Atlanta 2, Milwaukee 1

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Brewers at Braves

Never in doubt. Okay, a little doubt. After a pitcher’s duel in which the Braves were mostly stymied by Doug Davis, the Brewers went to the pen and the Braves loaded the bases — well, actually the Brewers did, intentionally walking Estrada with one out and runners first and third — and pinch-hitting Ryan Langerhans singled to end it. Another routine win.

The Braves took a 1-run lead in the fourth when Johnson doubled and Andruw doubled him home. (On a broken bat, no less; if the thing had stayed together it might have been a homer.) But they couldn’t get another run in.

Meanwhile, the Brewers were leaving runners all over the place, seven of them. They also hit into two double plays and had a runner thrown out at the plate when he tried to score from second with no chance of making it. Their one run came on a solo homer in the sixth. At that time, Sosa totally lost it, letting two more runners on. Gryboski, amazingly, got a double play to end the inning. Sosa’s final line was nine hits, three strikeouts, no walks, and just the one run in 5 1/3 inning pitched.

Boyer was great in the seventh, striking out one and allowing no baserunners. Brower gave up two hits in the eighth, but got a double play to end it. Kolb pitched a perfect ninth to end it.

In the bottom of the inning, everyone was half-expecting Andruw to hit a leadoff homer to win it, but he flew out. Julio hit a single (2495) following him. Orr pinch-ran, and LaRoche pinch-hit for Marte (who was 0-3 on his return from AAA, taking Jorge Vasquez’s place on the roster) and singled, setting up the walk and Langerhans’ (hitting for Francoeur) heroics. Furcal and Johnson had a couple hits apiece, with Andruw’s double the Braves’ only before the ninth.

The Natpos are in the process of blowing most of a 5-0 and 8-3 lead and winning anyway. The Cubs might hold off the Marlins but judging from the last few days I wouldn’t count on it. Kyle Davies versus Ben Sheets tomorrow night.

UPDATE: Oh, I almost forgot. It’s hurricane time again. I’ll hopefully make it through Sunday okay, but I’d like a backup in place just in case. Volunteers email warliberal at yahoo dot com.

55 thoughts on “Atlanta 2, Milwaukee 1”

  1. more solid work by kolb. i still say he could be the biggest addition the second half

  2. The Nats won 8-7.

    They win a one run game even when FIFTEEN runs are scored.

    I can’t stand them.

  3. Someone on another site made a pretty convincing case for Chad Cordero as MVP. If you take the attitude that the MVP should be the guy “most valuable” to his team (rather than the guy with the best numbers such as Andruw or either of the Lees), Cordero should get serious consideration.

  4. Mac,

    Where are you in regards to shipping Furcal at this point?

    Does anybody else think we should sit tight, make no moves and hope the return of some healthy pitchers and our best hitter carry us to the post season?

    JB

  5. I don’t know about sitting tight completely, but I don’t like dealing Furcal at this point. We all tend to take shortstop defense for granted without realizing how good Furcal is. His arm strength makes up for a lot and Betemit clearly doesn’t have Furcal’s range.

    Now whether Raffy should be batting leadoff is another argument entirely. I don’t think Bobby’s married to Furcal at leadoff if he continues to struggle. If he’ll hit Estrada eighth, he’ll hit Furcal there. If Chipper comes back healthy, Kelly Johnson might wind up as the leadoff hitter before long.

  6. Creg,

    I could make an argument for trying to tweak the pen.

    I just hate to give up a position player to do it. I think our current group of postion players (following Jones return) is the best we have had in years from top to bottom.

    I think we can fix out pen problems by releasing the chaff and moving current starters (ie Sosa, Davies, Colon, Ramirez?) to the pen once Hampton, Hudson and Thompson return.

    I still think Sosa with his stuff should be given an opportunity to close…

    Mac,

    Keep it up there through October and November…

    JB

    BTW- I saw Louisville play the Durham Bulls (sadly the Drays farm team now, sigh) the other night and Austin Kearns looks neither physically or mentally readily to it AAA pitching, not to mention Major Leaguers.

  7. Hey Mac, I am with you, don’t take take “trade Furcal” heading down. I am superstitious as well!!!

  8. BTW- I saw Louisville play the Durham Bulls (sadly the Drays farm team now, sigh) the other night and Austin Kearns looks neither physically or mentally readily to it AAA pitching, not to mention Major Leaguers.

