Natinals 6, Braves 3

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals – Box Score – May 04, 2010 – ESPN.

And back to the suckage. We only play the Astros six times a year, guys.

The Braves loaded the bases off of our old pal Livan in the first, but got only one run on a Glaus sac fly. Hernandez then pitched around Heyward to load the bases, just to give you an idea of (a) how highly they regard him and (b) how lowly they regard Melky, who was on deck. Sure enough, Melky made an out to end the threat. Then in the second, Kawakami allowed two runs to give the Nats the lead.

Heyward tied it up in the third with a solo homer, which only guaranteed that they weren’t going to pitch to him if they had any choice in the matter. (He got his first IBB in the fifth in front of another Melkyout.) The Nats then started scoring one run an inning — one in the fifth, one in the sixth, one in the seventh, and one in the eighth. Since the Braves only got one run the rest of the game, McCann singling home Chipper in the ninth, that was easily enough. Glaus grounded into a double play to end it with Heyward on deck.

I guess the good news is that Chipper was 2-4 with a double and a walk. That’s something. Right now, I have no faith in anyone in the lineup but the 20-year-old. The bullpen did not do a very good job either.

58 thoughts on “Natinals 6, Braves 3”

  1. John Schuerholz was on 680 The Fan this morning in ATL. He listed about 5 “if this happens, then we’ll be fine”.

    Depressing to see Johnny buy into the sham job that is Frank fucking Wren.

  2. I was pissed about Chipper striking out looking with another guy at third. I do have hope Glaus who seems to handle the bat better and still have hope for McLouth, however, got nothing for Melky

  3. #2 – its too bad with what JS left Frank with also. Nothing to help in the minors, a garbage pitching staff, and a crap offense.

  4. CSG,

    Lest we forget, JS had Ted Turner and a bigger budget for a good portion of his tenure.

    Bud fucking Selig allowed the Braves to be sold to Liberty Media over an interested and active local buyer. That’s beating the deadhorse around here, for sure…but it pisses me off all the time.

    I hate Bud Selig.

  5. I’m also optimistic about McLouth and Glaus. They’re showing signs of life for the first time this season. Glaus damn near had a bases clearing double in the first. That wasn’t an easy play for their center fielder.

    Just got back from Atlanta. Humid as hell right now, but beautiful. I got to see my first win at Turner Field in six or seven years (God bless the Astros).

  6. A lot of hard hit balls tonight right at people. Sometimes that’s the way it goes.

  7. McLouth and Glaus should come around, though I worry about McLouth’s value with 81 games in Turner Field. (He is the same sort of moderate-power lefty as Casey Kotchman, and RCF @ the Ted is murder on those guys. McLouth has only his speed to help him out there.)

    Melky Cabrerra is horrible.

  8. Anyone got an update on the stud pitching prospect we got with Melky for Javy Vazquez?

  9. Speaking of only this past offseason and the current 2010 team: Wren-job, not Schuerholz, is the one who traded last year’s staff ace for Melky Cabrera. The one who let Kelly Johnson go for nothing. Payroll for this year’s team right now is 13 million less; the spin being that they could use it at the trading deadline. What would have been nicer would have been spending the extra, what one million I think, for LaRoche instead of Glaus.

    Melky sure does suck though. Is there perhaps a Facebook group I could join?

  10. last years staff ace

    9.78 ERA 15BB 20K 2.04WHIP

    however, they shouldve used the money saved for a true LF’r and traded Melky before all the GM’s could figure out what most people outside of NY already knew about him

  11. Meanwhile, Johnny Damon (who the Braves failed to sign over a few million dollars) continues to be a productive free agent signee for the Tigers.

    All is not lost, for sure. But this Braves team that, according to many, had so much Spring Training potential, is stuck in last place.

    Uphill climb…once again. Braves fans are being sold a bill of goods from a snake oil salesman with no track record that is Frank Wren…and a corporation that wants to evidently break even.

    I hate this situation as a Braves fan…and I hate Bud Selig as a baseball fan.

