Game Thread: August 2, Astros at Braves

Well, back to normal, or what passes for normal around here.

829 thoughts on “Game Thread: August 2, Astros at Braves”

  1. From last thread:

    I’m indifferent on the DH. I don’t love it, but I definitely don’t hate it the way some of you guys do. One defense of the DH: Chipper Jones would probably play 150 games a year. Another defense: it gives a player pretty much a day of rest, but you still get his bat 4-5 times in that “day of rest.” You could DH Diaz and play Harris in LF, and we would be a lot better. Actually, I’m more in favor of the DH than I am against it, so I guess I’m not THAT indifferent.

    I also don’t hate the idea of Woodward being on the roster as much as some of you guys are. A player like Woodward is very useful. Sure he can’t hit, but he rarely hits anyway in the grand scheme of things. He can play the entire INF, and his presence allows Harris and Escobar to both play, and not be afraid to PH KJ and vice versa with KJ playing and not being afraid to PH with Escobar. Could we have someone better than Woodward fulfill the role of utility infielder? Sure, but his presence makes managing easier, and he does have a useful role.

  2. Also from last thread on the same topic:

    I do much prefer the NL rules to the DH, but having been around college baseball for the last couple years, I’ve kind of gotten used to the DH, I guess, so I don’t break out in hives at the very mention of it like I did a few years ago.

    However, with that said, if they were to change the rules so that the NL had the DH, I would be be monumentally pissed.

  3. I understand the DH (though I’m glad the NL doesn’t have it), but I’m very much against having a DH in the minors. Nobody should aspire to be a professional DH and everyone should learn a position.

  4. I like the DH rule in the minors. It allows pitchers to focus on pitching and gets prospects more at bats which helps their development in the longterm. Each at bat helps especially with the large financial committment teams put into prospects these days.

  5. Yea I’m not going to get with all the Woodward hate either…every team has a Woodward. I mean it would be nice if he had some speed, but believe me every team has one. As long as he is not the #1 pinch-hitter or starting then he’s cool with me.

  6. I agree with the DH in the minors. I doubt it would be anybody’s permanent position on the farm, just a way to get somebody else at-bats over the course of a game

  7. Rob,

    We’ve been getting along so well, I don’t want to jump all over your post, so I will simply say I completely disagree on both fronts. That’s all.

  8. I should also point out, though, that in college, it’s far less annoying because sometimes good hitting pitchers are still in the lineup and then stay in the game as the DH if they’re relieved later on, and enough pitchers are good hitters where in half the games a reliever is brought in from playing in the field and they take the DH out at that point and the pitcher hits for himself, so it doesn’t seem quite as cheap in college somehow. I would say 50-60% of the pitchers are capable of hitting well enough to be in the lineup, in my experience.

  9. I posted a response to you on the previous thread, Rob, but I’m on a BlackBerry, so I won’t be copying it here.

  10. Yeah, the aluminum bat is another story, AAR. While I’ve gotten used to the DH, in two years of scoring college baseball games I still haven’t gotten used to the *ping* sound. Aluminum bats need to go.

  11. I’m not in favor of aluminum bats. Why can’t they make an artificial bat that acts like a wooden one?

  12. I play “sandlot” baseball with some of my old high school buddies. We use a wooden bat, and sense I started using it I don’t ever want to pick up an aluminum/composite/ceramic/metal bat ever again.

    I’ve found you can hit it almost as far if you hit the sweet spot, it’s just much harder to find the sweet spot. Much like using blades instead of over sized cavity back irons in golf.

  13. I think the financial (and environmental) cost of wooden bats is too high for anything but the majors.

  14. ChiSox score 8 in the 2nd. Yanks answer with 6 in the bottom & still batting.

    First AB in pinstripes for Wilson Betemit: 3-run HR. Welcome to The Bronx, kid.

  15. Don’t most college teams have big ass contracts signed with aluminum bat makers? I’m sure it would be tough to turn that money down. It would also probably put lots and lots of those companies out of business if the NCAA switched to aluminum.

    I’d be all for the NCAA switching to a bat that behaved and sounded like a wooden bat.

  16. Andy,

    The environmental angle is certainly an interesting one. Don’t you think if the demand increased, though, that it could be offset by an increase in tree farms?

  17. Reasons we should be glad we stuck with Buddy Carlyle over Jon Garland: after being staked to an 8-0 lead, Garland coughed up five straight hits and six runs overall in 1.1 innings.

  18. So, I had some money left over after paying all my July bills, so I thought, “Hey, why not check out Extra Innings?” I knew it was a lot for a full season, but since there are only a few weeks left, I figured I’d check out to see if there was a cheaper rate. Anything under about $70, and I’d take it.

    So the rate is less. For a half season of Extra Innings, you only have to pay $129. $129 for a half season. That’s out of my range by a lot.

    I wonder if they really make more money pricing people out like this. I would hope their economists know what they’re doing, but it sure seems like you could gain a good deal more subscribers by reducing the cost. Seeing as the marginal cost of an additional subscriber is near zero, it just seems like they’d make a bunch of money lowering the price. I wish I could see their projections on that. (And by “they”, I’m imagining MLB, because I live in a competitive cable market.)

  19. I think you’re probably right, JD. I would say almost all colleges period. I think that a lot of colleges would complain about it, but if it turned out to be something they had to pay for, they could do it without much of a problem. The D3 school I work for doesn’t have a lot of money, but they still had enough money to build new batting cages this summer and they’re talking about further refurbishing the field. So I’m guessing if they could do that, they could probably afford wooden bats. Plus, at the D3 level, I doubt there would be nearly as many broken bats anyway.

  20. Yes, a switch to wooden bats in college would probably be the end of the planet as we know it. :)

    Also, I agree that Woodward is useful. Every team needs a player who will get Gatorade and Sunflower seeds for the coaches.

    As for the DH, well it simply isn’t baseball. Personally I think it puts an asterisk in my mind on the players who use it to extend their career numbers.

  21. I too hate the DH, but it has gotten to the point where there are almost no pitchers that can hit and it makes the spot in the order useless. since the inception of the DH pitchers pitch in the minors and do not even practice hitting, pre-dh, they did. I do not like the DH, but at this point they may as well add it because so many pitcher at bats are a complete joke why bother.
    Aluminum, hate it and lose it, all levels.

  22. There is nothing like the feel of hitting a ball solidly with a wooden bat. It obviously takes more skill to hit with a wooden bat and we wouldn’t want the kiddies to be traumatized. Anyway, with trees dying due to global climate change, one day there may no longer be wood to make bats. (:

    I think in today’s game, there isn’t really as much strategy in the NL as there used to be anyway. At one time, a manager would really have to sweat over when to remove the starter or to pinch hit. But, since most starters don’t go more than 7 today anyway, the decision is much easier. And running is a lot less a part of the game so those strategy decisions don’t mean as much either. I don’t like the idea of a player never learning a position and always being a DH. By the same token, though, some of these pitchers are such pathetic hitters that having them bat is a waste of time.

  23. So here’s an interesting DH-related question: Should Edgar Martinez be in the Hall of Fame? What about David Ortiz if he continues on his current pace for 5-10 more years?

  24. “Anyway, with trees dying due to global climate change”

    Statements like this probably need to be moved to another thread. I’m having a hard time not responding and well I’m just saying…Don’t get me started on Mr. Gore.

  25. Marc, I agree with you about the feel of a wooden bat. However I disagree with you otherwise. I don’t think there is going to be an environmental crisis that is going to hurt bat production, not to mention they can make bats light enough for high schoolers to use. I don’t think anyone is going to be traumatized, they just become better hitters.

  26. Nick, I think that you have to evaluate the game as it’s played, not as purist farts like me wish it were played. So, Edgar has to be considered borderline HOF material, and if Ortiz keeps up this pace till he’s 40 (extremely unlikely with his body type, but you never know), he has to be a serious contender too.

    Of course, if either of them gets in and Dale Murphy stays out, every writer in the BBWAA should be fired, but that’s just my opinion.

  27. Ortiz is one that I don’t understand. Why the heck can’t he play 1B? He is fully capable, but instead gets to collect his checks as a pro hitter only. I like watching him bat, but his career is diminished in my eyes at least. That being said, if he put up the numbers he’d get in regardless of if he ever stepped foot on the defensive side of the field.

