Braves drop both series and five of seven

Losing two of three to the Red Sox is no big surprise, although I was hoping for better with Devern Hansack and Kason Gabbard starting against Smoltz and Hudson.  Losing three of four to the Nationals is simply inexcusable, and the Braves have handed the Mets a 2.5 game lead in the NL East.

This week’s stats

Here are your scores and FanGraphs game summaries:

5/14: Nationals 2, Braves 1
5/15: Braves 6, Nationals 2
5/16: Nationals 6, Braves 4
5/17: Nationals 4, Braves 3
5/19: Red Sox 13, Braves 3
5/19: Braves 14, Red Sox 0
5/20: Red Sox 6, Braves 3

And the week’s WPA stats:

Hitting PA AVG OBP SLG OPS WPA pLI WPA/LI Clutch pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch
Matt Diaz 20 0.526 0.550 0.737 1.287 +0.368 0.79 +0.426 -0.058 +1.84 +2.13 -0.29
Edgar Renteria 31 0.414 0.452 0.655 1.107 +0.194 0.80 +0.273 -0.079 +0.63 +0.88 -0.26
Chipper Jones 22 0.333 0.364 0.714 1.078 +0.038 0.76 +0.213 -0.175 +0.17 +0.97 -0.80
Tim Hudson 3 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.667 -0.005 0.28 -0.014 +0.009 -0.17 -0.47 +0.30
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 11 0.333 0.455 0.444 0.899 -0.014 0.59 -0.007 -0.007 -0.13 -0.07 -0.06
Chuck James 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 -0.037 1.01 -0.040 +0.003 -1.85 -1.98 +0.13
John Smoltz 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 -0.039 0.76 -0.051 +0.012 -1.95 -2.56 +0.61
Martin Prado 5 0.200 0.200 0.200 0.400 -0.041 0.50 -0.064 +0.023 -0.82 -1.28 +0.46
Kyle Davies 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 -0.048 0.90 -0.053 +0.005 -2.40 -2.63 +0.23
Pete Orr 5 0.200 0.200 0.200 0.400 -0.083 0.35 -0.121 +0.038 -1.66 -2.42 +0.76
Kelly Johnson 26 0.240 0.269 0.480 0.749 -0.098 0.80 +0.145 -0.243 -0.38 +0.56 -0.93
Brian McCann 24 0.286 0.333 0.571 0.905 -0.108 0.70 -0.156 +0.048 -0.45 -0.65 +0.20
Jeff Francoeur 30 0.310 0.333 0.517 0.851 -0.146 0.61 +0.040 -0.186 -0.49 +0.13 -0.62
Scott Thorman 27 0.231 0.259 0.269 0.528 -0.176 0.77 -0.106 -0.070 -0.65 -0.39 -0.26
Chris Woodward 10 0.100 0.100 0.100 0.200 -0.185 0.72 -0.231 +0.046 -1.85 -2.31 +0.46
Willie Harris 21 0.200 0.238 0.200 0.438 -0.229 0.85 -0.241 +0.012 -1.09 -1.15 +0.06
Andruw Jones 25 0.120 0.120 0.120 0.240 -0.489 1.13 -0.406 -0.083 -1.96 -1.62 -0.33
Totals 266 0.278 0.308 0.433 0.741 -1.098 0.77 -0.393 -0.705 -0.41 -0.15 -0.27
Total Pitching G GS IP ERA WHIP WPA pLI WPA/LI Clutch pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch
John Smoltz 2 2 13.7 1.32 0.73 +0.336 0.66 +0.567 -0.231 +0.67 +1.13 -0.46
Tyler Yates 3 0 4.0 0.00 0.50 +0.198 0.60 +0.229 -0.031 +1.52 +1.77 -0.24
Oscar Villarreal 3 0 4.0 0.00 0.50 +0.083 0.37 +0.142 -0.059 +0.64 +1.09 -0.45
Peter Moylan 3 0 3.0 0.00 1.00 +0.033 0.30 +0.031 +0.002 +0.28 +0.25 +0.02
Rafael Soriano 2 0 2.3 0.00 0.00 +0.027 0.16 +0.170 -0.143 +0.39 +2.43 -2.04
Macay McBride 2 0 2.7 3.38 0.75 +0.016 0.06 +0.104 -0.088 +0.16 +1.04 -0.88
Bob Wickman 1 0 1.0 0.00 0.00 +0.016 0.21 +0.076 -0.060 +0.53 +2.55 -2.01
Mike Gonzalez 1 0 0.7 13.50 1.50 +0.002 0.52 -0.022 +0.024 +0.07 -0.73 +0.80
Chuck James 1 1 5.3 5.06 1.88 -0.023 1.59 +0.011 -0.034 -0.09 +0.04 -0.13
Tim Hudson 2 2 11.7 5.40 1.20 -0.079 0.57 +0.196 -0.275 -0.16 +0.41 -0.57
Mark Redman 1 0 1.3 27.00 4.50 -0.084 0.35 -0.135 +0.051 -0.84 -1.35 +0.51
Anthony Lerew 1 1 2.0 13.50 3.50 -0.180 1.02 -0.347 +0.167 -1.38 -2.67 +1.28
Chad Paronto 3 0 1.7 27.00 5.40 -0.284 0.46 -0.257 -0.027 -2.03 -1.83 -0.20
Kyle Davies 1 1 4.7 3.86 1.50 -0.465 1.38 -0.085 -0.380 -2.11 -0.39 -1.73
Totals 26 7 58.0 4.34 1.26 -0.404 0.72 +0.680 -1.084 -0.17 +0.28 -0.44
Relief Pitching G IP TBF gmLI G/T tG/T USG
Chad Paronto 3 1.7 14 1.08 2.47 0.00 -2.47
Tyler Yates 3 4.0 13 0.65 1.49 1.46 -0.03
Mike Gonzalez 1 0.7 3 0.38 0.86 0.45 -0.42
Oscar Villarreal 3 4.0 13 0.35 0.80 1.19 0.39
Bob Wickman 1 1.0 3 0.27 0.61 1.78 1.16
Peter Moylan 3 3.0 12 0.19 0.44 0.85 0.41
Rafael Soriano 2 2.3 7 0.12 0.27 1.73 1.46
Macay McBride 2 2.7 10 0.09 0.20 1.17 0.96
Totals 18 19.3 75 0.44 16

