Tampa Bay 9, Atlanta 7

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Devil Rays – 06/28/2003

“Hi, I’m Shane Reynolds, and I’m actually a deep-cover agent for the Phillies.”

Bobby blew this game, leaving in Reynolds to allow eight runs in 3 1/3 innings. If you do your math, you’ll realize that the relievers — Hodges, Bong, and Gryboski — allowed but one run in 4 2/3. Meanwhile the hitters were coming up with seven runs, more than enough to win with even a run-of-the-mill poor pitching performance. This is one of those times when the phrase “losing pitcher” is apt. This sort of game has been inevitable all along; Reynolds kept getting lucky with baserunners, but that never lasts. No doubt he’ll start in five or six days, even if Bobby has to skip Ramirez to do it.

The Braves had ten hits and seven walks, but the Rays had even more. Both teams left nine men on base. Gary Sheffield was the only Brave without a hit; Fick had three. The Braves actually had the tying run at the plate with two out in the ninth, and Javy — the man they’d want — at bat, but flew out.

Mark DeRosa started at second base for some reason. Giles was out there every day when he was slumping, but now he’s doing better and gets benched. Your guess is as good as mine… The Phillies are winning right now, and would be 6 1/2 out if they hold on. This is not good.

19 thoughts on “Tampa Bay 9, Atlanta 7”

  1. According to the ESPN.com gamecast (which I was keeping up with during the game), Giles started at second base and batted in the first inning. But DeRosa is the only one listed in the box score. Since I don’t have Turner South, I don’t know which happened. Anybody know the truth?

  2. I’d guess it was just a mistake. He was still listed in lineup for Game Update at least into the third inning even though DeRosa was shown at bat.

  3. I think we need to kidnap Shane Reynolds. I’m about 3 1/2 hours from Tampa…. but I don’t feel like driving. Anybody closer?

  4. This is off the subject, but ESPN Classic was showing Game 6 of the 1991 World Series tonight. I couldn’t bear to watch it past the top of the first inning, but I did watch long enough to see Lonnie Smith bat.

    That got me to thinking … why is it that Lonnie is still loathed and ridiculed by Braves fans? I know he had the brain cramp in Game 7, where he didn’t score on Pendleton’s double, but it’s not like he was the biggest goat of that series (Charlie Leibrandt, Sid Bream and Bobby Cox all had more dubious moments).

    Smith’s baserunning adventures are still a punchline to Braves fans, but it was Bream who grounded into a 3-2-3 double play with the bases loaded later that inning. Of course, Sid got his redemption the next postseason.

    Also, why is Otis Nixon still such a big hero in Atlanta? If he had been able to keep his nose off the mirror, the Braves might have won the ’91 World Series in a walk.

  5. I think we need to kidnap Shane Reynolds. I’m about 3 1/2 hours from Tampa…. but I don’t feel like driving. Anybody closer?

    Rob, this really calls into question your commitment as a fan…

    Answering Mac’s question from the other thread, Byrd was tentatively scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this weekend, but his elbow was tender after each of the simulated games he pitched in the past week. He’ll be visiting Jim Andrews on Monday because they now suspect ligament damage.

    That fat player option for ’04 was a great idea.

  6. If you could hold on to him until after the deadline for picking up his option has passed, that’d be great.

  7. I’m game for meeting the team bus in Atlanta, rolling Shane Reynolds up in a carpet and throwing him off a bridge. Anybody got a car with a big trunk?

    On the other hand, this would make an interesting test case for the Supreme Court. Does discussing kidnapping on a weblog constitute conspiracy?

    If some “accident” should befall Mr. Reynolds (or Mr. Byrd) and the FBI shows up at your door, remember what Alan Arkin says in Glengarry Glenross, “We’re not discussing it, we’re just speaking about it.”

  8. I am (Naively) hoping that Reynolds recent string of suckage will combine with the Phillies surge to get him out of the rotation.

    But my prediction is that Reynolds gets one more start, pitches just well enough that it will give Bobby hope, then he’ll pitch three more crappy ones.

  9. Yeah, and I’m bothered by the same thing Colin mentioned in the previous thread – the memory of Burkett in 2000 starting, getting bombed, then the people who should have been starting coming in and pitching well, then 5 days later Burkett starts again, wash, rinse, repeat until the end of the year. Although I’m quite sure the parallel ends there – somehow I don’t think we’ll see Reynolds come back in 2004 and finish in the top 5 in the league in ERA.

  10. Burkett actually had a better DIPS-ERA in 2000 than any starter not named Maddux. His 2001 was fairly legit as well. So, there were reasons for throwing John out there, he was pitching pretty well despite the cries from the fanbase.

