Oakland 6 Atlanta 4

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Athletics at Braves

I swear, I’m going to start throwing things. Spotted a 3-0 lead, Kyle Davies couldn’t hold it, giving up his first homer in his first really bad inning in the fourth. When Marcus put him back on top with a homer in the fifth, he gave up another run and got chased. And then Bobby, yet again, brought in Roman Colon, who couldn’t get me out, and Colon gave up a two-run homer to take the loss.

Davies still can’t work efficiently (even if he only walked two) and threw 111 pitches in 5 2/3. He really got rocked in the fourth but was unlucky in the sixth. Bernero and — I hope you’re sitting down for this — Kolb threw single innings of 1-2-3 relief after Colon choked.

Brian McCann got his first start, and singled in a run in his first AB. He singled leading off the ninth but wandered too far off first and was doubled off. Andruw was 2-3 with a HBP and a run scored but it’s all his fault anyway.

Tomorrow is a late afternoon Fox game, Smoltz versus Kirk Saarloos. There is absolutely no excuse for losing that matchup. Forget throwing things — lose it, and I’m probably going to take hostages. Their initials are RC and DK. There is a good chance that that game, and Sunday’s game, won’t be played because of bad weather. I don’t know if they’ll even bother to make them up.

20 thoughts on “Oakland 6 Atlanta 4”

  1. Tonight’s game was the first I’ve seen in about a week, and frankly, I don’t know what to make of it. First, the good things:

    -Loved the suicide squeeze!

    -Brian McCann looks very promising, at least at the plate. He hit the ball hard, and that DP at 1st base was an understandable rookie mistake. It happens. He shouldn’t lose too much sleep over it.

    -Andruw had his first multi-hit game since May 15 (that is pathetic) and is looking somewhat better at the plate. The HBPs are getting ridiculous, however.

    -Marcus also appears to be pulling out of his slump. That first hit should have been a double if he hadn’t slipped on second, and I’ve never seen anyone swing so fast on a pitch as he did on that HR.

    -Dank Lob had a 1-2-3 inning, his first since May 15 (also pathetic). What is going on with this guy? He’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!

    The bad things:

    -Davies was left in way too long. He had his first bad inning, which was going to happen sometime, got into trouble with a high pitch count later, and got hung out to dry (or get soaked, in this case). The lack of faith in the bullpen is affecting our starting pitching. I understand Bobby’s fears, but it has to be fixed immediately, because it’s dragging everything down.

    -Colonoscopy majorly sucked. No need to elaborate.

    -I wasn’t very happy with the usage of the bench. I felt like we wasted guys when we didn’t have to and didn’t switch when we needed to, like with BJ.

    -We lost. At least we fought. But we lost.

    Another note on the stale Erstad/Estrada thing: Johnny sounds pretty mad about it. His quotes are full of barely-veiled anger. I don’t know what this may mean, but maybe MLB needs to look at this again. Some rules should be changed.

  2. Unfortunately I think the braves offense will make Kirk Saarloos look like a cy young pitcher…

  3. I still won’t fault Erstad. But that’s only under the current rules. How many times do you see a guy knock the ball away from the catcher? Before you answer that, please think really hard and realize that most of those times it *appeared* to happen the catcher did not have control of the ball… meaning that he would not have been able to apply a tag on a decent slide. UNLESS the catcher was completely blocking the plate before he had the ball… which, if I’m not mistaken, is (you guessed it) against the rules. There needs to be a change, but the machoism that is afraid of baseball without any contact probably won’t let it happen. Even though baseball really isn’t a “contact” sport (which is guess is part of the reason they’re so macho about what little contact they can muster).

  4. I thought the offense was, overall, a lot better than it has been. If not for the excusable gaffes by Giles and McCann we might have had a better chance. Especially against a team that doesn’t hit for power like they did tonight.Why didn’t Andruw deke that double off the wall at least a little bit?Kolb apparently just needed to be possesed by Lemmy from Motorhead, or Al Habrosky (your choice) to get it together.Colon is TEH SUXXORS!!1!1111I absolutely do not advocate changing the rules because of what happened to Estrada. The only person he should be angry at is himself for letting himself get into that situation. Baseball doesn’t need a nanny. The game is fine just like it is (except for the DH and long pants).

  5. Colonoscopy. heh.

    See, I think they did right by leaving my namesake in for the 6th. He sailed through the fifth, easily his best inning. And but for a play that Marcus probably should have made, he gets out of the inning with no runs allowed. You can’t have your cake (say he was left in too long) and eat it too (bitch about the terrible bullpen).

