Schafer living the (noisy) dream

  Happy Easter, folks. Were gonna keep this one short, because we’ve got a day game and a beautiful afternoon here, and hey, I didn’t have much time to get up and crunch numbers and all that goes into a typical blog.
  Was talking to Jordan Schafer this morning about his new apartment in the hip Midtown area of Atlanta. Asked him if, given his blazing start, anybody had hung up one of those “Home of Jordan Schafer” banners in the lobby, the way they do for high-school football players in small towns and football-intensive suburbs.
  I was joking, of course.

Schafer

Schafer

  Schafer said no, there were no banners. However, when he went to the lobby this morning, the concierge at his building had coffee waiting for him. He was thankful, but said it really wasn’t necessary, that he could get his own coffee.

 

Schafer's story, so far

Schafer's story so far

  Hey, I guess when you’re a 22-year-old kid hitting .421 with two doubles and two home runs in your first five games in the major leagues, folks want to make you feel at home. Must be nice, right?
  Anyway, he likes the new pad, but when he got home last night and went to bed, Schafer quickly learned that Midtown has a thriving nightlife. He could hear the bass from music pumping late into the night at a nightclub across the street, which has a rooftop bar.
  Schafer, by the way, enters today’s game with the fourth-best slugging percentage (.842) in the NL, trailing only Troy Tulowitzki, Albert Pujols and Kosuke Fukudome. He’s seventh in OPS (1.342).
  Among rookies, his .421 average leads the majors, and he’s the only rookie in either league with two homers before today. By the way, ex-Braves prospect Elvis Andrus, the Rangers shortstop, was tied for the AL rookie lead in both average (.286) and homers (one).

 

  ♦ Speaking of league leaders…. Yunel Escobar has quietly hit .429 (if it’s possible to quietly hit .429) in the first week to rank among the league leaders in average, and the aggressive Braves shortstop has swung at more first pitches (12) than anyone in the NL.
  His percentage of first-pitch swings (52.2) trailed only Cincy’s Brandon Phillips (52.9), who’s swung at nine of 17 before today. Yunel had swung at 12 of 23 first pitches.
  Hey, aggressive works for a lot of hitters. It does for Escobar, who’s also second in the NL with a .750 average with runners in scoring position (6-for-8).
  The Braves, by the way, are batting a whopping .414 (12-for-29) when they put the first pitch in play. They’re hitting .176 (13-for-74) with two strikes.

Escobar at work

Escobar at work

  In a span of two batters Saturday night in the fifth inning, there was a microcosm of Escobar’s dynamic defense. On a Cristian Guzman grounder, Escobar ranged to his right and made a play near the outfield fringe, then a laser of a throw to first base to nail the runner.
 The next batter, Ryan Zimmerman, hit a routine grounder that Escobar fielded in front of him. He had plenty of time, but looked like he wanted to show off that cannon disguised as his right arm. He threw a one-hop missile to first base that Casey Kotchman somehow scooped, saving a would-be E6.
  I asked Kotchman (Gold Glove-caliber first baseman, no doubt) about that stop and about Escobar’s arm strength.
  ”You better scoop it, or it might break your wrist,” Kotchman said, smiling. He added that Escobar is the player you want to play catch with if you’re breaking in a new glove.
   I’ve said this before: Escobar and Rafael Furcal have two of the three strongest infield arms I’ve seen in 15 years covering baseball. The other belonged to Shawon Dunston.

After watching the Braves for a week...

