Braves 7, Brewers 4

ESPN – Brewers vs. Braves Box Score, September 23 2007 – MLB

Another thing we didn’t see until it was too late: The team not only coming back from a 4-1 deficit, but actually adding runs to a one-run lead late to make it more secure. Wow.

The Braves got a 1-0 lead in the second, as Abe Miller (I prefer this to “Corky”) singled in Andruw, but Renteria struck out and Chipper popped up with the bases loaded to end the inning. Jo-Jo Reyes allowed only two hits through the first five, but unfortunately one of them was a two-run homer in the fourth. In the sixth, he fell apart, and wound up being charged with two runs while getting only one out.

In the seventh, the Braves rallied with four runs. Renteria scored on a wild pitch, Andruw singled in Teixeira, Diaz singled in Francoeur, and Prado singled in Andruw. In the eighth, Teixeira gave the team some breathing room with a two-run double.

Manny Acosta picked up his first career win with an inning of scoreless relief. Dotel, in his second game back, struck out the side in the eighth, and Soriano did the same in the ninth; both allowed one hit.

Chipper was 1-3 with a pair of walks, and stands at .341. Renteria went 1-5 and is down to .331, and unless he has a big game is pretty much out of it. Holliday is out of the lineup again for the Rockies; third-place Ace Chutley was 1-4 and is at .335.

96 thoughts on “Braves 7, Brewers 4”

  1. Mets won. :-/

    Why’d they have to go on that losing skid and make it look like maybe, just maybe, they’d fall apart and the Braves would have a shot at the East?

    Oh well. Good to see Atlanta playing good baseball.

  2. @Brian: For the rest of the season, the Padres will play three games vs. the Giants, against whom they are 12-3 this year, and three against the Brewers, against whom they are 3-0 (and will be out of contention by then). So will you PLEASE, PLEASE give up hope? Finally? As Mac said, it does you no good.

  3. Not sure if anyone else has seen this, but Dennis Dixon of Oregon is playing his way striaght out of a pro career for the Braves. He has been unbelievable.

  4. Mets won and Phillies lost. Just perfect.

    Phillies decided against using their best relief pitchers today, they want to “rest” them, and they blew a 5-3 late-innings lead. With an off-day on Monday and the regular season coming to an end, you really have to question that decision.

  5. I know the sample size is incredibly low, but who would have ever believed that Corky would have a higher OPS than Andruw. I know it’s an illusion, but Miller has actually been a serviceable backup.

    Looking at Smoltz’s season, remember the guys who called him selfish for returning to the starting rotation? They were about as wrong as is possible. I remember Mac talking about the closer role being overrated. A good case in point is that we won our division in 2005 with Kolb and Reitsma as our primary closers. The debate on whether a closer or a quality starter (especially with the lack of quality starters available today) is more important should never be brought up again!

  6. Well.

    Maybe I don’t hope, but watch with passing interest.

    If the Rockies hold on to win today (5-1 at current), the wild card standings look like this:

    San Diego 85-70
    Philly 85-71
    Colorado 84-72
    Atlanta 82-74

    Obviously, the Braves would need to finish 6-0 to have any sort of chance, sweeping the Phillies and Astros on the road.

    San Diego would have to go 3-4 to tie the Braves, and those 7 games would feature a trip to San Francisco for 3 and Milwaukee for 4.

    The Phillies don’t pose a threat in this scenario, as they would have to sweep their final opponent, and can’t beat the Braves in the regular season given a Braves 6-0 finish.

    The Rockies, baseball’s hottest club, winners of 8 in a row, finish their season @ LA Dodgers and home versus the Diamondbacks. They would need to go 4-2 in their final six to tie the Braves in our dream scenario.

    In other words, tomorrow, you’re a Dodgers and a Giants fan. Every one of you. Deal.

  7. All I have to say is that we need to cling to hope because it is all we have. We probably won’t make it in this year, but you have to admire the way this team is fighting right now. I think their biggest distraction this year had to be themselves – they were just trying too hard. When the pressure came off, they started playing great ball.

