September 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Game 2 vs. Mets
The Braves were downed 3-1 on Friday as Lucas Duda took Tim Hudson deep with the go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning. The Nationals were routed by the Cardinals, so the Braves were unable to take advantage of a rare Washington loss at this point. They remain four back with five to play.
Chris Young takes the mound against Mike Minor in the second game of the series. Young has been tough to watch at times this season, sporting a 4.21 ERA and 4.68 FIP over 109 innings. His 15.9% strikeout rate is off his career mark by around 5%, and a 7.5% walk rate barely gets him by for the lack of strikeouts. Young has always been one of the most extreme fly ball pitchers in baseball, and it’s only more extreme this year. If you count 100 innings as the minimum mark, Young’s 59.5% fly ball rate ranks first in MLB, with Phil Hughes coming in second at 47.6%.
Young avoided trouble in his last start against the Braves, allowing two runs over six innings despite four walks. He benefited from seven strikeouts, which tied for his second best this season.
In fact, you should expect plenty of fly balls from both sides, as Minor holds a 44% fly ball rate. But Minor has utilized strikeouts well lately, recording 24 punch outs over his last 24.2 innings, and allowing just one home run over that span. He allowed two runs over six innings against the Phillies last time out, walking one and striking out six.
A note from the MLB.com preview linked below: “Left fielder Martin Prado has a National League-best 59 multihit games, including nine in his last 19 contests. His next one would make him only the 10th player in franchise history to have 60 multihit games in a season and the first since Terry Pendleton in 1992.”
Braves.com recap for Friday’s loss.
AJC quotes following Friday’s loss. Chipper Jones: “Do you have an hour? It’s all overwhelming. I’m sitting up there on the stage, my family and my best friend on the planet and Bobby Cox and Hank Aaron and all the people who have helped get me to this point. There’s standing room only in the stands. I just remember thinking when Bobby went through it, golly, there’s a lot of love in this ballpark. And look at how much adoration they have for Bobby. And I was thinking to myself ‘Wow,’ I see all those 10s flashing up. I even said to Josh Thole when I stepped into the box one time, I was like ‘how the heck am I supposed to hit with all this going on.’ It got to me.”
“There were a lot of people there and I appreciate each and every one of them. As I said when I was up on the podium, I know it’s not just the 40 some odd thousand people that were here (more like 51,910) but it’s everybody sitting on their sofa watching TV, everybody listening to the game on the radio. Braves country extends far beyond the 40,000 people that come to the games. It’s an entire region of the United States and I could feel them, I could feel them pulling for me tonight.”
Mark Bowman has a great article on the Chipper ceremony, including quotes from Paul Snyder, John Schuerholz and Chipper’s mother, Lynne Jones.
In notes, Dan Uggla is playing with a cut on his left hand after somehow cutting himself during the clinching celebration. Also, Fredi Gonzalez said he would choose between Mike Minor and Paul Maholm to start a possible Game 2 of the NLDS. Hopefully Fredi will come to his senses and choose Minor.
Jay Busbee of Big League Stew recaps the Chipper ceremony.