Atlanta 3 California 2

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Angels at Braves

Hey, a win! All we need is for our starter to pitch great for eight innings, and it’s in the bag, more often than not! Easy!

Horacio Ramirez had one of his best outings, going eight and allowing but seven baserunners (five hits and two walks) while striking out three. He did give up a homer which tied the game in the second. The homers are something to keep a real eye on with him. If he controls those, he can be successful, but he hasn’t this year. He needed 109 pitches. If the Braves’ bullpen wasn’t so terrible he wouldn’t have pitched through the eighth, when he allowed a couple of doubles to cut the lead to one. Reitsma went 1-2-3 on grounders again to end it.

Andy Marte was 0-3 in his debut, but had a sac-fly RBI and also hit a ball to the warning track. Obviously he needs to be sent down to AAA again, because he didn’t hit for the cycle in his first game. Big night for Ryan Langerhans, who went 3-4… except he didn’t have a run or an RBI. Not his fault. The singles are starting to fall for him and with the power he’s shown he should be in the lineup to stay. LaRoche was 2-4 and drove in a run. Furcal hit a solo homer in the seventh to provide what was needed insurance. Wilson Betemit doubled and scored in the first, playing Marcus’ second base spot and hitting in his spot as well. He looks… functional there. It could be that there will be a job-sharing assignment, with Furcal, Giles, Marte, and Betemit all playing 3/4 of the time.

Rubber match tomorrow, Hudson (who of course has faced the Angels a lot) versus Kelvim Escobar. Sportssouth, starts a half hour earlier than today.

52 thoughts on “Atlanta 3 California 2”

  1. It’s all good. The Marlins are losing, the Phillies lost, wish the Natspos hadn’t won, but we’ll take what we can get. Andruw got plunked, but it’s his own fault, he should’ve been swing at that pitch.

  2. This was a pretty good game. I couldn’t have taken another loss. Betemit is locked in and Langer appears to be settling in it’s time to go ahead and send Johnson back down unless Johnny S. wants to ruin him. I definitely agree with Mac that the four infielders will split time, and that will probably continue when Chipper gets back. I didn’t hear the news on Chipper either, is he going to need surgery or just a few weeks of rest?

  3. Marte’s RBI pushed our runs per game alotment up to 3. EE, Chipper is going to Charlotte to see a foot doctor to get another opinion. I figure that means they found nothing or he needs surgery.

  4. Come on Horacio, nice game, but you should have not missed erstad by 30 feet. Dan KolBB could have done better than that. You had a free shot -There is no way Paul Byrd would have hit any of his ex-mates.

    Hopefully you will not be pitching when we face the Cubs on the day Zambrano is pitching. He is enemy number #1 if you ask me for hitting chipper last year in the last series of the season.

  5. HR did miss him, but I am glad we did something. It is probably better HR didn’t get tossed for hitting him. No one has said anything about Rietsma clsoing the door tonight. It looks like it is his’ job for now. That should help the bullpen’s confidence.

  6. The AJC speculates openly that Betemit played second tonight to showcase him for a trade. I hope David O’Brien is smoking crack – Betemit should have moved back to “near untouchable” status with his play so far this year. I think Bobby just doesn’t want to take the hottest bat out of the lineup. That’s very consistent with his normal managing style.

  7. Missed him on purpose, right? Don’t teams do that sometimes to show they’re willing to retaliate, but are refraining from doing so in that particular instance. I seem to remember Glavine talking in his book about throwing behind Dale Murphy on purpose . . .

  8. Oh and one last random thing about tonight’s game from ESPN:

    Braves second baseman Marcus Giles was perturbed about being left out of the lineup, especially with Chipper Jones on the DL and the Braves struggling to score runs. “I don’t know what’s going on,” Giles said.

    Mass confusion!

  9. Why did Marcus sit? Was it the righty righty matchup, but that contradicts Jordan being in. Sit Furcal who is hurt and can’t get on base. Tonight the exception.

