Braves 4, Marlins 0

Florida Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – September 28, 2009 – ESPN

Weird game. It seems like we’ve had more weird games this year. At any rate, the Braves really are playing well right now, and if I had any hope, which of course I do not, I would be very excited.

The Braves had only four hits, but eleven walks, including eight in five innings against the starter. In the first inning, he walked the bases loaded and the Braves scored runs on a McCann groundout and a sac fly by ACHE. They didn’t get a hit until two out in the third, when Chipper homered. Their fourth run came in the eighth inning on a bases-loaded walk by McLouth, his third of the game, after an infield single and two other walks.

Jurrjens sailed through the first few innings. The Marlins got the first two on in the sixth, but couldn’t get them in. After a leadoff double in the seventh, they couldn’t score on a single and left two more on. It was the sort of thing that happened to us a whole lot over the last three years… Moylan got a strikeout and a double play in the eighth, and Soriano pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.

124 thoughts on “Braves 4, Marlins 0”

  1. If we can beat Josh Johnson’s ass into the ground tomorrow night, then I really like our chances to finish this season with a 13-game winning streak.

  2. I’m with you Seat Painter. I’m still refusing to have any hope, though I respect the right of others to do as they will.

  3. Keep hope dead!!! But geez, we are 16 games over .500. Never saw that coming.

    The Phillies will lose tonight too…my goodness…keep hope dead!

  4. I still think the Braves should have gone to this No Hope thing in August of ’06. We would’ve had a much easier three years from 06 through 08.

  5. what is hope? its a lost cause, I have none but am enjoying watching this team more than ever. Huddy better be strong tomorrow and the Braves offense better show up

  6. Just read the AP recap and the story said JJ pitched 7 outstanding innings. I’d have to disagree and say JJ repeatedly wiggled off the hook on the way to 7 shutout innings.

    But the boxscore ERAs for the Braves 3 pitchers looked REALLY good. 2.61, 2.66, 2.97.

    Seat Painter
    (Keeping Hope dead since 9/13/09)

  7. Just talked to my buddy in Philly. They’re freaking out right now! Not saying there’s any hope, but it’s nice to see them squirm! Seatpainter, I agree, Jair was lucky tonight!

  8. Colorado has to finish in LA and they’re
    3-13 against the Dodgers this year.
    I don’t care if LA has already clinched
    that has to be in their heads. Also I
    think the Brewers are playing good baseball
    right now. The Braves have a very good shot!!!

  9. I’d say he was outstanding for five endings and pitched through jams in the sixth and seventh. I wouldn’t say lucky, either. He appeared to make some pretty dang good pitches to get out of trouble.

  10. Tonight’s game was fun! First one I’ve watched in like 3 weeks. Good fun, but nope, no hope here. :-)

  11. @11

    He did get out of a few jams, but 2 runs in your last 29 innings means he’s doing something right.

    He’s been doing it for a long enough time now that I think it’s fair to say, for whatever reason, JJ is a slightly better pitcher than his peripheral numbers might indicate…and they’re pretty good.

    There is no hope.

  12. Gotta love ACHE and his professional hitting–Sanchez can’t find the plate and has just walked McC so what does ACHE do? Yep swing at the first pitch. It shouldn’t be all that hard for Mr. Glide to stand there holding the bat for a pitch or maybe even two. For the night, he saw a grand total of 9 pitches in 4 PAs.

    BTW–I missed the game thread so apologies if someone else made the same point.

  13. No hope.

    My brother and I just put a hold on playoff tickets. We agreed we’ll take off and fly down.

    No hope.

  14. Yeah, where the hell are the fans? I mean, are there fans left in Atlanta? Or are they still angry about Francoeur being traded?

  15. Whoever still angry with Frenchy trade is out of their mind. We are a great team without Frenchy. Thanks Omar!

  16. Just got back from the game. The size of the crowd was disappointing, especially considering it was $1 ticket night. However, it was a fun crowd. People were cheering the whole time, and everyone was really into the game.

  17. I’m pretty swamped with tests and whatnot lately, but I am definitely planning on going on Thursday. I know they are big games and everything, but it can be tough to get to them on a weeknight.

  18. If I still live in Atlanta, I will make every effort to make it to the games this week. What are people in Atlanta thinking?! Is the traffic still that bad in downtown?

  19. Atlanta fans have been terrible for years, it’s nothing new. We didn’t even sell out in the playoffs our last few years.

  20. its not really the fans its more of the location of the stadium and the surrounding area is awful. How does the Marta not go to the stadium??

  21. 29,
    I agree, great atmosphere tonight. Despite the sparse crowd, everyone seemed extremely interested. It’s refreshing to go to a game in which the fans are actually involved with the game. One time I went to a game and Tim Hudson threw a 3-hit shutout. The people all around me couldn’t be bothered to watch any of the game, despite the incredible pitching performance. It was upsetting. And tonight was a refreshing change.

  22. Longtime on-and-off reader here, even less frequent poster.

    Trying to figure out Atlanta the city is hard enough, let alone its sports fans. But I’d venture to say that many Atlanta fans are like the posters here. It’s a fearful prospect, drumming up hope for the Braves.

    Personally I’m bewildered. I was totally settled on enjoying the strides this team had made while awaiting next year for the real fireworks. I got tickets for Sunday’s game thinking that I could spend a relaxing day at the park with my family. With this recent streak, the old flame is coming back, and I’m not sure what to do with myself.

    I guess I’ll just try and enjoy it for what it is: exciting baseball.

  23. @34

    I agree. There are a lot of legit reasons why the crowds aren’t bigger. It’s still embarrassing.

    Really happy with Chipper tonight too. These are the games he needs to have.

    No hope.

    But it’s still cool leading off baseball tonight.

  24. You can buy a can of beans for just a buck in Tuscaloosa? What kind?

    But we are only 86 and 70 therefore Bobby Cox sucks as a manager.

    Not hoping. At all. Really.

    Gravitating towards the UC Bearcats. I like the Bear(cat?) claw logo on the helmets plus they apparently can be seen in the Columbus tv market

  25. Not a believer, but it seems that most of the times I go see the Yanks play, the Braves win. Such was the case tonight. (Those poor, poor Royals…)

  26. 34,

    I agree, the area around the stadium is pretty bad. Is it just me, or are the homeless people in Atlanta really aggressive? This is coming from a guy who has lived in New York for 3 years and near San Francisco and Oakland for 14. I was definitely a little nervous when my family and I were coming back from the Ted.

  27. I was sitting in the right field pavilion and the fans were far more interested in a dive-bombing moth than in JJ getting all nasty and striking out Hanley Ramirez in the middle of a jam. Discussed this with a friend while we were there – don’t you have to blame the makeup of the crowd on the makeup of the team? Obviously the team is above-average to really good right now, but it’s composed mostly of uninspiring white guys. Yunel is an exception, but he’s not in any kind of leadership position to rub off on anyone else.

    While I’d be happy to play next season with exactly the team we have now, someone like Prince Fielder could appeal to Atlanta’s, umm… uniquely Southern demographics while giving the clubhouse and the stands a spark. It’s hard to ignore the racial makeup of the city, especially the area around the ballpark, and it seems like the last time attendance was high and crowds got excited was when we still had TP, David Justice, Ron Gant etc. Garret Anderson is the only black guy on the team at this point, and he’s about as inspiring as wet toast. Of course Heyward will start to fill this gap, hopefully (or should I say, no-hopefully.)

  28. @43

    People are numb now. My nephew is 17: born and raised KC. Has not been alive for either a Chiefs or a Royals playoff win.

    It is unbelievable.

  29. Along the same lines, I think the Marlins would be smart to aggressively pursue Cuban players. Think about the attendance potential of a largely Cuban team playing in a ballpark fairly close to downtown Miami.

  30. I’d rather have no hope at this point and be pleasantly surprised if we succeed than vise versa.

    That said, I’m trying my damnedest to schedule my week around the last six Braves games.

  31. I dont know if this is possible, but what if we tied for both the East and the wildcard? Would we play two tie breakers, or would one take precedence over the other?

  32. @55
    that would be an incredibly bizarre happening. i havent even thought of that and it would take a complete phillies collapse, but it would be cool.

    if that happened and we were screwed out of both the wild card and the division and didnt make the playoffs, every brave fan would know what its like to be an auburn football fan.

  33. RE: Atlanta, attendance, etc.

    Atlanta isn’t really a “get up and go at the last minute” fan base. The Braves draw from across a huge geographic area and fans generally have to plan in advance for games. It’s no small thing to pull a family of four across I-20 from Birmingham, especially in this economy. As such, a surprise ending like this is really tough to sell out. Those empty seats need to be filled by people from the metro area and the “Believe” message is just not starting to trickle out to the outer ‘burbs. Given that most of the spur-of-the-moment crowd – that is to say college kids with disposable income – are already well into football season and it’s a difficult scenario.

