Nats 7, Braves 4 (14 damned innings)

ESPN – Nationals vs. Braves – Box Score – September 07, 2008

You see, I would have brought back the Miserable Braves Loss Type-Index, but they keep coming up with new ways to lose. The going out to a 4-1 lead only to lose it in the eighth because of the awful, awful bullpen is fairly standard, but to then go fourteen innings? While not unprecedented, it’s not normal, at all. Except for THIS TEAM. I hate it.

The Braves got three runs in the second, which if you do the math means that they got one run in thirteen other innings combined. The big “hit” was a routine fly ball from Chipper that fell untouched. This is data point 100,000 in my continuing quest to show that the “unearned” run rule is moronic. If Lastings Milledge had dropped the ball, it would have been an error, but because he misplayed it even more egregiously, it is a hit. The worse you play, the less you’re punished for it — does that make sense, to anyone? Chipper had two real hits to go with that one, and then got lifted for Li’lbridge as a pinch-runner.

In the fourteenth inning, Bennett gave up a walk and a hit, then got a groundout to make it second and third, one out. Bobby, once again, had him walk the bases loaded because he still hasn’t learned his lesson. After falling behind 3-1 Bennett came in with a pitch to Crazy Elijah Dukes, who doubled in three runs. Genius, sheer genius.

The Braves used 28 players. Hooray for roster expansion! Escobar joined Chipper with three hits.

64 thoughts on “Nats 7, Braves 4 (14 damned innings)”

  1. The sooner this season ends the better. Unfortunately, next year won’t be any better I’m afraid. At least we have a lock in right field.

    Oh, wait…

  2. Batting title watch at the end of today’s games (it’s the only reason to still watch this team):
    Pujols: 166 for 462, 0.35930
    Chipper: 146 for 408, 0.35784

    Looks like Chipper has reached the minimum number of plate appearances for the year if 3 per game is used as the figure. 408 AB, 78 BB, and 4 SF puts him at 490, so it looks like today put him over if my figures are correct.

  3. here’s something to lighten your load……….just think how bad todays game would be if it mattered.

  4. Though it hasn’t happened in 18 years, 90+ losses seems like a certainty. Hard to imagine this bunch going 11-7 to avoid it.

    The only question is whether or not we lose 95—a 5-13 skid will do it.

    Tomorrow will have lotsa Favre talk around here, but I’m hoping the Phils have something to say about that. I wanna hear some “sky-is-falling” talk in Metland.

  5. I’m still calling him The Mayor of Auckland.

    Also, with one more win, we’ll assure ourselves of our 20th straight season with fewer than 100 losses. So that’s nice.

  6. Fun fact: the “New York Yankees” have never lost 100 games. The last time the franchise lost 100 games was in 1912, when they were the Highlanders.

    The last time they lost 90, though, was the same as the last time we did: 1990 itself, when they were 67-95 and we were 65-97.

  7. I remember that summer of ’90 very well. I had just moved to the NYC area & went to about a dozen Yankee games, sitting in the bleachers at $4.50 a pop.

    I found it amazing that the rapper Melle Mel (from Grandmaster Flash’s Furious Five) would sit in the same bleacher seat every game. Quite a zoo out there, especially back when you could actually buy a beer. (It went dry in ’95, I think.)

    And those Stump Merrill-managed Yankees were genuinely awful. The only thing that got people excited was a second-half power surge by a rookie named Kevin Maas, who might’ve been the most immobile first-baseman I’ve ever seen.

  8. And I’m still recovering from the shock of watching that Falcons game. I tuned in fully expecting to see one of the worst-played games in football history. And we, like, actually looked good. I don’t really even know what to think at this point. I mean, Michael Turner broke the team single-game rushing record in his first game! Matt Ryan had only two series where he looked like he might be a rookie QB! John Abraham got “hurt” and actually came back! The defense stopped the run all day! Exactly what happened here?

    Oh, and pinch hitting McCann so he could bunt is officially the stupidest thing Cox has done all year. Even Joe “Productive Out/Sluggers Should Be Able to Lay Down a Bunt” Simpson was flabbergasted. That should probably tell you something.

  9. Even Joe “Productive Out/Sluggers Should Be Able to Lay Down a Bunt” Simpson was flabbergasted. That should probably tell you something.

    Sciambi has access to an electroshock machine?

  10. I forgot to add that we also now apparently have a kicker capable of making a field goal of longer than 35 yards, which I always find to be a useful thing for an NFL team to have.

