Braves sweep Pirates, and I come home happy

I returned from Atlanta in one piece on Saturday having witnessed quite the offensive show from the Braves the night before.  I’ll have more on that in my comments, but let’s get to the scores and stats.

This Week’s Stats

Scores and FanGraphs summaries:

7/13: Braves 9, Pirates 1
7/14: Braves 5, Pirates 4
7/15: Braves 5, Pirates 1

Stats for the week alone:

Hitting PA OPS pLI WPA WPA/LI Clutch CP pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch pCP
Jeff Francoeur 13 0.580 1.12 +0.372 +0.002 +0.370 +0.370 +2.86 +0.01 +2.85 +2.85
Brian McCann 8 1.625 0.96 +0.126 +0.235 -0.109 -0.099 +1.58 +2.94 -1.36 -1.24
Yunel Escobar 11 0.573 0.93 +0.091 +0.105 -0.014 -0.006 +0.83 +0.95 -0.13 -0.05
Andruw Jones 13 1.350 1.11 +0.089 +0.123 -0.034 -0.048 +0.68 +0.95 -0.26 -0.37
Kelly Johnson 5 0.933 0.96 +0.079 +0.008 +0.071 +0.071 +1.58 +0.16 +1.42 +1.43
Buddy Carlyle 3 0.000 1.17 +0.065 +0.028 +0.037 +0.032 +2.17 +0.93 +1.24 +1.08
Edgar Renteria 14 1.000 0.82 +0.059 +0.071 -0.012 +0.000 +0.42 +0.51 -0.09 +0.00
Chris Woodward 5 1.000 0.65 +0.034 +0.047 -0.013 +0.003 +0.68 +0.95 -0.27 +0.07
Willie Harris 8 0.500 1.04 +0.033 -0.045 +0.078 +0.080 +0.41 -0.57 +0.98 +1.00
Scott Thorman 4 0.500 0.29 +0.002 +0.021 -0.019 -0.004 +0.05 +0.53 -0.48 -0.10
Chuck James 3 0.000 0.14 -0.010 -0.049 +0.039 -0.003 -0.33 -1.63 +1.30 -0.11
Matt Diaz 8 0.708 0.39 -0.014 +0.011 -0.025 -0.018 -0.18 +0.14 -0.31 -0.23
Tim Hudson 3 0.667 0.41 -0.021 -0.012 -0.009 -0.016 -0.70 -0.39 -0.31 -0.54
Chipper Jones 14 1.208 0.90 -0.074 +0.103 -0.177 -0.167 -0.53 +0.74 -1.27 -1.19
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 8 0.393 1.06 -0.157 -0.094 -0.063 -0.057 -1.96 -1.18 -0.79 -0.71
Totals 120 0.854 0.88 +0.674 +0.555 +0.119 +0.139 +0.56 +0.46 +0.10 +0.12
Total Pitching IP ERA pLI WPA WPA/LI Clutch CP pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch pCP
Buddy Carlyle 8.0 1.13 0.92 +0.372 +0.298 +0.074 +0.098 +1.43 +1.14 +0.29 +0.38
Tim Hudson 7.0 0.00 0.63 +0.286 +0.280 +0.006 +0.109 +1.10 +1.08 +0.02 +0.42
Chuck James 6.0 0.00 0.80 +0.247 +0.236 +0.011 +0.057 +1.18 +1.12 +0.05 +0.27
Bob Wickman 2.0 0.00 1.49 +0.159 +0.118 +0.041 -0.016 +2.27 +1.68 +0.59 -0.23
Oscar Villarreal 1.0 0.00 1.44 +0.110 +0.076 +0.034 +0.000 +3.67 +2.54 +1.13 +0.00
Peter Moylan 1.0 0.00 0.01 +0.000 +0.000 +0.000 +0.000 +0.00 +0.00 +0.00 +0.00
Jose Ascanio 1.0 9.00 0.00 +0.000 +0.000 +0.000 +0.000 +0.00 +0.00 +0.00 +0.00
Tyler Yates 0.7 40.50 1.10 -0.060 -0.087 +0.027 +0.036 -1.20 -1.74 +0.54 +0.71
Rafael Soriano 0.3 27.00 1.41 -0.288 -0.127 -0.161 -0.109 -14.40 -6.34 -8.06 -5.47
Totals 27.0 2.00 0.81 +0.826 +0.794 +0.032 +0.175 +0.83 +0.80 +0.03 +0.18
Relief Pitching G IP TBF gmLI G/T tG/T USG
Oscar Villarreal 1 1.0 3 1.87 1.46 1.42 -0.04
Bob Wickman 2 2.0 7 1.75 1.37 1.28 -0.08
Peter Moylan 1 1.0 3 0.02 0.02 1.01 1.00
Jose Ascanio 1 1.0 6 0.00 0.00 1.01 1.01
Tyler Yates 1 0.7 5 1.56 1.22 0.73 -0.48
Rafael Soriano 1 0.3 2 2.02 1.58 0.00 -1.58
Totals 7 6.0 26 1.28 4

