Braves –, #NATITUDE -15.5

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals – Box Score – August 07, 2013 – ESPN

This isn’t really a recap, because — whom are we kidding? — the scores and the individual game results don’t really matter anymore. The Braves have buried the second-place team in the East in early August. So, I’m just going to offer a list of things I like:

– A locked-in Justin Upton
– A locked-in (?) BJ Upton (!)
– Vintage, or at least near-vintage, Kris Medlen
– Elite, home-grown or acquired-for-nothing relievers
– A steady stream of third-base-playing CJs who contend for batting titles
– Knocking All-Star starters out after four innings, even though he’s only given up four two runs
Andrelton Simmons, fielding his position
Jason Heyward, scoring from first on a double
– Thirteen(13)-game winning streaks
– Nats fans’ tears

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.

78 thoughts on “Braves –, #NATITUDE -15.5”

  1. “Let’s take our foot off the gas pedal and rest some guys. What could go wrong?”

    -Some Braves fans, August 2011

  2. The problem with NOT resting guys, is they don’t play well.

    So you run Craig out there a third night in a row, because you need a win. But he’s tired and blows the game.

    Now you lost AND Craig’s unavailable for tomorrow. If you had sent the last man out of your bullpen out there, you would have lost, but had Craig for tomorrow.

    You’ve got to balance that.

    So with a 15.5 game lead, I wouldn’t use Craig or Walden 3 days in a row. If either goes back-to-back nights, they’re off the next night.

  3. So glad to have found Braves Journal again. It’s surprised me how pivotal of a role it plays in my fandom.

    Go Braves!

  4. Nobody is suggesting resting people in any wholesale way. Fredi’s been pretty good about resting people here and there, I feel confident he’ll do the right thing in resting one or two guys here and there while still mainly keeping the lineup together. You don’t start wholesale resting people until you clinch the division, and even then you could certainly argue it’s not a very good idea, but that’s not what anyone’s talking about.

  5. I don’t think we need to aggressively resting people now, but we definitely need to limit the innings of Teheran, Waldon, and Kimbrel so that they will not be burned out when the most important time comes.

    Furthermore, where on earth did we find Carpenter and Avilan?

  6. I want this team to gobble wins like Godzilla gobbles buildings in Tokyo. Best way to get good at winning is by winning.

  7. “the scores and the individual game results don’t really matter anymore.”

    Thanks Stu. When we start saying that, it must be either very good or very bad.

  8. This is the longest Braves winning streak since early 2000, when they won 15 consecutive between April & May.

    Oddly, win #15 came via Bruce Chen, who won 3 games during that streak, as did Glavine, Millwood & Mulholland.

  9. I’ll say it again – I think this team is built for the playoffs. A dominating starter can get them out, but he’d better be ready for a long day at the office. The Braves see a lot of pitches and by the third time through they’ll have you ranged out. If you haven’t put them away by the 6th, I like our bench and bullpen against anybody.

  10. I didn’t hear if they ever answered the trivia question tonight.

    It was Jay Bruce, right?

  11. Couple of completely random observations while looking at the standings (and by ‘looking at’ I mean ‘deriving joy from’):

    -No team in the NL East has a winning percentage in the .500s

    -Every team in the NL East has played a different number of games

  12. Personally, I would do my best to limit everyone in the ‘pen (but especially the 7/8/9 guys) to no more than 2 consecutive games and at most 3 out of 5. Exceptions possible for quick/easy outings.

    Point is, there’s absolutely no reason to have Kimbrel throwing 35 pitches in his 5th game out of the last 6 days with a 3 run lead. Well, other than watching him pitch is awesome and I love it. But for my sanity, please, please get the man some rest.

  13. @23 I know man. I guess Fredi wouldn’t run Kimbrel out so often if the teams are not the Cards, Phillies, and the Natpos. With an off day tomorrow, Fredi was even more comfortable having Kimbrel pitching tonight.

  14. @25 I just love the below:

    “9. Dan Uggla? Why does everyone hate him?
    Because he’s Dan Uggla.”

  15. These guys are having alot of fun. On Twitter last night, apparently from the plane, Mike Minor was making fun of Beachy and Maholm for eating all the snacks, Evan Gattis was doing a chat, Alex Wood was harrassing Gattis, trying to get him to answer one of his questions, from 4 feet away, and Andrelton was retweeting Evan’s best questions/answers.

    It is both delightful and creepy to be privy to communication between a group of friends that don’t know you.

  16. @27

    I love this team. No matter what happens, it is one of my all time favorite Braves teams.

  17. He’d have to have fallen a loooong way to get to us – can’t believe the Yanks wouldn’t have grabbed him – and I am unconvinced Toronto really wants to get rid of him, so I suspect the Jays may pull him back.