    Weird, he hit 3 home runs in 3 at-bats Tuesday night. I think he’d do nicely.

  9. Kyle,

    He looked about about 15 lbs. overweight and lost when he was in Durham at the end of June. I have always been a fan of Kearns and Dunn. Hope he gets back to MLB soon…I wondered if he wasn’t a juice suspect b/c of his almost inexplicable decline in OPS over the last 3 years.

  10. Since I don’t get Turner South, I watched the Nats game, which nobody outside the Greater Washington area gets because the network is terrible. And the game was terrible. Did anyone see Ryan Howard’s 401-foot out on the highlights? One of the best hitter’s parks in the country and the darned thing goes right to the track. The Nats, though, look beatable right now, and they actually should have lost except the Phillies catcher got nutmegged on a relay throw home when he had the runner by maybe 50 feet. That was the difference in the game, it turned out. But they are overusing the same 3 relievers, Ayala, Majewski, and Cordero, and it’s starting to show. Ayala and Majewski got pounded, and Cordero got lucky with the Howard pitch. Really, really lucky. So I am disgusted, along with the fact that the O’s lost 7-2 with the fat, useless lump Sidney Ponson on the mound, who offered to go to the bullpen and for some reason was allowed to stay in the rotation. Here is his opponent batting average: .329. I don’t think even Dan Kolb was that bad.

    Speaking of Kolb, good to hear he’s actually pitching well. And that Gryboski managed to get a DP. And that we won. I think MASN gave maybe 2 score updates in the span of 3 hours, and they apparently have not figured out how to make the updates small, so when they come half the screen disappears. If you ever see a Nats broadcast, take note of the eerie silence in the background. It’s like a morgue. Take this as you will.

    Don’t trade Furcal. I’ve held this stance since the beginning and I still hold it. Maybe let him walk after the season, but don’t trade him. His defense is far too valuable, as is his speed, and his offense has occasionally proved key. No trades.

  11. My thoughts on what Langerhans was feeling weren’t spot on, but close enough to make me cut and paste here:
    [Ryan Langerhans did not care that the crowd wanted local favorite Jeff Francoeur.

    He was just glad manager Bobby Cox had not forgotten him.

    “I thought that was pretty funny,” Langerhans said of the fans who booed his introduction as a pinch-hitter. “I tried not to pay too much attention to that, you know? I’m pretty confident I can get the job done.”]

    To respond to a previous post: I didn’t hear any cheers for Ryan, only boos for taking Jeff out (notice how I use their first names as I’ll probably screw up the spelling of their last names.) I’d like to think that some people cheered him, but I just plain didn’t hear it. Anyway, I’m glad Ryan has a good attitude about it. He’s the guy in right, at least for the rest of the year. (Barring a trade for, I dunno Preston Wilson or something /sarcasm)

  12. Stay safe from Dennis, Mac, sounds like Cuba has been completely pounded. 10 dead was the last I heard and it was supposed to be heading right for Havana and then the Gulf Coast. We’ll be thinking about you!

  13. My father says that he can’t recall a real hit from a hurricane on Tuscaloosa, that they always break east or west. I hope he’s right, though (of course) my first thought was “well, there’s a first time for everything”.

  14. the rainy season around here.take care Mac.

    latnam I’m here.I’d like to see people cheering ryan.
    There are a lot of talented young guys in this ballclub.Sometimes it is certain that they will need competitive spirit like today.bobby is the man. lol

  15. Thanks for the quote, latnam. I don’t care who/what the boo’s are for, when you hear them as you are walking to the plate human instinct is to think they are for you. Some folks at the Ted can be really short sighted and obnoxious at times. Frankly, a lot of people don’t pay attention to what is going on except for the last few days, if at all. Big picture people, big picture. I’m just glad Ryan was aware enough to move past it and win the friggin’ game. It is just another sign that these “rooks” are ready to play.

  16. jenny, are you considering going to J-school this fall? You’d make a great sportswriter/editor, IMHO.Mac, I lived in T-town (Cottondale) for a couple of years as a young lad and we never worried about hurricanes, it was always about tornadoes. April 4, 1974! Hope you guys miss the worst of it. Selfishly, my big concern is that need mow the grass before the inlaws get here next weekend.

