Mets 6, Braves 4

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 04, 2009 – ESPN

There are times when I feel like giving up on the season and putting up the “who should we root for? question. (The Royals?) This is one of those times. Given a 3-0 lead in the second, Javier Vazquez let it slip away in the sixth. The Braves, after taking a 3-0 lead, rarely even threatened after, especially in the innings while they still had the lead, in which one man reached and was thrown out. This is why I am starting to hate this team.

In the second, the Braves loaded the bases with none out, but Schafer, hitting eighth, struck out. Vazquez hit a chopper that was clearly not a double play ball; the remains of Luis Castillo tried to turn it anyway and allowed a second run to score. After KJ walked, Escobar singled in Vazquez (Beltran dropped the ball or probably would have had a play) to make it 3-0. And Hibernation Mode set in.

Vazquez looked to hold the lead anyway for the next three innings. But in the sixth, he gave up two-run homers to Beltran and Wright to give up the lead. Then after getting two on with one out in the bottom of the inning, David Ross for some reason bunted (some say trying to get a hit, but who bunts for a hit with two men on?) and got thrown out, and Schafer struck out again. The announcers say that his wrist is hurt, in which case get him out of the lineup already!

And Bobby sent Vazquez out again. I really don’t get this one. With two out in the seventh, he gave up another two-run homer to Beltran on his 110th pitch of the game. Game, essentially, over, because unlike the Mets the Braves aren’t going to come back from three runs down. Chipper hit a homer in the bottom of the inning, but with nobody on.

Brandon Jones had a hit and two walks, and thus will be confined to pinch-hitting duty until Anderson is activated. The Braves as a team had seven walks, but only five hits. Schafer struck out three times, and was charged with five men left on base, two in scoring position with two out. His numbers with runners on base are truly terrible, by the way. He is 2-20 with runners in scoring position, with ten strikeouts, and 5-37 with runners on base, with 18 strikeouts, and 0-9 with a runner at third base.

105 thoughts on “Mets 6, Braves 4”

  1. Something about Bobby has changed…I mean, he put Schafer at the leadoff spot for one game?! What’s the point of that? You either keep the kid there for a little while or you don’t move the kid at all.

    Can this honestly be the last season for Bobby? I have never really wanted him to retire before, but I really think it’s time for Bobby to move upstairs.

    And can we stop actually pitching to Beltran? Haven’t we learn anything since the Astros series?

  2. This game proved that unless you have 1 or 2 big time hitters in your lineup, your team simply can’t be successful. The mets have 3 guys who are Allstars in Wright, Beltran and Delgado in the heart of their lineup. Another poster in the game thread mentioned the same thing. Wright, Beltran, and Delgado alone can keep a team in the playoff hunt all year while you have chipper surrounded by guys like escobar, kotchman and francoeur. Chipper doesn’t stand a chance to make a serious impact with guys like that around him.

  3. Ugh. It’s streaks like these that make me glad we don’t get Peachtree TV up here in North Carolina.

  4. @2 Seems like he already “is upstairs”. I haven’t heard any of the “Let’s go Frenchy” this year. It could be that they have changed the audio feed. But he wasn’t doing any of that kind of stuff at the park yesterday. And it was so empty I would have heard it.

  5. Jon K,
    Sorry I made a poor assumption about your age. FWIW, I haven’t seen (m)any folks here arguing that this is a very good team, at least not since the first 6 games. And, IMO, you destroy credibility by seemingly focusing on super-small sample sizes and ignoring past results and big-picture stuff. KJ has been one of the best half-dozen or so second basemen in baseball over the past two seasons (at least offensively); this is factual. Diaz is not nearly as horrible as you continue to claim he is. Infante is not an All-Star.

  6. you can pretty much forget getting an impact bat anytime soon also, outside of McCann returning and being able to see. No one is going to move a big bat this early in the season

  7. Stew I’m not saying Infante is an allstar, but at this juncture you can’t possibly say that Johnson deserves to be in the lineup over Infante. Johnson’s struggles are killing this team, he has been flat out horrible. 4 for his last 43. There comes a point in time that you just have to give another player a chance to be successful. Kelly Johnson has shown no indication that he is even remotely close to turning this thing around.

