303 thoughts on “Game Thread: July 28, Braves at D-Backs”

  1. if the braves get teixeira and he plays like the 2nd half monster that he is, AND a solid left hand specialist can be acquired, then i think the division is still winnable.

  2. DOB says that he’d be “really, really surprised” if the deal doesn’t get done. He also throws out Gagne and Ran Mahay as other reliever options from Texas beyond C.J. Wilson.

    Link in the website part of this post.

  3. Ha, thanks Jake. I got too used to those late games for a while I guess. Much thanks to you, I would have missed the game today, without your help!

  4. Someone should probably track Brayan Pena’s movements, just to see if he’s getting ready to fly to Arizona, or Atlanta.

    Saltalamacchia will probably start today at catcher anyway.

  5. Considering the revolving door of ineffectiveness at the 5th starter spot, it makes you really appreciate the steadying effort of Buddy Carlyle. If he weren’t around we’d still face the gloomy uncertainty of Davies every 5th day and probably be 7-8 games out.

    In watching Reyes I have yet to be impressed by much of anything he has, but I am by no means saying he won’t become a solid pitcher. He has had good minor league numbers, and has probably been rushed to the majors. But I don’t see great stuff that would make me believe he’ll be an ace. He just looks kinda ordinary I guess, but he deserves more time to flourish. I’d say his repertoire kinda reminds me of Horacio.

  6. Isn’t his velocity a touch better than Horacio’s? And he’s got some sink on his fastball, which, IMO, is better than Horacio’s cutter. I guess I’m in the minority after last night, but I’m still pretty impressed with Jo-Jo.

  7. If David O’Brien is right, the Braves will trade the Rangers Harrison, but not Reyes, because the Braves see Reyes as a future top-of-the-rotation left-hander.

  8. I say don’t do the trade. I think the price (Salty, Andrus, and Harrison or something similar) is too steep unless it fills the holes at both 1B and 5th starter. I reliever is ok but the real cause of the pen’s problems is overwork from starting pitching that doesn’t go deep into games. A different reliever in the pen–even if it provides a better lefty option than Ledezma–won’t alleviate the overwork and therefore won’t do much to boost the pen’s effectiveness.

  9. Frank,

    Again, as I explained a million times: we’re trading a guy we’ll never use, a guy whose real value won’t be known until 2014, and a guy who we don’t even know is that great. And we get two things that we desperately need.

    Do it.

  10. Sam,

    I suspect Frank’s seen your explanation and just disagrees. (Like me.) You don’t have to keep repeating it.

  11. Fine. Let’s just not do it and let that .621 OPS at first carry us into the playoffs. That’ll solve the problem.

  12. Or should we just give up? Yeah, let’s just give up. We’re not going to win with Tex, let’s just fucking give up!

  13. Yes, Sam, the argument is surely that we don’t need help at first base. Have fun arguing against yourself.

  14. Okay, without cussing, I believe that if the Braves don’t trade for Mark Teixeira, that would be tantamount to giving up on the rest of the season, even when something is in reach.

  15. I’m sure the Braves and Schuerholz really want to “give up” down 4 frickin’ games with two months left to play.

    An executive from another team that had been trying to get Teixeira said his organization had become convinced Teixeira-to-the-Braves was done. In fact, this executive said it was his team’s belief that the commissioner’s office already had the trade in hand and was deciding whether to approve the deal because the Rangers were going to pay a substantial piece of Teixeira’s remaining contract this year. A spokesman for the commissioner’s office denied this was true.

    Another sign that the Teixeira trade is near and that Texas will get Saltalamacchia is that the Rangers are talking to teams about their starting catcher, Gerald Laird. The Cubs have interest in Laird and Rangers relievers, and might include center field prospect Felix Pie to get that.


  16. I think you have to make at least 2 significant moves involving proven major leaguers to try and improve this team. As it stands now, this team is basically a .500 club, and that is not good enough to get into the playoffs. I think the importance of getting a 1B like Texeria is critical because of the every day nature of their impact, followed then by a reliever (hopefully LHP) and then finally a starter in that order. It is a strong statement to say you are giving up on the team if they don’t make a move. However, I don’t see this team as good enough as constructed to make the playoffs, so maybe it is accurate to say.

    WRT trading prospects…Salty and Andrus are players that already play positions at which teh Braves have depth, so while they nay develop into good players, we already have good young players in their place. I say make the deal, and not a moment too soon.

  17. All right, then how is this for a less emotionally-charged idea: if the Braves don’t trade for Teixeira, what other first baseman could they possibly get?

