Brewers 4, Braves 2

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

This just sucks. The Braves are only scoring two runs a night, and plain and simple you aren’t going to win many games that way.

Hudson pitched pretty well, actually, even if he gave up four runs. He allowed a solo homer in the fourth, but most of the other runs were mostly the result of soft hits. The go-ahead run in the sixth was the result of Prince Fielder crossing up that godawful shift that I hate so much and singling to where the shortstop should have been. Hudson struck out four and didn’t walk anyone.

But the Braves couldn’t do anything offensively, again, except for a two-run homer by Chipper in the fourth. They had seven hits, but none other for extra bases, and didn’t draw a walk until two out in the ninth. The bottom of the order is struggling something awful on this road trip.

Day game tomorrow. It is on TBS because they don’t want to interrupt their fine prime-time slate of sitcoms everyone’s seen every episode of a half dozen times or more. Sosa versus Ben Sheets. Somehow Sosa gets all the aces, though Sheets is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA so far this year.

48 thoughts on “Brewers 4, Braves 2”

  1. “Day game tomorrow…on TBS”

    Well, that sounds like a good reason to blow off my afternoon classes

  2. Sosa will allow 4 runs in 6 innings, the bullpen will hold them the rest of the way, and we’ll lose 4-1. Here’s hoping I’m a terrible fortune teller.

  3. if you haven’t read the article about Jeff’s haircut on Atl’s page go read it! LOL … it’s pretty funny!

    I’m tired so I’m out for the night!

  4. For some reason, that was a really tough game to watch. I think its because Hudson pitched pretty good, and I just couldn’t see how it equated to four runs. The offense reminds me of last year when we were just anemic at the plate. It’s tough to watch.

    Tomorrow, its not so much Sosa that I’m worried about (I can’t believe I’m saying that), but rather Ben Sheets. I also expect double-digit strikeouts. It could get ugly. Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

  5. love the part of the story on Francouer’s hair at the end where they talk about Eddie Perez potentially being our backup 1st baseman..

  6. Is it a coincidence that as I read that part about Perez, the lyrics of the song I was listening to (“American Pie,” courtesy of the roommate) went to the “bad news on the doorstep” part? This is definitely bad news on the doorstep, especially hte part where Bobby says, “Wow, he’s killing it.” I’m assuming he means the ball. I would mean the career.

    Ah, and now, “This’ll be the day that I die.” When Eddie Perez is our backup 1B, I will indeed die.

  7. We go through this every year. Like clock-work. One of the two, either the offense or the defense can’t get their shit together. Then, sooner or later it clicks.

    – Francouer is going to be fine, people. He will catch fire soon enough.

    – The starting pitching is coming around and looking like a Braves pitching staff, win or lose.

    – The offense will catch up, and everything will be just fine come June. (I hate to sound like Kolb, there, but so be it.)

    Count it.

  8. I hear Bobby called Otis Nixon and offered him a platoon with Andruw so we would have more veteran leadership in the clubhouse.

  9. Where’s the team that led the majors in runs scored through the first 8 games of the year?

  10. Did anyone in here catch wind of some talk of the cubs trading Maddux?

    ……(Gotham Baseball cite ‘industry sources,’ as saying the Cubs are actively shopping RHP Greg Maddux, who has an ERA of 0.99 this season following four starts…)According to Gotham, the Mets, as well as the Yankees, Brewers, Phillies, D’Backs, Royals and Cardinals, among others, are interested…

    I wonder if the braves will make a move. For you teams sake it would be in their best in their best interest. It be funny if the mets got him though.Glavine and Maddux together again, I hope omar gives it a thought if there is any truth to this story

    Our teams have sucked as of late. And as sad as it has been to watch these games, one thing still makes me smile. You know what it is so no sense in saying it right?.

  11. Thats some fine DJ work right there. (in their best,in their best)-I could loop it and make it a choris in one of my songs.

  12. KCs link to Milb.com dont work so heres Startups 06 AA line (keep in mind this is his first spring of pro ball so even being in AA, even as a collegian, is quite advanced)

    5 games
    8.2 innings
    6 hits
    0 runs
    1 walk
    14(!) strikeouts

  13. NMS, should I take your response as 1) you are also excited about Startup; or 2) you think his stats overrated his real ability?

    I don’t know much about Startup except that he was the closer for the Bulldogs, and I think I have read from somewhere that he is actually not a hard thrower. If anyone has any additional information on Startup, please share with us!

