140 thoughts on “Great, these guys game thread: May 4, Mets at Braves”

  1. The Braves typically play inspired baseball against the Mets. I guess it’s the rivalry.

  2. Maine and Livan, seriously if these guys shut us down I dont know what Im capable of

  3. So how does an early meltdown sound if we lose both!

    Delightful to me.

    I hate Jose Reyes.

  4. According to DOB, the early lineup is out. KJ is back in the leadoff spot, Kotchman is cleaning up, B. Jones is batting 7th, and Schafer is batting 8th.

    I guess that means:
    2b KJ
    SS Escobar
    3b Chipper
    1b Kotchman
    RF Francoeur
    C Ross
    LF B. Jones
    CF Schafer
    P Vazquez

  5. Apportion the blame for what exactly? We’re a month into the season and 2.5 games back of the (surprise and not sustainable) Marlins. 0.5 behind the Phils and 1.0 ahead of the Mets. The offense has been sucking wind the last couple of weeks but we have been without our cleanup hitter and only real hope (Anderson) for any power in the OF. We also have some real ML talent coming up over the next two years, and only one potential “albatross” of a contract (Lowe). Call me an optimist — or at least not a premature pessimist.

    Oh, Mac, your proposed list for apportionment of blame did not include Liberty Media.

  6. Over the last three seasons (2006-2008), the Mets and Braves head-to-head are 27-27 (.500). Over that same span, the Mets are 274-212 (.564) overall while the Braves are 235-251 (.484).

  7. The Braves essentially won the division for the Phillies last season, playing 4-14 against them and 11-7 against the Mets. Heck, without the Braves there wouldn’t have been a race.

  8. @8

    Jeff, would you like to make a friendly wager where this Braves team will be come July 1st…barring any major moves?

    I’m not Debbie Downer…but I prefer realism over irrational optimism. Despite a stronger rotation, this team still looks a lot like the underachieving team of the last couple of years.

  9. @12

    I’m with you. This squad still has the stench of the 2006-2008 squads. Things are different but they look and feel the same.

  10. May 23 is Tommy Hanson’s date for the Braves to have the extra year of control before free agency.

  11. Mr. Tiger, I’m not a betting man but thanks for the offer. I’ve previously posted my SWAG on where I think the Braves will end up at the end of the season. I don’t have any estimates of where they’ll be on July 1, except roughly half-way to where I think they’ll be at the end of the year.

    BTW, I also prefer realism over irrational optimism — who doesn’t? Silly straw man statements are reserved for silly people.

  12. Jeff-

    I wasn’t creating a “strawman” statement. But I think it is kinda silly to be excited about how things have gone to this point of the season…or to be excited about being 2.5 games out (ONLY!!).

    I think some blame is warranted and appropriate. If my job only encompassed building a Major League ball team, I’d like to think I could do a better job than Frank Wren has done at this point in his career.

    I’m kinda sick and tired of seeing this same team losing in many of the same ways. And without enough tools on the ol’ utility belt. When’s the cavalry arrive? When 55 year old Garrett Anderson finally decides he can play? Is that the POP! BANG! BOOM! this lineup is waiting on (besides Brian McCann)?

    It’s only May 4th…but it already feels like August 4th. Same ol’, same ol’.

  13. Diory Hernandez is off to a hot (probably unsustainable) start at Gwinnett. Trade chip or makes Johnson expendable or …? Not sure myself … just trying to move to a new topic.

  14. Johnson is and has been expendable, however you dont trade him when he’s hitting .210. Its also hard to start him when he’s not hitting also

  15. This team has played really poorly after a hot start. They’ve also been without the cleanup hitter. Yank Beltran out of the Mets line up, or Utley out of the Phils, and see where they go. This squad isn’t great, and you don’t want to try to push them too much and lose the real shot at greatness in the next few years, but come on. A couple games back after a half month without McCann isn’t that bad.

  16. Well, the good news is that he won’t be batting .210 all year. It will go up to around his career average, if not higher considering his age.

