Braves 8, Giants 1

San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – July 21, 2009 – ESPN

Are the Braves officially hot? I think they might be.

The Braves led from the get-go, taking a 1-0 lead in the first when McCann doubled home Prado. They took over in the third and fourth. In the former, Chipper doubled home Derek Lowe, Prado scored on a ACHE sac-fly, and Escobar singled home Chipper. The Giants, for some reason, stuck with their starter even as he was imploding. In the fourth, Prado’s third hit of the day scored Church, then he came home, together with Chipper, on a three-run homer by McCann.

That was more than enough for Derek Lowe, who’s back to his early-season form. Lowe allowed one run, in the fifth inning, after a leadoff double that was the only extra-base hit he gave up. He did allow seven hits in six innings of work, but only walked one, and he struck out four. Better control, a few more strikeouts — that’s what he needed. Moylan pitched the seventh; whether this means he’s out of the close games role or Bobby’s just nuts, I don’t know. O’Flaherty pitched the eighth — ditto on this one. Acosta pitched the ninth in an 8-1 game, a role he was born to fill.

The Braves had twelve hits, with everyone but ACHE (who did have the sac fly) getting involved. Kotchman had an infield single in the fifth to keep History’s Worst Hitting Streak going.

I’m going to leave this up as the game thread, so here’s a video.

292 thoughts on “Braves 8, Giants 1”

  1. Moylan and O’Flaherty have not been used much recently, so I am not too concerned. Of course, I can’t see the harm of using Logon and Medlen instead.

    I am just thinking, when Huddy is indeed ready, we can consider putting him in the bullpen. Our bullpen can be deadly with him there.

  2. No idea why Logan wasn’t used but I seriously doubt Medlen was available. He’s a starter who is the long relief guy. I doubt he can go on back to back days.

  3. 1 – Huddy has said he will pitch out of the pen until the end of the year, if it helps the team. I’m not sure BC will go for that, but it would be a nice addition.

    ALL – I hope this team is really this good. I just have a feeling they are playing over their heads and this won’t last. They have played really good in stretches and then really bad in stretches all year. Although, this IS the longest good streak they have been on, (after a particularly putrid streak I may add).

    This team still doesn’t have a true cleanup hitter, the starters are not going as deep in games as they should be (really, only 6 IP from Lowe in an 8-1 game). Moylan, Gonzo and Soriano continue to rack up appearances.

    Who knows, maybe they can sustain this. I hope so, but I doubt it with no brave, not named McLouth, on pace to hit 20 HRs.

    The upcoming 11 games will tell the tale. Come out of the next 11 with something like a 7-4 record or better and I will be on board with all the excitement.

  4. One other thing, no matter what we think of KJ, he can at least do Norton’s job until the end of the year.

  5. Went to that channesurfing website again last night. Cool stuff. Man we finally seem to be getting it all together. Great defense last night along with Lowe’s effort. So I ain’t bitching this morning.

    What a great quandry to be in. What to do with Huddy because we have to much pitching. What to do with KJ because we have too many mlb quality infielders.

  6. I’m on a visit to Atlanta and had a chance to catch the game in person last night. Obviously, it was a great game, but one thing I’ll say is that if Lowe is back to his “early season form,” it’s not a great form. I know he’s never going to be dominant, and I know he’s never going to strike guys out en masse, but really: what prevented last night’s game from being another one of his middling 6 IP, 3-4ER, multiple hit games was superb infield defense. Both the first inning DP and the 3rd inning Kotchman play prevented rockets from being run-scoring hits. Lowe is what he is, but at this point it’s nothing spectacular.

  7. I’ve been calling the Francoeur Fans “Francoeuriots”, but I think maybe a better name would be the “Francorps”, what do you think?

  8. Y’all are still bitching about who Bobby is using out of the bullpen? Dang. We WON 8 to 1 against the team with the best staff ERA.

    stupup74 – the difference between now and early in the season is that we have some guys that can actually play in the lineup. The only guy that I think is playing above his head is maybe Prado. And at that it may not be that much above his head as he has a .300+ mlb average.

    I agree. KJ > Norton. We should keep him.

  9. Francorps, Francoeuriots is too hard to spell. Could just call them the Groundhogs.

    edit: Was that guy(gal?) that posted last night as FRANcourfan or something like that being real or sarcastic?

  10. Lowe only went 6 because of the big lead; he only threw 92 pitches. Thta is just a Cox thing that I think makes sense. Every inning of a starter you save because of a blow-out helps with arm freshness. Our highest starter for pitcher abuse points ranks only 29th in MLB, and that is a good thing. Lowe may not be great but he is certainly keeping us in games right now.

    I worry about whether we can catch all of the wild-card teams in front of us, but this sure feels like a 90 win team right now.

  11. So, I’m trying to figure out why Kotchman’s hitting streak has been labeled “History’s Worst.” Is it just the lack of power? Over 10 games he’s 12/35 (.342) with 6 BB (.514) 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI. I’ll take that and not be snippy about it.

  12. And Kotchman’s only hit last night was a weak infield hit.

    This Braves team looks like the Braves teams of old. I’m convinced they are on the upswing, and this stretch isn’t just a fluke. Most everyone is healthy, they are playing more consistent baseball since they got rid of the Human Rally Killer (JF) and have a leadoff hitter that can get on base. Their pitching has been good most all of the year.

    I do believe they should try to get something for KJ if they can though. He might be a starter on another ballclub, just like Jeffy.

  13. I was o.k. with the bullpen pattern, EXCEPT that I would probably have pitched Lowe another inning. If these guys are horses, sometimes we have to be able to ride. And we have NO proof that ANY of our starters can go deeper. What could be an easier test of that than a game with a 7 run lead?

    I think Jair CAN get us a win tonight. I think we have a 80 -90% shot against Zito Thursday. We will have Ross catching but he hits lefties better than BMac anyway.

    With Prado, Diaz, and Ross going and with Mr. “Platoon splits! Who needs them” Garret ACHE Anderson, our extraordinary susceptibility to lefties of 2 seasons ago seems to have completely reversed.

  14. McCann’s extra base hits, notably the double, were hit extremely hard. I think it’s safe to say he’s out of his mini-funk.

  15. It’s nice to score a bunch of runs against the Giants, but stifling their offense (aw, fence?) (and the Mets) isn’t much of a test for the pitching staff.

    My apologies for two parentheticals (is that a word? Dammit–again!) in one sentence.

  16. Sad stat of the month, for the M-E-T-S!

    Jeffy leads the team in hitting with a .364 average over the 8 games he has played in, with only 3 Ks in 33 AB. It’s a testament to how bad the Mets actually are. He has gone from being the worst position player on a good team to the best position player on a bad team.

    Start Spreading the News! He made a brand new start of it, New York, New York!

  17. Ok, well, I’ll take several 1-4s with walks sprinkled in over a few 4-4s surrounded by 0-fers. I know the board needs someone to pick on (otherwise how would we spend our time?) but both ACHE and Kotchman have found their swings recently so I’m going to give them their kudos.

  18. IM just glad I can now see the games from Peachtree on Dish Network.

    I wont complain about any hitting streak from a 7 or 8 hole hitter, esp one that plays very good defense.

  19. I believe the Doctors reported a (hopeful) upswing in Mac’s general health the DAY Francouer was traded.

    Sorry to “bitch” this morning, but I am going to paste what I just posted on Rob Copenhaver’s status on Facebook:

    You have to shake your head & LAUGH at the ridiculous northeast ESPN bias. They had Steve Phillips on “Mike and Mike” this morning and the first ten minutes was dedicated to the NL East…and they managed to spend the ENTIRE TIME talking about the Phillies and the now completely out of it (11.5 back) Mets. I must have MISSED the part where they talked about the now surging Braves…

    I HATE ESPN.

  20. I like the fact that no one is paying attention to the Braves. If we take care of the Phillies the rest of the way out, they will

  21. AR – I’m no fan of ESPN either (especially since they now also have a Chicago-centric bias ever since launching ESPN Chicago), but you have to admit both the Phillies and the Mets are stories right now. For very different reasons.

  22. per Bowman, McLouth was taken out becuase of the score otherwise he would’ve stayed in the game. McLouth says he’ll play tonight

  23. Jeff K-

    I am not denying that the Mets & Phillies are stories – but so are the Braves.

    And the fact is, if you’re doing a focus on the Phillies surge towards a playoff spot, then the Braves are a more deserving story on ESPN Radio in comparison to the Mets, since the Braves are in it & the Mets are not.

    And how many times can they keep talking about the Mets injuries? We GET it…the Mets have a bunch of injuries and that’s the only reason they suck. It of course has NOTHING to do with the fact that they came into this season with only one high level starter (Santana) and a bunch of flotsam filling out the rotation – and a much more tenuous offense than ESPN cared to notice.

    Every single Baseball analyst for the 4-letter predicted a Mets/Phillies battle for the division and playoffs and everyone ignored the Braves, despite putting together arguably the most complete starting rotation in the NL.

  24. I didn’t mean to start a debate, of course the Braves are a story. But I do recall offseason stories on ESPN and elsewhere on the great starting pitching the Braves had put together. The fact that there have been no real injuries to our starting rotation has been the difference. But I also recall that only a few weeks ago many here were ringing the death-nell for the Braves this season.

  25. Mac, I think we have a consensus on the current poll. (Plus with the offense scoring runs I’m willing to lay off both for the time being.)

    How about a suggestion for a new poll thats one of the big topics around here lately:

    When Kelly’s rehab stint is over the Braves should:

    a) Let him start at 2nd
    b) Replace Conrad with Kelly (back up 2nd baseman)
    c) Replace Norton with Kelly (pinch hitter/ emergency fielder)
    d) Look for a trade with someone that needs a second basemen
    e) Move him to the outfield (I guess again in Norton’s spot)
    f) Find a creative way to keep him in the minors

  26. The next poll, which I’ll have up in a few minutes, will be a showdown for uniformed, non-playing bête noire between Snitker and TP. Broadcasting bête noire is Chip, with all due respect to Brian Jordan.

    UPDATE: Poll’s up now.

  27. #29 – anonymous lurker, its on the the sports alternate channels. Last two peachtree games have been on channel 449. Tonights game will be there also

  28. It’s not a question of who is the more “deserving” story. It’s a question of who most people are interested in. ESPN runs its business in a way that it thinks will be most profitable. They obviously think that more people are interested in the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Mets, and Cubs, which also happens to correspond to most of the largest markets. It’s not a public utility. If you want more even-handed coverage, go to the MLB Network.

    Like how the Braves are playing, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. They took 3/4 from essentially a triple A team,are missing Cain and Johnson against the Giants and beat up on two lesser pitchers. I wasn’t all that impressed with Lowe; I really expected a lot of innings and an occasional dominant performance. Other than the Phillies game on Opening Night, we really haven’t had either. Still, Lowe is a fine 3/4 starter albeit at a high price.

  29. Damn. After the Phillies finish up with the Cubs, they have the Padres coming to town.

    At least Arizona stepped up and beat the Rockies last night.

  30. Lowe seems to be gradually figuring out the mechanical problems with his sinker. He’s not all the way back, but it’s a good trend line.

  31. #33

    And therein lies the problem with ESPN & the national media.

    They’re gleeful about burying the Braves, but wait forever to come around on them.

    But again, per my comment yesterday which Stu seconded, I actually just want to see the Phillies stay hot for about one more week, ensuring that they will sit on their hands about Halladay.

    I don’t really understand Philly’s thinking. Halladay is arguably the best starter in Baseball and can help you possibly compete for two more World series in a row before he’s a Free Agent.

    Kyle Drabeck is a tremendous prospect and may be a Tommy Hanson level pitcher…but Halladay is a rare breed. Almost every analyst in Baseball has said Philly should make that deal. Let’s hope they keep not listening. No way the Philly offense stays this hot and without Halladay, that’s a VERY beatable pitching staff – especially for a team like us that’s improved our offense and has much better starting pitching.

  32. Alex R. – Skip Bayless just claimed the Braves will win the division if the Phils don’t get Doc Halladay.

  33. Does anyone else think we need another quality arm in the bullpen? I watched the Phillies and Cubs game last night that went into extras. They both have an absolute abundance of solid arms.

    I really don’t see our pen holding up for the duration. Especially if Gonzo isn’t throwing well.

    I’m dreaming of Huddy in the pen…

  34. AR –

    I’m a bit ambivalent about the Phillies pursuing Halladay. I think the Phillies will win the East either way (and predicted as much pre-season) with the Braves in second and with a (very?) long shot at the WC. If they get him, they’ll pay dearly in prospects, which I think helps us in the long term. I honestly don’t believe the Braves are competing to go deep into the post-season until next year or, more likely, 2011.

    EDIT: All of that notwithstanding, it’ll be a shame to “waste” this year which has been unusual in the lack of injuries to key players. But it is what it is, in my view anyway.

  35. @45 – The general rule of thumb is that the opposite of what Skip Bayless says (shouts) is true.

  36. i dont see the WC as a long shot for the braves at all..we are three games out of it & the teams in front of us are beatable teams. We have a tough stretch coming at us with the dodgers,brew crew & the fish. if we make good in those three series & win this series the Braves MUST be considered a legit contender no matter what the four letter monster says. i like the fact that we are being brushed aside right now the motivation wont hurt us.

  37. 46,
    I agree we probably need another reliever. DOB said the Braves may be looking to move KJ for a reliever. Seeing as the D-Backs just traded their 2B, I’m wondering if KJ for Qualls or Rauch makes sense.

  38. I hear people saying, we only beat the dregs of the Mets, losing to Santana, and the 4 and 5 starters for the Giants. BUT…we actually mashed those dregs and 4th and 5th starters. For the last 2-3 years we have not done that.

    Good teams destroy the pitchers we have been destroying this past week. If we can keep this up, then there is no reason in the world we can’t win the Wild Card THIS YEAR.

    Of course, we have to keep up what we’ve been doing since the ASB, but I’m feeling cautiously optimistic for this year and more optimistic for the next two years.

  39. I have to agree with the sentiment about Skip Bayless. For the love of God, THAT is the one ESPN analyst showing us any love? Yuck.

    That’s actually almost worse. All the so-called “legit” analysts like Phillips, Gammons, Stark, Kurkchian, Buster are ignoring us. Not completely ignoring but mostly.

  40. The National League overall is very weak.

    Central:
    The Cardinals are floudering. The Cubs have no offense. Milwaukee has no starting pitching. The Reds and Pirates are the Reds and Pirates. Houston probably will end up winning the division.

    West:
    Dodgers are good. Padres and DBacks suck. Giants have no offense. The Rockies are nothing to fear. Braves should have swept them.

    East:
    The Marlins have Hanley Ramirez, that’s not enough though. We know about the Mets and the Nationals. So the leaves the Phillies and the Braves.

  41. Francorps? Sounds about right, not pissy-sounding either.

    AAR,
    Congrats. A j-trade gig?

    ESPN
    I never miss a moment to bash ESPN either, but I believe Marc is right. The network isn’t interested in any legit coverage that’s balanced. (Sorry to use a word that’s forever been perverted, but you know what I mean.) It’s looking at raw numbers, and its national TV & radio coverage reflects this.

    But if you want an insight as to what ESPN’s really all about—business & protecting its interests—just look at the recent allegations against Ben Roethlisberger—a woman is filing a civil suit against him alleging rape in Vegas. (WFAN, a competitor, had a lethal riff about this yesterday, parroting criticism that many sports-media writers have leveled recently.)

    It was reported everywhere, but not a word about it on ESPN, which had essentially been in business with him—ABC was doing a reality show with Shaq that included Roethlisberger. An internal “don’t report” memo had been sent to ESPN reporters everywhere, with the exception of its Pittsburgh radio outlet.

    ESPN’s official stance: We don’t report on civil suits against players.

    Rather convenient stance, I think, for an outlet that previously reported stories on civil suits against Pacman Jones & a few others.

    Asked by several reporters to clarify, the official stance was basically: Well, every situation is different.

    I guess so.

  42. I am thrashing out the preliminary Road From Bristol II bracket as we speak. I won’t actually start the tournament until the offseason, though.

  43. FWIW, before the 2008 season, Steve Phillips picked the Braves to win the division. I knew they were dead right then.

  44. Looks like the Mets vice president for player development pulled an Orgeron ripping his shirt off and challenging players to fight.

    If this is a precursor to the Met downfall get ready for the Mets to lose every single division game in 2011.

  45. For whatever it’s worth to any of you, here’s the wildcard race (with the 3 first place teams up top, in case any might fall in to the wildcard race) followed by each of their opponents until the date of August 15.

    LaD – 60-34 .638 — – Cin, Fla, StL, Atl, Mil, Atl, SF , Ari
    Phi – 53-38 .582 — – ChC, SD , StL, Ari, SF , Col, Fla, ChC, Atl
    StL – 51-45 .531 — – Hou, Was, Phi, LaD, Hou, NyM, Pit, Cin, SD

    Col – 51-43 .543 — – Ari, SF , NyM, Cin, Phi, ChC, Pit, Fla
    SF – 50-43 .538 0.5 – Atl, Col, Pit, Phi, Hou, Cin, LaD, NyM
    ChC – 47-45 .511 3.0 – Phi, Cin, Hou, Fla, Cin, Col, Phi, Pit
    Atl – 48-46 .511 3.0 – SF , Mil, Fla, LaD, SD , LaD, Was, Phi
    Hou – 48-46 .511 3.0 – StL, NyM, ChC, StL, SF , Mil, Fla, Mil
    Mil – 48-46 .511 3.0 – Pit, Atl, Was, SD , LaD, Hou, SD , Hou
    Fla – 48-47 .505 3.5 – SD , LaD, Atl, ChC, Was, Phi, Hou, Col

    All the teams we’re bunched with play each other ALOT. Lots of room for movement in the standings. We just have to play well, and hope that everyone else knocks eachother around…. But you already knew that…

  46. Marc,

    True about Phillips…though he wasn’t talking anything of the Braves this morning. And surprisingly, for an ex-Mets GM, he’s been one of the ESPN guys more fair in the past to Atlanta…probably because he kept witnessing Chipper mess up his post season plans when he was in control.

    #55

    Tony, I was actually thinking before you posted it, that IMHO, the Braves and Phillies may now be the two best NL teams and I was having a feeling this morning driving to work that it could be Atlanta vs. Philly this year in the NLCS.

    Now that’s VERY wishful thinking, but again, you have to look at starting pitching That’s why I’d remained convinced that if we could improve the offense even a small amount, we’d be in it because of the starting pitching and a pretty decent bullpen when Cox doesn’t wear them out.

  47. Regarding ESPN:

    If they spend all their time caring about what the ratings tell them their viewers care about, that’s a never ending cycle. If they only cater to Boston/NY fans, they’re the only ones that will tune in to watch their crap.

  48. Better than the Dodgers? Hmmm …

    I’m not immediately laughing at the thought, so that in itself is progress.

  49. AAR…forgot to also add in my sincerest congrats. I’m sure you’ll be an even bigger success now.

  50. I don’t watch ESPN, the channel, outside of sporting events, so I’m not familiar with who appears on the screen. Keith Law is super sharp, and he writes for the website. Does he ever appear on television? If so, I might watch his material the same way I look for Jaws’ stuff during football season.

  51. And BP’s “PECOTA adjusted” odds have us at over 30%.

    I never know how to take that stuff. The third order winning percentage, like a lot of BPs stuff, looks good in theory, but I’m not sure how much it reflects the reality of future performance.

    Do they have some kind of study where they, say, take their “Pct3” or playoff odds or anything at midseason for a whole bunch of years and compare that to actual future results for that year? I’d care a lot more about BP’s odds if I had some confidence that it reflected reality.

  52. @65,

    But the point is, they do what will attract the most ad revenue. If the advertisers are happy, ESPN is happy. Plus, it’s not like there are Yankee/Red Sox/Cub fans only in those market’s; they are all over the country. ESPN (Disney) cares about nothing but making profits–that’s why they are in business. If it was most profitable to show sumo wrestling from Japan seven days a week, that’s what they would do. There seems to be this notion that ESPN makes broadcast decisions based on the sports loyalties of their executives or on-air talent. That’s patently absurd; that’s not how corporations operate and it sure as hell is not how Disney operates.

  53. so, living in new orleans, you hear the terms “post-katrina” and “pre-katrina” quite often. being a braves fan, i bet we will hear the term “post-francoeur” quite often. here’s some fun “post-francoeur” stats:

    Record: 7-2
    Runs per Game: 6.5
    Pitches seen for team per game: 150
    BB per game: 4

    April’s stats (dont have time to complete the whole francoeur era):
    Record: 10-11
    runs per game: 4
    Pitches seen per game: 128
    BB per game: 4

    Here’s my take: walks didnt change because there are veterans that are always going to walk and are not as easily influenced by a teammates aggressive approach. however, there are going to be some young guys that are going to flail and be impatient just like mr. francoeur. the pitches seen per game is almost mind boggling. granted, we were a different team then, but only seeing an average of 128 pitches means we werent wearing down anyone, hence the more effective pitcher (ususally the starter) stays in longer which, in turn, decreases run production. imo, this is the main reason the “francoeur era” was extremely mediocre. he had a great impact on the whole team’s approach….and result.

    if anyone is handy enough to get these stats for the whole 2009 year with francoeur w/o adding up each game’s results, please help me out. i would be interested to see what the results show.

  54. I guess Adam Laroche has been traded, and no one seems to know to whom.

    Maybe to the Giants?

  55. Just got the word, tumor comes out August 6th at the Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa. Anyone who would like to call to wish me will or tell me to go to hell can get the info from Mac, who I will forward it to…..Go Braves!

  56. Feh, LaRoche isn’t really a difference maker, he’d be a marginal upgrade over Kotchman.

  57. On the poll, I really do think TP needs to be fired. I think he’s pretty useless. But there’s no physical proof that Schafer, Jeffy, Andruw Jones, etc. are his fault. He theoretically could’ve been giving them perfectly decent advice and they just didn’t follow it. I doubt it, but it’s possible.

    We see physical evidence of Snitker’s idiocy every day, however, and that weeklong stretch where the players were just obviously ignoring him and it worked out alright every single time would’ve been funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. It has to be Snitker.

  58. @72:

    Of course. I’d like to say that it’s possible there is a bigger market for sports coverage that covers all teams equally. Maybe there isn’t. Maybe it’s more profitable to have myriad regional networks offering coverage. But I do have a hard time believing that I’m in the minority by getting pissed off at Yankees/Red Sox/Cubs coverage.

  59. Laroche to the Red Sox

    FlaBrave, good luck, hopefully this team will keep your spirits high.

    This team is finally beating the teams it should, so often they would flop on the weaker teams after winning a big series, this is what creates seperation, now they have to keep on doing it.

  60. The Red Sox already have Lowell and Youkilis on the corners and Ortiz as DH/1b. Yeah, doesn’t make much sense.

  61. It’s a good move if they got him cheaply. A LaRoche/Lowell platoon is more potent than the two individually, essentially lifting that position to star level.

    I just don’t know how they could afford to pick him up as a platoon partner when the Giants or BRAVES could use him as a full time starter.

    There’s two possibilities. Either they got him super, super cheaply, and we missed an opportunity, or they paid way too much for a platoon player.

  62. Well, I’d rather not give up a B level prospect for a marginal upgrade. LaRoche has a 108 OPS+; Kotchman has a 100 OPS+ and superior defense. Though, LaRoche would have probably helped out the Giants a bit more.

  63. Talking about slow…who’s slower LaRoache, Kotchman or a dead man?

    Before Infante got hurt, was he the starting 2nd baseman or was he just receiving more playing time?

  64. If it was really for an A-level pitcher and a PTBNL, Wren missed a shot at a cheap upgrade. But, yeah, if that’s the case, the Giants really messed up.

  65. @100,

    It depends on the dead man, but since “Bernie” COULD be the dead man, he obviously could move faster than either, so I vote “dead man.”

    We need a poll on that, maybe.

    Sox are getting LaRoche for the rest of this season to protect in case Lowell goes down. Meanwhile, they will probably play him at first and Youk at 3rd against righties some of the time to up the offense. Sox probably gave up very little (but took on salary). We will see.

  66. Lowell has a .329 OBP and has missed a lot of time. They were looking for some sort of corner infield help.

    Kotsay has played 18 games, 11 starts, at first base; the legendary Jeff Bailey, a 30 year old .208 hitter, has played 23 games, 19 starts. This is suboptimal.

  67. JoeyT,
    LaRoche is still owed $3M+ more this year. I doubt we have that much payroll flexibility, and if we do, I’d probably rather spend it elsewhere.

  68. flabravesfan, i am moving to santa rosa beach next week. are you somewhere close to that vicinity? it would be nice to have a fellow braves blogger close by. my email is cothrjr at hotmail dot com if you would like to chat. best wishes, man. god bless.

    anyone with help on my #73 post?

  69. So, what metric convinced Epstein that LaRoche is a good addition to the team?

    FlaBravesFan–best of luck to you.

  70. It still confounds me that the Giants didn’t offer more.

    Better for us, though, if the Giants drop out of the Wild Card race.

  71. @108 I live on the Space Coast (i.e. Cocoa Beach area), but I’ll be in Tampa for a few weeks for the surgery, my email is emt51293fl at hotmail dot com.

  72. Joe Posnanski on SI has his top 100 players this year. Here are the Braves:

    55. Javier Vazquez, SP, Braves
    The magic of Atlanta. Vazquez actually has a .500 record this year, but has a 2.86 ERA, 141 strikeouts, only 24 walks and has been about as unhittable as anyone.

    75. Rafael Soriano, RP, Braves
    He has long been one of the most unhittable relievers around, but this year the league is hitting .150 against him with one homer all season.

    81. Brian McCann, C, Braves
    Made the All-Star team for the fourth straight year, and he’s an excellent offensive catcher. His defense, though, has sparked mixed reviews.

    87. Chipper Jones, 3B, Braves
    “Why isn’t Chipper Jones here?” Zack Greinke (No. 4) asked at the All-Star Game. “He should ALWAYS be here.” The power numbers are a bit down for the 37-year-old Chipper, but the future Hall of Famer remains one of the tougher outs in the game.

    90. Yunel Escobar, SS, Braves
    There are issues with him, sure. But last I checked, brilliant defensive shortstops who hit .307 with some power are not all that easy to find.

    McCann defense has been below avg. Hopefully it improves during the offseason.

  73. Best wishes, FlaBravesFan.

    I don’t care about LaRoche. He’s left handed, so you can’t really platoon with Kotchman and, although he has more power, he is nothing special.

    BTW, has anyone noticed how badly Jason Bay has slumped since June? He is hitting something like .214.

  74. and Moyer gives up 4 straight singles to start the 4th, lets hope for a big inning

    edit: 5th batter doubled

  75. Good luck FlaBravsFan. Hope you’re back up and hitting this site with us soon.

  76. All LaRoche has done has post OPS of over .824 in his career, mostly above that. He hit in the postseason when he was here. I know he brain locked from time to time, but for the most part he was a good 1b with pop. He is not Tex or anything, but he was decent power guy on the corner.

    If the braves had never traded him to the Pirates would Atlanta be better off???????

  77. WFAN has a comic on the air today with one of its hosts. His gem for the day:

    “Having sports references in your stand-up routine is difficult because the fans of one sport don’t always understand the jokes about the others.

    “A basketball fan wouldn’t get a hockey joke. A hockey fan wouldn’t get a NASCAR joke. And a NASCAR fan wouldn’t get anything.”

    Ba-dump.

  78. Something with Adam never changed…a comment from a Bucs fan:

    “Dude, enough. Nobody wants LaRoche’s rally killing double plays or groundouts to 2B anymore. He’s terrible. Garrett Jones will play 1B now, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Garrett Jones has more HR than LaRoche by the end of the season. If you seriously think that anybody is going to be upset that LaRoche has been traded, think again.”

    I honestly like Kotch more than Adam, but I definitely prefer keeping Feliz.

  79. Zambrano just got out of an inning giving up only one run to the Phils where they had 3 singles (but no runs so bases loaded) before an out was had.

  80. Then we signed the great Craig Wilson, who was a Pirate, to take up the 1B role.

    I don’t think Lillibridge was a major part of that deal.

  81. Li’lbridge was the Pirates’ #3 prospect at the time, according to both Sickels and BA. He was hardly a throw-in. Apparently, when the teams were talking Jason Bay, the Pirates were pretty insistent that they get him back.

  82. While we’re talking over postseason stuff, the Dodgers to me have the feel of a Division Series flameout. If they scrape through a 5-game set, they might be able to win the NLCS, but only if they’re playing a wild card out of the West.

  83. shows you how bad the Pirates prospects have been, but Ill disagree. By the time we traded him to the White Sox he had become just a throw in

  84. Sorry, I meant the Vazquez deal. Lillibridge was pretty much done at the time of the trade and is off the roster now.

    My point was to say that keeping LaRoche probably wouldn’t have procluded a Vazquez trade.

  85. Soriano making Joe Posnaski’s top 100 is no surprise. But what is surprising is that Frank Wren tried to trade Soriano just this past off season.

    As they say, sometimes the best trade is the one you don’t make.

  86. 133—I dunno. Billingsley and Kershaw is a pretty tough combo. If Schmidt is actually healthy, he might have the rust knocked off by then, too.

  87. Posnanski downgrades McCann for his defense, then has Adam Dunn at No. 70, 11 slots higher, even though catchers who can hit like McCann are of a far rarer breed than outfielders like Dunn (although he nonetheless would have been helpful to our efforts). My first reaction to Dunn being higher than McCann is that Posnanski must be freaking high; now I’ll just say it was an odd choice. No arguments with any of the others, although Hanson might have been an intriguing choice for the 100th slot.

  88. All the Jason Heyward articles and fluff pieces as well as fans reaction to watching him play make me wanna drop my pants.

  89. If Brian isn’t a good defensive catcher, wouldn’t it make sense to convert him into a first baseman so the Braves aren’t missing his bat 1/5th of their games and always in danger of losing him to injury from a collision at the plate, etc.?

  90. Posnanski is great, but he has McCann about fifty spots too low. You think that the Braves would trade him for Brandon Inge, or that the Tigers would take more than five seconds to accept such an offer?

  91. BMac, I love him to death, but his defense has been awful this year. Maybe it’s his eye situation.

    He really needs to work on his lateral movements, and blocking the plate.

    Defense is vital for his position, so I guess that’s why Dunn is rated so much higher.

  92. Lets officially start the bmac to first and bring up sammons train – gets ross more at bats as well. I would think first would be a better position for his long term health anyway.

  93. Do you know what McCann’s substandard defense has cost the Braves this year? According to the Fielding Bible Runs Saved stats — two runs. Two whole runs. Plus/Minus actually ranks him eighth among major league catchers.

  94. 147—Because he’s making the minimum salary for two more years and under team control for 4 after that. And his track record suggests he’s going to be awesome.

  95. #129

    If you lift that Buc fan quote, stick it in a Delorean, ramp up the Flux Capacitor, send back in time about 3-4 years, you would have found me or someone else on here saying that about Adam when he was still a Brave.

    As for the Red Sox, I don’t think it will hurt them and if they can platoon Adam, he can more effective. To me it’s not really hurt or help deal, though I do concur with Adam’s “rally killing double plays” being a problem.

  96. @149 – What track record is that? The minors??? Are we going to go there? How did that Marte kid turn out after his track record?

    According to that logic, Hanson would be up on that list somewhere.

  97. Last Saturday I saw Marte play in Triple A Columbus and he absolutely crushed the baseball. I can’t believe no team picked him up on waivers. He has great numbers at the Triple A level, something just doesn’t translate when he gets to the show.

    This was also against the Nationals Triple A team so…you know.

  98. 151—Hanson’s #40 on the list. (Heyward’s #39.)

    You’re aware that, generally speaking, minor league stats–particularly stats like walks, strikeouts, and homeruns–are a pretty good indicator of future major league performance, right?

  99. I think McCann is more valuable as a catcher. I don’t think his defense is that bad; he seems to throw well. Ross has done well but he clearly isn’t a McCann offensively. It ought to be (although has not been for the Braves) easier to find offense at first than at catcher.

  100. A friend of mine who is an Indians fan commented that Andy Marte is “The Triple A Natural.” That may be Francoeur’s nickname in the near feature.

    I thought maybe after they dealt DeRosa the Indians would bring Marte back up, but he’s still in Columbus.

  101. Stu, I know Wieters has a very good chance to be the best catcher in the majors in the near future, but its ridiculous to have him in the top with the likes of McCann, Pujols, Hanley when he’s struggled this much so far. If you gave most GM’s right now the chance to take Hanson or Wieters, what do you think it would be? Im guessing pretty close to 50-50 on who they might choose. So if Hanson, who’s been pretty dominant so far at every level including MLB is at #40, how is Wieters at #5

  102. I’m really, really glad Philly didn’t snag Marte off waivers. Marte is probably a better hitter than Feliz.

    I can’t think of any other team that could really use him.

  103. No one is saying McCann defense is the worse ever, I just think no one is going to be comparing McCann to Charles Johnson anytime soon.

    I think he will get better though…he’s a hard worker.

  104. @153 – I agree with the indicators, just don’t agree that it justifies listing Wieters at #5. He hasn’t had near the success at the major league level to justify that. There are TOO many players that could be listed higher than him (including Hanson at this point).

  105. At the very worst, we just need to take pitches and get Lincecum out as soon as possible. The SF offense is shooting blanks and can make Jurrjens look like the reigning Cy Young.

  106. like i said last night if we get 2 3 runs that would probally be enough to win against that little league lineup they trot out there

  107. You know the thing that bugs me most about that trade value list? Felix Hernandez is only 17. Outside of the top 4 (maybe 5 and 6), there isn’t a player on that list I wouldn’t give up for Felix Hernandez.

  108. A friend of mine who is an Indians fan commented that Andy Marte is “The Triple A Natural.” That may be Francoeur’s nickname in the near feature.

    Francoeur never had amazing stats in the minors, and I don’t expect they’d be all that great today, either.

    156 & 160—Cameron’s not saying he’s the 5th-best player in baseball, just the 5th-best asset. IOW, salaries matter. I wouldn’t have Wieters in the top 5, either, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to put him there.

  109. You know what’s really scary, as good as Escobar has been playing lately…he doesn’t even enter into the discussion when it comes to the best SS in the NL.

    Hanley Ramirez is just a freak.

  110. #166 – exactly, but Im just thinking there cant be that much of a difference asset wise between Wieters and Hanson

  111. I think hitting prospects and stars are more valuable than pitching prospects and stars because the hitters are, on average, less likely to suffer major injuries.

  112. Ramirez
    .348 .410 .562 .972

    Tulowitzki
    .252 .340 .489 .828

    Tejada
    .326 .356 .469 .825

    Escobar
    .304 .372 .434 .806

  113. @171…just imagine if Ramirez or Escobar played at those “major league” ballparks in Houston and Colorado.

  114. Tejada is the one who doesn’t belong in the discussion, once you factor in defense.

  115. @171 – What are Tulowitzki’s and Tejada’s park adjusted #’s? I’d think Esco could prove to be better after taking that into consideration.

  116. Back to the move McCann discussion, I’m not a fan of moving a catcher to a new position to save wear and tear or to avoid days off without his bat. I think it should come from the player (and I’ve heard nothing about McCann wanting to move positions) or be because the player does not play the catcher position well enough. Clearly Dale Murphy needed to be moved, and that situation satisfied both of the above criteria.

  117. So here’s another heartwarming story, and as always I’m waiting for Ububba to give me the real details:

    Tony Bernazard, a New York Mets executive, recently challenged one of club’s minor league teams to a fight during a postgame clubhouse tirade, the New York Daily News reported, citing multiple sources with ties to the team.

    Bernazard, the team’s vice president for player development, pulled off his shirt and challenged the Double-A Binghamton Mets in the tirade, about 10 days before the All-Star break. He in particular targeted middle infield prospect Jose Coronado, according to the report.

    Seriously: Omar Minaya’s right-hand man just challenged a 23-year old AA middle infield non-prospect with a .546 OPS — and every one of his teammates — to a fight.

    I’m sure the Red Sox fans enjoy cheering against the Yankees, but there’s just nothing to compare with the unique pleasure of watching the Mets drown in crazy.

  118. Keep McCann behind the plate as long as possible. Unless he’s giving up three passballs an inning or something, there’s really not that much damage a catcher can do. I’m not even sure McCann could even play a passable firstbase. He can’t really move.

  119. McLouth
    Prado
    Jones
    McCann
    Anderson
    Escobar
    Kotchman
    Church
    Jurrjens

    well, mclouth must be alright. let’s get it done tonight.

  120. @179
    i was under the impression that catchers are perfect for 1st, not necessarily for range purposes, but for pure reacting skills.

  121. @152, seriously. Someone should have bought that ticket for a nickel.

    You know what team could use Andy Marte since there are absolutely no 3B prospects in the system behind Grandpappy Jones?! Send’em Jo-Jo Reyes and get it done! Why not? Reyes is useless, so if Marte is usless then what’s lost, a few anytime minutes and a postage stamp or two?

  122. @179
    i was under the impression that catchers are perfect for 1st, not necessarily for range purposes, but for pure reacting skills.

    Depends. Piazza was a nightmare over there.

    My observation has always been that McCann struggles catching throws to the plate, which obviously doesn’t translate well. But I have no evidence to back that up.

  123. The Red Sox just picked up Chris Duncan for Julio Lugo. Don’t we have someone who is surplus to requirements who would have more value to the Cardinals than Lugo?

  124. WFAN was all-Bernazard today, with lotsa talk, but little action—basically, venting Mets fans with a new target. I ended up flipping it off when more than one dipshit played the Latin race card. Click.

    Minaya eventually had a hastily arranged press conference saying that the Bernazard event “will be investigated.”

    Bernazard & Minaya are sort of tied at the hip. Most Met beat writers point the finger at Bernazard for helping create the environment for Randolph’s firing.

    Some folks think this could be a precursor to a Met off-season overhaul. Hard to say at this point. They are in a free-fall & the news just gets worse. They have a new stadium with expensive tickets & it’s imperative that management appears to be trying to win.

    How they do that—especially after the Francoeur trade—is a bit of a mystery right now.

    Of course, it’s not breaking my heart at all.

  125. Wow, what is wrong with Duncan? I had no idea he had been that bad this year. Even still, we have little OF depth (and Greg Norton) and decent SP depth. It may not have been a bad idea to take a flyer on Duncan if he could be had for Julio Lugo level value.

  126. I’m not saying McCann would be a good defensive first baseman but 162 games of McCann at 1B and 130 games of Ross behind the plate are more attractive than 130 games of McCann at catcher and 162 games of Kotchman at first. This is all just talk of course since the Braves surely plan for Freeman to be the first baseman of the future with McCann staying where he is.

  127. Interesting note: Every Braves starter (outside of Church) has an OPS above the NL average (.734) and everyone but Kotchman (off by one one-thousandth) has the ML average (.749) beat.

    *For the earlier shortstop comparison (#171) I used Escobar’s lifetime OPS (.806) rather than 2009 (.841)

  128. Duncan is a terrible outfielder and, as you noted, doesn’t really hit. He’s better than Norton, but that applies to nearly everyone ever. No thanks.

  129. The Mets are going to be forced to make some changes fairly soon.
    The media and fan-base are going nutso and that could lead to empty seats and that is something they cannot afford.

    Manuel is going down on flames but he may have said the funniest thing ever by a manager this week
    “Sheffield has a cramp today and will have surgery on thursday” or something like that taking a shot at the training staff. Minaya made him retract it.

  130. I like Jerry Manuel, but he’s in an impossible situation right now.

    I don’t remember the exact stat, but I think that Manuel had the best winning percentage for any Met manager in his first 100 games, about a .600 clip.

  131. All of the sudden, we have 3 players with double digit homers (not including McLouth).

  132. Those captions have served us well this series.

    There was one about Sanchez and giving up no home runs to left handed hitters about 2 minutes before Anderson knocked one out on Monday too.

  133. My fantasy teams are slightly disappointed in Yunel right now, because he just light up Lincecum. As for me, I’m overjoyed.

    Thanks for all the well-wishes, guys. I’m staying in DC, but moving from the newspaper to a political strategy firm. Inside the Beltway, of course, it’s pretty much the same social circles. Should be a great opportunity for me to learn a lot.

    My thoughts go out to FBB, of course.

  134. Amazing how we’ve gone from listless to dynamic. Busting up the country club was the best thing Frank Wren has done.

    I think the answer is Ruth.

    If this score holds up, we’ll be on the national radar beginning tomorrow.

  135. Ignorance.

    The rules for the first HOF class were that there would be five “modern” players and five old-timers (from the nineteenth century); they couldn’t come to a decision on the old-timers. One reason Young didn’t make it — in addition to the limit of five — was that half his career was in the nineteenth century and he was included in the old-timers vote by some…

  136. It’s for the children:
    “From this day on, I’ll play even harder,” Escobar said. “I met kids that watch the Braves play all the time. From this moment on, they know that they met Yunel Escobar. And I’ll do whatever it takes to not let those kids down so they feel proud of having a friend like me.”

  137. Just a quick note — with that walk, Ryan Church has walked 6 times since we acquired him, which is exactly half the number of times Frenchy has walked the entire year (and he hasn’t walked yet as a Met).

  138. Too bad that didn’t get in the gap.

    Checking the Mets-Nats game on Gameday (it’s like some crazy show I can’t totally stop watching), the Mets had Castillo ejected so right now Captain Underpants has the 4th highest average (!) in their lineup.

  139. At the moment, Francoeur is 12/35 for the Mets (342/342/485) with a pair of doubles & a HR.

    I hope he continues that pace until he secures a new deal with the Mets.

    BTW, he’s 0 for 2 tonight & the Mets are getting shut out again.

  140. I was the game friday night, greg maddux night, and at about the 7th inning, i turned to my brother and said to him, “well, we’re beating the mets 11-0, the stadium is filled to a SRO crowd and greg maddux is here….it sure feels like 1998.” Does anyone else feel like thats how this whole week has felt? Obviously there’s a long way to go tonight, much less the rest of the season, but how much fun is this….you know?

  141. ok, what the hell were the pirates thinking? the 2 prospects they received for laroche are incredibly subpar.

  142. I may be completely off, but did Lincecum just mouth “bitch” after that strikeout?

  143. I missed that — but Yunel took his time around the bases on his HR. As he will do.

  144. I think the Atlanta press should learn to habla espanol just to tell Yunel how good he is. The channel surfing link is showing women’s golf dammit. But I’m having fun ‘watching’ us anyway.

  145. jeff francoer’s batting average with the mets: .342
    jeff francoeur’s obp with the mets: copy and paste

  146. I’m not sure I would have pulled Lincecum here- not that I mind.

    Jair’s got it workin’.

  147. HAHA. From MLBTR (clearly the night shift guys have good senses of humor):

    “Usually, getting shut out five times in 13 games as the trade deadline nears while falling ten games behind the division leader is a good excuse to get a team to waive the white flag.

    But the Mets are no ordinary team, with executives challenging minor leaguers to fights, having altercations with closer Francisco Rodriguez, and an injury a day- this one to Alex Cora, who has been filling in for the injured Jose Reyes.

    So it should come as no surprise that Mets GM Omar Minaya says New York will be buyers, not sellers at the trade deadline, according to the tireless Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post.

    “Right now we do not envision [being a seller],” Minaya said. “If we’re 6 ½ [back] in the wild card with a couple of teams in front of us, we are still kind of trying to find out how we can improve this team, if we can improve it through trades.”

    Not clear if Minaya also believes Lloyd Christmas should be a buyer at the trade deadline because he was told he has a “one in a million chance.””

  148. Thanks Johnny. I went ahead and renewed my mlb.com account that I canceled when they were mired in suckitude.

  149. Yeah. The notion that the Mets actually believe they’re in the race is ludicrous. I don’t think Minaya is telling the truth. I don’t think he’s that stupid and really thinks they can win this year, he probably just said that for PR reasons. But what a joke. Just like the Mets.

  150. The sad truth for the Mets is that they can’t be sellers because they have very little to sell. My worry is that they will tail off so badly this year that Minaya actually will get himself fired. But it’d still take a good GM half a decade to rebuild that franchise, and as long as their ownership remains they’re not likely to hire a good GM.

    Jurrjens is simply imperious tonight.

  151. I can’t really think it’s anything but PR and hoping Citi Field won’t be a barren wasteland from August on.

  152. I’d take that Wright kid off there hands. Seems he doesn’t hit HR’s anymore and the press is after him a bit. Change of scenery would do him good.

  153. PWHjort any relatives in Charleson SC?

    This is great! Just seeing that we are playing good is terrific!

  154. According to braves.com KJ will be activated, Norton released, KJ will be a reserve. This is the best move IMHO as KJ > Norton or Conrad. Lots of stuff in the article contrasting his trip to the ‘DL’ and the rehab as opposed to you know who.

  155. At the moment, Francoeur is 12/35 for the Mets (342/342/485) with a pair of doubles & a HR.

    I hope he continues that pace until he secures a new deal with the Mets.

    Mighty fine suggestion there Ububba.

    Kudos to Jurrjens for an excellent outing even if it was against a little league lineup.

  156. Jurrjens is amazing. The Braves should try their damnedest to lock him up, Boras client or not.

    I don’t know why the Giants don’t get any credit. They came into town 9 games over .500. A team with a “little league” lineup doesn’t just randomly get that record.

  157. johnny, that article is all speculation and not fact. i hope to see that happen, but its not done yet.

  158. Yeah but the opposing pitcher was Lincecum. Any shutout of an MLB lineup even the Giants excuse of one is an accomplishment

  159. Yes, Johnny. I do have relatives in Charleston. Just went to a wedding of one of said relatives in Charleston last month.

    I love it how Gonzalez is mad at himself for giving up the run even though he faced 2 batters and got 1 pathetic grounder to first that an over-ambitious Randy Winn legged out for an infield hit and got a grounder right at the SS.

  160. I honestly thought PWHjort was a dude who wore jorts. Maybe a UF alum. What’s the origin of that name?

    Great game or the Braves. I was mighty impressed by Chipper’s steal and Esco’s HR. Man. Gonna have to really bear down tomorrow without McCann or, in all likelihood, Chipper.

    All this talk of Greg Norton got me thinking about Josh Willingham. Couldn’t we still go out and get him? I KJ is taking Norton’s spot, let Willingham take Diory’s place on the roster. Shouldn’t take too much…and it would benefit us next year when Anderson’s gone.

  161. It’s a Danish name. I’m from South Georgia (Thomasville) originally, moved to Rome, GA 11 years ago. Currently attend Georgia Tech. Would never wear jorts.

  162. KJ and Infante will complete the bench (and we need Infante to back up Esco) — we don’t need Willingham. Once they return, we will officially have zero crappy position players.

  163. Once we get KJ and Omar back we have a great versatile bench. KJ, Omar, Diaz and Ross is a pretty good bench.

  164. We don’t need Willingham, but I’d rather have his bat off the bench than Conrad’s. Conrad would only be gone a month.

    Besides, he could be our left fielder next year. If he’s cheap, why not? We could still use some pop, no matter how hot our hitters are now.

  165. I am a Charlestonian living in Columbus OH now. I am an old guy, College of Charleston 1980.

  166. What exactly is wrong with Conrad? I don’t see anything in his peripherals that suggests he wouldn’t be a more than adequate utility player. Because he’s moved around alot? The kid looks like he can play – not saying he should be a starter or anything, but I wouldn’t go around saying he couldn’t get the job done when all he has done since he has been here is show that he can.

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