Cardinals 7, Braves 2 (10 Innings)

ESPN – Cardinals vs. Braves Box Score, July 22 2007 – MLB

I think it’s time to get worried about the bullpen. Leading 2-1 in the eighth, Soriano gave up a two-out solo homer to Pujols, which, well, it’s Pujols, but I’d be less concerned if he hadn’t followed with a warning track flyout to the same part of the park to Encarnacion.

Tyler Yates has clearly relapsed now, and maybe has pitched himself out of a key role. He gave up a hit to the first man, struck out the second, then allowed a home run to give the Cardinals the lead. The next two men also got on base, and the Vulture came in to try to keep the game in reach. He could not. He struck out the first man he faced, but followed that with a homer to make it 7-2.

The hitters have to come in for some criticism too. They outhit the Cardinals 8-4 in the first eight innings, but couldn’t do anything much with runners on base. Chipper doubled in Renteria in the third, and KJ homered in the fourth. Meanwhile, three men were erased on the basepaths (Harris was thrown out twice trying to steal second, though the first time he was clearly safe, and Andruw got picked off at first) and Julio hit into a two-on, none-out double play to kill a potential rally in the fourth.

Jo-Jo Reyes looked good. After the leadoff man got a hit, he didn’t allow another until the sixth. He had some control problems, walking four, but struck out three — he had come into the game with only one strikeout. He gave up two hits in the sixth and was pulled with one out, though Moylan came in and got out of a jam with a double play.

82 thoughts on “Cardinals 7, Braves 2 (10 Innings)”

  1. A pitcher…and some time on the DL for Yates and Soriano just so Cox can’t use them. This recent trend of ruining great work by the starter must end.

  2. Yates is starting to remind me of Ken Ray….

    The loss last night was appalling and I blame our hitters as much as the bullpen.

    I really enjoyed Julio Franco’s first tenure with the Braves; but I think that he is now 1 for 12 since returning and I am beginning to think that the Mets knew what they were doing. I hope that I am wrong….

  3. This is just all those months of getting no innings from the 3-5 spots in the rotation coming back to bite us. It looks like maybe the rotation is fine without adding another starter, but a quality reliever and a power bat are needed to get this team over the hump. Time for JS to earn his pay.

  4. I agree that the bullpen problem is at least, in part, a reflection of the weaknesses which the Braves have had at the back end of the rotation. I would be willing to see Startup, Devine and Ascanio–I hardly think that they would be worse…

    Jo Jo pitched well last night and I think that he has solid future–but I would still like to see us get another quality starter. Easier said than done….

  5. In defense of Yates, the home run pitch was no meatball. Skip whats-his-name wouldn’t hit that pitch out again if you threw it to him 100 times in a row. That was a bad break there. The home run to Pujols I can stomach, but some clown named Skip is another story. It just seems like we always make heroes out of no-name guys. On a side note, if I were the manager, I would sit Soriano down for a week, and promise myself that I wouldn’t use him unless it was an extreme extra innings situation. I think he just needs a little rest. It will never happen, but I think it’s a nice thought.

  6. BRING BACK HORAM! (Just kidding)

    The bullpen is fading but what bothers me more is the utter inconsistency of the offense; 10, 2, 14, 2. Ok, Wainwright is a pretty good pitcher, but Brad Thompson? And, btw, Arroyo got crushed again yesterday. There is no reason they should have scored only two runs. And, once Pujols tied it, you knew the game was lost because the Braves wouldn’t have scored if they played 20. The offense looks good on paper, but not so good on the field. It just seems the Braves have no ability to hit anything but mediocre pitching–if the pitcher is on at all, they seem helpless. And Andruw seems to be slipping back again. And everytime one part seems to improve (here, the starting pitching), another breaks down (the bullpen).

    I’ve never seen a more consistently inconsistent team. But I am convinced if the offense could consistently score some runs early and get ahead, the pitching is at least adequate. It’s very disturbing that the Braves feel their best option is to install a 48 year old hitting .200 in the starting lineup.

  7. Assuming they don’t trade for a first baseman, I wonder if the Braves have considered using Diaz there.

  8. Apparently Josh Byrnes is calling around, actively shopping Livan Hernandez. According to Graziano, the Mets, Braves, and Mariners have expressed interest. To the contrary, Ken Rosenthal wrote last night that the Mets and Braves are not interested.

