Dodgers Wild, Braves Not Swept (AKA Uribe 3, Callaspo 0)

Before the game even started, the Braves and Dodgers wrapped up the ongoing drama that an on-again, off-again trade brings. Atlanta bribed Alberto Callaspo gave Alberto Callaspo a $100,000 stipend to waive his no-trade clause, and shipped him to the other dugout in exchange for Juan Uribe and Chris Withrow, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery and therefore fits the Braves MO quite nicely. The Braves also included Ian Thomas, Juan Jamie, and Eric Stults, in the package, the latter of whom was immediately DFAed.

After that drama was finally wrapped up, the two teams then engaged in a good, old-fashioned pitchers duel, made possible through the dominance of Alex Wood and incompetence of the Braves offense who let a not-so-sharp Zack Greinke make it through six innings in decent shape. To add to the intrigue and show how much these two rivals are on the same page following that trade, both teams both a batted Peterson, Jace and Joc, leadoff, and assigned an A.J. to handle the catching duties.

In the 1st, the good guys loaded the bases with one out on a hit and two walks, but strikeouts to The New Juan and A.J. Pierzynski ended the threat. That inning Grinkie threw 32 pitches but the Braves had nothing to show for it.

In the 2nd, Andrelton Simmons picked up a base hit, but Alex Wood bunted into a double play to end the inning and once again Greinke got out of it. The Braves finally got on the board in the 3rd, when Cameron Maybin hit a 3-2 fastball out of the park for the Braves first home run in their last 10 games. That would be all the damage Atlanta could muster against Greinke, but, fortunately enough, Wood was sharp and kept the Braves within striking distance.

The lone run Wood gave up came in the 4th, and it probably should never have scored. Jimmy Rollins led off the inning with a ground ball between 3rd base and shortstop, and Simmons appeared to be on track to snag it and gun him out. The New Juan, however, not accustomed to playing next to such greatness, tried to dive and deflected the ball away from Simmons. The play was initially ruled an error, but later that was reversed to a base hit. Two outs later Rollins scored on a ground ball that went just under Peterson’s glove.

Coming off a missed start due to illness, Alex Wood’s final line was an impressive 7 IP, 7H, 1R, 6K, and rumor has it the Braves are now trying to find a way for Julio Teheran to contract the stomach bug that plagued Wood last week.

The Braves managed to rally in the 8th to reward Wood with a win. Simmons led the inning off with a single, and Todd Cunningham followed with a walk. Peterson grounded to shortstop, but beat the rap to first to leave runners at the corners with one out. Maybin hit a fly ball to center, but it wasn’t deep enough to score the run, and it looked as though the Braves were going to squander another prime scoring opportunity. Then the Dodgers bestowed a gift, and threw ball four to Freddie Freeman to the backstop and the Braves took the lead on some good old-fashioned ABE baseball.

They built on that lead when Nick Markakis followed that with a ground rule double. In a rather ironic move, the Dodgers then intentionally walked Juan Uribe, the guy who was expendable enough to them earlier in the day that they traded him for the Braves dregs. Maybe they were trying to give a mental boost for their fans, something that would allow them to be able to boast “€œwe’€™re good enough that we can afford to get rid of guys even we’€™re scared of.” But the move worked, as A.J. grounded out to end the inning with the bases loaded.

Jim Johnson made it through the 8th without any problems, picking up two strikeouts along the way. Jason Grilli came on to nail down the save, but the Dodgers would not be denied their sweep quietly. He got Justin Turner for the first out, then gave up a home run followed by a single. He then got the other A.J. for the second out, which brought up the pinch-hitting Callaspo, and Braves fan steeled themselves for the worst, because when ex-Braves have the chance to beat their old team this season, they do. Fortunately, Callaspo had not been gone from the Braves clubhouse long enough for that memo to reach him, and, following ball three down the middle of the plate to run the count full, he hit a fly ball to centerfield that Maybin had no problem tracking down to end the game and secure a 3-2 victory.

