Summing up game thread: July 12, Braves at Rockies

Sigh.“Hi, this is Braves blogger Mac Thomason. So, what are we dealing with here? Well, our worst hitters play left field and first base, our biggest power threat hits leadoff, our shortstop is leading the team in RBI even though he got benched for a week for general douchiness, the offense of late has been carried by a man who started the year as the second-string utility infielder, our hotshot rookie CF spent two months on the team without ever revealing that he might have a broken wrist, our cleanup hitter found out a month into the season that he needs glasses, we have two pitchers in the top ten in ERA and both of them have losing records, our putative ace has the worst ERA in the rotation, three relievers are on pace to challenge a team record in appearances, and some people wonder if our Hall of Fame manager has Alzheimer’s. On the other hand, Francoeur is now a Met. Call it even.”

205 thoughts on “Summing up game thread: July 12, Braves at Rockies”

  1. Mac, there has to be some way you can turn this into a career. You consistently turn out a quality product here. This is my first source for anything regarding the Braves.

    Thanks.

  2. I don’t think Bobby has Alzheimer’s. He’s always done dumb things like he has this year. Just in the ’90s he had the pitching and lineup to overcome his mistakes and now he doesn’t.

  3. I predict a five run Braves win. Then at the break, they’ll be .500 overall, .500 at home .500 on the road, and will have scored exactly as many runs as they’ve given up. Perfectly mediocre, with the German half of the season to come… No Frenchies.

  4. with the addition of mclouth and church, i can now honestly say this team is one bat away from being really good.

  5. jason heyward to bat 8th for the US, and canizares to bat 4th for the world. if world wins, they will playing planet rebula for the intergalactic futures championship.

  6. Bearing in mind that someone else’s fantasy baseball team is the least interesting topic on the planet….I have Jonathan Sanchez and Matt Capps. How am I supposed to feel today?

  7. Hilarious game thread. If we win today NBC will do a series called “The Ocelots” based on the 2009 Braves and our descent to 6 under back to .500 will be regarded as the most dramatic portion of the series.

  8. Interesting fact: With the departure of the Out Machine, who, as Omar Minaya likes to say, plays every day, the active team leader in games played this season is… Chipper Jones! The plate appearances leader is Yunel.

  9. Now all we have to do is switch #1 with #2 and #4 with #7, and we’ve got a sensible lineup.

  10. Hoffman is replacing Broxton on the NL roster. What a boring ASG this is going to be. Who the hell cares about Trevor Hoffman anymore?

  11. Who cares about the All-Star game?

    Keep my pitchers out of it, thanks.

    Marketing-driven exhibition games (ASG, WBC) do very little for your professional club.

    FWIW, you should hear the moaning in Metland about all their injured players—almost all those guys played in the WBC.

  12. The best thing about the All-Star game is the Futures game. Which comes on ESPN2 in about 5 minutes. Heyward is starting batting 8th. Canizares is an injury replacement for the World team. Wierd to see a 29 (we’re told) year old in the futures game.

  13. I wish McCann will get over his fascination with the All-Star game and rest.

    Watching the Mets-Reds game and Ralph Kiner has some advice for Frenchy:

    “Francouer has a terrible OBP. What he should do is watch the pitches warm-up in the bullpen so he can identify what a strike is. It’s very hard to get on base if you swinging at pitches that are not strikes.”

  14. “Francouer has a terrible OBP. What he should do is watch the pitches warm-up in the bullpen so he can identify what a strike is. It’s very hard to get on base if you swinging at pitches that are not strikes.”

    That’s it. Fire the hitting coach, they don’t need him anymore.

  15. @24 I don’t understand your response. Are you trying to insult 87 y/o Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner?

  16. I really didnt think Norton would be back, I wonder when he will play, as bobby likes to get people right in there

  17. Why activate Norton at all? I don’t understand what he brings to the table at this point.

  18. Norton is a better pinch hitting option than Blanco since he is a switch hitter and has at least a little power, and Church can now cover CF if needed.

