River Deep, Game Thread High: Braves at Cardinals, July 19

The Braves haven’t actually passed anyone this last week, but they’re getting in position to.  They moved into a tie with Houston and are a half game behind Milwaukee and Colorado.  They have moved into first place in the NL in runs scored, passing the Mets last night even though the Mets scored eight runs.  Now, about that pitching…

245 thoughts on “River Deep, Game Thread High: Braves at Cardinals, July 19”

  1. I had the oddest dream last night. I dreamed the Braves traded Renteria to the Dodgers for Brad Penny. In my dream I thought it was a fair trade, but I still was wondering about the bullpen. Now that I’m awake I can’t think of a reason why the Dodgers would want Renteria, but I guess that’s what makes it a dream.

  2. On Monday some dude said that the Braves were going to lose. Since then I haven’t seen him.

  3. Chipper did a great job on Rome Is Burning. Jim Rome is slowly becoming a more likeable person for me…its rather shocking.

  4. Boomer, if it’s not too much trouble, would you be willing to give a synopsis of the interview? I would greatly appreciate it.

  5. Have you seen that old dude playing minor league baseball. I think he is 80 years old. Also playing in the minors is Jose Canseco. Apparently he is pitching for some team. Maybe if he pitches like Sosa is pitching, he will have a shot at the closer role for the Braves.

  6. Is anybody else using firefox (on a mac) having trouble accessing their gameday audio acct? I’m getting everything but the very important audio part. I called mlb and, after one hundred hours on hold, the nice lady told me it was (of all things) a glitch.
    That kinda sounds like someone trying to get rid of someone to me.

  7. After the 80-some-odd guy pinch hit in an independent league game last week, Buck O’Neil went up and beat his record by appearing in a game at the age of 94. (Link in previous thread.) Buck O’Neil is one of the true ambassadors of the game, one of the finest players who ever lived and one of the finest people ever to put on a uniform. He was the Negro Leagues’ unofficial historian, serving in that capacity for decades. Great baseball man, truly a class act, and I’m glad he made it into the record books of an integrated league.

    Changing topics entirely: in the last thread, Jay asked people to suggest names for an Eric Gagne-type pinch hitter, sort of an NBA Sixth Man type. He suggested “The Pincher.” My idea: “The Franco.” Not only has Julio Franco been arguably the game’s best pinch hitter the past several years, but before that, one of the best pinch hitters in the game was Matt Franco. I already think that Julio should be inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame, but I think we should do better than retire his number: let’s retire his name.

  8. So the pti’s guys are still saying that the Braves have no chance at the wild card.

  9. I like that idea AAR…el Franco

    I think the bravos will extend the streak tonite: Braves 6, Cards 4
    You can put it on the board…Yes!!!

  10. AAR, thanks for resurecting my joke from the previous thread. I thought it was going to die back there.

    The Pincher/El Franco also needs a stat equivalent to the save, but I can’t think of anything remotely clever.

  11. “Buck O’Neil is . . . one of the finest players who ever lived . . .”

    That’s hardly accurate, AAR. Everything else you said about the man is, though.

  12. 1914 Update:

    NY Giants 46-32 (–)
    Chicago Cubs 46-37 (2.5 GB)
    St. Louis Cardinals 45-40 (4.5)
    Cincinnati Reds 39-43 (9)
    Philadelphia Phillies 37-41 (9)
    Brooklyn Robins 35-41 (10)
    Boston Braves 36-43 (10.5)
    Pittsburgh Pirates 35-42 (10.5)

    Today’s Game:
    Boston 100 022 010 – 6 11 0 WP- Rudolph
    Cincinnati 000 100 101 – 3 7 3 LP- Ames
    For the first time since May 8, the Braves are partly out of the basement, catching up with Pittsburgh (which had the day off). Combined with the Federal Laegue standings, this gives the Steel City two last place teams.

  13. The weird thing about the Negro Leagues players is that much of the evidence about their greatness or lack thereof is anecdotal.

    O’Neil was great on the Ken Burns “Baseball” doc, though.

