Braves 7, Reds 0

Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds – Box Score – June 18, 2009 – ESPN

So that’s Tommy Hanson, huh? Hanson was, as some like to put it, “effectively wild”. He walked four in six innings of work, but allowed just three hits, all singles. He struck out just two, but they were in his one real jam, with the bases loaded and one out in the second. He also drove in a run with his first major league hit, and scored after blowing a sac bunt.

The Braves took an early lead, 1-0, in the second, when Kotchman showed them how it’s done and hit a sac fly to score Prado from third. It says a lot that executing this seemingly simple play is a big step up. Diaz hit a solo homer in the fourth, and McLouth hit a two-run homer, scoring Hanson, in the fifth. They put it away in the sixth with Hanson’s RBI single and a two-run single from McLouth.

Bobby used his main bullpen arms — which hadn’t worked a lot lately — to preserve the win. Moylan allowed a single in the seventh and Gonzalez one in the eighth. Soriano struck out the side to end the game.

92 thoughts on “Braves 7, Reds 0”

  1. Trade Soriano while his ERA is still low, his K’s are still high, and most importantly, he’s still healthy. Because you know at least one of those will change, probably all 3, the first two as a result of the third. Congradulations, Braves. You avoided being swept by the Reds.

  2. What’s the Braves record when they hit a home run?

    Re Javy Vazquez complaining about run support. It’s his own fault; he doesn’t cause the team to score runs when he pitches. To be a really good pitcher, you have to cause your team to score runs when you pitch. Some pitchers are bad at that. That’s what Steve Phillips says and he’s my baseball guru. He and Furman Bisher.

  3. “Chipper, Francoeur didn’t want to face Smoltz in Atlanta”

    I can’t say I blame them. How many sliders would Frenchy swing and miss on before he made contact?

  4. With this team being as frustrating as it is, it’s hard to remember we’re about 5 games back with about 100 to go.

    That said, nice to see McLouth paying dividends. We could wait all year and Schafer would never have been 75% of a win like that.

    Also, keeping in mind that Maloney’s a lefty, do you think Diaz’s performance makes Bobby think A.) Diaz needs more at-bats, or B.) I was right, Diaz should only play against lefties.

  5. C) Diaz can help us every 5th game is Bobby’s thought, prolly the same with Prado now too

    Our pitching is far and away better than the Mets/Marlins/and the Phils, too bad we have a AA offense

  6. I agree that our starting pitching is the best in the NL East, but not our relief pitching. And even the starting pitching is not as good as in the 90s, where we could get away with a AA offense because of Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine. And still, we’re very close to being competitive IMHO. What a difference a healthy Infante and a capable RF would make to this team!

  7. When Atlanta was 30-30, I saw a stat that the Braves were 27-6 when they score 4 or more runs. Guess we’re now 28-7—and 3-27 when we don’t.

    ’54 WS hero Dusty Rhodes died.

    How’s this for a 4-game World Series?

    Rhodes was 3 for 3 pinch-hitting—all were game-winning or game-tying hits. Overall, he was 4 for 6 with 2 HRs & 7 RBI. He took the clinching game off & let the Giants wrap things up without him.

    In 2 of the games, he pinch hit for Monte Irvin in the early/middle innings. That sneaky Leo Durocher…

  8. so…tomorrow night, the obvious thing would be to start diaz in left, prado at 2nd, and dh ross, but will that happen? you bet your sweet ass it wont.

  9. RE: 5 games out with 100 to go.

    The problem with that is that most people here (myself included) think this is an illusion.

    How can we truly be contenders with an offense like this? An outfield like this?

  10. #11 Dusty Rhodes
    My favorite Dusty Rhodes line was the next year when he was playing left field regularly, He told, Leo, “Skip, get me out of there (everyday line-up) I’m going to get hurt out there.”

  11. I’m kind of weird (shocking, huh?). I usually don’t look at box scores and standings for the most part; I typically just watch all the games my cable package will allow me to see and read what Braves Journal has to say. But when I read the standings (like today), and I see that we’re 5 games back, I realize that some on here think that we’re the Washington Nationals.

    Yes, it is frustrating that we’re not a .700 winning percentage team. Yes, it is frustrating that we’re not in first place. Yes, our offense absolutely sucks. But it was assumed by at least some of us before this season that we probably weren’t going to be contending for a division title. To be back only 5 at this point in the season is about where we ought to be, based on the way things looked in the offseason.

