Reds 3, Braves 2 (11 innings)

ESPN – Braves vs. Reds – Box Score – May 30, 2008

Well, anyone can have a bad game. And Chipper Jones, who has been the best player in the NL this year (all apologies to Berkman and Utley) just had one terrible game, maybe the worst of his career that didn’t involve an injury. He went 0-5 (dropping his average to .409), hit into two double plays, and made two horrible misplays in the eleventh inning that let the Reds score the winning run.

Hey, it happens.

For most of the game, it was the same script as we saw in the first two Milwaukee games, with slight variations. Tom Glavine was great, but Edinson Volquez was almost as great and the Braves couldn’t quite work him into real trouble. Scoreless through five. In the sixth, KJ led off with a double, Chipper grounded out to get him to third, and Teixeira hit a long fly ball to score him. But the Reds countered with a pair of doubles leading off the bottom of the inning and scored two runs. The Braves tied it in the seventh after Norton led off with a double, went to third on a single by Infante, then scored on a GIDP by Gotay. And then back to the no-scoring until the eleventh.

KJ led off with a single that Jay Bruce made a great play on to save a double, and Chipper grounded into his second double play, followed by a hot shot by Teixeira that Encarnacion turned into an 5-3 putout. Bruce led off with a flare single against Ring. Griffey hit a tailor-made DP ball to Chipper, but Chipper totally Pradoed it into a single. Brandon Phillips hit an almost identical ball, but softer, right at Chipper, who Pradoed again, and Bruce came around to score the winning run.

I think Chipper will be the first to tell you he lost this game; I want to say that he’s done a lot for this team this year, and he didn’t lose this game singlehandedly. None of the hitters but Johnson and McCann really did much. Chipper was 0-5, but the rest of the team had only seven hits combined, four by the two I mentioned. Hey, he had a bad game, maybe you guys should have picked him up.

47 thoughts on “Reds 3, Braves 2 (11 innings)”

  1. road trip tally

    runs scored – 12
    runs allowed – 8

    record 1-3

    19 1-run road losses in a row.

  2. Chip’s won his share this season too. He was due. Not like Francoeur or someone else couldn’t have picked him up.
    Just stay the course, Bobby. What you’re doing is obviously working.

  3. Jeremy, Berkman plays half his games in a bandbox. Park adjusted, Chipper has a higher AVG, OBP, he’s .50 behind in OPS, and his park makes it easier to slug. It is actually pretty close.

  4. You’re right, it is, and Berkman is 218 and Chipper is at 208. To say it isn’t close is a disservice to Chipper and I will not stand for it !!

  5. Okay, 3bagger. I take it back. It is pretty close. I’m prone to hyperbole. Bear with me.

  6. “Who cares? We have much bigger problems.”

    We sure do. Like our crappy OF and Bobby’s complete refusal to use the back end of the BP.

  7. Brad, I was just kidding, I think we’re all aware that Chipper is the least of our problems.

  8. BP usage over the last five days:

    Acosta 3 games
    Boyer 3 games
    Bennett 4 games
    Ohman 1 game
    Carlyle 0 games
    Stockman 0 games
    Ring 1 game

    Seriously, what’s the purpose of having a 13 man pitching staff if you’re only going to use four guys?

  9. By the way, how pissed do you think Jordan Schafer is right now ?? He would be starting on the road trip right now instead of getting ready to start AA.

  10. The bullpen didn’t lose this game. They didn’t give up a hit until the 11th & it was a bloop. I’ll consider those 2 balls hit to Chipper errors.

    The bullpen’s been pretty good—I don’t get the bitching.

    But here’s a bitch: Let’s not forget Yunel’s bonehead baserunning move. If I’d done that in Little League, I’d be doing windsprints & crab crawls until I passed out.

  11. I’m bitching about usage, not effectiveness. I want these guys to be around in August.

  12. When will the agonies on the road end? For good measure, a one run loss as well.

    Thank you, baseball Gods.

    Frenchy needs another day off, by the way.

  13. Can’t score 2 runs in Cincinnati and expect to win. This is like what we tried (very unsuccessfully) to do in Colorado. We sure love pitchers’ duels in small ballparks.

