Braves 5, Pure Evil 2

ESPN Box Score

Justin Upton continued his stealth campaign for MVP, with a two run homer and Jason Heyward continued to play well, and Craig Kimbrel continued to do Kraken-type things.

In other news, The Progeny came home from college to attend a funeral for our church’s youth pastor (cancer, so not an unexpected event) and I don’t have a whole lot of time to do a good recap. Hug your kids, and take some time to express your appreciation for the folks that should be told.

Let’s make it two tomorrow.

55 thoughts on “Braves 5, Pure Evil 2”

  1. So, I noticed a lot of regression talk from the last post which is justified with this team as a whole, but has anybody looked at what Freeman has done this season if you exclude his stats against Miami? It might not be so much a regression for him as it is just one team completely knowing how to handle him this year. If you take out his numbers against them, he has an OPS of .916 against the rest of the league.

    Also, would we be better suited adjusting the top of the order. Perhaps trying:

    Bonifacio CF
    Heyward RF
    J. Upton LF
    Freeman 1st
    Gattis C
    La Stella 2nd
    Johnson 3rd
    Simmons SS

    Just a thought.

  2. I still think your best 4 hitters should bat at the top of the order.

    Heyward, JUpton, Freeman, Gattis. The rest doesn’t matter. Get those four guys the most at bats. It’s not rocket science. Bonifacio is a total scrub. He should bat 8th when he plays. He and BJ are interchangeable.

  3. @2

    I do not mind your first assessment of the best 4 hitters getting more at bats, but I completely disagree with your assessment of Bonifacio. While he would belong at the bottom of the lineup on most teams, he is a much more viable bat than B.J.

    At least with Bonifacio, I do not get a complete feeling of doom when he comes up to bat.

  4. From AJC on Minor developing and throwing his 2-seamer in August. Another proof of how good McDowell is.
    And thanks Johan.

    “Pitching coach Roger McDowell had worked with Minor on developing another pitch but the process picked up steam when Minor compared notes with Santana on how he gripped the ball in early August.”

  5. @5. When Minor came out of university, he was a fastball-changeup guy. Since then, his velocity picked up, he has added a two-seamer and a curve/slider to his arsenal. Hitters can no longer sit on his changeup.

    Wren, extend Minor and Justin this offseason please. We may get a good deal from Minor considering this is his down season.

  6. @2, @4 – You’re both right. Bonifacio is a much more viable bat than B.J., and he should bat 8th.

  7. There is no way that salty and ChopChop aren’t the same poster, is there?

    I can’t wait for the ensuing “Who to extend: Justin or Jason?” conversation.

  8. Another drop in the “Fire WalkFletch” bucket:

    “There is a nagging part of me that wonders if the Braves aren’t making a mistake. The ‘what kind of hitter [does Andrelton Simmons] want to be?’ questions seem rhetorical, as it appears clear what kind of hitter he is — an aggressive swinger with the ability to hit the ball out of the park. Health issues aside, why is that not good enough?”

  9. How can you construe that article as a criticism of Walk/Fletch? They and Simmons are doing what the Braves are asking them to do.

  10. I assume the criticism of Walker/Fletcher from that article is “they are trying to coach Andrelton.”

  11. My assumption is that WalkFletch = “the Braves,” in this instance. Could definitely be wrong, but I doubt other people in the organization are telling the hitting coaches what kind of hitters to make our players into.

  12. Andrelton Simmons wants to be the kind of hitter who has a Willie Mays Hayes uppercut, and to have sufficient balance to finish his swings and misses in the cutout around home plate, although not necessarily in the same batter’s box in which he began.

  13. Yeah, if Walker and Fletcher aren’t in charge of major league offense philosophy, who is? From whom are they taking these orders that they are merely following?

    I don’t really see Schuerholz, Wren or McGuirk dirtying their hands with “make this guy hit to the opposite field,” “teach this guy to walk more.”

    Because I strongly suspect the major league coaching staff doesn’t take orders from the player development team. The big league staff receives the development staff’s reports on possible outcomes and progress made, but when the players graduate, the buck stops in the dugout.

