Astros 2, Braves 1

Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros – Box Score – September 09, 2009 – ESPN

Look, Soriano is done. He has nothing left. I don’t really care one way or the other if the Braves win, but at this point all you’re doing is hurting his free agent rating.

Soriano’s catastrophic ninth inning — three hits and an intentional walk, one strikeout — blew a tremendous effort by Tommy Hanson. Hanson went eight innings, allowed just five hits, and struck out seven without a walk. He threw 98 pitches (65 of them strikes) and maybe you could have sent him out there for the ninth, but why risk it?

The real problem is that the offense still hasn’t shown up. The Braves had only three hits, two by Diaz. One of them scored Escobar (who reached on a walk) in the second. Yunel, hitting in the cleanup spot, had the Braves’ only two walks. It’s really sad. The games are meaningless, but the sleepwalking is annoying.

111 thoughts on “Astros 2, Braves 1”

  1. The offense is the second problem. The real problem is Bobby Cox. Don’t kid yourself Mac, if the braves hope to improve on their recent string of missing the postseason, Cox is the first guy who needs to be replaced. Why do you think Soriano is done??? It’s because of Cox! He has ruined that entire bullpen.

  2. “He threw 98 pitches (65 of them strikes) and maybe you could have sent him out there for the ninth, but why risk it?”

    Because there was no more risk in sending him out there than in the 3rd, or 5th, or 7th. His pitch count was low and his velocity hadn’t changed a bit. He was the best chance to win the game. And–I say this assuming Bobby Cox is still being paid to win games–putting him out there was the best chance to win.

    The Braves wouldn’t have made the playoffs had they won. This was, essentially, a meaningless game. But none of that changes the fact that Bobby Cox is a stupid man who lacks both creativity and the ability to evolve intellectually.

  3. I rarely get mad at decisions. I get annoyed all the time, but never really mad. But this actually makes me mad. He wasn’t showing any fatigue and he had dominated in the 8th. The bullpen is tired, Soriano has struggled, and I think its an easy decision to leave him in.

  4. Yeah, that would have been a big jewel in his ROY crown, especially with Happ missing some time with his oblique, or whatever it is. Not to mention the value of the experience for Hanson – a complete game shutout as a rookie could build some major badass swagger. But…it’s not like there aren’t legit reasons to protect a prized rookie’s arm.

  5. Jesus Christ, people. This game doesn’t matter. Tommy Hanson went over 170 innings pitched (combined minors and majors) in this game. Last year he threw 138. The Red Sox shut down pitchers who make jumps like that. At eight innings, it was already an inning longer than any game he’s thrown this year. Nobody routinely throws complete games anymore. There is absolutely no reason to risk Hanson’s arm in a lost cause.

  6. FA needs for the Braves

    1. New manager
    2. Cleanup hitter
    3. Bullpen Help
    4. Pick up huddy’s option
    5. Explore possible trades involving one of our 6 pitchers
    6. Bats off the bench/Cut Greg Norton

  7. Jesus Christ, MAC… this game doesn’t matter your right! but how about you finally admit that Cox is not the answer for this team anymore.

  8. @7 I know, seriously, why any of you want Hanson to pitch the ninth? There is zero reason for doing that.

    The problem is Bobby keeps sending out Sori when he clearly does not have it.

    Of course, this offense is sad. Why is Bobby still throwing Chipper out there?

  9. Adam M

    Your line of “The Braves wouldn’t have made the playoffs had they won. This was, essentially, a meaningless game. But none of that changes the fact that Bobby Cox is a stupid man who lacks both creativity and the ability to evolve intellectually.”

    is the highlight of my evening haha hilarious

  10. No mas, compadres. Cox has advanced cognitive problems which will not be solved by marginally better players or another off-season with daily Geritol. If he’s still around next year, the Braves have lost a 30 year fan.

  11. Mac is right, this game means nothing, Tommy Hanson is the franchise. He crossed the 100 IP mark on top of his workload from Gwinnett (66 IP). Tough call, but the right call to pull him.

