ESPN – Brewers vs. Braves – Box Score – June 24, 2008
Charlie Morton, welcome to the “I Hate The Lineup” Club! Tim Hudson, President, Joseph Reyes, Treasurer. Morton, christened “Poor Charlie” in the game thread, suffered through six innings of play that would be an insult to the concept of “Bush League”, winding up charged with four runs, two of them earned, and none of them completely clean. The Braves committed three errors [note: I typed this as “errrors”] in the first inning, including another mistake by Gold Glove Out Machine Jeff Francoeur on a ground ball, leading to two runs. A third run scored in the second inning, and in the fourth, an “earned”, run when Francoeur airmailed a throw on a sac fly.
Oh, meanwhile, the Braves were shut down without a baserunner the first time through the order and Escobar got himself ejected for arguing after being obviously out on a double-play liner at first ending the fourth. (The position players on this team are the bitchiest lot I have ever seen; they continue to argue when they’re obviously wrong, including griping by Francoeur once again about a strike call that was obviously correct.) The Braves scratched a run across in the seventh after a leadoff double from Teixeira.
In the ninth, the Brewers mercifully put in “closer” Salomon Torres, and after a leadoff walk Teixeira hit a homer to cut it to 4-3. And then McCann walked to put the tying run on base. On the other hand, our Hall of Fame manager then had Infante bunt to set up the Out Machine, which is insane. Francoeur, who sucks, hit an infield grounder to get Jurrjens (pinch-running) to third, which would have been great if nobody was out. With two out, Brandon Jones was walked, and Bobby sent out the Hamster, the last man on the bench, to pinch-hit. He twice ducked out of the way of a possible HBP to work the count to 3-0, then got to 3-2 before hitting a typical weak liner to end the game. He sucks.
So does Francoeur; the record will show that he had two hits, but one was of the infield variety and neither was really that great. His defense gave back a lot more. Without Chipper (who had a pinch single and was immediately run for by Lillibridge) this is a bad defensive team that also can’t hit and also constantly complains about how it’s being oppressed. I hate this team.
We need to make a move. If we are going to do it, lets get what we can and go with it. I don’t care if it is Randy Wynn or who ever. We can’t keep trotting this line up out there and win. If we are going to “wait” then let’s move Tex and see if anyone will blow us away on a Hudson offer. Maybe we can move Ring or Ohman too.
I hate this team.
That feels really, really good.
I think Bobby Cox also hates this team.
Elegant synopsis, Mac.
So, I saw that the score was 4-1 tonight on the “out of town scoreboard” at the ball game I was at. When I got home, I checked in, just to see how it had turned out, and when it came up “1-run loss”, I burst out laughing.
What if Bobby flips his lid and goes ape shit on one of these guys. I can see it now:
Bobby (durring the post game butt chew): …and Yuni…What were you thinking?
Escobar: No speak English old man!
Bobby: What the F*&k?
Then beats him down like he did his old laddy that time.
* This thread does not condone domestic viloence
Also, Morton’s line looks pretty good when you notice the 4 errors that went along with it. 100 pitches, 72 strikes is also nice to see.
The starting pitching really has been awfully good, and deserves better than it’s gotten this month. The complete and utter incompetence of the outfield is partly to blame, but the infield defense, sans Chipper, has been pretty bad.
I’m late on the Francoeur sucks bandwagon, but wow. Is there anything he can do that Schaefer can’t? I mean, besides botch ground balls in the outfield of course.
I am glad tht I missed it….
What really frustrates me about the last three seasons is the the Braves find different ways to lose–but lose they surely weill.
2006 No bullpen
2007 The worst 4th and 5th starters in the NL if not all of baseball
2008 Good starting pitching and no offense
All of this leads me to believe that making a move or two won’t have much of an impact….
How many more times this year are we going to feel like we are at the low point if the season?
Plain and simple sorriness.
I know the team doesn’t usually yell at people to fire them up. But what about a couple years ago when Chipper yelled at LaRoche while he was struggling. Why haven’t we seen something like that with Frenchy? Or even someone, anyone, yelling at a player for flipping out over something they really don’t have a reason to flip out about? I mean, most players will respond to something like that and try to better themselves.