  28. JoshQ, doing my Chris Farley impression…

    It’s not so much that David Ortiz “can’t” play first base as that he is “terrible.” He makes Kevin Millar look “good.” He “fields his position” like “Pete Incaviglia.”

  29. By the way two guys we were rumored to get at the trade deadline:
    Last Start

    Arroyo 1.2 IP 7 H 7 R

    Garland 1.1 IP 9 H 8 R


  30. JoshQ,

    That statement was meant to be facetious. It was in response to an article last week that the trees used to make ash bats, which a lot of major league players like, are facing possible extinction in the future so that the players might have to switch to another type of bat. I guess I put the smiley face in the wrong location. I certainly did not mean to inject politics into this discussion. Sorry.

  31. OK, the few Yankee fans in my office are officially touching themselves now.

    They came all the way back. They gave up 8 in the top of the 2nd, then scored 8 in the bottom of the inning.

    According to someone here, it’s the first time that’s been done ever.

  32. Ooof, nice stats Josh. That looks like we made out pretty well.

    Side note: Brewers got a run back from the Mets 2-1

  33. Marc, We Cool!!! Sometimes when things are ridiculous, the best way to illustrate that is to be ridiculous. Sorry I missed the boat.

    On another note, does anyone here have a fantasy football league on yahoo or want to start one?

  34. Josh, I’m pretty sure he’s awful defensively and I’m positive he has the range of a manatee, so while he may look better among NL purists if he were to bumble around out there trying to play first, it’s better for the Red Sox if he plays DH and Youkilis plays first base.

    To answer my own question, I think I would pretty much agree with you, AAR. I don’t think I’d give any special treatment to the position like is done with catcher. So for instance, the best DH of all-time wouldn’t automatically get in if he didn’t have the offensive numbers to get him in in an at-large sense. So that would mean Martinez (as pretty much the consensus best DH of all-time to this point) would not be a shoo-in but would be borderline. But I wouldn’t punish a lifelong DH for not playing in the field when it came time to vote for his HOF candidacy if he had the numbers to get in otherwise.

  35. 35 — AAR — agreed. murph needs to get anyway. i know jayson stark is really unpopular after his deal on andruw… but i’ve exchanged emails with him about murphy. he’s a big murphy fan and votes for him every year.

  36. Murph, glad that at least someone’s voting for him!

    I don’t dislike Stark because of the Andruw Jones column, though I thought it was a little half-baked. I just find his columns in general a little half-baked.

  37. From DOB:
    Jeff Francoeur has hit .370 (44-for-119) with nine doubles, four homers, 23 RBIs and a .402 OBP in his past 29 games.

    Yeah that’s pretty mediocre

  38. JoeyT and JD — how much is MLBtv? granted it has the drawback of being on my little computer screen. but is it a lot cheaper? just trying to figure out what i’m going to do next year. freaking tbs. i grew up in southern VA and the only reason i’ve been a braves fan for over 20 years is because dale murphy was on tv everyday. so somebody’s got me… i’ll try and figure out a way to pay and see the games. but what about future fans? oh well.

  39. MLBtv is $14.95 per month, I believe.

    I love it. You need to check out to see if you’re in a blackout area though.

  40. MLBtv is $15 a month. It’s not bad as long as you have a good internet connection. What I do is run a cable from my computer and project it on the TV.

    It also sucks if you don’t have direct TV. There is no way to get the games at all outside MLBtv.

  41. Not true, My parents have Comcast and get the games. They have for two seasons now I think. I’d have to call and ask ’em though.

  42. When I listed EQA’s yesterday (or the day before), I was surprised that Andruw and McCann were the same. Andruw’s batting average stinks, but his power is still there and he’s drawing walks. McCann I guess is just having a tough sophomore season.

  43. Ah, I was unaware of that. I just knew my Mom needed to watch her braves . . . and my Dad the Tribe.

  44. thanks for the research on mlbtv. i saw the first few games of the year on the trial that right guard (i think) offered. not quite as good as being on tv, but i’ll take it. and it might help my marriage that it’s not on tv. heh heh.

  45. jd… you’re from richmond right? what part?

    i’ll be there in a couple of weeks. my wife’s from the short pump area. i wanted to go see an r-braves game, but don’t know if it’ll happen. we’re taking my 3month old son on the extended family tour.

  46. I grew up on the West End (Gaskins/River), Freeman HS district.

    I’m back in Richmond for the summer, and in Boston for law school during the school year. I didn’t know the RBraves did a family tour, that sounds pretty cool.

  47. I remember Richmond or at least passing through. Is the cigarette industry still prominent down in Richmond, Va.

  48. Man the Rocket should just retire…getting rocked by the White Sox team this year is embarassing.

    Speaking of the Yankees, the YES network is up for sale…looking at an asking price of 3.5 billion. Not too bad…

  49. Phillip Morris is still big time down here. They just consolidated everything here I believe.

    The Tobacco lobbyist are still strong here. Last year a “No Smoking in public places” law didn’t even make it to the floor.

  50. jd — sorry, i should explain. we’re taking cameron “on tour” so that he can meet the family. lots of my wife’s family is in richmond. mine is in roanoke and lynchburg. i want to take him to an r-braves game, but don’t know if we’ll get the chance.

  51. anyone love Roger’s line today

    1.2IP 9H 8R 3ER 0BB 0K

    only to be matched by Garland’s line of

    1.1IP 9H 8ER 0BB 1K

    whichever team loses the starter should get the loss. Thats another rule that I hate. If your starter cant get you to inning 5 and you lose, he should get the loss

  52. I wonder if those were really errors behind Roger or if the scorer just wanted to keep his ERA respectable. Anyway, glad the Yanks overpaid for him

  53. csg — there are a number of pitching stats that have little to do with the pitcher’s performance. and that’s ok… except for when it determines awards and contracts, etc

  54. Murph: That makes more sense. I should have picked up on that. The Diamond is still a piece of junk, but they have finally decided on building a replacement/upgrading it. I believe they are building one right next to the Diamond, or near by.

    But you still can’t beat it, not a bad seat in the house and cheap.

  55. jd — yeah. i’ve been a few times. always fun. 4th of july tradition for my wife’s fam (we were here in wisconsin this summer though).

  56. i live in mississippi and, as i understand it, the 45 games that tbs is televising in 2008 will be available only in the Atlanta area and not to the southeast region that SS and FSN covers.

    i’m a little confused on the and the blackout restrictions. i’m looking at thinking that this is my only option to see the games and it tells me my postal code is subject to blackout for the atlanta braves. i’m 500 freaking miles away from atlanta, TBS won’t air the games regionally, and MLB.TV won’t let me view them??? how and the heck does that foster fan support in my case?

    i’m not buying the mlb cable package, not for 45 games. i guess mlb audio is the last option.

  57. #78, Alex me and you both. Garland who has openly talked about his shoulder problems for our .337 avg SS, thanks Williams for not accepting this offer

  58. YES has the Nets and the Yankees. Is that really worth $3.5 billion? Or does that include the Yankees? Are there real estate holdings as well?

  59. I hate David Wright. Though to be fair it is just because he plays for the mets. He’s the kind of player who should be on the braves

    Oh, he just homered 3-2 mutts

  60. Last I heard, they were planning on broadcasting it to the Southeast. But even if they aren’t, since you get FSN South and SportSouth in Mississippi, you would probably be in the blackout zone.

    I don’t know first hand since I live in Atlanta and therefore don’t have to worry about MLB.TV, but I’ve heard that the blackout rules for that thing are pretty ridiculous. Apparently if you live in Iowa, for instance, you can’t get any games involving the Brewers, Cubs, White Sox, Cardinals or Twins, and maybe the Royals, too…I can’t remember exactly. But in any case, that means you could be blacked out of half the games being played depending on the day.

  61. Your are right Ethan…3.5 billion for the YES network. The Yankees have to worth at least 1 billion right?

    That’s ridiculous. Living outside of the southeast, I’ve gotten use to not seeing the Braves at all…but I guess next year a lot more people will face that reality.

    I will see more national Cubs and White Sox games next year b/c of WGN, than the Braves. How sad.