  19. Well, yes, Norton bats from both sides… What was that you said about hitting?

  20. I guess he is a seasoned vet off the bench…but if he is gonna hit 200, what the heck is the point of having him, at least blanco can run for someone late in the game.

  21. Listen up, you nattering nabobs of negativism, you crossed The Frenchy, and now you’re gonna pay. Just you wait, I’m gonna lead the Mets to the World Series and you’re gonna miss my hustle and tryhardiness and the ability to play every day and my grit and determination. You were all mean to me and the Mets fans will love me.

  22. They brought him up to save face after signing him for more than the league minimum

  23. Runners aren’t paying attention to Stinker anymore. McLouth didn’t even glance at him when holding up for a double.

  24. You know those ” rel=”nofollow”>dancing balloon men — the things with the fans that are supposed to advertise various low-rent retailers and the like? What’s the difference between one of them and Snitker?

  25. Conrad continues to impress. Seriously where did this come from? 6 RBI already for him. I’ll take it.

    Nice to stake Medlen to a lead right away.

  26. Seriously, we’re about one player away from being a good offensive team, I believe that player is Canizares. Why oh why would anyone think that Norton is a better pinch-hitter candidate than Barbaro? It seems to me that he could at least be in a platoon situation with Kotchman, who is the heir apparent–sucks player. Even having Barbaro just on the bench as a possible ph, certainly would give us a better chance than the out-machine Norton.

  27. The key to this game now is for Medlen not to pull a Jojo and give the 3 runs right back.

  28. They just need someone who can score a run with one swing of the bat, its tough to constantly generate runs by getting multiple hits/walks in an inning, sometimes it helps to get a walk and a 2 run bomb. We cant do that.

  29. .500 after two games… fantastic francoeur

    Let’s see in late Aug when his average is below .240

  30. Conrad to Hernandez to Prado — who would have called those three playing together at the start of the year?

  31. Medlen is a switch hitter? seriously? whatever for? learn to hit from one side please.
    On the other side, this means the Braves have one of the best and worst switch hitters of all time on the roster. The theme of mediocrity continues…

  32. I think the only thing that was going to help Francoeur is a change of scenery. I think Kansas City would have been better than New York, but I won’t evaluate who Jeff Francoeur will become until the end of the season. As for now, let him enjoy bloop hits over Joey Votto’s head.

  33. re: 52, yeah but he has come up exactly once in an important spot, in the first with 2 out and a runner on 2nd and lined out softly to 1b. Other than that it has been garbage time.

  34. I know, i really shouldnt care about it, but I wanted the guy to go like 0-30 with the mets, it would have been easier to say, good luck, wish you the best with the royals

  35. I’m not worried about Francoeur figuring things out. So he’s had a few good games. He had those from time to time with Atlanta. At the end of the year, he’ll still have fewer than 15 homers and an OBP of .300 or worse.

  36. It is pretty shocking that we called up Norton, although Blanco is of absolutely no use now that we have Church, and can always be called up if someone gets injured again. I share the consternation with refusing to call up Barbaro. While I don’t think he’d be the answer to our remaining lineup issues, it certainly couldn’t hurt.

    BTW Church’s arm is so much worse than Francoeur’s, right? We’ll be giving away at least two outs per game.

  37. So what gives with Manuel picking Zach Duke as the All-Star injury replacement over Javy V? It’s not like he’s 10-5 with his middling ERA, so ol’ Cholly could make the excuse that he “knows how to win.” He’s 8-8, with an ERA half a run higher than Javy’s, and about half as many K’s. Come on!

  38. Joe Simpson just told me that the Royals traded for a “pretty good shortstop.”

    I really don’t know how you can cover baseball and think something like that.

  39. Anyone else get the distinct feeling we’re not gonna win this game? Or at least that we’re gonna have to score 10 to win it?

  40. Conrad is on fire! I guess he didn’t like the glamorous world of AAA ball…

  41. Joel, the trivia question was “What two All-Star Game MVPs are in the ballpark today?” (Don Sutton and Garret Anderson.) Joe wondered if Steve Garvey was in the park, but “I don’t see a whole lot of kids.” Cracked Jon up, apparently.

