Yankees 8, Braves 4

New York Yankees vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – June 24, 2009 – ESPN

What an awful night. It started off great. Kenshin “The Beast of the AL East” Kawakami breezed through the order, retiring the first nine batters. But the ninth, the pitcher, lined a ball off Kawakami’s neck (!) and the Braves’ pitcher had to leave the game. Medlen came in, and he retired the first six men in order. Meanwhile, Francoeur, who nonetheless still sucks, hit a solo homer in the fifth to make it 1-0.

Medlen walked the first man in the sixth, but then picked him off (he was probably safe). Then, the Yankees broke up the no-hitter and the shutout with a solo homer, and Medlen allowed two more hits and a walk to load the bases. Bobby, tragically but predictably, brought in Bennett to face A-Rod, who promptly lined a single to make it 3-1. Bennett then allowed a solo homer in the seventh to make it 4-1.

The Braves fought back, getting two runs in the bottom of the inning; McLouth almost gave the Braves the lead, but his fly ball died at the warning track for a sac fly. O’Flaherty came in, and gave up two hits followed by a wild pitch. Bobby had him issue one of his ridiculous intentional walks, but it actually worked this time, as the next batter grounded out to Kotchman at first, who threw home for the force. McCann threw to first, but the ball hit the baserunner in the back. He was, quite obviously, in the baseline, but the Yankee employee home plate umpire wasn’t paying attention and refused to ask for help. The Yankees got a run on the play, and another run on a groundout that should have ended the inning.

The Braves got a run back in the bottom of the inning on a two-out single by Francoeur, who still sucks. But the Yankees came back with Rivera, and the Braves’ defense completely collapsed in the ninth, allowing two more runs to put it away, not that the Braves were going to do anything against Rivera anyway.

105 thoughts on “Yankees 8, Braves 4”

  1. more terrible umpiring, is it really just our bad luck? either way, this is still an uninspiring bad team. Some moves need to be made. We definitely need another reliever and Prado needs to be starting

  2. Was it just me, or was the Yankee runner who was picked off in the sixth actually picked off on the throw over right before that? Medlen threw over the first time and I immediately thought the runner was out. When he was called out on the next throw over, I thought it was a make-up call. The announcers on ESPN didn’t say a thing about it, though. Did anyone else notice that play?

  3. Norton off to a good start in AAA rehab, whats the deal with Conrad? Is he an upgrade over KJ? Burke needs to replace Diory and someone needs to replace Bennett

  4. Good grief, enough with the “Francoeur sucks”. Yes, he’s been bad, but lay off it on the nights when he’s actually good, like tonight. OR, here’s a thought: redirect some of your disappointment to KJ, who took another 0-fer tonight and is batting .219.

  5. No way. It’s important to point out that Francoeur sucks even when he has a good game, to counterbalance Joe Simpson’s statements that Francoeur is the greatest person in world history when he hits a ball that almost makes the warning track.

  6. I kind of wish the Phils would start winning and put us out of our misery. That would keep us from making a bad trade to become not quite good enough to make the playoffs.

    Seriously, an offense with Frenchy, ACHE, Kotchman, and KJ is not easily fixed.

  7. this team is 7 players away from competing…or is it #7 away from competing? one of the two. it doesnt matter.

  8. Yes, the umpire missed the call on the throw that hit Cano in the back. But the run may not have scored if KJ had immediately pursued the ball, rather than pleading his case to the ump and pointing at the runner. I don’t like it when players argue the call before time is called.

  9. ACHE has been better of late, OPSing over .800 in June. Apparently his suckitude has transferred to Kotchman, though.

  10. @4
    Rissa,
    I thought the same thing about Medlen’s first throw over. I was surprised it didn’t get a replay but I guess shouldn’t be.

  11. Rivera first two pitches to Johnson were close but outside according to K zone. If every pitcher had that wide a strike zone games would be lower scoring

  12. Thank the Lord this game didn’t happen last night when I invited the Yankees fans over to my place in NYC,

    embarrassing

    great game until bobby pulled medlen

    all over from there

  13. @15 That happens in every baseball game. If KJ is a HOFer, he would be getting his share of calls, ha.

