Braves 13, Giants 8

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

Okay, so we scored 13 runs and won the game. And I’m still kinda depressed by the bullpen.

Anyway, the Braves fell behind 2-0 in the first on homers by Shea Hillenbrand (I didn’t know he’d wound up in San Fran) and, predictably, Bonds. But in the third they first tied it up on a two-run single by Francoeur, then took a 4-2 lead on a single-and-error off LaRoche’s bat.

In the fourth, they broke it open and chased Jason Schmidt, Chipper hitting a three-run homer followed by a solo shot from Andruw. LaRoche made it 9-2 with a solo homer in the fifth. But Hudson gave up a two-run homer (guess who!) in the sixth and tired in the seventh, and McBride and Paronto combined to finish the inning.

So it’s the eighth, you’re now leading 11-4 after an RBI single by Langerhans and LaRoche scoring on a passed ball. So here comes Kali… who promptly walks the first two men he faces, then allows a single to load the bases. Ray came in and got out of it with one run scoring, which is pretty good, then Andruw hits a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to make it 13-5. (He fell as he approached first base, tripping over the sod or something. The RBI was the 1000th of his career.)

But the Braves’ bullpen is like a horror movie. No lead is safe from… THE BULLPEN!!!! Ray managed to make it 13-8 before Bobby had finally had enough and brought Wickman in to finish it. Sure, it was a five-run lead, but you couldn’t be confident.

Everyone in the starting lineup had a hit but Giles. How often do you score 13 runs and your leadoff man goes 0-5?

67 thoughts on “Braves 13, Giants 8”

  1. LaRoche up to a .930 OPS on the year, including .341/.372/.671 in July and .333/.446/.697 in August. Glad we didn’t give up on him.

  2. Here’s one stat I find hilarious: Tim Hudson, who sucks, went 6.1 innings allowing no walks. Our bullpen, 5 pitchers in 2.2 innings, allowed 4 walks.

    Boy oh boy oh boy.

  3. LaRoche has probably made himself $2 million in arb reward just in the last two months. Heck, the Braves weren’t guaranteed to even offer him arbitration in mid-June.

  4. About that JS article, I don’t know whether to feel satisfied that Smoltz and Schuerholz have made peace, or strangely uncomfortable at how chastened Smoltz seemed. He sounded like he’d been taken to the woodshed about the “homeboy” thing. Very strange.

  5. 1988 Update:

    Los Angeles Dodgers 94-67 (-)
    Cincinnati Reds 87-74 (7.0 GB)
    San Diego Padres 83-78 (11 GB)
    San Francisco Giants 83-79 (11.5 GB)
    Houston Astros 82-80 (12.5 GB)
    Atlanta Braves 54-106 (39.5 GB)

    St. Louis Cardinals: 003 000 000–3 WP: DeLeon (9-8)
    Atlanta Braves: 200 000 000–2 LP: Mahler (9-12)

    What can one say? Another loss for a team very used to it.

  6. Seriously, who else from the minors should we promote on Friday when rosters expand? Jo-Jo Reyes? Startup? Harrison?

    We’re in a truly bizarre situation- we’re still in playoff contention, but have half the bullpen pitching below replacement level. A couple of generic AAA guys or not-ready prospects could win the wild card for us.

  7. I’m rapidly coming to believe, both from quotes I’ve read and from what I saw in his book, that JS is something of an arrogant pissant. Nothing to really support this, as I don’t know the man personally, but I’m getting bad vibes (I respect Smoltz, and I feel like if he’s acting this way, there’s something to it). I think his head may be a little inflated. Not that he has no cause to be this way, as he’s accomplished an incredible amount, but this corporate coolness thing is starting to annoy me.

  8. A better team would have killed us on those bases-loaded chances in the last third of the game. 13 runs might not have been enough to win it for us. That’s a scary thought. Any pitching help from the minors would be welcome, obviously.

