McCann swinging like he’s back, and that’s a big deal for Braves

Brian McCann is warming up at the plate, and quickly. This is a very important thing for the Braves.

Because they’ve done what they’ve done so far – second place, four games out of first — without the usual contributions from a guy who’s been their best overall hitter for several seasons.

McCann watched his two-run homer against the Yankees Wednesday. (Hyosub Shin photo/AJC)

McCann watched his two-run homer against the Yankees Wednesday. (Hyosub Shin photo/AJC)

If McCann gets back to doing what he usually does, and those two guys at the top of the order – Michael Bourn and Martin Prado — keep doing anything close to the sensational work they’ve done so far this season, the Braves become considerably better. And that’s an understatement.

McCann until the past few days was having the worst season of his career. His current .249 average and .324 OBP would be his worst marks by a wide margin.

But he’s only 28, an All-Star each of the past six seasons, and a Silver Slugger award winner each of the past four. So most of us have been scratching our heads and wondering when the Braves’ sweet-swinging catcher would snap out of his funk and go on one of those torrid stretches like he’s had in the past, where he’s put the team on his back and carried the offense for weeks at a time.

And we’ve never waited so long to see him do it, which made you start to wonder how coming back from an oblique strain too soon last summer could possibly carry over and continue to affect him this year. But it did. McCann said today that he wasn’t getting extension on his swing, a byproduct of protecting the oblique in the weeks after he came off the DL. He had built up the “muscle memory” and didn’t even realize he was doing it until the past week or so.

It looks like he’s figured it out. He said Monday that he’d seen something specific – wouldn’t say what – and made adjustments to his swing that finally had him feeling right again at the plate. And he’s been scalding baseballs ever since he said that. Only today did he get more specific about what it was that was holding him back. Discussed it after batting practice just a while ago.

On Friday night he had three consecutive two-hit games, and that 6-for-14 stretch included three doubles and two home runs.

With McCann batting third or fourth, he’s going to start raising his RBI total quickly if he’s back to form. Because during his six-plus seasons with the Braves, he’s never had RBI opportunities quite as rich as the ones that are being presented for Braves middle-order hitters by the dynamic tandem atop the lineup, Bourn and Prado.

Rookie Andrelton Simmons has made the Braves better defensively, as expected. But he's also given them a boost at the plate. Here he's congratulated after hitting his second homer on Friday.

Rookie Andrelton Simmons has made the Braves better defensively, as expected. But he's also given them a boost at the plate. Here he's congratulated after hitting his second homer on Friday.

McCann has hit just .170 (9-for-53) with runners in scoring position this season, and Freddie Freeman’s only hit .213 (13-for-61). Even Dan Uggla is just at .254 (15-for-59) with RISP, albeit notably with 21 walks and a .432 OBP in those situations.

If McCann starts hitting closer to .300 than .200 with RISP, you will see the Braves offense improve in more ways than one. Pitchers won’t work around Uggla quite as much as they’ve been doing lately, and the lessened impact of longtime No. 3 hitter Chipper Jones won’t be so profound.

Can you only imagine if Chipper would’ve had Bourn and Prado doing what they’re doing when he was still raking? As good as Chipper was with “ducks on the pond,” the Braves’ run total would have been much higher than it’s been this season if he’d had those two doing what they’ve been doing.

If McCann keeps hitting like he has the past several days, things will start to get better and more consistent quickly for the Braves, who’ve got plenty of solid pieces in their lineup but just haven’t had enough of them either in the lineup together at the same time, or at least not in the lineup and at their best simultaneously.

They had Freeman sizzling for a few weeks, averaging slightly more than an RBI a game for a month. But since his eye problems cropped up, he’s struggled to get any consistency or even stay in the lineup for several days at a time. Now he’s dealing with the the bruised finger situation that’s slowed him the past week.

