Red Sox 6, Braves 5

Atlanta Braves vs. Boston Red Sox – Box Score – June 21, 2009 – ESPN

You know who else sucks besides Francoeur? Jeff Bennett, that’s who. After the Braves twice rallied to tie it up, Bennett allowed a solo homer to Nick Green — Nick Green! — to lose the game on the first pitch in the bottom of the ninth. Stupid Bennett.

The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the first on a double by McCann, but that didn’t last long. Jurrjens dropped a little grounder (okay, the field was wet, but it was a terrible misplay) and proceeded to allow a sac fly and a two-run homer for three “unearned” runs. The Sox got another run in the fourth. The Braves came back, finally, in the seventh, when Blanco singled in ACHE (Blanco’s first hit of the year) and McLouth singled in Prado.

The tie didn’t last long either. I probably wouldn’t have let Jurrjens start the bottom of the inning — I figure he wasn’t that sharp and it would be a good idea to make sure he got a no-decision — and he gave up a leadoff double. Bobby brought in O’Flaherty, who allowed a single off that big wall to give the sox the lead, then the home plate umpire went crazy and ejected Bobby and Chipper and O’Flaherty. Moylan kept the game close, though. ACHE singled in KJ (who entered the game for Chipper and led off the eighth with a double) to tie it. But the Braves couldn’t get a hit with two on and two out in the eighth, or with the bases loaded and two out in the ninth, and then Bennett came in.

120 thoughts on “Red Sox 6, Braves 5”

  1. Let’s not let Diaz off the hook so easily. That swing he took in the 9th was so bad you may not see one like that an entire season when you follow a team like the Red Sox (out of your own players at least). It’s tough to have Jeff Francoeur on your team and not be the most undisciplined hitter, but Matt makes it possible. Hell, I like the guy, and when he’s going good he’s fun to watch, but I swear to god, there’s no hitter with a worse approach than him. And that is just too easily exploited by good pitchers.

  2. Just watched the replay of Ejectionpalooza 2009–I’ve never seen Chipper that angry.

  3. Good thing Gonzalez and Soriano pitched the previous 2 days in blow outs… for the Red Sox.

  4. @2

    I agree. I blame Francoeur.
    If Francoeur were gone, Diaz would maybe learn “hmm, maybe I should stop swinging at everything too! .. or I’ll be out of a job as well!”

  5. @8 I think we’ve at least reached the point that he, more than any other player, defines/captures the Braves identity.

  6. It never fails.

    I find out Zito is throwing a no-no, so I flip on MLB.tv—just in time to see Andruw Jones take him deep.

    And the Phillies, Mets & Braves just keep losing.

  7. Mac was wrong! He said the Braves would not lead again in the series after Friday. The Braves were like an irritant to the Red Sox; they beat their worst pitcher and kept the game close on Sunday. Maybe the Braves can be spoilers down the stretch. I’m glad attendence is down; people should not buy a bad product, whether it’s cars or baseball. Any team that keeps sending Jeff Francouer out every day deserves to lose and deserves to be abandoned by the fans. Enjoy the action as the Braves visit the Yankees and Red Sox in Atlanta.

  8. Who’s the worst?
    A. Fransewer
    B. Fat Bennett
    C. Kelly’s Johnson

    ACHE was pretty good this weekend.

  9. ACHE was pretty good this weekend.

    …at the plate. He was consistently brutal in the field. I’m convinced we had a play at the plate in the 7th if he’d been paying attention.

  10. We were never going to throw the guy out at the plate there. Holding Drew to a single off the wall was the right play.

  11. That call was absolutely incredible. How he calls that a ball, I have no freaking idea. If any of us were that bad at our jobs, we’d be fired. How this guy makes six figures to do that is beyond me. The entire 25 man roster, every coach, and the ghost of Skip Caray should have been tossed for that. And the umpire’s got that creepy porn star mustache. What is that?!

  12. I thought it was a strike. But at the same time, I thought the umpire did a very good job calling balls and strikes, and didn’t miss more than one or two knuckleballs. Also, you very rarely get borderline calls ahead 0-2 or 1-2, as umpires are reluctant to give a called third strike in that situation. (The mirror is that they don’t like to call 3-0 balls; Jurrjens got a big break earlier in the game when a very borderline pitch was called a strike 3-0, and he got the batter to fly out on the 3-1 pitch.)

