Atlanta 7, San Francisco 1

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

The Braves jumped out to a big lead, and the Good Ramirez showed up, so that leaving ten guys on base and hitting into four double plays didn’t come back to hurt them. I wouldn’t count on that continuing.

Horacio went 7 2/3, walked three and struck out only two, but got some at’em balls and held them to six hits, and most importantly kept the ball in the park. He threw 64 strikes in 102 pitches, which is a pretty good ratio for him.

The Braves batted around in the first, scoring four runs, the big blow Adam LaRoche’s two-run double. They got three more in the third, with Kelly Johnson hitting a two-run flare double with two out. The rest of the game, they concentrated on not scoring runners. LaRoche, after his double, hit into a couple of double plays, which is really aggravating but not unexpected because he’s been hitting a ton of ground balls lately and Andruw was 2-3 with two singles and two walks.

Francoeur went 4-4, all singles, raising his average to .432. Furcal had three hits. Marcus walked a couple of times and singled to extend his hit streak in his last AB. KJ had two hits and a walk. Betemit was the only hitless Brave, breaking an eight-game streak.

Jim Brower sucks; he loaded the bases, getting just one out, in the ninth, leading to Foster pitching and Reitsma warming up. Foster put out the fire. Boyer threw two pitches to get the last out of the eighth.

Marlins won; Natspos have blown four runs of a five-run lead in the seventh. Mets and Phillies are out west… Smoltz versus Kevin Correia tomorrow on FSS. The Braves smacked him around a few weeks ago.

45 thoughts on “Atlanta 7, San Francisco 1”

  1. Leaving a lot of men on base is an almost inevitable consequence of having lots of men on base. It’s only a problem when only a small percentage of them are scoring.

  2. Mac…should I AGAIN bring up how many times stinking LaRoche left people on base? God, he SUCKS ASS.

  3. I’ve heard that argument a lot in reference to the Orioles, Grst, especially during their horrific skid, and while I guess it’s logically true, I still think it’s very bad to leave lots of guys on base. But hey, we scored 7 runs and I apparently counterjinxed HoHum by being so down on him. I will continue to do so. You suck, HoHum!

    Cockroach actually does suck right now.

    I have no idea what to think about Francoeur. I really think we need a Francoeur-o-Meter to keep track of his consecutive PAs without a walk! But 4 for 4 and hitting .432? Wow.

    And I am now so grossed out I won’t be able to sleep. I was intrigued by fjensen’s comments on the “All-time 2B” thread about Marcus and hemorrhoids, and OMG, it was true *gags*! I missed that one! How do you get hemorrhoids when you’re 23? What kind of surgery could they possibly do on that? Should I be worried?

    Yuck.

  4. Jenny, not to gag you further but it is not rare for women with long and difficult labor to get them.

  5. Alex, I think I covered that with my two GIDP reference.

    Jenny, whenever I hear “hemorrhoids”, I think of George Brett, but that was before your time.

  6. That’s what I love about this place: detailed baseball analysis, and scatalogical references. We are the bastard love child of Bill James and Andruw “Dice” Clay!

  7. Whenever I hear “hemorrhoids,” I think Don Zimmer and the Preparation H ads. Which are funny. But he’s what, 75? How does a 23-year-old get hemorrhoids? Blech.

    And Remlinger just blew a 5-run lead for Boston. Their fans are, in typical Boston fashion, calling for Remlinger to be released and for Terry Francona and Theo Epstein to be fired.

    Sports fans can be crazy sometimes.

  8. I had a college roommate get them. He was either 18 or 19… I have no details regarding the cause. We were freshman and lived in the dorms and he had to go over to a friend’s apt to soak in a warm epsoms salt bath. Which must have really impressed said friend’s live-in girlfriend.

