Texas 7 Atlanta 3

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Rangers

Just when you thought we’d hit bottom, the bottom opens up and shows a whole new level. I may vomit. Tim Hudson simply stank, had no idea where the ball was going, allowing five runs on five hits (including two homers) and five walks in 2 2/3. It was absolutely atrocious pitching from the Book of Kolb. Jorge Vasquez may be the answer, but he sure didn’t look it tonight, allowing a Grybo (I’m thinking that I’m going to use that for “inherited run” from now on) on a wild pitch in the third and a two-run homer in the fourth. Boyer, Foster, and Gryboski managed scoreless innings, all allowing one hit apiece. Boyer did have a couple of strikeouts and looked decent, but that may just have been by comparison.

The Braves were absolutely shut down by Chris Young, getting only two hits and a walk in seven innings. They got one run on a Betemit double in the eighth (maybe this will get Betemit back in the lineup for Furcal tomorrow) and two runs on a too-late homer by Andruw in the ninth. I don’t even have the heart to blame him anymore.

Good news… Well, Marte had another hit and has a three-game streak going. Kelly Johnson DHed and had his second hit. He’s all the way up to .059! Nobody died. That’s about it for the good news.

The hope for tomorrow is that Jorge Sosa, a man with a history of terrible starting pitching (as in 9-22 with a 5.14 ERA) can come through, or that the Braves can at least hit the ghost of Pedro Astacio. I am not optimistic. Trade Furcal.

58 thoughts on “Texas 7 Atlanta 3”

  1. I hope Betemit gets the start tomorrow. If Furcal injured his shoulder it would be a blessing.
    The D-Rays designated Alex Sanchez. He might come cheap and he can lead off.
    Let’s move Giles to the 7 spot. We have to try something different at the top.

  2. Johnson absolutely hammered a pitch during his second at-bat, missed a homer by a few feet foul. He looks like he’s swinging well. It’ll come together soon.

  3. The reasons for Sanchez’s demotion are the exact reasons the Braves wouldn’t want him. He wants to play CF, he is terrible in the OF and refused to DH, and he is a “bad influence” in the clubhouse. We don’t really collect players with those caveats.

  4. I am just reaching at straws JP. Check out this snippet from rotoworld.com:
    Even with the DH available, Wilson Betemit was out of the lineup for a third straight game tonight. He did double in the Braves’ first run of the game in the eighth inning.
    We usually know better than to go to war with Bobby Cox, but how can Betemit and his 971 OPS be held out of three straight games? It’s not like he’s one of a myriad of quality options. Kelly Johnson started at DH tonight and singled to raise his average to .059
    http://rotoworld.com/content/playernews.asp?sport=MLB

  5. Clearly, the steroids aren’t helping Furcal anymore, so why would you want Alex Sanchez when they have NEVER helped him? Oh wait, I forgot, he’s a LATIN player so he didn’t understand he wasn’t supposed to stick needles in his arms! Right David Ortiz? ha!

  6. Looking at the positive side, glad we have all the prospects at Atlanta to keep them away from all those minor league fights!!! Wait, we should call up Francouer, James and Lerew as well!!!

  7. ESPN played footage of a heated bench clearing fight that started when Essix Snead charged the Sky Chiefs pitcher, Adrian Burnside. ESPN implied that Essix took offence to Burnside throwing inside. It all looked very unprofessional from the clips. But then again, video editing is a very powerful tool.

  8. Nothing too crazy, mind you. Snead pulled a punk move and went up the line a little bit until the pitcher turned his back and then he charged. Again, not very professional.

  9. Sanchez currently has a line of:.349avg/.373obp/.466slg/.839ops.I don’t know how his salary shakes out AND I know he *so* wants to play CF but I’d bet he would play right for the Braves. Langer and Jordan in left. I’d take it. From what I remember hearing his “steroid issue” was the result of buying something over the counter in his home country that had a banned substance in it. He might be an angry man at the moment, but wouldn’t you be, playing for Tampa Bay? If he is cheap, not a bad pickup.

  10. Believe me, we don’t want Alex Sanchez. We might as well just stick a sign in right field: “Attention all baserunners — Please advance two bases” Sure, he’s hitting .340 — good thing, because he HAS to hit .340 to be any good at all. Last year he hit .322, but because he never walks and has zero power his OPS was over 50 points lower than Langerhans’ this year, just as a point of reference.