  14. One of the many shames of segregation is that we’ll never know how good the Negro League players were, and that the NL and AL of those days weren’t all they could have been.

  15. The Rome interview went through the basics.

    -Talked about the current and previous hit streak
    -Talked about his 1999 MVP season and how it compares to his current breakout
    -Talked about shooting for the division, even if it looks like the Mets have a strangle hold on it

    The best part was probably when Rome asked about Smoltzy’s comment about being traded to help the team. He said that all the players with big pay checks on the team had probably had the same thought run through their mind, but that Smoltz had probably been quoted incorrectly due to a cut-up of the interview in which he said those comments. Chipper went on to say how odd it would feel for him to play anywhere else (out of his comfort zone in ATL).

  16. Castilla was dumped by the Padres today. There’s no way that JS will see him as a possible platoon mate for LaRoche, um, right?

  17. I also happened to see Wilbon and LeBatard on PTI give the Braves a 65 and 20 percent chance of getting to the playoffs, respectively.

  18. Here in Metland everyone’s afraid that a Wild Card Braves team could ultimately ruin their season. The very idea is like a sugar rush.

  19. The rest of my message got eaten.

    Anyway LaRoche has a sub 650 OPS career vs lefties, so a platoon mate would make sense. But let’s just hope JS can resist a third go around with Vinny.

  20. We’re now tied with both the Brewers and the Rockies after they both lost today, not to mention already having been tied with the Astros. A win tonight moves us ahead of the Brewers and Rockies, while a win and a Houston loss to the Cubs moves us ahead of the Astros as well.

    At that point, it’s just the Reds and the rest of the NL West teams ahead of us.

  21. Only plus to having Vinny Castilla: saying “he has a Vinnjury” is very fun. That’s it.

  22. Castilla is a third baseman. The Braves have 2 3rd basemen. Both are hitting the cover off the ball. There is no way the Braves are signing Castilla. He doesn’t fill a need for the team, and he’s been bad this year. I don’t really see the need for a platoon partner for Laroche anyway. There aren’t all that many left handed starters and there’s plenty of righthanded bats in the lineup to carry the offense vs lefties. Plus Jordan will be back when rosters expand! (Gag.)

  23. Tonight’s lineups

    W.Betemit 2B
    E.Renteria SS
    C.Jones 3B
    A.Jones CF
    B.McCann C
    J.Francoeur RF
    A.LaRoche 1B
    S. Thorman LF
    J.Shiell P

    D.Eckstein SS
    C.Duncan LF
    A.Pujols 1B
    S.Rolen 3B
    J.Edmonds CF
    J.Encarnacion RF
    Y.MOlina C
    H.Luna 2B
    C.Carpenter P

  24. My friend is a Reds fan. He says they are almost rooting for the Cards to beat us so we don’t catch them

  25. IJ on the pre-game show was talking about the Braves going after Mike Gonzalez of the Pirates. His numbers look pretty good. It would take giving up some good players to get him I’m sure. What do you all think? I say do it.

  26. He has been talked about alot, in fact i mentioned him again earlier today..my favorite stat on Mike Gonzalez is 14 SV and 0 blown SV.

  27. Just to let everyone know I live in St.Louis and the weather just got really bad, the sky is suddenly black and the wind is blowing very hard.

  28. Anybody else think that the Braves are being extra cautious with Giles’ “injury” to convienently showcase Betemit to increase his trade value ?? Because I do and it’s gotta be working out great.

  29. I know its been past due on the topic, but I am glad AAR brought up Buck O’Neill.

    There’s been a lot of shameful things in Baseball history but Buck O’neill, who was a very good player, but an even better Ambassador for the game of Baseball and one of the classiest and nicest men, period should absolutely be placed in the Hall fo Fame before he dies.

    I think it’s beyond shameful that a man like Buck O’neill is not in the Hall and at 94, won’t be around much longer. If Bud Selig does one thing right in his life, it should be to champion O’neill into the Hall and do it now so O’neill can be in Cooperstown on stage to be celebrated.