    This is one of those, ‘man did we really have to use Soriano in the ninth even though we are up 6 games’. Guy is running on fumes, on top of being a guy who gets small late in games.

    No worries, Soriano will be gone next year, and Hanson will be a stud for years.

    Gotta get more offense. Oh that’s right we have Lowe and Chipper on the books for 30 mil the next 3 years. We are going to be stuck in this mode for years.

    Glass 1/2 full type of game, we lost, but gosh Hanson is a STUD

    Connie Mack (with Casey Stengel coaching 3b and Joe Torre coaching 1b) couldn’t win a pennant with this bunch on offense.

    Not that BC doesn’t need to go, but the Braves have to get better hitters. Cox can follow Wren out the door.

  12. I’m not sure how many times 90+% of the people on this blog have blasted Bobby on a move at the time it was made and that move ended up costing the Braves’ the game.

    I have been a Bobby fan for years, but the number of times this situation has recurred over the last two years demands a new man at the helm.

  13. You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

    Mac, I am calling you out. Print it on your by line. No excuses. No “he has been good for us in the past.” Cox must go at the end of this wretched season. Any moron who uses a pitcher over and over and then he wobbles badly on a particular night SHUTS HIM DOWN FOR THE NEXT NIGHT. Why are we forced to suffer with someone stupider than just any old moron.

    Can somebody put crack cocaine in Bobby’s pickup truck? Can we get the pictures from Norton? Maybe Lockhart still has a copy? Anything?

  14. Any and all loyalty to Cox should be thrown out the door after yet another game of disgusting managing by Cox

  15. I think he should retire — I was pretty much on board with that before the season. I’ve been critical when he makes mistakes, for over ten years. But pulling Hanson was not a mistake. Not shutting down Soriano is, as I said yesterday, and again today.

    And I think a little respect is owed Bobby Cox, whatever his mistakes are. Since Hank Aaron left, every single good Braves team — hell, every half-decent Braves team — has been either managed, or built, or both, by Bobby Cox.

  16. My position is the same: if he should be shut down, shut him down. The 9th doesn’t matter at all. I am very much a stat-person and there is absolutely nothing suggesting that that one inning posed any greater a risk than the dozen preceding it. The risk will be the next month, but then, in all likelihood, it will be felt next year.

    And seriously, if you think Bobby Cox is operating under that assumption, good grief. He’s not. He did what he thought would best preserve the lead. The next time Bobby Cox does something for the same reason the Red Sox would have done it will be the first time.

  17. Chipper needs to sit until he is healthy (even if that is next spring). He is NOT healthy hitting (or more accurately “non hitting”) like this.

    Pulling Hanson was RIGHT. Putting in Soriano was WRONG. Another move might not have worked, but it should have been obvious that Soriano would not get it done.

  18. I have been and, to some extent, remain a huge Bobby Cox fan. But it’s the end, and calling for it isn’t a sign of disrespect. (then again, calling him intellectually dull is, and for that I apologize… sigh)

  19. I think Bobby wants to see Sori getting 100 Ks this season. Since the game does not matter anyway, Bobby wants to make sure the Cubs or whoever signing Sori will suffer for the next three years.

    Hey, the old man is smart!

  20. You can always say “one more inning won’t hurt” and it probably won’t. But it might. Hanson is surely on a pitch count, and isn’t going to be sent out to start an inning with 98 pitches thrown. And Bobby used pitch counts before most of his compatriots; Smoltz and Glavine spent their entire careers on pitch counts.

  21. I think there is an organization mandate will prohibit Hanson from throwing more than 100 pitches a game. Otherwise, Bobby would have sent Tommy back out there in the ninth so the kid would get his first career shutout.

