Division Series Game Thread: Game Three, Braves at Astros

The Braves have no chance. I mean, Jorge Sosa versus Roy Oswalt? This must be one of the biggest mismatches in postseason history.

(Still working the reverse jinx.)

298 thoughts on “Division Series Game Thread: Game Three, Braves at Astros”

  1. Tonight’s lineup…no surprises

    Furcal – SS
    Giles – 2B
    Chipper – 3B
    Andruw – RF
    LaRoche – 1B
    Frenchy – RF
    Langerhans – LF
    McCann – C
    Sosa – P

  2. Yes! Furcal, Giles, Jones, Jones, LaRoche, Francoeur, Langerhans, McCann, Sosa. Gotta love that line-up! No one in a slump! All starters at least .250. A. Jones .571; Laroche 1.000. Wow!

  3. Gotta go with the hot bat in the playoff, I think Estrada and Jordan will understand for sure.

  4. Who was the new talking head on the Fox studio pregame show? I gathered from the conversation he was a recently retired player, but I didn’t recognize him.

  5. Kirk: It was Todd Ziele(sp?)

    Anyway, my hope is a big top of the 1st, I’ll relax if we can score 9 or 10 runs, and coast from there.

    OK, I’m going away from the computer just in case. Here’s to a good game.

  6. With so much pregame, I expected some intricate cheesy promotional bit a la Monday Night Football. I’m surprised they didn’t have the cast of “Prison Break” inside a federal penitentiary screaming “ARE YOU READY FOR SOME BASEBALL?”

  7. FOX is a bunch of liars on their start times because God Forbid we shouldn’t have 30 minutes of Kevin Kenndy.

    By the way….HOW ABOUT THEM DAWGS!!!! Fat Fulmer looked befuddled and pissed…so much fun.

  8. Ok, Sosa, take a deep breath and throw your game.And yes, Alex, how ’bout those Dawgs. That sure was a joy to watch.

  9. Just said to my friend…I almost wonder if Sosa hit him deliberately instead of wasting 3 more pitches to walk him…but again, why do we keep wanting to FACE Morgan Ensberg…does Cox not get yet that he can kill us?

  10. Alex, they tried to pitch to Berkman, remember? He got hit by a pitch. Listen, the Astros scored first in both games, and the Braves came right back. If Sosa can limit the Astros to one run, the Braves snuff the rally.

  11. By the way, since there’s no way Sosa can pitch again until the Cardinals series, we should use him over 100 pitches tonight if he settles down after this inning.

    this inning SUCKS by the way and I HATE Houston.

  12. He didn’t balk. Braves got one tonight to make up for the three blown calls against them last night.

  13. Two good things about that inning: (1) the Braves got inside Oswalt’s head, breaking his concentration and (2) the Braves proved that, once again, they can score with two outs. Oswalt’s thrown more than forty pitches already.

  14. Yes…and as a Georgia & Alabama fan, I am THRILLED to now see Penn State beating the always overrated Ohio State on ESPNHD. This is good for 2 reasons.

    One, it lessens the ONE good win the overrated Texas Longhorns will have all year and two, the ‘unbteane’ Penn State will eventually lose anyway so they will soon be eliminated. Go Penn State (for tonight).

    The Big 12 is FREAKING JOKE.

  15. F* Steve Lyons.

    He won’t give the ump an inch on that call…I think you guys are right that Lyons seems to really love Houston.

  16. It was a bad call, but Mac’s right. The call had ZERO effect on the game. It just didn’t matter.

  17. That’s exactly what the Braves need, an easy inning. Hey Mac, your game one fun Astros fact is still killing the Braves!!!

  18. Ohio State fans are the most obnoxious people.

    Just heard on ESPN that Ohio State fans sent their wide receiver DEATH THREATS because he dropped a pass against Texas. The Big 10 SUCKS.

  19. Four pitches, two outs. That’s not going to cut it, especially after the Braves had Oswalt on the ropes last inning. Why help him regain his confidence?

    Yes, I know he’s throwing strikes, but still.

  20. No, the most obnoxious people are these Fox announcers NOT SHUTTING UP about the balk.

    They’re like Ron Gant when Bobby gets smart and elects not to bunt once a game.

