Braves 4, Mets 2

ESPN – Mets vs. Braves – Box Score – May 22, 2008

Even with Johan Santana on the mound, the Mets can’t win. Santana did his best, and kept the Braves to a single, “unearned”, run through six. But he got let down by defensive miscues and sleepwalking offense. I could only follow the game online, but from comments — and appearances — the Mets are a thoroughly dispirited team right now.

The Mets didn’t really rally at all in this game. They got back to back homers in the second from Beltran and the Corpse, but never put sequential offense together; they were too busy hitting into three double plays. Tim Hudson, after the second, was terrific; he allowed only three other hits, didn’t walk anyone, and struck out four. 68 of his 100 pitches were strikes. (For any Mets fans out there, that’s 68 percent strikes.)

But Santana kept it close through what sounded like a whole series of Prados and lackadaisical plays. He’s probably not completely health (his velocity seems 3-4 MPH off) and struck out only one while allowing twelve hits, but kept the ball in the yard and hoped his defense could help him. It couldn’t. After KJ drove in Teixeira (who had reached on an error) in the second, Santana walked the tightrope. In the seventh, he fell. KJ doubled, and from what I hear it should have been held to a single. Hudson got down a two-strike bunt, and then, selfishly, instead of making a productive out Omar Infante (still in the leadoff spot for no reason) singled him home. A wild pitch moved him to second, and a single from Kotsay made it first and third. Chipper and Teixeira followed with singles and it was 4-2.

Hudson got a double play to get out of a first-and-second situation in the eighth. Acosta let the leadoff man on then allowed a line drive, but it was caught by KJ (player of the game, in my opinion) and turned into a double play. Ohman got the Corpse to fly out to end it.

The Braves had twelve hits, including two apiece from Kotsay, Chipper, and Teixeira. KJ, banished to the eighth spot, had three. They should probably start batting him behind the pitcher just to be careful.

181 thoughts on “Braves 4, Mets 2”

  1. For the series:

    Chipper
    6/14
    3 BB
    1 HR/3 RBI
    w/ RISP 2/3

    Tex
    9/14
    3 BB
    0 HR/6 RBI
    w/ RISP 4/4

    Folks, that’s a nice neighborhood.

  2. I am not worried about Arizona coming up.. they are 28-18, but 20-5 vs the NL west, who suck.

  3. The Braves also had a bunch of good cuts against Sanatana, alot of hard hit balls they made decent plays on. One bad play early and its a 6 or 7 run game.

    Willie gonna hear it tomorrow on WFAN, poor bastard.

  4. Let me tell you guys about an “under rated” aspect of the Atlanta Braves. I listed to Pete do the game; and his call of the ninth ninning was great. He had emotion and I really felt like I was playing shortstop for the team.

    For all the Chips, McCarvers, and Morgans of the the world, there is Pete VanWieren

  5. BTW, Kotsay made a really nice sliding catch for the final out.

    All three balls in the 9th were scorched by the Mets.

  6. They should probably start batting him behind the pitcher just to be careful.

    Stealing my material! Kidding.

    Just a brutal defensive game from the Mets, which is going to happen since they had three guys out there who can’t really move. The tone was set early on a foul pop to left that Marlon Anderson ran (sort of) over to and then never even extended a glove to catch while the ball landed near his feet. He seemed winded by the time he got there. And if you want to see a firstbaseman score from second on a grounder to second, this was the game for you. Still 3 3/4 years left on that Luis Castillo contract.

    Gotta like the win, but the Mets are playing not only like they expect the manager to be fired but that they are trying to help the process along.

  7. 68 of his 100 pitches were strikes. (For any Mets fans out there, that’s 68 percent strikes.)

    awesome

    I remember that they were discussing Santana losing his velocity late in the season last year. Either he’s been overused or something is wrong. He’s still dominate and that makes me enjoy this win even more. Thank you Peachtree and TBS, you both SUCK!

  8. I’d say this loss isn’t Willie’s fault… just plain bad play by the mets…

  9. Joe (or Chip) pointed out that Santana allowed the most hits in a game in his career in this game, but I imagine that’s partly because of the terrible defense.

  10. KJ is red hot right now, but I never thought he would get three hits off Santana. I am not too troubled by the fact that he is batting eighth because I guess I expected it from Bobby.

    Maybe there is nothing wrong with Santana. The loss of velocity is possibly due to the fact that he is regretting his deal with the Mets. He may seek for offseason trade!!!

  11. I read that KJ said he wasn’t comfortable at all batting leadoff and feels much more comfortable now.

  12. 2 out of 3 from a decent A’s team

    and a 4 game sweep of the Mets, to include beating all-world Johan Santana on short rest.

    There is a pulse, folks.

  13. ladies and gentlemen, we are now leading the nl in batting average and era. well done boys! Kicking some metropolitan ass has never been so f’in SAAAWEEEEET!

  14. Four-game sweep…when was the last time that happened? And it’s great that it is against the Mets out of all teams.

  15. Pythag update:

    Cubs 31-16
    Braves 30-17
    DBacks 29-18

    Astros have rallied to tie the Phillies. A Houston win and the Braves are alone in second.

  16. Po’, po’ Willie.

    It was racism…that all those white Braves batters hit Santana’s pitches.

  17. Just read some posts over at the Metsblog, and I think it’s true: If you’re a Mets fan, Hell is other Mets fans.

  18. …and the Marlins swept the d-backs…that marlins team…Fredi is doing a good job there.

  19. Fredi might be the next Mets manager…oh wait…he won’t get the offer at the all star break.

    I love reading the Mets blog. Just remeber how silly they are the next time we go into a slump.

    I wonder what ever happened to the Mets troll we use to have.

  20. here is a quote from the recap at Mets blog

    Speaking of Santana, I liked that he threw a high-and-tight fastball in to Tim Hudson, who squared to a bunt in a situation where he was obviously going to bunt. Hudson looked very, very annoyed, so much so that Brian Schneider had to step in.

    is this true?? I would love to see Huddy and Johan go at it

  21. Why don’t you guys that can’t see all of the Braves games buy the MLB Extra Innings package? I live in California and I get to see everyone of the Braves games. Just curious. For me it is worth $199 for the season.

  22. Not to put a damper on all the Kelly love here tonight, but that 2nd inning play by Castillo was more of a Prado than I’ve ever witnessed Prado actually pull. With out #3 giftwrapped right infront of him he inexplicably throws to home from his backside. I seriously think the Prado should be renamed.

  23. csg, yeah it pretty much happened that way only it kind of looked like Hudson was satisfied to simply look menacingly at Santana and wait for Schnieder to get in the way.

