Reds 7, Braves 2

Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds – Box Score – June 16, 2009 – ESPN

Ugh. The Braves fell behind 1-0 in the first after a ball that a normal centerfielder probably gets to easily bounced off the glove of a diving McLouth, setting up an RBI groundout. After two innings (with Jurrjens just having led off the third with a single) a whole lot of rain came, delaying the game for two hours. Play resumed just long enough to make sure that the Braves couldn’t get a rally going, even though it was still raining quite hard, then stopped again for about twenty minutes. Bennett gave up a run in the third and a run in the fifth; Jurrjens, of course, got hung with the loss.

The Braves had a good opportunity to make a game of it in the sixth, getting consecutive one-out singles by Chipper, McCann, and ACHE and a walk to load the bases from the returning Casey Kotchman. Of course, that brought Francoeur to the plate. The GIDP was inevitable. Francoeur did manage to “drive in” a run in the eighth with an infield single, meaning he’s earned at least another month.

Trailing 3-2, Bobby went with Gonzalez, which made a lot of sense, really; close game, tired bullpen, fresh closer. But he got slammed, giving up four runs in the ninth. Chipper helped with an error on a bunt. How many of these have we seen this year?

The Braves outhit the Reds, 12-10. Their hits were concentrated in the middle of the order; three from Chipper, two each from McCann, Anderson, and Kotchman. There’s no good reason why they should have gotten only two runs from something like that. Francoeur, who sucks, is a bad reason.

55 thoughts on “Reds 7, Braves 2”

  1. Even acknowledging that Francouer totally sucks, there is still a problem when a team gets 12 hits, 11 of them singles. They guys at the top of the order have to do more than just hit singles–we need power from them. Having Chipper as a singles/doubles hitter might be nice for his stats, but it really isn’t doing much for the team. He’s on pace, for what, 18-19 home runs? That’s not acceptable for the number 3 hitter, no matter how high his OBP is.

    The lack of power on this team, especially in a place like Great American, is just astounding. It’s as if the Braves were taking anti-steroids to make them weaker.

  2. An ofer last night. We didn’t get much rain here in Columbus AND the Braves lose to the damn Reds.

  3. If it weren’t for his jersey, McLouth wouldn’t even be able to tell that he had been traded.

  4. Hopefully Wren is not like Schuerholz by buying instead of selling with a losing record.

    He needs to look at trading Vazquez, Soriano and/or Gonzo for prospects.

  5. Mac you were kind of hard on McLouth on that first ball to deep center. Yeah a very good CF completes the catch but it was far from a routine play.

    He makes a great catch at the wall later in the game.

    Do we start selling if we fall flat out of it sometime in the next 2 to 3 weeks or does the weakness of the division make us hold our cards?

  6. Damn June.

    And Fr4c000r still sucks.

    At least the Tar Heels live to play another day in Omaha. They reminded me yesterday of the Braves. 23 hits, 20 of them singles. Where’s the power?

  7. Frank Wren is Tattaglia, Schuerholz is Barzini. The Braves front office is the same as it ever was.

  8. It will be interesting to see what happens towards the end of the season with Hudson coming back.
    We will have a pitcher to trade, lets see what Wren can make happen.

    Orlando Hudson would have been real nice at the top of our lineup as opposed to KJ sucking up 2B for us.

    I think I hate KJ more now than Frenchy.

  9. Trade them all. This team is disgusting to watch. I’d rather watch a bunch of up and comers. At least there would be no expectations.

  10. Its too early for a firesale…but we should be focused on 2010 and beyond. Given our upcoming AL games, I think that the next few weeks may even be make or break and should we drop much further behind, then it will be time to make some strategic decisions….

    More than anything else, the front office has to understand that it this is not about picking up a player or fixing a position, but allowing a new team to take its lumps and develop….

  11. Question: If we’re looking to next year, don’t we need to sign either Soriano or Gonzalez? Who’s our closer / premier bullpen arm if we let one of those guys go? I had hoped Kimbrel might pick up where he left off last year and be a candidate for that job in 2010, but that doesn’t look realistic to me anymore. Anyway, I guess my point is that I don’t really want to trade both of those guys; I’d like to sign one to an extension.

