Atlanta 3, Washington 2

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

Well, that’s something you don’t see every day — a tenth-inning walk-off walk. The Braves went back into not-scoring-until-late mode, but they got enough. The game had a real playoff atmosphere and a steady late-innings Tomahawk Chop, which dumb as it is really annoys the other team and their fans.

John Smoltz was great. He allowed eight hits, but they were sorry hits, flares and weak grounders and an RBI popup. That sort of thing. He struck out four, and walked two. By all rights, the Natspos should have gotten one run, max. But they bunched the flares, got a swinging bunt, that sort of thing. It happens sometimes.

Meanwhile, for six innings the Braves were hopeless against Livan Hernandez. To that point, their only hits were a flare double by Chipper and a two-out triple by Andruw. Meanwhile, their flares and groundouts weren’t finding holes, and they were making easy outs early in the count.

Finally, in the seventh, Chipper hit what looked like a homer to cut the lead to 2-1, but it was brought back. Then LaRoche did hit a homer. Langerhans singled, and McCann hit what looked like a game-tying double, but it was caught on the run.

Furcal was stranded in the eighth, but Andruw doubled leading off the ninth. He went to third on Chipper’s single, and scored on a long flyout by LaRoche. But Betemit (running for Chipper) was caught stealing on what I can only hope was a hit-and-run.

McCann singled leading off the ninth. Julio bunted him to second, which I thought was weird — why use a pinch-hitter to bunt? Plus Francoeur ran for McCann, both removing his bat as a possible pinch-hitter for Johnson and would have forced Estrada and his sore back into the game. Furcal was walked, and then Johnson popped up.

Enter Marcus, who looked absolutely hopeless all night. On the game thread, we were debating what his problem is, since he’s looked terrible since the break. I suggested that his “flu” was actually mono. But he was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Andruw came up, and walked on four pitches. The first three weren’t close. The fourth was closer, but obviously not a strike, though the Natspos argued as usual. Braves alone in first place.

The Mets and Marlins are losing, and the Phillies are tied… Hudson faces Esteban Loaiza tomorrow on SportsSouth.

33 thoughts on “Atlanta 3, Washington 2”

  1. Clement update: CAT scan negative. That’s fantastic news.

    I’m so riled up about this game! Apparently the fans were awesome, which lets all the stupid Natspo fans who called them out SHOVE IT! I still can’t believe how we won. Bring in a top reliever (well, at least in FR’s mind) with 2 outs and runners on 1B and 2B, HBP a guy who currently couldn’t hit water in a boat, and then a four-pitch walk? I’m so mad I didn’t get to see it!

    Marcus is horrendous. He has absolutely sucked since the ASB, which also coincides with the “flu-like symptoms.” I will delve into wild, unfounded speculation for a minute and come up with the following possible explanations:

    1. He has the actual flu. In July? Stranger things have happened.
    2. He caught something in the Bahamas. I caught an intestinal bug in China and it took me 3 weeks to shake it. I’m still not completely over it.
    3. He’s having personal problems. Wife, kid, parents, something.
    4. His entire baseball career has been a joke and he actually sucks. Not likely.
    5. Everything is going wrong at once: strike zone recognition, batting stance, bat speed, concentration, the whole bit.

    I’d go wholeheartedly with #5 except he hasn’t LOOKED good either so I might also say 2 or 3 possibly. If that’s the case, Dr. Chandler should come look at him. Either way, he needs to sit for a few days and clear his brain or get over what’s bugging him. Because he is a total hole in the lineup. It’s like watching a younger white version of the abominable Sammy Sosa right now. That was a key HBP tonight, but he also had nothing to do with it except maybe failing to get out of the way. Something is screwy with this guy, and he seems to have a lot of the offense dragged down with him. HELP!

