Braves 4, Brewers 3 (by coop)

Good game. Atlanta won. Braves are back at .500 at 42-42, four games behind first place Washington, one behind the Mets.

Manny Banuelos earned his first major league win. Manny Bananas was not as sharp as in his debut, and he surrendered a first inning solo home run to Jonathan Lucroy. He only went 5.1 innings. In addition to Lucroy’s homer, he gave up a double, two singles and walked three; but thanks to an outstanding relief effort by Arodys Vizcaino in the sixth, he only allowed the one run.

A.J. Pierzynski tied the game with a home run of his own, then drove in the go-ahead run with his second of three hits in the game. Cameron Maybin continued to make his case for being the now and future Braves centerfielder by tripling in Atlanta’s third run.

After getting the first out in the sixth, Manny gave up a double and a walk, and Fredi Gonzalez hit the pen. Good decision, Fredi.

Fresh from his 80 day suspension for cheating and a brief stay in AAA, Arodys Vizcaino relieved Banuelos. Vizcaino popped 97 mph and got out of a one out, runners on first and second jam by getting Aramis Ramirez to ground sharply into a 5-4-3 double play.

Fredi pinch hit for Arodys to lead off our seventh, another good decision although I would quibble that Jonny Gomes should never face a right handed pitcher. In Gonzalez’s defense, who else did he have to choose?

The move paid off. Gomes doubled and eventually scored on a Nick Markakis broken bat bloop to give the Braves a 4-1 lead.

Fredi then made a third good decision. He brought in Mike Foltynewicz to start the bottom of the seventh. Folty was bringing it, hitting 98 consistently; and the Brewers were hitting it. Between the two outs Folty got, Khris Davis singled and scored on a double by Shane Peterson. When Folty walked Lucroy to put runners at first and second, Fredi brought in the new David Carpenter. Carp 2.0 got out of the mess by striking out Ryan Braun.

David Aardsma pitched the eighth, and Fredi made his fourth good decision of the night, making a double switch and bringing in Andrelton Simmons to play short. Aardsma gave up a homer to Adam Lind to cut the lead to 4-3.

Jason Grilli pitched the ninth, his third straight day of work, and struck out the side.

Tomorrow Julio Teheran attempts to win on the road and put the Braves above .500 for the first time in a very long time. Then it’s off to Colorado and the all-star break. The Rockies aren’t playing well at the moment, and the Braves have a chance to gain more ground on the Nats and Mets.

Two words: you never know.

85 thoughts on “Braves 4, Brewers 3 (by coop)”

  1. This is exactly what I predicted when I said that without Freddie we couldn’t keep faking it as a .500 club. What is our record again?

  2. Mets (43-42) get shut out again tonight. That’s 10 times in about half a season.

    I still have no illusions about this Braves team, but I sure would like to finish ahead of the Mets.

  3. My Paul Harvey imitation:

    I believe…that 88 games will win the division.

    I believe…that with a healthy Freddy Free, this team is capable of winning 88 games.

    I believe… that with a mediocre, not great, just average bullpen, we would currently be leading the division.

    I believe…that the Nats’ record is fairly reflective of their team, and that the return of their injured players will not make them much better, and one or two may make them slightly worse.

    I believe the Mets are not going to win the division.

    I believe… that we may just be in this.

  4. Best recap of the year so far, I was only able to catch the last couple of innings, so it was great to get the rest of the game summary in a concise write up. Thanks coop! And you are correct…you never know, our young pitchers are starting to make the difference…Mr Hart knows what it takes to win…good starting p and d.

  5. “The hottest hitters in baseball at this moment are:

    A.J. Pierzynski 105°
    Alex Gordon 99°
    J.D. Martinez 95°
    Adam Lind 95°
    Gerardo Parra 95°”

    I definitely never expected to see that.

  6. As always, great job coop. Seriously, it’s right before the ASB, the bullpen looks much better, and the team has no huge weaknesses. Even if the Braves wanted to upgrade, what do they go and get? Trading some veterans is well and good, but does that leave a sour taste in the mouths of the players that stay? When Freeman comes back, KJ can shift back to LF w/ a Gomes platoon and we’re back in business with platoons at 3rd and LF.

    Oh, the dilemma.