    I can say however, that I like our chances to make the playoffs more today than a week ago. If we can find a way to sweep Philly, with the Rox playing LA and Arizona and Pads playing Giants and Brewers, we just might slip in. Highly doubt it, but hey, it gives me reason to keep watching every day – that and they are playing good baseball again.

    Heres to HOPE, and some LUCK.

  8. Here’s my goal: better than .500 over the next 6 games. If we can do a 4-2 thing and finish up with 86 wins, I’ll be happy.

  9. Why are some people so upset about other people having hope? This confuses me. If folks still care about the season and the team, more power to them. I mean, it’s a Braves blog. Of all places, this would be where I look to find others who still maintain a semblance of hope during the final week.

  10. Didn’t take long for the Auburn fans to come back. Although I think if my team were a 20 point underdog, one point less than Ole Miss was yesterday, I’d save my pictures.

  11. Man, I really hope Florida beats LSU two weeks from now…

    Ya see what I did there? Ya see it?!

  12. Looking back on the Braves’ season, it’s frustrating that those games we just flat-out gave away will prevent us from making the playoffs. Two or three weeks ago when we just sucked, those losses didn’t seem to matter; we were just bad. But now that we’re playing well, and there’s this crazy glimmer of something called “hope”, it’s frustrating that just a couple games going our way would put is in a legitimate shot at the playoffs. Oh well…

    Go Braves.

  13. I was wondering… are we ever going to see Kelly Johnson again? It seems like the last handful of games I’ve gotten to see Escobar has been our second baseman. Just curious…

  14. That’s what I had in mind disgruntledfan. If we win one of those games, the season is different right now. But, woulda, coulda, shoulda…

  15. -12

    “they were just trying too hard”

    I don’t know. I saw some pretty pathetic baseball over the last couple months.

  16. Forget the sweep by the Mets.

    What about that 3-0 game in ninth with Hudson going for a complete game back in April?

    The two run lead in and going for the sweep in Colorado after a potential big inning for the Braves to put the game away ended when Chipper Jones hit into a triple play?

    The 2-0 lead against Satana and the Twins going into the ninth inning?

    The four run lead in the eighth inning against the Astros with the Braves going for the sweep in early August that blew up when Edgar Renteria got hurt in the game?

  17. Or how about us having the most ridiculous interleague schedule ever at a time when we weren’t playing well.

  18. I knew it at the time and now it comes true. The series that hurts the most (because of the gap between what should have happened and what did happen is the greatest) was the sweep by the Reds at Turner. Boy that hurts right now.

  19. As of September 21, Jones is 2nd in the NL in SLG (.606), 4rd in OBP (.430), and a 1st in NL batting average (.342).


  20. Listen to Mac, kill your hope if you still have any. It’s better for your personal health.

    Sam, don’t ever hope for a sweep. The next thing you know, the team will be swept instead.

  21. For those of you who don’t understand about this “kill hope” thing, we all love the Braves. However, the team seems to play pretty well when we expect nothing out of them.

  22. Also, listen to Chipper…

    “We’re going to go out and play hard this last week,” Jones said. “[But] I’m a realist. Too many teams have to lose a lot of games this last week for us to get back into it. I’ve been around this game a long time. I’ve seen maybe one team collapse. You don’t see three or four.”

    …from AJC…

  23. There is still time to crush all our hopes one more time! Maybe the Padres lose three in a row, the Braves win three in a row and we all believe…..only to witness the Braves get swept by the Astros to end the regular season.

  24. kc,

    I never said I was hoping for a sweep. I said that it would be nice. I know that it’s probably not going to happen.

  25. My guess is that those of us who are silly enough to hold on to hope (including me) will be put out of our misery on Tuesday. I’m too lazy to look it up, but I don’t think the Braves have done too well against Jamie Moyer.

  26. Can’t really complain about this weekend.

    Saw an outstanding Chemical Brothers show Friday night & the UGA-Bama game was, well, you know… more than a little entertaining.

    Those are the kinds of games that make SEC football what it is. You hate to lose ’em—I know, I was in Tuscaloosa in ’94 for a 29-28 setback in the Zeier/Barker era—but winning ’em is as sweet as it gets.

    Helluva series vs. Milwaukee. Although I realize what an extreme longshot it is to make the post-season, I don’t care. I’m glad to see the Braves winning games, playing hard & breaking another club’s collective heart.

