Braves 5, Phailies 2

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

Walkoff homers are so fun. Andruw had this one, a three-run shot with one out in the ninth while Joe Simpson was busy in the booth trashing him for looking awkward at the plate. (Joe’s seen Andruw even more than I and should know that Andruw often looks awkward at the plate while simultaneously hitting colossal homers. I was surprised Joe didn’t criticize him for not singling to right instead.)

Tim Hudson went eight and allowed just four hits, all singles, and one walk. Unfortunately, three of the hits came in one inning, the sixth, punctuated by a stolen base, and the Phillies got two runs out of it, overcoming the Braves one-run lead on a Hudson groundout. Chipper came back and tied it with a homer in the bottom of the inning.

After blowing a chance to take the lead in the eighth, in which Hudson was hit for (he had thrown 94 pitches), Gonzalez came in. If you hadn’t heard, Bob Wickman was placed on the DL with the unlikely-sounding condition of “upper back tendinitis” and Chad Paronto was called up. Gonzalez and Soriano will share closer duties; Mike did his part tonight by blowing away Utley, Howard, and Burrell.

He picked up the win on Andruw’s homer. KJ had led off the inning with a single. (He’d walked three times earlier in the game.) Renteria botched the bunt and the Phillies got KJ at second. Chipper was walked. (Joe claimed this was semi-intentional, but only a lunatic would walk the winning run into scoring position. Of course, this is Charlie Manuel.) Andruw followed, game over.

Willie Harris played left and went 1-3. All the Braves’ starters had hits, including Hudson; Andruw and Francoeur had two.

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95 thoughts on “Braves 5, Phailies 2”

  1. The Jones’ boys doing it again…homering in the same game.

    Mike Gonzalez was electric in the 9th, it’s a shame that Hudson didn’t get a win after another great performance, but a wins a win.

  2. If Hudson (not Hampton) keeps pitching like he has, he will get plenty of wins this year.

  3. KJ had led off the inning with a single. (He’d walked three times earlier in the game.)

    What can you say, KJ’s performance has exceeded even a fanboy’s wet dream. With his intelligent, power and patience approach to the game, he’s everything we always though Marcus would be. Not that Marcus did have some very good years, but he could be a very frustrating player to watch. KJ is the opposite, the more you watch him, the more you want to watch him.

    Hudson’s performance was just what the doctor ordered after burning up the bullpen in Denver.

  4. You can’t ask for anything more in a leadoff hitter than KJ. If Frenchy keeps on doing what he’s doing and Thor stays solid, the Braves could have something special. With Chipper and AJ coming around, all we need is a left fielder. Harris was fine tonight, but I’ll be surprised if he’s the long-term solution. I still say that putting Renteria in left and bringing up either Lillibridge or Escobar would immediately make us a better team.

  5. I agree Robert. 100%. I’m loving the way Kelly is playing both on offense and his defense.

    And Huddy’s performance was great..8 innings, just what we needed. Especially with the dreaded Mark Redman pitching tomorrow…against Cole Hamels.

  6. I’m just thrilled with how KJ is working out. And even though Wick is out for a bit the new pen is more than capable of handling it. Gotta give the management props on how they have handled things in the last six months. I’m with td, this could be a special year. It’s good to be a Braves fan. Go Braves!

  7. Renteria won’t get moved to left. Bank on it.

    I can see a Thor to left, Wilson at first arrangement. That’s about the only change I see Bobby making. Let’s see what Diaz can do in left full-time, I say. Then, if it doesn’t work out, move Thor to left.

  8. Funny, url beat me to it. Gotta give JS props for acquiring Gonzo & Soriano.

    I know the season is very young, but who’d have figured that we’d have more trouble with Nats/Marlins (5-5) than Phils/Mets (8-2)?

  9. Frenchie deserves props for taking third on Burrell’s miscue in the 5th inning. Smart, aggressive play that led to a run.

  10. Well, that was fun.

    I tend to agree with Joe Simpson in principle on the Andruw thing. He really should be trying to go the opposite way more. Quite frankly, I have no idea how he’s doing as well as he’s doing with that swing he’s got going right now. That said, with a hanging slider that bad, you should be trying to pull it anyway, so it worked out OK, obviously.

