Braves’ hitting turnaround is more than just Uggla

CHICAGO – Can you believe it was just seven weeks ago when many angry Braves fans were calling for Dan Uggla to be benched and Larry Parrish to be fired?

OK, some still suggest Parrish should be fired. But it’s safe to assume that’s not going to happen in the foreseeable future. Because whether or not some care to acknowledge it, the Braves have been one of the league’s best-hitting teams since midseason.

Braves got plenty of long balls while winning six of seven against the Giants and Diamonbacks to finish a 10-game homestand Sunday. They lead the league in homers since the All-Star break, and also rank among NL leaders in average and OBP since the break.

Braves got plenty of long balls while winning six of seven against the Giants and Diamonbacks to finish a 10-game homestand Sunday. They lead the league in homers since the All-Star break, and also rank among NL leaders in average and OBP since the break.

And Uggla? He’s had an in-season, flip-a-switch turnaround so extreme that we aren’t likely to see anything quite like it again.

By the way, for those who might not have noticed, the Braves’ wild-card lead has increased to eight games over San Francisco. That’s 1-1/2 games larger than the Phillies’ lead over the Braves in the NL East.

The Braves (76-52) haven’t been this many games over .500 since Oct. 3, 2004, when they finished 96-66. Right now they’re on pace for 96 wins again, but that pace keeps climbing (it was a 94-win pace under a week ago) because the Braves are rollin’.

They are 13-4 with a 3.52 ERA and .272 batting average in their past 17 games, with 22 homers and 86 runs in that stretch, an average of five runs per game.

And while the Phillies have indisputably been the best team in the majors this season, it should be noted that Jimmy Rollins left Sunday’s game with a strained groin that’s likely to land him on the DL.

No, I’m not suggesting that the Braves are going to make up 6-1/2 more games in 6-1/2 weeks (that’s how much season is left). But for those who think the Phillies’ lead is insurmountable, well, then isn’t the Braves’ wild-card lead even more insurmountable?

The Braves just won six of seven games against the two West teams, San Francisco and Arizona, that were supposed to provide the greatest threat in the wild-card race. And the Giants are so beat up right now, they look anything but primed to make a strong push.

So unless you think the Cardinals, who’ve lost five of their past 10 games, are going to get really hot and reel in the Braves, then it’s safe to say it’ll take a major collapse to keep Atlanta out of the postseason.

The wild-card race isn’t nearly as tight as its been in recent seasons. Unless the Braves keep gaining ground and chase Philly to the wire, then Fredi Gonzalez and Roger McDowell might actually enjoy an opportunity the Braves haven’t had in some time – the chance to line up their starting rotation the way they want it for the postseason, instead of having to scratch and claw until the last day of the season to get in the playoffs.

Also — and this might be just as important – if they could clinch wild card with week or so to go, it’d give Braves a chance to rest O’Ventbrel before postseason, to use those guys just enough to stay sharp. That could be huge, because they’ve probably still got at least another solid month of high-stress pitching to go.

More on O’Ventbrel in a moment. First, back to….

Uggla and Parrish: Crunching numbers today, I stumbled upon this one — Uggla has exactly the same number of hits in his past 41 games (55) as he had in his first 86 games. And basically doubled the batting average and OBP during the latter stretch.

He’s hit .350 (55-for-157) with 17 homers, 36 RBIs and a gaudy 1.136 OPS in 41 games since July 5, the day his 33-game hitting streak began. He’s posted a .416 OBP and .720 slugging percentage in those 41 games.

In his first 86 games through the Fourth of July, Uggla hit .173 (55-for-318) with 12 homers, 29 RBIs and a .568 OPS. Think about that: His slugging percentage in his past 41 games is 152 points higher than his on-base-plus-slugging percentage in his first 86 games.

It hasn’t just been Uggla that’s made big strides at the plate for the Braves since the first half. He couldn’t come close to singlehandedly turning around the team’s numbers like this:

Before the All-Star break, the Braves hit just .237 (14th in the NL), and a .305 OBP that was better than only the Padres (.300). About the only thing they did well was hit with runners in scoring position, and that was mostly early on in the season, and hit home runs (they had 97 before the break, fourth in the NL).

But since the break? The Braves have hit .273, tied with the Rockies and Brewers for first in the NL. They lead the league with 45 homers and rank fourth with a .333 OBP.

That’s a 28-point improvement in OBP since the break, from second-worst in the league before the break to to fourth-best since.

BRAVES LINEUP

  1. Bourn CF
  2. Prado LF
  3. McCann C
  4. Uggla 2B
  5. Freeman 1B
  6. Jones 3B
  7. Gonzalez SS
  8. Constanza RF
  9. Jurrjens RH

Uggla's dramatic turnaround includes as many hits in his past 41 games as he had in his first 86, and more homers, RBIs and more than double the OPS total.

Uggla's dramatic turnaround includes as many hits in his past 41 games as he had in his first 86, and more homers, RBIs and more than double the OPS total.

♣ O’Ventbrel: Braves relievers moved past San Francisco into first in the league in lowest opponents’ batting average (.217) and OBP (.301), while they are second to Giants relievers in ERA (2.90 to S.F.’s 2.85) and opponents’ slugging (.316 to S.F.’s .315).

We all know the big reason. Or, rather, the big three reasons.

O’Ventbrel, the trio of Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel, has been the best relief trio in the majors this season and arguably the best in recent memory.

They have three of the six lowest relief ERAs in the NL, led by Venters’ majors-leading 1.11. O’Flaherty is at 1.27 and major league saves leader Kimbrel is at 1.72.

Kimbrel’s 101 strikeouts are 19 more than any other major league reliever, and Venters’ 79 strikeouts ranks third in the majors. That’s two of the top three relievers in the majors in strikeouts, following one another in the eighth and ninth innings.

Kimbrel’s 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings leads the majors and leads the NL by more than three per nine innings. Venters (.156) and Kimbrel (.174) also have the third- and sixth-lowest opponents’ averages in the NL.

