Braves shut out four times in five-loss week

Offense is overrated anyway, right?  Pitching and defense win championships, don’t they?  The Braves are learning that’s not really the case after giving up a respectable 12 runs to the Tigers this weekend but coming up short in each game.  After a 9-4 win over Boston on Monday, the team dropped five in a row while scoring just a single run over that stretch.  I went to Saturday’s game, and I’ll have a recap on that later (probably tomorrow).  I was fortunate enough to see them score a run and to see Bobby Cox tie the career ejection record, which I guess is exciting if you’re not actually going to win anything.  The Braves certainly won’t if the bats don’t heat up soon.  Let’s get to the summaries:

This week’s stats

Scores and FanGraphs summaries:

6/18: Braves 9, Red Sox 4
6/19: Red Sox 4, Braves 0
6/20: Red Sox 11, Braves nil
6/22: Tigers 5, Braves nothing
6/23: Tigers 2, Braves 1 (!!!!)
6/24: Tigers 5, Braves love

Stats for the week alone:

Hitting PA OPS pLI WPA WPA/LI Clutch CP pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch pCP
Matt Diaz 12 0.697 0.78 +0.117 -0.002 +0.119 +0.119 +0.98 -0.02 +0.99 +0.99
Chuck James 4 0.583 1.48 +0.027 -0.029 +0.056 +0.069 +0.68 -0.72 +1.39 +1.74
Buddy Carlyle 1 0.000 0.12 -0.003 -0.025 +0.022 +0.000 -0.30 -2.50 +2.20 +0.00
Pete Orr 2 0.000 0.16 -0.008 -0.057 +0.049 +0.001 -0.40 -2.87 +2.47 +0.04
John Smoltz 1 0.000 0.48 -0.012 -0.025 +0.013 +0.000 -1.20 -2.50 +1.30 +0.00
Willie Harris 15 0.829 0.59 -0.027 +0.050 -0.077 -0.056 -0.18 +0.33 -0.51 -0.38
Chipper Jones 19 0.868 0.98 -0.043 +0.008 -0.051 -0.051 -0.23 +0.04 -0.27 -0.27
Tim Hudson 2 0.000 0.86 -0.044 -0.051 +0.007 -0.000 -2.20 -2.55 +0.35 -0.01
Kyle Davies 2 0.000 1.21 -0.063 -0.052 -0.011 +0.000 -3.15 -2.61 -0.54 +0.00
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 8 0.750 0.66 -0.091 -0.062 -0.029 -0.050 -1.14 -0.78 -0.36 -0.62
Brian McCann 18 0.444 1.02 -0.135 -0.261 +0.126 +0.132 -0.75 -1.45 +0.70 +0.73
Chris Woodward 7 0.000 0.76 -0.136 -0.157 +0.021 -0.016 -1.94 -2.24 +0.30 -0.23
Scott Thorman 17 0.673 0.92 -0.174 +0.056 -0.230 -0.225 -1.02 +0.33 -1.35 -1.33
