Braves 6 Nationals 1

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

Now that there’s no hope at all, the Braves are doing a little better. It’s hard to care a whole lot.

Kyle Davies needed 95 pitches to struggle through five innings, but somehow managed to give up only one run. He managed to stay out of major jams for the most part and got lots of ground balls. He never seemed quite effective, but I guess it worked. And he did strike out five.

Andruw was the main offensive weapon. He doubled in the second, coming in to score on an Aybar single. In the sixth, he hit a two-run homer to give the Braves a 3-1 lead. He was on base in front of Daryle Ward when Ward pinch-hit for Oscar Villarreal and hit a three-run homer. Good game for Andruw, 2-3 with a walk. McCann had a hit and two walks.

Villarreal inherited a runner from Davies in the sixth and got a double play. In the seventh, he got into a bases-loaded two-out jam and got out of it. And Joe Simpson called him “The Vulture”. McBride pitched the eighth and Paronto got the Atlanta Save.

58 thoughts on “Braves 6 Nationals 1”

  1. Final score was 6-1.

    And that scoreboard thing on ESPN is really an eyesore. Who thought it would be a good idea to stick it in the middle of the screen?

  2. Well, the Nats certainly remain a team that we can beat. Yippee. Yahoo. The stumble for third place continues.

    Someone emailed me, asking if I was watching SNY, where tonight’s programing included the Met game, celebration, etc.

    My response: “Why would I do that? For me, it would be like eating bagged spinach. No, thanks. I’d rather watch a documentary on Barry Goldwater.”

  3. Yea… I agree the new score thing on ESPN is terrible… it almost looks as if it’s in the dead-middle of the screen…. it’s not ignorable! lol

  4. hahaha, he just wants to give us hope so we have have our heart broken again.

    Maybe if we just ignore all talk and just win, maybe…

    Miracles= An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God: “Miracles are spontaneous, they cannot be summoned, but come of themselves”

  5. Dan,

    Barry Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which in my mind does not serve his legacy well. It was only the most important vote he ever cast, and he voted for the stone age.

    However, once he got feisty in his later years, I found fewer things wrong with him. He said he’d kick Jerry Falwell in the ass, so he gets points for that in my book.

    Actually, the HBO Special (I caught the last 45 minutes) seemed very good & worth watching, no matter which end of the political spectrum you lean toward. Like most HBO docs, it was very entertaining.

  6. I’m not going to get into vote, the explanation for that is too long and too sourced for me to look up now. But Goldwater was a good man, and certainly would have made a better president than Mr. Great Society, Lyndon B. Johnson.

    As for Falwell, I know nothing of him really. But the way so many of the far left don’t like him makes me think he’s doing something right.

    I’m done with this here. I’ll take it to the political board, and get much more into it, if you want.

  7. Dan,

    No need to argue, because I’m no more interested in your political views than you are of mine. And on a Braves blog…well, you know…

    But you asked me to clarify my level of disgust as it related to a Mets title & I found it amusing that I’d sought comfort in Barry Goldwater, of all people. But for the record: I never said that Goldwater wasn’t a good man.

    In fact, the HBO doc offers plenty of evidence from those on the left and the right to support that, for the most part, Goldwater was.

  8. Yeah. I think there is a thread for polite political conversation.

    On another note, I am eating ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery.

    Mmmmm Good!

  9. Does anyone have any more confidence in Kyle Davies after hearing the explanation of his progress recovering from injury?

    At least, I feel more hopeful.

  10. NY METS must be an ESPN employee. They’re already saying the Mets will go deep in the playoffs. That’s some serious kool-aid.

    Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine and Orlando Hernandez? They seem to think that’s a winner. I don’t. Believe it or not, the only one I can see winning a game is Glavine. Martinez has been terrible recently, and I really think he’ll get beat up in a playoff atmosphere when other teams are trying hard. Hernandez sucks, I don’t care what his playoff experience in the past is, that means nothing in 2006.

    Mets=65% chance losers in NLDS.

  11. Sumbitch. LA hits back-to-back-to-back-to-back HR off of Adkins and Hoffman to lead off the 9th inning and tie their game at 9. (Hitters: Kent, Drew, Martin, Anderson.) A form of failure even our bullpen hasn’t discovered yet.

  12. Garciaparra homers off Seanez to win for LA, 11-10 in 10 innings. Dodgers retake the Western lead, Padres are the wild card again, and we’re 5 1/2 out with 12 to play.

