Braves blow lead, A-Rod slam lifts Yanks to 6-4 win

If this was to be Mike Minor’s last start in the majors for a while, the Braves left-hander seemed determined to leave a lasting impression. Maybe even change some minds.

Perhaps he did, pitching 7-1/3 strong innings against the New York Yankees in probably the best start of his career.

But what will be remembered most about Tuesday night was the shocking eighth inning, when Alex Rodriguez hit a grand slam off Braves reliever Jonny Venters and Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer off Cory Gearrin, erasing the Braves’ four-run lead and lifting the Yankees to a 6-4 win before a large and divided – and pretty well stunned — crowd at Turner Field.

It had “worst loss of the season” written all over it.

“I think so, for a lot of different reasons,” said manager Fredi Gonzalez, whose Braves lost for the first time in 29 games when leading after six innings. “I think it was a tough one for all of us, including myself. Minor was outstanding. He really was good, and then that eighth inning we couldn’t get an out there when we needed to.”

Rodriguez blistered a full-count pitch to the left-field bleachers for his 23rd grand slam, tying Yankees great Lou Gehrig for the major league career lead. It was the first grand slam allowed in 193 career appearances for Venters, who faced four batters and failed to get an out.

“I have no excuses today,” Venters said. “I felt great mechanically. Felt great physically. Just got behind some hitters, walked a guy, and threw a pitch right down the middle 3-2 to one of the best players in the game. There’s no excuses. Mike threw the ball really well tonight and it’s a shame to waste that start. He looked really good.

“I feel bad. I let my team down. I didn’t do my job.”

Venters (3-3) gave up three hits including the A-Rod slam followed by a Robinson Cano single, after which he was replaced. He left the field to plenty of boos and rookie Gearrin entered to try to keep it at 4-all. Veteran lefty Eric O’Flaherty had a sore pitching elbow and was unavailable, Gonzalez revealed after the game.

The second pitch thrown by Gearrin was driven over the right-field fence by Swisher and the Yankees had a two-run lead on the way to their 15th win in 19 games.

“You’ve got to flush it,” Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said of dealing with the defeat. “Every day is a new opportunity, it’s a new game. When you start dwelling on the last couple of days or yesterday, that’s how you get yourself into bad funks. We let an opportunity slip away tonight, but it’s probably not going to be the last one in the course of the year. That’s part of being a professional, you’ve got to come to work every day and do your job.

“And we did our job for eight-ninths of the game tonight. Unfortunately the one-ninth that we didn’t take care of cost us the game.”

It was a remarkable reversal of fortunes for the Braves, so swift and so thoroughly demoralizing.

Before things came unraveled, the Braves were poised to beat Yankees ace CC Sabathia and even the series.

Matt Diaz hit a three-run double in the first inning and Minor took care of things from there into the eighth, allowing just five hits and one walk in 7-1/3 innings and facing only two batters over the minimum in the second through seventh innings.

“Even though I pitched well it doesn’t make me feel that great,” Minor said. “Even though I pitched well, I still want the team to win. But it’s something to work off of and hopefully carry into the next start.”

He left with a the Braves ahead 4-0 and a runner on first with one out in the eighth.

“Far and away his best outing in the big leagues,” Jones said. “He was dominant. I hope he can use that start tonight to continue on in his growing process.”

Minor threw 68 strikes in 100 pitches, and Gonzalez said he  was going to give him one baserunner in the eighth. When Derek Jeter hit a one-out single, Gonzalez  brought in Venters.

“He did a terrific job,” Gonzalez said of Minor. “He gave us a hell of an opportunity to win and he deserved to go back out there in the eighth inning and try to get through the eighth. I don’t think he had a chance to go a complete game but he had an opportunity to go out there and go hitter to hitter.

“And we had the right guys set up in the eighth inning, with the left-hander and with Jonny.”

But instead of watching the once nearly unhittable Venters lock down Yankees batters with his sinker and get two outs so the Braves could turn it over to closer Craig Kimbrel, the Braves saw Venters implode on the way to Atlanta’s third consecutive loss since a six-game winning streak.

“No, I wasn’t surprised,” Minor said of being pulled in the eighth. “We have a lot of guys in the bullpen that can take on that role and pick me up out there. I was approaching 100 pitches. That’s just what happens. I wouldn’t say I was fatigued, but I have all the confidence in the world that those guys in the bullpen will pick me up out there.

