Fear and Hoping in Atlanta: Game Thread, Phillies at Braves, Sept. 12 13, Game 1

Reading what I wrote a couple of days ago about Brian Jordan… I see this happening in May of next season:

ATLANTA (AP): Atlanta Braves outfielder/first baseman Brian Jordan was placed on the 15-day DL last night with what the team described as a “mild case of death”. Jordan, who was hitting .063 with no homers and 3 RBI in a platoon with National League batting leader Adam LaRoche, died last night in his home in suburban Atlanta.

Outfielder Gregor Blanco, who was hitting .315 with no homers and 3 RBI in AAA Richmond, replaced Jordan on the roster. The Braves find themselves in third place, five games behind the frontrunning Florida Marlins.

Followed, of course, by an activation in September. And now, Bob Dylan.

UPDATE: Another damned rainout. Ugh. Tell you what, this is still the game thread for the opener tomorrow.

139 thoughts on “Fear and Hoping in Atlanta: Game Thread, Phillies at Braves, Sept. 12 13, Game 1”

  1. Anyone a member at scout.com?

    The Braves announced their Instructional League guys… 47 being sent …23 pitchers but of course you have to be a member to view the article!!

  2. Kyle Davies is looking less and less impressive. Assuming the Braves don’t obtain a starter by the start of the 2007 season, I think it may be Smoltz, Hudson, Hampton, Ramirez and James. Davies hasn’t pitched good at all since his first seven starts in 2005.

    Over or under: three homers by Ryan Howard in this three game series.

  3. Dan, I’ve been thinking the same thing, but we all know Cox and JS wont go with three lefties in the back of the rotation and lefties is suppose to be our future. There’s no way that he’ll be the one left out of the rotation. Over/Under on Howard is 3 HR’s tonight against Davies.

  4. we all know Cox and JS wont go with three lefties in the back of the rotation and lefties is suppose to be our future.

    You are probably right, but it really shouldn’t matter. Use your best five guys no matter how they throw. The Dodgers went years between starts by a lefty starter and it never mattered one bit.

    And they are different type of pitchers anyway. Hampton works inside and get grounders (best case anyway), James is more of an up in the zone flyball pitcher, and Horacio is…well…I’ve never been sure how he gets anybody out.

  5. I say get rid of Ramirez. The Braves have done all they can with him. He just keeps getting injured or is terribly inconsistent.

  6. “Over/Under on Howard is 3 HR’s tonight against Davies.”

    No way. Davies won’t last long enough to give up a third homer to Ryan Howard.

    Why does everyone say that about Bobby Cox and Vidkun Schuerholz? Everyone has flaws, but neither are dumb. It’s three left-handers out of five pitchers, that’s not so bad. I know, I know, I usually hate left-handers too, but is there anyone here who wouldn’t like a Santana, Lireano (spelled wrong), Hampton, Ramirez and James rotation?

    I trust the rotation I posted in #3. And maybe it’ll get better. Say Andruw is trading for prospects, and Giles is let go for Aybar/Prado/Orr at second. That free up enough money to easily resign Wickman and maybe, just maybe, get Zito or Schmidt. Who knows? This offseason will be interesting.

  7. Davies pitched a complete game against the Mets early in the season and then pitched a decent game his next start. Other than those two, however, he has been terrible.

  8. You know it’s interesting, everyone complains about JS, but he sure seems to know when to get and then get rid of guys. He got the only productive, healthy season from JD Drew, then got rid of him, got a productive season from Sosa (granted, he then sucked this year), even got a very good year from Jaret Wright, for god’s sake. And, of course, John Burkett. And then he let them go without paying big money. Granted, some was due to Leo, but you have to give JS some credit. That’s really why the Braves’ streak didn’t end several years ago.

  9. I don’t think that was mostly Vidkun Schuerholz’s doing. Don’t scouts tell him whom to get and not get and who will have a good season and who want? I think somebody probably told him: “hey, this Jorge Sosa guy can be a good starter with work. Give the Devil Rays somebody easily replaceable and let’s try it.”

    Dan Kolb, never forget. Chris Reitsma in 2006 too.

