Nationals 3, Bravespos 0

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals – Box Score – July 27, 2010 – ESPN.

Appalling.

Tommy Hanson was great. He went six innings, allowing just six hits and no walks, striking out eight, and 64 of his 88 pitches were strikes. The Nats only had a couple of hard-hit balls. He got a loss, and was charged for three runs, one of them “earned” because the rest of the ballclub decided not to show up.

Stephen Strasburg didn’t show up either, and was replaced as starter at the last minute by Miguel Batista. I don’t want to say that Batista is old, but he helped integrate the Texas League. He hadn’t started in two years and as a reliever had an ERA in the mid-fours, and the Braves got three hits in five innings — or half as many hits as strikeouts — against him.

Meanwhile, the Nats got a run in the first when McCann threw a ball into leftfield with Nyjer Morgan — who had already stolen second — stealing third. In the second, Chipper took a grounder that maybe should have been a double play and certainly should have been at least one out — with the remains of Ivan Rodriguez running, Chipper could have run to first base — and threw it into right to give the Nats runners second and third, nobody out; the next batter singled in two runs.

The Braves rarely threatened, and had only five hits. Eric Hinske had two of them, one a double. They are determined to make a race of this.

85 thoughts on “Nationals 3, Bravespos 0”

  1. I’m just disgusted. And what has happened to Glaus? Our offense is terrible and the Phils will have first place by next week. Just want to shoot myself.

  2. Oh look….Yunel had 3 more hits tonite. Pls give Glaus a couple of days off. I know he is hurting. I hope McCann’s awful defense does not hurt is offense. Is Omar hurt?

  3. An utter disgrace. I guess it’s my fault because this always happens when I go. Want to pay me not to go tomorrow?

    I know they were due for a slump, especially on the road, but this game reminded me of the last several years. I fear the team may have shot their wad. Glaus is awful as he has been except for May and, REALLY,no one is looking all that good.

  4. @4, it’s a left oblique strain. If that means no Werth/Oswalt trade, that could be our saving grace.

  5. to stu and jj…

    1. i never said heyward was the best center fielder. how the hell am i supposed to know? i inferred that i believe heyward, if given the chance, could play a better centerfield than the other 3 candidates.

    2. there’s never been a reason to move heyward to center. his body type and offensive skills are better suited for right field. so, swapping melky/mclouth to right was never an option no matter if heyward is better defensively. if there was a legitimate offensive upgrade such as willingham to add to the mix then things change.

    3. diaz/blanco platoon vs. heyward in CF: if you guys think that any part of a diaz in center platoon will be better than a full-time heyward in center, i think that’s batshit insane. diaz was below average in right field. the only comparable stat that we have for melky, diaz, and heyward are their defensive numbers in right.
    here’s how their UZR/150 and +/-compare:
    melky: -1.7 +6
    diaz: -9.7 -5
    heyward: 11.7 +6

    while i understand that you guys will throw these stats out for a number of reasons, this is all there is to go on.

  6. I’m all for the Phillies dealing their second best hitting for a pitcher. I hope it happens.

  7. freddie freeman has hit his 14th hr of the season. resop pitched 5 scoreless (and hitless) and beachy pitched 3 scoreless.

  8. Who’s in favor of calling Freeman up right now, and putting Glaus on the DL?

    And who hopes Victorino gets a shot for his pain, and the shot gets infected, and they have to remove some muscle and his career is over and he walks with a limp for the rest of his life?

  9. @11 Me.

    Had no power during the game and had to listen on the radio, and now I’m having to steal the neighbor’s internet because ours is out. What a miserable evening.

  10. Will he get a show where he plays a genius doctor and he and his three fellows (Werth, Howard, and Utley’s wife) try to solve cases no body else can?

  11. Nah, Victorino’s too big of a jerk for that.

    A Freeman callup wouldn’t affect team control. I doubt he would make Super Two status, but it would be possible.

  12. Oh look….Yunel had 3 more hits tonite

    On the bright side, our clubhouse chemistry has never been better. You know, except for all the losing. I hope getting shutout by Father Time isn’t to much of a buzz kill for our boys.

