Braves 4, Padres 1

ESPN – Braves vs. Padres – Box Score – July 12, 2008

So, the Braves actually won a game behind the awesome offensive power of… Brent Lillibridge? Huh?

After the usual nothing through the first two innings (except a McCann walk) Lillibridge led off the third with a double. Morton bunted him to third, and Blanco hit a sac fly to bring him home, 1-0. Morton gave up a two-out double in the fourth that tied the score.

In the sixth, Maddux walked McCann again, this time to load the bases after Chipper and Teixeira singled. You can be pretty sure, since it was Maddux, that he meant to do that. But Francoeur (who still sucks) came through with a single to make it 3-1. Hooray! And in the ninth, the Batboy struck again, this time with a home run. Amazing.

Morton looked strong, striking out four in five and a third. He wasn’t too wild (three walks, 60 strikes in 99 pitches) but wasn’t too economical either. After giving up back-to-back singles in the sixth (two of the four hits he allowed) he was pulled for Ohman, who finished the inning. The bullpen did a great job. Ohman got two outs, Boyer went two perfect innings and struck out three, and Gonzalez finished it.

Game Thread for today. Here’s the video.

113 thoughts on “Braves 4, Padres 1”

  1. 1. rebraunjr- he got a single; one cannot earn back the respect it took months to lose with one hit

    2. I petition Mac post the batboy picture in every game thread until Lillibridge does not homer… think about it… they are related!

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  2. Yes, Francoeur is back. He is 4-for-16 since coming back, with no walks.

    That’s a .250 batting average and an outstanding .250 OBP since the Francoeur’s recall from Mississippi. As Wolf Blitzer might say: “amazing, amazing”.

    (And Francoeur’s OPS for the season is .663!!!)

  3. A .250 average would be an improvement. A .250 OBP, however, isn’t.

    I guess you can’t have everything.

    (Also, Andruw Jones, 0-5 with 5 strikeouts? Wow.)

  4. Honestly. That hit was huge. A clutch hit for the braves on the road has happened maybe three times all year. The pre-Mississippi jeff would have fanned like an egyptian in “Moses”, but this time he delivered. Got to give him credit, that’s all i’m saying.

  5. No,you know who sucks? Your boy KJ. 0-4 and looked fairly clueless doing it. He looked worse than LILLIBRIDGE, and yet again, no mention. 0-4 ahead of Chipper, who had three hits, is a big deal.

  6. Why does it have to be a choice between two extremes? Francoeur is not “back,” nor is he as hopelessly miserable as before. It’s a small step in the right direction. And an even smaller sample size.

  7. Hey Mac-

    What happened to the laptop?

    snicker, snicker

    (hey, it worked last night…hell, FRENCHY got a hit with the bases loaded and the 12 year old homered)

  8. KJ down to .773 OPS, ba.269. I wonder if we leave KJ down in the order how good will he be. Or just leave him at one spot. I personally think the guy is too good to be hitting the way he is. Another reason for TP to be replaced.

  9. This year, Francoeur has more HR’s and RBI’s, they have the same # strikeouts (64), KJ has 2 more total bases and 2 more hits. KJ is a career .265 hitter while Francoeur is .272.

    I’m just saying, he’s not SO much better that his 0-4 with 2 K’s should be ignored in the same game JF has 2 hits, including the one that won us the game against Maddux.

  10. This season:

    Kelly Johnson: .269/.344/.429, 8 homeruns, .773 OPS, 107 OPS+…from second base.

    Jeff Francoeur: .234/.286/.377, 9 homeruns, .663 OPS, 76 OPS+…from right field.

    Not. Even. Close.

  11. I’m sure someone can answer the question I’ve asked before: What, exactly, does Jeff Francoeur do better on a baseball field than Kelly Johnson?

  12. I didn’t say he wasn’t a better player than JF. He obviously is. I said he’s not ‘head and shoulders’ better to the point where he has a bad night and he’s treated like when Chipper or McCann do, which is ignored as a fluke. He’s capable of hurting the team just as much as JF, and although we won last night, if we hadn’t, he would have been a major reason, but it would have been ignored. JF finally does something good to help the team, something we’ve all wanted him to do all year, and he “sucks”.
    I’m just curious how KJ has attained such magical status when his numbers, aside from JF’s “problems” this year, aren’t that much better.

  13. Kelly Johnson’s career OBP (the most important single statistic) is .356. Francoeur’s is .313. That’s an enormous difference; it’s basically the equivalent of one baserunner a week turned into a out. What this means is that in his career, KJ has created 5.6 runs a game, while Jeff has created 4.7. Working from their Offensive Winning Percentages, a team of Kellys would win 89 games a year (given average pitching and defense) while a team of Jeffs would win 78. These are not small differences.

  14. Well, I’m not a stats guy, so all that’s well and good. Just don’t think he’s achieved the mythical status you guys give him where he gets a pass for sucking. He’s a career .265 hitter. He’s better than JF; I’ve said that twice. I’m not even really comparing the two; just pointing out that the JF bashing gets old b/c now, nothing he could do makes y’all happy, while everyone loves KJ, who pretty regularly goes 0-4 with 2 K’s ahead of the best hitter in the league, but is never, ever, criticized.

  15. I understand what Brad is saying. KJ seems to constantly get a pass, whereas Francoeur always gets crucified for bad games. Overall, KJ has been a much better player both year-to-date and career-to-date at a more premium defensive position, so based on track record, you can give KJ a pass after a bad game because they’re simply not as frequent as Jeff’s. However, I, along with a few others, would like to see a little more objectivity with the game threads and recaps and a little less “The Braves are losing because Francoeur sucks. Oh, and he sucks” kinda thing. Yes, I get it, Francoeur sucks, according to Mac. Can we move on?

  16. And sorry if I don’t get excited about a lucky thirteen hop single through the hole. It’s not like he actually put a good swing on the ball.

  17. What did I say that didn’t make sense? Thanks, Rob, for backing me up. I don’t mind a little bashing, but saying a guy “still sucks” is weird to me when he just won you a game. Especially when your mancrush, KJ, went 0-4 with 2 K’s. Maybe it WAS a one-game fluke thing and doesn’t mean anything. Just strange to me how KJ is so revered when he hasn’t really done anything yet in his career to warrant Chipper-like status.

  18. Heh. I’d take a lucky thirteen hop single than a screamer into the hands of the first baseman sometimes. Sometimes it takes a grounder with eyes to knock in the go-ahead run to get you going. I think Jeff’s problems are primarily mental, so something like this can be exactly what he needs.

    I will say I think 16 ABs is a litle too early to say if Jeff is “back” or “still terrible.” Let’s give it some time.

  19. who is pitching today for the Braves?

    Yahoo’s box score says Blaine Boyer is starting –

    I assume thats not true…? Maybe a subconscious joke by the Yahoo guys for his overuse this year?

  20. Brad above states:

    “KJ, who pretty regularly goes 0-4 with 2 K’s ahead of the best hitter in the league, but is never, ever, criticized.”

    Well, in 85 games, Kelly has gone O-for-4 or 5 with at least 2 K’s exactly FIVE times.

    I wouldn’t call that “pretty regularly”.

  21. Last night I saw Tim Kurkjian say that Randy Johnson is a better pitcher than Steve Carlton. What do you guys think?

  22. Francoeur is a historically bad baseball player. His OPS+ is 76. He has a lower VORP than Corky Miller.

    And then there’s his ego.

    He is repeatedly crucified with good reason, Brad. When KJ is that bad and that egomaniacal, I’ll crucify him too. You’re argument is centered around one game. It’s Landoesque.

  23. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with Tim Kurkijan.

    I think if I had a choice between RJ and SC, both in their prime, starting game 7 in the World Series…I’d almost definitely go with RJ.

  24. Did Campillo get injured in bp or something? Why is Boyer starting (according to Yahoo!)?

  25. #28, thank you for ending the KJ/JF debate, which leads to absolutely nothing. We’re stuck with both of them, wether you like one of them, both of them or none of them. Period.

    Johnson vs. Carlton is a tie, imho.

  26. (Also, Andruw Jones, 0-5 with 5 strikeouts? Wow.)

    I was at the sportsbook watching the games with a friend last night. Casual baseball fan.

    *After Andruw’s third K*

    Him: “(laughs) My god, he is HORRIBLE.”

    Me: “I know.”

    Him: “Didn’t he used to be good?”

    Me: “Yeah.”

    Him: “What the hell happened?”

    Me: “I… don’t… know.”

  27. #30, you’d win that game either way. It’s just that you’ve (in all likelyhood) seen more of RJ than SC. I assure you Carlton in his prime was as lights out as anybody who ever pitched.

  28. #35

    Was Steve Carlton 9 feet tall with a cannon for an arm and an ugly mullet with a face that’d make your mother cry?

    And for what it’s worth, 5 Cy Youngs vs 4 for Stevie.

    If not, then I’d take Randy Johnson.

    But you are right…I’ve seen much more of RJ than SC. However, if I had to choose, I’d go with RJ. Just sayin.

