ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Expos – 07/25/2003
Argh. This should never happen. The Braves led 8-2 with one out in the eighth, and lost. Sure, they did something similar to the Mets last week, but that sort of thing happens to the Mets. Sharing the blame for this atrocity:
— Rafael Furcal, for misplaying a ground ball that should have been an easy out in the ninth into a baserunner who scored the tying run;
— Kevin Gryboski and Ray King, for being themselves in the eighth inning, combining to let five runs score and the Expos back in it;
— Bobby, for his insane faith in the aforementioned King and (especially) Gryboski;
— Jung Bong, who looked like he’d forgotten the object of the game in the 11th;
— The Personal Catcher, in the game because Javy was pinch-run for, for his complete inability to pick up a ball off the turf, allowing the winning run to score on a wild pitch.
Smoltz blew the save, but he’s got a lot of goodwill stored up, plus he really shouldn’t have been in that situation. Ricky Calloway, the Expos’ fourth outfielder — and quickly becoming a Braves-killer — doubled off the centerfield wall. Andruw almost had it.
Lost in the disaster was a great outing from Horacio Ramirez. Ramirez looked lost in the third, walking three, but got out of it with only one run allowed when Andruw threw out Vlad Guerrero at home to end the inning. (Guerrero really can’t run right now.) After that, Ramirez was superb, but had thrown 108 pitches when Bobby pulled him in the eighth to let the Rally Twins pitch.
In addition to his terrible fielding, Furcal was 1-6 and right now really needs to take a day off to reevaluate what he’s doing. Giles had four hits; Chipper, Vinny, and Javy all homered and all had three hits.
The Braves lost a chance to pick up a game on the Phillies, who also blew a lead. (But not six runs!) The Braves play a night game tomorrow, and unfortunately Shane Reynolds is the starter against Zach Day, who shut the Braves out in the second game of the season but hasn’t pitched since May.
I turned the game off after Javy homered to make it 8-2 (which I’m glad I did because the rest of the game would have made me physically ill). The game log indicates that Chipper made an error in the eighth that seems to have opened the floodgates. What happened to him out there?
Chipper saw Andruw coming his way and slowed up and had to reach for the ball, which ended up bouncing out of the heel of his glove. If I had to find another positive that came out of tonight, it would be that the bullpen is getting bad enough that Scheurholz will have to make a move. Better the pen continue to show its true colors now, rather than a week after the deadline.
Furcal looks like he’s trying to hit home runs again and that’s bad. Of course I wasn’t complaining when they were getting past the track.
Why in the world didn’t Bobby bring in Smoltz with two out in the 8th to face the right-handed hitter? King really made a terrible pitch there. Again, errors are bad, but they’re no excuse for giving up three-run homers. Bobby’s refusal to let Smoltz pitch more than an inning has already cost us a ton of runs.
Hey Mac, I hate the PC as much as you do, but you can’t blame Blanco for that wild pitch. It was Mitch Williams wild. Plus, he had made a great stop on a similar pitch moments earlier. Now, he did drop the ball after he picked it up and would have had a play at the plate…
As far as Smoltz in the eighth, he had pitched two days in a row, so I think Bobby was hoping he wouldn’t have to use him (and he shouldn’t have had to). If anything, maybe this game will get Cox and Schuerholz off their asses and make them trade for some middle relief help…
The AJC is reporting that the Braves are showing interest in RHP David Weathers (NYM) and LHP Scott Schoeneweis (Anaheim).
The good: Weathers leads the NL in Holds(19), and has an ERA of 3.04. Schoeneweis has a nifty 26/8 K/BB ratio, keeps lefties to a .188 BA, and has been a starter in the past.
The bad: The National league is batting at a .280 clip against Weathers, collecting 59 hits in 55 IP, who also sports a 1.46 WHIP. Schoeneweis has an ERA of 4.11, and a career ERA of 5.12. Righties are hitting .328 against him.
Ughh. Schoeneweis is Ray King, except that he doesn’t walk righties, he just lets them get hits. Weathers is worse than Trey Hodges at everything except giving up the long-ball and ERA. In combination with the holds, this will make him a “veteran clutch performer”. I’m not impressed.
Chipper is NOT an outfielder!!!
Schoenweis (sp?) was DYNO-MITE in the playoffs for Anaheim last year. I’d love to have him.
Weathers I’m not so sure about, although I figured the way Don and Joe kept talking him up on broadcasts that they had some inside information about a possible trade.
I say bring in all the fresh bodies you can and give them a two-month tryout before the playoffs. What they’ve got right now ain’t getting it done.
While Blanco isn’t to blame for the wild pitch, a guy whose existence is justified by his supposed (though I never see it) defense should have gottne the ball mor quickly when it rebounded off the backstop to come most of the way back to the plate.
Why in the world didn’t Bobby bring in Smoltz with two out in the 8th to face the right-handed hitter
I’m guessing Smoltz wasn’t sufficiently warmed up yet. The thing got ugly pretty quickly.
One note on the Phillies loss – while it wasn’t like they gave up a 6 run lead, they did give up 8 runs – including 4 by their newly acquired all-star Mike Williams. This should be a good object lesson in not making a bullpen move simply for the hell of making it.