Keep Calm And Carry On

Okay, nobody enjoys losing two on a doubleheader day, especially not when you go into the bottom of the 9th of game 1 leading by 2. But at the end of the day, if you tell me that our playoff chances come down to Craig Kimbrel with a two run lead and Andrelton Simmons fielding a ball to start a double play? I’m okay with going to war with that.

Mike Minor struggled to start. Freddie Garcia was in and out of trouble all night in the second game, but the game wasn’t lost until Jordan Walden gave it away in the 8th. They made Tanner Roark and Dan Haren look better than they have any right to look, but that happens when you’re playing without major cogs in your lineup.

Win today and the magic number still shrinks to 2. Beat some neo-Nazi and you’re still fine coming out of this series.

141 thoughts on “Keep Calm And Carry On”

  1. From Gondeee:

    The Braves are 60-and-29 in games that Jason Heyward starts. They are 29-and-33 in all other games.

    Need him back.

  2. Yup, Simmons & Kimbrel are 2 of our very best players. It’s a freaky occurrence that a team scores 3 runs in an inning where the only ball that got out of the infield had to go thru Simmons’ legs.

    Forget it & pick up a 2-for-1 today.

    Small item: Wasn’t a DP that Simmons flubbed. It was runners on 2nd & 3rd with one out.

  3. @1, that’s really all there is to say. Without Heyward we’re average at best. With him we can win it all. Heyward at 75% is better than all of our other options.

  4. Agreed with 1 and 3. Basically, the first time Heyward went down we got lucky with WTF Success! The second time, we’ve gotten The Success! We All Expected.

  5. And we let him off the hook. Now if you want to crown him, then crown his ass. But Success! is who we THOUGHT he was!

  6. Oh goodness I’m laughing so hard!

    I’m not as confident as most of you with regards to Jason coming back and playing well. I think there’s a bigger chance he comes back and plays like he did the first few months of the year.

  7. Want to know why we are losing? These have been our leadoff hitters while Heyward has been out.

    @ajcbraves: #Braves B.J. Upton is 1-for-28 with 4 walks and 14 strikeouts in his past nine games

    @ajcbraves: #Braves Schafer is 15-for-92 (.163) with .238 OBP in 27 games since DL, and 1-for-24 with 4 walks, 10 K’s
    in his past 9 games

    And this …

    @ajcbraves: Among 10 #Braves with more than 25 at-bats in September, 6 are hitting .218 or lower for the month.

  8. Bethany (@7), if Jason comes back and is screwed up mechanically or mentally, we’re fucked. Very short post season run in the offing, there. The only thing I really want to do is get him back and into a lineup sooner rather than later, so that we can get him “as good as he can get” for the playoffs. Because Success! and Bossman have played themselves out of the deal already.

    I don’t personally care about the Uggla/Elliot Johnson coin flip, though without Heyward I maybe lean back toward the offensive possibility of Uggla.

  9. Right now I think Schafer, Uggla, BUpton, EJohnson are below-replacement-level players. On any given day we play 3 of them. 44% of our offense is pure shite.

  10. @9 Agreed. I really hope he can get in some games before the playoffs start because I’m so nervous about which version of him we’re going to be getting.

    No stat about either Upton brother or Uggla would surprise me at this point. If you told me they won’t score another run the rest o the season I wouldn’t be surprised. They look awful and all we can hope is that they come out of it in October.

  11. I’m still not sure Reed Johnson can run. Granted, Schafer and BJ can’t hit, so 6 of one, half dozen of the other I suppose…

  12. Honestly, this is the lineup I would run out there:

    E Johnson

  13. The problem with that lineup @14 is that you’re basically punting every third inning. Completely. A sequence of Bad OFer Du Jour, No Hit 2B Of The Moment and Today’s Starting Pitcher is a sequence that lets a starter just coast for three outs. It’s the sort of thing that leads to no-hitters.

  14. @15

    I like lumping my best hitters together and giving them more ABs. We need the leadoff guy to get on base more.

  15. Who knows? Maybe Fredi will bat Uggla leadoff. I mean, he’s tried everything else. If the Braves were at Turner Field, I’d give Ed Mangan a shot at it.

  16. Freddi needs to ask himself if he prefers a slow man on first, or a man out able to run quickly back to the dugout. This is a hard one for Freddi, but the most important skill for your leadoff man is not being put out.