    One more piece of the puzzle needs to be moved. B. Jordan is unproductive. He does not need the three hole. But who hits third?

  10. Marcus, you were left out of the lineup moron because you can’t BUY a hit these days….GOOD FOR YOU, BOBBY…PUT THE BEST HITTERS IN.

    I am also still seething about Eddie Perez being given a roster back and Greisinger going away. Perez can be there if Estrada is hurt but for GREISINGER? why not KOLBB OR COLON-CANCER?

  11. Good for you, Bobby? Uh, Brian Jordan was *still* in the lineup so I’m not sure how good Bobby Cox is doing. A struggling Giles is still worlds better than Brian Jordan. Period.

  12. Look what ESPN is reporting:

    “Hampton, who has been plagued by a sore left forearm, underwent an MRI that showed a previous, undiagnosed injury. He will go to Birmingham, Ala., to be examined by Dr. James Andrews.”

    This can’t be goodÖ

  13. Marte also made a great play in the field that was featured as one of Baseball Tonights webgems.

  14. Good for you, Bobby? Uh, Brian Jordan was *still* in the lineup so I’m not sure how good Bobby Cox is doing.

    What are the other options? Johnson is a sure 0-4, Pete Orr is not hitting, Giles and Betemit have no outfield experience. If you want to rip someone, rip JS for not providing Bobby a decent option for rightfield.

    Esco looked good in his last start against the Red Sox, Hudson better be on top of his game tomorrow because I can’t imagine he’s going to see much more than 2 or 3 runs from our Richmond lineup.

    Marte has kind of a funky stance up there. Sort of a more open Eric Davis thing.

  15. Isn’t Jordan a sure 0-4 as well? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather see the young guy given a chance rather than Mr. Gimp ground out weakly a couple of times with a strike out or two for good measure.

    As to the “rip JS” comment, he’s certainly got a share of blame for this but there is no one forcing Bobby to keep playing Brian “I’m utter crap” Jordan. At least Johnson has the “excuse” of being a rookie and all the baggage that goes along with that. Jordan is just old and craptastic. He needs to be released ASAP. If Schuerholz won’t muster up the testicular fortitude to do that, then Bobby should bury him on the bench.

  16. Wow, all this talk about breasts…oh yeah, good game…much needed victory. Hopefully there is a closer, and his name can be shouted from the rooftops instead of having asterisks placed within it.

  17. Jordan is still waiting for either his OBP or his SLG to top .300. That’s pretty awful. Oh well, at least he’s a great defensive player *rolls eyes*

  18. If Jordan would try to hit the ball to right field his average would go up alot. Watch how he tries to pull pitches away from him. He hits them right to the shortstop or third baseman. Goo thing they had Figgins at 3rd last night, he made 3 or four bad plays over there, including an error that let Jordan reach base.

  19. I agree. Jordan has no business batting 3rd. But I don’t think he should be cut. I think he makes a great 4th OF/Sunday starter. With so many young guys on the team, Jordan’s good old clubhouse presence/veteran leadership/moxie/etc. may actually have some use.

    That and he does appear to still be a good situational hitter, which means he could be quite productive as a PH. Let the young’uns play every day, and let the old guys PH and espouse their veteran leadership from the bench.

  20. I wonder if Giles was held out of the game to keep him out of the potential bench-clearing brawl had HoRam hit Erstad and he took offense? :) Giles needs to remember he’s a #2 hitter, not a cleanup guy.

    Glad to see HoRam throw behind him – sent the message but didn’t get ejected or even put on a baserunner. Oh, a game-tries-to-imitate-life moment, when I played the Monday night game in my MVP 2005 dynasty, Erstad got thrown out at the plate by Andruw because he didn’t try to run my catcher.

