Reds 4, Braves 2 (12 innings)

Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – September 06, 2009 – ESPN

If I hadn’t given up, I’d be really upset about now. As it is… ehhh.

Tim Hudson was great, and the Braves look like they’re really going to have a tough decision about his option. He went seven innings, striking out six while walking just one, and allowed one run on four hits. The run, and three of the hits, came in the second inning. In his last five innings, he was perfect.

Hudson left the game leading 2-1 after David Ross, who scored both of the Braves’ runs, hit a solo homer. But Mike Gonzalez, after getting the first two, gave up a solo homer of his own to tie the score. The Braves’ only threat after that was a two-walk “rally” in the eleventh. In the twelfth, in his second inning of work, Kawakami allowed two runs. The Braves went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, striking out swinging each and every one. I really don’t have any confidence that the Braves, who are now only three games over .500, can finish that way.

47 thoughts on “Reds 4, Braves 2 (12 innings)”

  1. What an abysmal series. Four runs over 30 innings against the Reds. THE REDS! As a Braves fan, I’m truly embarrassed.

  2. I can’t even muster enough care factor to criticize Bobby for giving McCann off the same day Chipper and Escobar are out nursing injuries. Thank God for the start of football season.

  3. Yep, season’s over. Maybe we’ll muster a better than .500 record. In the end, though, we are in a muuuuuch better position this off season when compared to last. Hopefully we’ll exercise Huddy’s option, sign Rochey for a year or two, find an OFer upgrade, and figure out how to keep the back end of our bullpen together.

  4. Oh, a little bit on Luis Valdez, who is not yet trusted to throw any meaningful innings, BA say he has “elite stuff, including a 94-95 mph fastball and a wipeout slider.”

    It’d be nice to see it.

  5. @4 Doesn’t matter, Mac needs to rest now for the sake of his long term health. It’s not like we had any kind of chance to make the playoff coming into today’s game.

    Mac, I would pick up Huddy’s option. It’s really not a hard decision. Pick up the option and worry about trading one of the six later in the offseason. I am still dreaming that we can dump Lowe back to the Dodgers for nothing.

  6. @10 Good call Mac. While I was talking about the catcher, it definitely applies to you as well.

    Take good care of yourself.

    I had given up since we lost the Padres series.

  7. I’m still giddy about the BYU win.

    Trying to remain positive about the Braves at this point — imagining a full year with a decent lineup.

    I’d exercise the option on Huddy and figure out the rest later as well.

  8. It’s relaxing to give up hope on this team as Mac has said. I want to warn you though, that I wouldn’t be surprised if the Braves play good for another stretch and they make another run at the WC. There is no way the Braves will win it, so don’t be fooled that they have a chance – they don’t. Let’s hope Chipper gets some rest down the stretch so he’s able to get things right for next year. My biggest concern is the horrible defense he’s played this year.

  9. Getting rid of Franceour was only the first of many moves that need to be made, not the only one. If they go into the offseason with this group, they will finish in third or 4th place again.

    This team cannot count on Prado, Infante, or Diaz to be run producers for this team. They are limnited. They are solid pieces to put around 2 or more big hitters. Chipper is too old. Yunel is too scattered brained and fragile. I have not seen enough of McLouth to have an opinion. He has been really average since coming over. This team has one championship caliber hitter and his name is Brian McCann.

    Of course if Wren wasn’t so short sided in his handing out of 30 million to Chipper and Lowe for the next 3 years maybe we could find a hitter or two and actually win some games.

    We needed pitching, but this rebuilding job should have been seen as a 2-3 year process, not a one offseason thing. If they had taken a longer view of rebuilding this organization would have been set up for a big run in 2011, maybe 2010 if they got lucky. Now, they have no chance until 2012 at the earliest.

  10. “What are we supposed to do
    After all that we’ve been through
    When everything that felt so right is wrong
    Now that the love is gone?

