Phillies 4, Braves 3 (10 innings)

ESPN – Phillies vs. Braves – Box Score – June 06, 2008

I don’t have it in me to fully recap this one. Suffice it to say that the Braves held a 2-1 lead from the bottom of the fifth to two out in the top of the ninth, and failed numerous times to add to the lead. Not Hibernation Mode, Bad Hitting With Men On Base Mode. Tim Hudson was terrific after giving up a run in the first. Will Ohman got the last man in the eighth — Utley — and the first one in the ninth — Howard. Blaine Boyer got Burrell, the last of their big boppers.

By all rights, that should have done it. But Boyer walked Geoff Jenkins on four pitches (if Bobby has it to do over again, he probably brings in Ring to pitch to the lefty and risks the pinch-hitter). Then he walked Pedro Feliz, which is a lot worse. But he got Chris Coste to pop up just beyond first base. And Kelly Johnson dropped it. Just dropped it. He had a little trouble getting into position, but there was no excuse at all. Hell, this isn’t a former outfielder thing, outfielders catch fly balls. The runner at second scored, but KJ kept it tied by throwing out the runner from first at the plate.

And then KJ tried to make up for it by doubling into the right field corner with one out in the bottom of the inning. (Could he have made it to third? Maybe. Probably not worth risking it.) Chipper, of course, was ealked. But Teixeira struck out, and Francoeur, who sucks, popped up on a 3-1 pitch that might have been ball four, as he does on most 3-1 pitches.

And then Bobby brought in Mr. High Leverage, Manny Acosta, who as he does every single time he is brought into a close game imploded. Ring and Carlyle came in after him and were lucky to keep it at 4-2. By all rights, Acosta has to be the last man in the bullpen at this point, but you know Bobby.

Anderson, pinch-hitting for Infante, singled, and Blanco followed with a bunt single. Anderson made it to third on the bunt (nobody covered second so he could keep running) and Blanco went to second on catcher’s indifference. Norton, who is about as bad as Francoeur, struck out. Escobar, though, hit a line single to center. It took a perfect throw to get Blanco. It was a perfect throw. I still don’t know how they got him.

Chipper was 2-3 with a double, and is now hitting .421. He was intentionally walked the last two times he came to the plate, the first time because of Bobby’s mindnumbing insistence on having Kelly bunt every single time Escobar reaches leading off the inning. This is gonna keep happening until Teixeira makes them pay, but with him struggling righthanded and then being followed by the King of Outs, it’s as clear an Ealk situation as you’ll see. Anyway, if I were Tim Hudson I’d want to hit someone. I suggest Acosta or Francoeur, because KJ at least has some value even though he was the paramount Goat of the Day.

65 thoughts on “Phillies 4, Braves 3 (10 innings)”

  1. There are like 8 different reasons we lost that game. Obviously, KJ dropping the popup was one, Boyer walking two for no good reason was another, and Acosta sucking for the second consecutive time was also important.

    But this loss, IMO, goes on the offense. You just HAVE to get more than 3 runs off of 10 hits + 7(!) walks. I mean, it’s you just HAVE to. Not to pile on (because it looked to me like he was turning things around the past few games), but Jeff Francoeur left NINE (9) runners on. That’s one helluvan 0-5. Nine runners left… that’s almost two per AB! How insane is that? There was an average of 1.8 runners on tonight for Jeff Francoeur! A 1-5 wins it for Atlanta almost without question.

    Oh, but that’s not all! We managed to get 3 runners thrown out at home tonight! WTF?! This was readily apparent last year, but Brian Snitker is probably the worst 3B coach I’ve ever seen. If he’s a great clubhouse guy, fine, make him the bench coach or some BS like that. But PLEASE, let’s stop getting guys thrown out at home!

    So please, make sure to spread the blame around for this one. Pretty much everyone but Chipper, Huddy, and I guess Ohman deserve a share. (Okay, okay. Anderson had a good night, too.)

  2. Nine LOB for an entire team is bad, and Francoeur managed that all by his lonesome.

  3. Frenchie = 0 for 5, 9 left on base. You suck salty chocolate balls and Cox, move this sucker down to the 9 spot, and give him an extra hour of bunting practice each day so he’ll know how to bunt the pitchers over to second base. Frenchy can be your new full-time bunter to minimize his damage to the team. Pitchers aren’t dumb enough to let you be “clutch” any more.

