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Official 2011 Atlanta Braves thread

Discussion in 'Other Sports Forum' started by muscle979, Feb 27, 2011.

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  1. unluckyluciano

    unluckyluciano For My Hero JetsSuck

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    I said war! What is it good for!!! Absolutely nothing!! Nothing say it again!!
     
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  2. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Getting Tommy back healthy is crucial. I'd much rather see him in the postseason rotation than say Derek Lowe. Derek has won some huge games in his career but at this point he's too jekyl and hyde out there for October. Tommy has much better stuff than JJ. JJ has to be nearly perfect location wise, when he's not he gives up five or six runs which is what has been happening nearly every start since the ASB. Part of it might be injury but the injuries don't seem to stop. I think the question has been answered about who to keep long term between Hanson and JJ. Beachy has been excellent, he started number five on the team and has earned himself a postseason rotation spot.
     
  3. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    I agree with this post. Yeah Lowe has won some big games in his career but that was what 7 year ago now? He's just not the same pitcher. If everyone is healthy I'd probably go with a rotation of Hanson, Hudson, Beachy and JJ.
     
  4. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    JJ was shapping up to be the guy you'd want out there in a must win game, more then Huddy or Beachy, his stuff was that good.;

    Ehh, Freddi G took over for Bobby Cox, he has the pieces, what happens is the measure of his skill...imo?
     
  5. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'd say he has a better team than Bobby had last season. They really need to pick it up. They are bound and determined to let the Cardinals back into this. They left way too many runs on base last night. Is winning one stupid game in this series too tall an order? Because that's really all they need to do.
     
  6. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    He was doing it with a lot of smoke in mirrors though as he wasn't missing any bats and was mostly getting by good luck. That's not to say he's not a good pitcher but he wasn't the ace of the staff. His FIP and xFIP were the highest on the team (even higher than Derek Lowe) and his K rate was the lowest.

    Cox is a better manager than Gonzalez as Gonzalez has made a lot of weird decisions in terms of line ups and pitcher usage, especially in the pen. If I'm a Braves fan I'm worried that about Venters and Kimbrel's workloads come October.
     
  7. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Yeah notice that Venters has recently given up runs in back to back games for the first time all season and Kimbrel couldn't save a game with a two run lead last night against the bottom of the Cards order. He was throwing a good slider but his fastball wasn't working that well. He threw seven or eight balls in a row at one point, that's when he really got in a pinch. They wouldn't need him as much if they hit better with RISP, especially with less than two outs. I'm very concerned about this team not realizing it's potential. There's really no excuse for them not to be in the NLCS at a minimum and right now I can't see it. I'm not even sure we're not going to see a Mets style collapse this month the way things are looking on the field right now. They are losing games they were a lock to win earlier this season. They were good in extra innings most of the season and the last two it's like they've given up and conceded immediately in the 10th.
     
  8. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    I think this is a case of the numbers not telling the whole story RF, JJ won the key games for us, and stopped streaks in the first half.

    As for Freddi v Bobby, put it this way, Freddi is just following in Cox's footsteps concerning the bullpen, I loved Booby C and his optimism, but he could not manage a bullpen to save his life, he was incredibly bad at it and it cost us in the post season.

    Personally I prefer Freddi G's aggressiveness with baserunners, Bobby C was content to wait for the 3 run HR, Freddi puts goes into motion far more regularly, the number of inning ending DP's with Bobby Cox was mind numbing.
     
  9. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    No doubt Freddi is more aggressive on the bases. Somebody needs to work with these guys on some fundamentals though. There is really no excuse for stranding runners on third with less than two outs as many times as Atlanta does. During the broadcast last night they pointed out that Atlanta is actually the worst in all of baseball in this situation. Their starting pitching has taken some hits since the first half and they can't get away with that anymore. They have to get those runs across. Especially now when speedsters like Bourn and Constanza will get you more ABs with RISP and less than two outs.
     
  10. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    When Bobby C was good, meaning 91 to say 95 or so, he would use the suicide squeeze, I don't think Freddi G is a big fan of doing that, but he really should try it as you point out, we are really poor at getting that run home via normal at bats.
     
  11. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    It was irritating last night, they had the potential for a big inning around halfway through the game and got nothing because the Cards starting pitcher fanned a couple of guys. The last batter [I can't even remember who it was now] missed a slider down and away that that pitcher must have already thrown 20 times already. They had seen the pitch several times. I mean everybody in the world except for the guy in the batter's box knew it was coming. It wasn't even really a great slider. If they can't perform better in these contact situations what's even the point of them playing in the postseason. The number of runs they've brought in via sacrifice fly is appallingly low. If things don't go well the rest of this season people may cite pitching injuries but to me that's not the main issue.
     
  12. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    While that may be true, he's been awful in the 2nd half and his 1st half stats were unusually good. His underlying stats just didn't match up with the advance stats. He's just not an ace nor is he one of the top 2 SPs on the team (Hanson and Hudson). You can argue he's perhaps better than Beachy even if the numbers for this year say differently. JJ just doesn't have swing and miss stuff that's required if you're a real ace pitcher. If you're the Braves and can choose any SP to win 1 game you'd be foolish to take JJ over Hanson or Hudson.
     
  13. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    1 game must win clearly Huddy would be the guy for it, but in the first half JJ was our best pitcher, second half his velocity and location dropped off, that is from eye ball observation not looking at the copious amount of stats they have for such things, it looked to me like his fastball lost 2-3 mph off it in the second half and I suspected he had a tired arm.
     
  14. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Based on what exactly? Tommy Hanson had a better 1st half than JJ did unless you want to count pitcher wins (which are a useless in determining how good a pitcher is pitching) or ERA (again same as pitcher wins).
     
  15. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    Of course, wins are useless.

    Come on RF, that is sort of absurd no? The point is to, you know, win.
     
  16. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Nope, not absurd at all as a pitcher doesn't control whether he wins or not nor does it tell you whether or not a pitcher is good. A pitcher can throw a no hitter but still lose a game meanwhile a pitcher can give up 10 runs but could still win a game if his team scores more. Pitcher wins, not team wins, are useless in determining how good a pitcher is. Felix Hernandez last year went 13-12 (because his team was bad and couldn't score runs) but was the best pitcher in the AL, while John Lackey had 14 wins last year and was one of the worst. This year Lackey has been equally as bad (maybe worse) yet still has 12 wins because he pitches for a good team. A pitcher can only control 3 things, strike outs, walks and home runs allowed, other than that the rest is up to his defense and offense to get him a "win". That's why, when determining whether or not a pitcher is good you can't go by "wins".

    A good example is last night's Braves game, if not for the bullpen blowing the game, Delgado would have gotten a win. Is it his fault the pen blew it or the offense only scored 3 runs for him? Of course not. Edwin Jackson pitched ok last night too, only giving up 2 runs in 6 innings, would he have deserved a loss because his offense only scored 1 time for him? Another example from last night, Brad Penny gives up 4 runs in 5 innings and did not pitch well yet he gets a win because his team scored 8 runs for him. Now would you say Brad Penny is the better pitcher because he won and Delgado didn't?
     
  17. HardKoreXXX

    HardKoreXXX Insensitive to the Touch

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    When JJ is healthy, he's on par with Hanson. The two are pretty close. JJ has been injured the entire second half, hence the drop in effectiveness. Falling down to Earth had nothing to do with it. He's been injury prone throughout his career, its been a huge problem for him.

    You can attribute his first half to a an improved sinker, taught to him by Jonny Venters.
     
  18. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    Sure you can, "wins" are the purpose of the starting pitcher.

    Throw a complete game (remember those?) and take the bullpen out of the equation.
     
  19. HardKoreXXX

    HardKoreXXX Insensitive to the Touch

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    Also,I wouldn't say ERA is a useless stat. It's certainly more useful than Wins.
     
  20. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    I would, imo nothing is more important then wins and innings pitched, those two pretty much tells me how a starting pitcher is effecting his team.
     
  21. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I think ERA is a pretty decent stat to go off of. If a pitcher isn't giving up many runs he's doing something right. Sure defense might come into play but it generally seems to average out over a long body of work. JJ's problem has been health, though I still don't think his stuff is as good as Tommy's. In the first half he was just going out and hitting his spots really well. His fastball was never going to blow anybody away but it was moving and it was painting corners. After the break he was just constantly leaving pitches up. It's hard to get away with that. In the first half he was a legit Cy Young candidate, getting hitters out is a pitcher's job and he was doing that very well.

    As far as pitchers being totally helpless with wins I don't agree with that. I wouldn't judge a pitcher a whole lot based off of wins but there is something to be said about staying ahead of your counterpart. They can always pitch a shutout and hit a homer, ask Tim Hudson.
     
  22. HardKoreXXX

    HardKoreXXX Insensitive to the Touch

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    But if the team is horrible and doesn't score any runs, and the bullpen is also horrible, then its gonna be pretty tough to get a significant amount of wins.

    For proof of this, look at Felix Hernandez record last year. Then look at his other numbers. He won the Cy Young last year, BTW.
     
  23. HardKoreXXX

    HardKoreXXX Insensitive to the Touch

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    When a pitcher is pitching hurt, depending on the injury, its either location or velocity that go. With a non-ARM injury, like JJ has, its location.

    He pitched amazing in the first half because of that sinker, and didn't walk guys. He was Maddux-esque. He's also been tremendously tough throughout his career with runners on base.
     
  24. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Agree to disagree about JJ being on par with Hanson. JJ just doesn't have the same stuff nor does he miss enough bats. Hanson has ace like potential. JJ is below that, which again there's nothing wrong with but there aren't many true aces in the MLB and I think Hanson can be one of them.

    Again though a pitcher can throw a no hitter and still lose a baseball game. Wins are more of a function on the team as a whole than the pitcher. Because again in my example of a pitcher throwing a no hitter and still losing he has to depend on his defense behind him to make plays and for his offense to score more runs than the other team.

    Felix Hernandez had 13 wins last year while John Lackey had 14. Does that mean Lackey was the better pitcher? Because he won more games? Again the pitcher doesn't control whether he gets a win or not (obviously if he pitches poorly he hurts his chances but even if he pitches a gem he's not guaranteed anything to show for it).

    Yes I agree ERA isn't as useless as 'wins' but the problem with ERA is that the pitcher really isn't in control of what happens once the hitter hits the ball. He's dependent on his defense. A good defensive team will help a pitcher's ERA while a poor defensive team will hurt it. That's why stats such a FIP and xFIP factors in both ballparks and defensive and thus better tools to judge the true talent of a pitcher instead of just plain old ERA.
     
  25. HardKoreXXX

    HardKoreXXX Insensitive to the Touch

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    Hanson and JJ have different styles. I think you can pitch to contact and still be an Ace. Tim Hudson's been doing it for years. Hanson's control, for now, probably will prevent him from coming one. He's got the stuff, sure. Hopefully he can improve his command.
     
  26. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Well you could say the same thing about a QB/WR relationship. The QB won't complete a single pass without a receiver who can catch something. Their stats can be hurt/helped by WRs who either get butterfingers or make amazing catches. In the end baseball is still a team game. Is it safer to get a hitter to swing and miss? Sure it is. But getting outs is getting outs in the end. When healthy I think Atlanta has a good mix of guys that can rack up regular season wins and give quality starts [JJ/Huddy] and power/strikeout types of pitchers that history shows tend to excel in the postseason [Hanson/Beach].
     
  27. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'd say Roy Halladay pitches to contact. He still Ks a lot of guys but it never really seems like that's his main goal. He goes out there, hits his spots, and makes hitters try to beat his stuff.
     
  28. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    Sheesh, down 3-0 already.
     
  29. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    It's a familiar script. Blow a great opportunity to score runs in the first... Derek Lowe on the mound... Only four and a half up by Monday... This is a talented team and they play like bottom feeders right now. Bad fundamental baseball. Their starter retired the side in four pitches a few minutes ago. Great way to let your 38 year old pitcher catch his breath. This is kid's stuff. Take some stinking pitches.
     
  30. HardKoreXXX

    HardKoreXXX Insensitive to the Touch

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    Exactly. Halladay gets a lot of K's because he has arguably the best command in the game. He can throw any pitch at any count and throw it where he wants. You'll get K's by accident if you can do that.
     
  31. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Hudson on the mound tomorrow. The perfect guy for a game you really need to win. More frustration tonight. You really wanted to stomp on the Cardinals' throats in this series, not make them think they have a chance.
     
  32. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'm not seeing a team that looks like it wants to play in the postseason. Well that's not true, I am, it's just that that team is the Cardinals. Four and a half up after today. I haven't looked to see how the Cardinals schedule compares to ours. We have some weak teams coming but there's a lot of pressure to win those games now. If it's even close going into the last series with Philly we're done b/c we won't even be able to beat their backups.

    The story of today, pitching not up to standard and tons of runners left on base. What's new. So when this team is finished with their Mets style choke job who pays the price? Freddi is safe for now, will somebody like the hitting coach pay?
     
  33. HardKoreXXX

    HardKoreXXX Insensitive to the Touch

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    I was worried when they got swept by the Phils, because the bullpen looked shaky in that series. Now it looks like the pen is completely shot. The losses of Hanson and Jurrjens have killed us, especially because Hanson is really the only guy on the staff (besides Hudson) who has the potential to go 7 or 8 innings. Also, Prado is killing us. The guy is just a black hole right now. I like that Hinske got a day yesterday, though he struck out in a key situation early with the sacks loaded.
     
  34. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Nobody is playing well. Huddy, a guy we can normally count on for a quality start at a minimum goes out and gets hammered in a game we really needed. I watch most of their games. They are flat out terrible with guys on base. Terrible, that's all of them not just one part of the batting order. I have a bad feeling and I'm glad football is starting so I have something else to focus on if what I fear happens.
     
  35. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    What a much needed win. Time to string a few together now and try to turn things around.
     
  36. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    Won the early afternoon game as well.

    That should create a bit of breathing room for us.
     
  37. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    At least stops the bleeding. They have the Phils, we have the Mets. We hopefully can capitalize on this.
     
  38. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    We still need 9 games to hit the magic number?!?

    Wow, facing the Mets, who knows what we get tonight.
     
  39. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    We're facing a guy that we didn't do so hot against last time. Philly's resting half of their lineup it seems.
     
  40. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

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    Chipper moved to #2, or he has been there, but I don't recall it?

    Just win the darn game!
     

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