Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

15 May

Inevitable loss game thread: May 15, D-Backs at Braves

Sure, the D-Backs have a bad record, but the Braves have a .500 record, and as established, the Braves are never getting over .500.

Meanwhile, a little bit of writing from me. I’m hardly an expert on the draft, though again — they should have taken Rasmus instead of Devine.

MLB Outsider Mock Draft: Atlanta Braves Select Donavan Tate – MVN Outsider

Francoeur II?

Red Hot Chili Peppers |MTV Music

119 Responses to “Inevitable loss game thread: May 15, D-Backs at Braves”

  1. 1
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Word is the Giants are considering Wheeler very strongly at #6. I read on a blog (FWIW) Sabean personally went to see one of his starts recently.

  2. 2
    Stu Says:

    Word is also that the Braves are higher on Matzek than they are on Wheeler, which blows my mind, since Matzek is from Cali and Wheeler is from Paulding County.

  3. 3
    Mac Thomason Says:

    As I said, I’m not an expert, but it’s hard for me to see the Braves passing up on the top high school position prospect in the draft if he’s a local.

  4. 4
    cliff Says:

    Another take on curve balls.

    Very interesting visual of the effect.

  5. 5
    Ethan Says:


    Blasphemy. Outside of ignoring Frenchy’s perfomance, the Brave’s 1st Commandment is: “Thou shalt take a Georgian high-schooler with thy (thine?) first round pick”

    Bad things happen when we break it…

    SEE: Joey Devine/Chris Burke

  6. 6
    Stu Says:

    I agree, Mac, but (a) he may not still be around, and (b) if he is around, it’s probably because of his bonus demands, and it’s unclear whether the Braves will be willing to go way above slot.

  7. 7
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Matzek is a lefty though, and apparently pretty polished.

  8. 8
    cliff Says:

    I think with Boras representing Tate, unless the Braves know the bonus demand and it isn’t out of line with slot too bad, they will not take him. They want somebody they can sign in a week and send to Danville.

    Some of the other things (HS, Georgia boy) play in his favor. Other things don’t (Boras, position player, big money).

  9. 9
    Dix Says:

    I got two tix to tonights game, no parking pass or anything. If anyone who works in midtown wants to come by and get them from me, they’re welcome to them. The window of opportunity is small and shrinking by the minute, in direct proportion to my tolerance for being in the office still.

  10. 10
    braves14 Says:

    Remember the Dead Cat Bounce that you predicted for Jeffy, Mac? I guess that was early April.

  11. 11
    ububba Says:

    From previous thread…

    Provocation can be amusing. But after going to plenty of Mets/Braves games over the years, I’ve learned not to feed the animals. I can be a little nutty sometimes, but I’m not plum loco.

    I’m sure I’ll be wearing my Georgia cap at some point, but I can’t imagine that’ll mean anything to them.

    It’s weird. I love to travel & check places out, but the thought of visiting Columbus, Ohio, has never crossed my mind in my life —and I’ve actually visited Cleveland on my own accord.

  12. 12
    csg Says:

    Wren or Bobby has told Peanut something about Jo Jo, check out the last 3 paragraphs

  13. 13
    Tiger224 Says:

    Things to hope for in this series:

    1 – At least one blowout win for the Braves which seemingly would not require work from Sori or Gonzo.

    2 – A 2nd straight DECENT start from KK. Look, throw strikes. Your stuff ain’t bad. Pitch to contact (meaning: LET THEM HIT THE DAMN BALL!)

    3 – Jeff Bennett needs a good appearance. He’s been just dreadful. But he’s one of Bobby’s favs, it seems. So he’s with us for the foreseeable future, thus he needs some confidence.

    4 – Frenchy needs anything at this point. Maybe an additional game off would be nice. Can Prado play LF?

  14. 14
    Dix Says:


    A Georgia hat is a safe bet, they’ll probably think the G stands for Columbus.

  15. 15
    ububba Says:

    Or it’ll be, “Go Packers!”

  16. 16
    Tiger224 Says:

    Rather, can Prado play RF.

    Long week.

  17. 17
    Dix Says:

    Well, I will take some comfort this weekend in knowing that if I’m still alive on Monday I’ll have had a better weekend than you.

  18. 18
    Dix Says:

    No takers on the Braves tix huh?

