Early overreaction game thread: April 9, Braves at Giants

I have decided that if he doesn’t do something to impress me today (assuming he starts) I will in fact start calling Cabrera “Smelky”. He should be honored, Wes Smelms has had a twelve year career and made over $12 million.

292 thoughts on “Early overreaction game thread: April 9, Braves at Giants”

  1. Time to start a new winning streak.

    Ah, “Chelsea.” One of my faves. In fact, Elvis still plays that one. Really showcases the band.

    From previous thread:
    Saw Soundgarden opening for Guns N’ Roses at MSG (“Badmotorfinger” era). They were fine & then we had to wait forever for Axl to show up.

    When they finally hit the stage, they came out blazing with “Welcome to the Jungle.” Place goes mad. Then Axl launches into a 5-minute diatribe against a newspaper review he got that day. Nobody cared. Totally killed the vibe.

  2. Any guesses about the lineup tonight? I’d like to see Yunel move into the 3 spot while Chipper is out. And with a lefty going this is the perfect chance for Diaz to move into the lineup and have McLouth move back to leadoff.

  3. Guess:


    Maybe switch Diaz and Yunel.

  4. From the previous – billy jay, that video was…not good. That’s really the best I can do.

  5. Actually, McCann might get the day off. Revised guess:


  6. is Chipper out? I really want chipper in there against LH, he should probably just hit RH all the time now anyways. Lineup should be (if Nate isnt going to leadoff against RH he shouldnt against LH)

    Diaz, Prado, Chipper, Glaus, Yunel, Ross, Heyward, Nate

  7. I like your lineup a lot better, Stu (though I do like Yunel hitting third). Looks like McLouth/Melky/Diaz are in a weird platoon in which Melky plays every day. Dislike.

  8. Actually, Stu, in that link Bowman has both Prado and Omar at second, unless I’m misreading him.

  9. 14—DOB tweeted right after and had Prado at third. My link was confusing, though, yes. :)

  10. ububba,

    I’ve seen Soundgarden once, with the Big F and Voivod. Man, that was a good show, but well before Soundgarden hit their stride. Still, I have a lot of respect for Chris, even if he cranks out a couple of duds as a solo artist.

  11. I understand giving mac the day off but it really hurts when Chipper’s not in the line up either. Did we get swept by the Giants last year?

  12. Although I tend to agree with Joe West here, he should have the good sense to shut up and let his on-field actions speak louder.

    Instead, it’s just become another petty personality conflict.

  13. It really should be a Diaz/Hinske platoon in left. Diaz rakes against lefties, and Hinske hits like a starter against righties. Smelky can play anyone’s position if anyone gets nicked up, and can do late-inning defensive replacement or pinch running work, but there’s no reason to give him regular starting time.

    Yes, I’m jumping the gun on calling him Smelky.

  14. Did you see any of the Sox-Yanks games? Mind numbingly slow and dull. And umpires are most certainly NOT doing much about it – I suspect MLB would make short work of the first one to try without an express mandate to do so from the Commisioner’s Office. Watch this – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bOItMY3osQ

    It’s bullshit and angers the crap out of me.

  15. The Yankee-Red Sox games are ridiculous. Joe West had no business saying what he had, since he contributes to the problem with small strike zones, but these games are interminable. If you want shorter games, just give them a clock as in football; if the pitcher doesn’t throw a pitch within, say, 25 seconds, it’s a ball. There is no reason for pitchers to take all day to throw a pitch; I don’t care what the game situation is. If they are afraid to pitch, get their ass out of there. They don’t give quarterbacks more time to get a play off if it’s third and three in the fourth quarter. do something comparable for hitters. Don’t let them step out of the box continually to play with themselves. Call strikes; make the hitters swing the damn bat. Build ball parks with more foul territory so that some of the foul balls are outs. Require pitchers to face at least two (preferably three)hitters, thus eliminating LOOGYs and reducing the amount of overmanaging by the Tony LaRussas of the world. There are things you can do, but the biggest problem is the players don’t give a damn–they have nowhere to do so they don’ tmind if playoff games end at 1:30 in the morning.

  16. spike, I have to admit that I won’t watch a Yankees/Red Sox game unless my only alternative is eating razor blades. Still, the length of baseball games is determined primarily by how well the two teams can avoid making outs. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the best teams play the longest games.

