Braves 5, Brewers 0

ESPN – Brewers vs. Braves – Box Score – August 03, 2008

Yay, a win! Too bad it doesn’t matter. Like, at all.

Okay, so I’m bitter.

The Braves jumped out to a first-inning lead. Blanco worked a long PA for a walk, his first of three for the day (he singled in his only AB). After the usual pointless bunt by Escobar, he came around to score on a double by Kotsay, who in turn came in on one by Infante.

It stayed 2-0 for awhile, as Campillo was extra-sharp. He went seven innings, didn’t walk anyone, struck out six and allowed six hits, only one for extra bases. 68 of his 101 pitches were strikes. He now has a 2.58 ERA; raise your hands if you predicted that. Too bad it’s all going to waste.

Sorry, I’ll try to do better.

Campillo came in to score in the fifth after reaching on an error. Norton pinch-hit for him in the seventh, and came around to score on an Escobar single after drawing a walk. In the eighth, Francoeur, who sucks, drove in the final run of the game with a single. Bennett and Ohman pitched the eighth, and Gonzalez finished up with the Atlanta Save. Hooray!

36 thoughts on “Braves 5, Brewers 0”

  1. Ordinarily I’d agree with you about Escobar bunting, but when Jeff Francoeur is the biggest homerun hitter in your starting lineup, bunting a runner into scoring position isn’t such a bad idea.

  2. From last thread: So far he looks like the best #5 pitcher in MLB. Too bad he’s turning into the Braves’ #1.

    Jeez man, what the heck are you looking for in a #1??? Not saying Campillo is going to be this good beyond this year, but his peripherals show he is one of the top pitchers in the majors this year. I’ll take a guy with a 2.58 ERA as my #1 any day.

    The guy has a WHIP of 1.05, a BAA of 2.32, and 6.14 K/9. Give him some credit.

    Not saying I want him as the #1 for next year – just saying.

  3. Campillo is looking good. But I’d still rather not go into next season with him slated as anything higher than the #4 starter. I do want to keep him around though.

    Too many bad memories of Jorge Sosa. The Braves counted on him to be their third starter in 2006 after his inexplicable 2005 season. Don’t want a repeat of that.

    Get two top-of-the-rotation pitchers (NOT Smoltz though I’d like to keep him around seeing as he is not retiring) this offseason and let Jurrjens be the #3.

  4. Juan Pierre is starting against the lefty today. Ouch for Andruw.

    As for Campillo, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop (maybe I don’t trust guys named Jorge in the rotation), but he has had one helluva season thusfar. At this point, and this was brought up on another blog, maybe you look at him like a Bob Tewksbury type. A guy that has pitched a ton of minor league innings, learned how to pitch and is finally getting a shot. He did lead the PCL in ERA last year, which the more PCL games that I watch, the more I appreciate that title. Maybe he is becoming a “crafty righty” Jamie Moyer type, who will put up better numbers in his 30’s, than he did his 20’s. He at least deserves a rotation spot (preferably #4 or #5) next season, that’s for sure. That’s not something I dreamed I would type in a million years.

  5. Going into Year 2, I have more confidence in Campillo than Sosa because Campillo isn’t such a high-wire act.

    Let’s hear it for “Senor Smoke & Mirrors.”

  6. @3 – You absolutely cannot compare Sosa to Campillo. Sosa was extremely lucky that entire 2005 season. He had men on base at an alarming rate and just found ways to get out of it. Campillo, on the other hand, has good control and doesn’t let men on base. Plus, he is much more a ground ball pitcher than Sosa.

  7. Also, Blanco is looking really good in the leadoff spot. I wouldn’t mind letting him have the starting center-fielders job next year (I really like his speed) until he proves that he can’t handle it.

  8. Blanco in center field is fine with me.

    But please get a real left fielder. Pat Burrell and Adam Dunn are free agents this offseason and the Braves have 40 million dollars for 2009 to play with…

  9. I agree that if we go into next year with Campillo slated as anything higher than a #4 starter, we are asking for trouble. He’s had a great year, but there are too many unknowns with him.

    I’m comfortable with Jurjjens as the 3, Campillo as the 4 and Morton/Reyes as the 5. Tim Hudson and/or Smoltz would be a huge bonus. But if we want to win 90 games with the lineup we are going to have next year (not to mention advancing deep into the playoffs), we need 2 more top of the rotation starters. Maybe Lackey plus another.

