Gonzalez bats Jurrjens eighth for an Atlanta first – updated

WASHINGTON – Fredi Gonzalez is channeling his inner Tony La Russa.

With the addition of leadoff hitter Michael Bourn from the Astros, who made his debut for the Braves Monday night, Gonzalez decided to hit the pitcher Jair Jurrjens eighth against the Nationals and bat speedy outfielder Jose Constanza ninth.

It was the first time an Atlanta Brave pitcher has ever batted anywhere other than ninth. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jim Tobin was the last Braves pitcher to bat higher than ninth when he hit eighth for the Boston Braves against the Phillies on Aug. 12, 1941.

Gonzalez was hoping to take advantage of two speedsters hitting back-to-back in Constanza and Bourn and setting up more RBI opportunities for Martin Prado, Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla.

He was also thinking he could have Constanza steal more often hitting behind the pitcher than in front of him.

“If everything’s right it’s OK because you almost have two leadoff guys,” Gonzalez said. “You can use Constanza in the nine hole and you can steal bases, whereas if you put him in the eighth hole with the pitcher (behind him), you almost bog him down a little bit.”

Gonzalez indicated that he plans to use the lineup going forward only if both Constanza and Bourn are in the lineup.

“It just depends on if both of those guys are in the lineup – Constanza and Bourn – at the same time,” he said.

102 comments Add your comment

Steve

August 1st, 2011
6:45 pm

O'Brien's Brain

August 1st, 2011
6:48 pm

Bourn – CF
Prado – 3B
Freeman – 1B
Uggla – 2B
Heyward – RF
Ross – C
Gonzalez – SS
Jurrjens – P
Constanza – LF

Steve

August 1st, 2011
6:49 pm

NickB

August 1st, 2011
6:50 pm

Most lineup optimizations have the pitcher hitting 8th….. Honestly though, I think they figured out that an optimized lineup versus drawing it randomly out of a hat is only worth a win or two a year…. so it really isn’t nearly as important as just getting production from the hitters regardless of their batting order.. But Kudos to Fredi for trying to mix things up!

Coach (2011 Fredi G. a go!)

August 1st, 2011
6:51 pm

Interesting, but statistically this is a wash. But it is cool.

bobby cerasuolo

August 1st, 2011
6:52 pm

Way to go Freddie and about time why couldnt Cox do that in all his years I mean the Braves pitchers were decent hitters.

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
6:53 pm

No kudos. Stupid. The only thing gained by doing this consistently is guaranteeing your pitcher (or pitcher spot) more ABs at the end of the season. Gimmicky at best. Plus I never liked La Russa anyway.

Jabbo

August 1st, 2011
6:58 pm

bobby cerasuolo

August 1st, 2011
6:58 pm

Jersey go fist bump somewhere else with the rest of the riod heads of the Jersey shore ur making me looking bad a fellow Jerseyiete. Now it not it gives freeman prado and other more RBI opportunities. so stfu jersey

Mojochopper

August 1st, 2011
6:58 pm

Enter your comments here

A brain cell

August 1st, 2011
6:59 pm

Luckily Livan Hernandez is infamous for being predictable and not throwing sloppy curveballs out of the strike zone. Additionally, Constanza is infamous for is excellent knowledge of the strikezone and patience at the plate

Gil Garrido

August 1st, 2011
6:59 pm

Agree with Jersey on this and glad that LaRussa has never managed the Braves.

Mojochopper

August 1st, 2011
7:00 pm

I get putting speed at the bottom of the order so the pitcher can move him over, but why put the pitcher in front of him. What is the benefit???

Dennis Reynolds

August 1st, 2011
7:01 pm

I would love it except when Chipper comes back cant do it anymore. Might as well just solidify a lineup.

Bream is safe!

August 1st, 2011
7:05 pm

@ Jersey Choppin…..you idiot…Fredi isn’t going to be doing this when Chipper and McCann get back…..hes taking advantage of Constanza’s leadoff abilities and speed….Gonzo is a rally killer….0 for a lifetime with runners in scoring position.

