213 thoughts on “Just what the bullpen needed game thread: May 12, Braves at Pirates”

  1. If Ring has one game where he gives up a few runs or someone relieves him and pulls a Grybo, his ERA will skyrocket. Has there ever been a pitcher that has appeared in 100 games and pitched under 40 innings?

    We need at least 7 innings from Jurrjens and Hudson today. Any word on the chances of us actually playing?

  2. Just got off the phone with Bobby. There is a good chance that I will be activated to pitch in the second game

  3. Ring is on pace for 70 appearances and 26 2/3 innings. If this isn’t a record it should be.

  4. so who will be the odd people out when Smoltz, Gonzo, and Soriano return???

    I would prefer to keep Ring over Ohman, but that probably wont happen. Resop and Campillo??

    that would leave us with Bennett, Ohman, Acosta, Boyer, Smoltz, Gonzo, and Soriano

    I figure we must be offering some of these relievers now for a starter

  5. csg – you’re forgetting Buddy Carlyle.

    I’m only half-kidding. He was a actually pretty serviceable starter last year. (Just don’t let him ever – EVER!! – pitch against the Red Sox again …)

  6. I remembered him, but Im sure when he’s eligible to come off the DL they’ll send him to Richmond for a very very long rehab stint.

  7. I’m more concerned about what the record is for fewest road wins in a season.

  8. In non-baseball news, I am actually doing my job for once, and have found that Southern Rock Opera makes for excellent cataloging music.

  9. I thought it was implied, but thanks, Url.

    It’s mostly been piano-based music around here the last few weeks while I’ve been writing papers — the two types of keyboards seem to go together. I needed some guitars this morning.

  10. #2

    Tony Fossas had a similar season in ’92 (before it was cool) — 60 games, 29 2/3 IP. I think of Fossas as the original LOOGY — I’m sure he wasn’t the first to be deployed in the role, but he was probably the first to essentially make a career of it.

    Orosco had a few, including 27 IP in 56 games in ’02. That barely ekes out Fossas and Myers, being a full inning under 1/2 per game.

    Another way to look at it is number of batters faced per appearance. Here they are for the seasons mentioned:

    Fossas ’92: 60 G, 129 BFP = 2.15 per appearance
    Myers ’06: 62 G, 132 BFP = 2.13
    Orosco ’02: 56 G, 119 BFP = 2.125

    Ring ’08: 15 G, 24 BFP = 1.6

    Those other guys were workhorses! If Orosco knew there would one day be such a position as backup LOOGY, he might still be pitching today….

  11. I think we are all being “Royceringed”, much in the same way as being Rickrolled.

  12. Part of Bobby’s bullpen management I agree with. Part I disagree with.

    Ring is apparently a decided negative against Major League righthanded hitters. Only to face such in blowouts sandwiched between two lefties. Ohman is a little better on righties, but not much. Braves don’t have anybody else on the roster who is capable of shutting down lefties.

    The only Minor League relief arm that has any businesss in Atlanta is Stockman. The dregs on the release and waiver wires are worse than what we have.

    So, until Soriano or Smoltz or Gonzalez is proven ready to go with live MLB action, Ring and Ohman need to stick around. And, Bobby needs to use them somewhat like he has.

    The main guys he has overrused are Boyer (and it is CRAZY on Boyer) and Acosta. He has MI8USED Benett. There have been several times when he could have used Bennett for 2 innings and he used him for a fraction or 1 inning, thus getting another pitcher in the thing, etc.

    Looking ahead, I see Smoltz as a 2 inning every third day guy when he first comes back. Then, MAYBE at the All Star Break we can start stretching him out.


  13. I hereby predict: Royce Ring, 2 G, 2/3 IP

    At least it looks like he gets the guys out. I assume it’s LaRoche both times.

  14. lol @ 15 That was the first thing I thought of as well. I’m confused as to what the bullpen situation will be when (if) everyone is healthy. I’m guessing Soriano will be the closer, with Smoltz and Gonzo doing the setup work. I’m wondering if a sudden backlog of relievers if we will be making a trade for a starter?