    I know in the middle of the season it’s disappointing to not be able to cheer for our team’s playoff berth, but this is not a “meaningless win.” As far as I’m concerned, we’re a move or two (moves that could very well happen), from being very competitive, and this team isn’t as bad as some on here would have us believe. It’s a sad state for even the most pessimistic that you can’t rejoice when your team wins. If you can’t, then why be a fan at all?

    The Braves probably aren’t going to win the division and they’re may not be in the playoffs this year, but this team is close and there’s hope to be had, and some of us need to quit trying to make everyone believe we’re the Washington Nationals, when we all know good and well this team isn’t that bad.

  12. Rob………hmmmmmmm………maybe the glass really IS half full….despite the fact that they run the worst outfielder in MLB out there every day, and have a complete bust at 2nd base, a brain dead shortstop and a leftfielder that wishes he was back in Orange County trolling for rich widows…….RIP Dusty. you were one of the first baseball cards i ever owned.

  13. When my team is playing lousy, I rarely look at the standings.

    IMO, if we added 2 guys who could hit home runs (one of them being a RF), if KJ began to play well, and if we didn’t have any significant injuries, we could finish with a winning record.

    That’s a lotta ifs…

  14. NL Relievers ERA Leaders (Minimum 30 innings pitched):
    1. Francisco Rodriguez 0.56
    2. Jonathan Broxton 1.36
    3. Rafael Soriano 1.47
    4. Kiko Calero 2.01
    5. Edward Mujica 2.16

    NL Relievers K/9 Leaders (Minimum 30 innings pitched):
    1. Jonathan Broxton 14.45
    2. Rafael Soriano 11.74
    3. Mike Gonzalez 11.40
    4. Kiko Calero 11.20
    5. Ryan Madson 9.96

    NL Relievers WHIP Leaders (Minimum 30 innings pitched):
    1. Jonathan Broxton 0.70
    2. Rafael Soriano 0.98
    3. Francisco Rodriguez 0.99
    4. Edward Mujica 1.05
    5. Angel Guzman 1.07

    Soriano’s numbers are sexy. Even though we should just punt and trade him.

  15. Soriano is arguably our best trade chip right now. Is it possible to ask Gonzo and Soriano if they’d be willing to sign on to another 2-3 years and trade the one who says no before the deadline?

  16. Why not just trade them both and re-sign them after the season? Just re-sign the one whose club didn’t offer arbitration to (granted they’re both type A’s, which isn’t a given, or all things equal sign Soriano). Also, giving a 2-3 year contract mid-season to a super injury-prone pitcher coming off surgery (and I’m talking about both of them) is very risky.

  17. I think we’re gonna stay pretty healthy, and KJ HAS to play better. He doesn’t really have anywhere to go but up. And we’ve already traded for one guy who can hit HRs (as we saw today), and it’s not that hard to find a corner outfielder with power. Wren’s just gotta get it done.

    The team’s flawed, no doubt. I’m just pretty optimistic about 2010 and we’re not going to embarrass ourselves this year, which is nice.

  18. This doesn’t really have anything to do with the current discussion, but I was noticing something the other day. The Braves have developed 4 out of the 5 infielders (including McCann), and at least at the beginning of the season, we had developed 2 out of the 3 OFs (which, actually, isn’t saying anything.) As good as our pitching has been, we haven’t really developed any of the important guys (except for Moylan). We had to go out and get Lowe, Jurrjens (more or less), Vazquez, Kawakami, Soriano, and Gonzalez. I suppose it’s unreasonable to be able to grow all of your talent and not rely on the trade and FA markets, but we’ve got to do a better job of developing our own pitchers.

    Of course, we’ve traded away Adam Wainright, Matt Harison, and Neftali Perez. If we still had those guys, it’d be a different story. We’ve been totally burned with the pitching prospects we’ve traded away, but we’ve done reasonably well with the hitters we’ve traded away, with Andy Marte being the best example.

    I’m going off my recollection for the most part, and I’m currently trying to find a list of our transactions over the last decade or so to see if my claims are supported by facts.

  19. Rob: Charles Thomas, Juan Cruz and Dan Meyer for Tim Hudson is a trade for which we rarely give JS the kind of credit he deserves.

  20. And the Renteria for Jurrjens/Hernandez and Ascancio for Ohman/Infante are two trades that Wren doesn’t get the kind of credit he deserves either.

    I think we’re great this year if we didn’t trade the guys that we did for Teixeira. They were probably going to get traded anyway, but it would have been someone with better value. I loved the trade at the time, but, man, it’s killing us now.

  21. We’re 31-34. IMO, we don’t need to give up any more prospects this year for a rental. We need some position prospects, the only major ones in our system now are in A ball.