    I’m not surprised at all at KJ’s defensive numbers, as his defensive stats are always good. He gets a bad rap because he’s mechanical and occasionally makes some egregious errors, but he’s a pretty good infielder and has probably been the team’s most valuable defensive player this year, albeit by default. (Infante was actually better at second base, though.)

  13. Oh, and while it’s certainly… unusual for a home plate umpire to eject a third baseman, keep in mind that Chipper had already bitched in the first inning about getting called out on an obvious strike, and was arguably on probation.

  14. Mac, I think the reason why KJ is the most valuable defensive player for the team this year is because others have been all too brutal.

    Gotta love our team.

  15. Well his UZR/150 was -10.7 last year. Hardly “good”. Actually the worst among qualified 2B. And he was -1 in +/- last year. He’s always been better than he gets credit for, I’ll give you that. But neither metric suggest he was above average last year. And both suggest he is this year.

  16. The homer by Nick Green was one of those stupid Fenway Park around-the-foul pole homers, and couldn’t have gone a whole lot more than 300 feet. Dusty Rhodes used to hit those all the time in the Polo Grounds.

    Bennett definitely sucks, because he left a fastball up in the zone to Nick Green, of all people, but in an actual baseball stadium — you know, built in a century when the average American male was over 5 foot 4 — that isn’t a homer.

  17. I’m not a huge fan of UZR/150; UZR is a questionable enough stat (in the sense that it doesn’t always agree with the other advanced defensive stats) that I’m not sure prorating a smaller sample size really gives you a whole lot more valuable information. Kelly played 147 games last year, though, so his UZR/150 is pretty much exactly the same as his UZR.

    Example of why UZR can be a little wacky: his combined UZR from 2007-2008 was -17.6. His combined Plus/Minus from 2007-2008 was -1.

    However you cut it, though, I agree: he’s not an above average fielder.

  18. I dunno. I take some heart in the good stuff we did like coming back, Jurrjens pitching, ACHE’s hitting, clutch double by KJ. Against a very good team. C’mon Mac, Green’s homer was a fluke. The ball was a fastball outside corner up. Green managed to slice it and the wind carried over and around the pole. Luck.

    I agree that Diaz looked like a retard on that swing. Almost Groundhog like in its futility.

  19. If we can somehow take 2/3 from the Yanks this week, I’ll get a season’s worth of pleasure.

    Interesting mound match-up Tuesday: winless Wang vs undefeated Hanson.

    BTW, A-Rod is hitting .213. Some folks believe he came back too early & he’s still hurting.

  20. This was a tough defeat to take. Almost all the damage self-imposed. Red Sox played steady ball and did what good teams do, which was to punish us when we fouled up. I think that big changes are coming to this club, but they can’t be all at once as so many of us would like. There are just too many people on this club who are not big-league players. Why be shocked when they don’t come through?

    I do agree with #27 that it was good to see the team battle back and not just roll over. Although it kinda made the loss that much more frustrating.

  21. I tend to like plus/minus better too because I know and understand how it is calculated, never paid UZR enough mind to learn how it is calculated. My feeling is that neither system is perfect and in general the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, not unlike most things. And my stance on Kelly has always been he’s about average in the field but gets a bad rap for making grotesque errors at inopportune times. A certain game against Philadelphia always comes to mind.

  22. 18—The runner (a catcher) was barely 2/3 of the way to third when the ball hit the wall. It bounced directly to ACHE, who fielded it cleanly.

    I respectfully completely disagree with you.

  23. Stu, I saw the play, and unless you know you’re gonna nail the runner (which you don’t in that situation), you keep the hitter off second base. The left fielder did how big league left fielders are taught: unless you know you’re gonna nail the runner, keep the hitter off second base.

  24. PWHjort, I still haven’t seen KJ made any difficult plays. I called Marcus an above average second baseman, and I have yet to see KJ playing up to Marcus’s level on defense yet.

    …and I still haven’t found a metric which I believe can accurately reflect a player’s defensive ability…

  25. Ridiculous 3rd strike call. Wasn’t even remotely borderline. He should lose the fu manchu privileges for at least a year.

