Game Thread: August 23, Braves at Cubs

For your consideration… Which record is more likely to fall this year?

— The franchise record for home runs in a single season, 47, currently held by Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews (Andruw has 39); or
— The Atlanta record for career stolen bases, 186, currently held by Otis Nixon (Furcal has 178).

Both are eight away; neither is racking them up the way he did earlier this season.

97 thoughts on “Game Thread: August 23, Braves at Cubs”

  1. They both have a good shot. I’ll say the SB record. Furcal will probably attempt about 12 more steals, and at his success rate should break the record. Andruw will probably have a slump sometime during the last month and may not make it, especially if Chipper remains healthy.

  2. BTW, I’d like to apologize for watching the Braves on television when I was back in the US for a couple of weeks. I managed to see parts of 4 games and they lost each one. I’m sure I was directly responsible for that. Anyway, now that I’m home and won’t be seeing much of them, they can get back to winning.

  3. Andruw had high teens one of his early years, and Murphy had a few good years too IIRC. Don’t think Frank will get that record.

  4. Oddly enough, now that I’m back, I was lucky enough to see the Braves come back against the Padres the other night. Maybe it was just the bit about me being in the US.

  5. I’m not a big records guy, but this is kinda interesting.

    I like Furcal’s chances better. Seems like after he tweaked his knee in mid-season, he’s really picked his spots at steal attempts. Most of the attempts seem to come at useful times.

    And I’m with some of the other folks on the HRs: Leave it up to the Jones Boys. Hit the ball on the ground, Raf, & use your speed to get on base.

  6. I think both will be broken, but if I have to chose, I’ll say the SB is more likely to fall.

  7. Any word as to why Estrada’s out there again today? As far as I’ve read (and seen, yesterday), he’s still really banged up. He’s batting 8th again, after Johnson, and I don’t know why he’d be there except for his bat still being slow.

  8. Probably feeling Estrada out and givng McCann some more rest. I’m very curious to see how this arrangement goes. I think McCann is going to be a far better hitter every day from now until he retires, but I at least sorta understand any reluctance there may be to make him the official, full time starter right now. Maybe we’ll have something like a 50/50 split? I think I can live with that, but Estrada’s kinda like LaRoche in that he tends to drive me nuts when he’s not hitting.

  9. This home plate umpire is no good. Not sure who he is, but Giles should have walked on 4 pitches.

  10. Jerom williams and his hefty 1-17 .059 batting average can get a hit of thomson, and yet we still don have one off williams

  11. Estrada doesn’t need to be in there until he’s ready to block the freaking plate. That was pathetic.

  12. The Cubs just had a man on second with no outs, and then moved him into score on two ground balls to the right side. They could also have scored him off one ground ball and one fly out.Perhaps there is a lesson here for Braves hitters to learn.

  13. Let’s see… We have Estrada, who can’t run, can’t hit, and won’t block the plate but can throw. We have Eddie Perez, who can’t run, can’t hit, can’t throw, but will block the plate. We have Brayan Pena, who can’t throw, but might hit, might block the plate, and can run a little. Right now, I’d take Pena or Perez over Estrada.

  14. with how much success the furcal to second with no outs, and giles bunting him over for chipper had worked the past few times, i cant fathom why bobby had marcus hit away in the first

  15. Yeah, baby, let the blogger micro-managing begin! ‹—Also fjensen. If you’re going to attack people, be man enough to sign your name. –MT

  16. because bobby wasnt expecting a pitchers duel, and he was hoping for a big first inning. i dont think it was a bad move at all.

  17. And we have McCann, who can’t run, can hit, can block the plate, and can kind of throw. I’ll take door number 4. After he’s rested up.

  18. Yes, but he can’t play every day. Bobby apparently has no confidence in Pena. I’ll admit that he hasn’t much reason to, but Pena’s bad throwing can’t possibly hurt the team more than Estrada’s all-around suckitude.

