but the production dropoff from him to McCann would be quite large.

  54. We’re always one injury away from the whole Gattis/McCann thing getting a lot more clear or a lot more complicated.

  55. I actually think McCann would take a discount. But I still don’t think it’s the best use of resources for a mid-market, NL team to invest heavily in years or dollars in an aging catcher. I sure as hell wouldn’t complain if we did, though, cause I love the guy.

  56. Bmac will get 6 or 7 years from someone and I really don’t want it to be Atlanta. His body won’t hold up behind the plate for that long. Unless we magically have the DH spot show up this offseason I don’t see how Atlanta can keep him. I’m sure Cards fans thought they couldn’t live without Pujols but I’m sure Angel fans would love for someone to take that contract now.

  57. McCann and Gattis in a tandem C/1B role could reap dividends…

    I wish we just had the damned DH already. It’s coming. It’s going to come 2 years after we let McCann walk.

  58. @79

    That was a great article with great analysis, but really doesn’t tell you anything. Johnson does indeed have a great swing, and the vast majority of his hits are ground balls and low line drives, so it’s not unreasonable to think he’s going to be above a .380 BABIP for a good chunk of his career.

    You would think a guy that hits solid line drives and ground balls for more consistent success than almost 99% of hitters past and present would also, ya know, learn to do something else well (like power, plate discipline, fielding, etc.). Nah.

  59. 78- The DH has been coming for 40 years; as far as I’m concerned, it can keep coming for many more.

    Just throw strikes, Julio. They didn’t bring the altitude with them.

  60. Julio was an ASSASSIN in that inning.

    These guys have been playing playoff baseball ever since the Cardinals came to town. Too bad for the Rockies that they ain’t a playoff caliber team.

  61. I don’t know what exactly happened there. It looked like he got it in the ribs/back, but he’s walking like his ankle hurts.

  62. Teheran’s breaking ball is not sharp but he’s throwing tons of them. I think he needs to trust his fastball and mix in the changeup.

  63. An Ernie Johnson classic tonight. We’re on pace for this thing to end a shade before midnight.

  64. Heyward walk, Upton homer.

    Thank you, Fredi, for this lineup. Maybe you will win Manager of the Year before this is all over.

  65. It will be quite a feat if Teheran can get through the 5th. 57 pitches in two innings while only giving up 1 run is pretty fortunate.

  66. Good, glad he got tossed. I’ve seen our guys ejected for far less, even before they went to the break.

  67. When was the last time Gattis didn’t swing at a pitch? I’m not one to get on first-pitch swinging because you need to go after it if you get what you are looking for, but Gattis is testing my patience a bit.

  68. 58 PAs since returning from the DL, zero walks. That and the reduced power are probably not coincidental.

  69. Seventy-six pitches in three innings, and the Rockies have scored one run. Can’t remember the last time I’ve seen that.

  70. Braves.com headline makes reference to a Jayson Heyward. Anybody know who that is?

  71. Phils just lost. Papelbon blew a save in the top of the 9th. Then they loaded the bases with nobody out against Sergio Romo, and failed to score.

    I wonder who Papelbon will blame for this one?

  72. @123, She’s done that before with other names. It’s the rare sideline sports reporter babe that looks at all comfortable with what she’s being paid to say. Even Erin Andrews had a few rough moments starting out, although she’s really become a very polished sports personality.

  73. First six-weeks Justin appears to be back. Let’s hope he stays this way through the end of the WS!

  74. And almost another six-run inning. I don’t think I’ve seen a Braves offense like this in years.

  75. I mean, is there a word other than “demolish” for what they did to the Rockies? 40 runs in 4 games. Mercy.

  76. It’s good enough already to get JUpton, but getting Regression in the deal is just complete robbery.

  77. Because we’ve been through this in April, we know it won’t last. But it sure is reassuring to know that lightning can strike twice.

  78. I know the influence of a pitching coach and hitting coach is debatable, but it’s hard not to give McDowell major credit for what’s going on. The Braves lose two of the best relievers in baseball and somehow they patchwork together one of the best pens in baseball, with only Kimbrel and now Downs as proven relievers. I guess you could argue for Ayala, but his innings and impact have been minimal.

  79. So far this year we’ve been a .500 team when Justin has been average/mediocre, and unstoppable when he’s been hot. Others have carried us at different times, but when Justin’s been hot, we’ve rolled. Is that just a strange coincidence?

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