Kawakami vs. Santana … one-sided?

 New York – I’d like you to take a look at the stats for the past 13 starts for each of these two pitchers, see what you think.
 • Pitcher “A” is 6-5 with a 4.00 ERA and .257 opponents’ average, with 88 hits, 39 earned runs and 13 homers allowed in 87-2/3 innings in that span. He has 55 strikeouts and 25 walks, and his team is 6-7 in his past 13 starts.
 • Pitcher “B” is 2-3 with a 3.70 ERA and .238 opponents’ average, with 65 hits, 30 earned runs and 10 homers allowed in 73 innings in that span. He has 41 strikeouts and 26 walks, and his team is 7-6 in his past 13 starts.
 The two are the opposing pitchers for tonight’s Braves-Mets series finale.
Pitcher “A”, with the 6-5 record, 4.00 ERA and .257 opponents’ average, is Mets ace Johan Santana.

Kenshin's Maserati ... Johan can't top that ride

Kenshin's Maserati ... Johan can't top that (Forbes Magazine composition)

 Pitcher “B” is Kenshin Kawakami, with the 2-3 record, 3.70 ERA and .238 opponents’ average in his past 13 starts for the Braves.
  I mention this not because I think that Kawakami is even close to being as good as Santana in overall ability or performance or anything else; of course he’s not.
  But it’s remarkable how perception colors what we think of certain players, rather than their actual performance. Kawakami’s last 13 starts are a representative sample of his whole body of work this season, save for one bad month — the first month, April, when some fans formed their first impressions of him, and haven’t been willing or bothered to alter them as we’ve gone along.
  It seems a bit ironic that on this blog and plenty of other places where a lot of fans purport to be savvy and “above” such stats as average and RBI, so many people, including some of those same ones, dismiss Kawakami’s performance and believe that he should be shoved to the bullpen to make room for Tim Hudson in two weeks, no questions asked.
  But why?
  One more thing about those past 13 starts for those two guys. The great Santana — and he is great, I’m not being facetious — has allowed five earned runs or more five times in that stretch, and has lasted more than seven innings only three times in those 13 games.
  Kawakami, in his past 13 starts, has allowed more than three earned runs just twice, and five earned runs once. In fact, Kawakami has allowed more than three earned runs just four times all season, in 22 starts.
  Again, Santana has allowed five earned runs or more five times in his past 13 starts.
  And while Kawakami is averaging about an inning fewer than Santana — that’s significant, anyone would concede — it’s not as though Johan has been a Roy Halladay-like bullpen saver this season, going eight or nine innings just about every time out. In fact, Santana has lasted more than 7-1/3 innings just twice all season, and never more than eight.
  Again, I’m not trying to insinuate that Kawakami is even close to the level of pitcher as Santana. But it’s amazing how many people will make excuses for Santana having a mediocre season — oh, he’s got terrible run support, the Mets stink … blah blah blah.
  But with Kawakami, maybe because he’s new to the U.S. and doesn’t speak English, you hear far more people contend that the Braves screwed up giving him that three-year, $23 million contract than you will hear say he’s had a solid season.
  But the fact is, Kawakami’s 5-9 record could easily — and I do mean easily — be reversed if he had received even mediocre run support. Instead, he’s had the second-worst run support of any major league starter, at 3.18 runs per nine innings.
  Santana’s had bad run support, true. But at 4.0 runs per game, it’s quite a bit better than what Kawakami has received.
  The Mets have scored three runs or more 12 times while Santana has been in the game in his 24 starts. The Braves have scored three runs or more while Kawakami has been in the game just Seven times.
  The Mets have scored more than four runs seven times while Santana has been in games. The Braves? They’ve scored more than four just three times while Kawakami has been in games.
 Santana has 16 quality starts in 24. Kawakami has 11 quality starts in 22.
 If you want to talk money, Kawakami will make about the same amount ($23 million) over his entire three-year contract as Santana is averaging per season in his six-year, $137.5 million contract extension, a deal that could be worth about $150 million over seven seasons depending on performance and an option year.
  Again, I’m not suggesting Kawakami is even remotely close to Santana. Just pointing out a few facts.
  Oh, one other thing: Derek Lowe is 12-8 with a 4.45 ERA and the ninth-best run support in the NL at 5.49 runs per nine innings pitched. Kawakami is 5-9 with a 4.13 ERA and the second-worst run support in the majors at 3.18. Lowe has the advantage in innings pitched, but that’s about it.

 ♣ Diaz on a roll: Another guy that so many were ready to push out the door a while back was Matt Diaz.
  Good thing the Braves had confidence in him. We all know Adam LaRoche is on fire, but Diaz is, too. All Diaz has done is hit .325 with 12 extra-base hits (six homers), 22 RBI and a .928 OPS in 38 games in July and August, including 25 Braves wins.