The Braves got a lot better with the addition of Andrelton Simmons at shortstop, both defensively and – somewhat surprising at this point – offensively. We all knew Simmons would be considerably better than Tyler Pastornicky defensively, but none of us expected Simmons to look as good at the plate as he has so far.

Get McCann going in the middle of the order while Uggla keeps doing his thing, and with Jason Heyward hitting better in recent weeks and Simmons providing a legit threat at the bottom of the order, suddenly this is a real potent lineup. One that’s not nearly as dependant on Chipper as it used to be.

Then if Chipper regains his strength after missing time with his nasty leg injury, that’s one more major bonus for a lineup that could go from punchless a few weeks ago to one of the most productive lineups in the league, as it was for a time early in the season.

McCann can be such a big key to that. I think we take for granted sometimes how good a hitter he is – the best hitting catcher in the majors over the past five years, when you factor in Joe Mauer’s injuries and reduced power. Yadier Molina had a strong offensive season last year and is having an even better one this year. But that’s two seasons.

McCann has been pretty much the same hitter for the past six seasons, until last year’s late-season slump following the return from the DL, and this year’s first third of the season.

If Mac is back, then the Braves know they are a far more formidable unit.

Pitching upswing: After ranking 13th in the NL with a 4.48 ERA in May, the Braves were second in the league this month with a 3.00 ERA entering Saturday’s games, behind only the Giants (2.81). This despite the Braves giving up 12 earned runs against Toronto on June 10 and six earned against Yankees on June 12.

They allowed three or fewer earned runs in their other 10 games so far this month, including two or fewer in seven. Throw out those two ugly games when they blew big leads and the bullpen imploded games, and the Braves have a 1.90 ERA in the other 10 of their 12 June games before Saturday, with only 18 earned runs allowed in 90 innings. If only it were that easy to “throw out those two games.”

* Tonight’s matchup: It’ll be Brandon Beachy vs. Orioles righty Jason Hammel.

Beachy is 0-3 with a 3.47 ERA despite a .181 opp. average in his past four starts, after going 5-0 with a  1.29 ERA in his previous seven. The reversal in fortunes began after his five-hit shutout in a career-high 122 pitches at Miami on May 17, his last win.

He’s had just 2.3 offensive support  runs per nine innings during his four-start winless stretch, after getting more than six runs per nine innings during his seven-start unbeaten stretch.

Five of the 15 hits he’s allowd in his past four starts have been homers, after allowing only one homer in his first eight starts this season.

Beachy has not been efficient lately, throwing 105 or more pitches in each of past three starts while going 5, 6-1/3 and 5 innings.

Hammel is 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in his past six starts, allowing four earned runs in four of them, including three times in six innings of fewer. But he got more than 6-1/2 support runs per nine innings pitched in that span, including six runs while he was in each of the two wins.

Hammel is 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA and .419 opp. average in five starts vs. Braves, all in 2009-2011.  Heyward is 5-for-5 against him, Eric Hinske is 6-for-8 with a homer, and Prado is 5-for-9 with a homer.

• Torrid twosome: Speaking of the duo atop the Braves’ lineup, take a look at what they have done lately and since mid-April.

In Prado’s past 34 games he’s hit .362 (50-for-138) with 15 extra-base hits, a .414 OBP and .514 slugging percentage, with five steals in five attempts. In his past 52 games he’s at .332 (68-for-205) with a .396 OBP, .478 slugging, 23 RBI, 34 runs.

And the leadoff man Bourn? He’s on a 14-game hitting streak entering Saturday, during which he’s hit .390 (23-for-59) with five doubles, two homers, six RBIs and a .576 slugging percentage.

Going back to the second week of the season, in his past 58 games Bourn has hit .337 (84-for-249) with 22 extra-base hits (six homers), 21 RBIs, 42 runs, 16 steals, a .387 OBP and .486 slugging (.873 OPS over 58 games).

And if those numbers alone weren’t enough to make them fan favorites, Bourn and Prado have been even better at home.

