Braves 11, Mets 3

Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets – Box Score – September 21, 2009 – ESPN

The Braves jumped out to an 11-0 lead after their first three innings, and even Derek Lowe could hold that lead. Lowe has the magic run support beans, and this means that he has won fifteen games even though he is fortieth in the league — a league of only 47 qualifiers — in ERA. Three more years!

Prado was the main man in the offense, though there were several candidates. In the first, he doubled with McLouth on first. Chipper drove home Nate with a grounder, McCann walked, Yunel beat out a double play ball to score Prado, and ACHE hit a two-run homer to the upper deck to make it 4-0. Diaz hit a solo homer in the second to make it 5-0, then Lowe hit a “single” that a normal first baseman catches. McLouth grounded into a fielder’s choice, then Prado singled, and Chipper hit a homer to make it 8-0; Manuel was on his way to the mound before Chipper made it to third. McLouth and Prado added back-to-back doubles in the fourth that made it 11-1. The Braves did not get a single hit off four Mets relievers in the last six innings. That’s just weird.

Lowe wasn’t too sharp, but didn’t have to be. He’d allowed a run in the second, gave up a solo homer in the fourth, and a leadoff triple leading to a run in the fifth. All in all, six hits (three for extras), five strikeouts, and no walks. He’s not actually bad, but he’s just not worth the money. Kenshin Kawakami was sharp, though. He went four innings for a save, a pretty rare feat. He allowed only one hit and struck out three.

The Mets are really bad.

60 thoughts on “Braves 11, Mets 3”

  1. I may not live to see it, but someday someone will figure out that using two pitchers each game for seventy pitches instead of one for a hundred then one inning guys and specialists is much more effective in both keeping runs off the board and keeping pitchers healthy.

  2. To answer Smitty’s question from the last thread, HoRam did not pick up a four-inning save as a Brave. (In fact, HoRam has never earned a save in the majors.)

  3. #3 – Wouldn’t you think by now that a team or two would at least do this with their #4 and #5 spots? Fine, you don’t want to piss off your better pitchers but the other guys probably wouldn’t be in much of a position to complain. Maybe some teams are doing this and I’m just not paying attention.

  4. Not sure if this idea has already been floated, but if the Braves really wanted to move Lowe, trading him for Bradley might work. Seems like the Cubs would have to consider just about any offer for him right now.

  5. Tonight at Citi Field reminded me of a scene from Blazing Saddles:

    Taggert: “We’ll work up a Number 6 on ’em.”

    Hedley Lamarr: [frowns] “‘Number 6′? I’m afraid I’m not familiar with that one.”

    Taggert: “Well, that’s where we go a-ridin’ into town, a-whompin’ and a-whumpin’ every livin’ thing that moves within an inch of its life.”

    Poor Pat Misch.

    As Skip Caray liked to say, just can’t beat good fun at the old ballpark.

  6. at the game tonight
    with mets fan Casey Biggs of Star Trek
    he bought the ticket (great seats behind the Mets Dugout)
    so very happy to get to rub it in
    all 11 runs worth

    what is a realistic expectation for this team next year?

  7. @12 I have never expected this team to make the playoff this year, but I am expecting us to return to the playoff next season.

  8. 13,
    I think that’s what we’ve been dealing with since the off-season, really. We were just hoping to get everything for 2010 settled in 2009, honestly. I think most of it got accomplished. But nobody realistically expected this team to be in the playoffs this time last year. 2010 was always the target date.

  9. Looking thru my scorebook, I noticed the lengths of the last 3 NL games I attended—2:32 (tonight), 2:42 (Chi/NYM) & 2:50 (SD/Atl).

    Last 3 AL games—3:52 (Tor/NYY), 3:50 (Tex/NYY) & 3:54 (Bos/NYY).

    I sure like NL ball a whole lot better.

  10. It’s possible that the Braves aren’t even as good as their record. Playing the Mets and Nats will do exaggerate anyone’s sense of self. Whatever, it’s a win.

  11. The San Diego and Cincinnati series’ were pretty baffling. Then the sweep of the Cardinals.

    I gave up trying to figure this team out a long time ago. However, this team is so much better than last year I just appreciate every win.

  12. The small pleasures of being a Braves fan in NYC: 11-5 vs. the Mets with a chance of going 13-5.

    Beware, however—I’m told RobBroad4th will be at the Wednesday night game.

  13. Better yet, why don’t we just trade Derek Lowe to the Mets and then watch him win eighteen games while cussing at each other for being a bunch of complete morons.

    By the way, Derek Lowe has twenty quality starts. Only a handful of starting pitchers can say that. Is he overpaid? Of course but would you rather have A.J Burnett for 16.5 million per season through 2013?

    Burnett is 11-9 with an ERA of 4.22 and 20 quality starts. 16.5 million per year.

    Lowe is 15-9 with and ERA of 4.55 and 20 quality starts. 15 million per year.

