22 thoughts on “Astros 5 Braves 3

  1. C’mon. Do you really need someone to say we need to stop leaving runners on base, AJ needs to start hitting, and we need to score more runs for our starters?

  2. I post this question. If Andruw continues to produce lackluster results throughout the year, does anyone think Schuerholz will just dump him off to another team, pay for most of his salary, and get minor leaguers or avg. players in return? Just a thought.

  3. I’m probably alone in my patience here, but does anybody remember last year? Does anybody remember, what was it (I don’t remember) 10 games under 500? I’d like to see guys hitting as much as the next guy, but jeez, we’re one game out of first. Admittedly, we’re in last, but we’re one game out of first. Plus, I hear there’s a thing called summer coming up in which a lot of hitters do better… If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last fourteen years, it’s that Bobby doesn’t panic, and it probably means you shouldn’t either.

  4. It’s time to give up on Andruw. While he’s been one of the most consistent players in baseball over the past 7 years, clearly the 60 ABs he’s had this year prove he’s done.

    Obviously, I’m being sarcastic. Come on guys. It’s just a slump. When the year is over he’ll have had a good year. And if you need some encouragement, check out this link. http://actasports.com/sow.php?id=39

    I have more confidence that this year will be a break-out year for AJ than in any previous season.

  5. JC, I agree with you, but jeez he looked bad last night. His third at bat, he _knew_ he was going to see three breaking balls in a row, and yet he still swung through all of them; the final swing was absolutely pitiful. It’s gotta be tough to get ouf of a funk like that.

  6. JC,
    That was an interesting link. The statistical evidence is compelling and I hope that it is correct with all my heart. However my observation of Andruw’s play says that he’s Andruw. A very streaky player that slips into bad habits that cause long periods of ineffectiveness at the plate.

    What would you consider breakout for him? I hope that I’m wrong but in the end what we’ll have is what he’s done all his career.

  7. Yes, Andruw breaks my heart too. I’m just trying to be positive.

    I think Cox sending him down in the batting order was the wrong thing to do. He’s showing confidence the golden boy through his stink-fest, why not Andruw?

    When I was in 6th grade, I played trombone in the school “band.” I probably sucked overall, but relative to the trombone line I was the best. The friggin band teacher would berate me for small mistakes while she just let the other guys stink it up. Well, what do you think I did? I quit, despite the fact that I probably needed to corrected. If your going to call people out, you have to call everyone out. I expect Andruw will behave better than I did, but he’s got to be pissed. We all know what its like to be singled out. He started off the year with 6 walks, but hasn’t walked in a long time. So far, I give Bobby a D for his handling of the team so far.

  8. If I can play amateur psychologist for a moment…

    In the beginning of the season, Andruw hit some balls hard but got a little unlucky – slightly under a high fastball he could have hit out, e.g. Nevertheless, he was still patient, and was doing a very good job of laying off those sliders that kill him. Hence the walks and respectable BA, but lower SLG. Of late, he seems to be frustrated that what he was doing earlier wasn’t working, and is trying to swing his way out of the slump. Problem is, he won’t see any fastballs if he has that mindset.

    That could be all complete crap, but that’s what it seems like to me. I completely agree that dropping him in the order makes it seems like Cox has lost faith in him and if anything puts more pressure on him to break out of his slump.

    It’s also a shame that Jordan does the things that Andruw doesn’t do – he’s a better situational hitter and is more demonstrative in the clubhouse. Those things don’t add a lot to his value as a player, but they make him seem more valuable than he really is. I have no idea if this is true, but I would wager that high-K players are more prone to long 0-fer slumps than normal or low-K players, due to the fact that eventually they’ll get lucky on a BIP. Hence JD Drew, another high K player who also happens to walk a ton and crush the ball, and Andruw both have 0 for 20 streaks thus far this year. Maybe someone with more experience in retrosheet than me (i.e. some) can test this.

  9. On the bright side, Chipper is absolutely tearing it up right now. He leads the league in doubles, and is among the league leaders in many other categories.

    I guess we can also be glad we didn’t pick up JD Drew. I think he’s very impatient at the plate right now. Even though he’s batting a pitiful .159, his OBP is .321 due to 11 walks, and it’s higher than his slugging %. Pretty bizarre.

  10. I think Andruw is more comfortable lower in the order and it’s generally been where he is most effective. He doesn’t seem to be a middle of the order hitter. Unfortunately, they don’t have a real cleanup hitter. I’m sure he will end up with his usual stats. There’s no reason to panic, but I have wondered all along where the Braves were going to get runs and I have yet to find out. However, I do think Mondesi is going to contribute more than most expect in the end. But there aren’t enough bats there even with great pitching in a division where the Marlins could be a monster.

  11. “I’m probably alone in my patience here, but does anybody remember last year?”

    In our first 7 losses last year, we were out scored by 25 runs; in our first 7 this year, 26. But three of those were 1 run losses, and one 2 run loss. Last year, four out of seven were losses by 4 runs or more. So except for Smoltz’s O-day debacle, and Tom Martin’s melt down (9 runs and 7 runs respectively), we’re actually more competitive this year (by this absurdly small sample size). Did anybody see that Philly lost 16-4 last night. At least we’ve been spared that level of humiliation. Mondesi and Jordan seem to be moving slowly away from the “disaster” category, Cipper looks great, and we have to believe AJ will snap out of it. Patience is a virtue.

  12. bwarrend, You’ve hit the proverbial nail. Drew will at least walk. .321 is way better than AJ’s current .261 OBP. That is why a lot of folks last season were thinking that having Drew (the healthy guy) would be better than having Andruw.

    JC, I agree with your assesment on how Bobby has handled the lineup. I would have never had Andruw bat 4th to begin with. But he was fooled by that awesome spring against minor league pitchers. But with Chipper actively campaigning to bat 3rd who else do you put there?
    I feel for Andruw. Every year its the same refrain. When is he going to breakout, meet his limitless potential, become a the superstar we’ve been waiting on ad nauseum. In the end he is going to be a classic Bill James case study where everyone says that he never fulfilled his promise but the statistical evidence says that he was a hell of a player.

  13. THe worst thing that happened to Andrew was a few weeks ago when he hit that massive homer down the left field line. He is trying to pull the ball again instead of going the other way.

    His last at-bat he hit a shot that would have been a homer in Atlanta. He will go 2-3 tonight and we will lose 1-0. Jordan will hit into three double plays.

  14. I fail to see why people would be surprised at Andruw. He does this at some point _every_ year – has some sub-.200 slump where he swings and everyone in the ballpark knows a strikeout is coming.

    Andruw is a player who has never proveen he can consistently handle pressure situations. For his career he has an 855 OPS with bases empty, dropping to 808 with runners on, 799 with RISP, 724 with RISP and two out, and 703 with bases loaded. Excepting the last of these, these are not small samples. His career postseason line is 258/352/403 – frankly, better than I thought, but no power to speak of over 250 PA.

    So when it comes down to it, a slump is just another pressure situation. Andruw’s slumps do not pass quickly – every year he posts at least one month of mid-600 OPS performance. It’s just part of the package of a guy whose head is just sometimes not in the game.

  15. Andruw’s swing on strike three of his final strikeout against Backe would have made a pitcher blush. It looked almost like one you would take to distract the catcher with a runner stealing … only no one was going. Whatever the problem is, it’s clearly in his head.

  16. AJ snaps out tonight! 2 for 4 at least. he gets moved down in the lineup and it motivates him. his mind works in mysterious ways.

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