In 29 home games, Prado has hit .350 (tied for fifth in the NL) with 12 extra-base hits, 11 walks, 12 strikeouts, a .403 OBP and .487 slugging.

In addition to his defensive versatility (here he is playing first base on Friday), Braves left fielder/third baseman Martin Prado is having a terrific season offensively.

In addition to his defensive versatility (here he is playing first base on Friday), Braves left fielder/third baseman Martin Prado is having a terrific season offensively.

In 30 home games, Bourn has hit .344 (44-for-128) with an .387 OBP and .461 slugging.

Just a couple more stats about each (it’s Saturday, figured you’d have time to read them all):

In 43 night games, Prado has hit .341 with a .406 OBP.

Prado swings at only 12 perecent of first pitches, fifth-lowest rate in the NL, after actually hits better when he gets behind 0-1 than when he gets ahead 1-0. In counts after 0-1, he’s hitting .358 (48-for-134) with 16 extra-base hits and a .390 OBP and .507 slugging percentage. After getting ahead 1-0, he hits .281 with a .393 OBP and .406 slugging.

Also, he’s excelled with two strikes: .323 (42-for-130) with 16 extra-base hits hits.

Prado (.385) and Uggla (.384) ranked eighth and ninth in the NL in OBP before Saturday, and Prado (.320) and Bourn (.319) were ninth and 10th in the NL in batting average.

Bourn’s 87 hits were second-most in the majors before Saturday, behind only ex-Brave Melky Cabrera’s 93 for San Francisco. (Who saw that coming?) Derek Jeter leads the AL with 85.

Bourn’s .371 leadoff OBP ranked 5th in the NL, and his .352 average vs. right-handers ranked fourth.

Also, Bourn is fourth in the majors with 17 steals.

In 12 June games, Bourn has hit .404 (21-for-52), second-highest in the NL. He has a .974 OPS for the month (before Saturday).

BRAVES LINEUP

  1. Bourn cf
  2. Prado lf
  3. McCann c
  4. Uggla 2b
  5. Heyward rf
  6. Hinske 1b
  7. Simmons ss
  8. Francisco 3b
  9. Beachy p

• OK, let’s close this so I can get down to the clubhouse. We’ll end it with a classic Townes Van Zandt song, Pancho and Lefty, which you can hear him sing live by clicking here. And our man Jason Isbell was in New York this week to record that and another TVZ song with the talented and fetching Elizabeth Cook for for David Lettterman’s show, before Jason came to Atlanta for two acoustic solo shows Thursday and Friday. Here’s link to those songs.

frontpic

PANCHO AND LEFTY” by Townes Van Zandt

Living on the road my friend
Was gonna keep you free and clean
Now you wear your skin like iron
Your breath’s as hard as kerosene
You weren’t your mama’s only boy
But her favorite one it seems
She began to cry when you said goodbye
And sank into your dreams

Pancho was a bandit boys
His horse was fast as polished steel
Wore his gun outside his pants
For all the honest world to feel
Pancho met his match you know
On the deserts down in Mexico
Nobody heard his dying words
That’s the way it goes

All the federales say
They could have had him any day
They only let him hang around
Out of kindness I suppose

Lefty he can’t sing the blues
All night long like he used to
The dust that Pancho bit down south
Ended up in Lefty’s mouth
The day they laid poor Pancho low
Lefty split for Ohio
Where he got the bread to go
There ain’t nobody knows

All the federales say
They could have had him any day
They only let him slip away
Out of kindness I suppose

The poets tell how Pancho fell
Lefty’s livin’ in a cheap hotel
The desert’s quiet and Cleveland’s cold
So the story ends we’re told
Pancho needs your prayers it’s true,
But save a few for Lefty too
He just did what he had to do
Now he’s growing old

A few gray federales say
They could have had him any day
They only let him go so wrong
Out of kindness I suppose