    If it were up to me, I’d deal Soriano and keep Gonzo. Soriano’s been more dominant, but he’d fetch more and is less reliable, injury-wise, IMO. Gonzo’s shaky at times, but assuming we wouldn’t have to pay more than, say, $10 million over two years, I’d be in favor of locking him up.

    Thoughts?

    PS: I had both Jurrjens and Harang going for my fantasy team last night. Talk about annoying.

  12. It feels to me like the Braves suck against sucky teams but seem to somehow win against the better teams. They will probably sweep the Sox and Yanks just to get our hopes up and then continue to lose against the bad teams until we are back down in 4th or 5th.

  13. Stu, the Braves wouldn’t even sign Ohman when he was available for peanuts this offseason. I think there is an organizational policy against signing free agent relievers or something. The chance of them outbidding the Yanks, Sawx, Mets, Phils, and the other usual bottomless wallet teams for Gonzo or Soriano in free agency is nil anyway. I guess that leaves Acosta as the default closer next year? Gulp.

    It’s a month to soon to give up on this season. The Braves could upgrade their offense just by better utilizing the players they already have (Francoeur, Medlen, and Johnson to Gwinnett, Prado or Conrad to 2B, Diaz to LF, Brandon Jones to RF, Canizares to platoon at 1B). There are still plenty of ways for them to trade for another big bat too. They are closer to contention than they were in ’91, ’93, and several other years where they had great second halves. The rotation is not quite what it was back then but it’s still very good and with a little better run support the wild card is easily within reach.

  14. I don’t think this front office will be a big seller even if the team is out of contention. I’m sure they still think the team is close. I can’t see Wren just breaking up the team; that might be delusional but I believe that’s the way the team thinks. And, frankly, I’m not sure it makes much sense to sell so much. Everyone always fantasizes about what they will get at the trade deadline but,unless you get a team do a “Teixera”, I think the returns are usually a disappointment.

  15. Ron,
    Big difference between a LOOGY and a closer. The Braves already signed Soriano to an extension (buying out a year of his free agency) once.

  16. Re@7
    Okay, JC, I buy your premise.
    But how is it that Jeffy “the Groundhog” doesn’t sleep with the fishes?

  17. I don’t think that the breakup of the team is imminent. I do see the FO dangling pitching to fill the biggest hole the team has which is a power bat. Preferably right handed.

    I would think that for the right offer even Jurrjens or Hanson could be had.

    I have to think that Wren did his best with the resources he had to get a bat in the off season. But as we have seen some big bets simply didn’t pay off. KJ’s about as consistent as the stock market, the Groundhog is a vacuum, Schafer wasn’t ready and Garret Anderson doesn’t give a damn. So here we are on the precipice looking down.

  18. The Stros were 15 games under .500 on May 27th…and then went on to make their push back in 2005.

    They were 16-9 in June and 22-7 in July in 2005.

    Just sayin.

  19. No need to panic firesale anything just yet. There is plenty of precedent for a team with pitching to catch fire and make a run, (esp. if you can get a McGriff type bat). If we hit late July though in 4th, 10+ GB, looking listless since the All-Star Break, then we can see who would part with what for pitching.

    I could see Vasquez, Soriano, and Gonzo being of interest to contenders. I’d even broach the subject with Chipper (PRIVATELY!) of being traded to a contender if he wanted to do so, but make it clear he would control where he went. I would listen to offers for anyone but the Mc’s (-Cann and -Louth), Jurrjens, and Hanson.

  20. per MLBTR, we offered Frenchy/Morton for hermida before the McLouth deal got completed, but it was declined.

  21. Actually, Hermida has been almost as much of a disappointment for the Marlins as Francoeur and I think their contracts are similar, but Hermida isn’t allergic ot walks, so maybe he has a chance of being better.

  22. Hermida gets injured more, but I was thinking the same thing about the offer. Do the Braves really think they can get something of value for Frenchy? The Braves would gain by just accepting a PTBNL for him and getting rid of his contract.

