264 thoughts on “Early Game Thread: July 28, Natspos at Braves”

  1. I would like to make sure everyone knows Baseball Prospectus is giving free preview this week…

  2. New Lineup: Its about time

    Furcal
    Giles
    C Jones
    A Jones
    LaRoche
    McCann
    Francouer
    Langerhans
    Sosa

  3. Where did you get the early lineup, csg? Are you at Turner Field? mlb.com doesn’t have it up yet.

  4. Everyone in that line-up, save Sosa, is a product of the farm system. I think that is great. IT is like when a guy on your favorite college football team is from an in-state and local high school and he is doing well.

  5. 1st time this year I can remember the top 7 hitters in Braves lineup hitting over .260.

  6. question: what do we do with Sosa, once Hamton and Thompson return. Other than Smoltz he has been our best pitcher. Lets put Hampton in the bullpen for the rest of the year. That way he doesnt hurt himself anymore

  7. WIlkerson has now struck out 106 times in a little over three hundred and something AB

  8. Sosa has been getting really lucky this year. That game against the Giants a week or so ago had me on pins and needles. I think JC said that he’d rather have Bernero out there than Sosa (which, I admit, borders on lunacy) But still, Sosa back to the bullpen would be our best move. Of course, I have doubts whether Hampton will be back this year, so it’ll be a moot point.

    Um, as I type this Sosa’s had an awesome inning. I hope he keeps this up.

  9. As for Sosa, I dont know who has done more for the team this year except for Andruw and Smoltz. He is in my top 5

  10. Why is everybody wearing ribbons? I don’t think I’ve seen that before. At first, I thought maybe Sosa was doing a little tribute to James Doohan or something, but they’re all wearing them. They’re yellow, so I assume it has something to do with that war thingy.

  11. Heh, radio announcers are laughing about Drese looking back at second, saying “don’t throw it, you don’t know where it will end up”.

  12. Pete’s a funny guy. I remember he was in San Francisco a year or so ago and his chair broke. WIthout skipping a beat he said “they almost had to rename this place PVW Park”.

  13. OK, the ribbons and such have something to do with a cancer foundation thing. I missed the details because some people think I should be working right now. Sheesh.

  14. Note to TBS. Some of us have small TVs and don’t need to waste viewing space looking at Bud Selig run his mouth. Hearing it is plenty.

  15. Buddy-boy sidesteps the salary cap issue with some mumbling ramblings about the luxury tax. Doesn’t sound like the hockey thing has emboldened him to the point of making another stupid labor stand, but it’s a long way away.

    Now he’s patting himself on the back aboutt he wild card. And giving this same BS about not being able to determine home field advantage in the WS by the best team’s record. Which is about the dumbest-ass thing I’ve ever heard. You don’t know where the WS is until the league with home field has finished in LCS anyway! Why do people buy this argument… as Skip just did so easily.

  16. Does this Guzman slump remind anyone of the funk Reggie Sanders was in when he was with the Braves?

  17. Luckily, Drese can’t run the bases. Francoeur looked bad on that one.

    I remember Reggie Sanders begin bad, but I don’t know about this level. Although it may be as dramatic since Sanders was actually a good player, which Guzman clearly is not.

  18. Wow Sosa is good stuff today,no BB not yet,shout mood,You don’t say so!Don’t you think so guys? haha

  19. YES! Kinda bad throw, but MUCH worse attempt to tag and catch.

    Sosa’s control looks so good today. Very hard not to get overly excited about him when he’s not walking people.

  20. Haven’t seen any Frank Robinson shots yet, but if a close call goes against them today I think we’ll have a full-blown Piniella-style freak-out on our hands. Sounds like fun!

  21. I am in favor of the other team sucking as much as the next guy, but the home team has hardly looked like a world beater the last few games. Definitely need another bat in the OF for this group to go very far in the playoffs. It says a lot when your corner OF’s are (and should be) batting 8th and 9th

  22. Something along the lines of “You gotta bereave” from a few years ago, huh?

  23. I’m finally getting my Skip fix. He’s just not on enough these days!:)

    Wow, Chipper! Great catch!

  24. “The Washington Natspos of the District of Columbia Located in Northern Virgina and Southern Maryland.”

    “From First to Worst 2005 World Tour.”

  25. yeah Smitty, I never worried about the Nationals.
    Becaouse of Robinson.
    Ryan Drese is a ground ball pitcher, braves!!!
    Watch out his sinker
    only one run-___-;;

  26. Ground ball to Vinny. He throws home and has Furcal nailed by about 15 feet. It was a horrible throw and the catcher didn’t do anything to help. He made a terrible attempt to tag Furcal.
    I think Furcal’s speed rushed Vinny’s throw.