  29. Padres announcers just said that Franceour did not complain about being sent down to AA

  30. And the difference in treatment between KJ and Francoeur by the Braves is a lot more important than what I say about them, and it’s become evident that the Braves value Francoeur far more than they do Johnson. Which is absurd. That’s why I keep bringing it up. Francoeur really can’t do anything well, but he’s still the team leader in at-bats and second in games played. Here we are, almost a hundred games into the season, and he’s hitting fifth even though he’s been terrible all year, and KJ is benched, even though he’s hit lefthanders well.

  31. As for Johnson vs. Carlton, I don’t see anything much to divide them as pitchers. Carlton was a better all-around performer because of offense (a career .201 hitter) and fielding.

  32. I was obviously exaggerating with the 0-4 2 K’s statement. Look up how many games he’s been hitless. Or had 1 hit.
    My point is very clear. I don’t think he’s a bad baseball player, nor do I think Francoeur is very good right now. But KJ isn’t on the elite level some on here think he is. He’s not above criticism, and while you say you will, Jeremy, you never have, nor has anyone else. He leaves runners on 3rd with less than 2 outs…nothing. He looks lost at the plate sometimes…nothing. He drops popups in the 9th inning that may have cost us the season, and …well, maybe someone commented, but it’s long forgotten. He’s just not that great, contrary to what everyone thinks. And the fact that the organization treats them differently doesn’t have a thing to do with how I perceive them.

  33. Watching baseball in PT feels at ease.

    What, exactly, does Jeff Francoeur do better on a baseball field than Kelly Johnson?

    I think NOTHING. Morever, He has little attraction for me.
    Kelly’s throwing is also good. His smile is really charming. That’s all.

  34. Francoeur has a better arm, not that it is a big dea.

    I guess (and this is the Braves, not me) that they fell Francoeur has more “up side” than does KJ.

    I think the organization undervalues KJ, while some people on this board overvalue him. His error in the Phillies game may have cost us the season. I think he is a solid, maybe slightly above average, baseball player. He is the third best second baseman in the NL East. Probably in the top 5 or 6 in the league.

    However, like Francoeur he can and probably will, get better.

  35. Francoeur has golfed both of his outs so far… I supposed it’s better than a strikeout or typical GIDP ball…

  36. He did hit that last ball hard/

    Geeze, it has gotten to the point where we are pulling for a guy to hit a ball hard

  37. FWIW, KJ has been held hitless in 27 games this year (out of 85 games he’s played in).

    Frenchy’s been held hitless in 33 games this year (out of 89 games he’s played in).

    I wish KJ’s arm wasn’t surgically repaired and he was able to play the OF. If so, I’d like him a LOT more. But while he’s effort at playing middle infield on the Major League level is certainly respectable, I just don’t have much faith in his glove.

    And while I’m awishing, I wish that Frenchy could give the Braves the numbers that they should get out of a corner OF.

    And while I’m awishing, I wish the Braves would get their &%^* together. Along with world peace (a la Steve Martin on SNL).

  38. A dropped pop-up will not cost the Braves the season unless they finish a game back. It was an incredibly costly error, and I haven’t forgotten it, but saying it cost the season (or even that it may have) seems absurd. Wouldn’t the outfield’s play over the course of the season play a bigger part in costing the Braves the season than an error in a game before the All-Star Break?

  39. KJ is getting better at second. His brian fart in the Phillies game, ugh!

    If Glen Hubbard can teahc Marcus Giles to play second, he could teach a rock.

  40. NO, I think the error set a tone. After he dropped that ball we went into a free fall. With a little mometum we might have been able to move into first. One game in the standings right now might be the difference between being buyers or sellers at the deadline.

  41. Look up how many games he’s been hitless. Or had 1 hit.

    Kelly Johnson: 61
    Jeff Francoeur: 68

    If we drop the criteria to only games with no hits:

    Johnson: 25
    Francoeur: 33.

    (For what it’s worth, Chipper has 46 and 18, respectively.)

  42. Francoeur’s power numbers dropping are scary. I think in the offseason he decided he wanted to become a big time home run hitter and bulked up. His bat is just too slow and ht bulk made it even slower.

  43. Brad, it might be close. But Kelly Johnson plays 2nd base. Traditionally, you can be okay with the numbers he’s been putting up. You can’t have a RF with Frenchy’s numbers. Unless you are the Atlanta Bad News Braves.

  44. Traditionally, you can be okay with the numbers he’s been putting up.

    Not to be snarky, but traditionally, getting a 107 OPS+ out of second is quite a bit better than “okay”

  45. @58,

    Is this just hits only? Does it include walks as well?

    For example, if KJ goes 0-3, 2 BB, how is that counted?