  17. I’m going to be cabin sitting in the deepest, darkest part of the Pisgah National Forest. No radio, no internet, no nothing. I do hope that when I emerge from the woods in five days that things have gone the Braves way. Until then, y’all have fun!

    PS: I dig that lineup @14, Smitty.

  18. At some point does any of this fall on the hitting coach? I’m not looking at all the raw numbers right now but these career worst years are becoming too common. Granted I like that we are a patient team and some guys are outperforming expectations, mainly CJ, but it is getting tiresome.

  19. We would have to have a collapse of historic proportions to not win the division, (and the Nats would have to win 10 straight), but losing to the Nats messes us up in a few ways:

    1) Obviously we don’t get homefield advantage
    2) We open up the possibility of the Nats getting into the playoffs as a wildcard.

    If we lose 3 straight to the Nats and they play well enough to make the WC, I don’t like our chances against them. I dare say tonight’s game is pretty important. I also think the sooner Heyward comes back, the better the chance of him having an impact in the post-season. Any word on when he might make it back? It’s getting extremely frustrating at this point.

    We’re Doooooo…. – Doing our best until Heyward gets back.

  20. John R. that sounds awesome! I wish I was somewhere like that right now! All my employees are irritating me today on top of the way the Braves are playing right now!

  21. We’ve matched up well against the Nats this season. I don’t worry about possibly seeing them in the playoffs.

  22. If we don’t start hitting soon, the only team we match up well with is the Marlins – and I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs.

  23. Keeping the Nats out of the playoffs is a small victory by itself – especially if you think our playoff run will last 3 games (which I think is extremely likely).

  24. Well sure. I take as much joy in their misery as the next guy. But he was talking about our chances against them. But either they are particularly troublesome for us (this year’s record suggests otherwise) or everyone is troublesome for us as he later suggested, in which case who cares if they make it? Just trying to understand the logic.

  25. Because losing to them would be much worse to Braves fan psyche than losing to anyone else? I think that’s pretty much a fact. I can handle losing, and I even expect them to lose, but losing to the Nats might be too much.

  26. @Braves: Tonight’s lineup at WSH (7:05, SS/680AM/BRN): EJohnson 6 JUpton 9 Freeman 3 Gattis 7 McCann 2 CJohnson 5 Uggla 4 Schafer 8 Wood 1

  27. Why the hell does Elliot Johnson keep batting leadoff? I mean, I know everyone is cold right now, but at least put someone there who has some offensive potential. EJ has none.

  28. I’d like to see Terdo at 3b and CJ at 2nd for a game or two. I’d rather have Terdo hitting over Uggla or EJ but I’m sure his glove is as bad as advertised.

  29. CJ can barely play 3b. What makes you think he can play 2b? Terdoslavich was a complete flop at third for Gwinnett.

    Edit: I just realized that Andrelton is getting the day off. I think that’s a good move as he has even struggled defensively the last few days and he probably needs a rest. Just wish someone else was leading off.

    And Schafer is starting instead of BJ against a LHP. That’s a guaranteed o-fer.

  30. CJ has enough problems positioning himself properly to field balls and receive throws at 3B. Yes, he’s improved, but putting him at 2B would be disastrous. He might injure himself.

  31. I’d like to see Terdo hit a ball past an outfielder. Just once.

    Arguing about the batting order is kinda deck-chairs-on-the-titanic given these 8 choices, but still, I mean you could at least try to put someone with an OBP above .300 in the leadoff slot.

  32. @47

    This team needs all the good karma it can get right now. Maybe some of the players can swap bats to fans in exchange for chicken nuggets.

  33. I think the Braves not only need to get Heyward back and playing well but that they also need McCann and JUpton to start hitting again too. That’s what it will take to go deep into October, methinks.


  34. Really, Dan, if you’re not going to take pitches and at least build up the pitch count, then you’re about as useful as dampened toilet paper.

  35. Just looked it up: the Braves have the 4th worst wRC+ in baseball this month. They’re hitting .221/.291/.359 as a team.

  36. I like how Caray and Simpson questioned just about everything with the current line-up, except the baffling decision to bat its worst hitter first.

  37. @50 – in order to go deep into October the Braves will either need to get key hits at opportune times, or have their pitchers shut down opposing pitchers.


  38. @61

    It depends on the sample size. If you’re going for a relatively small, two-week sample, it’s Schafer by a head over B.J. Upton. Schafer would swing and miss off a tee these days.

