Braves 8, Rockies 4

ESPN – Rockies vs. Braves – Box Score – September 11, 2008

Poor Rockies, they must really be hard up if they lose a series to us.

The Braves, as usual, took an early lead, 2-0 in the second, only to immediately blow it, falling behind 3-2 in the third and 4-2 after five. Jair Jurrjens was an odd combination of dominant and hittable. The first five outs he recorded were strikeouts, and he struck out ten (a career high) in six innings, but he gave up eight hits, including a homer and two doubles. I think it’s just one of those things. This whole season is a succession of those things.

Anyway, the offense woke up in the sixth and not only got him off the hook but got him a win. McCann gave them a 5-4 lead with an RBI single (after their reliever, a lefty, walked Chipper to face him) but then Escobar, who definitely looks like he’s back to his early season form, hit a three-run homer to make the lead relatively secure. I mean, this bullpen can blow a lead in a hurry. But they didn’t, and the Braves won.

Chipper was 1-4 and stands at .362. Escobar was definitely the player of the game, going 3-3 with a walk, and scoring twice to go with his three-run homer. Francoeur was 0-4 but managed to not hit into any double plays, which is about all you can hope for with him.

58 thoughts on “Braves 8, Rockies 4”

  1. “Francoeur was 0-4 but managed to not hit into any double plays, which is about all you can hope for with him.”

    We used to say that a lot on Adam. Hopefully he can turn it around next year.

  2. A quick google search took me to “the official” home of Jeff Francoeur at http://www.jefffrancoeur.com, in which Jeff blogs about baseball terminology such as “cheese,” talks about signing cards for upper deck, and getting to the park early.

    There is also a tab specifically for “sponsors” which I found odd. Jeff has not blogged since late July. I think his rule should be something along the lines of: one blog entry per home run. No more, no less.

    Also: Jeff’s slugging percentage is less than Chipper’s batting average.

  3. Song request for tomorrow:

    Since this was the Braves’ 65th win. That also guarantees the Braves won’t be worse than in 1990. I guess the only other real landmark in reach now is avoiding 90 losses.

    Kyle, why should he put more effort or thought into blogging than into baseball?

    Oh well, on to New York. If we can ruin their dreams, we’ll salvage something from September.

  4. Because you shouldn’t be able to blog about your professional baseball skills if you don’t have professional baseball skills.

  5. if you’re concerned and here in the south…they are saying that with Hurricane Ike coming in towards TX that gas will be going up at least $1 per gallon overnight. they have also put a 10 gallon max on all vehicles in parts of Birmingham. you may want to consider filling up tonight

    as for the Braves…..they won, well good

    Edit: so does anyone think Chuckie can get back to his rookie year line??

    119IP 101H 47BB 91K 3.78ERA 1.24WHIP

  6. Good to see Escobar hitting for power. I really think that shoulder (elbow? I think it was the shoulder) was bothering him quite a bit. If he can get back to driving the ball consistently, it’d go a long way to solidifying the lineup. Well, it would go at least some way, which is better than nothing.

  7. Johnson/Escobar = 997 AB’s 21 HR’s

    Francoeur/Kotsay/Blanco/Norton/Infante/B.Jones/Diaz = 1930 AB’s 30 HR’s

  8. Either way you slice it, both of those numbers are too low. The first one needs to be at least 30, the second like 60.

  9. true, but teams dont or shouldnt really rely on power numbers from their middle infielders. At least two of your OF positions should be producing 20-25 HRs each.

  10. Stu–From the thread before last: I knew Kyle Davies started well, but I had not realized that he also had 12 scoreless innnings when he first pitched for the Braves….That said, it is too early to give up on Parr–despite the rather ominous precedent….

  11. I guess the track record and the stuff of Parr create a low expectation. I don’t think we are giving up on Parr, we just don’t expect much from him.

  12. Yeah–but I am impressed with the fact that he has gotten better and reached the majors at 22. Still, I have no idea how good he can be–but I think he had the chance to at least be a useful pitcher–or useful in a trade….

  13. So KJ is going to end up with the second most XB hits on the team, behind McCann; he will end up 4th in the league at 2B in OPS; Yunel is going to end up about 6th or7th, and we talk about getting more from the middle infield?