  17. @20

    Sam, I’m not claiming the sky is falling. I’m just disappointed, like many fans. That’s all.

    But I would love to see Frank Wren leave town. Nothing new for me though.

    Now let’s go beat up on some Mets.

  18. Time for that first hotstreak, KJ.

    That’s what I always tell Met fans. It’s a swing of 14 games.

    After a bad Braves weekend and grey, wet morning here, now I get 2 things I can look forward to: Springsteen tonight on Long Island & Braves/Mets on the DVR when I return.

    A 2 for 2 night would be sweet. Let’s get moving in the right direction.

    “Well, I’m a little down under, but I’m feeling O.K.
    I got a little lost along the way
    Just around the corner to the light of day”

  19. Time for that first hotstreak, KJ.

    He opened the season on fire. Through 8 games, he OPSed 1.178, getting on base and hitting for power.

    In his 46 appearances since then, he’s had zero extra-base hits and only gotten on base 9 times.

  20. I don’t know if anybody has noticed, but if the season was six games long, the Braves would have taken or tied for the division title in 2009,2008, and 2007. It’s really the other 156 games that are giving us fits…

  21. We’ll call for an extended hotstreak, then, one that helps further derail a squabbling team. Minaya called out his best players the other day..

  22. Would anybody be surprised if Oliver Perez turns into Darren Oliver? Oliver the elder has become a good reliever (and not just a LOOGY) once teams stopped trying to make him start. It’s just that it took until he was 35 years old. The Mets (the team Oliver Sr. made the permanent move to the pen with) are just getting ahead of the curve this time.

  23. If Frankoor was actually wishing to walk some, he’d have an OPS+ over 100 and well above the team avg. Well he’s not so it’s a moot point right now. He’s still far better than he was 1 year ago.

  24. Francoeur would be part of the solution if he didn’t have to hit freaking cleanup. Right now, Francoeur would be a very good 6-hole guy, but he’s being relied upon for way too much.

  25. You know, if they weren’t in the same division, it would make a lot of sense for the Mets to trade some of their outfield surplus for some of the Braves’ pitching.

  26. So Chip and Joe rush to Anderson’s defense for not taking a minor league rehab assignment (which is by definition temporary), and in the very next breath trash Oliver Perez for not wanting to be OPTIONED to AAA. Sure, whatever y’all say.

  27. Schafer now 2-19 with RISP and 5-35 with runners on.

    Thank you, Luis Castillo. Boy, am I glad the Mets have a zombie at second base.

  28. Schafer has played in every game and has two homers, and three RBI. I don’t mean to pick on him, but that’s kind of worrisome. At least if he was hitting leadoff he would have fewer RBI opportunities to blow.

  29. Seems like the book on Schafer is to attack him with hard stuff up and in. He can’t catch up.

  30. Right after chip says Vasquez hasn’t given up any hits, he gives up a double.

    Way to go chip

  31. Chipper, for his standards, is in a slump. This slump would qualify as on fire for Francoeur.

  32. 57–I mind his 0-2 much less than his swinging at the first pitch in the 1st inning. With Maine walking 5-6 per 9 IP you just might think he’d take a few pitches. Same with Schafer in the 2nd.

  33. This team in a nutshell: You get a 3-0 lead against a bad pitcher with a 5.40 ERA, and then nine of the next ten make outs with the one baserunner getting thrown out trying to steal because your cleanup hitter is incapable of hitting a homer so he has to be in scoring position.

  34. 62–if only it were a tie game

    I knew this was coming the minute one of the blathering idiots–Joe or Chip–said something about the Mets not having come back from more than 3 runs down this season. Someone should rip his tongue out.