  12. When the budget is $100 million or so, a few million dollars isn’t a big deal.

  13. A few million dollars is nothing the salaries of Troy Glaus and Melky wouldn’t have paid.

  14. On a side note, I have had just about enough of the Hawks. How does the third-best team in the Eastern Conference almost lose a series to a shell of a team that wouldn’t have won 30 games if they had played the entire year with the roster they had in the playoffs, and then lose by more than 40 points to anyone? I’ll tell you how: the team is full of a bunch of mental lightweights who would curl up into the fetal position if they turned a corner and encountered a stiff breeze, and the team is coached by a man would be outcoached by your average seventh-grade girls coach. At this point, I’ve decided I’m pretty sure Mike Woodson would have difficulty coaching the guy behind the counter at Subway to put pickles on his freaking sandwich.

  15. In all fairness, to not pay Melky would have meant keeping Vazquez’ higher salary on the books, and SOMEBODY had to play first base, and Glaus was as cheap as you were going to get. Having said that, I advocated signing Damon as well, and think it was a missed opportunity. Even had he kept Heyward down, JH would have been called up by this point and one of Melky/Diaz dealt, DFA’d/sent down, or benched.

    /edit – I would have happily traded a couple of marginal wins to be better positioned going forward for the rest of the season, and retained an extra year of JH’s rights.

  16. look, because KJ was in arb, he was due for at least $5 million….and then we would have had to trade him because prado is the starting 2b. Judging by the amount of interest that KJ got on the free agent market, i doubt we would have been able to get anything of value for him on the trade market. KJ signed for only $2.3 million.

  17. And KJ sucked last year.

    Even the most cynical watcher (or frothing knee-jerker) couldn’t have imagined almost an entire lineup that would underperform so dramatically far below career numbers.

    It should come as no surprise that only Prado has outperformed his career numbers. Just a glimpse, only 26 games, but consider:

    Prado: 337/397/452 = 848
    Career: 312/366/453 = 819
    He’s +33 in ’09

    McCann: 257/407/400 = 807
    Career: 292/357/494 = 852
    He’s -45 in ’09

    Glaus: 226/327/321 = 648
    Career: 255/359/494 = 853
    He’s -205 in ’09

    Escobar: 215/295/266 = 561
    Career: 297/370/417 = 788
    He’s -227 in ’09

    Diaz: 180/226/240 = 466
    Career: 305/353/451 = 804
    He’s -338 in ’09 (ouch)

    Chipper: 222/385/375 = 760
    Career: 307/406/539 = 945
    He’s -185 in ’09

    Melky: 202/295/238 = 533
    Career: 267/330/379 = 709
    He’s -176 in ’09

    McLouth: 176/305/309 = 614
    Career: 257/340/448 = 788
    He’s -175 in ’09

    Kind of unbelievable.

  18. 23,
    First of all, he made $2.825 million in 2009 during his first arb year and he hit .224/.303/.389. There’s no way he’d make $5 million in arbitration (unless Omar Minaya was handling the case). Something like $3.5 million sounds about right. Secondly, why do you have to trade him? Why can’t you have two players that are capable of starting at 2B on the same roster? There was plenty of room on the roster to retain him in a ~300 PA role between backing up 2B, corner OF, pinch hitting, etc. and he’d be worth the $3.5 million (or even $5 million) even as a part-timer.

    24,
    Look, there is a difference between fundamentally sucking and results sucking. Kelly Johnson’s results sucked last year, but that had a lot more to do with some poor luck on balls in play than anything he was directly responsible for. He was the same guy he’d always been.

  19. KJ was plenty responsible for his results. And so is this year’s lineup, filled with all-stars, career .300 hitters & a Melky.

  20. Amazed at how people just looked at the current result and not remembering why things happened. At the same time, seems like nobody cares about how terrible Javy is pitching for the Yankees.

  21. Also amazed at how the ongoing KJ debate is unfolding.

    “We should’ve kept KJ.”

    “No, he sucked last year.”

    “I think that’s because TP pressured him into a bad approach.”

    “No, he sucked last year. Just plain bad.”

    “Or it could be that he had bad luck on balls put in play.”

    “No, he sucked.”

    “Isn’t the question *why* he sucked? And how likely he was to continue that decline?”

    “He sucked because he sucked. Get over it.”

    “Chipper sucked too. Should we have put him out to pasture too?”

    “…KJ sucks.”

    “We could’ve even found ways to start both KJ and Prado. KJ almost signed with the Jays to play LF.”

    “CAN’T YOU HEAR ME I SAID HE SUCKED.”

  22. Nobody would’ve even considered non tendering Kelly Johnson if he’d hit .275/.348/.440 last year. The difference in that and his .224/.303/.389 line is 15 singles, or 63 points of BABIP, or the difference in his xBABIP and his actual BABIP.