“I still felt good. But that’s not my call. And I’ll never question that call.”

Venters was charged with four runs, three hits and a walk. He had six consecutive scoreless appearances before Tuesday, but in his past 20 games he’s 1-3 with a 7.04 ERA, .382 opponents’ average and two blown saves. He’s allowed 26 hits, four homers and 14 runs (12 earned) in 15-1/3 innings in that stretch.

“I’ve been feeling better every time I’ve been out there,” Venters said. “Today’s unfortunate. The ball’s down for the most part; I know it was out of the zone, but that’s a good indication for me, that I’m doing a little better.”

Curtis Granderson greeted Venters with a groundball single through the left side, and Mark Teixeira drew a walk to load the bases. Venters’ first two pitches to Rodriguez were in the dirt, and Rodriguez took another ball for a 3-and-0 count.

After taking a strike, he fouled off two more pitches before punishing a 93-mph sinker. The only question after it left his bat was whether the ball would crash into the top part of the wall or clear it.

It cleared it.

“I just couldn’t make an adjustment to make a good pitch,” Venters said. “I fell behind right there and I didn’t want to walk him. Maybe looking back I should have made a conscious effort to not leave that ball over the plate. I mean, I wasn’t trying to leave it over the plate, but maybe a walk right there is not terrible, with a lefty on deck and one of the best players who ever played the game hitting. But it is what it is. I made a bad pitch and he crushed it.”

In the late innings of close games, opponents are 27-for-74 (.365) with two homers against Venters this season, after hitting .159 with no homers in 245 at-bats against him in those situations in 2011.

“There’s not a guy in this room that doesn’t have all the confidence in the world when he comes in,” Braves second baseman Dan Uggla said. “He’s had a bad run. It’s been hard for him to be consistent. But his stuff is still as good as ever, and just have to get that confidence back in him, get back in the strike zone and just be him. I’m sure he’s doing everything he can do get back on track.”

Minor’s chance for his first win since April 19 evaporated. He was charged with one run, after Jeter scored on the grand slam. The left-hander gave the Braves something to think about before their pending decision.

Kris Medlen was sent from the Braves’ bullpen to Triple-A Gwinnett just over two weeks ago to get “stretched out” as a starter, because the Braves wanted to replace one of the two inconsistent young pitchers at the back of the rotation, rookie Randall Delgado or Minor. Medlen made the third of his three scheduled starts for Gwinnett on Tuesday, allowing three runs, six hits and four walks in six innings.

Before Tuesday night’s game, Gonzalez said it wasn’t a given that Medlen would move into the major league rotation after his third start at Gwinnett. He also gave no indication of which pitcher Medlen was more likely to replace if he did bump one from the rotation.

After the game, Gonzalez said team officials would discuss the situation Wednesday, and seemed to leave open the possibility of Medlen returning to the bullpen.

Minor was asked if he’d felt any extra incentive to pitch well Tuesday with Medlen pitching at Gwinnett.

“No, I didn’t even know he was pitching [Tuesday],” he said. “I actually don’t even think about that, because the only thing I can control is when I go out there, and I’m not going to put extra pressure on myself. No, I really didn’t think about that. If that’s what they were doing, I can’t stop them anyway…

“They’ve seen me when I’ve pitched well and they know what I have. It’s just a matter of if I’m going to be consistent enough this year to stay up here.”

Before Tuesday, many observers predicted the odd man out would be Minor, who held the Marlins to one run and four hits in five innings of an 8-2 win Thursday, but before that went 0-3 with a 9.08 ERA in his previous seven starts. He had lasted five innings or fewer in five of his past six starts before Tuesday, when Minor took his game to a whole different level in every respect.

The pitcher who’d been hurt badly by home runs – 14 allowed in his previous eight starts – faced a Yankees team that’s hit more homers than any other major league team, including 32 during its past 18 games. They didn’t hit one Tuesday until Minor was out of the game.

The Braves staked Minor to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Michael Bourn led off with a single — the fourth time he’s done that in the past five games — to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. One out later Brian McCann bounced a double over the center-field fence and Bourn, who would’ve otherwise scored, was required to go back to third.

