Braves 7, Mets 3

ESPN – Braves vs. Mets Box Score, August 7 2007 – MLB

Oliver Perez? No problem. The Braves got six runs in the first three innings and held on from there. Diaz opened the scoring with a solo homer in the first. McCann singled in Francoeur in the second, then came around on an Escobar double to make it 3-0. Francoeur hit a homer in the third, scoring the Joneses, to make it 6-0.

Carlyle had no problems the first time through the order, but allowed one run on a double play in the fourth, then two runs built around a triple in the fifth. Bobby went to the pen in the sixth, and the pen was outstanding. Mahay walked the first man he faced, but erased him on a double play. The only other baserunner the Mets would get would reach on an error facing Soriano in the eighth, but he too was erased on a double play.

The Braves added a run in the seventh on a sac fly. All in all, they pounded out fifteen hits, four by Francoeur and three by Chipper. Francoeur had two doubles; if only he could have stretched one of them to a triple… Prado was called up, Devine sent down. Prado had a pinch double in the eighth but was stranded.

164 thoughts on “Braves 7, Mets 3”

  1. First, amen to Dale Murphy. My childhood HERO has only grown more heroic in my eyes after his comments.

    (Ok, everyone, stand back because it’s Alex R. screaming rant time)

    And guess what, my vicious spewing venom is in fact aimed at ESPN, not Bonds.

    Yes, Bonds is a cretin. Dale Murphy is spot on and I am 100% on the side of hating Barry’s guts, not feeling good at all that a lying, obnoxious, sleazy loser like Barry, CHEATED HIS WAY to importality, but my rant today is at ESPN.

    I went to the gym this morning for a 6 mile run on the treadmill (since even this morning it’s already about 107 outside in the DC area). I happily took my iPod headphones looking forward to watching the 6 AM-7 AM Sportscenter to get highlights of Buddy Carlyle’s win, since I was out to dinner and drinks most of the night with a friend of mine and missed the game until the 8th inning.

    In the car, on the way to the gym, is when I found out about Barry’s record…my nervousness set in that SportsCenter might “overdo it” on the Barry coverage. No problem I thought. By 20 minutes into SportsCenter, they will HAVE to start showing highlights and I will get to see the high points—Diaz’s homer, Frenchy’s homer, Carlyle looking tough–all the good stuff.

    An hour, a FREAKING HOUR of SportsCenter this morning. 57 minutes on Bonds and the cheating home run. 57 freaking minutes. The only other stories they mixed in the NETIRE HOUR was the near Yanks-Blue Jays brawl and Brady Quinn signing his damned contract.


    I hate you, ESPN. I hate your pandering, ass kissing coversage of Bonds. I hate the majority of your Baseball Tonigth crew. I want to smack John Kruk and his fat, pandering face. I kept looking at their “rundown” and it was every annoying nook and cranny covering Bonds you could think of. And no Braves highlights. Not 20 minutes in–not 30 minutes in–not 40 minutes in.

    ESPN is the devil. I hate them. I hate Stu-yah Scott, I hate the screaming journalists, I hate “Who’s Now”, I hate the ESPY’s, I hate Berman, I hate the Red Carpet, phony bullsh–. I am sick of it.

    Ever since ESPN help put the other national sports shows out of business, they are all we have left. I don’t live in Georgia anymore so I am completely reliant on these yankee bastards to give me freaking 30 seconds of highlights. Instead, the entire show was dedicated to Bonds.

    As for Barry, I hate you as well and Henry Aaron will ALWAYS be MY Home Run king.

    (End of rant).

  2. alex,
    i was stuck watching that crap at the gym this morning too. i couldn’t help but notice bonds being a stranger to his own son as he was greated by him at home plate. it was as if he was offended that someone had stepped into his spotlight, what a jerk.

  3. There is the record-holder and the All-time Homerun King – they are not the same people. For Chrissakes Barry, don’t bother saying I didn’t use illegal performance enhancing drugs in accomplishing this record. Be coy about it and say the “record is not tainted.” What a jackass. Nice win last night by the way.

    While I am a big sports fan, having a 5 month baby has thrown off my TV watching to some degree. I have not seen a replay of either Barry’s 755th or 756th HR yet. I am sad to see this record taken from such a graceful man and by an awful person.

  4. Alex,

    I too hated the coverage on Sports Center today. I wanted to see some highlights, but I do not want to talk about “him” today.

    That was a tremendous game by the Braves. I swear that was a completely different team facing Perez tonight. This was a pitcher who has absolutely owned us all year long. I thought they did a tremendous job of staying patient and waiting for their pitches.

    I think we should all take a moment and realize what we are finally seeing in Francouer. We have all wanted him to develop a more complete approach at the plate, and that is exactly what he is doing. I cannot tell you how excited I am about these final 50 or so games left. The lead is down to 3 1/2 for the division, and 1 1/2 for the wild card.

  5. beedee,

    You noticed that too?

    I was VERY struck by Bonds reaction to his son at home plate–and disgusted even more. It was almost like, “Get off me, kid, this is MY time!”.

    People can say what they want about McGwire, but besides (at least during his playing days) Big Mac being more media friendly, when he broke Maris’ single season record, he gave his son the biggest hug.

    This is just another reason to HATE Barry Bonds. Screw ESPN and their ass kissing coverage of him–made me ill.

  6. Kenny,

    Yes, moving on from the cretin.

    Francouer had one of his best games ever as a Brave. This was even more of coming out party against our hated rivals and he’s on fire right now.

