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27 Apr

Braves 4, Reds 1 (by spike)

Another radio rodeo, as I do not have the cable teevee and really need to drink at home to keep costs bearable.  

Well another gorgeous spring evening on the front porch with Jim, Don, a pack of Camels and a twelve pack. Looked like the bottom was going to drop out there for a minute when Hale started with not much control and worse, being wild in the strike zone.  With two on and two out, Ludwick poked one pretty good out to center scoring Phillips, but a good carom and a somewhat inexplicable decision by the 3b coach to hold  Bruce at third limited the damage to a run.

The bottom half of the frame yielded far more pleasant result after BJ got his 1000th “hit” and Freeman followed up with a swing at a pitch up around the club level that he managed to not only get wood on, but poke over the wall for two runs. Hale apparently adjusted his Maddux Polyjuice Potion between innings and started mixing in hard breaking stuff with a lively fastball to great effect, and it was Leake’s turn to get slapped around a bit. After Freeman just missed homer number two in the third, Justin and Gattis followed up with a couple of shots that didn’t miss and it looked like the rout was on.  

But Leake too figured it out, and we got to enjoy Hale going eight, with very little drama as he did not allow another hit after the first. Did Not See That Coming.  

Kimbrel looked pretty much like old Kimbrel striking out three two (Votto was awarded first base to make it interesting I guess) and that was that. Glorious afternoon to go for the sweep and move to a whopping ten games over in April. Whoda thunk?

115 Responses to “Braves 4, Reds 1 (by spike)”

  1. 1
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I approve of the polyjuice reference. At some point we should drink and listen to the radio broadcast together.

    Today’s a good day for fans of pitching. You could go from 1:35 through the last game with nothing but sub-3 ERA starters:

    Reds (11-13) @ Braves (16-7), 1:35pm
    CIN: Johnny Cueto (#47, 28, RHP, 2-2, 1.38)
    ATL: Julio Teheran (#49, 23, RHP, 2-1, 1.80)

    Pirates (10-15) @ Cardinals (13-12), 2:15pm
    PIT: Edinson Volquez (#36, 30, RHP, 1-1, 1.93)
    STL: Adam Wainwright (#50, 32, RHP, 4-1, 1.46)

    Cubs (7-16) @ Brewers (18-6), 2:10pm
    CHC: Jason Hammel (#39, 31, RHP, 3-1, 2.60)
    MIL: Wily Peralta (#38, 25, RHP, 3-0, 2.19)

    Rangers (15-9) @ Mariners (9-14), 4:10pm
    TEX: Matt Harrison (#54, 28, LHP, 0-0, undef)
    SEA: Brandon Maurer (#37, 23, RHP, 0-0, 2.08)

    Angels (11-12) @ Yankees (14-10), 8:05pm
    LAA: Garrett Richards (#43, 26, RHP, 2-0, 2.52)
    NYY: Masahiro Tanaka (#19, 25, RHP, 3-0, 2.15)

  2. 2
    spike Says:

    Braves starter ERA is 1.65 through 152ip/23 starts with a 3:1 K:BB ratio. That’s a 2002 Pedro-in-August line.

  3. 3
    JonathanF Says:

    Reunion over: off to the park!

  4. 4
    iceberg584 Says:

    “and move to a whopping ten games over in April.”

    This is the team’s best start, in terms of record, since 2000, when they had 20 wins before suffering their 7th loss (which ended an early-season 15-game winning streak).

  5. 5
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Last year was an incredibly fun team to root for, and I love these guys this year too. I’ll give Frank Wren credit for putting together a bunch of guys who it’s a blast to root for. Young, exciting, and not jerks.

  6. 6
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Bryce to the DL with a sprained thumb. Says he’ll be ready in two weeks, but in my experience sprained thumbs stay sprained for a long time.

  7. 7
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Dan somehow went from Fredi’s doghouse to having the pictures. What does Ramiro need to do to get a start at second?

  8. 8
    Tomas Says:

    Good AB by Urkel.

  9. 9
    spike Says:

    BJ Upton now has a higher OPS than Jason Heyward.

  10. 10
    Tomas Says:

    Looked like they got him.

    Edit: Apparently not.

  11. 11
    James Says:

    Not sure how they called BJ safe on that replay.

  12. 12
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Didn’t have depth on the replay. Inconclusive. Hand might have snuck into the backside of the bag. Won’t overturn that.

  13. 13
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Too bad Cueto has such a quick move. You can’t waste chances against this guy.

  14. 14
    krussell Says:

    Replay is worthless unless you have at least two camera angles on every base. Going by the single replay on FSS’s feed I would have said he’s out.

  15. 15
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    It’s going to take absolute conclusive evidence to overturn calls like that.

  16. 16
    iceberg584 Says:

    Great, now he’s fielding like Urkel.

  17. 17
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Tough play. High sky. Don’t complain too loudly.

  18. 18
    Tomas Says:

    Whenever Laird is catching the thing I fear most is the pitcher pulling a muscle in the back lunging to catch those stupid lollipop throws back to the mound.

    *knock on wood*

  19. 19
    Tomas Says:

    All high pop-ups are going to be murder today. Phillips already lost one last inning that he just managed to catch in his bare hand.

  20. 20
    coop Says:

    Good recap, Alex. Catch the damn ball, BJ; or at least get knocked out by it.

    Edit: tough sky but these guys are paid to catch pop ups.

  21. 21
    krussell Says:

    Was kinda hoping Laird would get thrown out arguing there.

  22. 22
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Gerald Laird is a useful piece.

  23. 23
    krussell Says:

    Useful in that *somebody* has to catch every fifth day…but it really seems like Gattis rarely ever plays three games in a row.

  24. 24
    krussell Says:

    Two bang-bang plays right in a row there…umping ain’t easy, but I think they missed both of those calls.

  25. 25
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Thank god they lost their replay!

  26. 26
    Adam R Says:

    Billy Hamilton, lol.

  27. 27
    Tomas Says:

    Good quick delivery there, impressive to catch Hamilton despite short hopping the throw.

  28. 28
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    He was already standing on the bag. Lucky break.

  29. 29
    coop Says:

    Runs would be nice.

  30. 30
    James Says:

    Umps are really helping out the Braves today.

  31. 31
    MikeM Says:

    Remember when Heyward was supposed to be Dave Winfield?

    What’s everyone’s feeling on Jason now? Disappointed? Frustrated? Apologetic?

    It the guy’s 5th season and he his best season at the plate was his rookie year. We’re the expectations too high? It’s not been easy to watch guys like Stanton, Mccutchen, Trout and Harper pass him up as the next big things.

  32. 32
    coop Says:

    Cueto’s good, and I wish we had him; but Julio’s matching him pitch for pitch. First team to one might win.

  33. 33
    Boomer Says:

    As an aside from my comment yesterday on BravesJournal not displaying correctly on a half-screen, the website can be fixed if the min-width styling is removed in the CSS of the leftnav and rightnav div elements. Making the min-width smaller works too, but removing the style completely will make the website work best for any size window. I don’t know who has the ability to mess with the WordPress stylings on here, but if someone could fix it for me I would really appreciate it.

  34. 34
    Brian J. Says:

    31- Frustrated is the word. Superstar talent that’s just been streaky and subject to freak injuries.

  35. 35
    krussell Says:

    @31, frustrated but still hopeful. His swing needs a lot of work. That nervous thing he does with his hands just can’t be helping.

  36. 36
    krussell Says:

    Cozart is terrible. Thankfully.

  37. 37
    coop Says:

    Julio!

  38. 38
    Boomer Says:

    Not sure if anyone’s reading my comments anyway, but I just downloaded Stylebot on Chrome and set the min-width of leftnav and rightnav to 0px to fix my issue. I’ll have to do this on all my computers, but it fixes my issues. Still, this should probably be fixed at some point!

  39. 39
    iceberg584 Says:

    Feign the bunt and swing away

  40. 40
    Tomas Says:

    Come on, Fredi, let him swing!

  41. 41
    coop Says:

    Let’s see how Jason’s promise is fulfilled here.

  42. 42
    Tomas Says:

    Blergh.

  43. 43
    iceberg584 Says:

    His approach was awful there, and that’s one of his biggest overall problems.

    He was perfectly content to let Cueto put him on the open base, and only belatedly tried to swing once the advantage was back with the pitcher.

  44. 44
    coop Says:

    Potential’s fine. Production wins games.

  45. 45
    jjschiller Says:

    Strike one was the only one he was gonna have a chance at, and he watched it.

  46. 46
    krussell Says:

    I think sometimes you have to give the opposing pitcher credit. Cueto painted 3 straight low and away. I’d be more upset if he actually got a hitter’s pitch and missed it.

  47. 47
    carl Says:

    Geez Heyward….
    yeah, I’m close to jumping on the constanza train, as ridiculous as it sounds. just think about it, he’s doing worse than BJ…BJ!

    I’m thinking the braves might have dodged a Francoeurian bullet there by not giving him a bigger extension.

  48. 48
    coop Says:

    Freddie’s pretty good.

  49. 49
    coop Says:

    Uggla flashing the leather.

  50. 50
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Johnny Cueto isn’t always healthy, but he is absolutely one of the best starters in the league. Julio’s matching him zero for zero. What could be better than Sunday afternoon?

  51. 51
    krussell Says:

    BJ does look better with the glasses. Maybe just maybe he’ll be useful this year.

    Cueto is just mowing us down. Nobody has even put a good swing on one except for Simba.

  52. 52
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Bunting with the pitcher with one out to move guys to 2nd and 3rd is not a terrible move, statistically, but when the pitcher is Julio and the leadoff hitter is the current version of Jason it is a bad, bad move. You have to let Julio hack away.

  53. 53
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    With a hit here, Dan can keep his job for another two weeks.

  54. 54
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    .179/.205/.219 for Uggs since the grand slam. And yet Pena gathers dust.

  55. 55
    krussell Says:

    I won’t try to defend Uggla. He’s just stealing money.

  56. 56
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Can we please have Ramiro Pena, now, Fredi?

  57. 57
    coop Says:

    But Danny’s not swinging the lumber.

  58. 58
    iceberg584 Says:

    Free La Stella?

  59. 59
    jjschiller Says:

    @46 – Certainly a fair point. But he still had a lousy approach. Its not like it was a surprise that he was stepping in against a guy with strike-out stuff. You have hit the guy who’s out there, and that means to be ready to put the ball in play.

    Just because you get an 2-0 count, doesn’t mean you can expect a fastball belt-high, inner-half. Not against an ace. Your 2-0 advantage in that case is the ability to guess. You have to guess realistically. “Okay, he’s fallen behind, but he still wants to get me out. How will he try to do that?” Then THATS the little zone you guess. Not “what pitch can I drive best?”

    When he took strike one outer half, it was fait accompli they’d get further out from there.

  60. 60
    Tomas Says:

    That was not a strike, though the Braves probably can’t complain too much about the umpiring.

  61. 61
    Ryan c Says:

    Uggla’s hasn’t had a day off in awhile. Gotta think this is the last ditch effort to get him going.

  62. 62
    Dan Says:

    Gotta think this is the last ditch effort to get him going.

    By having him hit against one of the better pitchers in the NL?

  63. 63
    krussell Says:

    @59, he takes too many pitches for my tastes in general, so I don’t really disagree…I just think that usually if you swing at a 2-0 fastball on the black you end up hitting a grounder to your pull side. I didn’t mind him taking that one (if he was indeed looking inner half). I’m just saying that sometimes you get 3 pitcher’s pitches in one at bat and there’s not much you can do but try to get’em again next time.

  64. 64
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Heyward is certainly scuffling at the plate, but he’s still a valuable player because of his amazing defense and terrific baserunning (when he does manage to make it on base). Unlike Uggla, who just doesn’t give you anything if he isn’t hitting. And he isn’t hitting.

  65. 65
    coop Says:

    Simba’s right on Cueto today.

  66. 66
    coop Says:

    Should Jason be leading off, Alex?

  67. 67
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Good thing Teheran and Wood have been going so depending into games, since I don’t trust our bullpen. But the innings are seriously going to be piling up for both of them.

  68. 68
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    @66, probably not. But I’m not as much of a lineup absolutist as some. As long as we’re winning games, I don’t mind not rocking the boat. The key is getting him back to a place where he’s stinging the ball. Whatever it takes, I’m okay with.

  69. 69
    krussell Says:

    @64, nobody with an OPS in the 500’s is a valuable player. The only difference is that Heyward is still young and cheap.

  70. 70
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Bad Julio.

  71. 71
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Good Julio.

  72. 72
    krussell Says:

    The Red’s 8-9-1 hitters might be the worst in either league.

  73. 73
    Tomas Says:

    Padres up 4-1, Barrett has walked in two runs.

  74. 74
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    @69, then he’s the most valuable .500 OPS position player in the league. Teheran and Harang are both flyball pitchers. Heyward isn’t Simmons out there, but he’s still one of the best defensive outfielders in all of baseball, and he’s a big part of the reason our pitchers have been amazing. McDowell doesn’t have a glove.

  75. 75
    ububba Says:

    #72
    Mets are pretty bad in that department, too.

    Let’s sweep these bums & call it a day.

  76. 76
    coop Says:

    Right now, Jason’s not a good hitter.

  77. 77
    jjschiller Says:

    I know I just criticized his approach, and I know he just made another soft-out, but Heyward DID just have a six game hitting streak snapped, in which he hit like .390. There’s a stick in there. Uggla he ain’t.

  78. 78
    krussell Says:

    @74, I would trade 400 more points of OPS for some worse RF defense…can we at least bat him 7th or 8th until he figures things out. Simba is spraying line drives everywhere but losing one AB per game hitting so low in the order.

  79. 79
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Fernandez twice and Cueto once in a six-game span is something I wish the Nationals could experience.