LaRoche has homers in three consecutive games entering series finale

LaRoche has homers in three consecutive games entering series finale

  Since Aug. 4, Diaz has hit .366 with five homers, 13 RBI and a .756 slugging percentage in 14 games, including 10 Braves wins.
  In the past two nights against the Mets, hes got four hits, two homers and seven RBIs. And tonight he faces Santana, against whom Diaz is a .550 career hitter (11-for-20) with a homer and only one strikeout.
  And next up for Diaz and the Braves, beginning Friday, is a three-game series with the Marlins.
  Diaz has hit an astounding .397 with seven homers, 21 RBI and a 1.088 OPS in 39 career games against Florida, including five homers and 13 RBIs in 61 at-bats in his past 19 games.

 

 ♣ Speaking of Santana: If Omar Infante is in the lineup tonight instead of Kelly Johnson, well … let’s just say it probably would not be a decision made with past offensive performance taken into consideration.
  We say this because Johnson is 7-for-18 in his career against Santana, while Infante is 2-for-24 with seven strikeouts against the lefty.

 ♦ Etc.
In their careers against the Mets, Garret Anderson has hit .417 (25-for-60) with three homers, 13 RBI and a 1.107 OPS in 16 games, and Yunel Escobar has hit .358 with four homers, 17 RBI and a 1.010 OPS in 32 games…. The Braves are 10-4 with a .278 average, 21 homers and 3.09 ERA in their past 14 games. Two losses in that stretch were against the Phillies, the only team with more homers and a better ERA than the Braves since the All-Star break, and the only team with a better record (30-15) than the Braves (29-17) since June 28… The Braves lead the NL with 173 runs since the break, and their 45 homers are tied with Arizona, one behind the Phillies since the break. The Phillies are 20-11 with a 3.13 ERA since the break, and the Braves are 20-12 with a 3.26 ERA.

 ♣ OK, gotta get tot he ballpark. Love just about anything by Van the Man, and Tom Russell also does a great cover of this tune.

“CLEANING WINDOWS” by Van Morrison

Oh, the smell of the bakery from across the street
Got in my nose
As we carried our ladders down the street
With the wrought-iron gate rows
I went home and listened to Jimmie Rodgers in my lunch-break
Bought five Woodbines at the shop on the corner
And went straight back to work.

Oh, Sam was up on top
And I was on the bottom with the v
We went for lemonade and Paris buns
At the shop and broke for tea
I collected from the lady
And I cleaned the fanlight inside-out
I was blowing saxophone on the weekend
In that down joint.

What’s my line?
I’m happy cleaning windows
Take my time
I’ll see you when my love grows
Baby don’t let it slide
I’m a working man in my prime
Cleaning windows (number a hundred and thirty-six)

I heard Leadbelly and Blind Lemon
On the street where I was born
Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee,
Muddy Waters singin’ “I’m A Rolling Stone”
I went home and read my Christmas Humphreys’ book on Zen
Curiosity killed the cat
Kerouac’s “Dharma Bums” and “On The Road”

What’s my line?
I’m happy cleaning windows
Take my time
I’ll see you when my love grows
Baby don’t let it slide
I’m a working man in my prime
Cleaning windows…

1,728 comments Add your comment

18 Wheels of Love

August 20th, 2009
3:16 pm

Peterbilt
Peterbilt

flange1

August 20th, 2009
3:18 pm

Thanks for the new blog DOB!

4 Wheels of Fun

August 20th, 2009
3:19 pm

Built by Peter

OklahomaBrave

August 20th, 2009
3:19 pm

Cox apologists = Clown shoes

Alonso

August 20th, 2009
3:20 pm

Alonso

August 20th, 2009
3:20 pm

METSFAN4LIFE

August 20th, 2009
3:20 pm

ccrider

August 20th, 2009
3:20 pm

ccrider

August 20th, 2009
3:07 pm
Wayne in Utah and other bloggers: I had a thought (Dangerous I Know) last night.
We are all trying to figure out what pitcher to trade and how to construct our roster next season. I wonder if to get to the next level, something more drastic needs to be done.
Kris Medlen has been lights out for awhile now and if people remember he was the best starting pitcher(era wise) on the Gwinnett roster before he was called up. I still believe he would be an exceptional 4th starter or better.
What I’m purposing is,what if, the Braves were able to move Lowe and his contract in the off season and Vazquez.
Before I here the yelling from my 50 miles outside of the ATL let me explain.
Lowe and Vazquez salaries $26.5 mill next year. We would get some good prospects for Lowe and better for Vazquez. We combine those propects along with McLouth and other considerations for Carl Crawford $10 mill. Sign Matt Holiday $16 Mil for 5 years.
Lineup: Crawford, Prado, Chipper, Holiday, McCann, Escobar, Heyward(When Ever he arrives), Laroache($5 Mill) Total Lineup: $51.5 Mil
Rotation: Hudson(This is predicated on Tim showing he is back to normal) Jurrjens, Hanson, Kawakami, Medlen Total Rotation: $20.5
It would leave us $25 Mil to assemble a bench and bullpen.
The lineup would match up with the Phillies, Dodgers and better than any other in the NL.
The Rotation would match any in the NL
The risk, of course, is could we resign Crawford? He has stated somewhere that he had followed the Braves growing up, so we have a shot and a year to get it done. If, he leaves we still have Jordan Schafer.
I am just tired of this team staying on the edge of competing again and I think this would be worth the risk.