  62. CSG, the rule that starters have to go 5 innings only applies for wins. You can lose with any amount of outs, or no outs at all.

    However, since the game was tied when both pitchers were taken out, neither is the pitcher of record, which is an utterly terrible rule, so I totally agree with you there.

  63. I’ve seen the maps of the blackout areas. You’re right that the midwest can be out because of several nearby teams. I live in Virginia Beach and I think I am in the Orioles/Nats blackout region. Really though this area is non-committed for pro-sports, except for perhaps the Redskins.

    There should be a website where you can go trade zip codes with someone in Iowa so someone in Mississippi can get the Braves and the Iowa fan can get the Cubs.

  64. Nick

    I’ve heard conflicting reports about how will TBS will broadcast the games so I don’t really know the answer either. Sure its only 45 games or a little over 25% of the schedule, but i’ve just become spoiled having every game available. lets hope they still will be for the southeast.

  65. If Lohse just got injured, the Phillies have to be wondering what the hell is going to happen next.

  66. “There should be a website where you can go trade zip codes with someone in Iowa so someone in Mississippi can get the Braves and the Iowa fan can get the Cubs.”

    They do it by the billing address on your credit card. I put my brother’s account on my credit card and he paid me back. He lived in San Diego and was a Padres season ticket holder, but wanted the package for times when he was on the road.

  67. If the DH just isn’t baseball, then why is there only 16 teams in the world that don’t use a DH. Seems foolish to me.

  68. What’s happening here is that they’re turning the local TBS broadcast station (WTBS) and splitting it off from the TBS cable network. It will be a different channel called Peachtree TV or something like that. So how it would work if they were gonna broadcast it to the Southeast, I don’t know. I guess they could do what they did several years ago and have a Braves Network with a bunch of local broadcast stations. That would probably make the most sense, I suppose, unless you can somehow put something different on TBS in the Southeast than is on TBS to the rest of the nation.

  69. I have heard it is possible to get a dish package and show the physical location elsewhere (whre you can get what you want). The dish companies don’t care.

  70. Ethan,

    I completely agree with you about Wright. I would love to have an opportunity to pull for him.

    But he’s a Met—may he never get another hit.

  71. “They do it by the billing address on your credit card.”

    So I guess you could pay for your account, and then go to a clearing house website and offer to trade account #/password with someone in another part of the country.

    **Disclaimer – I make no warranty express or implied as to whether you could somehow get in trouble for doing that**

  72. “If the DH just isn’t baseball, then why is there only 16 teams in the world that don’t use a DH. Seems foolish to me.”

    Exactly. The NL is the oddball on this.

  73. Does anyone have a copy of last nights game? My DVR screwed up and I missed the beginning of the Texeira era.. I will compensate. Thanks

  74. I knew Jimmy Rollins was a good player, but who knew he was this good (.298 20hr 66RBI…and versatile. He’s batting in 3 spot with Utley out.

    Damn Pat Burrell is batting .267? Damn when did that happen? He was at .205 along with Andruw a few weeks ago. No wonder the Phillies have been winning w/o Utley.

  75. I really enjoyed calling my die hard mets fan of a friend last night and saying, “did castillo hit a 3-run homerun tonight?”

  76. If Jessica Simpson isn’t good music, why is she so popular around the world?

    I could give a rat’s bum about what the uncultured masses prefer.

  77. I agree with you, Stu. However, the fact that every other baseball entity in the world other than the NL has the DH probably does mean that there’s no chance of it going away. If we’re lucky, we’ll never get a commissioner who decides to change the NL to make it uniform, but I have a feeling that it will happen at some point. Pretty sure we’re safe under Bud, though.

  78. Something I’m kind of unclear on, since this happened before my time, is a)Why did the AL decide to adopt the DH?; and b)Why did the commissioner at the time let them?

  79. Salty…0 for 4 w/ 2 Ks. That Rangers line-up is putrid.

    Damn Moises Alou is healthy again…The Braves need to close this gap before Beltran gets hot.

    Does Andruw .218, 20HR 70RBI year compare with Francouer last year?

  80. Nick – to drum up more money with offense – seems like I recall old Charlie Finley getting that across or having something to do with it

  81. It was a gimmick they hoped would boost attendance, plus offense was down at the time. At addressing those two issues, it actually wasn’t a bad idea. Of course now baseball has record attendance and more offense than is really necessary. But will the DH politely leave now that it is no longer needed? No chance.

  82. Now pitching for the Yankees: the immortal Ron Villone.

    Oh, and in Eric Gagne’s first appearance for the BoSox just now, finishing off the Orioles, he struck out the first two guys, then gave up a run on a double and a single, then got a flyout for out number three. Guess he’s not exactly invincible any more, but he’s still pretty good.

  83. Kinda like a lot of tha New Deal programs. Well-intentioned, very successful in the short run, and generally outlived their usefulness.

  84. 1. Attendance in the AL was much lower than in the NL at the time.

    2. Offensive levels in the AL were also much lower than in the NL. This is not a coincidence; there is a strong correlation between attendance levels and offense.

    3. This was before free agency, so the salary escalation aspects of the DH weren’t recognized.

    In 1972 (the last pre-DH year) the average AL team scored 3.47 runs a game; the Angels and Rangers averaged slightly less than three runs a game. The NL average was 3.91 runs a game, and eight teams scored at least 3.64.

    There was a lot more league independence at the time; until the Bud Era, the league presidencies had a lot of power and were not purely ceremonial. The commissioner probably didn’t have any ability to change it. The NL might have forced the AL not to, but frankly the NL looked down on the AL and mocked the whole idea as “the sort of thing that American Leaguers would do”.

  85. Does Andruw .218, 20HR 70RBI year compare with Francouer last year?

    Runs created per 27 outs:
    Frenchy ’06: 4.42
    Andruw ’07: 4.40

    Pretty good comp value wise. The shape of the production is different of course but the production itself is similar.

  86. I’ll admit that baseball loses a bit in the way of simplicity and symmetry by having a DH. But the DH wins out as a practical matter because pitchers simply can’t hit.

    I don’t buy the additional strategy in the NL. Sure there is more strategy, but it’s all about how to keep the guy who stinks from killing you. What fun is that?

  87. Sure, but it’s better than nothing. I guess I don’t see the fun in the Cito Gaston style “Here’s my nine guys, I’ll see you tomorrow” type of game. But maybe that’s just me. Bunts and pinch hitters and double switches are fun. Breaks up the monotony, gives us more things to bitch about.

  88. The Commissioner has no ability to abolish the DH because the union would have to approve and they never would do that. So, either the NL will adopt it or it stays the same.


    If we are going to avoid politics, let’s do that completely and avoid comments on the New Deal. Not everyone here agrees with you views that the New Deal programs outlived their usefulness.

  89. Andy, it’s NOT all about keeping the guy who stinks from killing you. It’s about using the 25 guys on the roster a lot more creatively, because you have to replace them more frequently — pinch hitters, the relief pitchers that follow, double switches, etc.

  90. Marc,

    Sorry. Wasn’t meaning to bring politics into it, really, though I can see that it does. Just thought it was a useful comparison to me—I’ll let it stay mine.

  91. Thanks for the explanations, all. I was aware that the league presidents actually had power in those days, but I was not aware that they basically controlled the game in their respective leagues to the degree that the commissioner essentially had no power.

  92. Andy,

    The strategy comparison is not even close.

    An NL Manager has to decide late, in a close, low scoring game, do you keep the starting pitcher who’s mowing down hitters, but down by a run, or do you pinch hit with runners on & risk losing that pitchign comfort and bringing in a reliever who might not be nearly as good–but taking a shot with a good pinch hitter.

    In the American League, the CHUMPS LEAGUE, you fill out a lineup card with 9 hitters and then you stick your thumb up your ass. Oh, occasionally changing a pitcher, but that’s about it.

    Huge strategy differences.

    It’s also why I could never ever truly give a rat’s a– about an A.L. team.

  93. The only reason you need more pinch hitters in the NL is because you have one guy in the lineup who has absolutely no business standing at the plate in a major league game. You only need to double switch to keep that one bad spot in the lineup from coming up again at a bad time – which may result in a good player coming out of the game too soon so his lineup spot can be used to hide the pitcher.