  42. Yeah, I so pegged Conrad to hit the first Braves homer in the series. Not.

    Go Brooks!

  43. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but it was a reference to all the illegitimate children.

    How about Brooks!

  44. Thanks Mac;

    Medlin only at 67 pitches so far. Hopefully can go two more innings here.

  45. If Medlen can get us through the sixth, all hands on deck from the bullpen, since we have the break upcoming.

    we just need the win.

    I love this kid conrad, he is going to cause a logjam at Second Base when KJ is healthy

  46. Probably a good thing you got your Garvey joke explanation in before mine, Mac. Mine kinda would’ve ruined the joke…heh.

  47. From Joe Posnanski: “On April 18, 2008, Conor Jackson led off with a triple against the great Greg Maddux.

    Next time up, he homered off Maddux. So, now, he HAD to be thinking cycle.

    Next time up, he singled off Maddux. So here it was, he only needed the double for the cycle. Seriously, how often is Conor Jackson going to hit for the cycle in his career?

    Fourth time up, facing Maddux one more time, he hit a long fly ball to center. Understand, the Diamondbacks were already leading 7-0 — and the hit scored another run so really the score was 8-0 — and Conor Jackson tore around the bases. He got to second base and … he kept going. And he got his second triple of the game.

    “Yeah, I thought about it,” Jackson told reporters afterward as quoted in the Arizona Republic. “I’m not going to lie — of course it crossed my mind. But one out and a runner on third is pretty appealing, I think, for Mark Reynolds.”

    Now, THAT GUY is either the world’s greatest team player or, well, something.”

    I bet Conrad would do the same thing.

  48. Yeah, I was thinking that too. Hopefully if he hits one, it either bounces over the wall or is down the left-field line.

  49. Boy, that’s a good sample size you’ve got there, especially considering he walked two men in that inning.

  50. anonymous lurker,
    do you ever back up any of your posts with stats? moylan, who has pitched more games than any other reliever, is coming of of tj surgery and has actually performed quite well.

    if you were to take away peter’s first 2 games (in which he was awful and should not have even been activated yet), he has a 3.25 era for the year. if bobby were to use him correctly, he could be really good. aside from the last 2 games (and the first 2 games), moylan has been exceptional, especially in inducing the ground ball. even yesterday, moylan got 2 straight ground balls hit weakly but not at a fielder.

    seriously, do some research to back up your witty personality.

  51. “…if you were to take away peter’s first 2 games (in which he was awful and should not have even been activated yet), he has a 3.25 era for the year. if bobby were to use him correctly, he could be really good. aside from the last 2 games (and the first 2 games), moylan has been exceptional, especially in inducing the ground ball. even yesterday, moylan got 2 straight ground balls hit weakly but not at a fielder.”

    3 straight sentences, and you had to qualify each one to make a dumb argument. IF this, IF that, blah blah. I’m tired of him seeing him walk the ballpark, he almost blew the game yesterday, and Logan looks better, to me, at this time.

    Aside from, like, every game when he sucked, Francoeur was actually a really good hitter! If you don’t count the times he blew games or gave up runs, Jeff Bennett was awesome!

  52. I don’t understand why Bobby uses Acosta here after he’s been worked hard the last 2 days. He has Valdez available.

  53. Do we have any starters that can go an inning? What about Kawasaki or whatever his name is?

  54. thats dumb logic, lurker. until you make sense, i’m done with you. 4 games out of 47 is what you call an outlier, and not the norm. bennett and francoeur normally sucked.

  55. I hope Wren doesn’t even think of offering Bobby a new contract to manage the team next year. He’s becoming the Francoeur of managers.

  56. Can this be exhibit A in the argument in defense of Bobby’s over use of the big three relievers?

    You go to the B squad when you’ve got a sizable lead, and pretty soon, you’re using your A guys in a one run game.