  15. Well the problem is with Soriano, he was signed as the closer, probably wouldnt have signed on as a set up man. To move him out of the role without him losing it due to performance is the kind of unfair that Cox typically avoids.

    With Gonzo Soriano and Smoltz, we could afford to employ Chuck James as a regular starter. We’d just need to find someone to work the 6th.

  16. Whatever bullpen role Smoltz fills is fine with me. I would assume he’d be the closer, but he doesn’t have to be. I just want to see #29 on the mound.

  17. From Ryan Doumit’s Gameday picture, it looks like he was dropped out of a spaceship.

    Hey, now we’re turning the DPs.

  18. If Smoltz is not the closer, then somebody needs to be fired. I don’t care what anyone signed on to do, Smoltz is the all time saves leader in team history, he gets the nod.

  19. And yes, he killed us on Saturday, but why did the Pirates trade for Jason Michaels? This is a team with a potentially very strong outfield already and a terrible infield, so they trade for an outfielder? In the last two games, they’ve benched one of their two best hitters in each, McLouth on Saturday and Nady today.

  20. Smitty,
    Wouldn’t it be interesting if Smoltz (body willing) was just the high-leverage guy who could pitch an inning or a little more, if necessary? That could be the 7th, 8th or 9th innings.

    If Smoltz got hit by lightning tomorrow, he’d be a Hall of Famer; he doesn’t need to further pad his stats. But I bet he’d love another ring.

  21. As support, look at the Pirates’ stats. They have four good hitters, three outfielders and a catcher, and four terrible hitters, all on the infield. Every one of their regular infielders has a sub-.300 OBP and an OPS+ of 80 or below. If anyone should be benched, it’s LaRoche, with Nady moving to first.

  22. I’m starting to miss Prado. I feel like I should start scoring errors as hits or something. BTW, I looked up Prado in Baseball Prospectus last night, and the first sentence begins, “The sure-handed Prado…”

    Anyway, at least Blanco could lead off. This Infante thing is nuts.

  23. Why would Smoltz not close? He is the best pitcher on the team and is an experienced closer.

  24. Has there been any report that something is wrong with KJ? I agree with moving him down in the lineup but sitting him (again) is driving me nuts.

  25. I dont think Smoltz will be ready to close when he comes back. It takes some time to get your arm ready that kind of use.

  26. Diaz just struck out swinging at a pitch that was over his head. The reaction of the crowd? Laughter. Lots of laughter.

  27. Smitty,
    I’m not saying he shouldn’t be the closer. I’m saying that Soriano is an experienced closer, too. In a perfect world, we have an embarrassment of bullpen riches.

    If he’s healthy enough, of course, why not use Smoltz in the in the first scary late-inning situation? It may not come until the 9th, but it could happen in the 7th or 8th.

    Let’s say the Braves are up by a run with 2 on and 2 out in the 7th with David Wright due—why not bring in Smoltz right there? After he strikes him out, he could pitch the 8th as well.

  28. Thanks for the info Mac. I have such high hopes for the kid. When he’s on, he’s legit.

  29. Ububba,

    For the first week or so, that is cool. But you know Smoltz wants to be the clsoer and he is going to do what he wants.

  30. what happened to Tex, he looked fine running to 1st. Hope norton is better than Prado over there

  31. I think Wright owns Smoltz, but I understand your example, Ububba. I’m not sold on Soriano’s elbow right now. I think they need to sit him down for a prolonged period of time and not allow him to pitch.

    Are the cursed blue unis being rocked today?

  32. I wouldn’t say Sanchez “is” a bad hitter, but he’s certainly been a bad hitter this year, a .252 average with few walks and one homer.

  33. In fact,

    I bet if someone, say James, was pitching and Smoltz got tired of seeing him pitch; he would walk out from the pen and take him out of the game.

    That is the kind of power Smoltz has.

