253 thoughts on “Game thread: Braves at Reds, May 30”

  1. Mac, I have a site that one of those valuation places said was worth over 700K, though I’ve found others that say it’s worth only 10-15K… though I’ve had no offers in either range, much to my chagrin.

  2. Kotsay lasted longer and was obviously much better than I thought he would be. But it’s time to stop screwing around and go get an outfielder. Just an average guy like a Randy Winn or somebody would help a lot.

    A Norton/Anderson/Infante-Blanco-Francoeur outfield is a joke.

  3. anything is an upgrade over Infante and Norton in our outfield. I dont mind the Anderson call up (I would like to see Brandon Jones also). Anderson will give us an upgrade on defense, more speed in the lineup, and will hit just as good as the 1st two mentioned. With KJ, Tex, McCann, and Chipper in the lineup we just need our other guys to get on base and not screw anything up.

  4. I’m with Robert. On the one hand, I’ve come to terms with Blanco, I guess, as he’s getting on base and looked fine in CF this week. But the overall outfield situation is ridiculous. Basically, the 6-8 spots in the lineup are all outfielders and all black holes, with the occasional Blanco walk. The Braves are going to have to get something from one of their corner outfielders down the stretch… it’s that simple. I actually think that LF is as big a position of need now as SP.

  5. Totally agree, Robert. It really shouldn’t be too hard to find someone who’s Randy Winn-ish for a reasonable price. It’s time to do so.

  6. Randy Winn would be a very nice acquisition. The Giants suck also so there is no point in them keeping him

  7. Anderson is fine as a stop-gap, and he’ll be gone once Kotsay returns. But I’d still like to see us make a move in the next week or so to add another bat to the OF.

    On the positive side of things, I wasn’t aware of this until today, but the Braves are leading the NL in defensive effeciency (3rd in MLB behind the Rays and Orioles). On the season, Braves fielders have converted 72.1% of balls in play into outs. Last year, we were pretty good, too, tied for 5th in the league with the Rockies. The rate last year was 70.3%, and the top overall number was Toronto at 71.4%, which makes me think that we may regress a bit.

    On the other hand, we’ve upgraded at SS and 1B defensively while getting Blanco in LF instead of Harris. Kotsay probably hasn’t been as good as Andruw, but that drop-off shouldn’t swamp the other upgrades.

    So that explains at least part of why our pitching is doing well. In fact, it explains a lot of it. The rest of it is that our pitchers (well, Chucky excepted) don’t give up HRs (2nd in the league). We’re above-average in SO and BB, but it’s really the keeping the ball in the park and the high rate of putouts that’s kept our pitchers near the top of the league.

    Let’s hope these guys can keep it up!

    (I got all the numbers from Baseball Prospectus’s statistics section. There’s some good stuff and easy filters if anyone interested in checking it out.)

  8. Also, for whatever it’s worth, I think we’ve got enough pitchers to pitch all of our innings, we just need to be a bit more creative about how we do it. The starting point here would be getting Bennett back into the long man role, going 3 innings in a couple appearances a week (one of them probably after Campillo). There no reason not to give him 100+ innings this year spread over 50-60 outings.

  9. Totally agree with Robert. But I doubt if the Giants give up Winn…he just help them sweep the Diamondbacks. If we are not going to have an outfielder with power, can we at least get a speedster or someone who can hit well over .300? And maybe hit a double every now and then. With our infield, one solid outfielder and the Braves may distance themselves from the pack.

  10. I wonder what Bobby will do with the lineup now. There is really no point in putting the fastest guys in the lineup in the 7 and 8th spots.

  11. Well, there’s no point in putting a guy with a .330 OBP in a high spot in the order, but then again he was putting Infante up there and he’s even worse.

  12. are the reds still wanting to get rid of adam dunn? i know he’s a lot more expensive than we could expect to spend, and i know he’s not exactly a gold glover in left field, and i know he doesn’t hit for average, and he probably doesn’t really help our lineup against lefties (I haven’t checked, just assuming)… but he sure could clog up the bases and hit for power.

    Also… how inept is he at 1b? Completely? Just wondering.

