Braves 8, Phillies 7

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – October 03, 2010 – ESPN.

So, the Braves fell behind the Phillies early, then went out to a massive lead, and then tried to blow the whole thing. This time, unlike the season, they didn’t. Quite.

Tim Hudson went seven innings and allowed just two hits. Unfortunately, both were two-run homers, which is just the sort of thing that will drive you up the wall. The first, by Ben Francisco L’il John Mayberry, put the Phillies up 2-0 in the third, and at this point, you think that it’s over. But it wasn’t. Jason Heyward‘s two-out triple in the bottom of the inning cut it to 2-1, and in the fourth the Braves — finally — broke out.

Brooks Conrad, folk hero, playing second base today, singled in the previously missing Matt Diaz to tie the game. With two out, Hudson himself did the job, singling in Alex Gonzalez, and then Omar Infante tripled to the right field line to make it 5-2. In the fifth, Derrek Lee‘s homer made it 6-2. Conrad made it 7-2 by singling in Brian McCann in the fifth, and Diaz singled in Heyward in the sixth to make it 8-2. Comfortable, right?

But Jayson Werth — the Phillies are full of Braves-killers — hit a two-run homer off of Hudson in the seventh to cut it to 8-4. And after Jonny Venters got the first two men he faced in the eighth, he walked the next and then Infante, falling into the spacetime warp at third base, let a ball go through his legs, and Bobby brought in Billy Wagner.

Wagner got ahead of the next man but couldn’t put him away, and on the tenth pitch gave up a single to make it 8-5. Then Francisco hit a double over the head of Nate McLouth, playing left field on the increasingly dubious grounds of him supposedly being a better outfielder than Diaz, and it was 8-7, and then Werth walked. But Wagner rallied to strike out Raul Ibanez and keep the lead. AAG hit into a bases-loaded GIDP to end the eighth, to the surprise of no one. But Wagner got all three looking — including the loathsome Shane Victorino, who tried to go to first on a 3-2 pitch down the middle — to end the game, and extend the season by at least one game.

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283 thoughts on “Braves 8, Phillies 7”

  1. The first 2-run homer was by Mayberry, not Ben Francisco. Francisco doubled in runs 6 and 7 in the eighth.

  2. AT&T Park, or whatever it’s called now, has all the intensity of a game in May today. Kind of like their friggin team.

  3. I am goint to watch the Pads-Giants game now on MLB.TV. Which commentary would you recommend, Padres or Giants?

  4. It’s worth mentioning just how good a game Heyward had. He robbed Victorino of a triple in the third, then started the Braves’ scoring with a triple of his own in the bottom half of the inning. He walked and scored in the sixth. And in the 8th, he singled, took second on a ball that got about six inches away from the catcher, and then stole third before he was stranded there. Infante’s bloop double was the biggest blow, but Heyward was the best player of the game.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve said this to a woman, but it’s true about Jason: every day I love him more and more.

  5. Tom: Want to take a nap? Turn to the Giants. Other than the HITS IT HIGH HITS IT DEEP OUTTA HERE crap, it’s filled with loads of zzzzzzzzz

  6. I don’t depend on the announcers to keep me excited. And the good announcers know the game and engage their audience like adults. Vin Scully, for instance, doesn’t artificially raise his voice whenever something even moderately interesting happens. Chip Carey, on the other hand…

    I’d take the Giants’ announcers too.

  7. @11, Nice. I think they’re very sharp guys and a breath of fresh air after listening to Chip blow out my tv speakers. :)

  8. I live in SF. The Giants guys are pretty subdued, but since a Giants win puts us in the playoffs, I’d vote for the homers.

    Any other Braves expats in SF? Hope we’re all at PacBell/SBC/AT&T on Thursday.

  9. @6

    Considering what the Braves draw,I’m not sure I would criticize San Francisco.

    Hey, the Braves won 91 games. No matter what happens, that’s pretty good.

  10. Outside of Scully, the Giants announcers are my favorite to listen to. They call a good game and are pretty funny.

  11. 24- Right. That was Ibanez in the 5th inning, on a Conrad error. Victorino replaced him on a forceout and then was thrown out trying to steal.

  12. And BTW, I’m starting to change my mind about the SF crew. Not bad so far. I might be just pissed at their team.

    Which I’m not now.

  13. Lincecum, Cain, and Sanchez are really tough.

    What are the tiebreakers like? In the three-way-tie situation, if the Braves win the Wild Card with a playoff, which team do they play in the first round?

  14. 46- The Pads and Giants would play for the Western division, and we’d host the loser for the wild card (since we won the season series against both of them).

  15. By the way, props to the Red Sox for beating the New York ball club today and knocking them into the WC instead of having home-field adv. throughout the AL playoffs.

  16. @47, I know that much. In that situation, if the Braves win the wild card, whom do they play in the first round? The Giants/Padres or the Reds?

  17. Yo Tom O.,

    I’m a Brave expat in SF. Already got tickets to Game 1. I’ll be there in my Brian Jordan Jersey and my wife in her Dale Murphy T-shirt. For the record I got the jersey (an authentic) for 8 dollars at the Hwy 41 Flea Market quite a while ago… think it’s time to buy a Heyward?

  18. 49- I’m pretty sure we’d play the Western winner, because they’d have a better record (92-71) than Cincy (91-71).

  19. Anyone mildly surprised by the number of Padres fans in SF today? I remember even in their best recent year (’98) they only had a handful in Atlanta for the NLCS. (Of course, FOX put friggin mics on them so you only heard their squeals)

  20. D.N. – it’s a significantly shorter trip from SoCal to the Bay than from San Diego to Atlanta.

  21. Well of course, but having watched a few SD games this year I was under the assumption that SD doesn’t have any fans. (And yes, I know about crowds at the Ted.)

  22. @Charles (50),

    Definitely time to buy a Heyward. My brother is coming up from LA and we’ll be there games 1 and 2. Trying to get on the 1st base line for game 1, probably standing room for game 2 (those tix ain’t cheap). Chipper jersey for me, not sure about my brother.

    So, there’s 4 of us. Hopefully more!

  23. @60, etc

    Was talking to a guy last night who flew up from SD for the weekend games. I get the sense they have a lot of transplants in SD, so there are a lot of Cubs, Red Sox, etc fans. The ones that are fans, though, are pretty solid I think.

  24. Hey, he got on base and saw a lot of pitches. I mean, I wouldn’t want him on the Braves, but it’s hard to make fun of him over this at-bat.

  25. @74- Taking a barhop staycation this week, so I’m doing a little bit of saving now. Probably should have seen this coming, though.

  26. @ Tom0

    I’ll be in Section 327 for Game 1- not sure about Game 2 yet. Come drop by if you get bored or if you see a fight break out and I need backup :)!

  27. Also, I’m taking back what I said about the SF announcing crew. Solid the whole game, bonkers when it was necessary.

  28. Seeing the Giants with those ridiculous beards makes me think of Moylan’s “postseason haircut” last year and how goofy he must have felt after we were eliminated.

  29. anyone see Oliver Perez’s ouing today?

    0.1IP 3BB 1 hit batsman and a loss

    finishes season with

    46.1IP 54H 42BB 37K 6.80ERA 2.07WHIP = $12 mil

  30. I love how they don’t go to commercial for pitching changes. That’s one of my biggest baseball peeves.

  31. @97, I like the gist of your malapropism. I did see it, and it was more of an ow-ing than an outing.

    Here we go. Three outs.

  32. You’re right. Wilson is wearing his little sister’s jeans. He’s totally hipstering it out there. Frightening.

  33. I have a feeling Brian Wilson is gonna have a Mitch Williams/96 Mark Wohlers breakdown in the postseason. He always struck me as a head case.

  34. Bobby Cox making another playoff appearance. Great Way for him to go out. Sure would like to see Chipper, Prado, JJ, and Medlen there with them. Make Glaus take some grounders over at 3B for the next few days. He cant be any worse, right?

  35. First postseason berth in four years. Feels like it’s been longer than that.

    Because their last playoff game was five years ago.

  36. YEAH!!! Both the Giants and the Braves should have done this couple days ago, but they have to do these to us. Nevertheless, I am happy once again. YEAH!!!

  37. I want to properly manage my expectations for this series. Make it a series, lose in 4 games, and let’s build for next season. I never thought we’d win 91 games, and I like our chances next year.

  38. @146
    glad you’re shooting high, rob. the giants, just like us, are very beatable.

    so, who makes/doesnt make the playoff roster?