    Bobby should seriously consider putting Frenchy behind Teixeira and move Andruw to 7th, after McCann. Seriously.

  7. Alex,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I know Cox will never do it, but it is apparent that Andruw is not even one of the 4 best hitters on this team right now. I would love to see Frenchy hit behind Teixeira.

    Here is a question how would you rate the hitters for the Braves?

  8. Screw Bonds, I don’t want to say anymore about him because I already know that will be all we will get to see and hear from ESPN the rest of the day.

    Lets talk Braves…
    Francouer seems to be growing into someone we can count on for a long time to come. Coming into the season a lot of us were unsure what he would become. He has lost some power this year because he is learning a new approach, but I think we’re gonna see that all come back once it becomes second nature.

  9. The Yankees have their own miniseries on ESPN. They’re fine. In a day or two, ESPN will run out of things to say on Bonds and it will be back to Yanks-Sawx 24/7.

    Here’s my hitters ranking for this year with the current roster:

    Teixeira (sure to rise quickly to #2)

  10. For how Mets fans saw the game last night. It’s pretty funny.

    I have been very skeptical of Frenchy but he is playing fantastically now. But it would be nice to get more than five innings from the starters. Hopefully, the bullpen has more depth now–they’re gonna need it.

  11. I think I would have to go:

    Soriano (He was a RF in the minors)

    Woodward may be ranked a little too high.

  12. Oliver Perez had to throw 53 (or so) pitches to get through the 1st 2 innings. Long ABs by Yunel & Diaz & others might have really contributed to his demise. Nice job working those counts.

  13. Frenchy reminds me a bit of Andruw’s early career. One year Andruw would hit for power, another the power would be down but the .obp would be up, and then he had a year where he hit .300. He’s never put it all together at once. Even the 50 HR season he had a relatively low .avg and .obp. Here’s hoping that Francouer can get his power back without losing the plate discipline.

  14. Andy,

    That is a very interesting comparison. I also thought the same thing. I will say in Frenchy’s defense that he seems much more willing to make adjustments and take direction from some of the veterans and TP. I really think he is going to be a perennial all-star in the years to come.

  15. I do love reading the comments at MetsBlog after we beat them. Always gets an audible chuckle or two from me.

    Seriously, let’s take it to them again tonight. I expect a big game from Iron Man.

  16. Hmmm…

    Bobby Cox
    The late Chief Nockahoma

  17. RehabRejects mini-rants:

    – yes, I too did notice Bonds IGNORING his own son at home plate. His son hugs him and what does Barry do? Walk away and hug Bengie Molina. What a douche.

    – Is it safe to say that the Braves DOMINATED last night’s game? I felt so proud to be a Braves fan

    – yes, ESPN sucks. The only people that get any sort of respect are Tim Kurkjian(sp?) and Peter Gammons. I highly recommend everyone watch FSN for their morning highlights. They show *gulp* HIGHLIGHTS! Even for the most boring games like TBvsSEA

    – I’m finally coming around to accept Bobby’s platoons. I guess platoons do work when one LF is hitting .340 and the other LF is hitting .330 … I was just pissed early in the season because we had two stiffs platooning 1B and it drove me nuts.

  18. Kenny,

    I was away from my desk for a while and sorry I missed your question. But here’s my rankings:

    1. Rentaria
    2. Chipper
    3. McCann
    4. Frenchy
    5. Teixeira
    6. Diaz
    7. KJ
    8. Escobar
    9. Willie Harris
    10. Julio Franco*
    11. Andruw
    12. Brayan Pena*
    13. Chuck James
    14. John Smoltz
    15. Prado
    16. Orr*
    17. Thorman
    18. Corky Miller
    19. Hudson
    20. Carlyle

    This is just clutching hitting rankings.

    Clutch Pitching Order:

    1. John Smoltz
    2. Tim Hudson
    3. Peter Moylan
    4. Buddy Carlyle
    5. Ron Mahay
    6. Oscar Villareal
    7. Chuck James
    8. Rafael Soriano
    9. Octavio Dotel
    10. Tyler Yates
    11. Joey Devine*
    12. Miguel Ascancio*
    13. Blob Wickman
    14. Chad Paronto*

    Yes, this is how low my opinion has gotten of BLOB Wickman. Considering his level of role importance on the team, I expect so much more than the inconsistent crap he’s given us.

    I am more than happy to give Moylan that 3 spot right behind our 2 aces. He has completely earned it. And to think we all once hated this guy, me included.

  19. Good Morning…

    1} all I have to say is I don’t know what Escobar can do to convince some of you he is the real deal.

    2} I called it yesterday and Frency delivered. If they had a comeback player of the year of award just for being a smarter hitter…he would win.

    3} C’mon KJ…what was that? 0 for 5? Well at least he made contact against Perez, but his defense is getting really scary. Again this is what we mean when we say KJ is STREAKY. Don’t be surprise against another tough lefty (Cole Hamels) if Prado starts. KJ really needs to step it up tonite against 55 y/o El Dookie.

    4) Good job by Buddy and excellent job by the bullpen. Everyone looked good and I love Moylan in the 9th.

    Now let’s hope we can get a pre-shoulder injury performance from Smoltzie tonite.

  20. I was gonna post my rankings for the hitters… then I realized I was just going to copy-paste BP’s EQA standings with slight shifts here and there based on playing time.

    And I’ll pile on the “fuck Bonds” bandwagon. I swear to anything and everything that if I were the pitcher his next time up, I’d hit him right in the middle of the damn back and smile at him the whole time I was walking off the field. Taking his glory would seem appropriate.

