Braves: Pitching, defense, late homers

We’ve had plenty of time in the past week to hash out all that is wrong with the Braves, and judging from the tone of the blogosphere one would never know this is injury-riddled team has the fourth-most wins (28) and fifth-best winning percentage (.549) in the NL.

But it does.

Prado has three homers in close-and-late situations for a team that leads the NL with 17.

Prado has three homers in close-and-late situations for a team that leads the NL with 17.

And for those who keep track of such things this early, the Braves today would be second in the NL wild-card standings, one game behind the Marlins. They start a three-game series tonight against Cincinnati.

By the way,  if you think the Braves are erratic, check out the Reds, who are 1-8 with a 5.78 ERA and 29 runs scored in their past nine games, after going 8-1 with a 2.99 ERA and 54 runs in the nine games prior to the skid.

Going back to the Marlins for a moment. Given injuries, players who’ve underperformed, etc., which pitching staff and overall team would you prefer to have for the remainder of the season, Atlanta’s or Florida’s?

I’d go with the Braves’ roster because of the pitching and because I really expect a more from Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward in the second half.

(However, it’s not an easy call, given that Florida’s Hanley Ramirez has quietly stunk it up as much as his ex-teammate Uggla. I guess that’s a plus about playing for Florida – a star such as Ramirez can bat .211 with a .296 OBP, four homers and a .610 OPS through May 26 and rarely even have it mentioned on SportsCenter or written about nationally.)

The Braves and a few reasons they’ve managed to stay just 3-1/2 games off the division lead and one game behind the wild-card leader despite some severely challenged hitting days and nights.

Among the reasons: Pitching, defense and some late-innings long balls.

The pitching and defense have been well-chronicled, so we’ll give those components a cursory mention before we get to the late-innings long balls in a moment.

Actually, we’ll give defense less than that – the Braves rank in the top few teams in the league in fielding percentage. But you guys have watched this defense. You don’t need those numbers to know it’s a far better unit than last season’s, even if there have been a few memorable, error-marred games, and too many stolen bases allowed, which is in large part the fault of a couple of pitchers who don’t hold runners well at all.

♣ The pitching: The Braves’ 2.97 ERA is the best in the NL, just ahead of the Phillies’ 3.04 and a quarter-run better than third-ranked San Francisco’s 3.22.

Atlanta’s starters rank second in the league with a 3.19 ERA, behind the Giants’ 3.16 and ahead of the vaunted Phillies’ 3.21. Given the state of flux in the 5-spot in recent weeks, the starters’ ERA is impressive. Much of the credit goes to Jair Jurrjens, who continued to defy skeptics, both with how he’s bounced back from his spotty, injury-shortened 2010 season, and from how he continues to get better results, night after night, than some of the advanced statistics suggest he should.

Jurrjens is 6-1 in eight starts and leads major league starters with a 1.56 ERA. His current 1.023 WHIP (walks+hits per inning pitched) is significantly lower than the 1.214 he posted in his best full season in 2009, when he went 14-10 with a 2.60 ERA that was the third-lowest among NL starters.

Jurrjens is 5-1 and leads major league starters with a ERA. He starts Sunday night.

Jurrjens is 5-1 and leads major league starters with a 1.56 ERA. He starts Sunday night.

Jurrjens starts Sunday night in a strong pitching matchup with Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto in a game that’ll be shown on ESPN2. (The Braves have a couple of big stages this weekend, with Fox carrying Saturday night’s game.)

While Jurrjens’ return to form has solidified one of baseball’s best rotations, the stalwart trio of Jonny Venters, Craig Kimbrel and Eric O’Flaherty has kept Atlanta’s bullpen among baseball’s elite units — 2.55 ERA is second in NL — despite the absence of  Peter Moylan.

Only 11 major league pitchers have made 25 or more relief appearances this season, and three of them are Venters (majors-leading 28), O’Flaherty (27, tied with three others for second-most in majors) and Kimbrel (25).

Venters has been beyond dominant. Simply, he’s been the best reliever in the league. He leads the majors with 30-2/3 innings and leads all major league qualifiers – starters and relievers – with an .095 opponents’ average and .103 OA by right-handed batters.

His 0.59 ERA is the second-best among major league relievers, and including 0.31 in his past 26 appearances.

Venters gave up a run in his second appearance of the season, and since then has posted a microscopic .091 opponents’ average and 0.31 ERA, allowing just eight hits, one run and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28-2/3 innings.

And it gets better: In his past 10 appearances, the sinkerballing lefty has allowed no hits – none, zero – and six walks with nine strikeouts in 12 scoreless innings. That included three two-inning appearances out of four on the trip that ended Wednesday.

Opponents are 5-for-72 (.069) against him in close-and-late situations. They are 2-for-21 against him with runners in scoring position, with three walks, nine strikeouts and one hit batter.

And with bases loaded, opponents are 0-for-5 with one RBI against Venters.

If he’s not selected to the All-Star team, it’ll be criminal.

♣ Lastly, those long balls: That other component, one that keeps coming up with these Braves over the past two seasons, whether they’re going good, bad or in-between, is the seemingly dropped-from-the-skies unexpected late-innings homers. Although at some point, I guess we shouldn’t be so surprised.

As bad as Uggla's overall offense has been, his four close-and-late homers leads a team that has twice as many such homers as any other NL squad.

As bad as Uggla's overall offense has been, his four close-and-late homers leads a team that has twice as many such homers as any other NL squad.

Still, I found this startling when I was numbers-crunching today: The Braves are hitting a mere .223 (74-of-332) in close-and-late situations, which ranks 13th in the NL. However – big however – their 17 homers in those situations are more than twice as many as any other NL team.

The Brewers, Dodgers and Reds are all tied for second with eight homers in close-and-late situations. Yes, Braves have 17.

The Braves have averaged one homer per 19.5 at-bats after the sixth inning in close games. They’ve averaged one homer every 42.5 at-bats in all other situations.

They hit homers more than twice as frequently in close-and-late situations than in all other situations. That is not in any way normal, folks.

Equally shocking, given his overall disappointing performance, is that Dan Uggla has four such homers. In fact, between them, Uggla and Martin Prado (three) have more close-and-late homers than nine NL teams have, and equal the total of three other NL teams.

BRAVES LINEUP

  1. Schafer CF
  2. Prado LF
  3. Chipper 3B
  4. McCann C
  5. Hinske RF
  6. Uggla 2B
  7. Freeman 1B
  8. Gonzalez SS
  9. Hanson RH

♣ The thing with pitching records: Tonight we get Tommy Hanson (5-3, 2.72 ERA) against Cincy’s Mike Leake (3-2, 5.70), who made headlines for a recent shoplifting incident, and not much else. Leake has a 5.77 ERA in six starts, and has made three relief appearances since his last start May 3

Hanson had not allowed more than three earned runs or two walks all season before giving up four of each in six innings Saturday for no decision in a win at Anaheim. He’s 7-4 with a 2.33 ERA and .193 opponents’ average in 17 starts since Sept. 1.

Tonight’s matchup provides a perfect opportunity to again point out how won-lost records are so often an unreliable measure of a pitcher’s performance over a specific period.

Consider: In Leake’s last 19 games (17 starts) before he moved to the bullpen, he had a 6-5 record despite a 6.23 ERA, .312 opponents’ average and 20 homers allowed in 99-2/3 innings. The primary reason: He received more than 7.2 support runs per nine innings pitched in that period.

Contrast that with Hanson’s past 28 starts, in which he has an 8-9 record despite a 2.51 ERA, .209 opponents’ average, and 12 homers allowed in 172-1/3 innings. Hanson has received 3.6 support runs per nine innings pitched in that period, or just under half of Leake’s average support.