  35. This team can’t win when you have 5 guys who at this point arent major league hitters in the lineup… David Ross, Jordan Schafer, Kelly Johnson, Casey Kotchman, and Brandon Jones. It’s impossible to be successful with these clods. Nothing is going to change because these guys just simply aren’t very good major leaguers at this point. I’ll give Schafer a slight pass only because he is so young and it’s his first season in the majors. But at this point he looks helpless at the plate

  36. Kelly Johnson is flat out trade bait at this point. He’ll be packaged into some deal for a legit cleanup hitter before the trade deadline. That is if the braves can survive until then and stay somewhat in the hunt

  37. Come on Mac… Kelly Johnson is not a starting major leaguer. LET ALONE!! A leadoff hitter. The fact he has has started numerous games as a leadoff hitter is a joke

  38. He’s not playing well, but he’s also a player who’s been well above the major league average each of the last two years. Why do people keep saying he can’t play? For that matter, why do you bunt with one out and your seventh-place hitter?

  39. That was vintage Cox. He bunts Ross (who isn’t doing too badly right now) so Schafer can get up to strike out with two outs. I wonder if anyone on this blog saw that coming. Did anyone not see that coming?

  40. Why is Bobby leaving in Vazquez with more than 100 pitches? So much for that 8 man bullpen.

  41. Schafer really looks overmatched (which is different from saying he’ll swing at any old slop). He just can’t seem to catch up to a major league fastball.

  42. Chip or Joe (I have it on mute but the closed captioning comes up) keeps harping on how Schafer’s wrist is hurting and affecting his swing. If that’s the case, he shouldn’t be playing.

  43. Well that’s because he has streaks where he plays well. So on the whole he looks like he’s solid, but he hurts the team with his epic fail slumps more than he helps the team with his explosive short term success. It’s more important to be consistent than to have 20 game slumps and 10 game streaks.

  44. I seriously doubt that. I’ve never seen a study of hot streaks for hitters, but my guess is that you’re actually better off with a guy who alternates hot and cold than the other way, as long as you don’t have too many of them.

  45. It’s more important to be consistent than to have 20 game slumps and 10 game streaks.

    I challenge you to find something tangible to back that up with.

  46. They are harping on the wrist–btw Chip just got in a “fisted”–but if that’s the real reason for the trouble then it’s time for to recall Blanco.

  47. Well that was a genius decision to leave Vazquez in for that long. I first guessed this at #80.

  48. In fairness to Javy, he shouldn’t have been brought back out for the 7th, let alone be kept in to face Beltran.

  49. We really need to start pulling Vazquez a lot sooner.

    KJ can play but from here it sure doesn’t look like he believes that he can play. I’m not talking about being cocky, but he’s had a good while to settle into confidence with his situation and it hasn’t happened, for whatever reason.

  50. I sure wish our CF could do what their CF does with belt-high fastballs.

    As it is, the Mets have as many homers as we have hits.

  51. So I know I’ve seen evidence to the effect that it is definitely better to have pitchers that are either great or crappy; if you have one pitcher who always goes six innings and gives up 3 runs every time, he is much less valuable than a guy who alternates three inning, six run outings with nine inning shutouts. Giving up the fourth, fifth, and sixth runs do not hurt the cause as much as giving up the first, second, and third, because of how your team’s run scoring is likely to be.

    I don’t know what relevance this has for hitting.

  52. There is something obviously wrong with Johnson, by the way. This is beyond his normal slumping. Right now, the Braves are a much better team with Infante on the field in his place.

  53. so the guy with the highest slg% on the team bunts and gives away an out, so our strikeout leader can come up. I see a serious problem with our team mindset

  54. Ross was bunting for a hit, and it was obviously his idea, not Bobby’s, guys.

  55. There’s your boy Mac… KJ grounding into a double play. Since April 16th Kelly Johnson is 4-42 at the plate. Where do you draw the line between keeping a guy in to let him play through a slump or taking him out for not pulling his weight?

  56. That guy is good.
    I’ll be happier once McCann is back to provide a little more pop.

  57. Speaking of McCann–he’s playing in Rome Wednesday–maybe can convince Anderson that rehab isn’t so bad.

  58. I think Johnson is just a headcase. He has shown he “can” be successful, but he also has shown a propensity for being really really awful. And the sad part is that throughout his career he has had more god awful times, than his flashes of brillance. That includes his defense too

  59. Frenchy’s lost his new and much improved batting stance. Waaay more closed than he was at the start of the season.

  60. Schafer to face KRod leading off next inning–that might qualify as child abuse.

    Edit–sure Anderson will go 1-2–one hit in 2 games weeks.

