Since Sid slid, it’s been 2 decades of losing for Pirates

PITTSBURGH – If you’re a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, can you imagine what it must be like to hear folks complain about the Braves going back to the postseason for “only” the second time since 2005? Or better yet, to hear complaints about the Braves winning 14 consecutive division titles but only one World Series in that stretch?

Not much good has happened to the Pirates since Sid slid in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS.

Not much good has happened to the Pirates since Sid slid in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS.

We say this only because the Braves arrived in Pittsburgh last night only hours after Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan blew a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Reds that assured the Pirates of their 20th consecutive losing season. Think about that a moment. Twenty consecutive losing seasons. In a town with deep baseball roots and tradition, not to mention one of the two or three nicest ballparks in the majors.

Twenty consecutive losing seasons. It’s difficult to even comprehend.

And to make matters worse, each of the past two years under manager Clint Hurdle, the Pirates have gotten off to strong starts and looked like serious playoff contenders until mid-summer, then melted down. Two years in a row.

This year they were 63-47 with a 3.58 ERA, 126 homers and 456 runs in 110 games through Aug. 8. The Pirates are 14-35 since then, including 7-22 since Aug. 30 with a .230 average, 4.83 ERA and 103 runs in 29 games.

Now the Braves are in town for the final three games of the season, almost as if the baseball gods are pouring salt in the wounds of Pirates fans with memories of 1992 and a certain slide by a Brave named Sid.

Since Sid Bream slid safely with the game-ending for the Braves in Game 7 of the 1992 NL Championship Series, it’s been nothing but losing for the Pirates. Not only have they not been back to the postseason since then, they haven’t even had a winning season. To repeat, 20 straight losing seasons.

I just crunched the numbers, and here’s what the two teams have done since Opening Day 1993: The Braves have a 1,833-1,336 record and 3.68 ERA, and the Pirates are 1,371-1,795 with a 4.54 ERA.

In that span the Braves have played 102 postseason — and gone exactly 51-51 — while the Pirates have played, well, as we said before, zero postseason games.

Now the Braves are here for the last series of the season, with a wild-card spot sewn up and still not mathematically eliminated from the division race, though they are three games back with three to play, meaning it would take three Washington Nationals losses and three Braves wins to force a tiebreaker that would be played in D.C. on Thursday.

So the Braves are here trying to win every game, to keep pushing the Nationals but also to make sure they go into a likely Wild Card game on Friday against St. Louis with the momentum they’ve established the past few weeks, albeit momentum built mainly on the strength of pitching and not much in the way of offense.

• Braves of late: They are 7-1 with a 1.25 ERA in their past eight games, but the Braves have hit only .222 with 32 runs in that stretch. That’s serious pitching, otherwise the offense would be raising all kinds of red flags.

The Braves are 19-7 with a 2.29 ERA and 95 runs (16 homers) in their past 26 games, or 3.65 runs per game. But 27 of those 95 runs came in three games, and the Braves have scored two runs or fewer in 11 of their past 24 games.

When I asked Fredi Gonzalez this weekend if there was concern about the offense, he said, “Well, for the most part our offense had been kind of in spurts. Yeah, sure, anything concerns you this time of year. A little banged up, injuries, not scoring any runs. But I remember one year when we played the Cubs, our pitching staff wasn’t very good and our offense was real good, and our pitching held and our offense couldn’t score any runs. We had Sheffield, that team had a bunch of guys over 30 home runs, and we couldn’t score a run, so…

The Braves are 32-20 with 2.75 ERA in 52 games since Aug. 4, averaging fewer than four runs in that span. They’ve scored two runs or fewer in 21 of their past 50 games.

If they get the kind of pitching they have lately, particularly from Kris Medlen and Mike Minor but also in most of Tim Hudson’s recent starts, they’ve got a chance to go deep in the postseason. Because as we’ve seen before, a team with two or three starting pitchers on top of their game in the postseason can carry a team.

But the thing about that is, there’s so little room for error. If you’re riding those pitchers and only scoring a couple of runs half the time, you obviously need them to keep pitching like aces, and there’s a good chance that a mere “quality start” of six innings and three runs allowed won’t be enough.

All that being said, given the choice of having a team going into the postseason with either its pitching on a dominant run and its offense a bit anemic many nights, or a team with a high-powered offense but shaky pitching, most managers and players would tell you that the former is the better formula for playoff baseball. Because there’s a good chance the opponent is going to have strong pitching that can quiet an offense on any given night in the postseason.

• And then there’s Kimbrel: Remember last September, how even Craig Kimbrel struggled (like just about every other Brave) during the latter part of the team’s September collapse? Well, this year the game’s best closer shows no signs of faltering. In fact, September was the first month this season in which he allowed no runs, after giving up two in April, two in May, and one each in June, July and August. Talk about steady dominance…

Kimbrel hasn't given up a run since the end of August and has been utterly dominant all season.

