Miami Marlins Series @ Atlanta Braves Series Preview: Did the Braves Overreact to Bryce Harper?
By Ehsan Kassim
Aug 6, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (34) yells at Atlanta Braves pitcher Julio Teheran (not pictured) after getting hit by a pitch in the fifth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Marlins look to rebound after a terrible sweep at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Marlins held a lead in each game, but were incapable of holding a lead of 2, 3, and 4.
The Marlins will continue their nine-game road trip with a stop in Atlanta. Turner Field is now the proud home of a Waffle House, on that we hope the Marlins players do not go to right before game time.
To preview the series between the Braves and Marlins, I had an email chat with Jeff Schafer, the Editor of the Atlanta Braves Fansided Site, Tomahawk Take. Jeff and I chatted about everything from the Braves plunking of Bryce Harper to Tim Hudson‘s gruesome season ending injury.
Without any further ado, here is my chat with Jeff:
Aug 6, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (right) is restrained by the umpire while Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (left) yells at pitcher Julio Teheran (not pictured) after being hit by a pitch in the fifth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Ehsan Kassim: What has gone the Braves way for them to be able to put the impressive streak they are currently on?
Jeff Schafer: Many things my friend…lineup, rotation, managers, Upton Brothers, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward waking up, Brian McCann‘s return, Craig Kimbrel and the rest of the bullpens dominance, Fredi Gonzalez starting to realize how to manage this team, Braves fans showing up to the field day in and day out, and of course the Waffle House!
EK: Seeing Tim Hudson going down was saddening for anyone that loves the MLB. Is his career now in jeopardy or do you anticipate him making a return in 2013?
JS: It was a shame to see Huddy go down. You could see it on everyones face that they as well felt his pain. A guy who goes out and gives it his all for the team and to go down like that on a contract year is tough. I’m not sure if the Braves will bring him back or not. He will be 39 years old next year but still showed at times he has the stuff to get MLB hitters out. I say the Braves sign him to a one year deal and he comes back from injury a few months into the season and helps the Braves win back to back World Series Championships!
EK: What was your take on the Harper beaming? Did he deserve to be hit or should the Braves have handled it differently? What about the Braves Twitter account trying to stir things up?
JS: I think it’s blown out of proportion…we didn’t even cover it on TT because it was an ESPN superstar getting angry because a pitch hit him. Yes, he did pimp his home run and yes if you do that you should be looking for a ball to come your way. Harper needs to grow up, either don’t pimp the HR or take the beam with pride. I’m not saying it was on purpose or it wasn’t because we probably will not find out but my take is players are getting tired of Harper maturity level.
I think the Braves Twitter account spoke on instincts and maybe as a fan instead of the actually Braves twitter account. They misspoke and they may get punished for that. Frank Wren issued an apology to everyone including Washington.
EK: Speaking of Twitter, is it good that Chipper Jones has decided to ease down on his usage? Seems like controversy follows his account?
JS: I don’t think so, over the past year when Chipper has been on “the twitta” he has been very entertaining to follow and is actually one of my favorites to follow. He tells the truth whether you like it or not and Twitter is all about your own opinion. Chipper gives that and then people hate on it. I understand his frustrations with fans but thats the world we live in. I hope Chipper comes out of retirement of Twitter and keeps letting true fans into his life.
EK: This is a question I was asked too often during the Miami Heat’s 27 game winning streak, but do you think the Braves are peaking too early? (I don’t believe there is a such thing)
JS: No, I don’t think the Braves are peaking. I as well don’t believe in peaking to early. Winning is winning and that is what the Braves are doing. You go into each game per night wanting to win the game and they are just coming out on top. Braves fans knew they had this talented of a team on day one but it’s taken now for everyone else to realize and for the team to finally put the runs they are capable of putting up, on the board.
EK: Can you give us a quick scouting report on the pitchers the Marlins will face this series?
Aug 3, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Brandon Beachy (37) waits for a new baseball after Philadelphia Phillies right fielder John Mayberry Jr. (not pictured) hit a home run in the second inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
JS: Friday night you’ll see newly added to the rotation Brandon Beachy. He is around 13 months removed from Tommy John surgery and this will be his third start in the MLB since returning. In two games so far he’s given up 11 runs and three home runs in 10 innings pitched. If your wanting to pick up a victory in this series, this game may be your opportunity. But just because Beachy still isn’t 100%, don’t think the Braves will roll over and not give any run support!
On Saturday night, you’ll see Georgia youngster Alex Wood. He began his MLB career in the bullpen but the Braves wanted him as a starter. After the Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson injury, Wood’s presence in the rotation was evident. He’s a great young pitcher with a very strange windup. If I was filling out Miami’s roster, I’d have a right handed heavy lineup filled out.
Sunday, Miami will take on arguably our best pitcher in Mike Minor. He has picked up 11 wins this season and has just gotten stronger as the years gone on. Mike is taking the next steps in becoming the Braves Ace. You’ll see him Sunday but take notes because you’ll be seeing and needing it a lot over the next years.
EK: What’s your prediction for the series?
JS: I really don’t want to cause a stir on your site or come across arrogant but if the Braves don’t sweep the series I’d be kind of upset. They’ve swept really good teams…Cardinals, Rockies and Phillies…and the Marlins are no where close in talent. If the Braves don’t over look Miami, it should be a clean 3-0 series.
A big thank you to Jeff for taking his timeout to talk to us. I don’t necessarily agree with what Jeff had to say about the Harper incident. Don’t believe it is right to throw at anyone, regardless of the situation. If you want to make someone regret their actions, strike them out on three pitches. That will teach them, not giving the opponent an extra base runner in a close ball game.
We at Marlin Maniac wish all Braves fans the best of luck for the upcoming of the series. If you get a chance, do check out some of the great content over on Tomahawk Take. Here are the questions I answered for Jeff on TT.