Giants 7, Braves sleeping

Despite the score, Shelby Miller was once again very good. Went 7 strong, gave up 5 hits. One of them, from Brandon Belt, left the yard. Thus, Miller gets the loss. Because after that Belt homer in the 7th, Brandon Cunniff and Donnie Veal combined to give up six more in the 8th. And while all of this was going on, the offense was being squeltered by something called a “Chris Heston” and the Giants pen. Managed four hits all night, none of which left the yard. So Heston gets the win, and Miller gets the loss, and the shine has worn off of Brandon Cunniff. There was never any shine on Donnie Veal to my knowledge.

Because “pitcher wins.”

98 thoughts on “Giants 7, Braves sleeping”

  1. Searched “squelter definition,” was pleased to discover that the only listed definition (other than an middle english variant of ‘swelter’) was an urban dictionary entry by a user whose name is ‘The Squelterer’.

    Is it you, Sam? Are you the Secret Squelterer?

    I was even more pleased that the 8th search result returned was the urban dictionary entry for “squeng.” I think we should call any Braves player who goes on to play for 3 or more other teams a “squeng.”

  2. Anyone who watched the game have any thoughts on the pinch hitting in the 8th?

    Apparently we had Andrelton on first, and Miller had thrown (only) 86 pitches, we have a shaky bullpen, and it was a one-run game. Isn’t that as clear a sac bunt situation as there ever was if you believe in bunting at all?

    Anyway, so we pinch hit Ciriaco. Fielder’s choice. Now we have a runner on 1st and one out. Jace Peterson is coming to bat–isn’t this still kind of a sac bunt situation?

    Well, the Giants bring in their lefty, so we bring our “bopper” Gomes up to hit for Peterson. He strikes out because he isn’t a very good hitter. (Although you can bet he pinch hit as hard as he could, doing it the right way as an example to the rest of the clubhouse.)

    I dunno. I wasn’t watching the game (had a friend on her way from Florida to New York crashing on our couch for the night) but I don’t get it.

  3. Braves using the AAA carousel to try and find bullpen arms, and I feel it was the right strategy, but damn, it’s just not working. There are some shiny ERAs down at Gwinnett, but most of them come with baggage: too many free passes.

    Ryan Kelly and Ryan Weber, both promoted recently to Gwinnett from Mississippi might be the 2 guys that could save this bullpen.

    Also worth noting, the Braves are trying to limit Man-Ban’s innings to under 125 for the year, and he’s up to 52.2. Gotta think his time might come as a lefty out of the ‘pen.

  4. We probably had two chances of winning 1 game in this series, that took care of one chance last night, now if Hudson shuts us down, look for the sweep, we ain’t worth a crap at the Bay

  5. You think the Braves are struggling…how about my Carolina Mudcats (Braves 1A)…just lost a franchise record 12th straight. They were doing really good until the charter bus flipped landing 6 players on the DL including 3 starting pitchers. They had ran off a 9 game winning streak before that.

  6. Miller pitched great. The Giants lineup is pretty formidable. What is it about SF? Aoki, Blanco, even Pence to some degree all seem to have gotten better in SF.

  7. @3

    Well, one out and runner at first isn’t a sac bunt situation for anybody except the pitcher.

    As far as runner at 1st and nobody out, I guess you could sac bunt there, but don’t you have to roll the dice and take Miller out for offense? You’re behind. Another shutdown inning from Miller there isn’t gonna help us very much.

  8. @3, I was watching it, and I was struck, but I thought it was perfectly defensible — in fact, I’d probably have been madder at Fredi if he’d left Shelby in and Shelby had botched the sac bunt. Ciriaco is no great shakes, but he’s been a decent PH for us in the early going, and he’s an upgrade over the pitcher’s spot. A bunt is a really expensive way to play for one out.

    Shelby would have been a better pitcher for the 8th than nearly anyone we had in the bullpen, but going to the bench there was almost certainly the right move. The bigger head-scratcher for me was why the hell he left Brandon Cunniff out there after the two-run double. And then, after the next batter hit a two-run triple, Fredi still left him out there. I’m not sure if Fredi was trying to build his character, but I just hope he didn’t assassinate his confidence.

