Reds 8, Braves 7

ESPN – Braves vs. Reds Box Score, August 21 2007 – MLB

Yeah, it would have been better if Mahay and Moylan hadn’t pitched last night.

The Braves gave Jo-Jo Reyes (up for Chuck James, who went on the 15-day DL) three runs in the first two innings. But in the third, he completely lost the strike zone, walking the pitcher leading off the inning, getting one out on a bunt, then a single, then a walk, then a popup, then another walk, then a hit to tie it. Bobby came in with Villarreal, seemingly a batter too late, but he gave up a double to give the Reds the lead.

The Braves rallied back, though, with four in the fifth. Andruw hit a ball the line with two on, two out, which would have been a double except that Adam Dunn completely misplayed it into a triple, scoring two runs. McCann followed with a homer and it was 7-5. However, Mahay had a bad outing, giving up a very cheap homer and then another run to tie it.

Moylan came in to pitch the sixth, and he had some bad luck but still didn’t pitch well. First he gave up an incredibly cheap little hit that landed about ten feet from first base for an infield single. Then a batter, trying to bunt, was hit by a pitch (don’t get me started), and then KJ somehow didn’t get one of the lead runners on a grounder, getting only the hitter at first. The next hitter singled to right; Francoeur managed to cut down the second man for the second out of the inning, but the Reds lead. After an intentional walk and another HBP (seriously, the owners have to do something about these umpires) he managed to get out of it. Oddly, he pitched very well in the seventh.

He got the loss anyway as the Braves couldn’t do anything against the Reds’ weak middle relief. They did get hits from Chipper and Teixeira with two out in the ninth, but Francoeur hit a hard grounder for the final out.

This sucks. The starting rotation after the first two guys sucks. How did it come to this?

69 thoughts on “Reds 8, Braves 7”

  1. Why exactly did Thorman pinch run for Tex in the 9th? Is Tex really slow, because I don’t recall Thorman being all that fast. Plus, if Frenchy had been able to tie it, we’d have ended up with Thorman in the cleanup spot for extra innings. Tex isn’t hurt (outside of the nearly broken finger), is he?

    Unfortunate loss, because we lost ground to someone. I’m beginning to really dislike the Reds.

  2. If Reyes can’t do better than that, the Braves are screwed. As mediocre as James often is, missing him for 2 weeks may be the final nail in the coffin of this playoff chase. Now JS’s failure to land Arroyo or some other half decent starter at the trade deadline really hurts.

  3. “This sucks. The starting rotation after the first two guys sucks. How did it come to this?”

    Eh..I choose to blame Mike Hampton.

  4. good news, still only one back in the wild card

    bad news, we should be in a 3 way tie

    If the Phils lose Hammels, I dont see them holding on

  5. Marc, I never said that I hope he has to have elbow soreness! Where did you get that from? Elbow soreness and numb forearms are the signs for TJ surgery.

  6. I do want to reinforce what Ron said. Chuck has been average, but as I said a few days ago, average isn’t bad. He’s not a guy who works deep into games, but he’s given the team a chance to win without scoring ten runs, unlike some people. He’s the one reliably mediocre starter the Braves have, and will likely be missed again.

  7. How the hell the Phillies are still in the chase?? They have lost like 25% of their players to injury and they play in a banbox.

  8. The list of free agent pitchers is downright ugly.

    Curt Schilling is probably the best. There’s Kenny Rogers, Eric Milton, Matt Clement, Jason Jennings..Josh Fogg. There’s Clemens..I think Maddux also.

  9. Actually, Livan is probably the best. Jeff Weaver is on the list, if that’s the sort of thing that excites you. I guess they could make a play for Maddux.

  10. Smoltz, Hudson & pray for 8 runs every other night.

    I’m afraid I’m gonna join the peanut gallery: David Wells (or any available professional starter) has to be an upgrade.

    With Reyes, perhaps Bobby waited too long, perhaps he should’ve been more patient–I let him face one more batter, but I don’t go crazy about it. Reyes put us in that position.

    With 5-1/2 weeks left, I have a hard time trotting him out much more if he doesn’t improve in his very next start.

  11. Reyes is living proof that all those gaudy minor league numbers don’t mean crap in the bigs. If we can make the playoffs we have a chance but that is a huge IF.

