St. Louis 5, Atlanta 3

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

I don’t know what to say. The Braves led the entire way, then David Freaking Eckstein hit a grand slam game ending homer off of Reitsma.

Jorge Sosa let the first two men reach, then was magnificent, seven innings, four hits and two walks, 87 pitches, 57 strikes, no runs. He got stronger as the game went on, for once, the bullpen just let him down.

Kelly Johnson hit a solo homer in the first, and Francoeur followed with one in the second. The Braves led most of the way by that 2-0 score. Pujols hit a solo homer off of Farnsworth to make it 2-1 in the eighth; Bobby eventually had to bring in Reitsma to put out the fire. Then, with one run in (on a Francoeur double) and the bases loaded, two out, Bobby let Reitsma hit. It was probably the right call, but it didn’t work out.

I’m too angry to write anything else.

96 thoughts on “St. Louis 5, Atlanta 3”

  1. Epstein? So that’s how the Red Sox won the Series, their GM plays for the other team! Sorry, this is therapeutic after this loss…

  2. Here’s another thing I didn’t want to add in the main entry: The horrible non-call on the obvious Edmonds swing did wind up screwing the Braves. That doesn’t happen, Reitsma gets to start the ninth fresh. And Bobby would have been able to pinch-hit in that spot if it had gotten that far.

  3. Worst loss since KolBB was kicked into a dark corner. I like David Eckstein, but JEEZ! He is NOT Albert Pujols. What a terrible pitch. Directly preceded by a pretty bad defensive play by Marcus that got us into the whole mess in the first place, bringing the Mighty Mouse to the plate. Yuck. Blech. Let’s forget this one as soon as possible and have a strong homestand, because the rest of the division is not going away.

  4. I was wondering how Eckstein could hit homers, given how small he is, how much he chokes up on the bat, and his lack of an uppercut. I guess that’s how.

  5. He hit it with his heart, Kyle… with his heart. Oh, and he’s all gritty and determined… and shit.

  6. I just can’t get over that decision to let Reitsma hit for himself. You have a chance to pretty much put the game out of reach with a hit, and you basically give away the out just to keep your closer in the game. At worst, you’re asking Boyer or someone else to get three outs without giving up two runs. We now know that he couldn’t have done any worse than Reitsma, but even at the time the decision was made, that’s something I have faith any halfway decent reliever could do, especially with the 6-7-8 hitters due up. You have Franco on the bench to hit against King and Langerhans to hit against Tavarez if he was brought in. A 5-1 lead, and the Cards NEVER mount a comeback. Bobby managed by the book, it certainly was the more defensible decision, but it has come back to haunt us big time.

    I effin’ hate Eckstein. I hate the Cardinals. I hope we knock the crap out of them in the NLCS. Until then, I’m just gonna have to watch reruns of the 2004 World Series.

  7. the decision to let reitsma hit is ok, what is insane is that he came up at all. there is no reason not to double switch langerhans in before or during the eighth inning. bobby had three chances to do this and blew it all three times.

  8. How does that saying go? “You don’t let their best hitter beat you?” Well, I guess Eckstein put a fresh twist on that.

    By the way, Rob, I agree with your comments on the previous thread 100%. Carpenter had his A-game, but it’s encouraging to see that the Braves could take advantage of the mistakes he made. The rookies should especially be encouraged.

  9. Steffen, keeping Reitsma in was the right call. Since Farnsworth’s used up, there’s gigantic gap between Retitsma and anyone else in the pen (presumably the ROOKIE Boyer).

    Part of why this loss is so tough and makes me want to vomit is that there’s no good explanation as to why it happened. A couple of cheap singles into center. A defensive screw up. One bad pitch. That’s it.

    Awful loss.

  10. the gap isn’t gigantic. it’s not a lot to ask someone not to give up two runs to a bunch of minor league hitters.

  11. I didn’t think about double switching, but you’re right, david15. I have no idea why KJ didn’t come out when Farnsworth came in.

