360 thoughts on “Home at last game thread: Marlins at Braves, June 2”

  1. Mac, re: the software update…

    One thing I notice is that I now have to refresh the homepage myself to see an updated number of comments or a new thread, whereas it used to update automatically.

  2. from the previous thread…

    In Blanco, we have a guy whose only real skill seems to be getting on base, usually with a single or a walk. That skill is wasted a little in the 8th spot, as it is very unlikely that the pitcher, who is hitting behind you 75% of the time is going to bring you around to score.

    I would prefer Blanco to be on with Yunel, Chipper, and Tex coming up.

  3. Also, in response to Marc from the previous thread, I think you are right. This problem with the roster could be fixed by a righty masher in left field, I think.

    Are there any out there?

    I also think wew will eventually see a need for a mid to top of the rotation starter.

  4. I wrote this 2 days ago:

    I think Blanco should move to the top of the order. Now, I’m not usually for a lesser hitter at the top of the order, but hear me out.

    I don’t think Blanco is optimal in the 7 hole. He doesn’t have a slugging percentage to speak of, and his main hitting skill is getting on base a lot by walking. So, in the 7 hole, he’s getting on base for the black holes at the bottom of the order. If Escobar or Johnson moved to the 7 spot in the order, I think that they would have a better chance of cleaning up what’s left on base of the batters before them than Blanco would. This might be a small part of the problem why we have so many people left on base.

  5. Dix, I’ve worked hard on getting a life for the summer.

    But I’ve failed, so you’ll see me in the Top 10 soon enough.

  6. 7-21 on the road, 2-16 in 1-run games. I’m not convinced that this team is much better than a .500 team, but the splits are ridiculous.

  7. I’ve just reactivated the spam filter. If it blocks you (that is, you comment and it doesn’t show up) write me (bravesjournal at gmail dot com) so I can try to fix it.

  8. Blanco is doing what Willie Harris did last season. Guy was a marginal, fringe prospect forever. I sincerely doubt Blanco is a .400 OBP in-a-full-season guy.

    Regardless, I don’t like a guy with no power to speak of getting the most at-bats.

  9. Ugh, not well. We just collapsed down the stretch. Eliminated (both losses, actually) by the one team considered to be the least deserving of its spot in the entire field. Looking forward to having more pitching depth next year, though.

  10. Dan, Blanco was looking like a pleyer that might have potential as our centerfielder last year and in the Winter Leagues. I think it is more than an unexpected Wille Harris type contribution.

  11. Yeah, Blanco’s 24 and Willie Harris was 29 last year. Not exactly apples to apples.

  12. Based on Bobby’s philosophy, the 8 spot is the best spot for someone like Blanco. He can get on via the walk, be bunted over by the pitcher, and then the top of our order is right there to kick off the 2 out rally.

  13. If Blanco batted second, then Bobby would be required by force of nature to have Chipper bunt him over and Bobby at least has the sense not to allow that scenario to unfold.

  14. Well, I would rather see the pitcher bunting a runner over than the #2 hitter.

    I still think we get more out of the whole lineup with Blanco leading off.

  15. And that strategy would work better if our 1-2 spots weren’t black holes 75% of the time.

  16. It’s not that Blanco just gets on base. It’s that Kelly or Yunel has a better chance of knocking in Teixiera or McCann (or, in rare cases, Francoeur). Less men LOB.

  17. Harris’ career minor league line is .283 .363 .415. Blanco’s is .274 .371 .377. There’s certainly a resemblance, and if anything Harris looks a little better. I’m glad that Blanco is getting a chance, but I am not counting my chickens yet.

  18. At this point, I just wanna see Yunel move back to the No. 2 spot. I’m not sure why, but his plate approach is becoming Francoeur-like.

    Just heard an oustanding radio interview with Fay Vincent on WFAN. He’s pushing a book he just did, proceeds going to the Hall of Fame, where he interviews a slew of older ballplayers.

    A couple gems:
    Vincent said that Warren Spahn had the “best baseball mind” he ever knew. In his interview with Spahn, he asked, “Warren, who taught you how to pitch?”

    His answer: “The hitters.”

    Asked by the radio hosts if there was one thing he’d change about baseball, he replied, “I’d get rid of the DH. People always say that you can’t do that because you’re punishing older players & I always say, ‘Look at Johnny Mize—he could hit when he was in his 40s.’ Baseball teams will always find a place for guys who can hit.”

