Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

08 Aug

Either This Team Sucks, Or They Are Very Good Actors

In the last thread, Johnny linked to a Jay Jaffe article about the Braves; it went into accurate detail about exactly how mediocre we are. Of course, WE know all about that.

This is something of a watershed moment. If the Nationals sweep us right now, while we’re reeling, they could effectively bury our season. If we sweep them, then the last week and a half of losing every game effectively won’t matter. If, as is likeliest, we win two or lose two, we’ll retain a sliver of hope of uncertain thickness.

So here’s a song that displays all of the structural integrity and straightforward reliability of the Braves offense.

83 Responses to “Either This Team Sucks, Or They Are Very Good Actors”

  1. 1
    krussell Says:

    That SI article makes me wish that we’d left Fredi in Seattle. Kimbrel has faced 8 batters during our losing streak, all in the one extra inning loss to the Padres (where he pitched horribly, presumably due to not being used all week). We lost two other extra inning games where he didn’t pitch.

    I guess the moral of the story is that bad teams don’t need closers…

  2. 2
    Edward Says:

    Looks like we get to grill the Burger tonight.

    @2 Join me, my brother! It’s time to turn Kimbrel into something we actually use!

  3. 3
    ububba Says:

    Don’t use Kimbrel in a tie game on the road; criticize the manager.

    Use Kimbrel in a tie game on the road & he coughs up the game; criticize the manager because it was obviously due to lack of use.


  4. 4
    Anon21 Says:

    If we sweep them, then the last week and a half of losing every game effectively won’t matter.

    The next week of losing 6 of 7 to the Dodgers and A’s, on the other hand…

  5. 5
    krussell Says:

    Only criticism from me is that we don’t use enough Kimbrel period. Use him or turn him into other useful pieces. Mothballing him on the bench when the game is on the line, waiting for us to get the lead, isn’t always the best use of him.

  6. 6
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I mean, ideally, Kimbrel should not be rotting on the bench while the team is losing 8 games in a row. But Fredi’s management of the staff is not the reason that we’ve lost 8 games in a row. The offense is the reason that we’ve lost 8 games in a row.

  7. 7
    jjschiller Says:

    Well, the offense earned us a disappointing losing roadtrip. Air-headed stupid second-division mistakes in the field and on the bases are the reason we went totally winless.

    That, rather than the sabermetric bugaboo of ‘saving the closer’ is where it falls at Fredi’s feet.

  8. 8
    Timo Says:

    Even if we somehow catch up to the Nationals or somehow get into a wildcard spot, I just don’t see how this year’s team has any chance to advance. Even if the offense just gets a little better, we simply don’t have the starting pitching for a short series. I don’t trust anyone after Teheran. Love the Braves, even this team, but the reality is just too ugly IMO.

  9. 9
    Johnny Says:

    I think that this team has enough talent if all the talent performs to expectations all at once. What we’ve seen since the all-star break is pretty much what we’ve seen since the end of April with pretty much only 2 or 3 of the starting 8 hitting all at once. Add to that that BJ, Johnson and Simmons have been consistently really terrible on offense and you can see why we are only scoring 3.7 runs per game.

    In the unlikely event that we get Heyward, Freeman, JUpton, Gattis, LaStella, and Bonaficio all going good at the same time, it may be enough to offset Simmons + one of either Johnson or BUpton. I dunno. I guess the criticism of the bullpen management is valid but I agree with Alex that the real blame is our offense is putrid.

  10. 10
    krussell Says:

    I’m just grasping at straws for stuff that we can do to improve. Nobody can make us hit/field/pitch better. Maybe we can at least try to put players in positions that maximize our chances of winning. Batting the worst hitter on the team leadoff and not using your closer in tie games are all that I can come up with as far as “fixable” items go.

    If only one guy in our lineup is hot at any given time then we’re done for anyways. That’s not Fredi’s fault. That’s the kind of stuff that makes you want to blow it up and start over.

  11. 11
    csg Says:

    I can certainly blame the manager for continuing to place BJ Upton in the leadoff spot. That in itself should cost him his job. Biggest series of the season and Upton is leading off while Bonifacio is on the bench.

