Braves rally for win over Nationals

VIERA, Fla. — The Braves rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Nationals Wednesday with a game-tying run in the bottom of the ninth and two runs in the top of the 10th. Pinch-hitter Tyler Pastornicky delivered a key hit in the winning rally.

Jose Yepez singled to lead off the Braves’ 10th. After Pastornicky failed to get a sacrifice bunt down, he singled to right to put runners on first and third. Pinch-runner Christian Bethancourt scored when Jose Constanza reached on an error. Pastornicky, who went to third on the error, scored on Rohm’s sacrifice fly with the winning run.

“For me, Tyler Pastornicky had the best at-bat I’ve seen in camp for awhile,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He couldn’t get the sac bunt over. He battled, battled and got the guy over to third on a base hit. He did a good job going first to third on a possible double-play ball and we were able to add a run. That was big.”

The Nationals led 1-0 after an unearned run in the fourth inning came after a pass ball on Brian McCann. Jordan Parraz tied the game with two outs in the top of the ninth with an RBI single, scoring David Rohm who pinch ran for Josh Wilson after he walked.

The Nationals plated a run in the bottom of the 10th on two hits but fell short.

Michael Bourn singled and had his first stolen base of the spring. Dan Uggla nearly hit a three-run homer in the third inning but a strong wind kept his drive just inside the park.

The Braves improved to 6-13-2 in the Grapefruit League after a 1-10-1 start.

Moving forward with regulars

With the exception of the yet-to-be-decided shortstop position, Gonzalez said he will use much of his regular lineup for the final 12 exhibition games. Andrelton Simmons, who went 1-for-4 Wednesday, and Pastornicky are still locked in a battle for the starting job.

“We have to try to put your guys so they can play together as a unit,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said McCann will be spelled by David Ross at catcher and he won’t over-use the bullpen, but starting with Thursday and Friday home games (against the Marlins and Mets) expect to see the regulars for as much as eight innings.

Gonzalez said he divides the spring into three segments and the final one is about to begin.

Beachy versus Marlins

Right-hander Brandon Beachy getting the start Thursday against the Marlins. It will be Beachy’s fourth start of the spring. He is 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA, giving up seven hits and six earned runs in nine innings. Beachy has struck out 11 and walked eight. He will be followed by RH Eric O’Flaherty, RH Cory Gearrin, RH Jairo Asencio and LH Dusty Hughes.

56 comments Add your comment

Chris Hanson

March 21st, 2012
5:36 pm

2011champs

March 21st, 2012
6:01 pm

The Braves have more questions than answers right now, so they HAVE to play the regulars to try to get a handle on some of the questions. For instance, Fredi has already anointed JJ as the game 1 starter… he of the 10.13 ERA. How effective will Huddy be after this most recent surgery? Will the real Dan Uggla please stand up? Who will play SS, light hitter, or lighter hitter? Will JHey be the 2010 or the 2011 model? How many minutes will Chipper play before he complains of a stubbed toe or hangnail? Can the big 3 short relievers be THAT good again this season?? (Quick answer to that one – NO) Will the slightly overated McCann actually throw out any runners trying to steal 2nd or 3rd this season??, and will his offensive production outweigh his defensive shortcomings??
Meanwhile, the 2011 champs will, even after losing the best player in the game, will win more games than Atlanta, with a rookie manager, and have the chance to defend their World Series title.
That is how I see it, and I usually have a good feel for these things. Late last August, I posted to Mark Bradley that the Braves would not make the playoffs, and St. Louis would.
Yep, questions, questions, questions…. that is what the Braves have going on this spring.

Stinger2

March 21st, 2012
6:03 pm

Good plan by Fredi. This third segment will allow the regulars to get enough at bats and playing time together in the field to iron out the kinks and be ready for opening day. The comeback win today was an indicator that things are beginning to fall in place. The naysayers and doom and gloom posters should also begin to believe and get on board.

Weaseal

March 21st, 2012
6:09 pm

When can the Braves get Tebow to play SS ????

