143 thoughts on “Game thread: Braves at presumably still Astros”

  1. A right handed outfield power hitter would complete the starting 8 IMHO. Unfortunately the upcoming FA class is very light on those with that skill set. If I remember correctly Holliday and Bay are the only ones. Both will command big dollars. JC could probably value them but I’m wild ass guessing they’ll command upwards of 14 to 15 million. Again the money is secondary to the number of years the club is on the hook for.

    BTW in 187 PA for the second half
    Martin Prado .263/.304/.386/.690

    Anyone still want to just non tender KJ?

  2. Prado’s tailed off, but KJ has done nothing all year. I don’t really want to non-tender him, but his salary isn’t lining up with his production anymore.

  3. @6, he’s in a flexible spot. If Wren trades some SP away, or there are some injuries, Medlen can start. If Wren doesn’t sign a really good reliever, he can setup Moylan. It just depends on what happens in the offseason.

  4. @ 10:

    The relieving aspect of Medlen’s game worries me. It may be something he can still learn and maybe it is just his recent performance, but he does not seem suited for pitching consecutive days. He seems like a starter to me. I wish the Braves would get him into the rotation for the rest of the year and probably they should look to trade him in the offseason. He’s young and has shown promise- his K/9 is awesome- so hopefully there would be a decent haul in return…

  5. Big Ten football is about eating chicken wings, listening to metallica, drinking Keystone Light, and wanting to get into the stadium to scream as loud as you can.

  6. Fear and trepidation here in Buckeye land about next week.

    Yeah Ububba, I know that Prado was injured but his performance has dropped off considerably from a red hot first half. I don’t think he is as bad as his second half but he for sure isn’t as good a his first.

  7. @12

    I was so excited about the Tigers pounding Illinois, but I’m having to come to grips with the fact that a huge part is just the fact that Illinois probably isn’t very good.

    Putting notice down right now though that Blaine Gabbert is the real deal. Every now and then Rivals gets it right.

  8. Dunno what happened. His last post was on August 1st or 2nd, and he just hasn’t been around since. He’s missed, for sure.

  9. @11, we could always use Medlen as a multiple inning, late inning reliever and make him unavailable the day immediately after.

  10. I’ve only seen Medlin pitch on sportscenter clips and what I can find on the internet, does he have closer stuff? He has a nice IP/SO ratio,

  11. @25

    Medlen’s upside reminds me of Wainwright.

    Their fastballs aren’t dominant, but good enough to keep a hitter honest. The main difference now is that Wainwright’s curve and slider are both outstanding. I’d put Medlen’s change on that same level, but he needs to elevate his third pitch (curveball) IMO.

  12. I have loved this song since I was a kid. Probably my favorite “country” tune, just for sentimental reasons.

  13. It took me about a year and a half to realize, but Joe Girardi is boooooring.

    In years past, I actually enjoyed Joe Torre’s weekly radio spot on WFAN—he really warmed to his position & the platform it afforded.

    Everytime Girardi comes on, I flip off the radio. It’s like he can’t wait for the interview to end (even though he’s getting paid for it). Last year, he had a bunker mentality; this year, he just puts me to sleep.

    Question: Is this going to be the lousiest series of “pennant races” we’ve seen in the Wild Card Era? Now that the Braves have spit the bit, it’s tough to pay attention.

    Hate to say it, but once again I think I’ll be rooting for the least offensive WS matchup. Angels-Rockies? Sure, whatever…

  14. Across the clubhouse, Chipper Jones referred to one such crazy thing.
    “We’re seven games out of the wild card,” the slumping 3B said. “How many games were the Phillies behind the Mets a couple of years ago? It can happen.” Chipper is 8-for-69 (.116) in his past 21 games with nine RBI, a .174 slugging percentage, and twice as many errors (four) as extra-base hits.

  15. Hey, Mac!

    If we beat Louisville by more than 30 points, can you dig up some Kentucky Headhunters for me?

    Thanks!

  16. Those weren’t errors. There is a viscious conspiracy by scorekeepers across the land against people of the Larry persuasion.

  17. Big Ten football is about USC putting 50 on you in your own stadium at night on national television.

    We can only hope. Personally I think Tressell totally sandbagged the Navy game. All vanilla, didn’t show Pete Carroll any of their good stuff. I expect a competitive game due to SC’s inexperience at QB.

    And Smitty, can we at least count on Tennessee to put a beatdown on UCLA on their home field? Neuheisel is insufferable enough already, run them off the damn field.

  18. I guess Chipper’s not aware that there are three teams ahead of the Braves in the wild card race. None of these three teams are likely to collapse like Chipper and his teammates just did.

  19. Oh good god, Medlen will NEVER be like Wainwright. You guys are just delusional sometimes.

  20. If you mean Medlen will never be 6’7″ then you are probably right. Medlen’s minor league numbers are nothing to sneeze at – he basically annihilated AAA in his short time there – and compare with Wainwright’s. There is every reason to believe he’ll at least be good – with the caveat that comes with all pitchers that his arm good go pop at any moment.

