Nats 13, Braves 12

Seriously? I mean, seriously?!?

I shut down the television and went upstairs when it was 10-2. I checked back and it was something like 10-6 and I thought “they shouldn’t let it get that close.” Then I went to bed because I had a morning call with the UK that started way too damned early. And as I’m dialing into that, before the first coffee even, I see this Dan Uggla crap?

Look, I’m not even going to talk about this, okay? After the fourth quarter and OT in Brooklyn Monday night, I just don’t need to get back into that murderous-rage mindset because of Dan friggin’ Uggla stumbling his blind ass into a meatball.

We got good production from some of our younger hitters. The real worry coming out of this debacle is not Uggla, or even Jason Grilli (we knew he wasn’t the Kraken), or the pen in general. The problem – the true deep level concern – is that Julio Teheran has been giving up gopher balls like candy to babies in his last three starts.

We don’t need Grilli to be good. We don’t care what Uggla does this year. We care deeply about Julio Teheran’s performances. Because we need him to be an ace.

83 thoughts on “Nats 13, Braves 12”

  1. His name is Dan Uggla! I barfed typing that.

    Re. Teheran, agreed. KLaw just did his top 25 under 25 and if memory serves he had Shelby Miller 23rd, Teheran 24th and Alex Wood 25th. His rationale for putting Teheran 24th was that he regains his velocity and form. I don’t like the current iteration of Teheran.

  2. His velocity seems fine to me.

    Pitching-wise, we’ve been a replacement level team. “McDowell will fix it” seems like kind of a dumb refrain in the early-going.

  3. He used to touch 94 regularly. I think he’s down a couple mph. It’s not uncommon for April, but it’s something to watch as the weather heats up.

  4. I’m looking at fangraphs (big surprise…), so maybe different sources are saying different things. But his avg fastball velo was 91.3 in 2014 and it’s 91.1 so far this season.

  5. 1.) Do those charts distinguish whether he’s throwing his 4-seamer or his sinker? It’s the 4-seamer that he could spot around 94-95.

    2.) I missed all of the game except our big 2nd inning last night–were the comments from the game thread about Markakis not getting to balls serious or sarcastic?

  6. I actually stayed up to watch the whole thing expecting some schadenfreude at the expense of the Nationals only to want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon.

    This season is just nuts. Take a look at B-Ref. We’ve got 4 guys sporting above .800 OPS with CJ at .793 for crying out loud. I know, not sustainable but not expected even at this juncture of the season.

    I am worried about Teheran. Lots of breaking balls up last night. I wonder what the hell that was about.

    Never have been a big fan of AJP or Gomes but they are wearing the right laundry. I hope those guys continue playing well.

    From the last thread. Say what you want about Dan Uggla but you cannot question his professionalism and general class.

  7. So the highest paid Brave hit the winning homer last night?

    I am embracing the suck. High time they started losing in this manner. Got to catch up to the Brewers in the loss column if they’re going to get the #1 pick.

  8. @5 – I was serious. Heyward probably could have gotten to a couple of balls that Nick didn’t. And I’ll admit that had catches/cutoffs been made in RF that it could have had an effect on the outcome. Maybe. Given the state of our pitching, though, who the hell knows.

  9. Yeah, it’s one of those things. I want every out that can be made made, and every base that can be saved saved. For any given game, it could mean bupkiss or it could be pivotal.

  10. I was at the game last night and it looked to me like Collaspo had at least two instances which might have given away runs to the Nats. Since I was at the game though, I didn’t have a chance to see any replay. Can someone who watched it on a broadcast confirm or deny the two plays? One was a ball which was hit between him and Simba and it looked like he got zero jump at all and barely even moved to try to get to the ball. I’m not sure Johnson would have played it better but it looked to ma at the time like a very lack luster effort. The other one was even worse because he fielded a ball and it looked like he had a sure play at 2nd base with Petterson covering and this probably would have resulted in a double play. Instead he took the out at 1st and allowed runners to advance to 2nd and 3rd and those eventually ended up being runs. Their defense of late has been pretty meh. Hopefully someone is working on fixing that.
    Related to their defense being meh it seemed last night they had several instances where their positioning in the outfield was less than optimal. In particular they seemed to be playing too shallow and they had balls getting hit over their heads. That seemed to happen to Cakes a number of times. But as I said before, the caveat is I was at the game where all I have to rely on in my eyes (which are none too good). So anyone who saw it broadcast is welcome to chime in with a better opinion.

