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06 May

Great American Smallpark Game Thread, May 6

Paul Maholm! Bronson Arroyo! Laugh all you want, but two more dependable #3 starters you won’t find. Arroyo doesn’t really have a fastball, he doesn’t really strike anybody out, and I’m not sure that I can think of a single reason that he has 126 wins in the majors, has been worth around 24 Wins Above Replacement, and is still able to hold down a rotation spot in a tiny ballpark at the age of 36. I’ve often said that Livan Hernandez was like a knuckleballer who just didn’t have a knuckleball; Arroyo is basically a left-hander who just happens to be right-handed.

Paul Maholm is in the middle of a career renaissance, despite the fact that his fastball is actually about half a mile slower than Arroyo’s. He’s five years younger, and has only won 69 games and 15 Wins Above Replacement, but they’ve been of roughly comparable value throughout their careers. However, since coming to Atlanta, Maholm decided to start striking people out. Lots of people. He’s averaging 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings in a Braves uniform (106 2/3 innings overall), after averaging 5.6 K/9 in the 1264 career innings prior. Could be a fluke — but it also might be that he’s on the best team that he’s ever played for, with the best defense he’s ever played for, and that’s made him a better pitcher. We’ll see how he does the rest of the year, but I think that some of the improvement is likely legit.

Also, there’s this: Arroyo was drafted by the Pirates in 1995. Maholm was drafted by the Pirates in 2003. They are the two best Pirates draftees between Jason Kendall and Andrew McCutchen.

The Pirates giveth, and they giveth some more.

259 Responses to “Great American Smallpark Game Thread, May 6”

  1. 1
    ububba Says:

    Over/under on Braves HRs in Cincy this week? I’ll say 5.5.

  2. 2
    Smitty Says:

    Hmmm, Ill take the over.

    Maybe some of BJ’s pop ups to second will carry out.

  3. 3
    ryan c Says:

    Surprise of the day: Otis Nixon is on crack.

  4. 4
    Dusty Says:

    Tonight’s lineup at CIN (7:10, SS/ESPN/680AM/BRN): BUpton 8 CJohnson 5 JUpton 9 Freeman 3 Gattis 7 McCann 2 Uggla 4 Simmons 6 Maholm 1

    Well there you have it, Gattis in LF. Like it.

  5. 5
    Boomer Says:

    It’s pretty crazy how many lineups we’ve seen, though I guess most of it is injury related.

  6. 6
    MikeM Says:

    Braves have used 23 different batting orders (1-8 hitters only) in 30 games.

    Only one player has occupied the same batting order spot in all 30 games. That player is…

  7. 7
    John R. Says:

    @6: Justin?

  8. 8
    John R. Says:

    I’m up for seeing Gattis in LF, but honestly I was looking forward to seeing Success leading off in front of C. Johnson.

  9. 9
    Johnny Says:

    @4 I like it. With apologies to Smitty, The Original Fredi Gonzales is putting the best lineup out there. Well ok he’s putting BJ out there but he has 75 million reasons he has to.

    So, we’ll either get shut out, whiffing 18 times or we’ll score 2 touchdowns and a field goal. I’m looking forward to watching tonight.

  10. 10
    spike Says:

    I think there is only one guy who’s played all 30 games, amirite?

  11. 11
    Adam R Says:

    It’s crazy how much of a difference adding in a cutter has helped Maholm.

  12. 12
    Game, Blauser Says:

    Here’s an amazing statistical tidbit: per Fangraph’s calculation of WAR, BJ Upton, Dan Uggla, Jason Heyward, and McCann have been worth a grand total of -0.1 WAR this season. I’m really pumped to see McCann return to action tonight, and I have a feeling we’ll start seeing some markedly better results from BJ soon too.

  13. 13
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I missed the cutter. When did he add it and who taught it to him?

