How can we miss you if you don’t go away Game thread: July 16, Fighting Francoeurs at Braves

Maddux!“Hello, this is future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, and you better get this out of your system, because if my day turns into a celebration of Jeff Fricking Francoeur, I can’t be held responsible for what happens next.”

196 thoughts on “How can we miss you if you don’t go away Game thread: July 16, Fighting Francoeurs at Braves”

  1. Okay, rubber meets the road time. We are 2 games under .500 with less than half the season left, and we need to start making up ground, now. We play 4 games at home against a team that does not have 3 of their 4 best position players (Reyes; Beltran; Delgado). Our pitching is as rested as it could be. We have to win 3 of 4 in this series, or we can just be a seller, come July 31. No excuses; no Bobbyisms of “we hit the ball better than they did tonight; their hits just fell in and our line drives didn’t”. If we can’t take 3 of 4 here, under these circumstances, we aren’t going to catch anyone.

  2. You know, I went with Kotchman over Garret in the poll, because I had the misapprehension that he was hitting better, because of those occasional dingers. But, as usual, he’s been outslugging Kotch while Kotch has been getting on base a lot more.

    Since June 1 (Kotchman came back from injury on June 16):
    Garret: .276/.313/.431
    Kotchman: .267/.360/.373

    I guess I gotta go with Garret. He’s my bete noire.

  3. Very true. I think it’s an important series and could decide the rest of the season for both teams; if one team sweeps or wins 3/4, the other may well have to start thinking about next year–although given the Phillies propensity to run hot and cold, it wouldn’t shock me if they went into another slide.

    But, what if they split? The Braves are as far behing in the WC as in the division and would have more teams to pass for the WC. On the other hand, they do have the Giants coming it and, while they have played very well and have great pitching, they are even more offensively challenged than the Braves. They could go into a slide as well.

    I sort of hope the Braves either win 3 or lose 3. I’m afraid they will do just enough to stay at the fringes of the race. But maybe standing pat is the right thing to do. I’m not sure that dealing Gonzo and/or Soriano and/or who? just to make a deal makes much sense. Teams just aren’t giving up their top prospects for a few months. They definitely should not deal Yunel unless they get overwhelmed–certainly not for Holliday.

  4. ACHE delenda est?

    I hope we just don’t do anything to screw up the 2010-2011 timetable. It would be fun to win the division again, but I’d rather be positioned to win a LOT of divisions post 2011 than try and sneak this year’s flag.

  5. Dang. JC breaks his string of last posts.

    #3 I said much the same thing in the last thread. If we get into the everybody sucks to bad to grab the division by the throat scenario, Wren has to resist the temptation to trade for a rental hitter.

    IMHO it wouldn’t surprise me too much if we actually started winning a little. Just as it seems McCann, Chipper and Kotchman have gone into mini slumps and power outages together it is plausible that they’ll all start hitting together too. Of course I am asuming that once we start hitting that we continue pitching like we have been.

    For those that get Sports Illustrated hard copy the stories of the 69 Mets and Earl Weaver are fantastic.

  6. ACHE plays part-time. Krotchrocket (love the nickname, by the way) is supposedly a full-time player. That and Kotchman has been more of a liability on the basepaths and statistically, Garret hasn’t been THAT bad in the field. Equals my rationale for picking Kotchrocket.

    The more I think about that Francoeur for Church swap, the more I think Minaya should be fired. There’s nothing positive that Francoeur does better than Church apart from throw the ball. What, exactly, was Minaya thinking when he made that trade? Was it a trade out of frustration? Was he giving us a gift? Or is he really that incompetent?

  7. Per Carrol:
    1. McLouth CF
    2. Prado 2B
    3. Jones 3B
    4. McCann C
    5. Escobar SS
    6. Anderson LF
    7. Diaz RF
    8. Kotchman 1B
    9. Lowe RHP

  8. Bill James has a piece on BJOL about steroids and the Hall of Fame. And I’m reading, and thinking, “yeah, that’s what I wanted to say, but I lacked the skill”.

  9. Kotchman doesn’t hit as many homers as we’d like, but how can anybody watch Anderson drag himself reluctantly around the outfield to get to balls and not vote for him for new bete noire?

  10. I am still beside myself about the Francoeur trade. He will be at the Ted tonight killing another team’s rallies. It’s a friggin dream scenario!

  11. @19 b/c the objective braves fan has noticed improvement with Garrett throughout the summer. I think the all-star break was a must for him. Look for a strong second half from Garrett.

