Braves 5, Nats 0

Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – June 28, 2010 – ESPN.

Stephen Strasburg was quite good. His team, not so much. The game was a scoreless tie through six. The Braves had a run-scoring chance in the first, but Melky was thrown out at home trying to score on a shallow single by McCann; I have no idea how a guy who is supposedly a centerfielder could not score with two out on any single to the outfield. After that, the Braves did very little until the seventh. Tim Hudson was not as impressive as Strasburg, but in the end equally effective, pitching around some shaky defense.

The Nats had a golden chance to get a run in the top of the seventh, with a leadoff double and a bunt to get the runner to third. But the eighth-place hitter struck out (for the third time tonight) and the Nats let Strasburg hit for himself, because he’s their best pitcher and hadn’t thrown too many pitches. He grounded out, and then only got one out in the seventh.

It wasn’t his fault, really. The first two runners, sure — Chipper walked on four pitches, and McCann hit a ringing single. But Glaus hit a perfect double-play ball that the shortstop completely botched to load the bases. Hinske followed with a sac fly to score the game’s first run, with McCann moving to third. Yunel hit a clean single to make it 2-0 and chase Strasburg. Blanco bunted in Glaus, reaching first as well, and Infante hit another possible double play ball that was botched even worse, two Nats infielders looking like a Cirque de Soleil act at third base. It was somehow scored a hit, and no error even with Yunel scoring from second and Blanco going all the way to third on the play, and how that works I have no idea. Blanco scored on a Prado sac fly to make it 5-0.

Venters blew through the eighth on eleven pitches, but had a few problems in the ninth, walking two and causing Wagner to warm up, before rallying with a strikeout and a groundout. I hope we don’t need him tomorrow.

138 thoughts on “Braves 5, Nats 0”

  1. I would guess that Diaz will be activated in Heyward’s place — Peanut already says that Jurrjens is coming up, but do we really need thirteen pitchers?

  2. At least there’s evidently no structural damage with Heyward, the Braves just want him to rest his thumb.

  3. Blanco and the Melk Dud are picking up the slack so putting Heyward on the DL right now is sound.

    Now DOB says Diaz is being activated tomorrow. Still probably Hicks going down.

  4. well we do have 12 straight games vs our division. Id love to have Heyward ready to go, but he’s not helping at all while hurting. So does the DL do anything with his service time now?

  5. 10 — Nope.

    8 — I think Diaz is replacing Heyward on the 25 man. Which would mean either Hicks or the extra pitcher would be here until Wednesday when JJ returns.

  6. seems a little premature to bring diaz, a notoriously slow starter, up after 3 rehab games.

    i gotta say, i really enjoy watching blanco succeed. he plays hard and deserves this opportunity.

  7. I could have done without those middle innings when the home plate ump called every Strasburg pitch within six inches of either side of the plate a strike.

    Do you really think Hicks is even capable of warming the bench? I figured he was room temperature.

    I always think that teams carry too many pitchers but it seems like we are always carrying around one position player who is absolutely worthless (Diory) so maybe not.

  8. @20..totally agree. That 3-2 called strike on Blanco was ridiculous. So if Heyward is not going, who are the Braves allstars….Huddy, Prado, Wagner or Glaus. Dbacks and Nats, just terrible defensive clubs.

  9. @21 How on earth can you forget about “The Winner”? Derek Lowe is not only an All-Star, he is a freaking All-Galaxy.

  10. Well, I am 3 for 3 in games this year. Got two walkoffs in my other wins, so I’ve picked some good games to go to.

    Before the season I predicted the Braves All Stars would be BMac, Yunel, Wagner, and Hudson. 3 out of 4 wouldn’t be bad.

  11. To be fair, Heyward has played himself out of the All-Star game at this point.

    I still expect him to finish off an impressive rookie year once he gets back healthy, but there are more deserving players now. Josh Willingham is more deserving, for example–to take a randomly acceptable alternative.

  12. @34- False.