Kimbrel hasn't given up a run since the end of August and has been utterly dominant all season.

The reason that Kimbrel is getting mentioned seriously in Cy Young Award discussions is because he’s doing things that no pitcher has ever done before, including striking out 16.5 batters per nine innings – ahead of the also-astounding 15.4 by Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, the only other major leaguer as high as 13.9 – while allowing a .123 opponents’ batting average, 19 points below the next-best in the majors.

Kimbrel gave up a run in back-to-back games May 2 and May 4, and in 51 appearances since they he has a a 0.53 ERA with 33 saves, .100 opponents’ average, three runs allowed (on three homers), with 94 strikeouts and six walks in 50-2/3 innings.

Not a misprint: 94 strikeouts and six walks in 50-2/3 innings.

Since gave up his last run Aug. 31, he’s pitched in 13 games, converted 10 of 10 saves and allowed six hits and two walks with 25 strikeouts in 12-2/3 scoreless innings.

Again, not a typo: 25 strikeouts and two walks in 12-2/3 innings.

Here are a couple more amazing Kimbrel stats you might not have seen: In 12 day games, he’s allowed four hits and zero walks with 26 strikeouts in 14-1/3 ininngs. That’s quite the strikeouts-to-walks ratio, eh?

Just two more stats: Left-handed hitters are 12-for-110 (.109) with nine walks, 60 strikeouts and a .183 OBP and .136 slugging percentage (.319 OPS) against Kimbrel. Who is, of course, right-handed.

And with runners on, hitters are 4-for-70 (.057) with six walks and 41 strikeouts against him.

BRAVES LINEUP (make it 7 straight starts for Chipper)

  1. Bourn cf
  2. Prado lf
  3. Heyward rf
  4. Jones 3b
  5. Freeman 1b
  6. Uggla 2b
  7. McCann c
  8. Simmons ss
  9. Maholm p

• Another Uggla head shot: And once again, after getting hit in the batting helmet by a pitch on Sunday, Dan Uggla just jogged to first base as if he’d been hit in the thigh, and immediately put his hands up to try to prevent a Braves trainer and Gonzalez from coming out to check on him.

When Gonzalez went out to check on him in Miami earlier this season when Uggla was hit in the left earflap by a fastball, he asked Gonzalez, “What the hell are you doing out here?” and told him not to ever do that again.

By the way, Uggla is hitting .300 with .412 OBP and .883 OPS in past 21 games, after hitting .151 with .299 OBP and .574 OPS in his previous 77 games during an epic three-month slump through Aug. 6.

• Tonight’s matchup: It’s long-time former Pirate Paul Maholm against fellow lefty Jeff Locke (0-3, 6.35), a former Braves prospect who has made nine career starts over the past two seasons and not won any of them.

Maholm faces his former Pirates team for the third time this season and first since being traded to Atlanta.

Maholm faces his former Pirates team for the third time this season and first since being traded to Atlanta.

Maholm has a 41-39 record and 3.70 ERA in 113 starts at PNC Park. He is 4-4 with a 3.65 ERA in 10 starts for the Braves since being traded from the Cubs. With Chicago he went 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against the Pirates earlier this season, both in Pittsburgh.

Injured Braves shortstop Paul Janish is the only Brave who’s faced Locke., who is 0-3 with a 7.50 ERA and .320 opponents’ average in five starts this season, all in September (he pitched some out of the bullpen before that).

Locked hasn’t worked more than five innings in any start this season. Lefty batters are 9-for-26 (.346) with a .985 OPS vs. the lefty, while righties are 25-for-91 (.275) with a .749 OPS.

• Etc.

For those who’ve asked, Kyle Lohse would start the Wild Card game for St. Louis against the Braves on Friday, unless the Cards have to play the Dodgers in another playoff game Thursday to determine the second wild card. In which case he’d start that game….

Tommy Hanson, who it appears will be making his last start of the year on Tuesday, has the second-highest opponents’ OBP (.343) among NL qualifiers, ahead of only the Padres’ Edinson Volquez (.344). Hanson’s .269 is fifth-highest opponents’ BA among NL starters, and his 13.2 baserunners per nine is third-most among NL starters, while Mike Minor’s 10.6 is 10th-lowest.

Only four NL pitchers have allowed more extra-base hits than Hanson (70). Hanson also has had majors’ highest percentage (.219) of runners at first base attempting to steal (39 of 178) while Hudson has the NL’s fifth-lowest (.039, 7 of 178)….

Martin Prado, who had a pair of two-strike doubles Saturday, leads the majors with a .289 average with two strikes (93-for-322), ahead of Jayson Werth (.287 in barely half as many at-bats, 49-for-171). No other qualifier is over .272, and the AL leaders are Joe Mauer (.270) and Prince Fielder (.264). Prado has the most such at-bats among the top 10 leaders in both leagues.

