Former Brave Diaz sees Venters’ nastiness for himself

PITTSBURGH – Former Brave Matt Diaz watched from a locker or two away last year as his friend Jonny Venters put together one of the best seasons of any reliever in the National League last year. He found out for himself Tuesday night exactly what the hubbub is about.

Diaz struck out in the eighth inning as a pinch hitter against Venters in the Pirates 2-0 loss, just one night after he’d gone out for dinner with Venters, fellow Pirate and former Brave Chris Resop, and their wives.

“He tried to talk me into the fact that he can’t throw strikes,” Diaz said of their dinner conversation. “And he throws a nasty slider first pitch on the black. I’m like ‘Oh gosh.’ He’s good, he’s really good. He obviously has unbelievable stuff, and it looks like he’s starting to harness it.”

After Tuesday night, Venters was leading all qualified major league relievers with a .100 (9-for-90) opponents’ batting average. His 0.63 ERA was second among all qualified major league relievers.

If there’s a better left-handed reliever in the league right now, Diaz – who has come off the bench to face left-handers for the better part of five years – is hard-pressed to name one.

Hong-Chih Kuo, who made the All-Star game with the Dodgers’ last year? “He doesn’t have the movement Venters does,” Diaz said.

J.C. Romero in his heyday setting up for Brad Lidge?

“Jonny probably won’t be as controversial in the offseason,” Diaz said, referring to Romero’s 50-game suspension in 2009 for testing positive for a banned substance.

“A lot of left-handed relievers are designed to get lefties out, but standing in there as a righty last night you get why righties don’t hit him very well either,” Diaz said. “He’s just nasty. The fastball I swung on and hit in their dugout somehow felt like it moved up and away. And no one has that pitch, and then his slider disappears down and in on a righty.”

38 comments Add your comment

TomahawkChoppin

May 25th, 2011
3:11 pm

count_schemula

May 25th, 2011
3:29 pm

How’s that first working out for you? Seems to have really set the tone for an invigorating discussion.

German Shepherd Dawg

May 25th, 2011
3:56 pm

You make me raff.

Bob from Accounttemps

May 25th, 2011
4:24 pm

I miss Matty, but HInske and Mather seem to be working out alright.

'TomahawkChoppin

May 25th, 2011
4:32 pm

Count, First is working out great for me. sounds like someone is envious. (that means jealous).

Scrappy

May 25th, 2011
4:52 pm

I miss Matt, too–he’s a true class act. And I agree with him on Venters–he’s awesome!

BobHornersCast

May 25th, 2011
4:55 pm

BobHornersCast

May 25th, 2011
4:56 pm

GoThreashersImeanreallygo

May 25th, 2011
5:16 pm

Carroll Rogers

May 25th, 2011
5:16 pm

postgame quotes are gonna have to wait a while. sorry….late for flight….i’ll do what i can.

gamer should be up online shortly tho. later!

John OTC

May 25th, 2011
5:28 pm

choozer

May 25th, 2011
5:49 pm

Would be interesting to see him as closer.

Dennis Reynolds

May 25th, 2011
7:03 pm

Matty D! Come back to Atlanta!!

Choppinmama

May 25th, 2011
7:54 pm

Sorry, Matty, but…………… You Got Owned!*

Hope Jonny at least picked up the tab :)

*anybody see the YGO episode on South Park? Hi-lar-i-ous!!

Choppinmama

May 25th, 2011
7:56 pm

Carroll – best wishes for a calm flight!

gpa

May 26th, 2011
11:22 am

Jonny Venters hasn’t given up a hit in his last 12 innings!!

Dorothy Davis

May 26th, 2011
11:47 am

We miss you Matty. You are a class act and Baseball needs more like you!

David Allen

May 26th, 2011
12:45 pm

I miss Matt Diaz too. He is my favorite baseball player of all time. Shame the Braves and him had to part ways. He may be the greatest player to ever play the game.

Matt Diaz

May 26th, 2011
12:57 pm

Thanks for the praise David. How old are you, maybe like 7? Have you ever watched a baseball game before? If so, I’m confused how you could think I’m the best player. Im a pretty bad hitter and a liability on the field and on the bases. Also I like to wear jean shorts.

David Allen

May 26th, 2011
1:12 pm

Don’t sell yourself short Matt. I know you’ve made some baserunning mistakes in the past, but I’ll give you a pass on that, as running the bases is a lot harder than it looks. I refuse to believe you wear jean shorts. You’re a solid hitter and a regular on web-gems. I stand by my statement. You are my favorite baseball player of all time, and the greatest player ever.

Urban Meyer

May 26th, 2011
1:19 pm

I agree with my best friend David Allen, Matt Diaz is the greatest player ever. Tim Tebow is a close second though, which I believe David agrees with me about that also. Cant wait to see you later David for my foot massage.

David Allen

May 26th, 2011
1:24 pm

Urban, I believe you have mistaken me for someone else, another David Allen perhaps. I’m glad we can agree that Matt Diaz is the greatest player ever. The one thing we may actually see eye-to-eye on. However, I won’t be seeing you later, as you have mistaken me for someone else, and I have to disagree with your #2 greatest player ever. Respectfully, of course.

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

Bill Goldberg

May 26th, 2011
1:29 pm

Anyone who likes Diaz is my mortal enemy.

David Allen

May 26th, 2011
1:33 pm

Goldberg! I know you’re joking. I can see why you may want to be mortal enemies with Urban Meyer, but you and Matt Diaz are neck and neck as my two favorite athletes of all time! Please don’t spear me, or jackhammer me.

Alan S.

May 26th, 2011
1:57 pm

This David kid sounds like a real loser

Urban Meyer

May 26th, 2011
2:01 pm

You’re right Alan, he is. I hate admitting this because he is my best friend, but he doesnt have much a life.

Atlanta Bravos

May 26th, 2011
2:03 pm

These comments are weird, but I think we can all agree that David Allen is a loser.

BNesbit13

May 26th, 2011
2:10 pm

Hey fellas, David is also a good friend of mine. He may be a loser, but he gives one heck of a beard rub.

The Real David Allen

May 26th, 2011
2:11 pm

While BNesbit13 is a friend of mine, I refrain from rubbing my beard on his belly, as I don’t even have a beard. That sounds more like the job of a certain John Pickworth.

David Allen

May 26th, 2011
2:11 pm

I love rubbing my beard on people’s bellies.

The Real David Allen

May 26th, 2011
2:17 pm

Beason

May 26th, 2011
2:17 pm

Anyone here seen the new Bridesmaid movie?

Beason

May 26th, 2011
2:18 pm

Maybe I can get Diaz to see it with me

Alan S.

May 26th, 2011
2:18 pm

Rubbing your beard on people’s bellies???? This is bizarre. And why would you admit that on the comments.

The Real David Allen

May 26th, 2011
2:23 pm

While I may refrain from rubbing my beard on BNesbit13’s belly, I wouldnt mind if he rubbed a certain body part all over me ;)

Cox6

May 26th, 2011
2:26 pm

Wow….must be a slow day at work

Lowcountry Brave

May 26th, 2011
3:35 pm

I like Kimbrel and all, but even if he operating on all cylinders with control, will he ever be as good as Venters is? It seems to me that Kimbrel is the closer just because he throws harder and throws more fastballs. Mariano Rivera has been a pretty good closer with that slider of his.

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