  2. I think we shoud flip Marcus and KJ. Marcus gets more fastballs to hit with Furcal getting on base.

  3. Jenny,

    I just want to point out the evil that is Peter Angelos for blocking games between the Nats & Braves on any station this week. Thank God for the Internet but Angelos is pure, putrid evil.

    Anyway, just needed to get this off my chest.
    :-)

  4. We really should have put Ravech in The Road From Bristol. He just basically said that ball four to Andruw was a strike. It was six inches outside, for God’s sake.

  5. Yeah, Ravech is a moron who interjects his opinion into the conversation. No one careswhat he thinks about anything.

  6. Thanks, Alex, I’ve already blown all my fuses on it, especially when the radio reception died. I keep having to switch because the stereo gets 1050 and my Discman gets 104.1.

    THANKS, PETER!

  7. Robinson is claiming that it was “straight down the middle”, which presumably is why Schneider yanked it four inches to his left upon catching it. Oh, and the WaPo game story calls Marcus “Brian” again. Got to do something about that.

    Remember how hot he (Marcus, not Brian) was right before the break? I said that he looked like if the All-Star team was picked a week later he’d have made it. What happened?

  8. Fun game tonight. The crowd really showed up for a Tuesday night. I don’t know how the attendence was only measured at 43,000. It took me 25 minutes to make it to the front of the ticket line and when I got there they were only selling standing room only tix. Something doesn’t add up there. I guess they decided to subtract about 5,000 from the actual attendance because this is Atlanta and we don’t care about our team here.

    Jenny, If you have trouble tuning in the Braves on your local stations there’s always the 96Rock feed…

    http://www.96rock.com/streaming.html

  9. Boyd, where you there? The crowd was pretty good all night, and it was a huge crowd. It might have been 40,000 in attendance, as opposed tot he usual 32K sold, 21K in the seats. In the bottom of the 10th(before even McCann’s At-Bat) the crowd was going pretty crazy, much more alive than any game I’ve been to since Julio’s 13 pitch, game winning double on 4-11 last season. The fact that we beat the Suckspo’s at their own (1-run) game makes it even better.

    I semi-understand the want to bunt in the 10th, I mean it isn’t the worst idea I could think of, but I still wouldn’t have done it. But thats not my point, WHY THE HELL DO YOU WASTE JULIO FRANCO ON A BUNT! AGAINST A LHP! I almost had a heart attack when he squared up the first time(and the next 2 as well) which doesn’t seem very normal for an 18 year old.

    Hey Mac, any chance we could get together a Braves Journal night or something? Pick a game in September when we have the division wrapped up, take reservations and buy a large group of Upper Box(the $12 tickets behind the plate) and just have a huge group of blog readers there for a game? I realize that it would be tough for Alex and Jenny(and I am sure others) but I think we for sure could get 15-20 people there. Ussmariner does something similar to this and it is a rousing success, though the mariner online community is a tad larger than the Braves one.

  10. The problem is that I couldn’t make it either. I work at a college in Tuscaloosa, and September is a really hard time to get away. Now, if some of the people in the Atlanta area want to get together I’ll help organize.

  11. Yes JP I was there. I was definitely being sarcastic when I said the fans don’t care. I personally thought the crowd was something of 48,000+. There were hardly any empty seats that I could see and plenty of people standing all over the park. Plus, why are they selling standing room only tix if they still have seats to sell? That didn’t make sense to me. You’re right, it was similar to the atmosphere of the 4/11 game last year (I was at that one too), but without the annoying Cubs fans.

    I was flashing back to game 6 of the 99 NLCS (again, there) when Andruw came up in the 10th with the bases loaded. Only this time I wasn’t as nervous. But not even that crowd was as electric as the one last October in game 2 against the Astros (remember Furcal’s walk-off homer?), perhaps the most exciting game I’ve witnessed. According to retrosheet, the attendance at that game was only 3,000 less than tonight’s game yet I remember seeing large chunks of un-used seats at that one. I really think they got the attendance wrong tonight, and it was somewhere closer to 48 or even 50k.