    And yeah, JS is and has long been an arrogant corporate tool. It was just a lot more palatable when we were making the postseason every year. He was our a-hole, so to speak. His glory days are in the past and he’s trying to hang on after his prime, as many do. Can’t blame him really, it’s human nature. But as the song goes – The harder they come, the harder they fall, one and all.

  9. I can not believe that the Braves are still in the hunt, only 4 back form Cincy.
    Baffling, the NL pretty much blows overall.

    Heres a question for you all, should the NL think about brinning in the DH? This has been thrown about by a lot of NL fans at the Bar I work at and many are starting to feel that it is inevitable. I hate to say it, but I agree. The posotion is never going away and is becoming so specialized I feel it is starting to shift the balance away from the NL, forever.

    Just a topic at the bar.

  10. LaRoche is a good example of what happens when a young player gets adequate time to develop. Unfortunately, no all players do this. This extends to pitchers as well: Davies needs time to grow as well.

    I wish that we could give Thorman more playing time because he might well develop into a very solid hitter.

    Brian J, –at a minimum the Braves ought to call up .B. Pena, Thorman and Blanco; with respect to pitchers Startup and Matt Wright (yes, his AAA numbers are ugly but he has improved over the last month, having already pitched brilliantly at AA) and Schneider.

    Personally, I would like to see Wes Timmons get the nod. He is one of those players who just gets the job done.

    I would not be surprised to see Lerew reappear if he continues his strong finish….

  11. I don’t think the Braves will call up any players not already on the 40-man roster. They’ll be having enough of a roster crunch just trying to bring back guys from the 60-day disabled list. There are two open spots on the 40-man roster right now. Those will probably go to Davies and Jordan.

    I expect to see Scott Thorman, Brayan Pena, and probably Anthony Lerew in addition to Kyle Davies and anyone else ready to come off the disabled list. (Phil Stockman, Brian Jordan, eventually Willy Aybar, Danys Baez, Horacio Ramirez, and John Thomson.)

  12. I’m rapidly coming to believe, both from quotes I’ve read and from what I saw in his book, that JS is something of an arrogant pissant.

    Well, in fairness to JS, I think anyone who manages to become GM of a major league team is probably an arrogant pissant. You pretty much have to be one to get one of 32 jobs…

  13. DH? No. Nonononononono. One thousand times no. You may as well just make it like football and play your best nine defenders in the field and let your best nine hitters bat. Sickening.

  14. Oldtimer?

    I agree with you. I have held out against the DH for years, but it seems inevitable and the the DH gives the AL teams too much of an advantage. It’s time to bow to the inevitable and bring it to the NL.

    As for the Braves,yes, they are mathematically in contention, but does anyone think they can really run off a streak while having to rely on the “Big Three” of Yates, Paronto, and Ray? My god, Ray couldn’t even close out the game with an 8 run lead. Unless they can score 13 runs a game or Smoltz can both start and relieve, they don’t have a chance no matter what the numbers say. This bullpen reminds me of the days in the 70s at the Launching Pad with guys like Bob Priddy (whom, for good reason, no one else remembers). I wonder if the bullpen guys feel guilty when they get their paychecks? Can they look the rest of the players in the face?

    And Hudson is such a mediocrity–he has become a very nice 3rd or 4th starter.

  15. I’ve heard the DH idea recently as well. My first inclination is to say Heck No. I love NL baseball. The problem is that I am in the minority. “Casual” fan goes to the ballpark to see Homeruns and the DH gives them that. I’m afraid that it will eventually migrate over to the NL. Chicks dig the longball seems to be the biggest seller for the MLB.

  16. I want to agree with you Smitty. The NL is a better game, but the execs in baseball may eventually bow to the almight dollar.

  17. I think there would be a huge up roar over the DH if they did bring it in. Owners would have to dish out more money if the NL did have a DH.