    Boy, I wish he was the independent commissioner today.

  19. Nothing reported on the injuries to Hudson and Boyer yet, and nothing on the possible activation of Smoltz either.

  20. If my math is correct, Harris’ minor-league line through age 24 was .281/.353./394. He began to pad the stats as he started being really old for his level. (The dude played a lot of minor league ball at ages 25-28.)

    So that’s a .747 OPS for Harris and a .748 OPS for Blanco, with Blanco’s being more OBP-heavy (and therefore better). Blanco looks to be legitimately better than Harris, although damning with faint praise if I’ve ever seen it.

    I’d still like to see him get a shot leading off for a while.

  21. Bottomline if Tex or Francouer would have been hitting just a little bit the Braves would probably be about 5 games ahead right now. As much as Chipper, Yunel, Kotsay and KJ have been on base in front of them…Tex especially should have about 50 RBIs.

    Also McCann needs to start hitting on the road:

    At home:
    .376 .433 .667 1.100

    .263 .336 .505 .841

    Russell Martin has surpassed McCann hitting .321, while McCann is down to .318. Looks like those two will battle it out for years to come. I think Martin has the edge on the average b/c his swing is so short and compact and he can has excellent speed. McCann will have better power numbers.

  22. The internet told me that we should bat the pitcher 8th and put Blanco 9th.

  23. Russell Martin’s speed won’t last.

    Having never had any, McCann’s game won’t suffer for any decrease (unless he gets so slow that he actually causes time to collapse upon itself skewing the time/space continuum wherein Skip can actually be right for once when he claims a failed attempt to bunt a runner to second would absolutely have resulted in a run on subsequent single).

  24. Cox would never bat the pitcher anywhere other than the nine-hole. Pitcher Babe Ruth would bat ninth on this team below Corky Miller.

  25. Boyer’s MRI is fine and he is available to pitch. Not sure who was sent down to activate Smoltz.

    Also, Hudson should be ready to go for his next start.

  26. David O’Brien:

    Just up from the clubhouse: Yes, Smoltz is activated and Stockman sent back to Richmond.

    Bobby Cox said if there’s a closing situation tonight, Smoltz is getting the call. They’re going to evaluate on a daily basis and use Smoltz, Soriano and Acosta to close for now. But tonight it’ll be Smoltz.

    BOYER’s MRI was fine, just a bit of fluid on a bursa sac in the knee, doc said he could pitch today long as the discomfort is tolerable. Boyer said he feels good today.

    HUDSON doesn’t think his hammy is a big deal at all and would be very surprised if he can’t make his next start. Bobby said Braves would probably have someone on standby from minors (Charlie?) just in case, but he, too, believes Hudson will be ready.

    KOTSAY isn’t doing any better, has pain running down a leg, etc.


  27. I REALLY hope Morton doesn’t get held out of his next start as Huddy insurance. This is of course because I’m going to see him pitch!

    Morton and the R-Braves are in Durham this week, and if I counted correctly, Morton should be pitching tomorrow night, and I’ve made plans to be there. So after that game, you’ll all be treated to my (probably irrelevant) thoughts on him. :-D

    I’m actually really excited. I’ll also watch Lillibridge and B. Jones closely; I was in the “really excited about those two” camp going into the year, so their year-to-date performances have been a bit of bummer for me.

  28. *stream of obscenities* Why did it have to be Stockman? If they keep killing off my favorite characters I’m not going to follow this POS soap opera anymore.

  29. With Carlyle already on the roster (and never in use), why would they need Morton or any other minor leaguer on stand-by for Hudson’s spot in the rotation?

  30. I am so frustrated that Stockman was really never used. He was “Devined.”

    I suspect that Stockman will prove to be a much better reliever than Acosta…on anotther team.

  31. Man you guys have made my day at work very enjoyable talking about B Cox and the Braves. Dan that was very funny.

    Poor Stockman…he must kicked Bobby’s dog or something…

  32. @ 38

    I’m pretty sure Morton’s on the same pitching schedule as Hudson. So if Hudson’s on for his next start, Morton should be starting the same day in Richmond.

  33. A friend of mine who works at Turner Field saw a couple of Smoltz’s workouts & said he threw a lot of pitches that were very close to sidearm.

    Hope he can close better than Soriano did this past weekend.