Jeff Francoeur 22 0.511 0.70 -0.195 -0.263 +0.068 -0.012 -0.89 -1.19 +0.31 -0.06
Yunel Escobar 11 0.091 0.78 -0.203 -0.203 -0.000 -0.044 -1.85 -1.84 -0.00 -0.40
Kelly Johnson 22 0.390 0.80 -0.210 -0.123 -0.087 -0.111 -0.95 -0.56 -0.39 -0.51
Andruw Jones 19 0.273 0.91 -0.235 -0.248 +0.013 -0.009 -1.24 -1.30 +0.07 -0.05
Edgar Renteria 23 0.666 0.81 -0.256 -0.149 -0.107 -0.136 -1.11 -0.65 -0.47 -0.59
Totals 205 0.523 0.83 -1.691 -1.594 -0.097 -0.390 -0.82 -0.78 -0.05 -0.19
Total Pitching IP ERA pLI WPA WPA/LI Clutch CP pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch pCP
Kyle Davies 6.3 2.84 0.99 +0.119 +0.157 -0.038 -0.037 +0.48 +0.63 -0.15 -0.15
Rafael Soriano 2.0 13.50 0.74 +0.054 -0.099 +0.153 +0.128 +0.45 -0.83 +1.28 +1.07
Chuck James 10.3 5.23 1.05 +0.050 +0.024 +0.026 +0.025 +0.10 +0.05 +0.05 +0.05
Bob Wickman 1.3 0.00 0.75 +0.045 +0.055 -0.010 +0.004 +0.90 +1.09 -0.19 +0.08
Tyler Yates 1.7 5.40 0.88 +0.036 -0.029 +0.065 +0.062 +0.45 -0.37 +0.82 +0.77
Chad Paronto 4.0 0.00 0.21 +0.033 +0.078 -0.045 +0.017 +0.21 +0.49 -0.28 +0.11
Oscar Villarreal 5.0 0.00 0.18 +0.027 +0.296 -0.269 -0.025 +0.17 +1.85 -1.68 -0.15
Peter Moylan 3.7 2.45 0.34 +0.009 +0.093 -0.084 -0.023 +0.06 +0.66 -0.60 -0.16
Macay McBride 1.7 5.40 0.08 +0.002 -0.094 +0.096 +0.010 +0.03 -1.17 +1.20 +0.12
Wil Ledezma 2.0 4.50 0.11 -0.012 +0.008 -0.020 -0.013 -0.17 +0.11 -0.29 -0.18
Tim Hudson 5.3 6.75 0.92 -0.112 -0.300 +0.188 +0.164 -0.45 -1.20 +0.75 +0.65
John Smoltz 6.0 7.50 1.09 -0.152 -0.008 -0.144 -0.144 -0.58 -0.03 -0.56 -0.55
Buddy Carlyle 3.7 17.18 0.44 -0.404 -0.443 +0.039 -0.209 -1.76 -1.93 +0.17 -0.91
Totals 53.0 5.26 0.72 -0.305 -0.263 -0.042 -0.041 -0.13 -0.11 -0.02 -0.02
Relief Pitching G IP TBF gmLI G/T tG/T USG
Rafael Soriano 2 2.0 12 0.49 1.44 3.53 2.09
Tyler Yates 2 1.7 8 0.59 1.73 2.00 0.28
Chad Paronto 4 4.0 16 0.16 0.47 0.96 0.49
Macay McBride 2 1.7 8 0.08 0.22 0.80 0.58
Bob Wickman 2 1.3 5 0.44 1.29 0.66 -0.63
Wil Ledezma 2 2.0 7 0.10 0.28 0.27 0.00
Peter Moylan 4 3.7 14 0.46 1.35 0.05 -1.30
Oscar Villarreal 3 5.0 16 0.44 1.28 0.00 -1.28
Totals 21 21.3 86 0.34 18

And for the season to date:

