Braves Check: A decent week for a decent team

The Braves have won three of five since my last update on Tuesday, but they need about eight wins each week if they’re going to make the playoffs.  A sweep against the Mets this week will only get them within a sniff of the division title, and it would be a fairly distant sniff.

This Week’s Stats

Scores and FanGraphs game summaries:

9/4: Phillies 5, Braves 2
9/5: Braves 9, Phillies 8
9/7: Braves 7, Nationals 1
9/8: Braves 9, Nationals 2
9/9: Nationals 7, Braves 4

Stats for the week (5 games) alone:

Hitting PA OPS pLI WPA WPA/LI Clutch CP pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch pCP
Matt Diaz 10 0.500 1.40 +0.822 -0.024 +0.846 +0.855 +8.22 -0.24 +8.46 +8.55
Chipper Jones 22 1.455 1.33 +0.280 +0.529 -0.249 -0.425 +1.27 +2.40 -1.13 -1.93
Scott Thorman 3 1.333 1.15 +0.136 +0.079 +0.057 +0.045 +4.53 +2.63 +1.90 +1.51
Yunel Escobar 18 0.944 0.91 +0.084 +0.273 -0.189 -0.165 +0.47 +1.52 -1.05 -0.92
Martin Prado 1 2.000 1.77 +0.051 +0.029 +0.022 +0.000 +5.10 +2.88 +2.22 +0.00
Jeff Francoeur 21 0.855 0.93 +0.030 +0.090 -0.060 -0.054 +0.14 +0.43 -0.29 -0.26
Chris Woodward 0 0.000 1.83 +0.030 +0.016 +0.014 +0.000 +0.00 +0.00 +0.00 +0.00
Edgar Renteria 8 0.661 0.99 +0.015 -0.035 +0.050 +0.050 +0.19 -0.44 +0.63 +0.62
Mark Teixeira 21 0.807 1.06 -0.002 +0.073 -0.075 -0.080 -0.01 +0.35 -0.36 -0.38
John Smoltz 3 0.000 0.63 -0.007 +0.014 -0.021 -0.016 -0.23 +0.47 -0.70 -0.53
Jo-Jo Reyes 1 0.000 0.66 -0.016 -0.024 +0.008 +0.000 -1.60 -2.42 +0.82 +0.00
Tim Hudson 1 0.000 0.62 -0.016 -0.026 +0.010 +0.000 -1.60 -2.58 +0.98 +0.00
Chuck James 3 0.000 0.37 -0.028 -0.083 +0.055 +0.003 -0.93 -2.76 +1.83 +0.10
Lance Cormier 2 0.000 0.61 -0.032 -0.053 +0.021 +0.000 -1.60 -2.65 +1.05 +0.00
Brayan Pena 1 0.000 1.31 -0.032 -0.024 -0.008 +0.000 -3.20 -2.44 -0.76 +0.00
Pete Orr 3 0.000 1.79 -0.063 -0.054 -0.009 +0.034 -2.10 -1.80 -0.30 +1.12
Andruw Jones 19 0.498 0.89 -0.065 -0.039 -0.026 -0.030 -0.34 -0.20 -0.14 -0.16
Willie Harris 20 0.744 1.03 -0.082 -0.129 +0.047 +0.050 -0.41 -0.64 +0.23 +0.25
