Braves 4, Phillies 3

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – August 15, 2009 – ESPN

Bunting saves the season!

With the Braves trailing 3-2 entering the ninth, ACHE was the leadoff hitter and pulled a ball into the hole that Utley, of all people, simply whiffed for a classic Prado. (In fact, it was so bad of a play that the game logger originally recorded it as an error and then had to change it. [UPDATE: Now they are saying it was two errors.]) Even though Diaz pounds Lidge, Bobby had him bunt anyway, even though the bunts had consistently failed to produce any runs. This one did, because Lidge first dropped the ball and then threw it into right field, allowing ACHE to score all the way from first and Diaz to get all the way to third. Actually, it should have been two errors, one for the drop and one for the throw. The Phillies walked the bases loaded — intentionally to Adam, and semi-intentionally to Norton, who has nearly twice as many walks as hits this year. Church — who had replaced McLouth when the latter’s hamstring tightened up — struck out, but Infante — who had replaced Prado due to the latter’s “heat-related symptoms” — grounded past shortstop to end it.

The game to that point had looked like a repeat of last night, even down to the 3-2 score. The Braves took the lead in the third when one of McCann’s hard-hit balls finally left the ballpark, with Chipper on first. But after that it was more of the same, more long fly balls caught by the loathsome Victorino and line drives right at the infielders. The Phillies got a run in the fourth on a triple by the Loathsome One and a groundout from Howard, and another in the fifth on a double followed by a triple. They took the lead in the seventh on a homer by Werth. Kawakami gave up only seven hits, but six were for extra bases.

O’Flaherty got out of Kawakami’s second-and-third, one-out jam in the seventh, and Gonzalez pitched around a leadoff walk-stolen base-third on an error by the Loathsome One in the eighth, striking out Howard in the process as if to really rub in what happened last night. Moylan retired the Phillies in order in the ninth, and got the win.

79 thoughts on “Braves 4, Phillies 3”

  1. See, things even out. We should have won the game yesterday – and today, it is handed to us. Gotta love it.

  2. What about the roster / injuries? IF Prado is just cramps, then maybe we can get by, but if he and McLouth are both unavailable tomorrow, then we better swap somebody out in a hurry.

    Since the obvious move of releasing Norton CANNOT happen (I believe there is fear that gravity would fail and the citizens of the world would drift rapidly into space), then with the off days we just went through, I would send down Acosta and bring up either Conrad or Barton or B. Jones. We need a live semi competent player to take a place to get by. Then, if you end up having to DL somebody, you can bring Acosta back or try another pitcher.

  3. You’ve got to severely misplay a ball for ACHE to score from first.

    We’ll take the win.

  4. Are we all forgetting that defensive specialist ACHE made a diving catch to save a run?

    We haven’t gotten these kind of wins since we were winning Divisional Championships.

    It’s the Ides of August and we still matter. Cool.

    As we say in Kentucky, “Gotta run big in the turns.” And we’re in the last one.

    Turn it up. (Mac, this is your cue for a little “Sweet Home, Alabama”.)

  5. i’d pay for the pictures of someone whipping Myers’ass. actually, too bad he’s not around these days. he’s the guy that makes it possible for me to hate the Phillies.

  6. I thought this team was about dead in the division then that happened. I guess they live until tomorrow. Can we stop playing games with McLouth’s hamstring and just disable him and call up Heyward already?

  7. Marlins-Rox postponed.

    3 games back of the Rockies in the Wild Card, 1 game behind the Marlins, 5 behind the Phillies

  8. Someone gifted me tickets behind home plate at the Mets-Giants game yesterday. The Mets won (thanks in part to a RBI by that one guy we traded, I forget his name) but the Giants looked downright terrible. Not a playoff team. We can and should pull ahead of them in the Wild Card race.

  9. @3 It doesn’t always happen that way but it has happened to us twice (one in LA and today). Good to see luck is on our side!

  10. Just got back from the game. So nice to win it in the bottom of the 9th (and even nicer that it was vs the Phillies.) It was a hot one today so I’m not surprised Prado cramped up. I was not excited to see Norton in the 9th, but it worked out this time.

    Victorino covers even more ground in person. He had some really nice plays out there. Dammit!

    Let’s get that one tomorrow now!

  11. “Manager Bobby Cox said Prado just needed to drink more water instead of energy drinks and McLouth needs a couple days off.”

    Why don’t the Braves just DL McClouth and call up an outfielder?

  12. @26 We know all to well that if the team is going to put Nate on DL, Blanco will not be the one who will be called up.

