Atlanta 8, Milwaukee 4

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

That’s better. Still not ideal, but the Braves finally got some hits and used them to finally get some runs and a comfortable win. Still, it was the Brewers with Rick Helling starting.

Helling actually wasn’t that bad. He gave up a run in the third on a two-out double by Marcus that scored Smoltz from first. In the fourth, the Brewers misplayed a long fly ball by Francoeur into a double, which came back to bite them when Helling walked Johnson and McCann back to back. When he walked Furcal leading off the fifth, he was pulled.

Meanwhile, Smoltz had a two-hitter going. Unfortunately, those hits were both homers, both coming after walks, so the Brewers led first 2-0, then 4-2. So the Brewers pen had a chance to win it. They didn’t.

Marcus doubled again, putting runners second and third. Chipper singled them home to tie it. Andruw and LaRoche grounded out, moving Chipper to third, and Francoeur put the Braves ahead with a single.

The game was still in doubt, especially after a leadoff double and a walk put the go-ahead runs on. But Smoltz found himself then, getting a popup, strikeout, and flyout to end the threat. With two out in the sixth, the Braves essentially ended the game, Andruw singling in Furcal and LaRoche finally getting a hit to score Chipper. They added another run in the seventh, Furcal scoring KJ. (As you can see, pretty much everybody got in on this.)

The Brewers only got one more hit, off of Reitsma in the eighth, who then, Kolblike, got a double play. Farnsworth pitched a perfect ninth in the non-save situation. Smoltz wound up throwing 111 pitches in seven innings, with just the three hits (all for extra bases) and three walks, eight strikeouts.

Every Braves starter got a hit, including Smoltz. Francoeur, Giles, and Chipper all had three. Everybody had a run except Andruw and Francoeur, and everybody had an RBI but Johnson and Smoltz. Johnson had two hits and two walks and is back up to .246 with an OBP around .350. I know he’s had his struggles, but I think the Braves are better when he’s in there because even if he’s not hitting he at least makes the other guys throw a lot of pitches.

The rest of the division lost except for the Marlins. The Phillies are 3 1/2 back, the Marlins 4, the Mets 6, the Natspos 6. Hudson versus Chris Capuano tomorrow on TBS. Presumably the Brewers have some other program planned, such as a salute to Bernie Brewer, so though it’s scheduled at 2:05 ET/1:05 CT it could start at any time.

14 thoughts on “Atlanta 8, Milwaukee 4”

  1. AJC: “Kyle Farnsworth worked the ninth inning and earned his second save in as many chances on the trip, perhaps signaling the closer job is his to lose now.”

    That’s quality work right there folks, a four-run lead save announced by ajc.

  2. Quite frankly (sorry), AJC has some of the worst game recaps of any major paper in the country. Few quotes or extra tidbits and an extraordinarly pedestrian writing style make the recaps not only erroneous, as cited above, but agonizingly boring to read. Why don’t they just use the extended AP recaps? They’re much better.

    The negatives: Andruw appears to be sharply regressing again, Smoltz gave up two bombs, and we won off very bad pitching.

    The positives: the offense came alive, Farnsworth was great in the 9th (whether it was a save or not), Smoltz was great other than the bombs, and we won.

    Side notes: I wish Estrada would be relegated to backup catcher and only spell McCann every few days. His defense is negatively affected by his perpetually injured back, he never could block the plate. Even yesterday on the block of Overbay he was still giving an opening in the front and it was a lot closer than it should have been if you look at replay; I don’t expect him to be Jason Varitek but I want more, especially since McCann does a good job of it. He’s had a few hits lately but his .673 OPS is pretty darned bad (McCann’s is .763). In fact, his OBP is the worst on the team 2nd only to LaRoche, who trails by .001, and LaRoche has considerably more power so his OPS is significantly higher. And he is so painfully SLOW. I wish he’d just be relegated to backup for the rest of the year but I think we’ll see more of a 50-50 split, maybe 60-40. I’d prefer 75-25.