  9. Livan doesn’t excite me at all. I guess it’s ok if they don’t give up much, but you might as well give Jo-Jo a shot. He looked pretty good and you need to see what you have for next year. I don’t think Livan is going to be the difference between making and not making the playoffs and even if he is, that leaves you with a rotation consisting of a 40 year old with a bad shoulder and a (however the hell old Livan Hernandez is) on his last legs.

  10. I would rather keep Jo Jo out there vs. Livan. Jo Jo has gotten little to no run support in his last 2 starts, which have both been very effective.

    But Jo Jo’s stuff looked very legit to me last night.

  11. I’d take Livan only if we can bring Eric Gregg back to life and have him behind the plate every time Livan pitches.

  12. I honestly think this team needs some roster changes just to shake things up. Where is the fire of this team? I can hardly see any.

    What help this team needs? A starter, a reliever, and a bat, which happens to be Hampton, Gonzo, and Andruw.

    I love Andruw, but he is killing the team. The team has many good hitters, but there are two black holes in the lineup which prevent the team from scoring runs consistently.

  13. I really think Jo Jo with some more time in AAA can really develop into something special. He has avg to above avg velocity for a lefty with good control. He needs to develop a strike out pitch. Seems to have a good fastball and an okay change up right now. I know the scouts say he has 4 good pitches, havent seen them. We just wouldnt be allowed to pitch James and Jo Jo back to back

  14. with that said, I also wouldnt mind for him to stay with us the rest of the way. I think he can be very productive and we should see his era between 4-5 the rest of the way. Not bad for the #5 guy, get him some experience

  15. kc, Be careful, there’s a person in here who may take great exception with criticizing Andruw and his .214 average.

    He looked really bad last night. I only wish arguing with that rat LaRussa could wake him the hell up.

  16. Amen to Ascanio, Startup, and Devine. The arb clock is running and the 40 man roster spots are already used for Ascanio and Devine. We need them up and Yates and Soriano to go on (non-simultaeous) 15 day DL to rest. Despite carrying 7 relief pitchers, we used 5 just last night. Most of that was because 3 of them stunk up the place.

    I really believe Yates and Soriano are shot. I don’t know if it is just a short term, “give them a few days off” problem, or something more.

    In light of the NBA ref thing, do you think we need to check on our second base umpire last night? Willie was safe once and borderline the next time and Rolen was out later when he was called safe stealing. Three close tag plays all going against one team.

    I am concerned that this year we are seeing the effects of losing the “Bobby Cox” effect. That is, he seems to be getting less out of his players, rather than more. McBride showed 2 years ago that he was a left handed set up guy ready to take charge. But Bobby got frustrated with him (I don’t believe McBride was TRYING to walk people) and he was gone. His overuse of particular bull pen pitchers has been atrocious. Thorman hasn’t produced up, he is way off projection systems. I guess Escobar and Harris are his pluses this year.

    The line up stuff with all of the platoons is also a little much. KJ is a fundamentally better offensive player than Escobar and despite Willie Harris’ play on Saturday, Diaz needs more at bats.

  17. whats sad – not only is Woodward and Thorman blocking Pena from coming up, but we signed Franco for the big bat off the bench. He’s now blocked by all three.

    Question…Who would you prefer with the game on the line

    Woodward
    Thorman
    Franco

  18. anyone notice that we keep picking up the Mets trash (no offense to Julio)

    Woodward and Julio

  19. Something needs to be done now and not later. I’m confident JS will do something because we are right there and have a shot.
    This team is a barely over 500 team as constituted. We just went 5-5 against cellar dwelling teams at our home ballpark. I don’t think one pitcher will be enough personally. It’s gonna take something like Tex and a pitcher to overtake the Mets. I just don’t believe that they are gonna play this mediocre the rest of the season.

  20. csg, Hanson is a great prospect. I am expecting big year from him next year.

    Also, if you are impressed with Hanson, check out the stats of Kala Kaaihue.

    Then, Brandon Jones and Jordan Schafer are having a fine year, Andrus is having a strong second half. Campbell is starting to heat up. Adding Cody Johnson and Heyward into the mix, the farm is having a pretty good year in terms of talent development.