For the season to date:

Hitting PA OPS pLI WPA WPA/LI Clutch CP pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch pCP
Kelly Johnson 355 0.854 0.91 +1.709 +1.616 +0.093 +0.239 +0.48 +0.46 +0.03 +0.07
Edgar Renteria 385 0.868 0.95 +1.586 +1.619 -0.033 +0.051 +0.41 +0.42 -0.01 +0.01
Chipper Jones 302 1.020 0.98 +1.429 +1.839 -0.410 -0.370 +0.47 +0.61 -0.14 -0.12
Yunel Escobar 120 0.735 1.00 +1.286 +0.356 +0.930 +0.929 +1.07 +0.30 +0.77 +0.77
Willie Harris 181 0.840 0.96 +0.959 +0.407 +0.552 +0.567 +0.53 +0.22 +0.31 +0.31
Brian McCann 294 0.776 1.05 +0.465 -0.650 +1.115 +1.147 +0.16 -0.22 +0.38 +0.39
Jeff Francoeur 390 0.758 0.96 +0.360 -0.492 +0.852 +0.830 +0.09 -0.13 +0.22 +0.21
Tyler Yates 1 0.000 0.03 -0.001 -0.033 +0.032 +0.000 -0.10 -3.33 +3.23 +0.00
Lance Cormier 2 0.500 0.58 -0.017 +0.008 -0.025 -0.021 -0.85 +0.39 -1.24 -1.07
Jo-Jo Reyes 2 0.000 1.40 -0.020 -0.014 -0.006 +0.000 -1.00 -0.71 -0.29 +0.00
Matt Diaz 209 0.840 0.90 -0.020 +0.541 -0.561 -0.508 -0.01 +0.26 -0.27 -0.24
Peter Moylan 4 0.250 0.69 -0.047 -0.051 +0.004 -0.012 -1.18 -1.28 +0.10 -0.30
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 126 0.818 1.02 -0.055 +0.026 -0.081 -0.082 -0.04 +0.02 -0.06 -0.06
Anthony Lerew 3 0.000 0.88 -0.072 -0.081 +0.009 -0.001 -2.40 -2.70 +0.30 -0.02
Oscar Villarreal 3 0.000 0.81 -0.077 -0.087 +0.010 -0.006 -2.57 -2.91 +0.35 -0.20
Mark Redman 6 0.167 1.05 -0.103 -0.090 -0.013 -0.009 -1.72 -1.50 -0.21 -0.15
Buddy Carlyle 19 0.115 1.01 -0.148 -0.287 +0.139 +0.141 -0.78 -1.51 +0.73 +0.74
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 29 0.601 0.85 -0.340 -0.136 -0.204 -0.225 -1.17 -0.47 -0.70 -0.78
Chuck James 40 0.426 0.87 -0.389 -0.430 +0.041 -0.016 -0.97 -1.08 +0.10 -0.04
Craig Wilson 69 0.563 0.93 -0.441 -0.345 -0.096 -0.119 -0.64 -0.50 -0.14 -0.17
John Smoltz 32 0.248 0.75 -0.457 -0.548 +0.091 -0.047 -1.43 -1.71 +0.28 -0.15
Tim Hudson 45 0.472 0.82 -0.461 -0.357 -0.104 -0.168 -1.02 -0.79 -0.23 -0.37
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 58 0.403 0.59 -0.598 -0.549 -0.049 -0.271 -1.03 -0.95 -0.08 -0.47
Scott Thorman 254 0.644 0.92 -0.704 -0.376 -0.328 -0.360 -0.28 -0.15 -0.13 -0.14
Andruw Jones 387 0.744 1.08 -0.719 -0.368 -0.351 -0.321 -0.19 -0.10 -0.09 -0.08
Ryan Langerhans 52 0.283 0.88 -0.737 -0.946 +0.209 +0.097 -1.42 -1.82 +0.40 +0.19
Chris Woodward 108 0.558 1.03 -0.875 -0.805 -0.070 -0.042 -0.81 -0.75 -0.06 -0.04
Totals 3529 0.757 0.96 +0.766 -0.825 +1.591 +1.374 +0.02 -0.02 +0.05 +0.04
Total Pitching IP ERA pLI WPA WPA/LI Clutch CP pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch pCP
