Atlanta 8, Washington 7 (10 Innings)

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

Remember this one. Andruw hit a walkoff homer — on a pitch about letter-high and well outside, he still pulled it well to left — after the Braves had blown a 7-1 lead with John Smoltz pitching.

The Braves jumped out 2-0 in the first when Chipper launched a homer into the bullpen. The Natspos got one back in the second, but in the third the game was seemingly blown open. With two runs already in, Francoeur hit a 3-2 pitch a very long way to make it 7-1. With Smoltz going, automatic.

Except that John wasn’t right tonight, perhaps with the same sickness that’s struck both teams in this series. He allowed two in the fourth and was bailed out by horrible baserunning (another of this series’ themes) in the fifth. So Bobby went to the pen.

For some reason, that was Blaine Boyer to start with. Why bring in Boyer then, to pitch just one inning? He was very good, getting four outs after Marcus botched a grounder. But that was it for him and Bobby brought in Jim Brower.

Okay, the bullpen got used fairly hard in the first three games of the series. But Brower sucks. He knows he sucks, and Bobby must know he sucks, and everybody knows he sucks. Aliens know he sucks. He sucked four runs worth tonight. After walking a run in, he finally left for Macay McBride, who surprisingly wasn’t sharp since it’s not like he hasn’t pitched in ten days. McBride walked in another run. Then Kolb came in and predictably allowed a two-run single to Vinny, of all people, to tie the game. At this point, I start throwing things. After loading the bases again Kolb finally got out of it with a classic Grybo — two inherited runs scored, a save blown, and no skin off his ERA.

Kyle Davies saved the Braves. He was supposed to start Saturday, but instead came out of the bullpen. He got the first two in the eighth, then loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Then he clamped down and go the next seven men.

The Braves had a chance to win it in the ninth, but Chipper hit into a double play with runners first and second. Andruw, 0-4 to that point, ended it. Never in doubt.

The Phillies beat the Mets, staying 4 back in the division. The Marlins lost to fall to 5 1/2 back, Mets are 6 1/2 out, the Natspos seven. Those guys all play each other (Mets at Marlins, Phillies at Natspos) while the Braves host the Reds for three, Milton versus Hudson in the opener.

118 thoughts on “Atlanta 8, Washington 7 (10 Innings)”

  1. this deserves a double post

    Mac, to your question earlier about arms falling off. I think Smoltz should cut off their arms and beat them with it. He can beat down Brower w/ Kolb’s, he can beat down Reitsma and Kolb w/ Browers, and he can beat down Bobby w/ Reitsma’s.

    This might solve all of our problems! Bobby needs his arms to keep him balanced while running back and forth to pull his pitchers. he had to run at least half a mile tonight!

  2. If Andruw Jones is not the MVP, they shouldn’t hand out the award. No player has carried a team this season like Andruw has.

    Andruw has been on a team with Dan Kolb, Kelly Johnson, Jim Brower, Raul Mondasukca, and Chris “Fucking” Rietsma. And we are still in first!

    Puljos has had Larry Walker, Scott Roland, Eckstein, and 15 other all-stars. Lee in Chicago, well the Cubs are under .500

    MVP MVP MVP!

  3. I’m going to back up McBride he threw two fastballs over the plate that should have been called, but Brower he doesnt even belong in AAA ball and Kolb for that matter. These guys cant touch the strike zone. I was glad to see Davies what an awesome job he did, if it wasnt for Andruw’s bomb he should be the games MVP!

    Davies hopefully we’ll see you in the playoffs, big win tonight!

  4. wow the last 12 games b/w braves and nats have been decided by 2 runs or less. with 10 of those games been decided by only a run.

  5. Smitty, I agree no one has carried a team like Andruw has done! I wouldn’t mind seeing Davies joining Smoltz, Hudson, and Sosa as playoff rotation, but who knows maybe Bobby will use Kolb, Reitsma, Brower, and McBride as starters.

    Bobby you sucked tonight..please use Boyer somewhere besides the 6th inning (I’ve got an idea, lets use our two best pitchers in the 8th and 9th its not that hard!!!)

  6. I think Bobby has the flu too. He hasn’t been right the last week. Maybe it is because Frank Robinson is in town and bad managing is contagious.

  7. Smitty, your reasons against the other MVP candidates are weird. On one hand, you penalize Lee for not getting enough help, then you penalize Pujols for getting too much?

    Personally, I like Andruw for MVP. As shocking as it sounds to Braves fans, his defense is still underrated by people outside the Southeast. Sure, they give lip service to him being the best outfielder in the NL, but when it comes to MVP, that’s conveniently left out of the discussion. His range and fielding ability far outweigh the five or so percent he spots the others in batting average.

  8. I remember I saw Smoltz getting treatment on his neck in his last start in Milwaukee after running the bases and scoring the first run of that game on Marcus’ double. I guess the strain is still troubling him after a week…

  9. Whose hits have been bigger this season when his team needed them the most? Lee’s? no. Puljos? no. Andruw’s have.
    The Cardinals would still be in the playoff hunt without Puljos. The Cubs have Lee and are not in the hunt. If Anduw goes down at any point of the seaon, the Braves a a third place team at best.

  10. I assume you mean “to get us to the playoffs”.

    I think Pujols still has Andruw beat. Looking at some wacky stats, the Cardinals give Albert way more support than the Braves give Andruw.

    Taking out their homeruns:
    Pujols has been on base 206 times and has scored 74 runs. (36%)

    Andruw has been on base 146 times and scored 36 runs. (25%)

    Pujols has 9 fewer HR’s but has scored 29 more runs. He has also been on base 51 more times than Andruw.

    Pujols career stats through 5 years look like a misprint:

    .329/.403/.610
    .314/.394/.561
    .359/.439/.667
    .331/.415/.657
    .332/.426/.618

    Just amazingingly consistant. 1.000+ OPS in all but one season, when he had a down year of only .955…

  11. Pujols with with a man at 3B has some whiffleball like stats

    .583/.750/1.167

    OPS of 1.917

    With a man at 2B he only has a OPS of 1.200…

  12. andruw hasn’t been better than pujols this season.

    .332/.426/.618 beats .273/.356/.595 every day of the week.

    mvp isn’t a team award. what a player’s teammates do or don’t do has no bearing on whether player a is more valuable than player b.

  13. Well, the award is like a popularity contest. I remember Pendleton won the award over Bonds in 1991 despite Bonds having better stats. So, perhaps I should say I WANT Anddruw to win the award. In fact, I always believe Pujols has been under-appreciated by the media, and I think this year Pujols will be under-appreciated once again.

  14. oh, sure. i mean, i think andruw has a lot better shot at winning the award than he does actually deserving it.

  15. “andruw hasn’t been better than pujols this season.

    .332/.426/.618 beats .273/.356/.595 every day of the week.”

    The MVP isnt an award for best offensive production in a year

    Andruws combination of offense and defense at a crucial defensive postition make up for the offensive gap

  16. “Andruws combination of offense and defense at a crucial defensive postition make up for the offensive gap”

    word up.

