Posted: 2:16 pm Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Harang vs. Garza, Pt. 2 (Pt. 1 was fairly epic) 

By David O'Brien

  Are we ready for Harang vs. Garza, Pt. 2? And before you dismiss or chuckle at that thought, please recall what happened when they met the first time.

Tonight is a rematch of one of the best-pitched games in the NL this season, the April 2 game in Milwaukee – the third game of the season — when the Braves’ Aaron Harang and the Brewers’ Matt Garza each took a no-hitter to the seventh inning. Chris Johnson broke up Garza’s bid with a two-out homer in that 1-0 Braves win, and Harang had his no-hitter broken up by Logan Schafer’s leadoff single in the seventh.

Aaron Harang took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his first start as a Brave, in the third game of the season at Milwaukee.  Tonight he has a rematch with the Brewers and Matt Garza, who also took a no-no to the seventh inning of that 1-0 Braves win.

Aaron Harang took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his first start as a Brave, in the third game of the season at Milwaukee. Tonight he has a rematch with the Brewers and Matt Garza, who also took a no-no to the seventh inning of that 1-0 Braves win.

Garza ended up allowing two hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in eight innings, and Harang gave up two hits and one walk with three strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings in his first start as a Brave, setting the tone for a first eight weeks that have surpassed any and all expectations for the well-traveled veteran.

Against Garza, Johnson is 5-for-9 with two homers, Freddie Freeman is 4-for-10 with a homer, and Jason Heyward is 1-for-9 with a homer.

The Braves went 2-for-26 (.077) against Garza in the game at Milwaukee. All other teams have hit a combined .280 against him this season, and five of the seven teams he’s faced have batted .300 or higher against him.

After pitching eight innings against the Braves in his season debut, Garza hasn’t topped seven innings since. He’s worked a total of 21 innings in his past four starts, and gone 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in those games while allowing 23 hits and 11 walks.

  Garzais 0-2 with a 6.86 ERA in four road starts, compared to a 3.55 ERA in five home starts. Opponents have a .284 average and .357 OBP on the road.

Harang, meanwhile, has allowed two or fewer earned runs in six or more innings in all but one of his nine starts this season. Since giving up nine runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings on April 30 at Miami, in a game where several Braves wondered aloud whether the Marlins were stealing signs, Harang has given up two runs in six innings in each of his past three starts. He has 22 strikeouts and three walks in 18 innings over those three games.

In five home starts, Harang is 2-2 with a 2.10 ERA and no homers allowed. He has 40 strikeouts and nine walks in 30 innings at Turner Field this season.

Against the Brewers, he’s 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA in five starts since the beginning of the 2011 season. Ryan Braun is 7-for-32 with three homers against Harang, Lyle Overbay is 11-for-25, Carlos Gomez is 2-for-7 with a homer, and Mark Reynolds is 2-for-12 with a homer and five strikeouts. Also, Jonathan Lucroy is 0-for-10 against him.

Harang will avoid facing Aramis Ramirez, who’s on the DL with a strained hamstring. Ramirez is 22-for-66 with five homers against the big right-hander.

• Pitch counts and such: So all this talk of pitch counts on the blog in the past couple of days, in light of Julio Teheran’s 128-pitch shutout Tuesday, had me curious enough last night to go back and look at some day-by-days of a few Braves pitchers. Included were the two guys whose names came up in relation to Teheran – Greg Maddux in 2011 was the last Brave to pitch multiple shutouts in a season before Teheran did it this year, and Steve Avery in 1992 was the last under-25 Brave to accomplish the feat before 23-year-old Teheran.

The other was Tom Glavine, since he’ll be inducted at Cooperstown along with Maddux in July, and since Glavine made it through almost his entire career without going on the DL. Those are the only three I looked up, since I was covering last night’s game at the time and didn’t have unlimited time to do this research.