  13. Obviously if the trade is Happ for Oswalt, that’s real bad for us. But if it’s Werth for Oswalt instead, that means the Phillies think Domonic Brown is an adequate replacement. As a Domonic Brown keeper league owner, I’m willing to bet they know what they’re doing.

    I vote to DL Glaus and call up Freeman.

  14. i didnt get to watch the game tonight. did glaus look bad? i read that his knees and ankles are killing him but it doesnt affect his swing. from his recent numbers, i’d disagree.

  15. I hate Nyger Morgan. Dude kicks the Braves ass like John Schuerholz kicked him in the ballz or something.

    The Braves are sidetracked with something. This team the last few days are not the same. Have the blown Wag saves knocked them off their rockers for a bit? Possibly.

    Chip and Joe impersonating ESPN by having the Washington GM up in the box explaining what was going on with the Strasburg injury. Oh, suck my balls Chip and Joe. It is the damned enemy.

    And Joe: Nyger Morgan was clearly running out of the baseline to 1B on his attempted bunt mid-game. It didn’t matter about the “phantom tag” when his last 4 footsteps are on the grass outside the line, you dipshit.

    Whatever happened to the Gregor Blanco Appreciation Bandwagon around here. I liked it.

    Last point – Jason Heyward. Please don’t flip your bat at homeplate anymore. You are a big deal. But not quite that a big deal yet.

  16. Wow…what a play by Yunel. DL Glaus now. Didn’t they learn anything for Heyward’s situatiion? Who knows when he will hit a homer again.

  17. How to beat the Braves:

    1) Start a triple-A cast off pitcher – 10+ ERA at DoubleA works best.
    2) If the Braves do score, let them score early as they will not score again
    3) Use lots of pitchers as it will confuse Bobby Cox into taking his best players out of the game
    4) ???
    5) Profit?

  18. 7—I still have no idea what you mean in part 1. As for part 3, I don’t remember saying anything about Diaz in center.

  19. I think in honor of Bobby Cox the Braves need to make the playoffs…..then get swept in the division series.

  20. What is standard procedure with position players who have continued success in AAA like Freeman? I know when a pitcher does the same they usually get promoted, but I can’t recall the Braves bringing up a position player in the same situation for any significant length of time.

  21. It’s pretty unusual for a hot prospect hitter to actually spend much time in AAA at all. Usually they’re promoted straight from AA or go to AAA for a few weeks, maybe at the end of the season. McCann never played AAA at all (he was promoted from AA in an emergency). Heyward played three games there. Furcal hadn’t even played at AA, and Andruw only played twelve games there in a season in which he rose from A-ball to the majors.

  22. Thanks, Mac. How bad do you think the Glaus situation would have to get before they DL him? And if they did, is it likely that they would bring up Freeman, or would they just stick Hinske there?

  23. Of that, I have no idea. Except that maybe if they were willing to pull the trigger on Freeman, they might wait until they’re sure he wouldn’t have Super Two status.

  24. Given the way Glaus has looked at the plate recently I wouldn’t be against Atlanta putting him on the DL and bringing up Canizares. I know his defense is bad, but the guy just keeps on hitting.

  25. There’s zero chance Freeman would be a Super 2 after 2012 if they call him up now and keep him here for good. He’ll be a Super 2 after 2013 if they call him up between April 1 and ~June 1 of 2011 (and keep him here for good).

    Don’t think Freeman could help that much right now, though. He might be able to hold his own, but MLB pitching is going to eat him up unless he improves his approach.

  26. I’m certainly no expert here but it seems that Glaus cannot catch up to hard stuff and in trying to compensate is now vulnerable to offspeed stuff as well. Pretty bad combination. And Prado is struggling to while Chipper is frankly sliding toward retirement. I saw maybe two hard hit balls all night (although I spent two innings in line for popcorn). But this is not unusual for the Braves in zDC. Right now the problem is the Phillies are hot and are playing. Arizona at home

    I really believe a key is going to be z
    Wagner. The Braves cannot afford for him to have another week like the last one. He has to be lights out IMO.

