Braves 2, Padres 1

It was a good night for the Braves. Yes, the team’s offense continued its recent futility; Atlanta has .295 wOBA over the past month, which is awful and near the bottom of both leagues. But behind an excellent Kris Medlen, the Braves won a close, low scoring game. The magic number for the division is now down to 4.

Medlen has been on fire recently, and last night was no exception. Over 7.1 innings Kris scattered 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5. He allowed no runs. San Diego’s only run came on a 9th-inning Chase Headley solo shot off Craig Kimbrel, whose scoreless streak, though not saves streak, came to an end. That Medlen allowed no runs in a game against the Padres is actually more impressive than it seems: San Diego has killed Atlanta this season. Last night was the first time the Braves have beaten the Padres in 2013. Medlen is now 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA over his past four starts.

The Braves should have given him more support, frankly. Atlanta batters compiled 9 hits and 6 walks but only 2 runs: the latter came on a 4th-inning Chris Johnson single and a 6th-inning Freddie Freeman home run. Otherwise, Atlanta was up to its old tricks, getting guys on but not in. You can’t even blame strikeouts, either. Padres pitchers only struck out 5 Braves. Braves hitters just hit the ball into outs with guys on base. It happens, but it also happens more often when the hits in question are singles. Only Freeman’s home run and an 8th-inning Andrelton Simmons double went for extra bases.

With the Nationals, Dodgers, and Cardinals all losing, the Braves had a rather productive Saturday night, all told. They’ll go for the series win this afternoon and look to trim their magic numbers further. Regardless of what happens today, though, Atlanta has a shot to wrap up the division this week against Washington. That would be pretty cool.

43 thoughts on “Braves 2, Padres 1”

  1. @ajcbraves: #Braves lineup: 1. Schafer RF 2. J Upton LF 3 Freeman 1B 4. Gattis C’5. C.Johnson 3B 6. Simmons SS 7. EJohnson 2B 8. B Upton CF 9. Teheran p

  2. Here’s hoping we wrap it up in Washington. It would be great if we could do it tomorrow. That would give us two whole pointless games against them to rub the reality in. I love referring to them as the Notionals since their whole season has been purely theoretical, the wishful thinking of a bunch of starmaking pundits. The only use they’ve been is to lose to the Braves and help us pad our divisional lead. Wonderful!

  3. Updated Bradley-Terry Predictions:
    Atlanta: 98.4 wins
    Dodgers: 94.5
    Cardinals: 94.1
    Pittsburgh: 93.7

    By the way, in Bradley-Terry terms we are now slight underdogs in DC: 47 percent expected win probabilities in each game

  4. I’m hoping they win in DC if only to crush the Nationals’ hope for a wild card birth. The Reds need to win more as well, but I would be greatly irritated if Washington snuck into the second wild card spot on a torrid September.

  5. I’m surprised that Fredi has all but given up on Uggla. DOB was asked about Uggla and all he said is that Fredi knows the importance of home field advantage.

  6. I understand the argument that if Uggla isn’t hitting, the Braves might as well go with Elliot Johnson, who can’t hit either but certainly can field. But here’s the thing about Uggla: he has only had 46 plate appearances since returning from LASIK. Now, in that tiny sample, he has indeed sucked. His line has been .114/.326/.114. But the interesting thing has been his K-BB ratio, which stands at 12-10. It is, again, a tiny sample, but a .174 BABIP is more to blame than swing and misses. Personally, considering the fact that EJ has never been more than a replacement-level player, I think it makes sense to spend the next couple weeks seeing what Uggla can do. I’m not convinced that a career .216/.269/.318 hitter, even with solid defense, gives the Braves a better shot at home field advantage.

  7. Unfortunately there is a reason why Uggla’s BABIP is where it is. He still trying to pull pitches in the left handed batters box. He still thinks he can pull those pitches and hit with power. He’s got adjustments that he has to make. I do agree that our lineup has more potential with him in it.

    Fredi could put Elliot in LF and Uggla at 2nd, since Schafer isn’t hitting anything either.

  8. EJ was perfect on 14 stolen bases for KC, so I’m sure the Braves knew a bit about it.

    I can’t say I any idea before they traded for him though, and I’ve been quite surprised with how much him and Schafer have been running lately.

  9. Remember, Fredi benched Uggla around this time last year too, and then Uggla saw some playing time and had a good game or two and was all cocky about it. I don’t know if he gets that chance this year.

  10. In the battle of Small Sample Sizes, it goes like this:

    1. Elliot Johnson as a Brave
    2. Dan Uggla the month immediately preceding Lasik
    3. Dan Uggla post-Lasik

    Elliot gets the playing time until he racks up a couple or three 0-fers in back to back games, I think.

  11. The thing about second base is that defense counts too, and when you can make even remotely defensible argument for equal offensive contributions, Elliot Johnson wins the job over Dan Uggla in the field.

  12. I know we have the best record in the NL and have hovered near the best record in the majors all season, but do you guys think we fire our hitting coaches this off season? Part of it may have to do with how we play in October, but our offense has been so inconsistent all year. We’ve hit so many stretches where we look terrible up and down the lineup, and of course we have BJ and Uggla’s season-long “slumps.” I just feel like our lineup has so much potential that has not really turned into reality this season. I wonder if our pitching coaches take the blame for that.

  13. I know the Braves are coasting here, and that they have a good record, etc., but this is just pathetic.

  14. Apparently we have some kind of agreement with the Padres to completely tank against them this season. Maybe they’ll repay in kind next season.

  15. Down 3 after 6 and Julio bats for himself. I’m sure Fredi yanks him next inning.

    As I type this, Teheran gets our first hit.

  16. What an embarrassing home stand. Actually, what an embarrassing last two weeks. Our offense is ice cold right now.

  17. St. Louis and Pittsburgh gain a game. Let’s hope the Dodgers lose.

    Let’s hope further that this is just a normal offensive lull and we will pick it up in time for the playoffs, with Jason Heyward reenergizing the lineup.

  18. @masnKolko: I asked Davey whether he still thinks #Nats are better than the Braves. “I’ve always believed we’re better than them.”

    @ajcbraves: RT @acomak: Davey: “We didn’t hold our own w/ATL (this yr). We need to at least send a message the next 3 days that we’re better than them.”

  19. I knew this game was doomed when I turned the TV on and Chip and Joe were–yet again–having a wafer-thin discussion about sabermetrics.

  20. Well, the Nats may get to play the Braves more than three more times. If they beat up Atlanta this week – not a far-fetched possibility – they will continue to gain on the sputtering Reds. This may get interesting for the NL’s second wild card.

  21. I think nightmare scenario for us is Washington getting in as the second wild card, beating Stl/Pit in the play-in game, then knocking us off in the NLDS.

    That would hurt about 1000x worse than last year’s injustice with losing to the Cards after finishing like 7 games ahead of them.

  22. @38, coolstandings gives the Nats a 3.3% playoff probability right now. But say they pull it off; assuming the WC game is basically a 50-50 proposition, that’s a 1.7% chance of making the NLDS.

    The NLDS is probably more of a 55-45 type of thing in a way someone mathier than I could explain, but we’ll say 50-50 again; that’s a nightmare scenario with about a 0.8% chance of coming to pass, give or take.

    Which is to say, yeah, I’m irrationally worried about it too now. I’m in favor of nuking the Nats from orbit this week, just to be sure.

  23. Reed Johnson is battling chronic Achilles’ tendon issues. It’s a thing that happens to old men who sprint around the OF, and it hurts like a motherf*cker.

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