Tag: A.J. Pierzynski


Braves recall Christian Bethancourt from the minors


In a rebuilding year there are good stories and bad ones and one of the bad ones is when a guy who was supposed to be your ____ of the future doesn’t do all that hot. Christian Bethancourt was one of those guys for the Braves this year, so he spent most of the middle of the season in the minors.

But, since it is a rebuilding year, you can do things like use late August and all of September to give those bad stories a chance to head into the winter with optimism. Such is the case with Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt, who was sent down to Triple-A in June after early season struggles. Today they called him back up for a chance to head into the offseason with his head held a bit higher.

In the bigs he hit .298/.221/.287 in 29 games and, worse, played bad defense, which was supposed to be his calling card. A.J. Pierzynski took most of his playing time before he left and all of it after. In the minors he righted the ship quite nicely, hitting .327/.359/.480 in 52 games. If he can post numbers closer to that than what he did in Atlanta the Braves will have one less question mark heading into year two of the rebuild.

The Braves PSYOPs program is progressing nicely

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Eury Perez made a swell catch in the fifth inning of last night’s Giants-Braves game. Then another ball came his way in left field and he had a chance for his second diving grab.

He didn’t make the second one. But, in the vein of A.J. Pierzynski’s epic frame job on Monday night, he acted like he did, holding his glove up in triumph. Watch:


I have no idea what’s going on with the Braves’ PSYOPs initiative lately, but it’s at least making losing baseball games interesting.

Video: A.J. Pierzynski attempts to frame a pitch that bounced three feet in front of the plate

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People tend to hate A.J. Pierzynski. I think it’s mostly because he did something kinda lame against their team one time and they didn’t much care for it. Or it’s just based on reputation and word of mouth. People have been hating on Pierzynski for years and at some point you just get a rep you can’t shake.

But if he’s ON your team and you watch him play over several months you begin to love the guy. At least if you have any sense and taste. He just doesn’t give a damn about anything and there’s something fantastic about that.

Like this. This is beautiful. This is the sort of thing that makes watching your losing, skidding team on a random Monday night in August worthwhile:


Bogus that he didn’t get the call right there, man.

Jon Lester loses his no-hitter with no outs in the eighth inning

Jon Lester

Update (9:39 PM EST): It’s over. Pierzynski, leading off the eighth inning, ripped a single into right field, exacting revenge for getting hit with a pitch earlier in the game.


Update (9:27 PM EST): Lester struck out Markakis and Jonny Gomes consecutively, then got Chris Johnson to ground out to third base to get through the seventh inning without issue. On to the eighth. Lester is at 97 pitches.


Cubs starter Jon Lester can thank a friendly Turner Field scorer for his ongoing no-hit bid against the Braves on Saturday night in Atlanta. As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the official scorer changed a first-inning hit by Nick Markakis to an error on third baseman Kris Bryant.

Lester has hit a batter (A.J. Pierzynski) and issued a walk while striking out five in his six innings of work.

The Cubs have given Lester two runs of support on RBI singles by Anthony Rizzo in the third inning and by Starlin Castro in the fourth.

We’ll keep you posted as Lester goes into the final third of the game in an attempt to complete the no-hitter. If he’s able to complete it, it would be the second of his career. His first came on May 19, 2008 when he was a member of the Red Sox facing the Royals.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Carlos Carrasco


Indians 8, Rays 1: So close to a no-hitter for Carlos Carrasco, but not quite. And maybe it was inevitable given his pitch count, which was up over 100 to begin the ninth inning, which happens when you strike out as many guys as he did (13 by the time he was pulled). In the ninth he walked Asdrubal Cabrera and then plunked Brandon Guyer before a fielder’s choice and a strikeout. Then Joey Butler singled on Carrasco’s 124th and final pitch of the game. Still a great start for the guy and crazy-dominant given how many swings and misses he generated by Rays hitters: 30, which is a BIG number. Who knows, maybe this is a look ahead to a great second half in 2015 like he had in 2014.


Reds 2, Twins 1: Johnny Cueto gave the Twins nothing to work with, holding them to one run over eight innings while striking out eight. Given the schedule and the All-Star break, there is a chance this was the last home start for Cueto as a Red. If so, he left the hometown folks happy.