    I’d rather see the Phils win the division than the Mets, but I’d rather win that series vs. Philly than lay down. This weekend, I heard Mets fans saying that the Braves were “definitely going to blow the games to Philly just to spite the Mets.”

    My response: “You just worry about the Nats & the Marlins. They seem to be a handful for you guys these days.”

    If we’re gonna go out, let’s go out on a high note. (And bring on the Ole Miss Rebs!)

  27. Considering that the only reason that the Mets are ahead of the Phillies is that the Braves lost five of six to the Mets while beating the Phillies two out of three, that’s… well, typical Mets fan thinking. Have you ever noticed the similarities between the Mets and Auburn? Same color scheme, same paranoia, same raging inferiority complex.

  28. #44 – I couldn’t have said it better.

    I was conflicted this past series because I wanted the Braves to play well but I also hate Cubs fans.

    Oh well. Here’s to Chipper for NL Batting Champ and Gold Glove winner.

  29. Is it too early to make random offseason thoughts? OK, good. Here we go.

    Braves need to move Edgar. Makes the most sense. Lots of teams have good shortstops right now though, which limits the options. Teams with a shortstop vacancy that will need some offense next year and have some starting pitching to spare. Hmmm….

    The Yankees! Just kidding.

    The Giants! Here we go. Omar Vizquel is old and done and his contract is up. Barry is leaving town so their already cruddy offense will need an upgrade. While their starting pitching isn’t dominant (could it ever be with Barry Zito?) they do actually have some depth with Zito, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Noah Lowry all making at least 24 starts so far this year. Kevin Correia has done a very nice job since entering the rotation after they traded Matt Morris (How’s that one working out Pittsburgh?) giving them 5 pretty solid starting pitching options.

    Now, we’d never ever EVER want Zito and couldn’t afford him anyway. Cain is a stud and they’d nevert give him up for 1 or 2 years of edgar anyway. Correia, while he has been good as i mentioned, could not be counted on to provide the 200 innings the braves so badly need. That leaves Lincecum and Lowry. Of the two it would be easier to get Lowry, especially since he is dealing with a “slight” elbow strain, but he is cheap with 3 years to go on his contract and a good #3 when healthy.

    Tell me where I’m right or wrong but it’s the best option this little GM has found so far.

  30. SF would probably be more interested in Lillibridge or Escobar. They need young players in a major way, so chances are they won’t be too interested in a 32-year old shortstop who makes $10 million a year.

  31. I was going to say that Lowry wasn’t that bad, but then I saw that he had 87 strikeouts and 87 walks this year. Yeah, he’s that bad, and he’s going to go HoRam.

  32. I’ve been thinking for a while that the Braves are better than they’ve shown this year – unlike last year when Hudson and the other starter outside of Smoltz were mediocre or worse and their bullpen was a joke. Playing this well to end the season seems to prove that point. If they’d only started playing like this a week earlier, they may have a chance now – again, woulda, shoulda, coulda.

    Hopefully the Braves will finish at least 4-2 and have some momentum for next year. Expecting them to win the playoffs is too much to ask, hoping for it is great, but not likely to happen. Who knows, stranger things have happened – but not much!

  33. send Renty to Det for maybe a young good prospect pitcher…Andruw Miller looks good to me

    Wryn – I guess with Auburn being soooo bad you can only just pull against Bama. Good luck these next four games, FLA – Vandy – Ark – LSU, with only Vandy at home. Should be fun for you guys

  34. True, but you forget that in Giants-land 32 years old IS young. In fact not a single startign position player on their team is younger than 32! I think the franchise has a philosophical aversion to youth so I see no reason why Renteria would not fit in perfectly with their (probably) drug-aided way of operating a ball club.

  35. csg,

    The tigers just signed Carlos Guillen to a 4-year extension. Kinda makes me think they may not be in the market for a shortstop anytime soon.

    No Lowry isn’t THAT great and the K/BB ratio is really bad. However, I think lots of that was injuries and his pitches per at bat is lower than that of Chuck James. Which is why I believe he can go 200 innings for the braves which is REALLY what they need.

