ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Expos at Braves – 04/02/2003
Obviously, it’s time to panic. No, not really. Though a little panic, represented by waiving Vinny with extreme prejudice, would be nice. On the other hand, he has two (weak) hits, so they probably think he’s doing well.
Anyway, remember Florida, when the offense was doing so well? Well, the Braves were shut out on three hits by Zach Day, whoever that is, and three relievers. The closest the Braves came to scoring was the first, when with two out Sheffield and Chipper walked and Andruw pulled a long ball foul, then reached on an error. But Javy Lopez grounded out, end of threat.
Day was very good, but it’s easy to overstate that. He looked a little wild to me. He only walked two, but that’s largely because the Braves kept swinging at pitches they had no chance of hitting. You know the drill; 2-0 count, nobody on, trailing by two runs, and they ground weakly to second because they tried to pull a letter-high fastball for a homer. How does a team strike out swinging twice in the ninth inning of a game in which they were trailing by three runs?
Not only have the Braves not won this season, or even led, they’ve yet to bat with the score tied. Horacio Ramirez allowed a two-run homer to the second batter of the game. He pitched well after that, well enough to win, but no luck. The Expos added a run off of Holmes in the ninth to make the score 3-0.
Marcus Giles, who drove in one of only two runs in Monday’s game, was benched for Mark DeRosa. Because Bobby loves DeRosa, only not enough to play him at third base. I can’t stand it.
Let’s look at the strange world of Marcus Giles:
–Debut trip to the bigs, hits dramatic game winning grand slam, then is demoted to the minors (spawning one of Skip’s greatest lines, “That’ll show him.”)
–Last year in early April he pretty much carries the offense, so Bobby starts benching him for Keith lockhart. Marcus hit over .400 in games started by Tom Glavine over that span, so Glavine rewards him by publicly bitching him out on the field after making an error.
–This year in game one, Marcus has a hit that drives in a run. so naturally, in game two he gets benched.
contrast this with the likes of Lockhart and Vinny – the more they sucked, the more playing time they seemed to get.
It’s the bizarro meritocracy. it’s insane.
On the plus side, I think Ramirez looked pretty good. I turned the game on after the first inning, which probably helped, but he seemed to get some good pitches in there and also worked well under pressure (ie, with guys on base).
And mac, i believe vinny and andruw struck out looking. Not that it makes much difference. Maybe they’ll wake up tonight, but I don’t see any way DeRosa gets a start in Vinny’s place with Vinny getting his weak hits each game and DeRo grounding out every time up.
Not to take anything away from Day, who was very good last night (read the BP comment on him, his sinker’s legit), but it seemed to me that the Braves helped him out by swinging at the first pitch WAY too much. Particularly, Furcal, DeRosa and our beloved Vinny were hacking away. How come they don’t show dugout shots of Pendleton when this pathetic spectacle repeatedly plays itself out every night?
On the flip side, Fick repeatedly worked the count and ended up with a walk, a hit and was robbed of another knock when Cordero made a diving catch. He looks like a good pick-up and Bobby didn’t even bench him for Julio when the lefty reliever came on late in the game.
Also, I liked Ramirez’s stuff. He basically made one bad pitch. If your team can’t score you even one freakin’ run, what can you do?
I read the Braves Journal site religiously; I love your comments Mac, and the rest of you regulars as well. I’ve never felt compelled to post a comment of my own until the whole Skip + Pete “tragedy.”
I apologize for shifting the focus from Wednesday’s game, but how can TBS dispose of their two play-by-play men? To me, neither Joe nor Don are at their best while doing play-by-play.
I literally laughed out loud on a regular basis when Skip and Joe would trade their “tounge-in-cheek” blows. They broke up the best duo in the entire business… And why? It can’t be because Skip and Pete were too “one-sided” towards the Braves? I think they’re much less partial than most teams’ broadcasters… start comparing.
I know I will watch less TBS this year because of the change.
I live in the midwest, does anyone know how/if I can hear Skip and Pete over the internet? Does MLB own the rights to internet radio broadcasts?
I live in Chicago. After sundown–if the weather isn’t too volatile (thunderstorms kill reception)–WSB (750 AM) usually comes in reasonably clearly. Most of the country east of the Rockies can pick up WSB on most nights.
If you pay for MLB radio, at least some of the games should be available via the internet. I think.
Like DougM, I also live in the midwest. I used to live in Columbus, Ohio, and could usually receive AM-750 out of Atlanta after dark. And now I live in West Lafayette, IN, and the one time I tried last fall I could receive it here also. It can be more difficult if you’re in an urban area than in a rural area, but it’s doable.