In a series that was split, then, Juan Uribe won all three games while Alberto Callaspo lost all three. That is pretty tough to do.

The Braves are now back to .500 and head to San Fransisco to take on the World Champs for a four-game set. For this bunch, taking one out of three in Dodger Stadium is actually a pretty good accomplishment, and helped them improve to 5-12 this season against teams with a record that is over .500. But let’s overlook that little tidbit and bask in the glow of a victory for awhile.

67 thoughts on “Dodgers Wild, Braves Not Swept (AKA Uribe 3, Callaspo 0)”

  1. Great recap Rissa! Espec the stomach bug comment…very clever. A miracle we did not get swept…now if we can avoid that in San Fran where we usually play like dregs

  2. In the “Great trade! Who’d we get?” vein, this trade doesn’t look quite as good if we’re actually going to play Uribe and he’s going to play like that. Not only does he have to learn how to play in the same infield as Andrelton (plant yourself on third and wait for slow rollers and smashes down the line) he botched a double play off his chest (though he got one out, barely) and pulled Freddie off the bag for the first time in Freddie’s career (since he can normally stretch anywhere between second base and the dugout with his foot on first.) Chalk it up to playing in an unfamiliar stadium.

  3. Great recap, ‘Rissa. Thank you for getting the win.

    Edit: By the way, Perazza debuted in centerfield last night in Gwinnett, following the suggestion on yesterday’s thread.

  4. Thanks for a wonderful recap, ‘Rissa.
    I watched the game listening to Scully. He kept wondering about when he would finally be treated to see Wood’s famous 96-mph fastball he had heard about…

  5. Uribe did a great job of circling the ball, which was hit just inside the bag, and gathering momentum to make the throw to first (proper footing, squaring up, etc.). Freddie almost held the bag. Tough play. Later in the game, Uribe knocked the ball down, kept his cool, and threw to second to get the lead runner. Peterson could have made the play easier by shortening the throw. Uribe’s main job was to keep the lead runner (Ethier?) from advancing into scoring position, and he accomplished that.

  6. Form over substance, Remy. If Uribe gets three results like that every game, I don’t care how good his footwork is. If it was just bad luck, well, get it out of the way early in a win…. We’ll see.

  7. Do we really need Peraza working out in CF? Maybin is doing pretty good at the moment, and it would appear that Mallex Smith is the CF of the future. If Peraza isn’t going to stick at 2nd, shouldn’t we work him out at either 3rd or LF?

  8. I think Peterson is establishing himself at 2b.

    Peraza’s bat works in CF. He doesn’t hit hard enough to play a corner. Mallex may be the CF of the future but it doesn’t hurt to hedge your bets. Or develop some trade bait.

    Maybin is having a fine season. I like what he has done this season a lot but his track record suggests that he may be having an outlier year.

  9. Maybin should just now be entering his prime. He was a first round pick. Hopefully, the light has been switched on, and Cameron will become all he was once projected to be.

  10. @8,

    “Peraza’s bat works in CF. He doesn’t hit hard enough to play a corner.”

    Right, he’ll never be a slugger like Nick Markakis. Seriously, though if Peraza can hit and run like he has in the minors the last couple years, his bat will play anywhere except 1B. Corner OF defense may be overvalued by WAR calculations, but it still matters.

    I also think Jace Peterson is useful but may be the type of guy you always wish you could upgrade.

  11. At this point in time, the Braves either need to be grooming Peraza for Super-Utility or shopping him for an OF or catcher. If the Braves can clear 3b before season’s end, move Jace there and keep Peraza. We will have the most dynamic defense in the entire Major Leagues.

  12. @12 — If you asked me who was more likely to be considered a super-utility player a year or two from now, I’d pick Jace Peterson over Jose Peraza. That’s not a knock on Peterson; a versatile Prado/Infante type would be a huge boon for a contender. But there’s never been a point in either player’s career where Peraza wasn’t considered a superior talent to Peterson.