    @35- I agree. If he’d just gone on the DL a month ago and come back swinging, he’d probably have made it. Shame, really.

  13. “That kid [Strasburg] had everything to lose. Everybody was expecting him to throw 100 mph, blow 14 people away and be pinpoint perfect. They forgot to tell him he was playing against a pretty damn good ball team.”

    I love Billy Wagner.

  14. If anybody has not gotten over to Fangraphs to read the fun impending Carlos Beltran return and what it means for Pagan/Frenchy, I think everybody here will get a kick out of this article, and especially the comments:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/making-sense-of-the-fourth-outfielder-fallacy/

    You have to love that ‘team chemistry’ and he had ‘100+ RBI two years in a row’ are being the only points of strength for Frenchy. As you can imagine, that stuff doesn’t really fly around Fangraphs.

  15. 23, Re: Pimpbot 16, he has to be on the all-star team. We can all agree that he has had a subpar Pimpbot 16 year so far, but he still leads all catchers in OBP, OPS and wOBA, which I found kinda surprising.

  16. My favorite part of the fan graph article.

    ” Gary Matthews Jr. can go home and buy really cool stuff with his tens of millions of dollars.”

    – That was funny.

  17. How ’bout some love for Gregor Blanco? We’ve needed that speed in our lineup for a long time.

    Properly utilized, I think he can really help this club.

    I say we don’t trade Hanson for Kemp and let Gregor show what he can do in CF.

  18. I think Blanco has played as well as possible. I like him. He isn’t the most talented player and has his weaknesses, but he plays hard and every team needs a guy like him.

  19. I wouldnt trade Hanson for Kemp. Blanco in CF and hitting 8th, doesnt hurt this team at all. He’s always fighting at the plate and will probably do a good job of clearing the pitchers spot in most situations.

    #43 – I dont know what to say, but how?

  20. I tell you what, I would trade any pitcher on the Braves straight up for Strasburg right now–and that’s not a criticism of the Braves pitchers. Strasburg is getting absolutely no help from the pathetic Nationals. They have scored a total of one run in his last three starts. He was dominating until the 7th and, even then, he made the pitch he needed to make and would probably have gotten out of the inning if Desmond doesn’t make a Little League play. The Braves did a good job of taking advantage, but I don’t see how anyone can really criticize Strasburg. Yeah, he put a couple of runners on base, but so did Hudson.

    No doubt this is the best team he pitched against and Chipper, although not the player he was, is by far the highest stature hitter he has faced.

    As for Heyward, why the hell didn’t Bobby or someone take him out and sit him down. It’s been pretty obvious for some time that he was hurt; you’re telling me the manager couldn’t tell? Whether or not Heyward would admit it, it’s the job of the coaching and training staff to see these things.

    And, no more headfirst slides.

  21. I honestly thought Strasburg might have a few more walks than he did against us. He did a really nice job of keeping his pitch count low. I only recall about two hard hit balls off of him and both were singles by Yunel and Bmac. The ump gave him a lot of borderline calls on his fastball, but missed several curves that were strikes as well. Its getting to the point where some might ask why do we even have umps anymore?

  22. I like that Blanco isn’t an easy out. I was watching a game at some wings place, and with runners on base, multiple people were shouting for him to get a hit. I shouted, “Please just don’t get out.” People laughed.

    He walked. I was pleased.

    Guys who get on base a lot are pretty useful. Like that Twins game when it was tied in the ninth, and he walked with one out, eventually scoring the only other run of the night for the win.

    I am extremely pleased with Blanco, and I’ve been very impressed with his not-getting-out abilities this year. I hope he can keep it up. He’s also pretty young to be showing this kind of patience. He doesn’t have power, but I think that’s okay if you’re a CF who gets on base 40% of the time.

    Strasburg is amazing. When the Nats get more than two players who can make basic throws and hit the baseball reasonably well, they’ll be really dangerous in over 20% of their games.