  22. thanks bobby,

    thank you for tanking our closer’s arm. thanks for having him pitch on these dates when he could have used the rest: Aug 19, Jul 24, Jul 19, Jun 19, Jun 18, Jun 12, May 24, May 19, May 11. these are the games that the braves won by 5 or more that you used soriano in. you’ve been great, but your ship hit an iceberg.

    sincerely,
    ryan c

  23. I agree with mac. Sending hanson out in the ninth is the same argument we use in throwing soriano in useless innings. There is no reason to throw him out for a meaningless inning.

  24. If a convenience store manager in Two Egg Florida managed like Bobby Cox, he would be fired.

    I will celebrate Cox’ many accomplishments. He may be sufficiently senile to not understand what harm he is doing. But, if he doesn’t have the respect to leave, then somebody needs to show him the door.

    And, until the end of the season, Wren needs to figure out a way to stop the foolishness.

    And, by the way ryan c., no way in hell The Braves get ANY free agent reliever if “Bobby the Bullpen Butcher” is our manager. It has already been published on the web. So, if a major need of the team is to fix the bullpen, “The Butcher of Bartow” needs to go and go fast.

  25. @28 Really?! Why my memory keeps telling me that Bobby used to keep Tommy and Smoltzie in a game for far too long after they were clearly too tired to pitch?

    Respect for Bobby is one thing, him not doing a good enough job managing the game is another matter. I respect the old man, but he is not helping the team to win.

  26. The braves got on a really neat run because Prado, Diaz, and LaRoche all got on extended tears that kind of overlapped. Now that they have all come down to earth (at least Prado and LaRoche) the offense had tanked.

    To expect Diaz, Prado, and LaRoche all to produce the whole year at the levels they were is asking for another year of 82-85 win baseball at best

    This team has to find a cleanup hitter. Hopefully Heyward is as good as advertised, and the front office can swing a miracle move for A. Gonzalez or Matt Holliday or something. Anything short of a miracle and we are sitting right back here in this exact spot next year.

  27. heres the thing, Bobby has sent Hanson out there to pitch the 6th inning before when he was at 95 pitches. That day he ended up with his season high of 112. Why wouldnt he let him finish this one? Pitch counts are retarded anyways. A guy is just as likely to get hurt on his 1st pitch as his 50th or 100th. You can see when a pitchers stuff has changed or he cant hit his spots or when his velocity is down. None of those were the case for Hanson tonight. Plus he was pitching in a dome where there is absolutely no humidity or anything.

  28. idea: pick up xavier nady in the offseason and have him play first. he will be cheap. i really like this idea. you could probably entice him with a 2/14 mil deal. then, trade vazquez and kj for relief help. let cox, soriano, norton, and gonzo walk the plank.

  29. Respect for Bobby is one thing, him not doing a good enough job managing the game is another matter. I respect the old man, but he is not helping the team to win.

    Question for the pitchfork wielding mob: How many games do the Braves win this year if (insert your favorite manager here) is the manager?

  30. Robert, using replacement theory does not cover the fact that Bobby is making some obviously bad decisions.

  31. no cant stand Baker, he leaves pitchers out there to rot. Im not asking Bobby to do that either, its a fine line. What Im saying is it is okay to allow a pitcher to throw more than 100 pitches and its a terrible excuse to pull someone

  32. #41 – Wasn’t trying to cover anything, just curious what folks think the team would have been capable of.

  33. @42 If Hanson has been pitching 200+ innings for the past couple seasons, then I definitely agree with you.

  34. @39

    I think we could have picked up 5 or more in the first 75 games with someone other than Bobby deciding to remove the Black Holes from the lineup. Another 3-4 with reasonable bullpen decisions. Maybe 2-3 if Norton was allowed to remain in his casket. Maybe throw in a few more for getting the ice-cold Chipper and McCann out of the middle of the order. In total, maybe 10 wins? That would have us firmly in playoff contention, but that’s also assuming no dropoff in other areas from Bobby. But really, other than the whole morale thing (which winning games would replace a lot of) what does Bobby actually offer as an advantage over anyone? Obviously, he’s better than Dusty Baker or someone who would have killed Hanson, but then again, DB certainly wouldn’t be my (insert your favorite manager here).

