Atlanta 7 Texas 2

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Rangers

Kelly Johnson finally broke out, and the Braves once again won the second game of a series. Johnson was 3-4 with a walk. He led off the game (Furcal finally sat down for Betemit) with a double, scoring on Julio’s single later in the inning. He then finally hit his first major league homer in the fifth inning, a three-run job that put the Braves up 4-2. He added an infield hit in the ninth.

Jorge Sosa gave up a two-run homer in the first but otherwise pitched well, allowing five hits in five innings but striking out seven and walking none. He needed 74 pitches; 53 were strikes. It’s certainly very promising. Bernero got slapped around in the sixth with two fly balls to the track, one of which Andruw made a good catch on, but then settled down in the seventh. Reitsma wasn’t sharp in pitching the last two innings, but then he hadn’t pitched in a week.

Julio DHed and hit third and was 3-4, including a two-run homer that followed Johnson’s blast. Andy Marte was 1-4 again and drove in Estrada with a single for the game’s last run. Andruw was hitless and his home run streak came to an end.

Hopefully now the Braves can win the third game of a series. Kyle Davies will face Chan Ho Park tomorrow night on SportsSouth.

51 thoughts on “Atlanta 7 Texas 2”

  1. These kids just need some time. I like most of ’em. This night’s lineup is kinda finally what I like. A good mix without Furcal in the lineup. I’d love to know what Schuerholz’s thoughts on Furcal are.

  2. We should get rid of Kelly Johnson. He’s only hitting .100! Any statistical analysis knows how bad that is.

  3. This may turn out to be the gutsy, crucial game that sets the tone for the rest of the season.And Kyle , Small Sample!*chuckle*

  4. Kelly Johnson got three hits, Furcal and Jordan sat AND Sosa didn’t walk anybody?! Damn, I hate Turner South. Well I guess I really just hate Comcast for not letting me have Turner South.

    At least Johnson finally came through whether I got to see it or not. Let’s hope it’s just the beginning. Since I can watch tomorrow night, I fully expect Furcal and Jordan to be back.

  5. I just returned from watching the game at the Ballpark. Sitting in the Centerfield bleachers both Johnson and Franco’s homers were things of beauty!!!!!!!! Sosa was much better than I expected (as a starter), especially after the first inning. And the bullpen held up (even if only just). So this was an excellent “Braves Fix” for a long time fan who was in a funk over the team’s recent play. I said this after the last second game victory, so maybe I ought to be quiet, but hopefully this is, as others have noted, a turning point to rattling off a great stretch!! And though he didn’t ask, I did take a couple of pictures of Andruw for Alex R.’s Andruw-temple!!!!!!! :)

  6. A good result tonight, but I still have some gripes: a) It seems clear that Betemit should be playing more. He is looking much more comfortable both at the plate and in the field than in the past. It seems like Bobby still doesn’t really trust him. When he does play, Bobby insists on putting him far down in the order. This just doesn’t make sense to me. b) In the first inning, why have Giles bunting after Johnson’s lead off double? It doesn’t make any sense to play for one run that early in that park against that line up in a game where your shaky pen is probably going to have throw at least 3 or 4 innings.

  7. I was also at the game in the upper deck and was thriled with the outcome. Johnson & Franco’s homers were things of beauty. One question though for those who saw the game… did Andruw look a little slow on Teixiera’s double in the 8th to anyone else? I thought for sure he was going to get to that ball. Maybe he just took a bad line or maybe I don’t watch enough games live to know what’s a playable ball for him or not?

    Also, Marte & Marcus both made a few nice plays in the field.

  8. Kirk,Sometimes that is why you do something, because it doesn’t make any sense to your opponent.

  9. Good for Kelly Johnson. It’s good to see some return on Bobby’s huge trust investment. Although smacking around what’s left of Pedro Astacio doesn’t really mean much to me.

    Sosa was brilliant, but then again we all knew he would be given the chance. Hopefully Bobby’s on board now.

  10. great game fella’s.

    Kelly Johnson will be fine.

    Mac, do you think Eddie perez will be back?

  11. Man Sosa looked good. Most of his problems in the first stemmed from him being too good if possible against the leadoff hitter (Dave Dellucci) – striking him out on some live pitches with great movement. After that he seemed a bit cocky, just hucking things into the strikezone for a hit, and then a smash homerun by Texiera – Incidentally, to all the huge LaRoche fans here, Texiera is what a prime first baseman looks like. Man, that guy is scary.

    The big story though, was how Sosa settled down after that. Not to gush, but he showed stuff to please both the scouting types and the statheads. Statheads looking at the boxscore will see 7 strikeouts in 5 innings, and no walks. Scouting types will remember the weird zingy way his pitches moved between his hand and the catcher, like there was a little rocket on the back of them.

    I know, just one start, but wouldn’t it be great to have a new young gun on the team?

