Marlins 5, Braves 3

Florida Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – August 21, 2009 – ESPN

I have a theory that when a pitcher is being outpitched in a pitcher’s duel, he doesn’t just crack, he just shatters. Since even one run is huge in a game like that, he has to work really hard and be extra-fine to stay in the game. With no margin for error, when things go they often go a lot, and in a hurry. That happened to Javier Vazquez tonight. He kept the Marlins off the board through five innings, but Anibal Sanchez was throwing a no-hitter. Finally, Vazquez cracked, allowing an RBI single to Ramirez in the sixth. Javy broke up the no-hitter himself in the bottom of the inning, but was erased on a double play. But in the seventh, he had nothing, and after Yunel couldn’t get to a grounder, making it 3-0, Vazquez gave up a two-run homer to Ramirez to put the game seemingly out of reach. He probably shouldn’t have faced Ramirez for the fourth time — you should face that guy four times unless you’re going really well.

It certainly hurt in the bottom of the inning, when the Braves finally made some noise. Church doubled, and Chipper reached on an infield single. McCann kept the rally going by lining into an out, but LaRoche ended it with a three-run homer. (I will never stop making fun of Francoeur for that one.) Yunel reached on another infield single, but the Marlins got out of it after that. The Braves couldn’t mount a threat in the eighth — Norton led off the inning, which explains that — and in the top of the ninth, the rains came and basically never stopped. They came back to finish the game with some rain still coming down after about two hours, and it ended in about five minutes. LaRoche actually singled with two outs in the ninth but was thrown out trying to stretch. You know, with the run that wouldn’t tie the game.

Bullpen did a pretty good job; Moylan finished the seventh, and O’Flaherty cruised through the eighth. Medlen was on the mound when the rains came, and had a strikeout and a walk. Logan finished up. Everyone should be available tomorrow.

34 thoughts on “Marlins 5, Braves 3”

  1. Blech. Nunez threw maybe one strike to Chipper and McCann combined. Thought maybe the guys would be thankful for that second chance but they looked like they were mailing it in. Oh well we’ve lost many series openers lately only to finish strong so maybe….

  2. Vazquez has long been vulnerable to giving up the long ball, I just can’t believe the frigging Florida Marlins have a better record than our Braves do.

  3. I saw the Braves win a spring training game last March.

    However, I haven’t seen them win a regular game since–I kid you not–2002. My luck is remarkable.

    I roughed out the rain delay and got to sit behind home plate for the remainder of the game; probably close enough to be on TV. Wonder if my family Tivos these games.

    Bobby needs to retire and Chipper needs to go on the DL. Awful.

  4. @3 Rob, I feel for you. Maybe you should just save the money going to the games and get MLB.TV instead…

    @4 Adam has always been a rally killer and will tend to make stupid mistakes from time to time like Yunel does, but it’s hard to complain with the way he has been hitting.

    The offense should be ashamed of themselves for getting no-hit by Anibal Sanchez for five innings.

  5. I think Bobby has gone Sheffield on this team. It’s like he’s trying to give away games now. How can he not remove Vasquez in the 7th after giving up 3 runs when he clearly had nothing? There’s no way a manager who is trying to win a playoff berth leaves Javi in to face the NL batting champion.

  6. The Marlins are pretty good. And, this isn’t 1998 anymore as far as the Braves. Vazquez has been the best pitcher on the team for the last couple of months but he seems to be sliding back to earlier in the season when he was constantly having one bad inning. I’m just looking for the Braves to finish over .500 and perhaps put themselves in position for next year. I think the Braves are probably one big bat (Heyward?) away from being quite good.

  7. Can we finally call it like it has been all year. Javy Vasquez is a PUSS BITCH. He has always one his whole career. Javy has gotten the call in arguably the two biggest games of the year. 13.2 innings 16 hits 9 ER. He has given his team NO CHANCE to win.

    After he and Lowe kill our playoff chances after Javy will go back to pitching like a monster.

    This guy has a history of coming up small, and I have said all year this guy would bite us when we needed him and he has in the last two.