    When it is all said and done, our OF stats are going to be among the worst in the last 20 years, led by Frenchie, and we have nothing out of 1B since Teix left (speaking of HR’s, look at Kotchman’s XB since he has been here-he hits like a bad back-up catcher).

    Let’s smile at what we have in the middle infield and figure out how we can get at least a league average player at any of the OF positions.

  14. The Braves would have to go 8-7 to avoid 90 losses. The chances of that are not good considering their last fifteen games are against the Phillies, Mets, and Astros.

  15. Wren is apparently traveling to Japan to “gauge the talent level there” and specially look at one pitcher. That’s nice, at least Liberty is willing to spring for a plane ticket. The question is, will Liberty really be willing to get in a bidding war for any highly sought after players? I highly doubt it although they might take a flyer on second-line players. The Braves want people to think they are being aggressive and will go anywhere for talent but I’ll believe it when I see it. You don’t have to outbid anyone for the south Georgia boys.

  16. Yu Darvish: Braves Savior.

    Seriously, why not blow our entire 2009 offseason money on getting him locked up? That idea excites me more than any other I’ve seen or heard with respect to the 2009 (and beyond) Braves.

  17. Can we try to poach some of the draft contract holdouts, like Hosmer, Crow and Alvarez?

    The Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t done anything remotely piratical in years, and with International Talk Like a Pirate Day coming up, I think somebody’s gotta step up to the plate.

  18. Read the story about Smoltz and Chuck James. Encouraging for Smoltz, but using the injury excuse for Chuckie is missing the point.

    The reason Chuck James tires (and, imo, will continually have arm issues) is because he doesn’t use his legs. He is nearly all arm and that will not work long term.

    The only surprise is that he’s lasted this long with that delivery.

  19. He was doing fine before he hurt his arm last year. The real problem is that it took over a year for the Braves to actually figure out that he was really hurt. This is a major problem for this franchise, the refusal to believe that a pitcher is struggling because he has an injury and not because he’s a slacker.

  20. FWIW, rain in the forecast for NYC tonight.

    A little bummed that I can’t make a Braves game this weekend, but considering their performance the last time I saw them at Shea, maybe I should count my blessings.

  21. @29,

    It’s more than that. It takes the Braves forever to decide that a pitcher isn’t pitching well. Bobby always blames bad luck. I realize what he says in public isn’t necessarily what he thinks in reality but even when they were winning, they always seemed to be in denial about weaknesses. For example, in years when the bullpen struggled, they always denied there was a problem with the bullpen.

  22. Well, they just sat there and acted like Soriano was lying when he said his arm was hurt, and kept sending him out there whenever he’d rested it long enough that it didn’t hurt so much. “MRI doesn’t show anything! You’re fine!” And then Dr. Andrews actually opened him up, and Soriano had a nerve transposition.

    As someone pointed out recently, James used to have a rising fastball that he got popups on, but since mid-2007 that’s become a flat fastball he gives up homers on. He’s had shoulder problems the whole time. And it took over a year for the team to get it seriously looked at.

  23. And he had to retire with arthritis in said elbow, did he not? I don’t think that had anything to do with pitching, but still.

    Darvish just seems to fling it up there. I may be a novice when it comes to pitching mechanics, but getting that elbow above the shoulder like that constantly just looks like it might lead to trouble.

  24. I don’t think that had anything to do with pitching, but still.

    But still…what? It didn’t have anything to do with mechanics.

    Yeah, pitching is bad for the arm. Submariners are the most likely to stay healthy, by far. The farther vertical you go, the more injuries become likely. But are Darvish’s mechanics that far off of overhanded pitchers who’ve stayed relatively healthy?

    And if you aren’t qualified to answer that question—I know I’m not—why are you pressing the panic button so vigorously?

  25. Stu,

    But still, it could have had something to do with it. I can’t answer it, of course, but there had to be a reason Koufax developed arthritis in his elbow in his 30s.

    I posted about Darvish because I thought I had a basic understanding of elbow position at a delivery. There’s a lot more that goes into it, sure, like shuulder positioning and the follow-through. I can’t go very far with it with just the elbow, of course, but I have it in my head that Darvish has something wrong with his pitching mechanics, and that the elbow is one thing. I’ll have to discuss it a little more and do some more research.

