Game Thread: August 25, Braves at Cardinals

I’m still mildly depressed and probably will be until the Braves prove they can win a game not started by Smoltz or Hudson.

127 thoughts on “Game Thread: August 25, Braves at Cardinals”

  1. I can understand their dissatisfaction with Wickman but he was still a servicable pitcher. And, as for being a bad teammate, so what? We have all worked with people we don’t like. Certainly, you wouldn’t bring the guy back next year, but it’s only a few weeks more. It seems to me this is a view toward next year and to see what they really have, ie, can Soriano close? I’m not saying the management is giving up, but I don’t see how this helps the team for this year.

  2. Bobby didn’t want to deal with the distraction anymore. I’m sure this is Cox telling Schuerholz ‘get rid of this guy because he is a pain in the ass and the rest of us are trying to win a friggin playoff spot’

  3. At a guess, Bobby or Roger told Wickman he wasn’t going to be the closer any more, and Wickman told them he wasn’t interested in that.

  4. Cox dealt with the circus following Rocker all through the 2000 season, he couldn’t handle another month and some change of Wickman?

  5. Going a bit off topic here, but can someone please explain to me how options work? I remember at the deadline we couldn’t send Thorman down because he was out of options, but it seems like Martin Prado and Joey Devine and going up and down every week. Do they just have options left and we are using them up? I don’t get it at all

  6. Options last a full year. Meaning if you have one option for a guy, you can send him up and down as much as you like for one entire season.

  7. Right. The only rule is that you can’t bring a guy back up for at least ten days (keeping teams from rotating out pitchers to add a couple of roster spots) but even then you can make a move if someone goes on the DL.

  8. I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around the notion that Wickman was that bad of a teammate. Seems like all I ever heard was how great he was in the clubhouse. So, so strange.

  9. Perhaps we’ll find out some sordid details about Wickman as time goes on. Either way, I’ve moved on & remain ready to reel off a little streak.

    Having a birthday today. Headed up to Hartford for a weird, celebratory gig—Tommy Lee & his partner DJing in a little club downtown. Hope I survive. Go Braves.

  10. Perhaps Bobby thought Wickman intentionally tanked the game Thursday night after being put in to pitch when he didn’t want to.

  11. It’s not a bad thing that Wickman is gone…he is serviceable but at this point I’d rather see Acosta, Ascanio, or to a lesser degree Devine in the game anyway. Again, young live arms that the league has not seen much of before…can be a big weapon down the stretch.

    You can tolerate bad teammates if their production outweighs their negative impact. After the other night, I guess Cox and Schuerholtz decided Wickman’s 5 ERA over his last 30 games or so was no longer worth his bullsh–

  12. Personally, I say Wickman is more classy than the Braves, at least when it comes to this.

    I still say the Indians is where he goes. The Diamondbacks really don’t make much sense.

  13. In a pennant race, I wouldn’t agree that asking not to pitch in a tie game in the 12th inning is a classy move.

  14. dan, classy moves make the braves the organization. our team is probably the most respected franchise in baseball for it’s professionalism. dfa’ing a player does not make an organization unclassy. cox coming out and dogging wickman about his bitching and moaning would have been tacky, but that didnt happen. a classy organization is going to have players who do not fit the bill, but schuerholz handling his moves business-like, cox backing his players blindly, and the veterans maintaining the integrity of the team, and handling decisions “in-house” rather than through the media is what makes an organization. the braves, over the past 10 years, have held the torch of class.

  15. IS ANYONE LISTENING TO PETE’S DIAMOND NOTES?

    Pete talks about after the Rockies series (presumably in Denver), Wickman went up to the front of the Braves plane and chastised Bobby for how he used him or didn’t use him in situations. Pete very politely took him to the woodshed.

  16. Seems the Braves are in PR mode and are smearing Wickman now.

    “Pete very politely took him to the woodshed.”

    On the plane or just now on the radio?

  17. I can somewhat see Dan’s point, inasmuch as releasing Wickman would have been sufficient without having to then dish a lot of stuff to the media. I was a little surprised that Andruw spoke out yesterday about it, but I suspect he may be defensive of Bobby, and wanted to make sure folks didn’t go to town on his manager for doing something dumb.

    However, is it smearing if it’s actually true?

  18. The team is playing poorly. Everybody was frustrated. Wickman himself was playing poorly plus he was not being a good teammate so he got made the scapegoat. If cutting him fires the team up and gets them on their first 3+ game winning streak in forever, it’s all good.

  19. Don’t know what gameday says, but if Pineiro actually had enough lateral break on his curve to make that one a strike he’d be the best pitcher in baseball.

  20. Is the genius really batting his pitcher 8th as Gameday says? With the staggering career BA of .062? Over a guy batting .294 on the season?

  21. Tony LaRussa is the opposite of Cox. Cox wouldn’t bat the pitcher anywhere other than ninth even if the pitcher was Babe Ruth.

  22. Tough at-bat by Harris, but he swung at about 3 balls after the full count, and I notice he’s down to hitting .305 for the season…

    Free Diaz.

  23. He’s batting .250 for August but his OPS is a little higher than his season OPS.

    I’m not a statistician. Do we want that or do we not want that?

  24. Hypothetical: Two out, runner on second — a medium runner, let’s say Escobar. Harris hits a hard single, right at Ankiel. Do you send the runner?

