131 thoughts on “Small-brained game thread: July 4, Nats at Braves”

  1. lineup reposted (compliments of andrew)

    McClouth – 8
    Prado – 3
    C. Jones – 5
    Anderson – 7
    Escobar – 6
    Diaz – 9
    Ross – 2
    Conrad – 4
    Hanson – 1

    i like that we’re keeping the hot bats in. being a day game, this is the best right handed hitting lineup we could probably ask for. i like that bobby is giving conrad a start even if he goes 0 for 4. let’s make it 6 boys. is this game on tv?

  2. And once again, the Sports South Facebook page is good for a few laughs. People are desperate to keep Francouer for some reason and their best arguments are:

    1) KJ is batting worse! Yell at him, not beautiful, beautiful Francouer!
    2) Terry Pendleton sucks and should be replaced. He ruined Francouer’s beautiful, beautiful swing.
    3) And (my favorite) is “His batting average is ten points higher this year!”

    Sigh.

  3. He’s being pinch hit for, he’s sitting against lefties, it appears the spell has finally be broken.

  4. I like the signal this sends…but not this particular move. He’s killed Lannan in 15 career PAs.

    I mean, I’m not too upset, but I don’t get why the move was made today, as opposed to a week ago or tomorrow.

  5. Wow. Frenchy and Kotchman both sat down. Who replaced Bobby with a manager who is actually trying to win every game?

  6. I’ve been saying for weeks the only reason he was playing was to try and prop up his already low trade value. Now that no one has any interest (per Stark), BC can work around him more openly and hopefully just bench him completely. I sense there is a deal coming soon for a RF, and then Diaz can platoon with ACHE is LF. With a decent RF, the lineup doesn’t look too bad anymore:

    CF McLouth
    2B Prado/Infante
    3B Chipper
    C McCann
    RF ABJ (anybody but Jeffy)
    SS Escobar
    LF Diaz/ACHE
    1B Kotchman/Prado

  7. I’m awaiting the Stenchy trade anouncement every minute now. I just wonder who gave us the dozen baseballs we were asking for.

    The only downside I see is that with him, his underwear will be out of the lineup as well.

    (In all likelihood).

  8. mlbtraderumors posted some of olney’s latest trade speculations for our braves. all of them include escobar or vazquez and i like none of them. if we cant trade our crap, then we shouldnt trade.

  9. think we can just throw jeffy in on the end of a Yunel or Javy trade..dont even ask anything for him just put him in a wicker picinic basket & kinda leave him on their doorstep?

  10. @3 i dont think any of those people have any idea of what run producing or clutch hitting means.

  11. Just a hello to everyone, commenting here on
    Braves journal live from nationals park. Its a novel concept,
    Taking in a braves game without chip or joe breaking it down for me.
    But I’m managing.

  12. Oh my God, Rich Harden is single-handedly destroying the pitching stats for two of my fantasy teams.

  13. The game is blacked out on my Extra Innings Package. Does anyone know of another way to watch the game?

  14. I know everyone says that the anderson/kotchman stuff is overlown, and I’m prone to agree,
    But sitting right above the braves dugout right now in the
    Top of the 2nd, I see most of the team up on the bench in the
    To of the dugout, with anderson and kotchman together in the corner.
    I don’t know, just an observation.

  15. i go to myp2pforum.eu on blackouts. you have to download tvants and i’m pretty sure it’s highly illegal, but give it a try.

  16. Hmmm, no link next to the Braves/Nationals game. Even the illegal sites have it blacked out. That’s frustrating.

  17. Ryan c. What makes u think we can trade our crap for good players? If this team wants a bat odds are we are gonna have to move some of our pitching i.e vazquez.

  18. mlb.com has live look-ins now. maybe try that while having gamecast pulled up at the same time.

  19. #37, the ump squeezed him in the first inning as well. Two fastballs right down the middle – balls! I remember him not getting the calls his last start also. Is he too good or what??

  20. In Va Beach watching on something called MASN. Dibble is a surprisingly good analyst.

  21. Yea Carpenter and Dibble do pretty well…by the way the weather is perfect here in DC today.

  22. Escobar, on the other hand, is not supersweet.

    There could be a four-way tie for first after Sunday if we win today and tomorrow, the Mets beat the Phillies both days, and the Marlins split their next two with the Pirates.

  23. I just tuned in and looked at the lineup, and I have to say that I actually like our team so long as Francoeur or Johnson are not on it. By “like” I mean “think we can score enough runs to be a solid team.”

