July 15, 2012 at 9:01 am by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Braves lineup: Michael Bourn (CF), Martin Prado (2B), Jason Heyward (RF), Chipper Jones (3B), Freddie Freeman (1B), Brian McCann (C), Matt Diaz (LF), Paul Janish (SS), Ben Sheets (P).
Mets lineup: Ruben Tejada (R, SS), Daniel Murphy (L, 2B), David Wright (R, 3B), Ike Davis (L, 1B), Scott Hairston (R, LF), Kirk Nieuwenhuis (L, RF), Andres Torres (S, CF), Josh Thole (L, C), Johan Santana (L, P).
Braves Get Their Shortstop
As Ben covered yesterday, the Braves acquired shortstop Paul Janish from the Reds for Todd Redmond. Any information and opinion needed on the deal can be found by visiting the link, so I won’t bother repeating things. The general consensus from the Braves blog community is it’s a good deal, and you can’t expect much more than that from a minor trade like this. Other bits involving the deal:
Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Braves were also in talks with the Yankees for Ramiro Pena before officially getting Janish. Frank Wren made the right move to target Janish.
The Reds wanted more organizational depth at pitcher, hence the reason for acquiring Redmond.
Braves.com‘s story on the trade.
AJC story on the trade.
Game 3 vs. Mets
The Braves beat the Mets 8-7 on a wild ride Saturday, including three straight RBI singles with two outs in the eighth that put the Braves ahead.
The Braves seek a sweep in the series finale as Johan Santana takes the mound for New York. The owner of a no-hitter this season, Santana has returned to form following shoulder surgery that held him out all of 2011. He owns a 3.24 ERA and 3.86 xFIP in 102.2 innings, including a 23.5% strikeout rate and 7.8% walk rate.
Santana has long lived and died by the changeup, but he is in fact throwing fewer changeups and more sliders this season at 22.3% and 20%, respectively. Santana has never come close to matching his change and slider usage, so this is new. It could be having a positive effect, however, as his changeup has a whiff/swing rate of 44%, and his slider’s whiff/swing rate is 38%, both very solid numbers.
The Braves will send Ben Sheets to the mound for the first time. Sheets made two quick starts for Double-A Mississippi before this call up, allowing seven runs in 10.2 innings. Based on reports from Mississippi, his curve remains a reliable out pitch, although he struggled with command at times in his two outings. But that’s something to be corrected with reps, and hopefully Sheets will be back to form soon. I wouldn’t expect eight innings with 10 strikeouts in his Atlanta debut. He will be on a pitch count between 80-100.
MLB.com game recap for Saturday’s win.
AJC quotes following Saturday’s win. Tommy Hanson: “I just didn’t feel like I could ever get in a groove. I didn’t feel like I had my best stuff today and my command was shaky. There were times when I felt good and confident and I was doing well, and other times I just wasn’t throwing it where I wanted it to go.”
The Braves are a suitor of Ryan Dempster, according to ESPN Chicago’s Bruce Levine. The Cubs have started digging through each interested team’s minor league system, and expect talks to heat up in the next week or so.
As a note, the ESPN Stats & Info blog writes on Dempster’s improved fastball as the season has progressed.