    The sad part is that we have a pitcher (Teheran) who I’d rather see hit than three players who have been everyday parts of the lineup at some point this season. Sometimes I’m amazed this team has 89 wins.

  39. That error was painful. I think I should go find something else to do for a few minutes and then return and assess the damage without having to actually see it happen…

  40. “Kameron Loe has begun to loosen in the pen.”

    Just when you didn’t think it could get worse.

  41. How in the world was that NOT a strike? You have got to be kidding me. Show me a replay!

    Edit: Bummer, I can see how that was called a ball. I still hate Bucknor, though.

  42. Kameron Loe is another name for “the fat lady”.
    Have the Braves ever won a game in which he pitched?

  43. @76—Maybe he is our new “The Towel.” Who did that used to be, again? I can’t believe I’m drawing a blank!

  44. Ballgame. And I don’t think the ejections are done, based on the continuing arguments. They don’t want to watch this farce anymore and neither do I. For all our team’s struggles, it should be 0-0 and the top of the sixth.

    Fire all umpires. The tree is rotten from the roots up. Pull it out and start over again.

  45. Nice, Simpson tearing into Bucknor and umpires in general.

    Seems kind of hypocritical, but I’ll take it.

  46. @76—Maybe he is our new “The Towel.” Who did that used to be, again? I can’t believe I’m drawing a blank!

    Kevin Barry.

  47. Kameron restores order.

    Will the Braves score tonight?

    Again this season?

    Oh, yes. Daniel!

    More please. Run, SUCCESS!, run.

  48. According to that replay, Bucknor threw Wood out as Wood walked off the mound, and then Alex pointed at him. I’m sure Wood was yelling, but that made it look like Bucknor might have been a little quick with the hook, there.

    @82—Was it really Kevin Barry? Wow, that was a long time ago.

  49. I once worked in a union for a few years. The union created mechanisms to reward longevity and mediocrity, while protecting the jobs of incompetents. Looks like it works the same in the umpire union.

  50. This is going to end in a Bucknor-Ramos fist-bump or Bucknor dancing like Frank Drebin/Enrico Palazzo. He could barely contain his glee on the strike-three call to Terds.

  51. If we can hold on to this one, does that mean we can start spelling Loe’s name Lo’w’e, since he’ll have a W now?

  52. Bucknor must have the most unfulfilling personal life if he has to act this way just to get some kind of attention.

  53. Ball one to Brown was an even worse call than the walk to Werth.

    Remember the NFL’s replacement refs? Or the Pac-12 refs that failed at the end of the Wisconsin-Arizona State game last week? By comparison, Bucknor makes them all look not only competent, but stellar.

  54. Anyone notice how Dan never watches a ball ino the catchers mitt? He’s always got his head positioned towards left field.

  55. Shoot, I didn’t realize the Pirates and Reds still have to play each other 6 more times this season. I have been rooting for both, if for no other reason than that the Cardinals get a Wild Card spot (rather than the division) and the Nats don’t.

  56. 0-2 to Harper here. A DP would be huge.

    Uggla just threw a fastball in the dirt that Freeman somehow managed to catch.

  57. Because Carpenter vs Desmond is a better matchup than Downs vs LaRoche. Adam has been pretty hot during the Nats run.

  58. Pirates lose to San Diego again.

    118- The real question is how many competent folk we have in the pen. We’ll find all the incompetent ones.

  59. @118

    You go by the pitcher, but for whatever it’s worth, LaRoche has a .573 OPS against lefties this year. Not that it matters now…

    I like Carpenter, anyway. Hope he pitches the 8th.

  60. @125

    Yes, he did. We should totally get Kameron Loe to yell at people to sit down when he strikes them out.

  61. Man, Joe Simpson is killing it tonight. Destroying Bucknor, destroying Matthews, implying he’s about to get drunk on the plane…

  62. The second baseman I want to see in our lineup is whichever of Dan or Elliot I’ve seen less recently.

    Edit: Success! succeeds successfully.

  63. We got an insurance run in the ninth inning of Game 1 yesterday on an error. Let’s hope that’s the only parallel this game has with that one!

  64. I’ve never minded Joe very much, and I kinda like him fired up a little bit. There’s a part of me that wants to say Chip has gotten better this year too, but nah, I’ll pass.

  65. When Chip said “…for my partner, Joe Simpson…” I first thought he said “former partner, Joe Simpson.”

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