New York 6, Atlanta 3

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

Bad bullpen, bad! With Reitsma out and — gulp — Kolb lying in wait as potential fill-in closer, the middle guys decided that they’d have none of that and blew the game on their own. With the game tied at three in the eighth, Brower got a strikeout but then allowed a double. Foster walked his man. Then Boyer came in, got Piazza to 0-2, and then allowed a three-run homer. Ballgame.

Ramirez was okay, I guess. All three runs he allowed were scored by David Wright. Wright hit solo homers in the second and fourth, and scored again after walking in the seventh. Ramirez actually got out of a jam, Wright on third with one out, but then let Offerman beat him. For the night, seven innings, three runs, three strikeouts, two walks, six hits.

The Braves got only six hits on the night, five off of Kristin Benson. Andruw singled in Pete Orr (starting because of Giles’ “flulike symptoms”) in the fourth, and LaRoche hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give them a lead. Orr had two hits on the day. For some reason, Kelly Johnson tried a squeeze bunt on Boom-Boom Bobby Hernandez in the eighth with runners first and third, one out, and hit into a DP. BB Bobby got the win.

The Natspos lost again. This reminds me of earlier this year, when the Marlins and Braves looked ready to put the rest of the division away when both went into deep slumps… Smoltz versus Glavine tomorrow. Of course, it’s on Turner South. Is that predictable or what?

39 thoughts on “New York 6, Atlanta 3”

  1. Ramirez allowed eight baserunners in seven innings. Three of them were David Wright. Two of those were of the brief, touch them all, variety. Beltran also had a good game at the plate.

    Ramirez pitched well to seven of the nine batters. And very poorly to the ninth.

    I still don;t understand all the bunts….

  2. First and third with one out late in a tie game seems like a fine time to squeeze. I don’t get the bunting with Furcal, though. Funny to say that, but not with the way he’s been hitting.

  3. I have to disagree with you. I’d say 1st and 3rd with one out is a pretty good position to be in. Calling a squeeze there is a pretty unnecessary risk, as it usually is.

  4. After watching Horacio tonight, I am becoming more & more convinced HE should become our second lefty in the pen, along with Foster. It just gives us more options…and then maybe for now we keep Sosa & Colon both in the rotation until Thomson comes back.

    Just a thought.

    Still, aggaravating, AGGRAVATING loss. To the freaking Mets. arggg.

    I can’t believe tomorrow night’s game is on Turner South. Well, I CAN believe it but I am still pissed. Let’s see…SMOLTZ VERSUS GLAVINE for the first time, Uh, I dunno…EVER…and you aren’t putting the game on? Geez, could they maybe have some flexibility in the schedule? I mean, normally they always carry Mets games and the one time they don’t, it’s SMOLTZ VERSUS GLAVINE.

    Ridiculous.

  5. Just can’t seem to give Ramirez any credit at all, can you?

    I can. HoRam deserves plenty of credit for stinking up the joint by serving ding-dongs like he always does.

  6. The alternative is probably just the guy trying only to hit a fly ball. So if he has good bat control and the pitcher’s throwing strikes, I think it’s ok. (and it is fun to watch). In general, playing for one run just doesn’t bother me that late in a tie game with a guy on third and one out. With just a guy on first I’m not into it… or any situation with only one out. But if you’ve already got an out, go for one.

  7. Alex, I’m sure TBS has some great movie they have to show us three nights in a row this weekend.

  8. I’m sorry we lost, but it was an enjoyable, exciting game. Mainly because I got to watch all of it, which is rare since my daughter was born. This game reinforces my belief that we need bullpen help. There’s just no one out there who gives me a lot of confidence at the end of a game.

  9. I don’t like playing for one on the road, with the heart of the opposing lineup coming up for the next inning.

  10. How can we miss Smoltz vs. Glavine? Not only will we miss it, they will show some really terrible movie, like When Harry Met Sally, instead of the game. Rrrgh!

    In hindsight, the squeeze bunt probably wasn’t such a great move, but only because it didn’t work in the worst way possible and it wouldn’t have made a difference if it did, since we lost by 3. Oh, well. Everybody screws up sometimes.

    Another Moneyball criticism, as I approach the end: What is the point of having slow guys lead off? Sure, they get on base, but once they do, they can’t GO anywhere. They can’t steal (not that it matters to these people, which it should, IMHO), they’re more likely to get in a DP and not even be able to take out the 2B or SS, and they clog up faster people behind them. Not worth it.

    Let’s hope Reitsma comes back soon and that Marcus recovers from his “flu,” because our offense is looking anemic again and the bullpen is, well, the bullpen.

  11. The “Moneyball” philosophy in this case isn’t that speed is useless, but that it’s overvalued in the market. Of course it’s ideal to have a leadoff hitter who combines speed and the ability to get on base — Rickey Henderson comes to mind. The point is that if you can only have a player who provides one, not both, on-base percentage has a hell of a lot more value, since it leads to more runs — which, well, is the bottom line in baseball.