  18. If they get DeRosa, I wouldn’t mind seeing him pull a Mike Devereaux in the playoffs. Just seems fitting.

  19. He would be a great fit. He has one more year on his deal, so I bet the Jays pull him back.

  20. I’ve read a couple of different things. First, that all teams have 24 hours to place a claim, and that that 24 hours has already passed. Rosenthal says “a team” has claimed him. Which implies that only one team claimed him. Then, several outlets are reporting that the Braves claimed him, but never say we’re the only team that claimed him.

    So IF we’re the only team that claimed him, the Blue Jays can now pull him back, or they have today to work out a trade. We can trade them anyone NOT on the 40 man roster without them being subject to waivers. Or we can trade them anyone who IS on the 40 man, but call him a PTBNL and send him after the season is complete.

    If it’s the former, we could actually send them someone like Reed Johnson (which would make sense if you think about our outfield crunch. Reeds under contract for next season, too, right?) and have both players play in the post season for us. Which is kind of wild if you think about it.

  21. So to recap. This Braves team could win 100 games, Freeman is in the NL MVP conversation, we are 12-0 with Heyward at leadoff, Simmons is the best defensive player in the game, CJ could win a batting title, and Kimbrel is the best closer not named Rivera. That’s not bad.

  22. There is absolutely no way that they’d trade Gilmartin for DeRosa.

    I like DeRo and would welcome him back, but he’s a strange fit, anyway, given his right-handedness.

  23. @38

    If they get DeRo we would probably still look to get a LH bat and carry one less pitcher in October (maybe?)

  24. Yeah being right-handed doesn’t help his cause. But we started the season with 6 IF and 5 OF, and now we’re the reverse. Constanza and Cunningham will go down for R Johnson and Schafer.

    Any bat we pickup would be replacing Terdoslavich. What you’ve got: a 4 corners type (well, 3, not so much a 3rd baseman anymore) switch-hitter with almost no experience. In DeRosa, you’re trading that switch ability, for a true 4-corners defender, plus a little 2B depth, and a ton of experience.

    Not the ideal bat they’re looking for. But our only backup infielder now is Janish. You almost have to replace Terdoslavich with some kind of infielder.

    Remember last night when Johnson was pinch run for, meaning Janish was going to have to enter the game, and Andrelton fouled a pitch really hard, high off his ankle? What if he had to come out? Even Terdoslavich, who has at least stood at 3B before was already burned. You’d have Freddie or BJ Upton playing 3B there.

  25. Constanza and Janish have a -12 and -49 OPS+ respectively. Schafer will be back soon, but acquiring some kind of infielder who can hit would be a massive improvement.

    //and by “hit” I mean physically capable of striking a pitched ball, or taking a walk. Seems to not be in Paul’s skill set.

  26. I forgot all about Laird. Terdoslavich is sitting in Laird’s spot right now.

    I don’t know what they can do to get an IF on the roster and eligible for the post season, other than leave Laird on the DL until rosters expand on Sept 1.

    If you did that, you’d be fine through September, and for the playoffs, you’d carry one fewer pitcher to get the new IF plus Laird on the roster. If you carried two fewer, you could fit Terdo on there too.

    EDIT: But I don’t know what pitcher you’d cut. Varvaro and/or Ayala, conceivably. Right now Wood is in Maholm’s spot, and you could carry 4 starters and cut Maholm (but frankly, I’d like to cut Maholm anyway, and carry Wood instead, as a long man with situational-lefty ability.)

  27. He’s got value, especially on a team where the starter isn’t Andrelton Simmons. As you’ll recall, that was the case in Atlanta toward the end of last year, when Janish was acquired.

  28. Schafer returns: replaces Constanza
    Reed returns: replaces Cunningham
    Laird returns: replaces Terdoslavich

    DeRosa was claimed to replace Janish

  29. I think Cunningham is the first to be optioned, regardless of who gets healthy first, but yeah.

    And I guess you just pray that Andrelton doesn’t suffer a day-to-day injury.

  30. @46 – Then you still have one IF on your bench, and he can’t play shortstop.

    Until September 1, anyway. Janish is in an option year, so he can be sent down and recalled when rosters expand.

    But I can’t imagine playing 3 weeks with a position that NO one can backup. That’s a bit nuts.

  31. Janish still has value on this team, particularly in the playoffs, given our starting 3rd baseman. For serious, when Janish is at third the left side of our infield is..I mean, I dunno. Remarkable? Amazing? Literally incredible?

  32. Other than the Rockies series (and a handful of games here and there), the Braves are not really bludgeoning the opposition.

    We’re finally getting clutch (alors!), ok, timely hitting that was missing in our ~.500 meandering.

    And as BJ Upton’s harshest critic, I gotta say that his approach since returning has been excellent. By no longer trying to hit everything 500 ft., he’s allowing his real strengths to work for him.