  14. Francoeur accounts for half of our offense tonight, but you spend time twice saying that he sucks? Mac, obsess much? With all due respect, and I love this site (I was even telling a friend at the gym today how much I like this site; he’s a Mets fan haha), but isn’t it getting a little old that Francoeur sucks? He sucks. We get it.

  15. On a related note, I think I’ve found an objective way of evaluating Jeff Francoeur’s defense. I don’t get to watch many games, and I don’t really trust the defensive metrics, to be honest. But there are plenty on here that are able to watch most of the games, if not all of them. Francoeur is the Whipping Boy of Braves Journal 2k9 (a prestigious title formerly held by fantastic ballplayers such as Chris Reitsma, Dan Kolb, and Adam LaRoche), and so everything he does gets railed on. However, I hear very little about people complaining about his defense. Therefore, he must be pretty darn good defensively, or else we’d hear about how much he sucks on defense too!

    Either that, or we’re going to now see more and more posts on how bad he sucks defensively…

  16. It would appear that Francoeur’s gonna play no matter how poorly he does. So I for one will defend the continual focus on the Groundhog’s suckage even on days that he does not suck. Since Braves management won’t make him accountable, somebody needs to. But you’ll get no disagreement from me about KJ, either. Bennett’s like throwing gasoline on a fire. But I’m all for keeping Jeffy’s feet to the fire.

  17. Rob, for some reason, I never get tired of saying Francoeur sucks. I wish I can explain my irrational behaviour.

  18. It looks like Smoltz is getting the start Thursday against Washington. Wonder what he is going to have left. While rationally I was pretty upset about his behavior at the end of his Braves career, emotionally I have to root for the guy. So, good luck Smoltzie.

    As for Francoeur, there was a thread a while back where a lot of folks said they were tired of ripping him, tired of seeing people defend him, tired of seeing him trudge out to RF every day, tired of watching him play, tired of him, period. Count me in that group. I truly enjoy the free exchange of opinions on this board and don’t dream of telling anyone else what to say or think, but it wouldn’t bother me if Braves Journal became a Francoeur-free zone; I could say the same thing about right field for the Braves as well.

  19. Francoeur actually did not suck tonight. He looked like a real hitter for a change. Laid off some balls that normally he would have been flailing at. I’m sure he’ll get back on his game real soon.

    Bennett, on the other hand, really does suck.

    New name for ACHE: The Bloodhound. DOB said that he trails a lot of balls. Excellent description of how he turns routine outs into doubles on a regular basis.

  20. On that non-interference call: I don’t know why they even have that “running lane” to first base. You never see umps call anybody out for not using it.

  21. Bert, while I keep saying Frenchy sucks, I do hope he can indeed “get back on his game real soon” because this team needs every help it can get.

  22. Jeffy is what he is. The Braves missed their opportunity to send him down for the year. Where he is right now, it’s hard to play any worse. If you have a low-600s OPS, it’s difficult to go lower. They’ve decided to go with him as is rather than attempt a fix in the minors. He might go out as part of a trade, or the Braves acquire a better outfielder (still possible), but unless that happens, he’s going to continue playing everyday.

  23. I may get booed off the Braves Journal but I do see why they trot the Groundhog out there every day. He can play defense. The horrible awful tandem of Dave O’Brien and Rick Sutcliff were very critical of Frenchy last night. And he had a couple of hits and at least one other good at bat. So maybe if Chip and Joe start ripping him every day he’ll suck less.

