Atlanta 9 Florida 1

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Marlins

Big win, especially after getting dominated by Willis last week. The Braves got five runs and eleven hits off Willis in seven innings work, then pounded some rookie for four insurance runs in the ninth. They’ve won five in a row now and are three games up for the wildcard, though the stupid Nats won’t lose.

Jorge Sosa had another strong outing. He gave up a homer to Delgado, but only three other hits, walked two. He only struck out two and I don’t think he was quite as effective as he was in some other outings, but you’ll take it.

Hard to pick out a hitting hero; Kelly Johnson probably. KJ had three hits, including a first-inning triple that drove in Furcal, and scored three runs. Marcus had two hits, drove in two, and hit a solo homer. Andruw had two hits, including a double, and a semi-intentional walk. Furcal, Estrada, and Jordan all also had two hits. Julio only had one, but it was a two-run triple in the ninth. Oldest man to hit a triple, I’d guess. Jordan isn’t that old, but he also had a triple. Three triples, and none of them by Furcal?

Gryboski walked a guy but pitched a scoreless and hitless seventh. Maybe Bobby really has figured out how to use him… but he was up during the sixth. Boyer got into trouble in the eighth, putting two on, but Foster came on to finish the inning by striking out Delgado. Poor Dan Kolb was warming up but then there was a deluge again, and by the time play resumed it was time for Bernerosity rather than Kolbousness. Bernero gave up one hit but got his usual flyouts.

Davies versus Al Leiter tomorrow. Leiter is having an awful year — what with his Kolbous 6.33 ERA and Gryboskiesque more walks than strikeouts — but he still scares me a little. SportsSouth as usual.

42 thoughts on “Atlanta 9 Florida 1”

  1. A tale of two statements: Andruw, after the Braves were dominated last week by Willis, said he and the other hitters would have a better idea of how to approach D-Train this time; yesterday, Brian Moehler said that he thinks the Fish match up well with the Braves and have the best chance of unseating them as division champs. It’s just one game, but as evidence goes, this was pretty compelling. I like the fact that the Braves (mostly) young hitters did make the appropriate adjustments–it’s something past line-ups have not been able to do.

  2. I think if we sweep Florida we have a chance to really put them on their heels and possibly bury them; especially if we & the Nats keep winning.

    I know it’s still not quite the halfway point but this is huge that we were able to make such good adjustments to Dontrelle.

    Mac is right, why won’t the Nats start losing? I live here in Northern Virginia so maybe I could do something about it…

  3. The Hawks’ final 2nd round pick is named, and I swear that I’m not making this up, Cenk Aykol. Wow.

  4. Forget the nats, let them win the division. The wildcard is as how you win a championship, appearantly.

  5. Great win tonight. I was hoping for a split in this series but now I’m getting greedy. I want 3. Have patience guys the Natspos will eventually lose. They played 2 bad teams at home.(Toronto and Pittsburgh) I just wish we would have them next the way were playing.

    Mac, same thing with Matt Walsh coming out of Florida going undrafted. Who’s telling these guys to come out???

  6. I’m just thankful that furcal seems to be drinking whatever Andruw’s been drinking (instead of Chivas). If you google this site right now it says “trade furcal”. It’s great to see him showing up lately.

  7. Game’ll also be on ESPN

    I’m interested in seeing how Davies will pitch tommorrow. He started out great but has had a few rough starts. Some of that has been explained as he being tired but he’ll have had a full rest period and I think that tommorrow will be telling in that hitters have adjusted to what he brings and I want to see what he does about it. It is a learning curve that I think all minor leaguers face when they are brought up to the big leagues.

    I think that it has something to do with the fact that there is no “ceiling” on the major leagues. What I mean by this is that as a player starts in the low minor leagues, generally he is playing with players of his ability at the moment. A player can dominate A ball, but eventually the club will determine that the player has nothing to learn by continuing to play at that level; or in other words he has reached a “ceiling” This is the system by which players work there way up the minor leagues. However, that changes once a player reaches the big leagues because, there is no “ceiling” in the majors. So while a player is excelling at AAA level and would be ready for a an upgrade, they might not be entirely ready for the majors. This is because the major leagues is not a AAAA league. Therefore many players (like Pujols or Guerrero) could be in a 5A or 6A league (if you’ll follow the metaphor). So while the AAA player is ready to face the AAAA players he isn’t always ready to face the 5A or 6A players right away.

    Another point to consider is that some players just aren’t that good. The process of rising through the system weeds out those who can’t hack it.

    But, for those who can, especially those who have worked their way up the minor league system over a period of time, I think makes for a longer period of adjustment before a player reaches the level that they are able to play baseball at. There are always some whose talent level is so high that they adjust quickly, but I guess my main point is that for most, it takes time. Derrick Lee is a pretty good example.