  21. Oh Tony, the bravesjournal wouldn’t be the bravesjournal without your little rants.

  22. I love when the NY sports press become hysterical about the home teams. A column by the otherwise mathematically challenged Jay Greenberg.

    Key passage: “that rumble you hear is not just your stomach turning at the thought of a blown Mets division title, but a caravan of Atlanta steamrollers on its way back to the post-season.”

    Preach, brotha!

  23. 1} all I have to say is I don’t know what Escobar can do to convince some of you he is the real deal.

    …followed by 11 lines of text.

  24. Tony,

    It amazes me how you can take one game and say this is evidence of how a player is streaky.

    I noticied the other day that Chipper went 0-4. Is he streaky too?

  25. ububba,

    If the Braves are able to win the next two at Shea and we indeed get the sweep, you have to not only tell us what it’s like around your office (I am sure it’s even gloomy today…they probably weren’t expecting to be “BUDDIED!”).

    I am also hopeful you wear Braves gear Friday morning, to FURTHER rub it in their proverbial faces.

  26. Kenny,

    You make the mistake of assuming Tony sees anything other than what he wants to see.

  27. I am staying in Connecticut and enjoying the local coverage of the Braves-Mets series. It seems that some of the Mets fans are troubled by their 3-7 record against the Braves. One columnist does not like the fact that Smoltz and Hudson are on deck….Nice summer reading….

    Barry Who?

    Alex R. rants (and Tony’s) definitely add flavour to Braves Journal…

  28. LOL, Stu. Yes, they DO have proverbial faces and proverbial souls too. Ha.

    By the way, go figure…Chipper must have been so stoked after the win last night, that he had a case of revisionist history from the NY Post column ububba posted:

    (being asked if this is the best Braves lineup)

    “Pretty close,” said Jones, asked if this is the best lineup of his 12 seasons in Atlanta. “The one with Sheffield and J.D. Drew [in 2003] was pretty deep as far as power, but for average, this is the deepest.”

    Hey Chipper, it would have been great to have Drew & Sheff together, but Drew arrived for his only season in 2004. He arrived in Dec. of 2003, but this old article confirms what we all knew: Drew REPLACED Sheff:

  29. Please wait until after the next two games to gloat. You are tempting the baseball gods.

  30. Give me a minute here and I’m gonna run some quick stats on the streakiness of Yunel and KJ to finally put this shit to rest. I’ll post a link in a bit.

  31. Stu…



    OK I will not use streaky anymore. I’m tired of explaining it. Although streaky could also mean he could go 5 for 5 tonight. He just had a tough night…let’s hope he bounces back.

  32. Marc,

    I made the comment ONLY if we win all 3. But I have to say, despite normally being somewhat a pessimist, I am feeling good about this opportunity considering the toughest game to win was supposed to be last night’s and we still get to avoid Carlos Beltran and Glavine this series.

  33. It is like the great rotation of Smoltz, Maddux, Glavine, and Phil Neikro. That was a great rotation!

  34. Chipper was thinking of the 2003 line-up with Javy “free agent year” Lopez going bananas that year. Along with Sheff, Andruw, Castilla and ROBERT FICK at 1st….platooning with Franco

  35. Tony,

    It is the idea of streakiness that I find so funny. The game’s best hitters come up to the plate with only a 30% chance of getting a ball to land safely somewhere. The game is inherently “streaky.” It is why some of the game’s best hitters have never had over 20 game hitting streaks. It is why hitters will hit the ball solidly everytime and still get out. You have a pitcher who more often than not you don’t know what he is going to throw you, and you have 8 additional guys trying to get you out. As a hitter you come up with everything stack against you.

  36. Alex,

    The “great” thing about Mets fans (or, perhaps, the predictable thing) is that when you win, you never have to rub it in. You never have to bring it up. They can’t wait to discuss their misery. I’ll walk in the door today & the discussion will be waiting.

    It’s been like that ever since the Braves went to the NL East.

    Plus, I’m not big on “rubbing it in.” The fans of the team you beat knows the got beat. Just like anything in life, it bugs them more when they’re ignored.

    And Marc,
    You’re all too right. Don’t tempt them gods, ’cause they can bite you, too.

  37. Baseball in general is a streaky game. If you think about it, generally even the best teams don’t win much more than 60% of their games, where in basketball and football, they often win 70-80%. Think about it–if a team wins 3 games more than they lose every month, they win 90 games and that is considered a very good year. And you can’t really predict when or how either good streaks or bad streaks will play out. That’s why the playoffs are such crapshoots. There is no way to know which teams or hitters will be hot at any given time. When people criticize guys like Sheffield for not producing in the playoffs (i.e., he is choking), I think, in general, that’s a pointless criticism, given the small sample size and the randomness of streaks. If you look at someone even like Mickey Mantle, who obviously played in a lot more post-seasons than most (albeit all World Series), his stats are all over the board. This is the thing that makes baseball such a frustrating game at times but also so fascinating. It’s much easier to predict football because the results are based more on physical domination.

  38. Silence can be even more fun. Sometimes it speaks volumes!!!

    That article in NY was a great start to the day.

  39. Man I’m having fun with this streakiness study. It’s nice to work for a statistics software company. When I finally finish this, you better read it Tones.

  40. Haha. That Mets blog recap was pretty funny although it reads a lot like stuff we say here when things go bad.

    Escobar hits for a very nice average but hardly ever walks or hits a homerun. Certainly he’s a very nice fill-in with Renteria on the DL, but he’s definitely not as good a total hitter as KJ. Kelly is also much faster.