    If you wanna examine the two extremes, Brad Wilkerson (good on base/marginal speed) is a far better leadoff hitter than, say, Tony Womack (terrible on base/good speed), essentially because his abilities lead to more runs.

  12. There is no such thing as “clogging the bases”. Say your leadoff hitter is very slow, say…Adam LaRoche. He gets on-base. Then, someone fast gets on behind him. So you have fast player at 1st, Adam at 2nd. It is true that the fast player can’t steal 2B, but this is a GOOD thing. Why you ask? Because there is ALREADY someone on 2B. So he isn’t clogging up anything is he? Ok, let’s say the man on first is Furcal, and the man on 2nd is LaRoche. Kelly Johnson hits a screaming line drive down the line in right. Now, Adam LaRoche might not be able to score from 2nd because he is slow. BUT, he still isn’t clogging the bases in front of Furcal because if the ball is hit well enough to score Furcal, LaRoche will score anyway. It is simply impossible for LaRoche to be so slow that Furcal can run 270 feet faster than he can run 180.

    Now, all things being equal, you’d rather the fast player than the slow player. But if the fast player is Jose Reyes, and the slow player is Adam LaRoche, I’m taking LaRoche every time.

    The idea isn’t to have slow people lead off, it is to have high OBP lead off because they are more likely to get on base than the Furcal/Reyes’ of the world.

    In the end it doesn’t matter because lineup positioning has little affect on actual run scoring.

  13. It’s such a guy movie! Dumb and Dumber was bad enough, did they really need a prequel? Although the whole “Dumb and Dumberer” thing did make me laugh. Jim Carrey…yuck. The whole thing’s just so immature.

    Not that you’re immature, Mac, but…I really do think those are guy movies.

    Thanks for the explanations, Daniel.

  14. I didn’t see JP’s post before I posted. My response to you would be: Yes, you are correct, but, continuing with the Furcal/LaRoche example, what if LaRoche is on 1B, Furcal hits a ball to the gap, and LaRoche is held at 3B because Fredi Gonzalez thinks he’s too slow to score? But Furcal could have had a triple, yet he can’t go to 3B because LaRoche is standing there? I saw this happen in a game last week. A runner got thrown out between 1B and 2B because he tried to go for a double and would have made it, except he looked up and realized the slow runner in front of him had stopped at second, so he had no place to go. Doesn’t this also cost runs?

  15. Better than the Braves Mac?

    Anyhow, TBS is 3 hours of Seinfeild, Everyone hates Raymond and Friends leading into a spectacular “comedy” double feature of Tommy Boy and Crocidile Dundee 3…shudder.

    Living in Chicago I miss the Braves being on more than 2-3X a week.

  16. Don’t mention it, Jenny. I think the basic point is that speed means nothing if you’re not using it while you’re on base.

  17. Jenny, in your scenarmio Furcal could have had a triple, but LaRoche was on the bag so he had to stop at 2nd, right?

    Well, isn’t having runners on 2nd AND 3rd(Furcal AND LaRoche are both on) better than having just Furcal on 3rd? I don’t see the downside, except that Furcal takes a slight hit in SLUG.

  18. Jenny, the problem with your analysis is that it is anectdotal. Sure it might happen every once in a while that a slower player prevents a faster one from taking an extra base. However, the vast majority of time it is better to have someone who gets on base 10% more times, since he is 10% more likely to get knocked in with a homer or in other situations. Now Laroche isn’t the greatest example since his career OBP is .333 and Furcals is .343, but the theory is correct.

  19. The Jenny situation is one in which it would be better to have a faster player over a slower one. However, in the long run, the Jenny situation is rare, and it’s generally better to have the guy who gets on base the most bat the most often.

    What you gain the two are three times a year the Jenny situation comes up are more than offset by the gain with a higher OBP guy in his place.

  20. The reason I used LaRoche was not for his base reaching abilities, but more for the fact that he is really stinking slow. My idea isn’t that having LARoche lead off is better than Furcal, but simply that it is NEVER bad to have a man on base, no matter how slow.

  21. All right, guys, point conceded. I’m glad I now have a situation named after me! :-)

    I still subscribe to the “fast guy in the leadoff spot” school. And I think the whole bit about not stealing bases is bogus. But that’s just me. I’ve really enjoyed the book so far. I can’t figure out what I think of Billy Beane, and I should probably hurry, since there’s only about 40 pages left. Definitely going to finish tomorrow, since Saturday is going to be officially Harry Potter Day! Last time I read book 5 in one sitting (8 hours!) and got a migraine. But it was worth every Excedrin tablet.

  22. According to the AJC, Bernero’s been optioned to AAA and Jay Powell is going to replace him. A non-move. Bernero, Powell, Brower, etc. they’re all the same guy. I think it’s kind of a waste of a move. Why not call up James or Devine if you think you need something different?

  23. Because possibly Powell will do better than Bernero, is how I see it. It’s hard for him to do worse.

    Mazzilli the Moron just sac bunted with a .344 hitter. Unbelievable. What is up with dumb bunts tonight?

  24. Optioned RHP Adam Bernero to Triple-A Richmond, purchased the contract of RHP Jay Powell from Double-A Mississippi and transferred RHP John Thomson to the 60-day disabled list.

