Braves 6, Mets 2

ESPN – Mets vs. Braves – Box Score – May 20, 2008

Jorge Campillo was super, the Braves got more early runs, and Jeff Francoeur at long last took a game off. It was a good night. Campillo retired the Mets in order the first time through the lineup and wound up going six, allowing three hits and no walks, and striking out seven. He threw just 78 pitches, 54 of them strikes, most of them seemingly too soft to punch through tissue paper. Needless to say, I think he earned another start.

The Braves got a run in the first on an RBI double by Chipper, then broke through for three runs in the third, the big blow an RBI triple from KJ, who was hitting in the five spot with McCann and Francoeur not playing — McCann because he caught the opener, Francoeur because, I can only speculate, the Braves figured out that he’s in a horrible slump. At any event, after getting those runs the Braves went into Frustration Mode, which is different from Hibernation Mode in that in Frustration Mode they have lots of chances to score runs but don’t.

Jeff Bennett pitched the seventh inning, 1-2-3 on 14 pitches and a strikeout. So why not let him pitch the eighth? But no, here comes Blaine Boyer, who hadn’t pitched in hours. He got the first two, but couldn’t finish off the Corpse of Delgado and walked him, then allowed a double and a single to bring the tying run to the plate. Acosta came in, allowed a single for a Grybo, but then got out of it, but the lead was only 4-2.

Not for long. Mark Kotsay didn’t start, but came in on a double switch with Acosta. With one on in the ninth, he pulled a ball into the seats to make it 6-2 and give the Braves much-needed breathing room. Acosta allowed two more hits in the ninth — seriously, why is he the closer? — but got a double play to end it.

Chipper was 2-4 and sits at .409. Escobar had two hits as well, and Teixeira had a hit and two walks. Matt Diaz started against a righthander and did his best Francoeur imitation, 0-4, a strikeout, and seven men left on base.

66 thoughts on “Braves 6, Mets 2”

  1. As I stated at the bottom of the previous thread, I feel more & more good about the rotation now of Hudson-Glavine-Jurggjens-Campillo-Reyes.

    I think all 3 of those younger guys have looked really good for the most part and if those 3 continue to perform well for the Braves, this is the best shot in the arm we needed with Smoltz still hurting and maybe having to come back, eventually, as a closer.

  2. Is there any help in Richmond to play the outfield against right handed pitchers or do the Braves need to start looking to the trade market?

  3. Any news on Escobar’s knee or whatever got injured in the takeout slide in the 2nd game?

  4. Anyone check the Mets boards to see the latest “sky is falling” posts?

  5. Acosta actually pitched the 9th inning well I thought. One of those hits was a dribbler to Chipper that should have been an out. Basically, 3 ground balls that inning didn’t get past the pitcher – that’s pretty good to me.

  6. Oh – but I’m not saying he should be our closer, just that he wasn’t as bad as you made him out to be.

  7. Right, Campillo is only young relative to the other pitcher’s we have been sending out there. Either way, that 0.99 ERA will work.

    No mention of the idiotic Church takeout non-slide and resulting double injury? I guess Mac had gone to bed by then.

  8. But as your favorite archeologist once said, “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.”

  9. Stu,

    Fair point about Campillo’s age…but at 29, he’s at least in prime age, and no reason he couldn’t be a fixture in the rotation for some years.

    From what I saw online yesterday and in the pen this year, that stuff he has is fairly nasty. I love it.

  10. Seat Painter…I am literally counting the minutes until we can go & see “Indy” this weekend. Of course, with Jake R., finding the babysitter is half the problem right now.

  11. Can we just play every game at HOME – their home/road splits are rediculous.

  12. I had fun taunting my Mets fan friend yesterday while I was at work and game 1 was on, and then later at home when game 2 was on. Beating the Mets is so much fun. Hopefully Escobar is OK (that would take a LOT of the joy out of the wins).

    I’m taking my 11 year-old son (and one of his friends) to go see Indy at midnight tonight… thinking I won’t make my 6AM carpool to work tomorrow. Glad the DH wasn’t today… cause my idiot self would’ve watched the game and then gone to the movie instead of taking my old-man nap before the show.