  12. You’re right, Joey. Men left on base, I can handle that. A bad start by the starter, that’s understandable. Giving up a grand slam to David Eckstein, tough to swallow.

  13. it’s frustrating because bobby, as good as he is at getting a lot out of his players, just seems clueless at times managing the games.

  14. I don’t think anyone thought of double-switching. You have a reliever with a 2.36 ERA coming into the game to pitch to the 9-1-2 guys. Seems pretty simple. Then, you pinch-hit for him the next inning and then bring out your closer in a 3-0 game.

  15. then shouldn’t he have thought about it when taking farnsworth out with a one run lead, or taking foster out with a one run lead and a guy on first?

    plus, langerhans is better defensively anyway.

  16. You know, thinking back, I can see not double switching the first two times, thinking you wouldn’t want two lefties together if it got that far the next inning, and you’d want Franco in there instead as a pinch hitter. When you put in Reitsma, however, there is absolutely zero reason to not double switch.

    Good point, david15. He should have double switched when he took out Foster.

  17. David, good call on the double switch. I wondered that myself during the game, but for some reason forgot about it when I made that post. You bring in Ryan for KJ, you actually gain on defense, and at best the spot doesn’t even come up again. It’s not Bobby’s fault we lost, but he screwed up big time on that decision.

  18. you just can’t let your bullpen ace come up to bat in a close game with the bases loaded and two outs. that shouldn’t be an option with three guys left on the bench.

  19. Great comment about the doubleswitch. Thought about it for a passing moment, but didn’t figure we’d get 7 guys up that inning.

    To me, this is the toughest loss since that crazy, rainy extra-inning game in Florida (which began to get crazy with another Reitsma BS). We kept winning & losing that game over & over, until the curtain dropped.

    Yep, this game had one of those APBA endings where you say: “That would NEVER happen.”

  20. It seems reasonable not to double switch for Farnsworth at the start of the 8th. But, when Cox is bringing in Reitsma later in the 8th, he knows he will want him for the 9th, so there is no excuse for not double switching at that time. That was a major tactical blunder. As much as it pains me to say it, I think Cox is frequently out maneuvered by LaRussa during close games with the Cardinals.

  21. I can see why Bobby didn’t think about the double switch, with the pitcher’s spot being seven hitters away at the start of the 9th inning. But at worst, the move brings in a defensive relacement who never actually bats. There’s really no reason NOT to do it.

  22. Reitsma, it was a careless pitch.absolutely.He was not good.
    Tony LaRussa was under consideration in the 9 ining.He was so smart.Today I think Bobby made a couple of mistakes!;sac bunt,pitching change.But Sosa was great strength. His cotrol ,that is question.If possible, he is unhittable .–good hardware, crisis management ,good stuff
    -I set a high value on him better than Huddy and hampton.He would rather SP than 1 innig reliver.He’s perfect in the role of starting roation.If I’m a manager, AND SO I’d like to lift a player for a key(the joker)in the playoff.I know an adventurous spirit. a surprise.HERO!

  23. If that happened in a video game, you’d feel fully justified in hitting the reset button.

    So very true. Frustrating loss, but you gotta take it in stride. There are always good points. An excellent game by Sosa and another performance by Francoeur.

  24. Well, yes, we should have won this game, but at least we proved we can beat the Cardinals. Besides, miracle or fluke will not happen twice, and I would prefer it happened in regular season rather than in the playoff. Finally…damn, Sosa proves us wrong again!

  25. No offense, Braves Rule, but I understood maybe 4 words of your post, mainly the part about Reitsma sucking, which I agree with. I know everyone hates the grammar police, but, uh, it was pretty hard to decipher.

  26. It stung for a bit, but this loss can’t be that bad. It’s still a month before pretty much another month of division showdowns. The division wasn’t decided in St. Louis. At worst they tied the season series and made us a little more hungry. I know I’m only good for optimism, but that’s what this organization made me into.

    Calling Bobby clueless is totally absurd. The Braves know what they’re doing. Our bullpen took some lumps when expectations we’re high.

