Braves 6, Nats 5 (10 Innings)

Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – April 10, 2009 – ESPN

Whew. The Braves didn’t really deserve to win that, but I’ll take it. After a blown 4-1 lead and a blown save with two out in the ninth, Jordan Schafer hit a two-strike pitch to left for a single, and (after Schafer went to second on a groundout) Kelly Johnson brought him home on a two-strike single to right.

Derek Lowe started, and while he wasn’t nearly as sharp as he was Opening Day, he led 4-1 in the fourth, largely on a three-run homer from Escobar, when the umpires stopped the game due to rain; actually, a lot of his lack of sharpness may have been due to wet baseballs. After a rain delay in which entire civilizations rose and fell, the game was up to the bullpen. And you know what that means.

Buddy Carlyle was actually pretty good for two innings, but was pulled with two on and two out in the sixth, and Peter Moylan (who is clearly not right) and Eric O’Failurety combined to let the Nats pull even.

In the seventh, Francoeur hit a grounder up the middle with two out and runners first and second. I have no idea how the Nats infielders didn’t at least knock it down — it was going so slowly I was surprised it made it as far as it did — but it got through, and McCann scored from second to take the lead.

Soriano cruised through the eighth, but KJ was thrown out trying to score with two out in the bottom of the inning, leaving the lead at one. Diaz Pradoed a routine fly ball into a double leading off the ninth. A single and a walk loaded the bases, though Gonzalez also got two outs — one swinging at a bases-loaded ball four. He then got ahead 0-2, only to give up a line drive that he knocked into foul territory, scoring the tying run. The ball probably would have made it into the outfield to score two runs, so it was lucky, I guess. He got the last out of the inning.

Campillo pitched the tenth and got the win… McCann had three hits, all doubles; KJ and Escobar also had three hits. The two teams combined to leave 28 men on base.

40 thoughts on “Braves 6, Nats 5 (10 Innings)”

  1. Braves pitchers walked 7 and allowed 14 hits. The only saving grace was that they didn’t give up a homer.

  2. Man this bullpen is giving me heart palpitations.

    How did some many guys make it through spring training without being able to pitch?

  3. I thought it was a grounder from Milledge that Gonzalez deflected away.

    Reminds me of the game in 2005 vs. Florida when the start was delayed 2 or 3 hours. Thomson vs. Penny, probably one of Thomson’s best starts for the Braves.

    Make that 2004.

  4. There were a bunch of outfield Prados tonight; I guess the lights were really hard to see in.

    McCann hit a double slightly past third base, and Guzman, Dunn, and Zimmerman had no idea where it was.

    Francoeur whiffed at a liner in the third inning that drove in the only run Lowe gave up.

    And, of course, Diaz Pradoed a double that led to a tie game.

  5. This offense is a little bit better than I thought…mainly because of Schafer’s contribution at the bottom of the lineup. Strikeouts are still a problem, but seems like he can hit lefties!

    As expected…now that we have fixed the rotation, the bullpen is becoming a problem again. Can they just give Moylan more time to recover?

  6. I don’t know as much about our minor league prospects as many here. Do we have any potential help for the bullpen at AAA, or we stuck with riding it out?

  7. Speaking of Prado — is he our secret weapon or something? Time to get him into the game against one of the lefties — I’m predicting a Bobby Sunday lineup special.

    I’m going to leave the bullpen travails alone for now — outfield defense will be my official hobbyhorse until it improves. We’ve missed at least five balls already.

  8. From yesterday’s BP chat

    Dennis (LA): Thank you for the chat, Christina. Who do you like better over the next few years: Colby Rasmus or Jordan Schafer? Is it even close?

    Christina Kahrl: Schafer by a country mile, with no slight intended for Rasmus.

    And Rasmus was BP’s 8th best prospect heading into the year.

  9. Braves would have lost that game last year. They did not play well, but they battled and pulled it out. It was nice to see the young guys not wait on Chipper to do something. Frenchy, KJ, Schafer Escobar, and obviously McCann all contributed in big spots.

    The bullpen is starting to scare me. The defense in LF is REALLY starting to scare me. Remember the last few years it was Diaz getting pulled for D late in games. That is going to hurt us again sooner than later.

    The bullpen is just not right. Soriano looked as good as he had in years. If Moylan is not right, that is worse than not having a closer, because of the way BC relies on him to get out of jams before the 8th. That weapon is out of ammo until he gets right. Don’t get me started on Boyer or the Irish Loogy. :)

    I enjoy the blog and go bravos.

  10. OMG – the dude lost the ball in the lights. It’s not like he ran the opposite direction of the ball or anything. Jeez…

  11. Id just like to say, I made the dumbest comment of 2009, when I said, the good thing is, the bullpen will probably try to overcome its shaky outing to prove everyone wrong….boy was i wrong there!

  12. Well, we can’t win the division the first month, but we can certainly play our way out of the race, as the Indians seem to be intent on doing in the AL Central. I hope we hang around long enough to discover what needs fixing and fix it.

