Reds 8, Braves 7 (10 innings)

ESPN – Braves vs. Reds – Box Score – May 31, 2008

I don’t really believe in curses, but at some point you start to wonder. The Braves still haven’t won a one-run game on the road this year, and still haven’t won an extra-inning game this year, and these are essentially the reasons why they aren’t in first place and if they miss the playoffs they’ll be the reason for that, too.

Jair Jurrjens did not pitch well early on. He allowed two homers to make it 3-0 in the first, and when Greg Norton hit a two-run shot in the second to cut it to 3-2 allowed two more runs in the second to put the Reds back up by three. But he settled down from there, and Teixeira hit a three-run homer to tie it in the third. KJ hit a sac fly in the fourth to give the Braves a 6-5 lead, and you know what that means: Hibernation Mode!

Jurrjens got in trouble again in the fifth and couldn’t finish the inning; Ring got a GIDP to get out of a bases-loaded jam, but the Reds tied it up before that. The Braves did get a solo homer from Francoeur, and good relief pitching from Boyer and Ohman, and led 7-6 headed to the ninth.

I maintained on his first appearance that Soriano wasn’t right, and I see little reason to change my mind. He walked Dunn to lead off the inning. The Reds pinch-ran Freel for Dunn, which was important. Soriano got the next man, but then allowed a single off the wall (tiny ballpark) to make it first and third, one out. The next hitter hit a pathetic two-strike dribber which Soriano fielded. He looked at the runner, but didn’t look him back to third, which he could have with a catcher as the hitter, then threw to first to get the out. Freel broke for home; Teixeira double-clutched, and Freel beat the tag, though McCann argued it and Bobby joined in to protect his catcher and was almost instantly thrown out.

After the game went to extras, it was obvious that the Braves would lose, and the only questions were when and how. Teixeira hit what looked to be a hit to get at least one run home (with Anderson at second and Chipper at first, two out) but the ball just died and was an easy out. Jay Bruce, who isn’t even human, hit a homer to end it in the bottom of the tenth. At least the pain wasn’t dragged out. Chipper was 2-3 with three walks and is hitting .413.

This is going to have to serve as the game thread tomorrow. Presumably Stupid Comcast will have my internet up for a recap tomorrow, but no guarantees.

25 thoughts on “Reds 8, Braves 7 (10 innings)”

  1. Since the start of the 2006 season, we are 35 games under .500 in one run games. We’re 39 games over .500 in all other contests.

    (Reposted from last thread in case people were interested in the numbers).

  2. Do the Braves have a pitching coach? I’m certain that everyone reading this thread believed whole-heartedly that the Braves would lose that game… same as last night.

  3. I wonder what the Braves OPS is from, say, the seventh inning on. I bet it’s really low, at least on the road. I know they scored 7 today but a lot of problems would be solved if they could just score some runs late.

    I have to say, though, that I have followed baseball for probably 45 years and I’ve never seen anything like this streak of losses. It’s become almost surreal.

  4. How many times this year have we come back after we were behind after the 5th inning? The one run losses are horrible, but not being able to come back is almost as bad. This is really puzzling.

  5. Good writeup Mac. I was in blackout hell over here, and left after Soriano predictably blew the ninth.

    How my life was like a Bill Simmons column for one afternoon:

    I left watching the game to take my three year old to a friend’s birthday party at a local AdventurePlex. Oddly, the guests at the party included Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carrola, and Dave Dameshek who were apparently friends of the three year old birthday boy. At one point when Kimmel was on the floor with the kids crawling all over him, my daughter took the opportunity to do a jump and land on his belly with her butt (a move she gives me all the time, which hurts more than a little) and I had to go apologize. So it was a surreal day.

    Nothing weird about this game though, I’ve seen this movie way too many times. It’s also an absolute lock we win tomorrow 8-2.

  6. I did not see either of the last two games, pulling up the Braves Journal recap each day on my Blackberry.

    As a long time follower of baseball and adept statistician, I am astonished.

  7. My way of dealing with this loss was to find something, anything more depressing than the past 2 games. I settled on a DVD documentary about Joy Division.

    So, compared to that band’s story, these Braves are a walk in the park.

    That’s certainly a long way from “The Man Show.”

    I’ll be out your way in a couple weeks. Will be at the Friday, June 13 game at the Big A. Would like to stop by your seats & say hi.

  8. Okay, I got my internet working. (How can a cable that is just sitting there stop working? I blame Bobby.) So I guess I’ll put up a game thread after all.