    “There is nothing left to prove
    No use to deny this simple truth
    Can’t find the reason to keep holding on
    Now that the love is gone, love is gone”

  11. 15,

    While I agree with some of that, you’re probably not going to get very far bashing Wren on this site. He’s done a hell of a job and there was nothing short-sighted about signing Lowe or extending Chipper. After not signing Peavy or Burnett, getting Lowe was a must. Everyone on here agreed. We knew then that we were overpaying but we also knew it was the only way to get him over. And as for Chipper? I think it’s been said time and time again that he’s valued for more than we’re paying him. And he’s the “Cal Ripken, Jr.” of the franchise. We watched Smoltz, Glavine, and Frenchy leave this year. They were fan favorites. No way in Hell Wren gives Chipper the boot too.

    I’m concerned that Prado’s success earlier this year won’t carry over to next year. I think he’s well above average for a utility player, but possibly just average as an everyday player in the long haul.

    If we get a power bat for one of the corners, our lineup already looks a hell of a lot better. I would love to see:

    Prado (perhaps another 2B?)
    Legitimate clean-up hitter for LF or RF

    That’s a pretty solid line-up any day of the week.

    I agree that Chipper is

  12. Whoops, ran out of time editing.

    I agree that Chipper would benefit from a drop in the line-up, but I don’t think that will happen next year.

  13. What an awful series! I think the Braves will exercise Hudson’s option, which they should.

    I am much less concerned about what happens in the offseason to both Soriano and Gonzalez. I don’t have enough confidence that either would be worth the money….I am curious to know what others think…

  14. I actually think that Mac’s on a pretty good track, though if that were the case I’d probably move Escobar to third and bump Heyward down to the bottom third…Assuming, of course, that once he heats up, he won’t be banished to the bottom of the order.

  15. All the criticism of Bobby Cox aside and justified……this is what I think of the job done by Frank Wren:

    Mediocre at best. He fixed the starting pitching and virtually ignored everything else until the damage had already been done.

    I’ll give the man kudo’s for the catching corp. of McCann and Ross, it’s solid.

    But he waited far to late to address the offensive shortcomings of this team, and the defense remains in shambles.

    Small ball, running game? nonexistent.

    And Chipper’s contract extension, why? To what purpose does it serve a corporate owned middle market team by tying up 13 million in a player through 2013 who is 37, and in steep decline.

    Look, I’m an idiot most of the time but even I knew our Braves should have unloaded one of our starters (Vazquez), and a relief pitcher (Gonzalez) at the trading deadline (July 31st) for some much needed help in the outfield.

    What we are left with is a team with some great starting pitching and not nearly enough of anything else.

    Wren has to address several problems.

    1. The defense.

    2. Power bat, preferably right handed.

    3.The outfield, see the above two problems.

    4. Resign LaRoche and Soriano. Gonzo can walk or stay, I don’t care.

    5.Trade Vazquez for help, see issues one through three.

    6. Find a real lead off hitter. McLouth ain’t that guy but he is a fine young outfielder.

    7. And last but not least, find another manager or the previous six problems are for naught.

    Dear Frank, get your ASS to work as there is much to be done.

  16. Well, at least we don’t have to worry about who will start the first game of the playoffs.

  17. “This team cannot count on Prado, Infante, or Diaz to be run producers for this team.”

    who’s asking them to be? i dont recall them being in a run producing part of the lineup. this is another reason why it’s got to be frustrating being matt diaz, and with your post, let’s add martin prado to that argument as well.

    matt diaz has a career .816 ops, with a career .312 batting average. he did a dynamite job in the leadoff role and in the media said that he “loved” hitting leadoff. i mean, he only hit over .400 with a .490 obp at the position before being moved down again. also, given full-time at bats, diaz could have hit between 15-20 home runs this year.

    prado is a career +.300 hitter with a .795 ops. his current .796 ops puts him 2nd among nl second baseman, behind chase utley. although his power numbers might be a fluke, given full-time at bats, prado could have hit 15-18 homeruns this year.

    why prado and diaz have to go out and “win” their position each year is beyond me. i am on a campaign to “LEAVE PRADO AND DIAZ ALONE”!

    diaz needs to be given the leadoff role for the rest of the year.

