Braves 4, Marlins 2

Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins – Box Score – May 07, 2009 – ESPN

First off… again, I hope you’re not one of those people who reads the internet standing up, but if you are, sit down… Casey Kotchman hit a home run! I know! Kotchman, back in the cleanup spot with Chipper taking the day off and C.H.E.G.A. up to third in the order, had a big day, homering in the third, and also doubling in a run in the fifth and adding a single. The Braves’ other runs came off the bat of David Ross, a two-run homer in the second.

Jair Jurrjens gave up only three hits. Unfortunately, two of them were homers to Hanley Ramirez, but as you can see both were solo shots. He went seven, struck out four and walked two, and threw 102 pitches. The homers are troublesome — his breakthrough last year was largely due to his ability to limit homers — but it happens. Soriano got in a little two-out trouble in the eighth but got Hanley to get out of it, and Gonzalez breezed through the ninth. Neither is likely going to be available tomorrow…

With Chipper out, Infante played third and KJ was back in the lineup, hitting seventh sixth. He had two hits, scored on Ross’ homer, and stole a base. Schafer also had two hits, and didn’t strike out at all, which is even more surprising than Kotchman’s homer, really.

77 thoughts on “Braves 4, Marlins 2”

  1. not that it matters, but KJ was 6th in the order. Anyways, prob good to get him out of the leadoff spot

  2. It’s a good thing the Marlins are struggling even more than the Braves. That’s 12 out of 16 for them; only 14 out of 21 for us.

    12 hits and 4 runs–typical Bravo offense. At least they hit some homers. What is the record in games whent the Braves homer? I guess Kotchman wants every home run to be special, so he doesn’t do hit them too often.

    re bullpen: when you are struggling, I think you have to worry about today and let tomorrow take care of itself. A two run lead is hardly insurmountable. They don’t figure to beat Hamels anyway so I have no problem with using Soriano and Gonzo because you really need to win this game.

  3. Just goes to show that our Gwinnett offensive lineup can win MLB games as long as we have good pitching. That game was a throw-back to the 1990s — hit a couple of home runs and give up 3 runs or less.

  4. Kotchman is on pace to hit 64 doubles, 6 hr, and produce 35 rbi. ESPN’s projected full season looks really wierd for him. I hope that warmer temps start carrying some of his hits and fly balls just over the fence, and some of his doubles start producing some rbi.

  5. @5: As I said in the last thread, what worries me more than using Soriano AND Gonzalez is warming Moylan up in the 8th. He’s now pitched two days in a row, and is clearly the go-to option to close tomorrow’s game, if necessary.

    I agree that you take it as it comes, and we needed to win this game, so I don’t fault using Rafael and Mike… but couldn’t we have warmed Bennett for a just in case 8th inning scenario instead of Moylan?

  6. Who is up for some more Canibal Corpse tomorrow?

    Lets keep the crazy train a rollin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. I’m not too worried about the jurrjens homers, I missed the first one, but the second one was on a pretty good pitch that happened to go to one of the best hitters in the game, only a handful of guys in the bigs could hit that pitch out.

  8. Alex,

    Considering the “opportunities” available to ballplayers, that is not a bargain I would make were I a ballplayer.

  9. From the last thread:

    Aww, Charles, why’d you have to put “thorough demonstration” in quotes like that? Your dubiousness hurts my feelings.

    I posted about Ross soon after he signed. The gist was that, despite his .225 lifetime BA, he’s shown at various times the ability to draw large numbers of walks, hit HR at roughly twice the league average pace, and throw out 40% of opposing baserunners. He’s rarely done them all at once, but he’s almost always got at least one very positive aspect of his game going to hang his hat on.

    We’ve been treated to the total package so far this year, and it looks like Gene Tenace (hell, with the gaudy BA it looks like Johnny Bench). It probably won’t last, but the evidence was there for anyone who chose to look before rushing to tear Frank Wren yet another new one.

  10. Quick! Somebody get Francoeur, Anderson, and Kotchman some women’s fertility drugs!

  11. Is it any coincidence that our two game winning streak coincides with Anderson coming off the DL? Well, actually it is.

