Braves 3, Dodgers 1: The Wrath of Kenley

kenley_jansen_april2013_vs_piratesI did not, in the interest of full disclosure, watch tonight’s game, opting to take in the new Star Trek movie instead. (Spoiler alert: it is awesome.) That picture of Kenley Jansen above isn’t even from tonight, obviously, and it appears I chose my evening’s entertainment well.

Well, I say “obviously” because it clearly taken at Dodger Stadium earlier this season, rather than in Atlanta tonight, but I may as well be saying it because you don’t see him allowing back-to-back homers in it, do you? I won’t pretend to offer any analysis of a game I did not watch, other than to offer this: whenever the topic of Brandon League losing his job has come up, one of the counter arguments has always been, “even Jansen isn’t perfect.” He’s one of the best relievers in the game, nearly unhittable at times, but he’s still human.

To expect perfection from any reliever, even including the great Mariano Rivera, well, it’s just not realistic, and it’s why those calling for Jansen’s head now are misinformed at best. Besides, when the sum total of your offensive output is a few hits by Tim Federowicz & Skip Schumaker and a few walks — even the one run looks like it only scored because of a Justin Upton error — does it really end up mattering that much? If anything, it’s just disappointing for Chris Capuano, who was excellent. But if there’s anything this team should know about by now, it’s disappointment.

339 comments
Flight School
Flight School

Why is everyone bashing the organization for optioning Fed Ex?  I think you guys are clearly being excessive here, the kid has not proven he can hit big league pitchers. However, I understand Hernandez is struggling immensely. 

Lobo
Lobo

I am becoming convinced that the front office is sabotaging Mattingly so that they have an excuse to fire him at the end of the season.  What other logical explanation is there for this continued incompetence with the roster management?  I know you can blame it on Ned but I really can't believe Stan would let Ned make moves like this, he's just too smart a baseball guy.  Seriously, what the fuck is our front office thinking?

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

today's game thread has the potential to be really janky. I can't wait any longer before going out, and if the draft I have saved -- Cruz DL, Ellis activated -- doesn't happen, then it might just be a no-lineups, phone post.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

So we do get Mellis back? thats some good news! Of course we arent getting the .350 hitter back but he is automatic at 2nd base and moves the runner along even when he isn't hitting a hunned points over his career average!

FreeDK
FreeDK

"What is what with you Americans and being too shy to get naked when drunk"

Lobo
Lobo

@Flight School Some relevant numbers:

Luis Cruz: 77 PA, 12 hits

Ramon Hernandez: 24 PA, 1 hit

Tim Federowicz: 17 PA 3 hits

So yes, FedEx is not great, but look at those other two.  Cruz and Hernandez have been incredibly, unbelievably awful this year, contributing less than nothing to this team.  And between FedEx and Hernandez, neither can hit, but at least FedEx is good defensively which is really all you need from your backup catcher.  There is absolutely no rational argument to be made defending this move.  Cruz or Hernandez had to go, end of story.

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

@Flight School The move is retarded. We bring up another INF and option our better backup catcher who also might be the best defensive catcher on the team. Why didn't we get rid of one of our other many utility players? It just makes no sense. 

Omer (beercoozie)
Omer (beercoozie)

@Lobo Yeah, I'm a little unnerved by a lot of the roster moves too. I'm just curious who they would have to bring in as a replacement?

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

@Lobo I think Ned definitely has to go. Unfortunately, with Ned, so goes Mattingly...I think. But yeah, Ned really needs to leave. 

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

@Mike Petriello Well it's not like they haven't lost the series in the jankiest of fashions so it will be fine

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

@Mike Petriello Well I guess they are bound and determined to pay him the minimum and get him to his pension. He must have sold a lot of season ticket plans for them! I'm cool with it as long as we don't see him activated like ever again

Lobo
Lobo

@Mike Petriello This is called Mattingly trying to placate the Latin market when they send down Cruz today.  Thank the heavens that he's finally going to be gone.

