Cincinnati 11, Atlanta 8

ESPN.com – MLB – Box Score – Braves at Reds

So, did you take the over? The Braves gave up seventeen hits today, including three homers. Three times the offense rallied to tie the game only to see themselves fall behind again.

Davies allowed nine of the hits in 4 1/3, and five runs. Two of those were Grybos, scoring when Foster allowed a mammoth homer to Adam Dunn in relief. Foster allowed another homer, which at the time put the Braves down 7-2.

Then they rallied, getting four in the sixth and one in the seventh. And then things got Kolbous, as he allowed a couple of hits, the second one a double, to put them behind again. And then after they tied it up, Bernero put the icing on the cake with another three-run homer. This bullpen is horrific, and most of them shouldn’t be in the major leagues. I have no confidence left in anyone but Reitsma and Boyer. Neither of them pitched today. The only reliever to get out unscathed was Gryboski, who gave up a triple (Andruw misplayed the ball) but got out of it when he caught a screamer to end the inning.

The offense continued to click, all the starting position players getting a hit. Betemit had a homer and a triple, and still hits eighth for some reason, and that’s only when he gets to play. Andruw was 2-2 with three walks, a double, a run scored, and an RBI. Estrada finally made up for leaving all those runners on base with the RBI single to tie it in the eighth. Johnson tied it in the seventh with a single and had two walks. The Braves even went 1-1 with a walk pinch-hitting, the hit by Jordan and the walk by Marte.

Back home for a week, beginning Tuesday with three against the Marlins. Smoltz against Burnett on Turner South to kick things off.

48 thoughts on “Cincinnati 11, Atlanta 8”

  1. What do you think it would take to get Weathers? My guess is not much. A marginal pitching prospect? We got plenty of those.

  2. Like I said yesterday, I assume that the Braves have already talked to the Reds about Mercker, and probably Weathers’ name came up too.

  3. I was pretty busy hating Ray King then, but I don’t remember Cox using Merker very much last time he was in Atlanta. I don’t remember him being bad, but, like I said, I was very busy hating Ray King at the time. David Weathers is a sloth, but I spose he can pitch ok.

  4. I guess that’s not all that low (or that high really). I think it’s all the memories of screaming “you have another left-hander out there, Bobby!”. I skimmed the game log, and it looked like he was used in a fair amount of close games then too.

    I hope if they’re talking to the Reds that Aaron Harang’s name has come up as well. Not that we don’t need to do something about Gryboskolbernero, but I still worry a lot about that starting pitching.

  5. Hey, as long as we are raiding the Reds roster, pick up Wily Mo Pena. Today was the first time I’ve seen him play….he just looks like a power hitting first baseman type….anyone else agree? or am I just Eric Gregging nuts?

  6. You’re not ERIC GREGGing crazy. It’s just that he’s such a hacker that you have to worry if he can keep it up. Jim Bowden would probably trade half his roster for him if he ever were available anyway.

  7. Bernero’s got to be tired. This is more than he’s thrown in one season in six years. In a better bullpen situation, he’d be effective, but he’s leaving the ball up every time he’s gotten into the game the last month.

  8. I doubt that the Reds would trade Harang. Not that they’ve got many untouchable players, but the cost would be high for a guy who’s cheap and three years from free agency.

  9. You’re probably right. Although the Braves could help them with some decent position prospects (they seem to need a 3B pretty bad, and Timmons could be good). And, of course, Chuck James is a pretty big chip. I hear his name come up in rumors a lot (Dodgers, in particular), but you never know where those come from. It does seem like a dumb move on their part. Well, come to think of it, I’m not sure what to make of the whole logic part of the equation.

  10. How do they need a 3B? They’ve got Randa, Freel can play 3B and Edwin Encarnacion is waiting in the wings in AAA…

    The Bravos need to fix the bullpen, fast…the “Leo can work magic on anyone” thing is being tested too much this season.

  11. I seem to remember Mercker being a left-handed Gryboski the last time he was here — he gave up as many runs as the next guy (unfortunately, in 2003 the next guys were Roberto Hernandez and Trey Hodges), but they were mostly inherited, so he kept his own ERA all nice and shiny.

  12. I am one who has become ultimately frustrated with Andruw because I never see his defensive stat line in Yahoo.com. SO today’s 3 walks has be the high point of his imitation of Bonds OBP. Has Andruw EVER walked 3 times in a game????

