The Texans started out this game the same way they ended the last one, with a pick-6 by Matt Schaub. It was pretty well-timed, too. Chris Collinsworth had just made aÂ joke about Schaub having tied the record for consecutive games with a pick-six withÂ John Elway and Peyton Manning. From there, the game–
Wait, there’s another game I’m supposed to be recapping? Are you sure? I think I’dÂ rather recap Sunday Night Football….
Fine. Whatever. Here ya go. I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY.
The Braves started out the game doing what they needed to to put themselves in aÂ position to win. They scored two runs on singles from Evan Gattis and Chris Johnson.Â Andrelton left two on, but you felt pretty good. Then Julio Teheran had a rough firstÂ inning, not locating anything very well at all and giving up fly ball outs where theÂ batter makes faces like, “Damn, I just missed smashing that!” But still, he made itÂ through unscathed and you thought if he just settles down a bit and locates the FBÂ better, we’ll be in great shape. The Braves did nothing in the top of the second,Â however, and Teheran in fact was not okay.
It’s just one of those things. He wasn’t facing sluggers, and he was getting strikeouts,Â but… it was always on the edge of a knife. And after allowing one run on an sacrificeÂ fly to the pitcher (this after walking AJ Ellis who I’m sure calls a great game but isn’tÂ supposed to be an offensive threat despite all evidence in this series to the contrary),Â the game tipped as Carl Crawford lined one out over the right-center field fence. LeadÂ gone, 4-2 Trolly Folk.
Now, let’s be real. The offense didn’t just turn over and play dead after Teheran gaveÂ up this lead. In the top of the 3rd, they rallied back, plating two more on a BrianÂ McCann groundout and a Chris Johnson should’ve-been-a-groundout. These wereÂ defensive botches by the Dodgers. They should’ve recorded three total outs on theseÂ two plays but instead got just one. So while the Braves tied it, it’s not like they wereÂ mashing it or anything.
So, with his early jitters worked out and the score equalized, Teheran went back toÂ work… and promptly gave up two more runs before being pulled for Alex Wood. WoodÂ did great to get out a 2nd-and-3rd, two out situation, but the next inning, he gave upÂ four more in the 4th. This put the score at 10-4 Dodgers, and since Chris Capuano hadÂ come into the game, everyone decided it was basically over. And it was. The DodgersÂ tacked on two more meaningless runs off various bullpen denizens in the 8th, andÂ Jason Heyward homered (he’s now 3 for like 13 or something) in the top of the 9thÂ also plating ReEd Johnson to give us the final. This 9th inning ralley (which HeywardÂ preemptively killed) actually got Mattingly to bring in his closer with a 7 run lead andÂ two outs. So I guess there’s that.
I want to chalk the shitty pitching up to two rookies having their first appearance i theÂ playoffs. But that doesn’t make it any less disappointing. I was actually anticipating aÂ really good show from Teheran. He’s been on quite a roll of late, and I thought he’d beÂ really into it for these playoffs. Turns out, all that excitement/energy just turned intoÂ losing his delivery, not locating the FB well, and a completely ineffective slider. We’llÂ call it a learning experience, and hope he’s better next time.
Speaking of “hoping” and “next time”, if the Braves want to take the series back toÂ Atlanta, they’ll have to win tomorrow with Freddy Garcia on the mound. Hey, strangerÂ things have happened. In the meantime, Hanley Ramirez has clearly been the bestÂ player in the series and it hasn’t been close. If there is to be hope, Atlanta will needÂ to find a way to keep him from hitting extra-base hits each time he comes to theÂ plate. I’m not sure if Garcia will be able to do that, but at least we know that if heÂ doesn’t it’ll be because he sucks and not first time rookie jitters or whatever.
Now let’s get it done tomorrow, Braves!
All hope hinges on Freddy Garcia. Who would’ve thought…
Who would have thought Medlen and Teheran would be this bad?
Can we just stop pitching to Hanley?
We need an ace to our pitching staff. I know it’s easier to say than be done, but it’s pretty obvious in this series that we need one.
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Garcia may be our best option at this point
It will be sad to see the season end tonight. Not sure I can watch. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong.
We will win game 4 so that we can lose game 5.
I really do think Teheran will be good in his next start (if he gets a next start) this postseason. He’s a rookie; we saw how well LA’s rookie did, too. I’m still very bullish on him going forward.
Braves in the playoffs are like a friend with a drug problem. I love them, support them, lose sleep worrying about their problems; but, also wonder if I wouldn’t be better off just writing them off.
Teheran looked like he was pitching uphill sometimes. Dropped his arm down too much, led to pitches up in the zone.
Wood too, but maybe that’s how he always delivers the ball.
Listened to the game on the radio. Sadly, I knew it was over when we couldn’t get the big hit with the bases loaded and then Teheran was left out there in the third. I understand Fredi’s hesitation but if there is any doubt at all you’ve got to pull him. The season is on the brink!
I’m a bit surprised BJ didn’t get the start last night considering a lefty was on the mound. It might have helped us in the early going but in the end it didn’t matter.
Not as optimistic about tonight but they’ll probably win so I can go back for game 5 and pay the price as I drag my butt to work early the next day.
Even if the Dodgers take this series, let’s not forget: Mattingly pitched around Constanza and Reed Johnson to load the bases for Jason Heyward.
This team succeeded this year with home runs, good enough starting pitching and a very good bullpen.
So far in the postseason they have zero home runs, two of three starters have pooped the bed, and they have only handed the bullpen one lead.
Jason Heyward hit a HR last night.
The Chief has been in this spot before, in ’05 when he won a WS ring with the White Sox. He changes speeds. He throws a mean forkball, plus just about everything else. There will be a lot more swings and misses tonight. The Braves have their backs to the wall, but a win tonight is all they need to bring the series back to Atlanta.
I’m as frustrated as I’ve ever been with this team, but I’m not ready to give up yet.
Missed the Heyward homer. I was asleep by then. Let’s hope for like 5 more tonight!
The Braves need to win a playoff game started by Freddy Garcia, followed by a playoff game started by Clayton Kershaw, in order to make it to the NLCS. Well, stranger things have happened, I suppose…
@ajcbraves: #Braves Freddy Garcia: “I don’t panic. I just make pitch.”
If the Braves lose tonight Fredi G should be held accountable for his decisions. DOB just posted that Janish has a broken nose and he’s our only backup infielder. Schafer has had the flu for over a week and he’s traveling with the team. He chose Constanza over Terdo and Uggla. He’s got a chance to use Medlen tonight and is choosing to stick with minor leaguer Garcia. And there’s Elliot Johnson.
@18: He’s more likely to get an extension.
Considering the Braves only used five starters this year until Alex Wood’s first start (which I believe came as a part of a doubleheader, and he was the 26th man added to the roster that day) and that they were the last team in MLB to use a sixth starter, it feels awfully weird to have our season come down to Freddy Garcia.
Is talking yourself into Freddy Garcia the fourth stage or the fifth? I forget.
(I agree with @4 that he’s the best option tonight.)
18 – I can see the narrative written as look at what the team accomplished despite all of the injuries and “anomalous” suckitude.
@18 The Braves lost Game 1 because we were facing Kershaw and we lost Game 3 because Teheran and Wood were awful too. Frankly, Medlen looked really bad in Game 1 also, so I don’t know why you’d be so eager to throw him back out there on short rest.
@22, You got it.
Johnson nor any of the bats haven’t been the difference. It hasn’t had anything to do with the current roster. Starting pitching has been the difference.
If Medlen had pitched better in game one, we would have had a chance against their pen. Minor was great and Julio was terrible.
This team is missing a big shutdown ace. We have a couple of very good #2 starters. Only Hudson has shown to be a #1 for a stretch of time longer than a few weeks. Maybe one of Beachy, Minor, Julio and Medlen turn into that guy, but they are not there yet.
I know a lot of people want the young guys to be the anchor, but this time of year experience is a big deal. I feel that cost us last night.
Garcia may get lit up tonight, but it probably wouldn’t be any different if Medlen started.