  12. What can you say? You score 7 runs, you should win.

    FWIW, I really enjoy watching the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play. They do all the little things to win games. Their baserunning is plain amazing.

    Tonight vs. the Yanks, they have runners on 1st & 2nd with no outs, ball is hit deep into the RCF gap, caught by Melky Cabrera (mediocre, but not bad arm) who’s momentum carries him toward RF. Both runners tag up and advance. Nobody does that.

  13. Very deflating loss. I think we can just about forget about the Division, but the WC is still within striking distance. Unfortunately, that means that we need someone besides Smoltz and Hudson to give us good starts. Except for Cormier’s last start, it hasn’t happened in a long time.

    Why does Cox refuse to use Acosta or Devine (when he gets called up)? I think if Acosta would have pitched last night in a blow out or even possibly tonight, we may have won both games.

  14. I think if Acosta would have pitched last night in a blow out or even possibly tonight, we may have won both games.

    There’s no way to know obviously but it’s no secret that Bobby’s bullpen usage in games we were obviously going to win has been beyond bizarre.

  15. On a happy and sad bullpen note: Tanyon Sturtze has been released. The sad part is that he cost the Braves $750K to pitch 5.2 minor league innings and allow 7 runs. I would have been glad to pitch 6 innings for only $300K – I couldn’t guarantee that my ERA would be below 15 though. This is one of the strangest signings the Braves have made lately – including Woodward.

  16. Yeah, I think that the division is beyond reach for this team, …’s to the wildcard.

  17. Looks like the Mets are finally taking control of the division over both us and Philly.

    Hopefully Cormier can give us another good outing and we can hold serve in the Wild Card race.

  18. Braves 5th starter eras this year:

    Davies 5.76
    Lerew 7.71
    Reyes 9.62
    Cormier 9.90
    Redman 11.63

    Who knew we would actually miss Kyle? Well I don’t really miss him, but man how hard can it be to find a journeyman or rookie starter to go 5 innings with a 5.25 era? Maybe we should have resigned Thompson after all.

  19. This may sound really crazy, but the guy I would like to sign as a free agent next year would be Carlos Silva. He is still relatively young at 28 years old. His ERA is 4.17, and has been pretty healthy throughout his career. He usually gives you about 180+ innings. I think he would make a good number 3 starter.

  20. Very discouraged with this team. The one thing you can bet the house on is, if it’s a close game, high-scoring or low, the Braves will lose. Obviously, the pitching is terrible, but was there any reason the offense, with 7 runs after 5 couldn’t score two more runs? The whole idea in getting Tex was that they were going to have to outscore teams. As usual, the Braves offense puts up nothing in the late innings.

    That, of course, is not to say, the offense is the primary culprit but it’s been obvious most of the year that the back end of the rotation sucks and that the offense was going to have to carry the team. They shouldn’t be shut down for four innings by the Cincinnati Reds but it’s sort of par for the course for this team; the late innings are a nightmare,whether offensively or defensively for the Braves.

  21. Reyes did walk the pitcher, but he could have escaped with little damage if the third baseman handled the routine grounder. Even professional ballplayers are human, and humans err.

    Smoltz and Hudson usually pitch around sloppy play. It’s another thing to expect a rookie to pick up the slack for less than stellar defense. Let’s don’t get rid of the kid yet.

  22. Marc,

    Are you serious? That is how runs are scored in baseball games. You are always playing for the big inning. I would say the Teixeira trade has been an unquestionable success so far. If you watched the 9th Chipper had a good single and then Teixeira did a good job of taking a walk. Francouer hit the ball very sharply, but unfortunately it was right at the 3rd baseman.

    I am not even sure what your tangent about the offense has to do with anything. You say it is not about the offense, and then proceed to blast the offense for not scoring enough runs. I have been saying all year it is not the offense that is killing us it is the back end of the rotation.

  23. By the way, in response to the previous threat, wetback is a derogatory and offensive comment. Yes, it was the name of a government program in the fifties, but it was a derogatory term even then, when people were obviously less sensitive to stuff like that.

  24. Who knew we would actually miss Kyle?

    I did.

    I’m pretty down on the team, too. I wouldn’t say I’ve given up—and I’ll still be pulling for the team, obviously—but I’ll be shocked if we make the playoffs, even as the WC, with this group.

  25. Stu,

    I still actually believe we can get the wild card. I think the division is probably no longer a legitimate hope. The pitching continues to be terrible however.

