211 thoughts on “Split Doubleheader Tuesday”

  1. “I am Smitty. And I see a whole army of Braves country,
    here in defiance of tyranny! You have come to fight as Braves. And
    Braves you are! What will you do without the NL East title? Will you fight?”

    “Yes!” “Fight and you may die. Run and you
    will live at least awhile. And dying in your bed many years from now,
    would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for
    one chance, just one chance, to come back here as young men and tell
    our enemies that they may take our lives but they will never take
    our Division Title!”

    Today is the day fellas!

  2. the possible upside to not clinching today is that it will force the NL Central teams to keep the pedal to the metal in trying to wrap up their spots. I’m viewing this as a win-win especially while the dodgers keep scuffling along.

  3. Sure, I’d rather win sooner than later, but I guess I just don’t have the same “show those upstarts from DC that we are better” mentality that some of you seem to have. Or the “take that, ESPN!” mentality either. Play the games, win the games and get ready for the playoffs. The “clinching moment” is sort of an artificial boundary anyway, though I think I had that feeling two years ago, and I should probably just shut up.

  4. @8. It has been eight years, I think I will be so happy seeing us finally clinching the division title that I think I will cry. The last eight years have proven that a division title is no easy task.

  5. Uggla and BJ can play everyday after we clinch. Fredi will probably start giving Justin, Freddie, Mac, and Simmons some rest.

  6. @10

    those tears that you offer so tender
    best save them instead for a bender
    we’ll take one out of three
    leaving two you agree?
    still out there in middle September.

  7. in the Nation’s capital yesterday two basic American cultures clashed in the same time frame…one, most properly, gave way to the horror of the other…both seem deeply and equally embedded in the country’s psyche.

  8. I know it’s been a while, but clinching the division just isn’t that big a deal to me. Getting out of the first round will be a big deal.

    I think for me it’s World Series or bust. I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but I do. Can’t help it.

  9. @14

    agree…there were too many occasions in the recent past when our first post season appearance appeared to be almost perfunctory…we got here now we’re going home…Bobby Cox and his ‘crapshoot’…we need that attitude put behind us.

  10. Haven’t won a division since 2005.

    Haven’t won a first round since 2001.

    Haven’t won a pennant since 1999.

    If & when any of these things happen this year, I’ll be plenty happy for each one.

    But first things first: Let’s take care of some business today.

  11. It is a crapshoot though. Let’s say after the Giants won in all last season, that MLB immediately replayed the entire postseason from the start, what are the chances a different team would win it? Seems almost certain.

  12. @18: Careful what you wish for. Otherwise you’ll see the playoffs continually repeated until either the Yankees or Red Sox win.

  13. The idea that the Braves haven’t won in the playoffs in a long time because of an ‘attitude’ is silly beyond words.

  14. Until this team returns to averaging over 4 runs a game for a one-week stretch, I don’t want to see any first-pitch swings from anyone not surnamed “Freeman.”

  15. The Braves haven’t won in the playoffs in a long time because they keep freaking dropping Game 1s. They haven’t won to open a series since 2001.

  16. Werth is going to light Minor up and he deserves it. Quit nibbling and throw something near the plate when u get 2 strikes. Don’t throw a strike, but don’t bounce the damn thing either

    Edit- Minor deserved every bit of that. He is becoming very Maholm like.

  17. This already feels like the start of a terrible 34 hours in which the lead is trimmed to seven games and PANIC! ensues.

  18. @31

    And if the Nats sweep this series, it will be a somewhat similar season-long result, with the teams reversed.

  19. At this point which of our starters do you trust in a big game? I think maybe the pendulum has swung back to Medlen.

  20. You can really tell from the slow-mo how off BJs timing is. He’s not getting his foot down and is still way behind on not very hard pitches.

  21. BJ’s swing has to be one of the worst in the majors. He’s basically got two leg kicks before he starts even trying to load his hands.

  22. @38 What I expect from BJ is that he finishes out the rest of the season with a ~.500 OPS and then retires.

  23. Can anyone tell me what the fascination is with Eliot Johnson? I’m not advocating playing Uggla but he’s leading off when Schafer’s not in there. I’d much rather have just rolled with Gosselin or given La Stella a shot.

  24. The Bravos should be DAMN glad they had this huge lead, because the way the Nats have been playing the last month and a half, they’d have pissed the division away again.

  25. @55 3 runs in about 40 pitches in the first inning, then 20 pitches to get through the 2nd, then 40 pitches for the next four scoreless innings. Weird.

  26. I do realize we’re playing like crap right now, but you guys need to realize that as long as we clinch the division, it just doesn’t matter. The players know they’re playing meaningless baseball just as surely as you know you’re watching it. It seems like there’s a carry-over, but that carry-over doesn’t really bare out statistically.

  27. There isn’t meaningless baseball until the division is clinched. Braves should also be focused on keeping this Nationals team out of the playoffs.

  28. You have back-to-back sub-.200 hitters in a high-leverage situation, and the result is easily predictable. $27.5 million for this year, down the drain.

