A Short Sharp Shock/ Normal Service Resumed… BRAVES 6 PHILLIES 4

a team sitting top of the heap
a lead they’re intending to keep
asserts its dominion
enjoys our opinion
and searches again for the sweep.

you’d bottle it if you could, then it would travel with you…confidence, the happy brashness that leaves doubt aside, the fun they’re having…and yes it feeds on itself, why not…has there ever been a four game series we start down five runs then systematically annihilate? to the point and at a level where you start feeling sorry for certain individuals on the other side – empathy misplaced you might say but their man with a long name beginning with E whose pitches had been pummeled all series took one on the calf in his final inning, spun like a top, had no idea where the ball was, didn’t seem to care, maybe smiled, maybe cried, you couldn’t tell…it summed it up, we were a class apart…

‘I didn’t come here for this’, Jonah Keri quotes Papelbon as saying after a recent loss…No he didn’t – he came because he was overpaid to, another one…Attendance at Citizens Bank Park (ugh!) is down fifty two hundred a game(crowd 35,000 tonight) …maybe the huddled masses tire of their aging stars, where do they go from here?  We go on the road, to them, we are on fire, they cannot be looking forward to this…what are they thinking/dreading?  Kipling, Hymns Ancient and Modern we do not need at this new summit, this heady time…we need composure, ruthlessness, disdain for the foe and his followers…W.S. Gilbert would have laughed at the discomfort in their gaze…

To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock
In a pestilential prison with a life long lock
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock
From a cheap and chippy chipper on a big, black block!
A dull, dark dock
A life long lock
A short, sharp shock
A big, black block
To sit in solemn silence in a pestilential prison
And awaiting the sensation
From a cheap and chippy chipper on a big, black block!                                          ( u-tube, the musical



Medlen location poor early on, back to back homers in 2nd…Phillies 2/0
Heyward RBI in 3rd after Simmons l/off walk..Phillies 2/1
Home Cooking returns in the 5th!  a 5 run ouTburst for the Bravos via Heyward l/off double, JuP single, Mac and CJ homers…massive blow by CJ to deep center…Braves 6/2
Medlen struggles again in the 6th, location..Utley solo homer..they add a 4th run via Delmon Young double..getting tight, Braves 6/4
7th, Carpenter replaces Medlen, strikes out the side 1,2,3…lovely
8th  Walden in  1,2,3 with 2 k’s…bullpen terrific again so far, set up for a well rested CK…not too rested hopefully
9th  Upton flies out deep, still swinging like a man reborn..Mac and umpire smiling jaw(?) called 3rd strike
Bottom of the 9th…
Delmon Young(3 for 3) k’s on awful call…Charlie tossed..Rollins tossed..Asche k’s, Kimbrel sharp..Frandsen flies out, 3 out, BRAVES WIN 6/4

Great hitting from Heyward, Mac and CJ…so so from Medlen but terrific bullpen again…I have changed my mind – winning breeds arrogance and no one can pile on like Kipling, the imperialist to his toes…

Come you back to Mandalay,
            Where the old Flotilla lay:
            Can’t you ‘ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay?       
            On the road to Mandalay,
            Where the flyin’ fishes play,
            An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China

            ‘crost the Bay!                                                                          U-tube, the second musical

come you back to philly, yay!
where the old curmudgeons play
can’t you ‘ear their dentures rattle as they boot the game away?
on the road and ‘ere today
they could use a rain delay
an’ Amaro’s broke asunder payin’ deadbeats to decay.


134 thoughts on “A Short Sharp Shock/ Normal Service Resumed… BRAVES 6 PHILLIES 4”

  1. Yeats with a half a bottle of Jamie in him couldn’t have recapped it any better, Blazon.

    Personally, I am really enjoying this.

  2. Yes. Our home-road splits will be addressed shortly by a little statistical analysis I’m working up for the upcoming off day, with AAR’s permission. (Alex: I’ll send a revised version soon.)

  3. So, what aren’t we doing that we could be, to find our board-mates who haven’t found the temp board?

  4. That creative lineup construction begins with Simmons hitting leadoff (there’s a novelty! Not.) and Hayward sitting today.

  5. @6 – I think you gotta just plug him in at the bottom of the order, where all the non-Evan Gattis LF fill-ins have been hitting.

    We’re mostly righthanded, but our best middle-of-the-order guys are lefthanded (as always.) So with all those righties available, you’d like to split up the lefties to optimize against the bullpen, but you don’t want to give away run-scoring opportunities in the first 6.

    You could try Heyward, Johnson, Freeman, Jupton, McCann, Uggla, Upton, Simmons.

    But do you really wanna screw around with a 1-2-3 that’s been working aswell as Heyward, Jupton and Freeman?

    I’m betting we’ll see Heyward, Jupton, Freeman, McCann, Johnson, Uggla, Upton, Simmons.

  6. @7 – Oh my god, you weren’t kidding.