  34. the Pirates should let Nady play 1st and let Doumit play RF. That guy should be an everyday player and they said he’s capable of RF and 1st base. He def. shouldnt have to sit so Paulino can play

  35. Smitty,
    I don’t doubt that at all. And I don’t think Smoltz-as-closer is a bad move, of course.

    I’m just dreaming of having a bad-ass, Nasty Boys-like bullpen.

  36. #52 – no word yet, they pulled him after his last AB, but he looked fine running to 1st

  37. Smoltz owns everyone. He owns Bobby Cox!

    I heard once Smoltz told Dan Kolb not to come to a game he was pitching. Kolb cried, but couldn’t come because Smoltz owned him.

    Smotlz told the RF to boot that ball.

  38. You are correct, Ububba. For those wondering, Wright has a .766 OPS against Smoltz.

  39. The Braves now have five hits and three walks, and the Pirates have committed three errors, and the Braves have diddly-poo to show for it.

  40. Norton is quickly becoming one of my favorite players. Now, if only Frenchy can come through..

  41. Frenchy. You might as well give a monkey a bat and stick him up there. I’m sure he’s show more discretion thanFrenchy.

  42. well Diaz swung at one about a foot above his head and in the LH batters box – Frenchy swung at one that hit short of the plate and in the other box also. take your pick

  43. Tiger, I think I know where you’re going with that, but I’d say that either a) Bobby’s senile bullpen management and inane lineup switches or b) injuries are the bane of our existence.

    Oh, dammit.

  44. I pay attention b/c I’m a fan.
    I believe they won’t score 4+ runs this game because Infante is our leadoff hitter, Greg Norton is our cleanup hitter, Corky Miller is our catcher, and Diaz/Francoeur arae having a contest to see who can have the worst at bats. I hope I’m wrong and they win, but I just don’t see it happening this game.

  45. Re the Bucs trading for Michaels:

    1. Keep in mind that this is the same limp franchise that traded for Matt Morris last year.

    2. My guess is that they anticipate dealing Nady and/or Bay.

  46. 89 — yeah, but they have a guy in the minors that’s ready to go (name escapes me) which was the reason for talk of trading Bay or Nady. Doesn’t seem to make sense to trade for Michaels.

  47. It’s just like I wrote so many times – unless it’s a blowout, they do just enough to lose.

  48. Does everyone understand why Mac was so pissed off at the Braves for leaving so many men on in that blowout win? The same thing is happening here and happened the last two games as well. These guys can’t get runs even when the other team is putting them there on a silver platter.

    It should also be mentioned that the offense is failing against the worst pitching staff in the majors.

  49. I just do what the team does when down late in games on the road. If they give up, why can’t we?

  50. ? Check the attitude of the last 98 posts today…you’re the only one upbeat about this team. We’re all fans, but there’s nothing wrong with being frustrated. If they come back and win this game, I’ll personally apologize to everyone here.

  51. I have no confidence that this team will score runs against the worst pitching in the NL.

    Meanwhile, I am in a 5 Guys burgers listening to the disco version of the Star Wars theme. Classic!

  52. so Bobby pulls Jurr after 5 IP and on a day when we play a double header so he can bring in Gotay with a runner on 1st and two outs. this man has lost all of his managing abilities. better hope Huddy is lights out tonight – it really doesnt matter in the main scheme of things because this team just lays an egg every other day

    did he really think that Gotay could possibly hit one out? if not he should’ve known that Infante wouldnt get the job done

  53. Parish,

    That was on XM yesterday. All I could think about was Bill Murry doing the Lounge singer act on SNL

  54. Brad,
    Given the team’s situation, I wouldn’t exactly call myself upbeat. But I’ve seen enough baseball games not to give up with my team down only 3 runs in the 5th inning.

    Just struck me as oddly premature.

  55. You know things are bad when we miss Martin Prado.
    Maybe we’re just not as good as we thought.

  56. Now there’s a fan.

    That’s extremely tacky. People display their fandom in all kinds of different ways. You’re not any better of a fan than Brad.