Rafael Soriano 39.0 3.00 1.17 +2.037 +1.126 +0.911 +0.716 +1.38 +0.76 +0.62 +0.48
Peter Moylan 47.7 2.08 0.63 +1.388 +0.540 +0.848 +1.047 +0.73 +0.28 +0.44 +0.55
Tim Hudson 129.0 3.35 0.98 +1.158 +1.940 -0.782 -0.750 +0.22 +0.37 -0.15 -0.14
Chuck James 103.7 3.73 1.01 +1.120 +0.371 +0.749 +0.745 +0.25 +0.08 +0.17 +0.16
John Smoltz 105.7 3.07 1.10 +1.016 +1.127 -0.111 -0.226 +0.23 +0.25 -0.02 -0.05
Tyler Yates 39.0 4.62 0.91 +0.784 +0.240 +0.544 +0.566 +0.46 +0.14 +0.32 +0.33
Mike Gonzalez 17.0 1.06 0.99 +0.738 +0.413 +0.325 +0.331 +1.05 +0.59 +0.46 +0.47
Buddy Carlyle 54.0 4.00 0.88 +0.237 +0.613 -0.376 -0.302 +0.11 +0.28 -0.17 -0.14
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
Joey Devine 2.0 0.00 0.04 +0.007 +0.072 -0.065 +0.004 +0.09 +0.90 -0.81 +0.05
Wil Ledezma 7.0 6.43 0.61 +0.000 -0.045 +0.045 +0.028 +0.00 -0.16 +0.16 +0.10
Jose Ascanio 1.0 9.00 0.00 +0.000 +0.000 +0.000 +0.000 +0.00 +0.00 +0.00 +0.00
Kevin Barry 2.0 22.50 0.02 -0.007 -0.230 +0.223 -0.003 -0.05 -1.64 +1.59 -0.02
Chad Paronto 32.3 4.18 0.61 -0.138 -0.406 +0.268 +0.109 -0.10 -0.28 +0.19 +0.08
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 32.0 4.50 1.93 -0.366 -0.021 -0.345 -0.325 -0.25 -0.01 -0.23 -0.22
Jo-Jo Reyes 3.0 15.00 1.15 -0.403 -0.381 -0.022 +0.036 -2.69 -2.54 -0.15 +0.24
Oscar Villarreal 48.7 3.70 0.62 -0.409 +0.146 -0.555 -0.500 -0.20 +0.07 -0.27 -0.24
Steve Colyer 3.7 4.91 0.98 -0.537 -0.309 -0.228 -0.235 -2.44 -1.40 -1.04 -1.07
Lance Cormier 7.7 15.26 0.76 -0.633 -1.051 +0.418 +0.165 -1.51 -2.50 +0.99 +0.39
Mark Redman 21.7 11.63 0.94 -1.293 -1.239 -0.054 -0.132 -1.11 -1.07 -0.05 -0.11
Kyle Davies 86.0 5.55 0.98 -1.357 -0.832 -0.525 -0.545 -0.35 -0.22 -0.14 -0.14
Totals 814.0 4.19 0.95 +3.183 +1.393 +1.790 +1.099 +0.09 +0.04 +0.05 +0.03
Relief Pitching G IP TBF gmLI G/T tG/T USG
Joey Devine 2 2.0 8 0.07 0.07 1.46 1.39
Rafael Soriano 41 39.0 148 1.46 1.46 1.38 -0.08
Mike Gonzalez 18 17.0 70 1.04 1.04 1.28 0.24
Peter Moylan 38 47.7 191 0.71 0.71 1.10 0.40
Buddy Carlyle 1 1.0 4 0.58 0.58 1.10 0.52
Tyler Yates 43 39.0 170 1.09 1.10 1.02 -0.08
Oscar Villarreal 31 48.7 206 0.79 0.79 0.98 0.19
Jose Ascanio 1 1.0 6 0.00 0.00 0.94 0.94
Bob Wickman 36 32.0 148 1.54 1.54 0.93 -0.61
Macay McBride 18 15.0 75 0.66 0.66 0.90 0.25
Wil Ledezma 8 7.0 29 0.65 0.65 0.85 0.20
Chad Paronto 35 32.3 144 0.72 0.73 0.78 0.05
Blaine Boyer 5 5.3 26 0.44 0.44 0.73 0.29
Mark Redman 1 1.3 10 0.45 0.45 0.33 -0.12
Steve Colyer 7 3.7 22 1.01 1.02 0.14 -0.88
Kevin Barry 1 2.0 14 0.03 0.03 0.00 -0.03
Totals 286 294.0 1271 1.00 74

