ESPN – Braves vs. Blue Jays – Box Score – June 28, 2008
On paper, decent offense and bad pitching. It wasn’t quite that, though I guess at the end it turned out that way. But through seven innings, the Braves had scored just one run. Through five, Tim Hudson had given up two. But it’s really hard to pitch when it looks like one more run can end your chances of winning, and Hudson tried to be too fine. Hudson gave up a homer leading off the sixth to make it 3-1, then started nibbling and loaded the bases on two walks and a hit. Bobby brought in Bennett, who got one guy then pulled off a Triple Grybo, letting all three runners score 6-1, game over, right?
But the Braves rallied in the eighth. Brandon Jones doubled, and Blanco followed with a triple. With one out, KJ hit a little flare single to make it 6-3, and then Teixeira hit an opposite-field homer (righthanded) to cut it to 6-5.
So Bobby, for some reason, brought in Acosta, who simply can’t pitch in close games. So it was 9-5 by the end of the inning, and when the Braves got two runners on in the ninth, it didn’t matter much, and instead of using Chipper (who can hit but can’t run) to pinch-hit for Gotay, he stood on deck while Gotay grounded out to end it.
Francoeur sucks and was 0-4.
Is Gotay now below the Mendoza too? If so, that makes two bench players below .200. Awesome.
Francouer need another ‘scheduled’ day off.
Acosta has become pretty useless. Can we please swap him for Stockman already?
Cox must have an ulterior motive for pitching Acosta in close games, and that really pisses me off. I’m watching the game, hoping to see the players and coaches doing the best they can to win, and Cox trots out Acosta, presumably to showcase his stuff to teams that might want thim in a trade. As near as I can tell, that’s the only rationale that makes any sense at all. I feel screwed for having watched that game. Cox sucks.
Also, I just read this Bradley article: http://tiny.cc/EQ5Dr
He used the expression “egregiously beset” twice. Bradley sucks.
You just realized that?
There is no reason why Acosta should still be a Brave. Forget showcasing his stuff for a trade. No team would take him. The Mariners might have, but Bavasi got fired.
jc, shocking us all with this piece….
Acosta doesn’t even have good peripherals. I wish someone would send him to Richmond and bring up Stockman.
The Bonds thing this season might be the most clear-cut case of collusion ever.
What part of Mark Bradley’s thesis did you not agree with?
Do you think that Cox’s players don’t play hard for him? Do you think that his players actually don’t like him?
That’s all that mini-column was about. You can pick & quibble with Cox’s in-game managment, but I’m not sure you can take a contrary point to Bradley’s and have any facts support your claim.
BTW, Bradley’s double use of â€œegregiously besetâ€ was perfectly fine. He did it for emphasis.
Another canine headstone at Sanford Stadium…
I took your advice and went to Target.
I replaced my broken 52 inch dinosaur broken TV with a 26inch LCD. The cable guys are coming this week to hook up the high deff.
This is going to rock.
So, we’re 4.0 back again.
Not bad considering we have been without 4 of our starting 8 position players and lost 3 of our projected starting rotation. Oh yeah, and we lost our setup man for the year and probably our closer.
The injuries have been ridiculous.
Bradley’s whole thesis that Cox improves the performance of the teams that he manages by being a stable influence on the clubhouse is horse shit. Stable influence is unmeasurable. I can measure Acosta’s ERA and Francoeur’s OBA, though.
Bradley’s article is just a puff piece; he cannot substantiate his claim that Cox increases his teams win total by “[treating] all his men like real men.” Maybe if the team were playing better than its Pythagorean average would indicate then Bradley could argue that Cox’s demeanor improves the team’s performance. But the team is actually playing a good bit worse than its Pythagorean average. I could be mistaken, but I don’t think there are any numbers that Bradley could cite to support his thesis.
So in reply to your statement that “Iâ€™m not sure you can take a contrary point to Bradleyâ€™s and have any facts support your claim,” I believe I could support my claim that Cox’s management has cost the team wins. Bradley’s claim, however, cannot be supported with facts.
After re-reading the article, maybe you’re right about “egregiously beset” though. I guess I was too pissed off to digest Bradley’s tone. It works on a blog.
I’m kind of glad I didn’t stay up for that.
Georgia fans, sorry to hear about UGA.
Smitty, enjoy your new TV.
I was at the R-Braves game tonight (it stunk. They lost 9-3, and it was a poorly played game. Three errors for the R-Braves, and several Prados.) I got to wondering if Jason Perry is ever going to get a shot in Atlanta. The dude is hitting over .300, plays a pretty good RF, and is pretty clutch. I don’t think he’d be the long term answer, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him called up for a few weeks so Francoeur could get some more “scheduled rest” that could help him break out of this terrible slump he’s stuck in.
Stable influence is unmeasurable.