  8. Stu… I guess my point can be succinctly made in the following way “With the combination of: Diaz/Anderson/Jones, Schafer, Kelly Johnson, Casey Kotchman, and Ross/Sammons in the lineup this team simply can not win. I just don’t think Kelly Johnson is the answer for this team at second base… nor do I think Diaz or Jones are everyday players. Casey Kotchman is great defensively but he’s a liability at the plate. Even with Mccann in the lineup this team has too many glarring weaknesses. As much as guys like Diaz and Kelly Johnson may seem like the best choice now… in the long run they aren’t the solution. This team needs a LF, a second baseman, and a power hitting firstman.

  9. “succinctly”

    Paging Inigo Montoya…Inigo Montoya, please pick up the courtesy phone…

  10. It’s amazing to me how anyone but Bobby can be called out as the major source of the problem for the Braves. The guy will be a HOF manager and he’s had some incredible years, however, he has to retire! It’s not all his fault, but his excessive and unfounded loyalty in many cases, his poor use and overuse of the bullpen, and his in-game decision making (it’s never been his strength, but it’s more visible now) are all catching up with him. If he would only retire by next month, I still think we’d have an outside shot at the playoffs – whoever we get as the new manager.

  11. Oh, I’ve mostly been on one of those Dylan benders ububba talked about. Right now I’m working my way through the boots of the current tour.

  12. KJ in one of his slumps again. That’s a given every year. He has Andruw-like slumps, yet he is the greatest thing since slice bread to some people on here.

  13. #15–Yeah, I like KJ–but not to the point where he was being called a potential Chase Utley…KJ will be up and down and, yes, the Braves could afford to trade him….

  14. Something needs to be done about Schafer. If he’s hurt, we need to DL him. If he needs a day off, we need to run Infante out there. If he’s not hurt, he needs to be on a short leash for the next few weeks.

    Leaving Vazquez out was the wrong decision in retrospect, but the pitcher’s spot was up next and he had really been dealing before that one bad inning. It was a risky move, but it wasn’t entirely stupid…

  15. At least Todd Redmond had it going last night…At this point, he is the forgotten man at Gwinnett County, but he has the chance to make a solid contribution at the back end of a rotation….

  16. I’ve never heard of a wrist injury that makes you strike out 10 times in 15 at-bats. There’s always an injury to explain some suckitude.

  17. There are basically two kinds of slumps:

    1. Those caused by injury.
    2. Those that are just luck.

    This is an oversimplification, but not much of one.

  18. Weldon–I really hope the Braves were right to let Schafer start the season at the major league level. Given the fact that he had limited playing experience over A+ ball,it should not surpise us to see that he has an impressive learning curve ahead of him….

  19. Francoeur wasn’t physically injured last year, and his “slump” sure wasn’t luck, so I guess it must have been a brain injury. An aneurysm or something.

  20. Just got back from the Royals game. Whatever they might have wanted from the Braves for Greinke…we should have given them that and not have thought twice.

    It was a weird feeling at Kauffman. The closest I can compare it to is like when I was a kid at Turner/Fulton County watching Maddux pitch. You know those games where he was so completely in control, so dominant, that you were shocked when anyone even got on base?

    Greinke was like that tonight. Unfortunately, looking at our game recap, Vasquez was not.

    Hanson needs to be a stud. Our rotation is deep, but there is something about having that undeniable ace that permeates throughout a ballclub. The Royals were confident bordering on cocky tonight, and that’s something I’ve never really seen here before. They expected to win tonight. They haven’t been perfect, but on more nights than not, they’ve played well enough to do so.

    For the Braves however, since the division streak has ended, it seems like the common refrain has been that we’ve played just well enough to lose. It feels like the team forgotten the mindset of a winner. We may have some good players, but right now, we’re not a good team.

