Marlins 4, Braves 3

Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins – Box Score – July 28, 2009 – ESPN

I had a bad feeling about this game from the beginning. The Braves took a lead in the top of the third when Prado singled home Church, but Chipper and McCann struck out with a chance to add more. And then the Marlins took the lead in the bottom of the inning when ACHE lost a fly ball to the track for a “double” that scored two runs. It stayed that way for awhile, as the Braves were unable for the rest of the night to do anything with runners on base. Finally, in the sixth, Chipper hit a solo homer to tie it. In the top of the ninth, ACHE made up somewhat for his earlier failure with another solo homer, making it 3-2.

However, Rafael Soriano had some control issues, plus it looked like he got squeezed. He walked the leadoff man on four pitches. The Marlins gave him an out with a bunt, but he fell behind 3-1 on a pinch hitter, came in over the plate on him, and gave up a two-run homer to lose the game. It was just his second blown save of the year, and just the third time this year he’s given up more than one run in an outing (he’s yet to give up more than two).

McCann had a rough night, going 0-4; Kotchman was also 0-4, but you kind of expect that. They were the only Braves to go hitless, and if they’d gotten one or two the outcome might have been different, especially because the hitters between them, ACHE and Yunel, were each 2-4.

101 thoughts on “Marlins 4, Braves 3”

  1. Can’t blame the umpires every time the pitcher blows one. You have to overcome it. Sorry, Rafi, no excuses–anyone can save games with 3 run leads. These are the games a top closer has to save. I don’t care what he has done the rest of the year or how many runners the Braves failed to get in. The closer has to save games like this. This is what baseball is about. There are defining moments in a season and in a player’s career and I think this was one for Soriano. You can’t just keep saying, tough loss, we’ll get ’em tomorrow and you can’t keep complaining about not enough runs. You can’t score 10 runs every night. This is crushing.

  2. Anybody want to put together the requisite ‘after a long layoff, he wasn’t sharp and that’s why Bobby pitches his key guys even when games aren’t that close, to keep them sharp’ post. I’m not feeling up to it.

  3. Stuff like this happens when you run you closer in the ground by running him out there everyday.

    This team has not been more than 4 games over .500 the whole year, what makes any of us think they can contend? Sell and build for the bright future ahead.

  4. What the hell is it about the Marlins since they were born in 1992? They absolutely own the Braves. Tonight’s win is so typical of a Fish win over the Braves that I swear I’ve seen it 30 times in my sleep.

    Tall order for the Braves to take the next 2. Damn. I hate giving away wins.

  5. Being a little harsh on a guy who’s been lights out all season, aren’t you Marc? This is the quintessential “tough loss, let’s get them tomorrow” situation.

  6. I mean, tough loss. Not the end of the world. It’s not like…we’re doomed. Maybe Frank Wren steps up the pursuit of that bullpen arm.

  7. And Soriano really hasn’t worked much more than most closers. He entered play tied for 20th in the NL in appearances, with among others Street and Rodriguez, at 45. Broxton’s worked 43 games, Wilson 42, Lidge 41, and he went on the DL for two weeks.

  8. @11

    Agreed. The guy has been more than dominant all year, but he’s not a machine. Gotta live with the fact that there will be mistakes. Couldn’t have picked shittier timing though. Sigh

    I really thought we had stolen one there

  9. @11 Stolen is the correct word.

    The Braves lost b/c Norton pinched hit again. Bobby will learn the hard way.

  10. Is Norton’s salary the simple reason we keep running him up to the plate to continue to underachieve?

  11. Mac,

    I see your point, but none of them are coming off an arm injury. (except street, I forget)

    The pen is toast. The starters are not going as deep as they need to, and the braves keep running the same 4 guys out there. It is a recipe for entrace to the Retisma room.

  12. Tough loss tonight, no doubt about it. Facing Josh Johnson tomorrow will be even tougher.

  13. The differences between the Braves and Marlins are basically a wash, except in their primary pinch hitters. One accounted for two runs, one made two outs. Norton is making me long for the days of Chris Woodward.

  14. Soriano’s injury wasn’t a ligament problem, though, but a nerve transposition. I don’t think there’s any special danger to his elbow from normal usage patterns.