  27. Well, if Freeman definitely isn’t ready, the only other internal options are Hinske and Canizares. Which brings up the question… do you make a play for Dunn?

  28. According the AJC guys, we’re apparently at our ‘ceiling’ financially (God I freaking HATE HATE HATE this ownership group) so unless we can convince Dayton Moore to take the McLouth/Kawakami combo, Wren is apparently not allowed to spend any real $$.

    I would love to get Dunn, but I don’t see Wren admitting defeat on Glaus, even though Glaus short, wonderful run appears long over.

    The problem is we’re the titanic right now and there just appears to be way too many holes to plug. 3 hit and 0 runs against Miguel Batista. The Phillies may have 1st place by Monday.

  29. We really need a hitter. I don’t care what possiton he plays, we have some flexability to move some guys around. I would say the only possition we wouldn’t look to add is 3rd, unless you want to start the “Chipper to first” debate.

  30. Tough game to watch. It’s like the team was all tired out from touring the national mall all day or something.

    In my opinion, Hanson did a terrible job with Morgan on the basepaths. Poor timing checking the runner and didn’t vary his time to the plate. I know at this point in his career they are way more concerned with teaching him pitching and composure, but that was just bad. Once he starts pitching like Maddux, then he’s allowed to ignore baserunners.

  31. Man, if we added Dunn at first and Willingham in the OF…. Whew.

    Even Dunn would be a huge improvement, but if Liberty isn’t going to help out, then it’s going to be tough.

  32. BTW, if anyone in the DC area needs/wants a ticket to the game tonight, I have an extra one next to the Braves bullpen. It’s gratis. You can e-mail me at mschneider@ftc.gov.

    I also was not impressed with Hanson in the first inning. Morgan isn’t really a very good basestealer but Hanson paid no attention to him whatsoever. I don’t know what to make of Hanson; he generally pitched well, but, on the other hand, he often seems unable to put hitters away. He throws a ton of strikes, but then makes a bad pitch. He certainly didn’t get hammered and the fielding behind him was obviously atrocious but I don’t he is blameless (although obviously well down the list of people to blame). It seems to me that Hanson is awfully deliberate and I just wonder if he would be better off if he had a better pace.

    Alex,

    I don’t see why the onus is on Liberty. The fact is, if Braves fans supported the team better, the payroll would be higher. Look at the Braves attendence, for one of the better teams in the league, compared to the Phillies, for example. No doubt Liberty is making a profit and could choose to spend more if it chose, but if the Braves were drawing three million like they used to, Liberty would have no excuse. I understand that there are reasons for the attendence in Atlanta but if more people went, the payroll would be higher. I think Braves fans in the area have some responsibility for this. Liberty is no better or worse than many other ownership groups; the idea that someone else would pour money into a team with sort of mediocre attendence is unrealistic.

  33. Smitty, I’ll open that can of worms. Why would you exclude third base when looking for an offensive (and defensive) upgrade?

  34. I really think the Braves need to get serious about McCann’s awfulness at catcher. Before I turned it off, I think the Nationals had four (FOUR!) stolen bases.

    Just unnaceptable.

    And will he ever learn to hit the ball the other way?

  35. He hits it the other way all the time. Just not on the ground.

    I would think you could find someone other than the team’s best player to complain about so much.

  36. taking hansons starts out, mccann has thrown out 37 percent of basestealers. mccann has improved this year. hanson, on his delivery, has not…

  37. Hanson needs to learn some type of a side step delivery with men on and the Braves should consider starting Ross for his starts also

  38. Time to be ridiculous:

    – When I’m hired as the replacement for Cox, I’m spending a week of spring training drilling (with that thing they used in The Core) into this team’s heads how absolutely mandatory it is that they stop playing crummy ball in DC. This has been going on for half a decade now.

    – I never got past high school ball, but dammit, *our* pitchers were chewed out and all over if they didn’t mix up their delivery to the plate. How does Hanson make it to the big leagues and be so fracking easy to steal on?

  39. someone else would pour money into a team with sort of mediocre attendence is unrealistic.