  18. Well, I’d do the 3-for-2, as long as it’s Wilson and not Mahay.

    But the larger point is that you seem to wildly underrate the value of prospects. As I’ve said before, the issue isn’t whether Andrus will in fact become a star for us—it’s that he’s highly regarded throughout baseball, and his value isn’t best utilized by including him with two other valuable pieces to get just one good player.

  19. Lineup:

    Escobar 2B
    Renteria SS
    Chipper 3B
    Andruw CF
    Francoeur RF
    Diaz LF
    McCann C
    Franco 1B
    Smoltz P

  20. “Franco 1B”

    If the Braves don’t get another first baseman, this is going to drive everyone here nuts before the end of the season.

  21. “let’s just fucking give up!”

    Not necessary. Just agree to disagree but leave out the bad language.

  22. All right, fine. You guys have convinced me. No Teixeira because of the high value of our prospects. I can’t fight for the sake of fighting anymore.

  23. #33

    My second choice would be Hatteberg, who has been a fine hitter since joining the NL. He’d be 70% of Teixeira at less than half the price, too. Not that I’m against a potential Teixeira trade.

  24. We don’t have to convince you, Sam. It would just be nice for you to not have to make the same speech every single time someone posts a contrary opinion. It’s not that we don’t know where you stand—it’s that we are able to form opinions for ourselves and would like to give some input.

  25. Well, I’m done. You’re right. Andrus and Saltalamacchia are too valuable to give up for one player.

  26. I’d do the prospects for Tex plus a starter but not Tex plus a reliever. I could be wrong–that’s part of what makes baseball fun–but I’m not going to start F-bombing people who disagree with me.

  27. Frank,

    I regret doing that, okay? Just drop it, please. I beg you. I concede on the argument. You guys clearly win.

  28. I don’t see it as trying to “win”–you might well be right about the trade–but I do see it as being civil to one another.

    Just wondering … if the Cubs are interested in the Rangers catcher I wonder what they’d pony up for Salty. I don’t think they could solve the 1B problem but they are fairly deep in starting pitching.

  29. Sam,

    What you don’t seem to understand is that these aren’t arguments anybody has to win. We’re just giving opinions. Nobody has to get frustrated when everybody doesn’t agree with theirs. It’s certainly fine with me if you want to be fine with giving up three prospects for Teix.

  30. Francoeur, who entered Friday hitting .356 in his previous 25 games, registered his NL-high 13th outfield assist on Thursday. The 39 outfield assists he’s made since his big-league debut on July 7, 2005, are the most of any Major Leaguer during that span.

    He’s terrible.

  31. Well, I agree with you now. I’m not sure of the eventual value of Andrus, but the best thing to do would be put Saltalamacchia at first base and let him learn on the job.

  32. He is slugging much better this month than he is last month, I’ll give him that, but he’s… just not there yet.

  33. Stu @ 34

    You said that very well. I am not sure why others don’t get this. It’s not about whether we should improve the roster. It’s about whether we pay too much so that we cannot improve the roster enough.

  34. Parish,

    You’re right. Clearly, the price is too high for Tex and we need to go elsewhere. I hope the Red Sox up the ante enough so that we don’t have to worry about it.

  35. Sam doesn’t handle being contradicted very well, does he?

    There’s really no need to be a turd about it, dude. Again, we can agree to disagree. We all agree that we want the Braves to win now and forever.

  36. Salty for Pie is mildly intriguing. I confess that I don’t know much about Pie other than that he’s way hyped.


    If you’re truly being serious, I apologize. When you begin sentences that make a point 180 degrees from the point you defended 10 minutes earlier with “Clearly”, it smacks of sarcasm.

  37. Stu,

    I was going for a little sarcasm, but the fact that I’m pretty upset here tells me you’re right. I almost cried because I know I’m wrong. I know I’m not right all the time, but I didn’t want to be wrong on this so badly.

  38. Let’s go easy on calling others turds. Maybe I should start posting under the name Miss Manners. :-)

  39. I’m not calling anyone a turd, I’m just saying I’m wrong. I’m just going to drop it. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

  40. From David O’Brien’s blog:

    Not to worry, folks. It’s going to get done. Just a matter of who the Braves give up both Matt Harrison and Elvis or Lillibridge in additioin to Salty.

    OK, let’s see if it happens today. Might not happen until Tuesday afternoon. But I’d be really, really surprised if it doesn’t happen, period.

    Has Schuerholz ever made a weekend trade? I can’t recall one.

  41. Chill out yall. Regardless of opinions, it’s unlikely to make any difference as to what’s actually going to happen. No use getting so worked up about it.

  42. I’m completely chill. I do wish I had a computer and didn’t have to type everything on a BlackBerry, though. Such is life at the beach, I suppose.