  12. ACHE hit .296/.326/.457 in the 22 games before the break. It’s not exactly good, but… Kotchman was actually quite good through mid-May, but since, and especially since his DL stint, he’s been terrible. He picked it up slightly the last week, but really not much more than enough than to arrest the slide in his overall numbers.

  13. Well, y’all, I probably won’t be around here until Monday. Going to a concert tonight, and then tomorrow, my wife and I head to Chicago for the weekend to celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary. Told her I wouldn’t look at the internet via computer or phone for the length of the trip.

    This absence is going to be painful for me and a blessing for all of you! Anyway, see ya Monday.

  14. Stu,
    Congrats to you & the Mrs.

    Enjoy the 2nd City.

    Yep, that “Where Are They Now?” issue of SI is one of the best I’ve read in a while.

    I gotta get hold of that Bill James bit. I’ll admit that I’m still at a loss on processing The Steroid Era in historical terms. My attitude remains: If you get busted, tough titty on maybe missing Cooperstown—no sympathy. But I love to hear different ideas on it.

    I wanna be optimistic today, so I’ll say we see the Wild Ollie tonight. I’d like to get off the plane & see the result: A big Braves win with a 4×4 performance by Jeff Francoeur.

    Off to Mannywood…

  15. Have fun with the trip Stu.

    I’m sure the nature of the vacation will keep the withdraw from getting too bad.

  16. I voted Kotchman. You can make a case that either player needs to be replaced immediately. You can make a case for one over the other in head-to-head battles of suck. But in the end, Garret Anderson is on this team for another three months, total. Kotchman is a player they’re going to give another $4 mil to in arbitration next year. The potential to suck for another season and a half before we “lose” him to free agency pushes Kotchman to the top of my list.

    I also believe Kelly Johnson will provide quality innings for the Braves at some position in the second half.

  17. Stenchy is batting fifth for the Mets tonight.

    Apparently, Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya are both like Senator Sessions- they’re “going to do that crack cocaine thing…”

  18. I’ve got a weird feeling that if we see much more out of Kelly this year its as a left fielder. Considering that’s what he played in his debut, Brooks and Prado’s play of late, and when Wren thought he had signed Furcal the talk at the time was they would move Kelly to left and play Furcal at short and Yunel at second.

  19. potter fans, the half blood prince is great. go see it! it’s the best one yet. the acting gets better with every film and the cinematography is great. i’m a school teacher so of course i loved the books. this movie, although not as good as the book, was the closet to upholding the plotline.

  20. I echo Ryan C’s opinion on the Half-Blood Prince movie, except that I actually consider most of the deviations from the book plotline an improvement.

    Speaking of deviations, can we get away from our history of getting humiliated by Oliver Perez?

  21. Well, y’all, I probably won’t be around here until Monday. Going to a concert tonight, and then tomorrow, my wife and I head to Chicago for the weekend to celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary.

    Five years, nice. They say the first five are the toughest. I’m on year seven and it’s still pretty damn tough. Although if I remember right, you don’t have any kids yet so I don’t think that saying applies. Anyway, congrats.

    Love tonight’s lineup. Haven’t said that much this year.

  22. ububba,

    Any NY insight on what’s going on with David Wright? At this rate he’ll be lucky to crack double figures in homers and he’s going to strikeout 160+ times. BA and OBP are still nice though.

  23. Wright’s overall numbers this year are actually a shade better than he hit in road games last year. He’s begging for an O-VER-RA-TED chant. Maybe in Philly.

  24. Has anybody hitting over .320 been given the overrated chant?

    I see what you mean about last season’s home/road split. Still, the drop in power and spike in K rate is an odd combination. I wouldn’t exactly call it a good sign – for him anyway.

  25. Congrats on the 5 years Stu, the Mrs’s and I are working on 15….got married 3 days after high school

  26. This is a guy who walked SEVEN batters in his last start. SEVEN. And we see all of five pitches in the first inning. Good job, Braves. That was an excellent defensive inning (the first), though. Though I scratch my head at the outfield defensive alignment when Luis Castillo was up. This guy’s a slap singles hitter and Cadahia had the outfield playing him to pull the ball. Huh????

  27. Francoeur promptly hits into a double play to remind the fans why they missed him.

  28. I was glad the crowd gave him a nice reception. He didn’t embarass the organization, he just made a bunch of outs, that is not a crime. (Then he makes two more, kinda funny in a dark humor way.)

