Make-up game thread: June 22, Cubs at Braves

Matt Diaz“Hi, I’m Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Diaz. Some people ask me, ‘Matt, does it upset you that you hardly ever get to start except against lefthanders, even though Jeff Francoeur sucks?’ No, I think it’s great! I get plenty of time to catch up on emails, do a little reading. Dave Ross and me usually play Scrabble in the dugout. Okay, sometimes it’s annoying to get interrupted so I can pinch-hit with two out and nobody on down three runs, but it doesn’t take too long. We asked Martin Prado if he wants in, but he’s busy teaching himself Hungarian.”

138 thoughts on “Make-up game thread: June 22, Cubs at Braves”

  1. After Matt’s pathetic strike out yesterday, I’m feeling a bit more sympathy with Bobby’s use of him. I’d still rather have him in RF than Francoeur of course.

  2. I’d rather see Francoeur strike out helplessly as a pinch hitter and Diaz occasionally do something good as a starter, personally.

  3. I’m fascinated by how one strikeout, against Jonathan Papelbon (who strikes out nearly a quarter of the men he faces), is considered such strong evidence against Diaz.

  4. We are aware that our offense has not produced up to the standards that we were expecting. We are closely monitoring the situation.

    The organization fully supports Martin Prado in his efforts to learn Hungarian. (I wish he would stop coming into my office and giving me hot foots, though.)

  5. One of your better game threds Mac.

    I even think he tipped the pitch he struckout on yesterday. There were a lot of mistakes made by the Brvaes yesterday and good teams like the Sox take advantage of those. That is why they are good teams.

    Would anyone like to have seen Frenchy swing at a knuckle ball in the dirt. It would be funny.

  6. yeah, Im sure Diaz is the first person who has ever looked bad against Papelbon. Its almost as if people believe Jeffrey wouldve looked better against him

    Diaz should be on twitter during the game, I mean what else does he have to do for 4 hours. He could post pictures from inside the dugout or something

  7. Yeah me too. I’m not saying that Diaz is a great player but there is strong evidence that he is our 2nd best outfielder. So the guy gets fooled by the high cheese when he is down in the count. Who on our current roster should start over him, Francoeur?

  8. @10

    He would, if you assume that we’re getting the Andruw that is playing in Texas now and not the one who played with the Dodgers last season.

  9. You’d think if Jeffy wasn’t going to bother with learning patience that he might try and get some tips from successful hackers. Diaz’s strikeout was ugly yesterday, and he’s an aggressive hitter, but that’s always been his game and he’s been successful with it. And he seems to have added some patience to his approach this year, unlike the guy who starts in front of him and promised to do so. They both have 12 walks, but Jeff has twice the PAs.

  10. No one is questioning JPap is not a great closer who strikes people out. However, even the Red Sox announcers were amazed at the swing Diaz took. It was really bad. The ball was over his head, not eye level. He actually swung up. Lol

    Anyway, bottomline on Garrett. He has a really good career and still can hit.

    As I stated before, Diaz had a chance to play everyday last year, and he blew it. He’s a 31 y/o nice 4th outfielder and that’s it. No knock against Matty, just the way it is.

  11. Id say Andruw would fit in with the June Swoon braves

    Andruw in june .162/.200/.405/.605

    #13 – Anyway, bottomline on Garrett. He has a really good career and still can hit.

    Yeah, but who wants a singles hitting OF, with no power, no speed, and doesnt walk. He also cant hit his cutoff man on relay’s. GA is useless, plain and simple

  12. Diaz was lousy in ’08, yes, but he hurt himself early in the year, remember?

    He really has some weird ABs. Yesterday was one of them. I think he’s one of the most unpredictable hitters I’ve ever seen.

    That K vs. Pap didn’t surprise me. But if he’d hit one off the Citgo sign it wouldn’t have surprised me either.

  13. Diaz has always been a player who looks a lot worse than he plays. That’s one reason we got him for nothing. In every year other than 2008 — when he was injured for almost the whole season — he’s been one of the better hitters we’ve got.

    He is not the problem. Not remotely.

  14. Crocodile Tears Dept.:

    Mets’ CF Carlos Beltran apparently headed to the DL.

    So now that’s Beltran, Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, John Maine, JJ Putz and, ahem, Oliver Perez.