    It isn’t that it’s Acosta, or that it’s Logan. It’s that its Russian Roulette with the guys out there. On any given night, one of those guys can’t get outs.

  57. Incidentally, I might rather pitch Valdez in the eighth and see what happens with O’Flaherty on a fourth straight day, although we probably won’t. He definitely should’ve put Valdez in up by four in the seventh instead of Acosta. But I do agree, every time something goes wrong blaming it on Cox is getting incredibly tiresome.

  58. 111,
    Yeah. I understand where you’re coming from. But when you use your relief aces on 3 consecutive days they’re eventually going to be ineffective. And disregarding the health issues, you’d rather roll the dice and take your chances with the front end of the bullpen if the back end is tired and ineffective.

  59. 111 — Meanwhile, Valdez sits in the bullpen and does nothing, while his AAA numbers are superior to Acosta’s. That’s all I’m saying, here. Acosta was worked hard Friday and pitched again yesterday. There’s another option, and he’s being ignored.

  60. I would also point out that all three games were three-run games or less. He should’ve used the back end all three times, theoretically. There wasn’t an Atlanta save in there anywhere.

  61. If Valdez had done the same thing the cries would have been “How could you bring that guy in, just called up from Triple A? Acosta only threw four pitches yesterday!”

  62. They should bring back the big helmets that carry pitchers from the bullpen to the mound, it would make it more exciting

  63. 117 — But at least he’s a fresh arm. He hasn’t even gotten even a chance, so we don’t know what he would have done. He’s out there, you can’t use the same guys over and over. It’s not that hard of a concept. And if Valdez had blown it, I wouldn’t be blaming Bobby.

    You could have said the same thing about using Acosta a couple of days ago.

  64. We should just not use any reliever 3 days in a row unless it goes to extra innings.

    The whole point of getting Lowe and Vazquez was that they would eat innings and protect the pen. They’ve eaten innings, but all it means is that half of the pen is unused.

  65. the overuse of 4 guys in the pen is bobby’s fault. no way around it. using acosta for the 3rd straight day when there’s a fresh arm is bobby’s fault.

    pitcher’s giving up runs: not bobby’s fault. i am the biggest spokesperson against bobby’s use of the bullpen, but you will never hear me complain about someone (such as valdez) who is fresh, coming into a game, and giving up runs. that’s baseball. having 3 relievers on 1 team in the top 4 in appearances is absurd.

  66. At least Blanco is hitting over .100, which is really a plus….

    Todays a tough argument, because you have three days off, all hands are on deck, today isnt the problem with bobby, its been the last few months of treatment, today, you cant argue with his reasoning, everyone should be used, you can be tired tommorow

  67. 125 — Well, I would argue that a fresh Valdez is better than a tired Acosta. Heck, might be better than a fresh Acosta, comparing their AAA numbers.

  68. A little insurance couldn’t hurt.

    Damn, when he first hit it, I thought it was gone.

  69. 128, i agree, you got the kid here, give him a shot, if he gives you an inning, bonus, if he doesnt, then you pitch acosta, i probably would have used him, im just saying, everyones on deck today

  70. Every year we go to Colorado. And every year we make a move to add another reliever. And every year, that reliever is largely useful in the production of carbon dioxide, because he never ever gets into the game.

  71. Acosta was going to pitch today. He just was. We had our long reliever starting, and Moylan and Soriano are more overused, and are more valuable.

    You couldn’t have EXPECTED more than 4 out of Medlen. So you had 5 innings to make up with the bullpen. Acosta was going to pitch in that situation.

    Five innings for Logan, Acosta, Valdez, and hope to save O’Flaherty, Soriano and Moylan.

    It never got to the point where you had a choice to sit EOF, Moylan and Soriano.

    And he was given a 1 out, bases empty inning. He didn’t come through, and it’s Bobby’s fault because he didn’t go to the guy who’d be making his ML debut.

  72. I just dont see why they even brought him up, its obvious he had no plan to ever use him, or even consider using him

  73. True….I worry about Moylan after TJ surgery, throwing him out there every day , shouldnt there be some sort of caution with him?

