Phillies 4, Braves 2

Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Box Score – August 28, 2009 – ESPN

This Ryan Howard thing is getting out of hand. Howard hit a solo homer in the second inning, and after about two hours’ worth of delays (divided up by seven minutes of play — great job, guys) hit a two-run homer in the fourth. I still think he’s overrated.

Tommy Hanson got hung with the loss, even though he pitched well, striking out four in two innings of work. It’s not really fair, but little of the won-loss rules are fair. Howard hit his second homer off of Medlen, in the fourth, a two-run job. The Braves cut it to 3-1 when Diaz doubled in Church in the fifth, but that was all they got, and the Phillies pushed it back to 4-1 with a run in the seventh. Chipper drove in a run with a groundout in the eighth.

Diaz had three doubles, accounting for all the Braves’ extra-base hits. Prado had two hits. You would think that with your 1-2 hitters doing that you’d have more than two runs. The Braves struck out five times against Jamie Moyer in long relief. There’s really no excuse for that.

I’m going to let this stand as the game thread.

70 thoughts on “Phillies 4, Braves 2”

  1. If the Braves miss the playoffs by 3 or 4 games, it may be fair to say their poor handling of Ryan Howard was largely to blame. Ugh. Walk the guy already!

  2. I think you gotta rest Chipper Sunday. He’ll want to be in there against Lee tonight, but I’d sure like to see him sit one out.

    Go Braves!

  3. @1: If the Braves miss the playoffs by 3 or 4 games, it’ll have more to do with Jordan Schafer, Jeff Francoeur, and Casey Kotchman than Ryan Howard.

  4. #1 and 3 – combined with the fact that we play .500 ball against teams like the Reds, Nats, Pirates, and San Diego

  5. Mac, apparently Bobby Cox agrees with you that Howard is overrated, because he elects to keep pitching to him. We’ll all have plenty of time to discuss our various convictions about Howard in October, when the Braves are off hunting or golfing and we’re watching the Phillies in the playoffs.

    Chipper looks terrible right now. He had a golden opportunity early in the game with men on first and third and one out, and he popped out so shallowly that Diaz couldn’t even come in from third. At this rate, Chipper is on his way to becoming my least favorite player on this team–not just because he’s in a slump (it happens to the best of them), but because he bitches and moans so much about everybody else (e.g., his calling out O’Flaherty’s about his recent comments, which were bone-headed to be sure, but c’mon . . . the offense has been the big problem this year, not the bullpen).

  6. Mark Graybill

    Great Post. Too many people around here are wrapped up in the nostalgia of the old Chipper. For what he’s getting paid… he certainly is one of the major disappointments this year and is in the top 5 as to why this team isn’t going to make the playoffs.

  7. @7 and 8 I am not going to defend Chipper’s recent poor performance, but I think Bobby has done a very poor job in maintaining Chipper this year. In previous years, Bobby has been very cautious in resting Chipper. This year, Bobby has been running Chipper out more often than I would have imagine. There were couple days in the past month which I thought Bobby would give Chipper an off-day for sure…and Chipper was playing. Doesn’t Bobby give off day to players who are struggling?! I also hope Bobby will rest McCann more often…

    …It’s also unfortunate that Nate got hurt when we are playing these important games.

  8. I mean it really breaks down like this… we are paying chipper to perform as the main run producing offensive threat. He simply isn’t that guy anymore and its the main reason why this team’s offense just doesn’t have the fire power to make the playoffs.

  9. Yeah, when your top paid pitcher doesn’t keep runs off the board and your top paid hitter doesn’t put runs on the board…that’s a tough combination for a team with a budget. It’s almost like giving huge multiyear deals to players in their late 30s is a bad idea.

    And of course only by reading this blog can you find out how it’s all really Bobby’s fault.

    #1, #3, et al. – if it’s any consolation, the team is likely to miss the playoffs my more than three or four games.

