Braves 12, Rockies 4

Colorado Rockies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 20, 2009 – ESPN

Big win. Some losses, too. Pretty much everybody got involved.

The Braves took the lead in the second, when Diaz tripled and came home on a flyout by Francoeur, who even when he gets a run in still makes outs. The Rockies tied it in the fourth on an “unearned” run, but the Braves erupted in the bottom of the inning. They got the first two runs home without a hit, getting a HBP (Francoeur, doing his part!), three walks, and a sac fly. Infante drove in a run with an infield single. And finally Escobar chased the starter with a three-run homer (tying Chipper for the team lead) to make it 7-1. The Braves got three more runs off of reliever (and former Braves prospect) Matt Belisle to make it 10-1.

Javy Vazquez only pitched five innings due to the big lead. He struck out the first four men he faced, winding up with six on the night, and allowed just three hits. Bennett came in, I guess because even he would have trouble blowing a nine-run lead. He actually threw two perfect innings, with three strikeouts.

The Braves finally chased Belisle in the sixth, scoring a couple of runs to make it 12-1. The reliever who followed, on his second pitch, hit Omar Infante on the hand. Infante left the game; x-rays revealed a broken fifth metacarpal. That’s probably a six-week injury. Since nobody else on the roster can back up shortstop, I would expect Diory Hernandez to be called up tomorrow.

The Braves did not do anything about this, the third HBP of a Brave in the last two days. It’s a bad decision. The Rockies are not throwing at the Braves; you’d have to be a moron to throw at Jeff Francoeur. The problem is that the Rockies aren’t being careful, aren’t trying hard enough to not hit opposing batters. This is dangerous. At some point, baseball decided to take an intent standard on HBPs, imposing additional punishment basically only when they were pretty sure that the pitcher was trying to hit the batter. This is a mistake, and the Braves are making a mistake by accepting it. Carl Mays wasn’t throwing at Ray Chapman; he just didn’t really care if Chapman got hit or not.

Jo-Jo Reyes pitched the eighth, and gave up two runs. He was probably already mentally packing his bags, or gassing up his car at any rate, when he turned his ankle after getting a hit in the bottom of the inning. So instead of going to Gwinnett, he’ll go on the DL when Medlen comes up tomorrow. Carlyle, who really should be sent to Gwinnett too, will stay, even though he gave up another run and has an 8.31 ERA.

Everyone had a hit, even Francoeur. Diaz led the way with three, plus a walk, scoring four runs. Schafer had a sac fly, giving him as many RBI since Friday (four) as he had all season.

52 thoughts on “Braves 12, Rockies 4”

  1. The Infante injury sucks. I agree Mac the Braves pitchers needed to retaliate.

  2. I would say this is 2 wins for the braves and 1 loss; the obvious 12-4 win and Reyes going on the DL. I would never wish injury upon a person, but he is off the team, which I consider a plus. Losing Infante is a huge loss. Let’s hope the Good Kelly stays with us. Please Good Kelly, stay with us.

  3. Schafer is playing every inning. He doesn’t need a backup! Ok, I am thinking like Bobby for a second.

    I guess Prado will get even more playing time now.

    See, Bobby, if you do some lineup management, good things can happen. Good you are finally seeing the light.

    I am glad JoJo somehow found his way out of the Atlanta roster. He should be in Gwinett.

  4. I’ve never thought about not intentionally hitting a batter, but not being careful enough. It makes sense. I’m interested to see how Hernandez does. He’s put up some pretty good numbers over the last few years.

  5. If you look at the most significant beanings in major league history — Chapman, Puckett, Blair, Conigliaro, Thon — you’ll find that only in the case of Bump Hadley hitting Mickey Cochrane was there any serious belief that it was intentional, and even that probably wasn’t.

  6. Bobby brought up Frenchy, Diaz and Prado as possible backup CFs, per DOB. Ouch. Schafer won’t be getting the day off any time soon.

    And who all was speculating that Kelly might be traded? I must have missed that over the past few months. I thought that died down as the season got under way.

  7. infante is a huge loss. i was expecting him to start receiving more playing time in center. i’ve always liked diory and i am glad to see he will get an extended chance to prove his major league worth. who knows? maybe this is a blessing in disguise and he can play well enough to be attractive trade bait. his bat has been hot, but his fielding has been atrocious (.922 fielding percentage).

    if tonight’s play from matt diaz doesnt get bobby to thinking about the right field situation, then nothing will.


  8. I’ve never heard any KJ trade speculation. Diaz in CF…. yeah, I’d love to see that.

  9. Seems like Tex is heating up a month earlier this year. I guess that’s what $180M will do for him.

  10. Losing Infante sucks, but let’s be honest, he was the backup CF in the same way that Chipper was the 3rd string SS: only to be used in emergencies and situations where the game is out of hand one way or the other. Although I guess I was looking forward to Infante being able to spot Schafer when, say, Lowe was on the mound against a LHP or something. But whatever. Infante was swinging a hot bat (has been since last year, really), and losing him is unfortunate. But it’ll only be really bad if KJ keeps slumping, and I’ve got a feeling he’s just starting to heat up.

  11. Missed most of tonight’s game b/c I took my son to the Rome Braves for his birthday. Not pretty–a 6-1 loss–Spruill didn’t have it, the defense behind him was shoddy, and the offense is so inept that the game was over after Asheville scored 3 in the top of the first. Just like the big club, there was a Prado and a Yunel, the latter committed by Sumoza who was acquired in last season’s Kotsay trade. Rome is loaded with pitching, but I doubt any of the position players advance beyond AA. The starting 2B was batting .122!

