Marlins 5, Braves 1

Florida Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – April 14, 2009 – ESPN

Oh no! We’re doomed!

Just not the Braves’ night. They looked hopeless at the plate most of the night, and were even worse in the field. Worst of all was Garret Anderson, back in the lineup for the red-hot Matt Diaz. Anderson not only went a spectacularly weak 0-4 at the plate, he dropped two foul balls for errors, the second of which helped the Marlins put the game away in the seventh, and generally looked like the illegitimate love child of Lonnie Smith and Greg Luzinski in left field. He’s finished, and it’s only a matter of time before the Braves realize this; the sooner, the better.

He didn’t lose the game by himself, of course. The Braves were limited to three four hits. One was a homer by KJ, who also hit two fly balls hard. The rest of the team mostly looked like they had an appointment later on tonight and couldn’t be bothered to work the count. Slugging pinch hitter Martin Prado had a double, Francoeur hit a little flare single to center, and Schafer had a single up the middle. That was it.

Javier Vasquez really deserved better. He struck out twelve in six innings, but got no help from his defense, as five of the eight times a ball was put in play it fell for a hit. The Marlins got three runs in the third, which was all they would need; Escobar almost got to a ball that would have gotten out of it unscathed. They picked up two runs in the eighth off of Bennett and — he won’t get scored them, but they were his fault too — Anderson. The rest of the bullpen looked pretty good, especially Moylan, who had another 1-2-3 seventh.

76 thoughts on “Marlins 5, Braves 1”

  1. bullpen will be the bullpen, but will probably, overall, be better than average. garrett “the professional hitter” anderson will never be average.

  2. It looks like Anderson and Chipper need to sit out the rest of the series. Neither one of them looked right. Anderson looked awful in the field and Chipper took a terrible swing on that srikeout.

  3. It wouldn’t be a baseball season without the Atlanta Braves finding endless justification for wasting a spot on the 25 man roster. Get Brandon Jones up ASAP.

  4. Ganderson was getting booed badly for the amount of people attending. Rightfully so, I guess.

  5. Anyone else think Kelly Johnson is primed for a breakout season? He looks outstanding at the plate and in the field.

  6. @8

    It’ll be great for their strength of schedule rating. Besides, there is nothing better than going to an opposing team’s field and shutting them down.

  7. Kotchman pisses me off, but at least he’s not an embarrassment in the field like Anderson.

  8. @8 This is one of the reason why the Falcons has not had consecutive winning seasons for a long time. I think eventually they need to win against the good teams on the road as part of the maturity process.

  9. you realize that the opponents and locations have been decided since the end of last season. They just finally got around to putting dates beside the games.

  10. Anyone else think Kelly Johnson is primed for a breakout season? He looks outstanding at the plate and in the field.

    He’s a tease. Hits like Chase Utley for a month then when you think you’ve got something, he hits like Keith Lockhart for a month. Still a net plus, but those dry spells are really dry.

  11. @15… I was wondering what the big deal was. They actually have most of the opponents done years in advance. Shocking :)

    Anderson didn’t play great tonight. But it was game #7 for the year. I’m not getting crazy. Diaz is hot but he’s proven that he can’t hit well every day. Anderson has proven that he hits for a really good average. I don’t like the slow start (who does). But I’ll give the guy a shot. We bjd teix and he was god awful for us early.

  12. @16 I really hope Kelly has turned the corner and avoid those really dry spells because…those dry spells can get awfully ugly…

  13. Falcons play at Giants & at Jets in ’09. Last time they did that was ’98. They went 1-1 in those games, but that season turned out pretty well.

  14. It’s not just that Anderson Ceauşescu was 0-4 and made two errors. It’s that he was 0-4 and looked hapless, and made two errors and looked like he was sixty years old.

  15. @11: Wasn’t Craig Wilson the outfield version of Craig Wilson?

    But yeah, Kelly’s looking great so far… as long as he doesn’t have to go up the middle on defense, which still pains me to watch. So how do you like the UGA Law program?

