Padres 2, Braves 1

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

Jorge Sosa allowed just two hits and hit a home run, walked just three, and he lost. This game isn’t designed to break your heart, it’s designed to drive you nuts.

In the third, Jordan, still at first with LaRoche still hurting, made an error on a Vinny groundout. After an out, a sacrifice, and a walk, Vinny came home on a single to make it 1-0. Sosa hit a long homer in the sixth to make it 1-1.

Then the seventh. Piazza walked, and was run for. With one out, Sosa gave up his only other hit, putting runners at first and second. He walked Vinny — really the only unforgivable mistake, and the Braves thought he had the strikeout — to load the bases.

Bobby came in with Paronto to get out of the jam. And he did, getting a tailor-made double play ball to Chipper. It was a little hard, but a play really should have been made. Instead, Chipper booted it. If he’d just kept the ball right in front of him, he still could have thrown home to cut down the runner, but it got so far away he couldn’t get anybody. Remlinger came in to strike out the next two guys, and Ray pitched a perfect eighth, but the Braves didn’t seriously threaten, though Renteria did get a hit off of Hoffman.

The Braves had just six hits, and didn’t draw a walk. Andruw had a double, the only other extra-base hit of the night. McCann did pinch-hit in the eighth, but didn’t stay in the game, Pena taking Pratt’s place. The Padres went 1-2-3 in every inning but the two they scored in.

55 thoughts on “Padres 2, Braves 1”

  1. Chipper has looked really gimpy to me all year, and it seems that more balls are getting by him than they used to. I’ve noticed him not even moving towards plays that I would expect him to make. Now, this is just my perception. Has anyone else noticed this? I never thought he was a gold-glover but I think his bad defensive reputation has been overblown.

  2. Chipper looks lazy and his defense sucks right now. He shows no emotion on the field and it looks like he is losing his power at the plate. I’m not sure what’s up w/ him right now, a night or two on the bench wouldn’t hurt.

  3. Well now may be the time to shift Chipper to 1B as there is no real option there now, and bring Marte up to play 3B – D’OH!

  4. At least we can come away from last night’s game with some confidence in Sosa. His strikeout pitch wasn’t there last night, but he looked awfully good, getting ahead of most batters. And that’s 2 good ones in a row for him.

    I’m really disappointed in Chipper, and I think it’s past time for him to be moved to first, but Sosa’s performance does give me hope.

  5. Sosa should have had several K’s, but that umpire didn’t have a strike zone. Sosa looks to be coming around. I was hoping he could get through the 7th last night. Maybe we should let him bat for Pratt and Giles!

    Horacio gave up 7 ER last night in 4 1/3. I think we should leave him there and bring up James.

  6. LH version on Dan Kolb, but as a starter. Did anyone see him last night – I’m glad he’s gone

  7. I hear Kelly Johnson was going to get time at 3B to up his trade value. Perhaps he’s getting time at 3b because bobby is seing what you guys are seeing. I’ve only seen a couple of questionable effort plays by chipper. I assumed he’s just scared to get injured. We have Betemit ready to play third, who would be a bit better on defense. KJ and Timmons are at richmond.

    I know the bats are important, but I cant stand watching renteria and chipper turn the left side of our infield into an Over 40 softball league. I havent seen either of those guys get dirt on their jerseys all year. They do not bend.

  8. So Chipper made an error. I think he has played well over there this year. He made a great play in the hole a few innings before his error. I think he was trying to decide between throwing home or trying for the DP. Give him a break.

    Jordan’s error was due to the fact he hasn’t played a lot of first and LaRoche ususally makes that play.

    I thought that was the best start Sosa has ever had. His last two starts he has been really good. I think the World Baseball Classic messed him up.

    If we want to call people out and nit pick, why aren’t we hitting? Andruw needs to get going. He did have a double, but we need him to go deep more. What is it now 109 Ab’s?

  9. Smitty, Chipper cost us the game last night, and you are absolutely wrong about his season-long defense: it’s been atrocious. If you think he’s played well, then you’ve been watching him on GameDay.

  10. Five regulars with 34 or more strikeouts. On May 23rd!
    Wonderboy’s OBP is .273
    People are swinging and missing with such frequency that it’s affecting the West Cost weather pattern. Call it “El Bravos” and ruminate on global warming.