  17. I want to start this morning off commenting on our tubby friend, Mr. Dan Kolbb.

    Here’s the thing…Mac is right…he’s “Kevin Gryboski II: Electric Boogaloo”. It’s probably why the Braves finally dealt Gryboski…why do we need to fat, overrated rigthanders who can’t deal with inherited base runners?

    Now mind you…I HATE Kolbb. I think he stinks and I think a monkey could out pitch him.

    HOWEVER (in the S.A.S. voice), the only way Kolbb can be useful on this roster and possibly in the post season (because he will likely keep a roster spot you just HOPE in the important situations in the 7th Bobby chooses Boyer…HELLO) but DAN KOLBB SHOULD ONLY BE USED TO START AN INNING.

    Last night was a further example. As stated previously, I cannot remember more then 2 innings all year where Kolbb didn’t allow at least one baserunner?!?! If he’s going to predictably go out every single time and allow a baserunner, EVERY FUCKING TIME LIKE FUCKING CLOCKWORK, then the only use kolbb has is to START an inning.

    Look, I am even going to defend Kolbb and say that in general over the 2nd half of the season, without the pressure of closing for a team that’s actually in it, he’s been better WHEN HE STARTS AN INNING. Sure, he allows a baserunner every time but they usually haven’t scored.

    However, if like last night you bring fat ass in with the bases loaded, generally even a chubby 10 year with ice cream on his face would get a single off Kolbb. It’s simple math!. Kolbb’s only usefulness is to pitch 1 or 2 innings at a time, when he starts. He may allow one baserunner but as long as he starts the inning, he generally gets out of it.

    And it’s why Kolbb is actually slightly more useful then Brower and Thomson…Borwer sucks to Tom Martin-level proportions (and that’s almost impossible considering how truly horrendous Martin was) and Thomson got BEYOND LUCKY that he only gave up 2 earned the other night. BEYOND LUCKY, FUZZY EYEBROWS CAREY, HEAR ME?

    Kyle Davies. Bravo…that was a gutsy, trying at times, but GUTSY pitching performance. The kid has moxy which is the kind of thing that makes him look like he will be a successful Braves starter for years to come, starting next season. I see it…the Braves had to get a guy last night that could come in and save their ass and he did.

    Furthermore, while I attack Bobby for his managing blunders of A) taking Smoltz out one inning too early, he could have at least pitched the 6th with only 63 pitches in and B) putting Boyer in too early, what’s that all about…perfect spot for Kolbb…one inning, starts an inning, a big enough lead, etc….

    Bobby managed the Davies thing right. He knew he didn’t want to have to go back to Foster & Farnsworth and save them one more night so he double switched left field (a weak hitting spot at this point anyway) twice by using Hollandsworth, then Langerhans, then Jordan…brilliant strategy actually because it allowed him to keep moving Davies in the batting order and keep him in the game.

    What I don’t understand is why can’t Bobby manage smartly like that more often?

  18. Next quick topic is SATURDAY.

    The bottom line is Bobby made the right call using Davies seeing the game had a possibility to go long. It may have burned him for Saturday but to me, you HAVE to get the split with the Nats at home…you can’t lose 3 of 4 IN division game to a lesser team like the Nats, IN Atlanta. It’s inexcusable.

    The flipside is that while Bobby had to use Davies last night, (of course, if he had managed the game right during it would have never come to that a rested Davies would be raring to go on Saturday, but I digress…) we are now left with a huge question mark for Saturday? Can Davies go at least five innings (assuming Hudson hopefully saves the bullpen tonight which would be enormous) and even a tired davies Saturday could try & give the Braves 5 innings Sat. night with the bullpen on standbye? Just a thought.

    If not, it’s going to be someone from Richmond. To me, you are playing a mediocre Reds team that even though they are capable of stealing a game in Atlanta because of their offense, the Reds pitching is atrocious beyond belief and we are just as capable of scoring a bunch of runs on them…so, I think you risk Saturday with a new pitcher or Davies being slightly tired…

    the thing you don’t do? Move our other starters ALL up a day and essentially make EVERYONE tired heading into a big NL East week ahead with the Mets and Nats…I want fresh starting pitchers for all those games, even if it means “blowing” the SATURDAY game….big picture, not one night.

  19. Follow up to Alex R.’s comments:
    Smoltz was really struggling. His pitch count may not have been too high, but he was getting hit hard. He was lucky to make it out of the 5th without more damage. Cox pulled him at the right time IMO. Cox’s mistake was not so much bringing Boyer in too early, but not letting Boyer pitch another inning. When Boyer came in, he was due up third the next inning, and T. Folly (batting 5th) was the next to last hitter in the previous inning. A double switch there would have been appropriate (since you’ve got 3 spare outfielders), or even just let Boyer hit for himself. Cox finally did double switch for T. Folly (with Langerhans) when he brought in Davies in the 8th. Later, Jordan pinch hit for Langerhans leading off the 9th because Stanton was pitching. So only one double switch occurred. Davies was up 2nd in the 10th. Agree than if you are going to use Kolb, it needs to be at the start of an inning. Brower should be relegated to only extreme mop up duty (or better yet, released). Consolation is that there is no way he makes the post season roster.

  20. I don’t know when he last pitched, but would Bernero be a logical person to bring up and start Saturday? I know that would make JC very happy :)

  21. CREYNOLDS…

    Please….please…please tell me you are KIDDING.

    Adam Bernero is the most logical person who needs to be shot…of course, Borwer deserves it more now since Bernero is not actually hurtin are current Major league TEAM.

    You MUST be kidding. No other explanation.

  22. If Andruw hit a couple more walkoff homers in the playoff, the award will be his.

    MVP, Cy Young, and ROY awards are voted on before the postseason, but not announced until much later.

  23. I’m not advocating it. I’m just trying to figure out who it could be. Since he’s been starting (and doing well), it seems like it would make sense to someone. There’s not anybody in the pen right now who’s geared up to start, and bring Sosa back a couple of starters back on short rest doesn’t make a lot of sense right now. I don’t see any way that Davies goes back out there tomorrow.

  24. on the MVP: There’s no telling who wins it, but I”m guessing it’s going to be Pujols. He hasn’t been under-appreciated, Bonds has simply been impossible to ignore. Unless something huge happens with Andruw (like another homer binge), I think Pujols gets it because people have been wanting to vote for him for so long and couldn’t.

  25. I don’t think Bernero’s on the 40 man roster. I don’t think James is either. So they’re probably both out, unless we do the right thing and DFA and release Brower.

  26. Bernero is there. The only other starter on the 40-man not currently in ATL (or the DL) is Lerew. Unless they’re ready to move Hampton to the 60-day DL (and I’m reasonably sure they’re not) or dump either Brower, Kolb or Onil Joseph, it won’t be Chuck James.

  27. I still contend to have an ace defensive player hit like this is extremely rare and extremely valuable. CF, like SS, is often a position filled with a good defensive player at the sacrifice of some offense. To have the home run leader out of that spot, and to have him be considered by many the best outfielder in baseball, deserves an MVP.

