Braves aim for flourish finish to strong month of May

(Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien today.)

So here we are, May 31st – welcome back to the daily grind for those of you coming off a nice, long Memorial Day weekend break.

The Braves started the month of May so well, 12-4 including two series wins over the Phillies. Then came that 1-4 west coast swing that seemed to put a damper on things.

The Braves have won two series in a row over the Pirates and Reds, yet losing yesterday to the Padres 3-2 in 10 innings had to be deflating. The offensive futility is starting to wear on this team some. It’s like the Braves need one of those days where hits come easy, just to take some of the pressure off.

Even when the Braves win, they’re not scoring runs. They’re getting incredible pitching efforts, like from Jair Jurrjens on Sunday night. (More on Jurrjens in a second.) The Braves’ 2.83 ERA in May leads the major leagues. And let’s not forget yesterday when reliever Jonny Venters got another one of his bases loaded, less than two-out, double play balls to keep the Braves in the game.

Jurrjens could kiss all the competition goodbye for NL pitcher of month

Jurrjens could kiss all the competition goodbye for NL pitcher of month

But the last time the Braves scored more than two runs in a nine-inning game was on May 16 against the Astros. And that was a whopping three runs. The last time the Braves scored more than three runs in a nine-inning game was on May 14 against the Phillies in a 5-3 win that Saturday afternoon game against Joe Blanton.

The next day was Dan Uggla day, when he hit the game-winning home run in a 3-2 win off Roy Halladay and scored all three Braves’ run that day. Since then, Uggla is 4-for-47 (.085) with no one RBI in 13 games. He has no extra-base hits in that span and nine strikeouts.

Despite it all, the Braves are still 17-10 in May, second in the National League only to (oddly) the Arizona Diamondbacks and in the majors to the Boston Red Sox, who are finally playing like everybody thought they would.

May records

Red Sox 19-9 .679

D-backs 19-9 .679

Braves 17-10 .630

Giants 16-11 .593

Brewers 16-12 .571

Phillies 16-12 .571

Cardinals 16-12 .571

The Braves have to win tonight and tomorrow night against the Padres to take the series, but it’s something they’ve done before. After dropping the series opener in San Diego on April 25 5-3 in 13 innings, they won the next two by a total of 15-2. One of the pitchers they beat in those last two games was Mat Latos who is pitching tonight against Mike Minor.

On paper, you figure advantage Latos, the big ol’ 23-year-old with the nasty stuff, but he’s only 2-6 with a 4.08 ERA this year. He is coming off eight innings of one-run ball against the Cardinals and a 3-1 win, but he’s allowed four runs in two of three starts prior, and if he keeps with the “every other” theme, he’s due for another four tonight.

Minor pitched well in his return to the rotation Wednesday in Pittsburgh, looking much more poised and in control while holding the Pirates to one run in 5 2/3 innings. Still would be nice to see the Braves get a little cushion for him. That’d be nice for any of the starters right now.

Pitcher of the month?

Jurrjens makes a nice case for NL pitcher of the month while going 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA in May. The Brewers’ Yovani Gallardo is 5-1 as well but his ERA is 2.25, not shabby, but not Jurrjens.

Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz has 11 saves with 13 scoreless innings this month. But do you go there when you have somebody allowing only eight runs in 43 2/3 innings?

Jurrjens is on the kind of roll that should land him on his first All-Star team. Another month close to this, and maybe he even starts for the National League. Hey, you never know.

Overall on the season, Jurrjens is 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA, which leads all qualified major league starters. There’s a seven-way tie for the major-league lead in wins, of well, seven, and what’s not to like about the symmetry there?

Jurrjens is having a historical start to his season, all while missing the first couple of starts with an oblique injury. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jurrjens is only the fourth pitcher in major league history to begin a season with nine consecutive starts of six or more innings, while allowing two or fewer runs in each game. The only others to do it are Lefty Gomez in 1937, Randy Johnson in 2000 and Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010.

Short hops

Chipper Jones told me yesterday about a conversation he had with Jordan Schafer in spring training, laying out to him that he needed to play like a leadoff hitter if he wanted to get back up here, using his speed and putting the ball in play, etc. One quote I didn’t use and thought I should have is below, about how sometimes frankness can go a long way. And it’s something Schafer wanted. He’s the one who asked Chipper what it would take to get to the big leagues again.