  14. OPS+ is park adjusted, but it also doesn’t differentiate between slugging and on-base, and the latter is far more valuable. Chipper entered the game with a .500 OBP in a .337 context, while Berkman’s was .470 in a .340 context. Since most of the slugging difference is the parks…

  15. I don’t suspect Bobby was entirely thrilled with Yunel’s move either, but I didn’t have a problem with it. If he makes it and KJ singles him home and the Braves win, he’s a genius. If he stays on first, with the Braves luck KJ probably would have grounded out or Yunel would have got thrown out trying to steal second anyway. At least he is trying to provide a spark.

  16. I think Chippers 2 errors cost us more than Yunel getting caught stealing, either way the TEAM found a way to lose another ballgame. With the pitching we are getting we should be about 7-8 games better at least

  17. We lost because we couldn’t score more than 2 runs in a Bandbox, especially after Volquez left. The game shouldn’t have gone to extras.

  18. This was to be expected. I mean we were getting too far above .500 and that means were going into a slide. Anytime we get 5 games above .500 you can bank on losing 5 out of the next 6.

  19. Personally I thought the second ball by Phillips was hit much harder than the first one by Griffey. The Griffey play lost the game.

  20. This team gives me a stomach ache. I did not get to catch the game tonight, but it is nice to know that Kent Mercker is still alive and kicking

  21. anyone know anything about this kid in Richmond?

    Jason Perry – here is his line for this season

    .314/.423/.708/1.131 in 137 Ab’s. He’s also got 11 doubles,2 triples, and 13 HR’s. Of course like all of our OF’s he’s LH

  22. change that he was in AA now AAA and he had another double and HR tonight, now has 14 in 141 AB’s

  23. On his website, Bill James continued his argument against anyone signing Bonds (in case anyone was getting ideas). Mac posted James’ parallel between Bonds and Ruth the other day. The crux of James’ argument is this: once a player is reduced to someone who can hit and do nothing else, even the hitting drops suddenly off the table. New examples include Aaron, Musial, Mays, Stargell, Greenberg, and DiMaggio — all of whom posted among the best OPS in their league at an advanced age, only to hold on a little too long and lose all capacity to help a team. The worst thing we could do is sign a decrepit and ethically compromised Bonds in the hope of one last push. It’s almost sure not to work, and it will alienate a large percentage of the fan base. Just say no!

  24. We are completely psyching ourselves out on the road. It looks like we’re just assuming something bad will happen. And all this BS superstitious crap with the changing of caps and worrying about the uniforms and so forth isn’t helping at all, either. I repeat my request from earlier this year to mandate which uniform we wear based on the uniform the home team is wearing that day. Either that or we should take our blue jerseys and caps and burn every single one of them so that it’s just not an issue anymore. I mean, we win yesterday and all anybody is talking about is the fact that we wore the blue-billed caps and that clearly that changed our road luck. It is, for lack of a better word, retarded. You know what will cause us to stop losing on the road? Stop playing like freaking idiots!!! It won’t be because of any silly-assed wardrobe decision, I can absolutely assure you of that. I find the whole thing incredibly ridiculous.

    I have heard that on a rare occasion, Bobby Cox has been known to deliver a kick-in-the-pants postgame speech. This would be an excellent time for one. It is inexcusable, as far as I’m concerned, for a Major League team with as much experience as we have to be playing scared/tight on the road, and I have a difficult time finding another explanation for the depth of our road woes.

  25. This just wreaks of subjectivism.

    Chipper is my favorite player (except for maybe Smoltz). I absolutely love him, and he has been fantastic for my fantasy team. But come ON, HE lost this game if you could EVER say someone lost a game singlehandedly. And Mac’s right, it happens.

    and he didn’t lose this game singlehandedly

    If you could EVER say someone lost a game singlehandedly, when you go 0-5 with two GIDP and two crippling errors, what do you call that? I know that Chipper has been one of the best players in baseball, but call it what it is. If Francouer had this game you would say, “Jeff Francouer singlehandedly lost this game for us.” Shoot, if anyone had this kind of game you would say that. I’m just using Francouer as an example.

    Shouldn’t bad play always be picked up by your teammates? If anyone ever goes 0-5 with two GIDP and game-losing errors, baseball is such a team sport that the other 8 guys on the field should pick that player up. I agree that Chipper doesn’t deserve to be crucified for it, but to cleanse him seemingly of all guilt (Ah, the TEAM lost this one…) is so subjective it’s maddening.