Kelly Johnson 18 0.646 1.17 -0.138 -0.073 -0.065 -0.053 -0.77 -0.40 -0.36 -0.29
Brian McCann 20 0.739 0.78 -0.195 -0.041 -0.154 -0.163 -0.98 -0.20 -0.77 -0.82
Totals 195 0.770 1.03 +0.772 +0.500 +0.272 +0.051 +0.40 +0.26 +0.14 +0.03
Total Pitching IP ERA pLI WPA WPA/LI Clutch CP pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch pCP
John Smoltz 7.0 1.29 0.63 +0.250 +0.353 -0.103 +0.029 +1.00 +1.41 -0.41 +0.11
Chuck James 6.3 2.84 0.69 +0.203 +0.040 +0.163 +0.175 +0.75 +0.15 +0.60 +0.65
Royce Ring 2.3 0.00 0.34 +0.060 +0.121 -0.061 +0.019 +0.67 +1.34 -0.68 +0.21
Tyler Yates 2.0 0.00 0.23 +0.038 +0.098 -0.060 +0.016 +0.54 +1.41 -0.86 +0.23
Jo-Jo Reyes 3.3 2.70 0.97 +0.032 -0.020 +0.052 +0.051 +0.20 -0.12 +0.32 +0.32
Rafael Soriano 2.0 0.00 0.25 +0.022 +0.080 -0.058 +0.002 +0.28 +1.00 -0.73 +0.03
Peter Moylan 2.7 3.38 0.87 -0.007 +0.004 -0.011 -0.010 -0.06 +0.03 -0.09 -0.09
Jose Ascanio 2.3 3.86 0.18 -0.025 -0.055 +0.030 -0.015 -0.19 -0.42 +0.23 -0.12
Manuel Acosta 2.0 4.50 0.30 -0.028 -0.009 -0.019 -0.025 -0.31 -0.10 -0.21 -0.28
Ron Mahay 1.7 5.40 0.52 -0.031 -0.008 -0.023 -0.027 -0.34 -0.09 -0.25 -0.30
Oscar Villarreal 0.7 40.50 0.52 -0.092 -0.270 +0.178 +0.048 -1.31 -3.86 +2.55 +0.69
Lance Cormier 6.0 6.00 1.21 -0.196 +0.012 -0.208 -0.210 -0.75 +0.04 -0.80 -0.81
Buddy Carlyle 1.7 16.20 0.74 -0.219 -0.379 +0.160 +0.060 -1.83 -3.16 +1.33 +0.50
Tim Hudson 5.0 9.00 0.67 -0.280 -0.361 +0.081 -0.040 -1.08 -1.39 +0.31 -0.15
Totals 45.0 4.60 0.67 -0.273 -0.392 +0.119 +0.073 -0.13 -0.19 +0.06 +0.04
Relief Pitching G IP TBF gmLI G/T tG/T USG SV EO EOC EO%
Oscar Villarreal 1 0.7 7 0.40 0.86 4.21 3.36 0 0 0 0%
Jose Ascanio 2 2.3 13 0.37 0.78 1.60 0.82 0 0 0 0%
Peter Moylan 3 2.7 12 0.90 1.93 0.88 -1.05 0 0 0 0%
Manuel Acosta 2 2.0 9 0.25 0.54 0.74 0.20 0 0 0 0%
Ron Mahay 2 1.7 9 0.55 1.18 0.67 -0.51 0 0 0 0%
Rafael Soriano 2 2.0 8 0.21 0.45 0.05 -0.41 0 0 0 0%
Tyler Yates 2 2.0 7 0.35 0.75 0.01 -0.74 0 0 0 0%
Royce Ring 3 2.3 9 0.46 0.98 0.00 -0.98 0 0 0 0%
Totals 17 15.7 74 0.47 15 0 0 0 0%