  28. And, yes, A-Rod should have won some MVPs when he was a SS, too.

    Reason #8675309 to hate the Yankees: They completely waste A-Rod’s defensive abilities. And they wonder why they struggle to make the playoffs with a billion dollar payroll.

  29. While I am NOT advocating a Tommy Lasorda, Jack McKeon old school “abuse” of pitchers, Daies is young & resilient enough this one time to give us 5 innings.

    If not, in checking out Richmond, I don’t care HOW well Bernero has been doing as a starter (and he has been doing well actually in checking his stats), I don’t want his fucking face ever on the MLB roster again…it will only ‘tempt’ Bobby even more to keep him around if he has 1 good outing and then comes 10 games in a row of Brower like garbage.

    Chuck James has solid enough numbers to give him a start, that would be fine.

    There’s a kid named Kevin Berry (never heard of him) who has a .308 ERA in 7 Richmond starts and has great numbers in Mississippi. (and why isn’t he getting a shot in Atlanta with all the crap we currently have?)

    A guy named Brian O’Conner is 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA…very solid. why aren’t we trying more of these guys out sooner then continuing to wheel out the Kolb’s and Brower’s of the world?

    There’s a 30 yr. old reliever named Jason Childers who has a 1.23 in 36 innings…how exactly does Brower keep taking time from this guy?

    Anthony Lerew has a 3.48 ERA in Richmond in 13 starts…why not him?

    Plus, there’s a couple of other guys with 3+ ERA’s who could be serviceable…the point is, we have some good starting and relief options on the farm and we need to USE this better. Reading the minor league ERA’s is depressing knowing that guys like Kolbb, Thomson and Brower continue to eat space.

  30. JoeyT…once again you have hit the nail on the head.

    Despite being a Yankee, I actually LIKE A-Rod a lot.

    People rip him because they think he’s phony…maybe he is a little but when you have guys in sports using the juice (Palmeiro, Sosa, etc) or guys who beat up camera men (Rogers) or guys who are assholes and start race wars (Kent & Milton Bradley) I find A-Rod refreshing…he never complains, never has a bad thing to say about anyone, is soft spoken and is willingly playing 3rd base despite being a far superior SS (and hitter) to the arrogant and overrated Jeter.

    I refuse to ever critcize A-Rod because he’s classy, and is naturally a great hitter and is getting SCREWED in new York because of the asinine decision to worry about Jeter’s feelings and allow a far better SS to play 3rd Base.

    If Chipper painfully moved to Left Field and John Smoltz grudingly became a closer, why can’t poor, wittle baby Derek Jeter move to 2nd base or somewhere else. Why did one of the BEST SS’s in Baseball have to move? The Yankees are MORONS and deserve to keep faltering now in the Playoffs, besides being the EVIL empire.

    Not to mention the fact they keep (year after year) predictably over paying mediocre pitching like Jaret Wright or a few years back, Steve Karsay…Leo pumps ’em up and the Yankees or someone else overpays for them. So typical!

  31. Childers had a cup of coffee with us earlier in the season and looked like a right-handed Tom Martin. I’m talking Brower-level sucktitude.

    Why would you have a problem with Bernero if he’s pitching well? I agree, when he went through his bad stretch earlier this year, he killed us. But he has good stuff and when he’s on, he’s a very, very effective pitcher (see: first month of season). If he’s got some kinks worked out, I’d be all for having him up here. At least Bobby might use him instead of Brower.

  32. Re: Andruw for MVP. I like Andruw. There is no question that without him this season, the Braves are not a first place team. And, anyone who leads the league in HRs/RBIs will be in the MVP conversation. But objectively, Andruw does not really have a case over either Pujols or Lee. Besides their superior performance in AVG/OBP/SLG, they are both killing Andruw in BA/RISP (Lee .351, Pujols .331, AJ .226). Now, whether or not you believe this is a skill, there is no denying that it has value. Over at THT, Lee and Pujols both have 32 Win Shares (which leads the league), AJ 21 (same as Marcus and Furcal by the way, as well as, gulp, David Eckstein). This is significant, because WS does at least attempt to factor in defensive contributions. And defensively, AJ is only 2.9 better than Pujols, and 2.2 better than Lee. So, at least according to WS, both Lee’s and Pujols’ offensive contributions swamp AJ’s defensive contributions. Now, you may not be a WS fan, and you may even want to use the fact that AJ and David Eckstein have the same number of WS to cast aspersions on it. But, my larger point is that the offensive gap is substantial, and those who assert AJ’s defensive contributions make up for it need to come up with some kind of proof.

  33. Stu, you & creynolds are opening up a can of worms you won’t go back from.

    One thing I have learned about Cox as a Manager is once he decides he’s going in a particular direction, he stays with it on and on and on, no matter how bad it gets.

    When Colon was a piece of garbage as a reliever, he kept rolling him out there. He kept losing games. Same with Bernero. same with Brower. Same with Kolbb.

    I am not saying you don’t give a guy at least 2 or 3 chances, sure. But Cox sees one good outing and he then goes 10 timws in a row even if times 2-9 are just total sucktitude.

    This is the proverbial “can of worms” I am referring to. If he throws Bernero out there Saturday and Adam pitches 5-6 solid innings, 3 earned runs or less, and even gets a WIN (against a bad Reds team to note), Cox will roll Adam out there 9 more times in a row even if the guy gets HAMMERED.

    That’s what scares me most about Cox. I mean, if Adam has a solid outing and then he goes out there 2 more times and gets killed, I don’t think it’s overreacting to say the first game was a fluke considering his TRACK RECORD and yank the guy.

    Another example of this is CHRIS FUCKING REITSMA. How many times in a row does a guy have to blow a game or load the bases for a guy to lose his 8th inning job? Has no one else seen this guy progressively go DOWN HILL? But Cox keeps rolling the fucker out ther….when you have a kid like Boyer who’s been pretty studly in the pen. Boyer is your 8th inning righty but Cox won’t seem to do it.

    He’s a stubborn old man…it’s like a kid who keeps taking cookies from a cookie jar even know that 6 times in a row, the kid’s gotten caught and gets his ass spanked. the kid keeps going back for those cookies. That’s like Cox with reitsma and Kolbb in the late innings. The solution is right there with Boyer.

  34. Since I simply asked a question, there’s really nothing to back down from. OK, I guess I also pointed out that Bernero has been good in AAA. But since that’s an objective fact, I don’t see how it’s something that should be backed down from either.

    I guess we’ll find out tonight or tomorrow. Frankly, I’d rather see Lerew if for no other reason than that he’s a young guy and a potential part of the future. Actually, I’d rather see Chuck James, that just seems far less likely. I don’t want to see Davies because he’s a legitimate option in relief in the postseason, so he may as well get on it. And since he threw 47 pitches last night, I’m not going to agree that it’s a good idea to send him back out there to start tomorrow.

  35. I think they’ll run Sosa out on three days rest, with perhaps davies picking up a couple innings for him if he tires, and ramirez on three days rest on sunday (for the day game i digress) and that would keep the rotation in order since both thomson and ramirez pitched the same day. That way we would have thomson, smoltz, hudson for the mets series.