  16. Re:Anderson

    If you stink, you stink. That’s one thing. But not playing hard is a whole ‘nother story. Drop a fly ball, whatever. It happens. Drop two fly balls…ugh. But to lollygag and take a lazy route to a ball in the corner that allows a run to score, THAT offends me as a fan. I have never been one to jump on the bashing bandwagon (Francoeur, etc.), but for me, that play is the defining moment of Anderson’s short Braves tenure. He should have been removed from the game immediately, and I hope he is released soon. Play hard or go home.

  17. @23

    I agree. Here’s the thing, it seems to me — Anderson is coming from a place where he’s been a beloved fixture for many years. He was a CALIFORNIA Angel, for chrissake. Now he’s on the downside, and in an unfamiliar place, to boot. That might be a setup for him to struggle to find motivation. If so, it ain’t gonna work. Because aging is one thing, but aging and unmotivated we certainly don’t need.

  18. I think Bennett sealed his fate for when Reyes is called up. He actually was reasonably useful last year. He either needed to do well enough so he would be attractive in a trade or to do so bad that he would clear waivers. It looks like the latter so far.

  19. There should never be a struggle to be motivated to play MLB. I wonder if Anderson is afraid to aggrevate his injury. If it’s a motivation problem, he needs to go ASAP. Hopefully Bobby will ask him about the misplay in the corner.

  20. I agree with those who think that KJ is just on another hot season–it would be great to be wrong…

    Unlike Heyward, Cody Johnson is off to a good start with 4 HR….I am not worried about Heyward, but it has to be said that the development of these players is never inevitable. That said, I believe that it probably a good thing for a prospect–no matter how talented–to face adversity in the minors….

  21. I predict a couple of tactical injuries that will force the Braves to do what they should have done earlier.

  22. @27: Can you really conclude that Heyward isn’t “developing” because he’s only had hits in 5 of the 6 games he’s played this year?

    C’mon people… you just can’t let yourself get this worked up over a week’s worth of games.

    As for Garret, I didn’t get to watch today’s game, but I’ll always remember a similar sounding play that was the final straw in my opinion of Sheffield… his came in the playoffs though, which makes it even worse. Let’s just hope Garret’s the kind of guy who takes a little while to get into gear. (On a brief glance his best career months have tended to be in the Summer, but I don’t have enough time to look at them today, so that impression is all I’ve got… well that and hope.)

  23. Stephen, maybe Heyward is taking time to adjust back to inferior pitching! He was doing too well against major league level pitching during spring training, ha.

  24. From the previous thread:

    185stupup74 Says:

    “I know he stuck out 12, but Vasquez walked Gload in front of Uggla and then threw a wild pitch, he deserved better, but he Ks don’t tell the whole story. A game like tonight proves how average he is. He puts up pretty K numbers, but when it gets tight he nibbles and goes to pieces when the chips are down.”

    That seems pretty harsh. No one is claiming Vazquez to be the second coming of Bob Gibson. If this is “average” pitching, then the Braves are in pretty good shape, especially considering last year, unless you are using Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz as the standard. Vazquez might not be the guy you would want starting the seventh game of the World Series but that’s the least of the Braves’ problems at this point.

  25. @33

    That was somewhat sad to read. Though he certainly sounds like a guy who’s ready to hang it up..

  26. I actually heard the top of the third on the radio as I was driving to the post office to mail some tax returns. Gload had some ridiculous lifetime numbers against Vasquez (something like 7 for 15 with 2 HRs. Can’t remember the exact numbers.), and Don was of the opinion that Javy did the old Unintentional Intentional walk to face Uggla. Unfortunately, if that was what happened it didn’t work out. Que sera etc etc.

    Moylan’s continued resurgence is heartening, while Glavine’s setback might be for the best in terms of payroll, I still feel bad for him, as he deserves to go out carrying his shield, not lying on it.