  14. Francouer is going to be fine, people. He will catch fire soon enough.

    Soon enough would have been a week ago. You can’t be a good hitter if you never take a walk.

  15. Andruw wasn’t looking a lot better this time last year. I love how we baseball fans turn so quickly. He’s going to be fine. Count it.

  16. Andy, I’d like to believe you — really I would. But it’s not as though Francoeur is getting robbed of hits — he rarely makes solid contact. Andruw had a rather longer history of success to draw upon, and he’s always been streaky. But anyone can see that there’s something fundamentally wrong with Francoeur’s approach at the plate, and I don’t believe he’ll be fine until something changes. It looks like he decides to swing or take before the pitch is even thrown, and doesn’t appear to have any concept of situational hitting. I haven’t turned on him, just reporting what I see.

  17. Francoeur doesn’t need a haircut. He just needs to use some of that great make-up we’ve been hearing about. ;-)

    Andruw wasn’t looking a lot better this time last year.

    The difference between JF’s and AJ’s slumps are:
    1) Andruw walked, Jeff hasn’t.
    2) Andruw’s slump was out of line with his career performance; Jeff’s is not when you look at his minor league numbers.

    I love how we baseball fans turn so quickly. He’s going to be fine.

    Um, I think the slump was widely expected on this board. No one is turning.

    Francoeur may break out of it, but this is more than just a bad luck slump.

  18. To put Jeff’s lack of walks in a different light, look at Marcus, whose AVG is not much better than Jeff’s. In 100 trips to the plate Marcus makes 63 outs, Jeff makes 80 outs.

  19. To chime in on Francoeur’s woes: I agree w/ JC about the difference in Jeff’s slumps & Andruw’s slumps. I love Francoeur – he had some huge plays for the Braves last year. But his AB in the 9th was (unfortunately) too typical of his ‘approach’ at the plate. When you’re the last out of the game, and have a 3-1 count, swinging at ball 4 is just about inexcusable.
    If he doesn’t learn some type of pitch recognition, about what are hittable pitches & what are unhittable, he’s going to continue to struggle, mightily.

  20. Fancoeur certainly is better than the level of ability he’s shown so far this month; however, his actual level of major league ability remains unknown. He had a 1.326 OPS in July last year, followed by 878 in August, 739 in September and 557 in October.

    More specifically, breaking down Francoeur’s performance we see the following:

    Prior to drawing first major league walk:
    379/394/734, 10 HR in 120+ PA
    Remainder of last season after that:
    228/281/376, 4 HR, 11BB in about 160 PA
    Total line since then:
    213/250/354, 7 HR, 11 BB in about 240 PA

    So, maybe one could conclude that he shouldn’t have ever drawn a walk :-) More likely, the walks were a sign that the league sized up his strike zone, and learned how far they could throw it off the plate and still have him swing. The results is that while he started to walk when they threw too far out, overall his hitting plummetted as he swung away at stuff that he couldn’t drive.

    The emergent stathead position has been that plate discipline isn’t purely about walks, it’s about making sure you get a pitch you can hit and then drive it. Francoeur has a large strike zone. As of right now, it’s larger than the range of pitches he can drive hard. Vlad Guerrero is the perfect example ofa guy whose strike zone is largbe, but who can drive everything within that zone. But he’s an aberration.

    Francoeur needs to learn to discern the zone of pitches he can hit from the rest of the zone he can’t. It doesn’t matter necessarily how much he walks, just how well he tells the two kinds of pitches apart. For about 1/3 of his career the league hadn’t figured him out. For the last two thirds of it the league has, and Francoeur has failed to adjust.

  21. This is what a payroll constricted team comes down to. They have no ability to go out and get solid big leaguers so they have to play kids (like Francoeur)that are talented but not really ready. Plus, they have to go with mediocrities like LaRoche, who clearly is an average player at best. It’s great that the Braves have produced so many players, but how many are there because they have no better options?

    It is way too early to panic. In 2002, the Braves were 19-21 and went 60-20. On the other hand, as young as the team is and with the question marks they have (and the increasing number of injuries they seem to be running into), you can’t just assume they will turn it around. One day, they won’t.

  22. I haven’t seen many games this year because I’m a TBS hostage. However,for the ones that I’ve seen, I have been paying close attention to Francoeur’s at bats. He still loves to swing at that low inside fastball. The pitch is a ball but he continues to swing at it. Very frustrating to watch.

