Notionals 2, Braves 1

MLB – Atlanta Braves/Washington Nationals Box Score Monday May 14, 2007 – Yahoo! Sports

John Smoltz hurt the pinky finger on his pitching hand in a collision in the seventh inning after Ryan Langerhans — who is still hurting the Braves — blew a squeeze bunt attempt. It has been diagnosed as a disclocation of the last joint on the finger. I don’t know what the recovery time would be on a disclocation. The pinky finger is not normally used in any grips, but it is part of the release, especially (I believe) for breaking pitches. He may even be able to get it immobilized and pitch through it.

The Braves were being no-hit at the time. John had pitched well, but Jason Bergmann — who at this rate will make Oliver Perez look like Ramon Ortiz — was embarrassing the team, again. McCann finally got rid of the zeroes with a solo homer in the eighth. Bergmann struck out ten Braves, including the first four he saw.

The Braves had a chance to tie it in the ninth after Matt Diaz’s pinch-hit single, but KJ and Harris couldn’t get Orr, the pinch-runner, to second so Renteria’s single didn’t score him. Andruw took ball four 3-0, but the umpire called it a strike and he eventually struck out to end the game. Chipper is still hurting and didn’t play, which doesn’t help any.

Kali relieved Smoltz and mowed the Nots down in order, which is a good thing because at this rate he’s going to need to go into the rotation.

73 thoughts on “Notionals 2, Braves 1”

  1. I find it amazing how much of a roller coaster this game can be. Just when you think things are going well, you get blown out by the Pirates and almost no-hit by the nationals. Good grief.

  2. The 3-0 pitch to Andruw was a strike. But it was a pitcher’s strike, so a good take on 3-0. What’s more disconcerting is that he didn’t do anything with the 3-1 and 3-2 pitches, which were both fastballs on the inner half of the plate.

  3. So is Smoltz going on the DL or what?

    The ESPN guys are practically gloating over the Braves lost. “Oh, look, the Braves lost AGAIN. And Smoltz is gone. Well, they’re done.”

    Go Cubs.

  4. Mac, you stole my “Langerhans is still hurting us” joke without any citation.

    Salty to the Nats for Bergmann.

  5. Oh by the way I see Alex is whining again. I think he needs some cheese. As soon as Andruw gets hot Alex will think he is the greatest thing since toilet paper.

  6. Bobby says he should probably make his next start. Smoltz says he’s more mad about tomorrow, Golf-outing. So Im guessing he’s going to be okay, maybe miss one start

  7. Is Justin short for “I can’t take a joke”? I had no idea you were that dense, Justin.

  8. Buh-bye first place.

    After getting the first 2 out in the bottom of the 9th, the Cubbies let the Mets load ’em up & then blow it with a bases-loaded walk.

  9. “Oh god the season is over. Give me a break Dan.”

    Yeah, that’s exactly what I said. How piss poor is your reading comprehension?

  10. Watch out Sam Dan Dog is going to get upset about your piss poor reading comprehension.

  11. Bergmann had everything going for him tonight. However, I believe that not having Chipper was the difference in a win and a loss. Smoltz did well.

    It hurts to have only one or two pinch hitters on the team (Diaz if he’s not playing left and Thor if Wilson starts at first). We really need to get some production out of Wilson and start looking to end the Woodward and Orr experiments soon. I miss Julio!

  12. To change the subject, I missed the game, but looking at it now I am struck about the relative disappearance of our bats. KJ has always been a streaky player: the difference between his OBP for April and May is huge. Whie he is hardly the main reason why the Braves have scored less runs of late, it is clear that he makes a significant difference when he is hot.

    Otherwise, I continue to think that we will play our competitors well and find that Washington remains a thorn in our side….

  13. Methinks the Braves can’t keep up with the Mets in the long-haul. Injuries to key players could change things, of course, but the Braves have been firing on all cylinders and the Mets have been scuffling for the most part, but still getting their wins and keeping up. You have to figure that Chipper’s going to develop his annual chronic back/foot/ribcage injury and that’s going to be that.

    Can Andruw swing at any other level of intensity than hard as he can?

  14. If there was a plus tonight, it had to be that the bull pen didn’t get burned up…but that’s searching. Our batters were horrible, and in most cases failed to work the count.

    Oh well, 14 of our 52 losses behind us, leaving just 38 more losses to endure for the rest of the season.

    Hudson needs to be the stopper tomorrow and get our winning legs back under us.
    Go Braves!