  27. I know. I’m glad he’s back. And that was a nice play.

    Francoeur still isn’t ready :)

  28. LOL, the radio guys are saying the Braves should trade for the AA pitchers that were holding Jeff and Brian in check (both were hitting under .280 in AA).

  29. Yeah, I think it is. KJ’s sump, Larry’s return and Kyle’s demotion have whiped out any hopes for a Braves ROY.

  30. I hope Francoeur can live up to the golden boy image everyone wants him to be. He seems like a nice kid.

  31. Chipper is a Mets killer. Andruw is a Phillies killer, Francoeur is now a Nats killer.

  32. How are you guys watching the game at work? Those of you seeing a video feed I mean. I could try mlb.tv but they monitor our bandwidth consumption :(

  33. Uh… well… my office is a nook in my spare bedroom. So I have an advantage that most don’t. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I don’t get paid by the hour :)

  34. I’m listening to it on the radio.

    Chipper and Andruw need to end their season right here…

  35. They monitor your bandwidth consumption? Lame. Is there not anyone who didn’t show up or left early but forgot to log off? ;)

  36. I’ve got a tv on my desk here at work … but then again, eveyone does. the women all turn oprah on every day at 4, so i figure i can squeeze in Sports Center and the Bravos every now and then.

    for those watching, does it seem like the Braves are kind of lackluster in their spirit? I mean, Francouer hits that homerun and no one even got off the bench to greet him in tehe dugout, much less even get off their .260 asses and clap. Francouer was jokingly slapping high-fives to the back wall of the dugout when he trotted down the stairs. at least the kid’s got a sense of humor.

  37. Sosa has looked really, really good today. His control’s on a whole different level than it’s been in the past.

  38. wow dean, I have to do an internship this fall for school. Can I come work with you?

  39. Yeah, that’s an old joke. Sometimes it works really well, sometimes it just looks stupid… especially after you’ve done it about four times in the last month.

  40. Sorry… responding to Dean, not to you Smitty. Ask away, maybe you can get something out of this internet fan-board thing :)

  41. Maybe the nats will dig up Honus Wagner to play short for them. I bet he could hit better than Guzman dead.

  42. Of course, as soon as I say that, Sosa walks Schneider, then falls behind 3-0 to Cristian F. Guzman.

  43. What will be funny is if they convince Larkin to come back, because at this point, he may be one of the few guys who could make Guzman look good.

    Before you get mad, I think Barry Larkin was a great player. But the key word is “was”.

  44. I think the funniest one I’ve ever seen was Jaret Wright last year. It’s perfect with a pitcher.

  45. Yeah, Joe just said that Sosa has lost his arm slot this inning, doesn’t look as smooth as he was earlier.

    Langerhans tracks down the flyout to get out of the inning. *whew*

  46. Kyle, ground single in the hole, Furcal got to it, but didn’t have a play.

  47. Looked like Furcal booted it a little bit, though it was in the hole and he didn’t have much of a play (he was moving towards 3rd) anyway.

  48. It was a dribbler that Frucal had to range pretty far to his right for. He got to it, but couldn’t pick it up. Not that he would’ve had a play by then, though.

  49. “Kim = Kerosene. This one’s over.”

    Every time the other team brings in a pitcher the Braves should be able to torch, he ends up pitching five shutout innings in relief.

  50. We don’t need ot let these guys back into this one. This team needs a spark, let’s not be the ones that help them out.

  51. If Sosa *has* lost his mechanics, I’d be taking him out now. Or at least keep him on very short leash.

  52. Fortunately, Church isn’t playing. If you can’t take down Castilla and Wilson, you don’t deserve a win.

  53. Guillen’s been hit by pitch about 20 times this year. He’s been dying to slide hard and high.

  54. It’s a good baseball play to slide like that. I would want CHipper to slide into them like that.

  55. That pitch wasn’t anything like a strike. They’re going to have to throw the ball three feet outside to try the “don’t throw him a strike” philosophy.

  56. JB – MLB.com has streaming audio. It’s free if you sign up for 4 free issues of SI (which you can then cancel before paying anything). My wife bought it for me for my birthday back at the beginning of the season.

  57. I am happy to say that I added Francouer to my fantasy team yesterday. Perhaps Vlad Guerrero is a better comp than Dale Murphy!

  58. Furcal’s doing a lot of things right these days. I didn’t see it, but it sounds like he laid down a beautiful bunt for an infield single.

  59. Mac, assuming the tracker on GameDay is correct about pitch locations, he’s been pretty selective today. He’s taken some close pitches, and only swung at the first pitch during his first at-bat. He had a 3-1 count when he hit the first homer.

  60. Jay Powell’s like a daddy to the Mississippi Braves Boys. We miss them all down here. I got to see them in May and they played hard. Young Scherholtz is pretty good too.

