St. Louis 7, Atlanta 4

Another year of Friday Recaps begins, and let’s do a Running Diary. Because as Joel Goodson
pontificated, sometimes you have to say what the heck. Since this is a family blog, I dropped the f
word. Well, not dropped as in actually saying it, but you know. I hope the game is more entertaining
than my attempts not to say fucj.

7:00 – Just in case anybody forgot what happened on this date: 715

7:01 – Jerome Jurenovich throws it to Kelcie Winert down on the field, and her microphone isn’t
turned on. Another error for a Braves team. The broadcasting team.

7:02 – Scrambling to recover Matt Diaz gushes about Wisler’s last start in September against the
Cards AAA team like that has meaning now.

7:05 – Fucj, the Cards struck out 37 times in the three game set in Pittsburgh. When did they trade
for Mudge and Uggla?

7:08 – The first of probably 715 ads for April in the ATL, 30 Games in 30 Days. 30 Hawks/Braves
games this month. Vegas has the Hawks as +110 favorites to have more April wins than the Braves.

7:10 – Nice Stat Alert! Ender Inciarte’s diving catch covered 71.8 feet in 3.93 seconds. Good job
there by the TV crew. Nice recovery from the Wingert error to open the show.

7:18 – Interview with Tyler Flowers. Tyler tells Kelcie that he’s been doing his homework on the staff
during ST. Then mentions his trip from Braves farmhand to White Sox back to Atlanta has “brought
him 360 degrees.” Subject must’ve been Geometry.

7:30 – Sports South is going to need a new intro next year when the Braves move into WFF at
SunTrust Park to replace The TEd’s appearance in this intro. I just KNOW they’re gonna cut the
fucjing payroll to do it.

7:35 – Matt Carpenter drives the second pitch into the left center gap, and Inciarte runs it down. I
can’t tell whether Ender made that play look easier than it was, or harder. But after Wednesday, I’m
gonna say he made it look easier than it was, since Carpenter smoked that pitch.

7:36 – 3 pitches, two outs. That’s a 50% pitch wastage there Matt Wisler. Pick it up.

7:37 – Matt Holliday drives a double to the gap in right center that even Ender couldn’t get to. That
was probably Nick Markakis’ ball.

7:39 – Wisler hits Matt Adams in the foot with a pitch. It will probably just make him faster. And
btw, what the fucj is up with all these Matts running around the Cardinal line-up? Was there a
Spring Sale at Penny’s that I missed?

7:44 – Just saw on the SportsSouth ticker (and don’t you know that abbreviating SportsSouth is
NEVER going to end well.) that Trevor Storey has now outhomered the Braves 5 to 2 for the season.

7:45 – Inciarte tweaks something beating out an error to first. Lifted for Drew Stubbs. Fucj!

7:47 – 1-2 count to Eric Aybar

7:51 – Still a 1-2 count to Aybar.

7:52 – Aybar’s trade value is going up with every routine grounder to Jedd Gyorko over at short.

7:53 – How to go from a promising start to nada. Freddie Freeman with a quick flyout to left and
Adonis Garcia with the 5-4-3 DP. If he had only hit it to Gyorko….

7:56 – Joe Simpson is inordinately fascinated by Tyler Flowers anti-concussion face mask. Just
thought you should know in case you see a creepy old man lurking in the Sporting Good Section of
Dicj’s Sporting Goods.

8:02 – Showed Fredi G. taking a tour of SunTrust Park. I wonder how many viewers are secretly
hoping that is the only time he shows up there as the Braves’ manager.

8:05 – Kyle Schwarber out for the season with torn knee ligaments. Tough luck for the Cubbies. Let
the Markakis trade rumors commence in 3..2..1..

8:09 – Hey! Gordon Beckham didn’t strike out! Now if he would only ground to Gyorko.

8:14 – Matt Carpenter finds out our replacement CF can catch the ball too. Inciarte would’ve made it
look easier.

8:23 – Wisler and Stubbs – the heart of the Braves offense!

8:27 – Wisler barely beats the throw from Steven Piscotty after Freeman gives him conflicting
slide/stand-up signals.

8:29 – Freeman swings through two fastballs. He’s not looking good so far.

8:31 – Garcia with the IBB to Garcia. Season walk count 1 Intentional, 1 unintentional.

8:32 – Markakis with the big two out hit to score Stubbs!