  35. Also, to be fair, I’m assuming a perfect manager who would have made all the suggested changes. That person’s existence is entirely hypothetical (actually I’d be that person! Me for Braves manager in 2010 – I think I would leave my internship for that.)

  36. @47 – Therein lies the biggest problem – I’m afraid Bobby or JS would have enough say in the hiring decision that someone from the Bobby school of inane decisions rooted in 1920s logic would be the replacement. Wren seems new-school enough to make a drastic change, but I doubt he has the power.

  37. @43 I would love to know how much better, if any, this team will play if our manager is not Bobby, but it is impossible to guess.

  38. @47 We have no way of knowing. TP may not even be the top candidate. I thought TP would be taking more responsibilities than just being a hitting coach if the Braves are seriously thinking about TP as a future manager.

  39. @ 45:

    10 wins turned into losses by Bobby Cox? That’s a pretty harsh judgment. I don’t know how to objectively quantify his impact so I can’t definitively say that number is too high, but it is really hard to accept that this team would be 81-58 with a different manager. I just don’t know that in-game decisions can have that much impact. If a good manager is really worth 10+ wins a season, it seems to me like they ought to be getting paid a LOT more than they do- they’re more valuable than pretty much any player over the course of a season

  40. @51 – I agree, it does seem like a lot, but in this case it’s not Bobby creating 10 wins, it’s Bobby destroying them. Compared to WAR of the team as currently constructed, our record is well below projected. But obviously we didn’t have McClouth or LaRoache until past midway, and that has nothing to do with Bobby. 10 would be the high end though – maybe 5 would be less dependent on the best outcome in every possible situation managed differently.

  41. btw, since the allstar break

    Soriano 4.64era 1.147whip .235baa

    Gonzalez 0.75era 1.0whip .171baa

    and Soriano still gets the ball in the 9th, why?

  42. @53:

    I think one fallacy inherent in saying Bobby destroyed 10 wins (or any number, really) is that there’s an implicit assumption that if in every situation, if the “optimal” choice was made (as opposed to the one Bobby chose), the Braves would have then gone on to win. I’m not discounting your argument, I am just pointing out some shades of grey in what I think is by necessity a subjective evaluation.

    I seem to recall that someone on BP or Hardball Times wrote a book about evaluating managers- or maybe it was Bill James- does anybody know anything about it? Are there objective ways to say that a manager had impact on games, and if so do they pass the smell test?

  43. Bill James wrote a book about ten years ago — it’s out of print. He generally didn’t focus on game-level decisions but at the season level. He had two systems, one of which was point-based on in season achievements. The other was based upon an expected wins formula.

    Bobby ranked as the third-best manager of all time by this method.

  44. It’s impossible to say how many wins Bobby has cost us, but it is extremely likely that the number is greater than zero this year.

    Also, Hanson threw more innings last year than most are crediting. Didn’t he toss another 20-25 in the AFL?

  45. Parish–You are absolutely right: Bobby’s career has been impressive, but the last few seasons have been pretty shaky.

    Wins and losses will always be the major criteria for assessing a manager–but so too should be what happens to players….I am still a bit pissed about the way Bobby exhausted Blaine Boyer’s arm….

    I hope the Braves find a way to stay over .500 so Bobby can feel that he can ‘go out as a winner’. Unfortunately, it will probably make him want to stay for a few more years…..

  46. 59,
    Yes. 33 and 2/3 innings in the AFL if you include the AFL Championship game (where he pitched 5 innings allowing 1 run. Trivia, new friend Rudy Darrow relieved him after 5 and gave up 5 runs in 2/3 innings to lose the game). Add 13 on top of that if they don’t count playoff starts on your baseball-reference page.

  47. Pitch counts are rubbish, period. They don’t prevent pitchers from getting hurt any less, never have and never will.

    That said, 12-15 more pitches wouldn’t make a hill of beans difference for Tommy Hanson. Except they did, as in the ninth inning. This is why our Braves are all but mathematically eliminated from the post season. They should be leading the wild card standings right now, if not their own division.