Uggla drew his 43rd walk (third-most in the majors) to load the bases for Diaz, who cleared them by lining an opposite-field double to the right-field corner for a 3-0 lead before Sabathia had recorded his second out. Before Tuesday, the Yankees left-hander allowed more than three earned runs in only two of his previous 10 starts.

Right fielder Jason Heyward had hit .323 with two homers and six RBIs in eight June games before Tuesday, but Gonzalez opted to start Diaz in right due to his career statistics against Sabathia (5-for-9 before Tuesday) and stats against lefties this season.

Diaz had a .311 average with two homers and an .881 on-base plus slugging percentage in 45 at-bats against lefties before Tuesday, while Heyward had a .194 average with two homers, 23 strikeouts and a .575 OPS in 72 at-bats against lefties.

The move paid off when Diaz staked Minor and the Braves to an early three-run lead with one swing.

Heyward entered the game for defense in the top of the seventh inning and pushed the Braves’ lead to 4-0 with his bases-loaded groundout in the bottom of the inning.

296 comments Add your comment

Parker

June 12th, 2012
10:20 pm

Venters needs to go….what happened to him….???

Pedro

June 12th, 2012
10:21 pm

I’m with Parker.

Kane337

June 12th, 2012
10:21 pm

EFF you Fredi and your bad pitching changes.

4-0 vs Blue Jays……blown.
4-0 vs Yankees……..blown.

Kane337

June 12th, 2012
10:22 pm

Minor gives up a ground ball base hit……..Oh crap we gotta take him out!!!!!!

Fredi's Fault

June 12th, 2012
10:22 pm

Another one to hang on Fredi. You just can’t stick with Venters in that situation.

Pedro

June 12th, 2012
10:22 pm

Painful would feel good after the agony I felt in the past half hour.

braveshoo

June 12th, 2012
10:24 pm

Manager and pitching coach=Braves lose. Its going to be tough to watch much more of this.

Braves fan

June 12th, 2012
10:25 pm

Do you think it was a bit much to play Gearrin again tonight in such a high pressure situation, after pitching him two innings last night in his first game back in the bigs?

Fredi Will Screw It Up Somehow

June 12th, 2012
10:25 pm

CALLED IT.

Get those tippin’ caps reaedy, folks! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Kane337

June 12th, 2012
10:25 pm

Feels like 1996

Skeezix

June 12th, 2012
10:27 pm

That was bad, real bad—especially after what happened in Sunday’s game.
I feel real bad for Minor.

Mills Bailey

June 12th, 2012
10:27 pm

That one will sting for a while.

taylor

June 12th, 2012
10:27 pm

I hate how closers are used in today’s game. The closer is your best pitcher and should be used when the game is on the line and you absolutely need an out. In this case, Kimbrel should’ve came in the 8th to face A-Rod.

Tad

June 12th, 2012
10:28 pm

A little too early a hook freddi. 4-0 and 1 base runner? And venters? Brilliant. Ruined a great confidence booster for mike. Hope the team continues to do well despite the manager. Where was the dispute of the bs call at third with Aroid last night? Frustrating and stankees fans are awful.

We need Georgie

June 12th, 2012
10:28 pm

This team hasn’t been the same since we sent Georgie down. We need him!

Skeezix

June 12th, 2012
10:28 pm

What in the world has happened to Venters?

JWOOD

June 12th, 2012
10:28 pm

Gotta feel for Minor. Bright side is that he looks to be turning the corner.

PaulG

June 12th, 2012
10:28 pm

Tip your cap to A- Rod

Speechless

June 12th, 2012
10:29 pm

I still love the Braves, but my poor heart can only take so much. I’m sure Fredi is a nice guy… but he needs to be fired. He just doesn’t know how to manage.

Kane337

June 12th, 2012
10:30 pm

Venter’s had no control over his breaking ball so he threw nothing but fastballs to A-Rod so he wouldn’t walk him with the bases loaded. Then BOOM!!!!

Eric

June 12th, 2012
10:30 pm

Frediot!!!! Why do you take out minor after one hit!?!?! He was pitching a gem at 100 pitches but had pleanty of rest! Why do you leave in Venters after he clearly didn’t have it?!?!? Why do you bring Gerrin, a rookie who pitched 2 innings yesterday, into a critical situation!?!?!?