  11. I want to see Betemit get a chance at the everyday SS job. He’s got to be thinking ‘what the hell does a guy have to do to get playing time’. Johnson works the count and looks for a pitch to drive. I STILL think that if he gets steady work he’ll be at least league average which is a damn site better than Jordan will ever be. (Shoot, I’m getting my vocabulary from Alex R.)
    God, if Huddy is in a funk then we are truly screwed. The heat thing that the ESPN guys talked incessantly about last night has to be a load of crap. I mean Hudson was in the freaking American League and pitched at Texas during his career. He didn’t look like he had any control what so ever last night. It was like looking at a right handed Horacio.
    I missed us scoring 3 runs. I got so disgusted that I went to bed. Maybe TBS is doing me a favor by forgetting that they telecast Braves games.
    What the hell is wrong with Giles? He looks like he is swinging at everything up around his neck. Where is the patience?

  12. We have got to stop refering to last and past years when looking at this team and it’s receord at this point. Those teams did not have 9 or 10 rookies on the 25-man roster. This team was 23-14 at one time, since then they have gone 9-17. It’s a different year folks.

  13. You may/ vomit? I spent the night with my face on the cold porcelain bowl. That was disgusting.

    What does Furcal have to do to get benched? He’s slowly sliding towards Jordan territory. Betemit has to be in the lineup everyday now. I don’t care if they bump him or Marte into left, but a lineup with Jordan and Furcal is not acceptable. I would not be surprised if Jordan is released soon.

  14. Oops. I screwed up my html tag.

    The post should read :

    You may vomit? I spent the night with my face on the cold porcelain bowl. That was disgusting.

  15. Gah. Just because Alex Sanchez has hit .340 so far does not mean he will continue to do so. It’s true that he will always have a high BA on BIP because of his speed and propensity to bunt for base hits. However, his high BABIP comes at the expense of power and walks, plus he is a bad defensive outfielder despite his speed. Everyone here will be moaning and groaning about awful Alex Sanchez in a few months if we waste prospects on him.

    Oftentimes I’ve noticed a penchant here for favoring the unknown player over the known Raul Mondesi. It makes sense, in a way, but can lead to shortsighted thinking – ditching Lango two months ago, ditching Kelly Johnson now, etc. Indiscriminately bringing in new faces in search of the magic guy is not a healthy method of roster-building. At some point, we’ve gotta dance with the girl we brung (to use vernacular) and hold our breath, wishing for the best.

  16. It was nice to see Bobby sticking KJ in at DH last night. And it was great to see him turn on that pitch and crush it, even though it was foul. And his hit was solid. Man, he looks *just* like Larry standing in there, doesn’t he? Anyway, I’m still optimistic. It’s frustrating to see Cox stick with the older guys who are stinking it up, but I do like that he’s sticking with Johnson (gotta take the good with the bad, I spose).

    I don’t get the Frucal or Jordan things anymore. I was willing to stick with Furcal for a long time there, but Betemit looks too good at the plate to ignore. My only hope is that they’re seriously trying to get someone to take him and his salary. No, he wouldn’t return any real talent, but maybe someone would take the money so JS can make another deal. The problem is that I think the only contender that could really use him is Minnesota, and I don’t know that they’d shell out that cash for him. He’s better than the guys they’re playing in the middle infield (considering that they aren’t willing to give Barfield a real shot yet), but they’re tight with the money. The Cubs love Neifi and, oddly enough, I can’t blame them right now. I don’t know who else needs a shortstop.

  17. Put in Betemit in a platoon with Furcal until the end of the season. Negotiate with furcal and then when he goes to another team, get draft picks in return.

  18. The problem with that is that Furcal’s having such a down year makes it possible that he would accept arbitration. I suspect that some club would be willing to give him a good, long-term deal, but also that there probably won’t be enough serious competition for him that anyone Rush’s to sign him before the arbitration deadline. I was a proponent of keeping him (as Malone may well remember) precisely for that reason, but the more I think about it the more I think it is a risk that the club may not want to take… and certainly can’t afford to be wrong about.

  19. What if Johnny Estrada does not call a good game? I know we are so quick to place blame on the pitchers but What if Johnny just does not call the right pitches or location.

    I think the Braves have to pitch smarter. You always hear the stories about Schilling studying every batter in the lineup prior to each outing. Does Horacio, Johnny or AceTim do this? I doubt it.

    At some point, you have to say mechanics can only take you so far. You need to understand every hitters weakness and exploit him.

    Anybody have any comments or insight on the way Estrada calls a game?