  23. Given the budget, handed to him Wren did a good job over the off season. The only move I disagreed with was the KJ non-tender but I understood that why he did it. Martin Prado is costing a fraction of what KJ would have and is playing very well right now.

    KJ is playing really well now but be sure to take a look at his home road splits. The park effects are dramatic.

    Again for those that pine for the big pocketed owner, take heed and look at the fucking mess named the LA Dodgers. All it takes is a D-I-V-O-R-C-E to screw up a team. The Pads I know are in 1st but I’ll be stunned if they maintain that pace. Hell outside of AGon they are virtually a triple A team.

    ububba’s point is well taken, everyone is sucking right now except Prado and it seems our 20 year old RF. No GM counts on 7 of his top 10 or so players to underperform. There is no contingency for that whatsoever.

    IIRC the difference between Glaus and LaRoche ended up being around 6 million and at the time Rochy was asking for 10 million per year over a 3 year contract. He priced himself out of Atlanta.

  24. I got so mad at the IBB yesterday. Although Heyward = God, pitch to him!! You cowards. He’s a 20 year old rookie!

    I’m just mad that a 20 year old is carrying this team and the best protection we can get him is !@#$ng Melky.

  25. Ububba-

    Good call…yes, I am a frothing knee jerker.

    As many of you, I’m incredibly frustrated over the results these last few years.

  26. FYI KJ’s 2010 road split:

    .240/.316/.400

    He’s found a park where his flyballs become HRs, and good for him. As Sam Hutcheson mentioned, Turner Field kills moderate left-handed power. Only 16 of KJ’s 45 career HRs prior to ’10 came at Turner. He was a bad fit for our home park, and we had a good, cheap option.

    So I don’t blame Wren for that decision — the problem is the Lowe contract. Our subsequent roster problems cascaded from there.

  27. i’m hoping that Schafer’s wrist is healed and he puts some solid numbers together the next few weeks…and then he could put an end to the Melky era

  28. the bad sign is it only took one month for teams to start pitching around Heyward. He may lead the league in OBP by the end of the season if they keep him in front of Melky.

    You cant blame Wren for trading Vasquez, who is a career #3 starter getting paid $11mil (also getting shelled again), to free up salary. I just wish that salary had been spent somewhere instead of put in Liberty Media’s pocket. Im not buying the “incentives put us at the same salary” talk.

    The Braves made the right move with KJ. That would be like offering Melky arb after this season. Or Francoeur after last season. I just wish that they had tried to bring him back at a lower salary and given him a shot at LF. However, most people had faith that Diaz had turned himself into an everyday LF’r. Most people also thought that McLouth would be stronger and Chipper would come back to his normal numbers. Definitely didnt see McCann struggling this much either.

    Wren put the pieces in place for this team to be competitive. For some reason, 8-9 of the regulars arent getting the job done.

  29. DWonder – I agree

    So what has KK had to work with so far? 7 runs in 5 starts. He hasnt been great by any means, but I wonder how he’d pitch with a sizeable lead. Those hanging, yes hanging, curveballs are his problem and BMac needs to quit calling for them when he’s ahead in the count

  30. As much as Bobby’s eternal optimism annoys me, having been at the game last night, I have to agree with him and Robert–the Braves hit a lot of balls hard but right at people. (It was sort of amusing watching some of the hitters almost falling down trying to hit 65 mph change ups.) Glaus hit every ball right on the nose and it took two miraculous catches to keep him from driving in 3 or 4 runs. And, geez, Heyward just hit the shit out of that ball. It was 420 if it was a foot; a line drive that left the yard in a second. I saw him hit a ball like that in ST last year. Wow! I thought Livian would give a young hitter like Jason problems, but he handled it fine–Francouer would have been twisted like a pretzel trying to hit the ball.

    Also, Kawakami wasn’t great by any means, but he wasn’t that bad. After all, he is supposed to be the number five starter. The team was still in the game until the arsonists came in from the bullpen.

  31. KK is fine for a fifth starter, not great , but acceptable.

    One consistent theme I have noticed this year though is that all the other teams we are losing to look younger and faster.

    Our team move like a bunch of Dinosaurs with only a couple exceptions.

  32. At least Bobby should try a Diaz/Hinske left field platoon but alas he’ll run Melky out there for another month if history repeats itself.

  33. @39
    The Raul Mondesi experiment lasted 155 plate appearances. Melky has not even been as productive as that fiasco!

