Giants 3, Braves 1

ESPN – Giants vs. Braves – Box Score – August 17, 2008

Right back to the losing. I tell you, this Lincecum kid is really going to be something if he ever goes through puberty. He struck out ten Braves in 7 1/3 and just allowed three hits.

Charlie Morton was pretty good, except for a two-run homer in the second. He allowed seven hits and struck out six; his other run came after a one-out triple in the fifth that probably should have been cut off (in my opinion, anyway) except that Francoeur as usual misplayed it.

The Braves had a chance to get even in the eighth. With two out, Escobar walked and Chipper singled. The Giants brought in a LOOGY to face Kotsay (hitting cleanup because it’s not like anyone on this team but Chipper and the taking-the-day-off McCann has any power); after falling behind 0-2, he worked it full and then singled to make it 3-1. McCann drew a pinch walk to load the bases, but Francoeur, as usual, grounded out to end the threat.

The Braves had just four hits, but six walks. Francoeur was 0-4, so back to normal there. He sucks.

36 thoughts on “Giants 3, Braves 1”

  1. Tough to sit down & watch 2 of the worst teams in the league play, even if your club is one of them.

    Of course, that’s not going to stop me from seeing Jurrjens pitch at Shea on Wednesday.

    It’s funny. It’s starting to feel like the days of the ’70s Braves when we’d decide to make the 100-mile trip from Columbus to AFC Stadium. We’d often wait until Niekro was pitching, just so we felt like we had a chance.

    And, to show you how bad those ’80s teams were, Rick Mahler seemed to be the guy I saw a lot. Yikes.

    Thirteen days & counting, folks…

  2. Number 7 is now 3 for 25 on the year w/ bases loaded, below .125 avg. Two questions, which team would you rather have going into next season, Braves or Giants? – never thought at the beginning of the year you would ask it but I would take the Giants and their young talent. Which number 7 sucks worse – Vick or Jeff?
    Outside of the Nats, I think we are the least talented team in MLB right now.

  3. #3, but we’re one or two players away from contending, per this blog membership.

    Pffft…

  4. I have come to a conclusion that Jeffrey is a great AAA player. He would have a great game when he faces AAA pitching. So I guess he has developed in the past couple years…from a good AA hitter to a great AAA hitter. Maybe we are just asking too much from him!

  5. in fairness… almost everyone was 0-3 or 4. lincecum is nasty. that delivery is gonna continue to be tough if people can’t pick it up.

  6. By the analysis in this article over at Baseball Analysts, Frenchy’s the 3rd-worst hitter in MLB this season. Also, 3 Braves are in the top 15 for the NL if you include Teixeira. Honeslty, how this team failed with all of the great years they’ve had (Chipper, McCann, Jurrjens, Campillo, Tex when he was here) is kinda amazing. And at the same time depressing; I can almost guarantee that Chipper, Jurrjens, and Campillo will regress next year.

  7. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Campillo regress next year. But just imagine how bad things would have been this year without him.

    On a hopeful note, at this point we are tied with the Rockies for the 8th pick in next year’s draft. I don’t believe in rooting against the Braves, but after the suckage this year, it feels like we really have earned the right to pick higher…..

  8. mraver, that list reminds me how great that Marte trade was. Man, I was so wrong about that. I was totally against that trade when it went down, but it ended up netting us some great years from Renteria and, now, Jurrjens.

  9. I’d expect Campillo not to be quite as good next year, but I’d be surprised if he was a lot worse. He’s not Jorge Sosa who had that one great year by smoke and mirrors, somehow putting tons of people on base and getting out of it. Campillo should still give us numbers worthy of a #3 or even #2. If Jurrjens hold up too which I think he can, then we just really need to add one veteran, innings eater to hold the rotation together until Hudson returns. (Or maybe not even that if Smoltz can return.)

  10. I agree with #18. I don’t think we can expect an ERA of under 3 from either of them, but I think they both will be pretty darn good. Especially Jurrjens, there is no reason to think he will be that much worse.

  11. “Also, 3 Braves are in the top 15 for the NL if you include Teixeira. Honeslty, how this team failed with all of the great years they’ve had (Chipper, McCann, Jurrjens, Campillo, Tex when he was here) is kinda amazing.”

    I completely agree. More than anything else, this is testimony to Wren’s incompetence as a GM. The Braves had the hard part down, as Mac has said before, and management was simply unable to round out both the lineup and, to a lesser extent, rotation. To make the outfield more competitive alone would have added a few wins. Of course, losing Smoltz and Hudson would have doomed the team in the end. But Wren’s inability to recognize how awful the outfield became, and how the back end of the rotation would inevitably regress, is a concern.