Season total WPA:

Hitting PA AVG OBP SLG OPS WPA pLI WPA/LI Clutch pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch
Kelly Johnson 190 0.275 0.389 0.488 0.877 +1.436 0.94 +1.066 +0.370 +0.76 +0.56 +0.19
Edgar Renteria 189 0.335 0.386 0.503 0.889 +1.247 0.99 +1.004 +0.243 +0.66 +0.53 +0.13
Chipper Jones 178 0.307 0.404 0.647 1.052 +0.708 0.98 +1.151 -0.443 +0.40 +0.65 -0.25
Scott Thorman 119 0.250 0.286 0.446 0.732 +0.389 0.97 +0.487 -0.098 +0.33 +0.41 -0.08
Jeff Francoeur 189 0.310 0.360 0.506 0.866 +0.323 0.97 +0.355 -0.032 +0.17 +0.19 -0.02
Brian McCann 147 0.292 0.354 0.462 0.815 +0.301 1.01 -0.271 +0.572 +0.20 -0.18 +0.39
Matt Diaz 96 0.352 0.375 0.484 0.859 +0.254 0.93 +0.403 -0.149 +0.26 +0.42 -0.16
Willie Harris 61 0.370 0.443 0.463 0.906 +0.210 0.95 +0.136 +0.074 +0.34 +0.22 +0.12
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 26 0.286 0.423 0.333 0.756 +0.187 1.01 +0.029 +0.158 +0.72 +0.11 +0.61
Andruw Jones 187 0.218 0.337 0.404 0.741 -0.004 1.14 -0.217 +0.213 -0.00 -0.12 +0.11
Peter Moylan 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 -0.015 0.58 -0.026 +0.011 -1.50 -2.59 +1.09
Martin Prado 5 0.200 0.200 0.200 0.400 -0.041 0.50 -0.064 +0.023 -0.82 -1.28 +0.46
Oscar Villarreal 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 -0.055 0.84 -0.059 +0.004 -2.75 -2.94 +0.19
Anthony Lerew 3 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 -0.072 0.88 -0.081 +0.009 -2.40 -2.70 +0.30
Mark Redman 6 0.000 0.167 0.000 0.167 -0.103 1.05 -0.090 -0.013 -1.72 -1.50 -0.21
Pete Orr 27 0.192 0.222 0.231 0.453 -0.187 0.57 -0.198 +0.011 -0.69 -0.73 +0.04
Tim Hudson 26 0.182 0.231 0.227 0.458 -0.289 0.79 -0.233 -0.056 -1.11 -0.90 -0.21
Kyle Davies 14 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 -0.323 1.04 -0.332 +0.009 -2.31 -2.37 +0.06
John Smoltz 21 0.059 0.048 0.118 0.165 -0.331 0.75 -0.414 +0.083 -1.58 -1.97 +0.40
Chris Woodward 57 0.222 0.246 0.278 0.523 -0.375 1.06 -0.385 +0.010 -0.66 -0.68 +0.02
Chuck James 19 0.000 0.105 0.000 0.105 -0.420 0.91 -0.391 -0.029 -2.21 -2.06 -0.15
Craig Wilson 69 0.172 0.304 0.259 0.563 -0.441 0.93 -0.345 -0.096 -0.64 -0.50 -0.14