  11. What did you guys think of the DP where Escobar slid into 2nd and spiked Gonzalez slightly? Gonzalez then ran a little way, turned and lobbed it to 1st and still got Frenchy. The announcers didn’t say anything and you couldn’t tell from the camera, but didn’t Francouer have to stop running on that? I’ve been much more patient with Frenchy than most of you guys, but that kind of garbage (if that’s what happened) will turn me totally against a player faster than anything else. I think Cox shares similar sentiments. Do any of you guys have a perspective on the play? The announcers made it sound like it was just hard hit, but I don’t see how

  12. 13 — I remember trying so hard to get a friend of mine who didn’t collect cards to trade me his Kevin Maas upper deck rookie that was so hot at the time. oh the days of collecting cards…

    16 — Detroit’s defense is good at making teams look good. But you’re right, the Falcons looked like they have some potential there.

  13. McCann admitted that he tried to bunt on his own. So, that’s not on Bobby.

    Great day for the Falcons. They look to have a brighter future than the Braves!

  14. @7 and 16: The AJC’s recap has quotes from McCann basically apologizing for it. Here’s the quote:

    McCann explained: “[Cox] didn’t put the bunt on. I got up there and I was looking out at the pitcher, and the [late-afternoon] shadows were horrible. That guy [Rivera] is good; he’s got a ton of movement.

    “I have a tough time facing that guy, and with the shadows and all, I was just trying to get those guys over.”

    So, yeah. Maybe the dumbest thing McCann’s done all year, but not Bobby’s fault. Did you really think Bobby would waste McCann on a bunt? No matter how stupid you think he is…that’s just way out there.

  15. Brian’s a man for admitting it, but yeah, gee, that’s dumb. You are our second-best hitter, Brian. C’mon. It’s not like we’re gonna get offense from elsewhere.

  16. Great win for the Falcons…I hope that I was wrong about drafting Ryan–of course as some have pointed out it helps to play the Lions.

    Otherwise, it is nice to see Corky get in the game and lower his batting average to less than half the Mendoza line….What a great season….

  17. Trap-o-Rama: Vandy -7 vs. Rice.

    Left Coast Blues: So. Cal -10.5 vs. Ohio State.

    Give the Points: UGA -7.5 @ So. Carolina

    Somebody’s Gotta Win: Michigan @ Notre Dame is a pick ’em.

  18. Stephen, Ryan will get great help from Turner and Norwood. If the running game goes well, the pressure on Ryan will not be as great. The development of Ryan will of course be important, but the key of the Falcons’ offense is actually the running game.

    As for the Braves…I am very excited by our AA and High A teams!!!

  19. KC–I am excited about the talent in the Braves farm system–Myrtle Beach had a great year as did Mississippi. However, there are also lots of good arms below Myrtle Beach and several significant positon players. The challenge will be to make sure that the best players remain in the system (and develop) and the ones that look to be good, but aren’t get traded. In other words, we want to hang on to the McCanns and trade the Marte’s….

    Between Mississippi and Atlanta the Braves have Parr, Morton, Reyes, Redmond, Heath, Medlen and Hanson; now they will not all have solid careers, but it should not be too much to hope that the Braves can develop one or two starters from that list….

  20. Based on the Braves’ track record recently, they would be LUCKY to develop one or two from the list to become solid major league pitchers. Parr, Redmond, Heath, and JoJo do not have the velocity or control to have consistent success in the major league unless they are super baseball smart or have significant improvement in control. Morton’s problem is more in the head like Kyle. Medlen is an unknown which I am excited about, and we all know about Hanson.

    We do have plenty of arms but do not have enough top talents…

  21. The question would be whether one of those pitchers can get better and then learn how to be effective in the big leagues. I would not bet on anyone of them–though predicting pitchers is dicey at best.

    At worst some of those arms could be useful for trades.

    Watching Kimbrel cut through three minor leagues (admittedly with a small sample size at Myrtle Beach) has been fun. He must have some nasty stuff….

  22. Thought I’d drop by for some gallows humor and baseball at ‘The Braves Suck and lets talk about SEC football instead Journal’. GAWD! I must be a glutton for punishment as I continue to read the recaps and ‘watch’ games online. Gross. More power to you guys who have the ability to actually watch the games and really do. True fans all of you.

  23. Hey, I bought MLB Extra Innings on DirecTV and feel cheated. At least I can flip it on a game when it is reported that someone has a no-hitter going. Or maybe I can see K-Rod break the saves record. Silver lining, of course.