  15. I just checked out expected win-loss… we suck exactly as much as we’re expected to. And we’ve got the 7th best ERA in the first 6 innings, and slightly above average after that… as we all know.. it’s our inability to hit the ball that makes us suck.

    Of course after looking at splits I see we have the best team batting average when there are runners in scoring position with 2 outs (.317), or bases loaded (.429). We are one strange team.

  16. yikes ububba… weren’t the last 3 years like that for us? mostly with starting pitching as I recall, but I recall a stretch where Chipper was hurt, then Renteria, and it just seemed like we could never get all our guys in a line-up to put together wins… Alas… even with all that, the Mets are still in 2nd place.

  17. @13

    “However, even the Red Sox announcers were amazed at the swing Diaz took. It was really bad. The ball was over his head, not eye level. He actually swung up. Lol”

    Matt Diaz has an odd stance and an odd swing. This isn’t debatable, nor is it relevant to evaluating him and Uncle Garrett’s Sleepytime Jamboree. And like I did on the past thread, if we’re going to freak over aesthetics, I should note that Garrett does this bat-on-shoulder-streeeeeetch-back-almost-yawn-take-pitch thing on every first pitch he sees that makes me want to go code red. Thus, he should be cut and his land should be salted.

  18. Oh Diaz was hurt the whole year…interesting. That’s too bad.

    Fehr, he was a great one…..

  19. Just because Diaz is better than 3/4 of the team’s other outfielders doesn’t mean he’s good. Rather, its a pretty sad commentary on the state of the Braves outfielders in the system. He’s certainly not the problem, but he’s not the solution either. I think he’s worthy of being a 4th outfielder, getting spot starts and pinch hitting, and he could be an asset in that role. With that said, there is no good baseball reason he shouldn’t get more pt in RF. However, benching Francoeur further minimizes his trade value and removes from the lineup an attendance draw for casual fans.

  20. @25

    “However, benching Francoeur further minimizes his trade value and removes from the lineup an attendance draw for casual fans.”

    At this point, is Frenchos (The Outmaker) even a draw for the types who have no clue how lousy he is? Would planting him on the bench even show up on their radar when they made the decision to get tickets?

    No and no are my guesses.

  21. Yahoo Sports has a piece on Russell Martin’s struggles this year and describe him thus: “he’s an offensive black hole. Among the darkest in the league, really.” and he’s still putting up numbers that are better than Frenchy (not much better mind you, and he just hit his first HR, but he’s got more doubles and walks).

  22. I don’t see how putting Frenchy out there and having everyone see how pathetic he is helps his trade value. As I said, forget the trade and send him to the minors. Does Wren think he is going to get a guy for Francouer that can step in and play RF? Whether he is on the bench or playing, his trade value is about that of an Iranian election official in Tehran.

  23. @23: “Uncle Garrett’s Sleepytime Jamboree”. haha love that.

    @25: i dont think there is any trade “value” worth salvaging at this point. regardless of the sad statement it makes, dont you think diaz should be playing instead of francoeur?

  24. Martin Prado is teaching himself Hungarian so he can write labels for his new line of Hungarian Cow Blood Ice Cream. Coming to a store near you!

  25. Wouldn’t Andruw Jones look better than what we have now?

    He has a OPS+ of 127. He really wouldn’t fit in.

    Looking at Vasquez’s last seven starts, ERA: 2.93, K/BB: 55/7, W/L: 1-3. Awesome.

  26. Benching Francoeur would further stigmatize him, thus reducing his already paltry trade value. It may be splitting hairs, but by playing him it implies the Braves continue to have some faith in his ability to be a contributor, whereas benching him just signals they’ve given up. I’m not suggesting it means anything, just offering a possible theory. If it gets you a better prospect in return, what’s it hurting? This team isn’t going anywhere with or without him.

    #29

    “there is no good baseball reason he shouldn’t get more pt in RF”

  27. #32, who gives a crap about his trade value? Playing him is costing the Braves games. Bobby needs to sit his ass down. With the Mets and Phils tanking, the Braves could still win the East if they had even a replacement level right fielder. Jeff isn’t it.

  28. Talk all you want about Garrett Anderson. He is the Angels’ franchise leader in games played, at bats, hits, total bases, singles, doubles, grand slams, extra-base hits, career RBIs, single-game RBIs, and consecutive games with an RBI. And no he didn’t play in a hitters ballpark. He is a 3x all-star, has a World Series ring. Talk about his swing all you want….as a lot of you have expressed, he could give a damn. And yeah, he still can hit.

