This time I may have gone too far game thread: April 25, Braves at Mets

“But Mac,” you say, “Jeff Francoeur wouldn’t be United States Secretary of Agriculture. Maybe if he’d gotten that Clemson degree (though we all agree he just isn’t Clemson material) but not now. Let’s tackle something more realistic. What if Jeff Francoeur were a musician?”

Well, I think it would go a little something… like this:

183 thoughts on “This time I may have gone too far game thread: April 25, Braves at Mets”

  1. Any word on how Schaefer is coming along? I’m hoping he can help sooner rather than later in this outfield mess.

  2. Last I heard, there was another setback with his wrist.

    If we lose tonight, can we break out the Cannibal Corpse? (In related news, I’m attending tonight).

  3. It’s exam week here at Clemson. I’m at the University library and I’m wondering what it would be like to see Francoeur walking in to study. Then I remember, he probably wouldn’t have: Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management students don’t need to study.

  4. Got JC’d. Now that Jeff Suppan’s moving to the bullpen, maybe GMs will be faster to treat albatross SP contracts as sunk costs (not that that’s a fair assessment of Zambrano’s situation) and put pitchers in roles that are less based on salary. That could only be good for the Braves.

  5. I believe I’d be willing to trade one of Vizcaino, Teheran, or Delgado plus Freddie Freeman for Adrian Gonzalez, provided we extended Gonzalez during a negotiating window before pulling the trigger. He doesn’t sign, we don’t trade.

    But I’d make that move.

  6. 1,
    He’s in extended Spring Training, swinging bats but hasn’t played in a game yet. He will soon, though. They’re being really cautious with him, wrist injuries are nasty.

    5,
    As soon as the Padres trade Adrian Gonzalez they’re going to use Kyle Blanks as their every day 1B–they’d have little use for Freeman. Plus, signing Adrian Gonzalez long term would cost a fortune. Think of any potential AGon deal as a bag of pitching prospects for a year and a half rental.

  7. We have the pieces for Gonzalez, but it wouldn’t make any sense for him to sign long-term with us given the fact that we’d hardly be the biggest contract he’d find. He’ll be end up in Boston.

  8. Tonight’s lineup, per DOB Twitter:

    Melky 7
    Prado 4
    Chipper 5
    McCann 2
    Glaus 3
    Heyward 9
    Escobar 6
    McLouth 8
    Hanson 1

    Guess Chipper realizes this game is actually kinda big, especially for an April game. And I have to admit I’m surprised Escobar’s out there.

  9. Although Francoeur reminds me more of someone like Rick Astley, that analogy is perfect, down to the “I liked his earlier stuff…” aspect.

  10. I’ve said this before and I have to say it again. Pendleton needs to be fired. He is harming the team. The evidence is stronger than ever. Look at the former players who struggled here and are currently hitting well and in some cases mashing: Kelly Johnson, Andruw Jones, Casey Kotchman, and even Jeff Francouer is hitting a lot better than he did with us. In limited at bats Ryan Church has done a decent job. Now among the current Braves the only consistent hitters are Chipper and McCann who go to their respective dads for hitting instruction. Prado is extremely hot, but I hate to say it but I remember Kelly Johnson hitting very well and then he slowly regressed until he escaped Pendleton’s “instruction.”

  11. In all fairness, Andruw’s swing was where it was before TP was on the scene.

    /and he is currently doing well at Chicago

  12. 16: I kinda agree. I’d rather see him go with McLouth leading off every day, and just let him find his swing. He’s looked good at times, whereas Melky’s hit maybe 1 ball hard this season.

  13. Because he’s not in danger of collapsing into himself, forming a black hole in which nothing, not even Chip Caray’s thoughts, can escape.

  14. 14 – Yeah, like when Kelly began his career going 1-32? Should we blame TP for that? Did TP just give him some poisonous hitting instruction his first day up and it took a week or two for KJ to get that out of his head until TP finally ruined him in 09?

  15. Count me as dumbfounded as to why Melky is back in the leadoff spot.. I’ve got more faith in McLouth to figure it out than I do in Melky.