  12. 20. I guess Smitty needs to go to the game today and heckle Frank Wren. It’ll be a smaller crowd, so he wouldn’t have any problem making himself known.

    It might just turn Wren’s career around.

  13. Stephen, I know Jeffrey never spent anytime at AAA, but he always has a good game when the Braves face a pitcher I never heard of.

  14. Well, you’ve got to take it all in, you can’t just look at the great years by some of our players. You also have to look at the absolutely horrible years by some equally important players. Smoltz, for example, had a horrible year because he got hurt and thus gave us nothing from that point on. Francoeur gave us negative value all year long, likewise Hampton. While no rational human beings expected any contribution from Hampton, it is obvious that the management intended for him to be a contributer this year, based on the way the team was built.

    Horrible seasons from players you expect contribution from drag a team down much more than great years from unexpected sources uplift you. I think thats because almost all teams have some players that will have great years but not all teams have to suffer through multiple players having dismal seasons. At the very least, most teams have a backup plan to stop the bleeding in case something like that does happen. The Braves had no tourniquet for the Out Hemorrhage that Francouer became.

    Literally nothing went right for the Braves that needed to this year. Some good things did happen, like Jurrjens and Campillo having great seasons, but those things weren’t critical to the Braves plan succeeding this year. When the season began, the critical issues were: Getting ANY outfield production, Chipper Hudson Smoltz Teixiera and McCann staying healthy. That just didn’t happen.

    Almost every single player that we expected any production out of got hurt at some point, or started that way, with the exception of Teixeira, Johnson, and Francoeur. Francoeur getting hurt would actually have been a net gain.

  15. Adam, to be fair, nobody would have thought Jeffrey and Matty would be so terrible this season…

  16. kc,

    Concur. There was no reason to expect that Matt Diaz wouldn’t be 300 / 330 / 450 against lefthanders and 280/ 310 / 380 against righthanders (or possibly better).

    Either 2006 or 2007 Francoeur would have been better than 2008 (2006, no VORP, 2007 a little VORP, 2008 NEGATIVE VORP).

    The fundamental GM errors were in trying to plug holes with silly little moves, exacerbated by the way the FO PR’d them. Kotsay has been better than I expected as to performance, but unable to playt about as much as I expected. Not a bad move, but one tht didn’t add anything at the end of the day.

    Blanco has overpeformed my expectations as a hitter, but underperformed as a fielder.

    Brandon Jones has underperformed. If he can’t spank AAA pitching, he can’t do it in MLB.

    Josh Anderson might have helped because of his ability to run down fly balls, and, to get something for the Vulture wasn’t all bad. But again, not an impact move.

  17. Let’s see if we can make Wren a cold heartless bastard and avoid sentiment or molly coddling for the purpose of selling tickets. This is the fundamental nee in Braves GM office.

    Examples are all over. Giving a first round pick and $8 million for Glavine. Waiting so long to address Francoeur and then bringing him back so fast (I realize they had no talent left that looked promising, but I would have stayed the course longer).

    For next year the same questions of “fan support” and “sentiment” could ruin our remaining season and our offseason.

    We CANNOT commit money or roster space to Smoltz or Glavine. Over the next few days, Glavine may cease to be an issue. However, I see no signs of Smoltz letting up.

    Management has to address right field. If Francoeur doesn’t do a winter league and show improvement, then Braves need to go to next option.

    We can only bring back Kotsay if he is CHEAP. But, my understanding is that we have to offer arb to be able to sign him before May 1. And, further, that arb is set at 80% of salary as a minimum. If so, then he has to go (good guy, pretty good performance, just not worth that kind of money).

  18. Cliff @ 26 – and how much should you allocate for a part time third baseman, even if he’s one of the premier hitters in baseball?

  19. @27

    Since Chipper has a $10-$11 million option for 2009, and there’s no chance of a buyout, that allocation is pretty much settled.

  20. I’m not saying Jurrjens is going to be bad next year. But expecting him to post a 3.15 ERA is way too much. Between the increased workload, the fact that his ERA slightly outstrips his FIP ERA, and the scouting reports that pegged him as a #4 coming into the year, I just think he’ll be hard pressed to replicate his ROY-caliber year. I’d guess something more like a 3.50 ERA with 150-200 IP depending on whether or not he gets hurt. Which is great, just not a 3.13. :-)

    Otherwise, I agree that between Frenchy and the injury/suckiness of Diaz, our OF just screwed us. I don’t think either were really predictable, and I think B. Jones looked like a decent mid-season option coming into the year. I don’t think the bullpen injuries were really predictable, and I think the team would have been able to bring someone in at the deadline if we’d been in contention.

