Miserable Braves Loss Type 4.3(e): â€œHorrible Starting Pitcher Blows Early Lead, Gives Up Homer To Fall Way Behind, Team Rallies, But Horrible Reliever Kills Them While Good Relievers Sit On Their Asses In The Bullpen Because Itâ€™s Not A Save Situation.â€
Tyler Yatesâ€™ middle name is Kali.
Her appearance is fearsome: baleful eyes, a protruding tongue, and four arms. In her upper left hand she wields a bloody sword and in her lower left hand she holds the severed head of a demon. With her upper right hand she makes the gesture of fearlessness, while the lower right hand confers benefits. Draped around her is a chain of severed human heads and she wears a belt made of dismembered arms. As the Divine Mother she is often represented dancing or in sexual union with Shiva.
All of which is still less frightening than watching Tyler Yates pitch the eighth inning of a close game for your favorite ballclub.
Jason Shiell isnâ€™t any good, but we knew that. After McCann, yet again, had put the team up with a homer, a three-run shot in the first, Shiell immediately gave it back with a double and a homer in the bottom of the inning. He didnâ€™t retire anyone in the fourth, allowing a three-run homer to make it 6-3.
The Braves rallied while McBride, Paronto, and the Vulture kept the Reds off the scoreboard. (In four innings, they walked three collectively but didnâ€™t allow a hit.) LaRoche hit a solo homer in the sixth, then Marcus hit a two-run homer to tie it in the same inning. But after Andruw and McCann reached to lead off the sixth, they were stranded, as was Diaz who pinch-singled and was bunted to second in the eighth.
Enter Yates, even though Baez hadnâ€™t pitched in a couple of days and Yates sucks. After a foulout, it was homer, walk, double, and the Braves trailed 8-6. Horrible. McCann went 4-4 with a walk; Marcus had three hits and is up to .269.
The Braves try to salvage something of this series and two winnable games they lost tomorrow. I am not optimistic.
That doghouse needs everyone on the Braves’ team except Baez, Wickman, Giles, Renteria, LaRoche, Smoltz and McCann.
“I thought Lerew was our great starter of the future, the Braves best AAA pitching prospect. Where is he? ”
…he’s in AA trying to regain his confidence and work on some mechanics. He changed a lot of stuff when he started hurting and struggling in AAA… when he came back to Pearl Willis (the pitching coach) was like ‘what are you doing?’ so they’ve been correcting and he’s done very very well lately and is improving. He’s regaining his confidence right now though and has looked VERY good the past few times I’ve seen him pitch.
Kyle Davies is supposed to make his next start Sunday (according to the AJC)… Monday (according to MS game notes yesterday) so it’s one or the other I guess. He’s gonna try and go 3 innings. He went two the other night and I was there… he looked great! I’m ready for him to get back to Atlanta!
I guess that’s pretty much the official fork in the Braves. I hope next year JS doesn’t wait until mid July to get a good bullpen (and starting staff).
Are you kidding Ron? We’ll let Baez go and Wickman will retire and the Braves will go into the season expecting Devine to close and Boyer to set-up. And what’s worse, some here will think that’s just peachy.
As for starters, don’t expect Schuerholz to try and sign Zito or Schmidt. Smoltz, Hudson, Hampton, Ramirez, James, Davies, Lerew and God knows who else will make up the Braves’ staff. Smoltz, Hudson and Hampton being assured and Ramirez, James, Davies and Lerew fighting for those last two slots.
Well, the Braves have taken the suspense out of this season. One weekend they are knocked out of the division race, getting swept by the frontrunner. The next weekend, they are knocked out of the wildcard race, getting swept (I share Mac’s pessimism) by the frontrunner.
Didn’t see it all coming to an end quite this way.
Let’s take a vote. Are we in, or are we out of the race for the postseason?
Well, as my previous post suggests, I vote “out.”
We’re in the race, but we’re two laps down and burning oil.
This has definitely been a Kali yug.
Holding the relievers for a save situation . . .hmmmm.
What exactly is there left to save?
Stick a fork in em.
What’s the point in reaching the postseason if they’re going to get swept by an NL west team.
“What exactly is there left to save?”
How about dignity. We can save that.(I think)
The Braves are now closer to the Cubs than they are to the Reds. They are done.
The Braves are so done that if they do reach the playoffs I will change my name.
I think we’re out of the postseason. And I was feeling really bad about it after today’s game. But then I watched “Hotel Rwanda” on Showtime and suddenly it doesn’t seem quite so bad anymore.