    Bill James is brilliant but he isn’t the reason pitch counts were enacted. Ignorance is. Pitch counts have drastically dropped from 1996 to today and arm injuries have remained static.

    Arm injuries are caused by bad mechanics, poor delivery, poor conditioning and overuse. And by overuse, I don’t just mean pitch counts. Mechanics is the issue, a hundred pitches with poor mechanics is a lot more stressful on the arm than a hundred pitches with good mechanics. That’s what I mean by overuse.

    Baseball is wising up to the obvious mathematical indicators. Nolan Ryan has his Rangers emphasizing proper conditioning, good mechanics and proper care. No one is ignoring the statistics, but the time is ripe for some smart team to get more innings out of their better pitchers by slowly working up to higher workloads. The Rangers are doing just that and the rest of baseball will follow suit.

  48. Coach, all the other factors you mentioned in considering a pitcher’s health are definitely valid, but you can’t ignore pitch count just like you can’t ignore all the other factors.

    Remember what Baker did to Prior and Wood?

  49. KC, Kerry Wood had and has the worst mechanics of any pitcher alive. The pundits even predicted that he would break down, and the Cubs have done a poor job of properly developing their young pitchers, period.

    Dusty Baker is as overrated as Bobby Cox, they both need to retire.

  50. I don’t think you can completely dismiss pitch counts. Obviously they’re not one-size-fits-all, but high pitch counts lead to fatigue which can lead to poor form. Right?

    It’s a gross oversimplification, but I think it’s valid. Lincecum, who throws a complete game every other outing, is now out with back spasms.

  51. To say that Tim Lincecum throws a complete game every other outing is an oversimplification. He’s actually got two this year.

  52. 67,

    He pitches deep into games on a regular basis. I’m surprised his CG total is so low this year, because I seem to catch him pitching into the 8th and 9th innings every game I watch.

  53. But hey, thanks for bringing the Giants up in the conversation.

    They are a near perfect example of why great pitching wins. The Giants are 76-64 while scoring 556 runs and giving up 567.

    Our Braves are 71-68 while scoring 617 runs and giving up 560.

    We have outscored the Giants by 61 runs and given up fewer. And yet they are five games better in the standings. Why?

    Our pitching is just as good if not deeper,and our offense is better. I think the fundamental difference is because Bruce Bochy allows his starting pitchers to go deeper into the game. The Giants have ten complete games, our Braves have one. Tim Lincecum actually has four complete games, my error.

    Cox relies far to heavily on his bullpen, whereas Bochy emphasizes keeping his starters in the game.

  54. 69,

    Just to play devil’s advocate, I think Bochy wants his starters to go deep because the bullpen is pretty shaky. Brian Wilson reminds me of Wild Thing from “Major League.” I’ve seen him blow many-a-game. Almost blew it today.

  55. alright, here’s where I blow your mind and shut my trap for the night.

    Our Braves moved to Atlanta from Milwaukee in 1966. In forty-four years of professional baseball in Atlanta, the Braves bullpen has posted the three highest inning totals in their entire history during the 2006-07 and 2008 seasons. As follows: 2006 = 512 innings, 2007 = 539 innings, 2008 = 554 innings. Leo Mazzone left after the 2005 season.

    Our 2009 bullpen is on pace for just 475 innings, which sounds great except for the fact that Soriano, Gonzo, O’Flaherty and Moylan have been overused and abused. Cox has stuck with the four of them in spite of having a seven man bullpen, and now they are blowing leads left and right.

  56. 66 brought up a good question. What is a high pitch count? 100 is just a nice round number but what is truly too much abuse? I don’t pretend to know what the limit is but it ain’t 100.

  57. 72,

    You’re right. I’m thinking of the game before that I think…

    Not thinking clearly tonight.

  58. #74, pitch counts should differ from pitcher to pitcher.

    However, for a rookie who has thrown more innings this year than he has before in his life, I’d say 100 isn’t a bad place to start.