Runnin With The Dawgs

August 1st, 2011
7:08 pm

Go Fredi. Good move! When a team gets 13 hits and only 1 run it’s time to do something.

Gwinnett Fred

August 1st, 2011
7:08 pm

I’d like it better if the pitcher was hitting 7th and Gonzalez, who couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a frigging boat, 8th.

Gimme Some Offense!!!

August 1st, 2011
7:12 pm

Bummer — the “waterbug” offense is still no match for the double play, followed by a K! (Fredi’s “waterbug” term, not mine…)

tjhook_76544

August 1st, 2011
7:13 pm

Thank you for this Freddi! I’ve been praying one of our coaches would get enough stones to try this and I hope it works so we can return to it in the future. It will keep the opposition on its toes and help our guys at the top of the order see better choices in pitches.

warlin antonio artiles

August 1st, 2011
7:22 pm

jose constanza hay k dejarlo jugar donde sea al k ver lok tiene

Offense Please.

August 1st, 2011
7:23 pm

Just a KEY hit once in a game would help.

richbrave

August 1st, 2011
7:23 pm

Enter your comments here

Runnin With The Dawgs

August 1st, 2011
7:32 pm

I remember back in the early ’90’s when we had Otis Nixon and Ron Gant . It was always exciting when they were on base ’cause you knew they were going to steal. We had Deion Sanders at that time also, but he just couldn’t get on base like Gant and Nixon. Regardless this should add excitement. “GO BRAVES”!

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
7:40 pm

this wonderful larussa move makes our pitcher lead off next inning instead of a hitter. it was stupid when larussa did it and there is certainly no reason to copy him unless the pitcher is a better hitter.

the truth...

August 1st, 2011
7:49 pm

As Chip Caray used to say….well we’ll see won”t we?

“That’s why they play the game”…..

SWAT

August 1st, 2011
7:50 pm

It’s nice to see something unusual for a change. BUT….wouldn’t it make more sense to bat Constanza 1st? You get the same result with more at bats.

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
7:53 pm

thank you SWAT. it didn’t work in the 2nd did it? if all things go the same, jj bunts constanza over and we have 2 shots at getting him in. there are more flaws than benefits.

Flintrock70

August 1st, 2011
8:03 pm

I hate the Nats. I wish Fredi would actually prepare our guys to play them FOR A CHANGE!!!

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
8:05 pm

looks like we are on our pace to get 13,14 hits and score 1 run

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
8:11 pm

but then, maybe our pitcher should hit 6th

JB Braves Fan

August 1st, 2011
8:12 pm

I was listening to the radio on the way home, and they said that the last time a pitcher batted anywhere other than the 9 spot, was in 1959. Then I hear on the telecast that is was 1941 in Boston. So which is it? D.O.B., you seem to have the facts wrong too. Can anyone clear this up? This is what I found on Google.

Last time the Braves had a pitcher bat anywhere besides 9th was 7/29/59 when Lew Burdette batted 8th against the Cubs. Braves won 8-5. …

A Brave in Minnesota

August 1st, 2011
8:13 pm

Ugh……what is it with the freaking NATIONALS that the Braves have such a hard time with?!? Damn, i’d rather seem us lose to the Phillies on a regular basis cause at least they are supposed to beat us anyways………..

I can’t stand Washington…….and nothing that come out of it either!! LOL ;-p

.Br

August 1st, 2011
8:16 pm

McCann can’t get back fast enough. To bad the Braves can’t bat McCann and have Ross play defense. Bases loaded and one out, you absolutely need to score against these last place Nationals. The Braves HAVE to beat these teams, there is no other option. You can’t waste scoring opportunities like that against a team like this. That is unacceptable.

.Br

August 1st, 2011
8:18 pm

A Braves fan in Minnesota,

Are u by chance a Vikings can?

