Braves 9, Cardinals 2

Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Box Score – September 13, 2009 – ESPN

So, did the Braves just sweep the team that entered the series with the best record in the National League? I believe they did. Did a team that just fell out of the playoff hunt have a 5-1 road trip that should have been 6-0? Looks that way. This is a weird ballclub.

The Braves, whom I will remind you are completely out of it and devoid of hope, got yet another dominating pitching performance, this time from Javier Vazquez, who humiliated Cy Young candidate Chris Carpenter. Through eight innings he had — hey, this is a pattern! — a three-hit, no walk shutout going, though he had eight strikeouts instead of seven. Because of the big lead and because he hadn’t worked hard — he finished the game at 94 pitches — Bobby left him out there. Vazquez lost the shutout, giving up four straight singles to start the inning, but still got the complete game, the Braves’ first 9-inning CG of the year.

The Braves got all the offense they needed in the third. Playing without Chipper — who is completely and utterly out of gas — and McCann — regular day off — they put together a two-out rally, getting six hits and a walk to score six runs. LaRoche hit a bases-loaded double to score two runs, Yunel followed with a single to drive in two more, and then Diaz finished the inning with another two-run single. Later in the game, Diaz was twice hit by pitches and twice scored, on a single by McLouth in the sixth and a double by Ross in the eighth. LaRoche capped the scoring with a homer in the ninth.

79 thoughts on “Braves 9, Cardinals 2”

  1. Did Chipper actually get hurt (enough to miss a couple games at least) on the play yesterday, or just tweaked a bit?

  2. No, Jon K, not everything is possible. But, there’s hope of a .500 season, and that’s change I can live with after the last couple of years.

  3. More suprising than the sweep is that we scored 7 runs off Carpenter. Nobody has been able to do that this year. This is so frustrating – if this ballclub could play a lick against bad teams, we’d be hell to deal with in the playoffs.

  4. Everything IS possible Jeff M. Wise up kid. It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen… but! it can happen. The schedule plays out nicely, we will prob avoid Lee in our series with the phils, we play the nats 7 times, therefore there still is a chance. With the pitching and some timely hitting it is possible. Obviously the chances are slim of the playoffs but if they can put a string together who knows? And I hope your kidding with hope of a .500 season? Please son, as a fan I expect more out of you. That’s just pathetic that your sitting there hoping for a .500 season, who cares if they finish above .500? If they miss the playoffs they miss the playoffs, there is no glory in your final record if your not in the postseason. Come on now Jeff M… step your game up

  5. Jeff M–you’re lucky you were just told “wise up” and given a paragraph long rant. You might have been called a mouse turd.

  6. 1-2 against Baltimore, 3-4 against Pittsburgh, 3-6 against Cincy. That really has been the difference, and it’s devalued otherwise impressive performances- we have winning records against all three division leaders and went 4-4 against the Rockies.

  7. Carpentar’s outing might have knocked me out of my fantasy playoffs. Who knew the Braves would unload on him?

  8. One more note on playing bad teams- the Braves are 37-33 against all sub-.500 teams they’ve played this season and 38-35 against all opponents over .500.

  9. In order to be right in it for the division/wild card at the end what do you think the braves have to go in the next 15?

    I changed my mind… I think they have to be right around 10-5 or 11-4 and hope for some good breaks with the phils and marlins. I mean with the teams on the schedule I don’t think that’s beyond the realm of possible?

  10. Knowing this team, they will play great these next 2 weeks or so and miss the playoffs by 1 or 2 games. haha wouldn’t that be something

  11. Jon, do the math.

    The Phillies have 21 games left, including their game this evening. Their WP for the season is .574. If they play that well for their remaining games, they would go 12-9, to finish at 93-69.

    The Braves have already lost 68 games. The Braves would thus have to go 19-0 to win the division, 18-1 to tie.

    Get the point, Jon?

  12. 13-2….at the least. phils are not going to lose much. if the braves went 13-2, they would have a legitimate shot. that is why i am not getting too excited about this run. it’s just not happening. it’s not impossible, but neither is martin prado hitting 6 homeruns in 1 game.

  13. If the Phils keep running out Brad Lidge to close, an epic September collapse is entirely possible. I doubt the Braves can play well enough the remaining few weeks to catch them anyway, but who knows?

  14. Carpenter was way overdue for a bad game and I’ll tell you why. He was starting on five days rest instead of the usual four. Pitchers are fickle creatures, sometimes more is less.

    Chipper and McCann sit, we bomb the Cardinals and sweep??? What a strange game this baseball is. Then the Falcons win, geesh!!!! Don’t wake me up, I know this is a wet dream.

