235 thoughts on “More from Cary’s favorite band: Astros at Braves, July 6”

  1. Today should be a good test for Morton….The Braves should be able to take 2 our 3 from the Astros….

  2. I am sending my daughter to the game today… she is currently undefeated on the year in 8 appearances. We will win today.

  3. Hey, the Nationals losses over the last couple of days mean we are no longer closer to last than first.

  4. From the last thread, quoting ChuckO…
    “The minute I go up there and tell myself to take a pitch, it’s right down the middle.”

    That makes a great deal of sense. We’ve seen for years that his bat speed is so slow that he has to make a decision on whether to swing before he can see what the pitch will be. But it turns out he’s trying to cheat even more — he’s deciding whether to swing at the damn ball before it’s even thrown.

    Jeez, that’s dumb.

  5. I dont know AAR, the mind can do awful things to an athlete’s body. If you’ve been beat over the head to be patient, you’ve been told to “Make him throw you a strike.” then your mind is telling you not to swing at the first pitch. I remember going through a period like that in HS, they stopped throwing first pitch fastballs to me. Every time I went to the plate, it was something offspeed. When they did throw me a first pitch fastball, I was late on it because I was amazed that they threw it to me. Jeff may need a sports psychologist more than a batting coach right now. The man has obvious talent, he’s just psyched out.

  6. Stephen, I don’t see why we should assume the Braves will win today. That’s the old mindset when the Braves were a good team. This isn’t a good team although people keep acting like they are. Over the last month or so, they have been one of the worst teams in baseball. How much so-called talent they have isn’t the point–what’s the record?

    Everyone keeps saying Jeff has so much talent. What he has is athletic ability, which isn’t the same thing as baseball skill. Yes, he can run, hit the ball a long way, has a good arm, etc, but he has no baseball instincts at all. That’s the problem with evaluating players in terms of “tools.” Tools don’t necessarily translate to performance in baseball, which is why it is much harder to project major league performance than it is to project NBA or NFL performance.

    I think Mac is right; this team has no clue what they are doing at the plate other than Chipper. Even McCann, who is having a good year, often seems like he doesn’t know what he is doing up there. This isn’t just Francouer although he is the most glaring example.

  7. I actually think that’s a bad, or at least stupid, contract. Other teams run great bullpens on the cheap, usually by converting AAAA starters to relievers. Lidge has been great this year. I wouldn’t dispute that at all. And I know, as Braves fan, that sometimes a team can just not get it right in the closer department. But Myers is gonna have to land somewhere for them–they know he likes to close and he clearly won’t be a starter like he was–and now they’re committing $12 million for a relief pitcher.

    Now, if they land Sabathia and lock him up longterm, then I’ll be impressed. (yeah: don’t be surprised if the Phillies land Sabathia. With Howard and Rollins the window is not large)

  8. Marc Schneider–I am not assuming that the Braves will win–far from it. I think that they ought to be able to win, but as you and others have rightly pointed out over the last few weeks the Braves cannot get it done. My optimism is founded largely on the fact that the Braves are playing at home–which admittedly did not make much of a difference with the Phillies….

  9. Wandy Rodriguez is having a good year and always seems to have the Braves’ number.

  10. The team roughed up Wandy Rodriguez last season at the Ted in Teixeira’s first game. Teixeira walked in the first run with the bases loaded, and I remember thinking that the new lineup was invincible – that each hitter would be relaxed and patient knowing that the hitter behind him was capable of getting on base or driving in a run. I thought that no hitter in our lineup would ever feel the need to press again.

    WTF happened!?

  11. Well, if Lidge pitches like he has this year for the next three years, that’s probably a good move. If he pitches as he did in 2006 or much of 2007 — or if, as Lidge is wont to do, he inexplicably and maddeningly alternates between the two — it is a bad contract. The Phillies will have fun finding out which Lidge they just paid for.

  12. FWIW, you can click on the link in the “Weather Where the Braves Are” box and that will take you to the current Atlanta conditions. It looks like the rain is almost past.

  13. Sickels has a nice story on international signings; the Braves have added two players from Taiwan.

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2008/7/4/564667/international-signing-thre

    If you click on the Taiwan links you can get pictures of both Tsai and Huang. My wife translated the Chinese characters which say something like “Joining the Atlanta Braves”. The four central characters (the one which begins with a swiss cross like character) says Atlanta Braves.

