Posted: 5:36 pm Friday, August 1st, 2014

So long and good luck, Jordan Schafer 

By David O'Brien

 

Injuries seemed to crop up every time Jordan Schafer got any momentum going in his two stints with the Braves. He was DFA'd on Friday.

Injuries seemed to crop up every time Jordan Schafer got any momentum going in his two stints with the Braves. He was DFA’d on Friday.

SAN DIEGO – Part of me hated to see Jordan Schafer DFA’d, because I like him and still believe he’s a good player who can help a winning team. But for his sake and the sake of the Braves, today’s move was the best one, and now we’ll find out whether another team has seen enough of him to claim him off waivers and give him a shot at the playing time he wasn’t going to get here because of contracts and commitments to others.

He’s still young enough (27) and still has game-changing speed and strong defensive skills. Works hard, wants to be a really good player, and just needs to get back to the sound hitting approach he had when he was playing regularly in the first half last season when B.J. was hurt and others got nicked up, before Schafer also got injured (broken bone near his ankle on foul ball) and spent six weeks on the DL. After that, he was never the same and didn’t get the playing time to have much chance to get right.

Anyway, good luck, Schafe.

And we move on. It’s a cold game like that.

Jordan Schafer homered in his first game as the Braves' opening-day center fielder in 2009. There were some ups and downs since then, to say the least.

Jordan Schafer homered in his first game as the Braves’ opening-day center fielder in 2009. There were some ups and downs since then, to say the least.

The Braves, after getting swept at Los Angeles, open a three-game series tonight in San Diego against a Padres team that they will have no excuse not to beat at least two out of three times. Because even if the Braves are facing a couple of decent to good pitchers in this series, especially Tyson Ross (2.60 ERA) in the finale, the fact is the Padres have the worst offense in baseball, and it got worse last week with the suspension of Cameron Maybin and trade of Chase Headley.

The Padres are 9-13 despite a 3.02 ERA in their past 22 games. They’ve hit .239 in that stretch and scored three or fewer runs in 14 of 22 games, including one or no runs in six of the past 19 games.

Then again, the Braves are also just 9-13 in their past 22 games, with only five more runs (89) than the Padres over that length.  And they’re the team trying to win a division and make the playoffs.

The Braves have scored three runs or fewer in 12 of those 22 games, and here’s the alarming stat: They are 0-7 in games decided by one run in that period. 0-7!

But if you’re the Braves, you’ve got to win a series against these guys, and a sweep isn’t too much to expect and would even up the trip before heading to Seattle for two games including one against King Felix.

First things first.

•  Tonight’s matchup features an actor (not really): It’s a lefty vs. lefty matchup of Mike Minor (4-6, 5.23 ERA) vs. Eric Stults (3-13, 5.22), who I always think of as that red-headed actor who starred in the movie Mask with Sam Elliott and Cher. But that was Eric Stoltz. So where were we?

Oh, yes: Stults is 1-10 with a 5.32 ERA and .268 opponents’ average in his past 13 starts. In that period he’s allowed 74 hits, 12 homers and 21 walks in 71 innings while the Padres have averaged fewer than 2.3 runs per nine innings he’s pitched.

However, Stults has a 1.86 ERA and .194 opponents’ average in his past three home starts, allowing just 13 hits, four runs and one homer in 19 1/3 innings. He’s 1-2 in those games because the Padres scored just one run while he was in each of the two losses (the splurged for two runs while he was in the win).

Stults is 2-3 with a 3.60 ERA in eight games (four starts) against the Braves, only one of those games in the past two seasons, that one last Sunday: He gave up six runs and six hits in six innings of a loss against Minor in Atlanta.

Among Braves with more than two at-bats against Stults, the aforementioned newcomer Emilio Bonifacio is a team-best 4-for-9. Justin Upton is 3-for-12 with a homer and three walks against the lefty, Jason Heyward is 2-for-7 with a homer, and Freddie Freeman is 1-for-9. Heyward is recovering from a sore back and expected to miss his fourth consecutive start.

   Minor will be facing the Padres (and Stults) for the second time in six days, after allowing eight hits (two homers) and three runs in 6 2/3 innings of his Sunday win in Atlanta. That was just the third quality start in his past nine for Minor, who is 2-2 with a 7.16 ERA and .352 opponents’ average in those nine games, with 76 hits including 10 homers allowed in 49 innings.

