Washington 4, Atlanta 3

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Nationals at Braves

Dan Kolb validated my fears yesterday, turning a 3-1 Braves lead into a loss in the ninth. He walked two and allowed an 0-2 single to load the bases. He looked for a moment like he might get out of it, allowing one of those runs to score while getting two outs, but then a gapper scored two and lost the game. He was lucky to only give up three runs. Everything he threw was up in the zone, and was either a ball or screaming “hit me!”

Kolb blew a beauty of a start by Tim Hudson. Hudson went eight, allowing six hits, not walking any, and allowing one solo homer. 67 of his 102 pitches were strikes.

The Braves had nine hits, scattered among five players; Estrada and the corner outfielders were hitless. Pete Orr had a big game, going 3-4 and scoring twice. Chipper had a two-run double in the sixth to put the Braves ahead. The other run came in the fourth on Andruw’s sac fly.

Jordan is now hitting .167 and Mondesi .154. Meanwhile, Andy Marte is hitting .435 and Jeff Francoeur .400. I’m just saying… The bottom ninth inning was interrupted by rain after two pitches, which didn’t help a whole lot but probably didn’t affect the score… Day game today, Tomo Okha versus Thomson. The Braves retain a one-game lead, but now on Florida, Philadelphia, and Washington.

41 thoughts on “Washington 4, Atlanta 3”

  1. If Kolb doesn’t add a semi-effective second pitch, I don’t see how he can succeed for us. If he’s going to rely on his fastball only, he better have Rivera-like movement on it, which he doesn’t. Oh, and the control he’s displayed so far looks more in line with his 1999-2003 walk rates, rather than last year’s. At least he was also striking out batters back then.

  2. It’s a good thing Kolb is a Closer(tm), or I would be worried that we were going to automatically give the ball to a mediocre to slightly-above-average relief pitcher in the 9th inning of almost any game we are winning. I would also be worried that we would leave him in the game long after proving he has nothing, if he weren’t a Closer(tm) that is.

    Fear not, we are in good hands. He is one of the anointed few.

  3. I’m not an alien so I didn’t see the game. The first couple of games Kolb looked like he was on the edge of failure. I guess he jumped last night. Mac, you might be right Reitsma ‘closing’ and Kolb setup by mid season. Matt I understand the sacrcasm about Closer(tm) but the Red Sox tried going closer by committee and it didn’t work out.

    Langerhans batting .167 too. Its too soon in the season for the Braves to panic but I wonder how long they let it go on, especially if Marte remains hot.

  4. Johnny – the phrase “closer by committee” was an invention of the media. The Red Sox didn’t have an ace reliever so they tried to use the best or freshest guy in whatever situation presented itself. Their bullpen sucked because the pitchers in it sucked. I still think a 3 run game in the 9th versus the bottom of the order is a ridiculously stupid spot to use your best reliever. But the stat, which makes no sense, defines the usage, so there you go.

    All – What was with the guy yelling something like “YOU WANT FIVE HOT DOGS!!! THESE ARE SOOO GOOD! YOU WANT FIVE!!!” on the telecast around the 7th inning or so? I was half paying attention since it was between innings but as far as I can tell it was just a real drunk guy yelling about hot dogs? Surely not some type of ad? Little help?

  5. Why couldn’t Bobby just leave Hudson in the game last night? The only thought I could come up with is that Bobby is still in “testing” mode with Kolb and wanted to test him in that situation.

  6. Kolb said, “For the fans and everybody, you don’t want to create a confidence problem…. I didn’t have my concentration tonight. I didn’t have my fastball. I don’t know why. It’s not supposed to happen in April.”

    Sorry boss, I lost in court today because I didnt have my best concentration. Not sure why, it is early in the week, just didnt happen. I hope our client doesnt mind paying 2 million in damages. I hope that by blowing this case, I dont create a confidence problem in the firm.

    Absurd, do your job. If you dont have your good stuff, you dont have it, but you should always have your “concentration.” That is pitiful.

  7. All these benefits we were supposed to get from Smoltz moving back into the rotation should turn up any day now…

  8. All these benefits we were supposed to get from Smoltz moving back into the rotation should turn up any day now…

    Yeah, you mean like 15 K in 7.1 IP? That’s nothin’…

  9. Matt, preaching to the choir. I don’t know how many times last season I was screaming at the TV for Bobby to bring Smoltz in when the game was on the line. I am old enough to remember when relievers were called ‘firemen’.

    I suppose LF would be hard if you have never played the position. I know its a small amount of anecdotal evidence but Miguel Cabrera looked awful out there during our opening series in Fla. Mac you are right Langer needs more at bats against guys not named Pedro.

