Braves 9, Cubs 5

ESPN – Cubs vs. Braves Box Score, June 9 2007 – MLB

Okay, so the Braves, as usual, fell behind 4-0 in the first inning. But here’s the thing — they actually came back! Andruw hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning, and then the team scored four in the second to take the lead. Weird.

Hudson really wasn’t pitching well, and was hurt on a comebacker before he could record an out in the third. Enter Peter Moylan, who saved the day. (The season? It’s still early, but I was getting pretty desperate.) Moylan got out a jam, pitched three innings, didn’t allow a hit, and struck out three. The Braves got single scoreless innings from Boyer, Yates, Soriano, and Wickman, each of whom allowed a baserunner.

Most of the offense came from the 3-4 spots. Andruw went 2-5 and drove in three runs. Renteria outdid him, 3-5, two runs scored and four RBI, including a homer in the fourth and a double in the sixth for insurance runs. Willie Harris had two hits and a walk and generally ran around a lot to make the Cubs miserable. Even Thorman had a hit, as unlikely as that sounds.

36 thoughts on “Braves 9, Cubs 5”

  1. I remember a couple years ago after a long losing streak, the Braves came back from 6 runs down to beat the Orioles. Maybe, just maybe this could be the kick in the ass we needed.

  2. If we gave out an MVP award for the season this far, I’d not only want Renteria to get it, but also for Andy Marte to present it to him.

  3. It’s nice to see the silly comments about Renteria’s D have all but disappeared.

    Nice win today I guess. It’s hard to feel good about any game where your starter doesn’t make it out of the third inning.

  4. Today’s game shows what a productive Andruw can do for the team…I hope he can finally carry the team when Chipper is still out.

  5. Andruw’s HR seemed so effortless.. while his strikeouts look like he’s trying to hit the ball 1,000 feet. coincidence? I think not.

  6. Seems like the BRaves will not be able to avoid facing Santana in the last game of the series…the team better win the first two games!!!

  7. Santana hasn’t been anything special this season. He has six losses already this year. The most losses Santana has had in a single season before this year? Seven.

  8. Comments about Renteria’s D aren’t silly, and my personal opinion of him as a defensive SS hasn’t changed — he’s not good. But his hitting is overwhelming the negative which his defense remains, so there’s no reason to harp on it — he’s helping the team.

  9. Renteria definatley first half MVP, Marte, haha, should present him the trophy. But look what they have done to at least hold the team together.
    Willie Harris-All but thrown away, has come in and stolen 7 bases! not to mention hover around 400 hitting the ball, and adding a little excitement to the team! Much like Charles Thomas did years ago, maybe we can pull off another hudson trade and send willie harris for dan haren, haha
    Yunel Escobar – Has done a lights out job since coming up. Really has filled in very well.

  10. njbravesfan–I like your point and Robert’s as well. I was utterly amazed at the way many people behaved when JS pulled off the Renteria trade. I especially liked the statistical determinists who claimed that Renteria pretty much had to go into a steep decline. In other words, Renteria was doomed to suck and the Braves were too stupid to have a clue. I might add that Andy Marte wasn’t going to play 3B for the Braves in any case. Yet, trading Marte to get Renteria was an just short of a crime.

    Now, the season is still young and Renty seemed to tire at the end of last year, but so far he has been a force. Braves probably need to rest him a bit more than last year.

    Soriano and Wickman have been pretty impressive as well….

  11. The Renteria-Marte trade looks stupid on its face, since we had good reason to believe Betemit could’ve done alright at SS for cheap and we had other needs to fill that Marte could’ve helped with.

    But the trade makes sense if we also thought Marte and Betemit were overhyped, which certainly seems to be the case. I’ll admit I didn’t see the Betemit half of that coming.

  12. One problem with Betemit was his minor league performance. His trajectory through the system was something of a roller coaster ride. This may have been because the Braves rushed him; in any case my sense was that they stopped believeing in him–just as the Dodgers ceased believing in Aybar….

  13. Wow, Dan, I can’t believe you are judging Santana based on his win-lost record. Santana has always been a slow starter and he is starting to heat up.

  14. “Santana has always been a slow starter and he is starting to heat up.”

    By losing to the Nationals just yesterday?

  15. #13

    I don’t remember what I thought of the trade at the time — I probably thought we were giving up too much. But anyone who says they could see that Marte would be this bad so far, or that Renteria would have a career year at age 31 with a tricky back — well, I certainly didn’t see it coming. I’m glad it’s happened — the Renteria part of the equation, anyway.

    I agree that he’ll probably need more rest as the season progresses, and Escobar looks (one would hope) like the guy for the job.

    Lastly, I don’t agree with any point that expresses relief that a topic is being avoided — to me, part of being a fan is being willing to take a cold, hard look at things when the situation warrants.

  16. Robert, Edgar’s defense has somehow improved significantly in front of our naked eyes in the past month. THere are some groundballs which I swear he would have never been able to reach in last year and the first month of this season. His reaction has been quick and his throws have been strong. Just like the critics on Adam in first half of last season, the criticism on Edgar’s defense was warranted. You no longer see those comments because Edgar has indeed been doing a lot better defensively. I am definitely not a professional scout, but I think I can distinguish the difference between Blauser and Belliard in terms of their defensive skills, and that’s the level of improvement which I am seeing from Edgar.