  29. do we stop and laugh or pray that KJ breaks out

    per fox sports

    McLouth
    KJ
    Chipper
    Mac
    GA
    Kotch
    Frenchy
    Diory
    P

  30. #34 – so what, GA was once a good hitter. Now he’s a singles hitter, thats all he does well. The rest of his game is garbage. Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron have a lot of records. Good players dont stay good forever and we’re seeing that. Thatn said, he’s better than Frenchy, but worse than Diaz

  31. @32. i have to agree with ron. plus, i would be shocked if we even got a prospect in return. a minor league player, yes, but not a legitimate prospect.

    heres how i see the current francoeur situation:

    ***bad analogy alert***
    lets say i want to sell my large collection of carcinogens. as we all know, the market for carcinogens is not very good right now. unfortunately for me, it probably wont get any better unless some miracle scientific breakthrough proves that carcinogens can cure cancer. meanwhile, the longer i maintain my carcinogen collection, the more time i spend exposed to, well, carcinogens. should i: (a) hold on the collection and hope for the miracle while probably sentencing myself to death, or (b) get rid of the freaking carcinogens as soon as possible because i dont want to die.

    i say option (b). makes total sense, right?

  32. Anderson’s hit better lately, but he’s still not hitting for power. And if he’s not going to walk or get XBHs, we’re talking about an old singles hitter.

    The I-Hate-Even-Discussing-Frenchy Dept.:

    Trade him, demote him or bench him & make him our “late-inning defensive replacement.” But giving him 4 PAs per game anymore is plain goofy.

  33. GA is giving us about what we could realistcly expect from him. He would be a fine 3rd outfielder, if we got production from right field. I’m warming up to him, but I think I could play a better defensive LF. I hit .403 with 6hrs and 21rbi’s my senior year in HS, maybe I could replace Jeffy, I would play CHEAP.

  34. #36

    good point.

    heck, why stop there…let’s suit up hank aaron! and dale murphy!

    maybe knucksie can still pitch.

    Please Calgon, take this outfield away (aside from McLouth)

  35. What did Escobar do now?

    Home game, so time to put the Groundhog in the lineup to boost the ticket sales. Screw this winning thing.

  36. Cal Ripken leads the Orioles in most of those categories. Let’s throw him out there, too. And Frank Thomas, can’t forget him.

  37. and to pile on, Garret Anderson’s last all-star year was 2005, when he had an OPS+ of 97 for the year (meaning he was below a league average hitter, in the second best best hitter’s position [LF] in the league).

  38. Carroll Rogers says Yunel isn’t playing b/c his hip flexor is acting up again.

  39. A couple days after beating UGA for a Georgia D-lineman, we beat USCe for a South Carolina O-lineman. This is fun.

    Way more fun than a Braves lineup with Diory Hernandez in it, anyway.

  40. That’s probably because we’ve been focusing on more highly rated o-linemen. We got a commitment from the #2 center in the country yesterday.

  41. Sure it is. He had received a South Carolina offer a couple days before his VU offer, which he got on Saturday after a camp.

  42. Hank Aaron is the Braves’ franchise leader in most things, but he that doesn’t mean he should be playing right field. It’s an absurd argument, but so is the one for ACHE.

    What Diaz has going for him is that he doesn’t suck. That doesn’t mean he’s good.

  43. AAR,
    At this point, I’d prefer the dessicated remains of Tim Salmon in right field–it would give us another reason to bitch about the lack of production from that spot in the order. And those dessicated remains would walk or strike out, but not hit into double-plays, might I add.

  44. @19 Any other team and I’d feel bad. In fact, back when Beltran was suspected of having the swine flu (!), a buddy of mine who is a Phillies fan admitted to me (in confidence) that he almost felt bad for them. That’s saying something.

  45. If we are putting the ’96 Angels back together, let’s go out and sign Chili Davis to DH whatever interleague is left. He’s nearly 50 but I’d bet could still out hit Frenchy.

  46. I worked this weekend, and I am bushed (even though I didn’t actually do anything). I don’t think I’m going to make it past eight o’clock. (I grow old…) So a morning recap, possibly pretty early morning, is likely.