  27. “But, when Cox is bringing in Reitsma later in the 8th, he knows he will want him for the 9th, so there is no excuse for not double switching at that time. That was a major tactical blunder.”

    Oh, come on people. The pitcher was due to bat 7th in the following inning. Given that we already had a lead, the odds of losing the game are quite low if we even GET to the 7th hitter in the following inning. Almost no manager would ever do a double switch with his 2-hitter under those circumstances.

    “But at worst, the move brings in a defensive relacement who never actually bats. There’s really no reason NOT to do it.”

    Sure there is. Because of the injury to Chipper, and because Estrada is hurt, slow, and was the only emergency catcher left (Pete Orr had already been used), the Braves only had 2 healthy players left for use as pinch-hitters or pinch-runners (Langerhans and Franco).

    What if the Braves DON’T bring 7 men to the plate in the top of the 9th, and what if the Cards then tie up the game in the bottom of the 9th? That seems a lot more likely scenario than what actually happened.

    What if the Braves lost because they DIDN’T have a pinch hitter available to use at a critical moment in the 11th, all because Cox wasted Langerhans in a useless double switch in the 8th?

    The case for a double switch is nowhere near as open-and-shut as posters here have convinced themselves (at least, not without 20-20 hindsight).

  28. This may be a stupid question, but on the ball hit to Giles in the last inning that he misplayed, the baserunner ran onto the grass to avoid the potential tag. How is was he not called out on the play? I thought you were out for running out of the baseline. I can still assume Eckstein would have hit a home run, but who know how the pitching would have changed if a base was open.

  29. I think he was avoiding the ball, not the tag. I don’t know. When the second baseman is in the baseline like that there’s a lot of leeway. Marcus should have taken the out. ALWAYS take the out, unless it means the game otherwise.

    I think Joel’s right. With a one-run lead you’re one swing away from a tie game. If you double-switch, you lose one of only two healthy players on the bench in a game with maybe a 15 percent chance of going extras. I’ve been critical of Bobby for blowing all his bench players at once in the past, he didn’t do it this time.

    In retrospect, the chance of blowing the game open there — Julio has at least a 35 percent chance of driving in at least one run, maybe 30 percent of driving in two (which would mean a four run lead) probably means that you should pinch-hit. Boyer’s not likely to allow two runs, and if he gets in trouble you still have some relievers behind him. Of course, those relievers are McBride, Kolb, and Brower.

  30. he wasn’t avoiding a tag, he was avoiding interfering with a fielder making the play. marcus never caught the ball, thus it is impossible he was avoiding a tag.

    in regards to the double switch that wasn’t. how many times has anyone here ever seen three catchers play in one game because of injury? how many games have you watched? i don’t think i’ve ever seen it (though i have seen a reliever play left field for one out before returning to pitch), and i’ve watched god knows how many thousands of games.

    you act as if the pitcher’s spot hitting seventh is a reason not to do the switch. if the seventh batter comes up in an inning it’s almost always going to be a run scoring situation. beyond this, it’s reasonable to assume an intentional walk if the sixth batter comes up to the plate, since the weak hitting pitcher would be next. the braves had two and a half players on the bench, not counting langerhans. calling estrada an emergency catcher is silly, and i don’t even know why it’s necessary either. nobody even brought up the catcher.

    where you’re right is that the braves usually would win anyway. this isn’t particularly significant, however. i mean, since having langerhans in that spot instead of reitsma increases the possibility of adding runs and also decreases the possibility of allowing runs, i’m not sure why you’re against improving that chance.

  31. After Smoltz I don’t know if I am going to be comfortable with Reitsma as the closer during the playoffs. Since Devine is probably not coming up I would like to see Chuck James make the 40 man roster in September. He has been lights out at every affiliate he has played and this year in 127 2/3 innings he has allowed 82 hits 26 walks and 163 k’s with about a 1.60 era

  32. Sure, it would be nice to have a dominant closer, but Reitsma’s the best guy in the pen. He’s much better than two pitchers who haven’t thrown above AA.

