ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Phillies – 06/17/2003
I don’t know yet if I’d rather lose in a blowout or lose after coming back to tie or take the lead. But I know that I hate it when they lose because of sloppy defense. Darren Holmes misplayed a dribbler in front of the plate to put runners on second and third with nobody out in the ninth, and the next batter broke a 4-4 tie to end the game. Drives me nuts. Javy had screwed up to allow a run earlier in the game, throwing a ball away in the fourth.
Shane Reynolds, meanwhile, stinks. He was charged for four runs, three earned, in four-plus innings, leaving the game with two on and two already in in the fifth. Jung Bong got him out of that. Reynolds was getting knocked around the previous inning and really should have been hit for in the top of the fifth, but Bobby let him load the bases and then give up a double before yanking him. Bobby has to realize that Reynolds isn’t any good, and to be ready to pull him as soon as he gets into trouble. Or maybe, just maybe, give Jason Marquis a chance. Nah.
The Braves got all their runs in the sixth, Chipper’s two-run homer the main blow. The Braves might have broken out in the second, but Vinny GIDPed with the bases loaded and one out, because he’s Vinny. It was that kind of game.
Millwood goes tonight for the Phillies, Ortiz for the Braves. If the Phillies are patient like they were last night (eight walks) they could give Ortiz trouble.
Yeah, the game sucked. But I realized just how much I miss Pete and Skip.
Noticed this while doing some research for the Braves newsgroup. Yesterday was the anniversary of a perhaps dubious day in recent Braves history. Seven years ago yesterday, Eddie Perez took over catching for Greg Maddux, ending Javy’s last stint as Maddux’s regular catcher.
Conventional wisdom has often been that Lopez lost his catching privileges for Greg in 1995. And, in fact, Charlie O’Brien did catch every Maddux start from mid-June until the end of the 1995 season. However, Javy then caught Maddux’s first dozen starts of 1996 until, on June 17, Eddie started behind hte plate. Eddie Perez then caught 17 of Maddux’s remaining 20 starts.
The Reynolds situation threatens to be another long-running, frustrating, Vinny-esque example of how “our” (if I may be so bold) way of evaluating players is a million miles away from that of old school baseball heads (eg Bobby Cox, for the most part). Here’s a little note I borrowed from Michael at the Braves Minor League Blog, quoting the Sports Network:
[Shane] Reynolds… has been nothing short of spectacular for Atlanta since the Braves signed him following his release from Houston just prior to the season.
Yeah. Skip and Pete went on and on for 10 minutes last night with essentially the same message. Hey, the Braves have won a lot of his starts – end of story. No need to look at all these other numbers which clearly demonstrate how lucky he’s been. Let’s not treat this cancer until it’s inoperable.
On the other hand, after the Millwood disaster, I think we all knew going in that this rotation would be middle-of-the-pack, the kind which would require more than 4 runs from the offense on most nights to win. And as great as it has been, the offense has pretty much been asleep since the middle of last week.
Also, keep in mind Paul Byrd is due back at some point during this season. He could easily just be substituted in for Reynolds, who we only picked up after Byrd’s injury, at minimum wage, I believe.
Reynolds is the textbook example of how run support can determine everything. In Burkett’s big year the Braves the team went only 18-16 in his 34 starts, despite his being 3rd in the league in ERA over about 220 innings. This season Reynolds has an ERA of 5.24, and the team has gone 10-2 already in his stats.