    18 & 32 – I don’t know if he would have gotten him, but, with it being the go ahead run, if there’s even a chance you can get him… how can you not pull the trigger? Keep in mind that you are also going to have to face the best bullpen in the majors as well.

    Anyway, just another case of a series where we win one of our 60, lose one of our 60, and also lose one of the remaining 42. Sigh…

  26. That play is part of the Red Sox’s home field advantage. They have left fielders who are familiar with the wall and throw unusually well, and so they can often hold the runner to a one-base advance, at least with less than two out. Most teams can’t do that, because they’re more traditionally constructed. Also, there is no evidence at all that the Braves could have kept him from scoring when the next batter grounded out.

  27. I hate June.

    I hate Frenchy’s unbelievable lack of discipline.

    I hate the fact that the Mets and Phillies also suck so bad that we haven’t been put out of our misery yet.

    I hate the fact that my cable company has appearently decided that we North Carolinians would rather see the Reds on Fox Sports South than the Braves.

    (The Reds? On Sports SOUTH???? Really? Since when did Ohio move to the South? And why wasn’t I informed?)

    What else so I hate? I’m sure I’ll think of some other irritant later on.

  28. well I hate Peachtree TV and Dish Network for not carrying the channel. Six games between the Yanks and Red Sox, I get to see one of them

  29. Albert Pujols has come to the plate with the bases loaded four times this season–he’s got three grand slams. Unreal.

  30. Went to Saturdays game at Kauffman. Pujols was a freak. Think he steps it up whenever he comes home. I still don’t like him and think that he’s really 33, but you’ve got to admit he’s the greatest player in the game.

  31. 37—The groundout would have been irrelevant. The runner was going; there would have been a play at the plate. And, for the record, Anderson’s played a lot of innings in Boston’s left field.

    33—ACHE could have at least looked to see where the lead runner was. Drew couldn’t have advanced, even with a little delay from ACHE. And, as Ethan says, when you’re dealing with the go-ahead run in the late innings, it’s certainly worth a look.

  32. Yeah, it’s not that Anderson necessarily had a play — it’s that he seems to have calculated exactly the minimum amount of effort to put into each moment that requires his participation, and puts forth that exact amount of effort. Our misfortune is to have acquired him at the point in his career in which he’s redefined said estimate downward to the point of catatonia.

  33. I fault ACHE more for bobbling a ball and allowing the batter (I forget who) stretch a single into a double.

  34. Garret Anderson has “accomplished” the unusual feat of having a .280 batting average while still managing an OPS below .700.

  35. @40

    Dump dish and switch to DirecTV, they carry all the Braves games that air on Peachtree on channel 651 for all customers in the South East (I live in Mississippi and get it). And since it’s an out of market channel they can’t show the commercials so they just keep the camera on the field and sometimes you get to hear Joe and Chip say weird things during the commercials.

    If you DO decide to do it then let me know so I can give you my account number and then they’ll send me 50 bucks.

  36. So we are getting Dempster instead of Zambrano because of the rainout. I guess we can say we are getting some benefit out of it…but not much…we will still be beaten by the score of 3-2 and Javy would be complaining again.

  37. Shanks is reporting that the Braves have signed 20 players from the draft:

    http://braves.scout.com/2/874062.html

    I hope the Braves don’t play Minor or Hale or Woolley more than slot money.

    It would be nice if the Braves could sign the above and one more quality arm: Icard, Upperman, and maybe Montgomery or Walden; and add an outfielder such as Rauh or Howard.

    Most likely, we will see Minor and Hale at the end of the summer….

  38. Albert Pujols is the best pure hitter in the game today. The man is intense, driven, dedicated, prickly and constantly trying to up his game.

    I think we may possibly be seeing the greatest player of our Era if not the best of all time. Seriously, Pujols is obliterating the record books. How many players do you know who are first ballot locks for Cooperstown after just eight and a half seasons in the big leagues?

    The Cardinals first baseman is on pace to surpass both Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds sometime in 2017 or 2018 for the all time HR record. Pujols will be 37 or 38.

    Think about it. Aaron and Bonds were both 42 when their respective careers ended. Pujols could put the HR record out of reach, he really could.

