Astros 5, Braves 4

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

Oh, well, nobody’s perfect. Wickman allowed three runs in the ninth inning after coming into a tie game. They were all scored as unearned; Marcus made an error to let the first one reach, then Renteria made one to let the other two score. And one of the two hits was an infield single. Still, pretty disheartening way for him to likely end his season.

The Braves trailed almost the entire game. Cormier allowed solo homers in the first (Berkman) and sixth (Huff). Since he almost wound up with a quality start (leaving with one out in the sixth) he probably didn’t do anything to move himself out of next year’s crowded rotation picture, though really with a healthy Hampton and the established Smoltz-James-Hudson there should be only one spot. Again, he didn’t actually pitch well; a pattern of eight hits, two walks, two homers, and one strikeout in less than six innings is more likely to yield five runs than two.

Paronto, the Vulture, McBride, and Kali (the Four Horsemen of the Bullpenoclypse) managed to keep the Astros from adding any runs over the next 2 2/3. The Braves got a run on a Marcus bunt in the sixth, and LaRoche (who had been laboring a little and isn’t really healthy) hit a homer in the eighth to tie it. The Braves got two runs in and the tying run on in the ninth, but LaRoche struck out.

End of the season, at last, tomorrow. Hopefully the Cards lose and we eliminate the Astros. I don’t ask for much, only Craig Biggio’s tears.

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24 thoughts on “Astros 5, Braves 4”

  1. LaRoche (who had been laboring a little and isn’t really healthy)

    Does that mean he’ll be listed as “day”?

    And let’s hope the Braves look beyond ERA to Cormier’s unimpressive peripherals- that would have saved as the agony of Kim Jong-Il this year.

  2. Four spots filled for next year. I don’t trust either Davies or Cormier as anything more than spot starters (until they prove otherwise.) Make a trade, sign somebody, do something.

  3. Opps, I forgot he existed Pedro. I’m perfectly fine with no trades or signings if the Braves go with Smoltz-Hudson-Hampton-James-Ramirez. That’s not bad at all.

  4. I heard that the marlins were looking to trade D. Willis and one of the names they mentioned was Jeff Francoeur. I don’t think it would be a great idea to trade Francoeur to the same division the Braves play.

  5. Both Maddox and Glavine got their 15th win of the season today. That’s 290 career wins for Tommy. And Julio fell a triple shy of the cycle, with five RBIs. Kind of nice to see the oldtimers getting it done.

  6. Andruw isn’t going anywhere. And save that five spot in the rotation for Reitsma, cause he’s a really nice guy apparently.

  7. This season has been horrible…but you couldn’t have asked more out of Brian McCann…

    .334/.391/.578/.969/ 24 hr’s / 92 rbi’s…and even 2 sb’s. This while playing a big chunk of the year on a bad ankles.

    Amazing…

  8. This GA team is embarrassing. Thank God for Kregg Lumpkin. Stafford needs to go the #### back to Texas.

  9. I don’t think that Cormier is really in the Braves’ plans for the starting rotation. I am just hoping that he has raised his trade value to be useful long before 2007 rolls around.

  10. I’d be surprised if we went with three lefties (Hampton, James, HoRam) next year. I think it’s likely that HoRam, Davies, and Cormier will all be battling for the last spot in spring training and that they’ll all get at least 10 starts next season. Hopefully those seven will be enough to cover the rotation even with a few injuries here and there.

    As for the pen…. Well, Boyer and Devine should improve it strait up and maybe Reitsma will be half-decent since he won’t be asked to close. Right there we’d have a decent pen (throw in McBride and Villareal and whoever)…. Oh well. Have to wait and see.

  11. “I don’t think that Cormier is really in the Braves’ plans for the starting rotation.”

    I’m sorry but you really have to question the sanity of people who honestly suggest Lance Cormier as a serious candidate for the starting rotation next season.

    mraver, I don’t think Chris Reitsma will be back next year. I’d be very surprised really.

  12. I really strongly advice against trying to convince ourselves that Chris Reitsma is anything but a black hole. Mraver, nothing against you personally, but I really think that placing your trust in Chris Reitsma for a third time is sort of like committing emotional suicide.

  13. JS commented recently on improving starting pitching–getting back to where it has been for the previous 14 years or so. That rules out Cormier–I just hope they can trade him.

    Reitsma will not be back–the Braves know that he cannot pitch in Atlanta. The best that can be said is that he needs a fresh start somewhere.

    If ever there was a case of addition by subtraction….

  14. Stephen, JS said the same thing two years ago when he formed a rotation of Hudson, Smoltz, Hampton, Thomson, and HoRam. I hope he really means it this time. Right now, the Braves just have too many mediocre pitchers hanging around. I think the Braves may trade HoRam in a package deal with Marcus to perhaps the Padres or the A’s for Linebrink/Duchscherer and prospects.

    HoRam will cost around $3M next year, and trading both Marcus and HoRam will free up more than $7M of the payroll. With no Thomson, Reitsma, and Sosa, the Braves are already in line to save more than $8M. Considering the Braves didn’t fully utilize this year’s payroll, an unknown amount will be rolled forward to next year, but that may have been used up already in signing Wickman to an extension. I guess we will see…

  15. If the Braves can somehow get Carl Crawford, that would be great. Of course, the focus in this offseason should really be on the pitching side of things, but imagine if the lineup has Crawford at the top…my goodness…

  16. The most likely scenario is Ramirez will be traded and Davies will have first shot at the 5th starter position unless he has a very bad spring with Cormier going back to the bullpen until a spot starter is needed. I’d love to see Hudson traded and the Braves sign Schmidt or somebody else better than Timmy in free agency, but the odds of that don’t look good.

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