Prado swings at by far fewest number of first pitches among NL hitters, just 7.9 percent. A.J. Ellis (10 percent) is only other NL hitter who swings at fewer than 14 percent of first pitches. The only hitters in the majors who swing at fewer than Prado are so-called Greek God of Walks, Kevin Youkilis, and Mauer, each at 7.7 percent.

By comparison, Josh Hamilton swings at MLB-high 47 percent and Freddie Freeman is second-highest in the NL at 45 percent.

• OK, let’s get this posted. We’ll close with one of the many great tunes off of The National’s superb High Violet album from 2010. You can hear it by clicking here.

l

“CONVERSATION 16” by The National

I think the kids are in trouble
Do not know what all the troubles are for
Give them ice for their fevers
You’re the only thing I ever want anymore
Live on coffee and flowers
Try not to worry what the weather will be
I figured out what we’re missing
I tell you miserable things after you are asleep

Now we’ll leave the silver city ’cause all the silver girls
Gave us black dreams
Leave the silver city cause all the silver girls
Everything means everything

It’s a Hollywood summer
You never believe the sh**** thoughts I think
Meet our friends out for dinner
When I said what I said I didn’t mean anything
We belong in a movie
Try to hold it together ’til our friends are gone
We should swim in a fountain
Do not want to disappoint anyone

Now we’ll leave the silver city cause all the silver girls
Gave us black dreams
Leave the silver city to all the silver girls
Everything means everything

I was afraid, I’d eat your brains
I was afraid, I’d eat your brains
Cause I’m evil
Cause I’m evil

I’m a confident liar
Had my head in the oven so you’d know where I’ll be
I’ll try to be more romantic
I want to believe in everything you believe
But I was less than amazing
Do not know what all the troubles are for
Fall asleep in your branches
You’re the only thing I ever want anymore

Now we’ll leave the silver city cause all the silver girls
Gave us black dreams
Leave the silver city to all the silver girls
Everything means everything

I was afraid, I’d eat your brains
I was afraid, I’d eat your brains
Cause I’m evil
Cause I’m evil
Cause I’m evil

– David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

1,253 comments Add your comment

Venice Jim

October 1st, 2012
3:13 pm

Thanks, DOB!

TheOnlyBravesFan

October 1st, 2012
3:14 pm

Thank you DOB. Let’s go Braves! Take 2-3, call it a regular season.

jeffrey d

October 1st, 2012
3:16 pm

Thanks for the new blog, DOB

flange1

October 1st, 2012
3:16 pm

Thanks for the new blog and all the hard work DOB!

GO BRAVES!

TheOnlyBravesFan

October 1st, 2012
3:19 pm

Based on Nolie’s list, by my calculations, if Bourjos had played CF for as many innings as Trout has, he’d have saved 17 runs. Trout is at 23.

Seeing Craig Gentry at #4 is pretty good.

Brime Lee

October 1st, 2012
3:19 pm

From South Korea to watch Chipper & (Most important) Braves’ Road to World Series.
and now I am in Pittsburgh, just about to go to PNC Park.
Go Bravos & Thanks DOB! as always!

nolie

October 1st, 2012
3:20 pm

no it is not true, Bourjoos is not as good as Trout

To 30 in Runs Saved

Bourn, Michael 25
Trout, Mike 23
Span, Denard 19
Gentry, Craig 14
Harper, Bryce 13
Maxwell, Justin 12
Bourjos, Peter 10
Maybin, Cameron 8
Colvin, Tyler 7
Morgan, Nyjer 7
Young, Chris 7
Rasmus, Colby 6
Ruggiano, Justin 6
Young, Eric 6
Cain, Lorenzo 5
Barnes, Brandon 4
Dyson, Jarrod 4
Jackson, Austin 4
Torres, Andres 4
Gomez, Carlos 3
Parra, Gerardo 3
Bernadina, Roger 2
Byrd, Marlon 2
Ellsbury, Jacoby 2
Gose, Anthony 2
Podsednik, Scott 2
Repko, Jason 2
Stubbs, Drew 2
Sweeney, Ryan 2
Brown, Corey 1
Campana, Tony 1
Carrera, Ezequiel 1
Chambers, Adron 1
Chavez, Endy 1
Crisp, Coco 1
Danks, Jordan 1
Davis, Rajai 1
Denorfia, Chris 1
Dickerson, Chris 1
Donald, Jason 1
Eaton, Adam 1
Ethier, Andre 1
Gwynn, Tony 1
Jay, Jon 1
Lough, David 1
Martinez, Michael 1
Mastroianni, Darin 1
Pollock, A.J. 1
Robinson, Shane 1
Schafer, Logan 1
Schierholtz, Nate 1
Wells, Casper 1

Murph

October 1st, 2012
3:21 pm

Thanks for the new blog DOB. Now you can head to Primanti Brothers for a double egg and cheese sandwich.

