Florida 6 Atlanta 5 (13 innings)

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Marlins

Desultory recap, compared to all that happened; I don’t feel like writing much and frankly I have to go to bed. The Marlins were dead. Andruw hit a long homer leading off the thirteenth. They then left the bases loaded because they were out of hitters, and out of pitchers except for Adam Bernero.

And then after Vasquez let the leadoff man on, Bobby brought in Bernero anyway. If he’s going to use Bernero, he has to hit Sosa, Smoltz, or Ramirez before. But Bernero, after giving up a single, actually got two outs, then screwed up as he does, allowing two straight singles to lose the game. Estrada mishandled the play at the plate to end it; Cabrera, the runner, would have been out.

After a great start (2-3 with a walk, two runs scored), Rafael Furcal hurt his knee trying to make a play in the seventh. He stayed in for one more inning then left; no word on the extent of the injury. It hurt, because a couple of plays Furcal probably could have made were key when Betemit couldn’t, and Orr couldn’t make a play at third that Betemit may have. Reitsma had a 4-2 lead in the ninth but blew the save, but he was getting ground balls that they couldn’t make plays on.

Tomorrow hopefully the Braves can win the series, but this is the sort of thing that can take a psychological toll beyond the physical one. Colon will face either Josh Beckett or, if he can’t go, Scott Olsen, who has made one major league start in his life, and that against the D-Rays. The Natspos are tied in a game gone late because of a long rain delay.

34 thoughts on “Florida 6 Atlanta 5 (13 innings)”

  1. I’m going to choose to believe that the psychological toll is lessened by the number of times the Braves escaped extra inning jams, and nearly overcame a dominant Marlins bullpen performance to pull out the game. Yes, Reitsma blew it again, but the team showed a great deal of resilience, so I can’t get too down about this one.

  2. The Nats are really pissing me off. Do they play every game at home? Some reaction to the game thread:

    You can’t blame Johnny for not catching the ball. He crouched for 13 innings. Prevented how many wild pitches? 4? Coaxed a 2 run effort from Davies. Did it seem he was scared to throw strikes to Cabrrera?

    There will be no Psychological hangover from this game. The Braves just don’t do that. Plus we should have lost this game 4 times.

    Reitsma looked fine to me. Giles showboat cost us this game and I bet he feels it. Cox will let him know if he doesn’t.

    Brower looked like crap and got lucky. Kolb? Is that you? He looked pretty damned good. When he doesn’t try to throw 99 he is fine.

    Bernero’s honeymoon is over.

  3. Colon will face Josh Beckett instead of Scott Olsen. I like Jack McKeon ,especially his fearless and a sense of humor. He also control his guys. I love grandpa. lol.

    It turned out Bernero,Kolb,Reitsma were not the man for the job as closer. They are destitute of confidence.

  4. You can to blame Johnny. I was a catcher all the way up through college and he clearly is a bad catcher.When I was playing, if I did that it was my fault. He has a horrible arm, and 9 times out of ten he drops the ball on a play at the plate. Crouching at the plate does not make you forget how to catch the ball. Look at the replays. The ball was there, he just flat out dropped it. You guys are quick to blame Furcal when we are losing. Well, I blame Johnny for not doing his job.

  5. First, I didn’t realize Bernero’s honeymoon was still going?

    Second, Chris Reitsma is pretty unreliable for a closer. He has a 4+ ERA. Say what you will about Gryboski but his ERA is 2 & a 1/2 runs better. I am not saying I want Gryboski as closer, I am saying the Braves need to make a trade for a closer BADLY. VERY BADLY.

    Second, Bobby Cox’s use the bullpen was dreadful last night.

    Can someone, anyone…Mac, creynolds, whomever…how you have 8 freaking relievers on your roster and somehow manage to run OUT by the 13th inning????? It’s not like Kyle Davies left the game in the FIRST INNING.

    There is no excuse that we hit a 13th inning situation and the ONLY guy left in the pen is mr. 6+ ERA, Bernero. At this point, amazingly, I would rather have Kolbb out there…I think Dan may actually be the lesser of 2 evils in that situation. Bobby probably should have just stuck with Vazquez and rolled the dice that he could get OUT OF IT.

    What a waste of a loss. And with the stinking NATSPOS winning, who may never lose again at this rate, the Braves simply cannot make up any ground. It’s truly amazing…we have won 10 of 13 and NOT made up any ground and are about as far out as we were at that time.

    Being in the Washington area, I had intended to adopt the Nats as my 2nd favorite team. I even have a NATIONALS red cap. However, it’s hard to like this team when they keep screwing MY BRAVES.

