ESPN.com – MLB – Box Score – Braves at Reds
That game wasn’t as comfortable as it should have been, but a win’s a win. Everyone contributed with the bat, and the Braves never trailed, and they take the series.
Kyle Davies is a lot like Jorge Sosa; he looks really good for four innings but runs out of gas in a hurry. Through three and two-thirds, he had a one-hit shutout going, but then allowed a walk followed by a homer. He allowed another run in the sixth and didn’t get through the inning. Still, he struck out seven, walked three, and allowed four hits.
All the position players had hits. Andruw hit a solo homer to give the Braves the lead in the third, and Francoeur hit a solo homer in the eighth for one of his two hits. Furcal went 2-4 and drove in two. McCann got another start at catcher and went 2-4 with a double and a walk and scored a couple of runs.
Blaine Boyer was impressive again in relief, going an inning and a third, striking out one and allowing no baserunners. Kyle Farnsworth had some trouble in his first key appearance for the Braves. With two out, he allowed a homer (though it wouldn’t have been anything but a routine catch by Andruw in a real ballpark) which was followed by a Furcal error and a double, but got out of it. Reitsma went an inning for an easy save after the Braves got two runs in the top of the ninth.
The Mets lost, the Phillies and Natspos won. The Marlins are beating the Cardinals, whom the Braves face next. Smoltz will face Mark Mulder tomorrow night, which remarkably will be on TBS.
I am in the process of moving, it sucks! Just thought some people going off to college might want to know that (Jenny.) I watched parts of the game, saw all the homers. Nice win. McCann will see more and more playing time I think, he gets the nod with Smoltzy going against the Cards. Do we get to see Carpenter?
How long can Francouer keep this up? He must be on pace to set a record for the highest ratio of swings to pitches taken in major league history I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
Don’t worry, Smitty, I’ve moved before, and yes, it does suck. My mom’s friend bought me a HARDWARE SET as a graduation gift. And I can’t put holes in the walls, so what am I supposed to do with it? Oh, well, you never know when you might need to bludgeon someone with a hammer 😉
Maybe Davies should pitch out of the pen. I just don’t think he has the stamina to be a major league starter, but he’s a very good pitcher and he might be very useful in a different role. He just totally loses it after 4 or so innings, and it doesn’t help that he’s not economical with pitches.
Of course, he got the job done, so what do I know?
Smitty, where are you going to college? My first day of classes at Clearwater Christian College in Florida start in three weeks.
Just to remind everyone about Mac the prognosticator- Andruw gets hit last night- homers tonight. Props.
Moving for college does indeed suck. I gotta get on that soon. Luckily, this is the second time so I know what to expect…
Francoeur swings at ball in his strike zone which happens to be larger than anyone else’s. He seems to be able to handle what he swings at.
In defense of Farnsworth, Valentin hit a really, really good pitch to get that double. And like you said, Casey’s home run is a routine out in most ballparks.
I think the 7th, 8th, and 9th inning guys are set, don’t you?
The only thing worse than moving is helping your friends move. I had to help one friend move today, and in the next week or so, I’ll help 3 of my friends who are moving in together.(That should be entertaining the next two years) Stupid Georgia heat and humidity about killed me today.
In other news, Francoeur…. doesn’t suck.
I just remembered last year when he broke his face bunting. Doesn’t seemed to have slowed him down much.
OK, its late, time to sleep. Tomorrow should be fun. Braves took 2 of 3 from the Cards earlier, I’d like to see them do it again.
Here are some stats on Francouer’s plate appearances over the last three games: Appearances: 15; Pitches Seen: 57; Swings: 42 (only 3 misses !!!); Pitches Taken: 15 (11 Balls, 4 Strikes). So he swung at almost 74% of pitches thrown, but made contact almost 93% of the time when he swung. He only had 3 appearances where he took more than one pitch, and in only one of those did the count even get to 2 balls (he went 3-2 in the final at bat of the game yesterday).
Man, I wish I was moving to college again.
1-Still think we should have a guess the date of Jeff’s first unintentional BB contest.
2-I am also interested in Bobby seemingly moving to a platoon situation with Johnson and Langerhans. Lefty Langerhans playing against lefthanded pitching. It is unorthodox. Personally, think Langerhans should be gettng more starts.
3-On the whole, I am as happy about the way Bobby has handled playing time on this team as any I can remember. Just hope he doesn’t revert to form in the playoffs or do anything crazy like carry 3 catchers or call up Esix Sneed to be his designated pinchrunner/base stealer.
No matter what we say about Davies, the conclusion is still he is a better pitcher than Rameriz.
AMEN! KC, my foot is patting…
Rob I go to UT Chattanooga. We don’t start for a few weeks, but I am moving into my apartment now.
Jenny when you put holes in the walls, a good way to hide them when you move is to cover them with toothpaste.