– by David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

2,774 comments Add your comment

TheOnlyBravesFan

June 16th, 2012
3:49 pm

1st… Thanks DOB

TheOnlyBravesFan

June 16th, 2012
3:52 pm

I really like the look of this lineup. With BMac and Heyward heating up, we truly will be a deep lineup. We will be hard to beat when these guys are locked in. We’re due to heat up really soon.

jeffrey d

June 16th, 2012
3:54 pm

Thanks DOB

McFann oughta like this one

TheOnlyBravesFan

June 16th, 2012
3:57 pm

hope there’s no jinx

bravesgrl4life

June 16th, 2012
3:59 pm

Venice Jim

June 16th, 2012
4:02 pm

Nats tie Yankees in 8th, but go-ahead run thrown out at home on LaRoche single…

JoshTown

June 16th, 2012
4:03 pm

Thanks DOB! Looking forward to braves keepin things rollin! Go Braves!

CaptMudd

June 16th, 2012
4:07 pm

8th….that’s a personal record.

CaptMudd

June 16th, 2012
4:09 pm

Our friend, Samantha, will be over to watch game with us…..just saying, just warning.

Disgusted

June 16th, 2012
4:10 pm

We are getting better things from B-Mac and Heyward but its about time Chipper starts doing something again — he has not been the player he was before he was DL’ed.

Not a single run driven in yet — Step it up Chipper.

Nats got a bad break on a “Three Blind Mice” call by the UMP in the bottom of the 9th.

Hard to root for anyone in that game, but gotta want the Nats to lose.

UcantCLA

June 16th, 2012
4:10 pm

I just want to see us go to NY and get a few of those games back from the Yankees next week.

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:12 pm

GREAT song. I like the Emmylou version and the Willie version too

DiamondbackMac

June 16th, 2012
4:13 pm

DOB

Great song, one of my favorites. Good blog too. Thanks.

brian

June 16th, 2012
4:16 pm

thanks DOB – expect a hug from McFann at the game tonight

VaBravesFan

June 16th, 2012
4:17 pm

Todd Cunningham has great speed, good defender who can play all 3 OF spots. Good approach at the plate with OBP skills. Could be a leadoff man at some point based on his skill set. He is playing great in AA and should be called up to AAA at some point. Depending on how the Braves want to fill holes by spending on a LFer or CFer he could be in line in spring training to battle for a spot.

Whiskey River

June 16th, 2012
4:20 pm

@CaptMudd I would like to inform to please get your facts straight. I am a retired cop. I arrested your friend Samantha twice. I have kept up with her. She is currently in a psychiatric hospital in Salem Oregon. WShe has no contact with outside world. Pick on her all you want. I don’ care. But it would be nice if you get your facts straight before you step in to peoples lives. Thank you.

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:20 pm

bah, another B Jones, 23 already is AA. justa bumb…..

TheOnlyBravesFan

June 16th, 2012
4:23 pm

You know, Disgusted seems alot more knowledgeable/less crazy when the Braves aren’t playing. He actually makes some sense!

Venice Jim

June 16th, 2012
4:24 pm

Yunel walks, 2nd on balk, 3rd on grounder, scores on a single, Phillies lose in 10…

Mets R Best

June 16th, 2012
4:24 pm

So the NY Yankees swept the Braves at Atlanta. Just wanted to remind you Braves fans that the New York Mets swept your team to start the season. That means your guys have lost 8 out of 10 against New York teams in 2012. But that isn’t surprising is it? Because of superior talent, coaching, and sophistication it is hard for any team to compete against the New York teams. The Mighty Mets are hanging tough which causes inferior teams like Atlanta to quake in fear and thus choke. The Braves should fear the Mets because of players like the marvelous Johan “No Hitter” Santana and hitters like David Wright, who is an offensive machine. Just the thought of having to play against players of their caliber makes opposing teams tremble with fear. Fear the Mets Braves. Fear them.