    I am glad that the Braves are getting more aggressive about international signings….

  14. I’m a little surprised that neither Jurrjens or Hudson made it, although that is subject to change with people pulling out due to pitching rotations and such.

  15. VORP has both Hudson and Jurrjens better than Dempster.

    Hudson 31.3
    Jurrjens 25.2
    Dempster 24.5

  16. I am watching the Phillies game–its actually nice to hear Sarge interview Goose Gossage, who still speaks reverently about “Mr. Steinbrenner” and calling him the greatest owner in the history of the game. Its an impressive show of loyalty.

    I am glad that Gossage is headed to Cooperstown….

  17. Zambrano has been hurt and I don’t think he’ll play, so that spot will open up.

    Brandon Webb has struggled lately (at least relative to other AS choices) and probably got in on his reputation from the past 2 years.

    Somebody on the air just said that Morton was better than Smoltz was at the same age. Umm, no.

  18. But at least we’re only sitting 1 of our 3 sluggers. The Astros are sitting 2 of their 3.

  19. Just to throw this out there:

    I am 23 years old and have been watching the Braves since elementary school. This is without a doubt, the worst lineup I have ever seen in the history of my Braves fandom.

  20. Ok, yeah. I’d like to see a Sunday 2001 lineup vs. Today’s though. It’d be a toss up. If only we still had Pete Orr, it would be a runaway.

  21. Morton is 24. Smoltz was 24 in 1991. Smoltz, of course, got off to that terrible start that year, then was great in the second half.

  22. Usually, in the 2001 everyday lineup, the Braves had one good hitter: Chipper. Jordan was about average and Andruw hit 34 homers though struggled with BA/OBP. Julio and Giles were late season additions and were okay.

  23. Smoltz had already made an All-Star team and was probably the team’s ace going into 1991.

  24. Yeah. He was struggling even when healthy. Rettenmund got jettisoned after that year.

  25. “Coming up…Infante, Prado, Norton.”

    If you told me on opening day that I would be reading that before the All-Star Break, I would have wept. And not purchased the MLB.TV package.

  26. According to Base Ball Reference, in 1990 Smoltz went 14-11 with a 3.85. Not bad, but really damn good for that team.

  27. Well, Infante is hurt. Do we have anyother baseball players or is Bobby going to pick a fan to play or does it matter?

  28. Whee, another injury!

    My guess is that Infante will go on the DL and Diaz will come up. Escobar will then hurt himself again and Prado will play shortstop!

  29. I am going with Escobar hitting an umpire and getting suspended. When he is being escorted off the field he accidently trips Chipper, breaking his leg. Tex will strian his back carring Chipper off the filed.

  30. What’s the over under on Corky doing anything productive (like twisting his knee on a strike)?

  31. I know nobody but me cares, but Nadal and Federer are playing one of those instant classics in the Wimbledon final. 6-6 in the fifth. No tiebreakers in the fifth set.

  32. Greg Norton: 2008 :: Ken Caminiti : 2001

    Okay, not really, but you get the picture.

  33. Given our offense lately (which has been offensive), is it too early to pinch hit for young Charlie?

  34. Didn’t we use to have pitchers that could hit?

    But then, we use to have outfielders that could hit, too. Oh well.

  35. I care, Mac. I’m watching now. It’s a hell of a match. If Federer wins, it will piss me off that he will have done so despite winning fewer games than Nadal. I’m pulling for Rafa, just because I like the idea of someone else winning one of these things, even if he is a whiny Eurobrat.

  36. I could not possibly watch the Braves right now. This tennis match is too ridiculous to stop.

  37. Corky now 4-41, 18 games and 3 passed balls…..I should have been a catcher, it doesnt take much to impress people

  38. I wonder how many catchers (who weren’t just up for the proverbial cup of coffee) ended the season with more passed balls than hits?

  39. God, Simpson is a jackass. It’s important that Prado “went the other way with a runner on second” last time up. As what’s important is that he hit to right field, not that he got a flipping hit.

  40. 83, I couldn’t agree more. As if hitting to the opposite field had a value in itself.

  41. Norton’s strikeout might be the most pathetic swing I’ve seen this since of Jeffy F. The ball was in the mitt and Norton could have strolled to first but instead he took a limp swing. He is truly awful hitting right handed.

  42. Good job, Corky! I’ve seen parks where that would have been a home run. Of course, they were Little League parks, but you’re getting there.

