Atlanta 6, San Diego 2

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

At last, a rally that came in a contested game. At last, the Braves beat the Padres.

Through six innings, John Smoltz kept the Padres off the board; he allowed a few hits but kept them off the board. The Braves couldn’t score either, so he took it into his own hands, tripling in McCann in the fifth.

Finally in the seventh, the Padres broke through with two runs. Maybe Smoltz was tired from the triple or maybe it was tiring from pitching, or maybe they just got some hits. Anyway, the Braves looked in deep trouble facing the excellent back of the bullpen the Padres have assembled.

But the Braves pounded Akinori Otsuka in the eighth, and his defense didn’t help. Marcus singled, then Chipper doubled to make it second and third, none out. Andruw grounded to short to tie the game, but the fielder dropped the ball. Andruw, for once, got up the line quickly, and it was first and second, nobody out.

Defensive mistake number two came on a long fly to center by LaRoche. Chipper easily made third, but the outfielder threw to third instead of second, and Andruw advanced into scoring position.

And then, at last, it happened. Francoeur was intentionally walked. It was always pretty likely that his first walk would be like that. Anyway, tie game, bases loaded, one out. Langerhans hit a chopper that the first baseman couldn’t do anything with except throw wildly home. (It was scored a single; maybe he could have made a play at first throwing to the pitcher, but probably not.) The throw got away, nobody backed it up, Andruw scored behind Chipper to make it 4-2. Exit Otsuka. McCann hit a fly ball to make it 5-2, and Julio singled in Langerhans for the final score.

Jorge Sosa allowed one hit in the eighth but also got a strikeout to get the win. Farnsworth pitched in the non-save situation since he was already ready. He allowed a leadoff infield single then threw the ball away, letting the runner get to third, but then got the next three outs without allowing the run.

Next up, the Cubs at Wrigley for three. Hudson-Zambrano in the first game, which will be on ESPN and TBS. Tuesday’s game will be on Turner South; the Wednesday day game will be on FSS and on WGN for all you slackers. This is all very badly arranged. Why couldn’t the Tuesday game be on one of the national stations?

41 thoughts on “Atlanta 6, San Diego 2”

  1. Perhaps ESPN also likes the matchup of Hudson-Zambrano rather than Thomson vs. Williams on Tuesday…

  2. Well, at least Wednesday’s game is on TV, but I have to say, I hate the WGN announcers maybe more than Joe Morgan. They are such obnoxious homers. They’re like the Nats announcers except they know a bit more baseball, which isn’t saying much. But at least I can see the game.

    This game made me really, really happy. We rallied from behind, with a lot of help, but we got a WIN! And besides that freakout pickoff throw, Farnsworth looked good. We’ll see what Bobby and Leo do.

    Off-topic, but can someone explain VORP to me?

  3. Didn’t see this elsewhere: Brower has accepted assignment to Richmond, according to the official website. Good for him. I guess we’ll see him back in September.

  4. VORP is Value Over Replacement Player. It is the number of runs contributed beyond what another player at that position would contribute if given the same number of appearences at the plate.
    For example, If Julio had the same percentage of the braves at-bats as LaRoche, how many runs would he have contributed. That is the rating.

    I suppose that is pretty clear for half-asleep-mike right now :-p

  5. I actually don’t think that’s quite it. This page says it’s a counting stat, not a rate stat.

    I think, reading that and the BP definition, that it’s what the player has contributed during the season in question over what a pre-defined “replacement-level player” would have accomplished. It will actually increase (or decrease, if you’re really bad) based on the playing time you get.

  6. Thanks, guys. I think I get it now. And another question for our current college students: Do you use a mini-fridge?

  7. http://www.bravesbeat.com/bravesjournal/archives/2005/08/game_thread_aug_12.html#comments

    “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…

    Posted by: Jonathan at August 18, 2005 09:13 PM”

    Oh yeah, I called it (Francoeur’s walk). Now, the big question is, do I ride my hot streak and say that the Braves will win the WS this year? Or do I figure that my luck is bound to change, and say that they WON’T win the WS this year and hope to double-jinx them into winning? This is a big decision…what to do, what to do??? I’d hate to be responsible for another early exit…

  8. Yea I suppose I lost myself in the process of explaining it. I’m too tired to think. I’ll fix myself tomm. hah.

    Anyways, Jenny, my first two years my roomie and I shared a microfridge (fridge+microwave as u might have guessed). I also had a small fridge to keep other stuff in.
    So, yes, I’d recommend a fridge.