  11. Sometimes I think the universe is totally random and random events just happen randomly and we find patterns of coincidence in that randomness and spin stories to explain it to ourselves.

    Last night was not one of those times. I’m not superstitious, and I don’t believe in premonitions. Except I had a premonition. It’s like Rissa said–we just knew Uggla was going to hit a homer there. The stars had aligned.

    The previous batter had been struck out, but the ump called a clear strike a “ball”. He had to–otherwise, the necessary conditions would not be met for Uggla to do what he was foreordained to do.

    Grilli couldn’t possibly throw him a slider, which for Uggla would be unhittable, because he knew Uggla couldn’t catch up to his fastball as long as he elevated it. Only he didn’t elevate it. It was a grilled cheeseball right down the middle.

    Storen has been terrible lately and threw a cheeseball himself to Gomes, who hit it solidly, but not even in a parallel universe does he gap it and plate a run or hit it out.

  12. Collaspo is not a very good defender.

    I wouldn’t get on Cakes about those balls. I’m not sold that Hey ward would have got to them. They were rockets. Plus, Heyward is hurt anyways.

  13. @13

    Heyward was out one game. He played last night and went 1-2 with 3 walks. He is not hurt.

  14. Heywuss tends to break, but I guess a rocketing baseball to the jaw will make most people break. Neck has been stellar. On at least two of those ropes into the corner, he was positioned in right center. I doubt Jason could have cut them off.

    That said, Jason’s got a rifle. Neck doesn’t. Chances are Jason may have been able to save a base or two, but Markakis has compensated with his bat.

  15. These games happen every 5 years or so. It’s good to get it out of the way in a year in which we’re not going to contend. That Colorado collapse in 2010 came with a lot higher stakes.

  16. “Heywuss tends to break”

    Lord amighty folks hold on to 2011 a long time around here.

    He hasn’t missed a game in 2015 (he pinch hit on Monday night even though he didn’t start). He played in 149 last year. He missed a bare minimum of time in 2013 despite two major in-season surgeries for afflictions not caused by general wear-and-tear or strains. He played in 158 in 2012.

    Anyway, Neck Cakes is hitting wonderfully and Heyward hasn’t found himself at the plate yet this year. But are we really going to dredge up the tired injury thing again?

  17. Uggla’s triple and the ground-rule double would’ve been catchable for Heyward or really any other mobile defender. Markakis has been everything we could’ve reasonably expected thus far, but it looks like he’s in slow-motion out there.

  18. Shall we assume that Heyward would field all balls hit to the right of dead center?

    Both extreme positions may be questionable; but as Barry said, non-politically, “Extremism in defense of the current Braves rightfielder is no vice.”

  19. @5, The values I posted were for the four-seamer. The two-seamer in 2014 averaged 88.5, and so far this year it’s 89.3. Teheran’s just not locating.

  20. I know you have to take Gold Glove awards with a grain of salt, but it’s strange to me Markakis was the AL equivalent of Jason last year when it came to a GG. Goes to show you how good Jason’s defense really is.

    @20 Now that’s funny.

  21. were the OF playing too shallow last night as well?
    Oh, and Eric Young has no purpose on this team.

  22. Ryan C had an interesting roster solution on Tomahawk Take yesterday (I believe). In his fix EY2 would be DFA’d.

  23. @26

    I would consider calling up Mallex Smith. This team has a serious lack of Smitty power.

  24. #10
    Was listening on the radio in the 7th inning when Callaspo threw to 1B, instead of attempting an inning-ending 5-4-3 DP.