  22. I hated the trade at the time. I thought Salty alone was more than I’d be willing to give. We didn’t need a hitter, we were running a horse-shit rotation out there every day, the offense was fine. If the Braves sold the farm for Roy Oswalt tomorrow it would virtually be the equivalent of what we did for Teixeira. Offense was fine, pitching was terrible, we upgraded offense. Not like there were any SP available on the trade market. But some times you just have to pick your spots.

  23. braves14, that’s why I have been saying trading Javy makes the most sense. Getting rid of Frenchy, KJ, and Ganderson’s contracts would be great as well.

    The fact that both Sori and Gonzo may potential be a type A FAs make me reluctant to trade them, but trading Sori does make sense considering his health. I am hoping we can get some very good position prospects for this trading deadline.

    I still think a trade of Frenchy and Delmon Young makes a lot of sense for both team.

  24. @30

    Baggage for baggage. That makes sense, and it might be the best we can do — a straight swap of change-of-scenery guys.

  25. You guys still want Adam Dunn?! Ok, if the nats will take JoJo, Frenchy, KJ, and Ganderson, then I am all for that deal.

  26. I’m with Rob to be honest. If KJ continues to suck, there are alternatives in Prado and (eventually) Infante. The rotation is great, the bullpen is pretty good. Issues remain in the OF, where we’ve only got 1 and a half when what we need is 3. It’s going to come down to whether Schafer and/or Brandon Jones prove capable of doing anything at the major league level and whether Bobby Cox/Frank Wren is willing to dump Frenchy and Glide.

    This team does have strengths, and it is possible that they contend. But given the current state of the lineup, I’ll be impressed if we come out of the next two weeks only 5 back.

  27. not with a bang, but a whimper. I guess that is the way of all flesh, but you would have wanted something else.

  28. I like the Frenchy for Delmon Young trade and it would be good to find the equilvalent for KJ.

    However, the main goal needs to be 2010 or maybe 2011 and so improving the team gradually and letting prospects develop should be the priorities.

    I am afraid that the front office will believe that we are ‘a player or two away’ and start pissing away prospects….

  29. What is it about players like Diaz and DeRosa that organizations continually undervalue?

    Our manager and FO act like school girls or casual fans – even ones as allegedly “old school” as Cox and Schuerholz. “Oooh, Jeffies’ cute!” “Garrett’s a hit machine!”

    Play your baseball players, dammit!

  30. Stephen, I believe if Wren’s focus is purely on 2010 – 2011, he would not have traded for Javy. I think we will see a bat, my concern is only if Wren would trade Medlen to get it.

  31. I was finally able to watch a game again (thank you, midday starts) and was impressed with Hanson. Sure, he was kind of wild but he was just very careful to keep the ball in the park. Look at the two ridiculous homers by the Braves, mere warning track flyouts in most ballpars. Great start. The strikeouts will come.

  32. DeRosa got his chance as a starter here and he spit the bit. 29 years old and he goes .239/.293/.320 with bad defense. He was the picture of a guy on his way out of the game. What he’s done since then was completely unforeseeable.

  33. The win got the Reds fans off my back at work. The Reds radio announcers marvelled at Soriano yesterday. Called him trade bait.
    They also think the Mets will be better after the All-Star break, despite the last two years.
    So maybe we shouldn’t go by them.

  34. @30 & 42

    Are you really supporting a trade of Groundhog for one of the half-dozen players in baseball who may actually be worse? Delmon Young and his career 288/322/400 line is NOT the answer in RF!

  35. @48
    i dont think that’s the point. both delmon and jeff have a lot of untapped potential, but both have run their course in thir current organiazation. both could use a change of scenery. as for delmon, he was really good in the minors while jeff was just average.

    plus, from wren’s perspective, jeff will play everyday if still on the team, while bobby has no ties to run delmon out everyday. if he stinks, bobby might actually try something different.

  36. If we are going to call Jeffy the Groundhog, I fully support calling Anderson the Sloth. This really makes too much sense for him. If we can come up with names for Diaz and McLouth (they will need to be a little more flattering) we can have an all animal outfield. Let’s hope it’s not for long!

  37. @44 kc,

    I think the Vazquez trade was made with 2011 in mind. His contract will come off the books then, as will Hudsons (assuming we pick up Hudson’s 2010 option).

  38. @31

    The Tigers are benching Magglio because if he gets about 200 more PAs this year, his 2010 option will kick in for 18 million bucks. So yes, he’s better than Frenchy but not 18 million dollars better.

