Braves 10, Jays 2 (sweeeeeeeeeep!)

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 24, 2009 – ESPN

You want run support, Jurrjens? We’ll show you run support! Of course, it won’t be until you’re out of the game, but what the heck.

The Braves went up 2-0 in the first on solo homers by KJ and McCann. And then, it was Hibernation Mode time. They had a good chance to get a run in the fourth, after Prado doubled with McCann on first, but Jeffy predictably failed to get the runner in with one out, and Diory Hernandez couldn’t pick him up. The Jays got a run basically on the legs of Vernon Wells in the fourth, when he singled and stole second and third, coming home on a one-out grounder. In the sixth, Wells scored again, this time on a terrible little flare single that maybe nobody could have caught but I am going to blame on Garret Anderson anyway.

Moylan came in to start the seventh, and predictably allowed an infield single, then hit a guy and walked the bases loaded with one out. O’Flaherty came in to get one guy, and then, and then Bobby peculiarly went with Bennett, who somehow got a flyout to end the inning. And then the Braves erupted. Jeffy singled leading off, and Hernandez finally got his first hit on a grounder to make it first and second. Schafer worked a walk to load the bases, and Bobby could go with Chipper as a pinch hitter.

Chipper singled off the glove of the first baseman, making it 3-2. And then KJ struck again with a ground-rule double, making it 5-2. Kotchman was walked intentionally to load the bases, showing exactly what the Jays think of ACHE, who hit a sac fly to make it 6-2. And then McCann struck again, hitting a homer into the bullpen (tying KJ with five for the team lead) to make it 9-2. They got one more run in the eighth, with Schafer doubling Hernandez from first to third (he should have scored); the run came in on a Norton grounder.

Bennett gets the win. Soriano was already warmed up so he pitched the eighth; Manny Acosta, who was born for this situations and is up in place of Parr, pitched the ninth.

87 thoughts on “Braves 10, Jays 2 (sweeeeeeeeeep!)”

  1. Good to see KJ hitting the ball hard! And way to pile it on in the seventh.

  2. And I’m as critical as anyone of ESPN’s all-northeast, all-the-time baseball coverage, but how the hell do they pass up Yankees-Phillies and Mets-Red Sox for Brewers-Twins? Seriously, you have the Yankees playing the world champions and you go with two middle-of-the-road teams?

  3. Yeah, Mac, I looked the other day to see what the Sunday night game was going to be and I was sure it would have been Mets-Red Sox or Phillies-Yankees. Brewers-Twins makes no sense for ESPN.

  4. Phillies win, Mutts lose, we’re tied for second and 1 1/2 back.

    Now to face the only other team as power-deprived as ours, the San Francisco Midgets.

  5. Must be because it’s Bob Dylan’s birthday today.

    Any word on how Medlen did in his bullpen session?

  6. Medlen said he’s made adjustments and is ready to go, Bobby said he’s just wanting to make sure the velocity is where it needs to be. If thats his only concern, they should go ahead and release Glavine now

  7. I didn’t know it was Dylan’s birthday, but I don’t think I would have broken off the one-hit-wonders-of-the-eighties videos that have been successful lately.

  8. An early warning here: Let’s make sure we’ll not forget that on September 23rd, 2009 Bruce Springsteen celebrates his 60th birthday. Predictably, the Braves will clinch the division on the very same day, and I can’t think of a better song than “Glory days” to celebrate both events.

    (Yes Mac, this is a wish.)

  9. Way to break out guys… of course my fantasy team could’ve used a Jair Jurrjens win, but I should be safe for the week anyways.

    Glad to see Diory Hernandez get his first couple hits, and the bullpen work themselves through a hell of a jam. I was shocked Bobby went to Bennett, but it worked out. O’Flaherty’s really putting together a great first two months, 21 appearances now, and by my count he’s performed great in 17 of them! He’s performed much better than Will Ohman has in his 18 appearances with the Dodgers… though to be fair to Will he does have the quote of the year so far… Will Ohman on Manny Ramirez: “For a guy going into his second trimester, he looks great. He’s barely showing.”

  10. I don’t know that I like Frenchy’s latest little singles splurge. He’ll get his average back up in the .270s and then it will take the Braves another 3 months to realize we need to have him replaced.

  11. Yep, another two months of playing time…

    Really though, Bowman seems to indicate the Braves are no longer suckers to this. Maybe a slight hot streak will encourage a Francoeur trade?