    Again, didn’t see it, but according to Powell, he took a pointless swipe at the baserunner Harper, who was going from 2nd to 3rd. That, he said, defeated any chance to turn two, or even get the runner at 2nd. Powell & Sutton then went on about what a dumb play that was, in somewhat coded language, and how you must have an idea of what you’re going to do with the ball if it’s hit to you.

    And yeah, that play may have cost the club 3 runs.

  25. Yes, Ububba, it was a seemingly dumb play. I don’t know if he thought he had no shot at 2nd or had a brain fart though.

  26. Todd Cunningham and Eury Perez were both better, younger options for our 25-man roster coming out of spring than EYJ. They remain better options than EYJ. Either may actually have a future with the team. EYJ has none. All he is doing for the club is making outs.

  27. @10

    I didn’t watch the game, and I haven’t seen the play, but Chris Johnson could not have gotten to that ball.

  28. To my eyes, there were at least three balls that Markakis turned his shoulder and ran backwards on that Heyward — with his superior speed, great routes to the ball, and lengthier gait — would have gotten, in particular the back-to-back triple from Uggla and double from Reed Johnson, both of which were basically hit to the same place. I can’t prove that Heyward would have gotten them, but it was the first time that I’ve watched the 2015 Braves and really felt in my gut that we took a real downgrade in right field range.

  29. Callaspo fielded a slow chopper, so I doubt there was any chance of turning a double play.

  30. @19, had there been a competent power hitter at the plate, they would have been homers. The talk radio guys were all about booing him tonight and I was thinking, shit boo the damn pitchers that let a stiff like Uggla slap them around all night.

  31. They were both hit the opposite way. There aren’t many hitters in the league who can poke them to the off field with ease, and Lord knows that it’s been a while since Reed Johnson or Dan Uggla could go oppo. If Heyward was out there, I’m guessing they would have been ringing outs.

  32. There is a way to get Uggla out. It involves not laying a belt high fastball right in the middle of the plate.

  33. They looked like hit-me hangers on the replay, and not the only ones that got thrown last night that probably ought to have been hit harder if the radio guys were seeing things right. But the point still stands – if you give up a big night to Uggla that’s on you, not him.

  34. @39 Tough to say with certainty. Both of the balls were hit a ton and made the warning track. There was one double, again smoked that rolled to the track that Heyward would have gotten. probably

  35. Varvaro has been DFA’d by the Red Sox. I would take him back with the state of our current bullpen

  36. IMO Markakis isn’t helping or hurting us in RF. He isn’t Heyward. Nobody is.

    He’s getting on base like nobody’s business, though.

  37. Oh, AJ. I really didn’t want to like you, but you have left me little choice.

    Edit: Ha! And then he goes and pulls a LaRoche.

  38. Uggla’s quotes make it clear that he never came close to crossing Mac’s “Lockhart Line.”

    He is just in Nate McLouth’s club.

  39. Ballgame. Might score some more runs, but we’ll give any and all back with room to spare.

  40. Jace was safe there. It was darn close, but it’s almost impossible to get an ump to call a guy out on a tag on his butt. Ump was screened and had no clue whether Jace got his foot in.

  41. Dear Braves, no matter how bad of a team you are, the Natspos SEMPER delenda est. I think you have forgotten that.

  42. When I first heard of the Cahill signing, I was optimistic – young-ish starter, history of success… good buy-low, right?

    The reality appears to be far more dire: poor control, inconsistent stuff, looks totally out of shape. A sinkerballer whose sinker stays flat is a basically just glorified batting practice.

  43. Asking Cahill to put out a fire is like using a Phillips-head screwdriver to lift a two-ton truck. I think you keep him around for those games in which the starter gets shelled early and you need someone to take 3 to 5 innings for the team, but beyond that 25th-man use, he just looks done.

  44. I wonder how the pitching would look with Gattis framing, and Hey, BJ, and Markakis patrolling the outfield.

  45. Honestly, this isn’t spring training anymore, Fredi. We don’t need these guys to keep pitching when they’ve shown us how bad they are.

  46. “You guys…you lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Lollygaggers!”

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