  15. Stuff like this happens when you run you closer in the ground by running him out there everyday.

    Except he hasn’t been. Other than that, you are spot on.

  16. Ok, I was rough on Soriano but how many games can you piss away and still be a viable contender? That’s four in the last month that the bullpen has blown, plus a couple of games that were winnable with better execution and so on. We have been waiting for four years for the Braves to really get on a roll.

  17. Sucks, but it happens. Soriano’s one of our best performers, so it stings even more.

    Marc’s right about this: Seeing a late-inning, comeback win morph into a brutal loss is tough to digest no matter how much it’s sugar-coated. This team lost too much ground early to be coughing up games like this.

    So…gotta get back on that horse. If this team’s gonna be any good, they’ll bounce back, even with KK.

  18. In other news, LaTroy Hawkins is on the DL with Shingles. Can’t imagine that happens too often.

  19. I don’t believe Soriano was any less effective due to overuse. He hadn’t pitched in four days. It’s more along the lines of….chit happens, deal with it :)

  20. I don’t want to panic here, but if you want to make it to the playoffs, you’ve gotta win games like this. Within the division, against a team with an identical record, one-run lead top 9th. I don’t blame Soriano, he has been lights out all year, but he picked a very bad spot for blowing one. We need to come back against Johnson tomorrow or we are in serious trouble.

    And will the Phillies EVER lose again?

  21. Hey guys, we are not SUPPOSED to compete this year. Even Chipper admitted so. Let’s just enjoy this while it lasts.

  22. These kind of games happen to every team once in a while. If it had been Moylan or Gonzalez that gave up the 2 run homer, then there might be something to bitch about. But Soriano has been unbelievably good all year. He’s allowed one bad outing. Move on and win the next 2.

  23. Crap does happen, he got beat tonight.
    I hate to give away games but we have been hot ,did not play especially well last night and still almost won.

    I am looking for that silver lining.

    Win today, and all is well, lose, then Wren and Co will have some decisions to make.

    JJ is awesome by the way. Between him and Hanson we have an insane 1-2 in the making for the next decade.
    Hopefully can become a 3 and we will be hanging multiple pennants again.

  24. So, if I don’t want to keep getting caught in the spam filter I should stop talking about my all borscht diet and vodka bottle collection?

    (this won’t be as funny if it does get caught in the filter).

  25. Since my cable was out, I had to follow the game on ESPN.com. The umpire’s strike zone, though small, seemed consistent in that inning. There were a couple of pitches to Garrett Anderson that looked like strike 3. There were also two pitches to the Marlins leadoff batter in the bottom of the ninth that appeared to be strikes.

    In any event, tough loss, but one you have to move on from. I have a tough time blowing games when I feel its reflective of deeper issues, but tonight it wasn’t. You can’t expect a guy to put up zeroes for an entire year. Soriano has been outstanding this year.

    Before the break, he gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth to the Nats, but had a three-run cushion. Unfortunately, he picked a bad time for his second two-run outing. It happens.

  26. I’m sure I’d be more frustrated had I actually watched it, but my power was out due to the storm. Whenever you hear “some people are still without power, mostly in the North Druid Hills area” (and if you listen, that’s what you’ll hear), that’s me.

  27. Cody Freakin Ross. Sounds like a dude that should be in the porn business. Not getting 4 pitch walks and scoring on 2-run walk-offs.

    Well, I feel better this morning. Despite Josh Johnson getting the start for the Fish tonight, this Braves team should be able to win these next two. Josh is 3-1 with a 2.45 in 9 games vs the Braves; averaging 9.3 K’s per 9IP. Work is cut out for us boys.

    The really painful thing about last night: Gonzo and Moylan looked great…and to have seen all 3 primary arms from the pen shut the Marlins down in the 7th/8th/9th sure would’ve been impressive.

  28. I thought someone wrote a few days ago that Vazquez and Kawakami switched rotation days, but Braves.com has Kawakami going tonight. Anyone know for sure?