  27. I was at the game last night (freezing cold wind) and besides the two dropped foul balls AND the bad/slow route on the ball in the corner there was also a very catchable ball at the edge of the stands which Anderson also missed. There were a few of us chanting “we want Diaz!” but I don’t think Bobby could hear us. This morning on Sports Center about the only part of the game they are showing is the horrible play of Anderson. Please let the Braves “Mondesi” him soon.

  28. On Ceauşescu: is this supposed to be a reference to the Romanian Communist leader? Just trying to keep up…

  29. Is there another Ceausescu I don’t know about?

    I do have something of a gripe with the comparison, though. Ceausescu went crazy in his old age and didn’t know when to quit, but he didn’t find another country to take over. He just kinda got shot. Anderson decided he wanted to be dictator of Bulgaria, too.

  30. We’re only through Game 7. Bobby gave Raul 41 games, and Ceauşescu is coming off an (almost) average season, whereas Mondesi was coming off a horrible one. Plus, Ceauşescu doesn’t have a tenth of the baggage that Mondesi had.

    I’d imagine, regardless of how much he sucks, we’re stuck with him for at least two more months.

    @36

    Great interview! With Hanson, I think I agree with the approach of delaying free agency, but disregarding any concern over arbitration.

  31. Tommy, no one will blame you if you hang it up. Thanks for everything, Mr. Glavine.

    #36
    Nice work, AAR. Hope Cal is right about Medlen.

    NHL playoffs tonight: Let’s go Devils.

  32. Thanks, Ububba. I was really happy Callis agreed to come on and answer a few.

    I agree on Glavine. If your body is betraying you, that’s the time to hang ’em up. He’s had a tremendous career, and leaves the game one of the best left-handed pitchers ever.

  33. I’m with ububba. Won’t blame Tommy if he hangs them up, and thanks for everything Mr G. (I also won’t blame him if he chooses not to hang them up either, just hope he gets to make the choice).

  34. That was a good outing by Vazquez. Gave us a six inning QS with 12 k’s. That’s definitely enough to keep a team in a ballgame. Unfortunately, Volstad just had the Braves’ number. Oh well. We’ll get them next time.

  35. DOB says that Bennett is not out of options. I thought I had heard that earlier, but I’ve heard conflicting info. This makes the choice to send Bennett down pretty easy.

  36. Any blame should be placed in a flaming bag on Wren’s doorstep for not waiting to see whether Glavine had a healthy arm before signing him to a deal worth $1mil.

  37. DOB’s defence of Ceauşescu:

    As for the suggestion to call up Brandon Jones … in place of who, Garret Anderson?

    Based on what, five games? Or the fact he didn’t look “passionate” enough after making an error or not getting a hit? In other words, based on he had the same expression he had during every moment of every game his entire career, including every game any Braves scout ever saw him play?

    Hey, maybe Garret Anderson’s last good year was 2008. Maybe he’ll slip dramatically this season. But the Braves aren’t going to make that judgement after he’s played five games. Come on.

    He’s 2-for-18 in five games, after missing most of spring training. He clearly isn’t sharp yet, particularly in the field. But like someone noted, he struggled early last season, too, going 12-for-54 (.222) with four RBI in his first 13 games.

    Then he hit .299 with 11 homers and 63 RBI in his next 94 games.

    Hey, maybe he’s slipped. Maybe a lot. But it’s certainly too early to make any such judgment.

  38. Am I misremembering, or did DOB not used to be such a mouthpiece for the organization? I always thought of Bowman as the mouthpiece and DOB as the sometimes-critical one, at least prior to this past offseason. Now, they basically same like the same guy.

  39. DOB does make a point, it is only a week into the season. Droping Anderson now would be a panic move, no need to panic now.

  40. “Hey, maybe Garret Anderson’s last good year was 2008.”