Alonso

August 20th, 2009
3:20 pm

Giants lose!

Louisville brave

August 20th, 2009
3:21 pm

Giants LOSE on a walk off HR

METSFAN4LIFE

August 20th, 2009
3:21 pm

BRAVES LOSE
BOOK IT

amicusterrae

August 20th, 2009
3:23 pm

to continue discussion,

“You all are Cox apologists”

Dude, that’s just crazy.
To make the Leo magic argument, you picked bad examples:

Jaret Wright went 15-8 in 2004 with 186 innings pitched. Not bad for sure, but for one of the few times in his career, he was healthy.

Jorge Sosa looked good starting when he won 13 games with a respectable ERA (also had a quality start in the playoffs against Houston). But Damien Moss was great at first, too. As were so many other callups who won a lot of games quick, then failed to make counter adjustments once the hitters figured them out. You really believe Mazzone could coach Sosa to a 15 win season today?

As for Russ Ortiz, yes he won 21 and 15 games in 2003 and 2004, but he did that with poor control. The guy was pitching in and out of trouble a lot. ERA was just under and over 4 both years. Russ, IMO, benefited more the Braves offense than he did Leo Mazzone. We hit 235 homers in 2003!

Still talking about Smoltz, really?

August 20th, 2009
3:24 pm

Poor giants…they lost today. Well, I for one would love to see ‘em get back on their feet with a weekend series win against the Rockies! :)

Heath

August 20th, 2009
3:24 pm

Enter your comments here

SWI

August 20th, 2009
3:25 pm

DOB — I think you mixed up Kawakami’s record in your blog by accident… But the fact is, Kawakami’s 9-5 record could easily — and I do mean easily — be reversed if he had received even mediocre run support. Instead, he’s had the second-worst run support of any major league starter, at 3.18 runs per nine innings.

METSFAN4LIFE

August 20th, 2009
3:25 pm

DOB you need to proof read

fleming

August 20th, 2009
3:25 pm

DOB

You realize that you just doomed the Braves for tonight.

METSFAN4LIFE

August 20th, 2009
3:26 pm

thanks swi for typing all that out for me

wjones

August 20th, 2009
3:26 pm

One other thing that I don’t beleive has been mentioned in regards to KK’s run support is that he has had to face, it seems an abmornally large number of times, the opposition’s ace. Santana, Haladay, etc. It seems like almost every start it’s like this, which doesn’t help his run support numbers because those types of pitchers rarely give up runs because they are aces. So KK has to be at his best to even have a chance, and more times than not he has risen to the challenge.

nycbravesfan

August 20th, 2009
3:29 pm

nice blog !!!! great work DOB…

Escobar for Supreme Court

August 20th, 2009
3:29 pm

DOB,

Good article on comparing tonight’s starters.

Do you like “Too Long In Exile” or “Wavelength”?

jeffrey d

August 20th, 2009
3:31 pm

BRAVES LOSE
BOOK IT
METSFAN4LIFE

Book it? What is this Hawaii Five-O?

But seriously, all caps aside, you’re not making any points. You’re just annoying people. And if the Braves win tonight, you’ll be nowhere to be seen.

RHR

August 20th, 2009
3:31 pm

KK has the best ride out of all the Braves that I’ve seen. I love the Rovers but man that car is smoking hot. Ol’ boy has got good taste.

Shaun

August 20th, 2009
3:31 pm

Kawakami has definitely been underrated. But the problem with the stats DOB sited is that many of them are dependent on defense and chance/luck/whatever you want to call it, except for strikeouts and walks.

Also, I think this premise is false: “But it’s amazing how many people will make excuses for Santana having a mediocre season.”

Santana has actually been the 17th best pitcher in the NL this season according to Baseball Prospectus. According to The Hardball Times he’s been the 12th best pitcher in the NL. That’s mediocre for Santana but it’s far from a mediocre season.

Not trying to make excuses for Santana. Obviously I’m a Braves fan and love to see the Mets 13.5 games back. And I’ll defend the Kawakami signing to anyone. But I think a few more facts need to be pointed out.

DD

August 20th, 2009
3:31 pm

Santana has been a great picture in his career. He’s a good pitcher right now. That doesn’t mean that he won’t revert to form and be great in the future, or even that he won’t pitch a great game tonight. But you are what you are, and right now he’s not great.

KK has been a good pitcher for the Braves. He suffers in part because Vasquez, JJ and Hanson have been outstanding. Had he pitched for the Braves last year and had the exact same stats, he’d have been viewed much more positively.