  43. seems like it’s going to happen. i’m happy about that. without causing a stir, i agree with the line of thinking that the prospects are either position blocked at the big league level or are one part of a collection of talent at that position.

    it’s ok with me to give up that kind of potential for an star performer in his prime. it sucks that he’s a boras client, but with andruw most likely leaving… there might be some money opening up to resign (even if not likely). nobody knows.

    next in line: who to get to help the bullpen and/or the rotation if someone isn’t included from texas?

    i say marte from pitt.

  44. by the way… where do you get those updated quotes from DOB? i figured they were added to an article or something, but i didn’t see them.

  45. has anyone noticed a 23-year old in Milwaukee has a SLG approaching 700? I’m sure he’s gonna slow down, either this year or next, but Ryan Braun is scary good.

  46. adam… he’s incredible. but his spits aren’t very good. he’s tearing up left handed pitching, but is pretty mediocre against righties. regardless, he’s carrying the brewers right now.

  47. disgruntled,

    The multistate portion unexpectedly destroyed me. The essays were unexpectedly manageable.


    I guess it’s hard for me to know for sure what the roster will be like in 4 years and whether Andrus will actually be blocked when it’s relevant.


    Check Braun’s splits and you won’t be QUITE as impressed.


    You got it!

  48. braves14 — thanks. i finally found his blog instead of the articles.

    stu — i completely understand your line of thinking. as has been stated… we all want the braves to win, just different takes on how to do it. i’ll be on the beach (myrtle) in a few weeks as well. love the summer weather here in wisconsin, but can’t wait to get to the beach…

  49. Hey, does anyone know how to get the game on MLB TV? I hate these Saturday Fox games…

  50. Ugh. I don’t know if I want to watch Smoltz suffering. It’s hard enough on the radio.

  51. Well, if we lose Smoltz, at least Hampton is coming back next year….oh God….

  52. oh just a whole lot of stretching and walking real slow around the mound. He’s raising his arms above his head after every pitch

  53. What are you guys seeing that I’m not? He gave up two runs. That doesn’t make him hurt.

  54. Dan, the radio says he’s laboring. Its not the runs, its his reactions between pitches.

  55. here’s what he’s doing….

    after every pitch he’s swinging his arm around trying to loosen up that shoulder then he raises both arms straight up to stretch it out.

    It wouldnt bother me if it wasnt after every pitch

  56. yeah, forgot to mention that all of Smoltz’s pitches are right over the middle. McCann is setting up away and Smoltz is throwing meatballs

  57. I just tuned in… I don’t have the game on t.v. is there any indication that Smoltz is gonna come back in to start the 4th, or is he done?

  58. Diaz doesn’t drive in enough runs, guys, so don’t get too excited.

    And I’d put the Teix deal on hold, pending the post-game Smoltz report.

  59. He hasn’t had many chances, Stu. He deserves a shot at playing every day. Having two LF that are hitting over .315 is a nice problem to have.

  60. Rob, I’m being incredibly sarcastic. You won’t find a bigger Diaz advocate than me.

  61. Sorry. Sarcasm doesn’t read well on the internet. That seems to be the theme of the day.

  62. dan… we’d all hope not. it’d be sweet to see andruw move down to 6th or 7th

  63. “I just tuned in… I don’t have the game on t.v. is there any indication that Smoltz is gonna come back in to start the 4th, or is he done?”

    He’s coming up to bat. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think he is really hurt.

  64. 115 — personally, i think the braves’d regret the back end of whatever deal it would take to get andruw (probably at least 5 years)

  65. 121 — i’d rather have smoltz pitching left handed out of the pen on his off days then what we’ve got…

  66. say we get Tex. Who would have a problem letting Andruw go, starting Diaz in left and Willie in center, and using the extra money to extend Tex?

  67. That’s my thought too, Murphy, but I think nostalgia would play a part in that decision. I’d like to see them deal for two quality starters with that extra money. Hampton could be the most expensive 5th starter in baseball history.

  68. 125 — at the end of the year? good plan, except i don’t think willie is a long term answer anywhere (and he’s currently on my personal bad list for his string of caught stealings… heh heh)

  69. I’m all for Diaz playing every day, and I’m also all for letting Andruw walk, but I don’t think Willie’s the answer.

  70. 125 – Me for starters. Willie’s having a pretty solid year, don’t get me wrong, but no way can he fill the void Andruw will leave when and if he goes somewhere else.