    The only possible alternatives to Reitsma are Farnsworth and a starter moved to the pen. And that will only happen if Hampton and Thomson are both healthy AND the Braves decide to go to a three man rotation. (My guess is they don’t, and Hampton and Thomson both start games.)

    Reitsma isn’t dominant, but he’s better than Sosa, Ramirez, or anybody in the minor leagues.

  33. I mean, the man was practically perfect in July. He has one bad outing, one he should have gotten out of, against the best team in the league, and you call for his head like he’s Kolb or someone.

  34. “calling estrada an emergency catcher is silly”

    Pete Orr is the emergency catcher, but he had already been used. Under the circumstances, Estrada is only player left that could catch if McCann gets hurt. Bobby is going to be reluctant to use him as a pinch-hitter under those circumstances. Furthermore, Estrada is still hurt, and he can’t bat effectively facing right-handed pitchers due to the pain. Estrada is also so slow that he pretty much requires a pinch runner in late, critical situations anyways (and you don’t really want him hitting with a runner of first and less than 2 outs).

    So sure, Estrada probably could be used as a pinch hitter if 1) there is a left-handed pitcher (with no right-handers available in the Cards pen), 2) there are 2 outs or first base is empty, and 3) Bobby is willing to risk having no emergency catcher on the bench. This doesn’t sound like a likely scenario to me…

    “i don’t even know why it’s necessary either. nobody even brought up the catcher.”

    To point out how thin the bench was for those that insist on overlooking this detail.

    “i’m not sure why you’re against improving that chance.”

    I’m just pointing out that this marginal improvement carries a significant downside in the not too unlikely event that a 1-run game turns into an extra-inning game.

    FWIW, no one posted criticizing Bobby at the time for not double switching (here, or on the Braves Beat forums, or at Baseball Think Factory). If this was such an obvious managing error, why is that?

  35. Can someone tell me how to do italics and boldface on here? I see others doing it but I can’t figure it out. Thanks!

  36. Right now, we are reacting the same way as we did when Reitsma blew the three-run lead against the O’s in June. Let’s not be over-reacting here.

    I don’t know how many of you are thinking the same way as I am, but I have faith in Reitsma.

  37. Well, I am not calling for Reitsma’s head but I don’t have the faith in any of the relievers to close the game. Reitsma has done well in July but 15 saves out of 20 save opportunities means blowing 1 out of 4 saves.

  38. HA! That page didn’t tell you to put the word between the sets of brackets! I had to search on Google. Thanks, Mac

  39. I used the end of the game thread to figure out how to insert hyperlinks. Sorry, guys, you’d think I’d know how to use this stuff, but I didn’t until now.

    I wouldn’t trust Reitsma in the playoffs, as many others have said. I don’t think he’s as good at dealing with pressure situations as he should be, which isn’t good for playoff games. We’re all spoiled after having all these years of a dominant Smoltz, and there’s really nothing we can do now, but the playoffs will be very stressful for me this year.

  40. Agreed Jenny, Out of the 18 national league relievers with 10 saves or more only 1 reliever has a worse pct. of saves to Save opportunities
    and he is…..Kolb.

    But he is the closer, not Smoltz, and does give the Braves a shot at winning close games. Maybe he will continue to improve.

  41. Hey guys,
    I’m late to this pity party, but here’s what I have to say. Imagine your’re the cardinals and Rafael Belliard comes up and wins the game with a Grand Freakin Slam. Unbelievable.
    O.K. I’m done, lets move on to the big homestand
    against the NL Worst.

  42. OFF TOPIC:I’m sorry Jenny!
    Frankly speaking, I DON’T KNOW english very well.I hate typing and sometimes I neglect grammar.For some reason I delight in multitasking when I post something.So I have done it because of languages which are totally different.They are mixed here and there.I know I had better give up the habbit.Thank you again, Jenny.

  43. Reply OT: That’s fine, braves rule! I didn’t want to make you feel bad or anything.

    More OT: Anybody watching the History channel? They’re trying to dress people up as the Missing Link in terrible prosthetics. Pretty funny, since SNB is kind of boring.

