DBacks 2 Braves 1

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

Horacio Ramirez was great. He pitched well enough, more than well enough, to win. He allowed two runs, both unearned. Yet, he lost, and it was pretty much entirely his own fault.

In the top of the eighth, he walked a pinch-hitter leading off. That wasn’t so much the problem. The problem was what happened next. The batter bunted, and as always it’s one of the times where Don Sutton and I are in complete agreement:

TAKE THE OUT, STUPID!

Horacio tried to do too much. He tried to pick up the ball barehanded and throw out the runner. He might have. But he didn’t get the ball cleanly and it fell. So he picked it up in a hurry, and threw just a horrible ball towards Marcus covering at second, or rather towards the tarp, because that’s where it landed. The runners wound up at second and third.

Horacio intentionally walked the next batter. Macay McBride came in to get the #3 hitter on a strikeout, and Paronto gave up a liner that Marcus caught. But after getting ahead of the batter, Remlinger allowed a blooper for two runs. Andruw hit a homer in the ninth but that was all and the Braves fell.

Juan Cruz shut the Braves out for seven innings. Gosh, it’s almost like he’s a good pitcher or something, I wonder why we couldn’t use him? Oh, well. The Braves actually outhit the DBacks, 6-5, but Andruw had three of the hits and nobody else did much of anything. Chipper had one of those, but also had a bad AB, grounding to shortstop with Renteria on second and nobody out in the fourth; Renteria broke and was thrown out, which is against the book but not a bad idea. There’s not that much difference between one out, runner on second, and one out, runner on first — especially with Andruw due up — and there’s a reasonable chance they’ll screw up the tag. Didn’t happen. The Braves loaded the bases in the sixth but Francoeur flew out to end that threat.

Oh, and the attendance was terrible, 23,376 announced but I’d bet it wasn’t more than 18,000 actual. Smoltz to pitch tomorrow. We’ll see how his leg is.

28 thoughts on “DBacks 2 Braves 1”

  1. I didn’t see the game, but I did see the box score. So… Bobby used four pitchers in the 8th inning? Is it me or is that overmanaging? I am not of the same opinion as many of the other folks on this blog – that the Braves win in spite of Cox – but I do get frustrated with the micro-managing of the bullpen. I’m not saying that’s why the Braves lost, if their offense could consistently show up they’d probably have won, but it sure seems strange to use four guys in one inning. Dusty Baker strange.

  2. Bobby THOUGHT he wouldn’t be blamed for using a lefty against Shawn Green. However, the name of that lefty is Remlinger. If Jacque Jones can get a hit off Remlinger, there is no way Green wouldn’t. It was painfully obvious but typical Bobby decided to ignore the obvious fact. So, what has Bobby done in the past three games?

    1) threw Tyler Yates straight into a critical situation two nights ago immediately overall his call-up, and now his confidence is in the trash can;
    2) used the team most reliable reliever in a non-crucial situation last night; and
    3) tonight’s crap.

    You are a HOF manager Bobby, but your bullpen managing skill sucks big time.

  3. the D backs are a tough. You guys were expecting them to just roll over and give you the win today because of last nights 13 inning game( which i was at!!! what a good game) but to your suprise they were ready for the braves. Im telling you that team is no joke. They are #1 in their devision for a reason. I would say your team matches up well with them with a slight edge going to the d-backs for their pitching. Good luck :)

    Cheers
    Dan

  4. Whoever said the dbacks would roll over?

    See my comments from two nights ago regardings bobbies terrible bullpen managment. Bobby & Remlinger are turning into 2004’s Bobby & Reitsma duo.. in that they together can instantly blow games in the most consitant fasion.

  5. Mac, are you serious? This loss was pretty much entirely his fault? He pitches 7 SHUTOUT innings, he throws one ball away, and he loses this game? How about the total ineptitude of our offense against a pitcher we wouldn’t even use when we needed pitching? That seems to be whose fault it is: the offense. I’m sorry if I seem like a jerk but the guy pitched his balls off and he deserved a win if our offense could have quit looking like a bunch of Rafael Belliards.