  9. I just got in, you have got to be kidding me, this is like a really demented joke.

  10. Earlier this year when I said this team sucks, I was right. It’s not just injured, it sucks too.

  11. Here’s a few things:

    We’re second in the NL in BA, third in OPS, sixth in runs. We’re first in ERA and Runs Allowed. For some strange reason, we’re dead-last in Saves. I don’t know what to make of this team. It’s weird.

  12. Oh, and while we’re dead-last in Saves, we’re second in Save Percentage. So, we’re not getting as many save opportunities, but when we do get them, we do convert. Our setup mens’ ERAs are all pretty low. What the heck is going on?

  13. It’s completely inexplicable, Rob. There’s no real weakness on this team (other than the outfield’s lack of power, but they make up for it with extra production from catcher and second base). They’ve lost four one-run games this week, by scores of 3-2, 1-0, 3-2 (again) and 7-6. While not unprecedented, it is extremely unusual.

  14. Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cooooold out there today. It’s coooold out there every day. What is this, Miami Beach?

    …but the big question on everybody’s lips…On their chapped lips…Do ya think Phil is gonna come out and see his shadow?
    Thats right, woodchuck-chuckers – it’s GROUNDHOG DAY!

  15. “Earlier this year when I said this team sucks, I was right. It’s not just injured, it sucks too.”

    if you said it earlier, is it worth repeating OVER and OVER?! we ALL know your standpoint on this team. it’s a long season and we are about 1/3 of the way through. this team does not suck and we can only hope they will put it together soon and become a .500 ballclub on the road and an above .500 ballclub at home. btw, your “opinion” seems to disappear when the braves rattle out 4-5 wins in a row.

    solution: blanco needs to be tried out at leadoff. he seems to really understand the role of a leadoff hitter (working the count). escobar’s bat has been wasted there and he’s a typical 2 hitter. kj does well hitting at the bottom and needs to stay put.

  16. Escobar’s bat has been pretty quiet at leadoff, time for Blanco to have a shot. It was great to see Norton have some success, but damn. The weakness of this team is clutch hitting. They leave men on base at a frightening rate and have hit into more DPs than any other NL team. My soul is being crushed on these road trips, and I think I’ve lost 15 years off my life expectancy.

  17. Great. Another one run, extra inning loss. On the road no less. Who could have predicted that?

    I hit up the Myrtle Beach Pelicans game tonight. There were a ton of walks, and the game took for ever, but this is high A. Cofield was hitting 94 regularly tonight, even getting to 96 a couple of time. That is if you believe the road runner time warner radar gun on the outfield advertisement board.

    Ernesto Meija hit a three run bomb, line drive shot that hit the score board in left center. It was a sick drive, and the wind was blowing in hard. I sat in the first row just past the home dugout on the first base line. There really isn’t a bad seat in the park, unless you have a little league team sitting directly behind you busting into, “Let’s go Pelicans!” chants half way through innings where the Braves pitchers have given up two or more walks.

    I was able to see Matt Wieters and Jake Arrieta as well. Arrieta was all over the place (7 walks in 4 innings, and he gave up the bomb to Meija). Like I said the game was long (15 walks total). Wieters looks like the real deal. He’s huge and looked good behind the plate and has a good arm to second. I was also able to see Gorkys up close, though he didn’t play, he threw to the CF as the pitcher warmed up. He looks athletic and extremely fast, and a little flashy (he was catching the ball at his chin, similar to Druw).

  18. FWIW, I really liked how Cox managed the bullpen. Only thing I’d have done differently is maybe leave Ohman in there longer (never thought I’d be saying that particular phrase), but he made very good use of Ring against their lefty-heavy lineup.

    But this crap is killing me.

    At least, as Dan points out, we’ve got the 8 run blow out to look forward to tomorrow…. Yeesh.

  19. Thats lame, I picked up Ryan Sweeney in the league to replace Brad Hawpe. And now Sweeney is on the DL before he even got to be part of my roster.

    Sorry to be off topic, but its 2:30 in the morning and I’m not tired. Trying to find something to do…

  20. Hey Parrish –

    I like it! Good reference to a great movie. Bonus points for topicality as well. I was out being a nerd last night, and didn’t hear about the game until I got home after midnight and turned on Sportscenter. The VERY first thing I saw was the Reds-Braves recap. How sad is it when I saw Freel slide in ubder the tag, that I KNEW we’d lost?

  21. At least Cecil Cooper isn’t our manager.

    “That’s a good play,” Cooper said of Berkman’s decision to bunt with the third baseman playing him deep. “That’s a baseball player’s play. It’s a nice job. We need baserunners. If you hit a ball out of a ballpark, I call them rally-killers when you get down like that. We need to keep a rally going, and that was a nice play to me.”

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