    I’m not sure, but I think relievers are used just as often in the AL.

  94. Try being a Braves fan in Iowa. All I get is Twins, Royals, Brewers, Cards, and Chicago teams. That’s alota baseball but its not the Braves. The loss of TBS games is killing me. Seeing all the regional Fox networks on my Dish blacked-out kills me too. I guess I’ll just have to look forward to Brewers and Cubs series, since Im not in any position to pay extra to watch games.

  95. Why argue about the DH…It is more likely it will be adopted by the NL before it is abolished. The world’s most powerful union would not dare allow paychecks to be taken from it’s members. Well maybe second behind UPS as far as unions.

  96. dans,

    You really should invest in MLBTV or Extra Innings–well worth the investment. Then it’s all Braves, all the time :-)


    But the fact that the pitcher does have to hit (and considering that most pitchers aren’t Mike Hampton or Glavine at the plate) makes it all the more exciting because it forces you into hard choices—it’s strategy. it’s what makes Baseball fun for many of us.

    The American League is disgustingly boring IMHO. The only time I choose to watch an AL team is when they are playing the Braves in interleague play.

    Other than that, I can’t sit through an A.L. game.

  97. Well done on that description of AL baseball, Alex. It’ll take me five minutes to compose myself and get back to work after reading that.

  98. I agree that AL games are terribly boring, Alex, though that’s probably at least in part because none of their outcomes directly affect the Braves.

  99. Stu,

    Yes, I would wholeheartedly agree with that. And the fact that they use the DH like little bitches is the cherry on the sundae with A.L. Baseball.

  100. That’s actually a really good analogy, Tony. I was about to use arena football to actual football but that’s a bit too extreme. But you’re right: AL baseball is like the NBA and NL baseball is like college basketball.

  101. Look, I like the NBA, I find Hockey and Golf and Nascar unwatchable myself–so the point being (as I have learned) is we all have sports we like and we have sports we don’t like, let’s all keep the arguing over what sports are watchable to a minimum.

    Yes, AAR, don’t encourage him. Even if you agree.

  102. Runs per game for ’71 and ’72 are pretty equal for the American League and National League.

  103. Oh man, now let’s all get into a big argument over which sports we do and don’t like…heh. That oughtta be fun.

  104. Alex R,

    Can you wait until I leave you before you start with the “Tony” bashing…geez. Or better yet grow up. It’s funny how you agreed with me on Yunel Escobar, but when I say something you don’t like…WATCH OUT!! You are funny.

  105. So, how exactly do blackout restrictions work? Isn’t that if you’re close enough to the team, you’re “blacked out?” If that’s the case, then why in the heck is my home address (in NE Florida) getting black outs for the Marlins and D-Rays, and my school address (Clearwater, FL which is about 30 minutes away from St. Pete) isn’t getting any restrictions? My head hurts.

  106. How often are there double switches? How often is the pitcher hit for when he wouldn’t have been out of the game anyway? Complete games are rare, so a PH is going to be used in the 7th inning anyway because pitcher has a high pitch count. NL-only strategies don’t happen in every game. I’d say once a week, maybe.

    But I won’t tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t like about sports. I’m enjoying the argument, but I will happily watch baseball with or without a DH.

  107. WHOA! You can get a whole year of MLB.TV for 30 bucks! Can you get that same deal in April? I’ll take two!

  108. This just in:

    K Farnsworth relieved R Villone.
    J Molina catching.
    S Podsednik flied out to left.
    P Konerko homered to left.
    A Pierzynski struck out swinging.
    J Dye homered to center.
    A Gonzalez safe at first on error by second baseman R Cano.
    J Uribe flied out to right.

  109. Alex,

    I do prefer NL ball and in theory, I agree with you about strategy but the change in pitching usage has rendered the decision largely moot. In the day when pitchers frequently completed games and relief pitchers were lousy, it was a real decision when to pinch hit. But, today,if you are down a run in the 7th inning in the NL, you are likely going to pinch hit because the pitcher probably can’t go much longer anyway and you might be just as well off with a fresh pitcher anyway. Same with bunting; it’s pretty much conceded that bunts are not profitable in most situations and the ones that it is are pretty obvious. The nature of the game today, in which “small ball” is less important, has, IMO,reduced the importance of all tactical decisions except how to handle the bullpen.

    And, frankly, the lack of the DH makes some innings in the NL really an excuse to go get a beer. If you have the 8-9-1 hitters scheduled, you probably aren’t going to see much happen.

    Personally, I prefer the NL because there is less scoring and, therefore, a better chance for close games. High scores often mean blowouts as the Braves have shown the last few days. And I hate the idea that a guy can play baseball without ever having to field a position. (Maybe because I was a good fielder but couldn’t hit the ground if I fell out of an airplane.) And pitchers don’t get worn down as much because they aren’t having to bear down for all 9 hitters. Also, having pitchers hit makes it less likely for them to be headhunters.

    Moreover, as much as you might not like the DH, you have to admit that right now the AL generally kicks the NL’s ass. And, I guarantee, most American League fans would think you are crazy for wanting to see the pitcher hit.

  110. Yeah, that map’s kinda retarded. If a Clearwater address means I can watch anything I want, then I will be shifting one particular credit card’s address to my school address and the party’s on. Stupid MLB…

  111. “So, how exactly do blackout restrictions work?”

    Very, very badly. Look at the revenue sports teams make from television and look at the revenue they make from ticket sales. Why on earth does Peter Angelos care about me watching an Orioles game on TV (in North Carolina) and somehow think it would affect my decision to attend a game five hours away??

  112. AAR,

    That wouldn’t be pretty. It will be a good fight though…Farnsworth is kinda nuts. I forgot who he destroyed a few years back when he was with the Cubs.

  113. LOL…hopefully they would be selling tickets to view the clubhouse fight after the game, AAR. If so, I’m pretty sure I’d buy one.

  114. I really wish Farnsworth would get in the middle of a Zambrano-Barrett reunion.


    The AL winning 10 straight all star games or winning more world series has no bearing on my feelings.

    The National league is still a far more interesting and better brand of Baseball.

    The American League is akin to watching an episode of something like “CSI”. it may get high ratings, but it’s generally the same boring thing over & over. The NL is more like “Lost”. Not nearly the ratings but far more interesting and mysterious.

  115. That Paul Wison one in particular was hilarious. As I remember it, Wilson charged the mound and Farnsworth started coming at him and just before Farnsworth planted him you could see this look on Wilson’s face that said, “Oh shit…perhaps this wasn’t the best idea.”

  116. Hopefully Farnsworth will take John Rocker’s place on Pros vs. Joes on SpikeTV when he retires.

  117. You are right Nick…Paul Wilson saw his life flash before him.

    Zambrano vs. Farnsworth in a Texas Death Match…I would pay to see that one. They are big, strong and with red hot tempers.

    Reading his wikipedia page, looks like he almost got into with Posada…and we know Farnsworth doesn’t like Clemens. I wonder what that Yankees clubhouse is like…Jeter vs Arod/ Farnsworth vs. Everyone.

  118. I forget who said this, but I thought it was apt. Baseball is full of players who are willing to fight you, but Kyle Farnsworth wants to fight you.

  119. And I’m not a big fighter (uhh look at my Facebook), but I think Farnsworth is kinda funny. He just fights people. The Wilson fight was priceless. What pitchers CHARGES a hitter? Come on.

  120. Great post about the DH Marc, but to dispell a common notion is that scoring in both leagues is very similar.

  121. The American League is disgustingly boring IMHO.

    Amen Alex. There are few things I hate more than a 4.25 hour BOS/NYY slugfest with 12 pitching changes (not strategy I might add, just poor pitching) with what seems like 45 seconds between pitches.

  122. Rob,

    Actually it’s a regular chair…the big chairs are for the overweight employees…and a guy in the office two doors from me is 6’9 close to 400lbs and probably one of the nicest people I have ever met.

    My biggest fear when Farnsworth was with the Braves is that he would get in a fight with Smoltz or Chipper and break them in half.

  123. Funny how little height and weight can tell you. Herschel Walker played at 6’2″, 220. I’m 6’2″, 215. The similarities end right then and there.

