Rockies 4, Braves 3

ESPN – Braves vs. Rockies – Box Score – April 08, 2008

Hey, look! It’s another one-run loss! That’s five of them already. This is not normal.

The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first again, Chipper singling in KJ, only to go right back into hibernation mode. Jair Jurrjens gave the lead back on back-to-back two-out hits in the bottom of the inning, and allowed two runs on three hits in the fourth. He allowed one more run in the fifth. He really didn’t pitch too badly, considering the ballpark, and gave the team seven innings.

Kotsay hit a two-out two-run homer in the sixth to cut it to 4-3. However, after Diaz followed with a single, the Braves didn’t get another hit. They were limited to six in all, but walked five times.

I am actually literally sick with the flu, so the Braves aren’t responsible for my nausea. But they’re certainly not helping. Oh, and Jordan Schafer was suspended for fifty games for using HGH, which is against the rules even though it doesn’t actually work.

92 thoughts on “Rockies 4, Braves 3”

  1. Last night’s game:

    The good news: The Bullpen didn’t lose it!

    The bad news: 5th 1 run loss in 5 total losses!

    Yeah, pile that on with the Jordan Schaefer 50 game suspension, and April 8th, 2008 will not go down as a good day in Brave history.

    I liked the comment I saw in last night’s thread where someone asked, “could we just play the Mets 162 times?”

    You have to start to wonder.

    Regarding Robert’s comment at #110 in last night’s thread, no, I got my “anti Andruw rant” out of my system yesterday, but I will simply say that Kotsay is providing more ‘bang for the buck’. A LOT

  2. I will be interested to see if JC has any comments on Schafer. And Mac, you think that Francoeur is dumb?

    I am pretty sure the bats will come around but I am frustrated. I really wanted us to get out of the gate fast and put some distance between us the Phils and the Mets.

  3. Redman pitching for the Rockies. Feels like the Braves’ will have another blowout victory, and be 4-5 with a pythagorean record of probably 7-2. Oh well, I’ll take a win of any sort right now.

    Of course, Mark Redman has pitched 12 complete games in his career (2 of them complete games shutouts), so who knows? It’s at least possible. Something weird with this team and bad pitchers.

    And finally, I hope today is Resop’s last with the Atlanta Braves. Though Chip Caray seemed to suggest yesterday he had inside information that the Braves were leaning towards dumping a position player (Brayan Pena?).

  4. I would assume Prado if it’s going to be a position player. He has options, right? And he becomes replaceable with the addition of Gotay.
    Disappointing loss. At least Kotsay’s has been a pleasant surprise so far.

  5. Today’s a must-win if for no other reason than the Rockies, in their arrogance, decided they didn’t need to use a real pitcher against us. They should be punished for such a decision.

    I’ll also say that Kotsay has actually been working out pretty well for us. I really thought he might be done, but the back appears to be holding up well. I’m starting to think we might actually get typical Kotsay this year, which in my book, means about league-average offense with about league average defense (by “average” of course, I mean for CFs in both cases). If so, the acquisition could turn out to be a good one, especially now that we might want to keep him around for another year. :-D

  6. I’ve been pretty impressed with Kotsay. I defended him quite a bit over the offseason because I’ve always liked him, but watching him everyday now, he’s a fundamentally solid baseball player. He does everything well, and I’m liking him.

  7. #5

    Good post on 2 fronts.

    First, I love that we need to “punish the Rockies” for being so arrogant they could use Mark Redman against us. Good stuff.

    Second, yeah, that was my first thought yesterday about the Schaefer suspension, that Kotsay may in fact really step it up a notch as his chances of being the center fielder in 2009, jumped from about 3% to about 45%.

    Great job, Jordan. Really smart move.

  8. My question goes to Mac…do you still LOATHE Kotsay the way you did when you called me up “ranting” against Wren for the signing, and saying why didn’t we just keep Andruw another year?

    I realize it’s a long Baseball season but by now, even the Andruw defenders have to wake up to the fact that at best, he’s going to have another .220 season and Kotsay, while not an All Star in the making, will certainly hit well better than that?