  34. I am so frustrated that Stockman was really never used.

    Yeah, it doesn’t bother me that he was the one sent down—who else was it gonna be?—but it still bothers me that he wasn’t made use of while he was around. Some of those low-leverage innings could’ve been placed on someone other than Boyer’s shoulder, for example.

    I suspect that Stockman will prove to be a much better reliever than Acosta…

    I dunno about that. I really like Acosta, particularly in the long run.

  35. Why did this team hate Joey Devine? Why does it hate Phil Stockman now?

    It seems there are some players that this team just absolutely refuses to give any real shot. Meanwhile, the team remains totally fascinated with Corky Miller and Buddy Carlyle.

  36. Mother of Fuck! I totally forgot that Carlyle was still raising the CO2 levels in the pen. I often wonder what team with 3 HOF starters in the rotation for 10 years could have accomplished with some intelligent management.

  37. I’d send both Stockman and Carlyle down. Stockman isn’t pitching at all, and Carlyle sat in the pen all week and only got to pitch because Boyer hurt himself. It’s absurd. Bring up Canizares or Timmons to give the bench some righthanded pop.

  38. This lineup is going to piss everybody off…remember, it’s against a lefty, so Kelly sits, and Infante bats second!

    SS Yunel Escobar
    2B Omar Infante
    3B Chipper Jones
    1B Mark Teixeira
    RF Jeff Francoeur
    C Brian McCann
    LF Greg Norton
    CF Gregor Blanco
    P Jo-Jo Reyes.

  39. I’d love to see Canizares get a shot at some point. It took the guy four tries to get out of Cuba, he’s a hitting savant, and he’s blatantly lying about his age. What’s not to like?

  40. Bring up Canizares or Timmons to give the bench some righthanded pop.

    Timmons is 28 and has a .342 SLG at AAA. What am I missing?

  41. I posted this in the last thread:

    Idea: Acquire a Triple A outfielder who is having a strong season to help out in LF. It doesn’t have to be a high-ceiling guy or a high prospect, just someone who can give us close to league-average offense.

    Someone, like this 26 year old miscellaneous outfielder: http://tinyurl.com/52qsw7

    Just change that miscellaneous outfielder to a right handed guy.

  42. You know, Kelly looks like the kind of guy that could sell some jeans. I wonder what the deal is. I bet it’s due to him not accepting coaching to fit in better with the organizations no-plate-discipline stance.

  43. Hey, I don’t live in Atlanta and am having trouble with MLBTV tonight, anyone else having trouble?

  44. Are we platooning KJ? Oh, common, Bobby. KJ’s surely a better hitter to have in there than Greg frickin Norton. Or Blanco for that matter!

  45. Yes, we’re platooning KJ. We platooned him last year — I learned this from reading the comments section at the Braves Journal website. Fortunately for Kelly, “platoon” evidently now means you get 600 plate appearances per season.


  46. Not to be too complimentary, but that’s his 4th homer in the past 12 games.

    So maybe he is turning things around.

  47. Is there any reason to put Greg Norton, and his .226 .312 .335 career batting line righthanded, in left field just because he’s putatively a switch-hitter? When was the last time Norton played this regularly? This is five starts in a row. At least he’s working the count.

  48. re: KJ, I guess he started against Doug Davis, but he’s been riding the bench for the past two consecutive LHPs.

  49. And FWIW, I kinda enjoy it when we try to bunt for hits (though moreso with Blanco than with KJ)

  50. Is Fredi stupid? Why is Uggla hitting fifth? You have two good hitters and you put three guys between them? How is this team winning?

  51. Joe said that McCann had some complaint with Hairston dating back to the last series, something about Hairston complaining about a play from the dugout.

  52. Rookie? Huh? Are we talking about Hairston? ‘Cause he’s been in and out of the majors since the late 90s.

  53. My goof. (I’ve been making a lot of them lately.) He’s free to mouth off, then.

    Back to the game . . . .

  54. Olsen drilled him in the kidneys…he gave Olsen a stare..ump got in between.

    Whatever, Norton is as useful as an amputee panda bear.

  55. Yay for LOB. :-(

    Still, looks like we should be getting Olsen out of the game pretty quickly.

  56. See also # 76. Norton can’t hit lefties and never could, and his “switch-hitting” is purely nominal. Wren screwed up this offseason getting all these lefthanded outfielders and no righthanders. He couldn’t have known about Diaz, but he must have known that Kotsay’s not very good against lefties.