  124. But you asked “Who charges the hitter?” I’d charge the “hitter” if he started coming and I was that much bigger.

  125. One stretch in High School I was DH’ed for while I was in a horrible slump even though I was the catcher.

    When ever I did get on Base They would always use a courtesy runner for me, then I would re-enter the game and play defense.

    The DH kind of reminds me of a courtesy runner.

  126. more on Escobar…

    The rookie was 3-for-5, but Escobar raised eyebrows with his attempt to tag and score on a seventh-inning flyout with an eight-run lead.

    One Braves player predicted the action could get an Atlanta hitter thrown at Thursday night in retaliation.

  127. That happened to me a couple times too dans, except I wouldn’t get courtesy runnered. And if I wasn’t playing at all, I would be the courtesy runner. The courtesy runner concept is pretty fun. I like it.

  128. Justin,

    I’m sure you are right, but the perception in the late 60s/70s was that hitting in the AL was down–possibly b/c Yaz won the batting title at .301 in 1968. It seems to me, with out any empirical evidence whatsoever, that NL offense was substantially down compared to the AL during the late 80s/90s. I recall that the Braves at the beginning of the run won a lot of 3-1, 4-2 games, especially in 1992 (obviously their pitching had a lot to do with that.) Offense in the NL seemed to pick up in the mid-90s. This could be completely off-base, but that is my perception.

  129. I like the fact that NL pitchers know they can’t get away with beaning people.

    DH rule=stupid. Get rid of it already. It’s one of the dumbest ideas ever created in professional American sports.

  130. #195

    It won’t be Yunel (unless he comes in later) — we’re facing a righty tonight.

    I’ll forgive his mistake of exuberance last night. He was just playing hard.

  131. Well, Marc, nobody hit in 1968. The pitching rubbers were higher than usual, it was the year of the pitcher, Denny McLain won 31 games, and Bob Gibson had a 1.12 ERA for the entire season.

  132. Marc,

    Taken from Baseball reference, the middle ’80 seem to be the only time since the DH when there was a noticeable difference in offense between the two leagues.

  133. yeah, but really there is no point in it. 8 run lead with no outs in the 7th and you’re on third, no need to give these guys any incentive to play harder tonight. We need a sweep!

  134. Defends Alex Rodriguez? What did A-Rod do that need defense?

    As long as there is a player’s union the DH is going nowhere…

  135. Sweet, there could be a brawl tonight. That’s the only thing that could make this series more awesome.

    Note: Half-joking. But only half.

  136. Man if there is a brawl…I want Scott Thorman and Tyler Yates on my side. We will not hesitate to call back Paronto and Stockman when we visit Houston. So the Astros better tread lightly….

  137. If they throw at Chipper, he’ll just take it and that’ll be the end of it.

    If they throw at Tex, who the hell knows?

  138. 8-6 Phils…

    Pirates beat the Cardinals again…lol

    Peavy shutting out the D-back, Ensberg has homererd and Marcus Giles is batting .230.

  139. I’ve been attending 10-20 AL games a year since 1990.

    I go to The Bronx because most of my NYC baseball friends are Yankee fans and, hey, you can’t beat fun at the ol’ ballpark—but they do remind me of overlong industrial-league softball games. (And post-season AL games? Lordy…)

    When I watch an AL game, my mind wanders in a manner I don’t experience during NL games. I’ve even had die-hard Yankee fans say, “I’ll admit it—the NL brand of ball is better.”

    Why should the defensive adventures of Jason Giambi be hidden behind the DH? Why should a great-hitting pitcher like Ken Holtzman have the bat taken away?

    If you can’t hack it in one element of the game, tough—get better at it or risk being a pinch-hitter the rest of your career.

    If Julio Franco can play until he’s 48 without being a DH, I can’t listen to talk about extending other players’ careers via the DH.

    I’m sorry, I find the DH an offront to the game. If a ballplayer takes the field at all, I believe he should fully participate.

  140. Ub,

    I think we pretty much agree with you, but we know it’s not going anywhere. The position pays too well…

    Geez if Barry played in the American League…he would have 1000hr by now.

  141. When the DH was instituted, offense in the AL was low — about seven percent lower than the NL in 1971-72.

    The offensive levels of the two leagues appear similar now. There are two primary reasons for this: interleague play (meaning that about ten percent of the time the leagues are playing by the same rules); and most of the really good hitters’ parks in baseball now are in the NL. A secondary reason is the elimination of league umpiring, which has standardized the strike zone. The DH is worth probably half a run a game, but it’s washed out by other effects.

  142. I just don’t like how much easier it has to be to manage in the AL. Not nearly as many decisions to worry about…

  143. That being said, I obviously think the NL is the way baseball was INTENDED and SHOULD be played.

  144. And I think that’s really the answer to whoever it was who brought up the point earlier this afternoon that the NL is the only baseball entity in the world that doesn’t have the DH.

  145. @221 The Central League, in Japan, uses the NL rules, as well. I’m pretty sure, but I know one of their leagues plays by NL rules.

  146. Re: defending people

    While I do find myself criticizing people entirely too much, I try not to find reasons to complain about baseball rules, teams, players, managers, etc. I don’t openly look for things that displease me so that I can “vent” and complain about them. So with that said, I tend to see more of a positive spin on things and people. So while people criticize and complain about things, I’m usually defending them because of my perception of things. Hence, many times I’m the minority here because, to be honest, there’s a lot of people that like to complain on here. I’ve learned to live with it, or else I wouldn’t post here.

  147. Yes, whoever said the NL was the only entity in the world with no DH is wrong.

    The DH is used in most professional baseball leagues around the world. One notable exception is the Central League of Japan, where pitchers bat as they do in the National League. Japan’s Pacific League adopted the designated hitter in 1975.

    Even if the NL was the only one left, I’d prefer they not be the last lemming to jump off the cliff.

  148. Chip: “The Braves sent a Tex message …”

    Good Lord. Time to click over to the radio feed.

  149. Anyone get the Sporting News? Article on Frenchy in there. On the table on contents page there is a picture of Frenchy swinging with the caption:

    “There are no existing photos of Jeff Francouer with a bat on his shoulder.”

  150. Chip also called him “Georgia Tex”. I can’t believe it, but I actually prefer Fox to TBS now. I never, never thought I’d say that.

  151. “I can’t believe it, but I actually prefer Fox to TBS now. I never, never thought I’d say that.”

    It’s because Chip Caray is so God-awful.

  152. Edgar’s backhand always bothered me. Isn’t that the first thing they tell you in Little League…get in front of the ball, man! Still the MVP of the season so far, though.

  153. Tim Donaghy would probably look more comfortable in front of David Stern than Jo Jo looks here.

  154. In 21 innings, Reyes has allowed 7 homers, 14 walks, and 7 strikeouts. He isn’t remotely close to being ready.

  155. Somewhere in Kaufmann stadium, Kyle Davies is watching and laughing and saying; “even I threw more strikes than this Jo-Jo Reyes character.”

  156. Actually, I’m not that worried, this is Woody Williams and the Astros we’re talking about, seriously.

    At the same time, still wish we would have gotten a starting pitcher. Mark Redman has a really good Jo-Jo costume.

  157. Our bullpen is going to be worn. again. We need 8 releivers.

    Thorman sucks and apparently, so does Reyes.

  158. I think Reyes may already be gone. Woodward needs to go, although I don’t know who would replace him.

  159. And of course, the effing Mets won. I hate them. We can’t get a break.

    But still, it’s only 5-3 and we are starting the 4th…I think we’ll score more against this beleaguered Houston pitching staff.

    And no Chip, your dad is on Radio so he’s not defenseless…us Braves fans are for having to listen to you, you dolt.

  160. I don’t hate Harris either but he needs to be warming up the bench while Diaz is hitting 8th.

  161. It’s pretty clear that the best thing to come out of that silly World Baseball Classic is that we noticed the outstanding Peter Moylan.

  162. Boyer has allowed 31 ER on 59 hits and has walked 40 in 52.2 innings at Richmond. I sure hope he’s not an option.

  163. So, the Braves no longer are fazed by being down 5-1 in the 3rd inning. This team is a blast to watch right now!

  164. Yeah. I will say that Willie’s continued insistence on hitting the ball in the air is a problem in the long run. Can’t complain about the results tonight, though.

