Braves 7, Giants 5 (by coop)

OPEN LETTER TO AAR

Dear Mr. Remington,

Thank you, Alex, for letting me recap this game. It was one heck of a roller coaster ride.

Going into the game, you’ve got to figure there’s no way the Braves can beat Madison Bumgarner, arguably the best pitcher in the world today. We might be able to score one run, maybe; but that’s not the way to bet.

Sure enough, MadBum was dealing. Julio Teheran matched Bumgarner in the first. Not so in the second, when Julio was Brandonized. Back-to-back blasts by Brandons Belt and Crawford staked the Giants to a 2-zip lead. The way MadBum was pitching, the game should have been called.

Funny thing happened: after retiring the first 12 Braves in order, Bumgarner surrendered a leadoff single to Jonny Gomes in the top of the fifth. After Fat Juan II was out productively (Gomes moved to second on his groundball out), Buster Posey played a MadBum pitch into a passed ball; and Chris Johnson (Chris Johnson!) singled to score Gomes. The perfect game was gone, the shutout was gone, and the Braves had miraculously scored their allotted one run off the Great Bumgarner.

Julio, meanwhile, actually pitched well after throwing BP in the second inning. He never pitched a clean inning, walking four and striking out only two; but he made it through six having allowed only two runs. Gutsy performance, kid.

In the lucky seventh, after Neck grounded out to first, Gomes walked and my new hero FAT Juan Uribe hit his second two-run homer in two days off Bumgarner. The Braves led 3-2, and our team was just getting started. CJ followed Juan’s Juander with his second single of the day, and Andrelton knocked MadBum out of the game with the Braves’ third straight hit. Betty failed, and Fredi let Julio hit for himself.

HERE’S THE BURNING QUESTION: Julio’s gone a tough six innings. There are runners on first and third, and Freddie Freeman’s foaming at the mouth on the bench. Why not let Freddie or AJP hit for Julio here and let Julio go to the shower with the lead? Here’s the answer: I don’t know. Who knows what strategy lurks in the shadow of Fredi’s mind? Anyway, Teheran hit for himself, made the expected out, and went out to pitch the seventh.

What a goat rope! Julio promptly gave up a double to Matt Duffy. Fredi reaches into his bag of tricks and pulls out … Donnie Veal. Veal gives up the grybo on a single by – wait for it – the ghost of Gregor Blanco.

Tie game, but the Braves are still in the game. Nori Aoki sacrifices Blanco to second, and Veal kills all hope. Joe Panik takes Veal deep, and Julio’s hard-fought quality start is destroyed. Giants lead 5-3.

THIS JUST IN: Braves’ bullpen is not good, and Donnie Veal is bad. Details at six.

The Braves go meekly in the eighth, but the Giants do too. The Braves are down to three outs. Juanderful Uribe grounds out to third. Two outs left.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? Freddie Freeman, in for Chris Johnson, homers to deep center: 5-4 Giants. Andrelton battles through a long at bat and … WALKS! Alas, Christian Bethancourt grounds into the game ending double play, and Brandon Crawford boots the routine ground ball. Braves still live. AJP bloops a pop single into right field’s no man’s land. Bases are loaded, and JACE the Giant Killer Peterson triples, scoring three – count ’em, THREE! – runs. Braves lead 7-5.

Jason Grilli comes in for the save, gets the first two Giants, and then, because we must have drama, gives up a double to Panik. PANIC! But Hunter Pence flies out to Neck. Braves win, split the series and head to the desert. Whew! What a game.

Thanks again, Alex. Next time do you think you can give me a laugher?

Hogs and kittens,
Coop

126 thoughts on “Braves 7, Giants 5 (by coop)”

  1. If you had told me last Sunday that the Bravos would start the 10 game trip 3-4, I would have shied away from the lightning strike I would’ve been sure was coming.

    As Joaquin Andujar once reputedly said – “Baseball is a funny game. It can be summed up in one word. You never know.”

  2. there were strange things done with the series run
    by our men who toil not fold
    these latest nights have seen such sights
    as would make your blood run cold
    the bullpen mess we had better guess
    might bring dear Fredi down
    then three from Jace, in a hostile place
    he’s restored his wobbly crown.