    I will step off my soapbox but it really bothers me that he’s not in the Hall.

  30. jj3,

    I think that Betemit is tearing the cover off the ball and even if Marcus is healthy tomorrow, I don’t see how Bobby could pull Betemit out and risk messing up this amazing offensive streak.

  31. I just looked at the radarand it is a nasty storm moving through, but it looks like it won’t last long.

  32. I love this site and the game threads. Is this a group of close-nit friends or is everyone welcome? I can’t even tell how many people there are here because there’s always like a million posts.

  33. Smitty, can I also get a five day forecast for St Louis as well. Just kidding, thanks for the info, I just clicked on MLB.TV and there’s nothing on, so I was wondering what the hell was going on.

  34. Alex R., if 3 months of sucking and whining won’t get Giles out of the leadoff spot, one week of hot hitting by Betemit won’t do the trick. Part of what makes Bobby such a beloved “player’s manager” is that he sticks with players beyond the point that even most of us ever would. In some instances it seems foolish, but you can’t argue much with 14 straight division titles. When Giles is healthy, he’ll be back in there for sure barring a trade.

  35. Ron,

    If thats a case, it’s a mistake. Considering how precious every win is to us right now, affecting the entire lineup chemistry and messing up a “good thing” would be a HUGE gamble. The leadoff spot sets the table and Giles has been bad in that spot; Betemit has been great.

  36. Ron’s right. Bobby’s not going to keep Betemit in the lineup when Giles comes back. Of course, if he were a player’s manager, he might listen to Giles’ complaints about not liking the leadoff spot, but he is what he is.

  37. Wow, it’s still raining pretty darm hard in STL right now…I can see it through MLBTV. It is nothing close to being baseball playing condition.

  38. Given what has happened with the Braves lately, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Carpenter come out flat after the delay and the Braves bomb him and keep up their double digit run streak. I also wouldn’t be surprised if a rookie in his first start breaks the Braves streak. I didn’t say either scenario is likely, I just wouldn’t be surprised. I’ll settle for a few runs and a win tonight.

  39. I don’t know what the weather patterns are like in St. Louis, but from what the radar shows there’s a clump of heavy rain centered on the city and not much behind it.

  40. bravesouth,

    I know that some of these guys on here are close friends, but for the most part I would have to assume that it’s a pretty random compilation. I hope I speak for everyone when I say that anyone is welcome to pitch in their two cents. There are a few informal rules, but as long as you aren’t being a jerk, you’ll be fine.

  41. “IJ on the pre-game show was talking about the Braves going after Mike Gonzalez of the Pirates. His numbers look pretty good. It would take giving up some good players to get him I’m sure. What do you all think? I say do it.”

    1. Who is IJ?
    2. As I’ve already written, why not Anthony Lerew for Gonzalez?

  42. “Castilla was dumped by the Padres today.”

    I saw that on ESPN just now, that he was released while watching what could have been (Todd Jones.)

  43. sorry, i don’t post much but i lurk daily…mac, if a deal were to go down with the bucs for gonzalez what would you guess the braves would give up?

  44. This is a good game thread, and home to some really knowledgeable braves fans! I think you’re going to it here, i sure have

  45. At least two prospects or young (pre-arbitration) vets. Say Salty and McBride, but I doubt that would be enough.  Before the season it would have been.

  46. thinking the same but hoping it’s not the case. actually i think betemit would be a deal breaker for me right now considering that he is a utility player.

  47. Welcome Bravesouth! This is a great place for the seriously dedicated or the casual Braves fan, and all of their varying degrees in between. You will enjoy watching the games with fans from all over the country, and sometimes, the world. It can be very entertaining, and sometimes you may even learn something from somewhere you have never been. I have thoroughly enjoyed this site for about 2 years now. It’s a great place for a Braves fan.

  48. By the way Mac – that’s quite a prophetic title for this thread. Did you check out the forecast before naming this thread?

