Interleague madness continues, Braves lose out

I’m ready for this week to be over. The Braves have faced a brutal interleague schedule that will conclude this week at home with the best team in baseball and the defending AL champs. Last week, the Braves traveled to face two strong AL Central teams in Minnesota and Cleveland, losing all three at the Metrodome and winning 2 of 3 at Jacobs Field.

This Week’s Stats

Scores and FanGraphs summary links:

6/12: Twins 7, Braves 3
6/13: Twins 6, Braves 0
6/14: Twins 3, Braves 2
6/15: Braves 5, Indians 4
6/16: Braves 6, Indians 2
6/17: Indians 5, Braves 2

This week’s stats:

Hitting PA AVG OBP SLG OPS WPA pLI WPA/LI Clutch pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch
Matt Diaz 8 0.625 0.625 0.750 1.375 +0.242 1.29 +0.136 +0.106 +3.03 +1.71 +1.32
Yunel Escobar 24 0.261 0.292 0.304 0.596 +0.166 1.05 -0.128 +0.294 +0.69 -0.54 +1.23
Chipper Jones 22 0.474 0.545 0.526 1.072 +0.065 0.92 +0.234 -0.169 +0.30 +1.06 -0.77
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 12 0.333 0.333 0.417 0.750 +0.065 1.32 -0.031 +0.096 +0.54 -0.25 +0.80
Kelly Johnson 24 0.273 0.333 0.364 0.697 +0.052 0.77 -0.112 +0.164 +0.22 -0.47 +0.68
Willie Harris 17 0.294 0.294 0.412 0.706 +0.039 0.94 -0.070 +0.109 +0.23 -0.41 +0.64
Chris Woodward 4 0.333 0.250 0.333 0.583 -0.030 2.73 -0.018 -0.012 -0.75 -0.45 -0.30
Pete Orr 4 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.500 -0.050 0.60 -0.020 -0.030 -1.25 -0.50 -0.75
Edgar Renteria 22 0.316 0.409 0.526 0.935 -0.055 0.85 +0.226 -0.281 -0.25 +1.03 -1.28
Scott Thorman 15 0.333 0.333 0.800 1.133 -0.061 0.89 -0.000 -0.061 -0.41 -0.00 -0.40
Jeff Francoeur 24 0.250 0.250 0.375 0.625 -0.133 1.01 -0.149 +0.016 -0.55 -0.62 +0.07
Brian McCann 23 0.136 0.130 0.273 0.403 -0.229 1.23 -0.278 +0.049 -1.00 -1.21 +0.21
Andruw Jones 24 0.083 0.083 0.083 0.167 -0.474 1.17 -0.416 -0.058 -1.98 -1.73 -0.24
Totals 223 0.278 0.305 0.396 0.701 -0.403 1.04 -0.626 +0.223 -0.18 -0.28 +0.10
                         
                         
Total Pitching G GS IP ERA WHIP WPA pLI WPA/LI Clutch pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch
Tim Hudson 1 1 7.3 0.00 0.41 +0.514 1.09 +0.451 +0.063 +2.06 +1.81 +0.25
Tyler Yates 2 0 2.0 0.00 0.00 +0.153 0.98 +0.156 -0.003 +2.55 +2.61 -0.06
John Smoltz 1 1 6.0 3.00 1.17 +0.121 0.95 +0.166 -0.045 +0.50 +0.69 -0.19
Oscar Villarreal 1 0 3.0 3.00 0.67 +0.074 0.38 +0.184 -0.110 +0.67 +1.68 -1.00
Peter Moylan 2 0 2.7 0.00 0.38 +0.031 0.14 +0.180 -0.149 +0.34 +2.00 -1.66
Buddy Carlyle 1 1 6.0 3.00 1.33 +0.015 1.06 +0.110 -0.095 +0.06 +0.42 -0.36
Blaine Boyer 1 0 1.3 6.75 3.75 +0.004 0.29 -0.022 +0.026 +0.05 -0.28 +0.33
Chad Paronto 2 0 2.7 0.00 0.38 -0.013 0.10 +0.045 -0.058 -0.14 +0.50 -0.64
Macay McBride 3 0 2.0 0.00 1.00 -0.048 0.18 +0.076 -0.124 -0.60 +0.95 -1.55
Rafael Soriano 3 0 2.7 3.38 1.13 -0.105 0.90 -0.007 -0.098 -1.05 -0.07 -0.98
Chuck James 1 1 4.3 12.46 2.08 -0.291 0.50 -0.364 +0.073 -1.32 -1.65 +0.33
Kyle Davies 2 2 9.0 8.00 1.89 -0.369 1.05 -0.116 -0.253 -0.82 -0.26 -0.56
Bob Wickman 2 0 1.3 20.25 4.50 -0.679 4.43 -0.212 -0.467 -6.17 -1.93 -4.24
Totals 22 6 50.3 4.29 1.27 -0.593 0.98 +0.648 -1.241 -0.28 +0.30 -0.58
                         