  26. Yeah, I saw that referenced on Baseball Fever, too, Sam. I’ve not seen much widespread concern, though.

    I’ve never heard anyone suggest that Koufax’s arthritis was anything other than genetic. I guess it’s possible that he would have had a different, mechanics-related elbow injury that would have ended his career had he not first developped the arthritis.

  27. Stu,

    I haven’t heard anything to suggest it either. If there is a problem with overhand throwing like that, it’s possible his mechanics aggravated the arthritis.

    Ultimately, I guess I’m just concerned about the idea of throwing all that money to a guy who is possibly a ticking time bomb at so early an age. That’s why I was so eager to say he has bad mechanics. That was rash on my part.

    However, I’d rather throw money at C. C. Sabathia or Ben Sheets than Yu Darvish because I know what I’m getting with them right now, even if they present problems to me in the future. With Darvish, it’s sort of a crapshoot.

  28. I thought I read somewhere that Koufax’s elbow problem was related to how he threw his curveball. I have never heard of genetic arthritis in an elbow that strikes at age 30. Clearly, pitching had something to do with it, whether it was throwing overhand or not. If he wasn’t a pitcher, I doubt he would have had an arthritic elbow at his age.

  29. no way in hell Darvish is coming to the Braves.

    even IF we offered 5/80 mill, the posting fee ALONE would be 50 million or so.

    the guy’s supposedly a once-in-a-generation-arm. however, Todd Van Poppel was supposedly one of those as well. as was Brien Taylor (fight aside).

    my point is this: why pony up the crazy amount of $ it would cost to get him over here when there is no guarantee that he will be anything better than a solid #3.

    yet, the same scouts who said DiceK would be a solid #2 (which he is) said that Darvish is BY FAR a better prospect/pitcher.

    so, it’s a crap shoot. i’d sign him. but with Atlanta’s small japanese population (i know i know, he’s only 1/2 japanese) and the fact that it’s a.) not on the west coast or b.) a large market team means limited exposure for him back in japan.

    we’ll see. it’s interesting.

  30. I think that it is great that the Braves are looking outside the US for pitching help.

    Darvish looks great, but I can’t see the Braves shelling out the money necessary to make the deal.

    I had not realized that the Braves had tried to sign him a couple of years ago.

    All that said, its prety neat to think about….

  31. Sheets has lost eight games for a pretty good hitting club. Eight.

    And he’s injury-prone.

    I’d love Sabathia, but surely young Steinbrenner will offer the moon and stars.

    Might be better off to sign three 2nd- or 3rd-tier guys and hope two of them pan out.

    We didn’t get great with free-agent acquisitions. Smoltz and Glavine and Avery and Mercker were pretty much homegrown. Maddux, of course, was the finishing piece but was added after we’d already achieved strength – Mad Dog was the tipping point.

    Anybody know who might fit the above description and might be available?

  32. I don’t see the Braves getting involved in the posting process, but somebody like Junichi Tazawa who is amateur and won’t require that sort of thing is more a possibility I’d guess.

  33. Mac,

    @34, and others.

    Thanks for the positives.

    Truly, it is remarkable in this day and age that a team can have two significant arm injuries and have this much trouble diagnosing them.

    Chuck James was a borderlin #3 for almost 2 years. Then, in the time of a start or two, he dropped below #6 capability. After 2 plus years, that is NOT scouting reports catching up (watch for that if Parr makes it around the league and as it relates to Jorge Campillo). The guye even SAID he was hurt.

    Now James may be so dumb that he hasn’t followed up on this, but the Braves should have.

  34. I wonder if you can just call Dr. Andrews office and get an appointment.

    “Hey this is Chuck. My shoulder hurts and every time I take the mound it’s Home Run Derby. Yeah, even more than usual. Something in the afternoon would be great.”

  35. An anxious nation awaits the SEC picks.

    Decided to keep my tickets to the game this weekend, despite knowing that Ohio State fan is – let’s say – an unpleasant way to spend an evening. It’s going to be crazy getting in an out of there, I hope it’s somewhat of a competitive game at least.

    Kansas-South Florida is kind of fun game tonight as well.

  36. Robert,
    Oh, you’ll have a blast. Enjoy.

    Ohio State peeps are the only Big 10ers that give SEC folks a run for its money in the obnoxious department. I worked very closely with a Buckeye for 4 years & it just never ended. He made me feel humble.

    And you already know the SEC picks in MacWorld—everybody wins, except the overly orange.

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