Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

17 Apr

Mets 6, Braves 1

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – April 16, 2012 – ESPN.

What is the deal with the Mets? Against everyone else, we look fine, against the Mets we look like — well, the Mets. This was actually the Braves’ best outing against them this year, in that they briefly held a lead and were tied until the sixth.

For that matter, what is the problem with Tommy Hanson? He’s had three starts, and in all three has looked good through the fifth inning, then fell apart. After an “unearned” run in the third that was entirely his fault (walk, bad pickoff throw, two groundouts) he was fine until the sixth, when he gave up a two-out, three-run homer. The Mets got another run on a wild pitch in the seventh, and Livan Hernandez allowed a homer, showing up Chad Durbin, in the ninth.

The Braves didn’t really threaten much after Jack Wilson‘s bases-loaded groundout in the second gave them a brief 1-0 lead. The only Brave with multiple hits was Jason Heyward, who needs more seasoning. Their best chance to get back into it was with second-and-third, two out in the seventh, when Fredi sent up to pinch hit… Juan Francisco. Come on.

114 Responses to “Mets 6, Braves 1”

  1. 1
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    From last thread:

    They walked Wright to get to Davis because:
    1) Wright has been killing the ball,
    2) Ike Davis has been struggling mightily, and
    3) Ike Davis struggles to hit curveballs.
    That’s also why they fed him curve after curve after curve.

  2. 2
    csg Says:

    Juan Fransisco has been very underwhelming thus far. Looks awful at the plate and at 3B. Id rather Hinske be in LF and Prado at 3rd over seeing this guy out there.

    Hanson pitched pretty good other that a few pitchers and a wild throw to 1B. He hit 92 on the gun a few times last night. Maybe some run support for him would be a good start.

  3. 3
    Spike Says:

    I don’t find the wright move particularly objectionable, other than the fact I do hate IBBs generally.

  4. 4
    Spike Says:

    And from the previous ,nicely done Dan

  5. 5
    justhank Says:

    Don’t agree that Hanson pitched well at all. Thought he was mentally lazy throughout.

    Afterwards, he said he wasn’t going to beat himself up. Kinda think he could stand a little self-criticism.

    Give me the determined approach of Beachy and Minor anyday.

    People always talk about the talent of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz, but it was their overwhelming desire to win that set them apart.

  6. 6
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Hanson begins to annoy me, personally.

  7. 7
    Seat Painter Says:


    You mean Tommy comes by your house and does bad things – like knock over your trash can or play his car stereo really loud? Then stops all of a sudden?

    Or, did you mean to say ‘Personally, TH is beginning to annoy me?’

    (Or did my effort at pedantic grammararianism fall short?)


    Edit: BTW, I am claiming trademark on the word grammararianism. So if you mugs use it you gotta Pay the Painter.

  8. 8
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Well played, pedantic sir. Well played.

    I personally begin to find Tommy Hanson a bit grating upon the nerves. Both because he 1)seems to have plateaued at a level of good-but-not-great, and I was told he was going to be great, and 2)doesn’t seem to give much of a crap about getting to the next level.

    I can put up with annoying players if they perform. CF John Smoltz, for example. But if they traded Hanson for a reasonably qualified OF prospect I wouldn’t really mind all that much.

  9. 9
    csg Says:

    Braves have scored 1 run for Hanson in his two starts vs the Mets. Thats annoying.

  10. 10
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I’m not sure what the lack of offensive production has to do with Hanson’s abilities or attitudes.

  11. 11
    spike Says:

    @10, it sure does increase the leverage factor on his workload.

  12. 12
    spike Says:

    Oh, and the companion Frediot bullpen chart is up – it’s a corker.

  13. 13
    Remy Says:

    Hope you’re feeling better, Mac.

  14. 14
    csg Says:

    Maybe you have unrealistic expectations for the guy? He’s a 20th round draft pick that has become a #2 starter in the big leagues. Not sure what else you want from him.

    Im sure offensive support changes a lot of attitudes. It certainly does here on the blog so I cant imagine how the pitchers would feel.