    Think back to 1991 (if you’re old enough.) People didn’t start coming out to the park until the second half of the season. This is like that, only instead of somewhere in August people saying “you know, they might actually be good enough” this team waited until September to compete.

    With that said, I plan on going to a game or three over the next six.

  34. @55

    If the Braves and Phillies end the season with the same record (the Braves are currently 4 games out of first) the Braves will be the NL East champions. As of 2009 ties are decided first by head to head records. If the teams split the season series the next tie breaker is intra-divisional winning percentage.

    The Braves won the season series against Phillie 10-8. If they tie for the division, Atlanta is the champion and Phillie is the Wild Card. In your scenario, Phillie would then play Denver in a one-game playoff to determine which team would play as the actual WC team in the Divisional Series.

  35. I believe there was some discussion of that scenario last season as there were three teams close near the end. I think it would mean two one-game playoffs. One to determine the division, and then the loser of that one plays the other WC contender for the WC.

  36. @60

    Rule change in 2009. Tie breakers are head-to-head matchups, then intra-divisional winning percentage.

  37. Regarding attendance, I think there are a number of factors at play:

    Although Atlanta is a huge metropolitan area, it is spread out, so much of the Braves fan base lives over an hour away. For most Braves fans in the outer suburbs, going to a Braves game is a special occasion you plan for weeks in advance, not something you just decide to do at the spur of the moment.

    For whatever reasons, the Braves have never been able to attract many African American fans, and therefore the majority of the Braves fanbase is from the suburbs. I remember at the height of the Rocker controversy how that jackass would get the biggest ovations. I remember being embarrassed for my city and thinking, If I were black I wouldn’t want to be at this Braves game.

    Many Braves fans are scared of the city, scared of Marta, and the “element” hanging around the stadium.

    Atlanta is full of transplants from other cities who have yet to form long-lasting allegiances to local sports teams.

    This is football season.

  38. Just saw that some of my comments were repetitive of what Sam said in #58. Didn’t mean to steal your thunder.

  39. I might just have to drag the boy down to Saturday’s game. Atlanta is 6 hours from my house. It would be fun to be on hand to display my No Hope for the Braves in person!

    Seat Painter
    (Keeping Hope dead since 9/13/09)

  40. “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here” – Dante quote and new motto for Turner Field.

  41. A couple of people have mentioned race and “the area the stadium is in.” I’m sure this still plays a part in a lot of people’s thinking, but it’s really quite outdated.

    The neighborhood(s) around Turner Field aren’t that bad. They were in the 80’s. They were better in the 90’s. As of now, they’re really just not something you should worry about. Capitol Homes – the primary house block that was the “bad neighborhood” around old AFCS – no longer exists. A lot of the Memorial/Capitol corridor from Grant Park to the stadium has been rebuilt as condo/loft communities. That’s not to say there aren’t still transitional neighborhoods on the south side, but those areas aren’t on the parking/walk routes to the stadium. (Most of them have migrated to the southwest corner of the city.)

    A night at Turner Field is as safe as taking the kids to your local mall. There is no reason whatsoever for people to not come to the games based on security concerns.

    As for the race angle, I don’t buy it at all. Black folk follow the Braves today just like they did back in the Pendleton/Justice/Gant years. If the Atlanta metro African-American community doesn’t attend games at TF these days – and I’ve seen no evidence that there has been a decline in the number of AA attendees – it’s due to the same causal factors of declining attendance in other demographics. Notably, the extra cash just isn’t there to pop over to the stadium on a lark. (And the Braves really haven’t sold their deep discounted ticket packages very well, from a marketing perspective.)

  42. There are just too many yuppy Braves fans.

    My barber says we are going to trade hope for a Todd Helton autographed bat.

  43. Re: attendance
    Is it possible to for a person to drive down from far away (like Indianapolis) and find a hotel room that provides shuttle service to the games?

  44. Manual sounded like an idiot after their loss yesterday….this doesn’t help him:

    “The schedule has been perfect for them. That’s definitely not an excuse, because I feel we have the best team in our league,” Manuel said. “But the schedule’s been good for them. [Bobby] Cox might have made that schedule up. He announced his retirement and they let him go ahead and make the schedule.”