  13. I don’t think Randa is going to be around next year. I assume they’d deal him now if they could. Why wouldn’t Freel play second if he’s capapble? Maybe they have a good 2B prospect. but Luis Lopez certainly isn’t anything to get excited about. I’d totally forgotten about Encarnacion though. They shouldn’t have much future need for a 3B.

    No doubt the Braves need some bullpen help. I just don’t feel so hot about that starting pitching either.

  14. Does anyone have timetables for the returns of Hudson, Hampton, Thomson, and Chipper? I wish real life was like MVP Baseball where you can count down the days til they return, and when they come back, they’re as good as they were.

    I think we all just need to look at ourselves in the mirror and say “When in Rome…” (sorry, Anchorman reference. A little ham and eggs comin’ at ya…). But in all seriousness, I can’t wait to see how we play when we get those four guys back. But what happens when Chipper comes back? Who goes to the bench? Is it Betemit and his 1.048 OPS or Furcal and his… arm?

  15. On Jordan – – I just looked.

    He’s officially the 5th worst player in term of VORP (Value over replacement player) in all of the major leagues.

    Of the four players below him, only Christian Guzman (the worst player in baseball) has a comparable number of plate appearances. In other words, Jordan is probably the second worst player with any player time.

    Incidentally, the Braves best hitter (who’s name is not Larry and doesn’t suffer from a string of nagging and debilitating injuries that is) Andruw Jones is only ranked 49th in the Major Leagues. Last year’s best hitter, JD Drew, was 10th best in the majors last year. Its hard to get over when you lose that much production (Drew is only 29th best this year BTW).

  16. Has Andruw EVER walked 3 times in a game????

    today marked the tenth time Andruw has drawn three walks in a game; last time was 7/6/03.

    I love retrosheet.

    Colin

  17. Does anyone else think that perhaps Davies is tipping his pitches. You don’t just mow through the league like he did with great stuff then start getting shelled. Some scout has seen something in the tapes of those first few starts that is giving hitters something to key on. Unfortunately I haven’t seen a game of his this year so I got no ideas…

  18. Rob – I don’t know of any real good answers on any of those guys. Larry was supposed to wear that boot for something like 4 weeks before they even looked at it again. And the last I read about Hampton was that his forearm was still “tight”, whatever that means. I guess they’re hoping that a little rest will help Hudson muscle strain, but I don’t think I’ve heard any ETR for him either. Let’s just hope they’re all back soon.

  19. I don’t know whether Davies is tipping his pitches, but I’m fairly sure he was tired and facing a good lineup in a hitter’s park. His previous three starts were 119 pitches, 112 pitches, then he got shelled, and today he was going on three days rest. Not a prescription for success, and I worry about our over-reliance on him.

  20. This bullpen is killing me. The bats are alive finally and we blow one to a bad team. Reitsma,Sosa ,Boyer and Brower are untouchable but everywhere else needs an upgrade.Why settle for Mercker (a rent a player) who lives in Dublin,Ohio and will probably return as close to there as he can next season.See if you can get Mike Gonzalez from Pittsburgh. It will probably cost a higher quality prospect but he’ll be around longer than Mercker.If we can’t get Gonzalez see about Grabow.Rumor has it we’re talking to the Dodgers.I hope for Duaner Sanchez, who the Dodgers offered to Philly for Polanco before the Urbina trade. On Friday’s Fsn Ohio Broadcast,the Reds announcers said that Bobby Cox told them ,”Changes are coming.” Let’s fix the bullpen.

    Congrats to KJ on a great Cincy series, Betemit is continuing to perform whenever he gets a chance
    and Langer makes a great defensive play it seems every game. Things are starting to look up.

  21. One of the Careys said today that they can’t say anything about Chipper’s ETA yet. I think they also said that Hampton has been told to completely rest his arm. Obviously he isn’t going to come back until after he gets clearance to throw again. Thomson just started throwing a couple days ago.

  22. I’m not absolutely convinced that this bullpen is so bad now that Colon is out. Boyer is definitely a huge improvement and Vasquez has shown signs that he could be very good. I think Gryboski is serviceable as long as he doesn’t come in with the bases loaded – he’ll be sure to let the 3 inherited runners score and then will get out of the inning so his ERA doesn’t take a huge hit. Foster has lost his steam lately, but hopefully he can get back a little bit of his former luster.

