Giants 3, Braves 2

ESPN – Braves vs. Giants – Box Score – August 06, 2008

You thought this team was bad at the one-run games before? This team has now perfected one-run losses. They can lose a one-run game, not a shutout, without ever threatening to tie it. They never got the tying run into scoring position. They fell down 3-0, “rallied” to cut it to 3-2, and yet ended both innings they scored in with the bases empty.

The Braves had a chance to take a lead in the first, but Kotchman was thrown out at the plate. The Giants got a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning, and a sac fly in the third, both from Aaron Rowand. Chuck James went only four innings, allowing just five hits, but it seemed worse.

Gotay doubled hitting for James to lead off the fifth. Blanco then bunted; it doesn’t make any sense to me, either. Maybe he was trying for a hit. Anyway, Gotay came home on a groundout. In the sixth, McCann led off with a double, went to third on a wild pitch, and came home on a groundout. After that, the Braves had only one other baserunner, Blanco on a walk. McCann — who really doesn’t deserve to be called a “Brave” and be associated with these losers — was 3-4, while the rest of the team was 2-26; the starters, other than McCann, were 1-24. On to Arizona.

67 thoughts on “Giants 3, Braves 2”

  1. Mac,

    This re cap is well above the mean.

    However, the gist of it (team sucks) has unfortunately become the mode as well.

    We just need some median players to replace the dregs. Then we could call them “McCann and the mediocres”. That should be good for 85 wins if Bobby didn’t manage them to oblivion.

  2. This team has no players & it wouldn’t matter if Joe McCarthy managed it.

    Kick off time: 3 weeks, 2 days, Go Dawgs.

  3. Isn’t Chipper coming back this weekend? That should make the games at least slightly more competitive.

  4. Yep, it’s hard to be competive when seven starters go 1-24. That’s terrible. But then, this team is just terrible.

  5. hell, this might actually be Bobbys’ best year. between the injuries and a few guys they were counting on for big years crapping the bed, i seriously doubt if any manager could squeeze any more wins out of this mix&;match mess………… unless of course they hire one of Bobbys’ genius detractors from this forum.

  6. embrace the suck–it’ll get a better draft choice and a cornerstone of the 2011 team

  7. Bunting down three runs with a runner at second is nuts, and originally I wrote that Bobby had gone insane, but I decided Blanco probably did it on his own.

  8. Maybe Bobby, knowing the limitations of this “offense”, decided that mounting a rally against Lincecum was a pipe dream, and thus the only chance the team had was to pick at him like a buzzard. One run here, one run there.

    I don’t know. I’m reaching.

  9. Does it even matter anymore? Bobby can do whatever he wants now and it will not make any difference.

    Man, I am feeling like I was in 1990 again…

  10. Hey, we have JJ, JoJo, and Charlie! Oh wait, they are couple years behind in development in comparing to Smoltz, Glavine, and Avery back then. So much for hope!

    I think the 2009 bullpen will be much better than the 1991 bullpen though.

  11. Rob, just for the sake of conversation. Seriously, are you interested in talking about the game today?

  12. I’m not particularly surprised the braves couldn’t do more against Lincecum, he one of the best pitchers in the league this year

  13. What do you say, kc? We’re so negative about our team right now, we don’t even have the perspective to see that Tim Lincecum is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and even if we had Chipper, Teixeira, 2005 Andruw and Francoeur, we still probably would have been beaten. The dude doesn’t have a 2.68 ERA with that defense for nothing.

    It just seems like we’re comparing two different teams just because they had the same name on the unis. Honestly, I’ll take the 2008 Braves, even right now, over the 1990 one, even knowing now what we didn’t know then (ya know, the 1991 NL pennant and 15 straight division titles).

  14. Well, we’ve never had a team look this bad since 1990.

    I too think this system is in better shape than it appeared in 1990. Then again, how likely is it we have two HOF pitchers struggling to get a few wins, right now?

  15. Rob, nobody is taking anything away from Lincecum. I can honestly write the same thing yesterday.

    I honestly don’t see much hope for next year unless we add two established starting pitchers, two big bats, and Jeffrey and Kelly having big seasons. Either the team don’t have money for all that or the chance of the two kids having a big season is so slim (with Kelly having higher “hope”) that I will not count on it.

    It’s a shame that we can’t see how good this team can be. Essentially, injuries has taken the team’s entire rotation away spare of JJ. The regression of Jeffrey and the lack of development from KJ really hurt the offense. Adding the typical slow first half of Tex, the sort of predictable injuries to Sori and Moylan…nothing went right this year except JJ…oh, and Campy too.

