Braves 6, Phillies 3

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – August 14, 2013 – ESPN

Well, they had to deal with the second almost-two-hour rain delay of the series, but once this game finally started, it didn’t take the Braves long to seize control of it. Jason Heyward led off with a homer, the Braves tacked on four more in the first two innings — it could have been more, as both Evan Gattis and Freddie Freeman just missed homers of their own — and there wasn’t really any suspense after that point. (This was a welcome departure from the typical effort against John “I’m Only Any Good Against Atlanta” Lannan.)

Brandon Beachy looked very good and very efficient yet again, and it was against an actual major-league lineup, this time. You’ll take 81 pitches (55 strikes) / 6 innings / 5 hits / 2 runs / 4 Ks / 0 BBs, every time. He did give up a homer (and two other hits) to Domonic Brown, but a lot of people have done that in 2013. If this is the Beachy we’re getting for the rest of the season, and if last night’s was the Kris Medlen we’re getting for the rest of the season, well, this rotation is a lot more imposing than I’ve recently been giving it credit for.

Chris Johnson had one hit, and his average is at .337 on the season. Tyler Pastornicky left the game after Heyward ran into and “sprained” his knee on a pop-fly, meaning the Braves are looking squarely at Paul Janish, Starting Second Baseman, unless they find a miracle on the waiver wire or promote hot prospect Tommy La Stella. Speaking of Janish, he actually got a hit and helped to rescue some sex-having bats from the danger of the infield.

74-47, 14 games up in the division, and 2.5 games up in the quest for home-field advantage. In other words: lots of fodder for grousing.

Off day tomorrow. 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.

53 thoughts on “Braves 6, Phillies 3”

  1. I think Stu just set a record for fastest recap. I mean the game ended about 60 seconds before I signed on and the recap was already up.

  2. Still seems like the Dodgers’ regression looks much like our third baseman’s REGRESSION!

  3. Tonight, I had to put on an event at an Atlantic City nightclub. Luckily, there were several TVs showing the Phightin’ local team from 60 miles away. Was there from setup to soundcheck to finish, so I actually watched the game twice. (Reminded me a little of the days when WTCG would show the Braves Replay at 1 am.)

    And yeah, the game was pretty great both times.

  4. If Medlen and Beachy can continue to pitch like this, the only purpose of a Maholm return would be to limit the innings for the other starters.

  5. @7 Agreed. I can see the Braves slowing Teheran and possibly Minor down a bit to limit innings but still keeping them sharp for October.

  6. Peanut reporting that La Stella is the most likely solution if Pastornicky is out for an extended period.

  7. I would hate to start La Stella’s clock unless Pastornicky is going to be out for an extended period or there is nothing on the waiver wire.

  8. Would DeRosa be more expensive than starting LaSella’s clock? How many days are needed to count as year one?

  9. Haven’t really followed the Dodgers closely lately. Man, they’ve been hot indeed. After the AS break, they won six in a row, then lost one, then won four in a row, then lost one, then won five in a row, then lost one, and are currently in the midst of an eight-game winning streak. And that’s after a 17-5 streak right before the AS break.

    Kershaw and Greinke scare me, but it’s Braves-killer Chris Capuano that has me most concerned!

  10. La Stella is already 24. I’m not that worried about starting his service clock. He’ll be 30 by the time his eligibility expires and his best years will be behind him. If he can contribute, by all means, throw him to the lions.

    However, if we want a player who’s similar to Emilio Bonifacio, then we could always turn to a familiar face:

    I’m actually serious. He’s exactly replacement level, not an appreciably worse player than Bonifacio. He very likely could be worse than La Stella, so it depends what the Braves think.

  11. #16 – did you or anyone else catch the MLB tonight crew talking about how Washington could “easily” get in the Wild Card chase? Harold thinks Washington’s pitching staff and explosive offense is what will give them the edge. Really would be nice to sweep these guys this weekend.

  12. AAR. You must be reading something I am not reading, is Nicky Green that much better than Janish?

  13. @21, no, certainly not. He’s just been used at a ton of positions and can’t really hit, which is what makes him basically a poor man’s Bonifacio. Janish, meanwhile, has mostly been a shortstop, though he’s spent a bit of time at second and third. So if positional versatility is the main thing you want Green gives you a bit more of that.