BravesfaninWis

August 1st, 2011
8:20 pm

Gonzalez seems to be hitting a little more so that is good.

BravesfaninWis

August 1st, 2011
8:22 pm

What in the hell is up with this team? Dear god they falter in every possible scenario.

Train Wreck Bystander

August 1st, 2011
8:23 pm

Gotta second what JB Braves Fan said: the radio guys claim it was Burdette in ’59.

A Brave in Minnesota

August 1st, 2011
8:24 pm

.Br……..HELL NO!!!

I am from Athens, GA…born and raised and went to UGA……..

….Hawks, Braves, Falcons (former Thrashers) and Bulldawg fan here……..

…..so DEFINATELY not a Vikings fan!! :)

Kimbrel rocks

August 1st, 2011
8:25 pm

what the HELL is wrong with them? you would think this is a freaking little league team the way the execute. can’t bunt can’t sac fly. just really hard to watch.

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
8:27 pm

bobby cerasuolo : tell me guy, how many rbi opportunities does jurrjens bunting into a double play give Prado?? Or leading off an inning( and getting an out) when Constanza singled the next at bat? I mean, the proof as to why you DO NOT hit the pitcher 8th is in this game. And if you make a habit of it, well then you are just giving MORE AT BATS TO THE PITCHER.

Good case for Jurrjens batting 8th though. Maybe tomorrow we can lead the pitcher off just to get him out of the way.

A Brave in Minnesota

August 1st, 2011
8:30 pm

……and I am really hating Ankiel too!!

I think we should have kept him around actually….I didn’t really agree with dumping him cause he had a pretty damn good bat!!

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
8:30 pm

How is batting Jurrjens 8th taking credit for constanza’s speed??? Why does batting them back to back do anything?? And by that reasoning, IDIOT, why don’t you bat Constanza second? If your only argument is back to back then its lame. And what happens when the pitcher leads off?? Oh, thats right, Constanza gets to bat with one out.

If Constanza led off that inning, then Jurrjens might have been able to bunt him over—and actually making a PRODUCTIVE OUT. I’m still waiting to see the benefit of batting the pitcher 8th. If that was the case, why wouldn’t more NL teams do it?? Oh thats right, because it makes ZERO sense.

Rozeman13

August 1st, 2011
8:32 pm

If we could take the Nats off our schedule, we could walk away from our hated Phillies.

Braves Re-Bourn!

August 1st, 2011
8:33 pm

Wow 3 douvleplays in five innings…same ol braves..cant get that big hit EVER with runners on base.Pathetic.

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
8:33 pm

Pretty good bat??? Ankiel hit 20% of his homers for the year in THIS GAME. Also, he’s hitting 230. I think we are trying to rid ourselves of CFers that hit 230, are we not?

the truth...

August 1st, 2011
8:35 pm

So far tonight the Bourn boost has been minimal as we have again had plenty of baserunners, but no one to drive them in….

That is why we needed Pence AS WELL AS Bourn…..

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
8:37 pm

Pence as well as Bourn?? Wow, really you think that was realistic???

A Brave in Minnesota

August 1st, 2011
8:39 pm

I am not gonna freak out over the first game that Bourn is playing in a Braves uni……he has to adjust to this team and vice versa so let’s go easy on him……..but the rest of the team needs to get their crap together and stop letting this f*&king Washington team kick our asses every time we play them…..I am soo sick of seeing the Nats and we gotta play them 8 more freakin times this year…..the bastards!!

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
8:39 pm

So if chipper comes back, and prado goes back to LF; who do you take out, Heyward? And you give up our best prospects to push one of our youngest stars of the future to do it? Heyward proved himself last year, now he just has to adjust. Which he is plenty capable of doing. I don’t see how trading away our minor league system for pence and bourn would have made any sense.

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
8:41 pm

hey minny, why would you freak out?? Bourn is 1-3. That’s .333 average. That DP he was involved in was just tough luck at’em ball by prado.