Even if we do make the postseason, we’re going nowhere with our pitching.
This is going to be a boring fall. The only thing ESPN will talk about is going to be the following:Football, Mets, Yankees, Larry Brown. Yup, a boring fall indeed.
And, ironically, if Larry Brown retires, they’ll talk about him even more. By the way, has he retired?
What is it with ESPN and football? They start doing a show called “NFL Live” weekly in May and doing said show daily in either June or July. I know football is very popular, but that is insane.
By the way, is it possible to get the preview button back?
Out out out. Not that it really matters to me. This is the first year in which I have paid attention to baseball that the Braves strategy has ultimately failed, so I don’t feel too bad about it.
Just something I saw while watching todays game and have noticed in the past and am suprised no one has brought it up but Andruw doesn’t hustle regular plays out. When he grounded out to the pitcher today the pitcher bobbled the ball and if you noticed the replay andruw was barely running and it was close. That would have extended the inning and with mccann next i would have liked our chances.
The same with that ball that griffey hit andruw quit running after it and it was a bang bang play at the plate. IF he would have hustled to it and got it in quickly we could have got it out. I’m not blaming him completely I would just liek to see more hustle from him.
Andruw’s probably pissed off at managment. Although I have noticed it for a while now.
I guess we’re out. Question I pose to everyone is: would it have felt better if they hadn’t had that little winning stretch around the all-star break?
I mean, they really looked solid for a bit there.
“I hope next year JS doesn’t wait until mid July to get a good bullpen (and starting staff).”
Ron, that’s what a lot of us have been saying since April. A GM shouldn’t leave a problem remained unsolved and hoped everything will workout. Believing Reitsma can be a closer was stupid, thinking Boyer can come back completely healthy was stupid (Mac has warned us of his concern on Boyer’s shoulder problem back in LAST OCTOBER), relying Devine to be a big part of the bullpen was stupid.
And, no, those are not hindsight judgment. I have been saying the same thing since last November…not to mention I have always thought the rotation would not be good enough and the offense would be very inconsistent.
Sam, I totally believe that must be the little works by Boras to get Andruw angry at the Braves. He will convince Andruw go leave the Braves to join the Yankees, Red Sox, or the Dodgers.
Right, because they’ll pay him at least $15 million a year.
I agree with you KC, i think Boras is stoking Jones’ fire. The Braves put almost their whole team through waivers on a regular basis, many good GM’s do. Most guys go uncliamed or are retracted. They did it to Maddux, why not Andruw Jones then? If JOnes is really upset, screw him, ship him out, we are losing this year with him, we can lose without him.
And he doesn’t hustle the routine play, never has.
( I think I am starting to hate Andruw too 🙂
i noticed those 2 plays today as well, maybe, or maybe not resulting in a different ballgame, but who knows. andruw is always so smoothe that it seems as though he’s loafing, but today i saw something different.
I don’t hate Andruw because he is only a ballplayer and doesn’t know a lot about the business side of things. I just hate Boras for his possible manipulation of facts, misuse of trust his clients have in him, and using the players’ ignorance to his own advantage.
I think we all hate that, kc.
I’ve never been upset by Andruw not hustling on routine plays, but he really should run things out when they’re hit to the left side of the infield at least. When he was young and fast he’d get several infield singles a year on balls hit into the hole. Of course, he’s a better hitter now and doesn’t need that, but that’s part of the reason his batting average hasn’t risen as it “should” have.
In his defense, those big swings he takes (he doesn’t just go to one knee on homers) mean that he gets out of the box extremely slowly, probably slower than any player in baseball.
I don’t hate Andruw, and he always doesn’t hustle (at least this year.) He seems to be walking to first base sometimes, which is amazing considering how fast he appears to be in centerfield.
As for any trade involving him, I think you try to get him to sign an extension first, then trade him. You can’t let somebody like Andruw Jones just walk away via free agency and get nothing except maybe a lousy first round draft pick.
Any hope I had for the wild-card was buried after last night’s game.
It’s ironic that the streak was built on the foundation of strong pitching and now will likely come to an end because of the pitching.
Outside of Smoltz, Wickman and Baez it’s just afwul.
Well, I will excuse Andruw for not hustling out infield grounders. He has saved countless numbers of flyballs to the gaps over the years which have killed his back. I will spare him for out hustling out those grounders to the left side of the infield. However, he does hustle when he is on base. We rarely see Andruw running the bases at the speed of Adam or BMac.
