Braves 6, DBacks 4

ESPN – Braves vs. Diamondbacks – Box Score – August 07, 2008

So, that’s two terrific starts in a row for Charlie Morton, and this time the team scored some runs. Boyer tried to ruin it for him, but Morton got a win. He went seven, struck out four versus one walk, and allowed five hits (all singles) and no runs.

The Braves got him an early lead, which always helps. Blanco led off with a single, went to second on a balk, then third on an infield single from Escobar, allowing him to come home on a Kotchman flyout. Kotsay hit a solo homer in the fifth to make it 2-0.

The Braves got four runs in the eighth; turned out they needed them. Blanco doubled in Francoeur, who sucks. Escobar doubled in two, then came home on a McCann single. Turned out they needed the runs, because Boyer gave them all back in the bottom of the inning, including a three-run homer. Gonzalez had to finish the inning and then pitch the ninth, all of which he did with no problems. Boyer needs to go on the DL.

Blanco, Escobar, and McCann each had two hits. Kotchman was hitless and is hitting .152 as a Brave. Early returns: not so hot.

67 thoughts on “Braves 6, DBacks 4”

  1. From DOB’s blog:

    “Still trying to find it: Jeff Francoeur has hit .214 with a .280 OBP in 89 games since April 23. Yes, .214 (74-for-345). With more hit-by-pitches (eight) than homers (six) in that span, and 11 double plays grounded into.

    Since June 14, he’s hit .177 (28-for-158) with four doubles, one homer and 11 RBI, with a .251 OBP and .222 slugging percentage.

    His .230 average is second-lowest among NL qualifiers, better than only Khalil Greene’s .213 (Andruw doesn’t qualify, or he’d have the distinction in a runaway, with his .164 average).”

    Holy crap! What does it take to get this guy out of the lineup, an executive order from the president? Doesn’t anyone in the Braves organization know the meaning of LOUSY BALLPLAYER?

  2. Marc…………the Braves’ bosses dont want this blog to dry up and blow away. which it surely would if we didnt have the Frenchman to kick around. i mean, what else is there to write about?

  3. Barrycuda,

    We’d find someone else pretty quickly. You gotta admit, though, that those are pretty pathetic numbers especially for a right fielder. You could basically put virtually any major league player in his place and do as well or better.

  4. I’m going to cut Jeff and Mighty Casey some slack the rest of the year. Maybe they’ll get it together, maybe not; but the season’s pretty much kaput anyway.

    Of greater concern to me, I hope the Braves are prudent with our young arms. Joba as an object lesson would not be ill-advised. I’d DL Boyer, skip JJ occasionally in the rotation, etc. Hey, it’s almost September, so why not go to a six or even seven man rotation? Err on the side of caution.

    Also, bring up the position prospects and hold open auditions in September.

  5. since its been well established here that the rest of this season means nothing, i say let Frenchy flail away. God knows we need the comic relief. its not like hes standing in anyones’ way since the minors have been left to rot by management…………and Mac, i’ve been a braves fan since long before you were in the 8th grade. i just cant figure out where this mess fits on the long list of bad braves teams. or, exactly where the blame should fall.

  6. When “main stream” media guys like DOB are throwing this stuff about Francoeur up over and over and over, there has to be a problem.

    IF we had claimed B. Giles, and IF San Diego didn’t withdraw him, then we could have sent French one down again. And given him some targets to meet and sent him somewhere OTHER THAN Wellman. That could have been another reason to put a claim on Giles.

    The FO may be biding its time for the offseason to start making decisions and moves on Francoeur, but everything else Braves we try or should try to do is tied into this one decision (which is unlike any other decision that the team faces).

  7. Just food for thought
    .253 .366 .409 .775 Jordan Schafer
    .254 .334 .383 .717 Brandon Jones
    .308 .353 .390 .743 Josh Anderson
    .293 .340 .460 .800 Omar Infante
    .230 .289 .353 .642 Frenchy

    Schafer – not ready
    Jones – why not? He could suck worse than Frenchy but he’d have to really try.
    Anderson – really needs Corky’s copy of the pictures.
    Infante – just too logical for Bobby to think about once Chipper comes off the DL

    IF Diaz ever comes off the DL ….see comments on Brandon Jones.

    I’m with most of you. Why doesn’t Bobby just keep putting our best 8 out there and see what happens? Like maybe he’d get some confidence that KJ can hit a lefty. Find out if Anderson can play. I’m confused.

  8. And I’m not about ‘punishing’ Frenchy. For what? The kid is trying but he clearly ain’t helping the team win. Continuing to run him out there clearly hasn’t helped him at all this season. 47 games left Bobby. Find out if you have another outfielder in our system.

  9. I’d also assume that Khalil Greene won’t qualify for too much longer, considering he’s out for the season after breaking his hand in frustration. So Frenchy may well be the worst major league regular by the end of the month. We can only hope.

  10. Schafer’s OPS is actually a little over 800 since he came back from suspension. It was only 4 games before the suspension, but he really tanked those (OPS 400). Also, he is doing fine against righties and improving a little but still way behind on hitting lefties.

    But, Schafer needs to stay down and work on hitting lefties.

  11. And how did Diaz become such a mystery man. He stopped playing in Richmond on 7/23 and was supposed to come to Atlanta for evaluation and then probably be activated. No word for several days on what was up. Then, we find out he had numbness, etc. (nerve problem, probably kneee slipped) and needed a few days off. Then he was supposed to test it, but no updates.

    Has he become Chuck Barris’ replacement at CIA?

  12. As for how this team ranks on the list of bad Braves teams, I would say not very high considering some the teams in the 70s or 80s.

  13. Khalil Greene plays the most important defensive position on the diamond, and plays it quite well — even if he’s no Tulowitzki. Jeff Francoeur plays one of the less important defensive positions, and plays it quite poorly.

    Advantage: Not push.

  14. This team is just blandly bad & remarkably unlucky— in the truest sense of the word.

    It’s not historically bad or comically bad, like those ’70s & ’80s teams.

    Hopelessly bad? We’ll see about that.

    I’m probably going to look back on this season & think of three things: the preposterous spate of injuries, the rightfielder’s unending freefall & Skip’s death.

    In my mind, because the season went up in smoke, they’ll personify the ’08 Braves & somewhat overshadow whatever Chipper accomplishes this year. I still wanna see him take the batting title, though. That’s my main rooting interest anymore.

  15. Blasphemy, heresy, and/or fighting words follow:

    Chipper, whom I love and honor, would best serve the Braves future by either requesting/agreeing to a trade or retiring.

    He is the best part time player I know.

  16. My three rooting interests:

    1) Chipper’s batting title
    2) The young pitchers’ development
    3) The Rays. Sorry, I like me some Rays.

  17. Yeah, I’m heading back to down to school near Tampa next week, and I’m gonna be getting my Rays on as much as I can. Shake and bake.

  18. My rooting interests:

    1) Get to .500. Ok that almost certainly won’t happen.
    2) Mets don’t make the playoffs. Looking good for this.
    3) Yankees and Red Sox don’t make the playoffs. Probably at least one will make it unfortunately.
    4) Jeff Francoeur continues to play so badly he earns a trade to the Royals in the offseason. On track for this.
    5) McCann hits .300 with 30 homers. Possible but he’ll have to turn up the power the last 2 months.
    6) Chipper stays healthy and wins the batting title. /cross fingers
    7) Jurrjens wins 15 games.
    8) Bobby and all his coaches are fired. Pendleton has proven unable to get through to players such as Andruw and Jeffy. McDowell has seen an alarming number of pitching injuries since he took over. Bobby doesn’t have it anymore and bears a large share of the blame for the team’s problems in 1 run games.

  19. Diaz isnt going to help us with anything. He wont be any more productive than Kotsay or Blanco, and he wont take Frenchy’s spot. Anyone else have a feeling that Soriano is going down Huddy’s path and will need TJ surgery? He met with Dr Andrews yesterday. We’ll probably have both of them rehabing all of next year

  20. I love how people here are still not over the loss of Mazzone. Seriously though, what does McDowell have to do to get just a little bit of respect. His rotation consist of Jurrjens, Campillo, Morton, James, Reyes, and Hampton right now. He was given two 40+ bodies and Hampton at the start of the year. I’d say he’s been the only good coach that we have had this season

  21. I like it how Pendleton gets no cred when guys like KJ say that he’s been working with TP to change his stance, and then he goes on a crazy hot streak. Instead, he gets nailed to the wall because he can’t get through to stupid, neanderthal hitters like Andruw and Francoeur.

  22. Oh, come on.

    Pendleton is a disaster. You’re using KJ (the really inconsistent enigma wrapped in a riddle) as a reference?

  23. Pendleton’s a disaster? Last I checked, we were second in the league in offense last year in just about every category. The year before that, same deal. Look at his lineup this year. You got Matt Diaz in left, Kotsay in center, and Francoeur in right. Enough said. Chipper can’t stay on the field. Teixera is notorious for first half slumps. Escobar and Johnson have pretty much performed as expected. What do you expect?

  24. #24, why in hell would you want to get to .500 at this point. So we can tumble down the draft order? Hell, if you’re not finishing 1st or in the Wild Card, I’d just as soon finish worse.

    Winning is relative to the context. While yes, its always better to win, eventually in this context for this season, its counterproductive.

  25. Count me among those both pulling for Chipper to win the BA title and for the Rays to bump out either the Yanks or the Sox (perferably the latter).

