Marlins 5, Braves 4

Florida Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – September 30, 2009 – ESPN

Almost a great comeback, but in the end just another one for the MBLTI, “Team comes from behind but can’t get the big hit to tie it or take the lead.” It was also another one for the weird game list. The Braves were struck out sixteen times by the legendary Ricky Nolasco, he of the 5.06 ERA. They almost came back, but with the bases loaded and two out, Diaz took off on a wild pitch, realized he didn’t have enough time to make it home, and was thrown out at third anyway. Ecch.

Javier Vazquez had a game like we’ve seen a few times, from him and from a couple of other pitchers, where he struck out nine in six innings of work, but seemingly everything they hit was hit hard or in the right (wrong) place. In the third, the Marlins got three runs (two “unearned”) on three hits, a wild pitch, and an error by Chipper. In the fifth, they got a two-run, two-out homer from official Braveskiller Ross Gload.

The Braves had only one hit through five, and stranded two runners in the sixth. They finally got to Nolasco for two in the seventh, both runs “unearned” after an error by Ramirez let Yunel reach, and he and ACHE were driven in by LaRoche. In the ninth, McCann walked, and went to third on a groundout and an error, scoring on a single by Yunel. With two out, Wes Smelms threw away a ball allowing the game to continue, and a single by Infante cut the lead to one. McLouth walked (for the third time in the game) to load the bases, but then came Diaz’s misadventure.

78 thoughts on “Marlins 5, Braves 4”

  1. i’ve watched it about 5 times now. snitker is way down the line. prado puts his hand up to stop diaz. imo, he was there. he was already halfway home before the catcher even realized where the ball was.shitty way to go out.

  2. That one would have been a LOT harder to take if things would have been different yesterday. It’s definitely time to start looking to next year. Diaz has actually been our best baserunner all year.

  3. BTW, is anybody here on Xbox live? I recently bought an Xbox 360, and I’m kind of sick of playing Halo with twelve to twenty year olds that constantly swear for no apparent reason. My gamertag is DivyeshC, just shoot me a friend request! Thanks!

  4. Ricky Nolasco’s 16 strike outs are a single game record by an opposing pitcher against Atlanta in their history since the Braves moved from Milwaukee in 1966.

  5. 6,

    Sent my xbox off to Microsoft to get it fixed, but my gamer tag is the same as my Braves Journal handle. Send a request.

  6. And who could forget Ron Gant and the Villian Kent Hrbek? You’ve never seen a madder five year old than me that night.

  7. Also, Nolasco’s nine straight strike outs are the second most in ML history behind Tom Seaver’s ten in a row on April 22nd 1970.

  8. Gads. Missed the game and had to read to recap three times to make sure that I was reading 16 Ks correctly. So was the ump serving up a Gregg-esque strike zone?

  9. Ricky Nolasco’s 16 strike outs are a single game record by an opposing pitcher against Atlanta in their history since the Braves moved from Milwaukee in 1966.

    Not even close

  10. @7 Didn’t ben Sheets strike out 18 Braves in 2004? I think that was just before Randy Johnson perfect gamed us.

  11. Nolasco’s 16 K’s are a home game record. Sheets 18 came in Milwaukee and Martinez happened at Chavez Ravine.

  12. Nolasco’s 16 Ks also happens to be a record on a Wednesday after I’ve had a ceasar salad and a haircut. Thanks for the (not so) interesting stat, Coach.

  13. Just saw the hi-lites on Sportscenter. Nolasco was dealing.

    Cox’s words about Diaz were great. He’s the best.

  14. Desert,

    My Xbox just stopped reading discs one day. I could open and shut it a few times and eventually trick it into playing a game (sometimes it took a lot of coaxing), but I was still under warranty so I sent it in.

    Haven’t played the new Halo, but I was definitely okay at Halo 3. Level 30-something if memory serves, it’s been a while. We’ll definitely play something.

  15. Ricky Nolasco! Nonetheless, I don’t think we were going to make up the differnce–even though the Dodgers have beaten up on the Rockies this year.

    Still, it was nice to be in the race for a change…

    At least the next ‘150 days’ will have some interesting moments….