Stinger2

March 21st, 2012
6:10 pm

2011 Champs: You have a lot of questions but no answers . Fredi and the players will answer your questions if you will show a little patience until opening day when the games start to count. Every team has question marks at ST. The Braves will find solutions to your questions.

Ball's-N-All

March 21st, 2012
6:21 pm

Tommy Hanson new goodluck charm,an nick name is the BRAVE Owl….

Ralph

March 21st, 2012
6:46 pm

Gee, I thought O’Flaherty was a left handed pitcher, you see i’m not the only one that makes mistakes on this blog.

Braveslog

March 21st, 2012
6:51 pm

Good to see some signs of life today. More on the Pastornicky/Simmons battle here:

http://braveslog.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/pastornicky-and-simmons-battle-for-starting-spot/

TOMY FOURNIER

March 21st, 2012
6:56 pm

Tebow???….Why not the Eagle killing dog(Vick)????…for center field or 2nd or SS????

Rick

March 21st, 2012
7:04 pm

2011champs,

I don’t think Jurrjens has been officially stated by anyone as the opening day starter, it’s only been assumed. And either way, who cares? He’s going to be in the rotation regardless, and the opening day game doesn’t count anymore than the second, third, fourth, or fifth game of the season.

Huddy should be fine. He has been pitching with back pain for years and now should be feeling better. It’s not like the surgery was in his arm.

Dan Uggla was extremely consistent in terms of production from year to year until last season. I think we can expect him to hit around 250 avg, 30+ HRs.

They aren’t relying on the SS for offensive production, just defense really. And considering how bad Gonzo was at the plate last season there is a good chance the offense will actually improve there. Both Pastornicky and Simmons are also contact hitters who SO very little, pretty much the opposite of Gonzo.

I don’t know about Heyward hitting like his rookie season but I think it’s more likely he’ll improve on last year than regress.

Chipper was still 2nd or 3rd in most offensive categories last season among NL 3B. If he can stay healthy he should see around 120 games.

Probably not on O’Ventbrel, but I expect them to be better managed this season. Overall I’d expect more consistency and for them to not start failing down the stretch.

Hopefully Hanson’s delivery will help with that. McCann doesn’t have the best arm, but he’s not entirely at fault.

Let's Go

March 21st, 2012
7:14 pm

It’s funny because the last 2 years the Braves have broke camp on an up beat note and then struggled the 1st month and this year they have basically sucked and are going into the last 2 weeks with way too many questions then answers. Maybe this year will be different and they will turn things around and blow people away come April & May. I know with the Braves it’s pitching, pitching, pitching but right now they are not scoring or hitting enough for me. Hopefully that will change.

San Diego Steve

March 21st, 2012
7:26 pm

DOB do you have a gut feeling yet or possibly a prediction as to who will play SS to start the season?

richbrave

March 21st, 2012
7:27 pm

Jeeze, now ti’s DUSTY HUGHES that the BRAVES are wishin’ and hopin’ will be the third lefty out of the ‘pen. BOBBY FISH, and YOHAN FLANDE didn’t pan out I guess.

Todd

March 21st, 2012
7:36 pm

When we have to rally to score 3 runs that tells you everything you need to know. Put a fork in the season.

Stinger2

March 21st, 2012
7:53 pm

Todd: What a 3 run rally to win a game tells me is that team did not quit. In fact its a great sign that shows they do not want to lose any game regardless that its a ST game that does not count.

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

March 21st, 2012
8:17 pm

bravesgrl4life

March 21st, 2012
8:52 pm

Hey, Orange Brave, you gonna have another restaurant? I loved your place.

Ike Turnip Head

March 21st, 2012
9:08 pm

Mike Minor pitches like the deserved starter and Jurrgens pitches like a AA pitcher and REMAINS the starter ? Explain that somebody ? Just like last year with Derek Lowe starting all year with his 6.00 era now Jurrgens gets a pass with his 10.00 era. Unbelievable. Spring training is for players to earn spots and lose roster spots. It should be based on performance not favoritism.