  71. end of the year, yeah. I agree that Willie might not be a long-term solution, but I can’t help it, I really like the guy. Call me Bobby Cox…

  72. last week there was talk of dealing for greinke. i bet the braves won’t want to do that now with the number of prospects that are being given up for tex… but i’d like to see him in a braves uniform

  73. if the gun is reading correctly, I go back on what I said about Smoltz. He’s fine and throwing 96 mph

  74. Re Harris–I don’t think he’s an everyday player. I do think he’s a valuable platoon/utility guy.

    Re 2008 rotation–I think Carlyle is likely to be a better contributor than Hampton.

  75. I’d have a big problem starting Willie in CF. I’d put Brandon Jones out there before I did that.

    Either way, I do agree that Andruw shouldn’t be retained barring a substantial and permanent budget increase.

  76. Re retaining Andruw–I think it mostly depends on his asking price. He’ll probably bounce back next year after the contract pressure is off, but I think it’d be too risky to give him a 5 year deal for 80m or more.

  77. Back to 2008 rotation–with Smoltz’s shoulder problem there’s no guarantee he’ll come back. He’s gutting it out this year, but lingering shoulder problems might lead to surgery and/or retirement.

  78. Yeah, I’m assuming it would take significantly more than that, csg, which is why I’d pass. If we DO get Teix, it’s an even easier decision.

  79. How about offering Andruw Jones 1YR/15M for 2008? Maybe he would want to come back, try and have a big year again like he wanted this season and cash in in the 2008-2009 offseason.

  80. If you get FSN turn it on, they are showing the top 30 most devastating hits. These are brutal

  81. i’d be afraid to sign him long term… but a full year with that lineup (hopefully including tex) … maybe the last year from smoltz… i’d say it’d be good. wonder if boras would go for it

  82. I think that even with Andruw’s poor year, Boras can swing a great longterm package – especially from a team needing a center fielder, like the Yankees – or a 1-year deal worth well more than 11M.

  83. if we offer arb. I think he takes it, so I would pass all together. Jones will get someone to offer him 18-20 per and thats just insane

  84. I would refuse to give Andruw Jones more money or even the same amount of money he’s making this year (13.5 million) after this horrible year.

  85. Andruw is just awful right now. He hasn’t hit a ball hard in I don’t know how long.

  86. if we end up missing out on the playoffs by a game or two, who do you blame.


  87. Yeah, it’s going to be weird seeing Tex bat behind Andruw. You know it’s going to happen.

  88. Stu,

    No, I didn’t, but I wouldn’t want to pay him a load of cash after what I witnessed this season. He clearly doesn’t deserve it.

  89. I blame JS and Cox, although JS can salvage himself if he comes through before the trade deadline.

  90. That wasn’t your question. You asked how Boras could get him a long-term deal, and that question has a rather obvious answer.

  91. That’s the rumor now, that the deal for Teixeria is done and waiting for Bud Selig’s approval.

  92. I think this year has been a team effort. The inconsistency from both hitters and pitchers has been… difficult to stomach. Bobby’s insistence on playing Woodward as much as he has, on platooning everyone, this has been frustrating. But it’s still a team effort.

  93. Sam,
    Who signed the relievers? They’re not underachieving, they’re pitching like the journeymen they are. This isn’t Billy Wagner having a bad year…paronto, ledezma, etc. were just bad signings.

  94. No need to take disagreements so seriously, Sam. Everyone has different ideas for who to blame, how to improve the team, etc., but ultimately its not up to us. Its just fun to speculate.

  95. When you post as frequently as you do, Sam, the odds are that you’ll sometimes give different people different reasons to disagree with you.

    And do I think Andruw CAN do it again? Sure. I’m just not willing to put over $100 million on that to find out. And I’m sure other teams are.

  96. I wouldn’t be willing to do that either. I guess we can agree on that. ;)

    It was Francoeur and it was the last game of the Giants series. Maybe power is a problem?

  97. Pac Bell and Arizona are pretty big parks. We’re not relying on the long ball to score runs lately, which is refreshing.

  98. Plus we hit two bombs to the wall in yesterdays game that just fell short and went as GRDs.

  99. Those two shots yesterday were to right center I think. They both must have gone 408 ft.

  100. I think the Braves lack of power is a problem. They’re not ‘relying’ on the long ball, sure. But they’re also not scoring runs. The Braves need more power, in some form, whether it’s home runs or doubles.

    On another note… I know he’s hitting well today, but why would you bat Young off 1st with a 294 OBP? (I know the answer, it just pains me to think about it)

  101. They scored 7 yesterday, that’s nothing to sneeze at. I guess after scoring one run in five games, any offense looks good though. We could surely benefit from some power.

  102. 86 pitches for Smoltz.

    Be nice to get him the win. This has been a gutty performance.

