Braves 5, Padres 2

ESPN – Padres vs. Braves – Box Score – May 07, 2008

Glad to see that someone figured out how to get out of hibernation mode there.

Tim Hudson had an Episode in the second inning, losing his control and balking in a run (Bobby got ejected complaining about it) but was able to limit the damage to one run thanks to a GIDP from the pitcher and settled down from there. The Braves took the lead in the bottom of the inning, a run scoring on a bases-loade GIDP from Diaz and Kotsay following with an RBI single.

But then the Braves couldn’t get anything done. A lot of the blame has to go on Jeff Francoeur’s shoulders. With the bases loaded and one out in the third, he grounded into a double play. With Chipper on and one out in the sixth, he hit into another one. Escobar grounded into one in the fifth, so the Braves hit into double plays in four out of five innings, which is appalling. Then some iffy defense helped lead to a Padre run in the sixth to tie the game, though another GIDP (this was a GIDP-fest) kept things under control.

The Braves loaded the bases with none out again in the seventh, and this time Greg Norton (off a lefty, despite my complaints) had a pinch-single to score McCann, and KJ followed with a sac fly to score Diaz. Escobar singled to bring in Kotsay to make it 5-2. Boyer (now second in the league in appearances) pitched the eighth with no problems, and Ohman and Acosta combined in the ninth. That should not be a save under the rule as I know it, but the box score reports it as a save. I am assuming that ESPN has made a mistake and that MLB has not changed the definition of a save without telling anyone.

Chipper was 2-4. Ho-hum. Everybody reached base at least once.

82 thoughts on “Braves 5, Padres 2”

  1. Hmmm… Jeff does his usual flailing away and comes up with a GIDP.

    Later, he exhibits rare patience with a once-every-lunar-eclipse walk and ends up crossing the plate as a result.

    There’s a lesson here, I swear there is…

  2. Actually, the walk came first, then the two GIDPs. He would have grounded into three, but he led off his other time so he struck out instead.

    MLB is also crediting Acosta with a save. I think this is a mistake.

  3. The save is a fundamentally stupid stat, but it was important at a time when people didn’t sufficiently value relief work. Now, it’s driving the way in which relievers are used (far more than the win stat changes the game, though that too happens sometime, as we saw this weekend). When the save was developed, it was just supposed to be a way to measure the value of relievers, not be a way for a few relievers to make $9 million a season for 60 innings’ work.

  4. That game winning RBI by Norton is one more than the stack of cash or A-ball player we’re sending to Seattle would have registered this year…

  5. If Bennett got the save for recording one out, why wouldn’t Acosta get the save for recording two outs?

    It’s pretty cool watching Smoltz on the post-game show. He’s kind of showing up Brian Jordan…speaking of which, Ron Gant did a good job filling in for Joe.

  6. Mac, they are trying to prove Acosta is also a “proven closer”, ha!

    Good win! Let’s see if Norton will go 0 for his next 10 at bats! Great job Huddy, despite a little struggle, a win is a win and another quality start.

    Let’s see if JoJo can out-pitch Wifredo tomorrow!

  7. Because the tying run was on base when Bennett entered the game. That’s the rule. It’s not a particularly well-designed rule, but it’s better designed than a lot of them.

  8. Nice find. That answers that question. I’d assume Pena would come off after 15 days if someone really does get hurt.

  9. Gotay and Pena got to play paper, rock, scissors to see who would have the back strain.

  10. Another 5 in row. Very nice. A little help from Arizona tonight would be cool.

    And I hope some people have Cliff Lee on their fantasy teams—he’s really out of his mind right now. He’s like the reincarnation of Jimmy Key.

  11. Pena still gets to collect a major league check which is substantially more than a minor league one so I don’t think he minds much especially since he barely gets any playing time other than PH.

  12. 15 days later, Gotay will go onto the DL with a flu or something stupid. That’s creative roster management by Wren!

  13. Still hoping that when Chuck is activated Resop is DLed with “inabilitity to pitch”. Or released outright. That would be nice.

  14. I was just going to point out that the actual boxscore does not list Acosta with the save, but nevermind.

  15. I am not happy with these DL shenanigans. I dont follow the rest of the league as closely as the Braves. Do other teams try it too? I don’t like to feel like I’m supporting cheaters.