Brayan Pena 23 0.217 0.217 0.348 0.565 -0.507 1.42 -0.304 -0.203 -2.20 -1.32 -0.88
Ryan Langerhans 52 0.068 0.192 0.091 0.283 -0.674 0.89 -0.843 +0.169 -1.30 -1.62 +0.32
Totals 1707 0.267 0.338 0.436 0.774 +1.218 0.98 +0.377 +0.841 +0.07 +0.02 +0.05
Total Pitching G GS IP ERA WHIP WPA pLI WPA/LI Clutch pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch
Rafael Soriano 21 0 20.7 2.61 0.63 +1.813 1.31 +0.888 +0.925 +2.42 +1.18 +1.23
Tim Hudson 10 10 70.7 2.42 1.00 +1.511 0.86 +1.811 -0.300 +0.55 +0.66 -0.11
Tyler Yates 22 0 20.7 3.48 1.02 +1.003 0.82 +0.539 +0.464 +1.22 +0.66 +0.57
Peter Moylan 14 0 19.3 1.86 1.03 +0.873 0.79 +0.271 +0.602 +1.21 +0.38 +0.84
Mike Gonzalez 18 0 17.0 1.06 1.35 +0.738 0.99 +0.413 +0.325 +1.05 +0.59 +0.46
John Smoltz 10 10 66.3 2.85 1.22 +0.563 1.11 +0.642 -0.079 +0.20 +0.23 -0.03
Chuck James 9 9 47.7 4.15 1.49 +0.247 0.97 +0.129 +0.118 +0.12 +0.06 +0.06
Macay McBride 7 0 5.7 6.35 3.00 +0.097 0.24 -0.195 +0.292 +0.28 -0.56 +0.83
Kevin Barry 1 0 2.0 22.50 4.00 -0.007 0.02 -0.230 +0.223 -0.05 -1.64 +1.59
Chad Paronto 16 0 12.0 8.25 2.42 -0.156 0.93 -0.344 +0.188 -0.26 -0.56 +0.31
Anthony Lerew 3 3 11.7 7.71 1.80 -0.343 0.88 -0.534 +0.191 -0.60 -0.94 +0.34
Bob Wickman 14 0 12.3 3.65 1.70 -0.411 2.08 -0.017 -0.394 -0.70 -0.03 -0.67
Oscar Villarreal 15 0 21.0 4.29 1.57 -0.489 0.67 -0.385 -0.104 -0.53 -0.41 -0.11
Steve Colyer 7 0 3.7 4.91 3.55 -0.537 0.98 -0.309 -0.228 -2.44 -1.40 -1.04
Kyle Davies 7 7 38.3 5.17 1.59 -0.851 1.09 -0.650 -0.201 -0.49 -0.38 -0.12
Mark Redman 6 5 21.7 11.63 2.26 -1.293 0.94 -1.239 -0.054 -1.11 -1.07 -0.05
Totals 180 44 390.7 4.12 1.41 +2.758 0.98 +0.790 +1.968 +0.16 +0.05 +0.12
Relief Pitching G IP TBF gmLI G/T tG/T USG
Bob Wickman 14 12.3 59 1.70 1.49 0.92 -0.57
Rafael Soriano 21 20.7 75 1.59 1.39 1.61 0.22
Tyler Yates 22 20.7 82 1.12 0.98 1.31 0.34
Mike Gonzalez 18 17.0 70 1.04 0.91 1.28 0.37
Steve Colyer 7 3.7 22 1.01 0.89 0.14 -0.75
Oscar Villarreal 15 21.0 93 0.92 0.81 0.70 -0.10
Chad Paronto 16 12.0 61 0.92 0.80 0.62 -0.19
Peter Moylan 14 19.3 72 0.91 0.79 1.15 0.36
Macay McBride 7 5.7 35 0.78 0.68 0.62 -0.06
Kevin Barry 1 2.0 14 0.03 0.03 0.00 -0.03
Totals 135 134.3 583 1.14 42

Biggest plays of the week:

  1. Chipper Jones hit a 2-run homer off Matt Chico to give the Braves a 2-0 lead in the 4th inning of Thursday’s loss (+.183)
  2. Edgar Renteria hit a 2-run homer off Jerome Williams to give the Braves a 2-0 lead in the first inning of Tuesday’s win (+.164)
  3. Brian McCann hit a solo homer off Jason Bergmann to cut the Nats’ lead to 2-1 in the 8th inning of Monday’s loss (+.119)
  4. Matt Diaz singled off of Matt Chico, driving in Scott Thorman and advancing himself to second in the 5th inning of Thursday’s game, giving the Braves a 3-1 lead (+.117)
  5. Matt Diaz singled off Jason Bergmann in the 9th inning of Monday’s game (+.115)

Comments

Exactly three hitters were in the black this week in WPA, led by Matt Diaz at +.368.  He posted a ridiculous .526/.550/.737 line this week, and he’s now hitting .352/.375/.484 for the season.  He’s hitting a remarkable .387 on balls in play, which is probably unsustainable, but he did manage a .373 BABIP for the 2006 season.  He’s not a particularly patient hitter, but he’s not a bad guy to stick in the #6 or #7 slot and keep guys moving around the bases.

Willie Harris dropped off a bit this week, which in conjunction with Diaz’ strong week, might allow Matt to petition for more playing time.  Harris was -.229 with a .200/.238/.200 batting line, but he showed he can play center field, which is valuable to the Braves if Andruw continues to slump.

In non-left-fielder news, Andruw had an awful week at -.489, posting a .240 OPS, which is not even close to acceptable.  Chris Woodward was also predictably bad, and a handful of other regulars posted negative weeks (Johnson, McCann, Francoeur, Thorman).  Actually, aside from Diaz, only Renteria and Chipper had a WPA above zero.  Chipper has simply been one of the best players in the National League thus far, and he’s hitting .307/.404/.647 for the season.

Martin Prado was called up and started Sunday’s game, so it’s possible that he will spell Chipper some at third.  He started for Kelly Johnson yesterday, but I imagine that won’t continue.  Lerew went on the DL to make room for him, and let me add that the Braves now have three reserve infielders, only one of whom can play shortstop.  Unfortunately for everyone but him, that person is Chris Woodward.

On the pitching side, Smoltz had two good starts, carrying the staff with his +.336 WPA performance.  Hudson was 1-1 like Smoltz, but his rough outing against the Red Sox kept him from posting another positive week.  In fact, that was Hudson’s first negative WPA start of the season.

James and Davies pitched in and out of trouble in one start apiece, and Lerew was disastrous yet again, costing the Braves another game before revealing his arm injury.  Redman was equally disastrous relieving him in that game, so there’s no telling where the Braves should go with the rotation from here.

You can almost expect a string of excellent innings from someone in the bullpen nowadays, and this week, the scoreless players were Yates, Villarreal, Moylan, Soriano, and Wickman in 14.3 combined innings.  Macay McBride allowed a run in 2 2/3 innings, while Gonzalez and Paronto were touched up a bit.  The relief corps was in a transition period this week, with the returns of Wickman and Redman and the injury to Gonzalez.  As it turned out, Paronto was the only reliever used in moderately close situations (gmLI of 1.08), which in hindsight didn’t look good, but for the most part it was business as usual for the fantastic bullpen.

The pitching staff’s week wasn’t as bad as the hitters, who were over a full game worse in total WPA.  Remarkably, the team as a whole was +.287 in WPA/LI, but they performed remarkably badly in clutch situations (-1.789), a stark contrast to the rest of the season before this week.

The Road Ahead

The Braves can erase last week’s damage with a sweep of the Mets, but they’ll send out the back end of the rotation against the Mets’ best.  Here are the probables for that series:

Tuesday: Jorge Sosa vs. Kyle Davies
Wednesday: Braves Killer Oliver Perez vs. Chuck James
Thursday: Yet another Tom Glavine vs. John Smoltz matchup (I never get tired of these, though)

The Phillies will be in town for the weekend, giving the Braves another chance to do some damage within their division.  The Phillies are only four games back of the Braves at the moment.  Probables are:

Friday: The Ageless Jamie Moyer vs. Tim Hudson
Saturday: Adam Eaton vs. It Better Not Be Redman
Sunday: Cole Hamels vs. Kyle Davies

Lance Cormier is scheduled to make at least two more rehab starts and wasn’t particularly good in three innings for Mississippi on Friday, so I won’t hold out hope that he’ll be activated in time for Saturday’s game.  Just be on the lookout to see if he throws on Wednesday or Thursday.

Have a good week, everyone.  I’ll be out of town this weekend, so I may be late with next week’s update.

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One thought on “Braves drop both series and five of seven

  1. Braves are 4-5 against the Nationals. i keep trying to ponder an explanation for this but I got nothing

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