    I can count on them being the #3 and #4 for next year, but this team needs to add a #1 and #2. How likely is that?

    So, yes Rob, I am negative, but not because of today loss, but because of the seriously lack of talent. We have plenty of parts, but there is no core. We can’t ask for our 37 years old third baseman and our all-star catcher to carry our team. They will miss their share of games for obvious reasons. At the same time, we have nobody to count on in our rotation.

    Seriously, how can you not be negative?

  16. I dunno man. I just see a lot of good stuff. Honestly, I really liked seeing (on Gameday) Hampton getting some outs. The guy deserves it. I see this as a time for our hitters to develop at the major league level without pressure. Same thing with the pitchers. This is a good opportunity for guys like Reyes and Morton to get some great innings down the stretch. Yeah, we’re losing, but I’m seeing good things.

    And next year, we have more hope than we did this year. Essentially, we have a lot more flexibility. Money buys things in baseball. And the things that we can’t buy (young players), we’ve developed in Escobar, McCann, Francoeur, Johnson, Reyes, Morton, Jurrjens (sort of), Boyer, Moylan, etc. We don’t have to rely on Glavine, Smoltz, and Hampton next year. We’ve got some money to spend, and with some financial wisdom, we can make great investments.

    The hope for next year, then, is not based on luck. We won’t be “lucky” to get Sheets or Sabathia or Burrell or Dunn. We throw the best offer on the table, and we get the player. We put a good offer of players on the table, and we can trade for something of value. Subsequently, we won’t have to rely on guys staying healthy; we trade or sign players with low injury risks.

    I see a lot to be happy about, and in the meantime, I’m gonna give guys like Lincecum the credit they truly deserve when they dominate a major league lineup, regardless of how good it is. And plus, even a bad day of baseball is better than a day of no baseball. I think we can all agree on that.

  17. The thing is, Rob, there will not be enough money off the book to add all the things this team needs. If Huddy is healthy, I can still see a little bit of hope. I guess what I am saying is a quick turnaround in 2009 is not likely.

  18. If folks want to blame injuries, fine. By all means injuries and, perhaps, some bad luck contributed to this 85-win team becoming a 75-win team, which in turn led to the Teixeira trade–making them much worse than even that. But this was always the 3rd-best roster in the NL East, at least as many here and elsewhere saw it. Now it’s 4th best. They lost 1-run games in April and they’re losing 1-run games in August. The only thing that’s changed is that now we expect it, especially with this roster.

    “We won’t be “lucky” to get Sheets or Sabathia or Burrell or Dunn.”

    No, we’ll be extremely lucky. I would love Dunn, who’s only 28, but I would bet the house that both pitchers will be priced out of the Braves’ range within 30 seconds of free agency’s start time.

  19. I think there will be. And if there’s not, there’s enough pieces to trade for cost-controlled players on the trade market. We have the resources, whether it be talent or money. I like our odds.

    I will say, however, I don’t have the same confidence in Wren, Cox, McDowell, and Pendelton the way I did with JS, Cox, Mazzone, and random hitting coach.

  20. Well, injuries or not. It doesn’t really matter now.

    And Rob, speaking of Hampton. We have gotta thank him for being useless for three years. Now that I am blaming him for the injuries. It’s unfortunate. But it sucks to see him getting wins when the game doesn’t mean anything anymore…and if he does well for the rest of the season, I wonder if Wren will actually consider bringing him back…

  21. I certainly hope so Rob, but in terms of the trading chips, are we counting Jeffrey and Kelly?

  22. In addition to Justice, Gant, Glavine, Avery, and Smoltz (the last was already a legitimate All-Star) there were other pieces. Everyone always forgets Leibrandt, but he was a good pitcher. Blauser replaced Andres “The Shortstop Francoeur” Thomas for good in September. Treadway and Lemke were a viable platoon arrangement.

    The thing was that there were obvious holes — first base and third base, and the rotation after Leibrandt and Smoltz. Fixing the first two more or less fixed the last, because they got a huge defensive boost from Bream and Pendleton.

    The problem is that I don’t have any faith that the current regime will take steps to fix the obvious problems with this team, most importantly right field. Schuerholz and Bobby jettisoned Presley, will Wren jettison Francoeur? I doubt it.

  23. Mac, Presley was no where near Jeffrey in terms of local popularity. I guess that’s the difference in how the two are being handled.