  24. I will be happy if Smoltzie pitches well–best of luck to him—and, intemperate remarks aside, he is missed….

  25. A few observations:
    I don’t want to trade Kenshin Kawakami.
    Kris Medlen is going to be good.
    Has Jeff Bennet ever heard the phrase ‘waste a pitch’?
    Just when ACHE starts singling a lot. Kotchman goes into the tank. He looks lost.
    Nate McLouth is a poor man’s JD Drew. I know most here have only derision for JD but he was a graceful and elegant player in his year with the Braves. McLouth is much the same except he isn’t as good and he stays healthy.
    I am wondering if Chipper is totally healthy. The guy can still hit. Its amazing watching his adjustments but the ball isn’t jumping off his bat like it does when everything is working right for him.
    Francoeur played well last night. But I don’t think he can hit even average fastballs anywhere in the zone anymore.
    With that late movement I wonder how anyone hits Mariano Rivera at all.
    The US Men’s soccer team rocks.

  26. “Francouer sucks” is the running joke of this site, mainly because they keep running that joke out there every night. Keep it up until he’s demoted, traded, or his empty head creates a black hole and sucks Turner Field and the corpse of KJ in.

  27. I wonder if Frenchy’s sucking ability contributes to both the Braves losses AND his continuing playing time. The South Park episode “Cartman Sucks” happened to run a couple days ago – leading me to thing, perhaps Frenchy doesn’t just HAVE the pictures, but also PERFORMED in the pictures.

  28. No complaints here with Frenchy’s defense. He’s not that fast, but he makes the plays he gets to, and I can’t remember the last time he threw the ball to the backstop. Haven’t checked to see how the stats jibe with that impression.

    The HR was either a hanging slider or curve, which he can crush. He crushed it, so all credit where due. If you start a pitch at Frenchy’s eye level and drop it into the strike zone, he’s a monster. It almost looks like he forgets all his troubles when he gets one of those, and puts a good, level swing on it. Especially early in the count, before the pitcher has begun tying him in knots.

    But I keep Chipper’s comments in mind whenever I see that happen, and temper my expectations.

  29. 37,

    That comment was very telling. It was basically like “he doesn’t know how to be a major leaguer.” And then it was left at that.

  30. Jeff Bennett has no ability to pitch with a little bit of pressure, much less with the bases loaded and Arod at the plate in a tie game. Man, he sucks.

    More bad umpiring. WHy the hell is the home plate umpire staring at the plate 2 – 3 seconds after an obvious force out? That must be the third time the Braves have been the victim of runner interference this year.

  31. 23,
    No, his defense is pretty bad. Better than last year (Canizares could play OF better than Fr4nc000r did in 2008), but still pretty bad. His offense is just that much worse and the bigger issue so that gets talked about more.

  32. “We had one bad pitch with an 0-2 count,” Cox said, “and we didn’t cover first — that cost us two runs. Other than that, we played a good game.”

    Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, did you like the play?

    I sort of admire Bobby for his ability to be optimistic in the face of all evidence to the contrary. I wish I could be that positive ALL the time. On the other hand, he drives me nuts. The ESPN broadcasters quoted him as saying he likes this team. For what? Because they are all good chaps or something? They have stimulating literary discussions? Because they sure can’t play baseball.

    I’m not going to say anything about Francouer. He had a good game; so what? Joe Garagiola had four hits in a World Series game when he was 20 years old. Bud Smith pitched a no-hitter.

  33. Cox needs to hold PFPs. Jair and O’Flaherty have both made bad defensive plays in the past two series.

  34. My completely subjective take on Francoeur’s defense is he is average at getting to balls with occasional boneheaded errors on ground balls (but not as many as he used to) and has a great throwing arm. None of which makes up for his horrible offense.

    I haven’t been at all impressed by Medlen. He’s just another Chucky James or Horacio Ramirez only from the right side. I hope Wren sells high on him and trades him for a bat while other teams might still value his potential.

  35. I haven’t posted probably in a year. But last night I got to watch the Braves for the first time this year. (F TBS for dumping them and ML Baseball for putting 1/2 of NC in the Orioles Territory)

    The thing that really stuck out to me is how awful Garrett Anderson is in the OF. I think most kids on the neighborhood T-ball team could have caught that “double” Melky Cabrera hit. He didn’t even try to get it – between he and Frenchy Mclouth is going to have 2 or 3 years shaved off his career chasing balls down in the OF.