    Just so we are clear, Anderson’s .758 OPS last year put him behind EVERY LF in major league baseball last year who qualified for the batting title, except Delmon Young and our own Gregor Blanco. That year (.758 OPS from a corner OF) is what DOB describes as a “good year”? And how badly does he have to slip off of that good year to become intolerable out there? It is amazing to me how blinding a .293 BA still is to some people, who ignore the lack of power; walks; and defense, all of which people who understand baseball do not ignore or under-value.

  41. As much as I dont like Anderson and jumped on him for last nights performance, but he will be here for 40 games or so before a big decision is made on him, his track record is consistent so he will get a Mondesi like look at.

    I am bored, wish there was a day game, stuck home with a baby with Pink Eye is a hell of a way to spend a week off.

  42. 59–spot on

    Anderson should have started the season on the DL and then done several rehab games at Gwinnett. Of course, he probably shouldn’t even have been signed.

    Would someone please explain the concept of platoon to Cox? He seems to have it backwards.

  43. Just because DOB was willing to give Anderson a chance and didn’t decide he was going to fail the moment we signed him, and therefore isn’t automatically predisposed to releasing him after a week and a damn half, doesn’t mean he’s wrong or a “mouthpiece.” And after that whole Griffey thing, where the team basically accused him of sabotaging a deal, to call him that is patently ridiculous.

  44. Actually 3 of the 7 games Cox has had it backwards (starting Anderson vs Moyer; starting Diaz against Blanton and Martis).

    That said, I might be being a bit unfair; Anderson supposedly hits Moyer well and two Diaz starts against RH may be b/c of Anderson’s injuries.

  45. wow, they are saying Nady could be out for the season. Yanks may look smart for keeping Swisher

  46. dont look now, but the white sox leadoff hitter (Lillibridge) is hitting a cool .083. Didnt we have him and Corky in the lineup at the same time last year?

  47. 63—This may not have been the best entry to bring up his being a mouthpiece, but if you have read him as closely as I have, I don’t think you can help but notice how defensive he is of virtually all of the Braves’ front office’s moves.

  48. DOB may not be a mouthpiece for anyone, and i would always agree that a week and a half is not adequate time to judge anything, but can we agree that (a) he called Anderson’s 2008 season a “good year” and (b) most people would NOT call a season where a player finishes in the bottom 10% of his peers a “good season”. Players who finish in the bottom 10% relative to their peers (in this case, MLB left-fielders) are what lose you championships.

    You do not need a Chipper Jones at every position, but a guy in the bottom 10% takes your Chipper Jones advantage and sucks you right back down to .500.

  49. AAR, enjoyed the interview with Callis. Thanks for the link. It seems interesting to me that he thinks the Braves should put their best arms out there because they’re trying to contend, but doesn’t like the idea of Reyes as a LOOGY. I understand the notion that you want to max the value on him, though.

  50. I have to admit I thought the same thing as Stu @51. I have some email I swapped with him when he first started. He went native in a hurry. But given his level of access depends on his relationship with the club, I guess I have some sympathy. I just take his column for what it is though.

  51. Stu, I think part of that comes from the rampant stupidity over at his blog. I just control+F to look for his comments and skip over all the rest. He can be critical of the Braves at times (the Griffey story comes to mind – wasn’t his scoop, but he took a lot of heat over it). But he seems defensive mostly because people say ignorant, Chicken Little-type stuff after every minor or major move Wren makes or doesn’t make. I’d get sick of it too.

  52. So if DOB has an opinion that happens to coincide with the organization’s but is contrary to commenters, he is automatically a mouthpiece for the organization? As for “2008,” that seems to be a typo; he obviously meant his last good year was several years ago. It annoys me when people look for nits to nail someone on.

    I was not and am not a big fan of the GA signing but DOB is right–you don’t drop the guy under the bus because of a week of games and a couple of misplays in the field. You can’t run a baseball team that way. Whatever you think of Garrett Anderson in his current incarnation, he is not and never has been a Raul Mondesi who was known throughout his career for a lack of effort and focus.

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