Chicago Sox 10, Atlanta 3

ESPN.com – MLB – MLB RECAP

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Travis Smith, Juan Cruz, and CJ Nitkowski combined to allow that line. Smith went only four innings, and allowed only two homers — so, normal. Cruz was super wild, walking three and allowing four hits, but striking out seven, in his three innings. Nitkowski pitched the eighth.

The White Sox have an excellent offense — they don’t quite match the Yankees, but they’re close — but the last two games have been disasterous as no Braves pitcher pitched without allowing a run. Of the last seventeen innings, the White Sox have scored in 13.

Offensively, Furcal hit a two-run homer and Green tripled and scored. Franco had two hits, the team eight in all. When you give up ten runs, you’re going to lose 95 percent of the time, so it doesn’t matter a lot.

Tomorrow is an off day, then back to Atlanta to face the Royals and Indians in games that will be played under the rules of baseball rather than softball. They will once again be witnessed only by those present and by the seventeen people who receive Turner South, save the Wednesday game on SportsSouth. The Braves will not appear on TBS again until a week from Thursday.

29 thoughts on “Chicago Sox 10, Atlanta 3”

  1. Let’s see:

    1) cutting payroll 2 or 3 years running . . .check!

    2) fielding a AAA team much of the time . . .check!

    3) making it impossible for me to see their games . . .check!

    Yep, Time-Warner is right on schedule to make me a fan of another team by next spring!

  2. Is this a plan by AOL to concentrate the TBS games in a shorter period. They were on everyday in April and May, almost gone entirely in June and July and will be back on a lot in August and September. Does anyone know if this is a plan or just TBS’s typically bizaare scheduling? Maybe this is the follow up to last year’s “MLB on TBS” genius plan. The only thing I can think of is that the suits at TBS think that if the games are more concentrated, that will encourage “appontment viewing.” Maybe they think no one watches in June and July.

    Anyway, it’s becoming clear this is a mediocre team. Although there are still some injuries, I don’t think they can blame it all on that. Personally, I blame Andruw; after 8 years in the majors he is the same undisciplined hitter he was when he first came up. And the worst part is he is making superstar money, almost as much as Guerrero–remember when people used to ask who would you rather have, Jones or Guerrero. In today’s market, Andruw is making way too much for a non-franchise player.

  3. If someone can figure out why TBS stopped broadcasting games please let me know. Atlanta is long way for me to drive to watch the Braves.

    MWS you have to blame injuries for our position. Our most effective starter, shortstop, star second baseman, best hitter and 1/2 (although ineffective) of our 1st base platoon hurt. We are still lucky to be where we are in the standings. I don’t think you can blame the whole thing on Andruw. You are correct he is never going to be the right handed Ken Griffey Jr. that everyone has been waiting for. In fact its time for the Braves to come to grips that he is going to be just a good player and not a superstar. At the time of signing his contract was under value given his upside and the market. Well now that the market has changed and its evident that he’ll never reach that upside is a lesson in the dangers of long term contracts.

    Does anyone think that we’ll be looking at a couple of future Braves when KC comes to town? Does anyone think that we’ll be looking for a deal at all?

  4. It’s all about TBS becoming “tbs” with the pink backgrounds and softer tone for the arrival of “Sex (without the sex on tbs) and the City.” They front end loaded Braves games so their largely female audience (sure AOL, the demographics don’t lie) can watch it unabated for 7 days straight without those icky baseball players getting in the way of an important plot.

    I, for one, will be happy to be see the Braves get back in their own division very soon, where they have faired pretty well so far. No team is running away with the division. If Cox was managing the teams the Phillies or Marlins were putting on the field, he would have a double digit lead by now. It just goes to show you 2 things; 1st, Pudge made a big difference in Florida, and 2nd, even with most of the Phillies starting to hit, they are still a mediocre team. If the Braves get Ramirez back and Chipper gets back to normal, the Braves will win this division going away in the 2nd half when Giles comes back and they make a trade or two. Of course, the Central is the division to beat this year.

  5. Injuries are certainly a large part of the problem, especially at the beginning of the season. I’m not convinced you can still use injuries as an excuse. DeRosa’s ineffectiveness is another large part. I do think the Braves have the talent to be better than they are, but they have serious holes at first and third.