Eric

August 20th, 2009
3:31 pm

I wanna ride in KK’s Maserati.

Heath

August 20th, 2009
3:31 pm

This weekend series against the Fish is very important. The Braves should take advantage of good timing…in that they are scheduled to face Sanchez (1-4, 5.55 ERA), Volstad (9-9, 4.61 ERA), and Nolasco (9-8, 5.22 ERA). Of course, need to take care of business tonight…

METSFAN4LIFE

August 20th, 2009
3:32 pm

KK should go back to Japan. He is not a major league pitcher like Santana.

Louisville brave

August 20th, 2009
3:32 pm

I had no idea that Van Morrison was from Ireland until recently…I can’t hear any accent when he sings, much like a lot of singers from Across the Pond…why is that?

things that make you go hmmmm

Mid Town Joe

August 20th, 2009
3:33 pm

I’ll repeat:
So, if your the long man in the Cardinals bullpen, and John Smoltz starts the game, what inning do you start warming up?

Sit amongst yourselves and discuss. I’m feeling a bit vermklepht.

dcp

August 20th, 2009
3:33 pm

Need the win tonight. Then you can work on FL this weekend. I still think the Phils win the division without a ton of resistance. Lee completely changes their rotation and others have really stepped up – it’s not the same as when Moyer ran out there. Their hitting has holes with their strikeouts, but most of their lineup is just a swing away every night from changing the game with the long ball, whether at home or on the road. Braves have lots of company for the Wild Card, but they cannot worry about that – they need to beat the bad teams – it’s the reason they are behind the Phils – you go 8 and 4 v.s the leader, and they’re obviously not taking care of business elsewhere. Start by winning tonight against the Mets and get yourself ready for the Marlins.

dcp

August 20th, 2009
3:34 pm

Mid Town Joe – I say the 3rd inning is when they get the long man up, unless the team you are facing is full of right handers, then it goes to the 4th. Good one

Louisville brave

August 20th, 2009
3:35 pm

Heath

We’re lucky in that we’re not drawing Josh Johnson for the Marlins this weekend…he goes tonight against Houston’s ace, Wandy Rodriguez…Of course we do draw Santana with the Mets, who the Phillies won’t have to face this weekend…it probably all evens out in the end

Buffalo NY Braves Fan

August 20th, 2009
3:36 pm

METSFAN4LIFE,

You are an annoying troll that just comes here to annoy people, you are probably the same person who came on pretending to be a Giants fan, and a Rockies fan, and all the other teams that Atlanta plays. Dude, really… figure out where the caps lock button on your keyboard is. Doesn’t school start soon for you, I mean you’re a little too young to be a drop out aren’t you?

nycbravesfan

August 20th, 2009
3:37 pm

I remember the old days at Fulton County Stadium, Terry Pendelton made a great impression on me when he left the game in a little beat up Toyota. I loved it!
Can u inquire on this DOB…

Louisville brave

August 20th, 2009
3:37 pm

Mid Town Joe

That was funny…I say the 4th

jeffrey d

August 20th, 2009
3:38 pm

So, if your the long man in the Cardinals bullpen, and John Smoltz starts the game, what inning do you start warming up?

That’s like one of those Zen Riddles. If you’re a reliever, and you take over for Smoltz in the first, does that make you a starter?

It’s a mystery

METSFAN4LIFE

August 20th, 2009
3:41 pm

Buffalo NY BF: why don’t you root for a team that actually supports their teams through thick and thin? Atlanta fan’s are fairweather jock straps.

Wayne in Utah

August 20th, 2009
3:41 pm

DOB

So, in review of all data, if Hudson comes back, do you put Derek Lowe in the pen? Or does Huddy go to the pen?

Could be interesting.

ccrider

Hey, I got your post from the end of the old blog. A point or two. I expect at least one of our starters to be dealt this winter. Just too many good arms. Though it is always nice to have some insurance, though I expect that insurance to be Medlen or maybe Reyes.

I really don’t see the point in dealing McLouth for a CHANCE to keep Crawford. I like Crawford marginally better than Nate, but only marginally.

I would not be opposed to making a go for Holliday or Jason Bay, but I don’t have any strong feelings we would be successful. To do so, we might have to deal TWO guys, and I just don’t see it happening, unless they get some great offers.

I realistically expect Vazquez to be dealt, as he is the most easily moved. Kawakami would be the second easiest, and Lowe third on that list.

My best guess is that we will hope for Schafer to return, and wait until mid-season to have Heyward come up. Diaz and Church are in the wings for backup.

I would rather see us pick up ONE more versatile bat. Preferrably right handed, and preferrably one who could play third, the outfield corners and maybe one or two other infield positions. Mark DeRosa anyone? Casey Blake I think is signed for two years. I am sure there are a few others out there, but they aren’t coming to me right now.

Just don’t see BOTH a Crawford deal AND signing a big FA. Besides, I think we got McLouth for the long run. Same can be said for Lowe.