  61. If he can do the Vlad thing, he’d be just fine with me. But I’d never expect anybody to do it. I think he has a better chance of adding some zone judgment and selectivity. I’ve been thinking that it might actually be easier for some guys to do at the ML level because the quality of strikes in the minors is generally poorer to the point that there’s no reason not to swing at the first one you see. I don’t know that that’s the case… and his rather unimpressive numbers in AA don’t really show that to have been a very successsful approach… I’m just saying it seems reasonable in my twisted little head. Plus, I do think it’s quite clear that Billy Beane’s baseless assertion that you can’t teach guys patience isn’t true. There are quite a few good examples from recent years now that players are actually realizing it’s a good thing.

  62. At least I think Billy Beane said that or something like it. Don’t start lumping me in with Joe Morgan if he didn’t, please. Not only did I read the book, but I even know who wrote it :)

  63. Are they really streaming the game? I hope they don’t get caught anytime soon because I’m going to have to take advantage of that. It may just be a mistake, because they sure as hell aren’t supposed to do that.

  64. When Vlad Guerrero was in the Eastern League (AA) at the age of 20 (younger than Francoeur is now), he hit .360/.432/.612 with a 51/42 BB/K ratio. Francoeur is a nifty prospect, but he ain’t anything CLOSE to Vladdy.

  65. I’m kind of hoping the real race in the nl east will be for last place. GO NATS!!!

  66. Who’s going down in place of Davies, or is this with Hampton going back on the DL?

  67. Yeah, Kolb sucks. He just plain sucks. I’ve seen pitchers suck before, but Kolb is the suckiest pitcher to ever suck.

  68. Kan’t touch Kolb today baby!

    I’d like to test that theory . . . with my clenched fist.

  69. Well, you wouldn’t be saying that if you lived through Bobby Ayala in Seattle. But there’d be no reason for you to have done that… and no reason to have any confidence in Kolb.

  70. hey I’ve figured it out, Kolb must suck because of andruw. Everything is andruw’s fault, Remember?

  71. heh heh heh… that was pretty funny. I have a feeling you aren’t the only one.

    For the record, my optimism is mostly fake and just seems more fun right now than burning a whole in my gut.

  72. I will defend Kolb slightly by pointing to his stats for this month. I don’t know how many inherited runs he’s given up in addition to the two last night, but he’s actually been a pretty decent run here lately. That could be a fluke, but he deserves some credit for it.

  73. trade Klob while you can. Yes I spelled his name this way on purpose, He is terrible. Thataboy’ to McBride

  74. Nice Bobby Ayala reference creynolds. Although Jose Mesa could also make for a very exciting game when he was in Seattle, and I lived through both.

    Josh g, thanks for the heads up about 96 rock.

  75. No. He. Does. Not.

    No credit, none…creynolds…I have always liked your posts…UNTIL NOW. I am swinging a light saber for defending fat ass…RUN!

    Seriously…how the muther fucking blue hell can you defend that fat, evil fuck Kolbb?

    AND CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN WHY BOBBY WILL NOT USE BLAINE BOYER ANYMORE IN THE SET UP ROLE?? WHY WHY WHY?

  76. I think we need to kill Kolb. I know that this is a drastic action, but it’s really the simplest solution. The other option would be to kidnap him and cut off his right hand, but he might identify us.

  77. Hey, bmac! How long did you live there? I was there from ’94 – late 2003. I loved it, but it was time to get back near home, I guess.

  78. “Does Kolb make the post season roster?”

    Probably, but I hope not. He’s a soul-crushing disaster waiting to happen.

  79. I don’t think he makes it through Sunday. I really don’t. If they aren’t going to go back to trying him at closer, I just can’t imagine they won’t trade him. Someone will take him, and I’m almost positive there’s some reliever coming in.

  80. interesting how just a month or so ago we were putting furcal in the same breath as guzman and now his average is nearly 100 points better

  81. Kolb will probably give a ws title winning homer up to jim leyritz this october and we’ll all be after his head

  82. First Estrada, now Giles. That guy better hire a couple of bodyguards just to get him to the airport.

  83. Are you nuts?! Teams that win close games do it because they know how to win. You don’t know. You’ve never played the game. Why don’t you back away from the computer and go read that book Billy Beane wrote for the 20th time?

    :)

  84. Good GOD…can Marcus ever take a FUCKING pitch to save his life? Gee…no extra pressure on REITSMA, his third day in a row.

  85. I’ve been wondering if they’ve been trotting Kolb out there in the hopes that some decent appearences might generate interest. Just a guess on my part . . .

  86. And he really slacked up on that one heading down the line. What is wrong with him lately?!

  87. did I miss anyone’s comments about Guillens slide into Chipper. Chipper should have punched him in the face!!!

  88. Nope, Reitsma in – the radio guys said earlier that Boyer might close today to give Chris a day off. Guess the game is too close for that.

