Phillies 6, Braves 2

ESPN – Braves vs. Phillies – Box Score – September 22, 2008

Really, they’re trying. Lots!

Jurrjens gave up a couple of early runs, then settled down, as has been his wont of late. The Braves couldn’t get him a lead, but did manage to get him off the hook. Well, KJ did — he hit a two-run homer in the sixth to tie it up. He then tried to get a lead, leading off the eighth with a double and getting to third on an error. But he couldn’t score, getting nailed at the plate on a one-out grounder.

Jeff Bennett stunk up the joint in the eighth to get the loss, giving up a single to the leadoff man and then moving him to third with a horrible pickoff throw. He scored on a one-out grounder, then Tavarez came in to give up a three-run homer to put the game away. This is still a pretty lousy ballclub.

Chipper didn’t start, but had a single as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. He is hitting .364 with a .468 OBP. The Cardinals started late; Pujols is 0-1 with a walk.

46 thoughts on “Phillies 6, Braves 2”

  1. Another couple of 1-1’s for CJ and he’ll bat over .365, which is all I’m hoping for at this point.

  2. If only there were some way we could lose to the Brewers as well.

    The Mets – clearly going for the extra degree of difficulty points – get sunk by a Grand Slam from Jason Marquis.

  3. Mac, are you starting to write your annual off-season player review? I am looking forward to see what you have to write on Jeffrey.

  4. KJ will end up having a respectable season again, but he was only useful for two months (with one month being meaningless). I honestly have no clue on what to do with this guy. Trade him or keep him?

  5. trade him

    he’ll be a pretty hot player when orlando hudson signs. the other teams in need (A’s ’cause Ellis is leaving and he sucks, ‘Zona, Yankees, who else????) of a 2B might cave and give us a legit #3 for him (i’m looking at you Oakland). Frenchy is a possibility as well, in terms of using the last 2 months of the season as an audition for a trade. KC would be great. Frenchy for Bannister? Horchevar?

    KJ to Oakland for Fautino de los Santos. Acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the Nick Swisher trade. Overall best repetoire in system, plus curve and fastball and average slider. Confident with all pitches in all counts. Throws improving change but not yet a reliable ML pitch. Double A in 2008.

    Frenchy to KC for Danny Duffy. Dominated rookie Arizona League after signing, averaging 15 strikeouts per nine innings. His entire repetoire, (fastball, curve, change) all have plus potential although is weakness now is just inexperience. Has trouble repeating his delivery which causes inconsistency with his pitch location, command and control. A candidate for extended spring training with a promotion to Low Class A once he’s mastered the delivery change.

    We will have a sucky 2009, but our 2010 will be better and we’ll be gang-busters from 2011 onward.

  6. The Braves against the Phillies are like a “show me” fastball.

    We do enough to let them know we’re there, but we’re never really serious about going for the win.

  7. I am looking forward to see what you have to write on Jeffrey.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say we will not get a repeat of this season’s preseason line: “He’s slowly becoming a good player”.

    Maybe something like “He’s slowly making me insane”. “He’s slowly making me more and more of a football fan”.

  8. The great and eloquent blogger Mac Thomason will find some articulate, funny way to say that Jeff Francouer sucks.

    KJ is a head scratcher but I say keep him. He is way above a league average 2b offensively. Its not like this team has a plethora of offensive players on it.

  9. Just cannot understand the KJ stuff. The only reason to trade him is if you believe he is at his peak and will get the best value. we are going to get 60 XB hits from a middle infielder who was platooned for a while. He will finish 2nd on the team in XB hits; 4th in the league in OPS for a second baseman, and the critique is he is only really good sometimes? if he was good all of the time, he would be Chipper, and we get one of those every 20 years or so.

    KJ’s OPS+ this year (111) is what Andruw Jones is, for his career. So roll in all of AJ’s 35+ HR years, and you are getting AJ’s lifetime production from your second baseman. And you can’t decide whether KJ is a keeper? We have 3 MLB quality hitters in the line-up every night, and KJ is one.

  10. Im fine with trading KJ if we can get another solid young starter in return. I do not, repeat, do not want to trade him and have Prado or Infante as our everyday 2B

  11. You don’t trade one of your better players who is young and figures to improve UNLESS you get a deal that significantly improves the team. KJ is inconsistent but you have to ask, do you really want Prado playing second every day?