Max Sizemore

June 16th, 2012
4:24 pm

The Braves are the top base-running team in baseball:
http://www.actasports.com/statoftheweek/

Venice Jim

June 16th, 2012
4:26 pm

Tyler Kepner ‏@TylerKepner
That’s 8 walk-off losses for the Philies. All w/o using Papelbon. Interesting way to spend $50M.

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:26 pm

Interesting. Bourn, Prado and Heyward help a lot, though Bourn is actually having one of his poorer years so far

MikeInFl

June 16th, 2012
4:27 pm

VaBravesFan, I think you’re a little optimistic on Cunningham’s on-base ability. He’s got a big batting average this year, based on a high BABIP, but he takes very few walks and has probably been a little lucky. Reminds me a lot of how Pastornicky tore it up at AAA last year when he was moved up.

But, who knows? Sure hope he can develop into an adequate hitter because he’s supposedly got great defensive skills.

VaBravesFan

June 16th, 2012
4:29 pm

I basically repeated what the little scout video said on him lol

Efrim

June 16th, 2012
4:29 pm

McCann AND Heyward are getting it going and that could be very big for this team heading into the All-Star break.

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:30 pm

and I was basically being contrary….. ;)

MikeInFl

June 16th, 2012
4:30 pm

Venice Jim

June 16th, 2012
4:31 pm

Can’t miss HOFer Harper with 4 Ks in 5 ABs today (3 by Petitte)…

VaBravesFan

June 16th, 2012
4:31 pm

nolie

Brandon Jones is tearing it up in some Independent League now lol

Efrim

June 16th, 2012
4:31 pm

Phillies are really struggling, aren’t they. Still dangerous because of the starting pitching, though.

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:32 pm

I guess that I should clarify that I meant poorer base-stealing years so far

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:33 pm

yeah Mike, kinda surprising wasn’t it???

Woody Woodward

June 16th, 2012
4:34 pm

Agree with nolie. O’s aren’t as good as the Yankees, if that who you’re referring to as the big boys.

VaBravesFan

June 16th, 2012
4:34 pm

nolie

Yep Bourn is having a career year with the bat, but his stealing is down a good bit. But 3 times he was actually safe but they called him out.

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:34 pm

yup, they could still sweep us. they own us afterall….

Dirty Dawg

June 16th, 2012
4:35 pm

Realize it’s Townes’ song and that Willie and Merle sold the most recordings of it, but for my money Emmylou’s Pancho and Lefty was and will always be the best. In fact her ‘Luxury Liner’ is certainly my favorite of her albums (included P&L). Just thought I’d throw that in.

Disgusted

June 16th, 2012
4:35 pm

@VA Braves — Your mini report on Todd Cunnngham is good to hear.

We all want Micheal back, but, just in case at least we might have an in-house reasonable probable replacement.

Still say that they will sign a cheap one yr stop gap for OF in case, Two names I see on the MLB 2013 FA list are Cody Ross and Ryan Spilbourghs.

I am not so sure they will give up what it takes to trade for Willingham.

Another scenario is to keep Martin in LF and trade for Chase Headley, (What does SD want????).

Thing with that scenario is that the power in the lineup is limited to Mc Cann, Uggla, and you hope that Jey-Hey and Freddie Freeman are able to advance in their leaning curve and step it up.

You are not getting that many HRS from Prado, Headley and Cunnighham/whoever. You are not asking Simmons to hit alit of XBH power either (maybe surprise but best to expect conservative output).

It does send a better vibe to the fans if they do step it up and re-up with Bourn and get a couple more good players.

But its the parent corporation that is paying the money, so money talks, vibes walk. So expect things to be busines like.

Venice Jim

June 16th, 2012
4:35 pm

Everybody’s starting pitching is dangerous to the Braves…

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:36 pm

and Rays Woody. I think they are legit, though prolly not as good as the Yanks either over a full season, but they are what? a third the cost?

VaBravesFan

June 16th, 2012
4:36 pm

Well I’m outta here, c yall later. Got a couple softball games. I’m the Michael Bourn of our team, leadoff man and Left Centerfielder lol. Wish me luck.