  39. Catie’s tired of the Groundhog calling home crying about the trade rumors and the mean fans.

  40. We apparently secured a commitment from defensive lineman Kyle Woestmann yesterday. In the past decade, I believe he’s only the second Georgia HS player—he goes to Walton—with a UGA offer to choose Vanderbilt. He was one of our coaches’ top targets this year, so today is a good day.

  41. @49, to add to that, Delmon Young was the #1 prospect in baseball (and #1 overall draft pick in 2003) and killed AA Southern League pitching at Montgomery.

    @48, While it’s true that his current MLB stats are as atrocious as Frency’s, it would be worthwhile to shake up RF and gamble on a player with more upside than Frenchy ever had anyway. Besides, getting Delmon back down South might make him more comfortable–just sayin’

    As an added benefit, Delmon may drive Bobby into retirement. That alone would be worth the exchange before even considering that you would probably never have to watch a Jeff Francoeur at-bat ever again. Ever.

    I’ve been arguing for this change-of-scenery trade for over a year, so I fully support it, to whatever end.

  42. Delmon Young is also one of the worst outfielders in baseball. And he is only marginally more selective at the plate than Francoeur. And Francoeur is on his Pecota’s comp list. This is what we want for Francoeur? Another Francoeur? Why not just get rid of the real one and add by subtracting?

  43. i’ve come to a conclusion about yunel escobar: he’s “street baseball smart”. all the flashiness, the fake tags, the showing up of the umps, the bat flip, are all like a little kid playing in a sandlot somewhere, which is probably not too far off from his first 17 years of life.

    he has yet learned to play professional baseball. when he does, he will become a whole lot more boring, but a whole lot better, not to mention more likeable.

  44. But, regardless of how annoying Yunel is and the undoubted bonehead plays he makes, he is clearly one of the best players on the team. If you take him out, what do you have left on this team?

  45. big shout out to the Blue Jays for sweeping the Phils

    and how bout the Natties taking 2 of 3 from the Yanks?

  46. @56 Delmon Young is definitely not what we “want”, but he is probably the best we can get in return for Frenchy.

  47. @49

    Delmon and the Groundhog do indeed each have potential; the potential to become very solid fourth outfielders on a team with three legitimate starters. Expecting much more out of either is a mistake. Young hit for power and drew a lot of walks in his first full season of A ball and it’s been downhill ever since. And as someone else pointed out, he can’t even play the field as well as Jeffy.

    I would much rather see the Braves buy/trade low on somebody like Hermida if there’s any truth to him being offered up by Florida.

  48. Plenty of good memories at the Georgia Theater—lotsa bands, lotsa movies, lotsa pitchers of beer.

    Crucial Chipper quote:
    “Yeah, anything can be fixed if players want to fix it. That’s what we all still hold out hope for, that baseball becomes the No. 1 priority for these guys and they care about going out and executing day in and day out, doing the little things it takes to win a big-league ballgame.”

  49. I think it’s pretty obvious the players are not being held accountable by BC. He is used to running a country club and having strong veterens who police the team, and that’s just not happening. This nonsense with Escobar went on too long unchecked, Francoeur still acts like he’s “entitled” despite making the most outs of any player in baseball, and lets face it, the team plays an unimpressive brand of baseball. They play sloppy defense, can’t run the bases, don’t situational hit, get in bad counts, walk leadoff hitters, lose focus, etc. Sure there are talent deficiencies in some spots, but don’t let talent and execution get confused. Some of these guys should be playing better than they are.

  50. “baseball becomes the No. 1 priority for these guys”

    I wonder who he’s talking about there?

  51. @50- If we’re going to call Anderson the Sloth, we should just call him Sid, like in the Ice Age movies.

  52. I’m so damn pissed off that so many of these Yankees and Red Sox broadcasts are on PeachtreeTV.

  53. I would be in favor of a guy like Delmon Young. I would like to do a study of these “change of scenery” deals, and see if these players actually benefited from their new “scenery.” Young does indeed have potential, and he’s a very similar player to Francoeur, actually. He has no plate discipline, some power, moderately high BA potential, mediocre defensive ability, but an incredible arm.

    I think it was my sophomore year of college, I went to a ton of (Devil) Rays games, and sat out in the right field bleachers a lot. Delmon made the best throw I had ever seen in person. I was also fortunate to be directly in line of this throw to the third. Probably the coolest thing I’d ever seen an athlete do. It was freaking awesome.

    But Francoeur and Young are both head-cases, and could prosper in the right environment. The problem is contract differences, and I’m not quite sure Minnesota would want Frenchy’s contract.