  44. Hey, braves rule. What is your first language? It is great the Braves have so many fans around the world.

  45. Also OT, anyone got a day that they would want to have a Braves Journal/ Braves Beat Night at Turner Field? It would be great to meet up at a game. We have Cincy at home the first weekend in September and they aren’t likely to draw as big as some of the others we’ll face at home so cheap seats will be available. Any suggestions? Thoughts?

  46. I watched Ape to Man, and that was some seriously terrible makeup. I think that the fake mustache on the seventies guy might actually have been the worst, though. Still, it was primitive work. Some looked left over from the original Planet of the Apes.

  47. Not that I think the Braves should pick him up but Mike Remlinger was released from the Cubs.

  48. I really want Chris Reitsma to succeed, but it has become painfully obvious that he has trouble handling the ‘pressure’ of being a closer….

    Reitsma has a tendency to hang his changeups,especially in situations like today, under pressure in a hostile environment…

    The ATL may be forced to pull a starter from the rotation during the PLAYOFFS… maybe JOHN THOMSON OR JORGE CRUZ… because Kolb and Reitsma aren’t the answers..

    If Thomson can come back from his injury in the next week, why don’t we do what Boston did to Curt Schilling… Thomson has three good pitches and a solid fastball and may be an ‘option’….

    The Braves will LIKELY face St. Louis on the road or Houston and this ‘relief’ pitching problem has to be fixed…

  49. Yesterday I predicted a 3-1 Braves win. Obviously I felt real smart for about eight and half innings. Now I feel like taking about a two week break from baseball all together.

    If Reitsma is still the closer come October (assuming we can qualify, less and less a sure thing), it’s basically a countdown until this kind of thing happens. And Foster is officially completely useless. Bad times.

  50. Does anyone know why Skip dislikes Milo Hamilton so much? I know that the former Braves announcer had it written into his contract that he would call Aaron’s 715th home run, thus bumping Ernie Johnson from the mic, but I get the feeling that there was some bad blood between Hamilton and Harry Carey, Sr., and that Skip holds a grudge because of this. Anywhere close?

  51. Re: Milo. It’s always been my understanding that Milo was just your basic broadcasting prima donna, was difficult to work with & that’s why the Braves ditched him in the 1970s. Dunno about a beef with Skip.

    Interesting tidbit: In the late 1980s, just before the Yankees brought aboard John Sterling (and all that entails), they offered the announcing job to Milo Hamilton. Milo leveraged it into a raise with the Astros & turned down the Yanks. If only…

  52. OFF TOPIC:urlhix, Thank you for your concerning. I live in Asia, even though it’s not a big deal.I’m an honest person comparatively.To find out more please tell me.Oh my gosh!All of a suddden I am ashamed of myself.This isn’t right place…SORRY TO EVERYONE.

  53. If Reitsma is still the closer come October (assuming we can qualify, less and less a sure thing), it’s basically a countdown until this kind of thing happens. And Foster is officially completely useless. Bad times.

    I don’t understand this at all. “Bad times”? The Braves lead the division by a decent margin with two ace pitchers yet to return.

    Reitsma is actually pretty good as a closer. Nobody can be perfect all the time. Well, except Smoltz and Gagne. Reitsma’s not that level, and not the Hoffman/Isringhausen level, but he’s a lot better than what most teams have. He’s not elite, but the Braves are lucky to have him.

    Foster is not useless. Sure, he’s had control problems recently, but he did his job on the first try tonight. Only after a horrific call did he lose the batter. He had Edmonds struck out.

    It was a bad loss, a stunning, sickening loss. The Braves are still in good shape, though, with a ton of good players. I don’t get all of the insults flung in the direction of Reitsma, and the team in general, when Reitsma’s been pretty good, and the team’s still in really good shape.