  9. If a reliever can’t come back from getting shelled every now and then his “confidence” isn’t going to carry him in the bigs, regardless.

  10. Oh, granted. But counting the 1/3 of an inning from last night, Cunniff has thrown a grand total of 15 1/3 innings in the majors. I don’t really see any useful purpose either to his development or to the game strategy for leaving him out there as long as Fredi did.

  11. @8

    You’re right about the sac bunt after the first out, but I think another shutdown inning from Shelby helps us immensely. Just like getting a runner to 2nd with two chances to get a run out of it helps us immensely.

    And this is what bugs me about Fredi: Shelby is clearly “the guy” right now. He gets on that mound with the mindset and the ability to win. Those are the sorts of players you lean on in a tight spot. I’m tired of not putting our best foot forward when it counts.

  12. I understand playing matchups, but lefties are hitting .348 off of Affeldt this year. Also, he has never shown to be able to shut down LH hitters except for 2 random seasons in his career. Basically, there was no need to hit Gomes over Peterson. Not to speculate to much, but had Peterson still been in the game the next inning, he might have turned that double play instead of just knocking the ball down like Ciriaco prior to the offensive surge.

  13. @15

    With nobody on or if the runner’s on third, I’m with you. If we’re down 2 or more I’m with you. If Miller’s thrown a lot of pitches I’m with you. If it’s one of our other pitchers, I’m with you.

    Of course, I don’t know how well Shelby bunts. Maybe he’s terrible at it?

  14. Also, we’re not at home, so we should really be playing for the win there, not the tie, if you follow conventional wisdom. Bunting there is just not the thing to do, and is the type of thing that would’ve sent this place into a frenzy if he’d done it. When you’re behind, you need as many outs as possible. You can’t go through life assuming that your bullpen is gonna crap the bed if you use them.

  15. If one game out of 162 is a nit, then yes, that’s nitpicking.

    But it’s part of my larger complaint about Fredi managing for comfortability rather than winning–that’s an opinion I know you don’t agree with, but it’s no nit.

  16. @19

    Preventing the other team from scoring runs is part and parcel of playing for the win.

  17. My recollection is that the majority of the complaints about Fredi and starting pitchers is that he leaves them in too long, particularly in that he lets them hit with the game on the line rather than pulling them (and then almost inevitably has to pull them next inning anyway, after they get in trouble.) Now you may not complain that way all the time, but that’s the majority of the complaints in this regard to Fredi’s choices.

    So, of course, now he’s getting the biz-ness for not letting the pitcher bat.

  18. I love to criticize the Frediot, but pinch hitting there on the road is totally defensible. The adage of playing to win on the road has teeth. That said, if he’d bunted with Shelby there, I think that would also be defensible.

    In a tie game, you have to keep Shelby in. Behind by 1 run, you could go either way, but I would favor pinch hitting, especially on the road. It’s true our pen sucks, but you have to score to win.

    At least he didn’t leave Shelby in to bunt the runner over and then pull him before the bottom of the inning started…

  19. @22

    Nah, that’s never been me that I know of. I’m a whole different breed of Fredi-hater.

    Edit: I might be wasting my breath. It could be as simple as this just isn’t a very good team.

  20. When you have just six outs to get one or more runs in a game you are behind in, you have to PH for the pitcher, even more so when you have a terrible offense, triply so with one one and no out. The opportunity cost is just overwhelming

  21. Anyone who is criticizing Fredi for pinch hitting for Shelby while we were losing in the 8th inning needs their head examined. Clearly the right move, even if it didn’t work.

  22. @27,

    If Fredi is criticized by someone, then that person is a “Fredi hater”. QED.

  23. For some folks around here Fredi can’t do anything right.

    @24 – This isn’t a good team, but I like what I see for the most part. What is exciting is that we may have more good players than most of us thought we would have at this point. We just don’t have enough of them.

  24. Reminder: before the season semi-reasonable people on this board were wondering if this team would lose 100 games. It’s not good, but it’s not nearly as bad as many thought it might be.