  57. The problem is, the team just seems “beaten”. It’s like they were waiting for something bad to happen, it did, and now they’re looking ahead to game 2. There’s no sense of ‘let’s go get ’em’, no fire…look at the shots of them in the dugout.
    I’d love nothing more than for them to rally for 4 runs and win the game…but they haven’t shown any indication that that’s in the game plan today…or any game on the road this year.

  58. It’s not about innings, you dolt, it’s about pitches! He’s thrown 69 pitches and we’re in a freaking doubleheader!

  59. Oh, and I’m guessing that the Game 2 lineup will be:

    Infante 2B
    Gotay 3B
    Escobar SS
    McCann C
    Francoeur RF
    Norton 1B
    Kotsay CF
    Blanco LF

  60. maybe Bobby had him on a low pitch count so he can pitch on short rest for Friday’s game – just searching for answers here

    Mac, you got the recap ready

  61. This is what I got Mac:

    Infante 2B
    Boyer 3B
    Escobar SS
    McCann C
    Francoeur RF
    Hudson P
    Norton 1B
    Ring CF
    Blanco LF

  62. I find it amazing that Bennett can pitch with a basketball in his cheek.

  63. Resop’s warming up? Seriously?
    There’s your proof that they’ve mailed this one in.

  64. ububba,

    If you say so. This isn’t the first time you’ve implied something like that. Frankly, I find it quite offensive. We all love the Braves.

  65. No Ring will come in to pitch to the first lefty and then Resop will come in and replace him in the field.

  66. there is absolutely no reason for bennett to be in this game right now. Jurrjens could’ve gotten us at least 7

  67. Another passed ball by our defensive specialist behind the plate.

    Why do we have Corky again?

  68. Any word on Tex? I would assume that he would at least miss game 2, but has this been confirmed?

    Also, what’s with all the “back spasms?”

  69. I think that the back spasms are my fault. A couple of weeks ago I was having back problems and replaced my mattress. Since then, my back has been fine, but I think that I accidentally passed them on.

  70. You know, one of the reasons things haven’t worked today is that the 1-2 hitters are 0-8. Now, it’s a bad day for Escobar, but it’s just another day for Infante.

  71. I’m not sure what I find more depressing, this game or the tone on this board.

    Prediction: We will win this game and sweep the double-header.

    (Bobby really does suck at game management right now, though.)

  72. “How about a long one here to tie it?”
    -Joe Simpson

    Playing for the 3-run HR, as always. How about hitting with runners on base? Or getting a leadoff hitter that can get on base?

  73. And don’t forget Duke’s 5 walks on top of the errors. That’s what makes it crazy. Not even a run — that can’t have happened too many times. But most of it has happened with two outs I guess.

  74. How about finding a good situational hitter? Oh, wait, we don’t have any besides Chipper. Funny how that translates to 12 LOB in 7 freaking innings…..

  75. If things go the same, next inning to 9th spot and Infante will reach base for Escobar. Maybe he can get walked and Chipper can hit a slam.

  76. w about letting Kotsay hit for Diaz?

    OPS vs. LHP:

    Diaz – .896
    Kotsay – .732

    Diaz – .959
    Kotsay – .479

  77. @118

    I was calling Bobby a dolt. It was a continuation of my post directly before it asking him what in the hell he was doing.

  78. I just like how we just let Gorzelany and Duke completely shut down our offense, amazing. I believe we all have the right to be this negative towards this team at this point.

    14-4 home
    4-14 road

    good ole .500 baseball

  79. ‘good ole .500 baseball’

    …which is exactly where we’ve been since 2006. Something’s not working.

  80. On the bright side, pitching continues to be solid.

    This is all on the offense not even coming close to living up to the billing.

  81. I think we should stop giving the players the choice of which jersey we wear and start mandating that if the home team is wearing white, we wear navy blue and if the home team is wearing colors, we wear gray…every single time, no questions asked, no whining, no retarded superstitious bull crap. Because I, for one, am getting sick of hearing about it. But maybe that’s just me.