  15. 15
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Are we expecting starters to pitch with a 6 run cushion in the second or something? The guy has managed to get out of the fifth inning once (yesterday) and got hammered the third time through. I don’t think leverage factor has much to do with anything.

  16. 16
    csg Says:

    Talk to your boy then Sam. Fredi pulled him after the 5th inning in the 1st game with only 83 pitches thrown. Im sure a 6 run cushion wouldve allowed him to go another 2 innings and saved the pen.

    Plus, its 3 starts not 15 that we are disussing. Two of which he shouldve pitched 7IP or more.

  17. 17
    spike Says:

    So is pitching easier, harder, or exactly the same if you are tied or behind as opposed to ahead? – just want to get your opinion clearly on this.

  18. 18
    hpotter Says:

    The Franchise: A Season with the Miami Marlins – Preview Trailer

  19. 19
    Adam R Says:

    My biggest frustration with Braves Journal is this pervasive and inexplicable dislike of Tommy Hanson. When he got hurt last year, I couldn’t believe how people piled on. Somebody actually questioned if he’d had a scoreless start that season. Unbelievable. Are we seriously questioning whether he “wants to win”?

    Why on earth anyone wouldn’t be *rooting* for him to put it together and succeed like we do with Heyward, I have no idea. Tommy was our original post-Baby Braves phenom. Sheesh.

    csg posted his career stats the other day. 119 ERA+ over nearly 500 IP, 8.4 K/9, 2.9 B/9. I think that qualifies as performing.

  20. 20
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    More or less the same. I’m not a big believer in exceptional leverage “factors.” Unless the other team is giving at bats away, pitching is pitching.

  21. 21
    Michael Says:

    I will happily watch Tommy Hanson pitch for the Braves at his current level until he gets expensive.

  22. 22
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I don’t see a pervasive dislike of Tommy Hanson. It’s pretty much the one guy.

  23. 23
    csg Says:

    #19 – Yep, agree 100%. Some here believe he should post a sub 2.5 ERA every season with a 140ERA +. Im not sure why the expectations are that way. Maybe he has peaked, even so, he’s a very good starting pitcher.

    #20 – I wonder if Tim Hudson agrees with you. Give him 4 runs and more than likely he’s going to shut down the other team. There is a huge difference in trying to be perfect and protect a one run lead late in the game compared to having a 3 or 4 run lead.

  24. 24
    ububba Says:

    What’s fun to me: Liking a marginal player because he’s interesting or showing indifference to a great player because he’s a dick.

    What’s boring to me: Hating one of your good players (like Hanson or Andruw) because he’s not great enough.

  25. 25
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Give any pitcher of Tim Hudson’s skill 4 runs and he’s likely to win more often than when doesn’t get 4 runs.

  26. 26
    csg Says:

    #25 – Same with Tommy Hanson.

  27. 27
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Again, I don’t doubt Hanson would accrue more Wins if he had more runs. That doesn’t change the fact that he annoys me and I find his performance to date to be underwhelming by half.

  28. 28
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I never hated on Andruw.

  29. 29
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Hanson isn’t a real 20th-rounder. He’s a draft-and-follow guy.

  30. 30
    csg Says:

    You’re annoyed because he hasnt pitched deep enough into ball games, but you wont recognize that he would get deeper into games with more offensive support. I can see we arent getting anywhere. I’ll just say that if the Braves decide to move Tommy Hanson they sure as hell better get more than a reasonably qualified OF prospect.

  31. 31
    csg Says:

    #29 – Thats true, thanks. He’s still a solid, very good SP.

  32. 32
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I don’t think Hanson gets pulled in the fifth due to lack of offense. If Hudson were in an 0-1 hole against the Mets in the fifth, would he get pulled?

  33. 33
    PeteOrr Says:

    Geez, the guy has had ERAs of 2.89, 3.33, and 3.60 in his first three seasons, that’s including several starts of 8+ ERA when he was clearly injured at the end of last year. Those were 30%, 16%, and 4% better than league average respectively. God, what a disappointment.