  10. If Campillo were a tennis player, he’d be “that guy” that cuts everything with backspin and always gets it in the court. Extremely annoying to play against… and yet effective (at least in high school where everyone is still pretty unforced error prone).

  11. I had the postgame show on in the background and wasn’t paying much attention to it, but I could swear that I heard them say that Soriano’s going back on the DL.

  12. Doesn’t Soriano make something like 6 or 9 million next year too? Better get his head out of his ass because we’ve got a chance to have a good bullpen next year.

  13. Has he gotten that fancy dye-injection MRI yet that showed Gonzo’s problem last year when a normal MRI didn’t? I mean, there really has to be something structurally wrong, doesn’t there?

  14. “If Campillo were a tennis player, he’d be “that guy” that cuts everything with backspin and always gets it in the court. Extremely annoying to play against… and yet effective (at least in high school where everyone is still pretty unforced error prone).”

    Exactly. If he can keep on winning and put up quality starts he’s a fantastic #4 or #5. But I have a feeling that if by some miracle a guy like this plays in a playoff or world series game, against a really good lineup and good advance scouting, then his stuff might not be enough any more.

    It’s great that Campillo’s doing well, but I miss having a guy or two at the top of the starting rotation who have a good chance against even the best hitters in the league. Maybe Campillo has something special I haven’t recognized yet.

  15. Apparently to replace Soriano on the roster, we’re calling Francisley Bueno up from Richmond. I have no idea who that is, but I’m sure somebody here does and can enlighten us.

  16. Bueno is a lefty who was with the club in spring training and pitched well. His numbers in Richmond don’t look great though on first glance.

  17. I don’t think it’s ever a waste to win a game even if the team isn’t going anywhere. And beating Ben Sheets finally is sort of nice.

    As for Campillo, there is no way to predict whether he is really a find or just a fluke. I guess we will find out next year. But it takes more than one year to see if a pitcher is anything. Chuck James looked great after his first year. Nevertheless, it’s fun to see a guy come out of nowhere.

  18. Campillo is no Jorge Sosa.

    Sosa’s FIP in 2005: 4.63
    Campillos’s this year: 3.46

    So yeah. Sosa was an ERA illusion; Campillo is not. Why, you ask? Well, Campillo’s K-rate is pretty good (17.7% of PAs have resulted in Ks this year), and his BB-rate is also really good (5.3%). He’s been pretty hit-lucky (which is why his ERA is in the mid-2s,), and his GB rate is pretty poor, but he’s kept the ball in the yard, and that’s the big thing.

    Frankly, as long as people continue to not homer off him, I think he’ll be at least serviceable. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the K-rate deteriorate a bit after people have accumulated a lot of film on him. (And actually take the time to prepare; I mean, coming into this year, he’s just some guy from the Mexican leagues with good breaking stuff. Now he’s an established ML pitcher, and I think players will take a bit more time watching film, looking for tendencies and such.) But I’m optimistic that he’ll at least be a useful ML pitcher.

    One thing I am unclear about is his status. IIRC, the Mariners released him outright, so I would think that means he just becomes a free agent, unfettered by service time rules and obligations. If this is the case, he’d presumably be able to sign anywhere for whatever money he wanted.

    But I could be wrong, and the Braves either picked him up on waivers or traded something insignificant to acquire him.

  19. All this stuff about Campillo being or not being a #4 is pointless. Either he’s in the rotation or he’s not in the rotation. But even if you call him the #4, he’s going to get as many starts as the starter you label the #1, #2, etc. Even the so-called #5 starter is going to get essentially the same number of starts as teams rarely skip a starter on offdays.

    It is true that no matter what number one sticks on Campillo, the Braves are going to need to acquire another starter.

  20. I don’t know how it’s figured, but on Yahoo’s MLB statmeter it says that 110 innings pitched are needed to qualify for the ERA title at this point in the season. If Jorge had pitched a complete game shutout today he would be leading the NL in ERA (albeit by only 0.01). Unfortunately, he is still two innings shy of the required minimum. Does anyone know how they figure this minimum?

  21. Good win by the team today….it was an enjoyable game to watch, and since those have been few and far between of late, i’ll take.

