Braves 10, Phillies 8 – MLB – Box Score – Braves at Phillies

Well, that was… envigorating, I guess.  After getting struck out twelve times in the first five innings, the Braves exploded, only to have the Phillies explode back at them, and barely hung on.

The Braves got runs in the second on solo homers by LaRoche and Pratt.  But everyone else was making outs, usually strikeouts, against Cole Hamels.  Hudson was pitching okay, giving up a run in the third but mostly keeping the Phillies in check.

Then in the sixth, Hamels suddenly collapsed, and the Braves put up five runs.  Giles walked and Renteria doubled him home, just like last night, then Francoeur brought Edgar home with a broken-bat line single.  The capper and highlight was LaRoche’s second homer off the lefty, a three-run shot to make it 7-1.

But Hudson got into trouble in the bottom of the inning and Diaz and Pratt suddenly couldn’t catch the ball, Diaz committing an egregious two-base error on a popup and Pratt unable to catch about three pitches, including a wild pitch (he really should have knocked it down) from the reliever McBride that made it 7-4 with two still on and Bobby Abreu at the plate.  But McBride came back to strike Abreu out.

Then the Braves came back with two more of their own in the seventh on their own wild pitch and a groundout they couldn’t turn two on.  But then Ken Ray, victim of the Closer Curse, allowed a double, a two-run homer, and another double before finally getting out of it with a 9-6 lead.  And in the eighth, Yates allowed a two-run homer and the tying run on first before getting Bell to end it.  Betemit hit a solo homer to make it 10-8, and Wickman calmly, professionally, got a 1-2-3 save.  He’s not Rivera, but I feel in marginally good hands with him — which is about the first time that’s happened with a reliever since Smoltz went back to the rotation.

Braves end the road trip 7-2, have climbed to within four games of .500 and fourth in the wildcard.  And they won their last two games without either of the Joneses, though Andruw is supposed to be back tomorrow.

206 thoughts on “Braves 10, Phillies 8”

  1. Is anyone hearing the ESPNRadio report that the Mets traded Aaron Heilman for Gil Meche? Somebody said they heard it but there are no links yet. If true, I’d love to know why the Mets just didn’t put Heilman in the rotation.

  2. I would rather have Meche. I guess Omar Minaya is trying to understand why the Marlins are turning his Victor Zambrano for Dontrelle Willis straight up deal down.

  3. My post from the last thread, hopefully it helps:

    I have to agree with Smitty. There is some spoiled-ness going on here. You can say, “We just want a decent closer,” but those don’t grow on trees. The examples people have sighted, Jones and Wickman, were gambles. They are 38 and 37, respectively, and had just as good of a chance of fading BADLY as they were of succeeding like they have. And IF we had gotten a guy that looked “reliable” and imploded, you would STILL be screaming for Schuerholz’s head.

    How about all through this run Schuerholz has made good trades, appointed great baseball people who have produced a GREAT farm system throughout the years, signed COUNTLESS guys to extensions at contracts that NO team would have been able to sign them to, and was the steady mind at the head of a team who’s won 15 straight division titles. HE DIDN’T SIGN A FAT 37 YEAR OLD PITCHER TO A 2 YEAR, 12 MILLION DEAL, SOMEHOW PROPHETICALLY KNOWING HE WOULD HAVE A GREAT YEAR?!?! HANG HIM!

  4. Smitty…it’s all good, i read it…we agree to disagree. Nothing personal my friend.

    Let’s all enjoy the fact that we went 7-2 on the road, we now do have a good closer, and the Jones boys are back, shortly.

    It’s a reason for all us Braves fans to feel good, now. It’s all good.

  5. Rob…saw it. I hear your point and respect different point of view. No problem.

    I am thrilled that we just had a 7-2 roadie. Nice stuff.

  6. Here are things that I’m happy about

    A 7-2 road trip..
    2 wins in a row without Chip and ‘Druw…
    A win tonight despite Todd Pratt being in the line-up..
    LaRoche is hitting very well and flashing some leather..
    Francouer continues to get timeley hits..
    Betemit is making a case to be playing everyday..
    We seem to have an actual closer…that throws first pitch strikes..

  7. And I’m happy that there’s peace on Earth…Oh crap, that’s not right. Here it is: I’m happy to have stock in the weapons manufacturers (and that the Braves were 7-2!).

  8. Davey remind me: How about Adam LaRoche?! This guy has been rocking it hard with a 1.044 OPS in July, but he hasn’t gotten the love he deserves because everyone else has been so hot. He’s creeping his way up to a .900 OPS for the season (.883). Hip, hip, hooray for Huckleberry!

  9. You’re right Rob.

    I’m usually one of the people that gets on Huck’s case.. but I admit that he’s been great this month and he had another good game tonight. I hope he can keep this up..

    A line-up with Renteria-Chip-‘Druw-BMac,Jeffrey and Huck (throw in WB aswell) must be pretty scary now for opposing pitchers.

  10. Mac, givent he system, I find it remarkable that the Braves have three pitchers with negative Win Shares, and Sosa isn’t one of them (with a whopping one).