    Simmons 6, JUpton 9, Freeman 3, Gattis 2, CJohnson 5, Uggla 4, BUpton 8, Terdoslavich 7, Beachy 1

  7. @8 – I imagine that’s what we will see. I can’t see even Fredi screwing with a working formula. I’ve said my optimal lineup starts with Heyward, Johnson, Freeman JUpton, McCann – but any way that keeps those five in the first five slots of the order is good by me. Fredi has typically replaced his leadoff hitter getting an off day with that guy’s sub or the #8 hitter so I don’t worry too much that Simmons will be back in the leadoff slot for good.

    That said…depressing start to the afternoon to see that lineup. Hopefully, the game ends the way the last eight have, though. Would love for Beachy to settle down and get the ball down. Elevating every fastball in that little league park will be dangerous.

  8. So Fredi is sitting Heyward and McCann on the same day. I know Lannan is a lefty, but come on.

  9. @12 – And apparently Cliff Lee starts tomorrow, so you could sit one today and one tomorrow.

    I get sitting Heyward the very day BJ comes back. He’s been out of position, and playing a more demanding spot. Regular CF is back, give him a day, right away. Sure. And hey! A lefty of the mound, two reasons now! Sure.

    But I’d play McCann and sit him tomorrow against Lee.

  10. So would I, especially considering his day/night splits (Braves are again the Sunday night ESPN game tomorrow). But Fredi is clearly still unaware of or unwilling to use them.

    Simmons leading off. And Joey T getting a second straight start in left. Huh.

  11. On the other hand, McCann has really struggled against lefties this year. I’m sure those numbers should be regressed, because the sample size is small and he has always hit like an average catcher against them (.747 OPS, .327 wOBA), but even still Gattis has actually killed them (.938 OPS, .390 wOBA). So I’m not gonna complain about it anymore.

  12. That’s a good point. But if you’re not going to sit against BOTH lefties, I’d sit him tomorrow. I guess Fredi just wants to get the rest out of the way against the weaker pitcher, and be at full strength against the better pitcher. I just disagree, is all. I’d rather run out two 90% lineups than run an 80% today to be at 100% tomorrow.

  13. Glad to find Braves Journal! I’ve been having serious withdrawals!

    Some Minor League notes:
    Jason Hursh is up to 18 innings at Rome without giving up a run. Pretty awesome start for our 1st rounder.

    Kyle Wren stole 3 bases last night (up to 21 on the year with 1 cs) and went 3-4 with a double. He’s up to a .797 OPS.

    Tommy La Stella is continuing to hit for average and gap power at Mississippi. He’s up to a .358/.443/.480 slash line for the year.

  14. @18 – Do you say that because of La Stella’s defense at second? I’ve heard he’s not gifted, but probably average at the position.

  15. I cannot catch a break with Fox. I’m in Texas visiting my girlfriend and what game is opposite the Braves-Phils late afternoon matchup? The Texas Rangers are playing the A’s.

    I feel like Charlie Brown.

  16. 19 — Yes, he is mediocre defensively at second. Also, he could eventually be the guy to take over at third.

  17. Never smart to rely on a guy coming back from Tommy John mid-season. Never smart to rely on a guy who, when coming back from TJ mid-season, showed little control.

    I guess it’s just not smart.

  18. We can skip Beachy’s next turn in the rotation and maintain the standard four days of rest. By my consultation of the calendar, we need five more starts from the No. 5 starter, and none until Aug. 13, by which point Maholm should be ready. So this might be the last we see of Beachy for a while if the rotation stays healthy. Mercifully, because this is excruciating to watch, especially after what he was pre-TJ.

  19. Not sure what everyone expected from Beachy, but removing him from the rotation would be utterly foolish. The guy is just getting back from Tommy John and we’ve got an 11.5 game lead in the division. Let him work through it and see if you can get him ready for the post season. Don’t toss him aside after one and a half starts, for chrissake. Talk about knee-jerk overreactions.

  20. So, we’ve established that Beachy knows where the center of the strike zone is. Now let’s see if he can find his way out to the edges of it.

  21. @32

    Let him work through it in Gwinnett. This is not doing him, his team and his confidence any good..

  22. Absolutely no indication in this thread that the Braves are on an eight-game winning streak. Never change, Braves Journal!

  23. @32 – I’m not sure that I’d pull him from the rotation. It’s unfortunate he didn’t get the chance to make 2 or 3 more starts at the minor league level, instead of being forced to finish his rehab at the big league level.

    But here he is. And there will be a decision to make when Maholm comes back. If Beachy hasn’t figured out yet, SOMEONE has to do something besides start games in Atlanta. And it’s either send Maholm to the pen or send Beachy to get more innings in.

    That said, I wouldn’t skip his next start. I’d be giving him every chance I could to get it back. Because the only thing that’s gonna make him pitch better is pitching.

    It’s premature to assume he won’t get it figured out by then. But it doesn’t make you an idiot or something to presume that his current performance won’t stand when a healthy Maholm has finished his rehab assignment and we’re contractually obligated to activate him.

    In other news, an 8 pitch inning will certainly help.

    In further news, I like Evan Gattis just fine. But I don’t think I want to see him start 140 times next season.

