Marlins 5, Braves 3

ESPN – Braves vs. Marlins – Box Score – September 03, 2008

So, what can we do to pile on the awfulness? I know, Escobar, who has been coming on lately, could reinjure his shoulder! There, that will make things worse. It’s hard to do much more than have key young players get hurt.

The game? Typical. Braves fell behind 1-0, rallied to take a 3-1 lead, then immediately gave up two runs to tie it. Then Bobby — who apparently actively hates draft picks now — tried to get a second inning out of Ohman after he finally had a good one, only to see him let the leadoff man on base. In came Pointless Nunez, who allowed the Grybo and a run of his own to hang Ohman with the loss.

Anderson was 0-5 and his savior status is slipping. KJ was 2-3 with a walk, one of his hits a two-run triple, which was followed by an RBI double by Jeffy. Weird.

Bad team. Very bad team. Only a few hundred people showed up to watch this game. Whoever said South Floridians had bad taste?

51 thoughts on “Marlins 5, Braves 3”

  1. gotta hand it to the Marlins and their fans. i didnt think any other team could look as lifeless and boring as the Braves but somehow, they manage to pull it off…….. too bad they dont have a stadium downtown. then they could let the winos and sex freaks in for free and at least there would be a good show in the stands.

  2. My preseason prediction for the Braves (which was roundly discounted as being too negative) was 82 wins. Unless they’ve got a 22-0 streak in them, I’m going to miss on the high side.

  3. If Escobar has to miss any time, we’ll at least get a chance to see Lillibridge in extended action.

  4. “I put a lot of the responsibility on the starters, because we’ve been leaving the games too many times before the fifth inning,” Campillo said. “I notice that the bullpen is really tired, because pretty much every game, they’re throwing four, five innings. And I feel like we need to go longer so they can be fresher.”

    That excuses Ohman, Boyer and Carlyle. What’s Tavarez, Dessens and Nunez’s?

  5. Good quote, Nick. I like Campillo’s attitude and demeanor. The results haven’t been there lately, but he’s been one of the very few pleasant surprises overall.

  6. Wren and the scouts’ bad judgment?

    Actually, it’s only bad judgment if those guys’ poor performances actually hurt the team in any meaningful games.

    Real bad judgment is continuing to trot out guys who are well over either their previous high for IP in a season (Jurrjens) or well over normal reliever usage (Ohman and Boyer, who hasn’t been durable in his brief career to begin with).

  7. I think the only thing to look at for the rest of the season is how the various prospects do at Myrtle Beach and Mississippi in their playoffs.

    Pretty much only Freddie Freeman of our “Team of 2010/11” not involved.

  8. #6,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,what makes you think MLB would allow any team to shut down their starters just because they’ve never pitched that much? its time for the boys to grow up………. and that would be a chickenshit thing to anyway.

  9. Teams do that all the time. Last year, the Red Sox shut down Buchholz during a pennant race, after he’d thrown a no-hitter, when their starting pitching was looking shaky, because he’d reached his limit for the season.

  10. well mac, i think its a whole different thing when you’re the front runner in a pennant race. the bottom teams cant just roll over and play dead. even if they are………….and its not like any of these guys have pitched a huge amount of innings. if they cant do it when they’re young, when? oh, and i think the Red Sox had some reasonable substitute. do the Braves?

  11. oh…..sorry about the time warp……. i forget how delicate these babies are. i’m full of old fashioned notions like if the guy is being paid to pitch and he doesnt tell you his arm is falling off, send him out there…….or how about if we just use him againt the mets?

  12. Yeah, the problem is that treating pitchers that way doesn’t work. Sure, sometimes you come up with a Spahn, but most of the time you wind up with a guy with a sore arm. And young, good pitchers are the most valuable thing in baseball. Even adequate pitching is hard to find. Jurrjens has been stretched out a little this year, and they can do a little more next year. If you try to stretch too far too soon, they will break.

  13. i like leo mazzones’ idea that pitchers hurt thenselves by not throwing enough, not by throwing too much………….these days, when a ten year old kid shows any kind of talent , he never throws another ball unless hes under the supervision of some adult with dollar signs in his eyes. kids dont play ball like kids anymore and i really think thats why even the really good pitchers think 200 innings is some kind of milestone. (not that any of the Braves pitchers are approaching that)

  14. It’s legitimately harder to pitch today, harder than it was even twenty years ago. It used to be that even good teams had two or three hitters who had no power at all. That just isn’t the case now. (Except in Atlanta.) Everybody hits homers, so every pitch is key.