  14. 14
    spike Says:

    Echo And The Bunnymen, duh.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM6j14DDtGI

  15. 15
    Adam R Says:

    @13, http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/22058159/adding-a-cutter-saved-paul-maholm

  16. 16
    ububba Says:

    #14
    Yup, and if you ever want to explain the ’80s to someone younger, just show them Ian McCulloch’s hair.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAP7B8ltO5M

  17. 17
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Braves lineup:
    1. B. Upton CF
    2. C.Johnson 3B
    3. J.Utpon RF
    4. Freeman 1B,
    5. Gattis LF
    6. McCann C
    7. Uggla 2B
    8. Simmons SS
    9. Maholm P

  18. 18
    Adam R Says:

    Good luck out there, Oso.

  19. 19
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Fascinating. Thanks, Adam! (I like Chris Cwik. I’ve gotten to know him through Fangraphs. The one weird tidbit I can tell you: as it says on his Twitter, his last name is pronounced “Swick.”)

  20. 20
    Smitty Says:

    @9

    You’re right, it is the best line up.

  21. 21
    ryan c Says:

    Jeff Francoeur 2012, 148 games played, 603 plate appearances, .665 OPS
    Jeff Francoeur 2013, 26 games played, 105 plate appearances, .659 OPS

    Definition of insanity- Extreme foolishness or irrationality

    Seriously, what is wrong with the Royals? Why would they do this to themselves?

  22. 22
    spike Says:

    But he’s the 4th highest salaried player on the team! You have to start him!

    Reminds me of “the food is terrible here – and such small portions!”

  23. 23
    csg Says:

    It’s pretty clear that Gattis will be with this team moving forward. What did they do to create a spot for McCann?

  24. 24
    PaulV Says:

    @23 Pastornicky to Gwinnett to learn how to play 2B and outfield.

  25. 25
    spike Says:

    I guess Francisco is still banged up. Anyone seen an update?

  26. 26
    fm Says:

    Jim brings good news

    Jason Heyward homered on his last swing during just-completed batting practice. Good to see him swinging it with authority. #Braves— Jim Powell (@Jim_Powell) May 6, 2013

  27. 27
    John R. Says:

    MLB Extra Innings gives me the Cincy broadcast, which means no Chip and also Skyline commercials. I miss Skyline chili…

  28. 28
    csg Says:

    Hopefully it will be a short rehab assignment for Heyward.

  29. 29
    John R. Says:

    Strike 1, 2, 3, yer out! Meanwhile the announcers helpfully remind that BJ signed the richest contract in Braves history.

  30. 30
    Dan Says:

    Arroyo doesn’t really have a fastball, he doesn’t really strike anybody out

    Of course, it helps to swing.

  31. 31
    Bethany Says:

    Good AB by Johnson to make up for BJ.

  32. 32
    John R. Says:

    Chip, use the word “laced” for that one by Freddie.

  33. 33
    Brian J. Says:

    Freddie! Nice to see one of those there rallies that doesn’t depend on hitting one over the fence. (Not that I’d mind, Evan. Hint.)

  34. 34
    F Says:

    @John R

    So did Aaron Boone!

  35. 35
    Dan Says:

    So did Upton strike out looking at three straight pitches, and Gattis strike out swinging at three straight pitches?

  36. 36
    John R. Says:

    Evan got worked by Arroyo.

    It just dawned on me I’m watching McCann come up after Gattis. Surreal….

  37. 37
    Brian J. Says:

    A 1.000 OBP for our shiny new catcher.

  38. 38
    Bethany Says:

    *sigh*

  39. 39
    Coop Says:

    Pitiful.

  40. 40
    Dan Says:

    Arroyo doesn’t really have a fastball, he doesn’t really strike anybody out…

    And of course, he goes on to strike out the side in the first inning against the Braves.

  41. 41
    John R. Says:

    Well, let’s hope Maholm pitches so he only needs one run. So far he’s looking sharp.

  42. 42
    Coop Says:

    Gold Glove play there, Bear.

    Well, close enough.

  43. 43
    Bethany Says:

    AHHHH ANDRELTON!!!!

  44. 44
    spike Says:

    How about’cha Andrelton!

  45. 45
    Johnny Says:

    ANDRELTON!