  10. Marc, I have to disagree w/ you a little. I think the reason we get these good years from players is because of Bobby not JS. Everyone loves to play for him and that may contribute to their good years in Atl. I wouldn’t give JS credit for letting people leave at the right time either, but I would give him credit for not resigning these individuals (Drew, Sheffield, Furcal, etc) to rediculous contracts. Just a little of a disagreement though

  11. Not included in the opening are the attempted revivals of the careers of Chris Reitsma and Mike Remlinger…

    1914 Update:
    Boston Braves 73-55 (–)
    NY Giants 71-57 (2 GB)
    St. Louis Cardinals 69-62 (5.5)
    Chicago Cubs 69-63 (6)
    Pittsburgh Pirates 61-66 (11.5)
    Philadelphia Phillies 59-70 (14.5)
    Brooklyn Robins 58-71 (15.5)
    Cincinnati Reds 56-72 (17)

    Today’s Game:
    Brookn 000 000 031 – 4 9 2 WP- Aitchison
    Braves 000 030 000 – 3 5 2 LP- James

    Bill James lost this one the Remlinger way- came on in the 9th inning of a tie ballgame and committed an error to lose the game without damaging his ERA. If he hadn’t won 21 games already this year, I’d mind a bit more. Giants split a DH in Philly to gain half a game.

  12. Uh, “Vidkun Schuerholz?” You do realize the implications of that moniker, right, Dan? Because I don’t see how it’s appropriate.

  13. So let me get this straight: every good move is someone else’s doing (scouts, Bobby Cox, hot dog vendors), but every bad move is JS’ move? I HIGHLY doubt that he would be around if he was nearly that unsuccessful in making moves. Those are some pretty weak claims. You guys are incredible…

  14. I wasn’t implying Schuerholz was a traitor to his country or should be executed or anything like that, Jenny. What I meant by it was some of his moves; non-signings, trades and what not are treasonous to the Braves’ organization. Schuerholz is a good person and a good general manager, but some of what he does is, like his inaction on the bullpen last offseason, really hurts this team. I know calling him a good general manager and calling him “Vidkun Schuerholz” is hard to grasp, but it’s how I personally see it.

    It’s no where near the same level as saying: “I’ll never watch another Braves’ game until Schuerholz is either fired or dead” like one person on this forum did after the Kevin Millwood for Johnny Estrada trade went down.

    Rob, inaction is Schuerholz’s fault.

  15. [quote]
    Uh, “Vidkun Schuerholz?” You do realize the implications of that moniker, right, Dan? Because I don’t see how it’s appropriate.
    [/quote]

    I agree. WTF is that supposed to mean?

  16. Nevermind. I read your explanation. You can not like the guy all you want, as silly as that may be. Comparing him to Nazi collaborationists is a bit much.

  17. I would be inclined to agree that inaction would be Schuerholz’s fault, but you have no information by which to make that claim except for Todd Jones and Wickman not being on Atlanta’s spring training squad. You don’t know how negotiations went behind the scenes, you don’t know what Bobby or his scouts (ya know, the ones that are responsible for good moves) were telling him, and you don’t know what ownership was allowing him to do. JS has made enough good moves in his tenure JUST OFF INACTIVITY to make him a great GM. Couple that with the moves he’s actually made, and he’s had a pretty good track record. Also, comparing him to Nazi collaborationists is not just a bit much, it is way too much and an insult to anyone affected by the Holocaust. So the guy didn’t go get Wickman at the beginning of the season; leave that other crap at the door.

  18. I was, however, a fan of Schuerholz’s “Appeasement” plan when Kolb went out on the prowl for “luftwaffles”.

  19. If our bullpen had been around in WWII and fighting for the Stars and Stripes, they’d have all won the Iron Cross.

    And honestly, unless the fans are getting refunds at the gate, Frenchy isn’t worth the price of admission.

  20. Hmm. Davies in game 1? That doesn’t make much sense. Hudson is (somewhat) more likely to pitch deep into the game. Why not pitch him in game 1 so you can save the bullpen for what will almost certainly be heavy duty in Davies’ game?

  21. And honestly, unless the fans are getting refunds at the gate, Frenchy isn’t worth the price of admission.

    Francoeur isn’t worth the price of admission if the Braves pay me to attend the games.

  22. Francoeur isn’t worth the price of admission if the Braves pay me to attend the games.

    flournoy,

    Obviously, you are not a teenage girl.