Jeff R

October 1st, 2012
3:21 pm

Thanks, DOB. Super report and analysis.

nolie

October 1st, 2012
3:21 pm

Top Ten +/-

Michael Bourn +39
Michael Trout +33
Denard Span +31
Justin Maxwell +21
Bryce Harper +18
Lorenzo Cain +14
Peter Bourjos +14
Eric Young Jr. +13
Justin Ruggiano +13
Cameron Maybin +12
Chris Young +12

Brave New World

October 1st, 2012
3:22 pm

Good blog – thanks DOB! GO BRAVES!

Efrim

October 1st, 2012
3:22 pm

Thanks DOB, Go Braves!

Bream Is My Homie

October 1st, 2012
3:22 pm

Do you guys think Barry Bonds knew how bad the Pirates would be after the 1992 season and that’s why wanted to go to the Giants?

TheOnlyBravesFan

October 1st, 2012
3:23 pm

Atlanta Braves ‏@Braves
Tonight’s lineup at PIT (7:05, SPSO/680AM/BRN): Bourn 8 Prado 7 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 McCann 2 Simmons 6 Maholm 1

MFin04

October 1st, 2012
3:24 pm

“Bourjos is not as good as Trout”

Defensively Bourjos is better. If he wasn’t the Angels wouldn’t move Trout to LF when Bourjos comes in. ;) The problem is he doesn’t play in as many games as Trout thus has lower counting numbers.

Efrim

October 1st, 2012
3:24 pm

Denard Span +31

I think he’d be a solid CF replacement for Bourn. I know he struggles outside of Minny – but he can take a walk, hit LHP, and play really good defense. I wish he wasn’t a LHH, but he’s a name I would consider for CF next year. And we match up very well with the Twins.

ncscoots

October 1st, 2012
3:24 pm

To 30 in Runs Saved

Am I to read this list as saying Andrew McCutcheon has saved zero runs this year?

raleighbravefan

October 1st, 2012
3:25 pm

Bream – It probably had more to do with money.

Efrim

October 1st, 2012
3:27 pm

Am I to read this list as saying Andrew McCutcheon has saved zero runs this year?

I never really hear about him being that great of a defender. 0 runs surprises me though.

Brian from SC

October 1st, 2012
3:27 pm

Chipper’s in the lineup? Color me surprised. Good for him.

Karl Hungus

October 1st, 2012
3:27 pm

Actually McCutchen ha -5 DRS.

MFin04

October 1st, 2012
3:27 pm

“Bourn 8 Prado 7 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 McCann 2 Simmons 6 Maholm 1″

McCann CRUSHES lefties! That .268 on base percentage! :roll:

TheOnlyBravesFan

October 1st, 2012
3:27 pm

I thought Chipper said he was taking today off…. at least there was a tweet from Tom Hart saying so…

Brian from SC

October 1st, 2012
3:29 pm

Obviously the Braves are going to go all out for the division as long as they mathematically can.

ncscoots

October 1st, 2012
3:29 pm

Actually McCutchen ha -5 DRS.

Thanks, Karl. Wow, that surprises me. Not that I see him play a lot, but still…

Bream Is My Homie

October 1st, 2012
3:29 pm

Not sure that money had anything to do with it. He could of made money in any city and with Pittsburgh’s steel industry they could of afforded him.

flange1

October 1st, 2012
3:29 pm

Shouldn’t BJ Upton be on that list too?

Shaun

October 1st, 2012
3:29 pm

I think it’s funny that soo many WAR supporters have this “us against the world” mentality. It really isn’t that way, it’s just illogical that WAR is the end all be-all of stats. And if you don’t want to pick an MVP based on it then somehow you’re illogical.

I’d rather see some sort of overall “runs created” stat that uses RBIs/HRs/SB/Defense/Baserunning that gives a player an overall numbers of runs created.

No one wants to base MVP entirely on WAR. But no one wants to disregard WAR completely either.

And what do you think WAR is? It is essentially runs created and runs prevented formula. So if that’s what you want, there it is.

There is the false idea that everything needs to be stats/sabermetrics versus scouts. Many of you, especially those who want to take a scouting side (for lack of a better term, though most of you would probably be uncomfortable with the knowledge that many scouts have about sabermetrics), think you have to pick sides. You are afraid to embrace one side of this false debate because you think it means giving up the other side.

The most intelligent baseball folks, whether they are in the industry or outside, understand that things have progressed way beyond that. If you are still looking at baseball through the lens of some false dichotomy of stats versus scouts, you are living way back in the Dark Ages.

Most of the civilized baseball world has moved past all this, fully embracing both stats/sabermetrics/advanced stats/whatever you want to call it and scouting. There are a few Neanderthals left that think we have to pick sides and are still living in a world where WAR is less useful than scouting grades and vice versa. But the civilized baseball world has moved beyond that and realize that good information is good information, whether it be a player’s WAR or a player’s scouting grades.

RC

October 1st, 2012
3:30 pm

Defensively Bourjos is better. If he wasn’t the Angels wouldn’t move Trout to LF when Bourjos comes in. The problem is he doesn’t play in as many games as Trout thus has lower counting numbers.