Yesterday I floated the Lowe on waivers thingy, but that was more to get some conversation going than realistically thinking it was going to happen.

Whaddya think? (I like Medlen too, eventually as either a closer or a mid-rotation starter)

Braves

August 20th, 2009
3:42 pm

think i’ll watch mullholland dr. tonight and take advantage of myself.
better than watching what may be a debacle.

dcp

August 20th, 2009
3:43 pm

Kawakami keeps you in the game – that’s what you ask. He has been dependable especially lately. Santana, stats or peception, has not had a good year by his standards and for his pedigree. It’s not been a bad year, as Shaun points out, but far from what he normally gives a team. Time will tell if the Mets overpaid for his services – that is a long contract.

Matt the Brave

August 20th, 2009
3:44 pm

Hey 18 Wheels of Love, you gonna go Eastbound and Down, loaded up and truckin’?

Braves

August 20th, 2009
3:44 pm

no, monsters ball

Wayne in Utah

August 20th, 2009
3:44 pm

If I am the long man in St Louis, I make sure I am not in the cann around the 4th inning.

METSFAN4LIFE

August 20th, 2009
3:44 pm

amicusterrae: I see you have a fixation on a certain part of the male anatomy. That’s great, but keep those daydreams to yourself.

jeffrey d

August 20th, 2009
3:44 pm

Buffalo NY BF: why don’t you root for a team that actually supports their teams through thick and thin? Atlanta fan’s are fairweather jock straps

Why don’t you root for a team that actually supports their team?

But seriously, since these past 3 years have been such good times for the Braves, then I guess we’re all fair weather fans.

fleming

August 20th, 2009
3:45 pm

amicusterrae

You invoked the Lentz name on the blog. That’s like sending out a calling card.

Nova Scotia Steve

August 20th, 2009
3:45 pm

Well…We have the chance to pick up a game on the Giants…

I posted this in the last blog…but I’ll post again….

After Washington….Colorado goes to play the Giant in a 4 game series…then it’s off to LA for three and then another 3 with the Giants…

HUGE opportunity for the Braves in their wild card chase…not to mention we have the Marlins and Padres while all this is going on.

We need to win now more than ever and make up some games…

BUZZMEAT

August 20th, 2009
3:47 pm

nice Ride KK!

SP

August 20th, 2009
3:48 pm

DOB,

Thanks for the good piece on Medlen. Do you think he has relaxed some since Hanson was called up? I’m not trying to insinuate a Escobar-Brayan Pena soulmate thing, but I feel like since Medlen was outpitching Hanson at the time of his call-up, some people were expecting him to pitch even better than a #1 prospect. Clearly nerves were a problem for him early on so just wondering if Hanson getting up here and deflecting the spotlight may have helped ease him. He has a solid 3.34 ERA since Hanson came up and it’s actually 2.90 if you exclude that spot start in Colorado.

Also, what’s the deal with the schoolgirl backpack Medlen is always wearing? I assume it’s a hazing (ahem, “rookie initiation”) thing but, if so, why is Hanson spared? Seems like Medlen’s been sporting it for awhile now.

amicusterrae

August 20th, 2009
3:48 pm

well hopefully he won’t show up!

sportsmandh

August 20th, 2009
3:49 pm

DOBs point about Diaz verse the Marlins made me remember, we really need the 2007 version of Diaz the Marlin killer to show up this weekend for the 3 games with the fish.

I really hope we take the series tonight. It will be a tough game but still winnable. The Braves upcoming schedule is very favorable. If they can take 7 or 8 out of the next 11, they will probably be in second place alone in the wild card standings behind the Rockies by month’s end. That would be pretty darn good with one month left to play. Beating Santana tonight would be a great start down that road.

Wayne in Utah

August 20th, 2009
3:49 pm

Shaun

As far as analyzing two pitchers starts, yes, there are a gazillion other factors, but does that mean you don’t take a look at the numbers. It really doesn’t matter much anyway I guess. Both teams are going with their guy, no matter what.

Bobby Cox: “Wait a minute, I don’t like Kenny K’s chances against Santana due to their last 13 game stats! Damn it! Get Chief Knock-a-Homa out here doing that rain dance pronto!”

Kris in NC

August 20th, 2009
3:49 pm

Someone give directions to METSFAN4LIFE so he/she can find the NY Post or Times and talk about the Mets and their pathetic losing season and a manager who likes to talk trash about former players.

Now to the subject at hand, the one thing we can all agree on is KK’s ride is smokin’ hot. As for KK, he has taken the ball every time his number has been called, just like every guy in the rotation except the one time Javy missed but other than that, our starters have been healthy all season.

Look at the big games KK has pitched in against some of the big name pitchers like Roy Halladay, he has come up big and came out with a win. The game in LA when he knew the bullpen had been used the night before in a major way, he came out and threw 125 pitches so the bullpen would be used to much. At least KK didn’t have to come into Atlanta thinking he had to be the go to guy, he could settle into the 4th or 5th spot in the rotation, let guys like Javy, Derek and JJ handle the top 3 spots.