  23. correct me if I’m wrong but our record in DH’s this year is 2-6. Now we are facing a hot team and we have our 2 most inconsistent pitchers going for us today. Not looking to good for us today, like it really matters!

  24. They might squeeze it in on October the 2nd, that day between the last day of the season and the start of the division series. I think they’ve done that before although I might be mistaken.

  25. They would only do that if it means something to the race, which it might. That might be a break for the Phillies. I can’t imagine the Braves would play those games with much enthusiasm.

  26. That is a very nice recap from ESPN, not normally known for its fairness towards Atlanta. What jumps out at me is how great our pitching staff used to be: 4 starters in the top 10 in era in ’97, all 5 starters win 16+ games in ’98, etc. Then there was Smoltz setting an NL record with 55 saves in 2002. I continue to think that his moving back into the rotation was a huge mistake both for the Braves and for John.

  27. Anyone think Davies makes it past the 5th inning today.

    Poll…Who has been the biggest disappointment this year.

    1. Hudson
    2. Davies
    3. Chipper
    4. Andruw
    5. Frenchy
    6. Other, please name them

    I still say, #1

  28. Okay, who’s to blame for this?
    After reading all the posts on this site I’m now extremely interested in college football. Like I didn’t already have enough to do!
    Now I can’t wait for the biggest game here in the Midwest: Michigan-Notre Dame. I know all you SEC fans are yawning; but you know that this ridiculous BCS setup will make this game have bowl implications.
    On the second freaking week of the season, no less.

    I just can’t get my mind around how to compare teams objectively with those from other conferences. I sat on a plane with an Alabama fan who praised his co-National championship team back in the 70’s. I knew enough to point out that the team they were co-champs with had beat them head-to-head that season. How could the other team NOT be the lone champ?
    That didn’t really count, he told me, because it was early in the season. Are all Alabama fans so unreasonable? (walking on very thin ice here.)

    So, I’ve resisted everything but bowl games for 20 years. But now that I’m hooked, is my Michigan-loving brother (who holds an MBA and is a minister) gonna swear to me that this game really shouldn’t count come bowl selection time?

    I’ve accepted that NASCAR driver can drive at 180 mph on bald tires for 500 miles only to finish 7th because some poor guy slipped when shoving in the jack on the last pitstop. But where is the justice in college football?

    Maybe Jenny has it figured best. She roots for Notre Dame because Brady Quinn is so hot.

  29. Brady Quinn is gay, dont know that, but I cant stand Notre Dame. Here’s something for them, GET IN A CONFERENCE!

    back to baseball, this is interesting. 4 Teams still have a realistic chance to win 100 games this year.

    Mets 89-55, need to finish 11-7
    Yankees 87-56, finish 13-6
    Detroit 87-58, finish 13-4
    Minnesota 85-59, finish 15-3

    very very long shots…

    White Sox 83-62, finish 17-0
    A’s 82-62, finish 18-0

    has there ever been 4 teams to win 100 games in a season?

  30. Smitty, where are you at? Your boys have a big game this weekend. How do you see that one finishing up?

    Also, does anyone think that Louisville will beat Miami?

  31. Adam LaRoche – #19 – First Base – 6’3″ – 185lbs
    News: Adam LaRoche (sore hamstring) hopes to start one of Wednesday’s doubleheader games.
    Impact: LaRoche initially injured the hamstring last season and has been bothered by it off and on this year. “I may need to have something done after the season,” LaRoche said. “I thought rest would take care of it last year.” (Wed. Sep 13, 2006)
    More Player Fantasy News

    Blaine Boyer – #78 – Pitcher – 6’3″ – 215lbs
    News: Blane Boyer (shoulder) threw to batters on Tuesday for the first time since having shoulder surgery in April.
    Impact: “My arm feels good,” Boyer said. “I’ve just got to get my mechanics and arm slot back.” He will pitch for the Braves’ instructional league during the next five weeks. (Wed. Sep 13, 2006)

  32. Miami is terrible

    The Vols are going to pull it out. They are focused and ready. The Gators are off running their mouths. I don’t think it will be that close.