  23. Rickey says headfirst slides are faster, so I believe him. The trick, obviously, is to not get hurt doing it, which others have managed.

  24. next player to slide headfirst has to do 10 pushups on the field ala Willie Mays Hays.

  25. Wild Idea Alert:

    Anybody else think it wouldn’t be the dumbest idea in the world to go to a six man rotation? It would stretch out the days between starts for Hanson and Medlen, keeping their innings pitched down. Of course Bobby would have to ‘suffer’ with only a six man ‘pen, so it would raise his stress level considerably…

  26. @49

    As for Heyward, why the hell didn’t Bobby or someone take him out and sit him down. It’s been pretty obvious for some time that he was hurt; you’re telling me the manager couldn’t tell? Whether or not Heyward would admit it, it’s the job of the coaching and training staff to see these things.

    _____________________________________________________________________

    I can’t agree more….Cox, Pendleton, Wren, the trainers…..all asleep at the wheel on this. The same thing happened with Shafer last year, yet they missed it again this year. When you see a player’s performance drop off markedly, the first thing you have to ask is “is he healthy”. With Heyward, I could see him having slumps, all rookies do, but he wasn’t hitting many balls hard and after a week or so, someone should have picked up on the fact he wasn’t 100% despite what he may or may not have told them. I just find it hard to beleive his injury was a big surprise to the people on the insode of this organization. If Strasburg were to get a paper cut he’d be admitted to Johns Hopkins and the Nationals would bring in House to treat him.

  27. Even if headfirst slides are faster, they are obviously more dangerous. I would rather have a player get thrown out once in a while than potentially lose him for a month. Just because others have managed to not get hurt sliding headfirst doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. I bet that more guys get hurt doing headfirst slides than doing conventional slides. Didn’t Furcal get hurt while he was a Brave sliding headfirst?

    @56,

    We need to send something to Nijer Morgan. He is one of the worst leadoff men I have ever seen.

  28. I understand that everybody is entitled to their own opinions, and I have absolutely no problem with that, but can people PLEASE stop talking about Hanson to the pen, trading Hanson for whoever and so on? Bravesjournal is so much better than that!!!

    What is next? Love towards Frenchy?

  29. Do the Marlins really think Bobby Valentine is better than Fredi Gonzales, or is that just a rumor?

  30. If sliding headfirst is faster, then why doesn’t Usain Bolt do that when he runs the 100m??

  31. Well, it’s obviously not faster than running. But when stealing a base, you have to account for stopping. I think Rickey’s point is that head-first slides are faster than feet-first slides. Makes intuitive sense, to me, but I have no idea whether it’s true.

  32. Watching Gregor run last night, you’ll see his pronounced forward lean that all really fast runners execute. Sliding forward from this position is probably faster than leaning back and leading with your feet.

    But that’s a guess. Probably not worth it.

  33. Obviously maintaining acceleration is the fastest way to get from point A to Point B, and when you slide, you give up the acceleration. In addition, you’ll lose speed by having friction generated between your body and the ground. So by running through the base (first base in this instance) instead of diving, a runner saved about half a second on his total time from home to first.

    (Yes, I saw the Sports Science segment on this very topic.)

    In the case of going to second and/or third base, a slide is useful not to get there faster, but to decelerate more quickly, and to remain on the base, ensuring you aren’t tagged out by overruning the base.

    Home is the oddball where a slide is useful more as an evasion tactic rather than a deceleration tool, as home sees more blocking of the base than the others.

    Or so it seems to me, anyway…

  34. I could have done without those middle innings when the home plate ump called every Strasburg pitch within six inches of either side of the plate a strike.

    Irony.

  35. It’s probably true, but much of Rickey’s value was in stealing bases, so it was important to get there as fast as possible. Heyward’s value is in his bat and, given the importance of healthy hands to hitting, I would rather he take the slower but safer route.

  36. Do the Marlins really think Bobby Valentine is better than Fredi Gonzales, or is that just a rumor?

    If they do, do you have any evidence that they would be mistaken in that belief?

