Braves 4, Jays 0

ESPN – Braves vs. Blue Jays – Box Score – June 27, 2008

Easy. It’s important to note, as DOB did in his blog entry today, that the Braves are getting excellent pitching, especially starting pitching. You can’t even say that they’re not working deep into games. Jair Jurrjens pitched eighth innings, and was never in serious trouble; the Jays never had the tying run bat.

Mark Teixeira was the hitting hero, hitting a two-run homer in the first and an RBI double in the third. But it was Jurrjens’ game. The Jays didn’t get a baserunner until a hit with one out in the fifth, and he got a double play to erase that batter. He walked one in the next inning, but again got a double play. Toronto would get two more hits, one in each of the next two innings, but both runners were stranded. Jurrjens struck out three, got fifteen ground balls, and threw 69 strikes in his 104 pitches.

The Braves added an insurance run after a leadoff triple from Brandon Jones in the seventh. They had a couple of other scoring chances, but couldn’t do anything, leaving eight men on base, and if Jurrjens hadn’t been so dominant it could have come back to bite them. Gonzalez pitched the ninth in another Atlanta Save situation.

Chipper and Escobar are still out, as is Infante. Norton did a good job in the DH role, with two hits and a walk. KJ was 0-5, but it happens. Francoeur was 0-4, struck out twice, and sucks. Everyone else had at least one hit.

62 thoughts on “Braves 4, Jays 0”

  1. Great game for Jair.

    So, with a lefty pitching tomorrow, either Norton or Francoeur will probably bat third in addition to other batting order atrocities.

  2. Not much else to say.

    This one reminded me of so many wins we had during the glory days of our Cooperstown Rotation—very matter of fact, but the other club having very little chance.

  3. What’s our opinion on Escobar?

    Do we really think he tweaked his shoulder the other night? Is it disciplinary for acting like a baby? Did we just want to get Lillibridge some reps in hopes that he’d do something and we could sell high?

    Surely he’ll play tomorrow against a lefty?

  4. How do we win these games with no lineup?

    I mean – starting Norton, Francoeur, Lillibridge, Gotay and Brandon Jones. Craziness.

  5. Ramon Vasquez just left the bases loaded for the Rangers, striking out on a 3-2 pitch.

    Still 7-6.

  6. Bobby on Jair tonight: “I don’t think you can pitch better than that. That’s one of the best games I’ve seen pitched ever.”

    “J.J. was completely dominating tonight.”

    “Most of his starts have been on the great side this year. I would say this one was excellent though.”

  7. Just replayed the interference call in the 3rd again. Unlike last time, it really was a bad call.

  8. Great win considering who we had to run out there tonight. Jair did a great job of keeping a pretty anemic team down, and Tex got the big hits. We’ll need someone to step up offensively again tomorrow as I expect we’ll have to work around a lower end buzzkill of Corky, Frenchy and possibly Lillie, who had a good AB late in the game.

    As for our daily Frenchy observations, I once again observed him miss several really good hitters pitches. This is as disturbing as anything, as he is basically a hanging slider hitter right now at best. He’s all fouled up mechanically and in the head.

  9. The whacking didn’t work?

    Face all your speakers towards the floor and crank some Barry White.

  10. Someone mentioned on the last thread a story about the guys in the clubhouse laughing over someone saying Lillibridge is better than Escobar. Is there a link to this story?

  11. Why does DOB get so pissed off at the people commenting when does his blog? All he does most of the time is argue with them.

  12. Someone mentioned SI saying that Lillibridge was better, but I’ve never seen that. Baseball Prospectus wrote that Escobar wasn’t good enough to hold his job, wasn’t a plus defensive player, and could be passed by Lillibridge by August.

  13. Sometimes you gotta trust your eyes, too.

    First time I saw Lillibridge I thought, “What’s the big deal?”

    Whereas, after a few games with Yunel, I thought, “This guy is a player.”

  14. internet…good deal on everything. it’s like the world’s biggest walmart. just make sure and look at the reviews.

  15. The Braves have the 3rd best run differential in the NL, behind just the Cubs and Phillies.

  16. The thing with Escobar is (to my knowledge, entirely) derived from a comment made by Joe Sheehan, one of Baseball Prospectus’s writers in a column he did previewing the NL East, in which he made the comment that he thought giving the starting job to Escobar was a bad move, but one the Braves would be able to correct mid-season by turning things over to Lillibridge. IIRC, PECOTA was also projecting a slightly better line out of Lillibridge than Escobar (Esco had better defense while Lillibridge would out-hit him).

    FWIW, a lot of people in the scouting community expected Lillibridge to be a lot better than he has been thus far, and while his defense has been tops in the league, Escobar has hit for very little power. If he hadn’t improved his walk rate, his line would be pretty mediocre.

    As it stands, he’s a fine leadoff hitter, and I don’t think the Braves are in any rush to make room for Lillibridge. :-)

  17. I can’t imagine anyone watching both play and concluding Lillibridge is/will be better. What is it that Lillibridge is supposed to do well?

    Not that I believe that Sheehan has seen either play.

  18. Escobar’s power is not much worse than Renteria’s. We’re not asking him to bat cleanup but when he’s in there the lineup looks a whole lot better. Lillibridge looks like he’s 15 and I haven’t seen much out of him, especially defensively.

  19. Wow, not a single team in the NL Central or NL West won today. That is just sad.

    So you don’t have a good feeling about the Dodgers 1-0 lead? Should I call my bookee?