This winter I would like for us to get another starter. A big time front of the rotation guy. I would even trade one of our younger starters to make it happen.
We won’t advance very far into the postseason without one.
LAD 2013: $216,753,286
ATL 2013: $ 90,039,583
List of players in the Braves-Dodgers series by annual salary:
Adrian Gonzalez – 21m
Zach Greinke – 21m
Carl Crawford – 20m
*Matt Kemp – 20m
Michael Young – 16m
Andre Either – 16m
Josh Beckett – 15.75m
Hanley Ramirez – 15.5m
**BJ Upton – 15m
Players on the above list developed by the Dodgers: Matt Kemp
*not on the LDS roster
**the Braves highest paid player
The Dodgers are paying more for Josh Beckett to not pitch than the Braves are paying Tim Hudson.
@26 Those numbers are one of the biggest reason I want us to somehow come back and win this thing.
@25 – Smitty speaks the truth. This team needs an ace and a hitter or two who are more of the “pure hitter” vein.
ATL 2013: $ 90,039,583
BJ and Uggla are nearly a third of that total.
We hold Fredi accountable for the poor pitching performances of Medlen and Teheran? We aren’t hitting homers but doesn’t that have to do more with the quality of the Dodgers’ pitching staff than the bench construction?
I guess i fail to see the connection.
I’m still at a loss as to what Fredi has done wrong so far. Maybe he should have pulled Teheran after the third last night. Otherwise? He’s playing against a stacked deck, man.
You can’t say the Braves haven’t had their chances. They’re playing tight.
I remember most of us liking the Uggla deal at the time, although most agreed that it might get ugly at the end. The ugly just came quicker than we thought it would.
The BJ deal I didn’t like from day 1. Not going to claim I knew he’d be this bad, but he didn’t seem like the kind of player you outbid the rest of MLB for.
Atlanta doesn’t have the payroll to really absorb bad contracts and succeed. When you look at the string of Hampton to Lowe to Uggla to BJ it makes you wonder if something is lacking in their player assessments.
Now I did just cherry-pick the 4 signings from the last decade that are most easily derided in hindsight, but there were big question marks with each at the time the Braves made the move.
What are the odds that BJ Upton can resurrect his career?
Other than the inning Fredi was outstupided by Mattingly, I don’t see how he could have done too much different than he’s done. I refuse to see Elliot Johnson as anything but the least bad choice of multiple bad choices. I do believe he’ll own starting Freddy Garcia tonight, though, so for better or worse this is on him.
I have no doubt that BJ could possibly be this bad over the next 4 years. However, I also had faith in Uggla last offseason after he shed some muscle and worked on his flexibility, and I couldn’t have been more misguided in my faith.
7 OF, 1 of which hasn’t been used at all and another only to pinch run. Seems silly to leave Uggla off of the roster, especially considering there’s a need for power off the bench in the postseason. Furthermore, E. Johnson at his best is still worse than Uggla at his worst.
This whole discussion has made me realize how many low-payroll teams are in the playoffs this year. Of the five lowest payroll teams, three are still in the mix. (The Pirates, Rays, and A’s only spend more than the Marlins and Astros.) The whole thing looks more like an even distribution this year than top-heavy. I know there are going to be years like this every once in a while, but it’s still neat when it happens.
I’m getting slightly different numbers from Spotrac than @26, but his point still holds.
Dodgers – 244,023,735
Braves – 96,148,083
Also, they have Michael Young at a much lower salary, making only seven Dodger players with a higher salary than our highest paid player.
Edit: Oh, I see. The Dodgers only pay him $6m. The Rangers still pay him $10m. So, in terms of comparing the team payroll, he’s costing $6m. His bank account reflects $16m, though.
If only Fredi would manage the game like Dave Cameron would:
@31 – not only did he not pull Teheran, but he failed to get an expendable righty (of which he has six zillion this series) up in the bullpen, meaning when he did, finally, way too late, take Teheran out, he brought his long-man lefty (Wood) in to face Michael Young, a righty PH.
The wrong-handedness of the matchup wound up not mattering, but because he had already put the long man into the game, he had him hit for himself in the top of the next inning (and bunt, natch – in the fourth inning, down two, when you need a big inning, not one single run) after EJ worked a walk. Capuano was like hey free out! and got the next two after that.
It’s shit like that, just every day, that drives you nuts about the guy. In fairness Mattingly is actually worse, but Mattingly’s job is pretty much to roll the ball out given what he’s working with, as you detailed upthread. We need an edge from the staff to be competitive in these situations, and we don’t get one.
I ran the numbers of our starting lineup the other day and we’re at something like $32 million and most of that is McCann and JUpton. Having about half of our payroll sit on the bench because they’re bad at baseball (BJ/Uggla/Maholm) or be injured (Hudson) makes things rather difficult.
A commenter opined that BJ should start in center, and, the poster implied, save Gattis for a PH situation. What does everyone think about that?
@31, blaming Fredi for most everything allows me to retain hope that if we can just find a better replacement for him then we’ll be even more competitive than we already are. Otherwise I’m stuck in fan purgatory where nearly half our payroll is sunk-costs on guys that can’t play, our budget probably won’t ever be increased much, and our GM’s hands are completely tied.
@41, that sounds like a terrible idea to me. Gattis is one of the few guys swinging the bat. Will BJ playing CF somehow magically keep the Dodgers from peppering the ball all over (and out of) the park?
@38 I agree everything he said except I would also throw Medlen in the bullpen and plan to start Minor for game 5.
@42 – That sounds like astute self-awareness, krussell. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Although if Wren’s hands are tied, he may have provided the rope. Nobody forced him to sign Uggla and BJ.
@41 – Briliant strategy to let the better player sit and save him for pinch hitting. Why don’t we let Andrelton Simmons sit and bring him in when the bases are loaded so he can make a great play and save the day? Also, if BJ bats 4 times, maybe he’ll actually put the ball in play (probably not a hit) one of those times. (hopefully the sarcasm here is obvious enough).
No one was complaining about the BJ Upton signing this winter. A few people complained about the Uggla extension, particularly the fifth year (which we have not reached yet) but no one was complaining about bringing Upton in from Tampa.
I thought the BJ Upton signing this off-season was a good one, and I still think it was a good one, given the information we had at the time. He just got a lot worse in his age 29 season, which doesn’t usually happen and I don’t know how we could’ve known it was going to happen.
Exactly. The Uggla collapse you could see coming and just hope he held out reasonably useful until the end of the contract. No one saw the Upton collapse coming.
I think a few people complained about the length of BJ’s contract too, but overall I agree that everyone (self included) thought that he’d be an adequate replacement for Bourn this year, and definitely better than some of our past CF attempts.
I don’t know who is responsible for our playoff roster construction. Fredi / Wren … who has the final say? Probably Wren I’d guess. I feel like it’s not anywhere near optimal, but even if it was we’re still not as good as the Dodgers. Our best shot was to avoid this entirely and hope to beat them in a 7-game series where our pitching depth might matter more. But looking at things realistically right now, I’m not sure we have a pitching-depth edge either.
BJ Upton will be the come back player of the year next season.
@45, a list of guys the Dodgers are paying to not play for them this series:
Matt Kemp (injured) – $20MM
Chad Billingsley (injured) – $11MM
Josh Beckett (injured, ineffective) – $16MM
Ted Lilly (injured, ineffective, DFA’d) – $12MM
Brandon League (ineffective, left off NLDS roster) – $4MM
Carlos Marmol (acquired for contractual reasons without any intention of using him as a baseball player) – $4MM
Jerry Hairston (old as dirt) – $4MM
Ramon Hernandez (ineffective, DFA’d) – $3MM
That’s about $75MM in dead money off the top. And they don’t feel it because they have infinite cash.
Meanwhile, we commit to four eight-figure players (McCann, JUpton, BUpton, Uggla), two of them don’t work out, and our roster is a shambles as a result. Is it BJ’s fault that Gattis is trying to hoof down liners in left? Yes. Is it to Wren’s discredit that he signed him? No. The budgetary restrictions mean he has to gamble on his “big ticket” players. BJ was a high risk/high reward signing, but our only path to a championship contender is just cross our fingers and hope we hit a lucky streak when signing such guys.