You are to blame for this TERRIBLE loss!!!!

Joe

June 12th, 2012
10:30 pm

Please ask Fredi why he is was stupid enough to let Venters pitch to ARod and when is he going to learn how to manage his bullpen. The guy flat out stinks as a coach.

Paxton

June 12th, 2012
10:31 pm

What does it take to beat the Yankees?! Has one pro team in any sport ever had another’s number like the Yankees do the Braves? The Braves become such a “mental case” when playing these guys!!

Bob Didier

June 12th, 2012
10:31 pm

Fredi and the pitching coach and McCann need to learn from the Glavine method. Better to walk in a run with a lead, than give in and let the hitter hit a grandslam. Chance to get the next hitter to hit into a DP. Walk in a run.

chuck

June 12th, 2012
10:31 pm

We need Medlin a LOT more to start pitching the 8th than starting. Venters needs to go to AAA and get himself straightened out. This one on the back of Sunday is going to linger for a long time.

jimmie

June 12th, 2012
10:32 pm

i curse new york

Screwball

June 12th, 2012
10:33 pm

The Braves and their entire organization stink.

Biff Pocoroba

June 12th, 2012
10:34 pm

Venters sucks and Fat Fredi didn’t even have someone else start warming up until he walked 7 guys in a row. Fredi must be fired tonight or this team will throw in the towel the way this idiot keeps messing things up this week.

TNBrave

June 12th, 2012
10:34 pm

Taylor, you are right. Cox never did this either.

Some people always like to go with tradition.

TNBrave

June 12th, 2012
10:35 pm

Next inning would have been bottom of the order also …

jt

June 12th, 2012
10:36 pm

Remember, Florida fired Freddie, wonder why??????

Caseyatthebat

June 12th, 2012
10:37 pm

DOB, I really have to question the fiber of a reporter (columnist?) who does not deal with the managerial decisions regarding pitching in this game. You seem to represent the Atlanta media so well, fearfully shivering to never ruffle any feathers. If you were on New York papers you’d be a copy boy.

Nilo Silvan

June 12th, 2012
10:37 pm

This is on Fredi again. Terrible bullpen decisions, just like his predecessor. Where was Kimbrel, O’Flaherty, or Durbin in that situation?

OTP

June 12th, 2012
10:37 pm

The manager and pitching coach are worthless. And think of what this does to your starting pitchers’ confidence!

Joe

June 12th, 2012
10:37 pm

Anyone think the Braves will win maybe one of these 6 games they play with the Yankees? I don’t think so!

Fredi needs to Go

June 12th, 2012
10:37 pm

This team is too talented to be ruined by someone who clearly doesn’t understand the game

bart

June 12th, 2012
10:38 pm

The lose is on Freddie – he screwed up the pitching big time at the end. In what chapter of the Bible does it state that your closer can never enter the game in the eighth inning? Of course you can’t do it on a regular basis but when the team is in serious need of casting out the demons of past crushing defeats to the Yankees and the crowd is way to split for a home game you need to make a bold decision.

Another crushing, spirit-breaking defeat falls at the feet of Freddie.

Fredi Will Screw It Up Somehow

June 12th, 2012
10:38 pm

Manager of the year! And don’t you forget it! ;)

Ebenezer Snerdberg

June 12th, 2012
10:38 pm

Havana Fats should be fired because of illness and fatigue…WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF HIM!

Hunter1982

June 12th, 2012
10:39 pm

Why has Venters not been sent to the minors to work out the so-called mechanical problem he has? JJ was sent down after a few starts.The way the division is shaping up can they really afford for him to work out his problems in the majors?

Mike

June 12th, 2012
10:39 pm

What do Yankee fans boo so much? What are they booing at? Random fly ball?

BOOOOO

Called ball?

BOOOOOO!

