89 thoughts on “Game Thread: Phillies at Braves, Sept. 14”

  1. does anyone feel like JS will stay away from Big Name FA pitchers (Schmidt/Zito) as a result of the Hudson/Hampton mess we are in now. Not that we could afford them anyway.

  2. csg, I don’t think he will even try to sign a starter. Assuming they pick up John’s option, the rotation would be Smoltz, Hudson, Hampton, Ramirez, and James with Davies, Villareal, Cormier, Lerew, and Barry as possibilities to replace whoever gets injured.

  3. I still think James will be the odd man out. He’s been our best lately and should be in our plans for next year, but they seem to be big on Davies for some reason. I think we should have those 3 lefties in the back of the rotation, but I doubt they do. JS will still say that Davies problems are because of his injury.

  4. I find it impossible to believe James won’t be in the starting rotation. If anybody gets bumped for Davies, it would be Ramirez. Since Horacio sucks, keeps getting injured, and is becoming expensive, he should be dumped anyway.

  5. Deal Ramirez. Deal Andruw to Boston for Crisp, Hansen, and another pitching prospect. Sign a Carlos Lee-type power-hitting left fielder. Deal Marcus, plug in Aybar. Trade for capable utility player. Re-sign Wickman. Re-sign Baez. GET EVERYONE HEALTHY. Sign MULTIPLE bullpen options to minor league deals (a la Holmes, Hammond, Lightenberg, etc.) and hope that atleast a couple stick.

  6. I agree, deal Ramirez, explore deals for Andruw, stay away from Carlos Lee, too expensive, resign Wick and Baez, and like Rob said, LOTS of minor league deals for bullpen pitchers….invite 200 if they have to to find some decent arms for down there!\

  7. Ramirez is what he’s been, a decent 3rd/ 4th starter, and he belongs in the rotation. Next year’s rotation should be Smoltz/ Hudson/ Hampton/ James/ Ramirez, with Davies in Richmond and Cormier and Villareal in the bullpen. Next year’s pitching coach should NOT be Roger McDowell. Next year’s training staff should NOT be this year’s training staff that failed us so badly.

    1914 Update:

    Boston Braves 74-55 (–)
    NY Giants 72-58 (2.5 GB)
    St. Louis Cardinals 71-62 (5)
    Chicago Cubs 71-63 (5.5)
    Pittsburgh Pirates 61-68 (13)
    Philadelphia Phillies 60-71 (15)
    Brooklyn Robins 58-72 (16.5)
    Cincinnati Reds 56-74 (18.5)

    Today’s Game:
    Brklyn 001 000 020 – 3 8 1 LP- Pfeffer
    Braves 000 040 00x – 4 8 6 WP- Rudolph

    Six errors- two each by Whitted and Maranville, one each by Rudolph and Smith- weren’t enough to keep the Braves from bagging the Robins again. Giants split another doubleheader at Philly to lose half a game. Magic number is 23.

  8. I dont think the loss of Andruw will hurt us on offense. Its shouldn’t be too hard to replace .259 and 100 RBI’s in that spot. His defense is another question though. I think BMAC or LaROche could be very effective in the clean up spot.

  9. Andruw’s a lot more than a .259 average and RBIs. This year, only Carlos Beltran has been more productive among NL CFs. In 2004, he trailed Beltran and Jim Edmonds. In 2003, only Edmonds (Beltran was still in KC). And this isn’t including his 2005 career year. His defense is still above-average, though not the world beater he has been.

    I am in no hurry to trade Andruw away without a replacement (which Gregor Blanco, interesting as he is, is not). This is a guy I give another 3-4 year contract to.

  10. I think what is important about Andruw is that you get so much offense from a defensive position on the field.

  11. By the way, I was fortunate enough to view yesterday’s double debacle first hand.

    The second game has the distinction of being the only game I have gone to at the Ted this year that the bullpen has not blown. Hudson didn’t need their help in that one.

  12. Parish,

    That makes 2 of us. Just got back from Atlanta.