  36. The Big Three were unique in that the Braves (Ted Turner)had the resources at the time to keep them together–the team would never think about doing this today. On the other hand, one could argue that the Braves kept the pitching together at the expense of other parts of the team. Undoubtedly, the Big Three were the primary reasons for the 14 division titles, but the neglect of things like the bullpen and bench may have contributed to losses in the post-season. The most obvious issue is whether the Braves would have been better off if they had obtained Bonds rather than Maddux.

    Still, I do feel privileged to have seen such phenomenal pitching for so many years. I remember a quote from Roger Craig once a game talking about the Braves pitching being “otherworldly.” I always thought it was ironic that the Braves became known for pitching because when I was growing up, the Braves pitching was abysmal most of the time.

    Having said that, I have to say, emotionally I am rooting against Smoltz. I would never root against Glavine, especially, or Maddux, but Smoltz can go to hell as far as I’m concerned. And it’s more than just him leaving the Braves. I don’t like the guy.(But I certainly understand those that feel the other way.) Part of it is I’m just so sick of the Red Sox and, especially, Red Sox Nation that I don’t want things to go right for them.

    Also, here is story from ESPN regarding an off-duty police officer shooting two guys in the parking lot that apparently assaulted him after the Angels-Rockies game. The incident isn’t funny, but it’s funny that the story gives the score of the game as if it’s relevant to something. It’s almost like a comedic parody of a sports story.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4285702

  37. Anyone see the Hawks are going to trade for Crawford? Personally, I don’t like the move. I’d have gone with a PG in the draft and tried to trade for a big man.

  38. 48—I like it. Gives them another scorer, which they badly need. Not exactly sure how the rest of the roster—or the playing rotation—will shake out, but I think it’s a good move. They gave up nothing of value.

  39. Francoeur is about a 4th outfielder type. Not good enough to be an every day producer, but better than anything else in the upper end of the Braves system. Hence, he plays until they get someone better.

    Bennett is a long reliever who is misused in critical situations. The fact that he grooved an 0-2 pitch to A-Rod tells me all I need to knwo about his baseball acumen.

    The Braves as a whole have some talent deficiencies, especially the entire right side of the field. For as much as this site pounds on Francoeur, Kelly Johnson and Casey Kotchman aren’t any better. Nevertheless, the team could contend in a weak division with the pitching they have if they would simply play smarter baseball, execute the fundamentals and play better defense.

  40. For some reason I like this team too. I don’ think we are going to win anything this year but in this division and in this league who knows?
    If in a miracle ACHE, Johnson and Botchman could all play good at the same time instead of one at a time we would be contending.

    They aren’t the big 3 but Lowe, Vazquez, Jurrjens, Kawakami and Hanson make for a pretty good rotation. Its a good base to build on. I’d rather hold it together for remainder of this season and see what the FA market holds after the season than say trade Vazquez for a rental bat in a futile attempt to make the playoffs this year.

  41. @46

    JB, you must live on the Coastal Plain, because in Greensboro, MLB has decreed us to be Reds Country!

  42. @48

    I’m finding it hard to really dislike the move. Like Stu said, we gave up absolutely nothing of value and got a guy who should be able to score 15-20 a game. We still should be able to draft a PG and then maybe sign a cheap veteran big man somewhere.

  43. @48 It ultimately depends on what happens with the rest of the roster. My guess is they won’t keep both Flip Murray and Mike Bibby now, but I still think they should re-sign one of them. What’s good about the move is that it gives them a lot more flexibility, and undermines the negotiating leverage of both players, especially the overpriced Bibby.

  44. #29

    Are you forgetting SEVERAL times the Braves were called out for runner interference last year. Some should have been called but I remember at least 4 that were very borderline.

    This year I remember at least 3 that should have been called against our opponents and haven’t been.

