Braves 7, Mets 1

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – July 19, 2009 – ESPN

Wow, the Mets kind of suck. Which just makes yesterday harder to swallow. Their only RBI was from Jeffy, which should give you some idea. Their starting pitcher pitched a shutout first inning, then hurt his leg trying to run out a groundout in the second, which is the sort of thing that happens to the Mets and is a big reason why they kind of suck.

Javier Vazquez, as usual, was outstanding, going seven innings and giving up but one run. As not usual, he got some run support, mostly courtesy of Yunel Escobar, who had three hits and therefore is available to talk to reporters. Yunel gave the Braves a lead with a solo shot in the second inning. After the Braves continued to show what they really think of Francoeur by pitching around Wright — with two out and first base occupied — in the third inning, Jeffy hit a single to score a run. It wasn’t a good single, but then Jeffy isn’t a good player, so the Mets have to take what they can get.

To show that he is not a good player, as if there was any need for further evidence, Francoeur misplayed a ball hit by ACHE down the right field line. It was ruled a double and an error, which is probably the right call, though it could have been a triple and it’s not like Anderson has a lot of chances for those. Yunel gave the Braves the lead again with a broken-bat single over short. In the fifth, the Mets showed that they were not only bad but also stupid, not taking the out when Vazquez bunted after a Church walk. The throw actually got Church, but the shortstop dropped the ball and all hands were safe. By the end of the inning, it was 7-1.

McLouth walked to load the bases. Prado singled, scoring Church from third, and Vazquez scored on a Chipper sac fly. McCann’s lined single to center was hit wrong to score anyone, loading the bases. ACHE popped up for the second out. But Yunel came through again with a double (it might have been a triple if McCann hadn’t been on) to score two runs, and Kotchman drove in McCann for the last run but Yunel was thrown out at the plate.

Vazquez went seven, allowing six hits (the only one for extra bases a double leading off the game) and one walk while striking out five. Bobby brought in Gonzalez to pitch the eighth, which is, I guess, a good call, getting him some work in a low-pressure situation. However, he inexplicably brought in Soriano to pitch the ninth. He comes in in non-save situations a lot, usually when the Braves get late runs, but this time it made no sense. I hope it doesn’t backfire, but it’s not like the Giants are coming to town with a guy who threw a no-hitter last time out pitching the opener so runs might be at a premium or anything.

I promise that I will do my best tomorrow to get through the day without making any more Francoeur wisecracks. I’m not optimistic that I actually will, but I’ll give it a try.

123 thoughts on “Braves 7, Mets 1”

  1. After yesterday’s debacle, no Sunday special lineup and no crappy relievers. This was a must-win game, and we slammed the door shut on an inferior team.

  2. I was very surprised to see Soriano pitching with a six-run lead before going up against a very good San Francisco rotation. Actually, “surprised” isn’t the right word anymore.

  3. I am not even going to comment on Sori’s appearance. This is getting old. Bobby is Bobby, what can we say.

    Finally, no more Frenchy. We can finally move on.

  4. I don’t know about Phillips but I just viewed and it’s creepy.

    Back to using Soriano it’s just a beyond stupid call. We are about to play 4 games against the wild card leading Giants which lead us by 5 in said WC. They have the best pitching in the NL, we have the 2nd. All 4 games are probably going to be close and you trot out your closer with a 6 run lead against a hapless Met team? I’ll never understand it.

  5. I initially thought the exact same thing about Soriano, but I think Bobby did it in order to reward him by letting him pitch on national TV. Could be wrong, but I liked the move.

  6. Watching a win over the Mets is worth suffering through Joe Morgan.

    Man KJ may have a relapse on that wrist the way Prado is hitting.

    Ok Mac, I’ll take the pledge too. No more Frenchy talk.

  7. #7

    I really doubt that being on national TV has every played a role in any Cox decision but maybe I’m wrong.

  8. Be fair Mac. Yunel was thrown out by…? In any case, it’s a great example of the relative value of defense. One gained, one given up. Dead even for Jeffy in this game.