  46. 46
    Brian J. Says:

    SIMMONS! Now if Uggla hadn’t been standing there like a bump on a log…

  47. 47
    John R. Says:

    SOLO HOMERUN!!!

    SOLOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

  48. 48
    Tomas Says:

    I hate this stupid ballpark. Just sayin’.

  49. 49
    Johnny Says:

    Ok i see what yall mean. A lot going on with Buptons swing. Gonna be hard for him to get his timing back.

  50. 50
    Brian J. Says:

    Why are our guys just watching so many strikes?

  51. 51
    Grst Says:

    Because he’s throwing a lot of unhittable slop at the knees and on the corners. And we’ve also made him throw 45 pitches through 2 innings.

  52. 52
    Tomas Says:

    Nice rocket, Andrelton.

  53. 53
    spike Says:

    63MPH?

  54. 54
    Johnny Says:

    How about dropping down for a side arm slider.

    Frazier does us a favor.

  55. 55
    spike Says:

    Simmons on track for 16 HRs

  56. 56
    Bethany Says:

    Noooo BMac! Not the first pitch!

  57. 57
    Johnny Says:

    Since Gattis doesn’t move his front foot and he has an open stance you would think he sees nothing but stuff outside or breaking balls middle out.

  58. 58
    Bethany Says:

    Dan’s second triple in as many days! Another great swing.

  59. 59
    spike Says:

    Huh. Could have used that last AB, but still.

  60. 60
    urlhix Says:

    Trippla!

  61. 61
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Uggla, triples machine. Who knew?

  62. 62
    Bethany Says:

    Andrelton!!!!!!

  63. 63
    spike Says:

    Fear the Dutchman!

  64. 64
    ububba Says:

    Way to make contact with the pitcher coming up.

  65. 65
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Simmons is due a few more of those, given his .239 BABIP.

  66. 66
    Bethany Says:

    Yeesh, he was out

  67. 67
    Tomas Says:

    Bad call, not really sure how the 2nd base ump could miss that.

  68. 68
    ububba Says:

    As Skip would say, “We just got a break.”

  69. 69
    krussell Says:

    Looks like we caught a break there with that bad call at 2nd. BJ is bound to do something good at some point, right?

  70. 70
    Game, Blauser Says:

    @66, 67 – agreed. I usually find ESPN’s announcing to be unreasonably biased against the Braves, but in this case, they’re right that Simmons was out at 2nd.

  71. 71
    spike Says:

    Jesus. He’s a wreck.

  72. 72
    Bethany Says:

    BJ sucks.

  73. 73
    Brian J. Says:

    Someday, medical science will develop a cure for BJ Upton.

  74. 74
    Game, Blauser Says:

    Jesus, BJ. That K wasn’t even on a particularly tough pitch.

  75. 75
    Tomas Says:

    Jeez, I know Arroyo throws some funky stuff, but BJ looks really, really bad at the plate today.

  76. 76
    ububba Says:

    Yeah, BJ is a disaster right now. Have you ever seen anyone miss fastballs down the middle that badly so often?

    In my mind, I was actually entertaining a Sac there.

  77. 77
    krussell Says:

    BJ looks bad against everyone. He’s freaking awful. Just keep telling myself Justin will average it out so that we’ve got 2 decent players. The fact that we gave this guy 75 million is just mind boggling.

  78. 78
    spike Says:

    mmmm… I don’t like where this is headed.

  79. 79
    Bethany Says:

    Oh no.

  80. 80
    Adam M Says:

    Votto just doesn’t swing at balls. #jealous

  81. 81
    Game, Blauser Says:

    Aaaargh. And right after ESPN ran that stupid promo for Brandon Phillips’ RBI production.

    EDIT – And there it is. An awful shame the Braves have stranded so many base runners so far.

  82. 82
    spike Says:

    ugh. Come on ‘Homes!

  83. 83
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    I’m having a Klesko flashback.

  84. 84
    MikeM Says:

    You just knew a tweener play would find gattis today. Got to keep that ball in front of you.

  85. 85
    Smitty Says:

    Gattis is a better defender than BJ is a hitter

  86. 86
    ububba Says:

    OK, coulda been worse.