Ike Turnip Head

March 21st, 2012
9:10 pm

MCann’s gotta be top 3 worst defensive catchers in MLB…

smallmouth6

March 21st, 2012
9:49 pm

Ike Turnip Head: Are the other two 5 time all stars?

FL dawg

March 21st, 2012
9:54 pm

a) It’spring Tng. b) The Nats didn’t hit worth alick off Hanson for 6 srong innings. c) Both Uggla and McCann Hit the ball extremely hard on a windy field d)speed will allow more wins this yr, thank you, Mr. Bourne. I thought the Braves looked different today from seasons past, and that alone might be a good thing.

Tom

March 21st, 2012
11:05 pm

I am sorry, but watching the Braves on MLB tv right now…..Freeman looks “thick”. Is that muscle, or McDonalds?

Rufio

March 21st, 2012
11:29 pm

Interesting column by Ken Rosenthall regarding which managers could be gone by June. Freddi G. Is one of them. From Rosenthall…….”The Braves’ uninspired play this spring raises new questions. The team’s rotation is decidedly fragile. And Gonzalez must avoid overworking his top relievers, the way he did last year. Other than that, everything is just peachy.”

Rufio

March 21st, 2012
11:33 pm

In fairness, Frank Wren was noted as being in the hot seat. If the Braves do poorly in April it could be over for him as well standing pat. The Braves play Mets,Astros and Pirates. 13 out of 23 games and the Phillies are struggling.

Who Me?

March 22nd, 2012
12:22 am

@Rufio – I think Rosenthal is spot on. This team has underperformed from Day 1 with this manager. Some of that could be that he’s the stand-in for the departed Bobby Cox but clearly the guys in the clubhouse have no respect for his management style. suuuure, they talk all the time about what a great guy he is and how good a manager he is, but then they don’t perform. Granted none of us knows what goes on behind closed doors but there clearly hasn’t been any air-clearing going on that’s been reported at least.

This team is performing poorly. Period. No need to sugarcoat it anymore Freddi. You are NOT managing up this team, simply penciling in the batting order and going back to the dugout to sit down.

it’s early, sorry. But I for one clearly do not like the way the spring season has gone.

STH

March 22nd, 2012
12:41 am

Stinger2. I tip my cap to you.

kinghunterx5

March 22nd, 2012
1:01 am

“Who Me?” – I agree, we DO need some inspired players this year, especially hitting. However, we must give Freddi G. more than just 1 year and 1 spring training. If we hit like we did last year with the line-up we have, THEN you can say changes need to be made. But, let us remember, it was first season with the club as the head man.

Michael F

March 22nd, 2012
1:47 am

I want some of what you Fredi haters are smoking this team will be excellent! I don’t care what they look like right now!

Mark

March 22nd, 2012
2:33 am

2011Champs you are just a psychic aren’t you!!! Wow what a prediction when then Cards were having a hot streak and the Braves were in the coldest of cold streaks. Hey man will you make a trip to Vegas with me? Dude get real!!

Mark

March 22nd, 2012
2:38 am

Oh 2011champs speaking of your psychic feelings did you just feel that? It was me stepping on your enormous ego!

Tim

March 22nd, 2012
3:50 am

Anytime I need to be reminded why people always put Atlanta at the top of the list of worst sports city in America all I need to do is come and read the comments section on these blogs and it only takes a couple of posts for me to remember. It’s absolutely disgusting that people and post such non-sense and then call themselves fans and when people disagree with them they are considered homers. Despicable!

Tim

March 22nd, 2012
4:00 am

The Braves have gone 5-3-2 in their last 9 games which is an improvement over the 1-10 start. They are hitting a little bit. Things are looking up. This is the time of spring when the games really start to matter because now is the time to start playing the spring games like you would regular season games. There are positive signs out there. Dan Uggla has 4 homeruns and 2 doubles and 9 rbis with 6 walks and 8 strikeouts. That’s really good for him considering his past history of spring trainings. Brian McCann went deep for the first time yesterday. Prado has been tearing the cover off the ball. Bourn got off to a slow start but he’s starting to turn it around. Chipper always takes a while to get going during the spring because he has to work on both swings but the last week he’s looked better. Even Pastornicky has looked much better the last 3 or 4 games. I’m not worried about Freeman. He’s a week behind everyone else because of the knee injury. I’ve only got 2 concerns. Heyward’s strikeout number but even he has looked good in the last 2 games I’ve gotten to see. And the other is Jair Jurrjens. JJ is my biggest concern. He has just looked awful. Plain and simple.

