Braves 6, Cubs 5 (12 innings)

Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – June 02, 2009 – ESPN

I don’t know what the most remarkable thing about this game was. Maybe it was the Braves coming back off the mat after being no-hit for 6 2/3 innings. Or scoring the last six runs of the game to win. Or Anderson hitting his second homer in as many games. Or Francoeur hitting a two-run, two-out homer in the ninth inning to tie it. Come to think of it, that was definitely the most remarkable thing about this game.

The Braves, as I mentioned, were no-hit to two out in the seventh by… some guy. I’m not going to look him up, he was some rookie I never heard of. So, normal. (It would have been a perfect game but that Escobar faked getting hit by a pitch off his bat; he was erased on a DP anyway.) The Cubs, on the other hand, weren’t shut out for the first third of the first inning, as Alfonso Soriano led off the game with a homer. They added one in the second and two in the sixth to make it 4-0. Kawakami, other than the homer, didn’t pitch that badly; he got some shaky defense from Chipper and ACHE and the Cubs clustered their hits. I’d probably rate this his second-best start, and I’m glad he got off the hook.

Chipper finally broke up the no-hitter with two out in the seventh. The Cubs got another run in the top of the eighth with a solo homer from Lee, but Anderson answered with his second of the season leading off the bottom of the inning to break up the shutout. The Cubs brought in their setup man, Carlos Marmol, after Prado reached on an error. Marmol was super-wild and walked Francoeur. Gregor Blanco (up for the demoted Jordan Schafer) hit a liner that the rightfielder caught on a nice play. Norton was hit by a pitch, then KJ drew a walk to make it 5-2. Escobar hit a sac fly to make it 5-3, but Chipper grounded out to end the threat.

In the ninth, ACHE swung at a pitch in the dirt that went to the backstop. He ran it out, this time (he usually doesn’t run out balls in the dirt from what I’ve seen, but it was a long way away) and reached first with one out. They got Prado, but Francoeur then hit a two-run homer to tie it. I really can’t quite believe that happened, but I’ve seen it several times now.

The game went extras, and the Braves got good relief work from Gonzalez in the tenth and Soriano in the eleventh and twelfth. The leadoff man reached in the tenth and eleventh and was bunted over, only to be stranded. Yunel hit a grounder past the shortstop with one out in the twelfth. He then stole second. The Cubs decided to pitch to Chipper anyway — with McCann on deck, it’s not an easy decision. Chipper lined a 3-2 pitch to left, Escobar scored, and the Braves won a game I pretty much gave up on about the fourth inning.

The Braves had seven hits — all, of course, in the last six innings. They drew four walks, all of them in the last five… Soriano got the win. He gave up a couple of baserunners, but struck out three and looked generally dominant. You have to assume he won’t be available tomorrow, but we needed it today.

82 thoughts on “Braves 6, Cubs 5 (12 innings)”

  1. Nice recap…I am glad to see Jordan Schafer sent back to Gwinnett–even if Blanco can’t deliver. With some luck, both players will rebound and become productive. This should have happened a few weeks ago….

  2. Blanco actually hit a couple of balls hard tonight. If he keeps swinging like that, he’ll find some holes.

    Here’s hoping Frenchy regained his confidence…

  3. Well this gives Francoeur 2 more weeks of sucking before Bobby decides he needs a day off. I’m glad I didn’t watch the game because it just would’ve constantly pissed me off until we actually won it. What an unbelievable win. What’s more unlikely, Frenchy hitting a HR to tie it or him drawing a 4 pitch walk?

  4. I could be wrong but we got 3 runs off 1 hit in the 8th and it was a solo shot, we got two runs in the 9th with 1 hit and a strikeout.

    I love the win, but we just got extremely lucky here

  5. ugly, ugly, ugly–Rohrbough got repeatedly rocked (2.2 innings 10 earned runs) at the Beach. His ERA is now 5.88…

  6. One other surprising thing you forgot to mention Mac – the Braves’ centerfielder struck out only 2 times in 5 at bats. Schafer would have struck out at least 3 to 4 times tonight. Actually Blanco looked okay – 2 of his outs could have easily been hits. Demoting Schafer was definitely the right thing. I hope he gets straightened out soon.

