Braves take three of five in shortened week

FanGraphs has yet to run their nightly update, so I’m lacking Sunday’s stats at the moment.  I’ll write something up as soon as they get things running, so consider this a placeholder.  Many feed readers won’t come back to an updated post, so you might want to bookmark this entry if you’re reading it that way.

[UPDATE: We have stats now.  Commence the weekly update.]

Okay, so I artificially shortened the week myself by going on vacation.  The Braves really took four out of six from the Brewers and Cubs, winning both series.  The stats below in the section for this week reflect only the five games since my last update, though.  The Braves are 3.5 games back of the Mets now for the division lead.

This Week’s Stats

Scores and FanGraphs summaries:

5/29: Brewers 5, Braves 4
5/30: Braves 9, Brewers 3
6/1: Braves 8, Cubs 5
6/2: Braves 5, Cubs 3
6/3: Cubs 10, Braves 1

Stats for the past five games:

Hitting PA AVG OBP SLG OPS WPA pLI WPA/LI Clutch pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch
Brian McCann 19 0.278 0.316 0.389 0.705 +0.415 1.15 -0.014 +0.429 +2.18 -0.07 +2.26
Kelly Johnson 20 0.526 0.550 0.737 1.287 +0.291 0.80 +0.506 -0.215 +1.46 +2.53 -1.07
Jeff Francoeur 23 0.348 0.348 0.435 0.783 +0.273 0.91 +0.119 +0.154 +1.19 +0.52 +0.67
Edgar Renteria 23 0.500 0.522 0.727 1.249 +0.145 1.10 +0.255 -0.110 +0.63 +1.11 -0.48
Willie Harris 16 0.467 0.500 0.667 1.167 +0.125 1.03 +0.130 -0.005 +0.78 +0.81 -0.03
Kyle Davies 4 0.750 0.750 1.000 1.750 +0.020 0.62 +0.158 -0.138 +0.50 +3.96 -3.46
John Smoltz 2 0.500 0.500 0.500 1.000 +0.020 0.61 +0.014 +0.006 +1.00 +0.71 +0.29
Chris Woodward 5 0.250 0.200 0.250 0.450 +0.007 0.78 -0.059 +0.066 +0.14 -1.19 +1.33
Chuck James 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 -0.022 0.43 -0.051 +0.029 -1.10 -2.56 +1.46
Tim Hudson 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 -0.049 0.96 -0.051 +0.002 -2.45 -2.56 +0.11
Martin Prado 4 0.000 0.250 0.000 0.250 -0.061 1.19 -0.042 -0.019 -1.53 -1.04 -0.49
Andruw Jones 23 0.318 0.304 0.545 0.850 -0.102 0.98 +0.089 -0.191 -0.44 +0.39 -0.83
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 6 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 -0.123 0.78 -0.157 +0.034 -2.05 -2.62 +0.57
Pete Orr 11 0.273 0.273 0.273 0.545 -0.211 0.90 -0.143 -0.068 -1.92 -1.30 -0.62
Matt Diaz 12 0.250 0.250 0.333 0.583 -0.216 1.12 -0.041 -0.175 -1.80 -0.34 -1.46
Scott Thorman 20 0.059 0.150 0.118 0.268 -0.295 1.08 -0.231 -0.064 -1.48 -1.16 -0.32
Totals 192 0.330 0.349 0.462 0.810 +0.217 0.98 +0.480 -0.263 +0.11 +0.25 -0.14
Total Pitching G GS IP ERA WHIP WPA pLI WPA/LI Clutch pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch
Kyle Davies 1 1 7.0 1.29 1.00 +0.155 0.80 +0.166 -0.011 +0.60 +0.64 -0.04
Rafael Soriano 2 0 2.0 4.50 1.00 +0.152 1.16 +0.008 +0.144 +2.17 +0.12 +2.05
Chuck James 1 1 6.0 3.00 1.67 +0.136 1.21 -0.022 +0.158 +0.50 -0.08 +0.58
Bob Wickman 3 0 3.0 3.00 1.00 +0.121 0.95 +0.037 +0.084 +1.10 +0.34 +0.76
Tim Hudson 1 1 7.0 2.57 1.00 +0.103 1.18 +0.113 -0.010 +0.37 +0.41 -0.04
Oscar Villarreal 2 0 2.7 3.38 1.50 +0.098 0.87 -0.003 +0.101 +0.82 -0.02 +0.84
Chad Paronto 2 0 1.3 0.00 0.00 +0.038 0.38 +0.025 +0.013 +0.95 +0.63 +0.32
Buddy Carlyle 1 0 1.0 0.00 1.00 +0.033 0.48 +0.052 -0.019 +0.83 +1.29 -0.47
Macay McBride 2 0 2.3 0.00 1.29 -0.003 0.66 +0.046 -0.049 -0.03 +0.46 -0.49
John Smoltz 1 1 3.3 8.10 2.70 -0.128 1.33 -0.199 +0.071 -0.67 -1.05 +0.38
Tyler Yates 1 0 1.0 0.00 1.00 -0.130 1.96 -0.052 -0.078 -2.60 -1.04 -1.56
Peter Moylan 3 0 2.3 7.71 3.00 -0.235 0.40 -0.309 +0.074 -1.38 -1.82 +0.44
Totals 20 4 39.0 3.00 1.38 +0.340 0.99 -0.136 +0.476 +0.20 -0.08 +0.28
Relief Pitching G IP TBF gmLI G/T tG/T USG
Tyler Yates 1 1.0 5 1.91 2.25 0.54 -1.72
Rafael Soriano 2 2.0 7 1.36 1.60 1.34 -0.26
Macay McBride 2 2.3 10 0.87 1.03 1.58 0.55
Bob Wickman 3 3.0 11 0.86 1.01 1.49 0.48
Chad Paronto 2 1.3 4 0.76 0.89 1.70 0.81
Peter Moylan 3 2.3 17 0.47 0.56 0.00 -0.56
Oscar Villarreal 2 2.7 12 0.43 0.50 1.24 0.74
Totals 15 14.7 66 0.85 10