    With the exception of the sixties (when rules changes worked to eliminate offense) innings pitched by the top starters have gone down every year, basically, throughout major league history. And the main reason for that is that every year there are more good hitters.

  15. so now the starters pitch less and we wring our hands and cry about Bobby over-useing his bullpen?? or worry about rushing prospects?? we have to account for 1458 innings somehow.

  16. There’s no good way to fill those innings. I really didn’t complain about overusing the bullpen (other than Boyer) because I’d much rather they burn out than the starters do.

  17. No worries about burning out the bullpen anymore this year. We had TWELVE relievers in the pen today. Of course, they consisted of nine nobodies, two burnouts, and Mike Gonzalez, but hey.

  18. true mac………the way i see it is, some of those guys might even have so-so 12-15 year careers in baseball but its a good bet that not many of those years will be in Atlanta, so put ’em to work………………as my uncle used to say “dont worry about the mule going blind, just load the wagon”

  19. That’s why I don’t have much problem seeing the Tavarez, Dessens and Nunez. Somebody has to fill out the innings…and there are plenty of innings to fill with limited fresh arms on the team right now.

    Hey, we are only 6.5 games “behind” the Natspos and the Padres on the first overall pick, let’s work toward that!

  20. That’s what I like to hear, billy-jay!

    A couple of errors in the story, FWIW:

    1) Johnson’s job is safe, barring some scandal, until the end of 2009 at least. He’s got a lot of fans, and most VU fans realize success can’t come overnight.

    2) Kareem Jackson never qualified academically for VU. He didn’t choose Bama over Vanderbilt; he took the Bama scholarship after Vanderbilt had to back away for the second year in a row.

  21. Yeah, the problem is that treating pitchers that way doesn’t work. Sure, sometimes you come up with a Spahn, but most of the time you wind up with a guy with a sore arm.

    Except that fewer and fewer innings and fewer and fewer pitches hasn’t changed the injury rate. Since guys don’t get to pitch much anymore, their command and control suffer, and you get guys – well – you get guys like we get. Chuck James, JoJo Reyes, Kyle Davies who have good stuff but lack command and control. How about we let them work more in the minors, let two of them blow out their arms, and end of with one guy who is actually useful?

    The pendulum will swing back eventually. Soon hopefully.

  22. Just back from a quickie Vegas business trip…

    Was in the MGM Grand sports book yesterday during the Braves/Marlins game. I’m contemplating a 3-team college football parlay, while Atlanta breaks out to a 10-3 lead.

    (Sports books are just plain outstanding places to kill time—way more fun than sports bars in my book.)

    I begin talking with 2 LSU guys next to me—I’m hearing some very interesting stories about their recent former QB—and one of them keeps groaning every time the Braves score. Although he likes the Braves, he’s not a huge MLB fan and he’s bet on the Marlins because they won him money the night before (against Atlanta).

    He asks me: “Hey, do I have any chance left with this game? Can the Braves blow it?”

    I said: “Well, you have 6 more innings against a rookie pitcher and an overworked bullpen that shouldn’t ever be confused with the Nasty Boys. Yes, you do, actually. These days, we can lose to anybody.”

    Before I fill out my parlay card (C.Mich +23.5, Ga. Tech +7, W.Va -8—call me crazy), it’s 10-9 and this guy is hooping & hollering like Slim Pickens riding the A-Bomb in “Dr. Strangelove.” He leans over to me and says, “Thanks for the tip. You must really know your team.”

    And with a hint of genuine sadness, I offer, “Yes, yes, I do.”

  23. ububba–Thats great–“Dr. Strangelove” is my favourite movie–I can almost see George C. Scott commenting on the Braves season that the “you can’t blame the system for a single slip up”, but that the ‘human element’ appears to have let us down….

    Wouldn’t mind hav’n one of “those doomsdays”…

  24. God bless you, billy-jay.

    PS: You should hang around for the basketball and baseball seasons, where we’re legitimately good, even by SEC standards, and not just “competitive”.

  25. But ububba, what was the spread on the game that guy was betting on? The story would have been much funnier if the Braves had actually lost that game (although it was pretty funny in the context you were using), but amazingly they won by 2 so the guy more than likely ended the night upset anyway.

  26. UAE Stephen,
    I’d say that this Braves club has certainly gotten its “hair mussed.”

    Ben,
    Betting baseball isn’t like football. Although, you can (in big games, for example) get “1.5 runs,” it’s mostly settled in another manner.

    You get a number which tells you how much you have to bet to win “this much.” On the Big Board—another “Dr. Strangelove” ref—it’ll look like -130 or +150.