  165. I dont want to say this too loud, but this is definatley gonna help andruw too!!!! I love this, its so much fun, two months ago,5-1 in the 3rd, id turn it off, final score would be 7-1, not anymore, now lets just see if the pen can hold on.

    we should make moylan a starter! haha

  166. I saw Boyer start in Richmond a couple of weeks, and he looked sharp in all but one of his innings. Of course, that inning he gave up three runs. He’s another pitcher who needs to cut down on episodes, and I think he’ll be pretty good.

  167. Boyer, should NOT be a starter. he’s a bullpen guy, where’s Stockman? is he still battling injuries

  168. Wow, Andruw … I haven’t seen a swing like that since Willie “Mays” Hayes in the season-opening game in “Major League.”

  169. I think Andruw hurt his arm or shoulder on one of his swings, he just called Jeff Porter over to him

  170. I wonder how long Andruw’s been playing hurt if his shoulder or elbow is bugging him as much as Caray says.

  171. Davies for Dotel, Im liking it more and more. $5.5 for him isnt really that much, Soriano, Dotel, Gonzo, Ascanio, Yates, Moylan, Villareal, another lefty looks good to me

  172. As much as I don’t trust Wickman right now, I would have been furious if we had traded for Farnsworth.

  173. If we score double digits every night, chances are we won’t need a closer (especially if Jo Jo takes the Greyhound back to Richmond).

  174. Re the trade looking good so far–of course it should b/c only 1 of the 5 players traded away is currently in the majors. The time to pass judgment will be several years from now when we can see if Tex got the 2007 and 2008 teams to the playoffs and how well or poorly the 5 players dealt away turn out. JoJo’s start tonight makes it clear that one glaring weakness–another starter–was not addressed. In fairness to JS, however, there weren’t lots of good options for acquiring a starter. Don’t mean to sound like I’m rehashing the threads of Saturday to Monday–last night’s game and tonight’s game have been fun to watch.

    Moylan was filty tonight. G’day mate!

  175. Renty was real slow going off the field, may be a DL trip. That was weird, he was in position and it was a perfect DP ball

  176. Renty had a ball come to his right side; he crouched low, tried to backhand it, lost balance and fell back on his right ankle, twisting it.

  177. Would somebody please explain this ridiculous alignment to me? I know it’s cute and all to put Chipper back at short, but now we have 2 guys playing out of position instead of one. Either put Willie or KJ at SS!

  178. Renteria twisted an ankle bracing himself on a bounce and came out of the game. Willie Harris moved to third and Chipper moved to short. Willie promptly made an error.

  179. And if Cox had just kept Chipper at SS, it’s a double play…and now it might have cost us the game. Typical.

  180. Soriano has gotten consecutive double-play grounders and has nothing to show for it. Not his fault at all.

  181. I think Chipper asked to play SS. At least, that’s what it looked like to me when they were all huddling on the infield.

    This STINKS.

  182. I think it’s an awesome move! I like watching (or in this case hearing) Larry play shortstop.

  183. yes Chipper asked to go over there, but its Bobby’s fault for letting him…why is Soriano still in?

  184. un-effing-believable. Are you kidding me? Soriano sucks, Harris can’t play 3rd…worst string of decisions by us all yr. long.

  185. Maybe Soriano should only pitch on the road, like Wick should only pitch at home.

  186. Yeah it’s awesome watching Willie make an error on a play that Chipper would have made a double play on and the game wouldn’t be tied right now. That is SO AWESOME!

  187. With you completely on this one, lando. Completely inexcusable. Can we disable Soriano and call Ascanio back up?

  188. This is a function of bad luck & weird circumstances more than anything.

    If Harris can play infield at all, he’s got to stop that ball at 3rd. Cox can’t catch the ball for him.

    And yes, Soriano’s getting hit, but he should be out of the inning.

  189. Is it just me, or do the Astros have 25 of the same player? They’re all white guys who hit .240.

  190. It’s cute in Spring Training or if we’re winning by ten. I still think we’ll pull this one out, but this inning is inexcusable.

  191. When that “sure” double play ball was hit right at Renteria, and instead of even getting one out he hurt himself, you just could feel this inning was going to happen.

  192. Baseball is baseball. There is not that much difference between 3B, 2B, & SS. People really overstate the importance of “being able to play a position”. The real differences are between OF & IF and catchers are a world apart.

  193. It’s not entirely Soriano’s fault. That ball to Renteria should have been a double play. And if Chipper Jones was still at third base, that would have been the last out of the inning.

  194. No, Cox can’t catch the ball for him, ububba, but he can put his players in the best situations to succeed, and he did the opposite of that this inning.

    And Soriano should have been out of the inning, but that doesn’t excuse this latest in an ever longer line of killer homeruns.

  195. Chipper, Tex, and Andruw. We can win this game…but Moylan should get the win, and not Soriano if we go ahead this inning.

  196. again this isnt all Soriano, he gave Renty a perfect grounder that my grandmother could turn two on and gave Harris one that he should, at worst, been able to block and get the lead runner

  197. There’s a lot of difference between 3B and 2B, Mr. Swings. For example, that ball to Willie bounces 2 more times (and slows down considerably) if it’s hit like that to second.

  198. I don’t think anyone’s saying it’s all Soriano, csg. I know I’m not. But he did give up the homer.

  199. KJ was put into the outfield in the first place because his defense wasn’t all that great. He;s worked hard and become pretty good at 2nd, why mess with that? So you’re down to Chipper and Harris on the left side of the infield. Why not put your better defensive infielder at SS? Chipper’s better in the IN than Harris, so why do you want Harris there? It was just unfortunate that the ball had to find Harris while he was over there.

  200. Harris should have been playing SS, not 3rd, why have 2 guys out of position? (as someone stated earlier)

    And yes, why was Soriano still in there?

    2 things you can squarely blame on Bobby’s managing.

  201. Seriously, Dan.

    If the reason we kept Woodward over Franco is to maintain greater positional flexibility, spending him early in the game doesn’t make a whole lotta sense.

    Not one of Bobby’s finer games. Hopefully, we’ll bail him out.

  202. I’m not going to say that Harris can’t play 3rd. I will say that he can’t play 3rd if he’s moved from the OF in the middle of the inning.

    Time for Tex to come through!

  203. I didn’t say that their was no difference. If a ground ball is coming at you, where you’re standing on the field shouldn’t really effect whether you can field it or not.

  204. “Braves thinking long ball late”. Yeah Chip, b/c that’s the only way we can score.

  205. Stu,
    I don’t see a best position to win there—circumstances dictated that you’ve got 2 guys playing out of position.

    If Willie kicked the ball at short, people would complain about that, too. He plays outfield for a reason.

  206. To win the Braves will have to get a run off a decent pitcher–Qualls and then probably Lidge–instead of the stiffs they’ve faced so far.

  207. Again, ‘Rissa, there’s a world of difference between 2B/SS and 3B. Moving Kelly makes less sense than bringing someone who’s been playing LF all day in to play the hot corner. I don’t think so. There really isn’t any room for debate on this.

  208. Yes, Willie has played SS and Chipper hadn’t played SS since 2000. Doesn’t make any sense.

  209. No, ububba, only one had to be out of position. You leave Chipper at third. You bring Willie in to play short, or you play him at second and move KJ over.

  210. If Willie kicks the ball, ububba, I might complain about the sore luck of losing Renteria, not the bad managerial decision.

  211. Bobby’s burning both Woodward and Escobar early in the game is another blowback from having a starter going only 3 innings.

  212. Using Escobar to pinch hit is excusable.

    Using Woodward with no one left but Corky Miller is not. Should have let Chuck James pinch hit there again.

  213. Willie has years of MLB experience at second, ‘Rissa!

    Even if you want to call that out of position, though, why not just play him at SS and leave Chipper and KJ where they are. Again, only one out of position.

  214. We were just snakebit that inning. I don’t see any sense in complaining about that.

  215. This is an appalling turn of events. Even with the new look, the Bravos find a way to eradicate the high and ground us back in reality…hope we don’t face Lidge in a save situation….

  216. Creative writing assingment: How does Wickman manage to blow the game?

    My answer: He balks a runner home when he stops mid windup to get a hotdog and beer from a vendor.

