Auto-pilot to the postseason is not the way to go

Whether it’s the winner of next week’s Wild Card game or one of the other division champions, whatever team faces Washington in the division series should be feeling better about their chances of knocking off the Nats, who appear to be on auto pilot lately, playing lackluster “let’s rest the lineup” baseball for the past 2-1/2 weeks after playing like the league’s best team for most of the season.

092912 braves CC13

Chipper and the great Hank Aaron during Friday's pregame ceremony on Chipper Jones night. The Braves lost 3-1 to snap a five-game winning streak (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

While the other four projected NL postseason teams – the Braves, Cardinals, Reds and Giants – are all finishing strong, the Nats are 6-8 with a 3.93 ERA and 65 runs scored in their past 14 games, and have allowed five or more six times in that span including six or more runs three times in their past six games.

St. Louis is almost certainly going to face the Braves in Friday’s Wild Card game in Atlanta. And imagine this: the Cardinals are finishing a season strong (again).

– The Cards were 9-2 with a 2.08 ERA and 56 runs in their past 11 games before Saturday, having allowed more than four runs just once in that stretch — when they gave up five in a 5-4, 11-inning road loss against rival Chicago.

– Meanwhile, the Braves were 10-3 with a 2.16 ERA in their past 13 games after having a five-game winning streak snapped in Friday’s 3-1 loss to the Mets. The Braves only scored 51 runs in that 13-game span (3.9 per game), but allowed three or fewer runs in each of their past six games and more than four in only two of their past 13, including once in a 7-5 win at Miami.

– Cincinnati was 11-5 with a 2.90 ERA in its past 16 games before Saturday, despite totaling only 52 runs and eight homers in that stretch, which included nine home games in their bandbox of a ballpark. Pitching, pitching, pitching.

– San Francisco was 13-3 with a robust .309 batting average and 3.15 ERA in its past 16 games, with 87 runs in that stretch. Who’d have thought the Gigantes would hardly miss a beat with Melky Cabrera out of the lineup? And they’ve allowed more than three runs only three times in their past 11 games.

And who would have thought the team with the league’s best overall pitching this season (the Nationals) would have the least impressive pitching and easily the worst record among the playoff contenders in the last few weeks of the season?

Those of you who’ve read this blog for years know how your crusading everyman feels about teams that lock up a playoff berth early and put it in cruise control for the last couple or more weeks of a season, coasting to the playoffs either because they mentally lose an edge or, more often than not, the manager rests too many players on too many days.

It’s a recipe for postseason heartbreak. Seen it happen too many times, those teams that played all season with an edge, that were aggressive night after night and kept the pedal to the floor and built up big division leads, suddenly go into a totally different mindset for two or three weeks figuring they can flip the switch come playoff time and go right back to playing the way they had for most of the season.

Instead, too many of those teams come out flat or out of synch in the division series and find themselves down quickly in a best-of-five series, wondering what went wrong.

Braves fans can recall it happening with Atlanta teams a few times (or more) during their run of 14 division titles, when they’d build a double-digit lead in the division and spend the last couple of weeks lining up the rotation and resting players.

Then they’d see their postseason end a step or two shy of where they thought it would.

Or check with last season’s Phillies, who won 102 games but barely played .500 (16-14) in September. They lost to the Cardinals, who went 18-8 down the stretch to overtake the Braves for the wild card and then went on to win the World Series.

The year before in 2010, the Giants went 19-10 in September, beat the Braves in four one-run games to take the division series, and went on to win the World Series.

In 2009, the Yankees won 20 games in September before rolling to the World Series title. In 2008, the Phillies had a lot better September than last year’s Phillies, going 17-8. Then they plowed through the playoffs and won the World Series.

This is something that first caught my eye when I covered the ’97 Marlins, who won the wild-card, had to fight till the end, and then swept the Giants in the division series and beat the Braves in the NLCS (despite losing one of their top starting pitchers, Alex Fernandez, to a major shoulder injury) on the way to a seven-game World Series win against Cleveland.