  24. Trap-o-Rama: Vandy -7 vs. Rice.

    Seeing as how small that line is, it probably can’t even be classified as a trap.

    The betting public continues to to lack sufficient Vanderbilt knowledge. Third line in a row that doesn’t appear to be pro-VU enough. (I say this as someone who’s typically pretty realistic with my Vanderbilt football expectations…and as someone who’s enjoyed the first two Vegas snubs very much, financially speaking.)

  25. @19,

    I was wondering too how Francouer could have been out so easily on a play in which the second baseman was almost flipped over. What a loser!

    McCann trying to bunt was dumb but, on the other hand, if he couldn’t see the ball and didn’t think he could hit the guy, maybe it made some sense. The Braves have done so many incredibly stupid things this year that this one just blends in. Realistically, they should have lost 4-2 in regulation except for Chipper’s “double.”

    It’s going to be hard to garner much enthusiasm next year unless Wren makes some really big moves.

  26. Stu,
    You know that the lines are never rooted in “reality.” It’s just a matter of having the same amount of money bet on each team—and I have no idea how much shine Vegas is putting on the ‘Dores at this point.

    Of course, if they squeeze out another win vs. any SEC East team not named Kentucky that will change.

    Back in the reality-based world, I’ll agree that the line seems generous to Rice. I don’t know much about the Owls, but Vandy showed something the other night. Their D is their strength and it’ll keep them in games—granted, USC’s QB position is rather lacking—but they ran the ball very well against a quick USC defense.

    And given the fact that USC knew they would run on every play and still couldn’t stop them, that made it more impressive.

    Who knows? Maybe that line’ll move…

  27. ububba,

    Actually, the line opened at -8.5 and has already moved to -7, marking the third consecutive week in which a weird line became weirder.

    Also, Vegas lines are, on the whole, usually pretty accurate and have far more predictive success than any other “expert” or measure of which I’m aware. The oddsmakers know what they’re doing, as does the public (in the aggregate).

    It’s frequently been a bad idea to take the Commodores as home favorites, though, so I’m not touching the Rice game, even with that low line.

    As for Vanderbilt, it’s awfully hard to imagine wins over either the Gators or your Bulldogs—while I like the match-up against UGA, personnel- and style-wise, as I have for the past few years, after grabbing those guys’ attention in 2006 with the win in Athens and keeping it with the shoulda-beena win last year in Nashville, I don’t think we’ll catch ’em on a down week.

    Tennessee’s a possibility, especially if we’re sitting on 5 or more wins by the time that game rolls around. That team just isn’t scary anymore, and we’ve proven over the past few years, like we have against most teams, that we can play with them. And it’s at home.

    In my most optimistic moments, I only see one game on the schedule—Florida—that I don’t think we can win. If I’m honest, I don’t expect to win either the Georgia or Auburn games. The other 7, well, we’ve got a shot, better in some games than in others. I wish we’d drawn Arkansas this year, but when you have both Mississippi schools on your schedule, you can’t complain too much.

    Our D is pretty darn good, although losing our nickel back for a few weeks is going to be tough. If we could get some receivers healthy, I’d feel better.

  28. Stu,

    So Vandy gets the bottom of the west other than Arkansas and Georgia gets the top of the west.

    You are right. People at Vanderbilt are smarter.

  29. Continuing with the SEC football theme in light of the utter hopelessness of the Braves combined with a cold and unfeeling universe:

    Most people saw that Florida isn’t quite up to snuff in their performance against Miami. Chris Low at moved Georgia ahead of Florida on his “power rankings.”

    However, if what Georgia has to do to stay in front in artificial polls and power rankings is kick field goals while up 17 points with 30 seconds left, I would rather drop a spot or two.

    Urban “Legend” “Cryer”Meyer and the whole “Gator Nation” certainly don’t have the academics to go to Vanderbilt. They can’t find the letters “c” or “l” in order to spell class.

  30. Florida is a much, much, much, much, much tougher match-up for Vanderbilt than Georgia is.

    As for the schedules, we’re locked in with Auburn and Ole Miss every year, and the third opponent rotates—this year, it’s Mississippi State. Who, besides Auburn, is UGA locked in with? LSU, right? That’s rough.