  16. Rookie year notwithstanding, Kelly Johnson got worse every year until this year.

    OPS by year

    2007: .832
    2008: .795
    2009: .692
    2010: 1.231

    I’m just sayin’

  17. When I see the lineups these days, I basically see:

    Black Hole
    Prado
    Chipper
    McCann
    Black Hole
    Heyward
    Black Hole
    Black Hole
    Black Hole

  18. Kelly is obviously on steroids.


    @27:

    Black Hole
    Prado
    Chipper Florence Nightengale
    McCann
    Black Hole
    Heyward
    Black Hole
    Black Hole
    Black Hole

    Fixed that for you.

  19. I’d have to say Reaganman makes some sense to me on TP, when I look at Casey Kotchman’s year so far at Seattle. I didn’t think anyone could ever get that dude to hit, who’s the Seattle hitting coach?

  20. Alan Cockrell learned from Don Baylor. I always liked Don Baylor as a hitting coach.

  21. Re: KJ — watching some of his homers, Chase Field is certainly not neutral in the matter. You’ve still got to stroke the ball well, but the ball takes off in that park.

  22. I absolutely knew that when idiot Wren gave Cox the Melkman, that would become Bobby’s favorite blade in his self-mutilation kit.

    This is beyond ridiculous. Can you fire someone on their farewell tour?

    We at least need to fire Pendleton to send a message that three years of impotence will not be tolerated.

  23. What is wrong with Cox? Why does he keep going back to Melky in the leadoff spot? This is ridiculous. Either Infante or Hinske should be in left. Actually Hinske should be at 1st and Infante in LF.

  24. There’s a better chance of Chino Cadahia seeing his erection than Bobby Cox being fired.

    Wait, what?

  25. I voted 20-39 per cent.

    Reference:

    Troy Glaus – .175/.254/.298
    Yunel Escobar – .192/.275/.242
    Melky Cabrera – .143/.250/.179
    Nate McLouth – .150/.300/.250
    Matt Diaz – .165/.195/.250

  26. @37 I hate Melky Cabrera as much as the next guy, and I absolutely loathe him at the top of the order, but yeah, he’s not the biggest problem here. Glaus has sucked, of course, plus Chipper has had multiple injuries, McLouth and Diaz and Yunel have all been horrible, McCann has recently slumped, and the starters haven’t exactly lit the world on fire. Defensive problems, which contribute to our so-far mediocre pitching, also go beyond Melky.

    Yes, Melky sucks, he should be sent to a dark place far, far away, but the Braves’ mediocrity has so far been the product of a team effort.

  27. RE Poll

    bRAA
    Melky -6.9
    Diaz -2.4
    Yunel -5.2
    Glaus -4.5
    McLouth -3.2

    6.9/22.2=0.31

    So this is 31% Melky’s fault.

  28. Why is everyone going on about KJ’s hot streak. That’s what he does, people! He gets hot and hits the cover off the ball, then he goes two months with an OPS around .600.

  29. did anyone else just see that? heyward was trying to watch the pitcher and the camera was in front of him, so he shooed the camera away.

  30. Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are going to drive us nuts. Already with the mistake of saying Prado was the leadoff hitter yesterday.

  31. Too bad Chipper is gimpy because otherwise he probably would have scored on the McCann double.

  32. Nice….

    At this rate, this game will finish 9-0 with the mets scoring on nine braves fielding errors and the Braves leaving 27 men on base. Sounds about right….

  33. This is like a bad movie you can’t turn off. 3 LOB, then an error leading to a run. Bobby’s “team meeting” didn’t accomplish much.

  34. I’m not saying Chipper isn’t blameless, but what’s up with all this half hearted attempts to catch throws? Just because it’s offline doesn’t mean you can go after it.

  35. A better glove at 1B would have kept the ball in front of him. And that was the worst-timed rainshower ever….

  36. If chipper’s not hurt, he scores from second in the top of the first AND gets Bay out in the bottom half.

  37. Everyone was too busy pleasuring themselves over Heyward this Spring and forgot that they need to PLAY BASEBALL.

  38. If you could design a pitcher in a lab who could perfectly exploit every weakness that Frency had, it would be Tommy Hanson.

  39. With the speed this game is going, you probably will be doing your recap in the morning anyway, Mac.

  40. I just hate games that are done by Jon Miller and Joe Morgan, no matter who is playing. They somehow figure out a way to love the Mets no matter the situation

  41. Time to quarantine Heyward; exposure to the rest of this team’s ineptitude has worn him down.

  42. This inability to get runners home is insane. I can’t recall ever seeing incompetence on this level with RISP and less than 2 outs.