  46. Thanks, Jason. I knew they were close.

    You’re welcome, but you’re about to not like me.

    Total games, zero times on base:
    Chipper Jones: 12
    Kelly Johnson: 12
    Jeff Francoeur: 21.

    Yes, that was simply games with 1/0 hits. This here includes walks.
    And of Kelly’s 12, one was a game in which he had only one plate appearance, as a pinch-hitter.

  47. The other absurdity, of course, is that some people have lumped Francoeur in with McCann, because they’re friends and came up together. That’s like lumping Jerry Royster in with Dale Murphy.

  48. Just wondering, have they announced the starting pitchers for the all star game yet? Seems kind of late to not have a starter announced.

  49. Marmol had more fan votes than any other relief pitcher… that is why he was brought in to replace a relief pitcher.

    Also… wow… Braves batted around the order thanks to the F-bomb’s starting single.

  50. So far… 8 of the 9 starting Braves have gotten a hit. The culprit prevent 9-9? The pitcher? No… Chipper “Highest Average in Existence” Jones

    P.S. Lillibridge is on a roll… albeit a very small, insignificant roll… but a roll nonetheless

  51. are Ring and Vazquez (or whatever his name is) still alive? yeah they suck but if you can’t use them with a 7 run lead what’s the point of having them on the team?

  52. 88–well then with 4 days off (next game is Friday) Boyer will be back out for a 2nd inning

  53. I just scanned through the comments for the day, and this comment – “Just strange to me how KJ is so revered when he hasn’t really done anything yet in his career to warrant Chipper-like status” – really gets me. That’s what they call the slipper slope argument. I’ve been reading this board for years and I’ve never, ever seen anyone “revere” KJ, let alone put him on a level with Chipper. My goodness.

    Anyway, it’s nice to go into the Break with a win. But five games under means that the debate will continue on whether we are ‘buyers’ and ‘sellers.’ Unfortunately, the Braves have lately been very reluctant to admit the obvious–that they’re not good enough to compete come September.

  54. Boy…glad I missed the KJ discussion. For the record, I definitely see what Brad is saying, although I wouldn’t compare him to Frenchy.

    When he has played this year, Prado has looked so much better than last year.

    Brian McCann is looking like the Thurman Munson of the Braves. The future unquestioned leader.

    Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick both have 20 HRs for the Cardinals outfield. So that’s how an outfield should produce. Almost forgotten.

  55. This is some awesome bullpen usage this game. Boyer, Huddy, and Gonzalez. Apparently an extra day of rest is one day too many during the All Star Break.

  56. this is one of those games that makes you think this team can put together a really good stretch and get into the mix of things again.
    Then a couple days later you get your hopes dashed once again.

  57. Maybe if the Braves give people like BJones and BLillibridge a chance to play they can show their stuff.

    “this is one of those games that makes you think this team can put together a really good stretch and get into the mix of things again.
    Then a couple days later you get your hopes dashed once again.”

    These are the San Diego Padres after all. The Marlins, Mets, Philles, Cardinals, Brewers,etc. all better than the Padres. I say sell. Don’t get fooled by the last two games

  58. Again, I was only comparing the two in reference to the comments on here, not to prove I think they’re equals or something.
    And if you don’t think KJ is revered here, stick around a while. It’s not so much the amount of positive stuff, it’s the lack of ANY criticism towards him, when, to me, he hasn’t attained that level yet. Some people put him in the Chipper-McCann category of “completely awesome and irreplaceable” players, guys we can’t ever critique b/c of their overwhelming greatness, and he’s just not there yet.

  59. I have been one of KJ consistent critics from the beginning, b/c I think there is star potential there. Also in my opinion no one is above criticism. Only Brian and Chipper come even close.

  60. Only Bobby would pitch our two best relievers, both coming off injuries, in a 10-run game. Idiot.

  61. I think KJ was one of the guys Chipper called out recently with his “some of the young players need to learn how to hit every day” comment.

    He’s not been as good as I’d hoped this season, but if we put him down at #6 or #7 he has the game to drive in runs. I’d like to see a bit more power and more stolen base attempts in the second half. He definitely has the potential to be a 20 HR, 20 SB guy, which would put him among the elite second basemen.

  62. if he won’t use the last 2-3 relievers then he could carry a 3rd catcher to spell McCann in games like this one

  63. Careful, Nick–you’re going to upset KJ’s boys on here…
    I agree, he has the game to be pretty good. He’s just not there yet. But I’m pulling for him and JF both.
    What’s Bobby going to do without his favorite toys for 4 days? He should go to Boyer’s house and make him throw in the driveway.

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