  13. I cannot get too excited about the WC: I would be happy with .500 at this stage.

    I can only suppose that Chip Caray is being paid to get fan interest…

  14. Agreed–especially when you factor in Dodger Stadium. Betemit has not fared as well, but I think that he will still be a much better player than Aybar. I hope to be wrong…

  15. Francoeur drew a walk last night! Ball four was an inside and low fastball at his ankles. Progress? Is the Guillen line an OBP of .300? Any way I know that its a dead horse but I just thought that I’d point it out.

  16. Frenchy is walking more now but the power is gone. The problem is that his swing generates power by being big and long and starting a whole lot earlier than the swings of most other MLB players. This means he has less time to decide whether he wants to swing at the pitches or not, which leads to his high K rates and poor walk rates. If he takes the extra split-second to look at the pitch (which he has been doing at an increasing rate these past two months), he is unable to get his bat around on the ball. This leads to less power and less “drive” on the ball, and hence a low(er) BA. So he’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. The only real solution here is to completely re-work his swing into something more compact that retains his current bat speed. If he can do that (and he’s a really athletic guy, so it’s not like, you know, impossible), he could still turn into that guy everyone thought was on the cover of SI.

    But given his immediate success last year and the fact that when his swing actually does hit something the result is often a beautiful line drive or a homer, it is unlikely that someone will be willing to re-work his swing at the risk of making him completely worthless. But I still hold out hope.

  17. Or maybe he’s just tired and hurt from pointlessly trying to play every game this year including both games of the 3 doubleheaders. Interestingly his OBP is at least .319 in each of the last 3 months, so he has been improving on that front.

  18. chip Caray worked for years for the Cubs. He’s used to looking for silver linings in the cloud of hopelessness.

  19. Garciaparra homers off Seanez to win for LA, 11-10 in 10 innings.

    Watching the end of that game made me physically ill. I hate the Dodgers. I’ve never been able to work up as much distain for the Mets.

  20. I cannot get too excited about the WC: I would be happy with .500 at this stage.

    I’m not sure I want us to make it to .500. We need our first round pick to be in the top 15 so we don’t lose it when we make our big offseason free agent signing. Ha Ha.

  21. If the Braves got to .500, that would just piss me off even more at what this season could have been if the front office had made smarter moves last offseason.

  22. This season was lost in June. Everything since then has been trying to come up from the bottom of the lake with a barbell around our neck. The shockingly lousy bullpen (especially in the first half), the injuries, the sub-par performances from guys who had to be better—it all added up to a lost season.

    I’d like to think that if we had Wickman for the whole year it would’ve made a difference. And perhaps it would’ve. But I still don’t think that in itself would’ve made us a good team. Even if we were 7-8 games better, that would make us a slim WC leader in the worst WC year ever.

  23. Another, different Mets fan who won’t take the time to register is calling Dan a “donkey” and says that the Mets are “clearly the best team in baseball”. While I don’t think that Dan’s 65 percent chance of an NLDS loss is accurate, I am not going to approve this comment either.

  24. I can’t stand the way that the Braves make a big deal out of Davies. He pitched five innings-granted he was pretty effective–but five innings, to me, is not a good outing. Who needs a starter that goes five innings. Wake me up when he is going into the seventh.

    I think the Mets will go deep. It’s not as if the other teams in the playoffs have the ’95 Braves pitching staff. They are all mediocre but the Mets have a terrific lineup. I think they win the pennant and get smashed by the Yankees in the WS.

    BTW, if it is a NY-NY WS, who do you root for?

  25. Yanks over the Mets, anyday. I have no problem with them. As long as the Mets don’t win, I don’t really care who does.

  26. Marc, couple of things….

    1. Davies – I agree, there’s nothing to get excited about here. 5 innings and a ton of pitches against a bad ball club. He has been horrible this year and I dont see him part of the plans in the beginning of 07. Dont let yesterday fool you, he walks to many people and leaves to many fastballs belt high to hitters. That’s not a good ratio. He has potential to be good, if he learns how to pitch in the majors, but not great…

    2. NY-NY World Series, you dont pull for either. It gives us more time to look at what we need to do with our Fantasy Football teams. Or as Ububba sometimes says, you just hope that the Mets lose their last game.

    2.

  27. I’d root for the Yankees. I used to be a Yankees fan until I couldn’t stomach them outspending every other team by $100 million every year anymore. If baseball ever has the sense to put in a salary cap, I’ll be a Yankees fan again. Plus at least the Yankees actually have good reason to swagger based on their accomplishments both in the last decade and in their entire history compared to the Mets and their whopping 2 championships (none in the last 20 years). I’d much rather neither NY team made it to the Series of course. Since my 2 favorite teams (Braves and White Sox) don’t look likely to make the playoffs, I’d like to see two teams that haven’t been to the Series in a long time make it such as Philadelphia vs Detroit.

