Marlins 4, Braves 3 (11 innings)

ESPN – Braves vs. Marlins Box Score, August 28 2007 – MLB

In the test which they give you to see if you can make it as a major league umpire, there should be a question like:

“Would you eject a starting position player for backtalk in an extra-inning game?”

If the answer is “yes”, you should not be a major league umpire. Jeff Francoeur was ejected after striking out in the eleventh inning. I’m not quite sure why he was arguing; he swung at a pitch in the opposite batter’s box. At any event, the umpire ejected him, forcing Bobby to put Pete Orr in left and Matt Diaz in right (Harris was out of the game). Sure enough, Orr completely misplayed a routine fly ball to left field, Andruw couldn’t quite get there to bail him out, and this set up a game-winning sac fly. Great work, blue.

At any event, the Braves are now 4-9 in extra innings and 15-20 in one-run games. Essentially, this is why the Braves are going to miss the playoffs. Sabermetrics says that this stuff is basically luck, but that’s hard to believe when you watch it again and again.

McCann gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the second with a homer, but Smoltz (on short rest) allowed two runs in the bottom of the inning and another in the third to make it 3-1. It stayed that way to the eighth, the Braves blowing numerous chances to score, until Chipper hit a two-run homer to tie it. Kali got out of a jam in the tenth, but Villarreal couldn’t get out of Orr’s jam in the eleventh.

The Braves left eight men on base, four in scoring position.

90 thoughts on “Marlins 4, Braves 3 (11 innings)”

  1. Someone, somewhere owes me something after watching this debacle. I hope I receive a check in the mail soon.

  2. How many scoreless innings in a row in extras are the Braves’ offense up to now?

    Staff ace going up against the coldest team in baseball with a starter pitcher who’s ERA was right at seven coming in today’s game and the Braves still lose. That is depressing.

  3. The only positive point to this night was that I got mentioned twice on the Marlins broadcast. If it wasn’t for that, I’d probably be thinking this team as no chance at the playoffs. I’ll give them another night!

  4. Is there any reason to have a bench with Orr, Woodward, Thorman at this point in the season? Surely there’s an explanation. Does it have anything to do with options? I pray so. One of these guys alone would be almost indefensible, but keeping three is unspeakable.

  5. I mean if your going to blame someone blame the player who got thrown out for being an idiot. Don’t blame the player who is playing out of position, hustling his ass off, and being called off by the CF. Thats just stupid.

  6. I didn’t see Andruw calling for the ball, you may be right, but when you hear that you get OUT OF THE WAY — you don’t keep drifting toward the guy calling for the ball.

  7. Ok, i’m going to bed anyways. I wasn’t looking for an argument but when I read that crap I couldn’t help it. Mets lost and the Padres are losing, if it keeps up everything will be okay.

  8. Pete was just standing there under the ball, or so it looked to me. I wouldn’t call it a misplay as much as being called off by Druw and goodness knows that he can’t argue with that. I’d have put KJ in left and that’s not just hindsight – we were saying it in our house at the time. We’d still lose seeing as we’re incapable of scoring in extras, but at least we lose on a real hit.

  9. joesteve, on the broadcast they showed the replay three times. Joe Simpson even talked about how Andruw was yelling “I got it”.

  10. Folks these are not mutually exclusive options. Francoeur blew it by getting ejected causing Orr to enter the game. Orr then gets in the way in LF. Blame on both players and on the quick trigger ump.

  11. Orr should be low on the list of players to blame anyways.

    Oscar Villarreal for the walk (no walk and the dropped ball probably wouldn’t have matter).

    Francoeur for getting thrown out.

    Willie Harris for obvious reasons.

    Bobby Cox for playing Willie Harris.

  12. oh absolutely right. There are plenty of reasons for this loss. We shouldn’t have been in extras in the first place. Two innings in a row getting the first two guys on (once we had 2nd and 3rd with 0 outs) and scoring nuttin, zip, nada.