  13. I’ll take 3-1 right now. Sometimes you play well and you lose, and sometimes you play not so well and win, but ultimately you are what your record says you are. Rain delays suck, and it’s tough to pick it back up mentally and physically when the rain stops. Lowe was dealing and rain took him out. All things considered, I think tonight was an impressive win, and I think we’ll be just fine.

  14. @17

    True, but I’d think you’d agree that we’re winning now in spite of the bullpen, not because of it.

    How long can that be sustained?

  15. Moylan needs to go on 15 day and rehab his way back at Gwinnett. He has an ERA of “infinity” that shows as “0” on some stats pages.

    Jo Jo Reyes got rocked a little last night (so, I think we might want to wait on calng him for # 2 bullpen lefty). I think Marek and Logan (and know Acosta) are on the “40 man” already.

  16. Ethan, when do you win because of all four things? If our offense, defense, starting pitching, and bullpen were all playing well, we’d be unstoppable. Sometimes your bullpen struggles, sometimes your offense, etc., but good teams win when one of those four are failing. I’m more happy that our offense, defense, and starting pitching is doing so well.

  17. Gonzo isn’t far from having it back (I think). His velocity was up again last night (I saw at least one 94) over Tuesday and Sunday and those were up over late spring games. He is going to be o.k.

    Soriano has looked good, but who knows with him.

    Boyer has looked awful. He didn’t look bad in spring, so maybe he will at least get back to #3 bullpen righthander status.

    I still believe signing Ohman or Beimel would have let us run O’Flaherty as #3 lefthander and have a much better pen. Other possible moves people have mentioned or pointed out, I don’t agree with. There is talent in pitching already in the system, a lot of it is close to Major Leagues, and most of that close talent is righthanded.

    Who is the “odd man out” when Glavine is activated next weekend?

  18. Rob at 21,

    The Braves for 3 years have seemed to have the ability to have one area perform just bad enough to assure a loss. That came back in the 3rd quarter of the spring games. So far, it hasn’t gotten that bad. So, a little focus on any deficient area is important, although I agree with your analysis that it is the easiest to fix and least likely to predict.

    Big day today for the Braves and “Shinbone” Kawakami.

  19. Mac,
    Pretty sure there was only one man on when Bobby brought Moylan in. I remember because I would have left Carlyle in.

    On Boyer—he’s just appeared in the one game, right? 8 balls and 1 strike is obviously horrific, but I say we give him another outing before declaring him worthless. He’s been pretty darn good in the past.

  20. You’re right — it was one on, one in. Carlyle had given up a run already.

    I am assuming that Moylan will get an out eventually. If he doesn’t, the record for most runs allowed in a season without getting an out is eight.

  21. Moylan totally isnt right, and he is trying to be a trooper about it, playing hurt, which doesnt help himself, or the team.

    Whereas Anderson is stiff and keeping himself out…

    “Garret Anderson aggravated his right calf muscle before Wednesday’s game, and there’s a good chance he’ll be held out of the lineup for the remainder of this series” From Atlantabraves.com

  22. As long as we’re checking reality, lets also note that we’re a game ahead of New York and two ahead of Philly.

    GO BRAVES!!! RIDE THE DRAGON!!!

  23. And a game behind the undefeated Marlins…who might end up with one of the best rotations in baseball.

  24. @14

    I’m assuming you’re talking about the fly ball Diaz strolled right pass. It really looked like more of a prado than a guy losing the ball in the lights. For one, it was a pretty low fly ball, so I don’t think he had to look directly into the lights. Also, it seemed like he was following the ball all the way until it missed his glove, which by the way, barely missed his glove. You just don’t see too many guys miss routine fly balls by a matter of inches because they lost it in the lights. By the way, his reaction after the ball passed him was pretty funny. He was obviously raising his arm as to ask, “why? why do suck so much”?

    I really think Gonzo could be much better once he gets a few more innings under his belt. His velocity was good, and his command is looking better, which is still… not good. You gotta be able to get the freaking ball over the plate with the bases loaded and a full count.

    One last thought. How much will a rebound by Francoeur actually help us if Kotchman is able to suck as much as Jeff did last year?

  25. I wouldnt count on Florida having one of the best rotations, injury factors and inexperience can hurt them, But they do have some powr in that lineup!

  26. Didn’t our pen go about 4-5 games without even allowing a hit during the spring?

    I think the important thing to remember is that 4 games into the season, you cannot really draw any conclusions. About our pen, or Kotchman, or even Kyle Davies who also had some good outings while he was still a Brave.

  27. It did look like Diaz lost the ball at the last minute. He made almost no adjustment as the ball was missing his glove.

  28. @30 – If you didn’t think Diaz lost that ball in the lights, then you weren’t watching the game. He definately lost that ball – something anyone can do and even the best have done.

  29. Yeah, after seeing the replay there is no doubt in my mind that he lost sight of the ball somehow. I don’t know if it was the lights or what, but at the last second it looked like he just kind of guessed where he thought the ball was going to be so he definitely didn’t see it.

  30. I think Diaz lost the ball in the LCD screens that are between the upper and lower deck. It was kind of a ‘fliner,’ and he looked like he had it until the last second.

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