I have to think that Bobby and probably Chipper have done some yelling behind closed doors. I don’t think they should do that in public, though. That should be Wren’s job. Or Schuerholz’s.
Man, Francouer really sucks right now. I like Jeff, but dadgum, he’s not doing anything right right now. We need to make some kind of move in the outfield. Kotsay, Diaz, Bay, Nady, DeJesus… where are you guys?!?!
Getting swept by the freaking Reds is the low point, I don’t care what anyone says about tonight.
The second lowest point? Getting swept by the Cubs…in front of their bland, corporate crowd at Wrigley. Seriously, I used to come close to fist fights in the bleachers and at Murphy’s seemingly every year, a testament to a suffering fanbase’s jealousy of a wildly successful one…this year its as if no one knew who we were
Oh how the mighty have fallen
You think Wren should publicly call out players who are underperforming?
What do we really want? We’re not going to know what goes on in the clubhouse, and if we see any kind of outburst in the dugout or on the field, that usually never yields positive results.
Better the GM than the manager. Or Schuerholz, since his job doesn’t seem to have a description.
This ‘can’t pick up a rolling ball on the first try’ twist on the Francouer saga is quite something. Didn’t see that one coming.
If I were one of the other 24 players on this team and saw that Francouer could suck at pretty much every aspect of the game with no real repercussions, I would find it demoralizing.
He needs the Roy Halladay treatment. Banish him to single A and see if he responds.
Lerew got lit up in the GCL:
There is so much good news out there for Braves fans…
Gant made it back and became a better ballplayer for it. Well, he may have gained a bit from needlepoint also.
This season makes me conclude that the team needs to build itself around starting pitching, effective defense and surrounding Chipper and McCann with players that are consistent, smart and play within their limits, even though they largely lack the potential for the spectacular. This means let Tex go via trade in July, peddle Francoeur, listen to trade offers for Yunel — who has poured acid on my last nerve — and spend available funds on said unspectacular players while making serious runs at pitchers, starting with Sabathia and then moving down from there.
A tweak or two on the coaching staff would help, as well. And while I’m generally pleased with McDowell, who has made do with some frayed and unwoven material around the bullpen and staff, one can’t help but wonder if bringing Leo back would provide an extra attraction for pitchers via free agency and trade, since this appears to be the best way to compensate for our organization’s inability to develop arms (we need to see more — MUCH more — on Charlie Morton before proclaiming him a success, although his work is encouraging).
Oh, and playing for one run with four- or five-run deficits in the late innings needs to stop.
I think Leo would be a deterrent more than an attraction. Getting canned by the O’s will do that for anyone. (Yeah, I know, Wren was fired by them as well).
This team just needs to be put out of its misery, plain and simple.
I am certainly not into trading for Nady or Bay right now. I see us more as sellers right now. Selling even just a little bit of the future on an annual basis so we can finish 2nd instead of 4th is what will build a decade of futility.
I kinda feel for Francouer, to be honest. When I was a senior in high school, I went through about a 3 week stretch where I couldn’t hit for crap. I was probably hitting .08something for that stretch.
What was keeping me in the lineup was my good defense, and then I booted two groundballs in one game, and it screwed with my head so bad. Groundballs to outfielders is one of the easiest things a fielder should be able to handle. When I started blowing that, I felt like I had nothing to contribute to the team. In practice, during pre-game, during a game, every time I had a groundball to field, I’d feel like I was going to boot it, and for a while, I booted A TON of them. It was weird. If I had to go into the gap or down the line, wherever I was playing, I was fine. But when a ball was right to me, I’d blow it. It was all mental. I still remember those 3 weeks because they sucked so bad. It happened again this season for a couple games, but thankfully I was 3 years older and more mature and just got the heck over it and it wasn’t an issue anymore.
Back to Francouer. The guy’s sucking at the plate, he’s sucking in the field, and he’s gotta be feeling the pressure. When you win a Gold Glove, you gotta feel like you’re contributing to the team at least out in the field, even if your hitting is suffering. When you start kicking outfield grounders, it’s gotta shatter your confidence. When you airmail some throws, then it can’t get much worse.