8:33 – Chip: ’25 pitches this inning for Jaime Garcia.’ SportsSouth graphic: ’27 pitches this inning.’

8:34 – Hector Olivera with the bloop off Randall Grichuk’s glove to score Garcia. Inciarte would’ve
caught that.

8:36 – Flowers continues the 2 out Hit Parade, with a single to the gap in left. Inciarte would’ve
caught that. Fortunately for St. Louis, that brings up Beckham.

8:37 – Beckham absolutely ROBBED by Gyorko.

8:40 – Chip: ‘ Strike one sliced into the seats.’ Graphic: Count: 0-2 Is he even watching the game
feed? Hecj, is he even watching this game?

8:41 – Holliday with the double to the gap in left. Inciarte would’ve caught that.

8:42 – Adams bloops one in front of Olivera. Inciarte would’ve caught that.

8:45 – Molina grounds out. Holliday scores.

8:47 – Adams hustles in on a wild pitch. That HBP did speed him up.

8:54 – This is why we can’t have nice things. Kolten Wong walks, Gyorko bloops one to right, and
Jaime Garcia grounds one up the middle that Beckham can’t corral, and suddenly it’s 4-3.

8:57 – After the top of the 4th, the Braves have to keep St, Louis out in the field and respond. And
they do, for 7 whole pitches.

9:08 – Holliday and Adams strike out on pitches in the dirt. Flowers throws both out. The HBP
must’ve worn off.

9:13 – Garcia with an unintentional walk. Season Walk count: Unintentional – 2, Intentional – 1. My
guess of 4 in the Guess Thread is looking a bit shaky.

9:22 – Beckham makes a nice diving play on Wong. Inciarte would’ve caught that too.

9:27 – Another seven pitch inning for the Braves. It’s almost if they’ve heard of Working the Count,
but, like the Vogons and the Theory of Evolution, decided that want to have no trucj with it.

9:31 – And we’re tied. Jeremy Hazelbaker hits his second homer of the season pinch-hitting for
Garcia. Hey, yet another player with as many homers as the Braves.

9:32 – Carpenter singles to right, and is thrown out by Markakis on a close play. Inciarte would’ve
caught that. Cardinals challenge, and the call is….

9:34 – Upheld! Wisler done after that. 6 2/3 of alternately great and maddening pitching.

9:35 – Heyyyyy! it’s The Fonz!

9:37 – Aybar with a Simba-esque play to rob Holliday. Inciarte would’ve caught that easier.

9:42 – Do you to make the OH no joke here? Go ahead, take it. It’s what friends are for. You’re

9:46 – Ticker Homer alert: Trevor Storey 6, Atlanta 2.

9:48 – Stubbs walks, and Aybar thrown out by Carpenter on the bunt using the Chipper barehand
gran and throw. Stubbs takes third on a wild pitch with one out. Come on guys got to get him in

9:49 – Freeman with one of many IBBs to come.

9:52 – If Adonis had taped another bat to his bat, he still wouldn’t have reached any of the three
pitches he swung at.

9:54 – Markakis grounds one up the middle for the 4-6 putout. I guess hitting .500 with 2outRISP at
bats isn’t too shabby.

9:58 – Eric O’Fleherty in to serve up the second consecutive pinch hit HR to a Cardinals PH – Aledmys
Diaz. And he gets pulled after one pitch.

10:05 – Good Jim Johnson shows up.

10:18 – John Gant in to pitch the top of the 9th.

10:19 – Here’s the pitch!

10:19:03 – No, Here’s the pitch.

10:19:04 – Uh no, Here’s the pitch?

10:19:05 – Yes! The pitch.

10:22 – Greg Garcia pinch hits. Joe Simpson thinks Garcia has to like his chances here.

10:23 – Thanks Joe.

10:26 – John Gant not fooling anyone. Steven Piscotty hammers one over the CF wall. Even Inciarte
would not have caught that. 7-4 St. Louis.

10:28 – Well, this team is looking as inept as anything I’ve seen in my 35+ years of fandom. We’re
looking at a potential losing streak of epic, historical proportions. Perhaps an all-timer.

10:29 – Oh wait, they’re still the bottom of the 9th to play.

10:35 – Told you back at 10:28. Shij, five hits, all in the third is not going to get it done. Wisler
didn’t pitch that badly, although he wasn’t stellar by any stretch of the imagination. Freeman looked
bad tonight, swinging through belt high fastballs, and no one else in this lineup causes an opposing
pitcher to quake in his shoes. At least we get to play 10 on 9 tomorrow with Williams and Perez on
the mound.