  21. Just missed a home run in the bandbox.






  23. Well, it’s a good thing nobody was on base when Oswalt fell down, or the announcers would have had a field day with that.

  24. It’s like a collective chicken impersonation.


  25. Beautiful K of Berkman.

    Gee…maybe we should pitch to Berkman over Ensberg more often? CRAZY notion, I know. I mean, Ensberg only had an MVP calibre season.

  26. Lyons after the Game:

    “Hey, can someone can me a tape of that BALK? It may come in handy the rest of the series.”

    ps–Mike Lamb?

    C’MON SOSA. Dammit.

  27. Can’t blame him. I mean, if you had a bunch of chickens cackling at you all the way from the press box, wouldn’t you be distracted?

  28. Since Sosa evidently bears down with men on base (it’s evident in the splits) I wonder if he also bears down against elite hitters — and thus is a little more vulnerable to the guys behind them.

  29. Good observation, Mac. I remember you saying that Sosa pitches like an old-timer, but can you think of anyone whom you can compare him to?

  30. The Oswalt who started the game is back on the mound. Are the Braves taking good swings? (I only have a radio.) They don’t seem to be too patient.

  31. Yes, they are taking good swings. Francouer took three good swings. All we need is some people on base in front of Andruw.

  32. Whoever is in the Fox production truck is so slow. How may pitches have they cut back to in mid pitch and then they just missed that cut on the throw to first. Where is the A team for postseason baseball?

  33. Unlike Garner to have the pitcher swing there. Glad we won’t be seeing Biggio until the next inning.

  34. Sosa should have just walking the first guy of each inning, that will make him a better pitcher.

  35. Yeah, it is funny and sad at the same time. But I would hope that they would at least have competent people in the truck. But I forget, we’re watching Fox.

  36. Did Chipper completely misjudge that ball, giving up on it because he thought it would go foul?

  37. Diving would have definitely helped, but backing up w/ two strikes would have made it irrelevant.

    ps – nice K Sosa

  38. Yeah, but at least he’s still throwing strikes. I’d stick with him for another inning at least.

  39. That ball was hit very deep. Chip Carey would have called it gone.

    I don’t know if Sosa makes it another inning.

  40. Sosa was somewhere in the seventy-pitch range, but Don said that he’s usually in the ninety-something range by the fifth, so no big deal.

  41. Actually, that was Pete and Joe, who point out that Oswalt’s working more off his fastball.

  42. At least we made Oswalt work a little. He’s up to 91 pitches, maybe we can get him out after 7.

  43. If Bobby puts HR out there tomorrow, I’ll jump from a bridge.

    I’d be fine with Thomson or Hudson. HR, though, is unacceptable.

  44. Bobby said in the pregame show that he would wait until after tonight’s game. He wants to talk to his pitcher first.

  45. I think Steve Lyons is right for once. I think Hudson will definitely go tomorrow. Either the Braves nail it down tomorrow, or the Braves need to win game four before getting to game five.

  46. I think Cox is going to wait until after the game to announce it. It will either be Thomson or Hudson. HR will not sniff a start. Looks like they had Devine warming up. Sosa is up 2nd, so he’s out. He did about what you would expect. Let’s see some offense now.

  47. Very poor offensive inning. Oswalt is at 99 pitches, probably comes out to start the 8th with Wheeler warming up in case of trouble.

  48. Looks like Reitsma is primed for another disastrous inning. Hopefully Bobby will be fast with the hook.

  49. The Astros would be crazy to take Oswalt out. He’s killing us. I don’t think 99 pitches in 7 innings is terribly stressful.

    By the way, Berkman’s coming up. I hope McBride’s coming in so we can make Berkman bat right-handed

  50. Why are people talking Tavares for Rookie of the Year? He sucks. He’s horrible. He can’t do anything right. Dumb luck is the only getting his sorry ass on base.

  51. I agree that Taveras is nothing special. His average is way inflated because of dink-o hits like that one.

  52. Tavares has a bunch of infield hits, just like the one he got a few minutes ago. Something like 70+.


  53. Make that 6 for 10.

    Good point, JoeyT, but I don’t remember the last time Bobby brought his closer in to pitch in the 7th inning, even in the postseason.