  87. 87
    Coop Says:

    Amen, Smitty.

  88. 88
    krussell Says:

    Yeah definitely good damage control there.

  89. 89
    Adam M Says:

    So… why, again, is BJ Upton batting lead off?

  90. 90
    John R. Says:

    That ball just bounced off Justin’s bat to right. And even though Freeman flew out, man it’s awesome watching him muscle balls to the off field.

    And…GATTIS!!!!

  91. 91
    Bethany Says:

    EL OSO QUESO!

  92. 92
    Brian J. Says:

    El Oso Blanco shows them what a double looks like!

  93. 93
    John R. Says:

    @89: I think Success should be in there.

    Now, back to Gattis: !!!!!!!!

  94. 94
    urlhix Says:

    Attaboy.

  95. 95
    krussell Says:

    And that is why Gattis needs to play most every day, and I think he will.

  96. 96
    krussell Says:

    This new catcher sucks.

  97. 97
    Brian J. Says:

    Nah, he’s OK, but this second baseman really blows.

  98. 98
    Game, Blauser Says:

    BJ and Dan are a combined 1 for 6 tonight, with 5 Ks. I think they are single-handedly (double-handedly?) skewing the league’s strikeout numbers.

  99. 99
    Bethany Says:

    At least Dan hit the triple.

  100. 100
    Tad Says:

    Struggla couldnt hit with men on base if his life depended on it ….

  101. 101
    krussell Says:

    Dang, walking that guy is just asking for it. You gotta let him see how far he can hit it.

  102. 102
    Bethany Says:

    STOP PUTTING MEN ON BASE PAUL

  103. 103
    Tomas Says:

    That whole thing about the hitter having to actually try to avoid the pitch seems far gone.

  104. 104
    spike Says:

    Big K there.

  105. 105
    MikeM Says:

    Announcers failing to mention that what choo does should NOT let him take first base. Not quite Dark Lord bad, but they seem to think he ain’t really trying to get out of the way.

  106. 106
    Bethany Says:

    *exhale*

  107. 107
    Brian J. Says:

    Well done, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Maholm.

  108. 108
    Coop Says:

    Nice play, Chris.

  109. 109
    drewdat Says:

    At least they didn’t give Choo second base for no reason there.

  110. 110
    John R. Says:

    Chris Johnson flashing that range!!!

  111. 111
    Tomas Says:

    Sutcliffe informing me that Dusty Baker often shows caution with his pitchers…

  112. 112
    Kyle B. Says:

    Was that a Corky Miller sighting?

    For a career .188 hitter, he finds a way to stay in the big leagues.

  113. 113
    Brian J. Says:

    BJ, you’re not holding a damn golf club.

  114. 114
    Johnny Says:

    Golden Sombrero

    great idea giving a guy ‘hitting’ .150 5 PAs

  115. 115
    Adam M Says:

    Sutcliffe is clearly drunk again.

  116. 116
    John R. Says:

    @111: LOL!

  117. 117
    krussell Says:

    Kinda hoping this goes extras b/c the mlb record for most strikeouts by one person in a single game would probably be within reach.

  118. 118
    Coop Says:

    For no particular reason whatsoever, what is the record for strikeouts by one batter in a single game? Six or seven’s a real possibility for Melvin tonight.

  119. 119
    krussell Says:

    I think it’s 5 in a 9 inning game, 6 in extra innings.

  120. 120
    Bethany Says:

    BJ’s got this.

  121. 121
    Tad Says:

    Wow we are definately going to lead league in K’s …. 15 K’s already this game … we have had 2 busts on players in last 3 years .. Struggla and BJ Upton .. they both have no clue .. and too stubborn to change seems like … and we are stuck with them for 2 and 3 more years … I would have to start Shaffer and Pena if it was me .

  122. 122
    Kyle B. Says:

    I remember Andruw racking up 5 in a 9 inning inter league game against Boston back in the day.

  123. 123
    Tad Says:

    Wonder id Arizona would take back Justins brother (BJ) fro Prado … we could throw in 5 mil or so towards BJ’s contact.