  6. 90 teams in baseball history have finished a season allowing more runs than they scored and finishing with a winning record. This happened most recently in 2003 with the Royals and Expos both finishing above .500. The most games won for such a team is 90, by the 1984 Mets and the 1997 Giants. That’s probably the ceiling on the Natspos record this season, so we should be focused on 95 victories as a goal. It will be tough but we can do it if our bullpen pitches just a LITTLE better.

  7. Hey, just to add to the fun, nobody is coming back before the all-star break. Great. I’d say it’s about time for Jurries to grab his DH… uh… glove? Well, whatever… time for him to head to some AL team for a decent reliever. I have no idea who though. Shiggy Hasegawa might be nice, but I think he’s making too much money. That’s probably getting too caught up in “old bullpen guy” anyway. It’s just pitiful that, as Alex said, we have 8 relievers and still have to look to Bernero in the 13th inning. Of course, if Kyle Davies could throw some !@#$%^&* strikes! Sorry… I know he’s just a kid thrust into the spotlight early, but that’s really starting to bug me. Luckily, I think the psychological toll is more on us fans than the team.

  8. That was a tough loss, it’s a shame we had to lose one like that when the Braves have been riding high here lately. Scott Olsen, any relation to the Olsen Twins…

  9. I don’t think Giles was “showboating.” He thought that was the only way to make the play. I think he was wrong, but I don’t think he did it to show off. I can’t imagine any player making a play like that just to add style.

    I also disagree that Cox mishandled the bullpen. He was trying to get 12 outs from a shaky bullpen. He used his best set up men to get to the 9th. What else was he supposed to do, bring the bums in early in case the game went 13 innings? He thought that if he got to the 9th with a lead, Reitsma would hold it. I think he did a great job (and he has all year) getting what he does out of this group of rag arms. The only mistake perhaps was not using Sosa to pinch hit for Vazquez, but realistically, you wouldn’t be increasing the chances for a hit that much. Everyone wants to blame Bobby whenever they lose a game.

    As for the Nats, I live in DC and I think they are great to watch although I don’t like them beating the Braves. While I agree they probably don’t have enough to hold on (although the problem with citing statistics is that there can always be an exception), the one thing they have that the Braves don’t is a reliable bullpen. I think that will keep them in the race and probably keep the Braves from pulling away. I mean, let’s face it, it’s not like the other teams in the division are the 1927 Yankees.

  10. I agree, creynolds…Davies was part of the problem last night. When you are nearing 100 pitches every start by the 5th inning, it’s TAXING.

    On the flipside, Smoltz has really save the pen his last few starts but at his age, we can’t ride John like a shetland pony every start.

    Here’s the problem I see and why it has to be addressed.

    I liken Major League relief pitchers to NFL kickers.

    While there’s no question that the Colts HAVING Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne et all put them in position to win a football game, at the end of the day, to CLOSE THINGS OUT, they had to have that “liquored up idiot kicker” in Mike Vanderjagt.

    Let’s face it…it’s not as “sexy” to be Vanderjagt or be a Mariano Rivera or Chris Reitsma or whomever as it is to be a or need a Derek Jeter or Peyton Manning..BUT…you can’t close out those games if you don’t have a Rivera or a Vanderjagt.

    I watched the New York Jets taker a ton of criticism for taking that Ohio State kicker in the 2nd round but they did what they had to do. Their kicking game got them eliminated form the NFl Playoffs so they had to “overspend” to make sure their kicking game was no longer an issue, and got the best kicker in College Football.

    I see the Braves in the same situation as the Jets. Maybe it will cost us some prospects, but an Andruw Jones dramatic home run or a great John Smoltz start will be WASTED time after time after time if we don’t have a decent group of relievers or a strong closer to shut the door. It may not be as sexy as needing the big home run guy or the frontline starter, but the one thing killing the Braves right now, the only thing (amazingly) that’s really killing us is our bullpen. Like the jets kicking game, it HAS TO BE ADDRESSED.

    If it costs us a Jurries, fine. A Brayan Pena…fine. Sure, I wouldn’t want to trade Francour or Marte, there are LIMITS, but some other strong prospects? Absolutely…you can’t make the Playoffs or compete in the Playoffs if you cannot shut a game down.

    Frankly, this mayb unpopular to SAY or even for me to think it, but considering how many guys have stepped up as starter (Sosa & possibly Colon), that when we get starters back healthy, we may have to consider SMOLTZ as closer agian. I know it’s kind of a sickening thought but if we don’t make a deal for a stopper, how can we finish games out the rest of the year with this current bullpen?

  11. strickland, refresh me on giles showboating. by the way, you didnt happen to graduate from auburn around 2001 did you?

