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31 May

Alex Wood

Power lefty Alex Wood came up and pitched a solid ninth inning yesterday, touching 95 on the gun and retiring three Torontonians on seven pitches. Atlanta’s second-round pick in the 2012 draft, Wood is the first member of the Braves draft class to make the majors.

So, who is he, and what can he do?

Wood has risen very quickly through the Braves system since being drafted a little less than a year ago. The Braves immediately assigned him to class A Rome, and he pitched 52 2/3 innings with a 2.22 ERA and a 3.71 K/BB; this year, he has thrown 57 innings at Double-A with a 1.26 ERA. In all, he’s got 109 2/3 IP in the minors, 1.72 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 8.9 K/9, 3.76 K/BB. The Braves are rushing him to the majors because they need bullpen help, but he has thrived in the minor leagues.

Wood played two years at UGA, 2011 and 2012, but that’s because he was redshirted in 2010 following Tommy John surgery in 2009. After he was drafted, UGA’s fine newspaper, The Red and The Black, summarized his college career:

Wood, a 6-4, 220-pound native of Charlotte, N.C., was the 85th overall pick in the draft.

Wood posted a 7-3 record and 2.73 ERA in 15 starts for the Bulldogs who went 31-26. An All-SEC second team selection, Wood registered 100 strikeouts and 21 walks in 102.1 innings pitched with two complete games and a team-best seven pickoffs. His 2.73 ERA was the lowest by a Bulldog starter since 1989. For his career, Wood was 13-10 with a 3.57 ERA in 32 appearances including 30 starts. He had 180 strikeouts and 47 walks in 204.1 innings pitched. He went 6-7 with a 4.44 ERA in 2011 after being limited to just one outing in 2010 while recovering from surgery.

Everyone who sees him notes that he has an unorthodox delivery, and few seem to believe that he will remain a starter long term.

Bill Ballew, Baseball America:

Ask anyone in Braves camp about Wood’s delivery and they’ll invariably mention the word “funky.” The 22-year-old southpaw coils backward, pointing his right knee toward second base, before launching forward with a giant stride. After landing, he completes his motion with a backward hop on his right leg… The Braves intend to develop Wood as a starter but realize his stuff could be even more effective out of the bullpen.

UGA coach David Perno, quoted by ESPN:

Whether he helps them as a starter or whether he helps them as a bullpen guy, either way if that kid can stay healthy, he’ll pitch in the big leagues… It’s a little funky, it’s a little awkward, but that’s tough. You talk to a lot of hitters and they don’t want to see funky and awkward, 6-foot-4 and 94 (mph) from the left side.

Marc Hulet, Fangraphs:

You don’t see many starting pitchers with deliveries like Wood. For me, his mechanics scream “Reliever.”

Jason Cole and Bret Sayre, Baseball Prospectus:

Coming out of college, the two biggest questions surrounding Wood were his funky delivery and the lack of a reliable breaking ball. While those questions remain, they shouldn’t be serious issues out of the bullpen… Showing setup potential as a reliever, Wood still has an outside shot to stick as a starter long term.

Jason Hunt, Fake Teams

Wood now features a knuckle-curve, which he learned while in Major League camp during Spring Training, and it sounds like it is working pretty well so far… If the gains from adding a good breaking ball hold true, you are now looking at a left handed starting pitcher who would have three pitches which grade out as at least average or better (two plus), who has a tendency to get groundballs at a great rate.

The Braves have called Wood to the majors to fill an immediate need in the bullpen, and that’s fine. Many successful starting pitchers began their major league careers in the bullpen; there’s nothing wrong with that. Hopefully, later in the summer the Braves will be able to repopulate their bullpen and they will be able to send Wood down to the minors to stretch out and get back into starting again. Whether or not his long-term future is as a starting pitcher, the team will certainly want him to remain a starter as long as he can.

For now, though, it will be great to have another power lefty in the pen. Alex Wood is here, and he’s a heck of a pitcher already.

267 Responses to “Alex Wood”

  1. 1
    Brian J. Says:

    Here’s the official lineup… Wow.

    Heyward cf, Pena ss, JUpton rf, Freeman 1b, Gattis lf, McCann c, Uggla 2b, CJohnson 3b, Teheran p.

  2. 2
    Johnny Says:

    I went to MLB.com and watched Woods video. It is a very funky motion. The Hunter Pence comparison is very valid, but I don’t see where its as violent and stressful as Tommy Hansen’s mechanics. But what do I know.

    edit: does Fredi read Braves Journal?

  3. 3
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I was just about to post that lineup as well. Seems like Fredi’s going with the offense tonight too…

  4. 4
    krussell Says:

    Andrelton…grab some bench.

  5. 5
    spike Says:

    Uggla has hit Strasburg well, and Pena has hit this season.

  6. 6
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Andrelton actually has better numbers vs RHP this year.

  7. 7
    spike Says:

    True, but Pena has raked against RHP – .375/.419/.589 to Simmons .267/.297/.385

  8. 8
    Rusty S. Says:

    I guess that whole Laird catching Teheran thing is over.

  9. 9
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Oh, I have no problem with Pena being in that lineup. You sacrifice defense* for offense and go Pena/Uggla rather than Pena/Simmons. Fine by me.

    *given Andrelton’s recent case of the yips, even moreso.

  10. 10
    Coop Says:

    Laird as seldom-played third catcher that enables Gattis to hit daily is a valuable commodity.

  11. 11
    Smitty Says:

    Andrelton really did need a night off IMO.

    I love this lineup. Fredi is playing to put them away.

  12. 12
    krussell Says:

    This year’s Fredi is very much not afraid to sit someone that’s not playing well, I’ll give him that. Andrelton has had a horrible stretch lately in all areas so he’s certainly a candidate.

  13. 13
    Rusty S. Says:

    @10 – Agreed.

  14. 14
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Honestly, the only “question” I could imagine about this lineup would be starting JUpton over Success!

    My god. I just wrote that.

  15. 15
    Hotspur Says:

    Anybody heard an update yet on whether Harper is playing tonight?

  16. 16
    Agent-X- Says:

    Hmm. Mike Minor. Or Stephen Strasburg. Who is the better pitcher? It might be Strasburg, however that might not be the case in the long run. It might not be the case this season, even. Mike Minor has been beastly since the start of the second half last year, and he has come a very long way. Even if Strasburg is the better pitcher, you might be arguing between two guys who will alternate winning Cy Young awards. Might. With the way they are both pitching, who would be inclined to disagree?

  17. 17
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Nats lineup:

    Span CF, Lombardozzi LF, Zimmerman 3B, LaRoche 1B, Desmond SS, Bernadina RF, Espinosa 2B, Suzuki C, Strasburg P

    That is as bad as some of the lineups we had last year when Bourn was fading and Simmons, McCann and Chipper were all out injured.

  18. 18
    PaulV Says:

    Harper is still broken with swollen knee.

  19. 19
    DJ Says:

    I just read the LA Times article on Tommy Hanson and his issues with mental health. Pretty candid stuff from him. It sounds like he’s been having a tough time of it….I wish him well.

  20. 20
    PaulV Says:

    Minor has 1.9 War and Strasberg has 1.0, FWIW. We all remember Zimmerman throwing the ball away with 2 out and next guy hitting the HR. No earned runs for Strasberg for throwing a gopher ball.

  21. 21
    ububba Says:

    Greetings from OJ-Ville (Santa Monica & Bundy)…

    An eye-opening Braves lineup, for sure.

    But yeah, it’s OK to sit Andrelton a game. Recent bad stretch, long season & all that.

    And I love having a bench that really contributes. Pena’s hit & he’s had some big hits this year, including that extra-inning deathblow vs. the Nats.

    Doesn’t break my heart that Washington’s best player’s out, but I never take the Nats lightly. I’ll just note that LaRoche had a 2-HR game this week & Zimmerman had a 3-HR game just two days ago.

    That said, let’s stomp their guts out tonight.

  22. 22
    PaulV Says:

    Is it smart to get a pitcher who already has had Tommy Johns?

  23. 23
    PaulV Says:

    9 unearned runs for Strasberg, 1 for Minor. Lucky or does pressure get to Strasberg?

  24. 24
    Dusty Says:

    I know Andrelton’s made a couple of errors in the last week, but he’s hitting .313 in the last 7 days and .288 in the last 14. Is is just a couple of defensive miscues everyone’s talking about when mentioning his recent struggles?

    I don’t mind him getting a night off either BTW, just remember another comment from yesterday about him taking recent struggles at the plate into the field and had to check the stats. Seems he’s hitting fine to me.

  25. 25
    ububba Says:

    Oh, and nice write-ups, Sam & Alex.

    And thanks for The Red & Black shoutout.

  26. 26
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Simmons is fine. Three errors in a week is just statistical noise. I suspect the main reason he is sitting is because Uggla has good numbers against Stras and Pena is hitting well from the left side and everybody needs a day off once in a while.

  27. 27
    krussell Says:

    @24, maybe a bit of an over-exaggeration to say he’s had a really rough patch – he had an awful game last night and has made several errors lately and also a few misplays that weren’t charged errors (or were bailouts from Freeman scoops). Basically uncharacteristic shaky defense from him.

    As someone said last night, we should probably cut him some slack, it’s not like he’s a .100 hitting OF’er.

  28. 28
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    I suspect the Nats are feeling an awful lot of pressure to win tonight. Curious to see how Strasburg handles it. Given that it is scorching hot up here and on the premise that we could be in for a real treat, I think I am going to pair this game with a 750ml bottle of Saison Dupont.

  29. 29
    spike Says:

    Oh man, I just got back from Argosy in east atlanta – half price draft from 5-6 every weekday. 21st Amendment Imperial Jack and New Holland Dragons milk stour (bourbon barrel aged, 10%abv), with some pork belly kabobs. Stay tuned for extra humorous commentary (from my perspective anyway) tonight.

  30. 30
    John R. Says:

    So glad to see a McCann/Gattis lineup with Teheran pitching. Not only will our offensive production be maximized, but the fans coming through the gate will certainly feel their getting the show they paid to see. The only thing missing by my lights is Success! Now let’s go win.

  31. 31
    John R. Says:

    So glad to see a McCann/Gattis lineup with Teheran pitching. Not only will our offensive production be maximized, but the fans coming through the gate will certainly feel their getting the show they paid to see. The only thing missing by my lights is Success! Now let’s go win.

  32. 32
    Kevin Says:

    Dodgers called up Pete Moylan today. I wish him well.

  33. 33
    Spike Says:

    Ditto

  34. 34
    Coop Says:

    Do well, Petah.

  35. 35
    justhank Says:

    Ah, Harvard – the University of Kentucky of the Northeast.

    Congratulations, Alex!

  36. 36
    Bethany Says:

    Well. That’s one way to start a game.

  37. 37
    Tomas Says:

    I don’t get why they call for so many fastballs on the inside to lefties, especially no-power ones like Span, Laird has been doing the same.

    There’s really no reason to try to be clever with Span, just pitch him on the outside and see if he can actually do something with it.

  38. 38
    Bethany Says:

    Well, if Jason’s in right that’s a clean inning.

  39. 39
    Bethany Says:

    Jason, you swung at ball 4.

  40. 40
    Coop Says:

    Ball four grounder to short.

  41. 41
    Brian J. Says:

    That’s what happens when you’re hitting .150 and trying to make something happen- you make something dumb happen.

  42. 42
    Bethany Says:

    Justin’s in quite a funk.

  43. 43
    Coop Says:

    Yep.

  44. 44
    krussell Says:

    At least JNay swung the bat. I’d rather him hack. He’s way too passive up there for my tastes. Seems like he’s always hitting with 2 strikes. I hope he swings at the first pitch every time up.

  45. 45
    Brian J. Says:

    Yep, down to 217/ 336/ 337 for May (and 167/ 239/ 190 from May 18 on). And we don’t want the funk. Don’t give us the funk.

  46. 46
    Bethany Says:

    The most frustrating thing for me about Jason is that he will get into a good count then swing through fastballs down the middle.

  47. 47
    Tom Says:

    That was bad. Jason with his trademark groundout on ball four, Justin with the DP. He’s not any better than his brother lately.

  48. 48
    Bethany Says:

    Wow. Via @bravesamerica

    Player A .202/.306/.476 6 HR, 31 K
    Player B .220/.339/.341 2 HR, 30 K

    Player A is Uggla, player B is Justin

  49. 49
    krussell Says:

    @47, the fact that we’re winning enough to stay in first is baffling when you factor in the 3 guys under .200, Justin basically O-fer-May, injuries to key relievers, etc. Gattis and the super-scrubs are keeping the ship afloat, and the pitching has been mostly decent.

  50. 50
    jjschiller Says:

    Freeman is not good out there. I don’t care how many scoops we think he makes. He is made of stone.

    If Jason Heyward could hit with Freeman and Uggla out there, he’d bat .400.

  51. 51
    Bethany Says:

    @49 I think it’s made more obvious by the fact that Uggla is… well… Uggla.

  52. 52
    Coop Says:

    Julio’s pitching better than the score.

  53. 53
    Tomas Says:

    You should probably just have bounced one there, Stephen.

  54. 54
    Coop Says:

    I believe that was an earned run.

  55. 55
    jjschiller Says:

    He can hit a little, though.

  56. 56
    Spike Says:

    Jim Powell made a great Gattis joke there.

  57. 57
    Tomas Says:

    Strasburg just lost 3-4 miles off his fastball mid inning.

  58. 58
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Strasburg looks like he’s injured. He’s in pain.

  59. 59
    John Gaines Says:

    Fatty McFatJoke Simpson could learn a thing or two from Powell.

  60. 60
    jjschiller Says:

    Could we be seeing the shoulder injury I mentioned earlier?

  61. 61
    Coop Says:

    Can Danny take a called strike three? YES HE CAN!

  62. 62
    Tomas Says:

    Nats were getting a reliever up in the bullpen, let’s see.

  63. 63
    Coop Says:

    Share please, Spike.

  64. 64
    jjschiller Says:

    Never want to see an injury. But I LOVE getting into a bullpen early in the first game of a series.

  65. 65
    Bethany Says:

    Pena!!!

  66. 66
    Tomas Says:

    It keeps being somewhat surprising that no one had use for Pena this offseason.

  67. 67
    Coop Says:

    For a fleeting second, I thought that was Andrelton at short. Nice play, Ramiro.

  68. 68
    jjschiller Says:

    Who needs Yunelton?

  69. 69
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Hey, you guys remember when we were talking about how good Strasburg was, and I mentioned that he was fragile? Yeah.

    This looks shouldery. Shouldery is even worse than elbowy.

  70. 70
    John R. Says:

    Powell and Ben Ingram=Professional announcers.

  71. 71
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Unfortunate that Stammen is not your typical end-of-bullpen arm to bail you out when the starter fades, but is actually pretty good and has a sub-1.00 WHIP against us the last three years.

  72. 72
    jjschiller Says:

    Chris Johnson looked like ME up there.

  73. 73
    Bethany Says:

    Add that to Jason’s “LD%”

  74. 74
    Coop Says:

    That at bat may have been Jason’s best in a long time.

  75. 75
    Brian J. Says:

    “Discomfort in his shoulder” is what MLB Network called it. So shouldery it is, and the Gnats are in troubly.

  76. 76
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I declare Stephen Strasburg to be the Nick Johnson of starting pitching.

    Or Dan Haren, I guess. (Or Mark Prior or Tommy Hanson, if this is shouldery shouldery.)

  77. 77
    jjschiller Says:

    If Strasburg misses significant time with a shoulder injury, I’ll believe the inverted w talk.

  78. 78
    Nathan Says:

    Can’t really be like Tommy, Sam. Tommy kept on keepin’ on, he just got much much worse relatively rapidly. Strasburg isn’t getting worse, really, he’s just missing time. More like Prior, I guess.

  79. 79
    Coop Says:

    Nice inning, Julio.

  80. 80
    Bethany Says:

    Julio looks great. I hope the offense can do its job, he deserves better.

  81. 81
    Tomas Says:

    As much as we (rightfully!) gripe about Uggla’s struggles, at least he doesn’t have an Espinosian sub .200 OBP.

  82. 82
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    It really depends on what’s wrong with his shoulder. If it’s a pinched nerve or something, he can work around that. If it’s in the shoulder – labrum or capsule or whatever – that’s Prior/Hanson territory. Shoulder injuries, where there’s damage in the actual shoulder, are career killers. See also Jaime Garcia.

  83. 83
    Tomas Says:

    The way he tried to loosen up made me think it was a pinched never in the neck, but you never know.

  84. 84
    Coop Says:

    BJ’s funk is not much greater than Justin’s.

  85. 85
    jjschiller Says:

    I’d trade Uggla for Espinosa in a heartbeat. Espinosa is playing through a wrist injury. He’s also a good defender.

  86. 86
    Brian J. Says:

    83- And they’re not even bringing the noise anymore.

  87. 87
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    84-Obviously I would do that trade as well. Then I would immediately cut Espinosa.

  88. 88
    John R. Says:

    Re: Strasburg – Must suck to be someone with so much talent yet be absolutely unsuited to play the game.

  89. 89
    Coop Says:

    It’s only the Nats’ scrubs, but Julio’s pitching well.

  90. 90
    Bethany Says:

    Now if only we could score some runs.

  91. 91
    ububba Says:

    Well, let’s win this thing.

    BTW, Mookie Blaylock in awful car crash.
    http://tinyurl.com/k2y7qw8

  92. 92
    jjschiller Says:

    Julio has been good, and thrown 71 pitches. Unless I’m missing something, the Nat’s pitchers have had to throw only 58.

  93. 93
    DWonder Says:

    I might be a little late to the party with this, but did anybody see that Fredi is considering asking BJ to go to Gwinnett?
    I think they should find a reason to DL him, give him a week off to clear his head and then 7-10 games at Gwinnett to get some semblance of a swing together.

  94. 94
    jjschiller Says:

    @91- My mistake, I wasn’t considering that we’re at home.

  95. 95
    Coop Says:

    Can we get Strasburg back?

  96. 96
    Bethany Says:

    We made him work that inning, at least.

  97. 97
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Man, you just can’t be manhandled by Craig Stammen.

  98. 98
    Coop Says:

    How’s your health, Sam?

  99. 99
    Brian J. Says:

    Deja fu- didn’t we get kicked in the head this way back in the first inning?

  100. 100
    Bethany Says:

    Small balled to death by the Nats C team. This is getting pretty bad.

  101. 101
    krussell Says:

    Span is beating us singlehandedly.

  102. 102
    jjschiller Says:

    On what effing planet was Justin Upton when that ball was hit?

  103. 103
    Tomas Says:

    Stop pitching inside to Span for Pete’s sake, it’s the only thing he can drive anywhere. Let him get on with a slap single on an outside pitch if he can handle that.

  104. 104
    jjschiller Says:

    I don’t have much faith that we’ll accumulate 3 more hits tonight. I’ll be stunned if we score 3 runs.

  105. 105
    Bethany Says:

    Johnson is laughably bad at third. Except we’re losing and I’m not laughing.

  106. 106
    Coop Says:

    That should have been the third out.

  107. 107
    jjschiller Says:

    DFA Chris Johnson.

  108. 108
    carl Says:

    I miss Fat Juan already

  109. 109
    krussell Says:

    Good outing by Julio. Let’s get him some runs.

  110. 110
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I’m doing good, Coop.

  111. 111
    Bethany Says:

    There was a game several years ago in which we were supposed to face Strausburg and ended up going against some junkballer instead and predictably got shut out. This feel like that game.

  112. 112
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    They’ve figured out how to handle Strasburg, as recent outings against him attest. They have no freaking clue with Stammen.

  113. 113
    jjschiller Says:

    Is Fredi awake? Does he know we’re losing? Does he care? Did he see last inning when Teheran was getting knocked around?

    This is going to be one if those stupid things where he let’s his pitcher hit, then he goes and pulls him after he allows a leadoff single.

  114. 114
    Brian J. Says:

    Except for Heyward, who’s looking like T-ball would be more his speed right now.

  115. 115
    Coop Says:

    Good news, Sam. Wish the Braves would behave.

  116. 116
    krussell Says:

    I can’t believe Teheran hit last inning. We’re down two fer f’s sake. Fredi still gonna find a way to Fredi.

  117. 117
    jjschiller Says:

    Fire all the coaches, release the veterans. Trade the young players. Burn the stadium to the ground, move the team to Tuskegee and sign them up in some independent league. Then let us never speak of this again.

  118. 118
    carl Says:

    If I read more about Heywards bad luck, I’m gonna vomit. Guy is useless right now, and no one else can take a walk.(CJ swinging at ball 4 at 3-1.

  119. 119
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    We’re going to lose to a backup outfielder and Craig Fucking Stammen. Good lord.

  120. 120
    Bethany Says:

    Pena for 3B.

  121. 121
    Coop Says:

    Chris Johnson is not Brooks Robinson.

  122. 122
    jjschiller Says:

    Hey, what was that guy in the red shirt doing standing at second base with the other guy threw the ball back in? Is he allowed to do that? Someone should tell Chris Johnson about that. That looked like a good idea.

  123. 123
    jjschiller Says:

    Pull them off the field.

  124. 124
    krussell Says:

    @112, there ya go…

  125. 125
    Coop Says:

    Freddie may be Dick Stuart.

  126. 126
    Tomas Says:

    Offense, you owe Julio a steak dinner with this no-show.

  127. 127
    jjschiller Says:

    Good trade, Fredi. Punt your half of the 6th, so you can get an extra 2/3rds of an inning before you go to the pen.

  128. 128
    Brian J. Says:

    “Muscular issue in his back” is the Natinals Newspeak for Strasburg’s owie.

    126- But that’s alright because he’s got Gattis on the bench to pinch-hit in the critical spot and bail him out… wait…

  129. 129
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    You don’t want to PH for Teheran when the unhittable Craig Stammen is on the mound. Why waste a hitter when a guy like Craig Stammen is dealing out there?

  130. 130
    jjschiller Says:

    Well to be fair, the bench is already in the game. All he has on the bench are his starters, and they all suck.

  131. 131
    Bethany Says:

    Pena is the luckiest SOB I’ve ever seen.

  132. 132
    krussell Says:

    Thanks for that gift. Hopefully that’ll unravel Clippard a bit. He seems fragile anyways.

  133. 133
    Coop Says:

    Clown baseball, bro. Thank you.

  134. 134
    jjschiller Says:

    Well good. Now, because he’s a middle infielder, so Fredi believes he’s fast, we can strike-em-out, throw-em-out.

  135. 135
    Coop Says:

    I fear we have one Upton too many in our lineup.

  136. 136
    Bethany Says:

    Justin, just stop swinging.

  137. 137
    krussell Says:

    OK now the good hitters are up.

  138. 138
    jjschiller Says:

    Crupton and Dumpton.

  139. 139
    Bethany Says:

    FREDDIE!!!!

  140. 140
    Bethany Says:

    Way to take one for the team, Gattis!

  141. 141
    Brian J. Says:

    Another baseball to the disabled list.

  142. 142
    Tomas Says:

    I really don’t like those kind of HBP. Should just be a ball.

  143. 143
    krussell Says:

    I’d rather Gattis still be hitting.

  144. 144
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    OK, now THAT was a legit HBP.

  145. 145
    Coop Says:

    Smart move to set up the double play with Uggly up.

  146. 146
    Bethany Says:

    Come on Bravos….

  147. 147
    Tad Says:

    Stupid to replace Gattis with BJ there .. you wait and see .. Gattis spot will come up in bottom 9th and we will havw BJ hitting .. Gonzalez you are stupid !!

  148. 148
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Can we please pinch hit for Uggla? PLEASE.

  149. 149
    jjschiller Says:

    Well, that was all our good hitters…

  150. 150
    drewdat Says:

    Come on, sac fly.

  151. 151
    Bethany Says:

    Have to agree with Tad. Fredi loves Gattis’ bat in late game situations, but often subs him out of games he starts in the late innings.

  152. 152
    Bethany Says:

    Go to hell, Dan.

  153. 153
    krussell Says:

    Best outcome…he only made one out.

  154. 154
    oldtimer? Says:

    thanks uggla.

  155. 155
    Jason Says:

    That might have been the least-surprising strikeout of the season so far.

  156. 156
    drewdat Says:

    How is Uggla only at 9%? He had my vote.

  157. 157
    Tad Says:

    wait ta go struggla …..

  158. 158
    jjschiller Says:

    Right down the fucking middle.

  159. 159
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Frediot. Why the fuck do you let Uggla hit with the game on the line.

  160. 160
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Freakin’ Lombardozzi can get two SFs and Uggla simply strikes out.

  161. 161
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Uggla is a giant sack of shit.

  162. 162
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Unfortunately, Clippard appears to have cleaned himself up after his near-Episode.

  163. 163
    drewdat Says:

    Seriously, Uggla probably finishes higher than 9% in the All-Star vote. Is Victorino even active?

  164. 164
    Bethany Says:

    I’m going to go vomit.

  165. 165
    Tomas Says:

    Goddamn rally killers.

  166. 166
    krussell Says:

    #situationalhitting
    #barves

  167. 167
    drewdat Says:

    Unfortunately for Clippard, he won’t always get to go down to Little League mid-game when he gets in trouble.

  168. 168
    Coop Says:

    The good news is that we have eight outs left. The bad news is that we have eight outs left.

  169. 169
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    161-If by “cleaned himself up” you mean “had the great fortune of having the opportunity to throw fastballs right down the middle to Uggla and CJ” then yes.

  170. 170
    Brian J. Says:

    167- Um, six, unless there’s been a rule change.

  171. 171
    drewdat Says:

    Seller’s remorse on JuanFran is pretty strong about now.

  172. 172
    Coop Says:

    Vomit now, Bethany.

  173. 173
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    What the hell is CJ doing? Why is he playing so far in at third?

  174. 174
    Coop Says:

    Right you are, Brian J.

  175. 175
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Oh, and that brain dead lunatic Fredi pulled Gattis for BJ freaking Upton. JESUS.

  176. 176
    Bethany Says:

    Johnson didn’t screw that up! Someone give him a cookie.

  177. 177
    jjschiller Says:

    GET HIM OFF MY TEAM.

  178. 178
    jjschiller Says:

    Sorry, I’m watching on xbox. Three or four pitches behind.

  179. 179
    Brian J. Says:

    Not that we’d have done anything with those two extra outs.

    174- And of course, we’ll regret it when we load the bases with two outs, which is when BJ’s spot in the order comes up.

  180. 180
    carl Says:

    @174
    So you’r one of those who DOB says can never give credit to Fredi?

    Watch BJ hit the game winning HR in the ninth.

  181. 181
    Coop Says:

    From your computer to God’s ears, Carl.

  182. 182
    krussell Says:

    Probably should start a pool for whose arm falls off first – Varvaro’s or Avilan’s.

    Bit of drama coming up now. JNay just needs one more out to have the same avg as BJ.

  183. 183
    drewdat Says:

    @179

    Maybe if you have some Rays highlight reels.

  184. 184
    jjschiller Says:

    Until this year, I thought Storen and Stammen were the same person.

  185. 185
    jjschiller Says:

    Unsuccess…

  186. 186
    carl Says:

    @180

    That’s what I’m going for, a miracle.

  187. 187
    Brian J. Says:

    The old Baltimore Chop almost worked.

  188. 188
    Bethany Says:

    I can’t handle watching Jason suck anymore.

  189. 189
    John R. Says:

    BASERUNNING RULEZ BY FREDI GONZALEZ:

    You DO pinch run for Gattis in the bottom of the 7th with one out and runners at first and second, down 3-2 to the Nationals, where Gattis is the runner behind the slow Freeman.

    You DO NOT pinch run for Laird down 2-1 in the eighth against the Mets, where he’s the only runner, on first with one out.

  190. 190
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    There are quite a few folks around here who can’t give Fredi the least bit of credit, even though he does things like tonight’s lineup.

  191. 191
    Nick Says:

    Hey, can you believe how unlucky Jason’s getting? He almost beat out that shitty little Baltimore chop.

  192. 192
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Watching a shit show like this while drinking a great farmhouse ale really does help bring out the barnyard flavors.

  193. 193
    krussell Says:

    I think it’s fair to praise him for tonight’s lineup and still utter a few WTF’s!?!? at some of his strategic moves during this game. Teheran hitting was dumb. Pulling Gattis when he wasn’t the lead runner and was gonna get another AB was dumb. Letting Uggla play period is dumb.

  194. 194
    jjschiller Says:

    Crumpton made contact that time. Maybe he’s snapping out of it?

  195. 195
    carl Says:

    190-

    Barf

    where’s all those line drives the statheads always mention when speaking of Jasons bad luck.

  196. 196
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Sure glad we’ve got Gattis coming up in the ninth … oh, wait, what?

  197. 197
    Coop Says:

    Good one, JCM.

  198. 198
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    John, I don’t want to ruin a good rant for you, but both of those decisions are, how to say this gently… Correct. If Laird makes it to 2B you pinch run for him then, the way you PR for Gattis as the go-ahead run on 2B. A single scores the PR to take the lead in the 7th. You do that. Every time.

  199. 199
    John R. Says:

    @190, I give him the least bit of credit: That was a good lineup he put out there tonight.

    @198, But Laird didn’t make it to second. He got forced out on a crappy bunt by Pena.

  200. 200
    Bethany Says:

    @189 Hard to give him credit for the lineup when he removes a key part of it for no reason with 2.2 innings to go. Gattis kills relievers, and he replaced him with an inferior hitter in a situation where BJ’s speed was not needed.

  201. 201
    drewdat Says:

    I thought Heyward at leadoff was pretty brilliant.

    Do we need a third hitting coach? Half the team pretty much sucks all the time, with no real bright spots or prospects for turning it around. I guess you can’t 100% pin Uggla and BJ’s laziness and moral turpitude (for virtually stealing millions of dollars from the Braves) on Walker and Fletcher. Don’t you kind of have to try something?

    Pull him.

  202. 202
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    197. No, you don’t.

  203. 203
    Coop Says:

    E-9

    Or not.

  204. 204
    jjschiller Says:

    Except that he pinch ran for Gattis when he was on 1st.

  205. 205
    Brian J. Says:

    198- Agreed. This was what I feared yesterday, because no lineup can succeed all the time, and if this one fails we’re going to get massive doses of Heyward, the Uptons and Uggla. (The HUUU Boys, pronounced Huuuuuuh?)

  206. 206
    Bethany Says:

    Come on Cory…

  207. 207
    Coop Says:

    Roll over. Play dead.

    At least we have our best two hitters still in the lineup up this inning. Could have had three, but …

  208. 208
    Nick Says:

    This entire conversation by Chip and Joe about Bernadina being out of the batter’s box is absurd, as the replay clearly shows that he wasn’t. (If any part of the foot is on any part of the line, you’re in.) What in the hell are they even talking about?

  209. 209
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    The difference between BJ and Gattis is greater than the difference between the average major league hitter and Barry Bonds. There is a reason Barry Bonds never got pulled for a pinch runner in the 7th inning while trailing 3-2. Because it’s fucking stupid.

  210. 210
    Bethany Says:

    Whew. Come on Freddie, you’re gonna have to do it all yourself.

  211. 211
    beege Says:

    @ 183, I always knew they were discrete pitchers, but confuse the pitcher names with botanical sex organ names.

  212. 212
    Brian J. Says:

    The bullpen did its job, now let’s at least tie it up. Swing for the fences, Freddie and… that’s about it, I guess.

  213. 213
    drewdat Says:

    Sneak preview of The Internship? I should be so lucky.

  214. 214
    krussell Says:

    @210, thank you sir…now I have summer ale all over my monitor.

  215. 215
    Landogarner Says:

    Gee, sure would be nice to have our best hitter in late game situations in the game right now.

  216. 216
    Bethany Says:

    #P^HSG

  217. 217
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Ballgame.

  218. 218
    Brian J. Says:

    ARGGGGGGH! We needed to move that fence in.

  219. 219
    Tomas Says:

    Goddamn.

  220. 220
    Coop Says:

    Wow, Freddie.

  221. 221
    Brian J. Says:

    I know it’s not in the best taste, but that’s the most damage BJ’s done with a swing in weeks.

  222. 222
    Bethany Says:

    Wow, that might have dislocated his shoulder.

  223. 223
    krussell Says:

    Whoa, check the new improved stance. Left foot nearly out of the batter’s box, then a dainty toe tap and spin.

  224. 224
    Landogarner Says:

    Staying back on the ball. I hope this means good things to come for BJ.

  225. 225
    Bethany Says:

    Fredi can go straight to hell.

  226. 226
    Landogarner Says:

    Seriously? right as I post that BJ? Where is Gattis again?

  227. 227
    drewdat Says:

    Do I hear boos? I’m a little proud.

  228. 228
    John R. Says:

    I am glad Gattis was scrubbed from the game down one run for an increase in running speed 90 feet behind the lumbering Freddie Freeman so that BJ could strike out down one run in the bottom of the 9th.

  229. 229
    Bethany Says:

    If we give Fredi the opportunity to over-manage, he’s going to take it.

  230. 230
    Adam M Says:

    @227

    That’s the spirit!

  231. 231
    Tomas Says:

    Frustrating loss to put it mildly.

  232. 232
    carl Says:

    @227

    Indeed, can’t wait to see DOB defend that move.

  233. 233
    Landogarner Says:

    @224 +1

  234. 234
    Brian J. Says:

    We did have our other good hitters up in the 9th and it just didn’t quite work out. I miss owning these guys, like we did earlier this year.

  235. 235
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    The problem is that Fredi is like that kid on “The Simpsons” — I believe his name is Wendell — who can’t make it through a school-bus ride without vomiting. In one instance, the bus arrives at school, Bart slaps him on the back and says, “Hey, buddy, you made it!” — and he throws up. That was Fredi tonight. Great move with the lineup. Then he puked all over himself in the bottom of the seventh.

  236. 236
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    You don’t have to wait for DOB. Fredi played to win it in the 7th. That’s the right call. A single wins the game with Upton running for Gattis. Fredi didn’t lose that game, an offense of your favorite players lost it by getting sat down 12 in a row by Craig Stammen.

  237. 237
    drewdat Says:

    BJ and Uggla just made $157,000 for that.

  238. 238
    krussell Says:

    15-13 for May. Meh. Could’ve been worse I guess.

  239. 239
    Bethany Says:

    So who do we blame for calling for inside fastballs to Span all night?

  240. 240
    krussell Says:

    @235…you’d be making more sense if Gattis hadn’t been on 1st.

  241. 241
    Tad Says:

    @ 146 ….. I told u so … I knew Feddi pinch running for Gattis would come back to haunt .. he is pitiful excuse for a MGR .. heck my Granny could have figured out .. wait hey ite 7th inning .. there is a good chance my # 5 spot in order will probably get a chance to hit agin in 9th … do I want Gattis hitting or BJ …. duh duh duh .. dumbo Fredi says BJ

  242. 242
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    235-Do the math and you will discover you are wrong, and it’s not even close.

  243. 243
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @239. Good point. Playing to stay out of the double play then, not to win it. Not as defensible, but if either of Uggla or Johnson had made contact and the tying run had scored, it would have been a good call.

    But you make a good point. Fredi was playing to stay out of the double play and score the tying run in the 7th, assuming a grounder to a fielder from Uggla or Johnson.

    Again, this loss is on an offense that gave Craig friggin’ Stammen four innings of perfection and couldn’t get a fly ball to the outfield against Tyler Clippard with one out in the 7th. It’s not on Fredi. That’s just your knees jerking because that’s what you guys do when they lose.

  244. 244
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Oh dear god. What “math” would that be, JoeCraig?

  245. 245
    joelk Says:

    At 234, I love it! Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  246. 246
    Bethany Says:

    @242 What happened the in middle innings sucked, but that doesn’t excuse what Fredi did in the 7th. It was a bad move and reduced our chances of winning. “Staying out of the double play” isn’t a valid reason to use a pinch runner on one of your top 3 hitters.

  247. 247
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Fine. You guys love to bitch and moan about Fredi more than you love anything else, and I’m not up to fighting with brick walls tonight. Whinge away. Primal scream therapy and all that.

  248. 248
    krussell Says:

    This just proves that you can’t go half-scrub with the lineup. It’s all-scrub or bust. JNay needs to bat third. In Gwinnett.

  249. 249
    John R. Says:

    Sam, I see a huge difference between our players doing things to lose the game and our manager doing things to lose the game.

  250. 250
    Bethany Says:

    Let’s put it this way:

    Fredi did a great job putting out a solid offensive lineup for this game. So, the failures in the middle innings can only be blamed on the players themselves, which is how it should be. However, when he meddled in the 7th, that’s all on him. He didn’t give his best lineup the chance to finish the game, all because he wanted to play manager in a situation where his managing had little consequence in that small moment.

    EDIT: Or what John said.

  251. 251
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    243-It’s pretty damn simple, Sam. What are the odds that BJ’s speed creates an additional run versus the odds that the game will still be in doubt when Gattis’ spot is due up again in the ninth?

    And “staying out of the double play”? Are you kidding, Sam? What is he going to do, hit and run with Freddie Freeman on second? The only way to stay out of the double play there is to pinch hit for Uggla with Schafer or, less effectively, Simmons.

  252. 252
    krussell Says:

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9330692/atlanta-braves-consider-sending-bj-upton-minors

  253. 253
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Like I said, you guys are impervious to anything other than your preestablished need to whinge about Fredi over any loss. Four innings of perfection from a relief pitcher lost that game. Failure by Dan Uggla and Chris Johnson to get a guy in from third with one out and the bases loaded lost that game. But you want to hang Fredi, because that’s what you enjoy doing. Whatevs, kids.

  254. 254
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    252-Not pinch-hitting for Uggla was part of the failure, as I pointed out at the time, thanks.

  255. 255
    Bethany Says:

    @252 And you decided you were going to defend Fredi before even really understanding what he did. You insisted it was because BJ would start on second, but he actually went in when Gattis was at first, which is completely indefensible, and you’re still sticking by it.

    You can blow us off and act like you’re the one with a clear head here, but you’re just being contrary because it fits in with the narrative you’ve established for the board (Bravesjournalers love to blame losses on Fredi)

  256. 256
    John R. Says:

    Sam, I see this logic often, not just from you:

    “Four innings of perfection from a relief pitcher lost that game. Failure by Dan Uggla and Chris Johnson to get a guy in from third with one out and the bases loaded lost that game.”

    There’s no doubt those things didn’t help us get any closer to winning the game. But the game wasn’t “lost” going into the bottom of the ninth. We had three outs to score one run. And we didn’t. And our chances were hobbled by the fact that the guy being rumored to go to the minors because he’s been so awful was standing in for our hottest hitter.

    The game isn’t lost until it’s over. Every chance to help us win needs to be maximized. When the manager wrecks those chances, it sticks out.

  257. 257
    Rob Cope Says:

    We lost. Remember when we won 11-3 last night? Same team.

  258. 258
    Tom Says:

    BJ sucks, sucks, sucks.
    Heyward sucks, sucks, sucks.
    Uggla sucks, sucks, sucks.
    Fredi sucks, sucks, sucks.

    Hell, even Jason and Andrelton suck lately. But still, we are in first place, and no team leads its division by a wider margin than the Braves. It’s not all bad in Braves land, is it?

  259. 259
    Bethany Says:

    Maybe Huddy can get it back on track vs the Nats, who he usually pitches well against.

  260. 260
    jjschiller Says:

    I’m officially worried about Hudson. He’s a veteran, he’s been around the block plenty.

    If it was mechanical, he’d have fixed it by now. If it was approach, he’d have adjusted by now. He knows how to do those things.

    If he’s going out there and wetting the bed 6 out of 8 starts, it’s because it’s just not working.

  261. 261
    Bethany Says:

    I think that Wren and Fredi have at least shown that if Hudson truly is done, they’ll move him to the pen or find some other way to minimize the damage.

    At least, i hope so.

  262. 262
    John R. Says:

    How have they shown that? Did I miss a public statement or something?

  263. 263
    Bethany Says:

    Well, I mean, I feel like Fredi has been pretty good about sitting the pricey guys when they aren’t performing. And Wren jettisoned Glavine and Lowe after they were at rock bottom… Those are admittedly different scenarios though.

  264. 264
    Adam M Says:

    Wren hasn’t shown the same kind of sentimental loyalty that the old regime did. The Braves take care of their own, but they’re not averse to modern neoliberal thinking either. If Hudson is done, then he won’t cripple the team down the stretch. That said, his peripherals give some room for hope. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him turn it on this summer.

  265. 265
    John R. Says:

    @263, Okay, gotcha.

  266. 266
    jjschiller Says:

    I agree with Bethany. I think Huddy gets a lot of rope, but I’ve seen enough from Wren to believe that when the rope runs out, he’ll cut it.

    I’d normally expect him to get most of the season, but Beachy returning is a wild card.

    Hudson lines up for starts on June 1, 6, 11 and 17. Beachy returns June 18.

    If Huddy doesn’t turn things around, he gets those 4 starts, plus one more as part of a 6 man rotation. That one extra is your loyalty bonus. I think they tell us “It makes sense, one time through, give everybody a breather, Beachy coming off an injury, Teheran is a rookie.”

    We might be watching Huddy pitch for his career.

  267. 267
    John R. Says:

    Perhaps, but the other wild card is Beachy coming back and being ineffective.

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