Disgusted

June 16th, 2012
4:36 pm

How about the pitching matchp tonight, this is the first time I have seen Hammell — did not know much about him.

Efrim

June 16th, 2012
4:38 pm

I just don’t see us re-signing Bourn. That’d be a huge shocker, even with all of the money we have available. Boras is going to drive up the price well into December and Wren won’t wait that long.

I’m just hoping that whatever way we fill LF and CF is done with short term contractual commitments.

Disgusted

June 16th, 2012
4:39 pm

I want to wait until August to judge the O’s, they have been off to good starts in the recent past only to fadee ut this team seems to have more staying power.

The decline of the Red Sox have helped them climb to a degree. I see where Beckett hit the DL again — that is gonna be a hard team to break up and re-tool. They have some bad $$$$$$$$$ tied up for some time.

Poor Toronto — That is 3 SP going down in a week. Not good for them. Bad.

Juan

June 16th, 2012
4:39 pm

Efrim:Phillies are really struggling, aren’t they. Still dangerous because of the starting pitching, though.

I think you have it backward…Phillis are struggling because there Pitcher & Pen.
There hitting….but High ERA…Lee not W so far & Halladay in the DL

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:40 pm

Emmylou’s Profile:Best of album is a total epic IMO.and her P&L is my fave too
first saw her in NYC when she was more a folkie than anything. very young in a GV coffee shop

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

June 16th, 2012
4:41 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief! Good stuff!! :D

Ralph

June 16th, 2012
4:43 pm

DOB – You are really good with stats and I really appreciate reading them but there is one stat that I have asked numerous times for someone to come up with: What is Prado’s BA when Bourn is on 1st base vs when he is not. I think this stat would surprise a lot of people, especially Fredi G.

Disgusted

June 16th, 2012
4:44 pm

I don’t know how far the Braves will go in re-upping Bourn, but what team is going to ante say, a 5 yr deal for say, throw out the number 15 to 18 mil per yr for him.

I can see us offering 12 to 14 mil per, they have to offer a respectable market deal.

Say they do not re-sign Bourn, allow Mc Cann to go next winter and do not get it done with Prado, what kind of message does that send to the fans???????

I see it as a PR disaster and this widow will be short lived if that is what happens.

Hate it we have to go to NY next week, that is automatic loss. So this weekend got to win this series at least. We will sweep Boston I think.

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:46 pm

I think that predictin’ a sweep of any team no matter how bad is pretty koolade-ish, but here’s hopin’ you are right

Woody Woodward

June 16th, 2012
4:46 pm

Yankees spend a lot, for sure, nolie, but they seem to have spent well. They keep their stars and keep them happy. They are supremely confident as a team, as well, and they play very hard.

One moment stood out for me on Wednesdays game. Huddy knocked Jeter down and next pitch he dug in and slapped it into right for a hit. Didn’t make a big show after he got dusted, just stepped back up and played the next moment. Small thing, but the way that guy goes about his business, the way he plays the game…I’ve never been a great Jeter fan, but I respect him.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

June 16th, 2012
4:47 pm

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!! I just got an email for lasik!! :(

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:48 pm

I don’t know Woody, with that amount of payroll leverage I think they should have won a lot more WS over the last decade or so. JMO

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:49 pm

Mac prolly gave them your name…..

Bat Masterson

June 16th, 2012
4:49 pm

Prado is hitting .632 with Bourn on first

Bat Masterson

June 16th, 2012
4:50 pm

DOB_

Good read, I enjoyed it, thanks.

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:50 pm

or at least done a more better job of getting deep into the playoffs more frequently

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:51 pm

Woody Woodward

June 16th, 2012
4:51 pm

You might be right, nolie. I think we should have wont few more, too. Somehow I always return to the twins series. That was the roughest one of all, if you ask me. Not saying winning it would have changed history, but what if ….

