ESPN.com – MLB – Box Score – Padres at Braves
How does something like this happen? How does the game go to the sixth inning with Pedro Astacio pitching a shutout? How does Andruw Jones not start against Astacio, whom he has a .290 .313 .839 career line against? How does Bobby leave in Joey Devine, in his first major league appearance, to pitch with the bases loaded in his second inning of work when the temperature and humidity are both in the nineties?
Horacio Ramirez did give the Braves the good start they needed, eight innings of two-run baseball. But through five innings that wasn’t good enough, because the Braves couldn’t score. Finally they broke through with Furcal’s solo homer leading off the sixth. Marcus scored on Francouer’s two-out single to give the Braves a 2-1 lead. But Horacio gave it back with a homer to the legendary Miguel Olivo in the seventh.
The game just went on from there. Farnsworth, Reitsma, and Boyer each pitched a perfect inning. They brought in Devine to start the 12th, and he gave up a hit but looked good, throwing strikes.
But he gave up a hit in the thirteenth, and with Brayan Pena now catching the steal of second was inevitable. Bobby had Devine walk Brian Giles, which then led to a walk to Joe Randa when the strike zone suddenly shrunk to the width of one electron. Leo came out to talk to Devine (“Hi, I’m Leo, I’m your pitching coach”) but he stayed in the game. Xavier Nady, who had already seen Devine in the game, hit a grand slam. Foster came in to give up another run. Rudy Seanez, of all people, got the win.
With Andruw’s mysterious day off, the 3-4 hitters were Chipper and LaRoche, and they were a combined 0-11 with a walk by Chipper. Andruw hit a long fly out as a pinch-hitter. Furcal had two hits, as did Marcus. Francoeur had three, and Johnson, hitting next, had two. So having two outs between those groups hurt a lot.
The Braves now go to under .500 for the home stand and 0-5 against the Padres for the season. I would say that there’s a good chance that the Braves will face the Padres in postseason except that I’m not at all confident in the Braves’ chances of getting to postseason right now. Tomorrow is a night game, and thankfully Smoltz is pitching against Brian Lawrence.
I think leaving Devine in to bunt as opposed to going to the bench was about as bad a decision as I’ve seen Bobby make all year.
Now I just have to ask this question: We’ve all been going back and forth on whether or not we should root for the Nats to win the wild card because we don’t want to face Houston in the first round. Now, I ask you: we are 0-5 against the Padres. If the Nats win the wild card we will probably face the Pads in the first round (assuming we make it, which I am). They have a worse record, the Astros have the Big Three pitching, but we are 0-5. So, Houston or San Diego?
Why the hell did we leave Devine in to bunt? The odds of him getting it down in his first at bat are incredibly how. Add that to the fact that we he had already pitched an inning on 1 pitch that wasn’t overpowering and didn’t look like it had that much movement. I say either give Orr the go ahead to steal second and bring in whoever the best we have to try and get him to third. I’m beginning to think the reason Bobby leave guys in to long is that he is too lazy to walk to the mound.
I have to say, I can see Bobby’s thought process behind leaving Devine in for another inning (running out of pitchers, prospect of having to use Foster or Kolb, obvious bunt situation in the 12th). I even agreed with the IBB to Brian Giles. But at that point, Devine has to hit the showers. Letting a rookie reliever in his first major league appearance throw 39 pitches in 95 degree weather only to get murdered was one of the most blatant cases of a manager failing his players I have ever seen.
IF (underlining ‘IF’ several times) the Braves manage to blow this division lead, this may be the game they’ll have to look back to as the turning point.
agreed basil. i dont know much about devines track record, but i would think that being a closing pitcher he has probably not had a lot of sac bunts. bobby seems to think that anyone should be able to sac bunt, but the truth is it is just not that easy. plus, you shouldnt have devine pitch more than one inning in his first appearance. i am a bobby cox supporter, but you were right, that was a terrible move. i didnt mind the orr substitution for mccann, but let franco come up, steal orr, hit and run, hell, even bunt him. with franco in the box you dont limit your options. with devine in during that situation, he gets to a 2nd strike, you know he is pretty much done for. i would have not even minded seeing orr running on the 2 strike count to devine. what a waste of a game. lots of problems right now(thomson, hampton, kolb, foster, laroche, reitsma just to name a few), and no clear solution. hopefully these guys will bounce back quickly, or it could be a very frustrating run to the playoffs.