Anyway, Glavine: He had starts of 128 and 124 pitches as a 23-year-old in ’89, which was also his second full season in the majors, like this one is for Teheran. In a three-week span in ’91, Glavine had pitch counts of 138, 104, 126, 85 and 129.

And how about this stretch in ’92 for Glavine, his pitch counts in nine consecutive starts June 12-July 29: 128, 122, 84, 117, 107, 113, 108, 114, 121.

In ’94, Glavine had these pitch counts in a four-start period from July 20-Aug. 5: 130, 118, 126, 124, and he didn’t go more than 7-1/3 innings in any of those four.

In ’97, Glavine from May 30 to Sept. 10 made 20 starts and threw 121 or more pitches in half of them (and 119 pitches in one other). He threw 128 or more pitches  in five of those 20 starts.

In ’99, Glavine had consecutive starts of 134 pitches and 131 pitches on Aug. 15 and Aug. 20.

These two, Galvine and Maddux, threw a whole lot of pitches and innings and stayed healthy until very late in their Hall of Fame careers.

These two threw a whole lot of pitches and innings and stayed healthy until very late in their Hall of Fame careers.

Next I looked up Avery’s ’92 season, and was surprised to see he only threw 118 and 114 pitches in his two nine-inning shutouts that year. But he had a 130-pitch game on May 30 and 123 pitches two starts later on June. 10. He went 8 innings in each of those two.

Maddux was a different animal, of course. Not much sense in looking up the day-by-days for one of the most efficient pitchers in baseball history. It was nothing for him to throw a complete game in under 100 pitches.

But it is worth noting that in that ’01 season, Mad Dog finished with 233 innings in 34 starts, and get this: 173 strikeouts and 27 walks. Yes, 27 walks. Oh, and he was 35 years old.

 • Speaking of Chris Johnson: This might be a good time for him to face Garza and try to snap out of another recent funk. After ending a long slump by going 15-for-34 (.441) during a nine-game stretch May 6-16, he’s 1-for-21 with one double, no walks and eight strikeouts  in his past five games.

Johnson was 8-for-48 (.167) with no extra-base hits or RBIs in his last 14 games on the other side of his nine-game surge. So in his past 28 games since April 20, including two cold spells, one hot one and nothing in-between, he’s hit .233 with four doubles, no homers, five RBIs, four walks, 26 strikeouts and a .269 OBP and .272 slugging percentage.

For the season, Johnson’s walk rate of one every 34.4 plate appearances is fourth-lowest in the NL.

Sizzling J-Up:  Justin Upton is 8-for-14 (.571) with two doubles, three homers and seven RBIs in his past four games. In 23 home games this season he’s hit .400 (32-for-80) with six doubles, a majors-leading nine homers, 19 RBIs, .484 OBP and .913 slugging percentage. J-Up’s .972 OPS overall is fifth-highest in the NL behind Tulowitzki (1.217), Puig (1.037), Seth Smith (1.036) and Giancarlo Stanton (.988).

Braves lineup Thursday

  1. Heyward rf
  2. BUpton cf
  3. Freeman 1b
  4. JUpton lf
  5. Johnson
  6. Simmons
  7. Uggla 2b
  8. Laird c
  9. Harang p

• Etc.

B.J. Upton still leads the majors with 57 strikeouts despite not striking out in his past two games. He’s 2-for-20 in his past six games to lower his batting average to .197, fourth-worst among NL qualifiers and lowest among non-Padres. (Yes, San Diego has the league’s three lowest qualified batting averages in Jedd Gyorko .159, Yonder Alonso .195, Will Venable .196. That’s tough to do.)…When batting with two strikes,Braves Andrelton Simmons and Freddie Freeman have the fifth- and sixth-highest averages in the Nl, Simmons at .281 (16-for-57) and Freeman at .280 (21-for-75).

• Here’s a  great one from Marshall Crenshaw.

