Los Angeles 7, Atlanta 4

ESPN.com – MLB – Box Score – Dodgers at Braves

The Braves lost a series, at home, against the fricking Dodgers, with their top three pitchers starting. John Thomson was really bad, and the Braves didn’t have much of a chance. Thomson went 3 2/3, allowing seven runs on eight hits and two walks. He almost got out of the fourth down 4-1, but gave up a three-run homer, and given that the bullpen threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings you have to wonder what would have happened if Bobby had given them a chance to get out of that.

The Braves got three runs in the sixth on back-to-back homers by Andruw (with Chipper on) and LaRoche, but didn’t get anything after that, shut down by the Dodgers’ bullpen. Chipper, LaRoche, Johnson, and McCann had two hits apiece, but Furcal and Giles each went 0-4, as did Francoeur.

Brower, Sosa, Boyer, and Farnsworth combined for the 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball. Farnsworth struck out two, and for all I know he’s the closer now. Bobby’s talking committee again.

The Phillies blew a lead in a game against the Natspos that would have pulled them to 3 1/2 back. As it is, the lead is 4 1/2, 5 on the Natspos, 5 1/2 on the Marlins… The Padres come to town next with Hampton facing Chan Ho Park in the opener tomorrow on Turner South. The Braves luckily will duck Jake Peavy, who pitched tonight.

63 thoughts on “Los Angeles 7, Atlanta 4”

  1. “In my opinion, that’s our only shot in the playoffs, to have those guys on [top of their game],” said Adam LaRoche, who followed Andruw Jones’ major league-leading 39th home run in the sixth inning with a solo shot that only reduced the lead to 7-4.

    “That’s IT. If those guys aren’t on, I don’t think we get out of the first round of the playoffs. Not that we’ve scored a lot of runs [in the playoffs] either, but it all begins with starting pitching.”

    I want Adam to shut up and concern about his own terrible hitting.

  2. I missed the game tonight, but looking at Boeyr’s stat lines- how long til this guy gets a shot closing? Seems like hes done enough good work to merit a shot… it’s a chance, isn’t it?

  3. Did La Cucaracha really say that? Get back to us when your OBP goes above .310, Adam, and you stop grounding into double plays every other day. Then you can complain about other people.

    On tonight: Thomson had a very bad game, to say the least, and I can only hope he’s still just rusty. He basically killed us. The offense wasn’t great, either, but it’s got to be a little disheartening to be down 7-1 in the 4th inning. We at least made it respectable. Funny how when the starters are good, the bullpen sucks, and when the starters suck, the bullpen is good. I don’t know what to make of this, but I wish it would stop so we’d know where we stand.

    I’m going to go do something more cheerful, like read this interesting new book I have about Ayatollah Khomeini.

  4. I’m back for a sec: I just read somewhere that the newest steroid rumor is Miguel Tejada and Livan Hernandez. Just as unsubstantiated as the current popular Clemens and Damon rumor, but this one worries me a little more because the person who started it gave the specific name of the person at MLB who told him. He said it will be announced at 4:30 PM EDT tomorrow. Probably more tabloid BS, but if it’s true, I’m done with the O’s. I can’t take that. Don’t care about Livan, though.

    I love speculation!

    And it is now 12:45 and I’m going to bed. Night all.

  5. LaRoche’s performance is why I believe he’ll be the odd man out when Marte comes up for good, with Chipper moving over to 1B. The guy hits about .265 while only facing right handers? Jeez!

  6. If he is making comments about the team, Bobby will ship him out tomarrow.

    The Phillies are playing well. Good thing the Nats split with tem yesterday or we might be in some shit. We are 5-5 over our last 10. We need two or three periods where we go 7-3 or 8-2. Let’s put this thing away now.

  7. Guys, I think you’re misreading Adam’s quote. He’s not complaining about them or berating them in any sense. He’s simply pointing out what many others have pointed out: if Furcal and Giles don’t get on base, this offense struggles.

    Now, I agree that he probably won’t be with us next year, but that’s because of his lack of production and the readiness of Marte. I really don’t think he said anything wrong here. He didn’t say anything Chipper or Bobby or others haven’t said in the past.

  8. ship laroche out, if a 47 year old man can play as well as you can, and your sub .280 when all you see is right handers, then its time to move on. and I realize he’s a second year player, but isn’t he like 26? I understand I am preaching to the choir but it’s frustrating.