  15. Wow, I narrowly avoided being called a mouse turd. Phew! It’s not everyday that this happens (normally, my children indulge in calling me other turd species, though sometimes they just prefer a simple, old fashion human sh*t head).

    As for stepping up, I’ve done that a couple of times this year. Everytime, however, that I have done so and begun to hope for movement in the standings, the Braves seem to tense up and lose a few. At the same time, I’ve also found that this team has been most enjoyable after they have been written off (since that’s happened a couple of times already). So perhaps, I’m not hoping enough, and thus am not stepping up my game as a fan. I’ll remain, for now, committed to .500. Once the team gets there, I’ll think about a secondary goal.

    I do appreciate the advice, pops, er Jon K. I’ve been in sore need of fatherly advice for some time, and I’ll definitely get it wherever I can. :-)

  16. LaRoche, killin’ rallies left and right. Good to see Kelly Johnson have a good game again, though. The Braves are 9-1 in games he’s started since coming off the DL and he now has a .912 OPS during that span.

  17. Smitty,

    Maybe if your barber can get us Mariano Rivera and A-Rod for Jo Jo Reyes and the Yankees pick up the salary difference. Maybe.

  18. To add some more hope, Colorado lost again today. Down to six in the loss column. They face the Giants on Mon, Tues, and Wed with Lincecum, Zito, and Cain going. Things could get interesting again, if the Giants swept them and we swept the Mets.

  19. Reverse the result of the Reds series and there would indeed be cause for hope, but we can’t do that.

  20. #19 whoopee he’s played well in 10 games. That really makes up for the whole rest of the season that he sucked.

  21. Well, it could mean there was something to his DL stint, or value in the instruction he received at Gwinnett.

  22. KJ’s September production doesn’t mean a damn thing. The dude hit .398 last September after turning in a .237 BA in August of 08. When the season is on the line, he disappears. With no pressure, he hits.

    KJ’s a platoon player at best, nothing more.

  23. Yeah, no pressure in the Dodgers series when he homered twice in two nights to help us win. Let’s face it, he was given too much time earlier in the season and not enough since he’s come off the DL. It would be understandable had Prado produced the last two months, but he hasn’t.

    I would estimate that for the Braves to remain in contention over the next 15 games that 14-1 is the minimum. Unfortunately, I don’t think the offense will bail Lowe out enough times, otherwise we could pray for 1-0 and 2-1 victories.

  24. its good to see the team playing well, but this is the same team who hasnt had a six game winning streak all year. To have any real shot the braves need to go like 16-3 or 17-2 and then have the Phils struggle also. This is the same team who doesnt play well against Wash and just got swept at home by the Reds. Its fun, but they have no real shot

  25. The dude hit .398 last September after turning in a .237 BA in August of 08. When the season is on the line, he disappears. With no pressure, he hits.

    Good Lord. So many things wrong with this:

    1. The 2008 team was out of it in August too. Please remember how bad that team was: 72-90, no real starting rotation, 20 games out of first.

    2. Johnson’s second best month in 2008 was, by far, in May; one of the few points that crappy team was in it. Does that count for nothing or does it only matter in the regular season when a player hits if their team is in contention (not a lock or eliminated) and it’s August-September?

    3. Johnson, since coming off the DL this year, has an OPS over .900.

    4. Prado’s line since the All Star break: .253/291/.368 (not including today’s 1-5)

    Johnson hits poorly on a non-contending team in August and that is unacceptable to you Coach, but your boy Prado has sucked since the All Star break on what was an actual contender and it’s crickets from you.

  26. Ar…another KJ discussion. Time to give up on him guys. He will be making way too much for a guy who is unpredictable. At least Prado will not be making more than $4M next season like KJ will.

    I was a big KJ fan, but I have seen enough of him to conclude that he only delivers when you have no expectation on him. Once you think he has turned the corner, he will suck again.

  27. Taylor Swift was giving her acceptance speech for best video and Kanye got on stage, cut her off, and said, “Beyonce’s Single Ladies video was one of the best of all time and should have won”

    Really kind of sad

  28. Lucky as hell. I still don’t know why Green Bay went for 2 at the end, but I’m plenty glad they did.

    Raiders? Many doubts. I’m giving the 8.5.

  29. I get that but, if the Pack kicks the PAT, they’re up by 5 and still have a chance of winning the game with a comeback FG (if there’s any time).

    If the Bears score a quick TD & miss their 2 pointer, which they’d have to try, it’s only 21-20.

    To me, that’s way more valuable than worrying about a kicker missing a PAT.