  3. I sure wish Andrelton would be a little smarter in sliding into 2nd base. No idea how his slide in the 6th didn’t blow up into something ugly. He is either going to get his self a broken leg or the next batter a beanball if he keeps this up.

  4. If you would have told me at the first of the year that after 50 games we’d be 3 games out of first, 2.5 games out of second, and have a 5.5 game lead on the 4th place team I would have been ecstatic.

    I will make a bold prediction here – if Folty and both Perez’s do well enough to stay in the rotation until the end of the year we will remain in wildcard contention until the last two weeks of the season! Our biggest need right now is consistent hitting at catcher and 3 bullpen arms. If we are contending at the All Star break I think we have trading chips to upgrade in both areas.

  5. Very nice, coop. Just one note of terminology: others correct me if I’m wrong, but giving up inherited runs is, at best, a half-Grybo. You have to avoid giving up your own. This Veal did not, and apparently cannot, do. In an attempt to stop the bovine jokes, I hereby name him Donnie Non-Baseball.

  6. @1

    I have to think that this group could turn “Arab Singles” into a good inoffensive, non-pc name for a baseball play. Is it a hit after pulling back the bunt?

    “Foltynewicz shows bunt with two strikes here. The Braves really want to get Simmons to third. He’s got to keep it in play. Lincecum twists back, kicks the leg, here comes the pitch…Folty pulls back and chops one over the third baseman and into left field! Simmons rounds third base, and he’ll score easily. That’s an RBI Arab single for Mike Foltynewicz! The Braves cut the Giants’ lead to 6.”

  7. By the way, after spending the last half-hour going through the game threads and recaps from this weekend, I can confirm that this is just about the best place on the internet. Good veal jokes, all around.

    And then we had ryan c with some O Brother and AAR with some Sopranos-doing-The-Godfather on the same day. Warmed my heart.

  8. ‘td Says:

    You guys are going to have to cut the Veal jokes. I hear he’s really tender.

    JonathanF Says:

    @95: It’s a calf injury.’

    That was LOL funny. Edward you and I disagree on stuff but we do agree that this is the best place on the internet. The Beverly Hill Billies recap was excellent. Coop, sir, well done.

    I am pretty sure Coop is retired but do the rest of y’all have jobs?

  9. To sum up all the Veal conversation. The first time he came up he didn’t look good at all. The second call up seemed to show how bad he really is. I guess you could say the re-Veal was not promising. I hope he is removed from the menu soon.

  10. Y’all, take it easy. This is a far cry from the ethical treatment he deserves.

  11. @19, I hear he likes it. The guy’s such a masochist, his offseason workout is to confine himself to a tiny crate.

  12. Braves Journal is proving that Veal puns really are a rare medium when well-done.

  13. OK. Last one until I go back to work:

    Veal’s nickname is Sweetbreads, because he’s offal.

  14. I hear that PETER (People for the Ethical TrEatment of Relievers) is about to boycott this site.

  15. He’s offal :)

    Veal see about that, muahaha…

    I wonder if when Gwinnett travels the players sing “the Veals on the bus go round and round”. Probably not, but it would be funny if they did.

  16. 9—Do we really need to kick them when they’re down?

    (The Veal jokes have been remarkable.)

  17. So, if we were to overhaul the pen, what would it look like?

    Closer – Grilli
    8th Inning Dude – Johnson
    Lefty/7th Inning – Avilan
    ROOGY – Cunniff?
    Long/Relief/Mop-Up – Masset

    Then you could bring up Banuelos for Veal, and maybe ride the Martin/Kohn/Cahill Gwinnett Pineapple Express until Withrow was ready to return in August?

  18. I have to think that this group could turn “Arab Singles” into a good inoffensive, non-pc name for a baseball play.

    Nick Markakis looks vaguely Mediterranean. I’m not above just calling him Arab Singles and being done with it.

  19. You guys are just way too mean on ol’ Donnie. It’s not that he’s a bad pitcher, per se, it’s that he’s obviously lost all his veal for his off-speed stuff. Once he gets that back, it’ll be like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

  20. Man Ban is going to come up and form of the left side of a nasty two-inning relief tandem with Cody Martin. Jim Johnson will be set up, Grilli closing. Since our starters will only provide 5 innings on average, we’ll be set!