I think we will see a nice pitching performance from KK tonight. He is going against Johan, who doesn’t get that run support and it will be worse now since Wright ain’t in the lineup. Just another big game pitcher for KK to take down, jmo.

Mid Town Joe

August 20th, 2009
3:50 pm

I like Smoltz, but i didn’t like him signing with the bosox. If I’m in the pen when Smoltz starts, and have to come in before the 3rd inning, after I record the 3rd out, I’d walk straight over to Smoltz on the bench(asuming he’s still there) and say, “WTF”.

RHR

August 20th, 2009
3:50 pm

4th? Y’all are being mighty generous…

I do hope Smoltzy doesn’t embarrass himself again.

bravesgrl4life

August 20th, 2009
3:52 pm

MF4L – you do realize that MF can stand for something else, right? Since this is a friendly blog, I won’t tell you – I think you and everyone else will get it. Now get the H**L off our blog!

monty

August 20th, 2009
3:53 pm

DOB

Same thoughts I was having about Diaz. Since MAy he has slugged around .500 and has an approximate .881 OPS in that time. He has more AB’s against RH than LH. His average does drop considerably against RH but what I like is his HR numbers stay the same. In other words he doesn’t lose the ability to hit a HR when facing same side pitchers as so many players do. He plays a very adequate defense. THis guy could start for alot of teams.HIs numbers suggest 18-22 Hr’s a year, not too shabby.He hits right at .300 for avg., he can steal you a base and he plays hard all the time. at what point (like with PRado) do you say you earned the right to be a starter? If he’s not in our plans to start this year or next I would think he would be a person of interest for other teams.I just think he has way too much value to be a reserve.

Daslied

August 20th, 2009
3:54 pm

Louisville brave – There are a few widely accepted reasons why Brits don’t sing with accents:
1. Singing and speaking use different parts of the brain.
2. Emulation – Beatles idolized Chuck Berry, Elvis, etc., so they form words with an “American accent”.

The same applies to stutterers, like Mel Tillis, who form phrases and sentences perfectly only when singing.

METSFAN4LIFE

August 20th, 2009
3:55 pm

Johan drives a hummer that would crush that little black import.

Louisville brave

August 20th, 2009
3:56 pm

Daslied

Thanks…good to know

Wayne in Utah

August 20th, 2009
3:57 pm

NS Steve

We gotta get our hitting shoes on this weekend, and hope that the Giants and Rockies either split or the Giants win one more.

In the end, all the Braves can do is just play every game like their ain’t no tomorrow.

I like our chances against Santana, but no doubt, KK has to be spot on, and we need to play smart and work some counts against the big lefty, or else we are going down.

Go Braves!

gdubber

August 20th, 2009
3:58 pm

Smoltz is done. Peter(I’m an honorary Red Sox) Gammons is the only reason Boston hung on as long as they did. PG kept talking about how good he was the first time through the lineup. It was the American League for heavens sake. He was pitching to guys who had not faced him often. Wait til he faces guys with 25 career at bats against him with the stuff he has now. He is only lucky he is not facing the STL lineup.

LT- A Blogger

August 20th, 2009
3:59 pm

I think perception of KK is largely due to Braves place in current standings (plus his high pitch count). If the Braves were in first or leading the WC, I think he’d be lauded as an excellent acquistion.

Dude has nice taste in auto’s that’s for sure. DOB- you have any idea what mp3s KK has loaded on his Verizon wireless phone?

Anders

August 20th, 2009
4:00 pm

But it’s amazing how many people will make excuses for Santana having a mediocre season — oh, he’s got terrible run support, the Mets stink … blah blah blah (DOB)

I have to be honest. I haven’t heard much of this from fans or the media. Santana is having a so-so year for his standards and I think most feel that. He hasn’t pitched lights out much at all. He is a phenomenal second half pitcher but hasn’t shown that much this season either. There is time for a run though. I’m hoping he uses the importance of tonights game to elevate his game and start a little run.

O'Brien

August 20th, 2009
4:00 pm

KK has pitched well in big games, so I look forward to another quality start from him tonight.

Braves need to win this series, because they are slowly running out of games. And we have a big series with the Fish coming up…

Mid Town Joe

August 20th, 2009
4:00 pm

DOB – You’ve got a nice bench of showers headed your way. They’re just east of Harrisburg, PA, and should be at the park around mid-game.

ccrider

August 20th, 2009
4:00 pm

Wayne in Utah: I guess I would prefer Crawford (A true leadoff man with some power around .300 avg and 50+ steals over McLouth. I just don’t see Nate as a true leadoff hitter and it would be nice to have a Crawford that once he gets on base, distracts the hell out of the pitcher. A aspect to our offense we haven’t had since Otis Nixon.
I also think that moving Lowe’s contract even if we don’t get that much back is seriously important to moving forward to the next level. It would free the money needed to upgrade the offense with a Holiday (preferred) or Bay. I’ve got a feeling that Lowe won’t be that hard to move in the offseason because there are too many teams that need a qaulity dependable starter.