  45. Sam,
    I definitely agree with you regarding the neighborhood around Turner Field. A good friend of mine lives in Grant Park and we walk from his house to most games. I think the problem is perception. As someone who lives in the city but works in the suburbs, I know many people from the suburbs who have a perception of downtown Atlanta and Marta as dangerous and sketchy. I disagree with them, but it’s a belief held by many.

    As far as race goes, I just think if you go to a Falcons or Hawks game the crowds are more reflective of the diversity of the city, even in these economically uncertain times. There is a huge core of the city that the Braves aren’t reaching.

  46. I think Mac nails it. There’s nothing to do near the stadium. There’s plenty to do in it, but once you walk through the gates everything is pricey.

  47. Kevin @ 69: Yes, there are plenty of hotels with shuttle options. But seriously man, if you fly in from Indy for a game this week, I’ll shuttle you personally.

    Mac @ 72: There is a problem that there’s not a lot other than baseball in the TF area, but that’s a problem with Atlanta’s infrastructure more than anything else.

    SS @ 73: I don’t disagree that the outer ‘burbs have an antiquated and slightly, um, biased notion of what the city is actually like, and that certainly plays into the lingering “concerns about the neighborhood” around TF. Those concerns can probably be boiled down to “poor black people creep me out.”

  48. My girlfriend and I went to see the two game series against the Nats back in August. I let her handle the ticket buying off of stub hub… well, she ended up buying tickets to the first game of a four game series against the Nats in October. I laughed and teased her about it for a while, but told her it was no big deal and that we would find someone to buy them or something.

    We kind of forgot about the extra tickets and now they’ve made a great excuse for us to head up to Atlanta later this week. I’m still trying to explain to her that there is no way we can clinch anything Thursday or Friday, but she’s still just as excited as I am. I just hope that more fans show up later in the week, because it was a little disappointing to see so few people there last night. Speaking of hope, I don’t have any at the moment, but… if I end up making the impromptu 6 hour drive to Atlanta later this week, I don’t know what else to call it.

  49. I’ve been following this whole run along in disbelief. Not sure what’s gotten into this team the last few weeks, but no matter how the season ends on Sunday, it’s great to see the last weeks of September actually matter again.

  50. Anyone else think there may be a correlation between the Braves finding late season success and the departure of Francouer? Hmmm, makes you think…

  51. @76
    Sam, thank you for the kind offer. You’ve been a terrific addition to the site this season.

    I’ll stay home, but I’ll be rooting hard.

    Go Braves!

  52. I would like to do something really special for the Mets fans of the world… I’d like for the Braves to make up the 4 game deficit during the next 6 games.

  53. Alex @ 83:

    Certainly replacing Francoeur with Church and then Diaz (now mostly Diaz) has contributed to the improvement, so yeah, it correlates. It’s even mildly causative. But it’s not the primary mover in the turn-around IMHO. As important as it was to move Francoeur and replace him with better players, it was twice as important to move Casey Kotchman and replace him with Adam LaRoche’s second half magic.

    Seriously, LaRoche may be this team’s MVP, in much the same way that Fred McGriff was the team MVP in 1993.

  54. Philthies have 3 more against the Astros who swept them in 4 gamers earlier this month in Houston. And their final 3 are against the Fish who have owned them this year at Citizens Bank Park, winning 5 of 6 there.

  55. It was mentioned a few days ago, but it’s worth repeating:

    ’93 McGriff: 68 G, 310/392/612, OPS+ 164

    ’09 LaRoche: 51 G, 351/430/611, OPS+ 172

    Helluva trade, Mr. Wren.

  56. I think the Brewers will take 2 of 3 at Colorado. Here are my keys to the series brought to you by the new Chevy Silverado

    -Ken Macha’s birthday today!
    -Prince Fielder is fighting for the RBI title hence he will be “fired up” and “know how to win” and “want it more”
    -MIL SP today has been nasty in two starts since being called up and Marquis is Marquis
    -Macha is negotiating a contract extension so I hope he plays his best guys in order to make his team record look better.

  57. Ah, man. A Phillies collapse would almost make up for my lack of intimate contact with a girl in almost four years.

    Re: Charlie Manuel’s jackass of a quote–it doesn’t matter what the schedule is, fat boy. You’ve still got to go out and play your games and WIN them.

  58. #93

    That was a lot of information.

    Sorta like Mac is doing, I keep telling myself this week won’t happen for the Braves so I won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t.

    But is sure is nice to see the Braves winning game after game and actually having ESPN talk about us again.

    Even Phillie fan Jayson Stark was giving us major props on “Mike & Mike” this morning.