Flight School
Flight School

@Lobo @Flight School Cruz's playing time has dramatically subsided, he barely is awarded any starts anymore. Uribe and Punto have been mixing in at third for several consecutive weeks, and despite Uribe's unsustainable OBP and Punto's wicked start, these players are not the answers. The owners need to invest in acquiring a quality third baseman who can hit for average and employ power; however, that may be asking for too much. 

Lobo
Lobo

@Flight School And to add on to those numbers, Cruz has just 1 walk (and it was intentional, so he has not drawn an unintentional walk all season), Hernandez has 2, and FedEx has 1.

bmr209
bmr209

Just cause we have tons of money now doesn't mean we suddenly got a good gm

Lobo
Lobo

@Flight School @Lobo No argument there.  Headley is the guy I want but he's not a likely acquisition unfortunately.  But that's currently irrelevant, what is relevant is that FedEx will do more to help this team than either Cruz or Hernandez because they're all bad offensively but at least FedEx is good defensively at a position where defense is immensely important.  Not to mention that he's only going to be playing once a week anyway, it's like plugging in one 0-fer day from AJ because you don't get the defensive drop-off that accompanies Hernandez in the lineup.

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

@Lobo @WestonTaylor (Sarcasm abounds) @Omer The Cardinals still performed well in the playoffs. They made it to the NLCS six times under LaRussa, winning four of them (one without Pujols) and the other two netted WS victories. The Central wasn't awful. The Astros went to the WS in 2005, the Cubs were good when they had Wood + Prior. It was anything but "godawful". Go look at the standings. 

Lobo
Lobo

@WestonTaylor (Sarcasm abounds) @Lobo @Omer Because the NL Central was godawful until Cincinnati became good again (by which time the Cardinals had Holliday, Molina started hitting, and they had Wainwright too) and Pujols was an absolute god among men back then.  His numbers those years are flat out insane.

Lobo
Lobo

@WestonTaylor (Sarcasm abounds) @Lobo @Omer Yeah but they only won 83 games that year in a really weak NL Central and in the playoffs it is entirely possible for a mediocre team to win if they get hot at the right time.

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

@Lobo @WestonTaylor (Sarcasm abounds) @Omer Okay, so when they won in 2006, they had Rolen, Pujols, and Carpenter. They had Yadier (but he couldn't hit), the corpses of Eckstein, Spiezio, and Edmonds, and behind Carpenter their SP staff was consisted of 65 starts total between Jason Marquis and Jeff Suppan, and handfuls of starts from Jeff Weaver, Sidney Ponson, Mark Mulder, and Anthony Reyes. Bad bad bad

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

@Omer @Lobo What's really the worst thing that we can say about TLR? That he really micromanaged games? Pujols loved the guy. We never heard about players hating him or him leaving pitchers in too long. The Cardinals won a ton of games with him managing teams of Pujols and a bunch of randoms. I wouldn't mind him. 

...and Maddon isn't happening, unfortunately. 

Omer (beercoozie)
Omer (beercoozie)

@Lobo @Omer I think LaRussa would be bad for the clubhouse, regardless of his record. I think he'd make Torre seem like a better alternative.

Lobo
Lobo

@Omer @Lobo I would want them to hire Manny Acta or Joe Maddon.  Problem is that Maddon is locked into Tampa and Acta has a terrible record as a manager (as a result of managing the Nationals during their rebuilding phase and the Indians after that) so he's not likely to be hired.  If it's not those two, I really don't care so long as it's NOT TLR.

Lobo
Lobo

@Mike Petriello @Lobo Oh.  I wasn't really being serious about that.  I wish they'd just DFA him but you're probably right that he just goes on the DL.  Cruz really has no business being on a major league roster though, DL or otherwise.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

@Lobo @Mike Petriello I don't think it has anything at all to do with "the Latin market", and I don't think they'll send him down. They can't anyway -- he'd have to be DFA'd, not optioned, but this injury sounds like a good excuse to DL him.