Braves 10, Phillies 4

ESPN – Braves vs. Phillies – Box Score – September 24, 2008

Well, that was unexpected.

The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the first, and led 3-1 entering the bottom of the third, but Jo-Jo the Dogfaced Pitcher couldn’t stand prosperity. Bobby yanked him in the fourth after solo shots by Utley and Howard had tied it up.

But the Braves answered with a big inning in the fifth, chasing Myers and scoring six runs. A lot of the runs were “unearned” (stupid rule) after Howard threw a potential double play grounder into Kotchman’s back. The big blow was a three-run pinch-hit homer by Chipper. The ridiculously overqualified pinch-hitter is now hitting .365 and has a fifteen-point lead in the batting race over Pujols, who did not start tonight. If Chipper stays a pinch-hitter in the final series of the year, it’s basically impossible for Pujols to catch him.

McCann and Slugging Third Baseman Martin Prado each had three hits. The Braves had fifteen in all. Carlyle wound up with the win.

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107 thoughts on “Braves 10, Phillies 4”

  1. Well, let’s see: The Braves have three games left and the Cardinals have four games left. The only way I see Pujols getting back into this race is if Chipper has two 0-4 games in a row.

  2. Cubs take the lead on the Mets in extras. Shea is quiet, but Cub fan Bill Murray is there yucking it up.

    Mets’ll be tied with Milwaukee after tonight.

  3. Yeah Bobby is holding back Frank’s genius and should be shown the door. Bobby’s never done anything as a GM except lay the foundation for a near dynasty. Get him out of here so the guy with no resume can call the shots.

    This fanbase deserves some lean years.

    Anyway, seriously, Prado hits the hell out of the ball. Can’t we find a regular spot for him?

  4. I keep telling myself that the way the Braves have played over the last month is a good sign for next year. This is a good theory, but reality says that it means absolutely nothing. We still need two excellent starting pitchers and a vastly improved outfield – even if we went 27 and 0 this month.

  5. #9–

    for a mediocre #4 starter.

    we GREATLY over-value both of those players. they’re both, basically, AAAA players.

    if we want to get a good power bat in RF/LF through the trade front (Hermedia is an interesting idea. the kids’ got great tools, just hasn’t put it all together until at the end of 2007) we’ll have to START with Hanson or Medlin. unfortunately, that’s the way it’s gonna be.

  6. I didn’t realize we are in a race with the Giants for the sixth overall pick of next year’s draft. With the season we have, I honestly thought we would end up with a top five pick.

  7. i actually was hoping the Phillies would win but it sure was fun watching Myers suck………….couldnt happen to a nicer guy.

  8. FWIW – I had a dream last night, and in it the announcer was saying that the Yankees were just crazy about wanting to get Escobar. Maybe they would move him to second since Cano had a bad year. I don’t know who they were going to offer for him, but I thought it might be some young pitching – but more likely it was just the “every player is a once or future (or wants in their heart to be a) Yankee” stuff.
    It made sense at the time, but now not so much.

  9. “Anyway, seriously, Prado hits the hell out of the ball. Can’t we find a regular spot for him?”

    in trade talks would be the perfect place, his glove is too bad to have him playing everyday

  10. This is looking a lot like Prado’s career year. In 214 at-bats, he’s batting .327/.387/.477; in 1920 minor league at-bats he batted .300/.352/.393. He always hit for a high average, but not this high, and he never had power.

  11. Who has the stats showing how many men LOB a team had in the season? and maybe a ratio of LOB to runs scored or total base runners? I’m just curious HOW bad we’ve been about leaving guys on.

  12. Mac,
    Seriously, what would you do with Prado? It’s easy to say trade him, but I don’t see us getting much more than a middle inning relief guy at best. Maybe he’s having a career year, or maybe he’s finding his stroke. I don’t expect him to keep an OPS of over .850, but an OPS of .800 is achievable. However, his career fielding percent of .972 is deceptive considering he is the source of the “Prado”.