  20. Bobby’s legendary patience with his veterans has to run out soon. Doesn’t it? Its this very patience that endears him to his players and makes them call him the best manager in baseball. Jordan is getting a lot of playing time. But so did Mondesi just before they released him. The fact that he pulled Furcal and inserted Betemit in the middle of the game might be an indicator that past contribution or not its time. Betemit shouldn’t have to platoon. He has earned the fulltime job.
    I have to believe that the Braves aren’t looking to deal now simply because there is noone out there that can help. JS doesn’t always deal from a position of strength but now the Braves needs are so great that he has to avoid going for the quick fix at the expense of our prospect base.
    I hate to sound like Bill Ballew or Shanks here but despite statistical evidence to the contrary the kids ‘look’ good. If Bobby shows the same patience with Johnson, Langerhans, Marte and Betemit that he has thus shown Furcal, Jordan and even Mondesi they might surprise and hold us together long enough for Chipper to come back. At least he is playing Langerhans as a regular now. He is an excellent defender and he is going good this month with the bat.

  21. I seem to remember compliments from the starters last year. Johnny has also stepped up his field leadership. How many bunt attempts have resulted in double plays? More than average. All because Johnny has been aggressive in throwing(or having the pitcher) throw to second.
    The game last night would have been all Hudson’s fault. He has the experience against Texas.
    Another thought on Hudson. Do you think he will be better against the NL East teams when he seems them for a second time?

  22. Rip – I don’t know much about what goes on between catchers and pitchers, but I tend to think catchers get too much credit and too much blame for the way pitchers work. At least as far as veteran pitchers go. I believe that a catcher can help certain guys along, especially younger ones. But any pitcher ultimately needs to know what he wants to throw, and he’s got the final call. If there are issues with preparation and pitch selection, I think it’s unfair to put that on the catcher. If you had a young staff and a veteran behind the plate, that may be a different story. But if Smoltz, Hudson and Horacio (although maybe to a lesser extent) aren’t throwing what they should when they should then that’s their fault.

  23. I have also found myself questioning Estrada’s game calling abilities… Is he doing his homework?

    Langerhans should be an everyday player. He has hit better every month and is around .350 this month. He also has hit well over .300 against lefties in his limited AB’s against them. I see no reason for a platoon. He hits as good as JOrdan in all circumstances with more power, plays a better outfield, and has as good as an arm. I love Jordan, but his days are done.

    I like the way K. Johnson works the count, but he gives up the inside fastball strike every at bat and then watches the inside breaking ball every time. He finally turned on one last night but was a little out in front. Give him a little more time then call up Francouer. Drop him down in the order until then. We can’t have a number 3 hitter that is hitting below .100.

    Don’t get too down on this team yet. If we can just play .500 ball for a couple of more weeks we will be looking good once Hampton and Thompson get back.

    Whatever happened to Orr?

    Let Mccann catch!

    Looking for this year’s Chuckie Thomas!!!

  24. To have given Brian Pordan 189 at-bats in 63 games (3 per game), prorating out to 486 at-bats for the year, with a .565 OPs, is simply ridiculous. Neither his slugging nor his on-base percentage is .300, and he occupies a hitters spot (corner outfield). That OPS is way below replacement level, and is the equivalent of giving away about 12 games over the course of a regular season. Think about that-take kolb’s problems; Chipper’s injury and the rest-if we had replacement level players as corner outfielders, we would be in first.

  25. D. Stanford. Francoeurs not ready:
    .267 .307 .463 at Mississippi.

    The Braves are hoping both Johnson and Langerhans will be this year’s Charles Thomas. I think that if given the chance they’ll be better.

    I never blame the catcher for a poorly pitched game. The last guy holding the ball before it goes to the plate is the pitcher. He has to execute.

  26. Watching Hudson pitch last night, he just didn’t have it. It wasn’t Estrada calling a bad game, it was Hudson consistently missing his spots low or away. Made me wonder if he was either hurting or has some mechanical flaw.

    It was nice to see Marte’s defense in the game, and KJ’s long foul was exciting for a few seconds (although followed by weak liner to 2nd). I don’t have a good idea how good an OF he is, but I was sort of expecting to see him in LF & Langerhans in RF, instead of BJ getting some at-bats. Guess I’m surprised to see a lack of comment here on his misplay for a triple. Langerhans had a good game in LF.

    It certainly does make you wonder about Cox’s thinking when you see his lineups.

    Supposedly Furcal was taken out of the game because he took two hard bad-hop shots, at least, that’s what the ESPN guys said. Not sure how much I believe that, but then, I missed the plays flipping back and forth between the UT-Old Miss super-regional.

  27. Any truth to the huff rumors? I mean, it has to be somewhat legit for espn to be reporting on it, right?

  28. I agree francouer is not ready, and he had better learn to take a few more pitches, or he may never be; at the next level, no one is going to throw him a strike as long as he is willing to swing at balls.