  12. sdp,
    Not true. The Indians gave up NOTHING to get DeRosa (3 minor league relievers that all have an outside shot at even making it to the big leagues), and if they’re netting some pitching that can help them now (lord f’n knows they need it), they’d probably be willing to part ways with DeRosa. He’s in a walk year. Something like Valdez, Parr, and Marek would probably get it done.

  13. i dont like that trade, mac. cameron is injury prone and expensive. i hope you’re being sarcastic. mark derosa, also expensive. the cards have pieces that could be had. lets trade francoeur, morton, and a prospect for ludwick. better be a hell of a prospect.

  14. I wasn’t saying swap KJ for DeRosa. What I meant to say is, there’s no place for DeRosa to play on this team as it is right now unless KJ is traded. I wasn’t trying to imply that the Indians would be interested in KJ.

    You could get rid of Failcoeur and put DeRosa in right, but I don’t see that happening.

    Worth noting, DeRosa has more homers and RBIs than anyone on our active roster.

  15. I don’t see retaliating for guys getting hit on the hand. Those balls were maybe six inches inside, and not up. Stinks that Infante got hurt, but that’s part of the game.

  16. ryan…two things…ludwick is on DL now…and no contending team would trade their cleanup hitter in the middle of the season…seriously, ludwick is not available. I am sure the cards are more willing to trade their other outfielders.

  17. I think that you could get the Brewers to pick up most of the difference between Cameron’s contract and KJ’s. He isn’t really injury-prone. He hasn’t missed any time this year, and didn’t miss any after coming off the PED suspension last year, and the year before he played 151 games. He’s old, and he does most of his damage against lefties, but he does literally everything better than every one of our starting outfielders.

  18. sdp, I am thinking putting DeRo in the outfield indeed. Especially with Infante out for six weeks, there are plenty of at-bats available everywhere in our lineup…and Chipper will get hurt once a while as we all know.

  19. @28 – Agreed Mac, but I would still like him best as a 5 hitter. We really need someone with big power in this lineup for cleanup.

  20. Yeah, but you won’t get that kind of player, unless you’re willing to do something insane like take on Carlos Lee’s contract. I don’t even know that the Brewers would trade Cameron, but they desperately need a second baseman.

  21. I’d like to point out that our 4th outfielder is now hitting .288/.369/.466/.835 and is our best one. (Disregarding Schafer’s defense)

  22. Mac, your witty game summaries are a pleasure to read….

    Diory Hernandez has been raking the ball at Gwinnett County–his time has come….

  23. “Yeah, but you won’t get that kind of player, unless you’re willing to do something insane like take on Carlos Lee’s contract.”

    Exactly. I think we all have to realize that.

  24. Probably, but the A’s (a) already have a DH, and (b) suck. You might be able to get an interesting arm for Canizares, considering the Sox’s pitching depth.

  25. @32 – And let us also realize that he wouldn’t be producing that line if he had started all those games against righties.

    Mac, I think the Brewers will go after Ray Durham. There are guys out there that they could get pretty cheap without having to give up anything but a little cash.

  26. Whatever he would produce would be a whole hell of a lot better than the other options are currently producing.

  27. The problem is that the Rockies aren’t being careful, aren’t trying hard enough to not hit opposing batters.

    I’ve played a lot of baseball and done a fair amount of pitching and this is just silly. Either you are throwing at a guy or you’re not. If you are not, among the least of your concerns is being worried about hitting the batter. If the scouting report says you can get the guy out inside, you throw inside and risk it without thinking twice. The whole retaliation/intimidation stuff is hugely overrated.

  28. Diaz vs. RHP:
    46 PA, .262/326/500
    vs. LHP
    36 PA, .323/421/419

    Francoeur vs. RHP
    108 PA, .194/229/291
    vs. LHP
    51 PA, .347/352/490

    ACHE has a backward platoon split…
    vs. RHP
    51 PA, .213/259/255
    vs. LHP
    25 PA, .333/360/458

  29. The intimidation/retaliation stuff depends on the pitcher. It certainly worked for Roger Clemens.

    JJ Putz trying to blow it for the Mets tonight…

  30. I think Canizares would definitely be attractive to some Moneyball-type team. He’s slow as hell and can’t field, but he certainly gets on base and hits for power. He works very well as a DH.

    Also, Hernandez can definitely hit, but prepare for a fielding adventure. At the end of the last homestand, he was tied for the lead league in errors even though he was injured for the first two weeks of the season. I’m not saying we shouldn’t call him up. I’m just saying that he can’t be a backup in the sense that we bring him in as a defensive replacement or anything.

  31. Muchas gracias a los Dodgers. With the Mutts and Philthies losing, the Braves are a game out of first.

  32. I agree with Robert. I have problems with throwing at guys because their pitchers aren’t “careful” enough. If it’s not at the guy’s head, I can’t see retaliating for something that’s not intentional. And how do you define “not being careful enough?” To some extent, players today do not know how to get out of the way of pitches because they have been conditioned to not being pitched inside.

    But, let’s face it, Infante was playing well and it’s a bad loss but if losing Omar Infante ruins the Braves, they have a lot more problems anyway. And it seems as if the Braves have already decided that losing Infante is going to doom them. It could be a blessing in disguise if it convinces Wren to go and try to get another bat.

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