                         
Relief Pitching G IP TBF gmLI G/T tG/T USG          
Tyler Yates 2 2.0 6 1.34 1.38 1.82 0.45          
Peter Moylan 2 2.7 9 0.31 0.32 1.58 1.26          
Oscar Villarreal 1 3.0 11 0.56 0.58 1.45 0.87          
Macay McBride 3 2.0 8 0.36 0.37 1.16 0.79          
Chad Paronto 2 2.7 9 0.14 0.14 0.98 0.84          
Rafael Soriano 3 2.7 10 1.40 1.45 0.75 -0.70          
Blaine Boyer 1 1.3 8 0.53 0.55 0.67 0.12          
Bob Wickman 2 1.3 11 2.79 2.87 0.00 -2.87          
Totals 16 17.7 72 0.97     16          

And for the season to date:

Hitting PA AVG OBP SLG OPS WPA pLI WPA/LI Clutch pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch
Kelly Johnson 294 0.285 0.384 0.478 0.863 +1.595 0.91 +1.386 +0.209 +0.54 +0.47 +0.07
Edgar Renteria 287 0.324 0.387 0.517 0.904 +1.397 0.98 +1.449 -0.052 +0.49 +0.50 -0.02
Willie Harris 123 0.382 0.439 0.509 0.948 +0.870 0.97 +0.557 +0.313 +0.71 +0.45 +0.25
Chipper Jones 208 0.318 0.409 0.615 1.023 +0.633 0.97 +1.211 -0.578 +0.30 +0.58 -0.28
Yunel Escobar 66 0.306 0.348 0.419 0.768 +0.487 1.04 +0.103 +0.384 +0.74 +0.16 +0.58
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 72 0.313 0.361 0.463 0.824 +0.468 1.02 +0.118 +0.350 +0.65 +0.16 +0.49
Brian McCann 224 0.262 0.317 0.401 0.718 +0.268 1.05 -0.772 +1.040 +0.12 -0.34 +0.46
Jeff Francoeur 298 0.279 0.326 0.431 0.757 +0.083 0.96 -0.296 +0.379 +0.03 -0.10 +0.13
Peter Moylan 3 0.000 0.333 0.000 0.333 -0.009 0.39 -0.027 +0.018 -0.30 -0.89 +0.59
Lance Cormier 2 0.000 0.500 0.000 0.500 -0.017 0.58 +0.008 -0.025 -0.85 +0.39 -1.24
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
Scott Thorman 205 0.236 0.263 0.421 0.684 -0.209 0.94 -0.150 -0.059 -0.10 -0.07 -0.03
Buddy Carlyle 7 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 -0.227 1.31 -0.175 -0.052 -3.24 -2.51 -0.74
Matt Diaz 156 0.345 0.359 0.466 0.825 -0.227 0.97 +0.344 -0.571 -0.15 +0.22 -0.37
Kyle Davies 23 0.211 0.261 0.421 0.682 -0.240 0.87 -0.037 -0.203 -1.04 -0.16 -0.88
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
Tim Hudson 33 0.214 0.242 0.286 0.528 -0.267 0.85 -0.169 -0.098 -0.81 -0.51 -0.30
John Smoltz 26 0.091 0.077 0.136 0.213 -0.357 0.73 -0.475 +0.118 -1.37 -1.83 +0.46
Chuck James 26 0.105 0.154 0.105 0.259 -0.405 0.89 -0.440 +0.035 -1.56 -1.69 +0.13
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
Pete Orr 52 0.200 0.231 0.220 0.451 -0.583 0.65 -0.447 -0.136 -1.12 -0.86 -0.26
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
Chris Woodward 91 0.214 0.231 0.298 0.528 -0.701 1.10 -0.681 -0.020 -0.77 -0.75 -0.02
Andruw Jones 296 0.212 0.311 0.404 0.715 -0.800 1.08 -0.475 -0.325 -0.27 -0.16 -0.11
Totals 2677 0.267 0.329 0.426 0.755 -0.333 0.98 -0.977 +0.644 -0.01 -0.04 +0.02
                         
