Atlanta 6, St. Louis 5

ESPN.com – MLB – MLB RECAP

About time. The Braves made it entirely too interesting, Smoltz coming in for a struggling Reitsma in the eighth and a game in which they led 5-2 and 6-4 in doubt. But he got out of it unscathed.

Bobby reshuffled the lineup, putting Marcus Giles in the leadoff spot, Julio Franco playing first (against a righty) #2, and Drew-Chipper-Estrada-Andruw as the heart of the order. Mark DeRosa was benched for Wilson Betemit. Betemit was 0-4, but other than that, it went great. Chipper was 3-3 with a walk, before leaving for a pinch-runner (I think it was precautionary with the bad field) Drew had two hits including a two-run homer, and Giles, Estrada, and Andruw all also had two hits. Leadoff man Giles also stole a base.

Thomson was going okay until the fifth, which was delayed by rain; when he came back, he was very hittable and Antonio Alfonseca actually had to come in to save the day. Which he did, getting Lankford and Rolen with two runners on. Base12 thereby got the win, with Cruz and Gryboski joining in to each give an inning of hitless relief. The bullpen is actually not that bad right now, though Reitsma seems more hittable of late. Smoltz gave up a single to Tony Womack, which is so fluky I’m going to ignore it. Other than that, good stuff, great control.

Now Milwaukee for three… As bad as the Braves have been playing, they’re still only four behind the Marlins and two behind the Phillies. And Larry Bowa hasn’t been fired yet, so anything’s possible.

18 thoughts on “Atlanta 6, St. Louis 5”

  1. Reitsma has been giving up a lot of hits. I love his control, but maybe he needs to work out of the strikezone more.

    Has anyone noticed that Andruw has lost the ability to throw the baseball with any strength or accuracy? I think the injuries he is playing through are taking a toll.

  2. Not only Andruw’s throwing, but after a spectacular start to the year hitting, his BA and SLG have collapsed. In better news… Anyone else notice that when he’s playing JD Drew is actually getting on base better than Sheffield last year (similar slugging)?

  3. Funny you should bring up the injury issue. DeRosa would just say he should stick it out and be a man. JD Drew is better than Sheffield in every statistical category right now and he’s missed 8 games. DeRosion got benched because he is a liability to the team at 100%. HE is heading on a rail out of town because of his big mouth and his failure to hit the baseball. He is what cost them wins, not Drew. If Drew would havebeen in the lineup, he would have risked injury to get a hit when noone was getting on at the top of the order. Chipper should shut his pie hole until he starts hitting again. If he would have sat, we wouldn’t have lost him for 3 weeks.

  4. One other comment on Sheffield. His Slg% is only 10 points higher than his OBP. JD Drew is in the top 10 in OPS and BB and oh, tough man Derosion is a major league worst 5 for 44 in May. Maybe that stiff neck he woke up with in Colorado is keeping him from being 100%. My guess is it’s his lack of ability.

  5. Chipper should shut his pie hole until he starts hitting again.

    3-3 today. I guess that earns him permission to re-open the old pie-hole. In fact I hope he keeps opening it as he is about the only leadership this offense has. My complaint would be that he probably doesn’t speak-up enough, but there is probably more going on behind the scenes than we are really aware of.

  6. You seem to like criticizing players for actually playing through injury. Obviously, Drew doesn’t like toughing it out. I am not even going to criticize that, I just don’t think you should take a shot at Chipper Jones just because he played slightly hurt and ended up making it worse. You act as though he was a fool for playing through injury, but let’s not forget that this is a guy who hasn’t seen the disabled list in eight years and who has produced consistently for that entire span. J.D. Drew has obviously been graced with immense talent, but the Braves did not trade their best pitching prospects to get a 120 game rightfielder. He might have a fanstastic batting average and sterling OPS, but the production is just not going to be there if he misses entire series’ for a stiff neck. From 1999 (his first full season in St. Louis) to 2003, Drew has averaged 104 hits a season, 18.2 HRs, and 53.4 RBIs. I’m sorry, but these numbers of a five year span are pretty sad for a player of Drew’s calibre. I know that if Drew sits, they can stick Dewayne Wise in there (so that he can go 0 for 4), but I still would rather have a guy like Chipper Jones who one way or another plays at least 150 games a year.

    In an unrelated topic, does anyone think there is any degree of permanance to Bobby benching DeRo. I personally think the guy just needed a night off. He looks like he thinks his life is on the line every time he’s up to bat.

  7. I guess Chipper can run his mouth since he finally got his first hit in almost a month. When he does, he could talk about how not resting his hamstring cost him 3 weeks and cost his team some chances at wins because he wasn’t in the lineup. Bottom lineis, JD Drew has been more productive overall than any other member of the Braves this year even with his missed games. Derosion running his mouth on the radio is unacceptable since Drew being out hasn’t hurt the team like Chipper’s absence from pushing it and Andruw trying to play through his.

  8. I am criticizing Chipper for not taking responsibility for playing when he was obviously fairly bad offand then having the nerve to criticize JD Drew for not pushing when his hamstring was bothering him. I don’t know the extent of JD Drew’s stiff neck, but I do know that Drew sitting out with a stiff neck cost the Braves much less than Derosion playing in Colorado when he claimed to have one himself (4 errors, 1-14at the plate). So which do you want? A guy costing his team when he plays hurt, or the team having 9 healthy guys in the lineup?

  9. I don’t remember Chipper blasting Drew over the hamstring issue. The comments Chipper made that I heard were in relation to the “stiff neck gotta miss an entire series” episode. I think Chipper’s beef is that if everybody in the lineup took themselves out when they felt any kind of pain you would never see more than one or two regulars playing at the same time…ever. Point is that there are some really good players out there who play through pain all the time and you never hear about it. I also think DeRosa’s problems go far deeper than just a stiff neck.

    So maybe you think that team full of exceedingly-cautious J.D. Drews is peferable to a team of play-through-the-pain Chipper Jones types. But I certainly wouldn’t want to see it.

  10. I don’t disagree with you on the point about the exceedingly cautious types. It just amazes me when the press and teammates jumped on him when they knew what they were getting. I do believe though, they have gotten more out of him than even they expected at this point in the season. Same with Estrada. The real problem is that Chipper and Andruw have not performed to their abilities at this point and Derosion’s been on a 3 week slide straight down. What Jeter went through was a slump, what Derosion is going through is lack of talent. If Chipper had not been injured and Derosion wasn’t acting like a cat playing with a ball of yarn over at 3rd, noone would have brought up the issue. I guess Derosion is just like any other good Democrat though. Gotta find a scapegoat to cover his own shortcomings.

  11. Wow. That last comment was classy AND well founded! Nothing like dragging petty bipartisanship where it is totally unrelated to the conversation.

  12. Whoooa…..Baseball and Politics dont mix….seems to me like the cat and yarn thing applies better to George W., doesnt it?

  13. What in blazes does Mark DeRosa and his struggles have to do with the Democratic Party?

  14. One rule I left off before: No politics. I have a political site, and there was a perfectly good reason why. Politics distorts the discussion.

  15. Is BWarrend a Yankee fan? Next he’ll be spouting about how awesome a shortstop Jeter is.

    Mindless generalizations…

  16. Thanks mac, I follow basball to get away from the political maelstrom. Way to nip it in the bud.

  17. Didn’t mean to be political, but boy aren’t some people touchy? I was trying trying to make a point about Derosion’s calling out the best or 2nd best player on the team when he doesn’t even belong on the team himself. I am Braves fan all the way. Been to every playoff series since 1993, before I moved to Atlanta.

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