The Braves have new alternate jerseys and they look pretty spiffy

8 Comments

The Braves are going to sport a new home alternate jersey next year. It hasn’t been officially announced yet, but it was leaked by someone earlier today. I saw it over at Big League Stew. This is supposedly it:

source:

The differences: It’s cream not white.  There’s no tomahawk under the lettering, though there’s still a tomahawk on the sleeve patch. There’s no red on the piping along the buttons to go with that blue. No piping on the sleeves at all.

Not radical, but kind of cool.  Certainly better than those red alternates they wear on Sundays. Which they still may wear, we don’t know.  No word on caps either, though I think the road cap they wear — solid navy with no red bill — would look pretty sweet with this new one.

Then again, I wear an Indians block C hat all the time and I currently have a Brewers sausage race t-shirt on, so it’s not like I’m an authority on the sartorial stylings of my favorite team.

Matt Carpenter hit a standup bunt double

Getty Images
3 Comments

The wave of defensive shifts we’ve seen over the past few years has led to a lot of armchair hitting coaches demanding that players bunt to beat it. This is easier said than done, however.

The shift happens because certain hitters tend to pull the ball. Certain hitters tend to pull the ball because pulling the ball is what happens when one gets a strong, quick swing on a pitch one identifies early and which one endeavors to send as far away from home plate as possible. Which is to say that pulling is a skill that is good to have and which is strongly selected for among hitters.

In light of that, “why not just bunt to beat the shift” takes are kind of lazy. Bunting is hard! And it is not a thing guys who get shifted a lot are good at. Most of the time asking a player to do a thing he is not well-equipped to do is a bad idea. Indeed, a hitter voluntarily going away from his strength is something the defense would much prefer.

Most of the time anyway.

Last night Matt Carpenter made those armchair hitting coaches happy by laying down a bunt to beat the shift. And he laid it down so well that he ended up with a standup double:

One batter later Carpenter scored on a Starlin Castro error.

The shift giveth and the shift taketh away.