  16. Everybody does it, it’s not cheating. You should check out the “injury list” in the NBA. That’s by the far the worst in any sport.

  17. Everybody does it. In my opinion, it’s less abusive than when teams try to expand their roster by putting pitchers on the AAA Shuttle — the players and the minor league teams suffer a lot more in those circumstances. What it essentially does is expand the major league roster by one or two players per team. Since the teams like it (because they don’t have to lose players to waivers) and the players like it (because more of them get major league checks and service time) there’s nobody to challenge it unless the cheap teams decide it’s costing them money. Since these players usually are guys making the minimum, even the Marlins aren’t too concerned.

    The NFL and NBA have changed their rules essentially to formalize the practice, having teams make players inactive on a game-by-game basis. For reasons that should be obvious, that’s not a good idea in baseball.

  18. From Bill James Online:

    Hottest Hitters in Baseball
    Lance Berkman 115°
    Chipper Jones 106°
    Rich Aurilia 106°
    Mark Kotsay 99°
    Blake Dewitt 99°

    Berkman is admittedly on a tear right now…

  19. It’s official. Box seats are the way to see a game. I’m hoping the vendors have more seats to give away soon because that ROCKED. Whole spread of food and drink (well soda and beer anyway), plus in between the 3rd and 4th inning the ice cream sundae cart pulled up outside the door and made sundaes to order. All we paid for was the parking.

    I like to think I’d still be frugal if I won the lottery, but I would totally splurge on THAT.

  20. If Chipper played for any of the teams in New York or Boston right now, ESPN would be having at-bat updates everytime he stepped to the plate. The guy is putting up video game numbers this year.

  21. I also caught the save thing. Unfortunately even Skip said that Acosta got the save on the radio. Isn’t the save rule something like the number of outs remaining plus the number of runners on base? If Acosta came in with one out and one on, wouldn’t he get the save? Obviously in this situation there was no one on, therefore no save.

  22. Can anyone give me the official low-down on the save thing? I thought three runs, or four if the tying run was up, or even the three innings of relief work counted as a save….why did it not take into affect in this game, sorry, its late and my brain isn’t functioning

  23. If Acosta came in with one out and one on, wouldn’t he get the save?

    Yup, the tying run would be on deck in that case. So that’s a save. However if you start the ninth with a three run lead, you get a save even though the tying run is not in the on deck circle. That’s the dumbest part of the save rule – and that’s saying something.

    Oh, and that was not a balk. For some reason Wally Bell was being a dick. Huddy pulled the old ‘fake towards third, check first’ move, and not only did it not pick anyone off for the billionth time in a row, he got balked by Bell for no reason. He should just retire that move.

  24. Can anyone give me the official low-down on the save thing?

    I’ll try. If you enter the game with the tying run on-base, at the plate, or on deck you can get a save if you finish the game and your team never loses the lead. However if you start the last inning with a three run lead you can also get a save – that’s a special case. Another special case is the ‘pitch the last three innings in a reasonably effective manor’ save, which you can get regardless of the lead at the official scorer’s discretion.

  25. Okay, here’s the deal on Savegate: It seems that he was credited with the save at the game, and the AP just picked it up from that. Presumably, the official scorer — still grieving due to Prado’s absence — screwed up.

  26. Phil Collins is now the official voice of the Braves. We owe this win streak to him. “You know I want to, but I’m in too deep….”

  27. Just imagine if we lived in a world with no injuires, this would be our Pitching Staff:

    Hudson
    Smoltz
    Glavine
    Jurrgens
    Hampton

    Bullpen:

    Soriano
    Gonzalez
    Moylan
    Boyer
    Acosta
    Ohman or Ring
    Bennett

    This leaves out:
    Reyes
    James
    Resop
    Carlyle
    Campillo
    and either Ring or Ohman

    Talk about lights out…

  28. Yes, bamachum, that’s precisely the pretty picture in Wren’s mind entering the spring training. Too bad things never work out as planned.

  29. Mac, what made you suddenly said that? This is some of us, including me, has said all along.

  30. I will say this for Wally, the fake-to-third, look/throw-to-first move should be a balk IMO. I know you can’t go making up rules, but really why is that allowed when seemingly 15 other infinitesimal things that are far less likely to deceive the baserunner aren’t?

