Los Angeles 7, Atlanta 4

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Dodgers

This game will drive you crazy sometimes. The Braves were shut down for seven innings by Jeff Weaver, but loaded the bases in the eighth with two out, and Adam LaRoche hit a grand slam, giving them a 4-2 lead.

Chris Reitsma, who’s been so good, came in, and actually was making out pitches. But as happens sometimes, one ball found a hole, and another one bounced off Reitsma and away from Marcus, and then LaRoche — LaRoche, who hit the slam! — mishandled a grounder and Drew beat him to the bag, and the bases were loaded with one out. (The play was ruled a hit but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that reversed.) And Reitsma got the next guy to fly out to short left, and might have gotten out of it. And then Milton Bradley hit a homer, his second of the game. Sosa came on and allowed one more run.

Well, at least Kolb didn’t pitch. Mondesi didn’t play, Langerhans getting the start in right but going 0-4, which probably means six more weeks of Buffalo. The Braves were held to seven hits, two by LaRoche and two by Estrada. Giles, Chipper, and Andruw all had hitting streaks snapped, I believe. Braves outfielders were a collective 0-for, as Jordan went 0-4 too.

Good start by Horacio Ramirez, seven innings, seven hits, one walk, two strikeouts, no decision. He threw 84 pitches, 50 strikes, which is a good sign.

At least the Marlins lost… Mike Hampton versus Odalis Perez tomorrow night at a slightly more civilized (by thirty minutes) hour. I assume that Mondesi will at least start against the lefty.

23 thoughts on “Los Angeles 7, Atlanta 4”

  1. I switched to the News Hour when LaRouche hit his slam (muttering terrible things about Tracy and his inability to recognize when his starter has had it; I think that’s about four times in ten days he’s left the starting pitcher in too long). Imagine my disbelief when I come back an hour later and discover that Bradley has equaled Larouche’s home run in the bottom of the inning.

    Sheesh.

  2. Man I hate seeing routine grond balls messed up like that. He looked on as if he couldn’t quite believe Drew would make the bag; with the pitcher standing by too! What a game though.

  3. Heartrending loss aside, that was pretty much an object lesson for what happens when you don’t strike anyone out — sometimes **** just happens and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    Incidentally, I thought the Dodgers couldn’t get any more clutch hits without Paul Lo Duca?

  4. Guys, I have to apologize for the Reitsma thing – it’s my fault. I just picked him up (literally, he went on my active roster Friday) for my fantasy team. With KolBB’s implosion, I figured to pick up some saves with him. However, I have the reverse Midas touch this year with pitchers, and didn’t think about the real life consequences of my decision. I’ve removed him from my team, so hopefully he will resume his effeective work from earlier in the year. Apologies to all :-)
    Seriously though, I did the same as Linkmeister – was watching the game and turned it off after LaRoche’s homer. That’s too bad…

  5. I was really hoping Bobby was going to intentionally walk Bradley there with the count 3-1 and the bases loaded. I actually miss Gryboski.

  6. Jonathan, you stole my line, I was going to apologize for the same thing. At least this way I can’t take all the blame. ;)

  7. Tanto, don’t believe all the media says. The LA Times columnists fell in love with LoDuca, never noticing that he’s been a first-half player for most of his career. Bradley, Kent, Drew and even Choi have been getting quite a few clutch hits this season.

  8. Is anyone else surprised that the Braves are 3rd in the NL in runs per game? OK, actually 4th, but the Rockies are just barely ahead of us, so I’m discounting them. Reasons?

  9. I don’t know all those complicated formulas that give you expected runs scored, but I would imagine that they come up with something less than 173. So my completely unfounded guess is that the answer is the two L’s: Larry and luck (AKA clutch hitting). Also, if you take away the runs Andruw has created (since, ya know, most of them don’t count), Atlanta probably falls to the middle of the pack.

  10. They’re still a lot better at home, I think, but not so much so after the Denver stop. I’d add on that the bench (Langerhans-Orr-Betemit) has added a whole lot of runs to the mix as well, making up for the poor play of the corner outfielders and shortstop.

