98 thoughts on “Game Thread: August 18, Dodgers at Braves”

  1. Good a place as any, I suppose…

    From Rob Neyer’s article on NL contenders(subscrition article):

    You know the Braves are headed for yet another division title (their 14th in the last 15 seasons). You know that Leo Mazzone and Bobby Cox are once again working their magic with the pitching staff, and you probably know that rookie Jeff Francoeur is batting .371 in 29 games but somehow hasn’t walked even once. But did you know the Braves’ outstanding hitting attack is fueled almost completely by power? Atlanta’s batting average and on-base percentage are virtually the same as its opponents’, but the Braves have 42 more doubles and 31 more home runs. This is a dangerous team.

    It’s not often that you hear Atlanta called “dangerous”… particular in terms of offense.

  2. And now we have one of the top pitchers in baseball back in action.

    BOLD PREDICTION: Thomson 4-hits the Dodgers tonight.

    I put him on my fantasy squad for this start. Those 0-2 counts he got last start become 0-3 tonight.

  3. What’s weird is how much power the Braves have gotten with Chipper out so much. Giles, the doubles machine, has contributed a lot, and Andruw has hit a couple of homeruns. Francoeur and KJ aren’t light on the power, either, and McCann’s a step up from Estrada in getting extra base hits.

    I thought the loss of Drew this year would devistate the offense, but, instead, the Braves improved at nearly every other position to make up for him.

  4. I don’t guess it matters much. The Cardinals ought to be able to clear anybody wild card winner from the NL East anyway. And I’d take Atlanta against any of them in the NLCS if it came to that.

  5. It’ll bea big night from Laroche:

    Furcal
    Giles
    Jones
    Jones
    LaRoche
    Francouer
    Johnson
    McCann
    Thompson

  6. The Natspos because I’m still not comfortable with this lead, and the Phillies are a more dangerous team, especially since they’ve been forcibly committed to Howard.

  7. I officially now wish that Moneyball had never been written. In retrospect, I have come to this realization far too late.

  8. Yeah, well, even if the strike zone was bogus, the umpire didn’t make him give up a gap-splitting double caused by pitching inside when his defense was playing for him to pitch outside.

  9. Listening to game on xm no complaints from the broadcasters about zone…yet

    Alex R.-If you are out there, love your posts and enthusiasm. I hate to think that I am getting old enough to be a prude, but could we get, perhaps, a 1 week moratorium on F bombs?

    Really would make the blogging experience better for me, but I won’t fault you if you think you need to utilize the word to make your points. Your choice as I will keep reading your posts regardless….

  10. I’m on radio, Mac. I’m just going by what the announcers are saying. And yes, I know it’s on TBS.

  11. I have a very bad feeling about this game. Worse than just being 2-0 down. And this homestand hasn’t gone as well as it should, and the Braves aren’t building their lead at all.

  12. Me, too, but I’ll wait another few innings to see if I’m justified. Maybe the 3rd or 4th.

  13. Is your XM delayed, JB? My radio feed is about 15 seconds behind Gameday, which is about 10 seconds behind the actual game. Don’t use them both at once, you’ll go nuts.

  14. Phillies win this, Braves lose, the lead is 3 1/2. Worrying about who wins the wildcard is stupid. With a road trip coming up the Braves could very easily have to worry about competing for it.

  15. Skip just called Orlando Hernandez “Il Duce.” Wrong language, Skip. And it makes a BIG difference.

  16. All right, I’m rooting for the Nats. Bad news is they’re in offensive-coma mode. Only 2 hits, both by the inexplicable Jose Vidro.

  17. Speaking of Mussolini, the Discovery Channel has a cool show out now about all the stuff the Luftwaffe was working on when the war ended, and one of the things was a helicopter they were going to use to go in and rescue Il Duce. Well, the show’s cool if you’re into that sort of thing anyway. Which I am.

    I’m going to shut up now.

  18. I’m embarrassed that I spelled “embarrassed” incorrectly.

    LaRoche did not GIDP! Never mind that there was no one on base. It’s rally time!

  19. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/050818

    Bill Simmons has a great article on Gooden. Often forget how dominant he was when I was in my baseball infancy. Better than Maddux in his prime.

    Jenny-Living in Eastern NC i have no other options. Wish we got TS and I am currently boycotting Time Warner so I don’t even get to see TBS games unless I am out and about. The last Braves affiliate is in Greensboro though I occasionally utilize the unspoken audio source.

  20. This is frustrating. Still at work so I have to follow the game at any one of the crappy websites, and I can read about something good happening here seemingly minutes before it will show up online…

  21. Off the top of my head I am not coming up with any “Latin” players notable for their plate discipline. Maybe Edgardo Alfonzo back in his heyday with the Mets? Does ARod count? Beltran and Guerrero draw some walks, too, I suppose.