    The reason the AL is better than the NL isn’t because of the DH, there are just better players in the the AL. The Red Sox and Yankees out spend most of the NL combined. The White Sox have a good size payrole. The pitchers are heads and shoulders better. I have no clue who is going to win the Cy Young in the NL. I figure Zambrano, Webb, and Hoffman are in the top three. Smoltz may slide in the race, but who knows.

  18. Two comments:

    Regarding the loss of draft picks…. I’m not sure how this effects Atlanta. I think it hurts us a bit because we generally acquire our big FAs through trade and then get compensatory picks when they walk. That and we have a pretty good talent identification/development system, so making it tougher for us to get picks might hurt us a tad, as well. On the whole, I think it helps the bigger-market teams at the cost of the ones who can’t afford to sign many FAs. I think a better change would be to make the system teired a bit better, so you’re not giving up a first-round pick for a mediocre talent. Far better to have, say, 5 levels and get rid of the sandwich round except for as compensation for losing one of the very best players.

    Also, regarding the Smoltz/Schurholtz thing, I think Smoltzy was criticizing the administration unjustly, and their meeting clarified things. Smoltz, understaing why the Braves are waiting until the end of the year to pick up his option, was contrite and will hopefully express displeasure internally in the future.

    At least that’s what I imagine.

  19. I suppose that’s right, the DH probably does factor into the AL dominating as of late (although I’m not exactly sure, it just seems logical to me).

    But what about payroll? perhaps i’m wrong about this, if someone else out there has the numbers, but the AL just seems richer. The payroll of the AL East alone seems like it can out bid half of the NL teams combined (halfway sarcastic). Especially after the last few postseasons, we know that payroll is not the first thing to look at when predicting World Series, victors. But I suppose it at least explains why there is, in general, more in the AL.

  20. sorry, smitty, didn’t mean to repeat everything you said…maybe i should read everybody’s commentsbefore i shout out my input next time…sorry dude

  21. What do you think about this team?

    QB Matt Hasselbeck
    RB Tiki Barber
    RB Domanick Davis (might be out for the year)
    WR Randy Moss
    WR Rod Smith
    TE Vernon Davis
    D/ST Seattle
    K David Akers

    BE RB Ahman Green
    BE WR Keenan McCardell
    BE QB Aaron Brooks
    BE WR Laveranues Coles
    BE RB Duce Staley

    I missed the 1st 2 rounds of the draft last night and I get Domanick Davis with my 2nd pick. That pissed me off, he’ll probably get cut from the roster within the next few days. The pre draft rankings are horrible.

  22. On AL Dominance, money is a small part. “Conventional Management” is a bigger part. I guess that the magnitude of the money advantage of the Yankees clearly allows them to make dumb decisions and survive them better.

    The “money teams” in the NL over the last 5 to 10 years have mismanaged. The Mets, Dodgers, and Cubs have the advantage. The Braves did too until transfer to Time Warner because Turner plowed the net from broadcasting back into the team. Look at the Mets with Mo Vaughan, Roberto Alomar (who probably should have been better). The Dodgers with Kevin Brown and J. D. Drew (who I think is a borderline great player, but the injuries are a big negative) Look at the Phillies putting that big contract on Pat Burrell.

    The National League teams (including the Braves) have not implemented the advantages of statistical analysis nearly as well as most AL clubs. I believe that the Braves have done better than most of the “Conventional Management” crowd because they do that so much better than others. Leo was a linchpin in maintaining the ability to take pitchers with mediocre talent and make them fairly good. Jim Fregosi has a spectacular eye for major league talent turn around opportunities (like Jaret Wright).

  23. The National League teams (including the Braves) have not implemented the advantages of statistical analysis nearly as well as most AL clubs.

    This is just silly of course but this…

    The “money teams” in the NL over the last 5 to 10 years have mismanaged.

    is right on the money. The Dodgers and Mets should be good every year. With thier huge financial advantages, only front office incompetence can keep them down and it has. That may be changing now.