    And Wilson got Web Gem #2, although Karl Ravech found yet anoter way to mangle his name: Bet-a-Meat.

  11. That’s six series in a row we’ve won: three of them against division leaders and one against the wild card leader.

  12. The list of WC teams in front of us is quickly getting smaller and smaller…. just Cincy, San Fran, and Arizona left.

  13. Re: Heilman.

    He’s been awful the last month. He’s another guy that Willie overused early. Additionally, he’s been a bit of a complainer & the Mets are sick of it.

    If it’s true, I think it’s a good deal for the Mets, actually.

  14. Davies impresses: While throwing 10 minutes of live batting practice on Monday afternoon, Kyle Davies proved he could be just a week away from beginning a Minor League rehab assignment. The 22-year-old right-hander needed to have his torn right groin muscle surgically repaired on May 19.

    Cox was impressed with what he saw from Davies, but he cautions the club won’t rush the young hurler back into the starting rotation. It appears his earliest return would be within the final 10 days of August.

    “I don’t want to look too far ahead,” Davies said. “I want to make sure I’m completely healthy before I come back.”

    With Davies’ possible return still at least a month away, the Braves are hoping that John Thomson is able to rejoin their rotation Aug. 5 in Cincinnati. Thomson, who says his right shoulder is no longer bothering him, will begin an accelerated Minor League rehab assignment with Class A Rome on Tuesday.

    If all goes well, Thomson will throw two innings on Tuesday and make a three-inning appearance on Thursday. If he’s able to throw at least four innings during a rehab start next Monday, he’ll be ready to make that Aug. 5 start.

  15. Smitty and Rob, I am with Alex that it’s good to end the conversation on JS to agree to disagree.

    rmaver, it’s not an hindsight argument, it couldn’t be more obvious the Braves needed more help in the bullpen than just Cormier and the Vulture, but the Braves decided not to spend when they have money to spend, which ended up costing the Braves at least five games in the standing. Now, JS ended up trading for the same guy which was available in the last offseason. Anyway, let’s just end this. We all have different opinions, and that’s fine as long as we all love our Braves!

  16. anyone want Trump to buy us, that should increase our payroll or make us go completely bankrupt. Well see what happens to the Cubs if it happens…

    Donald Trump Interested In Buying Cubs
    Interesting note from this afternoon: Donald Trump would consider purchasing the Cubs, if they became available.

    The Donald is currently building a Trump International Hotel and Tower, a condo/hotel thingie, on the former site of the Chicago Sun-Times building. It should be completed in 2009, just one year after the 100th anniversary of the last time the Cubs won a World Series.

    If the Cubs ever become available, Trump would have competition from Mark Cuban. There’s already a petition going.

  17. As a frequent (and not altogether willing) visitor to Atlantic City, I gotta say that Donald Trump is one of my least-favorite people—his ego is all over the place down there.

    I did a convention at one of his hotels a few years ago & I’ll never forget descending an escalator there: The only thing you could see was a gigantic mural of The Donald. The man knows no shame.

    If he bought the Braves, he’d rename the team the Atlanta Trumps.

    FYI—Pedro is pitching at The Ted on Friday.

  18. “One of the biggest challenges for the Braves was finding a uniform to fit Wickman, who appears much heavier than his listed 240 pounds.When the Braves acquired Bob Wickman on Thursday, their clubhouse staff had to figure how they were going to dress the imposing veteran closer. Contrary to what was in the Indians media guide, he’s about 5-foot-11 and weighs approximately 260 pounds. According to assistant clubhouse manager Fred Stone, who is serving as the club’s representative on this trip, Wickman needed a size 56 jersey. The only way Stone was able to acquire such a jersey was to call Majestic Athletic and have one of their employees drive the jersey to Philadelphia.”

    That answers that mystery.

  19. That sucks. Reynolds was one of the few ESPN guys I liked. What a joke they’ll continue to pay Joe Morgan and they get rid of can Reynolds.

  20. For those of you in the DC area, I have two tickets available to the Braves-Nats game on September 19. They are part of my season-ticket consortium but my wife’s co-worker invited me to go to the game with him. My tickets are in Section 411, two rows behind the upper deck railing behind first base. They are pretty good seats and only $18 per ($23 outside of the season ticket package). Plus, given the Nats attendence, you can pretty much sit anywhere you want after a couple of innings. If anyone is interested, my e-mail is

  21. Well the other night Phillips and Kruk were really going at Reynolds on some arguement about ARod. They hire the worst guys on BBTN, I can only stand Timmy and Peter. They rest are shumucks!

    Who is going to head up the softball team at the all star games?

  22. That is TERRIBLE news. Harold Reynolds is the best analyst they had going. Surely the (correct and not impolitic) comment about ARod was not the reason.

  23. Steve Phillips is the worst one on there. I think we shoud start a petition to have me (who needs a job) replace Steve!

  24. Great Win last night…I’ve been one to criticize LaRoche in the past, but I have to say I love the way he’s playing lately. I really hope this is the LaRoche we see for a long time and not just some mirage in the desert. Also, this has been said over and over but how can we get betemit in there everyday. I have a feeling we won’t see him everyday this year, but next year he will be our starting 2B.
    Oh yeah, isn’t it great to see a pitcher come in and Throw Strikes to end a game.

  25. Thank-yous are in order to the following: Smitty, mraver, and Rob Cope. You guys know what’s up, and I appreciate your thoughtful analyses. I wish I had been on here for the JS stuff.

    Now. Let’s go get another freaking reliever. And let’s keep the WB.

    Also, I’d like to send an unrelated thanks to AAR, who continues to keep the Smurph dream alive.

  26. I kind of like John Kruk. He seems to be the only analyst, aside from Buster Olney, who ever has anything good to say about the Atlanta Braves.

  27. Gosh, I had hoped the petition would be to reinstate Reynolds, fire Phillips, and hire Maria Sharapova.

  28. Mike MacDougal would have been nice, especially at the surprisingly low cost that Dayton Moore asked for him.

    The only one I can see getting would be Joe Borowski, but the Marlins have said they’re not trading anyone, which is probably a ruse anyway.

  29. In case you didn’t notice, the Marlins have passed the Phillies. Borowski doesn’t make anything, and I don’t expect them to trade anyone while they’re still in the wildcard race of non-attrition.

  30. While I like Maria Sharapova and I am sure her “insight” would be great, she doens’t need a job. I however do neeed a job. I am not bad to look at, but for Jeff, I will take the picture of Maria Sharapova that he posted on the show and set it in front of me. Best of both worlds! Everyone sign the petition

  31. That is ridiculous Harold Reynolds is gone. There doesn’t seem to be an analyst on there that I don’t like (whenever one of them says something that I don’t agree with, I just attribute it to them trying to increase viewing), but I really liked Harold Reynolds. What a dark day for BBTN…

  32. Mac, I think the only way we get Borowski is if we sweep the Fish this week. Anything less and they’ll still be in the hunt, sort of, and as you said, they’ll hang on to Borowski as long as that’s the case.

  33. Reynolds’ firing has to be something relating to some off-air incident. I’m sure they wouldn’t just peremptorily fire him because he criticized A-Rod. I suspect it’s some sort of personal issue. Maybe he got caught with Al Jaffe’s wife or something.

  34. It would have to be something terrible Marc. Remember when Gary Miller peed on those guys in Cleveland?

  35. If the Marlins win the Wild Card, does that mean that they will go all the way? Is this the best chance the NL has to win the WS?

  36. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that there is a 0% chance that the Marlins will make the playoffs.

  37. Great road trip. Unbelievable offense. The pitching still rather sucks aside from Wickman. I worry about what happens when the offense cools off. OTOH, the Braves could actually get back in the division race if they run the table the rest of the week. I like their chances vs a Pedro fresh off the DL on Friday.

  38. The Marlins would be dumb not to unload a guy like Joe Borowski. He’s not going to help them build.

  39. Wow, that article really seems to imply that it was Schuerholz’s fault.


  40. (1) Borowski won’t bring too much, so trading him wouldn’t really help them build, either.

    (2) He’s so cheap that, because of (1), it’s worth keeping his production and “veteran presence” around that young clubhouse as long as they’re remotely close to contention.

  41. Dan, I couldn’t imagine too much. If we could get Wickman for a low-minors prospect, and MacDougal was had for an A-ball prospect and a AA prospect, then Borowski should be a lower-level A-ball prospect… or Brian Jordan.

  42. “I kind of like John Kruk. He seems to be the only analyst, aside from Buster Olney, who ever has anything good to say about the Atlanta Braves.”

    Last weekend, Kruk said unequivocally that there was no way the Braves would make the playoffs because they had too many teams to jump. Then he said something about the NL Wildcard coming out of the West because all the teams are going to be around .500. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

  43. The Braves have their doubters every year, hopefully Kruk and everyone else will be proven wrong again.

  44. “Seriously, though–how many blown saves do the Braves have? Where could I find out this information? ”

    I would say to google “Braves” and “blown” but I am not sure the content would be appropriate for anyone under the age of 25.

  45. Harold Reynolds’ firing MUST have had something to do with an off-the-air issue, I just wonder if we’ll ever find out what it was. Also, Steve Phillips (and his super-duper insider info) is undeniably terrible, but in my humble opinion, he’s far from the worst thing on that show. He just SEEMS worse because he plays a larger role.

    Other things I hate about Baseball Tonight:

    1. Tino Martinez seems to struggle to form complete sentences.
    2. Every highlight of someone hitting a homer is off the Braves (yes, I know it’s because we’re always on TV)
    3. Jeff Brantley’s mullet starter kit.
    4. Orestes Destrade. Enough said.
    5. David Wright-mania
    6. The way everyone (especially Tino) repeatedly refers to Brantley as “cowboy.”
    7. How often the #1 Web Gem isn’t as good as #2 or #3.
    8. The occassional Rob Dibble appearance.

    What do YOU hate about BBTN???

