Braves 6, Mets 0

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – September 15, 2009 – ESPN

Is Tommy Hanson the Rookie of the Year frontrunner? I think he might be the frontrunner. Of course, it helps to pitch against the Mets, even if Carlos Beltran is “back” in the lineup. Hanson ran his record to 10-3 and his string of shutout innings to seventeen by shutting down a Mets lineup that still includes several minor leaguers, and I’m not just talking about Francoeur. Hanson allowed but three hits and walked three while striking out eight — and Jeffy only once! He took a one-hitter into the seventh, that hit a one-out double in the second that constituted the Mets’ most severe threat of the game, but allowed a couple of singles before getting out of it and leaving with 95 pitches thrown, 60 of them strikes.

The offensive heroes were Adam LaRoche and Nate McLouth — thanks again, Pirates! LaRoche hit two solo homers, one in the second and one in the sixth, and a run-scoring double in the fourth. McLouth singled in LaRoche and Infante in the fourth, and doubled in LaRoche in the eighth for the game’s final run. I don’t know if LaRoche has ever scored more than four runs in a game, but I rather doubt it.

Gonzalez, because his arm hasn’t fallen off yet, pitched the eighth. Surprisingly, Soriano did not pitch the ninth, as Eric O’Flaherty picked up the Atlanta Save. Gonzalez scuffled a bit and allowed a hit and a walk; O’Flaherty needed only six pitches in his 1-2-3 inning.

89 thoughts on “Braves 6, Mets 0”

  1. Mac

    One would think you’d want to promote the idea of having hope. Why convince everyone to be in a mindset that it’s over? More people will come on and blog if the braves hang in there and make a run for the playoffs. Based on your ideology you might as well shut this down and stop posting game threads the rest of the year, because what’s the point?

  2. Nope,no hopehere. Not a bit. Sorry Jon, when I had hope the Braves lost. Now that I have abandoned Hope….well…

    (looks around. Ponders.)

    Nope, still No Hope.

  3. haha then why do you guys still come on and post? I have hope that’s why I’m here. It’s exciting to see them make a late run, I’m not counting on them making the playoffs but needless to say its fun to watch.

  4. The point of the Pandora story, in my telling, is that hope may seem good, but it’s ultimately a disaster, because what you’re hoping for doesn’t happen and you just wind up more devastated than you would have been. I don’t actually believe that hope is a bad thing in all circumstances, but holding onto it when there’s no reasonable chance of what you’re hoping for coming true? Bad idea. It’s a little different in a situation like this than when the Braves are out of it in August — if they’re out of it in August but still have hope, they might do something stupid because they think that One More Player could win it, so the damage isn’t just psychological.

  5. Mac

    I’m a bills fan. haha does that answer your question? I know, I know I’ll prob get responses like “figures” “your an idiot” “the bills suck” etc etc. I’ve seen the worst and I’ve seen the best. I don’t like to abandon all hope until its mathmatically stated they can not make the playoffs. I’ve seen wide right, the music city miracle, countless bobby cox managing mistakes this year, the monday night game last night against the pats etc etc. My hope is based in that I’m not going to be devistated if they don’t make the playoffs, I’m just excited to see if they can make a nice run here toward the end… and hey who knows what might happen?

  6. “hudson” should read “hanson” in the 4th line. mac, if the braves were 1-160, i would still pull up braves journal and read your recap.

    jon, it’s not about not having hope. it’s about being real. i dont understand how a blogger such as yourself who has based 90% of his posts on bitching about how much the braves suck, suddenly has all this hope and tries to convince everyone the same. at best, we’ll be 5 games out of the wild card with 18 games left. at worst, we’ll be 6. there’s not much hope there.

  7. It’s the wrong thread, I know, but I’m pretty sure I watched Lilliquist go yard
    twice in the same game once. That seemed like a pretty notable accomplishment.

  8. Ryan C

    90% on how the braves suck? Dude get your facts straight! It’s 90% on how much Bob Dylan sucks.

  9. @12 I watch that game too!!!

    I agree with Mac, keep hope dead! I know you don’t like it Jon, maybe it’s generation gap, ha.

  10. Nope no hope here. All winning does now is lower our draft position. Plus I’m getting to watch my favorite player (Prado) play his way out of a starting job next season. Awesome.

  11. I know that anything is indeed possible. Like I said try being a bills fan. The braves making the playoffs this year would be the equivalent to the Music City Miracle. So I have indeed seen the impossible haha granted… my team is usually on the wrong side of the impossible but doesn’t mean it can’t happen in my team’s favor.

  12. I think they’ll offer arbitration. I have no idea what the free agent climate will be like this offseason, and obviously neither the Yankees or Red Sox, the two teams you can be sure will be active, would be likely to sign him — the Yankees because of Teixeira, the Red Sox because they got rid of him in a week.

  13. @18 Can’t count out the Giants, but I agree Wren will offer Adam arbitration. Make too much sense to the Braves as I am sure Wren would love to keep Adam for one more season.

  14. Hope is about eating chicken wings, listening to metallica, drinking Keystone Light, and wanting to get into the stadium to scream as loud as you can.

  15. @17 I’ve taken worse beats in poker than 5%. It happens.

    What were the odds on the Red Sox coming back down 0-3?

  16. Marlins win, so the Braves won’t be passing them tonight. On the other hand, the Giants are winning again.

    @19 Agreed. We lose nothing if he walks, and just maybe we can get LaRoche to accept. I’m glad to see the sharp learning curve from Wren this season; it makes optimism for 2010 a lot easier to sustain.

  17. Yeah, PW, I probably do it. If Freeman hits well in Gwinnett in 2010, we can at least try to trade LaRoche, eating his salary if necessary. (We may very well get $15 million in value from him in one season.) If not, we’ve got another year for Freeman to develop.

  18. Getting that Lowe contract off the books would be huge, honestly. If the Braves pick up Hudson’s option, move Lowe’s contract (the whole thing), and let Soriano, Gonzalez, and ACHE walk, they’re looking at ~25 million in payroll flexibility (assuming a $100,000,000 payroll). That includes keeping the arb eligible KJ, Church, Diaz, and Moylan. With 25 million, you can probably bring back LaRoche and sign a Matt Holliday or a Jason Bay.

  19. #28 – you really cant at this point, he’s clearly not ready

    per Carroll….

    on making a case for the Braves to re-sign him:

    “It is up to me in some sense in what I do on the field, but when it comes down to it, it’s all what their plans are,” LaRoche said. “I’ve said it before. I love playing here. My family loves it here, which is just as important so if something works out, that would be best-case for me.”

  20. They’ll re-sign him. There aren’t any in-house options and the market is otherwise fairly barren for first-basemen.

  21. I think you could essentially replace KK with Laroche for about the same price for 2 yrs. Id love to keep KK and move Lowe, even eating several mil of his contract, but that may prove to be difficult

  22. 28,
    I agree, Freeman’s development is exciting, but it’s not nearly complete. If not LaRoche, you go with Prado or Chipper or a Free Agent or a trade option. Freeman isn’t going to contribute out of the gate in 2010.

  23. When is Bobby going to move Roachy to the cleanup spot. Jesus, the guy is obviously our best option there. I also think that because McCann has been our 4 hole hitter, that is why Bobby doesn’t want to sit him very much. I think he likes the consistency in the 3 and 4 holes. So Bobby, move Roachy to the 4 spot and give McCann some rest on occasion, will ya?

  24. “So what are the chances of a girl like me and a guy like you being together?”
    “Not good. One in a million.”
    “So you’re saying there’s a chance?!?!?!?!?!”

  25. 35 – I am surprised more on here are not talking about this.

    I think LaRoche so low in the order is costing us a few runs.

    Maybe, Bobby doesn’t want to jinx it.

  26. Winning is fun no matter the odds. But yes, we have run out of games to play.

    Resigning LaRoche is if not the top priority…very close to it.

  27. If this happens- will Bobby be man enough to roll out Vasquez, Jurrjens, and Hanson in the divisional series?

    Why is Lowe starting tomorrow and not Kawakami?

    Does anyone else feel like if we can survive Lowe’s start tomorrow we can keep this run going another time through the rotation?

  28. Derek Lowe’s 4.47 ERA is not only respectable, it is deceptive.

    The 36 year old work horse has twenty quality starts and the team is 18-12 during all 30 trips to the mound. Lowe has had just five really bad starts all season and actually has fifteen starts where he has surrendered two earned runs or less.

    Lowe is exactly what I thought he was when acquired, an excellent two starter.

  29. @40 Coach, don’t discount that high run support Lowe has been getting. It’s criminal if you compare that to make KK has been getting.

    But, yeah, Lowe has been giving us exactly what we brought him in to do, which is to provide innings and quality starts. Free agents are always overpriced and we overpay so that we don’t need to trade anymore talents away. It’s a fair game.

  30. Prospectus has Lowe as the 67th most valuable pitcher in the National League this season between Max Scherzer and Kyle McClellan (neither of whom a commanding $15 million for their efforts). If that’s sounds like a excellent number two starter to you then…well then you must be Coach. I don’t know why I bother.

    He’s been exactly what I thought he would be when he was signed, an incredibly overpaid mediocrity. And it’s only going to get worse. If you are happy with that contract, you aren’t paying attention.

  31. Looking at the loss column, we’re only 4 behind the Rockies, who, according to, have lost 4 in a row, yet are 7-3 over their last 10 games.

  32. Frequent suggestions to dump Soriano and Gonzo next year tell me the contributors here have short memories….

    The years we were forced to turn games over to Reitsma, KolBB, “El Pulpo”, and on… were to me the most frustrating times to be a Braves fan. No way does Bobby let the front office start a season with a bullpen full of question marks and inexperience again.

    Also… Does the Bravesjournal community think Moylan can be a closer??

  33. 45, bingo my friend. Losing Gonzo would hurt, losing both Gonzo and Soriano would be a disaster.

    You guys can’t see the forrest for the tree’s when it comes to Derek Lowe. Opinions aside, he is going NOWHERE. Get used to the idea. Yes, the Braves overpaid for Lowe but a contract is a contract. Gripe at Frank Wren, not me.

    I hate trading pitching but it’s almost an inevitability that the Braves will have to put Javier Vazquez on the market. We bought low and his value will never be higher than it is right now. So unless Tim Hudson decides to test the free agent market, Javy is gone.

    So wake up and smell the coffee, put two and two together. Frank Wren isn’t about to turn right around and trade two of the three pitchers he just signed. It will never happen and I’m arguing with the nose bleed seats.

    As for where Javy might end up, maybe the Rangers or Angels?

  34. Remember when people were saying Prado could be the heir apparent to Chipper at 3b?

    I think Prado is a championship caliber player. Not as an everyday third baseman, though. His bat just isn’t that good and lacks the power. He’s a credible everyday second baseman.

    He’s not as bad as he’s been hitting lately, but not as good as he was when he got the second base job, either. His line for the season: .291/.342/.429/.772 with 9 homers is probably about what he is.

  35. 49, I know. That’s why I said maybe. Getting Vazquez to waive his limited no trade clause might be iffy if not impossible altogether.

  36. I’ll answer the question of why Frank Wren is way in over his head.

    1. Bobby Cox, keep him or dump a Hall of fame manager. It’s a lose, lose proposition everywhere except in the win/loss column.

    2. Soriano and or Gonzo, we absolutely have to keep one. It’s imperative to winning. The middle relief has to be shored up too.

    3. LaRoche, he’s admittedly the best 1st baseman on the free agent market. Losing the slick fielding lefty would be detrimental.

    4. Other than Nate McLouth the outfield has been a complete disaster for the second season in a row. It has to be fixed. We need two or three more new outfielders who can play DEFENSE and hit for power.

    5. Chipper Jones is sadly closing in on retirement. Unless 2010 turns into his first totally healthy season since 2004, it will be his swan song. He’s gonna need a capable back up as it is.

    6. Jason Heyward. Will the Braves bite the financial bullet and let him play right out of spring training, or will they give the stud outfielder the same treatment afforded Tommy Hanson?

    7. Who will be traded? Will Huddy exercise his option? How do we trade Vazquez when there are only roughly 4-6 teams who can absorb his contract, and fork over the needed players/prospects in return. Wren just signed Lowe and Kawakami, he certainly isn’t going to reverse course after just one season without looking like a total imbecile.

    8. KJ and Prado are at best, in my opinion, a decent platoon. We need an everyday second baseman.

    9. McCann, Escobar and McLouth are our three proven mainstays for right now and the near future. Will Heyward and Schafer join them next year? I don’t know, only time will tell.

    10. Altogether told, it’s one big ugly ball of wax other than the starting pitching. What will stick, who gets signed, who leaves, who gets traded, will we have a new manager…..God, what a hell of a mess!

  37. JC had LaRoche valued at 7 mil per year. 2 years 14 would be a great contract for the Braves. But if Adam were to take years over dollars then sign him to 3 years at 15 or 16. Freeman took a step back when he got ot AA. I expect thats where he will start next season. Or he could become trade bait. The Braves way: trade potential for proven performance.

    Yeah we can dream all we want but Derek Lowe is a Brave for the next 3 years. Count it.

    Everyone talks about Vazquez as trade bait but our single most valuable non untouchable asset (as has been pointed out before here) is Jair Jurrjens.

    However I, unlike Coach, am upbeat about our team going forward. And I am confident that Frank Wren will continue the streak of good work he started this year.

  38. 57—Chief knows that. He just totally forgot about or wasn’t ever aware of the no-trade clause and doesn’t want to admit it. He has a pristine track record of brilliant ideas to protect.

  39. BTW, weren’t those old AFL uniforms in the Bills-Pats game great? I wish all the AFL teams would wear their old unis all season.

    I think they will trade KK, assuming they resign Hudson. It’s the only thing that makes sense. Some have suggested moving Jurrjens and I can see the logic, but he and Hanson are the only two young guys in the rotation and no one else is on the horizon. They won’t get a star-type but probably a useful bat. I could potentially see the Nats moving Willingham for pitching–they are going to need to bring in some actual major-league caliber pitching to maintain any credibility here with the “fan base.” I think they should really push for Willingham although he is in a slump right now. Good ball player.

  40. Count me as one of the guys that didn’t know Vazquez had a limited no trade clause.

    #61 Marc – yeah I actually like the old Pats uniform better than the ones they have now. I can’t remember who suggested that consideration should go into trading Jurrjens. I do know that a BP guy ,Keith Law? did.

    IMHO the holes to fill are right handed power hitter, back end of the bullpen assuming that the team can’t afford or doesn’t want Sori/Gonzo, and re stocking the minors with some pitching. If we could get 2 out of 3 of those needs for Jurrjens the team should consider it.

  41. I’ve no clue how likely it is, but I’m sort of hoping Wren tries to get JJ and Hanson to sign McCann like deals at this point (decent money for a young guy, but not so much the team is crippled for years to come if they don’t pan out).

  42. sdp – unless it’s grown women fighting.

    Referring back to an earlier question of best bands without a hit – would The Producers qualify?

    And, yes, LaRoche needs to move to cleanup and should have the day he arrived.

  43. Never thought I’d say this – I’m going to miss Garrett Anderson.

    Dude actually smiled last night.

  44. I didn’t know about the no-trade either. I’d rather trade Vazquez than JJ or Hanson, and I’d imagine he has more value than Hudson, Kawakami, or Lowe. Vazquez has a fairly well-established recent history of not pitching two good years in a row, and I can’t imagine his value would ever be higher.

    On the other hand, if we really think that the Second Spitter has him turned around and he’ll be an ace again in 2010, who knows… I’m just not optimistic that his results will be as good next year as they have been this year.

  45. Well, you’re talking about one of the two or three best starting pitchers in the NL in 2009; he could be awesome next year and still not have results “as good” as those he’s had this year.

    I honestly don’t know what I’d do. If we trade Kawakami after one year, we’ll never get another half-decent Japanese free agent to sign here. Vazquez and Hudson are both front-liners who seem somewhat likely to sign below-market extensions to hang around Atlanta; I’d welcome that. Jurrjens and Hanson are young and cheap. Lowe is probably close to untradeable and, anyway, was just signed this year; for a team that has as much trouble luring big-ticket free agents as we do, it might be a bad idea to trade away the one guy we convinced to sign here. And then there’s Medlen, who I’m convinced can be a successful starter.

  46. “we’ll never get another half-decent Japanese free agent to sign here.”

    I dont think moving KK would hurt any long term possibilities with other Japanese players. If we outbid other teams for them they will come here. I think for the value KK has done a very good job. Take away his April performances and he’s been a good #3 guy with no run support. Can he close games? He seems to be pretty good in big game situations. Dont know how he’d hold up in a Bobby bullpen though. Well nevermind, no one holds up unless Bobby doesnt trust you

  47. @66. One person I definitely will not miss next year is Garrett Anderson. He’s been pretty much exactly as advertised. A decent but slightly below average bat with waning power and a terrible glove. He hasn’t killed the team and has provided a few good moments, but we can definitely do better.

  48. The solution is pretty obvious. Give Hudson the Smoltz/Glavine treatment and decline his option. The Braves don’t have the payroll flexibility to be picking up the option on a guy who has pitched for one month in the last year. Then your rotation is set for next year and you have $12 million more free to spend re-signing Gonzalez, Soriano, or another closer and Laroche. One or more of Kelly, Diaz, and Church will likely be traded or non-tendered as well. They cost too much for their production and the Braves have plenty of options to replace them.

  49. The Braves have a lot of options with which to replace Diaz and Church? Why aren’t those options playing right now?

    Anyway, declining Hudson’s option (which only saves $11 million, FWIW) seems like the worst possible move to me. We should be able to turn someone of this surplus into prospects or a good major-league bat.

  50. Could Medlen be the closer?

    I’d imagine that any Vazquez trade partner would have to come from the NL. I’d like to keep him, but I’d also keep my ears open.

    And no, Lowe probably can’t be moved. He’s going to be a very expensive inning-eater.

  51. #73 – or you could keep Huddy and trade Vasquez for a big bat and also eliminating $12 mil to sign other players. I for one dont want Huddy to leave to just free up salary. Huddy is just as capable as having a big 2010 season as Vasquez is. Trade the guy who brings a return and also free’s up salary room

  52. #65
    The Producers? Now, there’s a blast from the past.

    They had a few regional hits, but I don’t know if they ever got beyond the South. They were kinda big in Atlanta & played in Athens some, mostly to the Greek crowd.

    But they were part of the weirdest concert bill I ever saw: April, 1983, Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC:

    1. The Producers opening
    2. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5
    3. U2
    4. Todd Rundgren (solo) headlining

  53. ububba,

    That concert was April ’81 (I think). I was a freshman on The Hill in ’82-’83 and all I heard about was what a great concert that was. Whenever it was it definitely was not ’83.

  54. anyone else think that brooks conrad could be a dan uggla light at 2b? he would probably hit for a .240 average, but could hit between 20-25 hrs/year with a .340-.350 obp. does he get a shot at winning the position next year or is it prado’s for sure?

  55. I think it would be a mistake to hand Prado the job. He had a nice couple of months, but I suspect he is closer to what we are seeing now than before. I have no confidence in him as a long-term solution at 2b. As inconsistent as KJ has been (and periodically awful), I think he should at least remain in the mix unless the Braves are able to package him for something better.

  56. Wren needs to get out his plaid sports jacket and do his best selling job with Lowe. It’s probably a pipe dream to move him, but someone from our position of strength has to go. I think BC will fight a Vasquez trade as he’s always been enamored with him, and this year he sure looked the part of a solid 2. I would agree his trade value has never been higher, and i’d certainly listen in order to get an impact corner OF or 2B. No matter who of the trio of Vasquez, Lowe or KK gets traded, if any, their salaries are going to be thorny, but the challenge is certainly there for Wren to try and clear some payroll and excess from the rotation to improve the lineup.

  57. 4.5 or so of Hudson’s 12 million is coming from insurance this year (half of salary or so, but only for period before he was activated). The Braves usually project insurance into payroll each offseason in setting roster decisions.

    So, either you decline Hudson’s option, pay 1 M and get 6.5 net payroll relief or you elect the option and spend 4.5 more than this year right off the bat, without adding anybody or deleting anybody.

  58. @80
    prado has 700 at bats of a .296 batting average in the majors.

    he has over 2,000 at-bats of .300 batting average in the minors.

    marc, what makes you believe he cant sustain that production? he certainly has proved that he can.

  59. @68

    What would you expect back for Vazquez?

    I mean obviously his value as a pitcher has gone up since last year; however, the acquiring team will only be guaranteed his services for one season.

    Part of me thinks that I would be good with getting back an equivalent value of what we sent for him in the first place. Does this seem off-base?

    The whole thing is an intriguing situation

  60. @87,

    I have to admit, that surprises me. I was thinking of him as basically a reserve-type, but I guess that wasn’t a very good argument.


    That’s the problem with trading Vazquez. It’s hard to determine what a fair return would be. A lot depends on whether Hudson can step back in at a high level and whether Lowe can improve. It also depends on how likely you think Vazqeuz is to repeat his performanc.

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