When the Marlins won the World Series again as a wild-card team in 2003 – I was covering the Braves by then — they did so after going 18-8 in September.

You want to go into the playoffs being pushed, or just keep your foot on the gas even if you’ve got your division title wrapped up.

That’s why, in my opinion, it’s more important for the Braves to win at least three or four of these last five games than it is to make sure everyone gets rest. Rest the old and the injured, but not the others. They have an off day Thursday before the Wild Card game, and the team just had two off days in a five-day span before this homestand.

I know it’s September and players are beat up and tired. But from everything I’ve seen over the years, it’s important not to coast into the postseason. Especially when that postseason includes a new wrinkle for some including this year’s Braves: a one-game, do-or-die play-in game otherwise known as the Wild Card game.

You can’t expect to coast and rest, then flick the switch or hope that Kris Medlen pitches another shutout in that game. Not that this team looks like it’s putting it in shut-down mode for the next week. But just in case anyone out there thanks that’s the way to go, I beg to differ.

And so might last year’s Phillies.

• Medlen on Sunday: Every Kris Medlen start is highly anticipated now, not just in Braves Country but across the country. The right-hander makes his last start of the regular season on Sunday in the Braves’ and Chipper’s last regular-season home game.

The Braves will go for their record 23rd consecutive win in Kris Medlen starts when he pitches Sunday's regular-season home finale.

The Braves will go for their record 23rd consecutive win in Kris Medlen starts when he pitches Sunday's regular-season home finale.

You know most of the stats, but here are a few facts I found that you might not know about Kristopher Allen Medlen, who was raised in Norwalk, Calif., an L.A. suburb that is, as Medlen found out after Eric O’Flaherty told him he was from Compton in South-Central L.A., about nine miles from Compton.

He was raised in a working-class family. His dad, Ray, has been a long-haul truck driver for 30 years, and his mom was a cake decorator at Albertson’s. His parents now live in Texas, and both still have those occupations.

He attended Gahr High School one town over in Cerritos, where the most famous alums was former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Jim Zorn, class of ’71. “He went to Gahr?” Medlen said.

Yes, he did.

There was also Bret Barberie, who a big-league infielder with four teams in six seasons through 1996, who graduated from Gahr a few months before Medlen was born.

“I knew that,” Medlen said. “Jillian Barberie’s ex-husband. He played with the Expos…. And Shane Mack went to Gahr.”

Mack, class of ’81, was an outfielder for parts of nine seasons in the majors through ’98.

For those interested, Medlen has long known diversity: The student population at Gahr is 70 percent Asian and Hispanic, and 10 percent white.

He was area player of the year as a shortstop and pitcher in high school.

“Played a year [at El Camino Junior College], played second base,” he said. “Should’ve played shortstop. They had, like, their area player of the year [at shortstop]. I was my area player of the year, and they loved that guy… So I played second base. Thought I was going to sign cause I got drafted out of high school as a shortstop by the Devil Rays. I was a draft-and-follow. They [El Camino] put me at second. I didn’t sign.

“I was academically ineligible my second year, believe it or not [sarcasm]. I went to juco three years.

“Red-shirted, transferred to Santa Ana, played short[stop] there. First-team All-State shortstop.”

Here the comedic Medlen goes into his I’m-bad deep voice while demonstrated his swing (he’s a switch-hitter, which many of you already knew).

“Then I signed with Cal State Fullerton. I would’ve played short and closed there. So that’s my life story in about 30 seconds.”

He would’ve played short and closed at Fullerton, had he not been drafted and signed by the Braves.

By the way, the 5-foot-11 Medlen will turn 27 on Oct. 7.

And the stats: Medlen is 8-0 with a 1.04 ERA and .196 opponents’ average in 11 starts since moving from the bullpen, with 80 strikeouts and just nine walks in 77-2/3 innings.