  47. So a morning recap, possibly pretty early morning, is likely.

    Here’s a precap then:

    Vasquez looked great most of the time, rang up a lot of strike outs, but had one bad inning and gave up a crooked number. The Braves rarely threatened against Dempster, but had a chance late in the game to tie it up and failed. Braves lose small number-to-really small number. Francouer sucks.

  48. I would have almost bet money that ACHE was going to bobble then drop that basket catch…

  49. Yeah, I’m going to go to bed early. Anyway, this concert they’re promoting has given me yet another nickname for the Groundhog: All-American Defect.

  50. if you guys know a group of hot older women going to the braves games, they could be the francougars. but, you better tell them to hurry and cash in on the nickname.

  51. @64 Ha…thats a pretty good one. If there was a gay group of fans in Atlanta they could be Bobby’s Cocks

  52. Esco out of the lineup but Anderson’s Yunel costs a run. Of course, he certainly had no reason to think Francoeur would come through with a hit.

  53. Whoever’s fault it was — ACHE’s, Kotchman’s, Glenn Hubbard’s — it’s yet another example of how this team manages to do so many of the little things wrong.

  54. It would be nice if ACHE added some power to go along with these singles. But at least he’s got the average up to .287.

  55. Only if he’s hurting. Cat’s at 95 pitches, is a horse, and is pitching a shutout. If he feels good I’d leave him in for one more.

    However, this is Bobby so I would virtually guarantee he’s done.

  56. Well, he didn’t look particularly sharp last inning.

    The Groundhog’s 2 hits tonight lock his spot in the lineup through the next decade.

    Am I the only person that gets annoyed when Brian Jordan tells me he’s going to “teach me the game?”

  57. ok… i’ll go ahead and make the obligatory bad joke. They’re replacing Fehr with another Weiner.

  58. If anyone is a friend of Boog on Facebook you should check out the pages that he is a fan of. One of them- Jeff Failcouer.

  59. Damn…I apologize Bobby. I would’ve sworn he’d be gone.

    @78

    I’m just hoping Frank remembers that he needs to be traded…

  60. i hate bobby cox right now. i hate him for javier vazquez. i dont care if this works out. i hate him. ok. so it worked. i still hate bobby.

  61. Yunel would have made that play.

    If Diory doesn’t hit, he brings literally nothing to this team.

  62. know what’s sad? the mets are without reyes, beltran, delgado, and sheffield and they are still a better offensive team than the braves.

  63. Can I get an “I Like Nate” button to wear? If the Braves are smart they’ll make him the new face of the franchise.

  64. How many runs would the Braves have to score this inning for Bobby not to put Soriano in for the ninth?

  65. @111

    HR Aside = Not gonna happen

    A sample from October 9th, 2005:

    – “I’m gonna go put “American Pie” by Don Maclean and “Unchained Melody” on loop and just sit in the dark all night

    -“worst game ever”

    -“god-fucking-damnit…i hate the braves
    when does spring training start?”

    -“*opening liquor cabinet*”

    -“My wife has offered me sex and a chance to watch my 2005 spurs championship video. I am still depressed.”

    -“Sutcliffe: “There are no losers here this afternoon.” My brain can’t take this anymore. I quit.”

    -“My soul hurts”

    I hope Burke follows the life path of Jim Leyritz

  66. Amazing, we won.

    Yes, Ethan, I think we sign Burke to destroy his career. We should have done the same thing to Leyritz!

  67. Alright YankeeHaters…

    This week, YES Network has been hyping the Braves/Yanks series in promos with a Jeter-vs.-Chipper motif and reminding that the Yanks won “2 World Series at the expense of the Braves.”

    Tonight YES showed Game 6 of the ’96 WS.

    Let’s take this series, fellas.

  68. @119

    Interesting poll. Right now LaRussa has 34% and Cox and Torre each 33%, with Torre taking New England and the west coast, Cox leading in the south and southwest, and LaRussa dominating the midwest. Bobby’s also looking good in the international vote. And Ohio is a tossup!

  69. 119 — Is there an option for thinking they’re all great, but probably all a bit overrated?

  70. Well, the main part for me is the “over the past 20 years” line.

    To be honest, I wouldn’t be pissed if Bobby retired and we replaced him with Fredi, but he’s earned the right to step down when he wishes, and I truly believe that over the past 20 years he’s been the best manager in MLB.