  37. What’s up with all of the Gregor Blanco infatuations these days? Dude’s hitting 296/424/333 over 33 freaking at bats. If you think he’s going to maintain the OBP while slugging nothing you’re insane.

    He’s a reasonably useful backup CF. That is all.

  38. I would love to add Kemp, we clearly could use another bat in the outfield. But NO WAY we should trade Hudson. He’s the only consistent #1 starter we have.

  39. Gregor is what he is. He walks a lot and has no power, and if he can control the strikeouts at all and hit .280 he’s a valuable spare part. You can do a lot worse, and we have.

  40. Nobody’s infatuated with Blanco. He’s been playing solid since coming up and he’s been getting credit for it. That is all.

  41. @75, Valentine certainly didn’t get any love in the NY papers, but most NY papers are trash. Just seems to me that Fredi wasn’t the problem with the Marlins but he’s taking the fall anyway. Maybe I’m wrong.

  42. Blanco is decent. Plays excellent defense, is fast, battles at the plate and can take walks. As Mac said, he’s the perfect 4th outfielder.

    We’re forced to start him because Heyward is now on the DL, McClouth is both hurt and he completely sucks, and the kid is out there playing at his maximum best.

    I know Melky isn’t quite as bad now as he was when he arrived, but when Heyward is off the DL, I’d much rather see Melky mired on our bench, with Heyward and Blanco and a Hinske/Diaz platoon. But Bobby lovesssss Melky & unfortunately, McClouth won’t stay hurt forever.

    Would the Dodgers be interested in doing McClouth and say 2 good young arms for Kemp? We’ll throw in Melky!

  43. I’m all for playing the guy who gives us more than Gregor.

    I just can’t identify that centerfielder on this roster or in the farm system.

    It’s hard to quantify the value of speed, but last night was a pretty good anecdotal sampling.

    With Heyward down and Diaz just returning, I see this as our best short-term outfield (until we trade Hanson for Kemp, of course :)

    LF – Hinske / Diaz platoon
    CF – Blanco
    RF – Melky (if we must – I’d be tempted to put Infante out there)

    Gregor in in the 8-spot should mean we clear the pitcher more often than putting Melky there.

  44. Jeffrey Loria is an insane moron. He and the NY media are a perfect mix. Bunch of idiots. Freddi unconscience is a better manager than Bobby V and his stupid fake glasses.

  45. On head first versus feet first slides, Will Carroll is always saying ‘neither way is safer’, citing some study that I’ve never bothered to read. So…for what that’s worth.

  46. #83

    I would also rather have Infante or Brooks Conrad, out there than Melky. Sorry, I know Melky is hitting a little but I can’t help it – I just HATE THE GUY. I hate his stupid, fat face. He’s a Yankee who thinks he’s too big time to be in Atlanta and he’s not even any good.

    And his fat mug is a reminder of that awful offseason trade. As diehard a Braves fan as I am, I just loathe Melky Cabrera. He’s impossible to root for.

  47. Nobody’s infatuated with Blanco.

    I have to disagree. People suggesting that he should be the starting CF are infatuated. He’s a useful fourth OF. That is all.

  48. btw, I have seen two people break a foot when sliding in feet first. I dont buy the whole sliding head first is faster idea, but injuries can happen either way

  49. And his fat mug is a reminder of that awful offseason trade.

    Three pitchers:

    Year ERA ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
    2010 4.42 92 1.39 8.8 0.7 3.7 5.2 1.41
    2010 5.16 79 1.307 7.9 1.6 3.8 7.6 1.97
    2010 4.48 90 1.397 9.5 1 3.1 6.2 2.04

    Don’t let facts get in the way, kiddo.

