Braves 5, Padres 3

ESPN – Padres vs. Braves – Box Score – May 06, 2008

Huh. So Kotsay pretty much beat the heck out of his old team tonight. In the second inning, he singled home Francoeur, then scored from first on a double when the left fielder Pradoed the ball to the wall instead of cutting it off. (If you missed it: Prado, v, “To commit a Prado”. Prado, n. “an egregious misplay that is not scored an error for some reason.” KJ, in tribute to the fallen Prado, had two of them tonight.) In the third, Chipper hit a two-run homer, after which the Padres decided they’d just walk him every time, and in the fourth Kotsay hit a solo homer. He also had a great play in center, taking a double away running back and towards left field, which probably saved at least one run (there was a runner at first and none out, and the Padres got a hit later in the inning).

Jair Jurrjens didn’t need a whole lot of help — other than, you know, catching the ball when it’s hit right at you, Kelly — after giving up a run in the first. He went six, struck out eight, and walked only one. Kid’s pitching well. Will Ohman, used to pitch a whole inning rather than as a specialist, gave up two runs in the seventh to cut it to 5-3. One of the runs really should have been scored unearned, because KJ made an obvious error to allow the leadoff man to reach. I guess the official scorer misses Prado, too.

Meanwhile, the Braves went into Hibernation Mode again against Glendon Rusch, shutdown long reliever, and couldn’t do anything. Boyer had no problems in the eighth other than the tiny voice in his head that questioned if he really should be pitching in every game coming off of a major shoulder injury. Manny Acosta, however, gave up two hits and got only one out. Ring came in to get a lefty, and Bennett got the final out for the save. This means that he is now a Proven Closer™ and is now worth a five year contract averaging $8.2 million a season. Or maybe not. I never did figure out how that works.

86 thoughts on “Braves 5, Padres 3”

  1. Reposted from last thread:

    mraver, my problem and I believe everybody’s regarding Boyer’s use was not specifically with tonight’s usage, just his usage this year to this point. The Braves are not going to have any reliable relievers here pretty quickly if Boyer keeps pitching as often as he has and he and Acosta pitches days that they don’t need to, etc.

  2. Nice win.

    In other news, this year’s version of the Mark Redman Experiment is rapidly circling the drain….

  3. Hey Mac…how you liking Mark Kotsay now?

    I’d venture to say he’s more than serviceable.

  4. I had no idea Glendon Rusch was back in the league. I guess the Braves helped him stayed employeed for a few more weeks.

    Kotsay? What can you say? I doubt it will last but you take it while you can get it.

  5. Tiger224, I’d still rather have 4+ years of Devine, Blanco in CF, and Diaz/Brandon Jones/whoever else in left and $2 million, but Kotsay has been mildly better than I expected, but let’s wait until July or August to see if he’s still healthy. As Dennis Green said, “if you wanna crown his ass, then crown his ass,” but I’m not ready to quite yet.

  6. I love Jair Jurrjens.

    I can’t adequately express how much I love him. I’m mancrushing on him and Yunel Escobar so much that it’s completely unhealthy.

  7. jj3bagger, I’m not crowning anyone yet. But, as we all know, the move was made for THIS year. And we the aging stars and key contracts this year…it has arguably paid off thus far.

    Now, if we can add a vet arm to the rotation and catch a freakin’ break on preventing any further injuries to the pitching staff…I like our chances AND the Kotsay trade.

  8. Mac, you have it going again tonight. Awesome and entertaining recap!

    We should also assign an abbreviation for “Prado”. Since P and PO are taken, we should assign “PR” for any Prado play. Should the run be earned or unearned if a Prado is involved? Wait, Mac does not believe in unearned runs so that is not an issue.

    Good win tonight. Our season largely depends on Jurrjens’s ability to maintain his current form, so great job JJ!

    We used to have the Jones boys, now we have the JJ and JoJo combo in the rotation.

  9. AAR, it’s not totally unhealthy. The two are two of the biggest reasons why the team is actually above .500 right now!!! I can not believe the team is one game above .500. How did that happen?