  16. Nolasco’s ERA shields his great peripherals, and will probably come back down next year. In 185 IP he has 195 Ks, only 44 BBs, and a 1.25 WHIP. He was having some sort of problem early in the season when his ERA ballooned above 8, but it has fallen three runs over the past three months or so. All to say: he’s a #2 and, on good days, a #1. It’s not like Braden Looper just struck out 16 guys or anything.

    But the Braves seriously need to add some punch to this lineup next year.

  17. Adam M–Nice analysis which does put things in perspective….

    I wish we could dump Lowe (and his salary) and pick up a bat, but that appears to be unlikely….

  18. Our Braves 147 HR’s rank 22nd. Their 57 stolen bases rank 29th. And last but not least, Atlanta’s 95 errors rank 19th. Power isn’t the only thing needed.

  19. The number of errors committed is about as “least” as it gets. The Braves, aside from Escobar and some of the backups, aren’t a good defensive team, but errors — feh.

  20. Mac, they’re a mediocre defensive team at best. Escobar, Prado and McLouth are strong up the middle, while McCann has improved his game behind the plate (Ross is excellent defensively), and LaRoche can pick it at 1st base with the best of them.

    Third base and the corner’s need work.

    Chipper ain’t going anywhere for the moment but Anderson and Church can be improved upon.

    Two names I can come up with who can probably be had: Nelson Cruz (Rangers) and Luis Durango (Padres).

    The Rangers need pitching and have plenty of lumber besides Cruz, while the Padres have a glut of young outfielders and no place to put Durango.

  21. The Braves may have some interesting options in the outfield. Heyward will probably not start the season in Atlanta, but he could be there by June. Schafer needs some AAA experience, but it would not be surprising to see him arrive next summer as well. As a defensive outfield Heyward, McLouth and Schafer should be a real upgrade over the outfields what we have used in 2009….

  22. 35,

    I doubt the front office wants anything to do with the Rangers after getting fleeced in the Teixeira trade. Should be an interesting offseason.

  23. 26,

    People probably would have left their signs had we won, but those are still very depressing images.

  24. #37–I doubt that Wren thinks it was the Rangers fault, but yeah the wound is probably still raw….

  25. The Marlins series has felt like a playoff series, so of course the Braves have to go and lose it in excruciating fashion when Matt Diaz thought he saw a phantom Chuck Knoblauch on his way to the plate. Forget Miserable Braves Loss Index. We need a Miserable Braves Season Index.

    The Braves didn’t get fleeced in the Tex deal either, but I’m really sick of arguing that one so I’ll leave it at that.

  26. AAR – You’re right. I’ve now sworn off ceasar salads during the season. Haircuts are different matter, but I’m hoping it was the combination of the two that transmogrified Nola(n)sco into Nolan Ryan.

    See you all around Winter meetings.

  27. @34 LaRoche is above average but nothing too special. He has a strong arm (almost pointless) and is great at scooping balls in the dirt. Ever see him dive for a hard hit grounder? Seems he dives too far as he almost never comes up with it as it goes under his arm/glove.

  28. Kudos to Diaz for his standup comments after the game. No pointing fingers (like Smoltz’s blaming the ball), just an honest admission that he made a boo-boo.

    As for the 6 starting pitchers–I don’t think having 6 starters is a problem but if the budget means a player will be dealt then I think KK is most likely to be moved. Hanson and JJ are going nowhere. Vazquez has only 1 year left on his deal but he’s been very good. Lowe is untradeable unless the Braves threw in a bunch of $$ which would defeat the purpose of dealing him. Huddy is apparently willing to take a local discount. That leaves KK who is signed to a reasonable deal and has pitched well since April–he might even bring a decent piece in return.

  29. Salty .230/.290/.371
    Andrus .268/.329/.371
    Harrison 6.11 ERA
    Feliz in 30 innings 1.80 ERA

    Teixeria in 157 games as a Brave
    .300/.397/.563

    Fleeced? Nope. Got super star level play out of Tex for a season’s worth of games. Yeah with the clarity of hindsite you can say loss of Feliz will hurt, maybe. Only 30 innings remember. But hell, to get something you have to give something.

    If the Braves wanted something from the Rangers I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to try to work a deal.