  46. Was thinking why HoRam went yday instead of Chuck James, and its time to hand Bobby some kudos.
    Last time the Phillies saw him, they picked his changeup, and hit him for 3 homers within 4 batters ( at the TED ). Given how Chuck James has a flyball problem, and lot of his pitching is deception, maybe Bobby decided to hold him back for the Marlins and not pitch him in that bandbox, going with his 2 groundball pitchers instead.

  47. Tino’s hair is my Number 1 Beef with the show. It’s flawless and disgusting.

    Also, anytime Jeff Brantley says anything would be a close second.

  48. Last weekend, Kruk said unequivocally that there was no way the Braves would make the playoffs because they had too many teams to jump.

    On that same show Orel Herscheiser picked the Braves to win the wild card, bringing amused looks to the faces of the other analysts.

  49. What I hate about BBTN is their seeming unwillingness to even countenance the use of statistical analysis. You would think that they would at least take note of it given the increasing prominence it is gaining. Of course, players hate statistical analysis and ESPN seems afraid to do anything that players disapprove of. Why don’t they have someone like Rob Neyer that can at least bring a different perspective? Instead, they have the same old jocks spouting the same old cliches. And, by the way, have you noticed how these guys become better players the longer they have been away. They treat Brantley as if were Mariano Rivera when he played.

  50. I just signed the petition, with the following comment:

    “I wholly endorse this petition. Furthermore, I request that Smitty’s barber replace John Kruk.”

  51. Good point Marc,

    I have been wondering why John Kruk has 854 home runs and is not in the HOF. Brantley has 615 victories an Steve Phillips won 26 World Titles as GM.

  52. Whatever happened to Harold Reynolds will be found out and probably fairly soon.

    If you stop by Phil Mushnick’s column in the NY Post or Bob Raissman in the NY Daily News, it’ll pop up there. Raissman usually has the best behind-the-scenes dish (especially at the YES Network, which he calls Al-Yankzeera), while Mushnick has more of a “moral compass.”

    I love reading them both because they skewer the sports TV/radio world pretty well, although I sometimes wonder how much Mushnick actually likes sports anymore.

    FWIW, there’s no genuine anti-Braves bias anywhere in the national media. What sports fans have to realize is that most of the people who cover the games don’t really care about that stuff.

  53. ESPN just hires guys people hate like Steve A Smith so people will watch to disagree with them. The thing is they have done it to the point of overkill!

  54. Marc,

    The reason why they don’t have stat geeks on the show is simple: It’s called “bad TV.” They’d lose viewers. Don’t think it hasn’t been thought of.

    The reason why they have lumbering ex-athletes on the show is because they have high Q Scores (they’re recognizable to people) and folks will watch because they know who these people are and they are percieved as having “knowledge.” Doesn’t matter what they say, it matters that people watch. It’s an old formula, but it generally works.

    If you put a saber guy on TV, as soon as he says VORP or begins to discuss park adjustments, viewers will tune out. Sad, but true.

  55. If not for Wickman we would have lost this game 100-10.
    Except for Wickman, so far, the bullpen is a WRECK. It’s awful. We cannot depend on one single arm in that bullpen. It’s the worst I have ever seen. It may be the worst ever. I can’t imagine how a bullpen could have been any worse, We have to score 10 runs every game to even have a chance. It’s pitiful!!!
    We gotta have at least one more arm. Starters go at least 7 then someone to pitch 8th inning and then Wickman.
    PLEASE ONE MORE ARM and then we have a chance!!

  56. The most annoying thing for me is Steve Phillips. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me like he was pretty much not that great as Mets GM (especially considering the Mets’ payroll) and now BBTN just makes out like he’s this great baseball front office genius. Seriously, they can’t show a Mets highlight without mentioning that he drafted David Wright.

  57. Ravich might be the worst one on the show.

    Mac, is Reynolds getting axed going to change Road to Bristol? When are we starting that?

  58. Too bad they don’t have Gammons on there… he may be wrong a lot, but he’s always worth listening to, and his love for the game is easy to get swept up in. Get well soon, Peter.

  59. I’m really noticing Gammons’ absence leading up to the trade deadline. It sucks.

    Jeff Brantley is my least favorite thing about BBTN. He can’t talk, and I hate mullets. He’s also wrong virtually all of the time, as is John Kruk, who annoys me because he talks too loudly and is a lardass.

    I really had no problem with Reynolds, and I don’t mind Karl Ravech, either. Steve Phillips, on the other hand? What is the philosophy behind hiring a guy who was too bad to keep a GM job to analyze the moves of other GMs?

  60. I mind the hell out of Karl Ravech, personally, although I admit that he’s better than Brian Kenny. Both of them make me nostalgic for the days of Bill Pidto, however.

  61. Smitty I just signed your petition … I don’t mind John Kruk that much and I like Harold Reynolds but Tino Martinez and Steve Phillips must go. Tino can’t struggles every time he talks and Steve Phillips is just an idiot, I know that John Kruk isn’t the brightest bulb but at least he makes me laugh sometimes. BBTN is desperate to get Peter Gammons back and so am I.

  62. I don’t mind Ravech, either. What’s so annoying about him to you guys, Smitty and AAR?

    And jenny, the philosophy behind hiring Phillips would seem to be that you can’t normally hire guys who are good enough to be in Major League front offices, because they’re already in Major League front offices.