  25. I hate TBS… this month they will show 6-16, next month 12-28 and 12/27 in sept….none of them last weekend series against marlins…So they are not very funny for us!!! It’s awful!!!

  26. Well, guys, you’ve gotten your wish. Bernero’s gone. But think about this.. for the relatively low cost of a spring training non-roster invitee, you guys got 1/2 a year from a reliever who gave you 22 scoreless appearances. And from a guy who had never been used that much out of the pen in his career.

    Now I can go back to the way it used to be.

  27. Bobby screwed up big-time in this game. First he leaves a clearly tired and ineffective Ramirez in the game way too long (he should never have pitched the 7th with Wright leading off), then he made that asinine, completely indefensible decision to squeeze. He has enough confidence in his hitters to let most of them swing on 3-0, but he doesn’t think they can hit a freaking fly ball? I just don’t get it.

  28. I’m one who can’t wait for the Chuck James era, if only for the constant barrage of “I’m Chuck James, biatch!” screams from around the stadium.

    Devine still hasn’t given up a run yet. Pretty good.

  29. JC, James is probably being groomed for starting, and the Braves like to keep starters as starters. Starting pitching hasn’t really been a problem, especially with two guys about to come off the DL.

    As for Devine, I agree. They should have called him up. I have no idea why they would make a largely lateral move like this. Maybe they’re looking for a guy who’s arm they can wear out in losses or not worry about giving irregular work. They probably think Bernero can still develop into a decent reliever and want to give him a more stable situation where he’ll be used regularly.

    I just wonder what the Braves’ plans are over the next couple of days when Hudson and Hampton go active. Bernero going down and sending Colon or Sosa to the pen would have been an obvious move. There’s no way they brought Powell up for only two days of work.

    Maybe they see all three bubble starters, Davies, Colon, and Sosa, as future members of the rotation, and they want to keep all three of them starting at some level rather than moving one back to the pen. Maybe when Hudson and Hampton come off, two of them go down to Richmond to keep starting there and one stays in Atlanta as a 5th starter.

  30. You almost have to demote Davies now, don’t you? If you’re going to make any kind of commitment to Powell, the bullpen is full of guys you trust, one that you wanna have a good luck at (Powell) and one that you’re dying to trust again (Kolb). I don’t imagine Sosa’s goes down, but maybe he does. Or maybe they will trade Horacio, but that still seems so out of character to me.

  31. Hey, wait. If Thomson is expected back, but he’s now on the 60-day DL, somebody will have to be gone for real when he comes back. I guess that Eddie or maybe Jordan can hit the 60-day if it comes to that.

  32. The commitment to Powell is the interesting part of the move. I guess they want to hold on to as many arms as they can, then go with the best down the stretch. Not a bad strategy. I didn’t realize Bernero could be optioned. Did he have to accept the assignment? I thought they would have to DFA him, and maybe they did, but every time I learn this stuff I just forget it.

  33. I just now got a decent handle on service time and arbitration. I don’t have a clue how option years work. Maybe since he was an NRI? The “transactions” page on mlb.com says he was “optioned”, as opposed to, say, “outrighted”. Not that I really know the difference :-/ But since my only other option is to actually do something to earn my paycheck, I’m going to try to find out :)

  34. Although I don’t feel as strong about it as Steffen, I didn’t like the bunt either. But I understood why it happened.

    Bobby has always said that a squeeze works best when the defense is a bit distracted. That was the case last night. The Mets shortstop nearly made an incredible play just moments prior to this. It wasn’t even close enough to argue, but it had the crowd going and the Mets pumped up.

    Can Kelly bunt? Has he ever bunted before? (I couldn’t locate the stats this morning.) The Mets certainly got a shot in the arm when he popped into a DP.

    I say let him swing next time.

  35. Having a habitual #3 hitter who is also a rookie in a slump try to suicide squeeze with the game tied is completely inexplicable. How many times do you think a guy with KJ’s ability has been asked to bunt? 3-4 hitters don’t bunt, they hit! And he was forced to bunt on a bad pitch to try to keep Marte from being dead meat. I’m not blaming KJ for this one. It’s Bobby’s fault. Suicide squeezes are great when they work, but when they go as wrong as this one did…blecch.

  36. Big News Today

    Powell bringing relief: The starting rotation isn’t the only thing that’s going to get some seasoning this weekend. After their loss to the Mets on Thursday, the Braves announced that they were purchasing the contract of veteran right-handed reliever Jay Powell from Double-A Mississippi.

    Powell, who had Tommy John surgery on July 8 of last year, went 2-0 with an 0.64 ERA in 14 innings for Mississippi. The 33-year-old veteran has compiled 539 innings of relief in the Majors, and he helped the Marlins win the World Series championship in 1997.

    To make room for Powell on the 40-man roster, the Braves moved John Thomson to the 60-day disabled list. He’s eligible for activation on Saturday and might rejoin the rotation in early August.

    Adam Bernero was optioned to Triple-A Richmond to make room for Powell on the 25-man roster.

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