  24. Did anybody else think that Schneider had at least a chance of tagging Tex out at the plate on Castillo’s goofy throw home? I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t even try, but this was in the AP recap:

    Schneider, apparently unaware Teixeira kept running from third, made no attempt to rush back to the plate for a possible play.

    So, I guess that would be TWO Prados on one play?? Wow.

  25. csg, I hope you remember how we hate the Mets people coming here when the Braves were playing terrible. Just leave them alone, their mood is bad enough after the four-game sweep.

  26. I was looking at those comments in the metsblog. Pretty rough stuff. They’re lashing out hard with the farming, Union/Confederacy, no indoor-plumbing, incest, trailer, Sherman and lynching cards. I don’t feel bad for whatever is said to those jackals.

    uh…and go Braves! That was a hell of a series.

  27. Wow, the Pistons pulled away with a win in Boston. That’s an amazing accomplishment.

  28. andrew miller was really sharp tonight. how long ’til the fish start to slow down?

  29. Various search requests over the last couple days:

    penguin
    randolph fired
    don mossi
    willie randolph may get fired
    peter tork
    braves considering trading francoeur
    comcast braves mets birmingham sec baseball
    willie randolph will be fired
    when will willie randolph get fired
    chipper jones speech impediment
    picture of ajc beat writer dave o’brien
    “dish network” “atlanta braves” “peachtree tv”

  30. I do find it somewhat ironic that we like to gloat about how reactionary Mets fans can be when as recently as this week, we had people complaining about how this was just a .500 team, how Cox needs to retire, etc.

    So let’s just all try to keep a bit of perspective when we go on an inevitable 3-5 streak at some point. :-)

  31. True story, mraver.

    Man, never read the Mets blog before. Is it always that rough over there?

  32. More playing around (I don’t have to work tomorrow)… Home/Road splits:

    BATTING
    PITCHING

    Check out the batting average on balls in play. What we’re dealing with here is basically an unusually low BABIP in road games and an unusually high one in home games. There are a few more walks in home games, and a pronounced split in GIDP with many more on the road, despite fewer baserunners… but it looks like the Braves’ problems hitting on the road are basically luck. As you know, I don’t think much of “productive outs”, but there are many, many more of them at home — the sac fly difference is remarkable.

    On the other hand, the pitching has been legitimately worse on the road. The BABIP is actually better in road games, but the walk rate is slightly elevated, the home run rate is much higher, the strikeout rate lower. There’s probably some luck involved here — the Braves’ pitching isn’t as good as it’s looked at home or as bad as it’s looked on the road — but I think this may be the real problem.

  33. Mraver nailed it. Before the last two series, our SP was pathetic, we couldn’t hit in the clutch, and we’re just flat-out mediocre. It just goes to show how great winning can make people feel. I, just like everyone else, am loving this. Too bad I’m working so much at night that I’m missing it in person.

  34. Alright intelligent people take your pick on your favorite Metsblog comment of the night:

    1)”why are you talking about last year… David WRight was on the team that had the greatest Collapse in HISTORY… and your talking about MVP>??? David Wright is not immune to taking hits… When he starts playing like Ray Knight did when he was with the Mets then I’ll respect David… Everyone on the METS is taking a hit… NO EXCEPTIONS>>>”

    Seriously, pining for Ray Knight over David Wright is so damn amusing to me.

    2) “he’s smug too and wants to bring his son to shea before it gets knocked down…..I’d probably end up cursing him and his stupid kid out if he ends up with a piece of that building”

    You stay classy Mets fans.

    3)”No team has ever won with Alou. And you wonder why…………”

    None except for the ’97 Marlins, but why let facts get in the way of a good argument.

    4)”Gas prices are unbelievably high, airlines are charging $15 to check in one bag, pizza prices have increased across the board, and the Mets are just plain awful. What a wonderful time to be alive!”

    True true. You can only get 3 mediums from Dominoes for $15 now. Where’s my stimulus check ??

    5)”If Major League II has taught me anything, we just need a small Asian player to follow Delgado around and make fun of him for not having any marbles.”

    Okay, that’s just pretty damn funny.

    6)”Don’t forget Braves fans,…… Braves can’t win down the stretch. Remember what the Mets did last year down the stretch to those loser Braves…. SWEPT! Its MAY. Still alot of baseball to play so I’ll hold off on your immature comments untill later in the year.”

    I’m not even sure how to translate that out of Mets fan language.

    7)”To be HOnest I don’t ever remember David Wright ever getting a MONUMENTAL big Clutch HIt… If Chipper was 5 years younger I’d trade Chipper for Wright in a heartbeat… He was friggin horrible in the playoffs in 06 and if he hit a lick the METS would’ve made the WS that year… D wright has not proven he is money player….”‘

    8)”The braves aren’t winning anything this year either…….go jack off to your stars and bars”

    Maybe somebody from Atlanta can tell me what that means.

    9)”Wow. Way to chisel every stereotype about hayseed Atlantans into granite. Wrench your thumb from your arse and go back to your TiVo’ed WWE highlights, you redneck lump of Skoal-scented feces.”

    I have a Skoal Peach can right next to me, I’m sorry.

    10)”hahahaah yea cuz Atlanta is such a tradition rich sports city……the hotbed for AIDS”

    It’s like David Letterman’s Top 10 !!!
    I can’t even pick my favorite.

  35. HAHAHA “hotbed for AIDS”. That’s awful, but I couldn’t help but laugh at that one.

    Braves can’t win down the stretch? I’m pretty sure our June Swoon in ’06 is what murdered us, and we were really never that in it last year. Oh, the years before those two? We won the division EVERY FREAKING YEAR!

    The Alou argument is funny. Except for the time he won a WS, teams don’t win with Alou! OK, Alou has one WS title, and Barry Bonds has zero. Who’d you pick?

    I’ll take #5 as the winner. The Major League II line is awesome.

  36. Ric @ 25 — most of us complaining are in the South and get Peachtree TV through a regional channel, CSS. For some ungodly reason, they decided people would rather watch the SEC Tournament than the Braves.

  37. That sucks Mac. When the Braves play the Giants or the A’s in my area it blacks out the Braves feed so I have to watch their telecast which I hate.

  38. Mac, I thought anything SEC related was the most important thing in the world though ??

  39. KJ watch: .299/.361/.503

    It must be because the Braves moved him down in the order! (sarcasm alert)

  40. Here again is the email I sent CSS:

    Thank you SO very much for pre-empting the May 22 Braves game in order to show college baseball. I know that if I had the choice between unskilled amateurs attempting to play baseball using improper equipment and the best professionals in the world in a key matchup of division rivals, I’d choose the former every time!