♣ OK, let’s close this with a phenomenal tune written by the great Allen Toussaint and sung here by Aaron Neville back in the day. Yes, before Neville started crooning on ever variety and awards show and doing a lot of uninspired covers and duets, the man was simply one of the most soulful singers alive. You can hear this one by clicking here.

images

“HERCULES” by Allen Toussaint

All you fear, is fear its self
Check our your own back yard before you check out someone else

Railroad track, in my neighbourhood
Ain’t no trains around that part just ain’t no good

Wanna know, what’s going down,
When the pimp on the corner looks like the sharpest cat in town

Jungle rule, can’t be no fool
Might get caught by the hook of a crook no time for cool

Look out jay, what you say, what you carrying brother
I hope you’re clean cause the man is mean, don’t come another further

We all know the answer, will come out in time
I might even carry some of your load, right along with mine

Thank you ma’am, mister please
‘Cause I must be Hercules
I must be Hercules

Like a bird, on the wing
I just wanna be free enough to do my thing

I can feel the pressure, from every side
If you ain’t gonna help, don’t hurt, just pass me by

Oh, no

Hercules
I must be Hercules

Jungle rule, can’t be no fool
Devil is on the loose, no coo
Got your feet, in the sand
Got to be down with the cats that around and still got the face the man

Talk about me if you please but I must be Hercules
Hercules
I must be Hercules

Duckin’ rocks, catchin’ stones
Movin’ how can I survive what’s going on
Big steely borrow
Somehow I’ve got to make it to tomorrow

Can’t depend, on no-one else
Comin’ up the hard way I’ve got to save myself

Must be Hercules
I must be Hercules
Talk about me if you please
I must be Hercules

1,506 comments Add your comment

BFChris26

May 27th, 2011
2:56 pm

Arkansas Transplant

May 27th, 2011
3:03 pm

Murph, the only thing missing in that video is Shaun off in the corner with a clueless look on his face.

BFChris26

May 27th, 2011
3:03 pm

Nice new blog DOB 8-)

Can’t wait for this weekend’s series to get started.

Murph

May 27th, 2011
3:03 pm

Anyone want to see my sample size?

Jgainsey

May 27th, 2011
3:04 pm

Braves: Pitching, defense, late homers, and a nauseating number of bunts.

Trey

May 27th, 2011
3:08 pm

Dang, I was hoping we finally found out who Ward was, Brian! :(

T for Texas

May 27th, 2011
3:09 pm

Thanks for the new one, David.

Brian from SC

May 27th, 2011
3:09 pm

I take it Ward is considered a false handle? I thought he was just from another country.

TennesseePaul

May 27th, 2011
3:09 pm

Thanks for the work DOB!

GO BRAVES!!

Murph

May 27th, 2011
3:09 pm

Ward is Ward. One of a kind.

bravesgrl4life

May 27th, 2011
3:10 pm

Thanks for the new blog, DOB, and welcome back!

AA

May 27th, 2011
3:10 pm

DOB,

Not to make light of the Braves close-n-late homers, but I wonder if the source isn’t as much clutch hitting as it is a greater number close-n-late situations the Braves find themselves in. Thanks to the solid pitching and reasonable defense, they are in a majority of the games they play. Also, thanks to their somewhat anemic offense in the first 6 innings, they aren’t blowing anyone out either. Not to add to the workload, but I’d be more interested in their home run rate in close-n-late situations than just the number that they’ve hit. I’m glad they’ve hit them though, or else that 3.5 game spread would be much bigger.

Ease®

May 27th, 2011
3:11 pm

The Braves are hitting a mere .223 (74-of-332) in in close-and-late situations,

But not Dan Uggla that’s for sure. Pressure doesn’t affect him one bit.

Trey

May 27th, 2011
3:11 pm

Brian, I have no idea who or what he is. I’ve been assuming he was real, but the way a lot of folks think he is fake, does make me wonder if he is or isn’t fake.

AA

May 27th, 2011
3:12 pm

Nevermind….I reread paying closer attention…thanks for the hard work.

BFChris26

May 27th, 2011
3:14 pm

Hopefully Uggla gets hot this series and the offense gets going. After Reds series against Phillies, this is just as good time as any to start.

Ease®

May 27th, 2011
3:14 pm

Anyone want to see my sample size?

I saw a speck on the floor…but that is about it.