    It really is a shame Steinbrenner didn’t share your opinion in the early 90’s. We’d all be much better off.

  40. Through his massive deal with MSG Network, Steinbrenner did have TV revenues that pretty much trumped whatever they actually drew to the stadium back in the ’90s & early ’00s.

    Hudson tonight. Versus Livan. I like it.

  41. The point is he was willing to spend the dough to improve the club when they were not winning rather than pocket it.

    Creating an successful (read winning) product requires investment. Any expectation that customers will buy the crappy product first and front load your improvement cost isn’t quite how most companies succeed.

  42. 41,
    Which AJC guys said this? I wouldn’t be surprised if they were just making it up or guessing (depending on the journalist).

    It seems like we should’ve exceeded our projected revenue thus far and we only took on like $1 million in the SS swap. We were said to have financial flexibility before that. Something isn’t right. Or Liberty really is the devil.

  43. I seriously thought that was an onion headline at first. Ah, at least we have the Mets!

    The problems that are surfacing now have been hiding just below the surface for a long time. That is, a small slump in late July is nothing over which we should panic, but the larger structural problems are worthy of discussion. This is why I reacted so–how should I say this?–poorly to the Escobar trade. Despite the impending retirements by Cox and Chipper, I don’t see the Braves as legitimate contenders until next year at the earliest. Right now, their hitting is just not that good, and it hasn’t been great all year. Prado and McCann will presumably continue to produce, but after that, who? Heyward? Maybe, but he’s an unknown quantity yet, and his workload will eventually outpace any he has ever had. Glaus? Diaz? Chipper? Gonzalez? Hinske? I think we can get one more streak out of Glaus and decent production out of Diaz in a platoon, but the other three provide league average production, and that’s about it. CF, meanwhile, is actually hurting the team, and that’s unsustainable if the rest of the lineup lacks great players (5+ WAR guys).

    All told, even if they were to win the pennant, the Braves lack the firepower to beat the Yankees, Rays and, when healthy, the Red Sox. Unless they make a huge splash at the trade deadline.

  44. Remember, Wren is sneaky. I half-expect him to come up with something completely unexpected. (“I didn’t even know that guy was available!”)

  45. I expect the Braves to make some kind of a move also. IMO, we need a CF’r and a RHRP especially since Chavez sucks and KK is rotting down there. Nothing like sitting and making $7mil, I could be pretty successful doing that

  46. Coop,

    Im open to it. Chipper would have to move to first, and there are people here who hate that conversation is all.

  47. A replacement for Chavez would be a good move, maybe one for KK since he has been buried as well.

  48. #58

    Ububba, I’d like it better if we could hit our way out of a paperbag. I’m afraid you, Stu or Mac could throw on a Nats uni tonight and keep the Braves to 3 hits and 0 runs. I hope Huddy is prepared to pitch the game of his life.

    I am going to quote my favorite Braves Philosopher:

    “We’re DOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMEEEEEDDDDDD”

  49. The Yankees had been losing for several years when Steinbrenner bought them. In addition,baseball attendence in the early seventies was much lower than it is now–a million a year was the standard- so you are actually comparing apples to oranges. Plus, with the huge population base, Steinbrenner could expect that fans would turn out if the team started winning. The Braves really haven’t been a crappy product in a long time, although they had some down years recently. But they were at least marginally in the race last year and were expected to contend this year. It’s not like they were the O’s.

    All I’m saying is that there is a connection between attendence and payroll. You might wish that Liberty was willing to spend like a drunken sailor, but they aren’t and, I don’t necessarily expect them to. If the Braves attendence was higher, their payroll would be higher.

    As for the team, it’s certainly not time to panic–they are in a bit of a slump while the Phillies are surging. They always play poorly in DC but if it wasn’t for the two blown saves, they would still be sitting pretty. If they can get off this trip still in first place, they will still be in good shape. Plus, even without the division, they still have the wildcard. On the other hand, they have holes and they may well have been playing over their heads. Glaus has had three bad months and one great one–I am very skeptical that they can expect much from him. One thing they absolutely cannot do is play defense like they played last night.