  41. Mac, you should have included there is wasn’t like there was two good pitchers squaring off against each other or anything. I have the Extra Innings package, I got the SNY feed, so I enjoy how Ron Darling, who was absolutely terrible with the Nationals and replaced by Don Sutton, is now somehow “part of the best broadcast team in the business,” and parlayed his ineptitude into a national job with TBS.

  42. Joe Simpson made a good point tonight in saying that had Escobar not been injured, Kelly probably doesn’t even play tonight. I think Bobby would have started Infante at 2nd with Santana throwing.

    Hope Kelly’s putting Bobby’s platoon plans to rest.

  43. Fun with small sample size…

    I just noticed that Chris Resop has only allowed 2 runs since April 9, and none since April 23.

    You take out the bad outing he had against Colorado on April 9, and his ERA is 2.84. His peripherals are actually fairly decent except for an elevated walk rate.

  44. If the Mets don’t win in Denver, is Willie on the team charter back to LaGuardia?

    I won’t see another Braves game until next Tuesday, so I’ll be jonesin’ hard. Here’s to another big series against another team that’s suddenly skidding.

    BTW, when did AIDS become funny?

  45. What a nice run for the Braves! I think that if our team can get a bit better in road games then this could turn out to be a memorble season.

    I also like KJ lower in the lineup–though I will probably change my mind when he cools off….

  46. Mac, I also think the ridiculous difference between the home/road records is purely luck. On the other hand, you may think there is something beyond luck when the entire lineup hit worse on the road except Chipper.

    Pitching wise, I definitely think we need to trade for a veteran starter. The team just can’t expect JJ to pitch so well the entire season, and Tommy is expected to get tired toward to year end. We will have a good pen when Smoltz, Sori, and Gonzo are all back.

    Stephen, I think you will like the idea of KJ being lower in the lineup even more when he cools off. We need consistent baserunners on base ahead of Chipper and Tex.

  47. kc, I agree with you with at some point needing more starting pitching, but right now how can you argue with things ??? Trading for veteran starters would be dangerous in my opinion, and you’re talking to somebody who advocated trading Matt Morris for Esco last year, when the Braves needed “veteran” pitching. I have since apologized numerous times for that, (I also advocated Esco for Bronson Arroyo, hopefully there are no records of that.) I say just ride it out with Huddy, Jurrjens, Glavine, JoJo and Bennett/Campillo and James (after a month at AAA) and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe Hanson and somebody else will be ready by July, but I definately don’t see anybody out there worth trading for at this point. I think the bullpen will be fine when Gonzo/Soriano/Smoltz come back, so while the rotation may not be “great,” I don’t think a great rotation may be needed to make the playoffs in the east this year.

  48. Oh, and maybe Stockman will be okay when Boyer’s arm falls off. That is the only thing that concerns me at this point.

  49. KC–I am not sure what to make of the road/home discrepancy. A few years ago the Braves really seemed to play lousy at home. That said, at this point in the season the difference is has profound as I remember.

    It would be great to get another starter, but the price may be very high. Imagine trading away nearly as much talent at we did to get Tex and then getting someone like Bronson Arroyo or Kris Benson. Maybe that is pessimistic, but the Braves will not be the only team in the marktet for starters.

    I would rather see the Braves find a way to get Chuck James back to his 2006 and 2007 self. I am not a big James fan, but he would give us the pitcher we might need for the second half of the season.

  50. jj3bagger, I don’t think the rotation needs immediate help as well. I just think Campillo’s luck will run out as fast as Carlyle. If we are very lucky, then he is our Jorge for this year. Even with that, we still have two rookies in the rotation in JJ and JoJo. On top of that we are expecting an inevitable fade of Tommy. Right now Huddy is the only one we can count on who can expect to ride out the entire season. Even if JJ continues to be consistent, we still have gap in the rotation to fill. Is the backup plans of Chucky, Morton, and Bennett enough? I think it’s enough for us to ride until the trading deadline, but not enough to ride out the season. I guess that’s my ultimate point.

  51. Stephen, even if we get Chucky to right himself, I still don’t think we have enough. If the combo of JJ and JoJo continues to do well, then I don’t think we need help. But what’s the chance of both rookies can stay consistently good for the entire season?

    That’s why I would like to see Maddux back. He may be the only one in the market who will not cost our entire farm system.

  52. KC–I would like to get Maddux back as well, but the price may be prohibitive.

    I guess that at this point I am more confident in JJ than you to get through the season as a solid starter.

    However, I am very concerned about Jo Jo on the road; I think that he wil prove in the long run to be a quality starter, but I also expect a rocky ride along the way.

    Jo Jo and Lillibridge for Maddux? Would the Padres go for it?

  53. Stephen, I am thinking more along the line of a lower level prospect with high ceiling (similar to the Max Ramirez for Wickman deal). Since Maddux has a full no trade clause and is the one calling his own shot, there are only limited number of teams which he is willing to be traded to. I also believe the Braves are able to take on Maddux’s contract. So, I really don’t think we will need to give the Padres much to get Maddux. Maybe Tyler Flowers? I don’t like any catching prospect with a first name of Tyler, maybe Tyler Houston has something to do with that…

    At the end of the day, Atlanta, Chicago, and west coast NL teams are probably Maddux only potential destinations for trade. No AL team for him obviously. Do the Cubs need pitching help? I don’t think the Padres will trade within the division. If not Atlanta, I think Maddux will stay put.

  54. If we could get Maddux for Flowers, it would be a great deal. Flowers is not having a great year and while some of that may be attributed to playing at the Beach, I don’t think he looks nearly as good as Max Ramirez.

  55. On pitching,

    IF we make a move, we don’t need a #3, #4 starter. even if we give virtually nothing, we have that covered. What we NEED (and are almost certainly unlikely to get) is a #2 or better starter. Our starting pitching hole is not a REGULAR SEASON hole it is a POSTSEASON hole and possibly an intermediate term hole for the next couple of years.

    The possible play there is Eric Bedard. I think he has 2 years left on his contract after this year at reasonable rates. I know Seattle just got him, but we can give them more talent than they gave up to get him without it gutting our system. Plus, Seattle always makes dumb moves.

  56. jj3bagger @50, sub part 8,

    The “Stars and Bars” is a nickname for the official flag of the Confederacy (sometimes mistakenly applied to the Confederate battle flag).