  33. I keep hearing people complain about ESPN’s “bias” against the Braves. Two questions: (1) what specific things has ESPN done, other than picking against the Braves; and (2) what possible motivation does ESPN to be against the Braves. I suspect EVERY fan thinks ESPN or some other media outlet is biased against their team. New Yorkers think Rob Neyer is anti-Yankees; midwesterners think he is pro-East Coast, etc. I’m just continually baffled when I hear this about ESPN being biased against the Braves.

  34. 1914 Update:

    Boston Braves 73-55 (–)
    NY Giants 71-57 (2 GB)
    St Louis Cardinals 71-62 (4.5)
    Chicago Cubs 70-63 (5.5)
    Pittsburgh Pirates 61-67 (12)
    Philadelphia Phillies 59-70 (14.5)
    Brooklyn Robins 58-71 (15.5)
    Cincinnati Reds 56-74 (18)

    No game today. Damn Sundays. The AThletics lead the Red Sox by 7.5 games in the AL. In the FL, Chicago now is one games ahead of Indianapolis and 4 ahead of Baltimore and Brooklyn.

  35. Marc, I dont think they are biased against the Braves, but they have always picked against them. This year they were finally right, though. My only problem is their love for both the NY teams. Its unbelievable, they dedicate about 20 minutes of Baseball tonight to them, btw it only last for 30 minutes. They need a holiday for these two teams so they can show nothing but highlights for them. They have to keep up the ratings.

  36. ESPN does seem biased against the Braves, and if they are, it is not without reason. For a long time, and still to an extent today, the Braves were the most widely available team on national television. The Cubs had WGN, but I don’t think WGN carried as many Cubs games as TBS carried Braves games. As the self proclaimed “world-wide leader in sports,” ESPN probably viewed the Braves as their competition.

  37. Line-up: (if we play)

    Aybar
    Giles
    Rent
    Jones
    Frenchy
    Diaz
    Pratt (someone tell Bobby that Pena has been called up)
    Thorman
    Davies

  38. Andruw can still turn on pitches and drive in runs. Frenchy can draw a walk? This should be a bit less of a surprise by now.

  39. Why is Pratt getting starts over Pena? Why did the Braves’ even call Pena up? They haven’t even started him once if I’m not mistaken.

  40. Dan, my only theory is that Pratt will start, Mac will pinch hit for Pratt to get an AB, and then Pena will finish the first game, with Mac and Pena being available for the second game. That’s the only thing I can figure out. Just a guess.

  41. we will need more than 3 I’m afraid. But hey, we only scored 1 against the mets in 18 innings of that double header. Cant complain after 3 in 1 now!

  42. Robert, that’s what we do best. We’ll get their starter to throw 36 in the 1st and then we will start swinging at everything. Hell probably end up with under 100 pitches after 6.

  43. Busy at work (late at work too), so just poppin’ in. Checked the box score on ESPN.com. Good to see we’re up early, but can someone tell me why LaRoche is not playing that much lately? Seems like he’s been one of our best players lately and yet I see Thorman in there. Can someone tell me why?

  44. Hey, has this site always been on Central Time? I never noticed. I guess it makes sense Mac being from Alabama and all, but funny how I never noticed before.

  45. ermoore, he tweaked his hammy again. They said he will probably start tonights game. Probably didnt want to push it and play two games, but we’ll see

  46. well, the good news is that Kyle Davies won’t suffer from overuse this year. I would guess a wet mound would not be good for a guy with a groin injury.

    He really has way too high a walk rate, and gives up too many hits for the quality of his stuff. I wonder if he has been unlucky on the hits (giving up more hits to balls in play, than normal).

    I am hoping for league average in 2007, over 180 innings. A league average 4th starter would be really good.

  47. “Sheesh ten runs would be enough for Kyle Davies if you told him he had to pitch nine innings.”

    That should be “wouldn’t.”

  48. I knew he sucked, but Bobby hardly ever pulls a pitcher that quick. Maybe he’s as frustrated as we are. I thought he might have gotten injured again. Oh well here’s to our crappy starters again!

  49. “He really has way too high a walk rate, and gives up too many hits for the quality of his stuff. I wonder if he has been unlucky on the hits (giving up more hits to balls in play, than normal).”

    dont think so, I think he still thinks he can throw it past the hitters here and still hasn’t learned to get his pitches down and change speeds. His fastball is always belt high and 93-95 w/ little movement. That equalls bad results.

