145 thoughts on “Big-boned game thread: April 26, Braves at Cardinals”

  1. Just looked at the match-ups for the Cards… we may win game 1 (Huddy vs Lohse)… but the next two don’t look promising. Lowe vs Carpenter and then KK vs Jaime Garcia who has an ERA of 1.42. Ick… Houston and Nats after that might give us something to look forward to. – bfedrec

    Nats are a better team than us right now, I dont look forward to any matchups

  2. Baseball Reference lists two nicknames for Melky:

    Melk Man and Leche.

    Leche seems about right.

  3. The real trouble is other teams now believe they can pitch around about half of our lineup and no one will make them pay and Glaus, Melky, Nate, Diaz and Escobar aren’t really proving them wrong. Last year we started the year with 4-5 almost sure outs in the lineup and this year has started out the same. I have more faith in this bunch to turn it around, but I do think we need a different hitting coach just to change the culture. I’m all for getting on base and selectivity, but the ones who can do some damage are the ones taking all the free passes and the Glaus’s are hitting into first-pitch DPs.

  4. did anyone see that we’re going to have to put up with ryan howard for atleast 5 more years?

  5. @7, Actually, more like seven years. By the end of the extension, that may not be a bad thing.

  6. move TP to 3rd and get rid of Snitker and his stache….find someone who can show these guys how to hit and make sure they get it right

  7. Yes, see last thread. Howard’s a good player, but I don’t consider it particularly bad news for the Braves–the contract is big and expensive so there’s a decent chance the phils will regret it.

  8. well, as long as there isn’t a no-trade clause, Howard will probably still be a productive enough hitter late into the contract and they can then trade him to the Yanks/Sox for the last couple years of it to act as a DH… so we’ll probably have to deal with him for as long as he’s a productive 1B.

  9. I’m pretty sure there was a limited NTC. And between his contract and the Raul Ibanez one, they’ve wasted their “stupid money,” and probably won’t be resigning Jayson Werth now. Really, the contract factors as a good thing long-term for Atlanta.

  10. #13

    Unless you consider he’s setting the bar for a possible A. Gonz. extension if he is indeed a realistic trade option for us.

  11. While I would love to see AG at 1B over Glaus… I can’t envision a realistic trade I’d be happy with considering what we’d have to give up for him.

  12. if you can resign him to an extension then you might as well wait until he reaches FA. There will be no discounts given so there is no point in giving up the prospect package that it would take to get him. Plus isnt the org very high on Freeman?

  13. I don’t want the Braves to sell the farm for Adrian Gonzalez. He is a great player but you have to figure that a group that would include one or two of Freeman, Vizcaino, Tehran, Betancourt, Medlen would be the asking price.

    As hot a commodity as he’ll be when he reaches FA or what he’ll be asking for in an extension effectively makes him a Yankee or a Red Sock(? don’t know the singular).

    The organization is very high on Freeman, thus the 1 year rental lowball on Glaus.

  14. The Padres already have their 1B replacement in Blanks. They are not interested in Freeman, unless it was to flip him, and his slow start sort of kills that.

  15. Did anybody read the story of Juan Hernandez Nodar in the weekend WSJ? He spent 13 years in a Cuban prison after trying to recruit El Duque out of Cuba.

    Very interesting reading.

  16. Not to be “that guy,” but San Diego is currently in 1st place while we are sniffing Washington’s six in last. If anything, we should be considering if we could get Castro and Tate for Ross and Jurrjens.

    Realistically though, I’d wait until we’re at least getting league average production out of SS and 2/3’rds of our outfield before we would even consider picking up a 1B the quality of AGon, because otherwise it’ll just be Teixeira 2.0.

  17. Everyone seems to assume Gonzalez will be Yankee or a Red Sox, but I don’t know who the competition would be for him, honestly…

    The Yanks have Texeira, obviously. There is a chance that they pay Gonzalez the same kind of money, and make one or the other a DH, but I just don’t see it.

    The Sox are a little more likely, as Beltre is on a one year deal at 3b, Youkilis can be moved to third. I can see them going after Gonzalez as a FA, but I don’t see them trading for him this year.