    Terry Pendleton, do the right thing and give your paycheck to charity. You sure as hell aren’t earning it.

  11. Ok so Chipper hasn’t been great over there. But moving him to first base fro the next game is a dumb idea. Maybe this winter he can work on it, but look at Jordan. Jordan is probably the best athlete on the team and he is struggling at first. I think his error was just as costly, if no more so, than Chipper’s.

  12. Chipper has looked half assed at third this year. He never was a vacum at third, but he was solid. Is it just me, or does he look like he has no enthusiasm this year?

    As good as Sosa looked last night, I still think he should be our closer. He has good velocity, and good movement. We could probably just stick Reeksma in his spot in the rotation, didnt he start when he was with Cincy?

  13. Why are we dwelling on Chipper’s error. Yeah, it allowed to winning run to score. You know what else allowed that to be the winning run? The fact that no one except the pitcher could touch home plate last night against a rookie pitcher.

  14. Rietsma would porbably be a better as a starter, like Mac has said in the past. It takes some time for a pitcher to make the conversion.

    If Sosa keeps pitching like he has I want him as our number 3 or 4 guy. IF we have four solid really good starters we will be great.

    I was really impressed with Pronto, Remlinger, and Ray last night. They looked great. I think we are one reliever away from everyone in the pen finding thier role and getting comfortable. I think that was the problem last year, the guys didn’t have a defined role to grow into.

  15. Well, I would assume it hurts the offense slightly that our .350 hitter is injured. Honestly, after the last what, 4 days of Todd Pratt, I think we should call MLB and ask for a waiver to put a kitchen chair behind home plate so McCann doesn’t have to squat and we don’t have to see Pratt any more. And Marcus and Andruw are driving me mad. Andruw has always driven me mad to some degree, but now Marcus has joined the World Perks club. Will he stop swinging for the fences every time he gets up there and just try to get on base?

  16. Smitty, Jordan was a career outfielder. “Great athlete” doesn’t have much to do with playing first base. Chipper, a career corner infielder, should be expected to make the transition much more smoothly. At the very least, he’d be equal to Jordan, and whose bat would you rather have in the line-up, Jordan’s or Betemit’s?

    Also, one good game does not a good bullpen make. Ray’s been pretty solid all season. But Paronto has pitched 8 innings so far, and Remlinger is like 400 years old with no velocity. These guys aren’t going to magically be a good bullpen, and I don’t think we should fool ourselves because of one good night.

    And Chris, yes, our offense was a big problem, too. But the fact remains that Chipper’s play was terrible, and he deserves to be called out on it. Plus, it makes me mad that in the postgame interviews, he wouldn’t even accept responsibility. Instead, he just blamed it on the hard infield. Ugh.

  17. I do think Chipper should be moved to first sooner, rather than later, but the Braves aren’t equipped to do so unless they trade LaRoche. And LaRoche, despite the venom he gets from fans, has been a productive offensive player this year. With Marte gone, the move gets more difficult, and I’d hate to take Adam’s bat out of the lineup. Betemit at third with Chipper at first could be an option, but then the Braves are really thin with infield back-ups. That is, unless KJ is going to come back and play infield.

  18. Compare Chipper’s postgame comments with those of David Wright a few weeks ago when his three errors cost the Mets a win against the Braves .

    I don’t think you can blame Pendleton for the slump. A lot of guys are hitting the ball to the opposite field (especially in the first game against Dontrelle), and Francouer seems to have improved at the plate. They’re hitting the ball hard but out. Furthermore, Renteria and McCann are among the league’s leading hitters, and Chipper, until last night’s game, was hitting .306.

  19. Reality check — even after the offensive woes of the last four games, the Braves are fourth in the league in runs per game.

  20. I am starting to get why 1st Base defense is important. If you remember last night, the Padres got their first run because of Jordan’s continual 1st Base suckiness.