  49. Wasn’t Cormier the other possible starter for tonight before they went with Shiell? Either way, Cormier’s line at Richmond tonight:
    6.0 IP, 10H, 7ER

  50. Can Base12 be brought back from wherever he is? He was better than these guys and I bet he is cheap.

  51. I don’t know if I should cut and paste this much, but I can’t resist. It’s from Atlantabraves.com, and it must have just been posted….I didn’t see it earlier tonight:

    {Trade on the horizon: Braves general manager John Schuerholz had a closed-door meeting with Cox on Wednesday afternoon to discuss a number of different trades that he’s currently discussing with different general managers.

    “You would like to get stuff done sooner than later,” Cox said. “We’re just throwing stuff around right now.”

    While Schuerholz was wearing his poker face and not providing specifics, there was indication he will make one or two trades before this week is complete. }

    My oh my….

  52. The ground crew failed to use the mound and home-box mini tarps so the rip in the main tarp really fouled the plate area. Pete said it was the worst mess he’d ever seen.

    I’d expect the tarp-up to first pitch time to look like about 90+ minutes. Let’s guess on a 11:00-11:30 EDST start.

  53. i predict the Jones boys will share the July player of the month, their hotter than a two”willy” Billy Goat. Both have numbers right now to win it without playing the rest of the month

  54. Bravesouth,

    As Lili Von Shtupp from “Blazing Saddles” once said: “Willkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome. C’mon in…”

  55. Also, tggrschult, I play second base for my softball team, as well as bass guitar (not for the team, you understand), so it’s just one big wacky play on words!

  56. Yeah, Second Bass, I follow you. A familiar play on words for sure – even better when there is actual truth behind it. kudos.

  57. Yikes…Edgar tried to bunt and slipped trying to get out of the Battersbox. Gawd I sure hope no one gets hurt tonight. I am having flashbacks to Chipper slipping as he charged a bunt last season….. (major knock on wood)

  58. “slipping as he charged a bunt last season”

    I know June felt long but that was this season in SF.

  59. I am pretty sure the one I am remembering happend either in Philly or Shea last year…he landed really akwardly on his right arm.

  60. Oh, I’m thinking the knee/ankle thing on the nast turf at Pac Bell. I was really just looking for a reason to make fun of June.

  61. While I won’t doubt that JS may have had some prelim phone calls before last weekend, I feel pretty confident that Smoltz’s public remarks on Saturday may have spurred a lot more action from JS. He hates ‘bad press’, so I personally want to Thank Smoltzie if it nets us some relievers.

    Oh, shocker from the AJC…Terrence Moore has buried us and says we shouldn’t bother competing. He decided to write this column after a heart to heart with his boyfriend, David Justice.

    I cannot tell you how much I dislike Moore’s columns in general. I wonder if he just watched his first Braves game of the year last night?

  62. i think manufacturing a run and grabbing the lead early in this game is key. i like that after the blowouts bobby came out and manufactured a run in the first. completely unexpected.

  63. Remember that Shiell has an advantage in that nobody’s seen him pitch — I mean, he’s thrown about 18 live innings in the last three years.

  64. Wow – they say 92 mph winds in downtown St Louis. thats like a strong category 1, almost a cat 2 hurricane. (sue me – I live in FL)

    cat 1 –
    “No real damage to building structures. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees. Also, some coastal flooding and minor pier damage.”

    Or serious damage to the tarp.

  65. I have the Cardinal broadcast on my PPV package and Joe Buck said that Shiell’s “look” reminds him of Jaret Wright which I could see.

  66. Since Davies is a ways away, if this kid actually could come in and give the Braves some quality starts (hopefully), then we wont have to rush Kyle.

    But walking 2 runners isn’t good…though it is Pujols and Rolen. The Cards announcers keep talking about how Shiell has not thrown anything over the heart of the plate…away, away, away.

  67. He threw alot of balls, but he’ll find the strike zone as the game goes on.

    He’ll need to if he wants to have any luck at all.

  68. yeah he top’s out in the high 80’s, but how do you think his change looks?

  69. Pujols didn’t look like he was hustling on that grounder to first by LaRoche, but then LaRoche was taking his time down the line so it didn’t really matter.

