San Diego 8, Atlanta 4

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Padres

What a depressing series. First up, Horacio Ramirez is never allowed to pitch to Khalil Greene ever ever again. Greene hit two three-run homers off of Horacio to account for most of the Padres’ runs. Sometimes a player just has you, and Greene apparently has the Braves’ number. Horacio was pulled after just four. Matt Childers pitched two innings in which he allowed one run on three hits. Roman Colon pitched a pair of perfect innings with two strikeouts. One of them is probably headed to Richmond within the next few days to make room for Kyle Davies.

The Braves had ten hits, three by Wilson Betemit, including a pair of doubles. You have to hope that Chipper will be back for the Boston series, but it’s hard to see how his loss cost the Braves this series. Betemit’s season line now stands .323/.447/.581. How about we try him in an outfield corner?

Andruw homered, walked, and scored twice. Langerhans started in right, hit third, and went 0-4 with three strikeouts, while Mondesi had a pinch-hit RBI single. The merry-go-round continues.

Trevor Hoffman did, indeed, show Kolb what a closer looks like, coming on with two on and one out in the ninth and needing four pitches to get Furcal and Giles to end the game.

The Marlins thrashed the Dodgers and are back to a half-game out. The Mets also won and 1 1/2 out and the Natspos play tonight… And after getting swept, the Braves get to play the World Champions in Boston. Hampton is listed as the starter on Friday but I expect Hudson will actually go against Wade Miller. Saturday is anyone’s guess if Hampton can’t go, except that if Bernero is now the closer-in-chief it won’t be him. At any event a callup will be made by Sunday. I say try Kolb, he couldn’t be any worse as a starter.

34 thoughts on “San Diego 8, Atlanta 4”

  1. Horacio’s Damian Moss impersonation is going quite well, down to the implosion. Can we trade him now?

  2. I think it would make much more sense to put Betemit in the outfield. Word is he’ll never cut it at short. Besides, I have no idea who would bat leadoff (not that it’s that big a deal, but no one on the roster but Orr fits the leadoff persona).

  3. Sample size. Let’s remember this is the same guy that went from being the next A-Rod to barely making the Braves’ weak bench.

  4. Oh, he not this good. But he can hit; I didn’t have much doubt about that coming in after what he did last year in AAA. He’s done most of his damage against lefties, but then I think most of his starts have been against them.

  5. You said – I have no idea who would bat leadoff.

    I don’t know who’s batting leadoff now. Furcal’s line is .228/.277/.327!

    That’s like starting every game with .772 outs.

    Still, Furcal’s career line is .280/.344/.399. Not amazing true, but certainly nothing to write home about.

    Furcal can drive you crazy until you realize that there aren’t that many attractive shortstop replacements out there. Even this year’s dismal performance puts him only slightly below average among NL shortstop.

    Still, the question is what’s happened to him? He’s been a much better player than this in the past. Is he already in the decline stage or is Mondesi dragging him to whorehouses every night?

  6. I agree with Mac, Betemit is nice piece to add, and would certainly be an improvement in the outfield over Mondesi.

    Rob is also right that its a small sample size, but what that suggests is that his power numbers will decline. The guy is decent at getting on base. He has a 1 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio which indicates he has a good eye, not something easy to teach. As long as he keeps his eye, and doesn’t go chasing pitches when pitchers start adjusting to him, he should continue to be a good productive piece to pop into the lineup at third or the outfield.

  7. Here are a couple of comments about Kolb by teammates.
    “I totally understand [the Kolb move],” third baseman Chipper Jones said. “The time has come to make changes. We should have a bigger lead than we do.”
    “It’s been a rough road trip,” said center fielder Andruw Jones, who’s done his part with six home runs. “The starting pitchers are pitching great. Even the bullpen, they manage to keep us in the game. It’s just the last three outs we’ve not been getting the job done.”
    “It’s very important for the team,” Chipper Jones said. “Things aren’t working, so he’s going to change it up a little bit. We got some questions down [in the bullpen], no doubt. When you have a lead in the eighth and ninth inning, you have to close the door.”

    It’s rare when you hear these type of comments about a teammate. Imagine what is being said in the clubhouse. I imagine Kolb has probably been threatened a couple of times by the Jones Boys. He’s definitely a gonner. You don’t make statements about someone you are going to keep. They weren’t even this brutal about Martin. There are NO encouraging words anywhere to be found.

