Atlanta 5 Baltimore 4

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Orioles at Braves

Andruw never comes through in the clutch. Leading off the ninth inning in a game which had seen another bullpen meltdown tie a game they’d led 4-0, Andruw hit his 23rd homer of the season to win the game. Ho-hum.

Roman Colon sparkled as a starter; I guess that the Braves knew what they were doing. Fancy that. Colon went six, struck out four, allowed four hits and walked only one, throwing 59 strikes in 85 pitches. I’m just speculating here, but maybe he was overthrowing as a reliever and when he dialed it back as you have to as a starter his control and movement returned. It was only after he left the game that there was trouble.

Meanwhile, the Braves couldn’t do anything against Chen, nor against this Ray kid who replaced him after he hurt his toe and made everyone look bad. But Jorge Julio they could hit. Betemit doubled leading off the seventh, and was driven in by a pinch-hitting LaRoche. Julio threw two straight wild pitches to score Orr (who ran for Adam) and Andruw and Julio singled in a run apiece. 4-0, and the Braves had the game in hand, right?

Wrong. Blaine Boyer had gotten in trouble in the seventh but Foster pitched out of it. Brower loaded the bases in the eighth and Reitsma then walked in a run before getting out of the inning. And then Reitsma had nothing at all in the ninth. By the time he left the game, three more runs had scored to tie it and there was only one out. Jorge Vasquez walked Sosa to load them up but got a double play to end it. The walk was actually key, as it forced the Orioles to pinch-hit for their closer BJ Ryan. His replacement allowed Andruw’s homer, and rather than going to Richmond, Vasquez picked up his first major league win.

Andruw had three hits in all, and Julio two (both of the infield variety). Betemit also had two. Johnson kept his streak going with another 1-4, and Marcus walked three times.

And now the Braves have Smoltz pitching tomorrow to try for the sweep, facing Rodrigo Lopez, who is 7-2 on the season. The game is on TBS. The Phillies lost again, and the Natspos play tonight.

20 thoughts on “Atlanta 5 Baltimore 4”

  1. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the roster now. Colon has probably earned another start since Hudson looks to be a week away still. I don’t imagine that they’re going to carry 13 pitchers for very long.

  2. The article on SportsLine seems to indicate they’ll be going with 13 pitchers for a while. I’m not crazy about it, but with Davies unable to go more than 5 innings most starts, and two converted relievers in the rotation, there are going to be a lot of bullpen innings in the next couple of weeks. And with no off days until the All-Star break, there won’t be time to rest any one.

  3. Thanks for the link. I guess it’s not really all that awful. Although Furcal has slipped to basically a no-hit glove man, there’s not really any need to PH for the regulars any time. Couple that with the fact that our current backup catcher has a pretty good bat, and maybe the bench shortage won’t be a big problem. The bullpen is certain to get a lot of work for while.

  4. I’m all for keeping someone in the lineup in the midst of struggles in order to see them break out of it (heh), but I don’t really see any reason to keep Furcal hitting first while Betemit is STILL ripping the ball (what a great swing on that double to center!) and batting eighth.. behind Jordan.

    Just a thought.

  5. Yeah, but look what happened today. After Orr ran for LaRoche, the Braves were down to one outfielder and one catcher on the bench. We were this close to seeing if Davies could play left field when Langerhans got hit. We got into tactical jams all the time with a five-man bench, what’s going to happen with four?

    It’s not like we’re keeping eight pitchers who are all doing well, anyway. Leaving aside what happened today, there are two guys — Kolb and Bernero — you can’t use except in blowouts. It’s essentially a six-man pen with two guys who are probably worse pitchers than LaRoche.

  6. Mac, you’re far more charitable at the moment than I would be. Today notwithstanding, I trust Reitsma. I also trust Gryboski in situations where he isn’t coming in with runners on base. I don’t have a lot of trust for any of the other relievers, and don’t really see why I should. Foster, Boyer and Vazquez put too many people on base; I think it’s going to come back to haunt them.

  7. missed the ending of the game because i thought we had it wrapped up. what a finish! did u see that clubhouse reaction? hopefully this will be the shot in the arm that keeps us rollin’. same turning point as last year?

  8. WH
    Foster 1.16
    Reitsma 1.20
    Boyer 1.26
    Bernero 1.49
    Gryboski 1.60
    Vasquez 1.67
    Kolb 2.00

    Neither Boyer nor Vasquez has enough sample size to mean anything. Boyer’s K rate is very good, and Vasquez’s is superlative. And Sosa and/or Colon might move back to relief at some point. We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

    Well, and Grybnerkolb. But I think that monster’s days are numbered.