  12. I’m going to blame lady luck for last night’s loss. The funny thing is, the goats of the game — Reitsma and Bernero — pitched better than Vasquez. My goodness did those guys get dinked. The ball that tied the game in the ninth just squeaked past Betemit (maybe a healthy Furcal gets it). And the runs scored to tie and win the game off Bernero only did so because the balls were hit softly into the outfield. Vasquez, on the other hand, gives up a double to Lo Duca (hard shot down the left field line) and then balks him over to third (the most obvious balk I think I’ve ever seen) with no outs. Like an idiot, Lo Duca tries to score on a ball hit directly to the Julio with the infield in (free out). Then Vasquez proceeds to walk the next batter to put another runner in scoring position. Bernero enters the game behind in the count (why Bobby waited for Vasquez to throw a ball after allowing the lead-off hitter to reach and allowing him to bat in the top of the 13th is strange).

    The point is, while the loss was not fun to watch, it was not a bad loss. And the bullpen didn’t pitch too badly. Sometimes the bounces just aren’t going to go your way. I hope the Braves won’t do something stupid like DFA Bernero over this. I doubt they will since he’s no worse than Brower.

  13. Giles tried to flip the ball out of his glove to Julio to get Juan Pierre at first. I think Giles had no chance at Pierre unless he was able to make that play work, because taking the ball out of his glove and throwing it would have taken way too much time. It was a neat idea that didn’t quite work.

  14. You don’t think the Braves should DFA ADAM BERNERO?

    JC…who are you…Keith Lockhart in disguise? :-)

  15. great points alex, until the last one. smoltz to the pen would be disastrous for the braves, smoltz, and team chemistry. sosa and colon back to the pen would be the best answer when hudson, hampton, and thompson return. maybe, cut ties with bernero and kolb, and send davies to the pen as well. although, i am sure that would not happen.
    25 man roster
    1b-chip
    2b-giles
    ss-furcal
    3b-betemit
    lf-johnson
    cf druw
    rf langerhans
    c- estrada
    bench/platoon guys-franco, laroche, orr, mccann,jordan
    starters-thompson, hudson, smoltz, ramirez,hampton
    bullpen-colon, reitsma, brower, gryboski,foster, davies (cutting ties with kolb and bernero, even though kolb has shown some promise)
    closer-sosa
    To me, that looks a whole lot more solid than what we have at this point.

    *frankly, i would love to see a deal sending adam somewhere and putting chip at 1st, leaving the starting role at 3rd for betemit, and pulling up marte, but i don’t see that happening because of the lack of playing time for marte. that opinion, of course, pends on chipper’s health.

  16. I don’t really get the not dumping Bernero thing either. I’ll reluctantly agree that last night he wasn’t terrible, that Vasquez’s performance may have been objectively worse even though he had better results, and that he may not be any worse than Brower. But if you combine his recent overall performance with his track record, I don’t see any reason to be at all interested in keeping the guy. He may be the best we have available at the moment for the 13th man out of the bullpen, but I’d still have more confidence in Brower (admittedly more due to historical performance than recent performance) and Vasquez (admittedly due more to apparent potential than actual performance).

  17. We have to get another guy in the pen. If we don’t get a closer or someone who can step-up, we are in trouble. My vote is for Sosa or Colon when Hampton and Hudson come back. We have the slummping Phils up after tonight, so we should be ok. A win tonight would be huge!

  18. Ryan,

    I ASSUME you meant BOYER NOT BROWER in your 25 man roster. If not, that would be crazy of course.

    At this point, if I had to choose between Kolbb and Bernero, I would choose Kolbb and as much as we don’t like him, most Braves fans would.

    Kolbb may put people on but occassionally gets out of it. Bernero puts people on and every time now they come home to score.

    I agree…the idea of Smoltz back in the pen sucks, but so does Colon, frankly. I mean, if Ramon throws another great start tonight, it’s a problem from the standpoint that we have 1 area where we begin to trust him, but in the pen, he was a disaster. There was a reason for a straight month I called him “colon cancer”. It fit.

    As far as your lineup, I don’t believe for a second Bobby will pull the trigger on moving Chipper AGAIN in mid season, to 1st. personally, it’s a great idea. It’s even less wear & tear on his ham strings and I think defensively he will be adequate enough.

    If that does happen, it’s likely LaRoche could and should get moved in some sort of deal for outfield/bullpen help. We don’t need 2 first basemen on our bench.

    I agree with you that Betemit has to be IN the lineup and I also agree with the other posters that Wilson should move up in the batting order.

  19. You don’t think the Braves should DFA ADAM BERNERO?

    No. Who are you going to replace him with? Joe Borowski? He’s no worse than any reliever out there that we could get, and at least he strikes out guys more than he walks them. In the bullpen, only he and Reitsma have K/BBs greater than 2. Even his WHIP is better than most of the relievers. Bernero’s recent troubles are with the longball, giving up 4 ding-dongs in his last 12 innings pitched. And give up a homer isn’t what cost him the game last night.

