101 thoughts on “Early Game Thread: August 6, Braves at Cards”

  1. I see we have Johnson in his prime rally killing position. Good thing too, because if we went Furcal-Betemit-Giles-Andruw we might actually score enough runs to have a chance today.

    Maybe we can get something out of the Francoeur-McCann-Betemit streatch.

    It’s pretty clear that Johnson has the pictures.

  2. I think I am going to have to go watch this in a bar. I’ll be at the Vortex in little 5 in anybodys interested. Ask for Spike.

  3. Can anyone explain what happened to just showing the damn baseball game? Why are the cartoon characters and the cyborg player profiles necessary? What demographic does this crap really attract?

  4. Wow. Comparing a changing MLB to what’s happening in the world today is just totally wrong. Yikes. It’s a GAME.

  5. Nice play by Brower with his hat too. Didn’t even move.

    In other news, we still need other people to get some hits here.

  6. Can we trade Estrada or Pena to Colorado in the off-season for Brian Fuentes? Since the Red Sox apparently “shafted” them on Kelly Shoppach?

    FWIW, it was probably Lucchino’s fault. He’s a weasel.

    And THAT, Marquis, is why you should have pitched around Betemit!

  7. Why not? He’s a lefty and he can’t be any worse than Brower has been.

    Of course, Tom Martin was also a lefty, but I wouldn’t put him and Remlinger in the same category.

  8. We don’t really have room on the 40 man roster to take fliers on guys like Remlinger unless we dump someone. I would say Brower, but after what he did with his hat, well, you never know…

    Poor Francoeur. They could have picked a better Strait song.

    Wow, I wish I was in Atlanta – the Vortex sounds pretty good. They have such good burgers.

    Dish lied to me, but at least I was happily surprised to not be getting the Mets game instead of them telling me I was getting the Braves and turning on Victor Zambrano.

  9. Heck Jenny I laugh at the Mr. Goodwrench ads. I love that guy, he’s no Will Ferrell, but he does alright.

    Gotta get Rodrigeuz(sp?) here, I don’t wanna see Pujols this inning.

    And there we go. Thanks Tim.

  10. He’s much better on the Daily Show, though. I don’t think the Mr. Goodwrench script is that good. Too corny for me.

  11. I should say here my wife has a theory: She thinks that Andruw hits when Chipper’s not in the line-up. She points out that he slumped when Chipper came back, and is hitting again now that he’s away again.

    I personally don’t put much stock in it, but its gotta maybe be a factor. I wonder which has a higher corelation(sp?) the HPB theory or the no Chipper theory?

  12. A bit late jumping in, but…

    Woo Hoo Andrew!!!

    Isn’t Steven Colbert the voice of Harvey Birdman on adult swim?

  13. Kyle, is he a headcase or just stubborn as hell? That’s the impression I got when he was in Atlanta.

  14. Chipper being out of the lineup is part of it. After following Adnruw for a decade, I’ve noticed a few things.
    One: He is extremely streaky and that is the obvious one. I’ve gotten pretty good at deciding when he will pick it up and when he will slow down.
    Two: Earlier in his career, anything away was trouble for him. He still doesn’t go the opposite way, but his new stance allows him to pull outside pitches a bit better. I still think staying away would give the opposing teams a much bigger chance of retiring him.
    Three: He is lazy. I am his biggest fan, but I can admit that he is lazy. He is a much better player than most see. He can turn it on when he has to (absense of Chipper) and relaxes when he doesn’t. I’d like to see him go all out all the time, but he manages to stay healthy and does a helluva job, so I’ll take it.

  15. What a huge blast by Andruw. He’s back on track, the Braves can avoid a disheartening sweep, and we build confidence in the event of an NLCS showdown.

  16. Andruw’s casual, not lazy. You don’t get that good by being lazy. The idea that he’s lazy is a just a supeficial observation. His demeanor is quiet and casual, that’s a lot different than being lazy.

  17. For the record I called that GS – yes Im THAT good

    and man has it been awhile since ive been to the vortex

  18. Nope. I’d say lazys the word. Again, I say that as his biggest fan. He doesn’t try as hard as he can all the time. His unbelievable talent makes up for it. He does, however, pick it up when he has to, which is nice.

