Giants 5, Braves 1

San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – July 23, 2009 – ESPN

When smart-alecky people like me, who never played the game, say that the bunt is a bad play, what we really mean is that the sacrifice bunt, if used and fielded correctly, produces fewer runs than hitting away. However, this breaks down when the defensive team doesn’t accept the proferred sacrifice, because the attempt to give away an out for a base often turns instead into a base and a baserunner. In other words, take the out, stupid.

In the eighth inning of what I will call today’s “game” because this is a family website, the Atlanta Braves presented a stirring example of stupidity and ineptitude rarely seen in Atlanta since the introduction of New Coke. I speak not of Mike Gonzalez, who entered a 1-1 game to start the inning, and was hit with a line drive that turned into a single and was forced to leave the game, though he probably shouldn’t be giving up line drives on 0-2 pitches. I speak of Casey Kotchman, alleged gold glove-quality first baseman (“no errors in an Atlanta uniform!”) who suffered a complete brain-lock when the ensuing hitter attempted to gift the Braves with an out, lollygagged when he discovered there was no chance for the out at second, and was late throwing to first, for an alleged “hit”. He left the game on a double-switch (for Kelly Johnson, back on the roster in place of Brooks Conrad, instead of Greg Norton, even though Norton is awful and in fact ended the game today; I suspect Bobby had a hissyfit after the Braves originally planned to DFA Norton), bringing an end to History’s Worst Hitting Streak.

I also speak of Peter Moylan who apparently [deleted because it’s possibly an ethnic slur] and who, when fielding the next bunt, instead of just taking the out at first base, looked at third, forcing him to rush the throw to first, which he then threw off the batter’s helmet, allowing a run to score and turning the Giants’ miserable attempts to scratch out a single run into a big inning. By the end of the inning, four runs had scored, all while Moylan was in the game. Only two runs were charged to Moylan, only one of them “earned”, even though the entire thing was almost all his fault.

The Braves’ only run scored on a solo homer by — who else? — Yunel in the second. They had several scoring opportunities because of walks, but had only six hits, only three off of starter Barry Zito and three in the last two innings off the bullpen, already down four runs. One was a two-out double in the ninth with nobody on by pinch-hitter Brian McCann, and it sure is a good thing he was saved for that crucial situation.

Kenshin Kawakami was limited to five innings largely due to control issues, as he threw 97 pitches, 58 strikes. Apparently, the umpire had one of those unusual strike zones that resembles a modern art sculpture, but I didn’t see for sure. At any rate, Bobby was thrown out in the sixth for “arguing balls and strikes” when Yunel was called out on a strikeout-throwout DP on a 3-2 pitch that was apparently high. Arguing balls and strikes is allegedly an automatic ejection, but everybody argues balls and strikes so if you actually enforced this rule you’d wind up with all forfeits, so what it really is is an “umpires can eject anyone they want at any time and MLB won’t do anything about it” rule.

119 thoughts on “Giants 5, Braves 1”

  1. I’m not sure what this will do to my fantasy stats, but Mike Gonzales’ ERA is listed as “Infinity.”

  2. I really don’t know what got into me there. Innings like the eighth make me angry, but I don’t think they normally lead to that sort of overwriting.

  3. Well after playing great baseball for a week, that type of inning seems like more of an atrocity. If that inning happened in early June, I don’t think I’d be surprised or angry at all. It would have simply been more of the same.

  4. Repost…


    Send down Conrad, replace with the guy who was part of the problem when the team was sucking, and this is the type of game you get. Have a laugh Conrad.

    Is anyone worried about McClouth slumping and Chipper BA. 286, now lower than Garrett Anderson’s .287? Just asking…

    I just hope Prado doesn’t feel any undo pressure with bad vibe KJ back.

  5. On the AJC links: “Organist’s touch tickles Braves fans”

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

  6. You really have to see Wise’s catch in the ninth. It’ll be all over SportsCenter tonight. Won’t be hard to find. But we’re talking Otis Nixon territory if Otis Nixon’s catch preserved a perfect game instead of merely a 13-game winning streak. It was unbelievable.

  7. Exactly, ububba.

    Now is not the time to go batshiitecrazy or anything. The team played well…now it needs to transfer over to the road trip.

    KK is just killin the pen, though.

    We’re gonna have to either put a tested-and-ready-to-go Hudson in his place…or have Hudson ready to go 2 or 3 in all KK starts down the stretch.

    I didn’t see the game today, so I can’t speak as to the strike zone…BUT, there was a weird call on a Giant double down the line (umpire switched his call from foul to fair), a close call at 2B, lots of bitching over the strike zone. Seems like an unsuccessful day for the Blue today. But that’s been happening with disappointing regularity this year.

  8. 1904-Cy Young
    1908-Addie Joss
    1922-Charlie Robertson
    1956-Don Larsen
    1964-Jim Bunning
    1965-Sandy Koufax
    1968-Catfish Hunter
    1981-Len Barker
    1984-Mike Witt
    1988-Tom Browning
    1991-Dennis Martinez
    1994-Kenny Rogers
    1998-David Wells
    1999-David Cone
    2004-Randy Johnson
    2009-Mark Buehrle

    And one of my favorite trivia questions is this: Who is the only catcher to catch 2 perfect games?

    No cheating!

  9. Wow! Robbed him of a homer THEN doesn’t drop the ball after it pops out of his glove. That, considering the situation, might be the catch of the year.

    The Braves? Meh. Move on, play well against the Brewers and put this one out of your minds.

  10. It was a question on an episode of Stump the Schwab, which they still replay on ESPN Classic.

    Not that I watch it or anything.

  11. 50-46 vs 49-47

    Why is it that the former is so much more aesthetically pleasing than the latter . . . (One reason: because the Braves would have as many wins as the Mets have losses.)

    Oh well . . .

  12. I was at the game. kind of wish i wasn’t. I don’t think anyone realized bobby actually got thrown out until it wasn’t him out there looking at gonzalez after he got hit. Also, take the out. Also, gonzalez’s arm is going to fall off again. Also, why in the hell did mccann pinch hit for ross, instead of letting ross hit then pinch hitting for the pitcher? That’s the second time that’s happened this year, and it made sense neither time. Norton is a better hitter than ross? Really? Someone thinks this in the braves management?

  13. Great catch by Wise, obviously huge in the situation, but nowhere near Nixon’s grab. Wise banged into the wall, took the HR and held on. Nixon planted on the wall and jumped ELEVEN FEET INTO THE AIR to catch the ball.

  14. As for the snark from Cliff re: Conrad’s demotion (in the previous thread) it’s a simple question really. Do you want to cut Norton before you know Infante is healthy and ready to return? If you do, you keep Conrad (who has options) and release Norton (who doesn’t.) If you would prefer to keep Norton as an alternative until you know what Infante is going to do you park the guy with options in AAA until you know exactly that.

    This isn’t particularly complex or hard.

  15. Nobody would claim Norton, because he sucks. If he won’t accept a demotion, screw him. And it has nothing at all to do with Infante, because they have different roles. Infante’s role is to be a productive major league ballplayer. Norton’s role is, apparently, to process carbohydrates.

  16. It seemed like the team was mentally already boarding the plane to Milwaukee before that one ended. One game at a time, fellows.

    As for the arguing balls and strikes rule, no umpire is ever going to say, “You know. You’re right. That really was a ball after all. My bad. I’ll change the call.” So arguing is just a complete waste of everybody’s time except in a Phil Jackson work the ref sense for later calls. Any manager who leaves the dugout to argue balls and strike deserves to be thrown out for slowing down the game for no good reason.

  17. 31—As with every other manager-umpire confrontation, it’s all about the next call(s).

  18. #31 Nah. A manager has to stick up for his players. If the strike zone is being called inconsistently then he has to kindly point that fact out to the umpire.

    Oh well. I’m still giddy from a great series. Beating the hell out of the crippled Mets is one thing but scoring all those runs against a good SF pitching staff gives me some hope.

  19. @28

    I don’t necessarily disagree. Braves management does. It’s not a cut and dried question. Norton was has been a good PH for most of his career. The next guy on the depth chart is..who is after Diory Hernandez? Unless you’re going to fall back on the Barbaro card, but Barbaro can’t backup 2B/3B/LF in a pinch.

    In the end you’re talking about two weeks of accumulated difference between Greg Norton and Brooks Conrad. It’s not a big deal.

  20. Glad I missed this one.

    The Braves combination of never being able to get down a bunt and rarely being able to successfully field a bunt is a deadly one. Fundamentals people.

  21. So who has Buehrle in the Braves Journal fantasy league? Because of him you get a complete game, shutout, no hitter, and a perfect game.

  22. Mac,
    Your hilarious recap almost made up for having to watch that horrible 8th inning.

    Great work.

  23. #44–Agreed–both about the horrific 8th inning and Mac’s recap….

    This is one of the few games that I have been able to see from start to finish and I cannot help but remember how Joe Simpson began the telecast emphasizing the Braves’ great defense….

  24. mac……..i think the automatic ejection rule says that you cant leave the dugout to argue balls and strikes……..every batter and catcher bitch constantly about the calls but they’d best not look at the ump when they do it. one of baseballs stranger traditions.

  25. People get ejected from the dugout for arguing balls and strikes all the time. Several of Bobby’s ejections have been like that. Usually he comes out to argue after that.

  26. Several of Bobby’s ejections have been like that.

    My favorite kind of Bobby ejection, the ‘Didn’t even have to get off my ass’ ejection. Very high degree of difficulty. He’s very skilled.

  27. Kind of hard to win any games when the offense can only score one run, but I guess Zito’s strike zone is larger than KK’s today.

    How come we can never miss Gallardo when we play the Brewers?

    I like the fact that we are complaining about bench players. That means we have really improved a lot!!!

    I always think Kelly is a great pinch hitter…and you know what?! He is a career .300 hitter off the bench.

  28. I left Norton off the bête noire list partly because I forgot him, but also because I thought he was about to be released. Since he hasn’t been he is the temporary bête noire until he is.

  29. Anybody catch Wren in Jayson Stark’s column?

    The Braves are leaning heavily toward holding on to Javier Vazquez, but not merely because, as GM Frank Wren put it this week, “I don’t think we’ll be selling.” Clubs that have spoken to them say there are two other reasons:

    1. They believe Vazquez has turned a corner under Bobby Cox, a manager Vazquez has always wanted to pitch for.

    2. The Braves haven’t seen enough of Tim Hudson yet to be comfortable with the idea of giving up a meaningful piece of their rotation to make room for a pitcher who had Tommy John surgery 11 months ago, even if it brings back a badly needed bat.

  30. I prefer keeping Vazquez as well. If anything, let’s make Huddy our closer next season. After clearning all the bad blood (namely Schafer, KJ, and Frenchy), I don’t think we need that huge bat like we desperately needed previous. If we can get Willingham, that’s good. If not, I think we have enough offense to survive if everybody is healthy….but that’s a big if….

  31. Huddy would be a 10+ million closer. No thanks. His stuff isn’t lights out like Smoltz’s was. The dudes a starter, get him healthy and let him start. He wouldn’t want to pitch relief in a contract year anyway.


    If we lose five of our next six games, we trade Vazquez.

    If we win five of our next six games, we trade Medlen.

    Count it.

  33. Dix, it’s not an ideal situation, but nobody is going to take Huddy. So, either we don’t pick up his option at all or we find a role for him. I don’t want us to trade Vazquez. Just throwing ideas out there you know. Hopefully, Huddy will show enough in these last two months to give us a good idea on what he can do.

  34. I missed this one but I’m wondering why O’Fla. pitched only 1/3 which seems like an odd usage in the 6th inning. Was it injury or bullpen management?

  35. That Moylan screw up appears to be half Ross’s fault based on what I just read. Chipper said he was screaming at Moylan to go to first and Ross was screaming at him to go to third. He still should have known what to do but you can’t blame him for getting confused.

  36. #57, I think it was lefty-righty matchups. I’m not sure why you’d need to do that vs the Giants’ lineup, but Bobby has been doing that for 2 decades so no reason to expect it to stop now.

  37. While I hated the ending to a great series yesterday…at least it wasn’t that debacle that was the final game in the first Philly series at the beginning of the season. Geez, that one left a mark. This one just stings a bit.

    Brewers, we’re coming to Milwaukee…and we’re bringing hell AND Bobby Cox with us!

  38. Tiger 224,

    Do you reckon we could get the Brewers to trade us Prince Fielder for hell? Hell has power: even more than Fielder. But from the Braves standpoint, we have had enough hell for the past several years to last a while.

    And mean old Cliff would even trade Bobby Cox for Fielder, but I don’t think the Brewers would go for that.

  39. mac……..i suspect that Bobbys’ dugout ejections are more for references to the umps mother than for arguing balls and strikes. the rule against leaving the dugout also causes a lot of lengthy, unnecessary visits to the mound. Bobby will wait until the ump comes out to break up the meeting and have a few choice comments ready. sometimes he even gets away with it.

  40. Bobby is never ejected from the actual game, they just ask him to move from the dugout to the tunnel. Nothing changes when he leaves, its just him controlling the game from a few steps lower. I get the sense Medlen could be moved somewhere, I actually like the kid

    Moylan has been awful lately, I hope this is from his TJ surgery and he’ll get better. Without Soriano and Gonzo next season, he’ll need to be dominant

  41. Ill defend Bobby on yesterdays ejection, this pitch wasnt close and everyone besides the home plate ump knew it

  42. The catcher had to reach up to get the ball it was so high, it was a horrible strike call.

  43. Medlen hasn’t seemed impressive to me. I wouldn’t complain if he were traded for relief help or a power hitting first baseman.

    I don’t object to Bobby’s complaint about the pitch. I just think it’s correct for the umpire to throw him out if he takes the argument onto the field because all that does is delay the game.

  44. Courtesy of a client, my son and I sat 17 rows back directly behind home plate.

    That ump was a disgrace. Mac had it right when he said the strike zone (for Zito) resembled a piece of modern sculpture created by a very angry artist.

    Sure glad we gave Chipper a new deal. Between him and Lowe, we’ll be spending half our budget on guys we actually need to replace.

    Day baseball is overrated. Hot, draggy and a traffic jam at the end to cap your day.

  45. I know there is a lot about the journeymen, 26-30 regular players being on AAA squads. But is the gap from AAA to ML now THIS large.

    Top OPS at Gwinnett (no limit to PA’s).

    1. McCann, 1017

    2. Kelly Johnson 900 something

    3. DIORY HERNANDEZ (100 + PA’s) 891 + /-

    4. Barbaro 840 +

    5. NORTON 825

    This makes the projection gap seem massive.

    The other thing it unfortunately points out, is that the position roster at Gwinett is pure crap. We do have 2 potentially useful players that have done better at ML level (Conrad and B. Jones).

    Wow! Heyward, Freeman and even King Kong Cody sure don’t have a lot of competition.

  46. Went to check on tickets for Saturday night: Gallardo vs. Hanson. Standing room only. Ugh. Won’t be seeing a live Braves game this year.

  47. Weird blast from the past.

    Below links to Scott Thorman. He apparently signed with the Rangers this year and either got released or traded and “low and behold” who should end up with him but the Royals. Is Dayton Moore that obsessed with his past?

    However, Thorman’s stat line with the Royals in 200 or so plate appearances looks fairly good.

    Big thing is that his walks and ISO have both come up since he left Gwinnett. ISO, that is probably PCL parks with great hitting characteristics like Albuquerque. But, has our organizational philosophy on “aggressiveness” stunted or altered Thorman’s development by causing his walk rate to drop?

    Thorman is still only 27. That seems odd.

  48. Seriously, Cliff? I don’t think the Royals value plate discipline more than we do. They signed Mike Jacobs and Miguel Olivo. They traded for Betancourt…

  49. He was more useless than Francoeur with the bat this year. Granted he played in the AL and more than made up the difference with his glove. But he still sucks.

  50. Sorry if I’m going overboard on Tonygate, but this Mets stuff has me fascinated. Here’s a Steve Phillips interview that Metsblog transcribed:

    Tony Bernazard is very close to Jeff Wilpon, and that, in some ways, can be difficult for the GM, when there’s that sort of relationship between an underling and the GM’s boss… The Mets don’t necessarily believe in the chain of command. They believe, in one of their core values, in what they call a Collegial Organization.

    What that means is: people down the ladder can go to people up on the ladder, and people up on the ladder can go down the ladder to any level and have conversations, share thoughts, ideas… It sounds nice, but it’s not functional. Because, what ends up happening is, it tears apart the fabric of the organization and its structure…

    I don’t trust Phillips much as a baseball analyst, but when he started talking about how screwed up the Mets are, I’d say he’s in a position to know.

  51. Mets always have the advantage with Santana on the mound… and today he’s going up against Mac Thomas… err.. Mike Hampton. With the Mets against Hampton the betting has to be on who gets injured first.

  52. #80
    Remember, FWIW, Phillips has an axe to grind with the Mets, and the Wilpons, in particular.

    Phillips worked under the Doubleday/Wilpon Regime, until the Wilpons ended up with the team. He was gone the next year.

    Common MetFan complaint: The wrong family won the struggle to own the team.

    Also, Matt Holliday, apparently, traded to the Cardinals for Triple-A hitter Brett Wallace & some others.

  53. Perhaps, although Manuel definitely takes orders from Minaya. You can tell by the way he backtracks & apologizes for things he says.

    But from what I hear, a lot of the Mets dysfunction (aside from Bernazard) comes from the amount of authority invested in Fred Wilpon’s son, Jeff. He’s not terribly respected.

  54. Wallace alone is a very good return for the A’s.

    Wonder if Ludwick’s a little more available, now.

  55. Though the Mulder trade didn’t work—was he really a rental?—I’d say they did OK with McGwire.

  56. Looks like Mulder was traded with one year left on his contract and a club option that would vest given a certain number of innings pitched.

    You’re right about McGwire — he was a half-year rental, but they managed to re-sign him to a nice long deal. (Fun fact: Eric Ludwick, one of the three relievers traded for him, is Ryan’s brother.) And none of those three relievers was good, even though Jayson Stark made Blake Stein a column punchline for about five years longer than the joke was funny.

    Still, the Mulder deal was just awful. No one could have known he’d break down almost immediately, or that Haren would turn into what he’s become, but that was a trade that started to stink almost immediately.

  57. IF Wallace didn’t project as a fielder at all (not even 1b, as some have said) then this may turn out o.k. for the Cards.

    Before the season, the Cards seemed like the most stacked team in MLB in outfielders. Duncan continued to struggle. Ankiel got hurt and struggled. They moved Schumaker to second, and all of a sudden, they really have a hole.

    My contention is that Holliday is barely an above average hitting left fielder. That is what his career away from Coors Field says. With that concern, I wouldn’t have dealt for him. Maybe being around a few competent to exceptional offensive players will help Holliday.

    Other solution that may have been better. Pick up KJ and move Schumaker back to the outfield.

  58. Thorman’s stat line reminds me of Mike Hessman’s stat line. Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as a AAAA player.

    The Cards think they can grab a pennant if they go all in. And they want to keep Albert happy.

  59. Still, the Mulder deal was just awful. No one could have known he’d break down almost immediately, or that Haren would turn into what he’s become, but that was a trade that started to stink almost immediately.

    Especially when viewed against what we gave up for Hudson.

  60. Didn’t Jerry Manuel assist in running Willie Randolph off when he was the bench coach? That’s the impression I got, anyway. If that’s the case, it would certainly point to the dysfunction that we’re talking about.

  61. I don’t recall Manuel being involved in any internal hi-jinks. FWIW, supposedly, Manuel & Randolph are still friends.

  62. There’s a Jayson Stark article talking about the top 9 pitching ace deals this decade, and obviously the Hudson deal is on there. Oakland received the lowest grade (a D-) as for how much they got back to Hudson. It makes Schuerholz look like a genius.

  63. Not meaning to be contrary, but a visit to Dr. Andrews can be good because Maine will probably get an accurate diagnosis and a superior course of treatment.

    Jim Andrews changed out a knee for one of my aunts (in Columbus at Hughston’s hospital) in the late 80’s. He has earned the reputation and the accolades the right way: superior performance. He has had some health glitches and depends on and utilizes some awesome people, but he is still exemplary.

    LSU pole vaulter in college, if you didn’t know.

  64. Nice article, AAR.

    I haven’t been online much lately. Is writing for Yahoo the new job you mentioned a little while ago?

    Congrats on the new work (whether it’s this or otherwise).

  65. The Braves got one season of Hudson in his last arbitration year. They then signed him to a free agent deal. The team doesn’t get to count the three or more years from that deal. The Braves may have won the trade (I don’t think so), but Oakland didn’t get fleeced.

  66. I don’t think that all of Hudson’s production since being extended by the Braves is necessarily a reflection on the trade, but it’s not irrelevent, either. While it’s much harder to measure, one definite reason that many teams trade for a rental is that they think it’ll be easier to re-sign a guy they already have than to sign him away from another team.

    For Scott Boras clients, this is rarely true. For other players, this can be true. For Hudson, it certainly appeared to be true. It’s possible the Braves might have been able to sign him to a free agent contract of the same price of the extension they gave him, but in my opinion not terribly likely. This is certainly a positive benefit of the Meyer/Cruz/Thomas trade, though, again, much harder to quantify.

  67. I’m not sure if Murphy makes the cut. 8 Year old me thinks he is an obvious HoF. 30-something me looks at the numbers and isn’t sure he quite makes the cut.

    One reason I’d question if he makes the cut is that one could argue that if Murphy makes the cut then as he stands now Andruw Jones might make the cut. They have very similar homer/RBI/avg/etc numbers. Murph gets the two MVP edge and Andruw gets the 10 Gold Glove edge. I’m not sure Andruw isn’t an HoF guy, but as good as he was, his drop at his age makes it seem unlikely he’s really HoF if he doesn’t rebound and have at least 3-4 more years like he’s having with Texas.

  68. I think Murphy misses the cut based solely on the tremendous erosion of skills — as Mac has said, if he just had a few more pretty good years, he’d be a lock.

    Then again, if anyone ever deserved to get a boost from the good-character stuff, it’s him, and if baseball is trying to resurrect the ultimate good guy in the midst of the steroids black eye, he’d be as good a poster child for clean living as any.

    I mean, he’s pretty much the greatest role model an 8 year old could ever have.

  69. How much of those eroding skills could be attributable to pitchers juicing at the end of his career? Not that it helps his hall case much (unless it gives some writers an excuse to say “he would’ve been just a bit better and was such a good guy we should have him in the HoF”).

  70. If ever there was a reflection of East Coast Bias in the voting, it’s the selection of Rice over several contemporary players — not just Murphy, but Parker and Dawson. The choice of Rice over Murphy is bizarrely based on Rice having better career counting numbers. And he does have better career counting numbers. On the other hand, they’re not within shouting distance of Parker and Dawson. There’s really no reason to pick Rice ahead of these other players, even if you ignore that they were all far better defensive players; one or more of them is ahead of him in any standard you choose. He’s just there because the Boston media machine, which drives baseball coverage, put him there. And then they claim that he took so long only because he didn’t get along with the media.

  71. 105 — Not a bad side gig at all. (Sure beats the janitorial stuff and the busy work I do for one of my professors!).

  72. Can somebody tell me why nobody on here sponsors the Jeff Francouer page on Baseball-Reference? because that seems like an opportunity for serious amusement.

    Edit: Love the sponsor for John Rocker’s page

  73. I became much less incensed about Rice being in and Murphy being out when I found out Murphy’s home road splits were very similar. I agree in overall league context that Fenway was a better hitters park (and a park that a player could fit his style to) old Atlanta Fulton County was a lot better to Murphy than “the road”.

    As to Andruw, the eras make tremendous difference. 400 HR in Andruw’s career is basically 300 in Murphy’s career. I think the voters at HOF understand how to adjust the new guys down. Think Fred McGriff. If he retires with his career 10 years sooner, he is walking into Cooperstown in the 5th year.

    But also on Andruw. He is probably one of the 2 to 3 best fielding centerfielders of all time. I believe he is the only outfielder to get 400 put outs more than once and almost all of the ones that did are legendary (Mays is one. I think Devon White did it once.) And Andruw had about 3 more seasons in the 390 area. Plus, he made the “glove up dive toward the infield” an almost daily occurence (much like Joe Morgan and the “back hand flip”).

    I think Murphy is hurt (and Andruw will be) by the HOF voters NOT adjusting enough for centerfield but rather seeming to lump all outfielders together. Murphy’s field value was vastly above Rice and somewhat better than Dawson (who deserves some “centerfield credit”) and a good bit better than Parker.

  74. Dagblasted spam filter… just tried to edit in the last one and it flagged it as spam…

    Can somebody tell me why nobody on here sponsors the Jeff Francouer page on Baseball-Reference? because that seems like an opportunity for serious amusement. (check out John Rocker’s page for an amusing choice of sponsor)

  75. Richie Ashburn had more than 400 putouts nine times, including as many as 538. It’s a context illusion from the Phillies’ pitching staff.

    Game thread time.

  76. Murph was damn good ballplayer – but just isn’t a HOFer to me. Too short of a career, not a high enough peak, not enough counting stats, and rate stats are too low. Rice isn’t one either, but two mistakes would be worse than just one. Raines is the one getting screwed here – not Dawson and Murphy.

  77. Great article, AAR. Congrats on the job.

    Based on the past few decades, having Murph in the HOF benefits MLB more than it benefits him.

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