    This was the kind of outing I’ve been expecting from Davies based on his recent minor league track record. His control was off all night; he kept leaving his fastball way up in the zone, making a homer like Crosby’s inevitable. Still, he almost got us 6 innings despite that. Pretty good job IMHO.

    McCann looked great; he blocked a few balls in the dirt, made a nice backhanded snag off a Colon slider, hung on to that tough foul tip for the strikeout, singled twice, and hit a laser to Swisher. I think a lot of people would have been doubled off based on how hard that ball was hit. 90% of the time it gets through the infield and he’s on his way to third if not scoring. At least Julio was there to cheer him up.

    Maybe there’s something about the #3 spot in the lineup; Betemit looked like the Betemit of last year, striking out badly twice. Furcal looked lost until his final plate appearance. Giles had three good at bats. Jordan again proved that he’s good for situational hitting and that’s about it.

  6. After reading “Moneyball” and finding out what a prick Billy Beane is, I really hate losing to the A’s.

  7. Colonoscopy…hmmm. How appropriate.

    No wonder I get the same feeling when Roman Colon steps to the mound as when I see magnesium citrate on the shelf at CVS.

  8. I have said it in other posts. Many times. Furcal’s numbers .223 avg./.277 obp/ .339 slug. If you look around the league no other teams employs a more inept leadoff man than the Braves. To start the game Raffy looked at three straight strikes. His second at bat a weak grounder for a double play which killed a great inning. I think he only swung the bat 3 times in all five of his at bats. Is the shoulder more of a problem than we think? Did his throws to first seem less rocket like than usual?

    Giles looked better. Only in the ninth did he rollover a pitch.

    Betemit had good at bats. I like him as a three spot hitter because he possesses all the tools. Good eye(this year), power, speed and a switch hitter. I would really like him in the two spot. Have Giles lead off. Estrada in the three.

    Laroche seems to get better each at bat. When he makes contact he is hitting the ball hard. The hit pattern is very balanced to all fields. This is a great sign.

    Andruw? Who knows from day to day. I hope he hits a hot streak soon. He can carry us if it happens.

    Langerhans. Did not have a great game but he deserves a spot. His bat has come alive lately and he has learned from Estrada that a bloop hit is as good as a line drive. His defense is impressive. Good arm, and he is in position to make plays.

    Jordan and K. Johnson need to have a straight platoon. Righty and lefty matchup. BJ did have a good at bat in the second and drove the ball through the right side. He can do that at will it seems.

    Brian McCann was impressive, most impressive. Power, contact and patient at bats. More suprising was the opposite field hit in the ninth. He meant to do it. I’ll forgive the base running. Marte hit a rocket double that happen to find Chavez.

    Kyle Davies gave us a chance. He had his first mediocre game. Get ready for your next start.

    Not a bad game overall. Colon for some reason gets called to pitch in tie games. And blows it every time. Bobby seems to be in a daze. Let Leo make the switches. Kolb? Was that you? I still have no hope for him. The A’s did him a favor by swinging the bat.

    I will feed by torture fetish again today. Fox 3:05 which means 3:30 start. I will be tuning in the radio at work. At least I don’t have to see.
    http://bravesdiatribe.blogspot.com/

  9. What ever happened to letting Jorge Sosa pitch? He’s been one of our best relievers?

  10. Sosa got roughed up last time out. He may have even given up a homerun, I’m not sure. (My powers of repression are becoming stronger as the season wears on. Believe me, C. Strickland, losing is no less painful without the visual.)

    Good to see you back, Raoul.

  11. So, bad outing for Sosa = get buried on the bench for weeks at a time (until there’s a 18-2 laugher or something).
    Bad outing for Colon = more chances in a tie game later on.
    Unfortunately, Reitsma has been the only reliever not to have had a rough outing lately, and we can’t use him all the time (remember, many think that overuse led to his late-season ineffectiveness last year).
    Been a while since we’ve seen you, Raoul. I wonder how heated things could get if you and Alex R got hot about opposite sides of a topic ;-)
    It just seems like every hunch Bobby plays lately turns to crap – you’d think some of them would work out better (just through sheer chance) than they have been.