    Chipper btw, is hitting better than I have ever seen him. (I lived in Japan from 98-01 so I missed his MVP year)

  9. I think he’s talking about starting pitching, Stu.

    And, honestly, I don’t really know why he’d say that. If Hampton’s full strength, Thomson probably won’t even pitch in the first round of the playoffs.

  10. The strike zone last night was pretty questionable, Thomson was getting squeezed and it definitely seemed to bother him. So that didn’t help. His control was a bit off – he wasn’t missing badly, but he was missing (and the ump didn’t help). But I think he just needs more time, he improved over his last start, so we’ll have to see whether that improvement continues into his next start.

    Having the two guys at the top of the order go oh-for did not help the offense at all.

    During the game thread, a post questioned DePodesta being considered a good GM when the Dodgers seem to suck so badly. Well, the biggest problem that the Dodgers have had is injuries, they have lost a ton of player-games to injury, as well as pitchers. 1st base & 2nd base are the only positions that have not lost a player to the DL this season. I mean, that’s brutal!

    I think the only decision one could really give DePo a hard time over is losing Beltre and not getting a good 3B in his place. Yes, they lost the guy they picked up for the season early on (Jose Hernandez), but I don’t think he was going to be all that productive. Also, the manager seems philosophically opposed to letting Choi play every day (a player that DePo likes, and one I feel deserves the PT).

    The Padres are coming in and while they are in first place, they certainly aren’t a scary team, especially with dodging Peavy. The Braves should easily win this series, and have a good shot at sweeping it.

    The Mets tangle with the Natspos this weekend, and get to use their best two pitchers, but the Phillies host the Pirates and manage to dodge Duke, so they will probably take 2 out of 3 as well.

  11. First Base is a huge problem for the Dodgers. Hee-Seop Choi has almost identical numbers to Adam LaRoche, only the Dodgers don’t platoon him with a good hitter, instead opting for Phillips.

  12. Heh, so I misread the quote. Oops. I still don’t think he said anything inappropriate, though. He’s right: if our starters don’t pitch well, we won’t have playoff success. Any links to the actual article? I’d like to see if the reporter appeared to lead him…

  13. I don’t know if it was inappropriate so much as it is ironic that a guy who’s doing really nothing to help the team (maybe a little strong, but you know what I mean, hopefully) is going around putting all the onus for playoff success on his pitchers. If HE’S not performing, what right does he have to demand it of others? I just thought it was much too easy to read criticism of Thomson into that quote, whether he meant it or not, and he shouldn’t have said anything at all.

    More rumor updates: the rumor is now that Tejada tested positive for a masking agent and Hernandez tested positive for stanozolol.

  14. I actually think Adam was trying to praise the starters, and it just come out wrong. Like someone accidentally telling his girlfriend she has a big butt. I think he was trying to say the starting pitching is what carries the team, and he appreciates it. It would be really out of character for him to complain about teammates.

  15. i think adam is just one of those guys who probably needs to take the vow of silence. he’s pretty dumb, so things are going to come out the wrong way. in a weird way, i think he was trying to compliment them.

  16. I’m sure it’s fine, and I’m sure he’ll keep playing. It frustrates the hell out of me right now, but I understand the idea behind it: If there’s any of the LaRoche of last year’s second half in there somewhere, the only way to bring it out is to keep sending him out there. Even if he’s not going to be around next year, the potential is there for him to contribute this year.

  17. LaRoche never struck me as the sharpest knife in the drawer, either.

    As for the rumors, I heard them on a Red Sox board, which means they’re probably crap, but I can’t outright dismiss them because they’re so detailed and he NAMES a source in MLB. Probably just someone yanking my chain, but that’s what they said about Canseco’s book, too.

  18. There’s an ESPN Insider article comparing Frenchy’s start to Albert Pujols. I can’t access it, but if anyone wants to check it out, it might be interesting.

  19. If the Braves play a little better than .500 the rest of the season, it is unlikely that anyone else in the division will catch them. All the teams in the East have at least 2/3 of their remaining games playing other Eastern teams, and none of them except the Mets (just barely) are above .500 against the other Eastern teams. The Phillies have the worst record against other Eastern teams, and also have more road games remaining than the other teams. I think the Braves have a reasonable shot at 93 wins, but that 90 will be enough to win the division.

  20. I just saw the following sentence elsewhere:

    “Your all idiots.”