  4. Mac do you have a dog house big enough for all the people that deserve it at this point. Good teams don’t lose games like this, it’s really as simple as that.

  5. Maybe Atlanta could trade Frenchie to San Francisco. I hear a lot of the fans in SF like guys who suck, and just keep on sucking, so he could really bring the fans into the stadium out there.

  6. Mac,

    If it’s any consolation, you’re now number one on Google for “Francoeur Sucks”

    But that probably won’t help his trade value

  7. 6, you’re right. Good teams don’t lose games like this. Tonight was the night my expectations downgraded from first place to third or fourth.

  8. Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in…until a “Flyin’ Hawaiian” throws a frozen rope from center. Did that really just happen?

  9. Is it just me but has Snitker lost more games for us than he has won? Freddie G was infuriating at times but I remember him being a lot better in the 3rd base box than what we have now.

  10. If Cox wants a bunter after Esco then he should put Anderson or Blanco in that spot and bat KJ 5, 6, or 7. Anderson and Blanco are fast enough to beat out some bunts–not that KJ is slow–and KJ’s posp wouldn’t be wasted on bunts.

  11. Just saw the replay of Kelly’s drop on ESPN, and I’m sorry, but you just don’t drop something like that. BUSH LEAGUE, man….

    “The Atlanta Braves — finding creative ways to lose and completely disenfranchise their fan base.”

  12. On a happier note…Chipper’s OBP could top .500 tomorrow night, he’s sitting at .498 right now. Incredible.

  13. Im at the beach and Acosta is ruining not only a good home stand, but my vacation. He (not only him of course, but mostly) has cost us our last two losses. This guy needs to be a seventh inning guy. Whats the deal with Bobby not allowing our closer Soriano to pitch in back to back games? This choosing diff. guys to finish off games isnt going to work out in the long run. Better hope Gonzo is fully ready to go.

  14. Honestly, there’s not much better options at the moment for the 9th. Soriano is in the beta version of returning to his reliable self, Smoltz is gone, and Gonzo isn’t back yet. What can ya do?

  15. And, again, Bobby’s plan in the eighth and ninth worked. Boyer got out of it. Not the pitchers’ fault.

    Acosta should be the last man in the bullpen right now.

  16. It was close, and Bobby and Snit-for-brains (pretty good, huh?) argued it, but he was out. Perfect throw, and Coste came off the plate but made a good tag.

  17. What can you do in the 10th? How about let Stockman throw a freakin’ pitch.

    I know you said 9th, but Bobby pulled the right strings in the 9th. It was bringing up the train wreck in the 10th that irked me.

    And I hate to say it, but tonight I may just have gone from being disappointed in Francoeur to loathing him.

  18. What if Blanco had done a cool flip over the tag and touched the base coming down- how awesome would that have been?

  19. What if we could score more than 3 runs in 10 innings at home so we didn’t have to rely on acrobatics?

  20. You know, if not for two incredibly improbable collapses this week, we would be in the midst of a 5-game win streak and a game and a half out of first.

  21. The Atlanta Braves — finding creative ways to lose and completely disenfranchise their fan base.

    They should put this up on their website. I actually turned the TV off after the 8th, went to bed and woke up this morning KNOWING they had lost the game. However, I was unaware of the way they did it this time.

    Soriano’s apparent injury makes this another perfect day for Atlanta baseball. Why I still care I don’t know.

  22. Frustrating game ever!

    Kelly said “It’s probably the worst feeling somebody can feel on a baseball field, outside of it being a playoff game. But in a way, this was our playoff game.”
    He also knew it.
    I saw him flopping along the way dougout. Yes, everyone can make mistakes, but I don’t know I would forgive that his terrible mistake or not for now. Because I thought the first game against Phillis was very important turning point. The braves wasted buch of pitchers today. Besides, blow Hudson’s win. His values shined out especially against our rivals. I think he is full of competitive spirit and has brain enough to entrap double play throwing his weapon, sinker whenever he faces on scoring play. I am so sad drove our ace to despair several times.