  41. OPerez holds the keys to KJ’s house. I *believe* KJ went 0-5 with *5 Ks* the last time he faced him. So a clean 0-5 was an improvement.

    BTW, I did not know until just now that 5Ks is called the ‘Platinum Sombrero’ or the ‘Olympic Rings’.

  42. Frenchy

    .310 average and a quickly climbing .819 OPS

    I love to say it,


  43. Marc,
    I’m a big believer in the best players playing well when it counts the most.

    When they fail time after time, I don’t chalk it up to streakiness; I chalk it up to chokiness.

  44. I don’t care who is better, Rety v. Escobar, Escobar v. KJ, Diaz v. Harris. These debates bore me and I’m starting to skip over posts that discus this stuff.

    As long as the players on the field get the job done I am happy.

  45. #54. Are you joining the bandwagon, just to rub it in people’s face? Seriously though, Frenchy has made vast improvements and had the best game I think he has ever had last night. I think he is going to be great!

  46. @58 lol, umm Kenny I’ve been on Frenchy’s bandwagon since he was called up. And I stayed on it long after most of this board were calling me down for staying on his bandwagon…

  47. So if it feels like I’m rubbing some faces in it…. I am… And I feel I have earned the right to.

  48. You guys kill me with the Esco vs. KJ comparisons. When did KJ get ICONIC status on bravesjournal? I like the guy too, but I also admit he has flaws. And to say he is a better total hitter than Esco is premature. Remember this only Esco first year in the bigs. Dammit, getting sucked into this Esco vs. KJ convo again. That’s my last comment on that subject.

  49. Ububba,

    I’m sure some players have the ability to focus more or relax more in big games. But, statistically, the sample sizes are pretty small. And what constitutes when something counts the most. If a guy is hot down the stretch and gets the team in the playoffs but then struggles in the playoffs, how do you evaluate that? How do you evaluate guys that are really bad one year and really good another. Look at Barry Bonds. He sucked against the Braves in the early 90s, but had a great playoff run in 2002. (I know, I know, you’re going to say it’s the steroids, but he still had to hit the ball.) It seems to me that it is much more fair to evaluate pitchers than hitters in that way because pitchers essentially have control of the game. No matter how good the hitter is, if the pitcher makes a good enough pitch, it’s usually going to be an out. But even there, you have to take into account the randomness factor. A guy may hang a curve in a critical situation and the hitter misses it.

  50. Sample size means very little when your season is on the line. It sure means nothing to me. Sorry, I don’t care.

    I’m not sitting there thinking, “Well, y’know, over time, Gary Sheffield should come close to his lifetime numbers in the playoffs.”

    My very point is: The post-season is different. The “small sample size” is what makes it dramatically more interesting. Sink or swim, pal.

    That’s why guys like Smoltz, Jeter, Gibson, Schilling, Koufax, Rivera, etc. earn my undying respect.

  51. Wow check out, they are really celebrating (clearing my throat) the new homerun king.

  52. Ububba,

    Agreed, but what about someone like Glavine, whose post-season performance is really all over the board? Do you respect him for pitching brilliantly in 1995 or disrespect him for struggling in 2002?

  53. 66. I am not someone who hates Glavine, but that being said I thought that was the year we were going to get back to the World Series. We had the Giants beat, but Glavine chose to have his worst starts of the year during that series.

  54. I understand all the problems with Barry Bonds and the coverage. But most of you are missing the whole point. This is the greatest record ever in any sport. It is one of the first numbers you remember in baseball when you are a kid. When you are in a sandlot and pointing to the sky. We are witnessing history.

    The Braves Game was great, but I will take one day off of the Braves Coverage to witness history.

    I don’t always agree with ESPN but I get more upset with the Yankees/SOX coverage than anything else. And Who CARES IF OWENS plays this Thursday!

    Bonds might not be the best spokesman for the game, but I tip my hat for this one day and say congrats.

    Tonight it back to SHEA to watch SMOLTZ be SMOLTZ

    GO Braves!!!

  55. 67. Me too. I love Glavine, but his performances in the ’02 postseason ripped my guts out. I really thought that team had what it took.

  56. I don’t disrespect him at all. Like Maddux, he’s been somewhat less than he’s been during regular seasons, but overall he hasn’t been awful in the post-season.

    The 2 of them have had stellar games & they’ve had bad ones. They haven’t been universally bad.

    My point about those players I mentioned is that they’ve been remarkably good when it means the most, so they deserve all the credit that comes their way. And if you’re an otherwise great player who has been a consistent post-season bust, I have no problem when you get jeered.

  57. Kenny,

    So… Glavine controlled how well he was going to pitch that day, eh? What an ass. :P

    Seriously, at the time, I wasn’t surprised or didn’t shed a tear to see Glavine leave because all I thought he did was become an irritating walk machine. That was just five years ago too.

  58. What the hell? I don’t even remember the Braves in the DIVISONAL series in 2002. They all run together to me as LOSES.

  59. Im thrilled Frenchy is doing what he is doing. Despite all his faults, I loved the guy since the first day he came up. And my brother and I rooted for him during all his strikeouts and everything, its one of those players i love no matter what they do. I thought he was better than that. This season he has been outstanding. He plays HARD

  60. I have a question as to what you guys think. Yes, it’s about the damn streakiness crap. There’s no trick questions or anything, just answer what you think.

    Jim Dick alternates games. He goes 0-4 game 1, 4-4 game 2, 0-4 game 3, etc.

    Joe Butt switches slowly. He goes 0-4 the first 6 games, then 4-4 the next 6.

