Atlanta 4, Washington 3

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

Well, all’s well that ends well, I guess. But it took a lot of bad Natspos defense for the Braves to win this one. And while Kevin Gryboski is gone, his spirit lives on. Tim Hudson, John Foster, and Dan Kolb gave us a lesson on how worthless the “win” stat is in a game where starting pitchers don’t complete their games.

Hudson was shaky in the first, allowing a triple, two singles, and a walk but only one run thanks to Vinny hitting into a double play. Vinny, by the way, is now so bad that even the Fox announcers notice it, but not as bad as Cristian Guzman, about whom more later. Hudson after that was great, allowing just two hits and a walk in the next six innings.

The Braves, meanwhile, finally got on board in the fourth when Marcus, who has looked hopeless for a couple of weeks, hit a homer to tie the game. Then Andruw hit a popup behind first base that turned into a double because Jose Vidro can’t field anymore. They got Chipper and LaRoche to strike out, but Jeff Francoeur singled Andruw home. (Francoeur started in right tonight for Langerhans even with a righthander going; I think giving him some starts against righties makes sense, but KJ is really struggling right now and would be a better choice to sit.)

In the seventh, the Braves got another run on a bloop single by Francoeur, a throwing error on a McCann bunt, and a wild pitch, as the Natspo gifts continued. But Bobby hit for Hudson, who had thrown 102 pitches. Foster came in, and continued his recent control problems, walking the first two men. Enter Kolb, who Gryboskied the hell out of this game, allowing two singles to tie the game before getting a strikeout and two flyouts. Kevin could not have done it better.

The Braves got a run with two out in the eighth, though. Chipper singled, then actually stole second when Guzman couldn’t get a tag down. They walked LaRoche, then Guzman, Vidro, and Wilkerson couldn’t get a popup from Francoeur that turned into an RBI double. There were at least four egregious misplays by the Natspos in this game, leading to three of the Braves’ four runs. It almost makes up for Kolb.

The latter, meanwhile, gets a win. Foster, even though he was terrible and didn’t get any outs, gets a hold, because James and Stats, Inc. screwed up the hold rule when they invented it and should have required the pitcher get at least one out Elias is a gang of morons (see Bamadan’s comment). Hudson gets diddlysquat. The only pitcher who gets what he deserves is Reitsma, who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save. And at least one former commenter will claim that Kolb is good and Hudson not because Kolb got a win.

The Phillies are losing, the Marlins and Mets winning… The Braves get the chance for the sweep tomorrow with Sosa against Ryan Drese, who’s been pretty terrible in his last few starts so will probably throw a 3-hit shutout. (Reverse jinx!) It’s a midday game, so it can be on TBS and not interfere with Everyone Loves Raymond reruns.

Note for Jenny and Alex:

ESPN.com – MLB – Judge tosses out Comcast’s suit against Orioles

“Orioles attorneys said the ruling means Comcast should now start carrying Nationals games.”

41 thoughts on “Atlanta 4, Washington 3”

  1. Mac, the first hit that Kolb gave up was off the fists over Raffy’s head – you can’t hold that against Kolb. It was hit so poorly that the runner was able to advance to third from first on a ball hit to the left side. The blame falls much more on Foster than on Dan tonight for Huddy not getting his 100th win.

  2. …gets a hold, because James and Stats, Inc. screwed up the hold rule when they invented it and should have required the pitcher get at least one out.

    Nit picking alert. The Hold stat has two versions. One propounded by Stats, Inc that DOES require an out; one propounded by Elias that DOES NOT require an out. Unfortunately Elias is the official stat-keeper for MLB. If you look at a number of publications from the mid 90s, there are very different totals for various pitchers and teams.

  3. Master Bolgger almost struck again. :)

    Foster’s fault, though, for walking the desiccated remains of Vidro, as well as Wilkerson, leaving Kolb to face Guillen and Nick, who both kill us. Anyways, good win. I’ll have another.

  4. Can we hope for KolBB to go back to the “Boston Pulbic Libary” while “not wareing any pants” so he’ll get arrested and someone else can take him off our hands? While I was quite upset when Furcal was arrested, I wish it would happen to KolBB. To be fair, he got stuck with a nice little mess created by Foster, and would have been just fine if he’d started the inning, presumably, but I really think he has no redeeming value to this team. He’s just not trustworthy enough. Would you want him in Game 7 of the NLCS up 3-2, or even 4-2? I wouldn’t. Send him to Pyongyang, where he can be reunited with his Dear Friend.