  54. Don’t hate on Nascar. The bricks are a very important and historical part of its the sport and it is traditions like that, that make this sport the fastest growing in America. Today especially was a very emotional day with Tony Stewart taking the win. As a non-fan (im assuming Jenny) I understand you may not be interested, but realize that many people out there found that compelling.
    I don’t mean to be a prick, but imagine if they did a story on Hank Aaron and I said “How long can SC talk about a bunch of homeruns? It’s really not that interesting.”

  55. Saw on one of the other sites that Chipper may have to go back on the disabled list. But I checked AJC and ATLBraves.com and both said he was feeling better and wouldn’t need to be put on the DL. What’s the scoop? Sorry if this is off-topic but I’m still too sick to talk about the game.

  56. Rock on, Joey T.

    We ain’t perfect, but we’re better than most. I can’t get caught up in one miserable loss. (Any more like that, however, and that’s another conversation.)

    Still, I’m loving this team and, because I remember the Rowland Office & Ozzie Virgil Eras all too well, I COUNT MY BLESSINGS EVERY DAY that this team is where it is. After watching the Pat Rockets & Preston Hannahs of the world, I take nothing for granted. There were way too many years when this team was kaput before the all-star break. There were too many series when #35 was Atlanta’s only legit chance to win a game. We were bad baseball in bad uniforms. Playing meaningful games is what makes this fun. So, freakin’ relax over this one. We’re still in first, remember?

    Nighty-night & let’s stomp them Giants.

  57. I wasn’t really referring to NASCAR in my post, Mike, more to the fact that SC spent 10 minutes talking about the physical form of a brick. A hunk of clay and rock. I don’t care what it’s symbolic of, it’s a BRICK. I get just as annoyed when they spend precious time talking about plaques or hunks of metal or any other similar object in any other sport. I do find NASCAR really boring, unless there’s a crash, but I wasn’t poking at them. But I could do that quite easily if you want me to :-)

  58. Reitsma is actually pretty good as a closer. Nobody can be perfect all the time. Well, except Smoltz and Gagne. Reitsma’s not that level, and not the Hoffman/Isringhausen level, but he’s a lot better than what most teams have. He’s not elite, but the Braves are lucky to have him.

    I think the word is passable. He has a 3.67 ERA and has blown 5 of 20 chances. He’s passable. We are lucky to have him simply because he better than the rest of our sad options.

    As for Foster, when he comes in you have no idea if he’ll be able to throw a strike. To me that makes pretty useless. I say “bad times” because this could have been a hell of a team if we had a decent bullpen.

    To this point, it does not look like Farnsworth is the answer to this problem.

    And yes to some degree I’m just pissed because a superior effort by Sosa was wasted by Reitsma not being able to handle a no talent scrub like David Eckstein. Sorry, forgot he is an “All Star”. As someone who watched him first hand for four years in Anahiem, I’ll stand by my first statement.

  59. No talent scrub like David Eckstein

    Come on, nyb. That’s uncalled for. He’s not Derek Jeter, but he’s one of the hardest workers out there, he plays the game the right way, and he’s an asset to his team. I have a lot of respect for him.

  60. No talent scrub like David Eckstein

    Come on, nyb. That’s uncalled for. He’s not Derek Jeter, but he’s one of the hardest workers out there, he plays the game the right way, and he’s an asset to his team. I have a lot of respect for him.

  61. “FWIW, no one posted criticizing Bobby at the time for not double switching (here, or on the Braves Beat forums, or at Baseball Think Factory). If this was such an obvious managing error, why is that?”

    well, it could be that people were in a room without a computer watching the game as I was, but who knows?

    but i don’t think it was obvious, and it probably didn’t matter with the outcome anyway, but it was a mistake. The bench wasn’t as thin as you say it is, especially if the Cards announcers were right that Chipper would be ok for a left-handed at bat. I’ve seen Cox ruin his bench in much stupider ways many times this season.

  62. Sounds of most of you are sold on Chris Reitsma. I hated him last year and I hate him this year. I still cant forget his pitiful performance in Game 5 last year. As much as I love the Braves Im afraid their going to crash and burn in the playoffs and long as this joker is the closer. Some of you got mad when I said this last year but Chris Reitsma can still burn in hell as far as I am concerned. I’m done.

