The 2005 are now 7-8 and 2 games back of the division leading Fish and Natspos. The 2004 Division Champs were 8-7 and three games behind a streaking Marlins club.
That certainly doesn’t mean that this hasn’t been frustrating. Horacio pitched well, but well hasn’t been enough. The Braves needed excellent and Ramirez left one too many pitches over the plate to be deposited in the left field stands by Jose Vidro.
The game started off well for Atlanta with Furcal singling and taking second on a steal in front of a Giles walk. But Chipper promptly bounced into a double play. That, unfortunately, was the last real threat until the 7th. The Braves had single runners reach in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th, but each time it was only to first base and each time was with two outs. In the 7th, LaLob’s Little Lad led off with a walk. But Jordan Ked and Andruw bounced into another tailor made double play.
The bullpen did well. Grrrboy came into his patented 2 men on base, but retired our old Vinny Castilla to end the threat. Bernero had a one two three eigth inning including two strike outs.
Offensively, Furcal reached four times on three singles and a walk. He also stole a base, but more than erased that by being thrown out attempting his second steal of the game. Its still early, but so far, Furcal would be better off forgetting the running game as he has been caught 3 times and been safe 4. LaRoche pitched in with three walks. But that was about all the offense. Andruw’s slumpt has now reached historic proportions: he is roughly 0 for the Bush administration and looks as lost as [insert your favorite politician here].
Game #2 of a two game series tomorrow. Smoltz goes for his fourth outing of the year hoping to get a bit of offensive support. Opposing him is the next player to look like the 2005 Cy Young winner, John Patterson, a tall 27 year old right hander who is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA on this young season.
Thanks for the synopsis, BamaDan, I missed watching the game since we don’t get FSN here in rural Georgia. I would say AJ sounds as lost as Luger. Also, “slumpt” is so right on the money. Let’s go Bray-aves.
Can we start the Terry Pendleton watch?
Went to the game last night in DC. The announced attendance was about 27000, so the place was barely half full. RFK was much nicer than I expected because it was birthed in the era of donuts. There are no lower bowl outfield seats, just an interesting green wall lines the outfield. The upper deck is cantilevered so that the setting is intimate. Because of this you cannot see the outfield fence below your seats. Luckily (or not) I was in right field so I saw vidro’s bomb bounce off the lovely green wall. If anyone has a chance to get to DC you should check ticketmaster before the game to see if tickets are available. If they are, just walk up and get the cheapest tickets (7 bucks without ticketbastards charges) and move around as you like. There were plenty of fans disguised as orange seats in the lower levels that never showed up. Oh yeah, the Braves sucked.
I also went to the game and am going today. I thought it was a pretty good crowd for a school night in the middle of the week. A lot better than the crowds the Braves are drawing in Atlanta. Give DC a chance-there was almost no time for marketing or anything like that. In any event, the attendence was about three or four games for Montreal.
The futility of the Braves bats is breathtaking. They hit a few balls hard, but for the most part showed little patience at the plate and were hitting fly balls all night. Andruw is clueless.
Mondesi made a fabulous play to throw out a runner trying to move from first to third. He actually had to run after the ball and still got the guy by five feet. Too bad he can’t hit.
Slumpt? Hmm, where is the spell checker on this blasted thing? I blame Mac!
My wife and I (along with a bunch of Atlanta friends) were sitting in left field – the Vidro homer was hit right at us, but lower. We couldn’t tell if any fly ball hit into left would be caught or not because of the angle from the stands to the field. Metroing home wasn’t the most fun thing in the world but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. That was a great throw by Mondi.
The other people in my office have been walking up to me and jeering all morning. Tough to take. I can’t get over the newborn Nats ‘fans’; seeing some guy in a Brad Wilkerson jersey is hilarious. I’m sure the players are all thrilled that people actually know who they are now. Wilkerson is on a couple local commercials too – I guess he’s the most marketable National. Gotta be nice.
Quoth Andruw in the AJC:
“I thought he was going to throw me a slider and he threw me a fastball . . . probably right down the middle,”
Well, there’s a problem right there. If he’s simply up there guessing what a guy is going to throw and not even really knowing after the fact what pitch was thrown, that’s not a successful approach.
In fairness to him, that happens all the time. If you guess fastball and get a slider, maybe you can get a piece of it (of course, unless you’re Andruw). If you think slider and get a fastball, you probably aren’t catching up with it. Andruw had good reason to expect a slider at that point. The only thing I really think you can bust him on is not knowing if it was down the middle or not, and that only because of his use of the word “probably.” What else is there to say? This too shall pass.
I’ve always thought that was Andruw’s approach, and it drives me nuts. Hasn’t anybody told him about pitch recognition? Time to put numbers on tennis balls.
The problem with that approach is he’s clearly sitting on one pitch and one pitch only – with two strikes on him. That is frankly absurd. You can do that ahead in the count, sure. But here we have a guy who by his own words was guessing one pitch at a time when he needed to be more defensive in his swing, and was so committed to that one pitch that he was completely unprepared to even try to foul off anything else.
In fairness, the guy was throwing straight fastballs over the middle at about 90 mph. Only a major league hitter would crush that pitch more often than not.
I’ve often wondered if Andruw doesn’t have vision problems. He seems not to be able to recognize (see?) the spin on the ball.
Going back a few years, remember how quickly Jim Rice went from monster to mediocre? Word out of Boston was that he would wear his glasses in the clubhouse, while reading, and while driving, but refused to wear them while playing.
Speaking of Andruw, Langerhans is starting in CF. Anyone know if this is rest for Andruw or what?
I did not actually see the game (blasphemy!) but obviously Andruw’s in as bad of a funk as he’s ever had. He may indeed be having problems seeing the ball.
I’ll be back tonight, Dan. Thanks for filling in.
Not that I’ve had time to look up #s for every AB – but guys are swinging at the 1st pitch WAY too much. Jordan seems to be a particular culprit (again, observation, not research). Don Sutton just said ’16 in a row set down by Patterson’. I think I’m going to go puke now. Where is the offense?!?!?
I’m at work and “watching” the game on MLB Gameday, but this just makes me really feel for Smoltz. No one in the clubhouse should feel able to look any of our starters in the eyes. Getting two-hit by John F. Patterson!! Getting owned by the Expos!! What is the world coming to?!! We’re in real trouble this weekend against the Phillies.
We’ll be at home. The Phillies series is chance to get back on track.
This lack of run support for Smoltz (and just about everybody else, for that matter) is getting ridiculous.
That’s my street beef.
Ouch. That Jordan K hurt.
YAY! Guzman threw it away!
Was Mondesi going to be out? I can’t tell from the crummy internet broadcast I am “watching.”
Jones into the game in time to make a great catch!
I ? Kolb!
Doom, the throw was about six feet up the line, but a good throw would have gotten Mondesi. Even if Johnson had caught the ball off the base, he probably could have gotten Mondesi with a swipe tag. But he didn’t. We’ll take it.
Kolb didn’t crack under pressure. Way to go!
That andruw catch ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Its all because Mac said he’d be back tonight! You can all blame me for the last two losses. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.