Phillies 4, Braves 1

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – August 16, 2009 – ESPN

Okay, okay, I’m sorry I said Ryan Howard is the most overrated player in baseball. Sheesh.

Howard hit a solo homer in the second to give the Phillies the lead, then after the Braves tied it on a solo homer from Diaz, hit a three-run homer in the sixth to finish off the scoring. Javier Vazquez looked really good — except against Howard. He struck out seven, and gave up just four other hits.

The Braves drew six walks against Happ, but could only muster three hits. Of course, you had your share of line drives hit right at the infielders, something I am rapidly tiring of. Happ only struck out four. He’s doing it with smoke and mirrors and sooner or later he’s going to get killed, but it’s not yet.

McLouth is out with his hamstring thing again. Gosh, we wouldn’t want to put him on the DL or anything, he might be able to limp out there for a couple of games next week.

42 thoughts on “Phillies 4, Braves 1”

  1. Disappointing to drop 2 of 3, but it was encouraging that we were in all 3 and didn’t get blown out. If we just take care of business like we have, we’ll be in good shape for the Wild Card at least.

  2. “If we just take care of business like we have, we’ll be in good shape for the Wild Card at least.”

    I’ll indulge my gift for stating the obvious and point out that unless we start beating the Marlins head-to-head, or unless they fade bigtime against everybody else (not likely), we’re not going to win the Wildcard.

    For me, the more realistic questions to ask about this Braves team are: how many games over .500 can we finish? Can we get a good hitter for Vasquez in the offseason? Etc.

  3. I guess those questions we all had about whether the Braves could still win the division have now been answered.

  4. This late in the morning and no one has posted on Politically Correct Journal? Being a sarcastic SOB myself I was laughing a lot yesterday.

    I had to pass on last nights game. Of all the nights for a rain delay. I swear its a communist conspiracy.

    Mac, how about lets keep who we think is over rated to ourselves, ok? :)

    edit: When I started noone had posted.

  5. Mac, I still agree with you that Howard is the most overrated player in the game. We are not saying he sucks, we are just saying he is not Pujols.

    The results were certainly disappointing, but we are not out of it yet.

  6. That really hurts our chances in the division. Can’t say that I have felt we had a strong chance of playing in the post season anyway.

    I think I am more pissed that we did not punish J.A. Happ for some pretty mediocre pitching.

  7. I’m not sure why it’s encouraging that we didn’t get blown out. That’s a pretty low standard. Seven runs in three games (and two were given away) isn’t too good for a team ostensibly in a pennant (or wild card) race.

  8. The series was definitely discouraging, but since it was a 3 game series, it’s not a back breaker. It’s basically like we lost a game and the Phillies won a game and we dropped back one game in the race. A sweep would have been devastating, but losing 2 of 3 is just a minor setback. I agree that time is running out and we have to outplay the Phillies by a big margin, but we still have 6 games left against the Phillies and 10 more against the Marlins.

    To be honest, I’ve never had great confidence in us making the playoffs, but over 45 games, the difference between winning 2 out of 3 and losing 2 out of 3 is negligible.

  9. Actually, the Braves would have been swept if Lidge hadn’t given away the second game. Wren made a big deal out of winning series, but over the last six, the Braves are 3-3. Certainly, they have had a tough schedule (and it’s unrealistic to expect to win every series against the World Champs), but at some point, with three teams ahead of them (even if not by much), they are going to have do more. But, finishing strong would at least set the team up for next year.

  10. As a side note, the team lost control of its own destiny last night. If the Phils beat everyone but the Braves, and the Rocks and Dodgers beat everyone but each other, the team doesn’t have a playoff spot. Now we need teams to lose to other teams on days the Braves win. They could win out and still miss out.

  11. 4-2 over the past 6, not 3-3.

    2 wins against the Nots, 1 against the Phils, and 1 against the Dodgers. 2 losses against the Phils.

  12. @13,

    They lost series to the Marlins and Dodgers, beat SD, LA, and Washington, and lost to the Phillies. As I count, that’s 3-3.

  13. @14, I know. There’s something irrational in me that hates it when the team’s fate is out of its hands. I was going nuts in ’93 when they were just out of controlling their fate for like the last two months of the season.

    Looking back on that season, there’s some hope to be found. On Aug 17, they were 6.5 back. They had lost their last series to the Giants and had six games to come against them.

  14. Got you; my bad. The standings, however, count games not series. They should end up about the same, of course, over the full season.