Season-to-date stats:

Hitting PA AVG OBP SLG OPS WPA pLI WPA/LI Clutch pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch
Kelly Johnson 238 0.299 0.399 0.505 0.904 +1.747 0.91 +1.554 +0.193 +0.73 +0.65 +0.08
Edgar Renteria 237 0.338 0.392 0.519 0.911 +1.453 0.99 +1.221 +0.232 +0.61 +0.52 +0.10
Chipper Jones 186 0.300 0.392 0.625 1.017 +0.568 0.98 +0.977 -0.409 +0.31 +0.53 -0.22
Jeff Francoeur 241 0.288 0.336 0.455 0.791 +0.550 0.94 +0.153 +0.397 +0.23 +0.06 +0.16
Brian McCann 184 0.277 0.332 0.428 0.759 +0.497 1.02 -0.486 +0.983 +0.27 -0.26 +0.53
Willie Harris 88 0.397 0.466 0.526 0.992 +0.418 0.93 +0.403 +0.015 +0.48 +0.46 +0.02
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 42 0.270 0.357 0.378 0.736 -0.002 0.92 -0.038 +0.036 -0.00 -0.09 +0.09
Peter Moylan 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 -0.020 0.38 -0.054 +0.034 -1.00 -2.68 +1.68
Scott Thorman 161 0.225 0.261 0.411 0.671 -0.034 0.96 +0.058 -0.092 -0.02 +0.04 -0.06
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
Buddy Carlyle 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 -0.064 1.51 -0.043 -0.021 -3.20 -2.13 -1.07
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
Andruw Jones 237 0.235 0.342 0.445 0.787 -0.119 1.07 +0.113 -0.232 -0.05 +0.05 -0.10
Matt Diaz 128 0.339 0.352 0.479 0.831 -0.212 0.97 +0.372 -0.584 -0.17 +0.29 -0.46
Martin Prado 30 0.179 0.233 0.179 0.412 -0.240 0.93 -0.286 +0.046 -0.80 -0.95 +0.15
Kyle Davies 22 0.211 0.227 0.421 0.648 -0.262 0.87 -0.063 -0.199 -1.19 -0.29 -0.90
John Smoltz 25 0.095 0.080 0.143 0.223 -0.344 0.73 -0.449 +0.105 -1.38 -1.80 +0.42
Chuck James 24 0.118 0.167 0.118 0.284 -0.368 0.91 -0.387 +0.019 -1.53 -1.61 +0.08
Tim Hudson 30 0.154 0.200 0.192 0.392 -0.397 0.82 -0.339 -0.058 -1.32 -1.13 -0.19
Pete Orr 42 0.220 0.238 0.244 0.482 -0.419 0.62 -0.338 -0.081 -1.00 -0.80 -0.19
Chris Woodward 75 0.232 0.253 0.290 0.543 -0.421 1.00 -0.513 +0.092 -0.56 -0.68 +0.12
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 2149 0.269 0.334 0.434 0.768 +0.479 0.96 +0.135 +0.344 +0.02 +0.01 +0.02
Total Pitching G GS IP ERA WHIP WPA pLI WPA/LI Clutch pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch
Rafael Soriano 25 0 25.0 2.52 0.64 +2.322 1.36 +1.038 +1.284 +2.58 +1.15 +1.43
Tim Hudson 12 12 84.3 2.77 1.08 +1.249 0.93 +1.832 -0.583 +0.37 +0.55 -0.17
John Smoltz 12 12 76.7 2.82 1.27 +0.852 1.14 +0.732 +0.120 +0.26 +0.22 +0.04
Mike Gonzalez 18 0 17.0 1.06 1.35 +0.738 0.99 +0.413 +0.325 +1.05 +0.59 +0.46
Tyler Yates 27 0 25.7 3.86 1.13 +0.719 0.93 +0.324 +0.395 +0.67 +0.30 +0.37
Peter Moylan 20 0 26.3 2.73 1.18 +0.659 0.63 -0.089 +0.748 +0.62 -0.08 +0.70
Chuck James 12 12 64.3 3.78 1.52 +0.530 1.04 +0.071 +0.459 +0.19 +0.02 +0.16
Macay McBride 11 0 10.0 5.40 2.30 +0.134 0.42 -0.102 +0.236 +0.25 -0.19 +0.44
Bob Wickman 20 0 18.3 2.95 1.47 +0.000 1.93 +0.146 -0.146 +0.00 +0.18 -0.18
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 20 0 15.7 7.47 2.04 -0.096 0.79 -0.475 +0.379 -0.13 -0.63 +0.51
Buddy Carlyle 2 1 5.0 9.00 1.80 -0.277 1.02 -0.000 -0.277 -1.15 -0.00 -1.15
Oscar Villarreal 20 0 27.7 3.58 1.41 -0.324 0.65 -0.247 -0.077 -0.27 -0.20 -0.06
Anthony Lerew 3 3 11.7 7.71 1.80 -0.343 0.88 -0.534 +0.191 -0.60 -0.94 +0.34
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 10 10 57.7 4.99 1.49 -0.776 0.97 -0.552 -0.224 -0.31 -0.22 -0.09
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 226 55 492.7 4.07 1.40 +3.550 0.99 +0.778 +2.772 +0.17 +0.04 +0.13
Relief Pitching G IP TBF gmLI G/T tG/T USG
Rafael Soriano 25 25.0 90 1.68 1.52 1.64 0.12
Bob Wickman 20 18.3 83 1.58 1.43 1.07 -0.37
Tyler Yates 27 25.7 107 1.14 1.03 1.14 0.11
Mike Gonzalez 18 17.0 70 1.04 0.94 1.31 0.37
Steve Colyer 7 3.7 22 1.01 0.92 0.14 -0.78
Chad Paronto 20 15.7 75 0.85 0.77 0.59 -0.18
Macay McBride 11 10.0 54 0.83 0.75 0.85 0.11
Oscar Villarreal 20 27.7 121 0.78 0.70 0.84 0.14
Peter Moylan 20 26.3 107 0.75 0.68 0.91 0.24
Kevin Barry 1 2.0 14 0.03 0.03 0.00 -0.03
Totals 169 171.3 743 1.11 38