  39. Whatever Robinson Lopez turns out to be, the Derrek Lee trade will always be viewed as a success in my book.

  40. Some hotshot on ESPN said the Giants are the only team that can beat the Phillies for the NL title. Really? Not that I think the Braves can, but I think they have a slightly better chance than the Giants.

  41. It’s no great disrespect to acknowledge that the Giants big three starters are the only guys that line up, reasonably well, to shut down the Phillies’ offense long enough to win. Now, it’s silly, as anything could happen in short series baseball, but from a talent standpoint the Giants are the team best set up to take down the Phils. Lincecum/Cain/Sanchez is better than Hudson/Hanson/Lowe.

  42. The Padres reminded me of the ’82 Braves, kind of coming out of nowhere, getting a big lead, and then falling apart before rallying. Hate it for them, but better them than us.

  43. Lineup:
    Infante
    Heyward
    Lee
    McCann
    Diaz
    Gonzo
    Conrad
    Ankiel Or Mclouth

    Bench:

    Ross
    Hinske
    Mclouth or Ankiel
    Glaus
    Cabrera

    Pitchers:
    Huddy, Lowe, Hanson Wagner, Venters, Moylan, Saito, Kimbrel, Dunn, Minor(?), Martinez(?), O’Fla (?), ??

  44. 3 or 4 starters for short series? Good season with injuries and less than expected from McLouth, YE, Cabrera, KK and Glaus after May. No Freddie in post season?

  45. In defense of Conrad, he has played little third before this year and there is rarely an easy play at third. A little winter ball or instructional ball could help after the World Series.

  46. Agreed. Beachy and Freeman should be there. Take EOF off- surely eight relievers are enough. JJ probably shouldn’t be on the roster. Melky shouldn’t but will be.

  47. Mac, nothing personal and I enjoy reading them, but I’d have no problem if you put off the ‘Where Do We Go From Here’ posts for a while longer.

  48. Thanks Smitty, I was going to ask if there are any video on the celebration. I would enjoy every single bit of it.

  49. “AAG hit into a bases-loaded GIDP to end the eighth, to the surprise of no one.”

    It’s writing like this, that I’m going to miss once the post season is over. THANK YOU MAC, for making this season colorful and hilarious even when the Braves were not.

    NOW, let’s go kick some post season a$$, BRAVOS!

  50. Mr Lowe, if you can remember how to win again on Thursday night, I vow I will not complain about your contract for the next two seasons.

    Bobby getting his first regular season win 8-7 and today, getting his last 8-7 is a little bizarre.

  51. The Giants’ pitching certainly stacks up well against the Phillies’, and they could give the Phillies fits. But remember, in a short series, anything is possible. We’ve lost a lot of postseason series when we had the best team on the field. It’s payback time.

  52. I just love Bobby:

    On the last half-inning of the Giants-Padres game

    “I was arguing with the umpire on every pitch. It would have been a 3,000-mile ejection.”

  53. everyone is picking the Giants, I like that…no expectations and hopefully these guys can start playing some good baseball

  54. There was a really cool year in review montage on Sportscenter. Brooks’ slam, Heyward’s opening day HR, Chipper’s injury, and Wag’s last out today made the cut.

  55. As good as Huddy, Lowe and Hanson have been pitching, and as awful the two offenses are, I honestly don’t see much advantages the Giants have on us, and I am trying to be very honest with myself here.

  56. I have tickets to the two games in Atlanta (Sunday and Monday), and I am already ridiculously excited. Got them for free too!

  57. KC, I don’t think you’re completely wrong. But I think that the Giants’ talent on paper does outweigh ours.

    Lineup
    C Posey vs. McCann (advantage: push)
    1B Huff vs. Lee (advantage: Giants)
    2B Sanchez vs. Conrad (slight advantage: Giants)
    SS Uribe vs. Gonzalez (advantage: push)
    3B Sandoval vs. Infante (advantage: Giants)
    LF Burrell vs. Diaz/Cabrera (advantage: Giants)
    CF Torres vs. McLouth/Ankiel (advantage: Giants)
    RF Guillen/Ross vs. Heyward (advantage: Braves)

    Starting rotation:
    Lincecum vs. Hanson (advantage: Giants)
    Cain vs. Hudson (advantage: push)
    Sanchez vs. Lowe (advantage: Giants)

    Bullpen:
    Casilla, Romo, Mota, Wilson vs. Venters, Moylan, Kimbrel, Wagner (advantage: Braves)

    Would you disagree with any of those comparisons?