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 ♦ Kelly gets day off: Both Kelly Johnson and Kotchman have the day off today. Bobby Cox said it was planned before yesterday, that he was going to give each of them the day off, which will effectively give them back-to-back days off because the Braves don’t play Monday.
  Cox wanted to give Martin Prado some at-bats, and he has him at first base and hitting seventh in front of Schafer today.
  Omar Infante is leading off and playing second in place of Johnson, whose three hits last night (including a two-run double and home run) raised his season average to .364, his OBP to .440 and his slugging percentage to .727 (1.167 OPS).
  Someone on the blog mentioned that Schafer has to move to leadoff soon. I disagreed. Why would you move Schafer, a kid who’s thriving in the relatively pressure-free eighth spot in the lineup, to leadoff right away, or anytime soon as long as Kelly Johnson is doing so well in that spot?
  Why fix what ain’t broke? The lineup is working.
  Johnson, by the way, has the third-best leadoff OPB (.500) in the NL. He’s reached base in 10 of 20 plate appearances while leading off in four of five games so far (he’s led off in each of the Braves’ four wins before today).
  Infante went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk in his only game leading off before today, the 12-11 loss at Philly when the bullpen coughed up a seven-run lead.

♦ Etc.
Backup catcher David Ross (groin strain) is expected to go on rehab Tuesday and Wednesday, then be activated for Thursday’s game against Florida, the first day he’s eligible. Brian McCann has caught every game and probably will until Ross returns. Hasn’t been difficult for McCann because of the off days in the schedule…. McCann, by the way, is 6-for-9 with three doubles and two homers against righties, and 0-for-10 against lefties entering today’s game against Nats lefty starter Scott Olsen…. Olsen is 1-8 with a 5.81 ERA in his past 13 starts. In 10 starts against the Braves, he’s 2-4 with a 6.52 ERA. Chipper Jones is 12-for-21 with two homers against him, Matt Diaz is 8-for-18 with three homers, and McCann is 5-for-18 with two homers…. LF Garret Anderson (calf) will probably be back Tuesday after missing the entire Nationals series. If he plays, of course, then Matt Diaz is probably going to be on the bench. The Marlins would like that, I’m guessing, as Diaz has a .425 career average against them with 16 extra-base hits (seven homers), 21 RBI and a .708 slugging percentage in 36 games. That’s amazing, isn’t it?

“THAT’S JUST MY HEART TALKING” by Ron Sexsmith

My eyes are telling me leave well enough alone
My feet are telling me keep walking
Another voice is saying please don’t go
That’s just my heart talking

It’s always leading me where I do not belong
To doorways where I shouldn’t be knockin’
Trying to pass itself off for a song
That’s just my heart talking

It’s talking
Sometimes I don’t know what to say
I turn to look the other way
Are you talking, talking to me?

Some people tell me eyes are windows to the soul
But eyes can be like empty sockets
Maybe you’d be better off alone
But that’s just my heart talking

It’s talking
Sometimes I don’t know what to say
I turn to look the other way
Are you talking, you talking to me?

My eyes are telling me leave well enough alone
These boots are telling me start walking
Another voice is saying please don’t go
But that’s just my heart talking
That’s just my heart talking

 

1,465 comments Add your comment

Giggidy!

April 12th, 2009
1:55 pm

Yay!!!

New Easter Blog!

Thanks, DOB

Name

April 12th, 2009
1:56 pm

A new blog is double pits to chesty.

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
1:57 pm

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
1:59 pm

I think Diaz will hit a long ball today.

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
1:59 pm

Even if he just did strike out on three pitches.

18 Wheels of Love

April 12th, 2009
2:00 pm

Peterbilt

Peterbilt

JasonInFL (Formerly ME)

April 12th, 2009
2:03 pm

Shayfor is batting lead off next inning

McFann :Ô:

April 12th, 2009
2:04 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief!

Bubdylan

Yeah…

Of course you have to name the Wren “Frank.” Show it a term sheet and see if it dive bombs you.

LOL! Yeah, not sure if this is Beggar Ben. He’s got no use for us, now…the little ingrate didn’t make his nest in our yard…

Tom O’Hawke

Yeah, now that would have been something.

Off to the family get-together. Hey, BMac, you coulda at least gotten a hit before we left. But don’t refrain from doing so now. I mean, I don’t mind missing some of your best games…it’s not a life-and-death situation…

vabravesfan

April 12th, 2009
2:05 pm

Appreciate the new blog DOB

Rodney Derrick

April 12th, 2009
2:07 pm

For those only focused on baseball, captain safe on board navy ship, three pirates dead and one injured and captured.