  13. So my taxi pulls into Departures at JFK last night. I pay the man, open the door, and who’s standing on the corner waiting for his car?

    Orlando Cepeda.

    He’s wearing a Panama hat, had a cell phone stuck to his ear. I had the urge to just say, “Cha Cha,” as I walked past, but he was in mid-conversation, so I just eased on by.

    (When Cepeda was a Brave, I remember Milo Hamilton often saying, “Called strike 3—and Cepeda doesn’t like it!”)

    I’m staying on Hollywood Blvd, so it’s kinda surreal to try to walk down the street to hit Mel’s Diner, only to battle the army of camera-toting tourists. I must’ve messed up a half-dozen posed photos, but I was hungry.

    Plus, you have all the in-costume “characters” hustling the tourists for picture money. (Take a picture with Jack Sparrow! Pay what you want.)

    So far, I’ve seen “Spiderman” and his alter ego in black (BlackWidowman?). I’ve seen “Marilyn Monroe,” the “Wicked Witch of the West” and, um, “Jesus.” I actually thought he was a homeless guy—until I saw the sandals. We crossed Highland together, and then I saw him buy a pack of cigarettes.

    Then I thought, “How is Jesus a movie star?” Then I remembered “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” Perfect.

  14. Sometimes prayers do get answered.

    I believe I would have prayed for their other products to have been pulled.

  15. hey Mac your Dylaning my brain into submission haha. Any chance I can get a video of Metallica’s version of “Turn the page?” It would be a great tribute to the emotional ups and downs of this braves season

  16. I don’t think you can make the assumption that Heyward would get the call. Though at least you don’t have to worry about the 25-man limit; by the time McLouth was ready to return, it would almost be roster expansion time.

  17. Funny journalism from the Braves minor league report:
    “Former South Atlantic League Player of the Week Donell Linares went 5-for-5 with two doubles and five RBIs on Friday as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans beat Lynchburg, 9-6. The 25-year-old Cuban is hitting .308 with seven RBIs in his last 10 games.”

    Funny thing is Linares hit just over .200 (.206) in his last 9 games with 2 RBIs before his 5 for 5 performance. Those 9 previous games weren’t exactly All Star caliber. The writer should have just focused on his 5 for 5 game.

  18. I hope that Linares makes it to the majors, but a 25 year old playing in the Carolina League is not a serious prospect….

  19. Agreed. Although the age for Cuban prospects when they first start in the minors tends to vary a lot – if we really know their age.

  20. I am going to the game tomorrow night. I will sit in the outfield with use my Jedi mind tricks on Victorino to distract him.

  21. #37–Bring it on!

    td–I agree and the great thing about the minor leagues is that they are capable of surprises. Linares might still be a useful player and I wish the Braves would get him to AA as soon as possible….

  22. ububba – Paul Westerberg told me he never buys any smokes, but I’ll take your word for it.

  23. 35 – Stephen – I kind of think Linares should begin next year in Gwinnett and Eric Campbell should stay in Mississippi. Van should be bye-bye, of course.

    Also, I think you hit the nail on the head, hankonly. It is cool that the Braves are still relevant in the latter half of August. At the beginning of the year, I did not think this should be a playoff team. I still don’t think we make it, but that Wren got us even close after last season is a pleasant surprise.

    Incidentally, I am just back from watching the 1st place Braves beat up on Tim Wakefield and the Red Sox. That’s the Gwinnett Braves, if you haven’t been paying attention.

    Diory sure can hit in AAA.

  24. Injuries piling up for battling Braves | braves.com: News

    When Soriano arrived at Turner Field on Saturday, he admitted that he’s been feeling some muscular discomfort behind the shoulder. But the once-dominant closer wasn’t willing to use this ailment as an excuse to explain the fact that he’s allowed three game-winning homers over the course of his past eight starts.

    “He’s just tired,” said Braves reliever Mike Gonzalez. “He’s been used a lot. I know how Soriano works and I think these couple of days are going to be great for him.”

  25. @41 – And I actually don’t think he had been used that badly until that recent 4 game stretch where he pitched every day. At least I think he hasn’t pitched as much as Gonzo or Moylan. We need some pen help. And we need it quick.

  26. @42 I thought they tried Campbell at second couple years again during one winter and that didn’t work out too well. Nevertheless, I think Campbell needs to get his bat going. His offense has not been good enough even to play at second base.

    It’s really too bad, I had high hope on Campbell coming into this season.