  29. RE #38

    I watched the game on TV and didn’t think the strike zone was inconsistent or bad. Joe went into some tirade about how the short umpire missed inside pitches. I watched the call that Joe felt was so egregious looked off the plate to me. (Funny, that Sports South didn’t bring back replays from different angles like they normally do.) I hate this whining. It’s fine to make a comment about the strike-zone moving, but move on to something else. Soriano made a horrible pitch and it got hit over the wall. Umpires miss calls. That’s baseball.

  30. Hey we played a good team, faced a good pitcher, and our closer made a bad pitch. So what, it happens

    only problem I have from last nights game was bringing in Norton and not using KJ there or really anyone else, but Im not dwelling on it. Moylan and Gonzo looked good, but the strike zone was bad all night

  31. Whatever, don’t disparage Ross Gload when we send Greg Norton out to pinch hit.

    We’d be lucky to have a Ross Gload warming our bench.

  32. If Heyward keeps this up, he may well be in Gwinnett before mid-August. Honestly, if he continues hitting the baseball like he is now, what does he need to be in AA for?

  33. That Norton sucks doesn’t mean Gload doesn’t. Gload is terrible and should never be the guy that beats you.

  34. What I just can’t understand is why Norton gets these pinch hitting calls over Diaz who I can’t remember the stats but they were saying on the radio has some of the best numbers as a pinch hitter in all of baseball over the last couple of years.

  35. That was a get over fastball b/c he was behind in the count. But I am not even upset about Soriano blowing the game.

    I am still in disbelief that Bobby Cox sent Norton up to pinch hit. The Marlins showed Cox what a real pinch hitter is suppose to do.

    QUESTION: Since McCann is not batting .212 against Lefthanders this year, should the Braves move Esco in the clean-up spot against lefties? Any thoughts?

  36. Yeah, we all get Bobby’s loyalty to players, but Norton looks done and now its time to only worry about winning games and not about giving chances.

    I think Conrad can take Gregs role as a designated PH switch hitter.

  37. Tony @54,

    Bobby should be starting 3 year moving average against lefthanders 860 OPS catcher David Ross aginst lefties, except when they are back to back. That is, scheduling McCann’s off days by lefty righty which will approximate the desired “off days” any way.

  38. What I just can’t understand is why Norton gets these pinch hitting calls over Diaz who I can’t remember the stats but they were saying on the radio has some of the best numbers as a pinch hitter in all of baseball over the last couple of years.

    Totally agree. KJ is available, too. Norton is worthless, we know he’s soon to be gone, and yet Bobby keeps using him as our primary bench bat. I don’t get it.

  39. I think Wren is going to have to DFA Norton before Bobby will quit putting him up there every time.

  40. Norton would have been useful as the “decoy pinch hitter” last night. Send him up, see if they switch pitchers, and then bring in Diaz or KJ as appropriate. Otherwise, Diaz or KJ should have hit.

  41. Yes, if we lose tonight, we are doooooooooomed and need to sell everything!!!! Give me a break. The worst we’ll be if we lose tonight is four games back. This is firmly established as a stand-pat team, no matter what happens the rest of the week. Every loss is not the end of the season. You cannot sell when you’re within five games of a freaking playoff spot, for God’s sake, and that’s the worst we will be at the trade deadline.

  42. We’re talking about the same manager that would still be running Jeff Francoeur out there to play RF every day if Wren hadn’t traded him for Ryan Church. Until the GM forces Bobby’s hand by removing Norton from the roster, Cox is going to keep treating him as if he were the same player he was last year rather than somebody who swings slower than a AL pitcher. That’s just how Bobby rolls.

  43. “We’re talking about the same manager that would still be running Jeff Francoeur out there to play RF every day if Wren hadn’t traded him for Ryan Church. Until the GM forces Bobby’s hand by removing Norton from the roster, Cox is going to keep treating him as if he were the same player he was last year rather than somebody who swings slower than a AL pitcher. That’s just how Bobby rolls.”

    And that’s very sad. To think they sent Conrad down for do nothing Norton is just asinine.

  44. Looks like Kawakami will be starting tonight. I don’t really get it; Kawakami’s been more effective with long rest while Vazquez has been better with normal rest.

  45. Ross must have barreled up.

    I’m still not sure what that means. But Tommy Hansen might know. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  46. Maybe Vazquez is still having issues with his back or whatever it was and they think an extra day would help.

