Florida 11, Atlanta 6

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Marlins at Braves

A couple of rules of baseball:

1. If you keep giving up lots of hits, eventually you will have innings where you give up six hits in a row leading to five runs. That’s what happened to Hampton in the third inning, putting the Braves in a 5-2 hole. They might have climbed out of it, but…

2. If you have a reliever who hasn’t pitched in eight days, you have too damned many relievers and should cut back. Roman Colon hadn’t pitched since April 25, and he gave up three runs in the seventh to really bury the Braves at 9-2. It looked especially bad when the Braves scored four in the eighth to cut the lead to three — the same three Colon gave up. Jorge Sosa, who’d pitched to one batter since April 19, pitched a good eighth; Adam Bernero, who has actually been pitching a good deal, gave up two in the top of the ninth to kill any chance of a comeback.

The Braves’ hitters were limited to six hits, but got seven walks and scored six runs, so they weren’t at fault. Chipper still isn’t among the regulars and struck out pinch-hitting in the eighth. The Braves are getting concerned about his foot, which isn’t getting better fast enough and may not be just a bruise. If the Braves had known this would linger, they probably would have DLed him and maybe called up Marte, but the guys playing third base have actually been hitting the last few days; it’s the corner outfielders, first basemen, and Furcal who have been dragging the lineup of late.

Second game of the series tomorrow, a day game matching Burnett and Hudson on TBS.

32 thoughts on “Florida 11, Atlanta 6”

  1. We’re simply not going to win many games where the offense is out of control. We’re going to have nights like this throughout the season, but I think we will have more low-scoring wins to offset these defeats. Hopefully Huddy will rebound tomorrow and stabalize the pitching again.

  2. You’re so right on, Mac. WE have too many relievers. I actually like them all, with the possible exception of Kolb, but he may win me over yet with his “Proving the stat-heads right by being an intensely average pitcher who succeeds in a closing role” style.

    That would all be fine if they were all utilized. But how about times like last Saturday, when the only pinch hitter we had left representing the winning run in the bottom of the ninth was Eddie Perez. If one of these Bullpen fellas was switched out to Richmond for Mr. Andy Marte, maybe he does better than Eddie. Who knows?

  3. We can’t put Marte on our bench, he is better off getting AB’s in AAA. Betement is a hole at best at third. He can hit ok, but his D makes old school Chipper look like Brooks Robinson.

  4. If they’d called up Marte, I’d assume he’d play every day at third. For a bench player, there are several better alternatives.

  5. This is the first time I’ve ever wrote in here, but I have been checking it recently. I totally agree with what ya’ll guys have said.

    I was telling a buddy of mine the other day that it should have never come to Eddie Perez with the game on the line Friday night. It seemed like to me, we wasted Pete Orr, our hottest hitter off the bench with two outs, one run down, and no one on after the Betemit DP in the 7th i think. Why not send Langerhans up there and tell him to swing for the fences? I don’t understand using a hot pinch hitter with two outs and no one on.

    As for relievers, I couldn’t agree more. Look at Sosa last week when he came in and walked so many. Relievers must get work, unlike starters they can’t work as much on the side because they don’t know when they’ll be used.
    To me the bullpen is set up like this: Kolb, Reitsma, and Foster have their roles. Grybowski only pitches when we need a double play. Colon, Sosa, and Bernero rotating the mop-up time. We must get one of them to step up, because Reitsma will wear down pitching in every game we win.

    It makes much more sense to have another bat on the bench. Maybe not even a bat, how about just glove and speed. If he weren’t on the DL, I think Esix Snead would be a good option. Maybe McCarthy or Johnson should get a look. Not dissing Langerhans’s glove, but what if Andruw was to get hurt in the game? I mean seriously, I’d be concerned. I think it’s obvious Mondesi has lost speed in right, and Jordan doing the best he can is still amazing me at the balls he gets to. But will he the entire season?

    If nothing else, we need another right-handed bat on the bench. When Julio starts against right handers,,,Perez and Betemit are the only right-handed ph’s available. While on that note, I think Betemit should abandon the whole switch-hitting thing and just bat right-handed.

    One more thought, I have noticed that there is an established outfielder in Pittsburgh named Tike Redman who is in the doghouse, and recieving minimal PT. Not sure of his contract status, but he might be accessible if we ever decide the corner outfielders aren’t getting it done, and we don’t want to go to the minors for help.