  27. 41, good to see Sorearmo is here in the middle of August.

    Anyway, I really hate to bring this up, but since it was in today’s AJC, I hope everybody saw this quote:

    “Q: Do you think the Mets want you to be any different?

    A: No, they’re not there for my on-base percentage. It was great to hear [manager] Jerry Manuel in a team meeting say, “I don’t care about average. I care about scoring runs, driving in runs and preventing runs.” That’s the type of guy I am.”

    Good times.

  28. @45 Yeah, I read that, and I am just glad he is no longer with us. He just refuses to understand the value of getting on base.

  29. Hey, Mac, Facebook keeps suggesting you to add as a friend. Can I add you? (I don’t want to say my name on here, but my picture is of Chipper Jones so that would tell you who I am)

  30. Speaking of CHipper, I was telling my son that one of the things I really like about him is how much he clearly cares for McCann.

  31. My lineup prediction for tonight:

    Infante (playing LF)
    Prado
    Chipper
    McCann
    Yunel
    Adam
    Matty
    Church

  32. lol I meant my picture is of Chipper, that’s all, yeah that sounded funny going back and reading it

    but that would be cool if Chipper logged on during games to chat on here

  33. Braves scored 2 runs in the first game, and not counting Lidge’s gift, only two yesterday. So odds are in favor of an offensive explosion. BUT, Javier “bring your own runs, we ain’t giving you any” Vazquez is pitching. Which side do you think wins?

  34. If we DL McLouth, he’s gone for about two weeks longer than he needs to be. Now would be an excellent time for Wren to convince Bobby to give up on Norton.

  35. Greg Norton has, by far, the most pinch-hit walks in baseball — 15 pinch walks. Matt Stairs is second with 8. This is how Norton manages to have a .364 OBP as a pinch hitter.

    Norton was also the major league leader in pinch walks last year, with 17.

  36. The pinch walk stat is making me take a second look at Norton. He has a .225 ISO? I do not see how he can be as terrible as his .140 BA.

    There has to be some bad luck on BABIP. How often does he strike out?

  37. He’s struck out as often as he’s walked. A big spike in walks is often a signal that the end is here. He simply can’t pull the trigger, which leads to him taking lots of pitches. Some of them are balls.

  38. I’m watching the DVD of Braves-Mets 1999 NLCS Game 5 (the Grand Slam Single Game). Some things that came back to me:

    * Brian Jordan was almost as valuable to that team as Chipper was.
    * I miss Don Baylor
    * I don’t miss Bobby Valentine’s antics
    * Bob Costas is actually a pretty good broadcaster, and seems to make Joe Morgan as bearable as possible

  39. Amazing stat on Chipper and games played. The good thing is that we actually have some depth now – except for Norton. Having Infante who can play 6 positions and Prado who can play 3 is a nice luxury. Diaz or Church, Infante, Ross and KJ is a solid bench.

  40. Big difference between the Venezuela winter leagus and MLB. I don’t mind Prado in left, but not tonight.

  41. Talking about Brian Jordan got me thinking about the Sheffield trade, which then got me thinking about Sheff’s HOF chances. If he gets elected, what hat do you think he wears in? He never had an extended stay anywhere, 5 and a half with FLA and only 3 and a half with LA. All of his time in LA was good, but only one year with FLA was good, but arguably his best season of his career was with the Braves. My bet would be LA.

  42. My guess is that Sheffield would want to be the first Marlin to go into the HOF, having been a member of their first World Series-winning team.

  43. If Gary Sheffield ever made the HoF, he should wear a Gary Sheffield cap.

    Jordan’s first half of ’99 was super valuable. No, he didn’t walk, but he got some huge hits for us (esp. vs. the Mets). I’ll take the hits.

    #60
    I was at that Game 5 in ’99. I remember when Keith Lockhart’s double fell between the outfielders & the go-ahead run scored in extras, I thought: “This guy’s gonna be our hero?”

    McGlinchy stripped him of that title quickly enough.

    And yes, it was wet, nasty & loud in that place. As the last inning began to crumble & McGlinchy could no longer grip the ball to throw strikes, everyone left in Shea was stomping & banging on everything within reach. Loud, ridiculously loud.

    I kinda knew what was coming, so I was standing at an exit when Ventura hit the ball. As soon as it cleared the fence, I sprinted through the rain to the LIRR station. Never saw anything else on the field.

    Luckily, I got on a train before the mob behind me showed up. Thankfully, things got better a couple nights later in ATL.

    Ball four!

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