Then there are the scoreless streaks:

Venters hasn’t given up a run in 23 appearances in July and August, allowing eight hits (.111 opponents’ average) and 12 walks with 25 strikeouts in 21-2/3 innings in that stretch.

Kimbrel’s streak is getting crazy. He hasn’t allowed a run in 31 appearances beginning June 14, and has piled up 53 strikeouts against 10 walks and 11 hits allowed (.109 opponents’ average) during that stretch of 30-2/3 scoreless innings.

O’Flaherty has a 0.92 ERA in his past 32 appearances, with eight hits, three earned runs, 12 walks and 28 strikeouts in 29-1/3 innings.

♣ OK, out of time. Gotta get down to clubhouse. We’ll close with some sublime New Orleans soul by Enie K-Doe, written by the legendary Allen Toussaint. You can hear it by clicking here.

ernie k-doe cover

“HERE COME THE GIRLS” by Allen Toussaint

Here come the Girls! (Girls, Girls, Girls-Girls)
Here come the Girls! (Girls, Girls, Girls-Girls)

Looking so good, it’s a darn god shame, that they couldn’t – all be mine!
Looking so pretty, it’s a darn god pretty- Oh! – Your looking soo fine! (Fine)

Look out blood! Let me get further, little closer to the one I love!
Anything better than the opposite sex they must a kep’ it up above!

Here come the Girls! (Girls, Girls, Girls-Girls)
Here come the Girls! (Girls, Girls, Girls-Girls)

I can live without coffee, I can live without Tea!
And I’m livid about the honeybee!
I’m not a fillet steak,
I can leave or take,
But the Girls are part of me!

And ohhh water!
I don’t need no lemonade!
But to live without girls,
I can’t live without Girls,
It’s like a man with a hole in his head!

Here come the Girls!
Here come the Girls!
Here come the Girls! (Girls, Girls, Girls-Girls)
Here come the Girls! (Girls, Girls, Girls-Girls)

Bored out of my head, (Hey! )
While the fox’s do their thing, (Hoo-hoo-hoo! )
You make me feel so good inside,
I got to jump up and say! (Aaah! )

Naa, naa, naa, naa!
Naa, naa, naa naa!
Naa, naa, naa, naa!
Naa-naa-nana-na!
Naa, naa, naa, naa!
Naa, naa-nana, na!
Naa, naa, naa, naa!
Naa-naa-nana-na!

OOOOoooooooOOOHH!
I’m not saying I could live on love alone!
OOOOoooooooOOOHH!
That the only thing that turn me on!
OOOOoooooooOOOHH!
I was born to be free just once!
-Freedom of choice,
Rang that bell,
Give all the Girls to me!

Here come the Girls!
(Girls, Girls, Girls! )
Here come the Girls!
(Girls, Girls, Girls! )
Here come the girls!
(OOOOOOOHHHH! water! )
Here come the girls!
(I don’t need… no lemonade! )
Here come the girls!
(Giirls! )
Here come the girls!

Here come the girls!

Here come the girls!

– by David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

1,693 comments Add your comment

Dave P

August 22nd, 2011
4:49 pm

Time for JJ to get back on track and for the boys to swing the sticks. It’s bury the Scrubs time!!!

Hillbilly

August 22nd, 2011
4:54 pm

What’s a guy gotta do to get a promotion around here?

-Evan Gattis, Catcher, Rome: .324 avg, .385 OBP, .621 slg, 1.006 OPS, 22 Home Runs, 24 years old.

-Chris Garcia, 1st Base, Rome: .322 avg, .425 OBP, .563 SLG, .987 OPS, 16 Home Runs, 23 years old.

-Tommy La Stella, 2nd Base, Rome: .322 avg, .392 OBP, .537 SLG, .929 OPS, 7 Home Runs, 22 years old.

OK, so La Stella was only drafted this season, but geez. Get these old goats out of Rome, will ya?

JoshTown

August 22nd, 2011
4:57 pm

The Braves are firing on all cylinders. Can’t wait for the last 6 weeks of the season. Think it’s gonna be a strong finish and a season to be proud of. Hopefully get a little revenge on the Cubbies and win the series. Go Braves!

Chris_H

August 22nd, 2011
4:58 pm

I can see the HR count rising a bit with the Braves playing at Wrigley … Hows the wind today?

Nova Scotia Steve

August 22nd, 2011
4:59 pm

TeheranTime

August 22nd, 2011
5:00 pm

Fifth! I always thought the whole first thing was stupid.

Bat Masterson

August 22nd, 2011
5:00 pm

Wayne _

Re your comment on the last blog. I agree, I should have gone with funny/sad.

Tana

August 22nd, 2011
5:00 pm

O’Ventbrel is a horrible name.

DAP

August 22nd, 2011
5:01 pm

great stuff, DOB. the braves have been good all season, but clearly getting better. what a long season…things can really change alot. remember when we were discussing weather kimbrel should lose the closing job to venters? now kimbrel has a 31 inning scoreless streak, and leads the majors in saves. awesome.

DS1

August 22nd, 2011
5:01 pm

Who thinks Gartrell might get a call up in September? We’d have to make a roster move, but dropping a guy like Lugo (if you brought up Hicks) wouldn’t be a stretch.

Astro Joe

August 22nd, 2011
5:02 pm

It seems like Uggla is due a day off sometime soon. Same for Freeman. But obviously, not at the same time.

George Stein

August 22nd, 2011
5:02 pm

24, 23, & 22 year olds in low A ball? Not interested.

DS1

August 22nd, 2011
5:02 pm

Later folks………… catch you either during or after the game tonight.

Theo Williams

August 22nd, 2011
5:03 pm

Once rosters expand that will make room in AA and AAA for those guys. Part of it is that’s a tribute to how good our farm system is, but I think guys like that will make the move up closer to the majors come Sept. 1st.

DS1

August 22nd, 2011
5:03 pm

Bat

I shoulda sold that DNN at 4.50, huh!

:sad:

iowa brave.

August 22nd, 2011
5:04 pm

Keep it rollin boys

DS1

August 22nd, 2011
5:05 pm

Was listening to the game yesterday while on the road with my oldest, and we’re about to jump out of the car when Kimbrel struck out that last batter………

I realize one day he’s going to blow another save, but DAMN! What a talent!