  39. Sorry: I didn’t catch the typo: I meant ‘pay’ not ‘play’ more than the slot money….

  40. Holy shit, KK and I have the same birthday (him being older!). I like him even more now!

  41. Thanks! But June has not been a good month for the Braves in the past few years, hard to get too happy about it…

  42. A line like this is amazingly strange.

    ATL AA Diamond, Scott 5IP 9H 8R 1ER 2 4 3.59 L (2-7)

  43. Happy Birthday KC and KK.

    On the ejection yesterday, the umpire was looking to toss Chipper. He might’ve been on probation, but it appears as if he said something to Chipper as Chip approached the pitchers mound (prior to all of the fireworks). I didn’t think the pitch was borderline at all. It was a strike. However, the Braves did benefit from a few crappy calls of his as well. The umpire had a terribly inconsistent strike zone.

    Jeff Bennett is horrible. How does he keep a roster spot?

    Braves have still not won a series since the Blue Jay sweep. As noted above, I wish the Phils were better; because we need to be put out of our misery. We need a reason to radically restructure our club.

    MLBTradeRumors.com continue to suggest the Royals are scouting Frenchy. No way, Jose.

  44. Joe doesnt want Frenchy to leave because he’s swinging a great bat while going 0-6 this past series

  45. The word from Peanut is that we would have to take Guillen and his 12 mil salary for the Royals to take the Groundhog. No way Frank. Don’t do it.

    I am still taking the positives ahead of the negatives from yesterday’s game. But it is frustrating that Diaz didn’t have a better at bat with the game on the line.

  46. I would start looking forward to the NFL season except that the Redskins suck too. I guess I’ll just have to look forward to the final season of “Lost.”

    I was watching the first game of the 1968 World Series on MLB Network the other day. In those days, NBC paired Curt Gowdy with the home team announcer on the broadcasts, which brought a little local color to the game. In this game, with the game being in St. Louis, Harry Carey was the other announcer. It was interesting because as he go older, Harry developed the reputation for being sort of an eccentric homer, but on the World Series broadcast, he was very professional and basically even-handed. I guess broadcasting talent can be handed down from father to son, but not to grandson. And, while I was never a big Curt Gowdy fan, he was a huge improvement over the nitwits that broadcast today, especially Chip. Of course, the graphics in 1968 were pretty weird by today’s standards and the game was in black and white.

  47. It felt good to be a Braves fan right up until that pitiful Pesky Pole homer did us in.
    Very happy that they fought back. Is it a coincidence that Jeffy wasn’t involved?
    You could see the ejections coming a mile off-the ump had a guilty conscience. TP saved Chipper from suspension by pulling him away.
    McLouth looked great and David Ross justified his paycheck. If they are the standard for what Wren can do for the club, I’ll be fine with whatever he does in July.

  48. THIS STADEUM SUX YOU SHULD SEE THE NEW YANKEE STADEUM JON KRUK SEZ ITS AWESUM THE SOUTH SUX LOL JIM LEYRUTZ WAS A HEROE WHATEVER HAPPUND TO THAT GUY ANYWAY UR TRAFFIC IS BAD I HATE UR CITY CAN I HAS JOB NOW?

  49. #63 – Peanut doesnt know that for sure, he’s speculating. Why would the braves do that anyways? Just drop Frenchy before you add $12 mil for Guillen. We cant go after Dunn or Abreu, but we can add $12 mil of negative value for Guillen. Hell, Id rather just keep Frenchy, but let him sit on the bench

  50. Any normal organization would send Jeffy to the minors and be done with it. Lots of hot shot prospects have been sent down when they struggle. It’s ridiculous to expect to trade him–who wants him? And if they really think he can eventually be a good player, why just get rid of him?

  51. How did this Guillen/Francoeur rumor even get started? The Royals may want Frenchy, and want to get rid of Guillen, but Dayton Moore isn’t stupid. Does he really think the Braves would take on that contract when they could just release Jeffy? Of course not. This is some reporter putting 2+2 together and getting 5. If Francoeur goes to KC—if they are really scouting him—it will be for a fringe prospect. Some reporter just made up that Guillen connection. You might as well throw in “purple money dishwasher” to the end of this rumor.

  52. I can’t get over how bad this division is. The Phillies and Mets pitching is terrible, minus Hamels and Santana. The Mets lineup looks only slightly better than the Braves right now due to injuries. I have no idea who will be on top at the end of the year. Maybe the Marlins?

  53. #66 looks like Peanut is parroting the blog by Rany Jazayerli.