  25. @25, 26

    I don’t think so. I think you get the runner to second and roll the dice with Peterson or Maybin getting the single, then seeing what you can accomplish with Freeman-Markakis-Uribe in a one-run game if it doesn’t work out. It’s not like we have a pinch hitter who can hit worth a damn.

    Then you don’t turn a one-run game into a 2-run or, god forbid, a 7-run game by throwing a bottom-5 relief corps into the mix.

  26. I understand the pinch hitting for Miller but do not agree with pinch hitting for Peterson right after that.

    See earlier comment @14

  27. @30. We have had the easiest schedule in either league thus far. And our pythagorean W-L is 18-29. I’d say we are just about as bad as the most pessimistic here had imagined–and that is despite Shelby Miller being far better than anyone could have hoped.

  28. @34. My bad, not Pythagorean, but Baseball Prospectus, 3rd order adjusted win % (3rd order takes into account underlying stats + opponent and park factors).

  29. @33

    I agree that having Peterson at the top of the order has gone on long enough. I’d prefer to see him batting 7th or 8th. Put Simmons 1st. Less chance for him to ground into a DP that way. Batting order as follows til KJ back:

    Simmons
    Markakis
    Maybin
    Freeman
    Uribe/CJ
    AJP/Bethancourt
    Cunningham/Gomes
    Peterson
    Pitcher

  30. Jace Peterson has posted a .340 OBP in the month of May. He can be a lot better, esp with power and contact, but the walk rate is good enough to be a solid leadoff guy.

  31. The walk rate makes him playable despite his lack of power and iffy batting average. But he isn’t one of our four best hitters, and I don’t want him hitting leadoff. I’d prefer Markakis there, though I think you could make a credible case for Maybin.

  32. Alternate reading of the proper batting order for 2015:

    Get the young guys at bats. You’re not playing for a World Series in 2015. You’re playing to make Peterson and Simmons and eventually Peraza better baseball players. Get them at bats.

  33. As AJ Pierzynski has become Christian Bethancourt at the plate, it’s making more sense to get the real Christian Bethancourt more playing time.

  34. “As AJ Pierzynski has become Christian…”

    A conversion story without a happy ending.

  35. I think it’s past time to get an actual good catcher behind the plate. We just don’t have one

  36. CB Bucknor is the home plate umpire tonight. Get ready for a poorly called game.

  37. So I says to myself, don’t just lay one in there to posey, after that big strike out. And Folty just lays it in there

  38. At least the Braves decided to lose this one nice and early so I don’t have to stay up all night.

    Also, please release A.J. Pierzynski.

    Into a shark tank.

    With weights tied to his feet.

  39. I wonder if andrelton simmons is self aware enough to wonder just how a less talented brandon crawford became a demonstrably better player

  40. @51 I’m sure he’s smart enough to know the answer is mostly just “several years more experience.”

  41. Folty take a pitch down the middle and then stab at a pitch a foot outside. So silly funny Folty.

  42. @52, put differently, your answer is “inevitability”. I hope he thinks being good is more complicated than that.

  43. @54 I’m not sure I’ve seen a player with a better idea of what he’s doing in the field. He wasn’t born that way.

  44. @55, yes circle the wagons.

    Andrelton is our best player. Whether he becomes truly great depends on whether he comes to understand his offensive deficits. He hasn’t progressed since he was called up on that side. It is reality. You guys feel free to get defensive though, yeah.

  45. Omg chip and Joe talking about how aoki signed a 1 yr deal with San Fran. It’s so difficult to swallow that we signed a worse Outfielder for 4 years at a higher per annum

  46. At what point, does Freddie Freeman at least attempt to wait on a pitch to drive the other way? He is not working the count at all lately. He swings at the first inside strike they give him and does just what they want him to do with it. He has ripped some of them, but that means nothing when you have 3 guys positioned perfectly on that side of the field.

  47. @58

    Apparently, Aoki wanted to play for a contender, so we did not have a shot at him anyways. It would have been nice to cut that Markakis deal to 2 years instead of 4, but it is all behind us now. No need to worry about it at this point.

  48. @59

    Agreed. The shift is killing Freddie. The league adapted to freddie. He must adapt to the league.