Season totals:

Hitting PA OPS pLI WPA WPA/LI Clutch CP pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch pCP
Chipper Jones 529 1.014 1.04 +3.155 +3.774 -0.619 -0.775 +0.60 +0.71 -0.12 -0.15
Yunel Escobar 297 0.814 0.96 +2.261 +1.218 +1.043 +1.087 +0.76 +0.41 +0.35 +0.37
Matt Diaz 333 0.897 0.97 +1.717 +1.677 +0.040 +0.091 +0.52 +0.50 +0.01 +0.03
Kelly Johnson 553 0.861 0.97 +1.580 +2.297 -0.717 -0.653 +0.29 +0.42 -0.13 -0.12
Edgar Renteria 471 0.874 0.96 +1.539 +1.894 -0.355 -0.274 +0.33 +0.40 -0.08 -0.06
Mark Teixeira 162 1.001 1.04 +1.026 +0.764 +0.262 +0.229 +0.63 +0.47 +0.16 +0.14
Brian McCann 491 0.788 1.04 +0.177 -0.715 +0.892 +0.919 +0.04 -0.15 +0.18 +0.19
Corky Miller 18 0.572 1.00 +0.065 -0.019 +0.084 +0.084 +0.36 -0.11 +0.47 +0.47
Martin Prado 47 0.718 0.83 +0.040 +0.060 -0.020 -0.009 +0.09 +0.13 -0.04 -0.02
Tyler Yates 1 0.000 0.03 -0.001 -0.033 +0.032 +0.000 -0.10 -3.33 +3.23 +0.00
Peter Moylan 5 0.200 0.55 -0.047 -0.051 +0.004 -0.019 -0.94 -1.02 +0.08 -0.38
Oscar Villarreal 5 0.450 1.24 -0.053 -0.085 +0.032 +0.052 -1.06 -1.69 +0.63 +1.04
Willie Harris 361 0.778 1.01 -0.062 -0.310 +0.248 +0.252 -0.02 -0.09 +0.07 +0.07
Jo-Jo Reyes 15 0.431 1.05 -0.116 -0.119 +0.003 +0.010 -0.77 -0.79 +0.02 +0.06
Tim Hudson 72 0.523 0.74 -0.209 -0.334 +0.125 +0.038 -0.29 -0.46 +0.17 +0.05
Lance Cormier 16 0.063 0.65 -0.256 -0.323 +0.067 -0.046 -1.60 -2.02 +0.42 -0.29
Julio Franco 43 0.618 1.07 -0.403 -0.120 -0.283 -0.275 -0.94 -0.28 -0.66 -0.64
Buddy Carlyle 38 0.226 0.87 -0.418 -0.628 +0.210 +0.129 -1.10 -1.65 +0.55 +0.34
Jeff Francoeur 618 0.780 0.98 -0.468 -0.422 -0.046 -0.054 -0.08 -0.07 -0.01 -0.01
Brayan Pena 25 0.600 1.40 -0.475 -0.272 -0.203 -0.094 -1.90 -1.09 -0.81 -0.38
Pete Orr 63 0.406 0.76 -0.687 -0.562 -0.125 -0.259 -1.09 -0.89 -0.20 -0.41
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 153 0.745 1.11 -0.711 -0.273 -0.438 -0.408 -0.46 -0.18 -0.29 -0.27
Chuck James 56 0.292 0.89 -0.766 -0.798 +0.032 -0.060 -1.37 -1.43 +0.06 -0.11
John Smoltz 60 0.188 0.87 -0.772 -0.913 +0.141 +0.019 -1.29 -1.52 +0.23 +0.03
Chris Woodward 145 0.511 1.04 -0.936 -1.113 +0.177 +0.225 -0.65 -0.77 +0.12 +0.16
Scott Thorman 296 0.654 0.92 -1.202 -0.743 -0.459 -0.522 -0.41 -0.25 -0.16 -0.18
Andruw Jones 595 0.737 1.07 -1.953 -0.843 -1.110 -1.056 -0.33 -0.14 -0.19 -0.18