  7. 8,
    That’s like the 3rd straight start he’s gotten rocked in despite playing in one of the most pitcher friendly parks in MiLB.

  8. We haven’t have this kind of a late-come back game for a long long time. Two-out game tying homerun from Frenchy against the Cubs…I think Frenchy always does well against the Cubs for some reason…he made his debut against the Cubs and homered, right?!

    For one night, I will say this: Good job Frenchy.

    …and I love Heilman. He always delivers when it counts. Why are the Mets so smart this time?

  9. If Frenchy goes 40 for his next 100, with 10 homers, and 30 RBI, then I’ll give him a break.

  10. This along with the KK/ Halladay game are easily the most satisfying of the season. Nice to see them get off the mat. Francouer slightly less delenda est? Seriously, though he looked more patient and was robbed of a double in the first.

  11. As a Chicago resident, I want to win these games almost as badly as I want to beat the Mets.

    Suck it, Cubbies.

  12. UnBelievable! Not only did Frenchy hit an improbable game-tying home run with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth, he actually walked in the eighth, and had a nice sac bunt. I’m calling for a 20 hour moratorium on Frenchy sux. We’re actually above .500! SWEET!

  13. Other than the disaster at the Beach, some nice pitching in the system: Cofield had his best game at AA, walking only one and Glavine’s rehab (I am as wary about this as others) was great and, more important, for the long run backed up by three impresive innings from Hoover….

    The Braves continue to hope that Jeff Lyman can be another Morton. It looks at this point that Lyman still has some issues with command…..

  14. Great win.

    As I texted Dix immediately after the HR,

    Stenchy!!! Trade value up!!!

    (For the record, his response: “Watching hockey”)

    Also for the record, each time Chip Caray refers to baseball as “our game” or “our sport,” I die a little more.

  15. Glavine went 6 in Rome tonight. No runs. No walks either, unless I missed one. Roughly 4 hits. The first couple of innings were a bit shaky but he settled in nicely after that. I watched two innings fairly closely–it looked like he was changing speeds and had some good movement.

    I think Rome won 3-0 (I didn’t pay much attention to the bottom of the 8th and top of 9th) with Hoover pitching the last three innings. Superstar Chais Fuller almost has his average up to his weight–he’s now at .168 or so–he was in the .140s last week and .122 two weeks ago.

    Glavine was a real class act after the game–he hung around and signed for maybe 100 folks including my kid. I appreciate his taking the time to do so–it was a good size group waiting for him (elbow’s fine but all the graphs will keep him on the dl for carpal tunnel). Pee Wee got several others including Spruill while waiting for Glavine to emerge from the clubhouse.

  16. nice story, frank. no matter what some of our fellow braves fans think of him, tommy has always been class.

    is it too much to expect that jeff could ride this game for a few weeks and actually be productive? he does seem to be a head case and maybe this de-fogged the old noggin’. he did have some solid at-bats tonight (liner to first snagged by lee, a walk, a sacrifice, a homer…obviously). i’m picking him up in my fantasy league!

    maybe that’s a bit much.

  17. UnBelievable! Not only did Frenchy hit an improbable game-tying home run with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth, he actually walked in the eighth, and had a nice sac bunt. I’m calling for a 20 hour moratorium on Frenchy sux.

    He has definitely silenced his critics.

  18. Thanks for the report from the field, Frank. Glavine has always been my favorite pitcher. Well, not so much this decade, but clinching a WS builds up a lot of good will.

    Only the people here (myself included) could take Frenchy’s game-tying HR and turn it into anything other than an exciting moment. I had the same response as everyone else: “No, no way. Nuh uh. Ok, trade him. Save that, AAA. He’s used up his bullets.”
    But really, it was good to see the guy happy for once. I’ve never much cared for him, but I wouldn’t wish his last year and a half on anyone.