After going 0-2 with a 9.72 ERA in two starts in his first two major league games in May 2009, Medlen has gone 14-0 with a 2.57 ERA in 27 starts since, with 156 strikeouts and 29 walks in 171-2/3 innings.

The Braves have won each of his past 22 starts, tying the live-ball era major league record held by Whitey Ford and Carl Hubbell.

“Don’t … belong …” Medlen said modestly, referring to his place alongside those legends.

On Sunday, the truck driver’s son from Artesia could break that mark. Imagine that.

• Now, baseball: After going 0-for-4 with four groundouts in Friday’s 3-1 loss on Chipper Jones tribute night, the Battle Axe himself said he’d been too emotionally charged and nervous and that it affected his performance. All those scoreboard video tributes that played between innings, after the 30-minute on-field ceremony before the first pitch … it was a bit too much for him, in terms of trying to play a game, too.

“There’s no real way to prepare for that,” he said. “It’s so overwhelming and the support and the love in the ballpark tonight was just something that it’s hard to prepare yourself for… I appreciate everything that was said and done and the innings and the games they’re whittling away and it’s starting to sink in so. I try to play this game on an even-keel but the emotion got the best of me….

“I was talking to [starting pitcher Tim Hudson] before the game. I said, ‘I’m an emotional wreck.’ I said, ‘Keep the ball away from me the first couple innings until I can settle down.’ The first pitch of the game is hit right to me so we got a good chuckle out of that. I can’t believe I got the throw over. I think that was probably the most nervous I’ve been on a baseball field in a long time.”

Seated next to Chipper during pregame ceremony Friday were Braves icons Bobby Cox and Hank Aaron. (Curtis Compton photo/AJC)

Seated next to Chipper during pregame ceremony Friday were Braves icons Bobby Cox and Hank Aaron. (Curtis Compton photo/AJC)

He was able to smile about it, but you could tell that Chipper was absolutely spent after Friday’s game. He was drained in every respect.

“I try to stay as even-keeled as possible all the time. That’s how I play the game the best. And tonight I was just too overwhelmed and too emotional to be able to go out there and play effectively. Every pitch that they threw up there I wanted to hit 10 rows deep and you can’t do that and hopefully it’ll settle down in the next couple days and I’ll be able to do my job a little better.”

He was glad the tribute night was a week before the Braves are set to play in the Wild Card game, because he wants to get back to just playing ball now, or as much as he can given all the demands on his time as he winds down his career.

“I’ve been pointing to this day and nervous about this day and with all the friends and family in town coming here to watch, it’s been …I just want to concentrate on baseball,” he said. “It’s been all the attention needs to take a backseat so we can focus on the job at hand. I’m certainly, I was telling some friends, I’ll be glad when [Friday] is over, so I can start concentrating on doing my job a little better.”

Whether he’s been distracted or just mentally drained, it’s shown lately. Chipper went 3-for-9 with three homers and four RBIs in back-to-back games Aug. 16-17 vs. the Padres and Dodgers, and in 31 games since then he hit .225 (23-for-102) with one homer, eight RBIs and a .294 slugging percentage, albeit with 20 walks and a .350 OBP.

In his past 19 games before Saturday, he was 13-for-59 (.220) with two doubles, no homers, four RBIs and a .254 slugging percentage.

• OK, let’s post this. We’ll close with another all-timer from the great Neil Young, which you can hear by clicking here. You know, since Medlen has come on this season a bit like, well, like a hurricane.

images

“LIKE A HURRICANE” by Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Once I thought I saw you
in a crowded hazy bar,
Dancing on the light
from star to star.
Far across the moonbeam
I know that’s who you are,
I saw your brown eyes
turning once to fire.

You are like a hurricane
There’s calm in your eye.
And I’m gettin’ blown away
To somewhere safer
where the feeling stays.
I want to love you but
I’m getting blown away.

I am just a dreamer,
but you are just a dream,
You could have been
anyone to me.
Before that moment
you touched my lips
That perfect feeling
when time just slips
Away between us
on our foggy trip.

