Precap: Braves at Mets, Sept. 11

Instead of an animal picture, I’m going to try something new and PREcap today’s game. Yes, the events will be described before they happen!

The Braves took a lead in the first. Teixeira walked with two out and McCann laced a double to left, scoring him. But after Francoeur was walked, Andruw struck out, and Orlando Hernandez two-hit the Braves over the next six innings.

Buddy Carlyle allowed the Mets to tie it in the bottom of the inning, and only a sliding catch by Andruw in center kept them from scoring two more runs. Carlyle allowed a two-run homer to Reyes with two out in the second, and was chased in the fourth with two on and another run in, trailing 4-1.

In the top of the eighth, the Braves had a chance to get back into it. Renteria walked with one out. Teixeira doubled to put runners second and third. McCann was intentionally walked to load the bases, but Francoeur swung at a pitch a foot off the plate strike three and Andruw grounded out to third. Then Yates gave up two runs to reach the final, 6-1.

If the actual game differs from this in any major details, I will recap it in the morning.

75 thoughts on “Precap: Braves at Mets, Sept. 11”

  1. This is a “pet peeve” repost from the end of the previous thread:

    I don’t disagree with the sentiment on this thread. The run has been great and it is over for many of the reasons mentioned here.

    However, I must object to the misconceived notion that the Braves dominated a substandard Division. This rationalization has often been used by fans of other teams to down play the Atlanta franchise’s accomplishment and it is simply not supported by the facts.

    During the Braves’ run in the Wild Card Era, 1995-2005, the NL East won two thirds of the NL pennants represented by three different teams. No other Division can claim suce success. Everyone knows that we have had our share of wild card winners and two Marlins teams won it all from that position. The collective record of the Division (probably the best way to measure the relative top-to-bottom strength of a division) was consistently in the top half of all the Divsions in baseball and number one in several years. Additonally, only one Division has managed to have every team in it finish .500 or better since the introduction of the unbalanced schedule (Guess who.). In fact, no other Division has come close.

    Do I even need to go into the races in the NL West when the Braves beat out two teams who had just been World Series Champs within the previous two years and a Giants team that had the second best record in baseball (up by 6 games on #3), but missed the playoffs?

    To say that the NL East was weak is simply not true and is not really supported by statistics. For the most part, these were relatively good divisions dominated by an even better Braves team.

  2. I think the Braves are second in runs scored overall this year in the NL. The Phillies are first. That’s what it was in 2006 too, Phillies leading the NL in runs scored and the Braves in second in runs scored. Yet neither the Phillies nor the Braves made the playoffs in 2006 and the same goes for 2007.

    Hmm maybe, just maybe, it’s NOT the offense? Maybe it’s…you know, the pitching? Think pitching could be the big problem right now?

    But by all means, let’s spend 15 million for another year of Andruw Jones.

  3. Parish,

    I would never argue that the first three Western Div. championships were due to poor competition. Clearly, the Braves beat very good teams.

    I concede your point about the Marlins and, later the Mets. But the Braves did benefit from the strike that broke up the Expos. The Expos almost surely have won the division in 1994. If they had stayed together, it seems likely that they would have been more competitive for the division titles. The Marlins obviously had good teams in the two years they won, but in both years they won in the low nineties. And, there were years in which the division was weak, notably 1995 and 1998.

    Overall, you are probably correct and the last couple of years suggests how great the streak really was, regardless of the level of competition. The Braves had the best record in the NL for seven consecutive non-strike years and that’s pretty amazing. I admit I fell into the trap of expecting 95-100 wins and it’s just not that easy.

  4. Marc,

    Thank you for your acknowledgement.

    There were certainly a couple of weak divisions housing the Braves during the run, but the better part of those 14 straight division titles were earned against good competition in strong divisions.

    Also, while the Expos had a strong team, it is difficult to conclude that the Braves could not have come back from a 6-game deficit in the middle of August, considering what the team had done in the 3 prior years.

  5. It may be the only part of that notorious season-1994-worth mentioning. Could the Braves have caught them?
    The Expos were loaded: OF Alou-Grissom-Larry Walker. Pitching: Pedro, Gil Heredia, Ken Hill Butch Henry and Kirk Reuter, with Wetteland, Gabe White and Jeff Shaw in the bullpen.