  74. I’m not sure that’s the case, NJ. He was throwing in the sixth. I’m pretty sure that if Logan had gotten into trouble, he’d have been in. And the same appears to be the case with Moylan in the eighth, as he’s throwing again.

  75. But why not go to Kawakami in the 7th with a 4 run lead and ask him to give you 2? Surely he can give you 2 without blowing 4 runs?

  76. And he was given a 1 out, bases empty inning. He didn’t come through, and it’s Bobby’s fault because he didn’t go to the guy who’d be making his ML debut.

    Again, Acosta’s been worked hard the past few days. I wouldn’t be blaming Bobby if he had gone to Valdez there with a 4 run lead. Any major league pitcher should be able to protect a 4 run lead. Valdez is a better option in that situation. Heck, Bobby could have left in Logan, he took him out against a switch-hitter and hasn’t been worked hard lately.

  77. Yeah, I could see Bobby trying to make Soriano get 4 or 5 outs.

    Some of these guys arms are just dead, its not even there fault…Moylan, especially, coming off that surgery, he has to be hurting

  78. But Valdez isn’t yet a Major League Pitcher. That’s the entire point. That’s why Bobby didn’t want to use him unless his back was to the wall.

  79. Then you should have left Hanson on the roster, or brought someone up because everyone is sick/hurt.

    If you bring someone up, you feel is capable of getting an out-three outs, then you should be willing to use him, otherwise, get a bat up, or another starter, like jo jo just to make the day start

  80. He’s on the roster because he was the best option at Triple A. That doesn’t make him a plausible option in the 8th inning of a major league baseball game.

  81. Mac,

    You do know Hanson was deactivated so Valdez could be put on the roster, don’t you?

  82. I didn’t say to use him in the 8th inning. I said to use him in a low leverage situation an inning ago.

  83. I dont think anyone was asking for Valdez to be in the 8th, but rather the 5th or 6th…when its easier for him, instead, now we have him in necessity possibly….

    Poor use of bullpen, especially when your starter goes 4, you know all hands are on deck

  84. I misspoke. Thus you are obviously correct and my entire argument falls like a house of cards…

    Acosta had to pitch. The starter went 4, and we knew he would.. He was going to pitch today. That spot, 1 out no one on, was the best time for him to do so.

  85. So, unless we score here (ha!) Valdez will get to make his major league debut in the bottom of the ninth inning of a tie game at Coors Field.

  86. He will probably keep Moylan in for another…his arm is fine…he needs the work

  87. Mac,

    Do we know FORSURE that Cox won’t use Soriano today?

    My guess is that is who you see in #9 unless we blow out a big lead in the top half.

  88. Moylan 3 outings in COL and 3 runs allowed or you can also say 5 runs allowed in his last 7 games. Hey Bobby, your killing our relievers!!

    We have 3 relievers in the top 4 of amount of games pitched by a reliever. That cant or shouldnt happen

    http://tinyurl.com/lcf4l8

  89. On the plus side, wouldn’t you rather have Soriano and Valdez available in this situation than Soriano and an Acosta who’s pitched the last three days?

  90. This just feels like one of those season-killing games that we never recover from, esp since every other team in the East that counts has won or is winning today. F-ing Colorado.

  91. I just dont know how we are coming back without our best Bat on the Bench, we already used Norton, IDK what we will do now

  92. Sorry, I forget sometimes that sarcasm doesn’t translate well through this particular medium.

  93. So, look who’s injury just got magically healed!

    Also, let me rephrase that: Sometimes I forget that subtle sarcasm doesn’t translate well through this particular medium.

  94. Little from column A, little from column B. The pitch Moylan was really upset about was a ball. The earlier one was a strike.

  95. Gozalez, Soriano, Moylan, And O’Flaherty. That’s 4 out of 7 guys. That leaves three guys, presumably, who aren’t over used. Acosta, Medlen, Logan. Valdez is up because we sent a starter down.