    I read David O’Brien at AJC. He is right there aren’t any good options to replace Jeff. I think it is clear that he needs some triple A but who plays right? Its clear that the Braves don’t think that Diaz is good enough to be a starter. Heck Bobby is going to Jordan in PH situations. KJ where art thou? He might be done for the season. No one in the minors. So I guess that we have to hope that the kid can get it up to .240/.305/.400 which sucks and which Diaz can do but Jeff is a better fielder. Mondesi and Jordan got pretty much to the end of May so these next few weeks are going to be pivotal for Jeff and the Braves.

  23. The Braves do not have a small payroll (USA Today). Also, a teams that acquires veterans like Todd Hollandsworth, Brian Jordan, Raul Mondesi, and Mike Remlinger when you have cheap alternatives within house has no reason to complain about a budget. Those guys didn’t make a lot. And having one of these players is OK. But if you add up the salaries of these guys, you could acquire a decent player rather than four crappy ones.

  24. Colin, JC good stuff. I don’t know about y’all but when I watch Jeff play I think BALLPLAYER. The kid has it all physically. That bat speed is just incredible. But you’re right Vladimer Guerrero is an aberation. Yup its still early, too early to panic but if I’m John Schuerholz I’m putting out feelers for a rental bat.

  25. He swings and misses at an awful lot of 90-94mph fastballs in the strike zone for me to say he has incredible bat speed. Sheffield is the guy I think of; he could see a 97mph RJ fastball and yank a line drive foul into the third base seats.

    i wish Jeff and the Braves luck in getting through this tough time. I hope they get it figured out.

  26. Good point. The Braves payroll according to ESPN is 92,461,852 the 8th biggest in baseball.

    JC I agree to an extent that the Braves fetish with washed up veterans is confusing (however, what team in MLB doesn’t have this fetish?) but could we really get a decent player with the net savings of paying in house talent? By decent are you saying a starter?

  27. The Braves payroll is actually only 78 million or so. Those numbers don’t take into account Hampton’s insurance or the chunk of Renteria’s salary being paid by the Red Sox.

    78 million is no small amount, of course, and good management can field a competitive team with that money. But we certainly aren’t near the top of total payrolls, either.

  28. The facts are that we will stick with what we have and try to make it work. JS will probably make a couple token moves along the way, but I don’t think we can take on salary. Especially with the impending sale of team, there is no way we take on salary.
    I’m not particularly worried about the offense in the long run. The problem is getting into the summer healthy and in the hunt. Francouer is not a 200 hitter, I just don’t believe that yet.

  29. Stu’s right… espn and usatoday’s numbers are a little off. And does anyone know how much of Hampton’s salary is covered by insurance?

    FWIW, Here’s a very in-depth write up of everyone’s contracts numbers.

  30. The fact is we have plenty of payroll. We have a few stars, and we have a few overpaid.

    As for who replaces Francoeur, I don’t terribly care. I think he may need to go to AAA both for his own good and the good of the team. He needs to learn his own strike zone to be a good player for the long term. The question is whether he can better learn that in Atlanta or in richmond. I think either can be argued, but we need to be prepared for the possibility that the sucking won’t end anytime soon. Plate discipline was always his problem, this is nothing new. The question is what he’ll do now that it is a problem for the first time in his career.

  31. I don’t usually suggest skipping baseball games, especially with Sheets on the mound, but Barca-Milan is one of the better matchups available to watch in the World, and a good way to start the warm up for the WC.

  32. Wow, Schilling made 133 pitches last night in 6 2/3 innings. What a way to protect the pitching ace in April!

  33. frenchie may not be a .200 hitter, but unless he spends some serious time in richmond working on pitch recognition and selection, he will not hit .250 this year.

    He tried to pull a ball 6 inches outside last night, resulting in what has happened in those circumstances to every major league hitter in the history of baseball; a ground ball to the left side of the infield.

    It isn’t him or bad luck; no one in major league history has walked so little and maintained success. As someone pointed out yesterday, even Vlad has an okay walk rate, and frenchie is no Vlad.

    He has enormous talent and tools, and the arm; the foot speed; and the bat speed are all going to be wasted if he doesn’t learn some low element of plate discipline. he cannot hit .220 swinging at balls outside the strike zone, and until he stops swinging at balls outside the strike zone, that is all he will see from MLB pitching.

  34. KC, im the driver of the Will Startup bandwagon. I love the guy (yes, bc he was a Dawg and a great one at that)
    And he does have good stuff, esp for a lefty

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