Red Sox 1, Braves 0

Boston Red Sox vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – June 27, 2009 – ESPN

Terrible, terrible. Javier Vazquez would be justified if he took a bat to the rest of the team. At least he’d hit something. The Braves were limited to four hits, two by substitute CF Gregor Blanco. Their only extra-base hit was by ACHE, with two out in the ninth. Kotchman then grounded out on the first pitch to end the game. They drew only two walks, only one against the starter — a knuckleballer. I reach new levels of disgust on a daily basis.

Vazquez was great, as usual, and got hung with a loss anyway. His one run allowed came with two out in the sixth, when he walked two (in all honesty, it looked like he struck out the second batter on a 3-2 checked swing, but I can’t tell because Fox never showed the side angle replay) and then gave up a single to Mark Kotsay. Whee! Anyway, Vazquez struck out eight, is leading the league in strikeouts, has a 3.04 ERA, and is now 5-7. He must hate this team almost as much as I do.

54 thoughts on “Red Sox 1, Braves 0”

  1. Agree with you on the Ortiz check-swing in the 6th, Mac. I thought Vazquez struck him out earlier in the AB, too, on an 0-2 change-up that looked belt high on the outside corner.

    Anyway, we were never going to score, so it doesn’t really matter other than with respect to Javy’s individual record.

  2. The only positive I can take out of all of this is that if Vasquez can keep doing what he’s doing (let’s hope that’s likely) and the Braves’ offense keeps doing what it is doing (sadly, all-too-likely), then maybe he (Vasquez) will have a chance to blow up the Cy Young voting system.

    But probably not, there’ll just be a lot of people saying “He didn’t pitch well enough to win…”

  3. We made need to trade Vasquez soon just to keep him from an embolism. He’s halfway to a career year and it doesn’t even matter.

  4. Glad I only kept up with this one via Gameday. I kept waiting for the rally that never happened.

    I hope neither JJ nor Javy have any bad habits. They could really go overboard putting up with this bunch.

  5. Let’s trade Hanson, Freeman, and Heyward for half of a season of Matt Holliday!

  6. @7: I know you’re kidding, but if Wren does any “rent-a-player” deal with the Braves below .500, I will find a new team.

  7. If we make a trade, it needs to be a guy who will help us next year without giving up any more of our future. I don’t expect that to happen.

  8. Well, again, I think we need to consider the Steve Phillips theory of pitcher run support. Vazquez simply does not cause his teammates to score runs. It’s clearly something he needs to work on.

    I was really impressed by Casey Kotchman’s at bat in the ninth grounding out on the first pitch. Just like Kevin Youkilis. Great trade–Teixera for Kotchman. Kotchman was supposed to be a good player when . . .?

    I think the Braves have pretty much clinched another losing record because I see no chance of these guys playing six over .500 for the rest of the season. And Chipper is looking older by the day.

    The sad thing is, I doubt the result would have been any different if Escobar and McClouth had played.

  9. Kotchman has been terrible since coming off the DL, but he was one of our few bright spots through early May. He’s at least better than Francoeur, who sucks.

  10. Does saying someone is better than Francouer count as praise? It’s sort of like saying that Kim Jung Ill is a nicer guy than Hitler.

    Man, McCann is so far and away the best player on the team that it’s pathetic.

  11. I wish we could try out Ross in RF for just one game. What’s the worse that can happen? He makes 3 errors and we lose? But maybe he looks competent out there and we have another option to at least get a couple of starts a week out there.

  12. ACHE/Diaz, Blanco/McLouth, and Ross would probably be the worst defensive outfield ever. But it’d still probably be more valuable than anything that involves Framcoeur.

  13. if we some how manage to pull off a “rent-a-player” and manage to get rid of Frenchy and KJ at the same time, I would be all for it. But even with a player like holliday in the lineup, we would have 6 real hitters in our lineup and everyone else in the NL would have 8.

  14. We would have to ‘sweeten’ the deal for Holliday by NOT INCLUDING Frenchy and KJ.

  15. Just got back from the game. Some observations.

    1) It was hot, so hot that the lady next to me said, “sir, you have a moth on your face.” I reached up, and I had a dead moth on my temple. It was so hot, it just died, on my face.

    2) I’d say 75% of the fans were Sox fans.

    3) Plenty of extra seats despite the sellout.

    4) It was hot.