  50. I like how Chipper said that Prado and Glaus need to get it going again. Hell, the whole offense needs to get it going, cant expect those two to carry the team each night

  51. per DOB….

    Heyward an option at center

    By the way, I checked with Wren, Bobby Cox and Jason Heyward yesterday and all three say they are comfortable with Heyward playing center field if need be. Brent Clevlen can play center, so can Omar Infante. Gregor Blanco could return three days from now, if the Braves choose to go that route. (Wren said yesterday that wasn’t a definite.) But they’ve got Jason as an option too.

    I’m not saying that means the Braves will definitely run out and get another corner outfielder by Saturday, but it does mean it’s not out of the realm to see Heyward in center field.

    “Jason could go there,” Wren said. “There’s a variety of people who could play center field if we get in a pinch.”

    Any reservations?

    “No,” he said. “There are fewer walls to run into.”

    Heyward said he’d be comfortable out there.

    “Center field is the first outfield position I ever played,” he said.

    He said he played about 20 games in center field last year in the minors.

  52. Here’s another Bill James quote… I mentioned Javy Lopez in the context of something else, and he mentioned that Javy was one of the most difficult players to rate.

    Why is Javy Lozez so hard to evaluate?
    Asked by: Steve
    Answered: July 27, 2010

    He just presents every problem there is. His defensive reputation was not good, but he was the regular catcher for the greatest pitching staffs of all time. Steroids? Who knows. I think if you just stack up the numbers, he’s closer to Bill Dickey than to Jason Kendall, but nobody thinks of him that way. It is hard to know what is real.

  53. The Yankees had been losing for several years when Steinbrenner bought them. In addition,baseball attendence in the early seventies was much lower than it is now–a million a year was the standard- so you are actually comparing apples to oranges.

    You missed the point here – I wasn’t talking about numbers, but rank. The Yanks were just fine in attendance, usually first or second before and after Stein bought them. This changed only in the early 90’s when attendance dropped to more like 9th or so. Say – ball club has success, sells seats, starts to lose attendance drops – sound familiar?

    The Braves really haven’t been a crappy product in a long time, although they had some down years recently.

    I don’t know what your standards are, but 4 straight 3/4 finishes and a couple of sub 500 seasons, reducing payroll and salary dumping after years of excellence is pretty much flipping off your customers.

    If the Braves attendence was higher, their payroll would be higher.

    Why on earth do you think this would be true? Why was payroll cut when attendance was high? I don’t want them to randomly spend – but if they choose to try to compete on a middling budget, customers are not going to care to come watch a losing club. You’d either better learn how to win on less, like Oakland and Minnesota have shown can be done, or be more realistic about the payroll it takes to compete.

    I am not panicking at all but a fair amount of the franchise woes are caused by a pettifogging and pennypinching ownership group. I can’t believe you don’t see this.

    edit – deleted stray comment – not intended for this post

  54. From DOB comments,

    I feel like we are looking at Cf’s. I think Wren is trying not to look despirate.

    This will all shake out before Sunday.

  55. Spike,

    You have a point that the payroll was cut when the team was still winning–but by the same token, attendence had fallen as well. Clearly, a lot of the problems have resulted from the reduced payroll–but that resulted, in part, from the reduced attendence. If the Braves had been drawing 3+ million in 03-04, when they were still winning, I doubt Liberty would have cut the payroll.
    As for the quality of the product, clearly it dropped after 2005. But the drop in attendence preceeded that; in fact, it started dropping, as I recall, in the late 90s. In part, people got tired of the first-round exits; there were also other factors of which I am aware. Now, could Liberty have reversed the drop by spending more money? Perhaps so. Obviously, Liberty doesn’t have the interest that George Steinbrenner does, but IMO you can’t absolve the fan base of some responsibility. That’s all I’m saying.

    Moreover, while the quality dropped, it was hardly horrible. The Braves were in second last year until they tanked the last week. Even in 2006, the first year of the decline, they still had a chance for the wild card for a good part of the year. Granted, 2008 was bleak.

    The comment about panicking was just a general comment not directed at you or the payroll issue.

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