  13. I enjoyed Church getting knocked out cold, but I hope Escobar is alright. He landed on that knee fine after the throw, but a few moments later he was looking really hurt.

    I’m not ready to talk about Campillo remaining in the lineup until he gets a few more solid starts, but I was extremely impressed with him last night.

  14. Any time you beat the mets, it’s a good day. Beating them twice in the same day is cloud 9 for me. Campillo was a bit of a surprise if you ask me. I’m not sure he’s a rotation answer for the season. Let’s give him some more starts before saying he is the 4 or 5 starter for the rest of the year.

  15. I think we need an mraver-style reality check on Campillo.

    He’s 29 years old, and his “stuff” consists of an 86mph fastball and various slower junk. He does have good control, but he’s been around for a while without much success to speak of until very recently. He seems like a poor man’s Paul Byrd.

    I’m not saying he can’t help now or even hang around for a while, and I’m certainly enjoying what he’s done for us, but I think it’s pretty unrealistic to count on him to solidify our rotation going forward. Wasn’t Carlyle, another career minor league journeyman, 29 when he showed his flash of decency last year? It would have been a mistake to expect him to be a fixture in the rotation—or even on the roster—and I don’t see any reason why we should expect anything different from Campillo. I’ll surely enjoy the value he brings while it’s there, though.

    (NOTE: I’d love to be wrong about this and have Campillo be good for an extended period of time.)

  16. Well, it would seem that we’ll keep sending Campillo out there until he starts getting beat up Carlyle-style.

    Wanna know why the Met fans are as loony as they are?

    On a day like today, where the storm clouds are forming over Willie & the team, where they’ve just lost 2 in a row to their hated rivals (including the hated Tom Glavine), they can’t even get on the back pages of the tabloids.

    And like the tabloids, the radio conversation today is about…the Yankees.

    See if both teams succeed or fail at the same time, it’s always going to be about the Yankees. The Mets can’t even get the proper attention for their miseries. They’re the ignored baby with the dirty diaper.

  17. Well, it would seem that we’ll keep sending Campillo out there until he starts getting beat up Carlyle-style.

    Of course. It would be foolish not to do so. I’m talking about expectation levels.

  18. I don’t think you can call a guy that has only played on 2 teams and had only 17.2 innings pitched at the major league level before this year a journeyman. The guy was hurt and never had an opportunity to show off his stuff. I’m not saying he’s going to be the show stopper he was last night, but the guy’s stuff looks REALLY good, and I’d like to remain cautiously optimistic about him. The ability to drop that big hook in there for a strike when hitters have to be sitting changeup/fastball is simply unfair.

  19. But I’m not sure I like the idea of having Campillo come back on 3 days rest to face the Diamondbacks, which is what Bobby has said he plans to do.

  20. I think Campillo should be acceptable as a 5th starter. That’s how we’re using him.

  21. Maybe I mis-read that somewhere, b/c I think he could go on regular rest and still pitch against the D-Backs. Oh well.

  22. Regarding Francoeur, is he in a slump, or is it that teams have finally figured him out? Work him with low, outside breaking pitches and high fast balls. He just can’t bring himself to lay off them, even when they’re balls. They figured some of this out about Francoeur a while back, but he kept hitting with runners on base because pitchers figured that they had to throw strikes. Now, they’ve realized that he’ll swing at the same bad pitches, even with runners on, so he’s seeing precious few good pitches to hit.

  23. Nope, just found the article – he plans and pitching Campillo Saturday. Maybe to get both him and Jurrjens againstt he D-Backs? I really didn’t like what I say last time Jair pitched on 3 days rest.

  24. I think Francoeur was figured out by late 2005. This isn’t really anything new with him — it’s a lack of development since then, which is why people are upset.

