Braves 4, Reds 3

Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds – Box Score – April 24, 2009 – ESPN

Another weird game. The Braves actually led 2-1 entering the bottom of the fourth — and hadn’t had a hit yet. After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, they couldn’t do much against Edinson Volquez, and eventually stopped trying. For once, this worked, as Volquez completely lost the strike zone, walking five men, including four in a row with two out, in the fourth inning. Javy Vazquez walked with the bases loaded to force in Kotchman, tying the game. Then KJ walked to force in Schafer.

The Reds got a run back in the bottom of the inning to tie it, but then the Braves at last got a hit — a homer to dead center by Francoeur with two out in the fifth. In the seventh, their second hit of the game was a two-out single from Diaz to score Escobar with what turned out to be a big insurance run.

Vazquez was strong, again, striking out nine in six innings (he is, I believe, second in the league in strikeouts, with 43 to Santana’s 47) and walking just one, and setting up the 7-8-9 innings group with a lead. This hasn’t happened too often. Moylan got in a little two out trouble in the seventh with a walk (he appeared to have the man struck out on a checked swing) and his own error, but got out of it. Soriano wasn’t so lucky, giving up a leadoff double and a walk, but the generous Reds bunted with the next man, allowing him to get out of it with a fly ball and a groundout and one run scored. (That’s the first run he’s given up this year.) Gonzalez blew them away in the ninth, looking as strong as he has all year with two strikeouts and an assist.

Francoeur, in addition to his homer, had two walks, which brings his season total to three. The Braves got only two more hits after Diaz’s single, singles by Escobar and Kotchman, but they walked ten times.

Garret Anderson was finally placed on the DL, with Brandon Jones called up to replace him on the roster, though Diaz still got the start against a righty. Unfortunately, Brian McCann might join him, as he was scratched with more vision troubles. It seems likely he will have to go under the laser again, which would keep him out a couple of weeks. I was critical of the Ross signing, but I feel a lot more comfortable with him out there than Sammons.

34 thoughts on “Braves 4, Reds 3”

  1. Sansho sends a liner into the alley.

    I was pretty sure we were going to get no hit by Volquez, maybe like a 25% chance.

  2. The Ross signing is looking better and better. He calls a great game and is generally effective, outside of his bat.

    Can we all agree that the theme of the last thread is pretty played out? At least change it to Frenchy or something.

  3. I think that the recovery time to full vision is about 7-10 days. With that many (and a couple of days, minimum, before the surgery where he won’t play, so can be retroactived) he might as well go on the DL.

    Speaking of, nobody say anyone is on the DL, okay?

  4. Sansho developed a nice stroke down on the farm, but really came into his own with the stick in the big leagues

  5. Sorry urlhix, didn’t mean to make you feel left out.

    The last thread was possibly the greatest in Braves Journal history…because Gadfly didn’t post

  6. AAR, you are right — I have learned my lesson. This thing has taken on a life of its own. The unassuming person should never reveal hidden talents to the masses, as ridicule is the only reward. For Susan Boyle, that talent is singing. For me, furtive adolescent fumblings. We must both be destroyed, and that is clear to me now.

  7. you guys are right, this place is much more fun when we sift through dissertations about Francoeur’s place in history, the cesspool that is the Braves’ front office, and who the most obscure underappreciated musicians from SEC country are.

  8. Are you trying to say you didn’t uncork the nasty spitter?

    (flip the horse over and it’s just like new!)

  9. Almost a 10th of the season is over….and Frenchy is possibly our most productive hitter….

    I am glad to see the arrival of Brandon Jones….

  10. Francoeur came into the game tied (with Schafer!) for the team lead in runs created with nine. I’m guessing he’s ahead now, though they’re still pretty close to Chipper, Kotchman (!!), and KJ.

    Another weird stat: Diaz has the best secondary average on the team.

  11. I like Vazquez more and more. And Gonzales was stellar in the ninth. The last pitch of the game was one of the nastiest pitches I’ve seen in a long time.

  12. Fox Sports Ohio guys talked incessantly about Francouer. New patient approach, young franchise corner stone. yada yada yada Egad. I was gonna look it up but Mac beat me to it. The Fox guys said that he had 8 walks. I thought that was wrong, but I’m glad the kid is hitting at least. The homer was a bullet.

    Gosh everyone including Chipper looks off at the plate. We didn’t even make a hard out there for a while.

    Vasquez was sharp. The disturbing thing is that I got the distinct feeling that he felt like he needed to throw a shutout to win. Thats the state of the offense these days.

    Volquez? I don’t get it. He makes our top 5 hitters look silly then walks 7 guys in a row flinging the ball all over hell’s half acre. Sophomore jinx?

  13. Looks like Escobar is getting fined in kangaroo court.

    “Esco’s high-strung, and he overreacted,” Jones said of the shortstop. “There was no intent there [to hit him]. … Apparently, he doesn’t like getting hit.”

    Funny, Joe Simpson said that it was definitely deliberate.

  14. Guys,

    I have to admit. I’m falling in love with Kawakami. I love the breaking slop he throws up there and I have a feeling he’s an amazing pitcher. Should I pull the trigger on a Jersey? Or is that a worse idea than the Braves signing AJ Burnett for 10 billion dollars? This may be what I need to get me over my Smoltz depression. The other options are Jair (I like his attitude but I prefer the Kawakrazy curve ball) or McCann (but I like pitchers a little more). Halp please.

    Note- my last name begins with K so I can do weird combinations between my name and Kawakami.

  15. Just my opinion, but I think it’s a little early to drop money on a Kawakami jersey (unless money isn’t an issue). You can’t go wrong with McCann. Do you have to get it now? I’d wait just a bit…

  16. Money is a consideration. I don’t have any Braves gear where I am though and that’s bothering me. Maybe if I ‘invest’ in Kawakami Frank Wren will take that as a vote of confidence from the fans? Would I be the first non-Japanese person on Earth w/ a Kawakami jersey?

  17. The Greatest AAA Baseball Team in the History of the World sure is struggling, isn’t it?

    Wha’ happn?

  18. Last night game was perfect. Offense scores four runs, starting pitcher had a quality start, the bullpen holds the lead. Can’t get any better.

  19. 26,

    I sorta get this. I’d feel very weird about wearing a Francouer or McCann jersey since they’re all younger than I am.

  20. 30,

    I would have preferred some better at bats. And a real leadoff hitter. And a real clean-up hitter.

    But a win is a win.

  21. The Braves had a reputation of being free swinging. Are some of the walks due to that reputation. Francoeur may have 3 walks but is working the count much better than last year. Does anyone know what his average pitch count are this year compared to last year?

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