Chicago 10 Atlanta 1

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

John Thomson’s not right. That’s pretty clear. He gave up four runs in the third and left with a runner on and two out in the fourth. Joey Devine isn’t ready. This is also clear. He relieved Thomson, allowed a double, then a walk to load the bases, then a grand slam to put the game away — his second in as many outings. Jerome Williams, meanwhile, was great, but unfortunately he pitches for the Cubs.

Thomson’s third inning wasn’t entirely his fault. He did commit three crimes. He allowed a double to the pitcher. He walked in a run. And he allowed a two-run single to Neifi Perez. As Bobby has said, the problem isn’t Thomson’s stuff but his location; even if his finger is “healthy” he doesn’t have the feel of it right now. But the key play in the inning, and the game, was when Marcus tried to cut Williams down at the plate one a one-out grounder. Williams scored the first run of the game, but it was only the third inning.

The problem is that you have to take the out in that situation. The game is still young, and you have to hope you’re going to score at least two runs. Instead, the run’s in anyway, there’s a runner at first with one out. After a walk and an infield single, the bases are loaded, still with one out. Then Thomson walked in a run, followed by a strikeout, then the hit by the Amazing Neifi. Obviously, we don’t know what would have happened after that, but the runner that reached on the fielder’s choice scored, and the other two runs came with two out. You do the math.

I guess I obsessed over one play, but after that inning the game was essentially over. The Braves had only three hits. Andruw hit his 40th homer in the fifth, breaking up a no-hit bid. Marcus and Estrada had the other hits.

Foster and Boyer had good outings. Kolb gave up three hits but got a double play. Reitsma allowed two more runs, which didn’t matter so much except as an example that he’s still not right.

This is at least the third time in the last two years that the Cubs have scored 10 runs on the Braves… The Natspos lost and the Marlins are losing by nine runs. But the Mets have a big early lead and the Phillies are winning… All this and Mark Prior tomorrow. Hopefully Hampton will find his control, since Thomson hasn’t.

35 thoughts on “Chicago 10 Atlanta 1”

  1. Since I gave up on this game in the 4th inning, I can’t really contribute much except to echo Mac’s sentiments about that crucial play at home. Marcus should not have thrown home in a 0-0 game that was only in the third inning with one out and, well, Johnny Estrada “blocking” the plate. We have a problem at catcher: four guys who, rolled into one, would make a damned good player, but whom, separated, have a lot of flaws. McCann is the best option, I think, and should be spelled occasionally by Estrada when we don’t need to prevent runs or create offense and Pena when we don’t care as much about defense. Perez? Nice guy in the clubhouse, but can’t hit, throw, or run. We can get that from someone younger. And Thomson? Hopefully he’ll get his “pitching feeling” back and Hampton doesn’t get shelled again tomorrow, or we have a HUGE problem.

    Off-topic: I found Smitty and Mike Clay on Facebook, but I’ve also found, among others(fake, of course), Chipper Jones, John Smoltz, Manny Ramirez, Theo Epstein, Peyton and Eli Manning, Stuart Scott, Stephen A Smith, Woody Paige, Conan O’Brien, Ayatollah Khomeini, Elian Gonzalez, and Frida Kahlo. This site is hilarious!

  2. I didn’t see the Marcus play, and he surely showed bad judgement there, but I think the story here is Thomson.

    Thomson & Hampton must be short-term concerns for Atlanta. Right now, they ain’t foolin’ ’em. The offense isn’t frightening right now either, but I’ll take my chances if we can get some good starts.

    Tomorrow’s gonna be interesting. Nighty-night.

  3. I got some grief on Monday for talking about how Johnny was thinking about the Erstad play on the throw from KJ. I didn’t see the play tonight since I was listening to it while I was again out fishing on the lake but it sounds like he really has a bit of fear in the back of his mind. And I can’t say I blame him. A bad neck is not something to take lightly if you want to continue your career. We really don’t need questions at that position because it only distracts our pitchers. And that is all we need.

    Thomson has problems and I think he failed his test. Hopefully Hampton will pass his. If not, consider me officially concerned.