  12. A Francoeur/Brandon Jones platoon might be a pretty good player. In fact, I would say our outfield might be okay with full-time Diaz in one corner and that platoon in the other. That leaves only one sink hole in the lineup for Schafer or Anderson or whomever.

  13. @11 Thanks. Gonna be a tough row to hoe against Lincecum. But we’ve beat few aces this year already, so here’s hoping for the best out of the guy on Tuesday.

    Here’s my favorite Dylan tune. Thanks for the recommendation on “No Direction Home”, ububba.

  14. I went to the Rock Hall yesterday to see the new Springsteen exhibit that opened in April.

    As expected, it is an excellent display. Up there with the Strummer exhibit that was in the Hall a few years back.

    Also, on the Dylan subject, they have Garth Hudson’s Organ on display (which I hadn’t seen there before). It’s the one he played during “The Last Waltz.” It’s pretty incredible to just stand there and let that thought run through your head.

  15. MLBTradeRumors:

    Replacing Mike Hampton

    Richard Justice at the Houston Chronicle thinks Ed Wade’s one-year gamble on Mike Hampton might come to an end soon. Hampton was “the guy they could afford, not the guy they really wanted,” Justice says. The guy they wanted was Randy Wolf, who’s sporting a nifty 3.02 ERA and 50/19 K/BB ratio for the Dodgers. After an ugly start today Hampton sits at a 5.62 ERA for the season and 7.04 in his last six.

  16. I can’t say I am sorry about Hampton’s struggles. He lacked class in his departure. At least he is proving to himself Atlanta wasn’t the problem.

    On the other hand, I am rooting pretty hard for the ex-Braves in Arlington. How about Elvis Andrus!

  17. Prado turned an impressive double play, too. His defense hasn’t been bad at all this year, but it’s going to take a while before I stop referring to non-error errors as Prados.

  18. Prado’s made some nice defensive plays, but he’s also made some stinkers (in addition to turning one tough-but-doable play into a highlight one the other night).

    Great win, great series. KJ seems to be back on track. He could have easily been 5-5 today. In the 8th, McDonald made a great play to rob him of a single up the middle, and in the 3rd, Overbay made what should be a Web Gem play to take away another XBH (could very well have been the triple he needed for the cycle). The Braves (and my fantasy team) will do a lot better if this keeps up.

    On Frenchy, yes, he still sucks, but using a lighter bat that he can actually control seems like an adjustment, and he hasn’t just been getting lucky. Well, he got lucky on that one the pitcher slowed down, but his hits yesterday and the one single he pulled into LF were solid hits. If he can do that a little more, he can go from “a worse hitter than nearly every other player in MLB” to merely “a worse hitter than nearly ever other RF in MLB”. Which would be a huge step up.

  19. @25

    I wish I was a big enough person to root for them too. However, I’m vindictive and petty in these matters and it makes me sick to my stomach every time I read about how great Andrus/Feliz are doing.

    Not gonna lie, I would be happy if they all followed the path of Andy Marte…

  20. If they were playing for some team I loathed, I might feel that way.

    It is easy to root for the Rangers, almost like how easy it is to root for any team in the AL East that is not the Yankees or BoSox.

  21. I don’t think that there have been many players I was more wrong about than Martin Prado. In my defense, everybody was wrong about him. He was supposed to be a good glove who wouldn’t hit enough to play regularly. Actually, that’s basically what I said in my first player analysis for him, a “similar sort of player to Nick Green or Pete Orr, a guy who isn’t a good enough hitter to play regularly and isn’t really a shortstop so he’s hard to fit into a short bench”.

    Prado is now a career .301/.359/.442 hitter on the major league level, which would be more than enough to make it as a second baseman. However, it turns out that he can’t really play second. On the other hand, he’s looked pretty good at third; his RF/9 is about 3/4 of a play per game better than the league, and he has a positive plus/minus; actually, he was among the league leaders a week ago, despite not playing that much. I had severe doubts that Prado could add much secondary offense; this season, he has a .321 secondary average, which is nearly fifty points above the league. It’s possible that he’ll hit enough to carry third base in the majors.

    At this rate, he’ll probably hit 50 homers or steal 100 bases or fly to the moon in a few years. I made fun of him a lot over the years, and I still will when he does something particularly egregious on the field, but he’s become one of my favorite players.