  16. Heyward, Freeman, and Schafer better plan out, otherwise our team would suck for the next decade. A major problem for this team is that our young offensive talents (if you can call them talents) are not delivering. When everybody is healthy, we have Nate, Yunel, Chipper, and McCann. No team can win consistently with only four major league quality bats. Until we can find a way to replace ACHE, Frenchy, KJ, and Kotch with league average players, our offense is going nowhere.

    This is so sad…

  17. Vasquez trade value is never higher….maybe we need to flip him to a contender for some outfield prospects.

  18. Hanan, I have been saying that for couple of months already. I think we can get some very good prospects in return for Javy. If ACHE can keep fooling people with his empty .280 BA, we can get a low level prospect similar to what we got from Kotsay last year. I expect Sori to be traded as well. If we can get rid of KJ and Frenchy, all the better.

  19. KC…you and I are on the same page here. Even with McLouth and Esco in the lineup, this is still a bad offensive ball club with too many holes to fill. Although the Braves are only 5.5 back in an admittedly weak division, I’m just not optimistic this team can hang around too much longer. This team is 11-20 since the sweep of Toronto and has managed to win one of ten series in that time frame. McLouth has helped fill one spot, but there are 3 or 4 other legitimate offensive holes remaining and no team can overcome that many. It’s possible they could trade for a heavy hitter in either RF or LF, get Inffante back to play 2B and get enough offensive improvement to stay in contention, but at what price. I think they need to be sellers this year and maximize the trade value for guys like Vasquez and Soriano that are pitching lights out now, but may fizzle later.

  20. 9 shutouts already. I know our team sucks, but what player is improving under TP? Fire him and move on

  21. per DOB, sorry if already posted

    For everyone but the tough guy (Adam):

    Tommy Hanson has the flu and is questionable for tomorrow, probably no better than 50-50 chance he’ll pitch.

    And if he doesn’t, Bobby Cox said the Braves would start … Medlen.

    Link Report this comment

  22. Can we bring Lou to Atlanta?

    I remember there were people who wanted the team to sign Bradley, and I can’t remember if I was one of them. Damn, I am getting old.

    If even Alfonso Soriano is complaining about Bradley’s attitude, it must be something VERY wrong!

  23. #25, now that’s some funny stuff. I wish Bobby would say that to Francouer. Of course if he did we would wake up to this headline:

    “Nude photos of Bobby Cox leaked online”

  24. Gondeee at Talking Chop just posted an article about firing TP. Here is my solution, move TP to third base coach and hire a real hitting coach. That will kill two birds with one stone. If the Braves are thinking TP as a possible replacement of Bobby, give him a position which he can demonstrate SOME managerial skills.

  25. 26 — With the way the beat writers are talking, it would not be surprising if Yunel was another one of the players we sell, along with Vazquez, Soriano, and ACHE.

    Wren can’t seem to give away Francoeur. Is anyone surprised?

  26. Well, the Red Sox were probably the most obvious Yunel target, and now he’s missed the first two games of this series against them, which can’t help his stock any.

  27. I think the least the team can do is replace Terry “How Did I Even Get This Job” Pendleton.

    Frenchy, KJ, Kotchman, Diaz, et al are talented enough to hit a baseball consistently. They are, they would not have made it to the majors if they had not demonstrated some consistent talent. They need a hitting coach who can help them and get through to the dimmest of them. I watch between 140-155 braves games a year, and I cannot recall ever seeing TP talk to a player. I think mainly he consumes the dubble-bubble and makes sure the railing and bench don’t fly away with the offensive potential.

    Frenchy went to TX and entered Spring Training hitting, after three weeks with TP, back to 2008.

    Who is mainly responsible for the offense of a team besides the players?

    I know it doesn’t take a great player to make a great coach but for christ’s sake he hit 270 for 15 years and collected 140 HRs? Frenchy after 5 years has a 266 BA and 78 HRs…

    What does this guy know about hitting that French doesn’t?

  28. Hey, let’s trade for Bradley and sign Carl Crawford! We still might suck but things would never be dull.

    Fr4c000r delenda est!

  29. Getting rid of TP as hitting coach won’t do a whole lot of good. I used to think TP was horrible, but I’ve concluded that he’s average just like McDowell as pitching coach (McDowell may be a little above average, but not much.)

    The only coaching change that will make a lot of difference on this team is for Cox to retire. Four years of a team underperforming it’s talent level should be enough to conclude that there is a problem and it’s at the top.

  30. I don’t think it’s the coaches who are the real problem. It is that half of our offense is replacement level or below.

    As it has been rehashed over and over, Wren used his limited funds to rebuild the starting pitching. We all agree that our starting pitching has been a success. I suspect Wren’s project for the next offseason will be to fix our offense.