You are like a hurricane
There’s calm in your eye.
And I’m gettin’ blown away
To somewhere safer
where the feeling stays.
I want to love you but
I’m getting blown away.

You are just a dreamer,
and I am just a dream.
You could have been
anyone to me.
Before that moment
you touched my lips
That perfect feeling
when time just slips
Away between us
on our foggy trip.

You are like a hurricane
There’s calm in your eye.
And I’m gettin’ blown away
To somewhere safer
where the feeling stays.
I want to love you but
I’m getting blown away.

– David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

1,373 comments Add your comment

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 29th, 2012
7:10 pm

You are correct, nolie. FSU struggling early too. Last pointyball post:

John Kincade ‏@JohnKincade
UT scored 47 on Akron and 51 on Georgia State. 44 on Georgia makes little sense.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 29th, 2012
7:12 pm

Thank you for the blog, DOB. Go Braves! Calling a win, 5-3. Minor goes 6, 1 ER.

George_George

September 29th, 2012
7:13 pm

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
7:07 pm
This game will not help DAWGS in poll.

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
7:13 pm

Put this game away Dogs — they gave us a coronary but they still should put up a W.

Frustrating game — thanks mostly to the defense. Now we cannot move the ball.

George_George

September 29th, 2012
7:14 pm

Thanks for new blog DOB.

usnavyvolfaninva

September 29th, 2012
7:14 pm

Wish I could be there. #10 one of my all time favorite Braves.

BFChris28

September 29th, 2012
7:14 pm

Thanks for new blog :)

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 29th, 2012
7:14 pm

Minor did a great job there… mac wasn’t getting there due to his knee issues

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
7:14 pm

I agree George George — we might drop a little this week.

And Wooten drops one the BUMB. He should get a dunce cap on his helmet. He deserves to be Booed and TN is going to tie it.

usnavyvolfaninva

September 29th, 2012
7:15 pm

I think the Braves learned their lesson from last season. They’ve focused on every game down the stretch, and have been rewarded with a post-season berth. Play-in won’t be a gimme.

George_George

September 29th, 2012
7:15 pm

Still 4:08 to go.

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
7:17 pm

Another TN 1st down — this game is nerve wracking.

I really think TN is going to tie — we have no wil to stop them.

chipontheroad

September 29th, 2012
7:17 pm

From the people thnx D O’B

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
7:17 pm

Dogs did get a break but need two stops.

cricket

September 29th, 2012
7:18 pm

no one suggested to trade Meds before play-in game yet? come on people, his value can’t be higher than now.. ;)

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
7:18 pm

I hate Patterson — cannot stnad the guy.

George_George

September 29th, 2012
7:19 pm

U nbelievable where is DAWG DEFENCE?

usnavyvolfaninva

September 29th, 2012
7:20 pm

mm….false start…really?

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
7:20 pm

What a gutless unprepared defense that GA has — Grantham needs to be fired on the spot.

Kat

September 29th, 2012
7:21 pm

Prado, what can’t he do….

George_George

September 29th, 2012
7:21 pm

OK, that might do it.

usnavyvolfaninva

September 29th, 2012
7:21 pm

Disgusted…it’s okay, Tyler Bray came through for you.

chipontheroad

September 29th, 2012
7:21 pm

There ya go disgusterd the flyin fickle finger of fate strikes again

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 29th, 2012
7:21 pm

UGA D gets a stop… great!

DS1

September 29th, 2012
7:22 pm

DOB

Any pre-game updates on Bourn? Or is Fredi just being cautious?

Thanks in advance.

George_George

September 29th, 2012
7:23 pm

Now to Baseball. PLEASE WIN BRAVES and see what NATS do.

ChattTownBrian

September 29th, 2012
7:23 pm

Get ‘em in JHey.

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
7:23 pm

Its about time — about time.

Hope we do not throw it away — But have to give TN credit for playing tough and in a ssense they were the better team.