  21. Remember, Livan Hernandez has a track record as a clutch pitcher and Jo-Jo Reyes does not. I would take Livan over Jo-Jo in about two seconds flat. We cannot rely on Jo-Jo Reyes. It’s not really fair to him, if nothing else.

    As far as Soriano goes, unless and until we get another competent reliever, I don’t see any choice but to keep sending him out there. I wouldn’t use him if I didn’t have to, but if it was a hold situation in the eighth, I’ll be damned if I wouldn’t send him right back out there. Who would you rather see? Moylan? Vulture? Yates? Ledezma? Moylan is the only one of those pitchers who would even have a prayer in hell. Soriano is so much better than the rest of our bullpen (other than Wickman) that we don’t really have a choice. And I really don’t think it’s an overuse issue. He just had an entire week off. He’s just not locating his pitches and it will require him pitching to fix it. That and McDowell doing his job.

  22. Part of the problem with the pen is that it’s very over worked.

    Last night was Tylers 47th appearance and Soriano’s 46th. Some how the BP needs some rest, I’m not sure how you’d go about it. But thats part of the problem.

  23. Overworking the bullpen has been my concern since the beginning of the season, and the injury to Gonzo does not help at all.

  24. how much does all of those useless innings pitched by soriano come biting cox back in the ass now?

  25. mlb trade rumors…Perrotto confirms a rumor that surfaced a week ago, that Ian Snell could be had for the right bat. Perrotto would know, as he spent time as a Pirates’ beat writer. Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Matt Kemp are two possible targets for the Bucs.

    Can anyone think of a reason why we wouldnt do that deal right now? Other than having to play Thorman/Franco in a platoon. Trade Salty for Snell, put Diaz at 1st and call up Pena and send Woodward packing

  26. My guess as to why JS does not make the Salty/Snell deal now is that he may be more interested in landing Tex for Salty right now. Once Tex gets dealt (To Atlanta, LA, NY, etc.), all the other pieces should start falling…

  27. I’m trying to figure out what’s so special about Snell. He’s a career .500 pitcher, nothing more, nothing less. So I don’t know why everyone has a man crush on this guy.

  28. Most disturbing to me were the reports yesterday that the White Sox turned down a Renteria-for-Garland deal.

    Now, I’m not completely against trading Edgar, but we had better get more than a pitcher like Jon Freaking Garland if we do. I’m hoping this was just another made-up Gammons rumor.

  29. csg,

    Its probably because switch hitting catchers who hit for power are hard to find. JS maybe holding out for the best deal he can find, if it was me though I would keep Salty, call up Pena, and drop Woodward. But, I haven’t ever been a GM, much less a successful one, so it doesn’t really matter what I think.

  30. Who cares what his W/L record is, Rain Delay? He pitches for the Pirates—of course he’s not going to have many wins.

    Have you checked out his peripherals? Or his age/contract?

  31. Rain Delay,

    A win-loss record is a poor indicator on how good a pitcher is. Sometimes, pitchers can be stuck on bad teams.

  32. Rain Delay, its his age, contract, and he has a live arm. Less H than IP and a 4:1 K/BB ratio. Looks like a future ace to me. We can control him for a long time and we are giving up a player who is blocked at his position

  33. After all, Nolan Ryan was stuck pitching on a lot of bad teams. He wasn’t that great a pitcher, but no one will ever come close to 292 losses ever again.

  34. #42 – I hadnt heard that, why in the Hell would we trade Renty for Garland. He’s said that his shoulder is shot and if it doesnt get better he’ll just retire. We had to be getting something else in that deal!!!!

  35. Snell’s 2 most comparable pitchers as of his age-24 season were Roy Halladay and Jason Schmidt.

  36. Someone yesterday said it had been mentioned on ESPN Radio, and then Gammons mentioned it during the broadcast last night.

  37. Chuck James: ~5 2/3 innings per start, 3.58 ERA, 6.5 K/9, 1.7 K/BB

    Livan Hernandez: ~ 6 1/3 innings per start, 4.77 ERA, 4.4 K/9, 1.1 K/BB

    “Yeah, Hernandez is almost like Chuck James if he could pitch [a little more and was significantly worse].”

  38. Again, Livan is just old and given up tons of hits. Plus, I can’t get 1997 out of my mind.

    But yes, I am with the majority here….I like Snell’s stuff a lot and I also like Gorzelanny. I think Gorzelanny as a chance to be even better as opposed to Snell.

