Natspos 2 Braves 1

It wouldn’t be any fun to win them all. Well, it might be.

Another very good performance from an Atlanta starter. Alex Wood gave up four hits, only two left the infield. Unfortunately, one of the other two bounced off the Capitol Dome.

The Braves had multiple chances to score, but left a small village on the base paths today. They decided to swing early in the count and completely abandon last night’s strategy of working the count. I guess they didn’t want to tip their hand to the Mets? Typically if this team gets eight hits, they are probably going to score four or five runs. They just couldn’t get the one hit when they needed it.

Oh well,  it was a successful road tip (4-2) and now we go to Atlanta to honor The TRUE Home Run King, Mr. Henry Aaron.


61 thoughts on “Natspos 2 Braves 1”

  1. Sorry for the short recap, I only had a small window to complete it. Next Sunday I’l be at the Ted and will come back with a full report.

  2. I was at the game today and it was a beautiful day to be at a ballpark. Early on the Braves looked as if they had full getaway day syndrome, and I think the game was in the 4th in under an hour. But the Nats have absolutely no offense right now, and we were able to tie it up. The Braves were really unlucky with all the baserunners late in the game that they didn’t get more runs, and the Nats were lucky to get a home run in the 8th. Still, I think we would take 2 out of 3 from the Nationals every time, and it was good to see the Uptons and Uggla getting some hits.

  3. I was at the game yesterday, Saturday. It was great to see the Braves produce runs without needing a home run. But it looks like this team is not going to be able to do that very often. It’s been awesome to see our pitching be so strong. And Freddie Freeman has been a man possessed. Obviously, our pitching will eventually give up more than two runs, but I actually think it’s very possible that our pitching this year could remain reasonably strong: with Walden, Avilan, Carpenter, and Kimbrel, we have a very solid back of the pen, and our defense is still very good. We have a lot of guys who are capable of making good pitchers into very good pitchers.

  4. With Santana and Minor missing time early, this may be beneficial toward the end of the season if we are able to get couple more quality outings from Hale and Harang.

  5. The Gnats scored 1 run in this game for every time they’ve been to the playoffs in their 45 season history.

    I should stop complaining about NLDS losses.

  6. @3
    The Braves need some offensive balance. There are too many players that fit the high K/high power mold, and some just fit the high K side. It’s only a matter of time before the Braves realize they have to do something to get La Stella’s bat in the lineup. I’m sure they’ll be attempts at balance with Pena and Schafer before that happens.

  7. In the 9th Fredi should have pinch hit Doumit for Laird and then used Pena in the pitcher’s spot. We’d probably have won that game, because Soriano was throwing 90 MPH fastballs right down the middle.

    Uggla is done.

  8. I was at both Saturday’s and Sunday’s games. The Braves were definitely in full blown mail-it-in mode on Sunday, ready to get out of town.

  9. @8
    He’s been unlucky but Uggla has a .513 OPS. His BABIP is .263 so there’s room to improve, but not to the point where he’s useful. La Stella has put the ball in play over 90% of his at-bats. We could use some of that. BJ Upton might have the worst OPS in baseball at .280. I know, gloom and doom, but these 2 have to improve soon, or it’s the gallows for both.

    Personally, I think we end up putting both Uggla and Upton on waivers before their contracts are up.

  10. Uggla has a hit a few balls hard that turned into outs. The problem is that these were mistakes–really terrible pitchs–that in years past he would have put in the seats. A singles and doubles Dan is even more useless than the old version.

  11. Uggla has hit the ball hard in the first week, and they’ll be giving him a fair amount of rope for any number of reasons: the money still owed him, service time considerations for La Stella, the fact that La Stella has still never touched major league pitching.

    With B.J., the thing is, there just isn’t a good institutional solution. Jordan Schafer is simply not a major league starter and he’ll struggle to OPS over .650 in regular play. That’s a lot better than Upton last year, but that isn’t enough to prevent center field from being a black hole again.

    Figuring out whether they’re both done is what April is for.

  12. @11
    I agree with that mentality. I also think BJ’s rope has to be much longer than Uggla’s due to the money.

    I also don’t think the Braves, if they released Uggla, would bring up La Stella right away but would try a Pastornicky/Pena platoon or the Pee-pee platoon!