  21. I’ll never post on this forum again if he wins anywhere close to 20 games like Wainwright will. He’s just a guy.

  22. 10, where Medlen is right now is more than likely the same scenario for 2010.

    Personally, I’m predicting a tumultuous off season unlike anything we have seen in years.

    Cox needs to go, as in retire but his players love the guy. The vast majority of fans want Cox gone. LaRoche, Soriano and Gonzalez could all hit free agency. Tim Hudson could to, which really scares me.

    O yea, the players almost universally despise Frank Wren and I have that information first hand.

    The outfield is a disaster, period, As is the offense and defense.

    McCann, Escobar and McLouth are the only three premium players we have and that’s it. Chipper is on the slow road to retirement. To many left handed bats, not nearly enough right handed power and no small ball or running game to speak of.

    I’m not optimistic, to say the least.

  23. The odds of anybody winning 20 games is real low so I won’t take that bet. However striking out 10.5 per 9 at the major league level should lift someone out of ‘just a guy’ territory. If he were on a team that had any idea how to develop young pitching I’d be real high on him. With the Braves anything could happen.

  24. 37 and 38,
    anything to add aside from your useless, empty predictions? are you guys here only to piss people off? if so, you do a good job.

  25. @38

    It is ridiculous to say that “the vast majority of fans want Cox gone.” Maybe a plurality of fans who comment on several Internet sites, but that is a very small fraction of the fanbase as a whole.

    There wasn’t even a vast majority who wanted Francoeur gone, and that’s with the game crowds expressing audible frustration at his continued failures. The only thing close to that with Bobby is when he sends up Norton, yet again, to either walk or make out(s).

    I worry that the game has passed him by, but we have much larger concerns in the offseason than toppling a first-ballot Hall of Fame manager. We have pieces we can move around, we have some flexibility once we make calls on our rotation for next year, and our farm system has more or less recovered from the Teixeira disaster (plus we’ll get some draft picks out of those free agents, though it remains to be seen if Liberty will actually toss any money into that pool).

    We haven’t been an elite team since, what, 1998? And maybe we won’t be again. But we can certainly position ourselves for a run at the playoffs next year–and as recent history shows, once you’re in, you’ve got about as much chance at a title as anyone else.

    Also you left Jurrjens, Vazquez, and (very soon if not already) Hanson off your list of premium players; either Gonzalez or Soriano would also qualify in a year of normal usage, which admittedly they might never get under Bobby.

  26. ROb @33

    I think this is the bellweather game for the Vols. We will know how the season is going to go after this game. That being said, I think the Vols win by 17

  27. 47,
    Surprise! Nobody answered and it was a generic answering machine message. Just said “To leave a message, press 1. To access your mailbox, press 2.”

  28. Nice start to tonights game by Chipper “I’m an old goat” Jones. This guy needs more than rest, he needs to be moved into a DH roll, meaning letting cutting your ties with him. The people that think he’s going to magically turn it around next year have wayyy too much faith in a player on the wrong side of 35 whos skills are rapidlly declining

  29. Well lets compare his stats against last years roughly the same number of games… This years stats have seen 14 less runs, 47 less hits, 4 less doubles, 6 less hrs, roughly the same number of walks, 11 more SO’s, an almost 100 point decrease in batting average, .77 less OBP, and .131 less SLG. These numbers are not going to get better next year. Chipper and BMac should be hitting 5 and 6 in the lineup, baring the braves getting more capable hitters in the 3 and 4 holes

  30. Big Ten Football is about the passion of cheering with the best student section in the country in the biggest stadium in the country

  31. Well lets compare his stats against last years roughly the same number of games

    If you must, I don’t quite see the point, though.

    This years stats have seen 14 less runs, 47 less hits, 4 less doubles, 6 less hrs, roughly the same number of walks, 11 more SO’s, an almost 100 point decrease in batting average, .77 less OBP, and .131 less SLG.

    All true, yes. BABip accounts for nearly all of that, though. Last year, his BABip was 0.383–0.066 points higher than his career average of 0.317. This year, his BABip is 0.289–0.028 points lower than his career average. There’s a 0.094 point discrepancy there; it’s almost all luck. The little that BABip doesn’t account for can all be explained by a slump and too much playing time. So again, I don’t see your point. I’m yet to see any evidence that his skills are “rapidly declining”.

    These numbers are not going to get better next year.

    When you let me know how you’ve come to this conclusion, I may allow this as a point. It sounds like you’re talking out of your rear, though. Seriously, what evidence do you have that “these numbers are not going to get better”? Other than, “well, they got worse this year…”.

    Chipper and BMac should be hitting 5 and 6 in the lineup

    Maybe. I’d like them hitting 5th and 2nd, though not respectively. Mac hitting 5th and Chipper hitting 2nd. Behind Schafer and in front of Escobar and, eventually, Heyward.

  32. Also, don’t respond “just watch Chipper play” unless you’re prepared to back your points up with scouting report-quality hitting mechanics and player health evaluations.