  10. so, in light of the latest collapse of our braves, i have started looking toward next year, and here is what i’ve guesstimated as far as payroll is concerned:
    Lowe- 15 mil
    Kawakami-6.67
    Hudson- 12 mil
    Hanson- 500k
    Vazquez-11.5
    Jurrjens-1.25 mil
    Prado-1 mil
    Infante-2.25
    Escobar-1 mil
    Chipper-14 mil
    Diaz-3 mil
    Kelly Johnson-4 mil
    Mclouth-5.25 mil
    Church-4 mil
    Ross-1.5 mil
    Mccann-5.5 mil
    Medlen-500k
    O’Flaherty- 2mil
    Moylan- 1 mil
    Carlyle- 1 mil

    roughly 93 million committed to 20 players. obviously, if you take hudson out of the equation, it’s 81 million. truth be told, i dont think freeman is going to be ready as quickly as i originally thought and i would love to sign laroche to a 2 year, 18 million dollar deal.

    however, i do think that heyward will be our starting right fielder next year. with that in mind, i think you must trade a starting pitcher or let hudson walk (which i really dont want them to do…he’s an auburn boy!). removing kj from the roster will also create some flexibility. if hudsons option is passed on and kj is released, conrad could come in for 500k, and that will leave 19 million dollars to fill 6 vacancies (most of which are bullpen, which will be filled internally). that being said, there is probably room to offer laroche an annual contract around 9-10 mil and soriano or gonzalez 8 mil, without raising payroll. with medlen, moylan, and one of gonzalez or soriano, that is still a good bullpen.

    here would be my route: trade vazquez and kj (letting hudson go gives you nothing in return and their contracts are comparable) for some cheap, strong bullpen arms, give hudson his extension, sign laroche and gonzo or soriano for about 18 mil and fill rest of bullpen out with arms received from the vazquez trade and internal options. keeps the core of the team together, conrad becomes the power off the bench instead of norton, hudson is slotted in vazquez’s role, and we see what this team can do with a full year.

  11. #12….thanks for the laugh. Chipper is stinking up the place so its bobbys’ fault. one day he leaves his starter in too long and the next day hes burning out his bullpen and now the mean ol’ sob expects chipper to actually earn his money…………. the war in afghanistan isnt going well this week and i think i see bobbys’ fingerprints all over that one too.

  12. The Mets suck. Francoeur is a Met. Coming off a 90-loss season, the Braves are/were in contention for the NL Wild Card–all in all, the season has been a success.

  13. This team made a huge mistake by giving chipper that extension. You don’t make the playoffs and win WS by having loyalty to old washed up players. Case in point, they cut the ties with Glavine and Smoltz and it was for the best. It’s only a matter of time before the same can be said for chipper. I see Chipper wanting to play another 4 years or so and I doubt all of it will be with Atlanta. I think eventually he will be traded to the AL to be a DH.

  14. This Chipper-bashing is getting out of hand. He’s having a bad year by his own standards, and is in a slump, but he’s still been the most valuable offensive player on the team, he still has a .400 OBP, and he’s still second on the team in homers.

  15. @20: Chipper knows his place. If the Braves want to get rid of him, he’s not going to stop them.

  16. Jon K at 18 or who ever you are. So Chipper is coming off of 3 consecutive seasons of > 1.00 OPS and the Braves made a mistake with he contract? He sucks because he is NOT hitting .364 like he did last season. Shit dude you’re hard to please.
    And by the way Chipper is a 10 and 5 man. He WILL finish his career in Atlanta unless he decides to play beyond this contract. Y’all crack me up.

  17. Chipper Jones has been my favorite baseball player since I was in the sixth grade, so I’m not going to participate in the whole Chipper bashing thing. It seems to be an interlude before the regular Bobby bashing continues.

    That being said, I read the article posted @ 21 and I didn’t think O’Flaherty said anything malicious. It seems Chipper overreacted a little bit. If I was a position player, I probably wouldn’t want a middle reliever speaking for the whole team though.

  18. My hunch is Chipper has been hurt the last few months but has been hiding the injury and making himself play through it because he knew it was the only way the team was going to make the playoffs and he won’t have that many more chances at a ring.

  19. @ 28 – There is no doubt he is having wrist problems, along with the other bumps and bruises that accompany the dog days.