  217. While everyone’s blaming Bobby, Andruw, or Willie, I’ll be over here blaming Jo Jo. That guy could win a sweating contest on the North Pole.

  218. Stu,
    I hear you, but the fact that Willie has to play infield at all is a bad situation. He’s got to knock the ball down there & he didn’t do it.

    Chipper has played SS before and Harris has played there exactly 5 times in his career. KJ has never played an ML game at SS or 3B.


  219. Good call, Rob. Also blame Chuck for going 5 last time out, and Carlyle for going 5 last night.

  220. If Chris Farley was still alive, he could do a great SNL skit in a Braves uni playing Wickman.

  221. Looked like a bowling pin getting knocked down while managing to catch a baseball at the same time.

  222. I remember everal years ago when Terry Forster played for the Braves and Letterman showed a clip comparing him to a Sumo wrestler. Maybe we should have Sumomania when Wickman comes in.

  223. Maybe Cox should be added to the poll choices.

    So much for the back to normal bit that Mac put at the top of this thread.

  224. DL Edgar and call up Prado? let Escobar handle it for 15 days and see what our infield could look like next year….that would be great but we have the Muts coming up and we’ll need him back

  225. Infield I don’t know which pitcher to use, but outfield I would put in Smoltz. I thought I read somewhere he wants to get in a game out there sometime. Seems like he is always out there during batting practice.

  226. Let’s end it here. We are at a distinct disadvantage in the infield if we go to extra innings – to say the least!

  227. Wickman at Home: 17 2/3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 3.5 K/BB, 0 HR

    Wickman on Road: 19 2/3 IP, 7.78 ERA, 2.14 WHIP, 1.2 K/BB, 3 HR

  228. I’m going to back Stu up here: this one is “Bobby’s Folly”.

    If Andruw had come out of the game, who’s the pitcher-in-the-outfield? Chuck? Would we throw Corky Miller out there?

  229. :P

    “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.”

    Don’t tell me what to do stupid machine!

  230. Just another 3 for 5 day for Frenchy. I wonder when people on here are going to start giving him his due. He’s over 800 OPS now I believe?

  231. He’s certainly improved his plate discipline, lando. I still have high hopes for his continued development.

    You’re aware that an .800 OPS isn’t that great for a RF, though, right?

  232. The Bonds split screen reminds me–with a double and triple tonight (seemingly hours ago however) makes me wonder if got some of Barry’s clear and cream. :-)

  233. What happened to Renteria. Was having sex at the time he was injured, LOL. /serious


  234. Good to know, KLB. As the announcers said, he could stay in and pinch hit if this goes late (God forbid.)

  235. I like that they’re talking about “improving your craftsmanship” and being professional, and they cut to whoever it was on the bench eating a damn dum-dum pop.

  236. Give Simpson credit–he suggested Mahay (a former ML outfielder) should have been the PH if he was going to come in the game to pitch.

    Of course, a broken watch …

  237. Chief, congrats I will be as soon as this is over…priorities!

    Spraigned ankle on a perfect DP ball, he fell over himself

  238. Chief Nocahoma,

    I want you to know that that’s probably the funniest post I’ve ever seen on here, edging out some of jac holtzman’s classics.

  239. csg,

    Maybe we could carry Hampton as the official out of players pitcher pinch hitter…

  240. he was real slow off the field, Porter had to keep him balanced, but he walked off by himself. No way he plays tomorrow or the next day I would think

    Can a pitcher get a hold, win, and a save in the same game? For instance comes in the top of the 8th tied game, holds them, team scores in the bottom and gives him the win, he saves the game in the top of 9?

  241. She’s still sad Salty’s gone… They’re dead to her. Of course she goes by handsomeness not by ability… She says Tex is ugly, lol..

  242. Have none of you ever seen Ezekial Astacio, former Astro? Clearly the ugliest man to ever play professional sports.

  243. I agree Rob, that’s actually a flattering picture of a man with a horribly, horribly disfigured face.

  244. I like that I sort of discredited someone earlier today about Willie not playing 3B at all this year, and viola… there he is.

  245. so Chipper hurt his hand again on that lat swing? this game needs to hurry up and end or our whole team will be on the DL

  246. Ok you got me on a “typo” (aka idiocy) there Richard. I guess it’s also a large, classical stringed instrument too =P

  247. how does a reliever have a 5.13ERA and has pitched 13 straight scoreless innings….you know what leadoff walks mean

  248. “As you know, in extra innings, lead off walks usually score unless they don’t.”
    I love chip.

  249. recap

    Andruw hurt his hand or elbow
    Renteria spraigned ankle
    Chipper hurt hand
    Harris ran into the wall twice
    Wickman tried to break his ankle
    MCCann hit by a pitch

    anything else

  250. “anything else”

    Smoltz said on television earlier today that his shoulder hurts but he’s going to keep on pitching.

    These injuries are starting to slightly worry me.

  251. Amazing. We make the biggest trade of the deadline and 72 hours later it feels like the year’s going up in smoke.

  252. And of course, we’ll barely see the potential game-deciding play because TBS has already ditched the Braves for the rest of MLB.

  253. I don’t understand why we continue to waste the bullpen on these extra-inning games. The offense always completely shuts down after 9, so there’s no use in ruining these guys’ arms. Let’s just start forfeiting if we can’t win in 9.

  254. Did McCann not get charged with an error on that pitch, btw, his defense is lousy! That should be 4 errors

  255. Defense lost this game, not Mahay. Although, if you wanted to say it was Reyes or Soriano I wouldn’t object.

  256. I swear these extra inning games could go 25 at home and the Braves still would never get the winning run in.

  257. This is easily the low point of the season. Which sounds ridiculous, given all the reasons for optimism coming in. Still, all these injuries and blowing a game in which we had a 4-run lead in the 8th, plus more wasted wear and tear on the bullpen arms…incredibly deflating.

  258. This is the kind of loss that takes a week for this team to overcome. And a week of bad baseball means there’s no hope for winning the division.

  259. Yeah, Mahay earned my respect tonight. Welcome, Ron. Hopefully, we won’t destroy your arm by the end of the season. Or the week.

  260. Insect,

    I agree, this sucks, but that’s a bit drastic. Having a pitcher than can go more than 3 innings will help immensely.

  261. They should let him have one free kick to Soriano’s crotch. Then again, we have enough hurt guys.

  262. no offense but we could care less about Richmond get Pena up here…Corky is the SLOWEST person I’ve ever seen

  263. Smoltz somehow needs to have his best stuff tomorrow, because win or lose tonight … this team will be gassed.

  264. “Well, back to normal, or what passes for normal around here.”

    Jesus Christ I hope not.

  265. we are just watching a movie that we all know what the ending will be, we just want to see how its going to happen

  266. The difference being we’re at home in the extra innings, so who knows? Diaz just proved we can scrap a few runs together late.

  267. I’m going with Frenchy for the win. Scary thing is that if (when) anyone gets on, the fourth guy at bat is the Vulture. I hope there is only 1 out if we have to see him bat.

  268. btw, Im calling it…sweep!!!

    no way McCann plays tomorrow, we’ll have a Miller sighting. We might see all of harris Diaz frenchy in the OF, we’ll have a Woodward Yunel Kj Thorman infield, good luck Smoltz

  269. Come on, Willie … you can get the Vulture a win he’ll actually have earned for a change.

  270. Oscar should be our #5 starter, since he can hit too. Then you can call up Rings… we got ourselves a plan. Now let’s win a ballgame.

  271. Villarreal looked more like a hitter than Harris there.

    What are the odds of a walkoff homer from Willie Harris off Billy Wagner?

  272. Anyone who suffered through 2003 Bama football with me understands the nature of this team in extra innings.

    We’re not winning. I’ll stay up and watch anyway, but we’re not winning.

  273. This umpire has been awful. Both the Braves and Astros should file some sort of protest after the game

  274. I don’t know, Chuck. We’ve got this far. Why can’t we win? If we have to, I think we can stick a starter out there.

  275. I thought that was a strike to Willie. Which isn’t to say he hasn’t been awful tonight—I just didn’t disagree with that last call.

  276. Why can’t we win? Well, anything’s possible. But we’re 1-4 in these extra-inning games since the Reds series. Hardly a promising trend.