  28. “Of Davies’ 95 pitches, 59 were strikes. That was a needed improvement from his last outing against the Phillies, when 28 of his 63 pitches were balls.”

    thats minimal improvement if you ask me. Going from 55% to 62% of pitches being for strikes still isn’t very good

  29. “But the story was Davies. He looked a lot more like the pitcher who broke into the majors so impressively last season.”

    hhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmm……What is this guy looking at, we were playing the freakin Gnats. One of only a handful of teams that we have better record than

  30. First off, I’m certainly not really a Yankee fan. But as a Yankee season ticket holder (46 game package, 3 seats with 8 other people), a Mets-Yanks WS wouldn’t break my heart. Why? Because I’d have WS tickets and, no matter who plays, it’s always fun to “be in the room” for the WS.

    However, it’s not something I’m looking forward to. In fact, Yanks-Cards would suit me just fine. Or Dodgers-Twins would be cool, too. Or Phils-Tigers. Or…

  31. Mac, just so you know, Joe’s been calling Villarreal “The Vulture” for weeks, maybe months. Now, maybe he got it from Braves Journal a while ago, but it isn’t a really recent development.

  32. In a prospective NYM-NYY World Series, I root for the players’ strike.

    Otherwise, I will back the Dodgers from the NL and the Tigers from the AL.

  33. Despite his extreme flyball tendencies, Chuck James has been spectacular of late and now possesses a 10-3 record with a 3.33 ERA. With a 0.47 GB:FB ratio, James has given up even more flies than fellow rookie Jered Weaver, who is at 0.62. Among those who qualify for the ERA title, only Chris Young ranks with James as a flyball pitcher. James doesn’t benefit from his ballpark quite as much as Young, but he does owe a lot to Atlanta’s strong outfield defense. When Ryan Langerhans starts in left, the Braves’ outfield might be the best in the game. I like James’ chances of lasting as a No. 3 starter. He’s likely to give up too many homers going forward to post outstanding ERAs, but if he can stay away from the walks, he’ll be okay. It’s his changeup that’s the key. Right-handers are hitting just .211 against him, and opposing managers will begin to realize next year that left-handed hitters should be left in the lineup against him.

  34. “First-base coach Glenn Hubbard left the team after Sunday’s game to attend his mother’s funeral. Specifics of her death weren’t provided, but it is believed that she passed away in her home while watching a Braves game on television.”

    Now that’s just crazy…

  35. #45, I don’t buy into the Braves having the best outfield defense. Francoeur’s defense is actually pretty bad. He whiffs on balls on the ground all too frequently and while he has a strong arm it’s not usually very accurate.

  36. CSG, is that a quote?

    Francoeur’s defense on fly balls is pretty good, and Langerhans’ is very good, and Andruw looks bad only compared to himself five years ago. Francoeur’s problems on ground balls don’t come into play for James, because he doesn’t allow many ground ball singles and when he does they’ll mostly be to left.

  37. yes, sorry I thought I had typed something after the quote, maybe it was erased. It came from Fox sports, my apologies

  38. Chuckie James has been one of the year’s silver linings. He’s only had one truly bad outing, vs. NYM where he went 1 inning & gave up 7 runs. But you can’t come back much better than he did—a one-hitter vs. NYM later on. Hard not to root for this guy.

  39. I like James, his record has been very good at every level. He knows how to get the job done, or so it seems.

  40. Yes, Chuck James, Brian McCann, and the 2nd half of Adam LaRoche probably constitute the bright spots for this team (Wickman to me is a highlight of the front office failures, since we only got him when it was already too late). But, I guess there’s something to build on for the future.

  41. It may not be saying that much, but I’m way more excited about Chuck James now than I was Frenchy a year ago. Winning left-handed starters just don’t grow on trees.

  42. just saw this, hopefully there is something to it….

    “Start planning

    Ryan Theriot and Matt Murton can play every day at second and left next year and bat one and two. He also suggests that in order to add power the Cubs should look to acquire center fielder Andruw Jones, who has a year and $13.5 million left on his deal.

    In order to interest the Braves, the Cubs should show a willingness to take on Tim Hudson’s contract (three years, $33 million), while the Cubs offer a package of young players who will save the Braves some cash.”

  43. I’m all for a Hudson dump, but not at the expense of trading Andruw, who is the team’s only good outfielder. Langerhans does not have the bat to play every day. And Juan Pierre sucks too, so nobody even suggest that.

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