So obviously it doesn’t exist. Considering the injury carnage, the crap on the 25 roster he has to run out there every day, it’s a frickin’ miracle to be around .500.
At least the D-Backs have gone in the tank so I don’t have to read anymore gag-inducing ‘if only Bob Melvin were our manager’ posts.
One could make the argument that the team is playing well considering the number of injured players, but it’s difficult to attribute that relative success to Cox’s managing. It seems more likely to me that outstanding performances from our young pitchers are keeping the team in the NL east race than Cox’s managing.
One could make the argument that the team is playing well considering the number of injured players, but itâ€™s difficult to attribute that relative success to Coxâ€™s managing.
Well it not luck. Our luck factors are all in the toilet. It’s not good general managing. Wren has criminally ignored the gaping holes in the outfield. I tend to credit Bobby and McDowell for helping the pitching staff perform much, much better than you would expect it to on paper. The pitching has kept us near .500.
Actually, it’s not that difficult at all.
The team’s pitchers have posted the lowest team ERA in the NL, and that statistic is unarguable, but I don’t have any reason to believe that the team’s pitchers are performing well because of Cox. One may assume that all pitchers receive coaching from the team’s pitching coach and other coaches, but I haven’t read about any of the team’s pitchers attributing their success to Cox. While it is easy to observe Cox’s on-the-field decisions and critique them with statistics, it is difficult to give Cox credit for what he may or may not be doing to help the team off the field.
Jered Weaver and bullpen just no-hit the Dodgers and still managed to lose. I think that counts as miserable loss type 1A Prime.
#21–Good point; I am surprised that the Braves have not managed to acheive that kind of loss in the last three seasons….
“Teixeira’s sixth homer in his past six games cut the Braves’ deficit to one run. But any thoughts of preventing Hudson from suffering his sixth loss were erased when Manny Acosta’s allowed the Blue Jays to score three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
In his past 10 appearances, the right-hander reliever has worked 10 2/3 innings, posted a 10.12 ERA and surrendered 17 hits. ”
so now we have three injured players on the 25 man roster, 1 useless catcher, a reliever that cant pitch, and Ring and Carlyle who they wont let pitch
so wer’re basically playing with an 18 man roster made up of Frenchy, Norton, Gotay, and Lillibridge.
breaking that down further, we have 14 useful (if you consider Blanco useful) players. 5 of them are of the starting rotation
I do wish I’d talked about Blanco’s great day in the recap. If Chipper and Escobar come back anytime soon and Teixeira stays awake…
Lerew had a nice rehab start in the GCL:
One learns to be happy with so little…
The Blue Jays used all left handed pitchers in the game. The Brave’s right handed hitters, including the 3 swith hitters (Teixeira, Gotay & Norton) were a combined 2 for 19, while the four left handed hitters were a combined 8 for 17. And Bobby still let Gotay bat, and was going to pinch hit for KJ instead.
From what little I’ve actually seen, KJ could probably hit better one handed than Gotay batting right handed.
Bradleyâ€™s whole thesis that Cox improves the performance of the teams that he manages by being a stable influence on the clubhouse is horse shit.
And now we know better than the players who play for Cox or the columnist/reporter who has been around them & speaking with them for Cox’s entire 2nd managerial tenure?
…it is difficult to give Cox credit for what he may or may not be doing to help the team off the field.
So…why don’t we ask the guys who are there and can tell us—like players & reporters?
The players couldn’t possibly know what they’re talking about because we can’t put a VORP on the situation. (VORM?)
Again, a good columnist takes a point and supports it with evidence, anecdotal and otherwise—in this case, otherwise being years of actual reporting.
Ever been in a professional sports clubhouse?
Ever had players pull you aside & tell you things—good or bad, on or off the record—about the guy at the top?
Once again, here’s the key passage in the mini-column: Those folks whoâ€™ve never ventured into a clubhouse canâ€™t really begin to appreciate the respect every Brave has for the manager.
If that’s true, I’m not sure how that might negatively impact a team. Seems to me, it can only be a positive. And if a generation’s worth of players say that they like the club’s atmosphere, I’d tend to believe them.
But they couldn’t possibly know what they’re talking about, right?
“Well it not luck. Our luck factors are all in the toilet. Itâ€™s not good general managing. Wren has criminally ignored the gaping holes in the outfield.”
i still disagree with this statement. lets think of the outfield options he has put on the field this year: diaz, kotsay, francoeur, b. jones, infante, blanco, anderson, and norton.