JasonInFL (Formerly ME)

April 12th, 2009
2:07 pm

I don’t mean to be negative, but man we need to throw more strikes. Yes, I understand we are 4-1, etc. But, you don’t walk the number 7 hitting back-up catcher that is batting .167

JasonInFL (Formerly ME)

April 12th, 2009
2:08 pm

or give up a hit to the 8th place hitter (:

Nick

April 12th, 2009
2:09 pm

Did Willia Harris just hurt himself or what?

vabravesfan

April 12th, 2009
2:10 pm

ugh I wanted them to test schafer

Bubdylan

April 12th, 2009
2:10 pm

Very good news Rodney D.

Chop Chop

April 12th, 2009
2:10 pm

Willie looked like he got hurt last night. I think it was on the dive he made to try to keep that Escobar single in the infield.

David O'Brien

April 12th, 2009
2:11 pm

We added a poll to the blog, take a look

Chris

April 12th, 2009
2:11 pm

Someone posted a link last week listing radio stations that you can listen to braves games on the net, can anyone help

JasonInFL (Formerly ME)

April 12th, 2009
2:13 pm

my complaining aside, nice pitching there by JJ!

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:14 pm

DoB, **THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE**

brewdawg

April 12th, 2009
2:14 pm

vabravesfan… I disagree. We’ll get plenty of chances to see Jordan “tested”. If the runner goes there, maybe JS makes a bad throw and the run scores.

vabravesfan

April 12th, 2009
2:17 pm

With a catcher running from short center??

Il Cattivo

April 12th, 2009
2:18 pm

I’m calling it now – Prado double to R-C gap sometime today. Hopefully someone’s on-base then.

David O'Brien

April 12th, 2009
2:20 pm

By the way, it wasn’t a lineup switch earlier — the lineup card handed out was wrong, it was right as posted on the board in clubhouse, with Diaz hitting fifth and Francoeur sixth

David O'Brien

April 12th, 2009
2:21 pm

Stephen, you liked that reference, huh? I know, it was clever on my part.

Poorbrave

April 12th, 2009
2:21 pm

brewdawg

April 12th, 2009
2:21 pm

If he makes a bad throw, it wouldn’t matter who was running. A bad throw is a bad throw. That’s all I’m saying.

vabravesfan

April 12th, 2009
2:23 pm

not gonna argue over something that didn’t happen just said would have like to see it

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:23 pm

Dennis Green

April 12th, 2009
2:25 pm

The Braves let the Phillies off the hook.

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:25 pm

For the next poll, I’d like an “I’M A MAN, I’M FORTY,” reference, if you would so kindly oblige.

Poorbrave

April 12th, 2009
2:27 pm

chris check 2;21 blog for radio games.

Phil Mickelson

April 12th, 2009
2:27 pm

Tell Tiger to stop watching me. He makes me nervous!

David O'Brien

April 12th, 2009
2:27 pm

Have I mentioned I really don’t like the red jerseys?

I have? Oh, OK. Just making sure.

AndyC

April 12th, 2009
2:28 pm

Chipper sure has been striking out a lot so far this season.

David O'Brien

April 12th, 2009
2:29 pm

The svelte Mac — first stolen base for the Braves this season! (actually, it was their first attempt, too)

Nick

April 12th, 2009
2:29 pm

Ahaha Nice job BMac :)

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:29 pm

Lol, McCann with the stolen base.

cabravesfan

April 12th, 2009
2:29 pm

Mac with the first stolen base of the year!

Bubdylan

April 12th, 2009
2:29 pm

Brian McFlash…

AndyC

April 12th, 2009
2:30 pm

Mac is a speed demon!

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:30 pm

Atta boy, Diaz.

Giggidy!

April 12th, 2009
2:30 pm

cabravesfan

April 12th, 2009
2:30 pm

and it leads to a run! whoo hoo!