  15. The Braves offense has to wake up. There is no way they can win the Wild Card with this Chicago Cubs style offense. As bad as McCann has been slumping, and I believe it’s like 8 for his last 50, he and Diaz had the only extra base hits in the series.

    Anderson needs a rest. He is 37 y/o, yet Bobby is running him out there like he is 25.

  16. @19, is that true? That’s an interesting question. My gut says that if you’re a good team, your game winning percentage will be higher than your series percentage because you get more sweeps and are swept less often. I have no numbers on this, though.

  17. Anderson needs a rest.

    I can’t believe I’m the only one outraged that Bobby batted him and his .311 OBP in the 2 hole last night.

  18. I don’t really think they choked. I think they basically played to their level of ability. With McLouth and Prado out, and Anderson cooling off to a more Anderson-like level, our offense is subpar.

  19. @25 – And with McCann slumping it’s even worse.

    But still, the Phillies threw two guys who should suck and one guy who’s having a bad year. The offense should have been better.

  20. What a stupid game. How does Happ walk twice as many as he strikes out and not give up runs? 3 hits on like 19 balls in play? Are you kidding me? I guess when the Phillies are involved, only balls hit over the fence don’t get caught. Yeesh.

  21. Bobby views Anderson as a “professional hitter.” That is the kind of stuff you get when you get Bobby.

    Lineup should have had Esco 2 (even thought he has done well 5 and 6 lately he wasn’t doing badly higher in the order either).

    The fundamental problem was the hitters thought they could punish J. (Don’t call me J. A.) Happ and went after too many pitches. They almost caved him in with walks, but just kept trying to force things.

    McCann needs a rest. Ross should have started one of the games against lefthanders. Chipper needs a game off and the only way to do that now is to put KJ at 2nd and Infante at third. McLouth needs the DL and we don’t have anybody worth bringing up to bring up from AAA.

    Some of these things have to turn around, or the slide has started.

  22. Phillies remind me of the Braves teams from earlier this decade. Every time they need to make a big pitch or get a big hit or make a big catch, they do it. Run of the mill players turn into gold. See: Ibanez, Werth, Happ, their entire bullpen.

  23. Is that correct? The Braves play Arizona at 4pm today?

    @33 That’s funny….I actually waited until he couldn’t score from 1st w/2 outs on a double. Then I turned to football.

  24. It’s even worse if you don’t use their 3rd-order pct and just use straight pythagorean (which has a lot of evidence behind it). I don’t handle makeup games well, yet, but I do handle one-game playoffs, playoff seeding, etc. The straight pythagorean monte carlo (1000000 runs) gives:

    Division: 4.7%
    WC: 10.8%
    reach NLCS: 4.2%
    reach WS: 2.2%
    Champion: 1.2%

  25. Yeah, it’s a little shocking that Norton is almost league average OBP-wise. He doesn’t look likely to hit anything yet pitchers keep walking him. I’m still annoyed that he was preferred to Conrad but Norton isn’t exactly killing us.

  26. To give him credit, I actually thought Anderson was hustling and made some decent plays in the first two games of the series. It appeared that he went back to his usual loafing in game 3 and he hurt us. He looked like he was walking to first on the dp he hit into, not to mention his leisurely stroll to 3rd on McCann’s double.

  27. When you have four left-handed hitters in the lineup and none of them hit lefties particularly well, you aren’t going to score many runs. When the Braves had men on base in the 5th with LaRoche and Church coming up, you could see from Bobby’s face that the didn’t have much expectation of scoring.

    I think the Braves are a pretty good team now, but not good enough to just roll through the league. It’s amazing how much they lose when Prado is out of the lineup. Comparing them to 1993 isn’t terribly helpful because that was a much, much better team that would be leading this division by, probably 10 games.

  28. August stats:

    Brian McCann- .264 OBP, .304 slugging OPS .568, batting avg .174

    Garret Anderson- .211 OBP, .281 slugging, batting avg .211.

    I think both players are tired. It’s good that Maddux didn’t like Javy, or Bobby probably would have ran him into the gorund also

  29. With McLouth and Prado ailing, the only way to give Anderson a break would be to put Infante in the OF and play KJ at 2nd. This makes sense to me, but I don’t think Bobby will do it.

  30. It’s good that Maddux didn’t like Javy, or Bobby probably would have ran him into the gorund also

    I thought Javy refused to catch Maddux. Something about a bowling ball…

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