Tag Archive | "Julio Teheran"

Atlanta Braves And Washington Nationals Get Heated

The biggest race of the year was not supposed to be the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals.  It was supposed to be the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves.

BryceHarperYelling

The standings as of August 8th show the Braves with a very comfortable 14.5 game lead over the Nationals in the National League East.  Not much of a “race” going on in that division.  Judging by the tempers of the two teams, you really can’t tell.

The Braves are on a hot streak.  They have won 12 straight games and are showing no signs of slowing down.  The Nationals are five games below .500 and trying to get on track.  The teams came together for a three-game series that began on August 5th in Washington.

The story here begins on Monday night as the teams were tied going into the top of the 8th inning and Nationals’ starter Stephen Strasburg would leave the game to his bullpen.  Justin Upton led off that inning with an eight-pitch at bat against reliever Tyler Clippard.  Upton would win the at bat, and ultimately the game, with a monster home run down the left-field line.  According to TaterTrotTracker on Twitter, Upton then took 27.36 seconds to round the bases.

The following night, on Tuesday the Nationals would take an early lead off a Bryce Harper home run that may not have landed yet.  Estimated at over 430 feet, Harper proceeded to round the bases.  Again, according to TaterTrotTracker on Twitter, Harper would complete his circuit at the slowest rate of his young career, in 23.66 seconds.

The Braves were more irritated than the Nationals over the time it took a slugger to round the bases.  The Nationals were upset at Upton, but decided to simply continue to play the game the next day.  The Braves?  Well, they responded by plunking Harper in his next at bat.  Harper took exception, yelled at Braves pitcher Julio Teheran, benches cleared and everyone stood around yelling.  No punches were thrown.  No physical punches at least.

The knockout blow came from Twitter.  The Braves official account called out Harper for his “antics” (again, despite Harper rounding the bases faster than Upton) by tweeting “Clown move bro”.  The Nationals account would respond, asking if the Braves were referring to “giving up the home run” or “drilling the 20-year old” in his next at bat.  The Nationals have since deleted their tweet, though the Braves clever parting shot remains online currently.

Funny that Harper can hit a monster home run in his home park in the third inning and the Braves will take offense to it enough to publicly call the young man out, yet Upton can smash a game-winning shot on the road, circle the bases even slower, and no retaliation occurs.

Who’s the clown here?

Bill Ivie is the editor here at i70baseball.
You can talk baseball with him on Twitter or read more of his St. Louis Cardinals analysis on Yahoo!.

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St. Louis Cardinals have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week

The St. Louis Cardinals landed Friday in Atlanta ready to begin an 11-game, 10-day road trip against three of the best teams in the National League with the best record in Major League Baseball. They had a lead in the NL Central and the best hitter in the league.

YadierMolinaSafe

A week later, the Cardinals have yet to win another game, the Pittsburgh Pirates have passed them for the division lead, and catcher Yadier Molina is on the disabled list with a knee injury.

The Cardinals haven’t had many bad weeks in 2013, but this past week has been about as bad of a week as anyone could imagine.

The Atlanta Braves swept the Cardinals in a three-game series through the weekend, and the Pirates won four games in three days to take a 2.5-game lead in the division heading into play Wednesday. Now the Cardinals get the joy of facing the Cincinnati Reds for three games in Cincinnati.

Much of the problem has been the shutdown of the most productive offense in the game.

The Cardinals still lead the National League with a .271 team batting average and continue to lead baseball by an incredibly large .040 margin with a team batting average of .334 with runners in scoring position.

However, they have not scored more than two runs in six of their last seven games to go with a .158 batting average in the last week. Plus, they will be without Molina and his .330 batting average for at least the next 15 days.

Granted, those are terrible, horrible, no good, very bad numbers, but the Cardinals do have a legitimate excuse based on the pitchers they have faced in those seven games.

Braves starters Mike Minor, Julio Teheran and Kris Medlen have a combined earned-run average of 3.23, while the first four starters the Pirates threw against the Cardinals have a combined 2.49 ERA.

Those pitchers are going to shut down just about any team more often than not, and they put Cardinals hitters in their first slump of the season.

This won’t continue, of course. The Cardinals’ overall season numbers are some of the best in baseball for a reason. Just as the hot streak has mellowed (OK, plummeted), into a slump, the hitters will return to form before long.

If nothing else, Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati is a good hitters park, even though the Cardinals are scheduled to face Bronson Arroyo, Tony Cingrani and Mike Leake, who have a combined 23-13 record with a 2.92 ERA.

The schedule also doesn’t get easier after the road trip is complete, as the Los Angeles Dodgers come to St. Louis for a four-game series next week.

This is quite a test, especially with Molina on the disabled list, but the rough stretch could pay dividends later in the season and the playoffs.

The crowds in Atlanta and Pittsburgh were the most electric of any fan bases the Cardinals have played in front of this season outside of St. Louis, and it is important for the team’s large group of young players to play in that type of environment.

A 95-mph fastball and sharp breaking pitch are great pitches at any time, but men who throw those pitches are rarely as consistent, especially when they feel the pressure of an important game.

Right now it is easy to look at the Cardinals situation as if the proverbial glass is half empty, but the team was unlikely to succeed in the playoffs if it cruised through the entire regular season without a hiccup at some point.

Sure, the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics took five of six games from the Cardinals in late June, but the Braves, Pirates and Reds are the teams the Cardinals will likely face in the playoffs.

In any case, it is better to lose those games in July instead of October.

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Giavotella Named to Topps Triple-A All-Star Team

Giavotella Named to Topps Triple-A All-Star Team
Storm Chasers’ second baseman adds to season of accolades

OMAHA, Neb. — Former Omaha Storm Chasers second baseman Johnny Giavotella has been named to the prestigious Topps Triple-A All-Star Team, Minor League Baseball announced Tuesday. The team, made up of just nine total players, features five Pacific Coast League stars and four International League stars.

Giavotella, 24, hit .338 in 110 games for the Storm Chasers this season, collecting 153 hits including 34 doubles, nine home runs, 72 runs batted in and 67 runs scored. The 2011 Pacific Coast League All-Star starter was one of the hottest hitters in baseball over the months of June and July, batting .391 (90-for-130) with 31 extra-base hits during the two-month stretch. He was honored as the PCL’s Player of the Month for June and was also named to the postseason All-Pacific Coast League team.

Following his promotion to the Kansas City Royals on August 5, Giavotella hit .247 (44-for-178) with two home runs, nine doubles, four triples and 21 RBI in 46 games. He collected his first MLB hit against the Detroit Tigers’ Rick Porcello, singled a day later against Detroit ace Justin Verlander and belted his first-career homer off of the Tigers’ Max Scherzer.

The Louisiana native was selected out of the University of New Orleans in the second round (49th overall) of the 2008 draft. He hit .299 for Class-A Burlington that summer, .258 in 2009 for High-A Wilmington and .322 for the 2010 Texas League Champion Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

Giavotella is joined on the Topps Triple-A All-Stars by Bryan LaHair (Iowa/Chicago Cubs), Gil Velazquez (Salt Lake/Los Angeles Angels), Russ Canzler (Durham/Tampa Bay Rays), Devin Mesoraco (Louisville/Cincinnati Reds), Collin Cowgill (Reno/Arizona Diamondbacks), Alejandro de Aza (Charlotte/Chicago White Sox), Julio Teheran (Gwinnett/Atlanta Braves) and former Omaha Royal Jai Miller (Sacramento/Oakland Athletics).

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