    As far as walking Chipper goes, I again agree with Joe that it was a semi-intentional walk. Doing so is unbelievably retarded, but based on the sequence, I think you have to assume that’s what they were trying to do. So yeah, Manuel is kind of a moron.

    Moving Renteria to left would be a disaster. You think his range is bad at short? Wait till he actually has to cover some ground. And you can’t move him to first and send Thorman out now. He’s starting to come around, and I’m sorry, but assuming that Escobar would hit better than Thorman right now is foolhardy. He’s never even been up to the majors. Nobody has any idea how he’ll do. Anyone remember Andy Marte? Plus, I still say we’re being way too hard on Edgar. Way, way too hard. He’s an average shortstop, but he isn’t terrible. I think some people are just having a tough time remembering the pre-Furcal era is all. Plus, his bat more than makes up for any defensive shortcomings he may have.

    And I think I see now how Gonzo went 100% on save opps last year. That was just ridiculous. Based on that, I seriously think of making him full-time closer until Wickman is back and keeping Soriano as full-time setup. Somebody already said it, but thank God we got those two during the offseason.

    Also, love the new site, Mac. Very nice.

  11. Go Braves. Great win today, and everything is clicking right now. We left a lot of runners on, but we had a lot of hits. We had great starting pitching and a great inning for Gonzo. Nice clutch hit by Andruw too. I too am amazed at how well he hits with such an ugly swing.

    As for Renteria, he’s not Furcal, and I think everyone knows that. He doesn’t have the arm and he doesn’t have the range. He’s a similar offensive player, though, and we’re paying him $6-7 million whereas Furcal is making $13 million. He’s helping us win ballgames while keeping the payroll down. I’m glad I’m not the only person supporting Renteria.

    If anything, Diaz is being more of a disappointment than Edgar. He’s hitting .259/.268/.389, and he’s not exactly a Gold Glove left fielder (he went to Oakland…).

    However, I do love that our biggest problems are the shortstop’s range problems, left field averageness and a bad 5th starter. The last one won’t even hurt us in the playoffs.

    Go Braves.

  12. Mac – is this wordpress or typepad? It’s very nice.

    Kelly is on pace for something like 150 walks this season. Um, I’ll take it! He’s already 40% of the way to Giles’ total for all of 2006. Incredible.

  13. Everytime I saw Willie Harris I laughed. Other than that…Kelly Johnson is The Man.
    Wow.

  14. Off topic,

    But there is surveillance video of the Josh Hancock crash Sunday morning on KMOV.com.

    Here it is

    It’s kind of hard to see, but it happens right around the 1:13 mark, you’ll see two cars driving right next to each other and then the SUV’s headlights go out in the middle lane. Oh and I don’t know, but I had to sign in, so you might have to create an account.

  15. Congrats on the new site, Mac. And Sean Forman is really god!

    That was a nice, well played game all around I think. Gonzalez was mighty mighty impressive in the 9th..I was watching the game alone and I ended up saying WOW out aloud

  16. Nice win tonite, I’m soaking in every drop of Andruw I can while he’s still here. He’s been my favorite player for about a decade now, and while I’ll continue to (irrationally) hold out hope of a return, I am aware of this thing around us called reality. Big hit, Druwsie!

    And I’m diggin the new site, looks very nice. Major props to Mac and Sean for their continued awesomeness. I also enjoy refreshing every few minutes and seeing which color Mac is experimenting with on the banner. I’m sure you’ll find one that works. :)

  17. finally had to pick up kj in my fantasy league. he’s just playing out of his mind. great defense too, he turns a great dp.

  18. I’m trying to find the same color as the background of the posts, but I can’t figure it out.

    Anyway, while I’ve always liked this template, I’m not sure it’s appropriate for a team-specific baseball site. I may change it again, but it’s the best I’ve got right now.

  19. Seems like an ice sea foam, or something like that. Anyway, great color. I have a favorite gardening shirt that is almost the same color, plus dirt, of course.

  20. The Nats are beating Jake Peavy 3-2 in the 9th.

    There’s going to be some money lost in Vegas tonight! I don’t believe anyone had that.

    Where are the Nats getting all this pitching?!! I was hoping they would be bad enough to get us and the Mets in the playoffs to set up an epic NLCS, but maybe not.

  21. The Phillies didn’t have a base-runner or a ball hit out of the infield after the 6th tonight. Hard to win doing that.

