Apparently, Yogiâ€™s wisdom is not always true. This game was over long before it was over.
An inauspicious beginning set the tone. Ervin Santana was not locating any of his pitches, and he gave up grand slam to Mark Reynolds, the fifth batter of the game. Six of the Brewersâ€™ first 7 hitters reached safely and Roger McDowell had to make a 1st-inning visit to the mound, something you never want to see your pitching coach have to do.
Santana settled down somewhat over the next two innings, but in the 4th he walked Kyle Lohse on 5 pitches with two outs. If walking a guy with two outs is a cardinal sin, walking a pitcher in that situation is a deadly sin. Carlos Gomez immediately made him pay with an opposite-field two-run homer. This is the second poor outing in a row for Santana, who needs to remember heâ€™s pitching for a fat free agent contract this winter.
On the plus side, Santana does work really fast, so he did not prolong the agony this evening. In an era where most pitchers seem to take as much time as possible between pitches, Santanaâ€™s pace is really refreshing.
In the bottom of the first, The Offense and Justin Upton hit back-to-back doubles, but then the team decided that hibernation mode was a comfortable place to be, and that was that as far as the Bravesâ€™ offense went. Upton and Regression, hitting back-to-back, were the antithesis of each other. Upton finished 3-for-4 with the Bravesâ€™ lone RBI, while Regression turned in a hat trick at the plate. He did manage to not hit into any double plays, so I guess his performance tonight was an improvement over his past week.
Oh, well. You canâ€™t win â€˜em all. If we win tomorrow night, we win the series, so letâ€™s do that.
Although the Braves did not seem to be in a celebratory mood this evening, today was Bobby Coxâ€™s birthday. Itâ€™s hard to believe that only four active players on the Braves roster ever played for #6.
Natspo(s) delenda est.
Just when I thought we were getting good again…oh well. Justin appears to be locked in. He may have to carry us the whole season.
The last game of the series is the difference between a very “meh” 2-2 and a kickass 3-1. Let’s kickass.
BJ Upton is now hitting .197/.276/.316.
Well, that was no fun at all.
Gotta go get ’em, Braves, tomorrow…
Maybe Santana needs to slow down a little bit.
So, Buffalo Trace – $20 a bottle, 90 proof, and exactly what you need on a night like this. I was on the front porch knockin’ em back when 7:10 rolls around and I kick my wiener kid and her Big Time Rush videos inside to catch the game on the ol’ Philco. Took her to the game last night. Big fun and I like the 16oz Sweetwater IPA. 5 batters later, I switched over to AM 1690 to listen to Julea Thomerson’s Diesel Smoke And Dangerous Curves old/rare hillbilly music hour. I’m playing with her Friday at Bubbapalooza at the Star Bar. Anyhoo, flipped it back over and Carlos Gomez hit a home run. Another 45 minutes of Roy Lanham and The Whippoorwills after that for a bit. I really like Sazeracs in the summer. Citrusy. We had 8 outs left at that point, and I guess Justin Upton is still feeling it, but I went back to George Barnes in lieu of the postgame show.
…never heard of any of ’em but that was a Pulitzer worthy recap.
Don’t throw rocks at me for asking this:
Is it time for a Doumit Heyward JUpton outfield left to right?
Does Justin go into a funk if BJ is benched?
BJ Upton- 0.1 WAR
Chris Johnson- 0.2 WAR
I’d say that’s a problem.
Jeff Samardzija has started 10 games, averaging right under 7 innings/start, has a 1.46 ERA, and is winless. If recent trends continue, expect someone in the Cubs’ dugout to have their ear bitten off very soon.
Notes from Turner Field last night:
-Chris Johnson is playing with fire over at third. He keeps choosing more difficult methods of scooping up grounders than he ought to, and it’s going to turn into extra bases soon.
-I was freaking out in the fifth. Thought we’d called up a new player and I hadn’t heard. Kind of scrappy looking guy, only without the muscle. Made a quick out. #30…who is #30? Then the top of the sixth and I realize it was Erv all along. I’m not upset he stayed in the game but I was sure surprised.
-The bucket has won all four races I’ve seen this year.
-Organist highlight: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “Puff the Magic Dragon” for Braun. Drugs.