  9. I have to admit that I have been pleasantly surprised by Kotsay. It was never anything against Kotsay, but I had my doubts that he could even be league average.

    If we lose tonight at lease it won’t be boring. The final score is destined to be 14-13 win or lose.

  10. I’m still waiting to start enjoying the ride. 5 one run losses in 5 defeats. This is starting to get ridiculous.

  11. JJ went seven while only giving up 4 to a good offense. If he consistently pitches like that it will be a huge help to the Braves. The Kotsay gamble has worked so far, knock on wood. But, I wouldn’t go so far as to say they will keep him around, they have a few raises to pay for next year and paying 400k is better than 2 million.

  12. That 400 k was for someone like Anderson, Blanco or Shafer. Just to clarify.

  13. I would guess that Schafer will still get a chance next year. He’ll have an opportunity to get back on track this season. So, if continues to progress then the Braves won’t hold him back. They are not going to run away from him that quickly. It’s not like we have a surplus of A+ prospects to fall back on.

  14. JoshQ

    I hope you’re right about Schaefer.

    And let’s all be real here…the Braves are no different than any other organization; if it’s a player the star calibre of Schaefer, he’s going to be given extra leeway. If this was some scrubby rookie ball, middling prospect that was unlikely to ever make the Atlanta roster, he’d have already been off the team by 8 AM this morning.

  15. Last night, a guy came onto Chop-n-Change claiming to have information that Schafer wasn’t using. I quote:

    “N/A — April 9, 2008 @ 12:17 am

    He was not useing. The League found out he had 1st hand knowledge of another player(s) useing, but he would not go on the record as having knowledge. It’s aginst leage rules not to disclose to the league if you have knowledge of another palyer useing. The suspention is the same. 50 Days. I respect the Kid for not “rolling”. Yea it sucks but he will be back.”

    Then this morning, in response to someone asking where he’d heard that:

    “N/A — April 9, 2008 @ 8:22 am

    telemakhos, I would rather not say, but trust me he did not test positive for HGH or use HGH. What he did was wrong (putting himself in this position) but the rules are the rules. Sounds like I am taking up for him and in a way I am. I can only speculate that he was the perfect target to be investigated. To date the Braves are one of the few teams that have not been named in the Mitchell Report with any significant ties to HGH. They have been looking for someone in the organization they could nail. He has excelled quickly and this likely put the spot light on him as someone to watch. They could not get anything on him for using but they did find enough evidence to associate him with “having knowledge”. It sucks for him because everyone reads into the announcement that “he was suspended for using HGH” If you read the announcement closely you will see that it never says he tested positive. Frank Wren quoted “Jordan has violated the Commissioner’s Performance Enhancing Drug Policy,” This policy covers a lot more than just testing positive. You will never see or hear MLB say he tested positive, because he didn’t. The bad part is everyone assumes he did and this is giving him a bigger black eye than he deserves. Don’t get me wrong he had knowledge that he should have disclosed, I don’t like the penalty but like I said the rules are the rules and he knew the rules going in. Honestly I probably would not have told on a teammate either.”

  16. Oh sure, snow out the game Mark Redman is pitching.

    Maybe the Braves will move Lillibridge to center with this Schafer news?

  17. Obviously, whoever this guy is, he’s telling us exactly what we want to hear, but who knows? It’s the internet. Sometimes people know things. (Most of the time — nearly all of the time — they d0n’t, but there’s always a fun chance that this guy’s telling the truth.)

  18. At least Jeff isn’t dumb enough to say right before his Mississippi debut that getting sent to Mississippi is like getting sent to Hell. Of course Wellman tried to diffuse that later saying that he meant getting sent back to the minors.

    Schafer’s quickly becoming my least favorite Brave.

  19. I agree that its a bit fishy since it’s exactly what we’d want to here, but I’ve never heard any other suspended player defended on those grounds. In fact, I’d never even heard the tattle-tale rule before.

  20. As AAR notes over at Chop-n-Change, the fishiest aspect of the story is the part where MLB wants to nail the Braves because they haven’t yet been linked in a major way to the scandal. What would the motivation for that be?