“I think I just told him something that nobody else would,” Jones said. “I think sometimes you take it for granted that a guy knows he’s going to be a leadoff hitter in the big leagues, or a 1 or 2 hitter, and they just automatically know what to do.”…

The Braves played their 12th extra inning game of the season Monday in their first 55 games. They had played four to this point last season and 13 all last season, if that helps put it in perspective a little…

Our congratulations to Blue Jays left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes, who pitched his first career complete game yesterday in an 11-1 win over the Indians, to win for the first time in almost three years. He broke a streak of 28 winless starts since he beat the Dodgers on June 13, 2008 as a pitcher for the Braves….

HeywardMemorial

Check out reflection in Heyward's glasses. Photo by Pouya Dianat, Braves

Yesterday was a pretty special setting for Memorial Day, when the Braves held a moving on-field ceremony before the game where active members of the military lined the infield with players from both the Braves and Padres. There was a ceremonial first pitch by Maj. Gen. Robert Brown, commander of Ft. Benning, a video presentation and a 21-gun salute.

The Braves hosted 1,353 members of the military and their families over the weekend as part of a promotion to give free tickets to military personnel and half-off to their family members….

We close by acknowledging it’s a sad day for hockey fans in Atlanta and that we just got one professional sports franchise lighter here in the big city. I’ll save the politics and comments about ownership etc and just say thanks for the memories to some of the great players we saw over the years here – Kovy, Hossa, and a personal favorite because he was such a nice guy and gutsy goaltender, Moose (Johan Hedberg). Those guys and others were awfully patient with a sportswriter trying to figure out something about their game on the fly a couple years back as a fill-in over there.

More from Turner Field in a little while.

1,397 comments Add your comment

We_Run_This_Country

May 31st, 2011
1:52 pm

Dan Uggla should be hitting 7th or 8th today….let’s see what Fredi does.

John Galt

May 31st, 2011
1:59 pm

First, let me say that Schafer is the only POTENTIAL leadoff hitter on the roster. If Chipper had to tell him what I already knew- hit the other way. put ground balls to the left side, etc., etc.,- who in the heck is coaching these people?

Kurdt Kobain

May 31st, 2011
2:03 pm

Jurrjens has been straight up dominant. I can’t remember being so confident the Braves were going to win on days when a certain pitcher pitched.

stevie zero

May 31st, 2011
2:06 pm

love to see some smallball today. hey uggla, look for a breaking ball ang go to right field for the love of pete

TennesseePaul

May 31st, 2011
2:07 pm

Thanks for the work CR.

GO BRAVES!

Murph

May 31st, 2011
2:12 pm

Taken from the other blog:

Murph, if you think bad luck isn’t real, call it something else. Crushing a ball right at the secondbaseman or a grounder that finds a glove instead of a hole in the defense is something.

Ok, I’ll call it “what actually happened” instead of “luck”.

The pitcher throws the ball and sets into action a series of physics-based events… the spin of the ball, the velocity it’s thrown with, the point of contact with the bat, the speed of the bat, the angle of the swing, the elevation, the humidity, the wind speed… they all affect where the ball is going to go.

There isn’t some magical hand reaching down from the heavens guiding a bat or keeping a 2nd baseman from starting his dive for a ball up the middle until it’s too late. There’s a guy with a bat swinging at a ball.

Belief in luck or that some outside mythical force dictates where a hit ball goes is just dumb. Especially for someone who spouts stats all day like they are gospel… to then profess your belief in luck in the same breath just makes your arguments all the more hypocritical and baseless.

Next.

Gil In Mechanicsville

May 31st, 2011
2:13 pm

Lew, I have to agree with you on Uggla’s mechanics. He is such a strong guy, you would think he would realize he has enough power to hit the ball a long way with those massive forearms of his. He has become almost Scott Thorman like in the “big whooshing” sound his bat makes with that long swing of his.

Carroll, thanks again for all your good work. Yes, it is a sad day when you lose a franchise but it is the way of the world. Follow the money. Got to remember, the Braves were once in Boston, Milwaukee.

I still miss hockey but then, I miss watching the Braves minor league players as they develop too.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 31st, 2011
2:13 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Ms. Rogers.