  54. Is there anyone here that can honestly say they DID NOT expect Foster to give up a hit? I mean seriously…

    Major damage control needed here. 2 runs is about as much as I want to make up in 2 innings, especially if one of them is against Lidge.

  55. Well, I can only remember Gainer using Lidge in the seventh inning last year as the only example…and that’s with a lead…

  56. It sounds like Cox is still going with Thomson tomorrow but thats a mistake. It SHOULD be Hudson. Last chance, we need our money pitchers.

  57. Man, we are making them look like an offensive juggernaut. Devine is being asked to do too much too soon.

  58. Would people stop talking abnout Reitsma’s LUCK?

    That piece of crap needs to be carted off in a box and never wear a Braves uniform EVER again. I am sick to death of Reitsma.

  59. I think Bud Selig, by the way, should be beaten with pogo sticks for putting a playoff game tonight, on a Saturday no less, at 11 pm eastern. Selig sucks.

  60. I can’t remember the exact figures, but I remember the folks at BP did a study on pitchers who come back on 3 days’ rest, and the conclusion was basically that it’s not a good idea.

    I just lit myself on fire. We’re actually making this pathetic offense look decent.

  61. I hope our guys remember tonight that Houston is rubbing salt in the wound. I also hope Houston uses up all their offensive good fortune tonight.

    Last chances of the season: Hudson Sunday and Smoltz Monday. F.U. Houston. I HATE THE ASTROS….HATE HATE HATE THEM.

  62. Well, everyone was right about our bullpen being our undoing. This is terrible. Both this game and Game 1 were close when the bullpen got the ball, and both times, complete disaster. Let’s let LaRoche pitch.

  63. It has to be Hudson tomorrow night. Who wouldn’t rather have a short-rested Hudson than a well-rested Thomson? Tomorrow night is elimination night, Hudson HAS to go. It’s what we’re paying him for.

  64. I think if we go with Thomson tomorrow vs. Backe and LOSE, then we will feel like crap.

    If we go with Hudson, then we can honestly say we gave it every best bullet we have.

    If our 4th starter wasn’t such a mediocre alternative.

    Also, Sosa, should have stayed in for 1 more inning to keep it close.

  65. Unfortunately, it would appear that Brower needs to be the first righty out of the pen. He has been the most effective lately, which is a sad state of affairs indeed. Reitsma and Foster need to stay nailed to the bench for the next two games.

  66. Well, on Reitsma, it’s obvious that nobody hit him hard except for Biggio, but the guy is cursed and I have given up hope on him. Just go with on hot hand Bobby, and that’s not Reitsma, Devine, or Foster…

  67. I have a better idea. Let’s put Farnsworth in strictly for beaning purposes, and have him start a bench-clearing brawl. Then he can go after Berkman and Ensberg and body slam them the way he did Paul Wilson.


  68. Tennessee Brave,

    I WISH tomorrow was a NIGHT game.

    Tomorrow, unfortunately, is a 1 pm game to further screw the Braves at this point.

  69. I would prefer a rested Thomson to Hudson on 3 days rest. I like our chances throwing anyone out there against Backe.

    Also, Alex, I think Bobby made the right move taking Sosa out for a pinch hitter when he did. It’s not his fault the bullpen is the worst assembled in our 14-year run.

  70. Alex, you’re right, that’s the most retarded start time for a playoff game. 11 PM Eastern? What is that crap? Good thing I don’t really feel like watching any more baseball tonight.

  71. Yeah, taking that Sprint Gamebreak was a lot more interesting that showing a replay of the double play.

  72. I agree with turning to Hudson tomorrow. I can’t believe I am saying this either, but it’s obvious that Brower deserves a better role based on his performance recently…boy do we miss Boyer.

  73. Yes, I don’t care about the Cards game tonight either but an 11 pm easter time start is asinine? why not move that game to the afternoon? Especially with Boston being done and the Yankees rained out. I mean, what kind of lack of flexibility is THAT SH–?

