Atlanta 2, Los Angeles 0

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I’d feel a lot better about winning the game if the Braves hadn’t waited until the seventh to score. And if it hadn’t come against a team that’s now lost eight straight. Well, a win’s a win.

Chipper hit a solo homer in the seventh to open the scoring, and Nick Green scored on a bad throw to the plate in the eighth for an insurance run. The Braves wound up with six hits, but never seriously threatened until the homer. Nobody had more than one hit. Green .333; DeRosa .194. I’m just saying.

Russ Ortiz needed some good defense (much of it from Green) to keep the Dodgers off the board. His control was shaky all night; in seven innings he walked five against seven strikeouts, and 50 of his 112 pitches were balls. But the Braves turned three double plays. Reitsma had a perfect ninth; Smoltz gave up two hits, but one of them was DeRosa’s fault.

Furcal pinch-hit again, singling on a drag bunt, but ran himself out of the inning later. Garcia is leading off for no readily apparent reason except that someone has to lead off and there really isn’t a suitable candidate. Well, Green has a .478 OBP, but come on. I like him, but he’s not that good.

12 thoughts on “Atlanta 2, Los Angeles 0”

  1. Everytime someone tries to tell me that Jim Tracy is a really good manager I look up and see that he’s doing something like hitting Izturis leadoff. I guess he likes to get that first out of the game out of the way quickly.

  2. Welcome to our ballclub, Mr. Green. Nice defense, good hitting with some pop – he deserves a chance to stay around. Ortiz’ game was a fluke, IMHO. Without all the double plays and some other nice catches behind him (esp. the one that Green made look so easy) the Dodgers win the ballgame. You just cannot afford to walk the bases full every night.

  3. So I grew up hearing these two arguments about offense:
    A-Weaver School: “Baseball is pitching and defense and 3 run homers.”
    B-Herzog School: “Get’em on, get’em over, get’em in.”
    Can these Braves that we see right now do either of these things?
    We can talk about injuries, slumps, and line-up changes. In the end, they’re just excuses. The Braves expect to win and will.
    Right now there are too many players on the roster with the same talents. Too many back-up infielders and 4th outfileder types. They all have the same problem-they can’t get on base! An offense-whatever the style-is no better than the talents of its roster. It’s time for Bobby and John to decide who they’ll stick with-they’re famous for that-and then clean out the deadwood.
    Yesterday would have been preferable, but I’ll settle for today.
    Go Braves!

  4. First of all, how can you say that injuries are just an excuse? Do you think other teams replace their star players with something other than their back-up infielders and 4th outfielders? The only regular player in the lineup playing like a back-up is DeRosa, and while he is playing below his ability, he contributes about as much as most guys in the 8 hole. Injuries suck, and it hurts the team, but it’s not a reason to hold a firesale.

  5. Snellville…

    1. Most teams have better backups than what the Braves have.

    2. LaRoche is playing well below replacement level.

    3. At least most 8 hitters can play defense.

  6. Dwayne Wise hits a 3 run homer.
    Did that really happen?
    Or did I finally lose my mind?

  7. I’m not so sure that most teams that lose their two MI, an OF, and their backup OF would put out anything measurably better than what the Braves have put out there. DeRosa’s the big hole though, I have to agree. LaRoche has actually played about league average at 1B this month, but that is largely due to the 4 double game and doesn’t take today’s o-fer into account.

  8. A firesale is when a team sells something of value. What do you think we’d get for Jesse Garcia?
    My point is that too many players with the same talents–and liabilities–can stifle a teams growth. How many years did the Cubs try to build their teams around slow sluggers?
    Did you know that the team with the most players having spent time on the DL this season is the Anaheim Angels? Can you compare the two records?
    I’m urging action, somthing to give the team a spark anda different look. How many times do we have to hear Braves TV announcers moan about losing Giles’ spark as much as his play?
    Action!
    Now!

  9. The frightening thing about Laroche is his walk total – 4 in over 110 PA, against 24 K’s. Whenever I get to see him play, he looks completely overmatched, and has a hole in his swing down and in that’s the size of a Buick.

    According to Nelson Lu’s RC/25 numbers, DeRosa and LaRoche are both the second-to-worst regular players at their positions. DeRosa beats only Christ Stynes (212/245/286), and Laroche beats only Jason Phillips (204/300/336). Brutal.

    This team could get back Marcus and Furcal tomorrow, but with these sure outs stinking up the lineup, this team would still not be a playoff team. We’ve carried some crapola here and there around the diamond over this run, but these two are utterly awful.

  10. Not only have they lost what snellville mentioned, but the person that was supposed to spell those guys in case of injury is Marrero, who is also injured. Marrero could probably start for a lot of teams, and is better than most team’s back-ups. The reason we have below replacement level back-ups is because our regular back-ups are injured too. If they had to, Marrero could bat lead-off and even with his .296 career OBP, he would be an improvement over Garcia. That would also get one of the scrub back-ups out of the lineup.

  11. I disagree that with Furcal and Marcus back, we would still not be a playoff team. With them back, we have our opening day lineup at hand. At the beginning of the season, we all agreed we could win with this lineup, and that was before we realized our bullpen wouldn’t be a trainwreck. Why does that rationale change when DeRosa and LaRoche are hitting crappy, but Giles and Estrada really step it up?

  12. Well, for one thing there’s still the problem of the starting pitching. Ortiz and Hampton are pitching well below last year. But even if they were at normal levels, I just don’t see a team going to the playoffs when you get an aggregate OBP of about .250 from two positions.

    As for Marrero, I still am puzzled as to why people expect good things of him. The assumption would be that he would be better when healthy than he was last year. Well, clearly he’s not healthy, and he was never that good to begin with. And if he is coming back as a backup outfielder (i.e. not to displace Eddie Perez), then it’s not like he’s going to be all that much better than the 660 OPS we’re getting from DeWayne Wise right now (vs. Marrero’s career 681), and at least Wise brings some defense to teh table.

    He’d be useful as our backup catcher, maybe. But a backup outfielder who hits like a backup catcher brings nothing to the team that we don’t already have.

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