Since then, Uggla is 4-for-47 (.085) with no one RBI in 13 games. He has no extra-base hits in that span and nine strikeouts.

Only 9 K’s in 13 games…? Wow…not nearly as many as I would have thought.

Lew

May 31st, 2011
2:13 pm

Murph – But when all of those physical forces come into play in just the right way, you’re a lucky person.

Just Pat

May 31st, 2011
2:14 pm

Murph

Bravo! :-)

Nick N Richmond

May 31st, 2011
2:14 pm

I agree that Uggla needs to be lower in the lineup. I think hitting him 8th for a few days may help. It worked for Nate, so who knows.

Brave4life-1995 all over again?

May 31st, 2011
2:15 pm

Remember fellas

Vote Dan Uggla for all-star………..

TennesseePaul

May 31st, 2011
2:15 pm

Belief in luck or that some outside mythical force dictates where a hit ball goes is just dumb

Sheeeesh! The baseball gods are going to be angry with you Murph.

Brave4life-1995 all over again?

May 31st, 2011
2:16 pm

Hit Uggla 4th

Surprising he has like a .300+ avg. hitting there.

Bobby Coccyx

May 31st, 2011
2:17 pm

Maybe Uggla can hit tenth.

One Time's got no case

May 31st, 2011
2:17 pm

The Braves offense needs a prescription for some 36 hour Cialis injected into it….because it is pretty impotent.

the truth...

May 31st, 2011
2:18 pm

Mr. Galt…..

…to answer your question, perhaps NO ONE is coaching these guys….OR… perhaps those coaching (can you spell hitting coach?) don’t have any more of a clue than the players who are struggling…

…or another possibililty is that the staff is just incompetant…..

…or that the players are the problem…….

hmmmmmmmmmm…..wonder if that might just be the case here?????

Lee in S GA

May 31st, 2011
2:18 pm

Before the season began some thought, including myself, Jair Jurrjens may be trade bait during this season. Now I would say he is untouchable for this season anyway. If the Braves do decide to move him next season (which I hope they don’t) because of his agent or whatever other reason his trade value should be sky high.

ncscoots

May 31st, 2011
2:19 pm

If Chipper had to tell him what I already knew- hit the other way. put ground balls to the left side, etc., etc.,- who in the heck is coaching these people?

Probably folks who know that there is more to life than being Juan Pierre.

Bill Malone

May 31st, 2011
2:19 pm

Something to ponder while waiting for tonight’s first pitch…
In yesterday’s game, when Huddy made the throwing error to second base that ultimately led to a run scoring, should that still be called an unearned run?
It’s not the same as when a position player makes an error and it leads to a run scoring. The pitcher had nothing to do with the play so it should properly be called an unearned run.
But in this case, it was Tim’s fault – and he’s the pitcher – shouldn’t he be charged with the run?
I’m just sayin’…

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 31st, 2011
2:19 pm

Braves4life Hit Uggla 4th Surprising he has like a .300+ avg. hitting there.

Our last couple of managers haven’t really been into the whole hit-him-in-the-spot-in-which-he’s-done-much-better thing the last few years when in comes to the cleanup spot…

But I’m not complaining about what BMac’s done lately… :P

Couch Tater

May 31st, 2011
2:20 pm

Nice camera reflection in Heyward’s glasses. I didn’t know Roseanne Barr was at Turner Field, yesterday.

One Time's got no case

May 31st, 2011
2:20 pm

Headline after yesterday’s game: “Once again, Atlanta’s inability to muster offense proves the difference in loss to San Diego.”

Headline for today’s blog: “Braves aim for flourish finish to strong month of May”.

Sounds like a Chip Carey soundbite: “McCann’s throw was on time, but late”.

Lew

May 31st, 2011
2:20 pm

Well, got to admit that limp bat syndrome hasn’t been mentioned before. Hell – at this point………….maybe anything’s worth a try.

Arkansas Transplant

May 31st, 2011
2:20 pm

Murph, just in case you didn’t catch my comment on the last blog…

Luckily my truck ran out of gas before I could arrive at the building.

