Nats 6, Braves 3

ESPN – Braves vs. Nationals – Box Score – April 29, 2008

Ecch. Not that I needed anything else to make me tired of the f-ing Nats. I think half their wins are against us. Of course, nearly half their games have been, seemingly.

First, the good news: Chipper and Escobar were back in the lineup, so hopefully Lillibridge can go back to middle school AAA. Tom Glavine is also back, taking Smoltz’s place on the roster. Glavine did great, he went six and gave up two runs on six hits, one walk, and two strikeouts. You can’t ask for anything more from him.

The Braves still trailed 2-1 entering the sixth, but Chipper hit a solo homer to tie it. The Braves had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the seventh, runners first and third, none out, but couldn’t get a run home. Then the Nats exploded for four runs off of Blaine Boyer, two of them Grybos by Campillo. (Hey, that rhymes!) The Braves got a run in with two still on with one out in the ninth, but Escobar struck out and Chipper got under a pitch he almost hammered.

I have nothing more.

38 thoughts on “Nats 6, Braves 3”

  1. Did everyone see where Smoltz said he would be willing to return to the closer role? Also, here is another sign Hampton won’t pitch this year (from the AJC):

    The oft-injured lefty is recovering from a strained left pectoral (chest) muscle, and said he could still feel some discomfort where he was injured.

  2. the saga of the .500 Braves continues.

    I hate to say it, but the nucleus of this team might need to be broken up….KJ, Frenchy, McCann, etc…

  3. So, here’s my Bill James paper. I’m not really happy with it — the length (15 pages) was a problem. It’s a paper that really needs to be either ten pages or twenty. It’s for a general audience, so a lot of it’s pretty basic, and it focuses on him as a writer/self-publisher because of the nature of the class.

    If you read it, you can watch this non-Phil Collinsian video.

  4. Mike, if Devine is still with the Braves, his line would be 9.1 ERA, 1 IP, and 8 bbs…just my humble opinion.

    I think the kid seriously needs to change team to be successful. To bad for the Braves, just not meant to be. It was a poor pick to begin with when they could have picked Ramus instead. Of course, we drafted his brother the following year…

  5. What are yalls thoughts on some of the veterans calling a closed door team meeting early on in the year to change the mediocre rhythm of this young season. I say do it now so people are aware that the Braves are not satisfied with playing near .500.

    Smoltz on the DL – he’s 41. He cannot be expected to last forever. Him, Glavine, and Hudson need to coach the rest of the staff to offset the top side of the rotation.

    I wanna see Chipper getting on to all the other guys about clutch hitting. He has built a career on clutch hitting and that needs to be replicated throughout the team. Our .280 avg is NOTHING if we don’t hit when it counts. Teams can hit .250 and still be clutch.

    Tomorrow better be different…

  6. Great idea, shoaib, but the Braves don’t do that kind of stuff. Chipper/Smoltz et al don’t usually get riled up about things. Sure wish someone would, though. This team’s going nowhere.

  7. …shoaib, or Bobby can start kicking bases around the diamond like Lou to fire the team up…that would be fun to watch…

  8. #1

    I just saw that, but I’m not in favor of it. I remember Smoltz saying in 2004 that the unpredictable pitching schedule made his arm hurt worse. Plus, that would be a lot of good innings we’d lose that would have to come from another starter.

    Furthermore, him saying that makes me think that he may be pondering retirement at the end of the season.

  9. The Braves have had teams in the past that seemed to thrive on coming back in the latter innings. It seemed to be related to desire more than luck and they were a lot of fun to watch. Unfortunately, it seems with this team that you might as well turn them off if they’re trailing after the 6th inning. Let’ s hope something/ someone turns that around.

  10. Apparently Jo-Jo is slated to start Saturday with Lillibridge going back to AAA.

    Hampton is scheduled to pitch May 10, FWIW.

  11. Speaking of Jo-Jo, he lasted just 2 innings tonight and gave up 2 runs. I hope he didn’t hurt himself.

  12. I blame Boyer tonight. He’s got the stuff but his location often seems terrible. Like the 2-2 fastball to Zimmerman leading to two runs. Boyer is just very mediocre in my view.