  11. “Tanto, don’t believe all the media says.”

    Yeah, I know. This is me being snarky after listening to the media bash LA while talking up crapheap teams like Anaheim and San Francisco all winter.

  12. To paraphrase Rob Neyer, good teams just aren’t that fun to watch. These days, at least, they don’t do much bunting or running or worry an awful lot about defense. There’s less value placed on “good guys”, so they’re also less fun to talk about. We all like good stories and ugly guys that don’t play flashy defense and mostly either walk or hit home runs just don’t make for good stories. Throw in the Moneyball backlash (which is primarily little more than FUD, but did also threaten the future of many of the game’s so-called experts), and it’s all completely understandable. Frustrating as all hell, but understandable.

  13. Yeah, that makes sense intellectually…but still, all winter Jeff Kent had to defend himself as being better than Alex Cora. Alex. ****ing. Cora. Yeah, that Cora. All-time home run leader among second baseman and fringe Hall-of-Famer Jeff Kent has to point out repeatedly that he’s a better baseball player than Alex Cora. I have to get my kicks in while I can before the Dodgers go on a random six-game losing streak and Bill Plasche breaks out the token “DePo is a glasses-wearing dork who poops his pants” rant.

  14. BTW, has anyone noticed that Hampton has been facing a lot of lefties lately? I wonder if that’s by design — scheduling Ramirez starts so that Estrada gets a day off against a lefty, continuing the demi-platoon from last year.

  15. Bill Plasche breaks out the token “DePo is a glasses-wearing dork who poops his pants” rant.

    What is it about guys like that? I believe it’s called transference — used to having their manhood questioned, they lash out in these parodies of muscular, alpha-male rants. Skip Bayless is the absolute worst, along with several of the Around The Horn lispers. Jim Caple, too. Can’t stand any of them.

  16. Bell Curve, last night was Horacio’s turn in the rotation. They skipped him due to an off day before the St. Louis series and then plugged him back in after Smoltz against Houston. (I think they could have thrown him Thursday in Colorado, but the TBS guys said something during that game about Cox letting Horacio start last night because L.A. is his hometown and he had never pitched in Dodger Stadium).

    Hampton is taking his regular turn tonight. Historically, lefties have always hit him just as good as righties do, as is common with changeup-throwing lifties (e.g. — Glavine, Remlinger).

  17. Creg, I think he means that since Perez is Hampton’s personal catcher, they’d prefer Hampton to pitch against another lefty pitcher, because Estrada is no better a hitter than Perez when a lefty is pitching. But it’s probably a coincidence.

  18. man, when people start questioning stathead ideology or the holy church of money ball, it’s like someone’s crapped all over your couch. not everyone has to be in the circle of faith. statheads seem to think any doubt is, de facto, uninformed. real open-minded.

    anaheim is a crapheap?

    let’s see how well the dodgers are doing 25 games from now.

    why is everyone paying attention to the dodgers’ current success versus, say, the A’s current crappiness? actually, i’d put a lot more money on the A’s to pull out of the slump than the dodgers’ chances of keeping up the wins. (i admit to wanting to see the A’s fail, though, because it shatters so much faith in jesus h. beane. not really, the guy is without flaw.) the dodgers are, however, lucky to be in a weak and currently barry-bondless division.

  19. The Oakland As are basically the Pittsburgh Steelers of baseball. They’re better at identifying talent than most teams, but they’re never going to be able to keep their free agents because they don’t have/won’t spend any money. The Steelers contend for the Super Bowl for about two or three years at a time, then crash and burn for a year or two before bouncing back. Looks like that’s what’s happening to the A’s this year.

  20. As much as I’d love to see Adam get a shot in the rotation if Hampton has to miss a start or two, the better shot for his ML career is going to be the pen. He’s gotten screwed up being yo-yoed before from the rotation to the pen in both Detroit and Colorado, and even with just 39 pitches tonight, he did look a little tired at the end.

  21. AP has Hampton’s injury officially as a “strained forearm” — fill in your own punchline here.

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