Gonzalez starts Diaz over Heyward in season finale

Jason Heyward found himself on the bench on the final game of the 2011 season after Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez decided to start the right-handed hitting Matt Diaz in right field against Phillies starter Joe Blanton.

“Blanton historically has better numbers against lefties; right-handers hit him a little bit better,” Gonzalez said. “And if they do bring in (left-hander Cole) Hamels; Diaz is there.”

Entering the game, right-handers had hit .341 against Blanton this season, and left-handers .281. Also, Diaz had hit 2-for-6 with two RBIs against Blanton, while Heyward was 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

“The lineup I put out there is guys you feel like are going to grind out some at-bats,” Gonzalez said.

89 comments Add your comment

JD

September 28th, 2011
8:36 pm

JD

September 28th, 2011
8:37 pm

They must win tonight or it’s over with the Cards start in the first inning.

JD

September 28th, 2011
8:40 pm

Guess nobody else cares what the Braves do tonight. All alone on the blog.

Ball man

September 28th, 2011
8:52 pm

Lil Red

September 28th, 2011
8:55 pm

3-1 Braves, 5-0 Cardinals

Ball man

September 28th, 2011
8:56 pm

terrell

September 28th, 2011
8:58 pm

Brian Mcann with 2 strikeouts in CRITICAL situations. Come on BMac.

terrell

September 28th, 2011
9:08 pm

Flip Wilson.

Frediot

September 28th, 2011
9:21 pm

Fredi must be retarded to not ph JHEY against Worley when Diaz is 18% below average against rh while JHEY is +6% of course Diaz grinder out a strikeout

@Fredo

September 28th, 2011
9:49 pm

Thanks, DOB.

Clueless..

September 28th, 2011
9:58 pm

its almost over!

Epic collapse.. Chipper that has been your teams over the past decade…

Choke franchise second to none!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clueless..

September 28th, 2011
9:59 pm

Bobby Cox JR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clueless..

September 28th, 2011
9:59 pm

Delta is ready for ya Fredi…

Fredi=Jim Moron….Clueless….

JD

September 28th, 2011
10:01 pm

5 walks by Venters and Kimbrel. WTF…

Clueless..

September 28th, 2011
10:02 pm

How appropriate Chipper to give it up on the last game of the season…

Yall would have been swept anyway so its just as well….

Cardinals up 7-0!
Braves tied, Philly has the bases loaded with 2 outs top of the 9th!

almost over…

JD

September 28th, 2011
10:03 pm

McCann will be swinging for the fences in the bottom of the 9th.

Clueless..

September 28th, 2011
10:04 pm

Come on Heywood!

Earn yo money and hit it out the park dude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JD

September 28th, 2011
10:05 pm

Hudson deserved better. He pitched great after the first inning.

JD

September 28th, 2011
10:07 pm

Try swinging the bat McCann!

Braves R A Joke

September 28th, 2011
10:09 pm

This team is pathetic in every sense of the word. Just finished burning my custom Braves jersey with Kimbrel’s, Venters, Gimper Jones, McCann, and Bobby Cox autographs on it. That is how sick I am of this team. They can’t do a f’n thing right. How much more motivation do they need? I am done with this team, I can’t stand a team with no heart and gives up on the fans that pay their salaries.

JD

September 28th, 2011
10:09 pm

Let’s just look at the first pitch strike and then miss the second one. Are we going to go quietly in the 9th?

Clueless..

September 28th, 2011
10:10 pm

Jason get with Justice in the off season please asap!!!!!

JD

September 28th, 2011
10:10 pm

Well Wilson cost them a run, maybe he can get it back.

Clueless..

September 28th, 2011
10:10 pm

No shot……

JD

September 28th, 2011
10:11 pm

Give me a break, Braves have been killing this guy and he takes them 1,2,3.

Clueless..

September 28th, 2011
10:11 pm

Philly will get it done in the 10th..

Braves R A Joke

September 28th, 2011
10:11 pm

Now look up at the scoreboard and kiss the season goodbye. Biggest collapse in NL history, how does that feel you f’n losers? Having that label fits this team so good. A label they deserve.

Clueless..

September 28th, 2011
10:15 pm

Thats Chipper legacy with his Brave runs…They are consistent CHOKE ARTIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey Chipper you should talk less ish..You and your teamates seem to never back it up.. Ya BUMS!!!!!!!!

Pete

September 28th, 2011
10:16 pm

And he should have left him in.

Clueless..

September 28th, 2011
10:22 pm

CARDINALS UP 8-0!!!!!!!!!!!