  6. I also agree that Cox “overmanaged” the bullpen tonight, but not as bad as many people think. The simple fact is that if you have the bases loaded and no outs, you’re usually fairly lucky to get out of it with only 2 runs scored – whoever you have pitching. With the current state of the Braves bullpen, it’s a crap shoot – whether you use one pitcher or 4!

  7. The bullpen ain’t the issue–getting shut out for an entire game is. If we give up 2 runs, we ought to be able to pull out a win. That’s not Bobby’s fault.

  8. However, Bobby’s use of the bullpen WAS indefensible, and led to the loss, as did Horacio’s error. But we shouldn’t be in the position of getting shut out for 8 innings.

  9. Guys, remember Cruz was in the deal that brought Huddy to Atlanta. So, the Braves didn’t exactly give him up for nothing.

    It’s funny that I remember JS tried to insisted on including Eric Byrnes in the deal for Huddy as well. If the Braves did get Eric Byrnes, McCann wouldn’t get hurt. It’s all JS fault.

    You guys know I am kidding right?!

  10. BTW, Mr Kyle “I can’t handle pressure” Farnsworth blew an one-run lead for the Yankees tonight. Rivera hurts his back and Farnsworth is now the closer for the Yankees at this moment.

  11. Caught the game from the 7th inning on.

    I didn’t go crazy about Bobby’s Tony LaRussa imitation in the 8th. It damn-near worked. I thought he might leave Paronto out there for Green. But, of course, had Paronto given up the hit, people would’ve been all over Bobby for having a righty face a lefty. If Remlinger would’ve gotten out of it, the move would’ve been forgotten.

    Tough loss, but I really have my fingers crossed about HoRam. That’s 2 straight outstanding starts (not good, not acceptable, but terrific). Over the course of a season, I’ll always take my chances when we can roll out good start after good start. If that’s the case, we’ll probably be alright.

  12. HoRam pitched well and, yes, he bears a bit of responsbility for the loss. The Diamondback 8th was a minor masterpiece–a team which had not scored in over 20 innings gets 1 hit and 2 Runs.

    That said, the real blame comes from the slumbering bats.

    On another negative note, it looks like we have lost Kelly Johnson for the year.

  13. I’m not a Bobby hater, but tonight was ridiculous. I was at the game, and I was furious. I was upset BEFORE Rem even gave up those runs, so it’s not an opinion I got from hindsight.

    1) Game tied 0-0 with HoRam coming up after throwing 97 pitches in his second start back from the DL. I definitely wanted to see Betemit or Diaz step in and get something started. This was a pretty minor offense, but it started my frustration.

    2) Macay was dealing, so Bobby takes him out after HoRam’s booboo. He should have left him in to face the one righty because a lefty was coming up after that. That way, he doesn’t have to use THREE relievers in 1 inning. Keep in mind this game was tied 0-0. Even if we preserved the tie that inning, we’d be in serious trouble if the game went into extra innings. Not to mention it’s the first game of a 4 game series.

    3) Taking out Paraonto so Remlinger can face the lefty. When will Bobby realize that Rem is NOT a lefty specialist? He’s always been better against right handers, and he still is! Macay should have been in the whole time.

    I was fuming after all these moves, but I can’t blame the loss on Bobby. HoRam’s play was stupid, but he pitched well enough to deserve the win regardless of that crap. The offense just couldn’t get the hits when it mattered tonight. That was the difference. That’s why we lost.

  14. I thought the Braves are trying the establish the health of KJ in order to trade for bullpen help. I guess there goes the idea. I sure hope the Braves don’t trade away Betemit. They almost did last year for Urbina (thanks to Ed Wade for being never happened). On the other hand, I can’t think of other attractive pieces other than all the margin prospects at Richmond.

    I think the most likely outcome will be Thomson being traded away for bullpen help when Kyle Davies is ready to return.

  15. …especially the Braves are now working James back as a starting pitcher. I read from everywhere that the Braves are trying to get James to build on his arm strength and endurance again to be a starting pitcher. The trade may even come earlier when James is ready rather than waiting for Davies.