  9. Does anyone in the press corps have the nads to question Bobby about a move this dumb? Or his he treated with kid gloves so as to not burn any bridges?

  10. Yeah, but the misplay in right came in a tie game. The throwout was essentially meaningless, the difference between losing by six and by seven.

  11. But Yunel came through again with a double (it might have been a triple if McCann hadn’t been on)

    How do you figure? Francoeur snared the ball before it got to the wall and fired it back in.

    I don’t know about Phillips but I just viewed and it’s creepy.

    Agree. It’s interesting that she is as interested in checking out herself as her viewers are.

  12. Does anyone in the press corps have the nads to question Bobby about a move this dumb? Or his he treated with kid gloves so as to not burn any bridges?

    Bobby, question over here! The game was far too boring towards the end. Did you consider putting Acosta in to generate a true save opportunity for Soriano? Is it safe to assume that the six pitches Soriano threw tonight make him unavailable for the Giants series?

    You guys never disappoint.

  13. Well, Soriano HAD only pitched one inning in over a week. (Thursday night’s save). I don’t think it’s too outlandish to want to get him some work to keep sharp. If he had thrown 3 out of 4 days then it would’ve been a Bad Move. But since he’s coming off the ASB, I’m not outraged by his appearance tonight.

  14. #18

    So it’s not a legitimate question especially considering the chance for several close games the next few nights?

    We already have one reliever with his arm about to fall off (Moylan), and another recovering from a sore arm. I just don’t see any reason to use your best pitcher in a game with a 6 run lead. Also, the Mets were basically swinging at anything and just looking to get out of town.

  15. You know the Mets are desperate when they start trotting out Elmer Dessens. He’s kind of like the Jeff Francoeur of relief pitchers – only for some inexplicable reason he’s still on a ML roster at 38.

  16. We just ended the Mets’ season. I love it when that happens.

    We’re 12-5 in our last 17 games, and now we get four cracks at the Giants. Lincecum I’ll grant you, but Sanchez, Sadowski, and Zito? This is supposed to frighten anybody? Please. This blog should be in “bring ’em on” mode right now.

  17. A pictorial summary of the series:

    ” rel=”nofollow”>The Mets….

    ” rel=”nofollow”>…LOL

  18. “Hometown pressure” is just an excuse for his utter failure. Atlanta is one of the most laid-back baseball cities in baseball.

  19. Not only that, but as badly as Jeffy sucked, Atlanta cheered and continued buying #7 jerseys and interviewing him about things like what the team’s record was when he wore a certain pair of underwear (he was keeping track of this, mind you :x ) throughout the entire painful affair. If I didn’t hang out at this blog every day, I would’ve thought I was the only fan aware of how badly he sucked. The whole notion that Jeffy was under an inoordinate amount of pressure here…. well, good luck in New York, Jeffy, is all I’ll say… :lol:

  20. For what it’s worth, here’s Bobby after the game about Escobar and the hit-on-run on Saturday (from Carroll):

    Cox said Sunday: “That’s not all true. The ball was pretty much inside. It was a hard pitch to hit-and-run on, and it was easy to get locked up on it. He’s been coming through. He’s come through the entire series with his glove and his bat.”

  21. I mean this sincerely (which is rare in my posts here), but I’m really glad to hear Bobby say that. I know Escobar’s done some dumb shit, and I know you gotta swing when the manager puts the hit and run on, but really that was a terrible, terrible call by Cox, and Yunel couldn’t have hit it if he did swing. I thought Cox comments after the game yesterday were bush league, and despite his boneheadedness, I’ve taken serious issue this year with how the team is handling Yunel. I agree with Mac in that regard.

    Bobby’s comments above seem to portray an awareness of this fact, and give me a bit of optimism that we won’t mishandle Yune – who is quite simply, one of our best players on both offense and defense…by a long shot – by shipping him off for scraps or benching him for SubZero for weeks at a time.

  22. So it’s not a legitimate question especially considering the chance for several close games the next few nights?

    Sure and he’d say “This game was big for us, didn’t want to take any chances, Sori hasn’t worked much lately”.

    This stuff is so tired. Folks need a new dead horse.

  23. ” rel=”nofollow”>Frenchy’s taste pretty good too, or so I hear…(too soon?)

  24. Way to go Booby .. waste both Gonzo and Sori in same game with a 6 run lead .. you wait we will need them Tue night and wont be able to use them ….. stupid !!

  25. @34 I agree. Finally some common sense from Bobby.

    @26 That kid is just full of excuses. I am so glad we can finally move on.

  26. I just realize Citi Field (or Taxpayer Field) offers seat categories of Delta Club Platinum, Delta Club Gold, Delta Club Silver, and Delta Club. No wonder why the Mets traded for Frenchy. Maybe Delta was behind the whole trade!

  27. I’m sure folks posted on this during the game, but I had to comment after having to endure Morgan and Phillips for that long. Both adamantly agreed that the Mets got the better end of the Francoeur-Church deal, mainly because, to cite Morgan, Francoeur has “RBI abilities” and, to cite Phillips, “pop.”

    I ask you: is it possible for ESPN to trot out two less qualified individuals for their signature game of the week, every week? I know we crack on them, but sometimes just experiencing the dull mediocrity that is sports commentating can stop you, prepared or not, in your tracks.

  28. If we were facing the Phillies or Yanks, teams that could actually come back from that deficit I wouldn’t have as big a problem with it, but the Muts sucked it up on offense the whole series and they were just looking to get out of town.

    But, and I know some people here hate this, this next series is the most important one of the year. If we sweep the Giants we would only be 1 out of the wild card, I would like Sori to have all the rest he can when it’s pretty obvious we’re about to play some tight games.

  29. @41: Francoeur has so much “pop” that he’s only got 20 extra-base hits this year. Compare that to Brian McCann (30), Torii Hunter (37), Jason Bay (42), Mark Teixeira (45), and Albert Pujols (57).

    If Francoeur has “pop,” I can’t imagine what Albert Pujols has. It must be inhuman.

  30. @41,

    It was especially bad tonight. I was just waiting for Morgan to comment on how bad Vazquez actually was since “wins are the most important stat for a pitcher” and he has a losing record. He wisely kept his mouth shut when John brought that up.

  31. If Francoeur has “pop,” I can’t imagine what Albert Pujols has. It must be inhuman.

    His pop was in evidence in the ninth. Soriano hung a slider, Francoeur crushed it to center and…McClouth caught it in front of the warning track. Like Mac has said, it’s like he’s playing with a trick bat. The ball jumps of his bat like he’s swinging a wet towel.

    But, and I know some people here hate this, this next series is the most important one of the year.

    It’s really, really not.

  32. The Braves only had 9 hits tonight, but with 8 walks, that was plenty. It’s nice to have a guy like McLouth at the top of the lineup who can get on base even when he’s slumping (4 walks). Church’s 2 walks tonight were two more than Jeffy would have had.

  33. I’m pretty happy with this series. I think that if most people were told that the Braves would win 3 out of 4, losing only to Santana, that they’d take it.

    Now let’s go take 3 from the wild card leaders.

  34. My roommate reports from Myrtle Beach that Hudson topped out at 94 on his fastball, threw two splitters, and showed a good change. So there’s that. Don’t remember him really using the change too much before…

    I thought using Soriano was a bad idea, but it’s hard to be upset when we take 3 out of 4 from the Mets. If McLouth can get going a little better and our 3 and 4 hitters can flash some power, the Wild Card should be within reach.

  35. My roommate reports from Myrtle Beach that Hudson topped out at 94 on his fastball, threw two splitters, and showed a good change. So there’s that. Don’t remember him really using the change too much before…

    I thought using Soriano was a bad idea, but it’s hard to be upset when we take 3 out of 4 from the Mets.