And baseball-reference has Johnson at -.6. Yikes.
Good thing we only have those two locked up for like 3.75 more seasons.
CJ went 4 for 4 the day he signed his contract. The solution presents itself: sign him to a new contract every game day.
I love that the organist abandoned his usual innocuous puns to throw some shade at that character assassin.
He played something that I’m pretty sure was the cartoon superman theme (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQgMqf8tV6Q) for Lucroy late in the game. But for the life of me I couldn’t figure out the connection.
On Tuesday when Scooter Gennett was batting the organist played the Muppet Show theme. It took me a while to figure out what the tune was but the connection to Scooter was obvious.
I wonder if any of the opposing players have figured out the organist.
Edward at 14,
I would say it was because Lucroy has hit us like Superman. Before the game his BA against Braves was 589 and obp 620 or so.
7: Don’t think you can live with Doumit’s defense on a day-to-day basis. It’s very risky to do it for one game; as a permanent solution, it’s not workable.
Jeff Keppinger anyone?
7: You would essentially be replacing Upton’s glove with Doumit’s. For that to be worth it, he would have to be one of the best hitters in the game.
The Braves really need another LH bat in the lineup and Keppinger is not that. I still think the Braves could potentially match up with the Blue Jays in an Uggla trade if, and only if, Braves are willing to part with a pitcher.
vs. LHP- .837 OPS
vs. RHP- .630 OPS
There’s serious need for a regular LHH in the lineup.
Juan Francisco, in Toronto:
vs RHP: .348/.444/.739 1.184
vs LHP: .091/.125/.227 .352
Altuve is the guy I would want to get.
@18 Doumit is no Jason Heyward but poor LF defense isn’t going to lose us many games.
@20 If BJ is performing at below replacement level, all Doumit has to do is hit enough to be at or above replacement level not be one of the best hitters in the game.
Right now BJ is a drag on the offense and the team needs a Lefty bat in the lineup. Outside of concerns that Heyward may hurt himself playing a more demanding position I see the change as a what the hell can it hurt move.
If you want to play him against righties, or always, you bring up Terdo if you bench BJ (play Heyward in center). He probably beats left handed Doumit offensively and defensively.
I remember one left fielder that was clearly worse than Doumit, defensively. Pete Incaviglia when on the 1993 Phillies. Maybe also when the 68 or so Tigers used to play Gates Brown.
I would say yes to Keppinger. IIRC, he’s a good contact hitter who doesn’t strike out much. Mark Ellis Lite.
They aren’t benching BJ. No matter what.
When the Mets put Todd Hundley in LF (briefly) that was a unique mixture of comedy & tragedy.
We had Klesko in LF, and it was awesome.
It’s not as simple as putting Doumit in LF. It’s putting Doumit in LF, weakening the defense, moving Justin to RF, weakening the defense. It’s weakening 2 defensive positions and strengthening none.
@28 They benched him last year. Yes, it took a while but it happened mid-August, then again in mid-September.
Keppinger, like James Loney, was a Rays-speedy-turf creation. It’s crazy that such a phenomenon even exists.
@26 – Terdoslavich is having a nice season in AAA. So I guess you DFA Schafer to bring him up? Plus Terdo didn’t have a great cup of coffee with the big club last year. I was thinking in terms of what’s on the big club now.
@28 – BJ has a very very long leash but they benched him last year.
I’m not ready to bench BJ. I’d give him every chance to put it together.
@31 – But you are removing below replacement level ‘offensive’ play and adding a player that can (hopefully) produce at least replacement level offense. I have a hard time believing that degrading corner outfield play hurts the team’s chances of winning more than the drag on the offense that is BJ Upton.
edit @34 – The Braves will give BJ well past the All Star Break to get it together.
Ryan Doumit has played roughly 980 defensive innings in the OF. In that time, he has managed to cost his teams -11 defensive runs. BUT, he’s given away most of them in right. His RF total is actually -14. In the 163 defensive innings he’s played in LEFT FIELD he’s actually managed a POSITIVE defensive value of 4 runs. Let me repeat that.