  57. Jay Bruce just homered against the Phillies. WTF is with that guy?

  58. Gotta love our outfield…

    Wouldn’t have thought before the season started that I would actually miss Kotsay, once he would get injured, but i do.

    And Kelly should play today and Blanco (as bad as he looked there it’s still miles better than Norton) and Infante could be the outfield.

  59. Frenchy’s ABs are always disconcerting, ’cause half the time they’re over before I realize they’ve started. :-o

  60. So assuming Jo Jo gets through the 7th in good shape, do you pinch hit for him to lead off the bottom of the inning? He’s only at 70 pitches through 6th, so there’s a reasonable shot he could go 8.

  61. Have we learned nothing? Don’t stretch these guys — if there’s any evidence that they’re losing it, get them out of there. This whole rotation is full of fine-line pitchers.

  62. Hard to say if a better LF gets to some of those balls tonight though. They weren’t cheapies.

  63. I think he is really bad with no range but the one clear mistake so far today was Blanco on the triple.

  64. christ really wanted a dp there…

    crunch time now. this game, series, just feels like a must win and another one run loss… that will just be too much…

  65. Nice work by Acosta. Although walking Jacque Jones on four pitches and then punking Hanley Ramirez is a sequence of events that will never happen again.

  66. If I was all-powerful, and could change one thing about this team, it would be to instruct the PA guy to announce “Yunel Escobar” the same way that the Pistons PA announcer says “DEEE-troit BAS-ket-baaaaallll”. Wouldn’t that be cool?

  67. Hey, good thing that Hanley Ramirez sucks at fielding.

    Oh, and nice to see you all again. I couldn’t bring myself to post during that awful road trip.

  68. Later, somebody explain to me why we didn’t double switch Anderson and Acosta when we made the pitching change. I’m sure there is a good reason.

  69. Don’t think we’ll se Lando tonight…

    Dumbest player in MLB? Any other candidates?

  70. I would have nominated David Justice, because I can’t think of too many things dumber than cheating on Halle Berry.

    But in terms of actual stupid, I think Jeff and Chuck are running neck and neck, and lapping the rest of the field.

  71. here comes another one run game…………………great video mac………….the coolest thing the ump could’ve done was to ignore the situation, walk over to the dugout and come back with a catchers mitt.

  72. Wait…are the Marlins making a pitching change mid at bat? Is that the next level of LaRussaization that we’ve all been waiting for?

  73. That’s even worse. How LaRussa is it to have your pitcher do the balk to third balk to first to waste time for your other reliever to warm up?

  74. I’m surprised more managers don’t do it. It could buy them some extra time or get a hitter messed up. It’s inevitable that someone will adopt the tactic, but I think it was just that the pitcher was messed up.

    If Wes Helms hits a homer here I will scream.

  75. Even after knee surgery, Andruw would have had it.

    Andruw could stop ground balls too.

    God bless Braves fans everyone.

  76. signing off now…………….my tv is too tempting……………think i’ll go find something worthless to smash.

  77. It’s like having some combination of Klesko and Lonnie Smith out there. Sweet merciful crap.

  78. Just one out away.

    Game could still be tied with a decent left fielder.

    Now instead of feeling good, it’s another heartbreaking new way to lose.

  79. Jones is doing crap in the minors. I think his BA is sub-.250. At least he’s hitting some doubles….

  80. Why on earth would he be in there in the late innings, so frustrating, is Josh anderson available?

  81. Hey, no worries – after all, we know this team has the heart and guts to grind out a comeback win (or an extra-inning win!)….

  82. I just heard Francoeur’s at-bat music: “You Give Love a Bad Name.” Really? I’ve checked out of the game, obviously, and am focusing on much more important things.

  83. They can’t hit or field! Of course, neither of them is actually an outfielder… so I remain confused as to why either of them is playing the outfield. If it was Adam Dunn, fine. But why are backup infielders out there? Seriously, someone answer my question. There are like hundreds of AAA-type outfielders, and we happen to have the ones who hit and field like – excuse me – are infielders.

  84. I’m sure it’s been covered on this site, but what, again, is the record for one-run losses in a season?

  85. Ken Camminetti’s corpse is better than Infante and 9x’s better than Norton

  86. Good job Braves, good job. And if Smoltz has to pitch like that, he might as well hang them up now. His pitches from that arm angle have no movement to them.

    I’m damn sorry ryanc, but if you can’t see it with this team, you never will.