  74. Oswalt sat on the bench for awhile. Make him work. Don’t press. The Braves can still scratch out some runs.

  75. Seriously, I don’t think there’s any way Smoltz pitches Game 5. So, if Hudson wins in Game 4, we’re left with Thomson against Pettitte in Game 5, which I don’t like one bit. I think our overall chances of making it to the next round are greater with Thomson on the mound against Backe in Game 4. It’s worth taking a risk with him against Backe when you measure it against the virtual certainty of a loss if he’s matched up with Pettitte.

  76. It’d be really nice to see Chipper put a charge into one here. He’s looked terrible today.

  77. Is there any need for Houston to throw Pettitte out there on 3 days’ rest? I’d think they’d go with Backe. Only threw 7 pitches in an inning’s work Thursday.

  78. Regardless of who starts tomorrow, I would hope Bobby would use Smoltz on 3 days rest. There is such a gigantic gap between him and the any other pitcher on the team that short rest won’t make anyone else a better option.

  79. I’m with Stu. Run Thomson out there and see what happens. But, again, who pitches long relief? Ramirez? I don’t think so. I don’t think Hudson can go on three days’ rest, though it might help his sinker.

  80. He’s done 3 days rest, but did you see how much his shoulder was bothering him? After about 4 innings, it was really bothering him. He even hinted that it was in the post-game interview. I do not think it would be wise to risk serious injury in that situation. If that means I’m smoking crack, so be it.

    PS: I thought typing sporadically and unpredictably in all caps was an indicator of drug abuse…am I wrong?

  81. Alex R, there is a consideration that Bobby wouldn’t risk Smoltz on the three day rest. I have read somewhere that the best Smoltz can do is pitching out of the bullpen in Game 5 if needed. Stu is correct in one sense, but I would still go with Hudson tomorrow. It can be argue either way.

  82. I think Thomson tomorrow, then Hudson with Smoltz on call might be the best combination. I don’t know. Hudson pitched well on three days’ rest earlier this year, I believe.

  83. Ok….have I traveled to candyland and visiting with the crazy folks here? How is going with Thomson over either Hudson or Smoltz a good idea…ever? If we are going to be eliminated and have our season end, Bobby is going to do it with our best pitchers standing on the mound. Bottom line.

    We are 1 game from being eliminated so you cannot start JOHN FREAKING THOMSON.

  84. Yeah, I think Hudson has pitched well on his only one three-day rest start, and we have heard a lot of time that it’s better for sinker ball pitcher to pitch on a short rest. I believe the choice between Thomson and Hudson tomorrow can be argue either way, and I would put Bobby at fault for using either one.

  85. The problem with pitching Thomson tomorrow is what David alluded to. If he has to be pulled early, HR is about the only alternative other than Hudson. If Hudson thinks he can go, you probably let him go, then use a combination of Smoltz, Thomson, and/or HR to try to muddle through game 5.

  86. AlexR, I think we are all speaking on an assumption that Smoltz can’t start Game 5. If both Hudson and Smoltz are available for the last two games, I don’t think anyone can argue with you.

  87. Daniel, the Braves seems to be doing better when we are not paying attention, let’s continue to talk about tomorrow!!!

  88. Thank God for my GEORGIA BULLDOGS winning today so Saturday isn’t a total loss. But this is depressing. I hate Houston.

    BRIAN JORDAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




    WHY, GOD WHY????

  89. God I hate Bobby Cox more then Brian Jordan right now.

    Peter Orr, Julio Franco, Wilson Betemit….ALL FUCKING AVAILABLE.


  90. I think Bobby’s given up. He used Brian Jordan in a somewhat meaningful at-bat right now. Sweet.

  91. Again, we have illustrated for us the problem with having Jordan on the roster. He actually gets used. IMO we don’t really need to PH there, but if we do, then what are we saving Franco for?

  92. Bobby Cox is an a-hole. why did that senile bastard just use Jordan and kill our last chance for a rally. hell, even if we ccouild have gotten the game to 7-5, we had a shot. I hate you Cox, you senile bastard. this is just disgusting, digusting managing on the part of senile Cox.

  93. I’d hoped and prayed we’d never have to see Brian Jordan in left field again. There is no god. There is no god.

  94. Why couldn’t Bobby be happy with
    Langerhans – Walk
    McCann – Slammy
    To tie the game

    Instead we get

    Jordan – dribbler to second

  95. Please, all Bobby Cox defenders please feel free to defend this bastard old man.

    Joe Paterno seems less senile because his team at least won tonight.