They really are a miserable bunch.

wreckmaniac

June 12th, 2012
10:39 pm

I;m just glad that Bobby is not around to blame for this. If I were Chipper, I would retire too. I would at least lay out the next 3 weeks. Minor shuts out the Yanks for 7 innings and the Braves still can’t get it done. When can we play Kansas City instead of the AL East ? This Yankee team is mediocre at best but they always get the red carpet when they come here. They should move to Atlanta. Can we get Winnipeg to take this team along with the hockey team ? If I were Minor I would request a trade tomorrow.

jim

June 12th, 2012
10:40 pm

A schedule that gives the Yankees 6 home games against the Braves seems a bit unrfair.

tennisbrave

June 12th, 2012
10:40 pm

Venters needs to go down to AAA and get things worked out – throwing strikes etc. Also, take the pitching coach McDowell with him.

RedFromThe Boro

June 12th, 2012
10:40 pm

Really…One of the 5 worst losses in the last 30 years. Thats what happens when you can’t get you breaking ball over late in the game.

Wow

June 12th, 2012
10:41 pm

I just want someone to ask him why the best closer in the game isn’t even warming up to stop the bleeding. Even the announcers asked the question. Am I missing something. He hasn’t pitched since Saturday and we are off thursday.

ERman

June 12th, 2012
10:41 pm

Hang this loss on Fredi. How stupid can a manager be? Venters is not ready to pitch in a close game. Gearrin is not ready to pitch in the major leagues, yet dumb a– Fredi uses both of them in this situation.

NickGranite

June 12th, 2012
10:42 pm

Joe Simpson was sounding the alarm bells early to get Kimbrel up and throwing to his credit. I guess that’s too far outside the box for Fredi.

Mayhem Is Coming

June 12th, 2012
10:42 pm

Wow, what does it take to make a quick decision with this team? Guys swinging at pitches in the dirt, venters left hanging to dry. No discussion on the mound, nothing. Sorry but this guy just sits in the dugout mesmorized while the game goes on. This lose belongs to “Freddi’s Fog”. Bobby we took ya for granted, please unretire.

Buford '78

June 12th, 2012
10:43 pm

I know it’s a long season, yadayadayada but every game counts. Did O’Flaherty get traded? Could Kimbrell not be used in such an important game against ARod? Why were Martinez and a AAA pitcher warming up when Venters was in trouble. If he left Venters in to face ARod because of his confidence and all that jazz, remember Venters is a big boy and this is the major leagues. One game could cost us at the end of the season the way the NL East is going. I clearly don’t understand Freddie’s thinking. We have replaced Bobby with Boobie.

smallmouth6

June 12th, 2012
10:43 pm

Paxton: The Washington Nationals.

wreckmaniac

June 12th, 2012
10:43 pm

I’m glad I wan’t dumb enough to buy a ticket for this series. Let me know when Kansas City or Oakland comes to town. I may show up.

Ebenezer Snerdberg

June 12th, 2012
10:43 pm

MFIKY… still lights out!

Uh-oh

June 12th, 2012
10:43 pm

Minor pitched great. I cannot believe Gonzalez left Venters in after he loaded the bases, I wanted Durbin or O’Flaherty, pitchers who are pitching more solidly lately. Poor Minor, best start of his career, against the Yankees; shout out ball…. C’MON VENTERS! Hope this isn’t the beginning of a long losing streak, need the Wednesday win.

Yup, your right

June 12th, 2012
10:44 pm

Enter your comments here

Buzz 2011

June 12th, 2012
10:44 pm

This is not the “Fish” .. the Braves are now playing, it is the Bronx Bombers”. The Braves aren’t in their league in couple of ways..

Yup, your right

June 12th, 2012
10:45 pm

Why in the name of blue blazes did Gonzalez leave him in to do this? It was obvious that Venters did not have his stuff, This one is on the manager,,,,,,,,sorry.

Fredi Will Screw It Up Somehow

June 12th, 2012
10:45 pm

“Taylor, you are right. Cox never did this either.”

Bobby Cox was an overrated idiot, he had no clue how to manage a bullpen.