    Good pitching by Campillo, we beat Sheets, and had enough hitting and good bullpen work.

  22. Ben-

    It’s done the same way they do the batting race. There’s some specific amount of IP you need to qualify for the ERA crown (I think it’s around 160). The number necessary to qualify for the week-to-week (or day-to-day) leaders come from that number times the ratio of the number of games MLB teams (on average) have played thus far to the total number of games. So basically, if you have the number specified, you’re “on pace” to qualify for the title. In Campillo’s case, since he was in the ‘pen for a good bit of the year, he still hasn’t caught up to the number required. But as he’s only two behind now, he’ll almost certainly be there by the end of the season.

  23. Thanks mraver. I wish they would put the end of season required number on there as well when they do the stats sheets.

  24. Wren specifically said the Braves will have Jurrjens and Campillo back next season. So I doubt he is a free agent.

    This is all I could find on Campillo:

    2008-2010: Near Minimum

    2011-2013: Arb. Eligible

  25. I would encourage anyone with serious doubts about Campillo’s staying power to read the following Mariners’ blog entry from 2005, when the M’s signed him:

    http://tinyurl.com/5ooqlm

    I especially like the reference to Sal Maglie:

    http://tinyurl.com/56o9we

    Maglie, like Campillo, didn’t stick in the bigs until an advanced age, but to say they are late bloomers misses the point somewhat. They play serious ball in the Mexican League, and Maglie’s quote about honing his curveball at 7000 feet certainly jibes with what we’ve seen from Jorge. And considering that Campillo had the cojones to throw over the head of Vlad Guerrero not once, but twice in an at bat last year indicates that career path and pitching repertoire aren’t the only things he has in common with the man they called “The Barber”.

    Of course, it’s certainly possible that we’re seeing the apex of his career right now. And I wouldn’t expect him to continue posting ERAs in the 2.5’s. But the good peripherals quoted above, along with a pretty good recent history in the minors (I can’t find his Mexican League stats — anybody?), leads me to believe he’ll continue to be good. Barring a sudden collapse, I think the spot in the rotation in ’09 is his to lose.

    (FYI — 162 innings is required for the ERA title. One inning per team game played.)

  26. I was looking at Campillo’s stats a few weeks ago. I hadn’t realized how well he had pitched in the minors. Sure, he was old for his level, but it’s hard not to be when you don’t get here until you’re older. He may be pitching better now than he ever will, but he certainly deserved more innings than the Mariners were willing to give him. Shame on them.

  27. #22 Frank said about what i had to say about Senor S&M…….doesnt the 4th game count as much as the 1st? if you have to hang a number on this guy, you’d better get busy finding 3 or 4 better pitchers.( good luck with that) while you’re wishing, why not get 6 or 8 better guys?

  28. Of course Campillo’s label – #4 or #1 doesn’t matter…he’ll get the same amount of starts. But when you call someone a #1 or #2, you are saying that you expect the majority of those starts to be well above league average. When you say someone is a #4, you are saying you expect them to be about average. So, when I said Campillo is a #4, I meant we better find 2 starters we consider better than him, because if you are counting on Jorge Campillo to pitch well above league average again next year, you are asking for trouble.

    Skip Caray…wow. RIP. Growing up in NJ I remember defending him against all the Met fans that said he was a homer and unlistenable. He’s one of the major reasons I fell in love with the Braves and I’ll never hear another like him. He will be missed.

  29. Wow… Skip Caray was a big part of my childhood. Growing up and watching that team go from worst to first… something I’ll never forget.

    I remember him doing a game a last week, forgot which one, and they showed him in the booth trying to get Pizza from Chip and Joe. The next game Chip said he was at home and feeling under the weather and probably annoying his mom and the dogs..

    R.I.P. Skip.

  30. I have only been watching the Braves since I was 6, which was 1996, so I didn’t get to hear Skip for the majority of the time he called games, but listening to him and Pete just always put a smile on his face. When they got off of TV, I truly missed having them call the games, so much so that I would listen to the radio with the TV on mute. R.I.P. Skip.

  31. Skip Caray, one of a kind, and I mean that in the best possible way. He always managed to bring a smile to my face no matter how badly the Braves may have been playing. I’ll miss him.

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