Name some SP FA at the end of the year…
Hampton will come back and he although not the greatest is at least consistent, plus he hits better than Francoeur.
Hudson should be traded, for RELIEF pitching.
AND we should package Giles, Yates, and some Minors to get oe solid starting pitcher who doesn’t suck, I’m thinking Cliff Lee or some team that needs a 2b who doesn’t entirely suck like a Belliard.
Lee(or someone else etc.)
If their ERA is under 4.00 mission accomplished.
Villareal(face it he’s better than most he pitches, far well, far more consistently than most, few grybos, he has 2-3 bad outings that cause ERA to jump, but for the most part solid-look at today)
INSERT QUALITY PROVEN RELIEVER gotten in Giles trade.
Thats is a solid pitching staff.
What we have right now is not.
Aybar 2B 10 HR .275
Renteria SS 15 HR .300
CJ 3B 30 HR .300
AJ CF 40 HR .270
McCann C 25 HR .300
Laroche 1B 25 HR .270
Francoeur RF 30 HR .250(if no progress happens…)
Langerhans LF 15 HR .250
Thormann, Pena, Johnson, Orr, others
200 HRs possible and 750+runs possible.
We something like 2nd or 3rd in NL in Offense.
We should improve if all stay healthy(somewhat not like the last 2 years)
That is a good hitting lineup power and average.
The bench ain’t spectacular but has some power and flexibilty.
That is a very good team offensively, pitching, and defensively.
95 wins would seem possible.
“We rarely see Andruw running the bases at the speed of Adam or BMac.”
Very few people can walk that slow much less run!
No, it’s not the right place to put it – but check out that link I posted .. wow, Oklahoma football is screwed!!!
Lee(or someone else etc.)
I would like Hudson traded, but I doubt it. Schuerholz has said he looks to have a three man rotation of Smoltz, Hudson and Hampton in 2007. If Hudson is traded, it should be for a long-term relief pitcher. I don’t think the Braves will re-sign Baez and it appears certain Wickman will retire after this season.
I vote that the Braves are out too. Mac – the recap was great; it drives me nuts when managers refuse to bring in their ‘setup man’ and ‘closer’ because it’s not yet a save situation. At least we aren’t saddled with Mike Hargrove.
I fear that any combination of guys behind Smoltz that are here now – Hampton, Davies, Hudson, James, Lerew, Ramirez – will be something worse then mediocre. Don’t get me wrong, I would love for Davies to develop and Hampton to come back strong and Hudson to regain his form, but I think all or even any of those are unlikely.
I just threw Lee’s name out there because the Indians need some middle infield help and Giles is a 2b.
Lee also is not doing to well this year which could mean we could get him by the Indians curbing their enthusiasm over him.
And the Indians are rebuilding.
The first and most likely option that came to mind.
Oh by the way, I now have a blog.
Watch me misspell BIGGER, BETTER, AND YES EVEN WORSE!
The wild card is new ownership and the very real possibility of a lower payroll. Hampton is untradeable, but I could see Ramirez being sent out of town and maybe Hudson if a team like the Yankees was willing to take on his contract (a distinct possibility). Who knows? They might not even pick up Smoltz’ option to save a few bucks or even pick it up but still trade him to Detroit for prospects.
There’s a reason Andruw doesn’t hustle. Have you looked at him lately? The guy has become incredibly bloated. Whether it’s too much food or too much roids, he is no longer the slender speedster he was when called up in ’96.
If we are counting on Hampton giving us anything we are screwed. He has not pitched in how long and we want him as our #2? Spells Doom gang. We are going to go through some serious growing pains again next year as we find some young pitchers who can be long term solutions, besides A.J. we do not have a lot of trading chips so we have what we have.
Would you guys trade Andruw for prospects or only proven players?
I’d only trade Andruw for blue chip prospects. The whole point of trading him is to lower salary and we can use Langerhans in center.
“Well, I will excuse Andruw for not hustling out infield grounders. He has saved countless numbers of flyballs to the gaps over the years which have killed his back. I will spare him for out hustling out those grounders to the left side of the infield. However, he does hustle when he is on base. We rarely see Andruw running the bases at the speed of Adam or BMac.”
Are you kidding me??????? You make a great living (13.5 million a year) to play baseball and you can’t hustle down the line on a ground ball? Thats BS! I dont’ want to hear that, also LaRoche and McCann just don’t naturally have speed, don’t compare them.
He would have been safe yesterday on that ground ball that arroyo bobbled.
No player is ever excused for not hustling, that is what they are paid to do, play hard.
Andruw has been playing like this his whole career–funny, I didn’t hear people complaining about his lack of hustle last year when he was hitting game winning home runs. It’s not like this is some dramatic change. The only difference is the Braves now suck. And Barry Bonds doesn’t hustle on ground balls either.
As for the bullpen, the fact is that, as an article in the New York Times points out, putting together a good bullpen is largely luck, not skill. The Braves had a dominant bullpen in 2002 because Chris Hammond had a year for the ages–do you really think JS knew that was going to happen? And what’s happened to Hammond since then? It is basically impossible to project performance by relief pitchers, especially middle relievers. JS did what he has done for years–try to mix and match, put together some arms and hope it came together. It just didn’t work this year or last year. Spending a lot of money on the bullpen doesn’t really make much sense either because these guys are so inconsistent. The teams that have good bullpens generally just lucked into it. Even the Yankees are struggling with middle relief. No one develops middle relievers; they are usually starters who failed or guys not good enough to close.
I’m as frustrated as anyone about the bullpen, but to say that JS “should have known” this wouldn’t work is grossly unfair. You could probably say that about almost any bullpen. And, in fact, the bullpen has been better lately. The real problem is the abysmal starting pitching and the inability to score. This is really a very young team and you are relying on 22 year olds in a lot of cases to deliver. That’s not easy.
The point is, the Braves are a team in transition and the transition began last year. They were lucky to win last year; this year, they haven’t been as lucky. But it was predictable that the team would struggle at some point, although I’m surprised that they are a below .500 team.
I think they have to start rebuilding the pitching and that doesn’t mean relying on Hudson and Hampton. I would have traded Smoltz because he would have brought some real arms in return, even if it hurt us in 2007. And I would trade Andruw if I could get some prime arms. Next year, it looks like the staff will be a 40 year old, a guy on the decline and a guy coming back from an arm injury. Unless Davies and James make real leaps (not impossible), the pitching is going to struggle again.
Why are you making excuses for someone who is clearly not hustling during routine plays? I man come on, do you settle for so less? I don’t care if you hit home runs or not, but my god at least hustle and give it your all.
It is an insult to all of us paying money to see these guys play when certain player(s) don’t hustle.
bullpens and rotations are all a roll of the dice yearly. noone would have predicted our rotation to look this bad for the year, but everyone predicted our pen to be crap. who knows, maybe the rotation turns back into the pitchers they once were and our bullpen stays as solid as it is now. but, who knows? who would have ever thought that the marlins starting rotation would lead the league in era? hudson, smoltz, and hampton were all aces at one point. it could happen again (emphasis on could).
I would really have someone on the wrong side of thirty take it easy on 200 ground outs a year instead of risking him popping a hammy on ONE of them and being out for two weeks. The odds aren’t very good. It may satisfy our desire for the “monkeys to dance for our money”, but if you remember, in ’00 when Furcal was a rookie and running out groundballs mad-man Thorman-style and we were loving him for it, the Braves told him to take it easy because it just isn’t worth it. 30 game high school season? Run your little heart out. 60 game college season? Sure. 162 game major league season? Cool your jets, turbo. You’re in it for the long haul.
giles since moving to the 2nd spot: 13 for 27, 6 doubles, 1hr, 4 rbi’s 4 runs, and 2 walks. i think it might have been a head thing. i wonder if he sticks around next year?
Nice write up, but if Tyler Yates could pitch like Kali, we would have a closer to be proud of.
Instead, we have an improved bullpen, but as Marc rightly notes our starting pitch sucks.
It would be great to see the Braves win the Wild Card, but realism needs to prevail sooner rather than later. The Braves should focus on 2007 with the goal of winning a World Series in 2008. As for 2006, it would be an achievement at this point to get back to .500.
Rob, we are in a must win situation and I want every single person go all out all the time, take it easy in the offseason, not in the playoff hunt.
Just my thought, nothing personal.
oldtimer, i totally agree!!!
I just want decent pitching, decent.
Most Braves fans have forgotten what that looks like on a dad to say basis.
day to day
I’m not defending Andruw, just pointing out that no one complained last year about this–and he hasn’t changed his style in a year. The only difference is the team is struggling and Andruw isn’t going to hit 51 home runs. But the fact is, it’s virtually impossible to hustle on every play; they play 162 games. Andruw misses few games. Just because they make a lot of money doen’t mean they aren’t human.