  43. What does it say when the hitters are not willing to listen to the hitting coach?

    DOB’s blog today talked about how one Brave hitter was hitting with his back leg rigid instead of bent like normal. The hitter in question said he feels good doing it that way, and the hitter wasn’t listening to TP’s suggestions.

    And seriously, it’s called a pick-off move.

  44. The Braves are now tied for 2nd in the NL in errors with 18 (behind the Dodgers’ 20). McCann’s four ties him for 3rd in the league behind Chase Headley and Alcides Escobar.

  45. I want so badly to become an unfan of this team. This team is giving me hyper tension.

  46. RJ, that was Hanson. See the page subtitle. Most teams want to clear the pitcher when they’re hitting; we try to clear Melky.

  47. Yunel, yusuck.

    Edit: Hanson’s doing a heck of a job for someone who knows he has no defensive support.

  48. RJ, yep actually ordered a pair of the Easton adjustbale length ones for about $45. They got black piping down the leg, but thats it. Ordered a pair of the boombah shoes and they are awesome.

  49. He’s looked bad in the last two at-bats, and had the fielding error that led to the only run. He may not be done, but he should be sitting out this game for sure.

  50. 102- That wasn’t a strike. He shouldn’t have swung. His production is down, but I wouldn’t judge him by a swing he never should have pulled the trigger on in the first place. Every hitter strikes out. For everything you could say about him, Chipper knows the strike zone. If he didn’t, he’d have been done a long time ago.

    Damnit Glaus

  51. I love how it’s a good idea to swing at the first pitch when Pelfrey consistently proves he does not want to throw a strike.

  52. Mac, I’m late to the party…but best game thread intro ever. Thanks for the laugh.

  53. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been as frustrated with a Braves team as I am with this one. They can’t do anything right. They look clueless in the field, they hit– and field!– worse than my 6-year-old’s t-ball team, and their catchers have become revolving doors for opposing baserunners. What the hell? Oh, and yeah, their baserunning sucks too. Oh, and they can’t move guys over once they occasionally do get them on. The pitching staff has largely been good (with Lowe being the exception), but they’re drowning out there in a sea of incompetence. Wow. I hate this team. They make me dislike baseball.

  54. And now that the game’s official, here’s the rain delay. Honestly, I’m not sure i want the last four innings of this one.

  55. can’t hit, can’t field, can’t throw, don’t know the rules, don’t hustle, have a zombie as the 3rd base coach, a tall, ugly fat girl playing first, a guy that’s trying to play on one leg at third, a center/left fielder who lets everything drop in front of him, . . . . hey, what’s not to like about this team?

  56. Calling Glaus a tall ugly fat girl is an insult to all the tall ugly fat girls out there.

  57. Glaus is headed towards the Mondesi Line. Raul was hitting .211 with 4 homers after 155 PA’s. Glaus is hitting .175 with 2 homers after 63 PA’s.

    We’re getting there.

  58. how can so many be harping on Glaus? Dude’s coming off shoulder surgery, he’s at least got an excuse that Melky, Diaz, Yunel, and Nate dont have. All of them are under the Mondesi line as well, do we cut the whole team?

  59. Well, on the bright side, there’s a good chance that Yunel, McLouth, and Diaz will break out of it sooner or later.

    Not so sure about Glaus or Melky. Glaus has the injury history and is older, and Melky is Melky.

  60. The one bright spot for me on a cold miserable night with obnoxious Met fans was the fact that my girlfriend came up with the nickname “Hip-Hurt Jones.”. That bought her another six months. :)

  61. 125: Fair point. It’s just that Glaus reminds me of Francoeur prior to the trade last year…when he comes up with runners on, I don’t even bother hoping anymore.

    Of course, you could say that about the entire team right now.

  62. @125 – That’s what makes it more distressing. There’s lots more reason to believe the other guys can get it together.

  63. @129 I also think this is a collective problem rather than an individual thing. We seems to have that so often, which can only lead to more questions on TP.