Or you could actually fix them with spackle, which probably takes even less time.
“No matter what we say about Davies, the conclusion is still he is a better pitcher than Rameriz.”
without a doubt. It’s easy to forget that Davies is still 21, and would still be pitching in the minors if we hadn’t lost Hampton, Hudson, and Thompson in the like the same week. I think we are watching a great pitcher who is immature. His off speed stuff is particularly impressive. With Ramirez, I think what we see is what we get. He’s still young, I guess, but you’re always biting your nails when he takes the mound.
I hear you Mac, I want a little more from Davies and Sosa, but it’s hard to ignore their contributions and press the issue.
Ditto on Davies: Saw him pitch that 1-0 in Pittsburgh earlier this year (Julio with the clutch double in the 9th) and his offspeed stuff was devastating. He seems to know how to pitch. Let’s work on that stamina.
Keep in mind that it gets tougher the second and third time through a lineup. Davies is still young and developing at the major league level, and being able to get people out who have seen you and made an adjustment is a skill you have to develop.
Kirk, thanks for the counts. It confirms my observations that Vlad Francouer is most free swinging Brave since Ralph Garr.
As much as I am pulling for KJ, and as much as I think that eventually he will be the better hitter, I can’t understand why Bobby doesn’t play Langerhans more. Since the all star break he has way out hit KJ. As for the platoon situation here is why: agains lh pitching.
.366 .500 .316
Last night I had to watch the game on Fox Sports Ohio because TBS was blacked out. The Reds announcers again marvelled at the consistency and success of the Braves organization. For those who wish Time Warner to go away remember that a guy like Carl Linder is just around the corner to turn your model franchise into the Reds.
Sure am glad that we didn’t trade Furcal.
This talk about moving away for college makes me long for those days of Bob Horner and Rick Mahler. Jeeze you folks are young!
About Francoeur — there have been very few great hitters who can take such a hacktastic approach to hitting. Yes, there is Vlad Guerrero and Alfonso Soriano and for us old timers guys like Yogi Berra whose strikezone included pickoff throws to first. But for the most part, players who swing so freely seem more likely to be a Dave Kingman or Pete Incaglia (if they have power) or Ozzie Guillen or Alfredo Griffin (if they don’t). I’m having a blast while this hot streak is lasting, but the historian in me thinks he is unlikely to be a superstar without better patience at the plate.
Francoeur’s success given his hacking tendency is quite amazing. But, it is a small sample. Without a doubt, this kid has tremendous natural power. One thing that puzzles me is that how is it that AA pitchers figured him out, but big league pitchers have not. I think there are two possible explanations.
1) The Braves have their minor leaguers play as if they are on rehab assignments. Work on techniques to an extreme that may hinder current performance in order to build good long run performance.
2) There’s a decent bit of luck combined with teams pitching him poorly due to limited scouting reports. Sometimes this is known as Voros’s Law.
I think it’s 2, but it would be interesting if 1 is part of the answer. If it were 1, I think we would see a lot more of the young kids playing at a much higher level. So far, they are playing at or below we would expect.
Francouer not only has natural power, but incredible hand/eye coordination. He is a truly amazing athlete, but I think his mindset will need to change from “I can hit that pitch, I’m gonna swing” to “that pitch is out of the strike zone, I’m not gonna swing” if he is going to have the kind of career we all want him to have.
Dan, glad to hear that I’m not the only old fart on this blog. I was starting to wonder if I’m too old to post here. Shoot I wouldn’t want to be going back to college. I mean it would be nice to be young again but it sucked to be poor.
I heard the Dale Murphy comparison last night again about Francouer. I don’t buy it. Murph averaged 73 walks a year for his career.
Its interesting that Francouer has had some exceptional success at the major league level when everyone KNEW that he wasn’t ready and Andy Marte the guy everyone KNEW WAS ready put up this line in 16 games: .250 .250 .159. Luck? Make Up?
I too, believe that Langerhans should get more playing time. Last night it seemed like Johnson was the rally killer. I believe Johnson will be a good player, but while he is still figuring things out, Langerhans should get an equal amount of starts.
Kirk, those are some neat statistics (especially the swings and misses one). Did you just track that yourself by hand or can you find that stuff online somewhere? I was thinking about trying to predict future strikeout rate by looking at taken strikes, foul strikes, and swinging strikes, so having that kind of data would be invaluable.
Kyle S, I got the information by manually extracting it from the sportsline.com pitch-by-pitch records (from the MLB scoreboard, press Recap/Box for the game you are interested in, then select Full Play-by-Play from the top of the recap). Does anyone know where equivalent information is available in a more “analysis friendly” format?
Not raw stats, but you can find at least some of these things here in the form of leaders for some of these odd categories like “Pct. of swings put into play”. I know that’s not exactly what you want, but it’s a start. Maybe digging a little deeper into the site will yield what you want.