Hope he snaps out of it…
I realize the following things about this team:
1. There have been some tough injury losses.
2. The bullpen is over worked
3. cox is becoming ever more senile
4. The bench, while improved, still lacks in areas
5. Corky Miller, by all accounts, should never put on a major league uniform…not even as a bullpen catcher.
Yet given all these considerations, shouldn’t we expect a little better quality of play? Better baseball so to speak? Or is a record of 3 below .500 about what should be expected for a club given these problems.
I don’t know the answer, but there is sure something off about this team. something just isn’t right.
I’m glad others notice the amount of complaining these players do to the umps. Escobar is unreal. He thinks he is such hot sh#t and his ego is getting in the way of his playing. He’s a year out of the minors and has no right to complain about bad calls. Especially if its the right call.
Chipper and Tex, they can do that. They’ve earned. Not Yunic.
At least you broke out of your slump, Rob. Summer after my junior year, I hit .196 the entire summer. The main reason I played was because I was a good defensive second baseman. And I was one of the starters, so when I pitched they just DHd me. Also, we had a damn good lineup, so they could stick me in the 8 or 9 hole and not really lose much.
Yunel gets on my nerves; I generally like him as a hitter, but his mental mistakes on the basepaths and in the field really piss me off. He’s like Bizzaro Furcal.
He no speak english, he no think baseball.
Rob, I appreciate that you sympathize with what Francoeur is going through. Everyone goes through slumps, and everyone makes boneheaded plays. The thing about Francoeur is that it’s not clear he’s slumping — though his defense has slid considerably, his offense has been more or less this bad for most of his career. He’s probably not this bad, but he’s bad. This goes beyond a slump. This is a player who has played his way out of a starting job, just like Matt Diaz did.
I played on probably the worst team relative to its competition this past year in college. We were absolutely awful, and lost at a higher clip than any major league team will ever lose. Guaranteed. And every single game we lost freaking hurt. I’m sorry, but anyone that ever gets used to losing doesn’t have a pair of testicles. I guarantee that every single guy on the Braves’ roster is pissed off because of the way things are going. We can be rest assured that no one on this team is happy about the way things are going.
I’ve been working out a lot since the semester ended back here at home. Thankfully, I’ve dropped some body fat, and still have put on 16 pounds in about 7 weeks. I’ve upped my bench about 40 pounds, and I can see some huge differences in the way I look. I was talking to a friend today when we were done working out, and I was just kinda reflecting about the progress I’ve made. This was the first time I’ve worked out this hard for this long, and I told my friend that a humbling, crappy baseball season should motivate anyone. I tell ya, I wanna be strong enough to really hit college pitching. Our team is pretty young, and maybe this first real taste of failure will motivate them to take it to the next level.
I guess we’ll see…
Well, UGA lost, so that brightens my day a little bit. Hopefully Fresno State can keep this going tomorrow.
I just dropped Ryan Ludwick from my fantasy team, so I agree that anyone can have a good half-season and then plummet down to earth. For a while I’ve been telling myself that Francouer had proved he can be a really good player in 2005 when he had a great half-season. That’s becoming farther and farther away from the present, and I dunno what to think about him at this point.
Kotsay with an impressive 0-for-4 for the M-Braves tonight.
Also, for those who care, Erik Cordier finally pitched in the GCL tonight. Threw a scoreless inning with 1 K. I don’t have any more than the box score just yet.
Rob, what school do you play for?
We’re not going to find a better defensive SS — who can also hit — than Escobar (tonight notwithstanding), especially for the money.
It was good to see Cordier finally pitch. As I recall his problem is actually a bad knee. I hope that he can get to the Beach before the end of the season….
As Mac said again tonight, and I have said before, I can go down to the local little league and see better fielding than this team has.
Watching Morton brought back memories of the crappy Braves teams of the late 80’s where the young starting pitcher would feel like he had to strike everybody out, because if they hit it, he knew they weren’t going to field it. Frustrating for any pitcher, let alone one making his third major league start. You certainly can’t put this one on him.