    EDIT: What other reverse jinxes can I come up with?

  29. I guarantee you the Braves could not care less whether the Nats make the playoffs (as long as it’s not by way of the division). The whole concept is based on a defeatist premise which they wouldn’t subsribe to, anyway. Namely, we don’t wanna play Washington in the playoffs because it would suck if they beat us.

  30. Uggla!!

    62- Actually, it’s back-to-back-to-back, since Elliot Johnson’s BA is down to .199.

    Edit: Sadly, this reverse jinx didn’t work.

  31. To be fair, E. Johnson’s speed almost completely accounted for that first run: Hustle double, sac fly got him to third, & RBI sac fly got him home.

  32. @78 Yep. When I saw Clippard entering, I thought that we’d take the lead this inning. It’s strange how a team can own one guy.

  33. Somebody needs to tell Zimmerman that Haren got the same low, outside-corner strike on the black, so he should shut his yap already.

  34. @85 And it was a strike regardless. He should be thanking the ump instead for earlier in the AB blowing a call in his favor.

    Also, Carpenter looked really sharp there. He’s been a pleasant surprise.

  35. “Harper makes a terrible throw from left behind the runner on a play you see everyday…in little league.” -Jim Powell

  36. Elliot Johnson is starting to turn Brooks Conrad on me. I know he’s not a great player, but…man, he’s fun to root for.

  37. On the plus side for the Nats, I’m sure the entire dugout was very impressed with Bryce Harper’s arm as he pointlessly tried to showcase it by picking Eliot off first on a single to left.

  38. Since BJ and Schafer are completely lost at the plate can EJ play CF? Let Uggla play 2nd and EJ play center for a game or two.

  39. For what it’s worth, Elliot Johnson was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2002, and since then, he has played 1177 games in the majors and minors, and he has received a grand total of four innings in center field. I wouldn’t want to stick him there for long, is what I’m saying.

  40. Well that was revolting. Almost as strange as Chipper losing one in the lights in FL ? of course the lead is much larger, but dooomed ????

  41. Kimbrel struggles, Simmons fumbles and Minor gets lit up. All have been uncharacteristically off recently. If this is the start of a pattern, we are D.O.A. in October.

  42. I’d rather Kimbrel struggle in September than October and get it out of the way. But not in this series!

  43. Back up the truck. Oh wait, Garcia will save us! We didn’t need to give the Nats anymore momentum than they already have. They could run the table and I have doubts the Braves can win 4 more games the way they are playing


  45. @131

    Rissa’s right. Better to blow it now and wake up in time for the playoffs. They need to kick it in gear, and a loss like this one may be just the thing.

  46. Please win the night game.

    The Braves have got to contribute better towards a Nationals-free 2013 postseason.

    Though all the Reds need to do is win and it won’t matter one iota what the Nationals do.

  47. Playoffs??? Playoffs????????????????????

    What a horrific, soul killing, kick in the groin loss that was and what a waste.

    Atlanta, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 1991.

  48. @143 He threw about 30 pitches. And not one breaking ball found the strike zone in those 30.

    It’s a bad loss, but maybe it will be one that kicks them into gear.

    Or not. But whatever.

  49. The playoffs are still not in danger. We only need to win two, three or four more games (depending on who they’re against) and the last 10 are against the Cubs, Brewers and Phillies. And that’s only if the Nats win out and, like, they won’t, because they’re facing the Cardinals and D-Backs next week, plus us in the next two games. That loss is already over as far as I’m concerned, and really wasn’t all that important. For all you people implying that we’re about to somehow miss the playoffs, you do know that we still have the best record in the league, right?

  50. @146

    At this point one game is not TERRIBLY important but we still need to get to 97-98 wins to get home field and that was a game we were up 2 in the 9th. Not a game that you want to lose. Certainly nothing to panic about as home field is obviously not the be all and end all in the playoffs, but we haven’t looked good at all since Heyward went out and dropping winnable games is not ideal.

  51. To use the dumb college basketball coachspeak analogy, maybe it’s good that he got the blown save out of the way before the postseason.

  52. Kimbrel was wild. He got behind almost every hitter, but it wasn’t like they hit him hard: Walk, infield single (that could’ve been an out), walk, ground out, infield error.

    I didn’t think it was real trouble until he walked the guy trying to bunt—he couldn’t even throw his heater for a strike when they were trying to give us an out.

  53. Kimbrel’s last slump lasted two weeks, through five appearances. Three blown saves, 1.93 WHIP, 9.64 ERA in that span. His history shows he should have another adventure or two in him over the next week or so before he sorts it out — which hopefully is just in time for October.

    Perhaps of more concern is the recent form of Avilan and the post-injury performance of Walden. Both have been very skittish lately. Be thankful for a nine-game lead and nearly two more weeks to play. There is time to work through much of this.

  54. If we finish up 0-12 then Washington has to go at least 9-3. I still like our odds.

    I’m liking our odds for home-field advantage a lot less.