[JIM MORA]Playoffs?!?!? PLAYOFFS?!?!?!?!?!?[/JIM MORA]
This team has obvious holes. It ain’t great, but it’s mostly fun. Again, we’re in first and it’s Aug. 20. We’re in better shape than most teams.
Maybe we just need to play the Mets, Nats, Phils & Fish. Let’s squeeze out a win tomorrow night & chill for a minute. Everybody now.. a deep breath and repeat mantra: “Smoltz…Smoltz…Smoltz…”
Night-night. See ya tomorrow.
Padres or Astros? Padres. Anytime. Three words: Oswalt, Clemens, Pettite. In a best of five series, we have zero chance to beat them. Going 0-5 against the Padres does’t mean anything.
Here’s my prediction: The Braves lose a game, and the blog “fans” complain and complain about every managerial decision, about every little thing that goes wrong, about every good play by an opposing player, and about Francoeur’s continued lack of plate discipline — even though he’s batting like, what, .379 ?
Okay, well, let me join the second-guessing, nto so much with respect to Devine, but the other relievers. Why were reitsma, farnsworth and boyer all in there for only one inning each if Bobby was willing to go two innings with devine? Okay, so they had to PH for Reitsma, but they didn’t PH for either farnsworth or Boyer. I thought that was odd.
He should have let Boyer go two, if anyone — he’s shown the ability to do that.
Questioning or speculation is not complaining.
And I find it offensive that you think anyone here isn’t a true fan of the team. I think I can safely say that everyone here wants the Braves to succeed, even though we might have different ideas about how that might be accomplished, and to suggest otherwise is… well, you know what it is.
re Devine…it WAS the 13th inning and Bobby has to think about tomorrow.
What do the guys in the clubhouse do when Kolb’s around? Do they just sneer? Does anybody talk to him?
Is it just me or does Bobby have a tendency to run his yunger guys out there for mroe than 1 inning more than the vets? It could just be me…
Andruw is not superman, he needs some offtime every now and then, especially in this heat.
Devine looked alright, does he have another pitch? He’s got a great fastball, but it takes a bit more than that in the bigs. Maybe he was too nervous to throw much of anything else.
Devine also threw few decent sliders in the mix of his fastballs, only that Steve Lyons is too stupid to not notice it.
I basically don’t agree with Bobby on 1) letting Devine bunting and 2) letting Devine pitching his second inning, maybe the heat also affected his thought process as well…
I don’t know about what you guys think, I think Devine’s performance looked very good and promising. Seriously, even I can see on the TV that he was nervous as hell, and he still showed good command of his pitches. I give him a lot of credit for showing his composure today.
Not that this is something Bobby should even consider when deciding whether to pinch hit but Devine is a good hitter as far as pitchers go. He was originally going to play both ways at State before he became so crazy nasty on the mound. His younger brother is States starting 3b fwiw
good to know nms. i still dont like the decision to leave him in, but at least i know now that he does have a track record as a decent hitter. that strike 3 bunt attempt was pretty bad though.
IF devine gets the bunt down, and gets orr to 2nd, and someone drives him in later, then devine is the hero of the game and he’s soaring with confidence. i just dont think it is a good idea to put that much pressure on a 1st day rookie. julio would have been much more composed in that situation. if you take devine out, then he still has 1 perfect inning of work, and going in tomorrow feeling pretty good about himself.
I just really can’t understand why he didn’t take him out after the walk to Randa, if not after the intentional walk to Giles. If we had a better lefty, maybe even instead of walking Giles. At that point, I just think you’ve gotta stop thinking about tomorrow, or even the next inning, and think about getting another turn at bat. Even if you want to worry about more innings, Sosa’s pitched a couple days in a row, but he ought to have two good innings in him. Foster can pitch a couple. Then there’s Kolb, then there’s LaRoche. You’ve got a long way to go before Hudson or Furcal have to pitch. And leaving a kid who’s clearly tiring and who just walked a guy to load the bases in to face another guy is no way to make sure you get another turn at bat. But the man takes the long view during the season, and I guess that’s what’s gotten us here year after year after year.
We have the second best record in the NL! I think we’re just in a “dog-days” slump — which is completely natural.
And I’m sick of hearing about Clemens-Petttittte-Oswalt-Lidge in a 5-Game series. The Astors may not even make the playoffs.