    My point is, on neither of those teams is a there a NEED for a first baseman.

    There are lots of clubs who would be in on him as a FA. He’s an upgrade over almost any 1b. But you have to have a NEED to trade for him. And if you trade for him, you better work out a deal. The Yanks, Sox, and even the Mets don’t have enough need to give up prospects for him. Same with the Dodgers. The Cubs could go after him in FA, because Derrek Lee will be FA too. The Angels have Morales so I don’t see them trading for him, but could be in as an FA. The Dodgers could be in on a trade to upgrade over Loney.

    Like I say. I can see a big market for him when he hits free-agency after next year. But what teams that have the payroll to extend him, need him enough to trade for him, and the prospects to get it done?

  18. Lotsa talk in Red Sox land about how losing Tex to the Yanks set them back & shifted the balance of power a bit. (It’s best not to insult a top player in negotiations, it seems.)

    Gonzalez surely will be on their radar.

  19. when its broke keep fixing it – lineup tonight per twitter

    Escobar
    Prado
    Jones
    BMac
    Glaus
    Heyward
    Melky
    Nate
    Hudson

  20. I think reality dictates that we move McCann to 1B the second we have a decent defensive catcher. (Oh, wait …)

    Love him, but he’s a liability behind the plate and an All-Star beside it.

    Batting Order:

    Diaz
    Prado
    Chipper
    McCann
    Heyward
    Escobar
    Ross
    McLouth
    P

    Can’t do any worse than we’ve been doing.

  21. 24,
    I like it. We’ve made this point before, but Yunel hits about as many ground balls as anyone in the majors (I think he’s 3rd since 2008 behind Skip Schumaker and Jeter, if not, something close to that), and hitting him first minimizes his GIDP’s. Plus his offensive profile fits the lead off role nicely.

  22. I like that lineup too. I would consider hitting Prado first though.

    Chipper is hitting a little better too.

    With the amount of walks we have had, sooner or later we have to hit. I think we are on the brink.

  23. In honor of hank’s kind remarks in the previous thread, I will, once again, post Baseball America’s scouting report on DP from before the ’09 season:

    Background: Few players have lived up to the hype, both before and after being the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, better than Price. The Rays targeted the Vanderbilt ace in the fall of 2006 and never had reason to alter their decision to go with the lefthander on draft day in June 2007. He won Baseball America’s College Player of the Year and the Golden Spikes awards as a junior after going 11-1, 2.63 and leading NCAA Division I with 194 strikeouts in 133 innings. Price signed at the Aug. 15 deadline, getting an $8.5 million big league contract that included a backloaded $5.6 million bonus, which pushed his pro debut back to 2008. Elbow tenderness in spring training further delayed his first outing until May 22, but he showed no ill effects by going 12-1, 2.30 between three minor league levels. After helping Triple-A Durham reach the International League playoffs, Price joined the Rays in September. He dazzled the Yankees in relief in his first appearance and held the Orioles hitless for five innings in his first start, but the best was yet to come. Added to the playoff roster, he won Game Two and saved Game Seven in the American League Championship Series, then recorded the final seven outs in Tampa Bay’s victory in the second game of the World Series.

    Strengths: Price rates off the charts with his stuff, athleticism and disposition, a package that should make him one of the premier pitchers in the majors. He has two plus-plus pitches with a mid-90s fastball and a biting slider. His fastball has outstanding movement with late armside run. His slider is reminiscent of John Smoltz’s with its depth and 87-88 mph velocity. He blew away the Red Sox with both pitches in the ALCS clincher, generating several awkward swings. His changeup also can be an above-average offering with impressive deception and fade. Price has the ability to add and subtract velocity from his pitches, and he uses the entire strike zone to his advantage. He receives as much praise for his makeup and humility as he does for his pitching, which is saying a lot. He was unfazed when asked to pitch in pressure situations in the playoffs.

    Weaknesses: Price lacks full confidence in his changeup. He didn’t need that third pitch in college and the minors, but must trust it more and improve its depth to succeed as a big league ace. He never has encountered failure, so he has yet to show he can make the necessary adjustments when the inevitable occurs, but he should be up to the challenge.