  13. Mac, when you cycle back around to the “A” video of the day, might I suggest….

    Kind of how I’m feeling about the Braves with the news that Smoltz is headed to the DL. If you can last till the end, it’s worth it to see the Swedish Mr. Rogers present the girls with flowers.

  14. I understand what njbravesfan is saying at #2, but it is too early for such a thing. If the entire season goes like this, then I would make a shake up move, but that will happen naturally with the amount of retirements we will have, Glavine and Smoltz are almost definite, Hampton will be shot and made into glue, Kotsay wont be here…

  15. #23, and Tex is going to go with free agency…

    I actually think we’ll see them just start rebuilding if Smoltz retires this year, and give Chipper/Hudson a couple more years trying to keep the team near .500 before Chipper retires. With our limited salary we’re probably going to have to “rebuild” at some point… We’ve got enough talent coming up to be a mediocre team for several years to come, and maybe we’ll get Rockies lucky and have a breakout season here or there.

    This is sadly going to be the reality of Braves baseball for the next 10 years I’d imagine. Not as depressing as the 70s/80s, but not nearly as nice as the 90s either. Mostly a series of years floating near .500 with an occasional shot at the wild-card (though we’ll soon have 3 teams in our division able to outspend us and those wild-card years will probably be further between them than we’d like).

  16. @8
    while the braves games are terribly frustrating to watch, i hardly think a meeting is gonna help. they need their starters on the field, a good infusion of “clutch” at the plate…and a relief staff that throws strikes for outs not runs.
    i have to say Glavine has been solid so far, as has Kotsay which is more than i hoped.
    mac, the lillibridge comment is great.

  17. If Smoltz goes back to closer, then who moves into the rotation? I don’t buy that Hampton will ever pitch in Atlanta again. Reyes? Maybe he’ll do okay as the 5th starter but he can’t replace Smoltz. Aren’t Soriano and Gonzalez coming back soon anyway? I’d rather Smoltz just take whatever time he needs to rehab his tendonitis. I had the exact same thing several years ago, and it can take quite a while to recover from. I’m not sure that pitching every other day in relief would be better for him than once every 5 days.

  18. #2

    I’m sorry, but getting rid of young, productive, affordable regular players isn’t the solution to anything. We need more durable starting pitchers — to me, that is the beginning, middle, and end of it. That’s where our discretionary $$ need to be spent.

  19. Mac,
    What’s the paper for?

    Strange, I woke up today, flipped on the TV & there I was on Sports Center. Yikes. Who needs that with your coffee?

    Last night at Shea, a cute little red-haired kid sitting 2 rows behind me in the LF bleachers ended up with Jason Bay’s HR ball. These morons in the section implored him to throw the ball back onto the field, which he did (just barely). The whole thing was on TV.

    Another near-freezing outing in Flushing. Man, that place can get cold.

  20. I am (slowly, awkwardly) working towards my doctorate, part-time. The class is on the “literary small press”, but I was able to fudge the boundaries a little.

  21. so i’m guessing that is smoltzy is offering to move to closer then he’s finished after this year. that will be a tough one to swallow.

    ububba,
    did you happen to check out the monotonix when they came thru ? ef’n crazy show.

  22. Mac, I’m glad you relayed the Enos Cabell story — that was quintessential Bill James. It was exhilarating to read in the time it was published. I believe I’ve read every book he wrote, cover-to-cover, from 1982-1998 or so — any ability I have to think critically (on any topic, not just baseball) begins with having read his stuff.

  23. sansho1,
    I’m in a similar boat. Been reading James since the early ’80s Abstracts. It’s always fostered the “Why?” and “Why not?”

    beedee,
    Missed ’em. I think they played in Brooklyn, right?

    But it’s always amusing when bands outside the US take the garage-rock template & jack it up with their newfound enthusiasm for the genre. I was kind of heartened when The Hives made it over here.

  24. i think the played the a couple in manhattan proper …i’ve been stuck traveling. maybe the ballory?
    here’s one for a slow wednesday

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