  21. It’d be a little easier to believe if the spelling wasn’t so atrocious.

    I thought the same thing at first. However, if true, this is probably either a teammate or a close friend of Schafer’s, right? Who says either of those would be good spellers?

  22. A tattle tale rule…Now that is retarded. I am on the side of being very skeptical that there is any truth to that. I agree with Stu, why would they be working so hard to find anyone in the Braves organization to catch red handed. That has the ring of black helicopters to me.

    In other news…apparently Schuerholz did not tell Bobby Cox that Mark Redman sucks. So while we all think he retired, the truth is that he was quietly asked to leave in the offseason or face a long suspension and a black eye to his impeccable career.

  23. Schafer reminds us that as much as we like the players who come up from the farm there is something to be said for trading them when they reach peak value.

    That said, it is a slow start for many Braves prospects: Lillibridge, Kala, Pope, Flowers and Cody Johnson have all gotten off to slow starts. Heyward continues to look great….

    Otherwise, I am not too worried about the Braves tepid start, but it would be nice to see us come away from Colorado with a split….

  24. I for one am not YET worried about the Braves this season. My main concern is the overuse of Moylan, but side-armers are supposed to be rubber armed any way. As for Tex, we are just days into the season, he’ll get it done, just as he has every season before. I’m more than pleased with that Glavine, Smoltz, Hudson and Jurjjens have done, and Kotsay has been a pleasant surprise. Good thing we didnt have a coronation of Schafer this spring, we’d be living the Gregor Blanco or Josh Anderson experience!

  25. Well, the Mitchell Report nailed no current Braves. Perhaps they feel like the Braves were slippery, and wanted to show the world that every team in Major League Baseball has a PED problem. Thus, they try to nail someone on anything. I’m not saying I believe that, but I can see the reasoning.

    I hope this is is true about Schafer. But really, since HGH doesn’t help you, this really doesn’t mean anything besides he misses 50 games. It’s not like the stats he accumulated are tainted, in my opinion.

  26. Indeed, the Schafer news on top of the loss does not make for a good day. Ugh.

    I don’t know if we can trust the veracity of the poster at AAR’s site, but from what I understand, there reallly isn’t a test for HGH so how could he have tested positive? He must have been linked to it somehow which makes the story a little more believable. I agree, however – what would be the motivation to tie the Braves to HGH? Is Selig that cheap of a guy?

    Wait…let me retract that…we already know the answer to that.

  27. First off, there is no testing right now for HGH so there is no possible way to test positive for growth hormone. HGH is not detectable in urine tests and right now it looks to be impossible for the league to start blood testing. I don’t know about all of the so called tattle tale rule but I think it’s ridiculous to be punished for this if there’s no way to prove he took it or even if he just wouldn’t give up names.
    At least he didn’t pull a Larry Bigbie and throw a bunch of names under the bus based on conversations and then go play baseball in Japan…

  28. Well, the Mitchell Report nailed no current Braves. Perhaps they feel like the Braves were slippery, and wanted to show the world that every team in Major League Baseball has a PED problem. Thus, they try to nail someone on anything. I’m not saying I believe that, but I can see the reasoning.

    I honestly don’t see the reasoning. This investigation is conducted by the Commissioner’s Office, right? Wouldn’t they have a much stronger incentive to show that there are cells of PED-free teams/players out there? I don’t get how showing that usage is even more widespread than currently believed/proven would be in the best interests of those conducting this investigation.

  29. I had forgot all about the no test for HGH fact. I wonder then what the connection must be between Schafer and HGH. How could it be proven that he even knew about someone else using HGH? If there is no test, then the league can’t even prove that the person he would have protected was using HGH. There is something missing in this story.

  30. I come from the medical profession, and I spoke to an ER doc about HGH and steroids, and here is what he told me. Basically, HGH does nothing but speed up the body’s healing procress. It repairs tendons and muscle at a faster rate than normal. It has no real effect on performance, other than it helps you recoup faster. Steroids on the other hand, do help you become stronger, and more phyiscally imposing. It doesnt however, help your hand-eye coordination or enhance any of you baseball skills. Basically, if you wanna look buff and have tiny generals, hit the roids…..