    Since LaRoche sucks there too, plus, Chipper is playing so badly at 3rd these days (not that I stay up for these damn west coast game times…yuck) we are having “corner” trouble in general. Plus, neither Giles or Rentaria are winning a G.G. anytime soon. Our infield def. in general is sub par (and horrific at 1st) so we need our outfield to balance the planets. We have, I believe, the best outfield defense in all of Baseball. As the Braves announcers have said, we have 3 center fielders, 2 with good arms, 1 with the best arm in Baseball. Thank God for that trio.

    Andruw needs some responsibility here for the offense. He’s chte clean up hitter, remember? What the heck has he done? The McCann loss hurts but it shouldn’t be so bad that our entire offense against a no ame Padre starter is Jorge Sosa. That’s incredibly embarrassing.

    I suppose this loss was inveitable considering Jake Peavy pitched brilliantly and struck out 16 and still lost.

    However, I am also very encouraged by back to back Jorge Sosa starts. I realize one was against the Triple AAA marlins, but still, great news. We need it because with Davies, and Horacio appearing to be…well, Horacio, we need Sosa to be solid which gives us 4 good starters. He was close to losing his job but I think he’s earned a few more starts reprieve.

    The concern has to be the 5th starter spot. Travis Smith is the “pitching machine” as Mac calls him, Horacio stinks and Davies is hurt. Not to mention Lerew is not doing much in Richmond.

    Still, if given the choice, closer needs to be solved first and so does our jekyl and hyde offense, before we concern ourselves over which patsy is 5th starter.

    finally…I am having a hard time remembering to come on this new site because I am not getting the “auto” emails. i promise to be more of a regular since I know Stu misses me a lot. BFF! :-)

  21. Small reality check on LaRoche: LaRoche isn’t a bad 1B, he’s above-average. He’s infuriating, but he’s anything but bad.

    If, on Sunday, he doesn’t make some big plays in the field (plus the routine ones), Hudson doesn’t win. His plays helped win the game.

    Jordan is an example of a bad/inexperienced/ineffective 1B. His error last night was Little League-calibre. Jordan’s error helped lose the game.

  22. Oh, LaRoche isn’t “above average” unless the “average” includes everyone who plays any first base at all. He’s clearly below-average (by any metric) compared to real first basemen.

    At the same time, defense at first base generally isn’t that big of a deal. Or rather, it’s a very big deal, but the division is between the guys who can play first base (as LaRoche can) and the guys who cannot. What you need at first base is someone functional. If he’s a great first baseman, that’s great, but what you need to avoid is someone like Jordan who simply can’t play the position.

    I’d be worried about Chipper at first because he hasn’t taken many throws. Catchers, shortstops and second basemen convert well to first (if they have the size), because they’ve taken lots of throws. Third basemen and outfielders haven’t.

  23. Sorry, Mac, but to me, defensive metrics are ca-ca, especially at first base.

    I trust my own eyes. LaRoche can play the position better than most who play the position. That makes him above-average. If that means that most 1Bs are spastics, then so be it. He can catch it and he can throw it, which makes him way better than most. Most are righthanded guys who won’t even throw the ball to other bases. At the end of the day, it may not be that big a deal, but it’s a plus in my book.

    But I agree with you in the sense that you don’t want a guy who can’t play the position at all, and Jordan fits that description.

  24. From the end notes on the AP story from last night:

    Peavy has slight tendinitis in his right shoulder, Bochy said. Peavy was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh Monday night with the Padres trailing 2-0. He had thrown 114 pitches. ”There’s no doubt that we did the right thing by me coming out of that game,” Peavy said Tuesday.

    We struck out how many times against a guy with shoulder tendinitis??

  25. For what it’s worth, LaRoche is willing to try a 3-6-3 or 3-6-1 DP (aka “Two the Hard Way”) more often than most first basemen I’ve seen. I appreciate his taking the risk even though everyone’s not always on the same page (McBride).

  26. If we’re going to argue about defense using perception, I’d like to add that I in think that LaRoche is a pretty bad defender based soley on my personal observation. I’ve exploited my Tivo some to rewatch some of his “dives” this year. It’s more like the Nestea Plunge as he falls over like his feet are tied to the ground. Often times he’s not even going for balls that a shuffle-step to the side would result in an easy out. I do think he digs throws out of the dirt well, but he was no better than Julio. This clearly does take skill as Jordan is awful at it.