  59. I think Frank Wren is obviously the worst general manager in the history of the game. Every move he made stinks and he should be fired immediately, after which they should trade Jair Jurrgens and Javier Vazquez for prospects because otherwise the Braves are going to lose 100 games for the next 12 years. :)

  60. There’s a Holiday Inn that’s pretty nice right next to the ballpark. My folks stayed there once, and it has an ok restaurant and bar. You could easily walk into downtown (World of Coca Cola, Aquarium, Ungerground (ew), etc. from there, and it would be a cheap cab to Six Feet Under, The Standard, Bluebird, Tin Lizzies et al for pre-/post- game dining and drinks.

  61. You could easily walk into downtown (World of Coca Cola, Aquarium, Ungerground (ew), etc. from there, and it would be a cheap cab to Six Feet Under, The Standard, Bluebird, Tin Lizzies et al for pre-/post- game dining and drinks.

    That last part is where I think they need to plan and proceed. They’ve always tried to sell TF as “no, really, we’re part of downtown” but they’re just not. If they tied TF into the GP/Kirkwood/East Atlanta/Cabbagetown renewals they’d have a robust pre-game social zone. Add shuttle service from some of those neighborhoods to the stadium and it’s a cash cow (especially for the 18-34 demographic.)

  62. Funny, Mac, but no. SFU is one of the more popular restaurants in the Grant Park/Memorial corridor. Local brews and fried catfish, seafood and pretty good burgers. It’s right across Memorial from Oakland Cemetary.

  63. I’m across the city in Underwood Hills (Howell Mill & Collier.) I usually go to the the second SFU on 11th and Northside, but I’m over on the east side frequently.

  64. Yeah, we go over there every now and then. If I’m in town (not travelling for work) on the 16th I’ll swing by.

  65. Who says there is nothing to do before games? Call me easily amused but I really enjoy watching batting practice. I loved it when Maddux was in the OF shagging fly balls and would fake out the little doggies that were constantly hounding him for a souvenir. My dad and I also like to play the “can you guess which hitter this is based solely on his swing and stance” game.

  66. I told myself after the 5 game losing streak that I wouldn’t have hope in the Braves again this season unless they got their deficit in the wild card under 3 games with 4+ games left. Then the ridiculous winning of the past 2 1/2 weeks happened, so now I have hope. That doesn’t mean I expect the Braves to make the playoffs. The most likely scenario is still that the Rockies will win 3 or 4 games and the Braves will lose 2 or 3 and end up 1-3 games back. But the team certainly has a chance now. That’s pretty amazing considering where they were in early September.

  67. I honestly think we have to win out to even have a chance, and I honestly think we’ll win out if we can get past Johnson tonight. (I honestly think we’ll lose tonight.)

  68. #106

    That’s really the best way to look at things.

    After the way the 2005 season ended with the Chris Burke homer in round 1 of the NLDS against Houston in that 18th inning horrible game (and amazing to me that Chris Burke is now apparently in our farm system), and then to see 3 consecutive years of NO playoffs, even being “in it” during the final week of the regular season, I am really so grateful.

    It had become habit to not pay attention to September Baseball and I can’t believe I am paying attention again on September 29th.

  69. There’s nothing to do around Turner Field? But, I thought ballparks revitalize neigborhoods and spur economic activity? I mean, why else would cities spend taxpayer money to fund them?

  70. @92,

    A bigger reason that the Rockies might have problems is that they are vulnerable to lefthanded starters. Something like 5 games under .500.

    And, they project to face 4 lefties in the last 6 games. So, the Rockies SHOULD (based on yearly stats) lose 3 of the next 6 (as “the most likely single number” ( as compared tor 2 or less or 4 or more).

    Obviously EXTREMELY small sample size.

    I am just glad the Braves got off the deck and got after it.

  71. I am just glad the Braves got off the deck and got after it.

    Chipper during the “got off the deck” run: 319/429/511

    Good to have you back, Haus.

  72. Cliff @ 111:

    I wouldn’t put a lot of faith into the “vs LH starters” thing. Colorado’s offense has been slight better vs LHP than vs RHP this year.

    as RHP 259/323/398/ /721
    as LHP 267/345/429/ /774

  73. Technically is was three months of TWO AAA outfielders, one AAA first baseman and a 2B who was hitting like a AAA player.

  74. #115–Thanks…that hurts….

    #78–Hope not, but beating Johnson will be a tall order….

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