Hitting PA OPS pLI WPA WPA/LI Clutch CP pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch pCP
Kelly Johnson 316 0.832 0.91 +1.385 +1.263 +0.122 +0.241 +0.44 +0.40 +0.04 +0.08
Edgar Renteria 310 0.886 0.96 +1.141 +1.300 -0.159 -0.111 +0.37 +0.42 -0.05 -0.04
Willie Harris 138 0.935 0.93 +0.843 +0.607 +0.236 +0.280 +0.61 +0.44 +0.17 +0.20
Chipper Jones 227 1.009 0.97 +0.590 +1.219 -0.629 -0.593 +0.26 +0.54 -0.28 -0.26
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 80 0.816 0.99 +0.377 +0.056 +0.321 +0.322 +0.47 +0.07 +0.40 +0.40
Yunel Escobar 77 0.673 1.00 +0.284 -0.100 +0.384 +0.384 +0.37 -0.13 +0.50 +0.50
Brian McCann 242 0.697 1.05 +0.133 -1.034 +1.167 +1.215 +0.05 -0.43 +0.48 +0.50
Peter Moylan 3 0.333 0.39 -0.009 -0.027 +0.018 +0.001 -0.30 -0.89 +0.59 +0.05
Lance Cormier 2 0.500 0.58 -0.017 +0.008 -0.025 -0.021 -0.85 +0.39 -1.24 -1.07
Oscar Villarreal 2 0.000 0.84 -0.055 -0.059 +0.004 -0.006 -2.75 -2.94 +0.19 -0.29
Anthony Lerew 3 0.000 0.88 -0.072 -0.081 +0.009 -0.001 -2.40 -2.70 +0.30 -0.02
Mark Redman 6 0.167 1.05 -0.103 -0.090 -0.013 -0.009 -1.72 -1.50 -0.21 -0.15
Matt Diaz 168 0.816 0.95 -0.110 +0.342 -0.452 -0.436 -0.07 +0.20 -0.27 -0.26
Jeff Francoeur 320 0.739 0.94 -0.112 -0.559 +0.447 +0.416 -0.04 -0.17 +0.14 +0.13
Buddy Carlyle 8 0.000 1.16 -0.230 -0.200 -0.030 +0.003 -2.88 -2.50 -0.37 +0.04
Martin Prado 30 0.412 0.93 -0.240 -0.286 +0.046 +0.026 -0.80 -0.95 +0.15 +0.09
Kyle Davies 25 0.621 0.89 -0.303 -0.090 -0.213 -0.223 -1.21 -0.36 -0.85 -0.89
Tim Hudson 35 0.495 0.85 -0.311 -0.220 -0.091 -0.123 -0.89 -0.63 -0.26 -0.35
John Smoltz 27 0.205 0.72 -0.369 -0.500 +0.131 -0.011 -1.37 -1.85 +0.49 -0.04
Chuck James 30 0.303 0.97 -0.378 -0.468 +0.090 +0.075 -1.26 -1.56 +0.30 +0.25
Scott Thorman 222 0.683 0.94 -0.383 -0.094 -0.289 -0.295 -0.17 -0.04 -0.13 -0.13
Craig Wilson 69 0.563 0.93 -0.441 -0.345 -0.096 -0.119 -0.64 -0.50 -0.14 -0.17
Brayan Pena 23 0.565 1.42 -0.507 -0.304 -0.203 -0.076 -2.20 -1.32 -0.88 -0.33
Pete Orr 54 0.434 0.63 -0.591 -0.504 -0.087 -0.273 -1.09 -0.93 -0.16 -0.50
Ryan Langerhans 52 0.283 0.89 -0.674 -0.843 +0.169 +0.073 -1.30 -1.62 +0.32 +0.14
Chris Woodward 98 0.489 1.07 -0.837 -0.838 +0.001 +0.062 -0.85 -0.85 +0.00 +0.06
Andruw Jones 315 0.689 1.07 -1.035 -0.722 -0.313 -0.263 -0.33 -0.23 -0.10 -0.08
Totals 2882 0.738 0.97 -2.024 -2.570 +0.546 +0.541 -0.07 -0.09 +0.02 +0.02
Total Pitching IP ERA pLI WPA WPA/LI Clutch CP pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch pCP