    Blog-nite at the park? count me in. But how is Mac going to deliver the recap if he’s actually at the game?

  12. Just to give you Turner Southless peons a glimpse of what you’re missing… Clash of the Titans is on now. I mean, this is one quality channel.

  13. I think we shoud flip Marcus and KJ. Marcus gets more fastballs to hit with Furcal getting on base.

    Couldn’t hurt since they combine to go 0-8 every night. Maybe we should switch then with some of the hitters down in the order who can actually hit so Andruw can have some non-solo shot homers.

    With KJ’s totally predictable 0-5 tonight – he didn’t face a pitcher who’s in the botton quartile of the league, which means he’s useless – he’s hitting a nifty .229 for the year. Here’s what we give up to our division rivals in left field every night:

    Cabrera .349/.402/.619/1.021
    Floyd .279/.353/.520/.873
    Burrell .282/.371/.515/.886
    Wilkerson .265/.365/.420/.785
    Johnson .229/.322/.397/.719

    One of these things is not like the other, One of these things just doesn’t belong…

  14. Boyd I was there as well, and the stade was electric. I went to Games 1 and 5 last season, and both were completely dead if you don’t count Astro fans. I hate Atlanta fans to be honest. One of the main problems is that we don’t have a rival, but it would appear the Atlantanites want the Sucks to be that rival. Shame since they aren’t a good team and won’t be one anytime soon. Personally I hate the Mets almost as much as I like the Braves, but they only have been good for 2 years in my lifetime(well, I was less than a year old in 1986).

  15. With regards to Kelly Johnson’s lack of production, does anyone think we should move him to the lower end of the lineup? Maybe he would be more aggressive and not watch so many strikes. It’s a possibility that his excessive patience is due to batting second. Just an idea.

  16. It’s probably the other way around. Bobby probably wants his most patient hitter to bat second so Furcal can steal bases.

    If he starts swinging, he’s probably moved down in the order.

  17. Kelly isn’t really patient any more though. His walk rate has fallen off the table in the past month. Ever since late June, his once-excellent K/BB ratio has turned thoroughly mediocre, and is absolutely putrid in that span. I admire Bobby for sticking by KJ during his struggles (once he believes in a guy, he’ll stand by him no matterwhat) but I hope that KJ can figure out what he’s doing wrong.

  18. I was there too, what a game!! We were right behind the right field foul pole. The atmosphere was playoffic. I’m glad we came back and knocked Cordero out of the game. He’s over-rated. My fav. chant from last night was:

    “Still the Expos”

    **Guillen in RF looked in amazement during the many tomahawk chops blasting from the crowd.

  19. Can someone explain what this means? It’s from the Nats page:

    The Braves cut the lead in half in the bottom of the seventh inning, when LaRoche took Hernandez’s first pitch and homered over the right-field wall.

    “I threw a slider inside. He was cheating and got right there in the zone,” said Hernandez.

    Cheating? What?

  20. Usually means either moving up in the box or in towards the plate expecting something off-speed or outside. Not cheating in the normal sense, but adjusting your position and/or swing in anticipation of a particular pitch and/or location. Or something like that. I’m sure there are plenty of people here who can articulate it better than me, but that’s usually what I think of when people use the word “cheating” in that context.

  21. I’d like to attend a bravesbeat night, name the date.

    The crowd was amazing in the ninth last night. I thought we were louder/crazier than Franco’s 13 pitch at bat.

    The chop was relentless and required no stadium PA back-up. I’m giving the fans some credit for that win.

    And let’s not count how bad the Natspos are going to feel this morning after that LOSS in that HEAT.

  22. And Betemit was thrown out on a failed hit and run. The hit end of the deal was foiled by a pitch that bounced outside in the RH batters box to a left handed batter

  23. my boy laroche came through again(twice)..i hope some of you still dont want him traded

    and it was nice so see/hear from gant who was in the booth

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