Lew

May 31st, 2011
2:21 pm

Unfortunately, if they get into a hot streak offensively for more than four hours……

One Time's got no case

May 31st, 2011
2:22 pm

It’s only a matter of time before our bullpen starts to really break down health wise. Every game (even the ones we lose) are low-scoring, nail biters. If our impotent, limp noodle offense doesn’t find a way to get aroused…..dont be surprised to see Venters or Kimbrel wake up one morning with tendinitis in their shoulder or elbow.

Just Pat

May 31st, 2011
2:22 pm

McFann

You’d be surprised how often YOUR name comes up at our house during the Braves games when BMac doubles or homers. Hubby is starting to feel like he “knows” you a little. :-)

Bill Malone

May 31st, 2011
2:23 pm

ncscoots

May 31st, 2011
2:19 pm

If Chipper had to tell him what I already knew- hit the other way. put ground balls to the left side, etc., etc.,- who in the heck is coaching these people?

Amen to that… even our high school kids know that stuff – it’s Baseball 101, for Pete’s sake!!

Lew

May 31st, 2011
2:24 pm

Just Pat – Yeah, McFann is even mentioned in my will.

Just Pat

May 31st, 2011
2:26 pm

Lew

Welllllll……haven’t gone quite THAT far! ;-)

O.J.

May 31st, 2011
2:26 pm

McFann, with the way Mac has been hitting, its all the more reason to hit Uggla in front of him, so he gets better pitches to hit.

Just Pat

May 31st, 2011
2:28 pm

No, no, no….like Lew’s “limp bat syndrome” MUCH better than limp noodle.

ncscoots

May 31st, 2011
2:29 pm

Bill, that wasn’t my comment, my friend. It was made earlier, and I was responding to it. In fact, disagreeing with the earlier assertion, in a way.

ncscoots

May 31st, 2011
2:29 pm

Dan needs to shave the faux hawk and have the rest of the guys that have followed him like sheep to shave theirs as well. That will break the jinx.

As good a move as any. Carroll, please pass that along to the clubhouse. Remind them that live chickens may be next, if this doesn’t work. :-)

One Time's got no case

May 31st, 2011
2:30 pm

Bill Malone………havent you been on here long enough to know that according to many on here….a Braves manager’s job isnt to teach the fundamentals of the game to Major League players. It’s to make sure that there is good chemistry in the clubhouse.

Just Pat

May 31st, 2011
2:30 pm

Bill Malone

I think CR kinda, sorta covered that in the blog with Chipper’s comment about everyone “assumes” a lead-off or #2 hitter “knows” what they should do (plus somewhere along the line referencing JS’s tendency to get a little home run crazy every once in a while after his first major league at bat). They probably should, and probably DO know, but get sidetracked by their call up, maybe.

Joe

May 31st, 2011
2:31 pm

Dan needs to shave the faux hawk and have the rest of the guys that have followed him like sheep to shave theirs as well. That will break the jinx.

One Time's got no case

May 31st, 2011
2:33 pm

Joe…..perhaps what these guys collectively need to do is arrange a “slump buster” to entertain them for the night. I’m sure that there are some heffers on this blog who would gladly volunteer for the “honor”.

StingerSplash

May 31st, 2011
2:33 pm

Struggla needs to be hitting for the Thompson’s Sporting Goods team right now, not in the 7 or 8 hole for the Braves.
Time to move Prado back to second and put either Hinske, Mather or Heyward (whenever he’s ready) in the corners. If Struggla showed any signs of snapping out of it, maybe you let him swing his way back into a groove. But there are no such indications. Fraudi has to make a difficult choice and soon. Because the longer this team goes without scoring runs, it’s not the starters who will suffer, it’s the bullpen, because they will log more and more innings in more and more extra inning games.

Shaun

May 31st, 2011
2:34 pm

Murph, okay, so don’t call it “luck.” Call it something different when bounces don’t go your way. Also, no one said it was some mystical force. Luck is simply a term for things out of a player’s control. If you don’t like the word “luck,” call it something else.

But crushing a ball right at a fielder or hitting grounders at fielders instead of right out of there reach isn’t make believe. Sometimes a player does what he should and ends up making an out and vice versa. That happens. I understand it’s not some magical, mystical force (who said it was) but it does happen.

That’s a lot of what’s going on with Uggla. Just like age, that’s not the only reason his stats don’t look so good, but that’s a significant factor. Call it what you will. Just please don’t put words in my mouth about “luck” equaling a magical, mystical force because I never said anything of the sort.

ncscoots

May 31st, 2011
2:35 pm

Dentz, get a new IP, did you?