  26. FWIW, the worst thing you can do if you’re a player is let this “one-run road loss” thing go to your head.

    So I for one and going to do my part and think of it as something annoying that’ll balance out or whatever but won’t define this season.

    Instead, I’ll remember that we just faced Cinci’s best starter and now have our two best going over the next two days. I like our chances in both of these games, so let’s worry about tomorrow instead of today.

    Also, it was good to see Glavine give a strong performance in that bandbox.

  27. Also Ring looks to me to have been the right guy to have in there pitching. And in general, I think Cox used the pen appropriately tonight. Maybe pitch Stockman instead of Bennett, but that seems like a case where you ask Bennett if he’s good to go for an inning, and if he says “yes”, you put him in.

  28. At this stage of the season, it’s winning series that counts.

    You know, Chipper’s performance tonight might help the rest of the guys on the team wake up. Maybe, unconsciously, they’ve relied upon him too much? He’s allowed to have a bad game every now and then–as long as he stays healthy.

  29. csg: Jason Perry is a 27 year old outfielder who’s played primarily in the Toronto and Oakland organizations. He has hit well up to the Double A level, but never hit at Triple A until a half season last year in the PCL. He has struck out a lot, which doesn’t bode well for a major league career.

    I think he would be in Triple A for us except that he’s the only person actually hitting for Mississippi, and he’s not really a prospect anymore, therefore I guess the Braves haven’t been willing to promote him.

  30. I’d like to point out that Josh Anderson’s defensive reputation is a bit better than Blanco’s, so if Anderson gets some starts I hope he’s in center while Blanco is in left.

  31. Sounds like this Morton kid could be good. Excerpts from a Baseball American article:

    “Who is this kid?” he asked Botelho. “And what does he have to work on?”

    These are the same questions others are asking as Morton emerges onto the Atlanta scene, seemingly out of nowhere.

    “I guess I’m a lot less surprised than other people for the sole reason that the Braves had pounded into my head that it would all come together, that I was better than I was pitching. I had the stuff. It was the faith I had in the organization and the faith the organization had in me.”

    Hansen said Morton has five pitches that can take care of business. He’s got a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, a “Maddux-esque” changeup that he can start inside against lefthanders and have tail back over the plate—”very, very rare,” Hansen said—a 12-to-6 curveball and a sharp slider. His out-pitch changes from game to game.

    ____

    They mentioned Maddux that time and the Richmond pitching coach thinks he could a number 1 or 2 -type starter. I dunno about that, but it’s good to hear continued positive reports on Morton. I’d look for him to get another cup of coffee this September, since the Bravos don’t seem to want to call him up just yet. Who knows; if JoJo develops, we might actually have some decent young arms in the majors next year.

  32. Jason Heyward is the #1 prospect on the BA Hot Sheet.

    Heyward is having the best season of any of the top hitting prospects in low Class A. He has hits in 18 of his last 20 games, and Thursday’s 0-for-2 (with three walks) night was just his fifth hitless game of the month, whereas he’s racked up 11 multi-games. As great as Heyward was in April (.330/.375/.470), he’s been even better in May (.343/.383/.552), and his .337 average ranks fourth in the SAL. He also leads the league in hits and runs scored. Heyward turned in four multi-hit games this week, and his biggest game of the week came on Tuesday against Hickory, when he went 4-for-5 and finished a triple short of the cycle.

    http://tinyurl.com/6z5o5a

  33. Just as long as we are teaching out minor leaguers to play on the road as well as at home

  34. Freddie Freeman is on that hot list as well. He was our 2nd round pick last year.

  35. Oh, I missed in a comment earlier that Jason Perry got promoted to Richmond.

    Where is everyone?

  36. Brandon Jones, according to that same article, is getting worked by left-handed pitching. He’s struggling this year overall, a 708 OPS in AAA with only two home runs, and that’s probably the reason he didn’t get the call when the call came. I’m psyched to see Freeman, Heyward, and Morton all emerging, but it’s too bad that Jones and Lillibridge have labored so mightily in the high minors.

    I honestly don’t know how many more 1-run losses I can stomach. The Braves have surrendered only eight runs in the past four games (in hitters’ parks!), and are a meagre 1-3 in those games. The black hole that is the outfield, and that is the bottom of the order, continues to dismay.

  37. Freddie Freeman is on that hot list as well

    That makes me kinda blue.

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