Long term, the only thing that will save us is Mikhail Prokhorov, is the moral of the story. Even the best GM will have a few high-priced flops, you just have to have the wiggle room to deal with that and we don’t.
I don’t know who is responsible for our playoff roster construction. Fredi / Wren … who has the final say? Probably Wren I’d guess
No. No front office is going to dictate who goes onto a playoff roster. The roster is constructed by the manager and his coaches.
I haven’t agreed with all of his decisions, but I don’t think Fredi Gonzalez was a difference maker either way this postseason. Young pitches in their first playoff games didn’t perform. Maybe someone else makes them feel more relaxed and comfortable, I dunno. I don’t put it on Fredi.
Besides, we’re not done yet!
@53, highly doubtful that it was solely Fredi. I want a new manager so I’m willing to blame him for everything that goes wrong, but I think the GM definitely has the most say in playoff roster construction.
Regardless of who came up with this roster – the fact that Schafer has been sick and Janish broke his nose lifting weights (srsly?) kinda makes one really scratch their heads. We only have one backup infielder and he’s not at full strength. We are carrying an extra OF who isn’t gonna play…and still Uggla is left off? WTF is really going on with that relationship. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in that clubhouse.
The lineups Fredi’s run out there can get the job done, it’s just that the players have failed to execute. Game #1 would have been a lot closer if our guys hadn’t thrown the ball around and given away bases, not to mention giving away outs by making baserunning errors. That’s not Fredi’s fault. The Braves are playing tight. They need more hugs.
This will make you all feel better:
Who’s fault is it that our OF’s are positioned a step in front of the warning track?
That would be Carlos Tosca’s fault.
Please don’t confuse being out of position with throwing to the wrong base, etc. Has the OF been burned? I can’t recall. Gattis should have backed up Heyward on a ball that caromed off the wall in LC, and Gattis has taken some odd routes to the ball, but I wouldn’t say he was caught playing out of position. Heyward’s been good about cutting off balls in the gap.
@47 – Go back and look at this blog on the day they signed BJ (11/29/2012). There were those of us who were not exactly excited.
Gattis’ defense has hurt us multiple times in this series. The ball that went off his glove for a double in game one would’ve been a cruise control situation for Jupton, and I think anyone else would’ve had a shot at that early bloop single he let drop last night. The offense is nice, but it’s not free.
@60 – I’m on the record as opposed from the beginning. Not that I expected this, of course, but money and the draft pick were a high price to pay for a guy with BJ’s record.
The bloop single last night would’ve fallen in front of Justin too, assuming he would have been camped near the warning track as Gattis was. All our guys are playing as deep as I’ve ever seen an OF play. There’s acres in front of Jason in CF, and the Dodgers have been able to go first-to-third on soft liners to CF several times in this series because of it.
@60 – I realized that my comment may have come off as an arrogant “I told you so”. Didn’t mean that at all. Nobody, myself included, saw the BJ Upton collapse that was 2013 coming.
We’re going to have all offseason to talk about Uggla and BJ. I’m just hoping we can delay that discussion for a few more weeks.
We’ve won two games in a row before. Even against good teams. Even against good pitchers. It’s possible.
Tosca is Fredi’s coach. Our defensive positioning has been extremely conservative and/or flat out weird. Playing the outfield deep is a good idea when protecting a one run lead late in the game. It’s a terrible idea with a two run lead in the second inning. The worst part is that it tells the team that you are scared, and surely then it can’t be any surprise when they play that way. How else do you explain a quote like this from Heyward after our win in game two:
“I know our manager has got a different mindset sometimes than the players, but we all agreed on one thing — every night in the postseason is a must-win.”
It looks like Fredi and Tosca have abandoned the defensive shifts that seemed like such an anomaly in the first game. Consequently, the Braves seem to be turning more double plays?
@66, yeah that’s the quote that tells me that we definitely need someone else managing this team. Would someone else mean that we’d win a playoff series? Probably not if we don’t pitch or hit…but tactically Fredi is mostly terrible. It’ll be much easier and cheaper to get someone that’s not tactically terrible than it will be to fix the Uggla/BJ stuff.
I am guessing that our OF is playing deep because we have a catcher in LF, a RF in Center and a left fielder in RF. The TBS guys kept harping on how deep the 3 of them were playing but never once acknowledged that we are playing our best offensive outfield with 3 guys playing out of position.
Wow. I haven’t seen that.
The main issue with Gonzalez is that he waits too long to bring in a reliever, and in a more general sense doesn’t change the way he manages in the playoffs from the way he does in the regular season. But it must be said: few managers changes enough for the postseason. Jim Leyland, for instance, just waited way too long to pull Anibal Sanchez, and it cost him at least 2 runs.
I know players like their routines, but they also recognize that the postseason is different. I’d pull Garcia at the first hint of trouble the second time through the order. I’d also tell Kimbrel he was getting 2 innings tonight regardless – at some point – and prepare Carpenter for the same. Oh, and I’d seriously think about using Medlen to bridge the innings between Garcia and the late-inning guys. Only Minor and Teheran should be unavailable.
As the Heyward quote indicates, everyone understands that the playoffs are different. If only managers were more flexible, they’d recognize that players are too.
Here’s the context:
“Tonight was a lot of fun,” said Heyward, who ranked the moment [his go-ahead single] at the top in his baseball career. “I know our manager has got a different mindset sometimes than the players, but we all agreed on one thing — every night in the postseason is a must-win.”
So I guess the worst you can pin on Fredi from this is that Heyward thinks Fredi’s being too uptight?
I think Heyward’s quote could be taken a lot of different ways. I thought it was a reference to leaving Uggla off the roster and benching BJ (maybe mostly the latter). It was a backhanded way of saying that “we all have the same goals here, but we’re not in agreement on exactly how to get there”.
We won’t know the real context until we hear all the players’ take on Fredi – assuming we ever do.
Interesting that St. Louis is going with rookie Wacha (9 ML starts) for a must-win game.
@74, on the road too, in front of the loudest crowd we’ve seen this postseason.
Bowman just tweeted the Dodgers might start Kershaw tonight. That certainly changes. things.
Edit: Dodgers confirmed it. Kershaw on short rest tonight.
Oh lawd. We goin’ home.
It doesn’t matter exactly how one chooses to take it–the very fact that such a statement slipped out is telling. Also important, I would argue, is the fact that Heyward, probably unconsciously, constructed a pretty clear dichotomy between manager and players. He didn’t just say, “I don’t always agree with everything he does,” he spoke for the rest of the team.
I don’t ever remember a player making reference to Bobby Cox’s or Tony La Russa’s mindset under any circumstances, and especially not in a situation like this.
@76 I rather see Kershaw tonight with short rest and after 122 pitches than tomorrow.
Here we go:
David O’Brien @ajcbraves 1m
#Braves will face Kershaw tonight, not Nolasco. Late change by the Dodgers. He’ll go on short rest for 1st time, and after 124 pitches
Mixed feelings. We’re going to have to beat him to win anyway so I’d rather see him today and I think it greatly increases our shot at winning a game 5 at home, however our shot to win game 4 just took a hit so we may not see a game 5.
All in all I think it’s a bad decision by Mattingly. It wouldn’t have been as bad if Kershaw hadn’t been left in too long in Game 1 though.
I don’t know. With the start of the quote, I interpret it as, “Fredi’s gravely serious about winning, but I’m just out there having a good time. One thing’s for sure, every game’s important.” Which is pretty harmless.
For the record, I used to be really critical of Fredi. But I think he has improved enough to where he’s not any better or worse than most non-Maddon managers (see: Don Mattingly). Early on, I had been concerned he’d be worse than the norm. That’s not to say he’s been faultless this series — far from it — but I think the starting pitchers are wearing this one, at the end of the day.
Mattingly is stepping on our necks while he can. Odds are low that we’ll scratch more than 3 across against Kershaw.
Well you got to roll out your big guns against Freddie Garcia right!!