    Oh boy, Presley and Thomas…I must say Jeffrey at least plays better defense than Thomas at short. Thomas was absolutely a nightmare. The team back then didn’t have a shortstop…even though Andres was standing at that spot.

    Up to today, I am still thinking if the 1991 and 1992 team over-achieved. Kudos to JS for adding Maddux and McGriff in 1993. The current team needs this type of additions to have any hope in 2009. Can Wren find the Maddux and McGriff of 2009?

  24. Adding Grissom in 1995 was very important too. So, that’s my buying list for Wren this offseason. A Maddux, McGriff (a leftfield version for this team), and Grissom of 2009. If he can do that, I will be very happy. The chance of that happenning is zero. I hope I will be surprised.

  25. In case the mood on this blog should improve, let me add that Teheran got lit up at Danville:

    Going back to the above discussion–the current situation reminds me more of the mid-late 1980s when Braves fans were treated to a decline (from being a competitive team in first part of the decade) and collapse (the 1988) team than it does 1990.

    I hope that Wren plans to be competitive in 2010 and hopes to be decent and possibly competitive in 2009….

  26. Well, that’ll kill some Yankee & Met talk for the next couple days around here.

    I wonder what happens to Chad—who gets him now?

  27. I would just like to point out that on the left sidebar, Mac has an ebay advertisement up of 12 autographed Johnny Estrada baseballs for $39.99. 12 baseballs with no signature would run you $47.88 from Johnny Estrada’s signature devalues baseballs.

    Are you not entertained!?

  28. Stephen, how is this more like the decline and collapse phase of the ’80s?

    I see a team that is mostly young with promise. Our pitching is being led by two rookies and we have a chance to improve our team significantly through free agency. I also see a major wave of talent in the minors which is now reaching Hi-A and AA.

    It may be more appropriate to argue whether it is 1990 or 1989.

  29. Parish–I guess that I see the Braves as nearing a turning point: I agree with you about the positive side of things. However, my fear is that just as the mid-80s Braves began to do foolish things to stay competitive so have the Braves. No two historic sitatutions are identical (or even parallel) but the first Teixeria trade reminded me a lot ot the disastrous trade for Len Barker.

    If the Braves continue to play for 84-88 win seasons by trading key prospects then I think a similar outcome is possible.

    I might add that prospects are always prospects–meaning that some of them–no matter how good they look–will flame out, get injured or simply fail to improve. Therefore, when I look at the farm I do see lots to be excited about–but my enthusiasm is tempered by a bit of realism. In addition, I am not confident that the Braves management will exploit it fully.

    I am not one to be a big Frenchy basher (in fact, I am regretting calling him the Prince of Suckage because I am rather tired of the way Francoeurphobia now tends to rule these threads), but the fact that I think he will be in RF next year undercuts lots of the young team’s promise.

    Last, I am not as confident that he Braves will be able to secure a top notch free agent.

    Therefore, I do believe that there are grounds for optimism–particularly if the team is patient–but I also sense that 14 straight division titles have produced a mindset that concentrates too much on the next season, when it might do better to improve in 2009 but look aggresively towards the next decade….

    Lets hope for the best….

  30. Stephen, I agree with you. Seems like the team has lost its ability to pay and attract top FA. At the same time, there is no one FA available which I would throw all my monies at…well, I still believe Tex is that kind of player, but we know it’s not going to happen now.

  31. Campbell is SERIOUSLY raking now.

    wasn’t he around .220 in May? He’s up to .270 with 17 HR in Myrtle Beach???!!! That park SUCKS for hitters. Now, if that “attitude” has been worked on, he’s gonna be our 3B of the future.


    Tehran is ONLY 17 years old. Give the kid a break. He’s gonna have some of these. However, we have someone that many scouts say is better than Felix H at the same age. So, take what you will from that.

  32. Chris- i was thinking the same thing. I was checking out the minors and saw he has been hot for a while now.
    Van Pope is hitting again too, maybe those guys have raised their trade values back up.

    Whats with the power at Myrtle Beach this year? Nobody ever hit HR’s down there before.

    Hanson pitching better again too.

    Chuck James pitches like a cheap, used Juggs Machine.

  33. @45 and 46,

    Campbell has been labeled with “attitude.” I don’t know what the specifics were. His early mediocre stats were the result of being 60 days or so behind everybody else. Earlier, the scouts said his fielding was plus at third base. As to the MB effect, look at his splits on ISO home and away. He looks good.