  4. Well, Hampton isn’t going to pass any tests…he’s back on the DL:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=fanball-braveshamptongoesbac&prov=fanball&type=lgns
    and
    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050823&content_id=1181522&vkey=news_atl&fext=.jsp&c_id=atl

    So, we get to see Jorge Sosa pitch tomorrow instead of Hampton. Not necessarily a change for the worse. Hopefully he hasn’t lost any of his dealings with the DIPS gods, as we could really use a win tomorrow.

  5. The man’s falling apart. That contract looks even worse now.

    I kinda wish the Braves had held back on this. Announce it right before the game. The Cubs would have been getting ready for Hampton and then they got Sosa instead. Heck, why not hold off until the game, announce Hampton as the starter, then send out Sosa instead? Does Dusty platoon any?

    Of course, that way you wouldn’t have the reliever they’ll call up. Presumably McBride.

  6. I was about to say Hampton on the DL blows, but then I remembered how bad he was the last few games and how solid Sosa has been. So maybe this is a blessing in disguise. We’ll have to see how he performs to determine that.

    Two fun notes:

    -Look for Frenchy to either plunge into a horrific slump or get seriously injured soon. He’s on the cover of SI, and we all know the SI jinx! I guess I’ll go out and buy it tomorrow.

    -In the midst of all the fake people on Facebook, I found Michael Phelps the actual Olympic Swimmer and the guy who played that little boy in Jurassic Park. I’ve sent them messages, so we’ll see if they respond!

  7. I hope we see the Sosa that can make good pitches in big spots, not the one who got lit up in his last start

  8. No one, atleast no one reasonable, thought Thompson would jump off the DL and start shutting people down right away. Common sense says to relax, the important thing is that he has enough time between now and the end of the season to be ready to help the team win in the postseason. Of much greater concern right now is Hampton.

  9. Jenny. Add me on there. I don’t know your last name so I have no idea which from Carleton you are. haha.

  10. Clark, that’s a great catch. I can’t say I’m surprised though.

    The problem with Thomson is that he had a bunch of rehab starts before he came back up (didn’t he?). Something isn’t right and I don’t know if he can fix it before the end of the season.

  11. Well, Mac, you could have said the same thing about Chipper before this month. We can only wish Hampton will rebound next season. I am not putting any hope for his contribution to the remaining of this season.

  12. Jenny, Francoeur on the cover of SI may not be a bad thing after all. Across the cover it has the title of “The Natural”. SI gave that title to Griffey, Jr. as well on his first SI cover appearence. Check out the link to the pic.

  13. Time to bring up another lefty. Do we have anyone in the minors, let’s say AAA who deserves a chance? I wonder.

  14. So ‘The Natural’ is the winner for his nickname?
    I still prefer ‘Sir Swings-A-Lot’ Baby got bat?

    I know I can be retarded sometimes, sorry

  15. I don’t believe in curses, but I do believe in history. Ken Griffey, Jr. may have been a “natural,” but he walked 15% of the time and hit over .300 in the minors. If Jeff continues the stats he’s putting up, it will have to be the first time in baseball history that someone with such a mediocre (relative to his current stats) minor league performance has done so well at the major league level. I have to think that he has more in common with Shane Spencer, Sam Horn, and Bob Hazle than Junior unless he keeps this up next year.

  16. Wonder how Devine is feeling about giving up two GS in two appearances? Didn’t he give up a slam in the minors as well?

    Everyone says he has such great stuff and a funky delivery, but he doesn’t seem to be fooling major league hitters.

  17. Wow what a surprise Hampton goes on the DL again and Sosa will start against Prior. I cant say that I’m really upset about this!

  18. From the Business of Baseball Report on THT:

    It seems like Bud Selig and MLB cant lose these days. ESPN allegedly attempted to play hardball with MLB over its Sunday/Wednesday baseball coverage and Comcast has now put its hand into the cookie jar and the competition for the television rights will only help the league. Comcast, through its Outdoor Life Network, will provide a television outlet for the National Hockey League this season, and the company is hoping to use that to spring itself into being a solid competitor to ESPN. Baseball looks to be the next target.