    I don’t think anyone is advocating 100 pitches as the limit in normal situations, but the Braves stood to gain 1 win in a season which is over. However, they would have increased the injury risk to a guy who is projected to be one of the faces of the franchise in the coming years.

    It really wasn’t a tough decision to make.

  59. Coach,

    Proportion of innings pitched by bullpen has been going up steadily for those 44 years. I would suppose that 80% of the long standing franchises (original 16 and maybe add the 1960 class of Angels, Astros, Mets, and Senators / Rangers) have 2 of their 3 highest bullpen inning years within the last 10 years.

    Think about it. As recently as 1991, the debate was over 10 pitchers versus 11 on the roster. Now it is 11 v. 12 and sometimes 13.

    However, overall, I believe that somehow organizationally, the Braves have gone a little too far in protecting VETERAN starting pitchers and have been lax in protecting relievers.

  60. Offense is needed.

    Prudent bullpen management is needed.

    A replacement for the incumbent third baseman must be developed or obtained by trade. Aforementioned third baseman needs to go to the DH league or retire.

    The all-star catcher needs more games off.

    The manager, arguably one of the best managers of all time, needs to retire.

    Anything else?

  61. Coach, you are clearly correct that there are other things besides pitch counts that affect injuries; as you say, mechanics, conditioning, and, I would suspect, game situations–if a pitcher is ahead 5-0, it’s a lot less stressful than a 1-0 game. I would assume pitchers put more stress on their arms in a close game. But to say that pitch counts mean nothing is ridiculous–at some point, the human body can’t take any more. I think pitching is much more difficult and strssful today than in the 40s and 50s for a variety of reasons but primarily because pitchers cannot pace themselves because they generally don’t face the likes of Mark Belanger anymore. Also, the pitching mounds is lower and, according to Orel Hershiser, this puts more strain on the arm because pitchers have to struggle more to get the ball to break. Pitch counts aren’t a magic bullet, but they reflect to some extent the additional exertion that a modern pitcher requires. Nolan Ryan obviously knows a lot about his own body and about pitching in general, but I don’t think he is a kinesiologist and I don’t think he is qualified to make a judgement about the kind of stress a human arm can take. It’s sort of like saying Usain Bolt can teach anyone to run like he does.

    I completely agree with taking Hanson out for a couple of reasons. The first one, as Mac notes, is why push it in a meaningless game? Sure one more inning probably isn’t going to hurt but who knows? The second is, why take the chance that Hanson blows it after pitching such a good game. Let him feel good about his effort. It’s easy enough to say, well he was dominating and he could have finished, but he has never pitched a complete game in the majors and I think it would be pushing it to make the first one a 1-0 game in a hitter’s park.

    Cox’s mistake was obviously bringing Soriano in, or at least not taking him out when he got in trouble, when he has been pitching consistently badly. I find a lot of the anti-Cox comments pretty repellant and disrespectful considering what he has done for the Braves over the years (arguably he is more responsible for the Braves success as GM than JS was), but it is clear that he has made numerous mistakes this year both of commission and omission, especially going with players long beyond when they are clearly not producing. He seems unable to understand when a guy is not likely to do the job until it’s much too late. At the same time, it’s obvious that the Braves need better players.

    These games aren’t meaningless to me. I want the Braves to finish strong or at least not totally fall apart, if for no other reason than to feel good going into next season. If they finish below .500, that will be a disaster IMO.

  62. The playoff chase is done. Release Anderson and call up Heyward please. Give Chipper the rest of the year off and tell him to get whatever surgery he’s been putting off all year done now.

  63. in the little league world series a 12 yr old kid can throw 85 pitches or more if his last batter permits it, then he can wait two days and then get back on the mound and throw another 85 pitches. I think Hanson can handle throwing 115 pitches if he need, he probably wouldnt of needed 10 extra pitches to finish them off. They couldnt touch anything. If he had lost the game not many people would be nearly as upset. However, the offense still sucks and with Greg Norton still getting all the key AB’s is why this team wont make the playoffs

  64. Good news, Gwinnett is in the playoffs, meaning Heyward gets some extra AAA ABs. Don’t call him up now and start the clock. Do him like you did Hanson. It is the prudent move.