  14. While we’re on the topic of Green(e)s, what about Tyler, who was recently released by the White Sox? He’s obviously not very good, but he’s always had a little pop and a little speed, and he can play all over the infield. He’s a better hitter than Janish, anyway.

  15. @19, because the Nats have shown a capability of going 26-17 all year, and the Reds are just a 17-26 just waiting to happen.

  16. I was in New Orleans about two months ago. I went to a Zephyr’s game and sat right behind the on deck circle (there were like 80 people there)

    Nick Green was on deck and I just kind of yelled out, “Hey Nick, best manager to play for Francona, Madden, or Bobby.” Of course he didn’t say anything, but as he was walking to the plate to hit, he turned around and mouthed, “Bobby”

    He also tossed me a ball.

  17. Well, according to DOB, Pastornicky’s still getting the MRI but the Braves are confident it won’t show anything and that the injury will just be day-to-day. So prepare for tomorrow’s news that Pastornicky’s ripped up his knee and is done for the year.

  18. Updated my toy for remaining games: Expected Atlanta wins: 100.5, Dodgers: 95.6 Pittsburgh: 96.3

  19. @29

    Yes, that is all correct. We’re 5-2 vs. the Dodgers and 4-3 vs. the Pirates with both season series done. We’re currently 3-0 vs. the Cardinals with four games left in St. Louis.

  20. @19

    Ha! That’s funny. This happens every year. Some team that has been underperforming and is seemingly buried starts playing well and some talking head, thinking he’s gonna be smart, predicts that they could “easily” get back into the playoff race. There’s a difference, though, between playing well for the rest of the season (which I think the Nats could certainly do) and making up an 8.5-game deficit against a good team in a month-and-a-half.

    I went to look what the Nats’ playoff odds are on our beloved playoff predictor sites, just for grins. They currently have a consensus three percent chance to make the playoffs. Let me reiterate: after their best week of play of the season, their chances are still three percent. Their predicted final record is 81-81 on Baseball Prospectus, 80-82 on Cool Standings. And not only do they have to pass the Reds, they also have to pass the Diamondbacks, remember. So, yeah…slightly easier for some talking head to say off the cuff, than for the team to actually do.

  21. The thing is, it’s not just about the number of games they have to make up, it’s the teams they have to leapfrog. If the season ended tomorrow, the Cardinals and Reds would be the two wild card teams, the Diamondbacks would be third in line, and the Nationals would be fourth in line, just ahead of the Rockies. The Nationals don’t just need to win a ton of games, they need to hope that none of those other teams catches a hot streak of equal ferocity.

  22. Also, keep in mind that Harold Reynolds and the other MLB Network guys are, like all opinion-oriented on-air personalities, in the business of attracting viewers. Best ways to do that include talking about the still-alive playoff hopes of marginal teams and ginning up conflict and controversy (a la that MLB Now show pitting Harold against Kenny). As in most reality programming, what makes for good television is most definitely NOT rationality and reason.

  23. @26 That’s a cool story.

    We should claim Andrus since he apparently just passed through waivers. Can you imagine having him at 2b? Best defensive combo EVER?

    His $120million owed is no biggie, right? Right???

  24. You know you’ve done a bad, bad thing when a player you signed to an 8 year deal passes through waivers less than a year after signing the contract. I’m sure glad we have Andrelton, and I hope he never gets an 8 year deal from us.

  25. When will teams learn that long-term deals rarely work? I’m speaking to us too about BJ. These things go south so often that it’s almost worth it to run your org like the Rays, even if your team’s finances don’t require it.

  26. @34: Plus, there’s another factor. Fans of the Nats like hearing “the Nats are coming on strong.” The Nats putative opponents’ fans now realize than conquering the pesky Nats makes them look better, so it doesn’t bother them either. The only people who are made upset by these sorts of pronouncements are people who value rational argument, and they were all driven from ESPN long ago.

  27. @35

    Fredi Gonzalez will have the 3rd most wins of any Atlanta manager with the next victory.

