I have a confession to make.
I came to Braves fandom late, after cable came to my North Carolina mill town in 1981. I had been a Pirates fan before falling under the sway of Horner, Knucksie, and the Murph. And maybe Skip, Pete, and Ernie had something to do with it as well.
Anyway, my confession is that for some reason I hated the Giants more than the Dodgers. I mean, I hated the dodgers, but I LOATHED the Giants. It was probably that stupid Croix de Candlestick promotion they used to run. Or the fact that Bob Brenley could boot four (!) ground balls in one inning and still hit two homers (one a walk-off) to beat Atlanta. And Robby Thompson and Will Clark would drive me absolutely crazy. Later on, of course, we got the Slug, and of course, Posey is still out.
Anyway, I settled in after volunteering to do some recaps, and promptly watch Mike Minor, making his season debut, give up a lead-off homer to Angel Pagan and a vicious line drive single to Hunter Pence on his first three pitches. However, he settled down to get out of the inning without any further damage.
Minor wasnâ€™t terribly sharp, giving up hits in each of the first 4 innings, but they were effectively scattered. Meanwhile the Braves werenâ€™t doing much against Tim Lincecum, stranding two runners in the 1st and 2nd innings. (Regression with a ground out in the first, Heyward popping out in the second.) It was a theme they would revisit several times tonight.
They finally broke through against The Freak in the 5th, as Freeman battled through dry eyes to score Another Fredi Gonzalez, who had walked. Unfortunately Justin Uptonâ€™s liner to left stayed up just enough for Michael Morse to ooze under it for the last out. And then Morse continued to torment Minor by homering with one out in the 6th.
Minor wound up going 6 innings, throwing 80 pitches, striking out 4 with 7 hits and no walks. Certainly an encouraging season debut, despite the two solo shots. Ian Thomas walked the first two Giants in the 7th, and when the Original Fredi Gonzalez came out to get him, the potential for Anthony Varvaro to surrender the Double Grybo loomed large with Pagan and Pence due up. But, we got the Good Anthony, who fanned both to strand the runners at second and third.
The Braves put Heyward and Justin on in the bottom of the 7th, but Chris Johnson, celebrating his three year contract extension, struck out to end the inning. Justin followed his 7th inning walk by misplaying Pablo Sandovalâ€™s two out liner in the 8th into a single, but Jordan Walden struck out Hector Sanchez to end the inning.
The Braves did threaten with two outs in the 9th, with B.J. Upton singling (after having seemingly been jobbed on a fair/foul call by the third base umpire) and Freeman working a walk off Sergio Romo, but Justin Upton looked at a called strike 3 to end the game, since itâ€™s not April anymore.
The Braves left 12 men on base, and were 1 for 9 with men in scoring position. Vogelsong versus Teheran tomorrow. As Chip’s grandfather would say, “Let’s score some runs!”
At the micro level, RBI’s are kinda important.
Thank you, seat painter. Today would be a good day to start a win streak.
DFA Uggla, hopefully he would accept an assignment to the minors.
Pastor/Pena platoon for a while at leadoff
shift J-Hey to the 2 hole
Go with the extra pitcher for a while and let things shake out. Someone will get hurt or become so ineffective the decision will make itself, then bring up another hitter.
Heck, the way some of these ‘regulars’ are hitting, Gavin Floyd might be an improvement in the offense.
Minor swung the bat well last night. Put him at second. Being left-handed is probably less a weakness than being Uggla.
Tommy Boy now at .326/.385/.347 at AAA. 10 walks, 7 Ks.
In the long term, we’re gonna have to score more runs. In the short term, we need a win any way we can get it. I’m gonna guess we’ll have the right guy on the mound for that tonight.
Guys, thanks for the thoughts and prayers with my father. 5 grafts and 2 days later He’s doing good.
I was somewhat optimistic with Uggla, but it’s time to accept it. Release him and call up LaStella. We need more contact hitters in this lineup right now.