“WHENEVER YOU’RE ON MY MIND” by Marshall Crenshaw

I think about you and forget what I’ve tried to be
Everything is foggy and hard to see
It seems to be
But can it be
A fantasy?

Whenever I think about you, strangers eyes in the crowd flash past
I go on and think of the fate you’ve cast
It seems to be
A reverie
You’re here with me

Whenever you’re on my mind
Whenever you’re on my mind
I leave the world behind
Whenever you’re on my mind

I think about you and I’m weak though I’m in my prime
Set my watch and still lose the track of time
It seems to be
But can it be
A fantasy?

Whenever I think about you strangers eyes in the crowd flash past
I go on and think of the fate you’ve cast
It seems to be
A reverie
You’re here with me

Whenever you’re on my mindfirst-album_marshall-crenshaw_0
Whenever you’re on my mind
I leave the world behind
Whenever you’re on my mind

I never thought I’d be in this situation
It seems wherever I go I’m with you
And though I never seem to find my place
At every turn I see your face

Whenever I think about you
(Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da)

It seems to be
A reverie
You’re here with me
Whenever you’re on my mind
Whenever you’re on my mind
I leave the world behind
Whenever you’re on my mind…

 

 

1525 comments
noleee
noleee

I must be getting really soft in my dotage, the more I read shaun lately the sadder i get for him. seriously

JerseyGil
JerseyGil

Small Note In Braves Country: Javy Lopez Inducted in Braves HOF today.....Good for you Javy....BORICUA

ComaToes
ComaToes

It's "hotern'n snot" where I'm at today (91) and having just came in out of it, made me think of one of the funniest things Yogi Berra ever said, that never gets repeated much.

One hot, sweltering summer afternoon in July in NY, a trio of streakers ran across the outfield grass, nekkid, apparently "loaded" late in the game. Asked about it after the game Yogi said, " I don't know if they were men or women, they had sacks over their heads".  The game needs somebody like YB playing right now to keep it light.

_Hillbilly_
_Hillbilly_

Random thought:  The middle part of the song "Band on the Run" should really be its own full length song. If I Ever Get Out of Here.  So good.   

CobbBraveNightmare
CobbBraveNightmare

Sure happy to see Doumit get going. Maybe it'll inspire the rest of the bench a little.

noleee
noleee

you really must not know much about hitting if you are surprised that Schafer can't because he is a good physical specimen.

 the two things have almost nothing to do with each other

CobbBraveNightmare
CobbBraveNightmare

If Frenchy wuz better than Mickey Mantle in the 50's, what would he have been way-back in 20's? 

Au Francais' Bambino!

BravoDawg
BravoDawg

Fredi, why not use a LH batting lineuo instead of guys hitting below  .200? Schafer should have been leading off, Pena batting 2nd, Heyward hitting 6th, Simmons 7th & Doumit 8th, why play BJ, Laird, & Uggly? just Dumb, you trying to lose???

CobbBraveNightmare
CobbBraveNightmare

I've lost track as to whether MLB has mandatory drug testing for all players?

That's how memory has been effected, hit or miss.

If I said I'd never considered the Schafer/Drug scenario, I'd be lying through teeth.

There are masking agents that can defeat any pee-test BTW. 45-Bucks

ComaToes
ComaToes

@noleee Conseco is proof of that !  (good body specimen,  I'm referring to, if any question)

CobbBraveNightmare
CobbBraveNightmare

@noleee

Not just his physical gifts, but the flash he showed before the wrist injury. That is why I've never been able to let go. But, I'm about to the point of filing for baseball-divorce.

noleee
noleee

@BravoDawg

oh yeah, no doubt they are trying to lose. 

prolly tired of their jobs and all that money and wanna start a new, less stressful career at walmart....

noleee
noleee

@YourWorstNightmare @noleee

gazillion guys have had hot runs early in their careers and turned to poop

i think its called small sample size....  ;-)

TennesseePaul
TennesseePaul

Forgot about signable. Going to have to look him up...