  36. 94 mph?! That’s amazing. It took Gonzo almost a year to get his velocity back. Huddy added a change the last couple years when his splits weren’t working…

  37. So, do we put Huddy in the pen for a while, send Acosta somewhere, preferably the Mets.
    I wouldn’t mind him being a setup guy/ long man to build up but I am afraid Bobby will just plug him in and send him 8 innings in his first game back.

  38. Sure and he’d say “This game was big for us, didn’t want to take any chances, Sori hasn’t worked much lately”.

    Geez Bobby…it’s not like the 27 Yankees were due up in the 9th. Heck one of the hitters was even Francoeur. It was a mop up situation against a bad team looking to get out of town, and he used the wrong guy – again.

  39. Oldtimer,

    I am more afraid that with 5 competent or better star5ting pitchers, Cox will try to make room for Huddy and put him on pitch counts and innings limits and eat up this pen.

    If he was that good at the Beach, he should have one or two more appearances and then be an ML 2 inning reliever. We need one of those of hihg quality and we are wasting potential good performance with Huddy down at the Beach (or wherever).

    I wonder if we can find a Spanish Language Dr. Llewellyn? I think Acosta just breaks under pressure. He has the stuff.

  40. Hanan at 52,

    I am giving Bobby a little slack on Soriano. IFSoriano asked for work or has previously set out a “don’t let me go more than 3 days without work”, THEN using him made sense.

    Using Gonzo made sense, but NOT after O’Flaherty had already warmed up. If Gonzo felt like going, it was the perfect place to reinsert him.

  41. I do wonder whether this team would be better off putting KJ back at 2nd (where he’s been a plus defender), moving Prado to 3rd (where he’s been a plus defender), and moving Chipper to 1st (and benching or gettig rid of Kotchman). A few reasons. 1) your infield goes from having plus defenders at short and first to having plus defenders at 2nd, short, and 3rd. 2) KJ, I still feel, is a better hitter than Kotchman and has a ton more upside. And 3) even if KJ doesn’t start to hit, you might as well have your “good defense, no offense” position be 2B rather than 1B. It probably won’t happen and I don’t know that we’re better off with that arrangement, but I do wonder…

  42. I don’t understand you people knocking Joe Morgan’s insights. After all, he is a Hall of Famer and he played the game. Are you trying to tell me is wrong about Jeff Francouer being an “RBI guy” after hitting a pitch three inches off the plate? You don’t agree that a guy never loses the “ability” to drive in 100 runs? That it’s not just a matter of Jeffy having lost his confidence? You are telling me that Joe Morgan is wrong that the reason Vazquez has a career record below .500 is that “if you stay close to him, you can beat him?” I’m shocked, shocked I tell you. After all, Jeff Francouer is hitting .280 for the Mets–see the trade has already helped by getting him away from all the “pressure” of his hometown fans cheering for him when he swings at pitches over his head. Everyone knows the fans in New York will be much more forgiving than those tough Atlanta fans, especially to a southerner. :)

  43. Cliff, that is another scenario alright. He would be a great setup man for awhile if he is hitting 94, besides, pounding fastballs is the best development for his arm as opposed to any breaking balls.

  44. #55 – I dont worry about getting KJ back in this lineup until he can at least show he’s getting better. That .290OBP in AAA shows he got serious problems

    We might be better doing your scenario with Infante at 2nd

  45. @Mac@26:

    I’m going to hazard a guess and say that, w/r/t pressure from the fans and the media, *especially* if you offer all sorts of “intangible” BS, Atlanta’s the easiest freaking place to play in the bigs.

    So yeah, Jeff. Get over it.

  46. the bigger issue is what Wren decides to do with the rotation when Huddy comes back. Could we do the unthinkable with a 6 man rotation, Boston is thinking about it with Bucholz.

    You dont send Kawakami anywhere, it seems he’s getting better everytime out. You could move Vasquez, but he may be someone you look to offer an extension to. Best bet would be to move Lowe to some team needing pitching, maybe the loser in the Halladay sweepstakes. We then just pick up some of the salary, maybe $2mil per, and ask for lesser prospects. Is that even possible?

  47. Talking about Chipper to 1st should be verboten.

    But to briefly entertain the thought, I’m not sure that KJ’s ceiling is that much higher than Kotchman’s. Their 2007 seasons are remarkably similar. That and moving an injury-prone guy to a position he’s never played in the middle of the season just seems like a terrible idea.

  48. CSG,

    With that albatross of a contract, I don’t think that Lowe is going anywhere without us eating a much bigger chunk of his salary than 2 million/ year. I agree with you on Kawakami. In my opinion, the correct answer to this situation is the one that Cliff proposed- Hudson in a relief spot would go a long way towards helping this team pick up a playoff spot.

    But what I think ends up happening is this- Hudson will look, and feel, great in his minor league rehab assignments, and therefore, Lowe will be tried, unsuccessfully, to be dealt to a team in the coming two weeks, followed by the movement of Vazquez to a Championship series, or World Series Contender, for a middling outfield bat and high-ceiling prospect. At this point, the team’s rotation will have Hudson, Lowe, Kawakami, Jurrjens, and Hanson, which admittedly, does not look as great as Vazquez, Hudson, Kawakami, Jurrjens, and Hanson, but should still be good enough to garner us a playoff spot if the offense picks it up.

  49. Why not just move Lowe to the bullpen? Other than “he makes 15 million dollars a season” and “the organization won’t do it”, I haven’t heard a reason why he shouldn’t be the guy to move to the bullpen. And neither of those are good reasons.

  50. PWHjort,

    I think that many of us believe that one of Lowe/Hudson/Kawakami moving to the bullpen would improve this team when Hudson returns. If some of us managed the Braves, I’m sure that it would be a move that would be made. And that’s because that there isn’t a really good reason for why that move should not occur. But most of us know that it probably is not going to occur, again because of the organization. I agree, it’s not a good reason. But that move is not happening, so it’s kinda useless to talk about it.

  51. The reason not to move Lowe (or any of the other 4 starters, really, other than possibly Hanson for innings and pitch limit protection on the young arm) to the pen is that they are all already “stretched out” and now we are going to let Hudson bop around the minors for 5 to 6 weeks getting “stretched out” one year after major surgery.

    In what way am I crazy on “Hudson as 2 inning reliever for this year” and why can’t Wren and Bobby see it (probably they see it, but they are not wanting to ask Hudson to do something for the team. I suppose that he would do it and be glad to if it gets him to ML quicker as long as it is safe.)

  52. And even though i think it would help the team if Chipper moved to first, I wouldn’t want to ask him in season. Probably the only way I would ask that is if Kotchman went down for the year (Bobby would just play Prado there).

    KJ’s BAPIP has been even more horrid at Gwinnett than at ML level. He should be 40 or 50 points higher in BA (and thus obp and slg) which then says he is hitting AAA pretty well.

  53. I don’t see how getting a fresh arm (Hudson) who is capable of starting when all the other starters will have thrown 100+ innings and moving the fresh arm to the bullpen is the most efficient allocation of your resources.

  54. I think it’s a pretty safe bet that either Hudson is going to be in the bullpen or he’ll take Hanson’s spot in the rotation (with a lesser chance he’ll take Kawakami’s). The whole point of signing Lowe was to have a guy who would reliably give you quality innings as a starter. I don’t see the Braves abandoning that plan in order to give starts to a guy coming back from TJ surgery.

    There is no way moving Chipper to 1st during this season would make the Braves better. Just look at what happened when the Braves tried that with Salty a few years back. Even for a veteran like Chipper it would take some time to get used to playing first. If Kelly figures things out at AAA, you could have him at 2B and Prado at 1B but that’s about it. If you want Chipper at first, it’ll have to wait until next year when he’s had an offseason and spring training to become acclimated to the position.

  55. I don’t understand why you would simply assume that Hudson would become the old Hudson this. Why would you break up a strong rotation to put someone in coming off surgery? I think people are getting much too excited about a couple of minor league innings. At least wait for Hudson to show that he is back.

    As for Lowe, I realize he has been a disappointment and people are ready to ship him out. But, aside from the difficulty of getting rid of his contract, I would be reluctant to give up on him yet. Obviously, the Braves need more offense but I don’t see anything out there that would be worth breaking up the rotation at this point.

  56. I’m only assuming Hudson comes back as the Tim Hudson of 2007-2008 for discussion purposes. If he doesn’t, there’s not too much to discuss.

  57. As far as Chipper goes, I’m not necessarily advocating it. I just wonder if it’d be a more optimal arrangement. But on shifting to 1st, it’s not like he could do much worse than he’s done at 3rd.

  58. I’ve said this before, but my theory of first base is that the only real difference is between the guy who can’t play the position at all and the guy who can. If your first baseman is below-average, it doesn’t really matter. If he can’t play the position — and you have to make that assumption with someone who’s never played there — he will make your life a living hell. Every single ground ball is a possible error.

  59. Matt Holliday 20 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 47 RBI, .276/.371/.424
    Yunel Escobar 20 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 52 RBI, .303/.365/.468

  60. Kj at first over Kotchman is a bad idea, Kotch has been hitting better and the 7/8 is a good spot for him.
    KJ at first, nein, bad idea. A guy who is having trouble hitting does not need to learn another new position especially since Kotch is the 2nd best glove on the team.

    Prado is not a defensive upgrade anywhere on the field, but sonbitch can hit.

    Lowe is not a closer anymore, it would be like bringing in Charlie Leibrandt to relieve.

  61. If the organization decides to move Lowe to the bullpen then Bobby opts to use Lowe over Soriano or Gonzalez……. I don’t even know. Aside: very encouraging to see Gonzalez pitch well and pain-free (I’m assuming since he threw a pain-free bullpen session on Saturday) last night. I thought a date with Dr. Andrews was emminent.

  62. Well, you cited his saves, and a 15 million dollar MR is not going to happen and putting a 30 something fresh off TJ surgery into a starting role is not prudent either.

    But, If Lowe does not find his early season form though he may wind up there.

  63. #77 – still might be. I think his elbow problems will keep us from offering an extension. Soriano will probably be too expensive for us also. So now Wren has another big hole to look at in the offseason. JS really didnt leave him with much, did he?

  64. Yikes, Caminiti.
    Dark days alright.

    Nothing like starting a report for work at home and the town comes and decides to cut down three trees on your block.

  65. Assuming Kelly Johnson and Kotchman continue to hit like they have all season and using very conservative extrapolations of Prado’s defensive abilities at 3B, Chipper would have to be a -22 (runs) defender or worse at first in order for the alignment I proposed to be less optimal than the one we currently have. I think Kelly has a better shot at improving than Kotchman. Of course this assumes that everyone played to their defensive ability in the first half (I don’t think Chipper is a -12 defender, though he cost us 12 runs in the first half, for example). I looked up someone who has a reputation as a bas defender–Russell Branyan. He ranks 29th in +/- at 1B and has only cost his team 4 runs. I’m still not much closer to my answer, but I’m starting to believe that the team would be better off with the alignment I proposed.

  66. The fascination with KJ amazes me. If anything, when Infante comes back, we may never see KJ in an Atlanta Braves uniform again.

    Chipper is not going to first. After he whined and cried about moving to left field, I don’t think the Braves want to go through that again.

    Kotchman is only 25y/o, is it possible he may develop into a power hitter? I’m asking…

  67. @83,

    It’s possible. Sometimes guys do develop power later in their careers as they learn the pitchers better and focus on the technical aspects of hitting home runs. Even Hank Aaron became more of a pure home run hitter later in his career. But Kotchman has been a generally mediocre hitter overall since coming to the Braves; if he was a Mark Grace-type, who hit, say 15-20 home runs a year, but got a lot of doubles and hit for a fairly high average and had a high OBP, that would be more than acceptable.

  68. The best case scenario for Kotchman is Grace. Grace’s career averages were .303 /.383 /.442, with 12 homers (career high 17) and 37 doubles per 162 games.