I am not so sure we deserve to win today. Very frustrating game — I do not know if the coaching staff can clean some thngs up.

As bad as the D way Murray did not take em anywhere when they really needed it in the 4th qtr late.

Bittersweet win but I’ll take it. Hey, could be a Tech fan.

Really worried about the D — if it do not get cleaned up we are not running the table. And no Nat Championship again.

cabravesfan

September 29th, 2012
7:24 pm

How did I not know Kris Medlen went to El Camino??

chipontheroad

September 29th, 2012
7:25 pm

Marteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!!!
Jheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey!!!

ChattTownBrian

September 29th, 2012
7:26 pm

CJ should just retire after the game. Seriously, 2 for his last 23 now.

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
7:27 pm

Hey, US Navy and Chip on the road — I like the W but as a Dogs fan, have to be honest and say that there are some things that really need cleaning up.

For the Dogs to get to the BCS champ game they have to run the table, win the SEC and of course the championship game.

And why not have high goals for a program of this stature, talent, recruiting ability and hype. That should be the goal to overcome Bama, LSU, USC, etc.

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
7:28 pm

Chipper needs a rest — he deserves one.

He does not deserve to be Booed.

George_George

September 29th, 2012
7:28 pm

#Braves manager Gonzalez reiterated he plans to have 10 pitchers (3 starters) and 15 position players on roster for WC game.
******************************************************
Smartest thing he has done all year, FW must have suggested it.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 29th, 2012
7:29 pm

I hope Fredi rests Chipper in the Pittsburgh series… maybe only start him in the last game

George_George

September 29th, 2012
7:30 pm

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
7:28 pm
They booed him in THE TED? I still have football on.

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
7:30 pm

Lucas Duda is one of my least favorite players in MLB — I hate him cause of last night.

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
7:31 pm

Well, the Dogs escape — and 5-0 is 5-0 but gotta clean the mess on D up.

I really cannot stand Lucas Duda — hope he hits .165 next yr.

Fredo

September 29th, 2012
7:35 pm

“The Cards were 9-2 with a 2.08 ERA and 56 runs in their past 11 games before Saturday”

which is why for these last two games against the Cards, I’m full out rooting for the Nats (and their early 4-0 lead is nice to see)

Tomahawk Mafia

September 29th, 2012
7:36 pm

Minor looks pretty effective in the early going of tonight’s game.

DS1

September 29th, 2012
7:36 pm

Whatever happened to Jason Bay? Talk about a nose dive.

Kat

September 29th, 2012
7:40 pm

Mets fan I ran into today mentioned be thought Fredi had done a great job managing this year. My response to him was… tell that to Braves fans many of which won’t like Fredi’s managing no matter what he does. I personally think he has done much better job this year especially managing the pen. But I guess for some Braves fans they’ll be no satisfying them. I swear even if we win the WS you’ll see ppl focusing on what they think he could have done better rather than is won a WS. Just a random thought brought on by that convo w/ the Mets fan.

chipontheroad

September 29th, 2012
7:43 pm

Kat

September 29th, 2012
7:43 pm

Mets announcers say Mac has a ‘weight problem’ so what’s their medical diagnosis of CC or Prince?

DS1

September 29th, 2012
7:43 pm

Kat

I’ve not been a big fan of Fredi, but it’s hard to argue with a .580 season. And I agree he has done a great job of limiting the innings in the pen.

DS1

September 29th, 2012
7:44 pm

Well, at least we cleared the pitchers slot……….

George_George

September 29th, 2012
7:45 pm

FW going to be on TV NEXT INN.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 29th, 2012
7:46 pm

Fredi’s done a good job with the ‘pen this year…. can’t really blame him for using his guys so much last year. Those 3 were the most reliable, and Bobby had done the same.