  124. 124
    Game, Blauser Says:

    @121 I hate to say this Tad, but we have BJ for 5 years.

  125. 125
    Adam M Says:

    Prado hasn’t been much better.

  126. 126
    Bethany Says:

    Hahaha, Gattis bobbled badly but he made a hell of a throw in to second.

  127. 127
    Brian J. Says:

    Time to get the Ryan Klesko Memorial Left Fielder’s Mask.

  128. 128
    Coop Says:

    Bad play, Bear, but a good throw.

  129. 129
    drewdat Says:

    I thought (and think) the floor is .230 with decent power, speed, and CF defense. Can’t believe this will keep up all year, and playing through it is the only option I’m afraid.

  130. 130
    Game, Blauser Says:

    I would rather Gattis had fielded the ball cleanly but then only made a ‘meh’ throw to 2nd, personally…

  131. 131
    spike Says:

    I think we “only” have 10 K’s (15LOB is what you may have conflated) but still

  132. 132
    Bethany Says:

    @130 I think if he had fielded it well AND made the great throw the guy would have been out.

  133. 133
    Dan Says:

    Can’t wait to see Uggla in 2015 with the Braves.

  134. 134
    krussell Says:

    @133, that’s the year for sure, after all, he’s a notorious slow starter.

  135. 135
    krussell Says:

    LF defense rarely matters…just keep mashing and catch whatever is hit right at you and we’ll be fine.

  136. 136
    drewdat Says:

    Gearrs of WAR. (didn’t exactly earn the exclamation point that I was going to go with)

  137. 137
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    That restaurant in Cincinnati that gives away pizzas for every 11 K game will be bankrupt by the end of this series.

  138. 138
    F Says:

    Cincinnati is going to be eating a lot of pizza in the next few days.

  139. 139
    John R. Says:

    Chris Johnson leads off the inning, strikes out. Crowd erupts in cheers. Huh?

    Turns out fans in Cincy get a free pizza if the Reds strike out 11 on the night. There’s gonna be some pizza companies going out of business whenever the Braves come into town.

  140. 140
    drewdat Says:

    That pizza place has to be some kind of money laundering operation. No way anyone in it to succeed gives away pizzas for strikeouts when the Braves are in town.

  141. 141
    John R. Says:

    WE ARE TELLING THE SAME JOKES!!!!

  142. 142
    Dan Says:

    So there is a promotion that everyone with a ticket for the Reds game gets a free pizza if Reds pitchers strike out eleven or more opposing batters?

    Imagine if the Braves were a division rival.

  143. 143
    Bethany Says:

    Bahahahahahaha.

  144. 144
    Adam M Says:

    11 Ks? That’s nothing. Pizza company picked the wrong opponent for that special.

  145. 145
    Game, Blauser Says:

    Wow, that was absolutely pathetic.

  146. 146
    MaverickJB Says:

    Pizza in the morning , pizza in the evening , pizza at supper time when the Braves are in town you can eat pizza every time!!.

  147. 147
    John R. Says:

    Okay, everybody, tomorrow night after our 11th strikeout, I want everybody to type “FREE PIZZA!!!” (Don’t forget, all caps!)

    I will find it amusing, and at the very least, it’ll confuse some folks that didn’t read tonight’s game thread. :-)

  148. 148
    Johnny Says:

    Which Pizza company?

  149. 149
    Adam M Says:

    So Gearrin is going to face three straight left-handed hitters. Interesting strategy.

    Edit: I guess not. But why let him face Robinson at all then?

  150. 150
    Dan Says:

    Which Pizza company?

    LaRosa’s Pizzeria in Cincinnati.

  151. 151
    drewdat Says:

    @146

    Solid new angle.

  152. 152
    krussell Says:

    We need to bat around in one of the last 2 innings so Melvin can get two more AB’s.

  153. 153
    Johnny Says:

    they didnt identify the company on fox ohio

  154. 154
    oldtimer? Says:

    If BJ Upton retired now i think I would be happy.

