Open thread, 8/17, Braves vs. Trace Coquillettes

UPDATE: Schafer gets the start in CF — clearly Fredi’s going with a platoon. B.J. admits as much, and credit to him for taking it like a pro. “I have no argument” about not playing, he told DOB. Credit to the Braves, too, for putting performance ahead of salary. This team has a legitimate shot at winning it all, and if it takes benching your (gulp) highest-paid player, so be it. The line-up:

1. Heyward RF 2. J’Upton LF 3. Freeman 1B 4. McCann C 5. C Johnson 3B 6. Schafer CF 7. Simmons SS 8. Janish 2B 9. Minor P

Maybe it’s a good sign that, on a unseasonably cool night which felt like one of those October evenings where the Braves lose a playoff game, the local nine won.

Still, there’s a slight sense of dread heading into tonight’s contest. Though it’s highly unlikely either Wood or Avilan hit Harper on purpose, the Nats will likely feel compelled to respond. And things have been going so well …. I’ll stop there. I’m sure you guys understand.

Line-ups haven’t been posted yet. I’ll be interested to see who gets the start in CF against Strasburg. If it’s Schafer, you can assume that Fredi has decided to go with a platoon, although B.J. has been even worse against southpaws, batting .180 with just 4 XBH.

In other news and notes:

  • Scott Downs is the highest-paid pitcher on the active roster.
  • The Braves’ playoff rotation is likely to include only one pitcher making over $1 million, Kris Medlen. And that’s no guarantee, the way Alex Wood is pitching. If the Braves draw, say, the Reds in the NLDS, you could make a strong case for starting Wood. Consider: Cincy’s three best hitters bat from the left side, and lefties have only 1 XBH and 25 K’s against Wood in 54 AB.
  • As badly as the Braves need a middle infielder, has there ever been a better defensive DP combo than Simmons and Janish? Seriously.
  • Don’t be surprised if the Braves pick up the heavily tatted Ryan Roberts, designated for assignment the other day by Tampa. His 2013 numbers aren’t that impressive (.247-5-17) but in 2011 he hit 19 HR with a .341 OBP and can played second and third base adequately.
  • In 19 games since switching to the lead-off spot — a move advocated by the Office for months — Jay Hey  is batting .385 with 21 runs and 12 RBI. He has multiple hits in five consecutive games.
  • Last night’s attendance at The Trop to watch the playoff-bound Rays: 15,433.
  • Hopefully Tampa Bay fans will show up in October. I’m seeing the Rays and Tigers in the ALCS, Braves and Dodgers in the NLCS.

Selah.

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10 Comments on Open thread, 8/17, Braves vs. Trace Coquillettes

  1. Greenville Braves // August 17, 2013 at 7:12 pm //

    Ok. Hopefully, this whole thing is over with now that J-Up took a plunking.

  2. Nope, the ghosts of Pascual Perez and Ed Whitson are in the ballpark.

  3. And, judging by the pace of the game, Steve Trachsel and Russ Ortiz are here, too.

  4. roadrunner48 // August 17, 2013 at 8:27 pm //

    If going after Simmons was on purpose that’s beyond bush.

  5. pepefreeus // August 17, 2013 at 11:53 pm //

    We’ve always known that Strasburg is a selfish, surly dildo. I thought his historical comp was Kevin Brown. Turns out it’s Zambrano.

  6. Sharon Egan // August 18, 2013 at 7:30 am //

    Whatever. The Braves knew they were due for retalliation, and the Nats had to do something way overt to restore something approaching a collective spine. The Simmons pitches were actually pretty comical, like making your buddy jump around in the batting cage.

  7. roadrunner48 // August 18, 2013 at 9:00 am //

    Hitting Upton should have settled the issue. Then they went after Simmons. They wanted to hurt our best player. They wanted him to not be able to play. Strasburg didn’t want to do it. He got his orders from McCatty. Ha ha. Funny. Like dousing kittens with gasoline and your buddy tosses a match at them.

  8. That had to be the weirdest beanball sequence ever. The first pitch is in the opposite batter’s box. The next two are behind Simmons. All three are wild pitches, allowing Shafer to advance a base after each pitch and eventually to score a run. Would a team intentionally give up a run just to make a point? Especially after it seemed like the issue was settled after Upton got plunked? Strange….

  9. roadrunner48 // August 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm //

    When your season is basically over and the clubhouse is seething because your star player got scratched from the lineup due to an injury from a pitched ball from the previous night, you can see things like that. I don’t think Johnson wanted three wild pitches. He wanted our best player to have to come out of the lineup and Strasburg wanted no part of it. A similar thing happened in the early ’70’s when Gene Mauch ordered Carl Morton to hit someone. Morton refused outright. He didn’t even bother half assing it like Strasburg. The end result was that Mauch had Morton shipped out of Montreal and the Braves got him.

  10. Anyone remember poor Glavine having to throw at Murph when he was a Philly? He basically threw an eephus pitch in his general direction. As I recall, Murph happened to be the first guy up after a Brave got beaned and Glav basically was duty bound to hit him. Talk about awkward.

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