  21. Weldon–I really hope the Braves were right to let Schafer start the season at the major league level.

    This is obvious but I’ll say it, you can’t strike out as much as he does and be a useful player. Yes the negative impact of strikeouts are overstated but there is a limit. At some point someone else is going to have to play center for a while or he’s going to have 250 Ks this year.

    There are basically two kinds of slumps:

    1. Those caused by injury.
    2. Those that are just luck.

    This is an oversimplification, but not much of one.

    I’d like to see Kelly in a casino. He must either break the bank or lose his house.

    It’s amazing to me how anyone but Bobby can be called out as the major source of the problem for the Braves.

    He’s well down the list. There just aren’t many good players on this team. The McCann-less lineup we run out there every night is an embarrassment to lineups. What manager do you know that can win with no players?

  22. So, hitters never struggle with their mechanics and fall into slumps? KJ never struggles with getting good hip rotation or getting his hands through the zone at the right time? And don’t even get me started on the mental aspect of things.

    Baseball isn’t about luck. There is a right way to play the game and there is a wrong way. Hard work, talent, and good game decisions have consequences. It is a huge oversimplification to say that slumps are caused by injury and luck. If that’s the case, then was it luck that Andruw’s hitting mechanics looked absolutely awful when he was in his slump? Was it luck that caused him to swing at awful pitchers? No, and neither was it injury.

    Hitting a bag with a ground ball is luck. Shortstop falling down trying to make a play is luck. Outfielder losing a ball in the sun is luck. Making decisions on pitch recognition and temporarily bad mechanics are not luck. That’s what has kept guys like Wade Boggs and Tony Gwynn consistently among the upper echelon of hitters. They didn’t luck out to almost never getting in prolonged slumps. They maintained solid mechanics and made good decisions at the plate. That’s not luck.

  23. So, hitters never struggle with their mechanics and fall into slumps?

    Well you see Rob, that’s hard to measure. And modern sabermetric thinking demands that anything that’s hard to measure be ignored and it’s effects thrown in the ever expanding luck bucket.

    Sure this line of thinking is, well, wrong, but it makes up for it by being incredibly easy to do.

  24. I doubt that hitting coaches make that big of a difference at the Major League level, but my patience with Pendleton is wearing thin.

    Too many players are underperforming.

  25. One must ask, are said players underperforming or do they just suck?

  26. Underperforming or simply to their true form? I think Frenchy is overperforming!

    I think Schafer can overcome this strikeout problem, but need to give him time. Anyone still thinking about playoff this year can forget about it.

  27. “Lights out tonight
    Trouble in the heartland
    Got a head-on collision
    smashing in my guts, man
    I’m caught in a crossfire
    that I don’t understand…”

    Walked into the Nassau Coliseum with a 3-0 lead, got a text in the middle of “For You” telling me we lost 6-4. Hate losing to the Mets.

    Still, I was one for two tonight—Springsteen was terrific.

  28. I’d like to see this lineup tomorrow…well, except Anderson hitting cleanup, but you know he will. I really think Kotchman needs to be near the top of the order instead of the middle.

    SS Escobar
    1b Kotchman
    3b Chipper
    LF Anderson
    RF Francoeur
    2b Johnson
    C Ross
    CF Schafer

  29. braves14, no matter how the lineup is being juggled, the result will be the same. There are just not enough talents on this lineup to win unless there are sudden turnarounds from Kotchman, Frenchy, and KJ as well as sudden maturity from Escobar and Schafer.

    How likely will those things happen? No chance.

  30. and…kc…

    that’s the manny who’s line right now is:

    .360 Average
    6 HR
    18 RBI
    .500 OBP
    .663 Slugging

    oh, but he’s a cancer…

    you want to know what a real cancer is? losing.