  13. I’ve never been a big fan of Adam Dunn. I fully recognize his value — I just don’t enjoy his approach. Guys like him were the original sabermetric darlings, and it’s true that he puts runs on the scoreboard and wins in the standings. Maybe that’s all I should care about.

    But watching big doofuses haul their butts down to first base after taking another walk, or back to the dugout after striking out yet again, or plodding around the bases after homering — it’s just not very dynamic. I always thought there was a “careful what you wish for” aspect to recognizing the offensive value of guys like Dunn, Howard, et al. Yes, they’re big run producers. They’re also boring as hell to watch.

  14. We should have a pool on when Terence writes that column. I say, the day after Junior hits 600

  15. He doesn’t have to write the column. He has a macro (ctrl+shift+f8) that automatically generates a “Braves should trade for Griffey” column.

  16. Randy Winn is 33 y/o with 9 stolen bases/ OBP of .346 right above Mark Kotsay. If the Braves are truly going to compete, an outfielder is a must. I think the Braves, Mets and Phillies are equal when it comes to the infield, but the outfield is where the Braves are lagging. Victorino has the speed and avg for Philly, while Burrell is 2nd in the NL with OPS of 1.007. Ryan Church(currently DL) is having his breakout year with 9 HR and an OBS. of .904, and while he is not his old self, Beltran still has an OBS .802 with 7 steals.

  17. What’s the deal with Volquez? Is he really as good as his numbers are suggesting after ten games? I ahve never seen him pitch. Anyone?

  18. No I see why Volquez has been so tough:

    “Shocks hitters with a change-up that cuts 20 m.p.h. off his mid-90’s fastball, which can lead to numerous strikeouts. Works hard at improving his craft. “

  19. Volquez = good fastball, excellent changeup but has bouts of wildness that haven’t come back to bite him in the ass yet.

  20. Chipper OPS…..1.170. But what is even more uncanny…is Lance Berkman’s OPS of 1.228.

  21. Chipper’s splits….this is amazing!!

    at home: .437 .516 .660 1.176
    away: .400 .480 .682 1.162

  22. Loni Anderson was a sight gag — Bailey, on the other hand, was the bomb. Can’t believe James Brolin dumped her for Barbra Streisand. I can’t believe I just spent five minutes finding this out….

  23. sansho1 — i thought the 3 true outcomes (or whatever they’re called) were supposed to be exciting in at least 2 out of the 3 cases. heh heh.

  24. Sansho1….don’t be embarassed. You just told me something I never knew. Plus I loved WKRP in Cincy too…it’s one of the few sitcoms along with Seinfeld, Sanford and Son and Andy Griffith that I can watch reruns of….

    Yea Mac I see what you mean about Park Effects for Berkman.

  25. After my first year of law school wrapped up, I decided to do some Braves watching. Every year I try to go to a game in Pittsburgh because I love the park so much, so I caught three games in Pittsburgh, went down to Atlanta for the Wednesday/Thursday Mets games, which were my first in Turner Field.

    Now I’ve been to games in Braves gear in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh, but never in my life have I been heckled or cursed at like Tuesday in Miller Park. Those people are brutal…and drunk. It was a tough night to be a Braves fan.

  26. Does anyone have a site for Braves radio affiliates? I will be driving through South Carolina tonight during game time and I am looking for a feed.

  27. The Bull which is…94.9 I think, then AM 640 which (I think) is WGST. I’m sure they all have official sites.

  28. Kyle B. that’s funny. Just wait until you take the Philly trip. Hopefully you will still be able to talk about it….

  29. Tony, I think people in Pittsburgh have accepted their futility and just don’t care enough to heckle.

  30. Carrol Rogers is reporting that Anderson will not start and will be used for for pinch running and defensive substitutions. I guess we can’t do without Greg Norton’s .154

    What tonight’s lineup should be

    1) Blanco
    2) Escobar
    3) Chipper
    4) McCann
    5) Tex
    6) Frenchy
    7) KJ
    8) Anderson

  31. #39

    Mine was Holly from “Land of the Lost” — but I’ve just learned from imdb that her son is a rapper named “40 Keys”, which has retroactively crushed my crush.