The lefty is 1-1 with a 6.90 ERA in his past five road starts.

Against the Padres, Minor is 1-2 with a 4.34 ERA and .333 opponents’ average in three career starts, last week being the first time he faced them since 2012.

Against Minor, Yangervis Solarte is 2-for-4 with a homer, Rene Rivera is 1-for-3 with a homer, Yonder Alonso is 2-for-3, Jeff Francoeur is 2-for-9 and Chris Nelson is 1-for-10 with four strikeouts. So, yes, he needs to be careful with a trio of fellas named Yangervis, Rene and Yonder.

   •  The Braves hope to have Heyward back for at least the last two games in the series, but he indicated late Thursday that he wouldn’t be in the lineup today as he continues to recover from a low-back strain.

After missing the entire series against the Dodgers, a team he’s struggled against throughout his career, the Padres probably hope he’ll miss a few more games, since Heyward has a .344 career average (32-for-93) with 11 doubles, four homers and 14 RBIs in 25 games against the Fathers, with a .408 OBP and .591 slugging percentage. In 15 games at Petco Park, he’s hit .274 with six doubles and three homers.

Justin Upton, a former Diamondback, has a .322 average with 18 homers and a .558 slugging percentage in 90 career games against the Padres, including .298 with 10 homers and in 43 games at Petco Park.

   • Emilio Bonifacio has a .311 average (14-for-45) with runners in scoring position, which will rank him third among Braves, behind Tommy La Stella’s .340 (17-for-50) and Freddie Freeman’s .318 (28-for-88), and ahead of Heyward’s .302 (26-for-86). Next is Chris Johnson’s .284.

The Braves have added another hitter with a plus-.400 average vs. lefties: Bonifacio has hit .408 (29-for-71) with a .592 slugging percentage against lefties, with seven doubles and two homers. Johnson leads  the Braves with a .433 average (29-for-73) against lefties, the major league leader among players with at least 70 plate apparances against lefties.

La Stella has hit .409 (18-for-44) with a .568 slugging percentage against lefties in a little over two months since arriving from Triple-A.

Evan Gattis has hit .383 (18-for-47) with five homers and a .766 slugging percentage against lefties, and Justin Upton has hit .320 (24-for-75) with a team-high six homers and a .613 slugging percentage against lefties.

Heyward’s .152 (15-for-99) vs. lefties is the NL’s lowest among lineup regulars and B.J. Upton is at .180 (16-for-89) after getting two hits Thursday against the premier lefty and best overall pitcher in the majors, Clayton Kershaw.

 La Stella is 18-for-55 (.327) with five doubles, 10 RBIs, five walks and a .383 OBP in his past 15 games, including 5-for-12 in the Dodgers series

• Did you know Eddie Vedder grew up in San Diego? Well, he did. We like Eddie a lot. Here’s one of his best solo tunes.

“SOCIETY” by Eddie Vedder

It’s a mystery to me

Eddie Vedder

Eddie Vedder

We have a greed with which we have agreed
And you think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all, you won’t be free

Society, you’re a crazy breed
I hope you’re not lonely without me

When you want more than you have, you think you need
And when you think more than you want, your thoughts begin to bleed
I think I need to find a bigger place
Cause when you have more than you think, you need more space

Society, you’re a crazy breed
I hope you’re not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
Hope you’re not lonely without me

There’s those thinking more or less, less is more
But if less is more, how you keepin score?
Means for every point you make your level drops
Kinda like you’re startin’ from the top
And you can’t do that

Society, you’re a crazy breed
I hope you’re not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you’re not lonely without me
Society, have mercy on me
I hope you’re not angry if I disagree
Society, you’re crazy indeed
I hope you’re not lonely without me

1180 comments
Bubbactox
Bubbactox

HOla,

Dave what do you think of this lineup for next year.  1.  Move Gatis to third.. He has enough ability there.  Let him learn it over the wintr  2. bethancourt to catch..  3.  trade or release bj and have  Peraza learn center field over the winter.  I know wren wants his son to play but in the end you have to do what's best for the braves.... these Peraza could lead off and even a rookie would have a better ba than bj.

let la stella hit second.   these two getting on would help.... gattis wouldn't wear down as much and with 2 knee operations would prolong his career ...... the defense... would overall be better. 

bubba cox

MichBravesFan
MichBravesFan

BJ should follow close behind out the door. He's just as bad except worse seeing as he's 1000 times overpaid as compared to Schafer

count_schemula
count_schemula

Ernie, Skip and Pete will always be associated with the rise and good times.