  10. Wow. To further articulate how bad Prado is defensively, John Kruk just made an example out of Prado for how not to take a relay from an outfielder. He was right too; he had some fundamentally BAD footwork. I’ve never played a day of middle infield, and even I know that your momentum should be taking you to the base you’re throwing to while you’re receiving the throw. Dadgum, Prado…

  11. AAR, how about Chipper? No love for the man who is playing his best baseball at the age of 36?

  12. Rob, Prado’s weaknesses in defense has been very surprising to me because he came through the minor perceived as a good gloveman…while in fact he is even worse than KJ…terrible…

  13. Wow, A-Rod’s wife (ex-wife?) is really trying to bury this guy. First the shirt, next dissing his manhood on television. What a shrew…

  14. kc, yeah, it’s surprising. His whole rap, I thought, was that he was a good glove guy. But, in fact, he’s… bad. Very bad. He is a good hitting middle infielder, though…

  15. @11

    Yeah, I just saw this. You know your defense is bad when John Kruk is criticizing you. 6-8 weeks, you will not be missed.

  16. Rob…actually, may I amend your comment to “a good hitting BACKUP middle infielder”?

  17. KC, believe me, I’m loving me some Chipper Jones. As I’ve said before, I actually like him better now than I ever used to before. But Yunel and JJ, I’m adopting them while they’re young. Chipper’s the elder statesman, so I love him — Smoltz too, obviously — but I’m not exactly mancrushing on him the same way.

    Does that make sense?

  18. I understand AAR. Me too, my appreciation on Chipper has taken to a whole new level…approaching my love on Maddux.

  19. I keed, of course. I’m loving JJ and Esco. Two smart and fun-to-watch ballplayers. What’s not to crush on?

  20. Prado’s FPCT (note: does not consider PRs)

    2003 – 2B, Rk – .986 (47 games)
    2003 – 3B, Rk – .923 (14 games)
    2004 – 2B, LoA – .978 (101 games)
    2005 – 2B, HiA – .974 (72 games)
    2005 – 2B, AA – .989 (39 games)
    2006 – 2B, MLB – .976 (11 games)
    2006 – 3B, MLB – .857 (8 games)
    2007 – 2B, MLB – .941 (10 games)
    2007 – 3B, MLB – 1.000 (9 games)

    For some reason, The Cube does not have AAA fielding stats.

  21. @22 Me too, kc. The Maddog will always be the baddest MF on the block, for me. But, as much as I’ve reluctantly given Chipper his props in the past, I’m totally respecting him on a new level this year. That guy is Mr. TCB.

  22. Quote from Norton himself: “I wouldn’t say I play any [position] well,” he said. “I’m in the big leagues because I can hit, and because I can go a few days without hitting and still have a quality at-bat.”

    That’s a pretty poor self assessment…

  23. DOB is predicting Infante will join the team this weekend and Chucky will be called up for this Saturday.

  24. My guess will be Buddy…of course I want them to release Resop…not sure how they will fit Infante into the roster…

  25. Call up Chuck to replace Resop, call up Stockman and replace Buddy, call up Infante and replace Miller – thats what I would do

    what will happen – Chuck will replace Buddy, Infante will replace Pena and he’ll get released

  26. Carlyle from the pitching staff and I’m afraid Gotay DFA’d. Or I guess we could send Reyes back down if we want instead of Carlyle. What should we do? DFA Resop (hell, he might even clear waivers) and DFA/option Corky (I’m not sure whether or not he has any options left).

  27. Surely we could get something of minimal value in a trade for Brayan Pena. I’m probably giving Wren too much credit, but surely if we were gonna just waive him, we’d have done it by now.

  28. Corky’s a veteran, long out of options, but would clear waivers easily. There’s a reason that he was signed to a AAA contract. And yes, I’m hearing Gotay would get the axe, which is just stupid.

  29. I can’t help feeling there is another trade coming down the pipeline. Things are definitely going to be shaken up on the periphery over the next few weeks.

  30. If that’s what we do, that trade for Norton was quite possibly the most pointless endeavor in the history of all pointless endeavors. Norton had damn well better at least be slightly superior to Gotay, or it’s already time to call the men in white coats to come get Wren. Even if all we give up is cash, that’s still quite an egregious waste of perfectly good cash.