    Yes, add Jordan’s only average defense, highlated by his misplay into a triple last night, to the list of attributes that he possesses. I remember when he was in his prime, and the baseball number’s gurus speculated whether his time as a DB in football, crashing into people (I remember him as a fabulous hitter, as in smashing into receivers) would some some life out of his later baseball career. Brian jordan is an old 38 year old, and trotting him out there is just plain silly. Think about it: we chose to use as our DH last night (by playing Jordan in RF, instead of Johnson in LF and lager in RF) a guy who after nearly 200 at-bats has a .565 OPS. That isn’t trusting your veterans, Bobby-that is stupid. We are putting a pitcher into the line-up as our RF, and expecting to score runs. is ther anyone surprised that we don’t score runs?

  29. No, it doesn’t. Someone speculates, then someone else hears said specualtion, then it’s officially a “rumor”. You see this sort of thing all the time… the Foxsports web site is the worst. They’ll headline with something like “the Braves may be interested in Preston Wilson”, then you open the actual newspaper article and it’s just some blowhard suggesting out of nowhere that maybe the Braves would trade Giles for Wilson and Miles. The ESPN rumor is based on something very similar: The Braves have apparently been looking for an outfielder, Jayson Stark said that Huff would “make sense” for the Braves, some unnamed team official suggests that Atlanta would have the upper hand in a deal due to the relationship with LaMar. And it ends with a bang: Tampa Bay would probably want Marte, and the Braves almost certainly wouldn’t do that.

  30. I’m not saying it isn’t true. I’m just saying that there doesn’t have to be anything to it just because ESPN is saying it.

    In fairness to Jayson Stark, however, I did look back at his article and he at least says that he has heard rumors that Huff is of interest. That’s not a lot, but I guess it is more than just saying he would “make sense” as I previously suggested.

  31. It has now gotten to the point where K. Johnson hits a hard foul ball and we get excited. I don’t know who is more pathetic–Johnson and his .059 batting average (well earned, not bad luck at all) or Braves fans for deluding ourselves into beleiving that he will “come around.”

  32. If forced to choose, I would guess believing that he will come around. It’s only based on foolish things like minor league statistics (we all should know those are totally meaningless) and a willingness to not get too worked up about a rookie’s performance in a couple of weeks (we all should know that good players never go through hard times over the course of 34 at-bats and that every out is earned). I agree, it’s pathetic.

  33. Johnny, perhaps you are right. But could he have hit .060 in 34 at bats if pitchers were throwing anywhere near the plate? Probably. Granted, I hadn’t seen his batting average in a couple of weeks. It has tailed off some but he still has a bunch of runs batted in…

    One thing I do like about Johnson is that he has only K’d three times in 34 at bats. But I think he is being way too passive at the plate, especially for someone who is batting in the three hole. He takes a ton of first pitch strikes that he is going to have to start driving somewhere. He starts every at bat in a 0-1 or 1-2 whole that he defensively turns into a chopper to second… If he comes out swinging, his strikeouts might go up but we will see more production.

    About the Estrada deal- I didn’t think his catching performance hurt us during Timmy’s start (that was on him), but I have seen a few cases lately where there could have been problems. Let’s see who catches Smoltz next game.

  34. I guess this what it has come to. I’m hoping againts hope that a 23 year old rookie hitting .060 is going to turn it around. It is pathetic. But, as I have stated before at least KJ has an upside. BJ has proven that he can’t play anymore… period. Shoot if not KJ then why not Pete Orr in LF and Langerhans in RF?
    Creynolds is right speculation by a reporter takes on a life of its own and then becomes the hot rumor. I agree Fox Sports and their dumbass reporter Ken I’m never right about anything Rosenthal are the worst. Last night Gammons, playing John Schuerholz, said that if the Braves were smart they’d get Huff and just for good measure pick up Kielty too. Yeah right Peter what ever.
    Huff :.254 .329 .366 .695 $4,916,667
    He is hitting in June but at those prices I just don’t think so.
    Keilty:.282 .393 .394 .787 $875,000
    The guy has all of 10 count em 10 extra base hits in 142 at bats
    Langerhans has 14 in just 117 ABs
    I just don’t see where this helps us at all.

    Keilty:

  35. There’s so much variation in batting average that it’s hard to make any determinations on a player based on the numbers from 34 ABs.

    Walk rate is a little more stable, and he’s aces in that category. He has, what, like 6 walks in 40 PAs? That’s really good.

