Braves lost, and things got a bit chippy in the first inning last night…
— Ricky Mast (@RickyMast) September 26, 2013
Mac attack: That was a crazy series of events. I’ve never seen a catcher block home plate quite like Brian McCann did… on a home run.
“Mac doesn’t stand for that stuff,” Braves third baseman Chris Johnson said. “I don’t think Mac was interested in having that kid go home and touch home plate, so he met him halfway up the line and had some words for him. But he handled it the way a true pro should handle it and back up his pitcher.”
I love Brian McCann, and I’m not ashamed to say it. The dude is an awesome person and a terrific baseball player. I sure hope the Braves are able to bring him back after this year, but I fear they either don’t want to because of the presence of cheaper options like Gattis and Bethancourt, or because other teams will significantly outbid them. Peter Gammons is already seeing the writing on the wall:
Many have assumed that when Brian McCann hits the free agent market in November, the Yankees will be the team to beat. But within the Braves organization, there is fear that if the Texas Rangers do not make the playoffs, they could jump in hard after McCann. Texas tried to deal for McCann in the past, and any time they talk to a free agent, that player is quickly reminded that he will be playing in a state with no income tax.
More brawlin: Click here for a good montage of the top-10 crazy faces from Carlos Gomez last night… dude was unhinged. Click here for a dissenting opinion that last night’s actions by McCann were not smart and uncalled for. Click here for a couple of GIFs of the fight, I’ve posted one below:
Maholm mah-okay: The battle between Freddy Garcia and Paul Maholm drew a little closer last night as Paul had a good-to-decent start. I honestly can’t choose between Garcia and Maholm for the 4th spot in the postseason rotation… flip a coin.
Wild Card memories: Maholm’s start would have been good enough to win on most days, but of course the Braves offense has hit rock bottom. Seriously, rock f-ing bottom — they got 2-hit by Kyle Lohse. Of course, maybe this is part of exorcising the demons of last year’s Wild Card loss, in which Lohse was the opposing starter. Let’s call last night’s game the low point of the season, and hope that it’s all uphill from there.
The real starting pitching battle: On the mound… no, no, no… the real battle among the Braves starting pitchers is surely in the batter’s box. We could use two measures to determine who has been the best hitter — OPS or WAR — but since the players probably don’t go in for WAR (and it’s kind of silly anyway for pitchers’ hitting), we’ll just stick with ye olde simple OPS and batting average (simpler), and we’ll add sacrifice hits/bunts. With one start left, Medlen, Teheran, and Minor are all pretty close:
- Medlen… .170BA, .488OPS, 7SH
- Minor… .169BA, .434OPS, 7SH
- Teheran… .214BA, .509OPS, 5SH
None of these guys have more than 60 at-bats so numbers can change greatly with a couple of hits or an 0-fer. It’s hard to say who is in the lead. Teheran has the edge in the rate stats, but the other guys have more sacs, which is important for pitchers. Both Minor and Medlen have a home run, and so does Huddy, who brings a strong case of his own with a .158BA, .501OPS, and 6SH.
A brawl to remember: last night was quite a tiff, but it paled in comparison to what happened between the Braves and Padres in 1984.