  155. 155
    Johnny Says:

    thanks

  156. 156
    Game, Blauser Says:

    @149 They left in Gearrin to see if the Reds would put in a lefty PH. Choo bats next so at that point its a no-brainer to bring in a lefty to face the PH and Choo.

  157. 157
    John R. Says:

    So here’s an interesting thing to muse on:

    BJ Upton just started his five-year deal.
    Dan Uggla is just about halfway through his five-year deal.

    You get to jettison one of those players and their contracts free and clear. Which do you choose?

  158. 158
    Dan Says:

    @157: probably Uggla, just because Upton has only played one month for the Braves and isn’t this bad, and is still relatively young.

  159. 159
    krussell Says:

    @157, there are no wrong answers to that question.

  160. 160
    spike Says:

    Timmons strikes again?

  161. 161
    Bethany Says:

    Holy wow, Simmons!

  162. 162
    Brian J. Says:

    Another fine defensive play by Simmons.

  163. 163
    drewdat Says:

    LOL Choo.

  164. 164
    krussell Says:

    Need to see another replay but I think we got another break on a call at 2nd.

  165. 165
    Coop Says:

    Oh my gosh!

  166. 166
    Game, Blauser Says:

    Man alive, Simmons is great on D.

  167. 167
    Adam M Says:

    @156 Fair enough.

  168. 168
    ryan c Says:

    Did he just tag him between his legs?

  169. 169
    MaverickJB Says:

    @157 Arod…oh wait well at least Uggla and BJ are actually working for their money.Seriously though I felt the same way about BJ’s contract as I felt about Lowe’s prove me wrong BJ please.

  170. 170
    Brian J. Says:

    Nope, got him on the ankle, I think.

  171. 171
    drewdat Says:

    Looked like heel of the glove got him, maybe. Unorthodox tag for sure.

  172. 172
    Game, Blauser Says:

    Yeah… I don’t think Simmons ever tagged Choo. Thanks again, Tim Timmons!

  173. 173
    krussell Says:

    He was clearly safe on the replay. But we’re due for about 1000 more calls going our way before the shitty umpiring karma evens out…so yeah.

  174. 174
    spike Says:

    Ha!

  175. 175
    Bethany Says:

    HAVE A DAY, ANDRELTON!

  176. 176
    Brian J. Says:

    MORE SIMMONS!!

  177. 177
    John R. Says:

    Someone wanna update Andrelton’s HR rate?

  178. 178
    Coop Says:

    I repeat, oh my gosh!

  179. 179
    Game, Blauser Says:

    Woooooooooooo! Way to be, Simmons. Way. To. Be.

  180. 180
    Tomas Says:

    Simmons doesn’t mind hitting down that left line.

  181. 181
    Hotspur Says:

    Jinkies!

  182. 182
    urlhix Says:

    Very nice night for Andrelton.

  183. 183
    drewdat Says:

    Simba!

    Last replay showed Choo’s foot hitting Simmons’s wrist/glove area. There was definitely contact before Choo touched the base, but hard to tell for sure if it was glove or arm.

  184. 184
    John R. Says:

    “Here comes success!” – Iggy Pop

  185. 185
    spike Says:

    Double ha!

  186. 186
    Bethany Says:

    OMG SUCCESS

  187. 187
    John R. Says:

    SUCCESSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  188. 188
    Brian J. Says:

    SUCCESS!?!?

  189. 189
    krussell Says:

    F’ing Success!!!

  190. 190
    drewdat Says:

    LOL

  191. 191
    Dan Says:

    No way.

  192. 192
    ryan c Says:

    Holy buckets! Success?😀👍

  193. 193
    Tomas Says:

    Success! making a good bid to stay on the team once Heyward comes back.

  194. 194
    Game, Blauser Says:

    And now that the game is safe… BJ can focus on his 5th K.

    EDIT: And he fails even in that.

  195. 195
    urlhix Says:

    Schafer has really come around. I love that he talks about emulating Chipper’s approach. Seems to be working.

  196. 196
    James Says:

    I feel pretty good about Simmons getting to 10-15 homers.

  197. 197
    ryan c Says:

    Can we get #5, BJ?