  13. pete orr should have never been with the club start with. what were they thinking when they brought him up in the first place?

  14. and why Corkey Miller instead of Pena? is it fielding? options?

    Add Corkey to the 3 outmeisters and we’ve got to have one of the weakest benches in the majors.

  15. it’s time for an intervention, bobby needs to lose his shit in the club house just once and if that doesn’t work then play thor, woody and speedy pete everyday.

  16. I’m thinking there also needs to be an intervention with Cox for his continual refusal to play Diaz full-time – and then Harris would have been available as a defensive replacement – his mismanagement of the bullpen (longterm, not tonight), and his penchant for conceding all Sunday games. Is there a chance that we see Thorman, Woodward, and Orr all in the infield at the same time this Sunday? Yes, I believe there is.

  17. Well…at least Frenchy’s ejection prevented him from having the opportunity to go for his SIXTH! strikeout of the night.

  18. I’ve officially given up on the season. I’m bailing on my previous “keep hoping” stance pretty quickly, but I just can’t keep hoping with games like this. We’re done; hopefully we’ll learn how to close out a freaking game and be better next year.

  19. I hope someone like Chipper chews Francoeur out in the clubhouse. So stupid. So freaking stupid.

    I feel bad for Smoltz and Chipper—they deserve better.

  20. Just a mild correction on Mac’s write-up:

    Rather than saying that 1-run games are mostly a tossup, it’s more accurate to say that Sabermetrics hasn’t found anything that it can say does influence long-run performance in 1-run games.

    To me, it seems like things such as bullpen ERA (overall ERA as well as variance amongst pitchers), bullpen HR rates, and stuff like that would be relevant to some degree, but I haven’t really seen any literature on it.

    All this is to say that it’s not 100% accurate to say that Sabermetrics says that 1-run outcomes are random chance. Rather, we should say that they haven’t found anything to indicate that it isn’t.

  21. Loyalty to players at the expense of common sense will kill you everytime. I’ve never been a Bobby basher, but there is absolutely no reason to:

    1) Keep on starting Willie Harris over Diaz
    2) Keep Woodward on the team,
    3) Keep pitching Yates (even though he lucked up tonight and got out of trouble),
    4) Bring back Orr (although tonight was not his fault)

    I’m one of the few around here it seems that likes Francoeur, but Cox needs to bench him tomorrow. His temper cost us the game and he needs to cool off for a day or so. All in all, if Cox can’t change a few things, I would just as soon see him retire as a hero before it’s too late.

  22. td,
    i have been one who has said more than a word or two in criticism of jeff, and tonight was his worst night at the plate in a long time. yes his temper really cost us, and you know it only bubbled up out of frustration and wanting to help the team by getting a hit. you can really tell that frenchy wants to put this team on his shoulders and carry them to a win, but he’s just not there yet. he let his emotions get the best of him and it hurt the team. let’s hope he rubs some dirt on it and walks it off, because if this team finds a way to stay in it, their gonna need him.

  23. Our pitching generally is keeping us in it in extra innings.

    It seems like a lot of games, when getting to extras, are getting to the 11th and beyond. We just can’t score in extras, ever, for some bizarre reason.

  24. Oh, and our bench is the worst in the majors right now, and management seems to want it that way.

  25. I know most of you remember when Cox yanked Andruw several years ago for not hustling in the OF. As I recall, his play improved and Cox never had to do that again. I believe that was a great lesson learned. I think the same learning opportunity exists with Franceour.

    By the way, we have 4 AAA players and 1 to 2 AA players that could play the same basic positions as Woodward and Orr and can hit and most likely field better than either of them (Prado, Lilliridge, Holt and Timmons in AAA come to mind – Hernandez in AA is also doing well).