  13. Prado would be very valuable as a utility player. I would love to keep him, Infante, and Norton, but if they trade KJ to give this guy an everyday job thats just insane

  14. Watching JoJo struggle this much in the majors is frustrating for me because he absolutely dominated here in Double AA. I thought he was a for sure ace but for some reason he went right after batters there and seems scared to throw in the majors.

  15. FWIW, if Chipper never recorded another AB this season, he’d technically end up with the highest single-season BA for a switch hitter.

    Mickey Mantle 1957: .3649789

    Chipper Jones 2008: .3652968

    Let’s assume that he only pinch hits and won’t get more than 1 AB per game the rest of the way. As long as he gets one hit, he’ll finish ahead of Mantle. If he pulls any kind of o-fer, he doesn’t.

    0/1: .364
    1/1: .367
    1/2: .366
    1/3: .3651

    How ’bout 1 for 2 with a walk? More stuff for Cooperstown…

  16. td, why do you say that an OPS of .800 is achievable for Prado? His minor league OPS is .740. He has never had an OPS of .800 at any level until this year; last year in AAA it was .794, and he was 23, so he doesn’t get a huge age-relative-to-performance uptick. Do you think he’s going to be able to keep slugging .450?

  17. Maybe an OPS of .800 is just wishful thinking. He did seem to be in an upward trend during his last year in the minors.

  18. Speaking of Cooperstown, Chipper only needs to hit 355 HRs in his hext few games in order to finish the season as the all time home run leader. 347 to supplant Hank Aaron as a nice kick in the butt on the way out the door.

  19. #33

    Prado was fairly young for his level throughout much of his minor league career, yet consistently achieved very good batting averages from the beginning. He was probably a skinny kid who’s had to work hard to add strength, but he’s been spraying line drives all over the park like Rod Carew since the beginning of spring training, and not in the Matt Diaz swing-at-anything mode either.

    The glove thing is a mystery to me, since he always had a good glove rep.

    For some reason, BBRef shows Prado to be 6’1″, 170 in his major league profile, but 5’11”, 188 in his minor league profile….

  20. td, why do you say that an OPS of .800 is achievable for Prado?

    Having a .800 OPS at AAA last year and only being 24 makes it pretty easy to project a .800 OPS at the major league level.

    He’s a good guy to have around, especially since being Chipper’s injury caddy is pretty regular work.

  21. He’s a good guy to have around, especially since being Chipper’s injury caddy is pretty regular work.

    I agree with this. I would not be in favor of just handing him the starting job at second base, though.

    PS: If switch-hitters were football conferences, Chipper would be the SEC.

  22. After much debate, I’m going with Luis Castillo for this season’s Pac-10. One very strong skill (working the count/drawing walks = USC) mixed in with a bunch of crap.

    Lance Berkman is the Big 12?

  23. A-Rod is THE Ohio State. Blazes through the regular season, then doesn’t show up for the big game at the end of the year.

  24. OK, what would it take to get Jake Peavy?

    The Padres are so adrift that they might be easy pickin’s about now.

    How ’bout a Right Fielder who has had his own SI cover and a hitting coach (they need one, right) for Jake?

  25. #51- I would give just a ridiculously stupid amount of prospects to get Peavy

    saw this on MLB Rumors…

    Olney extols the virtues of Derek Lowe, who could get a deal comparable to Jason Schmidt’s three years/$47MM. That was two years, ago though…I think Scott Boras gets Lowe $18MM a year.

    If Lowe gets $18 per, we had better not be the winning bidder

  26. I’ve been a booster of getting a pitcher like Lowe or Garland rather than Sabathia or Sheets this offseason, but Lowe ain’t worth a damn at $18 per. At $12 per, he doesn’t look bad. Since getting to LA, his home/road splits have been pretty massive: 3.15 ERA in 65 starts at home since 2005 (avg: 6 2/3 IP per start), 4.06 ERA in 69 starts on the road (avg: 6 IP per start).