Lew

May 31st, 2011
2:35 pm

scoots – Strange how it only takes a single post to recognize that particular misanthrope.

Juan Pierre

May 31st, 2011
2:36 pm

So,mr. ncscoots,have you made millions in your career?

Carroll Rogers

May 31st, 2011
2:36 pm

I hear you ncscoots and others, but what if the faux hawk is working for players other than Uggla? Schafer is having a good start. Chipper and Martin have a game-winner apiece in the last few days

Murph

May 31st, 2011
2:36 pm

Did Bill use the dreaded “I’m just sayin” at the end of his post? Good thing DOB has the day off or he’d hit you so hard you’d wake up as a Mets fan.

Heisenberg

May 31st, 2011
2:36 pm

Braves have 4 legit allstars: Prado, McCann, Venters, JJ. There should be a congressional inquiry if any are not on team.

Murph

May 31st, 2011
2:36 pm

Anyone seen Ward lately?

TJ Lambert

May 31st, 2011
2:37 pm

If I was manager for a day I would:

Realize that second base has been troublesome for the Braves ever since they traded Kelsco to the Padres for a second baseman they released in less than one season. Guiles was on roids, Johnson couldn’t hit, Prado was an all-star and they moved him to left, Infante was an all star so they traded him, Conrad could not catch and now Uggla cannot hit.

It is simple, move the only complete second baseman they have Prodo back to second and give Uggla a chance to recover his mojo in left field. Maybe the move will take the pressure off. It is sad to see them pitching around everyone to get to Uggla.

I would also get thrown out of the game it worked for Bobby.

Threadkiller

May 31st, 2011
2:37 pm

I guess Hank Aaron was lucky to hit all those home runs! I guess Maddux and Glavine were very lucky to win 300 games!

the truth...

May 31st, 2011
2:39 pm

Joe’s right !!!…..

…let’s hear it for an unemployed barber to have free reign in the clubhouse!!!!

Go barber!!

Gil In Mechanicsville

May 31st, 2011
2:39 pm

I think you folks would be really surprised at what professional baseball players don’t know. Little things like throwing to the wrong base or forgetting how many outs there are or what good fundamental baseball is really all about.

A lot of these kids are used to being the best player on the field, a lot of them are stunned to learn there are other guys just as good or better than they are playing the game.

I have seen more than my fair share of minor league games and the two things that always struck me as being the biggest difference between minor league and major league games are 1) pitching 2) the speed of the game and 3) the quality of the umpiring. That last one seems to be leveling out as more and more major league umpires appear to get it wrong. Of course, getting to see a play in super slo motions 10 times from five different camera angles might have something to do with that.

ncscoots

May 31st, 2011
2:39 pm

So,mr. ncscoots,have you made millions in your career?

Indeed, I have. I doubt I’ve made as much as Juan Pierre, but I’ve got a better arm and probably can still out-hit him. :-)

Just Pat

May 31st, 2011
2:39 pm

Joe

Freddie Freeman was one of those who “followed” him. Want HIM to shave, too?????

Shaun

May 31st, 2011
2:40 pm

Murph, also, I think people who have an in-depth understanding of stats understand more than perhaps any group of fans how randomness and luck play a role in sports. Stats are there to give you an idea of a player’s skills. They can’t tell you how or when the skills are going to lead to good results. I realize to a large portion of the baseball and sports fan base a player can perfectly control when he succeeds and fails. To a large portions of sports fans, success always equals doing something right and failure always equals doing something wrong. There is no randomness. If a player puts a perfect swing together and hits the ball really hard, right at a fielder and makes an out, he was obviously doing something wrong…that’s the way a lot of sports fans, perhaps most, look at things.

Danga

May 31st, 2011
2:40 pm

In fact, disagreeing with the earlier assertion, in a way.

