Cubs 11, Braves 7

ESPN – Cubs vs. Braves – Box Score – August 14, 2008

So, the Braves have finally reached the level the team had fallen to when Albert Hall was around, so it was time for another center fielder to hit for the cycle. Kotsay did it tonight. In, typically, a loss. I hate this team, but Kotsay’s okay, I guess.

Tom Glavine is completely and utterly done: he isn’t on my shutdown list (Escobar, Boyer, Jurrjens) only because it doesn’t really matter anymore if he blows out his arm. Tom gave up seven hits, two of them homers, and walked four. In the end, it was enough for seven runs. He really should hang it up, but like I said, it doesn’t really matter.

But hey, Kotsay. 5-5 on the night. In the second, already down 2-0, he tripled in Jeffy to cut it to one, but was stranded when Escobar struck out with the bases loaded. Down 7-2 in the fourth, he led off with a homer — the two toughest out of the way.

The Braves managed to cut it to 7-4, but that was the way it went all night; the Cubs would come back with more runs. Kotsay led off the sixth with a single. Down 11-4 in the seventh, Francoeur actually hit a three-run homer. That’s nice for him, but he still sucks. Kotsay followed with a double to finish the cycle, but was stranded again. With two out in the ninth, Francoeur and Kotsay singled, but that was it.

Anyway, congrats to Kotsay. If you want a ring, go for a fourth outfielder role somewhere. Maybe we can sneak you through waivers.

82 thoughts on “Cubs 11, Braves 7”

  1. our team is chickenshit. should have picked up escobar. what soriano did yesterday was uncalled for. i hope lilly dies of something painfully slow.

  2. There is obviously something majorly wrong with Diaz’s knee and he’s going to have to have surgery. And, once again, there’s no reason to put it off. Onto the shutdown list, Matthew!

  3. Well at least this helps in our quest for a top ten pick, which is all we can hope for now.

  4. Dude, Francoeur goes 3-5 with a bomb and three RBIs, and he still gets NO credit. So, let’s see: he has a bad game, and he gets thrashed. He has a GREAT game, and he gets thrashed. So, I guess we aren’t rooting for our players to succeed at this point. We got some good fans here. I would like to hear some justification for why Francoeur doesn’t receive anything remotely positive for finally having a good game, and instead gets criticized.

  5. hey at least he’s finally admitted that he’s sucked this season. He knows it and the fans know it. Most people here arent pulling for the guy, but I am. I still dont care if he’s here next year or not, but I’ll pull for him as long as he’s a brave

  6. Rob,
    I’m not a Frenchy basher (I would love to see him do well), but the problem this year has been that he looks like he’s starting to get things back together and then he immediately reverts to his normal self. I can’t remember the last time he had two good games in a row. Hopefully if he starts putting together several good games, people here will give him credit – but I doubt it.

  7. Rob,

    I think you need to understand that the Francoeur gets thrashed not so much because of his performance now, but because of his attitude when being demoted and then his refusal to back off of it when he was promoted back up. When he just sucked it was sad, when he got all entitled about his place on the team it made us angry.

  8. Do you guys think Glavine is done? I mean Jamie Moyer is still going at what 45. I think if Glavine were healthy this year he would be fine.

  9. Glavine may be done, but it is impossible to judge after his first game back from the DL. I didn’t see a radar gun on his fastballs, but they were extremely hittable.

  10. How’s this, Rob?

    Francoeur’s homerun was huge. Not just a homerun, but a huge homerun. I really hope it gets him going.

    Oh yeah, and we still lost by four.

  11. Back from a week in Atlantic City…

    I got in just in time to catch Kotsay’s cycle-clinching double and all I could think of was, “When Horner hit 4 HRs in ’86, the Braves lost that game, too.”

    This year, AC was again was awash in Phils/Mets, Sawx/Yanks talk. I never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness for The Olympics.

  12. 15–it is too early to judge Glavine’s return, but I’ve had my fill of soft tossing lefties this season–Glavine, Hampton, Chucky, and Jo Jo to a lesser extent

    otoh, Resop brought heat but still sucked

  13. Okay guys; you all would have been proud.

    I went to the game and bought tickets and sat in right field section 135.

    I rode Frenchy like bucking bull. I tore in to him hard core. I said things like, “I wish you went to Clemson, they already sucked.” “Henry Aaron is 75 and still better than you!”

    He turned and looked at me. It was great. I think I was the reason he played so well.

    When the benches cleared, Boyer was warming up in the pen and came running out like a mad man. It was tight.