    Once again the Nats practically hand us the game, this time with defense instead of pitching. We haven’t made a statement yet. I was very happy to see Marcus hit a bomb and work the count for a walk. He may be coming out of his funk. KJ needs to be on the bench for a bit, though. Give Francoeur more playing time, and not at the expense of Langerhans. I think the Braves should buy Cristian Guzman some beer. His 2005 OPS is .494. That is lower than the SLG of many players BY ITSELF. Why he has not been DLed, DFAed, or shipped to Jakarta is beyond me. But thanks, Nats!

    Thanks for the article, Mac. Comcast coverage is much better than MASN. Not that I care how good the Nats coverage is, but maybe I would have gotten to see these games!

  5. I thik we are about to trade Brian Pena. After Estrad’s 3 games are up, I think he will be moved.

  6. No point. You have to pay them anyway, they have some value in the clubhouse, and you can leave them on the DL forever. Perez is likely to take a coaching job in the organization this offseason if his shoulder is indeed permanently shot.

  7. Just read from Yahoo Sports that Kelly Johnson is resting tomorrow with Langerhans playing leftfield. The kid can really use a break because he looks totally lost…

  8. Could some one explain the thinking behind walking Laroche at 2-1 after Chipper stole 2nd with 2 outs? According to Gameday, the next two balls were intentional. Why would you walk some one who’s hitting .263 and is 0-3 with 2K’s to get to Francoer who’s hitting .414 and is 2-3? Is it because he homered and hit a sac fly last night?

  9. Righty righty matchup, force at all 3 bases.

    Could someone explain why Chipper ran there? At first I thought it was some busted hit and run, or a sick joke. I was pissed until I saw the ball resting on the ground against the base.

  10. Well, you have to give credit to Chipper’s effort. He may not be very smart about staying within himself, but this also shows that he is getting more comfortable with his injury. In fact, we can see his swing is much better than the Arizona series. We really need a healthy Chipper Jones to have any chance in the playoff, that’s why I am not too happy about his stolen base either.

  11. The real question is, why do major league pitchers insist on throwing Francoeur strikes? He makes Pete Orr look patient. If Frank Robinson wants to yell at someone, he might want to start with his pitchers rather than the umpires.

  12. The Nats were just horrible on defense in this game. I thought Frank Robinson’s head was going to explode. The Guzman signing has got to go down as one of the worst ever. Besides being an out machine, he’s stinking it up in the field (in addition to his awful misplays in this game, I seem to remember he threw a ball away in the ninth of a game in RFK early in the season that allowed the Braves to win a game they shouldn’t have). The Nats are “regressing to the mean” with a vengeance.

  13. Some family trouble kept me from following the game on line, so I was amazed by the 308 posts in the game thread! I feel so left out!

  14. First, I agree with Mac’s assertion from earlier…Kelly Johnson has once again gone into an endless tailspin and thank god he’s sitting tomorrow.

    To further this point, I think they should either consider benching KJ for a while or at least switching him off every other day with Langerhans until we can land a Brian Giles or someone of that ilk.

    I realize Francouer is only 20 but so freaking what? He’s hitting .390 and though I realize he’s had limited AB’s, the Braves are once again scuffling for offense so to me, you put whatever on the field is going to score you some runs. I mean, we are already forced to bench possibly one of our three best hitters in Wilson Betemit because Chipper is just healthy enough to be mediocre and not be on the DL. Gee, great.

    Regarding Kolbb: Yeah, I lost it last night…I mean, I was only watching the game on a laptop but I LOST IT. To be fair, I fully agree with the assertions on here that John Foster sucked also. He’s also unrealiable at this point…he has lost his confidence and the walks just KILL you.

    But back to fat ass douchebag I wish he would just die a thousand times over DAN ELEPHANT MAN KOLBB, he keeps dpoing the same shit over & over & over…I mean, what does it POSSIBLY take to lose your job?

    I mean, at my job, if they paid me a hefty slalary and over & over & over I couldn’t close ANY sales whatsoever (I work in Media sales) essentially over 4 straight months, they’d fire my ass and I would deserve it. But I bring in at least one sale a week because it’s my damn JOB. Kolbb, that fat fu– is not doing his damn job. FIRE HIM. FIRE HIS LAME ASS.

    I also would love, LOVE to know why in blue hell Blaine Boyer lost his role as the 8th inning guy–WHY????