    He’s killin’us, Bobby. Above platoon would at least be entertaining.

  34. I’m all for getting Diaz a few more PAs to see if he can get out of his funk (and Hinske should be passable offensively, if not up to par with “normal” LF numbers… which is better than we can say for what Melky, Diaz, McLouth have done so far)

  35. I’m still a big Wren supporter. This team has had a lot of bad luck so far.

    Looking at the performances of Hudson and Vazquez, I think it’s fair to say Wren made the right call. The budget only had room for one of those guys, and Wren chose wisely.

    I don’t know what kind of effort was made to resign KJ after the non-tender, and I definitely would have offered more than Arizona is paying him. He’s making less than Diaz and a bit more than Omar. I don’t know what went down, though. He could have taken less (or equal) money for a starting job where he could have a year to showcase his abilities. If he keeps this up, he’ll make a lot of money next year, and he wouldn’t have had that chance playing part-time in Atlanta.

    This team doesn’t have the kind of ownership that allows them to keep all of their good players. Wren is doing the best he can.

    Paying $15 million each for Lowe’s age 38 and age 39 seasons probably hurt the team, though. As excited as I was to get Lowe at the time, the second half of that contract was always in the back of my mind. It turns out that the first half was bad, too, though I don’t think anyone knew that. That’s six Kelly Johnsons.

  36. Last night I turned on the radio around 6:00 and they said something about “Knowing Ernie” and a “great loss” and I almost broke down. I thought they were talking about EJ, Sr (didn’t immediately flip to Harwell in my mind).

    That day will be a rough one when it comes for a lot of the older fans like me.

  37. Just looking over the gamelogs and Melky has started all but 3 games. The Braves run totals when Melky doesn’t start-7,6 and 10-all wins. Why Bobby refuses to see that he is KILLING the offense in beyond me. Obviously last night was the perfect example, Braves would get a rally going and then we’d all realize Melky was due up and we had no chance of scoring. It’s eerily similar to last year where opposing pitchers had places to go in our lineup for virtually guaranteed outs.

  38. melky’s had his opportunity to succeed and has failed miserably. it’s time for plan b, which should have been plan A all along: diaz.

    …and why matt diaz has to prove himself year after year baffles me. hinske and diaz as a platoon team would be great, but probably wont happen while bobby’s captain.

  39. If Coach were still around:
    ‘You damn nimrods! Melky is a winner! Thats spelled w-i-n-n-e-r for you amatuers out there. He STARTED for a WORLD CHAMPION!!!!! You damn stathead pencil heads don’t know didly about the game. Now go do some math and get back to me later.’

  40. Looks like Matt has started 11 games to Melky’s 24? I’m a fan of Matt, and even though he hasn’t hit for crap this year he’s enough better than Melky (offensively) during his career that he SHOULD be getting more starts.

  41. @46 – Always and forever, the Old Righthander is the voice of the Braves.

    Lowe’s salary has ben a burden. So has Chipper’s, and two fluke hits don’t mean he’s reclaimed his youth (with apologies to PWH’s article).

  42. I dont know why they dont play Matt more, maybe they think Melky is going to go Mickey Mantle on us, or are they showcasing him for a trade? Glaus has done less that what I thought, basically, besides Prado and Heyward we are fielding a little league team. Its early (still thank God) but its going to be June soon, and this team isnt going to cut it. Its a fluke that all these guys are sucking at the same time, maybe we can turn it around, I dont know, I dont get to see many games, I live in the Rays region, they have been fun to watch atleast.

    PS Kawakami Sucks

    That is all

  43. Agree about Ernie Johnson, Sr. Always loved listening to him. I will never forget his call in 1983 on Bob Watson’s walk-off in the 9th against the Dodgers.

  44. Mark @54,

    And you are that old too?

    I am almost sure I remember the same game.

    Roughly mid July. Week night (I think). And “the Bull” took one out. After that, the Braves went on a tear.

    People have a tendency ot overlook how good the Bull was. I think he was 38 or 39 and not to effective against righthanders, but he was still an absolute lefty killer. They platooned him with Chris Chambliss that year and got pretty decent production out of 1 B.

  45. I seem to remember that game was a Saturday night. I was 14 years old and it was a great memory. Definitely mid year game – July or August.

  46. It’s hard to imagine a better 3 man announcing crew of Ernie Johnson, Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren.

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