Braves 4, Rockies 1, Mets Stupid

It's gone!  The Evil is gone!Atlanta Braves vs. Colorado Rockies – Box Score – July 10, 2009 – ESPN

Braves win! Braves win! And they outscored the Rockies in tonight’s game, too!

Of course, everyone knows the big news, that Jeff “The Human Out” Francoeur has been traded, and that not only did the Braves get a possibly useful player (Ryan Church) for him, they also managed the rare feat of addition by addition to someone else by sticking Jeffy on the Mets’ roster. Win-win-win. I’ll write up Church in a couple days.

The Braves all moped around (especially, unsurprisingly, Brian McCann) but then they went out and won. It’s almost like getting rid of bad players helps the team, “chemistry” or no. ACHE, no doubt hoping to avoid becoming the new subject of odium, doubled in two runs (Prado and Chipper) with two out in the first inning. To be honest, he should have had a triple. It stayed 2-0 for some time, as Derek Lowe was strong in a park that hasn’t been kind to him in the past, shutting out the Rockies until a sixth-inning homer by Helton. He walked only one, and allowed just three other hits, while striking out five. The strikeouts are especially good to see; he doesn’t need a huge number of them, but his rate had gotten far too low.

There was a 52-minute rain delay after the sixth, knocking Lowe out of the game. Acosta pitched the seventh, well. In the eighth, Diory Hernandez, who is a very strong candidate for being the subject of odium, came up with another two-out double to score two runs. (I thought he should have had a triple too. Meanwhile, the Braves twice scored from second on two-out doubles, which is only lessened in its impact in that they really should have been triples.) Acosta hit for himself, and drew a walk, but allowed the first two men in the eighth to reach. He got one, and then O’Flaherty came in and got Helton and Hawpe. That just goes to show how fundamentally stupid measuring relievers by saves is. O’Flaherty got a “hold”, which many sites don’t even track, for getting the most important two outs of the game. Soriano breezed through the ninth (with two strikeouts) with a three-run lead and gets a save, which will probably be worth about $500K on the contract he gets from the Cubs or somebody this offseason.

Chipper probably shouldn’t have been playing, but with Kotchman and Escobar hurting and Church not here yet, the bench was basically Blanco tonight, and the Braves needed Prado at first and Hernandez at short… The Prado had two hits and a walk. Yes, they got him out two times! We call that a moral victory.

Hey, did I mention that Francoeur sucks… and that this is the Mets’ problem?

104 thoughts on “Braves 4, Rockies 1, Mets Stupid”

  1. WOW! Just got on to see how the Braves did today, and what do you know – WE WON BIG!!!! Frenchy is gone – all hail Frank Wren (who is obviously a genius). Oh, and the Braves won the game too. Awesome.

  2. How about O’Flaherty striking out Helton and Hawpe? Didn’t know he had it in him.

    If everyone can heal up over the All-Star break, this could be a pretty damn good team.

  3. Lineup suggestions with Church? (when Yunel and Kotchman are back)

    McClouth – L
    Prado – R
    Chipper – S
    McCann – L
    Yunel – R
    ACHE – L
    Church/Diaz – L/R
    Kotchman – L


  4. Love the optimism today.

    True story: I took the LIRR train home tonight and, about a minute after the Met game ended—I was listening to their 3-0 loss to Cincy on WFAN—the train pulled into the Flushing stop.

    Plenty of Mets fans who had obviously punted on the 9th inning were waiting for the train. About a dozen got in my car, so I had to ask them about the trade.

    A guy who was with his young son said, “Y’know what’s weird? We got there early, saw Church taking BP, but they never announced the trade at all in the stadium, nothing on the big board. We heard about it from people listening to it on the radio.”

    Guess it wasn’t something the home team was so proud of?

    So I get off the train in Woodside to catch the 7 subway home to LIC & what’s the first thing I see on the 7 platform? A kid wearing a Braves cap.

    A very good day indeed.

  5. Not to change the subject from the glorious trade of this afternoon, but here’s an interesting tid-bit from the BA chat:

    David Jenkins (Chattanooga): As much buzz as there’s been about Heyward and Freeman among Braves fans, there seems to be nearly as much about Cody Johnson. Considering his age (20) and his apparent cutdown of his staggering strikeout numbers, is he rising appreciably as a power prospect?