  14. Rob–You make a great point and I take my hat off to you for expressing it. Most of us who have criticized Frenchy would have rather have him succeed. Please note that some of us have been frustrated not only with Frenchy, but with the Braves management’s reliance upon him.

    Personally, I am tired of the anti-Frenchy tirades, but it does not change the fact that I also think that it would be in his best and the Braves’ best interest to see him traded to a club where he can get a fresh start.

    For what it is worth, I could care less about the fact that he used a poor choice of words when he was sent down. Sure, he should have been more mature, but the vast majority of players probably would not have handled it any better. The big differnce is that when a less exalted player gets sent down they don’t immediately have a reporter in their face to see how they felt. The fact that a number of people who post here fixate on this event says more about their own frustrations and the season and the need to find a scapegoat than it does on Frenchy’s performance or attitude.

    Finally, I would love to see Frenchy have a great year for the Braves in 2009–but I just don’t see how it is possible. I would love to be wrong about it.

  15. Well Stephen, perhaps we are trying to balance things out with the real world. Jeffrey probably does not deserve his heavy share of bashing on here, and he does not deserve his popularity in the real world.

  16. Finally some people with sense around here… and what would you all have prefered Jeff to say when being sent down?

    I know at 24 I was in complete control of my emotions… yeah, right… when I was mired in an abyssmal stretch I was always welcoming to the reporters that came crawling into the showers to interview me…

    Honestly, if I have a talented athlete, and he has to get sent down I want his immediate reaction to be “this is just not acceptable!” In his heart Jeff knows why he was sent down, but no 24 year old is going to own up to it, certainly not a gifted athlete who has never faced any similar challenge.

    Other than a couple comments he’s been an exceptional member of the team and the community, and he was the only active player that showed up on Tuesday to pay homage to the late great Skip Caray, which shows you the way he feels about OUR Braves.

    Love your team people… or else we’ll be no better than the Phillies…

  17. 19. if you’re gonna buy good seats and talk trash to one of our players….stay home. he doesn’t come to mcdonalds to tell you that you aren’t any good at making fries.

  18. Finally some people with sense around here… and what would you all have prefered Jeff to say when being sent down?

    Good grief, it’s the “he’s young so cut him some slack defense.” 24 is not young, other than the fact that it is relatively less than 25. Most 24-year-olds have full-time jobs with bosses who treat them like crap every day for no apparent reason. If you want to pop off, you get fired. Jeffy didn’t lose control of his emotions for a brief moment. Not only has he yet to apologize for his completely inappropriate remarks, he has reiterated them on several occasions.

    He just figured out he stinks within the past week? “I’m not swinging at the slider away, and I’m laying off the high stuff.” That’s been the scouting report for all but one month of his career, and he just now noticed? This kid’s got makeup alright…clown makeup.

  19. @26: Stop it.

    Frenchy had better be able to handle being heckled by hometown fans. He is privileged to play major league baseball–for some reason other than actually being good at it. He hurts the Braves on a daily basis. If it hurts his feelings for the fans to let him know about it, so be it. He makes a lot more money than I do and the reason he does is ostensibly that he’s entertaining us. The only people that he could possibly be entertaining are Mets and Phillies fans.

    I would very much like to see him pull his head out of his ass and start contributing to Braves victories. As long as he’s working against that, though, he deserves every bit of scorn that we can heap upon him.

  20. he was the only active player that showed up on Tuesday to pay homage to the late great Skip Caray

    Is this true? I missed the coverage of the tribute, but I thought I read Chipper saying everyone was going to be there.

  21. 26–Smitty works at Burger King

    I still think someone needed plunking after Lilly hit Escobar. Wonder if he hit Esco b/c he and Bueno are friends or if it was b/c he was about to leave the game.

  22. i’m always amused by people who think their ticket gives them a license to act like a punk. i wonder what Smitty would say to Frenchy if he saw him on the street.

  23. I hope that none of us hates Frenchy. Smitty, dude get a life. Everyone’s ire should be directed at Bobby and the Braves front office. Why does Bobby keep running him out to RF? Why did the front office re call him when he needed to stay in the minors? JC I see your point. Francouer should have manned up and said all the right cliches but the fact that he didn’t doesn’t make me hate him. In lot of ways I blame the press for continuing to pursue and publish this guy like he is a star. #32 Yeah I agree.

  24. @32: What does that have to do with it?

    If I recognize someone famous on the street, I’m going to leave them alone, whether they’re a hero or goat to me.