  277. Yeah, I guess so, but the Astros are probably suffering too. They seem to be in control, but the Braves have Diaz, Chipper and Teixeira up in the bottom of the inning. This thing is hardly over.

  278. The only plausible starter is Hudson, and I don’t see any reason to torpedo Saturday for a marginally better chance of pulling this game out. This isn’t a playoff game. It’s all Vulture, all night.

  279. I think Oscar goes until somebody wins or loses. And he knows that.

    Willie Harris tonight: 3×8, single, double, triple, 2 RBI, 3 K, 6 LOB

  280. Great, we’ll tie the game, leave two men on and this nightmare will continue. I thought I had a bad overnight yesterday when I had a nightmare about an anthropormorphic, 6-foot-6 lizard sitting on my toilet farting fire. This game is far worse.

  281. Whoever said this game was like a movie we all know the ending to, was right. Good lord. How many failed chances in extra innings can one team have?

  282. “Can he hit another home run here, and win the game?”

    No, moron, b/c a HR would tie the game.

  283. As much as I despise Chip now, I’ll give him a free pass after four hours, 59 minutes of watching this.

  284. Well, at least it went on long enough to leave me numb to the loss. This will be tough for the team to rebound from. If anyone can see to it that they do, though, it’s Smoltzie.

  285. 766 … seems like we say that every four days or so. How can we consider ourselves a contender with defeats like this?

  286. does mcdowell even talk to soriano?

    mcdowell: that fastball right down the middle is your bread and butter.

    soriano: ok coach

  287. This is going to happen once a week when you start guys like 5-inning Chuck James, scrap-heap Buddy Carlyle, and AA pitcher Jose Reyes. They’ve been decent at times, but when 60% of your starting rotation is…less than great…this is just going happen.

  288. There’s been bad ones, but with the injuries and two come from behind rallies, this takes the cake.

  289. F*ck this shit. F*ck you Reyes. F*ck you Soriano. F*ck you Vulture. What a f*cking nightmare.

    This team will never make the playoffs. Because they keep losing games like this. When was the last time they pulled out a close game? Seriously, someone needs to make a “best of” with the toughest losses of the year. That would be quite a list.

  290. we won the series, chill…we had our worst pitcher out there tonight and he only went three

    Smoltz, hudson and james…lets win the next series

  291. Look on the bright side–2 of our starting pitchers can get out of the 5th inning. That has to count for something.

  292. disgruntledfan,

    Normally, I’m quite put off by your always-say-die attitude. However, #791 did make me laugh.

  293. It’s not just pitching, the defense sucked tonight and when you have three errors to the other team’s none, then you will probably lose.

    And all the errors bit us.

  294. Why is it that this separation between the Braves and Mets always seems to hover around 3 or 4 games, aside from tonight’s loss? This is really disheartening that the team can gain no ground at all and only seems to maintain status quo…of course, dropping another game like this absolutely SUCKS!

  295. Being 4.5 games back of the Mets and back in third in the division again when leading by four runs in the eighth is what makes this such a horrible loss. It felt like the Braves had all the momentum in the world.

    What would have happened if Renteria turned that double play? Willie Harris made an out of that ball hit between his legs at third base? If Kelly Johnson knocked that ball down? How many chances did they have in extras to score just one God forsaken run?

    When you think of all the ways the Braves lost this game….

  296. I can’t even begin to rationally explain why I would have bet my last dollar on that exact outcome, but I knew it was going to be that way.

  297. I blame Bobby for moving Chipper to SS. Keep your starter at third and roll the dice. Instead of having one position at a lower comfort level after the Renty injury, his move made it two. It was cute, but ultimately a dumb move.

  298. I really can’t blame anyone but Soriano. Giving up a grand slam to MIKE LAMB is inexcusable. Anything less than that and–despite all the ridiculous moves–the game’s over.

  299. Dan — agreed. Felt as if we were destined to lose this one no matter what happened.

    They played hard but very sloppy. When you go this deep into a game, you HAVE to win it. I’m worried this may send us into a mini losing streak now.

    Soriano needs to be used conservatively until the weather gets cold…

  300. did ny or the phillies pay houston to hurt everyone of our players tonight? that was a wickedly absurd baseball game, and made me VERY ANGRY!!! GRRRRRRRRRR!

  301. Another turning point was Bobby having Diaz try to bunt in his first ab and Diaz not getting it done. I seriously can’t remember one time under Cox where we get the winning run on with no outs and then had a non-pitcher bunt the guy over and we end up winning the game.

    I know that is the old-school ‘book’, but it works so rarely that it needs to be re-thought.

  302. Trace,

    Willie at SS v. Willie at 3rd is an even bet with me. Chipper is a known value at 3rd, keep him there.

    /or done what Tom suggests.

  303. 804 I agree…everything he threw to the first 4 hitters that inning was hit like a rocket. Then, somehow, he settled down, but only after he blew the 4 run lead and got Edgar killed. What shocks me that inning is no one, MCann, Chipper, McDowell or Cox, came over to calm him, make a suggestion, whatever at any time during those hitters. Or, is it obvious you don’t leave a fastball over the middle in that spot?

  304. What are the rules about putting a player on the DL when they’re not really injured? Obviously Soriano has been overused by Cox and could probably use multiple days off. I don’t know if he needs 15 days off, but we can’t have his roster spot filled up if he’s not going to pitch for 5+ days.

    They should make-up something and put him on the 15-day DL, and bring up Ring/Paronto/Ascanio.

  305. The Harris thing is being overblown. It was a hard hit ball, but should have been easily handled by a major leaguer with infield exprience. That loss is squarely on 2 guys — Reyes and Soriano.

  306. first time since 1900 that the braves have had 22+ hits and loss.

    first time ever that the astros have allowed 10+ runs in 4 straight games.

  307. Trace,

    If you are talking about the second, toss off, suggestion, yes, it is moving 2 players. But again, moving KJ is less of a known quantity than moving Chipper from 3rd. Call me crazy, but I would prefer to keep my anchors in the corners. Keep my rangers in the middle.

  308. In a year full of heart wrenching losses, that one might just take the cake.

    As I said during the game, they never seem to be able to win games like this. Sucks for us.

  309. I’m going to be going to the Anderson Joes game tomorrow evening, so I’m not going to post until that game is over, which is just hunky dory with me. I don’t want to revisit this loss ever again.

  310. That was quick. Looking at the Braves’ schedule, since they have an off-day on Monday, they’ll probably skip the 5th starter spot and go with this rotation:

    8/3 – Smoltz
    8/4 – Hudson
    8/5 – James
    8/6 – Off Day
    8/7 – Carlyle
    8/8 – Smoltz
    8/9 – Hudson

    That will let Smoltz and Hudson go against the Mets, and then Cormier could start next Sunday against the Phillies. That will allow Cormier to pitch in relief until then.

    I figure we’ll definitely see him against Colorado on Friday in relief of Smoltz, as he was supposed to start on Friday in Richmond. That is, unless Smoltz gives the Braves their first complete game of the season.

    And, as an unrelated bonus, I’ll be at the game on Friday.

  311. I was so Excited about this game and i am still excited about this team… it just sucks that i went to take a bath when the score was 9-5 and when i cam back it was 9-9 its all my fault!!!!! but yeah such is life you win some u lose some. I know we can be the division leader by the end of month go BRAVOS!!!

  312. This is a dagger. After this, I’m pretty much convinced the Braves are not going to make the playoffs. I know the Braves aren’t that far out, but how many of these games can you lose? Maverick’s optimism is nice but I don’t think this is their year. Too many losses like this. It’s obviously the fault of the pitching but, on the other hand, this vaunted offense scored two runs in the last 8 innings. All they needed was one run. How is it possible to lose so many extra-inning games at home when all you have to do is score one run. These guys are finding ways to lose games. You can’t keep squandering opportunities like this; the Braves always talk a good game but you can’t keep blowing games like this.

    If you can’t put something together, you aren’t going to make the playoffs. Simple as that. And you can’t win every game by 8 runs. I don’t see any reason to be excited about this team. They are a .500 team and have been for two years. I’m sick of this. Remember, the Nationals are 39-35, while the Braves are 33-40. This is not a good team.

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