    Look, I was just thinking about this over lunch with the way the National League is set up.

    The Braves actually need Tex more than a starting pitcher.

    Last night, Jo Jo had his best start, a solid 1 earned in 5 2/3 and has been rapidly getting better.

    Chuck James, while not durable, has a 1.09 ERA over his last few starts, and Buddy Carlyle has been downright clutch at times. This isn’t a fantastic rotation, but w/o Kyle Davies in there, that’s actually a pretty sold 5 man rotation, with 2 lefties as well.

    But what killed us last night? No offense and an overtaxed bullpen. Bobby is clearly not willing to remove Andruw from his 4th spot in the order, but a proven stud offensive player like Tex would be the type of guy that might finally see Andruw moved down a bit. Plus, with the Jones’, Edgar, McCann, Frenchy, KJ and Tex, that’s a very tough lineup for opposing NL pitchers.

    My point is this…in the current state of the National League, the Braves can absolutely compete if they add another good arm to the bullpen and a big bat. Look, the Padres and Dodgers and Met are all about 2 legit starters deep, the Cubs have maybe 2 (Zambrano and Hill), the Brewers just lost sheets and Hamels is the only unhittable Phillies starter. The point is the Braves can currently compete with this rotation.

    To an earlier point, Bobby’s overuse early of guys like Soriano and yates is absolutely what got us to this point. I have always felt that Bobby’s use of the bullpen is the single biggest achilles heel for him as a Manager.

  39. Garland for Rentaria would be US giving up. Why in God’s name would JS trade our most reliable offensive player?

    Oh, and to an earlier point, I love the idea of Matt Diaz at first. I would rather see both Diaz and Harris and less Woodward and Franco, if we trade Salty.

  40. By way of comparison, Ian Snell:

    6 2/3 innings per start, 3.31 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 2.9 K/BB

    Yes, please.

  41. Here is Garland’s quote from July 9th of this year

    “After giving up a dozen runs Friday against the Twins, Garland complained of what he called a “knot” in his shoulder. “To me, it’s something that’s going to be with me for the rest of my career, so I either learn to pitch with it, learn to deal with it or I’m done,” Garland said.”

    This for Renteria pisses me off more than anything. We trade Renteria and Chipper goes down for any period of time and we have NO offense, none. Actually im getting madder every second that I think about this

  42. Finally, Gorzelanny:

    6 2/3 innings per start, 3.20 ERA, 5.9 K/9, 2.3 K/BB (and a year younger than Snell and James, and 8 years younger than Livan)

    I’d still prefer Snell, but Gorz is solid.

  43. I feel you, csg, but as Sam and I have alluded to, you can probably rest easy knowing it’s a Gammons rumor. Those things are hardly ever accurate.

  44. I’d give up Salty for Tex or Snell…no way for Livan. Now a package of Thorman and Woodward (and hell, throw in Davies) for Livan and a reliever…or Livan and a bag of baseballs…

  45. But I’d prefer we package Salty and Davies for Tex and money…and then move Escobar, a minor leager and a pitcher for Snell and a reliever (preferably Marte, but we’d have to offer a lot.)

    Well, a man can dream…

  46. Heh, there’s no way you get Snell without Salty. If you can even get Snell for Salty. I’m with those who are wondering why, if Littlefield has already expressed an interest in such a trade (and, again, I’m skeptical), we haven’t pulled the trigger.

  47. I agree…Tex or Snell, I think we would all be happy with JS. I don’t believe for a second JS is dumb enough to do that rancid Garland/Edgar deal, or give up anything of actual value for Livan. Not buying it.

  48. Ideally, if we could package in another prospect and maybe a reliver with Salty, and get Pittsburgh to package in a solid middle reliver with Snell…who do they have in middle relief that could help us?

    I haven’t looked at the numbers but I sure have time right now since my company’s entire server has been out since 7:30 am.

  49. Pirate relievers who interest me:

    Damso Marte
    Shawn Chacon
    Matt Capps

    Pirate reliever who doesn’t interest me:

    Dan Kolbb!

  50. Again, Chip Caray’s oft-repeated quote on Gammons: “That guy’s never right.”

    Snell is a borderline bad-ass. Why would the Pirates trade him?