    Edit: Or what Adam R. said in 19.

  34. 34
    csg Says:

    With Fredi making the decisions who knows. It would be a safe bet that as soon as Huddy has either 1) his next AB come up that he gets PH for 2) or allows two baserunners that he’s getting pulled.

  35. 35
    csg Says:

    Changing Subjects…

    •#Braves will pick 21st in the first round of the MLB draft on June 4. 85th pick in the second round and 116 in the third. announced today. 17 mins ago

  36. 36
    Ethan Says:

    Hanson is legit, but he doesn’t have a good enough fastball to throw by most people and his breaking pitches aren’t as consistent as a Jered Weaver/Wainwright(circa 2010). The good thing this year is that when he misses with a breaking ball it’s generally been in the dirt, but unless he shores those up, he’ll always be facing a high pitch count.

  37. 37
    PeteOrr Says:

    In addition to @33, Hanson was sitting on a 2.44 ERA with > 9 k/9 and < 3 BB/9 last year before the wheels/shoulder came off in mid July. That's not solid, that's ace. He had one injury, albeit a scary one that he might never come all the way back from, and suddenly he's a disappointment. Holy crap. The guy was clearly peaking at the top of the game. Guess he didn't want it enough.

  38. 38
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Hanson reminds me of a 1991-93 era John Smoltz, back when he was a head case who needed a “sports psychologist” to get through the rigors and toils of being paid millions of dollars to play baseball, while being way, way less impressive than he should have been. Hanson is like that, only instead of a shrink he seems to have this SoCal “what, me worry” thing going on instead.

    The association to southern California, nor the association to John Smoltz helps his case in my regard.

  39. 39
    PeteOrr Says:

    Has Hanson actually been paid millions of dollars at this point? Wouldn’t it be more like 1.5 so far? What an entitled POS.

  40. 40
    PeteOrr Says:

    @35 – Can’t wait to see the inspired choices they make with those. Ugh.

  41. 41
    Jeremy Says:

    I don’t think Hanson is as talented as Smoltz was.

    I like Tommy but I think his ceiling is more of a #2 than an ace. He doesn’t throw deep enough into games to be an ace. Frankly, he reminds me of Chad Billingsley, a guy everyone thinks is more talented than his performance.

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

    There’s no accounting for taste, but I’ll never understand how Tommy Hanson is more annoying to you than Fredi Gonzalez.

    Also, @39: yep. According to Cot’s, he got a $325,000 signing bonus and he’s earned $1.43 million from 2010-2012. (Unclear exactly what he earned in 2009, but it’s probably about half the big league minimum since he was up for 21 starts.) Put it all together and it’s something like $2,000,000, and he’s been in the organization for just under 6 years.

  43. 43
    PeteOrr Says:

    This is behavior I expect of Mets fans, like the ones who blamed David Wright and Jose Reyes, the two best players on the team, for the suckiness of almost literally everyone else in the organization. Hanson is not the problem here. He’s not even one of the problems. He’s either the best or second best SP on the team since he’s been up.

  44. 44
    Seat Painter Says:

    Well, Hanson doesn’t personally annoy me.

    (That Durbin guy though, if he shows up at my house again, I’m calling the cops! And I don’t care if it’s only on Fox Sports South.)

  45. 45
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I have no doubt it’s generally easier to pitch with a lead because you have a margin for error. It’s like having to make a 100 on a test rather than a 90. When every pitch could cost you the game, I would assume that makes pitching more difficult and stressful. I’m a big believer that it’s easier to play baseball when you are more relaxed; the more stress the more difficult it is. If you are ahead 5-0, I would assume you can challenge hitters more, you don’t have to be as fine with your pitches, and obviously you can afford to give up a couple of runs. Now, that’s not to say I believe in “pitching to the score.” No pitcher wants to give up runs, but the knowledge that you can afford to probably makes it easier and perhaps puts less stress on your arm.

  46. 46
    Seat Painter Says:

    Seriously though, what scares me about Hanson is whether he can stay healthy or if he’s heading for a giant injury which will sideline him for extended periods. And having his velocity be down is a warning sign that may or may not indicate the injury is near.