    And if the guy is stinking up his place of employment in front or 40,000 people, I can’t see where he has any expectation to not be heckled. Does he expect any cheers if he hits a game-winning homer?

  25. 34………oh, so theres different rules for behavior when your in a crowd of people? if anything, thats where you should keep your mouth shut just out of respect for the people around you who dont want to hear your crap.

  26. At a sporting event? Absolutely. I’d say as long as you’re not vulgar, then anything goes.

    I don’t know about you, but when I pay money to see my team play, I want them to win (and individual players to play well). And those guys make a lot more money than I do to play a freaking game. And if they expect to hear cheers when they do well, then they’d better be prepared to hear boos when do poorly, especially when they keep doing it over and over.

    Cripes, this ain’t the opera.

  27. “Hey Frenchy…….you shoulda gone to Clemson. they already suck” isnt vulgar? move to Philly…..you’ll fit right in. btw….opera singers probably make more money than you too, so go be the anonymous coward and heckle them

  28. You know, it would’ve been a little more honest if you’d replied to my post instead of editing yours. That was kind of sleazy.

    But yeah, if you can hear it on prime time television, I don’t consider it out of bounds.

  29. I actually remember Albert Hall hitting for the cycle in 1987. I couldn’t remember who they were playing, and thanks to baseball-reference, I now know that it was the Astros.

    And there were less than 3,000 people in the stands. And probably about the same number watching at home.

  30. Ben,

    I’ll sit where I want and do what I want.

    Plus it was funny and all the Cub fans were rolling.

  31. “i hope lilly dies of something painfully slow.”

    Talk about needing to get a life. Ben, before you criticize Smitty, maybe you ought to grow up a little yourself.

  32. 28—very true.

    It isn’t very often that I agree with barrycuda around here, but that’s definitely true now. Heckling your own team’s players is incredibly lame, whether you have a “right” to do it or not. Come on, Smitty, I know you’re better than that.

    Congrats to Francoeur on a great individual performance. Wish he’d turned a few of those in when they mattered. Maybe he will next year.

    *Doesn’t hold breath*

  33. Stu,

    Depends on who is doing it. I am pretty funny.

    The best part is when he turned around. If he starts hitting, I’ll be a hero.

  34. Depends on who is doing it. I am pretty funny.

    The lameness factor increases. I’m sure you and some others think you’re funny, Smitty, but doing it at all, no matter what you’re saying, is what makes it lame.

  35. From Natural: The Story of Hall of Famer Jeff Francoeur, published by HarperCollinsDoubledayHoughtonMacmillanHolt, c. 2028:

    “The turning point in my career came on August 14, 2008, in Atlanta, when a Braves fan (I noticed him because he was the only Braves fan in the outfield) was riding me hard. He said that ‘Henry Aaron is 75 and he’s still better than you.’ This hit hard, and I thought about how I was disappointing so many, so that’s when I decided that after the season, I’d have brain surgery.”

  36. Why would you ride the guy on his one good game? It’d be one thing if it was on one of his bases loaded DP’s, but he actually played well. Your dollar, but still…

  37. Mac,

    At first, I thought you were saying that’s when I (Francoeur) decided to become a brain surgeon, surely an even scarier thought than playing right field.

  38. Tom Glavine’s ERA the day Albert Hall hit for the cycle in 1987: 6.34
    His ERA on the day Mark Kotsay hit for the cycle in 2008: 5.54

    He did okay in between.

  39. It’s getting sadder and sadder. I hope the Braves organization is appropriately embarrassed about how this season has gone.

    As for Franceour, I generally don’t heckle players–it doesn’t exactly help their play and it isn’t very nice. But this is one good game after a season of horrible play. I can just see Wren and Cox saying, see, he has turned the corner. I hate to say this but I almost root against Francoeur because whenever he does anything positive, the Braves will trumpet it as a turnaround.

  40. Guys,
    Our bullpen has been horrible lately, but we just need to hang in there a few more weeks until Acosta comes back (he’s starting a rehab assignment). ;-) Actually since he pitched well in low leverage situations, he should do great. You can’t get much lower leverage than the next 6 weeks.

    I wonder if Bueno had instructions to hit someone and the ball got away from him, if he did it on his own, or if it was unintentional. Any thoughts from you guys on this?

  41. Another up and coming Braves pitcher watch. Paul Bush is from my undergraduate alma mater, Georgia Southwestern, then College, now State University. He was born after I left. However, that makes it interesting for me.