  57. gotta side with Cliff on the pitcher issue, we dont need another 3,4 , type of guy, and a 1 or 2 will not likely be available at any time soon. We need to get some healthy arms back .
    I would just love to know why Stockman is here?
    I like the way we are using Resop, he is pitching in situations good for him, maybe it will build up his confidence, we need him in the long run .
    Chuck needs to stay at AAA for the rest of the season, he needs the work, getting chased in the 5th in the bigs is not letting him find his old form.
    MLB extra Innings is the way to go.

  58. Yeah–Seattle really does have a history of bad decisons: Bedard sounds good….

  59. “Jo Jo and Lillibridge for Maddux? Would the Padres go for it?”

    Yes.

    Hopefully the Braves won’t. A half a season of the modern version of Greg Maddux is not worth that price tag.

  60. On KJ:

    I accept the notion that, in a vacuum, lineup construction makes only a small difference in the amount of runs a team will eventually score, and that the small difference that exists is largely a function of getting your best hitters as many plate appearances as possible.

    However, this theory assumes that KJ will just blithely tote his .299/.361/.503 line into any situation, and I don’t think that’s necessarily true. If, when he struggles, he feels that the exposure of being the leadoff hitter exacerbates the situation, then moving him down makes sense.

    If he continues to rake, and someone else struggles, he’ll move back up. There’s this tendency to believe that the latest move that’s made is set in stone, but one glance at KJ’s career splits shows that Cox has always been willing to move him in the order.

  61. I do find it somewhat ironic that we like to gloat about how reactionary Mets fans can be when as recently as this week, we had people complaining about how this was just a .500 team, how Cox needs to retire, etc.

    Just to be clear, Cox still needs to retire.

  62. re: Maddux

    Again, love the guy but see no need for him at this point. The rotation of Hudson-Glavine-Jurggjens-Campillo-Reyes is pretty damn good right now and only if say Reyes or Campillo implodes and we can deal say a middling monor leaguer, would it be worth putting the 2008 version of Greg in a Braves uni.

    Plus, as previously stated, he’s home in San Diego, and a west coast guy. I think mutually on both sides there’s no reason for a move, but since the Pads are going nowhere, I am sure Greg would probably be perfectly happy to spend one more half season in Atlanta for a nostalgia tour with Tommy and Smoltz.

    By the way, was just thinking, if we could get all of the rest of our games moved to Turner Field, we’d probably win a 120 games this year and have a great shot at the W.S.

    As for Fredi Gonzalez, good for him, but I am sorry, I am just not buying that the Marlins can hold up. They simply don’t have the chips to be in first place by Mid June.

  63. Why is no one considering the return of Hampton?

    Thank you. I needed a good laugh on a Friday morning!

  64. @32 It looked to me like Schneider was headed to back up the throw to first.

  65. @84

    I thought so, too. For what it’s worth, I thought Castillo had a better chance at home than at first, but that’s partially because he took such a deep route to fielding the ball in the first place.

  66. Gotta say Snitker had a good game, too — sending Teixeira on that play, as well as holding up Infante with two outs in the 7th when the impulse might have been to try and score the go-ahead run. We ended up scoring twice.

  67. I’d take Maddux in a heartbeat—and I agree with kc that he’d likely come relatively cheaply—but otherwise, I’m with Cliff & Co. in believing we need a top-of-the-rotation guy, not a middle-of-the-rotation guy. Maybe, like, Ben Sheets, maybe…

  68. Alex, #80, completely agree.

    Sansho, I agree on that throw home, I’m not sure Castillo would have gotten KJ at first from his knees, especially considering how awful his throw ended up being.

    The key play for me was Kotsay safely going first to third on Chipper’s single to Endy Chavez. Chavez — who has an impressive arm, despite having no power whatsoever at the plate — throws a strike to David Wright at third, but it short-hops Wright and bounces away, letting Kotsay slide in safely. If Wright catches the ball and makes a perfect tag, Kotsay’s probably out by a few inches.

  69. Let’s get a list of possible 1’s and 2’s and their “attributes” (contract status, health histories, etc.)

    Sheets,

    Harden,

    Snell,

    Bedard,

    Penny (maybe he isn’t a 2 anymore),

    Kazmir (it doens’t make sense, but there has been a lot ot talk the Rays might move him)

  70. Random thoughts on Cox’s bullpen use this year:

    So, at at some point (Mid-June at the latest), we’re supposed to be adding about three top-teir arms to the bullpen, effetively pushing Boyer and Acosta into middle relief roles. When this happens, they probably won’t see that much time.

    I don’t think it’s unrealistic to expect Boyer to finish the year with fewer than 80 IP given that Soriano, Smoltz, and Gonzo do the bulk of the late-innings work in close games. If this happens, Cox looks pretty smart for using him heavily when it was necessary instead of risking leads to the likes of Resop.

    So while the usage of Boyer has looked pretty awful up to this point, there’s a realistic chance that he doesn’t end the year with a prohibitably high number of innings on his arm. And due to their injuries, the same is true for Soriano and Gonzalez.

    This whole “closers missing first two months of season” thing could work out well for us in the end.

  71. And if there’s one thing I hate about MLB.com, it’s how they never have the awesome plays people talk about here included in their “top plays” stuff.

  72. Anybody have a name for this past week? “Assripping in Atlanta” doesn’t quite have the prosodic elements of “Boston Massacre,” etc.

  73. So while the usage of Boyer has looked pretty awful up to this point, there’s a realistic chance that he doesn’t end the year with a prohibitably high number of innings on his arm. And due to their injuries, the same is true for Soriano and Gonzalez.

    Question: Isn’t all the several-games-in-a-row pitching Boyer’s been asked to do bad on an historically healthy guy and even worse on a guy coming off a major shoulder injury/surgery? If so, it’s sort of irrelevant (to me and my complaints, anyway) that Boyer won’t be used as much later—the damage to his arm might already be done.

    If that’s not the case, though, then you’re absolutely right and I’d be perfectly willing to take back my complaints.

  74. I’ve periodically posted here on the ‘negative’ side so let me take this chance to say I haven’t been this happy about baseball, because of the Braves, for a few years. Yes, the 90s spoiled us, but also: yes, I can still love the game I grew up loving. God I’m psyched about this sweep.

    @89 – I think of that group Snell is the most likely to be dealt to anyone, but he’s really laboring this year. I don’t see Bedard or Kazmir moving while I’m terrified of Harden’s health and Billy Beane’s recent trade prowess. That said, Sheets is intriguing if available. If the Braves could come up with enough to trade for Sheets, that could make sense for both teams. I also find Milwaukee to be an interesting team in regards to trading because they have one of, if not the most intriguing hitting prospect in the minors – Matt La Porta – who can’t field and is blocked by Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, two other DH’s who have to play the field.