    Still, $10 mill a year is pretty much the price of mediocrity, and if he could give us a 4.00 ERA and pitch 6-7 innings a game every game, that’d be worth the cash.

  27. I laughed.

    As for the poll question, I’m going to have to go with Horacio, because we did manage to trade him for Soriano. I’m still not sure how we pulled off that trade.

  28. Would Chipper’s shoes that gave him so much trouble be Arkansas and Mississippi State? Or would it be his knees?

    Alabama his home run swing? Over time its consistently good. Had a period in the nineties (70’s) that was just dominating. Has gone through some dry patches but nothing too bad for too long. Except when he’s hurt which would be the equivalent of probation.

  29. Say what you like about Jeff, but he does have a healthy grip on reality

    “I felt I was the worst baseball player in the world…”

  30. Poor Mr. Met…

    I went to a Shea game earlier this year vs. Pittsburgh, tagging along with a group from the Queens DA office, which had hard-to-get left-field bleacher seats.

    As I walked into the specially cordoned-off entrance, I literally walked smack into Mr. Met.

    Of course, I felt much stranger apologizing to a mascot than I did bumping into one.

    Yes, folks, the Met faithful is on another bumpy ride this week.

  31. Well, it could just mean your good team had a bad week. But it should certainly keep you from taking shots at other good teams, I’d think.

  32. Stu,

    exactly. By the way went to nashville a couple of weeks back for the USC/Vandy game with my roommate Luke (guy who fell down the elevator shaft) and hung out with a bunch of old vandy football players- fun town

  33. Rob, is that because if Florida did play them that would mean they weren’t in the title game? Because USC won’t be there.

  34. don’t start saying that too soon.

    USC lost early, which means if it’s starts rolling over teams in november and december, and there are a host of 1 loss teams, they could still be there.

    but that ain’t happening.

  35. #90

    Yep, gotta go all the way back to last year to find an example. A one-loss USC team would have been a lock for the title game last year, and would stand at least an even-money chance of being so again.

  36. Of course, saying something is an even-money chance of being a lock is a bit like saying that half the game is 90% mental.

    The other half also being extremely mental…

    But you know what I mean…..

  37. Robert is a standup guy though he does enjoy taking his pot shots at the SEC. And it’s good for us that he does–keeps us honest and sharp.

    This is a down year for the PAC-10 which has been a pretty good conference lately (Top 3 since late-90s), though not historically past USC and maybe Washington.

    Plus, USC has only managed one National Championship lately (2004 over Oklahoma, everyone’s BCS whipping boy, when Auburn should have had the shot) yet they are treated as if they have rolled out several national championships in the last decade. This is mostly because of their stellar recruiting classes, in-conference supremacy and La-La Land hype. But when it comes down to the business of winning games as a team, USC finds a way to drop one here and there to teams that aren’t in its class, and is nearly always less than the sum of its parts.

    I’m not afraid for my team to play them and have never been. Never. They’re damn good, but alas, they are human. This should be the point at which folks begin to understand that and deflate the hype balloon like so much silenced Ohio State Buckeye yammering.

    Thank gawd. :)

  38. Did anyone hear ESPN talking about who could be your 1 loss team in the Championship game vs Oklahoma? They were talking about how USC and OH St could still make it in the title game. USC just lost to an UNRANKED team and they play in a garbage conference. How could they possibly still see USC in the title game. Could you see the possibility of LSU or Florida only losing 1 game to a top 10 team and getting the shaft so USC could get a title shot. ESPN is a joke

  39. I’m pretty confident that a 1-loss, SEC-champion Florida, UGA, or LSU would get in before a 1-loss USC, and I’m certain that they would before a 1-loss tOSU.