Blue Jays 11, Red Sox 2: Yesterday everyone made jokes about how Bobby Bonilla is still being paid by the Mets for doing nothing. Maybe the bigger scandal is that the Red Sox are paying Rick Porcello for this. The Jays teed off on him — Justin Smoak hit two homers — and now Porcello has given up 16 homers on the year. This from a sinkerballer who is supposed to leave things on the ground. Mercy. And Happy Canada Day!

Athletics 4, Rockies 1: Remember the other day when Billy Butler fell a triple short of the cycle and I made some joke about how he’d die on the base paths if he had tried to leg out a triple? Well, Billy Butler hit a triple. To be fair, the only reason he could do it was because the outfielder crashed into the wall and hurt himself, leaving the ball to roll around forever. Still: box score says it’s a triple, so it’s a triple. The fifth of his career. I assume the previous four also involved injured and incapacitated fielders. Watch:


Mariners 7, Padres 0: Taijuan Walker shut the Pads out on one hit over six innings and the bullpen did the rest, allowing only two more hits the rest of the way. Robinson Cano doubled, homered an drove in three, proving that he may not, in fact, be in a coma. The second shutout in a row for the M’s over the Padres.

Yankees 3, Angels 1: An inefficient start for Nate Eovaldi pitch count-wise, but a good one results-wise, as he shut the Angels out into the sixth inning. Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius each hit RBI singles. I watched the first couple of innings of this game in a bar. Early on Alex Rodriguez came up and singled. A guy down the bar from me said, with disgust “guy gets caught with his hands in the cookie jar and he’s still here.” I turned to him and said “you know he missed a year and lost over $20 million in salary, right?” The guy, still digusted and unimpressed said “Yet here he is!” I guess nothing short of a literal execution would be enough for some people. In other news, don’t tell me that sports columnists and talk radio dudes don’t have influence.

Orioles 4, Rangers 2: Wei-Yin Chen mostly tamed the Rangers boomsticks and JJ Hardy hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh. Oh, and this happened:


Brewers 9, Phillies 5: Adam Lind homered and Scooter Gennett doubled twice, tripled and drove in three runs. The Phillies will certainly cure what ails ya.

Pirates 9, Tigers 3: Neil Walker drove in the go-ahead run in the 14-inning on Tuesday night and then, comes into this game and hits two homers among his four hits overall. Alfredo Simon, who started for the Tigers, gave up 15 hits in five and two-thirds innings. Which is a lot of dang hits to give up. He’s lucky he only allowed six runs.

Braves 4, Nationals 1: The Braves beat the franchise that is now the Nationals for the first time since Rusty Staub played for ’em. At least that’s what it feels like. A.J. Pierzynski and Juan Uribe, who I have come to think of as colorful mercenaries on a team that is otherwise not that fun to watch, hit back-to-back homers in the fourth. Rookie Matt Wisler — one of the young guys who are actually likely to be part of the next winning Braves team — only allowed one hit and no runs in five and a third, atoning for his start against the Nats last week which was . . . not as good.

Cubs 2, Mets 0: Mets pitchers have allowed three runs in two games and the Mets have lost both games because their offense is basically chipped beef on toast. Everyone was scoreless until the 11th in this one, when the Cubs scratched across two runs on singles. Both Jon Lester and Bartolo Colon shut the opposition out for seven innings and deserved better fates in this one. Mets pitchers always deserve better fates.

Marlins 6, Giants 5: There are walkoff homers and then there are three-run homers when your team is down two. That’s the kind Justin Bour smacked to win the game for Miami. The Giants turned five double plays in this one to keep that lead late, but it wasn’t enough.

Astros 6, Royals 5: The sweep, as Jose Altuve had three hits and scored the tiebreaking run, Chris Carter and Marwin Gonzalez hit solo homers and Evan Gattis drove in two. Bad news, though: George Springer was plunked on the wrist and may be missing some serious time. Updates on this when we hear them.

White S0x 7, Cardinals 1: Jose Quintana allowed one run over six. Effin’ Quintana, man. That creep can roll. A five-run ninth turned this one into a laugher, though. St. Louis had a six-game winning streak heading into this series but were limited to one run in both games.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 3: With Joc Pederson out Kike Hernandez got the start. All he did was triple, double, scored twice and drive in a run. The Dodgers have taken nine of ten from the Dbacks. Both Arizona and Atlanta should get together and have a discussion of what a “rival” is.