Braves 8, Blue Jays 7

Well, THAT was unexpected.

Atlanta went into Toronto and played some late AL style ball to escape with an 8-7 victory in which they used up a week’s worth of runs and dingers. But, they’re now 7-3 on the year, so I guess complaining is a sure way to invite bad karma. Or something like that.

Julio Teheran didn’t have it tonight. He spent five innings leaving fat fastballs at belt level, and the Blue Jays spent five innings hitting them into the stands. Devon Travis led off the game with a solo shot, followed by Russell Martin hitting the first of his two in the second. In the bottom of the third, Josh Donaldson hit the first of HIS two homers off Julio, scoring Travis, who had singled to right. In the fifth, Donaldson victimized Julio again, sending a low breaking ball deep to center for the fourth Toronto dinger.

However, Toronto’s starter, Drew Hutchison, wasn’t any better, letting Brave hitters run all around the bases in an orgy of A-B-C baseball. In the second, the Braves tied it up when Eric Young, Jr. singled home Andrelton Simmons. Then in the third, they tied it again when A.J. Pierzynski drove in Nick Markakis. Markakis wound up having quite the night, going 4-4 with a walk. After falling behind, again, the Braves rallied to take the lead in the top of the 5th when Simba doubled home Markakis and Chris Johnson, and then scored on Jace Peterson’s triple.

After that, the bullpens settled down for the 6th and 7th, with Luis Avilan getting the Jays in order in the 6th, and Cody Martin working around 2 out trouble – walking Jose Bautista and allowing a single to Edwin Encarnacion.

The Braves played some long ball themselves in the 8th, with Jonny Gomes slamming a pinch hit homer off Brett Cecil, and Freddie Freeman crushing a no-doubter later, driving in Markakis. Jim Johnson had his first shaky outing of the year in the bottom of the 8th, with Martin’s second tater, and then allowing two singles. After Fredi snuck into the home dugout and ordered a sacrifice bunt, Travis grounded to The Defense, who caught Kevin Pillar trying to go to third, and who was called out in the ensuing rundown for going out of the basepath to try and draw an interference against Alberto Callaspo.

Anyway, Jason Grilli came on in the bottom of the ninth to protect a 8-7 lead, and got Bautista, Encarnacion, and Dioner Navarro in order to finally end the game.

So, 7-3, and 0.5 out of first. Alex Wood tomorrow against R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball.

100 thoughts on “Braves 8, Blue Jays 7”

  1. Dunno what it means in the grand scheme, but it’s always nice to win a game when your ace gets touched up like that. And comebacks always feel great. Would be nice to be within a half-game by the time we play in Flushing next week.

  2. Given that Teheran didn’t have it, that was pretty much ideal. Kept from burning out the bullpen for the series (to a degree) and somehow pulled out the W.

    How long before Mr. Martin replaces Stults?

  3. Thank you, seatpainter.

    That was entertaining baseball, and I’m enjoying this season. Let the good times roll.

  4. My floor for this season was 70 wins. Anything below would be a failure, IMO. Anything above 70 wins this year, based on how well they’ve set the team up for the future, is just found money.

    I mean, seriously, how can you deal almost your entire dang offense and still win more than even 60 games?

  5. @5 – Individually we lost 3 good offensive performers. As a team we blew up one of the worst offenses in baseball. If we are in the 70 win neighborhood this year it will be because of a total pitching collapse.

  6. @6

    I look at teams like the 2012 San Francisco Giants. They had two guys who OPS’ed over .900, which in their ballpark is great, but they had three guys who OPS’ed below .700 (their middle INFs and their RF who had a down year), but I think the biggest thing is that they only had one guy who K’ed over 100 times, whereas we had six guys who K’ed over 98 times, 4 who K’ed over 140 times, and two that K’ed over 170 (!!) times. People can make fun of Joe Simpson all they want, but there is such a thing as a productive out, and the last 4 WS winners have not had more than 1 guy who K’ed over 100 times (and the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals, the ideal team I think we could be this year, did not have a single guy who K’ed over 100 times). Half of our lineup these past couple years frequently did not have productive at bats, and the template for winning clearly demonstrates that you have to have guys who put the ball in play to be successful.

    If anything, this will be a more fun team to watch this year because half of the lineup won’t walk up to the plate, huff and puff, and walk back to the dugout.

  7. Whoops, made a mistake: the ’14 Giants had 3 guys who struck out over 100 times. Still.

  8. I’m sure someone said something to this effect in the game thread, but the headline’s gotta be, “Canada Bombs Teheran”, right?

  9. Speaking of the Giants – – wow, they are off to a warm and toasty 3 and 9 start.

  10. Does anyone know where stats are kept on the number of unearned runs scored by a team? It’s easy to find unearned runs allowed but not so much scored. The reason I ask is, as funny as it is to talk about pressuring the defense, errors do happen, and it seems like we’ve taken advantage of them a few times to get off to a good start.

  11. Well, that ‘error’ last night on Goins was as tough an error as you’ll ever see. It was a high chopper by Maybin that he tried to short hop and still he may not have gotten the out at first. It could have easily been a hit.

    Just a quick run through shows the Braves have scored 44 runs so far through ten games, and of those, 4 have been scored as unearned, including one in last night’s game.

  12. I’m Intetested in comparing teams from 2014. It looks like around 9% of runs are unearned based on a quick scan of team pitching stats. I doubt there’s much variability there from one team to another in unearned runs scored. Of course there are other ways to “pressure the defense” that cause earned runs to be scored–namely baserunning.

  13. @11 Couldn’t tell you. I’ve been curious about stats on actual OBP (including errors). It seems like the errors can be arbitrary and the stat would tell you a little more about their game. It’s not like beating out a bobbled grounder is much more random than a bloop hit.

    Let me know what you find out

  14. Are we really “playing the hot hand” with AJ Pierzynski of all people? It’s kind of important to future Braves teams to figure out whether or not Christian Bethancourt can hit, you know, and he can’t prove it one way or the other riding the bench.

  15. Betancourt has caught 54 innings, to AJP’s 36, which is less of a difference than a standard starter-backup situation, but he’s hardly been benched.

    But for one thing, AJP is something like 5 for 15 against Dickey, and if he didn’t start, someone would surely complain “can’t Fredi read the charts?” For another, you might want to protect a work-in-progress young hitter from facing a knuckleballer, opting to send out the guy who you are confident won’t screw himself up for weeks afterward. If that guy has had success against said knuckleballer, all the better.

  16. 15, great logo idea for the 2017 move.

    Your Atlanta Braves: Playing the Hot Hand since 2011

  17. AJP is second on the team in grit factor; that’s why he’s starting.

    I agree that there’s no sense in letting bethancourt tie himself in knots trying to hit a knuckleball, though I doubt that was fredi’s reasoning. He went with guys who had faced dickey before. Hence Jace is benched as well

  18. Starting AJP was stupid and you shouldn’t manage singular discrete games but should manage all the games at once.

  19. @23, some people still aren’t on board with trying to win games each night. They think we’re tanking like it’s the NBA

  20. In case you haven’t noticed, Andrelton is smooth handling less than perfect feeds.

    And Woody’s pitching lots better than he did last time out.

  21. Wood’s contact-oriented process for today is perhaps disconcerting, but can’t argue with the results.

  22. 30 — The 2001 Mariners won 116 games for a .716 percentage, so a 70% percentage would be close.

  23. Wow.
    To me, that felt almost like an older guy playing in Little League or something, someone who knows that he has to cover more ground since he’s a step or two quicker than the rest of the team.

  24. ‘t count.Close, but I think he’s out. My vote doesn’t count.

    I’m wrong again, alas.

  25. Wood should have been out before the last hitter. This has heartbreaking loss written all over it after the offense went into 3 inning hibernation mode

  26. I didn’t think it was possible, but Simmons gets more and more impressive every day.

  27. Did that just happen? I don’t think anyone can argue who the best defensive player in the MLB is anymore. Simmons is a one man team.

  28. Mr. Simmons plays a different game than mere mortal major league baseball players. We are privileged to watch him.

  29. @44 He’s still operating under the assumption that Wood can be great. I hope he is, but I’m less sure.

  30. I know the bullpen is thin, but you can use someone who doesn’t have a career 1.371 WHIP at Rogers Centre. Nice managing, Fredi.

  31. @61 I’m not certain you should read too much in to a relievers stats at a given stadium

  32. Jim Johnson appears to have lost it but this is another L that falls on Fredi. He apparently doesn’t understand that pitchers do get tired, even while pitching well.

  33. I don’t get it, why didn’t Kelly Johnson toss his bat end over end and throw his arms in the air and walk halfway to first base? Does a homer count if you don’t do those things?

  34. I don’t like burning a pinch runner with 2 outs. Unless Young I’d going to play 2b, which I also wouldn’t like. Should have let Jace run for him.

  35. I don’t understand why Fredi goes with his 8th inning guy just bc 8th inning. Cuniff threw three pitches in the 7th and Johnson had just pitched the night before and looked lousy. Why not let cuniff open the 8th.

  36. That was a balk. Fredi plays CAT for 8 points and DOB writes a 400 word blog post on how great it was.

  37. Just remember that Fredi is going to preside over this 70-win team and then be gone. That’s enough to keep my outlook positive.

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