  12. 12
    MikeM Says:

    @9 – I like the positive thinking, but how good the team can be if the talent performs to expectations depends entirely on what reasonable expectations for those players are.

    If anybody expected much more out of Chris Johnson… well, it’s good to have dreams I guess. The ‘regression’ thing was a fun meme last year, but it grew out of real concern he was playing over his head.

    I was done with BJ last year. My expectations weren’t much higher than the crap line he has put up. Ditto Uggla.

    Jason, Justin and Freddie aren’t putting up career year, but they are pretty much hitting in line with their career numbers. If the expectation was breakout seasons all around, then I guess they fell short.

    Gattis has exceeded projections. Simmons has probably come up short, but he is supposed to be the 8-hole hitter. A down year from his bat shouldn’t kill you.

    Teheran & Wood exceed expectations. Minor fell short. Santana is providing as much and probably better than was expected from Medlen. Harang has been better than a post-surgery Beachy/Floyd combo was expected to do.

    Bullpen pitching as expected, I think.

    So a couple guys playing above expectations, but maybe only Teheran doing so significantly. Simmons and Minor really coming up short. Other than that, I think the team is pretty much what we thought it was. We were hoping that BJ and Uggla would improve from useless to merely below average and that someone(s) would bust out a career year and carry the team. Those have not happened.

  13. 13
    coop Says:

    Scoring lots of runs throughout the home stand would be nice for a change.

  14. 14
    coop Says:

    Nice start, Erv.

  15. 15
    Edward Says:

    Good looking inning for Erv.

    Rough inning for Joe Simpson, who admitted he was late, said the key for Ervin to win the game was to get off to a good start, and then said that Anthony Rendon hasn’t been hitting much lately, only being 9 for his last 34. Does that even come close to qualifying as a slump?

  16. 16
    coop Says:

    Poor BJ. That mean old umpire called that strike a strike.

  17. 17
    Edward Says:


  18. 18
    John R. Says:

    Suck. It. Strasburg.

  19. 19
    coop Says:

    Justin, you beautiful man. What a blast!

  20. 20
    Askia Says:

    The cure to what ails the Braves is called the Nationals.

  21. 21
    coop Says:

    More runs, please.

  22. 22
    John R. Says:

    Suck. It. Strasburg!!!!

  23. 23
    coop Says:

    Okay, I’m on drugs.

  24. 24
    Edward Says:

    Every right-handed hitter needs to be swinging at that inside curve tonight. It’s grooving in there knee-to-middle-thigh. If they can only see it as a strike, we’re going to get the Burger out of here by the third inning.

  25. 25
    braves14 Says:

    Blind squirrel, meet acorn.

  26. 26
    Askia Says:

    Well then.

  27. 27
    John R. Says:

    Oh, please tell me the Nats right-fielder is injured. PLEASE!!!

  28. 28
    ububba Says:


  29. 29
    jjschiller Says:

    Guys, I played RBI Baseball 94 today, obviously as the Braves, and I beat the Expos 31-1, so, I feel pretty good about tonight..

  30. 30
    John R. Says:

    This game, so far, makes me forget everything about the last few weeks.

  31. 31
    braves14 Says:

    Why does Strasburg suck against us?

  32. 32
    coop Says:

    Wow! Who are these guys, and what did they do with my sorry ass Braves?

  33. 33
    Edward Says:

    Nationals need to get Souza out of this game

  34. 34
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I’m drinking beer, it’s Friday night, and the Braves are kicking the crap out of the Expos. Life is good.

  35. 35
    jjschiller Says:

    Evan is still backhanding balls in the dirt with men on base….

  36. 36
    coop Says:

    Come on, Erv. Buckle down.

  37. 37
    jjschiller Says:

    Lets get Strasburg outta there and make Stammen throw 3 innings, so we don’t have to see him in the 11th tomorrow.

  38. 38
    Edward Says:

    Astro, Freeman, and Justin coming up. This could be the knockout punch.

  39. 39
    Edward Says:

    Atta boy, Astro!

  40. 40
    John R. Says:

    His name is Tommy La Stella!!!

  41. 41
    jjschiller Says:


  42. 42
    coop Says:


  43. 43
    Edward Says:

    I just love it when we pound the Burger.

  44. 44
    coop Says:

    Okay. That’s enough, Ervin. No more drama.