_Hillbilly_
_Hillbilly_

@TennesseePaul He's probably just moved to the Minnesota Twins blog...you know, to follow his boy, Signable. 

TennesseePaul
TennesseePaul

I hope. Miss that guy. I think the new one moving into the house coupled with Heyward's less than reasonable expectations has put a damper on.

TennesseePaul
TennesseePaul

Ha! He'll be camped on here. Only escape he'll have. Wife and kids terrorizing the dog. Frogs over-running his pond. Noise. Messes. Ef in the closet with his iPad typing on the blog.

ncscoots
ncscoots

@TennesseePaul Well, it's his first. He'll be back with a flourish when the second one shows up. :-)

TennesseePaul
TennesseePaul

Family can change a man. Hell, Ef had a baby girl and now you hardly ever see him around.

TennesseePaul
TennesseePaul

Ha! True. I'm not an innocent by-stander. But I don't think I went after him like some of the screen names did... And all of that time was prior to him getting married.

noleee
noleee

@ncscoots @Tumbledown

yes but they are basically the same damn points that he made years ago. there is no evolvement, no ability to understand that it is not biblical. not really even provable in the real world

ncscoots
ncscoots

@TennesseePaul Hey, the way you and I tag-teamed the guy some days, the rest of the village could sleep easy, LOL.

TennesseePaul
TennesseePaul

True. I think it left a scar. But I recall a week or so back in the early days when it came down real hard. I couldn't even take it.

ncscoots
ncscoots

@TennesseePaul Uglier than it is these days.

I dunno, man. He seems to wake up confrontational nowadays.

TennesseePaul
TennesseePaul

It was a different time back then though. Blog format was wide open. People posting under multiple names... real wild west. So it could have been just one or two guys picking Payne's knits, but they'd do it with 15 screen names each so it'd look like a whole village was after him.

Tumbledown
Tumbledown

I guess the reports of Shaun's early clutchiness were greatly exaggerated.  It sounds like he may have had some early grit, though.

TennesseePaul
TennesseePaul

Maybe the first week or so, but it got real ugly shortly there after. Uglier than it is these days.

Fleming01
Fleming01

@Tumbledown 

Actually had some good discussions with Paine back in the day before he became a PAIN

ncscoots
ncscoots

@Tumbledown I seem to have lost the edit function again, LOL. I was disagreeing with Tumbledown on Shaun's non-clutchiness.

Tumbledown
Tumbledown

I just wish Shaun had a sense of humor about himself.  He has a very defined and rigid viewpoint (to cast it in a positive way), and it would at least be tolerable if he could show a little levity.

ncscoots
ncscoots

@Tumbledown I'm gonna disagree there. I don't believe the points made are any different than those made however many years ago, but the style has certainly changed. You couldn't ruffle Shaun at all, in his early days, and we didn't get much of the ad hominem stuff form him back then. Guy made his point (regardless of agreement or disagreement) and left it at that.

noleee
noleee

@Tumbledown

funny thing is that originally he was one of the few of us who were interested in geekdrool and he sounded like he knew a little

subsequent years have proven that he is only mouthing what he reads, and that poorly, and that it is a cultlike opbsession instead of actual knowledge

Tumbledown
Tumbledown

Are you referring to Schafer or Shaun? From what I have read, the early skinny on Shaun's posts was that they were not clutch! 

CobbBraveNightmare
CobbBraveNightmare

@noleee

Yep, and I believe his talent mighta been a little overblown. 

He was pretty highly touted if I remember correctly.

noleee
noleee

I mean even shaun had a few good posts when he first came up to the big blog....

CobbBraveNightmare
CobbBraveNightmare

@Bat_Masterson

NOT ME!

I've never had to pee in cup anyway, cept at doctor.

I do know folks who say it works flawlessly, folks who would definitely be aware.