Braves 6, Nats 4, 13 Innings (by Seat Painter)

If Paul Byrd calls a baseball game in a forest, and no one is tuned in, is he still stating and restating and restating the obvious?

The Braves jumped back into first place by continuing to do the one thing they do-beat the Natspos. This time it took extra frames, but the result was the same for the seventh time in eight meetings.

Mike Minor was as sharp as he has been all year. He clearly outpitched Stephen Strasburg, who, despite Byrd’s insistence that he pitched well, did not. Minor went seven innings, striking out 11 Nats in the process. He gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks. Strasburg meanwhile, continued to be troubled by Atlanta. He allowed four runs over six innings, on nine hits. Of course, this being the Braves, he did strike out 8.

Freddie Freeman opened the scoring in the first, smacking a two-out solo home run. Ian Desmond tied it up in the bottom of the second when he also homered. Minor does tend to give up his fair share of homers, but he seems to be able to usually let them be solo shots.

The Braves grabbed the lead back in the top of the fourth, with Andrelton Simmons’ single plating Chris Johnson. The lead was extended to 4-1 in the fifth, when Jason Heyward doubled in The Offense and Evan Gattis. As in the 4th, the Braves had three consecutive hits off Strasburg to score. Maybe this not striking out thing works? Alert Greg Walker! Oso Blanco’s hit extended his hitting streak to 19 games, and, as Byrd mentioned roughly 1,862 times, set the record for a Braves catcher’s hit streak.

Minor ran into a spot of trouble in the seventh. Danny Espinosa led off with a single, and a passed ball moved him to second. Jose Lobaton hit an absolute textbook double play ground ball to Regression, who could only get the out at first. That came back to bite the Braves when Denard Span tripled in Espinosa with two outs to make it 4-2. Anthony Rendon popped out to end the threat, however.

Craig Kimbrel blew his fourth save of the year in the ninth. A lead off walk to Nate McLouth led to Rendon’s two run homer to tie the game. Jayson Werth walked with two outs, and the only reason the game didn’t end on a Laroche double down the line was that Freeman was holding Grizzly Adams on first, and he snagged the screaming ground ball to end the threat.

The Original Fredi G. then turned it over to the newest Braves in extras. Welcome to the Show, Juan Jaime and Ryan Buchter! Jaime pitched the 11th, and Buchter pitched the 12th (and earned the win), I’d say both pitched well, but I fell asleep in the top of the 12th. I can report that Jaime was throwing hard, striking out two men. Buchter struck out one, and got Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a double play.

In the bottom of the 13th, the play-by-play reports that B.J. Upton walked. I think the ESPN guy must have fallen asleep too, as I find that hard to believe. The Offense singled him to third, and Gattis drove him in with a single. That, I can believe. The Defense then had a run scoring ground out for the final margin. Since I didn’t see it, I’m going to say he legged out a slow roller that the Nats couldn’t turn into a DP, with Regression executing a perfect take out slide at second. Hey, if ESPN can claim BJ walked I’m entitled to some literary license.

Jordan Walden cleaned up the bottom of the 13th without much drama. The Braves go for eight out of nine tonight, and they’ve got Julio on the mound against Doug Fister.

58 thoughts on “Braves 6, Nats 4, 13 Innings (by Seat Painter)”

  1. @ajcbraves: ESPN’s Jayson Stark: From 1989-96, Tony Gwynn swung and missed an avg of 3 times a week. Adam Dunn averaged 4 swings & misses a game in ’13

  2. Seat Painter, Actually, Simmons hit a tailor-made (Kuppenheimer—Suits for $29.)one-hopper to Espinoza, who proceeded to kick the ball (figuratively and literally) allowing Simmons to beat the relay to 1st, and stay out of the DP. Since you can’t assume the double play (something I assume every announcer will tell me everytime) Andrelton gets an RBI.

    BTW, Byrd seemed to be a nice new edition on Friday night, but I have to agree, by his second game, he’s become pretty tiring. I would like to see him throw it down with F.P. Santagelo though.

  3. Cincinnati blew an 8-run lead last night to the Blue Jays. I think we all remember the last time the Reds blew an 8-run lead; hard to believe it’s been 4 years since that game, though. Hashtag Folk Hero.

  4. The offense seems like their about to start clicking on all cylinders. B.J. has got, got, got to get out of the 2nd spot.

    Hopefully Justin on deck last night was a good sign and we’ll see him back out there today. My hopeful lineup: La Stella, Jupton, Freeman, Gattis, Heyward, CJ, Simmons, BJ.