    I’m not sold that Gonzalez will be back in June with any degree of effectiveness, but I’ll happily eat crow if he does. Just… let’s keep his appearances under control, shall we?

  75. aar,

    Golden.

    mraver,

    I think Bobby was HOPING “in a few weeks I can reduce Boyer’s usage”, but he STILL overloaded Boyer, miserably. Going evry third day from June 10 to end of season will not offset this. We will be LUCKY if we don’t see a problem rom this down the road.

    I wonder if Boyer being a non arb ML minimum player with no future vested contract contributed to the overuse? There were at least a few of the situations where Resop could have come in safely. Or Carlyle. Even 2 or so would have made a difference.

    The good part of Bobby’s bullpen usage is that he is doing the postseason shuffle. That is, lefty / righty matchups all over the place, 4 out appearances, mid inning changes. At least these guys won’t be out of their comfort zones if we get there and they get a weird usage pattern (because they have already experienced it).

  76. This was sort of fun (and I’m sort of weird):

    Sheets — turns 30 in July, last year of contract ($11 million), not-good health history (averaged 134 2/3 IP over past 3 seasons)

    Harden — 26 years old, last year of contract ($4.5 million) with $7 million team option for ’09, terrible health history (72 1/3 IP combined over past 2 seasons, already lotsa time on the DL this season)

    Snell —* 26 years old, 3 years left on contract ($0.75, 3, 4.25 million) plus team options for $6.75 million in ’11 and $9.25 million in ’12, no injury history to speak of

    *Not sure Snell’s a top-of-the-rotation guy. He’s been better than league average exactly once so far and has struggled this year.

    Bedard —* 29 years old, final year of arbitration ($7 million), never had 200 IP in a season

    *There’s no way the Mariners would deal him this season.

    Penny — 30 years old, last year of contract ($8.5 million) plus team option for $8.75 million or buyout for $2 million in ’09, pretty good health history (but he’s logged a lot of hard-throwing innings over the past decade)

    Kazmir —* 24 years old, 4 years left on contract ($3.785, 6, 8, and 12 million) plus $13.5 million team option or $2.5 million buyout in ’12, Not quite Sheets- or Burnett-like, but seems to miss some time each year (179 IP per year over past 3 seasons)

    *I can’t fathom the Rays trading him.

    My additions:

    Blanton —* 27 years old, earning $3.7 million in first year of arbitration, no injury history (but has already logged a ton of innings)

    *I’m convinced he could be a #2 in the NL.

    AJ Burnett — 31 years old, 3 years left on contract ($12 million per year) unless Burnett opts out after ’08, Sheets-like injury history

    Javier Vazquez — turns 32 in July, 3 years left on contract ($11.5 million per year), no injury history to speak of

    Roy Oswalt — turns 31 in August, 4 years left on contract ($13, 14, 15, and 16 million) plus a $16 million option or $2 million buyout in ’12, no injury history to speak of (but is smallish and hard-throwing and could break down, Pedro-style, in the near future)

    Aaron Harang —* 30 years old, 3 years left on contract ($6.75, 11, and 12.5 million) plus a $14 million mutual option or $2.5 million buyout in ’11, no injury history to speak of

    Jake Peavy — 27 years old, 5 years left on contract ($6, 8, 15, 16, and 17 million) plus $22 million team option or $4 million buyout in ’13, no injury history to speak of (but isn’t a real big guy and has a pretty violent delivery)

    CC Sabathia —* 27 years old, last year of contract ($9 plus another $2.75 million in possible incentives), no injury history to speak of (but a whole lotta miles on that not-Adonis-like physique)

    *Obviously, Cleveland would have to be out of contention, which is unlikely. If so, though, this would be akin to a Sheets half-season rental.

  77. I mentioned Burnett a couple of threads ago, no one responded. Doesn’t his contract allow him to opt out after this year? Do you think he would do that if he were traded here?

  78. I am in California without internet access through the middle of next week, but in the USA Today I can see that Rome finally ended that 10 or 11 game losing streak and Richmond lost by two touchdowns. Any news on the individual prospects over the last few days? Has Teheran pitched in Rome yet?

  79. Burnett’s been coming up in these discussions for over a year. Yes, as noted above, he can opt out after the year. I think whether he opts out depends completely upon whether he and his agent think he can get a better deal than $24 million over the next two seasons.

  80. might harden be the only one that’s really available? and wouldn’t lightning have to be bottled a few times for him to be worthwhile?

    the jays’ pitching is the only thing that’s keeping them decent. seems like they’d have to be really out of it to consider moving burnett.

    the brewers would really have to be out of it to consider giving up sheets. even then, their front office would have to be willing to make a shrewd deal at the expense of a disappointed fan base. they love sheets up here.

    blanton at a good price could be a decent move — but the A’s are competing.

  81. i wouldn’t be surprised to see the brewers extend sheets. you never know. even though it’d be wise for them to move him and get some prospects in return.

  82. Javier Vazquez is the sixth all-time in wins for a team that hasn’t existed in four years, yet is still only 32 years old.

  83. Well, the Jays’ pitching may be keeping them decent, but why pay ~$30 to be decent for a little while longer instead of trying to save some money to rebuild and be better than decent afterward? If I were a Jays fan, I’d certainly be OK with the team moving Burnett for a good prospect or two.

    And, yeah, obviously, most of those guys, Sheets included, wouldn’t be moved unless their respective team were out of it. Again, though, for Sheets in particular, if they are out of it and don’t have an extension in the works—do they have an extension in the works?—why wouldn’t they give up a half season of Sheets for prospects?

  84. Regarding Boyer’s arm…. While intuitively it makes sense that back-to-back nights would be bad for the arm, I’m not sure if there’s any real evidence of how bad it is or whatever. And I’m reasonably sure pitching 90 evenly-spaced innings is worse than 70 front-loaded ones.

    I mean, when it comes down to it, pitching itself is bad for the arm/shoulder/joints, etc., so the question is really about minimizing damage. And I’m just suggesting that if we minimize his innings the rest of the way, it won’t end up as big of a deal as it looks like it is at this point.

    In fact, I think I’ll drop Will Carrol (BP’s injury guy, whose really quite knowledgeable about this stuff) an email to get his opinion.

  85. good ole Peachtree TV again tonight, I really am starting to hate this!! thanks TBS and I hope FSS and SS are happy with their tv lineup tonight

  86. I suppose I should say that I do agree with the general criticism that Boyer often pitches in games where we’re up (or down) enough to where it would just be better to give Boyer the day off and throw out Resop or someone else.