PDOG

August 22nd, 2011
5:06 pm

Hope JJ can go 7 tonight and then finish off with O and the Viz, give JV and CK the night off.

Theo Williams

August 22nd, 2011
5:08 pm

DS1, yeah I bet you’ll definitely see guys like Lugo practically drop off the map once rosters expand and some more of our young talent gets to show what they’ve got. Also, with the wild card lead that we have you’ll probably see guys like Freeman and Uggla getting some days off so Fredi can see if any of these guys who get called up can help us in the postseason.

ray k.

August 22nd, 2011
5:08 pm

I called into John Ditullio’s sports radio show last week, and offered my opinion on the topic of the hour–who is the best baseball color guy/announcer in the game? I think Costas is a wunderkind whose abilities in the booth are unsurpassed. He’s erudite, witty, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the game.

John said, “Well, as a Braves fan, you must salivate when Costas calls your game since you have to deal with Chip Caray, who’s a bit excitable.” Then he said, “This clip is for you, Ray!”

and played Chip’s infamous, “Line drive, BASE HIT, caught!”

Truth be told, I do like Chip, when he’s drinking decaf.

Weaseal

August 22nd, 2011
5:08 pm

Finally we get a DOB post with Carroll’s picture –girly man!!

Bat Masterson

August 22nd, 2011
5:10 pm

Well yeah I guess so, Wayne.

It’s always obvious in hindsight I guess. The bears are winning ……….. For now anyway

PDOG

August 22nd, 2011
5:10 pm

Would like to see Heyward get the start in three games against the Cubs, 1) Be nice to get Uggla, Bourne and FF a day off as well as Chipper. 2) If they can get his bat going it will be huge when the playoffs come.

ray k.

August 22nd, 2011
5:14 pm

If JJ has another garbage outing tonight, we may have cause for concern.

RC

August 22nd, 2011
5:17 pm

Would like to see Heyward get the start in three games against the Cubs, 1) Be nice to get Uggla, Bourne and FF a day off as well as Chipper. 2) If they can get his bat going it will be huge when the playoffs come.

While the Bourne one is obvious, are we sure that Heyward would get a start if Uggla or FF had a day off? My guess is that Fredo would use either Conrad or Lugo at 2b, and Hinske at 1b. Those guys need at bats too. (Well, Conrad and Hinske do. Lugo needs a replacement.)

RC

August 22nd, 2011
5:17 pm

Danggit, I misspelled Bourn. Now I have to make fun of myself….

Nova Scotia Steve

August 22nd, 2011
5:18 pm

ray k.

August 22nd, 2011
5:22 pm

Amazingly, Chipper has been seeing some good pitches in the 6 hole. With Alex, a rookie, and the pitcher behind him, I don’t know why anyone would give him anything to hit, unless there were men on base.

RC

August 22nd, 2011
5:22 pm

Stark on “The Untouchables” – Venters and Kimbrel

http://espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/stark_jayson/id/6885526/braves-bullpen-tag-team-untouchable

A great read.

What’s even more amazing is that Kimbrel somehow has more K’s in fewer innings than Venters, and yet Venters has the higher K/9.

They are so good that the laws of mathmatics don’t apply to them!

john in wichita

August 22nd, 2011
5:23 pm

too bad Uggs can’t win “comeback player of the year.” Clearly two different guys in that uni this year at the plate. I vote for the 2nd Half Dan to win the award.

TennesseePaul

August 22nd, 2011
5:23 pm

Thanks for the work DOB.

GO BRAVES!!

UcantCLA

August 22nd, 2011
5:25 pm

Braves got mentioned as possible suitors for Thome who hit waivers. Any interest DoB? Possibly just to block Philly from getting him. He’s only $600k for the year.

Bob

August 22nd, 2011
5:25 pm

Good song but “Mother-n-Law” is his very best. If just one of O’ventbrell was with the Braves during the 90’s, how many WS do you think we would have?

Logic.

August 22nd, 2011
5:25 pm

@DOB,

Dave, you mentioned before that Jason has been hesitant to work with LP… what’s that about?? Who is he working with??

No Crying

August 22nd, 2011
5:26 pm

Anybody know the record for consecutive scoreless innings? Wasn’t Orel around 59? How about for a reliever? Is scoreless appearances a stat that is kept? Regardless Kimbrel is doing something pretty special.

Braveone

August 22nd, 2011
5:27 pm

From the previous blog which had 1,735 comments, MIBravesFan led the way with 72 posts. There were 200 different poster names. Here are the Top 25:

Rank Poster Frequency

1 MIBravesFan 72
2 cabravesfan 70
3 McFann :Ô: :Ô: 67
4 T for Texas 62
5 Tomahawkin 61
6 Bat Masterson 50
7 noliee 48
8 JC from DR! 45
9 phil 41
10 Ward 40
11 Heath 39
12 JasonInFL 39
13 tiger297 34
14 ncscoots 30
15 richbrave 30
16 Lew 29
17 Snotboogie 28
18 Venice Jim 28
19 Chop Chop 27
20 Nova Scotia Steve 25
21 George 24
22 DS1 23
23 Sopheee 23
24 Tomahawk Mafia 23
25 Brava 22

AZBravoFan

August 22nd, 2011
5:27 pm

DOB, someone mentioned dropping Lugo above. I know Fredi likes the idea of having a veteran backup for A-gon, but you don’t think he plans on having him on the post-season roster do you? Post-season bench is way too important to have such a weak bat. I’d rather take my chances with Diory or Hicks. Sure would be nice to pick up someone like Renteria in a waiver deal though.