    Harris had seventeen hits in August (coming into today’s game) but ten were for extra bases — five doubles and five triples. It’s very strange. With the .359 OBP, it’s a very workable offensive profile, though I don’t know it would work full-time.

  25. I’m just going to wait for the genius of batting Pineiro 8th to play itself out.

    Grand slam off Devine, probably.

  26. True. Or the Genius KNEW that in the bottom of the 5th, he would use Miles to bunt single from the 9 hole.

  27. Follow up question:

    “Chipper Jones to shortstop Yunel Escobar to Second baseman Kelly Johnson. Molina out at 2nd”

    How does that happen

  28. The ball was hit hard to third, Chipper dove and the ball deflected hard off his glove right to Escobar who picked it up and threw to second for the out.

  29. damn…what a bad out. 2nd time on this trip, our supposedly great leadoff hitter…CAN’T BUNT. Geez…

  30. Harris is down to .304. He is cooling off rapidly, his 15 minutes is up…play Diaz down the stretch, as Cincy prove with 4 lefties coming out of the pen and the Phillies proves with JC Romero, the Braves have issues when a lefty comes in against the right handed starting lineup.

  31. I was Johnson leading off and Escobar 2nd.

    johnson
    escobar
    chipper
    tex
    mccann
    diaz
    francoeur
    andruw
    pitcher

  32. Rolen looked to second, then to third. He didn’t even look to first, which is weird considering Teixeira was running.

  33. It was Rolen. Any other 3b in baseball, excepting maybe a couple, it’s a single to left and a tie game. Even with Rolen, he had to range so far to his left that he had no shot at anybody.

  34. DAMN Brian…1 run out of all that. Shit. I wish these guys who you hear interviews always saying it’s time to play ball would do it in the clutch for a change. We have been getting shut down pretty frequently in the late innings.

    By the way Tim Hudson, nice time to go back to the old Tim Hudson. What a way to step it up…

  35. Hasn’t Hudson won like 9 in a row? He’s allowed a subpar game. Blame willie harris and KJ for this so far.

  36. Disgruntled,

    Not at this time of the year. This is the time of year when aces prove their worth. Plus this was just bad…

  37. disgruntled,
    what did kj do? escobar missed an easy double play that would have stopped the cards with 3.

    tony,
    that’s absurd thinking. hudson has been amazing since the asb, and to think he cant have a bad outing just because it’s crunch time is just not reality. this is baseball, and it has ups and downs, so do the players.

  38. KJ struck out early in the game with a runner on 3rd and 1 out, right after willie harris ALSO struck out after failing to get another bunt down.
    KJ also just watched another strike 3 last inning.

  39. Ryan C,

    I’m just saying…it comes when the braves can’t afford to lose any games. Also it comes when the Braves only have two reliable pitchers. And again, bad is bad, but not even go 5 innings, not want a Cy Young candidate would give you down the stretch. Didn’t KJ strikeout with 1 out man on 1st and 2nd?

  40. and he hit a homerun and walked. jesus, i cant believe he doesnt have a 1.000 ba tonight. disgruntled…tony, get real!! this is freakin’ baseball, and the best hitters only get on 40% of the time, which is exactly what kj has done tonight.

  41. Guys, take a look at the hits off of Hudson tonight and you’ll see a bunch of weak shots. I don’t blame him as much but I do blame Cox for not pinch hitting for sweet Willie Harris, who continues to fall backwards and for Yunel, who got lazy.

    Also, KJ needs to be a little more aggressive against lefties. Was looking for a walk the whole way in the last AB.

    Some road trip so far….

  42. Hudson did fine. He told Cox he was fine and could have pitched another inning, but that would have prevented Cox from using 8 relivers again tonight.
    1 bad outing every 10 is ok.
    Willie Harris pretty much sucks.

  43. Tom H,

    I agree, maybe a little too hard on Hudson, but bottomline Smoltz did what we needed him to do.

    Ryan C.,

    C’mon we all like KJ, but he has had some bad outs AGAINST lefties on this road trip. Willie Harris is who is really killing us. Francouer trying to pull everything again.

  44. By the way, David Wright has 28 steals this year…are you fukking kidding me? Offseason needs for Braves: Speed with a consistent bat is a must.

  45. “Speed with a consistent bat is a must.”

    I don’t think the Braves will be looking for offense this offseason.

  46. Dear Bobby,

    Peter Moylan’s arm is mortal. It can die. That would be bad for the Braves. Fortunately, there is hope. It’s called rest. It’s called not using him every single game. It’s called sometimes using Joey Devine instead.

    Sincerely,
    Braves fans everywhere

  47. Did Andruw just rob him of a homer? I’m a slave to GameDay tonight, and it’s showing that ball over the fence.

  48. You know, I like Bobby and I dislike LaRussa, but I’ll guarantee you that if Bobby were managing the Cards there, he’d have walked Andruw.

    Andruw is so awful.

  49. Maybe this will break the pattern and now Cormier, Reyes, and Carlyle will put together a 3 game winning streak. Probably not.

  50. Spahn and Sain and prayers for rain aside, you can’t make the postseason with only two serviceable starters. The margin for error when Hudson and Smoltz pitch is next to zero.

    Please, Andruw, enjoy your new home. (I’ll bet it’s San Fran)

  51. Yep. Congrats, Mets for beating every other team but us. Sure was nice when it was us winning the division.

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