                         
Total Pitching G GS IP ERA WHIP WPA pLI WPA/LI Clutch pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch
Rafael Soriano 31 0 30.7 2.35 0.65 +2.360 1.26 +1.209 +1.151 +2.15 +1.10 +1.05
John Smoltz 14 14 88.7 2.84 1.21 +1.033 1.11 +1.069 -0.036 +0.28 +0.29 -0.01
Tyler Yates 32 0 30.7 3.23 1.11 +0.981 0.91 +0.554 +0.427 +0.77 +0.44 +0.34
Peter Moylan 26 0 36.0 2.25 1.03 +0.958 0.62 +0.337 +0.621 +0.68 +0.24 +0.44
Tim Hudson 15 15 99.7 3.25 1.11 +0.894 0.96 +1.936 -1.042 +0.22 +0.48 -0.26
Mike Gonzalez 18 0 17.0 1.06 1.35 +0.738 0.99 +0.413 +0.325 +1.05 +0.59 +0.46
Chuck James 14 14 75.7 4.16 1.53 +0.407 1.01 -0.158 +0.565 +0.12 -0.05 +0.17
Macay McBride 16 0 13.3 4.05 1.95 +0.120 0.38 +0.044 +0.076 +0.18 +0.07 +0.11
Blaine Boyer 5 0 5.3 3.38 2.06 +0.062 0.44 -0.098 +0.160 +0.24 -0.38 +0.61
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 26 0 23.7 5.70 1.73 -0.084 0.63 -0.514 +0.430 -0.08 -0.48 +0.40
Buddy Carlyle 5 4 24.3 4.44 1.19 -0.207 1.02 +0.233 -0.440 -0.20 +0.23 -0.44
Oscar Villarreal 23 0 33.0 4.09 1.45 -0.324 0.61 -0.224 -0.100 -0.22 -0.15 -0.07
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 25 0 22.7 3.57 1.54 -0.418 2.13 +0.056 -0.474 -0.40 +0.05 -0.45
Steve Colyer 7 0 3.7 4.91 3.55 -0.537 0.98 -0.309 -0.228 -2.44 -1.40 -1.04
Lance Cormier 2 2 7.7 15.26 2.74 -0.633 0.76 -1.051 +0.418 -1.51 -2.50 +0.99
Mark Redman 6 5 21.7 11.63 2.26 -1.293 0.94 -1.239 -0.054 -1.11 -1.07 -0.05
Kyle Davies 13 13 71.7 5.65 1.55 -1.402 0.96 -0.854 -0.548 -0.44 -0.27 -0.17
Totals 282 70 619.0 4.23 1.39 +2.305 0.97 +0.639 +1.666 +0.09 +0.02 +0.06
                         
                         
Relief Pitching G IP TBF gmLI G/T tG/T USG          
Rafael Soriano 31 30.7 110 1.58 1.51 1.56 0.05          
Mike Gonzalez 18 17.0 70 1.04 0.99 1.27 0.28          
Tyler Yates 32 30.7 127 1.11 1.06 1.18 0.12          
Peter Moylan 26 36.0 141 0.73 0.70 1.07 0.37          
Buddy Carlyle 1 1.0 4 0.58 0.55 1.06 0.51          
Macay McBride 16 13.3 67 0.73 0.70 0.97 0.27          
Bob Wickman 25 22.7 105 1.69 1.61 0.96 -0.65          
Oscar Villarreal 23 33.0 146 0.72 0.69 0.84 0.16          
Blaine Boyer 5 5.3 26 0.44 0.42 0.72 0.30          
Chad Paronto 26 23.7 107 0.74 0.70 0.66 -0.04          
Mark Redman 1 1.3 10 0.45 0.43 0.33 -0.10          
Steve Colyer 7 3.7 22 1.01 0.97 0.14 -0.83          
Kevin Barry 1 2.0 14 0.03 0.03 0.00 -0.03          
Totals 212 220.3 949 1.05     53          

The week’s biggest plays:

  1. Yunel Escobar doubled off C.C. Sabathia, scoring the tying and go-ahead runs in the 9th inning of Friday’s win at Cleveland (+.389).
  2. Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled off C.C. Sabathia to lead off that inning (+.195).
  3. Bob Wickman struck out Grady Sizemore with one out and the tying run on second in the bottom of the 9th in that game (+.144).
  4. Brian McCann homered off Johan Santana, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead in the 5th inning of Thursday’s game (+.132).
  5. Jeff Francoeur hit an RBI single off C.C. Sabathia in the 6th inning of Friday’s game, cutting the Indians’ lead to 3-2 (+.127).