JD

September 28th, 2011
10:23 pm

Hinske hasn’t had a good swing all month.

Clueless..

September 28th, 2011
10:31 pm

THIS UMPIRE SUCKS!!!!
CALLING STRIKES AT THE SHOULDER…

COME ON LARRY! WIN THE DARN THING..
CARDINALS WON…THEIR GAME STARTED I HOUR LATER THAN THE BRAVES GAME!

Clueless..

September 28th, 2011
10:34 pm

ALMOST OVER…

fonzischeme

September 28th, 2011
11:33 pm

Freddie Gonzales is the worst tactical manager I have seen. NEVER underestimate the power of poor managerial decisions to demoralize a team.

terrell

September 28th, 2011
11:33 pm

Maybe next year.

bravesfaninNashville

September 28th, 2011
11:41 pm

FIRE FREDI NOW!!!!!!!

J-Man

September 28th, 2011
11:42 pm

Fire Fredi, fire Parrish and drop Lowe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

J-Man

September 28th, 2011
11:45 pm

There no saving grace there nothing comforting to say Fredi MUST GO!!!!!!!!!! 8 1/2 game lead on Sept 5……………All we had to do is play .500 baseball NO EXCUSE and this “Tip your hat” BULLSH*T and lack of intensity is sickening.

fonzischeme

September 28th, 2011
11:46 pm

Gonzales is the worst tactical manager I have seen. NEVER underestimate the power of poor managerial decisions to demoralize a team.

Kevin

September 28th, 2011
11:46 pm

Freddi,

Thank you for doing a double steal with Bourn and Prado with the heart of the FREAKIN’ lineup up! That was probably bonehead move #125 of the year. He doesn’t steal there we get a 3 run Uggla homerun and off to St. Louis.

fonzischeme

September 28th, 2011
11:49 pm

Did Gonzales really think that Linebrink would not give up a run or two? Seriously? Is there any Brave fan in the country that didn’t know it was time to turn off the TV when Linebrink came in? That Freddie was hoisting the white flag? Seriously.

Braves FaN

September 28th, 2011
11:49 pm

Why the hell do you pitch to Pence with a base open? The same reason Philly walked Bourn with a base open. Simple baseball mgmt. Freddi. Damn!

fonzischeme

September 28th, 2011
11:50 pm

Kevin, Bourn was safe. That was actually one of the few things he did right imo…

Braves FaN

September 28th, 2011
11:50 pm

Second base was open, not third. There is no reason I can think of why the Braves didn’t walk Pence, no excuse!

heyward stikes out yet agin

September 28th, 2011
11:51 pm

my dead aunt hilda could go first to third on that bum pos in right schnieders just fractionally slower then bmac with out a thoow or does his above ave basebaklll intelect not in clude throwing too bases lol

Capt. Call Out

September 28th, 2011
11:52 pm

Eff you “Coach”, eff you Linebrink, eff you both “rookies of the year”, eff you Larry, eff you Braves, forever a lay down bunch of cowards. Done. Put a minus on your fans, as that’s it. This franchise is a joke, and that’s what happens when you hand it over to a private equity company. Quintessiential loser status — only thing we do well is the radio and TV calls. Sorry you all have to watch such utter horse sheeeot all year. Eff Atlanta, all day, every day. Forever losers.

Kevin

September 28th, 2011
11:55 pm

Fonz,

Bourn was out if you watched the replay. When he popped up he was off the base and the tag was on him the whole way.

evadayjonny

September 28th, 2011
11:56 pm

I”M JUST SICK!!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE WE BLEW IT!!!! WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED? Is this season really over……

fonzischeme

September 28th, 2011
11:58 pm

Now we get to listen to the homer announcers talk about how young the team was and blah blah blah…next we will get to hear Freddie tell us how “tough it is out there.” The Braves will keep him because they run a “steady” organization. Read: THEY have a rich history of CHOKING. Look on the bright side, now we don’t have to watch them be ridiculed on national TV.

Anyone think Prado is better than Infante?

Are the hitters just pig headed or does Parrish have no clue? I think someone like Heyward who clearly has made NO attempt to adjust as they get him out whenever they want to, is in the pigheaded column. They’ll trade him to someone who will coach him and he’ll have great career.

fan since 1964

September 28th, 2011
11:58 pm

Thanks Fredi & Wren for a losing season plus blowing 9 game lead….Fire both of them>>>>

ha

September 28th, 2011
11:58 pm

braves choke! braves choke! braves choke! (do you really expect anything else? this has been going on about 20 years)

Braves R A F'N Joke

September 28th, 2011
11:58 pm

Officially done with this team. I can’t continue to spend money and time on this team any longer. I live outside of the Atlanta area and therefore have to pay to watch their games which ends with this last collapse tonight. The time that I devoted to these Braves is now going to be spent with by baby boy who arrives in January. Thought he would be a Braves fan as well, but I am not going to do that to him.