  69. I am happy with where we are. I think Anderson is coming around. I think Kotchman is playing better, but we need more power from one of those spots.

  70. Mac, i would take a Grace like career form Kotchman.
    if we can find power in LF/RF, next year could be a heck of a season.

  71. Always nice to get off the plane at JFK, have the cabbie flip on WFAN & hear the 10:00 show start with a bit they call “The Met Autopsy.”

    Oh, this town is a crack-up sometimes.

  72. If a fairly favorable trade is not available, the Braves will activate KJ. They will not release him. His rehab hasn’t gone so bad as many are saying on here.

    They will probably try to get by sending Diory down to activate KJ. They might release Norton (which, after Saturday, looks like it ought to happen now). But, if Infante is ready in about 2 more weeks, then decisions will have to be made.

  73. The insanity about the bullpen is over the moon at this point. Mike Gonzalez had not pitched in 10 days. He was testing out a recently bum wing. Cox put him into a low pressure situation to see what his arm had. That’s a good move by a manager who doesn’t live on the internet.

    Raffy Soriano had pitched once since the ASG, throwing 17 pitches three nights ago. You want to keep your closer fresh and ready for the upcoming series with SF.

    I swear to God some of you people would never have your best relievers pitch in order to save them for a potential next day. They might not ever actually record an out, but by God they’d be well rested if you decided one day, miraculously, that this was the day that they need to break a sweat.

  74. Johnson replaces Norton as a backup MI/OF and pinch hitter. Infante replaces Hernandez as the backup SS. Prado remains the emergency SS in case of fire and exploding things.

    Hudson goes to the pen in the Bennett/Carlyle role. They deal either him or Vasquez this winter.

  75. The facination with KJ is that in 2007 and 2008 he was a pretty good player. Even VERY good in 2007. The Braves ‘disabled’ him because they recognize that. Infante has played good for the Braves but his history suggests that he is a pumpkin. As for Prado, who knows, he could be trying on an outfielders glove over the off season.

    Regarding KJ’s babip. Ok I get that he may be hit unlucky. But my limited observation of his play says that his balls in play were an assortment of weak grounders and popups. Its not as if he is hitting frozen ropes right at em. Top that with the fact that he had somehow forgotten to walk and you get ‘wrist injury’ and a short ride to Gwinnett.

  76. If you are not going to trust your back-of-the-bench relievers to get three outs with a six run lead and a less-than-intimidating roster of hitters due up, then why are they on the team? Given that you can reasonably expect high leverage situations in most games (since we usually have trouble scoring runs), it doesn’t make sense to run your best reliever out there to finish this particular game. I am not buying the “keep him sharp” angle personally.

  77. @93–good calls–much more straightforward than some of the other schemes being floated

  78. In our last 17 games (in which we’ve gone 12-5 — not that you’d know it hanging out here), the Braves have averaged 5.35 runs per game. The only two NL teams averaging 5 runs per game for the season play in hitter’s parks (PHI 5.34, COL 5.04).

    With the additions of McLouth and Prado to the lineup, and the Frenchy/Church swap, you can make the argument that we have the best offense in the league. I’m not necessarily saying that’s true, but I think we should get used to the relatively new idea that this is a pretty darn good lineup.

    (Incidentally, should we ever get back to full health, a bench of Ross, KJ, Infante, Diaz, and whoever else would be one of the best benches I’ve ever witnessed, right up there with the 2001 Mariners….)

  79. “The facination with KJ is that in 2007 and 2008 he was a pretty good player. Even VERY good in 2007. The Braves ‘disabled’ him because they recognize that. Infante has played good for the Braves but his history suggests that he is a pumpkin. As for Prado, who knows, he could be trying on an outfielders glove over the off season.”

    The problem with KJ, even when he was “pretty good”, is that he was way too inconsistent. Sure at the end of the year his numbers are respectable, but his droughts are just too much for any team to endure.

  80. Im with Sam and Sancho. I really think we need another reliever and for the Phillies to cool off some.

  81. Do people here think the 2011 outfield is more likely to be McLouth/Schafer/Heyward, Cody Johnson/McLouth/Heyward, or some other combination? 2012?