    The cure all for BJ might be to just be prepared to swing and swing often.

  5. There once was a boy named Dammit. Teacher was having a spelling bee when the Principal walked in. The teacher called out “hippopotamus;” Dammit raised his hand. Teacher said, Dammit, you can’t spell that. Principal said, hell give him a chance!

  6. BJ? There’s time-tested nicknames like “The Millstone” or “The Load,” or maybe “Wren’s Folly” or “Mistake on the Take.”

  7. The Albatross?

    Agreed about Byrd. Though he at least began critiquing Strasburg after the first few innings. It was Chip who kept insisting on Strasburg’s awesomeness despite his inconsistency and odd pitch selection. (Byrd was absolutely correct about Heyward’s double–he’s no BJ; you keep throwing him the same pitch and he’s gonna figure it out.) The weirdest aspect of Byrd’s game-calling is how he’ll obsess about uninteresting info–like Gattis’s hit streak, or wanting Minor to throw his change-up outside, which he must’ve mentioned a dozen times.

  8. I like Paul Byrd so far. He gives a lot of good insight, though some of it gets buried under a bunch of cliches.

    Thank goodness for the Natspos. If we could play them 40 more times I’d feel good about our postseason chances.

  9. Six-pitch inning from Teheran. I thought only pitchers going against the Braves could do that.

  10. I thought I was watching a baseball game but Fox is apparently intent on delivering a guy with a beard standing in a dugout.

  11. Publicly our pitchers have all said positive things about Gattis’s catching skills, but our pitchers sure seem to never be able to get on the same page with him. Chip and Joe even point it out a lot.

  12. And you know BJ plays too far back when Adam LaRoche can score from second on a single without a throw.

  13. Too bad the kid Julio has to stress out on every pitch because our offense can’t score any runs.

  14. Ryan Doumit’s numbers against Fister are pretty good. If Justin is batting sixth it seems Doumit should be in there instead.

  15. Way to punt there Fredi. Moron

    Watch Fredi pull Teheran when the first lefty comes up in the bottom of the inning.

  16. La Stella reaching to pull. That’s not normal for him. Seems like swing is funked up right now.

  17. Does every team have players whose backstory must be told at every possible opening, or is it just the Braves? Because between Gattis’ Kung Fu wandering the world tale and La Stella’s fucking donkey I am a little sick of hearing these things.

  18. Sure would’ve been nice to let Doumit hit for Teheran there an not let Buchter pitch to these 3 lefties to start this inning.

  19. 43 – worked on a farm and fed one every night. Didn’t like the donkey’s attitude. Pretty lame story

  20. It takes a special level of cluelessness (or undue kindness) for a broadcaster to say “Atlanta’s got the right guys coming up down 3-0” with BJ leading off the inning.

  21. So we’re down 3 and have hitters who refuse to take a walk when given to them. Justin swung at ball 4 twice and CJ did it to end the game.

  22. Until and unless this coaching staff is replaced, I really don’t want to waste my precious energy worrying about this team.

    Thanks, Bobby. You put in place someone with all your worst qualities and none of your good ones.

  23. I missed the entire game due to working at the moment, but from the comments I read and the replays I’ve watched, I did not miss much. I cannot believe the batting order tonight with J. Upton returning. I am with all of you on the point of B.J. having to leave the number two spot.

    On another note, I think La Stella is not ready for a lead off spot. I know he still has good numbers overall, but the kid is 2 for 17 with 2 strikeouts to 1 walk since taking over that role. I really think we need to drop him in the order so he’s not stressing as much. You can tell by watching his at bats that he is trying to do too much at this point.

    I know that leaves us no top of the order options, but it is better than destroying the confidence of one of our good young players. Sometimes, they never come back from stuff like that.

  24. @55
    The Braves don’t have the prototypical leadoff hitter and they know that. La Stella isn’t producing and his swing looks messed up right now, but give him another week or so before removing him from the top of the order. In the Minors, he’s always had great coverage of the plate and his gap-to-gap power has truly been that; both gaps, left-center and right-center. Right now, he’s got a case of the J-heys and he’s rolling over that outside pitch instead of hitting it where it’s pitched. This isn’t common for him and he seems like he’s a smart enough hitter to work it out himself. Keep an eye on this issue and let’s see if he starts driving the ball oppo when the pitch calls for it. The last time I can remember where he hit the ball hard to the opposite field was that bullet to 3rd with the bases loaded. Hopefully he’ll get right soon because his OBP skills are good enough to handle leading off.

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