Yakman

May 27th, 2011
3:14 pm

Excellent work as always DOB- glad to see you back at the grind. Thanks for the Husker Du rec back in AZ- Zen Arcade was totally absent from my library, and now is an absolute fixture. Venters must be Hercules.

Brian from SC

May 27th, 2011
3:14 pm

AA. the Braves have 385 close-and-late plate appearances, 3rd in the NL. They are homering every 19.5 at-bats in close-and-late situations, and homering once every 42.5 at-bats in all other situations.

BFChris26

May 27th, 2011
3:15 pm

Hoping Braves can take at least 2 out of 3, but if they can continue with the strong pitching recently and get enough runs or start to get going, maybe a sweep.

Brian from SC

May 27th, 2011
3:16 pm

Haha, I just realized DOB posted the exact same thing in his post. I admit, I’m a skimmer.

monty

May 27th, 2011
3:18 pm

Every team that made the playoffs last year had a run differential of at least 100+. Every few years or so a team may make the playoffs with less than 100 or even as the Rockies did several years ago with a break even RD. But that is rather uncommon to say the least. Show me the teams at the end of a season by their RD and not their record, and I will successfully pick the teams who are in the playoffs with a high enough percentage that I would gladly wager money, even though I’m not the gambling type. It means nothing in a playoff series though.

David O'Brien

May 27th, 2011
3:18 pm

Braves lineup: 1. Schafer CF, 2. Prado LF, 3. Jones 3B, 4. McCann C, 5. Hinske RF, 6. Uggla 2B, 7. Freeman 1B, 8. Gonzalez SS, 9. Hanson

CrαZy

May 27th, 2011
3:19 pm

EPIC FAIL

Not one explanation in the new blog about the Braves Pythagorean record compared to the actual W/L record in high and low pressure situations while taking into account the run differential.

BFChris26

May 27th, 2011
3:19 pm

I like the lineup for tonight.

Murph

May 27th, 2011
3:20 pm

I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict the Braves get more than 3 runs tonight. Crazy of me, I know, but I think they are due for a 4 run explosion.

Tomas

May 27th, 2011
3:21 pm

Let’s do a position by position analysis like Freddy did vs Philly…..

C Brian McCann vs Brett Hayes…..ATL
1B Freddy Freeman vs Gaby Sanchez……FLO
2B Dan Uggla vs Omar Infante………ATL
3B Chipper Jones vs Gregg Dobbs…….ATL
SS Alex Gonzalez vs Hanley Ramirez…….FLO
LF Martin Prado vs Logan Morrison……….tough one…..FLO
CF Nate Mclouth vs Chris Coghlan………FLO
RF Jason Heyward vs Mike Stanton……..FLO

Bench……ATL

Starting pitchers
1. Derek Lowe vs Josh Johnson…..FLO
2. Tommy Hanson vs Ricky Nolasco…..ATL
3. Tim Hudson vs Anibal Sanchez…….ATL
4. Jair Jurrjens vs Chris Volstad………ATL
5. Brandon Beachy vs Javier Vazquez…….ATL

Bullpen…..ATL

Braves have the edge overall but offensively Marlins are much better.

Murph

May 27th, 2011
3:22 pm

Not one explanation in the new blog about the Braves Pythagorean record compared to the actual W/L record in high and low pressure situations while taking into account the run differential.

The answer is 7… no, wait, it’s 8!

Brian from SC

May 27th, 2011
3:22 pm

I think the Braves could really go a longs ways to bury the Reds if they jump out early tonight. Philadelphia really wore down the Reds staff this week. Get to Leake early, and set the tone for the weekend.

TennesseePaul

May 27th, 2011
3:24 pm

The Braves could use another offensive player (of Jordan Schafer, who is in for injured Nate McLouth, one scout said, “he can’t hit”), and specifically they could use an outfielder, especially one who can lead off.
Jon Heyman

Finally Jon quoted me…

Conyers Braves Fan

May 27th, 2011
3:25 pm

it is amusing that some Braves fans are blasting Freddi for the number of bunts he calls while they blasted Bobby for never playing small ball.

heymmered

May 27th, 2011
3:27 pm

I live close to Cincinnati and their pitching staff is pretty weak. They score runs though so if we can continue the strong pitching, I see no reason to not take 2 of 3.