    If you’re interested in a former Front Office Guy (albeit briefly) who actually seems to know what he’s talking about, though, check out Keith Law, who writes for ESPN. I like his stuff.

  63. BTW, tonights game is going to be a great pitching battle of the future stars.

    Anibal Sanchez(3-0) V.S. Chuckie James(4-0)
    I am taking James we should be able to supply him with some offense. We just need to beware of the 5th inning.

  64. I’d rather have Trevor Hoffman than Mariano Rivera. And I think when it’s all said and done, after Hoffman and Rivera have left baseball, the top three leaders in saves will be Hoffman, Rivera and Lee Smith in that order.

  65. Smart move on Bobby Cox’s part to skip Chuck James after that rain out so he, a flyball pitcher, wouldn’t have to pitch in Citizen’s bank. Turner field is plenty big.

  66. Hoffman is a great pitcher, but Rivera is clearly greater.

    From Rob & Rany:

    Rany: My lack of concern is based on the fact that 1) Moore seems to be a process-driven GM himself, and as such is probably not going to weigh the Royals’ record down the stretch very strongly when it comes time to determining whether to keep Buddy; and 2) I think he probably already has a manager candidate or two in mind from the Braves organization.

    Rob: Oh, that’s a delicious thought.You have anybody in particular in mind?

    Rany: I’ve seen names like Fredi Gonzalez and even Terry Pendleton thrown out there, although this is pure speculation at best. But think of it this way: the Braves have been a model organization for 15 years; don’t you think that they would have several people in their organization that would make fine managers? And, of course, even an immensely qualified person has no shot at the job as long as Bobby Cox wants it, in much the same way that someone like Dayton Moore wasn’t getting the GM job as long as John Schuerholz wants to keep working.
    The only hangup is that I’ve read that one of the Braves’ stipulations for letting Moore go was that he couldn’t raid his old team for front office personnel. But I don’t know if that’s limited to scouts or if that would extend to the manager’s job. My suspicion is that the Braves wouldn’t stand in the way of a coach getting a promotion to the head job.

  67. Signed your petition (I commented “Fire Joe Morgan Instead.”) As for the stat analysis on BBTN, surely it can’t be any worse TV than the 500th ARod profile.

    1914 Update:

    NY Giants 51-32 (–)
    Chicago Cubs 51-37 (2.5 GB)
    St. Louis Cardinals 49-41 (5.5)
    Boston Braves 40-45 (12)
    Cincinnati Reds 40-48 (13.5)
    Philadelphia Phillies 38-46 (13.5)
    Pittsburgh Pirates 37-47 (14.5)
    Brooklyn Robins 36-46 (14.5)

    Today’s Game:
    Cubs 101 001 200 – 5 11 3
    Braves 002 200 000 – 4 8 2

    Two people I’m glad I wasn’t: Umpire William “Lord” Byron was hit in the head with a bottle thrown from the crowd at this game. And Anna Lyigk, a maid at the Biltmore Hotel in New York, discovered today that a guest in a room she was cleaning left her a present- a baby alligator.

  68. Can’t hold it against John Kruk that he said the Braves will not win the WC. He was/is correct. There are too many teams (three in front, two tied, and four within two games back), and the Braves are too far gone. The hot streak is great, but it came a month too late.

  69. I like Chuck James quite a bit, but I find myself worried about tonight’s match up. After all, starting for the Marlins is a rookie we’ve never faced, Anibal Sanchez. So, how many times will we strikeout tonight?

  70. Jeff K you are really showing some great faith in us. This thing isn’t over yet. 8-2 over the last 10 games. 13-5 this month… come on If you honestly think that we are out of the WC then you are crazy. I still think that East is still winnable. (Only 11.5 back)

  71. Jay,
    The thing is, we are historically inept against rookie pitchers we’ve never faced. Last night was but one example (how many times did Cole strike us out?). Granted, we won that one, but I’d be willing to wager my mother-in-law that over the last fifteen years, or so, our record is below our average when we face rookie pitchers for the first time.

  72. Anibal Sanchez has been pitching very well recently. Chuck James’ recent pitching has been mediocre at best. The Braves are hitting the cover off the ball; the Marlins haven’t been scoring as much, but they’ve been winning just the same.

    Conclusion: something’s gotta give. Prediction? Chipper and Andruw go 1-8 between them, Marcus goes 1-5, and McCann hits a game-winning grand slam in the 10th after Wickman blows the save.

  73. When you take into account Rivera’s body of post-season work, he’s easily this era’s greatest closer.

    For the record: In 24 post-season series, 111.2 IP, 0.81 ERA, 8-1, 34 Saves, 69 H, 15 BB, 87 K.

    Check out his ERA between Game 1 of the ’98 ALDS & Game 5 of the ’01 WS. Hard to find, isn’t it? I think he had 23 post-season saves in a row, which in my mind is one of the greatest feats in MLB history. More than any one player, he’s the reason the Yanks won 4/5 years.

    If we’re only discussing Rivera’s regular season, we’re missing a large part of what makes him great.