    What gives?

  45. Like the move. If anybody really wants Joe Johnson, the Hawks can actually negotiate.

    Marvin Williams sure would look good as Chris Paul. Hell, I’d trade Marvin AND Bibby for Chris Paul.

    I only saw Jeff Teague when he looked like Superman, but slight point guards get rump-ranged in the NBA.

    And if Acie can play for Billy Clyde Sociopath, why can’t he play for Woodson?

    OT: saw where Vandy got a commitment from a 250-lb. defensive tackle from lily-white Walton High. Congrats, Stu.

  46. 48 — I guess I see the flexibility angle, but they still don’t have a real PG unless they sign Bibby. Plus, Crawford’s a guy that has to have the ball to be effective. Are there that many touches to go around?

  47. On the Hawks, it would be nice if they could make a trade for Chandler or Kaman work. Both the Hornets and the Clippers are looking to clear salary, and the Hawks, who need a real center to let Horford play the 4, have some money to spend.

    hank,
    Check his offer list and watch his video. Woestmann, who weighed 265 as a junior and has gained weight, is going to be a beast.

  48. Has Jeff Bennet ever heard the phrase ‘waste a pitch’?

    I was thinking the exact same thing. You have the second best hitter in the world (current stats not withstanding) 1-2, and you groove your mediocre fastball right down the heart of the plate. And of course he crushes it! That’s just ridiculous pitching. The guy’s in a slump, he’s been striking out a lot on pitches out of the strike zone and you give him a 87 mph meatball fat and sassy. Go home, Bennett.

  49. I thought Frenchy’s last AB of the night was the best of his career. He got dow 0-2, fought off some pitches, made the pitcher work and roped a single to center. He wasn’t trying to hit a home run with every swing.

    His last two games he has hit well. Maybe he is figuring this thing out.

    (I’ll duck now)

  50. Looked at the Was/Bos game on ESPN.com and the accuscore prediction is 50/50 with Washington the favorites?!?!? Really? is the system just broken because it doesn’t know how to calculate Smoltz? cause I can’t imagine a scenario where unless Smoltz gives up 6 runs in the first that Boston is the underdog against a team playing sub .300 ball.

  51. Bennett just isn’t good. But my ire is directed more toward Bobby at this point since he just keeps trotting him out there to fail.

  52. 68 — Maybe it thinks Smoltz’s arm will fall off.

    But they still couldn’t be favored against the Sox’ pen. Dunno.

  53. Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux – as lyrical and historic a trio as Tinkers, Evers and Chance (from the ESPN article)

    Not only is this wrong historically it’s also wrong poetically. The proper form is “Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz,” both in terms of talent, impact on the game AND the “lyricism” of the phrase. The hard m and d of Maddux fades into the soft x which regroups into the hard g of Glavine. Glavine fades effortlessly into the opening s of Smoltz to be reborn again on that hard m. Smoltz then fades into that weird tz combination, leaving the listener hanging on Avery or Neagle or Millwood. The it all starts again with Maddux on the mound.

    Also, John Smoltz couldn’t carry Greg Maddux’ jock.

  54. It’s funny that Mark Tiexera stated Joe Giraldi is the best manager he has ever played for….I guess everyone doesn’t think the world of Bobby Cox. I never have, so it’s not a shock to me.

  55. @66 – couldn’t agree more. He threw the same pitch 4 times in a row. By the fourth time even Failchy would have recognized it and hammered it. I was wathcing the YES broadcast in NY and they were shocked at the pitch selection as well.

    @69 – Bobby was in a tough spot last night with KK going down after 3 and not having Gonzo or Moylan available. Having said that, I still hate how he constantly brings in Bennet with bases loaded.