  14. @21 – Did you just try to compare a guy with a 4.22 ERA in the American League (and toughest division) to a guy with a 4.55 ERA in the National League??? Really? Add an extra point to Lowe’s ERA to make up the difference in leagues. And I hate quality starts as a stat (except for # of innings pitched). Whoever came out and said a 4.50 ERA (3 ER in 6 innings) was “Quality” was sorely mistaken.

    Also, I don’t think anyone HATES having him on the team – he isn’t that bad of a pitcher. He simply is not worth the money, and I think everyone wishes we had that money for a big bat next year.

  15. Anyone else notice that Prado is red-hot again? Just after everyone was getting on his case for the slump, he comes back with this again. I just wish we knew which one to expect next year.

  16. Well, Joshua, I generally agree with you except for this quote

    And I hate quality starts as a stat (except for # of innings pitched). Whoever came out and said a 4.50 ERA (3 ER in 6 innings) was “Quality” was sorely mistaken.

    The vast majority of quality starts are better than the minimal quality starts. Also, allowing 3 runs in 6 IP will allow your team to win more often than not.

  17. 18,

    I’m sure if we were still in the hunt for the Wild Card, people would be offering bribes to not attend Wednesday’s game. For future reference, I will accept beer, but it has to be good and there’s gotta be a lot of it.

  18. Josh, so many fans do not understand nor grasp the concept of a what a quality start represents.

    Six inning, three earned runs and a 4.5 ERA is the cut off, not the standard. Anything below this is a quality start, everything else isn’t. Even if a pitcher goes 5.2 innings and gives up zilch, it doesn’t count.

    Here is what I mean concerning Lowe’s 2009 stats.

    Derek Lowe’s ERA in his twenty quality starts below the standard is 2.83 and Lowe is 12-4, while the team is 13-7.

    The other twelve starts: An ERA of 9.00 and Lowe is 3-9, while the team is 7-5.

    And one more thing. The American League superiority concept is a myth which only exists in the All-Star game. The last eight WS are equally divided 4-4 between the two Leagues and the NL has actually out homered the AL the last five years running (Bet you didn’t know that) while the AL has stolen more bases (Shocking isn’t it???).

  19. Actually, the correct numbers are:

    Derek Lowe’s ERA in his twenty quality starts below the standard is 2.83 and Lowe is 13-4, while the team is 13-7.

    The other twelve starts: An ERA of 9.00 and Lowe is 2-5, while the team is 7-5.

  20. @26,

    Uh, coach, it’s not just the All-Star Game. The AL had dominated inter-league play for the last several years; this year, the AL had a .575 winning percentage. You must know that don’t you? You know everything else. Saying AL superiority is a myth based on the World Series is absurd. It’s like saying the Royals are better than the Yankees because they won a series from them.

    The fact is, the AL typically kicks the NL’s ass; it’s no different than in the 70s and 80s when teh NL was better but the AL frequently won the World Series. The nature of the game is that anyone can win a short series.

  21. #28,

    He says “The hate for Francoeur is beyond me. He embodies all that is good with professional baseball. Why would you hate someone that works hard to improve himself, wants to win, and has fun doing it?”

    Yes, yes, please sign him to a 3 year deal, Mets. He’s got it all figured out now. And if he forgets how to hit for a couple of years, he’s super willing to temporarily go down to AAA and “work hard to improve himself”.

  22. For Tennessee folk:

    Does Lane Kiffin have a regular coach’s TV show down there?

    This guy’s a laugh-a-minute. I’m sure it’s way more entertaining than “The Bill Battle Show” ever was.

  23. Um 29, you are right and you are wrong. Basing AL dominance solely on head to head inter-league play is flawed at best.

    Try home vs. road inter-league records. You might be surprised. The DH is a definite advantage for the AL at home but not in NL parks.

  24. So what is the AL’s road record in interleague play Coach? You might be right, but a good debater will provide stats to back up a claim such as that.

    I don’t claim to be all-wise, but I would like to see the stats that back up your claim the AL is not dominant on the road in interleague play. Because based on my personal view (which may be wrong of course), the AL has been kicking butt the last 4-5 years.

    EDIT: An example is in post 29, where Marc cited the AL’s .575 winning percentage in all interleague games. Of course I’m probably pointing out the glaringly obvious, so I’ll just hush now.

  25. @34,

    I don’t understand how you can say basing AL dominance on interleague play is “flawed at best” but basing NL equality on a much smaller sample size of the World Series is not. Plus, you do have the All-Star game results. I’m not enough of a statistician to know for sure, but it seems to me that the home-road argument you make, if valid, would mean that the leagues should be roughly equal in interleague play since they play half in the NL and half in the AL parks. In any event, as Seat Painter notes, you provide no evidence that the DH is the primary factor in the interleague record.