  74. Rivera is the greatest closer of all-time in my mind… He has put up great numbers and I think that the Era that he has done it in is the most amazing thing. He has delt with juiced up hitters almost his whole career. And it hasn’t effected his numbers in the least bit.

  75. Hmm, time will tell on the WC, I guess. But, one would have to be self-prescribing medications to believe that the NL East is winnable. Dayn Perry reports that Baseball Prospectus gives the Mets a 99.1 percent change of winning the East. (BTW, I don’t like Perry’s analysis, he just happens to subscribe and I don’t.) Since this hot streak began, we’ve made up three games in the standings. At that rate — all other things being equal — we’d need 72 more games to pass the Mets. We only have 64 games. But, all other things won’t be equal. The Braves have been winning at a .722 clip during that span. That won’t continue, of course. But we’d end up a couple games short of the Mets even if it did.

  76. The Mets have yet to endure their yearly late summer collapse, also. I’m guessing that as their arms fall off and Willie’s managerial skills become the difference between a win and a loss in some one-run games, the Mets will have a couple weeks of mediocre play–and that’s when we’ll catch them.

    If we can beat them in the upcoming series, we can score a MAJOR moral victory and get into their heads. We all know (Ububba especially) what inferiority complexes the Mets have.

  77. You see, tangible benefits do come from haunting Mac Thomason’s blog. Thanks for the link.

  78. Well according to a last week report the Met’s fans are already starting to worry about the Braves.

  79. Who says the Mets won’t collapse? The Braves have nine games against them, so they still kind of control their own destiny.

    I don’t think the Braves will win the NL East, but I do think the chance for the wildcard spot is good. Show some faith, Jeff.

  80. I’m all for faith in the Braves, but I absolutely hope that no stupid decisions are made on last minute trades based on the false hope of making the playoffs. Faith is great, so long as it doesn’t cloud good judgment.

  81. AAR,

    The Met fans are already talking about the weekend series. I’ve heard the following: “We have to finish the Braves off,” “We need to cut their heads off because they’re like Jason—they keep coming back,” “I do not want to see Atlanta in the playoffs.”

    I don’t think Met fans are worried about blowing the division; I think they’re worried about ever having to face us in a game that means more to us than it does to them. In that scenario, (not counting the 1969 NLCS) they’re 0-for-forever.

    These days I don’t worry about the Mets. Really, they’re too far ahead right now. I just say: Let’s just keep winning series & see where that gets us.

  82. Rivera – 11 seasons, 807 ip, career ERA+ 196
    Hoffman 13 season, 822 ip, career ERA+ 147

    Not. Even. Close.

  83. I am focused on winning the WC first but I am not 100% sold on the Mets not falling apart and us finding a way to win the Divison. I know the odds are still greatly against us but I am saying it isn’t a lock. And I know everybody in our clubhouse feels the same because Andruw Jones was on ESPN radio last week and he said that they still feel they can contend for the Divison.

  84. So if Hoffman ends his career with the all-time saves lead and Rivera doesn’t pass it, is Rivera still better?

  85. Spike,

    When discussing who’s better between those guys, you must include their post-seasons. And that’s really not even close.

  86. Who do you guys think strikes fear into the other team’s hearts more. Hoffman’s changeup or Rivera’s cutter.


  87. Call me the happiest person alive if I’m wrong and the Braves end up with the WC. Just don’t do it at the expense of Wilson Betemit or Jarrod Saltamacchia.

  88. Honestly, have we earned the right to compare ourselves to the Mets yet? Maybe they should be worried about us, but at this point the only thing we should be worried about is .500. Once we get there, hopefully soon, then we can worry about the WC. But the Mets ought not to be on our radar screen yet. For my part, I continue to enjoy the last few weeks and our recent run and I hope that it lasts a good while longer. It has made the middle of this summer quite a bit more enjoyable.

  89. “Who do you guys think strikes fear into the other team’s hearts more. Hoffman’s changeup or Rivera’s cutter.”

    As long as the out is recorded, who cares?

  90. Do we really need 3 catchers… McCann is our Future Catcher hands down. And Salty has more value than Pena so if we can get some good pitching talent than so be it. Pena is plenty capable of backing up BMAC. But I do agree with keeping Betemit he will be starting somewhere next year. Hopefully for us.

  91. I wouldn’t mind trading Saltalamacchia, but it had better be for someone we keep, not a half-season rental. Salty’s blocked at his natural position and we keep hearing that he’s nowhere near a sure thing. Still, he’s one of the most prized prospects in all the majors and we ought to be able to get something for him.

    Like… A-Rod, say? (Just kidding.)

  92. “Just don’t do it at the expense of Wilson Betemit or Jarrod Saltamacchia.”

    Now that I agree with.

  93. Does Saltamacchia have any experience at 1st? If he does then I guess there is our answer for a right-handed 1st basemen.

  94. Yes, Salty practiced (and played?) at 1st during the Braves spring training. His defense at catcher is average (is that being generous?), and he’s BIG … something like 6-4 … so he’s a candidate for a permanent position switch.

  95. Salty has been picking up his hitting as of late, too. He hit a game winning bomb in extra innings last night. Hopefully he can get back on the prospect track!