  12. What on earth got into Sosa? 7Ks and 0BBs against a good hitting team in a hitters park? Wow! I hope it’s not a fluke. He looked quite good after the first inning.

  13. I told yall Kelly Johnson was for real…..OK, maybe I haven’t, this is my first post, plus its just one game. Anyway, I’ve been reading the blog all your comments for a while and really enjoy them. Hopefully, I can find time to start posting more often.

  14. David,
    Yes, Andruw did look like he was going to get to that double but he pulled up. I think he heard Ryan’s footsteps and decided that with a five run lead it was not worth a huge collison. But that’s just an impression from the bleachers.

  15. Nick Green this year:
    .284 .378 .399 .777
    Not bad.
    But Pete Orr:
    .286 .324 .414 .739
    Nick has done his stuff in 50 games and 148 at bats. He is playing well. But IF Sosa can pitch this good consistently……..

    I sure hope that last nights lineup is an indicator that Bobby is willing to let KJ and Betemit play themselves out of the starting lineup. Jordan and Furcal sure have. I may scream at the TV full ‘angry daddy voice’ as my kids call it if I see Jordan and Furcal out there.

  16. Take a lot of deep breaths today, Johnny. They’ll probably be back tonight. With Chan Ho “slump buster” Park on the mound tonight, Cox probably won’t be able to help himself. Not only that, but like I said before, I’ll be able to watch. And, well, I’m just not that lucky.

  17. I think Eddie will be back this season. McCann needs to play almost everyday still and Perez is a great back-up.

  18. What I don’t understand is why Betemit and Langerhans (but especially Betemit) hit so low in the order? WHY?!
    Also, not to bring any Johnson or Julio fans (of which I am one) down, but it was Pedro Astacio out there yesterday. I mean, that’s not too far above AAA pitching right now.
    And you just know Bobby can’t (or won’t) bench Furcal two days in a row (unless he’s hurt or Bobby can say he’s hurt). Still, we can all hope.

  19. I got to watch the game, since Austin is considered a Rangers market for Fox Sports. Sosa pitched very well, except for one mistake – the changeup he hung to Tex was right in the heart of the plate coming in about 83 mph (it went out much faster and landed in the upper deck porch). After that, his changes were placed moving down or away, much better location. He mixed his pitches well (looks like a slider or splitter occasionally), hit 95 with the 4-seam regularly, and worked pretty efficiently. He made Dellucci look pretty foolish (not that this is very hard). If they can get him stretched out a bit, I think he’d be a good starter for the 4th or 5th spot until Thomson & Hampton get back.

    And yes, Andruw pulled up on that ball late in the game that went for a double. I thought for sure he was catching it, he had a bead on it and I immediately asked him after the play why he didn’t. :) Langerhans was closing as well, but AJ had room. After the play, he was looking at Ryan and talking, so I think they were yet again not communicating well during the play. The Ranger announcers said the same thing. Reitsma was able to pitch out of it though, so no damage was done.

    Marte’s chop single over 3rd was nice to get him an RBI, and by the way, the Ranger announcers were calling him MAR-tay. And yes, KJ had a great game, a triple short of the cycle with a walk as well. Hopefully this means he’s figured things out.

    And I have no idea why Giles bunted in the first, and why Langerhans showed bunt twice late in the game. This is AL ball, Bobby, slug until the game’s over.

    LaRoche got jobbed on a line drive to right, looked to be over GMJ’s head for an RBI double, but he got back and got up to snag it, and then caught Julio heading back to first with a powerful throw. Other than that swing, LaRoche looked pretty lost, a bunch of really bad-looking swings at balls breaking down in the dirt inside. He needs to adjust to those soon.

  20. creynolds, so you are a TBS hostage too. Ok, I’ll have to have a cold one to chill out before the game. And my wife will be ready with a gag so that my kids don’t learn any new vocabulary words because GOD forbid that Bobby put his best lineup out there. I mean ole BJ is going to get it going one of these days………in the men’s church softball league but still……

  21. we most definitely have to get rid of furcal. i am one that has jumped on the furcal hating bandwagon late, but betemit has shown he is the man for the job. i think we might wait until we can get rid of furcal and laroche in a package deal. that means waiting on the return of a healthy chipper. i don’t see us making any kind of offensive moves if we can’t get chipper healthy, but maybe a move for a reliever. kind of a reverse way of thinking.

  22. I don’t know about MVP for Sosa, but he pitched a great game last night. Sosa could be very important until Hampton returns. I think Davies is here until Thomson’s back and then we have an absolute log-jam in the rotation. Who’ll stay?!?!

  23. Sorry to post again, but Mac you did it again. You clever war-liberal you. I love the hidden message in the Braves Journal site header. Indeed, if Betemit continues his hitting and either Chipper or Marte can be reliable down the stretch, then yes we will have to help ourselves come deadline time.