  56. Tony, don’t the players always say that their current manager is the best they ever played for?

  57. For all of you Francouer haters out there, he hasn’t sucked that bad lately. He’s taken a few walks lately.
    He’s worked the count. Patient at the plate with some timely hitting to boot. And, if you compare all the bad RF’s in the league at this very moment, he isn’t the worst by a long shot. There is no reason to DFA this guy. A trade for someone of value would work if at all possible. A lot of teams would be okay with him but his salary is obviously too high for what he’s doing. We’d have to trade for someone getting 3-4 million, having an off year. Maybe a middle reliever to replace Bennett would be worth something. 0-2 to ARod means “waste a pitch”. McCann wasn’t himself last night, should have called something else.

  58. last night was another example of why Bobby shouldnt use his relievers like he does. There is no reason for Soriano and Gonzo to pitch with 5 run leads. When it comes down to tight games, sometimes our guys arent available becuase Bobby has worn them out in useless spots.

    Did Bennett shake off any signs last night in the AB to ARod? If not, McCann is at fault also for calling for 4 fastballs in a row.

  59. In his past two games he’s had an OPS of 1.000 in 7 PAs. So, if you subtract out the other 2,580 PAs you see that he’s one the league’s better outfielders.

    This post is brought to you by Jeffy math, the easy way to boost your confidence.

  60. I don’t think the ball ARod hit was a fastball — Bennett was throwing his fastball at 94-95 and ARod couldn’t catch up to it. I believe he hit a slider up.

  61. I’m down to only following the Braves through the recaps on this blog mostly due to utter disgust at the Braves continued employment of Cox and Francoeur. Those guys have killed any enjoyment I used to get from watching the Braves. It’s just not any fun to sit down to listen to/watch something that should be enjoyable and mostly relaxing only to be endlessly frustrated at the non stop idiocy perpetrated by Bobby Cox and his favorite implement of destruction, Jeff Francouer. Don’t let people browbeat you into not carrying on with the “Francoeur sucks” jokes. It helps to keep me feeling sane. I’d really like to see a little more of the anger focused at Cox, though. Francoeur doesn’t get to set the lineup.

  62. Bobby Cox should have left Atlanta or retired 10 years ago. I have never been a fan of his managing.

    I think what made me more sick than the game last night, was the constant jabfest Chipper had with Jeter. Okay we get it. You and Jeter are friends. Save if for after the game.

  63. @91,

    If Chipper and Jeter talking were the biggest problem the Braves had, they would be fine. Like it or not, the players have a lot more in common with players on the other team than they do with fans so it’s pointless to complain about them talking. They are playing baseball, not fighting a war.

  64. Speaking of Teixdouche, I was thinking that it would have been fun to activate Hudson then send him in as a PR. The conversation at first might have been more interesting than the Jeter/Chipper chatter.

  65. @92…

    Thanks for explaining to me that “the players have a lot more in common with players on the other team than they do with fans”. I really appreciate that knowledge.

    “so it’s pointless to complain about them talking. They are playing baseball, not fighting a war.”

    It’s not pointless, it’s a blog. Furthermore, I actually deleted what really bothered me about the Chipper/Jeter jabfest, b/c I didn’t want to offend Chipper’s fans. So will leave it at that. Also, thanks for letting me know it’s not a war.

  66. This quote from Smoltz in the Boston Herald makes me wonder why he had to make such an emotional event out of his exit. It appears he was leaving on his own terms. I don’t think the Braves could have done much to keep him on board.

    “The philosophy and everything they had for me made all the sense in the world, and we weren’t going to progress and look at anything else,” Smoltz said about what convinced him the Red Sox were the right fit.

    “I’m a big first impression guy. Certainly when they came and made that first impression, and came out of their way to see me throw in December (in Atlanta) or whenever it was, and sat down and really got aggressive with their philosophy, it was a no-brainer. As you can tell being in Atlanta as long as I was, I’m pretty loyal. That cinched it up.”

  67. is it bad that i’m a braves fan, yet if i were a mlb player, i wouldnt want to play in atlanta?

  68. @94

    We are all men here, or all adults, no apologies needed.

    @98

    Not at all. I hate to say this, but I would only want to play in New York, Boston, or Philly.

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