  18. “Look, I’m an idiot most of the time but even I knew our Braves should have unloaded one of our starters (Vazquez), and a relief pitcher (Gonzalez) at the trading deadline (July 31st) for some much needed help in the outfield.”

    i’m glad you could see in your crystal ball and knew the braves would faceplant this week. your hindshight is incredible. vazquez will still bring a lot this offseason. mike gonzalez and rafael soriano, if not re-signed, will probably be type-A free agents, giving us nice picks in the draft. trading those 2 would have infuriated me, and hopefully any other braves fans on this blog. we were still in contention up until last week. how can you possibly justify those moves?

  19. I’m a bit disappointed by this weekend after recent expectations. BUT, when viewed from expectations in the pre-season, I’m optimistic about the future of the franchise. *I* think Wren did a good job last spring shoring up a gaping chasm in the rotation with limited resources. So much so, that we know, with Hudson’s return, have a surplus of pitching (I count 7 legit starters on the roster, since I see Medlen’s long term role to be in the rotation).

    We do have issues remaining – most notably a RH Power bat to hit b/w Chipper and BMac, and the back end of the bullpen to address. But I feel confident that we can address those this off-season. Again, just the opinion of a Braves fan who sat through the late 80’s.

  20. At the time Chipper signed his contract his OPS for the previous three years were 1.005, 1.029, and 1.044. Why would a mid-.800 OPS have been expected by Frank Wren?

    It’s OK to be mad that the Braves are going to miss the playoffs, but I don’t think there is much else Wren could have done beyond limiting Jeffy’s at-bats (not really call anyway, it was Delta’s) and not rushing Schafer. And the good news is that the team seems primed to begin 2010 as a contender. He didn’t sacrifice much of the long-term to put together a contending team. I give Wren an A-.

  21. And for those disputing 30 above, you need to read Dan Jenkins’ book, “Life Its Own Self” (Sequel to “Semi-Tough”). (Actually, any of you as sports fans who haven’t read it, need to. It is great.)

    It is not the superstition, but obviously rather labor solidarity between the MLBPA and the SEIU that causes ML teams to throw their games just enough to make it their “Operation Dixie.”

  22. Let’s throw out for consideration:

    40 man roster decisions.

    I am not sure exactly how the years tick off as to when players become subject to Rule 5 if not protected. And, it changed about 3 or so years ago. Then, you also have “minor league free agency”.

    We look like we ought to be able to clear a lot of spots.

    Pitchers least worth a spot in order of least value:

    1. Marek

    2. Parr

    3. Acosta

    4. Carlyle

    5. Redmond

    Position players of least value:

    1. Norton (duh)

    2. Gorecki

    3. Blanco

    Eligible for Free Agency (without being non tendered):

    1. Gonzo

    2. Soriano

    3. LaRoche

  23. I am sure it has been said, but I am truly content dropping a couple more spots in the standings to get a protected first round pick.

  24. I dont see KJ, Garrett, Sori coming back next year.

    I see Gonzo getting a contract, probably LaRoche because the other available 1B stink.

    We will have to move a SP for an OF. Either a true leadoff man or a powerbat. Again, the list of available FA’s is weak unless we are going to give Bay 15 mill or more per year.

  25. Is Medlen going to get a chance to start next year? If so I wish the Braves would put him in the rotation now. Might increase his potential trade value as well, he’s got to be a candidate.

  26. I really don’t see how Medlen gets a chance to start next year. We’re going to keep at least five of the current starters I would think (counting Kawakami). I really don’t see that there’s room. In all honesty, we should probably trade him. I guess he would be cheap bullpen help again. But surely someone wants to use him as a starter and is willing to give up something decent.

  27. 35,

    I would think Sori has a better chance of staying over Gonzo. Besides his recent struggles (Bobby…), he’s been light’s out and you never know what to expect with Gonzo.