    I have to say that the Braves, like the Marlins, ran into an extremely good Padre team. They have won 16 of their last 19, and are playing very good baseball at home. Even Klesko has as many HR so far this year as all last year. It’s impresive to say the least.

  8. And I thought last night sucked to be there. At least it was a pleasure to watch Smoltz do his thing. Before the game there was a guy in a Braves jersey and hat waiting for the gates to open that looked like the spitting image of Kolb. I walked up to him and told him when I saw him I was hoping he really was Kolb and the Braves had kicked him to the curb. One thing to note in that third inning is both Giles and LaRoche lost routine popups in the sun. Both balls landed 3-4 feet away so they weren’t even close. Then on the way home I heard Mike Lowell broke his nose in LA on a pop up he lost in the sun this afternoon. Guess those could have ended up worse. Those easy outs would have gotten them out of the inning before Green’s second blast (the first HR was impressive, up into the upper deck of the Western Metal Supply building – only one other person has done that in Petco so far – incredibly that was the second time for Green) and we would have still had a game. Before the game we were along the third base line and Foster walked past. I yelled at him and asked when they are making him the closer. He just looked back smiled, then looked back again and was laughing. He probably knew by then it was over for Kolb (which I didn’t until on the way home). Have to hand it to the Pads though, they are on fire and the lineup has it going.

  9. Trade Horacio Ramirez?!?! What a joke. Trading young left handers with a good track record is about the dumbest thing you could do as a general manager.

  10. Trading pitcher’s who are not frontline starters and who’s percieved value is twice as high as they are good is a tremendous idea.

    Is Davies coming up to start or mop up?

  11. I don’t know what GM in the majors thinks Ramirez is much better than we as Braves fans know him to be. I’d like evidence of that claim.
    I’m willing to give a guy more than a handful of starts after shoulder surgery, especially when they’re in their twenties. And left-handed.

    Also, consider pitcher durability and depth. Although Thomson and Hampton have pitched well, both have had injury problems since the stretch run of last year. We also don’t have a spot starter, unless Davies shows us something.

    I was a bit heavy-handed in my response and I apologize. Trading Ramirez is too risky for my taste.

    I think Davies will start. That’s where we’re short and that’s what he does.

  12. The DIPS gods are going to get you if you give them enough time. I see a Damian Moss career path for Horacio. He’s already given up 7 homers this year? At least Travis Smith had a good K/BB ratio. I will give Horacio credit for keeping his walks down this year. But, the problem is that his stuff, when it’s in the strike-zone, isn’t good enough to be there.

    Marcus Giles is actually turning into the perfect leadoff hitter, which is a bad development. His isolated power is down to .130, but his OBP is still .340. So, to make lemons from lemonade, I think it’s time to put Giles in the leadoff spot until Furcal gets his act together.

  13. the good sign about betemit: patience. seven walks versus 32 all of last year. if he’s hitting switch and killing lefties I’d make him hit from only that side of the plate. if his patience spike is for real, that would be a great sign. yeah yeah sample size.

  14. It won’t happen, of course, but Haracio is the perfect sell high candidate. When anybody is referred to as a “Tom Glavine type” pitcher, it’s not a good sign to me. Glavine is (was?) a great pitcher, but his “type” ain’t so hot. What usually separates the type from the real thing is the pin-point control and incredible stubbornness that few guys have.

  15. People keep talking about getting a corner outfielder for Furcal. What corner outfielder? With the kind of improvement we need in that area, we can’t find a guy a team will be willing to give up. And I think trading Furcal would be a mistake, as I’ve said before. It’s too early to throw in the towel. He’s given us 4 pretty good seasons no matter how you look at it and he can make a play as well as anyone. I don’t know what’s happening to him so far, maybe that jail stint did something to him (it would screw me up pretty good), but I don’t know who else should lead off. Marcus is probably not the answer. He strikes out too much and he doesn’t walk very often. Plus, he doesn’t like it. I don’t know what’s wrong with him this year, either. He really hasn’t been the same since that collision last year. It may be an injury that never really heals.
    I think we’re pushing the panic button too early. Okay, panic about the bullpen. I’ve been panicking since opening day. But the starters are fine. Everybody has days where they get torched, and Horacio just had one of them. And okay, panic about the outfield. Mondesi and Jordan are never going to improve. They’re over the hill and plummeting down the other side into a brick wall. But I really think Furcal needs more time.