  51. Matt Capps RP 50 0 4 4 9 10 0 0 15 2.24 52.1 36 11 .224

    43 Damaso Marte RP 40 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1.53 29.1 34 12 .173

    32 Shawn Chacon RP 37 4 4 2 1 3 0 0 28 3.48 72.1 60 35 .252

  52. I like Marte (though he is a 2 mil priced reliever) – but he’s left-handed, which we could use. The two of them (Snell and Marte) combined are making about 3 million this year.

  53. Well, as Stu pointed out, even if the Pirates are not willing to trade Snell (and all reports indicate they are), Gorzelanny has comparable numbers.

  54. Seems like Salty, Harrison and maybe one of the SS prospects might get them and perhaps some cash…

    But then, who do we package to get Tex? Escobar and…

  55. Reports also indicated we were minutes from acquiring Jake Peavy this winter, Alex.

    And Gorz looks to be pretty good, but it’s a real tough question for me as to whether I’d want to give up Salty for him. Snell’s an easy call, hence my skepticism on his availability.

  56. Just so we not forget ain case we pull a big deal with the Rangers, here’s a look at their desirable relievers worth packaging in w/ Tex:

    Joaquin Benoit RP 43 0 3 3 1 3 0 0 18 2.92 52.1 53 15 .241

    Eric Gagne RP 31 0 2 0 14 15 0 0 5 1.48 30.1 26 12 .160

    Ron Mahay RP 25 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 9 2.17 37.1 31 20 .214

    Akinori Otsuka RP 34 0 2 1 4 7 0 0 10 2.51 32.1 23 9 .218

    ***C.J. Wilson RP 42 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 14 2.66 44.0 41 22 .195

    Wilson of course being the guy we are already talking about. Plus, he’s a left and also has an excellent K to BB Ratio.

  57. Stu,

    I think if Bobby would seriously look at moving Matt Diaz and his ultra reliable bat to first base, I think it makes the ‘pain’ of dealing Salty a lot easier.

    We simply cannot, under any circumstance, allow Woodward, Thorman and Franco to be hte only guys playing first the rest of this year. Bobby has to consider Diaz there…not sure why he hasn’t already.

  58. I agree that that would lessen the pain, Alex (and if it were up to me, KJ would then become the regular LF, Yunel would be the 2B, and Willie would be the super-sub), but I don’t have much hope of it happening.

  59. I don’t care HOW the Braves do it, all I want is for Thorman and Franco to not start anymore, and Woodward off the team. I am all for playing KJ, Diaz, Harris and Escobar more.

    Look, I love Julio and happy to see him with the Braves again, but let’s face it, he probably won’t hit much better than Woodward. So, keep Julio a bench player, and play Diaz & Harris.

  60. Here’s another interesting lefthanded reliever w/ terrific numbers this year on a non contender:

    37 Scott Downs RP 51 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 11 2.35 38.1 43 21 .216

    The Blue Jays are out of it…

  61. This was always the problem with acquiring Julio. He is simply going to be our starting first baseman for the rest of the year and the only possible way to change that would be to trade for Texeira. And even then I bet Bobby would hilariously find a way to start Julio more than we can possibly imagine that he would in that situation.

    A thought that’s even more hilarious to me is what would have happened if we still had LaRoche. I’m guessing Bobby would have taken the guy who at that point would have been our starting first baseman for a year and a half and thrown him back into a platoon with Julio. Now that would have been an interesting situation.

    On Edgar, I don’t think that we would have traded him for Garland (Gammons seems to be branching out. Most of his BS rumors involve everybody trading all their good players to the Red Sox for complete dreck), but I’m starting to get a very sick feeling in my stomach that we are going to get rid of Edgar in the offseason and give Escobar the starting shortstop job. This would be a very bad move as it would devastate our lineup, but based on this rumor and the thing Mark Bowman wrote a couple days ago saying we’d rather trade Salty than Escobar, I’m starting to wonder. We’re already hurting our lineup by having Escobar platoon with KJ. KJ has come out of his slump yet is only playing in half the games while Escobar doesn’t really do much of anything. I’m afraid we are way overrating Escobar.

  62. Maybe there is a league-wide conspiracy of ego bruised GM’s with jealous streaks towards JS who have concocted a scheme where all GM’s refuse any offer proposed by JS himself, and will only deal with him on terms of their own making.

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