  15. That’s a good question about Boyer. I guess they’re just desperately trying to get some value out of Kolb one way or another. I really thought he was pitching his way back to Kloserdom, but that clearly isn’t the case anymore. He’s pitched his way back to almost tradeable though. Now that Furcal’s hot and clearly not going anywhere, his is probably the only salary that could conceivably be shipped out to make room for another.

  16. Today’s hot tid bit is that we might go after Matt Lawton. I would rather trot KJ out there, same result

  17. Brian Giles is the ONE guy who’s really worth going after for SEVERAL reasons:

    1. His brother…aka…would be happy to come here and play for a reasonable contract

    2. Consistently productive and consistently all around good defensively and hits for average, power and even knows how to take a walk

    3. Quality guy…great work ethic (like his brother) and would be a great clubhouse influence…just a great FIT

    4. Age–in his prime…considering how many young guys plus a few old guys, we need another influence in the “middle” (ages 27-31) which he fits.

  18. The Braves will do one of two things by the deadline.

    1) Maybe pick up a pitcher for the pen.
    2) Make a huge splash that no one saw comming and make a run for a World Championship

  19. Kyle,

    My apologies…I thought he was younger.

    Still, look at his quality of play. I would be happy to stick him in right or left field for the rest of this seaosn and maybe next year as well to give our youngsters some more growth time.

    His quality has not gone down.

  20. I love Giles as a player, but we won’t be able to trade for him this year. As I’ve said before, if we could sign him for 3 years at 7 million per or close to it, I would be extremely happy.

  21. Why can’t we trade for him this year.

    A package of Langerhans, Colon or Davies, Brayan Pena (or even Estrada I hope so McCann can take over) + we get them to “take” Kolbb feeling that a new, pitching friendly environment in an easy-to-win NL West might fit for him (plus salary relief from taking Brian Giles).

    I would do that kind of package…and yes, I would even be willing to deal Davies now (which i am sure San Diego would want him or Colon) because we’d still have Colon, Lerew & ChuckJames among others as future starters.

  22. Because the Padres wouldn’t do this as a dump trade, if they’re even really considering it at all. If they think they can re-sign him, then why trade him? But if they don’t think they can, or for some reason don’t plan to even try, then I’d think the only thing that could get him would be a top quality major league pitcher PLUS some other pieces. Sure, maybe there’d be a chance if Thomson weren’t hurt and Atlanta was willing to trade him. But neither of those is true… well, the first most certainly isn’t. Langerhans, Colon/Davis and Pena is two part-time players and a reasonably promising pitching prospect for a guy who is contributing heavily to a division-leading club.

    I think Alderson’s probably too smart to think anybody is untouchable, but to pry Brian Giles away from a contending team… even one with serious needs… is probably a bigger deal than Atlanta either can or is willing to make.

  23. Because they traded two amazing prospects to get him, they’re in the middle of a close playoff race, and he’s their best player. Your suggested package would be similar to us trading Andruw Jones for Tim Stauffer, Xavier Nady, Rudy Seanez and a minor league catcher (probably not George Kottaras, because he’s better than Pena).

    Of course I’d be willing to part with those players for Giles – but the Padres wouldn’t part with Giles for those players. That’s the important aspect that everyone somehow leaves off every loony trade rumor that gets posted here.

  24. THey might take Pena, or maybe Estrada. I bet they want McCann, but I don’t think we will cut him loose. I could see trading Estrada and a pitcher (Kolb, Colon, or one of the young pitchers.) THey need a catcher and Johnny would be a great fit in that park. We need a bat and Giles would love to play with his brother. I an Estrada + mid level pitching prospect would be good for Giles.

  25. Estrada is a mild upgrade over Fick (10 runs over the rest of the season in an optimistic scenario). A “mid level pitching prospect” (Jake Stevens? Anthony Lerew?) is worth slightly more than nothing – it might push them over the brink if they were close to agreeing to the trade. Random AAA Outfielder is a HUGE DOWNGRADE from Giles (who is the most valuable offensive right fielder in professional baseball right now) – they’d be giving up at least 30 runs here.

    Why would they do that trade? Why?

  26. Move it a little closer to Giles, Nevin and 100% of their salaries for a healthy John Thomson, Andy Marte, Brayan Pena, Ryan Langerhans and a PTBNL from a list of hot lower-level prospects. How does that sound? Not so hot to me.