I cringed a little when I read it. At one point in his career, Jordan showed some decent power potential, and I hope he hasn’t give up on that completely. In the few times I’ve been able to see him in this most recent call up, I have been impressed with his ability to work his way on base. That walk the other day in front of Prado’s HR was damned impressive, but I would certainly like to be impressed with a few more doubles and such as well.

ncscoots

May 31st, 2011
2:42 pm

For the record, Juan Pierre has been paid (notice, I did not say, “earned”) $46MM over his ML career. I’m probably short of that, just off the top of my head and without checking all my tax returns. :-)

onebravosfan

May 31st, 2011
2:43 pm

I agree a leadoff hitter with power would be nice but mostly I just want the leadoff hitter to get on base. We have had so many solo home runs that would be especially nice if someone was on base to increase the run total and try to avoid these two run affairs.

Gil In Mechanicsville

May 31st, 2011
2:43 pm

Okay, that was three… see how easy it is to lose track. I rest my case…

Sweet Old Buck

May 31st, 2011
2:43 pm

I applaud Schafer for asking and Chipper giving it to him straight. I wonder if anyone is volunteering tough love talk instead of waiting for someone to ask. Seems like its needed, as in Fredi to Uggla.

Juan Pierre

May 31st, 2011
2:44 pm

46 big ones,mr scoots. Don’t you forget it either. No porn involved like your “career”.

Lew

May 31st, 2011
2:45 pm

Danga – Schafer’s problem wasn’t having power hindering him as a lead off hitter, it’s swinging for the fences instead of just letting the power happen that makes the difference.

Murph

May 31st, 2011
2:45 pm

“Luck is probability taken personally. It is the excitement of bad math.”

Gil In Mechanicsville

May 31st, 2011
2:47 pm

I was listening to the comment about how Wilpon was dissing David Wright. I think he would be a great addition for the Braves to take Chipper’s place. Too bad the logistics of it all will not work out.

It’s going to be tough for Marteen to score enough votes to make it to the All-star game as an outfielder but I wonder if Bruce Bochey would consider him as the “super utility guy”?

ncscoots

May 31st, 2011
2:47 pm

46 big ones,mr scoots. Don’t you forget it either. No porn involved like your “career”.

Well, I never judge a man by what he does for a living, Juan. :-)

Bob the Blogger

May 31st, 2011
2:48 pm

@John Galt

I agree with your comment. Although hearing it from Chipper may carry more weight than a coach or manager, their should have been (and maybe there was) a conversation between Schafer and his AAA manager outlining exactly what he should work on in order to make his way back to the majors.

Lew

May 31st, 2011
2:49 pm

Yeah, what Uggla needs is Fredi walking up to his locker – in front of the entire team- and telling Dan that he sucks and better get his sh!t together.

Somehow, – just a thought here -I think Uggla’s already aware.

jim

May 31st, 2011
2:49 pm

I don’t buy into the idea of people hitting better in one place in the order than another. Many of the stats are for too small a sample space to be regarded as meaningful. The idea that McClouth hits better in the # 8 spot than elsewhere is based on a 2 week hot streak once he moved there. Since that time his average has again declined independently of where he was batting. There is a big difference between what is expected of a leadoff hitter and a number 4 hitter, but the difference in what is expected from a 4, 5, or 6 hitter is pretty much the same thing. Uggla’s relative success as a #4 hitter is probably due to the fact he hasn’t hit in that spot very often. Given his current approach, a location in the batting order is not going to mgically correct his swing.

AtlYnkHtr

May 31st, 2011
2:49 pm

Heisenberg, as much as we all love Prado there is no way he is an All Star and rightfully not.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 31st, 2011
2:49 pm

Just Pat

Well, I’m certainly flattered! :)

Honored to be mentioned in Lew’s will…though that isn’t something I think about constantly… Obviously I don’t mean that in a mean way…

O.J.

Interesting point…and it’s weird, ’cause when we got Uggla, I wanted him behind BMac to give Brian good pitches to hit…

Just Pat

May 31st, 2011
2:50 pm

scoots

Porn????? Hmmmmmm….what ELSE aren’t you telling us? ;-)

ncscoots

May 31st, 2011
2:51 pm

Just Pat, I believe Juan was mistaken in his assumption, that’s all. Probably not all that familiar with the porn industry, given his arm strength and all. :-)

Tim

May 31st, 2011
2:51 pm

You answered my question about the number of extra inning games the Braves have played this year before my asking it. Thanks! This must be some kind of record in the making…

One Time's got no case

May 31st, 2011
2:51 pm

Schafer off to a good start? What’s the definition of a good start? Other than his .433 OBP (which I would consider good)……he has 1 extra base hit in 24 at-bats (.333 slugging pct), while being 0 for 2 in stolen base attempts.