    It’s probably no fun for Little Brother to be the one that chicks dig, but BJ can be an All-Star if he just relaxes and plays within himself.

    Hope it continues.

    Now about Dan Uggla …

  33. I really think we would want Terdo’s bat for postseason play. Seems like a bench of Schafer, Gattis, Terdo, Laird, Reed, and DeRo would give us flexibility. Is that possible?

  34. Other than the Rockies series (and a handful of games here and there), the Braves are not really bludgeoning the opposition.

    Their third-best-in-all-of-baseball +121 run differential begs to differ.

    The “mighty” Dodgers on the other hand are at +21, even after last evening’s blowout of the Cardinals.

  35. I just can’t see any way on earth the Braves play Major League games with no backup shortstop.

    You can’t control the timing of a waiver acquisition. A team waives him, and you have 24 hours to claim him, and then 24 hours to complete a trade. If you’re looking at a guy who’s already CLEARED waivers, well, then you’ve got a chance to time it a little bit. But being the team with the second-to-last waiver priority, it’s a pretty big risk to let a guy go by you that you have interest in.

    They probably already ARE playing hanky panky with Laird. The team’s injury notes say he was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment on August 5, three days ago, and he still hasn’t been assigned.

    A guy can be on a rehab assignment for 20 days (unless the rules changed in the newest CBA.) before he has to be activated. I expect Laird’s assignment to begin August 11, just to give the team all the flexibility they need, since they have no control over the timing of an acquisition.

    If the guy they acquire can play some SS, Janish goes down and Laird is activated immediately. If the guy they acquire can’t play SS, they’d then use all 20 days or Laird’s rehab eligibility to get him to September 1, so we never see a lapse in coverage at SS or C.

  36. @51 – To do what you’re talking about, you have to do one of two things: A.) Keep Laird disabled until September 1, or B.) Send Janish down. This is to make room for DeRosa (or someone like him) on the 25 man roster in August.

    You then will ALSO have to carry one fewer pitcher than we currently are carrying. That means cutting Varvaro, Ayala or your fifth starter, Maholm (Maholm I would be replacing with Wood, anyway, so that’s not a spot I’d cut.)

  37. ALSO, to clarify my points in 53 and 54, I should say explicitly: The reason you play loose with Laird’s DL stint is because the only players we have who can be sent down to make room for a new acquisition are Janish and Terdoslavich. This is all presuming that Constanza and Cunningham are gone and replaced by Reed and Schafer.

    If you send all of Terdo, Constanza and Cunningham down, and activate all of Schafer, Reed and Laird, you have only one player with options left, and that’s your backup shortstop.

    If you keep Laird (or Reed Johnson, for that matter) on the DL or rehabbing until September 1, you can keep Terdoslavich or Constanza (or Cunningham) on the roster to hold a spot for the IF you hope to acquire.

  38. Because they are not yet old enough, the Phillies have reached an agreement to pay Chase Utley between $25 and $30 million guaranteed plus vesting option bonuses in his age-35 and age-36 seasons.

    I think Mac from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is running that franchise now.

  39. The Jays pulled DeRosa back, so nobody will be getting him. It was fun speculating while it lasted.

  40. Can anyone out there with BR P-I or something similar tell me what the Braves record is when tied through 6? Thanks in advance –

  41. @59

    Damn them! Don’t they realize they just wasted an entire morning’s worth of conversation?

  42. All that sound and fury before last night’s game, signifying nothing…

    “Harper spoke to Comcast SportsNet before last night’s game and explained that if the Nats had been a few games up instead of a lot of games down, he might have resorted to fisticuffs.

    “I don’t think I should charge the mound [when they have a] 14.5 game lead,” he said. “If we’re ahead a couple of games, I’d probably try putting him six feet under. I wasn’t very happy about it. But I understand why he did it, and I understand why Mac did what he did and I probably would have done the same thing if it were me on the mound.”

  43. It doesn’t make the conversation irrelevant. Just replace “DeRosa” with “Whatever Infielder we’re able to acquire,” and all the same points are valid.

  44. #64 – I’m sure Gattis would have loved for Harper to come a little closer.

    Legend of Evan Gattis

    “When Julio hit me, I was like, that’s a clown pitch bro. Then I thought about charging but I saw this damn galloping white bear coming from LF and I shat my pants. Literally right there on the field. So I hid in the background yelling stuff like “my eye black is better than your eye black” and “Mohawks automatically make me tough.”

    – Bryce Harper

  45. Guys, I’ve already got this roster stuff figured out.

    You keep Laird (or Johnson) DL’ed until September 1. For August, your bench is Gattis, Schafer, R Johnson (or Laird), NEW GUY, and Janish. You send Cunningham and Constanza down for Schafer and R Johnson, Terdo has to go down when we acquire New Guy, unless New Guy can play shortstop, then you send down Janish. You can activate Maholm and send Wood down, if you want to, or keep Maholm DL’ed or rehabbing until September 1, too.