    J.J. Cooper: He’s definitely rising. I was asking a scout about him this week who said he has come a long ways in figuring things out. His raw power is better than Freeman or Heyward’s, but his approach is still pretty raw. The jump to Double-A will be a big one for him, as he’ll have to show he can continue to make adjustments, but he’s gone a long way toward fixing what have been some pretty significant holes in his game.

    Also note that BA rated Heyward as the top prospect currently in the minors (Strasburg is clearly ahead), and that they also rated Freeman in the top 25.

  6. Just got home and saw the news about the trade! I am so happy about this my wife coudn’t understand my elation! Giving the Mets Francour! I predict he is great for them for about three games and then will become the great sucking vortext of doom he has been for the Braves. What a great night!

  7. Good day all around. There will still be a small part of me (near the spleen, above the intestine) that will miss Jeff. He is a good dude.

  8. That’s twice that Church has been dealt within the division for an underachieving corner outfielder.

    I didn’t know it before, but Church has been a doubles machine over his career. He’s really a lot like Kotchman, but with a more stable OBA. The team seems to have got roughly the same haul for Francoeur as it got for Teixeira, and I’m not sure if that speaks more to Wren’s failure with the Teixeira trade or Minaya’s failure with the Church trade.

  9. First McLouth, now Church. Wren’s really good with this whole trading thing. I didn’t think he could pull it off a second time.

    Church/Diaz will be a fantastic platoon. If Anderson keeps not sucking terribly, I like our chances this year.

  10. did we just become favorites int he division?

    is this Minaya’s way of waving the white flag (seeing that Reyes, Beltran (who’s killing my fantasy team) and Delgado won’t be back until August)? Or is he going to use Frenchy plus alot of other guys for, say, Hallady?

  11. I have been watching Church since he came up with the Nationals. He isn’t anything special but certainly better than Frenchy.

    And, here is an incisive analysis from the geniuses that populate the AJC blogs:

    “Most of you are too young to remember this … but … this reminds me of when an aging Jackie Robinson was traded by the Brooklyn Dodgers to their worst enemy, the New York Giants, after the 1956 season.”

    Right, it’s just like that, only not.

  12. I never could understand why Francouer wasn’t sent down to at least try to fix him. I think this trade indicates that the Braves were convinced he could never be fixed and that demotion would just have destroyed any trade value he might have. That there was someone willing to trade for him still boggles the mind.

  13. Just saw this in the AP article on SI: “Wright was looking forward to having him on his side. ‘Jeff brings a certain energy,’ he said. ‘He can really come here and make an immediate impact.'”

    Just like a collision with a large asteroid has a certain energy and would have an immediate impact.

  14. Man, I had the weirdest dream last night you guys. Get this, the ‘mazin ‘tarded Mets traded us somebody not named Jeff Francoeur’s Evil Twin for well… Jeff Francoeur. Ha! if only the Mets could really be that stupid, right?

  15. Went to Dick’s Sporting Goods last week. They had about 10 jerseys each of Chipper and McCann and about 100 Francoeurs. I couldn’t decide whether this represented popularity or unpopularity. In any event, there are going to be a lot of marked-down #7 Braves jerseys in the Atlanta area.

  16. 12 — Ububba, I saw that article yesterday. Some of the comments are just silly (assuming you can’t appreciate both the physical beauty and the statistical side of the game).

    I just burst out into laughter again over the trade.

  17. That really is funny contemplating that we got as much for Francoeur as we did for Tex. I guess it’s kind of true.

    I think where we blew it on Tex was in insisting that we get a major league ready first basemen in return. If we decide that we are better off or even close to the same with Barbaro Canizares at first, I imagine a package of Jordan Walden, Brandon Wood and Marek would have looked a lot better than the Kotch-rocket.

  18. Both ends of the Tex deal have hurt this team significantly.
    We sent away good talent for a player we never had a chance of re-signing for a players who are borderline MLB regulars.