  50. Sorry about being prophetic about Davies starting game 1, guys. It just seemed logical to me to try to get the standard 7 mediocre innings out of Hudson in game 1 leaving the pen fresh for long relief in game 2. Now the pressure will be intense on Timmy to have a good outing in the 2nd game after 6+ innings of relief work in game 1.

  51. Shouldn’t we have 10 guys in the pen by now? I haven’t followed it closely, but of the 15 extra we can carry on the roster now, i hope there is an arm or 2 extra.

  52. ESPN’s Page 2 is countering MLB’s Hometown Heroes with their own Hometown Bums. For the Braves, the candidates are:

    John Rocker
    Charlie Leibrandt
    Brad Komminsk
    Lonnie Smith
    Kyle Farnsworth

    They said they had to narrow it down to five, and I was wondering if you all agreed those are the worst. Since I’ve only been following the Braves since ’96, I was hoping someone on here would be kind enough to run down what those middle three did to get on there.

    Here’s the link to the story. The link to the ballot is on there, as well.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=caple/060913

  53. Oh my God. Villarreal didn’t let a single person get on base and Bobby Cox yanks him for Brian Jordan? That means the Braves need Paronto and Yates to both pitch two innings and give up no more than one run if the Braves are to give a lead in the ninth to closer Bob Wickman.

  54. Liebrandt gave up the winning runs vs. Toronto that lost that game (in our World Series #2); Brad komminsk was a cannot fail kid who did; and Lonnie Smith screwed up on the bases, and cost us a win in the Minnesota WS (meaning that he cost us the WS).

    In my mind, there is 1st place and no one else is even deserving to be considered.

  55. Liebrandt was solid for us. I can never dislike him. Dip shit Lonnie Smith’s blunder hurt. Why is Keith Lockhart not on that list! Where is Andres Thomas, Ken Oberfelt, Reggie Sanders, Qulvio Veras, Bret Boone, Rico Bornga, Vinny Castilla.

  56. Liebrandt gave up the winning runs vs. Toronto that lost that game (in our World Series #2)

    I had forgotten about that one. He didn’t have the best Game 6 the previous year either, which is why I thought he made the list.

    Lonnie Smith was one of my favorites, I’m going to pretend I don’t even see his name there.

  57. Hometown bums for the Braves better include Kenny Lofton. He was the worst.

    .333 avg was pretty bad. he should have hit at least .400…

  58. Ladies and gentlemen: your Atlanta Braves! All they had to do was get three outs without giving up two runs to give a lead to Bob Wickman in the final inning. But nope. How many times have they done that this year?

  59. “”.333 avg was pretty bad. he should have hit at least .400…”

    Sure, if we go with stats, why is anyone on that list? Lofton was a good player, I’m talking about his attitude and what he said.

  60. Todd Prat… what a waste of a roster spot. Is Ryan Langerhans injured? If not, I don’t really understand why he wasn’t in left field in the 8th inning of a close game. Diaz makes Ryan Klesko look like a gold glover. I wonder if the stress of all the losing is getting to Bobby. He just doesn’t seem to be managing with much intelligence lately.

  61. Never mind, Francoeur made an error too, didn’t know that. Who’re our replacements there? Jordan and Langerhans?

  62. This is, unfortunately, the story of the season. It’s like Groundhog Day in that it keeps playing, no matter what. Seriously, this bullpen has to be addressed in the offseason. It may be worth just totally blowing up just to get rid of the bad karma there.

  63. “It may be worth just totally blowing up just to get rid of the bad karma there.”

    Yes, that’s what I’d do. Get rid of everyone except Wickman during the offseason. The whole bullpen, release them, trade them or whatever.

  64. It would seem to me that wins and losses no longer matter at this point in the season. Without a realistic shot at the WC, I’m not sure why we’re not playing more young players from AAA and lower to see what they can do.

  65. Has anyone noticed how when the Braves’ bullpen blows a lead, they always instantly and easily get the third out. As soon as the Phillies took the 6-5 lead, an easy ending groundout that come too little too late. That seems to happen all the time, maybe it’s just me.

  66. He caught it but still looked foolish doing it. I still think letting Diaz and KJ fight it out for the everyday job next year is a workable option.

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