  17. The playing time isn’t the issue – it’s the interminable timeouts and batting glove adjustments that slow it up. And there are rules on the books to take care of this that aren’t enforced – for example, pitchers only have 12 seconds to pitch after getting the ball back. Batters have to be granted time to get out of the box. Umpires can assess balls and strikes for violations. West was an idiot for going to the press about it, but what else can he do? I guarantee you the first umpire that calls a strike on Jetes when he is out of the box has worked his last game.

  18. Joe West really couldn’t be more right. I have no problem with what he said or him saying it. The pace of baseball is already too slow (frankly I would never dream of just sitting down and watching a baseball game, I have to be doing something else too. And I love baseball) and the Yanks-Sox games are ridiculous.

    There’s really not much to be done. Much like golf, if the players want to play slow, they can, and any attempt to enforce pace of play rules will be ultimately counter-productive.

    Melky’s going to do something today.

  19. @26

    Do what? Two strikeouts, a weak dribbler to short, and a medium length flyout to left?

    I hope he does something more, and I’m being guilty of not looking at sample size. So, I will give him a few more ABs before pulling a mac on him. (Say 20 more or so…)

  20. I really dislike Melky Cabrera. We all new Bobby would play hi everyday but to bat him leadoff and dump Mclouth is just bad.

  21. Time for some controversy. Rather than put more clocks and the like on batters and pitchers, here’s what I’d propose:

    (1) Eliminate the DH.
    (2) Four foul balls you’re out.
    (3) Every pitcher who enters the game must face at least three batters, except in the case of injury.

  22. Melky is a switch hitter. That means he has the oppturnity to be equally bad from both sides of the plate. Mclouth is a lefty. He is only allowed to be average from one side of the plate.

  23. And right handed hitters can run to third instead of first, because they’re closer to that base anyway!

  24. You know something, if the umpires want the game to move faster, then call the strike zone by the book.

  25. @34 – I think nearly all umps (Gregg aside) are professionals and sincerely do their best to call balls and strikes by the book. Enlarging the strike zone may be an option.

  26. Jeff,

    I respectfully disagree with you as far as the umps calling the strikezone by the book. While I’m sure, most try, many do not call anything above the belt.

    Dusty also has a great point.

  27. @37 – You didn’t disagree with me. Of course some umps call a higher strike zone that’s more consistent with the armpit. My view is that I don’t think umps call balls that they think are strikes, and vice versa. So telling umps to call the game by the book isn’t going to speed up games.

  28. Hm. I’m used to nicknaming Mets players with “Smell-“. Smelltrán, Smellfrey, Smellgado, Smelliciano. Even Jerry Manu-smell.

  29. @41 – I think he does disagree with you. That umpires sincerely call balls and strikes as they see them is not the question, it’s whether they care that their judgment aligns with the definition in the rulebook. The evidence suggests they don’t particularly care to enforce the book definition.

    So how will forcing them to use the bigger book definition not speed up games? Is it your view that they are incapable? I think it’s far more likely that they realize they just don’t have to and are sticking with their own versions. With stricter oversight and guidance that can easily change.

  30. I said increasing the size of the strike zone is an option. I’d just prefer to speed up games in a way that addresses problems in the game (DH, LOOGYs, etc.) not just create more strikes.

  31. Matt Diaz strikes out with the runner on third. Clearly he should be sent to Gwinnett.

  32. It’s clearly killing the Braves that Diaz has been sitting on the bench when he could have been striking out with men on base.

  33. Nice brisk three infield outs for Huddy.

    @54 – Yeesh. The point was tongue-in-cheek. The poor man has had exactly one at bat. You guys are a tough crowd.

  34. Yunel couldn’t move the runners up, so thus the Glaus fly ball was wasted.

    The braves have now scored in 6 of 26 offensive innings.

    In comparison, the Phils have scored in 12 of 27 innings.

  35. Oh we weren’t being sarcastic? I thought we were having a little fun at the expense of AJC blog commentors…

    And a little at Alex R..

  36. I hope that Bobby uses a Hinske/Infante platoon while Chipper is out instead of just playing Infante everyday.

  37. So far Chip has said Bobby was making his last appearance in this series (He meant this was his last series in San Fran), that both runners moved up on Glaus’ flyball (Prado did not) and that Renteria took care of business that inning (he meant Yunel.)

  38. Um, Chip, we’re in San Francisco. There isn’t going to be a fan reaction to Heyward you moron.

  39. I wonder if stupup is working ESPN Gamecast today? There have been 2-3 pitches called as balls but shown on the pitch tracker as right down the middle. Hilarious.