  27. Ok Kyle, IF we go after Giles, Estrada has to be in the package. They need a proven catcher and bad.
    We would have to also give up one of the young guys that is in bull pen right now.
    It would also cost us Langerhans or KJ.

    I really think if we make this trade a third and/or a fourth team will get involved and we will send Estrada to SD and some youg guys to a place like Pitsburgh (Pena, KJ, or Davies) Pitsburgh sends SD Lawton and Redman. Somewhere in this deal we get a back up catcher. That is where a fourth team comes into play. SD sends a guy like Clay Hensley to a fourth team and we get a guy to come back up McCann til Eddie can play again.

    Just a thought

  28. I heard a stat a couple of years ago, that I think Elias did, that said that if you WALK the opening batter in an inning, he scores like 63% of the time, whereas if the first batter gets on via a hit, he scores only like 54%. Therefore, you want a guy who throws strikes. So, who do you bring in?

  29. I”m watching last night’s BBTN waiting for the game to start. Harold Reynolds just said that Alex Cora should be playing every day. Has he advanced in the Road from Bristol? Is so, when is his bracket up yet?

  30. ALex Cora is terrible, or in the words of Stephen A. Smith, “ALEX CORA IS SO TERRIBLE HE MAKES SLAVADIC MALINGLJJOUGO LOKK LIKE LARRY FREAKING BIRD!”

  31. Harold failed to advance past the first round, as I recall.

    I’m tired of critiquing these trade “rumors.” Suffice it to say that in my estimation, Giles will not be traded.

  32. I’ve changed it to City Confidential. I don’t know what I was thinking trying to get something out of BBTN.

    Note – I love working from home :)

  33. Very unlikely that the Pads will trade Giles – they are leading the division and he’s a big part of their team. However, he’s a free agent at the end of the season and has already expressed a desire to play with his brother before he retires. He would be a good off-season target for the Braves, with one huge caveat. He’s going to be expensive, in the $10 million range. Unless the Braves clear some other salary, I don’t see Time Warner agreeing to add his salary, particularly after how well the rookie OF’s have played this year.

    Still, I would enjoy seeing him in a Braves uni, and I suspect he & Marcus would play quite well together.

  34. I have to disagree with the your assessment creynolds.

    While you say that you “can’t imagine” the Padres dealing Giles in the middle of a pennant race, let’s break this down.

    1. The Braves have 2 really good everyday catchers in Estrada & McCann and don’t need both. Brayan Pena, the 3rd best catcher, is still better then ROBERT FICK. (Fick may give the same offensive output as Estrada but a defensive liability and they need a guy who can really handle a young pitching staff).

    2. The Padres have strong outfield depth. They have some young guys and since they ARE stuck with Phil Nevin, they can also play Nevin out there, right? Plus they are getting Langerhans who isn’t as good as Giles BUT he can hit .280 with a little bit of power. They may use him in a platoon with Nevin or something.

    Look, it’s not ideal from a San Diego perspective to deal Giles during a pennant race…but, if they can solve their catching problems + get another starting pitcher and they already have outfield depth, why wouldn’t the Padres do that? It would make no sense for them not to.

    And though I would much rather deal Estrada then McCann, you can even deal McCann because Estrada can do just fine in the job 2-3 more seasons until the 2 studs we have in A-ball are ready. The kind of catching & pitching depth we are blessed with in Atlanta makes us ideal to trade with a team like San Diego.

    Not to mention the fact that the Padres are not remotely convinced that Giles will return for sure. The Braves have no intention of Marcus going anywhere and the Brothers Giles have OPENLY talked about playing TOGETHER. Brian has said he’d be happy to either go to Atlanta one day or have Marcus join him at Petco. Since Marcus isn’t going anywhere and Brian is a free agent, you do that math.

    Plus, at age 35, giving him a 2 yr. deal will cover us until we are ready for both KJ and Francouer to be everyday players.

  35. I think that the deal is that San Diego shouldn’t be willing to get worse this year. And trading Giles to get a catcher (who they may only need for 6 weeks), a pitching prospect and fourth outfield would make them worse. Any upgrade from Fick/Nevin (who can at least contribute some offensively) to Estrada couldn’t make up for the downgrade from Giles to the Nevin/Fick/Langerhans combo that would essentially end up replacing him. I don’t think that this year Davies or Colon can be seen as a definite upgrade to whoever they could get to fill a hole in the pitching staff. I’m sure McCann would add some serious temptation, but I still don’t know if that’s enough because I think it still has them ending up with a worse team than right now.

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