Biggest plays of the week:

  1. Brian McCann doubled off Brian Shouse, scoring three runs and giving the Braves the lead for good in Wednesday’s win (+.389).
  2. Yunel Escobar doubled off Will Ohman, scoring Scott Thorman as the go-ahead run in Saturday’s win (+.256).
  3. Angel Pagan was thrown out trying to steal third after doubling in the 8th inning of Saturday’s game (+.235).  Amazingly, he was not already called out beforehand for being a walking oxymoron.  Cubs’ manager Lou Piniella was ejected for arguing the call and later suspended for his actions.
  4. Jeff Francoeur doubled in Edgar Renteria and Brian McCann off the boiling cauldron that is Carlos Zambrano in the fifth inning of Friday’s win (+.169 for the double).
  5. Edgar Renteria doubled off Rich Hill, scoring the first run in the fourth inning of Saturday’s win (+.150).

Comments:

The Braves were part of probably the three biggest on-field altercations of the 2007 season, and all three happened in the past five days.  First, we have Braves’ AA manager Phillip Wellman, who somehow is still the Braves’ AA manager despite this ridiculous incident, which took place right here in Chattanooga on Friday:

The other two clips I had have been yanked because MLB is full of grumpy old men who don’t understand what this newfangled YouTube thing can do for them.  The first was a clip of the dugout fight between Carlos Zambrano and Michael Barrett, and the second was a clip of Lou Piniella’s argument following the aforementioned failed stolen base attempt.  The clip below is a low-quality version that looks like it was shot on a fan’s camera.

Now, you might not believe it, but there was some actual baseball played this past week, and the Braves finished decent enough at 3-2.  Brian McCann had a fantastic week in the clutch, and even though he had a pedestrian line of .278/.316/.389, his WPA was through the roof at +.415.  Kelly Johnson had an outstanding 10-for-19 week with a 1.287 OPS.  Jeff Francoeur and Edgar Renteria added a mess of hits as well.  There were too many good performances on offense to go through them one-by-one, as the team hit .330/.349/.462 for the week.

