Atlanta 16, Houston 0

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Astros at Braves

That was one of the worst beatings in the history of Major League Baseball. Mike Hampton allowed just two hits and a walk, and thanks to double plays faced the minimum through the first 26 batters. (And I thought that the 27th was out.) He needed only 98 pitches, 63 of which were strikes, and struck out three. He also hit a homer.

He wasn’t alone. Ryan Langerhans, starting for Mondesi, hit two. Eddie Perez hit one. So did Andruw, but it came with the game 8-0 and therefore (under Andruwphobic theory) doesn’t count.

Eleven Braves played today, and all had at least one hit. Langerhans also had a double, winding up at 3-5 for the day with six RBI and raising his BA to .237. Will this finally wake up Bobby and the front office to getting Mondesi out of the lineup? Jordan had three hits, a walk, and three runs scored, Andruw had two hits and three RBI, LaRoche had two hits.

By the way, I hope the spectacle of Willy Taveras trying and failing to play centerfield in this series made everyone really appreciate Andruw. The Astros in general continued their terrible defensive play, especially in the third inning, when the Braves broke the game open. The Braves got five runs with two out, capped by Perez’s homer, but at least three times the Astros could have been out of the inning with a good play, and at least once with a routine one. The Astros were charged with one error today, as they were in each of the first three games of the series, but were far worse than that… The Astro starter Ezequiel Astacio actually reminds me of Jose Capellan a bit; he clearly has electric stuff and no breaking ball or changeup to speak of. He’d go from making a hitter look terrible to getting slammed. He actually struck out six without a walk, but the guys he didn’t strike out hit it hard.

The Marlins are losing 8-2 in the ninth, so the Braves should be up to a 1 1/2 game lead… The Braves play three in Colorado to start a two-week, twelve-game road trip. If they can’t hit in Colorado, then there’s definitely something weird going on. Hudson will face Jamey Wright in the opener on TBS tomorrow. Stupid trivia fact: Wright is tied with Tuesday’s Braves starter, John Thomson, for the eighth-most wins in Rockies history, with 27. Thomson is second on the franchise all-time ERA list at 5.01. Arena baseball, folks. Recaps may be delayed to the next morning due to the latish starts and the tendency of Coors Field games to last four hours.

15 thoughts on “Atlanta 16, Houston 0”

  1. What a pleasure that game was. I never thought I’d say this, but I now officially have faith in Hampton (he said, tempting the fates). Yeah, the Astros fielded a crappy lineup, but Hampton was dominant in that weird, non-dominant Hampton way of his.

    The Astros’ outfield, perhaps fresh from reading recent Braves Journal entries, refused to take sides in the Jordan/Langerhans debate, gifting each of them a double (though Jordan’s was a tougher play… Andruw would have made it).

    Langerhans certainly helped his cause today, didn’t he? Another point in his favor was the Mondesi pickoff last night. Cox will endure mediocre production as long as the team is winning, as we know. But, with the dugout screaming for Mondesi to “get back!”, getting picked off anyway might be the kind of thing that sticks in Cox’s craw. Much as I and others have criticized Jordan, at this point I’d rather see Langerhans replace Mondesi, if for no other reason than he can handle RF duties just fine.

  2. It looked like Langerhans was already getting worked into the lineup more in recent days, so “wakeup” calls are hardly needed. Bobby knows what he is doing. If it had been up to you guys it would have been Langerhans over Jordan, but now we know it’s Mondesi that should be giving way to him. There’s a reason Bobby is so successful, he knows more than armchair managers.

    The funny thing is I see Houston doing the exact kind of unconventional moves I’ve seen people suggest on here (not Mac, but readers). And look at the result. I remember someone suggesting Nick Green in the OF. Sounds awfully similar to Mike Lamb. Same thing with Marte etc.

  3. So let me get this straight — if I advocate playing, say, Langerhans, then a few weeks later it starts to happen and he begins to contribute, then I was wrong to advocate it? We shouldn’t debate these things? I should just sit here and shut up? I’m sorry, but how freaking fun is that? These types of debates are, to my mind, an inherent part of being a sports fan. It’s sports. Have fun.

  4. Arguments are a blast! They’re the soul of sports fandom. We’re free to be sometimes brilliant and often incredibly dopey. If you ain’t arguing; I’m not sure you’re paying attention!
    Long live the dreaded Killer Tomato Jerseys!

  5. It was a great weekend of baseball. The Braves cemented their rightful position in first place, and the Braves’ radio announcers made references to Wally Pipp after what hopefully was the coming out party by Langerhans.

    I totally agree with Mac. Although Andruw can be terribly frustrating offensively (after the 0 for slump, he’s 18 for his last 35), he’s never let them down in the field. Having Lamb out there reminded me of the Klesko years (it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure). I’ll take Andruw’s defense any day over his streaky hitting.

  6. Grst, you have an excellent point about Marte. (I believe Skip made a similar point during the game) Watching Lamb and co. was very sobering indeed.
    One should take half of Strangerhans production away today, because he was facing a pitcher that has even less time in the majors than he does; but he has still earned more ABs.
    As to being an “armchair manager”, I sort of thought that was a part of being a fan. Blind trust in
    Bobby and the front office doesn’t make for very stimulating discourse.

  7. Hi, can’t post right now, but I thought on this topic I’d send you over to No Pepper. Turns out Marte played first base today. His wrist is acting up, so that’s maybe all it is, but there’s a good chance he winds up there ala Pujols.

  8. Few if any of us have been advocating calling Andy Marte up tomorrow and starting him in LF. What I, at least, have been advocating is playing him in LF at Richmond, so we can find out whether a little practice would make him competent. It would be stupid to dump LaRoche for Marte if we could dump Mondesi for Marte instead. And, Mike Lamb’s lack of practice notwithstanding, catching flies is really not all that hard.

  9. My thinking is they want to save an outfield spot for Francoeur, but he’s probably 2-3 years away. I believe it would be a mistake to have him come into the majors in an unfamiliar position.

    Mike Lamb has played every position except SS and pitcher from the looks of it.

    Andy B, I respectfully disagree with you about catching fly balls. Chipper was on the local ATL sports talk the other day and he talked about how difficult it was playing the outfield vs. 3rd base (and he’s standing 90 feet from the batter there). He said he WOULD NOT move back to the outfield even if asked. He believes he earned the right to play 3rd. His numbers certainly show it. His defense has improved dramatically, so he making himself more cvaluable as a 3rd baseman. He also said he considers himself the offensive team leader (when he was asked) and accepts that role.

    Playing the outfield in professional baseball is more than just catching fly balls. I can do it in my softball league because the balls aren’t coming at me like they were shot out of a cannon. But when someone hits a screaming liner that is tailing off in the majors, that’s a whole other ballgame.

  10. Sorry about the double post. Computer hiccup. Have you seen Cabrerra’s BA in May? Before today’s game, he ahd raised his avg. 29 points, and he was hitting .352 before that. That’s obnoxious. I guess he needs to pick up the slack because Mike Lowell is hitting .200

  11. Re: Cabrera – that’s one of the curses of playing fantasy baseball. I have him on a fantasy team and find myself conflicted. I mean, in a perfect world he’d go 5 for 5 and the Marlins would still lose, but obviously the very fact of a player going 5 for 5 makes his team much more likely to win the game (and, obviously, the more 5 for 5 games he has, the more likely it is that they win the preponderance of those games…)
    Anyone else have this same crisis of morals/ethics?

  12. BTW – kidding about it really being ‘morals/ethics’ (in case anyone was wondering…)

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