  32. great another player who’ll be on the roster and not play, whats the point? He’s better than Norton and Infante defensively and probably better with the bat also

  33. Carrol Rogers is reporting that Anderson will not start and will be used for for pinch running and defensive substitutions. I guess we can’t do without Greg Norton’s .154

    As frustrating as this was upon my initial reading, well, Anderson’s not that good and Norton’s supposed to be able to hit.

    I know he’s in a slump, but I wish we’d called up Brandon Jones. That would have gotten me excited.

  34. Damn…Norton’s best year: .296 .374 .520 .894, in 98 games with 17 HR and 45 RBis in 2006. Does this warrant him getting all this playing time? Batting 5th in the batting order? Jesus he is .252 career hitter…

  35. They take all of our discarded Penas. Was he a FA or did we get something for him?

    (BTW, Lil’ Tony’s OPS is .381. That’s an OPS+ of 4.)

  36. Kyle B,
    I’ve seen some youtube videos of Cubs fans at Miller Park really getting verbally thrashed.

    But, I mean, Cubs/Brewers? Not exactly Bears/Packers, IMO.

    And I’ll amend the above Philly statement: Phils fans certainly hate their opponents, but not quite as much as they hate themselves.

    Generally, folks at that park are attempting unique suicide method: Death-by-funnel cake.

  37. Maybe we should start a Chipper’s BA vs. Lil TP’s OPS Watch. Nice of Tony to spot him forty points just to make things interesting!

  38. WKRP
    Yes, Bailey was hot & Jennifer was a stage prop—Bailey was Mary Ann to Jennifer’s Ginger—but Herb Tarlek has always been one of my favorite TV characters.

    Little did I know that, when I grew up to be a professional journalist guy, I’d be surrounded by Herb Tarleks.

  39. Stu,

    No offense but why would you be excited by a callup of Brandon Jones. Hasn’t he stunk this year in the minors.

    Do we even have one legitimate minor league OF prospect? And by prospect I mean prospect not in the way that Ryan Langerhans was a prospect for years.

  40. I really, really want Barry Bonds on this team. I know it won’t happen, but man Chipper/Tex/Bonds would be devastating.

  41. I wouldn’t be mad at all if we signed Bonds. I’d think it was hilarious.

  42. Do we even have one legitimate minor league OF prospect?

    Jason Heyward, Jordan Schafer and Gorkys Hernandez are all legitimate OF prospects.

  43. As pointed out before, as long as Hank Aaron is still a part of the Braves organization it will never happen.

    I hate Bonds perhaps as much as anybody, but I may start a sign Bonds campaign myself if I’m subjected to too many more nights of Norton/Infante and soon to be Josh Anderson.

  44. Yeah, Brandon’s had a bad year so far, but there was a reason he was thought of as a prospect headed into this season. Look at last year’s stats, for example.

    I’d be excited because I see Brandon as a possible part of the future, not just some stop-gap defensive sub like Anderson is.

  45. Since he pitched in relief (!) already this week, I’ll set the Volquez Dusty Baker pitch count over/under at 110. I’ll take the over.

  46. I’m getting the Reds feed, which means Thom Brenneman and Jeff Brantley. I already want to gouge my eardrums out.

  47. Well, Volquez looks phenomenal. We better start working the count and get him out of there as soon as possible.

  48. Blanco had couple of shitty strikes called on him, but man, Volquez has amazing movement on his pitches.
    This guy had a HR problem with Texas?..seems unbelievable..

  49. By my count Volquez threw 17 pitches in the first, and 20 in the second. Let’s keep that up.

  50. Everybody has HR problems in Texas. Has anyone noticed that Turner Field now has a sub 100 park factor? We used to have a neutral to slight hitter’s park. All these stupid new band boxes are screwing things up.

  51. Turner Field has generally played as a little more of a pitcher’s park; it was a little hitter-friendlier around the turn of the millenium but other that that…

  52. Volquez continues his Houdini act.

    Coming into tonight, his LOB% was 88.2%. That is astronomically high. He has great stuff and all, but it’s going to be a long fall back to Earth.

  53. Of course, Sosa was a flyball pitcher with a below average strikeout rate. Which makes his performance in 2005 even more amazing.

  54. I call collusion. How can a guy who holds the MLB homerun record and hit .276/.480/.565 with 28 homeruns just last season not find a team to give him a 1YR/10M contract?