I’d say Bourn has been just fine so far, and will continue to be.

Rozeman13

August 1st, 2011
8:42 pm

As far as the lineup why not hour before the game, have a phone line and the ninth caller makes out the lineup? Makes about same amount of sense as this lineup.

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
8:42 pm

batting a pitcher 8th was just larussa trying to make people think he was smart. there are clearly more flaws than benefits. in the old days some pitchers could really hit and shortstops couldn’t. well we have that last part going for us

jimbo

August 1st, 2011
8:44 pm

I don’t know who has their head up their a** further the players or the manager.

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
8:44 pm

I’d be more worried that Jurrjens has been getting knocked around in his last few starts.

BatBoy

August 1st, 2011
8:45 pm

Put Freeman behind the plate and the Chipster over at first when he is healthy. When Mac returns he can rotate with…ah, who’s on second? See what I mean, it will confuse EVERYBODY!

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
8:45 pm

to me, all j-hey has proven is that he can’t make adjustments like the nl pitchers can. he needs to watch freeman hit right now.

Zenman

August 1st, 2011
8:46 pm

Can you manage one damn walk?

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
8:47 pm

Hey rugburn, apparently bobby cerasuolo thinks the lineup is genius with Jurrjens batting 8th. But not if Chipper and McCann was in the lineup. Wow.

A Brave in Minnesota

August 1st, 2011
8:47 pm

The All-Star break clearly took our starters completely out of rhythm………..JJ hasn’t been himself since, neither has Hanson or Lowe……Beachy and Hudson are holding it down, but barely………

…..it’s painful to watch, but I am gonna keep watchin (i didn’t pay $19.95 for nothing!!) :-)

Rozeman13

August 1st, 2011
8:49 pm

Batboy your a genius. bet Freddie never thought about that one yet. Yea yea surprise em every night,maybe Chipper as the closer sometimes

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
8:51 pm

Lowe hasn’t been good all year. Allstar break had nothing to do with it.

BravesfaninWis

August 1st, 2011
8:52 pm

Flat out unacceptable. No team that has the fourth best record in baseball should be getting embarrassed like this by a sub .500 team that is going nowhere. What a joke.

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
8:56 pm

jerseychoppin, i say that if it was a good idea (not even great) larussa would still do it and it would be widespread around the league. maybe we would even have pitchers leading off as was blogged earlier

the truth...

August 1st, 2011
9:00 pm

I am not unhappy with Bourn…he is 1 for 3 for the night so far…

The problem is as it has been all season is we have failed to drive in the runners in scoring position.

As far as getting Pence AND Bourn, I don’t know what it would have taken to make that happen….however getting folks on base was not our primary problem. The major problem has been getting folks in. That is where I felt like a Pence would have been a huge help….AS LONG AS WE COULD KEEP PARISH AWAY FROM HIM.

I am aware of the balance between depleting the future pitching staff and did not want want to do that for sure. (I hated the Tex trade from the moment it was announced). None the less we are down 5-1 now and we have botched two scoring opportunies already….got to get the runs in…

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
9:02 pm

I was being facetious before when I said we should bat the pitcher lead off, just to get it over with. Hah. And for some stupid reason, the Nationals give us fits.

Also, worst shortened name ever. Nats. Thats even worse than “D-Backs”.

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
9:02 pm

well. at least coffey woke up rossy.

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
9:06 pm

I disagree with the getting folks on base argument. Braves have a team OBP of .310, good for 12th in the NL and (Yikes) 25th in MLB. How is that not a problem??

Meanwhile, the braves are 9th in RBI’s in the NL. not good, but with that OBP, who would be?

Rozeman13

August 1st, 2011
9:08 pm

rugburn, I know you were kidding about the pitcher batting fist. Makes more sense for the pitcher bat second and Heyward first,that way we get their outs quicker

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
9:10 pm

i realize you were kidding about the leadoff bit. at least the braves are tied with ankiel. i wonder if rick would ever consider trying it off the mound again. maybe relief. uggla’s throw reminded me of wiffle ball where you could hit the runner with the ball.

the truth...