  19. Frank–thanks for the game report. Glavine may well pitch for Atlanta in 2009, but it is entirely possible that the most important player for the Braves’ future was J.J. Hoover….

    Nice to see that Glavine was generous with his time….

  20. Resolved: Barry Melrose has the best hockey hair in the history of all hockey hair. Runner up to that guy in the “CASTLETON” shirt in the MST3K all-time great “Time Chasers.”

    By the way, I never thought I’d say this in June, but..

    Good win tonight.

  21. @23

    I’m a big fan of Ron Jaworski for the NFL.

    For MLB….? Huh. I really don’t think they have ONE good. Oh. I guess Hershiser isn’t horrible.

  22. Hoover was dealing in the 7th–struck out the side–I didn’t pay much attention to his other innings.

    I don’t have strong feelings about Glavine’s role in the union or his leaving for the Mets, but he was very generous to the fans tonight. Someone in the crowd said Smoltz was also very generous signing after his rehab game in Rome last year.

    If you’re the Augusta team which has seen Smoltz and Glavine in the past week, you must be wondering when you’ll see Maddux.

  23. Helluva win. A little hard to believe, but I guess it really happened.

    Was at a regulation 12-3 Yankee win vs. Texas & I didn’t even get to see Andruw. Nothing special. Typical Vicente Padilla outing, afraid to throw strikes.

    Let’s hope this unlikely Braves win is something to build on.

  24. For those interested in the draft here is Sickels top 50:

    The most noticeable thing is how few young position players are on the list.

    Others may notice, the absence of Mike Minor (who has received a lot of attention on Braves Journal)….The Braves do not have a second round pick and I doubt that Minor will last until #87….

  25. Well…if the Bravos can can win every game like last night for the rest of the season, the narcolepsy shouldn’t be an issue.

  26. If all we had to do to get Frenchy to play well was demote Schafer, we should have done it much sooner! He made some nice catches tonight too in addition to hitting the homer and taking the 4 pitch walk.

  27. I was flipping back and forth between WGN and Peachtree (almost like the old days) and the take on Jeffy’s bomb was humorous. The Cubs guys were clearly pissed at the pitcher, and gave no credit to Frenchy: “You’ve got an aggressive free-swinger up there and you just throw it right down the middle.” Joe, of course, was beaming–“He was due. That should get him going!”–proud of his son by proxy.

  28. AAR – Exactly. The “Nick Miller” is what they called it in the 80s apparently.

  29. “I want to get back to playing like my old self. And it wasn’t just a hit, a homer, but two outs in the ninth. That’s the stuff I used to do.”

    Someone get this guy a shrink. No wonder he’s not handling his struggles well.

  30. #35 Yeah I heard the same thing from the WGN guys. Disbelief that the pitcher threw the ball anywhere near the strike zone. But overall last night Frenchy had a good game. That catch he made in deep right, not sure Diaz would have made that one.

    Still want Diaz in RF. Still does not make a lick of sense why he isn’t getting more playing time.

    Blanco at least made some contact last night. I just hope Schafer can get his act together in Gwinnett and become the player everyone thinks he can be.

  31. Diaz played well. Had a pinch hit single leading off the 10th and was robbed by Fukodome of a game winner in the 11th. (Well, maybe not robbed, but what the hell was Fukodome doing playing that shallow and far around toward the line against Diaz?)

  32. @31 – Is it a foregone conclusion that we are taking Zach Wheeler if he’s there or do we take one of the college pitchers?

  33. I don’t think that it is a foregone conclusion that the Braves will take Wheeler.

    There are a few things to consider: after Strasburg the talent level drops off and even the draft gurus are having trouble ranking players.

    Wheeler fits the profile–but then so does Donovan Tate. I would not be surprised to see the Braves take neither. If they really like Tate–then they might take the gamble and select him. One things that goes in favor of such a choice is that the Braves lack quality position playersl–especially in the lower levels of the minors. In 2008 the Braves added a nice collection of arms, so it would not surprise me to see them go for a position player.