    For me, the only instructive thing about the whole mess yesterday is that my memory will connect the end of the division streak with that two-out fly ball off Diaz’s glove. Might as well have a visual to remember. A mental signifier.

    Another weird thing: I got to the game about an hour before the first pitch & I swear by the time Davies took the mound there were only a couple hundred people in the place. There were so few people that you could hear the radio on the concourse from the field level seats. (We sat about 10 rows behind the Braves dugout.) Really weird.

    Once again: Go Dawgs.

  13. You are correct, according to our local newspaper attendance was a little over 500…that number is just flat embarassing. That is low for the Marlins!

  14. I have a message from NYMETS:

    Hi, I’m NYMETS and I eat sewage. I actualy live in a tunnle under Shea Stadium and eat the sewage in the hope that it might have passed thru the bowals of Jose Reyes.

  15. Congrats to the Mets on their phenomal achievement of winning 1 division title in a row. When they win 13 more then we can give consideration to caring.

  16. If Moyers is on today, there could be some really ugly swings from the Braves, especially Francoeur. An ultra soft tossing lefty who normally has decent control and lives and dies with a change up.

  17. Jeff doesn’t need a soft tossing lefty to take really ugly swings. He’ll do it for a hard throwing righty and anybody else too.

  18. If you guys do not find this funny, there is no hope. I promise it is meant in good fun. I thought it was extremely clever. Hope you all feel the same.
    And do me a favor, please….win tonight!

  19. From CNNsi.com:

    What’s your take on the Braves for next year? I know their pitching has been horrible at times this year, but the offense is solid and still very young and should only get better next year with a strong core to build around (Brian McCann, Adam LaRoche, Jeff Francoeur, etc.). With their pitching boosted by full seasons from Chuck James and Kyle Davies, and a return of Mike Hampton at some point, will they return to their old form next year?
    — Brent, San Diego

    I think this year is only a blip. I don’t see it as the start of a downward trend, not with their young talent and, assuming they bring John Smoltz back, having Tim Hudson, Smoltz, Hampton and James for full seasons. They may have to start looking at what to do with Andruw Jones. If they have no hope of extending him — the odds are not good that he will sign another under-market contract without getting on the free-agent market — they might look at trading him for three quality players.

  20. If Andruw Jones is traded, it needs to be for prospects, not three crappy four million dollar a year players. That way Schuerholz can have all that extra cash to do what he needs to do (get rid of Giles too and put in Aybar and we’re talking Zito and Wickman money.)

    If the Braves can’t sign Andruw to an extension, trade him this offseason in midseason in 2007. Don’t let a player like him just walk away via free agency and get diddly squat.

  21. Smitty,
    I read it too. There have been many references in the media to John Schuerholz’s uh…..arrangement with Satan. Pretty funny stuff. Dang! sure wish old John had gone the full Monty so we would have beaten those damn Yankees in 1996.

  22. Sorry for dbl post. By and large a lot of respect and admiration in the press for the end of the run of division titles. Lets play to .500 this season get healthy and start another run.

  23. Here’s to hoping Hampton and Boyer return and pitch well for us. Hampton might help take some of the stress and pressure off of this rotation. However, he may add more frustration as well. Boyer will definitely help and maybe even Foster. I also think we will resign Reitsma, Bobby has love for the guy!

  24. Good grief. I was 6 the last time this happened. What exactly are you supposed to do on weeknights in October?

  25. watch ESPN for unlimited highlights for the Mets and Yankees. You should get at least 1 hour of coverage each day for the both of them.

  26. ESPN: Blah blah blah New York blah blah blah Mets rule blah blah subway series blah blah blah blah blah….

    It’s almost enough to make you go into a John Rocker-style anti-New York rant.

  27. I cant imagine how bad it will be if both of them are the only 100 games winners. Watch out people, there will be a New York/Espn Holiday

  28. Has it been so long since Hampton took the mound that people have forgotten how he pitches? I can’t believe the number Braves fans that are looking forward to his return. I also cannot understand the desire to trade Giles. The guy is an incredible player who just had a bad start to the season. This is frickin’ baseball people! Take a longer view of things.