    On September 1, rosters expand, and you activate Laird (or Johnson.) You activate Maholm, or recall Wood. You recall Terdo. Then, optionally, you can recall Cunningham, Constanza, Pastornicky for depth. You recall Pagnozzi so that you can use Laird and Gattis as pinch hitters if you want. You can recall Ernesto Mejia or Stefan Gartrell if you want to reward them. Maybe you activate Blake Dewitt, who has been on the DL since APRIL with a lower back strain. I dunno, whatever.

    You can also call up David Hale, Cody Martin (Cory Gearrin who, as far as I can tell, hasn’t pitched since we sent him down, for some reason) or whoever else, just to reward some guys, and to have some arms so no 23 inning games kill you.

    Then, before the playoffs, you cut all the weird minor leaguers, maybe you keep Terdo, maybe you keep Pastornicky, or keep an open mind, because Ernesto Mejia might bat .920 with 14 homers in September, and you decide you need to give him a shot.

    Then your bench and bullpen for the playoffs is:

    Bench 7: Gattis, Laird, R. Johnson, Schafer, Janish, Terdo (replacing Ayala) and New Guy (replacing Varvaro)

    Bullpen 6: Kimbrel, Walden, Avilan, Carpenter, Downs, and Wood (replacing Maholm or Beachy)

    Rotation 4: Minor, Medlen, Teheran, Beachy (or Maholm)

    Starters 8: McCann, Freeman, Uggla, C Johnson, Simmons, Jupton, Bupton, Heyward.

    From our standard, healthy lineup, I’ve cut Ayala, Varvaro and one starter. I’ve replaced them with a new infielder, Terdoslavich and Wood, because he can pitch long relief or be a situational lefty.

    I should also note, back in the August portion of this scheme, New Guy is an infielder. If New Guy can play shortstop, come playoff time you can dump Janish and keep one of Ayala or Varvaro. If in addition to New Guy, you’re able to land Lefhanded Masher, you do it, and you leave Terdo at home in October.)

    Then, after that, ya know, parade down Peachtree, or whatever.

  46. We’ve maintained our winning streak for another six games (and done so against NL East opposition) since this website has been relocated to it’s current address. bravesjournal.com is a fantastically simple, self-explanatory URL, as well as the one dreamed up and purchased by Mac. Obviously we need to get back there once it becomes possible to do so.
    I’m just saying, I don’t know the status of the registration change-over or the timing of our move back, but I hope it’s not done until after the winning streak ends of it’s own, or the Turner Field Waffle House’s, accord.

  47. 67—Just FYI, September call-ups have to be on the 40-man, which is currently full. We could create spots by moving guys (Hudson, Pena, DeWitt?, Martinez?) to the 60-day DL, but I dunno if the Braves wanna start the clocks of (or start paying real money to) guys like Gartrell, Martin, or even Pagnozzi.

    FWIW, the 40-man guys not currently injured or in Atlanta are: Gearrin, Hale, Jaime, Northcraft, Bethancourt, Mejia, and Pastornicky.

  48. 60-day DL stints move Hudson and Pena easily enough. If Blake DeWitt is still on the 40-man that’s an empty space masquerading as a player.

  49. @70 – Yeah, I understand that. I just didn’t bother to look at the 40 man roster. The arms are completely irrelevant, as long as they work.

    I guess Pagnozzi/Bethancourt is relevant. I don’t believe September callups gather ML service time, so you can just use Bethancourt. If I’m wrong about that, I’d make room for Pagnozzi, but then you’d have to waive him later. Although, I imagine he’s already garnered minor league free agent status, in which case, he’d be free to walk if you didn’t 40 man him anyway.

    Anyway, Bethancourt is fine as long as he’s not getting service time for it.

  50. I am pretty confident that any days in the majors, including those in September, count as service time. Even the weakest union would ensure that, and the MLBPA is not the weakest union.

  51. @73 – I thought I had heard that players called up after September 1 don’t accrue service time, but do if they are called up on August 31.

    But I was incorrect. That is only for the purposes of qualifying as a “rookie.” The month of September is not counted against a player’s 45 days on the active roster that would expire his rookie status.

  52. #66
    To me, one of the funniest things in the Harper-Plunking video is when Gattis comes lumbering into the picture.

    He has that “Hulk-Wants-To-Smash/It’s-Clobberin-Time” gait. It looks like he’s causing little earthquakes with each step.

  53. I just found Braves Journal after a one week hiatus. That was tough.

    @76 – Agreed and noticed this as well. He would pummel Harper and any other player on the Nats. I like our chances in any brawl with Justin, Heyward, Gattis and Li’l Dan (he’s smaller this year, but still tough).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *