Rarefied air

Call him ace

I don’t compare anyone to Greg Maddux. But no Braves pitcher has come as close to the sustained excellence of Mad Dog as JJ in 2011. Consider:

He’s pitched into the 7th in all but one start and hasn’t given up more than two earned runs or walked more than two in any of his outings. His only loss was in a 2-1 game; two of his seven wins have come against the Phillies.

Sunday, with two of the Braves’ best relievers unable to go, JJ nearly went the distance. He could have easily gone nine.

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6 Comments on Rarefied air

  1. Jack Straw // May 30, 2011 at 7:27 am //

    He is a great all around player, too. Handles the bat and fields his position like a big league player should.

    He is pitching like a Cy Young Award winner.

  2. tbone82 // May 30, 2011 at 10:14 am //

    9 starts, 9 quality starts (actually never more than 2 earned runs in a start), 7 W’s, ERA has only gone as high as 1.80 all season. He’s been amazing.

  3. rankin' rob // May 30, 2011 at 10:41 am //

    I made it down to The Ted last night for the first time this season. Great crowd, tight game. Martin Prado continues to make the case for being the best player no one else knows about. We wanted JJ to pitch the 9th, but Kimbrel nailed it down after some nervous moments.

    JJ just looks in command out there. Incidentally, our seats were upper deck, outfield seats at $6 per ticket. That’s the best entertainment deal in the city, even with $12 parking and a $5 coca cola.

  4. roadrunner // May 30, 2011 at 1:16 pm //

    The sabermetric people have been clamoring for him to be traded since his season in ’09. Apparently, whatever peripheral numbers he puts up are unsustainable for success. The same was true with Warren Spahn. Whenever I pose the question as to why Spahn was so successful, I never get an answer. The problem with Fundamentalists is that they can never admit that they don’t have a deathgrip on the truth.

    I think the truth is that JJ is very smart and he’s a great competitor. Intelligence can take one a long way in baseball, and it doesn’t go into slumps. I hope Wren finds a way to keep this guy in a Braves uniform for a long time.

  5. His strikeouts are low. They prefer a lunkhead like A.J. Burnett because he averages a strikeout per inning.

  6. In 1976, the year Jim Palmer won his third Cy Young, he struck out just 159 in 315 innings. In ’78, when Palmer won 21 games with a 2.46 ERA, he recorded only 138 K’s in 296 IP. If only he could’ve pitched better.

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