  21. According to Braves******, Brian McCann has been called up. It is still unclear though what role he will fulfill.

  22. That’s incredibly odd. Is there any source for this rumor? And what’s the corresponding transaction? Even if Estrada were placed on the DL, that call-up wouldn’t make any sense unless Eddie was put back on the DL or Pena was sent down. Even if they were looking to trade McCann – and I sure hope they aren’t – the “showcasing” thing wouldn’t make any sense. Maybe I’m blind to the facts, but the idea that a legitmate top prospect needs to be “showcased” in the majors… or that that would even be a good idea… makes no sense at all to me. I don’t know if that was reported as the reason, but it seems to be assumed as the reason for a lot of recent call-ups.

  23. I wouldn’t mind seeing him play. Pena is pressing at the plate, but he caught a good game last night. He looked smooth behind the plate, he will make a good second catcher one day.

  24. Is anybody else worried about Furcal hitting that home run? He was swinging for the fence too much before; just imagine it now.

    But hey, I’ll take the win. Good game, guys.

  25. The rumor has been reported by Bill Shanks on the http://braves.scout.com/index.html message board. Think of Bill what you want, but he’s usually dead-on with those kind of things. Apparently, Eddie Perez feels like he’s not ready to return and will be placed on the DL again. It wouldn’t make any sense though to waste a year of McCann’s service time in order to let him sub for Estrada for 4-5 games. However, dire straits call for bold measures.

  26. I think at this point he would only be in very slight danger of “super two” status after the ’07 season, but my head really gets so to swimming on the topic of arbitration eligibility.

  27. Merv has confirmed the McCann to Atlanta rumor from a good source…Brian’s mother. :) See the Braves Beat message board for details.

    This is indeed a strange move, but the Braves don’t have much choice if Eddie can’t go. It won’t kill him to have a short back-up stint with the big club.

    I can’t help but think that the Braves are about to make some sort of a trade for bullpen help. The good starting pitching doesn’t help if the bullpen can’t hold onto it. And not that our starting pitching isn’t in trouble with all of the injury problems. I thought it was quite strange that they DFA’s Seth G when Colon could have been sent back. Unless they think Chuck James is ready, I don’t know where the Braves can look for help within the organization.

  28. Yes, unless McCann had to stay on the roster for a long time, it’s unlikely to affect his arbitration or free agency status. Still, I assume that if he’s up he is going to play, at least part of the time. Maybe they’ll platoon.

    McCann’s not ready yet, but desperate times.

  29. OK, well that is a good source.

    I don’t see why they don’t have a good alternative, though. It’s nice to see McCann. I hope he plays a lot, rather than just backing up. I’m just a little surprised that they didn’t just go with some generic backup. Then again, I have been surprised (mostly pleasantly) with A LOT of things they have done recently.

    I’m with whoever said that if we’re going down this year, the way to do it is with these young players showing their stuff rather than desperation trades for the likes of Jacque Jones (sorry, Alex).

  30. Does anyone else not like the idea of them showcasing Betemit for a trade? Everyone knows we’re losing Furcal after this year. I’m afraid we’ll trade Betemit, not sign Furcal, and have somebody like Royce Clayton or Andres Thomas at SS next year. Why not trade Furcal, who’s value is higher, and move Betemit to short? Betemit has long been a top prospect who hasn’t performed up to his potential, but if he’s starting to reach that potential why would we wanna trade him when he can fill a big hole we’re gonna have next year?!
    Also, hopefully, Chipper will get back before the trade deadline soon enough to get acclimated to 1B so that LaRoche can also be dealt for some bullpen/outfield help.
    And really, as for Chipper at 1B and Betemit at SS, is there any other solution to the Marte/Chipper/Betemit/no-Furcal problem?

  31. The strategy is to trade someone at the top of their market, when they are over-performing relative to what their skills are. My sense is that betemit is there, and Furcal is at the bottom of his. So, between the two, you trade betemit. If he turns out to perform at the level he is performing at now, it is a big loss. If he turns out to be the player who hit .270 at richmond with a whole bunch of errors and stike-outs, and we get maybe an outfielder who can hit the ball out of the infield, then we have done well. When all is aid and done, we simply cannot win with a LF?RF with 7 extra-base hits in 150 at-bats, who doesn’t walk or hit for average. Corner OF spots are hitter’s positions, and Jordan has a .560 OPS. That has got to be fixed.