  36. Ok, if the voters vote for mvp by definition, then Andruw will win. The problem is sometimes voters a orgasmic over BA versus value. What Andruw has done for this team is inmeasurable. You can throw me statistical comparisons all day long. I know Pujols has cartoonish numbers sometimes, but Druws aren’t peanuts. Not to mention he is the best defender at arguably the most important defensive position.
    Andruw is the NL MVP!
    As for who should start saturday, I would give the ball to Chuck James. Let him pitch at home against the reds.

  37. I don’t want Adam Bernero anywhere near that bullpen. I’ve taken to changing the channel and trying to find another game in the following situations: KolBB coming in with inherited runners, Reitsma coming in at all, and Brower arriving at the stadium. Adding Bernero means I won’t be able to watch innings 6-9 at all. In his career, his ERA has NEVER been below 5 and his WHIP has never been below 1.40. We already have three nervewracking pitchers in the pen, and I don’t want another. There are younger players that are unknowns that we should try out instead.

    This alarming stat: Dan Kolb has a WHIP of 1.72. That is patently ridiculous. And it supports Alex R’s theory about bringing him in at the start of an inning very well, because he allows almost 2 base runners per inning regularly. 1.72! And the scary thing is, Jim Brower is actually WORSE at 1.76. Those have to be two of the worst in the leagues. They shouldn’t be anywhere near this team next year.

  38. Alex R., I would have to differ with you on one point. “Track record” is a mixed bag, and Reitsma’s had a really, really good year. He’s just been hit-unlucky. He hardly ever walks anyone, and, even though we all think of the Eckstein debacle, he really gives up very few homeruns. I would have LOVED to see him come in instead of either Brower or Kolb last night.

  39. Elvis Andrus is celebrating his 17th birthday (last week) by putting up a .409 OBP in the Appy league. Good lawd what a prospect he might be.

  40. I think I read from somewhere that Bobby will have Sosa and Ramirez pitching on short rest. While I have no problem with Sosa pitching on short rest (he usually can’t pitch longer than six innings anyway), we will see how well Ramirez will response to short rest.

  41. No National Leaguer has ever led the league in home runs and RBI for a first place club and not won the MVP.

    I may get thrown out of the Statheads Guild for this, but I have never bought the argument that the team’s performance, or lack thereof, shouldn’t matter in the MVP voting. Yes, you shouldn’t hold Derrek Lee’s teammates (and manager) against him, but realistically, what does his performance matter? To paraphrase Branch Rickey, the Cubs are going to finish third, fourth, or fifth, and they would have finished third, fourth, or fifth without Lee. The Cardinals are going to win the division by fifteen games; who cares if they won by ten instead? Andruw’s been performing in the heat of a playoff race, and that has to count for something.

    I would vote for Andruw, but I’m biased, of course. If I wasn’t, I would probably vote for Pujols is my guess.

  42. I’m Bobby’s biggest bobo, but even I think someone has been spiking the water cooler with mint juleps given some of the decisions in the past week.

    I understand why Brower was in the game, but he should have been the first guy out of the pen rather than coming in after Boyer had been burned.

    Kolb has been a failed experiment and I think one of the reasons is he just can’t work with the Leo “down and away” strategy with any consistency. That second pitch to Vinny was put on a tee to the extent that even a dead red pull-hitter like Vinny could take it the other way with ease.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think Kolb will go somewhere else next year and go back to what worked for him in Milwaukee and probably be a passable set-up man.

  43. I can’t use my tickets to tonight’s and Saturday’s Braves games. They’re good seats. Is anyone interested so that they don’t go to waste?

  44. Re: The Yankees.

    Folks, the reason the Yankees are “struggling” has absolutely nothing to do with A-Rod at third/Jeter at short. They are where they are for a multitude of other reasons: players graying before their eyes, pitching for the much of the season has been lousy, a remarkable amount of injuries, inability to hit in clutch spots, a strange inability to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

    If you don’t watch the the Yankees play, you’ll will never understand what a remarkable ballplayer Jeter actually is. I am a lifelong Braves fan living in NYC, and I have a 46-game Yankee package. I am not a Yankee fan at all, but I’ll tell anyone that Jeter is one of the most inspirational players I’ve ever seen. His ability to come up with a big play/hit in huge games (granted, there are many for them) is remarkable. Big hit in a big situation? I’d fear him more than A-Rod. Yup. And ask any Yankee fan, they’ll tell you the same thing.

    Talk about players like Gary Sheffield all you want and how great they are and how fearsome, etc., but I remember him going about 3 for 32 in the playoffs for Atlanta. I’ll take Jeter over him every time.

    Jeter at second? Get real. In Cano, they have a pretty fair second baseman now, one who should be there for awhile.

    The reason the Yankees have A-Rod is the same reason why 60-year-old millionaires marry 25-year old models: Because they can.

    It’s a big, dumb, rich, unlovable, dysfunctional family up in The Bronx, but playing A-Rod at third has been a success.

  45. Cano is “fair”, all right. On the scale that reads poor-fair-good-excellent, he’s at most “fair”. Maybe fair to poor. He may be good someday, but right now he’s got a .302 OBP. I see little to differentiate him from Pete Orr.

    A large part of the Yankees’ problems have been defense. And, gosh, there they have a gold glove shortstop playing third base. Makes a ton of sense. Jeter probably should have been converted to the outfield before the 2004 season. He’s a good hitter, but he’s not a good shortstop, and A-Rod is.

  46. I like this Davies kid quite a bit. And his sense of humor only makes him easier to like. From Mark Bowman

    “You always want to make a great third impression,” Davies said.

  47. In 1998, a Cardinal player broke the single season home run record and finished leading the majors with 70. A Cub had a great year, but was given the nod for MVP, many reported, becuase he carried his team to the playoffs.

    This year: A Cub is having a great year, but his team won’t get near the playoffs. A Cardinal, clearly a great player, is the best hitter on a team that will win its division by 15 games. But some people think, you know…it’s maybe his turn.

    Bull! No team has ever made the playoffs 5 rookies getting over 100 bats. This one will. How many times has it been a bunch of kids and AJ? How many times have ALL the RBIs for a game belonged to one player?

    Andruw Jones is the MVP. Any success the Braves obtain this year…well, it’s all his fault.

  48. The real problem is that there is no Cy Young equivalent for hitters. I’ve never understood that. I had high hopes for the Aaron Award (although the type of thing I’m looking for should probably be named after someone else), but that didn’t fly.

    The MVP should be a subjective award. It shouldn’t ignore supreme statistical performance, but it should be tempered with things like who was, well, “most valuable” to their particular team in it’s particular situation. But since there is no other way to fully acknowledge the league’s best hitter, a whole lot of people can’t see it that way.

    Look at it this way: How many times in a World Series has a player from the losing team clearly outperformed every other individual? I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s happened plenty of times. How many times has that player been World Series MVP? Only twice, right? How many of the other times did people complain about that?

  49. For people in the Washington area who are upset about the Braves game being blacked out on TBS last night, the number for the MLB offices is 212-931-7800. You have to dial 1 first. I called and got put through to three different people, one of whom actually listened to me and put me through to the guy in charge of blackouts. I left a message and he will probably call me back. You should try it!