  8. The Nats are a .500 team (312 runs scored – 2nd worst in NL, 317 runs allowed) that has won an inordinate number of 1-run games (18-7). Unless their offense improves, they have likely reached their high water mark. The teams below the Braves in the standings still remain the bigger long term threats. The key for the Braves is whether or not at least two of the starters on the DL can come back to pitch significant innings after the All Star break. If so, I expect the Braves will eventually rise to the top of the division. If not, its going to be a struggle.

  9. The Natspos are getting career years from Chad Cordero and (sigh!) Livan Hernandez. That man is a horse for them, givng them 7 plus innings each time, allowing a shallow bullpen a breather every five days.

    Their days are numbered. The Braves are rolling now.

  10. Why would this be a career year for Cordero? Isn’t this just his third year out of college and second full season in the bigs?

  11. Anyone else heard about the possible deal between the Yanks and Mets. Sheffield for Cameron/Miguel Cario..again. Stanton is probably in there somewhere, he’s usually with one or the other. The Mets are still the Mets, they get high paid players past their prime and expect championship results. Where does that lead them, near the bottom of the division, they get no pity from me. I always enjoy when the Braves slap them around. I agree with you Mac, Kennedy Winston was stupid to leave, kids today have so many outside influences telling them there gonna go this high in the draft and get this amount of money, it’s disgusting.

  12. Sheffield to the Mets is kinda scary, but he doesn’t want to be traded and Peter Gammons said there is no way they will trade Sheffield to the Mets. IF he goes anywhere it will be to the Cubs, I would think.

  13. Seems like an odd deal to me. Probably not a bad one for the Mets, but I don’t imagine the Yankees are that desperate for a CF… but maybe they are. Cano is holding down 2B pretty well, and they are least seem to want people to believe they plan to stick with him.

    It’ll be very interesting to see what the Yankees do. My guess… something stupid. And this would probably qualify.

  14. “They’ve won five in a row now and are three games up for the wildcard, though the stupid Nats won’t lose.”

    I’m not worried about the Nats. Not even a little bit. While we’ve been asshammering good teams like the Orioles and the Marlins, the Nats have been scraping together wins against teams like the Jays and the Pirates. Sooner or later, the Nats will start playing tough teams while the Braves match up with some chumps, and I predict the gap will close very quickly.

  15. Note to all interested: The all-star voting will be ending thursday.
    Don’t forget to write-in Kolbbus. :)

  16. Y’all might want to read this article about Mazzone, although I guess it doesn’t say anything we don’t already know about him. :)

    http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/sports/12010181.htm

    Props to KJ for hanging in against a tough left-hander and hitting his first triple. He got a single in his last at-bat against Willis last week, perhaps he’s seen him enough now to have a good idea.

    And I wonder if someone tore a strip off the ground crewmen and made them practice a few times today. Heh.

  17. It probably is about time they started getting serious consideration. Tavares (HOU) and Halsey (AZ) have been playing regularly much longer and may have the upper hand at the moment, but KJ and Betemit look like they’ll be giving those guys a good run for their money. If there’s anything to this “splitting the vote” business you hear a lot about when two MVP candidates are on the same team, that could be a problem. Davies probably shouldn’t be counted out just yet. I guess that depends on whether or not he pulls out of his current funk.

  18. One thing I don’t quite understand about the success of Sosa is that the guy really only has a good fastball, slider and a change-up that is work-in-progress. Then, you see the Marlins having problem with Sosa even the second time facing him. Same thing goes to Colon. We watch Colon throwing fastball after fastball after fastball, and the O’s just keep missing the pitch. I guess their fastballs must be really good. Perhaps we should just have Hudson, Hampton and Thomson in the bullpen when they come back and keeping Colon and Sosa in the rotation, this will solve our bullpen problem!!!

  19. Sosa really hasn’t pitched great except for his first start at Texas. For the season he’s really throwing his career numbers in his peripherals for the year, except in the home run department. And he’s given up four homers in his four starts. The DIPS gods always win in the end. I hope Huddy and Thomson get well soon.

  20. The DIPS gods always win in the end.

    Actually they don’t, and there are countless examples. Although I can see the attraction of this simplistic view.

  21. I’ve been looking at Betemit’s minor league statistics, and nothing really jumps out that makes me think he can continue this. He had a good stretch at Greenville where he had a .912 OPS, but other than that, he’s been barely above average everywhere he’s been. Yeah, he was young for where he’s played throughout his career, but he’d been at Richmond for three seasons and a .802 OPS was the highest he ever hit.

    It’s nice to have a guy with a 1.000 OPS, but I really don’t see him even staying at a .800 OPS. Rookie of the Year? There’s no way…

  22. His plate discipline looks about right (.070), but you do have to worry about both the average and slugging. With 114 ABs and maybe only about 250 or so to come(?), he’d have to fall pretty far to dip below .800 OPS, but it is possible. He strikes me as the kind of guy who could go either way, but I’m becoming more convinced that he can hit well enough to be a major league shortstop. He had some injury problems late in his minor league career, and his rapid decline in prospect status may have affected his confidence some. But that’s obviously a lot more hope than analysis.