79 thoughts on “St. Louis 7, Atlanta 4”

  1. O’Flaherty was put in to face a LHH but Cardinals countered with a RH pinch hitter. It’s hard to have a situational lefty when there’s only one on the pitching staff. Unfortunately, at this point in his career, O’Flaherty is only successful when used as a situational lefty.

    A few other tidbits:
    1. Jim Johnson’s velo still hasn’t recovered, but he’s getting people out.
    2. Gant was topping out at 95 in spring training, but isn’t getting past 92 in game.
    3, Fredi did that thing where he doesn’t PH for the pitcher then leaves him in to pitch to one batter the next inning.
    4. Adonis might’ve given the leauge a pretty good scouting report on how to pitch to him when he swung at 3 sliders that never started in the K-zone and ended in the LH batters box.
    5. The 3rd game Braves have had a lead in the 7th and lost. The bullpen was supposed to be better. Let’s hope that turns around quick.
    6. Aside from Adonis, no one has been a hard out.
    7. Advice: purchase It’ll save the season for Braves fans.

  2. So does Freeman totally suck now too? He had a bad Spring and looks bad up there.

    Goodness…this lineup. Would you guys say that Aybar is one of the best hitters on the team? Guess you need to bat him 2nd to maximize his PAs.

  3. Freeman looks like he’s trying to hit a five-run homer on every pitch. Which is understandable, given the guys around him, but it’s not going to do much for his batting line.

    It is really sad that the guys who aren’t good enough to start for the Cardinals had a better night, collectively, than our whole offense. The 2016 Braves!

  4. #3, waitaminit — Freeman had a great spring!

    He hit .211/.423/.579. The .211 average is a little unsightly, but it’s hard to complain about a 1.002 OPS, even if it was only 38 at-bats. He had 14 walks against 11 strikeouts, four homers, eight runs… he was really good.

  5. I’m not saying Freddie is bad. just that he’s struggling right now – and trying to hit 5 run dingers every time up might be it.

  6. So, Fredi is all about splitting up the lefties and righties, which is good, but tonight he moves Markakis to 2nd in front of Freeman instead of leadoff, and bats Aybar leadoff instead of splitting them up? Lol

  7. A really long 0-fer streak to start the season would be kind of entertaining..

  8. I will not throw strikes.

    Not to a fox.

    Not to a fox in a box.

    Not on a train.

    Not on a train in the rain.

  9. Teheran looks like “Wild Thing” Vaughn in the first game of the season.

  10. He’s proceeded from not throwing strikes to not throwing pitches AJ can catch, admittedly a very short step.

  11. The only potential positives of starting 10-31, a record I expect through the first Pirates series, are a) it can’t possibly get any worse than that, and b) the team will be so far down at the foot of the standings and so depleted of confidence that it will have no choice but to place Fredi on the chopping block as a sacrificial lamb, having gone 57-105 in the previous 162 and 35-84 since early last July.

  12. Julio’s third-strike swing was particularly pathetic, even for a pitcher.

  13. Not even 3 1/3 games into the season, and I have exhausted my ability to be surprised by incompetence from this team.

    They deserve every boo they get.

  14. A.J. is like one of those old quarterbacks (Brett Favre, Peyton Manning) who ages and seemingly overnight goes from surprisingly competent for his years to useless and inept.

  15. As in the case of most of those QBs, the loss of competence has been occurring gradually for a few years, and becomes much more noticeable when the supporting cast can’t cover for it anymore.

  16. I see your point, but having watched every game Manning played in Denver, his decline was far more on physical infirmity and the ability of defenses to flood short and intermediate areas because of the complete lack of deep-passing ability than anything regarding his supporting cast.

    Anything to keep my mind off this Braves team. I’ve never been so thankful that an MLB.TV subscription also gives you access to minor-league broadcasts.

  17. Mental error by the outfielders, physical error by Aybar, how badly is this gonna hurt?

  18. “Erick Aybar” is an anagram for “Baa Icky Err,” for what it’s worth.

  19. There’s been so much ineptitude it’s hard to know where to begin, but what is going on with the balls dropping in the outfield? Can Stubbs not see the ball? Regardless, this team sucks.