  50. We’re elated that we won the game,” Chipper Jones said. “I’m happy for Andruw that he got another opportunity to bolster his MVP bid. But the bottom line is you think bigger picture. You can’t do that late in the season and in the playoffs and expect to win games. Andruw is not going to come through every time.”

    What Chipper wanted to say is “Brower you suck and shouldnt be on this team. You, Kolb, and Reitsma have costs us enough games this year. Pack your bags and go home. Boyer you are now going to pitch later in the Games for us!”

  51. Elaboration: The phone number I gave is the number for Bud Selig’s office. Someone should see if they can actually talk to him personally. I doubt it.

  52. Cano’s OBP is the reason Torre has him batting ninth now. He can turn the double play, although he’s had a few disturbing mental lapses (most glarinly against Tampa). He’s also won some games with his bat, including a late-inning home run against the Red Sox. Over time, he’ll be fine. He’s never gonna be a Jeff Kent type offensive second baseman (or a Jeff Kent type defensive second baseman). At best, he’ll have a deceptively high BA and bat low in the order.

    Defensively, Orr has Keith Lockhart range, Cano is dramatically better in that department. How did Orr look at second the other night?

    Jeter ain’t moving any time soon & he’s not the reason the Yanks are where they are.

  53. All I know is if you take a Braves team with Andruw in center and LaRoche/Franco at first, and I take that same Braves team but with Langerhans in center and Pujols at first, then over the course of a season my team will beat your team like a drum. That is my definition of value. I don’t have a problem with using “relevance to a pennant race” as a tiebreaker (giving the nod to Pujols over Lee), but Pujols deserves to win, and as creynolds said, I think there is a lot of sentiment (outside of Braves fans anyway) to give it to him. I predict that Pujols will win, and probably pretty easily.

  54. Most overrated players

    1) A-Rod
    2) Jeter
    3) Beltran

    these guys dont earn their pay. I just remeber A Rod looking like he was going to cry against the Red Sox last year. Remember when he took the swing at Arroyo’s glove and they called him out – this was one of my favorite baseball memories. It almost reminded me of the dirty play Fick had w/ us several years ago.

  55. I’m with you on Jeter and Beltran, csg, but A-Rod is on pace to be one of the best in the history of baseball. There’s no denying his offense.

    Jeter’s pretty good for a shortstop, especially circa 1999, but he’s not even close to A-Rod. Beltran isn’t even on the same planet. I feel icky just mentioning them in the same comment as Rodriguez.

  56. Hudson vs. Milton tonight – We thought we had it bad w/ Ramirez

    Eric Milton 159IP 36HR’s

    Ramirez 170IP 27HR’s

    I guess we should tee off on this guy tonight!

  57. I think I made this assertion before: If HR played half his games in Great American, he would be Eric Milton.

  58. Hudson vs. Milton tonight – We thought we had it bad w/ Ramirez

    Milton 159IP 37HR’s

    Ramirez 170IP 26HR’s

    I guess we should tee off on this guy tonight!

  59. I would like to address JoeyT’s following statement from a few hours ago:

    Alex R., I would have to differ with you on one point. “Track record” is a mixed bag, and Reitsma’s had a really, really good year. He’s just been hit-unlucky. He hardly ever walks anyone, and, even though we all think of the Eckstein debacle, he really gives up very few homeruns. I would have LOVED to see him come in instead of either Brower or Kolb last night.

    WHAT THE FUCK?????

    Are you hiding a meth lab at work or something?

    Reitsma’s been a piece of elephant shit. Period…don’t ask ME, ask his steadily rising ERA!

    In fact, I would go as so far to say I would choose Dan Kolbb over Chris Reitsma right now to START an inning for this simple reason. As stated earlier (and nicely backed up by Jenny, thank you Jenny!) Dan Kolbb may stink, and we all hate him, and agree that JS should be shot and hung if Kolbb is on the roster next season…

    HOWEVER, in the current bullpen…if Bobby continues to avoid using Blaine Boyer in the 8th (which continues to baffle scientists in Europe and Asia) I would rather have Kolbb then Reitsma…because as we’ve said, Kolbb may always stick 1-2 guys on base, but in th2 2nd half of the season, if he STARTS AN INNING, he generally is able to avoid a run. It’s a shitty inning and we all hate him, but if he starts an inning, he generally escapes.

    Now Chris Reitsma on the other hand has been going out night after night, ever since the infamous Eckstein home run (which officially put the end of my 1st Vegas trip on a sour note…fucking Cardinals…now Tony LaRussa is someone who needs to be savagely beaten and left for dead)…Chris Reitsma has been a pile of steaming shit.

    Please, JoeyT, for the love of our mutual respect on here, think about every game Reitsma pitched in the last 4-5 weeks and tell me you haven’t seen a “pattern”…it’s called getting your ass handed to you nightly and looking like you got caught having sex with Skinner’s mom on ‘The Simpsons’…really, has anyone noticed the continual surprise/anguish/crap-in-my-pants look that Reitsma has these days? And he’s sweating more then John Thomson (who himself ruins about 55 Braves hats a year).

    The point is, I am flaberghasted that you can still have blind (only it’s only dumb luck!) faith in Chris FUCKING Reitsma. And yeah, he’s damn sure FUCKING REITSMA and Jim Brower can also be JIM FUCKING BROWER.

    The bottom line is, I am a big believer in the lesser of two evils theory. It’s kind of like thimking PAULEY SHORE is funny….when you stack him up next to CARROT TOP AND DAVID ARQUETTE. Pauley Shore is KOLBB, Brower is Carrot Top, and Reitsma is David Arquette. (which makes Farnsowrth like Dave Chappelle or Chris Rock in terms of funny vs. not funny!). Blaine Boyer is like Jerry Seinfeld…like the funniest guy in the building and it took like 10 years for people to discover him!

    Anyway, as usual, I digress. The main thing is that I could not let JoeyT’s bizarre Chris FUCKING Reitsma defense go unchallenged. It was too off the wall…and frankly, I am disappointed because Joey, your opinions on here are amongst I respect the most.

    Re: Adam Bernero…once again, I stand solidly behind the troops…I mean Jenny. Maybe Bernero could have a freak car accident where both his arms are torn off so the Braves aren’t even ‘tempted’ to call the little loser up. I love how everyone on here (except, thank God, for Jenny and Mac too) has such short term memories that you’ve erased the train wreck/carnage that was Berbero’s bullpen appearances in May and June…we called the mercy rule on that one.

    Re: our starters this weekend.

    If Bobby throws Sosa and Horacio on short rest, PLUS, moving Horacio up to the SUNDAY AFTERNOON GAME…WHICH MEANS DAYLIGHT FOLKS (and now I am convinced Horacio is a vampire since he only pitches well at night)…well, you might as well chalk up 2 consecutive home losses to the Reds. Throw a kid on Saturday, Lerew is fine, James is fine…WHATEVER…just let everyone else pitch NORMAL ROTATION AND NORMAL REST and let Horacio have a night game, please. Does anyone not get this guy hates the daylight?