    That said, Wheeler would be a safe choice….

  34. At the game last night. 10th row seats…pal of mine had corporate tickets. I’m pretty sure the 100 level was about 40% Cub fans…thanks for the money for our franchise, fellers. Drive home safely.

    The looks on their faces were priceless. It’s as if they heard Steve Bartman had children.

    Remember Apollo 13? As in, the movie? Remember when they finally get the signal from the crew upon splashdown, and Ed Harris just sits down and squeezes the top of his nose? Yeah, that was my reaction to Frenchos’ tater. Ridiculous.

  35. 43—Stephen, I agree with you that there’s a lot of uncertainty here. I actually like the idea proposed by someone on here yesterday of drafting Tate, playing hardball in the negotiations, and just taking the 8th pick in next year’s (better) draft if it doesn’t work out. I’d be happy with Matzek, Wheeler, or Miller, though.

  36. Resolved: Barry Melrose is the best ESPN analyst for any sport.

    Not quite sure why the Worldwide Leader isn’t trotting him out more, especially with the Cup on the line. Barnaby is, um, happy. But w/r/t actual analysis, he’s pretty brutal. “Coast to coast, buttered toast.” Yikes.

  37. The Braves announcer should have said, upon seeing Frenchy’s home run, “I can’t believe what I just saw.”

    Props to Frenchy, but Brenly was right; the pitcher threw the ball in the only place he could hit it–right down the middle. That’s not to take anything away–Frenchy could easily have missed it–but I suspect almost anything else would have had him flailing.

    I didn’t have the Apollo 13 moment until Chipper’s hit. I still thought the Braves would end up losing the game, given their penchant for being unable to score in extra innings, but it seemed that the Cubs were determined to lose this game.

    BTW, the Phillies are 30-20 but they are 10-2 against the Nationals; those games shouldn’t count as they are not against a major league team.

  38. Stu–I would find that strategy more attractive if we had a #2 pick this year. That said, it may come down to what the Braves believe about Tate. If they believe he is there guy, then I think they will take the gamble (assuming that he is available).

    My only reservation about Wheeler is that the Braves ought to be able to get someone a bit better with the #7….

  39. This was only the 3rd time all year the Braves had two HRs in the same game by an Outfielder. Opening Night (Schafer and Francoeur) and the disaster two games later, the 12-11 bullpen implosion in Philly (Schafer and Diaz.)

  40. Sorry, I had not looked at the previous thread when I made the Jack Buck reference. Didn’t mean to plagarize!

    Gadfly from the previous thread,

    I’m not sure why I’m bothering responding to your sophistry, but here goes. Whether or not you are Jewish (or of Jewish descent) is irrelevent to the appropriateness of the comment. If an African-American uses the “n” word, especially in a context like this blog, it is inappropriate; it might be ok in a situation sitting around with friends, but not here.

    Second, the fact that you know women that “embrace” the term, again, doesn’t make it appropriate. Many women do not embrace it and it is considered a pejorative term.

    Finally, your flippant remark about “Titanic” notwithstanding, you were comparing using a derisive ethnic term to a fictional character in a movie about an incident that happened in 1912.

    I can’t tell whether you are simply obtuse or whether you are doing things consciously to annoy people.

    I’m not going to waste any more time on this because this is a Braves forum but you really need to grow up a little.

  41. The Braves announcer should have said, upon seeing Frenchy’s home run, “I can’t believe what I just saw.”

    He might have said that if he wasn’t passed out on the floor.

  42. Announcers said that sac bunt was first of Frenchy’s career… Bobby hadn’t had the K machine bunt before (OK the OLD K machine, before Schafer) .

    I missed Frenchy’s homer, had looked away for a minute and came back to a tied game, just after Frenchy got pounded in the dugout… took me a few seconds to realize/put together what had happened.

    One of the best/worst parts was TV showing Cubs fans crying in the stands… A) It’s June!! B) There’s NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!! (at least not in June).

    I think the Braves were just dyslexic and got confused on when hibernation mode was supposed to be.

  43. @50 – I didn’t see the comment, but I can tell by everyone’s reactions that is was out of line. But you really need to let it go man. Mac took care of it, as everyone knew he would. So just let it go. There is no sense in letting it eat at you like that – I’m sure I’ve been called much worse (and yes, I know it wasn’t directed at you).

  44. I thought Frenchy made some nice defensive catches last night too – to save xtra base hits.

  45. I feel glad for Frenchy, as he’s had a rough year and a half, and am pleased he was a contributor to a win. I hope he continues to produce, as that would help the team, but I can’t say that this one game has changed my opinion that he’s just a bad bad hitter.

  46. Sorry, Jeff’s going to have to do more than hit a game-tying HR and take a walk to win me over. We still need to be working on a deal for one of the Nats OFers. It appears — and I grudgingly accept — that Jeff will continue to play until we find his replacement, but I still believe that a straight demotion to the minors or even waiving him outright would send a needed message to this team and not cost us much by way of losing Jeff’s services.

  47. Does anyone know what happened to Peavy in his start last night? It looks like he only went one inning and got roughed up a bit. Is he injured?

  48. AAR,
    Melrose has been a little harsh on my team—he said some stupid things about Newark, but apologized for them.

    Nonetheless, I remain a big fan. For hockey analysis, he’s tough to beat. He breaks down the game quickly, gets to the heart of it & stays true to its essence.

    He’s an old-school guy, a rugged former defenseman, who has a feel for the modern game, completely gets it. He’s no Don Cherry.

    Best in sports? Hard to say. I’m actually a big fan of Phil Simms, too, especially when he comes on WFAN for extended “state-of-the-NFL” conversations. (His analysis has certainly helped my football-pool results in recent years.)

  49. I’m not a follower of hockey by any means, but I do pay attention to Melrose, as I find his commentary to be enlightening, informative, and entertaining. If he’s not the best overall analyst, he’s certainly close. Plus, I find it gut-bustingly funny that he sits in and comments on the Westminster Dog show highlights.

  50. @55 – I hope Frenchy continues to suck. That way the FO doesn’t have the delusion that the kid might actually be able to give them something. The last thing we need is for the FO to have an excuse to keep the guy around for another month or 2. He has got to go.

  51. So it’s niche, certainly, but for my money John McEnroe is the best analyst in sports.

  52. @50,

    I’m ready to let it go. But Gadfly responded to me in the most flippant way possible and I could not let his ridiculous arguments go. It’s over even if he says something else.

    Let’s face it–one home run, no matter how important, doesn’t prove much. It’s nice he did it but Martin Prado also hit a important home run a few weeks ago. It was one of those games where the Cubs had done so much wrong that the baseball gods seemed to decree that they would lose in the most bizaare way possible.

    This is likely, however, to keep Frenchy in the lineup for another two months. And one home run doesn’t change the fact that he has been a drag on the team. And it also doesn’t change the fact that the Braves were no hit for seven innings.

    re analysist: Baseball seems to have the worst analysts but that may be because the sabermetric revolution make most of what these guys say seem irrelevant.

  53. So if the definiktion of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, then is Bobby Cox insane by running out Frenchy over and over?

    Hey, new motto:

    The Atlanta Braves – Insane since 2008!

  54. Nathan, are you sure you’re not thinking of John’s brother Patrick McEnroe, ESPN’s regular tennis play-by-play guy? I find him likeable but a bit bland. Then again, tennis has never gotten quite as rah-rah or jazzy as other sports.

    Ububba, I’m only talking about ESPN analysts here. Simms isn’t still on ESPN, is he?

    Marc, I agree with you on many baseball analysts. The problem is that they seem to think they have a monopoly on baseball knowledge, when in fact all they bring to the table is personal experience, questionable intellectual rigor, and an aging set of eyeballs. Personal experience is great: it brings a great deal of credibility when a guy like Al Leiter talks about how you throw a cutter. But when an infielder like Joe Morgan says something stupid, like “Derek Jeter is a great defensive shortstop,” they deserve to get called on it.