    Tyrannosaurus Rex.
    It seems to be more avoiding pitch to Chipper. I’d like to cry…..Then TRex and McCann must hit as cleanup hitters …. Stir yourself, TRex plz.~

    I heard from my fellow braves fan GM wanted to deal with Francoeur during the offseason but he rejected offer. He wished he could refresh a contract as well as David Wright. Is it true? HAHAHAHA.. If it’s true, I don’t want to hate and insult someone, but Know Thyself, Francoeur! Throw his some junks on his head rubbish bin. I think above all things, his big problems are has no sense on the field, lacks concentration and cannot see pitching. These are difficult to fix it within short terms. I think he should have bec0me a football player. He is still 24? Seemingly he looks like in his 40. Sorry 24-year-old boy! LOOK AT Chipper. Age is just number if someone play games and stays healthy. What is worse, a baseball announcer said Francoeur is the easyest hitter. He left 9 LOB today. WOW WOW!! Yesterday, did it 6. OK…Sometimes he is in a slump. But it’s terrible. 3th, 4th, 5th, 6th spot, whatever!

  23. Frenchy, Bobby, Acosta, KJ, whoever! This is all hogwash. It’s a TEAM thing! This TEAM sucks! This TEAM does whatever is necessary to lose! This TEAM so completely underachieves! Why can’t you guys finally get it?

  24. So, are we what our record says, a .500 team? Or, can this be turned around? It’s 60+ games into the season, and I just don’t see this team responding the way a pennant winner does. Certainly, the Braves teams back in the 90’s don’t lose this game.

    Frenchy is struggling, our offenses scores just enough to lose close games, and our front office can’t seem to come up with the fix that they consistently did last decade.

    Sigh. Oh well, I kept watching during the Gerald Perry Era, so I’ll keep watching here. But, I am about ready to advocate going into Rebuilding Mode (like Hibernation Mode?) and building for a run in 2010.

  25. Our Pythagorean record still stands at a sterling 36-25, so logically this is better than a .500 team. Things like this tend to even out, regression to the mean, et cetera.

    However … considering that we lack anything resembling a true closer (and that likely won’t be changed unless Soriano gets fully healthy [a dicey proposition, at best] or Gonzalez comes back throwing like he did the beginning of last year); a seeming inability to make fundamental plays when it matters (Kelly’s drop resonates more now, but remember Yunel’s baserunning blunder in the 7th); and the fact that we have a handful of terms to signify our offense failing to score a run for six or seven innings in a row … it doesn’t look good.

  26. Mac, I don’t know how you manage to not go insane when writing the recaps.

    My recaps would be like this: !@!@#$^%^@#$, why?? Is there a God in this world to end the suffering?!?!

  27. It wasn’t Yunel’s fault in the 7th, it was a squeeze play and the bunt never got put down.

  28. I’m on a Blackberry so I could not check out Schafer’s line. Last I saw, he was 2-for-4 with 2 homeruns. How did he finish?

    The kid is back with a vengeance. Nice to see a young player handle adversity in such a way. I daresay he has something to prove.

  29. oh, and that was Kelly’s fault too. I do like the way he bounced back in the 9th though.

    Personally, I wasn’t sure what was going on in the Braves 8th, letting Ohman bat, granted he somehow draws a walk, but then get’s thrown out at 2 after a semi passed ball, threat over.

  30. I just saw the replay of the throw that got Blanco out (I had gone to sleep in disgust after it was 4-2).

    Man, that throw was right on the money. I would’ve lost it last night.

  31. I do not overly object to letting Ohman bat. Clearly, Bobby was conceding the scoring chance for the matchup against Howard. Having the foresight to make a double switch might have been nice, but considering our bench, it probably would not have helped at all. The walk to Ohman was hilarious, but Bobby’s strategy ultimately worked. KJ just dropped the game-ending popup.

  32. Speaking of last man out of the bullpen…

    Right-handed reliever Chris Resop cleared waivers and was sent to Triple-A Richmond.

  33. Here’s the new Brave tagline:

    “Bring out your dead!”

    “But I’m not dead yet!”

    “But you will be soon……….”