August 1st, 2011
9:10 pm

…when Heyward just grounded out to 2B, it soulded as Chip or Joe said “that’s what he does”…………

Guess what gang…..that is what he does this year. You can love on the kid all you want, say nice things about him, his mother, his work ethics (I don’t question them at this point)….since the first 3 months of last year, he has been a disappointment.

Earlier in the season everyone was all over Uggla for his woes; even to the point of talking about some time frame that we had to get some production from him. As if he might have to be sat down if he didn’t come around.

So how long do you go with Heyward in RF struggling as he is now? I hate to see it, but Hinske would clearly be a better option these days. Watching that slow motion replay of his swing he rolled his wrists and drove the ball direclty in the ground…no lift on the ball to get it over the infield.

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
9:12 pm

Bottom line on the Braves: As their pitching goes, so go the Braves. They hit home runs. Hopefully Bourn can change a bit of that at the top of the order, but even still, he will certainly disrupt opposing pitchers. No matter what trades are made, lets be honest and call them what they are. They won’t manufacture many runs. They hit the long ball. Let’s just hope we can get some runners on before hitting those bombs.

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
9:13 pm

Rozeman13, i like the way you think. remember i said to pinch hit proctor if we got runners in scoring position. the added benefit is that he can’t pitch later.

the truth...

August 1st, 2011
9:15 pm

If you are the 2nd or 3rd best team in the league and you’re winning 50% of games by 1 or 2 runs, do you think you can live with 9th in the league in getting the runs in once they’re on base? I don’t think so.

It seems to me it is obvious that we’fail more often than not to “get ‘em in”….

the truth...

August 1st, 2011
9:19 pm

Two home runs tonight…no one on.

In the 4th Ross hit into the double play with the bases loaded and hit the long one with no one on.

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
9:20 pm

Hinske would be a better option? Your serious? I never wanted Uggla to get sent down or even benched. But that is simply because we just gave him a 5 year extension and I LOVE THE FACT that he RUNS hard as hell, every time. That does it for me.

And as far as hinske over Heyward? Sorry. Hinske may have a 30 point advantage in overall average, but he actually hits WORSE against lefties than Heyward; and they have almost identical OBP. Plus, Hinske strikes out MORE than Heyward.

I love Hinske and think the Braves should have given him 2 years. But I don’t love him as an everyday starter, even over a struggling Heyward.

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
9:23 pm

the truth: You couldn’t possibly be tops in the league in RBI’s if you are 12th in the league in OBP. Unless you drive in 100% of the guys you DO get on, it’s not going to happen.

Let me ask you this: do you fear the Giants? Hey, if you do, go take a look at their team offense. Compare it to ours. Then tell me you still fear them.

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
9:23 pm

is bourne already learning to trot to first on grounders?

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
9:26 pm

SF Giants: Dead last in RBIs. 15th in OBP. 14th in BA. 15th in OPS. I mean, by any means they have by far the worst offense in the NL. So they have no chance then?

No. The bottom line is we have to take our team for what it is. THey hit homeruns. They pitch extremely well. They are NOT going to lead the league in RBI’s or OBP or whatever offensive category you want to pull, save for maybe HRs.

My point is, the Braves will be fine. I don’t know why we can’t beat the Nationals, but who cares. As long as we get into the post season, screw em. We wont see the Nationals in October.

Rozeman13

August 1st, 2011
9:33 pm

rugburn,when i was a kid my Dad use to make me play checkers all the time. Only we played a game called giveaway. The point was to lose all your checkers as fast as you could making it a quick game with the loser being the winner. The point is by letting the pitcher bat more makes more outs faster. I figured out why he did it! The being over faster gives Freddie time to get to the tv. That way he gets to see the last match of the night on WWE. Cena vs C m Punk

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
9:35 pm

I wouldn’t pitch to Ross here. Not with Gonzo and then the PITCHER’S SPOT up next.