    Baseball is a gamble. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I think the Braves will win more with Bernero than without.

  20. A couple of late replies…

    Alex – I can’t agree with the Smoltz thing. Yes, we need relievers. But I wouldn’t give up our best starter for a great reliever under any circumstances. In your Colts example, that is roughly the equivalent of trading Manning for Vinatieri.

    Ryan – I like Betemit a lot too. But I don’t buy his hitting quite enough to think he’s a great option at third. There’s a very good chance that there won’t be room for LaRoche next year, but I think the team is better off with him this year. Marte can push Larry to first and LaRoche elsewhere, but not Betemit. He can push Furcal elsewhere anytime they like (I won’t bash him if his recent performance is for real, but it’s going to take a lot for me to think he shouldn’t be traded if at all possible since I do think we have a ready replacement).

  21. i did mean brower, but if forgot about boyer. yes, that would be much better! thanks a-rod

  22. I’m in total agreement with creynolds on the screwed up logic of not dumping Bernero. There are very few major league pitchers out there that could do much worse than Bernero’s 6+ ERA. Before it’s all over, I doubt even Kolb will be that bad. Combine that with Bernero’s track record and I just can’t see why the should keep him. As much as I wanted to see Colon sent down, at least he has major league talent – he just wasn’t putting it together.

    The pitcher I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about is Vasquez. I believe Cox pulled him more for his mental state than for his ineffectiveness. He seemed to be rattled most of the time he was in the game and arguing a strike call when he was batting was stupid. I had high hopes for him, but his mental state doesn’t seem to fit Cox’s mold. I think he’ll be the first guy sent down when one of the starters gets off the DL and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded.

    I think we have a great need for at least one more quality reliever and last night will have some ramifications. I think changes will come soon either via trade or dipping into the minor leagues again.

  23. Who are you going to replace him with? Joe Borowski?

    How about Andy Marte? We need another bat on the 25.

    The problem with Bernero is what you mentioned, the homers. Also, he gave up a lot of deep flies that could easily have been homers. He’s as bad as he is while being LUCKY with deep fly balls.

    The Braves need to move a pitcher for a bat. I’d vote Gryboski, still, but Bernero the deep fly ball machine is definately a candidate.

  24. Who on earth would trade for Gryboski or Adam Bernero?

    Also, as always, the crowd here wants to dance with the Mysterious Stranger rather than the Proven Failure. However, just because we haven’t seen Borowski with a tomahawk across his chest doesn’t mean he isn’t even worse then Brower, Bernero and company.

  25. But mysterious stranger is soooo dashing and gallant… and proven failure never picks up his underwear ;)

  26. How soon they forget… Borowski has worn the tomahawk, in 1997. He’s definitely better than Bernero, but who isn’t? JC, I know you don’t want people to overreact, but Bernero is a terrible pitcher and always has been.

  27. Borowski is an interesting possibility if he’s willing to start in Richmond. He really has looked horrible since coming back from his injury, at least from what I’ve read.

  28. This is all I’m saying, Mac.

    Stat: K/9 BB/9 HR/9 K/BB WHIP ERA
    Bullpen: 6.51 4.16 0.94 1.57 1.59 4.71
    Bernero: 7.07 2.36 1.07 3.00 1.52 6.21

    He’s certainly no worse than anyone else.

  29. The Yankees are about to make Mike Stanton and Paul Quantrill available to the Baseball public. I would rather take a flyer on one of those 2, particularly an EX Brave like Stanton then Bernero.

    As joked about the other day, I would trade Bernero straight up for:

    1. Doug Mirabelli’s used jock strap
    2. The entire DVD collection of Pauly Shore movies
    3. Unprotected sex with Pam Anderson
    4. 30 days in the Guatanamo Marine Prison
    5. Being locked in a room for three straight days listening only to Dick Vitale and Stephen A. Smith TALK
    6. Chinese water torture
    7. Tied down on stage forced to be seen and
    listen to an entire LIVE John Tesh concert

  30. Alex, there is something seriously wrong with you from looking your trade choices. :)

    Is Bernero out of options? Assuming he is, DFA him anyway (who would pick him up?) and drop him back to Richmond to get sorted out. I agree with “td”, Vasquez definitely did not have the focus you want to see in a major league reliever last night.

    I have absolutely no problems with any of Cox’s moves last night, except maybe hitting for Vasquez (so Adam could have started fresh). You have to trust that your closer will get it done, so using four pitchers for three innings was necessary, and they did a good job. Davies’ lack of efficiency was a big factor there, as was the Furcal injury (costing the bench a player). The team just ran out of options.

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