Braveone

August 22nd, 2011
5:31 pm

From all blogs this year which totals 301,146 comments, cabravesfan led the way with 8,421 posts. There were 6,289 different poster names. Here are the Top 100:

Rank Poster Frequency Percent Cumulative_%

1 cabravesfan 8,421 2.8 2.8
2 Tomahawkin 8,029 2.7 5.5
3 nolie 6,685 2.2 7.7
4 Lew 6,179 2.1 9.7
5 jeffrey d 6,071 2.0 11.8
6 Venice Jim 5,221 1.7 13.5
7 David O’Brien 4,586 1.5 15.0
8 Trey 4,275 1.4 16.4
9 Ward 4,238 1.4 17.8
10 tiger297 3,606 1.2 19.0
11 ncscoots 3,410 1.1 20.2
12 Mixxo 3,351 1.1 21.3
13 Arkansas Transplant 3,335 1.1 22.4
14 McFann :Ô: :Ô: 3,308 1.1 23.5
15 Bat Masterson 3,255 1.1 24.6
16 richbrave 3,221 1.1 25.6
17 Tom O’Hawke 2,749 0.9 26.5
18 Brava 2,689 0.9 27.4
19 Murph 2,674 0.9 28.3
20 Shaun 2,639 0.9 29.2
21 phil 2,520 0.8 30.0
22 DS1 2,484 0.8 30.9
23 Tomas 2,461 0.8 31.7
24 bravesgrl4life 2,441 0.8 32.5
25 JasonInFL 2,378 0.8 33.3
26 JC from DR! 2,363 0.8 34.1
27 BFChris26 2,336 0.8 34.8
28 TennesseePaul 2,308 0.8 35.6
29 Snotboogie 2,208 0.7 36.3
30 Jerry 2,127 0.7 37.0
31 VaBravesFan 2,116 0.7 37.8
32 uga-brave 1,990 0.7 38.4
33 DAP 1,898 0.6 39.0
34 Soph 1,890 0.6 39.7
35 BravesQueen 1,818 0.6 40.3
36 keylargo 1,816 0.6 40.9
37 nolee 1,798 0.6 41.5
38 P-Town Brave © 1,794 0.6 42.1
39 CaptainMudderland 1,763 0.6 42.7
40 Powder Blue 1,690 0.6 43.2
41 LTBF 1,620 0.5 43.8
42 N8 1,606 0.5 44.3
43 Efrim 1,590 0.5 44.8
44 Roman Gal 1,570 0.5 45.3
45 Tomahawk Mafia 1,546 0.5 45.8
46 noleee 1,544 0.5 46.4
47 Tbraves 1,491 0.5 46.9
48 brian 1,485 0.5 47.4
49 Bravefaninok 1,466 0.5 47.8
50 T for Texas 1,457 0.5 48.3
51 Heath 1,453 0.5 48.8
52 Kat 1,439 0.5 49.3
53 MFin04 1,404 0.5 49.7
54 CB 1,338 0.4 50.2
55 haggard 1,313 0.4 50.6
56 kwajbraves 1,306 0.4 51.1
57 McFann Ô Ô 1,297 0.4 51.5
58 TnBrian 1,274 0.4 51.9
59 MIBravesFan 1,270 0.4 52.3
60 abwright 1,259 0.4 52.8
61 Jake W. 1,241 0.4 53.2
62 monty 1,192 0.4 53.6
63 Moe Berg 1,178 0.4 54.0
64 noliee 1,134 0.4 54.3
65 Mitchell 1,132 0.4 54.7
66 Danga 1,119 0.4 55.1
67 The A Bomb 1,060 0.4 55.4
68 CraZy 1,046 0.3 55.8
69 Fish Bisch 1,024 0.3 56.1
70 ray k. 1,004 0.3 56.5
71 AtlYnkHtr 975 0.3 56.8
72 groundfog 955 0.3 57.1
73 Jay Dubu 953 0.3 57.4
74 Nova Scotia Steve 940 0.3 57.7
75 MikeInFl 924 0.3 58.0
76 Sopheee 919 0.3 58.3
77 Jimmy 916 0.3 58.6
78 JC from DR! (You gotta tip your cap 913___) 0.3 58.9
79 Bay Area Steve 900 0.3 59.2
80 George 893 0.3 59.5
81 cricket 889 0.3 59.8
82 Just Pat 873 0.3 60.1
83 BamaDude @ #1CowCollege AL 864 0.3 60.4
84 Jeff R 862 0.3 60.7
85 LAG 855 0.3 61.0
86 Carroll Rogers 845 0.3 61.3
87 raleighbravefan 839 0.3 61.5
88 njbraves 838 0.3 61.8
89 noleeee 821 0.3 62.1
90 Dumbfound 820 0.3 62.4
91 Frankie Wren 820 0.3 62.6
92 Woody Woodward 817 0.3 62.9
93 shmoe 783 0.3 63.2
94 count_schemula 773 0.3 63.4
95 Hillbilly 769 0.3 63.7
96 timthebrave 747 0.2 63.9
97 McFann O O 745 0.2 64.2
98 Robert 728 0.2 64.4
99 RC 719 0.2 64.7
100 Mike S 710 0.2 64.9

Top poster by blog post date:

