Know Your Foe #30: Rockies Look to Crack .500 Against 2nd Place Braves

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 03: Pitcher Tommy Hanson #48 of the Atlanta Braves (left) celebrates with teammate Derek Lowe #32 of the Atlanta Braves after the Braves clinch the National League Wildcard after the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field on October 3 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. The Braves beat the Phillies 8-7. (Photo by John Bazemore-Pool/Getty Images)

Atlanta Braves (49-36, 2nd in the NL East)

Last Series vs. Rockies: August 23-25, 2010 (Rockies Sweep 3-0 in Coors Field)

One of the best parts of writing these columns is being able to see which stage of play the Rockies were in during that 3-4 game snippet of the season. Or maybe it's a season from several years ago, and I get to chuckle at names like Matt Herges or Zach McClellan.

This particular series in 2010 took place during one of the Rockies' trademark streaky finishes, and the Rockies won all 3 games in the series.

Tim Hudson and Jason Hammel went toe-to-toe in the first game of the series, both going around 6 innings (Hudson 6, Hammel 6.1), Hudson allowing 4 runs and Hammel allowing 3. Betancourt struck out the side in the 8th, but not before allowing a run on 2 hits and a walk. The Rockies rallied in the 8th, however, off of Jonny Venters, on a Carlos Gonzalez single, stolen base, a Tulo walk, and a Todd Helton single. Huston Street posted a 1-2-3 save.

Game 2 featured a 7 inning outing from Jorge De La Rosa, going 7 innings with 7 punchouts. Derek Lowe turned in a quality start by the definition (6IP, 3ER), but the Braves were never able to overcome the deficit. To make matters worse, while the game was within 1, Takashi Saito struck out the side bookending 2 singles, but strike 3 on out 3 was a passed ball, allowing Clint Barmes to reach and the runners to advance. Fowler then singled to deep LF/CF, scoring Stewart and Olivo, both runs unearned. The inning was mercifully ended by a Carlos Gonzalez groundout. Huston Street posted yet another 1-2-3 save.

Game 3 was far more of a barnburner. Esmil Rogers allowed 7 runs before finishing the 2nd inning. Manny Corpas pitched through the 3rd, allowing another 3 runs in what would ultimately be his last game as a Rockie. Down 10-1 in the 4th inning, things looked bleak. Then after the 4th, it was 10-2. After the 5th it was 10-5. After the 6th it was 10-8. The Braves held the 2 run lead for the 7th inning. 

Then it was the 8th.

Seth Smith punched out.

Chris Iannetta walked.

Melvin Mora singled, Iannetta to 2B.

EYJ grounded into a fielder's choice, Iannetta to 3B.

Dexter Fowler walked.

Carlos Gonzalez singled, Iannetta and Young scored, Fowler to 3B. 

And then it was 10-10.

Troy Tulowitzki singled, scoring Dexter Fowler. 

Then it was 11-10.

Todd Helton singled, scoring Carlos Gonzalez.

12-10.

Then Belisle struck out looking. 

He returned the favor by a 1-2-3 9th, and the Rockies accomplished a 9 run comeback to tie, 11 run comeback to win.

Everything else past the jump.

Latest Series Results: W 3-0 @ Seattle, W 2-1 vs Baltimore

The Braves' biggest strength is clearly their pitching. Specifically, their bullpen. The Braves' bullpen has been worth 4.9 fWAR to date, which is a full 1.3 fWAR above the 2nd most valuable Yankees' bullpen's 3.6 fWAR. Their rotation isn't QUITE as strong, but their 9.3 fWAR has been 6th best in the majors.

With a team as strong as pitching as the Braves, it sometimes gets brushed under the table that they do, in fact, have a couple of decent bats on the team. And what better place to have those bats than...the catching corps? Braves Catchers rank as 2nd in the majors, 1st in the NL in fWAR, and lead the majors in wRC+ (148).