    Next on the victory list for the Braves franchise is Bobby Bragan with 310.
    Ironically, Bragan won 258 with Milwaukee and 52 with Atlanta in 1966 before being fired.

    The two Atlanta managers ahead of Fredi (the immortal Bobby of course) and Luman Harris, 1968 – middle of 1972.

  28. Long term deals work out all the time, and in any event, if you think you are going to field a quality team without taking one on, have a look at the Marlins.

  29. @38 There does appear to be a bias towards failure amongst the very biggest long-term deals, and they look especially dicey to fans in years like this where a ton of pricey, older talent (A-Rod, Pujols, Hamilton, Howard, Fielder etc.) has fallen on hard times. It’s silly to rule out long-term deals generally, though I can understand staying away from ones which extend into a player’s mid-30s or beyond.

    With respect to the Braves specifically, I’d be very upset if they didn’t seek out long-term deals with their talented young offensive core, and maybe for a few pitchers too. Keep in mind that the Rays are happy to sign long-terms deals when the terms are in their favor (see Longoria, Myers etc.). All the Braves can do is make smart bets – sometimes that means long-term deals.

  30. Long term deals like Evan Longoria’s and Brian McCann’s seem to work out frequently, but so many times the team ends up paying a premium on the last years of the deal while the player is past is prime. In the case of Andrus, I don’t see why that deal was signed in the first place. He’s not a superstar at his position, and I don’t see why they needed to commit to him for so long.

    The Marlins are certainly not the example of a team resisting long-term deals and having success. I think the team that does it really well, like I said, are the Rays. They’ve bought out arb years for guys like Longoria and Shields, and they’ve let plenty of players walk to free agency when the price tag gets too high. In the case of Shields, not only did they get great value during his age 25-30 seasons, they then got insane value as he was approaching the wrong side of 30.

    It seems like the best teams live in the middle. They avoid the Hamilton/Pujols/A-Rod/Sabathia/Halladay deals, but they don’t sell their team once the player reaches his arb years like the Marlins. I think the Braves are doing it really smart right now.

  31. I’ve always thought Elvis Andrus was overrated. I think he’s gotten a boost from being an avatar of the “The Rangers sold Teixeira for the Braves’ entire farm system and that made them good” meme.

    That said, if every team ran themselves like the Rays, we’d have a collusion lawsuit that would make the ’80s owners look like pikers. And outlier cases notwithstanding, I think there’s still a decently strong r-squared between payroll and wins.

  32. A lot of long term deals don’t work…but I’d still take this one

    I’d have felt a lot better about gutting the farm system if we had waited a few months and done it for him instead of Teixeira…

  33. Chipper, Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine – I can’t believe those deals didn’t cripple the franchise. The A-Rod 252M deal was worth it. Cabrera’s deal was worth it. Pujols first contract was totally worth it. I’m going to have to see some math before I accept that “long term deals are generally bad” isn’t just a function of confirmation bias. There are plenty of bad contracts out there, but plenty of good ones too. OF COURSE teams pay a premium on the back end of these deals. It’s to mitigate risk and not have pay the true player value for the initial years up front.

  34. Halladay produced 80M in value (fangraphs) for the first three years of his Phillies deal for 55M in salary – wouldn’t really include that in the bust column either.

  35. With most teams there’s two dimensions of risk for long-term deals. One is the actual dollar value of the deal and the opportunity costs associated with not being able to spend money elsewhere (assuming the total payroll is pretty much capped rather than nearly infinite ala Yanks/Angels/Rangers/etc). The other is the multi-year commitment to that single player – if that player doesn’t perform you’re still stuck with him (see Upton, BJ and Uggla, Dan).

    Keeping the pipeline of good young players coming in is the best way to mitigate these risks. The Braves are better at that than most organizations.

  36. Never knew Andrus had an eight year, $118,000,000 deal. That was stupid for a guy who has never put up a league average 100 OPS+.

  37. Bucs drop a 4 spot on the Cards in the top of the 5th – Birds come back with a nickel in the bottom half.

  38. I generally have little issue with locking up players until 33 or 34. Anything after that is high risk. That’s why I wouldn’t have much issue if we extend McCann.

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