Comments

This week marked Chipper Jones’ return from the Disabled List, and he had a fine week (if not very Clutchy) while being able to DH in the AL parks. He had just one extra-base hit, but going 9-for-22 increased his line for the season to .318/.409/.615. Quite simply, he’s the Braves’ best hitter, even with two injured hands.

Matt Diaz was the batting leader despite only having 8 plate appearances. He was 5-for-8 with a +.242 WPA for the week. Yunel Escobar turned in the second-best WPA week, almost entirely because of his clutch hit off of C.C. Sabathia on Friday. He’s almost a win above average since joining the big league club.

Salty, Kelly Johnson, and Willie Harris all had moderately productive weeks, coming in slightly higher than zero in WPA. Salty got his first start at first base, which is certainly a sign that the team’s patience with Scott Thorman is wearing thin. Thorman had two of the Braves’ five homers but was merely average for the week as a whole because of a baserunning blunder.

Orr and Woodward kept going in the wrong direction, like the offense as a whole, and together they’re more than 2.5 wins below average. Andruw Jones is also getting worse and worse, and he (along with Woodward) eclipsed Ryan Langerhans as the team’s LVPs. Yes, Langerhans was still at the bottom until this week, never mind how long he’s been in the rear-view mirror. Back to Andruw, though, whose OPS now sits at .715, hardly star material. If he keeps it up, it will be an interesting off-season to see what kind of free agent contract offers he can muster with that kind of decline. I don’t think he’s going to keep being this bad, but I’ve said that for weeks now and he hasn’t turned it around.

Renteria had the most anti-clutch week of any Braves hitter, so he was actually -.055 in WPA despite a solid .316/.409/.526 line. Unlike Edgar, Francoeur and McCann were just bad this week. Both homered, including McCann off Johan Santana, but McCann’s OPS is now .718, and Frenchy still has a long way to go in order to tap into his enormous potential. His OPS is a middling .757 now.

On the pitching side, Davies and James had some rough starts, while Hudson, Smoltz, and Buddy Carlyle were somewhere between solid and excellent. Perhaps the Braves will get a stretch of solid pitching from everyone at the same time at some point in the future, but I wouldn’t count on it, at least not from anyone other than the two aces. Davies has now taken over the bottom spot in pitching (and overall team) WPA at -1.402, almost three wins below average. You could say that statistically he has cancelled out the entire positive performance of Renteria, but that might be too harsh.

This week also marked another patented Total Wickman Meltdown, where the Braves’ closer enters a game with a 90% chance of winning and manages to singlehandedly blow it. Tim Hudson was the victim, and Wickman picked up an impressive -.898 WPA on Thursday alone. That’s how things go when you use a reliever who is not the team’s best and put him in the game in the most crucial of situations. He’s been decent, but with a couple of key blowups, he can only look down upon Colyer, Cormier, Redman, and Davies.

Soriano actually allowed a run in a key situation on Friday, netting him a negative WPA for the week for the first time since mid-April. Boyer, Paronto, McBride, and Moylan were all stuck close to zero, while Villarreal was moderately good and Yates was quite effective. Yates and Moylan are both closing in on +1.000 in WPA for the season. Altogether, the bullpen ERA is 3.59, so everyone has basically done his part.

The Week Ahead

The Braves host the Red Sox for three beginning tonight, then they have Thursday off before hosting the Tigers over the weekend. Here are the matchups:

Monday: James vs. Curt Schilling
Tuesday: Hudson vs. Josh Beckett
Wednesday: Carlyle vs. Julian Tavarez
Friday: Smoltz vs. Kenny Rogers
Saturday: Davies (please, no!) vs. Justin Verlander
Sunday: James vs. Mike Maroth

I’ll be attending Saturday’s game, so you can understand my despair if we don’t see the return of Good Davies.  Needless to say, I hope we don’t see anything close to Good Verlander, or we’ll be his second no-hit victim of the year, and I won’t be a happy customer.

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