  24. To think that we could have had him for little more than the money we spent on Glavine and Jeffy…

  25. Another fine outing for Hanson.

    I hope our pen can hang onto it, especially after pitching 5 of the last 6 days.

  26. The only positive here is that if this keeps up, Soriano gets the day off.

  27. Dunn lurking. I don’t like it.

    Bobby, maybe we can’t pitch these guys every day.

    Do we have more than 3 pitchers in our bullpen?

  28. @65 – I was thinking the same thing, but he is probably already up and throwing.

  29. Gonzo has looked awful for a little while now

    EDIT: great work by the pen there.

  30. I’ve got a trade for the Natinals – Kotchman and Frenchy for Nick Johnson. Nick doesn’t have a whole lot of power, but he would be very consistent in an otherwise inconsistent lineup (when healthy).

  31. Way to go, Bobby. Your willingness to tweak the lineup made the winning streak possible, but your stubbornness with the bullpen ends it.

  32. OK, I just did the mental math (sort of) on this. Very unscientific, but whatever.

    You know how every (and I do mean every) interleague game, Chip talks about how big of an advantage it is for the NL teams since the pitchers are hitting?

    Well, it’s stupid to begin with, but how stupid?

    Each pitcher might get 2 or 3 AB’s in a game, and after that it’s pinch-hitters unless it goes to extras (or if a pitcher goes the distance in a blowout or something).

    So say 3 pitcher ABs per game (which is probably generous). In an interleague series, that’s 9 ABs. Your average pitcher will probably be in the .100s, so that’s about 1 hit per series (usually a single). If you say AL pitchers are .050 worse on average or whatever, that’s still close to 2/3s of a hit per series.

    There’s even a decent chance that the NL pitchers get no hits in a series whatsoever. Heck of an advantage.

    .354 (NL) OPS vs. .312 (AL) over the season, .178 vs. 162 in OBP.

    .775 (AL) vs. .716 (NL) in OPS for the DH’s.

  33. man,that looked like a textbook double play grounder. where was escobar playing?

  34. Are Logan and O’Flaherty bad enough against righties that they can never face them, or something?

  35. Hanson was already at 105 pitches.

    We’re in a ton of close games because our offense sucks. Sure, all of our decent relievers are overused. Should we have thrown Bennett (aka “forfeited”) more? Tough call to make, but I think you have to go for the win.

  36. Brilliant.

    The argument about Cox on the thread several days ago boils down to this, doesn’t it?

  37. The Nats broadcasters said that the Braves were playing Zimmerman a lot different than other teams b/c normally that’s a double play ball by Zimmerman.

  38. Not this stupidity again. At what point in the last 7 games has Cox misused the pen?

  39. Yeah, it’s not like Hanson needed 105 pitches to get through seven innings or anything. Conserve a few and maybe you don’t have to go to the pen every game.

  40. @76 – Include it all you want. He has been charged 6 runs in 4.1 innings over the past week. A nice Kd9 isn’t everything.

  41. Sam, I have been a Bobby Cox supporter for years, but he has consistently mismanaged the pen over the last several years, throwing the same arms out there day after day while letting the likes of Devine and Medlen rot.

  42. The appearances are starting to rack up on Moylan, Gonzo, Soriano, and O’Flarety.

    Something to keep an eye, BC can’t keep running the same 4 out there as many days in a row as he does. Logan, Medlen, or Acosta needs to step up when (if) they get the chance.

  43. This was Gonzo’s sixth appearance since the start of the home series with Boston. (I’m being generous on the numbers to include his 6/26 appearance.)

    The good in that span: 10 Ks against just one walk.

    The bad: 1.50 WHIP.

    The ugly: 10.13 ERA, two blown saves.

    He’s wearing out. And I can’t believe Cox can’t see this.

  44. Here’s an interesting fact. Every time Joey Devine pitched in Atlanta, he got hammered. Of course he wasn’t used. He had one good half season in Oakland and then went on the DL. Can we stop pretending Joey Devine was the second coming of Dennis Eckersly?

    Kris Medlen is the long reliever. He’s been a starter his entire career and takes far longer to warm up than a natural relief pitcher. He’s not a particularly good option for one inning work. He’s even less useful if there are already runners on base as he gets hit a lot harder from the stretch from the windup.

  45. Either the starting pitchers or going to have to start going deeper in the games or Cox will need to start using Medlen, Acosta and the other guy.

    And unfortunately Lowe hasn’t been going deep in games.