  22. Actually, Prado is among the leaders in plus/minus. Note that it’s a cumulative stat, and most of the others have played more than twice the innings at third base:

    Third Base
    Player +/-
    Ryan Zimmerman +12
    Adrian Beltre +11
    Joe Crede +10
    Chone Figgins +8
    Evan Longoria +5
    Geoff Blum +5
    Brian Barden +5
    Scott Rolen +4
    Jack Hannahan +4
    Martin Prado +4

  23. I think he’s in the role that’s perfect for him, Mac. I don’t think that he would prosper in an everyday role because I suspect that his weaknesses would be exposed. It does seem that he has gotten a little bit of power as he’s gotten a little bit older. (the Teahen/Furcal theory)

  24. I’m not sure about Prado. I still see him as inferior to Chipper, Escobar, Johnson and Kotchman. None of those guys I’d want to replace with Prado.

    His stats look good, but a lot of it is from an absurd August in 2008, of which he was regressing badly in the final month of September until the season’s end.

  25. 35 — Indeed, what a fine defensive play.

    Who decides on these highlights?

  26. Yes, we were all wrong on Prado. But I think the folks at this site (myself included) were more down on his defense than others. DOB, in particular, always thought he was solid defensively. He was half right, at least.

    @35 – That was an important out in the game, but not a very good highlight. Certainly wasn’t notable for Frencoeur’s performance.

  27. You know the braintrust is looking at this team, and this division, and sees an opening. The Phillies have one starting pitcher and their closer has an era of 9.15, and the Mets, while talented, are enigmatic. With that said, an infusion of power in an OF spot, preferably RF, could do wonders for this team. I don’t see how Wren will sit on his hands and not do something to address the obvious weakness on team that can clearly contend. Let’s hope something is materializing as we speak.

    Anderson is getting on my nerves about as much as Francoeur, and that’s pretty serious. He must have played minor league ball for the Durham Bulls, because he’s a lollygagger. I just don’t care for his lack of effort, enthusiasm or extra base hits. With that said, I think Kotchman was walked intentionally today to set up the double play, and not necessarily because ACHE was next up. Fortunately he hot a fly ball, because had he hit anything on the ground it would most certainly have resulted in a twin killing.

  28. If they weren’t trying to beat each other, the Mets and Braves would make good trade partners; the Mets need pitching and have lots of outfielders.

  29. @42

    Cannot decide. It’s literally trying to pick your favorite way of being tortured

  30. Ah, bueno. Creo que “ACHE” sea el jugador más terrible. Francoeur no es un jugador en lo absoluto.

  31. It was fun to score some runs yesterday!…

    Mac–some of us have been favorably disposed to Prado since we began to advance through the Braves’ system. I also thought that Prado would be better as a defensive player, but he had had some good numbers in the minors. That said, numbers in the minors don’t always mean a lot but the way he advanced through the system was a clue that he had good potential. More than anything else, young position players and pitchers can take a long time to evaluate–particularly (as in the case of Prado) if they are going back and forth between points within the system and they are changing positions….

  32. He must have played minor league ball for the Durham Bulls, because he’s a lollygagger.

    I assume this is a reference to the movie not the actual Durham Bulls who used to be an A ball minor league team for the Braves. It was seeing guys like Blauser, Gant, and Chipper play in Durham that got me hooked on the Braves.

    Re this weekend’s series–how sweep it feels!

  33. Ya know, people around here are pretty hard on Francoeur. So when I clicked that link, I expected to see a video of Francoeur making a catch on the run that may have been difficult but not anything fantastic. But that catch, my friends, was so routine I can’t imagine WHY that makes the internet. Pitchers make better catches than that shagging balls in BP. What the heck is going on there?

  34. So, guy sues for royalties three weeks ago, and at 45 turns up dead. I’m not that a paranoid guy, but that seems a weeeeee bit fishy.

  35. OK, I give up. Will someone please explain to me why Bobby plays Anderson over Diaz?

    This is a serious question. I know our manager understands baseball better than I do, but I cannot for the life of me understand this one.

  36. Got back from Atlanta a few hours ago, where I caught today’s and yesterday’s games. Almost can’t believe I actually saw 2 wins. They were something like 3-11 in games I attended before this weekend.

    Just a couple things:
    1 – the crowd STILL cheers for Francoeur, louder than for any other player save Chipper or B-Mac, even against my best attempts to convince them that he sucks

    2 – if anybody else was at the game today, the 2 guys dancing on the dugouts after the 4th inning are 2 of my buddies that I was at the game with. They also danced before the game. The crowd seemed to really enjoy it, so I thought I’d point it out. They even got noticed at a restaurant after the game.