    Just read my Sports Illustrated. They had an article on sellers. The Braves weren’t listed.

    The part about the Indians was interesting. They quoted one GM as saying that the asking price for DeRosa was very high. They are also not above dealing Cliff Lee and even Victor Martinez if they could get a haul like they got for Bartolo Colon.

  54. #64 You are absolutely right about Gowdy. When he was the man in the 60’s and 70’s (doing everything) I got very tired of him, always talking about Ted Williams, even if he was doing another sport. However, when I see him on some of the Classic Broadcasts, I’m just amazed how good he was! This is really an indictment on today’s ‘ESPN-style’ broadcasters. Curt was interested in giving you the game, not being the game. Truly missed. I loved it when NBC would give you the home town broadcaster, it resulted in my first chance to hear the great Ernie Harwell.

  55. Francoeur should be sent to the minors. But he’s delusional–he thinks he’s a superstar who’s just been catching bad breaks for the last, oh, I don’t know, 1250 PAs.

    The Braves lack of appropriate response to his suckitude frustrates me to no end.

  56. 52—Stephen, I really am surprised Minor hasn’t signed yet. Mikie was willing to sign for slot—what in the world is the hold-up?

    47—We must have been watching (and re-watching) two completely different plays.

  57. This is a .480-.490 ballclub. The sooner we accept that fact and start laying the foundation for 2011 and the Heyward-Freeman class the better.

  58. 73,
    Dead right. Any other club would have sent his ass to the minors ages ago. Even when we sent him down for all of 11 PA’s, it was about him, not the team. They said, “We’re going to send you down to help you find your swing”. It should’ve been: “We’re going to send you down because you suck and you
    can’t hit and your presence in the line-up is killing this team and until you prove you’re worthy of a roster spot you will play in the minors”. Our front office is entirely too loyal to players. How they can justify throwing him out there every day is completely beyond me. They must care more about selling pink T-Shirts than winning ballgames.

  59. Stu,

    I am with you 100% on the the Anderson thing. He should have at least thrown the ball to Escobar. That is twice in this serise he did something like that.

  60. “Our front office is entirely too loyal to players.”

    Actually, the team is quite intolerant of its players speaking out, which is what makes the Frenchy demotion behavior all the more bizarre. Roman Colon was shipped out after complaining (rightly)about being demoted after a long flight to the West Coast. Spooneybarger and Gryboski were dumped for not towing the party line. Even Smoltz had to apologize for calling Schuerholz a “homeboy”. I’d say “shape up or ship out” is the team’s motto.

  61. It was a bad play by ACHE in a game full of bad plays. Let’s not forget that we have a lead if someone just catches Ortiz’s popup. Or if JJ throws out the runner on that dribbler in the first. Or if the Braves make better use of their baserunners. I think this is the third loss out of the last four where we out-hit the opposition. You want to talk about tough losses, how bad is it when you are getting on base more and hitting for higher average than your opponent and still can’t score more runs?

    So yeah. Lot of screw-ups in this one. OTOH, we were just a few screw-ups from taking two of three from Boston at their park and got strong pitching performances in each game.

  62. Yet they’re completely tolerant of the Francoeur and the like sucking up the joint. Just goes to show their priorities aren’t necessarily winning games. Image, revenue, and attendance are much more important to them.

  63. Sure we ALMOST took a series from Boston…that would mean something if we have won a series in the last month or so.

    This team needs to be deconstructed.

  64. I just read the article on Francouer being benched on the official site. How about this gem:

    “I’ve been swinging the bat good lately. I had some of my best at-bats of the season [Saturday night].”

    Uh….what? I seem to remember you hitting into a rally-ending double play. Are you delusional or retarded? Unbelievable.

  65. Just to paraphrase The Hangover a little bit:

    “You gotta be super good to play professional baseball buddy.”
    “Oh really?”
    “It’s not easy.”
    “Okay well maybe we should tell that to Jeff Francoeur cause he practically bankrupted a baseball team and he was a retard.”