  19. You can blame Estrada for not blocking the plate, but I’ll put it on all Giles on that one. It’s early in the game, he was playing back, it was a low percentage play, and it ended up costing three runs by not taking the easy out. Giles has improved into a good defensive 2nd baseman, but he needs to realize he’s not superman.

  20. Poor Estrada: he’s found himself on the armchair expert shitlist. This, despite the fact that “large sample sizes” would indicate he can get the job done. ‹—fjensen. If you’re going to attack people, be man enough to sign your name. –MT

  21. “Large sample sizes” don’t mean much when you have nagging physical and mental issues that prevent you from playing to your full ability.

  22. Yeah, let’s all pretend that play at the plate was Estrada’s fault. It fits so well with the “Estrada Sucks” meme.

  23. I just find it amusing that folks who are supposed to be stathead faithful get so bent out of shape about a single in-game event, a mere “data point.”

    Gee, am I the only one here “attacking people”?

  24. Well, fjensen has a point. I mean, Estrada has a reasonable ability to control the running game, and he’s, over his career, a pretty good hitter for a catcher. Sure, McCann’s our first option, but, unlike Mac, I’d much rather have Estrada out there than Perez or Pena. Pena has shown no signs of being able to hit in the bigs, and Perez just can’t.

    Most of us would agree that Estrada’s average last year was flukey. However, his career line is still pretty good for his postion, and I refuse to believe Estrada just forgot how to hit. He’s just rusty.

    And controlling the running game is way more important than blocking home plate. Sure, blocking the plate is important when the situation arises, but a good arm influences the game every time a runner’s on first.

  25. You’re the only one who suddenly changed his handle so people wouldn’t know who he was.

    There’s a huge track record saying that Hank Aaron is one of the greatest players of all time. Does that mean that he should be playing right field for the Braves? No, because he’s about 70 years old. Estrada is not healthy. He isn’t going to get healthy any time soon. He’s hurting the club. And a lot of people think that he’s shying away from contact; this is hardly the first time they’ve said it.

  26. Okay, how many pitchers can make that claim? First two home runs given up in a career, both grand slams?

  27. Well that sucked. I would change to watching the LLWS, but the team from my home state is getting bombed in that game, too.

  28. Nope, gotta get back up on the bike, even if you run into a wall twice in a row. I believe Mr. Devine will be spending the winter working on another pitch.

  29. Estrada had nothing to do with the deficit here. Let’s begin with a more obvious current problem: John Thomson.

    Is he destined for middle relief?

  30. He’s just gotta have more time to shake the rust off. Unfortunately, that time is running short.

  31. John Thomson in middle relief? He’s coming off a long injury. His numbers before said injury were SPECTACULAR for a year and a half. He’d be wasted in the pen.

    The Furcal vs. Andruw record race is heating up.

  32. I really do admire Bobby for putting Devine in tonight…HEY ANDRUW!!!!!YESSS!!!…anyway, but I’ll suprised if he pitches in a meaningful situation for a while.

  33. You guys are all haters. Thomson was out for MONTHS. It takes a while to get your timing back.

  34. Thomson may be wasted in middle relief, yes, but he’s killing us right now. I’m willing to give him another start or two–and I certainly trust the Braves’ judgement when it comes to pitchers. He’s certainly rusty.

    I just wonder if Thomson has the stuff to be a Ramiro Mendoza type, which (as some of you surely remember) can be very valuable in the post-season.

  35. Poor Estrada: he’s found himself on the armchair expert shitlist. This, despite the fact that “large sample sizes” would indicate he can get the job done. č—fjensen. If you’re going to attack people, be man enough to sign your name. –MT

    Not me. I haven’t posted anything in a while. Maybe the same imposter that got Jenny.

  36. I am just getting in on here now.

    Estrada sucks and he has to stop taking time away from McCann.

    John Thomson is a problem…especially with NO OFFENSE RIGHT NOW EXCEPT FOR CHIPPER.

    We ought to be VERY WORRIED. Things are not good.