TennesseePaul

May 27th, 2011
3:27 pm

It needs to be noted here that the DUI charge against Derek Lowe was dismissed for lack for evidence after a review of the tape suggested he did exceedingly well on the field sobriety test. My question would be: Why was he arrested in the first place?
Jon Heyman

Maybe a Georgian can clear this up, but I thought if one refuses a test, it is an automatic arrest… ?

Ralph

May 27th, 2011
3:27 pm

Carrroll, Cincy may be 1-8 last 9 games but this is the team that SICK teams love to play.

BFChris26

May 27th, 2011
3:28 pm

Tomas

I’d have to give LF to ATL. Not being a homer about it, but Prado is slightly better than Logan Morrison in my opinion because of the intangibles he brings. Prado is more of a catalyst for Braves than Logan Morrison is to Marlins. I’ll give that Logan is more of a natural LF than Prado, but offensively, Prado to me is more consistent than Logan Morrison.

I say this because I get both Braves and Marlins games and to me, Prado has more to offer than Logan. But it is definitely a close one in my view.

Even with giving LF to ATL, I do think offensively Marlins are more equipped with offense in terms of getting runs scored due them being able to manufacture runs better and score more consistently. So at this moment in time, Marlins do have the edge offensively. That is until Braves can get it going, when that happens (I think they will, just a matter of time), it’ll end up being a close offensive race.

McCmann and Aqua Hoss

May 27th, 2011
3:28 pm

man man man man….

Phillies are red,
Marlins are turquoise blue.
Neither have the street cred,
That the Tomahawk Chop boooooosts!!!!!!

McCmann: Now thats a haiku

Sweet Old Buck

May 27th, 2011
3:28 pm

Hey! Frenchie’s having a pretty decent season. Don’t we need another right handed bat?

Shaun

May 27th, 2011
3:29 pm

If they get reasonably healthy reasonably soon, the Braves offense will probably be one of the best in the NL in 2011. Their pitching is likely to be about this good all season. The defense if probably not as good as the early season numbers indicate (I think that has more to do with the pitching and Alex Gonzalez than anything else), but a regression there should be more than cancelled out by the probable offensive improvement.

My only concern, and it’s a relatively minor one, is that there is some sort of emphasis on being aggressive at the plate and that will cost the team offensively relative to what they are truly capable of. The reason I think something might be going on with regard to this is that every hitter is under-performing relative to preseason expectations and the most obvious difference between this year’s Braves and last year’s is patience at the plate. Hopefully it’s something flukey that will revert back to last season’s pace, and it has nothing to do with coaching or some underlying issue.

CrαZy

May 27th, 2011
3:31 pm

Anyone remember the Mark Texiera trade or even better what about the Adam Wainwright for JD Drew trade?

ncscoots

May 27th, 2011
3:31 pm

it is amusing that some Braves fans are blasting Freddi for the number of bunts he calls while they blasted Bobby for never playing small ball.

That would be two different sets of folks, LOL. Trust me on that one.

Chuck

May 27th, 2011
3:32 pm

How do the Braves stack up in number of total HRs hit? I wouldn’t think they have very many overall. They do, however, have an extra inning game 2 or 3 times per week! The offense is really an issue, and would be abysmal if our bench wasn’t playing much better than the starters. Somebody tell Heyward he’ll have to earn his spot back!

ncscoots

May 27th, 2011
3:33 pm

Finally Jon quoted me…

Well, that’s one scout and you, TennPaul. Consensus is probably just around the corner, LOL.

MikeInFl

May 27th, 2011
3:33 pm

How can a blogger be a fake?

alex

May 27th, 2011
3:34 pm

Funny, I looked up “numbers crunching” and couldn’t find the definition of “close in late” The miraculous world of stats,garbage in and then garbage out unless of course your uggla then it’s 9 million in and garbage out. Sheeeesh, DOB

I’m still waiting….