  46. games appeared in by our pen
    medlen in 8
    acosta in 12
    soriano in 37
    gonzalez in 42
    moylan in 43

    sam, i’d like to hear kris medlen say he takes longer to warm up, not just your opinion.

  47. Uh, I’ll take it because he was squeezing our guys too, but that was a strike to McCann.

  48. 100 – Sam, the problem is we never would have found that out in Atlanta and everyone knows that. We called up and demoted Devine on a weekly basis and he never pitched.

    Meanwhile, our bench was well known to be short.

    You can’t blame every loss on the manager, but I cringed when I saw Gonzo out there in the 8th. Comments were made on this board straight away.

    It’s not like we don’t know what’s coming. We all know why Moylan’s arm fell off last year and why Boyer’s 2nd half ERA was so much worse than his first.

  49. Oh, I’m sorry, so Joey Devine was a great reliever if he didn’t have to pitch in difficult situations?! Please. The guy was a college closer who flamed out and then had to have Tommy John surgery. Get the hell over Joey Devine kids. He made John Rocker look dependable.

  50. Gonzalez has pitched 39 innings this year. I know he’s coming off of TJ surgery, but if 13 IP a month is too much use, he needs to find a new line of work.

  51. @113

    I’m aware of the fact that Cox has to go to his top three or four relievers too often. It doesn’t take an internet baseball genius to know as much. Bobby Cox knows as much too. But until someone suggests something other than “use Manny Acosta in high leverage situations instead” I’m not sure how knowing as much helps solve the problem of only having three or four solid guys. I’d like to see what Boone Logan can contribute and I’m looking forward to Tim Hudson as a relief ace when he first comes back, but the answer is not Kris Medlen or Manny Acosta. The one is a starter who struggles with men on base and the other is Manny Acosta.

  52. Bad loss, bad, bad, soul crushing loss.

    The braves are going to have to find someone other than the big 4 to get some tough outs when leading.

    Happy 4th folks.

  53. I’m going to guess that 4 double-plays in the first 8 innings had more to do with the loss than Bobby’s “stupidity.”

    Bobby’s stupid when Bennett blows a lead, and he’s stupid when Gonzalez blows a lead. Got it.

  54. sam, that’s a garbage statement. why dont you look at devine’s numbers. you make no sense.

    another thing, how can you sit there and look at the innings pitched by our relief and not come to the conclusion that booby is misusing his pen. knocking. knocking. no one home.

    and no, he’s stupid when he doesnt utilize other pitchers. if medlen or acosta comes in and blows the game, i really wouldnt have been upset. at least it gives gonzalez a much needed day of rest. misusing the pen is bobby’s fault, not the loss, but the loss is a by product of misusing the pen. so, yes. it’s bobby’s fault.

    @114
    he wouldnt have come in with runners on. remember, gonzo started the 8th inning.

  55. @114 I’m not really clear on what your argument is, or what any of this has to do with Devine. People immediately cried foul when Gonzalez came in the game. He sucked. That Cox has a history of relying too heavily on the same guys, and that his guys have a history of breaking down, lends historical context to people’s frustration. Does this mean Cox is a bad manager? No, not necessarily. But it does mean that he is a spotty bullpen manager, and fans ON THE INTERNET are prone to voice their frustration.

    After all, not only did the Braves lose the game but a rested Gonzalez won’t be available tomorrow.

  56. Joey left Atlanta and had a 1.50 ERA. Everywhere in our minors he was lights out.

    Cox let him rot.

    Each year in the last 3, half of our pen is rusty and half is over-worked.

  57. @122 – You cannot compare acosta and medlin’s innings to Gonzo and Soriano’s – those 2 haven’t been up all year. Bobby would use Bennett all the time, then you would cry that he was using a cruddy reliever. Then you cry when he uses a good one b/c he is overused. Ya’ll just need to make up your mind. The fact is, we need another effective reliever. Period. Then you wouldn’t have to blame Bobby for the entire team’s ineptitudes.

  58. @125

    Chris Hammond once had a year where he had a relief ERA under 1.00. Relievers are flaky. Joey Devine has exactly one half of a season where he was anything other than replacement level or worse, and following that half season he had to have Tommy John surgery. Get the hell over Joey Devine, kids.

  59. Sam, one of Cox’s strengths over the years has been managing for the marathon and not the single game. Rendering your best relievers ineffective for the long haul does not help the marathon.

    Medlen is the answer, believe it or not. So, is Acosta.

  60. well, josh, why not compare the time frames from the time they’ve been up to now. it’s still lop-sided.

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