This year’s results similar to last year’s with 100 games remaining

With 100 games remaining this season, the Braves are one game behind the pace they set a year ago.  Of course a year ago at this time, they were sitting at the top of the National League East standings and creating plenty of reason for optimism.

While gathering nearly the same results this year, the Braves have not lived up to expectations.   Still as they sit just three games behind the Phillies in the National League East standings and one game behind the Brewers in the Wild Card race, there is a sense that this team is capable of making the kind of second-half tear that the Phillies enjoyed last year.

Long before notching an NL-best 97 victories and winning the NL East by six games last year, the Phillies possessed a 32-30 record.   Through this year’s first 62 games, the Braves have gone 34-28.

This isn’t to say the Braves are going to overtake the Phillies, who have overcome many significant injuries to produce the game’s best record so far this season.   Instead, this comparison was made to simply remind you that Philadelphia fans were feeling some of the same disappointment you’ve battled as the Braves have struggled to find consistency the past few weeks.

Through their first 62 games this year, the Braves have batted .241 with 60 homers and a .689 OPS.  They have averaged 3.8 runs per game.   Their pitchers have posted a 2.99 ERA and allowed an average of 3.3 runs per game.

Through their first 62 games last year, they batted.260 with 47 homers and a .741 OPS.    They averaged 4.9 runs per game.   Their pitchers posted a 3.77 ERA and surrendered 4.0 runs per game at this point last year.

So the pitching staff has proven to be much better and the offense has proven to be much more disappointing.  I know you didn’t need this numbers to confirm this.

Nor did you need me to remind you that things would be much different if Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla had not been such non factors during the season’s first nine weeks.

A return to Miami has not seemingly been the remedy Uggla is seeking to end his offensive struggles.  He has recorded one hit in his first eight at-bats of this week’s series against the Marlins.   Unfortunately while going 1-for-5 in last night’s 10-inning victory, he faced the embarrassing reality that the output was good enough to keep his batting average at .170.

Fortunately, it sounds like Heyward might be able to return by the time next weekend arrives.  Freddie Freeman talked to him earlier this week and gained the sense that the young right fielder’s shoulder is feeling much better.

“He’s been pretty down about his shoulder since the start of Spring Training,” Freeman said. “This is the first time I’ve heard something positive come out of his mouth about it since then.  I’m encouraged and I think he is.  We need him.  He’s a force.  A healthy Jason Heyward, watch out.”  <p>

With a healthy Heyward, some of you might be able to watch games without some of the stress that has been present the past couple weeks.   The Braves played their Major League-high 13th extra-inning game while improving to 12-11 in one-run games last night.

Last night was also the seventh extra-inning game the Braves have played  in their past 19 games.  They have won five of those seven most recent extra-inning contests.   <p>

Once Craig Kimbrel blew a two-run lead with two outs in the ninth last night, the Braves rebounded in the 10th inning and manged to score more than two runs for just the eighth time in their past 17 games.

The Braves have scored two runs or fewer  22 times this year, one more than the Phillies.   The other NL teams to do so more often are the Padres  (28, 3-25),  Dodgers (27, 3-24), Giants (23, 5-18) and Nationals (23, 4-19).

Maybe it will help relieve some of the late-inning stress you have felt on a nightly basis to know the Braves have posted the NL’s best winning percentage .272 (6-16) while scoring two runs or fewer this year.

 

 

 

 

138 Comments

They’ll come around, I think. Add Heyward and it sounds like Pence might show up in the next few weeks if Uggla doesn’t solve his crisis. Won’t be too problematic. I think the pitching will continue to be at least good to excellent.

We need to trade Uggla NOW! Seriously!!!

Its imposible that Wren will admit he made such a possibly huge mistake this quick. Remember, when Mclouth came over from the pirates his avg was just as dismal as Uggla’s. Wren didn’t give Mclouth the boot nor will he with Uggla yet. We gave up far too much to get him. The other main difference between the two is Uggla’s upside compared to Mclouth. He has, in my opinion, been very good defensively. Combine that with his ability at the plate (when it comes back around) and we could very well have a major second half run. Of course nothing is guaranteed, but we have just as good a chance as anyone else if we solve the offensive problems. Remember that amazing rotation the phillies have, I believe we still have a better era. No GM would call that trade a mistake just yet.

Uggla isn’t going anywhere. Who would trade for his contract while he is hitting .170? One thing I have noticed over the last two games is that he does seem to be improving at laying off the off speed stuff away. I think the hits are going to start coming for him. Hopefully, when they recap the season at the start of the playoffs we will all be thinking “Wow, Uggla was hitting .170 in June. I forgot all about that.”

I am more concerned about what is going to happen when McClouth comes off the DL. There is no way Schafer should come out of this lineup. He isn’t exactly killing the ball, but he is getting himself on base and makes stuff happen when he does. His defense is in an entirely different league than McClouth’s. So, what will Fredi do? Take the spark plug out of the lineup or bench the $7 million player?

McClotuh should be used as a bench player when he comes back. He should get regular starts but not be in the braves premier line up. For example, when chipper is out of the line up then prado should go to third and Nate into LF. And Hinske should get time in LF and at 1B, and Prado can go to second and uggla can get a day off and nate or hinske can come into LF. Or Jason can get the odd day off to stop him getting injured and nate/hinske can go to right.

I am excited about nate coming back because it gives fredi alot of options, and means he can rotate the players to put who is hot in and take those with minor injuries (which we get alot of) out. If fredi manages the club well then we are going to be a strong club from 1 to 25 when nate and jason come back

It is nice that the Braves have gone 2 games better this year than the Phillies did last year which begs the question, so what? Last year at this time the Phillies had neither Oswalt or Lee. It took only the addition of Oswalt to get to the end with a 6 game lead. A 13 game turn around from being 7 games back on July 22 until winning the division by 6 games. But forget the Phillies, what about the comparison between the Braves of this year with the Braves of last year after 62 games. Last year the Braves were 35 and 27. This year the Braves are 34 and 28. What is wrong with this picture?

U have to remember a couple things about last year. From about the end of april til almost the allstar game we had troy glaus almost carrying the offense. He dropped off dramatically the second half of the season and we moved backwards. Not even mentioning the loss of chipper when he had finally gotten hot. Right now our only real issue is the offense. We saw for a little while at the beginning of may what our lineup can do if they are all hitting at the same time. We have the starters to compete with anyone barring the unusual bad outing. Our bullpen is great and i’d even say its getting stronger now with sherrill and linebrink pitching more consistently. We have tons of talent all thru the clubhouse. Now we need them to all execute together.

Once again displaying that brilliant logic of yours. Every year is a repeat of the last. Makes perfect sense.

Just playing off the brilliant logic of this article.

Is that the same roy oswalt who has been getting lit up all year?

Wow another glass is half full report.

I don’t know about everyone else, but, I love the fact that almost every player in the league wanted to play for bobby. It was due to his demeanor and how he had cnfidence in his guys to do the job even when he shouldn’t have. It seems to alarge extent that fredi is emulating bobby to an extent. But, that being said, I feel like its time for a braves coch to light a fire under everyone’s ass for not living up to their abilities. Just a little fire and brimstone please!

I don’t know about everyone else, but, I love the fact that almost every player in the league wanted to play for bobby. It was due to his demeanor and how he had cnfidence in his guys to do the job even when he shouldn’t have. It seems to alarge extent that fredi is emulating bobby to an extent. But, that being said, I feel like its time for a braves coch to light a fire under everyone’s ass for not living up to their abilities. Just a little fire and brimstone please

Geez, we are getting no hit by a guy with a 5.55 ERA. Surprise, Surprise. It might be time to take a wrecking ball to this team. Only problem is, you then have QTip trying to reassemble it. We damn sure need a new batting coach, probably a new head coach and for damn sure a new GM.

Words spoken as we sweep the fish in Miami. Impecable tming Bill.

Oh Baby Bear, Your really not gonna defend this offense now are you?

I believe it is too soft…….

Head coach? This is baseball, right?

Not often that I agree with you, but very well played.

how bout trading uggla mclouth and minor to the mariners for figgins guiterriez and eric bedard

What is Brook’s BA from the 7th inning on?

At the risk of backing one of the bill’s boys, I think conrad deserves the chance to get more playing time at 2b untill uggla sorts it out. Well, actually i wud move prado to 2b and give uggla 2/3 rest days a week whilst starting heyward/schafer/hinske in the of when heyward is back or mcclutch is baack. Great sweep. If our line up even starts doing OK then we are going to win alot of games.

Well, all I can say about that is what I said before the playoffs last year. You have a perfectly good young middle infielder by the name of Diory Hernandez. He has hit over .300 in two AAA seasons. Give him a shot – and keep Brooks at what Brooks is best at – coming off the bench for clutch hits late in the ballgame. Diory is a shortstop – can play 3B or 2B. He will have better range than either Uggla or Brooks. He has some pop in his bat too. If they had gone to Diory at 2B last year, the Giants would not have won the world series.

papa thats a fair point. Maybe we should keep diory at 2b and keep brooks as a pinch hitter. We should try and trade uggla for free just to offload his contract. Wren needs to learn when to admit a trade is a disaster and to just limit the damage. I predict an 0 for 4 tonight from uggla. I hope I am wrong though because I really like him.

Any word on Brandon Beachy? I would love to see him back in the rotation….

He has thrown and no pain, I think he’s rehabbing of a mound right now

That is encouraging, I was a big Minor supporter at this point last year, but Beachy’s performances have completely made me forget of the first round pick. He has been a welcomed surprise to an already deep pitching staff. When JJ and Hanson become free agents in the not too distant future, its good to know we have such talented kids to replace those that we may lose due to the Boras variable.

Zidane – cannot trade Uggla. Nobody will take on that salary and give something up for it in return… especially for a .170 hitter. We’re stuck with Uggla and have to hope he figures it out.

We need to create an injury for him so he can “rehab”.

Well, the news just keeps getting better. Martin Prado to 15 day DL with a staph infection in his calf. Infection cleaned out today. 15 days might not be enough.

Wow, and thats for a team who in the last 30 days has scored 81 runs in 26 games. Which is the worst record in the entire majors. 30th out of 30. Not great. Now we lose our most consistant hitter. We need Nate back. Even Bill will be saying this soon. Any update on when he is back anyone?

Last 30 days: Braves have scored 3.1 runs a game (and that includes alot of extra innings). We have hit .240, stolen a massive 8 bases and had 6 CS, an OBP of .307 and are slugging .363. We have walked 86 times and stuck out almost 200. Awful stats.

Uggla and Chipper need to get hot now.

Wow – we don’t even have our “B” team out there tonight. Looks like our “C” team. Schafer, Uggla, Chipper, Freeman, Gonzalez, Hinske, Ross, Young, Hudson. We are playing against a pitcher with an ERA over 5 which means he has a good shot at a no hitter.

Would almost like to see Fredi pull a LaRussa and bat Huddy 8th and Uggla 9th.

Philly fans – can’t really play the injured card anymore… at least to Braves fans. We’re just as banged up, if not more. And as far as the Phillies having the “greatest pitching staff ever assembled” – http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/pitching/year/2011/seasontype/2

Schafer gets on, gets over and gets in. On a team struggling to score runs he has been pretty damn good. His BA isn’t a good indicator of how he is playing offense.

Bill, you are right. Jordan seems to be here to stay. You have to love the way he plays the game.

Can anyone name a better short stop to wear the Braves uniform than Alex Gonzalez? I love to watch him play.

I hope that were not using up our next month’s worth of runs tonite. JK- its nice to see em it going on the road. Freddie is getting vicious. He and McCann are gonna rake for years.

Prado who? This offense doesn’t seem to miss him… ;) Were now winning with our best contact hitter hurt, our best all around hitter hurt, our best power hitter in a career worst slump, Chipper under performing, and a carousel of outfielders, but yet are a mere 2 games behind the Frillies. Let the phans keep trolling, they’re just insecure – and rightfully so.

This game drives me crazy. There’s nothing that can explain this lineup scoring 11 runs. Nicely put, Brandon – all of that stacked against us and we have one of the best records. Just think of how good we can be if we score 4 runs a game.

One of the best records for second tier seems seeking the wildcard.

Damn, PenisPain, you drunk? maybe you mean “second tier teams” Even then your characterization is ridiculous and your stupor certainly reinforces it. Your are trying to troll the team that easily has the best pitching staff in baseball maybe the best pitching staff ever. Not since the dead ball era of the early 60’s has any team put up a sub 3.00 ERA. The Braves right now- 2.99. Even the St Louis Cardinals that won the WS in 1964 led by Gibson had a 3.43 ERA. If our esteemed QTip had built this program with a little more speed and better bat control, we would be 10 games up right now. But we play the hand we are dealt and right now, we are pulling some big pots. When the Big boys get healthy and going in our lineup, we will blow by you like a Shelby Cobra leaving a Toyota Tercel in the starting blocks.

BillyBobReefer, always reduced to potty mouth retorts. It may very well be the 2011 Braves will compare to the 1964 Cards insofar as ERA is concerned. But comparing what a team has done over less than 65 games to what a team did over a full season is a bit premature. Don’t you think, Son? I am also curious as to how 2011 Braves hitting and fielding compares to 1964 Cardinals fielding and hitting since the 1964 won the WS. I believe the entire NL All-Star team infield consisted of Cardinals in 1964. You can look this up, Son, but off the top of my head this would have been Bill White at first, Julian Javier at second, Dick Groat at shortstop, and Ken Boyer at third. Yes, that would be Boyer as in Clete Boyer. Remember him? BillyBobReefer, enough of the past. You do not want to be late for the candle lighting vigil at Stone Mountain. Hurray along now, Son.

Why wouldn’t we remember Clete? He was a Brave.

Well said bill

Pretty funny how over hyped the phillies pitching staff is and yet the braves are far far better in terms of era. This braves staff is the best in the majors. Easily. The stats show that. The phillies seem like they are scared of the braves this year. I like that.

Hunter Pence needs an different “A” on his uniform.

Lets have a quiz. Which pitching staff has a lower era this year. A) Braves, B) Phillies?

Let me know the answer please Pherrisphain?

What team is in first place, Mate? You Aussies rely know how to beat a dead horse, don’t you?

Somehow accuscore says we are major dogs in this game lol. Minor may not have been impressive thus far, but I’m pretty sure we could walk Bobby out onto the mound and we should be favored versus the Astros. If it were the first round of the playoffs it’d be different, but come on…

Give it a rest man…the Phillies also have a stellar staff, the small amount we’re ahead in ERA right now, whether it’s to due skill or statistical variance, is insignificant. Besides, you should be quoting our 5-4 record heads up vs them this year if anything ;P. All of this nitpicking aside, we’re in for a great pennant race for the rest of the year and I think both sides of fans know it. If Pherris didn’t think so, why would he be here? And why would you be over on their boards? I don’t see anyone trolling the Nationals blog :D I vote we just sit back and enjoy the 90-something games left and hope our staff can keep up this awesome pace. What do ya say?

Well hell, that wouldn’t be any fun now would it? :>)

Somehow accuscore says we are major dogs in this game lol. Minor may not have been impressive thus far, but I’m pretty sure we could walk Bobby out onto the mound and we should be favored versus the Astros. If it were the first round of the playoffs it’d be different, but come on…

I am finding I am agreeing with Bill every time he posts recently. I think I am going ever slightly mad, as a fellow countryman of mine once sang

Lol. Well it won’t be fun if we don’t end up winning the division. Especially since we aren’t even the lead (yet). Maybe we should wait until if/when we overtake the Phils before talking so much smack? We don’t really have much of a leg to stand on now, since they are ahead of us in the standings, which is the only stat that matters at the end of the day.

Is Minor REALLY this bad?

Wow Hinske doesnt have much range does it. Its like having GA back out there

Hinske ain’t fast, but you can’t ever accuse him of loafing out there.

The Diesel

Prediction ggla is cured and is going to go on a surge soon

Bmac oh I love that swing. Zippy, He’s one of MY boys.

Just so everyone’s clear. Jordan Schafer is the starting CFer for the Atlanta Braves. He paid his dues, he did what the FO asked of him and he is just getting comfortable in that role. I mean you have to remember, the guy is just a rookie. We let Freddie sort it out and look how that’s paying off. Jordan is a really good defensive CFer, he will eventually steal 50 bases in a season and he is adapting to his role as table setter. This team may get fun to watch if they can get some of the middle lineup thunder rolling again. Heyward, Prado and Uggla will fill out this lineup nicely. BTW I have had the surgery like that Prado’s having for his staph. Mine was under my kneecap but I can say that it is no small problem. Hope they caught it early. I lifted 4 orderlies off of the floor at once when the doctors pulled out the packing in the incision. They told me you could hear the screaming on the floor below at the hospital. But then, you’ve all heard me scream now, eh?

Bill, I for one will take it easy on you from now on. I had no idea you had gone through such a traumatic incident in your life. I understand now.

I can only see one team if we do trade uggla and that is the NYY bc they need a DH so hy not send him stefan gartell and KK for chris dickerson Kevin russo and Ryan Pope. That mean we can move Prado back to 2nd place dickerson in lf and as a leadoff hitter kevin russo can be a ulitly player.

Is this real life?

No, it is not real life, it is Braves life.

No, it’s ncbravesfan82. He still doesn’t get that trades you can make on MLB: The Show don’t translate to the real world.

unfortunately it is, koovoon…

Go Danny….. One of my Boys…….

Bill if you look I said that uggla was heating up after 1 ab last night. He is finally laying off the off speed stuff. If he puts up decent numbers .265 35hr 110 rbi then the braves are division winners

You were ready to trade him at the beginning of the thread. You argue both sides of the same argument. How can you ever be wrong? Or right for that matter.

Hey Bilbo he is still hitting under .200 in mid June. I am just said I could see him heating up. I want him to suceed bilbo. Unlike you I support the whole team and want all our players to do well. You wouldnt understand….

Go put on your flip flops Zippy. Somehow you found religion on Schafer as well. Oh and I had predicted that Uggla was coming out of it a few days ago, Nice of you to finally get on the bandwagon, though. Better late than never.

Take it easy, boys. It’s just Houston. Uggla OWNS Myers.

I will say this, though…. batting second seems to have really helped Uggla. He is focusing on THAT ROLE and doing a good job. Did you notice for instance how he let a good pitch go by because he knew Schafer had that base stolen? He does know what to do with a hanging slider too, doesn’t he>? Great to see people playing their roles. Bust as I said, it’s just Houston.

But yea, houston are one of the worst baseball sides I have ever seen. They are truely horrible, esp todays line up

Since dropping Uggla from my fantasy team he is 5-11. Son of a!

see above. Can’t believe CDrizzle picked him up. Strikes out WAY too often.

That’s why I keep running him out there on my squad. He may have just secured my win for this week.

Wonder if those Philly fans are getting worried yet…

We get the Mets, they get the Marlins, this could get interesting…

This season is gonna be a dog fight with the Frillies. I think it will probably boil down to whoever stays healthy. That may be a problem for us and here’s why:
1) Our wily veteran 3B has the wheels of a 58 Edsel.
2) Our young phenom RF it seems is more fragile than a Faberge egg
3) Our clubhouse staff can’t keep the locker-room clean enough to keep our MVP LF from getting a heaping dose of staph infection.
4) We let young players trying to make the team play with broken bones in their hands
5) We are letting the brightest young pitcher in a bullpen anywhere pitch everyday and our rookie closer almost as much.
All this caught up to us in August and September last year, God I hope we figure a way to navigate it this year.

I like our chances heads up against the Phillies the rest of the way. We all know our starting pitching will go toe to toe with theirs, and when the game is close in late innings, you know they tremble at the thought of lefty Venters coming in to face Utley, Howard, and Ibanez. Venters is dirty enough as it is against anyone, but when you combine those left/lefty matchups late in the game it gets scary for them. I think they should bring in Venters to face these hitters in the 7th, 8th, or 9th, depending on when they are due up. I’ve always been opposed to having the title of “closer”…it just doesn’t make sense to me. Sometimes the 7th or 8th innings are extremely more crucial than the 9th, so why wouldn’t you want your best reliever out there to get the job done? You mean to tell me it makes ANY sense at all to bring in someone to face the 3 4 5 hitters in the 8th, and leave Billy Wagner in the bullpen to face the bottom of the order with the ASSUMPTION that we get to the 9th with the lead?? Why not bring him into the game in the 8th, which is obviously where he is needed most? I think this is the philosophy we should use for our Big 3 (or 4 if/when Moylan is healthy). It’s just a pet peeve of mine, the way the baseball world does so many things because it’s “the way they’ve always been done”, rather than actually looking at data and making more educated decisions. They’ve gotten better at it, but some things are still asinine. Don’t even get me started on sacrifice bunts (excluding special occasions, such as pitchers’ at bats). Now I’m just ranting…

Before I get any sarcastic replies, yes, I’m well aware that Wags is no longer our closer…it was just an example. I obviously couldn’t use Kimbrel as an example because he isn’t our best reliever :D

Interesting choice in the ninth. Venters has obviously been more dominant than kimbrel this year, but you need all three of those guys to close games (including EOF). The order does not even matter. Some may even say the eigth is more important than the ninth since you need to get to the ninth with the lead. Nice to see Uggs get a few hits. Please let this be the start of something… Matt Young is doing OK in RF, but I look forward to JH coming back.

Kimbrel threw 24 pitches the day before.

Just keep running 3, 4, 5 or 6 pitchers out there everyday Where did that get the Braves last year? Oh, that’s right, from 7 games up on July 22 to 6 games behind at the end of the season. Phillies lead slightly on quality starts thus far this year 52 to 49 but drill down just a little deeper and you’ll find that the Phillies have pitched 7 innings or more per game 35 times while the Braves have done so only 19 times. Seems that one thing Freddie Gonzalez learned at the knee of his mentor, Bobby Cox, is the fine art of bullpen management. Wouldn’t you all agree?

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Hey Pherris, I took you up on your offer and I drilled deeper. You know what I found? Your starters are pitching more innings, because you don’ t have nearly the bull pen depth (even into AAA) than we do. Fredi is confident with EVERY arm in our pen. (Some of us here were shaky with Linebrink, and Sherrill, but they have been solid, especially of late. Arms out of Gwinnett have proven VALUABLE! – Gearrin, Proctor, they have all performed wonderfully, and it gives us the edge. How deeply have you dug into your own pen, and depth? Keep trolling. You might actually learn something.

Keep drilling, Papa Bear. Phillies are pitching more innings because they can. Braves starters are not pitching more innings because can’t. Phillies relievers are pitching less innings because that is all that is available to them. Braves relief pitchers are pitching more innings because they are needed. Phillies relief pitchers have been put in a save situation about half the number of times Braves relief pitcher have. Yet the Braves relief pitchers have blown saves at a rate 6 times greater than Phillies relief pitchers. Papa Bear, you really need to back away from the Kool-Aid.

The fact that you are here trying to predict the future by assuming our bullpen won’t hold up shows how worried you are that they WILL hold up. So you’re starters will go deep into the game, probably give up 2-3 (let’s even say 1-2 since our offense is sub par) runs as their ERAs indicate, and then we’ll score another on average off of your bullpen in the 8th or 9th. I wonder why you’re so concerned about our bullpen arms wearing down…could it be that you know that if we have the lead after 6, they will shut you down in the final 3 frames and our 3 runs will be more than enough to improve our winning record vs you guys? On a side note, I’m not worried about facing Halladay, we’ll just call Kawakami back up to outduel him ;P

Ok, so let me get this straight. Phillies are in save situations half as much as Brave’s pitchers, and yet Phillies’ starters are pitching past the 7th? Sounds to me like the Phil’s manager lacks more than a little confidence in the Phillies’ late inning pen. Why would he be stretching the starters like that otherwise? My point is you say we are going to “gas” our bullpen. I say you guys are going to “gas” your starters. And I say that our starting pitchers AND our pen are far DEEPER than yours. It’s about arms at the end, wouldn’t you agree?

Pherris, who has a lower team ERA, the braves or the Phillies? Thanks in advance.

You are like the one trick pony aren’t you?

If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Braves pitchers earned runs<Phillies pitchers earned runs. Sounds solid to me.

And Pherris, If I were to ask you to choose which closer you wanted to face in any 9th inning, and the choices were Masden and Kimbral, who would you honestly choose? Come on man. And besides, Howard, Utley and company will be facing Venters – 8th or 9th. It doesn’t matter.

sorry, *Madson.

Yeah, right, Phillies manager lacks confidence. What you should ponder is the comparative efficiencies of the two staffs. Hamels, Halladay and Lee usually do not hit the proverbial 100 pitch count until the 7, 8, or 9 innings. Is there a consideration of taking a pitcher out based on inning rather than pitches about which I am not aware? Halladay has had at least one complete game, maybe two, of less than 100 pitches. No doubt the fact the Phillies are 44 and 1 in games in which they have led after 8 innings supports the conclusion they are doing something right. And before the resident knucklehead chimes in, ERA is only one factor and evidently not the most important.

DOB just tweeted “Kawakami is pitching relief at Double-A because needs to rebuild arm strength and because Double-A team has 5 good starters now.”

Jason Heyward has flown to Indianapolis where he will bat third tonight in the Gwinnett Braves’ lineup. #680theFan.

Koovon, Braves bullpen seems to be holding up quite well. It appears to be a good business plan but not so much a good baseball plan. It failed abysmally last year and as the saying goes repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

We’ll see, man…the fact remains that the Phillies are worried. No one doubts we both have great pitching staffs, and our offense seems to be just as potent as yours (which isn’t very much). You can make fun of Uggla all you want, but if we get him and Heyward going, and we have Prado back, it could be scary for you guys. And if not, we’re still fine. You have no one that could shut us down in late innings, but we have our strong bullpen “if they hold up through the season” that will shut down your lineup. It’s going to be fun to watch, but it’s ridiculous for either fanbase to sit here and act like the other team isn’t any good or doesnt have a chance.

It is not even an argument as to who has the better staff. Numbers don’t lie. However – I do have a concern about the amount of innings that we are relying on our bullpen. That has nothing to do with our pitching and everything to do with our offense. We have to use our best pitchers in a pennant race in close games. “Everyday Johnny” got his nickname because he is the best reliever in baseball and we have to use him to win close games. Unfortunately every game is a close game because our offense only scores 2-3 runs a game and that’s about where our starting pitchers are. Unless we find a way to score more runs or put games away earlier – we will have to use our bullpen until their arms fall off.

Which number doesn’t lie? And you are wrong that it is creature of offense alone . It is also a creature of pitching philosophy. Hanson has 14 starts and has gone to the proverbial quality start of 6 innings 9 times but he has gone beyond that only 4 of those 9 times. He makes the decision easy for the manager by having to throw so many pitches in the first 6 innings. And, then there is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. How responsible is McCann for the amount of work the starting pitchers have to put in?

Tony hits the nail on the head. Good post sir. The stats are quite clear about who has the better staff. You are correct that we need to find a way to not overtax the pen. I dont see why we need to over use the pen because we have so many quality arms down there. Fredi needs to show more faith in the 4th/5th relievers in close games. Once Moylan and Medlen are back then our pen looks frightening to opposition teams. Go braves.

OH THAT’S RIGHT! Moylan and Medlen aren’t even pitching yet…….

Theres our reinforcements that Pherris is scared we don’t have. And it’s good were getting these injuries out of the way early this year; it killed us in August and September last year, but if they rehab right(I hear Heyward could be back as soon as Thursday), they should be fresh to last the rest of the season.

Boy I can’t wait for McLouth to get healthy again so he can come in and play stellar CF and leadoff with his great avg and base-stealing skills. I mean he is McClutch right?

If he did, you wouldn’t acknowledge it and sit in silence like the last time he got hot.

Oh, please Brandie, the guy had one good day in 2 years with the Braves. You really need to surrender this argument, now that you have watched a real CFer.

Jason is 1-2 with a double, walk and a run scored. If anyone is interested.

Boy. I’ve seen this movie before.

As soon as you surrender to your stupidity. Oh wait.

Geez, Brandie, you’ve got your panties all up in a bunch again.

Nate should come in and play as 4th outfielder. He will come back into the side in rf or lf when he is back

Interesting how McCann mans up and confesses as to how he should not have called for a fast ball when the count was 0-2 on Pence. Doh! Are the Braves ready to start talking about the 800 pound gorilla in the room yet?

What is the 800 pound gorilla in the room pherris? And please dont say McCann behind the plate at calling the game. Because thats a joke. McCann has consistantly led the braves staff to have low ERA’s over the last few years and he is learning from one of the best defensive cacthers in the game (david Ross). If McCann called bad games then the braves staff wouldnt have the best era in the majors would they? Now jog on and let the adults have some sensible discussion pherris ok kid?

Zidane, Mate, you are so right, McCann calling a game is a joke to say nothing of his ability to pick off a runner at second. But, it is what it is.

The only gorilla in this room is you, Pherris, if we are counting Baseball IQ, that is. As for the 800 pounds? I kind of pictured you as an obese couch potato with no life other than to troll baseball blogs. Thanks for the confirmation.

Interesting that McCann cant call games yet we led the majors in ERA as a pitching staff. Why is that Pherris? IF we are doing that DESPITE you saying mccann cant call a good game then we must have 5 cy youngs in our rotation to be putting up the numbers we are putting up. You are a joke to say that pherris. Maybe you are jeleous that the braves have the best catcher in the majors?

Zidane, here we go again, you are a one trick pony trying to diversify. Now it is the pitching and McCann. My take is that it is the pitching despite McCann. Have I hit a nerve here or what?

You’re a lot like Bill – except you don’t sound like a 14 year old homophobic who has daddy issues when you insult people, so I have to give you that. Intelligent troll is intelligent, that is, until you start grasping at straws like saying our bullpen doesn’t have enough backup or McCann is some how a mediocre catcher.

sniff, sniff. Oh brandie, I am so hurt, by your characterization. Hey you get that picture of your name retired on some soccer field yet?

Mr. Bowman, now it is five days again since you put new material on this blog. What is the excuse this time?

In case anyone hasn’t heard about this and would like to purchase: http://www.talkingchop.com/2011/6/8/2213263/chicks-dig-the-ground-ball

What are peoples thoughts on the roster when we get nate, heyward and prado back? I would like to see young and conrad sent down for sure. It will be a while before prado comes back. I would carry 12 position players with nate as 4th OF, schafer in cf, jason rf and prado lf. Then chipper 3b, alex ss, hicks infield replacement, uggla 2b, freddie 1b, hinske pinch hitter/1b/lf repacement, d ross and mccann. There will be no place for conrad, unlucky bilbo!

Brandon dont worry, when brooks gets sent down then Bilbo will retire from these blog comments. He is probably worried about that happening. You cant carry a guy who is so bad at fielding that you can never put him into the field. Conrad needs to be sent down when prado is back. I would keep him and send down young and mather when jason and nate are back.

Brooks ain’t going anywhere! Diory, Hicks and/or Young will go back to Gwinnett. Heyward will start in right, and Hinske and McClouth will split time in LF. Bet you’ll see Brooksy at 2B until Prado returns.

Yeah, I completely doubt that. Brooks is hanging by a thread. We kept him solely on his ability to get a big hit late in the game, which has only happened once this year. Once Prado returns, look for Conrad to go down. Don’t worry, he still has options.

We cant afford to carry conrad because he cant play in the field.

Brooks is here to stay, You guys don’t have a clue. Man it’s nice to have a REAL centerfielder. Saved another run with defense in the 1st.

No Bilbo. Conrad will be sent down. That is obviously the right move to make. He isnt as good as hinske at pinch hitting, and he cant play the field as much. Thus, he will go. Although if freddie is injured maybe he will stay

Tell you what, let’s make a little side wager. If Conrad doesn’t go to AAA within 2 weeks, you take a month off from the blog. If he does I will do the same. Want to put your “money where your mouth is”?

Is there any way we could formulate a tie scenario where you both take a week off?

No Bilbo, because prado will be over 2 weeks to coming back. Nice try though. Conrad has to go. He is a liability. The man who won the giants the world series. Did he get a ring? He should of. He was their mvp

Come on Loudmouth, what do you want a month? Rest of the season? Make it easy on yourself. And little Barry, if you want some of the action just chime in. Or are you another Paper Tiger?

You guys don’t have the cajones to take the bet

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