  31. The Norton trade is separate from any future trade, IMHO.

    I don’t know, it just seems like something is coming down the pike.

  32. I like Gotay and I hope he stays with the team. It seems like no one wants Bryan Pena, but I would send Corky down.

  33. I don’t think anyone here prefers Corky to Pena, and since Pena has been the team’s primary pinch-hitter (14 times) and has done well in the job (4-14 with a double and a walk — remember the bat-around the other day) I’m pretty sure the team will keep him. I’m afraid it’s Gotay.

  34. I wouldn’t “hate” cutting Gotay loose. He certainly hasn’t knocked me out. But that’s just me.

  35. Wow, we cannot catch a break in the pitching injuries. Is this possibly the “McDowell Effect?”

  36. Anyone notice Andruw batting in the #2 spot tonight? He actually has a hit too, amazing.

  37. Tom L, FYI Furcal was a late scratch so they moved Pierre up a spot and had Hu hit in Andruw’s eighth spot, thus leaving Andruw at the #2 hole. They’ve actually hit him second a couple of times this year, but I wouldn’t look for it too much in the future.

  38. Well, the Mets bite the dust again.

    And I saw Joba blow his first game tonight (as in cough up a game in which he was leading). Guess he’s human after all. Most of the Yank folk thought he was an android or something.

    Of course, it’s always nice to see your team leading & winning on the out-of-town scoreboard. What would we do without Jurrjens?

  39. Ledezma is pitching on Thursday night instead of Germano. Bud Black is recognizing how terrible the Braves are in hitting lefties.

  40. What a terrible night for the Braves minor league teams…they all lost and there were absolutely no bright spots…none…

  41. Fredo Ledezma? Certainly the Braves can score some runs off him. It’ll be a good test of their recently improving selectivity at the plate. Fredo has no control.

  42. Great recap, Mac. Very funny.
    The last games proved there was hope but I cannot help but wonder about the starting rotation sans Smoltz. It looks really rather weak to me. Glavine will have some good games but also his share of starts where he gets roughed up. He is no #2 starter anymore. You never know what to expect from Huddy either. Jurrjens has been terrific. Can he keep it up?

  43. everytime you warm up a guy in the pen it takes a toll on him. i dont know why campillo didnt pitch? and nothing like your long reliever doubling as your closer. but running through guys might be why were so bad in 1 run games (both this year and in the past few). And I like Bobby Cox but thats game management. And thats a Bobby problem.

  44. It was a tough night for the farm. In fact, it just about amazes me how many of our upper level prospects have struggled: Kala, Pope, Lillibridge and Thorman are off to bad starts. Where is Eric Campbell?

    At least Heyward, Freeman, and a couple of others have been bright lights.

    With respect to pitchers, I really thought that Parr would have a good year. Cuevas is out and Medlen has not been as strong as we might have hoped.

    Morton, Hanson, Heath, Barrett have been great and a good number should get better, but it really seems like the farm this year is feast or famine…

  45. Brad, I’ve had my criticism for Bobby this year, but last night he made the right moves in the pen.

    I might guarantee Boyer the night off tonight, though.

  46. Regarding Prado’s rather surprising lack of defensive acumen — while we can (and do) ridicule him for it, his struggles indicate a possible problem in our minor league instruction. Prado was supposed to be a glove guy, yet it’s clear that he is not. The type of mistakes that we see him making (diving over the top of balls, bad momentum on relays) are mistakes of fundamentals, not lack of athleticism. Five-plus years in the system playing second base almost exclusively should yield a better-trained product.

    Anyway, I hope he sticks with the big club after his DL-stint, because Glenn Hubbard might be just the guy he needs. I’ve said (as self-designated MPOAIATW (TM)*) for two years that I think Prado can be a better defensive version of Jeff Treadway, but maybe he’s just Jeff Treadway…

    *Martin Prado’s Only Advocate In All The World

  47. I still think that it’s how certain pitchers are managed now that will tell the story for July-September. I’ll be the first to admit that my criticism of the Kotsay signing and Diaz platoon were, at least so far, not on the mark. But I maintain that the bullpen management continues to be poor, especially in light of where the Braves will be in a couple months. Of course, if Smoltz heads to the pen the conversation will switch, in all likelihood, to the rotation, but I worry about Boyer–just as others have worried about Soriano and Moylan before him.

