Marlins 7, Braves 6

Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins – Box Score – July 23, 2010 – ESPN.

Argh. What a way to lose. After the Braves came back from 4-1 down to tie, then from 5-4 in the ninth to take the lead, Billy Wagner blew his second consecutive save to lose the game.

Derek Lowe allowed a two-run homer to Uggla in the first, then settled down for the next four innings. The Braves got one run back on a solo homer from Prado, then Lowe, as he so often does, fell apart in and couldn’t get out of the sixth, allowing two runs on a two-out single after loading the bases. The Human White Flag managed to get out of it, somehow.

But in the seventh, McCann stepped forward with a two-out, three-run homer. (You could see it coming when the LOOGY tried to throw him low and in; lefthanders just shouldn’t throw him straight stuff there.) However, Moylan allowed a monster homer in the bottom of the inning. I think there’s something seriously wrong with him.

In the ninth, the Braves got off the mat again. Prado doubled leading off, and after Heyward couldn’t get him over (after a ridiculous bunt attempt, he then lined out to short) a brief shower interrupted play. Chipper walked, and McCann came through again with a hard single to right. Troy Glaus worked a walk, then Diaz, pinch-hitting, was hit in the hand, driving in the go-ahead run. Unfortunately, Gonzalez and Infante struck out rather than padding the lead.

Wagner should have struck out Wes Smelms leading off the inning, but the first base umpire called an obvious swing a ball and Smelms walked on the next pitch. After a flyout, the next batter singled, and went to second on a bad throw from Melky. Hanley Ramirez was walked intentionally, then Wagner struck out Uggla. But on the second pitch to the next batter, he threw wild (it was called a passed ball, but it was nowhere near where it was supposed to be) and allowed the tying run to score, then allowed a single to end it. Tired? Old? Ankle bothering him? Or just unlucky?

I should add that Nate Louth repeatedly failed in several situations with runners on base before being double-switched out of the game. He is the Whipping Boy for a reason.

67 thoughts on “Marlins 7, Braves 6”

  1. I feel like I see this kind of g*ddamn bullsh*t every time we come to Florida. I hate the Marlins and their ugly stadium.

  2. I’m not sure I have much faith in Billy to close big games. Bad luck or not he has five blown saves. I think that would be a season for Smoltz. I just sort of expected this.

  3. Seriously, they’re PURE EVIL. This happens again and again down there. Remember the game where Rocker lost the game on a walkoff balk when he dropped the ball?

  4. Doesn’t Florida keep Helms on the roster just for two wins a year against us? When it comes to our division, I’m not a fan of the Mets or Phillies… but I simply DESPISE the @#*!ing Marlins.

    I won’t over-react to this craptastic loss. Lowe started after all… Moylan gives up a rare homer… but I’m more concerned about Wagner’s back-to-back implosions. He’s looked very ordinary the last two times out.

    Sigh… did I mention I hate the @#*!ing Marlins?

  5. And Mac… you’re absolutely right. McLousy doesn’t look any better and actually makes me appreciate the Melk-Dud.

  6. Tough one. So far they have always bounced back all season long after such a heartbreaker. Come on Medlen!

  7. I clearly remember the gem Hudson was throwing in that death trap a few years ago and either Wickman or Kolb blew the save. Can’t remember which one. Danny Haren to the Yankees? Great…

  8. That was Moylan’s first over-the-wall homer since April 2008.

    Yikes, hard to see Wags after the loss. “If I did get hurt, it might be a good thing.”

    I hate the Marlins. Hate hate hate hate the Marlins.

  9. #12 – didnt Willingham hit one off of Moylan a couple of weeks ago?

    yeah, Im about done with Nate too

  10. I would punch Craig Minervini(sp?) in the face if he ever shows up here in St. Augustine.

  11. One fat meatball-throwing, no-strikeouts, pseudo-closer is pretty much like another.

    Moylan gave up a regular homer a couple of weeks ago against Willingham.

  12. Ah, so he did. Poor Moylan. His arm’s gonna look like it ran through a meat grinder by the time he gets out of arbitration.

    I was so happy when we got Wickman. Klobb and Reitsma had been so terrible, I would’ve been happy with almost anyone.