  55. Went to see X last night at the Variety in Atl – Absolutely killer. Apropos of nothing, just wanted to share..

  56. He ain’t goin’ to the pokey this season – it’s doubtless collusion, but proving it would be impossible.

  57. with Harang, Volquez, and Cueto the Reds should have a very strong rotation for quite a while. They should trade Dunn and Griffey if possible and build their franchise

  58. Why? Maybe because he is going to court this season and would be a huge distraction and liability?

    He’s like a cancer, you don’t let it get in your system because you know it will only spread.

  59. As for Bonds… Seriously, everybody hates him. He can’t play defense anymore, so basically he’s limited to DH or LF in a small park, which limits his options. There’s more to it than that, though. He’s not a big draw now that he’s broken the HR record (and everyone hates him) and so if you have a bad team there’s no reason to get him. Most good teams don’t need a DH or a LF. Those that do include teams like the Braves, who would never in a million years sign him. There just aren’t a lot of possibilities. And he’s 43 and is now pretty much a sabermetric player (homers and walks), so a lot of teams probably genuinely question what’s left.

  60. Francouer really needs to quit the toe tap thing, its really screwing up his timing

  61. I’m not sure if anything can fix Frenchy. If the stride is what is messing him up, why doesn’t he go the KJ route?

  62. you’re probably right, he’s just not a good hitter like we expect him to be. At least we all know how clutch he is with two outs :^)

  63. Most good teams don’t need a DH or a LF.

    That sounds like it came squarely off the top of your head Mac. Can I assume you didn’t really see if that was true before you said it?

  64. Bobby still seems to have a mountain of faith in Glavine during the middle innings. My faith goes about as high as first base rises from the dirt.

  65. Two random interjections:

    1) Is Luis Castillo on the juice? Because he seems to be.

    2) I’d never had Red Stripe until about 30 minutes ago, and boy is it disgusting.

  66. wally, if you need advice on beer ask. Im sure there are several here who have tried almost all. Yes, not a fan of red stripe either.

    do we lose this game 2-1?

  67. I think the Reds might have found themselves a player in this Jay Bruce kid.

  68. Well, at least their guy is at 100 pitches already.

    So was all the X material from the first 4 albums?

    A few years ago, I was in Chicago to see a Braves/Cubs series. X was playing House of Blues that night, so a pal & I went. They were so good, we went back to see them there the next night, too.

    And what a goofball Billy Zoom is…

  69. Thining just about the NL East –

    Mets, Braves, Nationals, and Marlins would improve immediately in LF

  70. Billy Zoom is goofy, but in a good way. He worked on my Echoplexes for years when he retired for a while with tinnitis. Almost all the material was the pre-Alvin stuff, and they played for a couple of hours. Exene and John did do a nice acoustic version of 4th of July though.

  71. Most good teams don’t have a lot of needs is all. To take the AL, since he really should DH… The Red Sox have Manny and Papi, and though Ortiz looks to be going Delgado on them they aren’t going to replace him. The White Sox have Thome and Quentin. The Angels or Twins could use him, but it’s out of character for either of those clubs, especially Minnesota. Cust and Thomas are giving just that sort of production the A’s could expect, for a whole lot less. The one fit I see among the stronger teams is in Tampa.

    Sure, NOW Norton gets a hit.

    In the NL, the Phillies don’t need him, for sure. The Marlins are getting acceptable offense out of Gonzalez, and we’ve gone over why the Braves wouldn’t do it. The Cubs have Soriano playing left now. The Cardinals are getting bubkes from left, but they also have a converted pitcher playing center, so I don’t think you can stretch the defense much. The Astros have Carlos Lee, and the Dodgers more outfielders than they know what to do with. Arizona would seem the best possibility except that they’re committed to Byrnes, who won’t go on the DL.

  72. now our outfield is Infante, Norton, and Francouer.

    Why would you bring in Infante to bunt instead of Blanco???

  73. And he turned me on to Gretsch solidbodies – went out and got a ’54 duo-jet in ’82. Didja know he toured with Gene Vincent at the end of Gene’s xareer?

  74. Not to be pushy, but you just changed the argument quite a ways from “good teams don’t need a LF or DH”, pal. Have it your way – I merely was contending that it’s pretty obvious SOMEBODY would have approached him by now, but hasn’t for some overarching reason outside of money or need – a top down directive not to do it.