  22. I like that idea, ububba.

    Ahh, hex code. That takes me back to 11th grade Web Design II. Have fun with THAT. I could make a mean HTML page back in the day when HTML knowledge could actually get you somewhere…

    Actually, is HTML that valuable nowadays?

  23. Aww, c’mon, ububba. What fun is that? We can take ’em.

    Also, after the month of April the Braves lead MLB in victories with 16 (tied with Boston, Milwaukee and Arizona).

  24. Why “Free Brent Lillibridge”? Brandon Jones needs it more. And no, Renteria can’t and will not play leftfield. That’s unrealistic.

    Mike Gonzalez looked extremely good today. He should be named closer while Wickman is on the DL. Closer by committee is dumb, and only proves Bobby Cox still has his lefty-vs.-righty fetish. Wickman saved plenty of games with left-handers up, and Gonzalez and his major league leading 28 straight save conversions has saved plenty of games with right handed hitters up. Name Gonzalez or Sorioano the closer and leave it.

  25. My dream: Braves make playoffs, Mets miss playoffs and Yankees finish last in AL East.

  26. Dan,
    As long as there’s an MLB team in Tampa, I’m afraid, the AL East basement has its permanent resident.

    Cary,
    Fact is, I’d love to play the Mets in the NLCS. I live in NY & I’d get to go to the games. But if the Mets finished out of the money, it wouldn’t keep me up nights.

    My dream (and I’ve said it before) is to witness the Braves win the World Series in The Bronx.

    I’ve seen tons of joy & heartbreak in that Stadium, and just once I want it to be my team breaking the hearts.

  27. Nice game tonight. Got to hear the home run as I was driving along in my automobile. “Swing and a drive!” is such a great sound to hear. :-)

    I’m 100% fine with a Sori/Gonzo “committee” closing. There’s no reason not to give both some opps; they’ve both got excellent stuff.

    Hudson is just fantastic right now. If he can pitch anywhere near this good for most of the season, Atlanta will be in very, very good shape; especially if we can get some decent innings out of Davies/Cormier/not Redman.

    Also, I just hope we will all remain aware that Kelly Johnson will not have anywhere near as much success as he’s having right now over the whole season. His numbers right now are seriously insane, and he’s bound to come back down to earth. Personally, I’m hoping for a line of .280/.370/.450, which would be one seriously good leadoff hitter, and also significantly worse than he’s doing now. Given that Chipper and Renty have both been hitting, it’s kind of amazing that Johnson doesn’t have like 30 runs scored at this point; he’s been on base THAT much.

  28. KJ has always been a streaky hitter so lets hope he stays hot. That said, he should still put up good numbers for the year.

    Lillibridge is nowhere ready for the majors–he is off to a solid start at AA, but hardly someone who should be in Atlanta.

    I just hope that Redman does not let us down tonight…

  29. I just hope that Redman does not let us down tonight…

    I hope you handle disappointment well

  30. I’d like to be the first to start a campaign to get KJ on the All Star team!

    Ok, it may be a bit premature, but it’s not way premature. He’s performing beyond my wildest expectations.

    Go Braves!

  31. I think that if Redman cannot get the job done tonight, the Braves should not wait any longer to find a 5th starter. I would give a young pitcher more of a chance, but Redman was awful last year so if he looks like Shane Reynolds, pitches likes Shane Reynolds and has stats like Shane Reynolds–then lets not stay with him like the Braves did Shane Reynolds…

  32. Mac, why do you want to free Brent Lillibridge?
    OBP .353/ SLG .382/ AVG .270 currently at AA Mississippi. Not bad but he aint tearing it up either. Small sample size but just asking the question.

    Kinda glad that Braves aren’t on TBS tonight. With Redman pitching my kids shouldn’t be exposed to my potty mouth.

  33. @39. KJ has 24 runs scored in 24 games. Pretty good. I’ve got KJ fever. No I don’t expect him to maintain a Bondsian .473 OBP but my hopes are more along the lines of .405/.501/.310 Star player numbers.

  34. Love the new site.

    It is so nice to have Uncle Charlie managing in our division!

  35. I think aquiring an above-average quality starter later on in the season is more important than improving LF play, espeically if Thor continues to progress.

    Also another hypothetical situation with zero percent chance of it happening…Thor/Wilson in LF, Renteria to 1B, Escobar to SS?

  36. I really like Joe Simpson, but I’m going to start calling him “The Great Chipper Jones Apologist” on this site.

    It’s hilarious watching Joe – if Chipper takes a lousy swing, it’s because the planets are out of rotational orbit. If anyone else takes a bad swing, it’s because they never listen to Bobby or TP and don’t care or something.

  37. “If I had to play 81 games a year at Shea Stadium, I’d probably do drugs too.”

    Yeah, that works Mac.

    How in the heck did Mark Redman win eleven games with a Royals team that went 62-100 for the season? That was in a league with that stupid DH rule too. Did the Royals give him a ton of run support or is he declining?

  38. Oh now, Joe is a really good color guy. FI you had to work with Chip, you might say some silly things from time-to-time too.

    Joe is the king of going the other way. From the way he talks, you wold bat 1.000 if you went to the off field all the time. Too bad he didn’t do that in his carrer or he would be in Cooperstown.

  39. Very true Smitty, but last night he was paired with the surprisingly good Jon Sciambi.

    I’m a PBP guy myself (albeit of high school football) and I would kill to get as good of a color guy as Joe in football.

  40. Much better tag line. LOL.

    Love/Hate Joe Simpson. Chip Carey sucks.

    I want Pete or Skip back.

  41. Kelly Johnson is doing a great job. I think JS/Bobby deserve some credit for moving him to 2b.

  42. I am actually a little relieved that Wickman’s problem has been a bad back. It makes sense if you’ve watched him on the mound the last few times. I kind of figured he was hurting when he signaled to the bench to take him out over the weekend.

    Mac, thanks for getting this thing up and running in good time. I was getting tired of logging in every time I entered the site.

  43. That swing by Andruw on the HR ball was one of the prettiest HR swings. That ball was killed.

  44. johnny,
    I don’t know what i’d do with out Braves’ radio. Skip and Pete rock.

  45. I’m sorry but most of Andruw’s swings aren’t exactly pretty. Especially the times when he falls on his back knee. Now the result is very pretty. I actually think that his swing is going to get him hurt one of these days. The way he contorts his body can not be healthy. Another thing I’ve noticed is that he has a problem with pulling completely off the ball. He could be unbelievable if he ever learned how to stay quiet in the box and drive the ball right back up the middle. That batting stance he is using right now pretty much eliminates that as a possibility.

  46. Not trying to “beat a dead horse” here or anything, I’m just the type always looking ahead and trying to project the future…lets say we want to make a trade near the deadline to acquire either a) another starter or b) a left-fielder…what EXACTLY would we probably have to give up to get those in return? Could we get Carl Crawford (not Baldelli) in return for Salty and Harrison? Would they ask for more? Would we seriously consider this option?

    Personally, I think we can “get by” with what we already have in our system but I’m curious as to how the rest of the league values the likes of Harrison, Reyes, Lerew, Jones, and other top minor league pitching prospects. If we get can just get to the NLCS, this wouldve been by all intents and purposes, a successful season…but I feel that we are in need of another quality, proven, & relatively cheap STARTER to get over “the hump.” Our future looks bright, its just full of a lot of question marks.

  47. Bamachum, what school are you in? I’m a communications PhD student, if you didn’t know already.

    I agree that I’d rather get a pitcher than a left fielder… but a left fielder would probably be easier. To be honest, it’s a bit of an indictment of Schuerholz & Wren that they didn’t get better candidates than Bohn and Harris for the AAA club. This has been a problem for years. I’m a bit busy now but will write up Harris tomorrow, I hope.

    I have an icon uploaded but it’s not showing up. Maybe it’s in the wrong directory or I’m doing it wrong.

  48. also, one question…is there any rumor as to who might be the “PTBNL” in the Langerhans deal? Given its Oakland, I seriously doubt we’ll get cash. Could it be someone on the DL?

    FYI, the following players are currently on OAK’s DL: Rich Harden, Esteban Loaiza, Milton Bradley, Mark Kotsay, Chris Denorfia. Obviously almost all of these players have far more value than Langerhans…its just a thought. (OAK could be trying to clear cap room with the Bradley/Kotsay/Loazia part? Hmm…

  49. I’m conflicted about whether a LF or a SP would be best. For the rest of the season, I would prefer a SP. For the postseason, I would prefer another bat. I think we’ll make the playoffs either way. Once we are there, my fear is that we won’t get any production in the 7,8,9 spots of the line-up. Maybe we should just get Peavy and Crawford, then we could just go ahead and win the WS.

