Same Old Sad Braves Song

Hats off to Chris Johnson

Hats off to Chris Johnson

Atlanta Braves fans, who have followed the team since the early 90s, have been disappointed often over the years.  Exciting, competitive Braves teams, have seemingly turned to jelly, more times than not, in the postseason.

The Braves postseason pitching always seems to range from good to outstanding, while the hitting ranges from below average to horror show.  While the pitching did actually show some chinks in the armor against the Dodgers, the Braves postseason hitting was poor as usual.

How many times have we seen Braves hitters who rake all season, get into the playoffs and look like Little Leaguers?  Brian McCann was 0 for 13 against the Dodgers, with 6 strikeouts, including 4 K’s in the fourth and final game.  I don’t care if Clayton Kershaw or Sandy Koufax or Don Drysdale was on the mound, that was ridiculous.

McCann’s performance in this year’s postseason is going to make it a lot easier to see him go elsewhere after the season.

Jason Heyward hit .143 against Los Angeles and Elliott Johnson had only one hit, albeit it the big triple in the final game. Heyward’s big moment was when he hit the meaningless 2-run homer in the 9th inning of game three.

Despite all the money they make, the Uptons and Uggla gave the Braves squat in the postseason.  Uggla wasn’t good enough to make the roster, B.J. wasn’t good enough to start and went 0 for 3 in pinch-hitting duty, and Justin Upton carried his post-April disappointing play into the postseason, hitting only .143.  Almost $40 million of a $90 million payroll and the Braves got bupkus from them.

Congratulations to Chris Johnson, who unlike most of his teammates, manned up in the postseason and hit .438, with 5 RBIs, Evan Gattis who hit .357, with a .438 OBP, Freddie Freeman who hit .313 and Andrelton Simmons, who hit .250, with a .357 OBP and 2 RBIs.  Also, special congrats to Jose Constanza who got the big hit in game four to drive in Elliott Johnson, to put the Braves ahead 3-2 late in the game.

But despite heroics from a few valiant Braves hitters, it was the same old sad Braves song…

  • David from Athens, Al

    Jason had a big hit with the two run single in their only victory. How quickly we forget or do no research!

    • J Harris

      Good point, but they decided to forget that. I think he was talking about getting hits that matter in decisive situations. McCann will dumped and so will Uggla. I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded Heyward within the division and get an ace picture. I would to see the Braves get Cole Hammels or Gio Gonzales. They need an ace to match up with Kershaw, Lirano, and Wainright. The Dodgers, Cardinals, Pirates, and the Nationals are going to dominate the rest of this decade and wouldn’t be surprised if they won 4 or 5 championships between them.

      • I agree wholeheartedly that the Braves need a top of the rotation pitcher.

    • Is there anything you internet trolls love more than a writer forgetting a detail? Probably made your frickin’ year. LOL

  • rogerheld

    I agree with the first commenter about Jason. He did have a couple of moments, but he must be miscast in CF – he did not seem to play like his usual aggressive self. I disagree about Justin. He drew several key walks during the games. I haven’t looked but I bet his OBP was not bad. In the 2-hole, walks are a good thing. That was my key reason for thinking having Uggla on the bench would have been better than BJ – the walks. One lucky HR from Uggla along with a few walks would have changed the whole series. I don’t know what the deal was with McCann but he looked really bad in most of his ABs. He had to have been trying to do just too much. Have to give Elliott props for the triple, but he could have been more aggressive trying to get on base or move runners over. He should have tried more bunts to get hits (like when no one was on). There was one situation with men on 2nd and 3rd and less than 2 outs and Johnson ended up popping up or grounding to SS. He’s damned fast, why not bunt for a hit or squeeze? Especially against Kershaw; they weren’t “hitting” the regular way so why not try something different? Walk, steal, bunt, go the other way, something, anything!

    Schaefer and Heyward were just not the same after their respective injuries.
    I was very upset about all the talk of Gattis’ fielding without also talking about Puig’s adventure on Elliott’s triple. The Dodgers were very aggressive on the basepaths and the Braves OFs couldn’t deal with it – none of them. The Braves needed to do some of the same. Justin and BJ and Heyward never seem to run. Schaefer did for a while but the foot shut him down. Elliott does – when he gets on base. When you get a pitcher like Kershaw or Greinke, you have to do anything you can to disrupt them and their rhythm.

    • Agree with you about Heyward, the injuries took their toll on him. Same with Schafer. Lets hope the Braves can stay healthy next year. This year was like one continuous season of MASH.

  • Atl59braves

    Same old sad song sums it up. When hot, the Braves are an awesome team to watch…but when they are cold, they are the worst of the worsrt. 42 strikeouts in a 4 game series is embarassing and a recipe for a series loss. Learn to at least put a bat on the ball and see what happens.

    • Mike Crowe

      Right. I noticed the players that Jim gave the kudos to for swinging well in the postseason are the ones who have a history of making contact and having good at bats. Surprise. I hope managment had a pen and paper and were making notes. For the life of me I just can’t understand signing and playing free swinging power hitters who tally up the stikeouts and generally give away at bats.

  • J Harris

    They should be ashamed of themselves and they should apologize for their crappy performance in the playoffs.