Date Poster Frequency Percent

04JAN2011 nolie 429 8.8
11JAN2011 jeffrey d 510 9.0
20JAN2011 Trey 431 12.7
25JAN2011 nolie 375 9.0
01FEB2011 nolie 298 8.9
08FEB2011 Trey 245 7.5
15FEB2011 Arkansas Transplant 78 7.1
16FEB2011 nolie 59 7.0
17FEB2011 Arkansas Transplant 101 11.5
18FEB2011 nolie 137 9.7
21FEB2011 nolie 97 6.6
23FEB2011 P-Town Brave © 74 5.0
24FEB2011 P-Town Brave © 87 7.2
25FEB2011 Tomahawkin 146 9.8
27FEB2011 nolie 87 6.9
28FEB2011 P-Town Brave © 77 7.6
01MAR2011 P-Town Brave © 107 8.5
02MAR2011 Venice Jim 75 6.6
03MAR2011 P-Town Brave © 130 9.6
04MAR2011 Venice Jim 133 9.7
05MAR2011 Roman Gal 69 6.7
06MAR2011 BFChris26 96 12.1
07MAR2011 abwright 99 11.6
08MAR2011 nolie 56 5.7
09MAR2011 nolie 67 7.1
10MAR2011 Venice Jim 89 7.5
11MAR2011 Venice Jim 127 13.0
13MAR2011 Venice Jim 91 11.5
14MAR2011 abwright 71 7.2
15MAR2011 cabravesfan 103 8.1
16MAR2011 cabravesfan 106 7.2
17MAR2011 JC from DR! 162 14.4
18MAR2011 Brava 59 5.2
19MAR2011 cabravesfan 103 11.3
20MAR2011 Braves Paisan 77 9.5
21MAR2011 Ward 71 5.5
23MAR2011 Venice Jim 81 5.5
24MAR2011 Venice Jim 117 8.3
25MAR2011 Venice Jim 203 15.8
26MAR2011 MIBravesFan 175 12.1
27MAR2011 Roman Gal 103 6.0
29MAR2011 Tomahawkin 108 4.7
31MAR2011 nolie 137 4.1
02APR2011 MIBravesFan 164 6.5
03APR2011 BamaDude @ #1CowCollege AL 95 6.3
04APR2011 Venice Jim 107 4.8
05APR2011 Tomahawkin 104 5.8
06APR2011 Tomahawkin 97 4.7
07APR2011 nolie 104 4.8
08APR2011 Tomahawkin 114 5.8
09APR2011 nolie 81 6.4
10APR2011 Tomahawkin 116 5.0
12APR2011 Tomahawkin 74 4.9
13APR2011 nolie 105 8.0
14APR2011 JC from DR! 124 5.5
15APR2011 BravesQueen 186 7.5
17APR2011 JC from DR! 104 4.5
18APR2011 Arkansas Transplant 78 3.6
19APR2011 Tomahawkin 123 4.8
20APR2011 nolie 148 8.8
21APR2011 BravesQueen 113 4.4
22APR2011 Tomahawkin 105 7.5
23APR2011 haggard 76 4.7
24APR2011 Tomahawkin 115 5.3
25APR2011 Tomahawkin 107 4.7
26APR2011 Phil 56 3.6
27APR2011 jeffrey d 126 5.7
29APR2011 Tomahawkin 137 8.2
30APR2011 Tomahawkin 123 10.1
01MAY2011 Ward 70 4.9
02MAY2011 Tomahawkin 65 5.6
03MAY2011 haggard 70 6.1
04MAY2011 nolie 128 6.1
05MAY2011 Tomahawkin 94 4.8
06MAY2011 Tomahawkin 109 6.7
07MAY2011 DS1 54 5.6
08MAY2011 nolie 147 5.7
10MAY2011 cabravesfan 57 3.5
11MAY2011 Tomahawkin 85 4.7
12MAY2011 Lew 60 3.5
13MAY2011 Ronnie Gardocki 205 6.3
15MAY2011 cabravesfan 74 5.6
16MAY2011 Tomahawkin 84 6.1
17MAY2011 tiger297 84 4.1
18MAY2011 DS1 114 4.3
19MAY2011 Tomahawkin 54 3.0
20MAY2011 Bat Masterson 57 4.5
21MAY2011 cabravesfan 122 3.5
24MAY2011 cabravesfan 78 5.2
25MAY2011 cabravesfan 123 4.1
27MAY2011 BFChris26 92 6.1
28MAY2011 cabravesfan 86 5.8
29MAY2011 VaBravesFan 64 5.5
30MAY2011 abwright 61 5.4
31MAY2011 cabravesfan 49 3.5
01JUN2011 count_schemula 94 4.1
03JUN2011 DS1 71 4.9
04JUN2011 noleee 71 5.7
05JUN2011 noleee 87 4.5
07JUN2011 cabravesfan 45 3.7
08JUN2011 phil 65 4.2
09JUN2011 phil 62 3.7
12JUN2011 Tom O’Hawke 65 6.0
13JUN2011 Tomahawkin 50 4.9
14JUN2011 Tomahawkin 71 5.6
15JUN2011 phil 77 4.5
16JUN2011 nolee 109 5.4
17JUN2011 cabravesfan 95 5.8
18JUN2011 blast 83 5.0
19JUN2011 McFann :Ô: :Ô: 56 4.3
20JUN2011 cabravesfan 49 3.9
21JUN2011 nolee 96 7.0
22JUN2011 nolee 113 4.7
24JUN2011 Skip Caray 61 4.8
25JUN2011 jeffrey d 102 8.3
26JUN2011 jeffrey d 57 4.4
27JUN2011 nolee 138 8.1
28JUN2011 kwajbraves 64 3.5
29JUN2011 jeffrey d 102 4.4
01JUL2011 Owl Hunter 130 10.7
02JUL2011 Husker Tony 121 5.7
04JUL2011 Venice Jim 106 7.7
05JUL2011 bravesgrl4life 60 2.8
06JUL2011 phil 104 6.1
07JUL2011 nolee 83 4.6
08JUL2011 Tomahawkin 188 5.6
09JUL2011 nolee 43 7.6
10JUL2011 Ward 84 3.2
12JUL2011 nolee 136 4.9
15JUL2011 noleeee 73 6.1
16JUL2011 JoeBrave 104 11.4
17JUL2011 noleeee 89 5.8
18JUL2011 noleeee 111 4.9
19JUL2011 noleeee 52 2.9
20JUL2011 noleeee 124 4.4
21JUL2011 ken 62 3.0
22JUL2011 Wookie Ninja 106 3.7
23JUL2011 Tomahawkin 44 3.4
24JUL2011 ken 133 5.0
25JUL2011 Powder Blue 88 2.9
26JUL2011 Jerry 137 2.5
27JUL2011 noleeee 113 3.5
28JUL2011 Mixxo 80 2.3
29JUL2011 noliee 116 3.1
30JUL2011 JasonInFL 197 3.6
01AUG2011 kwajbraves 61 3.0
02AUG2011 PhilliesFan 74 3.3
03AUG2011 noliee 159 5.6
05AUG2011 noliee 132 7.9
06AUG2011 noliee 87 3.6
07AUG2011 Tomahawkin 97 4.8
09AUG2011 Wookie Ninja 71 3.0
10AUG2011 Shaun 89 3.7
12AUG2011 noliee 115 4.9
14AUG2011 Tomahawkin 60 4.0
16AUG2011 Tomahawkin 74 3.9
17AUG2011 noliee 113 6.8
18AUG2011 Lew 86 4.6
19AUG2011 noliee 122 5.6
21AUG2011 MIBravesFan 72 4.1

extremus

August 22nd, 2011
5:33 pm

Mr. O’Brien,

Did you happen to see the ESPN Insider article on Jason Heyward’s decline today? It’s one thing to have posters here saying he’s got serious issues, but that claim is lended much more credibility when national networks and sites are noticing and doing write-ups about it.