  27. I’ve seen LaRoche listed as somewhat below-average in the metrics, and while I respect the work done by those who endeavor to quantify such things, I’m not sure how much it means. Even if valid, what is the substantive difference between, say, the fourth best defensive 1B and the ninth best? Someone here may have an answer for this — I don’t, but common sense would seem to say that it’s far less than such a difference at other positions, and certainly not worth a roster decision.

  28. Except perhaps for the purposes of free agency, I don’t think there’s any point at all in rating who, for example, is No. 1 or No. 5 or No. 9 as defensive 1B. (And in my mind, when they get a statistic for digging thrown balls out of the dirt, I’ll begin to pay attention to defensive stats for the position.)

    But I think I agree with most in that, at 1B, you want a guy who can hit and won’t actually hurt you in the field. Right now with our morphed platoon, it’s obvious that we can do better.

  29. The single thing that annoyed me the most about last night was when Giles, leading off the ninth, swung at the first pitch from Hoffman and popped it up. It was later shown that maybe Hoffman didn’t have his best control, making it even more annoying. It isn’t that hard,
    you cementhead! Take the first f—— pitch EVERY SINGLE TIME!!! Especially when you’re leading off the inning. Especially especially when you’re leading off the ninth down by a freaking run against a good closer!!! You’re the damn leadoff hitter! Start acting like it!

    Right now it’s not a matter of him being poorly suited for the leadoff spot, it’s a matter of him being a complete imbecile. We won’t know whether or not he is suited for it until he pulls his head out of his ass.

  30. LaRoche is 239x’s better at first than Jordan. If Adam is in there last night it would have been a tied game in the ninth.

  31. Stupid idea alert: JT Snow wants a trade, as his playing time was supposed to be a function of Mike Lowell being washed up, which turned out to not be true. If we are really that apoplectic about our infield defense, maybe he’s worth a look as a PH/late innings replacement, which was supposed to be his role until Lowell forgot that he was supposed to suck. I’m quite sure we wouldn’t have to give up anything of value for the guy, because they don’t care about him one way or the other and he’s the very definition of expendable.

  32. Snow wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. That’s not to say that he would be a good idea, but he can get on base and play defense. Unfortunately, his power is shot.

  33. Ububba, please don’t take offense but I suggest Lasik Eye Surgery then. LaRoche stinks at first and he’s lazy too. Do we all need a re-hash of that fun Sunday game against the lowly Nationals?

    I mean, if we are going to have guys who can’t hit (and the Jordan mini tear of a week and a half or less appears over, sadly) we might as well have a Brogna/Snow type who won’t drop the ball and save Chipper, Edgar and Marcus from their crappy throws.

  34. I know the D’Backs won’t trade him since they are inconveniently in the the NL West Race, but it was said during the Braves broadcast that Chad Tracy was a Braves fan growing up in North Carolina.

    Speaking of great NL West players who could make the Braves infinitely better, Jake Peavy it was said, was a Braves fan growing up in Alabama and they talked about 12 year old Jake Peavy rooting on the Braves and his hero, John Smoltz in 1993. That has to make John feel old (and me too for that matter) but that’s the 2nd NL West All Star in under 5 days that was a childhood Braves fan.

    If only the D’Backs and Padres would fall apart so we could make Tracy’s and Peavy’s childhood dreams come true.

  35. We woudl have to give them Betemit, Salty, and Giles for Peavy. It might be worth it…

  36. That would definitely be worth it (even if Marcus were having a normal year) but the Padres wouldn’t do that. They would need more players and would probably want the Braves to take on Klesko’s contract. And frankly, that probably wouldn’t be enough. I don’t think that the Padres would trade Peavy for any combination of players on the team. My guess is that there are two players who could fetch Peavy:

    Pujols
    Cabrera

    That’s it. And I’m not sure about that.

  37. Peavy might be Maddux with a mid 90’s fastball. Smoltz, Peavy, Hudson, Me, Alex R. That would be the best rotation in baseball, even with the 4 and 5 guys.

  38. Smitty, I love your idea but I am afraid, even Horacio is more effective then me.

    Though with my running program and being every week in spin classes, pilates and I swim as well, I guarantee I am in much better physical condition then Dan Kolbb and Chad Paronto!