  13. Hell, I’d take a singles and doubles Dan Uggla at this point. I am thinking that BJ gets a lot longer than April to figure it out. But we may start seeing a Doumit/Heyward/Upton LF CF RF by mid May if BUP still ain’t hitting.

    LaStella will have to be raking in AAA to get a shot if Dan can’t figure it out.

  14. I’ve been very encouraged by Uggla’s PAs, so far, which I honestly did not think was possible. He’s hitting the ball hard.

  15. Uggla’s hitting the ball hard & he got an enormous 2-RBI hit Saturday night against Strasburg (a guy he hits really well, actually). That does count, y’know…

    For the record, after 6 whole games, the Braves are 4-2 with a pair of road-series wins. That’s pretty good.

  16. You give BJ more rope because he’s only 27(or so) and shouldn’t be on the decline phase yet.

    Uggla, from the ABs I’ve seen, hasn’t looked hopeless. As has been pointed out, he has hit into some tough luck.

  17. @14-Uh, Uggla hit 22 HRs last year. The singles and doubles Dan will be the 2013 version, but with half the home runs and maybe 33% fewer strikeouts. But he will also have fewer walks because no pitcher in any count or situation will ever be afraid of a singles and doubles Dan.

    Singles and doubles Dan currently has an OPS+ of 45. Wagers on whether he can eclipse last year’s 83.

    Exactly as I predicted last fall, we’ll increasingly make do with Pena and Pastornicky until mid-June, then waive Uggla and call up La Stella.

  18. Looks like Heyward in center and a Terd/Creepy Eyes platoon in right with Schafer providing late-inning defense. Freaking BJ.

  19. it’s Daniel for singles and doubles
    an obvious end to his troubles
    his eyesight they say
    compares in its way
    to all that is best about Hubbel’s.

  20. @21

    Rob, explain pse, what have i missed?

    i thought it was Justin we sometimes take out late…something happened to BJ?

  21. @23

    yes, maybe!

    are you worried at all about his health? he looked invincible in the Spring, brimming with confidence and brio…

    first uh-ho was one awful swinging strike 3 in the Milwaukee series…then at least one rollover yesterday and flailing, trying to pull a pitch well outside…he did get hit on the foot though on Saturday…0 for 17, bad memories…

    could be me though, paranoid, love the guy…

  22. BJ hit the ball hard Saturday and Sunday. We need him in the center, and Heyward in right, and Simmons at ss. More specifically, Harang needs them.

  23. 1. Joey Terdoslavich has shown absolutely no ability to play at the Major League level. He was horrific in his call up last year. He was horrific in spring this year. He hits as badly or worse than bad Bossman Junior, and drastically devalues the defensive alignment of the outfield. You do not pull BJ for Terds unless Terds gets pinch hits at an alarming rate. (i.e. “goes Constanza”)

    2. Dead-eye Doumit can hit, but he’s horrific defensively, as is Justin Upton, so while you gain value from getting him into the lineup, you lose value by clusterfcvking your OF again. I can see the value of him playing on a case by case platoon basis.

  24. If BJ weren’t owed his contract, he would have been released by now, if not by the end of April.

    Some combination of Terds/Schafer/Doumit/JUpton/Heyward/BUpton can fill three OF spots at different times of the game and in different situations. Playing BJ over a bad defensive player or not signing/trading for some dude who can fake LF/RF and can hit lefties is insane. BJ is so bad offensively that it just doesn’t make sense to put him out there as more than a pinch-runner/defensive replacement.

  25. just as i predicted last fall
    he cannot hit nothing at all
    but here in the Spring
    the arc of his swing
    holds multitudes mildly in thrall.

  26. I think it’s pretty clear BJ Upton is no longer a major league baseball player. I’m sure we’ll wait a while to start guessing why he isn’t an effective player anymore, but he is done. -21 OPS+. I didn’t even know that was possible. The only thing that could change is a minor league assignment, and I doubt he’ll accept that.

  27. Guys, Dan Uggla’s OPS is .513 and boy, oh boy, that’s bad.

    But if he was to hit a HR in his very next at-bat… his OPS would be .698.

    There are only 3 guys with OPS’s better than that, and one of them is Julio Teheran.

    You can’t just hand-wave away “I know it’s early” and then continue drawing conclusions. It really is early. It’s so early, in fact, that it isn’t even early yet. The outcome of just ONE MORE plate appearance could be .200 points of OPS. You’ve got to calm down.