  19. I’m not coming after you personally Mike Clay, I hear the “lazy” tag against Andruw all the time. Maintaining his all-around level of play takes a lot of work and calling him lazy is very far from the truth.

  20. McCarver doesn’t bother me that much today. I think I’ve built up a tolerance to bad color commentary listening to Paciorek.

    What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.

  21. Nono. Let me clarify. On the field he doesn’t give it his all every day. Again, I’m not taking shot at him. It might be in his best interests to lay back some days. He managed to keep healthy so I’m not complaining. My point is just that he could be the best player in this league if he wanted to. That’s what I’ve gathered over the years.
    Yes he is a very casual player as well. But it goes further to a point.

  22. I really like the way Hudson is pitching recently. His delivery is nice and easy, and he is striking more people out.

  23. Andruw has a very casual fielding style, that’s as much as I’ll allow. Lazy centerfielders don’t cover that much ground. You can’t become that good by being lazy, you can’t even become a centerfielder. Saying Andruw is lazy is a just a traditional exaggeration of his playing style. Look what he’s done today, you can’t accomplish that by being lazy.

  24. Well yes, I agreed that he is a casual fielder. He is the best out there. Have you noticed how people around the league have been quick to say that Reed, Hunter, etc. are better this year? That is because Andruw hasnt dove for as many as his has in the past, where these young guys are all over the place. He has been more conservative as hes aged, although I still think he is the best in the business out there.
    As for today, I said hes hot (in fact, I said early last week he would pick it up late this past week, which he has). I also said he plays better when he has to. Its not a shot at him, but its what Ive noticed over the years.

  25. I love Andruw, but he’s not the best player in the league. He doesn’t hit for average like Pujols or now Derrek Lee. It doesn’t make him lazy, it makes him a different kind of player. People expect too much from Andruw. He’s an awesome force on defense and offense. It seems like calling him lazy for some is not just a reaction to his physical style, but stems from expecting him to bat like Pujols. Andruw as he stands now is enough for me.

  26. How do we know what Andruw could accomplish? Ever since he came up he’s been stuck with this “next Willie Mays” label. Well, he’s not Willie Mays. His “potential” is just a series of expectations laid on him by people who really, when it comes down to it, have no idea what he can do, and it’s not really fair.

    Potential is overrated.

  27. I think the difference between Hunter and Jones is obvious. One is more reckless and robs more homeruns, but is not sitting out for the year. Andruw is the most calculated CF in MLB and that’s why he’s played more than 150 games in each of his seasons starting in the majors.

  28. I’m not complaining. I am happy with what he brings now. But you can’t sit there and say you wouldn’t like to see him work on driving pitches to the opposite field and increase his average. That has always been his weak spot, and its something he needs to do if he wants to be the best.

  29. Hah. I just said that he is more conservative in center so he stays healthy. Thats why I said I’m not complaining ;)

  30. Actually I don’t want him to try and do that Mike. I mean I would love it if Andruw could do that and hit over .300 every year. But whenever he tries that, he seems to unravel at the plate and slump. He hit over .500 against the Astros in the playoffs last year by pretty much pulling the ball every at-bat. He can still dominate, as he showed today, without going the other way.

  31. Mike, I think we have not seen the best of Andruw yet. You have to remember he is still only 28.

  32. If he only plays better when he has to, that implies that he’s not trying the rest of the time, and I just really think that’s absurd. He goes through streaks at the plate where he doesn’t see the ball well. His “zone” seems to snap in and out of focus. That’s not being lazy, that’s just something that happens with him.

    As far as pulling the ball, we can all sit on our sofas and critique players on how they can change to become the perfect hitter. Everybody has some areas that if they improved, they’d be the perfect hitter. Andruw’s is hitting to opposite fields. Some people can’t hit inside pitches. Others are bad at recognizing changeups. There is no perfect hitter. So making suggestions about how Andruw could improve, while accurate and relevant, also apply to everyone else, don’t you think?

  33. I agree KC. It is fair to see he is hitting his prime now. I think you will see him hit .300 in the next few years. Something to watch for. Eventually he will learn better discipline and will go the other way when he has to.
    I love what hes bringing us now, but he can and will do more.

  34. Great points again Jenny. Andruw has a specific style that doesn’t necessarily fit into the historic Mantle-like triple crown threat. It’s still absolutely fantastic though.