  19. 19
    Michael Says:

    This is off-topic, but I figured Mac wouldn’t mind, and even might take part:

    House Bill 373, the “Gourmet Beer Bill” passed the Alabama Senate yesterday. This would raise the 6.0% ABV limit on beer in Alabama to 13.9%. Governor Riley still needs to sign the bill, so for anyone that believes in personal liberty, please follow the below link and let the governor know your opinion.

    Hammerin Hank would approve.


  20. 20
    ububba Says:

    But the weekend after that’ll be much better: Detroit.

  21. 21
    Hap Says:

    And when that passes get yourself some Maudite to drink… nectar of the gods.

  22. 22
    csg Says:

    well how bout this…..per Carroll Rogers

    Bobby Cox just told me Kris Medlen will start on Tuesday night vs. the Rockies. Jo-Jo to the bullpen…..Impending move won’t be announced until closer to Tuesday…..Medlen will make his major league debut. bout to file a burst.

  23. 23
    ububba Says:

    Hey, that’s some news.

  24. 24
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    And good news for a change.

  25. 25
    csg Says:


  26. 26
    Godot Says:

    Hey Dix, do you still have the tix? if so, email me at

    Medlen up for Tuesday’s start says AJC beat reporter.
    And Tate is probably a bit high there. All hitters of any value hit 500 or above in high school so that should not be considered. Wheeler or even White may drop to us at 7 though unlikely. But then, we never expected Heyward to drop out of the top 10.
    And errr..Medlen is from a California High School / Juco. You have to be giving yourself a big disadvantage if you are not scouting California and Florida

  27. 27
    braves14 Says:

    Medlen instead of Morton (or Hanson)? Wow.

  28. 28
    braves14 Says:

    I would guess it would be Parr going down to make room for Medlen.

  29. 29
    csg Says:

    or Bennett released

  30. 30
    braves14 Says:

    I kinda doubt it about Bennett since he threw 2 scoreless innings last time out.

    Medlen isn’t on the 40 man, so he’ll have to be added. Not a problem, as there are just 37 spots taken by my count. (Hanson has not been added yet either)

  31. 31
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Yeah, they’re going to release the reliever with the 2.20 ERA because he had one bad outing.

  32. 32
    csg Says:

    good grief Mac, I hope you’re being sarcastic there. Thats like telling me Jeffrey is a good hitter because of his RBI’s

    Bennett has given up 25H in 16IP, a whip of 2.02, the league is hitting .373 against him. But okay, his ERA is good

  33. 33
    braves14 Says:

    Bennett’s peripherals are actually decent. The walk rate is a bit high (he has also hit 3 batters), but the strikeout rate is fine and he hasn’t allowed any homers. He probably has a high BABIP average.

  34. 34
    Godot Says:

    BABIP is misleading sometime. Maybe he is throwing too many hittable pitches. I really don’t remember too many bloops off him.

    Carlyle needs to go, but Parr is for the axe, me thinks

  35. 35
    braves14 Says:

    I’d rather Parr go to AAA than Carlyle simply because I think it would be better for Klinger to get more work.

  36. 36
    Dan Says:

    Bennett is giving up other peoples’ runs and has .373 opponents’ batting average and a 2.02 WHIP.

    Bennett isn’t any good.

  37. 37
    Mac Thomason Says:

    They still aren’t going to release him.

  38. 38
    Godot Says:

    While I am still bored and around, anyone have any thoughts on Jurrjens sharp decline in GB%? From 1.94 per flyball to 0.78 and his IF popup rate is up big time. I thought anecdotally because it was due to increased velocity and throwing more sliders, but this is as a good a group as any to check if there are any differing opinions. And how long can he survive those ratios at this ERA?

  39. 39
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Bennett’s walk rate isn’t fine. He’s around 4 BB/9 for his career, 4.4 this year, and his K/9 is 7.2 (6.4 career). I don’t like a K/BB well below 2.

    Right now his BABIP’s .431, which is ridiculously high, but he’s compensating with an equally absurd 86.1 LOB%. Neither of those numbers will stay that high, but which one’s gonna come down first?

  40. 40
    braves14 Says:

    I didn’t say it was. I say that his K rate was fine and that he wasn’t allowing any homers.

  41. 41
    csg Says:

    either way he’s not missing bats and people are getting on base way too much against him

  42. 42
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    My bad. I still don’t like those components, and considering that he’s around one HR per 9 for his career, he’s not going to stay homerless forever.