  31. I have a fantasy league open if anyone wants to join. 12 team rotisserie. Draft is Friday at 1:30. No requirement of Braves players.

    Yahoo league: 289423
    Password: playball

  32. OK, we’ve endured 5 consecutive one-run losses. Our bullpen is iffy. A top prospect just made a boo-boo, of sorts. We’re a little frustrated.

    Still, it’s not this bad yet:

    Love this pic. Met fan with his Miller Lite bottle sitting on top of the dugout, giving Scott Schoenweis (aka least-popular Met) an earful after he gave up 3 runs in a third of an inning.

  33. Well, I can tell you that the e-mail address of the anonymous CnC poster belongs to a guy who is President of the Environmental Science Alumni Chapter of Murdoch University. In Perth, Australia.


  34. What I really like is that nearly every Mets’ rumor in the offseason, aside from Santana of course, involved the Mets offering Schoenweis for whoever. Their fans hate him, he sucks, Omar Minaya strangely gave him a three year deal when no one else would…and they seem to think other teams will give them something of value for him.

  35. As much as I want to believe that this “inside information” is correct, logic would dictate that if Schafer didn’t use HGH and was suspended for some arbitrary reason, someone would have spoken up to keep his name from being dragged through the mud.

  36. I think it’s important to remember that the Mitchell Report is representative in scope; the report, which investigates one source for PEDs, is in no way comprehensive.

  37. It doesn’t just FEEL like we lose a lot of 1 run games, we actually do.

    From yahoo sports:
    Atlanta, which is a major league-worst 37-63 in one-run games over the past three seasons, has lost by one run in each of its first five defeats this season.

    That’s amazingly bad at the close contests. I recall the Nats last year or year before having a very large number of one run wins in the first half (they had gone something like 20-1 in 1-run games I believe). Anybody either know the exacts or recall it similarly?

  38. I didnt realize posting at MetsBlog would result in small testes…..I’ll have to keep that in mind….

  39. Baseball Prospectus is saying Schafer is confessed, but their blog entry is about 12 hours old so who knows what’s actually going on.

  40. I realize it’s a long Baseball season but by now, even the Andruw defenders have to wake up to the fact that at best, he’s going to have another .220 season and Kotsay, while not an All Star in the making, will certainly hit well better than that?

    I’m hoping this was mis-written or something. After eight games I have to wake up to the “fact” he’s going to hit .220? Even for Alex that’s pretty crazy. Although I watch some of the Dodgers game last night and he looks completely lost up there and the Dodgers have already dropped him to sixth in the order. He’d be lucky to hit .220 at this rate.

    Regarding Robert’s comment at #110 in last night’s thread, no, I got my “anti Andruw rant” out of my system yesterday, but I will simply say that Kotsay is providing more ‘bang for the buck’.

    It seemed like a reasonable assumption. HR followed by a nice running catch. My apologies for overestimating the frequency of your rants.

  41. Steroids on the other hand, do help you become stronger, and more phyiscally imposing. It doesnt however, help your hand-eye coordination or enhance any of you baseball skills.

    Very true. Strength helps though, don’t fool yourself. And the restorative powers of HGH can come in quite handy if used in conjunction with other stuff.

  42. Its like Hank Aaron said, Roids can make you stronger, and hit the ball faster, but it cant make you hit a curveball any better. Same with HGH, it will help your body develop and repair, but it wont make your slider nastier, or your swing better.

  43. Agree. It won’t help you hit the ball solidly any more often, but the times you do connect, better things will happen.

    To me that’s still a significant upgrade.

  44. Free Phil Stockman. If he is the connection to captain Perth Australia and also so we will have a good pitcher. (or, Moylan used to be a pharmaceutical salesman?, ugh)

    I don’t know about last night, but before that Stockman was clicking.