    I still am holding out hope for Kotchman, maybe with the abomination gone our lineup will be a tad better and he can hit lower in the order where he belongs.
    he would be a .OBP machine in the 8 hole with his eye.

    If KJ can come back our lineup is good,if not, he can be on the next train out of town.

  19. Speaking of KJ, he was 2-for-5 with a double last night for Gwinnett. He’s hitting .357 and OPSing 1.207 for them in 4 games.

    He will be back on the big club as soon as his rehab time has expired.

  20. #28, you’d expect a major league player to kill AAA pitching. I hope if KJ is recalled quickly that this isn’t like when Jeffy was called back after 3 games last year. If Kelly has figured it out, then I guess the Braves can platoon Prado and Kotchman when Prado isn’t filling in for Chipper.

  21. Yup, let Kelly play for awhile, as long as possible anyway, send a message to the team, no more free rides.

  22. @29:

    Manny Ramirez went 3 for 10 in his minor league stint and he’s one of the premier hitters in the game. Granted, he was coming off a 50 game suspension, but AAA pitching isn’t exactly a cakewalk.

  23. “ACHE should have had a triple”…

    ummm yeh…if he weren’t slow and lazy.

    What a glorious night. Braves win and Jeff is a Met. Kudos to Wren for actually getting a useful player out of the exchange, something I thought was impossible. Is Omar Minaya on drugs or something?

  24. Watched a few innings of the Mets’ game before the Braves’ started, and I could be wrong, but it sounds like someone taught Cohen how to pronounce Francoeur. I didn’t hear ‘Francurr’ out of him once…

  25. Minaya is not on drugs, but the media and fan base up here are really getting on his case.
    They feel he has done a bad job and had basically quit on this season as he has not brought people in after all their injuries.

    Bringing in little Jeffe will solve everything though!

  26. “This is a trade that’s not only for now, but for next year and beyond, because of the youth of the player and that what he does fits the ballpark,” general manager Omar Minaya said.

    He has a point. Their infield is perfect for turning double plays.

  27. More Francoeur: “I’m looking forward to getting up there and playing in front of a packed house every night.”

    Passive aggressive much?

  28. As much as I hate to admit when I am wrong, Prado is starting to leave “sample size” behind. I’d play him every day at first and relegate Kotchman to backup.

  29. After the trades yesterday, it sure looks like Schuerholz was right when he made Wren the “heir apparent” and let Dayton Moore find another job.

    Unless I am a total idiot or extraordinarily weird things happen, Omar made a very bad trade. But, it wasn’t as bad as the one Dayton made.

  30. Jeff is the same age contract-wise as Tex was when we traded for him. Not a youth move or a move for the future. Or defensible. Thanks, Omar.

  31. Dayton Moore really is awful. It’s unfathomable that he traded such a prospect away.

    Anyway, count me on the “play Prado everyday” wagon. I don’t care where, just play him. Giving Kelly Johnson his at bats will piss me off–and that would suck, considering how happy I am right now.

  32. If Kelly’s fixed (and that’s admittedly a big if), then putting him back in the lineup isn’t a bad idea. He certainly has at least as much power as Kotchman, and perhaps more. Though most here are correct, Kelly shouldn’t take at bats away from Prado. They should come from Kotchman. But if he isn’t fixed yet, he should ride the pine…

  33. chief, something positive! good for you. we’ve missed you, and might i add i have had many failed predictions of “chief sightings”, but it’s not after a game like last night where we perform well.

    and, might i add that any suggestion of bringing up kelly and having him split time with prado should be shot down immediately until prado becomes human again.

    prado since taking over at 2nd:

    24/58 .414 avg. .510 obp 12 runs scored 1 hr 8 rbis
    that’s a pace of 139 runs scored and 108 rbi’s. sure, he probably cant keep that up, but why would our most productive hitter even be asked to platoon? doesnt make sense.

    the backup
    brooks conrad:
    7/22 .318 avg. .348 obp 2 runs scored 1 hr 4 rbis

    kelly johnson does not have a place on this team right now.

    i saw greg norton in the dugout last night. is he going to be activated soon? if so, might i ask why?