    Much like JJ, who I am more annoyed by (although annoyed may not be the precise word – “Concerned” is probably closer to my feelings). due to his elevated HR rate this year and his inability to stay healthy over 36 starts.

    Anyway, I suppose that we all want “our” guys to do well, and when they don’t we respond to those failures in our different ways.

  47. 47
    Bethany Says:

    When I saw that the comment count had jumped, I knew Sam had gone too far with the Hanson criticism.

  48. 48
    csg Says:

    #47 – Whatever, you thought Fredi had been fired with this pace. Didnt you?

  49. 49
    csg Says:

    Big lineup adjustment


    Strange loading up the top with lefties against Johan.

  50. 50
    Stu Says:

    Is Heyward in center?

    EDIT: Just checked, and csg mistyped — Bourn’s leading off, and Prado’s on the bench.

  51. 51
    ryan c Says:

    Santana has a reverse platoon split. Evidently someone on the Braves’ staff knows this.

  52. 52
    Bethany Says:

    @48 Psh, if Fredi had been fired there’d be 500 comments at least.

  53. 53
    Stu Says:

    “Fired” is an anagram of “Fredi.”

  54. 54
    Remy Says:


    There’d be dancing in the streets.

  55. 55
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Fredi Gonzalez is Spanish for “the only Jeffrey Loria decision I agree with.”

  56. 56
    Bethany Says:

    At least we didn’t hire Bobby Valentine. It could always be worse.

  57. 57
    ryan c Says:

    This is a fun quote from Fredi…
    “We need to get him in there a little more and get him that life on that fastball, that two-seamer,” Fredi Gonzalez said [of Chard Durbin].”

    Notice the typo. I think we’ve acquired a nickname.

  58. 58
    PeteOrr Says:

    I still like “The Spread” and “The Full Spread” for Durbin and Livan. The back end of the bullpen has really been conducive to insulting nickname assignment in the last few years.

  59. 59
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    This is behavior I expect of Mets fans, like the ones who blamed David Wright and Jose Reyes, the two best players on the team, for the suckiness of almost literally everyone else in the organization.

    I’ll merely point out that I haven’t actually blamed Hanson “for the suckiness” of anything, actually. I’ve merely pointed out that I don’t particularly like him. Apparently that’s anathema.

  60. 60
    Bethany Says:

    For the record, I don’t like Hanson or JJ either and I can’t give a good reason why.

  61. 61
    Seat Painter Says:


    Well if TH is coming over to your house knocking over garbage cans and cranking up the stereo I can see why you don’t like him.

  62. 62
    jj3bagger Says:

    Was thinking about this the other day when Marcum was pitching, but supposedly Wren was talking to the Brew Crew about Lawrie before they made the Lawrie-Marcum swap. That would have been pretty nice. I think the Braves could’ve and should’ve beaten the Marcum offer, even if it cost Hanson. If memory serves they balked at the JJ for Lawrie straight up offer. Thoughts ?

  63. 63
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I actually enjoy watching JJ pitch. Now, I know his peripherals are questionable and that he’s not been very good since last year’s ASG or thereabouts, but I like watching him pitch. (Until he gets hammered, I guess.)

    I like Beachy. I like Heyward. I am ambivalent toward Freddie Freeman and Mike Minor.

  64. 64
    csg Says:

    #50 – Yep, my bad. Bourn is leading off.

  65. 65
    PeteOrr Says:

    Based on pure aesthetics, JJ is the bottom for me. I like strikeouts, and I like crazy movement on breaking balls. He provides neither of those things. Minor brings the Ks, Beachy has both (along with a handsome face), and Hanson has both (minus the handsome face). Delgado is still exciting just based on newness.

  66. 66
    braves14 Says:

    Hanson is not John Smoltz. Hanson struggles to break 90 on his fastball. Maybe once he could throw harder, but not now.

  67. 67
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Delgado sort of has funny hair. I’m leaning “nay.”

