Braves Can’t Give Away More Games

The Braves gift-wrapped a win for the Mets on Wednesday afternoon

The Atlanta Braves lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the National League now stands at a slim two games, with 23 games left in the season.  The Pittsburgh Pirates are 4 games behind the Braves, followed by the St. Louis Cardinals at 5.

Wednesday afternoon the Braves started Kameron Loe on the mound, and had Elliott Johnson at third base, Paul Janish at shortstop and Gerald Laird at catcher.  In other words, the Braves started an aging pitcher in the twilight of his career, and had Andrelton Simmons, Brian McCann and Chris Johnson take the day off.  Not much firepower in that line-up.

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If finishing with the best record in the National League is important, then how can you put a team like that on the field?   Sure you want players to have days off between now and the end of the season, but how can you put a line-up like that out on the field if you are serious about winning the game?

Fredi should give one regular a day off each game, occasionally two, but not four.  Giving four regulars, including the starting pitcher the day off, is like running the white flag up the pole before the game even starts.  If you are going to spot start a guy who is in the twilight of his career, to give one of your starters a rest, that is understandable.  But don’t you have to then have all your regulars out there to score as many runs as possible?

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Hopefully the Wednesday afternoon game against the Mets is the last time we will see a give-away game, until after the best record in the National League has been clinched.

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johnnyjunior
johnnyjunior

Manager conceded game before All Star game last year. Came back to bite’em. Play each game to win! Period.

BravesBeliever
BravesBeliever

Totally agree! Great observation!

Lee

Jim, you took the thoughts right out of my head when I saw that line-up. What would possess Fredi to make such a blunder, when clinching the best record is so valuable? The Braves need every advantage possible. Even though you frequently rave about the Braves pitching rotation, a good hitting team will likely not have much trouble with any of them. The Braves do not have a dominant starting pitcher, as some contenders do. The Braves NEED home field advantage, so please play the players who can win every remaining game!

gmckill
gmckill

@Lee, I believe the Braves starting pitching can hold its own. The ace-in-the-hole for Atlanta is the pen. Not many, if any, teams can match the Braves middle and late relievers and nobody can top Kimbrel. Agree that finishing with best record is still important. Maybe Fredi is banking on that cream puff schedule the rest of the way.

Lee

@gmckill, you are absolutely correct about Kimbrel, and the pen. No question that Kimbrel is the best closer in the league. However, if Fredi continues to allow a starter to play until he has given up 7 runs, Kimbrel will likely be a moot point. In the play-offs, particularly, Fredi needs to be creative. He cannot allow a starter who is off his game, to continue pitching the Braves out of the game. He needs to change it up sooner than later.

BravesBeliever
BravesBeliever
To coin a phrase I frequently heard back when attempting to teach my 3 children the multiplication tables “back in the day”, “I DON’T GET IT!?!” I “don’t get” the Gonzales philosophy of having as your goal only winning series’. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating as a prelude to my comment which follows: I love Fredi Gonzales. He is a great guy, with a great heritage story and is becoming a coach with a great winning record upon which he can build. I will go even further and say that Fredi deserves to be named coach of… Read more »
Lee

Okay, this is what I meant to say 🙂 Thanks BravesBeliever for your well written and insightful replies!

rogerheld
rogerheld
I agree with all of you and, when I saw the lineup, my first reaction was “why are you trying so hard to lose”. But the primary question on my mind was “why Kameron Loe”. I think Freddy Garcia would have been a better choice (at least his 2013 ERA is 5.xx not 8.xx). Neither of these guys are here for the “future” – they are just fill-ins trying to hang on. Why not give one of the kids of the future a shot? Maybe not Sean Gilmartin of J.R. Graham, but someone like Gus Schlosser or Yohan Flande. You… Read more »
Al

At 1:30pm Wednesday I threw dawn my scoresheet in disgust, but I watched until
the bitter end. Fredi must have bet on the Dodgers.

BravesBeliever
BravesBeliever
The last two series’ are a clear example of Fredi Gonzales’ coaching Achilles heel: he does not have the wherewithal to do what it takes to win a World Series because he plays players he “has faith in.” But Baseball is not a game of faith. It is a game of statistics. Until he understands this and grows the necessary anatomical appendages that it takes to coach to win every play of every inning of every game of every series and to play the players necessary to do so in every pitch of every inning of every game of every… Read more »
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