I really hope this team is happy with the label of being the biggest collapse in NL history when leading by 8.5 games on Sept. 5th. That is a label that I would never want, yet these losers deserve it. I can’t even begin to tell you how disgusted I am with this team. These past 4 weeks have now turned me away from the team that I have been following for 26 of my 33 years on this planet. I am not doing it anymore, this team doesn’t deserve to have a loyal fanbase. Of course I will keep tabs on who they sign, who they let go, and things like that, but the days of ordering packages to watch them play, buying tickets and driving down to Miller Park in Milwaukee to watch them play, and buying merchandise is done for good.

So thanks for nothing guys, you sure know how to let your entire fanbase down with basically 1 series. The most important games of the year and you get swept. That is the biggest lack of heart I have ever seen for any team. That is why it is so easy to walk away from them. I can’t believe that I just burned my custom Braves jersey with all those signatures on it, but yet I don’t even care. That is how I know that its time to turn my back on them as they have done to their fans. Good riddance.

fan since 1964

September 28th, 2011
11:58 pm

Infante got a new two contract today with Fish.

fan since 1964

September 28th, 2011
11:59 pm

fan since 1964

September 29th, 2011
12:01 am

Why can’t the Braves get a Manager like the Rays…..he can take crap and make a winner.

Billsfan

September 29th, 2011
12:02 am

I’m sorry guys I must’ve brought the bad luck south. I’m from Buffalo. I love both the Braves and Bills but sports are unkind to me.

fonzischeme

September 29th, 2011
12:02 am

Kevin, true but he was safe absent that even though they pitched out. Freddie can’t manage and he certainly can’t predict his player can’t keep his foot on the bag. It was good play for a team that chokes like the Braves. Bourn was the only player out there. Uggla’s homerun was a fluke, they screwed up and gave him a fastball.

bravofano

September 29th, 2011
12:02 am

Epic failure should lead to Epic changes. No way Fredi should be back next year. But….he will be. All the others will be back as well. The Phillies will dominate again and Atlanta will be third behind the Nationals. This is just a pathetic.

fan since 1964

September 29th, 2011
12:04 am

Boston just lost..Rays fans going crazy but still tied with Yanks in 12th.

Kevin

September 29th, 2011
12:05 am

Fonz,

Oh no doubt Bourn was the best player on the field by a mile tonight. But still with your heart of the lineup up why steal there? I mean the only thing I could think of is he wanted to avoid a double play. The way the game was it wasn’t like we were down a run either where you want to get the runners over.

fan since 1964

September 29th, 2011
12:06 am

RAYS GOING TO PLAY OFF>>RAYS WIN 8-7

Kevin

September 29th, 2011
12:08 am

Thank you Rays and Orioles! Now we will just be backpage info. The Red Sox will be ripped into big time. We will just be a footstep to them.

Alan

September 29th, 2011
12:09 am

Fire Fredi! I never thought I would say this but I wish Bobby Cox was back. I feel like I have wasted 6 months of my life watching Braves baseball. The least we could done was make the play in game with St. louis. Braves need major changes, starting with getting rid of Fredi and Derrick Blowe!

Perlo

September 29th, 2011
12:10 am

Off the topic, but has anyone noticed that the proctologist blew an extra inning game last week for the Yankees, and upon coming in tonight, gave up the game winning home run to Tampa Bay.

fonzischeme

September 29th, 2011
12:10 am

Even with the injuries the team was no brainer to manage to the playoffs. Fredie Gonzales is the worst tactical manager I have ever seen. Truly has no clue when crunch time hits. Did he really think Linebrink wouldnlt blow it? Serioulsy.

fonzischeme

September 29th, 2011
12:13 am

Perlo, YES I did see that. I am sure Freddie felt bad that he couldn’t have used him tonight in the 7th.

Alan

September 29th, 2011
12:13 am

Why did we have Linestink in there at the end? What a joke? One positive I will say at least Michael Bourne can play baseball. Don’t make another bonehead move and loose Bourne. Sign him to long term contract. Chipper please retire!