Maybe the short rest hurts him. They should’ve beaten Milwaukee at home so we didn’t have this scenario. Unfortunately we probably are the weakest team in the NL
85: Nah, Pirates are weaker. Looking like we won’t get to see them, though.
If this decision backfires on the Dodgers and they have to turn to Greinke or Nolasco in Game 5 in Atlanta, I really like our chances. Also, if we win this series, it will be because Mattingly handed it to us. With his questionable moves in our Game 2 victory and now this, he has made some real head-scratcher decisions.
I think it’s a pretty big risk by the Dodgers. Not only does it not give them more of an advantage, it also means Kershaw definitely won’t be starting Game 1 of the NLCS. This series has been a ferocious game of checkers so far.
Yeah it’s definitely an odd decision. They have all the momentum right now and have a home clinching game against Garcia. Seems like he’d want to take his chances tonight and leave kershaw for game 1
I think this is a crazy move by the Dodgers. It is basically Kershaw on short rest vs. our bull pen.
I like this. It shortens the list of impossible things we have to do to win this series by one. Before, it was “win a Freddy Garcia start, and then, if you are so lucky, win a Clayton Kershaw start.” Now the two tasks are merged, and Game 5 would be a rematch of Game 2.
Basically the Dodgers increased their odds of winning tonight but decreased their odds of winning the series*, I think.
*Which are still prohibitively high either way, let’s be real.
They win with Kershaw here and Kershaw still gets 2 starts in a 7-game series. Not sure I understand why this is bad for anyone but us.
This is a really stupid decision by Mattingly. We were likely never gonna beat Kershaw on full rest in Game 5. Now, we get him on short rest instead of full, and if we beat him (which we should have a better chance of doing on short rest than on full), we get a pitching matchup that we already won in Game 5. Mattingly just reduced his chances of winning this series because he doesn’t want a cross-country flight tonight, seemingly. Doesn’t make any sense. If we somehow come back and win this series, he’s gonna be hearing about this decision for awhile.
Charlie Morton’s got a nasty curve going.
Not sure I understand why this is bad for anyone but us.
Because there is concrete statistical evidence that a pitcher, no matter the true talent level, pitches worse on short rest than full. And so by pitching Kershaw on short rest Mattingly has effectively nullified the advantage Kershaw gives him in this series. Put another way: not all “Kershaws” are created equal.
Which decision was worse? Starting Kershaw on short rest after throwing 125 pitches or letting him throw 125 pitches in that first game blowout.
Let’s get a couple early and manage this game with our bullpen. Garcia shouldnt last more than 2IP. He shouldn’t hit.
Pretty sure Fredi said Medlen is going in game 5 by the way, so it wouldn’t be a rematch of game 2 in game 5.
I’ve always liked Charlie Morton’s curve. When he’s got 4 pitches, he’s a monster. Problem is, he’s so inconsistent he’s often lucky to have 2 going.
95: Is there? The evidence I’ve seen about pitchers on short rest is kind of fragmentary and inconclusive.
Yeah, I meant to say we get to face a pitcher we’ve already beaten.
@97, if that’s true Fredi is dumber than we’ve ever known. Minor has been our one effective starter this series and he’d be on full rest for game 5.
This is a legitimately awful decision by Mattingly. Sorry if I’m repeating what others have said.
First off, this gets rid of their best-case scenario in the NLCS, and if he’s willing to start Kershaw on short rest after 124 pitches here, he was gonna be willing to give Kershaw 3 starts in the NLCS. So this costs them a Kershaw start if they advance.
Second, we had to beat Kershaw anyway. Why not make it the Kershaw who won the ERA title, who nearly won the pitching triple crown (second in IP), the Kershaw on normal rest instead of a Kershaw we’ve never seen?
I think we legitimately have a shot tonight. There’s a reasonable chance Kershaw just can’t summon it on short rest 245 innings into the season, and we’re a favorite in game 5 against Greinke at home.
101: Yeah, but… when you say “this series,” you’re talking about sample sizes of one game for each pitcher. Frankly, if Fredi changed his game plan based on what happened in Games 1 and 2 (so long as “what happened” was not an injury), it would be stupider than simply sticking to the game plan.
I think Medlen and Minor are roughly equivalent pitchers. I’m pretty much indifferent to who starts Wednesday. I also have a strong feeling there won’t be a Wednesday anyway.
I would think very seriously about starting Minor in Game 5 if we get there (even assuming that we start Garcia tonight, which I wouldn’t be doing), but I don’t think it’s a stupid decision to start Medlen.
I still think we should start Medlen tonight since he threw less than 80 pitches. Start him tonight, have Garcia as the long man, and Minor on normal rest if we get a game 5.
Wacha is plain filthy. Wow.
I would like to see Medlen out of the pen tonight or tomorrow. He has expereince coming out of the pen. Minor does not.
I am not sure we win tonight. I think Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball. But this doesn’t hurt our chances to make it to the next round.
I think it’s pretty obvious what we need to do tonight. We need to be patient with Kershaw, and work the count, but be aggressive when he throws strikes. We need to focus on stringing together long innings and scoring runs and make sure to shut down the Dodger offense. At the end of the day, if we score more runs than they do, we’ll be in a really good position for Game 5.
Exactly why would the Braves be a favorite against Greinke in a Game 5? He gave up two runs and four hits in Game 2. He could easily have won the game. If you are counting on his so-called anxiety in big games, it didn’t seem to bother him in Game 2. I’d take Greinke over any of the Braves pitchers.
I believe the rest day question has been tackled a number of times, and every analysis I’ve read contends that there’s almost no difference between three and four days of rest.
For example, the question was, in fact, JC’d http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/Bradbury_Forman_PitchCounts_revise.pdf
If Kershaw is less effective, it’s because of the high workload in his first start, not the number of days of rest.
@103, I’d make Medlen available out of the pen tonight. Pitch no one more than two innings, Garcia included. Give Kimbrel two innings. Basically make it an All-Star Game where only Teheran and Minor are unavailable. Allow no pitchers to hit.
Then you’ve got the best Game 4 pitching monster (and offense) you could cobble together, and you’ve got Minor on full rest if you are so lucky as to get to Game 5. Not starting Minor probably means we just waste him the rest of the series when we need to win two in a row to save our asses.
FYI, his 124 pitches was his third highest in his career. We gotta beat him either way.
Check out the As and the Tigers… benches clearing top of the 9th.
I’m not watching. What happened in the A’s-Tigers game?
Not for nothing, but I wonder if there’s any thought to DLing Janish with the broken nose and activating Uggla. You’d still have E Johnson to back up SS.
Janish would be unavailable in the NLCS but may be worth it, even just as a morale boost.
Can you point me to this evidence?
@114. Balfour is being a major tool… talking to Martinez during the at-bat “Fck you, btch” and back and forth…
that’s reasonable; I was not including any of Greinke’s anxiety stuff in my assessment. I just think the difference between Greinke and Medlen/Minor is pretty small, all things considered, and our offensive performance in this series notwithstanding, I still think we have the better lineup. And homefield is worth 5% or so.
EDIT: I also prefer our bullpen.
If the Kershaw move backfires, it’s the kind of thing that could get Mattingly fired-even if the Dodgers utlimately win. Apparently, the Dodgers’ pitching coach was quoted as saying earlier that they would not pitch Kershaw on short rest because “he is our future.” Perhaps Mattingly thinks he is going to be fired regardless so he wants to go out with all guns blazing.
@120 Backfires and they win? Like three scoreless and Tommy John?
@120, we crush Kershaw and blow them out, then lose game 5.
@Ken_Rosenthal: Smaller sample than some being tweeted but post-season starters since 2007 have a 6.34 ERA in 17 starts on 3 days rest, per @STATS_MLB.
I think the fire Mattingly meme is there no matter what unless the Dodgers make the WS. He seemed closed to being fired when they were in last place and all their players were hurt early in the year. $200M payroll means you better win right now.
This is exactly the move I’d expect them to do. End this series right now and don’t give the Braves any feeling of hope. Also I think that Kershaw pitching tonight maximizes the chances that he’ll pitch twice in the NLCS.