  16. Thorman has some trade value. I shudder at the loss of Betemit.
    Anyway, it may be a really big trade because we need a leadoff hitter as well as bullpen help. Unforunately, neither comes cheap–especially at this point in the season.

  17. 5 walks, 1 K. The old HoRam is almost back. Look for 3 bombs given up in his next outing. I agree this was a good outing for HoRam.

  18. He got 16 ground balls and 5 fly balls. That’s not the old Horacio — more like the old Hampton.

    I’m not saying Horacio deserved to lose. But it was his fault. There’s a subtle difference. I will always call out a player who does something boneheaded like that. I’ve criticized Marcus and Maddux — two of my favorites — in the past for similar plays. I feel very strongly that if they’re going to give you the out you have to take it.

  19. i have jumped on the “bad move bobby” train of late but bobby can only pitch who he has. this game was not bobby’s fault and he should not be blamed for what could easily have been a win (if you take away a huge error). the board is getting a little ridiculous about jumping on cox. and hmm, what does it matter if bobby uses 3 relievers in one inning? the bases were loaded with no one out and we almost got out of it. over-managing? i think most managers would have done almost the same thing in that situation. you guys need to ease up. wait ’til he actually deserves it.

  20. 3 of those w’s came against the last 5 batters faced (one intentional), when he was pretty clearly about out of steam. I was even thinking, when HR hit for himself in the 7th, that Cox was just conserving bench w/ no one on base… surely he wouldn’t send him back out there to start the 8th…

    Cox is managing like a man who finds his bullpen to be a very scary thing.

  21. We left too many runners on base. I think we are really missing McCann’s bat in the 5 hole.
    I am really impressed with Horams last two starts. I think going away from the cut fastball has been the move of the season so far by McDowell. If he and Sosa can keep pitching like this, look out! We jsut need to get them some runs.

  22. Mac, he did take the out. He just made a bad throw. He did pick the ball up to look at second, but everyone does that, and he didn’t throw to second. If he the ball into center field trying to get the lead runner, then you’re right. He took the out, just didn’t get a good throw. At the end of the day though, when you score one run, it usually doesn’t matter how many times a pitcher makes a bad throw to first….

  23. Rob,

    HoRam’s gotta glove the ball & make the “sure play” in that spot. Even if he snags it barehand, there’s no guarantee he gets the runner at second.

    On a play like that, where the ball isn’t bunted hard directly back to the pitcher, you gotta make sure you get the bunter at first. Runner on second with one out; congratulations, opposition, well-done. It’s an agreement: you get the base, we’ll take the out–let’s see who benefits most.

  24. ububba,

    I understand the sacrifice bunt. On this play, the ball was bunted hard enough that if Ramirez grabbed it barehanded, he may have had a play. There was nothing wrong with the barehanded grab, there was nothing wrong with the look towards second, it was throw. Even after he bobbled, he had plenty of time to throw. He just made a bad throw. This isn’t a decision thing, this isn’t a fundamental thing, he just made a bad throw. With that said, he probably shouldn’t have been out there in the first place. He came in with 95 pitches, only 55 being strikes, and this was only his second start since being on the DL. The reason he was out there was that Bobby doesn’t trust his bullpen, as someone mentioned above. And that with the fact that the offense was hitting like a high school JV team, and the fault isn’t in Ramirez.

  25. From my faux-omniscient TV vantage point, I just didn’t think the ball was bunted hard enough. In my view, any play at second seemed like an unwarranted risk, especially as HoRam had his back to the play. When the ball was bunted, my very first thought was: “Don’t try to go to second. You don’t have a play.”

  26. I think Renteria’s play was more boneheaded than HoRam’s. I disagree that there’s a reasonable chance that they screw up the tag. This is the big leagues, boys, he was out by five feet. You can’t make a decision based on the other team screwing up a simple play. And, it did cost them, because Andrew’s single would have scored Renteria. HoRam screwed up probably because he feared that the Braves wouldn’t score so that runner on second might have been the winning run. Bad play but more understandable than what Renteria did–although I can’t fault him for wanting to get to third.

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