Braves 10, Dirtbags 4

Home runs are down, stolen bases are up. Is it small ball, is it poor competition, is it OPS or good pitching? Is Freddy a god or a goat? Is BJ Upton worth 14 million or is Chris Johnson better than Martin Prado? Andrelton Simmons makes 2 errors in a game for the second time this year, and we still win. Don’t really know how or why, don’t really care.

Baseball is not about stats or about individual performance…….Baseball is about teams and chemistry and about momentum and ultimately……about winning!

Whatever has changed with BJ Upton seems to be working. I no longer care that he’s batting only .213. Finally he’s getting on base. 2 straight 2 hit games a few SBs, a couple of runs scored. I don’t care that he’s not hitting HRs. At least for now….

We have outscored opponents 68 – 41 over the last 16. We are 13 – 3 since getting kicked by Philly. We have 9 in a row. We play the Dirt bags today and then the next 7 against the Mets and Cubbies. We win 5 of those 7 and are up 3 at the break. We have a favorable schedule for much of July and Aug.

Are we a different team than what we were 3 weeks ago? Hard to say, again, i don’t really know and i know i don’t really care. . What matters is that we have the chance to turn this into a decisive advantage. We definitely have velocity.

If we’d gotten down 3 runs in the first inning 3 weeks ago, we might’ve had a different outcome. Last night even though it started off rough, after the 1st inning Aaron Harang settled down. He allowed only 1 hit in the 3rd, another in the 5th (although it was an Inciarte homer). Two singles in the 6th and another in the 8th. He doesn’t have great stuff, maybe not even very good stuff, but he did not get rattled and pitched like he had nothing to lose and everything to gain. His gamescore was an even 50, not great, but enough to get a quality start…but again who cares. What i loved was seeing the old guy out there battling his way to a victory. He pretty much controlled the Dbags the rest of the night.

All the stats guys are going to disagree but, dare i say it…. baseball is not about individual stats or number or runs allowed…it is not a science. Even with the new technology which will give us real numbers to measure power off the bat, pitch movement and ball trajectory, etc, etc,….baseball never will be a science…it’s a game. It’s frustrating and diminishing and full of surprises and let downs and moments when you want to pull your hair out and others where you can’t figure out why it worked, but you are so glad that it did.

As for offense, we got one back the bottom of the first when BJ tripled and Andrelton singled him in. We scored another in the bottom of the 3rd when Freddie doubled, JUpton singled and JHey singled scoring Freeman.

In the bottom of the 4th, we packed it on when La Stella singled, Christian Bethancourt singled, Harang sacrificed them over. BJ reached by error, Andrelton doubled, Freddie tripled, JHey sac flied, scoring Freddie. We scored 5 in the inning making it 7 -3.

In the bottom of the 6th, Justin homed with Freddie on, making it 9 – 4.
We tacked on our final run when La Stella walked, Bethancourt singled him over. BJ then singled and Simmons drove in La Stella.

Harang then closed out the 8th and Simmons came on for the 9th.

BJ had 2 hits and scored 2. Andrelton had 2 hits, scored and had 4 RBIs. Freddie had 2 hits and an RBI, JUpton had 2 hits and 3 RBIs. La Stella had 2 hits, 2 BBs and scored 2. Jason had one hit and Bethancourt had 3. CJ was 0 – 4 with a walk.

Harang won his 3rd straight start and we are now 49 – 38 a game and a half up on the Nats.

Sorry for the editorial tonite, just having a little fun.

59 thoughts on “Braves 10, Dirtbags 4”

  1. We’re the MLB TV Game of the Day today, so that means the winning streak probably ends this afternoon.

  2. 2nd best record in the NL. 5th best in the majors. Baseball’s a nutty game.

  3. @1 Also, Cody Ross is in the D-Backs lineup. The Braves will have to overcome a lot of factors that usually mean doom to keep this streak going.

  4. How much do you want to bet the DBacks signed this guy simply because he goes by the name “Tuffy”?

  5. I don’t understand why the DBacks are being called “Dirtbags”. Is this a Mets blog?

  6. “Scrappy,” “gritty” players are often called “dirt-bag players,” by baseball people. The Diamondbacks of recent vintage have collected “scrappy” and “gritty” players, even insinuating that they were better off without Justin Upton because he wasn’t “gritty enough.”

    They wanted a team full of “dirt-bag players,” and they are named the Diamondbacks. The rest is clear enough.

  7. All of which is not to say the recapper is complimenting the D-backs. Probably more a tongue-in-cheek poke at them for approaching team building with “scrappiness” as a priority above “talent.” But definitely not insulting them for simply being the opponent.