Venice Jim

June 16th, 2012
4:51 pm

On to the 12th in Washington…

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:52 pm

me too Woody. I think if we win that one, things over the years mighta been better.Woulda won it if they hadn’t cheated

TheOnlyBravesFan

June 16th, 2012
4:52 pm

get lasik mcfann! much better than glasses

Bat Masterson

June 16th, 2012
4:53 pm

Okay, nolie, I made that up for Ralph. He’s been asking and no one is answering.

:lol:

Efrim

June 16th, 2012
4:54 pm

Nationals really have a lot of great arms, 1-12. Best in the NL, imo. San Francisco right there with them too.

ChattTownBrian

June 16th, 2012
4:55 pm

Francisco has no business in the starting lineup. Frankly, neither does Hinske. But both are unfortunately.

keylargo

June 16th, 2012
4:56 pm

The number at which a base stealer breaks even used to be about 71%, but with offense still going downhill in the Major Leagues, I wonder what it takes to be a successful now? 73% maybe?

Bat Masterson

June 16th, 2012
4:56 pm

I don’t know how the Twins live with themselves. Cheat, cheat, cheat….. They should hang their heads with shame

DiamondbackMac

June 16th, 2012
4:58 pm

Disgusted

Say they do not re-sign Bourn, allow Mc Cann to go next winter and do not get it done with Prado, what kind of message does that send to the fans???????

Do you lay in bed awake at night trying to think of all of the worst possible scenarios for the future? What a terrible way to live. Seek help!

Efrim

June 16th, 2012
4:58 pm

Stras, Gio, Zimmermann, Jackson, Wang, Detwiler, Stammen, Burnett, Rodriguez, Lidge, Clippard, Gorzelanny, Storen(that’s 13 though)

Woody Woodward

June 16th, 2012
4:58 pm

Have we been running as much as we were in the beginning of the season?

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:58 pm

plus they beat up our baserunners….

nolie

June 16th, 2012
4:59 pm

doesn’t seem like it Woody but I’m not certain of it

nolie

June 16th, 2012
5:00 pm

that’s an embarrassment of riches IYAM

Woody Woodward

June 16th, 2012
5:01 pm

When was Heyward’s last stolen base?

jim

June 16th, 2012
5:01 pm

Disgusted,
Hammell pitched for Colorado previously. I think the Braves had early success against him, but he’s developed into a better pitcher since then.

keylargo

June 16th, 2012
5:02 pm

Somehow I always return to the twins series. That was the roughest one of all

Woody, to drive home the point that the Braves should have won against the Twins, just look back to 1987 when they beat the Cardinals in the WS. Guess how many home games the Twins won? FOUR, the same as the home games they won against the Braves. No stadium ever gave the home team more advantage.

MikeY

June 16th, 2012
5:02 pm

On the mlb braves site, Prado is hitting .327 with an OPS of .971 w/ a runner on first. That’s any runner, not just Bourn.

That is just slightly better than his overall agerage (.320, .848 OPS).

Efrim

June 16th, 2012
5:02 pm

He had 9 in April, Woody. I think.

Bat Masterson

June 16th, 2012
5:02 pm

Yeah if they were gonna let them wrestle Gant shoulda given Kent Hrbek a piledriver.

Bat Masterson

June 16th, 2012
5:04 pm

When was Heyward’s last stolen base?

Ninth inning a few nights ago, came home on the throwing error.

Bat Masterson

June 16th, 2012
5:05 pm

Was that last Saturday night?

Efrim

June 16th, 2012
5:06 pm

Braves averaging 30,892 through 30 home games this year. On pace for 2.5 million(2.37 million in 2011).

keylargo

June 16th, 2012
5:07 pm

Bat – Gant should have called Freddie Blassie for some lessons to get even – or ahead.

Efrim

June 16th, 2012
5:08 pm

0 for 6 with 5 K’s for Bryce Harper today. And he is not a CF. No way.