  50. I’m generally not a big fan of color commentators (they’re always either talking completely out of their ass or just stating the obvious, seemingly), so as they go, Joe Simpson is pretty good. He definitely could be better, but given that the preeminent color guys in the game are Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan, I think we can cut Joe a break.

    Chip is incredibly annoying. He’s from the Joe Buck school of announcing that seems to have become popular, for some reason.

    I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised by Jon Sciambi, as well. He’s so much better than Bob Rathbun that it’s not even funny, and the degree to which that broadcast has improved with he and Joe replacing Rathbun and Torborg/Paciorek/whichever-other-moron is pretty mind-boggling.

  51. With Wickman out, I like the Nasty Boys approach to the closer spot. If one guy’s pitched too much, use the other guy. If Ryan Howard is up, for example, use Gonzo. If both guys can close, why not use ’em like that?

    Of course, in the short term at least, it looks like Yates will be the new RHP set-up guy. But he’s been pretty good. Fingers crossed on that.

  52. I read somewhere the PTBNL in the Oakland deal is Rich Harden–some high-ceiling guy with a lot of arm troubles.

    And then, of course, the Braves send over McCann to even out the deal.

  53. I don’t understand why Joe is always touting the wisdom of Terry Pendleton. The players who hit ignore him. Chipper uses his dad. McCann uses his dad. Andruw ignores TP so much that TP complains about it. Even Francoeur’s change in batting stance was suggested by McCann.

    I wish Andruw would say something to him like, “You think my swing is ugly? Check out your batting line. THAT is ugly.”

  54. We’re not getting any ML player back in the Langerhans deal, so lets stop trying to pretend that we’re getting someone who will have any impact at all on this years’ season.

    We likely got back some organizational fodder or, if we’re really lucky, a live arm in A-ball who has an outside shot of developing into something useful.

  55. I am actually a little relieved that Wickman’s problem has been a bad back. It makes sense if you’ve watched him on the moundlooked at his pants size the last few timesseasons.

    tee hee

  56. So instead of a lower disc problem in his back, maybe it is just a lower gut problem.
    Hmmm…

  57. Great site Mac, can i make a donation via paypal? If not I’ll use credit card.
    I am for giving Redman one more chance, but if he ‘s ineffective tonight then i think it’s time to call someone up.

  58. Mac – I don’t know if you got my email, but the hex code for the background color on the posts is #F3F6ED.

    Looks great by the way.

  59. KJ said that TP helped him turn around his slow start, telling him to use his top hand mare.

  60. I heard TP told lany not to strike out so much, I guess he didn’t listen

  61. The discussion on Athletics Nation about the Langerhans trade was amusing. Anyway, some of the A’s bloggers mentioned Brad Halsey as a the PTBNL. I suspect that a low level minor leaguer is much more likely….Scalamandre or Matt Lorenzo type…

  62. Thorman looked good at first base last night, and I think he’ll hit if given regular playing time. Willie Harris looked good in left last night despite the lost ball scare. Like VW says, hope springs. One or two more competent starting pitchers couldn’t hurt.

  63. I am pumped the new site is up. Now I have access at the office. KJ is dominating the leadoff spot. We are in Red Alert with Redman tonight. I’d prefer to see Gonzalez in the closer spot with Wickman out seeing as he prefers to be in the 9th inning, but working matchups does not bother me at all. I think I’m going to like Willie too.

  64. I doubt it will be Halsey too, but it would be a great guy to take a flier on. It’s doubtful he’ll be with the A’s much longer, but that don’t mean we’ll get him.

  65. The Dodgers didn’t even play Wilson Betemit in their 17-inning game the other day.

    Too bad they wouldn’t consider a trade-back of Willy Aybar for Betemit. Both sides have busted so far on this one, but I’d still rather have the Betemit side. Any updates on Aybar’s whereabouts?

  66. Any chance Bobby’s talk in the AJC about struggling to get Orr some AB’s is just his way of setting up a Pete Orr late inning defensive sub move without having to say to the media, “well, Renty has played so hard this year, every inning, that I thought I’d give him a chance to rest a bit, that, and he cant bend at the waist, which is pretty damn important for a short stop.”

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