    Stephen, it almost seems like the Braves knew Marte would not be good enough to keep. This also applies to Dan Meyer and Capellán. The Braves have always been very good at knowing which prospects to keep. The only one prospect which I think JS really reluctant to trade was Wainwright. This is why I really don’t believe the Braves will trade Salty, but I think they will trade Escobar.

  17. Come on Dan, Smoltzie lost to the Natspos twice this year. Does that mean anything to you? Stats don’t lie, go check Santana’s stats.

  18. Comments about Renteria’s D aren’t silly, and my personal opinion of him as a defensive SS hasn’t changed — he’s not good.

    There were people advocating moving Renteria to left field and starting Woodward at short. Mac was writing stuff like ‘Renteria drove in two runs, but probably cost the team three with this glove’. That’s silly. Most of it’s gone away which is good. I’d like to think it’s because we’ve gotten smarter as fans, but it’s probably because the team has discovered so many other problems people have lost focus on Renteria being a little below average on D.

  19. Santana hasn’t been himself this year, but he’s still the best pitcher in baseball, and he’s one of those guys that I never ever want to face. If we beat the snot out of him, I’ll be happy; but I’d be happier if the Twins were still pitching Sir Sidney Ponson every fifth day.

    Oh, and since the game thread was pretty barren last night, I was the first person to point out the amazing job done by St. Peter Moylan, whose last name is Irish for “better than Villarreal.”

  20. Villarreal had that one good long-relief appearance last season, I think pitching three or four scoreless innings against the dreaded Devil Rays after Smoltz left the game with some minor injury, and Bobby Cox hasn’t gotten over it. He crowned Villareal the long relief man after that and has held his breath. No matter how many times Villarreal continues to suck in long relief, Cox still thinks back to that one day and will not get over it.

    Peter Moylan has been great in (somewhat) long relief this season. I hope he gets the job and Villarreal goes away or becomes the new “towel”.

  21. My goodness Dan, you just want to see stats that favor your argument. How about the .228 BBA? How about the 1.1 WHIP? How about BB/K ratio of 23/96 in 86 innings? All these despite he has not been “special”. Before you know it, Santana will win another Cy Young.

  22. I’m watching Baseball Tonight for the first time all year right now. It’s amazing to me how short the memory of ESPN is. They just said “The Braves have been playing well.” I guess they’ve watched one game? Confusion.

    And they opened the show with ‘The Yankees. How good are they with this string of victories.” Give me a fucking break. They wrote the Yankees off 100 times so far this year. Fucking media.

  23. I’ve also seen some defensive plays from Edgar which surprised me — maybe he’s loosened up from some combination of treatment and warmer weather. Not enough to change my overall opinion, but I’ll drop it for now.

  24. Regarding Heyward John Sickels writes:

    “Best Value Pick: Jason Heyward at 14. I think he’s an outstanding prospect and right up there with Moustakas and Vitters…I like him a bit better overall actually. Getting him at 14 is a real coup for the Braves.”

    KC–I remember JS once saying that most of what scouts do is study the organization’s own players. I think recent events have illustrated this rather well. Let me add that the number of arms that we traded which didn’t develop into stars or even quality pitchers is large. Joey Nation? Rob Bell? Luis Rivera? Bubba Nelson? There are many more. JS certainly seems to know who to keep….

    Otherwise, I am less confident that I can tell about a shortstop’s range by watching TV. I can spot a great one or a really bad one, but anything in between strikes me as problematic…..

  25. Yeah, that Vanden Hurk performance today made me feel pretty bad about our offense. On the flip side, the guy that the Devil Rays threw out there (Sonnanstine) looked really good. Only his second major league start, he went 7, struck out 10 and only gave up 2 runs. He throws from three different arm angles too. They might on to something in a couple years with Price, Kazmir, Shields, and this Sonnanstine guy. Of course, people may have been saying that after Davies rocked the BoSox like a hurricane last year.

    Anyway…

    Go Braves.

  26. Dan, you say –

    Smoltz ERA: 2.83
    Santana ERA: 3.24

    I say –

    Smoltz: National League
    Santana: American League

    No contest. Smoltz is by far my favorite player of all time, but you can’t compare an American League ERA to that of a National League ERA. If anything, you can usually take off an entire run from an American League ERA to get a good comparison (Santana adjusted ERA: 2.24). The guy is good, and we can’t hit lefties. Good Luck!

  27. The league ERA difference is not nearly as great as a run. According to B-R, the league context Santana has pitched in is 4.33; Smoltz’s is 4.07. Given his superior strikeout totals and WHIP, I would still argue that Santana is a superior pitcher, and he is off to a better start than normal. Santana’s career ERA in April is 4.23; in May, it is 4.05. His career first-half ERA is 3.70, versus 2.55 in the second half. I’m a little worried about his homer totals but they’re not that inflated.

  28. Mac,
    I realize the league ERA difference is not a run, but it sure helped to enhance my argument (j/k). Actually, I was basing that on the ERA differential of pitchers who have switched leagues. Their ERA splits usually show around a run better in the National League.

  29. Or maybe I’m basing that on way too few players. Either way, you still can’t do a straight comparison.

  30. I’d like to add that the only groundballs Edgar can’t field are ones that are hit directly at him. He has the habit of backhanding EVERYTHING, even sharp hits right at him.

    His bat though, is by far the most consistent on the team.

    Highlight of the night: Parontosaurus charging from the bullpen during the HBP. He was obviously winded.

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