  15. Well, we only have to beat out SD/D’Backs for the Wild Card, so I’ll hang my hat on that.

  16. wryn,
    I hated to see that we didn’t make it, into the SEC tourny, but it was good to get one last lick in agaist the Vandy.
    War Eagle!

  17. firing on all cylinders? our dependable closer goes down with injury, hampton out for the season, the back of the rotation has almost a double digit era, andruw goes flirting with the mendoza line for a month, mccann pretty much went to the dl, and dont get me started on toenails. are you a mets fan critter boy, because your comment sounds very “metty”. the mets starting pitching are pitching well above their head and it’s only a matter of time before maine, perez, and “so-so” comes down.

  18. “Metty” is the greatest adjective I’ve ever seen. It should be reserved for only the most heinous of comments/people, though.

    And I think someone must have kicked Justin Dog’s dog. We should go easy on him.

  19. Given our upcoming schedule, it’s kind of important that we get something from this series. I therefore anoint tomorrow’s Hudson start as The Biggest Game of the Season So Far. Gotta have it, Huddy.

  20. Bad night on all counts, but it’s only Game #38. We’ll be fine.

    But yes, gotta get a big effort from #15 tomorrow.

  21. Hey Dan,

    Get over the paranois. I really don’t think ESPN is really gloating about the Braves losing. I think there should be a club for people that think the media is biased against their teams. It would encompass pretty much the entire world.

    At least I can’t take the blame for this one. I was supposed to go but did not. There is something about RFK that the Braves don’t like.

  22. From what I can hear there’s not much to like about RFK. At all.

    Still no excuse. Maybe the shame of back to back embarrassments will wake up the bats. Time to embrace the suck, boys.

  23. ::sniff sniff:: I smell a troll.

    I really agree with Dan. It really seems like the BBT people and various other media outlets on ESPN tend to shit on the Braves. Not saying they HATE the Braves, but it may have something to do with TBS carrying all the games, competition with their market, and I hear Joe Simpson once killed Joe Morgan’s dog just for fun.

    But, on the bright side of things, so far this year we are 9-2-3 in series victories. That’s pretty good. (the 3 “ties” are the 3 2 game series splits we have). I have always liked Bobby’s reasoning of focusing on winning series with teams.

  24. oh, beedee:
    I loathe Auburn baseball for reasons I won’t post here. Troy’s the team to click there, great ballclub with great baseball men in charge .. great people all around that program. Auburn – currently, not so much.

  25. Kruk, in particular, seems to jump at any chance to brow beat the Braves. It might be that he is trying to be the resident curmudgeon, a la Jack Cafferty. Too bad he’s all mudgeon, no cur.

    Of couse that could all just be confirmation bias on my part.

  26. I have never felt that ESPN was out to beat up on the Braves–but sometimes it just seems that way.

    Anyway, Kruk appears to be getting bigger….

  27. Okay, I don’t care what JS and BC say about McBride; he’s gone 5 IP in each of his past two starts after being stretched out in a few 3-inning appearances, and he threw 90 pitches tonight. If they’re not grooming him to start then their pattern of using him makes no sense at all.

    Also, good to see Boyer doing well. With Lerew maybe being decent and Wickman on the way back, it’s looking like we’re beginning to have some real depth in the organization.

    And as long as I’m talking about minor-leaguers….

    Devine has been doing quite well closing at the AA level, and Jamie Richmond has posted better-than-solid stats in A-ball. If he continues to develope, he’s got the potential to turn into a decent starting option in a few years.

    Down in A-ball, Tommy Hanson been just filthy. He’s got 45Ks in 36IP with just 10 BB. 8-o He’s a bit old for the league (he’ll be 21 in July), but those are very impressive numbers regardless. IMO, they should move him up to AA sooner rather than later. These numbers mirror what he did last year in short-season ball, so there’s no reason to not get him into a more age-appropriate leage in the near future.

    And speaking of A-ball, Jeff Lyman has also posted strong strikeout numbers for Rome, but he’s been far more hittable than Hanson.

    On the hitting side, Kala Kaaihue has been rather hot lately, registering 3HRs and 6 2B in the hitter’s paradise that is Myrtle Beach, pushing his OPS to .850 on the season. He’s shown a good ability to take walks (15 in 105 ABs), although the 35Ks is disheartening.

  28. Who cares what they say about the Braves. Don’t worry, we will pull out the next three

  29. A few observations from last night:

    (1) Smoltz was REALLY pissed about the collision. Don’t know if the cameras picked it up, but he was cussing a blue streak at Kearns. ESPN described it as “frustration,” but he was obviously mad that Kearns ran into him as hard as he did.

    (2) Bergmann’s breaking ball was ridiculous all night. It was just disappearing. Colome’s too. That’s what caused Andruw to set up a full stride closer to the mound in the batter’s box. He was looking to catch the breaking ball before it broke, and Colome got 92-93 mph fastballs by him.

    (3) Is McCann hurt? He looked awkward at the plate, even on the homerun.

  30. wryn,
    can’t argue with that, not a lot to like about AU baseball for sometime, but i still have to root for em as sad as they are.

  31. The best thing about RFK is the subway stop RIGHT by the park.

    Knowledge that there was a metro that runs to RFK and keeps going until about midnight would have come in really handy back in the late 80s and early 90s when I was making an annual pilgramage to RFK for Grateful Dead concerts and actually tried to drive my car to the stadium and park in their teeny tiny lots.

    I would usually spend about six hours trying to park and then end up leaving my car in one of the adjacent neighborhoods and then having to walk to and from the stadium. RFK is down there with old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and the Orange Bowl in Miami in terms of the neighborhoods surrounding the park.

  32. i’m with smitty, screw the “other” media, it’s just a story to them. the braves will bounce back, they always seem to play like garbage against less talented teams…not that it makes it any easrier to watch.
    has anyone heard anything about pena’s return from the DL?

  33. Jeff K, other than McCann’s finger being bruised really badly, I don’t think there’s anything else wrong with him or at least that we know of there’s not.

  34. I believe they had something on the Braves notes on the site that Pena has been taking batting practice and is now fine. He should be eligible to come back on Friday along with Redman, God forbid.

  35. Redman pitched well in Richmond; clearly we have not seen the end of him….

    The Braves will be fine when our bats return. In particular, it would be great to see KJ get hot again…

  36. I don’t really view Wickman as a “dependable” closer. He’s been pretty solid during his short tenure here, but he has gone through periods of extreme crappiness. I expect he’ll start blowing saves in droves at some point.

  37. Critter Boy, he’s had exactly two bad games, and that was in one period. He didn’t blow a single save in the second half last season. I think a Mets blog would love to have your negativity.

  38. Let me add to Rob Cope’s point–look at what he did since coming to Atlanta–his numbers were very impressive. Sure, he will blow a game at times, but so will any closer.

    During 2007 he may have been a bit overused, but more importantly his bad games were almost certainly injury related. Basically, Wickman has done nothing but deliver…

  39. we havent loss 3 in a row all year. we definitely dont need to drop a series against these guys. Zimm and Kearns are their only decent hitters. I expect Huddy to go at least 7 strong tonight and a braves win

  40. Jeff K,

    Of course McCann is probably hurt. Finger’s still bugging him, I bet. But then that begs the question: why not let Saltalamacchia start?

  41. Wickman’s health is not particularly relevant, since Soriano and Gonzalez have been lights-out in his place and Kali has done a great job picking up their innings. The bullpen has been great at holding leads and keeping games close. We haven’t lost a game yet that we would have won with a healthy Wickman at his best.

  42. Sam,

    McCann’s hand is hurt but nothing he can’t play thru. He hit a homer last night to score the only run and has a four game hitting streak and people are still saying put in Salty. This stuff is funny.

  43. Jake,

    I think what people are scared about is a player playing hurt and getting himself severely injured, like Chipper did the other day.

  44. What value does Pete Orr freaking provide to this team? Announcers always talk about his “speed” but we never get to see it. Why didnt he steal 2nd last night if he has so much speed?

    Orr is nice guy, I guess but surely there are better options. I say we sign Todd Walker (who was designated by the As) when he is available. He can play 3rd, 2nd or 1st and he can actually hit above .250.

  45. Mac,

    Yep. We can’t expect Orr to be dumped, realistically. “Hustle” wins out over all else.

  46. This just in, the Mets have agreed to a trade for Jason Bergman. The Mets had to give up Endy Chavez in return, but in the end it was an easy deal to make, considering Bergman’s mastery of the Braves lineup.

  47. I thought we had Wilson for the” Veteran who could be clutch, but we don’t want to play him in case he’s not” role once held by the likes of Lockhart and Jordan. Orr and Woodward are only valuable in the sence that they know where some good bars are when the team goes on the road.
    Also Willie has started his slide back to reality, so maybe he’ll slide into the Orr/Woodward role and Diaz will get back into lineup.

  48. I voted “No” without even knowing what it was about. I just read “Pete Orr” and my mind automatically thought “Hell noooo”.

    Awkward..

  49. I’ll admit, I voted “yes” just because he’s the underdog on this blog.

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