    Other than that it just cyclical. The traditional powers in the NL (Braves, Cards, Astros, Giants) are graying and the next group of good teams hasn’t arrived yet (except for the Marlins of course who are obviously headed for their third WS title this season). This is a statistically interesting season to be sure, but it’s overreaching to say that there is and will be a pronounced difference between leagues.

  24. Robert, are you serious? Florida is gonna win the World Series. In the AL, Florida would have been out of it in June.

  25. Laroche’s sucess lately is probably due to the ADD medication he is taking. Probably concerta,it is a stimulant that gives you energy and helps you stay focused. Where as last year he always seemed to GIDP at opportune times lately he has been able to turn games around by fouling one pitch after another until the pitcher wears out.

    With Baez and aybar on DL and Yates and Ray dangerous I would like to see a pickup for the 8th inning. I like McBride and can tolerate Paronta but that is it.

  26. Robert, are you serious?

    No, not serious. But they are only 1.5 GB in the Wild Card, and the Marlines franchise has never lost a playoff series. So there’s that.

  27. Yeah, I was actually surprised to see that they’ve won 9 straight and they’re only 1.5 back. But like I’ve said before and several are in agreement, whoever wins the NLCS has the utmost honor of being pummeled by the AL winner.

  28. Probably. I don’t think you’ll here as much of that ‘it’s pretty much eight lottery tickets’ talk as you do most years.

    Still it’s not outrageous that the Mets or Dodgers could beat the Tigers or A’s four of seven. Assuming something goes wrong in New York that everyone blames on ARod.

  29. If you haven’t been here for more than a year, you might not know Rule One: Never count the Marlins out. That team has more lives than Dracula. If they’re in it, I figure they have a good chance of winning it, and they are 6-0 in postseason series.

  30. Good point, Mac. The Marlins are one of those obnoxious teams that you always have to keep your eye on no matter who is on their roster and no matter what their record shows. It’d be scary if Floridians would actually come to their games.

  31. I doubt that would even get them to the stadium. I’m begining to think it might be best to just move that franchise. They only average what like 13,000 or something.

  32. Nothing surprises me about Florida anymore. You have to give those in charge of player acquisition props. They have NO money to work with and maximize their capabilities. Look at Dan Uggla. Rule 5 draft kid who is having an unbelievable year.
    Also, I wouldn’t exactly say that Atlanta is graying. Unlike some teams, we do have a solid young core to build around.

  33. The DH? Hell no. Luckily I don’t think the NL will ever stupidly adopt that rule.

    If we’re going to do that, why not have designated runners and use aluminum bats. You know, if you’re going to screw what baseball is over, why not go all the way? Plus managing with a DH is a joke.

    P.S.: the AL in not better because of the DH. The AL won a good-sized majority of games they played in NL parks, where they have no DH. If you want to know why the AL is currently better, it’s very simple: $$$$$.

  34. I have a pair of tickets available for tonight’s game and can not go. They are located in Lexus Level on the front row in a straight line from 2nd base to 1st base (the left edge of section 315). I also have a parking pass. If anyone wants them just send me an email and I will email-forward the tickets, parking pass and directions for how to get to the lot I park in. Email me at moc.gnirpsdnim@releehwh (but reverse that whole string of course). First come, first serve… Braves fans only please ;-)

  35. I’ve posted this before, but in case anyone forgot (and hasn’t seen my comment at Sabernomics)…

    Roy Oswalt
    Similar Pitchers through Age 27
    Compare Stats

    1. Tim Hudson (960)
    2. Mike Mussina (946)
    3. John Candelaria (939)
    4. Jack McDowell (937)
    5. Kevin Appier (935)
    6. Doug Drabek (934)
    7. Lefty Williams (933)
    8. Matt Morris (930)
    9. Kevin Millwood (928)
    10. Bob Welch (926)

    Hudson is 30…

  36. Robert,

    In light of Houston’s move with Oswalt and Mac’s analysis fo that, do you think their management has fullly implemented statistical analysis? Surely you don’t think the Braves have, do you? What about the Cardinals? Over the last 10 years, these are the 3 most consistent winners in NL and they don’t do half of what Oakland, Boston, or New York Yankees do. I don’t get why anybody would seriously doubt that there isn’t a difference on this between the leagues, ON AVERAGE. Cerainly, NL clubs are coming around, but their management has generally been behind.