Move The Dart Thrower

September 29th, 2012
7:50 pm

In keeping with the subject of this blog, Chip is using fractured logic. The BRAVES ARE NOT going to catch the Nats. So there is no sense in sounding like its a bad thing that the Nats are taking it to the Cards. The Braves ARE GOING to play the Cards! They need to hope the Nats destroy them and get the Cards questioning their invincibility. I would rather play a Cards team that is playing mediocre ball than a Cards team that is playing outstanding ball.

Give it up. Nats are the NL East champs. Beat the Cards then take it to the Nats.

cabravesfan

September 29th, 2012
7:52 pm

Why should we give up before the Nats officially clinch?

northbeach Scott

September 29th, 2012
7:53 pm

Morse just hit a grand slam off of Loshe, let’s hope the Braves box his ears on Friday.

cabravesfan

September 29th, 2012
7:53 pm

I suppose the Cards should have given up last year when we had that big wild card lead…after all, everyone was sure we’d get in

northbeach Scott

September 29th, 2012
7:54 pm

DS1

September 29th, 2012
7:54 pm

I’m kinda hoping that the Cards and the Nats beat each other up. That both teams go cold offensively and that their pitching starts to fall apart.

But I really don’t ask for much……………

If Kimbrel gets 3 more appearances with 1 inning each and no earned runs, he’ll finish with an ERA below 1.00.

George_George

September 29th, 2012
7:55 pm

cabravesfan

September 29th, 2012
7:52 pm
Why should we give up before the Nats officially clinch?
******************************************************
AGREED

cabravesfan

September 29th, 2012
7:56 pm

Also, my favorite story of the day (if anyone missed it- been gone all day)-

Ryan Howard broke his toe when he dropped the pipe he uses in the on deck circle on it. He won’t play again this season

DS1

September 29th, 2012
7:59 pm

Ouch! Ryan Howard has had his share of bad luck.

Move The Dart Thrower

September 29th, 2012
7:59 pm

cabravesfan

September 29th, 2012
7:52 pm

Why should we give up before the Nats officially clinch?

Because it makes no sense to play your World Series in the last week of September.

Oh and BTW…. Cards not giving up last year had everything to do with clinching the Wild Card… their last chance at getting into the playoffs NOT anything like the Braves this year.

Apples and Oranges.

cabravesfan

September 29th, 2012
7:59 pm

Teams that currently have a better record than the Braves:

Washington
Cincinnati
San Francisco
Texas

Teams that currently have a WORSE record than the Red Sox:

Minnesota
Cleveland
Miami
Houston
Cubs
Colorado

cabravesfan

September 29th, 2012
8:03 pm

Actually, the premise is pretty much the same. You ASSUME that because the Nats have a large lead, we have no chance at the division. Last year, everyone ASSUMED that because we had such a large lead, the Cards had no chance. Until the Nats clinch, we have a chance.

Also, how else is the team supposed to play these games?

Move The Dart Thrower

September 29th, 2012
8:03 pm

The more I think about earlier comments, the more I believe it shows how stupid some fans are.

The Braves arent going to catch the Nats! Forget it! Not gonna happen! So what is the best outcome? The best outcome is for the team the Braves ARE gonna play to come into the playoffs on their heels! The Nats beating the Cards is a good thing. People who feel otherwise are still living in the “14 trips to the playoffs but one WS championship is OK! mode.

cabravesfan

September 29th, 2012
8:04 pm

DS1

September 29th, 2012
8:05 pm

You play them all to win. Until the season is over. Doesn’t mean you don’t rest your old third sacker or your beat up catchers along the way. But you play to win every game.

Brava

September 29th, 2012
8:05 pm

Wow! Simmons.

Move The Dart Thrower

September 29th, 2012
8:05 pm

There is a difference between strategic thinking and being a fan. Lots of fans here.

Half Empty

September 29th, 2012
8:05 pm

there is a reason that they use Johnson as a late inning replacement for Constanza

John in Wichita

September 29th, 2012
8:06 pm

Andrelton freaking Simmons.

Kat

September 29th, 2012
8:06 pm

Simmons and Prado should run for president and VP. What can they do ?