Brian McCann

#16 / Catcher / Atlanta Braves

6-3

230

L

R

Feb 20, 1984


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Brian McCann 74 271 30 85 14 0 14 47 33 43 2 1 .314 .388 .520




David Ross

#8 / Catcher / Atlanta Braves

6-2

205

R

R

Mar 19, 1977


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - David Ross 20 59 7 18 2 0 4 14 7 15 0 1 .305 .379 .542



With Joe Mauer hurt, it's hard not to make the bold statement that Brian McCann is the best catcher in MLB. He's been the best in the NL for several years now. Since 2008, the only catcher to provide more value to his team has been Joe Mauer (as would be expected), at 19.5 fWAR, and second is Brian McCann, at 17.3 fWAR. On a rate scale, Mauer has a 141 wRC+ edge to McCann's 130 wRC+, but for catchers with 1000+ PA over that 3.5 year span, the next most valuable catcher in MLB has been Russell Martin, and he's sitting at 10.6 fWAR - that's nearly a 7-win dropoff in value from McCann to Martin. 

And not to forget Ross. For catchers with 60+PA, Ross leads the majors with a 153 wRC+. Safe to say that if McCann needs a day off, the Braves won't be hurting at the catcher's spot in the lineup.

I'm interested to see what Alex Avila from the Tigers will do over the next several years, and if he can keep up his ridiculous batting line, but until then, Mauer and McCann are in a league of their own as far as production goes.

 

Monday through Thursday: 4-game series at Turner Field

Expected Pitching Matchups
Monday, July 4, 2011 @ 5:10PM MT


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Ubaldo Jimenez 3-7 15 15 2 1 0 0 91.0 84 51 44 7 39 78 4.35 1.35


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Tommy Hanson 9-4 15 15 0 0 0 0 89.1 62 29 26 8 33 97 2.62 1.06

 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 @ 5:10PM MT


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jhoulys Chacin 8-5 17 16 1 1 0 0 104.2 77 39 36 14 43 92 3.10 1.15


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Derek Lowe 4-6 18 18 0 0 0 0 101.2 100 48 47 7 38 76 4.16 1.36


Wednesday, July 6, 2011 @ 5:10PM MT


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Aaron Cook 0-3 7 5 0 0 0 0 29.0 36 16 15 0 13 12 4.66 1.69


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jair Jurrjens 11-3 15 15 2 1 0 0 104.2 88 24 22 5 23 63 1.89 1.06


Thursday, July 7, 2011 @ 11:05PM MT


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Juan Nicasio 3-1 7 7 0 0 0 0 41.2 42 20 19 6 10 30 4.10 1.25


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Tim Hudson 7-6 17 17 1 1 0 0 106.0 95 49 42 8 27 76 3.57 1.15

 

Expected Lineup

Name Position AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ HR R RBI SB
Jordan Schafer CF .230 .296 .309 .279 73 1 24 5 10
Jason Heyward RF .228 .321 .398 .320 102 8 30 20 4
Brian McCann C .314 .388 .520 .388 148 14 30 47 2
Chipper Jones 3B .256 .343 .418 .327 106 7 31 44 1
Freddie Freeman 1B .268 .342 .425 .337 113 9 35 35 2
Dan Uggla 2B .175 .241 .330 .253 55 12 36 29 1
Alex Gonzalez SS .240 .273 .364 .281 75 7 33 24 1
Nate McLouth LF .232 .345 .333 .309 94 3 29 12 2

Bench

Name Position AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ HR R RBI SB
Brooks Conrad IF .245 .359 .472 .364 132 3 7 9 1
David Ross C .305 .379 .542 .395 153 4 7 14 0
Eric Hinske IF .255 .298 .433 .318 100 8 18 20 0
Julio Lugo IF .200 .273 .200 .225 36 0 0 1 0
Wilkin Ramirez OF .200 .333 .300 .255 57 0 1 0 0

 

Closer


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Craig Kimbrel 2-2 43 0 0 0 24 4 42.0 29 13 12 1 18 67 2.57 1.12



Atlanta Braves Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Martin Prado knee 06/08/2011

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Peter Moylan lower-back 04/15/2011
Kris Medlen elbow 03/22/2011
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker