Braves 5, Mets 2

Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets – Box Score – September 23, 2009 – ESPN

I’ve been there so often — particularly last year — that I have to feel sorry for Mets fans, even if they are, for the most part, the scum of the Earth. (They aren’t really, I just feel the need to spread a little bile around from time to time. They aren’t Phillies fans or something.) The Mets had 11 hits and four walks — the same as the Braves — and only scored two runs, and one of them on an error. The Mets were 2-18 with runners in scoring position, and hit into three double plays.

The Braves took the lead in the second inning as LaRoche doubled in ACHE, Yunel scored on a KJ sac fly, and after Hudson reached on an error McLouth singled in LaRoche. Adam came up again in the third and made it 4-0 with a single to score McCann.

Hudson really wasn’t very effective, allowing nine hits and two walks in six innings. However, he got out of several jams. (I’m not particularly confident he could do that against another team.) He allowed a single to score a run in the third, and the Mets cut it 4-2 when KJ made an error on a potential inning-ending DP. (His brain gets ahead of his body sometimes in the field.) KJ drove in a run in the seventh to make up for it, an infield single to score Yunel.

Moylan and O’Flaherty combined to pitch the seventh. Gonzalez pitched the eighth, giving up a leadoff double to Jeffy (seriously?) but got out of that, and Soriano walked the leadoff man but rallied to get the next three, picking up his 26th save. The Mets got the leadoff man on in each of the last seven innings, but only scored twice. Sad, really.

UPDATE: I should add this, though everybody knows already:

Atlanta Braves’ Bobby Cox to retire as manager after 2010 – ESPN

73 thoughts on “Braves 5, Mets 2”

  1. Huddy was a little unlucky also. He got a lot of choppers that got between KJ and Laroche. There were a couple of infield hits also

  2. Don’t worry about the Marlins- either we’ll take care of them next week or we’re doomed anyway.

  3. We are 12 games over .500…if we go .500 the rest of the way, we will still have 88 wins. Can’t complain about that.

  4. Hex over!

    These Mets can apparently overcome Rob’s dalliance with the paranormal.

    And another sweep—that’s 13-5 for ’09. No matter the circumstances, it’s always great to beat them in their place. Ask Rob, that’s #1 for him.

    Dunno if it was mentioned in the game thread, but here’s how awful these Mets are: They got the leadoff man on base every inning from 3rd thru the 9th—and scored 2 runs.

    Keep hope alive?

  5. @12

    Growing up, I never worried about the playoffs. After missing it the past few years, I kind of realized how much I took it for granted. So I guess as long as we still have a chance, I’ll still be watching the scoreboards.

  6. Having watched the Braves for many years, I never took the playoffs for granted. That said, it became a nice habit that we have all had to kick. Maybe next year–but I am quite happy the way the Braves have finished this campaign.

    Also, it was nice to see that Betancourt was the player of the year in the GCL and that Caleb Brewer is now a well respected prospect. I thought that Robinson Lopez would have merited inclusion on the top 20 prospects of the GCL….

  7. Let me say something for those who don’t understand me. I’m a die hard baseball fan who loves my Braves. It’s just that I hold them to a higher standard. I’m also a born critic who will accept nothing less than the very best from my team.

    Bobby Cox has set the standard and then exceeded it on how to manage a clubhouse and take care of his players. No one does it better. I guarantee every player in his clubhouse would run through a wall for Bobby Cox.

    However, Bobby’s emulation of Earl Weaver’s baseball strategy is neanderthalic at best when pitted against today’s intricately managed game. Cox is a Dinosaur managing in the jet age. Taking fifteen teams into the playoffs and winning one world series is blind luck while losing the other fourteen is a trend. Not to mention losing back to back WS in 1991-92 and getting swept by the Yankees in 1999.

    How did Cox win so many division titles? Because he had an astute GM in John Schuerholz, an owner in Ted Turner who gave the team a blank checkbook and of course, Leo Mazzone, the best pitching coach I have ever seen. Also, the 162 game grind will blend out the worst teams, leave the best and the playoffs are always the mettle test of a manager’s skill. Of course, Cox actually hired Mazzone and rebuilt the minor league system as the Braves GM before descending back into the dugout in 1990.

    I give credit where it is deserved but Cox had this incredible support system and the best players money could buy not to mention three Hall of Fame pitchers anchoring the team for entirety of the 1990’s.

    I fully understand the strategy engineered by the Braves upper management. All his current players will want to return given the circumstances. Ownership will probably spend a few more million if needed and the fans will show up at Turner field. They should make the playoffs in 2010.

    Cox is gonna go out in style next year, feted by everyone who loves and respects the man. As for the season, only another world series will save the man from being remembered as a one trick pony.

    Here are some interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Bobby.

    Cox actually has two world series rings.

    Our Braves have not won a playoff series since 2001.

    Cox played parts of two seasons with the 1968-69 Yankees alongside none other than Mickey Mantle.

    Cox has lost the most post season games in ML history (66-66 record) and is the fourth winningest manager all time.

    In 1976, he led the Syracuse Chiefs to the Governor’s Cup title as a minor league manager in the Yankees system.

    Cox actually played in the Braves minor league system as a player in 1966-67. Bobby was primarily a 3rd baseman during his career.

    Cox almost traded Andres Thomas for Barry Bonds in 1988. He would have drafted Todd Van Poppel in 1990 over Chipper Jones but was rebuffed when told that Van Poppel didn’t want to play for the Braves. Cox also went against the advice of his scouts by drafting Tyler Houston instead of the local kid, Frank Thomas.

    Cox did draft Chipper Jones, Steve Avery and Ryan Klesko while trading for John Smoltz.

    Cox and his wife Pamela are very much animal lovers. Their large farm in Adairsville, Georgia hosts the annual Paw Paws fund raising event for the charitable organization every November.

  8. I think this could work.

    Everyone gets behind the team for Bobby’s last year, Chipper plays 130 games and hits .320, Wren and Cox work together to “win now” without mortgaging the future (remember – Bobby’s a consultant for the next five years – it’s going to be his job to care about the next five years and he was a pretty good GM himself).

    I like it.

  9. So we’re four back for the WC with 10 to play — seven against the Nats.

    Those two series against the Pads and Reds where we screwed the pooch will be the difference in the season.

  10. Despite the many apparent lapses of BC, he’s the only Braves manager I have ever known since following the Braves. It’s going to be weird when he’s gone but the time surely is right.
    Agree with hankonly. For Cox’s last year, the Braves might try everything to give him a good chance to leave with a last WS title.

  11. I put a lot of work into that last post and it was deleted for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

    Well MAC, you have proven your total lack of character to me. I’m done posting here.

  12. Matchups look favourable this weekend as the Rockies have to face Wainwright and Carpenter, and Josh Johnson faces the Mets on Sunday.

  13. Wow… things got quite argumentative last night. Instead of watching the game I took my 6yo to the Walking With Dinosaurs thing at Gwinnett Arena. Tickets are pricey, but it was an impressive show. Life size, realistic looking, dinosaur puppets… T-Rex makes an impressive entrance, and the raptors are very well done.

  14. Well MAC, you have proven your total lack of character to me. I’m done posting here.

    Is that a threat or a promise?

  15. Was it deleted, or was it never posted? I have posts caught by the spam filter here all the time, usually when I link to baseball reference.

  16. I am and always will be a Bobby Cox fan. Here’s a quick rundown of his predecessors since I’ve been a Braves fan (interim managers not included)

    The guys I vaguely remember:
    Fred Haney, .596 winning pct. Two WS–One championship—pretty good.

    Chuck Dressen, .562 winning pct. Two strong teams, just short.

    Birdie Tebbets, .524 winning pct. Talent starting to get a little older.

    Bobby Bragan, .519 winning pct. Supposedly strong manager, people skills not very good.

    Now some years I’ve tried to forget.

    Billy Hitchcock, .524 Took over for Bragan in ’66 and did fantastic (33-18) slumped in ’67 and was gone.

    Luman Harris, .504 Won division in ’69

    Ed Mathews, .481 I thought Eddie deserved to stay longer, but I suppose it would have just prolonged the agony as the talent level in the next few years was abysmal.

    Dave Bristol, .404 1976 and 1977. These were some bad, bad, very bad teams. It wasn’t all Bristol’s fault, but he didn’t help much, was replaced for one game by Ted Turner.

    Bobby Cox, (1st go-round) 57 games under .500 in four seasons—a VAST IMPROVEMENT. Was the architect of early 80’s Braves success with Murphy, Horner, Benedict, Hubbard, etc.

    Joe Torre, .529, won division title in ’82 had an even better team in ’83, dumped in ’84. Went on to NOT be an immediate success elsewhere, but then did alright for himself starting in mid ’90’s. Why isn’t he considered for the Hall of Fame as a player? Cubs fans cry about Ron Santo not being in, but Torre’s career compares very favorably to Santo.

    Eddie Haas, .413 COULDN’T HAVE BEEN AN ASSISTANT MANAGER AT A 7-11. THE ABSOLUTE WORST MANAGER I HAVE EVER SEEN.

    Chuck Tanner, .424 Only good when you consider that he replaced Haas. Foisted Omar Moreno on us.

    Russ Nixon, .376 These were some bad teams here also. He just didn’t seem like a big league manager, but who knows, its not like he had big league talent.

    Bobby Cox (2nd go-round) Worked out pretty good.

    Cox detractors should look at what else we’ve had. I’d say the Braves have done pretty well under his direction. His players love him, the fans love him, I love him!

  17. 45,

    That’s quite a list! I started my Braves fandom in 1991 when we moved to the States (military family) so Bobby Cox is all I’ve ever known.

  18. I am glad that Bobby’s got to choose his exit. I think that the Braves need a new manager, but I also believe that Bobby has earned the right to set the terms of his departure.

    I might add that there is a good chance that 2010 will give Bobby and all Braves fans a nice swan song….

  19. Randy–Nice post–I have been a Braves’ fan since the Luman Harris days….Yes, Dave Bristol, Russ Nixon, Chuck Tanner and Eddie Haas helps to put Bobby Cox’s achievements in perspective….

  20. Ditto, nice post. I became baseball aware in 1981 during Cox 1 and the strike-shortened season. I don’t recall having an opinion about Cox 1 at the time (being 10 years old) but was a fan of Torre. I don’t recall Haas at all, and all I really recall of the Tanner and Nixon era (if such a short time can be called an era) is that we had absolutely no reason playing with other major league teams.

  21. Randy,

    Yes, you forgot Luman Harris, who won a division in 1969 but otherwise was pretty forgettable. Here’s the thing–managers might affect a small number of games per year with their strategy and, especially with their management of the pitching staff. But it’s still talent that wins, as Torre proves. As in any organization, managing people is the key to success and, whatever his other failings, Bobby was/is great at that. I think Bobby deserves criticism for many of the things he has done, such as strategy and bullpen management, which seem to be getting worse. I think he has probably cost the Braves some games this year and, perhaps you can argue that a different manager might have coaxed enough extra wins to get the team in the playoffs. But what’s cost them more is the lack of talent in the outfield. It’s ridiculous to think that the difference between mediocrity and success is getting rid of Bobby Cox.

    As for this crap about not winning in the playoffs, that’s absurd. The playoffs are simply a matter of which team gets hot. Torre won 4 WS in five years and then none thereafter; apparently, he got dumber in later years. Aside from bad luck (and playing some really good teams), the Braves had specific weaknesses (mediocre bullpens, poor benches, generally dysfunctional lineups)that might be better attributed to John Scheurholz than to Cox’s management. Are you going to tell me that Charlie Manual was some sort of baseball genius last year?

  22. @49, Memory’s a weird thing. I want to say I was baseball aware in ’88, because of a couple of life events that dovetail in my mind with getting cable TV and being able to watch the Braves. However, looking at the players, the first team I remember is the ’89 team.

    I didn’t really start caring about managers until after Cox was in place.

  23. Wow only 3 perm. manager between Torre’s stint and Bobby’s. I guess it just seemed a lot longer, with more inept captains of this ship. Boy those were some craptastic teams.

  24. Coach’s comment is, of course, up. It wasn’t spammed, he changed his handle and every time you do that I have to approve the comment. I wasn’t even awake when he sent it at three o’clock in the morning.

  25. I actually forgot Clyde King (replaced Mathews in ’74 for last 64, got axed in ’75 after first 134 games) Very Forgettable, still far better than Haas.

  26. Thanks, Randy.

    Eddie Haas & Brad Komminsk are always tied together in my memory.

    Yes, Torre had (and has) talent, but his unique quality was his ability to deal with the insanity of Gen. Steinbrenner & the piranah-like NYC press. It really cannot be undervalued. There were times during his Yankee tenure when he seemed like the only sane man in The Bronx.

  27. Will Mac receive an apology from Coach or, even better, will Coach stick to his word and never return? I’m guessing neither.

  28. Two smartass replies for ububba:

    A) I thought Grace was a former Cub who’s doing some broadcast
    work now.

    B) No, Grace is my daughter and that kid is more of a “test” than a “virtue”.

  29. The playoffs are a crap shoot. If Ryan Klesko doesn’t lose a pop fly in the lights and the umpire doesn’t walk in front of Dye we probably would have won the 1996 World Series. 1999? We were without our starting First Baseman, Starting Catcher, and John Smoltz’s arm was about to fall off. Our Second Baseman that year had an OPS+ of 82!!!?! Making it to the World Series was a miracle at that point. Cox has made some strange calls over the years, but let’s give the playoff format it’s due share of the blame.

  30. Are we talking about the chick who was the lead singer for Jefferson Airplane/Starship?

    I thought she did too many drugs to be considered virtuous.

  31. Yeah, Derek, the following jewel might be the craziest thing he’s yet said:

    Taking fifteen teams into the playoffs and winning one world series is blind luck while losing the other fourteen is a trend.

  32. @30
    i do agree with a lot that coach said. and i also agree that he put a lot of thought into the post, which was quite refreshing.

    good job coach. being a little less abrasive made for a good read.

  33. Klesko’s muff in the ’96 WS had little to do with the outcome of Game 4. That made it 8-6.

    Avery’s bases-loaded walk of Boggs had already made it 7-6.

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