  61. Jon, if KJ’s had more godawful times than flashes of brilliance, how is it that he’s been one of the best-hitting second basemen in baseball over the past couple years?

    I know it’s a lot easier to remember the cold streaks than the hot streaks, but he’s had enough of both to wind up well above-average. He’s basically been our third-best hitter behind Chipper and Brian McCann the past three years. (Excluding Mark Teixeira.)

  62. I predict that by the end of the braves finish these next 10 games against NL opponents… they will be securely in 4th place at least 7 or 8 games out of first.

  63. So I just started watching and looked at the box score…any decent reason why the heck Cox would send Vasquez back out in the seventh inning?

  64. This will make us 6-13 after our hot 5-1 start. That means that for the bulk of the season (the most recent bulk) we have been one of the two or three worst teams in the majors.

    I truly thought this would be a rebuilding year, but I did not think it would be this bad.

    By the way, any thought of trading for a power hitter mid-year is idiotic. It might improve us to a 75 win club and that is not worth the likely price.

  65. Alex

    and that is exactly why this team sucks…. Kelly Johnson is no more than an average mlb second baseman at BEST. And the fact that he is the teams 3rd best hitter (like you claim) in the past 3 years is why this team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2005. He simply isn’t the answer at secondbase and the more you try to convince yourself he is, the more your going to see this team sink into the depths of suckness.

  66. You’re right Jon, we should employ someone who is below average instead.

  67. Johnson ranked 4th in OPS in the NL last year among second baseman.

    Also, his 2007 stats look really nice to me.

  68. Wasn’t there a time when we were going to trade for Zack Greinke? Why didn’t we?

  69. Infante should be an everyday player on this team… I mean there is really no reason why a player who is clearly a better hitter than: Diaz/Anderson/Jones, Johnson, Kotchman, and Schafer shouldn’t at least be in the lineup everyday getting a chance to produce for this team

  70. Guys, Jon is 13 years old, tops. Knowing how I was at that age and having seen several of Jon’s outbursts over the past couple of weeks, I’d say you’re likely wasting your time.

  71. Infante should be an everyday player on this team… I mean there is really no reason why a player who is clearly a better hitter than: Diaz/Anderson/Jones, Johnson, Kotchman, and Schafer…

    Are you for real?

  72. No one can make a valid arguement as to why infante shouldn’t be in the lineup night in and night out at this point in the season. And past stats aren’t worth a tinker’s dam, the fact is that Infante can at least provide some production in what’s otherwise an anemic offense

  73. Hey AAR,

    Thanks for recommending that Cynic record. Not something I would normally run across but what a beautiful piece of work. Perfect for working in the garden, oddly enough.

    Edit: Free Omar!!!

  74. Boy this team is bad …. how the mets were behind us I dont know .. but the Mets have Reyes,Beltran,Delgado and Wright to fear .. we have KJ, Chipper ,Kotchman and Francour … whew thats murderers row huh !!!!!!

  75. Someone make a valid arguement as to why Johnson should be in the lineup over Infante right now?
    And stu way to be a standup poster with your personal insults. The outburts I apologize for, but they come from the heart. I’m tired of seeing this team fail year in and year out over the last 4 years. FYI I’m 25, and I’m used to seeing a quality product on the field. Meaning for the majority of my life I’ve witnessed successful braves teams. I’m tired of people making excusses for this team. From upper management, to Bobby Cox, to the players themselves. This team has failed time and time again since 2005. I praise Frank Wren for making changes in the pitching staff, but I think they came up short in that they failed to address the lineup. I’m not trying to offend anyone on here but I just don’t see how anyone could possibly think that this current lineup could produce anything close to a .500 record.

  76. Morton had this line tonight

    7IP 2H 1ER 3BB 10K and picked up the loss. He’d fit right in

  77. Why should someone argue that?

    Jeez. He’s been good in the past and isn’t right now. No one has said otherwise.

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