    Hell, it wouldn’t detract one single iota from any sort of strategy whatsoever. It would never come up in a game, becuase once the rule is inserted making that a balk, no one will ever do it again, aside from maybe two imbeciles the first month of the first season it’s implemented because they forget about the rule. And that stupid move never works, has never worked, and will never work (OK, maybe 0.5% of the time at best). Please rules committee, do the world a favor and make this move a balk!

  31. I said in a game thread a couple days ago that it should be a balk, but it’s not, and if that’s what Hudson did it shouldn’t be called.

  32. If we discover oil beneath home plate, then the Braves can sign David Wright when Chipper retires.

  33. Complete opposite to last night, the Braves completed a clean sweep through the entire minor league system tonight.

    Watch out, Scott Thorman is playing a little bit of 3B again!!! Also, Stockman is now the R-Braves PROVEN closer.

    Stephen, who is Scott Diamond?

  34. KC–I don’t know as much about Diamond as I would like. If memory serves me correctly, Diamond is a former college pitcher that the Braves signed last fall. He had great stats, but had never really faced strong competition. At least for A ball he appears to be the real deal.

    I really like our arms below AA….

  35. Hopefully the JJ, JoJo, and Chuky trio can stand because those arms are at least two years away…Hanson being one plus year away if he is promoted soon…

  36. True enough–I think that Morton will be able to make a contribution as well. He is off to a great start and I think the Braves are wise to let him build his confidence at AAA.

    The big disappointment for me so far is Parr, who thought might turn the corner at Mississippi…

  37. Mac,

    Even if we did find the oil, we would not be allowed to drill for it over concerns for migrating birds.

  38. Who cares if Acosta is credited with a save? Not me.

    Leave Frechy alone, he will be fine.

  39. When did we find oil under home plate? Sweet!!!

    5 in a row…this feels so much better. If Tex would start hitting, things could be even better. By the way, Kotsay being on that hot list above is blowing my mind.

  40. Can we just cancel all the road games for the rest of the year and play the remaining 130 games at home?

    If they discovered oil beneath home plate, Liberty still wouldn’t spend it on Teixera. At least the Braves should get a draft pick this time.

    Rule question: I was playing softball the other day and was on second; batter hit a ground ball to the shortstop. Can I run in front of the fielder while he is trying to field the ball or do I have to go around? I think I can run in front, right?

  41. Marc,
    You can absolutely run in front. You just can’t let the ball hit you.

    Smitty,
    If, by “fine,” you mean, “about the same as always,” yeah, I agree. Problem is, that’s not all that great for a corner OF.

  42. Paraphrasing an old Skip line (or was it Sutton): And if my Aunt Gladys had a mustache, she’d be my Uncle Fred.

  43. I hope Kotsay keeps this up, he looks like a professional hitter at the plate. So did Norton, and he was the perfect pinch hitter to put in at that time as he is a switch and it did not matter who Black brought in.

  44. Thanks, I knew that but I hesitated when the ball was hit and went around him and actually got thrown out at third. Stupid baserunning.

    As for Kotsay, at the very least he is not embarrassing himself or hurting the Braves. Whether you could have gotten the same production for less by using Blanco or someone else is a different issue.

    The Braves will have a lot of money to spend next year with Hampton and possibly Glavine gone. But they keep saying they don’t want one guy to take up too large a percentage of the payroll. That makes sense but unless they increase the payroll pretty substantially that says to me they aren’t going to be serious players for Tex or any other big-time free agent. And Tex certainly does not appear to be a guy that would take a discount for anyone. I think he would play in Baghdad if the money was right. The Braves will have this extra money, but what will they do with it? I assume they have some plan.

  45. Pay Tex 20 million!!! Not only does he put up great numbers, but I would argue that his presence behind Chipper makes Chipper’s numbers even better. You can’t underestimate his value in that lineup and at the 1B corner. I really think the Braves will make a solid effort to keep him. We don’t have a replacement anywhere at his position. If he played outfield, they may let him walk untouched.

  46. I agree completely, JoshQ. I think we should be and will be players in the Teix market this offseason.

  47. The ‘fake to third, throw to first’ trick does work, just not in an obvious way. It’s meant to keep the runner on first close without having to throw over. Normally, on first movement from a righty, a runner will go into his secondary lead. With the ‘fake to third, throw to first’, the runner has to be careful because first movement could lead to him getting picked off. It doesn’t get him picked off because he doesn’t take a huge secondary and is forced to make sure the pitcher goes to the plate.