  47. On the strike zone, I did think the ump was consistently missing the inside strike. There were some inside FBs that seemed to catch the plate nicely to hitters of both handedness and teams that were called balls. Pitches in similar locations to opposite-sided batters seemed were called for outside corner strikes. Other than that, pretty well called.

    On Soriano, whatever. I thought he was going to put them away the whole time, and next time he goes out there, I’ll have the same confidence. Disappointing, let’s get ’em tomorrow.

    On Norton, well, it’s only been a handful of ABs, but he’s seemed pretty lost. He’s just a bench guy, but when he’s the player Cox reaches for the first time we need a pinch hitter in a game, it’s a bad idea. The worst was the game where he pinch-hits Norton (who walked) and then pinch-ran for him with a BETTER HITTER in Kelly Johnson! Just shocking.

  48. @74. As long as Phillies play in that bandbox, no one is catching them.

    Here’s a quote from Soriano after the game:

    “When approached after the game, Soriano limited his message to, “I’ve been doing this all year and nobody comes to me and says nothing.”

    So basically, he feels the same way Escobar was feeling…what’s up with the media in Atlanta?

  49. Clifftons numbers for the year

    G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO W L P/GS WHIP BAA ERA
    Season 22 22 3 1 152.0 165 53 53 10 33 107 7 9 106.3 1.30 .278 3.14

    could be worse i guess..atleast is isnt Halladay

  50. 77—Well, once he saw Yunel do it and get a week’s worth of fluff pieces on his behalf from the AJC, etc., he figured he could probably get the same.

  51. Good deal for the Phillies. They didn’t give up Drabek, Brown, or Taylor. Heck, they could still trade for Halladay, too.

  52. Excellent move by Philly.

    The Phillies have reached agreement on a trade that would bring them left-hander Cliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco from the Indians for Class A right-hander Jason Knapp, Class AAA right-hander Carlos Carrasco, shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson, according to major-league sources.

    I think the Phillies just rape-standed the Indians on this one. The Indians didn’t even get one of OFs Michael Taylor and Dominic Brown or pitcher Kyle Drabek.

    What does the Tribe intend to do with Lou Marson with Victor Martinez already behind the plate and the top minor league catching prospect Carlos Santana nearly ready?

    I thought the Phillies were foolish not to acquire Halladay, but if that’s all they had to give to get Lee (and Francisco) then wow, well played.

  53. Yeah, both the Sox and Rays have reportedly been in on VMart for a few days now. Still, with Santana on the way (and Shoppach already there), why would the Indians want Marson? Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I hate seeing our rivals get stronger without sacrificing anything.

    Seriously, they could just trade Happ, Drabek, and Brown for Halladay now and be really awesome.

  54. @87, that would make more sense, ububba.

    In a series of moves, the Indians may come out well, but I don’t like this particular trade for them without getting one of the big 3 prospects from Philly.

    @83, that’s kind of funny (not), but with those three prospects still on board, Philly really could still acquire Halladay, though they’d never pay for both (thankfully). Right?

  55. stu, including pay raises, what does the team’s payroll, assuming we pick up hudson’s option, sit at for next year?

  56. Agreed, the Indians got jobbed, big time.

    The Phillies keep Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ, Dominic Brown, Michael Taylor and still pick up Cliff Lee…… it’s frigging preposterous!!!

  57. According to what I’ve got, around $95 million, ryan.

    I try to estimate on the high end for arb and pre-arb contracts, though, so that’s probably the most it would be.

  58. Oldtimer?,

    Did you make that spreadsheet? It’s great, but we don’t have Lowe in 2013, just till 2012.

  59. The Phils may have dealt prospects that were highly-rated going in to the season, but most of those guys have taken steps back or at least not huge steps forward. Carrasco has struggled and didn’t have top-of-the-rotation upside, anyways, Marson seems completely out of place in that package, Donald has struggled a lot this year and wasn’t an elite hitter or defender (not to mention always old for his age), and Knapp is in Low-A. Knapp is actually the only part of this that I really like for the Indians; he could be the Neftali Feliz of the deal. But as for the rest…. a back-up C, a mid-to-back-of-the-rotation starter, and a SS with a questionable bat and questionable glove. I just don’t see the upside.

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