  30. @44–you may or may not be right, but you overlook the players salaries–Tex was being paid $10m or so whereas Salty and the gang in Texas are making MLB minimum and are under team control for 6 years

  31. Feliz was traded when he was 19 years old in Danville. A lot of 19 year olds look good in rookie ball.

    The chance that Feliz would even make the majors wasn’t high at the time of the trade.

    We got a season of superstar Tex, then flipped Tex for Kotchman, whom we flipped for LaRoche. It was a good trade, even if Feliz sticks in the bigs.

    For a bad version of a similar trade, look at three months after that. We got Jurrjens for Renteria in a move that got nothing for the Tigers. (Frank Wren rules.) We “fleeced” the Tigers. We got value for our prospects in Tex.

  32. Andrus – 22 errors this season.

    #45 The salaries are irrelevant. Schuerholz was trying to add a piece so the Braves could hit thier way into the post season. The piece he added was the BEST hitter then available. A guy that is considered an elite offensive player. The thing that drives me crazy when folks assess past trades as ‘fleecings’ or ‘rip offs’ is they
    a. forget context
    b. have the advantage of crystal clear 20/20 hind site.
    Clearly the Rangers will benefit from this trade if only one of those guys turns out to be any good at all. But the thing that is forgotten is that the Braves benefitted too. If anything can be defined as the ‘Braves Way’ its that the front office has never been shy about trading potential for performance. Feliz may turn out to be the next Adam Wainwright or he could be the next (insert name of failed Braves pitching prospect here) .

  33. Look, I realize most of you guys don’t watch any other teams besides the Braves but the Rangers are way ahead. They got a short stop, catcher, closer and maybe another starting pitcher.

    We ended up with Adam LaRoche who is a fine 1st baseman but pales in comparison.

    And it’s fitting that the Braves post season chances were halted by a base running error, when considering that they are one of the worst base running teams in the big leagues.

  34. My last name is Stuart, and some of my buddies called me “Stu” when I was a kid. Some other buddies called me “‘Betes,” because my pancreas doesn’t work, but I didn’t think to use that here.

  35. I still think it’s too soon to evaluate the Rangers trade. If Feliz turns out to be a star pitcher, then it will obviously turn out to be a loss–the expectations and evaluations at the time be damned. If not, fine. Personally, I’d rather not trade anymore 19-year olds who can hit the mid-90s, just in case. To think that we could have two of the best young arms in the game–plus Jurrjens–is enough to make anyone groan.

    Also, I’m going on record now to say I oppose exercising the option on Hudson. He’ll turn 35 next season and we need a 1B and LF.

  36. #50—-I too think we should not exercise the option on Hudson. I’ve always liked the guy, and think it’s great he came back this season, when he could have just taken the money and sat, but it’s a business, we need that money elsewhere. I would hope that the Braves would jump at a chance to acquire Nelson Cruz, just don’t believe the Rangers want to get rid of him. Marlon Byrd would also be a nice fit. Factor in Hamilton and David Murphy (a nice nice player, but left-handed) the Rangers should want to deal an outfielder, just don’t let them give us Andruw.

  37. I think a lot of the Braves plans in the outfield hinge upon if they think Heyward can come in a make a major impact (either at the first of the year or in June).

    If we don’t exercise Hudson’s option, he walks and we get nothing for him. If we exercise it, we can trade one of our pitchers for a useful 1B or outfielder. If Heyward is ready, why get an outfielder unless you trade McLouth or Diaz?

    My guess is that we’ll offer LaRoche a two year deal that he’ll turn down. We trade either Vazquez or Kawakami for a first basemen. We get a serviceable left fielder to fill in until Heyward is ready (or platoon with him), and we make a big push to keep either Gonzo or Soriano and let one of them walk. Most of our other work in the offseason will be for relievers.

    I don’t know about keeping Church, but if we keep him and Diaz, the only need will be for a fill-in/ platoon partner with Heyward. As someone has also mentioned, getting a good 3B prospect to replace Chipper when he retires has got to be a high priority. I think Chipper’s offense will be good enough next year, but his defense is highly questionable. I’m not jumping on the move Chipper to 1st bandwagon, but I’m not sure if we can keep putting up with his declining defense at 3rd – maybe he can do a lot of work during the offseason.

  38. here’s the Smoltz stuff – http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090930&content_id=7251960&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

    Apparently he also got into it with Dusty Baker when someone stole a base in the THIRD inning.