    Medlen started today, and you’re saying Acosta should not have pitched… So you were going to get through this game how?

    Keep in mind that Campillo, Carlyle, and Bennett would ALL slot between those big 4 and the three who aren’t being used “enough.”

    The problem is that we play an inordinate number of close games, and that 3 of our bullpen guys are gone due to injury or ineffectiveness.

    I feel that if Bennett wasn’t terrible, or we had someone better than him to do his job, this wouldn’t be a problem.

  96. I just can’t believe this crap. We really needed this game and 7 runs wasn’t enough.

  97. And Valdez gets hammered.

    If Valdez had done that in the 6th, Acosta would have done his damage in the 9th. Soriano wasn’t going to pitch unless SOMEONE got to the 9th with a lead.

  98. That’s what we are. Phillies won. Mets won, Marlins won. We blew a 4 run lead. Just another grat day for Braves baseball.

  99. Hindsight is 20/20 but, thats why you dont leave a rookie in the ninth, you throw him in the 6th, where you can overcome it, this kid might have joey devine syndrome now

  100. One of the most important games of the year, and Kris Medlen and Diory Hernandez started, and we had a AAA callup pitch the bottom of the ninth.

  101. nj, no Bobby will just never use him again

    this game wasnt any more important than any of the other ones we’ve played. They all are the same and 75% of them are mismanaged

  102. I don’t suppose it’ll do any good to point out that the consensus on here was that we would be happy with a split, especially given that we lost the first game in wrenching fashion.

    Also, I wouldn’t call this one of the most important games of the year. Saying that any single game during the baseball regular season is important is a little bit of a stretch, at least at this point in the season. This means what exactly? That we’ll go into the All-Star break upset? Who cares? It’s an arbitrary break in the middle of the season. This loss doesn’t mean any more than a loss like this in Coors Field would at the end of May. Especially considering that Medlen was starting.

  103. Today is ashame, the offense gave 7 runs, should have been enough, though, it is Colorado. But going 500 into the mets series, with a chance to bury them, that changes now, losing this game.

    I do think now, that, we are pretty close to competing for the wild card, and equally close to finishing fourth in the league….its wide open

  104. I just don’t understand. Acosta and Valdez were both going to pitch, and neither of them were going to get the job done. They are both bad at pitching major league baseball. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. The bullpen outside of the top 4 isn’t any GOOD. They give up runs! And they lose!

    It’s all Bobby’s fault.

    You can also blame Acosta for being bad. And blame Vazquez for being hurt. And blame Medlen for being whatever it is that Medlen is. Which is why he isn’t used more often in the Bullpen, by the way. His ERA is about 6.

  105. @196, disagree. Every team in the division won, and we needed to get to the break at .500 to keep some momentum. Can’t remember a more important game to date.

  106. Mac was right on earlier, Medlen needs a better fitting hat, jk

    Think about it, we had no escobar, we had no mccann we started medlen, we scored 7 runs, its a game we had to win, end of story

  107. jj, I think you’re right, but second guessing the bullpen is too easy and rewarding for anyone to ever stop doing it.

    The main problem is the offense. In the normal bullpen, Medlen isn’t a bullpen pitcher at all. Logan and Atrosta are coinflips at best (maybe a bit unfair to Logan). There just isn’t much there.

    Valdez has pitched 6 more innings in AAA than any of our relievers (less appearances, but still…).

    I would have probably gone Valdez in the 7th, but in the end, if our crap relievers want to sabotage the team, they are very clearly capable.

  108. I can think of a bunch more important games this season, including two on this road trip.

  109. #199, Valdez is bad at pitching major league baseball? What do you base that on? His sub 3 ERA and 44 saves in the minors in the past 2 years?

    Acosta had pitched the last 2 days and given up no runs. He had a 1.93 ERA going into the game, but had appeared in 10 games in the last 35 days. He obviously can pitch major league baseball.

    Bobby has to learn to trust these guys in low leverage situations so that we can use our good relievers fresh in games such as this.

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