    But I’ll die before I’ll take them over our Braves, who were only 22 games over .500 when the season ended and had just hit their stride.

    Even now,

    Go Braves!

  6. Nice precap Mac, except your forgot the everpresent yet inexpicable Booby Cox dumb move of the night.

  7. Mac,

    Your precap is the best use of prolepsis since the opening pages of One Hundred Years of Solitude, published forty years ago.

  8. I just thought of a seemingly good idea.

    Lets call it the Booby Cox Drinking Game.

    Some of the rules are

    1 drink everytime he takes off his hat in disgust.

    2 drinks whenever he makes a double switch.

    1 drink whenever he pinch hits with someone like Orr, Thorman, or Brayan Pena, because of a lefy/righty mathcup.

    2 drinks when he waddles out to make a pitching change.

    Everyone guzzles when he gets tossed.

    1 drink everytime you hear him yelling encouragement from the duggout using a nickname like Matty, Druw, Chip, Renty, or any variance of someones name.

  9. I thought you used prolepsis for jock itch back in the old days. Some people thought it was a less powerful Viagra substitute.

  10. The pinch hit rule was meant for those times when Diaz is available and the aforementioned players get to bat.

  11. I think the precap is spot on except for a few points. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but it is hard for me to imagine a Braves loss without a key at bat or play involving one of the following involving either Pete Orr, Chris Woodward, Willie Harris or all three:

    a) A key strikeout with the bases loaded
    b) A botched bunt attempt
    c) A key error by either Orr or Woodward
    d) A critical caught stealing

  12. Maybe it’s…you know, the pitching? Think pitching could be the big problem right now?

    Pitching is certainly part of the problem. The other problem is that our infield defense tends towards lousy, making the pitching look worse than it really is. We pretty much sacrifice defense for offense at every infield position and that eventually catches up with you.

  13. The infield defense is overblown. Chipper, Renteria and KJ aren’t Gold Glovers by any means, but I also wouldn’t classify them as lousy. All three are right in the middle of the pack at their respective positions according to Dewan’s Revised Zone Rating.

  14. The defense cannot be blamed for this pitching. Teixeira is a gold glover, Kelly Johnson has surprised and Chipper Jones has only eight errors. I just don’t buy poor defense as the reason this team’s starting pitching sucks. I think it has more to do with Cormier, Carlyle, Reyes, Redman and Davies.

  15. This team has got to have the worst BA with the bases loaded in the majors. It seems impossible that they don’t.

  16. If we lose this game, I may do something really horrible, like trading my chipper jersey for a wright jersey.

  17. I swear if we could put runs into some sort of bank and hold them for those games when we couldn’t hit if it was a beach ball, we’d have the best record in baseball.

  18. #28 – All the Braves announcers rave at KJ’s “plate discipline.”

    I agree. Just because you make a pitcher throw a lot of pitches, 2-2, 3-2…three strikes is still an out. The end result is really all that matters.

    I don’t know the exact stat, but I’m sure his walk to strikeout ratio would still make him look like Yoda at the plate next to Francoeur.

  19. I like this idea of a “run bank.” Take all those double-digit wins and apply them to all the one run losses. Brilliant!

  20. Johnson has 107 Ks and 73 walks. His OBP is .384. He really “leads off” a fraction of the plate appearances, be it a game or an inning. So any strikeout leading off an inning is just as bad as if he makes some other kind of out. In short, it doesn’t matter all that much.

  21. I’m still surprised it’s that high. I figured it’d be below a hundred, especially since he’s been platooned a good bit. Oh and the first half the season Bobby randomly set him for no reason.

  22. I am a die hard braves fan up here in Jersey and Ill agree with you all that this year they have basically sucked, but why is everyone jumping down Bobby’s throat. Yea, he like any manager makes dumb moves, but its not his fault when Willie Harris goes 0 for 22, or Francouer swings at pitches 2 ft outside, James floating a high fastball or for Andruw thinking he needs to pull and grounding out or in double plays. Give the guy credit, probably one of the best managers ever, you don’t win 14 in a row if you can’t do the job.

  23. Whatever happened to the Mets outfielder they brought up last year who wore that huge cross, high-fived the fans like Cal did after breaking Gehrig’s record, then made that derogatory rap song?

