Game Thread: Aug. 31, Natspos at Braves (Game One)

Today’s fun Mets fact: the Mets have never finished ahead of the Braves. In the years 1962-68 and 1994-present, when the two teams were in direct competition, the Braves have finished with a better record every year.

253 thoughts on “Game Thread: Aug. 31, Natspos at Braves (Game One)”

  1. Fox Sports is showing Thomson vs. Hernandez as the first game today. Hopefully this is true Hernandez has never won at Atlanta and Ramirez definitely is better at night. Thomson needs a good outing and Ramirez can follow tonight with the win. Maybe Bobby actually thought about how bad Ramirez has been during day games.

  2. Braves Lineup???? Cox has got something up his sleeve, hopefully Furcal can play the 2nd game

    Ramirez (Thompson who knows..)

  3. Too Bad…..Rafael Furcal is batting .444 (4-for-9) with one RBI against Loaiza in his career. Since June 25, Furcal has reached base safely by way of walk or hit in 50 of his last 57 games, batting .342 (78-for-228) in that period

  4. Yesterday’s news, Creg – Holly even batted last night as a pinch-hitter.

    Is this game on TV anywhere, do they show who is warming up to start?

  5. The day game is on Turner South. The mlb gameday thingy shows Horacio starting for ATL. And I’m willing to believe that after reading how it all works on THT not long ago.

  6. Pete just said we are calling up maybe 10 guys. He also said we are going to add quite a few with some speed. Essnix Sneed?

  7. Well, I’ve advocated Snead being kicked out of the organization (after wondering why he was ever there in the first place). But since he’s still around, they ought to call him up. May as well get some use out of him… he could be a great pinch runner.

  8. I think pete was commenting on the nationals and there lack of speed. He said that in a couple of days they are going to call up some guys and a few of them will be for speed purposes.

  9. wow 1-0 that was quick, hopefully he can settle down!

    Also just heard gas prices will be up to 3.50 nationwide by this weekend!

  10. Yep, fill up your tanks today if you haven’t already. Katrina has shut down about 10% of the nation’s refineries, and hindered production at others with the pipelines being down. The biggest US port for receiving crude oil is also affected. However, the govt is going to release some of the strategic reserve, so that helps with the port stoppage (just not the refineries).

    Nice rally starting, broken bat bloop, walk, and now Andruw.

  11. Smitty: you believe in protection, how do you explain Andruw? You’re telling me LaRoche is protecting him? Just wondering if your ‘theory’ can explain that.

  12. I just hope that Andruw believes in protection… and that’s all I’m gonan say about that.

    Well… other than COUNT IT!

  13. Re: Gas Prices

    Here in New York, the prices went up 70-cents overnight. It’s way over $3.00 now.

  14. LatHam- I have no idea why people are pitching to Andruw. There is no way in hell I would throw Andruw a fastball. If people would pitch around Andruw (which they will in October) Capt. Double Play would come up. What would you rather have Chipper on first with Andruw and one out or 1st and 2nd with LaRoche with one out (or as many outs as you want)

    I do think Andruw’s season has helped Chipper out, when he has been in the order.

  15. KC, the pitch itself wasn’t a mistake, although the location might have been. The pitching coach had just been out there, after 6 straight balls, and you know he probably said “throw strikes”. Next pitch, fastball in the strike zone, boom.

    I agree with Smitty, if I were a pitcher, there is no way I’d throw Andruw a fastball anywhere in the strike zone.

  16. That does it. Frank has completely lost it. He’s a danger to himself and others. A sac bunt, trailing by two runs, with a runner on second and first base empty?

  17. Ugh, my MLB Gameday Audio (from WGST/Atlanta) has been interrupted by a post-hurricane speech by W.

    Time to go to the deli & torture some Mets fans.

  18. Don’t run out just yet, ububba. The feed on 96rock has not been interrupted. I will only add that I do not live within the broadcast range of that station, yet I know this of first-hand knowledge. I’ll let you use that information however you choose ;)

  19. Andruw just kept this from being a tie game by playing shallow, getting a good jump, and just generally being awesome.

  20. Sacrifice is an excellent way to get yourself 1 run, and an excellent way to only get 1 run. Guess he figures they are going to rip HoRam enough that he can play for single runs until they tie it back up. Time for Atlanta to keep scoring.

  21. I’m back & W has ceased spieling. Thanks for the hints.

    Got an earful about Ramon Castro, though. These people are begging for some 1969 flashbacks.

    Of course, I told ’em that the Mets were just doing Atlanta’s bidding by beating the Phils.

  22. Bunting in that situation up one run would be marginally less stupid than bunting down two runs, but the difference in hitter value negates that, plus Marcus normally puts the ball in play and normally hits to the off field. Okay, not this time.