  58. I dont think the Giants have the advantage at 1B or 3B right now, I also think that the Giants only have an advantage in the Lincecum/Lowe matchup

    I think these two teams are very similar. Great SP, bullpens, but shaky offenses

  59. I got my tickets to the Sunday game. Do we know the times yet? I would much rather it be a night game.

  60. Ill take McCann over Posey and Infante over Sandoval. I also think our bench is better than the Giants.

    Winning out there will be tough, but if we can pull one out, I think
    we win. Plus, if they go four man rotation, we can hit Zito right now.

    I really miss Chipper.

  61. Is Chipper eligible to go on the post season roster? Cause I (and even my Mets fan friend Jen) think it would be brilliant for him to come in to pinch hit and do a Kirk Gibson thing.

  62. @205

    Sometime in November.

    Cy-Holliday
    MVP- Votto
    ROY- Probably Posey.

    AL
    CY- Hernandez
    MVP- Hamilton
    ROY- Jackson

  63. I’m not too concerned about whether or not Heyward wins the ROY. It’s no big deal. Earl Williams also won ROY.

    It’s hard to see how a team starting Brooks Conrad at third (even if he is Folk Hero) and the detritus that is the Braves CF lineup can be considered a real threat in the playoffs. Certainly, it wouldn’t be the biggest upset in the history of sports if they beat the Giants, but I don’t see it given the way they played down the stretch (although granted, a lot of this was from playing the Phillies).

  64. @202, I have entertained the fantasy of him DHing in the World Series. However, it’s a long shot if it’s even possible.

    He’s eligible for the roster, though, and teams submit new rosters for each series.

  65. @207, since the Wild Card came into the picture, teams much worse than this team have won the World Series. Like the Randy Johnson/Curt Shilling year. Or the ’97 Marlins. Or the ’06 Cardinals.

  66. Enjoy your three days off Jonny Venters, you’ll be back in there on Thursday.

    As for roster decisions go, I’ve got McCann, Ross, Lee, Freeman, Infante, Conrad, AAG, Diory for the infielders. Heyward, Ankiel, Diaz, Smelky, Hinske, McLouth for the outfielders.

    Hanson, Hudson, Lowe, Beachy, Moylan, Kimbrel, Dunn, Venters, Wagner.

    Realistically, I think we have four spots for Beachy, Freeman, Farnsworthless, The Lisp, JJ, Saito, EOF and Glaus.

  67. 211- You’ve got Beachy and Freeman on both lists, and two roster spots open (probably Saito and Glaus).

    202- Chipper was placed on the 60-day DL retroactive to August 11 (his last game), which makes him eligible to be activated on October 10. He’ll have to wait for the LCS. ;)

  68. Yeah, I was saying that I have Beachy and Freeman on the roster for sure, but there are four spots if you don’t think those two are on there for sure. I think the final four would go to Beachy, Freeman, Saito, and Glaus.

    DOB just tweeted that it sounds like Bobby may be leaning towards Beachy starting game four, if there is one. Who would have thought that at the beginning of the year ?

  69. AAR, I think we have seen enough playoffs to know these kind of analysis hardly matters. I think the Giants only have an edge on us that they had a very good month of September.

    Once October rolls along, it’s all about luck in my opinion.

  70. There’s going to be a backup SS/2B/3B on the post-season roster, so that’s one thing that was left out earlier right there. Here’s my prediction for post-season roster:

    C: McCann, Ross
    1B: Lee
    2B: Conrad, Hicks
    SS: AAG, Hernandez
    3B: Infante
    LF: Diaz, Hinkse
    CF: Ankiel, McLouth
    RF: Heyward

    SP: Hudson, Hanson, Lowe, Beachy(?)
    RP: Wagner, Kimbrel, Venters, Moylan, Dunn, Minor, Saito, Lisp

    I honestly believe that Bobby won’t go into the post-season with only 3 MIs on the roster, which means both Diory Hernandez and Brandon Hicks will likely make the team. If one is left off, I imagine Glaus or (shudder) Melky would take their place.