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
9:36 pm

Wow Ross overmatched on that 96mph fastball.

JerseyChoppin

August 1st, 2011
9:37 pm

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
9:37 pm

pinch hit for gonzo…anybody we have left.

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
9:37 pm

A Brave in Minnesota

August 1st, 2011
9:38 pm

I hate the nats.

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
9:41 pm

i too have much hate for washington

Rozeman13

August 1st, 2011
9:43 pm

Its strange, one night we get everybody on base and score 1 run the next night we cant get on base but hit homers

the truth...

August 1st, 2011
9:49 pm

Three home runs……………….three runs. I am not alone talking about our lack of hitting with RISP.

It really doesn’t matter what other teams do, the bottom line is that WE don’t get “em in…then WE play gazillions of extra inning or 1 run games and WE grind our bullpen up……because WE don’t get the runs in.

Our goal in the deadline trade period was to improve our club and address it’s short comings. Bourn is an improvement for sure as leadoff, but maybe the kid Constanza should have been in center two months ago instead of Schafer or McLouth.

Can’t change the past…but we need something to get the runs in….you cannot argue with that….

Chillahill43

August 1st, 2011
9:57 pm

A gon – heyworthless – pitcher 8-9 outs automatic. Enuff !!! Gonzo is the laziest hitter in baseball . Avg defense. A ball offense. What? Does he have evidence of sumthing?? Trade him for new bats!!! His defense covers up his offense —- no i dont think so !

NickB

August 1st, 2011
10:34 pm

You know, if you people picked up a book or actually tried to understand the modern game of baseball, you might not be so damned freaked out by every little thing. The lineup move was a good one. ” Oh but NickB it didn’t work because of this this or that” it didn’t work because people didn’t EXECUTE!!! If JJ executes a quality bunt, if Ross just drives the ball to the OF, if Uggla got to hit with someone on base…. then everyone on here would be praising the move by Fredi…. You people do realize that baseball is a game of long term production and basing everything on one game is not just futile, but silly right?

That being said, I’m calling for Parrish’s job. The team is far too agressive with runners on and swing at far too many bad pitches. As I said on another thread, when a situation becomes a TEAM problem, it’s the coaches fault. We need a hitting coach who preaches patience, working the count and loading pitches onto the starters. They have to remember that it’s the pitcher who is in trouble, it’s the pitcher who needs to be anxious. The batter should be patient and force the pitcher to throw strikes. This team seems to flail away like every count is 0-2…… If they were more patient, they would get more hits, hit more fly balls that turn into either hits or sac flies and probably hit more HR’s with men on…

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
10:36 pm

i just heard ron gant say “when chipper gets back”. really? last time he got back he lasted 1 game and has tied up a spot ever since. chipper at 80% is like prado at 50%. chipper is likely not the answer. his “presence” is not scaring anyone. i think we have found a 3 hitter. if hitting is contagious freddie and dan need to be sneezing on everybody

rugburn

August 1st, 2011
10:42 pm

nickb, this lineup is not a new baseball idea, it’s just a bad idea. it only becomes an advantage if your pitcher is a better hitter than the #9. in our case, the pitcher is as good as 6,7,&8.