  25. Well, the thing with Campillo is that he’s striking people out like a mad man, which is never something Carlyle or Byrd were doing; he’s getting outs by missing bats rather than after contact, which is what Carlyle and Byrd rely on doing. (Their success is based on a low walk rate rather than a high K-rate. ‘Course, at the moment, Campillo’s got both going for him!)

    For me, seeing him continue to fool people after they’d seen him once was important. My impression of him is someone that’s just very different from anything most players have seen (or are used to), and so he’s fooling them a lot. Once they get good scouting reports, etc. on him, I think he’ll be hard-pressed to maintain his current success. But if he can find a way to continue missing some bats and go 6-7 each start, he’ll be a very valuable guy for the Braves this year.

    So for me, it’s not an issue where he just doesn’t have the stuff to be a good starter. It’s more that I’m not sure how long it’ll take teams/players to make adjustments for his weird pitching style and whether he’ll be able to make adjustments in response.

  26. Joshua,
    Those are generally fair points, but come on—we signed him as a 29 year-old minor-league FA. (He’ll turn 30 in August.) Seattle signed him as a 25 year-old out of Mexico. He may not technically be a “journeyman”—I don’t know how many different stops one needs to have made to qualify—but he certainly fits the spirit of that term.

    Also, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a pitcher whose fastball tops out in the mid-80s praised for his great stuff.

    Still, until he actually starts getting hit, I guess I can try out cautious optimism, too.

  27. I didn’t know this about Campillo:

    “Transactions: [Feb 14,1996] – Signed as nondrafted free agent by Braves [Sep 23,1996] – Loaned by Braves to Mexico city tig June 23- [Jan 27,1997] – Released by Braves ”

    Also, it seems Campillo didn’t actually pitch in the minor leagues until he was 26. He apparently did most of his development in Mexico.

    http://tinyurl.com/5u6c5u

  28. Well, the thing with Campillo is that he’s striking people out like a mad man, which is never something Carlyle or Byrd were doing; he’s getting outs by missing bats rather than after contact, which is what Carlyle and Byrd rely on doing. (Their success is based on a low walk rate rather than a high K-rate. ‘Course, at the moment, Campillo’s got both going for him!)

    Very true and good points, but Campillo’s minor league K-rate (roughly 6 per 9) suggests he won’t continue at his current rate in the big leagues for very long. If he does, that would certainly change my expectations, but I also feel that, given time for scouting reports to be compiled and spread, the league will catch up to him rather abruptly.

    But if he can find a way to continue missing some bats and go 6-7 each start, he’ll be a very valuable guy for the Braves this year.

    Yes, most definitely.

  29. #32

    My thoughts on Campillo exactly. The reason why I think he has a better shot of staying good as opposed to Jorge Sosa or Buddy Carlyle, the previous “one hit pitching wonders”, is the strikeouts. That’s why I don’t think his stuff is junk.

    I could be wrong, fine, but I was impressed.

  30. Either Campillo or Glavine would have to pitch on 3 day’s rest unless someone is brought up. Campillo is the obvious choice.

  31. One should point out that Corky Miller got his 2nd hit of the year with two outs and right in front of that Kotsay homer. Good timing – that may have been a very important hit.

    I will also give kudos to Corky for the CS of Reyes after he just dared him to attempt a steal through several pitches.

  32. @32

    If he can keep doing that he’d be a valuable addition to ANYONE’S rotation, not just the Braves.

    That being said, I’m pleased that in limited action Campillo has been good, but I wouldn’t want to count on him for anything more than Carlyle ’07/Sosa ’05 numbers.

  33. The Mets should start today’s game with one out for interference on that play (I know, I know we made the out anyway). Aside from not being near the bag, he wasn’t even sliding.

  34. Has LF now emerged as a bonafide area of concern, especially against LHP?

    The power was out last night at my house so I didn’t see Diaz’ 0-fer. Did he look bad last night, swing at bad pitches, etc., or just hit into bad luck? He hasn’t looked great to me all year, as if he’s pressing. Much like Francoeur.

  35. Just took a look at the Richmond stats. I’ll pass on Josh Anderson and his .654 ops. At least Frenchy can throw.

    Lillibridge is having a miserable year–.491 ops. Diory Hernandez and Sammons are both putting up ops over .800.