  24. Kyle,

    Well, he has a lot of games where he strikes out twice and occassionally, he strikes out three times and twice he struck out four.

    And I take back my crack a few minutes ago. The Braves will be fine. And if they don’t, well, worse crap has happened.

  25. I agree Sam. I just wish every time he was up to bat Chip Caray didn’t talk about how much of a disciplined hitter he is. Patience doesn’t amount to much if you still strike out 130 times in a season. It just takes you longer to strike out then say, Diaz or Francouer, who usually only take three pitches to strike out.

  26. NJ Braves fan –

    I agree that it’s not Bobby’s fault when Willie goes 3 for 50. It’s Bobby’s fault when he continually plays Willie as he goes 3 for 50 while Matt Diaz, a .380 hitter down the stretch in a playoff hunt, warms the bench.

  27. Kyle
    I agree with you on that, and I do question when Orr comes in to bunt which he can’t do for anything. But Cox has always been loyal to his players, Willie seems to be no different, but Diaz I agree is much better and should have had more at bats

  28. And it is that loyalty that is good for the players, but makes us fans angry because we believe that Cox isn’t doing all that he needs to do to win ballgames.

  29. Exactly.

    I just don’t know what else a player like Diaz can do to play everyday. He has splits of something like .320 and .360. He’s certainly not a nimble outfielder, but come on. I had to watch Ryan Klesko play the outfield a few years back.

  30. Good thing the offense showed up tonight. Or with 7 walks maybe I should say it’s the Mets control that didn’t show up.

    Either way we still have wasted outs on the bases (McCann trying to score), futile strikeouts by AJ, a mediocre outing by a starting pitcher, and Moylan used with a big lead.

    BTW, why is McCann still in the game? He’s hardly had an inning, much less a day, off in 6 weeks.

  31. Soriano with a 8 RUN LEAD?!?!?!?

    Cox is must be playing the Bobby Cox drinking game.

    Not that it really matters …

  32. Soriano with a 8 RUN LEAD?!?!?!?

    Oh, who cares? What would the Braves be saving him for? The postseason? Yeah right.

  33. I’m taking .229 for Andruw’s BA. Just enough to make it look like maybe he’s not god-aweful next year and scare the Braves away from offering him arbitration. He leaves w/o the Braves getting so much as a howdy-do.

  34. If Andruw were to actually say “Howdy-do,” he’d provide me with more entertainment and happiness than he has at the plate this whole season.

  35. A lot of people have wondered what we will do without Andruw. My argument is that we found out this year. Andruw has not resembled the same hitter that the Braves have had over the last several years. I think we have several players in the minor leagues that could have been about as productive as Andruw’s been this year. Heck, I think Prado could do better than Andruw has with the bases loaded.

    I still say an OF of Franceour, Renteria, and Diaz and an IF of Tex, KJ, Esco and Chipper with McCann behind the plate would be as good or better offensively and a defensive improvement over this year. We just need to pick up a FA starting pitcher and we’re set. By the way, I know Renteria won’t start in the OF, but it still makes sense to me. I just don’t believe that there are any CF’s available who will be major impact players. I would rather give Brndon Jones a shot than pay for an overpriced CF at the expense of more pitching.

  36. I think they’re gonna need to bring someone else in to play CF. It’s an incredibly important position. If they rely on a rookie, then it’s no more forgiveable for a team trying to make the playoffs than relying on Mike Hampton to be a healthy, productive, #3 starter.

    The Braves will need someone to play a decent CF and two starters to compete with the Mets next season. Of course, the Mets, Phillies, and Braves will all be frantically trying to upgarde their staffs, along with everyone else in baseball interested in October.

    As for KJ, I think the SO total is overblown. It’s just not that big a deal when he’s getting on base as often as he does. Had KJ not been platooned for so much of the year, he’d have produced 100 runs, 100 walks, and 20 HRs, and all of that in the second-weakest hitting position in baseball. The Braves’ problems stem from somewhere else.

  37. All the more reason we shouldn’t listen to him.

    To be fair, Carlyle’s start wasn’t as bad as Hernandez’s, but any start that doesn’t go six can’t really be called a good start unless you allow zero or one hits or runs.

  38. Greetings from Madrid.

    One small favor, Los Bravos, por favor: Please win so that we can take the season series from the Mets. A tiny thing, I know. But please…

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