    God Im tired. Night all.

  9. Jenny, I also had a microfridge (fridge+microwave) when I was in college. It’s quite convenient because you don’t have to buy one yourself and you don’t to move it when you pack up for summer.

  10. “Thanks, guys. I think I get it now. And another question for our current college students: Do you use a mini-fridge?”

    My roomie has one hes bringing, im getting the microwave. It seems pretty essential to me

  11. “Next up, the Cubs at Wrigley for three. Hudson-Zambrano in the first game, which will be on ESPN and TBS. Tuesday’s game will be on Turner South; the Wednesday day game will be on FSS and on WGN for all you slackers. This is all very badly arranged. Why couldn’t the Tuesday game be on one of the national stations?”

    They actually arranged the sced around me it seems since ill be on the road all night Tuesday.

    Now why the FUCK couldnt they still be on WSB, then i could hear it on the road….anyknow know about Braves radio stations in WV or KY?

  12. “But the Braves pounded Akinori Otsuka in the eighth, and his defense didn’t help. Marcus singled”

    That single should have been caught too, Loretta overdove badly.

  13. On the Langerhans chopper, the pitcher broke very late for first. The only hope to record an out on the play was for the first baseman to try to beat Langerhans to the bag. There is an article by Gleeman on THT about the Braves today, but there isn’t anything new there for those that have been paying attention to the Braves’ season so far.

  14. Getting on 116 ABs, here’s McCann’s line:

    .284/.354/.422

    For a CATCHER.

    A TWENTY-ONE YEAR OLD LEFTY CATCHER.

    He might just be a more valuable prospect than Francoeur.

  15. My favoite BPro stat is their defensive metric: Fielding Above Replacement Talent (FART). And let me tell you this. Rochy’s FART stinks.

  16. Skip’s Lines of the Day:
    “The chant of ‘Julio, Julio, Julio’ breaks out at the old ballpark. Come to think of it, that chant is muchmore enjoyable than Dey-O”

    “You know Joe, Otsuka was a much better pitcher when we said his name the other way”

  17. This is completely unrelated to anything on this thread, but I was hoping somebody might have an idea what recent comments Peter Gammons made in relation to Andy Marte. Shanks mentioned it in his latest discussion, but I couldn’t find what he was talking about (probably because I’m not an ESPN Insider). Anyone who could shed light on that subject?

  18. There’s nothing but passing comments in his latest article “Future Stars”. He focuses on guys who have played in the majors this year, and specualtes that Marte wasn’t brought up by the people he interviewed because he wasn’t up for very long.

    I’m guessing those aren’t the comments Shanks was referring to.

  19. I see. Well, that really doesn’t mean anything, since only about 2% of Gammons’s predictions ever come true. Still, it’s interesting. Thanks for the info.

  20. We all knew this was going to happen, right? Larry looks absolutely awful at third unless a ball is hit right at him or is a play he can charge.

    The ’06 Braves are already pretty well set, IMHO. Francoeur will be the starting RF next year. Chipper will be the starting 1B, Marte the starting 3B. Giles will still be at second, Andruw of course in center. Catcher will be either Estrada or (hopefully) McCann. Leaving just LF and SS to fill.

    If we really want to make a run at a WS next year (and we should!), we might want to think about packaging some players for a real corner outfielder. Some combination of Estrada, LaRoche, Langerhans and/or Kelly Johnson, Scott Thorman, and James Jurries would bring a lot of value in return. My preference out of that group would be to hold onto Johnson because of his youth and demonstrated plate discipline, but if he got us a real slugger in exchange I wouldn’t complain. Kelly Johnson and Johnny Estrada for Kevin Mench – who blinks first? I would bet on Betemit starting the season as our SS next year, but I could be surprised.

    The rotation is likely to be Smoltz, Hudson, Hampton, Thomson, Horacio/Sosa/Davies/James. I wonder if Davies and/or James will be in the ‘pen if they don’t make the rotation (James would be a good candidate for a pen role based on his left-handedness, I would imagine). I bet Farnsworth is back, maybe even closing, along with Reitsma, Devine, and the three “losers” in the 5th-starter contest.

    Plug in Julio, Orr, another catcher, and another outfielder and the roster is basically full.

  21. I don’t think Thomson will be back. The Braves will do everything they can to have Davies in their rotation next year. Thomson’s option can be picked up, and he can be included in a trade (back to the Rangers as part of a Mench deal, perhaps?). I agree, though, we’ve got the talent to make a run at another outfield slugger.