  10. Look, Kolb (or Klober, now) hadn’t worked in three days. A sinkerballer has to work often to be sharp. This guy is not loke Smoltz was and can pitch twice a week if needed. IF he is going to be effective he has to pitch days a week.

    He got alot of innings the first half of last season when the Brew Crew was playing well. When they started to suck in the second half, Klober didnt get much work, and wen he did it was only a few days a week and he got hit.

  11. I can’t believe people are panicking after one game and one week of the season. C’mon. I recall that Smoltz blew a save against the Mets early in his first season as closer and gave up 9 runs doing it. I’m not saying Kolb is Smoltz, but the Braves only have 154 games left to play. I’m a lot more concerned about the offense–which I think will be long-term problem–but, still, worrying about batting averages after 8 games makes no sense. And why are people picking on Jordan and Mondesi? We knew they were stopgap measures. What about Andruw who was supposed to have his breakout season?

    If Bobby managed the season like people here seem to want, the entire team would collapse from exhasution by September if not earlier.

  12. How stupid is a day game against anybody on a Wednesday? TBS will probably have 6 people looking at commercials today.

    No panic here, just venting.

  13. Yeah, you mean like 15 K in 7.1 IP? That’s nothin’…

    When those show up in the W/L columns let me know..

  14. “How stupid is a day game against anybody on a Wednesday?”

    Get away day.
    Almost always gonna happen on the last Wednesday of a home stand, but when the next Thursday is an off day it smacks of a Players Union demand.

    Of course Bobby just said in the pre-game he wished all 162 started at 1:05 PM.

  15. JOE: “Can of Corn” Oops, I better be careful, some announcers don’t like when you use their catch phrases.


    JOE: (mentions some shift and the team hoping for… stealing Skip’s line) “a Chopper to Chipper”


    Say what you will about our announcers, I love when they get going like that.

  16. Its hard to understand why a team would invest resources and outs on Brian Jordan and Raul Mondesi. Mondesi at least is an exceptional fielder, but what’s the idea behind Jordan, nostalgia?

    Andy Marte should be at Third, Chipper Should be in the Outfield, along with Ryan Langerhans.

    As for Kolb . . . well yes, this is what you get when you invest resources in a guy who basically doesn’t strike anyone out.

    Smoltz should still be the closer. All those who think he should be a starter, come back and talk to me after he goes on the DL.

    In lieu of Smoltz though, Reitsma to me seems like the best reliever in the pen and deserves a shot to end games.

  17. Are the Braves going to be saddled with Tom Martin all season? Is there nothing we can do to get a left-handed arm in the bullpen. So far (I know it’s very early), most everyone is playing just like you’d expect them to on paper (from Jordan to Mondesi & Martin to Kolb) — and the paper on a lot of these guys doesn’t look too good. Really, Martin & 2 or 3 other guys in the pen are disasters.

  18. Hm, did anyone see why Cox was ejected in the first? Just curious. Stuck w/ Gameday here at work.

  19. When those show up in the W/L columns let me know..

    It shows up in the Runs Allowed column, and run differiential is almost the same thing as W/L.

    Its hard to understand why a team would invest resources and outs on Brian Jordan and Raul Mondesi.

    They’re cheap.

  20. They said something about a Leftie reliever named Brooks that the Braves may have picked up on waivers from the Dodgers. Can he start yesterday?

  21. The bullpen and this last inning just made me throw up a little in my mouth. Was I just imagining last week when our relievers pitched well? Is it going to come down to us and the Mets to see who has the worst bullpen in the NL East (or the NL for that matter) while the Marlins jump out a few games ahead?

  22. They just said his name again. Frank Brooks.

    For Pittsburg last year: 17.3 IP, 9BB, 18SO, 4.67 ERA.

  23. dbratl (and Mac),

    I’ve thought about mentioning Scoop, as well. It is the blogging app they use at Athletic Nation, DailyKos and others. The thing I like is that it allows registered users to create their own diaries on whatever they want to talk about (all still moderated by the site owner). It’s worth checking out and would be a lot of fun, IMHO. But it is your blog, of course, Mac and you can run it anyway you want to. And I’ll still keep reading. Go Braves!

  24. If I am a manager in a close game against the Braves, I bring in a lefty bat even if it is a pitcher to get booby to go to his lefty specialist Martin. he gets put on waivers tomorrow…

    Bullpen is looking as bad as expected. What is down in Richmond and the team formerly known as Greenville? No sense in starting Marte’s clock until we can get some people out…

  25. Frank Brooks? Maybe the Dodgers have let him go. Looking at his numbers, he has pretty good K numbers and good H/IP, but gives up a lot of BB/IP. Must be better than Martin.

  26. T*m M*rt*n gave up the runs, but Raul Mondesi could have had 7 RBI today. Where is Steve Avery? We should dig up Waren Spahn, he is better than M*rt*n!

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