  45. 45
    Rob Cope Says:

    Really glad I traded for Santana last week…

  46. 46
    jjschiller Says:

    Let’s get through this inning Erv, make their guy pitch in the pouring rain.

  47. 47
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    They can feel free to call this game any old time.

  48. 48
    jjschiller Says:

    Yeah, I could learn to live with my disappointment.

  49. 49
    'Rissa Says:

    So, I’m slightly terrified that we’re going to score 7 runs tonight and still manage to lose this game. That can’t happen, right? Right?

  50. 50
    jjschiller Says:

    We’re going to lose, aren’t we?

  51. 51
    Putter Says:

    So this is shaping up to be the cruelest loss of the soon to be 9 game losing streak

  52. 52
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Kimbrel’s going to get another night off. And Varvaro is just garbage.

  53. 53
    sdp Says:

    Ya’ll better just go to bed.

  54. 54
    John R. Says:

    It’s entirely probable we’re going to lose this game.

  55. 55
    Rusty S. Says:

    No, we’re not going to lose.

  56. 56
    John R. Says:

    No, I think we are going to lose.

  57. 57
    'Rissa Says:

    I feel like I’m living in a nightmare.

  58. 58
    jjschiller Says:

    We really are going to lose.

  59. 59
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:


  60. 60
    Putter Says:

    Chris Johnson is worthless. Catch the f-ing ball, don’t turtle arm it

  61. 61
    jjschiller Says:

    Chris Johnson puts on a tag and decides he doesn’t need to catch the ball to do it.

  62. 62
    John R. Says:

    I’m going to bed. I’ll let the 4am fireworks wake me up.

  63. 63
    jjschiller Says:

    The game gets closer and the team gets tighter. They’re going to kick this one, because they are losers.

  64. 64
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    I’m ready to DFA most of this sorry ass lot.

  65. 65
    Putter Says:

    I am almost to the point of rooting for loses to force the hand of Fredi, or Wren or someone higher up. I fear that a few wins in this series will only extend our futile hope that we can win the division when in fact they aren’t good enough as the current roster stands. That coupled with the fact that it stings less when indifference sets in

  66. 66
    'Rissa Says:

    I feel like I should be able to be breathe again, but since we still have to get six more outs, that is not happening.

  67. 67
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    I want Kimbrel in the eighth, against the heart of their order.

  68. 68
    braves14 Says:

    Varvaro has been awful lately.

  69. 69
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    He is neither good nor bad. Like Tom Bombadil, he is just himself.

  70. 70
    jjschiller Says:

    I hate that Braves fans boo Bryce Harper. They treat this guy like enemy number 1 and he has never done anything to earn it. He’s just been a guy. Don’t elevate him.

    It’s like Braves fans cheering for Jeff Francoeur long after his sell-by date. If these fans had a clue, they’d boo Rendon. He’s the one who owns us.

  71. 71
    jjschiller Says:

    Gerald Laird has surpassed Ryan Doumit on the pinch hitting depth chart…

  72. 72
    jjschiller Says:

    Craig seems to have it tonight.

    EDIT: And then he goes 2-0 on the next guy.

  73. 73
    'Rissa Says:

    Wow, how did we not blow that? That’s a relief.

  74. 74
    jjschiller Says:

    Oh thank god.

  75. 75
    ububba Says:


    Still the Nats’ masters.

  76. 76
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    I guess a miracle happens every nine or so games.

  77. 77
    Rob Cope Says:

    What was on the bill of Kimbrel’s hat?

  78. 78
    Existential Angst Says:

    And our hope lives on…

    Scary win.

  79. 79
    jjschiller Says:

    It’s always there. It’s almost certainly pine tar, but it’s claimed to be rosin and dirt.

  80. 80
    krussell Says:

    A win is a win is a win. Let’s build on that.

  81. 81
    Zac Says:

    Caked too good to be pine tar

  82. 82
    krussell Says:

    I figure it’s rosin and dirt on top of a base of pine tar and dip spit. And maybe it’s well-worn from cap tipping. Regardless it’s been obvious for his whole career so if there was something there the other managers would’ve made the umps check it at least 20 times by now.

  83. 83
    W.C.G. Says:


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