  64. Id rather see Glaus swinging the bat with runners on then watching Nate and Melky K looking. BTW, no chance this game will restartm bring on the cards

  65. question for you stat guys….if this game ends I know Hanson gets credit for a complete game, but would he get credit for a quality start? typically its got to be 6IP and 3ER or less, just wondering how the stat genious people view this one

  66. Maybe I could live with “Captain Double Play” if Bobby would put him in the 7 spot. He’s obviously not back, so why bat him 4 or 5? EVERY GAME?

    ok, nevermind, I already know the answer to that.

  67. joe, who should we put there?

    this team has two good hitters at the moment, Prado and McCann, they cant hit twice for anyone else

  68. at this point I’d far rather see Heyward following McCann than Glaus. really. In fact, I’d rather see Hinske get a chance to play.

  69. hey encouraging news!!

    Cox gives Pendleton vote of confidence
    NEW YORK — With many key members of the Braves lineup struggling during the early weeks of the season, Pendleton has drawn criticism from fans, who want someone to blame for the fact that their club entered Sunday night’s game against the Mets ranked 15th in the 16-team National League with a .227 batting average.

    But holding the belief that his players have to take responsibility for the results they are realizing, Cox said these criticisms are being pointed in the wrong direction.

    “The worst person in the world you ought to blame for a team not hitting is the hitting coach,” Cox said. “We all feel bad. We’re not hitting that bad. It’s just that when we’re not hitting, we’re not getting them in.”

    Truthfully, the Braves have struggled in a variety of situations this year. Entering Sunday, they ranked last in the NL with a .216 batting average with nobody on base and 14th with the .242 mark they had posted with runners on base. With runners in scoring position, they ranked 13th with a .248 mark.

    “That’s the hardest job in the world being the hitting coach,” Cox said. “They always get fired and re-hired somewhere. Why blame them? Terry is a very good hitting coach.”

  70. “The worst person in the world you ought to blame for a team not hitting is the hitting coach,” Cox said. “We all feel bad. We’re not hitting that bad. It’s just that when we’re not hitting, we’re not getting them in.” – Bobby Cox

    Im baffled, Im mean , baffled by this statement.

  71. The ‘Fire Bobby Cox’ people just mystify me. You don’t suddenly forget what good baseball players look like, or forget how baseball is played.

    This team has good players who aren’t playing well. This team has young players that it needs to have step up and show what they have. This team is counting on some older players who have something to prove.

    We have guys on the down-hill portion of their careers who are over-paid. We have young players who aren’t banking yet and we need them to play well to balance the payroll.

    THIS MAKES THE BRAVES NO DIFFERENT THAN ANY TEAM IN BASEBALL (Minus the Yankees and Red Sox)

    None of this makes Bobby Cox or Frank Wren or Terry Pendleton an idiot.

    It means the team is playing bad baseball. Which happens to every team. Every single baseball team that ever existed played bad baseball.

    We’ve seen one tenth of the season. THESE SAME GUYS are going to play some fantastic baseball, where they can’t be beat. They’re going to play some pretty good baseball and lose. They’re going to play some pretty good baseball and win. They’re going to play lousy baseball like this again, too.

    THAT’S BASEBALL.

    We’ll see how much of each kind of baseball they play, and that will determine the season. These last 4 games won’t.

    And CSG, I think that was a typo by the reporter. That has to have been ‘When we ARE hitting, we AREN’T getting them in.”

  72. Worst offense and defense in baseball, no speed, no power, no smarts. I hate this team.

  73. A game should not be called on one run, especially given how many times these teams meet during the year. Doesn’t matter probably, we would have found a way to NOT make it a one-run game!

  74. Another terrible stat:

    We’d be a significantly better team up to this point of the season with Yuniesky Betancourt instead of Yunel Escobar.

  75. @154 – That’s the saddest thing I’ve heard in a long time, probably because at this point. I agree.

  76. I don’t deny that it’s raining hard and will be for a while, but if they were down 1-0, this game would resume if it was 2:47 A.M.

  77. In the immortal words of Joe Schultz (Ball Four now 40 years old) S***F****, F***S*** We’ll get’em tomorrow. It didn’t work out too well for the Seattle Pilots though.

  78. The guy I am playing in fantasy next week has Melky in his lineup. That has to be a win for me. (of course, he also has puljos.