Tim

March 22nd, 2012
4:01 am

***Correction: I meant 5-3-2 in their last 10 games.

Ralph

March 22nd, 2012
5:11 am

Can someone give me some information on DAVID ROHM, who is this guy, where did he come from, what is he doing at braves ST Camp at this stage. Can’t find any history on this guy, where has he played , doesn’t make any sense to me.

Tim

March 22nd, 2012
6:05 am

David Rohm was drafted by the Braves in the 9th round of the 2010 draft. He’s an outfielder. Played last year at Rome and posted solid numbers. .289/.330/.432/.763 line.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=rohm–002dav

longtimefan

March 22nd, 2012
6:33 am

If some of you guys think the Braves have ? marks this season, have you been following the Phillies? Their entire infield is suspect, their starting three aren’t going to replicate last year, Oswalt is gone and they are OLD!

Mako

March 22nd, 2012
8:04 am

DOB…how’s old Achy Breaky Jones doing?

DePort

March 22nd, 2012
8:21 am

Are people really jumping on Uggla now? … Dude is killing the ball … Every day I see something new about another player who supposedly sucks… Where are all the fans who truely love the Braves no matter what they put on the field!

alex

March 22nd, 2012
8:28 am

@DePort, why would ANYONE ” truely love” a poorly playing,uninspired professional baseball team?You and Dr. Phil got something …..Sheeesh

Tim

March 22nd, 2012
8:48 am

@Alex

Yeah because we all know spring records carry over! Oh wait! They don’t carry over. Everyone’s record gets reset to 0-0 come April.

braves95

March 22nd, 2012
9:11 am

IF you are posting any negative comments, you are a complete loser. Not the Braves, a winning ballclub with lots of potential to improve, its you. You suck. The Braves have a good team, and if your’e not a fan you can go to hell. I can’t believe that there arE this many Braves haters who also read this blog, so the one guy is who keeps changing his name and posting the same garbage: YOU ARE A LOSER. GET A LIFE.

jch

March 22nd, 2012
9:37 am

I’m really starting to question Fredi’s management style/ability. He goes out of his way to praise Pastor.. for his great “at bat” even though Pastor.. FAILED to get the sac. bunt down. Baseball Fundamentals 101. Sure, he went on to get a hit (game winning?) but, his JOB was to get the bunt down and, by the numbers, the bunt is the right play. Spin anyway you like, Pastor.. FAILED to do his job.

I have nothing against Pastor.. and understand players makes mistakes all the time; it is baseball where 30% gets you in the Hall after all, but this reeks of CYA by Fredi. They anointed Pastor.. the starting SS before ST started and then Simmons came in and out-played him on both sides of the ball. Neither of the two have any ML experience; give it to the guy who’s performing best. Don’t ignore the failings of your “pick” just to CYA. A true manager recognizes when he’s wrong and makes adjustments…

ChipChopChip

March 22nd, 2012
9:39 am

@DePort – There are plenty of those fans out there, they just stay away from these comments because of all the nut jobs who post here. But there are a lot of good posts mixed in with the crazies: “Rick” at 7:04 was spot on; “Stinger2″ and “FL dawg” with good stuff; and great posts by “Tim” . I think the haters just like to post more than the normal fans because it strokes their egos, but there’s really a lot more true fans than crazies. GO BRAVES!!!

ChipChopChip

March 22nd, 2012
9:40 am

And kudos to “braves95″ as well and all the other good ones I missed!

