Braves 7, Astros 2

Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 01, 2009 – ESPN

A successful Mike Hampton start is one in which he leaves with all his various parts still attached. So this was a rousing success!

The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the first off of Derek Lowe, getting a double, a triple, and an error; it obviously could have been much worse. But in the bottom of the inning, Francoeur hit a two-out homer with Escobar on second to give the Braves the lead. The Astros tied it up in the fourth when the Braves couldn’t turn two on a groundout by Hampton.

The key inning was the fifth. Diaz singled, and with one out Schafer walked. (By my check, he should be tied for sixth in the league in walks, with the names in front of him being Dunn, Pujols, Ramirez, Hermida [?!?], and Fielder.) Lowe went up to bunt, and I’m not quite sure, but apparently Berkman (who is the guy tied with Schafer) tried to get the lead runner instead of just getting the out. He was charged with an error and the bases were loaded. Infante, who is really starting to make Kelly Johnson look like Wally Pipp, singled to score two runs. Escobar doubled to score Lowe. Chipper was intentionally walked, Hampton was relieved (as relieved as I was to see him leave town?) and Francoeur singled in Infante, though Escobar was thrown out at the plate. The Braves got another run in the seventh, with Brandon Jones walking in a pinch-hitting appearance and Escobar singling him home.

Lowe wasn’t great, but held the Astros to those two runs. Moylan relieved him in a two-out seventh-inning jam, getting out of it. After the seventh, there was a two-hour rain delay and they really should have called it, but the umpires made everyone come back to play at midnight anyway. Jeff Bennett got through the eighth and got two outs in the ninth, but with two runners on (one short of a save situation, BTW) brought in Gonzalez to end it.

27 thoughts on “Braves 7, Astros 2”

  1. From the recap: what a difference a year makes–Hampton is gone and Frenchy remains one of our most productive hitters. Its nice to win, but I suspect that a few will not miss Hampton–but having Hampton to kick around and be the subject for some wonderful videos….

  2. I guess with Berkman up there, you don’t want to give up the gopher ball, but I still say you leave in Bennett and if one gets knocked out, THEN you bring in Gonzo or someone. I mean, you’ve still got a 2-run lead….

  3. If Bobby waits 1 batter to use Gonzalez he either a) doesn’t have to use him or b) can bring him in to give him a cheap 1-out save.

  4. Yeah–it did not make a lot of sense to me either. Maybe if someone calls Blaine Boyer he can tell us why Bobby just had to bring in Gonzo up 5 runs….

  5. Once he’s ready, you might as well use him. I’m surprised he didn’t let Bennett have Berkman, but Bobby’s here to win games, not pad Gonzalez’s save totals.

  6. Bobby’s trying to win the game & he won it. I’m not going to go crazy about it. If anyone wants to see the worst-case scenario in a game like ours, check out what happened in The Bronx tonight.

    11-11—probably about right. Too bad we have such a popgun lineup.

  7. Also, he hadn’t pitched in 3 days. He’s gotta get out there on a regular basis to stay sharp. No problem bringing him in there.

  8. Of course, if Santana’s pitching for the Mets, it may just mean that they won’t score either.

    We’ll get Johan in Atlanta, but it looks like we’ll miss him in Flushing.

  9. Maybe Santana will pitch on his regular rest and start on Monday?

    I don’t have much problem with the use of Gonzo. He was warmed up anyway…so may as well use him before the Astros had any real hope of a come back.

  10. Hey, Randy Johnson won his 297th game yesterday. I thought the media said Glavine was the last one (for real, this time) who’d win 300 games?

  11. Had forgotten about it last year during his overall suckage… but Francouer was at his WORST last year when he had guys on, and prior to that, even when he wasn’t great, he was pretty decent if he came up with guys on (in 07, if he came up with them empty he was OPS .750ish, but anybody in RISP and he was up above .900). He at least seems to be back to THAT trend so far this year (only OPS .650 when empty, but .867 with somebody on, and over 1.200 with RISP)… so while he’s not Chipper… if he manages to step it up and hit when guys are on in front of him he’ll be useful.

  12. ububba (& anyone else who may have an opinion),

    What do you think of Isis (or do you)? I’m really digging those guys right now.

  13. Guess you could say Frenchy was “clutch” last night.

    Seriously, someone smarter than me should come up with a “clutch” statistic – perhaps a mix of RISP and some other relevant factors.

    Has anyone done that? Effectively?

  14. Ease up on KK folks–I’m not real optimistic about him but he’s only had 3-4 starts. Give him a few more before considering him a lost cause/mistake. And even if he’s lousy be thankful he’s the Braves mistake rather than Oliver Perez.

  15. i’m not sure it was even a possibility, but a kj for ludwick trade would have made us a much better ballclub. kj is a good ballplayer but what ludwick could have provided in terms of power would have been far superior to any loss of power at 2nd.

  16. If we could get Ludwick for KJ, I could live with Prado/Infante at second.

  17. Free Omar Infante!

    Keep him in the lineup while he’s hot, Bobby. It isn’t written anywhere in the Constitution that Kelly Johnson must start.

  18. I don’t mind Infante or Prado getting a start here or there while KJ’s slumping. But I also think it’s important for the offense to get Kelly going at some point, and that means giving him some PT eventually.

  19. Ryan, nobody knows if the Cards would accept a straight trade of KJ with Ludwick.

    As long as Frenchy is useful, I am happy. I don’t think anyone expects him to be great anymore. I honestly have more hope on KJ than on Frenchy. I still think KJ will be fine, but I hope we can trade him when he has some value because he will never be consistent.

  20. Both sides were overvaluing what they had in the proposed Kelly Johnson for Ryan Ludwick swap. Apparently the Braves wanted some minor league value along with Ludwick for Johnson and the Cardinals wanted a late-innings bullpen arm along with Johnson for Ludwick. Personally, I’d have loved to trade one of our late-innings guys with KJ for Ludwick and we’d have come out ahead in the payroll department, but the organization pretty much knows what it is doing.

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