  48. I am also far happier with Kotsay than I thought I might be, but with his history of back trouble, it makes sense to reserve judgement on him for now.

    The point thas sansho1 makes about the teaching of fielding techniques is an interesting one–the Braves have not been adequately impressed with their own glove men. Luis Hernandez was not protected (while the Braves kept T.J. Bohn on their 40 man roster) and Tony Pena Jr. was dealt away.

    FWIW, I still think that Prado will develop into a decent middle infielder….

  49. Kotsay might not hold up but given his present performance and Andruw’s utter falling off the planet it’s hard not to conclude that the Braves are getting a helluva lot more value than the Dodgers.

    The Braves organization might not be good at a lot of things but it seems to be good at knowing when to cut guys loose. After seeing Renteria try to play shortstop the other night, as much as I like him, it looks like they traded him at peak value. Brilliant trade, whether by JS or Wren.

  50. Seriously, the recaps here are the best anywhere. You get all the pertinent information and always a couple chuckles.

    I don’t care who the wins are against, it is just nice to see a little streak get started.

  51. there is no way, absolutely no way, that the Braves can feel that Miller is worth keeping around over Gotay. I havent even been impressed with Gotay either, but Miller cant catch and cant hit. He has no value to us or anyone else. If Sammons can now hit, Miller should be about 3rd in line for the backup catcher role

  52. So, with luck, our staff on June 1 will look like?

    Hudson
    Jirrjens
    Glavine
    Reyes
    James/Hampton

    Smoltz
    Gonzalez
    Boyer
    Campillo
    Ohman
    Resop
    Bennett
    Ring

    Is that correct?

  53. Kotsay might not hold up but given his present performance and Andruw’s utter falling off the planet it’s hard not to conclude that the Braves are getting a helluva lot more value than the Dodgers.

    Definitely true, but I don’t think this is the issue. Andruw was gone, no matter what we did to fill CF. The issue seems to be whether playing Blanco in CF and keeping Devine and the other guy and $2 million would have been better than getting Kotsay to fill CF. IMO, although Kotsay’s been very good, the one can still take issue with that trade, especially given Blanco’s performance. Hindsight’s 20/20, of course.

    there is no way, absolutely no way, that the Braves can feel that Miller is worth keeping around over Gotay.

    Totally agree. What in the world is going on? Miller is never even used! If Mac is right—and I obviously have no reason to doubt him—I will be somewhat upset. (I won’t be too upset, because this is only a last-guy-on-the-bench roster spot we’re talking about and not too big a deal either way, but it will indicate some front office craziness.)

  54. Seatpainter,

    That’s 13 pitchers. We’ll likely only have 12. Resop is the clear choice for odd man out, but it will probably be Campillo.

    PS: LOL re: Hampton

  55. I really don’t understand Miller taking a roster position when we have Pena. All logic defies this as being a possibility. However, Bobby does not always rely on logic.

  56. I understand why Miller has been kept to this point. The early off-days has allowed McCann to start nearly every game, but you still need a backup, and Pena has been pinch-hitting a lot due to injuries to other backups. You can’t just cavalierly send your only backup catcher in to pinch hit all the time — Cox is hardly alone in knowing that. Once everyone is healthy, the weather get warmer, and we have fewer off-days, then Pena should become the backup catcher and Miller DFA’d. If it doesn’t happen then, I’ll start complaining.

  57. Bobby really does not like Pena’s catching.
    Wren will defer to Bobby on the back up catcher issue.

    They may be waiting to option Sammons up after the magic arb and free agency date (around June 10). If catching well is the issue, then go with Sammons and be done with it.

    Another side benefit of catching Pena, if we got lucky and he was o.k. for a game, that might trigger a trade.

  58. i know we all think that Hanson needs AT LEAST 3 more minor league seasons before he is our future #1…

    but would the braves rush him like the tigers did verlander?