    A Hanson who can’t break 95 annoys me even more.

  68. 68
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I like players that win games. The Braves haven’t had as many of those in recent years.

    By the way, as I expected, Mets Blog has jumped on the bandwagon after ten games and thinks the Braves and Phillies are doomed and that the East may come down to the Mets and Nationals.

  69. 69
    Adam R Says:

    I guess I’ve been setting my standards too low. From now on, all Braves players who aren’t HOF-caliber, GQ-cover-model material will be met with nothing but scorn and derision by me.

    @62, We got Uggla for a very reasonable price before Lawrie was dealt. Are you saying Lawrie would’ve been our RH power-hitting 2B instead of Uggla, say, as a super two called up early on last season? And then we still keep Infante and also Minor would’ve been in the rotation all year?

    I guess, theoretically, being in our farm system would’ve prevented Lawrie from getting beaned while playing in Vegas and breaking his hand before his early-season call-up was supposed to take place.

  70. 70
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I was always slightly perturbed that Javy Lopez never hit like Mike Piazza too. I’m Mr. High Standards.

  71. 71
    MikeM Says:

    I like Hanson just fine. He first came up the year after the Braves had struggled through a season with way to many starts by guys named Campillo, Jo-Jo and Hampton, so needless to say I was hoping for a savior. Then up comes this guy from the minors throwing 95 mph with a nasty-looking hook. I was sure we’d found our Lincecum, our Kershaw, our new ace to fill John Smoltz’s shoes. A pitcher who could dominate with strikeouts at a time when the staff had too many soft-tossers.

    And he pretty much was that guy (with a little youthful inconsistency and a bit prone to breaking down after an error or bad break) and showed improvement until midway through last year.

    One kinda mysterious shoulder issue (injury? non-injury?) later, he begins the season with 3 starts with the lowest fastball velocity of his career. This is what concerns me. A Hanson dealing 94-96 for 7 innings can be an ace to build a rotation around. A Hanson with a new 90 mph two-seamer just doesn’t get me as excited.

    I rooting for the guy and the Braves. I just hope the ol’ giddy-up comes back.

  72. 72
    mravery Says:

    I always liked Hanson, but his inability to pitch deep into games frustrates me. I love what he does for 5-6 innings, I just want it for 7 or 8 some times. :-(

    But yeah, I’m a fan of Hanson.

  73. 73
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Livan Hernandez to have his wages garnished | HardballTalk.

    Oddly, not by the Braves.

  74. 74
    Adam M Says:

    Hanson maintained a high k rate last year with a 4-seam fastball often topping off at 91mph. He hasn’t consistently thrown 93-96 mph in a long time. He also has two swing and miss offspeed offerings, which leads to the strikeouts.

  75. 75
    PeteOrr Says:

    Yeah, he touched 94 occasionally last April and May, but on average he’s not down all that much. Plus it’s early, plus he got a late start in Spring Training.

  76. 76
    csg Says:

    Ankiel has one of the best OF arms Ive ever seen.

  77. 77
    sdp Says:

    Sam, I’m with you. Hanson has been very underwhelming in my opinion. He had been hyped up to be the pitcher to bring the Cy Young back to Atlanta. I wouldn’t have s marked feeling towards him if he had been more like Brandon Beachy–less hype, not very heralded in his young career. Whatever.

    That throw by Ankiel is insane.

  78. 78
    Brian J. Says:

    73- Wow. With that much money, and given the taxes withheld from his paycheck, Livan won’t pay back that lien this year, even if we were demented enough to keep him all season.

  79. 79
    spike Says:

    @73, from the comments…

    “Really this is a brilliant maneuver by the Braves. Livan won’t hit the salad bar, so they’re trying to get some garnish into his diet this way.”


  80. 80
    Bethany Says:

    Mmmmm, I loved me some Javy Lopez.

  81. 81
    Adam R Says:

    Here’s a really great pic for all the Javy lovers out there:


  82. 82
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I WILL get the Javy books shipped. I’m waiting until I’m not horribly contagious.