  75. Usually “good” teams will actually develop hitters that they may have an extra 3B or 1B or such that get moved to left so they can get “hid” defensively, such as Adam Dunn, Jack Cust, Matt Holliday, etc.

  76. I don’t think that they need a directive is all. There just aren’t many slots for a player whose skills are so limited. And everybody hates him.

  77. There just aren’t many slots for a player whose skills are so limited.

    Now you really are just making stuff up. He had the best OBP in the NL, and the 6th OPS. Are you seriously telling me he is SUCH a defensive liability that NO NL team would be better even at his salary? And that NO AL DH spot would be improved even at his salary? I’m not even gonna bother to look up stuff to rebut that. I concede he is not loved – neither was Cobb, or Kent, or Williams, or a thousand other guys who played a long time. The circumstantial evidence is just overwhelming that there is collusion.

  78. Spike,
    I just don’t think anyone wants to put up with Bonds. I know I don’t. And there’s no reason to believe he’ll put up those kinds of numbers (’07, I mean) this season. To hell with him.

    But, yeah, “4th of July,” that’s a great tune. And yeah, I know all about Zoom & X—probably seen ’em 8 or 9 times over the years, with 3 different guitar players.

  79. It’s one of the clearest cases of collusion, maybe ever in sports. There’s no way he wouldn’t be better than 2/3 of the DHs in the AL, at 43 years old and fat and off roids, he could walk out of bed and be better than most of them at the plate.

  80. Always a great idea to ask a guy who hasn’t had a sacrifice bunt in his professional career to try and lay one down in the 8th inning of a tie game.

  81. I just don’t think anyone wants to put up with Bonds. I know I don’t.

    Fine – make that argument. I just don’t buy that every single franchise feels that way. It’s a reasonable debate. Just don’t hand me some guff about him not having the skills to play baseball at a very high level – even if he drops off say 10 percent you get a guy hitting better than 150 OPS plus with 25 HR’s. That’s a starting, all-star DH/LF on just about any club in the league.

  82. Well, spike, I’d have to guess that every franchise does feel that way, seeing as he is unemployed.

  83. I don’t know, spike. I went to a few games in SF last year, and Bonds was good for no more than six innings, and then Fred Lewis or Rajai Davis would come in for him. He hadn’t broken the record at that point, so maybe they were saving him, but he didn’t get down into the corner very quickly at all.

  84. I’ll agree with you that purely from a baseball standpoint, there’s no way Bonds shouldn’t be employed, even in the NL. Nobody can really convince me that he would be worse offensively or defensively than say, Luis Gonzalez. I just think you’re underestimating how big of a PR hit the team would taking employing somebody who could possibly end up in jail/is a jerk and a royal pain in the ass/everybody hates him.

  85. Well, spike, I’d have to guess that every franchise does feel that way, seeing as he is unemployed.

    As I said, that’s a defendable position – I just find it unbelievable given the traditional willingness of sports franchises to hire objectionablr characters in order to succeed.

    I don’t know, spike. I went to a few games in SF last year, and Bonds was good for no more than six innings, and then Fred Lewis or Rajai Davis would come in for him.

    I make no claim that he is playing GG defense – only that his offensive contributions per dollar are still at an extremely attractive level, even after accounting for defense – the Mike Piazza theory.

  86. Manny has been so much better the past few appearances, I hope it isn’t a fluke.

  87. Bonds hits homers and draws walks. Now, he does both a lot, but that’s all he does. It’s not just that his defense is rotten. His batting average over the last two years (and the year he missed most of before that) was in the .270-range, and a plunge in batting average is one of the clear signs that the end is near. He can’t run the bases at all anymore. And he’s a four-game-a-week player, which nobody has pointed out. He had 493 PA in 2006 and 477 last year.

    Look, I’m not saying that some team (the Rays or the DBacks or the Mets) shouldn’t take a chance on him, I’m just saying that I see why nobody has.

  88. Now, why would the Rays, which has made such a big deal of the veteran clubhouse presence of DH Cliff Floyd, take on someone as toxic as Barry Bonds?