  39. Alex,

    I am nearsighted & I do wear glasses, but even if it were written in Braille, the subhead for Sunday’s game could’ve been “LaRoche Saves Hudson’s Bacon.” Last night’s could’ve been, “Jordan Still Clueless at First.”

    We can argue until the cows come home, but as a former first baseman & coach and baseball watcher of 35 years, my perspective remains that LaRoche is anything but lousy as a defensive 1B. He’s lacking at several facets of the game, but playing that position isn’t one of them.

    Of course, effort/ADD/whatever is something else entirely.

  40. I am OF COURSE not speaking of the Sunday Hudson Game…i am speaking of the PRIOR Sunday vs. the Nationals and the lax run to first base that screwed John Thomson and cost the Braves the game.

    That aside, he is not a good firstman. I stand by this point 100% now. I used to be like you and I argued with Mac (ask him if you won’t believe me) that “he has to be good defensively because he hurts us so much on offense…he’s our Doug Mientkiwicz!”.

    Mac argued and I decided to pay closer attention to LaRoche and his glove…what i have found is a guy who misses plays every single game he’s in, doesn’t run to the bag hard, and many times is a poor decision maker…plus, has trouble scooping the ball out of the first and stretching. All basics in terms of what you need as a first baseman.

    I only played Little League Ball for about 6-7 years and wasn’t very good, but I have “watched” enough Baseball and over 2,000 Braves and other Major league games to know that LaRoche is far below average.

    Mac and I argue all the time (namely about Cox’s legacy as a Manager), but he’s won me over to the LaRoche–sucks–defensively–side after what I have witnessed.

    He’s better then Jordan with the glove…that I will give you.

    But that’s lying saying Pol Pot is less evil then Saddam Hussein. They are both still evil.

  41. I actually think LaRoche is okay on the throws in the dirt, and he has a good arm for a first baseman (as you’d expect of a former pitcher) but he’s just not quick or agile enough to be a top-notch first baseman.

    At the same time, I don’t think it’s a big deal. Again, the dividing line is between the guys who can play first and the guys who can’t, LaRoche is above the line, and Jordan is below it.

  42. What Mac said, mostly. I never said LaRoche was top-notch; I said he was above-average.

    Semantic games aside, I do like & appreciate the ruthless-dictator analogy.

    As in, what Pol Pot is to Saddam Hussein, Adam LaRoche is to…
    a. Stuffy McGinnis
    b. Josh Phelps
    c. Sid Bream
    d. Alfred E. Newman

  43. I think the cubs are after Millar, Snow, and Clark. If that bag of crap laroche would pick it up a bit, maybe we could offer them somethimg for Wood. However, has anyone come up with a plan for paying Wood? I really dont want him to be the highest paid pitcher on the team (sans Hampton).

  44. Um…you enjoy Kerry Wood and his massive arm problems. I’ll stay with a player not guaranteed to miss half the games he should play in every season, thank you. Anybody who trades for Kerry Wood had better be trading something that isn’t worth a shit, that’s all I’ll say about that.

    I guess some of you think LaRoche is that way, so whatever. But I’ll tell you this: I guarantee you that the Cubs are praying every night that somebody takes Kerry Wood off their hands. The idiot fans would blow a gasket, but the man is next to useless if he can’t go a month without hurting himself.

  45. Yeah, I had a Met fan come bounding through my office chiming about the trade today. I think he was more psyched about dumping Julio than picking up El Duque, who has a very high ERA, but still strikes people out.

    You have no idea how old El Duque really is and he could be washed up now, but when he was in his relative glory with the Yanks, he was always my favorite guy to watch pitch for them. He had the guts of a burglar and varied his pitching speeds to tantalizing levels. (We know all too well, actually.)

    But the Cuban guys always interest me, mainly because they’re forbidden-fruit mysteries. I’m actually curious to see how this other Cuban defector, Alay Soler, pitches for the Mets tonight. I hope he gets shelled all the way back to Havana, of course, but I remain curious.

  46. Did anyone see the Matt Diaz interview on ESPN? He’s a good dude. He told a story of Chipper taking him to the cages after a game for extra work on inside pitches. The next day Matt went 5 for 5.

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