  31. On another note,

    Sickels on Freddie Freemen:

    **”Freddie Freeman has been disappointing in the batting average and OBP departments for Class A Myrtle Beach, hitting .238/.319/.450 so far. He’s hit five doubles and four homers, so the power has been there, but his other numbers are weaker and he’s hit just .158 in his last ten games. Most of his problems have been against left-handed pitching (.161/.278/.290); he’s killing right-handers at .286/.345/.551. Again, it is still early enough in the season that anything can happen here, and I’m not really worried about him at this point.”

    I agree and also note that Heyward, Freemen and Cody Johnson are all young for the Carolina League….

  32. Stephen, the extreme split against righties/lefties is actually more disturbing than the “slow” start. I believe he was also weak against lefties last year…not sure…

  33. KC–Freemen will probably always find lefties challenging. I also think that we are talking about a small sample size. One other note: just about everyone raved about Freemen’s hitting in Spring Training. This is probably as it should be, but it is also a reminder that people–including the Braves front office–ought not to read too much into great spring numbers….

  34. Mac,

    I don’t understand the notion that slumps are either bad luck or injury. That implies that hitting is entirely random and has nothing at all to do with how the hitter is swinging at a particular time. I agree that the timing of slumps is essentially random because all players will go through periods where there mechanics are out of whack, but I can’t see that it is nothing but bad luck. Guys hit the ball better at some times than at others, presumably because there are times when there mechanics are better than at others.

  35. Given the few plate attempts he’s had Kelly’s performance isn’t much off his career average. This slump is within the normal variation for a player if his caliber.

    Also, it’s interesting that KJ and Frenchy have nearly identical OBP, despite the large disparity in batting average.

  36. Omar Infante should start at 2B until he stops hitting.

    This team stinks. McCann is gonna be a shot in the arm, but he’ll just turn our 3-run losses into 1-run losses.

    Boo. Booooooo.

  37. I know Josh Anderson only has 50 AB’s, but he is hitting .326 with 10 runs and 6 SB.
    We could have used that leading us off while letting Schafer develop in AA.

  38. Schafer needs more practice in the minor leagues. His swing isn’t ready for the big time.

    Vasquez is strange. He looks great 90% of the time, but seems to cluster his badness, which leads to big innings. As soon as he gives up a couple of hits, the catcher and the manager should go out there and cool him down, and try to reset him to the “good Vasquez”. I’d like a sabermetrician to do a runs test on non-outs for Vasquez – I suspect they are more serially correlated than for most pitchers.

  39. Why not play Infante in center some? The guy is red hot, he needs to be in the lineup somewhere.

    I would do this:
    Escobar
    Kotchman
    Chipper
    Anderson (ugh)
    Infante
    Frenchy
    KJ
    Ross

    You cold also sit KJ and put Schafer in his lineup spot.

  40. When good hitters slump its probably due to luck or injury.

    Chipper is a good hitter. He’s consistently good, and if he slumps, it’s probably due to injury or luck.

    KJ is a streaky hitter. He’s capable of being a good hitter, but he’s not consistently good. To me, that’s indicative of something besides injury or luck at work. An inability to be consistent seems like a problem with approach, focus, or adjustments.

  41. the daily lineup shuffle drives me insane. does this not bother other people on this blog?

  42. I’m bothered much less by the shuffle than by the lineup’s crummy results.

  43. the only thing that bothers me about it is the fact that Bobby, and with all his changes, still never gets people in the right places.

    Esco cant hit in the two hole without taking Chippers bat out of the game. Too many DP’s. Kotchman at cleanup is a joke. Actually our best option at cleanup may be Ross and that shows you the state of our team and offense

  44. I like the article, Alex.
    A point about hybernation mode. Last night, the Braves had 11 total baserunners. 1 in the 1st, 5 in the 2nd, and 5 total in innings 3-9, with 2 being the most in any inning while 2 of the runners were erased via double plays or baserunning mistakes (Yunel Escobar was caught stealing, and has about 184702735 baserunning errors this year, probably why the Braves are dead last in baserunning at baseball prospectus: http://baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=466120). They only left 3 men on base after the 2nd inning. Really, you don’t expect to win a game when your offense is completely shut down by Mets pitching apart from 1 inning.