  87. Or in both games of a double-header in which we’re up enough to where it would just be better to give Resop or Stockman an inning.

  88. 105, stu, i’m on board with you on it making sense for their respective teams to move burnett and sheets (under the assumption, of course, that they’re out of the race). i just wonder if they will go through with it.

    i have no idea if an extension is in the works for sheets. i just believe that the organization would like to keep a healthy sheets to anchor their staff as their young team grows. i’m just speculating though. maybe they’re hoping he’ll stay healthy enough that they can flip him in the second half for some prospects. i also don’t know if he intends to go on the market or if he wants to resign with a solid young team in a volatile division. conclusion of my post: i have no idea what they’ll do. side conclusion: i doubt the organization knows yet, either. so it’s all fair game as we continue to speculate about who we could possibly pick up.

    if i were a jays fan, i’d be willing to give up burnett for prospects too. not sure ricciardi sees it that way. pitching is their key. that said, they’re going to need a perfect storm of talent and health to *really* compete for that division. burnett fits half of that bill. i think it would make sense for them to put feelers out and see what they could get in return. but… i don’t know what they think their expectations are or plans. except for punching themselves in the face for spending so much on vernon wells.

  89. I have a few friends that are huge Mets. I refrained from trash talk during the series since everything was going so well, so I took the liberty to send out some text messages yesterday. The responses centered around making of fun of Oh man for being the closer, their hatrid of the mets, and a jab at having to beat a real team to make the playoffs. One friend is too dismayed to respond. I love it.

  90. so basically i’m saying that i’m not sure those guys will be available. which nobody ever said they were to begin with since we’re all just speculating anyway.

  91. Yeah, I agree with you, c. shorter. I have no idea whether teams would actually be willing to deal the guys I listed above—and if they are so willing, at what price—but I tried to list the guys that I thought could conceivably make sense for both sides.

  92. I think some of those names are incredibly unlikely to be traded and a more realistic list can be shortened to:

    Sheets
    Harden
    Snell
    Burnett
    Blanton
    Penny
    and Sabathia if the Indians fall out of it.

    Penny is a longer shot because of that option year. I would expect Burnett to opt out of his contract unless things go very badly for him, so he is a rental.

    Where is Vasquez anyway?

  93. I’m elated by the sweep. Put a spring in my step. And I’m really glad that we seem to play our best baseball against our rivals. It’d sure be nice if we could beat the teams we’re “supposed” to beat and win some on the road too. But I don’t want to make it seem like I’m complaining. Great last couple of series.

  94. If I were the Pirates, I wouldn’t move Snell. Good young arm at a decent price. Shows flashes of brilliance coupled with inconsistency (to be expected for a guy that’s still pretty young).

  95. Agreed again, c. shorter. I think someone like Oswalt or Vazquez (who’s with the ChiSox, BTW, Parish) would be more likely to be moved than Snell.

  96. Seems (to me) like LA would keep Penny.
    Parity within a division doesn’t lead to much trading… and despite Arizona’s great start, LA’s right with them and I’d expect them to hang around long enough that it wouldn’t do us any good. And Kershaw would have to be sustainably awesome (which rarely happens with kids, no matter how great the talent) in order to let Penny go *if* they’re still contending (even if it’s only in their own heads).

    Doesn’t Penny usually run out of gas in the 2nd half, anyway?

  97. Because they suck and aren’t likely to be much better anytime soon. And he’s not exactly young. I’m not saying he’d come cheaply, but I’d think they’d consider moving him at the right price.

  98. I could see Oswalt being available once the stros are out of it. But they might still think they’re in it for too long.

    I’m guessing it’d be a huge price tag, too. And I don’t think their front office knows what they’re doing (convincing themselves that they will win with this team)… the price tag would probably be ridiculously high.

  99. Yeah, well, depending on how our chances look, I’d probably be willing to pay a ridiculously high price for Oswalt. As we know well, aces don’t grow on trees, and this might be our last real shot at a championship for a good while.

  100. If Oswalt were really available, I think I would go for it. What the Braves will lack over the next 3-4 years is an ace pitcher, and they are not easy to find.

    Of course, I would have gone after Prior with equal gusto 3 years ago.

  101. <<<<feeling stupid because i’m the only guy here that knows less about bullpens and lineups than Bobby Cox.

  102. Peavy would be the real prize of the potential aces out there. He’s younger. You know the Braves drool over him, too, being a southern guy who grew up a Braves fan.

  103. There is literally no one in our system besides Jason Heyward that I would not be willing to include in a deal for a not-old ace who is under contract for the next few years. But I’m probably pretty close to being alone in that view.

  104. All this talk of getting top-tier pitching is great, but look at the Mets and see where it’s gotten them so far. I would rather us either develop our guys in house or make a trade similar to the Jurrjens deal. This puts more emphasis on our scouting department, but IMO this is where it should be anyway. As was pointed out, the injury history of some of the “top-tier” guys makes the true value of these players a little questionable. This also makes the Braves run of 14 straight even more incredible to me.

  105. Mike,
    Of course you’re probably right, but who knows? He’s not cheap, and the Padres are terrible. I’d offer Hanson, Jones, Lillibridge, and Hernandez and see what they say.

  106. 129 – nope, i would too. i was the one who (lightheartedly) suggested trading the Rome team for Peavy.

  107. i guess two out of many would still count as pretty close to being alone, though.

  108. td,
    Well, Santana’s still pretty darn good. And we wouldn’t be committing $140 million to whomever we trade for. Yeah, there’s certainly the risk of injury with most pitchers—and, in particular, with some of the guys on that list—but I still feel like we should be in win-now mode.

  109. td, development would certainly be the way to go. we’ve got some intriguing young arms… but they’re still a ways away. and we haven’t exactly been churning out aces lately.

  110. Yea the Padres are terrible this year. But they are not even a year removed from a one game playoff against the Rockies. They didn’t lose much from last year (that I know of, I may be wrong), so who’s to say they won’t be able to contend with the same guys next year? Also, don’t they need some offense? I don’t think Jones and Lillibridge would be able to put up the kind of numbers they need at the plate.

  111. You guys are talking as if young, quality major league arms are available at the clearance isle at Wal Mart. Pretty comical, really.