  26. Not that it excuses his idiocy tonight, but let’s keep in mind that Francoeur has played every inning of every game this year so far. He’s tired and frustrated and is still having a better year than last year. He’s 23 and still learning.
    MAYBE HE NEEDS A DAMN DAY OFF, BOBBY. You sit Chipper and McCann and freaking .350-hitting Diaz all the time. Why not your young and overly aggressive right fielder?
    Manage the damn team. He’s exhausted. He’s not going to TELL you that the way Chipper and the other guys do b/c he’s hot-headed and cocky. It’s your job as his manager to realize this and give him a freaking break.

  27. Orr had the better play on that ball, but he did the right thing. A scrub bench player playing out of position has to defer to an All-Star Gold Glove centerfielder if the centerfielder calls for it. Maybe Andruw should have let Pete try to catch it, but Andruw nearly caught it anyway. He probably did the right thing too. It just didn’t work out. The real error was on Francoeur. When has arguing with an ump ever accomplished anything? He should be sat down for a day and fined for costing his team a crucial win. Leave the hysterics for Bobby. Bobby sucks at field managing anyway so it doesn’t even matter if he gets ejected. Francoeur can’t be. Win 1, lose 1. This team is going nowhere.

  28. Willy Harris should start to be thinking like Owen Wilson. I’m not mad at Pete Orr. I dont really think Jeffrey should have been thrown out of the game. Can we go ahead and admit we’ll miss the Wild Card by 10 games. When they go to extras I am just going to start turning off the tv. As it is now I watch and my dog doesn’t sleep well after all the things I yell at everyone.

  29. I expect 82-83 wins which will end up being like 5-6 games out of the wild card and 7-9 in the division.

  30. Ben,

    That’s going too far. Suicide = not funny. And his name is spelled W-i-l-l-i-e.

    And I agree that Francoeur should be on the bench today, consecutive games streak be damned.

    td at #37 pretty much sums up my thoughts.

  31. The Braves are like schoolyard bullies. They beat up on real bad pitching but when the other team puts up any fight, the Braves shrink away in fear. It’s time to stop blaming the bullpen for everything; this vaunted offense isn’t so great either. FRankly, this team doesn’t seem to have much fortitude.

    The thing about one-run games is that some games shouldn’t be one-run games. If you lead 5-0 and end up winning 5-4, that counts as a one-run game. In that sense, the results are pretty random. But, the Braves have played a lot of games that shouldn’t have been one-run games, like this one. When you don’t score runs after the fifth inning in most games, it’s hard to see how you are going to win close games regardless of how well the bullpen pitches.

    One other thing about the randomness of one-run games. I accept that there is non season-to-season pattern but within seasons, it’s obvious that some teams win a lot of close games and others lose them. I have to believe confidence plays some role–the more you win, the more you expect to win and the more relaxed you are. Conversely, when you keep losing them, you expect to lose. I saw Chipper’s face after he hit the HR to tie the game and it looked like he was thinking, oh shit, here’s another game we are going to lose late. The team is frustrated, probably trying too hard and waiting for bad things to happen. That’s understandable. What I can’t accept it the utter inconsistency of the offense, scoring 13 runs one night and then struggling the next.

    This team has not come together all year; has never had a really good stretch not just this year but for the last two years. The players talk a lot about how good this team is, but increasingly it’s just empty rhetoric. Everything that happens to this team is completely predictable every night. If they get way ahead, they win, otherwise, they have no shot. This probably isn’t fair, but Bobby has gotten nothing out of an admittedly flawed but talented team. Maybe too many middle-class Georgia boys on the team. (: (And the next crop just won the LLWS.)

    At this point, the Braves are a marginal playoff contender at best. They have a chance to make some hay if they get hot, but, the Padres are five games ahead and they look like they are heating up. Maybe the Braves will make it next year when they aren’t on TBS.

  32. I remember my first revelation from Bill James – that great teams don’t play many one-run games at all. They just beat up the other teams and win by 4-5.