At least everybody else in the division lost, but sooner or later this team is going to have to make a run.
As for this Braves team bitching at calls a lot, I don’t really think they bitch more than any other team. I just think that’s the way it is these days in any sport. It’s one of the things that really gets on my nerves watching anything these days. NBA players bitch at calls (especially anybody on the Spurs or Kobe) more than ever, NFL players, (especially dumbass WRs who want a PI call every freaking time) bitch more than ever, I’m going to sound like my Dad, but that’s just the way it is these days.
Pretty sure McCann singled in the 9th, I don’t think he walked.
Also, I ‘d say our “Hall Of Fame Manager” did the right thing by bunting in front of Out Machine, because as you yourself would contend, Infante sucks, Francoeur sucks, Brandon Jones probably sucks already, and Corky Miller needs to put up a good month in order to get UP to sucking.
No seriously though, the groundball Francoeur ended up hitting, if it wasn’t hit hard enough to be a double play, probably was hit close enough to the bag to get the lead runner out. Man at first, nobody out, and Infante, Francoeur, Brandon Jones and Corky Miller due up, you really think the right choice is to hope one of the first 3 record a double or better, or that at least TWO of that group record base hits?
I think your chance is better that ONE of that group gets a single. Didn’t happen. Blaming our “Hall Of Fame Manager” is grasping at straws, there.
JJSchiller is right on both counts- McCann did single, and bunting to advance him to 2nd rather than let Dumbass erase him with a DP was unavoidable given that there was no one but Miller on the bench.
At least everyone else in the division also lost. Still only 4.5 out. There’s still talent here, if Cox will allow it to blossom.
Bunting was probably the right call. There is a higher chance of actually scoring one run with a bunt, but less of a chance of a big inning.
With Francoeur and his cronies lurking, a multiple run inning to win was quite unlikely.
Anybody see this? Umpire Brian O’Nora gets crained by broken maple bat:
Joe Simpson seriously needs to shut up!
jeez, mac, arent you being a little harsh?
salomon torres is a good reliever, and hes been great since “closer” gagne got injured. sometimes i just think youre too mean…
too mean? too mean?
where do you think you are, dude?
Mac’s the Alpha Bad-Ass Weasel…that’s just how he rolls.
One positive that can be taken away from the game is Morton. To be sure, three starts is a small sample size, but his debut has been impressive. I reallly hope that he does get jerked back forth between Atlanta and Richmond….
I like Yunel, but he’s obviously getting on the umpires’ nerves. I’ve seen a couple moments where he showed up the homeplate ump on potential ball 4’s, dropping the bat, flipping the bat, acting petulant.
And tonight…you can’t get thrown out of a game, not with our lineup. Again, he’s a good player, but that routine ain’t helping.
Let’s go Dawgs. Tomorrow night, I think we’ll need 2 TDs & no FGs.
i hate this team…and as talkingchop so eloquently stated:
when will we trade Tex for some of the talent we gave up to get thim??? he’s not resigning with us and we’re not making the playoffs…
Unfortunately, we cannot trade Tex for’ some of the talent we gave up to get him’ and get anything close to what we paid. I fear that the ramifications of this trade will be with us for awhile–just as the significance of the LaRoche trade (which made the move for Tex and Mahay–as KC reminds us) seems greater now than it did at the time….
Next winter we will have to find a solution at 1B and we will have a lot less talent in our system to work with us. If we had won in 2007 or if we manage to win in 2008, that will be fine, but I have my doubts….
Here’s the significance of the LaRoche trade:
Adam LaRoche completely stinks and we’re well rid of him.
Let me put this in term that everyone here can easily understand.. I would move Frenchy to 1B before lamenting the loss of The Roach.
(Frenchy is outhitting LaRoche this year even as much as he’s sucked. You can look it up.)
actually, we have LOTS of talent in our system, it’s just 3-4 years away.
Heyward and Freeman are going to be All-Stars (Heyward, if he continues on his present pace of development, could be Pujols-esque; while Freeman reminds me ALOT of a young Sean Casey (take that for what it’s worth) and Gorkys and Schafer are going to be nice in the OF…and the pitching is there.