As a defensive left fielder, Ryan Doumit has actually graded out as a slight net positive. He was atrocious as a catcher, horrific as a right fielder, just sort of bad as a 1B, but as a LF, he’s actually been slightly okay. 163 innings, 4 runs saved. Or 0.0245 defensive runs saved per inning.
BJ Upton has roughly 8359 defensive innings in CF. In those innings, he has saved 63 defensive runs. That amounts to 0.0075 defensive runs saved per inning. That means, on a per defensive inning basis, Doumit the LF is actually saving 0.017 more runs than is BJ Upton the CF.
I have no idea how that happens. But those are the numbers for their careers at the respective position. We’d also have to account for Heyward’s CF skills and the hit of moving Justin Upton to RF. I don’t think you’d lose much with Heyward going to center, but Justin is a terrible RF.
Justin Upton in RF: 6540 def innings, 20 runs saved (0.0030)
Justin Upton in LF: 1210 def innings, 10 runs saved (0.0082)
Jason Heyward in RF: 4608 def innings, 55(!) runs saved (0.0119)
Jason Heyward in CF: 182 def innings, 1 run saved (0.0054)
SO…. Ignoring the sample size problems (because where’s the fun in that?)
Doumit over JUpton in LF = +0.0172 dR per inning
Heyward over BJUpton in CF = -0.0021 dR per inning
JUpton over Heyward in RF = -0.0089 dR per inning
ADD IT ALL UP AND IT COMES TO: +0.0062 dR per inning
Let me repeat that: the Doumit/Heyward/JUpton alignment, based on what samples we have, is actually better. Defensively.
You wouldn’t lose much with Heyward in Center, but you’d lose Heyward in Right.
Runs saved doesn’t hold much water comparing those positions. Heyward is an all-world RF, but he would simply be a good CF. Rev is a very bad SS, but CJ would make him look like Ozzie Smith.
The pitching has been great with the help of the defense. Doumit for BJ downgrades three defensive positions to some degree. Without him being a great hitter it would hurt the team and that’s not even considering the potential for BJ to improve at the plate.
The sampling of Justin Upton in Right is from a different part of his career. His defense is not close to what it once was.
How was he in Right last year?
419 def innings, 1 run saved. (JUpton actually played more defensive innings in RF last year than LF.) 0.0024 dR per.
Sam, are you sure about him playing more in RF then LF last year?
I was wrong. I misread his 2014 LF line as his 2013 LF line. he played about twice as much LF as RF last year. Which makes more sense to my memory too.
Heyward 9 BJ 8 Freeman 3 Justin 7 CJ 5 Simmons 6 Uggla 4 Laird 2 Harang 1
This should be fun
CJ needs a day off more than anyone on the team IMO>
So is it wrong to actually fear that Uggla will have a good game giving Fredi an excuse to put him out there for 10 more?
Playing Ryan Doumit more is not a solution to much of anything.
I have found the answer!
Looking at 2013 and 2014
BJ (Big sample) 1334 innings 6 DRS .0045 per inning
Hey (small sample) 182 innings 2 DRS .0109
Hey (big sample) 1083 innings 30 DRS .0277
JUP (Small sample) 419 innings 2 DRS .0048
JUP (big sample) 1210 innings -8 DRS -.0066
Doumit (Tiny Sample) 28 innings -1 DRS -.0357
Total: .0456 runs better per inning with JUp BJ and Hey
In a very small sample Hey may play better in center.
From 09-11 JUP saved 14 runs and compiled most of his RF stats, this affected your first calculation in a very meaningful way, his mobility is no longer great. He played better in Right than Left last year over a small sample, but that likely won’t continue for a guy whose arm has cost him 18 runs over his career.
Doumit is not what he once was. The sample is too small, but if you throw in 2012 he’s at -.0123 an inning which is still much worse than Justin. If you count his whole career, he is merely bad. That’s because he saved 7 runs in 311 innings in 07. I don’t think his defensive abilities at age 26 tell us anything about how he would perform now.
Sorry for the essay, but you made an assertion and I’m pretty sure even you knew it was flawed.
@47 – Julio was 4th in the AL in range factor/game at 2B in 1988 and again in 1990, so we would immediately improve our defense.
I don’t think anyone is benching BJ until late August or September, just like last year. They are giving him every opportunity to figure it out.