David O'Brien

August 20th, 2009
4:01 pm

Haven’t seen lineup yet, but told that INFANTE is at second base, not Kelly….

SP: I don’t think Medlen relaxing had as much to do with Hanson arriving as it did just getting used to the new surroundings. As Medlen told me yesterday, he did more interviews in his first three days in the bigs than he did his entire minor league career. And he was so worried about this guy or that guy batting, big-name guys, that he didn’t trust his stuff and tried to be too fine with them. He learned not to worry about that….

Shaun: As I said several times, I’m not insinuating they are even remotely on same level as pitchers. But facts are facts.

And the only facts you supplied is how Hardball Times and Baseball Prospectus ranked Santana, not why or how or anything else about where those rankings are derived from.

And maybe he is the 17th-best or 13th-best or whatever pitcher. I can’t imagine how they came to that conclusion, but maybe he is. Still, just look at those last 13 starts and try to explain that away. That’s more than half the season so far.

And, as pointed out, he’s making as much per season for six or seven years as Kawakami is making for his entire three-year contract.

BL

August 20th, 2009
4:01 pm

METSFAN4LIFE

Gosh why the anger? You are acting like y’all got run-ruled or something last night?

njbraves

August 20th, 2009
4:02 pm

METSFAN4LIFE….You thinkMet fans support their team through thick and thin?? You and I both know that is not the case. Listen to sports radio in NY when the Mets aren’t going good and all you hear is trashing of tyhe mets and their management. Nice try buddy.

METSFAN4LIFE

August 20th, 2009
4:02 pm

Oh I see now, KK was that guy on The Fast and the Furious movie driving that Honda when his VTEC kicked in.

Robert (Chipper Is The Best)

August 20th, 2009
4:02 pm

Metsfan4life, put the pipe down, my brother.

I agree that I think the Phils will win the division. The Braves have to concentrate on the wild card. I think they win at least 87 games but that isn’t going to be enough to win the wild card. I think 90 wins will likely do it with the way the Rockies are playing and chasing down the Dodgers.

Can the Braves go 27-15 the rest of the way to reach 90 wins? Yes. Will they? I don’t know.

okay..one more time

August 20th, 2009
4:02 pm

The Braves have been a different team since the break, coinciding with Martin starting and Frenchy leaving. He’s doing better in NY. Great, hope he’s a Hall of Famer, but he was killing us.

Sgt. Pepper

August 20th, 2009
4:04 pm

DOB –

I’m sure you’re covering the game Saturday, but I’m playing at Eddie’s Attic at 7 just in case you aren’t, and in case anyone here wants to hear some good Muscle Shoals music in ATL Saturday night.

njbraves

August 20th, 2009
4:04 pm

The KK fan club really annoys me. Watch the man pitch, it is painful most of the time. He doesn’t attack hitters. I’m not saying he’s terrible, but I am saying that the $23 million they are going to pay him could have been used for a bat.

StingerSplash

August 20th, 2009
4:04 pm

gdubber,

I watched every Smoltz start as a member of the Red Sox. The slider is still nasty. His fastball has lost a couple of inches and his location isn’t where he wants it. But if he can spot it where he wants to, he can get away with a fastball in third gear rather than fourth. Hey, Maddux never really threatened to break any radar guns. Smoltz wasn’t that far away from being effective — he said so, and the Sox felt the same way.
He’s not the Smoltz of old and he’s not an old Smoltz — yet. The question is can he make the step to being effective … or is there too much mileage and damage on the arm to prevent that from happening?

Louisville brave

August 20th, 2009
4:06 pm

Wayne in Utah

How come you have such faith in Schafer? I wouldn’t mind if he never played for us again.

njbraves

August 20th, 2009
4:06 pm

METSFAN4LIFE…check the mets players parking lot…it’s filled with cars that have the fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview. How you enjoying the season so far???

Nova Scotia Steve

August 20th, 2009
4:07 pm

Sorry I’m not in the Kawakami fan club either…

Don’t plan on signing up anytime soon either…

Hillbilly

August 20th, 2009
4:07 pm

Kensin Kawakami: My Maserati does One-eighty-five.

Kelly Johnson: I lost my license. Now I don’t drive.

Wayne in Utah

August 20th, 2009
4:07 pm

ccrider

When I am sitting around with nothing to do but work my brain, I come up with a gazillion scenarios for the Braves. When I am being most realistic, I try to follow the logic that FW and his staff seem to be following.

Messages I am getting is that McLouth was traded for to be here for a while, and that Lowe was signed to have an innings eater/stabilizing solid mid rotation guy for our staff for years to come.

For those reasons, I don’t see either of those guys leaving.