8 players. he has tried to fill a hole without making a sacrifice for the future. francoeur was looking up, diaz came off of 2 fine seasons, kotsay was the risk but panned out (until the dl), brandon jones was coming off of great seasons in the minors, norton was never supposed to be a “regular”. who knew that so much could go wrong?
when factoring in the injuries and the lackluster performances from promising young talent (diaz, francoeur), the blame cannot be put on frank wren. an impact player is going to cost impact talent. we cant throw one of our loogies to a team for a player like matt murton. we would have to make the package all nice and pretty and trade away some more of our prospects. considering we just sent 5 to texas, i dont think that’s such a good idea.
the only clear cut solution to stop the outfield bleeding would be to sign bonds. are you ready for that kind of zoo to come to town? it would be interesting to say the least.
just imagine being in frank wren’s shoes for a moment.
1. he enters behind one of the greatest gm’s in baseball history.
2. he makes a good trade to pick up hernandez and jurrjens. he signs infante. he signs glavine. he looks at his team on paper and he likes his options. here’s where the train wreck occurs.
3. smoltz starts the year on the dl
4. hampton goes down before his first start.
5. soriano goes on the dl
6. moylan out for the year
7. glavine goes on the dl
8. diaz goes on the dl
9. kotsay goes on the dl
10. smoltz goes back on the dl and comes back for one game then declares he’s done.
11. glavine goes on the dl again.
12. soriano mysteriously “cant pitch” due to soreness.
13. chipper sits 3-5 games at a time with various injuries.
and the list goes on……
how can you prepare for a complete collapse? you can’t have every hole filled and you can’t have backups for every hole that wasnt filled in the first place.
Ryan C–I have some sympathy for your inspired defense of Wren. I was one of the first to complain (which I did early and often about several of his trades–Kotsay, Ridgway +Anderson) but let me say a few good words about what the man has done.
Wren deserves credit for not rushing players to the majors the way that JS did. As a result, the good thing about the Kotsay and Anderson trades was that it meant that Schafer will get time to develop. At the same time, Wren allowed Morton to stay at Richmond long enough to develop some–I am guessing that this decision will pay benefits. Finally, the Ohman/Infante trade was useful and the trade for Jurrjens and Hernandez was wonderful…
On the negative side, Wren was not aggressive enough over the winter. At the winter meetings he said that he was after a backup catcher–which now seems like a lofty ambition. In fact, the winter would have been the time to get either a better hitting outfielder or another starting pitcher.
Injuries are part of the sport. The idea that this team was going to get much better by adding Glavine, Kotsay, Josh Anderson and Jurrjens was naive. The fact of the matter is that Jurrjens, Campillo have bailed Wren out.
It was virtually inevitable that a team built around Smoltz, Glavine, Hudson, Hampton and Chuck James would have serious injury problems. The idea that Kotsay would be healthy for an entire season was equally naive. Unfortunately, I don’t think that anybody who enjoys this site is all that surprised that Chipper would miss a decent amount of games.
Therefore, while Wren has done a great job of acquiring and developing young talent, I think that he does bear some responsibility for our 40-42 record.
Nonetheless, Wren has a bright future because the combination of two things is especially encouraging: we should have loads of money off the books next year (Tex or no Tex) and taking care of young talent offers the Braves the means to become a dominant team once again.
WE NEED TO BLOW UP THIS TEAM
we are NOWHERE near the Phillies (it pains me to say that); nor will we be with the addition of a power LF bat.
however, MANY nice pieces could be had with the trading of Tex, Kotsay, Ohman, Glavine (when healthy a nice 2 month rental for a team that needs a stable SP to eat up innings (is Glavine that anymore?), Soriano (nice arm when healthy), James (if ready to go could do great in a place like oakland or the padres–pitcher’s havens–but i’m not ready to give up on James (see Kyle Davies)), Hampton (ha…if he pitches again, the world might implode upon itself…but if he proves capable in July…some team that is DESPERATE–read Yankees–could take a flyer on his talent)…
hell, I’d trade Frenchy for a can of baked beans right now.
we need to get younger…and hungrier…
I’ve been on travel for two weeks and with limited internet access I haven’t kept up with the Braves much. About the only thing I noticed was that the Braves are still hanging around .500 – they win a few then lose a few. I’m shocked to see that we’re only 4.0 games back – the Phillies must be stinking it up.
Tex seems to be hitting his stride, Frenchy doesn’t seem to be hitting anything! I don’t know if I agree with blowing up the team, but I just don’t see us getting much above .500 w/o major improvements. I’m not against trading Frenchy at some point, but I’d much rather see him get some time in Richmond and see him get hot for a few weeks in Atlanta. Generally trading a player at his lowest point is not a good idea.
Btw, I saw the Braves/Rangers game when I was in Dallas. Nice stadium, but the pace of the game (and the umpire’s indifference about it) is one of many reasons that I like NL baseball more.
Even if players do say that they appreciate Cox’s managing, it is difficult to quantify that effect, as Bradley seems to want to do by claiming that the team would have a worse record were it not for Cox’s managing. On the other hand, it is much easier to speculate that Cox has cost the team wins with his poor on-the-field decisions, because observers are able to use statistics to question Cox’s decisions.