    I would love the braves to fall apart now so they get a higher draft pick. I hope they offer Soriano and Gonzo joke contracts so when they leave the braves get more picks and build the farm system back up. Outside of Heyward and Freeman the farm system is kind of sparse, at least at AA.

  65. csg,

    Your little league analogy is ridiculous.

    There is a epidemic of kids having Tommy John Surgery.

    Great Idea: Let’s handle the best pitching prospect in MLB like a little league dad.

    Smart, Real Smart.

  66. @83,

    Agree, especially since they keep allowing the 12 year olds to throw breaking balls, which all doctors agree is bad. But, I guess no one asked Nolan Ryan about that.

    The point about Hanson is sort of like eating another piece of cake. Sure, eating another piece of cake isn’t going to hurt you, but if you keep eating that extra piece, you are going to put on weight. At this point, if you keep letting Hanson throw a few more pitches here and a few more there, it mounts up. The real problem is that Soriano couldn’t get three outs. It shouldn’t have been that difficult.

  67. Pitch counts do matter. Especially pitch count per inning. I would think at the major league level anything over 15 pitches per inning is cause for alarm. I applaud the Braves for how they’ve handled Hanson this year. I too wanted to see the kid get a shutout last night (I have very little doubt, he would have gotten 3 more outs) however, they’ve made a decision on one of the most important aspects of the franchise for the next few years,that is not to over-tax his arm this season. At the end of the season he’s going to be around 200 innings, a total he’s never come close to before. Hanson’s stuff is electric, I want him as a Brave for a long long time.

  68. Trying to change the subject. Mac, what do you think we do with Schafer next year? I think the kid has too much talent just to give up on him, but I just don’t see a spot for him.

  69. The game didn’t matter, but maintaining Hanson’s arm does. Err on the side of caution with that. To me, all the hubub is pointless.

  70. Coach,
    Pitch counts are rubbish? No no no no. You can’t just say they’re rubbish. You have to say they’re rubbish for this reason, and because of this and that. People a lot smarter than you and me have done countless studies on the issue ant the consensus is they’re not rubbish. So back up your point with real information.

  71. #86, I hope the Braves let him start in Gwinnett the first few months. He just hasn’t proven himself to be a major league player yet. Also he needs to prove he is completely over his wrist injury. The major league team could get along fine with an outfield of Diaz/McLouth/Heyward with Brandon Jones, Church, and/or Infante as 4th outfielder.

  72. 86,
    I think he starts the year in Atlanta platooning with Diaz. vs. RHP: McLouth, Schafer, Heyward left-to-right. vs. LHP Diaz, McLouth, Heyward left-to-right.

  73. PW,

    Despite the talk of evidence regarding pitch counts in the sabermetric community, there actually isn’t much out there. The early PAP research was pretty bad (and spawned some ugliness that still lingers), and I haven’t seen much else. Could you offer some links to these studies?

  74. Oh, and while I would have liked to see Hanson finish the game, I am easy with the decision to take him out. It’s not as if the game really mattered. Looking at the hits off Soriano… Except the Berkman double, the other hits were pretty lucky in my opinion.

  75. I had just gotten to turn on the game and see Hanson deal for the 7th and 8th, got a work call and had to listen to the tragedy from my PC downstairs will the game imploded upstairs on the TV… glad I didn’t see it.

  76. why let him hit in the 8th and pitch the 8th then? If the game doesnt matter, let him throw 5 and pull him. Again he’s just as likely to get hurt in the 8th as he is the 9th. Actually more likely in the 8th because he’s hitting.

  77. Considering that probably no manager in major league history has been as successful at keeping his starting pitchers healthy, I figure you have to assume that Bobby knows what he’s doing in this instance. I know that’s against your religion.