Tex and Ohman to CWS for:
Josh Fields (AAA 3B hitting .251/8/26/.801 in 46 games who will be moved to 1B in the MLB)
Lance Broadway (AAA SP who is 8-4 3.27 and a k-bb ratio of 55/26 and a whip of 1.31)
Carlos Torres (AA SP who is 8-3 3.23 and a k-bb ratio of 81-32 and a whip of 1.10)
i think that’s fair
Well, the Mets lost 11-0 to the Mariners and the Phillies also lost (in fact, the entire division lost). What a division; you can’t fall out of contention if you try.
The Braves are now 6-15 against the NL Central.
Having Corky Miller hitting in that situation should be grounds for firing either the manager or the GM or both. That is unacceptable. It’s as if Bobby ignores what he sees on the field. He thinks Corky can play contrary to all the evidence.
Yunel is the most annoying player we have had here since Sheffield. I hated that dude despite his excellent hitting, never could stomach him.
Escobar should be sent to Low a ball and ride some crappy busses for a while so he can appreciate what he has in the majors.
you would think someone who escaped from Cuba would be a little happier, he seems PO’d all the time.
Kid has talent though.
Wow, get kicked out of one game and you guys turn on Yesco. He may argue a few too many calls, but SHEESH at the “what a brat” attitude that shows up overnight. Kid plays, kid hits, kid hustles. He may need to mature a bit on the defense and attitude, but he’s also a kid and as long as he’s in the game he’s not hurting the team like certain other members of the line-up have.
Cary–Trading LaRoche did not seem to be a big deal at the time, but it opened the door for Thorman. Once Thorman proved the he was not capable the Braves then moved on Tex. LaRoche is having a bad year and he started our terribly in 2007, but finished well. Either we re-sign Tex (unlikely) or we have to fill 1B all over again….
Chris–agreed; however, if the recent past is any guide there is probably a good bit less there than meets the eye. After all, because its 3-4 years away a good chunk will not pan out before they reach Atlanta…
Game thread is up.
It amazes me that people are penciling in Heyward for All-Star status when he is 18 years old and in the low minors. Need I remind people that lots of prospects do not pan out, a la Andy Marte? I think the Tex trade was defensible at the time and is still defensible. These were good prospects but not like they were the only good prospects in the system. And, really, the Braves pitching is looking pretty good now. I don’t think the Tex trade decimated the system that much but some of the trades people are speculating about seem unrealistic. I don’t see any reason why the Pirates would trade Bay or Nady when they are close to .500.
I agree with CharlesP. Give Yunel a break. And I don’t understand what coming from Cuba has to do with arguing with the ump. If he was laid back like Andruw, people would be saying he should be more fiery because he should appreciate what he has here. He is obviously a young player who is still learning and he makes some mistakes. I guess he could be like Jeff Francouer, always with a smile on his face.
As for the bunting, I think knowing that Corky was the only guy left should have mitigated against bunting because the last thing you need is to throw away outs. Granted, Frenchy could have and probably would have hit into a DP but the odds of getting the guy in from second with one out weren’t that good anyway. But Bobby will ALWAYS bunt in that situation because that’s what teams have done for the last 120 years. The real issue is having Corky up in that situation at all.
Again, the game thread is up… but Francoeur wasn’t bunting, Infante was. What if Infante singles? What if he doubles? By bunting, you took the bat away from the best hitter you were likely to have left in the inning. That that hitter was Infante is unfortunate, but true.
Marc, could you defend your tirade, or is your ignorance just a defense mechanism for you hating this team?
funny thing is: probably 75% of all-stars were picked there in AA. there are lots that don’t pan out, obviously. but nobody sneaks up on you and becomes an all-star without getting noticed.
hayward and freeman are the future of this franchise. until we learn to accept it and nurture it (like we did with chipper, gant, klesko, javy, glavine, etc..) we will just suffer 56% winning percentages and trading away decent chips for 60% winning percentages.
please, before you rant about how “It amazes me that people are penciling in Heyward for All-Star status when he is 18 years old and in the low minors”, at least tell us why he won’t. until then…just have a little faith.