I’m pulling for Heyward as much as for any Brave, but something is wrong somewhere. The patient, too-mature-to-be-true hitter who came up last season has vanished, and has been replaced by a guy who often looks lost at the plate. His power, average, on base percentage, walks, everything is WAY down from last year. Is the thumb perhaps hurting him and he’s hiding it from everyone, trying to play through it? If he recognizes that he’s developed “bad habits”, then why is it taking so long to see any adjustment or improvement?

Reading between the lines yesterday on the article where Chipper Jones had taken the initiative to assist Larry Parrish with Heyward’s approach in the cage, A) it says that Parrish apparently wasn’t getting through to Heyward by himself, and B) that comes down to Parrish’s lack of competence as a batting coach and/or Heyward’s inability or unwillingness to be coached and adjust from his mistakes.

From what I’ve seen Jason Heyward certainly doesn’t strike me as a prima donna or a guy who won’t listen, and as great as it was to hear about Chipper going out of his way to be a leader and help the youngster out, it begs the question as to why he felt Parrish needed assistance in this instance. Heyward, Uggla, and several others have all experienced VERY prolonged slumps this season, to the point the TV viewers could call the pitches they’d roll over or strike out on. COULD IT BE the batting coach in this instance? Mr. O’Brien, you are around the team more than any of us; what is your insight on these issues and how Heyward and the Braves might address them in the coming weeks and months?

cabravesfan

August 22nd, 2011
5:33 pm

AZBravoFan

Why would you rather have Hicks or Diory on a post season roster? Neither has proven he can hit at all at this level and at most, Lugo would be a pinch hitter, barring injury

Braveone

August 22nd, 2011
5:37 pm

The poster with most posts this year is cabravesfan with 8,421 posts, but there are 5 posters with name beginning with “nol” in Top 100 totaling 11,982 posts.

Rank Poster Frequency Percent Cumulative_%

3 nolie 6,685 2.2 7.7
37 nolee 1,798 0.6 41.5
46 noleee 1,544 0.5 46.4
64 noliee 1,134 0.4 54.3
89 noleeee 821 0.3 62.1

Bob

August 22nd, 2011
5:37 pm

Braveone…you are THE MAN! What do you actually do for a living?

noliee

August 22nd, 2011
5:39 pm

I’m so angry that Wren never mentioned OBP. Just speed. …SB

me too but that’s what they all say about the Braves. undervalue OBP. their poor statistician just sits around playing computer games all day cause nobody will pay any attention to him

Braveone

August 22nd, 2011
5:40 pm

stats guy of course.

JoshTown

August 22nd, 2011
5:40 pm

KnightInATL

August 22nd, 2011
5:41 pm

Agreed. O’Ventbrel is horrible. These three deserve a better collective nickname.

Who Me?

August 22nd, 2011
5:42 pm

Ahhhhh, new bloggage, thanks DOB. Agree with Hillbilly, we need to load up the moving truck and get those boys out of Rome at least move ‘em to Mississippi.

Haven’t had the chance to check the stats for backup, but my gut tells me our uptick in performance is largely due to the amazing job Bourn and Constanza have been doing since they arrived.

Who Me?

August 22nd, 2011
5:43 pm

KimOVenter??

Heath

August 22nd, 2011
5:43 pm

ncscoots

August 22nd, 2011
3:50 pm

but w/ the Wild Card, all we need to do is be hot going into the post season with as many people healthy as possible. Then anything is possible.

Which is why I love the idea of the single-game, two-wildcard play-in format. Finishing second should hurt more than it does. You should not be allowed to lay back, while you’re finishing second. It just offends me.

What is your take on non-division winners or non-conference winners in the NBA, NFL, NCAAF, NCAABB come play-off time? Should they be penalized more than they are today? I’m very curious…

Bob

August 22nd, 2011
5:43 pm

Heath

August 22nd, 2011
5:44 pm

DOB -

For about a week or so now, I’ve been posting how “insurmountable” I think the lead is for the Braves in the WC race… glad to see someone else finally on board with that. ;)

tiger297

August 22nd, 2011
5:46 pm

doh – nolie trying to throw the game to cab but braveone call’s him on it

Nova Scotia Steve

August 22nd, 2011
5:48 pm

Agreed. O’Ventbrel is horrible. These three deserve a better collective nickname.

“The Untouchables”

JoshTown

August 22nd, 2011
5:49 pm

I think the idea of the nickname is that its a 1-2-3 punch in the order of O’Flaherty, Venters, and Kimbrel, so re-arranging the names to make it sound better doesn’t really work.

tiger297

August 22nd, 2011
5:49 pm

and again on the correct blog

Schafer with the Astros tonight…for those who might care

Nova Scotia Steve - EOF, Venters & Kimbrel are "The Untouchables"

August 22nd, 2011
5:52 pm

I’m sticking with this old school mobster/law and order reference for the BP boys from Atlanta

No Crying

August 22nd, 2011
5:53 pm

Scoreless Innings record for a reliever is 39 By Brad Ziegler for the A’s way back in 2008. Ziegler was also a rookie. Mariano Rivera Had 33+ scoreless innings/appearances in the playoffs.

Dumbfound

August 22nd, 2011
5:55 pm

UcantCLA

August 22nd, 2011
5:25 pm
Braves got mentioned as possible suitors for Thome who hit waivers. Any interest DoB? Possibly just to block Philly from getting him. He’s only $600k for the year.

