Colorado 3, Atlanta 2 (1st game)

ESPN.com – MLB – MLB RECAP

That was pathetic. The Braves stranded 14 runners, constantly failing to get hits with runners in scoring position, runners in from third with less than two out, or runners over to third from second with no one out. I’m not a big fan of “situational hitting” as a strategy, but when you try it, you better succeed.

The bad work started in the first — with two on and two out, Drew grounded out — and ended in the ninth, when with Andruw on third and one out LaRoche popped up on the first pitch. Then there was the second, when after the Rockies had walked the last two batters (including the pitcher) on five pitches each to load the bases bases with two out, Mark DeRosa swung at the first pitch and weakly grounded out to first. (So much for the value of an Ivy League education.)

Mike Hampton was okay, though he only went five innings. The first four were pretty strong, but he was wild in the fifth and was lucky to get out allowing only two runs. Alfonseca actually had a great sixth (1-2-3, with two strikeouts). Maybe we can convince the Rockies to trade for him. Gryboski was lucky to get out of the seventh, but Reitsma wasn’t so fortunate, allowing the winning run in the eighth.

Bobby had one of his overmanaging innings in the eighth. After Estrada doubled to lead off, Jesse Garcia ran for him. By the end of the inning, the Braves’ hottest hitter (Estrada) and leadoff hitter (Furcal) were both out of the game and the bench had been completely emptied, while the Braves scored no runs… Furcal ran the Braves out of a good scoring opportunity in the fourth. With him on second and Giles on first, he tried to steal third — on Charles Johnson, mind you — with one out and Andruw Jones — who was already 2-2 and usually hits well in Denver (who doesn’t) — at the plate. Not only was Furcal thrown out, but Giles’ advancing took the bat out of Andruw’s hands on an intentional walk. If I had my way, I’d have a permanent stop sign on at Coors Field. The value of a base just isn’t very high there versus the value of an out.

Game two is supposed to start in about an hour and a half… Marcus Giles had his first hitless full game this year, going 0-4 with a HBP.

8 thoughts on “Colorado 3, Atlanta 2 (1st game)”

  1. I don’t know how much more I could add to your fine analysis, but it’s killing me to stay quiet.
    This season has boiled down to this: Jesse Garcia at bat with the game on the line. How many times hs it happened, ten?
    Good teams don’t let it get down to the last at bat that much.
    Good teams don’t let it get down to the last at bat with an empty bench.
    Good teams don’t let it come down to Jesse Garcia.
    Ever.

    Maybe they’re showcasing Base12. Maybe they’re showcasing Horsseman. We can blame the mediocrity on the rotating DL.

    But this is a lousy team. And I’m already sick of it.

  2. Aww, man!

    Furcal hurt his finger and won’t play game 2?

    I’m a Braves fan. I have been for almost 30 years. I know what lean times look like. These look like lean times.

  3. This is a bad team. We will keep saying this until September. The Braves cannot win a game in their last at bat. The Braves cannot come from behind to win games. If I was Andruw or Chipper Jones, I’d be wondering how to get voted off the island.

  4. While I agree things haven’t looked good lately, let’s wait until Chipper’s back and the whole front-line lineup’s together and healthy for a while before we call the patient dead. Now, that (the healthy thing) may never happen, in which case they’re toast for certain. But as bad as things have seemed at times this year, they’re still a game over .500.

  5. C’mon, guys. I’ve got a feeling that a rousing comeback in the second game could cure our woes.

    (Pay no attention to the time-stamp below)

  6. I can be as pessimistic as the next guy (unless the next guy is Marvin the paranoid android)…Anyway, I am overall pleased with this team. Why? Well, despite injuries in April to almost every key player, this team is two games over .500 and starts May close to first place. I think that bodes well for where things are going.

    The main things they need – some luck on health, Ortiz figuring out how to pitch at maybe a 3.8 ERA level, Hampton returning to something close to his second half form from last year, and a power bench bat. This bench just drives me nuts as one that has zero real threat of a fly ball deep enough to score a runner from third, let alone a candidate to actually jack one out.

    And oh yeah – free Juan Cruz!

  7. How often has Garcia come to bat with the game on the line this year?

    Uh, one.

    Look at his game log. Today’s game against Colorado was the exception, not the rule. Besides, 14 men being left on base is a team problem, not a Jesse Garcia problem.

    Atlanta’s been playing shorthanded with their bench in many games this year because they’ve been hit with injuries deemed not serious enough for the D.L., but serious enough to keep players out of games.

    The bullpen (Cunnane and Alfonseca excluded) has done pretty well this year. Cruz has got to start getting into games in place of Alfonseca, however. Unfortunately Cox has a tendency to forget about bullpen guys sometimes, and not use them for about two weeks.

    It’s too early in the season to get paranoid. We aren’t Red Sox, Yankees, or Cubs fans, remember?

  8. NOWHERE is the value of a base very high versus the value of an out, especially in the long ball era. There might be some situations where an extra base is vital (say, a one-run game in the bottom of the ninth with two out and the runner on first), but other than that there is no reason to steal at all, especially not third and very especially not third in the middle innings on Charles Johnson to open first base for the IBB.

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