    In other news, Alabama lost a commitment from Craig Sanders who will now attend Auburn…second decommitment this month.

    http://www.tidesports.com/article/20091001/NEWS/909309890/1011?Title=Tide-loses-commitment-of-DE-Craig-Sanders

  39. This is the first time that Smoltz has ever complained about the baseballs, so I have a tendency to believe there’s something to it. He does credit Arroyo with pitching through the problems, so I’d like to hear if Arroyo thinks the same thing.

    Smoltz is a fierce competitor and his skills are declining. He’s struggling with coping with things at this point and it shows in several ways.

  40. haha…saw this an it made me laugh:

    Wanted: Professional ball rubber. Must be able to rub up 3 dozen pair every 5th day to remove gloss. Kissing the balls for good luck will be considered but not required. If interested, send photograph and current resume to JS-HOF-29, care of the St. Louis Cardinals. Have a nice day!

  41. @48,

    Yes, the Rangers got a catcher-who was pretty much blocked by McCann and has been anything but an All-Star; a shortstop who was blocked by Escobar; a starter that seems to just another arm, and a closer with loads of potential. Granted, the Braves could have flipped those guys for help later if they hadn’t made the trade, but, it’s hard to say they could have done better than Teixera. The trade doesn’t bother me, other than Feliz, but unless he becomes a starter, I don’t really care that much. And, even if it was a bad trade, I don’t know any team in any sport that has never made a bad trade.

  42. Geez, didn’t mean to start this little debate. My two cents:

    My original comment (37) about the front office possibly being wary of the Rangers front office was more in reference to the fact that they strung us along for so long to get more players. I seem to remember being very close to finalizing the trade when they asked us for a fourth player. We caved and got close again and they asked for a FIFTH player. In that sense, they definitely fleeced us. The Padres GM thought he could get away with the same thing and ended up with egg on his face.

    Re: the talent we gave up.

    As someone said, it’s too early to tell. Comparing our one full season with Tex (which was stellar of course, no one will argue that) to what the prospects have done so far isn’t fair. They have many more years to show their potential, and for the league minimum. Maybe some or all will fizzle. That is the nature of prospects of course.

  43. 50, with all due respect, you are in left field. Tim Hudson is an ACE, period. He’s part of the solution, not the problem. Hudson is 33 right now and will be 34 next year.

    Our starting pitching is the strength of the Braves baseball team, they are not about to tear it apart. We do have six starters at the moment but one will have to go. Probably Kawakami or maybe even Vazquez if someone pony’s up the proper talent in return.

  44. I’ve been too busy to watch the last couple of games, but it sounds like Chipper has been a pretty big goat.

  45. One last comment on the long term impact of the Teixeira trade.

    Elvis Andrus would be our SS, Escobar would be at 3B with Prado at 2B and LaRoche playing 1B. Giving our Braves the best defensive infield in the game of baseball. Chipper would/should have been traded and Neftali Feliz would the Braves closer in waiting.

    Neftali Feliz:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/minorleagues/prospects/y2009/profile.jsp?t=p_top&pid=491703

    Elvis Andrus:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/minorleagues/prospects/y2009/profile.jsp?t=p_top&pid=462101

  46. Might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure LaRoche would not be playing first base on that team, seeing as we would not have had Kotchman to trade for him. We might even be running Thorman out there still…

  47. I just don’t care much about closers-in-waiting unless you can predict they will be Mariano Rivera. Except for a select few, they are basically fungible and even the better ones often have ups and downs–witness Lidge. I wouldn’t hang on to a closer if I had a chance to improve the team in other areas.

    It’s not clear that Escobar can hit enough for third base. You are awfully anxious to trade Chipper–even though until this year, he was remarkably productive. I guess being a future Hall-of-Famer doesn’t buy any credit in Coach’s book.

  48. 61 points out why the Tex trade was a bad trade from the outset. The Rangers had JS bidding against himself and he threw in Feliz and then Beau Jones.

  49. It’s not clear that Escobar can hit enough for third base.

    And since he plays a very good shortstop, I don’t know why anyone would consider moving him there. A 118OPS+ SS is far more valuable than a 118OPS+ 3B

  50. My (68) post is what could have been, not what is.

    And by the way MAC, Chipper is batting .269, Andrus is hitting .266

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