But offensively Bourjos is one of the worst players in baseball. If his defense is being used to take points away from Trout, his offense needs to be used to give Trout extra credit.

nolie

October 1st, 2012
3:31 pm

he is not better, he is well below Trout in +/-

Efrim

October 1st, 2012
3:32 pm

Bourn 8 Prado 7 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 McCann 2 Simmons 6 Maholm 1

That’s our playoff game lineup, I’d expect.

RC

October 1st, 2012
3:32 pm

Am I to read this list as saying Andrew McCutcheon has saved zero runs this year?

I never really hear about him being that great of a defender. 0 runs surprises me though.

I think the setup of PNC Park contributes to hurting his numbers, as well as the fact that the Pirates have had some good defenders on the corners (meaning that they can “take” outs away from McCutchen).

You know your basic “UZR isn’t perfect” arguments.

RC

October 1st, 2012
3:33 pm

That’s our playoff game lineup, I’d expect.

Hopefully not with Maholm until Game 3/4 though :)

nolie

October 1st, 2012
3:34 pm

yeah McCutcheon has always had bad numbers except for last season when he played less shallow, other years he has been terrible deep

nolie

October 1st, 2012
3:35 pm

Upton is a crap centerfielder, he has the tools but loafs and takes a lot of bad routes

Shaun

October 1st, 2012
3:35 pm

Some of them even think that, historically speaking, Jose Canseco was the greatest right fielder ever….

There is absolutely no one who thinks this. But again, make up these attacks on the “sabermetric” crowd to appease your need to create drama and some holy war of sabermetrics versus scouts or sabermetrics versus traditional stats.

A Jerry Springer mentality is feeding baseball debate. Discussions can’t be about good information, regardless of where it comes from. We have to create this holy war of traditionalist/scouts versus sabemetrics. There needs to be this drummed up, constructed drama instead of raising the stakes, being intellectually curious and relying on information.

MFin04

October 1st, 2012
3:36 pm

“he is not better, he is well below Trout in +/-”

Is that not a counting stat? If so, it should be obvious why he is well below Trout. Not to mention the fact that the Angels replace Trout in CF with Bourjos? Why would they do that if Trout was a better CF? To purposely make their defense worse!?! :roll:

RC

October 1st, 2012
3:36 pm

Some of them even think that, historically speaking, Jose Canseco was the greatest right fielder ever….

There is absolutely no one who thinks this.

I disagree. I’m pretty sure Jose Canseco thinks this.

Mike S

October 1st, 2012
3:37 pm

David O'Brien

October 1st, 2012
3:40 pm

Seven starts in a row for Chipper.

Braves lineup:
Bourn cf, Prado lf, Heyward rf, Jones 3b, Freeman 1b, Uggla 2b, McCann c, Simmons ss, Maholm p

Bat Masterson

October 1st, 2012
3:42 pm

Good stuff, DOB. Thanks

Chipper starting? Color me a little surprised.

Big dog line up. Win and the Nats lose? Fun, fun, fun

ncscoots

October 1st, 2012
3:43 pm

We have to create this holy war of traditionalist/scouts versus sabemetrics.

Geez, brother, who do you think has framed the conversation this way, in the first place, LOL? No offense, but the debate would be much further advanced were folks like you less dogmatic. That would have let folks like me, with feet in both camps, move the conversation forward much more easily and without the polarization created by all the arrogance. Instead, you have armed camps willing to annihilate the opposition, should they venture into The Neutral Zone. :-)

UKUGA

October 1st, 2012
3:43 pm

The beginning of an exciting sports week. Let’s hope it doesn’t end with a thud on Friday night.

Go Braves!

RC

October 1st, 2012
3:43 pm

Wasn’t someone saying they wish there was a stat that took into account all the things that “create runs”, while not weighting defense too much?

There is….wRC+ (measures how many runs above “league average” a player creates with 100 being league average, and each number above or below that 1% of the average):

Trout’s wRC+ is 172.
Cabrera’s wRC is 163.

nolie

October 1st, 2012
3:44 pm

Runs Saved is a counting stat, +/- is not
1n 2010 when Peter played a lot of CF he was +10. last year he was +14. nowhere near what Trout has done

MFin04

October 1st, 2012
3:44 pm

Bourn
Prado
Heyward
Jones
Freeman
Uggla
McCann
Simmons
Maholm

Braves should give McCann three more games, if he doesn’t produce he’s gotta be the back-up catcher come playoff time. He can’t be both a liability offensively and defensively….crap his base-running isn’t going to makeup for that.

RC

October 1st, 2012
3:44 pm

sorry, should have said “Cabrera’s wRC+ is 163″

UKUGA

October 1st, 2012
3:44 pm

After hearing Chipper’s comments yesterday about working on his swing, I guess I’m not surprised that he’s playing.