  31. That’s incorrect. Each SEC team has only one locked-in opponent from the other division, which are, I believe:

    Alabama : Tennessee
    Arkansas : South Carolina
    Auburn : Georgia
    LSU : Florida
    MSU : Kentucky
    Ole Miss : Vandy

    The traditional powers are all matched up. Georgia is in a bad rotation year.

  32. Mac’s right. Ole Miss’s old two locked in was actually Georgia and Vandy.

    When they made the change to one locked in school Ole Miss kept Vandy and not Georgia. I would say that was luck with no offense intended but it was actually so that the Georgia Auburn rivalry could be kept intact.

  33. I think it was actually Alabama that Vandy used to play in addition to Ole Miss because it seemed like that was the SEC opener for JP sports every year for a while. Mac could tell you for sure.

  34. I can’t believe so many people even get the St. Elmo’s reference — I had to look it up. Seems like you’d have to explain it constantly.

  35. Alabama used to play Vandy every year. They restructured a few years ago, going from two fixed to one fixed opponent. Auburn used to play Florida every year, but I don’t know who the other secondary permanent opponents were.

  36. sansho1–I think St. Elmo’s Fire is one of those bad memories which just hangs around….

  37. Tennessee-Arkansas
    Miss. State-USC
    Ole Miss-Georgia

    These were the second permanent SEC matchups before they went to just one.

  38. Was just looking up Andruw, who has said he’s done for the year basically, and that if he doesn’t bounce back, he’ll basically have had David Justice’s career, but with more homers and worse BA/OBP/SLG numbers…. or Dale Murphy’s career without as many games…

  39. Well, I was meaning that both ended up with about 10-12 years of being very good, and then dropped off or stopped. If Andruw goes out now he’ll be pretty close in numbers to what Justice did (games played, etc)… though I guess Andruw really didn’t get his last year here as any good either… so, in spite of more homers, he may end up no more than an Atlanta HOF player.

  40. Let me restate that a little more clearly. Andruw has had more games (basically a season’s worth), Justice had more seasons (1-2, assuming Andruw is done), Andruw more HRs, Justice better other stats. Washing out the + and – from each… similar careers in that both seemed REALLY good for a while, and yet neither had a true HOF career (again, assuming Andruw is done). I hope this is all useless speculation and Andruw gets healthy in the off season and comes back as at least as Andruw circa 2004 (.261/29) for a few more years.

  41. Hey, remember how bad we were 20 years ago? Joe Posnanski does, in a discussion of Neifi Perez:

    There have been shortstops who got 550 at-bats and put an on-base percentage lower than Neifi’s .260 (in fact there have been five of them including the already mentioned Hunter and also the Ted Williams of horrendous shortstops Andres Thomas, who in 1989 punched up a .228 on-base percentage in 554 at-bats. Hard to do).

  42. Wow, that’s worse than Francour this season, and even worse than Andruw was (if you assume he would still be about the same if he’d gotten that many at bats… and don’t consider that Andres Thomas had 13 dings and a BA of .218 which is better than Andruw’s .161 with 3 HRs).

  43. Andres Thomas couldn’t hit, he didn’t walk, he had little power & he committed a lot of errors.

    He made Rafael Ramirez look like Cal Ripken.

  44. i once swore i’d never watch another game with Thomas at SS. the worst player ever and he didnt appear to care.

  45. Got my “Seat Relocation Package” from the Yankees for the new stadium next year—complete with a John Sterling-narrated “New Stadium Guide” DVD. (That was tough getting through, actually.)

    I’m not sure where my seats will be—they’ll determine via seniority & surveys that everyone had to complete—but there’s a very good chance that the prices for my seats ($25) won’t go up at all.

    Considering the bumps that most of the season-ticket holders are getting, I expected some considerable sticker shock. But it appears that there will be 3 sections (2 sections in the uppers & the bleachers) where the prices remain the same—$25, $20 & $12.

    I gotta hand it to the Yankees for not completly outpricing every loyal fan—and, unlike the NFL teams here, they don’t require PSL fees.

    Here’s a 3D seating guide to the new stadium with prices & views. Check the prices, but some seats are so expensive that they’re listed N/A. I think one section of the Field Level could pay for C.C. Sabathia by itself.

  46. These were the second permanent SEC matchups before they went to just one.

    They do this thing out here where everybody plays everybody else every year. It’s a revolutionary concept. Of course it takes nine conference games to do it – something no other conference will do for financial reasons.

  47. It would take eleven for everyone in the SEC to play each other. You try to work that schedule out. Everybody plays within their division. Arguably, only division games should count for the division title.

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