  87. Francoeur’s flop extends the game.

    As for the one-run game question… The Mets lost 37 one-run games in 1968, but I doubt that’s the record, it’s just the most I can find in a short search.

  88. For the Sportsouth listeners we were able to hear Joe ask for a second wild pitch.

  89. Avery,

    Tex grounded out,Frenchy walked, McCann Walked, Anderson hit into a fielders Choice, a wild pitch scored Frenchy. Blonco bounced out to the pitcher

  90. 228 — jea, the fact that frenchy comes to bat to bon jovi is one of my favorite things about him. heh heh.

  91. I think Abe might be the only catcher that sports the Reebok chest protector.

  92. I know this is a little late after all the LF bashing, but who would you take out of this group to play LF: Norton, Infante, or Resop?

  93. Is there any possibility that Corky and Coxy could be involved in some kind of gay sex scandal that ultimately results in their firings? I think that is the most humane thing I can come up with. I can’t really hope for death or injury cause this is just baseball. But with this, two guys discover the joys of sweet, sweet buttsecks and the Braves fans are rid of the scourge of their presence on the team.

  94. Infante is still playing left?

    Guess we don’t want to lose that bat in the lineup, am I right?

  95. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Ohman acquisition (I figured he’d just be a LOOGY and not much else), but he’s actually been a pretty integral part of the pen thus far, and perhaps more surprisingly, he’s been very, very effective.

  96. 44 is more than 41. I’d guess that’s the record. The AL in 1968 was the lowest-scoring environment in modern history, the third-lowest in major league history after the 1907-08 NL, which I checked. There are obviously more one-run games to lose in a low-scoring environment.

  97. Isn’t Otis Nixon still in town. He could play left and lead off. It might help get a crack dealer off the streets

  98. Joe, screw you. Just because the only thing you could do was make outs doesn’t mean that that’s the object of the game. “Everyone should bunt” my ass.

  99. With Bonds OBP he would be great at leading off.


    FUCK THE BUNT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  100. Doesn’t help the one-run win thing … but it’s huge nonetheless. Mazel tov.

  101. Awesome ending. That’s rather ironic that the first extra innings game still isn’t a one-run win.

  102. I think this might become a legitimate late-inning strategy — tell your star to bunt, then take the bunt off after a pitch and watch them hit a walkoff. It certainly worked for Dusty with Encarnacion and Dunn.

  103. So I guess it’s the home uniforms that are lucky? Can we wear those on the road?

  104. I honestly can’t think of a situation where bunting is a good idea. Maybe ‘acceptable,’ but in that situation… give your guys three chances to get ’em home. I wonder how many games the Braves would have won if they stopped bunting altogether…

  105. Everyone saw Amezaga hit the wall, right? Because that was hilarious. Remember, he was the outfielder who crashed into the wall full speed to give McCann his first and only triple. Also hilarious.

  106. YUU-nel ESSSSS-co-baaaaar!!!

    ….and chief nocahoma fades back into the woodwork, surely to be heard from again another day….

  107. Gotta love the guy that caught the homerun ball. It looks like he reached up and grabbed it from a girl and her father.

  108. Blanco translating for Escobar. I do wonder if getting rid of Yunel’s buddy and translator in order to keep Corcqui Miller was a good idea.

  109. To quote Esco in his postgame interview, “Mi casa, mi casa.”

    Well said, sir.

  110. I don’t know what was my favorite line in that interview, “Mi casa, Mi casa.” or Jerome’s “Gracias”

  111. Guys,

    Julio is going to have an all time Julio team of guys Julio played with. I bet Babe Ruth makes it

  112. I forgot to activate Smoltz from my fantasy bench, but we don’t have wins as a stat, so it isn’t a huge deal. Going to activate him right now.

  113. Oh yeah. You’re right, Smitty. I’d follow these things better if I got more than 1.5 games a week on TV.

  114. The best part was after the wild pitch. Joe gleefully said “Now he can bunt him to third!”
    Uhh….I don’t hate bunts as much as y’all do, but after Escobar hurt himself earlier this year and failed miserably last week…I don’t see it as a good idea. And yet, we’ve all been burned by double plays.

  115. Tonight worked out well:

    1) Braves win in extra innings.

    2) Looks like the Stanley Cup will be presented (my favorite moment in sports).

    3) And the Dawgs complete their mini-sweep of the North Avenue Trade School by—yes, folks—a football score.

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