    AS to “is MLB afer the Braves quasi paranoia”, I doubt that MLB really wants to drag this stuff out. However, the individual investigators (in every field) do really get mad if they think (for whatever reason, justified or not) that somebody is “getting off easy” or “getting away with something.”

  45. There is no test for HGH. I think if he says he didn’t knoanything and got poped, he should consult the player’s union.

  46. AAR @ 54,

    My understanding is that MLBPA DOES NOT cover minor leaguers so they are on their own until they make the majors. It’s possible that some of the provisions re drug testing cover the minors but I don’t know. If not, I doubt Schaefer has any rights vis a viz MLB. I suspect that the standard contract for minor league players gives the teams and MLB pretty broad discretion as far as discipline. Unless that contract is patently unfair (and I imagine it has been thoroughly vetted over the years), I don’t see what recourse Schaefer would have. Now, if it turns out that the allegation was untrue, he might be able to sue for defamation. There is no due process issue involved because it doesn’t involve a criminal prosecution by the state. Aside from the legal issues, I seriously doubt that a minor leaguer would want to court trouble by suing baseball. He’s better off just taking the suspension and getting on with his life.

  47. Kyle, I don’t want to here it.

    I live in Northern MN, we just got two feet+ of snow over the weekend and we are looking at another foot or so by the weekend. So yeah…. don’t complain.

  48. On Shafer, they said he apologized to his teammates, so he must have done something to warrant the suspension. They may have found a receipt, a cancelled check, or someone may have ratted on him.

    On HGH, with first hand knowledge due to having a child that has to get a shot of it everyday for life; HG helps you recover quicker, but it also helps you burn calories and muscle tone. HGH speeds up a person’s metabolism and reduces the amount of carbohydrates that are stored in the fat reserves. HGH strengthens joints and ligaments and heals damaged tissue. And for those (like my 4 year old) that don’t grow at a normal rate, HGH changes that. If you want proof, go to this website.

    The point being (other than why didn’t Wickman take HGH), that HGH can give some an advantage. Look at some of the players who were accused of steroid use. You have Giambi, Pudge, Sosa, and several others who went from being Hulk-like or large to being slim and trim. Those are your HGH candidates. HGH may not be as widespread as steroids, but there is most likely a large % of players using.

  49. Well, I’m actually a labor attorney…without any specific knowledge or understanding of the MLBPA.

  50. #47

    Robert…hilarious post in relation to me. I love how you start by saying “that’s crazy even for Alex” (gee, thanks! :-) and then apologize later for saying you overestimated my “anti Andruw rants”.

    I actually, in all seriousness, found that entire post, very entertaining :-)

    re: Schafer/PEDs

    If there is an inkling of truth to the rumor that the commissioner’s office “wanted to nail a Brave” (basically, to show all teams cheat) than my ANTI Bud Selig rants are just getting warmed up.

    I didn’t realize it was possible for the worst and most annoying commissioner in the history of sport to be more hateable, but he may have just crossed a new threshold with me.

  51. Second Spitter,

    Be nice…by having Stu on our side, he could always get so pissed off at our bullpen, he could just file a collective lawsuit against all of them!

  52. Bwarrend, thanks very much for sharing your first hand experience. However, it needs to be remembered that HGH, like any hormone, has a very different effect on a growing child than on a grown adult.

  53. Be nice…by having Stu on our side, he could always get so pissed off at our bullpen, he could just file a collective lawsuit against all of them!

    What do you mean, “could”? The Complaint was filed with the 11th Circuit down in Atlanta earlier this morning.

  54. That’s fine. I’ll be the front man. I also want to file something against Scott Thorman, just not sure what yet.

  55. AAR, you are right when it comes to growth in children vs adults, but in terms of increased metabolism, muscle tone, etc, the effects are identical. I have seen 250 pound people become thin with HGH and a low calorie diet, when the low calorie diet alone did very little in terms of weight loss.