  7. Afternoon games are good things.

    I don’t know who it would be, but I’d like to improve upon Pedro Ciriaco. If that’s my number one wish for the Braves (other than Freddie coming back and Fredi going away), I don’t have much cause to complain.

  8. I know the mood here is high after the Braves have pulled themselves back up to .500 (having the last 5 games against the worst team in baseball and a bottom-5 team helps a lot) but I hope the return to perfectly average shouldn’t dissuade the Braves from looking at this Hot Stove season with an eye towards selling Veteran Presents rather than pushing in some of their trade chips in a bid for the 2nd Wild Card spot. Frankly, there’s no way the 2015 Braves are better than the Nationals or the presumptive NL Wild Card favorites, the Pirates and Cubs.

    I’m not saying we should be trading away cornerstone players, but I could see the Braves swapping out guys with short-term value (Grilli, Johnson, Uribe, AJP) either for prospects or in a package deal to get rid of Chris Johnson.

  9. Ciriaco is okay for what he is.

    If the pen can continue to do what it has been doing over the past few weeks, then here is what we would need to get to have a shot in order:

    1 A #3 or 4 starter
    2 A bullpen arm
    3 A backup catcher
    4 Another bench bat

    Not all of that is unreasonable to get. Some of it may be addressed with in the organization.

  10. Braxton Davidson is very quietly putting up some decent numbers after a slow start.

  11. It feels good to see Kelly Johnson having a bounce back year. His numbers the last few years have been… not good. He seems to be finding a groove. Same for AJ. Did not expect to see these guys having this kind of success.

    Maybin- interesting to hear his quotes about loving Atlanta and being in a “perfect place in life.” To think what we have in CF now compared to last year makes me want to shed tears of joy. I don’t think we should trade him just for the sake of selling high. Only if we get a legit piece at a position of need. It’s got to be great for the team to have a guy this completely on board and happy to be here. What a valuable piece he’s been so far. If nothing else, he’s a solid stand-in for the next 1.5-2.5 seasons while we find out exactly what we have in Smith and Peraza.

  12. Performance to date leads me to believe than Kevin Seitzer is making a positive contribution.

  13. @3 I like the optimism. I thought before the season it would take 88 wins to get the second wild card. I think the gnats will win at least 90 and then you have solid teams like Pittsburgh, Chicago and either SF or LA who will prob be in the 86-90 range. I like this team and what its doing but to get to 88 they would have to go 46-32 the rest of the way and I really don’t see that happening.

  14. I’d far rather trade Maybin at the peak of his value. Remember, the Padres adored him just three years ago and signed him to a long extension, then soured on him so completely that they literally gave him away. This is Maybin’s ninth year in the majors, but he’s only played 100 games twice in his career. I would much rather sell high and let Peraza and Smith fight it out than trade one of them to make room for Maybin, then get left holding the bag.

  15. @15 — Likewise. You have to be really sure you’ve fixed Cameron Maybin to go all-in with him, and it’s not like teams have never thought that before. And, I mean, the Braves are trying their damnedest right now to get rid of another guy they got a career season out of and thought they could rely on long-term. How much better off would the Braves be right now if they’d sold off Chris Johnson when he was coming off a batting title near-miss rather than convincing themselves he was a building block?

  16. @15

    Me too. However, I think the Peraza experiment in center field may be over. If that is true, he doesn’t have a position to play (unless we move Peterson)

  17. Some random thoughts
    1. Yesterday’s victory was Fredi’s 400th as Braves manager. He’s Atlantas second winningest manager, a mere 2,066 behind Bobby Cox.

    2. Historically, good teams beat up on bad teams and split with other good teams. The Braves are beating up on bad teams and losing to good teams, hence the .500 record.

    3. Late July and August will be the make/break point for this year’s Braves. The dog days of summer are just that!

    4. Dumping Chris Johnson’s contract is likely an off-season project. My sense is that the young pitchers the Braves have traded so far this season, Martin, Cunniff, Thomas have worked their way out of the future picture.

  18. Just looked at the Uptons stats,
    Melvin is still BJ
    Justin is doing his thing as well and his OPS has dropped tremendously the last 28 days.

  19. @17

    I like Jace a lot, but a rookie hitting .254/.333/.353 has to be Andrelton on defense to be blocking somebody. Not that Peraza is the answer, but I haven’t seen anything that says we shouldn’t give him a shot next year in spring training.