  12. Manny wants people to believe he needed help getting his johnson up? He’s a 36-year-old professional, world-class athlete in tip-top shape. Next excuse, please.

  13. I talked with some exercise physiologist colleagues about HGC. They said that there was really no reason to take it to boost sex drive at Manny’s age, and that it has little performance-enhancing benefit on its own. The only reason to take this is if you are on a cycle of anabolics. Nice.

  14. Anyone ever read anything that makes what sound like reasonable guesses as to how many people were using during the peak of the era? Maybe it’s just because I don’t want to, but I have a hard time buying the “everyone” was using excuse.

  15. I kid you not — Brian McCann’s new optometrist’s name is Dr. David Ross. At least according to the AJC article.

  16. Manny is a world class athlete in tip top shape? I don’t think so. World class hitter? Sure, but that’s nowhere near the same thing.

  17. Best ERA+ in baseball:

    1. Zach Greinke – 1168
    2. Johan Santana – 476
    3. Dan Haren – 315
    4. Johnny Cueto – 274
    5. Jair Jurrjens – 226

    Nobody else is 200 or better.

  18. My excuse for the team’s offense thus far has been the lack of McCann in it. The problem with this assessment is that David Ross has basically put up the same numbers we’d hope Mac will. No, the real fault in the lineup has been:

    LF: Diaz has disapointed a bit thus far (a lot of it is BABIP stuff), and Anderson has been what we all thought he would be.
    RF: Frenchy has actually been better than 2007 Frenchy (K-rate cut in half), but he’s suffered a bit of BABIP regression. His periferrals indicate he should be hitting about .300, but unless there’s a power spike or the walks improve, he’ll never have more than a .800 OPS except in a freak BABIP spike year.
    2B: KJ’s been awful after a great start. He’s streaky, and I’m a huge fan (not to mention fantasy owner), but wow, has he been awful. Maybe today was him starting to turn the corner.
    3B: Okay, not really. But Chipper hasn’t been 2008/2007/2006 Chipper. Instead, he’s been “really good but not top 5 hitter in the game” Chipper. I don’t know if this’ll just be a “down” year for him where he “only” hits .300, but it is possible, and this would represent a significant blow to the offense.

    Schafer’s also sucked, but that’s pretty much in line with expectations.

  19. Schafer hasn’t been amazing, but a .375 OBP is a .375 OBP, and with great defense in center he’s been a well above replacement level contributor. Draw your own lines, but .375 OBP and plus defense in center doesn’t suck in my book.

  20. Yeah, I’d agree. Schafer’s been our 8th hitter for most of the year. For hitting 8th, that’s great. Problem is, he has the 3rd-highest OBP (behind Ross and Chipper) on the team. His OPS is more or less where it should be for hitting 8th, but that’s just because his slugging is the worst among the regulars. Offensively, he has been much better than our 8th-best hitter; thanks to his OBP he’s been more valuable than Francoeur or Diaz, or certainly KJ.

    If they were better, it’d be easier to say the guy’s just a major work in progress. As it is, we need someone to step up. He ain’t that guy yet. Unfortunately, neither is anyone else.

  21. KC–Did you see DeVall start? Possibly his best since he joined the organization….Rome has got some great young arms!

  22. DeVall’s start is very encouraging! Also Freddie Freeman has a very good day as well.

    And what’s the chance that neither Schafer nor Cody Johnson had a strikeout on a day when they both played? And Cody played two games! Amazing.

    Braves won, Hawks lost. They just can’t win at the same time.

  23. Yeah a great day for Cody Johnson. I am not worried about Freemen–given his age and the league he is playing pretty well. While it was a tough day for Myrtle Beach, I was quite pleased to see that Eric Barrett sems to be back to his 2007 form

    .On the whole I am bit less pessimistic about the season. Still, it is best to look ahead for 2010 and beyond….

  24. 2010?! I think 2011 is more realistic…or when is Frenchy becoming a free agent?