  82. If Prado moves out of 2nd base, then the only person who should have a shot at that role at this time is Conrad. The dude has earned his shot. Also, it will be good to have Infante back for outfield/infield help. Hernandez, KJ, and Norton have no place on this team right now – nor should they.

  83. JoeyT,

    Until he cuts down on those K’s and make better contact, Cody Johnson is not going to hit in the upper minors, let alone in Atlanta. At this point, it’s probably more likely to be McLouth/Schafer/Heyward.

  84. For those who have the luxury of being able to watch the Braves on a daily basis, what was your opinion of Kelly Johnson earlier this year? Was he, for the most part, hitting balls hard, but at guys? Or was he clearly overmatched?

  85. Schaeffer could be a another Brian Giles. Nevermind those were the years he was on the juice. was Schaeffer. Sorry.

  86. desert,

    Partially agreed. Cody doesn’t project to ML yet, let alone to a good ML player yet.

    However, he has lowered his K % this year and increased his BB % despite stepping up a level. 2 more years after this one will tell the tale, I think.

  87. PWHjort – LD% means line drive percent? Ok you got me. Like I said I have only gotten to see him actually play probably 4 or 5 times this season and he was dribbling the ball all over the infield. I’m not anti KJ. I want him to be the guy from 2007/8. However if Prado continues to hit this way he becomes irrelevant.

    Do you know any Hjorts in Thomasville GA?

  88. desert @106,

    KJ appeared to be trying to take the outside pitch to the left side and couldn’t do it successfully. Couldn’t put it on the ground, coudn’t hit it off the wall or over the wall. Long fly balls. Otherwise, he looked like his usual self (except that the umpires seem to have a “who are you punk” attitude about him when he takes pitches. They really call a different strike zone [bigger] for him than for most Braves or other hitters).

  89. Cliff,

    You are right. If he can develop plate discipline and pitch recognition to the point that his K rates are just partially elevated (instead of way over the top), he has top ten prospect potential.

  90. Johnson started hitting the ball hard, but at people. Then he stopped doing even that. His track record indicates that he is a quality player going through a very rough spell. If he gets healthy in AAA you want him on your team.

    Brooks Conrad is a decent journeyman MI who can help. They should him while he’s hot. But no one should ever mistake him for a solution. He’s Keith Lockhart, circa 1997.

  91. Yunel named NL Player of the Week. That’s another thing for people to talk to him about.

  92. Wow Sam,

    I had thought of the Lockhart comp but would have said Conrad is a better version of Lockhart. A little more sheer speed and a little more pop.

  93. The idea that two of the most overworked relievers in the game need extra work to stay sharp is comical. Pitching is not the same as hitting. Why not throw some side sessions or simulated games to stay sharp and/or determine if an arm is healthy? Greg Norton could be the batter for every inning of the simulated game. He obviously needs the work and if he fails maybe it will give our pitchers some extra confidence. It’s a win-win!
    It’s probably a moot point but I don’t see a bullpen move for Lowe helping the team. Relievers should ideally be strikeout pitchers, which Lowe surely is not. Bobby would see him as the second coming of Gryboski. The horror! I’d be quite interested to see what Hudson could do coming out of the pen with no need to try to pace himself.

  94. @113,

    Obviously, we need to trade Yunel. Maybe we could get Jeff Francouer back.

  95. Game thread is up. As I stated, I don’t get using Soriano there, but he isn’t really overworked. Gonzalez, meanwhile, hadn’t worked in more than a week and it’s best to get him started with something easy.

  96. Conrad is not Lockhart. He’s a switch hitter with some pop and speed. However his 2nd base defense is below average.

  97. Tony,

    I think Lockhart I (1997 as Sam indicated) was a decent enouhgh ML starter. It was Lockhart II (the second time around in 2002 or so) when he was bad.

  98. Francoeur is 2-3 with a double… I think he’s going to start for the remainder of the year…


    Phillies won…

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