    The Future: Extremely goal-oriented, Price wants to join the Rays rotation to open the 2009 season. He has the talent and work ethic to make that happen. Even if he falls short, it won’t be long before he’s part of Tampa Bay’s rotation for good, and he eventually should become the No. 1 starter on the talented staff. It would be no surprise if he moved to the forefront of the game’s elite pitchers at a pace similar to that of Tim Lincecum.

    As Dix likes to say, his only weakness … is a lack of weaknesses.

  24. My only weakness is the lack of a BA password to read the linked article.

  25. My only weakness is not being able to post a link to the article that says:

    Hey, New York Mets fans, think things couldn’t get any worse? Next year former outfielder Bobby Bonilla goes back on the payroll at the ripe old age of 48.

    In 1999, Bonilla returned to the Mets for a second stint at Shea following his borderline disastrous free-agent signing in 1992. Bonilla wasn’t any better the second time around, so the Mets waived him in 2000. The problem was that the team still owed Bonilla $5.9 million in guaranteed salary.

    Bonilla’s agents worked out a deal with the Mets where he would defer the salary if the team would pay him $1,193,248.20 every July 1 from 2011 to 2035. Not a bad deal for someone who was so bad the team basically paid him to go away.

    Anyway, Neyer links to it. It pleases me.

  26. Kyle Loshe currently has a higher average than everyone in our lineup except Martin Prado.

  27. For any rules maven:

    Since Pujols was standing directly in the 1st base path to catch Prado’s pop up, could Prado have legally laid him out bounced off him to get to first?

  28. Jim Powell made a good point on the radio just then. 9 of the Braves 18 games have been played in extreme pitchers parks–Citi, Petco, and AT&T–which could have something to do with individual and/or team offensive performances.

  29. @54 You can add it right now, if you like – current PF’s

    Ballpark: Turner Field (ballparks.com) · Attendance: 265,213 (9th of 16)
    Park Factors Over 100 favors batters, under 100 favors pitchers.
    multi-year: Batting – 98, Pitching – 98 · one-year: Batting – 96, Pitching – 95

  30. The fact that I now feel a spark of hope that Melky can bat an empty .260 is pretty pathetic

  31. Whoever it was last night wondering about which batter TP was asking not to hit with a stiff back leg…I think it’s McLouth after watching him hit.

  32. Did Melky really just score from first? Mlb.tv froze up so I didn’t actually see it.

  33. I’m going to be in Atlanta on Saturday for the game. I have reservations for Fogo de Chao afterwards–at least I can count on dinner being enjoyable.

  34. Doesn’t look like Lohse will make it past the 5th.

    Can’t blame Yunel getting doubled off there. That ball was crushed.

  35. Was watching the Braves on bonus rain out coverage but now ESPN is screwing with me and making me watch Bobby Valentine. UGH.

  36. Yunelled again

    Where was he going? Was he thinking about scoring all the way from 1B??

  37. Was it really “lined” to third – that would be somewhat understandable.

  38. That’s 2010 data I think. It’s from the BR Braves page.

    Hudson brought his A game tonight.

  39. @73 and74, correct. The one year data is current, although identical to 2009. Maybe it’s a rolling one year during the season?

  40. That was one hell of a play by Yunel on Pujols’ ball last inning. I tell you what– by turning that into a 6-3, he probably shut down the Cards. That’s why they put up with his crap– lot of guys couldn’t have made that play.

  41. 81- I know. Going into the year, I thought Moylan, Saito, Wagner would be a beast, but they’ve been pretty irrelevant lately. This is the perfect game for them to dominate.

    My boys from St. Louis have already been running their mouths about the anatomically impossible things Pujols is going to do our bullpen.

  42. Why not bring in the lefty there? Kind of stupid for him to warm up and not use him. And what a great play by Melky, ugh.

  43. seriously, how in the hell does he overmanage every freakin’ game and then when he has 2 rested options in the pen he doesnt use them…incredible.

  44. That was the guy LaRussa refused to use during the 20 inning game, instead letting pitchers hit with the bases loaded. No excuse there.

  45. ryan c, if you’ve missed the last 2 days, we all decided Bobby wasn’t the problem. Well, some people decided that.