  25. I do not care about the .OBP of my 8th hitter, how many guys has he stranded? How many K’s?
    You better have a high OBP while batting 8th.
    Besides, watch that .OBP drop as people realize you can pitch to him because he cant hit anything inside at all.
    On pace for 200+ k’s and 6 hr is not acceptable at any position.

  26. he’s not on pace to hit 6 homeruns…
    from the way it sounds, schafer is a hard worker. give him a shot. he might k 200 times, but schafer being in centerfield daily is better than anything we have had since 2006. he is a rookie. he will get better. if you’re looking to bash anyone, look at the .300 obp from the “new and improved” francoeur.

  27. To be fair, I think Schafer’s on pace to hit 12 home runs.

    I care about his OBP, but at some point you have to produce with runners on. He’s been abysmal in that category so far. Is it luck, or is he pressing in pressure situations? I don’t really know, but it seems half of his strikeouts came with men in scoring position…and his lack of clutch hits have really hurt the team this year.

  28. Well, after taking in my first G-Braves game last night, I must say the organization has done a great job with the stadium/atmosphere/etc. We had a great time watching the G-Braves win. However, the food was disappointing. Ball park food should never be disappointing.

    Van Pope hit a homer on the first pitch he saw. Boone Logan got in trouble and had to be pulled.

    McCann played the entire game behind the plate. He looked okay at the plate…he had a double down the line, walked once or twice…and then hit a grounder off the end of the bat. He also looked great behind the plate…nailing Pete Orr who was trying to steal 2B. In fact, we saw half of the Natties opening day MLB roster: Orr, Langerhans, Lastings Milledge, Jason Bergman. I was waiting for Manny Acta to show up.

    I was kind of confused by something though. I thought he was wearing glasses…but when he popped his mask off behind the plate to stop a ball, he had no glasses on. How is he going to be able to see like that? Is he wearing contacts behind the plate?

  29. Tiger224:

    I think McCann went back and forth between wearing them and not when he was behind the plate. Maybe I read that on the MLB site.

  30. Yeah.

    From the article:

    “McCann, who wasn’t sure if he needed the glasses to catch, caught with them on during the first two innings, took them off for the next six and then put them back on in the ninth.”

  31. I must say the organization has done a great job with the stadium/atmosphere/etc.

    Thank Gwinnett taxpayers. The only thing the Braves provide are the team and the food (which doesn’t appear to be good).

    I’m curious. Do you live in Gwinnett or frequently travel there? How much money did you spend (per person) going to the game, including all purchases made in Gwinnett county?

  32. @24,

    Don’t know what being a world-class athlete has to do with being able to get a hard-on! :)

    I’m tired already of the hysteria over Manny. Let’s just acknowledge that a large percentage of players used and get on with out lives. People cheat in all walks of life–look at Bernie Madoff, whose crime affected a lot more people than Manny ever will. And who cares if Babe Ruth didn’t use steroids–he probably would have if they had existed.

    Re Chipper: he is 37 and it might be unrealistic to expect him to have another year like last year.

  33. @54

    I live in DeKalb…but work in Gwinnett. We spent $15 per ticket…and there were 8 of us. And spent about $150 in total food, if not a little bit more. So probably total between tix/parking/food = just under $300.

    I love the aspect of being able to drive 30 mins north to get a closer look at our top prospects. And if any county in Atlanta can afford it, I’d imagine Gwinnett can. With turnouts like last night, I’d imagine it’s paid for pretty quickly. Now the question is, like most projects like stadiums: When will they quit taxing the residents for it (probably long after it is paid for)?

  34. Thanks Tiger224,

    So you spent about $40 per person. That’s about $100 less (per person) than Gwinnett projected you would spend. Just doing a bit of informal sampling.

    As for being paid for quickly…attendance doesn’t have much to do with it since the Braves get all the food revenue, keep all but $1 per ticket, and half the parking. Glad to know the facility is nice though.

  35. @57

    Dang…who negotiated that deal for Gwinnett?

    Well, as I said, the organization did a great job. Evidenly, in its negotiations too!