  37. My old co-blogger made a derisive post about Prado’s chances to succeed when he was getting some early playing time in spring training ’06. Just to be contrary, I asked what was wrong with a middle infielder batting .300 with some walks despite being young for his age at every level. So I’ve been pulling for him ever since, and you have to conclude now that he’s legit. I like his game, and I like his demeanor. He just seems to be into the game — the anti-Garret.

  38. That’s really sad about Jay Bennett. He was a very talented, if troubled, dude. The records Tweedy produced with him in the band hold up better than the stuff after he was kicked out. But I’ll always like AM the best.

  39. yeah, I’m sure Jeff Tweedy took a break from touring Europe to off the guy. I don’t think you’re giving your paranoia enough credit.

    He probably OD’d on something or had a heart attack. He wasn’t a healthy looking guy. Either way, it’s a sad story and he was a great talent.

  40. What about Medlen, Morton, and Francoeur for Shin Soo Choo and Derosa?

    Indians need pitching, we need hitting. Frenchy and DeRosa would make the money balance out.

    The biggest issue is that it destroys nearly all of our MLB pitching ready depth. (and that Choo is another lefty, but DeRosa is a righty and kills lefties)

    Positives would be Choo’s OBP is .425 and his service time is about the same as Jurrjens.

    Lineup would be:

    KJ -L
    Escobar -R
    Chipper -S
    McCann -L
    Choo -L
    DeRosa -R
    Kotchman -L
    Schafer -L

    Still lefty heavy, but a dramatic improvement.

    Does that seem fair to the group, or unbalanced on either side? (maybe throw in Acosta?)

  41. On Prado, the initial hostility towards him (at least on my part) was due to the fact that he always seemed to be taking away playing time from Kelly Johnson, who I deemed to be a better player. That and his defense always seemed to suck.

    But he’s turned into quite a nice bench player, and who knows, maybe we can convince someone that he should be their every-day 3B and trade him for a corner OF.

    Or just stick him in right some day because that’d probably be better than what we’ve got there now.

  42. The video was not about Francoeur but about Bennett getting easy pop fly as third out with bases loaded. The problem was copyrighter

  43. The video was not about Francoeur but about Bennett getting easy pop fly as third out with bases loaded. The problem was copy writer

  44. The main problem with any trade in these circumstances is improving the team without adding payroll. Choo seems like a guy who could be available under the right circumstances and wouldn’t be just a rental.

  45. Mac…didn’t know you were a Wilco fan. Did you make it to the show at Sloss Furnaces?

  46. Prado and Kotchman have become pretty easy to root for this year.

    Sad to hear about Jay. He was a very nice guy the couple times we crossed paths. Something about him always reminded me of Elliot Smith, though. One of those guys that had a cloud over his head and a sad song in his heart. Hopefully he has found peace.

  47. I have always liked Ed Wade for keeping the Phillies down for so many years, and I like him even more now that he basically took Hampton off our hands!

  48. Nice to see Morton have another strong outing at Gwinnett County.

    If Medlen cannot get it done, we still might see Morton before Hanson. At worst, Morton could be useful in a trade. The Braves may have a nice problem on their hands….

  49. Stephen, I think the Braves will keep Morton in the minor. Otherwise, they are running the risk of ruining his trade value like JoJo has done to himself.

    If Medlen can’t get it done this time around, I think Tommy will be in line for the next shot. If Tommy can’t do it anymore (I really hope he would just give up), we still have Campillo. We have way too many options right now. If the Braves are calling up Hanson, it will be for him to stay. That’s basically what Wren has said.

  50. I hope Glavine can get it done for us, I would rather those young guys just keep getting better on the farm.
    I am not banking on it, but it would be nice to have one lefty in the rotation.
    If KK is really finding his groove this team becomes real dangerous and we are one bat away from the playoffs.
    I keep forgetting Campillo can come back and be a long man for us too.

  51. KC–I agree with your analysis, but I could imagine a situation where the Braves decide to substitute Morton for Medlen….

    At this point, it is hard for me to imagine Glavine pitching as our number #5 starter, but I know that he is trying once again….

  52. If Hanson keeps going along and none of the other fillers really step up, Hanson will be #5 starter in about 3 weeks.