  13. I’m a big fan of Jace Peterson, but I think Tanto’s probably right. Peterson may develop more power, but he’s already 25. Peraza is holding his own as a 21 year old in AAA. For reference, he’s 5.9 years younger than his average competitor in the International League.

  14. Im not sure why we have to chose one over the other. Peterson could play 3rd and Peraza should be playing 2B next year

  15. Between Peterson, Peraza, Smith, Albies, and Maybin, I think you’ve got 5 players for 2 spots. Someone’s not going to continue to trend upward, so I think it’s good to hedge, and if in the exciting event you have too many good players for too few spots, then you trade them. No biggie.

  16. Does it concern anyone that our clean-up hitter has not hit a home run alll year?

  17. Not really? He’s only hitting cleanup for lack of better options, and it’s not like he hasn’t been contributing at all. He leads the team in OBP.

    If the team had an actual, functioning major league offense Markakis would probably be hitting first or second. But they don’t, and so we must improvise.

  18. It concerns me that Neck Cakes hasn’t hit a home run all year, but it doesn’t really matter to me where in the order he’s not hitting them.

  19. Right. My issue is not with Neck, but the current status of our offense. Once KJ comes back, he’ll probably slide back into the clean-up spot. CJ is probably also a better clean-up option Neck.

  20. Is our ideal lineup:

    AJ (or really any variation of CJ/KJ/AJ)

  21. Maybin was Florida’s #1 prospect in 2009. I’m not sure it’s fair to say that based on his track record that he is having an outlier season. He’s only 28, he was traded early in his development, and a lot of Marlins prospects didn’t pan out while he was in their system (Logan Morison, Chris Coghlan, Gaby Sanchez, Matt Dominguez as well). He’s a 4.5 tool player who might just be putting it together at 28. He also had an above average OPS just a few seasons ago in a pitcher-friendly park. After a lot of our position player prospects imploding, I think we deserve to have a Cameron Maybin-type figure it out in our uni.

  22. It’s tough to look at a line-up with Chris Johnson hitting clean-up or AJ Pierzynski hitting at all. But if we’re really doing this, I’d much rather Maybin be at the top or in the 4 spot.

    After a hot April Pierzynski has gone .145/.190/.200. And he ain’t making up for it with his glove.

  23. Agreed with Rob — Maybin’s track record as a prospect suggested that he was a four- or five-tool player. When he was healthy in 2011-2012, he was productive. This may just be what he’s capable of.

    Peraza is our top prospect and seen by evaluators as a future All-Star. He’s the kind of guy we should try to build around.

  24. @26 28 – I’d love for y’all to be right about Maybin. If this is a new level of performance then that is awesome.

    Peraza may be better than Jace in the long run but its the Braves that put him into CF last night. I hope he turns out to be the star ya’ll think he is going to be. I am probably unreasonably suspicious of guys that depend so much on batting average for their offensive value.

  25. I really would not mind seeing an infield in 2016 composed of:

    Freeman 1B
    Peraza 2B
    Simmons SS
    Peterson 3B

    If Mallex Smith keeps it up, the 2016 OF could go as follows if Maybin, also, keeps producing:

    Smith LF
    Maybin CF
    Markakis RF

    I have no clue what the 2016 catching situation will look like at this point.

    Bench wise you would have CJ who can hit LH pitching quite well. Goose could be back to be the utility guy. Possibly, Cunningham to cover the OF back up role if he shows that he can continue his early success.

    It would be a near certainty that we would hit the least amount of HRs in the league with that, but I have grown fond of what we have done this year. Also, with Peterson, Peraza, Smith, and Maybin in a lineup, you are looking at some serious speed.

  26. Chris Johnson should bat 9th. It’s harder to GIDP when you bat after the pitcher.

  27. I am probably unreasonably suspicious of guys that depend so much on batting average for their offensive value.

    I felt suspicious of him for a while too, but I think that this is unfair to him.