  24. Disagree re Beachy…this is a guy who has earned our loyalty and is not getting it…

    At the time he went down last year he was our No 1 pitcher…he is now starting on the well trod path of regaining control after TJ surgery…he needs to battle ML hitters after his Gwinnett rehab not go back down when we have a massive lead….it is the ideal time for him to find his way back…

  25. Either Beachy or Wood will have to go to Gwinnett to make room for Maholm, barring injury. The Braves aren’t sending down anyone from the current bullpen.

    Fredi has already said Maholm isn’t going to the pen.

  26. They could send Carpenter down and keep Wood, on account of left-handedness…but, yeah, I expect Wood to get optioned.

  27. @43 – D-Carp has been ridiculously good this season. Surprisingly so. He’s invaluable right now in this bullpen.

  28. 45—Yeah, I realize that, but Fredi also keeps using him in the lowest-leverage situations, which tells me that he’d be the first guy booted, if a guy needed to be booted. (He’s actually second from the bottom, just ahead of Varvaro, but unlike Varvaro, he has options.)

  29. He had a good approach up there, though. Man on third, he just wanted to keep the inning alive and hand it over to a hitter.

  30. Oh, I agree. But the Tao of Teheran would have drove in a runner, struck out the side the next inning, drop the ball on the mound, and walked out of the stadium.

    /something close to that

  31. So, I guess it’s a good thing Fredi didn’t take Beachy out back and flog him after the second inning.

  32. He really settled in nicely and turned in a good game. 91 pitches. Do you send him out again?

  33. So, I guess it’s a good thing Fredi didn’t take Beachy out back and flog him after the second inning.

    Yeah, it’s almost as if you have to give a guy more than five innings to knock the rust off, when he’s coming off a layoff of more than a year.

  34. If I’m Fredi, I say it’s a good game and something to build on, and turn it over to Avidenbrel.

  35. FWIW, I don’t think anyone said to take him out of this game after the 2nd, only that he might be better off figuring it out in Gwinnett when Maholm comes back. And if he figured it out this start, problem solved.

  36. @69 I agree. You let him work through some early game trouble, now let him come out with a guaranteed positive.

  37. 70—Yeah, I was imputing some Twitter idiocy to this thread. Of course, I still think the five-inning mark is a bit early to start even thinking about Gwinnett.

  38. I hate the way Fredi manages his starters. Beachy couldn’t locate anything early, but settled to throw six good innings. Why send him out while warming up two pitchers? Make a decision, don’t wait for your players to force you to make a decision.

  39. I think this has easily been Fredi’s best season, but I just don’t get his moves this inning.

  40. Yeah that series of moves had a “first game of a double-header” feel to it.

    Come to think of it, the lineup has that feel to it, too.

  41. *chuckles* Traded some of the starting pitching depth in Tommy Hanson? I don’t think that meant what you thought it did.

  42. Terds has twice today swung at fastballs in the dirt.

    How can a fastball in the dirt have ever even LOOKED like a strike?

  43. Well it really seems to have paid off getting an extra third of an inning out of Beachy, trying to save the bullpen and all.

  44. Sure doesn’t look like there’s anything wrong with Gattis’s mechanics. I don’t know why he’s struggled lately.

  45. @85 – Overexposure? I like him vs. a fastball. I don’t like him against any other pitch and starters often have better secondary pitches than relievers.

  46. Just normal fluctuations, I’d say. He had a hard line drive caught earlier and just now barely missed a homerun. Millimeter differences on either and he’s 2-5 versus 0-5 today. Think it’s been that way for a bit for him.

  47. So we burned Chris Johnson for no reason, then Fredi sends Carpenter back out to get one more batter then pulls him…

    And the pitcher’s spot leads off next inning.

    Perhaps he could have let Downs begin the inning, and double switched? Since he burned Johnson anyway, and all…

  48. I guess he might not WANT to use Downs for more than two outs, but, given that you have no idea how long this game will go, and since you’re ALREADY PUTTING A POSITION PLAYER ON THE FIELD, it might have been smart to keep the option open.

  49. I’ve just tuned into the video stream, thanks to blazon (thanks, blazon!).

    Sounds like Beachy settled down and found his control a bit after the first couple, huh?

  50. Alright, let’s have one of those 5 spots we’ve been throwing out there lately.

  51. Oh, good. The game will now be in Janish’s hands, since we burned Chris Johnson for a pinch runner at 1st with 2 outs.

  52. The only thing that strikes more pessimism in my heart than Janish in a high-leverage situation? Bases loaded and one out to anyone with an “A” on his helmet.

  53. Kraken with a K.

    EDIT: Two Ks, actually.

    2ND EDIT: In the word Kraken. Hopefully in the inning as well.

  54. That was big, with Lee coming up tomorrow. Really wanted to win this series and roll in to Washington with some steam.

  55. I see Melvin had two chances with men in scoring position and whiffed both times. As we say to my 7-year-old, I am not okay with starting him. And if Fredi insists on doing so, he damn well needs to hit eighth. No more screwing around.

    EDIT: btw, Boston is currently leading Arizona 3-1, but bases loaded with no one out in the top of the 8th.

    2ND EDIT: DBacks score one. 3-2, 1 out.

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