Furcal is killing us

ESPN.com: Atlanta Braves Team Batting

Here’s our leadoff hitter, already 0-2, who came into the game hitting .246/.300/.355. Now, it’s not like nobody else is sucking runs out of the offense, but a lineup with a black hole of outs hitting leadoff just isn’t going to score a lot of runs.

The Braves have just three players — Chipper, Marcus, and Andruw (whose fault it all is) — with OBPs over .350 in the everyday lineup. LaRoche (who indeed is out today) is at .330. The rest:

Estrada: .308
Jordan .306
Mondesi .243

Langerhans .277
Franco .306

Ugh.

UPDATE: And Furcal strikes out with the bases loaded! Is he drunk again?

19 thoughts on “Furcal is killing us”

  1. What’s up with Smoltz? He certainly has not been a dominant pitcher the last few starts. Is he hurt?

  2. Seems like Smoltz’s K totals haven’t been as high his last couple of games. Is this something we should worry about or just related to this back problem (which is also probably something we should worry about)?

  3. I wouldn’t be worried. (His radar gun readings are down too, apparently.) As Don pointed out in his last start, John’s not following through much at all, at least compared to his normal mechanics, because he can’t bend that far.

  4. The reason Smoltz moved to the Pen in the first place was because his body could not stand up to the wear of starting pitching.

    I think even if Smoltz didn’t have a reported sore back there would be a lot of reason to worry about his holding up as a starter through the entire season.

  5. but a lineup with a black hole of outs hitting leadoff just isn’t going to score a lot of runs.

    His lineup placement probably has a lot less impact than you think it does, Mac.

  6. I know, I know… But I have to believe that having a .300 OBP (lower now) in front of your two best hitters is going to cause trouble.

    John must be feeling better if he stayed in to hit after going five.

  7. It may not have an impact as far inasmuch as a leadoff batter theoretically only leads off once a game, but the fact remains that the leadoff batter will get the most at bats. You don’t want a black hole getting the most at bats.

  8. For all the low rate of K’s and the sore back, he seemed to have pitched fairly well today. Wouldn’t mind having one of those runs back though.

    And how about that Langerhans!! Bet he won’t play tomorrow.

  9. Mac, you had to know that he would come through with a clutch hit right after you said something bad about him. Now let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope KolBB does can get Smoltz the win.

  10. I suggest a new nickname for Kolb. Your suggestions were funny but too good-natured. I hate this man. His nickname (his printable one, anyway) should be “Heaping Pile of Suck”.

  11. I say we tell Kolb the plane for LA leaves at 7 when it really leaves at 6. Or tell him he has cancer so he quits baseball. There is no way he is the closer anymore!

    I hope Smoltz and Langerhans beat the sh*t out of Klober in the clubhouse. Maybe Smotlz could give him the number for that sports shrink he was seeing in 1991.

  12. It may not have an impact as far inasmuch as a leadoff batter theoretically only leads off once a game, but the fact remains that the leadoff batter will get the most at bats. You don’t want a black hole getting the most at bats.

    I’m taking this into account. It really doesn’t affect things all that much at all. I’m talking like 10 runs. It’s a win or two, mostly because our lineup is “near optimal,” but it’s not as large as some people would have you believe.

  13. It is clear that Bobby has little to no confidence in Kolb right now. He keeps going to him, but he often has someone warming up behind him. Hopefully it won’t be long before Reitsma replaces him in the closer role.

  14. Well, Kolb was throwing strikes today, that’s the only good I can see out of today’s performance, but he kept on throwing his fastballs and the hitters just adjusted to the speed. This is why Leo taught Kolb to throw a changeup. I wouldn’t be comfortable seeing Kolb closing games until I see Kolb has something more than his fastballs…
    I am not too worried about Smoltz. Both his velocity and his strikeout rates are down as a result of Smoltz trying to be more efficient. At the meantime, I wouldn’t mind Smoltz skipping a start to make sure he is healthy on a long run…

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