  80. 80
    coop Says:

    Cueto has pitched a great game. Julio’s been just as good, if not better.

  81. 81
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Ramiro, Simmons, Freeman, JUpton, Gattis, CJ, Heyward, BJ.

    Switch Ramiro and Jason when Jason gets going.

  82. 82
    Johnny Says:

    Heyward looks lost. In the 2 on 2 out PA he watched a fastball right doen the middle.

  83. 83
    Rusty S. Says:

    Walden is the Happy Gilmore of pitching mechanics.

  84. 84
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Dear Fredi, please pinch-hit the bear for Dan. We’ve all got yard work to do.

  85. 85
    beege Says:

    Prediction: Simmons parks one for the walk-off.

  86. 86
    coop Says:

    First to one. Let’s get it done right now.

  87. 87
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    FFS, Fredi, send up Pena now.

    EDIT: OK, what can I say regarding Andrelton that he can hopefully prove wrong, at least for one PA?

  88. 88
    ryan c Says:

    @Dan
    You’re really good at cherry-picking a sentence. 😀👍

  89. 89
    beege Says:

    Well, maybe he will in a few innings.

    @83 nailed it.

  90. 90
    ububba Says:

    Not gonna pinch-hit for a position player with extras looming.

  91. 91
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Avilan just lost his job.

  92. 92
    Tomas Says:

    Good grief, I got fairly nervous that the boom brothers, Cozart and Bernadina was going to drop the hammer there.

  93. 93
    coop Says:

    Jason?

  94. 94
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Let’s go, Freddie. Magic time.

  95. 95
    coop Says:

    BJ?

  96. 96
    Brian J. Says:

    Freddie’s Always A Free Man!!

  97. 97
    coop Says:

    Long single, Freddie. Good game.

  98. 98
    Tomas Says:

    Freeman doesn’t care about your lefty-lefty matchups.

  99. 99
    MaverickJB Says:

    Free Hugs!!

  100. 100
    ububba Says:

    Freddie rules!

  101. 101
    Tomas Says:

    Padres hold on for the 4-2 win.

  102. 102
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Nats fall four back. Would be nice to bury them before Fister, Ramos and Harper are off the DL.

  103. 103
    Tomas Says:

    Juuust got the game completed before the rain started too, looks pretty wet now.

  104. 104
    iceberg584 Says:

    “You know what I’ve learned here. No matter what postgame interview we do, DeRosa’s been a teammate of him.” – John Smoltz on MLB Postgame (Mark DeRosa is apparently part of their crew now)

  105. 105
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Also, we need to get Heyward going and start mixing Uggla out of the lineup ASAP. With 20 games against the Cardinals, Brewers, Giants and Red Sox, May offers far and away the toughest stretch of schedule all year (by contrast July features 20 against the Cubs, D-Backs, Marlins, Mets, and Padres).

  106. 106
    sansho1 Says:

    @103

    Yep, I got soaked on the walk back to the car. But it was well worth it!

  107. 107
    justhank Says:

    Fredi Gonzalez makes Bobby Cox look wishy-washy. Most stubborn (and lucky) manager I’ve ever seen.

    Uggla should NEVER start against right-handers.

    Apparently, Wren will need to actually cut Uggla to get him out of the lineup – unless this insane directive is coming from him.

    OT: we need smarter Hawks.
    …………………….

  108. 108
    JonathanF Says:

    Back from the rainstorm. A gigantic 5 o’clock rainstorm on a sunny day — THAT’s the Atlanta I remember from 40 years ago.

    I got to see a run! Ready to retire undefeated and unscored on at The Ted. Sweetwater IPA is a nice substitute for a milkjug full of Michelob.

    I know everybody is wondering about how traffic at the new stadium is going to work, and I don’t disagree, but I was very surprised that the trip from Peachtree and 14th to the Gold Parking lot took an hour. My plan to walk around the Ted for 30 minutes before the game was rudely quashed. Could the new park be much worse?

  109. 109
    csg Says:

    10 games above .500 helps extend the leash to Uggla. He’ll get another month to see if there are any signs of life left. How’s La Stella doing in AAA, last I heard he was struggling at the plate also. Our starting pitching is really really good.

  110. 110
    spike Says:

    Staff ERA+ of 176 prior today.

  111. 111
    jjschiller Says:

    La Stella’s hitting .338/.395/.365

  112. 112
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Boy, I like being in first place.

  113. 113
    coop Says:

    Ditto.

  114. 114
    Smitty Says:

    Recapped

  115. 115
    Johnny Says:

    I swear. Three guys not hitting. 2/5 ths of our projected starters out for the season. Our star lefty on the DL. AARON E’FFING Harang????? First Place? Its preposterous! I’m starting to wonder if the best deal Wren made was with the devil.

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