Juan Pierre has a career .364 slugging pct. If Schafer is off to a “good start”….then what will his stats be when he starts to struggle?

Other than being able to draw a walk, he has almost as many walks (6) as hits (7)…..I dont see Schafer doing anything out of the extraordinary. That throw he made yesterday trying to double the Padres runner off 2nd was McNoodle like….as well as the throw he made to home trying to nail that same runner on the base hit.

I dont know about some of you….but my definition of “good” or “great” differs from what’s being said about Schafer so far. It’s like some of you are so desperate to believe in any kind of savior for our erect-challenged offense.

Urbs

May 31st, 2011
2:51 pm

I’ve said it 500 times now… This team needs S – P – E – E – D. The post-’roid age in baseball now requires turning walks and singles into doubles and triples by stealing bases. The Braves can no longer wait for the 3 run blast to save them anymore.

Lew

May 31st, 2011
2:52 pm

McFann – Just as long as you don’t use your Baby Sitting money to hire a hit man.

Braint

May 31st, 2011
2:53 pm

Uggla – .178, 7 Hr, 15RBI…….KJ — .224, 9 HR, 22 RBI……Maybe AZ would like to swap out 2nd baseman. (Just kidding but all I’ve heard the first 2 months is how badly KJ has been in AZ. Could you imagine how many more runs or wins we’d have if Uggla added .50 points to his BA and a couple more HR and RBI?

Gil In Mechanicsville

May 31st, 2011
2:54 pm

Definition of a “good start” is dependent upon what is expected of you. For a lead-off guy it would be On Base Percentage. Schafer has certainly performed in that department. It is going to be tough for McLouth to win his spot back. For some reason Nate looks lost when playing left field and does not have the arm to play right.

Threadkiller

May 31st, 2011
2:55 pm

One Time’s got no case, BTW, Ed Whitson got better after age 32!

Just Pat

May 31st, 2011
2:55 pm

I think that Jordan being compared to Nate was the meaning of being off to a great start. (But guess I shouldn’t put words into another poster’s mouth.)

One Time's got no case

May 31st, 2011
2:55 pm

Dan Uggla could very well be our Ed Whitson.

zookey

May 31st, 2011
2:56 pm

Baseball prospectus/Marc Normandin August 8,2007

Dan Uggla was a surprise to basically everyone who heard he was the Marlins starting second baseman at the outset of 2006. He has managed to outperform expectations two years running, and given his ability to hit for power, may continue to do so for a few more years. No matter what happens, Uggla has already turned a poor minor league career into two productive years in the majors filled with bigger paychecks and deserved recognition. Whether that will last much beyond age 30 given his skill-set is another issue, but knowing the Marlins and their frugal ways, at least it won’t be their issue to deal with.

Speaking of seeeing into the future…

Braint

May 31st, 2011
2:57 pm

One Time — Schafer off to a good start? What’s the definition of a good start? Other than his .433 OBP (which I would consider good)……

.433 OBP good? Uh, yea, that’s really really good. His job is to get on base and score. Period.

Larvell Blanks

May 31st, 2011
2:58 pm

Bill Malone: “In yesterday’s game, when Huddy made the throwing error to second base that ultimately led to a run scoring, should that still be called an unearned run?”

I’ve often asked myself the same question. The best response is that ERA is supposed to be a measure of how well you pitch, and the fact that you make an error doesn’t affect that. Of course, ERA is a completely imperfect measurement of how well you pitch — frequently, it depends on how well the guy AFTER you pitches after you get yanked with the bases loaded. And if a fielder makes an error on the third out, you could give up 10 home runs in a row and they wouldn’t count against you (although wouldn’t you just have given them up the next inning?). For a starter, however, there’s the expectation that, over the long run, these types of things even out, and ERA is a reasonably good (though maybe not the best) indicator of your effectiveness.

Now for relievers, especially the kind who don’t pitch complete innings at a time, I think ERA is almost meaningless. You could give up inherited runners every time you come into the game, and have an ERA of 0.00.

Braint

May 31st, 2011
2:59 pm

Great stuff Zookey. Chilling actually.