Rafael Soriano 32.7 3.03 1.20 +2.414 +1.109 +1.305 +1.084 +1.98 +0.91 +1.07 +0.89
Tyler Yates 32.3 3.34 0.91 +1.017 +0.524 +0.493 +0.539 +0.75 +0.39 +0.37 +0.40
Peter Moylan 39.7 2.27 0.59 +0.967 +0.430 +0.537 +0.713 +0.62 +0.28 +0.35 +0.46
John Smoltz 94.7 3.14 1.11 +0.881 +1.061 -0.180 -0.293 +0.22 +0.27 -0.05 -0.07
Tim Hudson 105.0 3.43 0.96 +0.782 +1.636 -0.854 -0.791 +0.18 +0.38 -0.20 -0.18
Mike Gonzalez 17.0 1.06 0.99 +0.738 +0.413 +0.325 +0.331 +1.05 +0.59 +0.46 +0.47
Chuck James 86.0 4.29 1.01 +0.457 -0.134 +0.591 +0.593 +0.12 -0.04 +0.15 +0.15
Macay McBride 15.0 4.20 0.35 +0.122 -0.050 +0.172 +0.139 +0.16 -0.07 +0.23 +0.19
Blaine Boyer 5.3 3.38 0.44 +0.062 -0.098 +0.160 +0.105 +0.24 -0.38 +0.61 +0.40
Kevin Barry 2.0 22.50 0.02 -0.007 -0.230 +0.223 -0.003 -0.05 -1.64 +1.59 -0.02
Wil Ledezma 2.0 4.50 0.11 -0.012 +0.008 -0.020 -0.013 -0.17 +0.11 -0.29 -0.18
Chad Paronto 27.7 4.88 0.58 -0.051 -0.436 +0.385 +0.200 -0.04 -0.35 +0.31 +0.16
Oscar Villarreal 38.0 3.55 0.56 -0.297 +0.072 -0.369 -0.337 -0.18 +0.04 -0.23 -0.21
Anthony Lerew 11.7 7.71 0.88 -0.343 -0.534 +0.191 +0.126 -0.60 -0.94 +0.34 +0.22
Bob Wickman 24.0 3.38 2.07 -0.373 +0.111 -0.484 -0.603 -0.34 +0.10 -0.44 -0.55
Steve Colyer 3.7 4.91 0.98 -0.537 -0.309 -0.228 -0.235 -2.44 -1.40 -1.04 -1.07
Buddy Carlyle 28.0 6.11 0.92 -0.611 -0.210 -0.401 -0.418 -0.49 -0.17 -0.32 -0.34
Lance Cormier 7.7 15.26 0.76 -0.633 -1.051 +0.418 +0.165 -1.51 -2.50 +0.99 +0.39
Kyle Davies 78.0 5.42 0.97 -1.283 -0.697 -0.586 -0.610 -0.37 -0.20 -0.17 -0.18
Mark Redman 21.7 11.63 0.94 -1.293 -1.239 -0.054 -0.132 -1.11 -1.07 -0.05 -0.11
Totals 672.0 4.31 0.95 +2.000 +0.376 +1.624 +0.559 +0.07 +0.01 +0.06 +0.02
Relief Pitching G IP TBF gmLI G/T tG/T USG
Rafael Soriano 33 32.7 122 1.51 1.54 2.00 0.47
Peter Moylan 30 39.7 155 0.70 0.71 1.56 0.86
Tyler Yates 34 32.3 135 1.08 1.10 1.36 0.26
Mike Gonzalez 18 17.0 70 1.04 1.06 1.11 0.05
Chad Paronto 30 27.7 123 0.66 0.67 0.95 0.28
Macay McBride 18 15.0 75 0.66 0.67 0.88 0.21
Blaine Boyer 5 5.3 26 0.44 0.44 0.84 0.40
Kevin Barry 1 2.0 14 0.03 0.03 0.71 0.68
Wil Ledezma 2 2.0 7 0.10 0.10 0.70 0.60
Mark Redman 1 1.3 10 0.45 0.46 0.56 0.10
Steve Colyer 7 3.7 22 1.01 1.03 0.44 -0.59
Oscar Villarreal 26 38.0 162 0.69 0.70 0.32 -0.38
Buddy Carlyle 1 1.0 4 0.58 0.59 0.22 -0.37
Bob Wickman 27 24.0 110 1.59 1.62 0.00 -1.62
Totals 233 241.7 1035 0.98 125