ChipChopChip

March 22nd, 2012
9:42 am

That being said, I actually enjoy well thought out ciriticism that encourages good debate, but most of the stuff posted is far from well thought out…

Gil in Mechanicsville

March 22nd, 2012
9:54 am

Good morning all, so, now is the time to take a good hard look at this team’s performance. Not the past 4 weeks of tune ups and jumbles line ups but what the regulars are able to do. While it is still spring training, the time has passed for pitchers to be working on their fastballs. That said, you still may not want to give the teams in your own division too many looks at your change ups.

I’ll be watching to see if hitters are making solid contact with the ball or are they hopelessly flailing away at pitchers’ pitches. Are they move runner over or are they continuing to pop up or strike out with guys on third with less than two outs.

As for Freddi G. I need to see some fire, some sign he actually cares about winning. Maybe that is what Frank Wren is looking for too. For sure, he and Frank Wren need to get on the same page before talking to the media, otherwise they both come off looking foolish and it is bad for team moral.

2011champs

March 22nd, 2012
10:02 am

@braves95…sure the Braves have the potential to improve, but… you do not win with potential.The Braves have been consistant underacheivers for years. All those NL East titles, but yet even the Marlins have more WS titles. Fredi is basically a Bobby clone, so that cannot be good news for The Braves, and there are so many unanswered questions about this team. I have already heard predictions of winning the East, a solid second, and 3rd place from different media sports guessers. I think that 2nd or 3rd place are the most likely finishes.
As I said yesterday, I do feel like they will miss the playoffs, and that St. Louis will once again have a better team and win more games and make the playoffs. I mean, they have had a better team than the Braves since 2008, the last season that Atlanta won a season series. Also, the Cardinals are best NL team so far this century, having won more games than anyone not named the Yankees and Red Sox. I do not think by any means that Atlanta does not have a good team, it’s just that I do not believe them to be good enough to secure a playoff berth.
Oh yeah, to answer Mark, the Braves had not started their September choke, and the Cards had not started their September run when I made that prediction. It was just so obvious who had the better team, and since the Braves were being victimized by poor managing, well….. the rest is history.

ATLBrave

March 22nd, 2012
10:12 am

Go Braves. Have my tickets for Opening Day and cant wait…. Will be at the Ted many times this summer/year no matter what the standings say, but i know this team will be at or near the top!

ATLBrave

March 22nd, 2012
10:13 am

Chipper Dont retire Yet…. you had a solid year last year, i know the body is old but if you can still be productive…

Sad to see a legend go…. meant so much to this team and town

jonathan Simeone

March 22nd, 2012
11:11 am

The guy who failed to get down the bunt he asked to get down had the best at bat of the day? Pastornicky’s got to be a good bunter to be a good player. How was that a good at bat?

STH

March 22nd, 2012
11:34 am

b95. I am informed consumer of the product. You are simply an idiot.

Largo

March 22nd, 2012
12:25 pm

The braves management is fielding the same team and expecting different results. Isn’t there something about, “You can’t cure stupid?”

Don Gurian

March 22nd, 2012
3:36 pm

Why not play Pastornicky/Simmons and let Jack Wilson sit in minors?

Random

March 23rd, 2012
8:59 am

ChrisViv: “The Braves rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Nationals Wednesday with a game-tying run in the bottom of the ninth and two runs in the top of the 10th.”

Come again?

Were the braves playing themselves — some kind of split squad intramural game?

Alas, no. Simply the same kind of sloppiness we’ve come to expect from the master himself, >DOB.

Y’all should pass the hat and hire yourselves an editor. Or proof reader, or something.

:roll:

Larry

March 23rd, 2012
3:08 pm

So much drivel…do some of you brain surgeons actually think the way you ‘write’?

It’s a good thing they actually play the games. I bet all you whiners would get eaten alive in my ‘fantasy’ leagues…

Kendell Jones

March 24th, 2012
2:46 pm

I have not seen any of the Braves pre-season games, Therefore I can’t evaluate anything they have done in the pre-season. However, if the manager does not do any better that he did at managing last year, he should be dumped El Pronto. There are some good players, but from what I remember seeing last year, Fredi is not the right manager. They need someone with some fire in his gut. Nuff said.

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