  45. It wasn’t like the success the Braves had offensively last night was their own doing. It was all due to Maine being unable to throw strikes. Escobar’s single was a lucky broken bat blooper. This team can’t hit, can’t be patient at the plate, can’t run the bases, or do anything else. I have to force myself to watch these games, and I’m getting tired of it.

  46. I’ve already stopped having fun watching the team. As soon as I realized their identity was the same as the last 3 seasons, I lost my enthusiasm. At least the previous years I could watch Smoltz dominate every 5th day or so.

    I just wish they were more fun to watch, even if they’re going to lose, it doesn’t have to be miserable.

  47. Given the few plate attempts he’s had Kelly’s performance isn’t much off his career average. This slump is within the normal variation for a player if his caliber.

    Lesson 1:
    Career: .270/.353/.437
    Season: .208/.307/.390
    ‘Isn’t much off’ can cover a lot of territory.

    Lesson 2:
    If 4 for 39 is considered within the expected variation for one of the better hitting middle infielders in the league, than really anything is in play for anyone and can be explained by ‘expected random variation’.

    Results:
    Posts like #21

  48. You really have to buy in to the premise of that Onion joke to be amused by it. Otherwise, while you can still appreciate what they’re doing, and see that it would be funny, I wasn’t amused.

    Not because they used Chipper either. I can’t think of any player they could have used that would have made the premise of that joke funny. Maybe Ugeth Urbina.

  49. it looks like we might not get a game in today or tomorrow if the weather people are correct. Heavy rain and hail moving in this afternoon and heavy storms all day on Wednesday. We’ll probably miss Livan and get Santana in a DH next week instead. We couldnt hit Livan right now anyways so it doesnt matter who’s pitching

  50. Santana will probably start both games of the DH, as he’ll get through the first 9 inning game on 60 pitches

  51. 60–seems things have gotten so bad that someone here must be praying for rain :-)

  52. I just don’t understand the notion that a slump is simply bad luck. Even a good hitter has trouble replicating his mechanics over 600 at bats. That’s why some bad pitches don’t get hit out of the park. I’m not necessarily questioning whether KJ’s performace is worse than his norm or anything, I’m just wondering about the idea that slumps are essentially random.

    I understand that there is a lot of randomness in baseball, but hitting is based on some specific mechanical techniques that some are able to do better than others. These techniques are difficult to maintain, especially at the major league level. Same with shooting a basketball; no matter how good you are, periodically, your elbow will drift away from your body or something. To some extent this is random in terms of when it happens, but it’s different than saying it’s just luck.

  53. The Onion does some stuff that’s pretty weird. This is one of them. It doesn’t make any sense. If this was the 80s, the comment about this being the Atlanta Braves would make sense, but given the wide popularity of the Braves since then, it’s a pretty bizaare statement. I think there are players you could do this with, but Chipper Jones?

  54. You mean Santana needs 60 pitches to get through 9 innings?! I thought 40 is already too many!

  55. AAR, I wish we could ask Abbott on the current status of Chucky. I love Chucky.

    If there is another chance, can you also ask him if Cody Johnson is focusing on cutting down his Ks?

    Nevertheless, I like the interview a lot!

  56. how can you not pray for rain with this team. If we could rain out from now till, I dont know, Heyward and Freeman are ready Ill be happy. Maybe by then these things will also take place

    1. Fredi Gonzo becomes manager
    2. we get Texas hitting coach
    3. Schafer cuts down on his K’s
    4. Bmac can actually see
    5. Hanson is dominating

    anything else

  57. I just realized something doing the math trying to figure out who would start for the Braves this Sunday in Philly.

    Kenshin hasn’t started since last Sunday, meaning he’s had nine days between his last start. Since he’s not the fifth starter I thought this was rather odd unless they felt he needed the extra rest. I may be reading to much into it though. May just be the way the schedule fell. His technical next day up would have been last Thursday’s off day. I understand bring Lowe back on regular rest on Friday because he’s been so dominant.