    I know many may disagree, but Bernero is the one I would send down (or get rid of) when/if Hampton or Hudson get off the DL. I know some think his early success was a result of Mazzone’s magic, but I don’t see it that way. I think he’s getting worse as the season goes along and will probably finish the season with a 5+ ERA (just like he’s done practically everywhere he’s been). I think Boyer, Vasquez, or James could do at least as well.

    Bottom line is that if we get rid of Bernero, get Sosa back in the bullpen, finally give up on the Kolb debaucle, and get one more decent arm, I think our bullpen will at least be better than it has been. If our starting pitching gets healthy and the bats stay hot, we’ve at least got a chance w/o making a major trade and mortgaging the future. I just don’t see too many relief pitchers that I’m dying for the Braves to get out there – especially ones that would be worth the price. If given a choice for a major trade to fill a void, I still think I would go for an outfielder.

  23. I have been absent all day, but a few comments.

    First, the bullpen. I kept losing my BREATH. Changes should have already come in droves, but they have been doing them in stanges. I am not sure at this point how they can justify keeping Kolbb-Suckowski-Bernero on the roster. I used to defend Adam and he maybe tired but he’s completely ineffective.

    Also, I think the Braves (i.e. Cox’s) insistence on just going with 4 starters is killing us and tiring all of us out. Kyle Davies is clearly a 21 year old who must be feel like he’s pitching for Tommy Lasorda–he’s exhausted.

    I think it’s imperative (even with the days off) to get Chuck James up & have a consistent 5 man rotation going–less pressure Davies, the pen and everyone pitches less.

    As for the offense, this is why I think the Braves are due for a big 2nd half. Once some of these pitchers get healthy and you HAVE to assume some of these awful relievers (Kolbb, Bernero, & Suckowski) FINALLY go away, then this team’s really in business. The bullpen, not other teams, is now the single biggest enemy of the Braves–which means right now, John Schuerholz is the single biggest enemy of this team if he won’t get rid of the big BAD 3.

  24. I don’t know if anyone has any interest in this, but I did it anyway. This is the Win Expectancy table for today’s game along with the chart of the performances of everyone that played. For an explanation on everything you are seeing, check out baseballgraphs.com

    Here is the link:

  25. The Braves have real problems. They are finding that there farm system isn’t stocked like they need it to be. Blaine Boyer was rushed up and he isn’t close to being ready. Betemit their top prospect for years so far is not the stud they predicted. The closer situation is so bad that they are talking about possibly bringing up 2005 first round draft pick Devine later this season. Wow! We need our guys to get healthy.

  26. Oh Wise Brave…

    Betemit IS hitting like a stud and he hasn’t been a top prospect in over 2 years. Blaine Boyer was “rushed up” OUT OF NECESSITY. And if the Devine kid can get hitters out, WTF?

  27. Josh – that’s really cool! It’s pretty sad that we came back from having a WE of below .1 to over .5, only to blow it again. Tell me if I’m wrong, but the individual player sums should be independent, correct? I.e. Davies scores a -.33 even if Foster doesn’t allow the homer to Dunn. That graphic would be even better if you could annotate it in Excel :)

  28. Also, color me unconvinced with Blaine Boyer. He wasn’t even getting all that many AA hitters out. Sadly, I would prefer Gryboski in a pressure (or, in Josh’s graph, high P) situation than Boyer.

  29. Kyle, that’s an awful thing to say. You apologize to Blaine right now!

    Seriously, I just can’t see myself preferring Gryboski to just about anyone with runners on base. But that’s probably just me being sick of seeing him and preferring to see someone else even if the results are likely to be about the same. Even if I just had someone else to hate, that would be an improvement :) Boyer’s stuff looks good, but I guess his recent track record isn’t all that encouraging.

    How did Vasquez fall out of favor so fast? I know he gave up a couple of home runs in his first two outings, but why do some get chance after chance after chance, and others hit the dog house right away? I guess we’ve been down this road before. That’s just our Bobby Cox. He works in mysterious ways.

  30. creynolds, Cox never seems to like Vasquez much. Pretty similar to Cruz’s situation last year, Cox never put Cruz in a high pressure situation. He seems to like Sosa and Boyer much more than he ever likes Cruz.