Sounds like he wants the reps.

phil

October 1st, 2012
3:46 pm

Well, no way we win tonight….

It’s a lefty who hasn’t won a game….ever.

Just great.

On the other hand, looks like our best lineup is out there for the first time in months.

MFin04

October 1st, 2012
3:46 pm

nolie – Why would the Angels replace Trout with Bourjos consistently? :roll: There is the kicker. You might want to forward your response to the Angels as well.

nolie

October 1st, 2012
3:46 pm

I think Chipper is really becoming aware of just how little time he has left and wants to be on the field for it as much as possible

Shaun

October 1st, 2012
3:48 pm

If Trout is a worse defender than Bourjos, it’s not by much. And Trout certainly provided a lot more defensive value than Miguel Cabrera.

Trout was a lot better this season on defense, on the bases and was not all that far behind Cabrera at the plate. All this means a lot more than Cabrera winning or coming close to winning a Triple Crown. Just think it through for more than two seconds, please, voters.

ncscoots

October 1st, 2012
3:48 pm

sorry, should have said “Cabrera’s wRC+ is 163″

Yeah, for a minute there, I thought you were using Cabrera’s unweighted number.

A typically sneaky tactic used by saber-geeks to color the comparison. :-)

RC

October 1st, 2012
3:48 pm

nolie – Why would the Angels replace Trout with Bourjos consistently? There is the kicker. You might want to forward your response to the Angels as well.

By the same logic, if Bourjos is so much better, why would they consistently play Trout over Bourjos? Or play whoever starts in LF over Bourjos?

Murph

October 1st, 2012
3:49 pm

It’s probably sinking in for Chipper that he could be down to his last 4 games to play… for the rest of his life. I imagine he’ll want to play as much as possible during this final series ’cause, come Friday, that could be the end.

MFin04

October 1st, 2012
3:49 pm

“I think Chipper is really becoming aware of just how little time he has left and wants to be on the field for it as much as possible”

Hopefully not at the cost of the team winning games. I’m all for him sitting out a game or two to get ready for the playoff(s). He looked very tried or overwhelmed in the Mets series. Could be emotional but it could be physical manifestations of the emotions too.

phil

October 1st, 2012
3:50 pm

Shaun

October 1st, 2012
3:35 pm

Some of them even think that, historically speaking, Jose Canseco was the greatest right fielder ever….

There is absolutely no one who thinks this. But again, make up these attacks on the “sabermetric” crowd to appease your need to create drama and some holy war of sabermetrics versus scouts or sabermetrics versus traditional stats.

A Jerry Springer mentality is feeding baseball debate. Discussions can’t be about good information, regardless of where it comes from. We have to create this holy war of traditionalist/scouts versus sabemetrics. There needs to be this drummed up, constructed drama instead of raising the stakes, being intellectually curious and relying on information.
**********
You have the sense of humor of a wet sponge…..

Of course no one thinks that. You’re not nearly as smart or perceptive as you think you are.

RC

October 1st, 2012
3:50 pm

Yeah, I used the weighted numbers because the Angels kept Trout down for the first month of the season, putting him in a hole before he even started. Even with those games missed though, he still is pretty damn close to Cabrera’s full season unweighted number.

Cabrera at 133, Trout at 124.

phil

October 1st, 2012
3:51 pm

I’d rather go down with Chipper than without him….

You know, like we always have since 95….

phil

October 1st, 2012
3:51 pm

Except in ‘10….

ncscoots

October 1st, 2012
3:51 pm

By the same logic, if Bourjos is so much better, why would they consistently play Trout over Bourjos?

Because defense isn’t really that important, LOL?

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Efrim

October 1st, 2012
3:52 pm

Well, I’ll be rooting hard for Kyle Kendrick tonight. I mean, he owns us – why not help us for once?

I will become a believer if we get to Wednesday. Because Cliff Lee has been one of the best pitchers in baseball the last few months and he ain’t gonna go quietly. ;)

RC

October 1st, 2012
3:52 pm

Hopefully not at the cost of the team winning games. I’m all for him sitting out a game or two to get ready for the playoff(s). He looked very tried or overwhelmed in the Mets series. Could be emotional but it could be physical manifestations of the emotions too.

I’m betting that if the game is in hand late, he’ll be lifted for a replacement. Also bet that as soon as the division is no longer a possibility, he’s out of the lineup for at least one game.

matty

October 1st, 2012
3:52 pm

DOB, any word on the Pirates doing anything for Chipper this series? If so, when? I want to make sure I’m there in time! Thanks…

MFin04

October 1st, 2012
3:53 pm

“By the same logic, if Bourjos is so much better, why would they consistently play Trout over Bourjos? Or play whoever starts in LF over Bourjos?”

It isn’t the same logic. The argument isn’t whether Trout is better than Bourjos, it is whether or no one is better than the other defensively. And the Angels believe Bourjos is the better defensive player or they would never move Trout to LF.