    When you have Peter Orr, Julio & Betemit ALL available, how in God’s name did Brian Jordan get used?

  96. Let’s try to be a little more upbeat. At least Raul Mondesi isn’t in right field, right?

  97. I am so angry right now I actually just threw my remote across the room. I woke my wife up & scared my friend.

    I hate you Cox. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.

  98. Well, Alex, doncha know he hit a home run in Houston six years ago. He’s due, baby, he’s due!GGGGAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

  99. Because he is pinching for Langerhans and will be able to stay in the game to play leftfield. I bat he would have pinch hit McCann with Estrada if Jordan reached.

    Boy, Brower is hot!!!

  100. At least Raul Mondesi isn’t in right field, right?

    So you’d rather go to the gas chamber than be electrocuted?

  101. Following kc’s theory…..

    Have you guys seen that new Burger King commercial for the “BK Joe.” Frightening. Absolutely frightening.

  102. Cox is going to go with a veteran to PH in that spot, that’s just his nature. But using Jordan over Franco? I don’t get it. Brower must have learned something in Richmond. He’s sure looked better since he returned. He, McBride, and Farnz are the only relievers that should be allowed to see the light of day the rest of this series.

  103. Checking in with a few “points”:

    1)I’ve had it with Reitsma. Just had it. This is not bad luck. He waffles around with hitters, gets consistently behind in the count, and then has to throw something hittable. Lo and behold, they hit it. It’s not luck. It happens WAY too often and I am sick to death of it.

    2)Using Brian Jordan as a pinch-hitter was beyond stupid and I’m still fuming. Now we lose our best defensive LF for possibly the worst bat on the bench. WTF?

    3)I hate watching Sosa pitch. He gives me fits. I’ve been on edge since the game started.

  104. Lou Holtz, if anyone just heard him commentate or heard him any week, is the most evil, hateable little troll in all of sports.

  105. Jenny,

    Watching Sosa pitch…I have been on edge since JUNE.

    Watching Cox manage the post season? I have been on EDGE since 1991.

  106. Oh, my Julio gets a hit off Lidge…wow, you mean that wasn’t BRIAN JORDAN?

    Vindication. Bobby is such a freaking senile, awful, awful post season manager.

  107. Great. All we need is for Marcus and Chipper to get on base, then for Andruw to hit a home run … then, TIE BALLGAME, BABY

  108. Oh, and Furcal had another first pitch swinging. Sign elsewhere you drunk little bastard. He’s been swinging at the first pitch ALL night.

  109. Well, Grst, his usage of bullpen and bench certainly didn’t help the team to win a game.

    Jenny, Sosa gave up three runs, he did a great job tonight. Too bad he couldn’t go another inning.

  110. My local Fox affiliate actually broke into Marcus’ at bat to show the Powerball drawing live (the game was minaturized with no sound). Just awful.

  111. I’m starting to jump on the “Bobby Cox can’t manage a postseason game” bandwagon. And I really like the guy.

  112. I don’t know AlexR, his velocity was down to around 90 when he pitched to Oswalt (the last man he faced in the sixth). We are on the same page with Cox though.

  113. well…whatcha think mac?

    This should be a great game recap!! Just let it all out, take no prisoners!

  114. Yes, you have to pitch Hudson tomorrow and hope for the best. He needs to take one for the team after game one and there better be a throw-down between the veteran players and the bullpen. Seriously. Those guys pitch like pussies and I can say that because they get PAID to do it. You now, it always amazes me that in all the years I’ve been watching the Braves that they still haven’t resolved the bullpen issue. Doesn’t Schuerholz get it? You can’t win games if you can’t effectively finish them with solid pitching. WTF? Over the long haul the Braves have gotten by because of their knack for timely hitting and their almost preternatural ability to come-from-behind but in the microcosm of the post-season it does not pay!!! The youngsters have played well which is refreshing. As has Andruw. We need more than that, though. Sometimes I think I must have done somebody wrong to have the Astros work us in this manner (ABB reference). Jeebus Christmas, I’m gonna puke!