    I don’t think Glavine will be able to get it together enough to go deep enough at a high enough effectiveness. We will see. I sure hope that Bobby’s sentiment doesn’t factor into this in a negative way. This team has a SLIM chance to make it as division champ (wild card will go to the Central because they get to play Pirates and Astros so much)and throwing a couple of games away could make that difference.

  53. I am not sold on the NL central, Milwaukee and Cincy do not have deep pitching and by the end of the year that will make or break them.
    I don’t think Glavine is great, but he may be able to anchor the 5th spot if his arm doesn’t fall off, and if it does, so what, he retires.

  54. IMO this week’s series with the Giants is crucial. It’s important for us to show that we are not like last year’s team. Last year we would have a good series and look headed in the right direction, then we’d turn around and get swept by the Nationals or some other low level team. I’m still amazed that we swept the Blue Jays – I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if it was the other way around.

  55. The Braves SHOULD NOT make a move to get another bat. Instead, they should trade every good player on the team, tear the team up, and finish last for the next five years. That way, they could stockpile a lot of great players and become the Florida Marlins.

    At least, that seems to be the way that some people see it.

  56. oldtimer @69,

    What it hurts is if Glavine goes 4 to 5 innings and gives up 3 to 5 runs, even for 3 times, that can be the difference in where this team finishes.

    Hanson should be ready (assuming ordinary young pitcher problems) to pitch 6 innings of 4.5 or better ERA ball. Less load on bullpen. A chance to win on the days the offense shows up. Plus Hanson has a chance to be significantly better. Say 6.6 innings and a 3 ERA. At those levels, we would win most of the starts of OUR NUMBER 5 STARTER.

    Then, if Campillo and Medlen take the Bennett / Carlyle spots, we have a 1-7 bullpen (Acosta in his proper role) as good as anybody. (Although I wish they
    would go 11 pitchers and bring Brandon Jones or maybe even Blanco up).
    Lowe, Jurrjens, Vazquez, Kawakami, Hanson. WOW.

  57. Of course i want Glavine to be able to handle 5-6 innings, i never said I want him to give us 12 outs.

    15 to 18 is fine for any 5th pitcher. I just do not want to rush any more prospects up, these guys have barely played in the minors and most players need their time down their to develop their craft.

    Of course if Glavine ant give us 6 with a 4.5 then urge him to retire.

  58. Garret Anderson in the month of May is hitting .304…with an OPS of just over .600.

    When you look up the definition of an empty .300 batting average in the baseball dictionary, you’ll see his picture.

  59. Actually, that .304 number is his OBP. His batting average is .279. Yuck. Though, in fairness, he has hit .349 (with nothing else, 1 xb hit and 1 BB) since May 10.

    He only looks like a decent option in comparison to Francoeur.

  60. Put me on board for Choo, though he’s exactly the type of player Shapiro doesn’t trade. In fact, he has the type of contract nobody likes to trade. If we’re gonna add a bat, we’re gonna add to payroll (and probably age). And the sad part of all this is that two of the best trading partners are in the NL East.

    I am, however, *deeply* encouraged that the Braves’ brass is admitting they need more from the outfield, and from RF in particular.

  61. I think the only issue for Hanson now is managing his innings this year, given that the Super Two deadline is accepted to be 1 June.

    He threw 135 or thereabouts last year plus the AFL, so I’d be looking at 170-180 this year. Currently he’s on 53.2 in AAA.

  62. The Natinals (Urinals?) are on pace to go 49-123. There’s a team that could blow itself and simultaneously make improvements…how can they possibly be any worse?

  63. On KK,

    My thought is he has turned a corner. The average of his May stats will more accurately reflect his stats going forward.

    And on him, as to rookie pitchers, he has the best DIPS numbers of any “qualified” pitcher. KK is just ahead of Jordan Zimmerman of the Nats.

    In ERA Jurrjens, Vazquez and Lowe are all in the top 13 of “qualified.”

    Jurrjens takes a hit converting to DIPS because he has a low strike out rate (for a good pitcher) and his BAPIP (against) appears to be .241. But at the peak of his career, Maddux sustained at around to a little under 230 BAPIP (against).

  64. I’m still amazed we didn’t pick up Adam Dunn this offseason. Was it Wren who thought he didn’t care about the game (or whatever that rumor was)? I doubt they’ll inquire about him considering he could have been had for beans and the Bravos passed him up for G’Anderson.

  65. It was JP Ricciardi who thought that, but apparently it’s a common sentiment. It’s hard to believe that there’s anyone who cares less about the game than Garret Anderson.

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