  9. If it’s possible, Joh Kruk looks 450 lbs. when you watch him in High Definition. Good GOD.

    Mac, as you & I discussed when I was in Vegas over the weekend, it’s safe to assume that cockroach (I like that, Jenny) will be traded in the offseason with Marte at 3rd Base and Betemit at SS. Chipper will then be at first. I can live with that…what I can’t live with is “Mr. Second Half’s” rally killing GIDP’s and K’s in AUGUST.

    Oh yeah, mr. freaking clutch.

  10. Sorry, Alex, my fault for bringing it up :-) It was a horrible discovery for me.

    Cockroach actually wasn’t my idea. I heard Marcus himself use it in an interview. But if you like it, I’ll gladly take credit for it. Spelled “Cockroche,” there are some interesting innuendos, if you get my drift…

  11. I beg your pardon, Alex, but it’s an old trick among actors and actresses to apply a little Prep H (or Tucks) around the eyes to eliminate “bags” and other swelling. Makes sense, I guess.

  12. Steriroids to hemorroids. I bet they nail Tejada with S’roids and Sosa with H’roids. As long as it’s not Andruw Jones that is going to get nailed, it will be funny.

  13. I didn’t see Francoeur’s last hit. Was it as fluky as the first three? The guy needs to play the lottery or something.

  14. Somebody on another board hypothesized that the star was Andruw, actually.

    Everybody jumped all over him. God, I hope they were right.

  15. For the big name steroid user, Clemens wouldn’t surprise me – use by pitchers has been sadly lacking in this whole ‘records affected’ conversation – but as a Braves fan, I guess we should hope it’s Pujols or Edmunds. Or Eckstein. :)

  16. Logically, the words “big name” and “David Eckstein” should not be in the same sentence. I wish it were Pay-Rod, but you can’t have everything.

    Anybody see the stupid Yankee fan fall out of the upper deck? He’s lucky he didn’t break his neck or crush the people below the net. Of course, Steinbrenner’s quote was good: “That was the only exciting thing that happened all day.”

    Only in New York.

    ;-)

  17. Anyone else just a “little” concerned about Jeff Francoeur’s overly aggressive approach at the plate? I know — he’s hitting .432, so who the hell cares — but still, he’s had so many at-bats this season where he’s only seen 1 or 2 pitches or where he’s swung at 3 of 4 pitches, or 4 of 5. He just doesn’t wait for a better pitch to swing at.
    I only bring this up because, even though it’s a lot of fun to have a rookie phenom swing such a hot bat, I seriously doubt a player can have long-term success in the Majors if, 1) he’s drawn 0 walks in 81 at-bats, and 2) if he swings at nearly every pitch he sees.
    Any thoughts?

  18. I just got back from Yankee Stadium tonight. Very bizarre because we didn’t notice the guy fall into the net until half the Sox infield congregated on the mound & everyone’s attention was turned to right below us (we were upstairs between home & first).

    Here’s what’s kinda weird, but not surprising about Steinbrenner’s comments: That was, by far, the most exciting game I’ve seen at the Stadium all year (about 15 games so far). Truly, the closest thing to a playoff atmosphere, way better than the Mets or BoSox games, most of which were blowouts with nasty sideshows in the stands. This was just great baseball, no fisticuffs or anything (save the swan dive).

    Great pitcher’s duel between Chacon and Contreras. Lots of managerial moves & counter-moves & it came down to LHP Marte vs. a phalanx of Yankee lefties until there were two outs and runners on first & third (Giambi walk & Tino single, PR Crosby went to third). With great fanfare, an injured Bernie pinch hit for Womack. Guillen finally brought in Hermanson & on the first pitch Bernie scalded one down the line. It looked like a GW 2-run 2B, but Konerko snagged it. End of game. 53,946 hiccup, groan and leave.

    Great game, weird night.

  19. Daniel, people have been asking the same thing on Soriano and Hillenbrand, but I guess Francoeur has even less discipline than those guys.

  20. One more thing on the CWS/NYY game tonight: Haven’t see the ChiSox much this year, but boy can they pick it. Down to the last pitch, they made a slew of great defensive plays all over the field. Extremely impressive. Rowand in CF is terrific.