    Would anyone else here trade Furcal for Ryan Freel heads up? I like Freel’s energy; he’d be like another Pete Orr, only with more skills. He gets on base a lot, like .410 or something retarded this year, and he’s one of the fastest guys around. He steals 3rd regularly. I’d do that deal in a heartbeat.

  36. Too bad John Jaha isn’t still around or we could somehow figure a 4-way deal involving him and Sidney Ponson.

    OK, sorry, I’m a little loopy this afternoon.

  37. Bobby Cox is senile (or getting there)… Comments? (I know, I know, who am I to malign Bobby after 13 straight division titles?)

  38. Man, Esix Snead charged the mound harder than anyone I’ve ever seen. He jumped at the pitcher and missed. Awesome. I saw Brayan Pena pushing bodies around to stop it, that’s how I knew he was sent down.

    Alex, shut up about Furcal, Andruw, and Latinos. You’re really annoying.

  39. Alex is annoying, I think he’s fun. But that doesn’t matter. That wasn’t a slap at Latinos, I don’t think. It has been suggested in more than one outlet that the reason that latinos have been disproportionately caught in drug testing is that they either don’t understand the rules or don’t know what they’re putting into their bodies. Several prominent Latin players have said that is ridiculous, including David Ortiz. No doubt it isn’t easy to for a lot of guys to be thrust into this environment like they are. But I have to wonder if terms like “androstenetrione”, to pick one out of the air, is any easier to understand for someone who speaks English.

  40. House sitting for a friend with Cable for the next 3 weeks, get to turn off the XM and watch some TBS, hopefully we start playing better. I would hate to break his TV…

    …are there even any rumors out there in regards to the braves being sellers instead of buyers.

    Reminds me of an old math problem if train from Washington going north at 100 mph passes a train heading south through Atlanta at 75 mph how soon before the Braves start trading arbitration eligible talent for next year’s pitching staff?

  41. Yeah, Snead was pretty wound up, not to mention the fact that he waited until the pitcher turned away and he got a few steps away from the catcher before he charged. Wonder what the history there is, the ESPN guys said there had been a couple of close pitches in the at-bat.

    First time I ever saw a player charge the mound after a walk. Seen them charge from first or the basepaths after getting hit, but never after a walk.

  42. According to Rotoworld (which said it was David Bush pitching), there was some unspecified “bad blood” from Sunday’s game. Gabe Gross was apparently plunked earlier in last night’s game, and then Bush threw a pitch between Snead’s legs earlier in the AB before ultimately walking him. They also quoted Bush as saying that Snead came to the mound with helmet in hand and hit Bush in the head with it, requiring stitches. If that’s true, then somebody needs to be released. Not only can you not put up with crap like that, but I would sleep better if the guy weren’t even in the organization anymore pretending to be a ML option.

  43. I didn’t say it was a slap or a racial slur, or anything. His steriod references are just absurd and annoying.

  44. Why Is Jordan in the Majors?

    Cliches, please-hustler; clubhouse leader; clutch player; gamer.

    Not mentioned-terrible hitter; less pop in bat than AA shortstop.

    Bobby and JS loved the SI hype in pre-season on how the Braves can revive veterans on the downside of their careers. It featured Mondesi and Jordan. Letting Jordan go now would be an admission from JS that the article and concept was, essentially, a load of baloney.

  45. Oh, and he looks good in a uniform. It’s hard for me to confirm this without then needing to go beat someone up to prove my manhood (someone very small, of course), but it is what one of my wife’s friends tells me.

  46. I honestly agree with you; he looks like a baseball player should look (except when at bat, I suppose), and it fits the “image” thing the Braves cultivate.

  47. Bfan I think that as soon as
    a. The Braves pull off a stupid desperation trade for an outfield bat.
    b. Bobby realizes that Kelly Johnson needs some steady at bats and won’t hurt the team any more than Jordan has.
    c. Chipper comes back and they realize that Adam LaRoche or Andy Marte won’t hurt them too much in the OF.
    Jordan is gone or relegated to 4th OF. Schuerholz knows that sometimes you don’t catch ‘lightining in a bottle’ like they did last year with Thomas, Marrero, Wright and to some extent Drew. I guess that he figured that our deep farm system would cushion any failure by his veteran gambles. Lets hope that he is right.

  48. I don’t think Jordan has too much longer on the Braves. Remember, neither JS nor Cox make snap decisions. This is usually good, and a key reason the Braves keep winning. But it’s becoming obvious that Brian definitely can’t really play anymore.

    I suspect that if there hadn’t been so many injuries in the past few weeks that something might have already happened. But with so many other rookies being forced into the lineup, they probably wanted to wait before calling McCarthy up.

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