  12. And, not to imply that I distrust all of our relievers equally. To me, in order of (perceived) reliability:
    Reitsma
    Foster
    Sosa
    Bernero
    Kolb
    Gryboski
    Colon
    I wouldn’t trust Kolb or Colon with anything less than a 6-run lead (seriously – remember the Washington game when we were up 3 and Kolb blew it). I’ve put Gryboski that low just because of the frustration I get when he gives up inherited runners – I know that a more rational perspective would put him between Bernero & Kolb.
    Just my 2 cents worth…

  13. Last post – I keep thinking of stuff to add after I hit post…
    I’d group them:
    Top – Reitsma
    Servicable – Foster, Sosa, Bernero
    Suckitude – Gryboski, Kolb, Colon

    And yes, Furcal is killing us at the top of the lineup. Can’t help but wonder if he’ll find his stroke at all this year. I thought he was supposed to ‘turn it on’ for a contract year (that was always one of the goofier ideas to me – that they ‘try harder’ or something when it’s their contract years to get a bigger contract – I know that a couple studies have been done, and some show some likelihood that there is a better performance in contract years, but I don’t totally buy it {I think there’s things the studies, at least the ones I’ve seen, didn’t take into account})

  14. You were too kind to Gryboski in your initial rankings. He’s lousy. All he does is give up inherited runners. He doesn’t get much chance to give up his own. He’s a lot like Ray King from a couple of years. He would come in give up other people’s runs and then get lifted before he could give up his own. He ended up looking decent in ERA, but really was not good, at least to my memory (which, as we all know, could be overly selective towards the bad outings).

    Gryboski’s value is a figment of Bobby’s imagination. I like your rankings in the second post much better that groups the lousy ones together.

    I still think Colon has some potential. If he could figure out a way to give up 2-3 MPH on his fastball in exchange for some movement… ANY movement… on the pitch, he could be good. But I’ve given up on his chances of getting that sorted out in the major leagues, at least not without killing us in the process.

  15. As far as I’m concerned, not one of our relievers is trustworthy. The rankings just indicate who’s better when they’re on their game, and every one of our relievers is inconsistent. KolBB was on his game last night, and to be fair to him, I thought the plate umpire was squeezing him. The first 2 pitches were strikes all night until he came in. D’you think his problems have gotten around to the umpires and they just assume he won’t throw strikes so they don’t call them? Our “good” pitchers (Reitsma, Sosa, Foster) need to have about 5 consecutive good outings before I start trusting them again. The bad ones? Hope somebody misjudges how good they are and gives us something better.

    Furcal…rrrggh! I switch b/w the O’s and the Braves games frequently, and when I do, I get to see the best leadoff hitter in the game, Brian Roberts, and then one of the worst, Furcal. OK, Roberts’ .444 OBP is ridiculous, but so is Furcal’s .277. Furcal’s OPS is .616. Roberts? 1.079. And when was the last time you saw Furcal work the count to 3-2 then foul off about 4 pitches then dump a single, which Roberts does almost twice a game? Never. Furcal should be dropped in the order, like maybe to 7th or 8th. Numbers aren’t everything, but in this case they should be. I maintain that Marcus is too impatient and strikes out too much to be in the 1-hole. How about experimenting with McCann in the leadoff spot? We haven’t seen much of him and it’s worth a try, I think. This may be a stupid idea, but what we’ve done so far hasn’t worked, either.

  16. Colon did majorly suck, but I think Chavez would have come through against anyone in that situation. I played against him in a CABA (Continental Amateur Baseball Association) tournament in Ohio when I was 14, and we all knew then he was going to be something special. A few of us got his autograph then for the hopes of him becoming a star one day. Sorry to ramble, but I think the way the Braves pitchers have been working power lefties this year (which is allowing them to crush almost everything), Chavez is going to have a monster series.

  17. My favorite thing about the whole game was McCann intentionally walked in his MLB debut.

    The Fox announcers just reminded me of that. I was cracking up. I know it was to get to the pitcher, but it’s still funny to be afraid enough of a guy to walk him in his first ever game.

  18. You just had to know Chavez was due given his struggles so far this year. He got player of the week last week (or the week before) in the AL, so he has been definitely showing signs of waking up. It’s just frustrating to see it against your guy. And I do agree with creynolds (Craig/Creg? or I’m thinking of someone else…) that Colon does at least have potential. But if he’s showing you that he is having big problems getting ML’ers out, let him work out his yips in the minors.
    And I’m glad to hear someone else to say that about Gryboski – I was afraid I was becoming irrational in my dislike of the guy. Truthfully, when it’s all said and done, he’s a serviceable enough reliever (over time & looking at the big picture & all that). Maybe he’s the Andruw of our bullpen…I need to mull that thought over and see if I can go anywhere with it ;-)

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