Chuck

May 27th, 2011
3:34 pm

Maybe they could start a five man rotation in the outfield: a 3 on 2 off, with Chipper sitting one of the days for Prado, and Freeman sitting one of the days for Hinske. That way our best hitters only take one day off in the rotation.

Ralph

May 27th, 2011
3:35 pm

Uggla is all rested up and ready to go, tomorrow he will be 0 for 10 since his day off.

Ralph

May 27th, 2011
3:36 pm

I hope they have a helmet to fit Shafer tonight.

TennesseePaul

May 27th, 2011
3:37 pm

scoots, it is. Just around the corner. I think Schafer has done an excellent job displaying an exceptionally small skull via helmet modeling.

noleee

May 27th, 2011
3:38 pm

IIRC at a 75% reliability factor Pythagorean Theory has a window of plus or minus 5 games. It is not reliable enough to use as a meaningful predictor. If you want more than 75% reliability then the window is even larger

ncscoots

May 27th, 2011
3:38 pm

That way our best hitters only take one day off in the rotation.

That also means that you never have all your best hitters on the field at the same time. Kinda like swapping your mini-spare around all four wheels instead of using four good tires.

JoshTown

May 27th, 2011
3:39 pm

(Rubs hands) Ohhh baby gonna be a good weekend for braves baseball. Let’s go!

DAP

May 27th, 2011
3:39 pm

brian from SC, i agree…gotta get into that bullpen early. make leake work, boys!

Tomas

May 27th, 2011
3:39 pm

Perfect lineup by Freddy, read my mind

phil

May 27th, 2011
3:40 pm

Cy Leake….5.74 ERA…..

Great….

ncscoots

May 27th, 2011
3:41 pm

TennPaul, one good thing: a tiny head provides absolute refutability to any steroids-usage rumors. He’s the anti-Barry.

CrαZy

May 27th, 2011
3:42 pm

How can a blogger be a fake?

How many conversations happen on this blog between 1 person?

CharlieAlphaBravo

May 27th, 2011
3:43 pm

LF Martin Prado vs Logan Morrison……….tough one…..FLO
RF Jason Heyward vs Mike Stanton……..FLO
-Tomas

You’re out of your mind. I’d take Martin and Jason 10 times out of 10.

By the way, where exactly is Florido?

Abnerish

May 27th, 2011
3:43 pm

So based on that analysis of Leake and Hanson, the Braves lose tonight, 7-3. :)

I like this lineup. I could see it continuing once Heyward returns (except flip Uggla and the RF spot when Heyward is back or Uggla starts hitting – whichever comes first!)

AZBravoFan

May 27th, 2011
3:44 pm

another amazing thing about this bullpen (knock on wood) is that Linebrink aside, they really haven’t had any true meltdowns. Most of the blown saves have been coughing up the 1 run in a 1 run game. Still gives the team a chance to win in extras (like Weds). Kimbrel has only lost 1 game in his 4 blown saves. His other loss was in a tie game. All those other BS the Braves still had a chance to score and win, they just didn’t because guys like Linebrink and Martinez coughed up the game winners. By keeping the ball in the park and out of the gaps, they’re creating more of the close and late situations where the Braves can eke out some wins. How quickly we’ve forgotten those awful days of Reitsma and Kolb.

MikeInFl

May 27th, 2011
3:44 pm

I have a hard time believing that veteran hitters like McCann, Chipper, Gonzo, Uggla, and Prado would (or could) be much influenced by a hitting coach’s philosophy.

I do think Heyward is pretty confused about what to swing at, and has been for a year now.

But seems like the veterans would be pretty stubborn about doing what they do best, regardless of what a 1st year pitching coach had to say. No?

CharlieAlphaBravo

May 27th, 2011
3:45 pm

You’re right. Heyward might as well be swinging a pillow up there.