Great news, CSG! Happy for you and your whole family.
A-Team lineup. Uggla’s back in…
BJ Upton, CF
Justin Upton, LF
Your father sounds like a tough guy, csg. Glad he’s doing well.
A 36 point half? Ugh. Shame on me for getting my hopes up.
Hopefully the Braves can get it turned around tonight.
Apparently Brandon Hicks is the Giants everyday second baseman. Not only that but he has a 147 OPS+
With fairly good defense, too. And Omar Infante is doing a little bit better…
Wake up, bats!
Edit: Braves’ bats, I mean.
Dammit Kung Fu Panda.
It’s all up to Whipping Boy.
It’s up to Uggla. What a joke. A walk is better than a strikeout. Way to go, Dan.
Teheran’s about as good as half our lineup. Maybe lightning will strike.
The Braves sent six men to the plate, and didn’t score a run. I think that’s the maximum number of hitters a team can possibly send to the plate in one inning, and not score at least one run.
This team right now.
Head first slide, no trip to the DL, and BJ smokes one. Miracles do happen.
Edit: Freddie! Dare we hope for another run?
There’s a law: Both Uptons shall not succeed in the same inning.
Barved that one up pretty good.
That was sad.
Whose idea was slower-than-molasses Freeman running?
There is not enough good in the WORLD to overcome the stupid on this team.
The strike zone the past 2 nights has been very Giant friendly.
Coughed that run up in record time!
Tie the game, runner on third with no one out: fail to score; instantly give up home run following half-inning.
I’m beginning to hate this team.
There was no way that wasn’t going to happen.
Let’s load ’em up and settle for one.
Whipping Boy hits it as hard as he can…and it’s a routine fly to CF.
Please be back for real this time, Jason. We need you. Can BJ do it again?
Vogelsong’s trying to keep us in the game.
Wow, even Simpson is saying the Braves swing too much.
This is like Groundhog Day. It seems like the same thing happens every inning.
Just keep swinging at everything guys. The strikeout train has plenty of room apparently. So glad regression has three more years left
So how long into THIS season before Fredi and Wren have to tell the media that Greg Walker’s job isn’t in danger?
Come on, Andrelton.
Win without me, good people. I’m too old to put up with this stuff.
Greg Walker’s job needs to be in big time danger. Lights out pitching can’t be counted on every night and the inability to bunt and move runners over makes things more difficult. This team is sickening to watch right now
Chipper, you’re needed at Turner Field ASAP.
They need 4 runs to win this game. It could take a week for these guys to score 4 runs.
10 runs in 57 innings. So basically we need nearly two full games to come back.
This offense blows.
The Astros scored 8 runs tonight, so at the end of play tonight we’ll be looking up at them, too. We’ll be 29th out of 30.
My goodness we just suck right now.
I feel as if I could pitch a quality start against the Atlanta Braves right now.
I stopped watching this game when Morse hit the home run to make it 3-1, because I knew two runs was an insurmountable deficit for this team right now. Dead serious.
Who do you think is being sent out tomorrow when Floyd is activated? Any chance it is our starting 2B?
When you think about: whom are the Braves going to replace?
Catcher, first, shortstop, third and all three outfield positions seem set in stone, with the players there being locked in with big contracts and/or no one better to replace them. Only the starting second baseman seems expendable, and one slight upgrade is not going to make this fetid offense any more bearable.
I think it will be either Varvaro or Thomas that will take the Gwinnett taxi cab ride, tomorrow, but Dan’s days are very numbered.
No way is this offense going to be the worst in the league. We were in the top 5 in most categories last year, and it’s basically the same team. We’ll hit. I think.
Last year, the philosophy was “strikeouts don’t matter, we’ll hit lots of home runs and walk.”
This year, according to Simpson, the Braves changed their approach, to be more aggressive and swing earlier in the count.
Too many strikeouts in this lineup.