Skip would have been at his best last night. He went way off the script in the 10-1 20 hits given up affairs.

TNScott
TNScott

Ernie, Skip, and Pete were truly the Golden Age of Braves baseball broadcasting. Nothing or no one can really compare to them. They were different but brought their unique personalities to the booth. They blended so perfectly and each complemented the other with their own individuality. They made watching or listening to the Braves an event in itself. They are legends for me just as much as those who played between the lines. A sad day for Braves fans across the globe.

DOB
DOB moderator

Such a sad day. Pete was truly one of the good guys, in addition to being such a damn fine broadcaster and the perfect partner for the irreverent Skip. Wonderful tandem, and before that a wonderful trio with Ernie.

They lived, they loved, they made days and nights a lot better for a long time for Braves fans, and for us baseball fans who didn't live in cities with baseball teams and only had access to TBS back in the day.

I feel fortunate to have gotten to spend about six years around Pete and Skip each day at the ballpark after I came to the Braves beat in 2002. As great as they were in the booth, they were at least as engaging and even funnier away from it. Love those guys.

  I'm sure they're all already together, bellied up to the big bar in the sky, a game on the TV....

  I just  spoke with Dale Murphy about it. Murph was up in Napa Valley  for Raiders camp with his son, who's on the team. Here's what Murph had to say about Pete:

    “I think of Pete and it’s hard not to think of Ernie and Skip at the same time. When you think of one you always think of the other two. Isn’t it interesting, the combination of personalities that worked together so well. They were a great team, each one totally different, totally different approaches, and it worked so great. Pete complemented Skip and Ernie. It was as great trio. Happy that I got to know them. Those teams, personally for me, we only had a couple of years of real fun, exciting times. But those guys were great.

“I think of Pete as, when you talk about people that are real professionals and know their crafts, Pete was a craftsman. And great guy. Loyal to his team, obviouisly. But they called them liked they saw them….

“Nice, polite, classy guy that was always fun to see at the ballpark  and fun to be able to work with. Very thankful for the years I was able to be with them. He was part of a great broadcasting team and a great Braves family that will be missed. Lot of great memories.”

“I think that’s why there’s such a loyal Braves fan base, their (broadcasters’) loyalty to the team. He was one of our guys, and we’ll miss him. It’s a sad day to hear the last member of that great trio has passed.”

VeniceJim
VeniceJim

"See" everyone from San Diego...

slydawg
slydawg

Since Schafer could not make it in this pathetic lineup, h should go straight into coaching either younger players or amateurs.

frenzy_army
frenzy_army

1992 being 12 and living in DC. West coast games at 10pm a lot. Of course bedtime was 9:30. i'd sneak into our guest bedroom and turn on the TV and watch the braves with pete and skip. Good times....

Clint_Reno
Clint_Reno

 I'm sure Skip was one of the first to welcome Pete Van Wieren into heaven. 

MarkAgain
MarkAgain

Pete's best line to me, for some reason, just cracked me up.

They were talking about cheers/chants. He said when he was at Yale, or one of the ivy league schools, they used to say, "repel them, repel them, make them relinquish the ball". Skip thought it was hilarious too at the time.

RIP Pete and prayers for the family from North Georgia!

frenzy_army
frenzy_army

Well go win one for the Professor! 

Jeff_R
Jeff_R

Sorry to learn about Pete Van Wieren's passing.  Only 69.  Not old by today's standards.  Now the crew that helped bring the Braves to a national audience in the 80s and 90s are gone.  R.I.P.

DisgustedFan
DisgustedFan

Got to say that I like the new lineup on 92. the Game


Bell is working out quite well with Carl Dukes whom I always thought was better than most Atlantans give him credit for


And having Jason Bailey gone is great - Randy Cross and Marc James have the best morning show now

DisgustedFan
DisgustedFan

Hard to digest the news about Pete Van Wiren


That is Skip and now him. 


Skip always seemed to be testy -- especially on the pre game show but Pete did seem like a genuine nice guy.  Not a mean bone in him, never anything sarcastic --

frenzy_army
frenzy_army

@count_schemula new stadium needs statues of them. If the rangers can give one to some guy who died trying to get a ball...

noleee
noleee

@slydawg

that would be like you training young bloggers.....