  40. Actually, the BCS has done a lot of good and lacks only one thing to make it darnearperfect:

    A Plus+One Championship.

    1 plays 4. 2 plays 3. Winners play each other for the crown.

    5 whines like a War Eagle on estrogen, but TOO BAD!

    Regular season is not de-valued. Teams can schedule up because two losses (with the right wins) can land you at 3 or 4.

    The Kentuckys of the world can strive for the Peach unaffected by the “Final Four” …

    What’s not to like?

  41. Anything that overly relies on human subjectivity to determine its champion doesn’t approach perfect, in my book.

    The conversations we have about teams jumping or dropping in the rankings are goofy. Is Georgia as good as Missouri? I have no idea, unless they play each other.

    Put 6 or 8 teams (essentially determined by conference championships) into a 3-round tournament. If you want to use “rankings” (computer or human) to determine seedings, I’m fine with that.

    But unless you give a teams an opportunity to win out, you’ll never know which one is really best.

  42. @100. The funniest part is the Mets fans ranting about how horrible the Braves and their fans are. Makes you remember why one despises Mets fans.

  43. I can tell you that the Mets fans around here are so nervous they can barely talk about their team. Last year really scarred them.

    Weird thing: Y’know there’s a chance we could have a 3-way tie with NYM, Pha & Mil?

    If that happens, we get a one-game NL East playoff in Philly, then the loser plays the Brewers in a WC playoff the next day. How ’bout the Mets lose both?

    Also, the White Sox may have to make up a rain-out game with Detroit on Monday, which could lead to another playoff.

  44. Actually, the BCS has done a lot of good and lacks only one thing to make it darnearperfect:

    A Plus+One Championship.

    1 plays 4. 2 plays 3. Winners play each other for the crown.

    I like the BCS but I don’t like the plus 1. There really is no perfect solution because each year demands a different solution. In a year like USC-Texas, the current system worked just fine. Two teams deserved it, they played, championship determined. In a year like LSU-Oklahoma-USC or USC-Oklahoma-Auburn maybe a plus 1 would work better, maybe not. I sort of like the BCS the way it is. I doubt there would be so much celebrating of SC’s defeat if there were a eight or 16 team tournament safety net at the end of the year.

    When your big teams lose to the crappy teams, it doesn’t make your conference better, it means your good teams aren’t all that good.

    It depends on which side of the argument you are trying to make. People use it both ways. I would agree that SC’s championship hopes should be dead after last night unless everyone in the Big-12 and SEC ends up with two losses.

    Plus, USC has only managed one National Championship lately (2004 over Oklahoma, everyone’s BCS whipping boy, when Auburn should have had the shot) yet they are treated as if they have rolled out several national championships in the last decade. This is mostly because of their stellar recruiting classes, in-conference supremacy and La-La Land hype. But when it comes down to the business of winning games as a team, USC finds a way to drop one here and there to teams that aren’t in its class, and is nearly always less than the sum of its parts.

    Now this I don’t really get. 11-2, 12-1, 13-0, 12-1, 11-2, 11-2. 5-1 in BCS bowls, two national championships. What are you expecting exactly? In a scholorship limited world, that’s as good a run as is probably possible. You can’t even say they fold in big games because they don’t, they fold in small games. I mean, you can’t win every single game.

    Remember when everyone was blaming John David Booty for holding them back?

    Everyone still is. Sanchez played fine last night, but they didn’t get him involved until things were already dire. They obviously thought they could run the ball and were clearly mistaken. Mike Riley and his staff simply outcoached PC and his staff. Throw in some home cooking, a weird bounce or two and there you go. Not that surprising, same thing happened two years ago.

  45. Robert,
    I wouldn’t call an end-of-year mini-tournament a safety net; I’d call it a way for the best teams to actually play each other, just like the NFL, just like all the other college teams below Division 1.

    When fans still argue about who the champion is after it’s “been determined,” that’s no kind of championship.

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