  23. Mac, KJ’s only never hit a double because he spent all that time at the top of the order. A few at-bats in the nine-spot, and we’d be calling him Giles, Jr.

  24. Personally, I love it. Especially with our stud ace pitcher Horatio Ramirez on the mound! Who need another run?

  25. See, good things happen when you throw strikes!

    Frank runs his team out of another inning.

  26. Adding to the gas price discussion, my area of Maryland has gone nuts. In the low-income section of our county, prices are $3.15. In my section, they are $2.84. Nice job! Give the people of less means gas prices that are 30 cents higher than the rich people’s! This has never happened before. Our prices are ALWAYS higher. Well, no more.

  27. Latnam: You don’t believe in protection in a batting order? I was unaware that such beliefs were impossible for baseball fans. Is this a widespread phenomenon? Seriously, I didn’t know there were people out there who think who one has around him in a batting order has no effect on the pitches he sees. Who else believes this?

  28. Jenny, that is pretty backwards – usually cheaper gas in the low-income areas here too. Wish I had filled up my truck yesterday, prices were still under $2.50/gal here, went up today.

    LaRoche showing the good eye!

  29. Another data point:

    I got gas this morning for $2.87 in a fairly well to do portion of Southern California. It took $45 to fill up my gas guzzling SUV. And yes I know I’m part of the problem.

    Well done Adam! A walk is basically the best case scenario for a LaRoche at bat these days.

  30. Good call. That’s a tough one to make.

    If Frank argues ANOTHER reversal of a good call, he’ll be pelted with plastic beer bottles.

  31. Is anyone watching this? What the hell happened?

    The Braves announcers made it sound like the ump didn’t make a call after the CF dropped it & La Roche got stuck.

  32. He’s arguing for a long time. Why?

    Because it worked before and won him a game against the Braves.

  33. If one of them had showed some hustle, this wouldn’t have happened. Too bad they didn’t toss Frank.

  34. Wilson dropped a ball in center. One of the umps called him out, causing confusion. They conferred and got the call right.

  35. Wasn’t LaRoche’s fault. Umpire didn’t make call fast enough. He was caught in no man’s land.

    Great, another GIDP, this one from Wilson. Loaiza is certainly getting the ground balls today.

  36. Another game of leaving people on to love it.. It just took Ramirez 8 pitches to get the pitcher out.. This was Sosa’s bad inning yesterday ramirez needs to be careful!

  37. Wow, I agree with what Mac said back up there a ways, HoRam just doesn’t have a out pitch. Loaiza just fouled off 3 pitches before grounding out sharply (with HoRam at least showing some leather). And now Byrd is fouling off pitches. And then homered. Man, talk about some crappage.

  38. Im trying to figure out how he was so effective at the start of 2004 before he got hurt, what possibly could he be doing differently?

  39. Well, it has been quite obvious that Ramirez’s pitching arsenal is quite ordinary, and he doesn’t have that great of control, just don’t see why Bobby and Leo like Ramirez so much…

  40. ice, the comment answer to your question is luck. I am sure Mac has said it many times before.

  41. At least he finally got Guillen.

    Time to head home – talk to y’all tomorrow (or perhaps much later tonight).

  42. HoRam seems like a perfect case of sell-high, which would have been 2 years ago. What did the powers that be miss? And what could/can we realistically get for him?

  43. maybe we should relive the kold trade discussion and just substitute Horam’s name in there.
    I think we all agreed we’d take a box of used jock straps for Kolb, so I think that sounds about right for Horam.

  44. Please be paying attention Bobby. And when you play KJ in the second game and he goes 0-3 with a walk, make the decision.

  45. I can’t believe he didn’t hit for Ramirez. What does Ramirez have to do to get pulled? Give up a homer to Loaiza? Die?

    Maybe on another day he pinch hits, but with John 2 2/3 Thomson coming up next, you want a full bullpen.

  46. Mac,

    It’s a doubleheader, remember? They’re gonna let HR go a little bit. He’s at 92 pitches.

    That said, I do fear the next inning.

    How ’bout another 3-run homer?

  47. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go to some team in a hitter’s park that hasn’t realized yet that bringing in guys that give up lots of homers isn’t a good idea. So, yes, the Reds, or maybe the Rangers. He could be really special with the Rockies, though.

    Or he could go to the Mets where Peterson can “fix” him.

  48. So? It’s callup day tomorrow. Davies, Brower, Devine, they’ll all be up. You can get through one day of riding the pen hard. Oh, and it would be nice to have a win in the opener with Thomson going in the nightcap, yes?

  49. I never understood hava nagila at sporting events.

    Maybe if it was the Atlanta Golems or something …

  50. I sometimes forget how fast Giles is. Although I know people have problems with him, good call by the third base coach.