  31. Four years of a team underperforming it’s talent level should be enough to conclude that there is a problem and it’s at the top.

    If you say so. The talent level has been pretty damn low for a while now. That can happen when your minor league system goes 10 years without developing a useful major league pitcher.

  32. They’ve developed a few, it’s just that none of them have lasted very long except Wainwright, whom they traded. Anyway, the pitching’s just fine, it’s the offense that sucks.

  33. I think you could make a reasonable case that the offense sucks because we haven’t been able to develop pitching. We’ve paid a lot of money to Soriano, Kawakami, Lowe, and Vazquez that we could have put towards the offense had we developed or kept guys like Wainwright.

  34. Except they traded Wainwright for hitting. And all those prospects to Texas, including two pitchers, for hitting. We traded some hitting prospects too, but the only one who comes to mind who was traded for a pitcher was Flowers, who was blocked by our best player.

    There is also the money… but the first time they really addressed the pitching through free agency was this year, and other than Teixeira — who was out of their financial league — there just wasn’t much worthwhile hitting available.

    The biggest problem with this team remains Francoeur, who sucks. The team’s commitment to him is their biggest issue. I’d also take a close look at the training staff. The health of the team has gone steadily downhill since Porter was elevated to the head position.

  35. The health of the pitching staff has also gone down hill since McDowell took over. I have to think he is at least a little bit responsible for this.

  36. In response to the debatable calls during the Ortiz at bat:

    “I really don’t want to talk about that,” Vazquez said. “The umpire called a great game the whole day.”

    That’s class right there.

  37. @32 “Frenchy, KJ, Kotchman, Diaz, et al are talented enough to hit a baseball consistently.”

    No ringer, Frenchy never demnonstrated that in the minor. Frenchy did very little comparing to the three other guys you mentioned.

    “I know it doesn’t take a great player to make a great coach but for christ’s sake he hit 270 for 15 years and collected 140 HRs? Frenchy after 5 years has a 266 BA and 78 HRs… ”

    You can’t compared a player in the 80s and 90s to the one in 2000s. You must be very young and never had a chance to watch TP playing live. At the same time, I agree a change does need to be made. I just don’t think you can blame TP for what Frenchy is doing. Frenchy just sucks. Pure and simple.

  38. “Like I told J.J., we’ve got to keep our heads up and keep battling,” said Vazquez

    “The guys are going to come out of this,” Vazquez said. “T.P. [hitting coach Terry Pendleton] is working hard with them. We’re going to get out of this soon.”

    Dude, I just love Javy. He should have been a Brave a long time ago. I honestly don’t want to see Javy being traded away, but he is the most logical candidate to be traded.

  39. @26: “I would not be surprised if Wren pulls the trigger on Yunel as well.”

    sadly, i agree with that. only because the braves have a tendency to poorly evaluate talent (francoeur). yunel is one of our best hitters, even if his “cuban flair” (joe simpson) annoys some people.

    yunel might be a problem…if you disregard francoeur, ACHE, kotchman, blanco, diory, KJ, prado, and diaz. he is far from what is holding this team back.

  40. Why does everybody want to trade Vasquez? Are we all conceding next year already too? Trade Francoeur, Anderson, Johnson, Soriano, and Gonzalez, sure. The salaries saved from those and not picking up Hudson’s option will give us a shot at signing a free agent hitter in the offseason. But we need Vasquez next year in our rotation.

  41. Ron, assuming you can’t have both, what does this team need more in 2010, a really good outfield bat or Javy?

  42. RON E.

    If you trade gonzo and sori how do you expect to win close games? Besides those 2 the bullpen sucks

  43. I don’t think this team has a choice… One of the pitchers needs to be traded for a bat. Preferably it should be lowe or vazquez. Medlen will eventually be a starter and we need to save money to sign another hitter in the offseason.

  44. I would pick Vazquez over Hudson as well, however, I think that the Braves could use this as a Sell High opportunity on Vazquez and get some nice prospects in return. Then, in the offseason, the Braves could theoretically use Vazquez’s money (along with Francoeur, Glavine, and ACHE’s contracts being off the books) to fix the offensive holes.

    You’d still have a 2010 rotation of Hudson, Lowe, Jurrjens, Kawakami, and Hanson.

  45. i’m rooting for this guy in our farm system. he’s from south africa. by the way, it looks like we finally have some hitters aside from heyward and freeman. danville is scoring runs by the bucketloads. it is rookie ball. so dont get too excited.

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