    Van Pope is supposedly a very good fielder. However he is 28 repeating AA. His ceiling looks like Mac’s view of Prado.

    Lillibridge seems to have flipped a switch in late June. He started hitting pretty well in AAA then, came back up and got it going a little in ML and then went back to AAA and got it going. He is fast enough and a good enough fielder to be useful at 280 / 320 / 420 which looks doable or him.

  34. I certainly recognize that it was only Teheran’s 4th start–but I thought that I would point it out largely because he has been so hyped. I get tired of seeing him ranked as a Top 10 Braves prospect based on hype and about 7 innings of work. That said, I think he is more legitmate than Glenn Williams….

  35. I don’t think many have said Teheran is better than King Felix at the same age. The common refrain I’ve seen is that he’s the most talented *since* Hernandez.

    Nobody could win with the current group, but if you don’t think Bobby could have done a better job earlier in the season, when a pretty much full-strength squad was losing 1-run games left and right to the Nats, Rockies, and Pirates, well, you are wrong. This has not been one of Bobby’s better seasons.

  36. I remember hating Bobby’s in game moves way back during the beginning of the streak. He’s always been bad at that kind of managing, although I’d argue that he’s gotten a lot worse the last couple of years (or maybe it’s just that having better talent covered up his mistakes more in earlier years).

    Back when the Braves had a Hall of Fame rotation and a lineup of All Stars, Bobby’s ability to make players love him and get the best out of them more than counterbalanced his poor handling of the bullpen, love for worthless “proven veterans” on the bench, excessive bunting, etc. With the much less talented roster he works with now, those flaws get magnified and result in losses above and beyond what would happen anyway.

    If we’re all lucky, he’ll move to the front office after this season citing health, the need to spend more time with his family, etc.

  37. I don’t think we have enough pieces to worry about top tier FAs yet. Guys like Dunn and Burrell, while not old, are good candidates for Tom Brunansky disease. The big, slow sluggers who are on the downslope in their early 30s. Sabathia and Sheets have major long-term question marks, too. We’ve got premium guys in the lower minors, but it’ll be ’10 or ’11 before they’re with the big club and producing, for the most part.

    A full-on rebuild is something that would ignite my interest as a fan far more than maxing out payroll in the vague hope of short-term contention. Lets get as many kids as much playing time as possible, fill in some gaps with guys like Lowe and B. Giles so we’re not hopeless, and build a new dynasty. I don’t mind being a bad team with a plan.

  38. So Corky’s at Richmond. What happened to Ring? Did someone claim him off waivers or did he make it through?

  39. @ 45-46.

    My understanding is that they moved the fences in at MB this year to stop it from being such an extreme pitchers’ park. Hence the increased power.

  40. MB is still a pitchers’ park.

    Campbell is a 23-yo repeating A-ball. He could still turn into something useful, but don’t get your hopes up.

  41. Oh, I hate those regional Sports Illustrated covers.

    I get my SI in the mail and, instead of the Dawgs, I get…Ohio State. (Dawgs on the flap with USC, Mizzou & Florida.)

    Of course, in the Hot & Not section, the Angels are Hot, the Braves are Not.

  42. Here’s the funny thing: the Braves’ (mis)fortunes have dampened my enthusiasm for baseball in general. I mean, the team I play for is not having a very good year (but we’re doing better than the Braves, thank you), and I am personally in the midst of a career year. If only I could cash in on the free agent market… But, as I was saying, I think the Braves have taken a little of the joy out of my year.

  43. per Chuck James….”I felt better,” James said. “I had better location. I’m just pretty much a one-pitch pitcher right now. My changeup isn’t fooling anybody right now.”

    yeah, you’re going to need a new career pretty soon

  44. csg,

    That sounds like a “to the tape room” comment.

    I remember about 4 years ago that Livan Hernandez was getting lit up big time (way over what he had been doing around then). He was with the Nats, I think. They studied tape and he had a different arm angle for his curve from his other pitches. Easy tip off.

    As good as Chuck’s change used to be, somebody must be seeing a clue on it. Maybe they should put Fregosi on it.

  45. Yes, the Braves face the need to add by subtracting.

    Subtract a right fielder, subtract a manager, subtract a hitting coach.

  46. 52 — sansho1, I think I could get behind an (almost) full blown youth movement too. But I just think the front office is hard wired against it. But I also don’t think they’ll be players on big FA’s. So I guess I can only hope that the prospects they trade away land us some good MLB talent at stomachable prices.

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