Andruw Jones looks to be emerging from his season-long funk a little bit, with a .318/.304/.545 line that was masked by further anti-clutch play, dropping his WPA for the season to -.119.  Scott Thorman’s 1-for-17 week was the only real clunker of all the regulars.  Yunel Escobar had a solid debut in place of Chipper Jones, and it looks like he may stick around, since Prado was sent back down.

Hudson, Davies, and James all made strong starts this week, with the first two each receiving wins for their efforts.  James was robbed by the poor play of Tyler Yates, who gave up the tying run in his game and eventually picked up the win.  Cormier and Smoltz left a little to be desired with their starts, though Smoltz should be fine if he’s not hurt badly.  Cormier worries me a bit more.

The relief staff was hit-or-miss all week, with both Soriano and Wickman allowing runs in their outings.  Yates and Moylan struggled in their work, and there weren’t any truly brilliant performances to speak of.

The totals above do not include Escobar and Cormier, whom I neglected to add to my spreadsheet until it was too late for the weekly totals.  The Braves WPA page has the real season-to-date totals including their performances.

The Road Ahead

The Braves play eight(!) games this week, including a doubleheader tomorrow against Florida to make up for an earlier rainout.  All of them will be at home, with the first four against the Marlins and the last four against the Cubs.  I would love to see two series wins, and that’s the type of damage the Braves will have to do against the second-tier teams if they want to hang with the Mets.  They’ll avoid both Willis and Zambrano, so that will be nice.

Probables:

Monday: Tim Hudson vs. Wes Obermueller
Tuesday 1: Buddy Carlyle vs. Sergio Mitre
Tuesday 2: John Smoltz vs. Rick Vanden Hurk
Wednesday: Kyle Davies vs. Scott Olsen
Thursday: Chuck James vs. Rich Hill
Friday: Lance Cormier vs. Sean Marshall
Saturday: Tim Hudson vs. Jason Marquis
Sunday: John Smoltz vs. Ted Lilly

The Mets play six this week, starting with three at home against the Phillies and finishing with three at Detroit.  A 3-3 week for the Mets and two 3-1 series for the Braves would represent a two-game shift in the standings, and hopefully it will be even better.

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3 thoughts on “Braves take three of five in shortened week

  1. Oh come on, don’t tell me you’re siding with all the media types who were calling for Wellman to get fired. What he did was hilarious, and, of course, it was completely uncalled for and upstaged the game.

    Who cares? It’s minor-league baseball. Minor-league clubs routinely run outlandish promotions to get themselves noticed or to boost attendance. Sports are, first and foremost, entertainment, and while it’s true that we have to ensure that the competition on the field is the always the primary source of that entertainment, it’s also true that stuff like Wellman’s absurd tirade doesn’t hurt anybody if it doesn’t happen too often.

  2. When managers argue calls in general, it does have an effect on the game, and it’s not a good one. J.C. Bradbury showed this on the major league level, though the effect was small. It’s all “rent seeking” behavior, which basically means that all the arguing comes at the cost of other managing efforts.

    The net effect is that no one really wins when such arguments are allowed, and we just end up watching lower-quality baseball. If you’re willing to sacrifice that because manager arguments are entertaining or “just part of the game,” then I suppose that’s okay.

    I usually find these arguments mildly entertaining, and this one was actually somewhat hilarious, but I’m still not sure that arguments in general are worth the dual costs of 1) lesser-quality baseball and 2) punishing the people who don’t argue by letting fewer calls go their way. Maybe it is…I don’t really know. It is minor league baseball, as you said, and at least he didn’t physically hurt someone by throwing an actual grenade at home plate.

    I have a related follow-up question that probably works against my point a little bit:

    What happens in a world where there are no arguments allowed, even for the worst of calls? Do games that are played “under protest” ever actually get re-played?

    Then again, how often are bad calls actually reversed on the field after they occur? The effect of arguing is probably to get fewer calls against your team in the future.

  3. I’ll agree that this sort of thing promotes lower-quality baseball to a small degree. But, especially at the minor-league level, people aren’t attending games to see high-quality baseball. They’re attending games to have an enjoyable night out, and sometimes to see prospects up close that they expect to see later on in the majors.

    So there’s a balance that has to be struck between achieving high-quality baseball and achieving entertainment. And as long as these little incidents happen only occasionally, I’m fine with them. If somebody started doing this every other game, then that would obviously be bad.

    I’ve never seen it in baseball, but I did see a call reversed in a college football game after being argued by none other than Steve Spurrier in the 2000 home win over Auburn. The officials called offensive pass interference on a pass completed behind the line of scrimmage. Referee announces the penalty, and they go to mark it off, when Spurrier calls the ref over. Ref goes, Spurrier yells at him for ten seconds or so, ref nods, goes back out, and reverses the call.

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