DAMNIT on KJ not being in there!

njbraves

August 20th, 2009
4:09 pm

Every time I read a post pining for KJ to play I can’t help but laugh. 99% of the people here said he was the worst player ever, now they’re complaining he never plays. Unreal.

METSFAN4LIFE

August 20th, 2009
4:09 pm

I got two words for you: Gary Sheffield. Mr. 500 homeruns will love to see Kawakazi. He’s hitting .401 with an ops of 1.016 against him.

monty

August 20th, 2009
4:10 pm

Signing LAroach puts less pressure on trying to find an expensive RH bopper. You take the combination of Laroche and whoever they find for the outfield(even a less expensive player with good pop) versus lose ADam and (say play Prado at first, too short) and sign a big expensive Bopper and the cost should be about the same. Adam looks like he can return to be a guy who challenges 30 HR’s next year. We could add someone to LF (or center and move NAte to LF) who hits 25 a year versus 35-40. The cost would probably about the same for Adam and a 25 HR guy versus a 35-40 HR guy and no Adam. ADam gives you excellent D and pop!!

StingerSplash

August 20th, 2009
4:10 pm

note to kawakami:
do NOT trade that hot ride in for something else under cash for clunkers. Ever. Unless you’re getting a new Camaro.

18 Wheels of Love

August 20th, 2009
4:10 pm

Hillbilly, that’s a great musical observation from one long-arse song!

njbraves

August 20th, 2009
4:10 pm

You mean the same gary Sheffield who took ‘roids??

Chris from the Rock

August 20th, 2009
4:11 pm

I see Kawakami fitting Frency with a Golden Sombrero tonight.

okay..one more time II

August 20th, 2009
4:11 pm

Of course Infante’s starting. KJ’s only hitting .400 or so against Johan, and 315 or so against lefties for the year, almost 300 for his career against lefties. It’s Bobby’s d@mned lefty vs lefty thing, with the stats being thrown out, I suppose. I prefer Infante to KJ mostly, but sometimes you have to use something besides the feelings in your gut, Bobby.

gdubber

August 20th, 2009
4:12 pm

Stinger– If you watched every JS start then you know he was throwing a lot of BP. Close is not a 8 plus era.

fleming

August 20th, 2009
4:13 pm

METSFAN4LIFE – He’s hitting .401 with an ops of 1.016 against him.

Talk about a small statistical sample.

LSU

August 20th, 2009
4:13 pm

The Braves will not score any runs on Johan tonight unless the Mets defense can commit some errors….That’s pretty much a given for the Braves offense against a decent pitcher, let alone Santana.

Mike Hampton is on the DL….Wow, that’s a surprise!!!

Wayne in Utah

August 20th, 2009
4:14 pm

njbraves

Coulda woulda shoulda.

Your saying that last January, before Lowe signed and before we knew Jurrjens wasn’t going through the sophomore slump (a large percentage of pitchers do) and before we knew for sure that Hanson was going to be the real deal THIS year, you were confident enough in our staff at that time to NOT go after KK?

If FW had hindsight, I doubt he would have signed him. Unfortunately, FW has to set up the team knowing what he has, and not what he MAYBE has.

I just don’t understand all the dumping on Kawakami. He is EXACTLY what we expected and hoped for from him.

fleming

August 20th, 2009
4:15 pm

monte

Only problem with LaRoach is his career first half numbers are bad.

Bad Scooter

August 20th, 2009
4:16 pm

DOB, does anyone on the Braves have a ride that compares to KK?

Kelly Johnson's Mojo

August 20th, 2009
4:16 pm

I plan on eating 2 bags of David sunflower seeds tonight. I wonder if Bobby even remembers my name???

Wayne in Utah

August 20th, 2009
4:16 pm

njbraves

I would challenge you to EVER find a place where I have railed on KJ. I have always been a staunch supporter. Now I did think Prado deserved to start, but I have NEVER hated on KJ (Random can back you up on that one!).

monty

August 20th, 2009
4:18 pm

njbraves

“KK doesn’t attack hitters.”

THere’s laws against such things!

But seriously dude, that’s a stupid statement. He’s not a power pitcher. Neither was Glavine(Mr.Nibbler himself)and for that matter neither is D.Lowe. If he can get away with not throwing a strike he’ll do it everytime. Very few pitchers are gifted enough to just throw it and say hit it if you can, I’m attacking you! You usually find those kind in the HOF.

flange1

August 20th, 2009
4:18 pm

Folks keep talking about signing a big bopper OF.

I am not seeing it!

I see Heyward in RF, Schafer in CF, Nate in LF, Diaz on the bench (maybe Church too)

LaRoche is a FA, I do not see him taking a pay cut to stay in the ATL. This is the contract for him to make some money. 3-4 years? Will the Braves jump??

I see the Braves going after a 1-2 year guy a 1B that is the bopper we are looking for. Either trade or FA (really has to be a trade because other than LaRoche, don’t see any other 1B boppers on the market)

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