Fredi should start Medlen tonight. If we’re going to lose I want to lose with my best guy out there. and if we win Minor is ready for Game 5. I think everyone agrees with me except Fredi Gonzalez, unfortunately.
I remember Josh Beckett, on 3-days rest, throwing a shutout in Game 6 to clinch the 2003 WS in Yankee Stadium.
I think Mattingly’s gamble is fine. If Kershaw loses, he gets Greinke in Game 5. If Kershaw wins, he gets Greinke & Kershaw to begin the NLCS.
And, of course, if we win both games, I’m certainly not going to lose any sleep about it. Tonight, keep it close & beat their bullpen, I hope. Go Braves.
BTW, Cardinals’ Wacha is tossing a no-no in Pittsburgh in the 7th. In his final season start, he came within one out of getting a no-no vs the Nats. Guess the guy’s hot.
Cards start a rookie on the road facing elimination and he’s throwing a f’ing no hitter. That’s the kind of stuff that happens when you are a Cardinal fan.
Braves are faced with the same situation and they decide to start a 57 year old journeyman.
I think it would make sense for Fredi to do two things.
1. DL Schafer (flu) or Janish (nose) and activate Uggla
2. Start Medlen over Garcia
However we know Fredi won’t do either.
So with Kershaw starting do you bench McCann and try to put our regular defensive OF out there? I don’t know if I would or not, but it’s gotta be a discussion in the clubhouse right now.
There’s a good way to break up a no no.
That means you start BJ and Janish too then. So no.
Is Brian losing money on the FA market with this post season performance?
@130, I was just thinking of putting BJ in the lineup and Gattis behind the plate … no way would I want Janish in there in any scenario.
McCann didn’t have anything to show for it, but he hit some balls hard off of Kershaw in Game 1. In his potentially last game for his hometown team, I’d let him play.
@Ken_Rosenthal: Forgive me @MrBrianKenny: Tweeps want pitcher and team record for post-season starters on 3 days rest since ’95. Pitcher: 20-31, team 29-48.
Kershaw vs. Garcia? Yeah, it’s McCann’s last day as a Brave unless Liberty Media decides to pony up.
Cards force a Game 5. Dodgers sitting pretty if their strategy pays off tonight.
Start BJ over McCann? What are their splits against lefthanders; especially over the second half of the season? BJ’s can’t be very good; he’s been pretty awful against everyone.
What’s special about 1995?
Edit: Oh, expanded playoffs. Heh, that might be a clue to why the record is what it is.
I would just assume that BJ will strike out looking four times. Is the improvement in the OF defense worth it?
I’m leaning towards no. You roll the dice and hope nobody hits it to Gattis and McCann has a good day at the plate.
Because that logic worked so well in Game 2. And last night.
Freddie Garcia starting tonight? Maybe the Dodgers will be too busy laughing to swing the bat.
@136, vs LH pitching (for the season):
.231/.279/.337 for McCann
.157/.227/.222 for BJ
BJ has actually been a fair bit worse against LHP, but he’s been so bad overall that looking at his stats seems like a complete waste of time to begin with.
I think you have to play McCann just because he’s still one of your better hitters (this series notwithstanding) and having Gattis catch an elimination game seems kinda scary (though not any scarier than pitching F. Garcia).
If you go the all-defense route then you are probably benching Gattis for BJ. Gattis has reached base 7 times in the series and has generally looked pretty good at the plate.
I think you can defend either lineup decision though. Gattis playing LF isn’t Fredi’s fault, it’s BJ’s.
No change to the lineup tonight.
Deck chairs on the Titanic. Our good hitters need to hit, and our good pitchers need to pitch well. Uggla/Gattis/BJ/Johnson/McCann strategics doesn’t really matter when two of your three SPs get bombed.
If it ends tonight (which it won’t!), the story is not about BJ/Uggla, it’s about Medlen and Teheran crapping the bed. It’s that simple, I think.
Sadly, the narrative of the season is that we had to play a Royals retread at second and a catcher in left field because our two highest paid players didn’t come to play this year, and our Game 1 starter got bombed because Beachy wasn’t ready, and our game 4 starter got bombed because Hudson broke his ankle.
I’m at peace if this is the end. You can’t win when the top 5% of your payroll plays like the bottom 5% of the league. You can’t win when you lose 2/5 of your starting rotation, and 60% of the inning pitched in the bullpen. We’re lucky to be where we are right now.
Is there really a discussion on starting BJ over McCann
@143, don’t disagree with any of that. My only complaint is that this narrative brings Fredi back for umpteen more years, because look at what we overcame….
Per DOB, Minor available in the pen tonight. Medlen being held in reserve for Game 5.
Needless to say that’s the opposite of how I’d want to do it.
The opposite starts and ends with Garcia. Our best two starters are available for what could be the last few games of our series. You absolutely start them.
Fredi does realize that Garcia has pitched almost 50% of his innings against the Marlins right?
I’m not completely sure what Fredi Gonzalez realizes. For example, does he realize this is a 5 game series?
More DOB tweetage:
Last time Freddy Garcia pitched at Dodger Stadium was 2001, when #Braves McCann had just finished his junior year in HS and Teheran was 10.
Writers are already calling for Leyland to be fired if he doesn’t let Scherzer pitch game 4 on short rest over Doug Fister. They are down 1-2, so why not go to your best 2 staters? Makes sense to me.
What’s the plan for us starting to time? Do we have to wait until the Bos game is over? They are in the 5th inning
Tbey’ll probably air the game on TNT then switch over to TBS once the Red Sox-Rays game is finished.
“Fredi does realize that Garcia has pitched almost 50% of his innings against the Marlins right?”
I’d like to know what Wren “realized” when he thought “the Braves need some of that” and signed Johnson and Garcia after they were booted from their respective teams in 2013 for gross incompetence.
To be fair, that’s essentially how we acquired David Carpenter and Jordan Schafer (and probably a few others I can’t think of) who have contributed pretty significantly to our success this year. Sometimes those guys work out.
Looks like I was wrong about the game being broadcast on TNT. Anyone know where to find the game?
Sorry, guys. Looks like I’m an hour early.
@155, the game doesn’t start for another hour
To pass the time…over/under on runs allowed by Freddie Garcia?
I’ll go with 2
Just make pitch!!!!
156- Sounds way too low. I’ll say 4 1/2 on the over/under. Someone dim enough to start Freddy is also dim enough not to have a quick hook.
@156 – yeah I’m counting on the short leash. The 2 may happen in the first inning.
That chick who was just singing? Zobrist’s wife? Totally met her during a rain delay at a Bulls game. It was totally weird. There was just this random hot blond chick sitting by herself at the game, so naturally I was all like, “Hey baby. Need someone to keep you warm?” (Not really.) And then she was all like, “Hahahaha. You’re so cute. I’m married, but you can chat with me for a while if you’d like.” (Again, I may be deviating from the truth slightly.) So we exchanged pleasantries, I found out who she was (wife of the new guy, newly back from the show, etc.), and after I explained how I can’t be tied down, we went our separate ways. She was really nice.
Wish those two nothing but the best.
I’m getting tired of the NLDS ‘lose, win, lose, lose’ pattern that has happened in every full playoff series that Braves have appeared in since 2005. Now they’re a loss tonight away from it again.
This was a “Dead Man Walking” team with all the injuries and the 2 other guys who may as well have been out for the year.
But, go Braves!
Let’s get this baseball game started. Like @161 said…please win. Please. And Wednesday too. Please.
Good morning and GO BRAVES!
If that was a Fredi bunt, Fredi’s an idiot. If that was a JUpton bunt, then Justin’s a idiot.
I hope the Braves lose.
I just don’t even have words anymore.
Oh my god Fredi. If that was your idea…
WHY ARE WE SO STUPID!!!!! AAAAAGH!
Perhaps Fredi thinks stupidity will distract from the poor roster construction.
If Fredi called that bunt at least Wren would have an unimpeachable reason to fire him.
If Fredi called that bunt, he should be fired.
On that pickoff move, it really looks like his upper body is moving towards home.