  23. oh great, Micah Owings tonight

    career #’s – 4.90ERA 1.37WHIP .257BAA

    vs Atl though:

    20IP 15H 6ER 5BB 16K 2.70ERA 1.00WHIP .205BAA

  24. In addition to taking walks, Hermida also has not strangely lost his power, and on the basis of 2 full years and this year, looks to be a 16-20 HR guy a year. Frenchie’s graph on power has plunged downward, and he looks to be a 10-12 HR guy a year now.

    Look at Frenchie’s ISO since he started MLB: .249; .189; .151; .120; .093 (this year). He has gone from a slugger to a weak hitting SS, as his age has progressed toward what his peak years should be. That is just frigging wierd.

  25. I don’t see any more deals being made. I think this is the team we have. To acquire good players we have to either be willing to add payroll (not likely) or part with real talent like Heyward or Hanson (organization suicide). There’s no way to do another McGriff deal and nobody wants Frenchy or KJ.

    I think I’m on board with selling. Vasquez, Gonzo, Soriano, and even Escobar should bring real talent. Preferably in the OF and middle infield. If the MI are just high level prospects, pick up some all-defense guys to get us through the rest of the year.

    I’m even on board with exploring trade options for Chipper. He won’t be an asset to the next good Braves team.

  26. The 2005 Astros also had Clemens, Oswalt, Pettitte, Lidge, Berkman, Biggio still being productive, and Ensberg and Lane with career years.

    I can understand waiting a month, but I still think we’re better off selling than buying at this point.

  27. This has to be the Braves strategy. Find a team even dumber than themselves to take the Groundhog.

    The Marlins aren’t that dumb apparently.
    #28 – Hermida is putting up Ruthian numbers this year compared to Francouer.

  28. If nobody wants Groundhog, I say release him. His ongoing saga has *got* to be a distraction for the team. I also say trade/release Anderson. I think his attitude is not good for Escobar.

    Of course I think we should trade Escobar too. I think the Red Sox could be willing to “Go Teixeira” in trading for him.

  29. @37 Jason I think there in lies the rub. The Braves don’t want to eat the 3.45 million. We all know its sunk costs. They still live in a fantasy world where Groundhogs are worth more than a used rosen bag.

    BTW the highlight of last night’s game for me was the girl grounds crew member that got swallowed up by the tarp when she fell deploying it.

  30. Why would the Red Sox do that? Lowrie’s out for the year, but he’s young and I think everyone still considers him a good bet to be a good player.

    If nobody wants Francoeur, I’d just send him to AAA for the rest of the year and non-tender him before next season.

  31. #37…..i doubt it………….they have a guy with a functioning brain playing his ass off for them……. nearly for free. the sox dont need any of the braves problem children.

  32. @39,

    Whoa, now. Yunel is way better than Jed Lowrie and he’s only a year older. And, of course, Yunel is not out for the year.

    The Red Sox would jump all over that, but it certainly wouldn’t help us. Besides, they’d be dealing pitching surplus which we don’t really need.

  33. Cary,
    I don’t know about that. I remember, for example, Rob Neyer claiming before the season starting that Lowrie would be one of the five best shortstops in the AL. I read similar analysis in multiple places. I agree that Yunel is better, but not to such an extent that a team like the Red Sox would be willing to give up what they’d need to give up to make it worth the Braves’ while.

  34. It should be noted that the same MLTR report that said we tried Morton/Frenchy for Hermida also claimed we were still looking to add a bat. So there’s that. Maybe we drafted Minor to free up some cash? No one really knows, but at least someone is reporting we still want to add a bat.

  35. Stu,

    You are probably right that the Red Sox wouldn’t want to do much more than offer Manny Delcarmen-plus, as they seem to like to do, but I do think that there is a performance record gap strongly in favor of Escobar despite some raised expectations for Lowrie prior to the season.

    It wasn’t long ago (last year) that there were serious questions as to whether Lowrie could even handle SS at the MLB level. For all his frustrating incidents in 2009, Escobar was great last year defensively and has the ability to carry that forward once he gets past whatever is currently rattling around his noggin. Plus, Yunel does a lot of good things with the bat, whereas Jed could do those things if he lives up to recently heightened expectations.

    But we definitely agree that a Teixeira haul isn’t happening.

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