    Basically, I don’t mind Bennett as a spot starter/long man. I just don’t like him as a “specialist” or late-inning guy. He has kinda fringy stuff, and I sure as hell don’t trust him with the game on the line, for obvious reasons. With Buddy Carlyle already on the team as a spot starter/long man, I just don’t see a lot of use for Bennett. I’d much prefer to see Medlen, Morton, Reyes, or even Acosta in our pen.

  43. 43
    braves14 Says:

    Well, I generally agree with that. I just think that he’s about replacement level (as opposed to below it) but good enough to stay on the team.

  44. 44
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Yeah… Bennett doesn’t miss bats. His career swinging strike percentage is 14%, and it’s 11% this year.

  45. 45
    Gadfly Says:

    @38: Baseball Reference has different numbers than the ones you quote, but they show a similar change. However, there was the exact reverse of this change from ’07 to ’08. GB/FB:

    ’07: 0.59
    ’08: 1.02
    ’09: 0.57

    My guess is it is either just an anomaly produced by much smaller sample sizes, or it has something to do with cooler weather… I wouldn’t worry about it just yet.

  46. 46
    Godot Says:

    @Gadfly : I was quoting FanGraphs numbers. 2007 was obviously a small sample size, and so is 2009. But its something which had me fretting a bit for some reason.

    Link here :

  47. 47
    braves14 Says:

    I noticed Jurrjens was throwing a ton of high fastballs in his last outing, while making the Mets put it in play. I bet this had to do with the lack of fear of anyone hitting the ball out of Citi Field. I’ve seen him mix it up a lot more in the past.

    Edit: After looking at the graph, it says his fastball percentage is about the same as in the past. I don’t know.

  48. 48
    sdp Says:

    Who thinks the Braves are bringing Medlen up to show him off to the rest of MLB? I do. That’s the only way I can understand the move. If you want to replace Jo-Jo, why not Charlie Morton? He’s pitching well enough at AAA to deserve to move up. Hell, why not Tony Armas? Considering Glavine’s impending return, it’s even more fishy to me. I love the move, but I honestly believe the Braves are hoping to showcase Medlen to acquire a bat.

  49. 49
    Jason C Says:

    sdp, you just beat me to it. As soon as I saw the Medlin news, the first word through my head was “showcase.” Hopefully he does well and nets us a real OF bat.

  50. 50
    Frank Says:

    I don’t see the point of sending Reyes to the pen. Nothing about his performance makes me expect him to perform better than Bennett or Carlyle, though sending Parr down for some work is an ok reason.

    Also, why not dump Bennett, Carlyle, or Parr now and bring up mabye a Blaco or Jones to have an extra OF for a few days? Might be an easy way to rest Schafer or the Gwinnett Out Machine.

  51. 51
    braves14 Says:

    The reason Jo-Jo is going to the bullpen is because the only non-closer LHP out there is O’Flaherty.

    Also, my guess is that the Braves won’t make the official roster move to call up Medlen until his start on Tuesday. So Parr should still be here over the weekend and Monday, so the Braves will have an extra arm. Jo-Jo didn’t throw many pitches on Wednesday.

  52. 52
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Looking pretty black down here by the stadium. It’s definitely going to get wet soon.

  53. 53
    Dan Says:

    Did anyone here know that a thirty game hitting streak is a “hit every day for a month”?

    You can thank Chip Caray just now for that amazing factoid.

  54. 54
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:


  55. 55
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Good thing Anderson is back to give Chipper some much needed protection


  56. 56
    braves14 Says:

    Joe is annoying me more than Chip tonight. He keeps complaining about A.J. Hinch not having any minor league managing experience before getting the major league manager job. He must think it’s like brain surgery.

  57. 57
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    He’s just jealous. Really.

  58. 58
    braves14 Says:

    Vazquez has settled down nicely.

  59. 59
    Michael Says:


    I’m the worst person to ask about “cool” stuff to do, and I have no idea what sorts of things you would fine fun. But you could probably find something of interest by going to a Half Price Books ( and picking up the (free) weeklies The Other Paper and Columbus Alive.

    Google will help you find Half Price Books. And, for that matter, if you like book shopping, you may enjoy going to more than one of those.

    You can also look stuff up on The Other Paper’s website ( It lists restaurants, live music, etc.