  103. nice.

    ugh… willie on the base paths. if he strings together a number of more CS’s and then winds up with broken legs… then it’s a good thing i haven’t used my name on here. heh heh

  104. He just threw an 84-MPH fastball past “Juan” Franco. (Dick Stockton called him “Juan”.)

  105. 1 of his two CS’s on Sunday night baseball was a bad call, too.

    What did he do to the umps?

  106. Wonder if Smoltz’s first pitch in the bottom of the inning will be below the knees to see if he gets the same call that just went against him.

  107. Chipper finally got a hit, lets go Druw. Show us why your cleanup again, dont ground into a DP

  108. well Francouer would have gotten a hit, but there was only 1 out not 2. Anyone get the feeling the bullpen wont keep us tied here?

  109. Miss Manners says it’s ok to post bad words after an inning killing DP by Frenchy.

  110. The Braves must be on pace to set a record for most double plays hit into in a season by a single team.

  111. “what are the odds of both ‘Druw and Frenchy getting hits in the same inning?”


  112. 12.5%?

    Actually about half that. Andruw’s probability is roughly 0.2 and Frenchy’s is 0.3 (rounding the former down and the latter up). So the prob of both getting a hit is 0.2 x 0.3 or 0.06.

  113. I got the same number, Stu, but surely that doesn’t take something into account.

  114. Once Andruw gets the hit, the probability of Frenchy getting a hit becomes .290 in theory.

  115. lets get Moylan a win, he definitely deserves one. By the way Wickman hasnt pitched since the 24th. I bet we’ll see a rusty Wickman today. With the way most people in the pen have been overused, he hasnt been

  116. But that’s not the question, Rob. The question was framed as an “at the start of the inning” one. Once Druw’s on base, the odds that both will get a hit is just Smurph’s average.

  117. in 35 of Wick’s 43 appearances he hasnt given up a run. 4 of those times he’s given up exactly 3 runs

  118. the one thing that is bothering me is, if there isnt a deal that comes true, then you have sat salty for days, taking his bat out of the lineup although franco is a red hot 6-30 since coming to atlanta or something like that

  119. they say these close ballgames are suppose to even out over the course of the season. Well, it always seems like we lose more than we win

  120. The Braves are terrible in extras. Anybody have the record? I think it’s two wins and a lot of losses.

  121. I feel like they’ve played that many extra inning games in the past week. The Reds game should count as two.

  122. The Braves look so hopeless in extras. It feels like it could go 20 innings and they still wouldn’t score.

  123. well if our deal is waiting on the commissioner he needs to quit following Barry around

  124. If the Mets win the second half of their double header, the Braves are going to be 5.5 games out….and done probably.

  125. What options did he have? Clearly Paronto wouldn’t have been a better solution.

  126. Bad luck is a big factor. These extra innings games are killer and no one’s fault really.

  127. Rob explain to me how Paronto wouldnt have been a better option. Look at their numbers over the last 60 days. Paronto hasnt given up anything and yates has a 7 era

  128. Well I think you play to win and you cant afford to lose while leave your better players on the bench

  129. I have now officially given up. I vote we don’t trade for Teixeira because there is no combonation of players that can fix this monumental mess.

  130. I think I’ve become numb to these losses. For some reason, I still haven’t given up, though. Let’s get Teix, Wilson and Vazquez and take this thing.

  131. Watching today’s made me realize this…I don’t care if he is hitting .340, the Braves need a leftfielder with speed and some pop. Diaz only hit was off a breaking ball. He was overmatched in his other at-bats when they threw fastballs. And a leftfielder with speed would have caught that ball hit earlier in the game.

    Jeff Francouer is still the dumbest hitter on the team…imagine if he has some sort of discipline at the plate.

    Yates looks done. Is Moylan all we have?

    Since Julio has join the team the Braves are 4-6 and look even worse.

    The Braves have 2HRs on the roadtrip. The DB have 6 in the series.

    Better get Tex before it’s too late…

  132. Bowman predicted that we’ll win the Wild Card. Though that won’t come easy either, I think it might be realistic.

    I hope JS is taking notes.

  133. I know you pointed out several things, but it’s ludicrous to say “since Julio joined the team” is one of the reasons we’re losing.

  134. I hear ya, man. Like I said, I’m not exactly sure why this wasn’t the final straw for me.

  135. The only way he could possibly hurt the team is if he had a lot of situations over the past week where he could have helped the team but didn’t. Then again, that could apply to anybody.

  136. I’m not blaming Julio, it just seems the Braves are lacking something since came aboard.

    I mean the Diamondbacks look like they are having tons of fun, the Braves….

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