  8. Let’s get a few guys on, at least. Make Miley throw enough pitches to at least prevent him going 9.

  9. Wow. The prospect of facing Dan Uggla is what chases this guy out of the game?

  10. Okay so I wasn’t that irritated with sending Uggla up with 2 outs and really not a lot going. At least he’s right handed, and there was a lefty on the mound.

    But when they pull the lefty, why do you still send Dan Uggla up there? For his feelings’ sake?

  11. Imagine that…Heyward hits a grounder to 2b and CJ follows it up with a k and never swung at a strike.

  12. Sucks to potentially lose a nine-game winning streak to a walk of the pitcher.

  13. Fangraphs has Wood’s fastball this year at 90.3. Today it was in the 87-89 range. Anything to make of this?

  14. But isn’t it just perfect for this Braves team? Either walking the other team’s pitcher, or our pitcher failing to get a bunt down in a big spot. It had to be one of those two.

  15. It would be ridiculous for the braves to alter their rotation so Teheran could pitch in a useless AllStar game.

    Glad we pulled Vavarro for that.

  16. So there is no better lefty available to the Braves than Avilan? Dude has been on the struggle bus all year

  17. Since it was a pinch hitter coming up, you were never going to win the handedness matchup. The opposing manager has no problem burning a bad pinch hitter.

    And if all your pinch hitters suck, the best you can hope for is to lure the other manager to use a worse pitcher. And Fredi obliged.

  18. Benthancourt has racked up some hits so far, but I’ve already seen enough of his bottom half bailing while his top half lunges for an outside pitch.

  19. All of the issues with the pre-streak Braves showed up today:
    1. BJ: 0-4 with 3 strikeouts, and all of a sudden his hot streak looks terribly mediocre: .260/.300/.420 Still better than what we’d been seeing, but it’s sad when that is a hot streak.
    2. Chris Johnson’s inability to make hard contact or contact at all
    3. Jason Heyward’s deficiencies against LHP
    4. Luis Avilan’s inability to miss bats.
    5. An incredibly weak bench.

  20. I remember Uggla had a long hit streak a couple years ago before he became completely useless.

  21. @spike
    Yes…it only takes one :)

    I just want to see some improvement from a personnel perspective. Plum sick of watching Avilan, and I could vomit my tzaziki all over the entire bench.

  22. Lucas Sims vs. Sebastian Vader tonight at High A. Yes, that’s Luke vs. Vader, and no, it’s not Star Wars night but it should be.

  23. On the day before the streak began, the Braves were one game back of the Nationals. Today, they are one half-game ahead of the Nationals. Which is better than the alternative of still being behind, but still. The Braves are just not gonna win this division. (But the streak has definitely put them on more secure footing in the wild card race.)

  24. Apparently Fredi announced Braves’ All-Stars to the media WAY TOO EARLY and could be subject to some backlash from MLB. Anywho, it looks like Teheran, Kimbrel, and Freeman are in.

  25. I’m pretty pessimistic about this team’s chances of going deep in the playoffs, but I can’t say I’m as pessimistic as you, Anon21. The fact that 9 straight wins made only 1.5 games difference in the standings doesn’t prove much to me, other than that the result of the division will be determined by the events of the next 2.5 months, and I could have told you that 10 days ago, too.

    It’s certainly unlikely that we go on another 9 game run, but, just as we can all say the Braves weren’t going to play 1.000 baseball, can’t we also say with certainty the Nats won’t play .900 ball like they did the last 10 days or so?

    They definitely don’t strike me as “the team to beat,” but they also don’t strike me as a team that’s necessarily played their best ball yet.

  26. I watched that interview with Fredi and seemed shocked that he made the announcement. It’s a pointless event so I’m not sure what the consequences might be.

    With Simmons pitching the way he has recently I wouldn’t be surprised to see us move Walden for a utility player/bench bat. The Braves also could keep Bethancourt up and cut Uggla.

  27. Keep in mind that during our winning streak, the Gnats were playing the Cubs, Rockies, and Cubs again. Their schedule was no more challenging than ours, and yet they lost ground.

  28. That he has stood at 3B, SS, 2B, LF and RF this year? Omar Infante Memorial All-Star Selectee Winner?

  29. Unfortunately for the beat writers, Fredi did not announce the gas he was about to unfurl.

  30. I know there are not many Upton fans around here, but I encourage you to vote for Justin like how we voted for Freddie last year. Justin deserves to be an all-star.

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