Atlanta 3, Florida 2 – MLB – MLB RECAP

Well, wasn’t that odd? Despite the antiheroics of Kevin Gryboski, an umpire who decided to make himself part of the story, and Chipper reinjuring his hamstring, the Braves did sweep the Marlins and now are a game out of first. It’s possible, just possible, that Scheurholz and Cox know what they’re doing. I know that’s a controversial statement.

Not that Bobby’s perfect, of course. He remains entirely too fond of using Gryboski in high-leverage situations. Mike Hampton was nearly flawless for seven innings, taking a three-hit shutout into the eighth. He’d only throw 92 pitches after the leadoff man singled, but Bobby (he’d actually been ejected by this point, but he was certainly still making the decisions) decided to go to the hook a little early and brought in Gryboski, who promptly allowed a two-run homer to serial Braves killer Ramon Castro to tie the game at 2.

(Digression on Gryboskiphilia.)

Bobby’s feeling in these situations is that Gryboski has a good chance at getting a ground ball that could become a double play. That’s true, but the flip side of this is that he also stands a good chance of giving up a homer. And since Bobby always brings him in with runners on base, that means that the homer will often be of the two or three run variety. In that situation — runner at first, none out, and a two-run lead — you don’t need the double play so much. What you want to avoid is the extra base hit that can score a run right away, especially the homer that can tie the game. The Braves’ best relievers are Smoltz and Reitsma; since Smoltz will give you one inning at best Reitsma is the way to go.

I think that if there’s a role for Gryboski, it should be in a tie game or when you’re a run or two behind, when giving up one run is nearly as bad as giving up two or three. He should almost never come in when the team’s ahead, because he’s the pitcher most likely to change that in a hurry, as he did today.

(Digression ends.)

The Braves initially took the lead in the sixth, when Andruw hit a solo homer with two out. Estrada and Marrero (no, Drew still isn’t back; Furcal update to come) walked, and Garcia singled Estrada home. Hampton walked too to load the bases, but DeRosa struck out, meaning that the game was still in reach for Gryboski.

The events of the bottom of the fifth and top of the sixth were big. First, Marcus Giles was ejected for arguing balls and strikes ending the inning with Hampton at second. It looked to me like the pitch he took for strike three was a strike, but the umpire overreacted as usual and turned it into a big argument. Bobby got ejected as well. Furcal had to come into the game at short, Garcia moving to second, even though the Braves apparently wanted to give him a couple more days off. (The only other option would have been to shift DeRosa and bring in Chipper or Marrero from the outfield.)

Then Chipper, pursuing a ball that would have been caught by most left fielders, pulled his hamstring. He actually had to be carted off; they say he will be reevaluated tomorrow. If it’s as severe as it looks, he might need to take a DL stint, but Chipper’s pretty much the anti-Drew when it comes to healing. Wise came in to play left. So the Braves are playing without three of their top hitters, and the game goes to extra innings, and Base12 was sent out to pitch because Bobby for some reason trusts him more than Juan Cruz. He didn’t pitch well but managed to get out of it because of some nice defense.

With two out, Andruw walked. Estrada hit a fly ball to right that should have been caught, but Cabrera bungled it and Andruw came around from first to score on the “double”. McKeon argued, but he was safe. It was the Braves’ first sweep of the Marlins since 1996.

Tuesday, the annual Road Trip From Hell commences a little early: Cincinnati, Florida, San Francisco, and Colorado. That’s a very odd assortment.

21 thoughts on “Atlanta 3, Florida 2”

  1. I love Base12 as a nickname for the sucktopus. I don’t get it though? What’s the reasoning behind it (I assume the 12 is about his digits)?

  2. needs to get his head out of his ass. Friday he stopped running when he the thought the ball was caught. Then today in the 10th he thought he walked when it was actually ball 3. Then he was loafing it running the bases until he saw the ball was dropped then he stepped it up barely making it home safely. I like him and all but sometimes he makes you scratch your head.

  3. Yes that’s an odd assortment, but it’s also a road trip on which the Braves can really get something going. Two out of three against both the Reds and the Rockies is a must, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take two from the Giants as well.

    On another note, everyone’s favorite team from Montreal/San Juan is looking pretty pathetic so far. They haven’t even scored half as many runs as the second-worst offense in baseball so far, the Phillies….

  4. Andruw’s head is a lost cause. He continues to take games off at bat when he tries to pull everything. He was trying so hard to pull that he almost missed the fat hanger that caused Brad Penny to fall apart. Let’s talk instead about some sharp defense and a terrific effort form Hampton.
    On Tuesday Night, anybody still walking gets in the game, right?

  5. Bainser, I think it started as a joke about how hard it was for him to calculate his ERA on his fingers, even with two extra digits to help.

  6. I sure hope Chip is ok. If he is on the DL for any length of time we are toast. I’ve had a sore hamstring before and the dang things never heal it seems. I guess now the Braves are going have to ask J.D. to suck it up and play hurt. The bad news is partially offset by the good outings Ortiz and Hampton had. They looked very sharp. I too cannot for the life of me understand why Bobby Cox uses Grybowski the way he does. Cruz and Reitsma throw bullets and are probably unhittable for an inning. What the heck why not use Smoltz in those situations like the old days. Maybe Bobby wants to set up a 7th 8th 9th Nasty Boys triumvirate like the good Reds teams of a while back. But Kevin should not be part of that group.

  7. I think Bobby just has a fetish with bringing Gryboski in with any kind of jam. If there’s runners, he calls for Grybo. To add further good news on the injury front, how bout Furcal swiping a couple of bases. Looks like he’s a sure starter on Tuesday. I agree that they’ll also probably rush Drew back, and stick Marrero in left field (where he will probably be playing for the next couple of weeks unfortunately).

  8. I thought base12 was an allusion to the base ten number system, which humans developed due to having multiples of ten digits. If the world had been dominated by 12 fingered people, like Dr. Sucktopus, we’d be using a base 12 number system… that was always what I thought anyhow.

  9. Anyone miss Shef’s Chef’s? How about J.D.’s M.D.’s? We show up in right field (which is more than J.D. will ever do) in green scrubs. I don’t think Turner field security would let us get away with it, but it may be worth a try. Is Brian Jordan on the DL yet? Maybe we could work a trade and save a little money.

  10. You managed to insult about everyone imaginable in your main post. So, another successful posting, eh? If you are just now figuring out that Cox and JS know what they are doing, then it begs the question, where the hell have you been the last 12 years?

  11. Since Chipper is gimpy, now is the time to move him back to third so he doesn’t have a replay of yesterdays injury. Derosa is Mendoza like anyway, and Marrero could be the everyday left fielder and give an offensive and defensive boost. It will never happen, but I hate watching Chipper flail away out in left.

  12. Ok, I was at friday’s and sunday’s game and the SAME DAMN THING HAPPENED!!!

    Jones on first in a tie ball game with 2 outs. Fly ball to right field both times, both times Andruw stopped rounding third to see where the ball is. WTF is he doing and why is he even looking? I thought he was out by a mile on Sunday’s game, but hey, i’ll take the win. I can understand maybe friday jones didnt know there were two outs, but the excat same place in a three day span and he does the same thing.


  13. Anyone miss Shef’s Chef’s?

    I think the Chefs should keep coming to the games, just change their name to the Julio Francophiles. They could wear the same clothes….

  14. While I tire of umpires getting all huffy for no reason, the rule book couldn’t be more clear: You argue balls and strikes, you get ejected. Period. And since no ump in the history of the game has ever reversed a ball-strike call, I wish players and umps would quit it.

  15. Free Juan Cruz!

    Here we have a bullpen that has been worked hard in the early going, and Juan Cruz – who has pitched well – has pitched only one inning int eh last ten days, and that a week ago. Meanwhile, Bobby breaks out the guy who’s still recovering from an injury for the third straight game.Maybe we out to change his name to Juan McGlinchy.

  16. Yeah Colin, right on. Free Juan Cruz is one campaign we all need to get behind. It would be a crying shame if he turned into a Jason Marquis.

    The guy clearly has the quality talent to be in the starting rotation, or at least one of the first guys out of the bullpen every night. Why not “Cruz/Reitsma/Smoltz” instead of “Gryboski”?

  17. On Cox/Mazzone pulling Hampton too soon, I was at the game and saw Hampton make a distinct motion towards the dugout after he gave up the hit to Redmond. I took it as a sign that he was ready to come out.

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