TWO GOOD DOGS

June 12th, 2012
10:45 pm

THE GAME NEEDS TO BE DECIDED PITCH BY PITCH. NOT OUT BY OUT , OR INNING BY INNING. LARUSSA WAS THE BEST AT THIS. WE ARE THE WORST AT THIS. 2 PITCHES AND YOUR GONE. IT SHOULD SEND A MESSAGE THAT MEDIOCRITY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. QUIT DOING THE VENTERS THING OVER AND OVER. THIS IS INSANITY. MCDOWELL IS THE WORST AND FREDDI JUST FOLLOWS HIS LEAD. NO ONE WARMING UP AFTER VENTERS LOADS THE BASES? INSANITY………………………………………………

SLBReb

June 12th, 2012
10:47 pm

FG is an embarassment to the coaching profession. Never seen a manager work so hard to lose game after game. He absolutely has no idea what he is doing when he has to make a decision. If I were Minor, I would probably punch his lights out. Great game Mike, too bad FG worked his Venters magic. Venters has had only had 2 one-two-three innings all year. He is messed up bad. Trade FG and Livan for a ball boy and send Gearrin and Venters to the minors to think about things. Also, ownership please get us someone that can hit with men on base.

wreckmaniac

June 12th, 2012
10:47 pm

Can I get a refund for watching this game on TV ? The TCM movie with Joan Crawford was really good.
Can we trade this team to Winnipeg and get the hockey team back ?

wayn-o

June 12th, 2012
10:49 pm

FREDI NEEDS TO GO!

Minor goes 7.1 innings no runs, gives up a weak single & Fredi gives up the game… Enter Venters who is doing his best Mark Wholers impersonation.

Before that, bases loaded & Fredi takes out Diaz, who already had a 3 RBI double… for Heyward, who hits a weak grounder.

From up 4-0 to down 6-4 in one inning. Yep that’s our coach. A monkey with a dart could do better.

wreckmaniac

June 12th, 2012
10:50 pm

Don’t credit the Yankees. They are a third rate team. The Marlins or the Mets would have won this game by 10. Look at what the Blue Jays did on Sunday. I guess we’re off on another 8 game losing streak.

hahahahahahah

June 12th, 2012
10:50 pm

hahahahahahaha

durrtydogg

June 12th, 2012
10:50 pm

Does everybody have a sore elbow??? Damn! We have the softest pitchers in the league.

Top Rope

June 12th, 2012
10:51 pm

Fredi Gonzalez….you’re an idiot. Have you ever heard of a five out save dumbass?!?! Kimbrel is clearly the best shot you got to win the game and YOU blew it. As I write this I sincerely hope that Terry Pendleton has you in a front face-lock and every Brave including the bat and ball boy are lined up taking turns kicking your rear end with Mike Minor getting bonus kick. WE ARE NEVER GOING TO GET BACK ON TOP WITH THIS CLOWN! Mark my words and to think I thought it was a good move to get this guy. The Marlins knew what they were doing when they canned him.

TWO GOOD DOGS

June 12th, 2012
10:52 pm

DOB, YOU LOVE A GOOD STORY BE IT GOOD OR BAD.. I TAKE IT FREDDI HAS NO IDEA WHAT THE FANS HAVE TO SAY. ARE YOU JUST A SOUNDING BOARD TO KEEP YOUR JOB?
I’M GUESSING YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS AS LONG AS IT MAKES THE NEWS.
GOTTA DO SOMETHING TO PAY THE BILLS .

Who Me?

June 12th, 2012
10:52 pm

OK so here’s the deal. We’re down 2 in the 8th, the wind is out of the sails so to speak, and how do we respond??

Bupkiss. Look, Gearin shouldn’t be here anyway, and Venters has either a mechanical/physical problem or a mental issue that he can’t seem to overcome. Get ‘em both outta here for a while. It’s not the end of the world. Get ‘em some work down and when they’ve either figured it out or had the surgery (Venters) needed, then make a business decision. Right now, you as the manager Freddi, are costing this team games.

85bravefan

June 12th, 2012
10:52 pm

Did anybody notice that they were playing the chop over the load speakers while the Yankees were rallying? Somebody should be fired for this gross error. You can fire the marketing genius as well who came up with a “WHITE” tomahawk.The fact that those $^@#% Yankee fans were using them to cheer on there team rakes me raw. I guess the Atlanta brass puts dollars ahead of the team and the fans. What a bunch of idiots. And yes, Fredi has got to go.

Fredi, I'm done with you.

June 12th, 2012
10:52 pm

You don’t keep putting Venters in games and let him blow leads!!
You don’t keep putting Hernandez in games to throw batting practice!!
You don’t agree to send JJ down, but stick with Minor, and Delgado, and Venters!!