Time to replace Uggla and change it up.
We’ve scored 2 runs or less in 40% of our games. LaStella isn’t going to put a dent in that if Heyward, both Uptons, Freeman, Gattis, Johnson, and Simmons continue to stink.
If that is true, then someone (or someones) making decisions has reached an astonishing level of stupidity, because that approach worked so well when Larry Parrish was here that he was fired immediately after the season.
Jason Heyward stopped stinking already. His .223/.304/.321 (.625) line doesn’t look great, but it’s so bad because after 15 games he was at .136/.271/.254 (.526). In the 13 games since then he’s batted .321/.355/.410 (.755). He could use some xbh’s, but you certainly can’t say he is presently struggling.
(I manually updated Heyward’s line with tonight’s results. I didn’t do that for everybody below, I’m lazy.)
Justin Upton, whatever sample you want to grab, is hitting fine. He’s at .313/.395/.616 (1.011) on the year, .308/.379/.731 (1.110) his last 8, and .275/.345/.588 (.933) his last 14. But it sure seems like he’s coming up small in the biggest spots.
BJ, .214/.289/.320 (.610) on the year, is coming around, too. After sitting at .063/.063/.063(.125) after 4 games, he’s hit .241/.327/.368 (.694) in the 22 games since. For a recent sample, his last six games he’s at .240/.296/.400 (.696), so that’s a pretty steady trend. That’s basically the player he’s been his whole career.
Evan’s numbers on the year look great, .282/.309/.590 (.898), but he’s a primary actor in this losing streak, coming in at .125/.176/.312 (.488) over those five games (including tonight.)
Without getting so specific, Freeman is your other primary actor in the losing streak. His season numbers are stellar, but he’s 2-19 during the losing streak.
Chris Johnson’s totals are bad for the year, and he’s trending the wrong way, having been Uggla-bad for the last 10 games. Simmons during the losing streak is 2-16 with 2 walks.
And there’s Uggla… Uggla has been as bad as you think he’s been, having posted .162/.200/.216 (.416) for the season’s first 10 games, followed by 2 measly games where he hit .500/.556/1.250 (1.806), and then .176/.250/.196 (.446) in the 14 games after that.
SO, the whole outfield is at least pulling it’s weight, in he present tense. Heyward’s and BJ’s numbers are still dragged down by slow starts, but have been their normal selves for at least 2 weeks now. Justin has been stellar, rate-stat wise.
The whole rest of the team, however, ranges from “struggling lately, but should be fine,” (Freeman and Gattis) to “Don’t we have a hitting coach on the payroll? Please, somebody help him,” (Simmons and Johnson) to “Don’t we have a General Manager on the payroll? Please, somebody shoot him.” (Uggla)
This is also one of those times where it might behoove Fredi to rearrange the lineup a little bit. Let Heyward, BJ, and Justin hit 1-2-3 in the order.
A week or so ago, somebody here said Gattis is the key to the lineup. That’s a bit of a scary proposition. I’d prefer to think it’s Freddie. Let him hit fourth or fifth until his bat gets hot again.
Ian Thomas optioned, I did not see that coming.
I have a sinking feeling that Wren is going to Heath Bell us.
Thomas was optioned to make room for Floyd. Now the decision comes, it’s either Floyd or Harang to the bullpen. Fredi already said Wood will remain in the rotation.
@ajcbraves: Announcement to come shortly â€œ@iaringer: @ajcbraves is Floyd starting and if so who’s going to the pen?â€
So do we get the Sunday B-squad lineup in the middle of a 5 game losing streak?
Simmons is out for personal reasons.
According to Nietzsche, his father is dead
No, normal lineup but Pena is in for Simmons.
Floyd starts Tuesday in place for Santana who will only miss one start due to a bruised thumb. Decision for rotation will take place then. Wood will remain in the rotation and the Braves will not go to a 6 man.
Is Floyd going to the pen?