  23. I’m not so worried about his power numbers; last season, his isolated power was .194, which is pretty darned good, especially for a player as young as he still was. Coming into this season I thought he was a potential twenty-homer guy and I don’t see any reason to change my mind on that. If the increase in his walk rate is for real — remember, a lot of his early walks were intentional — and he really has figured out the strike zone, I don’t see why he can’t maintain a lot of these gains.

  24. Actually they don’t, and there are countless examples. Although I can see the attraction of this simplistic view.

    Would you care to provide some? And I’m sorry you think my view is so simplistic.
    This didn’t take any effort at all.

    Serenity now…serenity now…

  25. I said a few weeks ago Sosa has been the most consistently good player on the team all season. I think he has pitched better than anyone could have asked. I think he has been really good to great everytime out as a starter given the situation. The home run he gave up to Delgato last night was a fluke. It was a pitch that fooled Delgato and he got enough carry to get it out. To say he has had one good outting is cutting his effort really short.

  26. I really think that once all the starters are back, he is the guy they should move into the closers role, either that, or move Horacio for a closer, and move Sosa into the 5th starters role.

    He seems though like a perfect closer, and his mechanics look smooth and effortless, which does not make you think that he would get noodle arm like Reitsma with his hicup mid delivery

  27. Kevin, I think you hava good point. He and Colon are the only two guys in the pen that can reach back a throw it by a guy, which is a good thing to be able to do at the end of games.

  28. Rob, Wilson Betemit WILL continue the hitting, regardless of any minor league statistics. Betemit stands in the box as one our most confident hitters. He’s one the prime reasons our club has picked it up after some woeful offensive performances. KJ and Betemit have in part carried this team. Guys on ESPN like to say that Andruw’s carrying the team, which he is in part, but we all know it’s been a collective surge in the lineup. KJ and Betemit have been integral parts, as rookies no less. Betemit gets a hit, usually more, every night. He’s stellar. KJ and Betemit are part of what’s got our club so hot and they’ll be part of a big future.

    I don’t know about you all, but when Betemit comes to the plate I’m confident something good is going to happen. He’s relatively patient and deadly. When he sees a good pitch, he’s just smacking the hell out of the ball. My prediction is more big things from Wilson Betemit.

  29. Example number one of “There’s no such thing as Santa DIPS:” Horacio Ramirez. He gives up homers, walks too many people, doesn’t strike anyone out, but look at his ERA and you’ll… what? It’s over 4.50? Oops.

    =)

  30. I think Reitsma has the best physical tools for the closer’s role. He has a great fastball and a deadly curveball that he should use more as his strikeout pitch.

    However, Reitsma is prone to random breakdowns. I wish this guy’s mental approach would be more consistent, because he has great stuff.

    Sosa is really making a case for himself to be the our most trusted reliever, provided all of our great starters come back from injury. I’d like to see what he could do as a closer if the rotation fills out again.

  31. I think the sample size on Sosa is too small to make a decision yet. Two of his four starts have been against the Marlins; Florida doesn’t strike out much and has a pretty good team walk rate. The homers have been by Teixeira, Cabrera (twice) and Delgado. I don’t think there’s any shame in giving up homers to that group. Delgado in particular has always pounded him.

    He needs to get his strikeouts back up, but I really do think that a lot of the low totals were from facing the Marlins.

  32. I’m very encouraged that, for him at least, his walk rate has been pretty good in his starts. I already have more confidence in him starting than I do Horacio. Which, even with the last two very successful outings, really isn’t saying a lot.

  33. I think it says a lot in that he’s improved considerably from his Tampa Bay days. It’s incredible what we’ve got from him in the past couple of weeks and how much we can and do rely on him right now. A real spark for the club.

  34. This is unrelated to the game, but Mac has done a lot of posts about Braves’ drafts. Check out this article on ESPN.com about Glenn Williams. Interesting if nothing else. He’ll probably just be a flash in the pan, but at least he is having some success for now.

  35. It’s impossible not to root for guys like that. I hope he can come back from that nasty injury and manage to pick up where he left off.

  36. I’d like to take this moment and thank James Jurries down in Richmond, who has been making a very good effort daily to help us land a better reliever down the stretch.

  37. Raoul, regardless of the feelings of hope he brings to you and the confidence he exudes, that doesn’t change the fact that he is indeed hitting way above his minor league numbers as a major leaguer. He wreaks of the first half of last year’s Nick Green. Don’t get me wrong; I would love to see him stay on a 1.000 OPS tear, but I’m more inclined to look at his past numbers.

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