  17. I know this is probably heresy around here, but I have to say I’ve been impressed with the way Kolb has handled his demotion. He’s obviously taken it as a sign he needed to work harder, and has done so to the point that I didn’t shudder (too much) when Cox brought him into a tie game.

    I don’t want to see him as THE CLOSER again, although I’m starting to think he should be in the mix for closing games. Scary thought, I know. But, to me, the most important sign is that he’s actually throwing strikes. He’s not going to strike out the side, as a general rule, but as long as he’s not walking guys left and right, he can be an extremely valuable member of the bullpen.

    I’m beginning to think that perhaps his statement about walking the leadoff man was more born out of frustration and trying to convince himself than actual belief.

  18. You ain’t alone. I’m all over the Danny Kolb bandwagon. OK, maybe that’s overstating it a bit. It’s nothing but foolish optimism, but a little of that is good for a fan. I’m convinced that he is going to get another shot at being the closer, unless JS pulls the rug out from under that with a trade.

    In fact, I’m not completely sure he wasn’t the “closer” last night. Think about it: Boyer, Brower and Reitsma have been the “close and late” combo, so Cox was 2/3 of the way to treating this like most managers would a tie game at home (the same as you treat a 1,2 or 3 run lead anywhere). The next logical step was for the designated closer to come on in the ninth… and who trots out? Danny boy. It may not look quite the same since it wasn’t a save opportunity… but upon closer inspection of the game situation (and, again, geographic location) and what happened before, I’d say Kolb filled the “closer” role last night… even if it was just for that one night (for now).

  19. Reitsma had been used 4 out of the last 5 days. Kolb was probably filling his shoes for one night.

  20. I hope that Bobby goes back to his bullpen usage of earlier years. Having four or five different guys who can all pitch an inning or two a night, as needed, is better than overusing three guys. Right now, Foster, Kolb, Boyer, Brower, and Reitsma all look good, and Grybowski’s OK in the right spot. We’ll probably have at least one guy from the rotation moving to the bullpen as well, so add Colon, Sosa, or Ramirez as reasonable choices. I’d say the bullpen, like it seems to do every year, is sorting out.

  21. Sportswriter? I’m already trying to decide whether I want to be a doctor or a lawyer, two career paths with absolutely no overlap as far as college is concerned! I never even thought about journalism before. It does sound like fun, though–getting paid to go to baseball games? Sign me up!

    Seriously, urlhix, thanks for the compliment.

  22. Anyone have the address for the Cat’s Eye contest? I’m thinking about renting the DVD and entering.

    Or is it not worth watching even for a chance at two tickets to a game in September?

  23. Hey everyone…my first post here.

    I just wanted to chime in on a discussion about Langerhans; one that has already been brought up.

    The fact that he heard boos last night quite honestly disgusts me. I realize the fans in attendance were booing the decision to pinch hit for Francouer, but in essence, that makes the boos for Langerhans.

    Ryan has been as important during this run as any of the other rooks. He has excelled at defense, and had some big clutch hits.

    Someone earlier on this post said it perfectly…Big Picture. I don’t know about the folks at the Ted last night, but I am a fan of the Braves first. No player is bigger than the team. Thanks for letting me vent.

    Go Braves–Mike

  24. Cat’s Eye is pretty good. Well, one of the three stories is pretty good. It’s definately worth watching the one about the guy who tries to quit smoking. The tennis pro one isn’t half bad, either. The Drew Barrymore and the troll story is awful.

    I didn’t mark down the address, but I think it was just Glenn Diamond at CNN Center.

  25. One thing that has me wondering is why did we send down Vasquez over Bernero. If anyone deserved to be demoted it was Bernero.

    Mike, I will have to agree w/ you. Langerhans has definitely been one of the most productive rookies so far.

  26. jenny;
    There’s only one profession for you-the one that calls to your heart. Anything else is slow-releasing misery. No matter how much it pays.

  27. Glenn Diamond
    c/o Cat’s Eye Contest
    1 CNN Center
    13th Floor South
    Atlanta, GA 30303

    You have to give me the autographed picture of Glenn Diamond if you win using this address.

  28. Anyone seen these stats for Matt Harrison:

    W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO
    8 4 2.49 17 17 1 1 0 105 83 32 29 8 17 75

    Even in single A (ROME) ball these are great stats

  29. Jenny: I’m in Law School and there’s a guy in my section had just graduated from medical school when we started, so there can be some overlap. But I second what Kevin Lee says find what you want to do, or else nothing is any fun.