  78. I don’t know what to think of Bobby. Sure he makes questionable moves, but what if he retires and the next guy comes in and slags the arms of Jurjens and Hanson?

    The new manager may never bunt, but what good will that do when your best pitchers are in the office of Dr. James Andrews?

  79. Mac – Not many on here will question Bobby’s effectiveness for this franchise, but his decisions do not look as good as they have in the past. His in game decisions are less defensible than ever. And, if you’re going to hang your hat on the health of his pitchers, well that hasn’t been too great lately either.

  80. Smoltz threw over 150 pitches on multiple occasions. If he was on a pitch count, then the tracker was not doing a very good job.

  81. The vitriol should be saved for the failure of our players to deliver when we had our best chance to advance to the post season. Chipper and McCann have sucked. Prado has come back to earth and ACHE has nose dived, Escobar has been ok and LaRoche for the last 14 days has been bad. Matt Diaz isn’t enough to carry a whole team.

    Using Soriano is defensible. Soriano is paid to pitch one freaking inning. I get that he has been hit hard lately but from Cox’s perspective I can see the logic. 9th inning, who do we pay to pitch the 9th inning, Soriano, well dude get out there and earn your pay.

    The funny thing is that most of y’all would be bitching up a storm if Bobby had used a lesser pitcher in such a high leverage situation.

    I have issues with how Bobby has managed this season. Playing Francoeur when it was obvious that he was beyond salvage, using Moylan, Soriano and Gonzo in low leverage situations, continuing to count on Greg Norton when there were better options on the bench have all driven me crazy. But Bobby Cox isn’t the reason the team isn’t in the play off hunt. He doesn’t hit, pitch or field. The guys that do didn’t get it done when the team still had a chance.

  82. Big fan of Chipper. But there’s no way your best hitter can hit .100 in a pennant drive and expect to make up ground.

    Add to that McCann’s obviously hitting the wall (when we had a perfectly good backup to spell him more often than we did), and the run-producting spots in our lineup totally let us down.

    If we traded Chipper and McCann for Pujols and Holiday, they’d be sending the Cy Young to Jurgens and Vasquez to share.

  83. Mac may have already done this at some point, but here’s some homework:

    Assuming Bobby retires at the end of this year, who would you want to manage the Braves and why?

  84. Murph visited the LDS church in Macon back in ’82 or ’83 and had his picture taken with my son. Later that season we went to a Braves game, and my son was trying to get some autographs. Murph saw him and said, “How are you doing, Bob?”

    My now almost 40-year old son still talks about that to this day.

  85. I don’t think Smoltz ever threw 150 pitches in a regular season game. His high in his CYA year (1996) was 142, in a complete game loss. I haven’t gone over his whole career and don’t particularly want to, but I’ll bet that was his career high.

    Moreover, when he was a young pitcher he was on a tighter leash. In 1991, his high was 129 pitches, in his next-to-last start in the middle of a pennant race. Glavine’s high was 131. Avery’s high was 134. Basically, they were on a count and weren’t to start an inning if they were over 120 pitches.

  86. Hankonly at 106,

    I might want Don Baylor, if he was up to it (but really he isalmost as old as Cox, I think). I would damn sure want Don Baylor on staff and as hitting coach. He exudes fire and seems to be one of the best at helping hitters.

    One of the problems with this stuff is “who is availble”. It hs to be the up and ocming minor league manager or big league position coach. We don’t need a worn out has been or never was.

    On our staff I have about reached the point that Eddie perez is the only one I would want, and I don’t think he can manage over the guys he has been under the last few years. Glenn Hubbard is an excellent infield coach and I thought a pretty good 3rd base coach, but I have no clue about him as a manager (seems he was pretty good at Greenville in AA a long time ago, and that was probably when Chipper, Javy, and the gang came through).

  87. Hey Mac, who was the last manager to employ a four man rotation?

    Cox was the manager, the year was 1993. Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz and Avery each had 200 plus innings of work and an average of 36 starts.

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