  26. why fire TP?. how much influence do you think he has? he can talk to these guys all day and if they listen at all, its taken as a suggestion, not an order. unless the guys go to him for help, there isnt a whole lot he can do. this isnt football where the coaches really coach.

  27. Kelly wanted to go back to his old stance on his own and asked for Pendleton’s approval. That doesn’t speak to me that Pendleton had anything to do with the actual change, just nod of the head most likely.

  28. As to frenchie, our dang pitchers have had 3 XB hits in the last 12 games; Frenchie has none. Forget the dang horrible strike-zone judgment (well, don’t, but hold that thought for a moment); the guy cannot hit it past the OF any more.

    The front office are really f’ing it up with Frenchie. I assume they think that the best thing for him is to play through this problem and that it will some how correct itself, so the order is out there to let him keep hitting, hacking and failing. I am not sure they are just crushing his confidence beyond any hope of recovery at this point.

    and as to Kotchman, while the average will go up; there sits his horrible walk rate and no XB power, out of the 1B slot, for all to see. He is going to be a singles hitting outs eater; what a mess Fran Wren made of the Teixera situation. We have a below average 1B for 3 years while we are a bad team, anyway; better to have turned some AA prospects up, for our next good team, in 2011.

  29. What else can they do with Frenchy but run him out there everyday? It doesn’t seem like sending him down is really an option. So see if he can’t turn things around… to either have something for him to build on or to restore any value he might have had.

  30. ‘and as to Kotchman, while the average will go up; there sits his horrible walk rate and no XB power, out of the 1B slot, for all to see. He is going to be a singles hitting outs eater; what a mess Fran Wren made of the Teixera situation. We have a below average 1B for 3 years while we are a bad team, anyway; better to have turned some AA prospects up, for our next good team, in 2011.’

    So bfan what should Wren have done?

    On Pendleton and McDowell. They are just coaches.

  31. #33, because as Mac has said several times, it’s much easier to become competitive again and faster when you start from a base of 81 wins than if you start from 71. A high draft pick isn’t going to help the major league club for years to come unless the player picked is traded for a useful major leaguer. I don’t see the club as being that far off from turning things around that I want to be waiting for some draft pick to develop. By the time that happened, Chipper would be retiring anyway and McCann would be leaving to some big market team in free agency.

  32. In a related note; as soon as the Russian tanks crossed the Georgia boarder, Frenchy surrendered

  33. I know that’s what he said, but respectfully I don’t agree with him. When all the players are chasing is money, it isn’t going to make one whit of difference this offseason whether or not we’re 2 games under .500 or 15.

    This team is worse off than most of this board wants to admit. Chipper’s glass, Smoltz is old and probably 50/50 if he’ll ever pitch again, Glavine is old and infirm, Hudson is now broken down, Kotchman is a singles hitter at a corner infield position, KJ(I don’t care what you all say) is an average player at best, Yunel is a good average hitter, but has little power, and our OF couldn’t play in AA ball. Blanco only “looks” good because he’s on the Braves. If he played for other teams, he’d be a 4th or 5th outfielder.

    This is NOT going to be a one year retool and contend job. It’s going to take 2-3 years to get back to being competitive. I’d rather be drafting in the Top 8 than 17th.

  34. The Braves have had numerous hitting coaches over the years and none have really made a difference and all have been eventually criticized. The fact is, JS built this team around pitching and defense and offense was, to some extent, an afterthought. I don’t know how much effect hitting coaches have although there have been a few “superstar” hitting coaches like Walt Hriniak. It is simply impossible for someone on the outside to evaluate whether TP (or any coach for that matter) is good or not. How the hell do I know if TP is a good teacher? You can’t simply look at the results and say he’s a bad coach–some of it has to do with the players. TP is probably an ordinary hitting coach but it’s a little ridiculous, IMO, to blame him for the problems.

  35. #40, #42.

    Whenever there was a minor crisis in my house, my mother would always diffuse it with: “Well, it’s not like the Russians are at the beach…”

    On to Valdosta! On to Ellijay!

  36. Pitching coaches should be paid triple what hitting coaches get, as far as I’m concerned. And maybe they are — I don’t really know.

    While I doubt there’s any correlation between major league success as a hitter, what I do know about TP is that he was an impatient hitter, and as a coach I’ve heard him use the word “aggressiveness” far more than I’ve heard him say “patience”. That’s concerned me since day one.

  37. But it’s very hard to see any overaggressiveness in the Braves, who are (again) third in the league in OBP and in walks.

    I would say that if there is a problem it is not in teaching on-base skills but in getting players to hit for power, which is the real trouble for this team. TP has done a good job with some players, in particular righthanded or switch-hitting line-drive type hitters (Renteria, Escobar, Infante, Diaz before this year, Prado…) He doesn’t really have anything to do with Chipper or McCann, the team’s two best hitters. Andruw, of course, never listened to any of the Braves’ hitting coaches. The problem child is Francoeur, of course.