    (Generally, I don’t like to bet baseball when in Vegas. In fact, I’ve only bet one baseball game in my life—Game 7 of the ’97 WS. It was part of a mixed parlay & I took Cleveland. Getting “1.5 runs,” I won. Good thing Renteria didn’t hit a HR at the end.)

    BTW, the end of the story belongs to the person who’s telling it. In my book, giving up a 7 run lead in 5 minutes denotes suckitude aplenty. And that was the point. It wasn’t about the fortunes of the LSU guy, although he was pretty entertaining.

    Vandy Peeps,
    Good luck tonight. I didn’t have the guts to take the 10 points, but I’m rooting for you (and against Spurrier) nonetheless.

  27. I went home last night and played a few games of baseball on the Wii (damn my shoulder is sore today) as the 07 Braves beating up on the 07 Mets… made me feel better.

  28. The Nats have a 6 game lead on the Braves with 22 games left, but I believe the Braves have what it takes to do a reverse ’07 Mets and win last place!

  29. Jurrjens’ minor league IP’s are all around 140, and it looks like he’ll probably roll in to the finish this year with 180+. It would just be a shame to see one of this season’s (the only?) revelations unable to go next season. Lincecum is another guy that got shut down early last year, and also Shields from TB.

    Looks like JJ missed a couple starts earlier this year, one when he hurt his ankle on the dugout steps and the other looks ASB-related, so that’s helping keep his IP’s down somewhat. If he has a really good start in his next two, I wouldn’t be opposed to letting him end on that note.

  30. Actually, that would be a straightforward 2007 Mets- which is certainly possible if the Braves suck against the Nats this weekend.

    The big question is whether the 2008 Mets can do a 2007 Mets. I think they can do it too.

  31. I think JJ should only be shut down if he’s experiencing discomfort or his velocity is down. Haven’t heard reports of the first — can anyone confirm the second?

  32. Hardball Times

    Pretty heavy statistics there, but the conclusion seems to be that heavy use doesn’t have a significant effect from one season to the next for relievers. His heavy use pitchers averaged 86.7 innings in the first year.

    An interesting and unaddressed (I think) point was that the heavy use pitchers only averaged 65 innings in the second year, which seems like a big dropoff. That leads me to wonder what high use for relievers does to injury rate.

    Another study would be what a couple high use months does to the rest of the season (aka Boyer’s 2008). That would be hard to set up and less reliable than a year-to-year study, but it seems possible to me that you could see a dropoff after throwing 30+ relief innings in two months.

    You could also look at measurables like velocity, pitch break, etc. I would expect something has been up with Boyer, but I guess it’s hard to be conclusive.

    The quote that starts that article, by the way, is from Fregosi of all people:

    “The biggest reason is, when they have a good year, they’re overused. When they have a bad year, they’re not used at all. So then they can come back and have a good year. It’s that simple. They just get tired from overuse. If they’re in 80 games and they warm up 120 times, that’s a lot. The only one [teams] really take care of in the bullpen anymore is the closer. They always bring him in to start the ninth and if he pitches 50, 60 innings, that’s where he’s at. He’s in 60 games where you have a chance to win.”

  33. Billy Martin ruined the careers of several promising pitchers with the A’s in the early 80s. He had them throwing early 50s kinds of innings and they were all pretty much done in a couple of years. I certainly preferred it aestehtically when pitchers threw complete games; it added to the drama when a pitcher was finishing his own game. But calling these guys wimps doesn’t obviate the fact that pitching is more difficult today and that pitchers have to throw with more intensity. Back in the fifties and sixties, a pitcher could generally focus on a few hitters in the lineup and relax with the others because they were unlikely to hit the ball out of the park–throw the ball up and away and let them whale away to centerfield. There were relatively few homeruns to centerfield and the opposite field; in fact, Aaron was considered a real anomaly because he could hit the ball out to right field. Today, you have middle infielders that can hit the ball out to the opposite field. Pitchers really can’t let up. Moreover, starting in the late sixties the strike zone got increasingly smaller and it became almost impossible to get a high strike called. Plus with lower mounds and better lights and hitting backgrounds for hitters in the new parks, it became correspondingly more difficult for pitchers. Pitching 7 innings today is probably the equivalent, if not better, of throwing a complete game in the fifties.

  34. Interesting take, Marc.

    So, do you agree with Leo or with those who say limit the amount of pitches to stay healthy?

  35. I think neither is inconsistent. Throwing between starts is a lot different than throwing in a game. I don’t think Leo would disagree with limiting the number of pitches in a game; it’s not like the Braves had an inordinate number of complete games. Throwing between starts to strengthen the arm is one thing. But you can’t leave a guy out there throwing max effort for 130 or 140 pitches.

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