  48. Marc, and if you’re really sneaky, you can time your running and run right over the ball when it’s about to get to the shortstop, and sometimes he’ll get distracted and boot it. Of course, it puts you within inches of the ball, which could really shoot you in the foot, but your team will think you’re really cool if you can pull it off.

    AAR,

    Why do you want to get rid of the balk? Are you trying to make it so no one can ever steal off a lefty?

  49. I wish there was no balk when I pitched (i’m a lefty), then I could have picked everyone off.

    I don’t think you can compare the Andruw and Tex situations. I really think the Braves view them differently as well. It’s not just about money.

  50. Rob,

    That did cross my mind and, if it comes up again, I will run right in front of the guy.

    Re the balk: I don’t have a problem with the balk rule per se, but the way it is interpreted today makes no sense. The idea is that the pitcher should not be able to trick the base runner into leaving the base and getting thrown out. But most of the balk calls are technical violations that have nothing to do with deceiving the runner; for example, the pitcher accidentally drops the ball while standing on the rubber or doesn’t pause before pitching. It’s become like pass interference in the NFL. I think they should allow anything short of out-and-out deception, ie, he can’t fake a throw to first.

  51. Long time lurker here…wondering why the subtitle for the site is currently “WE WANT LEO!”

    Is it because of the injuries? The pitching staff’s been great so far. Whether this has anything at all to do Mcdowell…who knows…

  52. Yeah, and then get rid of that crazy infield fly rule too! Who needs all these silly rules. The real menace to our great game is the game winning homerun that is credited when only a double or single was required to win the game. The MF game is over when the winning run crosses.

  53. Problem is that if you allow a pitcher to come set and then reset, this is deceptive to the base runner. If I am trying to steal a base and the pitcher has the ability to set and reset, then I can’t leave on first motion necessarily.

  54. Marc,

    I definitely agree that dropping the ball while you’re on the rubber shouldn’t be a balk (Rocker lost a game for us back in the day because of that), but pitchers need to come set before coming to the plate. When a pitcher doesn’t come set, it’s almost impossible to steal. You really handcuff the runner but not coming set. But I agree; for the most part, the balk rule is interpreted weirdly.

  55. Rob,

    Yeah, but the exact same thing is accomplished by either stepping off or throwing to first.

    If anybody ever threw to third (and I mean ever), I might feel a little differently about it, as well. But I have never seen that happen unless they’re like catching the runner going for a squeeze play or something. So because no one ever throws to third, while it does stop the runner from expanding his lead, anybody who gets picked off is a complete moron.

    AAR,

    While I think the balk rule does not to be simplified, it still needs to exist. Without it, a pitcher could stop halfway through his motion to the plate and throw a runner out at second, which doesn’t really seem fair.

    Also, I wasn’t saying that it should’ve been called. It isn’t a rule, and therefore should not have been, obviously. I’m also pretty sure that Bell saw something other than the fake-to-third, look-to-first. I’m not sure what it was, but he wouldn’t have called a balk if he hadn’t.

  56. Nick,

    No. If you’re getting a secondary off a righty you’re breaking on first movement (usually watching for his left foot or knee). With the ‘fake to third, throw to first’, breaking on the first movement will get you picked off. Because of that, you have to wait til you’re sure he’s going to the plate, which means a shorter length of time to get a secondary, which means a shorter secondary. Because of that, you may get thrown out at second on a grounder in a hole somewhere, or you don’t take third on a single you normally would have. Runners are smart, so they don’t get picked off, but it shortens their primary or secondary, which is the true point of most pick-offs and fakes. That’s my point.

  57. Speaking of the infield fly rule, I’ve always wondered why infielders don’t do this (this isn’t really an infield fly rule thing, but still): there’s one out and a fast runner on first. A slow runner at the plate skies it in the infield. Why not let the ball drop, and then take the out at second, trading a fast runner for a slow one? That’s risky, but wouldn’t you rather have Ryan Howard on base than Jimmy Rollins? Eh, just a thought.

  58. Smoltz tried that a few weeks ago, but it backfired. I forget what happened exactly. Is that when he threw the ball into center field?

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