  58. Kawakami’s been out with a “stiff” shoulder, so, especially after Jo-Jo’s good start, they made him the 5th starter. For now, at least.

  59. I cant believe Abreu still doesnt have a HR in 103AB’s. he is hitting .363 with 10+ steals though

  60. this was posted on DOB’s blog. Said it was from baseball prospectus. Its comical

    Brian McCann (20 DXL)
    Glasses. That’s the last chance for McCann to avoid LASIK surgery. If you’re wondering how he’ll catch with glasses, I don’t have a good answer for you. The catcher will head out for another rehab assignment on Wednesday to test his new Oakleys. If they work, he’ll be back over the weekend, but the downside here is severe. The consensus opinion is that he would be forced to miss at least six weeks, perhaps more, if he has LASIK in-season. If the glasses work for his hitting but not for his fielding, there are some options. The Braves have inquired about some kind of prescription shield for his catching mask, though this has never been done before. The Braves are also discussing using him in the outfield if necessary to keep his bat in the lineup, but the more interesting idea to me is that McCann could spell Chipper Jones on occasion at third base. We’ll know a lot more after Wednesday.”

    so Bmac at third spelling Chipper. How does that help the offense. Mac in the outfield should be interesting, maybe he can play CF (sarcasm here). How about him at 1st and our 4 rbi on the yr 1B can have a seat

  61. I doubt McCann can play outfield. I guess it would be worth a try since our offense is so terrible.

  62. Pretty sure I’ve seen a number of catchers with Oakleys on (as sunglasses). I guess it would depend on how comfortable pimpbot is and if they help.

  63. so is Brandon Jones getting sent down today to make room for Anderson and his “Im too good to go on a rehab assignment” while only hitting .200 here. So I guess we shouldnt trade with the Angels from now on. The Kotchman/Anderson duo sucks

  64. @65 – I tried to come up with a player that made the Onion article funny. Couldn’t think of one. You got any ideas?

    also, I remember Benito Santiago always catching in sunglasses

  65. #80 – I know Anderson was a FA and Id still wish we’d gone after Edmonds between the two of them.

    Kotchman isnt a bad player, but we need a bat. I almost want to see what Canizares can do and how bad his glove is right now. Id sacrifice defense for some runs and a hint of power. Sad thing is that Kotchman is hitting .314 in the cleanup hole with no rbi’s. I shouldnt blame it on him, Anderson is doing this to me.

    Edit : but Bobby is seeing it this way

    “I really think he’s going to help us a lot this year,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said of Anderson, who spent his previous 15 Major League seasons with the Angels. “I hated to see the quad pop up because he had just hit five line drives and was looking good at the plate.”

  66. @73 It’s not that amusing. The likelihood is that he’ll be out “at least six weeks, perhaps more.” By the time he gets back, the Braves will be battling the Nationals.

  67. “and Kotchman is not a bad player.”

    He’s not particularly a good player either. I think you put yourself behind the eight ball when your first basemen slugs in the low .400s.

  68. I didn’t say he was good. But he’s better than LaRoche was in 2004 or 2005, far better than the disasters that manned first base in 2007 and the first half of 2008, better than Fick or Brogna or the Franco Brothers. For most of this decade, we would have killed for Kotchman at first base.

  69. He’s solid defensively and gets one base at an above-average clip. He’ll start hitting a few homers and probably finish around his career marks, making him more of an asset than liability. All signs point to Kotchman being the player he was before his disastrous 2008 season, which means he’ll be a useful one.

    The Braves have far bigger problems than Kotchman right now, and I’d say those mainly lie in the outfield. Once again it’s horrible offensively, and not nearly good enough defensively to begin making up the gap. Also, that McCann is out while both the middle relief and back-end of the rotation have sucked has reshaped a mediocre-to-ok team into a bad one.