    A couple other possible items of interest, depending on your taste:
    The Book Loft – Continuing on the book theme. It’s in German Village, south of downtown.
    The Short North – Just north of downtown, lots of restaurants and knick-knack shops and bars and art galleries.
    COSI (Center of Science and Industry) – In the west part of downtown. Sort of a geek’s miniature theme-park. Sterile and lifeless compared to the “original” COSI, but still an interesting way to spend a couple of hours if the subject matter is of interest.
    The North Market – On the north side of downtown, south of the Short North, just north of Nationwide Arena. Large building with mostly food-related vendors. Originally a farmer’s market, now probably about 50% or more prepared food, but a reasonably eclectic selection. I think this is the original home of Jeni’s Ice Creams ( which I’ve never tried but which is allegedly quite the big deal. [For more traditional ice cream, Graeter’s is pretty darn good, and there are several of them around town.]

    I’ll try to pop in a couple times tonight to see if you have any more-specific questions. Hope this helps.

  60. 60
    ryan c Says:

    completely agree. doesnt really make sense otherwise. if the braves are worried about hanson’s arb clock, they should also be worried about medlen’s arb clock. this looks like a showcase move.

  61. 61
    ryan c Says:

    fuel to the rumor fire: hanson was skipped in his start tonight. interesting….

  62. 62
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    You’d have to get a lot for Hanson – I don’t know that anyone is prepared to give up that kind of package at this stage. Curious indeed though.

  63. 63
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    If we can squeeze one more inning out of Vazquez, we’re in business here I think.

  64. 64
    ryan c Says:

    sorry spike,
    i wasnt implying that he might be traded. i was implying that we might be bringing him up, despite the medlen rumor.

  65. 65
    Brian J. Says:

    Sadly, the offense has also settled down nicely into hibernation mode.

  66. 66
    braves14 Says:

    Carroll Rogers wrote that Hanson was pushed back a day for rotation reasons. He’s now scheduled to pitch tomorrow with Medlen following him for an inning or two.

  67. 67
    braves14 Says:

    Another fine outing for Vazquez. 7 innings, 2 runs, 10 Ks.

  68. 68
    ryan c Says:

    diamondbacks have the 2nd worse relief era in the national league coming into tonight. let’s make it the worst.

  69. 69
    ryan c Says:

    jeff francoeur…walk! HOLY SHIT! WE WILL SCORE!

  70. 70
    Brian J. Says:

    Frenchy walks? Did rigor mortis set in?

  71. 71
    ryan c Says:

    jordan schafer swung at that after it was already in the glove…

  72. 72
    Brian J. Says:

    Sorry, Ryan. One miracle (Frenchy walks) doesn’t mean you’ll get two (Braves snap out of Hibernation).

  73. 73
    Brian J. Says:

    Well, we survived the obligatory Moylan appearance.

  74. 74
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Awesome. I thought Moylan might have gotten rattled after the IF hit

  75. 75
    braves14 Says:

    I have a feeling we might see a Soriano save opportunity tonight.

  76. 76
    csg Says:

    2 lefties to face in the top of the ninth, Id say prob not

  77. 77
    braves14 Says:

    Looks like Gonzo.

    One pitch AB by Francoeur! How novel.

  78. 78
    drewdat Says:

    AJ Hinch is the Dbags’ manager? I’m pretty sure he was on the same Team USA as Nomar.

  79. 79
    Seat Painter Says:

    I just got back from my daughter’s dance recital, andgot ESPN Gamecast up just in time to watch Francoeur put up the blue 1 for the fielder’s choice.

    What a maroon. And what a predictable outcome as well.

  80. 80
    Brian J. Says:


  81. 81
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    ah shit.

  82. 82
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    What do we think — has Mike been overused?

  83. 83
    ryan c Says:

    shit shit
    yes, mike has been overused…

  84. 84
    Seat Painter Says:


    Can I go back to the recital?

  85. 85
    braves14 Says:

    I wish he would stick to his fastball the majority of the time like Soriano does. He keeps getting beat with his 2nd best pitch.

  86. 86
    drewdat Says:

    We either need a couple more solid bullpen guys or to start winning games by 5 or more. All the close games are giving us no good options.

  87. 87
    ryan c Says:

    time to cash in on the terrible bullpen of the diamondbacks…

  88. 88
    csg Says:

    schafer should take off here

  89. 89
    Seat Painter Says:

    Paging Good KJ, white courtesy phone…

  90. 90
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Good one KJ

  91. 91
    Seat Painter Says:

    See Jeff, THAT’S how you do it.

  92. 92
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Phils are in extras, Mets are losing.

  93. 93
    ryan c Says:

    terrible read by schafer there…i take it back. i dont want to be too critical.