  • BravesBeliever

    “Building for the future.” I despise this term. I hate it. I think it is a failed strategy most of the time. I think it is a poor excuse for losing. I think it engenders an attitude that, by definition, does not presuppose winning, which EVERY team should have as their goal every game. However, while I have not even heard anyone use this term in relation to the Braves, I believe that, inadvertent though it may be, that is exactly what happened in 2013. I think that, based on their injury trials and poor star-level performance tribulations, especially at the plate this year, this team has built a tightly cohesive, strong, foundationally solid team. They have gone through so much together. They are a very tightly woven club with a terrific amount of chohesiveness, strength, character and competitiveness which brings about a winning team as they were this year but, more importantly going forward, an even more devastatingly, powerful winning team next year. I propose that next year will be just as dominating in the division with just as explosive a team as we witnessed with the difference being that they will be more consistently explosive. I believe and certainly hope and expect that this team will be a massively powerful club when they all come back fresh and healthy in the Spring. A healthy Beachy, O’Flaherty, Venters, Hudson, Heyward and a more experienced group of young team members will result in a 2014 Braves team that will be hard to reckon with. And, if by some miracle of winter, Uggla and BJ’s bats come out of hibernation, there is not a team in baseball who can beat them. I do think that there need to be adjustments. They need a strong starter or two but mostly the major adjustments need to be with Fredi Gonzales. Note that I said adjustments, not replacement. Most of you who have read my posts know I respect Fredi for his life story and his integrity. However, I hope that he has learned much from this year. The inexcusable, asinine mistake of leaving a ready, anxious, chompin-at-the-bit and, ultimately, infuriated Craig Kimbrell in the bull pen when he clearly should have been put in the game to take us back to Atlanta is an experience from which, it is my hope, Fredi must learn. I joined Kimbrell in going from mad to incensed when I heard Fredi say, “We did not even consider a six out option.” DID NOT EVEN CONSIDER IT?! Are you frickin’ kiddin’ me? C’mon man. That’s your JOB- to consider ALL options and make the right decisions. That’s in the past but it lends itself to the FIRST ADJUSTMENT I’D LIKE TO SEE IN FREDI G: This first lesson to be learned is that Fredi G MUST be more adventurous, think outside the box, consider all options, be inventive, buck the system, make startling but effective moves, etc. Whatever options one wants to use. He HAS TO become more effective as a veteran coach and, quite frankly, sometimes grow a pair. SECOND: I’d also like to see Fredi grow a pair and jump the ass of his players more often-at least every once in a while. He’s waaaaay too sensitive about jacking up a player when they mess up. I don’t know if this stems from the firing in Miami due to the totally righteous jacking up of Hanley Ramirez or not and I know….it’s a fine, sensitive, diplomatic line between pissing a player off and getting them to accept reasonable instruction. But it must be done. And, hey, I for one would like to see Fredi get pissed off now and then at the players who are jive-assing around and not playing to their potential. You just didn’t see that this year. THIRD, I want Fredi, with the support of Frank Wrenn, to play the players who are productive and leave it to the unproductive players, no matter their pay, to develop themselves and be productive. They must take responsibility for their own actions, man up and play to their capability or ride the wood until they can no matter what it takes. These guys are professionals. And they are not only paid to play well when they are playing well but also to man up and be honest when they are not! It’s the QUALITY OF PLAY not the QUANTITY OF PAY which must determine who plays and who doesn’t. Schafer and, more instructively, Chris Johnson proved that dramatically this year. FINALLY, I want Fredi to lose the following term from his lexicon: “We go out there and try to win two out of three every series.” WTF!!! Seriously?!! Really?! You want go into every series mentally conceding one of three games? You want to create a mindset within your players that it’s ok to lose one out of three games every series? OF COURSE NOT! Then why say that? Seriously! Are you listening to yourself, coach? Do you really mean that you only want to win 2 of 3? I heard Fredi G. say this time after time after time this year, creating low expectations and I think selfishly so, trying to make 2 of three the expectation. Then I started hearing player after player repeating that mantra. Sickening. It spreads like a cancer. Get rid of that sick thinking! WE PLAY TO ALWAYS WIN! Are you ALWAYS going to win all three. Of course not. But you are much more likely to do so if that is the expectation and that must be the “new expectation” for Fredi G. and his team in 2014. And, quite frankly, I think THAT is the Braves Way! Win ’em all or lose trying! I, FOR ONE, APPRECIATE where the Braves took us this year. It was tough with all the adversity. But 2014 will be a different year with a different and greater degree of success! GO BRAVES. I LOVE YOU GUYS AND I’M VERY EXCITED ABOUT STAYING BRAVE AND TAKING “BRAVERY” TO A WHOLE NEW AND HIGHER LEVEL OF EXCELLENCE IN 2014.

    • Lee

      Well said BravesBeliever…thank you for your always insightful and spot on comments all season. Hope to see you again in 2014!

      • BravesBeliever

        Thanks so much, Lee. Yeah, I’ll be here at first pitch of Spring training! Can’t wait, in fact. Love my Braves. Dreading the next 5 months or so of baseball void. Worst part of the year! Have a great winter, Lee, and I look forward to hearing from you in the upcoming season and, hopefully the preseason leading up to it. I genuinely believe 2014 is going to be an even Braver year than 2013!

        • Hey guys, we’ll be talkinig Braves
          baseball all winter so stay tuned.

          • BravesBeliever

            Great news, Jim. Look forward to it.

          • Lee

            Great to hear Jim…will definitely stay in touch!

          • Thanks Lee!

        • Lee

          I, too, am dreading the 5 month recess. I’m hoping that your speculation of a more explosive, consistent offense next season comes to fruition. I’ll be watching! Have a terrific winter, & will look forward to seeing you in the spring.

    • Good post Believer.. although I’m wondering how many of this year’s team will be gone.