  63. Come on, nyb. That’s uncalled for. He’s not Derek Jeter, but he’s one of the hardest workers out there, he plays the game the right way, and he’s an asset to his team. I have a lot of respect for him.

    No doubt that he’s a hard worker, he hustles, he gets his uniform dirty, etc. But…

    .252/.325/.325/.650
    .276/.339/.332/.671

    That’s what he hit his last two years in Anahiem in his age 28 and 29 season, his supposed peak. He was an out magnet. And although he does his best out there, his weak arm means he’s not exactly a plus defender either. In Anahiem, the coaching staff loved him, the front office loved him, the fans really loved him, but at the end of the day the Angels are trying to win here and he was killing them so they cut the cord.

    This year he has snuck up on some NL pitchers and has managed to creep his OPS over 700 which takes him from “killing us” to “marginally acceptable”. He’s still nothing special despite the fact that he plays the game the right way. And he’s certainly not the guy who should be beating your ace reliever.

  64. Out of the 18 national league relievers with 10 saves or more only 1 reliever has a worse pct. of saves to Save opportunities
    and he is…..Kolb.

    He has a 3.67 ERA and has blown 5 of 20 chances.

    This stuff really bugs me. It’s not your fault, it’s the stats’ fault. But you’re still wrong. There’s such a thing as a hold, but there is no such thing as a blown hold. You really can’t look at BS% thing for a guy who hasn’t been closing the whole season. You have to add the holds AND the saves to get the correct number of “opportunities”, because some of those blown saves came when he realy only had a shot at a hold. So Reitsma has 5 blown saves in 28 opportunites. Either that or take out the 2 blown “saves” he got before he was coming in to actually close games and say he has 3 blown saves in 18 opportunites.

    Middle relievers get totally hosed on the blown save thing. I don’t know what can be done about it unless you start calling them blown holds… which I guess you can’t do since you have to know what the mgr would have done if he hadn’t blown the lead. But since we all know Reitsma wasn’t the closer until about June 1, we know better and can look at this a little more fairly that the typical stats do.

  65. No, you’re right, nyb, his numbers aren’t very impressive. But hey, he TRIES, and he brings a lot to his team. Plus, calling a guy a no-talent scrub after he beats your team is being a sore loser. I’m just saying. It’s cool.

    OT: Anybody hear that Peter Jennings died? I kind of figured it was going to happen, since not having surgery on lung cancer usually means it’s too far advanced for anything to help, but wow. It really caught me off guard anyway. Now I’ll be depressed for the rest of the day. He was my favorite news guy.

  66. I like it when guys try hard and give 110%. Langerhans and Orr do that for the Braves. The problem with Eckstein is he doesn’t bring a whole lot to the table. The guy is barely batting .270 with no power, very little speed, and nothing special on defense to go with his weak arm. At least Langerhans brings great defense and some power to the table and Orr brings a lot of speed. Eckstein is like Brian Jordan. A great guy to have in the clubhouse, but that’s exactly where I want him to stay, in the clubhouse.

  67. All three news anchors of my childhood are no longer on television. The fridge in my apartment (the one I just moved into) is broken. Pain in the ass!

  68. I think Riestma was just trying to get an out. Tough luck loss for him. Somebody posted earlier that we proved we could beat the Cards and they are right. You have to remember the Cards are the Yanks of the NL.

  69. Mike Remlinger was DFA, are we going to pick him up? I think we should. The rule of thumb is; If you have three-five former Cubs on your team, you have a shot to win it all. Two or less or more than five, you won’t go far. We have one, but we need two more. Also, former Cubs can not face St. Louis Cardinals ever. Ask Farnsworth about that.
    MY buddy is a Cub fan, we were watching the game and he called the Puljos home run yesterday. “Puljos eats Farnsworth for breakfast,” he said.