    I think the Reds have the best chance of beating the Phillies, partially because it’s a short series and partially because their lineup is just as stacked. Their front-line pitching isn’t quite as good, but you could see Cueto or Arroyo keeping them in 3 games long enough for Votto and company to go to work. The Giants just seem so punchless that I doubt they’ll be able to scrape out 4 wins in a longer series. Basically the same as the Braves at this point, but as it’s been said, the post-season is kind of a crap shoot. Who knows. Maybe this year the Braves’ number comes up.

  71. 214- Their pitching was outstanding in September, but their offense was average, maybe even a tick below. The Giants scored 106 runs after August 31, only one more than the Braves. (Yes, their home park is worse for hitters, but not dramatically so.)

    Lowe’s on an epic hot streak, Hanson only slightly less so. We can take ’em!

  72. I was thinking, could be MLB too since there are rules about the glove, necklaces, undershirts, etc. Unless LaRussa just makes those up on the spot so he can whine about something else.

    I have the last post, so I’ll keep adding random crap. Melky was IBB’d 11 times this year, same as Ryan Howard.

  73. It was certainly nice to get up and find out that we are in the playoffs! When the collapse came in June 2006, it was not easy to forsee that the Braves would not make the playoffs again in the decade. Like everybody else, I wish that we had won the divsion and played better in September, but at least we are back–and having overcome some adversity along the way…..

    Go Braves!

  74. Melky to 2B??? ;-)

    Here’s hoping Lowe, Huddy & Hanson turn into Maddux, Glavine & Smoltz, circ. 1995.

  75. Notice that that slideshow (links @219) has the same picture of Heyward twice, once labeled as himself, and once as Derrick Lee?

    Also love the shot of McCann and Huddy holding the banner… and you can see the little plastic hanger things still in their hats.

    I loved the chants of “Bobby!” after the game finished…

  76. What’s the word on JJ?

    I’m guessing he still isn’t right if we’re already starting to hear Beachy talk.

  77. Are we sure Beachy is eligible for the post-season roster? I hope so but per the MLB rule book:
    To be eligible for a team’s playoff roster a player must be on any of the following: (a) the 25 man active roster, (b) the disabled list, (c) the bereavement list, or (d) the suspended list as of August 31st at midnight. The only exception is that a player on the 60-day disabled list may be replaced by another player from the team’s 40-man roster (as of August 31) who plays the same position (i.e. position player for position player, or pitcher for pitcher), with the approval of the commissioner of baseball.

  78. #220 – Moylan must do that on his own, they dont make Farnsworth cover up his ridiculous tatoos. Medlen has some too, but Im pretty sure his are covered up

  79. Melky will be on the post season.

    Anyone up for Glaus at 3b? It’s obvious that Bobby doesn’t have any confidence in him. But just saying….

    I don’t see Freeman making it.

    To whoever said it, I agree the DLee pickup has been good. .849 OPS as a Brave. Hell If I am the Braves I’d try to re sign him in the off season.

    Good Lord I hope that we can get a damn outfielder this off season. Yes, I would still give my left nut for just league average for Christ’s sake.

  80. Even if Chipper could DH, he would still have to be able to run enough to get to first base unless he did nothing but hit home runs.

    I know the Yankees won the World Series with Melky on the roster, but my vision of him playing center field at AT&T doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. With all the space in the alleys, he might be playing singles into inside-the-park home runs. Surely, he won’t be in CF, will he?

    The Braves at least get to spend time in San Francisco and get some good food. Fantastic city unless you are homophobic I guess.

  81. #233 IMHO a strong case can be made for Jonny Venters. But for me its Prado.

    Cioppino invented in SF. I’d love to get there some day.

  82. 230- Remember, we have Medlen on the 60-day DL, whom we can replace with Beachy as the rule book lays out. That’s what the Angels did with K-Rod in 2002.

  83. Wagner gets Braves MVP for me

    No chance the Braves resign Lee. 1st they’d have to offer arb of $14mil +, or offer him a multi year deal. Not going to happen with Freeman being so close

  84. I think Prado, Wagner, Infante, Heyward, Venters, Hudson and even Folk Hero deserve some Braves MVP consideration

    This would make an excellent poll question, Mac

  85. #238 – I don’t think the Braves resign Lee either. In fact I don’t think they’ll even make him an offer. I was just saying.