    The problem with many analysts is arrogance, even more than ignorance.

  55. I really don’t think it has all that much to do with the sabermetric revolution. I don’t really consider myself a sabermetrician, although I do admit that I think a little bit more along those lines than I used to. For instance, though, Joe Simpson doesn’t really bother me to any serious extent, and he seems to drive the sabermetricians on here nuts. Pretty much all of the national analysts, however, drive me nuts. None of them seem to be capable of explaining the game in any meaningful way. There are people out there who can. They just never get hired. Don Sutton, for instance, while kind of pompous, is at least twice as good as any game analyst working on a national network today.

    Occasionally one gets hired and then leaves, no doubt because he actually knows what he’s talking about and the network has no clue what to do with him. I always kind of liked Bob Brenly when he was working for Fox, especially when paired with Thom Brenneman, but now he’s gone announcing Cubs games.

    Sabermetrics is a way of thinking about baseball. It’s not necessarily the only way of thinking about it. If there were an analyst who thought differently and was capable of explaining his thought process and explaining the game how he sees it, I don’t think you could call him a bad analyst or irrelevant. None of those people seem to exist however, sabermetrics or not.

  56. I always kind of liked Bob Brenly when he was working for Fox, especially when paired with Thom Brenneman, but now he’s gone announcing Cubs games.

    Yeesh (w/r/t Thom). Really?

  57. Thom Brenneman has a special place in my heart. He was the announcer for Microsoft Baseball 2001, really the first baseball game that I personally had that was worth playing.

  58. Does anyone know if Zambrano is coming to Atlanta? Last I’d heard was that he missed their charter.

  59. Thom Brennaman, the baseball announcer, is light years better than Thom Brennaman, the college football announcer. They are both pretty terrible, though.

    Also, the fact that he spells his name “Thom” instead of “Tom” sets my teeth on edge for some reason. Probably the sort of thing to not waste too much mental energy on, eh?

  60. the “Thom” spelling is not quite as disturbing and “Jhonny” Peralta. That one is odd.

  61. This may have been mentioned here during the thread, but I was very surprised Pinella didn’t go to his lefty and force the issue with Chipper. There were 3 big situations late that it could’ve been done and I would have done it in the eighth with 1st and 3rd two outs. Bobby may have left Chipper in knowing it would just be one at bat, but that just seemed like bad managing to me.

  62. Braves nuggets from Heyman’s latst column on si:

    Braves solid starter Javier Vazquez is supposedly available, but one competing exec said he doesn’t see why Atlanta should trade a consistent starter.

    Well John, for starters, the Braves have an excess of starting pitching, and need an outfield bat in the biggest way. Also, clearing Vasquez’ salary gives them more payroll flexibility with potential acquisitions.

    They have to be concerned about Jeff Francoeur’s lack of production (he hit his first homer in a month on Tuesday night), not to mention comparably weak offensive numbers by most of their outfield, including Jordan Schafer (who’s back in the minors) and Garret Anderson. A reacquisition of the versatile Mark DeRosa might help, but of course, Holliday would help more.

  63. RE: new Phillies starter

    Priceless observation at Razzball

    Antonio Bastardo – 6 IP, 1 ER. If only his first name was Ubaldo, then he’d officially have the most badass name in the history of the planet.

  64. Pretty good name.

    ESPN guys? I try to avoid most of them. I guess Melrose if my fave. Since the network dumped the NHL, Melrose seems to do a lot with the little time they give him. He’s just good TV all the way around.

    But I’m not the best person to ask about ESPN. I find much of what they do—endless self-promotion over useful content—kind of deplorable. I try not to watch it too much.

    As for their baseball analysis, I rarely watch their baseball studio show anymore. I watch more MLB Network.

  65. And no, Phil Simms isn’t connected with them in any way.

    The fact that he comes on WFAN is proof of that—ESPN won’t let any of their people come on the station because they try to compete with it.

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