  198. 198
    Bethany Says:

    You can do it, BJ!

  199. 199
    Bethany Says:

    !!!!!!!!! Does he know he’s allowed to do that?

  200. 200
    John R. Says:

    I’m telling y’all, Success is deep into “hot hand” territory right now, but unlike “Pressure On The Defense” Constanza, it’s not based on luck. The guy’s got the best batting eye on the team right now, and can actually put the ball in play over the infielder’s heads (again, unlike Georgie).

    With BJ looking so terrible, Success deserves a few spot starts. Stick him in leadoff tomorrow and give BJ the night off. After a 4K night like tonight, it’s a good move.

  201. 201
    ryan c Says:

    Numbers I thought would never be associated with Schafer ever again: .800 OPS

  202. 202
    urlhix Says:

    @200, Yep. He’s earned it.

  203. 203
    Johnny Says:

    I’m stunned. BJ didn’t get the platinum sombrero.

    edit I concur put the best team on the field.

  204. 204
    krussell Says:

    Can’t be good for a pitcher’s confidence to give up back-to-back to Simmons/Schafer. The over on the homers-for-the-series is looking good right now.

  205. 205
    Adam M Says:

    Even if Schafer continues to hit better than Upton, he’ll give it back in the field. The Braves just need BJ to figure it out, and he’s gonna have to keep playing for that to happen.

  206. 206
    krussell Says:

    Gattis woulda had that one…once it stopped rolling.

  207. 207
    Bethany Says:

    I dislike Walden almost as much as I disliked Hanson.

  208. 208
    Coop Says:

    Help!

  209. 209
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    I miss the days when our bullpen got through its work without conceding a run.

  210. 210
    krussell Says:

    And this is why EOF has to pitch every night.

  211. 211
    Dan Says:

    Wow, the Braves traded Hanson for a relief pitcher version of Hanson.

  212. 212
    Adam M Says:

    More adventures for the Braves’ overrated bullpen.

  213. 213
    Johnny Says:

    @205 I know, but BJ looks so lost now. He is clearly hurting us now. He has a 100 game leash, i’m betting.

  214. 214
    krussell Says:

    There’s 75 million reasons why BJ will continue to get 4 or 5 ABs per game, no matter how much of a vortex of suck he becomes.

  215. 215
    Brian J. Says:

    El Oso Blanco intimidates with his arm, too.

  216. 216
    csg Says:

    Reed is going to be the odd man out whenever Heyward returns. No reason for him to stick around if you are keeping Gattis as the RH’d bench bat.

    I heard that pizza joint has already given away like $30,000 in free pizzas this season. Stupid marketing idea that will bankrupt them.

  217. 217
    krussell Says:

    Working hard to get Kimbrel a cheap save.

  218. 218
    Tad Says:

    Wow can we have Tommy Hanson back ????

  219. 219
    csg Says:

    We need to lock up all of our lefties, even the untouchable one.

  220. 220
    John R. Says:

    @214: I completely understand that reality. I also see the reality that it’s May 6th, he’s sporting a sub-.150 BA, and he just struck out four times when the rest of his pals in the lineup are spanking the ball.

  221. 221
    Dan Says:

    El Oso Blanco intimidates with his arm, too.

    Wasn’t that Schafer?

  222. 222
    Bethany Says:

    @221 It was Schafer.

  223. 223
    Brian J. Says:

    I stand corrected, then.

  224. 224
    Bethany Says:

    Poor Freddie. He’s crushing the ball, just not to the right places.

  225. 225
    Game, Blauser Says:

    And now the Braves face J.J. Hoover, the player we traded to get Juan Francisco.

  226. 226
    krussell Says:

    @220, it’s just one month. Everyone is going to have a bad month. I’m frustrated watching him too, but you have to let him play out of it. His declining OBP and terrible approach at the plate should’ve scared us away from him, but instead we made him the highest paid free agent in Braves history. At this point all you can do is hope that he figures it out. He will not be benched, period.

  227. 227
    spike Says:

    OK, now we are at 15 k’s

  228. 228
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Side note: Bad news for Otis Nixon.
    Liked to watch him play.
    Hope things get better for him.