    There are alot of guys from the Atlanta area, I wish they would get warmly received as well, then make outs and lose.

  29. Well, the intelligent Yunel showed up today. Maybe his post-All Star Break resolution is to stop eating paint chips.

  30. Uncle Garrett’s Sleepytime Jamboree has a damn pretty swing, all things considered.

  31. I’m guessing it’s ACHE on the “Verizon Wireless Know Your Music With Rhapsody Inning Brought To You By Taco Bell” (I could keep the joke going, but I’ll cut it off) because he failed to point out an actual artist, just picked a Genre, requiring less effort and thought.

  32. Mac,

    What would kill you more inside- Watching Jeffy hit 11 home runs in this series, or being tied to a chair and listening to Chip Caray and Joe Morgan calling one of these games?

  33. Starting Prado The Butcher at 2B with Lowe on the mound was a stroke of genius by Bobby.

  34. Conrad doesn’t come with a very strong defensive rep, Prado’s been decent this year, I don’t really see the criticism. Obviously Prado needs to be in the lineup somewhere.

  35. All would be better options than Prado, who is by far the worst defensive 2B on the roster.

  36. FWIW, Plus/Minus shows Conrad as horrible in his limited play at second base. Diory’s played less than three innings there, and he hits like a pitcher.

  37. Joe Simpson, paraphrased: “To win, you have to score more than the other team.”

  38. I wonder if the psychological implications would be worth putting a backup guy behind the catcher on IBB’s with guys like Perez (or more seriously, Wohlers or Ankiel).

  39. “Here Comes The Sun” is actually my favorite song, and I’ll never object to playing the Beatles, but Elvis Costello is so unexpected, except maybe “Pump It Up”.

    Drew, that’s actually against the rules, or everyone would do it. Heck, put all the outfielders back there.

  40. Guess that explains it then. Plus, it would be a pretty big waste of time in a game that invites time-saving suggestions from everyone.

  41. I believe the rule actually states that only the catcher can line up in foul territory. You could station an outfielder ten feet up the baseline where he could dash after a ball if it went wild, but (a) I don’t know that it would do any good, and (b) if it worked, they’d probably outlaw it.

  42. I was reading the rulebook and thought of that. XFL-style.

    The catcher also has to start in the catcher’s box on IBB’s, which makes sense after having watched so many issued, but it doesn’t seem necessary.

  43. Lowe is really frustrating. He is clearly our worst pitcher right now. Where has his control gone?

  44. Joe Simpson and his little ‘ric flair’ comments are getting a little annoying.

  45. Can we officially say 9+ ERA Ollie Perez outpitched Lowe? It only took him 101 pitches to get through 6.

  46. Acosta coming into a tie game in the 7th (in a normal Moylan/O’Flaherty situation) leads me to believe Gonzo is still hurting.

    There’s “Oliver’s Army” again before the pinch-hitter.

  47. No way Acosta faces Wright for me, if it gets to that point.

    Just get Castillo out, bud.

    OK, wild pitch, now focus on the batter?

  48. For sure if we take the lead, and maybe regardless, I throw Soriano vs. Wright and Sheff.

  49. If your fastball is straight as an arrow you probably don’t want to throw it down the middle to Chippper even if he is 0 for 3.

  50. 500 HR shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but I just don’t see him getting to 3000 hits.

  51. Moylan vs. Francoeur, could be fun, could be painful.

    Keepin’ it fun, that’s their Jeffy!

  52. Jamie Moyer is now 12-1 lifetime against the Marlins .. or something ridiculous like that

    edit: He WAS 12-1. With today’s shutout win over the Marlins, he’s now 13-1

  53. I agree with mac… this is terrible managing if soriano comes in to pitch the 9th. It’s gotta be gonzo or o’flaherty

  54. Low and away to Francoeur. Also, “going by the book.”

    But, he laid off! Twice!

    Not the third time though. Heh!

  55. Pretty sure Peter wouldn’t have actually died from another day of rest. At least he knows he can throw everything below the strike zone to Jeffrey and he’ll get an out.

  56. its called smart managing… im 100% confident oflaherty or gonzo can come in to get the outs in the 9th

  57. Sweet Jesus. This may be the stupidest conversation yet. Chip couldn’t bring it down any further. Ted Williams doesn’t get his due as a great hitter?

  58. One run game, and Lord knows our pen likes to walk the park. I think you have to use Soriano now that you’re here.

    Or Gonzo if he’s available.