  43. It’s always amusing to me to see who here has never played baseball before, and all the complaining about people talking about hitting the other way is one sure indicator.

    It does have value in itself, not on the particular hit but on the swing and the approach. If you go up there trying to pull everything you won’t hit as well as if you can hit certain pitches to opposite field. This is basic stuff, really.

  44. The problem is that Joe Simpson doesn’t believe in hitting the other way as a tactic or even a philosophy, but as a moral imperative.

  45. 88, again, hitting to the opposite field has NO value in itself.

    A good approach at the plate certainly has, but who denied that? Being able to read is “basic stuff”, my friend.

  46. It’s always amusing to me to see who here has never played baseball before, and all the complaining about people

    It’s not okay for a person to complain about a baseball game if they’ve never played? Okay…

  47. for those not watching the game, Corky just swung at a pitch that the catcher had to stand up out of his crouch and reach towards the left hand batters box as far as he could to save it from being a wild pitch

  48. And once again, we have Ruben Gotay, who can’t hit righthanded, hitting righthanded as a pinch-hitter. I swear, does anyone on the Braves even look at the stats? Is there a ban on computers or something?

  49. Mac, of course they dont. If they did, they would know that Kelly and Bmac hit lefties better. Do you think they know that Gotay and Miller are completely useless?

  50. can someone explain why i feel we are going to come back and win? i dont get it.

  51. Ryan, I remember having a feeling like that. I called my doctor and he recommended me to a specialist, who diagnosed it as “hope” and scheduled me for immediate surgery.

    I don’t have that problem any more.

  52. The LOB for the Braves 5-9 hitters is absurd.

    Oh, and so many strikeouts. I’m not saying anything anybody doesn’t already know. Go Chipper.

  53. McCann needed a day off, and KJ probably did as well — and Prado’s a pretty good replacement. The problem with sitting McCann is that his backup is a pile of fetid entrails.

  54. From the AJC article on Chipper and McCann being All-Stars:

    If anybody could use an All-Star break it’s McCann. He’s played in 82 of the Braves 88 games heading into Sunday. But he didn’t want one.

    Ouch. 82 out of 88 games. That’s bad for a catcher. Really bad.

  55. He didn’t start all of those games, of course. As noted previously, he usually winds up having to pinch-hit for the aforementioned pile of fetid entrails.

  56. Well, we keep this up and we’re liable to end up with a pretty good pick in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft. As it stands:

    1. Washington Nationals 34-56 (yea!)
    2. Seattle Mariners 35-52
    3. San Diego Padres 35-53
    4. Cleveland Indians 37-51
    5. Colorado Rockies 37-51
    6. Kansas City Royals 39-50
    7. San Francisco Giants 39-51
    8. Pittsburgh Pirates 40-47
    9. Atlanta Braves 41-48
    10. Houston Astros 42-47

    So there’s that. With a Tex trade and a little luck, we could end up with a top 5 pick.

  57. who would you rather have to get a clutch hit with 2 out bottom ninth, Corky or Frenchy?

    Whats the over under for Boyer to be on the DL?
    Whats the over under for Corky getting above 200 for the season?

  58. quoting Bill James from the team comments in the 1987 Abstract ……………”Lord, what an awful team. Awash in mediocrity from the top of the organization to the lowest utility infielder”. its amazing how well his comments translate to todays team. different reasons, but the same results………… and, ummmmmm Go Braves

  59. Oh, and this would exhaust my Toto catalogue as they are not actually my favorite band, though they certainly have their cheesy 80s charms.

    And as I said in the other thread, who can resist a band with Janet Reno on drums (see the “Africa” video for more info)?

    And yet they are looking 0-2 in the face.

  60. Hahahahahahaha….Tulowitzki got sixteen stitches after smashing his Maple Bat in anger. That was definitely the bat’s fault.

  61. @108, hahahaha!

    True enough. But at least it would be a protected pick should we sign a free agent from another team.

  62. So is anyone watching this season of Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel?

    This Drew guy is ridiculous. “I’m not a quitter.” Well, he’s only 2 for 2 on that–quit last season and quit episode 1 of this season!. What an idiot. He’s the quintessential slacker, half-ass.

  63. Did Corky win some “Be the Braves Back Up Catcher…Many Will Enter Few Will Win” contest or something? I refuse to believe that there isn’t a more servicable catcher anywhere right now. What the hell happened to Javy? This sub .100 guy was better than Javy?