Sopheee
Sopheee

@frenzy_army Same here. And, it's funny how I can barely stay awake for an inning of west coast baseball on weeknights now but it was the best thing in the world back in the day.

Quicherbichin
Quicherbichin

I still remember Pete calling a runner going into 2nd.... " the throw hits the baserunner! " and then, a mere moment later.. " and the throw HURTS the baserunner!" As the poor runner was laid out, writhing in pain.....

Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

@Jeff_R If they do not honor him with his name among the other Braves players on the outfield wall, I will be REALLY disappointed.

Flacons_go_2-14
Flacons_go_2-14

@VeniceJim I no U all dont leik me a a lot but I must say this is sad news he was 1 of no the best boardcaster the Barves every had.


RIP

Maggot_Man
Maggot_Man

@DisgustedFan 92.9 is the only sports talk i can tolerate in ATL. occasionally, i'll tune to chuck and turnoff to be reminded about just how bad the others are

DisgustedFan
DisgustedFan

@Maggot_Man 


Agree though I will check in on 790 now that its all ESPN


And Bell is actually talking sports now ----  I cannot stand 680


Kincade is the worst I do not trust him after the way the "Balkan" was a farce and like a baby he could not face up to it -- not fan friendly guy but he and belue ar know italls

DisgustedFan
DisgustedFan

@noleee 


That is right about Ernie though he lived a complete life


This is not nice to say but  I agree that Skip was a @ss -- I like Chip's work more 



Maggot_Man
Maggot_Man

@DisgustedFan @Maggot_Man yeah, can't take 680 seriously in any way and, yes, i'll listen to 790 some since it's ESPN feed. kincade and belue make a decent team if you like that type of show, but kincade is horrible going solo. it is painful to endure.

GoneViral
GoneViral

@DisgustedFan @noleee Chip does not get the credit he deserves because some still view him as a nepotism/legacy guy. In reality, he is one of the best announcers in pro sports. He is legitimately elite.

noleee
noleee

@DisgustedFan @noleee

I thought Skip/s snark and disregard for protocol played much better when the Braves were turrible than it did when they were good

really like him whe he and Pete first arrived, gradually over time and seeing him around, I got over him

Jeff_R
Jeff_R

@frenzy_army @noleee @DisgustedFan  Skip was the "Anti-Harry," the counterpoise to his old man's "hail ye well" fellow approach.  I did like that Skip often called a spade a spade when the Braves were sucking wind.  Sometimes his cynicism did grate, though.  Over all, though, Skip was better than the vanilla that occupies most broadcast booths nowadays.  B.o.r.i.n.g.

DisgustedFan
DisgustedFan

@frenzy_army 


Skip would not have gotten away with his stuff in some markets like say, Boston where the fans really believe they know as much if not more about baseball than the media. 


I remember them running Don Zimmer outta town -- booed him every time he came to the mound after the great collapse o 78. 


Its not that those fans know more than we do -- but the are more vocal and less tolerant of mistakes by management and players and its not a place where you can stink


I find ATL fans knowledgable but tolerant and even defensive of their teams shortcommings

DisgustedFan
DisgustedFan

@GoneViral 


I  think that Chip is better than his dad and granddad


Never really understood Harry -- you have to be a Chicago person to get him I guess

Jeff_R
Jeff_R

@noleee @DisgustedFan  Pete replaced Milo Hamilton after Milo was fired.  Skip joined Pete and Ernie in the booth.  I first remember Skip as the voice of the Atlanta Hawks.  I thought he did a fine job calling NBA games. 

Jeff_R
Jeff_R

@frenzy_army @GoneViral @DisgustedFan @noleee  Chip seems to be a nice guy, but it stops there.  His granddad was a real character and his dad was an entirely different cat than you found in sports broadcast booths then or now, IMO. 

GoneViral
GoneViral

@DisgustedFan @GoneViral We had cable back in the early days. WGN was one of the 10-12 channels. Harry was a show within the show because he had very little filter. I still vividly recall a 90s game when Mike Benjamin, this terrible hitter, had the series of his life against the Cubs. He broke a major league record for most hits in three games. At one point during the third game, Caray ranted into a hot mic, "That's it, throw him another fastball, idiot." We need more honestly like that in sports broadcasting.