    This cracks me up. Pot…kettle…black. Wow.

    I agree, I think we’ll still win the division, I’m just VERY worried about our pitching in the playoffs.

  21. I’m not sure why, but I’m honestly not THAT worried about our pitching come playoff time. (I’m kind of with Mac–my current worry is holding off the rest of the teams with our staff.) By the time the playoffs come around, though, you don’t have to use as many of the questionable guys (i.e., Brower, HoRam). I think Hampton will definitely be fine, and I assume Thomson will be by then. If not, I would be fine using Sosa as a 4th starter, although I’d obviously prefer using him as bullpen depth. Maybe I’m naive, but I think our biggest playoff problem is going to be offense. I still don’t trust the rooks. I hope I’m right about the pitching and wrong about the offense.

  22. Wow, what a surprise the LaRoche bashing has already started! Guess what it doesnt matter what LaRoche said because if we cant beat the freakin’ Dodgers we dont have to worry about the playoffs…

    Also, not a surprise that when Furcal was struggling everyone wanted him traded. Now everyone is trying to find ways to resign him.. SO I guess everyone will love LaRoche when he turns it around as well. Last time I looked .265 w/ 15 HR’s isnt that bad for someone that’s not an everyday player, but then again my expectations arent that high!

  23. Everybody root against the Royals tonight so we can see John Kruk with “KC” shaved in the side of his head!

  24. My criticism of cockRoche began before the All-Star break. To say he isn’t bad for a part-time player is to damn him with faint praise. Why don’t the Braves have an everyday 1st baseman? The Braves could do better, should’ve done better, and now they’ll have to wait for the off-season.

  25. Something I found funny:
    Peter Gammons was asked on Sportscenter who could help the (I think) Marlins down the stretch and the first name out of his mouth was ‘Wes Helms’
    I did not know he was even helping the Brewers.

  26. the $ wasnt there. plus, i am sure the braves were banking on laroche having a better year than what he is having.

  27. At the very least, it was reasonable to expect him to be a good place-holder. I guess it really hasn’t worked out even that well, but I’m not convinced that it’s been a complete disaster. But he’s also one of those guys that is extra frustrating when he isn’t going well, and the DPs are particularly deflating.

  28. I can’t think of why Gammons would think Wes Helms would help the Marlins that much. Is he a better everyday option than Lowell? Does Delgado really need a platoon partner? I wouldn’t think so. Maybe he’d be a decent add to their bench, but he sure doesn’t seem worth getting very excited about.

  29. You know what would help the Marlins? Moving to Las Vegas and joining the NL West, other than that, they are out of it.

  30. any updates on Jordan, and will we hold off on activating him until Sept. for the 40 man roster.

    If not who do we send back: Johnson or Langerhans, I still believe Langerhans is better. He’s got more speed, better defensively, and about the same hitting, but who knows!

  31. I don’t think anyone is arguing that Marte should be starting even part time at the major league level right now.

  32. You know what would help the Marlins? Moving to Las Vegas and joining the NL West, other than that, they are out of it.

    I don’t see this at all. They’ve played two fewer games than the wild card leader, and they’re only one game back. They’re even with Philly in the loss column. I don’t think they’re even much of a long shot.

    Sure, they have less of a shot than Houston or Philly, but not that much less.

  33. I wonder if the thought process by the Braves regarding LaRoche was that he would be at least as good as he was last year and besides he wasn’t planned as the inning-ending #5 hitter, but rather a #6 or #7, behind Mondesi and/or Jordan. Unfortunately, the plans for that outfield didn’t work out and left LaRoche batting #5 consistently. For me, I think the Braves have to stick with what they have and hope that LaRoche picks it up–not that I like it. Next year, though, at most he ought to spell Chipper and be a late inning defensive replacement.

  34. Didn’t Braves Castoff Wes Helms lose his job to Career Journeyman and Braves Castoff Russ Branyan?

    Everybody talks about Chipper moving to 1B. Has Chipper ever dealt with this question in the media. I know he’s stated that he’s not going back to the OF, but I don’t think the 1B idea has ever been publicly dealt with…

  35. 1) Langerhans is out of options. Jordan isn’t comming back until Sept. 1 (he is 8-16 at Rome)

    2) Marte needs to play everyday and Chipper isn’t moving to a position he has never played in the middle of a season. Give up on it happening, it isn’t going to this season.