    I’ve decided that I am pulling for Hudson to win 20, and for Chipper to get hot and win the batting title. Anything else is gravy, but I’m not expecting/wasting time on it. (Yes, I’m talking about you, Mr. Wild Card).

  33. To follow up on Seat Painter’s point, even during the glory years, the Braves record in one-run and extra inning games wasn’t normally that great. But, of course, they won most of the other games that weren’t close.

    BTW, the Braves have now clinched a fourth consecutive non-winning month.

  34. In SEC news:

    Alabama will now be without its starting NT, who went down with a broken ankle yesterday. Kinda damaging for that new 3-4 scheme.

    For those who haven’t already jumped on the Vandy-over-Bama bandwagon, here’s another chance.

  35. Nose tackle was going to be a problem anyway, because there was no experience coming back. Motley was already hurt and missing time with a hand injury, and Lorenzo Washington (who is really more of a 4-3 DT) was likely going to start the year as the starter.

  36. I like Seat Painter’s approach to the rest of the season: root for strong finishes from individual Braves. I am certainly pulling for Chipper, Hudson, Smoltz and some strong performances by the younger Braves–including Frenchy who should be benched.

    My fear is that JS will think that the Braves are still competitive and make another deal (Belise for Mercker) to rent players that cannot make a difference….

  37. I doubt JS will do that. I suspect he is realist enough to recognize that the playoffs are a real long-shot at this point.

  38. I hope you are right. By the way, over the last couple of months I think that you have hit the nail on the head (in more than one posting) when you observed that the Braves were limited by their inability to go on long or even relatively long winning streaks….

  39. I’ve got to echo the sentiments of Seat Painter. On the bright side I won’t get as upset when we loose anymore. I just want to see Chipper get the batting title and Hudson get 20 wins.

    Oh and for SEC fans, I remember earlier folks were writing SEC previews. I wrote a season prospectus for Ole Miss’s upcoming season if you care to see how bad an Ole Miss season ticket holder thinks the Rebels will be.
    http://wookieonsports.blogspot.com/2007/08/are-you-ready-for-some-football.html

  40. My goal for the rest of the Braves season is to see the Dawgs at 5-0.

    Saw Joba Chamberlain again last night and it was probably the most electric moment at Yankee Stadium all year.

    I was excited to see him face Ortiz & Manny, but Ramirez got hurt in his previous AB & we got Eric Hinske instead. Results were predictable.

    So far, he’s: 10 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 17 K, 0 R. His slider is just unfair.

  41. Stu,

    I hate to burst your bubble on Vandy, but I just still cannot look at their schedule and think this team is going to do much of anything. I think Bobby Johnson may be the most underrated coach in CFB, and if they played in another conference I could see them doing a little more.

    The game was dreadful. I think it was safe to say everyone saw that ending coming. Chipper looked to be in terrible pain during some of his swings.

  42. 60. Jorgbacca,

    I am going to an Ole Miss game this season. Any advice on where to tailgate and hang out before the game? What about afterwards?

  43. Oh the season is still going on?

    -Harris is still starting?

    -Harris, Johnson, and Francouer pick perfect times to slump

    This is average at best…I believe when they go into extra innings, every player on the team gets a lump in their throat.

    This has not been a terrible season managerial wise for BC. His loyalty to his players will cost him yet again.

  44. Kenny,

    You aren’t bursting my bubble. I have no reason to give your opinion on the matter much weight. If all you’re looking at is the schedule, you obviously haven’t looked too closely at the situation, anyway.

    That’s not to say you won’t be proven right. It won’t exactly shock me if my boys fail to meet my expectations. Still, this is easily the best Vanderbilt team I’ve ever seen, and the schedule is actually in our favor—as much as it can be, anyway—this year, so I remain optimistic that we’ll be in a bowl.