  12. #8 – I like De Los Santos, but wasn’t he injured all year? That’s not a great haul if we’re selling high.

    I would certainly shop KJ, mainly because I do expect to contend next year and think we will need pitching more than hitting in 2010 and beyond. Hicks might replace KJ adequately, or Eric Campbell.

    Also, who is the season BA leader right now as a switch hitter? Is it the Mick?

  13. It’s absolutely hilarious that we played all-out to beat the Mutts all weekend, then sent out a lineup against the Phillies where Sammons was playing AND wasn’t the weakest hitter. We’ve essentially decided the NL East.

  14. I’d trade KJ only if they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. 2B (taking Kelly out of the picture) is NOT a postition of strength for the Braves at this point, so why create a weakness there unless you are solving at least one other weakness by doing so.

    Catcher, on the other hand, with Flowers in the minors is a postition of strength, so I would look for a trade out of that slot before trading KJ.

    EDIT: Errr, yeah, what Mr. Schneider just said above me….

  15. Seat Painter,

    I always like it when people agree with me! :) That shows you are an intelligent fellow.

  16. Per Callis at BA:

    I’d rank Texas ahead of Oakland because I like their depth and their balance of hitters and pitchers a little more. The Rangers have done an impressive job on all fronts recently, picking up talent via trades (Andrus might be the best shortstop prospect in the minors, while Feliz might have the best pure fastball)

    (Hitting myself in the face with a wrench)

  17. Dang Ethan get over it man. Trade done. water over damn, spilt milk, water under bridge, whatever.

    The hell of it is that the Braves might think that Prado is actually good just because of this run he has had and haul off and trade KJ for something.

    I dunno guys trading a 2b with an OPS up around .800? Yeah he accomplished that with about 60 games of terrific baseball…… out of 145 but what the hell.

  18. when your 2B is outproducing every outfielder that you’ve got, it says something, not sure what though. KJ is very valuable and could probably get us another young SP, but that creates another hole in the lineup. Prado isnt a replacement on any level for KJ.

    I will have a big problem if the Braves keep Frenchy thinking he’ll rebound into what is an average player and then trading KJ because they think he’s at his peak. That my friends would be a terrible judge of talent…

  19. Ethan, the Braves farm system is likely to be ranked between 5 & 7 this year, so imagine where we would be with Feliz and Andrus.

    For what it is worth Andrus is highly regarded mostly because of his age and Feliz may still be Jose Capellan.

    We did overpay when we threw both Feliz and Harrison into the Tex deal though.

  20. @25

    I know; I just get Red Sox/Jeff Bagwell jitters every time I read something like that. As good as I feel when I see the Detroit/Smoltz lines, the other side has to feel sick.

  21. After Sammons first week of actually hitting the ball, he has turned into Corky Miller. Finding a backup catcher that can throw out 20% of those trying to steal and actually hit over .220 should be high on Wren’s list, but should be extremely easy. It would also be nice if he could block the plate.

  22. We did overpay when we threw both Feliz and Harrison into the Tex deal though.

    Harrison was always a part of the deal, I thought. Beau Jones was the one thrown in at the last minute when Daniels seemingly played Schuerholz like a fiddle.

  23. Stu, I think Feliz was a part of the original price but it made me irate when I heard it. When you are trading three of your top five farm hands, your low minors addition to the package should not be Feliz. Speculation, but I think that a Salty, Andrus, Harrison centered package was better than Daniels would get anywhere. You want Feliz too? Then give me back Andrus or Harrison.

    The Beau Jones addition was just ridiculous and came about because Daniels whined about some minor injury to Harrison.

  24. Salt for the 08 wounds.

    “Meanwhile, teammate Joey Devine pitched a scoreless eighth for his 23rd consecutive appearance (22 2-3 innings) without allowing an earned run. His ERA is 0.60.”

  25. Stu and Parish–I remember Beau Jones as the last minute throw in as well–and I agree that trading both Feliz and Andrus was a disaster. Sure, Feliz was in the lower minors, but he was already regarded as one of the best arms in the system. In fact, I am not sure the Braves have an arm as good a year later….

  26. Bobby wouldnt have ever given Devine a chance so it doesnt matter. Devine, however, did give us our most productive OF’r this season.