Totals 5628 0.775 0.99 +0.156 +1.385 -1.229 -1.746 +0.00 +0.02 -0.02 -0.03
Total Pitching IP ERA pLI WPA WPA/LI Clutch CP pWPA pWPA/LI pClutch pCP
Peter Moylan 79.7 1.92 0.78 +2.351 +1.376 +0.975 +1.284 +0.74 +0.43 +0.31 +0.40
John Smoltz 181.7 3.02 1.03 +2.024 +2.385 -0.361 -0.435 +0.27 +0.32 -0.05 -0.06
Rafael Soriano 62.0 3.34 1.16 +1.688 +1.093 +0.595 +0.424 +0.71 +0.46 +0.25 +0.18
Tim Hudson 194.7 3.47 0.92 +1.435 +2.562 -1.127 -0.913 +0.18 +0.32 -0.14 -0.11
Chuck James 147.7 4.21 1.00 +0.895 -0.359 +1.254 +1.254 +0.14 -0.06 +0.20 +0.20
Tyler Yates 61.3 4.70 1.07 +0.638 +0.266 +0.372 +0.353 +0.24 +0.10 +0.14 +0.13
Manuel Acosta 13.7 1.32 0.56 +0.332 +0.456 -0.124 +0.078 +0.64 +0.88 -0.24 +0.15
Ron Mahay 19.3 1.86 1.19 +0.102 +0.210 -0.108 -0.149 +0.13 +0.27 -0.14 -0.19
Royce Ring 3.0 0.00 0.30 +0.094 +0.255 -0.161 +0.018 +0.85 +2.31 -1.46 +0.16
Chad Paronto 40.3 3.57 0.63 -0.120 -0.364 +0.244 +0.111 -0.07 -0.20 +0.14 +0.06
Jose Ascanio 11.3 3.97 0.69 -0.298 +0.049 -0.347 -0.332 -0.55 +0.09 -0.64 -0.61
Oscar Villarreal 73.0 4.44 0.78 -0.428 -0.403 -0.025 -0.115 -0.13 -0.13 -0.01 -0.04
Bob Wickman 43.7 3.92 2.05 -0.472 -0.173 -0.299 -0.117 -0.23 -0.08 -0.15 -0.06
Buddy Carlyle 96.7 5.21 0.88 -1.049 -0.421 -0.628 -0.679 -0.25 -0.10 -0.15 -0.16
Lance Cormier 43.7 6.60 0.83 -1.051 -0.988 -0.063 -0.229 -0.53 -0.50 -0.03 -0.12
Jo-Jo Reyes 33.7 7.75 1.02 -1.327 -1.164 -0.163 -0.139 -0.83 -0.73 -0.10 -0.09
Kyle Davies 86.0 5.76 0.98 -1.659 -1.037 -0.622 -0.640 -0.43 -0.27 -0.16 -0.16
Totals 1286.3 4.20 0.96 +1.340 +1.293 +0.047 -0.194 +0.02 +0.02 +0.00 -0.00
Relief Pitching G IP TBF gmLI G/T tG/T USG SV EO EOC EO%
Peter Moylan 68 79.7 319 0.83 0.83 1.82 0.99 1 8 8 100%
Rafael Soriano 62 62.0 239 1.35 1.34 1.39 0.05 7 11 15 73%
Tyler Yates 69 61.3 271 1.04 1.03 1.13 0.10 2 6 10 60%
Chad Paronto 41 40.3 180 0.82 0.81 0.99 0.18 1 2 5 40%
Oscar Villarreal 49 73.0 321 1.00 0.99 0.68 -0.30 1 7 11 64%
Ron Mahay 19 19.3 79 1.05 1.04 0.59 -0.45 0 2 4 50%
Manuel Acosta 11 13.7 52 0.68 0.67 0.57 -0.10 0 1 1 100%
Royce Ring 4 3.0 11 0.41 0.41 0.53 0.12 0 0 0 0%
Jo-Jo Reyes 1 3.3 16 0.00 0.00 0.53 0.53 0 0 0 0%
Bob Wickman 49 43.7 204 1.60 1.59 0.37 -1.22 20 11 15 73%
Jose Ascanio 9 11.3 54 0.40 0.40 0.32 -0.08 0 0 1 0%
Buddy Carlyle 1 1.0 4 0.58 0.57 0.00 -0.57 0 0 0 0%
Totals 455 474.7 2055 1.01 187 34 52 76 68%