    Had a major injury last year (needed TJ, I think) and just got back active at AA about 4 weeks ago. His stats show strikeout ability consistently above 1 per inning through the last several years. I don’t know anything about his profile (high velocity, goofy changeup, whatever cuases the striekouts).

    Maybe this is a few seconds of optimism at this otherwise abysmal time.

    http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Paul%20Bush&pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=453450

  42. I have to say reading what Smitty said to Jeffy gave me a good chuckle. As far as I am concerned, if you pay for ticket, you can heckle your own team. If Jeffy didn’t like it, he can play better and fans like Smitty will stop giving him a hard time.

  43. How dumb is Jeff Francouer? According to MLB.com he bulked up to 235lbs in the offseason to hit more homers, but then he lost the little bat speed he had? So basically he used a football offseason workout plan to get ready for baseball? Now he is back down to 215lbs so we should see a torrid rest of the season. (clearing my throat)

  44. Well, Smitty is generally pretty funny on this site (‘Frenchy Surrenders’ still cracks me up), so I’m willing to bet that I would have found his heckling amusing. It would dull the pain of forking over good, hard-earned money to watch the Braves lose, yet again.

    And if the heckling actually caused Frenchy to play well, then we should all chip in and buy Smitty season tix for ’09.

    /happy to see Frenchy have a good game

  45. Cliff–I have been waiting for quite a few years for the Braves to give Bush a chance. I doubt it will happen, but it has to mean something that the Braves have stayed with him….

  46. 63, maybe his weight loss is so Smitty can’t use the classic line “You can’t even hit your weight.”

  47. I rode Frenchy like bucking bull. I tore in to him hard core. I said things like, “I wish you went to Clemson, they already sucked.” “Henry Aaron is 75 and still better than you!”

    I don’t heckle, but I enjoy someone who can do the job well without profanity, and this certainly fits that description. Well done Smitty.

    So, let’s see: he has a bad game, and he gets thrashed. He has a GREAT game, and he gets thrashed.

    I love how this is presented as though the ratio of bad games to great games is one to one. If the paperboy throws my paper on the roof 20 days in a row am I supposed to have a parade if he actually puts in on my doorstep on Day 21? No, he still sucks at his job.

    So, I guess we aren’t rooting for our players to succeed at this point.

    Sometimes yeah. I want the team to do well. I do not want Francoeur to con the Braves into thinking he should be the starting RF next year, which he may if he somehow finishes the season strong. So I hope he continues to flounder down the stretch so that the team will be forced to actually bring in a competent rightfielder for next season.

  48. CBS SPORTSLINE, Sorry if I repeated this and someone else posted….

    Phase 2 of right fielder Jeff Francoeur’s offensive comeback began Thursday night against the Cubs. After two days of hitting in the cage, 200 swings at a time, Francoeur did some film work with manager Bobby Cox.

    The upshot? Francoeur’s mission is to keep his foot down. He’s working to keep his foot down so he stays steady and in the correct direction to actually see and identify a pitch. After changing something about his swing nearly every day in June and July, Francoeur is through experimenting.

    Also gone is the contact-lens-in-one-eye experiment. It turns out his eyesight is OK.

    “The good news is that my eyes are fine,” Francoeur said he told his dad. “The bad news is I really just suck.”

    The season-long slump has taken its toll. “You look back at the season,” he said, “how many chances I had to drive guys in. I realize I need to finish the best I can the next five, six weeks.”

    Francoeur realizes that his average has not improved since he came back from his brief exile in the minors. But he feels as though he’s had better at-bats. Time is running out for him to deliver, though, and go into the offseason with confidence.

    “Guys are just throwing me fastballs because they know I can’t get the bat head there,” he said. “I’m just late. I haven’t driven a ball in three weeks. You miss that feeling. It’s not like they’re tricking me.”

    In five at-bats Thursday night, Francoeur hit two singles and a three-run homer. His front foot was jumping just a little bit, but he obviously kept it down long enough to get results.

  49. @67: I’d be just has happy if he became a competent (offensively) right fielder next season as I would if we brought in a different one… probably happier.

    On the heckling your own team… For me, I don’t do it and don’t like to hear it (heckling other teams players, as long as not vulgar, is OK). This pains me to say, but I have to agree with Jimmy Rollins: http://tinyurl.com/554r49

  50. I am pro-heckling and pro-booing. Fans have few options in showing their displeasure in poor play. It basically comes down to that, or to not going to the games.