  20. I could see some guys catching a case of Steve Blass Disease or Steve Sax Syndrome.

  21. Turner Field doesn’t have outfield lights (cuz those would cost money!) so it’s nearly impossible to see the ball in CF during the twilight hours.

  22. @44: That’ll happen when you’re aiming every pitch because no one behind you is worthy of trust.

    Two runs. Not as bad as I expected.

  23. I can’t wait until Albies or Swanson come up to play short because it’s clear Aybar can no longer play the position.

    And let’s go ahead and call up Mallex and move Inciarte to LF so we can at least have some OF defense.

  24. Keep in mind how much money he’s getting to suffer and your sympathy dissipates. 158 to go.

  25. Are we talking 2003 Detroit Tigers bad here? At this point anything below 60 is in play I’m thinking.

  26. I guess we have to give Olivera a couple of months, but I am not at all impressed with any facet of his game.

    Fun fact: The 2nd highest average in tonight’s lineup was Markakis at .214. (Fun with small sample size)

  27. @55 Based on what I see right now, yes. This is a brutally abysmal team. No power (even Freddie is a 20 HR guy), no speed, terrible defense. Below average SP, the bullpen is absolutely atrocious.

    There is literally no redeeming quality about this team whatsoever. The economics of baseball with service time and vesting and all that crap don’t allow for it, but I’d rather just call up everyone young and take the same lumps with them. At least they are ascending players and could benefit from the experience.

  28. Four games in and only one time has someone had a multi-hit game. I’m not sure why I noticed that, but it seems a bit low.

  29. So what was the Braves’ team record under Wren? Now what about under the brilliant leadership of the Johns?

  30. Braves are much better than this. They did not get in baseball shape through spring training and it showed in their spring record and is obvious now. They will never be a great team, but this is mostly veterans playing poorly that could do better offensively and defensively. I think they will get better but if not you have to cut ties with Fredi and get someone who motivates them to be their best.

  31. Wren wouldn’t do much better even if he stays on. He wouldn’t have money to spend and he has nothing in the farm to trade. The guy is good at building a team for three to four years by exhausting the entire organisation’s resources at the major league level.

    Seems like the Hawks are gathering pretty good momentum heading into the playoff.

  32. if you’d told me in September 2013 that in 2015-2017 Atlanta’s only contender would be the Hawks…well I would’ve bought you a drink for the good laugh. Falcons were still spewing “10 yards from the Super Bowl” rhetoric and Braves were leading the NL in wins. Hawks were muddling through a sub-.500 season with a roster of relative no-names.

  33. We have been outscored by an average of 2.20 runs per game over the last 81.

    The 2003 Tigers’ run differential: minus-2.08 per game.
    The 1962 Mets’ run differential: minus-2.07 per game.

    Obviously, you have to delineate between a half-season and a full season, but if you believe the singular of Barves is “Barf,” then rarely has a viral nickname been more apt.

    Further, the 1988 Braves had a run differential of minus-1.16 runs per game. The 1977 edition, minus-1.34 runs per game.

    In the Braves’ last 162 games, their run differential is minus-1.35 runs per game.

    I think we all can face it and embrace it: This is the sorriest the Atlanta Braves have ever been.

  34. @44

    I think the Sax Syndrome has already been contracted. Unfortunately, it is not the relatively isolated Steve strain, but the much more contagious Yakkity variety.

  35. @68–you know, we really could do a fast motion Yakkity sax mashup of all the errors we will see in the first half of the season. Damn I wish I were good at video editing.

  36. “Trust me. We are not tanking . . . There is a method to this madness. Judge our trades in two to three years. Not now . . . If we truly were going to tank, we wouldn’t have had Aybar come back in the trade. If we were trying to tank, we wouldn’t have signed (catcher) A.J. Pierzynski. If we were trying to tank, we would have traded Maybin at the deadline last year, and we had plenty of offers . . .”

    Just so nobody forgets that Coppollela is either delusional about the sort of players that would be on a non-tanking team or has complete disrespect for the intelligence of the fans.

  37. If we’re not tanking, he’s an idiot.

    They can’t come out and say “Oh yeah, we’re tanking.” If they did the players (and the fans) would scream for a minimum salary cap. They would probably be successful

  38. I’m sure he’d admit we are tanking, if he could. A team that’s trying doesn’t sign Francouer and Beckham.

    A team that’s trying doesn’t trade young pitching talent for a washed up Cuban of indeterminate age and health. Oh wait.

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