  26. whether the AL is better or not, AL pitchers face a DH instead of a pitcher, and so AL games are tougher to pitch in and AL: games score more runs, so the difference between Burnette and Lowe is greater than the mere ERA comparison. Look, Lowe hasn’t been that bad; he just hasn’t been that good. I expected a mid to high 3 ERA, not 4 and a half a game. I wonder if our poor fielding infield (range) has hurt him a lot.

  27. The Braves probably fare pretty well in AL parks, considering the team is full of DH’s. Seriously, priority number 1 needs to be getting better defensively. 23rd in defensive efficiency won’t cut it.

  28. Did you guys know that Frank Wren is a born-again Christian and serves on the board of a Christian academy? Tell that to the average Braves fan and I guarantee you they’d forget Smoltz and Glavine, and even would let him fire Cox and THEN would want to elect him President of the United States.

  29. 37, I’ll agree to disagree. It’s just my opinion. Putting an AL team in an NL park equalizes them against the NL opponent. Whereas it is not equal for an NL team in an AL park. The NL pitchers are not used to contending with the DH while most of the same NL teams don’t have an equal DH type player.

    Or simply put, the AL has a competitive advantage but I don’t believe one league is superior to the other talent wise.

    I’m a baseball purist and am opposed to the DH on principle. But I also believe if the NL adopted the DH whatever perceived AL superiority or advantage would disappear, although I truly wish the DH wold go away but we all know that ain’t gonna happen.

  30. At any rate I should go through all thirty teams inter league schedules for the past thirteen seasons and compare win/loss records in AL and NL parks. The results will probably be predictable one way or the other.

  31. coach, just admit you were wrong. yesterday, i did it when i said laroche was an above average defensive first baseman. i was proven wrong and i admitted i was wrong. you were proven wrong and you try to find some loophole. there is no loophole.

  32. Coach –

    My argument that Lowe’s ERA would be much higher in the AL has nothing to do with one league’s superiority to the other (I don’t know where that came from – but, just so you know, the AL is superior at this time). The argument was because the AL has the DH. It is a well known fact that you can take just about any pitcher from the AL, stick them in the NL and you will see the ERA decrease. It isn’t that hard to figure. Also, your argument for Lowe has been his quality starts, but you seem to completely disregard that 9 ERA in his other 12 starts. That is a big OUCH! Again, would rather have him than not – just not at that price. He is not worth 15 mil a year.

  33. I’ve stated this on here before, but I don’t know what anyone else thinks about it. I think the ALs superiority stems mostly from their top teams (i.e. Boston, NY, Anahiem). They appear to be much better than our top teams. However, I don’t think the mid to lower level teams are much better than the NLs. I believe alot of the ALs dominance in interleague play is because they have a roster built around an extra bat. We have more players that play utility/bench roles. It is hard to compete when you have an AL team throwing David Ortiz out as a DH while you throw a guy like Infante out there. But yes, they are the better league right now.

  34. I don’t think Bobby’s a goner, but I do think it’s funny that the two things that most pissed him off were two of the unequivocally good baseball decisions Wren made. I think that’s quite telling.

    Also, I love this Lane Kiffin stuff: “But asked whether he was worried about the flu also hitting Tennessee, he said: “I don’t know. I guess we’ll wait and after we’re not excited about a performance, we’ll tell you everybody was sick.”

    Love it:

    (hey, how do I hyperlink on this site?)

  35. @48 That and their superior small market teams. If it’s not Tampa, it’s Minnesota or Oakland or Cleveland or now Texas. While the AL boasts of only the Royals (even Baltimore and Seattle are moving rapidly in the right direction), the NL gives us Pittsburgh, Washington, San Diego, Cincinnati, and Houston.

    Having to deal regularly with the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox has forced the smaller market AL teams to reorient their business models around deep farm systems–around the Tampa model, really. Texas, Oakland, Tampa–these are deep organizations. They may not work out, but they have a chance that San Diego or Cincinnati never would have as currently constituted. You

  36. I don’t know where some have gotten the idea that Wren “can’t” fire/not re-sign Bobby. Ownership is a corporation that just wants to maximize its profits from the Braves. If replacing Bobby with somebody else leads to more wins, a playoff berth, more fans in the seats, and more revenues, they’ll be onboard for the decision. Team President John Shuerholz is not one for sentimentality. After all he traded Justice and Grissom and let Maddux and Glavine leave in free agency. I’m sure that if Wren makes the judgment (which he should) that Bobby isn’t getting the job done anymore and needs to be replaced, he has the authority, organizational backing, and courage to make a move.

  37. @28, the best part is in the comments where the authors’ (presumably) brother defends Frenchy’s miserable OBP by saying “If you haven’t noticed even the best hitters of all time make outs 70% of the time”. Not exactly a bright group running the site over there.

  38. I know that he’s from New York, but you’d think that a pitcher who’s finally having some major league success would be wary of leaping into the Slough of Despond.

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