    #240 You could even throw Glaus in there too. I know, what you are thinking but without his May/early June production we are out of it early.

  86. Playoffs, yay!

    Can anyone confirm that Melky survived yesterday’s celebration?

    I’ll donate $20 toward a ticket to San Fran for braves14.

  87. #245
    If I were considered an “expert,” I’d pick the Giants, too.

    In fact, I was watching the Giants/Padres game with a bunch of Giants fans yesterday at the airport & they were asking me about the Braves’ chances and I said, “Honesty compels me to say, now that San Diego has been eliminated, we might be the worst team in the whole tournament. But I’m plenty happy to roll the dice. Get ready for some low-scoring games.”

    And wasn’t it great to see Bobby celebrate one more time?

  88. Worth noting who that one Braves supporter is, though: Pedro Gomez, the guy ESPN had on the daily Bonds beat for a while. He knows that team well.

    Not that that means much, of course — on paper, they are the better team. But it does mean that a guy who knows the Giants picked against them.

  89. @245,

    Probably good since predictions mean nothing and being an underdog is often a preferable position (as the Braves learned during the 90s). Logically, you would naturally pick the hot team over the struggling team. As far as I’m concerned, we are really playing with house money. Several weeks ago, when the Braves seemed to be cruising, I was concerned about the possibility of losing another first round series; but now, after the injuries and struggles in September, I’m just happy to be here regardless of what happens.

    I would go with Prado for Braves MVP because, for most of the season, he provided the most consistent offense. Without him, I don’t see how the Braves would have been even close. Wagner had a great year, but he did have seven blown saves and I find it hard to make the closer the MVP.

  90. Here is an intelligent commenter suggesting that Brooks Conrad, a career minor leaguer, was bribed by the Padres to commit errors against the Phillies. And he is serious. Some of these people shouldn’t be allowed out of the house alone.

    eileii (10/4/2010 at 10:46 AM) Report Violation bravesATL75 (10/4/2010 at 3:28 AM) Report Violation Is it possible Brooks Conrad was bribed by the Padres? I know this is far fetched, but he committed 2 CRUCIAL errors for the Braves this series that led to SEVEN unearned runs…he was the main culprit in the 2 losses. He committed another error today in the 2nd that didn’t factor into the game, but could have if Hudson didn’t pitch around it. I know…i know …far fetched….but anything is possible these days. Its not like Brooks Conrad has a guaranteed career…he was in the minor leagues for 9 years & just made rookie at age 30 this year! That speaks volumes. Minor league players don’t make much money. Now as a rookie but no guarantee for the future maybe he decides to cash in? I’m looking for thought out responses, a discussion, NOT RUDE or MEAN replies. Thanks

  91. Baseball reference has: Hudson (5.4 WAR),BMac (4.7 WAR), Jason (4.4 WAR).

    But they have Martin at -9 runs on defense. Nate is at -11 an Melky is at -6.

    That is just wrong.

    Even with the positional adjustments Martin (-7), Nate (-10), Melky (-9). So, according to total zone, Melky is basically Martin’s equal defensively. Bullshit.

  92. Heh. I didn’t notice until now that Bill Hohn, Francoeur, and Chip were nearly locked in a tie in the current poll.

  93. @249, Ridiculous. I was waiting for him to mention something about Brooks making a “suspiciously large purchase” or something to corroborate his story. His logic is Brooks made an error at an unfamiliar position, therefore he’s a spy.

  94. Omar & Jerry fired per MLBTR… though supposedly Omar has been offered a position in the org he hasn’t jumped at (nobody has yet said if the position offered involves rotten fruit or a cat-o-nine-tails)

  95. Lots of elated Reds fans here in Columbus. It’s been, what, 14 years for them?

    I’m glad we didn’t get the Phils for the nlds.

    Any chance the Mets hire a competent GM? Gosh I sure hope not.

  96. From my inbox:

    A MESSAGE FROM METS OWNERSHIP
    Dear Mets Fans:

    Thank you for your support during another extremely disappointing season. Like you, all of us at the Mets had high expectations for 2010 and we did not come close to meeting them. Since reaching the National League Championship Series in 2006, we have underperformed. The failure is unacceptable and we share your anguish.

    As Ownership, we are ultimately responsible and have determined that changes are necessary to produce a winning team for the long term.