  51. I do, too. I was watching him run last week thinking the exact same thing. He doesn’t look speedy, but he sure as hell is.

  52. kc – it’s not ten days at this point, but it can’t be tomorrow. He does have to finish out the minor league season. Which I think ends Monday.

  53. The last Brave to win an RBI title was Murph, who did it in 1982 and 1983. Hank did it several times — once in Atlanta — Berger once, Duffy when he won the Triple Crown, of course. Some other guys way back.

    Murph was also the last Brave to win a home run title, doing it in ’84 and ’85. Hank won three (two in Atlanta) and Mathews twice.

  54. The Natspos will probably walk Francouer and try their luck with McCann being the lefthanded hitter.

  55. How close to the HR title was Murphy in 87 (his last hurrah)? He hit a lot of dongs that year.

    Without looking, I don’t think Andruw’s season is in the top 5 of Aaron’s best seasons (if you consider his hitting value only). Mathews probably has a bunch more better than this too. Those guys were really good.

  56. LaRoche, by the way, has hit one homer and four doubles this month and is hitting .214/.290/.298 for August coming into the game. Is there an Bizarro Player of the Month Award?

  57. ’87 was the year Dawson won the MVP for a last place team (even though he wasn’t actually very good) because he led the league in homers and RBI. (Yes, it’s possible to not be very good and lead the league in homers and RBI, but it’s very difficult.) Murph was second in homers with 44, five behind Dawson, and was probably the second-best hitter in the league after Will Clark. But the Braves were even worse than the Cubs. He finished eleventh, right behind Howard Johnson, whose OPS was 129 points lower, and let’s not even talk about defense.

  58. yeah matthews had 7 seasons of 900+ ops with 4 being
    1.000+. meanwhile aaron had 17 seasons 0f 900+ ops and 5 over 1.000. matthews really declined at an early age while aaron just kept producing.

  59. If they send Stanton back out, we’ve got to rip him. At his age, cooling down then warming up cannot be his strength.

  60. As for the best year by a Brave… Gosh, it would depend on the context. The best OPS by a Brave was Duffy’s Triple Crown year, but that was a fluke over a century ago. Hornsby in 1928 is second, then Aaron 1971, Chipper 1999, Javy (!) 2003. It could be any of those, or maybe another one of Aaron’s seasons. By OPS+, it’s Hornsby, then four Aaron seasons, then Duffy, Hank again, Chipper, Tommy Holmes in 1945, then Javy. If I had to pick, I’d say Hank in 1959.

  61. I’m racking my brain, but can’t seem to think of any everyday position player in my lifetime worse than Cristian Guzman. Rafael Belliard, in his string of starts, contributed more, didn’t he? Rey Ordonez did too, I think.

    His OPS is down to .500 now. Yeesh.

  62. I can’t believe Ramirez is still in this game.

    Bobby can’t keep tempting fate like this. Horatio will make him pay by giving up two homeruns.

  63. i guess booby might not wnat to burn a hitter… with furcal and franco hurting estrada backup catcher, orr for running, i guess one of the outfielders could hit though

  64. I know the “greatest season” discussion was referring to batting, but I think Maddux’ 1994 season was the greatest season a Brave has ever had…

  65. Is Bobby going to hand this game to them…get Ramirez out and put Boyer in..Lets win this game, he’s thinking ahead to next game and trying to save the bullpen and I dont like that! But then again when did I become manager, lets go Ramirez!

  66. I’m racking my brain, but can’t seem to think of any everyday position player in my lifetime worse than Cristian Guzman. Rafael Belliard, in his string of starts, contributed more, didn’t he? Rey Ordonez did too, I think.

    His OPS is down to .500 now. Yeesh.

    Even Enzo Hernandez’s legendary 1971 season can;t touch a .500 OPS.

    Enzo 1971: .222/.295/.250, 12 RBI in 618 PAs

  67. Mario Mendoza hit .198/.216/.249 in his most “full” season, 373 AB. Hal Lanier had some sub-.500 OPS seasons playing full time, but that was in the late sixties.

  68. Well, at least byrd didnt triple, the mental damage caused by a marlon byrd cycle would likely cause instantanoues retirement for the responsible pitcher

  69. Diggler, good point. I stand corrected and substitute 1995 for 1994 with the same claim.

  70. The really important thing is his PALAAHAERCORP.

    (Park Adjusted, League Adjusted, And Handedness Adjusted Expected Runs Created Over Replacement Player.)

  71. I guess seven innings allowing three runs is a very good performance. Perhaps I should not be too harsh on Ramirez…boy I like seeing Langerhans playing more often…

  72. Y’know, this is about as much as we could expect from Horacio. Given the circumstances (and low expectations), this was a good outing.