  31. If you aren’t going to even try to be relevant to the discussion, go away. — MT

  32. I’ve heard either Leo or Bobby say that their approach with Cruz last year was all based on a long term plan. They wanted to slowly turn him into a closer over a couple of seasons. They new that he could probably handle more, but they wanted to make sure that he kept his confidence and also developed all the tools he needed.

  33. That’s kinda funny because in my least frustrated times I was trying to convince myself that they were thinking of making Cruz a starter. I spose maybe they’re looking at Vasquez in a similar light: future closer whose confidence you don’t want to ruin?

  34. Kyle, you are correct in saying that Davies would have the -.332 regardless of the homerun. This was the first time I’ve done the sheet so I’m still working on trying to do everything I want with it. I could definately mark the major changes with the events that happened. Any other suggestions?

  35. chipper , hampton ,hudson ,thomson are all dl.
    they are very expensive,always injury pron and not playing the game. this is killing us.instead our rookies are struggling .
    im very proud of you guys!!!!
    never sign long-term old man and injury pron
    go braves.

  36. Responding to the idiotic statement below:

    chipper , hampton ,hudson ,thomson are all dl.
    they are very expensive,always injury pron and not playing the game. this is killing us.instead our rookies are struggling .
    im very proud of you guys!!!!
    never sign long-term old man and injury pron
    go braves.

    We could sign all 21 year olds with no experience, and finish dead last because we have no leadership. Or, people who are complete suckasses who will play all year for us. Face it, we had a string of bad luck this year with injuries and it is hurting us, but by no means can you justify your statement. I am now dumber just by reading your claim.

  37. Harsh. I may not agree with it all, but I wouldn’t consider it “idiotic”, and I certainly don’t feel dumber for reading it.

    Long-term contracts on older players are problematic. But Atlanta has been pretty good about avoiding them. Larry is an icon (for better or worse), and he had been been quite durable prior to signing the deal. He blew out his ACL in what should have been his rookie year, but that was just one of those things. And he more than made up for it in the years after. I don’t think Hampton had too many injury issues before he came (could be wrong on that), and with Atlanta’s dollars prorated out over the years it isn’t that terrible of a deal. Although I do fear that it may become cumbersome in the next year or so even if he can be healthy. Husdon, well, it would have been nice to wait to see if his issues were chronic. I’m beginning to fear it. But old he ain’t.

  38. I think I need to wash my mind out with bleach. I saw braves rule’s “old man and injury pron” and thought s/he wrote “old man and injury porn.”

    JoshEngleman, since reading the Mills Brother’s win probability added in an old Sabermetric Research Journal about 25 years ago, I have always enjoyed this type of metric. But its real downfall is that it is an agregate that can only outline a picture, not fill in the details. Those win expectations don’t know the quality of the hitter or pitcher, the wind direction and rain, the number of pitches that hurler has thrown, how rested the pen is, etc. (and depending on what inputs you used, may not account for park effects). None-the-less, I really am glad you pointed out your site and encourage you to keep it up.

  39. If there were such a thing as injury porn, I do have to think this team would be very popular with that crowd.

  40. maybe we should sign all 1 year contracts so we can attract absolutely no one. Proven players do not want to go to a team to prove themself again hampton, hudson, chipper, and thomson are all great signings for the braves, providing good leadership and are outstanding players. we got a deal on hudson, hampton was cheap for a couple of years, chipper is a braves icon and you sign him no matter what he does just to keep people in the stands. yes, i agree that my statement was harsh, but c’mon, get real. where would the braves be without these guys, no matter what the situation is with their injuries.

  41. i know it is important to have experiences. our rookies like do. but i’m sorry im an idiot?
    thats funny, it doesn’t mean we should sign all rookies and 1 or more deal.just i’m saying means please avoid and be attention to sign long -term deal and injury pron.that’s all.
    as a foreigner , i love a huge braves . how much do i love atlanta braves!!!!
    go braves champs.

  42. Well by “foreigner” I didn’t assume he was a Juke Box Hero and it seems folks around here are a lot more Hot Blooded than s/he is.

    :)

  43. no…i get that he is a foreigner, but i did not get what he was trying to say on his last post. not being ugly, just being truthful.
    i did come off as a little hot-blooded, but it seemed like he made a statement that any fan of baseball would not enjoy. production should be commended with loyalty, and to be loyal, you have to sign some extended contracts.

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