Waffle House or Bust

June 16th, 2012
5:08 pm

Andrelton Simmons alone proves Wren and Fredi don’t have a clue what they are doing. Kid won the SS position at spring training but they went with pastor. Pretty much everyone on this blog called for Simmons but they are idiots. If you want to put me down for my opinions then go ahead but think about what you are defending. A manager that has led this team to two losing streaks within a month and a GM (cough cough) that got ran out of Baltimore and has carried his torch of suck to Atlanta.

Venice Jim

June 16th, 2012
5:08 pm

Not sure what kind of sombrero comes with 5 Ks, but Bryce Harper now wearing it – on to the 13th…

Bravefaninok

June 16th, 2012
5:08 pm

Harper k’s for the 5th time bottom 12…

nolie

June 16th, 2012
5:08 pm

stealing bases tires a player down over a season and beats them up. I’m ok with most of them running less

Waffle House or Bust

June 16th, 2012
5:09 pm

Efrim – And that is all Liberty cares about. $$$

Venice Jim

June 16th, 2012
5:09 pm

Kid won the SS position at spring training but they went with pastor.

Someone must have slept trough Simmons’ injury and poor last few weeks…

nolie

June 16th, 2012
5:09 pm

he got hurt WHOB. not that facts make any difference to you at all

Venice Jim

June 16th, 2012
5:10 pm

trough = through

Woody Woodward

June 16th, 2012
5:10 pm

Damn indoor stadiums. Game is meant to be played outdoors and in wool.

Bat Masterson

June 16th, 2012
5:12 pm

If you want to put me down for my opinions then go ahead

Consider it done, thank you.

jim

June 16th, 2012
5:13 pm

Prado probably hits about the same with Boun on 1B as not, but what is most annoying in these situations is how the Braves never put a play on — hit and run or a straight steal. The situation in the 8th inning Wednesday night screamed for Bourn to be running (At least I was screaming!)

David O'Brien

June 16th, 2012
5:15 pm

Just updated the blog with some info from McCann. Talked to him after batting practice, and he said more specifically what the problem was in his swing, that he finally realized in the past week — he wasn’t getting proper extension with his arms, which he said began after he came back from the oblique strain when he was trying to protect that area. He had, without thinking about, built muscle memory to the point where he was still swinging that way, until this past week.

David O'Brien

June 16th, 2012
5:17 pm

Chipper’s got some fluid in left knee, not enough to drain. Also some general body soreness. So Fredi’s resting him today so he can play Chipper tomorrow when McCann gets a day off, and also can play Francisco today against a righty rather than tomorrow against lefty….

Freeman’s still got a little swelling right on the knuckle of his injured finger. Rest of swelling is gone, but still hard to hold bat with that swelling around knuckle. Still day to day, maybe tomorrow he plays. Not sure.

Woody Woodward

June 16th, 2012
5:18 pm

Poor last few weeks at the plate, VJ. Simons was superior to pastor in the field. I was one who thought Simmons was the better choice. Lots of folks said there was no way he could hit MLB pitching. Not saying that the decision to season him was wrong, in fact, they probably made the right call. I just had the feeling that pastor was not going to be the long term solution at short, as did a lot of other contributors. No matter, we are a much better team with simmons at short, even if he doesn’t remain this hot at the plate.

Ralph

June 16th, 2012
5:19 pm

Bat Masterson

June 16th, 2012
4:49 pm
Prado is hitting .632 with Bourn on first

Bull

keylargo

June 16th, 2012
5:19 pm

WHOB – do you happen to remember Simmons was doing well and then injured his side, essentially taking the last two weeks of ST away from him? Do you think it might have been a good idea to let a guy who played A ball last year to get a few at bats in AA after being out for two weeks before you throw him in a MLB lineup?

No, I didn’t think so. I get more convinced every day how lucky I am to be a redneck instead of whatever you claim to be. Rednecks is way smarter than you.

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