    But please, let’s tack on a run here.

  73. That’s the thing about Horacio, and it was the same with Russ Ortiz and Damian Moss. He’s just hard to watch, even if he gets good results. I prefer to watch a guy like John Thomson who at least is always around the strike zone.

  74. BC,

    Exactly. Horacio can be brutal, like water dripping from a pipe. But Ortiz or Moss were in their own class. Those guys were Leiter-esque.

  75. Well, 3 runs over seven innings is a 3.85 ERA … against the worst offense in baseball. Let’s not go crazy.

  76. But what was Mendoza’s OPS+? And what is Guzman’s?

    Mendoza had a 25 that year, which is just unbelievable. I calculate Guzman to be around 37 right now without a park adjustment which should nudge it a little higher.

  77. I think Devine will eventually be very similar to Majewski…hard fastballs and sliders with a third-quarter delivery…I guess that’s not a bad thing…

  78. Reitsmania!

    I think that the problem with Ramirez is less that he has bad control and more that lack of an out pitch. He can’t throw fastballs for strikes and get outs on them, and he doesn’t have a big breaking pitch he can get people to swing and miss on. So he nibbles. But unlike a Glavine or a Moyer, he doesn’t have great control. He has more 0-2 counts go to 3-2 than any pitcher I can recall.

  79. A 3.85 ERA is good for Horacio, who was 4.54 coming in. Again, it’s low expectations.

    Right now, I’ll be thrilled to see him get win #11. Let’s go Reits…

  80. What year was that for Mendoza?

    The 79 Mariners (67-95). Expansion in those days was much tougher.

  81. Preston Wilson, Mr. Feast-or-Famine.

    Interesting Farns move here by Bobby, but I won’t argue. We need this game.

  82. If there’s any hitter in the Nats’ lineup Bobby knows more than any, it’s Castilla. If he knows what Vinnie can’t handle, I’ll trust him.

    McCann rules for the second time this game. LaRoche, too.

  83. Will someone post an update on the score of the first game and the lineup/situation for the second?

    Thanks – I can’t get tv coverage.

  84. Well done. With the lousy bullpens the Red Sox and Yankees have, I can’t believe we were able to get Farns. You would have thought those two would have been all over the Tigers to get him.

  85. Bailor had a .585 OPS that year, by the way, he just played a lot more than Mendoza.

    Bailor had one of the flukiest seasons I’ve seen, by the way. In 1977, he hit .310/.335/.403 with five homers. For his career, he hit .264/.310/.325 with nine.

  86. Bringing in a lefty here with Andurw and Francoeur coming up is an…interesting move by Frank.

  87. Dean, it’s 5-3 in the bottom of the eighth, one on, nobody out. Farnsworth is already in to close it out but if the Braves get some more runs maybe Bobby’ll pull him.

  88. Bobby the genius again!!! Avoiding another LaRoche double play and getting Francouer a walk!!!

  89. That was when the game was in the grip of Speed. Not greenies, the stolen base obsession. Bailor could run, so on the rare occasions he was on base he could steal second.

    Today’s bonus Mets fact: Bailor hit .266/.308/.306 for them from 1981-83, but they gave him about 850 PA anyway.

  90. While I’m looking at bad players, I decided to look up Andres Thomas. You’ll be happy to know that in his worst year his OPS was .550 and for his career it was .589. So Guzman is worse than Andres Thomas!

  91. McCann’s been great defensively. He picked off those two runners, the first on a heads-up fight-your-reflexes play. He held onto at least one foul tip for a strikeout. Any time a catcher has that much influence on a game, any hits he gets are just bonuses.

  92. You’ll recall that the infamous Eckstein Game was set up when Reitsma came in in the eighth and wound up having to hit with the bases loaded… Doesn’t matter now.

    Die, Tritt, Die.

  93. If Frank were smart here, he would go with three straight pinch hitters. Something like, Wilkerson-Baerga-Schneider assuming Vidro is hurt.

  94. Boyer-Farnsworth is one hundred percent my 8-9 combination the rest of the year.

    No question.

  95. every pitcher with great stuff but somehow hasnt being able to sum that up to good years should just go the braves.

  96. Hopefully, Frank’s burned out already. We don’t want him reversing any game-winning homeruns in the night game.

  97. nyb, can you give us lottery numbers next?

    You should pity me. I’m inside Frank Robinson’s head. It’s scary in here.

  98. Good win. Horacio is now one win away from the 12 he had as a rookie. Game two could be rough, but we’ve gotten to Livan in the past so I’m hopeful. I hope Bobby has the old Sparky Anderson quick hook going for Thomson in the nightcap.

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