  22. Sosa and Horacio should both be arbitration eligible this offseason, I believe. The value for Thomson is going to be so hard to turn down compared to those two when they’re each making a couple million or more. But, heck, who knows. I can’t imagine Davies not being the presumed 5th starter heading into Spring, barring a trade.

    Mench would be great, but I’d think a lefty with some power might be a little more likely. Assuming LaRoche is gone (and I really don’t want to get into that again so please either humor me or ignore me), I imagine Cox will be (quietly) aggitating for a lefty bat for the middle of the order. I don’t know who that could be, but with the pitching that the Braves have to offer I wouldn’t bet against Adam Dunn if the Reds make some front office (and possibly ownership) changes. I’m not sure how the Braves would feel about his defense, but he fits the profile at bat. And I’m not sure his money can’t be worked out, at least for one year, if Furcal goes. I guess I’m probably just thinking wishfully on that one though.

  23. Quick question to anyone who has ever been to RFK. Are seats in what is called the “outfield upper reserved” worth driving over three hours to sit in? There is only one section in the whole ballpark that has consecutive seats for the Braves game on September 10th, and I can’t decide whether it would be worth my while or not.

  24. Rissa:

    When I went to RFK I was down in section 221 right on the 3B line, but my impression from looking at the upper reserve seats would be that if you’re a big fan and bring binoculars (no joke, I’ve done this several times and it’s great), it should be fun. Go for it!

  25. Thanks Jenny. I’m a very big fan and wouldn’t normally have thought twice about it (anything is better than nothing). The problem is that I had to convince my parents and a few others who are coming along with us. They decided that they were going for the fun of being together anyway and to go ahead and get the tickets, which is great for me because that means I get to go.

    I’ll be sure to remember the binoculars :o)

  26. creynolds: Do you believe that if we drop both Thompson and Kolb would we put that money into another outfielder or possibly sign Raffy and Farnsworth to a better deal?

  27. I’m not sold on Mench. He’s having a decent year, and he’s only 27, but I just don’t know. Maybe it’s his body type and past injury history. Outfielders built like him tend to have shorter windows of excellence — for every Brian Giles, there’s Shane Spencer, Kevin Reimer, Benny Agbayani.

  28. I’m assuming keeping Furcal eats up Kolb’s salary. I don’t see how they even keep Farnsworth if they do that. But a $7 million OF (and Farnsworth) sure seems workable in my mushy brain when I think about Adam Dunn hitting 40+ homers behind Larry and Andruw next year :) None of the other presumed expendables (Estrada, LaRoche, Horacio, etc.) are making much money so I just don’t know where any extra money comes from other than maybe Thomson. But he’s almost as expensive to replace unless you go with two unprovens in the rotation next year (Davies plus a true rookie).

    The AJC has an article up about Yunel Escobar that’s loaded with praise and high expectations. I know that this is the MO of the Braves and their PR machine at the AJC, but he sure sounds like the SS of the not-too-distant future. Not next year, but maybe the one after.

  29. I’m not sold on Mench either. I was struggling to come up with an example of a corner OF we could a) trade for and b) want. If you have a better one, post away!

    Escobar has a long way to go before we can think about him on the Braves. He has a low 800s OPS in Rome. So did Francoeur and McCann — in 2003. The earliest I could see him helping would be June-July 2007, when he’ll be 24. By that time, Elvis Andrus (if he’s still a shortstop) will still only be 18 and maybe not too far behind (the Beach? Mississippi?). Escobar will also have to be better than Betemit (who will be 25, if Joel Barret is right about his listed age being wrong) to get a shot. And we’ll have to not re-sign Furcal.

  30. Shouldn’t have sounded quite so confident. I don’t know a thing about the kid, and he’s only gotten couple hundred ABs so far. But that did seem to be the implication in the article.

  31. If theres anyway to resign Furcal by letting Farnsworth walk (and doing some other things of course) let him go – unless Leo makes him unspeakably nasty forthe next month. We can replace Farnsworth with Lerew

  32. I’ve asked this a thousand times but nobody has really dealt with it:

    Has Chipper or the Braves ever publicly dealt with the possiblity of him moving to 1B? He has resolutely stated that he won’t go back to the OF, but I don’t ever remember any real media speculation about the move to 1B.

  33. Other than when he was taking some grounders there last year, I’ve haven’t heard any public mention of it. Like you, the only place I’ve heard him say he won’t go is back to the outfield. And his stated reason, in addition to his leg/foot issues, was boredom. Well, he sure wouldn’t be bored at first base.

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