  9. It’s utterly amazing that we are essentially the third or fourth best team in the National League right now (behind the Cards, padres, and I guess the Nats) with all the injuries. It proves once again that Cox is a solid regular season manager, although not great and he still sucks in the post season.

    Yes, Mac, Andruw was the hero and I have laid off of him for like 3 weeks now…I wont insult the guy while he’s hitting home runs at a Bonds-ian pace.

    The staff: I think it’s fair what Mac said earlier. With 2 converted relievers into starters (Sosa & Colon) and Davies being worn out to a 5 inning guys, we have to have extra pitchers.

    However, the problem of course is half the pitchers we have.

    We all agree that Gryboski is decent if STARTING an inning…I thinmk Bobby & Leo may finally get that, but time will tell.

    Bernero & Kolbb are clearly the 2 guys who have to leave the team already. If the Phillies & Mets sign them, FINE. I don’t see how that does ANYTHING but help us considering my statement from earlier that if Kolbb comes into an August game wearing a Mets uniform and Betemit hits a Game winning home run off of him, aren’t we finally getting our money’s worth? Does anyone REALLY think he would shut our hitters down?

    As for Colon-Cancer…who knew? The Braves got that one right and leave him in the rotation. In fact, if Colon goes out and has another great start and Sosa is just average, it might behoove us to move Sosa back to the bullpen, keep Colon in the starting rotation (along with a healthy Hudson) and HOPEFULLY release Bernero or Kolbb.

    thoughts?

  10. Andruw Jones RBI hit in the seventh was a punch flair to the opposite field. I do not have to tell you what the old Andruw would do with two men on in a close seventh.

    Ladies and gentlemen we must now start considering if this man has turned the corner.

  11. Yes, Mac, Andruw was the hero and I have laid off of him for like 3 weeks now…I wont insult the guy while he’s hitting home runs at a Bonds-ian pace.

    How magnanimous of you. Would it hurt to admit that maybe, just maybe, you misjudged him? That he’s a better player than you gave him credit for? At least that he’s much better than Preston Freaking Wilson?

  12. You remember all those HBPs he had earlier this month? I have a theory that those are a good sign, that when he’s getting hit by pitches he isn’t bailing out on them and is ready to rake. Roughly speaking, his best years have been marked by higher HBP.

  13. I agree that the Braves’ worst pitchers would get lit up by the lineup if they worked for our division competitors. I’d love to see Kolb in a Met uniform. Perhaps in relief of Glavine? :-))

    I live in Orlando and have acquaintances in the Braves minor league rehab camp here. I have it on record from a pitcher on the team that the reason the Braves traded Capellan was not because of his lack of potential, but rather his off-field behavior. That to me means that if Colon really is a jerk, then he won’t be around much longer.

  14. I’m beginning to believe that Hampton is the key to whatever future moves the Braves might make. This may be obvious to others, but I’ve spent so much time worrying about the bullpen, I’ve missed the point.

    No Hampton-We definitely gotta have another reliable starter.

  15. I guess this is one of the reasons I’ll never manage the Braves. A few weeks ago, I think I would have been willing to trade Colon for someone with the potential of Mike Hessman. I know this is one game, but he really looked good out there today.

    One question for you guys. Has Davies’ stuff not been as good lately, or are the batters figuring him out? With a finesse pitcher, it’s a little harder for me to tell what’s going on. Any thoughts?

  16. Kevin – I’d have to agree with you 100%. If Hampton isn’t coming back, there has to be a deal for a starter not too far down the road. I really like Sosa’s potential… and I like Colon’s, too. Same with Davies. But I wouldn’t feel real good with more than one of them in the rotation for the rest of the year. It would be really nice to have the luxury of getting Davies back down to the minors. I don’t know the reason either, TD. He didn’t look bad at all yesterday, but he’s throwing way too many pitches. Makes me think he’s nibbling a little.

  17. You wouldn’t need more than one of them, even if Hampton’s done, if Thomson and Hudson come back. Thomson seems to be doing well in his recovery, and Hudson should be available in a couple of weeks at the latest.

  18. One question for you guys. Has Davies’ stuff not been as good lately, or are the batters figuring him out? With a finesse pitcher, it’s a little harder for me to tell what’s going on. Any thoughts?

    I think he’s tired, and although he pitched very well his first few starts, his record at Richmond indicated he’s not quite ready. His overall performance is about what you might expect — he’s still a great prospect, but will hopefully get some more seasoning if/when our other starters get healthy.

  19. I talked to my friend today. He says he knows Colon and he says there aren’t any off the field or attitude problems he is aware of.

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