    (Psst… Heyward is at .520, and Justin Upton is at .462. and our catching trio of Gattis, Laird and Doumit comes in at .583, .571, and .500.)

  28. He might very well be done, but it’s six games, for crying out loud. Casey McGehee is currently sporting a 206 OPS+. Bryce Harper has a -5 OPS+.

    We get it: he’s bad, odds are he’s going to stay at least somewhat bad, and you haven’t wanted him on the team since day 1, if I’m not mistaken. I totally understand venting about it. We all do…but it’s still just six games, and at this point, starting him is still the best course of action.

  29. …or I guess we could bench, demote, or waive him now and see how Justin takes it. Or future FAs, for that matter.

  30. One other note, yesterday’s loss was Freddi’s 209th as Braves manager, pushing him past Chuck Tanner on the All-Time Atlanta loss list. Of course it took Freddi 131 more games than Tanner to pass him. Tanner had some of those bad late 80’s teams that won 42% of the time. Tanner’s successor, the immortal Russ Nixon is next with 216 losses as Braves manager.

  31. @39 – Those were awful Braves teams. But Chuck played Omar Moreno a lot so …..

  32. I’ve been more impressed with Uggla than I thought I would’ve been. BJ is Jordan Schafer at this point but with better defense. He’s fine, he just needs to be hitting 8th not second. We are only 6 games in and these guys will get the majority of April and May to figure it out.

    I’m more disappointed in Heyward and Justin Upton at this point than anyone else. We can’t sustain winning baseball with them missing fastballs. Heyward looks lost against LH relievers.

  33. @ajcbraves: #Braves Simmons is first in the NL in percentage of swings put into play (61.1%), and Uggla is fifth (55.9%)

    Btw, BJ leads mlb with 11ks, Justin is t-2nd with 10ks. Simmons has yet to strike out.

  34. Simmons makes TOO MUCH contact. When Justin Upton happens to swing at total garbage, at least he misses it and gets to see another pitch. Simmons swings at total garbage, and hits it everytime… straight up the chimney.

  35. 45: His should-have-been-a-groundout to Zimmerman in the Saturday game was a data point in favor of the “If you put the ball in play, good things happen” school of thought. I don’t really buy that theory, and you’re not usually lucky enough to be facing a third baseman who can’t make a routine throw, but it’s something to be said for Simmons’ offensive game…

  36. Yes, we have some ridiculously small sample sizes right now. We won’t see any major changes until 40 games in, then we’ll see.

  37. Oh, man. What a great article. The comments are the best. Especially because 80% of them are like, “Yeah, I agree. What’s you’re point?” and then the others are “HOW DARE YOU COMPARE HIM TO FRANCOEUR!”

  38. “[Harper’s] such a gifted baseball player, can do so many things well. Any team would love to have him on their ballclub. You just would hate to see him somehow affect what comes naturally to him…”

    Man, the blind, seething hatred shown towards Harper is palpable.

    I suppose it’s not enough to appreciate and applaud Harper’s skills as a ballplayer while making fun of his jerkish, adolescent behavior. According to the WaPo and most Notionals fans, one must endorse the jerky stuff as well.

  39. “Hey! That announcer referenced that time when Harper said, ‘That’s a clown question, bro.’ What a jerk, being mean like that!”

  40. Man hate to see what happened to Infante last night. Looked like Heyward’s injury last year.

  41. Looks like the Rays and my fantasy team might have lost a big piece yesterday. Matt Moore left in the 5th with an elbow injury.

  42. Same here with David Robertson. I hate player injuries, but the Braves need a balancing of the universe.

  43. In fairness, the WaPo blog post called the comments “cracks,” not “blind, seething hatred.” I think that they talked a lot about Harper because he’s basically inescapable in the media, he’s the youngest big star in the National League, and he’s struggling, which basically allows a hack commentator like Chip Caray to hang his hat for a while and not have to worry about what he’ll talk about next. What Chip and Joe do best is make a single unsupportable point and then return to it over and over to hammer it home. They do that to our guys a lot more than they do it to Bryce.

    But I think the WaPo piece was mostly just a quickly dashed-off blog post, not a symbol of the mainstream media out to get the Atlanta Braves and defend their hero.

  44. I read it as a piece on how Chip and Joe have an absurdly high ratio of time to fill : things to say. I didn’t disagree.

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