  30. You’re welcome jenny. I’m sure you’ll do just fine, whatever you choose to do.

  31. just curious, but why did we bring up marte? i like the kid and i hope he reaches his potential, but no matter if he did well or poor in last nights game it just seemed like an odd move when we have betemit and petey that can play 3rd. he still looks a little shaky at the plate.

  32. Weird things I learned from regression analysis today about walk rate:

    Old players walk more.
    AL players walk less.
    High-strikeout players walk more.
    Players who debut at a young age walk more than players who debut when they are older.
    Fat players walk more.
    Short players walk less.
    Lefties walk more.
    Switch-hitters walk more.

    That is all. I need to get my own blog so I could write this stuff up more formally :)

  33. And I like bringing up Marte. He started killing the ball in AAA again when he was sent down. I think it behooves us to be patient with him – remember Kelly Johnson’s start?

  34. I think Marte was called up because Betemit’s been struggling a bit, and Orr’s shaky defensovely at 3B. Plus, with only three games left before the All-Star break, the reason for 13 pitchers was gone. Why keep the empty bench?

  35. Because we needed an infielder and that Timmons guy is sort of a goober?

    Just kidding… why not use Marte? Orr is never going to be more than he is (which is good, BTW) so no reason to make an effort to get him more than occassional work. And Betemit is struggling a bit (and I still wonder if Cox is convinced). May as well bring up somebody you’d like to get a little experience.

  36. Betemit has been swinging at everything near the plate the last few weeks – he looks like he did last year in the bigs, and that is not a good thing.

    Looking at his game logs, he’s struck out in 12 of his past 33 plate appearances with just one walk and one extra-base hit in that span. Whatever he was doing earlier in the year, he’s not doing it now.

  37. I think part of Betemit’s problem is that the rest of the league has noticed him, and believes he’s a decent player. That means scouting reports, planning how to putch to him, and all the rest. This is a key point in his development, and will determine whether he’s a utility guy or a starter. Can he adjust to the adjustments, or will he be the new Mark DeRosa?

    The “new Mark DeRosa” would be a useful player for the Braves, as he’s still cheap, and a guy who can and will play anywhere on the field is not a bad thing. But if he’s more than that, then we’ve got a starting shortstop for the next year or two.

  38. By the way, in the bottom of the 6th, Phil-Wash is scoreless. I smell another d@%$ one run game.

  39. Kyle,

    Interesting walk rate analysis, for sure. I wonder why short guys walk less. One would think that they walk more.

  40. I would guess that it’s largely because smaller guys have less power. A number of short guys who did have power (think Morgan or Wynn) walked a whole lot.

    Now scoreless in the bottom of the ninth. Cepicky time!

    Well, maybe not. Winning run on third, one out.

  41. Bases loaded with Phillies, bottom of the 9th, one out. Unfortunately, David Bell at the plate….

  42. Why do you walk the bases loaded with the winning run on third? I don’t get it. Why turn the game from needing a hit to just needing to get on base?

  43. With men on second and third, with one out, it makes some sense. A double play ends the inning.

  44. Can I get your FOX affiliate, JoeyT? I got stuck with the Nats game (which was better than the O’s game, but I didn’t WANT to watch it) even though I LIVE in Maryland. But at least the Nats lost. The door is now open. It’s time to take advantage of it. Am I correct in that we’ll be 1.5 back if we win tonight? Not too shabby!

    Thanks for the career advice, everybody. I have 2 years to decide my major and you’d better believe I’ll be trying everything I can. My mom has been warning me since I was old enough to understand about the dangers of getting stuck in a job you hate (like she did–she works for the government and it pays well and has good benefits, so she won’t quit, but she hates it). So, we shall see. I think being a doctor would be pretty fun, but I have to get through organic chemistry and plant biology (boring!) to do that, and my entire knowledge of med school comes off “ER.” Not that it’s a bad thing!

  45. but how much does the mental aspect have to be affecting marte? i have never played in the minors or majors but i would think he knows he is going to be sent back down after the break. all this jumping back and forth between levels has to play on a guy’s confidence. if marte shines in the next couple of days, do you think we would trade betemit when a healthy chipper arrives?

  46. By the way, jenny, I was in the J School at Georgia and I loved it. Great school.

    However, I chose a different career path so whatever you do in school doesn’t necessarily mean you have to follow it after you leave.

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