    Go Braves!

  229. 229
    spike Says:

    Heresy, I know, but I like Kimbrel with a 3 run lead a lot better than anything less these days.

  230. 230
    John R. Says:

    Cincy fans should get a free breadstick for every K past 11.

  231. 231
    John R. Says:

    @226: I don’t think giving Success a couple spot starts a week is benching. I also have great optimism that BJ will bat his way out of things given time.

  232. 232
    John R. Says:

    Terrible route, and he trapped it, but…

    Success!

  233. 233
    Brian J. Says:

    Success succeeds with the glove, successfully.

  234. 234
    spike Says:

    Don says he didn’t catch it.

  235. 235
    urlhix Says:

    Lucky call there.

  236. 236
    Adam M Says:

    Not a catch.

  237. 237
    Landogarner Says:

    Who said Jordan doesn’t have good defense?

  238. 238
    ryan c Says:

    Success even when he fails.

  239. 239
    Landogarner Says:

    Just showed the replay from a different angle. He caught it. Was not a short hop.

  240. 240
    Adam M Says:

    Who said Jordan doesn’t have good defense?

    Every defensive metric, and anyone who watched the route he took on that ball.

    Meanwhile, Kimbrel continues to get hit hard.

  241. 241
    krussell Says:

    Has Kimbrel has lost 3 or 4 mph on the fastball?

  242. 242
    Game, Blauser Says:

    @239 It was really close, but really looked like Success! trapped the ball in LF. Also, Kimbrel is definitely regular ol’ regression to the mean with some bad BABIP luck.

  243. 243
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    @241 Tonight his two- and four-seam fastballs have been between 95-97 (just one at 97 so far).

  244. 244
    Brian J. Says:

    The ball definitely came up, but it looked like his glove was under it.

  245. 245
    Tomas Says:

    239 — Yeah, I think he got it right in the top of the webbing and it looked like it bounced from both the glove and the ball in it hitting the grass.

  246. 246
    spike Says:

    Big, big win.

  247. 247
    Brian J. Says:

    And there’s one Kimbrel Special when it counted.

  248. 248
    Adam M Says:

    Nothing cheap about striking out Votto. Phew.

    By the way, Kimbrel has a 1.75 FIP and 1.83 xFIP. He looks fine, except for the higher LD% than usual. He should be okay.

  249. 249
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    @242

    Very true on the BABIP. It’s up to .320 this year now. Was .250 for all of 2012.

    Bullet dodged.

  250. 250
    Coop Says:

    Good night. Give ‘em heck tomorrow.

  251. 251
    krussell Says:

    I don’t know about BABIP regression, more like just more BIP period. He’s gone from unhittable (98-100) to really hard to hit (94-97).

  252. 252
    Landogarner Says:

    @ 244, 245

    That’s what I saw too.

  253. 253
    Adam M Says:

    Fangraphs has Kimbrel’s avg FB speed this season at 96.2 mph, off of 96.8 mph last season. That site also has his 2011 avg rate at 96.2 mph, same as this season.

  254. 254
    ryan c Says:

    When the heat arrives so will the heat on his FB.

  255. 255
    spike Says:

    Good effort by Maholm against a quality side. The team has gotten more out of him than I ever thought.

  256. 256
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Ryan Klesko in Atlanta, 1992-1998:

    792 G, 2779 PA, 139 HR, 450 RBI, 301 BB/523 K, .281/.361/.525, -18 UZR, approx. 11 WAR

    Gattis could totally do that. And if he plays more of that at catcher, he’ll be worth a heck of a lot more than 11 WAR.

  257. 257
    kc Says:

    With the upton brothers and Heyward, Gattis will have very little chance to play in the outfield…

  258. 258
    spike Says:

    Yeah but since he’ll never start in the OF for a couple of years at least, the bet is Gattis + $> McCann. Probably still how I’d play it, but there is a non-trivial chance that McCann continues to be great. And think of what you’d get back for Gattis right now.

  259. 259
    mavery Says:

    Recapped!

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