    I think when Andruw stresses going the other way, it hurts his batting in general. When he pulls as he’s doing now, he can lead the majors in homeruns. He’s been an absolute force out there today by pulling two home runs.

  35. Haven’t we already seen Andruw going to the other way more often? I have seen doubles, triples and HRs hit by Andruw going to right-center field. The guy has really improved this year.

  36. I agree Mike. Andruw is continually improving, and .300 is definitely attainable. I don’t want him to concentrate on going away to the point that it hurts his power, though.

  37. I don’t care much for Deion these days, but I really appreciated him when he drenched Tim McCarver. It was a sweet sight to see McCarver soaked in our victory bubbles.

  38. My heart nearly stopped there. That looked like an exact replay of the Broken Collarbone Play.

    Oh my God.

  39. 99 mph for Farnsworth. I hope this guy stays in Atlanta and we can work him into a great pitcher. Now 101 mph! Wow!

  40. Yes, Andruw lives in leftfield. That is fact. He goes to right here and there, but I guarantee it is usually by accident (ex. late on a fastball hes trying to nail to left).
    I appreciate all he has done for us and I love the guy, but I know he has the talent to improve in other aspects of the game.

  41. Who cares if Andruw hits .300? I for one will take .270 and the league lead in homers, thanks very much. His OBP is fine and his K/BB ratio is the best I can remember it ever being. He’s not the MVP but he’s close, and we’re damn lucky to have him.

  42. For the record– Two questionable moves/non-moves by LaRussa today. 1) Pitching to Betemit with 2 outs & Hudson on deck 2) Running Pujols down 5 runs in the 9th. The reward there was just too tiny to try it. Sometimes “unconventional” is just plain stupid.

  43. Batting average is overrated if you’re not producing. Andruw is producing. I don’t care about his average.

  44. Raoul Duke, watching Andruw for 10 years, I don’t think we need a spray chart to know Andruw is a pull hitter. I am just saying Andruw is hitting to the other way more often than more. Not a lot more often, but a little more often.

  45. I agree that he is producing. And I love it. It is cool to see your favorite player in the league 8 years ago finally be talked about in MVP discussion. With that in mind, I still say that he can be an even better hitter. I’m not complaining about what he is bringing, but theres room for improvement. Consistency and average are it and I have no reason to believe that he won’t improve in those departments.

  46. Hmm…Random Thought. Any of you people have AIM? Feel free to drop me a msg at mclay8823, if so.

  47. Good Game. Looks like the rubbermatch tomm. will show whos th best in the NL right now. Of course, I suppose we should consider the Astros, as well.

  48. Andruw has over 5000 Plate Appearances at the major league level. Other than the fact this is his career year, we HAVE seen the best of Andruw. All this “potential” crap is stupid. He has reached his cieling, which is that of a .270/.340/.500 CF with very good defense. He doesn’t have the potential to be a .300/.400/.600 hitter, it just isn’t there. Even in this his (obvious) career year, he isn’t really close to being that player.

    If Andruw starts “using the entire field and becoming a complete hitter” then he turns into a .290/.350/.420 hitter. He loses almost ALL of his power. Using the entire field is not nescessary if you can pull the ball out of the ballpark. Look at Brian Roberts. He went from spraying the ball all over the place to pulling the ball (barely) out of the ballpark.

    Andruw is a great player. He is the 2nd best CF in baseball(All-Around) and easily a top 30 player among all position players. He is a legitamate HOF canidate and is only 28 years old. He is NOT lazy, he just has his own way of running. He doesn’t make all fo the diving plays that an Edmonds or Hunter makes, but methinks thats mostly thanks to the fact that he gets to the ball without having to dive. Andruw doesn’t take as many HR from over the fence as a Hunter, but how many times have you seen him not get one like that in the past 5 years? Twice? Maybe it’s just that Hunter plays in a stadium where Right-Center field(where he gets almost all of his HR robbing catches actually) is 20 feet shorter than in Atlanta?

    Also, Andruw should totally go by Rudolf.

  49. Eh. I disagree. He is a great talent and I truly believe .300 will come. I guess we will have to see down the road a few years, but I’ve seen enough of those 5,000 ABs to be able to say he can do it. Right now, we do need hit power, thus why I’m not complaining about .270. Down the road, I think we see him bring up the average.

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