  54. As for Chipper’s quote, I actually wonder who he’s referring to with the priority call-out. We really have no idea; it could be anyone. It could be Francoeur, but it could also be KJ, Escobar, or even Schafer. It could Peter Moylan, for all we know.

  55. The Twins are good at a lot of things, but developing offensive players isn’t one of them. Other than Mauer and Morneau, who were awfully damned close to finished products, and Torii Hunter, who’s a phenomenal athlete, they have sucked at bringing along hitters with flaws in their game. (See: Ortiz, David.) Young’s clearly a change of scenery guy at this point. I have no problem at all seeing him in a 4th outfielder mix with ACHE. His upside’s still massive, he’s still young, and he badly needs out of Minnesota.

    I can’t see why the Twins would let him go for a zero like Frenchy, but even if we could get him for a random assorted minor league bullpen arm, I’d say it’d be worth rolling the dice. The way things are going right now, we’re not going anywhere this year.

  56. I think Young would need playing time to develop, and we would have to evaluate the type of team we are going forward. If we reasonably conclude we’re not going anywhere this year, it would make sense to stick Young in right full-time. I think we forget one thing: a guy like Young is average, and average production in RF would tremendously help our team. So even by taking on a project who may not exceed expectations, he would actually help our team. I would like to do a Francoeur (and maybe some of his salary)/minor league arm for Young. Stick Young in right, and actually try to make a trade for a good hitting left fielder. You do that, and you’ve got a team that could contend, and depending on what type of player we get in left, we won’t be hurting ourselves long-term. I truly believe that.

  57. I think, like I mentioned before, that Francoeur + cash/Parr? for Young may get it done.

  58. Young makes $1.1 mil and Frenchy makes $3.5 mil, why would the twins add two mil in salary to acquire another problem? they are essentially the same player, which makes me wonder why anyone here would want Young. He’s got an OPS of .564 right now and striking out every 3rd AB

  59. smitty, i bumped in to your barber. he’s styling hair at a runway show at the new orleans convention center. anyway, he heard the following trade rumor:

    kawakami and francoeur

  60. Other than Mauer and Morneau, who were awfully damned close to finished products, and Torii Hunter, who’s a phenomenal athlete, they have sucked at bringing along hitters with flaws in their game.

    So excluding anyone good, they don’t really develop anyone good. Got it. How many MVP caliber hitters do you need to develop to get over the threshold?

    I’ve also never seen it written that a high school catcher is a finished product. Learning lots of new stuff today.

  61. smitty, i bumped in to your barber. he’s styling hair at a runway show at the new orleans convention center. anyway, he heard the following trade rumor:

    kawakami and francoeur
    magglio ordonez

    the tigers are willing to eat 3 million of magg’s salary, but the trade cant happen until july so his 2010 contract of 18 million wont be guaranteed.

  62. how reliable is your barber?

    does he drink and smoke?

    if not, then I wouldnt trust him

  63. Per the nickname, Groundhog has probably bought himself a little while with his last 10 games. If I count right he’s gone 10 for 34 with one double, no HR, and 4 walks… and if I can calculate right (which is certainly a valid question) that’s:

    .294 avg
    .368 obp
    .323 slg

    Not impressive by any means, but probably just impressive enough to keep his job for a few more weeks. If he has a good game against Dice K tonight (who has been stinking up the joint in Boston lately and who he hit well in ’07) he’ll probably buy even more time.

    Well… I suspect he’s buying more playing time with Bobby, not sure he’s buying more organizational time and that Wren won’t be working frantically to deal him.

  64. @81, which is why we should have made that trade before giving Frenchy his ridiculous arbitration raise this offseason!

    Not sure if the Twins would be interested in Francoeur now anyway–though they are about as fed up with Young as we are with our RF. It’s another reason why the voices who said “we can’t trade Frenchy because his value is low” were mistaken in not seeing that it would only go lower.

    Since we have to pay Frenchy his money anyway, we should be happy to pick up some of the difference if we could get him out of Atlanta. Any single dollar saved there is a plus for us.

  65. They wouldn’t do Francoeur for Young, but they may do Francoeur and more for Young.

  66. I’m not buying Jeffy’s recent success of a few Texas leaguers and seeing eye bleeders are buying him any more time. I think his ship has sailed in Atlanta, but they won’t move him until the right deal comes along. I think the combination of a tight trade market for what they need, no real replacements within the system, the stigma associated with him being benched, and the fact the Braves aren’t going to win anyway are the reasons he’s still going out there every day. On, and they can also sell a few more #7 jerseys to 13 year old girls for awhile longer.

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