  21. Not to say Soriano and Hillenbrand are bad players — they’re good players — but their total lack of plate discipline is what leads most analysts to believe they’re overrated, and I think rightly so. Soriano hits 30-35 home runs a season, but his on-base percentage is typically in the .320-.340 range, which is decent but nowhere near what a so-called star player should be posting. With a little more patience and selectivity, maybe he could add 20 to 30 points to that OBP, making him a more legitimate superstar.

  22. Daniel, I think the point is it takes a lot of time to learn plate discipline (see Jones, Andruw). Therefore, perhaps we may have to live with a Soriano type of right fielder at least for few years. Since it is unrealistic to hope Jeff to learn any discipline anytime soon, there is really no need to concern because there is nothing much we can do about it!!!

  23. In the AJC recap of the game, they said that Jeff’s start was the best ever by a Braves rookie and the best of any active player. Does anyone know of who has had the best start ever, post WWII? I can’t imagine him keeping this up, but this getting into a hundred at bats.

  24. All the comments about Francoeur coming up the minors said that he was a free-swinger but that’s what made him special, and nobody in the organization had any plans to try to change that.

    Now we are seeing that for ourselves. He’s obviously a very special hitter and even though he doesn’t walk, I would have to agree that he seems to be the 1 player in 10,000 that doesn’t need to walk.

    I’m sure that as he matures he will develop slightly more selectivity, but that won’t come all of the sudden and I don’t think he’ll ever walk much, at least unintentionally.

  25. It’s not going to stop worrying me anytime soon, but if he can hit for good average and power, that’d be just fine with me.

  26. You know, we laugh about Francoeur winning rookie of the year (and he probably won’t, as I can’t help but dread an upcoming slump, even if there is no sign of it happening), but he’s actually second among all National League rookies in VORP (behind Clint Barmes). I think if he keeps his average above .330 and finishes with 12-15 home runs (which will both be tough, but not out of the realm of possibility) he has a very good shot at winning. Who’s his competition? Zach Duke?

  27. Remember the kid in little league that would swing at everything because he didn’t want to walk? That was Francoeur. You are suspost to get hits,if you go up looking for walks, you are going to get struck out. I say, “Swing away!”

  28. There’s really nothing wrong with being a free swinger. If you hit the ball frequently and with power, you can be successful (see Vlad Guerrero). The problem for Jeff is that he has not shown (until now) the ability to hit for a high average as a free swinger. He was hitting .275 with an Iso-Power of about .200 in AA. He’s hitting .400 with an Iso-Power of .400 in MLB!!!!! Even though I understand it’s a small sample, I am amazed as to how well he has done so far. But, I don’t think a skill switch has just turned on.

    I just laugh when I see pitchers throwing him these meatballs, especially after he’s down two strikes. It’s like some macho game pitchers are playing with him. If I’m the pitching coach I tell my pitcher, “Until that kid has 3 balls every pitch must be in the dirt, at his eyes, or a foot off the plate.” But instead it’s “throw him a high change-up that will drop into the zone.”

    The thing is, the fall is going to happen. If pitchers in AA could get him out, so can the big leaguers. And it may not be pretty. Given the patience that the team has shown with it’s slumping players (except Andruw) Jeff will play even through the playoffs (if that happens) no matter how crappy he might do. But, things might get awkward next year if he hits .235 for the first half (which is about what I would expect him to be hitting now based on his AA numbers). Psychologically, it could be very damaging.

    But, I’m not going to worry about that now. If they’re going to pitch to this kid, I’m going to enjoy it.

  29. Daniel, I think the point is it takes a lot of time to learn plate discipline (see Jones, Andruw).

    kc, Andruw had GREAT plate discipline as a teenager in the minors and had basically his best walk rate as a 20 year old. Since then, its bounced around, but never gotten much better than the 10% of PA that it was as a rookie.

  30. About Francoeur — logically, I know that complete lack of plate discipline is a severe hinderance on growth as a player. But as a fan, I don’t want to get too logical and let it get in the way of enjoying the heck out of this.