  59. I’m gonna put it this way… if they use soriano in the 9th it will come back to bite them in the rear end by the time this series is over

  60. mac i just got his comments on Ted feed is delayed but i think my mind is seeping out of my ears..we are all dumber now

  61. I agree that we’ll probably need Soriano again, but 1 run games in the 9th…

    Scoring more runs is the right answer. Good job, Norty!

  62. Jon K – I am not arguing with you b/c you have a very good point.

    I guess Norton was due too.

  63. Our power has been out since the 5th inning up in Rome. Tree fell on the line right outside our house. I see Greg Norton got a hit. And Francoeur still makes a ton of outs (what’s that, 5 for him tonight?). The latter is nothin new.

  64. Mets ERA in home games: 3.70
    Road games: 5.07

    Mets OPS in home games: .737
    Road games: .734

    The Mets have actually hit more homers at home (28) than on the road (24). It’s not just the park.

  65. @164–tough break–power’s on in my part of town–hope Ga Power gets you up soon

    edit-another loss by the Rome Braves tonight–2 runs on 4 hits = typical pathetic offense–Chais Fuller still not hitting his weight (176 vs 190)

  66. And here’s soriano… has cox gone through formal education? Did he even finish high school?

  67. I’m still angry about this… I really think Cox hurts this team more than he helps this team

  68. Nice one.

    That looked like Reed started his swing after the ball was by him. Soriano just blew him away.

  69. rome has no one with any Ab’s hitting above .270, and no power. Just 4 very good young pitchers.

  70. “Soriano should’ve been an All Star!”

    Nuh uh! I’m awesome! Everyone wanted two Pirates, dangit!

  71. A win is a win… but sometimes there’s something called “smart winning”. They used their best reliever in a 2 run game as the home team against 3 terrible lefties. If O’Flaherty couldnt have come in to close that inning out he probably doesnt deserve to be in the bullpen. But seeing how I think he absolutely was capable of doing so, the decision to pitch soriano will ultimately come back to hurt this team later in the series

  72. I’m sure Soriano was warming up when there was a 1-run lead. And once you’ve got him warm you might as well use him.

  73. Is gonzo hurt still? talk about a perfect situation for him to come back and pitch in. 3 lefties, up 2 runs at home… if he’s 100 percent healthy (not sure he is) then I don’t know what Cox is thinking.

  74. I can’t understand the pining to trade Soriano. If I were GM, resigning him would be one of my top priorities. I would try to do it now. To hell with Gonzo… If we fall out the race he is trade bait.

  75. I have no doubt Soriano would have pitched the 8th and Gonzo the 9th had he been available.

  76. sorry: I am with Bobby on this one. Use him today to get the win; there may be a blow-out tomorrow; Santana may shut us out one game. Right now, win any way you can.

  77. Garrett Anderson: 3 hits, including an infield hit, and nice defense.

    All you Garrett haters will be silenced in the 2nd half. He is a 2nd half player. Watch.

  78. The Rome Braves are like the Kansas City Royals. A bunch of really interesting pitchers, a few underachieving hitters, a few Francoeur v. 2.0’s (don’t know how to use their tools), a bunch of terrible defenders, and a bunch of players that just suck.

  79. According to Carrol Rogers, Gonzo is fine, had some inflamation pre-allstar break, but is ok, dunno if its a load of crap, but thats what was said.

  80. See this is the difference between sweeping a series.. and spliting a series. Poor bullpen management. This game could have been won without using Soriano. I’m not interested in winning “a game” u gotta be in the mindset what do I have to do to put my team in the position to win the series. I just think that was jeopardized tonight thats all

  81. Sorry for the double post, but if ACHE can give us .280’ish 5-10hr, 30-50 rbi, I could live with that production, especially with the black hole gone.

  82. Jon K – I said you made a good point, and you did. But, at least 90% of MLB managers would have played that the way Bobby did.

  83. 185,
    He’s probably going to get overpayed in free agency to the point where it’s more destructive to have him on your team than ton not have him on your team. Plus Gonzo’s injured which killed his trade value. An even if you’re set on re-signing Soriano you can still do it in the off-season even if you trade him.

  84. Parish

    You may be right, but I still don’t agree with the decision haha. I think tonight is just another example of Cox’s poor bullpen management. His whole mindset is centered around “how do I get out of this one inning”. I really don’t think he thinks beyond the moment, because time and time again he makes these decisions which cost the team games at some point in time. Case in point that Colorado series… a perfect example of a series that could have been a sweep but due to poor bullpen management it ends up being a spilt

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