Brian McCann is indicative of the reason I wish the Braves had Dodger money. I don’t want the team to buy stars as much as I want the team to keep the ones they have. I’ll miss McCann.
Maybe Justin did it on his own, knowing that everyone would blame Fredi in an attempt to get him fired.
Perhaps the chemistry is not as great as we imagined.
Or maybe Fredi is a moron and wouldn’t understand context if it hit him in his moony face.
I hate Fredi, but Justin did that on his own.
Again we actually got a break with a defensive mistake, and we do absolutely nothing with it. Can’t say that we haven’t had opportunities. That’s our Braves in October I guess.
I think Justin just wanted to make sure he got the runner over against a great pitcher. It’s incredibly frustrating, but he’s done it before.
Well that’s an inauspicious start.
Why do we keep hanging pitches to Crawford? Ridiculous. They deserve to lose. We aren’t scoring tonight anyway, so it won’t matter much. Kershaw could have gone on 0 days rest.
Garcia start going about as well as anyone could have expected.
I’m sure glad Medlen is in the dugout!
When do pitchers and catchers report?
Falcons being booed off the field in the Ga Dome. This is setting up to be one of those special Atlanta sports nights.
Get Minor up now.
Yep, this jut happened.
Oh for god’s sake. Has a manager ever been fired in the middle of a game before? Can we pull a Lane Kiffin here?
How do you like them apples, Fredi?
Might as well laugh. All you can do at this point.
What did we expect? Rubber biscuit?
Slightly more auspicious….
That should just about do it
@192- I agree. Sit back, have a cold one, pretend like there’s no work tomorrow.
Garcia missed the glove by a foot and a half.
The decision to put Minor instead of Medlen in the pen for this game is one of the most inexplicably stupid things Fredi has ever done. Minor is on TWO days rest. Guy is a fucking idiot.
Crawford and Ramirez will both have three hits tonight. And somehow the Braves managed to win 96 games this year.
This is going to be one of those ass-kicking nightmares like the Cardinals endured in Game 7 or the 1985 World Series (or we put on the Cardinals in Game 7 of the 1996 NLCS).
Elliot Johnson, Jose Constanza, and Freddy Garcia on our postseason roster when 2 of the 3 weren’t good enough to be on other teams’ regular season roster. Good grief…
Hey, at least we’re not in the dugout for this tragedy.
Justin keeps us from losing by more! Yay!
201-Yeah, that would be 3 of 3, no?
Please let that be the end of Freddy Garcia’s career in Atlanta..
Fredi will let him give up at least four runs.
205- No chance. Fredi will figure that home run and that near-home run were just bad luck. Or nerves. Or possibly swamp gas.
Fredi will be wanting to sac bunt with Garcia, so he pitches at least 3 innings no matter what.
Wasn’t it just last night they tried to get Crawford to chase a high fastball only to have home sitting on the breaking ball for a HR?
No Braves pitcher should bat for himself today.
(I’m sure we’ll see Freddy Garcia bunting at some point tonight.)
Dodgers lead series 2-1, start their ace.
Braves’ season on the line, they start Freddie frickin’ Garcia.
Something is seriously wrong with this picture.
McCann needs to recapture that Clemens homer magic of yesteryear.
That’s it, Brian! Get yourself out of this game! Aw, dammit.
@209, yes indeed. Same sequence. Same result. Same catcher.
Pitch was a strike. I applaud the ump for having a long leas he McCann there.
Mac’s just pissed he’s done nothing this series.
No way that pitch was a strike. Catcher’s glove was touching dirt.
Trying to picture McCann in the Texas Rangers uniform he’ll be wearing in 2014.
Which poster and in what inning should I expect to see our opening day roster for 2014? I’ll say 6th inning and not sure on who posts it.
I think the ump knew it and that’s why BMac wasn’t tossed.
Lineup will be almost the same except Gattis shifts to catcher and BJ in CF.
221- At which point we start taking bets on how long until Wren eats BJ’s contract.
Sure glad Elliot Johnson is starting at 2b instead of Uggla!
Wonderboy Eliot Johnson with yet another stellar at bat
Seriously, Elliot, you are better off keeping the damn bat on your shoulder and forcing Kershaw to throw three pitches.
I’ve been spending all day trying to put off thinking about David Price and Chris Sale.
Please tell me it’s also SmElliot Johnson’s final day as an Atlanta Brave.
I know the Uggla thing is tired and it’s time to move on and all that, but everyone on Braves Journal could’ve gone 0-12 without hitting the ball out of the infield.
They should drill Kershaw in the head when he bats. All hands on deck tonight anyway.
@230, that would be the one and only semi-plausible reason to start Freddie Garcia…though I doubt he’d be able to actually locate enough to hit him.
Garcia says “I make pitch”
Wait the Dodgers didn’t bat long enough. Was that a 1-2-3 inning? Will Garcia bat? Who am I kidding of course he will.
Not sure I can make myself watch. I’ll follow on gametracker, but I’m just not sure I can make my eyes witness the events of this game.
And La Stella has a chance to win the 2b job with Uggla traded for bird droppings.
What makes you think Garcia could accurately hit Kershaw in the head?
233- I had that problem from about the fifth inning on yesterday. I must have changed channels literally a thousand times.
“I know the Uggla thing is tired and it’s time to move on and all that, but everyone on Braves Journal could’ve gone 0-12 without hitting the ball out of the infield.”
How the hell this .590 OPS lifer managed to go from getting booted off the Royals to making the postseason roster for the Braves this year will always be one of the great mysteries of the universe to me.
And THAT is how you pitch to fking Skip Schumaker and AJ Ellis. Why no one else in the rotation was capable of that is beyond me.
Nice job Garcia. Do you let him hit here?
Are there any other ways we can win this game without scoring? Maybe incite a riot in the stands?
226 was a crap job:
BJ wins comeback player of the year, Simmons hits 20 homers and adds forty points to his OBP, and La Stella gets on base atop the lineup at a .370 clip. Braves win a 100 games.
I haven’t watched an inning of the playoffs in four years. A little radio. Some online scorekeeping. I can’t stand the playoffs. I can’t stand the atmosphere. The noise. The crowd. (Even home crowds.) It ruins the game. Turns it into football. Baseball is a quiet afternoon in the sun on a warm summer’s day, not this crap.
237- Because the alternative had a .529 OPS in the second half. Or was Tommy La Stella.
And if that had gone out, I’d know we’d all fallen into the Matrix.
Who knew that Chief could hit?
So looks like Kershaw’s on.
If the rest of the team would make Kershaw work the way Gattis did, he’d be out of the game by the fifth.
Gattis is hurt a lot and only plays 100 games.
Simmons is better but still not a polished hitter.
Justin kills Fredi in the dugout during a game due to feud over BJ’s treatment.
Our pitching is meh and we end the season 83-79 and don’t have to watch this postseason shit at all.
Forever we’ll have to hear about how Kershaw hit legend status by pitching a complete-game shutout on three days’ rest. Like my alma mater, Missouri, we again are the doormat of history.
Why is Fredi still sitting down?
If Fredi and Freddy were really dumb enough to keep putting it on a tee for Crawford, I don’t know how they’d remember to breathe.
Hey guys, Crawford can hit an inside pitch. Just FYI
I say keep the camera on Fredi. I’m more interested in that than the game at this point.
Curtain calls in the third inning.
Wow. You let the OF have that one, EJ.
I amend my prediction at 199 to say that Crawford will have three homers tonight, not just three hits.
And that’s Johnson’s 2nd error to go along with his 0 fer
LOL Braves. This is amazing.
Fredi has bad circulation. If he doesn’t sit on his hands they get cold.
Elliot, it’s not gonna be worth the risk to return to Atlanta to clean out your locker.
So, 2 bases or 4 for Hanley?
I don’t know if there has been a more useless player in the recent history of playoff baseball than Elliot Johnson.
The bullpen should be warming up now. I’m sure it’s not. Got to rest that ‘pen for March.
Another curse to BJ Upton who has put our OF in this predicament.
Wren should fire Fredi, then fire himself, with the announcement made at a press conference by Elliot Johnson.