    Re aoki: That may all be true and yet it is no easier to swallow

  49. John, you conveniently left out Chip’s comments about San Fran’s culture and location to Japan. And San Fran is a better team than us.

    People assume that all athletes sign for the highest dollar amount, assuming any player can be had by any team at the contract they signed for.

    No.

  50. @62, conveniently! Yes! I am maneuvering in some sort of sinister way! “Conveniently” leaving out facts to support my mendacious narrative!

    Truth: It still sucks we, a team with more financial constraints, signed a worse player for so, so much more and so much longer. I’m jealous and bitter. And none of that has anything to do with aoki’ motivations.

  51. I’m sorry you’re struggling with this so much. Can you offer any suggestions for who the Braves should have signed? Please leave Aoki off the table. Your reign of convenience is over.

  52. @64, yes, nobody

    Your histrionics are currently challenging sam’s. “reign of convenience” is impressively hollow but strident verbiage.

  53. John, who should be playing right field right now?

    You’re the Ernst Stavro Blofeld of conveniently leading people to believe Aoki. You can’t be trusted.

  54. @67, Rob, you’re a fantastic apologist for ownership. Really, you are. I didn’t even directly criticize them, but your spider sense told you I might be, so you came out guns blazing!

    Well here–everything mgt did was correct. Even signing markakis for a bunch forever was great. If anyone criticizes it, you personally attack that mofo just cuz, mkay? Cool.

  55. John, you are conveniently not answering my question. Despite my words to the contrary, your reign of convenience is alive and well.

    For real, who should play right? Like, I’m seriously asking. Cunningham? Terdoslavich? Dave Justice?

  56. Pierzynski is the worst defensive catcher I have ever seen. He makes Gattis look like a Gold Glover.

  57. We need a catcher who can field a freaking strike out. I’ve never seen two hitters reach on strike outs in one inning before. I bet John was behind this.

  58. I have believed for a long time that the dumbest rule in baseball is that a batter can run to 1st on a dropped third strike. Why should the batter be rewarded for swinging at a bad pitch?

  59. It would have been fun if Fredi went out to the mound and gave Pierzynski the pat on the back.

  60. @72, Cunningham is an option, and though I can never prove it, I feel pretty confident he’d be no more than 1 WAR worse than markakis over a full season, and I’d wager the difference would be less. Markakis’ range is awful and his OBP, which I adore, can’t make up for his concrete shoes.

    And that is simply looking at 2015. When you get to 2017 you’re dealing with candidates like Braxton Davidson, and even in 2016 you have to look at the difference in paying markakis 11 million to be a 1 war RF and various options like Justin upton, jason heyward, dexter fowler, various trade candidates.

    Markakis was a horrific signing. that will be more and more apparent as we slog through these 4 yes

  61. @81, that is meaningless

    Callaspo was at best a AAA third baseman and yet we have him lots of playing time

  62. I’d be delighted if Cunningham is truly a 4th OF. A switch-hitting 4th OF who can play all the OF spot solidly would be very valuable.

  63. @80 – I know it’s about securing the ball and it’s not intended to reward swinging at bad pitches, but that is what it does in effect. Not looking for an argument, it’s just my personal opinion that it’s a terrible rule.

  64. @84, you may not be looking for an argument, but they most definitely are. And it’s PERSONAL

  65. Oh hush now.

    Hey is anyone else upset that the Bad News Braves came out again tonight?

    Edit: Does Pagan flex his muscles really quickly over and over again between pitches?

  66. That was the best AB I have seen Freddie have lately. I am not even saying that because of the end result. He took his time and worked the count deep. He is at his best when he does that.

  67. Pin this loss on Jim Johnson. The ‘pen is mightier than a plastic sword that pierces a Maraschino cherry in my fruity drink, but just barely.

  68. If you’re going to San Francisco/
    Bring lots of bats and make pitches with care/
    Or else when you get to San Francisco/
    You’re going to lose four ballgames when you’re there

  69. Fredi will never pinch hit his catcher, but he will pinch run a catcher for a catcher.

    Naturally I only comment on this bc “YOUZA DUM FREDI H8R LOL @ U SUCH A DUM H8R!”

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