  16. They aren’t going to trade Furcal–you aren’t going to get a decent corner outfielder for someone who is a free agent. Plus, do you really want Betemit at shortstop. At least Furcal has been playing well defensively.

    I keep saying, the Braves management is not going to panic the way people on this blog are–and even if they did, it’s not that easy to make trades, especially if you are unwilling to take on big salaries. And, forget Billy Wagner–the Phillies would never trade him to the Braves. Phillies and Mets fans hate the Braves the way we hate the Yankees–trading Wagner to the Braves would probably get Ed Wade fired immediately.

    At the very least, you have to wait until closer to the trading deadline to make any significant trades. But, based on the track record of the last few years (e.g., Tom Martin?), I think it’s highly unlikely that the Braves will do anything significant. This is the team they have and we have to live with it. That’s part of the problem with projecting the Braves to go far in the playoffs; most teams that do make some changes mid-season (ie, Red Sox 2004). The Braves can’t do that and it really hamstrings them.

    But, after all, they are in first place.

  17. This is why a bunch of us wanted to trade HoRam for Kearns during the offseason. Hell, I’d still do that trade despite Kearns’ horrible numbers this year; he has a better track record and he’s a hitter (and therefore less of an injury risk by definition).

    I don’t think Davies is ready yet, but I guess we might as well find out.

  18. If all we can get is a “decent” corner outfielder for Furcal, then that’s an improvement.

    Betemit can’t do much worse offensively than Furcal.

  19. We simply cannot trade Furcal. Move him down the order yes but not trade him. There is simply no alternative in the system to replace him. Giving Marcus more at bats as the leadoff hitter is a plausible idea. He has always had a better obp than Furcal. But Bobby won’t do that. Got to have that speed at the top of the order so that Furcal if he ever gets on can disrupt the pitcher by being a threat to steal and all of that traditional nonsense. We shouldn’t trade anyone for a corner outfielder either. Not when we have possible solutions in Richmond.

  20. I’d like to see Betemit get some starts at shortstop, but I have no faith in him at the position. At this point I’m more or less resigned to seeing Pete Orr there next season.

    There was a report during the offseason that the Braves could have gotten Kearns and Felipe Lopez for Furcal and a pitching prospect. Not that Kearns has been good, but he’s better than what we have out there now, and Lopez is hitting .289/.354/.533.

  21. Furcal’s a head case. If his stats aren’t up to snuff this year, he’s gone. He’s had some great years but he simply isn’t getting better and his off-the-field troubles only make things worse.

    Trade him. Someone will take a flyer on him. Who are the possible solutions in Richmond? K Johnson? We could get someone better by trading Furcal.

  22. I get the speed thing, but how long do you allow Furcal to flail away before you move him down in the order? Moving Andruw obviously worked for him. LaRoche is settling into a pretty nice grove in the clean-up spot. I just don’t understand why moving Furcal is such a taboo. If Chipper’s not back on Friday, why not have Betemit lead-off?

  23. Malone, I’m not sure what you mean by someone taking a “flyer” on Furcal. Kelly Johnson is a very good prospect. The way I see it, a team taking a flyer on a guy doesn’t yield a top prospect from their organization in return.

    Really, honestly, who could Furcal get us? I think it’s a moot point, but it could be an interesting discussion. It has to start with a team that thinks it can contend this year, and needs a short-stop. I said yesterday there was no such thing, but I guess that’s not entirely true…

    You could say that Chicago fits. So what would Chicago give for a Furcal that could possibly suit Atlanta’s needs? Uh… well… Jason Dubois? OK, maybe. Is he better than Kelly Johnson? I wouldn’t have anymore confidence in him than Johnson, although he certainly has good potential.

    Seattle? Like the Cubs, they may think they still have a shot at contending, and they certainly need a shortstop. I imagine they’d give up Randy Winn. Doesn’t strike me as much of a deal.