    I am not too worried about this rotation in the post-season. The only team in the NL that has scary-good starters that we might face in the post-season is Arizona, and I’m curious to see if their bloated record is due to their division.. 20 of their 28 wins have come against the NL West. The other NL teams that are likely to make the post-season are built similar to us. (Good, but not dominate starters, strong offense, good bull-pen) and we certainty have every team in the NL beat (at least on paper) when it comes to offense and bullpen. I say all that to say, IF we make the post season, we are unlikely to run into the rotations of Clemens/Oswalt, Wood/Pryor, Johnson/Schilling, Beckett/Willis, etc. that have killed us in the Braves most recent post-seaon exists. I think we can compete against those the NL elite THIS year. Of course, Boston is another matter. Well get killed by them in a WS, but that’s putting the cart way before the horse.

    That being said, if we can pick up Maddux for a LOW level pitching prospect, or even i high level position player that is blocked at the Major League level, I would be stoked for the nostalgia. He would also make our young guys even better with his pitching wisdom. But giving up JoJo or even Chucky to get him is just plan nuts.

  112. wow.. that post had some crazy typos… oh well, i don’t get paid to post on a braves blog. back to work. nobody tell my boss ;-).

  113. courtneyc — it started out as an off the top of the head list of who *might* be made available (regardless of price) in case teams fell out of contention. then names are being questioned and some removed. it’s something to talk about. i wouldn’t really expect us to get any of those names.

    i agree with you that Arizona is the only team that (so far) has a really imposing playoff rotation.

    it’d be cool to get maddux back for the nostalgia factor. but i, too, wouldn’t want to give up much in terms of prospects (especially arms).

  114. You guys are talking as if young, quality major league arms are available at the clearance isle at Wal Mart. Pretty comical, really.

    Who is? Where?

    I am not too worried about this rotation in the post-season.

    I am. We have Tim Hudson and a whole bunch of question marks. In addition to the D’Backs, the Dodgers and Cubs also have what I would consider better rotations than ours going forward. Perhaps I should start to believe this is the real JJ, but I still can’t bring myself to do so. I have serious trouble believing that our rotation, as currently constructed, will remain this effective 100 games from now.

    But giving up JoJo or even Chucky to get him is just plan nuts.

    I would give up Chuck James for Maddux in a heartbeat.

  115. The problem on who to include for the ace. It depneds on if it is (a) a rest of the year rental or (b) somebody with 2 or 3 years left on a contract at a Liberty Media doable number (which is slightly higher than, but not stratospherically in excees of, a Time Warner number).

    Stu,

    Thanks for the research. It helps get that context.

    If say it is Sheets, then only bits and pieces for him because there is no contract left.

    If it is say Peavy or Oswalt, then I would go anybody we have, 1 up. I would go a lot of guys with one or two extras. Prospects are just that. Prospects. And, even with Heyward’s make up and stuff, I would move him for a pitcher FOR A FEW YEARS.

    I think the upper prospects (James, Jo Jo, Morton, Bennett, Campillo {he’s under our control for 6 years, isn’t he?}) are all capable of being 3’s. I have Jair as a foundation that we hold on to. Certainly has pitched as a 2 so far. Need to see him face more lineups the second time and make sure he doesn’t break down.

    The next tier of pitchers is Hanson, Rohrbaugh, Locke, Evarts, etc. May be a #1 out of the group, but probably not for 4 to 5 years. by 2010, at least 1 or 2 4’s in that group. Within

    Teheran is a “somewhere out there” for now. If he gets in a couple of games, then we will know if he is truly untouchable or merely an astoundingly good prospect.

  116. Yea, I would like to add a proven starter for a stretch run and the postseason. But I think we have zero chance of getting someone like Jake Peavy. I think the one we have the best shot at is AJ Burnett. Blue Jays most likely won’t be in the race come July, and its not like they will be building a team around AJ Burnett.

  117. In addition to the D’Backs, the Dodgers and Cubs also have what I would consider better rotations than ours going forward.

    So what? We aren’t competing against them for anything. Unless you are already looking at postseason matchups and in that case we certainly have plenty of first hand experience that having the best rotation in the postseason guarantees you nothing.

    We should be on the phone every day trying to pry away Nady or Bay from the Pirates. You stick one real corner outfielder on this team and you’ve really got something.

  118. So what? We aren’t competing against them for anything. Unless you are already looking at postseason matchups and in that case we certainly have plenty of first hand experience that having the best rotation in the postseason guarantees you nothing.

    Since I was responding to the comment about being comfortable with our postseason rotation, yes, I was talking about postseason matchups. And I’ve never seen a Braves postseason rotation with more than one power pitcher, which is what I’d love to see this year. I’ve seen several teams who aren’t reliant on finesse arms to advance to very well in the playoffs.

    We should be on the phone every day trying to pry away Nady or Bay from the Pirates.

    I’d love to have either of those guys (as long as Bobby would play them), but I disagree with the implication that we should be looking for hitting instead of pitching.

  119. Stu,

    Big disagreement over Maddux.

    He is pitching in pitcher’s heaven and is not a world beater there.

    He can’t go more than about 6 any more.

    Chuck James is cost controlled for at least 3 more years AND HAS OPTIONS. Even with his recent struggles and with the possible hangover on the shoulder, he should bring more than Maddux or we shouldn’t trade him.

    Further, if Maddux could come for no najor league minimum and nobody going out, I don’t see how anybody can project him as SIGNIFICANTLY better than Reyes, Campillo, Bennett, and James.

    The postseason is the WORST argument on Madddux. He has always been a better regular season guy than post season guy. A good post season guy (should we add him to our list?) as compared to regular season is Millwood.

    Maddux can be valuable as a 4 or 5 to GET you TO the postseason. In the postseason, he has no business starting.

  120. So “power pitchers” are the key to post season success? I’d love to see that research. Runs are runs, scored or prevented. We could use another starting pitcher and we could use at least one corner outfielder. Outfielders come a whole lot cheaper and are a lot less likely to get hurt.

    Gotta shop smart.

  121. Some rotations in the NL might be better top to bottom than ours, but not too many have more than one show-stopping ace. No team in the NL has a better lineup or bullpen that we do. (assuming everybody gets healthy and stays healthy, of course)

    All I am saying is we can compete against those the NL elite rotations in the post-season. It won’t be like the ’01 D’Backs, the ’03 Cubs, the ’04 Marlins or the ’05 Astros, where we had to go up against 2 #1 starters. (I might have gotten those years wrong, just going by memory, but you get the idea.)

    Of course, if Pedro gets himself off the DL and starts pitching like he is capable of, the Mets are going to be tough to beat, no matter how many washed up vets are in their lineup.

  122. Cliff,
    I agree with your postseason analysis re: Maddux. I don’t advocate getting him with the expectation that he’ll do anything more than help us get to the postseason. I wasn’t arguing that we get Maddux for the postseason at all.