  66. I remember a piece that Bill James did in a Baseball Abstract about Amos Otis. How everyone thought that he was a lazy ballplayer because he didn’t crash into walls or dive after line drives. But yet he was a good ball player. Caveat, James was a big Amos Otis fan for his home town Royals but Otis was a good player. In any case he described Otis and Joe Morgan as ‘high percentage’ ball players. That is taking the carom off the wall, cutting off the line drive and throwing to the cut off man to prevent a runner from advancing. The point of this soliloquy is that Anderson took the high percentage play. The play a veteran makes. I don’t think with his arm he has a play at the plate. And more importantly he knew with his arm that he didn’t have a play at the plate. So I appreciated the play myself but everyone is entitled to their opinion.
    I’ve learned through thoughtful writers like James how to appreciate the game more and how to appreciate the players that don’t do the spectacular very often but do the work necessary to help their teams win.
    #78 I agree. The Braves don’t tolerate much dissent. Nor are they afraid of cutting bait on players that aren’t performing. Which makes the Groundhog situation beyond incomprehensible, moving into the bizarre.

  67. Question for the Braves Journal gang. I don’t get to watch much Braves on TV as they are as rare as a DoDo bird on Ohio TV. So can this team survive Prado’s defense at second? I’m a big KJ fan but its time. He is hurting the team.

  68. The point of this soliloquy is that Anderson took the high percentage play. The play a veteran makes. I don’t think with his arm he has a play at the plate. And more importantly he knew with his arm that he didn’t have a play at the plate.

    I realize I’m beating a long-dead horse at this point, so this is the last time I’ll comment on the subject. Promise.

    (a) Considering that it was the go-ahead run, I think it was appropriate to take a risk in that late-game situation.

    (b) The throw he made into second was actually very nice; had he made the same throw to Escobar, I think there would have been a close play at home.

  69. Did anyone notice that ACHE did a loop, awkwardly avoided, did not extend a high five or hand slap when being replaced by Matt Diaz as pinch runner? what a team guy.

    The move surely backfired because, sad to say, would rather have Anderson facing Papelbon with based loaded in 9th than Diaz. They pitched around Mac to load em up.

    Anderson clearly would rather be somewhere else – he doesnt seem to have that team concept with him. Sorta reminds me of kenny lofton when he was with Atlanta.

  70. Francoeur sits out series finale

    “With a 2-0 count against Beckett in the eighth inning, Francoeur had thoughts about drilling a game-tying three-run homer. But after getting out in front of a changeup and drilling it to the left side of the left-field pole, Atlanta’s right fielder grounded into an inning-ending double play.”

    I’m honestly in tears with laughter.

  71. (b) The throw he made into second was actually very nice; had he made the same throw to Escobar, I think there would have been a close play at home.

    Are you factoring in the “no one wants to throw the ball to Escobar because he might forget what to do next” theory?

  72. Alex (AAR) just read your two interviews with the BoSox bloggers. The one guy kept on mentioning Lugo. I have to wonder if this is the only way the Braves get rid of the Groundhog before the season ends. Take on an underperforming veteran’s contract or a bad contract all together (Guillen comes to mind). If thats the case then if the Braves are smart (maybe not but they are cheap) then Stu, sdp prepare to continue crying.

  73. Stu–Hale was supposed to sign for the slot price as well….I think that the commissioner’s office has gotten involved to regulate slot signings (though I thought that the whole point of the slot was to regulate it). During the last two seasons many teams have been unable to sign players until the deadline. Then a bunch of signings are announced at the deadline. Now, if I remember correctly that is pretty much what happened to Heyward, while the rumor was out that he and the Braves had actually agreed to terms long before. Again, if I remember correctly something like that happened with DeVall last season.

    I am guessing that the moment a team agrees to pay over the slot, the process slows down.

    Anyway, I know very little about this and I would be happy if someone could tell us more.

    I can’t see why either Minor or Hale would choose to be hold outs. They need to pitch….

  74. Diaz doesn’t seem to do much thinking, he just swings himself out of his shoes and runs until someone tells him to stop. I like the guy as much as anyone, but that at bat illustrates why he isn’t an everyday player.

  75. but that at bat illustrates why he isn’t an everyday player.

    This clause could be inserted seemlessly into virtually any sentence about a Braves OFer this (or last) season.

  76. “but that at bat illustrates why he isn’t an everyday player.”

    I totally agree. I know it’s the day after, but that was just an awful swing by Diaz. He was late, and the pitch was over his head.