  96. re: Hoffman/Rivera,
    I don’t see how one can factor in Rivera’s postseason appearances over Hoffman’s when there really is no comparison there. It’s almost “unfair” to Hoffman to bring that into the discussion. He doesn’t have the postseason stats because he also doesn’t have the postseason appearances, although I won’t deny that Rivera has just about been unhittable in October.

    Could be a bad example, but off the top of my head I can only think of Smoltz/Pedro. Smoltz has the most wins in postseason history, but who’s had the better hall of fame career so far? That’s up for debate, but I don’t think Smoltzie’s postseason record pushes him ahead of Pedro.

    It could also be that I don’t know what I’m talking about…….

  97. Why shouldn’t post season factor in? That is when it all counts. I think the Yankees would have a couple less titles if Hoffman were there over Rivera.

  98. Smitty,
    I don’t think they are talking about replacing LaRoche with Salty this year. In the future, perhaps, especially as Adam’s contract gets fatter. Granted, Adam makes the point fairly mute if he becomes a .300 hitter with 30 homeruns and 100rbi’s, and does so by becoming a consistent hitter, not one prone to long slumps and erratic play in the field. Hopefully, he’s in the midst of becoming such a threat now (but somehow, I’ll not drink that kool-aid a third time just yet).

  99. Smitty, you’re right, and I personally owe LaRoche an apology. Adam, you’ve been hitting great for us, and I’m sorry that I keep giving you crap. You’re a fantastic number 7 hitter, and you’ve been a big help to the team during the current hot streak. Keep up the good work, buddy.

  100. Yeah, I like LaRoche just fine, and Salty is a year or two from the bigs. But LaRoche isn’t much against lefties (last night being the lone exception), and Salty is a switch hitter. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind a little competition at 1st base.

  101. Another Alex R.
    #114. July 25th, 2006, at 1:11 PM.

    “after Wickman blows the save. ”

    You shut your mouth!!!! ha.

  102. “Granted, Adam makes the point fairly mute if he becomes a .300 hitter with 30 homeruns and 100rbi’s, and does so by becoming a consistent hitter, not one prone to long slumps and erratic play in the field.”

    That’s right. Said another way, if Adam starts playing like someone else, then he’ll be an All-Star first baseman.

  103. Well Travis Hafner is a DH and there is a reason for that. He has only started 58 games at 1st. But I assume you are talking about his bat.

  104. LaRoche is so not a problem that it’s not even worth refuting complaints about him. The Braves are leading the NL in runs per game; their problem is entirely pitching.

  105. Why shouldn’t post season factor in?

    I explained why I wouldn’t factor it in. But they’re both going to the HoF and are excellent relievers.

  106. Sure, but since Salty is not going to become a pitcher any time soon, it seems odd to talk about it. Maybe therein lies a solution: Salty moves up to the bigs and starts at 1st, and LaRoche moves to SP. He could even spot start on his fourth day.

  107. Come on Mac, you’re squashing a promising argument.

    Of course, it’s the pitching (and not just the bullpen). After all, it’s hard to imagine that only two starters have made 20+ starts thus far, and one of them, Hudson, has been wildly inconsistent.

    Earlier on this thread, someone commented that we need another arm to get to Wickman in the 9th. This supposes that the starters will regularly get us through the 7th the rest of the way. Realistically, however, only Smoltz has done so regularly. Horacio has done so more regularly than Hudson, and James and other starter (who ever he is this week) won’t do so. Thus, realistically, we need a couple of innings eaters (and not the 5.00 era types) much more than we need a bullpen set up guy.

    Know any that would come cheap?

  108. I would be strongly in favor of acquiring Paul Byrd (for the third time) from the Indians, and I would think he could be had for a reasonable fare.

  109. How about this?

    And LaRoche is better than a #7 hitter. My ideal lineup as of now, if everyone were healthy, would look something like:


    If Langerhans is in LF, he’d bat eighth and Giles seventh. Not that there’s really much to complain about now.

  110. Jon Lieber’s another idea, but again, that would require the Phillies to trade him to a hated rival, the likelihood of which is probably low.

  111. Carlos Delgado: .258/.349/.525
    Adam LaRoche: .272/.341/.542

    It’s rather amusing to email this to Met fans.

    That is all.

  112. Yeah, Jeremy, but then you get a response along the lines of:
    1. Mets –
    2. Braves 11.5

  113. But I think the two guys that we are most interested in are both currently wearing SD uniforms. (Linebrink and Williamson.)

  114. Stu, then you can respond…..which team has owned the other team the past decade???

    Yeah, that’s right…….”BOW TO YOUR SENSEI.”

    Also: Which team most recently won a World Series?

  115. Well, sure, but Jeremy’s quoted statistic is for 2006 only, so you’re setting the parameters for the argument based on that.

    My point: it’s really foolish to instigate any arguments with Mets fans right now. Feel free to sit back and watch them sweat, as ububba enjoys doing, but ragging on someone who’s been so clearly better than us this year seems silly to me.