Tomahawkin

April 12th, 2009
2:30 pm

Nice Manufacturing a run, I like to see that more ofter, Attaboy Matt!

David O'Brien

April 12th, 2009
2:30 pm

Hey, you know what they’ve always said about Mac — speed kills.

He scores from second on Diaz double after the SB.

vabravesfan

April 12th, 2009
2:31 pm

brian just tied jeff for career steals…nice hit matty

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:31 pm

Now, where does Francouer ground out to?

Poorbrave

April 12th, 2009
2:31 pm

Without the sb we don’t score. Great speed Mac.

Bubdylan

April 12th, 2009
2:31 pm

The red jerseys look like a colorized tomato in a black & white film. Hmmm… Ted Turner…. I see it all now.

David O'Brien

April 12th, 2009
2:31 pm

Nice piece of hitting for Francoeur, triple down the RF line. opp-field triple, RBI

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:31 pm

The right field corner seems like a good place.

cabravesfan

April 12th, 2009
2:32 pm

That’s a nice swing by Jeff! RBI Triple

DCBrave

April 12th, 2009
2:32 pm

McCann now leads the Braves in SB.

get2dchopper

April 12th, 2009
2:32 pm

RBI triple Frenchy!

Giggidy!

April 12th, 2009
2:32 pm

Frenchy-haters……Sound off!!!!

Dennis Green

April 12th, 2009
2:32 pm

Francoeur did something right!

vabravesfan

April 12th, 2009
2:32 pm

u think jeff got the one up on brian now with that triple

David O'Brien

April 12th, 2009
2:32 pm

I know I picked McCann in the first-stolen base pool, and Francoeur in the first-triple pool

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:33 pm

David O'Brien

April 12th, 2009
2:33 pm

Everybody hitting now, Prado with an opp-field single down the line, drives in third run of inning.

cabravesfan

April 12th, 2009
2:34 pm

This is more like it

(by the way I hate the red jerseys too)

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:34 pm

Join the fun, Jordan.

Dennis Green

April 12th, 2009
2:34 pm

Frenchy-haters……Sound off!!!!

He’s up to .217!

Braveheart

April 12th, 2009
2:34 pm

Don Sutton just said managers get grey hairs with two out walks. Managers don’t seem to like leadoff walks much either. Not sure of their feelings on one out walks.

Tomahawkin

April 12th, 2009
2:34 pm

“That’s The Way I like It!” Man This offense in 6 games has looked so much different than the previous 3 years with the slap/timely hitting and not trying to hit everything out of the park…

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:35 pm

How can they call him out if he was in the base line?

Jeff321

April 12th, 2009
2:35 pm

Schafer just got a raw deal. I was outside a missed the other scoring though.. Good to see Frenchy going the other way.

garlick

April 12th, 2009
2:35 pm

Stephen, it doesn’t matter if it was in the base path or not, the fielder always has right of way.

vabravesfan

April 12th, 2009
2:36 pm

i don’t know about that call..martin tried to avoid him

Coach (Skip and Pete will be missed)

April 12th, 2009
2:36 pm

Wow. McCann manufactured the first run and the Braves won’t stop hitting. 3-0

AHHH baloney, Prado got jobbed!

Mitchie-san

April 12th, 2009
2:36 pm

Yeahhhh…sure Dave.

David O'Brien

April 12th, 2009
2:36 pm

Well, that seemed like an odd call. Prado called out for runners interference at second, but didn’t seem like he had chance to make play anway. Or did it? What’d you guys think?

garlick

April 12th, 2009
2:37 pm

vabravesfan, it doesn’t matter if he tried to avoid him or not, any contact and it’s interference.

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:37 pm

TnBrian

April 12th, 2009
2:38 pm

Bubdylan, very well thought out comment on the jersey’s, but I still like them since they’re so different with the red shirt, balck numbers…you know? They’re TIGHT!

SHOW THE BUNNY GIRL

brent a.

April 12th, 2009
2:38 pm

I think Schafer was gonna be safe on that one.

Giggidy!