    Who is the “streakier” player?

  61. 76. The only way to seriously answer that question is; does Joe Butt go 0-4 during every game, or is that 0-4 over 6 games. How many walks does each player have? How many at-bats? Are there any RBIs? Lastly, which one is playing for the Yanks and who is playing for the Socks?

  62. 0-4 in each of the 6 games, 4-4 in each of the next 6, and so on. No walks, every hit is a single for simplicity, and this goes on until the end of the year. Each guy has the same RBI’s, same games played, same everything.

    And Jim Dick plays for the Yanks, Butt plays for the Royals.

  63. Well if Jim Dick plays for the Yanks he is clearly the superior player, and Butt is a “AAAA” player.

  64. The thing that you have to keep in mind with Francouer is that he should have been in AAA last year, ideally. In a typical progression, he would be a rookie right fielder this year. The facts are that he was forced into action and has shown that he is fully capable of developing his talent at the major league level. That is not the easy way to develop. I’d say that the future is very bright.
    As for Esco vs. KJ, well I don’t really understand the point in comparison at this point. KJ is basically a rookie 2b and Esco has been in the majors for a just a few months. I am just happy that they are both on the Braves team.

  65. Most vivid Braves post season memories, good or bad:

    1. Cabrera hits, Bream scores, 92 NLCS vs. Pirates

    2. Glavine, Justice, Wohlers, Game 6, Atlanta, WS Champs, vs. Indians

    3. Eric Gregg and his magical strike zone, 1997, Game 6 LOSS, vs. Marlins

    4. Smoltz vs. Morris, 91 WS, Game 7–10th inning loss

    5. Andruw Jones, age 19, rookie, 2 homers in first 2 games, WS of 1996 vs. Yankees

    6. Chris Burke, who deserves to be smacked, hits 18th inning home run, 2005 NLDS vs. Astros

    7. Hrbek, that fat piece of sh–, lifts Ron Gant off first bag–and gant is called OUT. 91 WS vs. Twins.

    8. Jeff Reardon blowing back to back saves and ruining great 8th inning work by Mike Stanton in 92 WS vs. Blue Jays. (My single biggest all time complaint against Cox, was using Reardon in the 2nd game–what happened was inevitable).

    9. Steve Avery pitching lights out & virtually unhittable in 1991 NLCS vs. Pirates

    10. Leyritz. Jim fu–ing Leyritz. There is a special place in hell for that pieace of sh–.

    Interestingly, my 10 most vivid memories as a Braves fan are 6-4 negative. However, the two I list first are extremely positive.

    I wonder how everyone else’s list shakes out?

  66. Great win last night! Let’s do it again tonight.

    As for Bonds, I’ll not reiterate my stance on him, but I must admit I think Dale was spot on with his criticism. That, I can easily accept. And I thought Hank was damn classy, too!

    Re:Francouer – I’ve had him in my doghouse since he came up, really, but especially after last year. With that said, he is making a believer out of me. If he keeps this up throughout the rest of the season, he can wave goodbye to the doghouse for a good long time.

    Finally…why are we even discussing the merits of who’s better between KJ and Escobar now that they are both playing everyday? I like them both and want them both to excel. Hopefully they will and will help the team make it past the Mets and on to the big prize. I just don’t see the reason to try and tear one or the other down at this point. Unless someone just needs to talk about something…

  67. Alex,

    That is a damn fine list of memories. The only thing is I would bump Smoltz up to #3. That was probably the greatest World Series game and series that I will ever see. It just about ripped my heart out when we couldn’t win game 6, and then to see Smoltz just absolutely dominate that game and still lose. I have had a strong disdain for Morris ever since.

  68. Oh I love both Yunel and KJ (ok KJ more so), but I’m apparently on a statistical kick and all the talk of KJ’s streakiness got me inspired.

  69. In my opinion, that makes Butt streakier. I think of “streaks”, good or bad, as being longer than a single game.

  70. I should also add that I don’t think streakiness matters at all. Over time, both guys you mention help their team offensively at exactly the same rate. Whether they’re batting leadoff or 8th.

    So if someone is “streaky” and gets on base 40% of the time, he’s a better leadoff hitter than someone who’s less so and gets on 35% of the time…

  71. I agree with you Stu.

    I only bring it up because my coworker was arguing that if you have a general idea what you’re getting from a player coming into each individiaul game, that makes them less streaky (that would be Butt). I say streakiness is definitely a multiple game thing in baseball.

  72. Concerning their insufferable “Who’s Now” series, ESPN’s senior coordinating producer says:

    If we had to make the decision again, we would certainly do it again…It’s not defiance of criticism. We just don’t know what the percentages really are. The only thing that matters is what we believe will make people watch SportsCenter more often and longer. Our goal is to make SportsCenter better all the time, and the only way to do that is to take some risks.

    That concludes today’s lesson on why SportsCenter is a complete waste of your time.

  73. My list of memories:

    1. Winning it all (Game 6 WS ’95). Doesn’t this have to be #1 on any Braves fan’s list?
    2. Biggest heartbreak ever? (Game 7 WS ’91)
    3. The slide (Game 7 NLCS ’92)
    4. Games 5-7 NLCS + Games 1-2 WS ’96 when the Braves went from being down 3-1 to the Cards to up 2-0 on the Yankees
    5. The Leyritz HR and the rest of ’96 WS game 4 where Wohlers couldn’t hold a 6-3 lead in the 8th and Avery stunk it up in extras.
    6. Andruw taking a walk for the pennant in ’99 vs Kenny Rogers and the Mets
    7. Eric Donaghy Gregg’s Strike Zone of Ultimate Fatness
    8. The 18 inning game
    9. Game 6 WS ’92 when it looked like Nixon had pulled another Cabrera only to lose in extra innings
    10. Game 5 WS ’96. Coming after the Leyrtiz came, this was one of the most excruciating games I’ve ever watched. It was agony watching Smoltz pitch awesomely and the damn team couldn’t score a single frigging run.