Best plays of the week:

  1. Matt Diaz hit a 3-run, game-winning double off Brett Myers in the 9th inning of Wednesday’s wild 9-8 win, shattering the Braves’ previous high in WPA for a single play this season (+.820).
  2. Chipper Jones hit a 3-run homer off Joel Hanrahan, giving the Braves a 3-0 lead in the third inning of Friday’s game (+.183).
  3. Willie Harris drew a walk against Brett Myers, keeping the bases loaded and driving in a run to close the Phillies lead to 8-6 in the 8th inning on Wednesday (+.133).
  4. Chipper Jones hit a 2-run homer off Jason Bergmann in the first inning of yesterday’s game, giving the Braves an early 2-0 lead (+.122).
  5. Mark Teixeira doubled in a run off Jason Bergmann in the third inning of yesterday’s game, extending the Braves’ lead to 2 once again (+.108).

Comments

Every other play this week paled in comparison to Matt Diaz’ game-winning double on Wednesday.  It was a crazy finish with unlikely hits, and the ultimate example of why a game is not over, even when Win Probability says it’s an almost certain loss.  At its lowest, the Braves’ win expectancy in that game was under one percent (during the top of the 8th).  They scored 4 in the 8th and 3 in the 9th to pull it out in what seemed to be the most spectacular fashion possible.

The rest of the week was up-and-down, much like the entire season so far.  It should be no surprise that Matt Diaz was the WPA leader, even if his +.822 week was based almost entirely on that game-winning hit.  Chipper Jones probably had the best week at the plate, going 7-for-19, with six of those seven hits for extra bases, including three homers.  Escobar was slightly in the black, while Francoeur and Teixeira hovered around zero.

Andruw Jones, Willie Harris, Kelly Johnson, and Brian McCann were all somewhat below zero, even though none of them had a particularly awful week.  It’s probably also important to note that Edgar Renteria was 2-for-7 in his return, and that Scott Thorman’s pair of hits in three tries gave him a solid positive WPA for the week.

On the pitching side, the Braves again failed to get a majority of quality starts for the week (remember, 6+ IP and positive WPA by my definition), a feat the staff hasn’t accomplished since the last week of July.  Braves pitchers have collectively finished below zero WPA for five of the last six weeks.

This week, both Smoltz and James provided quality starts, while Cormier (okay), Hudson (bad), and Carlyle (let’s not talk about it) were varying stages of lesser-than-ideal quality.  Jo-Jo Reyes came on to clean up Carlyle’s mess and was in the black over 3 1/3 innings, but I’m not going to get too excited about it.  You’ll have to excuse me for leaving Reyes’ name off of the relief pitching totals for the week, but his outing is reflected in the season relief totals.

Aside from Villarreal’s rough inning, the bullpen looked very good.  It’s hard to say much about them, except that I’m happy that their arms are still fully attached.  Hopefully this year’s poor starting pitching won’t have career-destroying effects on the promising arms of Yates, Soriano, and Moylan because of their overwork.

The Road Ahead

The week starts out with a virtually meaningless series against the Mets, whom the Braves shouldn’t really be chasing anymore in the standings.  They’ll finish the week in Washington, facing another team they shouldn’t be chasing in the standings.

The Braves are only 4.5 back in the wild card, but four teams are currently ahead of them.  More importantly, those teams are also legitimately better teams, with the possible exception of Colorado (1.5 games up on the Braves for fourth in the WC standings).

Here are this week’s probables:

Monday: Hudson vs. Oliver Perez
Tuesday: Carlyle vs. El Duque
Wednesday: Smoltz vs. John Maine
Friday: James vs. Matt Chico
Saturday: Cormier vs. Jason Bergmann
Sunday: Hudson vs. Shawn Hill

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One thought on “Braves Check: A decent week for a decent team

  1. It’s shaping up as a pretty dull September across the board. The whole AL playoff field is basically decided, while in the NL, the East is over and the Central is a shameful exercise in who can tread water and stay above .500 ’til the games run out.

    That said, if the current playoff field holds, then 4 of the top 5 in payroll will make it, but so will 4 of the bottom 13. Maybe the most interesting thing will be to see if the White Sox can finish with the worst record in baseball despite spending the 4th most.

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