  50. BP did an article on the Top 10 Managerial candidates. It’s prescription-only, but I figured I’d share this one:

    link:
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=11334

    Dave Brundage
    Age: 44
    Current Position: Manager of the Braves’ Triple-A Gwinnett farm club.
    Background: Brundage spent seven seasons as a minor-league outfielder then 14 years working in the Mariners’ farm system from 1993-2006, four as a hitting coach and 10 as a manager. He has been a manager in the Braves’ farm system the last four seasons.
    Why He is Qualified: This is all you need to know about Brundage: Those close to the Braves believe if they stay inside the organization to replace the retiring Bobby Cox at the end of the season that Brundage will likely be general manager Frank Wren’s choice. Though Brundage has never played or coached in the major leagues, his knowledge of the game and ability to communicate and motivate would allow him to overcome any experience disadvantage.

  51. I still cant believe we are discussing the Vasquez trade, its kind of like the Soriano deal. It had to be done and we got equal if not better value. Melky is the worst piece. Im not complaining about making the cash available to get Glaus or Hinkse either

  52. I went to the game last night–fun to see 42,000 at the Ted and fun to get a W against Strasburg while the Mets and Phils were both losing. The kid pitched well, much better than the defense behind him played, but I was surprised he got to face Hinske. He was looked done by that point and his gun readings around 90 rather than upper 90s.

    I like Blanco ok and am glad he’s playing decently this season (especially glad to see McOut of the lineup). But I think Blanco’s more of a 4th OF than a starting CF on a team aiming for the playoffs.

  53. I still cant believe we are discussing the Vasquez trade

    I know, right? I’m sometimes astounded by people’s ability to ignore basic facts.

  54. Sam Hutcheson,

    I agree with you a lot of the time.

    But man, when you bring that declarative, “I’m right, so why are we discussing this?’ crap, you really drive me nuts.

  55. @93

    Not to mention the possibility of being able to turn Vizcaino into something else if we need it. Like Matt Kemp. Or Corey Hart.

    Also, I would trade Hanson straight-up for Boesch on PS3. I’m sure he can play LF just fine while Heyward sits in RF.

  56. I like Blanco ok and am glad he’s playing decently this season (especially glad to see McOut of the lineup).

    When fully recovered from the concussion, Nate McLouth is a far superior starting MLB CF than Gregor Blanco.

  57. He’s really more of a fifth outfielder. But if we’re carrying five outfielders, I like having him. I really enjoy watching him play.

  58. best part of the game was watching Strasburg walk off the field last night to a standing tomahawk chop. Crowd was loud and into it. Loved it

  59. But man, when you bring that declarative, “I’m right, so why are we discussing this?’ crap, you really drive me nuts.

    No it doesn’t.

    No I don’t. (It’s all timing.)

  60. Melky has a better arm than Blanco. Nobody talks about it because they hate Melky so much, but he’s got a good arm and, yes, he’s been hitting.

    Still, I’ll admit to a minor infatuation with Blanco, while knowing his obvious drawbacks.

    Just last Friday night, in a tight game we won 3-1, batting down in the lineup, Blanco went 0 for 1 with 3 walks & a run.

    That’s what I’m talking about. He squeezes the most out of what he’s got—and I always root for that.

  61. When fully recovered from the concussion, Nate McLouth is a far superior starting MLB CF than Gregor Blanco.

    You’re going to anger the Blanco fans.

  62. He squeezes the most out of what he’s got and I always root for that.

    That’s understandable. I have no issue with liking the scrappy guy doing what he can with what he has. I have no problem riding him until his OBP starts to drop from the crest he’s currently riding. I start to squint slant-eyed a bit when people start suggesting he’s a legitimate starting CF option going forward, or better than reasonably talented if not All-Star calibre players like Nate McLouth.

  63. For Vazquez the Braves basically got $9 million, some prospects, and some guy. The ‘some guy’ part might suck but the $9 million and prospects don’t.

  64. I still think we try to acquire another RH outfielder….for the life of me, I cant understand why they dont promote Jones from Gwinnette, all the guy has done is rip the cover off the ball, what more do they want? The guy has averaged 20+ HR’s all through the minors, why not give him an extended try instead of Diaz? Just a thought.