    I agree with Johnny that Andruw’s contract did not look so bad at the time. Unfortunately, it’s an albatross around the Braves’ neck now. He is essentially a complentary player, but making franchise player money. Given the poor attendence and AOL’s reluctance to spend any money, the contract is probably going to keep JS from making any significant moves. I’m not saying Andruw is a bad player–he is obviously a great outfielder and has some pop in his bat. But they need someone who can put the team on his back and that’s not Andruw.

    The Braves could conceivably win the division, but if they do, the Phillies should drop Larry Bowa into a vat of cheese for Philly cheese steaks.

    People have been screaming for Mike Sweeney for years; it’s not going to happen under the current economics this team faces.

  6. Sweeney probably not though he’d be great. OTOH, I’m thinking Joe Randa (3M this year)is pretty darn likely and maybe we could take a flier on Juan Gone (4M this year). Once Juan Gone’s owwie back lets him play, we’d have Randa at 3rd, Juan in LF, Chipper at 1st and DeRosa or Green at 2nd until Giles comes back. Julio goes back to his stud pinch hitter role, LaRoche goes back to AAA as trade bait (or heck send him to KC and convince them that with him in the fold they can afford to shop Sweeney along with Beltran – who we aren’t getting either – stupid time warner suits) and the team rolls to the division.

    Happy thoughts :)

  7. Yeah, what bwarrend said. I’ve also heard TBS will soon start airing “Everybody Loves Raymond” as well, giving them a multi-hour prime time comedy block of Friends, Seinfeld, Sex and the City and Raymond every night. Hence, no Braves baseball.

    I’d like to see Atlanta get Sweeney as well, but if it’s an injury-prone first baseman you want, why not Nick Johnson? He makes only $1.25M this year and is still more than a year from free agency.

  8. I really really really really really really like Mr. Rapaport’s Teixeira solution. I’d throw Paul Byrd in at no cost, too.

  9. I think people give Andruw too hard of a time. If you apply the Willie Mays Standard, he’s a disappointment. On the other hand you’ve got a gold glove centerfielder who plays every day and hits 30 homers a year.

    If the contract weren’t a consideration, which CF other than Beltran would you rather have? Edmonds is probably better, but he’s old and injury prone. Finley’s even older, and isn’t really a CF anymore. Bernie is fragile, old, and can’t play CF anymore.

    Mike Cameron’s a good player, but he’s also four years older than Andruw and has a career slugging average 60 points lower. Vernon Wells, maybe.

  10. With that block of programming, they could call it the Everybody loves Sex in the City with Raymond’s friends from Seinfield.

  11. It’s interesting that someone can say that Andruw’s contract is an albatros without saying smoltz or chipper in the same sentence. Especially this year. When we get from under the Smoltz deal and the Byrd deal and the Ortiz deal that should free up around 30 million for next season; USA today says the Braves have 50 million already committed. Granted, there will be salary increases for arbitration eligible etc etc, but 30 mil is a lot to spend if we can make moves similar to the Drew and Thomson pick-ups. There is reason to hope. As for Joe Randa and Igor, please, god, no.

  12. Over at the Hardball Times, Craig Burley and Aaron Gleeman have an interesting column where they try to field the best under 24 team (The Magic Twenty, they call it). Center field was the the most recent, and they had a hard time, conceeding that there was a dearth of young, talented center fielders. They ended up taking Rocco Baldelli and Laynce Nix, respectively. Andruw certainly looks to be in the upper class for a good while.

  13. If the Braves pick up a Royal, it should be Matt Stairs – he’s very cheap and would make a great platoon partner for Franco / lefty pinch-hitter.

  14. Wow. Did Matt Stairs really have that season with Pittsburgh last year, or was that some kind of alternate universe thing? He’s definitely a platoonist, but he’s been mashing righties. He seems to be more in the mold of a Scheurholz pick-up, but I’ll still hold my breath for Teixeira.

  15. If the past is any indicator, Scheurholz will trade LaRoche to get Stairs, then LaRoche will go on to have 2500 hits. Yes, I’m still bitter.

  16. I think the biggest problem is Smoltzy. I am not a big fan of paying a reliever this much money. If he starts – that is another story. But he is a mediocre 9th inning guy this season. He is VERY, VERY overpaid.