  36. Who currently has the better chance of making the playoffs this season: the Atlanta Braves or the Atlanta Falcons?

  37. What the Braves NEED is a quality starting pitcher to go behind Smoltz and Hudson and make James the fourth starter and Hampton the fifth starter.

    What the Braves DON’T need is 200+ crappy innings (Noah Lowry) or to go into spring training in March 2008 thinking of, again, Mike Hampton as their third starter.

  38. I would hope the Braves will get something better than Lowry in trading away Edgar, but I don’t think we can get someone as young and as hyped as Andruw Miller.

    btw, I believe the Tigers are moving Guillen to first base…I guess the guy can’t play shortstop anymore…

  39. While I do believe that there are similarities between Auburn & Mets people, the War Eagles have had more success (esp. in the last 25 years) than the Mets.

    But yeah, there are big orange-and-blue chips on their shoulders.

    IMO, Mets fans have a lot more in common with Red Sox fans (and a common pinstriped enemy). They don’t know how to win & they don’t know how to lose. Also, half of ’em expect to lose in the end.

    BTW, as usual, this new Ken Burns doc, “The War,” is pretty great.

  40. Okay, thanks disgruntledfan.

    If I remember correctly, at one point 4seam claimed to be joining the service. Then he disappeared from the forum.

    I never saw that. The last I remember him was back in early April when he started making some racial posts and then posted something about how much he hated Al Sharpton. Then he just fell off the face of the Earth. And for some reason disgruntledfan reminded me of 4seam every time I read his posts.

  41. I stand corrected, csg. I was not aware of this first base move. Still, I just don’t see renteria going back to the AL.
    Also, I really do think that this “quality starting pitcher” Dan wants and the 200-inning guy I want are really the same. Is there really such a thing as a crappy 200+ inning guy? I mean to pitch that much they must be doing something right. If you look at pitchers who already have or figure to get to 200 innings this year they all look pretty good and when compared to the back end of the braves rotation then they all look really good. The absolute worst one is Livan Hernandez, but it is worth noting that he is on a team heading to the playoffs. We all know the logic – more innings by starters = more rested bullpen = better bullpen = better record in close games = braves make it to playoffs = happiness.

  42. csg (and everyone),
    Auburn will win at least one of @ FLA, @ LSU.

    Count on it.

    And take Auburn if we’re a 20-point dog. That’s a ridiculous line.

  43. Let me add to Dan’s list of Braves’ misadventures: how about losing 6 of 7 to the Reds in August?

  44. Philly and San Diego losing is a bad result for Chipper. The sooner the Braves are eliminated, the sooner they can sit Chipper to the batting title. His 1/3 day today actually HURT his average.

    I think .341 would win it. Unfortunately, Holliday has been hurt for the San Diego games that would likely hurt his average (only .208 career at PETCO). If he stays hurt for the LA series and comes back for the last three at home, he could pass Chipper’s current mark. Fortunately, the Rox are in the thick of the WC race, so there’s no real chance of gamesmanship.

    Utley’s a threat. His last six are all at home, where he’s a much better hitter (.381 vs .297 this year).

    Fortunately, Chipper goes to Minute Maid for the last three of the year, where he’s absolutely wrecked the ball over his career. He plays no more at home, where he’s a worse hitter this year.

    It’s tough to win the batting title racing against two guys in better parks for hits. Fortunately, the Houston series is well-timed. This year, the park effects look even worse than usual for Chipper. Here’s ESPN’s park factors for hits:

    Coors Field: 1.127
    Citizens Bank: 0.998
    Turner Field: 0.898

    Holliday’s getting a huge boost. Utley is ostensibly neutral; Philly mostly just pads HRs. The Ted is the third worst park this year for hits by ESPN’s method.

    Chipper probably has a huge gap in the hypothetical adjusted average race. I know his OPS+ is pretty significantly above the rest of the field.

  45. Mets/Auburn difference: The Mets never went undefeated and not get a shot to play for the championship.

    Actually, the Mets are more like ‘Bama. After years of being bested by their rival, they break the bank trying to spend for the talent to win, hoping money will overcome their organizational flaws.