  8. @5,

    You’d like that I’ll bet. I can be persuaded to not go to games. But it’ll cost you. ;)

    @8,

    That is a ridiculous combination of words. Yesterday was 100% Bobby’s fault. Any other manager would have taken him out when he’s close to 100 pitches and facing the best hitter in baseball. Another pretty good hitter (Ryan Howard, remember?) beat him the outing before. Hard to win with 3 runs (last night) and 1 run before that.

    So bitch about our best pitcher elsewhere.

  9. @9 I agree, our offense is going no where with Nate and Prado out of the lineup. It’s unfortunate we have them out in this critical games. If some of us can’t see that and decide to blame everything of Javy, then I guess we may have to agree to disagree.

    Leaving starters in for too long has always been a weakness of Bobby ever since the 90s. It should be nothing new to us Braves fan.

  10. @11 Yeah, it’s like people blaming Maddux and Glavine for unable to win big games back in the late 90s and early 00s.

  11. Once again the Braves are underperforming their pythag. If they don’t win the next two games of this series, it’s gonna make that climb to the top of the WC standings that much more difficult.

  12. #1 – Im glad you said it. Chipper and McCann were ready to go home and just swung at everything. Neither one took a pitch and neither one swung at a strike. Some are mad at Laroche for getting thrown out, but I was more pissed about the AB’s put out there by our leaders on the team

    Bobby, it may be getting time to put Laroche in the 4 hole. May also want to find a way to get Gorecki on the bench and give KJ some swings

  13. Does anyone here actually think that Frenchy was being serious when he made the HR = rally killing comment? Come on. I think of lots of reasons Frenchy deserved criticism (although I don’t care now that he’s no longer a Brave), but that comment isn’t one of them. It came across as obviously sarcastic.

  14. @15

    I don’t think Frenchy was being sarcastic. Cecil Cooper said the exact same thing earlier this season.

    I wonder if there are others that think the same.

  15. Why is that controversial? Of course HRs kill rallies. It’s like you’re starting over. That doesn’t make them a bad thing, though; the point of rallies is to score runs, and HRs do that very well. But they do tend to kill rallies.

  16. Mraver, it isn’t a rally unless the team scores runs. There’s no kind of hit better at scoring runs than the HR. There’s also always another AB after a HR. Therefore, HRs per se cannot be rally killers. QED

    Edit: Or were you being toungue-in-cheek?

  17. Wasn’t it Joe Morgan who started this (homers kill rallies) a couple of years ago? Gotta be Joe. It’s Morgan level stupid.

  18. The difference between the Marlins and Braves offense: The Marlins have one great player, while the Braves have zero.

  19. A “rally” and “scoring runs” are different things. You may want to do one thing to do the other the way you work hard to earn money. But “hard work” and “having money” aren’t the same thing.

    A rally is when you string together a bunch of hits. They happen because when you get a runner on, the defense has to move around, which opens up more holes. The pitchers throws from the stretch, etc. If 5 guys his consecutive solo HRs, it’s not a rally. It’s just a bunch of HRs.

    Maybe it’s just semantics, but a “rally” is usually capped off by a HR, not a bunch of hits surrounding a HR in the middle. So in that sense, it’s perfectly reasonable to say that HRs “kill” rallies. But as I said before, that doesn’t mean a rally-killing HR isn’t a great thing to have.

  20. Isnt there someone besides Reid Goreki that can play the of? Somewhere? Gwinnett? Free Agent? Mexican League?

  21. Yeah, I was about to say that the whole discussion about rally-killing homers really is just a semantic question about the meaning of ‘rally’.

  22. I think for the Braves, since Adam is the only consistent HR threat, I can see how a homer can be seen as a rally killer. However, for a team like the Phillies, it’s their offense.

  23. Francoeur is an idiot. And any (even the SLIGHTEST!) opportunity to make fun of him should never be wasted.

  24. @25,

    Very well put. I think Frenchy’s quote was something along the lines of “the last thing you want to do in that situation is hit a homerun,” which is, well, typical Francouer.

  25. Tony, I let a lot of things you say slide, but how can you not say McCann is great ? There’s exactly one catcher who is better, and this is the only year that he’s been all that much better. What more do you want ?
    Chipper, when healthy, which there is no way that he is now, is great too.

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