Stolen bases becoming long-shot gambles for Braves

This year’s speed-challenged Braves  have managed to make the stolen base attempt the equivalent of what the football world recognizes as the Hail Mary pass.

The Braves have been successful with just 11 of their first 27 stolen base attempts this season.   That equates to a 40.7 percent success rate.  The Marlins (55.8 percent) and White Sox (50 percent) are the only other clubs with a success percentage below the 65.2 mark posted by the Cubs entering Sunday.

The Orioles  (22-for-28), Twins  (27-for-35) and Cubs (15-for-23) are the only other clubs other than the Braves to have registered fewer than 40 stolen base attempts this year.   As the numbers show, these clubs have been much more successful in the art of picking their spots, or knowing when to keep the driver in the golf bag.

The worst stolen base percentage posted by a Braves team dating back to 1980 was the 55 percent mark (93-for-169) posted by the 1986 club.

Many of the Braves’ unsuccessful attempts have come at the end of unsuccessful hit-and-run attempts.   Most of these botched attempts have affected Martin Prado, who has been successful with just one of his six stolen base attempts.

Meanwhile opponents have been successful with 72.4 percent (42-for-58) of their stolen base attempts against the Braves this year.  It’s no surprise that they have been successful with 16 of the 18 attempts made against Tommy Hanson, who saw opponents prove successful with  89.1 percent (33-for-37) of their attempts last year.

But it has been surprising that opponents have been successful with nine of their first 10 attempts against tonight’s starting pitcher Tim Hudson.   Last year, Hudson limited opponents to a 50 percent (11-for-22) success rate.

While the Braves certainly defend the running game better with David Ross behind the plate,  Brian McCann did throw out six of the 14 opponents who attempted to steal while he was serving as Hudson’s catcher last year.

This year, McCann has been behind the plate for each of the 10 stolen base attempts made with Hudson on the mound.

As mentioned Friday, McCann will get the day off Tuesday and Chipper Jones will rest for tonight’s series finale against the Mets.

Two days after fouling a pitch off the right side of his face, Jordan Schafer is back in tonight’s lineup. He ran in the outfield this afternoon and headed toward the clubhouse with a smile on his face.

Schafer was very fortunate to simply suffer a non-displaced sinus fracture when Jonathon Niese’s fastball hit off the handle of his bat and hit his square on the right side of the face Friday night.   He didn’t lose any teeth and simply had a very small bruise under his right eye when he returned to the park Saturday.

Still when asked if he would take a picture to show the fans how little damage he had incurred,  Schafer smiled and said, “I can’t let the ladies see me like this.”

Speaking of Chipper, many of you asked how far his eighth-inning homer against Niese traveled Friday night.   The Mets did not provide an estimate, but many of the media members polled said it was one of the few balls they have seen travel to the second deck since Citi Field opened in 2009.

The folks at estimated the home run’s true distance to be 412 feet and its standard distance (factors out the influence of wind, temperature and altitude) to be 422 feet.

According to this website, three of the other four homers Jones has hit this year have actually traveled further than the one he hit Friday night.  His longest shot by their estimates was the one he hit against the Nationals’ Jordan Zimmerman on May 12 at Turner Field.   Its true distance was estimated at 437 feet and its standard distance was estimated at 432.






Has anyone been tracking Chipper’s righty/lefty splits? His lefty BA is approaching the Uggla line. Is Chipper done as a lefty hitter?

I wouldn’t call him “done” from that side, but he doesn’t appear to be seeing the ball as well over there. He’s taken a lot of called third strikes from the left in recent weeks.

Wonder where Chipper’s shot would have landed had there not been skyboxes in LF.

Also, is about to become a new time-waster page for me.

Chipper helps the team even when not hitting great due to his high OBP. He is still arguably the most important guy in the braves line up. Its sad though, when you consider that chipper used to have some great hitters around him, and he was better. Now he is worse and the hitters around him are worse and so the braves arent scoring any runs.

Chipper tends to get a bad rap in these comments because he isnt one of Bills boys, but he is performing decently this season so far. And he is playing alot.

. Thanks for that insightful analysis, Zippy.

Hey, hey he’s a monkey, people say he monkeys around, but he’s too busy blogging to make any sense we’ve found. Hey, hey….

Phillies go 4 and 5 on road trip and gain a game and a half on second place team, maybe two depending on what Braves do tonight.

An interesting way to characterize the frillies collapse. One will notice that we have closed the gap to 2.5 prior to Sun. Hey, turns out Schafer is one tough cookie. He is leading off and playing CF tonight. Too bad we don’t have more of that on this team.

And Bill Schafer has joined your group of players who you worship then. I wonder why? Could it be because he plays the same position as Nate McClutch? Seriously, lets get behind the whole team!

BillyBob, always with the frillies crap. The only date which actually matters is the last day. Remember that day last year when the frillies finished 6 games up? Do you remember July 22 of last year when the Braves were 7 games up? What happened? Oh, that’s right, the Braves blew it. What do you think the Braves are going to do this year? Regardless, the frillies are on there 150+ straight sellout. Have the Braves even had that many in their 30+ years in Atlanta?

Actually your club is in serious decline. The braves havent even got into gear yet and we are still only just behind your terrible ballclub

Such a serious decline? Come to think of it, going 4 and 5 on a 9 game road trip and increasing ones lead from 1 game to 3 games does show a decline. Doesn’t it?

The Braves aren’t in second place.

“Regardless, the frillies are on there 150+ straight sellout. Have the Braves even had that many in their 30+ years in Atlanta?”

I see you Phans try and use this to sway an argument all the time and it’s just sad. A congregation of idiots meeting to watch a baseball game has nothing to do with whether the team is good or not. Please take your trite pissing contest back to Zolecki and tell him about the sellout. He’ll post another entry in his blog just for it, I’d bet.

Actually Brandon, 1) I bet that over not too long a period of time there is an almost direct correlation between attendance and quality of the team. 2) My appearance in this thread is in response to Zidane’s appearance on the the ZoZone spouting some incomprehensible gibberish. And finally, 3) No sooner did I get here when I beheld low hanging fruit aka BillyBobReefer. But, please, do not be alarmed over my use of the term “low hanging fruit”. I assure you it is not used as either a double entendre or in the southern junior high school homophobic sense which make up the bulk of BillyBob Reefer’s contributions here. No, I mean it exactly as it is commonly used back in the civilized world.

Correlation between attendance and winning? According to that statement, the Cubs should be perennial contenders, and the Rays should still be doormats.

Mark, word is that there is a cat fight going on at WVU tonite. Amy truth to the rumour?🙂

Summary of Bill’s boys tonight:

Schafer – 0 for 4 and now hitting .205
Uggla – 0 for 3 and now hitting .172
Prado – 0 for 3 and now hitting .278 with a low obp

Seriously though, we need Nate back. SUrely people are starting to realise this now? Nate had a bad start but had hit well the month or so before his injury.

Our pitchers have been great this season, but they are not going to be “on” every game. Unfortunately, our offense performs in such a way that we will certainly lose if our pitcher has a bad night. Huddy had a bad night last night. We will live and die by our pitching efforts until we do something about our offense. I would love/hate so see our offensive stats and wins v losses against pitchers with a losing record and a 5 + ERA. Anyone feel like doing that study?

Zidane, please let the Nate talk rest. In his last 10 games (32 AB’s) before this injury, Nate hit .125. Overall he is hitting .238. In no way can anyone argue he was “turning it around”. Also, don’t say we need to get behind the whole team, and then point out how bad “Bill’s Boys” are doing. That is hypocritical. Also, Bill, please don’t feed the troll.
The truth is that McCann and Freeman are the only two guys swinging the bat well. I will argree with Bill, though, that Prado and Schafer bring a lot more that BA to the table. However, we need them to start bringing their average to the table as well…. (along with everyone else). Our hitting woes are really getting frustrating, and now I feel bad for blaming TP last season. It appears he may have only been a small part of the problem.

Yeah, I agree Nate isn’t as bad as Bill would like everyone to believe, but Schafer is just an apparent upgrade in every single way. Zid, you really have to stop trying to get in Bill’s face every time someone has a bad game. He trips up enough, you just have to wait for it.

On the plus side….
-Our pitching has been very good
-Our fielding has improved from last year
-Freeman appears to be getting comfortable with MLB pitching
-We finally have a CF that can throw out a runner if need be

Thanks for talking me down from the ledge, Speedy…

Ok I apologise. I guess I let Bill’s heckling of certain players annoy me a bit, so I tried to retaliate by pointing out that his players arent exactly having stellar seasons. I think you are all wrong on the nate vs schafer debate though for what its worth. Time will tell I guess and I hope whoever plays for the braves does well.

The Devil made me do it.

Sorry for the double post – placed this on the wrong thread at first.

Some career Uggla stats of interest:
Uggla Career vs. Nationals:
AB – 335
BA – .260
HR – 16 (RFK – 3 Nationals Park 7)
Uggla Career vs. Mets:
AB – 359
BA – 228
HR – 15 (Shea – 1 Citi Field 4)
Uggla Career vs. Phillies
AB – 379
BA – .232
HR – 20 (Citizens Bank Park 6)
Uggla Career vs. Marlins
AB – 12
BA – .167
HR – 1 (Turner Field)
Uggla vs. Braves
AB – 355
BA – .287
HR – 23 (Turner Field 15)
If you think about it, the only times Uggla has shown signs of heating up this year, it has been against west coast teams, or American League teams that don’t see him that often. The teams in our division (except the Braves) have known how to pitch him (and still do).

Well, take part of that back. Dan has handled Milwaukee, St. Louis and LA Dodgers pitching this year. The LA Angels shut him down.

Uggla Career vs Cardinals:

AB- 118
BA – 298
HR – 5 (Busch Stadium 4)

Uggla Career vs Brewers

AB – 151
BA – .297
HR – 6 (Miller Park 2)

Uggla Career vs Dodgers

AB – 136
BA – .235
HR – 4 (Dodger Stadium 2)

Interesting papa bear. Those stats dont make good reading for frank wren. What we are all basically saying is we paid $60m for a slugger who is probably going to hit .240 for the braves. Thats not really good. I dont even think he walks alot? Very interesting papa, thanks for doing the research and sharing it here.

Papa – Interesting stats. I think your take on the division knowing how to pitch to Uggla is valid and him having more success against west coast/AL teams. However – if you average out those power numbers over a full season – he is still consistently hitting 30+ home runs and driving in runs… which is what we got him for. Nobody, not even you, could have predicted this outcome, even if you were against the trade.

Steals are nice, but just how about some more hitting? Why not solve both by trading Gonzalez and one of the coveted young arms in our farm system (but can’t crack the Braves’ starting rotation), for Jose Reyes?

Ah ha, Bravo – you fell into my trap, and didn’t read between the HR lines!

Uggla hit that many home runs IN Florida (or against the Braves.) His HR numbers away from home are in the parentheses.

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