  65. I still think we try to acquire another RH outfielder….for the life of me, I cant understand why they dont promote Jones from Gwinnette, all the guy has done is rip the cover off the ball, what more do they want? The guy has averaged 20+ HR’s all through the minors, why not give him an extended try instead of Diaz? Just a thought.

    Maybe the coaches and managers who see him every day, who report every week up to the franchise general management in Atlanta, see an obvious hole in his swing that Major League pitchers would exploit in spectacular fashion. It’s not like we’re the first organization to see enough in Mitch Jones to start him in AAA but not enough to promote him to the bigs.

  66. Jones has a .300 OBP.

    Which means he is feasting (for power) on bad AAA pitchers. He’d be eaten alive in the majors.

  67. You guys beat me to it regarding Jones. I was very hopeful when we signed him, but unless he learns some plate discipline, his ceiling is Brooks Conrad with less speed and defensive ability.

  68. We were frustrated that the braves could not dump Lowe on anybody. 45 million left in the contract. Braves eat 33% and the other team pays him 10 a year for 3 years.

    And that’s the 10 million relief the team needed.

    The story is that they could not find a suitor. A lot of us remain skeptical.

    The team is winning and we are all happy about it. Still, i like coming to this blog because of it’s critical nature. I like discussing Javier/Melky, KJ/Church, Saito/Wagner, Gonzalez/Soriano.

    Go braves!

  69. Melky has a better arm than Blanco. Nobody talks about it because they hate Melky so much, but he’s got a good arm and, yes, he’s been hitting.

    Yeah, I like Melky up there. Obviously the suck April he shared with half the roster are still dragging down his numbers, but he’s pretty much the average-ish outfielder I thought we were getting. And considering some of the outfielders we have run out there in the past few seasons, average-ish is a refreshing improvement.

    Blanco is a good 25th man, but really, the more he plays, the less you’ll like him.

  70. #115 – I’m not at all skeptical they couldn’t find a trade partner for Lowe, I think that contract became untradeable when the ink was still wet from Lowe’s signature.

    I still cant believe we are discussing the Vasquez trade, its kind of like the Soriano deal. It had to be done and we got equal if not better value.

    I’m pretty excited we got equal value from the Soriano (2-0, 1.63, 18 Sv) deal. I had no idea Jesse Chavez’ agent and/or Mom posted on this blog.

  71. The story is that they could not find a suitor. A lot of us remain skeptical.

    Could you elaborate on why you “remain skeptical?” What is the alternative narrative that accounts for Lowe being pitched all winter but never moved, and then Vazquez being moved, if not “they couldn’t find a suitor” for Lowe? I’m at a loss as to what the alternative is, and thus why you remain “skeptical” of the established narrative. Please explain?

  72. I’m pretty excited we got equal value from the Soriano (2-0, 1.63, 18 Sv) deal. I had no idea Jesse Chavez’ agent and/or Mom posted on this blog.

    You’re not accounting properly. The equation you have to balance is:

    Chavez + Billy Wagner

    vs

    Soriano + the next relief option (Jo-Jo Reyes?)

  73. Melky reminds me of Lawrence Fishburne with hair.

    I like Gregor Blanco’s effort too, but I sure hope he goes back to being a 5th outfielder soon.

    So, if we have to trade a pitcher for a hitter, who do you trade?
    Jurrjens, Medlen, Vizcaino, Delgado, Tehreran, Minor? IMHO these are the players the Braves would consider trading and those that get a quality player in return. I only posit this because I’m scared that McLouth won’t make it back and doubly scared that Heyward may take a lot of time to shake off the rust. I don’t see us running Gregor and Melky out for the remainder of the season as starters and continuing to win.