  94. 94
    Brian J. Says:

    How did Schafer not score?

  95. 95
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    How did Schafer not score?????

  96. 96
    Seat Painter Says:

    See Jeff, when you swing at the first pitch, THAT’S how you do it!

  97. 97
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Crap – owe you a coke.

  98. 98
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:


  99. 99
    ryan c Says:

    Great win!

  100. 100
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Yay anyway.

  101. 101
    Seat Painter Says:

    Game Over, drive home safely!

  102. 102
    Brian J. Says:

    Go into hibernation, blow the save, and win anyway. I can live with that.

  103. 103
    csg Says:

    good finish, Gonzo needs two days off. Vasquez deserved the win

  104. 104
    Grst Says:

    Gonzalez may well be overused, but nothing about his performance today is proof of it. His pitches were sharp. Home runs are going to happen from time to time when you throw that hard. It’s just a fact.

  105. 105
    Hanan Says:

    Schafer looks a little better the last few games. He’s making more contact and getting himself involved in the offense. Hopefully he keeps it going.

    Scoring off of Doug Davis is always tough. He is like a young Tommy John. I get sleepy just watching him.

  106. 106
    Ethan Says:

    Great win. I am proud of this team tonight.

  107. 107
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Disagree, Grst. That homer didn’t happen because Gonzo was throwing hard. It happened because he hung a breaking ball middle of the plate in to a lefty. He ought to be able to own lefties by pounding the strike zone low with his heater. When you’re tired, your command starts to slip.

  108. 108
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    Nice win for the Braves….in spite of some well chronicled weaknesses we are over .500 and finding ways to win close games….

  109. 109
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    #48–You could be right–but another possibility is a more simple one: namely, Medlen is the hottest pitcher in the system at the moment. Going with the hot hand sometimes produces results. I am also glad that they are being patient with Hanson…..

  110. 110
    Tiger224 Says:

    At least we didn’t use Sori.

    Good win…very conservative baserunning all game.

    We win tomorrow, and we got a great shot at winning the series.

    Dbacks 1B kept the game close.

  111. 111
    Ethan Says:

    The Braves need to trade for Jermaine Dye.

    Adding him would fix literally every problem I have with this lineup:

    1. Right handed power hitter
    2. Gets ACHE out of cleanup permanently
    3. Will get Frenchy out of right field…eventually

    Seriously, adding Dye would make this team a legitimate postseason contender.

    1. KJ/Infante – L/R
    2. Kotchman -L
    3. Chipper -S
    4. Dye – R
    5. McCann -L
    6. Escobar -R
    7. Frenchy/ACHE (whichever is less painful -R/L
    8. Schafer -L

    Dye completely transforms the lineup. Wren spoke of contending this year…this would do it

  112. 112
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    Mac–Going back to the draft–I really hope that the Braves select a position player. Taking Tate is not without problems, but at least the Braves would be getting a quality athelete who might develop into an star. More important, the reality is that below Upper A the Braves have hardly any quality position players and this draft crop looks very thin. It may be that Wheeler ends up being the best choice, but I can’t believe it at this point.

    We have not had a pick this high in many years and I think that taking another good local high school arm would be something of a missed opportunity.

    At least we will probably learn a great deal more about these players (and others) in the coming weeks…

  113. 113
    ububba Says:

    Greetings from Columbus, Ohio—the Belly of the Big-10 Beast…

    Got into town kinda late, so I’ll withhold judgment on this place for a day (but it’s not off to a good start).

    No matter the circumstances, it’s so nice to break over .500. Still, let’s kick this bunch while it’s down.

  114. 114
    Parish Says:

    Dang! Mets and phils both won.

  115. 115
    MaverickJb Says:

    Ok Jo-Jo to the bullpen, Medlen gets called up, his minor league stats looks pretty good…but as he said I guess he will eventually end up in the bullpen. Anyone has any extra info on Kris Medlen??

  116. 116
    NickC Says:

    #111, more than just a position player, don’t we kind of need some infielders?

  117. 117
    kc Says:

    Based on my understanding, Tate is vestly overrated and this draft actually lacks infielders with high upside. I say go for pitching. Can never have enough pitching.

  118. 118
    kc Says:

    Btw, I think KJ’s style is perfect for being a pinch hitter. I say we package KJ with Charlie to find some offense if we are still in the race when July comes.

  119. 119
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Recap up, sorry I’m late.

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