ijudgenot

August 1st, 2011
11:16 pm

I think it is time for Heyward to acknowlefge that he is not 100% and shut it down and go on the DL after he has surgery on his left thumb. I am convinced after watching him swing this season, that he does not have the strength in his left hand. This kid used to hit down and through the ball last year, with such a force that the ball started on a line drive and then would rise with backspin as it got to the outfield. To do that his top hand(left) must be strong enough to stay on top of the ball all the way through the swing. He really is unable to do that right now. That left thumb is not able to keep the bat on top of the ball and his bat drops which gives him more of a loop swing, therefore more strikeouts and pop ups. At spring training when asked about the thumb, he said it did not have the feeling in it he had before but he could still swing the bat. Well we have seen what that swing has gotten him. The Braves should shut him down and have an orthopedic surgeon correct whatever problem there is with that thumb to get strength back into it. I think about Dizzy Dean playing on an injured foot and ruining his career. It maybe that the injury is irreversible and the damage is already done and there is nothing that can be done. If that is so then his promising career path to greatness is already over and he will just be another average player. To say that his swing is the same as last year is overlooking the obvious. They are busting him inside now and he can’t hit that pitch with the loop swing he now has. Last year the kid hit down on the ball which would have meant a belthigh fast ball on inside corner would have been driven to right-center. Now its a strikeout or pop out.

Carroll Rogers

August 1st, 2011
11:17 pm

postgame quotes are up….and a little taste from the other clubhouse (thanks to my notes grouper Mark Zuckerman)

This is Jayson Werth talking about Jurrjens:

“The last two times we’ve faced him, his velocity wasn’t where it was at earlier in the season. I don’t know why, but I remember him throwing a little bit harder in past years.”

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2011/08/01/postgame-quotes-after-braves-loss-to-nationals-monday/

JS

August 2nd, 2011
12:55 am

Poor choice. This manager never thinks any lineup through. There’s NO reason to hit the pitcher 8th. Freddy Gonzales has proven time and time again that he shouldn’t be the one making the lineup.

wjones

August 2nd, 2011
6:54 am

OK, here are my thoughts on batting order. I had always thought that the optimal thing would be, if you have a “second leadoff” hitter like Constanza, that 8th would be the place for him. Take this scenario–he leads off with a hit or a walk, and lands on first. Now with the pitcher up, they are expecting bunt from the pitcher. But Costanza is taking his lead, and the pitcher has to throw back to first, and the first baseman has to stay close to the bag, so he will be late charging in to field a bunt. Also, they might pitch out a time or two to see if they can catch the runner going, giving us the benefit of a good count. Which means that a couple of mistakes could result in a walk to the pitcher. But at any rate, the pitcher has wasted several pitches, either by pitching our and/or throwing to first. Let’s say that eventually the pitcher gets the bunt down and Costanza is at second. Now Bourn is up and the double play is not an option. Costanza is at second, and the pitcher has to keep a watch out for him. He knows he has first base open, and Bourn can’t steal if Costanza is held at second, so Bourn can maybe draw a walk out of this. But now we have Prado up. One out. Two speedy runners on. Pitcher now has to keep BOTH runners close. First baseman has to stay close to the bag. So does one of the infielfers at second. Prado has a couple of holes now to hit through, and almost any ball out of the infield will now score a run. A wild pitch puts two fast runners in scoring position. A double steal is always a possibility. A delayed steal is a possibility. Maybe they pitch out early in the count to see what’s going on, giving Prado the count early on. WIth Freddy and Uggla coming up behind him.

I just think this arrangement would work better, and if played right would put additional stress on the pitcher. And, of course, the catcher and infielders, too.

LWB

August 2nd, 2011
8:11 am

This would be nice if Prado actually had a knack for hitting with runners on, but this year he has been just as poor as everyone else with runners on. He has been pretty lackluster as a whole anyway.

RBrave

August 2nd, 2011
8:38 am

Everyone is picking on Gonzo but he’s still has a better batting average than Wayward and he’s hitting in the top 5 of the line up (can’t figure why he’s not hitting down in the order)? The reason Wayward has a few RBI’s is that he happened to get his hit this year with men on base. If Wayard was hitting like Freeman they would be pimping him for MVP. Don’t understand it. Where’s the love for Freddi

stew

August 2nd, 2011
9:00 am

What will we do when Chip comes back.

Felix Millan

August 2nd, 2011
9:29 am

why not just bat the 2 fast guys first and second? If Prado can hit behind the runners batting second, he should be able to from the 3 hole.

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