  116. Ryan Freel would look good leading off for us and playing second base…………i’m just saying, that’s all.

  117. Yeah, but I’m thinking a trade of Kim Jung Ill should get it done….considering the fleecing they got from the Nats.

  118. Repeat: pitching acquisitions should be our focus. Even if JS were to go out and get Freel for John Thomson’s remains, if that’s all he did, I would be upset, since he will have failed to address the area that needs addressing, and the area that, if unaddressed, will keep us from the playoffs.

  119. Royals just “acquired” Odalis Perez and prospects along with cash considerations from the Dodgers for Elmer Dessens.

  120. I like that move for the Royals. Those fans have to be excited about the Dayton Moore Era.

  121. Stu,

    Pitching is key, granted, but acquiring Freel frees us up to trade Giles for pitching……..obviously, we can rely on Chipper being healthy full-time so that would prohibit us from putting BET-a-MEAT (thanks Jon Miller) at second without a back-up for Larry Wayne.

    I want JS to acquire pitching, but don’t ignore other benefits to this team.

    Giles for Linebrink??

  122. Well, Johnny, like I said, I’d be upset if we acquired a bat instead of an arm. I’m all for getting as much talent as possible, but the primary focus should be on the pitching staff.

  123. Agreed Stu, I misread your post…my bad.

    We obviously need another starter….that should be JS focus now….

    Does anyone else get that, “oh great, Giles….automatic out” feeling whenever he steps up to the dish?

  124. Hey Stu,
    How would those remains look? Might they be sweaty ashes? Have ashes ever sweat (sp?)? I’ll stop here before I get really offensive…

  125. And by the way Stu, I’m not attacking you personally. I just enjoyed your comment and felt the need to chuckle out loud a bit.

  126. I was pretty down on Giles earlier this year (ask jenny), but that’s not so much the case now. He really started to hit before hurting his thumb, and I think he’s still pretty valuable. I just think our need for pitching is such that we need to trade something of value to improve the ‘pen in any measurable way, and I’d rather trade the older, more expensive player (Giles) to do it, if at all possible.

  127. Jeff M., you don’t have to worry about me taking anything personally. Now, I’ve unfortunately made things personal with respect to others in the past, but my feelings don’t get hurt easily.

    Besides, I don’t see how what you said could be construed as a personal attack on anyone but John Thomson. :)

  128. The Royals received minor league pitchers Blake Johnson and Julio Pimental and cash coniderations. Odalis had a huge contract so I assume the Dodgers took on most of it before Moore pulled the triger.

  129. Well, then, apologies to the sweaty remains of John Thomson! May he rest in peace, or come back and win seven in a row. Either way works for me.

  130. Speaking of Odalis, I remember being at the Ted for batting practice before a game a few summers ago when someone (don’t remember who) hit a flyball that Perez tried to go after in the outfield, only to whiff and have it bounce, Canseco-style, off the top of his head. He grabbed his noggin, dropped to the ground, and screamed an expletive. Jose Cabrera (remember him?) pointed and laughed hysterically. One of the greatest pre-game moments at any of the games I’ve ever attended.

  131. Why complain about the offense, or change the lineup like someone up above was doing? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! We’re scoring runs with our ‘A’ lineup and we’re scoring runs with our ‘D’ lineup(last couple nights without the Jones boys).

    Interesting to me the amount of heat the Braves have taken for their approach at the plate on here and interesting the amount of heat Terry Pendleton takes… yet the funny thing is that ever since TP became hitting coach, the Braves ranked 1st, 4th, 5th and this year 2nd in the NL in runs scored respectively from 2003-’06.

    I’m not saying there’s one right way to do things, but the numbers don’t lie! There’s more than one way to skin a cat or in this case score runs. It’s all about players crossing the plate, not GEEKY stats like VORP(whatever the heck that is).

    — Bravesfan1

  132. What separates a GEEKY stat from a non-GEEKY stat, Bravesfan1? Your adherence to and respect for it?

  133. I think you all are forgetting that the obvious connection needing to be made is…LaRoche is swinging a hot bat and was originally a pitcher. So we could use him as a late inning eater and could keep his bat in the line up this way.

  134. It’s been at least a couple of weeks since TP’s been soiled in these parts, Bravesfan1. I love the run production, honestly, and I’m no stat head (not enough time, although I respect it). But really, the strikeout numbers on this team suck (see, by accusing us of hating him, you got me to hate on him a bit–happy?). I loved the win yesterday, but how many more might we have gotten if we didn’t whiff anytime the pitcher raised his stinky right arm?
    So, if you are going to defend someone, jump on Adam’s bandwagon now. Or perhaps, you ought to defend JS–he’s been getting a lot of hate lately, including from me :-).

  135. Jeff M – You just made my point for me! Sure we struck out 12+ times(can’t remember how much we struck out after the 5th inning) but it’s all about RUNS SCORED! I don’t care if you strike out everytime you make an out, if your scoring tons of runs WHO CARES?

    How many would we have scored if we didn’t strike out so much you asked? What is 10 runs not enough for you? If you can’t win a game when you score 10 runs, that’s not the offense’s fault even if they strike out 27 times!

    — Bravesfan1

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