DS1

September 29th, 2012
8:06 pm

Dart thrower. Actually, I give very little thought to what the other teams are doing. If the Braves are taking care of business, I’ll take my chances with them.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 29th, 2012
8:06 pm

Simba saved Georgie there…. Constanza had taken a step back and was cooked. Great play!

George_George

September 29th, 2012
8:06 pm

If you use ST type lineups and lose, you get out of the habit of winning. That is not saying after NATS clinch some players should be rested such as CHIPPER.

Couch Tater

September 29th, 2012
8:06 pm

DOB –

Frank Wren was just discussing Chipper’s uncanny ability to know pitchers. Who do you think will be the “go to” player to advise pitchers tendencies, once Chipper retires? I’m guessing, Mac.

Kat

September 29th, 2012
8:07 pm

cabravesfan

September 29th, 2012
8:07 pm

Typically there are lots of fans on a fan blog. But one can be a fan and still believe there is a chance to win the division when the team ahead has not clinched yet. Most of us are perfectly capable of strategic thinking, we just don’t believe in giving up

Move The Dart Thrower

September 29th, 2012
8:09 pm

DS1
“:
“September 29th, 2012
8:05 pm

You play them all to win. Until the season is over. Doesn’t mean you don’t rest your old third sacker or your beat up catchers along the way. But you play to win every game.”

No you don’t.

If playing the win every game means not setting up your starting rotation for the playoffs, or giving a guy a day off simply because you want him rested, NOT because he’s old.

Where do you people come from?

Half Empty

September 29th, 2012
8:09 pm

Right, there is no giving up in baseball

Tomahawk Mafia

September 29th, 2012
8:12 pm

Yep. Chipper is struggling.

Move The Dart Thrower

September 29th, 2012
8:12 pm

I bet Fredi will be sitting in the dugout thinking, “we’re 5 games back with 5 to play, I’m going to risk everything to make sure we give it all we have to catch the Nats!

David O'Brien

September 29th, 2012
8:13 pm

Braves should check to see if they’d allow Chipper to be carted out to third base before each inning Sunday in his new toy from Mizuno.

George_George

September 29th, 2012
8:13 pm

September 29th, 2012
8:09 pm
I see your point about starting rotation.

cabravesfan

September 29th, 2012
8:14 pm

Clearly, Fredi is NOT risking everything to try to catch the Nats. That doesn’t mean he’s not playing to win these games.

I’m done

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
8:14 pm

CAB — I do not want to give up on taking the division though the way I see it is to get the rotation and team prepared to take the WC game and set it up for the long post season run (hope its a long post season run).

What I am looking for right now is seeing the guys playing the game the right way, the pitching staying sharp and hope to see overall improvement in situational hitting — and we are seeing big fundamental improvement in Uggla.

It would be something if Uggs is the man to carry us in post season — the reg season struggles will be forgiven and forgotten. I really hope he is the big man in post season and that Chipper gets his timely hits.

I’d like to see Chipper rest up a bit for now and be healthy and up for post season.

I am looking forward to 10/5. Got to get that venge vs the Cards and to be honest I really want to start the post season beting STL cause of last yr — that revenge would be saatisfying.

DS1

September 29th, 2012
8:15 pm

Dart Thrower

And who really gives a shyt what you think about the rest of us fans? Your darned right you play them to win. Doesn’t mean you can’t and don’t rest guys who are old or beat up. And also doesn’t mean you don’t set your rotation up for the playoffs.

But as cab is so aptly stating, some of us don’t give up until we are mathematically eliminated.

Who are you anyway? I hate folks that keep changing their monikers!