  30. Kanye West is a racist pig and the shoe is on the other foot.

    O Yea, the Packers/Bears football game. Damn entertaining.

    Yo 35, my boy Prado? Say what!!! KJ and Prado are equally unimpressive and you just don’t get it the mental side of the game. My two cents: our Braves need to take a shot at Orlando Hudson as a free agent this off season.

  31. @52
    i see the post was late so i hope you were drunk when you put that up. let me see, we have prado, infante, kj, and conrad, 2 glaring holes in the pen and at first, and you want to go pick up orlando hudson? prado’s career stats are just as good or better than orlando hudson’s at a fraction of the cost.

    also, wasnt your “2 cents” last week to pick up dan uggla? you told me last week that i would argue with a fencepost. well, if the fencepost is posting drivel, then you’re right. give me one decent reason why we should go pick up orlando hudson when we have 4 “in-house” 2nd basemen.

  32. I can’t believe I don’t see any commentary on what is THE single most impressive pitching performance of the season, if not EVER. 8 innings, 6 hits, 2 bb, 7Ks… All pitched only using his middle finger. Pedro put the icing on the cake that is his HOF career last night.

  33. Ryan C

    Kanye is a racist. What exactly are you getting at? Were you drunk when you posted? A little early morning sip of grampa’s cough medicine this morning?

  34. Pedro just using his middle finger to pitch…that’s a post full of win.

    (Did this old geezer use teh internetz slang correctly? Or did I just FAIL?)

  35. haha well then if he didn’t I take it back. I figured he was since that was the first comment Coach said. Sry Ryan

  36. When did 8IP of 6hits become the most impressive pitching performance of the season? Against that mets team its not even a top 10 performance. You should be able to shut down that lineup. Buerhle still has the best performance of the season. Im sure Lincecum, Haren, Grienke, and many more would be up there ahead of that also

  37. Is it possible to sign LaRoche only for the second half of next season? :) That seems to be when he has the most value.

    By the way, the Pedro performance was impressive considering how he was supposed to be washed up even against a bad team. He is a hell of a pitcher, not just a thrower. And, did anyone see Francoeur’s at-bat as a pinch hitter in the 9th? Strike one swinging on a low pitch, strike two fouled off, strike three swinging at a pitch over his head. Still the same old Jeffy despite his improved, empty batting average.

  38. Casey Kotchman for Adam LaRoche is one of the best trades of Frank Wren’s career. Hosing Theo Epstein isn’t the easiest thing to do, and none of us was all that thrilled at the time, but damn. Adam kicked it into a gear that Casey has never even sniffed in the majors.

  39. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney:

    The Braves are interested in discussing a contract extension with Tim Hudson, and if they can make that work, they presumably will somehow fold the $12MM 2010 option into that deal. This, of course, would free up a starting pitcher for Atlanta to trade.

  40. Raiders? Many doubts. I’m giving the 8.5.

    SD -8.5 is a no brainer. You can’t get anything less than 10 anywhere. It’s 10.5 at some books.

  41. Vazquez

    That’s a rotation that could easily win 75+ games. I’m glad I’m not Frank Wren… I couldn’t make that decision.

  42. somebody on MLBTR has suggested that because KK pitches will under pressure (does he? I’m now trying to remember) we should move him to the closer role for next year. Of course I think you’d need a different training regimen to be a closer, and in theory the reason you’d keep him around was because he’d be a valuable starter if somebody went down… so not sure about that idea (ignoring the “offending your new Japanese fans” aspect).

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    Vawls, LOL.

  44. Also, a sepcial thanks to Mac for picking VU to hang with the Tigers in Baton Rouge. I thought we would, too. I guess I should be happy that we covered the spread in a night game at Death Valley in which we lost several starters to injury and played with handless receivers. But, I’m not.

  45. KK survives on command, guts, and guile. He is not closer material.

    KK (after April) has showed that he is capable of being a #3 on a so so team or a #4 on an elite team.

    A lot of stuff on the “dumb ass corner” ( about Kawakami’s contract being bad. In fact, even from Schultz in his article. He has performed right in there with or just slightly below (or slightly above) Marquis, Penny, Wolf and the middle tier of FA starters. Those guys will be looking at 3 years, 10 a year to more. Kawakami has 2 years left at about 7 a year. That is a PLUS contract. Not a minus.

  46. Is there any way we can pawn Lowe off on another club, even if we had to pickup part of the salary? Would it be worth it? What about a contract restructure similar to what Andruw and the dodgers did?

  47. Frank, please don’t trade Javy! He may be the most tradable, but that doesn’t mean he should be traded.

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