    Anyway, enough of my rants. Hope I haven’t bored ya’ll.

  6. Seezy,

    Spot on, good to read your post. We definitely need *someone* extra on the bench. Probably Johnson, I’m guessing. Who knows how bad CJ’s foot is? I think I’d rather let Betemit get some more innings until they figure out what is going on, at this point in the season.

    When the pitching staff makes me blue, I think about how Wright, Cruz, and Alfonseca have started the year. And we’ll see about Ortiz. Having too many “good-enough” relievers is not a bad problem to have.

    The hit/walk/runs ratio was pretty sweet. It’s good to know that all of our complianing about balls and stikes is paying off.

  7. One of the problems that many people cite from last year was the overuse of Chris Reitsma, so perhaps having an extra arm is a priority for Cox. The starters are much better this year, however, so having this many relievers might be a little too conservative right now. I’m sure we’ll see a call-up soon if the lineup continues to be inconsistent.

  8. DIPS gods, this is Mike Hampton. Mike, these are the DIPS gods. You ought to get familiar with each other.

    Regardless of what the Braves want to do with the number of relievers they have, Colon needs to go down and get some work. 3 HRs in 8 innings of work, and none of them have been flukes. Everything that’s hit is hit very hard. Since no one really seems ready in double or triple-A. Bringing up Johnson would probably be a good move, even if it is brief.

    Here’s a question? What has four legs and has an OPS of .656? Of course, the answer is the Atlanta OF corners. When you combine Jordan’s “higher” OBP (.292) with Mondi’s “higher SLG” (.364), it’s still ugly. Here’s the deal. These guys are old and doing exactly what we should expect them to do outside of a platoon. There both nearly at 100 PAs so it’s time to try something different. Start the platoon experiment with Langer and Johnson. The rested bullpen, Chippers injury, and Johnson’s versatility, good play, and left-handedness make this a move that needs to happen.

  9. I agree with JC. Colon has to go down for his own good. There just isn’t enough work for all these relievers right now.

    Welcome, Seezy, but I can’t agree with you about Snead. (He’s on the DL now anyway.) Snead makes more sense to a team with a six-man bench than a five-man one, but he would be more valuable on a team with weak centerfielding like the Yankees or Phillies. For the Braves, where Andruw never leaves the lineup, it’s a different story. He’d mostly be used in a role that calls for a corner outfielder, someone who can hit. That leads us back to Johnson and McCarthy.

  10. Seezy, Tike Redman sucks.

    JC as much as I agree with you, it looks like Mondesi and Jordan have ‘hit’ just enough for Bobby to wait until June to see if they can turn it around. I mean if he won’t play Langerhans whats he going to do with Johnson?

  11. I don’t get the constant harping on Jordan and Mondesi while Andruw constantly gets a free pass no matter how little he contributes. Jordan and Mondesi have both contributed more than Andruw; Jordan has a grand slam and has driven in some key runs. Mondesi even has a game winning home run. What has Andruw done other than pop up with the bases loaded. Whenever someone criticizes Andruw, they are accused of comparing him to Willie Mays. Forget Willie Mays, how about at least Ron Gant? Andruw is the problem with the offense more than Jordan and Mondesi; he makes 5 time more than they do together and he was supposed to be the clean up hitter and this was supposed to be his break out year. He was supposed to have found the secret with his new stance. All I see is the same old crap where he flails at breaking balls and has terrible at bats with men on base. I’m sure he will end up with his normal stats–he’ll hit enough homeruns in 8-1 games when they groove fast balls so that his year end numbers will look respectable. I just don’t understand why people don’t talk more about how lousy Andruw has been rather than Jordan and Mondesi–who no one was expecting to hit 40 home runs anyway. I’m fed up with Andruw. His contract is nothing but an albatross around the Braves neck–he’s the reason they have Jordan and Mondesi on the corners. Pardon me for this rant.

  12. andruw last year: 261/345/488 and good d.

    mondesi last year: crazy.

    jordan last year: broken.

    that’s why we don’t harp on andruw. andruw= small sample size until the sample size gets bigger. jordan and mondesi? just about what we expected.

  13. If Chipper goes on the DL, we have to call up Marte, and he should not ride the pine, he should get 4 ABs per game. Don’t we already know that Betemit is not everyday 3B material? I don’t think he’s even utility infielder material. Sell him while he’s hitting a little. What could we get for Betemit in a trade? Betemit and Kolb package deal? Throw in the guy who got busted for steroids… Was that Jurries?