  46. it’s a totally different circumstance if there’s noone on, but having a runner in scoring position with 2outs when we so desperately need a win and not go with the lefty is poor f’n management. this one’s on you bobby.

  47. robert, that’s a ridiculous thought and i would have stalked bobby down and punched him in his balls.

  48. Dammit, why is this staff totally unable to hold multiple run leads. I’m tired of these guys pitching just well enough to lose. At least Vazquez was able to shut down teams.

  49. Three runs all game is pretty bare bones for a multiple run lead. Our offense needs to get something going every now and then.

    Saito, lookin’ old.

  50. The way Bobby is managing this game, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Saito hit for himself here.

  51. We should start having fan auctions for the right to name our leadoff man. Even if rival fans name our pitchers, I think we can still break even vs. what we’ve got now. Maybe we can raise enough money to bring someone decent in next year.

  52. Yeah, leaving Moylan in to face Anderson seems pretty indefensible.

    Franklin is hittable, but then, so is Kyle Kendrick.

  53. Yeah, leaving Moylan in to face Anderson seems pretty indefensible.

    Well Anderson sucks. If Bobby gets O’Flaherty there is no way LaRussa stays with Anderson, he pinch hits with a real hitter and you’ve still lost the platoon edge.

    So it’s either Moylan vs Anderson or O’Flaherty vs Felipe Lopez (maybe). Outcome notwithstanding, I like the former.

  54. 120—Anderson has a .956 career minor-league OPS. He doesn’t suck, at all. Leaving Moylan in was obviously the wrong move.

    EDIT: Actually, I can’t read. Only a .782 career OPS. Anyway, he doesn’t suck, and I’d still rather have O’Flaherty against a competent righty than Moylan against a competent lefty, but it’s less open-and-shut than I thought while it was happening.

  55. I hate Benji Molina. If Custard took his approach, Little Big Horn would’ve been a resounding Whitey success.

  56. Bryan Anderson has a career .782 OPS in the minors. He probably sucks.

    He does. Stu just hadn’t thought it through.

  57. Went to the Hawks game in Milwaukee. Another winning night all around, I see. Wake me when this nightmare stretch is over…

  58. Derek Lowe career vs STL: 1-6, 6.69 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, .360 BAA

    In completely unrelated news, ESPN’s 30 For 30 tomorrow night is Run Ricky Run – which looks great.

  59. Felipe Lopez is on the DL.

    True. Obviously wasn’t aware of that at the time. Doesn’t change the thinking, they had three other RHB on their bench.

    Moylan career vs LHB: .266/.379/.356
    O’Flaherty career vs RHB: .306/.392/.404

    Considering Anderson is a pretty underwhelming player, it was a bad move because…?

    Oh wait, I know, because Moylan couldn’t manage to keep Molina from stealing second on him and then could retire a crappy backup catcher to end the threat.

  60. If Molina can moonwalk to second base, isn’t it time to seriously consider moving McCann to first?

  61. if bobby makes the move and he counters, larussa burns another player (the 3rd of the night) in a ballgame that could go into extra innings. making managers burn their bench in a tied game late isn’t a bad thing, especially considering we’d only used one reliever at the time. there’s no way i’m buying that logic, robert.

  62. I just want to know why Tim Hudson is considered an elite starter–if he still is. This is such a typical Hudson game–it goes down as a “quality start” but he has a 3-run lead going into the sixth and can’t even come close to hanging on. He finds a way to blow the lead. I know the offense is bad but it would be nice to have a pitcher once in a while get a couple of runs and just shut the door. The Braves have no one like that-although Hanson might be eventually. In the old days, the Braves would go through bad streaks, but instead of going 0-6, they might go 2-4 because the starters would throw a dominant game. This staff seemingly can pitch just well enough to lose close.

    We might be looking at an 8 or 9 game losing streak now.

  63. Bmac has probably become the worst throwing catcher in baseball, actually probably the overall worst defensive catcher in baseball. He takes throws 5 feet in front of home plate, doesnt block pitches in the dirt (tries to backhand them), and is awful trying to pick off runners

    I have no hope with Derek Lowe on the mound vs Carpenter tonight. No one should even tune into that game

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