    I strongly disagree with your characterization of his regular-season value. He’s pretty obviously better than Chuck James this year, and he’s a far safer bet, IMO, than Reyes, Campillo, or James.

    Also, which of those guys has gone more than the 6 innings which you point to as Maddux’s limit even once?

    And we have different opinions of how valuable Chuck will be at his cost-controlled state over the next few seasons.

  123. I read the post game thread line over at Mets Blog. You know they are all right about us…

    Well, I have to go back to my trailer and make love to my sister before my KKK meeting.

  124. Anecdotally on Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz and their respective post season records.

    Smoltz’ is by far the best. Despite a few notable successes, Glavine and Maddux both have poor post season records.

    Why? Because both Glavine and Maddux depend on hitters trying to doo too much and getting themselves out. If it is one game of a three game set in the middle of a season, then say Sammy Sosa goes for the fence. In trying to do that, he grounds out to short . In post season, he is more likely to take the walk or go the other way for a single.

    Good specific example, Glavine starting the All Star game (1994?). He gave up 7 or so straight opposite field singles to the AL hitters. When good hitters forget about their stats, then you have to have the power to keep them down.

  125. Smoltz has said he doesn’t think his shoulder could take a whole season of starting, but who is to say he wouldn’t move back to the rotation if the bravos make the playoffs?

  126. If you look at teams that have done well in the post season, they always seem to have 2 or more “Power Arms” Look at the guys who have dominated in the post season Smoltz, Beckett,Schilling,Clemens. But at the same time, you have guys like Pettite….so maybe that theory goes out the window…

  127. I know, Smoltz should just learn to pitch left handed. He is already adjusting his arm angle and using new pitches to help the team in any way he can.

    Smoltz, or any can’t just go from starter to reliever and back to starter in a day or two. The proper conditioning takes several weeks. (I think)

  128. cue jim mora. the expression “diddly poo” just makes me laugh.

    it’d be awesome to get smoltz back to starting at any point. don’t know if we can expect that, though. we can always hope.

  129. If the Braves were able to swing a deal for Peavy or Oswalt, I think those of us obssessed with overpaying Teixeira to keep him, would relent on that point and lose him in the offseason.

    The fact is, if we can get a legit ace who’s sitll in prime pitching age to stick at the top of the rotation with Hudson, that’s a good way to offset a Teixeira departure and hopefully find a solid first baseman in his place.

    And as Stu said, if we got Peavy, we’d have a really good chance to re-sign him because of his lifelong fanhood of the Braves.

  130. I don’t think Oswalt’s going anywhere, as the Astros are just two games behind the Cubs.

  131. Peavy would be great, but we’d have to clear out the minors of our prospects to get him.

  132. I don’t think it’s that power pitchers guarantee post-season success per-se, but more that power (or really strikeout) pitchers simply have less variation in their outcomes. Guys like Glavine tend to rely on balls in play going their way, and that style necessarily leaves a lot of room open for random bounces. They balance out over the course of a season, but in the playoffs, sometimes all you get is one or two starts.

  133. If you look at teams that have done well in the post season, they always seem to have 2 or more “Power Arms” Look at the guys who have dominated in the post season Smoltz, Beckett,Schilling,Clemens. But at the same time, you have guys like Pettite….so maybe that theory goes out the window…

    It’s a mixed bag. Guys like Hershiser and Stewart were fine post season pitchers without striking everybody out. Obviously it would be great to have guys that could take care of 8-12 hitters by themselves, but it’s obviously not a requirement.

  134. I am willing to bet almost any amount of money that if we make the post season that Smoltz will be a starter. He will pitch through the pain for a month – no way he stays in the pen.

  135. That would give us 2 #1 pitchers – and a decent #2 or #3 starter out of Jurrjens (if he keeps up what he has been doing).

  136. I think our rotation is good enough for the long haul of the season – its in a post season series that it is not built for. But Smoltz could easily solve that issue.

  137. Does anyone know when Esco is going to be ready to play? We could really use him against Arizona…

  138. keep in mind that the previous peavy wishing was a while ago — before he signed his extension to stay in san diego.

  139. Reading the AJC and Braves.com.. they are both saying Frenchy has broken out of his slump. He had one good game!

    Gotta love how quick they are to give good press about the poster boy.

  140. Frenchy just did what he did in the Nats game: padded his stats in a blowout win.

  141. Actually, he hit the ball very well last night as well – very well. Just didn’t get anything to fall in. In fact, we had ALOT of hard hit balls last night that didn’t fall in. We could have had alot more than 12 hits off Santana.

  142. we’re all pretty quick to change our tunes about the team lately, too. not saying it’s not warranted — the team has been playing great lately. but a little over a week ago it was pretty dour around here.

    again, we should be elated. things are clicking and we swept our rivals. the recent success has us optimistic.

    although i don’t think any of us would go as far as saying frenchy’s out of his “slump.”

  143. i include myself among the dour ones. i’m a pretty pessimistic fan in general. expect the worst to happen, then be elated when it works out.

  144. i’m a pretty pessimistic fan in general. expect the worst to happen, then be elated when it works out.

    Same here. I don’t think I was always this way. I think my Vanderbilt fan tendencies spill over.

  145. Actually, he hit the ball very well last night as well – very well. Just didn’t get anything to fall in.

    This is a good point. He had a typical Frenchy night – 0-4, 5 LOB – but struck the ball really well. It wasn’t your typical first pitch popup 0-4.

    I’m very cautiously optimistic.

  146. I am in agreement that Heyward is the only untouchable if we are getting a Peavey or an Oswalt. A lot more names come off the board for the half year rentals, though. If you put Hanson in any package of prospects, then that package is instantly better than what the Mets gave up for a full year of Santana.

    Also, if we trade for an ace, we do what it takes to keep him even if it costs us Tex.

  147. Frenchy swung and missed at a first-pitch slider on every at-bat of the game, as I recall. He hit the ball hard a couple times, and narrowly missed a home run once, but he didn’t help himself out any by making himself so easy to pitch.

  148. That is true as well AAR. But I wasn’t saying he was out of his slump or that he has changed his approach, just that he hit the ball well. I’ll take that MUCH improved contact over the weak grounders and strikeouts he has been prone to.

    But yes, the kids approach NEEDS to change. Everyone in that lineup should take lessons from Chipper – now he is an all-around hitter.

  149. I agree with c. shorter. Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but the Braves are 6-16 on the road and last I heard, the NL requires teams to play some road games. I won’t be excited about this team until it shows it can be at least mediocre on the road. It was a great series–I was at the Nats-Phils game on Wednesday and enjoyed seeing the Mets-Braves score keep ballooning.

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