    If you want to yell at management, well, I guess we should have had a better option at AAA than Greg Norton. Most (myself included) thought at least one of Jones and Lillibridge would be banging on the door come mid-season, though. Their underperformance along with Diaz getting hurt, forcing Blanco into a starting role, and Infante’s constant battle with the DL really tested the depth all around.

    I dunno. If there’s one move that was questionable, it was the Glavine deal. He was clearly on his way out, and giving up the first rounder to the Mets sucked. But other than that, I thought we had a pretty good looking roster (one that didn’t need anything from Hampton) coming out of spring training. But when you lose Smoltz, you lose Moylan, Soriano records like 4 saves the whole year, and you set a record for consecutive one-run road losses, well… I don’t really think you put that on management.

    I thought the Braves were the team to beat in the NL East in March right up through mid-June. But as the injuries and one-run losses piled up, it became clear that the team just couldn’t handle all of that adversity. So much good stuff this year but then all of the awfulness. :-(

    ETA: Radar Boy, he was the other mistake management made. Though in fairness, there weren’t exactly a lot of other options.

  21. FYI from MLBTR:

    “Somewhat surprising new addition to our cleared waivers list – Braves center fielder Mark Kotsay. Apparently a number of teams are interested in the resurgent Kotsay, though not enough to take on his remaining salary.”

  22. I know i am probably in the minority here, but i would definitely bring back Kotsay. He is our best OF. All the rest can go, and I like what Blanco has done, but it is nothing special.

    This is the offseason i start to criticize Wren, it is his team now, no specter of JS really hanging over his shoulder.
    Good luck Frank, your going to need it.

  23. Random Rambling follows… nothing we haven’t seen around here before… just cathartic brain dump about how badly 08 has gone:

    I can’t speak to the front office, but my expectation for Glavine and Smoltz were for them to have a good season and a half between them (I expected Tommy to pitch 7/8th of the year with moderate success in the 4.5 ERA range and Smoltz to miss maybe a third of it but doing quite well when he was pitching). Basically between Smoltz, Glavine, Hudson, and Hampton I think we could reasonably have expected to get a smidge over the production of 2.5 good pitchers (1.5 for the old guys, 1 for Huddy, and 0 for Hampton) and we should’ve been able to be fine to get another 2.5 equivalent from JJ, Chucky, Morton, Jo Jo, and Campillo. Pitching has been a net pain in the butt for all the worry it causes and finances it tied up, but from a production standpoint our rotation has been close to as good as we should’ve expected (just getting quality from where we didn’t expect it instead of from where we did).

    Offensively we needed a mildly regressed Diaz, we got a drastically regressed and then hurt Diaz, and an average Frenchy year, and we got a horrible frenchy year. Beyond those two we really haven’t had bad offense individually, but it hasn’t translated into decent offense as a team.

    Assuming Kotchman doesn’t become Frenchy (and stays the .280 hitting with 18 homers guy we intended to get), we actually HAVE largely GOT the pieces we need except for the outfield offense and some innings eating pitchers (which is not insignificant of course). Our problem (well one of them) is that we’ve not been putting those pieces together well (through bad luck or lack of skill may be up to debate). In theory with Chipper, Esco, and McCann we should be able to throw out league average outfielders and be competitive… maybe not 95 wins competitive, but not nearly the suckitude we’ve been this year.

    Of course I’m ignoring the pitching needs… and I’m not even sure how to handle it because they probably shouldn’t spend too much on Glavine or Smoltz for next year… but if there is a vaguely reasonable expectation they might come back AND will sign on the cheap…

  24. I don’t believe it would have mattered a lot if everyone had stayed healthy. We had a losing record with Teixiera, and Chipper and McCann were healthy during almost all of that period. Chipper hit .400 over most of the period Tex was here.

    Our pitching is terribly inconsistent and until they solve that issue, it won’t matter how much offense they have. Unfortunately, that is going to take time.

    We have some good prospects in Infante, Blanco and Escobar, and Frenchy will be a better hitter than this year. You can’t call almost 2 years of good hitting and offense a fluke and nobody really expected more than .270+/- from him with reasonable run production.

    He’s still better than Andruw at a fraction of the cost, which you should give Frank Wren credit for.

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