  24. I imagine that Sosa will go back to the bullpen. I think it’s great that he had a great start. And I hope it’s a sign that he’s figured out his control issues. But even if he really has… actually, especially if he really has… he can be a real help out there. I’d personally prefer to see something done with Haracio, although I don’t know what. I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe in him. But at the same time, I don’t think it would hurt Davies one bit to spend the rest of the year in the minors.

    This would be a nice problem to have. But who really knows what’s going on with Hampton? I haven’t heard a peep since the report of this trip to Birmingham. This organization is usually pretty open about injuries. Maybe I’ve just missed some more recent bulletin though.

  25. I guess I did miss a report, although not a particularly comforting one. Found this on a yahoo fantasy update:

    Jun 9 The forearm tightness that has landed Hampton on the disabled list for a second time this season will keep the Atlanta lefthander on the shelf for at least two more weeks. After an examination on Wednesday by Dr. James Andrews, the surgeon prescribed two weeks of rest for Hampton’s forearm discomfort. It’s unlikely Hampton will pitch in a game before the All-Star break.

    I’m sure most everybody knew this, but I figured I’s paste it anyway since I am in full work avoidance mode at the moment.

  26. Sosa has been one of the best players on the team all season. He has been great out of the pen, probably the most consistant of any of the guys. None of the regualrs have been as good as Sosa has been this season. As for the starters, Hampton and Thompson are hurt. Smoltz’s record is not impressive (Kolb’s fault) Davies hasn’t pitched enough and HR is a long ball machine. Sosa has been the most reliable Brave this season and could very well be the MVP of the team to this point.

  27. hmm..sounds earily like what happened with Horacio last year.. I do not like this a bit.

    Truthfully though, Thompson is the one I want back.I could live with Davies as the 4th starter.

  28. i don’t know what would be more disastrous, an all righty starting pitching staff, or 4 righties with horacio as our lone lefty. truth is we got to get hampton back.

  29. “not to bring any Johnson or Julio fans (of which I am one) down, but it was Pedro Astacio out there yesterday. I mean, that’s not too far above AAA pitching right now.”

    That’s ok, we’ve got AAA hitting, so all’s fair!

  30. I’d keep Davies up, Richmond’s a nightmare with all the moves and uncertainty. I think Sosa will move back to relief as well, he’s been great there and we need him as possibly the setup man. I would also make Horacio a spot starter and long reliever like LA’s Wilson Alvarez. Ramirez could possibly solve the long relief problem, which is really bad, while also not getting exposed as a starter. I think Ramirez is still weak from surgery, his pitches just don’t move. I’d at least try him as a spot/long reliever to see if we can tighten up his performance a little and help the bullpen at the same time.

  31. Man, he sucks. Unless Leo thinks he already sees a mechanical problem he can fix? At least he’s coming cheap.

  32. another interesting line is that his era is almost 2 runs less on the road, and that includes games at colorado and arizona, which are major hitters parks.

  33. Oh, now I get it. It’s another excuse to play Furcal. “Well, we’ve got a lot of ground ball pitchers, so we need his defense out there.”

    Slightly related question: Anybody know how many double plays have actually been made behind “ground ball” Gryboski this year? Just curious. I have a feeling the answer will make me laugh. And if you do know, please tell me where you found the info. Teach me to fish, as it were :)

  34. Oops. I just didn’t look far enough down the ESPN stat page. And, yep, it made me laugh alright.

    zip, zilch, zally, nada

    0

  35. Looks like his G/F ratio is the worst it has ever been as well (but still small sample size).

  36. Nothing beats allowing 10 (out of 19) inhereted runners to score in 12 innings.

  37. Yeah, that’s pretty lousy. Too bad he’s out of options, he looks like a good candidate to go down and get it back together.

    He’s pretty good in MVP 2005 though. :)

  38. Hudson and Hampton are ground ball pitchers and are in the top 10 in the league. Tha Braves have played great D all year, so I see why we want ground ball pitchers.

  39. Having Marte at third makes me a little more sanguine about putting Betemit at SS. Chipper, while he doesn’t make many errors, is a statue — I honestly can’t remember him making a single play two steps to his left all season. Furcal has saved him time and time again. We can now sacrifice some range at SS, I think, in order to get Betemit’s superior bat into the lineup. I know, sample size, but nothing in the available evidence leads me to believe that Furcal will outhit Betemit from here on out, especially with the shoulder injury.

  40. Would anyone claim Gryboski if he was sent down? And if they did, why should we care? Anyway, he’s got a bum shoulder and has for years so they can disable him at any point.

  41. He and Bobby could have a very satisfying man-love affair while he’s at Richmond. They could even connect a phone between the Atlanta and Richmond dugouts so Bobby could call Pat Kelly and have him get Gryboski up anytime someone gets to first in the 7th or 8th inning. And they could see each other over the all-star break. It would be find. Amy Grant was right: Love Will Find a Way.

    Seriously, I hope that the corresponding transaction here is to DL Gryboski. I have no illusions about the possibility of a DFA, though.

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