    That said…I’ve seen Reynolds pitch, and he’s no John Burkett. Although I tire of all the comments from the Braves internet peanut gallery about how Bobby and Leo are senile or brain-dead, I will agree with Colin’s assessment as well. If Shane were a movie, he’d be ‘From Justin to Kelly.’

    As for the 1991 series and heroes/goats – Terrence Moore’s ‘Otis Nixon is a jerk’ column is perhaps the only time I’ve ever agreed with him. BTW, check out his latest piece about the HoF, Edgar, and McGriff. It’s a hoot.

  11. Mike-
    Interesting, I don’t think I knew about Burkett’s DIPS ERA for 2000 being so strong.

    The thing to watch out for is that Reynolds has gotten conspicuously sucky just as we’re entering the month before the trade deadline. Marquis has lost any support he might have had from Cox with his outburst on going to the pen in April, and so he could well be trade bait for a veteran starter. That said, I have no idea who might be available.

  12. It was widely reported at the time that Burkett was using the “Greg Maddux approach” and obviously had great success with it in 2001. Shane Reynolds may be doing the same thing. The problem is, the Greg Maddux approach isn’t working worth a damn this year (the start in Seattle notwithstanding).

    As for guys who might be available, the one name I keep hearing is Brad Penny, although I doubt the Braves would take on a player that’s arbitration eligible after the season. He also makes nearly $2 million, so Atlanta would have to offload some salary to get him. (By the way, Marquis makes only $368K).

    Incidentally, I read in an AP wire story this morning that Javy Lopez becomes a 10-and-5 guy on July 22, so there was speculation (at least by the AP’s Paul Newberry) that the Braves might try to trade him before them. I think that would be a huge mistake. If they’re not going to bring him back, they should just ride him until the end of the season and take the compensation pick.

  13. Do they still get compensation picks? I thought the new labor agreement got rid of that. I think they should trade him, though. I really don’t think he continue to be this good throughout the season. His stock is so high now, and so his is salary. We should try to get some kind of can’t-miss prospect that will help us next year for him. It would really help solve the budget problem too, but not enough.

  14. Rob, There was some talk of eliminating the compensation picks during the last labor negotiation, but in the end, they kept that clause in.

    Don Sutton said at the beginning of today’s broadcast that there were rumors in the Pittsburgh papers of a Marcus Giles-for-Kris Benson trade in the works, and the talk of such had allegedly contributed to Marcus’ slump. I don’t know if there’s anything to it (I doubt it, considering Benson makes $4.25M this year and $6.1M next year), but such a deal would be a disaster of Len Barker-for-Brett Butler (and Brook Jacoby) proportions.

    Maybe the Braves can work a three-way deal with the Cubs and Marlins where the Cubs get Lowell, the Braves get Penny and the Marlins get prospects. Not likely, but a man can dream I suppose.

  15. Cox cost the team this game when he didn’t release Gryboski, send Reynolds to middle relief and give Reynolds starts to Jason Marquis. I think it’s apparent Cox has no intention of using Marquis again as a Brave.

  16. There were some rumors of the DBacks trading Johnson or Schilling, with the Braves being a target, but that never made much sense (unless Arizona took Vinny to offset salaries) and is dead anyway with the DBacks playing well.

    The Mutts will probably try to unload Trachsel, but I don’t know how much of an upgrade that would be. I don’t think there was any truth to the Giles-to-Pittsburgh rumor, though I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Braves were interested in Benson. More likely it would be for prospects. I like Benson.

  17. The Giles to Pittsburgh rumor was reported in today’s AJC, and it was presented as being the case that Brian Giles called Marcus and told him about the rumor.

    As for trading Javy, I just see no point. First, a team that needs as much offense as it can to get over it’s mostly mediocre pitching cannot just give up Javy as long as he’s hitting well. And second, do we really want to see Javy traded for the kind of player Schuerholz likes to acquire? You can bet it would be for a relief pitcher and maybe a backup outfielder. It sure as hell wouldn’t be for a quality prospect.

    No, sometimes the best thing you’re going to get is the last two months of a guy’s performance plus the draft pick. And frankly, that’s fine with me. Besides, i want to see Cox explaining why he’s benching the 40-homer catcher in the playoffs so that he can have the .200-hitting catcher in for the 4+ ERA starter.

  18. Huh? Wha….? Have you all forgotten about our *awesome* offseason trade that brought us the fabulous Johnny (I swear I’m not related to that guy from C.Hi.P.S.) Estrada?

    We don’t need no steenking catchers! We have Johnny (Kevin who?!) Estrada!

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