  34. The difference between the Francoeur demotion and this is that KJ was out of options and is in the minors on a rehab assignment. There is a limit to the number of games he can play in the minors under these circumstances. Obviously, he will be down there no longer than the rules allow.

  35. Francoeur is batting fifth for the Mets tonight. I knew they were bad this year, but that’s just plain sad.

  36. Well, not quite what we got for Tex. We got a minor league middle reliever for him. Still, close enough to make your head spin.

    Also, I keep thinking we’re gonna release Norton any day now. I have no idea why we’re keeping him around. Unless some of these players that are injured/sick now (Escobar, Kotchman, etc.) have to go on the DL, there is absolutely no reason to have Greg Norton in limbo. I suspect that if he didn’t think it would end his career, he’d be asking for us to release him at this point.

  37. One way or the other, this means more Diaz. He becomes the only right-handed outfielder, basically, in our entire organization.

    Which is a good thing. The more playing time thing… Not the ‘only right-hander’ thing…

  38. This makes our lineup better and deeper. He is a solid player, who isnt a head case, and will probably play his butt off to be in Atlanta where he is happy and appreciated.

    I still fear the frenchy becomes a superstar! I know im the only one but, I live in NJ, and would be sick to see him be a superstar for the metsies….most likely, he will get run out of town after sucking it up….but its still a fear none the less

  39. Overall, moving Francoeur for Church is a positive. I just don’t know how some things are going to be played.

    Church is a near righty killer, lefty sucker. At his best, he still needs a right handed platoon buddy. That means that Diaz (who many on here think couldn’t play right nearly as well as Francoeur) will have to play right against lefthanders.

    Thus, Diaz will not be able to platoon with ACHE (who will probably hit here forward closer to his season wide stats with closer to his 3 year moving average left / right splits) than to his “post May 15” stats. Plus, Diaz will not be available on those lefty nights as a late inning defensive replacement (which will probably be to put Church in right and move Diaz to left).

  40. In 551 career MLB plate appearances, Prado has produced a .314/.372/.456 line. He doesn’t have much speed or home run power, but he does have excellent plate discipline and gap power, which translates into a well-above average hitting second baseman. If these numbers are for real, then Kelly Johnson, even when he’s rolling, isn’t much of an improvement. And as we know there are more valleys than peaks with KJ anyway, so why tempt fate? Let’s leave Prado there and see what he can do. We already know what Kelly can do.

  41. On Prado playing,

    Not because he is hot now, but because he seems to have continued to raise the fundamental base line in his offensive and defensive games steadily over the past few years, he should continue to play.

    I am inclined to believe KJ has “figured it out.” However, if he comes back up I am fearful that he will need earplugs to stop whatever (or whoever) else is hindering him.

    With Prado, against lefties he will have to play somewhere. Against righties, it becomes more complicated. When Chipper is ailing, he is at third. Otherwise one of Kotchman or KJ will sit.

    We also should see Infante some day. originally, I thought they thought he would start minor league rehab just before the all star break. Any word on what is up with him now? If Infante is ready to activate, something has to happen with KJ or Prado.

    IF KJ can transition up and hit, his trade value may reappear. Then, the market (who do other people want more out of Prado and KJ) and the Braves’ management’s views (who is “for real” and who isn’t) will probably have one of them moving in trade.

  42. 58 – It’s too bad we can’t help players “figure it out” at the Major League level, huh?

  43. Since KJ had already been benched before he went on the DL, I don’t expect he’ll get the 2B job back. I half-expect that he’ll be traded when he’s ready to return.

  44. Mac , I agree. Conrad has not been an embarrassment there. My main concern is our infield at the moment is fragile and full of reserves. Granted they have been playing pretty well. Would be nice if Diory would be a little better with the bat. Not even as good a bat as Belliard….

  45. If KJ’s right, he’s better than Kotchman. Realizing it won’t ever happen, I’d love to see Chipper moved to first, Prado given the third base job, and KJ at second.

    Anyway, I think Mac is right that KJ’s not long for this organization. As his biggest fan, it pains me, but it might well be best to trade him to someone who values him. Wonder what Billy Beane would give us.

    KJ, Gonzo, Anderson and Rohrbough for Matt Holliday—make it happen.

  46. I’m surprised to see you on the Matt Holliday wagon, Stu. According to MLBTR (grain of salt, I know) Billy Beane loves his prospects and plans to hang on to Holliday.

  47. so, norton will be coming off the dl soon…

    infante will be ready some time after the all-star break…

    kj will be coming off the dl some time after the all-star break…

    obvious subtractions: valdez, blanco, diory (down to 22)
    obvious additions: kj, norton, church, infante. norton can only play 1st respectfully. he has not hit. he doesnt have a place on this team.

    a bench of kj, infante, conrad, diaz/church, and ross has a lot to offer, offensively and defensively. all 5 can get on base pretty well and 4 have pop. it seems a no-brainer, but i would be willing to bet conrad goes back to gwinnett and we keep norton.

    someone will have to go. imo, conrad has been useful, while norton has been terrible. norton goes, we have power off the bench, and plenty of infield/outfield depth in case anyone gets hurt.

    infante is about to start his 8th week of recovery. he should be going on a rehab assignment soon.

  48. Not to dampen the mood, but apparently Alan Embree’s in pretty bad shape. I don’t think it’s surprising to anybody who saw what happened last night that he has a fractured right tibia, but apparently the bone was snapped completely in half and this article is talking about things like surgery and compression screws. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery, and if this is the end of his career, I tip my cap to him.

  49. Rob,
    I think Holliday would be a very nice addition. I wouldn’t want to trade any of our big hitting prospects, though, with the possible exception of Cody Johnson. My thinking is that maybe Beane would be interested in KJ, who could play second or move back to the outfield, and Gonzo, whom he could either flip to someone else for prospects or keep and take draft picks for. Anderson I included to balance the salaries being exchanged a little bit, hoping that maybe Beane could use him in an OF platoon or something. (Probably not very likely at all.) Rohrbough, I sort of picked at random; I know some of his luster is gone, though. Maybe throwing in a Scott Redmond would be good, too?

    Anyway, just dreaming. I like the RF platoon now. It would be nice to somehow add a slugger in left or at first.

  50. I wonder if getting church means, we wont be trading vasquez, and we will be trying to win the wild card or NL East

  51. 73, The deadline is almost three weeks away. I imagine those three weeks will play a pretty big role in determining whether we’re buyers or sellers.

  52. Winning the East will be many times easier than winning the Wild Card. To win the East, we have to beat the Phillies. To win the Wild Card, we have to beat two of the three top NL West teams and any NL Central team that makes a charge in addition to the other NL East teams we’d have to beat either way.

    We can take the Phillies and Mets. Can we beat four of the Dodgers, Rockies, Phillies, Mets, Cardinals, Brewers, and Giants? The East looks a lot more likely.

  53. Stu,

    Away from Coors Field 06 to 08 Holliday is an 860 ops player. He is below that (790) this year. He is a COORS FIELD CREATION. He is not even a “near elite” hitter.

    Josh Willingham or Ryan Spillborghs or Cody Ross would be just as good (and have arb years left and have been better this year).

    If this team is “in”, it needs to keep Gonzo and Soriano. They each, by themselves, have value. If we are “out” the last week in july, then move them.

  54. Holliday was good in Coors Field (there is no good Coors beer though) , not great like Bichette and other monstrosities that place created.

    i would trade KJ and Jo Jo for him no problem, but not any legit prospects, he does not possess the power we really need to spend anyone decent on him and he is a FA after the season.

  55. cliff, I’m well aware of Holliday’s stats. He’s had a bad year so far. He’s a very good player, clearly better than our other corner OF options and clearly more right-handed than all but Diaz. And he’ll be a Type A, meaning we’ll get two good draft picks for him.

    Given O’Flaherty’s emergence and Soriano’s dominance, I think we can afford to move Gonzo and stay in the race.

    LOL at Spilborghs being as good as Holliday. I don’t see why the Marlins would trade Ross. Willingham would be a nice addition, but he’s always a health risk.

  56. To get Holiday you have to give up at least 2 pretty good porspects. The A’s get 2 draft picks if they let him walk at the end of the year.

    By the way, that is our starting point for both Sori and Gonzales since they are both likely to be type A free agents that won’t accept arb.

  57. How sure are you that the relievers will be Type As, Parish? Given their injury problems last year, I wasn’t sure they’d qualify.

  58. We really do have to at least re-sign Soriano, don’t we? Despite all the moaning, this bullpen has been pretty good. And Gonzalez is getting piled on way too much. He hasn’t been great this year, but he gets the job done the vast majority of the time still. Especially in save situations.

  59. Stu – Someone checked on that earlier in the year and reported as such. I figure they have only solidified that type A status since.

  60. Apparently Type A Free Agents are the top 20% of their position (as determined by the Elias Sports Bureau).


    If Relief Pitcher is a position, I could see Gonzo and Soriano making that cut.

  61. why are some people fearful that Jeff may turn things around? If he does, good for him. It wont haunt us because he wouldve never gotten things turned around in ATL. The best thing for us is that he’s gone and Bobby couldnt keep him here

  62. I won’t hold my breath about Frenchy becoming a New York star. To be honest, I’d guess that the Mets will non-tender him at the end of the year.

    But if he becomes a good player in New York, yup, good for him. It won’t upset me one bit.

  63. anonymous lurker,
    do you have a personal vendetta against anything i say?

    adam laroche 162 game average: 26 hr 90 rbi .340 obp .488 slg

    casey kotchman: 13 hr 75 rbi .338 obp .410 slg

    not to mention adam laroche rakes in the 2nd half at the rate of .297 avg .360 obp and .548 slg.

    is kotchman and conrad really in the braves long-term plans?

    what part of this is LOL?

  64. Maybe the Mets can afford to stash an arbitration eligible player at AAA in hopes he re-learns how to hit baseballs.

  65. I had just assumed that Church didn’t have any arb years left, but he has 2 (the same number as Frenchy).

    So, uhh…I shouldn’t be surprised that 60% of SportSouth viewers didn’t like the trade, but I still am.

  66. A couple suggestions for Frenchy’s walk up music at Citi Field:

    “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing”
    “I Can’t Make You Love Me”

  67. Yeah, people are still blasting the trade over at AJC today. I’m not sure I can really look at that site anymore until this dies down. I had hoped that Braves fans weren’t this freaking stupid. Yesterday I thought it was funny, today it’s just annoying and more than a little depressing.

  68. ryan c,

    For what it’s worth, some of the fans at Metsblog were speculating that Minaya would try to acquire Adam LaRoche and Jack Wilson to fill SS and 1B. After what happened yesterday, I wouldn’t be surprised if the rumors turned out to be true.

  69. Hometown kid done wrong, im sure is the way some people perceive it.

    Up here, its been all, its a win win for the mets, they are saying at worse its a push, because they think Church is overrated and not a good fit, and that Frenchy has tremendous upside,

    I heard on the Steve Summers Show, that he claims Frenchy has great power that will translate well in Citi Field WTF!?!?!

    They are thinking its a big win, and they are mad that Church Text Chipper saying he was going to give the Braves the mets signs, scouting reports ect, and that he wants to destroy the mets, so the NY Media is trying to damage this guy big time

  70. I haven’t seen a Francoeur Delta commercial in ages, so I don’t know if that endorsement deal even exists anymore, but incidentally, I believe Delta operates a hub at JFK, so it could still work if by some miracle Jeffy pulls his head out of his ass.

  71. More Frenchy music thoughts –

    “Do you really want to hurt me?”
    “Why can’t we be friends?”
    “I ain’t as good as I once was”

  72. I think it was Rob Cope who made an interesting point about Francoeur’s perception as a good baseball player overshadowing reality. The Colorado Rockies announcers last night thought the trade was stupid because we “gave away a two-time All-Star.” Frenchy has never played in the All Star game. And now this stupid comment about his power fitting Citi Field…

    Do these people who are paid to talk about baseball actually watch the game?

  73. njbravesfan @99
    Was the Schmoozer being sarcastic? I cant believe he would be drinking the Kool Aid.

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