Apr 4, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher David Hale (57) throws during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 4/5/14

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Tomahawk Take Editorial Comment

Good Morning Braves’ Fans!

Despite all the pre-season talk about how no one in in the NL East will beat the Washington Nationals, our beloved Atlanta Braves showed that even with a young, mostly untested pitcher, some struggling offense, and questionable decisions at times, 2014 could be another highly successful season for the Braves.  David Hale pitched a gem, holding his own quite well against veteran Jordan Zimmermann, and making game 1 of the 3 game series a total pitcher’s duel.  Most folks, including myself, expected the duel to come in tonight’s game when Julio Teheran takes the mound against Stephen Strasburg.  That still could be the case, but David Hale is proving what he proved in a few spots starts last season – that he can keep his cool under pressure, and show good control.  Here’s the Braves’ numbers from yesterday’s day game…

Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS Pit Str
Jason Heyward RF 1 1 0 0 2 0 .231 .873 17 7 SB,HBP
B.J. Upton CF 4 0 0 0 0 3 .063 .125 21 15
Freddie Freeman 1B 4 0 2 0 0 0 .385 1.346 9 5
Chris Johnson 3B 3 0 1 1 0 1 .267 .850 9 9 2B,SF
Justin Upton LF 4 0 0 0 0 3 .067 .192 20 14
Dan Uggla 2B 4 0 1 0 0 2 .200 .533 16 9
Evan Gattis C 4 1 1 1 0 3 .167 .583 12 11 HR
Andrelton Simmons SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 .250 .536 12 8 CS
David Hale P 2 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 7 7
   Gus Schlosser P 0 0 0 0 0 0
   Ryan Doumit PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 2 1
   Jordan Walden P 0 0 0 0 0 0
   Luis Avilan P 0 0 0 0 0 0
   David Carpenter P 0 0 0 0 0 0
   Craig Kimbrel P 0 0 0 0 0 0
Team Totals 31 2 6 2 2 14 .194 .580 125 86
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/5/2014.

 

Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str StS StL GB FB LD
David Hale 5 5 0 0 2 4 0 0.00 19 73 48 9 13 6 7 5
Gus Schlosser, BS (1) 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 3.38 5 20 12 1 4 3 1 0
Jordan Walden 0.2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 3 10 6 3 1 1 1 0
Luis Avilan, W (1-0) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 1 2 2 0 1 1 0 0
David Carpenter, H (3) 1 1 0 0 1 3 0 3.00 5 20 11 1 5 0 1 1
Craig Kimbrel, S (3) 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 3 13 8 4 2 0 1 0
Team Totals 9 8 1 1 4 10 0 1.00 36 138 87 18 26 11 11 6
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/5/2014.

 

 

CSN Washington

Squandered opportunities cost Nats in 2-1 loss

Matt Williams wants his Nationals to be aggressive on the bases. That much he has made clear since the day he was introduced as the club’s new manager.

Williams, though, always adds one important caveat to that sentiment.

“We want to take advantage of it when it’s there for us,” he said. “But we also want to make sure we’re sure in that situation.”

The Nationals weren’t sure on three separate occasions during Friday’s 2-1, home opener loss to the Braves. In each case, they ran themselves into an out. And given the final margin of defeat, those outs on the bases proved every bit as significant — maybe even more so — than the overturned replay call that negated Ian Desmond‘s apparent inside-the-park home run in the fifth.

“I’m not really too concerned about [the overturned call],” Desmond said. “It was more the mistakes that were made, especially me. It was probably a bigger story to me than that.”

 

 

via Miami Herald

Jeff Schultz: David Hale the latest Braves pitcher to shine

WASHINGTON — Having lost a starter and a reliever in free agency, two starters to elbow surgery and opening the season with three others still dividing time between ice bags and bubble wrap, the Braves are exactly where everybody expected through four games.

With the best staff ERA in the majors.

Wait. What?

This time, it was David Hale’s turn.

On Wednesday, he spent most of a flight from Milwaukee to Washington in the airplane restroom with a stomach virus.

On Thursday, “I was just trying to keep food down.”

On Friday, the rookie made his third career start and threw five shutout innings against a Washington team that just scored 22 runs in a three-game sweep of the New York Mets, and the Braves went on defeat the Nationals, 2-1, in the opener of their let’s-see-who’s-best-in-the-East series.

“To pitch here before a packed crowd on opening day, it was a lot fun,” Hale said.

No reason for jitters. Nervous rookies are so yesterday. Hale, with his degree from Princeton in operations research and financial engineering (read: economics), figured to be crunching numbers, not batters, until this other career suddenly developed in college, and ligament calamity turned the Braves into a land of opportunity.

 

 

Hardball Talk

Five Blue Jays players were willing to defer salary to help bring Ervin Santana to Toronto

Tomahawk Take Editorial Comment: Well, the Braves have Santana now.  Lets just hope he perform for Atlanta as well as it was hoped he’d play for the Jays.

John Lott of the National Post reports that the five highest-paid Blue Jays – Edwin EncarnacionJose BautistaJose ReyesR.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle — were willing to defer part of their 2014 salaries, reportedly close to $3 million apiece, so that the club could sign then-free agent pitcher Ervin Santana.

According to Lott, the deal fell through “at the 11th hour”. Santana wound up signing with the Braves on a one-year, $14.1 million deal on March 12.

Blue Jays third baseman Edwin Encarnacion was one player willing to sacrifice to make the team better:

“If they ask me to do that for anybody — it doesn’t have to be [Santana] — I do it,” Encarnacion said Friday afternoon after acknowledging that he was part of the group. “I want to win. I want to make this team better.”

 

 

Big League Stew

Ian Desmond’s inside-the-park homer overturned on replay after 7-minute review

Atlanta Braves outfielder Justin Upton apologized for not sticking to his first instinct — to not touch the ball after it became wedged under padding near the left-field foul line.

“I made the play a little more confusing than it should have been,” Upton told reporters.

Regardless of Upton’s moment of doubt, umpires overturned an inside-the-park home run by Ian Desmond on Friday after a seven-minute replay review, taking probably five or six minutes longer than Major League Baseball would like. But it’s only April and we’ve got to let them iron out the inefficiencies of the new replay order.

The review was a key moment that kept a run off the board for the Washington Nationals and helped the Braves spoil their home opener with a 2-1 victory at D.C. Braves pitchers have allowed a total of five runs in four games, but it would have been more until Desmond’s homer was reduced to a ground-rule double in the fifth inning.

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