  34. Frenchy needs and entire series off, I have had enough of his incompetence. It is just so bad, i cant stomach his at bats anymore. If he had eligibility, i would send him to Richmond to improve his value.

  35. In Francoeur’s defense he hit a line shot but just right at the leftfielder with the bases loaded. The one where Yunel was thrown out at the plate. That would have produced a run with better baserunning.

  36. truly inspired recap Mac, quite a few spit takes. this is the type thread that makes me wish i had more time to watch games.
    There is no doubt in my mind that Acosta has the pictures. Frenchy needs to buy a clue, and Bobby needs to be replaced with an animatronic replica of himself that we can control from the Braves Journal Bunker.

  37. The only thing that is going to improve my spirits is the promotion of Schafer.

    I suggest renaming Tex to Rhode Island.

  38. Pythagorean or not, these games count. And the more they lose, the harder it is to make up ground. And I don’t think you can look at this team in isolation; it’s been like this for three years. I just don’t think there is as much talent here as people want to think. The Braves increasingly are like the Phillies until last year–talking about all the talent on the team but not winning games. Weak outfield, so-so rotation, especially with Smoltz out, and iffy bullpen at times. That doesn’t sound like a playoff team to me.

    As far as regression to the mean, the problem with that is that things don’t always regress to the mean within a given time frame, ie, a season. For example, you can flip a coin a hundred times and maybe get 65 heads; eventually, if you toss it enough it will come out 50-50 but you don’t know how long it will take. So, you can’t assume that the Braves record in one -run games will automatically get better this year. Maybe next year, they might win all the close games.

  39. Yeah, I just watched the recap on (one of my jobs separates me totally from society so I can’t follow the Braves as easily). Francouer did smoke that ball, so I can’t fault him there. 1-5 with an RBI single could have easily been his line, which sucks, but it’s a lot better than 0-5 with 9 LOB. Escobar was out by a mile; what was going on there?

    On the Snitker thrashing, I would have sent him too. There’s two outs, the tying run’s on second, and there’s a single to center. The runner’s running on contact, so if there’s any time you can score from second, it’s with two outs. And as we saw, it took a perfect throw from one of the best arms in the game (Victorino’s burned us before) to get him by a nose hair. What can ya do?

    After seeing the recap, I can live with this loss.

  40. He could have been o-4 with a sac and RBI, but he is killing this team now, his value is diminishing, I want kotsay back, then rotate them all, blanco, french, kotsay, anderson and let it shake itself out.

  41. Apparently his back still hurts. Who would have thought we would be so concerned about getting Kotsay back… but he’s our best outfielder, and it’s not close.

  42. Oh, hey, Mac. I have a question. Like I said in the earlier post, I work a job where I don’t get internet or TV, except on my phone. Is there an easy way of accessing Braves Journal through a phone doing Mobile Web 2.0 (the cheap phone internet)? If I just go to, I have to basically go through every link on the left pane before I can get to the game threads or recaps. Do you know if there’s a way of just going to a URL that loads just the main content?

  43. From Shanks podcast:

    -Yunel trying for home was his own call.

    -Gregor Blanco had no lead in the 10th.

  44. I don’t think there’s anything for cell phone readers. There are RSS feeds for entries and comments (and Amazon uses that, so it should be readable on a portable device).

  45. Glad I missed the game–it sounds absolutely appalling….

    I am happy that Kyle Davies beat the Yanks (I am happy when anybody beats the Yanks) and if he develops as a pitcher, it will confirm at least in my mind that the Braves just about ruined him by rushing him to the majors.

    Of course, Kyle has a long way to go before he becomes a consistent starter….

  46. What is our 1 run record now, 3-20? It’s coming up on a year and a half of bad performance in a 1 run game. To me that not statistical noise, it’s a signal. unfortunately, I don’t have any clue how to change it.

  47. Yunel broke when the ball was hit and had to return to the base to tag up getting a very late start. At that point he should have just stayed at third.

  48. Apparently, it is “Genesis Day” on VH1 Classic. If we all watch some of that, it should be enough to set off a long winning streak.

  49. The version of VH 1 that I get here was doing a countdown on great songs of the 1990s–maybe that should help, even if the great Braves’ teams of the era increasingly seem confined to history…

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