  70. bravesouth…good timing…the comparison of LaRoche and Thor in terms of hustle.

    But I am not saying anything else about Adam right now because he’s having a great few weeks and I want positive encouragement for him to stay hot.

  71. I agree Alex, but it would have been nice to let the kid sit for more than 5 pitches. That has me concerned.

  72. kruger, I agree…let shope the kid shows he can go after these Cardinal hitters.

    Joe Buck is being immensly critical of Shiell not pitching inside. He’s (Buck) really annoying.

  73. That was a strike, Joe Buck…Buck claims everything Shiell throws is outside and I am getting fed up with him. I think Shiell would have made Leo Mazzone proud and hit the corners perfectly.

  74. Next go around…they are all going to be looking away. I hope he switches it up a little bit as he goes along.

  75. The Braves won’t go after Hillenbrand; not their type. I’d bet on the Yankees, who don’t actually need him but you know what they’re like.

  76. In case people didnt click on the link, the Blue Jays cut Shea Hillenbrand after criticizing the organization; he’s hitting .301.

    He could also play first base….at the very least a better platoon partner for LaRoche…

  77. No, Alex. He’d be our third-best 1B or 3B, and we don’t need a Francoeur at 1B with a bad attitude.

    Keep plugging, Jason. We’re all behind you.

  78. Also, at some point in this game Shiell will probably be called for a balk. There’s a hesitation in his delivery. It’s not actually a balk, because it’s not meant to deceive the runner, but it’s there.

  79. Impressive crowd in St. Louis after the long delay. It looks like everyone stayed.

    csg, Rathbun says Carpenter’s a sweater

  80. There is also MeisterBrau in St. Louis which is pretty much the best crud beer you can stomach.

  81. Now I know we agreed it was immoral to wish an injury on any ballplayer. But where would hoping for laryngitis for an announcer fall?

  82. Oh my Goodness..they just had a commercial about milkshakes at Hardees with the highly funny “milkshake” song and 2 ‘farm’ type guys inapproproately rubbing 2 cows…

  83. Guinness is a little heavy for me, hot summer nights require Sleeman’s or Keith’s

  84. laryngitis on Buck. and yes I know you can turn the volume down, but it’s nice to have someone in the booth tell you what’s going on outside of the camera view.

  85. Time for a double play.

    Heavy, yummy. Believe it or not, Guinness has slightly less alcohol content & fewer calories than the Budweisers of the world.

    The only place I couldn’t bear Guinness was the sticky jungles of Costa Rica. It was only then that the lame-o Mex brew began to make sense.

  86. as a totally off base aside. Anybody else here have mlb.tv? The best thing about that imo is the intro screen where they replay the last out of last year’s ws. I imagine all the Astro’s fans cringing every time they login.

  87. ah crap, did I mention the mbl.tv delay. sorry bout that.

    yeah, Edmonds has punished Braves pitching after they were behind by 6 or 7 runs. Get the kid through this inning and let’s go hit.

  88. He’s got a mechanical problem. Everytime he misses by 4 feet outside it’s because he’s left side is flying open well ahead of his arm.

  89. Is he really missing by four feet or would these pitches be strikes if Tom Glavine were pitching? Or if Eric Gregg were umpiring?

  90. Too late for the vulture. Shiell’s mechanics are screwy. I don’t know if it’s nerves or what, but that hitch set off warning lights for me from the beginning.

  91. somebody needs to figure out that pujols is just going to walk to first base. (not that McCann could have beat him walking; I’m just saying. A little hustle can go a long way).

  92. Frenchy grounds out on the first pitch. As has been noted many times before, this kid’s learning curve seems to be flatter than Kansas.

  93. anyone think that if two trades go down it will net a starter and a reliever? i can’t imagine that bobby and js saw schiell in the minors and thought he could tie them over until davies comes back.
    p.s. carpenter is on. i don’ t watch as much baseballl as some but he looks pretty damn dominant to me.

  94. Shiell is dead unless he pitches down and away and he mostly did that in every inning except the 3rd. Given the rain and it being his 1st major league appearance in a few years, I can understand the mechanical problems, which seemed to contribute to his horrible 3rd inning. I would like to see him get another chance- he definitely beats Cormier or Travis Smith (Thank goodness he’s gone!).

  95. So I’m not watching. Should I bother firing up MLB.TV?

    And did anybody watch BBTN? What in the world was that thing with Shea Hillenbrand? I know he got DFAed, but it sounds like there’s some major mud-slinging going on. Really, really weird stuff.

  96. its already out of hand and Carpenter is now on. This is what happens when a Cy Young winner faces a no name from Richmond. Oh well…hope to start a new streat tomorrow.

  97. Dirt, this is why they’re called “emergency” starters. If they’re in the game, it’s an emergency.

  98. When The Blob is pitching in the 5th inning, we be in trouble. But this one was a bad matchup from the beginning.

    Next up: Philly. I’ll be there Saturday for the 4:05 start. It’ll be Chuck James, I think.

    I love it when I can coordinate my business trips for cities where the Braves “just happen” to be playing.

  99. could I get ten runs to go and a few dp’s on the side? Is it too late for a trade? Good, I’ll take a closer, a starter and two relievers. I’ve got a two for one coupon, do you take credit? Thank GOD. I was so hoping you’d say that. Throw in a big order of Travis Haffner and I’ll see you next year.

    :-)

  100. Props to Chad – it could be a lot worse without his good work. Although I have to say that being down 7 runs to Carpenter in the 6th is about as dismal as it comes.

  101. never heard that schielle was an emergency start but even if he is, who is taking his place in six days? is thomson coming back because i hadn’t heard that? to me an emrgency start is one start, not 3 weeks. sounds like a starter is coming in via trade. what are the options on cormier?

  102. Dirt,

    Word is Schuerholz is eyeing several trades, but nobody knows what they are. He’s consulted BC this afternoon for an opinion. I suspect you’ll see something pretty quick, maybe before the weekend’s through.

  103. You can’t trade players on the DL, but I guess you can include them as players to be named later. If JS is looking at more than one trade, I would guess Thomson, Giles, Betemit, Thorman, Sosa, Davies and Langerhans are all possibilities.

  104. way to go mac. i think we are still in this.i expect a good outing from the rest of the bullpen. probably wishful thinking.

  105. I am an eternal optimist, but I’m afraid this one is a lost cause. I need some rest. Here’s to a new streak starting on Friday.

  106. The BBTN question above reminded me – this has been mentioned before, but I think I should confirm: ESPN sucks. The BBTN guys spent 5 minutes (5 minutes is not a LOONG time, but in a show an hour long, 5 minutes is forever for some things) on A-Rod’s comments after the loss today. Just dissecting them & saying the same thing over & over. Yeah, I’d much rather hear that blather than see, you know, actual highlights. Sheesh

  107. Of course BBTN sucks. A-Rod’s comments weren’t even all that newsworthy until they made it that way. I love how they talk about him living under a microscope; talking about it is a self-fulfilling prophecy! What a bunch of idiots. And they missed the boat on Hillenbrand, too, by getting all indignant on his behalf and totally neglecting to mention that this is merely an extension of a previous pattern of behavior, which matters a lot if you want the whole story. I mean, he blasted the entire city of Boston and called Theo Epstein a faggot. He then bitched about leaving Arizona and how much Canada sucked. Yet suddenly his version of this particular fiasco and how he was persecuted is believable? Only to the BBTN lunkheads. It was the first time I’d watched the show in several weeks and I don’t intend to repeat the experience very often.

  108. Only the LaRussa Cardinals can put such a bad taste in your mouth after winning two out of three, ububba. At least we’re done with them for the season, unless we see them in the playoffs

    On to Philly. Places to go, people to see, meatballs to knock out of the park.

  109. I think LaRussa would probably manage a Little League scrimmage game the same way.

    But…it’s another series victory. No complaints. See you in the Philly Bandbox.

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