Chuck

May 27th, 2011
3:46 pm

ncscoots – once in a while we would have the best hitters on the field, but the point is to get our non-performing starters on the bench without “benching” them. The performing bench players need a way to stay on the field after the injured return. If it weren’t for injuries, our record would look much worse! :-)

Abnerish

May 27th, 2011
3:46 pm

I don’t know, Miuke Stanton seems like the real deal. He hits the ball as hard as Sheffield did in his prime.

flange1

May 27th, 2011
3:47 pm

The helmet only looks big to protect the enormous ears. Takes a ton of plastic to cover those big boys….

noleee

May 27th, 2011
3:47 pm

but offensively Marlins are much better…..Tomas

well they have scored three more runs in three less games so far which would make them some better at this point, not sure about much better, not in the StL or Cincy realm anyway

ncscoots

May 27th, 2011
3:47 pm

Great….

phil! No blubbering before 4PM Eastern!

Randy S

May 27th, 2011
3:48 pm

Awesome song. One of my favorites to hear Ivan Neville (Aaron’s son) play.

Chuck

May 27th, 2011
3:48 pm

I have to give it to Chipper this year on defense, though. He has been excellent. Better than I thought he could be.

ncgary

May 27th, 2011
3:48 pm

go braves
no to frenchy

DAP

May 27th, 2011
3:50 pm

AZBravofan How quickly we’ve forgotten those awful days of Reitsma and Kolb.

speak for yourself. dan kolb still haunts my dreams.

the bullpen is why is was ready to see our last GM go. shuerholtz never focused on having a good pen. he just kinda threw one together. wren has shown that a good bullpen is a priority, which is a good thing if we are hope to win some world series championships in the future.

noleee

May 27th, 2011
3:50 pm

while they blasted Bobby for never playing small ball…..Conyers

I was just fine with Bobby never doing more than some hit and run

Beach Dawg

May 27th, 2011
3:52 pm

Maybe we should re name this column to the “Daily SOB” — Stats Over Board as well as for all the whining that goes on!!!

noleee

May 27th, 2011
3:53 pm

The reason I think something might be going on with regard to this is that every hitter is under-performing relative to preseason expectations and the most obvious difference between this year’s Braves and last year’s is patience at the plate…..Shaun

well many of us have said that for months but now that Shaun has put his stamp on it, it must indeed be true ;)

Braint

May 27th, 2011
3:55 pm

You’re out of your mind. I’d take Martin and Jason 10 times out of 10.
–Charlie Alpha Bravo

Have you seen Stanton play? I like Heyward but the Stanton kid is amazing. I’d give FLA Jason for Stanton right now! (But FLA wouldn’t accept that trade.)

ncscoots

May 27th, 2011
3:56 pm

I’d give FLA Jason for Stanton right now!

Might be thinking a little too much in-the-moment on that one, I’d guess.

Abnerish

May 27th, 2011
3:59 pm

I think Dan Kolb still haunts Dan Kolb’s dreams. That guy is the posterchild for imploding under the pressure of a bigger stage, bigger contract.

Murph

May 27th, 2011
3:59 pm

Only thing is… it seems that hitters across the league are under-performing. It’s not just the Braves, it’s guys on every team.

I don’t know that you’re going to see the Braves have some magical course-correcting offensive surge. I wonder if this is the dawn of a new age in baseball, one where scoring 3 runs is the norm and 5 runs is an explosion.

Only time will tell.

noleee

May 27th, 2011
4:00 pm

I think I’d wait a while Braint, but Stanton is very good

noleee

May 27th, 2011
4:02 pm

could very well be Murph

MikeInFl

May 27th, 2011
4:02 pm

Stanton is very good, and Morrison is a fine hitter too. Nearly as much power, but a much better walk/strikeout rate (and a 400+ OBP). Limited sample size but he looks like the real deal.

If Hanley was hitting that offense would be impressive.

Larry

May 27th, 2011
4:02 pm

who are the Braves gonna try to get? Granderson or Pence maybe?

Abnerish

May 27th, 2011
4:02 pm

Why do the Braves have to get somebody? I know it was just two games, but I kinda liked the spark Shafer provided at the top of the lineup. I agree with Wren here, give the kid a couple of weeks to show us what he’s got. The only reason we go get someone is if Heyward doesn’t recover from his shoulder injury.