  74. Amen, Robert.

    Keep in mind, the 4-letter a–holes are the same people who continue to supply paychecks to the following individuals:

    Stu-YAH Scott, Chris “back back back back back back back back” Berman, Woody Paige, Joe Morgan, John Kruk, Skip ‘Lucifer’ Bayless, SCREAMIN’ A Smith, Joe THEESman, Brian Kenney, Scott Van Pelt, Mike Greenberg, Michael ‘know it all’ Smith and many other undeserving no talents.

    I guess when you are willing to provide paychecks to this array of losers, you’ll pretty much continue to make whatever the hell horrible program they think of next.

    (though completely offensive, Steve Czaban’s mocking “Who’s Cow?” tournament featuring 32 ‘meaty’ women, was at least more inspired then the ESPN mess).

  75. Alex R,

    I agree with almost all of that, but I’ve always liked Van Pelt. I think he sometimes gets sucked in by Stu-yah, but I’ve seen him do golf on ESPN numerous times and he always seems to do a good job of capturing the moment.

  76. I like Michael Smith, too, although I’ll admit that I haven’t seen much of his latest work, which may have worsened.

  77. @ 92. – I’m normally not a stickler but there are about 8 “Francouer”s in this thread.

  78. and with last night’s showing I figured the guy deserved correct spelling today, at least.

  79. I used to like Smith. But he’s so in love with himself at this point, he’s become a lot harder to take over the last year.

    I forgot to add Bill Plaschke too–can’t stand him.

    The following “Around the Horn” regulars I either don’t mind or somewhat like:

    Jackie Macmullen, JA Adande, Tim Cowlishaw, Kevin Blackistone, Jim Armstrong (though they appear to not be using him anymore) and yes, I actually don’t even mind Jay Mariotti–he amuses me.

  80. I can’t stand listening to Mariotti. Or watching his hand gestures. MacMullen frequently goes on irrelevant tangents, it seems to me. I tend to agree with you on the rest.

  81. I find Woody Paige amusing even though he’s an idiot.

    Tony Kornheiser is getting on my nerves after only 2 days back from a looooooong vacation. I like PTI better with Lebatard and Wilbon.

  82. That is always the correct message board etiquette. You correct someone else’s spelling, and then blatantly use run-on sentences and ignore basic rules of grammar yourself! It is what makes message boards so fun!

  83. Ron, I don’t even think Mr. and Mrs. Lebatard have ever uttered the words, “like” and “Dan Lebetard” in the same sentence.

    Lebetard represents everything that is wrong in sports journalism.

    Miami athletes must have lipstick rash from all the time Lebetard spends kissing their asses.

  84. I really like PTI a lot as well the problem is that ESPN will always try and duplicate that same format, and it comes off as completely phony.

  85. re: Kornheiser

    I actually am sick to death of the guy, but stick Lebetard in his chair for 2 weeks (and by the way, Kornheiser gets more vacation then most Europeans–combined) and wow do I miss TK.

    Michael Wilbon is always good and likeable, no matter who you stick opposite him.

  86. Ron,

    That may be the most disturbing thing I have ever read. Lebetard is completely ignorant of the facts every time he speaks, and yet does so without even the slightest hint of remorse. I think him and Mariotti are the two worst sports journalists ever. They consistently let their own opinons of someone bias them so much it biases their entire reporting.

  87. Not really worried about Beltran…he’s an “old” 30. As Met fan would say Carlos “Porcelain” Beltan.

    The list of memories was great. I still sit in disbelief of the Eric Gregg strike zone. He should have been fired immediately after that game.

    I like Michael Wilborn too, it seems he is on every sport talk show here in DC.

    I also like Tony Kornheiser. His radio show isn’t actually that bad.

  88. I heard Ed Coleman, the Mets’ very good WFAN beat reporter, say that he doubted Beltran would be back in the lineup by Thursday.

  89. A few things…

    1) ESPN sucks – always Yankees and BoSox, get over it.

    2) Bonds can go to hell (although it is a great accomplishment that should be recognized).

    3) I believe in the aspect of streaky hitters (ala Andruw Jones). However, I would not put KJ in that category despite what the numbers say. I say that simply because (last night not withstanding) even when he is in a bad rut, he still seems to hit the ball really hard. Seems like just some bad luck at getting balls to fall at times to me. But then the law of averages always seems to creep its way back in and they eventually fall for him.

  90. What, no one remembers anything about the ’82 playoffs?

    Someone mentioned Glavine in the postseason…Keith Olbermann once defended Glavine by talking about his numbers in the post season when working on three days rest and his numbers when he was fully rested. There was a pretty striking contrast between the two. I believe KO said that Maddux and Smoltz were both pretty solid on three days rest, but Glavine just couldn’t do it.

    That’s part of my problem with people’s labels of “clutch” or “streaky.” Those labels often seem to take shortcuts around all kinds of pretty obvious facts.

    A guy will feast all year on back-of-the-rotation pitching and then struggle when he gets to the playoffs and bats against aces.