    Minnesota? Well, since they clearly aren’t interested in giving Bartlett a shot, maybe they think they could use a shortstop. So who do they give that Atlanta could use? I haven’t a clue. There was a time that they weren’t so high on Jacque Jones. But since Jacque is having a very good season, that’s a whole lot more than a flyer. This just seems incredibly unlikely. All things considered, I think I’d rather have Johnson in the OF anyway.

    So I can think of three teams that could logically have some potential interest. But I don’t like any of them, and they all seem highly unrealistic to me.

  24. Does anyone think getting Brian Giles might be a possibility? This idea may be crazy/stupid, but with all the need for a good corner OF we’ve been talking about and the fact that he and Marcus have been talking for years about wanting to play together, it just occurred to me. I don’t know if this is a good idea. It might not work this year, but Atlanta is included in his contract as an exception to the no-trade clause and he’s a free agent at the end of the season (so is Marcus, though, isn’t he, and it would be bad to see him pack off to San Diego). Just a thought.

    I don’t see Furcal as a head case, and I thought that was a little strong. He’s had some problems, but all of us do, and I think it’s just best to hope he’s getting help and is recovering. You want a head case, try Sidney Ponson. Arrested 3 times in 2 MONTHS? If the O’s can put up with all that crap, we should have a bit more patience. I’m still convinced he’ll get his stroke back, because something is way out of whack on that. It’s not that he can’t hit, he just isn’t.

    And addressing the speed problem in the leadoff spot, since when is Marcus slow? I got that opinion implied in some of the posts. I always laugh hysterically whenever I see him running because it’s such a weird gait, but the kid is pretty fast.

    Interesting comments in the AJC on the KolBB situation. IMHO, Chipper has a big mouth. He’s a great player, but I find some of his comments obnoxious. (i.e. “I don’t think our lineup can afford for me to be out of it right now. I’m swinging the bat well, getting on base a lot.”) It’s nice to know he has such a high opinion of himself and can be so honest about others, but sometimes he comes off wrong. Not that I disagree with him this time, and other people said the same thing, but just a pet peeve. Also interesting that the same article said KolBB was “popular in the clubhouse.” HOW?

  25. Giles would be a great candidate for a deadline deal if the Padres fell out of the race, didn’t think that they had a chance to resign him and Atlanta could handle the salary. I don’t know how likely any of those things are though. I would expect San Diego to hang in there, and I think he would have to ask for a trade. I at least assume that they are hoping to bring him back. He would be very expensive in terms of prospects. A lot of teams would be interested in a guy like him at the deadline. And considering what they gave up to get him, I’d think we’re talking Davies/Marte territory.

    I don’t know when Marcus becomes a free agent, but it isn’t this year. If Atlanta can somehow replace Furcal from within and put out five solid starters without spending too much money, I’d think that Giles is a potential FA signing. But even under those circumstances it might take a trade of Andruw… or a deal that’s backloaded until Andruw is off the books.

  26. From the series this week, it looks more likely that we’ll be trading TO San Diego at the deadline than vice/versa.

    In terms of Furcal, the biggest thing going for him is the lack of options to replace him.

    Think a corner outfield hole is hard to fill? Try a hole at shortstop.

    The best bet is to drop him in the lineup and give him more time to come around. Jenny was right, he can hit, he just isn’t right now.

    Even if he is in his “decline” stage, the Braves can get more for him if they give him a little time to partially rehabilitate his stats.

  27. The Braves would be nuts to trade anything for Brian Giles who has been a great player but is about to enter his decline phase.

    Mac, I’m betting that the reason that the Reds deal didn’t get done is that a corner outfielder is so much easier to obtain than a quality SS and there are no palatable alternatives in system now.

    I don’t advocate trading Furcal at all. He is a good player that has some wild streaks. He’ll get hot at some point this year. Dropping him in the order is the best idea except for the fact that our corner OFs are just terrible. You get what you pay for Mr. Schuerholz.

  28. If you visit the site, definitely check out the engineered pic of Dank Lob shaking hands with Kim Jong-il. If he sold his soul to the devil like Shoeless Joe, he got a raw deal.
    AOL/TimeWarner ownership has been a disaster for this team. I don’t like owners like George Steinbrenner, but if you want to be good, you do have to give a little! Of course, up here, we have the World’s Worst Sports Team Owner in Dan Snyder, so it could be worse.

  29. I know, let’s trade Ramirez for Victor Zambrano like the Mets did with young Scott Kazmir…

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