  115. Re: Sosa, he pitched his normal six, which is all you can expect. Besides, he needed to be PH for in the 7th (he was up 2nd; if Cox had not PH for him, we’d all have been going WTF). In the 8th, Cox should have let Langerhans hit since he hasn’t been bad against lefties. As kc pointed out, if he did PH with someone other than Jordan, he has to burn two bench players since he would have to put Jordan in the field anyway. So the bad decision was favoring Jordan over Langerhans (just as Cox did in game 1), not using Jordan over Franco or Betemit. So Cox was not completely irrational or senile, he just has this veteran fetish that is going to do us in.

  116. The Braves had an excellent bullpen in–what?–2002, but couldn’t hit. That year they had Karsay, Remlinger, that lefty with the low ERA, Lightenburg, Spooneybarger, and someone else. That guy who pitched in Colorado, R-something.

  117. Kirk, I’d be willing to bet Orr or Betemit would be able to play LF. And, besides, so what if he uses Franco and then subs BJ in the field, we were down by 4. It’s not like we had anything to lose. Bobby played this like a regular season game, but it wasn’t.

  118. I don’t think there is any way Cox is going to put Orr or Betemit out there in the 8th inning of a playoff game. Maybe in the 13th. And he’s not going to burn two players in that situation. There was no compelling reason to PH for Langerhans. You have to let him hit.

  119. Ok, can someone PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE explain to me why Bobby is suddenly against Langerhans hitting against lefties? He hit .293 against them and Brian Jordan SUCKS. Why is this is f-ng difficult for Cox to figure out? God I HATE Cox.

  120. The actual key to the game: using Foster and Devine ahead of McBride and Brower. That’s what costed us this game.

  121. kc-

    FULLY agree with you, once again.

    Why why does Foster go ahead of McBride when we ALL witnessed McBride shut down Delgado and Abreu the last few weeks of the season?

  122. kc’s right: the bullpen lost this game. Furcal and Giles aren’t getting on either, and that’s not helping.

  123. I’m with Steffen–I like Cox–but it’s like he’s managing for extra innings when the Braves aren’t even close to tying the game. What gives?

  124. kc, I agree that what goes through Bobby’s mind is crap.

    Kirk, yes, Langerhans should have stayed in. But if Bobby is going to put a veteran in there why not put Franco in, who can hit, and then have BJ play LF? We were down by 4. With Lidge coming up you have to lay all the cards on the table. Forgive me if I want to see some creativity from the old fool. It is not the time to play baseball by the numbers. I apologise in advance because I am so pissed off at the crappy managing I could just spit.

  125. Cox’s thinking in bringing in Reitsma was probably “the top of the order is coming up, Reitsma’s my 2nd best reliever, so I might as well bring him in now rather than saving him for the 8th; if I’m lucky he might go two”. At least he only left him in for two batters. But choosing Foster over McBride isn’t very sensible.

  126. Well, I’m no Jordan fan, but pinch-hitting him with 2 down in the 8th trailing by 4 hardly lost this game for us. I suppose you can call it bad managing, but if Langerhans does anything, it’s 7-4 and we’re looking at Lidge.

    Jeez folks. Get creative.

  127. Cox thinks Jordan still has something to offer. If he didn’t he wouldn’t be on the roster, and he wouldn’t have started him in game 1. I’m not defending this decision, I think it was a bad one. But given the givens, Cox’s decision was rational. And, as kc has also pointed out, the failures of Reitsma/Foster/Devine are the real culprits of this debacle.

  128. I’d rather have 2 on, 2 out and Langerhans or Franco hitting any day no matter the score than BJ. And it doesn’t take a creative mind to see that.

  129. And yes, Cox is an old fool for thinking that Jordan still has something to offer. Just because he can justify something like Jordan playing internally doesn’t make it rational. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time but I really think he has lost the ability to have a coherent strategy in the postseason.

  130. Plus, Cox is an old fool for thinking that Foster or Devine had a chance in there. Reitsma I can forgive, although Sosa should have stayed in.Again, my apologies for the venting.

  131. Yeah…I have to agree. It’s very simplistic for people to come on here and make statements like Jordan hitting didn’t really lose the game. Maybe. Yes we were down by 4 runs but with 2 runners

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