    The Phillies have no chance of winning under that idiot Bowa. They could have an All Star lineup and they would lose with him. Another thing is the Phillies waste a lot of money on Wagner seeing that they could use the cheaper Worrell.

    The Braves need to find a Worrell inside their farm system and bring him up. Look at Toronto and Frasor? Smoltzy has to start to warrant all that money. I don’t care what he says but he has to start, even if he only goes 80 pitches a start.

  17. Sweeney indicated that he’s not interested in getting traded out of Kansas City, even if the team begins to sell off their other top players, the Associated Press reports.

  18. FREE BUDDY HERNANDEZ.

    In other news, I got my picture taken with everyone’s favorite ex-Brave BJ Surhoff on sunday. He hit a homer in the game. So did Javy. I also got to see both of Bonds’ homers and both of Raffy’s. Good baseball weekend.

  19. Yeah, Smoltz makes a lot of money and yeah, you shouldn’t pay closers a ton of money, but:

    1. Smoltz gets this kind of dough because he’s John Freakin’ Smoltz. We’d probably still be wondering what it would be like to have a winning team in Atlanta were it not for him. Okay, that’s a little drastic, but you get the idea. I mean, the guy went out and pitched in the division series last year with his arm practically hanging off; give him some slack.

    2. Smoltz is willing to start, but we’re not willing to break his arm. Our biggest needs are not in the rotation anyway, assuming Ramirez is back sooner than later and Hampton gets a little more consistent.

    3. There isn’t anybody that’s going to do better than Smoltz as a closer in this system, nor is there a whole lot of room for error to find out. If you think Jason Frasor is the answer, you can ask Toronto fans who they’d rather have.

  20. The posts today rocked! I think if John makes any moves, it’ll be for pitching. The management understands the grind of summer games and likes to use live arms. I don’t think they’ll change this year. I think they’ve mismanaged the 40 man roster, but Mac expresses that better than I do.
    Considering John’s past trades with the Royals and Indians, wish I could see the games on tv!

  21. Any feedback on Paul Byrd’s outing today? Iy looks as if most of the hits off him were by minor leaguers hacking away. Only 4 runs were earned. It would’ve been nice to have Brooks at 3rd. I bet he fields better than Derosion even at his advanced age.

    Speaking of, I heard Derosion whining about the possibilty of being replaced at 3rd. He never said anything about his poor play (one of the guys on The Zone brought it up and he ignored it), he just said he earned the right after 4 years of hard work. I told my boss I should be in charge of my division because of all my years’ of hard work and he just laughed at me like I did about Derosion. That and a .223 BA will get you one of the better seats on the bench.

    Was 367 the ERA or weight of the opposing picher for tomorrow night’s Braves/Royals matchup? Man, that dude looks like a human snowman.

  22. I’m just saying…Jaret Wright last year showed signs of being a pretty decent closer. It depends how you look at it. Smoltz has done a lot for us in the past, but who cares about loyalty? I want to win now. And having him there and paying him so much with his recently mediocre perfomance annoys the hell out of me. He’d make a good captain of the team. I just think we’re pulling of a Mets 2002 move signing a reliever to that much. I still haven’t given up on Andruw…I think there will be some really big seasons for him ahead. All I am saying it that out of the 3 big contracts, Smoltz’s is the least justified this year. I am not talking about what he has done for us in the past, but heck yeah I would take Jaso Frasor if that means that we could bring in someone like Jason Giambi with the money saved. Closers are overrated. If there isn’t ONE person, what about a commitee…commiteesn do work, especially with the smartest pitchin coach on our team

  23. If the past is any indicator, Scheurholz will trade LaRoche to get Stairs, then LaRoche will go on to have 2500 hits. Yes, I’m still bitter.

    Mac who are you referring to here?

    Any predictions? Chipper at 3rd or 1st tonight?

  24. So Paul Byrd gives up 6 runs in 6 innings to a bunch of minor leaguers and pronounces himself ready. Oh joy.

    I’ll repeat my prediction from a couple of months ago — he’s got less than 50 innings left in his ML career….

  25. Wait. Didn’t Boone suck in an Atlanta uniform for two years? And weren’t he and Klesko traded away to the Padres at the same time? Yeah there we go. How about watching Klesko and Boone have their best years after we trade them for Quilvio Veras, Wally Joyner and Reggie Sanders? Ugh!

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