  64. @112, yeah and I wonder how many days we’ll have to read about that in Buster Olney’s blog. He seems to be leading the War on Maple as he tries to make up for having missed out on the steroids story that he now dutifully catalogs (at least he keeps the steroid crap in a separate section now so I can easily SKIP).

  65. Skip chimes in: “If you were going to Pittsburgh, you wouldn’t be in a hurry either.”

  66. Playing the Astros in extra innings on Sunday afternoon brings back terrible memories.

  67. Is Tex really THAT slow!!! It might as well have been McCann running down that line.

  68. @ 129…I remember calling my dad from work every 30 minutes or so to check on that game. It’s a shame that my last memory of braves playoff baseball is “well, you can stop calling now, they lost” while hiding in the back of a grocery store.

  69. I’m all for replacing Morton with either Chuck James or Buddy Carlyle in the starting rotation.

  70. Has Chuck pitched since May 10th? I was at that game, and I don’t remember seeing him since.

  71. This game seems more like a “when” than an “if”. When will the Braves lose in extras today?

  72. It’s pretty mutual, I think Bobby and the Braves may hate him a bit more though.

  73. Absolutely nothing, and he sat there and watched the entire play, it never came close to hitting the ground.

  74. so what’s the rule here? it did hit the body but not the ground, should be the right call, no?

  75. The Astros broadcasters are saying that a foul tip must hit the glove first, apparently they think Ausmus was arguing that it hit BMac’s shoulder first.

  76. The Indians have agreed to trade the ace Sabathia and two lower-level minor leaguers for a package that includes top prospect Matt LaPorta and other minor leaguers, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

  77. Anyone see the picture of Corky swinging so hard his helmet falls off on the Braves main page on AJC’s website

  78. Would’ve been a better result for the Braves had it been his head. It’s not really screwed on that well.

  79. That wasn’t a “Prado.” They scored it an error.

    But yeah, that Prado, a real outstanding defensive second baseman and the reason Johnson should be moved back to LF….

  80. And Escobar reverses the effects of the self-inflicted Prado…

    Now, one-eyed Berkman is coming the plate.

  81. Why are we walking the bases loaded with a guy who has no control for Berkman? Bobby really wants to go home.

    what an effort by Yunel.

  82. I wonder if that gave Astros fans bad memories from that extra inning playoff game in 1999 when Walt Weiss made that play.

  83. Maybe, but listening to the Astros broadcast (I’m in Austin, TX), its too far away in memory, all they bring up is that the 18th isn’t too far away.

    Minus Chris Burke of course.

  84. Pete: “Wouldn’t it be a thrill for this kid to win the game in front of his friends and family?”

    Skip: “I think a lot of us would be thrilled.”

    I love Skip.

  85. Is it midnight yet so this guy on the mound masquerading as a viable reliever turns back into Acosta?

  86. Francoeur would have hit an infield pop-up on the first pitch there.

    A third Acosta inning. If the Braves are serious about winning this, they’re really playing with fire.

  87. Hell I figured with Acosta going for a 3rd inning, we had Stockman in the bullpen instead of Bennett and Ring.

    This sucktitude is getting so bad the Astros radio guys have quit broadcasting the game.

  88. The thing is, Perry is a replaceable AAAA player. Our regular major league outfielders are also capable of that.

  89. Yeah…I was just pointing out that this game has been so long that he didn’t even start and has 7 PAs.

  90. Yeah, I know you were, I just wanted to point out how crappy this game/our OF in general is.

  91. Acosta has pitched well but please tell me he won’t go out for a 4th inning of work.

    Never mind–phoning Phil Stockman.

  92. The Braves will get to put 2 guys on the DL after the game now. I wonder if it will be Jones or Anderson taking the outfield spot.

    Of course, the Braves will bypass Stockman to bring up Ridgway.

  93. yeah, it probably will be Ridgway over Stockman–that move would be doubly wrong b/c Cox would actually use Ridgway

  94. If Ring doesn’t blow it here, this game will no-doubt go to the dreaded 18th inning.

  95. Okay, how will we blow this? Triple play? Strikeout and a double play? Popups? I think the 1-2-3 DP, followed by Perry striking out.

  96. I’ve seen a lot of baseball but I’ve never seen a five-infielder set up. Then again, I’ve watched few 17+ inning games.

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