Just Pat

May 27th, 2011
4:03 pm

I was real late to the end of the last blog and did and lot of reading but no posting. However, hafta agree with scoots and nolee re: the Stanton vs. Heyward thing. Doesn’t anyone else remember that Brooks Conrad was just a POS before his heroics last time? It’s always……what have you done for me lately on here.

RonnieFranchise

May 27th, 2011
4:04 pm

DOB was correct when he predicted Jurjens “had a lot to prove” and would be the most improved this year.

Nice call, DOB.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 27th, 2011
4:04 pm

Thanks for the lineup and new Blog, Chief!

and too many stolen bases allowed, which is in large part the fault of a couple of pitchers who don’t hold runners well at all.

Yeah, boy! :roll: (ITS) However, they know who they are, so I will not say them name or further elaborate on this subject (which, anyway, would more than likely be just another “McFann-talking-to-herself moment…)

JerseyGil

May 27th, 2011
4:04 pm

Sleeping Player to the Braves get…..ALEX RIOS.

ncgary

May 27th, 2011
4:04 pm

30 to 35 years ago you could basically have
a 2 fingered catcher, since most pitches
were either fastball or curve

ncscoots

May 27th, 2011
4:05 pm

could very well be Murph [that low-scoring will become the norm]

That would turn me into a bitter old man before my time, LOL. No one will want to converse with me, because I’ll always be griping about the days when players swung the lumber. It won’t be pretty.

count_schemula

May 27th, 2011
4:05 pm

I love David Ross but any chance the SF Giants want to make a trade for him?

Just Pat

May 27th, 2011
4:05 pm

McFann

“and too many stolen bases allowed, which is in large part the fault of a couple of pitchers who don’t hold runners well at all.”

As SOON as I read that, I knew you’d be chiming in! :-)

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 27th, 2011
4:06 pm

Murph I wonder if this is the dawn of a new age in baseball, one where scoring 3 runs is the norm and 5 runs is an explosion.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Puzzled

May 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

Ha it come to the point now where we should be excited to be in 5th place?

AZBravoFan

May 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

DAP, I’m with you, I still have a little residual post-traumatic stress from those guys as well. Just makes me laugh when people complain about Kimbrel giving up a run on a couple dink hits. If these guys can stay healthy and strong and we make it to the post-season, then we just need 5-6 strong with a lead from our starters and it should be over. Especially if JV has enough juice to go 2 in the post-season like Mariano does.

phil

May 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

Conyers Braves Fan

May 27th, 2011
3:25 pm
it is amusing that some Braves fans are blasting Freddi for the number of bunts he calls while they blasted Bobby for never playing small ball.

Cox bunted plenty…

flange1

May 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

To me the Marlins have 3 guys, Morrison, Sanchez and Stanton that look to be a fine group of young power hitting players.

If I were the GM of the Marlins, I would let Hanley start hitting and see what I could get in trade. If they could get a young talented SS or 2B, an older established 2B or SS and a good young starting pitcher for about the same that they are paying Hanley, I think they should trade him.

noleee

May 27th, 2011
4:08 pm

I doubt if they get either.
why would the get Granderson anyway they do not need another LHed hitter
right now he is having a career year but his career numbers against lefties are atrocious IIRC.
That would be a surprise IMO
I’m not sure they will get anybody if Schafer keeps scoring some runs

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 27th, 2011
4:08 pm

Just Pat

:mrgreen:

It is getting quite ridiculous, though—BMac’s throwing has improved a TON, but because a couple pitchers can’t hold runners, it doesn’t show all that much…

Puzzled

May 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

Have no fear, all things wrong with the Reds’ pitching will be rectified tonight. The Braves seem to have a special gift of helping other pitching stafss get on track.

noleee

May 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

me too scoots, I’m a lumber man myself
well I like it that we can hold them down….

CharlieAlphaBravo

May 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

Never said I didn’t like Stanton or Morrison; they both appear to have bright futures… I just wouldn’t say Florida has an edge at those positions compared to Heyward and Prado.

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