  59. I agree with you Sansho but I really, really doubt that they will DFA Miller. Bobby likes having a defensive back up no matter how pathetic they are offensively. This brings up another point, of having the back up always catch the same pitcher. That makes no sense to me either; why wouldn’t you want the back up to be familiar with the entire staff? If you had a back up who was good hit, no field, you probably wouldn’t want him catching the same guy every start, but that doesn’t seem to me any different than having the same guy lose so much offense every time he starts.

    Stu,

    I did misstate what I meant to some extent. There were people advocating paying Andruw whatever or offering arbitration to keep him another year. At least in hindsight, that would have been a big mistake.

  60. Hudson
    Jirrjens
    Glavine
    Reyes
    James/I meant Hamton the Pig from the Warner Bros. Tiny Toons, not Mike Hampton. Sorry, my ‘p’ key has been misbehaving.

  61. here are some impressive numbers on a new edition of “if they were to keep up this pace”:

    francoeur: 63 doubles and 104 rbi
    chipper: 52 hr 150 rbi 250+ hits
    escobar: 109 runs
    mccann: 30 hr 90 rbi
    hudson and jurrjens: 21 wins each with an era under 3.
    lets hope that each player can keep up this pace and tex can start putting some good numbers together.

  62. Having an all-defense/no-offense backup catcher has never struck me as worthwhile. Our everyday catcher is pretty poor defensively (although he has improved a bit this year), so you’re telling me that we can’t handle Brayan Pena behind the plate once a week so that we don’t have a black hole in the lineup on those days? It’s mindless. An in-his-prime Eddie Perez or a Charlie O’Brien (or even, arguably, Henry Blanco) who can hit up to .250 and occasionally get you a big hit while playing excellent defense is one thing, a .150 hitting Corky Miller is something else.

    @64, hindsight is 20/20, but I still believe that anybody who thinks that Joey Devine was gonna get his head together and all of a sudden become a vital cog in our bullpen was kidding themselves. Another example of the overhyping of prospects we were talking about the other day. I’m pretty sure we officially ruined him.

    @54, I think considering Thorman an upper-level prospect is a bit of a stretch at this point, as well. Again, it’s just not happening…ever. He sucks. We probably should’ve just outright released him.

  63. Re 75:
    We didn’t ruin him as a pitcher apparently, just as a Braves pitcher. He has pitched in 10 games, for a total of 12 innings, and given up just one run, 3 walks, and has 13Ks for the As this season (almost what we got out of Mike Gonzalez last year before he went down).

  64. @78:

    “He’s a remarkable catcher, that Canzoneri. He’s the only defensive catcher in baseball who can’t catch.”

    Casey Stengel

  65. Guys, to be clear, I don’t disagree about Joey Devine being some huge loss for our team. (I was, in fact, among the more vocal in saying he was never going to pan out as a Braves reliever and that he needed a change of scenery.)

    IF Blanco could have given us what Kotsay does, though, you couldn’t possibly argue that it was a good trade, since we’d effectively be giving up something (Devine+other guys+$2 million) for nothing. I’m not saying that’s what we’ve done, I’m just throwing the possibility out there.

  66. here are some impressive numbers on a new edition of “if they were to keep up this pace”:

    The number that catches my eye: The Braves have given up the fewest runs in the league. It’s a fact, you can look it up.

    The Kotsay deal is still bad. What’s happening now is the best case scenario and it’s still a bad deal. But it’s not a franchise breaker or anything.

  67. Blanco and Kotsay and Devine are all playing well. I’m happy for all of them.

    Also, Mark Kotsay just hit a home run yesterday against the Padres. So let’s give him at least another 9 hours until we start bitching about him again.

  68. Also, Mark Kotsay just hit a home run yesterday against the Padres. So let’s give him at least another 9 hours until we start bitching about him again.

    Nobody’s doing that, as far as I can tell. The complaints generally look to be aimed at Wren.

  69. RE: Wren

    The Renteria-Jurrjens deal was a winner, whether it was the Birdman or JS. The rest of the trades – well, I’m not imichpressed, but then again, I don’t think he got fleeced either. Kotsay – Devine, at this point, is a wash, and the rest of the trades only effect spots 23-25 on the roster, which will have nothing to do with whether we make the playoffs or not.

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