  13. Man just thinking about Kolb and Reitsma just makes me sick. Then Wickman blew at least 3 of Hudson’s game and boy was he fat….geez. So a fight in the dugout in Seattle that didn’t involve Milton Bradley. Losing sucks…

  14. I’m pretty sure Malcolm McDowell was forced to watch Dan Kolb pitch as part of his aversion therapy.

  15. No one could swallow McLouth’s contract, but I’d bet one of Kolb/Wickman could eat the man himself. Insurance money!

  16. Can we teach McCann to play 1B or 3B? Yeah he’s a great offensive catcher and that pitch wasn’t entirely on him.. But let’s be honest. He’s still not a wizard back there by any means. He could get a few more ABs per season that way too.

  17. It’s funny, I had to leave for dinner after the top of the ninth and I had a feeling we would blow it after AGonz and Infante didn’t get the insurance runs home. I guess playing Florida I’ve just been conditioned to expect the worst. At least I didn’t have to watch it.

    But a big night for Prado, so I’m still pleased. If you get a chance, go pull up the highlight of Prado’s homer at mlb.com. An upper deck, 455 foot bomb.

  18. Mets just scored four in the 8th to lead the Dodgers 6-1. So we’re probably going to lose a game on all three teams pursuing us.

  19. McCann at 1st would be just an avg hitter for that position and don’t think he would be mobile enough. He just has to get better behind the plate…period.

  20. Tony, I certainly agree that there is a significant positional advantage at catcher. However, McCann’s hitting is seriously above average for a 1B. A 26 year old with close to six years at 122OPS+ is a hell of a resume. That should only go up too. Barring injury, he hasn’t even begun to swing the bat yet. It ain’t Adrian Gonzalez but it’s a damn sight better than say Derrek Lee or James Loney at this point.

  21. After tonight, McCann is 23rd in the league in RC/27, just ahead of Gaby Sanchez. There are five first basemen ahead of him (you know the names — Votto, Dunn, Pujols, Gonzalez, Howard) and so he’s obviously above the median for the position. And that’s before you assume he’d start to hit better without catcher wear and tear. Problem is, again, Freeman, who can’t reasonably move to another position and looks to be almost as good of a hitter, and certainly a better hitter than Ross.

  22. I agree with whoever it was that said Wagner’s velocity appeared down tonight. He’s been worked hard since the ASB, and he may need a few days off.

  23. Let’s not talk about moving McCann please. It makes my head hurt. I’d rather have a guy who hits the crap out of the ball all night long and lets one clank off of his glove every once and a while than The Hamster and no passed balls.

    Also, that link that Mac posted about the Vandy kid had me at ‘In the sexuality of meat article.’

  24. Can we have a donation link to put money towards seeing Chief Nocahoma punch Craig Minevirni in the face ? I’ll put $20 on the pile.

    Also, since all we do is talk about ex-Braves on here, did anybody see KJ hit for the cycle tonight ? He now has as many cycles as other former Braves greats Mark Kotsay and Albert Hall, he’s gotta feel good about that.

  25. Lost in all of this, Lowe once again gave up a couple runs in the sixth and couldn’t get out of the inning. God he sucks!! I mean against the damn fish – however evil they are – you gotta do better than this. He’s been as big a disaster as McLouth.
    Also, agony… Looks like we’ll have to get used to the strikeouts in clutch situations. He’s gonna crash down to Earth faster than Wickman crashed the postgame buffet after blown saves.

  26. OK, that was a silly paper — but Chris Washburn (to name just one) couldn’t have written it on his best day.

  27. I’ve been watching Giants games with my roommates lately and it makes me wish we had better announcers. They have a way of making a pretty bland team seem interesting.

  28. so, what are the chances freddie gets called up in september? and what in the world do you do with mclouth?

  29. I move to retire the “NATIONAL LEAGUE BASEBALL!” tagline and replace it with something insulting McLouth. Anyone want to second?

  30. I feel sorry for Philosophy profs because of the dribble they’re forced to read on a daily basis.

  31. @42

    I motion against the movement to retire the “NATIONAL LEAGUE BASEBALL” tagline, citing evidence A that the Braves have more or less been playing great baseball and we should do nothing that might affect the cosmic flow of the universe and cause that to change.

  32. I’ll be curious to see if the team can win the series now. Here’s hoping that Medlen doesn’t suffer from rust and that the offense can get a few more timely hits today.

  33. @48

    Yeah, and Medlen hasn’t exactly been lights out in his last few bullpen appearances. I do like Sunday’s matchup (Jurrjens vs Volstad) from our perspective.