However, I can see having an occasional alignment of Doumit, Heyward, and JUpton vs. RHP. I don’t think Doumit is being utilized well.
I’ve always been a bit sad that both Julio and Jamie Moyer ran out of big league gas at age 49. So close to the 50-year-old major leaguer, yet so far.
Doumit doesn’t have a place that we can hide him.
Yes he does. On the bench as our best pinch hitter.
@5: I’m starting a new franchise: Spike’s Porch. I apologize in advance, spike, because I’m gonna ruin the concept in marketing it to the masses, but I’m going to make a lot of money.
Does anyone subscribe to the MyAJC.com? If so, what did JS say about the Braves’ “economy of hitting”?
See posts 57 and 58
It wouldve been nice to sell high on Harang.
We love giving runs back.
Chris Johnson sucks again.
Might be nice to work the count every once in a while
And Gerald Laird is channeling the Hamster.
This team just doesn’t hit mistake pitches.
I am tiring of Laird.
More than three days of competent play was evidently too much to ask.
Only this lineup could make Lohse and Garza look like Spahn and Sain.
Tv’s broken again.
Blind squirrel. Acorn.
Lohse and Garza face the Braves
Overbay for the saves
And of course, Justin swings at a terrible pitch to end the inning.
@55, i’ll be happy to be your best customer.
So that Uggla AB was one of the best at bats I’ve seen from a Brave this year…it’s time to talk contract extension.
74 – scary but true. I think there have been 6 first pitch outs tonight.
Laird just swung at ball 4
I’m not sober, but did the Brewers just call in a pitcher cold off the bench?
And are we in a video review about it?
This is weird.
@76, I’m watching with the sound off so I’m not quite sure exactly what went down, but it looked to me like the Brewers made a call to the pen and nobody was warming up. Then the umps had to phone NY to see what the rules are.
Clearly off the bag on the neighborhood play at 2nd…which is one of those that’s not reviewable…but they are reviewing it anyway. Not a real good half inning for this umpiring crew.
Yes… the umps called me here at home in NY. I said put in a guy who’d give up a hit to Doumit.
Yes the brewers called for a lefty, but no one was warming. Zach Duke came out first but they wanted Will Smith. They were checking to see if Duke was still eligible to be available moving forward. He came almost halfway out.
@81, nice work on that call at 2nd too.
For that one they called somebody else… ububba I think.
That’s what causes the inconsistency in replay… they just call random households in NY.
Not gonna lie, it’s hard for me to follow the plot this inning. But I like the results!
Nice to see another club have a nightmare inning on the road.
Let’s bust this one open
Definitely a bizarre inning when “Gerald Laird doubles to SS” is like the third down from the top on the list of weirdness.
That was the longest inning in the history of 7th innings. I feel a little cheated that I watched a 47-minute long (half) inning and we only scored three runs.
That was the best non-double play I can remember. Bianchi was almost preternatural about the play, and then the way Segura hung in against Doumit’s slide to get any kind of throw off.
Great baseball for the viewer, great results for us.
I know he’s been generally great for us, but I just don’t trust Carpenter. I think we’ll need to work this out in therapy.
Chip – “Shaffer diving try”….btw he stayed on his feet
Fredi’s getting his exercise in tonight. I think we’ve spent as much time looking at umpires with headphones on in the past hour as we have watching baseball players play ball. Calls are going for the Braves, though, so that’s nice.
At this point I think the umps should just do the proper thing and walk off the field. Maybe let some nice lady in Poughkeepsie make the rest of the calls for this game.
What’s the overturned call record in a game Angel Hernandez or CB Bucknor aren’t umpiring? We’re at three and counting. And aren’t all three the second base umpire? He’s got to be feeling great…
The Kracken returns to the pit of despair after feasting on Brewer meat.
This was one kooky game. Glad to have won it.
Alex Wood has learned how to win.
Good to see a come back win. Woody is getting back all the “W”s he deserved earlier this year.
Gwinnett also with a comeback win tonight scoring 8 in the bottom of the 4th, after Schlosser wet the bed, giving up 6 runs in the first 4 innings. La Stella went 3/4 with a walk.
Well, we’ve had a pair of very unexpected, come-from-behind efforts this week.
Recapped by Kyle B.