  32. Betemit’s probably more valuable than Furcal, as he’s cheaper and younger. I just hope we stay away from any stupid trades – I don’t want to see Jacque Jones or Preston Wilson or Burnitz or Griffey or any other outfielder likely to be available in trade come here. I’m enjoying seeing the youngsters play, and if this is the year it ends, so be it. I don’t think trading Betemit for a reliever, or Giles for J. Jones (as is apparently being rumored in Minn.), is going to win the division.

  33. I wouldn’t trade for a corner OF. I know Kelly (SMALL SAMPLE SIZE!) Johnson hasn’t hit but neither has Jordan in far more at bats. I just wish Bobby would play his best 8 and go with that. Right now that means Furcal is a reserve. If we go down I’d it rather be with the kids than the Preston Wilson’s (not sorry Alex. the guy sucks) of the world.

  34. I agree; i would rather have Kelly Johnson for a year than a decade of Preston Wilson (a more powerful, slower Brian Jordan), and I would hope the Braves GM would be smarter than to bring in another over-the-hill outfielder. I just think they stare at that 1-23 for Johnson and that .560 OPS for Jordan, and shake their heads.

  35. If we’re showcasing Betemit, I would think we would be looking for bullpen help, not another corner outfielder another team is looking to dump for salary, productivity, and/or age reasons. And Betemit does have more value now than Furcal, primarily because he is so much cheaper and will not be a free agent next year.

    Neither am I convinced that we would want to move Laroche, because I have my doubts that Chipper would be willing to move to another position again, especially in light of his new injury problems.

  36. Neither am I convinced that we would want to move Laroche, because I have my doubts that Chipper would be willing to move to another position again, especially in light of his new injury problems.

    Well Chipper only has two choices: Learn a new position, or give the Braves the ok to trade him. Andy Marte is about to become the hottest young player in the game and once he is established he’s not moving anywhere.

    Next year’s lineup of
    C-Estrada
    1B-Chipper
    2B-Giles
    SS-Betemit
    3B-Marte
    LF-FA who can hit the damn ball
    CF-Andurw
    RF-Langerhans/Lefty masher platoon

    looks pretty good.

  37. If they’re showcasing Betemit they should’ve told Marcus first because he sounded annoyed (oh, BTW, nyb, Marcus played outfield all the way through high school, I believe). I don’t think we should trade this guy away. He’s a switch-hitter, he can play many defensive positions, and he’s solid offensively. I think he’s the best replacement for Furcal at this point. Trading Marcus for Jacque Jones is crazy and I don’t think it will happen. I’m going to college in Minn. next year, right outside Minneapolis, it would be cool to see Marcus play there but I don’t want him leaving Atlanta! And not for Jones!

    Good job by HoRam last night, especially with the retaliation pitch. Didn’t hurt anyone, didn’t get ejected, got the message across. The Angels are nuts for wanting him ejected, you can’t retaliate for a retaliation because that makes everything uneven again! Encouraging performance by Reitsma, but 3 runs is not enough. This is getting ridiculous.

  38. As someone who remembers when Mookie Wilson was a fresh faced rookie, calling his son Preston Wilson old just grates on this old man’s last nerves! Hey, anyone want an 8-track of Lief Garrett or a poster of Bo Derek in a tan swim suit and dredlocks?

    bamadan’s rule#1 for evaluating players: move slowly. Don’t be fooled by the players best or worst few weeks or months. Baseball is not football; it takes time to develop and progress. Furcal, Kolb, Colon, etc. are not as bad as they look right now; Betemit, Orr, Davis, etc. are not as good as they look right now. Take the long view.

    Because of that, we – as fans – need to be careful not to expect too much of young players and immediately demand the so-called proven vets. That way lies the Orioles of the 90s, the Yankees of the 80s, the Angels of the 70s … that way lies Braves “stars” like Chris Chambliss, Claudell Washington, Jeff Burroughs, Ken Oberkfell, etc.

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