  26. Kenny,

    I think you’re right that we *can*. I just have seen nothing in this team to make me believe that we *will*. So many wasted opportunities. So many poorly managed games. As Marc says, so many close losses.

  27. I like our chances if we get to the wildcard. We have a good mix of young hungry guys, and a few vets who are looking at thier last shot. The playoff’s are the playoffs, look at what the Cardinals did last year, and what the Marlins have done in the past. Get us to October and lets see what happens….

  28. what do you guys think about converting, either Moylan, Mahay, or Villareal, to a starter in the offseason. All would be good options and we might get lucky with one of them. With Ring and Gonzalez that will give us two lefties in the pen next year. We dont really need 3 long innning relief guys, I think Mahay has enough good pitches to become a good starter, the age thing doesnt help though

  29. csg,

    Moylan: hell no. He’s our only consistently effective reliever. He should be our primary setup man next year or maybe even our closer.

    Mahay: Don’t think he’s signed for next year. If we bring him back, it’s definitely as a reliever.

    Villareal: Tough call. He’s shown some promise of mediocrity in his spot starts and long relief appearances which would be an improvement over what we’ve gotten from the 5th starter position the last few years. OTOH, who then would take his place as the long man in the bullpen?

    You didn’t list Soriano. If he can improve his slider in the offseason, he could be an interesting addition in the rotation.

  30. I think that is something they are going to have to talk about. Right now if we don’t sign anyone else in the off season I think you only have three positions nailed down Smoltz, Hudson, and James. We are definitely going to need two more starters. I would think Villareal has the track record and probablly the best shot to be a starter.

  31. I think they are hoping that Hampton is ready to come back to the rotation next year. Villareal has the best shot at become an effective fifth starter, and Soriano would have to have a better slider, and a third pitch.

  32. any chance of Lerew getting a shot? would he be any better than Davies was? I thought about Soriano, but I think you let him setup or close and give Gonzo the other role. If Hampton is healthy he can still be a #3-4 type pitcher, he’s been out for a very long time. There should be a clause put in every contract that if you miss two years due to injury the contract is voided

  33. We cant count on Hampton for anything. Its better off to not put him in any equations for next year, forget he exsists. Until he throws another pitch for us in a real game, he should just be forgotten about. I like the option of Vilareal best, but I’m all for just riding whoever can be the hot horse for the stretch run, bring someone up from AA and see if he can catch fire….

  34. If Hampton pitches well in the winter leagues, and comes through healthy, then he can be counted on for next year.

  35. Should of gone harder after Vazquez, if you ask me. Tex was a great pick up and I’m glad to have him, but he’s basically gravy when the offense performs as expected.

    We needed a starting pitcher before the deadline and did not get one (and yes, I am well aware of the lousy starters market.) The lack of that one move may very well cost us a chance at the division title and certainly will negatively effect any chance we might have in the postseason, should we make it that far.

    Last night’s loss hurt a lot. We had a chance to gain ground regardless as long as we won and instead we threw it away. Hrmph!

  36. What is truly amazing about out 5th starter position is the pure futility of those pitchers. We have seen that pretty much any team’s 5th starter can pitch a relative gem upon occassion. Lord knows, we’ve seen other teams’ number fives do it to us, but Redman, Cormier, Reyes, and Lerew do not have one win among them.

    Not one win.

    To me, that is truly incredible. Maybe we are due for all those gems from here to the end of the year.

  37. #58 – Cormier should, but he had to face Webb last time out. That was his GEM and we didnt take advantage

  38. weird thing about last night, Mets and Phils were both losing at the same time that we were winning 7-5. We lose by one and both of them come back to win by one, amazing

  39. Just gotta pick up the next 2 in Cincy somehow & win some series. If it shakes out, there will be a playoff spot at the end. This is going to be a ragged bunch by the end & I’m guessing that’s not the last 8-7 game we see.

  40. Why does baseball allow ballparks like Cincinnati’s? Can you imagine the NFL allowing teams to have 90 yard fields so there would be more scoring to entertain the home fans or the NBA allowing teams to define their own 3 point line? There should be some kind of minimum ballpark dimensions to ensure reasonably consistent games in each city rather than letting teams create their own arena baseball parks.

  41. The ballpark in Houston meets the minimum dimensions; it’s the way they’re distributed that’s so confounding.

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