  82. Not only are they using a lefty reliever for more than one batter, now they are using him for more than one inning? Is that even legal?

  83. Blanco has reached safely all four times. If he was leading off instead of Infante, we would at least have a couple of runs now.

    FWIW – I am only rooting now for more Pirate errors and more Chipper hits.

  84. How do you guys feel about TP? I personally feel that the only hitters, well, hitter the Braves have that has improved over time is Chipper, and I feel like he does that on his own. Can you look at a player and say “hey, TP really straightened him out and helped him through that slump. Last year when Heap was slumping, it was his dad that got him out of it, not TP.

  85. And regarding TP being fired, I don’t think Don Baylor got nearly a high enough score on that poll at the top of the page. You could argue Leo, but I’m not sure how you can argue Yost or Corrales over him. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but it just seemed like our overall approach at the plate was better that year then any other year since I’ve been following the team (which would be since ’91).

  86. Mac – you should change the header on the front page to “We want Don Baylor.”

  87. I voted for Clarence Jones. He seemed to get the best out of Ron Gant who was always tinkering.

  88. Also, the year when Chipper really turned the corner as a Major League hitter and won the MVP was the year Don Baylor was our hitting coach. Coincidence? I think not. Terry Pendleton is not fit to hold Baylor’s jockstrap. I’ve been kind of on the fence about whether we should fire TP or not, but if this offense doesn’t turn around this year, he definitely should get the axe. He won’t, though, so it’s kind of irrelevant.

  89. I predict Esco walks, Chip bombs, Norton walks, frenchy k’s, and Diaz dp’s and we lose 3-2

  90. I voted for Don even though Leo’s probably the greatest assistant the Brave’s ever had. Although I think Leo would be a great improvement pitching is not our great weakness right now. Leo would have helped more last year straighting out all the projects we had on the roster post Hampton. This year the team seems to need help hitting in clutch situations thus Don.

    Only guy I’d say TP’s helped is Escobar and that’s just based on his approach here in Mississippi. That probably had more to do with his time in Richmond though.

  91. here’s my thought: anyone can complain about the obvious so what’s the point in writing it and posting.
    now a good shot of sarcasm with a splash of humor to go with a complaint, and that makes for one tasty comment.

  92. I think we have a lot more pressing issues than wondering who’s going to close games…b/c save opportunities require scoring runs and having leads late in games, which we obviously can’t do.

  93. I just tuned it… why was Jurrjens pulled after only 69 pitches? Was he that bad or am I being obtuse? Isn’t this the 1st game of a double header?

  94. I’ve never thought that Bobby was a great game manager – average at best. His strength is that he manages the players well, but game strategy has always been almost Dusty Bakerish (almost — nobody is as bad as Dusty).

  95. Jurrjens was pulled b/c we had to get our customary 5 pitchers in the game, and it was getting late.

  96. Jurrjens was fine. He was pulled because he fell behind 3-0 because he was getting no run support and had to pitch on a tightrope all day. Bobby hit for him in the sixth.

  97. I predicted the Frenchy K and Diaz DP!!!

    Jurrjens was pulled because Blanco, did the opposite of everyone besides Chipper, he got on base. With two outs and a man on 1st, Bobby’s head started spinning because he just knew Gotay would get something started for us. What he forgot is that Infante would soon follow and there would be no rally.

  98. ububba,

    I don’t find you offensive. I think you’re great. I’m just sticking up for my right to be overly negative.

  99. You can’t make chicken salad out of you know what. This team just isn’t that good and has not been for three years. Obviously, it’s become psychological on the road but there are too many problems with the player development system, too many young players that plateau and never get any better. The fixation with tools players like Frenchy who really can’t play baseball. The insistence on aggressiveness at the expense of plate discipline when all the evidence shows that OBP is key. Everyone wants to blame Bobby or TP but that’s not the way baseball works; if the players aren’t good enough, it doesn’t matter who the manager or pitching coach is. In the last 360 games, the Braves are two games over .500; that says something about the organization.

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