    Back in the late 70s and early 80s, Ray Meyer at Depaul and Jerry Tarkanian at UNLV would always have teams that were ranked in the top five in the regular season and would have marquee players like Terry Cummings or Sidney Green. They’d cruise through the regular season and be 28-3 going into the NCAA tourney and then lose in the first weekend. I remember hearing all kinds of stuff about them “choking,” but honestly…they just played good teams for the first time all year. Had they been played in the ACC or Pac-10 or Big 10, they’d probably have been a pretty marginal squad.

  91. Alex,

    In fairness Andruw has been much more consitent this year. He has seen his average at around the .200-.220 mark all year. Whereas KJ has been all over the place from .280-.310. Why would you not think Andruw is the better hitter?

  92. I dunno. Smoltz is, IMO, a first-ballot HOFer who has been a top-of-the-rotation pitchers since about 1989 or so. He’s been dominant as a starter, he’s been dominant as a closer. Other than one bad stretch in the first half of the 1991 (or was it 1992?) season, he’s been pretty consistently great.

    So yeah, I kind of expect him to be strong in the post-season as well.

    With pitchers, you also have to add in the factor of fatigue. I remember in 1986, Bruce Hurst was great in the last part of the season and in the playoffs for the Red Sox, but Clemens was crap (after going 25-4 in the regular season). Hurst had the advantage of being fresh, having missed about a month with a groin injury. Clemens always manages to burn out at the end of the year.

  93. Ok guys, when I used Andruw as an example of a streaky hitter, I guess I should have mentioned every year but this one. I guess I figured yall would have figured that out on your own…

  94. I hate when I start a discussion and then can’t participate…Sorry I mentioned the word streaky…

  95. I don’t understand why people resent players that beat the Braves. Aren’t they supposed to try to win? Why would you have “disdain” for Jack Morris because he pitched a great game? I understand the dislike for Hrbek but Morris and Leyritz just did what they were supposed to do (and the Braves let them).

  96. Noah,

    As good as Smoltz has been for his regular-season career, he’s actually been better in the post-season—a time when the spotlight is brighter & the competition is tougher.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I’m not willing to concede that he’s been the same pitcher.

  97. Holy Crap, When did the spelling/grammar police arrive?
    I’m just going to go with Frenchy from now on thank you.

  98. I don’t think you dislike the person, just what they did. I dont hate Leyritz- I hate that homerun. Of course he was just doing his job, but his job cost my Braves the chance to win the game and gave the Yankees the momentum to win the World Series.

  99. Well, in fairness, Andruw has ALWAYS been a streaky hitter. He’s the definition of a streaky hitter. And even when his batting average is 260’s and 270’s, he still has his usual 4 weeks of nothing but DP’s and K’s.

    It’s a big part of why I have never been a huge Andruw fan.

    Give me, any day of the week, the kind of consistency you get with guys like Edgar, McCann, Chipper et all.

  100. Well, I never said that there “clutch” or “choke” don’t exist. I just thought that people were too quick to throw them out there or they became a substitute for actually explaining what happened.

    Ted Williams…bad post-season hitter. Not because he “choked.”

    (not that anyone has ever suggested that he did)

  101. The grammar police just left a ticket on my windshield for the extranneous “there” in 128.

  102. Only if you say, “The Braves Journal Grammar Police…”

    When dropping the organization they belong to, “grammar police” stops being a proper noun.

  103. Okay, Tony. You realize that every player has an 0-fer fairly often, right?

    KJ vs. lefties… .283 avg/.377 obp/.441 slg/.818 ops

    That’s a damn fine line for a 2B. KJ’s overall line of .297 avg/.393 obp/.491 slg/.883 ops is elite! ELITE!

    It’s even significantly better than Frency’s batting line, and Frenchy is having a great developmental year (breakout?).


    Escobar overall… .333 avg/.374 obp/.420 slg/.794 ops

    Escobar vs. lefties… .356 avg/.396 obp/.433 slg/.829 ops

    In other words, KJ’s weakest side is still better than Escobar offensively, but Escobar manages a very slight edge against lefties.

    I guess if KJ isn’t hitting .400 (or .500), then Tony must complain. Were you dropped on your head as a child, son?

    I like Escobar. He’s got great baseball sense and plays good defense with a very nice arm. While he could stand to show more power, he is plenty passable for a middle infielder and has been tremendous for the Braves this year.

    However, he’s not nearly as good as KJ, so you should really drop the comparison and simply enjoy both of their contributions to this year’s Braves.

  104. Can you cite a source on that, noah? I understand that “police” wouldn’t be capitalized if left on its own, but the non-existent entity we’re describing seems like it should be capitalized. Seems like an organization on its own, I guess is what I’m saying.

  105. I kid about childhood head trauma, Tony. I have no real problem with you except your constant KJ derision for no good g’damn reason.

    I don’t think that’s unreasonable to put to rest–at least as long as KJ’s one of the elite 2B in the league.

    You did bring me around on Escobar enough that I added him to my fantasy team (well, Kent was hurt and Escobar’s good play and increased playing time helped also).

  106. Well, actually, Noah, plenty of sportswriters in Boston did suggest that Williams choked in big games. I read somewhere that a sportwriter took 10 games that he considered big games–7 in the 1946 World Series,a playoff game for the AL pennant in 1948 and two games against the Yankees in the last week of 1949 that decided the pennant. (This was obviously long before the division and playoff system existed.) In those 10 games, Williams hit something like .200 and the sportswriter spun that to mean that Williams choked in big games.

  107. “Can you cite a source on that, noah?”

    G*dd*mm*t, yes, I can.