  20. @15 Do we feel comfortable putting our hopes in two low-power guys that were in AA last year, one of whom is really a second baseman? Will he realistically bring a power hitting 3b, C or LF in return? If he gets us a building block then by all means do it. If we throw in a pitching prospect, maybe he can bring us that. I guess what I’m saying is the price needs to be right, because Cam’s playing great right now and we don’t NEED to move him. It would be a shame to give him away just to get rid of Chris Johnson and then be left with a huge hole in CF.

  21. How far back do you have to go to get to a Braves CF putting up numbers like Maybin is this year? I think his half-season is the best since good-Andruw.

  22. Baseball’s been really fun this year. I completely gave up on the team prior to the season and as such have followed the roster changes about as minimally as possible once everyone was traded. When someone gets cut or sent to AAA or called up, I’ve raised an eyebrow and nothing more. When Manny Bananas does well or Whistler has a good outing, it’s fun to watch but not like TRHILLING. When the Braves win, it’s great because I work with Nats fans who have to be profoundly disappointed to be only up 3 games in this crappy division.

    And the best part is, half the time when I tune in, I get to see the Braves win! Which is basically just like the past 4 years except no expectations! :-D

  23. Cool, my selective memory only thinks about his crap second half. I had forgotten the forgettable seasons from Nate McOut as well…it’s a coping mechanism.

  24. If Maybin turns back into a pumpkin then the sell-high camp can crow i-told-you-so. I just like the guy. And he’s not expensive. And we don’t have a legit replacement yet.

  25. I would give a Grilli away if it meant getting rid of Chris Johnson.

    I would like to see Maybin stay and shift to LF if and when Mallex is ready.

  26. Well, Freeman isn’t really helping right now. We could probably get a decent setup guy for him.

    Not suggesting trading away anything of any real value. But it wouldn’t take much at all in terms of quid pro quo to find a couple of middle relievers who are B+ grade. Teams probably willing to shed guys just for salary relief.

  27. As usual, Good Julio did not board the plane; Bad Julio had his seat.

  28. Can someone please remind Julio that walks are bad? I wonder why he hates pitching on the road so much.

  29. No joy in Mudville, but a huge sigh of relief in Braves country, for mighty Davis has struck out. Julio’s still got his no hitter, but he’s pitching like Mel Famy.

  30. Cam-ron May-bin! Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap!

    Cam-ron May-bin! Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap!

  31. Khujo comes through with the goodies. Nice job, Kelly Johnson. Let’s break into the ‘pen by the 4th inning, Bravos.

  32. KJ was one of my favorite Braves the first time around. I am absolutely loving this season!

  33. His approach is not better then last year.
    He is a 250 hitter and that is all he will ever be.

  34. Wonderful inning — until Andrelton’s last swings. Good grief, man.

  35. As bad as Andrelton’s hitting now, I still have high hopes for his bat. He will get better, I do believe.

  36. I get the same sick feeling from Julio’s starts that I had when Mike Minor pitched last year. Just one ball after another, flying over the fence.

    (In 2015 Minor gave up one HR per 6.92 innings. Julio’s rate this year is one every 6.73 innings.)

  37. Nice rebound, Julio. Cross the fingers that today’s Grilli-less bullpen can bring it home.

  38. Really .. cant bring in a righty to face Lucroy then Gomez …….. Freddie cant make decisions

  39. I knew Avilan should not have pitched to those RH hitters ….. freddie is stupid

  40. What a terrible call. Fredi, get your corpulent rear end back out of the dugout, kick some dirt and get thrown out.

  41. Ciriaco attempted to steal second. Hand hit the bag, and he appeared to be tagged while he’s in contact with the bag. Called out. Braves couldn’t challenge, but the umpires could call for a review, and did. Call stood.

    I slowed it down on the DVR just to look closer. Appeared that his hand was in first before the tag to my eyes.

  42. Despite Joe’s whining, I never saw any evidence he was actually safe. It’s one of those calls that looks like he should be safe because of where the tag was, but I don’t think he was.

  43. This one on Freddie for Letting Avillan pitch to a RH hitter with 2 men on .. when he had other alternatives .. freddie is NOT a good late inning MGR .. makes the wrong move quite often …. first 2 men get on and he lets him pitch to Gomez ??? Stupid

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