  70. re Milo/Skip
    several years ago Milo ripped Harry Caray in the USA Today one day after his death. Milo Hamiltons personal feelings aside, his behavior was beneath contempt…the dead can’t defend themselves, and the Caray family was extremely upset with Milo. Prima donna, maybe. Insensitive jerk with regards to a fellow colleagues passing? Absloutely…
    That is why Skip and Milo arent sympatico…FYI

  71. Kapaya’s right. I’d forgotten that. Hamilton hated Harry Caray because Caray pushed him out, then went berzerk on him after his death. Most families don’t take well to that.

  72. Thanks, guys. As if bumping Ernie Johnson off a broadcast isn’t bad enough! Can’t say I blame Skip. And to think that Milo’s in the Hall of Fame.

  73. Re: Milo/Caray, I found this:

    Milo Hamilton was furious and Harry Caray was delighted.

    The scene was Opening Day, 1982, Caray’s first home game as the newly anointed top banana in the Cubs broadcast scheme, and the outside chill was nothing compared to the frosty conditions inside the WGN booth.

    Hamilton had expected to ascend to first seat when Jack Brickhouse left the Cubs booth, but Caray had bolted to Wrigley Field and Hamilton didn’t like it. Then, during the seventh-inning stretch on Opening Day, Hamilton’s quiet rage became public.

    Caray rose to sing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” and Hamilton tore off his headset, flung it down and snapped: “I don’t have to listen to this [bleep].”

    Brushing past producer Jack Rosenberg to exit the booth, Hamilton encountered a writer out on the catwalk.

    Poking his finger repeatedly in the media visitor’s chest, Hamilton raged: “You know, it’s my [bleeping] booth, too. I’m still a part of this. But that [bleeping] bastard inside’s got all of you under his thumb. So now you’re here to do another piece of [bleep] about that guy without asking me a single question. You’re all a bunch of [bleep].”

    The poking and the tirade continued until well into the bottom of the seventh when Rosenberg directed Hamilton back inside the booth.

    After the game, Caray summoned up enough stagedoor innocence to ask the writer, “Hey, what did you say to get Milo going like that? I just can’t figure that guy.”

    Figure that guy?

    No, no, Harry. It was you that all of Chicago always wanted to figure.
    –Jim O’Donnell

  74. A contribution to the second guessing: Giving up a HR to Pujols isn’t awful–lots of pitchers do it. Perhaps Cox should have left Farnsworth in to face Edmonds, though Edmonds is 5-12 lifetime against Farnsworth. Then whether Farnsworth succeeds or fails against Edmonds, there’s no need for Reitsma to face Grudzielanek.

    More importantly, this loss might be humbling for the Braves. While I’d rather have won the game, the announcers made multiple references to playoff previews etc. At one point, there was a comment about Cox setting a goal of catching the Cards for the best record in the NL. That’d be great if it happens, but with a 5 game or so lead in the NL East the Braves are not yet a playoff lock. I got the sense, at least from the announcers, that the Braves might be taking it for granted that they’d be in the playoffs.

  75. Color me worried about Farnsworth. His low ERA this year with the Tigers came from his low-HR allowed (which is very atypical for him). Now he’s given up 2 HR in 4 appearances with us. Changing home parks from Comerica to Tooner Field is gonna hurt him (as will facing the Cards) but hopefully he can get it together.

  76. If he starts giving up a lot of bombs, we may have to start worrying about his head in addition to his arm. I think Leo can help him, but this club (and I) have little patience for head cases.

    You can’t teach velocity, though. He has a really solid foundation already. He just needs to be refined. And restrained.

  77. You can’t teach velocity, though.

    Is this an old adage? I’m not sure it’s true. Certainly you can’t teach Tommy Glavine to throw 98 mph, but better technique can add 1-3 mph for many pitchers. My buddy Robert (currently in the Cubs system, albeit on the DL now) has gone from high 80s to low 90s while working with the Cubs instructional league guys.

    I better remember the saying “you can’t teach height,” which isn’t debateable :).

  78. it’s still the regular season. i’ll take the bad beat now rather than later on in the post season.

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