  89. Mets bullpen imploding yet again. 5 consecutive hits for Dodgers to start the eighth. LA leads 7-5.

  90. a plunge in batting average is one of the clear signs that the end is near.

    On what do you base this, considering a player whose OBP and slugging are at elite levels? Your point is well taken, and I think we’ve both made our point here, but you moved the goalposts, and put out a couple of pretty subjective statements that I have a hard time believing you can substantiate, let alone thought much about before claiming as fact.

  91. Whose arm is going to fall off first Boyer or Acosta. And is there any other people that can pitch in the bullpen?

  92. OK, we suck on the road. We awful at one-run games. We’re winless in extras this year.

    Turnaround time, boys.

  93. here you go: 1 run games this season

    Braves 2-14 (worst in mlb)

    Reds 10-4 (best in mlb)

  94. Francisco Cordero against Infanta, Blanco and a pinch hitter.

    Not likely to score here.

  95. I’ll probably be laughed at unmercifully but I’ve always thought that the Bonds as a huge jerk thing was somewhat overstated. Sure he’s not a church deacon, but he’s not Satan. He’s a jerk, but not much more of one than hundreds of other great players in MLB history.

    I also believe that since so many were on roids that one of the biggest travesties in sports has been that he had to carry the brunt of all that mess.

  96. holy crap, I was just hitting enter as he did that. wow.
    I guess if we can get through the bottom of 10 we have kj then chipper so it’s not all bad.

  97. Ugh. I know people say he’s got baseball smarts, but there is a difference between trying shit like hidden ball tricks and his little extra base stunt and playing smart baseball. You’re in extra innings, two outs, and you try something like that?

  98. the way this team cant score runs, I dont mind someone trying to do something. We all love it when it works, he was half a stride away from it working again

  99. To be honest, I’ve got no problem with him doing that.

    It worked against the Dbacks last year, it didn’t this time.

  100. What is the point of Buddy Carlyle, Phil Stockman and Royce Ring in the Braves’ bullpen?

  101. Ive got a feeling Jo Jo might pinch hit in this game if it continues. Is it sad that I’ve got more faith in him with the bat (bunts excluded) than Miller?

  102. Well, if Bennett’s arm gets slagged, better him than Boyer.

    I’ve been focusing on Stockman, but what’s the deal with Carlyle? Stockman at least got into a game. Carlyle’s been up all week and I don’t know that he’s even warmed up. And Bobby used him seven times in April, so it’s not like they have no confidence in him.

  103. Trap, but a good play. Normally, I’d say play back and don’t let it past you, but at that angle I don’t know if he could have cut it off before KJ made second.

  104. The Braves have hit into so many DPs this year. Does anyone know how they rank in the league?

  105. It was mentioned sometime in the Brewers series that the Braves had hit into the most, though not sure if it was in the majors or just the NL.

  106. the guys really arent giving Ring a chance to succeed here.

    Speaking of that

    Chipper missed 3 grounders tonight, 2 in that inning, and went 0-5

  107. Can’t have a worse inning than Chipper just had there—a GIDP in the top & then he develops a hole in his glove.

    I mean, the ball hit by Griffey could’ve been a double play.

  108. Chipper should have two errors in that inning alone. Bobby will view this as Rings fault and will make sure he only goes with the FOUR relievers that he trust from now on

  109. Same exact team 3 years in a row. Lose by 1, lose by 1, win by 12, lose by 1…..

  110. Bobby’s lack of trust in the back end of the bullpen is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  111. the ball that Griffey hit was nothing compared to the one that Phillips hit that went directly between his legs. Ring gives up a bloop, gets two potential DP grounders, and gets the loss

  112. Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs. Are you kidding me? Playoffs? I’m just hoping we can win a game, another game.

  113. The playoffs sometimes consist of road games, so I don’t think we’d want any part of that.

  114. I don’t blame it on Bobby’s bullpen management as much as I blame it on the offense going into Hibernation Mode 2 out of 3 games every series.

    Don’t get me wrong, though. I still do think Bobby stinks and he mismanages the bullpen. F— this team. I don’t think my stomach can take any more of this s—

  115. Mac,

    Save yourself some time and copy-paste the recap from one of the previous 1-run road losses. You should at least have a template by now.

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