  14. tl;dr

    -While Andrelton has his obvious flaws, his hitting for power last year made him OK enough on offense to be a very productive player overall
    -The Braves would rather do the Joe Simpson thing and get him to hit to all fields and ditch the power…
    -…Which has resulted in Andrelton losing his power stroke and gaining next to nothing this season

    So, I guess if you want to applaud WalkFletch for succeeding in coaching Andrelton, be my guest. But it looks as though they have succeeded in turning him into utter crap.

  15. I don’t think they’re turning him into utter crap, so much as failing to help him in any way whatsoever. I’m sure his injuries haven’t helped, and players go through slumps all the time. But the whole purpose of a coaching staff is to help players play to the maximum extent of their ability. Walker and Fletcher have presided over a team on which the majority of the offense is in cruise control at about 15 miles an hour.

  16. Do we really know that they’ve tried to change Andrelton’s approach? All we have is one quote from June. You have to blame someone for this team’s hitting woes. Either the players are stubborn and don’t listen, or the coaches are making them do stuff that doesn’t work.

  17. Without really knowing what Andrelton is trying to do or how he’s being coached, just my observation is that he looks like he is *trying* to be a power hitter, with the uppercuts and the over effort and the resulting loss of balance.

    But, I’m optimistic that Andrelton will improve with age, (as most people do) as he either gets strong enough to actually hit for power without max effort, or mature enough to simply drive the ball hard within his capability.

    He’s definitely capable of putting the bat on the ball.

  18. @9

    No, ChopChop and I are not the same person, but we do know each other very well. We grew up playing school and travel ball together. I told him about the site after I had been on here for a bit. The site has provided an outlet for us to discuss the Braves together with people since we no longer live near each other. Good perception on your part though as we do have very similar views with a few disagreements.

    As far as the who to extend conversation goes, there is no way we will be able to afford what J. Upton will be asking for when the time comes unless we are able to unload his brother’s contract and use that money. I believe, if we drop B.J.’s contract, we could have a shot at keeping both guys.

  19. Today’s linuep:

    Heyward RF
    Simmons SS
    Freeman 1B
    J. Upton LF
    Gattis C
    Johnson 3B
    La Stella 2B
    B.J. CF
    Harang P

    I was really hoping we were through with B.J. for the rest of the season, but it looks like Fredi is still hoping he will catch lightening in a bottle like he did in Tampa a few years ago around this time.

  20. Question of the day:

    Has anyone ever come back and pitched after having 3 Tommy John Surgeries? I have no information on the subject and was wondering if anybody had any idea since it appears that that is what Venters has chosen to attempt to do.

  21. At AJC Fredi says he is going to use matchups to determine use of Bonafacio. Who the hell represents a good matchup for BJ?

  22. Braves pitchers have developed a very annoying habit in the past three weeks or so of giving up home runs to guys who essentially never hit home runs. Freiman in the Oakland series, Marte in Pittsburgh, Lagares and Flores in New York, Valdespin yesterday, and today it’s Solano.

    No idea what that means, but I wish they’d stop.

  23. Movie proposal: “Jose Barista”

    A film about a Cuban defector who gets a job at Starbucks but resurrects his baseball career and reaches MLB.

  24. Great idea. Let’s throw a second consecutive <90mph fastball in almost the same spot to Stanton…just a little elevated this time!

  25. I love the way Andrelton hustled across the infield to backup the potential throw from Gattis back to Harang.

  26. A strikeout was the best possible outcome there.

    Not that it matters, because the Marlins are apparently paying Freddie Freeman better than the Braves are.

  27. As soon as Freddie or Justin figure out how to hit a 5-run home run, we’ll be in great shape.

  28. Yep. Just glad that my college football season isn’t over after week 1. Georgia’s stable of running backs in unreal. If they can get just adequate QB play (seems in doubt) then who knows…could be a fun year.

    Anyone care to explain Freeman’s sub-300 OPS against the Marlins?

  29. Great news! They only lose half a game on the Cardinals today, in addition to the full game on every other fucking team.

    Not-so-great news: this team is still not making the goddamn playoffs.

  30. #51
    Last year, Freddie slaughtered Miami at a 379/486/650 clip in 16 games. So who the hell knows? Let’s just win this series & move on.

    Huge game in Columbia in 2 weeks. A major hurdle, the A&M game notwithstanding, but if they can win that one, we can start to dream.

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