It isn’t that hard. Bourjos > Trout defensively. If you don’t believe me talk to the Angels front office and management.

RC

October 1st, 2012
3:53 pm

Because defense isn’t really that important, LOL?

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Well played.

ncscoots

October 1st, 2012
3:53 pm

Also bet that as soon as the division is no longer a possibility,

Just hush.

Efrim

October 1st, 2012
3:55 pm

Has Trout been moved to LF?

Shaun

October 1st, 2012
3:55 pm

ncscoots, if you truly had feet in both camps, I doubt you would be as hostile as you are to metrics like WAR, for instance, or claiming that someone who pays attention to WAR is dogmatic.

Metrics like WAR are pretty much accepted within the game. We’re past the point where paying attention to things like WAR is “dogmatic.”

MFin04

October 1st, 2012
3:55 pm

“Also bet that as soon as the division is no longer a possibility, he’s out of the lineup for at least one game.”

That’s pretty much what I’m thinking, but it’s scary if he plays 9 in a row because we have a shot at the division and we don’t get it and then we have tired Chipper for the play-in game. I suppose he does have a day off on Thursday, right?

UKUGA

October 1st, 2012
3:57 pm

MFin04, I agree w/you about Chipper plaing 9 straight; however, consider that if he plays 9, we are going into the final day of the season only 1 game out of first and the Nats will be as tight as we were last year against Philly.

Worth a shot.

Murph

October 1st, 2012
3:57 pm

I feel bad for the Pirates. It’s a shame they couldn’t finish the season over .500. Good fans, good ballpark… it’s just too bad.

Efrim

October 1st, 2012
3:58 pm

Wow. Mark Trumbo has fallen off of a cliff in the 2nd Half – .218/.265/.354

I was never really a huge fan, but he did have a strong first 2 months. Just been downhill ever since.

nolie

October 1st, 2012
3:59 pm

that does not mean Bourjos is better, it might just be the way they both feel the most comfortable, Bourjos has never played anything but center so Trout is more versatile, you are making unwarranted assumptions

RC

October 1st, 2012
3:59 pm

MFin04,

But your entire reason from bringing up Trout/Bourjos was the point out why Trout wasn’t as good as his defensive number say he is. Because you are arguing the “replacement level” for his defense should be higher since there is a good defensive CF on his time.

If that’s the logic you are using, then Trout’s offensive numbers should be given a significant boost, because Bourjos’s offensive numbers are way worse than the replacements for Miguel Cabera (mostly Omar Infante and Ramon Santiago).

You can’t discount one side of the ball without crediting the other side of the ball.

ncscoots

October 1st, 2012
3:59 pm

Well played.

Hey, listen, Mike Trout is a beast, and that’s a fact. If he had any kind of arm, we’d be talking Mays, DiMaggio, and any other god-like player’s name that drifted to our lips. If he wins the MVP, I certainly won’t be shocked. Or even perturbed, for that matter. It’s not like Rafael Palmeiro winning a Gold Glove, fercrissake. Trout’s legit.

RC

October 1st, 2012
4:00 pm

I suppose he does have a day off on Thursday, right?

Unless we somehow catch the Nationals. But if that happens, then I’d say Chipper playing was probably worth it.

Murph

October 1st, 2012
4:01 pm

Metrics like WAR are pretty much accepted within the game. We’re past the point where paying attention to things like WAR is “dogmatic.”

The most important question to ask in this, or any, debate, though, is… does anyone really give a sh*t?

I think 90% of the people on here don’t, so maybe you should move your debate to another forum where people care.

Thanks.

Efrim

October 1st, 2012
4:02 pm

I’d vote for Posey in the NL and Trout in the AL.

I think David Wright had a phenomenal season as well. Shame he slumped for 8 weeks, but he had a great season overall.

RC

October 1st, 2012
4:02 pm

It’s not like Rafael Palmeiro winning a Gold Glove, fercrissake. Trout’s legit.

I do love that he’s STILL the go-to for a terrible award winner. Geez that was a terrible vote.

TheOnlyBravesFan

October 1st, 2012
4:03 pm

David O’Brien ‏@ajcbraves
This will be seventh straight start for #Braves Chipper, who hadn’t started more than 5 in a row this season until this run.

Hope it works out.

RC

October 1st, 2012
4:03 pm

I’d vote for Posey in the NL and Trout in the AL.

I think David Wright had a phenomenal season as well. Shame he slumped for 8 weeks, but he had a great season overall.

I’d probably vote Braun in the NL, but Posey is certainly not a bad choice.

MFin04

October 1st, 2012
4:03 pm

“that does not mean Bourjos is better, it might just be the way they both feel the most comfortable, Bourjos has never played anything but center so Trout is more versatile, you are making unwarranted assumptions”

What!? Of course it means he is better. You wouldn’t put a guy in a position if he wasn’t better. So if Heyward was more comfortable in CF you’d put Bourn in RF? That doesn’t make any sense.

ncscoots

October 1st, 2012
4:04 pm

I doubt you would be as hostile as you are to metrics like WAR, for instance, or claiming that someone who pays attention to WAR is dogmatic.