    Pages 34-35 of the AP stylebook.

    “Capitalize common nouns such as party, river, street, and west when they are an integral part of the full name for a person, place or thing.

    “Lowercase thse common nouns when they stand alone in subsequent references.

    “Capitalize formal titles when used immediately before a name. Lowercase formal titles when used alone or in constructions that set them off from a name by commas. Use lowercase at all times for terms that are job descriptions rather than formal titles.”

    I interpret that as: Braves Journal Grammar Police, Internet Grammar Police….but grammar police everywhere else.

  108. Grammar Police probably should be capitalized. Braves Journal Grammar Police is more like a division or branch, or at least it seems.

  109. “Well, actually, Noah, plenty of sportswriters in Boston did suggest that Williams choked in big games.”

    The sportswriters in Boston were rather famously idiotic when it came to Williams.

    I’m going off memory here. But Williams *was* hurt during his one WS, wasn’t he? Didn’t he break a bone in his hand or something like that?

  110. Noah,

    While we are at it I have always found it pretentious and just ignorant of you to spell your name without capitalizing it!

  111. I’m still unconvinced, noah. I apologize. No need for the harsh language, though.

    Thanks for the input, david15.

    I call on other high-quality writers here at Braves Journal—Mac, ububba, AAR, Jeff K are ones that come to mind—to weigh in on this issue. As if it matters to anyone, I will abide by the majority position.

  112. Kenny,

    How do you know he’s not just another e. e. cummings?

    I tend to type names exactly as the people who use them do on here.

  113. Stu,

    More of a joke then anything else. I just wanted to get in on the rant as to whether what should be captalize and what should not.

  114. I can’t get too worked up about Ted Williams’ 7 post-season games (injury or no), but he’s said himself that the 1946 WS is his biggest regret. I’ll let him do the talking on that one.

    BTW, anyone discussing an AP Style Book wins big points with me.

    Lots of Mets misery here today. I get my sandwich from big-talkin’ deli man & he’s inconsolable. “We just can’t beat you guys,” he mutters.

    Of course, if it’s 2-1 Mets in the 6th tonight, you won’t be able to shut him up. But that’s the reality around here.

  115. ububba,

    I have an AP Stylebook myself. :) That’s so true about the Mets score too. It seems like tha’ts the nature of most fans. Completely estatic when things are going your way and complete depression when it’s not. I know that’s not entirely the case, but I bet that a good number of fans are that way.

  116. In 1946, the Red Sox had clinched the pennant early, while the Cardinals and Dodgers had a best-of-three playoff for the NL. So there was a delay in beginning the World Series. The AL arranged for the Red Sox to play a practice game to stay sharp. Williams got hit on the elbow during the game and it bothered him throughout the Series.

  117. Sorry Stu, but if I were to have an opinion on this insipid grammar police topic, I would have to side with Noah. I believe it would be ‘grammar police’ until used in conjunction with a specific branch. Of course, I am no English major, so I wouldn’t be suprised if I was wrong.

  118. I view Grammar Police as being along the lines of Orwell’s Thought Police. Gramatically speaking, not philosophically speaking. If someone can explain the difference between the two to me, I’ll concede.

  119. Mac,

    That is pretty interesting about Ted Williams. The MVP is one award I have always hated. I have always thought that the award should go to whoever has the most outstanding year. That is the way the Cy Young award works. It is also the way the Heisman award works in college football.

    I just think that you eliminate too many people when make it an MVP, because writers will only vote for contenders of 1st or 2nd place teams. This is even though often these players like Ted Williams will have been responsible for more wins. For example the Red Sox might have been a 5th place team without him. There are a myriad of stats that talk about the actual value of a player (VORP, etc…).

  120. Barry seemed almost human when he thanked his dad (even though he completely ignored his son — douche). But I don’t like how completely indifferent I was about the HR. I don’t think I was completely outraged, even though I can’t stand the guy, just because I knew it was going to happen. But I’m sad that it wasn’t something that I was excited about. I can’t imagine how monumental of an occasion it would have been if the record were broken by a clean (or at least perceived as such) player. I had fallen asleep with my face in my Latin book, and I’m glad I woke up during his at bat to see it – to witness history. But it bothers me that I’m not mad that I didn’t have my son there to watch it with me or something (even if he obviously wouldn’t remember it).

  121. Well this is just invigorating. Nerd Alert!!!
    I kid because I’m actually enjoying reading the banter.

    I also want to say that I find it interesting that the 2 guys we will most likely lose in the offseason (Wickman and Andruw) don’t seem like much of a hit at this point. Before the season, I was dreading the loss of Andruw. Now with the emergence of many of the young guys and the addition of Tex, I’m not so concerned.

  122. Josh,

    The one thing I will be interested in is who they bring in to replace Andruw defensively. I am sure they are going to bring that kid Brandon Jones up from AAA, and I would imagine knowing Schuerholz he is also going to sign a veteran as well. Think Craig Wilson or Chris Woodward.

  123. Well I think that if I am talking about a specific nerd, it would be Nerd Alert. However, if I am speaking in a generalized manner, I would say nerd alert. So in conclusion, let me just say that ……….

    Kenny, I tend to agree. Brandon Jones is going to get every opportunity to make the club in the spring. I’d say that JS will do one of two things. He will either sign a veteran (Mike Cameron) or trade for a young option.

  124. I would personally love to get someone like Mike Cameron, but my guess is that they will be looking for a short term solution. I still think it would be good to try Lillibridge out in the outfield. He obviously has the speed to cover a lot of ground and has a pretty good arm too.

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