    3)The Florida Marlins are over rated and have been since they won the World Serise. There biggest problem is that Pudge was their ‘leader’ and when he left Mike Lowell didn’t step up in his place. Their bull pen may be worse than ours and they have to pass four teams to win the wild card. Are they in it? Yes. But in reality, they need to just go ahead and move to Vegas, get out of tha rat hole in Miami, and become the greatest road stop in baseball history. (BTW: The Phillies are also over rated as are the Nats)

  36. We traded Wes for Ray “Home Run” King. (Note to the front office, don’t make trades with the Brewers, it jus doesn’t work.)

  37. Good side: Laroche is 2nd on the team in hr’s and rbi’s. Been decent in the clutch (except of late).
    *15 hr’s and 64 rbi’s is a pretty sad 2nd for a team.

    Down side: He has only scored 37 runs this year (only 11 more than julio and has almost 150 more bats than the ageless one, only 12 more than fracoueur and he has 200+ on him) and has a horrible obp (.311).

    I have to say the down side outweighs the upside. Although he is 2nd on the team in 2 HUGE categories, you have to consider the style of the team this year with injuries, platoons, and such. Not many guys have had the opportunity to produce big numbers. Laroche is considered a platoon player, but is 4th on the team in ab’s.
    If he turns it around, great, but I would still not mind to see him out of a braves uniform come march.

    The Braves have not even discussed the possibility of moving betemit to 1st for a spell. That to me would be interesting.

  38. Actually, it is not as sad as what i thought. 15 HR’s is good enough to be 2nd for 6 other teams. It is good enough to be 1st for the Padres and Rockies. Now that is sad.

    64 RBI’s is good enough to be 2nd on 12 teams. Once again it would be 1st for the Rockies. I would hate to read the bitching going on at the Rockies blog right about now. We think we got a lot to complain about.

  39. I’ll go with 5 1/3 innings, 7 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB

    I heard that the ump that booted Gryboski was Doug Eddings. Hmmm.

  40. Alright, the next person that bashes LaRoche better show me a good defensive first baseman with decent offensive output making the league frickin’ minimum. The Braves don’t have any money, and people are saying that LaRoche stinks because he’s putting up league-average offense for $300k. If you want Pujols as your first baseman, then you have to pay Pujols-money.

    Marte – 22
    LaRoche – 26

    Who the heck cares? We’re talking about this year, right now. I don’t care if he’s got eight points of batting average and two home runs on him in AAA. It’s AAA! It’s like saying “Joe Centerfielder is hitting .330 with 40 HRs in A ball. He’s better than Andruw! Trade Andruw!” Marte is the long-term solution; LaRoche is the short-term solution. He’s giving us what we paid for. Get off him. He’s doing fine.

    As for his comments, he was complimenting the pitching staff for the fact that they carry our team. If he was hitting .300/.400/.600, you wouldn’t be saying “he’s pretty dumb”. You would be saying, “He’s right. Our pitching staff carries our team.” How does his hitting performance change whether or not fact is fact?

  41. I like the idea of Betemit at 1st. Or just using Franco. Or put Hampton there when he doesn’t pitch. Or bring Chief Nokohoma back and put him there. Anybody but Shecky Laroche.

    Oh and Jenny, any more on the rumors about Livan/Miguel? 4:30 is when there suppose to announce it?

  42. It’s now 4:40 EDT and NOTHING! WHEW! Oh, look, somebody wrote “gullible” on the ceiling!

    Actually, I was in class once and saw that it actually WAS written on the ceiling. Nobody believed me…

  43. We traded Wes for Ray “Home Run” King. (Note to the front office, don’t make trades with the Brewers, it jus doesn’t work.)

    Ray King gave up 3 HR in 60 innings for us, with a 3.5 era. I don’t know where you’re coming from with this. I’d take him back in our pen right now in a heartbeat.

  44. I’d definitely take the StL Ray King, who only allows about 22% of inherited runs to score. The Atl version that let in 39%… well… in this bullpen, maybe I’d take him too :)

  45. Hey Rob, nice post! That’s exactly why I listed that information. Everyone here is ready to ship Marte up and get rid of Laroche and it doesnt make sense! An average player in AAA wont be an allstar in the majors and I dont care if he’s only 22, he’s not ready!

  46. No one’s saying Marte should be in the majors right now. I don’t know why people keep arguing against ghosts.

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