I’m not hostile to WAR, you infant. I’m hostile to you, LOL.

Nor did I say that “paying attention to WAR” makes you dogmatic (I don’t think that word means what you think it means). You’re dogmatic in the way that you recite your current position on whatever, without thought and brooking no debate. That has nothing to do with any metric or model, it has to do with that combination-lock mind of yours.

MFin04

October 1st, 2012
4:05 pm

“but Posey is certainly not a bad choice”

Uggh. Yes he is. He’s the 2nd most valuable catcher in the NL, therefore he is a bad choice.

TheOnlyBravesFan

October 1st, 2012
4:06 pm

I’d probably vote Braun in the NL

Check Braun’s samples again, and do make sure to get it sent overnight.

TennesseePaul

October 1st, 2012
4:06 pm

Thanks for the work DOB.

GO BRAVES!!

Last 9 Starts of the Starting 9

_________AVG__OBP__SLG___OPS_wOBA_L9S9+
Bourn__ .143 .250 .200 0.450 .220 ___39
Prado__ .353 .405 .618 1.023 .439 __204
Heyward .176 .243 .294 0.537 .290 ___62
Chipper .167 .297 .233 0.531 .257 ___64
Freeman .235 .297 .529 0.827 .328 __143
Uggla__ .276 .371 .379 0.751 .365 __129
McCann_ .214 .313 .250 0.563 .269 ___74
Simmons .276 .333 .310 0.644 .295 ___97
Maholm_ .050 .050 .050 0.100 .043 __-70

raleighbravefan

October 1st, 2012
4:08 pm

Who pitches Thursday if we catch the Nats?

Efrim

October 1st, 2012
4:08 pm

10 players in the NL had an .880 or better this year. 14 players had an .850 or better.

I think I would of been pretty happy if Jason had landed in the .830 – .850 range.

RC

October 1st, 2012
4:08 pm

Speaking of defense, here’s a fun stat:

Braves are the major league leaders in UZR/150 at 9.2. The second place team are the Angels at 7.7. 3rd are the Athletics at 4.6.

For those keeping track at home, the Braves defense has been TWICE as good as the 3rd best defense in baseball. That is all.

Shaun

October 1st, 2012
4:08 pm

ncscoots, I just don’t see much of an argument for Cabrera over Trout. I’m trying hard but I just don’t see a legit argument there.

To get Cabrera over Trout, you have to completely ignore so many facets of the game. It’s just odd that there is so much controversy around the AL MVP. I’ve never seen so much controversy when the choice should be so obvious.

CarRamRod

October 1st, 2012
4:09 pm

Chipper said As long as we have a shot to win the division, I will be in the lineup!

TheOnlyBravesFan

October 1st, 2012
4:10 pm

Who pitches Thursday if we catch the Nats?

Most likely Minor… I wonder what his road stats are for the 2nd half of the season, if you look at it for the whole year, it’s pretty bad.

MFin04

October 1st, 2012
4:10 pm

“I’ve never seen so much controversy when the choice should be so obvious.”

Ok, so we are good. Cabrera for MVP, right? Since he is the overwhelmingly better offensive player and it isn’t even close. Those 50 points more of slugging won it for him?

raleighbravefan

October 1st, 2012
4:11 pm

Does anyone else think that Shaun is starting to sound like Orly Taitz ? (let me finish, LET ME FINISH !!)

Heisenberg

October 1st, 2012
4:11 pm

Guys like Trout and Harper are serviceable in CF as their offense makes up for their average to below average defense there. For now they are young, can run, and have good arms. I see that as something either of these 2 could do for a few more years with the occasional late inning defensive replacement coming in and shifting over to a corner spot. Eventually Tori Hunter and Jason Werth will give way and these teams can go get a “true” CF. They may not win gold gloves but there are a lot worse problems a team can have than Trout or Harper in CF.

MFin04

October 1st, 2012
4:11 pm

“I wonder what his road stats are for the 2nd half of the season, if you look at it for the whole year, it’s pretty bad.”

Well he has been the 3rd best pitcher in the majors since July 1st so probably pretty good.

RC

October 1st, 2012
4:11 pm

I’d probably vote Braun in the NL

Check Braun’s samples again, and do make sure to get it sent overnight.

I’ll get right on that. Make sure you check Posey, McCutchen, Trout, Miguel Cabrera, and every other player in baseball as well. Because under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, they all have the same number of failed tests.

ncscoots

October 1st, 2012
4:12 pm

I think I would of been pretty happy if Jason had landed in the .830 – .850 range.

Yeah, but you’re so much more easily pleased than I. :-)

phil

October 1st, 2012
4:13 pm

It’s not too bad….

I care about my teams, not the loser teams of others. If they never win again for the next 50 years, all the better! To heck with em all!!!

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