  31. Judging by the rookie of the month voting so far (found at mlb.com), Francoeur’s main competition (besides Zach Duke and Barmes, who may return by Sept 1) is: Jeff Francis, Ryan Church, Garrett Atkins, Ryan Howard, Willy Taveras, Yhency Brazoban, Brad Halsey. Francis can’t pitch AWAY from Coors (!), Church doesn’t play enough thanks to Mr Bully, and the rest are not as impressive – so I think it’ll come down to Francoeur, Duke and Barmes.

  32. Back to the LaRoche trade talk:
    I agree with the prospect of moving chipper to first and having Marte at third. I would think we could package CockRoche and HoHum … for something of value, but what do we get. I’m unsure about Betemit starting everyday at SS without some kind of insurance, so my first thought is to get a SS as it feels like Furcal is as good as gone. We have a good problem on our hands. We have a lot of trade bait (i.e. LaRoche, Hohum, Estrada) and not a lot of holes to fill.

  33. bamadan, yeah, you are right about Andruw. I forgot about that. However, I think the Braves rushed Andruw too much in 1996, but Andruw did spent more time in the minor than Jeff as Andruw was signed when he was 16. I guess we will just need to wait and see how fast before the league adjusts to Jeff.

    The thing about Francoeur is that his swing covers area greater than his strike zone. We have seen him hitting pitches on stop of his shoes. The pitches which will trouble him the most are high fastballs and sliders/changeup low and away, which are the same types of pitches which trouble Andruw for many years. I guess it will be fun watching how Jeff will develop. As long as Jeff continues to play well defensively, I think Bobby will keep him playing him at right field because he is more talented than Langerhans and better than Jordan.

  34. Jeff has the closest thing I have ever seen to a perfect swing. The guy is hitting over .400, quit bitching at him to take walks. Walks don’t drive in runs or send piches out of the park. He isn’t striking out a ton like Kelly Johsnon who “has great plate discipline.” If you put the ball in play, you have a chance.

  35. It was funny listening to XM radio cast yesterday. Chip and Joe were in heat when the coutn went 3-2 in Jeff’s last at bat. I think it was “Joe can you remeber another time he has had a 3-2 count?” “No, but mark my words, his first walk will be an intetional one.” Then he singled for hit #4.

  36. Lets hope Francoeur is not Bob Hazle. Surprisingly similar start for the Braves (in ’57). And they did win the Series that year. Let’s hope that is where the similarities end.

  37. Yeah, but Hurricane Hazle was an 26 year old, lumbering corner outfielder who had bounced around between several franchises and wasn’t one of the big bonus babies of the day. He was the Shane Spencer or Kevin Maas of his day.

    Francoeur’s start is like JD Drew’s first partial season (.417 BA, .972 SLG), but has gone on longer. Drew, due in part to the Boras vs. Phillies mess, was a year older. But both arrived as high draft choices with supersized expectations as 5 tool players. Drew adds plate discipline Francoeur lacks; here’s hoping Jeff adds the durability JD never displayed.

  38. “If you put the ball in play, you have a chance.”

    First of all, I’m not bitching about Francoeur’s plate discipline. I’m enjoying his hot start as much as anyone, but I think it’s worth noting that he hasn’t drawn a single walk in 86, 87 at-bats. I know he’s just a rookie, but that’s sort of the point. If he’s in his developmental stage as a player, maybe now would be a good time for him to start picking up some selectivity and better judgment of the strike zone.

    Secondly, the above comment sounds an awful lot like the hitting philosophy of someone like Randall Simon, who would probably rather drink his own piss than take a walk, and more importantly, will never be mistaken for a superstar because of his free-swinging ways.

    I don’t care how good a hitter you are — if you’re swinging at bad pitches for an entire season and don’t have any walks to help your on-base percentage, it’s gonna hurt you in the long run. Even Vlad Guerrero draws about a walk every 10 at-bats.

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