  38. @48

    Wow, Ellijay. That’s where my Father-in-law is from. I didn’t know anybody else even knew the town existed. Pretty part of the world tho…

  39. Perhaps “The Art of Hitting” should be mandatory reading at each level in the Braves farm system. Evidently Williams was one exceptional hitter who could put his experience into words for others to learn, witness Dante Bichette for one. He did a pretty good job as a manager too, considering the talent he had to work with.

  40. #52

    My folks lived in Ellijay for a few years. Beautiful place. Everybody waves. And a pack of wild dogs mauled our family pets….

    And I don’t know who their most famous resident might be, but Greg “Redneck Greece” Reece hails from Ellijay….

  41. @ 40 Mac and others,

    This makes me remember that in 1981 when the British went to re-take the Falkland Islands the first place they landed was at nearby South Georgia.

    Lewis Grizzard wrote a great column about what would happen to the British if they invaded South Georgia (the one around here).

  42. Atlanta’s been blessed with some characters: Lewis Grizzard, Ted Turner, Old Ern, Skip.

  43. Remember the story about Skip having a truckload of chicken manure dumped at the front door of John now-the Yankees-voice’s front door. Skip broke the mold.

  44. A Skip story I just heard this week — a good friend of mine was the landscape architect for the house the Carays moved into several years ago. There was a ditch running alongside the driveway, and she offered to build a little bridge across it for foot traffic. Skip considered the offer, then said to go ahead and build it, but to make it flimsy in case someone broke into his house and tried to carry his TV across it. Now tell me you can’t hear him say something just like that.

  45. Skip
    I think the manure story was about Jiggs McDonald, the old Atlanta Flames announcer.

    One time many years ago, my sister & I were driving in downtown Athens & we pulled into a parking space. I got out of the car just in time to avoid being hit by another car that crazily pulled into the spot next to me.

    I was a lot annoyed, then a little astonished when my sister saw who was getting out of the other car: “Hey, that’s Lewis Grizzard!”

    He was hammered. He tried to be all beery & cheery, but he was mumbling something about the friend he was with—“How ya doin’? I’m here with…asshole!”—so we just waved and left him there with his pal on the corner of Washington & Jackson. Hope he was staying at the nearby History Village Inn that night.

    North Georgia
    Ellijay (& all of Gilmer County) is indeed beautiful. It can be somewhat terrifying to drive around those mountains, especially at night, but it’s really pretty if you’re a passenger.

  46. I just wanted to make sure and come on here today give Smitty kudos for the funniest line of the week at #42. Bravo, Smitty.

  47. If the hitting coach doesn’t set the tone for the approach at the plate, who does?

    This team has been the most undisciplined bunch of choking hackers in my long memory. The ONLY hitters with any kind of intelligent approach are Chipper and McCann and they were both formed by their fathers (to whom they openly return to when they hit the occasional rough patch).

    If someone doesn’t get ahold of Yunel and teach him some plate discipline, we’re gonna doom another major talent to mediocrity.

    Hell, even Hitting Machine Diaz is regressing under Pendleton.

    Saying it wasn’t Bob Weiss’s fault that the Hawks wouldn’t listen to him is just not recognizing what a professional coach is paid to do. Our choke factor since TP has been our hitting coach is likely off the charts – don’t have the numbers, but I do have the memories of the last three years.

    Btw, I’d forgotten how much I hate Kornhiser on MNF. He makes it damn near unwatchable!

  48. Our OBP stats look encouraging, but we’re 11th in slugging percentage. Those guys on-base are just getting a better look at The Out Machine.
    We’re 13th in stolen bases, too.

    Can anybody on this team advance a runner by hitting a ball out of the infield?

  49. But a head coach is different from an assistant coach. And a basketball coach clearly has more control over the game than any baseball manager or coach. I’m not saying TP is a good hitting coach. I have no idea. But I do know that almost all the hitting coaches the Braves have had over the years–even during the good years–eventually left and the offense was never all that good. It’s hard to believe they were all lousy coaches.

    That’s not to say there aren’t some exceptional hitting coaches. Ted Williams was apparently one-he had Eddie Brinkman, one of the worst hitters in baseball, hitting .270. I don’t know what TP is trying to teach or if he has a particular philosophy. I doubt that he is a great hitting coach. But I don’t think an outsider can possibly know if he is the problem.

  50. what wren could have done…not limited his chase/demands to getting back an MLB ready 1B. By next spring, Kaahlue will be a better option at 1B than Kotchman. I would have tried for prospects, that had upside as plus players at their position. We would have been awful at 1B the rest of this season, but does anyone really care whether we are 70-92 or 74-88 this year?

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