  14. Jordan and Mondesi are awful. I love how folks try to defend them by saying “Oh, but nothing was expected of them so it’s okay if they suck royally!” Bull. They’re both terrible and need to be replaced. Andruw has struggled mightily but he’s still outhitting either one of the gruesome twosome. Sorry to burst your bubble on the ridiculous claim that Jordan and Mondesi have contributed more but it’s simply not even close to being true.

  15. Marc, Andruw hardly gets a free pass here. In fact he may be overly criticized for not being Willie Mays and not given enough credit for being just Andruw. Personally I’ve no hope of Andruw ever being a superstar. I’m resigned to the fact that he is ‘just’ a very good player and an important part of a championship caliber team.

    Jordan and Mondesi have been unduly criticized here too. Jordan is doing what he was projected to do, Mondesi is under performing but not due to the personal issues he suffered from last season he just plain sucks. Its Bobby Cox’s call as to whether or not those two play. I’m sure all of us are wondering how much of a sample size that he needs before he determines that they are never going to contribute to the team’s offense.

  16. Not to mention that (coming into the day):

    Andruw: .234 .308 .394
    Jordan: .227 .292 .318
    Mondesi: .205 .245 .364

    Andruw hasn’t been good, but he’s been noticeably better than the other outfielders and has been hitting lately while Jordan’s continued to stink and Mondesi has gone into an even deeper funk.

  17. Is anybody watching the game and want to explain to me how it is possible for Johnny “Cement Legs” Estrada to score from 1st on a double?

  18. One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is that Andruw plays center, and plays it well. That makes him a LOT more valuable than a corner outfielder with equivalent hitting numbers.

    I think it’s fair to say at this point that we (by we, I mean myself, along with a few others) were justified in rooting for Jordan to flop in spring training. His performance there, as well as his early-season grand slam, has kept him ahead of Andruw in the lineup almost the entire season (hitting 3rd as recently as YESTERAY!) despite entering today’s game with an absolutely pitiful .227/.292/.318 line and .610 OPS, along with bad defense in left.

    I now feel absolutely no guilt in wishing for him to fail so he can be taken out of the lineup for good. The sooner we see Langerhans or Johnson in the outfield, the better. (I guess Langerhans is in there today for Mondi, so call up KJ and send Colon back for some seasoning!)

  19. Matt, Delgado cut off the throw at first, giving Estrada a break on what would otherwise have been a bang-bang play. (I’m listening to MLB.com. Anyone tried XM satellite radio yet?)

  20. Yes, I don’t disagree that Andruw is better than Mondesi and Jordan. Obviously, he’s a great outfielder. But he should be; he’s making superstar money even though he bats seventh. You can make numbers say anything you want–and frankly, I see the numbers as being roughly comparable anyway at this point. I don’t doubt that Andruw will end up with better numbers–he is a better player. But I disagree that he is a VERY good player. I think he is a good but highly overpaid and highly overrated player.

    And, how valuable is his defense? He is undoubtedly one of the best centerfielders of our time, but the Yankees won 4 World Series with Bernie Williams, who no one claims is a great centerfielder.

  21. Marc, I agree with you. awb, that was last year. Mondesi may still be crazy and Jordan may still be broken, but they are both more productive than Andruw. He is great in the field, and that forgives a lots of offensive weaknesses. With that said, we are getting just what we paid for with Mondesi and Jordan, nothing less.

    Chipper is back in the lineup, so let’s stop talking like his career is over. He showed up today and is getting it done so far. Wish we could say the same for Estrada. We have got to have the weakest cleanup hitter in the majors.

    What’s up with Giles? He is 0 for his last 14.

  22. Andruw is more valuable this year than either Mondi or Jordan on a position neutral basis, bwarrend. If you take position into account, he “crushes” them. According to BPro, Andruw is 1.8 runs better than a replacement CF, while Jordan and Mondi are two and three runs worse than a replacement corner OF respectively. 4-5 runs per month is 30 runs per year. Andruw may be overpaid, but he’s certainly better than those two clowns.