    Hey, Mac…I am going to start calling Horacio ‘Spike’ Ramirez.

  60. I guess Bobby hasnt seen this stat: Rookie reliever Blaine Boyer had 13 scoreless outings in the month of August. He also struck out 12 batters in the month

  61. Alex R, I dont think Bobby is stupid enough to use his starters on short rest, not w/ the rosters being expanded, at least I hope not. Who knows last night he did everything possible to lose the game. Maybe he was betting on it!!!

    Isnt it funny that everyone here notices that Ramirez sucks during the day, but Bobby apparently hasnt figured it out. I guess he also hasnt figured it out that Brower, Reitsma, and Kolb all suck!!

  62. Alex R., I would have to differ with you on one point. “Track record” is a mixed bag, and Reitsma’s had a really, really good year. He’s just been hit-unlucky. He hardly ever walks anyone, and, even though we all think of the Eckstein debacle, he really gives up very few homeruns. I would have LOVED to see him come in instead of either Brower or Kolb last night.

    Just…Wow. A truly bold statement after he tried to blow the first game of the DH on Wed, and then did blow the second game. Reality, JoeyT. JoeyT, Reality. I don’t believe you two have met. You want a clue why Reitsma is so “hit unlucky”? Here’s a list of the Braves with more than 20 IP with lower K rates than Reitsma: Hampton, Grybo, Ramirez. That’s it. For all the preseason concerns about Kolb’s K rate, even he has managed to best Reitsma. You cannot be an elite or even good level reliever with his K rate. You might have some good stretchs where all the balls are hit at guys, but it will not last. Add in his penchent for folding when the pressure get high, and you have a guy who’s pretty ******* worthless.

    Add me to the list of folks who would take Kolb or Reitsma every day of the week.

  63. CSG,

    It actually is very funny to me, though also SCARY that Bobby doesn’t notice these things.

    It’s funny, there’s always talk (from myself included) about wanting to get this new player, that new player…but if Bobby really LOOKED at his own team and TWEAKED THINGS WITHIN, the Braves would be so much better off. For example:

    1. Kyle Davies over John Thomson in the rotation. Last night’s gutsy Davies performance late when we so badly needed it furthered my argument.

    2. No Horacio during day games, if you can avoid it (like this weekend). Bobby, again, just read the numbers. Vampire. Get it. Rent Buffy. or Angel. Sunlight, baddddddddd.

    3. Blaine Boyer as 8th inning righty. Simple. Blaine good. Kolbb bad. Reitsma awful. Brower is a nuclear powder ker. Pretty simple. Ignore age, ignore old guy instrincts…until he starts screwing it up, use Brower late (along with Foster, both setting up Farnsworth…end of story).

    4. Kolbb only starts an inning. Bobby…read above said comments by myself and Jenny. It’s easy and we explain it all in there. jenny even provided you numbers!

    5. LaRoche–sucktitude. Ok, I get it, you want to platoon Adam ‘the amoeba’ LaRoche with old guy Franco…fine. But if you are going to do that, could LaRoche PLEASE not hit any higher then 7th or 8th? Inning ending double plays are generally NO fun for anyone. They are not fun on my computer NOR the TV.

    6. Todd Hollandsworth…not that good. He won ROY in 1996. That’s great. Nomo and Mondesi won ROY’s for the Dodgers too and they also suck. Stop playing him. Stop batting him 5th. PLEASE. Langerhans…not great but Jim Edmunds compared to Hollandsworth–ok?

    7. Adam Bernero. Keep Richmond alive…the R-Braves need your help in trying to reach the Playoffs. We got everything under control up here in Atlanta. And don’t worry…you will be reunited with your good friend Jim Brower, oh so soon. He says hi by the way.

  64. Oh, God, Alex, don’t mention Nomo. That’s probably the next guy. Then they’ll try to talk Karros out of retirement to take Julio’s job. Piazza, the only one of those guys who was actually good, we’ll do without.

  65. For fun, since I have some time, I’ll respond to your points Alex.

    1. I think were getting there. After last night we are much closer.

    2. I just have a tough time believing it matters day or night. It feels like a sample size anomaly. The Angels rookie Ervin Santana had something like that working, 0-4, ERA over 10 in day games. Then he went 7.2 5 2 2 0 5 against Boston in a day game on Aug 20. It’s probably not worth getting all worked up about. (Assuming you have some other setting than ‘worked up’)

    3. Boyer should be the top setup man no question. Seventh, eighth, whenever the good hitters are due up, Boyer should be the man. The question is what to do with the innings Boyer and Farns can’t pitch.

    4. That would be good.

    5. I guess LaRoche has to play some with our current roster, but there is no reason it can’t be like three starts a week hitting seventh.

    6. I’m going to reserve judgement on Holly since he just got here, but starting him over Langerhans is pretty nuts. Hopefully Bobby was just welcoming him to the club with that start yesterday. Hans is a really good defensive outfielder. That running catch of Guzman’s popup starting off the eighth last night was a big play. KJ doesn’t get within 10 feet of that ball.

    7. Yeah Bernero stinks, but somebody has to make that start. If we are going to burn somebody’s arm, he’s a candidate.

  66. Bobby’s made some weird decisions this past week, but can we temper that frustration a bit with the joy of not being managed by someone like Dusty Baker?

    Come on, we’ve got one of the best managers of all-time as our skipper. Criticize the individual decisions, but lay off the man himself. You don’t win 2078 games by luck alone.

  67. Why use Bernero at all? So he’s on the 40-man, that doesn’t have to be permanent. Give a shot to someone who just possibly might not stink, like Lerew.

  68. Why use Bernero at all? So he’s on the 40-man, that doesn’t have to be permanent. Give a shot to someone who just possibly might not stink, like Lerew.

    Yeah, I don’t know. There isn’t really a good answer. I’m willing to trust Bobby and Leo’s judgement as to who is throwing the ball well right now.

  69. Bobby & Leo’s judgement in 2005.

    A roster spot in the Spring to Tom Martin over Buddy Hernandez in April. Buddy is terrible now in Richmond but my sense is a lot of that has to do with the gun he’s keeping in his lcoker after not making the team with an 0.95 ERA in the spring.

    Last night’s game is an example of the current ‘judgement’ of Cox and Mazzone.

    1. Pulling Smoltz too early
    2. Using Boyer too early and too little, not utilizing a double switch and getting 2 innings out of one of your 2 best relievers.
    3. Using Brower
    4. leaving Brower IN despite baserunner upong basrunner
    5. Using Kolbb with the BASES LOADED…to quote danny…”hah, dat’s my jib! Eye am subbosed to pout bazruners onion and den get dem aout…naot fayer!” Remember…Danny likes to start innings.
    6. Continually going out of their way to use Horacio ‘spike’ Ramirez in DAY games
    7. Russ Ortiz–their fault
    8. Bruce Sutter in back to back world series games…no, Mac, I will NEVER EVER LET THAT GO.
    9. Adam LaRoche, rally killer…batting 5th!
    10. Eddie Perez being re-signed
    11. Hey…let’s spend no money and bring in Mondesi and Jordan–GREAT idea!

    i could go on & on the point is…you can list bad Cox decisions all day.

    Sure, he’s won a shit load of games but I think he’s the most overrated Manager in the history of Baseball…we have one championship in 13 years. Nothing is more painful then that.

  70. Chuck James is not on the 40-man, at least according to the official website. Yet Jay Powell is. Why has he not been moved to the 60-day disabled list? We know he won’t pitch again this year and we need the space.

    I hope Lerew starts. Or James, if they get him on the 40-man. Can you imagine what Dunn and Griffey would do to Bernero?

  71. Powell was transfered to the 60-day. Whoever keeps that updated missed it when it happened, and it still hasn’t been corrected.

  72. Not sure if its been mentioned yet in the thread but the AJC this morning made it seem pretty set in stone that Jordan is starting in left tonight. To me his presence is a lot scarier than Hollandsworth’s. I have a (hopefully) irrational fear that if healthy, we’ll be seeing BJ as our starting LF come playoff time. Veteran presence and all that crap…

  73. Same AJC article has Sosa and Ramirez starting on short rest, not calling up another starter from the minors. Let the gnashing of teeth begin.

  74. I don’t think that’s horrible, it just seems so silly. I don’t know what this Horacio day game thing means at all. I’m tempted to call it a weird twist of fate. Starting him Sunday doesn’t seem completely stupid to me, although it did seem a little foolish to willfully ignore it in the double header the other day.

  75. Kirk – Didn’t notice that, must have been distracted by the Jordan comment. Not what I’d like to see by a longshot, hopefully Davies will be available for long relief on Saturday (if needed).

    Joey – Hope you’re right (I did say my fears were irrational). I do worry Jordan will be on the post-season roster. By my reckoning, he’s our 6th best outfield option and I can’t see Cox putting all 6 on the roster.

  76. Wow Alex. I can’t believe you just said that. Bobby knows his players better than you do. Maybe Smoltz was tired. We should have been in third place the last three season, Bobby Cox is the one who made the diffrece for us. Two words LARRY BOWA! You go off the edge sometimes just step back and chill.

  77. Weve seen a lot about Hudson’s lifetime stats for August, but what are they like for September? Just wondering if any one knew!

  78. last 30 days:

    Reitsma 0-3 8.44ERA 10IP 16H 1HR 10ER
    Brower 0-0 9.00ERA 7IP 12H 2HR 7ER
    Kolb 0-0 3.48ERA 10IP 13H 1HR 4ER
    Foster 1-0 1.42ERA 6IP 6H 0HR 1ER
    Boyer 1-0 0.00ERA 13IP 3H 0HR 0ER

    someone send this to Bobby!

  79. Kelly Johnson-OPS .734 9and that is with the 1-30 start)

    Ryan L.-OPS .733

    Todd H. OPS .686

    BJ (apt) OPS-.630

    Bobby Cox is the best regular season manager in baseball, but every at-bat given to Brian Jordan is stupid; plain and simple. He is proven to be the worst of 4 alternatives.

  80. If Derek Jeter is overrated, then please explain to me why all he’s ever done is win.

    His overpaid teammates? OK, so if Derek Jeter is overrated, then please explain how his teammates helped him dive in the stands to win big games, make unorthodox plays to win big games, hit late-inning homeruns to win games, get rally-starting hits to win big games. He did all of that. Can’t explain it away. He deserves his accolades.

    If he’s so overrated, howcum he wins so much?
    If the post-season is just a “crapshoot,” then howcum his team is 17-5 in post-season series since he got there (while Atlanta BTW is 7-9 during that time)? Think he has something to do with it? I’d say Rivera is the top reason, and Jeter’s the second. He’s done way too much in the big games to have anything but respect for him.

    If Derek Jeter is overrated, then Andruw Jones is a post-season mummy. If Derek Jeter is overrated, then Chipper Jones has post-season polio. Our best players often have shriveled in post-season. Remember Chipper and Andruw “uncharacteristically” kicking and dropping balls in the post-season? The ’97 NLCS and ’00 NLDS come to mind. I’ve never seen Jeter make a defensive mistake that’s cost his team a post-season game or series.

    You can give me pointless defensive range statistics until your fingertips fall off, and I’ll simply reply with about 15 defining post-season Jeter moments that helped his team win that game, win that series and ultimately get farther than most any team you can mention.

    If the Braves had a guy like Jeter who stepped up in nearly every post-season series he’s ever played, we wouldn’t be reaching for our razor blades/boozebottles/methadone each October.

    I wish Atlanta had “overrated” guys like Derek Jeter, who make the big plays at the biggest times in the season.

  81. Here are Derek Jeter’s post-season numbers in clutch situations from 2000-2003 postseason, combined…

    Runners in scoring position: .214/.421/.357

    Runners in scoring position with two outs: .188/.381/.375

    Close and late: .176/.263/.323

  82. That’s true. ububba, no one is saying Jeter isn’t a good player. He may even be one of the top ten shortstops of all time. However, given how Yankees fans perceive him in relation to, say, A-Rod (or, heck, to give the ultimate example of underratedness: Frank Thomas), it’s fair to say that he’s held in too high esteem.

    He’s been a great player throughout his career. However, even given that, he’s still propped up too much by, well, sportswriters mostly, but also casual fans and fans of the Yanks.

  83. In general, we remember the exceptional rather than the commonplace. So we all remember the big hit, the outstanding defensive play. We don’t remember the strikeout, the weak grounder to 2nd, etc. This is because even among the best players, failure is typical. Even if the situation is important, an unfavorable result is common and therefore unexceptional. That’s why Jeter has the reputation of being clutch. Don’t get me wrong, while I hate the Yankees, I like Jeter quite a bit. He can play for my team anytime. He is a smart, gifted athlete. But I think his reputation for “clutchness” is overblown.

  84. Well said, Kirk, and I’ll extend the analogy to Reitsma. He is neither having a very good year nor a very bad one. He has, however, been very streaky, and no doubt he’s in a horrible streak now. But those very good stretches occurred in games which count, too.

    ERA by month

    0.73
    7.71
    3.75
    1.17
    8.44

    Add it all up and you have an average season by an average pitcher. I realize this is a difficult point to make in an environment where often only the most extreme opinion is considered reasonable, but I’ll try to make it anyway.

    The converse of your point applies directly to bullpen usage. When Reitsma was made the closer and proceeded to reel off separate strings of 10 straight and then 15/17 scoreless appearances, was Cox given credit for that in equal measure to how he gets excoriated when the pen blows up? Of course not. Congratulations to all masters of hindsight.

    It looks to me that Cox is throwing all the new guys in there right away to see what they have to contribute. If they fail now, he’s giving himself time to adjust and be ready for the home stretch and playoffs. And, whether others believe this is important or not, it increases player loyalty when they see that they’re not there to sit around and rot. If this means it takes him a little longer to ditch someone who can’t get it done, I believe it’s more than made up for by creating an environment that good players want to come to. He seems to always take the long view — which can be detrimental in the short run, and opens himself up for criticism. But the long view is almost always the right one, in my opinion.