  33. Big Ten football is about graduation rates… SEC football doesn’t understand the concept of the student athlete

  34. In other words, LOOOOOOSER. Oh, in point of fact, the best graduation rates are in the ACC. The Big Ten’s at about 66 percent, the SEC at 60 percent. Big difference there.

  35. SEC is about rounding up [DELETED] who can run, who cares about education? They will be going pro after 3 years!

  36. Actually MAAAAAAAAAC…. we aren’t talking about the ACC. I’m talking about the Bigten compared to the SEC. And besides Vandy… your conference is a joke when it comes to graduation rates

  37. It’s about South Carolina 31, Ohio State 28 and South Carolina 24, Ohio State 7 in consecutive Outback Bowls.

  38. BigTen football is about having the team with the highest graduation rate out of the 10 BCS teams in 2008-2009

  39. BigTen football is about knowing Jim Tressel’s Cheverolet dealership he’s running up in Columbus is a joke

  40. Big 10 football is not about having the number in your name accurately reflect the number of teams in your conference.

  41. somebody please go to mlb gameday and look at those 2 strikes that were called on diaz. absurd, and something should be done about umpiring in the offseason.

  42. BigTen football is about having a coach donate millions of dollars to build a library and keep education the main focus

  43. If we’re done trying to justify the poor on-field product on offer from a certain football conference, we might talk some about how awesome Tommy Hanson is.

    Pretty awesome, I think.

  44. BigTen football is about not being “The SEC, with its deep Southern roots, perhaps not surprisingly was the last major conference in America to be integrated.”

  45. why do you let Hanson hit to start off the 8th, then let him dominate the 8th, and then say great game. With 98 pitches you let him finish it

  46. what’s up with Valverde’s little bow and hat tip after the strikeout? pitchers don’t like batters who show them up after homers so why does he hot dog it after a strikeout?

  47. That was a terrible call on McCann.

    It has been a very long time since we have seen a Braves’ baserunner.

  48. Rather than stick with the pitcher who is dominating (retired the last 7 in a row), let’s go with the worn down arm.

    I really hope it works.

  49. It’s not like he was losing velocity or movement; if anything he was most sharp in the 7th and 8th.

  50. While I agree with you Mac, I doubt Bobby is managing like the outcome doesn’t matter. He thinks this is the most likely approach to win.

  51. cant catch up to the fastball so throw him a slider, great job.

    btw, bring in Gonzo to face Lance

    edit: couldnt type it fast enough

  52. I don’t care if we win. I do care if Tommy Hanson comes up lame. Hence, bring in a reliever. I probably would have used Gonzalez or Moylan or some combination.

  53. I don’t want to suffer through any more innings of the Braves offense.

    Let’s win it here…or lose it here.

  54. @119

    Ugh, did daddy never come to your Little League games or what, you seem to have a pathological need for attention.

  55. If I was a water cooler I wouldn’t want to be within a bat’s length of tommy hanson … I imagine he’s looking for something to vent on right about now

  56. Comes up lame? Mac the kid has got to build up his arm to go the distance. Any great starting pitcher when the chance arises has to have it in him to go the distance. What better way to test his moxy than to leave him in a game that he has pitched lights out, and in a situation it doesnt matter if you win or lose. Taking him out, and losing looks a heck of a lot worse than leaving him in and having him blow it in the 9th.

  57. field your damn position Soriano. Lets send him out there tomorrow as well. Maybe Bobby is trying to lower next years price tag

  58. One inning doesn’t matter, especially when he only had thrown 94 pitches. If innings are a legitimate concern, then shut him down. If they’re not, then let him pitch. Anything in between is asinine.

  59. Good job Bobby. Mac he threw 98 pitches through 8. He at least deserved a chance to try to close out the game.

  60. Well this seals the deal for Cox… if any of you think this guy is still capable of managing this team to success I have no idea what game your watching

  61. Hanson, sub-100 pitches, had earned the chance to at least try and start that inning. Certainly he shouldn’t have been pulled for Soriano, who has rapidly become this team’s most useless member. This one’s on the manager, who needs to burn the book he’s going by.

  62. @135: Enough to ensure that closer must be this team’s top priority in the offseason.

  63. Mac is right, this game means nothing, Tommy Hanson is the franchise. He crossed the 100 IP mark on top of his workload from Gwinnett (66 IP). Tough call, but the right call to pull him.

    This is one of those, ‘man did we really have to use Soriano in the ninth even though we are up 6 games’. Guy is running on fumes, on top of being a guy who gets small late in games.

    No worries, Soriano will be gone next year, and Hanson will be a stud for years.

    Gotta get more offense. Oh that’s right we have Lowe and Chipper on the books for 30 mil the next 3 years. We are going to be stuck in this mode for years.

    Glass 1/2 full type of game, we lost, but gosh Hanson is a STUD.

  64. thanks bobby,

    thank you for tanking our closer’s arm. thanks for having him pitch on these dates when he could have used the rest: Aug 19, Jul 24, Jul 19, Jun 19, Jun 18, Jun 12, May 24, May 19, May 11. these are the games that the braves won by 5 or more that you used soriano in. you’ve been great, but your ship hit an iceberg.

    sincerely,
    ryan c

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