April 12th, 2009
2:38 pm

He may have had a chance, but it didn’t look like a good chance.

cabravesfan

April 12th, 2009
2:38 pm

DOB-

No way he throws Jordan out, regardless of weither Prado is in his way or not

garlick

April 12th, 2009
2:38 pm

DOB, I thought it was the right call. It would have been close, but there was no chance at a play with him getting hit. I know it stinks, but it was the right call.

Nate from NCState

April 12th, 2009
2:39 pm

Since I can’t see the braves game I’m watching the TBS special, Marlins and Mets, Johnson and Santana are dealing.. good pitching match.

Random

April 12th, 2009
2:40 pm

Stolen base, aggressive baserunning for a double, aggressive baserunning for a triple — Coach must be euphoric!

And who can blame him!!!

Jeff321

April 12th, 2009
2:40 pm

TnBrian; The bunny girl looked like a skank, unless that’s your style.

Pete

April 12th, 2009
2:41 pm

Stephen: “How can they call him out if he was in the base line?”
Doesnt matter where he is, a runner must ALWAYS defer to a fielder who is actively fielding a ball in play. Runner must either run around him, or stop, or take whatever other means to avoid contact with the fielder.
Otherwise, for example if an infielder is camped under a pop fly, a runner could just bowl him over to make him miss the catch.

TnBrian

April 12th, 2009
2:41 pm

Tomahawkin, yeah it only took three years to figure out that kinda hitting wins games…the good pitching they’re getting so far in ‘09 helps.

Jeff321

April 12th, 2009
2:42 pm

Ah, another weak throw from Frenchy. I wonder what happened to his much-touted cannon.

Braveheart

April 12th, 2009
2:42 pm

In the poll, I went with the Jim Mora “playoffs?!?!?! playoffs?!?!?!?! playoffs?!?!?!?!” selection

brent a.

April 12th, 2009
2:42 pm

Thanks to DVR . . .

Schafer was well past the bag by the time the throw got to first.

The throw was delayed by maybe a second, if that.

Without the contact, it’s gonna be a bang-bang play; but, I’ve been watching Schafer all year, and I’m not sure that the umpire has.

Tom O'Hawke

April 12th, 2009
2:42 pm

Just curious, does anyone actually like the red jerseys?

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:42 pm

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:43 pm

DoB does, Tom O’Hawke.

Pete

April 12th, 2009
2:43 pm

David O’Brien: “Well, that seemed like an odd call. Prado called out for runners interference at second, but didn’t seem like he had chance to make play anway. Or did it? What’d you guys think?”
DOB whether or not he has a chance to make the play is irrelevant in that situation. As long as hes actively attempting to field the ball, he cant be interfered with.

hydee

April 12th, 2009
2:44 pm

I like the red jerseys!

David O'Brien

April 12th, 2009
2:44 pm

Willie Harris left oblique strain, he’s day-to-day … like all of us (just have to say that every time, before someone else does)

Random

April 12th, 2009
2:44 pm

DOB (2:36 pm): “Well, that seemed like an odd call. Prado called out for runners interference at second, but didn’t seem like he had chance to make play anway. Or did it? What’d you guys think?”

Doesn’t matter — baserunner interference is baserunner interference.

The only judgment involved is whether there WAS interference, not whether it affected the play.

TnBrian

April 12th, 2009
2:44 pm

Jeff, my TV is old so I only saw some of her. Everyone looks like a midget ever since I dropped the tv down the stairs.

Kurdt Kobain

April 12th, 2009
2:44 pm

I don’t particularly like the red or the blue. I prefer the old school home whites and away greys.

Stephen

April 12th, 2009
2:45 pm

Oh, cmon, Prado.

Tomahawkin

April 12th, 2009
2:45 pm

Tom O’Hawke

I like The Red Jerseys, Especially using them as Just the Sunday Alternate uni’s. It seems like every team is doing that for marketing purposes…

Kurdt Kobain

April 12th, 2009
2:45 pm

Of course… with Kotchman out, an error at first.

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