  20. You guys are not even reading my message right. Sometimes when a player is struggling, it’s a combination of things. I am not even blaming Bobby for Chipper’s struggle, I am just saying Bobby should have given Chipper couple more off-days and it would be consistent with Bobby’s history of handling struggling players. That’s hardly a harsh criticism and you guys are reading as if I want Bobby to retire or something. Geez.

  21. For you all Bobby lovers, two questions:

    1) Should McCann get more rest? The rate that he is playing, Mac’s contract at the end will not be pretty either.

    2) Why the f**k Reid is playing and not Infante?

  22. Mac you are a hoot. Chipper is done. Your living in a dream world man, you and Dylan. Chipper is not worth the money this team is paying him anymore. We aren’t paying him 14 mil a year to have a good OBP. We need a guy we can hit for high average, drive in runs and hit hrs. Chipper isn’t that guy anymore, I’m not saying he doesn’t have a place in the MLB anymore because he does. He’s just not the type of player he used to be and ATL has no other players to produce like Chipper used to. Wether you like it or not Mac… Chippers down year is one of the main reasons this offense stinks

  23. Jon, Chipper is the defending batting champion. I don’t think you can call him “done” until he has another terrible year. Nobody is saying he is not one of the reasons (including Schafer, Frenchy, KJ, Kotch, etc) why our offense sucks this year, but calling him “done” now is a bit harsh.

  24. Time for a commercial break:

    This Atlanta Brave has hit .238 since June 9th.

    His .935 Fielding% ranks lower than Edward Encarnacian and Alex Gordon.

    His 3 for 41 stretch is single handedly killing the braves chances at the wild card, and has drug his OPS under .400 for the year.

    He only has 7 RBIs in August

    His contract calls him to be paid 40mil over the next 3 years.

    His name is…… Chipper Jones, and watch your Braves crash and burn on FSN South.

    Fade Out Commercial

    Mac, since you and most of the people here thought we would waltz to the playoffs without Franceour, I think the bashing of Chipper did not start soon enough, or has been loud enough.

    (Numbers Updated for the 0-2 tonight)

  25. Mac, since you and most of the people here thought we would waltz to the playoffs without Franceour,

    I defy you to find JUST ONE instance of Mac saying that. Do it or man up and apologize. We’re waiting.

  26. 1) Should McCann get more rest? The rate that he is playing, Mac’s contract at the end will not be pretty either.

    He seventh in innings played at catcher this season, he was sixth last season, and second two years ago. It’s heavy but not excessive considering he’s the team’s best player. Looks like the Piazza workload.

    He might crater after age 30 when he’s signed a five year $100 million deal with the Mets but I’m really not that concerned.

  27. The Chipper bashing is illustrative of the petulant, immature and fickle attitudes of so many “fans.” It’s pure hysterics with little substantive justification. At best it’s extremely premature, and at worst it’s unnecessarily dragging a team leader and loyal player through the mud for having a single bad stretch (heaven forbid that a star player show they are still human).

  28. kind of hurt his leg/groin earlier during his base hit. Reinjured it when Lowe threw a ball past him and he lunged for it

  29. Done in the sense of why are we paying this guy 15 plus million dollars when he’s not that HR and RBI producing machine anymore? Exactly what are we getting for 14 plus million? Decent (maybe good/great average) limited HR’s and RBI, great OBP (doesnt really matter when you don’t have anyone else who can hit for power consistently behind him) and average to below average fielding nowadays. Seems like that money could go elsewhere to a younger player who could give this team the power and run production it really needs

  30. Be hey lets keep being loyal and missing the playoffs. Kinda like why they keep bobby cox around…

  31. why do the braves always pitch Howard away? seriously, hit him once and then start throwing it inside

  32. guys, there is a regular poster on “thegoodphight” that posts under the name jonk….just sayin’

  33. @54 Good article. My only question involves where the $4,500,000 per point of WAR comes from. I’m curious whether that is something someone has carefully teased out of the data, or a guestimation?

  34. Sort of wondering why Cox went with a RHP against Rollins, Victorino, and Utley.

    Gonzo gets Howard.

  35. Again – if Cox had played Diaz instead of Francouer all year, we’d be leading the Wild Card race.

    What does / did the man have against Matt Diaz?

    A little late in coming around, Bobby – but what else is new?

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