  46. This whole “don’t have hope” thing is stupid. Isn’t the reason why we watch sport to hope for improbable things to happen? In 2004 my roommate was a Sox fan and was crushed after Game 3 of the ALCS. He said it was all over, but I said crazier things have happened. And you know what, no one thought they could do it and it happened. Did they need help along the way? Sure, and they got it.

    The Braves, while I think highly unlikely to make the postseason, are not in such a dire position. They need to win six games in a row, and they have three teams ahead of them. The Padres have SF and MIL left, and MIL may still be vying for a playoff spot, and SF is playing their last homestand. Both teams will play hard, and the Pads seem to have run out of at least a little gas. We have enough games against PHI to draw even, so it’s within our control. And I think COL, while hot, is still likely to lose two games out of the next 6 or 7, and so while I think it is improbable the Braves go through, I think refusing to hope is a silly backhanded tactic of actually hoping.

    On the brightside, if the Braves did get hot enough and got enough help to make the playoffs, they might be the hottest team in them. And in the last few years, that has proved determinate in winning the World Series.

  47. Comparing the Mets to Bama is unfair to the latter. The Mets never had the great tradition that Alabama established….they have always been and will probably always be wannabees…

  48. Alabama has gone undefeated 3 times in their history, and never got a shot at MNC. I am so tired of hearing Auburn fans complain about that 1 year! Also, kind of tough to go undefeated in a 162 game season, but nice win against New Mexico State.

    A quality 3rd starter is going to be difficult to find, no doubt. Someone mentioned about Carlos Guillen earlier, and how he was the Tigers SS. I have seen him play a couple of times this year, and his defense is simply non-exsistent. He almost certainly should be moved to 2nd.

  49. disgruntled fan is way more articulate than was 4Seam. That guy always spoke in fragments, remember?

    There’s no way we can get Andrew Miller (the consensus top player from the 2006 draft) for Edgar Renteria. Maybe someone like Zach Miner.

    I’m still more intrigued by A.J. Burnett, though after the Gonzalez and Dotel fiascos, I don’t trust our doctors—the ones who would be called on to clear him medically—very much.

  50. RE: send Renty to Det for maybe a young good prospect pitcher…Andruw Miller looks good to me

    Dream on–no way the Tigers deal Miller for Renteria. The Braves have a better chance of getting something useful out of Hampton than they do of prying Miller out of Detroit for Renty.

  51. Dan,

    I was at the Phillies/Nats game. They didn’t blow a 5-3 lead. They were up 2-1 and took out Cole Hamels (who is really good)for some reason. The Nats went up 5-2, Cordero gave up a run in the 9th and Nats won 5-3. IN fact, they brought Alfonseca in in the sixth inning and he has been one of their best relievers; he gave up two runs, including the lead run by hitting a guy with the bases loaded. It is true they had someone named Davis that gave up the two insurance runs, but I don’t think it had anything to do with resting the others.

    I know the Braves are out of it, but I am glad to see them winning games. First, this gives them 15 winning seasons out of the last 16–nothing to sneeze at given the prior history of the Braves. Second, if they can play decently the final week (although I expect the Astros series will be like spring training), they will have something positive to take into the winter after a frustrating season.

    It’s amazing to me that people think teams will lay down so another team can win for “spite.” The fact is, these hatreds exist in the minds of the fans. The Mets and Braves players don’t hate each other; it’s the fans that hate each other. I guarantee the Braves have no interest in hurting the Mets by losing to the Phillies; these guys are too competitive for that.

  52. I’m of the opinion that Renteria won’t have much trade value, at least not as much as Escobar. Escobar is younger and usually, not always intelligently, ‘high ceilings’ generate more interest than those who have reached their ceilings. I know I’m echoing a lot of other folks’ sentiments here.

    As for Miller, the Braves would probably have to deal one or two top prospect as well as a couple (good) guys from the majors to land someone like that. Again, who said Miller was available? With him developing, and both Bonderman and Verlander reaching their primes, I don’t see any good reason for the Tigers to give him up except for an All-Star and others. Young pitching talent is more valuable than anything else in this league.

  53. Let’s not forget AU was “denied” a shot at the championship b/c they played I-AA The Citadel when the other teams actually played real, division I schools.

  54. … but I don’t think it had anything to do with resting the others.