  79. yep, left 10 men on in 5IP today. Could you imagine where we’d be without our comeback wins? How many games have we led start to finish? I only feel for our pitchers and Martin, everyone else, has sucked

  80. Remember that time Troy Glaus grounded into a game ending double play, taking the bat out of Jason Heyward’s hands? I do too, I remember both of them. Although I prefered the one where Jason Heyward got to bat anyway, the time we waked off against the Rockies. This one ending with an 0-1 count doesn’t sit well with me.

  81. 165, no it shouldn’t. Bobby is part of this problem, as is Frank Wren and TP. Yes, players are underachieving, but if you don’t think this team has problems from the top down, you’re mistaken.

  82. Everybody but Hanson sucked tonight.

    My NYC trip was an absolute nightmare.

    10 base runners in 5 innings and 0 runs. That is almost unbelieveable.

  83. 165- Thanks, Peter.

    166- You, of course, are right. There is no reason for rational, calm acceptance. The Braves are two games under five hundred, tied with 6 other teams for the 8th worst record in baseball… It is, of course, a fundamentally flawed team, and it is indeed time to panic. There are, after all, only 144 games left to make up a 3 game deficit in the division.

    We’re doomed.

  84. What happened (or didn’t) in NYC was matched by another very ugly day on the farm. Gwinnett got all of 2 hits, Minor got roughed up again, Rhorbough has sunk to new lows, while Milligan struck out 3 times and headed below the Mendoza line and the Rome Braves could not get enough offense to pick up some good pitching….

  85. 169, it’s that mentality that’s driving everyone (or maybe just me) crazy. We could maybe afford to take the first 40 games off in the mid-90’s when we had better teams than the rest of the division, but we don’t anymore, and the get-em-tomorrow-no-need-to-change-anything mindset is what’s led to us watching the playoffs at home the last few years. Well, that and inferior talent.
    No, these guys didn’t forget how to coach overnight, I just was hoping for a little more urgency this year in Bobby’s farewell tour. I don’t think it takes the customary 50 games to realize when something isn’t working and is fatally flawed.

  86. Wasn’t aware it was my fault, too…

    My point, if you’ll allow me, is that every single team is going to play bad baseball. No team has been IN all 162 of their games. (Maybe that Mariners team in 01 that won 116 games was in every game they played…)

    Of course you have to cash them in when you’re in them. Of course you have to find a way to be in as many games as you can.

    But they aren’t ‘taking games off’ and if you honestly think they are, you are either an idiot, or you think way too highly of your powers of observation. Or both.

    More urgency is not the solution. Baseball is probably the one sport where “trying harder” is actually a bad thing.

    If anything, this team is pressing too hard and probably needs to relax and just play baseball.

  87. Right now, Martin Prado is on pace to finish the season with 243 hits. That’s 19 short of the all-time single season hits record. I repeat. Martin Prado. Striking distance of Ichiro’s hits record.

    That’s how you know it’s still way too early to be calling for anybody’s head.

    The ‘sports talk radio’ psyche is interesting. I wonder how often people make decisions in their own lives the way they would for the teams they root for.

  88. @166,

    Exactly how is Bobby Cox part of the problem? Is he the guy that left runners on base? Fans want to have someone to scapegoat so obsess over the manager, but the Braves show how irrelevant the manager is. The difference between Bobby Cox now and Bobby Cox in 1998 is that the 1998 Bobby Cox had better players. Is the manager supposed to “motivate” players so they hit?

    I understand frustration, but the fact is the fans of every team that is struggling blames the manager. There must be a lot of lousy managers in baseball because apparently they are all to blame. It’s also amazing how Joe Torre was a terrible manager in St. Louis and with the Mets but became a genius with the Yankees.

    Plus, while it’s a cliche, yes, it is still early. Teams have ups and downs all season–that’s baseball. A week ago, the Mets were terrible–now they are hot. And a week ago, everyone was excited about the Braves–now they are the worst team in baseball.

  89. #175 18 games in and Prado is within
    ‘striking distance’ of Ichiro’s record? sarcasm I hope.

    Tough to watch last night. The rain was actually a relief as I would have been tempted to watch the whole game.

    I watched the game on ESPN. Lord, Miller Hershiser and Morgan might as well be Mo Curly and Larry.

  90. Hanson’s got Cy Young caliber kind of stuff. It’s going to be fun to watch him grow into his own over the next few seasons.

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