Atlanta 4 Houston 1

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Astros at Braves

A couple of guys who had been stuggling came up big tonight. Horacio Ramirez came into the game 1-2 with a 4.84 ERA and having failed to get even six innings in three of his four starts. He went seven, struck out two, allowed three hits, three walks, and no runs, lowering his ERA to 3.68.

And Julio Franco went 3-4 with a homer and scored two runs. I was really questioning Bobby keeping Julio in the cleanup spot against lefties. He was down to .225 on the season and was yet to homer. His homer made him the second-oldest player, and oldest position player, to homer in a major league game.

Chipper went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. Andruw was also 2-4 with two doubles, scoring one and driving in one. The Andruwometer reads .267.

Reitsma gave up a run in the eighth. He might have gotten out unscathed, but Julio couldn’t make the play on a tough hop. And Dan Kolbb put in another appearance, walking two and loading the bases on a flare but getting out of it with a strikeout. Worst Save Ever.

The Astros really are bad on defense; they were charged with but one error but made a couple of egregious misplays including one on a popup that scored a run. Willie Taveras, in particular, is a disappointment, conjuring up images of such fast nonfielders as Vince Coleman and Luis Polonia; he’s one fall away from Lonnie Smith. At least Mike Lamb has the excuse that he’s not really an outfielder, but then again neither is Taveras.

Day game on TBS tomorrow, as per usual. And the Marlins won again. Due to a losing streak by the Cards, the Braves have the best record in the NL, and the Marlins are second.

14 thoughts on “Atlanta 4 Houston 1”

  1. Damnit KolBB. Spot on Mac, worst save ever. KolBB turns a calm, slow pitcher’s night into another intense ninth inning struggle. This guy is still our worst middle reliever; he has to pitch better if he’s going to save.

  2. I even forgot to mention his wild pitch. Honestly, nobody pitches like that unless there’s something wrong. A lot of his pitches, not just the WP, weren’t even close.

  3. These relief pitching woes prompted me to start keeping up with the bullpen’s performance in “Win Probability Added.” I’m not sure if anyone’s familiar with this stat, but it basically tracks how much a reliever’s appearance helps the team improve its statistical chances of winning.

    WPA is based on historical probabilities for winning given specific game situations, so it keeps track of the situation in which the reliever enters the game and exits the game to see if the reliever added win probability for his team. It’s really an interesting way to look at relief pitching.

    By this method, Reitsma has clearly been the team’s top reliever this year (average WPA of .109 or 10.9%), while Kolb is not surprisingly bringing up the rear (avg. of .006). You can find all the stats I’ve compiled here (http://www.jfwiii.net), just by clicking the “Pitching” tab. This just seemed like a relevant place to post this, given the way tonight’s game ended. I hope someone else finds this interesting.

  4. Best Record in the NL on May 7. Last year they were in the midst of getting beat up by San Diego, Colorado, Houston and St. Louis. I know Houston is atrocious right now, but Florida gets to play Colorado so it evens out.

    Mac, any thoughts on why the pitching in the majors seems more dominating this year? I have seen more 110+ pitch counts than I can remember, especially this early in the season. The Marlins have 6 complete games so far this year and only had 7 the entire season.

  5. speaking of fielding, how about, conversely, the braves’ infield: really shutting up the know-it-alls at baseball prospectus, i’d say.

  6. Sweet site jfw!!!!

    A WPP worse than Tom Martin. That’s hard to do. And it’s hard to believe that the coaching staff can stick by him much longer. Something is terribly wrong with this guy.

  7. Thanks, JC. I’m an avid Sabernomics reader, and I appreciate all the work you’ve put into that site.

    It’s clear that something’s wrong with Kolb, and if my research is valid, we’d better hope Reitsma gets a look. Then again, the Braves don’t really use their “closer” in optimal relief situations, so I’m not sure how much it would matter in the long run if Reistma actually did overtake Kolb.

  8. Surely Bobby is kept awake at night with images of KolBB pithching in October: bottom of the 9th of game seven; the season on the line, the hopes and dreams of all the fans and players in the badly shaking, clammy hands of our trusted (c)loser.
    Surely he’s sweating, I know I am.

  9. In fairness to Kolb, he DID get seriously squeezed early in the inning, throwing some pitches right down the pipe to the leadoff hitter that were called balls.

  10. All I remember is, as Mac pointed out, an inning of horrible command problems. I watched the ESPN broadcast against Florida earlier this week to see what they were saying about Atlanta, and I think Steve Phillips was spot on with respect to KolBB. Last year, apparently, he experienced better success pitching in the low 90s. It seemed to solve his command issues. He’s throttling the velocity back up to the mid-90s and now the command problems are back. It seems unthinkable with Mazzone, who coaches pitchers to hold back a little for the benefit of command. Last night’s ninth inning was nothing but KolBB having command problems because he was using to much gas on his pitches. Did anyone else hear that he’s only gotten out the first batter in 4 of his 14 appearances?

  11. Cox is not sweating about October for the simple reason that it is MAY! Sure, if Kolb keeps up without improving he will probably be replaced, but aren’t you jumping the gun a bit? Some of you guys are a bit too reactionary here.

  12. Oh, it says it in the game story: “Jack Quinn, a pitcher, was 46 years, 357 days when he hit one for the Athletics on June 27, 1930.”

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