Edit: if any reporters raise their hands to ask a question, Elliot should just say, “Are questions really necessary?”
Gotta at least let Freddie Garcia go 5 to be eligible for the win. He’s earned the right.
The only way Wren & Co. keep me on board is if they fire Fredi during this game.
Dead Man Walking. This team just does not have the horses at this point.
Those of you who are 2014 rosterbating on the cheap already, keep in mind this team has $10MM in unused budget this year, $25MM coming in from national TV money, and $29MM in Hudson/McCann/Maholm money expiring. You should be dreaming about impact players we can get to get this team to the next level, not wishcasting Tommy La Stella and Evan Gattis.
I would look morose too if I was struck out by Freddy Garcia.
267- The only impact our two most expensive players have made is the crater that they’ve created for our offense and defense.
267-I’ll extend Simmons, Freeman and Heyward and pass on the impact player, thanks.
Freddy pitched around the error. So far, with the exception of Crawford–and, yes, that’s a big exception–he’s handled the Dodgers fairly well.
Regression has been the only player thy doesn’t look like he is playing tight
I don’t trust Liberty Media to put extra funds back into the team. The payroll hasn’t risen appreciably under their watch and they have to prove it before I believe they will invest the extra money in player salary.
Puig hit a ball that fell a foot short of a two run homer. Hanley Ramirez missed a hanging breaking ball by the tiniest fraction and four outs to 3B, SS and 2B were smoked. Freddy’s sporting an ERA of 6.00 and he’s been lucky as hell.
Too bad there are exceptions.
Yeah to be fair he’s already done better than Teheran and Medlen. I still can’t figure out how we can win without scoring though. There must be a way.
@267, some of that money will surely be earmarked for reclamation projects from the O’s and Royal’s system. The rest will be spent on Liberty Media bonuses and our general manager’s office improvements.
I still believe in the bear.
At least Uggla would’ve walked a few times
Adrian Gonzalez has been downright Conradian tonight.
Well, here’s our chance…
Hanley took his time getting to the bag.
Now or never, gentlemen.
For all the LA noise, two solo home runs aren’t exactly insurmountable, especially given a Kershaw who will likely tire at some point tonight.
There’s an open base, Mattingly, don’t you want to set up the double play?
Does it say more about me or the Braves that I expect nothing to come of all this?
Let’s go, Braves!
I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I suspect most of us are right there with you.
McCann has been useless.
Regression delivers! (In more ways than one.)
CJ gives no fucks.
And please, Andrelton — no GIDP this time. I’m begging you. (Of course, if you’re Kershaw, why give him a hittable pitch with Elliot up next?)
My favorite Braves nickname of all time.
Way to pick him up, CJ!
I smell a DP.
It’s a fight between their stone-gloved defense and our weak-hitting offense. We’ve won this skirmish. (Of course, that should have been a GIDP- our second of the inning.)
REGRESSION with the RBI single and the RBI slide into second.
Wow. The Dodgers just gave us that. We tried to give it to them but they wouldn’t take it.
And why the fuck is Freddy Garcia putting on his batting gloves?
Gonzalez has had a pretty rough inning. Fine with me.
Time to justify that roster spot EJ.
3 errors to get 2 runs… Thanks
Dodgers: Here braves, we feel greedy with all these runs. Please have some on us.
Braves: No thanks.
Dodgers: No, we insist.
Or just make us all nostalgic for blind man Uggla.
I hope the Dodgers aren’t doing that to tease us.
Remember what Mac said about hope.
Wow. Guys, I dunno anymore. I’m all confuzzled.
I think anyone picked at random from this page would make harder contact than EJ
I don’t know how I can criticize the Elliot Johnson choice any more than I already have. At least Brooks Conrad could hit HRs
Tie game and we cleared Elliot. Things are looking up. This is usually the part of the script where we give up a bushel of runs in the home half.
Elliot has probably 12-13 ABs so far. Garcia has one and probably hit it further than all of EJ’s combined.
Consider me someone who believes Garcia should be done for the night.
Can’t let Garcia give that back.
Fredi, get that damn headset off and get Garcia out of the game before he does real damage, you dip****.
How many times have the Dodgers had their lead off batter on base this series? It has to be half the time.
@316, agree, Adam.
Um yes, he shouldn’t be out there and our pen should be ready.
Wait I thought Puig was fast.
No more War Puigs have the power!
Credit where it’s due: nice play by EJ on that steal attempt.
Nuts. Almost, Freddie. Way to hold it to one.
Garcia leads off the next inning and no one is warming.
So if the ball had stayed in the glove, would it have been an out ?
No excuse for Garcia’s watching the play.
Yeah I want no part of Garcia vs Crawford III. This should be his last inning.
Freddie would have to–I forget the term–“release” the ball. He has to remove the ball from the glove for it to be a catch.
It’s 7:58. Garcia’s fallen asleep in the Barcalounger after eating dinner at 4:30 p.m.
About time to pull the plug on Garcia if he can cheese his way out of the fourth
In all fairness, Garcia’s thinking extra bases every time the hitters make contact, just out of habit.
Falcons on ESPN, Braves on TBS, twice the disappointment for my money.
Kimbrel and Carpenter should be able to get 6 outs tonight, too.
Now THAT’S framing!
At least the Braves aren’t dead yet; Falcons on life support.
Get Hale ready
McCann framed that beautifully.
BRAVES: Why didn’t you just… kill me?
BANE: You don’t fear death. You welcome it. Your punishment must be more severe.
BANE: Yes. Not of your body, but of your soul.
BRAVES: Where are we?
BANE: Playoffs, where I learned the truth about despair, as will you. There’s a reason why this prison is the worst hell on earth. Hope. Every Braves team who has ventured here over the years has looked up to the lights and imagined a World Series. So easy. So simple. And like shipwrecked men turning to seawater from uncontrollable thirst, many have died trying.
I have learned there can be no true despair without hope. So, as I terrorize Atlanta, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe they can advance so that you can watch them clamoring over each other to “stay in the series.”
You can watch me torture an entire city, and when you have truly understood the depth of your failure, we will fulfill Jim Leyritz’s destiny.
We will destroy Atlanta and then, when it is done and Atlanta is ashes, you have my permission to die.
Garcia pitching now is like some Livan/Campillo hybrid.
Fuck it, I say put Kimbrel in next inning and let him throw 40 pitches. Then give the ball to Medlen with Carpenter ready in the pen.
Is nobody warming up still? I guess Garcia bats again.
García has kept us in the game.
It’s beyond all comprehension that Garcia will lead off the 5th and be allowed to face Crawford for the 3rd time in the bottom of the inning.
I don’t have a problem sending Garcia out there again. He’s probably hit the ball harder than any other Brave tonight.
And he bats for himself to lead off. Of course, he had a better swing than the guys in the 7- and 8-holes, so there’s that.
Honestly, Garcia bats as well as EJ
You could clock Garcia’s “sprint” to first with a sundial.
bravo for #340. Of course, in the end the Braves come back and save the city of Atlanta; that’s the difference between fiction and reality.
These two managers are so far out of their comfort zone.
Garcia hitting in the 5th inning of a tie game so he can stay in to pitch to a guy who has already hit 2 homeruns off of him? Are you f-ing kidding me??
Yep. Fredi is stupid. We knew this, but the playoffs are when we are forced to confront it.
350- In the words of the late Tom Clancy, the difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.
By that standard, these are the two realest managers in baseball.
I’m so glad Chip Caray isn’t calling this game. I wouldn’t have a flat-screen anymore if I’d heard him on Heyward’s shot to CF.
Sending Garcia back out there to face Crawford and Hanley is tempting fate.
It’s not that. It’s just suicide.
Clip and save. Fredi apologists, this is why he drives us batshit nuts. Every. Damn. Game. Some nonsense like this.
Gotta make sure Minor is ready for Game 2 of the NLCS, guys.
That’s an incredible AB by JUpton.
Pitch track has to be off tonight. It had that 6th pitch to Upton as a strike.
Kershaw looks a bit tired now. Maybe we can get to him in an inning or two.