    Booing and heckling in the case of Francoeur is especially justified, as the Braves and the media keep saying that they can’t do anything about him because he’s so incredibly popular. If the Francoeurphiles are allowed to persist unopposed, the team won’t do anything no matter how badly he plays. While Francoeur was dragging the season into the pit the media was silent and the team was supportive — until people actually started booing him.

  51. Someone invited me to the Braves-Nats game here in DC on Aug. 29. He said he remembered that I had an affinity for the Braves. I was tempted to paraphrase Skip Carey and say, “yes, but it was a lot more fun a few years ago.”

  52. Nats vs. Braves games on Aug. 29 in DC…better get your tickets early for that one. I’m pretty sure that’s gonna be sellout. I know the Redskins hate playing second fiddle to the Nats with their shiny new ballpark.

    I apologize, couldn’t help it.

  53. Name one instance where heckling has turned any athlete’s career around.

    Heckling is a pre-meditated action that is done to get a response from either a player or an feeble attempt to impress other people.The player usually thinks, “What an obnoxious drunk, if he were down here, I’d pound him into the ground.” Most fans around you think, “what an obnoxious drunk, if he were down there where the player was, the player would pound him into the ground.”

    i don’t think any reporter asked Frenchy after the game “Hey, do you think that heckler made you more determined to play better?” If he isn’t determined to play better, then he would have never been out there in the first place. He know he sucks and he is doing what he can to fix that.

    If you were him, would you go to Bobby Cox and say, you know, I’m letting everyone down, I just can’t get the job done, and don’t know if I’ll ever hit again, so send me to MS for a few weeks. We’d never hear from him or any other ball player again if they did that.

  54. Going to my first and only Braves game of the season tomorrow night. Looking forward to it. I guess.

  55. The Nats are starting Pete Orr at shortstop occasionally. That’s got to be something to see.

    Oh, I don’t really think it will turn his career around. I do think it may encourage the Braves to do what is necessary.

    Absolutely. If Trojan fans hadn’t absolutely killed Paul Hackett every time he showed his face in public, administration might never have had the impedes to fire his sorry ass and start the Pete Carroll age of excellence.

  56. The booing might, the heckling, probably not. What will the Braves gain by sending him down at this point? The damage is done. Let him see if he can fix it against Major League pitching while there is nothing to lose.

  57. i’d be all for heckling if the players could stroll up into the stands and go Ty Cobb on the heckler.

  58. The Nats are starting Pete Orr at shortstop occasionally. That’s got to be something to see.

    Don’t snicker. The Braves have had trouble already against Orr, Harris, Estrada (since released), Langerhans, & co. It could be worse in the late Aug series b/c we no longer have Tex and b/c the pitching has become mighty inconsistent relative to the first half.

  59. @27: JC (and I know I’m late here,) your analogy doesn’t hold. Jeff Francoeur isn’t “most 24 year olds.” Most 24 year olds don’t have reporters that come to interview them the moment after they are informed of their demotion.

    As for hecklers, please move to Philly, or New York. Is Southern Hospitality dead in Atlanta?

  60. BTW, I was at the Mets-Nats game the other night and Willie Harris made an unbelievable catch in left field and then doubled off Jose Reyes. Not only that but RYAN LANGERHANS hit a pinch-hit home run off JOHAN SANTANA to tie the game (but I missed it being at the concession stand). Maybe the Braves should reacquire Langerhans and put him in right field.

    I think booing is an act of frustration and I understand why people do it but it isn’t likely to help players. And, what kind of organization makes decisions based on whether the fans are booing a particular player? Yankee fans booed Mickey Mantle for much of the fifties–should the Yankees have traded him? (Obviously, I’m not comparing the one who shall not be named to Mantle.) Now, I’m not saying one does not have the right to boo or heckle a player (as long as they keep it within reason) but it’s not like Francouer is trying to suck. I understand that part of the issue with Frenchy is his popularity with people that are not really into baseball but I find it hard to believe that the Braves would ultimately keep a guy that is hurting the team just to placate some teenage girls. As for Paul Hackett, I don’t know the situation but I would assume that if USC wasn’t winning the alumni would have put enough pressure on the school to fire him whether or not the fans were booing. I haven’t noticed that USC is reluctant to do whatever it takes to win.

    And, I don’t know, I just don’t think that paying money to see the game gives me carte blanche to abuse the players or coaches. Clearly, athletes can’t be thin-skinned or they shouldn’t be in a public profession but they are human beings. I didn’t think Chris Reitsma deserved to have some nitwit call him names in front of his son just because he was pitching badly.

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