    My team preview should be submitted to Mac before Saturday, BTW, for all of you waiting on pins and needles for Vanderbilt projections. :)

  45. ububba,
    I was a non-believer. How can tailgating be any different under an oak grove than anywhere else? I had been to Auburn and Alabama and Tennessee and South Carolina and here and there, I’d seen good tailgating. But mercy, they have the grove. Chandeliers at every tailgate. It’s amazing. They eat off china. Yeah, it puts dixie cups and foam plates to shame.

  46. Ububba, is he actually named after Jabba the Hutt?

    When I first saw his name I figured it was pronounced “Joe-buh,” but either way it sure as hell is nothing I’ve ever heard before. I know he has Native American lineage; is that where the name comes from?

  47. I just added it up. I’ve seen football games in 21 different southern cities.

    Not bad. I’m making it #22 on Friday.

  48. I go to Nebraska where Joba pitched. He was dominant in the 2005 season when he led us to the CWS but mediocre to good in his ’06 year. After he started annihilating teams it didn’t take long for people to change from JOBE-uh to Jawbuh. Out of high school I guess nobody really wanted him so he ended up at DII Nebraska-Kearney and transferred to UNL after a season. I never really knew he could get it over 100 as he was a starter throughout his UNL career.

  49. Stu,

    I am looking forward to reading it, and even more to the game on the 8th. Since the Braves have been so awful over the last month I have been even more excited about starting college football than usual.

  50. Joba was a mispronunciation of Justin by his niece, I think. He legally changed his name to Joba. He’s from the Winnebago tribe.

    He’s become a folk hero up here. It’s like FernandoMania or something.

  51. I’m not that disgruntled – except on the Diaz thing – but I kind of hate SEC and Yankee talk too.

  52. Ububba,

    Will they soon be protesting the use of the name Winnebago by the motor home company?

    I had forgotten that that [tribe] ETHNIC GROUP had survived to modern times.

  53. Dodgers Receive Loaiza On Waiver Claim
    Given the $8MM+ owed to 35 year-old starter Esteban Loaiza, Billy Beane chose to hand him over to the Dodgers solely for salary relief. The Dodgers basically inherit Loaiza on a one-year, $7MM deal for 2008, which is less than he’d cost on the open market. If healthy he’s a more than credible fourth starter. He had great success for the Nationals in the NL back in ’05.

    thoughts??? seems somewhat cheap for next year, been battling injuries though

  54. 64 Kenny

    Obviously the place to tailgate it the grove.
    (Well unless you’re a visiting LSU fan. They always seem to take over one of the parking lots because its more like home for them.)

    If you want a very nice meal its hard to top City Grocery. Can be hard to get in though on game weekends.

    My favorite place to eat and get a beer is Ajax diner on the square. Very reasonably priced country soul food. Most of the bars are all located right there around the square. Murff’s and the Long Shot are fun. If you want a dance club the Library is the place to go. The Library also opened up a sports bar next door.

    Oh yeah. I’m going to Nashville for their game against Vandy to visit my mom’s family and completely expect Vandy to beat the Rebels.

  55. Thoughts on Loaiza – It’s too late for him to save us.

    Seriously, I would rather see Cormier and Reyes get innings.

  56. 84 Jorgbacca

    Sounds great, I have heard great things about the Grove and am looking forward to going. I am not an LSU fan, though I know exactly what you mean. I heard the City Grocery has shrimp grits which are one of my favorite dishes. I will be up in Nashville this weekend. It is an awesome town and a lot of fun. I hope you have a good time, and thanks for the advice.

  57. Well, as a loyal ACC man (North Carolina ’86), I will tell all the Vandy faithful that miracles do happen. I mean, before last year, who would’ve EVER had Wake Forest in a BCS game?

    (C’mon, November….we get to play Duke and win our annual one game).

  58. Wake’s path last year was significantly easier than ours will be—I’m just hoping for 6 or 7 wins.

    We do play the Deamon Deacons this year, though. Should be an interesting game.

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