  29. “I cant imagine how bad it will be if both of them are the only 100 games winners.”

    Not nearly as bad as it will be if the world series consist of only teams from the state of New York.

  30. Giles is good, but we have a lot cheaper of a replacement. Giles will be an expensive 2nd baseman and if we keep him we would have to find a leadoff hitter to play LF. Look at it this way, would you rather have.

    1. Giles
    2. Aybar and Wickman

    thats about the same $$$ on our budget.

    Also, Hampton since 2003 has this record.

    3.96 ERA 32W 20L 161BB 224K’s, that’s better that what weve seen this year and if he comes back healthy and can post another sub 4 ERA then that will be very good for us.

  31. If it came down to just having Bob Wickman or Marcus Giles with no chance of having both, I’d take Wickman.

  32. I think I would have to take Wickman, too, because of the other options we have at 2nd and the fact that we would get something of quality in return for trading Giles. Also, I believe that Marcus will command a higher salary than Wickmania next year.

  33. If I was the Braves’ General Manager, my To Do list would look something like this:

    1.Exercise the option on Smoltz. 2. Extend Wickman and Baez. 3. Evaluate the strength and conditioning progam, particularly running and throwing — so many injuries (this year) and so much late season fatigue (all recent years) implies lack of conditioning. 4. Shuffle coaches — retire Dews and Corrales, make Gonzalez the bench coach and Pendleton the third base coach, hire Howie McCann (former college coach) to be the hitting coach and Guy Hansen (former Richmond Braves pitching coach) to be the bullpen coach. 5. Replace Andruw, Giles, Diaz, Hudson and Ramirez. 6. Sever relationships with Pratt, Reitsma, Thomson, Jordan, Ward, Franklin and Moylan.

    The absence of names from above does not imply a positive endorsement for a continuing roster spot.

  34. I think Hampton was fine when he wans’t hurt. If possilbe I would move GIles and Andruw in a package and try to get some young guys that are ready to play at the big league level, not hot young prospects. Maybe get a number three starter, a guy with some pop, a set up man or two

  35. I thought somebody was doing that Sam. I won’t do it again, not that it matters.

    Hey, it’s Don Sutton.

  36. If Andruw is traded this offseason, we shouldn’t bother trying to pick up a veteran mediocrity like Crisp to plug the hole in center. If Andruw’s gone, Ryan Langerhans should be the starting center fielder for Atlanta next year. Despite the fact that he is not much of a hitter, his defensive ability is outstanding. If he is playing everyday in center field, I’m pretty positive that his defense will more than carry his bat. If he hits more like he did last year rather than this year, then that is even better.

  37. No, no, no. No!

    If Langerhans hits like he has this season, you will have two terrible players in the outfield (him and Francoeur) with maybe average offense in left. There’s no way to carry those bats no matter how big your gloves are.

    You’d be better off moving Francoeur to center (where his bat wouldn’t be such a problem) and getting a real right fielder.

  38. I feel like I have been relegated to rooting for specific players on this team, since I find no confidence or satisfaction (ultimately) in pulling for Braves’ wins. I’m really pulling for the young guys, particularly Brian McCann, Adam LaRoche, and Chuck James.

  39. Why am I still watching this game? Chucky is the man, but he keeps scaring us with those harmless long flyballs.

  40. When was the last time Jeff Francoeur hit a home run? It feels like he’s been at 24 for the year forever.

  41. Hey, it’s Brian “I got another year in me” Jordan.

    And he gets a hit! Another season of playing time!

  42. Here we go. Can we get three outs and not give up four runs so the Braves can hand a lead of any kind of to Wickman?

  43. That’s really the great suspense for Braves fans now. We have already blown several W’s for Chuck. Remember the Kali meltdown against the Phils last time they were in Atlanta. I was at that game, too.

  44. I dont know if anyone else knows about this, but you should go to google and type in awful announcer and hit ‘im feeling lucky’

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