Would love to have him ! I mentioned over the offseason would should sign him to be a mentor to Freeman. I’m pretty sure Thome would love a World Series ring in his twillight years. Get him Wren !

noliee

August 22nd, 2011
5:56 pm

so what? It’s no surprise to any regular who pays attention over the years

noliee

August 22nd, 2011
5:57 pm

you think that makes you smart Braveone?

GT Alum

August 22nd, 2011
5:59 pm

UcantCLA -

What would the Braves do with Thome. I doubt the Braves would pick him up and drop Lugo. He would fill a similar role to Hinske, but I don’t think the Braves would make that tradeoff. Dropping Constanza would leave them with only 3 OFs and isn’t going to happen for other reasons as well. The only person he could replace is Conrad.

ray k.

August 22nd, 2011
6:01 pm

Yes, that’s what we need: another left handed bat off the bench.
I love Thome, but come on.

noliee

August 22nd, 2011
6:01 pm

I seriously doubt they would claim him either GT

J-Man

August 22nd, 2011
6:02 pm

Do you think Uggla could actually get some MVP votes? He could

RLM

August 22nd, 2011
6:03 pm

Some have mentioned the Phillies and the NL East lead they have….here is some interesting schedule notes.

The Braves have played 3 more games than the Phillies…If they play the Braves even the rest of the way here is how it would stack up.
Win all Three Braves back 8 games
Win 2 of 3 Braves back 7 games
Win 1 of 3 Braves back 6 games
Lose all 3 Braves back 5 games

Remaining Phillies Schedule 6 against the Braves, Marlins and Mets(home and home), 4 each at the Brewers and at the Reds, and 3 at Houston 4 at home against St Louis and Washington.

Remaining Braves Schedule 6 against the Phillies, Washington, Marlins and Mets(home and home), 3 at St Louis, 4 at Cubs and 3 at home against the Dodgers.

This is in addition to the regular NL East foes that both teams must play.

Here is the quirk in the schedule.
August 25….Braves play the Cubs….Phillies off.
August 29….Braves off…Phillies play at Cincy.
Sept 8….Braves off….Phillies play at Milwaukee.
Sept 15….Both teams are off.
Sept 20….Phillies have a DH at Washington.
Sept 22…..Braves off….Phillies at Washington.

The quirk is that the Phillies have 2 days off the rest of the season and a DH only 8 days before the season ends. While the Braves have 4 off days and no scheduled DH before the season ends.

With 6 games head to head againt the Phillies and the lack of off days between now and the end of the season the NL East is still a possibility. Especially since the Phillies have to play at Milwaukee, at Cinncinati and the Braves

While the Braves really only have divisional opponents, Dodgers, Cubs and St Louis.

I do Like the Braves chances of winning the NL East….They are pretty much playoff bound the question is as the Wild Card or NL East Champs?

Mike D.

August 22nd, 2011
6:04 pm

Thome is a lefty but hey we can always use another Power Hitter off the bench, i’m sure Thome would have no objection to that. Plus we know if he passes us and get’s to Philly then they will snatch him up…..GOTTA BLOCK THE PHILS….

JBG

August 22nd, 2011
6:04 pm

No rearranging the order of their name might not work, but it would still be brelOVent!

Bob

August 22nd, 2011
6:06 pm

Thome is Chippah four years from now.

noliee

August 22nd, 2011
6:08 pm

National Hurricane Center now shows Irene as heading toward Ga or SC. Looks like Fla is getting safer by the minute. Y’all in those other states might wanna pay attention

ray k.

August 22nd, 2011
6:08 pm

RLM,
You like the Braves chances of winning the East? I’d bet my car on them making the playoffs, but winning the east? I’d put those odds at about 15%. It’s unlikely the Phillies would falter to that degree. The Braves would have to string together a15-3 type run AND beat up on them head to head.
Not impossible, to be sure, but I don’t like the odds.

Harrison

August 22nd, 2011
6:10 pm

Just heard that Hanson may be done for the year. Can anyone confirm this?

No Crying

August 22nd, 2011
6:10 pm

The bass and drum track theme from the untouchables them would make for an excellent entrance theme for a reliever!

N8

August 22nd, 2011
6:11 pm

Looks like it was a nice batch of baseball over the weekend. Took the family to Minneapolis for one last getaway before schools starts up here and for a month debated about which game to go to the Saturday night game or the Sunday afternoon game. Twins were playing the Yankees and my younger son is a Yankees fan.

Well, we got better tickets made available to us for Saturday night’s game, and thus my son had to watch his team get their backsides handed to them (no thanks to AJ Burnett), with the score being 7-0 before 2 were out in the 2nd inning. Not the way his 1st major league game was supposed to go, huh?

Oh well, he was less bummed out when I told him that the first 2 Braves games I ever attended were losses. But make no mistake he was still bummed. Ivan Nova passed him buy, during batting practice, only to hand a ball to his younger sister. She gave him the ball, which I thought was nice. I wanted to throw it back, because it was a ball hit by Tex during batting practice.

I must admit, Target Field is a thing of beauty. Then again, compared to the Metrodome, a shed would be a thing of beauty. But that park is very well designed. Downtown view is fantastic and doesn’t seem to be a bad seat in the house (we walked around after the 6th inning and checked out the other views).

Anyhow, off to do more work, should be on later. Sure is nice to have that 8 game lead to fall back on in the wild card.

ray k.

August 22nd, 2011
6:11 pm

Harrison,
where did you hear that? I don’t think so.

Kat

August 22nd, 2011
6:11 pm

For those not on twitter..

“ajcbraves David O’Brien
#Braves pitcher Hanson stopped bullpen session after just nine pitches, presumably for more shoulder discomfort”

noliee

August 22nd, 2011
6:12 pm

I’d put those odds at about 15%….ray k

yeah and that is being generous. I think the official odds are less than 5% aren’t they?

No Crying

August 22nd, 2011
6:12 pm

Bob

August 22nd, 2011
6:13 pm

Harrison…have not heard that, but it would have concerned me more in May than it does now. Maybe this will do him good if true. We’ve got some great young arms.