  74. Looks like Seat Painter is linking to what DOB was just saying on Twitter:

    @ajcbraves ESPN.com report says Utley headed for DL. Perhaps Prado will get his start in All-Star game after all

  75. I love the Prado… but I can’t justify, in any way, having him start over a healthy Utley, a greater player who is having a better year at the plate (it’s close, but Utley has been a little better) is a far superior defensive player and baserunner and much, much more famous. If Utley’s hurt, though, no problem.

  76. So, if we have to trade a pitcher for a hitter, who do you trade? Jurrjens, Medlen, Vizcaino, Delgado, Tehreran, Minor?

    It depends. What is the package coming back? What are the primary needs of the team we’re dealing with? How do they value MLB-ready talent vs potential future talent? What is the contract status of the talent returning to Atlanta? Without having more details I don’t think it’s possible to rationally discuss the value and dangers of potential deals.

  77. Right, I saw the tweet and thought you guys would like to read the report. And yes, if Utley is healthy, he should start over The Prado.

  78. You’re not accounting properly. The equation you have to balance is:

    Chavez + Billy Wagner

    vs

    Soriano + the next relief option (Jo-Jo Reyes?)

    Nice job using Jo-Jo to try to skew the argument. Wouldn’t expect anything less from you Sam. The correct name is Craig Kimbrel.

    Anyway nothing amuses me more than the ‘we had to give Vasquez and Soriano away, we were over budget’ defense. As if somehow managing the budget so you don’t have to just give away assets isn’t in the GM job description. Oh no, you can’t criticize him for signing a crappy starting pitcher and as a result having to give away a better starting pitcher and your closer, that’s just the way the budget worked out.

  79. Kawakami for Corey Hart. Vizcaino, Melky, and Diaz for Cliff Lee. Get ‘em done.

    Can’t believe I haven’t gotten a single bite on these awesome proposals. Come on, people!

  80. @131

    I’m only biting on proposals that bring Pujols to Atlanta. I’m thinking that a combination of Jo-Jo, Melky, and a couple of B prospects should work.[/dream]

  81. Anyway nothing amuses me more than the ‘we had to give Vasquez and Soriano away, we were over budget’ defense. As if somehow managing the budget so you don’t have to just give away assets isn’t in the GM job description. Oh no, you can’t criticize him for signing a crappy starting pitcher and as a result having to give away a better starting pitcher and your closer, that’s just the way the budget worked out.

    You can criticize, but if you want me to take your critique seriously you have to account for the fact that Derek Lowe is having a better season in 2010 than Javy Vazquez, and the fact that the money saved on Soriano was actually spent on Billy Wagner, who has equalled if not betterd Soriano in 2010.

    As for Craig Kimbrel, are you sure the best long term decision is to have a green fireballer with significant control problems sit for days on end and then only pitch mop-up when he gets in games at all? I’m pretty sure Kimbrell is and would be better served pitching regularly in the minors, regardless of Chavez’ status on the team. Considering that Kimbrel is in fact back in the minors, the answer to “who replaces Chavez” would be “The Lisp” at best.

  82. @130, True, we could blame Liberty for the sucky budget

    @131, I’m still waiting for us to acquire Edgar Renteria and swap him immediately for Miggy Cabrera.

    @132, to get Pujols, I think we need to offer him $10million a year for 6 years, and throw in a full no-trade clause, and a no-HR-derby clause. That way, he can easily field questions about the HR Derby without offending the sensitive fans who so eagerly want to see him swing for the fences. Avoiding that hassle has to be worth about $10mil a year.

  83. “#118 – I’m pretty excited we got equal value from the Soriano (2-0, 1.63, 18 Sv) deal. I had no idea Jesse Chavez’ agent and/or Mom posted on this blog.”

    Robert, sorry I just figured that people could learn some basic trading/baseball/economic knowledge. Unfortunately, you’re one of those who just believes the Braves can just pay their way and have an unlimited budget. We had Wagner and Saito on the books, you really think we couldve afforded Soriano too? We unloaded a $7 mil reliever with injury concerns. Im sure every team was knocking down Wren’s door for that opportunity.

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