:twisted:

David O'Brien

September 29th, 2012
8:15 pm

Frank Wren was just discussing Chipper’s uncanny ability to know pitchers. Who do you think will be the “go to” player to advise pitchers tendencies, once Chipper retires? I’m guessing, Mac. — Couch Tater

Won’t be a single guy anymore. Not for immediate future, at least. Maybe someone will grow into that role, but not right away. Several guys on current team good with that kind of stuff, but none like Chipper.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 29th, 2012
8:16 pm

Rotation will be fine. Meds was already moved up so that he’ll be starting the playin. Rotation is not an issue. I just wish we had more time to see Baker, Hinske, and Overbay play. As of now, I don’t know if I’d even bring the last 2, but I probably have to… ya know, lefty off the bench.

2 out hit for Uggla, come on Mac, a HR would be nice!

Half Empty

September 29th, 2012
8:16 pm

Dart Thrower = PL?

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
8:17 pm

Whatever happened to Jason Bay? Talk about a nose dive.

DS1 — Since Bay has been a Met its beein injury after injury and at 34, who knows if he can counce back. I think they have one more yr on his $$$$$$$$$ and an option after that.

Very disappointing sign by the NYM. He was a very good player with the Red Sox and Pittsburgh.

cabravesfan

September 29th, 2012
8:17 pm

Disgusted-

And they did set the rotation they wanted for the playoffs and guys are getting more rest than they probably would be if these games meant more. I’m sure Chipper will get plenty of rest in Pittsburgh, and if this was not his last home weekend, I doubt he’d be playing all 3 games…

(and realistically, no, I don’t think we will catch the Nats, but again, doesn’t mean we CAN’T :) )

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 29th, 2012
8:18 pm

Besides, with the way the offense has been lately, we probably have the same chance with the backups as we do with the regulars… Hah!

nolie

September 29th, 2012
8:20 pm

Let’s go Braves, 1-0 in not my kinda game. Go Offense!

DS1

September 29th, 2012
8:20 pm

Half Empty

Could be. That was what I was thinking……..

Good time to turn off the blog and do some multitasking (football/baseball).

Tomahawk Mafia

September 29th, 2012
8:20 pm

The Braves offense needs to get their act together. One run last night and one run tonight.

George_George

September 29th, 2012
8:20 pm

I just hope FREDI does not screw up the Friday game, maybe it would be better if UMPS kicked him out in 1st inn and coaches ran team.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 29th, 2012
8:21 pm

I’m sure that the guys will get all the rest they need in Pittsburgh. Chipper may not start any games, though I’d start him in the last one. I’m sure Bourn will start though. Give the other guys time off, esp. Ross and Mac. Both those guys are really beat up.

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
8:22 pm

CAB –

I would like to see Chipper play in a PH role tommorrow, I know in his heart he wants to put it all on the line in his final home series but if he should not be playing tommorrow the fans should understand.

He has given it his all — he owes us nothing.

I prefer the WC to be honest cause I think we owe STL a little something from last yr. If we beat STL, and take it all, I will be over that disappointment. I promise I will not say anything more about that September I really will be over it. At least I hope so. LOL.

Couch Tater

September 29th, 2012
8:23 pm

Thanks, Dave.

Frank -

Give Chipper a special assistant title and a video room as a retirement gift.

DS1

September 29th, 2012
8:23 pm

Minor on track for a 7 inning performance. Kid has really been impressive the 2nd half.

cabravesfan

September 29th, 2012
8:23 pm

Disgusted-

I’m saving that comment for later ;)

DS1

September 29th, 2012
8:25 pm

Disgusted

Can you imagine the disappointment from the fans if Chipper is not penciled into the lineup tomorrow? I’d be REALLY bummed if I were there and he only pinch hit.

Now if Fredi takes him out after the 5th inning or so, I don’t think anybody is going to complain.

Disgusted

September 29th, 2012
8:25 pm

Man, we need Bourn’s thumb not to be BTHUMB.

Gotta have the good healty MIkey begining 10/5. We need him. Really do.

Now as for tonight’s game, I would love to see Minor get rewarded with a winning W-L record — he has not won games he pitched excellent in. 11-10 for Minor would look good. Kid has worked hard.

The offense owes him one.

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