  21. I wonder what the long-term developmental issues, if any, would be to bringing up a Matt Wisler or a Man Ban to provide high-leverage, long relief innings for the big club. I seem to remember Medlen being in a similar role, but I think he was recovering from his first TJ.

    Next year, Max Fried could be that guy.

  22. I wonder if other baseball team blogs are as fun as this one? And this considering that we have no chance at all of winning anything this year.

  23. No expectations keeps the commenters loose. Lots of team chemistry. Just having fun. Anything else? One game at a time?

  24. I’m just up here to comment on one Friday game at a time and to do what I can to help the team.

  25. Veal released and Cody Martin brought back up. No more Veal jokes, which is too bad. No more watching Veal pitch which is a relief.

    Do we start the arb clock on Banuelos and/or Wisler to have them pitch relief in a rebuilding season?

  26. What’s crazy is that we aren’t performing like a rebuilding team, but we’re not performing like a contender. We’re .500 at the beginning of June, which is great, but I doubt we would alter our roster and farm to be competitive this year. We have our stopgaps for 2015 to be decent, and the only way to upgrade the two spots I could really see us upgrading (LF and 3B), we would most likely deal prospects, which we don’t want to do. I highly doubt CJ/KJ/Uribe/Gomes would bring anything immediately helpful.

  27. Johnny at 40,

    IF they really have a 125 inning limit on Banuelos, the he is about to move to the pen OR be shut down in a few weeks. My feeling is let him be our ML 2nd lefty the rest of the year and see how it goes. Then, start him back as a starter next spring for either ATL or Gwinnett. This team deserves another lefty with a fighting chance of getting lefties out.

  28. Rob Cope at 41,

    Braves could be improved IF, they
    a. Get one more real outfielder.
    b. Get a catcher that can field and hit.
    c. Get better production at 3rd.
    d. Get Teheran better and Wood good.
    e. pick up a real relief pitcher or 2.

    You are right. The options just aren’t there right now.

    If the starters get back somewhat right, the bullpen settles down, and the offense operates on the upper end of its range this year, this team may even climb a few games over 500 by mid July. If they do, I think you could see FO make moves that help 15 and 16 and beyond. Like take on a salary dump on somebody like Ethier.

  29. Lots of teams have given star prospects their first real taste of the majors in a bullpen role. The key is just being clear with the pitcher about what is expected, and not letting short-term incentives derail the long-term strategy.

    I.e., do what the Cardinals did with Adam Wainwright. Don’t do what the Yankees did with Joba Chamberlain.

  30. cliff at 43:

    b. Get a catcher that can field OR hit, but

    c. Pray Juan keeps being a hitting fool and limits his defense to catching the stuff Andrelton can’t reach.

    I totally agree on your other points.

  31. Gonna go out on a limb and say that some combo of CJ/Uribe may be a perfectly cromulent 3b. Who knows what KJ will be like when he comes back. On a hot streak he can be pretty good. Fredi could just play who is hot among the 3 of them at 3b. If KJ is good KJ he could play LF.

    @42 – That makes some sense, if we are trying to compete this year.

    How tempting would it be for the Braves to make moves to fix the bullpen and LF if we are still in it at 80 or so games? I don’t think that they would disassemble the painstakingly reconstructed farm system to do that, but anything can happen in the playoffs.

  32. I can’t see this team beating a playoff team, short series or no. The hitting’s not there and the bullpen is too shallow. They needed a stroke of luck just to split with the Giants.

    Getting above .500 is good for morale, but this team’s not a real contender until 2016 at the earliest. The Braves shouldn’t let the prospect of a one game playoff derail their plan.