Nova Scotia Steve - EOF, Venters & Kimbrel are "The Untouchables"

August 22nd, 2011
6:13 pm

From Bowman

Hanson said he was only planning to throw around 10 pitches. Says he felt fine and will throw a longer pen tomorrow.

Heath

August 22nd, 2011
6:13 pm

The 8-game lead the Braves have in the WC is bettered only be the 8.5 game lead that the Brewers have over the Cards for the NL Central. So yeah, I think the Braves have all but locked up a play-off spot. As long as something like getting swept in all 6 games against the Phillies and Cards doesn’t happen… should be OK.

noliee

August 22nd, 2011
6:14 pm

Hanson for years has been considered by many to be a walking arm injury waiting to happen. Sure hope things aren’t all that bad with him

ray k.

August 22nd, 2011
6:15 pm

Uggla’s final stats this year: .242, 35 HR, 91 RBI
Chipper: .280 14 HR, 79 RBI
Mac: .296 24 HR, 86 RBI
Freeman: .287 20 HR 72 RBI

BoatDoc

August 22nd, 2011
6:15 pm

The verbage for “Comeback Player of the Year” is quite vague and does NOT require a “good year” following an injured or sub-par year, only “re-emergence on the field of play”.

By that definition I’d say Uggla is the DEFINITION of Comeback POY.

JC from DR!

August 22nd, 2011
6:16 pm

Funny that Hanson’s problem is related to shoulder discomfort, when it should be his elbow the one screaming like a biatch right now due to his…. clockwork delivery.

N8

August 22nd, 2011
6:16 pm

For the remainder of the season if Hanson were to go down I wouldn’t worry about it too much. We’ve got depth to cover.

However, in the post-season it would worry me a tad. I was counting on this being the October where Hanson made a name for himself. Looks like that might be iffy at best.

However, here’s the real question…..

Does Fredi have enough balls to leave Lowe out of the rotation in October and go with Beachy or Minor? I’m not sure. Not to mention, what if Jurrjens isn’t well? Then what?

Kind of scary to think that this October could hinge on Jurjjens and Lowe, considering their pitching and health the past month or so….

Yikes.

Heath

August 22nd, 2011
6:16 pm

*Meant to say 6 games against the Phillies and 3 games against the Cards… fingers working faster than my brain. :(

ray k.

August 22nd, 2011
6:17 pm

Noliee,
15% probably is a bit generous.
If Gee and the Mets beat Lee tonight, and we win at Wrigley, 5 1/2 back… starting to look almost conceivable.
The Phillies rarely play down to the competition like we often do. Series against teams like the Cubs scare me.

N8

August 22nd, 2011
6:18 pm

Tonight should give us a clue on whether Jurrjens was just rusty last time out. Or if he truly has some issues that might not go away. Should be interesting.

GT Alum

August 22nd, 2011
6:18 pm

extremus -

Yeah, I was thinking DOB was implying Parrish deserved more credit than he necessarily does. As far as Uggla’s turnaround – a) it sure took long enough; b) we all knew Uggla was significantly better than what he did in the first half. As far as the rest of the team, you had a rookie who’s adjusted to being in the majors, CF has been MASSIVELY improved by a trade, and we’ve gotten healthy. Not to mention the tear Constanza has been on since coming up. Not to say that Parrish is terrible, but there’s just not enough evidence to give him too much credit.

Bob

August 22nd, 2011
6:18 pm

N8…I don’t think JJ is well. We’ll see tonight, but I agree about our depth.

Heath

August 22nd, 2011
6:19 pm

Buster_ESPNBuster Olney

There’s no telling how Commissioner’s Office would rule or react if MINN released Thome to sign with PHI, but there would be loud protests.

ray k.

August 22nd, 2011
6:20 pm

At this point, I have more faith in Lowe than I do JJ. Hanson’s health/velocity etc. are concerning. But one thing is for certain: there is very little chance all 3 of those guys are primed and ready to go for the playoffs.
15% of that happening, too.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

August 22nd, 2011
6:25 pm

ray k Mac: .296 24 HR, 86 RBI

But that means his AVG will keep going down…

I think he’s gonna get it back to .300!!

David O'Brien

August 22nd, 2011
6:25 pm

Hanson threw only nine pitches off mound, and we assumed something was wrong. But he insisted afterward that that’s all he wanted to do today, a light session to get used to the slope again. Fredi G. said tomorrow would be his side session, and if all goes well he’ll rehab-start Saturday.

ray k.

August 22nd, 2011
6:25 pm

Dear lord our rotation will be special in 2013.
Beachy, Minor, Delgado, Teheran, Hanson

noliee

August 22nd, 2011
6:26 pm

Hanson has several of these which is likely why the shoulder trouble JC

Faults Which Cause Stress on the Shoulder
A. Arm Action Faults
* 1. Long arming (stiff arming) the back swing
* 2. Arm out of alignment (flailing)
3. Wrist hooking
* 4. Elbow lifts higher than the pitching hand into the cocked position
5. Hand rolls under the ball vs. the fingers staying on top of the ball
6. Overly short-arming the back swing (infielders technique)
Note: Improper timing of the hand separation causes many arm action faults.

PDOG

August 22nd, 2011
6:27 pm

No on Thome, We have Eric the beast in that role. The one weak link on the team is Lugo, Wren should be working on getting a replacement for him. Three choices come to mind, Infante, Renteria, Bonafacio or anyone else with a pulse.

Gabe

August 22nd, 2011
6:27 pm

What about Jurrjens, Medlin, and Huddy

Bob

August 22nd, 2011
6:27 pm

I think the bigger problem with our rotation is what many of you have broached…does Fredi have the guts to bench Lowe? I’m happy with Hudson, Beachy, Minor, Delgado, and Teheran right now.

JC from DR!

August 22nd, 2011
6:27 pm

I hate the Phillies more and more by the minute. Never have I hated anything with more passion in my life. What a disgusting ballclub… And now there’s the Thome drama…

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