  77. Guys… Diaz got struck out by Papelbon, and though I think his post game dancing is silly… he’s a pretty good pitcher and it’s his job (and he does it pretty well) to get better hitters than Matty D out on a regular basis. Was that last hack at a pitch at his eyes? yep. Did it look a bit silly? yep. But it was his first & only AB of the game and it was against one of the better closers in the game (at least he seems to be one of the better ones… I haven’t watched him all that much)… let’s not make too much of it.

    Diaz isn’t having a great June, but looking foolish at the plate is something that MOST ballplayers do once in a while.

  78. @85

    What I learned from James is not to trust a nice-sounding narrative. I remember Amos Otis — he didn’t play with anything like the disinterest I see in Garret Anderson. Anderson is the only player I can ever remember seeing whom I seriously doubt gives a crap about HIS OWN performance.

  79. Addendum: Matt may look silly more often than others, but I think that’s more just the way he looks than the way he performs. I think Youks looks ridiculous at the plate most of the time (stance and funky hand thing contribute to that), but he performs at a very high level. Matt looks a bit goofy doing what he does, but he’s generally a passable 3rd outfielder… problem being we don’t have a passable 4th outfielder manning RF.

  80. I don’t care who was pitching against Diaz, or whether or not he is a passable 3rd outfielder, that was just a terrible swing and I’ll just leave it at that.

    However, if Chipper hadn’t got ejected…nevermind.

  81. Yeah, you can defend Diaz’s at bat. He got down 0-2 and was in plate protection mode ie. swing at anything close. The problem was that pitch wasn’t close. But props to Papelbon he had pitches to waste and the high cheese looks awful enticing to a batter down in the count.

    I don’t think anyone can say that Diaz isn’t an everyday player based on 1 lousy PA. He may not be a starter but I sure would give him a try over the known sucky quantity that Bobby runs out to Right Field every dang game.

  82. Diaz had a chance to win the everyday job last year and completely failed. So I’m not on the Diaz playing everyday bandwagon. That shipped has sailed.

  83. Diaz has an odd stance and an odd swing.

    The science of hitting mechanics has always struck me as a bit on the ad hoc side, and when the statosphere (of which I’m a proud member, mind you) shoehorns in a player (Adam Dunn’s ginormous loop of a swing, for example) into What Is Good just because of various mental talents, it’s a wee bit silly. Whatever works works, and really breaking a player’s style into bits runs the risk of some step-on-butterfly outcomes.

    I mean, Babe Ruth bailed out of the box every time, but he turned out OK.

  84. Getting back to an original question…

    “You know who else sucks besides Francoeur?”

    Oh, I dunno, someone who blatantly takes the first pitch in every AB no matter what, so pitchers are just dumping in a 75 mph pitch right down the middle every freaking time?

    TAKE THE BAT OFF YOUR SHOULDER, GARRETT.

  85. I wonder if people are being too hard on Garrett? After all he had been in the American League his whole career. Not only did he switch leagues, but went from one coast to the other. So I think there has to be an adjustment period. I think he is coming around, and the power will show up. He’s a .296 career hitter…not shabby at all.

  86. Dude, he’s got a career (SLG-heavy) OPS+ of 104, and he’s 37. And he sucks in the field. That’s pretty dang shabby for a corner outfielder.

  87. Well like you said he’s 37. So it’s taking him a little longer to adjust. All I know is Garrett has 2413 career hits. Only 7 current players are ahead of him. They are: Griffey, Vizquel, Jeter, AROD, Manny, Sheffield and IROD. Not bad at all.

  88. Tony, you just defended Garret Anderson and attacked Matt Diaz, even though Diaz is 6 years younger, and pretty clearly better both at the plate and in the field. (Pretty clearly, meaning, Diaz is faster, has an OPS 75 points higher, appears to cover much more ground in the field, and has made far fewer obvious gaffes in the field than Anderson.)

  89. I think we may possibly be seeing the greatest player of our Era if not the best of all time. Seriously, Pujols is obliterating the record books.

    Well, he’s going to need to put up at least at season or two greater than or equal to Ruth’s 22 season AVERAGE OPS+ of 207 before we can start with the greatest of all time talk. Oh, and a paltry 9 more seasons straight of 40 HR will get him tied up with Ruth in that department. Great player, best hitter currently in the game ,but a looooooong way from best ever.

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