    Of course, carrying three catchers in the postseason is a bit TOO long a view, even for a patient fan like me….

  85. Does anyone knw anything about Julio Lugo. He is looking to be dealt this offseason and could possibly be a replacement for Furcal, but I dont really know that much about him. He’s batting around .305 and is making about 3.5 mil, but is he that valuable?

  86. “every at-bat given to Brian Jordan is stupid; plain and simple. He is proven to be the worst of 4 alternatives.”

    Beg to differ.

    Versus Lefties:

    BJ OPS .772 in 60 at bats (3 year average: .925 OPS in 252 at bats)

    TH OPS .747 in 37 at bats (3 year average: .675 OPS in 106 at bats)

    RL OPS .814 in 42 at bats

    KJ OPS .781 in 69 at bats

    Jordan is the only right hander among the 4 LF candidates, and he has a recent
    history of mashing lefties. This year, Ryan has been a bit better against
    lefties – but it is in a VERY limited sample size and it is extremely rare
    for LH hitters to have a true reverse platoon split. Based on the available
    data, if Jordan is healthy enough to be a reasonable facsimile of his recent
    self, Jordan is probably the best hitter in this group against LH pitching.

    Ryan is a better fielder and baserunner than Jordan at this point, so he
    might still be a better choice to start against LH pitching. But it is
    far less clear statistically then you seem to think.

    Now vs. righties, there are some pitchers that should pinch hit for Jordan.
    He is far and away our worse choice amongst this group .

    As for tonight, Milton is a lefty that gets lit up by RH batting.
    Vs. RH: .304/.348/.564 for a .912 OPS (32 HRs allowed)
    Vs. LH: .264/.311/.424 for a .735 OPS (4 HRS allowed)

    Milton’s 3-year Left vs. Right splits entering the season are even worse (.921 OPS vs. .732 OPS).

    Somehow, I don’t think in this case that it is Bobby that is ignoring statistical evidence.

  87. Joel –

    Point taken ,but you are cherry picking a bit – his splits by year (in a very similar # of AB’s each) against LHP show a definite trend

    2005 .250 .338 .433 .771
    2004 316 .482 .798
    2003 397 .493 .638 1.131
    2002 .303 .347 .560 .907

    “a recent history of mashing lefties” is rather overstating the case.

  88. Nomar and Guzman will be traded this offseason, which might not be that bad of a replacement. At least their better than Tony Pena

  89. Nomar is a free agent. I wouldn’t take Guzman if the Natspos threw in John Patterson. It is not clear that he is a better player than Junior Pena at this point. Actually, it’s not clear that he is a better option than Senior Pena.

    I still think it will be Betemit.

  90. 1) I use 3-year averages because they have more statistical significance when you are looking at splits.

    2005 is only 60 at bats vs. LHP. 2004 is only 85 at bats vs. LHP. 2003 is only 58 at bats vs. LHP. Your “definite trend” is almost meaningless because of sample size. For a typical starting player, it’s like claiming that descending or ascending monthly splits over a 3 month period show a trend that is strongly predictive for the next month (they don’t, btw).

    2002-2004 collectively is 252 at bats – that’s enough to carry some weight.

    2) Obviously, Jordan is getting older and not getting any better. However, 2003 isn’t exactly eons ago. It seems “recent” to me.

    3) Some of Jordan’s at bats last year and earlier this year were while playing hurt. I did put a health qualifier on my statements.

    4) Even if Jordan’s “true” ability against an average LHP is now down to around .770-.800, he is still almost certainly going to hit better against a pitcher like Milton than any of the LH alternatives.

  91. well, wait a sec now, you can’t have it both ways – you can’t complain about the sample sizes being small and then rely on small sample sizes from 2 1/2 seasons ago that inflate the total values. You also haven’t mentioned anything about park effect on those sample sizes – if memory serves, Texas is something of a hitters park.

    I agree that:
    1. Jordan hits lefties better than righties
    and
    2. KJ and Langerhans are nothing special.

    But to say that because because Brian outhit them 2+ years ago in 58 AB’s in a notorious hitters park, he’ll outhit them the day after he comes off the DL even though he hasn’t performed better than them this season (or the last for that matter), is a pretty tough argument to swallow.

  92. Look at all of Jeter’s post-season stats between 1996 & 2004 and I don’t think you’ll find the same kinds of numbers. Overall, his career post-season numbers are undeniably good. (A-Rod’s are actually better, BTW). Don’t have time to look ’em up right now because Im’ running out for awhile, but I know they’re good. And he has 1, 2, 3, 4 rings, which is more the point than anything else.

    Living in NYC & going to a ton of games, I can tell you that Yankee fans’ main problem with A-Rod is the fact that, well, he’s a phony and he hasn’t had any defining moments that have helped them win a title. That may change, but for now that’s where he is. Up here, baseball is much more of a soap opera than it is in other cities.

    Jeter has had several defining moments. I’m sure you all remember them. When A-Rod has one for NYY, it’ll be his first.

  93. Look at all of Jeter’s post-season stats between 1996 & 2004 and I don’t think you’ll find the same kinds of numbers. Overall, his career post-season numbers are undeniably good.

    Here they are:

    Division Series: .361/.430/.535 (37G)
    ALCS: .262/.339/.405 (41G)
    World Series: .302/.375/.434 (32G)

    Approximate totals: .307/.380/.457
    Regular season: .314/.385/.461

    Almost exactly the same, but against better pitching. I don’t really have a dog in this fight, just thought I’d look this up. Argue away!

  94. “well, wait a sec now, you can’t have it both ways – you can’t complain about the sample sizes being small and then rely on small sample sizes from 2 1/2 seasons ago that inflate the total values.”

    I’m NOT relying on how Jordan hit in 58 at bats in 2003. I’m relying on how Jordan has hit in over 250 at bats in the last 3 years. Several small samples add up to one larger sample. I’m relying primarily on the larger sample, because I think that trends within extremely small samples are difficult to distinguish from noise (random fluctuation).

    The fact that Eric Milton has been hammered by RH batters this year (in 543 at bats) while being decent against LH batters also seems important. However, I misread his 3-year splits, so my overall point about him isn’t as strong as I thought earlier.

    In any case, I’m not saying that I would start Jordan over Ryan or KJ vs. a LHP. I like KJ as a future hitter quite a bit, and Ryan has hit well against lefties this year while providing excellent defense and baserunning. I’d probably start Ryan, because he has the best glove and the offensive numbers are probably close enough that his defensive superiority should prevail.

    But if you are ever going to give Jordan a little playing time, Milton would be an excellent pitcher to start him against. Jordan’s 3-year averages vs. LHP (even including this year and dropping 2002) are quite decent, and there is a good chance Jordan would outhit KJ and RL against Milton if we gave them all 100 at bats each.

    Jordan is certainly a reasonable choice statistically to use as a pinch-hitter against LHP. The original statement to which I was responding (“every at-bat given to Brian Jordan is stupid; plain and simple”) is just wrong; plain and simple. He’s consistently been at least decent against LHP, even when he has been abyssmal against RHP.

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