  37. I agree ububba, I’d rather see Davies starting. Yes, you have to give Thompson time; but not too much more. When Davies was bad, he wasn’t quite this bad.

  38. Hey, fjensen, Mac can look up your IP address. So unless it’s someone in your house, try another one :-)

    This game is awful. I am no longer listening to it. Maybe that will make it better…

  39. I think Devine needs to be sent to Richmond to learn a second locatable pitch. Re-call Macay McBride. We could use the second lefty, anyway.

  40. hey I admit thomson was terrific pre-injury, I just wonder how many starts he’ll get before a judgement has to be made for the sake of the pennant race. I know he has the stuff to be terrific, but at this point in the season he needs to get it together quickly.

  41. ASG,

    I was more thinking Sosa, but it’s just an idea. I like Thomson, and overall he’s been a good signing. But he’s been pretty brutal since his return. And it ain’t spring training anymore. These games count in a big way.

  42. Thomson looked good early in this game; he looked okay but had bad luck early in his last game. But I don’t think he has the feel of his pitches back yet. It was a weird injury, and the rehab process might be weird too. Ideally, you’d DL him and send him somewhere he could work out his problems without hurting the team. I don’t know that that’s possible.

    Right now, I’d much rather have Sosa in the rotation.

  43. Re Estrada: I don’t think he sucks or that we should trade him. Nobody who “sucks” has the kind of year he had last year. Mac’s right, he’s playing hurt. Maybe he should do a couple of Minor League rehab starts. Since the collision, he seems to lack confidence. I guess it’s that veteran defference thing; if he says he can play, Bobby’s got to put him in.

  44. TP, John Thomson and Joey Divine happened to Furcal.

    He just has the rest of the night off, thanks to the blowout. Nothing happened.

  45. Yeah, what’s up with Furcal? Sounded iffy on the radio.

    I’m listening to WGST on Internet radio (watching NYY-Tor).

  46. Okay, I’m going outside of baseball here for a sec, but think back to 2001 when Drew Bledsoe got hurt and Tom Brady, who had no NFL playing experience to speak of, took over. Bledsoe recovered and Brady was still the QB, because Belichick recognized that he was better for the team and was helping them win more. That’s just how I look at it and how I can easily justify sticking in McCann or whoever over Estrada.

    And I think Estrada is very tradeable. We have a lot of catching talent and I think he’s expendable.

  47. On the radio, Pete said Furcal “tweaked” his knee on one of those infield singles earlier in the game. Said he was stretching & working out his knee between pitches.

    Made another mention of it on the double switch.

  48. Sosa only really broke out when they took him out of the pen, and we haven’t really seen how he’ll do as a regular reliever since his return. But again, as a starter, when he was bad, he at least gave us four good innings. Thompson is a very sticky wicket right now.

  49. I’m tellin’ ya: The Joey Devine we got is a husky-voiced, cigarette-smoking drag queen, not a relief pitcher.

  50. Ububba, If I gave up two GS in my first two ML appearences, I’d become a husky-voiced,cigarette smoking drag queen.

  51. how do runners with the phenomnennal speed of burnitz and BARRETT GET CONSECUTIVE INFIELD SINGLES?

  52. Why do the broadcast decision makers insist on Chip calling TWO CONSECUTIVE Cubs/Braves games? Is it because he used to work for them, and they’re hoping he’ll snap and up the ratings? Is it because his last name is Carey? (That wouldn’t explain the lack of Skip, though.)

    I miss Pete already.

  53. You know, I knew it at the time, but does anyone now question that the Cubs totally schooled the Giants in the Jerome Williams + prospect for LaTroy Hawkins trade?

    I mean, it was so obvious at the time, and now it’s playing out exactly like anyone with common sense would have expected. What were the Giants thinking?

  54. reitsma is getting really bad about hurting himself. i have seen him 3-4 times lately tip what looked to be a routine double play. because i am criticizing him, it obviously means that i hate the braves and wish reitsma would burn.

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