Yeah, Mac, I have to give you props for predicting that Andruw was getting locked in after the loss the other night.
Unfortunately, Francoeur won’t learn plate discipline until his current technique stops working. And when that happens there will be a draught as he learns what pitches to swing at and what pitches to watch, but he’s proven that he can put the bat on any kind of pitch, so I have to assume that if he learns to be a little more selective he’ll positively own the strike zone. Also, .408 simply isn’t sustainable in this era so eventually he’ll have to make some adjustments.
I like Kirk’s idea of the contest so I’m tendering my prediction that he’ll get his first BB on Tuesday against the Giants. He’ll be a little trigger happy against a first place team like the Cards.
p.s. Can we get a petition to release Estrada on waivers? Actually, I take that back, offensively he’s a better backup than Eddie, but Eddie adds a lot to team chemistry. Anyway, I’d much rather see McCann full time and Estrada as rarely as possible. Interesting aside: the other day he was the only position player in the starting lineup that wasn’t a product of the Braves farm system.
They mentioned last night that Austin Kearns’ problem is strikeouts is not swinging strikeouts, but called third strikes. Right after they said it, he watched a called third strike go by.
I believe part of Francouer’s success is he is being more aggressive at the plate than some of the other rookies were when they first came up. If you look back at Johnson, McCann, Marte, they were walking more at first and as they got more aggressive at the plate, their avg went down, but they were getting more out of the at bat. Even Langerhans was more aggressive coming out of the shute, he just doesn’t cover the plate as well as Francouer.
I’m pretty sure that was Adam Dunn they said that about, bwarrend. He is going to strike out a lot because he’ll look at lots of close 3-2 pitches to try and get walks, but obviously it pays off for him.
I just moved eveything I had in an hour and a half, you just had to be there to understand the greatness of this. All I have to do is unpack it again, ugh!
Once Davies builds some stamina, he is going to be great! I know that there are pitch limits imposed by the organization in the minors and it is for a good reason, but it does kind of hurt guy that are in Davies position in away (due to the fact that he gets tires quicker.) But by next season he is going to be great and will be able to go 7 or 8 with ease.
So, how long till Brian Jordan comes back? Got to be any day now, right?
That brings up an interesting point about AA vs AAA. Maybe the manager and coaching staff at AA is taking the approach you describe, and the AAA staff isn’t. I know a sample of two is ridiculously small, but McCann has also had great success on the big league level, more so than the AAA callups.
Let’s see… there’s a 20-day maximum on rehab assignments, right? So I imagine his assignment won’t start until sometime next week. If he’s anything close to reasonably healthy, I’m worried that he may make the post-season roster. We’ll need a 5th OF, and assuming we dropped two pitchers and add one catcher, that’ll be right on. I don’t feel so hot about that. This will be the one time when Snead might be almost useful (he can run and would be incredibly unlikely to make a start), but he isn’t even on the 40-man. Unfortunately, it looks like the Red Sox may be able to hold onto Stern for the rest of the year. He would be perfect for the job.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the AA field an extreme pitcher’s park, or am I thinking of the A field? Part of the AA callups’ success could be that they were held down by the stadium, and that they are all better hitters than their AA numbers suggest.
Also, a good thing to notice about Francouer is that he does not chase pitches way out of the strikezone. He is content to watch those, he just is hacking if it’s close/borderline. He has certainly gotten hits on balls out of the zone, as well as fouling off pitches. He has had a couple of good at-bats where he fouled off several pitches before putting one in play (ground out or base hit, the two I’m thinking of).
Yes, he’s pretty hacktastic, but what is more amazing is that he’s making an incredible amount of contact.
Davies was pitching well, but right after walking Dunn, he grooved a pitch to Casey. Rookie mistake, trying to get over strike one after a walk, and throwing too fat a pitch. And possibly a rookie catcher’s mistake, calling for a hittable pitch (is McCann calling the game, or are they doing that from the bench?). But, he did lose it fast in the 6th, there were three balls that were just pounded (thankfully, Cox got him out there after Kearns hit the long flyout).
You’re thinking of the high-A ballpark at Myrtle Beach. I don’t think anyone has a handle yet on how the Mississippi park will play.
I don’t think pitches are being called from the dugout under any circumstances other than pitch-outs and throws over (which, I guess, aren’t pitches). I think Don would’ve picked up on it at some point and wouldn’t have been able to shut up about it… he hates that. I guess that McCann hasn’t caught too many games other than for Smoltz, but surely he’s seen one of the others. It doesn’t really seem like a Bobby Cox kind of thing to do, either.
I seem to recall an interview earlier in the year with either Bobby or Leo in which they said that they had never called the pitches from the dugout, and they never would.
That pitch to Casey was called from the Reds dugout.