    What about Marte for Renteria and $$$$ and then Renteria for Jurrjens/Hernandez. Even the Ascanio for Ohman/Infante deal was solid.

  27. #30 – What hurts the most about that one is that it was completely predictable. The guy we got was ok but injured and ultimately didn’t make much of a difference either way. The guy they got was cheap and effective and under their control for years to come. That’s exactly the analysis that would have been made five minutes after the deal.

  28. Bobby wouldnt have ever given Devine a chance so it doesnt matter. Devine, however, did give us our most productive OF’r this season.

    I don’t find that acceptable. We have been running Julian Tavarez, Vladimir Nunez, Jorge Julio, etc out there. Devine would have gotten plenty of chances. And he would have done well.

  29. Does anyone know how the young Braves pitchers in the system are ranked overall, ie, not just by the Braves but relative to prospects in other systems? Also, were Davies and Jo Jo Reyes highly regarded? When you say the Braves system is ranked 5-7, does that include the pitchers? I’m just worried that none of these guys will pan out given our recent (10 year) track record.

  30. On a team starved for bats why do you trade KJ for a pitching prospect? @23 csg – ok KJ gets us a young starter. But a GOOD young starter?

    @29 et al – you want Teixiera you have to give up Jones, Feliz, Harrison and Salty. Its that simple. Schuerholz, figuring that this is the last shot for the team to win it all goes for broke on the best hitter available. And the guy flat out hit a lot. That it just wasn’t enough to get the Braves to the post season is immaterial. History may say that this trade will go down as a bad one IF Andrus, Feliz, et al turn out to be anything in the majors but in the context of the time it was made it was a fair price to pay.

  31. If the Braves pitching prospects are not highly rated, it seems to me we are in for a long next few years, extra money or no extra money. Maybe that’s why JS made the deal-go for broke now because there’s not much chance for a while.

  32. Discussing the Tex deal makes me glad that we had a few injuries before the trade deadline this year and we decided to at least not give up a few prospects for a two month rental. We were not far away from that, but unfortunately I don’t think a 2 month rental of Bob Gibson in his prime would have rescucitated this team.

  33. 38- Johnny, it’s not that simple. As far as I am aware, there was not one package out there as good as three of those four guys.

    We pretty much overpaid by one player. That’s not a big deal in isolation, but think Jamie Richmond and then Chase Fontaine. Eventually, you deplete your bargaining power and some of those borderline guys will develop.

  34. We don’t know that Devine would’ve done well for us, so it doesn’t keep me up nights.

    Great trade for Oakland, not so great for us in the short term. (We’ll see how the Boston deal works out.) Turn the page & learn from it.

  35. Of the Braves’ pitchers you mentioned, only Davies was highly regarded outside of the organization. Schuerholz made him untouchable in a year when we traded Dan Meyer and Jose Capellan. But, also remember that Anthony Lerew, Chuck James, and Jake Stevens were well thought of in the greater prospect world.

    Now, the Braves only have Tommy Hanson who is ranked as high as any of these others has been. Julio Teheran is expected to be pretty good, too. The balance of “great” Braves’ arms are still on the fringe of national acclaim and need to break (okay, bad choice of words in 2008) the right way.

    The Braves do lack front line pitching potential more than any other commodity. That’s why I would consider spinning KJ for the right arm.

  36. I wouldn’t be in any hurry to unload KJ, but I don’t think we should feel wedded to him either. He’s pretty good, he’ll probably continue to be pretty good. He’s safely in the upper half of starting 2Bs in the majors — however, aside from the top 4 or 5, it’s a fairly undifferentiated group, and he hasn’t shown me that he’ll be able to make the leap to the next level. You’d have to listen to a good offer for a guy like that.

  37. Baseball Prospectus rated Reyes as our 10th best player under 25 (he wasn’t a prospect anymore) in the offseason. That was ahead of Hanson, but behind Jurrjens and Teheran.

    Reyes’ problem seems mostly mental at the moment. It’s almost like he needs computer game goals like “throw first pitch strike 90% of the time”. He just seems so scared of what big league hitters could do to him that he doesn’t even challenge them.

    I’d say Teheran is now number 2 behind Hanson, but he’s at least 3 years away. He has ace potential though with a mid 90s fastball at 17.

    The other one to look out for is Rohrbaugh, but he could go either way.

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