  89. Kolb’s trade value is pretty high, so it makes perfect sense to trade him now.

    [/sarcasm]

  90. I don’t think many of the responsible adults here are able to watch. It’ll get some play on BBTN in between Yankees highlights. It was pretty nasty.

  91. It’s as high as it’s going to get. Given the dearth of relief pitching, he could be tradeable right. Not every team is the Giants, but look what Chicago got for Hawkins. Granted, Hawkins is a better reliever, but he was at least perceived as a total head case by that point. Kolb actually looks pretty well composed these days.

    Braves win!!!

  92. Kolb for Giles. Timmy Giles third grader at EL Ross elementary in Chattanooga.

    SWEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!

  93. Sweep, baby. Say high to the Mets and Phils for us on your way to fourth place, Washington.

  94. I need to apologize to all out there. I said that Houston and Atlanta would both sweep the Nats and I’m sorry it didnt happen. The Nats only lost 6 of the 7. So to all this is my apology

  95. Basil, I think Alex was trying to get Boston to give us Doug Mirabelli’s jock strap a few weeks ago. Not sure how far he got with that proposal, though.

  96. Again…Kolbb for anything.

    List of things I would trade KOLBB for:

    1. Angelina Jolie’s blood vile of Billy Bob Thornton’s blood
    2. Pauley Shore DVD collection
    3. Lost episodes of “After MASH”

  97. we should try HARDER, creynolds…Kolbb must die. I second Mac’s motion to kill him. all in favor, say EYE.

    EYE.

  98. yeah I wonder if Baseball Prospectus has picked up on that rumor……Atlanta trying to find taker for Kolb…..Will accept any size assortment of used jocks…..Braves figure this will give them some much needed support for their bullpen

  99. Nice win today. I think our lead will only get bigger. Pirates and Reds comming up this week, we should take 5 or 6 of those

  100. But do we have to pay him if we kill him? Is he married? I don’t know how that works with a guaranteed contract. But, hey, I promise to not tell anyone about this if he does end up dead and the fuzz comes looking for answers.

  101. He is single. I read somthing about how he collects cars and motorcycles, must be a cover to hide his sexuality.

  102. The one thing that concerns me is the A) continuing lack of offense and B) the Nats had been free falling anyway so I am not so sure that sweep wasn’t more about the bad play of the Nats as opposed to the great play of the Braves.

  103. creynolds, sorry! I think the club should jump on the Jeff Francoeur band wagon. WE got the best we could out of Kolb, but I am not so sure he has anything left in the tank.

  104. I hear Mark Lemke “collects cars” too.

    Oops… I probably wasn’t supposed to say that. I love the Lemmer… no matter who he is on the inside.

  105. Alex, I think last night was a prime example of how at least one game of the sweep was the poor play of the Nats.

    Oh, and they walked home the winning run in game one.

    Once the Expos, always the Expos.

  106. You guys do know that everyone out there is a pretty good ballplayer… despite what Dayn Perry and his arsemates at BP might say.

    I mean, cripes, we’re 14 games over .500 and 3 games in front, despite a banged up rotation and a roster full of rookies.

  107. I’ve heard that too

    Alex, quit seeing the glass half full. You remind me of Randy Quaid’s roll in Major League 2.

  108. Agreed about FRANCOUER. love the kid–how can you not? (even if he did almost go to Clemson!)

    I think it should be Francouer and Langerhans for now until KJ fixes whatever his problems are.

  109. This is a pretty good club, but there’s room for improvement. The fun thing about rookies is that they can be so dynamic. The bad thing is that they can be equally depressing. I don’t usually say this sort of thing, but I would welcome a veteran outfielder. Although it would have to be a good one, of course.

  110. hey are we sure davies is starting on saturday. I just saw some speculation on BP that Boyer could start saturday

  111. Smitty-

    Too funny…Ok, I am a skeptic and critical when it comes to worrying about the teams I root for (i.e. Braves, Georgia & San Antonio Spurs). I just don’t feel “comfortable” yet with our position because the Nats have been reeling anyway.

    Plus, as long as oxygen and blood are pumping through the veigns of Dan Kolbb, we have reason to worry…do we not?

  112. half empty I ment

    Alex “Hey Bobby! You’re old mother hubbard and Kolbs in the cupbord.”

    Kolb “Shove it up your ass.”

    Alex “It’s wild thing! Oh wait he was making a pass at me…”

  113. I’d be surprised if Davies doesn’t get the call. I can’t imagine Bobby turning a whole game over to the pen. He’s done it in the past (got a no-hitter out of it once even), but with very good options in AAA it seems unlikely. I imagine that Estrada’s health could throw a wrench into this. If he’s not feeling better by Friday, but they’re still not sure about putting him on the DL, they may want to keep Pena around. But even then, assuming Estrada is still capable defensively, I think they’d bring up Davies.

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