    Are you a Gwinnettian? I work in Norcross, just off of Beaver Ruin/Indian Trail Road.

  36. JC

    I’m a Gwinnettian (live about 13-14 miles from the new stadium, on the Lilburn side of Lawrenceville). I’ve not made it to a game yet, but I certainly won’t be spending $40 a head to go, let alone $140. Granted, I’m a cheap guy and tend to pay for my parking & tickets and maybe a drink for the kids. If/when I manage to get my kids up there I’ll be looking at less than $15 per person (and may splurge up to $20 a head to get good seats for a game or two with my oldest kid).

    Granted, there is a decent used book store almost across the road, and there’s a chance I’d end up over there buying books after/before the game (just for some more info on the overall economic impact of my attending games up there).

    I hope to make it to 2-3 games there this summer, and maybe 1-2 down at the big club (last year I managed to make it to two games at the Ted and only pay for parking one time, and maybe $10-20 for food the next… free-to-me tickets are a thing of beauty).

  37. I don’t even spend $40/person to go to an MLB game in Milwaukee — including gas to get down there. (…but I’m broke and cheap.) How could they have projected $140/person for a AAA game?

  38. 42–I’m going to the Rome game tonight unless there’s even more rain. Looks like Spruill vs. Astros prospect Ross Seaton. Rome’s offense may be even more anemic than Atlanta’s so Seaton will probably throw a 2-hitter and even allowing one run could cost Spruill.

  39. JC, it seems that your article on AJC seems to be indicating it’s expecting $144 per family of 4 (“To generate $15 million in economic benefits the stadium would have to attract 54 percent of its attendance from outside the county, with each family of four spending $144 per game.”) and not per person…

  40. That was terrible. Bradley looked like he was in a hostage video.

    JC, I would assume that someone in Gwinnett’s government read a chapter or two about non-basic activities and took it a bit too far.

  41. In a recap of a Boston/Cleveland Game, Yahoo Sports has three pictures… all of Manny. Umm… I realize he was tied to both franchises in the past… AND he’s the big news story of the day… but in a game where the BoSox scored 12 runs before an out in the 6th inning the ONLY pics you could run were of a guy USED to play for both teams?

  42. CharlesP,

    You’re right. Good catch. Guess I got too excited about the free burritos at work today.

  43. I don’t expect us to do well against Hamels tonight… but look at the lines for the two pitchers.

    0-1, 5.00 ERA, 14K, 7BB, 1.28 WHIP
    0-2, 7.27 ERA, 15K, 4BB, 1.79 WHIP

    I still don’t expect us to win the game… but the fact that it’s Hamels with the worse line going into this match-up should make it more interesting.

    A) that video was… sad/scary/strange/something
    B) man I wish my work had free burritos today… I forgot to bring my lunch.

  44. @65 and 70

    “At that price, why not travel down I-85 to Turner Field which offers the major-league experience for $157?”

    You mean ON AVERAGE for a FAMILY OF FOUR? Certainly a family of four can see a Braves game for $157 — $6 non-premium game seats, parking, one hotdog/drink per — but no way that’s an average. Too many families buying $36 tickets and merchandise.

  45. Honestly, when you enter a season with a player like Bonifacio in your lineup, you’re just throwing games away. The Marlins are not generally a stupid franchise. So exactly how and why does something like this happen?

    And then there are franchises with Francouer, Garrett Anderson, etc. in the lineup …

  46. The $157 number is ridiculous as an average, though (as Tiger demonstrated) it’s possible to spend quite a lot at a game. That number comes from the Fan Cost Index, which is just an identical basket of goods sold at all stadiums. It includes something like 4 average-priced tickets, 2 beers, 4 cokes, 4 hot dogs, 2 hats and 2 programs (who buys even one program?). It’s only useful for cross-team comparisons of prices.

    This just goes to show how high the Gwinnett projection was. Fewer than 54% of fans will came from outside Gwinnett, and most will spend far less than $144 per 4 given the bloated FCI estimates are much lower than this.

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