I’m done with you already!! goodbye

Bob

June 12th, 2012
10:53 pm

I love how no matter what happens you guys find a way to blame Gonzalez. Yes, he has made some bad pitching decisions (putting Livan in on Sunday), but I really don’t think he is to blame tonight. You have a 4-0 lead with Mike Minor at 100 pitches. I almost guarantee that almost all of you would have wanted Minor taken out at that point because he’s known for his big innings. Even though Venters hasn’t been great lately, I still think it was the right choice to put him in in this situation.
So Venters blew it. It stinks. Did Fredi keep Venters in too long? Maybe, but the damage was pretty much already done. This loss really hurts as a fan, and it’s even worse because it is to the Yankees. But I still don’t really see how this one can be blamed on Fredi.
As a manager, he has to have some faith in his players. He can’t keep running out the same guys from the bullpen every night. I am just tired of everyone bashing on Fredi when it’s not always his fault!

Tired Tired Tired

June 12th, 2012
10:54 pm

Gonzo, you are cluless.

Beltrans Right ear Mole

June 12th, 2012
10:54 pm

The only thing worse than having Fredi as the manager is having Homer Simpson and co. doing the play by play and never once call Fredi out for his atrocious managing.

Never underestimate the power of poor managerial decisions to demoralize a team.

truth5

June 12th, 2012
10:54 pm

Fredi “overthinks” his bullpen rotation and ends up screwing up every dang time. It doesn’t take Einstein to realize Livan Hernandez doesn’t need to be in a tight game throwing 70 mph fastballs against the Yankees. Or throw in a struggling Venters with the bases juiced in the most critical point in the game, where was Kimbrel??? Do we only use our best pitcher when the game is out of reach for our opponents, what good is that? Fredi is an idiot.

kwajbraves

June 12th, 2012
10:54 pm

Braves roller coaster is going down again. I guess all those innings pitch are catching up to Venters

jim

June 12th, 2012
10:56 pm

Girardi had someone up in the pen as back up each night. Venters was all over the place, but there was no 2nd option ready to pitch to ARod. If you’re going to let Minor start the 8th, you have to be prepared to let him continue after a little worm killing grounder that snuck through. (Maybe some of our hitters could take a note at Jeter and his willingness to take a good pitcher’s pitch the other way.)

I can’t put all the blame for this one on Fredi. Venters is supposed to get out of that situation with minimum damage. EOF has been mortal this year, Durbin has pitched 3 days in a row, and the rest of the pen is the very definition of unreliable. Where was EOF tonight? It was very surprising to see that Martinez and Gearrin were the alternatives in the 8th.

Why do the Braves never play hit and run with Bourn and Prado? It seems like the perfect combo for making that play work.

wayn-o

June 12th, 2012
10:57 pm

“Wow, Minor is really dealing I have to put an end to this we might actually win!”… pondered Fredi in the 7th inning

jim

June 12th, 2012
10:58 pm

It was a mistake to send Medlen down to AAA to stretch him out as a starter. He is needed much more urgently in the bullpen

unfreakingbelieveable

June 12th, 2012
10:58 pm

Venters did not have it tonight. That was obvious after the first batter. I don’t understand why Minor got the hook so quick. He had pitched one hell of a game until that point. Fredi screwed that one up. once more. This team finds ways to lose games. I will be at the game on Sunday. I pray they are playing better by then.

Ebenezer Snerdberg

June 12th, 2012
10:58 pm

Yanks dang near wore out their feets…kickin’ Braves butts!

FIRE HAVANA FATS…NOW!

Tip-your-hat

June 12th, 2012
10:58 pm

This is the WORST game we had this season. Thanks a lot, Freddie!!

Bill Donohoo

June 12th, 2012
10:59 pm

FG-Just plain incompetence-no guts

Slide J-Hey

June 12th, 2012
11:00 pm

Sutton also wondered out loud why Kimbrel was not up and ready.
Maybe Mark B & Jeff S will call fredi out on his miss management.

Fredi G.

June 12th, 2012
11:00 pm

Fredi G.

I see what you guys are writing about me. Who else could I have brought in the 8th? Kimbrel? That’s what you numbers geeks probably think (laughter in the background). Kimbrel is our closer. He is there to close games. You cannot close a game in the 8th. There are 9 innings, not 8. Take that number geeks (more laughter and smiles from Homer Simpson and company).