  28. No guarantee either Sori or Gonzo will return. I think both are type A so they could net the braves 4 extra picks early in next year’s draft. Nice on one hand but expensive on the other.

    I wonder (I can’t think of an example) if a team has ever dealt a type A player late in the year simply as a way to transfer the draft choices. I’m not thinking of Sept trades to help a contender make the playoffs but a deal from one out of contention team to another.

  29. I was just guessing because Gonzo should be cheaper based on current contracts.
    I just hope we keep at least one of them though, I like having a Closer.
    But with both so abused this year they may be useless next year.

  30. No guarantee either Sori or Gonzo will return. I think both are type A so they could net the braves 4 extra picks early in next year’s draft. Nice on one hand but expensive on the other.

    Both Gonzo and Soriano are on track to be Type A. Draft picks are the best case scenario, I really don’t like their long term health prospects.

    Why would a mid-.800 OPS have been expected by Frank Wren?

    His age and frequent injuries would be reasons one and two. Signing late 30s players to long term deals is a recipe for disappointment.

  31. We will probably deal KJ for about what the White Sox got for Swisher and then have other teams’ fans going “I can’t believe we didn’t get Johnson for that kind of crap” just like with the Yankees this year.

    Reyes may go in a package with KJ or with Vazquez or all 3 may go together. Is there anybody else that we would consider trading that anybody else would have?

    Gonzo and Sori will be expensive in arb, but I think we offer at least Gonzo, maybe Sori. Both will decline, but what do you do with the picks? This year’s selection seemed uninspired and underwhelming, although he is doing well out of the gate. I guess when you compare a pick to Heyward, it will always seem a little lame.

    Heyward needs to be the rightfielder, and withut hitting pressure until after he proves himself. That puts McLouth in center and Diaz / Church in left. Diaz could play every day if he hit leadoff against righties and lower against lefties, but Church in arb is useful. That leaves Schafer as the odd man out until he proves himself for half a year next year.

    But, if you don’t put the BAT in left or right, then the only place to put one is 1B (or 3B if you move Chipper across). So, figuring out a target “bat” is the key to understanding where this will play out.

  32. I think both Sori and Gonzo are big long term risks. I’d like one of them back on a 1 year deal, but they can probably command better in the FA mkt. One of them plus Medlen, Moylan, and O’Fl would be a good start on a decent pen (until Bobby burns them out, of course). Logan and Valdez might then get two of the other spots leaving one spot–maybe Carlyle or some other junk arm middle reliever/mop up type.

    @42–I’m also guessing KJ will be gone–it might be over-reading but Conrad’s start yesterday seems like a strong signal.

  33. What a collapse. Just maddening.

    It is really, truly, absolutely time for Bobby to hang them up.

    We MUST get on with our future.

  34. 26, ignorance is bliss. You should read the blogs more often.

    Over at the AJC, I screamed to trade Vazquez and Gonzo for weeks leading up to the trade deadline.

    I mean, what part of 2010 or bust do you not understand??????????

  35. @46,

    Right, no one has anything better to do than spend all their time reading blogs.

    Just because you want to make a trade doesn’t mean you can just pick up the phone and say, oh, how about Vazquez for Matt Holiday (as an example). There weren’t many relievers traded and it’s not clear what you could have gotten. What makes you think Gonzo would have brought a big bat? And, yes, you probably could have gotten something for Vazquez at the expense of weakening the strongest part of the team. Who was this great bat out there waiting to be had? Unless you know who is available, yelling about trading so and so is just so much hot air.

    As for referencing the AJC blog, I wouldn’t go there if I were you. Bragging about going on the AJC blog is like bragging about being a fan of ABBA.

    And, to say, let’s wait until 2010 to win is ridiculous. People pay money for tickets in 2009. There is no reason you can’t win and retool. That is, in fact, what the Braves are doing. And, you are contradicting yourself if you are talking about trading Vazquez for a bat; how is that helping for 2010?

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