    Earlier this morning, we relieved Omar Minaya of his duties as Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations & General Manager, and advised Jerry Manuel that we are declining to exercise the club’s option on his contract as Manager for 2011. We appreciate all that Omar and Jerry have done for the Organization and thank them for their time and effort. Changes like these are never easy, especially when dealing with people you like and respect.

    We feel a fresh perspective in the leadership of our baseball department will elevate the performance of our club. That person will work with Ownership to hire a new Manager and will be responsible for creating a winning culture.

    We have a lot of work to do to regain your confidence and support. Thank you for the opportunity to do so.

    Fred Wilpon
    Chairman & CEO

    Saul Katz
    President

    Jeff Wilpon
    COO

    (Sniff, sniff…)

  97. I wonder where the Mets will watch the first round games? That is the best part of getting in the playoffs.

    I would like to go to one of the games with this sign:

    “Hey Mets! Look, we’re on TV!”

  98. Pretty awesome day yesterday.

    While the most likely outcome is probably that San Francisco wins, I do think we have a pretty decent shot. Our pitching is good enough where, if our offense wakes up at all (and we will have three days to rest), we will have a pretty good shot.

    By the way, it’s time for everyone who thought we weren’t going to make the playoffs to line up for their Kyle Farnsworth beaning.

  99. @266
    i really dont see why it’s a likely outcome that the giants will beat us. they have the exact same record in a weaker division, a lower ops(.730 compared to .740), and slightly better era (3.36 compared to 3.56).

    they’re like us: weak offensively and strong to the core in pitching.

  100. @267,

    That’s a bit misleading because the Braves don’t have the same team that put up most of the wins. If the Braves started the season with this lineup, how many games would they win–it certainly wouldn’t be 91. The team in May-August would likely have been favored but this isn’t that team.

  101. I’ve been seeing speculation about the order of starters for the division series. Why would it be anything besides Hanson/Hudson/Lowe/Hanson on 3 days/Hudson on 5 days? I guess you can quibble with Hanson in Game 4 (but you’d have Beachy in the ‘pen if need be), but clearly we’ll want to give both Hanson and Hudson an opportunity to pitch in two games, right?

  102. From what I saw yesterday, Lowe was going to pitch the first game. That seems insane to me but maybe they want Hanson to pitch at home and avoid having the young pitcher go again on three days rest?

  103. this was what DOB had posted

    Lowe vs Lincecum
    Hanson vs Cain
    Hudson vs Sanchez

    I think there is zero chance that Beachy pitches the 4th game

    I will say this though – thats the order of who has pitched the best for about the last two months

  104. Lowe is pitching reasonably well of late and I saw somewhere among the Twitter blizzard that his numbers against the Giants (and especially in SF) are very solid.

  105. 268 nails it. The Giants are pretty obviously better than the Braves, right now. Of course, as we know all too well, anything can happen in a short series.

  106. Yeah the Giants are better. I’m trying to savor the moment and be positive with the mantra ‘Anything can happen in a short series’. We are owed some damn underdog’s luck.

  107. Steal 1 in SF, then win the 2 home games. Eh, it could happen.

    Hooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooope!

  108. Give Lowe his due… he’s been pitching better than just “reasonably well” lately… in 5 September starts he had an ERA of 1.17 and 3 walks to 29 Ks… Lowe in September is what we’ve been paying for. Also makes sense to let Hanson get some rest.

  109. chipper, prado, escobar and glaus > infante, brooks, aag and lee…but not by much.

    chipper is obviously a better option than conrad (even though their ops’ are a wash), but so is lee to glaus. derrek’s ops with the braves is 100 points higer than what glaus’ was by the time he finally went to the bench.

    starting pitching realistically isnt affected by the first of season/end of season comparisons. the bullpen might be a bit stronger than what it was at the first of the year (with the emergence of a dominant rh pitcher).

    this team has hit some struggles, but match up the play from each position, and these teams are very even. call me optimistic.
    i’m giving the offensive woes the benefit of the doubt and say that they were extremely gassed. with 3 full off days, they should be raring to go.

    GO BRAVES!

  110. I’m hanging my hopes on the “extremely gassed” hook too… I like to think between starting pitching getting some rest, and Heyward, McCann, Lee bunched up in the line-up (with maybe Infante on base a head of them) we’ve got a shot to string together some runs… probably against the SF bullpen.

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