Robards

June 12th, 2012
11:01 pm

I understand bringing in Venters to start the inning. He had pitched better recently. But, Cody Gearrin? When it was apparent Venters couldn’t get anyone out and had created a mess, maybe Kimbrel? I forgot; closers can’t pitch more than an inning anymore. They could in Gossage’s and Sutter’s day. Hell, I remember Smoltz the closer going 3 or 4 innings in the playoffs in ‘04 against the Astros. Kimbrel hasn’t pitched in what, 3 days? 5 outs is too much to ask.

Beltrans Right ear Mole

June 12th, 2012
11:01 pm

I almost guarantee that almost all of you would have wanted Minor taken out at that point because he’s known for his big innings.

Even my Granny was screaming at the TV it was HUGE blunder move. Minor still had command, and when he doesn’t throw it down the middle he is good. Jeter hits that same single a million times – it was no sign Minor was losing it – that’s nonsense. No, there you let him get through the inning and then you use Kimbrell and shut them down.

This isn’t something that just started – Gonzales has repeatedly shown he is the worst tactical manager to have ever finagled the position. he is great in 8-0 game but he does not have the mind for managing when needed.

Never underestimate the power of poor managerial decisions to demoralize a team.

Mitchell

June 12th, 2012
11:02 pm

Wow.

Really sad to see once again just how meek and easily pushed around the Braves can be in the face of serious competition.

Three GD runs in the first inning and all we can add on is a single 7th inning run?

No other word for it. Sad.

Cowardly would be another.

Truth hurts.

Kane337

June 12th, 2012
11:03 pm

O’Flarhety was unavailable tonight due to a sore elbow.

sid

June 12th, 2012
11:03 pm

Braves are a screwed up mess like everything else in that lost city.

no excuses

June 12th, 2012
11:04 pm

If I were Mike Minor, I’d be kicking somebody’s ass.

Homer

June 12th, 2012
11:04 pm

Chasjons
June 12th, 2012

This is 1996 all over again except back then we at least lost with our closer Wohlers. Frediot aint no Bobby. Rarely gets thrown out defending his players the way Cox did. I thought Frediot would clone Cox. Not so. Not so. Frediot marches to the beat of his own drummer, but this ain’t a sound you want to hear.

double

June 12th, 2012
11:04 pm

Stupid & More stupid.Why put Venters in?Knowing the hitters that he was to face?This team needs more good pitching,and I have to agree.I don’t understand the thinking of the manager.This goes beyond Errors & Excuses.

Camilo Atlanta

June 12th, 2012
11:05 pm

If they didn’t fire fredi and McDowell last year, they’ll never be fired. Fredi will manage 30 years and have a 2430-2430 record and then pass the torch to Chipper who will win us our second world series in his first year managing at age 70.

Brandon

June 12th, 2012
11:07 pm

Cory Gearrin has never been able to get out lefties, which is why i don’t think he should ever pitch against them. I would have preferred to bring in martinez than him. Bringing in venters wasn’t necessarily bad considering that he had pitched decently of late, but how long can you leave him in though? Personally i would have brought in kimbrel or martinez once venters started struggling

jj

June 12th, 2012
11:09 pm

The Braves have no bull pen and the SP suck to a degree..McDowell has done nothing since he took over from Leo. Wren did nothing this winter to help team…so what the hell do you expect ? u can’t make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t…With fredi and Wren running the show you got what you paid for– NOTHIN!

Homer

June 12th, 2012
11:09 pm

Clearly the barriers to entry for a baseball management position are very low. It is a good old boy system that fears the saber metrics which challenge their credibility.

19DawgFan59

June 12th, 2012
11:09 pm

FRANK WREN, H E L L O … How much LONGER are YOU and JOHN GONNA LET THIS CONTINUE ???

Beltrans Right ear Mole

June 12th, 2012
11:10 pm

“If I were Mike Minor, I’d be kicking somebody’s ass.”

Never underestimate the power of poor managerial decisions to demoralize a team.

jim

June 12th, 2012
11:11 pm

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DFA Fredi Gonzalez the Frediot

June 12th, 2012
11:11 pm

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