  20. So far, Lillibridge has been overmatched by major-league pitching and he’s been pretty underwhelming at short. He’s one of the 3 guys I least want to see at the plate with the game on the line (along with Corky & Frenchy).

    And I’m pretty sure Yunel will enjoy a long major-league career. He is one of the top 3 guys I do want to see at the plate with the game on the line (along with Chipper & McCann—yes, Yunel more than Tex).

  21. Lillibridge is the most overated player the Braves have had in their farm system in many years. He is not even young (he will be 25 in September) and he has very high strikeout totals.

    The only thing that he has had going for him is that he played really well during the second half of the season–after he was promoted to Richmond from Mississippi.

    That said, it has baffled me why he still makes Braves Top 10 prospect lists or why people who I normally respect like John Sickels like him.

    There are a small number of statheads who follow the minors crunch their stats and proclaim prospects–without following the players on an individual basis. Unlike students of the Braves’ farm system these ‘experts’ could not see Morton coming, but have been ranking Lillibridge has a top 10 prospect.

    By the way I think its great because it means that his trade value could be higher….

    I would not hesitate to flip him when the time comes….

  22. Unlike students of the Braves’ farm system these ‘experts’ could not see Morton coming..

    Morton has some pretty “bleh” stats in his three major league starts. Let’s wait for some prolonged success in the majors before talking about Morton’s “coming”.

    Lillibridge has good speed and supposedly plays outstanding SS defense. He probably is overrated, but there are reasons why he’s highly thought of and other teams and their respective scouts want him.

  23. @billy-jay: 45

    I don’t think they sell TVs with Analog tuners anymore. Everything you buy now either has a digital tuner, or is a monitor where you hookup to a digital cable box. I think it’s a law that you can’t sell ’em with analog.

  24. I’m not so sure that’s the case, Bob, but I admit I really don’t know. Of course, that should only matter if Smitty is interested in receiving broadcast signals and I don’t know how likely that is. I just think if he’s shopping for a bargain, he should make sure he knows what he’s getting.

    I live in Japan, so I’m not as up on this as I could be. My TV, of course, is pretty badass.

  25. Dan–You are right that Morton has not yet arrived as a major league starter; on the other hand, if the Braves chose to trade him at this point in time they would probably get a fair return–because by now his value has improved dramatically.

    Despite the fact that Morton pitched well in the AFL, he was completely missed by the statheads. The best clue (and at that point it was only a clue) was the way he finished 2007. Morton’s finish in 2007 meant that the AFL results were a confirmation and not a surprise. Morton’s AAA results were further confirmation of an improved pitcher; as such, this season is now part of a consistent pattern which began in the second half of last season. All of this would be easy to miss if someone just took the average of his total 2007 season….

    Sure, he has a lot of maturation ahead of him, but it is clear that he is a legitimate pitching prospect…I just wish it had not taken him so long….

    My big problem (other than his age) with Lillibridge has been the strikeouts–bad enough for a power hitter, but much worse for a hitter with only modest power, who might otherwise be able to hit second.

    Lillibridge will probably play for awhile in the major leagues, but he is no Escobar and the Braves should not hesitate to part with him if a favorable trade presents itself….

  26. Exactly, Stephen. Most “statheads” do not look at progression over a season, instead relying on season totals to tell them how good a player is. Quite a lot can change in a young man’s game over six months of professional instruction.

    I am guessing quite a few miss the AFL stats, too. And if pitchers do well out there, they may have something.

  27. I know somebody who has one of those TV’s. (He’s making bank as a pharmacist.) Strangest thing though: he doesn’t have cable! I’m like, what’s the point? Apparently, neither he nor his wife are home that much. Couldn’t believe it. Me and my buddies just sat in the room staring at the huge blank TV for about 10 minutes.

  28. Lillibridge has good speed and supposedly plays outstanding SS defense. He probably is overrated, but there are reasons why he’s highly thought of and other teams and their respective scouts want him.

    Well put.

    I’ve always thought Lilli was a little overrated. A college player that had great stats at the lower levels but hasn’t done much at the upper levels — 119 strikeouts against only 40 walks between AA and AAA last year. But, as you so eloquently point out, he still has some very valuable traits. Lets not jump the gun based on a whopping 6 games at the ML level.

  29. Big screen tv… owners not at home much… and what good is it doing them, considering they don’t have freakin cable…. hmmm…. hmmmm…. will it fit in the back of your truck?

  30. I have a 46 inch lcd TV and don’t have cable. The only thing I’ve really watched on TV the past several years are sporting events and HBO shows. The HBO shows have dwindled (The Wire, Sopranos, etc) and you can find pretty much any sporting event online nowadays. Hook your laptop up to your lcd, and you’ve got live sports on TV. I pay for internet but not cable. The home PC and home television are merging anyway, so I feel like paying for one is plenty. I should qualify the above, though, by admiting I’m a writer and write/read much more than I watch TV. Also, my job affords me more DVDs than I know what to do with, so I’m watching those more than TV too.

    Also, Jair and Gorkys for Renteria. The Tigers may never trade with the Braves again after this one.

  31. Smitty, The Olevia is a solid HDlcd TV, not a wallet buster for HD either. My parents have one of those and also a Vizio which is very good.
    I bought a 46inch Mitsubishi, it is awesome, great color, picture etc…
    When my wife saw the bill she almost threw me and the TV out of the house though.

  32. I have a Samsung 30 inch tube tv that’s also HD, I got it at Best Buy for $450. Turns out Charter gives out some HD channels with basic cable if you let your TV fully program the channels.

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