  33. “the diamondbacks” is a decidedly better mascot than “the cottonmouths”

  34. With how strong our top 10 prospects look for 2016/2017, it would be foolish to make any moves of consequence that would require us to move any of them. Using SBNation’s top prospects list, we already have 3 big leaguers in the top 10 (Folty, Bethancourt, Peterson), one is almost a lock for opening day 2016 (Peraza), and 2 could see action at some point next season (Jenkins and Hursh). Add in Man Ban, Vizcaino (who should be playing now anyway), Cody Martin and Shae Simmons, and we could have 10 of our top 20 prospects on the major league roster next year, or traded to help acquire elite major league talent. There really aren’t a lot of people I’d be looking to trade to make us better in 2015, regardless of how late we stay in this.

    I feel like this season one big offseason rosterbation, and we get to watch the team at the same time!

  35. Does anyone have a desire to predict team payroll for next season? Not Edward; he’s in last place in our fantasy league so I don’t trust that guy.

    Just had to work that in there somehow…

  36. Way to go Alex! With full acknowledgement of recency bias, to the pro dH-ers, I say Suck it.

  37. Salty and AJP are equally bad behind the plate.

    Freddie needs another six innings off.

  38. @54 – I don’t want the Braves to trade any of our top prospects except 1 – Bethancourt. Hopefully I’m wrong about him, but I just don’t see him as a great major leaguer. Great arm, lazy defensive approach, weak offense. I know it’s a sell low proposition right now, but it may keep on getting lower.

  39. I like Juan Uribe much better than Stults and Callaspo. Good trade, Johns. (Are the Johns and the Williams brothers?)

    Alex’s got it going so far tonight, but a little insurance wouldn’t hurt.

  40. When you watch Archie Bradley suck tonight, just remember that the DBacks felt so strongly that he’d be better than Trevor Cahill that they practically gave us Cahill for nothing in order to be rid of him.

  41. I feel bad I missed out on all the Veal jokes…guess I have not earned my chops here yet.

  42. @69, Yeah, I’m not saying the DBacks didn’t make the absolute right decision. Cahill is really bad, was my point.

  43. Does this game hold the record for most letters in the last names of the catchers?

  44. What the hell was AJP doing?

    Don’t run on the gun, Tomas. You can’t outrun the bullet.

  45. A.J. Pierzynski has played 15000 defensive innings at catcher in the major leagues.

    I wonder why.

  46. You guys are totally right. We need to trade CB cuz AJP has this catcher thing down pat

  47. The only thing I can think of is that AJP thought that Simmons running towards third was a DBack who had suddenly decided to don a blue uniform. He was just waiting for both runners to occupy 3rd.

  48. I see a guy escape a pickle about twice per year. That was the dumbest I’ve seen though.

  49. Oliver Perez appears to have calmed down a bit from his Mets days…. as has his curve.

  50. Gosh I love this team. Can anyone look up what our team’s BA w/ RISP is 2014 vs 2015? And overall RS/G. I’m on the ole smartphone here.

  51. Yeah, we’re not that bad. It’s nice to think we could be competitive again in 2016 rather than 2017.

    More importantly, ALEX WOOD IS BACK.

  52. Going into this game .293 with RISP. Last year (full year) .236

    .293 is fourth after Colorado, Minnesota and KC
    .236 last year was ahead of the Cubs and Padres

  53. We scored 573 runs last season for 3.54 rpg

    Before tonight we had scored 202 runs in 50 g for 4.04 rpg

  54. Interestingly, Wood has gotten just 2 groundouts, and 14 flyouts. He probably doesn’t want to make a habit of that.

  55. Wow, huge difference on RISP. That would explain how we lost almost all of our power and still increased our RPG by a half run. That’s incredible. Our firesale included 4 of our 5 power hitters and we’ve improved. Cra-zy.

  56. He had a margin for error. He was up by six runs.

    Obviously I’d take him out now, though.

  57. @108, something about not trying to hit it 450 feet when there’s a runner on third with nobody out. Works wonders. But Justin upton sure did hit some majestic 2 run hr in that situation.

  58. @112 I agree. I’m just glad to see our starting pitchers starting to regularly pitch more than 6 innings. I suppose games like this are good ones to see how tired pitchers respond when they get into a jam.

  59. AJP said “TRUCK!” because he knowed Delgado don’t got no car! And he just laughed and laughed.

  60. With the type of defense Cunningham plays, he could make such a valuable 4th OF for our teams in the future if he can just keep his AVG around .250 with an OBP above .300.

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