A friend in Atlanta wants to listen to the game on the Internet, but she doesn’t have MLB. Local radio devoted to the Falcons. Any suggestions?
The high and low on pitch track have to be wrong most of the time. The box is static, but the top and bottom of the zone change with each batter.
@364 – Bourbon.
Yeah it was the same pitch that Bmac was called out on too. Both looked low but show as a strike
365-And the degree of error when attempting to calculate the flight path of breaking pitches is much larger than otherwise.
It’s not like Ayala, Wood, Avilan, Carpenter, and Kimbrel can’t combine for (at least) the next 5 innings. If it goes extras, you have Hale. Or an on-2-days-rest Minor if you really want. Garcia did his job. Why tempt fate and let him go a third time through the order for no reason?
I’m not going to watch Garcia’s third time through their order. Maybe just watch the Falcons lose for a bit and come back here hoping for the best.
@340 – Fantastic.
Yay, Garcia only walked him this time!
So, we walk Hanely and bring in Wood, right?
I would like to thank Mattingly for batting Ellis 2nd.
Don’t give Hanley anything to handle.
Yes! Right back in it!
Ok I’ll admit. Great outing from Garcia. Get our bullpen ready.
FYI, Falcons somehow come back and finally convert in red zone to take lead. Maybe this won’t be a double disaster night for the city of Atlanta. Now it’s time for El Oso Blanco.
Man, I assume there were no witnesses when Fredi went late at night down to the crossroads.
We don’t tempt fate by putting Garcia out there for the 6th right? He’s at 77 pitches now.
I thought the corrupt LAPD kept the Mob out of LA until the 60s.
McCann needs to be a DH. He’s always worn down by the end of the year.
Brian looks awful right now.
McCann doing his best BJ impression.
Falcons about to lose. Now I guess I have to watch the Braves. This is tough duty.
Garcia is gonna pitch 14 innings tonight, you guys.
Garcia staying in for the 6th is like hitting on 17 one too many times.
Garcia is Icarus and Fredi’s taking the damn flight way too close to the sun.
Falcons give it back. pathetic. Will Garcia do the same?
Great defensive positioning there, Elliot.
Is this where it comes to an end?
Let’s turn 2!
this really feels like watching a car wreck about to happen
Bullpen should have been up.
I really don’t feel like seeing Ayala for the fourth game in a row. Couldn’t we at least get Avilan…you know considering the season is on the line and all…
395- It finally is, but that just reminds me of the old saying about barn doors.
Pweeg trying to bunt on 2-0? Mattingly really is a moron.
Is there any Dodger that isn’t hitting .300+ in this series?
Let’s just let Garcia piss this away… I hate Fredi
Edit: wow, or not
@393 from your lips…
Wow, what a double play!
Wow, nice stretch Freddy!
damn it, EJ!
HOlY damn what a double play!
Another bad throw by Elliot…great play by Freddie
Think the bunt was just a fake take on 2-0
Let’s give Elliot credit for a nice turn too.
He still can’t hit though.
Please, let Freddy get out of this inning unscathed. Great double play!
Does Fredi know that if the Braves lose, their season is over?
Kershaw is done!
So Kershaw is done. Keep them here Garcia
Come on, Chief!
So much joy so far in this inning. Kershaw done, Puig grounding into a DP. Don’t let me down now, Freddy.
Put another base on BJ’s tab. Bad route by Gattis.
Yeah, get the fuck out there, Fredi.
Gack. At least we aren’t bringing in the relief pitcher to throw the intentional walk.
Is Fredi aware of what A.J. Ellis has done this series?
No, this should be Fredi coming out, NOT Roger. Come on!
Wasn’t a bad route by Gattis, it was a trick carom off the wall. He has to go to the corner.
Uribe’s something of a heifer, so how did he reach second base?
Wait, they’re not replacing him?
This might be some of the dumbest shit I’ve ever seen.
Please don’t let this be a fatal mistake.
Maybe Garcia is our version of Livan Hernandez. That’ll do, Garcia, that’ll do.
Yes! Way to go, Chief!
Wow! Check your heart beat
God protects kids, drunks, and Fredis/ Freddies… so that this game can be blamed on someone, anyone else.
He make pitch. Holy schnikeys this is gut wrenching to watch.
Gah, great outing from Garcia. Gotta find a way to win this one.
Bullpen and offense, you have been given the gift of a chance by Freddie Garcia. Make the most of it.
Pretty sure Wren was typing up the termination letter that inning.
Freddy Garcia vs AJ Ellis
Watching Fredi manage and escape unscathed is like watching Sterling Archer complete an ISIS mission. Jesus.
I guess we have to give Fredi credit for not panicking this series. His refusal to start Medlen on short rest, his refusal to take out Garcia yet (and Meds and Teheran earlier in the series when they were struggling)… I don’t know if it’s skill on his part, or just dumb luck that we made it to a Game 4 and we’re in this game.
I gotta say regardless of the outcome, it’s the dodgers who look panicked in this game. Starting kershaw on short rest, all the errors, Braves seem to be the more composed team and unlike our chances in a battle of the pens. Let’s do this.
If this is the last game Freddie García ever pitches in the major leagues, he can be very proud.
I’m getting the feeling we could be here until 3 in the morning.
For what it’s worth, I have no idea why Fredi let Freddie face Ellis just now.
After all the years of playoff disappointment – and getting screwed by the wild card, etc. – it would be poetic justice for the Braves to luck their way into the LCS.
Who pinch-hits for Garcia and does it matter?
You can say what you want to about Fredi as a manager, but he is definitely managing better than Mattingly this series.
A punted inning.
It’s snowing in hell, apparently.
Go ahead and use Costanza? Are you kidding me, Bad Johnson?
Well. That was…improbable.
EJ! I always believed in youuuuuuuuuu!
Please let it be Costanza with the game-deciding RBI! hahaha
I don’t believe what I just saw…
Now the pinch hitter matters.
Bahahahahahaha!!!!! Bite me Puig!!
Ok Mr. Johnson….
LOL—Elloit triples to right field on the almighty arm of Puig. Who wrote that script?
Wow…. A triple from Johnson…who would have thunk it?
IZ THIS REAL LYFE?
Constanza pinch hitting. We have now entered an alternate dimension. Fredi may be a deity.
May as well squeeze here, or do we hope for more improbable?
Sac fly machine Constanza is up
Constanza. Of course.
If this game is won by Freddy Garcia and Constanza, I will question everything I have ever known about baseball.
Constanza delivers the RBI single! Belisario is thinking “Shoot me now.”
461- No, this is just fantasy.
No doubt this is who should be PH right now after Garcia comes through and Elliot triples. It’s a big ol bitch slap to the balls for us on braves journal.
I prefer to believe that Fredi is a genius. lol.
Most improbable, most improbable.
Oh. My. Goodness.
This is really happening.
Johnson and Georgie!! No way!
And Constanza makes us all look like fools.
Just want everyone expected at the beginning of the year. Freddie Garcia with the win and Elliot Johnson and Jose Constanza as co-MVPs for game 4 of the LDS
you’ve got to be kidding me
Keep your rally caps on, boys.
Fredi is some kind of Jedi master right?
Bells a jingling here. Shake that fool’s cap!
This ain’t over, but it could be a helluva story.
The Dodgers are in full pucker mode now. Don’t let up, Braves!
I take it all back. Fredi probably belongs on the faculties at both MIT and Harvard.
If we blow this, where does this fall on the playoff disaster scale? I’m opting for “gut-shot”.
I’m so glad Constanza didn’t try to squeeze Johnson home.
Constanza is not a good base stealer.
(he will now steal two bags on one pitch)
Well, *now* we know why Mattingly worked around Costanza in game 2.
OK. Steal now.
OK, so Costanza is short, limber, and can wiggle his fingers. What else does that extreme closeup tell us? Anything about baseball? Anything?
Steal, steal, wild pitch. Only way for us to get another run this inning.
Howell pitching to Upton? Surprised by that; guess Mattingly is more worried about pitching to Freeman next.
2-0 go time
@495, they have to show us something between pitches. Better that than a celeb or hot girlfriend.
Extreme Throwover Theater.