    And Eddie Perez as a kielbasa was a highlight of the night.

  3. I didn’t realize KJ’s OBP was so high. Heck, his OPS is arond 750, right?

    (Just to be a jerk) As I’m sure kc knows, four-run saves are possible, but not in this case.

  4. It’s not quite that high; that’s what comes of me having to calculate in my head. Stupid head. His line is .246/.338/.405. Still, he’s better than his batting average and has hit the ball hard the last few games.

  5. Hey, cut Johnny some slack. The poor guy got leveled. Although I find myself wanting to see McCann in there more often, I forget how effective Johnny is against Major League pitchers. Besides, Johnny is the starting catcher for the Braves. There is no arguing that. McCann may be in 2006 or 2007, but for now, it’s all Johnny.

  6. I think there might be some arguing that. If McCann continues to hit the way he has so far this year, he might be starting more often than Estrada in the playoffs. Heck, he’s almost certain to catch all of Smoltz’ starts already, and Smoltz will be pitching more than anyone else.

  7. The Estrada-McCann situation is obviously very interesting. There is no doubt that McCann has been performing better than Estrada, but Bobby has always been loyal to the veterans to the team. Perhaps Estrada’s performance last year earns him a right to prove that he can play with a bad back in Bobby’s mind. At the same time, I also read from somewhere that Estrada’s back didn’t response to Friday’s game too well. So, maybe it’s a day-to-day thing on Estrada, which I am not surprised if McCann and Estrada will eventually split the catching responsibility half-half, not by the wish of Bobby, but due to Estrada’s condition.

    Regarding Andruw, he is actually having a little better August than July if you read his monthly split stats, but it’s quite obvious that teams no longer pitch to Andruw inside (unless it is way inside). At the same time, Andruw seems to fall into his old habit of pulling pitches again rather than going to the other way more often like he did earlier this season. In addition, Andruw seems to be missing the mistakes from pitchers recently by failing the mistake straight back. So, maybe Andruw is feeling the August heat and getting a bit tired. Nevertheless, he carried the team through the toughest period, and he is just not on a hot streak and as focused like he was in June. Since he is not hurting the offense as much as LaRoche is, I am quite confident that Andruw will heat up again in September.

    In respect of Adam, I really don’t know. I am not sure if he is just having a cold month or we have already seen the ceiling of his talent. Throughout his minor league career, he always does better in the second year at the same level. So, I am quite surprised that he is having such a terrible second half. I certainly hope Adam will pick up his performance again in September, but my gut feeling tells me we may have seen the best of Adam LaRoche already. Of course, I am not always right, haha!

  8. In the second paragraph on Andruw, I mean he has been “fouling” the mistakes straight back, not “failing”. Sorry everyone.

  9. Unnoted in the box score are Furcal’s two exceptional defensive plays at short, snagging ground balls that would have eluded most other shortstops. The guy has some phenomenal range, I think he corralled one of the balls about 6 feet to the first base side of second.

  10. KJ has a higher OPS right now than Carlos Beltran. After the 1 for 30 start, KJ has been a better than league average OPS in LF.

  11. KJ in August in 80 PAs avg/obp/slg/ops
    .300 .388 .457 .845 A brutal July and of course his May/June awful start have decimated his season stats. I had been wondering why Bobby didn’t sit him more to give Langerhans some playing time. I guess that Bobby knows better.
    I’m going to jump on the bench LaRoche bandwagon now. I didn’t see last nights game but against Sheets he looked awfuller than the rest of them.

  12. if we have any praying people out there, start praying for my home (new orleans). it is not looking good for the city. i am sitting on pins and needles right now. this could be THE storm that ends the spirit of new orleans.

  13. Sept. 1 is getting closer. I’m surprised there has been little rumbling regarding call-ups. I’m assuming Marte, Davies, and Brower are coming back, but there are some other worthy candidates (not that Brower is worthy). But with Jordan and Brower coming back, I don’t see much point in trying out some of these guys.

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