    The Wednesday/Sunday night cable package expires at the end of this season, and ESPNs exclusive negotiating window expired in June. Itll be interesting to see how this plays out, especially considering Comcast could help accommodate MLBs plan to have its own Baseball Channel.

    Interesting, no? It would be nice for ESPN to have some real competition. I’d never need to watch the channel again if another network took their games away.

  19. To all the Devine lovers this guy isnt ready. One day he will be great, but its not going to be this season. He needs more time to develop in the minors, maybe another full year.

    Question is what to do with Thomson? This might be the biggest disappointment for the Braves up to this point – he is suppose to be one of our aces, but we cant send him down and now that Hampton is on the DL AGAIN!! we cant send him to the bullpen. Hopefully him and Mazzone can figure it out..

    Today I want to see a combination of Franco, McCann, and Langerhans and hopefully we can win a series.

    Question to all who would you rather see brought up for Devine?

    1) Bernero
    2) Vasquez
    3) Brower
    4) keep Devine – another week or so!

  20. Bernero is actually pitching pretty well in AAA. JC may yet be proven a genius for the 46th time.

  21. I don’t believe in the SI curse either. Nor do I think that it is a harbringer of a great career. During the Dodger’s series, the announcers were talking about why noone has pitched Francoeur from the outside of the plate to 8 inches off the plate. Sure enough Jeff Weaver makes Jeff look bad with a slider the very next pitch. I think that its great that the kid has defied the statistical odds thus far in his very young career but I won’t be surprised if he struggles once the league inevitably figures him out. I’ll even go as far to say that he’ll be seeing the city of Richmond in the Commonwealth of Virginia at some point next season.

    If Thomson struggles in his next start shouldn’t the Braves DL him again and bring Davies back up? At least Kyle (for the most part) kept the team in the game for 4 or 5 innings. Hampton may be done for the year. Hope they had that insurance.

    I know that KJ will probably be the better player in the long run but Langerhans has had a better second half (small sample caveats).

  22. I thought at the time that bringing up Devine smacked of desperation. Now I am convinced. Devine did not pitch all that well at AA as his control was a bit weak–especially for someone who is about to be sent into a pennant race in the majors.

    I think that there would be considerable merit to bringing back McBride and trying either Paul Bush or Kevin Barry. Both Bush and Barry have thrown the ball well lately.

  23. I’ll take: IP- under; ER – over; H – under; SO – under; plus 4 walks, which you didn’t mention.

    5.1 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 K

  24. I will again say that I actually enjoy Jon Miller and Joe Morgan calling games… although that may partly be because I don’t catch the Sunday games as often as I’d like. But if Comcast got the game rights from ESPN, I’d love to see a pairing of Miller and Steve Stone. I don’t know how well they’d compliment each other, but those would seem to be the two best to pluck from the ESPN broadcast ranks.

    csg – I think I’ll take #4. I’m still skeptical of the kid’s readiness, but I think that now that he’s up there’s no reason to send him down. The minor league season is about up, and the rosters are about to expand. It seems like there should be enough low pressure situations for him to get some good work without killing us. And once the minors are done, they can bring up whatever coach, in addition to Leo, that they think is best for him to work with.

  25. Its time for Bobby to give Boyer more playing time! I’m not sure why he doesnt have that much confidence in him

  26. Miller and Steve Stone called a game together during hall of fame weekend when Morgan was on “vacation”.

    Unfortunately, Steve Phillips was around, too, but Miller and Stone interacted well.

  27. On the Marcus play – it wasa bad decision; however, I think it was motivated by the fact that it was a pitcher running, so maybe he presumed he’d be slow off the mark or would make a bad slide. Still, I agree, take the out.

  28. Genius? Not quite. Actually, the guy in Richmond who I think probably deserves a shot is Matt Childers. He’s pitched quite well this year in AAA. K/BB of almost 3 and only 4 homers in 60+ innings.

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