Alan

September 29th, 2011
12:18 am

If I hear about the Braves injuries one more time, I think I am going to hurl. The phillies played with injuries all year. Its not all about our pitching, we just can’t score. Frank Wren, please get someone that can hit on this team other than Bourne.

fonzischeme

September 29th, 2011
12:29 am

I don’t know what was more distasteful this year. watching Feddie’s one dunderhead move after another or listening to Chip Caray go on endlessly well – here it is – ninth inning Linebrink on the mound. Carry: “Here’s comes Joe Schmoe to the plate. Joe has not had hit a single toleft filed for the last 20 abs. He has struck out 3 of 43 times when fcauing a right hander after a rain delay. He has not had hit in June for 7 years, he hasn’t hit home run in a day game. He has hit .043 in 11 games in which he was batting fourth. This is all just great for the braves!” Next pitch “It’s long drive….” He did this in one game against the Mets. Now the Mets had own like 8 of ten at the time. Now what would make you feel worse as a viewer? having your announcer go into endless meaningless stats about how some hitter can’t hit and then watch him hit a homerun or have the announcer say “The mets have one 8 of ten” then wathc him hit it? – It is obvious Chip sees himself as predicting with his inane stats. After one batter got a hit he yelped “Just as we told you he hits well on Sundays after a blah blah blah.” Instead of just doing the play by play he thinks he has to outsmart the game with his nifty USELESS stats.

If I could only get rid of one of them, between Freddie and Chip, I cut loose Chip.

frustrated fan

September 29th, 2011
12:33 am

Drinkin sum Jack to dull the pain.

Clueless..

September 29th, 2011
1:03 am

HISTORIC COLLAPSE !!!! HEY CHIPPER QUIT MAN YOU CANT CATCH A GROUNDER ANYMORE!

UP NEXT THE FAILCONS!!!!!

Clueless..

September 29th, 2011
1:06 am

FREDI=JIM MORON IN WAY OVER THEIR HEADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jason Heyward's Gynecologist

September 29th, 2011
1:06 am

It is times like these when I REALLY hate my job.

Jason Heyward's Gynecologist

September 29th, 2011
1:08 am

With such an epic meltdown, the team should be officially renamed:

The CHERNOBYL BRAVES .

Every Braves coach NOT named “Terry Pendleton” should be fired.

Clueless..

September 29th, 2011
1:10 am

THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN SWEPT ANYWAY

HAS TO BE ONE OF THE MOST INCOMPETENT MANAGERS TO EVER COACH…

HE BEAT OUT WILLIE RANDOLPH METS COLLAPSE…

Clueless..

September 29th, 2011
1:12 am

AUGUST 25TH BRAVES UP 10.5 GAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SEPTEMBER 29TH .5 GAMES BACK………..CHIPPERS BRAVES CHOKE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clueless..

September 29th, 2011
1:13 am

ACTUALLY 1 GAME BEHIND, GAME, SET, AND MATCH!

I saw sid slidr

September 29th, 2011
1:14 am

You people are all a bunch of morons and cry babies!! Fire freddie get rid if chipper… he had one of the best ba on the team… and i live all you armchair managers, go take it out on your little team on saturday, coach them up because i an sure bums r the coaches that cant remenber baseball us game. Oh and when u adress chipper adress him ad future h.o.f chipper jones ir maybe 2nd best swutch of all time behind some guy named mickey mantle, and all u want to be managers would prob disrespect him too

I saw sid slidr

September 29th, 2011
1:16 am

clueless perfect name for u

Atlanta = Fair weather fans

September 29th, 2011
1:19 am

Atlanta fans and teams and media go through the motions. WHO DAT!!!

I saw sid slide

September 29th, 2011
1:20 am

oh yea i forgot freddie the manger is the one in the batters box.. he is the one who cant swing that rightttt