  71. From the Casey Kotchman Sucks Department:

    Garret Anderson: .285/.317/.394, 3 homers
    Casey Kotchman: .264 /.324/.376, 2 homers

    Utility infielder Martin Prado: .283/.348/.450, 2 homers

  72. @58

    Here’s a precap then:

    Vasquez looked great most of the time, rang up a lot of strike outs, but had one bad inning and gave up a crooked number. The Braves rarely threatened against Dempster, but had a chance late in the game to tie it up and failed. Braves lose small number-to-really small number. Francouer sucks.

    Bingo. Good one.

  73. Kotchman only trails Francoeur for worst VORP on the team (minimum 200 PA). Francoeur, Kotchman and KJ all have negative VORPs (as does Schafer in 195 PA), while Anderson is right at replacement level.

    This lineup is just horrifying.

  74. A few comments that will no doubt be soon buried by tomorrow’s recap:

    I don’t care what any of you say, Diaz had a decent AB on Sunday. Not a decent last swing to be certain, but a decent AB. He saw a few pitches, fouled one off, and didn’t swing at the first pitch he saw out of the strikezone. Sure, he’s not Chipper. But at the same time, he’s not Frenchy, either.

    Javy had a good game tonight, though he was clearly tired or a little hurt or whatever by the 7th. Given the baserunners he allowed, giving up no runs was pretty lucky. At the same time, the Braves hit the ball well enough to score far more than two runs. Mac hit a rope right at the 1B with runners at 2nd and 3rd to end the 4th (or 5th, I forget which), and earlier in the game, Kotchman hit a liner right at the 3B with runners on. Either way, there seems to have been an awful lot of “at ’em” balls lately.

    Another reason we didn’t score more runs is a continuation of the reason we haven’t scored more runs the whole year: giving outs away on the basepaths. Tonight, there was the Escobarian move by Anderson to break for 3rd on a come-backer. I’m just glad Kotchman didn’t compound the mistake by trying for (and getting thrown out at) 2nd. Then you had Chipper uncharacteristically striking out on a pitch outside the zone coupled with McLouth uncharacteristically getting caught stealing. I honestly didn’t mind the call by Cox in this case (sending the runners with 1 out and a 3-2 count), but it’s still an example of the Braves giving away outs on the basepaths. The simplest way for this team to generate more offense (outside of employing a real RF) would to be to just stop giving away outs after successfully reaching base.

  75. Memo to Frank Wren: Matt Murton is hitting .414/.470/.707 at AAA in the Rockies system.

  76. “We’re 1-0 now,” said Jeff Francoeur, who went 2-for-4 with a double. “We’ve got nine games against three of the better teams in baseball (including the Phillies next week). We’ll see what we’re made of.”

    Frenchy, why don’t you just worry about yourself first?

    “We haven’t gotten anything for him,” Atlanta right fielder Jeff Francoeur(notes) said. “We haven’t exactly torn it up for him, but the way he’s been pitching all he needs is two runs every time out.”

    That’s right Frenchy, you are definitely very helpful.

    “Braves 2B Kelly Johnson(notes) left after the fifth because of a leg cramp. Prado took his place.”

    Gotta love Kelly.

  77. A nice win for the Braves and for Javy (finally!)…I am glad that Frenchy is not worried about the first 60+ games of the season…..

  78. You know, I am not all that worried about the Yankees. They are only a .500 team on the road. All the talk about Tex, check out his home/road splits.

    The key is our starting pitching. If that holds up, I like our chance as we are not seeing Sabathia or Burnett.

  79. Tex tends to be a second half hitter as well….I think that he will put up good seasonal numbers, but I don’t see the guy as a leader–which is one of the reasons why I did not mind his departure….

    I am sure that Frenchy will do just enough to keep his position in RF….

  80. ACHE’s OPS broke above .700…how amazing…and Frenchy’s OPS is approaching the .600 mark…how amazing…just when you thought there is no way Frenchy can have a worse season, he surprises everyone…except us…

    …how can anyone be so terrible in something that he is supposed to be good at?

  81. If ACHE can get the OPS to .750, I’d be satisfied with him.

    Frenchy has reached the point that when he doesn’t strike out/GIDP/Infield Pop I am shocked.

    It’s like a guy who has ED getting repeatedly cast as the main actor in a porno.

  82. Ethan–Thats a great analogy–and it applies to more members of our team than Frenchy and ACHE….

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