  34. Regarding the student athlete’s paper–

    I’ve been teaching college English for nine years now* and have taught lots of students, including a lot of athletes. Those of you who have commented about that story seem shocked, but that’s not all that unusual to get as a college essay, athlete or not. I get at least one or two like that for most every assignment. It’s one you put at the bottom of the stack and figure out how to explain what’s wrong later, but I don’t really agree with characterizing that as being particular to athletes. I would say your chances as a teacher of getting a paper like that are only slightly higher, if at all, than getting one from a non-athlete.

    /me goes to start grading 40 essays, of which at least 4 or 5 will probably be much like that one.

    (*Incidentally, I was Brian McCann’s wife Ashley’s teacher her first semester at Auburn, and was shocked as hell to see that she was his fiance a few years ago…)

  35. Kristen is right — I work in a college library, and students print out their papers there, and you’d be stunned by some of the things I’ve seen. And all I see is the title page.

  36. What about Chris Heisey as a trade target?

    Cinci has Stubbs and Heisey. Both are credible Major League centerfielders. Both are basically first year players (as far as salary, arb years, etc.) Stubbs has more upside and has been playing.

    Heisey is right handed hitter and projects as an 800 OPS guy (similar to Ross, but with a team that needs something we have in abundance and with at least 5 cost controlled years.O

    Cinci needs relief pitching. What about O’Flaherty or Dunn and Marek for Heisey?

  37. I work in the library at Clemson. You’d be shocked by how many people can’t return a book to a proper location and instead banish a book into oblivion by dropping it off in an obscure location floors away from where it should be.

  38. @50 and 51

    Yep, I teach (and grade) college-level kids at a major university, and everything y’all have said aligns with my experience. My classes are history classes, and the level of writing there varies enormously–from the excellent to the awful. While I too have had some bad student athletes, I’ve also had some remarkably hard-working kids who happen to have also been some of my best students. I’ve also had some borderline illiterate kids who had no relationship with athletics at all; they just never got training at the secondary level.

  39. @31

    I, like Kristen, teach college English for a living. I thoroughly enjoyed the Jenkins paper for its unintentional humor and, most of all, because I don’t have to grade it.

  40. @55 Not having to grade it sure does make it funnier.

    I’ve taught at several different schools, and at one of the smaller ones, some professors would sometimes email excerpts from particularly bad papers to the rest of the department. One such paper that prompted an email was a paper about cloning, which among its reasons against cloning, included 1) that human clones would not have social security numbers like the original humans had, and 2) that if a clone committed a crime, you wouldn’t be able to prove if it was the original or the clone who did it.

    That whole situation became much more entertaining when I caught a student in my own class plagiarizing because he turned in that very paper about cloning, that I had already chuckled about quite a bit, as his own.

    Sometimes you read things that you’re like, wow, this would be great for satirizing the opposition, but unfortunately, I’m pretty sure they are being serious.

  41. Kristen,

    The clone paper sounds priceless. A colleague of mine sent around a paper a few years ago arguing for the legalization of “weed.” I don’t remember the gory details, except that he/she consistently called marijuana “weed” throughout the essay.

  42. @42

    McLouth and KK for that matter.

    While at one time McLouth looked relatively reasonable in cost, he now looks grossly overpaid with about 8MM owed to him thru next season. He looks screwed up at the plate in an almost Francoeur-ish manner and I think we all agree Blanco is more valuable to the 25. Making matters worse, his poor play may force Wren to overpay for some other journeyman with flame-out potential.

    KK is an ok starter, but is the 6th starter in a 5-man rotation and can’t even manage to get into mop up action from the bullpen. He’s also on the hook for about 7MM next season.

    These guys are really of no use to the team, yet their salaries are prohibitive. What to do with them seems like a conundrum to me.

  43. @58, Peter,

    Because they aren’t ready to absorb the DFA?

    Curious, though Peter, do YOU think KK is that bad (not to use in the Thursday blow out)? I don’t. And, I think they could possibly move him to somebody in need of pitching at his contract. Am I that crazy?

  44. No I don’t think he’s that bad, but they never use him.

    Edit: If Kawakami doesn’t get used today or tomorrow he’ll have gone a month pitching one inning.

  45. And what a wonderful inning it was.

    Fourth highest paid player on the team and due another $7+ million next season. That’s alot to eat. They would be better off just pairing him with Lowe, four innings each. It would be fun to say we are spending $22+ million a season to cover (poorly) one spot in the rotation.

  46. I love Vandy’s new football coach.

    What kind of signs do you think await the turkey inseminator?

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