  70. I hate to see Brandon Jones go down for Garrett Anderson, but it would not be that surprising.

    I can’t see McCann at the hot corner or in the outfield. Nor would I be surprised to see him miss 6 weeks or even half of the season. The situation looks pretty grim, but the way the Braves have played the last two years I am not sure that his return will be enough for a decisive change. Things can easily get worse as well: Frenchy reverts to his 2008 level, Chipper gets injured and Schafer is faced with too many adjustments for a rookie. The 2009 season is off to quite a start…

  71. I think Kotchman is fine. The problem is coupling him with the outfield of no power and production. If we had an average left fielder. With the pour production of the Brave outfield you need more power from first.

    I certainly enjoy watching him a lot more than LaRoche and his horrible misplays while not paying attention at first.

  72. Interesting quotes in that article on plate discipline, including Chipper’s. Adds support to the thread a few days ago regarding (good) hitters having a plan for each PA.

  73. That’s just a dumb statement by Jeff. He’s got the brain power of a bag of hair.

  74. I guess he is too distracted by the big-bosomed fans in #7 pink tube-tops to notice the sub-.300 OBP that often accompanies his likeness on the world’s largest jumbotron.

  75. I don’t know what to think about the Francoeur article. His work with Chipper and the other work he’s done this offseason seem to point to him understanding that he’s got to improve his plate discipline. After all that he comes out and makes the stupid statement listed above. I’ll have to say that it’s a mixed bag – just like his season has been so far.

  76. Alex,

    I thought that was another Onion article for a second…

    Frenchy, Frenchy, Frenchy….sigh.

  77. #89–I wish you were too….Assuming that he was not joking, I am afraid that it also testifies to the failure of the organization to teach hitting skills….

  78. I don’t blame the organization at all. The largely homegrown major-league team is third in the NL in walks. This is all on Jeffy.

    Game thread is up.

  79. 89 — Wow. Just incredible.

    But this raises a larger question for me. A number of analysts claim that HOF voters should hold low OBPs against fringe stars even if OBP wasn’t a mainstream stat in their era. The argument appears to be that every ballplayer in every era should understand that making outs is a bad thing. Well, is Frenchy just a lonely bag of hammers or could such a view really have been part a widespread part of the baseball culture?

  80. @89: Jeff’s oversimplifying a bit, but he does have a valid point. OBP means nothing if it doesn’t translate into runs… of course it usually does translate into runs, which is why the comment is an oversimplification.

    Even with Jeff’s low .305 OBP and mediocre .444 SLG he’s back to producing runs… still! He’s producing more than a run a game (27 RP in 25 Games) and according to Baseball References calculations he’s accounted for 6 more RBIs than the average ML player with 101 PAs (he has had, per these calculations, 11 more runners on base for his ABs than the average player, with 6 of them on 1st, 7 on 2nd, and 1 less on 3rd. Note that for some reason the numbers don’t add up, and he’s apparently missing another runner somewhere along the way.)

    I understand the importance of rate stats, and I’m pretty sure Jeff gets the big picture too, but honestly if the guy continues to produce runs like he consistently has, outside of last season, he’s doing his job.

  81. “Even with Jeff’s low .305 OBP and mediocre .444 SLG he’s back to producing runs… still! He’s producing more than a run a game (27 RP in 25 Games) and according to Baseball References calculations he’s accounted for 6 more RBIs than the average ML player with 101 PAs (he has had, per these calculations, 11 more runners on base for his ABs than the average player, with 6 of them on 1st, 7 on 2nd, and 1 less on 3rd>’

    But the whole REASON he has been able to produce runs (Jeff’s RBI) is because he hits behind one of the great on-base guys of our generation, Chipper Jones. Put Jeff’s stats on the batters in front of Jeff, and you would have virtually no RBI.

  82. Guys maybe he’s right. If it was important, it’d be on the jumbotron. They’d probably even superimpose it over the Home Depot tool race and the find the ball under the hat game.

    Also, who would use statistics to prove a point, when those statistics admittedly and obviously do not add up to show what they purport to show?

    The real question, which legitimizes our complaints about Jeffy, is how many more runs could he be producing if he understood anything about baseball, and OBP in particular?

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