    Not that Skip should run the risk and say such a thing, I just wonder if there is really much evidence to contradict his statement…

  22. I hope we aren’t so pervasively dipped in the PC pool that we bash skip for his comment considering he made it in context of the Ramirez quote.

    Let’s put ’em away this inning.

  23. Linares, I’m pretty sure Abreu walks like 100 times every year. I don’t think Manny’s too shabby, either, and wasn’t Edgar Martinez pretty good at drawing walks.

    Edgar Martinez might not have been latin, though. I’m definately thinking Abreu’s patient, though. There’s probably more, but that’s just top-of-my-head.

  24. Abreu is a great call. I can’t really tell you who is a Latin player anyway, but you make a great point about Edgar and Abreu. Manny walks 70-95 times a year but usually strikes out a fair amount more than he walks, he’s pretty patient too. Guess the generalization is wrong if wholly inoffensive.

  25. Why wasn’t he yanked sooner? This inning was a disaster just waiting to happen. He hasn’t had it all night and his pitch count was getting high and all the outs were HARD outs (except for the f-ed up bunt) and…well, I could continue and my point would still be the same.

  26. I am leaning that way too Jenny, though I hope he gets going soon. What are your thoughts on the suggestion we trade for Eddy G. ?

  27. How on earth did EG clear waivers? Why wouldn’t Boston or NYY want him? They’re both dying for pitching, even more than we are.

  28. Everyday Eddie comes with some commitment for every payday next year. I’m not sure what it is, but I think it’s somewhere around $5 million. Everybody who wasn’t sure he’d be pulled back was probably afraid he might not be. I am kinda surprised the Yanks passed given Boston’s bullpen issues.

  29. I also saw a report that the NY-N Matsui did not clear. Which is absurd for two reasons: it means someone claimed him, and it means the Mets didn’t just let them have him. I don’t buy either of those, so who knows who cleared what.

  30. Why is Pena even in the game? I didn’t even notice until now even though I typed his name. Was McCann hurt? If not, why was he taken out?

  31. I think Bobby was thinking about giving McCann the rest of tonight off. That’s a sign that Bobby will not let Pena to start a game as he doesn’t trust Pena defensively. What I don’t understand is why Bobby double-switched the pitcher and the catcher’s batting order?!

  32. Sosa was in control and not over-throwing, which is very important for him pitching out of the bullpen.

  33. Can someone explain something? I got the impression from Moneyball that DePodesta was a smart guy who was a lot of the substance behind Beane’s success. So why do the Dodgers suck? He’s responsible for 18 of the guys on their 25-man.

  34. Nats finally win another 1-run game – phew! Sosa looked good, but I thought Boyer looked even better. Not sayin’ he’s the answer (necessarily), but I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to try Farnsworth, Sosa & Boyer & see if one of them can’t ride a hot streak to the “closer”(TM) job…

  35. RE: Depodesta.

    It seemed like he was trying to rebuild a little, he thought Choi would be good, he couldn’t get a good catcher, Drew got hurt, and he probably outsmarted himself a little with Lowe and Valentin.

    Oh, and also Jayson Werth and Ceasar Izturis, who both looked at least passable at one point, have really sucked.

  36. not to mention, regarding depodesta, bradley hasn’t panned out either. plus their young stud pitcher (edwin jackson, i think) is hurt.

  37. I’m thinking we should have a friendly little pool on when Francouer’s first walk will be (date, intentional or not).

    I’ll start by picking Sept. 5th versus New York – intentional walk.

  38. He actually got to 2-0 tonight – had a check swing he couldn’t hold up (on 2-0 or 2-1, I forget which). Really had my hopes up then…
    I say he gets it this Sunday, 8/21…

  39. I agree.

    Unfortunately, I think the closest Kolb is ever going to come to a closer again is if he sits next to Smoltz on the team bus.

  40. Watching Farnsworth throwing 96+ mph fastball reminds me a lot of Wohlers, just not as good control as Wohlers during his prime years of 1995 and 1996.

  41. call me crazy, but i was thinking about how bad kolb sucks at work today and was wondering if all he throws are fastballs? i can’t recall seeing him throw a curve/slider/changeup. keep them guessing, why don’t ya……

  42. Bullpen wasn’t the problem tonight.

    Francoeur’s first walk will be Sunday night against the Padres.

  43. Francoeur will walk when his average sinks a bit more…which will take past the end of August…so I guess unintentional walk 9/3. I don’t think anyone will give him an intentional.

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