    Not much–other than Charlie Morton–to brag about among the pitchers. Better hope for no more injuries.

  36. Diaz has a career line of

    .333 .365 .518 and .883 OPS against lefties

    I dont see him being a cause for concern against lefties at this point. He was o’fer last night, but it was against a righty and thats the norm for him. He still hitting with a nice .356 line against lefties this year

  37. As csg said, Diaz is fine against lefties. He hits for some power and makes a TON of contact. It’s righties that are the concern for me, but Blanco is doing okay there for now. Maybe we’ll see Brandon Jones at some point, maybe not.

    If Frenchy gets right, we won’t really have much to complain about from the OF.

  38. Francoeur’s VORP currently sits at -0.2, while Diaz’ VORP is -3.0. It’s amazing that we’re even 3 games over .500 with that type of production from the corner OFers.

  39. No Brandon Webb or Dan Haren this weekend but we get Doug Davis and Randy Johnson…two more lefties. If there was ever a time for Frenchy and Diaz to get it together it would be this weekend.

  40. Yeh…I guess we were counting on more from Frenchy, with whatever we got from Diaz/Blanco in LF being a bonus. It just seems as if RF and LF have been a little anemic for good parts of the season.

    Still, there is 3/4 of the season left, and hopefully Diaz, Tex and Francoeur get hot and a little more consistent.

  41. I think Frenchy will be fine.

    Any word on Esocbar?

    I must say that the last two games were the two best games we have played all year.

  42. Am I missing something? why was there talk about Glavine or Campillo having to pitch on short rest??

  43. With the double-header and no days off, someone has to pitch on short rest, or the Braves would have to make a move, or start Carlyle. None of these are ideal, or close to ideal. Starting Campillo on short rest seems the best choice of several poor ones.

  44. Hey, I just realized that May 6th, the Braves started a run of 50 games in 51 days ending June 26. Is it me or does that seem absolutely nuts?

  45. There has to be an off day at least every twenty days. A team can’t play 21 games in a row without an offday. At least that is how I remember the CBA to be.

  46. It’s righties that are the concern for me

    He was o’fer last night, but it was against a righty and thats the norm for him.

    Is there any help in Richmond to play the outfield against right handed pitchers or do the Braves need to start looking to the trade market?

    If only there were some really good power hitting LH OF that we could just sign, instead of trading for…but who? Surely there is no one like that available at this point, is there?

    If

  47. Despite facing two lefties, I am very pleased we could avoid Brandon Webb this weekend.

  48. Avoiding Webb and Haren is a big plus, for sure. The rest of their staff is utterly hittable, even for us.

  49. How about one great and one maybe-not-great-but-certainly-better-than-good righty?

    I’d much, much rather face the bottom of a team’s rotation than the top, regardless of handedness.

  50. Spike, I’m not sure that Bonds counts as an outfielder.

    Re: Campillo, his minor league K-rate was just a little better than 6, but his walk-rate was only a little more than 2, so his K/BB was almost 3, which is quite good. Also, he doesn’t give up homers. Clearly, he’s pitching a bit over his head — his BABIP is .257, so he’s due for a few bleeders to start getting through, his FIP is a run higher than his ERA, etc.

    But no matter how you slice it he’s having a terrific year, and he’s already pitched more innings this year than he’d ever pitched before. Like Blanco, he’s a guy who came (relatively) out of nowhere to excel, and who’s bound to head back to earth, but just as Blanco appears to have an approach at the plate that looks like it might survive a slump, Campillo seems to have a long track record of preventing runs, not walking people, and not giving up homers, that could survive the inevitable moment when his ERA peeks over 1.

  51. Yeah, we’ll see. He’s never been anything but seriously old for his level, not playing in the State until he was 25, so I honestly don’t know what sort of weight to give to his minor league numbers. Maybe he’ll continue to be good, though, and he’s already done enough to have made the organization look very smart for signing him, no matter what happens next.

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