  37. On another note, Frenchy and platoon splits. Seems as if I remember that right handed batters do not platoon lower on platoon splits against right handed pitchers more than .009 of batting average at 95% statistical accuracy. In other words, when splits are greater, either the batter is not as good at hitting lefthanders as the numbers say or he is better at hitting right handers. Since righthanders face righthanders more often, you assume that that the “versus RH” is true more than the “versus LH”. Look at Brian Jordan for the last 3 years or so on this.

    Frenchy’s splits are staggering. Even this year he is .940 OPS (1.100 last year) against LH and only .640 (.850 last year) against RH. Besides sample size, the only other thing is the breaking balls from RH’s are killing him. At .640, he is not even a “AAAA” player.

    However, what if the natural split that is more accurate is hitting LH?

    Either we have a good to great fielding righthanded platoon outfielder or we have a guy who is going to improve mightily against righthanders and be the star (not really superstar) that we hope he can be.

  38. As regards NL vs. AL styles of play: the difference between the leagues is pretty long-standing in some regards, and it all goes back to the Orioles. The turn of the century Orioles under Ned Hanlon, inventors of the Baltimore chop, were the main exponents of a style they called “scientific baseball”: incorporating the bunt as a weapon, aggressive baserunning, base stealing, what would nowadays be called small ball. It was a revolution in baseball tactics, and they generally bowled over their opponents; many of their position players ended up in the Hall of Fame, including Willie Keeler, Joe Kelley, Hanlon himself, and their catcher Wilbert Robinson. Their style directly presages what is known (sometimes disparagingly) as National League ball.

    The American League style of play, from Babe Ruth to Earl Weaver, has always been seen as more reliant on the three-run homer and less on the satisfying minutiae of tactics. Tactics can lead to idiotic decisions like intentionally walking Francouer to get to McCann; in the AL, teams have been less likely to do that sort of thing since the beginning of time. One of the great sources of rivalry between the leagues, back when there was a sense of rivalry, was the idea that the NL was smarter, in that it had been around longer, than the junior circuit.

    Unfortunately, these days the NL is basically the Eastern Division in basketball, except that baseball’s Knicks are good.

  39. Well honestly if we are going to be so traditional, then lets get rid of long relievers and loogys and setupmen, and just go back to all starting pitchers.

  40. Justin, as I say, long relievers and LOOGYs and closers and setupmen are all part of tactical, or situational, baseball. They’re just like the sacrifice bunt, the safety squeeze, making productive outs, and Skip and Joe’s perennial contention that “In a championship ballclub, they congratulate a guy as much for a sacrifice fly as for a home run.”

  41. The NL biggest disadvantage is you actually only have 7 batters as opposed to 9 in the AL. Because you can pitch around the eighth spot, I wish the DH would disappear but it’s not going to. Can you imagine what kind of career numbers a Griffey jr or Andruw would have if they could play 162 games without all the bumps and bruises that go along with playing defense, no matter what you think about the Dh it does give the AL an unfair advantage

  42. In light of Houston’s move with Oswalt and Mac’s analysis fo that, do you think their management has fullly implemented statistical analysis?

    Yes because those three AL teams never hand out bad deals. -cough- Carl Pavano -cough- Jaret Wright -cough- Esteban Loaiza -cough-

    Seriously, Oswalt is coming off back to back 20 win seasons. Somebody was going to pay him a whole lot of dough. Mussina is number two on that similarity list and he’s been decent enough.

    Every team in baseball does statistical analysis. The three you mention are just more famous for it.

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