With only two weeks left in the season, the Braves starting rotation finally pitched their first complete game of the season, courtesy of Tim Hudson. Complete games aren’t worth more than regular games, though, and the Braves are still 5.5 back in the wild card race (7.5 in the division). There are now five teams in front of Atlanta for the WC, so there’s not really any hope for a postseason berth at this point.
Clearly, the Braves do not remember what happened on 9/11/2001, nor are they supporting the troops. They beat the Mets on the sixth anniversary of that event, and then they traveled to Washington and took two of three from the Nats. I hope they’ll understand when the Secret Service is tailing them on the way back to Atlanta.
This Week’s Stats
Scores and FanGraphs summaries:
There’s a bug in my weekly stat totals, and I can’t seem to figure it out. The season totals below are correct, so I’m afraid you’ll have to go a week without a 7-day total.
|Brandon Lamon Jones||4||0.000||0.42||-0.043||-0.102||+0.059||-0.000||-1.08||-2.54||+1.47||-0.01|
Best plays of the week:
- Chipper Jones doubled off Chad Cordero, scoring Pete Orr and tying Friday’s marathon game at 5 in the 9th inning (+.380).
- Jeff Francoeur singled in two runs off Guillermo Mota in the 8th inning of Wednesday’s game, tying the game at 3. Moises Alou committed an error on the play, allowing Pete Orr to advance to third (+.303).
- Chipper Jones hit a 3-run homer off Jason Bergmann, giving the Braves a 3-2 lead in Saturday’s game in the third inning (+.253).
- Jeff Francoeur hit a 2-run single off Jesus Colome, giving the Braves a 7-5 lead in the 13th inning on Friday (+.233).
- Earlier in the same inning, Chipper Jones singled, advancing Martin Prado to third, while the game was still tied at 5 (+.182).
My commentary will be light this week, since I didn’t even bother to watch an inning of the actual games.
Chipper Jones was the WPA monster, and it wasn’t all clutch play. His 1.493 OPS in 17 PAs is outstanding, and he added +.770 for the week, over 1.5 wins above average. Francoeur, Escobar, and Renteria were the other above-average hitters. Teixeira and McCann were slightly below average, and Johnson, Andruw, and Diaz were all pretty bad.
Hudson was the pitching star for the week, turning in two of the team’s three quality starts, including yesterday’s complete game. The bullpen was 3-for-3 in high-leverage chances, with one “effective outing” each for Mahay, Acosta, and Ascanio. Those aren’t the names you’d expect to see getting those chances, but that type of thing happens when you play 13-inning games.
Cormier, Carlyle, and James had rougher starts, and the former brought up the rear in individual player WPA for the week. Tyler Yates had the only truly rough week out of the pen, losing half a win off of his season WPA. Mahay gave up three runs, just as Yates did, but he also had one of the aforementioned effective outings to neutralize the effects of his otherwise poor week.
Also notable in this week’s action was the callup of Brandon Jones from Richmond. He was having a very strong year between Mississippi and Richmond, and this could be an early audition for a role in next year’s outfield plans. While his walk rate and slugging percentage took a dive after he moved up from AA, it was a similar effect to what he did the year before after moving up from Myrtle Beach. He could probably still use some AAA seasoning, but he could be on a track similar to what Yunel Escobar was at this time last year, especially if he enjoys similar success in the Arizona Fall League.
Clint Sammons was also called up as a fourth catcher, and he’s probably viewed as the future backup to Brian McCann. He was struggling in Mississippi, but this move has me believing that he’ll be in Richmond next year, instead of repeating AA. From what I’ve heard, he’s considered to be pretty solid defensively.
The Road Ahead
The road ahead is actually at home, rather than on the road, with series against the Marlins and Brewers. Here are your probables:
Monday: Smoltz vs. Byung-Hyun Kim
Tuesday: Reyes vs. Chris Seddon
Wednesday: James vs. the remains of Dontrelle Willis
Thursday: Cormier vs. Jeff Suppan
Friday: Hudson vs. Carlos Villanueva
Saturday: Smoltz vs. Yovani Gallardo
Sunday: Reyes or Carlyle vs. Ben Sheets