  83. 83
    sdp Says:

    Beth Keener, ya’ll!

  84. 84
    Mike N. Says:

    Is Beth Keener gonna go the way of Erin Andrews? Starting off in the Braves studio and then going on to bigger and better things? Does she have the potential?

  85. 85
    spike Says:

    Gamecast has the temp at 48 – quite the isolated cold front, I must say.

  86. 86
    Bethany Says:

    @85 Really? It’s 82 up here.

  87. 87
    sdp Says:

    Beth Keener and Erin Andrews are on two different planets.

  88. 88
    Bethany Says:

    Dang, I thought that was gone.

  89. 89
    Marc Schneider Says:

    It’s not Hanson’s fault that he was hyped. He’s a good pitcher when healthy but the Braves starters in general seem unable to maintain their stuff later in games or they throw too many pitches to go deep.

  90. 90
    JC Says:

    Keener will need to put on a cheerleader outfit to match Andrews.

  91. 91
    spike Says:

    Hey, we’re winning and stuff.

  92. 92
    spike Says:

    And a real live rally to go with, too

  93. 93
    Bethany Says:


  94. 94
    Bethany Says:

    More WOOOOOO!

  95. 95
    urlhix Says:

    Loving this.

  96. 96
    Bethany Says:

    We always beat Santana.

  97. 97
    spike Says:

    I knew that doing DWTS last night would come back to bite him..

  98. 98
    Piers Says:

    Dang – half our team lost that one in the lights.

  99. 99
    Piers Says:

    That could have been horrific. Great reflexes there!

  100. 100
    Bethany Says:

    Great to see Freddie have a good night.

  101. 101
    sdp Says:

    Not much bitching and moaning going on tonight.

    This is a game for ABCD!

  102. 102
    urlhix Says:

    Meds is so good.

  103. 103
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Medlen is so freaking good.

  104. 104
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Hah, jinx.

  105. 105
    braves14 Says:

    Francisco hits a solo homer that scrapes over the wall.

    Chip: “Juan Francisco with a looong home run!”

  106. 106
    urlhix Says:

    It’s true. He is so freaking good. Really “gets” how to pitch. Love watching that guy on the mound.

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

    Francisco hit that further than I thought, he went out and got it. He probably has more raw power than any other Brave. Bad approach and terrible D, though.

  108. 108
    bonitis Says:

    @105 The Chip & Joe quotes here erase any doubts I had about ditching cable.

    //Braves upset the juggernaut Mets! Hit the streets, folks!

  109. 109
    Bethany Says:

    Boston is getting crushed. I can’t wait to read the paper tomorrow.

  110. 110
    Michael Says:

    This Twitter crap on FSS is absolutely brutal.

  111. 111
    justhank Says:

    This Valentine / Bosox slow-motion train wreck must be fascinating to watch up close.

    Bethany, if you would be so kind, please keep us updated on what must be an alien experience.

  112. 112
    justhank Says:

    Hmmm …

    Sam being pummelled from all sides and maintaining his cool. Y’all don’t know when you’re being rope-a-doped.

    Hanson lovers will have their hearts broken sooner rather than later. “Gifted Slacker” is how he’ll be remembered.

    Oh, and Sam – yeah, Smoltz was a drama queen, but there’s still no one I’d rather have on the mound when it counted than John Smoltz.

  113. 113
    ububba Says:

    Runs… a win… yee-haw. OK, let’s win this series, too.

    Had a really odd experience tonight. Went to the Devils/Panthers NHL playoff game in Newark tonight. I get up to my seat with my girlfriend, way up in section 225 in the corner, and I realize I’m sitting next the the very same guy I sat next to at the recent Sunday Braves/Mets game in Flushing.

    We look at each other, as if to say, “Isn’t this the weirdest thing?”

    And I just offer, “Well, this time we get to root for the same team.”

    I mean, what are the chances? A metro area of 20 million people and two arenas adding up to about 60,000…

    However, if he’s at Yankee Stadium tomorrow night, I’m calling a cop.

  114. 114
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Midnight recap!

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