Braveone

May 31st, 2011
2:59 pm

From the previous blog which had 1,125 comments, abwright led the way with 61 posts. There were 174 different poster names. Here are the Top 25:

Rank Poster Frequency

1 abwright 61
2 cabravesfan 57
3 VaBravesFan 52
4 jeffrey d 49
5 CaptainMudderland 29
6 Venice Jim 28
7 Tomahawk Mafia 27
8 David O’Brien 26
9 TennesseePaul 25
10 ncscoots 25
11 LTBF 24
12 Trey 24
13 ArkBravesFan 22
14 Arkansas Transplant 21
15 GT Alum 20
16 Lew 20
17 Sopheee 19
18 Murph 18
19 Shaun 18
20 McFann :Ô: :Ô: 17
21 bravesgrl4life 17
22 TruthSeeker 15
23 Hugo Z Hackenbush 14
24 LAG 14
25 richbrave 14

Hard-headed

May 31st, 2011
2:59 pm

Chipper’s comment surely means that he finally was a “player” voice telling him what no one else was. I’m going to assume the coaches know enough to have been harping on that already. It’s a little self-indicting that Schafer wasn’t listening to them. Suddenly Chipper states the obvious, and it sinks in? Sounds to me like Jordan was a little immature and hard-headed about his game.

Fleming

May 31st, 2011
3:00 pm

Has Hinske become over exposed playing regularly. Last 10 games .216 BA 1 HR 2 walks 2 RBI

MFin04

May 31st, 2011
3:01 pm

Anyone know the time frames on Moylan, Heyward, and McLouth? When are these guys due back?

VaBravesFan

May 31st, 2011
3:01 pm

One Time’s got no case

The kid has 24 ABs…. I like his approach he’s shown so far. Getting On Base is priority for him to stick. He needs to get more comfortable in his role before the power will come most likely. Let him get more than 24 ABs.

count_schemula

May 31st, 2011
3:03 pm

“Seems like its needed, as in Fredi to Uggla.”

Uggla does not need a tough talk, he needs to be dropped in the order.

count_schemula

May 31st, 2011
3:04 pm

I went to my first Hockey games EVER this year. Enjoyed it. Oh well.

Fleming

May 31st, 2011
3:06 pm

The post-’roid age in baseball now requires turning walks and singles into doubles and triples by stealing bases.

While the Braves turned walks and singles into outs 15 times. Yeah stealing bases really helps score a lot of runs.

timthebrave

May 31st, 2011
3:07 pm

I’m so ANGRY about the Thrashers. I just lost my 3rd favorite team behind UGA and the Braves. I will now be boycotting anything to do with the Spirit Group

Big JAM

May 31st, 2011
3:07 pm

Ok… when do we throw Parrish under the bus as the hitting instructor??
The last few years, if the Braves even had a few game slump, everyone was ready to throw TP under the bus and drive the bus themselves.

T for Texas

May 31st, 2011
3:08 pm

NO ONE has mentioned how improved the infield defense is this year under Pendleton

Did you mean Freeman or Pendleton?

One Time's got no case

May 31st, 2011
3:09 pm

VaBravesFan……….the “let him get more than 24 ABs” works both ways (meaning, before anointing him as being off to a “good start”).

Do you like his approach to stealing bases( 0 for 2)..or his approach to making noodle throws botching an easy double up to second like he did yesterday…..or his McNoodle like throw trying to nail that same runner at home on the base hit? A good throw on EITHER of those plays prevents that second run from scoring….meaning that the Braves would have won the game.

Shaun

May 31st, 2011
3:10 pm

Big JAM, I think the folks on here will throw Larry Parish under the bus after the Braves are the fourth-best offense in the National League over a 9-season stretch.

wjones

May 31st, 2011
3:11 pm

“Big JAM

May 31st, 2011
3:07 pm

Ok… when do we throw Parrish under the bus as the hitting instructor??
The last few years, if the Braves even had a few game slump, everyone was ready to throw TP under the bus and drive the bus themselves.”
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

True. Also, absolutely NO ONE has mentioned how improved the infield defense is this year under Pendleton. It is, you know.

BRAVESFAN

May 31st, 2011
3:12 pm

Good thing for the players they are not getting paid per hit. If they were they could move the team to Canada too!

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