Jason Heyward's Gynecologist

September 29th, 2011
1:21 am

Matt Diaz > Jason “No Heart” Heyward

Joe Maddon > Fredi Gonzalez

John Smoltz Down from Broadcast Booth > Derek “On the Down” Lowe

Maria

September 29th, 2011
1:27 am

So, what will the excuses be tomorrow? How about coming up with a blog where the fans are asked what changes they would make? First to be gone–Larry Parrish! Their hitting doesn’t even cover the word atrocious this season. As bad they were at doing the basics–bunting, sacrificing–it made you want to hide your head in the dirt. Don’t forget about how horrible they were with runners in scoring position either. It would be nice if this entire team took some instructions on how to steal bases again. When Bourn first came over, he was running all over the place. So was Constanza but then it just suddenly stopped. What was up with that? They were far too reliant on the home run ball. If they were not hitting homers, they were not scoring. All these problems with hitting has to fall back on the hitting coach at some point because he is not teaching them something right. Second–Derek Lowe–I know they’d have to eat a lot of his salary but I’d rather take my chances on a new kid and let him gain some experience than to have to carry this POS for another full season. Third to go–Scott Linebrink. Why he was not released with Proctor still baffles me. I am also really beginning to think Roger McDowell needs to go too. Our pitchers need to be taught that you don’t have to go into so many deep counts to get outs. It’s a shame how many games our pitchers got taken out in the 6th inning or earlier. That led to the bullpen being worn down and as a result, they were all tired and worn out this month. Venters had 84 appearances. 81 games is half of a season. That is far too many games for that guy to be used in. They need another middle reliever to work besides Christian Martinez because you’re never going to go a whole season without some blow out games being involved.

Columbus

September 29th, 2011
2:21 am

Correct decision not to start him. Personally, I would have started Constanza the last month and the last game too. Why? Braves could not score runs. Scored a lot with him and Bourne in the lineup. Diaz and Heyward havent hit a rip. Constanza gets on base even when its a ground ball to the infield. He can bunt his way on and bunt runners over. He cant be doubled up. He scores MORE runs that either of them two put together! Thats the name of the game….scoring runs. I expect to see SPEED in there next season. A speedy shortstop, center fielder and one other position. WHich has to be one of the outfield spots. I would alternate Prado and Constanza and Heyward. Then when Chipper retires or needs a break, Constanza it is. We have Hinske and Diaz. One must go….

I would have played Constanza instead of Heyward this last month. I bet you we would be in the playoffs if we had…..Constanza scores and/or beats throws, gets on base which equals less outs and another at bat in an inning..,.maybe several more depending on how the inning unfolds.

CONservative Johnson

September 29th, 2011
6:34 am

The pitching was so spotty, I doubt a run from Constanza would have done the trick. Fredi Gonzalez seemed to always stick with the veterans anyway.

An old guy goes into a slump, and Fredi sticks with him.

A young guy goes into a slump, and Fredi benches him.

An old guy shows he can’t get past the 5th inning and Fredi sticks with him instead of trying out the youngsters.

And as usual, I knew the game was over once Linebrink entered . . . how many times does Fredi have to be hit over the head before he changes?

I’m surprised he hasn’t been decked a few times so far in his managerial career . . .

Unfortunately, we are stuck with another ownership group here in Atlanta; so, Fredi will be back.

terrell

September 29th, 2011
6:44 am

The only players I want to see on the team next year
Bourn
Uggla
Freeman
Hudson
Beachy
Ventors
Kimbrel
The rest can head on down to Hartsfield.

RBrave

September 29th, 2011
8:39 am

Big Braves fan , but they looked scared at the plate. Heyward is useless looked like a Sunday walk going after that fly ball toward the gap then horrible strikeout. I guess Kimbrel gets a blown save but many “Blown” at bats with men in scoring position. Sorry finish.

Stephen Frazier

September 29th, 2011
12:04 pm

“Diaz starts over Heyward”. OK, if anyone needs a clue that Freddi Gonzalez HAS no clue, then let them consider why Constanza has been relegated to pinch hitter for the past two weeks, a period that coincides with the Braves’ slide towards next spring.
Jose should have been starting since the day he arrived. Who cannot see that Bourne began to struggle the very day that Jose Constanza was not in the lineup behind him.

Watching Freddie Freeman kneeling in despair after grounding into the season ending double play and Kimbrell walking down the duout tunnel after the game was really sad, especially since it appears that Freeman is placing some of the blame on himself and Kimbrell is taking it ALL.

Nothing is farther from the truth. Without Kimbrell, the Braves are hunting and fishing material moths ago, and Freeman has saved the Braves at least two dozen runs with his super duper skills at first base not to mention being near the top in Rookie of The Year.

The fact is, the offense has been asleep for most of the past month. Except for Derek Lowe, the pitching has been awful only because the offense has given no support at all.

When you look at the bottom line, the team scored just four or five runs in the last five games. Only five shutouts would have helped them..

lol

September 29th, 2011
1:40 pm

seriously? it WAS a young team. thats why they said that. they weren’t going to be accustomed to a 162 game season I really thought they played their hearts out against the best team in the MLB. lol at the dude who burned his jersey what a moron. I guarantee the next time they make the playoff’s he’ll jump right on that bandwagon.

Add your comment