Best plays of the week:

  1. Jeff Francoeur singled in the winning run in Saturday’s game off Shawn Chacon with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth (+.339).
  2. Brian McCann hit a 3-run homer off Ian Snell in the first inning of Friday’s game (+.239).
  3. Andruw Jones hit a 2-run homer off Tom Gorzelanny in the first inning of Saturday’s game (+.130).
  4. Buddy Carlyle reached on a sacrifice off Paul Maholm that was booted by Jose Castillo, scoring Chris Woodward in the process to break a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning of yesterday’s game (+.117)
  5. Shawn Chacon walked Kelly Johnson, loading the bases in the 8th inning of Saturday’s game, which was tied 4-4 at the time (+.103).

Comments

Friday’s game was obviously very good for the Braves, and it was interesting to watch from the front row of the outfield seats.  There were a couple of balls hit in our general direction, including a double hit right under us, but all of the homers were hit more toward center and right field.  Unfortunately, Bobby Cox didn’t get thrown out again this time, but it was definitely a fun game to watch.  The rain held off, and it wasn’t unbearably hot.

My only major complaint about the game experience is that the PA system is nearly impossible to understand from the outfield bleachers, at least in left field.  Plus, you get tired of turning your neck toward the main scoreboard in center, at least if you’re interested in seeing replays.  Also, we were above the pitcher’s scoreboard, which has basic info like ERA, and more importantly, the current pitch count (which was of interest when Hudson started tiring).  If you sit in right field, you have to deal with the sun, and you’re sitting over the out-of-town scoreboard, but there’s another scoreboard high above left field.  There is no alternate pitcher scoreboard.  These are minor complaints, but it did affect my experience, since I was used to seeing and hearing things differently when I sat elsewhere.

Back to the games…

Brian McCann was huge on Friday with two homers, but he was only second in hitting WPA because of Jeff Francoeur’s great clutch hit on Saturday.  Frenchy’s OBP and SLG are still declining, though, so I’d like to see some more extra-base hits before I feel comfortable about him as a hitter.  He’s slowly becoming more patient, which is good, but his power has suffered.  I don’t know if the two changes are related.

Most everyone else was a net positive for the weekend series.  Andruw hit two homers, and Renteria went 7-for-14 to lead the way.  Chipper went 5-for-14, but his negative clutch rating of -.177 pulled him into the red for the series.  Salty was 1-for-8 with the walk, and he was the only Braves hitter significantly below zero with a -.157 WPA this weekend.

The starting rotation turned in three solid outings, capped off by another inexplicably great Buddy Carlyle 8-inning performance on Sunday.  He was actually the only starter to surrender a run, as Hudson and James combined for 13 scoreless innings.

Wickman, Villarreal, and Moylan combined for four perfect innings of relief, while Yates and Soriano both struggled in their appearances.  Jose Ascanio was brought up from the minors while Wil Ledezma works out some visa problems, and he allowed a run to blow the shutout in Friday’s game.

The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead is long and winding for the Braves.  They’ll play for the next two weeks straight, finishing off this NL Central homestand with three against the Reds and four against the Cards this week.  Next week, they’ll head out west to San Francisco for four and Arizona for three.  Let’s just hope Barry either goes cold this week or breaks the record before Monday.  It will be especially important for the starting pitching to turn in consistent performances over this stretch, since the relief corps in several cases is already showing some signs of wearing down.  It’s only July, so that’s not good.

Here are the probable starters:

Monday: Davies vs. Bobby Livingston – I’d say that Davies is pitching for his rotation spot, but I don’t think Jo-Jo will stay on the team after Smoltz comes back.  Things change, but I don’t see this move happening right now.
Tuesday: Reyes vs. Bronson Arroyo
Wednesday: Hudson vs. Aaron Harang
Thursday: James vs. Mike Maroth
Friday: Carlyle vs. Adam Wainwright
Saturday: Davies vs. Braden Looper
Sunday: Smoltz? vs. Brad Thompson – Smoltz is still on track to return this week, from what I understand, but I guess it could be Reyes here if the Braves want to be cautious.

The Braves are still 1.5 games back of the Mets, who took three of four from the Reds over the weekend.  They’ll face the Padres and Dodgers this week, so it might be time to make up some ground.

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