    Again, from the Somatropin website:

    “Human growth hormone raises your energy level and metabolism, causing you to both feel more active and burn fat. In fact, the only weight that you will gain while taking HGH is weight from lean muscle. Unlike steroids, the weight gain from HGH is slow — normal weight gain results are one to two pounds of lean muscle every two to three weeks. With steroids, you gain mostly water weight; with human growth hormone, you gain only lean muscle mass. Human growth hormone also forces your body to burn fat for energy. This means that body builders can eat a lot of food when necessary and not gain unwanted weight from fat.

    As a body building drug, HGH increases lean body mass, shortens recovery time between workouts, and enhances overall performance with less risk of detection than other performance-enhancing drugs. HGH strengthens joints and ligaments and heals damaged tissue.

    Other body building benefits of human growth hormone include increased protein synthesis abilities, an increase in the amount of insulin a person can use effectively, and an increase in the amount of anabolic steroids a person can use effectively.”

  56. @69,

    That last sentence sounds like a ballplayers dream. Take HGH and use even more steroids at one time.

    Re: Shafer\\

    Whatever he did or didn’t do, he’s still a fantastic prospect and that doesn’t change. If he keeps his mouth shut, gets his head down and works hard when he comes back, then thats all that matters. If he gets caught again, then all bets are off.

  57. Yeah, I thought of that, but I don’t think he MEANS to suck, so maybe it’s more negligent infliction of emotional distress.

  58. Don’t think you can have negligent infliction of emotional distress without a physical harm. So unless he’s caused you to go into violent fits of vomiting, convulsions, seizures then you’ll have to go with intentional and argue that no one can suck that badly by accident.

    Or, just sue Bobby and the Braves for playing him knowing he sucked. That’s intentional.

  59. “So unless he’s caused you to go into violent fits of vomiting, convulsions, seizures…”

    Oh you have no idea. That plus the bullpen, and I’m getting gray hair at 28.

  60. By the way, a lawsuit was successfully filed against Thorman earlier today in court. His lawyer tried to appeal, but he swung & missed.

  61. You may be partially at fault for knowingly encountering the health hazard that is the Atlanta Braves.

  62. Schafer is a dumbass. Plain and simple. In this time of heightened scrutiny he takes a chance with his career. But then again he is a 22 year old jock so…….

    I ain’t fretting about it though. The kid for all the hype is a star……in A ball. All that 2009 projected CF stuff is about as accurate and reliable as picking stocks these days.

    A good year by Kotsay may change our CF outlook going forward.

  63. didnt Thorman use to hit over .290 in the minors? What has this kid done to suck so bad? Has he always had that ridiculous swing or is he just started it to try and impress the big boys?

  64. True. We’ve all heard him yelling on the way back to the dugout after striking out.

  65. I am curious about Thorman…if we traded him back to Canada, could we in return receive discounted prescription drugs and unlimited supplies of maple cookies? (they’re delicious!)

    I would totally do THAT trade.

  66. On a related note, the NHL Playoffs are about to be underway, AAR.

    I think Scott missed his calling. Then again, if he was on the ice as an enforcer for someone, he’d skate right over to his opponent…and skate right past him.

    By the way, serious on Maple cookies…I was in Vancouver last September and brought a few boxes back for my co-workers. Big hit.

  67. This is only a low probability (maybe 10%) but I am wondering if Thorman’s problem is mental. I believe it is certainly possible that he willnever hit Major League pitching. However, he couldn’t hit this past winter in the winter Mexican League (which is more or less AA). He had mediocre stats in AAA about 3 years ago and then about 2 years ago had great stats.

    I think he needs a sports psychologist. Somebody like Llewellyn that worked with Smoltz. I think Thorman is so nerved out he can’t deal iwth it.

    Even with that, he may never be an adequate MLB player, but it sure looks like the next thing to try.

  68. Thormans problem is not making consistent contact. That usually a problem that can be masked on the way up through the minors and be totally exposed in the Majors. It is interesting to note that he always started each level slowly and then started hitting. He might have eventually done that in Atlanta, but there is no way of knowing what kind of damage it did to him when we got Teix. Not that I would complain, because the trade off is huge. But Thorman may now be so screwed up in his head and pressing too hard to hit 500 foot bombs that he will never make enough contact.

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