  55. @156

    If you’re a media outlet who keeps Skip Bayless gainfully employed, you forfeit the right to be taken seriously.

  56. Well that looked like an ugly game. Glanced quickly through the box score and I don’t think I want to know the details.

    What saddens me most though is that it looks like Kimbrel blew his chance to finish the season with an ERA under 1.00. I know it’s not really important but I wanted it to happen.

    Same thing happened to Smoltz in 2003 when he gave up a few runs in his last appearance of the regular season and shot his ERA north of 1.

  57. The whole “team of destiny” thing is really stupid to begin with, regardless of whether or not the moniker applies to Washington.

    “You won the World Series despite the fact that we didn’t rate you highly coming in? Team of destiny. All you did was get really lucky and prey on the unwitting team we decided we thought was gonna win. But apparently the baseball gods decided that you were gonna win, so we can’t compete with that. What’s that? There’s a reason you won those games? Yeah, sure there was. It was destiny! Didn’t we cover this already?”

    In addition to that, isn’t every team that wins the World Series automatically that year’s “team of destiny”? That would mean that the 1927 Yankees were a “team of destiny,” so clearly we should condescend to them. They clearly didn’t deserve it, since some higher power decided they were going to win it.

  58. I think it would behoove everyone here to ignore the narratives that large corporations use to sell their products – or at least, in this case, the narratives the worldwide leader uses to sell its brand.

  59. I know Lombardozzi doesn’t have a .600 lifetime average against us, but it sure feels like he does.

  60. Uggla pulled a Melky on that play with the first “throw” but redeemed himself.

    I think Andrelton needs a day off.

  61. How in the world did Laird tag him there? That was an incredible play on his part. Uggla, on the other hand…

  62. I know the Braves want this day and series to end after today’s ninth inning; I just wish they’d stop playing like it.

  63. Garcia’s pitched about as well as we could have hoped against a hot Nats’ team. He was definitely a good pickup. I just wish we hadn’t all forgotten how to hit.

  64. Garcia has managed his way to a nice outing here. Too bad our offense sucks. Not sure what Fredi should do but Schafer can’t stay at leadoff either right now.

  65. Off speed, off speed, off speed, off speed….hey guys, they aren’t throwing you fastballs

    I’m glad EJ got a hit and a SB there. I don’t like us my letting BMac hit there down 1 in this situation though. Sure would be nice for Jordan to remember how to hit all of a sudden. Of course he takes a perfect pitch for strike 2 and swing at ball 4. Good grief this team can piss me off in a hurry.

  66. Barring a miracle, this is two shutouts in three games and 10 runs in the last five. A loss tonight will drop the September record to 6-10. Hurry back, Jason. This is getting too excruciating to watch.

  67. @184 I agree, this is excruciating. I’ve decided that I’ve given the Braves over 5 hours of my life today, and I’m not going to give them any more. If we manage to scrap together some offense, I can catch the highlights. I’m grading papers right now, and I’m sure my students would appreciate me being in a better mood than the Braves are putting me in!

  68. Since Sept. 3, Schafer’s slash line: .042/.179/.083.

    Same time frame, B.J. Upton: .107/.219/.107.

    It’s like choosing between dysentery or anthrax at this point, although B.J.’s (usually) credible defense tips the scales.

    And Walden ain’t right.

  69. We should be a lot worried. The offense has been missing since Heyward went down and there is no telling how long it will take to get him back in the groove. Need to win tomorrow and restore some order

  70. I really wish Reed was healthy enough to play center while Heyward is out. Schafer and BJ need to be benched.

  71. From here on out, it would show a great kindness toward me to forego saying anything like “If the Braves go x-x, then the Nationals would have to go x-x to beat us.” Thank you.

  72. @200 I always hate reading that. Just win games ourselves and we should never need to worry about what the Natpos do.

  73. @188’s “It’s like choosing between dysentery or anthrax at this point”

    wins the thread, and the month. Ugh. Barves.

    They’ll be fine/the same/no real correlation/whatever once we actually get to October, it’s just that this is excruciating.

  74. @204, I give you the 2000 Yankees, the 2006 Cardinals… and the 2012 Braves, who were 20-10 in September/October.

    That is not at all to say that there’s a positive correlation with having a crap September and winning in the postseason… it’s more to say there’s no correlation at all. I’ve been through enough 100-win regular seasons with this franchise.

    Agreed that Heyward being something close to his prior self is a necessary precondition to this team doing anything in October, though.

  75. Reds won at least.

    Braves are so gonna blow that homefield advantage thing. Two losses, and the Dodgers are winning. Worst possible day.

    Honestly, it doesn’t matter much though, seeing as one expect the Braves to go deep into the playoffs when they’re playing like it’s June 2006.

  76. We have 6 aainst the Brewers and Cubs of our 10 games left. Plus 4 at home vs. Phil. to close out the year. If we take care of business against the teams we should take care of business against, then we should have no problems. If we don’t then we can start practicing our 2011 coping skills again.

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