Best plays of the week:

  1. Matt Diaz doubled to left off Tim Byrdak to lead off the 8th inning of Saturday’s game (+.170).
  2. Brian McCann doubled off Curt Schilling in the 4th inning of Monday’s game, scoring Edgar Renteria and advancing Chipper Jones to third, also giving the Braves a 2-1 lead (+.144).
  3. Brian McCann hit a 3-run homer off Schilling the next inning, making the lead 6-1 (+.123).
  4. Chipper Jones homered off Justin Verlander in the 4th inning of Saturday’s game, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 2-1 (+.116).
  5. Chuck James singled off Curt Schilling while the bases were loaded in the 4th inning of Monday’s game, giving the Braves a 3-1 lead (+.094).

Comments

Notice that all of the Braves’ best plays came in either Monday’s win or Saturday’s loss, the only two games in which the team had a fighting chance this week.  Obviously the offense has completely quit producing since Monday, and it shows in the WPA stats.  Hopefully the players will stop sniping at each other in the media and get things right on the field.

Only two Braves hitters were above zero this week: Matt Diaz and Chuck James.  Willie Harris and Chipper Jones had decent weeks, and everyone else was pretty bad.  Renteria’s week looks decent at 7-for-22, but he hit into two double plays, pulling him to the bottom of the list for once.  Here are some of the hitting lines for this week:

McCann: 2-for-18 with a double
Thorman: 3-for-16 with a walk, a double, and a homer
Francoeur: 5-for-21 with a walk
Escobar: 0-for-10 with a walk
Johnson: 2-for-17 with 3 walks
Andruw: 1-for-16 with 3 walks

For the week, the team hit .201/.253/.270 with a .523 OPS, which is not going to work at all.  Francoeur and McCann aren’t getting their hits, and we won’t even discuss Andruw, who has the worst WPA of all the hitters, including last night’s inexplicable start at first base, Chris Woodward.

The pitchers mostly hovered around zero for the week in WPA, with your MVP going to Kyle Davies (+.119 on Saturday).  Buddy Carlyle had the only truly awful outing, getting shelled by the Red Sox for a -.404 WPA on Tuesday.  Chuck James was off-and-on in two starts, but he made a pretty good showing against a good Tiger offense last night.  Hudson and Smoltz weren’t at their best in one start each, and like everyone else, they’re probably glad to see the end of interleague play.

The relief corps got a bit of a shakeup when Macay McBride, one of the Georgia-native Baby Braves, was shipped to the Tigers for Wilfredo Ledezma (or I guess he actually stayed in Atlanta, since they were coming to town).  I don’t think anyone was really excited about the deal one way or the other.  The initial reaction I got from Braves fans is that we got a guy with similar control problems who is actually older and without minor league options.  Tiger fans thought they shipped off a guy with decent stuff for a lower-ceiling guy who has completely lost whatever it was that made him a good prospect.  Both are probably true, but hopefully the Braves can turn Ledezma into a useful bullpen spare part.

Villarreal, Paronto, and Moylan all provided solid innings out of the bullpen in the games that got away, while Wickman and Yates did the same in some of the closer ones.  Soriano gave up a few runs in a blowout, but he still had a positive WPA for the week.

The team is now .500 for the season for the first time since opening day, and they’re now 4.5 games back of the Mets and 1.5 behind the Phillies for second place.  The Marlins are two games behind the Braves now in fourth.

The Week Ahead

I’m hopeful that the Braves can right the ship against the Marlins and Nationals this week.  They’ll get the Nats at the beginning of the week to finish this homestand before heading on a 9-game road trip heading into the All-Star break.

The probables:

Monday: Tim Hudson vs. Jason Bergmann
Tuesday: Buddy Carlyle vs. Mike Bacsik
Wednesday: John Smoltz vs. Micah Bowie
Friday: Kyle Davies vs. Josh Johnson
Saturday: Chuck James vs. Byung-Hyun Kim
Sunday: Tim Hudson vs. Dontrelle Willis

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