  23. bwarrend and Marc you’re case might be better stated that Jordan and Mondesi have sucked less than Andruw this year since productive and those 3 cannot really be said in the same sentence. Even without the sophisticated statistical metrics Kyle S. shows though you’d have a hard time making the case that Andruw has sucked more than Jordan and Mondesi have. I mean.
    .234 .308 .394 is better than .227 .292 .318 and .205 .245 .364 any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

    bwarrend I humbly disagree that we got what we paid for with Mondesi/Jordan. We could have gotten this bad a performance from Bill McCarthy and Ryan Langerhans for a less than 1/2 what we are paying base for the two vets with more potential for improvement.

  24. Aren’t 14 RBIs and the highest BA with RISP worth something? You’re missing the point. To just use the BA/SLG/OBP is selling Jordan short. It does not tell the whole story. 14 RBIs vs. Andruw’s 13 is worth more any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Also, Jordan and Mondesi have 20 Runs scored and 35 RBIs between them. That’s not exactly chicken scratch no matter what your BA/SLG/OPB or BO is.

    For less than 1/2 of what you are paying Jordan, you are getting exactly that from Langerhans. He is 5-28 for the year, batting a powerful .179.

  25. Well, bwarrend, Andruw has hit behind Jordan in the lineup since the infamous grand slam (or thereabouts) – the majority of the season, for sure. Jordan hit 3rd last night. He’s certainly had more opportunities than Andruw. The fact that Andruw hasn’t driven in as many runs is partially Jordan’s fault – he can’t get on base so Andruw can drive him in! Jordan’s “ability” to drive in runs is negated by his inability to get on base in the first place.

    Also, while Langerhans has struggled, to my knowledge he hasn’t started on consecutive days. It has to be tough for someone like him to play well with such infrequent usage. Jordan and Mondesi (and Andruw too) have no excuse.

  26. Also, Jordan and Mondesi have 20 Runs scored and 35 RBIs between them

    No they don’t. They have 25 ribbies, not 35.

    And that is chicken scratch. Projected out to a full season, that would be 75 rbi from the two corner outfielders and 60 runs scored. Absolutely horrible totals.

  27. One J.D. Drew managed 118 runs scored all by himself last year — just to provide some perspective as to what real corner outfield production looks like….

  28. Langerhans has played on consecutive days. And how does 25 RBIS in the first month only project to 75 for the season and 20 runs project to only 60? That’s as bad as me adding 14 and 11 to come up with 35.

  29. Not bad for what they are paying them. The Braves made the decision to win with pitching, not corner outfielders. Plain and simple. Bamadan acts surprised that this is all the Braeves will get from them.

  30. Surprised? Of course not. I was one of the most voiciferous detractors of their signings during the off season.

    But disappointed, sure. Name a team in the last decade that has won a league championship while getting 150 ribbies and 120 runs combined from its corner outfielders. (And yes, I did average the two, thanks sansho1 for pointing that out.)

    The Braves can’t make a decision to “win with pitching.” You simply can’t win without scoring runs. And it is incredibly difficult to score runs with substandard performance from two key offensive positions.

    Not bad for what they are paying them? Perhaps. But incredibly bad for the amount of playing time they are providing them. The opportunity cost is significant and can’t be ignored. A team has only 27 outs per game — giving them away at the rate that Jordan and Mondesi do, considering their ages & track records, is inexcusable.

  31. bamadan, I agree they should be getting more production out of corner outfielders, but did anyone including the Braves, think they would get more than 75/60 when they signed them? NO. You cannot win with offense and no pitching. Ask the Yankees, the Rangers and many of the past Orioles teams. It’s been proven time and again (with the exception of the Angels/Giants series). The White Sox won last night with only 2 hits. The Braves have won the one-run games this season on their pitching. They lose in the playoffs because they run into pitching that is as good if not better than them (Astros last year, Cubs 2003, etc.). The Red Sox won on the ankle of Schilling, the Marlins on Burnett and co., the Diamondbacks again on Schilling and Johnson).

    To that effect, where would the Braves be this year with Ortiz and say Millwood or Wright vs. Smoltz and Hudson? They’d probably be 11-16 or worse because Wright is hurt, Ortiz is not good, and the offense that you would get from JD Drew and Maggs, who is inured also. Those are a few of the alternatives in the offseason last year. I think the Braves made some good choices with what they had to work with budget-wise.

    The Braves led the majors in quality starts last year, and have 21 in their first 28 games. That’s an impressive stat.

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