    First of all, his chief weapon is his speed, which is what makes him a good defender, dangerous baserunner, and is also why he has a career minor league BABIP of .337. Second, his strikeout rate is very low, just 10% or so. (His walk rate is also very low, 5%, which isn’t awesome, but it isn’t crippling for a speed-and-contact player.) You want a speed guy to have a high contact rate; he’ll get a bunch of infield hits every year.

    Second, as Sam mentioned, he’s always been younger than most of his competition, so you have to assume that he could grow into some power. He’s hitting for average and getting on base at a reasonable clip despite being much younger than the guys he’s playing against — he only turned 21 a month ago — so in four years, when he’s Jace Peterson and Andrelton Simmons’s age, it’s reasonable to imagine that he might be stronger than he is today.

  28. An OF of Smith/Maybin/Markakis isn’t going to hit many HR, but it certainly seems like the Braves are doing the “defense defense slap hits and defense” thing KC did last year and this year.

  29. Rob at 25,

    I think we have 2 ideal lineups, depending on handedness of opposing pitcher.

    Lefthander, Peterson, Neck / KJ, CJ, FF, Simmons, Gomes / KJ, Maybin, Bethancourt,

    righthander, Peterson, Neck, FF, KJ, Maybin (to break up the lefties, or start Cunningham), Uribe, Simmons, Pierzinski / Bethancourt

    That gives you 4 pretty good obp guys in a row.

    I think the Peraza experiment in CF is intended to tell whomever (Yankees???) we don’t HAVE to trade him. If the Yankees are convinced he can improve their ML club, we might swap for Judge. Then if Maybin and Peterson aren’t pumpkins, and we can get a catcher that can either (a) fielder REALLY well or (b) hit a little, then we are pretty much there on the position player side.

  30. @pedromoura
    Juan Uribe: “I would’ve felt bad if they traded me to a soccer, basketball or football team. But it’s another baseball team, so I’m happy.”

  31. When some of these guys join Freddie/Andrelton in the 4 WAR club, I’ll join in the rosterbation. I’m not ready to pencil in Jace Peterson, let alone trade Peraza. Maybe Maybin. Maybe.

  32. That Uribe quote @36 has moved him into Favored Brave status. If he hits a walk-off against MadBum, then he will rise to Most Favored Brave status.

  33. 40- Let’s not make liars out of Juan. After watching the first two games, I wasn’t quite sure this was another baseball team.

  34. Entire Giants lineup hitting .290 or better. Lolz.

    Remember the aoki vs markakis convo? Lolz.

  35. Was there a debate? If I remember correctly, Aoki said he wanted to play for a contender.

  36. Angel Pagan is one of the great names in baseball. Would have been awesome even/especially if Angel was a nickname.

  37. I would have never guessed that Freddie has the longest active consecutive-games streak.

  38. Cameron Maybin is like 5 wins better than BJ Upton for half the salary

    And he sulks a lot less

  39. Most of us on this board would be 2 or 3 wins better than BUpton for much less money, mostly because Fredi wouldn’t be dumb enough to play us. And most of us wouldn’t sulk as much. Or even as much as we do now.

  40. Five innings in an hour is pretty swift for those of us staying up. This gives us time for a bottom of the ninth.

  41. Here’s a spot where I want a really high batting avg

    And it doesn’t matter. But it mightve

  42. If you don’t pitch a shutout, Shelby, you’re probably going to lose. Good game, though.

  43. I hate the Giants. Everything close always falls their way. I don’t know what God they’ve been sacrificing virgins too, but he must be a fan of baseball. They’ve been the luckiest team for years.

  44. I had a lot of fun tonight, mostly because Esquire was running Blazing Saddles. Sadly, in baseball, Miller only pawn in game of life.

  45. Not that it matters with a bullpen implosion, but 11 runs in seven games is an unsurprising regression.

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