    The original AP recap made it sound that way, they’ve changed it but it still says this:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — His club lost a game on the field and lost ground in the standings Sunday, yet Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel chose to look on the bright side: At least his top relievers got some rest for the stretch run.

    The day off is very important — especially to our relief pitchers,” Manuel said.

    He finally gave his top three ‘pen guys a rest Sunday, but it didn’t quite work out. Closer Brett Myers and setup men Tom Gordon and J.C. Romero all pitched the previous five days, so they were only going to be used if the Phillies led late.

    Instead, Antonio Alfonseca and Geoff Geary came in when Cole Hamels was finished, and the Phillies failed to finish off a sweep.;_ylt=ApBbYABtu8X9X_KK9C8OUDMk0bYF?gid=270923120&prov=ap

  55. Do the Braves have much left in the farm system of real value to deal? People are talking about dealing for Miller, et. all, but who do they have that would pass the laugh test? I’m not being sarcastic, most of you know much more about the Braves farm system than I do. I would think the Tigers would have to be just overwhelmed to trade Miller. Renteria isn’t going to do it and, while Escobar probably has some trade value, he isn’t going to be enough by himself to bring a top SP or prospect.

    Has anyone considered the possibility of trading Frenchy? I don’t know how he is considered by other organizations, but my feeling is that he has great tools but, given the holes in his swing, he will be a good but not great great player I’m not saying I want them to get rid of him, but with the Braves need for pitching, that might be an option.

  56. Dan,

    Did it say why they took Hamels out? From where I was sitting, he looked dominant and hadn’t thrown many pitches. It was warm but hardly midsummer hot. To me, that was the big mistake because the Nats weren’t touching Hamels.

    I hadn’t read that story so you might be correct, but I didn’t think Manuel’s use of pitchers was that much off given the game situation.

  57. Marc,

    This is what I could find:

    Hamels made only his second start since being on the disabled list with a strained pitching elbow, and he was removed after 74 pitches, with Philadelphia ahead 2-1. He gave up a run on two hits and a walk in the first inning. His line the rest of the way? Four innings, zero runs, zero hits, six strikeouts.

    When Hamels was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth, Manuel said the decision was an easy one. No need even to consult the All-Star lefty.

    “We had it set up pretty good,” the manager said.

    Hamels’ take?

    “I definitely had 10 or 15 more pitches in me,” he said, adding that he didn’t feel it was his place to argue about being removed. “I know my body better than anybody else. That’s the whole point of asking.”

  58. Thanks, Dan, that makes some sense (especially since he was on base twice)although it’s hard to believe they couldn’t have gotten another inning out of him but I can understand the need to protect him because he is a hell of a pitcher and has a great future.

  59. actually

    Schafer is VERY highly Rated as are Lilli, B Jones and, look now, Cody Johnson just DESTROYED the ball this year at a notoriously BAD hitters park. Not to mention Heyward is going to be the best of the bunch…Campbell needs to get out of the braves system, but if he started to work hard he would be a perennial all star, and van pope is going to be a wes helms clone (some value there)…

    we have PLENTY of people in the minors, they’re just 2-3 years away…

    meanwhile, our AAA team just won the champ…i mean, im just sayin

  60. Chris,

    But to get a really top prospect or existing decent major league pitcher, they need people that are close to the majors. I doubt anyone would trade a significant talent for guys that are so far away from the majors.

  61. MVP season by David Wright?! Chipper plays 25 games less and have 80 less at-bats than Wright, but Chipper is matching Wright on almost every offensive categories…except…well…stolen bases…

  62. @92 and 93,

    But, the joining of your opinions may make sense. That is, if you trade Rent to the Tigers they obviously want something more to pry Andrew Miller loose. So, a low minors provable high ceiling guy (say, Jordan Schaffer after he shows something in the AFL) might make it work.

    But, the principle is that near major league non- arb starting pitching WILL NOT be dealt for veterans.

    But, I would submit more than any team, the Tigers can afford to move pitching. They should have made a push to get Salty or to get LaRoche. LaRoche probably (I haven’t checked the numbers) out hit Sean Casey DESPITE his awful start. And, Tigers need a replacement for Pudge.

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