  40. “Now, let’s listen to how the Giants fans react to Heyward’s first appearance”

    followed by no reaction



  42. Brian J,

    You mean like in the bay? I don’t think that the fishes would be too happy with that.

  43. My point above was these umpires have such egos that they call what they want to. To me, it seems most of these guys shrink the zone vs. being by the book.

    My thing is that if the strike zone was enforced by the book, the batters would be more agressive and thus the ball would either be by them or in play, thus shortening games. (That or some slub pitcher would be getting killed.)

  44. Nah, this is San Francisco. Put him on someone’s compost pile. Environmentally friendly, donchaknow.


    Okay, you don’t have to tell me, I’ll give it rest…

  46. Ah Prado… can’t even advance the runner…

    On an off topic, does anybody here speak Espanol?

  47. Chip Caray: “Now let’s see if Troy Glaus can make contact to bring a run in….”


  48. Agreed- with all of Glaus’ K’s, why are we assuming that he can get a ball into the outfield?

  49. Look, I hate the bunt as much as the next guy, but after yesterdays complaining of a lack of offense, what do you want? If Esco DP’s there everyone would cry about that too.

  50. Right now, with this lineup, the big inning is almost an impossibility.

    (Edit) Glaus also clogs the bases.

  51. BELTED!

    Yeah, one run should be enough the way Huddy looked so far. CG shutout, my prediction.

    BTW, the umpire has a very inconsistent strikezone. “One of the best in the game”, as Chip put it.

  52. Two reasons Bobby had Yunel bunt: Yunel failed to move the runners up his first time, Bobby’s giving him a reminder without saying anything. Execute or I’ll do it for you.

    Second, a vote of confidence for Troy. Put him in a spot where that same flyout could get him an RBI, short-circuit any chances of him from getting in his own head.

    And Troy came through with a single instead. So much the better.

  53. Ayudame, por favor. Soy un estudiante in clase de Espanol. El clase no es dificil, es Espanol uno cero uno. Pero yo tengo un oral examen final hoy, y yo neccesito cinco o seis oracions to impress mi entresvistador.

  54. My guess is that Yunel missed the swing sign, bunted, and is now in the shit house.

  55. Presumably because your number three hitter has an oblique strain? Just a guess though.

    Seriously. He isn’t the number 3 hitter. He’s the 6 hitter. He just profiles as a better 3 than anyone else available today.

  56. J-Hey seems to be having a bit of trouble laying off the slider in the dirt….last night and today

  57. my first tip: try to avoid “to impress” in Spanish. heh heh.

    As a language teacher, my suggestion isn’t to try to impress your instructor with stuff you haven’t learned. It’s fine, I guess, but, you just don’t need to.

    Like a real conversation… ask the instructor questions too.

    But in a forced conversation way… answer everything in complete sentences.

    Just some thoughts.

  58. desert.. what do you need… what kind of sentences.. something like: Me gusta mucho su esposa, me la puede prestar por una noche?

  59. They don’t have slider’s like that in the minor leagues. And considering how many BAD lefties make it to the bigs, there are no good lefties in the minors either.

    He’s going to look like Andruw a lot this year. But it isn’t because he isn’t ready. He’s never going to learn to hit those pitches in the minors, because he’s not going to see them there.

    We just have to see how quickly he adjusts.

  60. Thanks, Chad. I don’t know the verb infinitive ‘to impress’. Did you take Spanish here at the Y too, or is that from your miss? For the oral exams, I find that I always kind of forget stuff in the heat of the moment, so I try to write generic stuff before I go in and spout it out in case I get into trouble. Nothing too fancy, but something. What kind of questions are appropriate for me to ask?

    Thanks for the feedback.


    Something that involves a little less hitting on 67-year old men’s spouses…

  61. Forgive this possibly taboo question, but if Heyward struggles at Schaferian proportions, will Bobby wait until June to send him to Gwinnett?

  62. 107 – Agreed

    Not doom and glooming, just observing. He’s gonna see a lot of junk for a while.

  63. Desert, to make it easy, give the sentences in english and I’ll do the translation.

  64. Hmm, well still the minimum number of batters and only about 35 pitches. Line ’em, mow ’em down.

  65. Roberto,

    Thanks. Here’s one- I lived in Atlanta from 1997 to 1999. Yo vivi (preterite) en Atlanta de Un mil nueve cien y noventa siete a Un mil nueve cien y noventa nueve?

  66. You know, this may be sacrilege, but I don’t necessarily hate Yunel’s idea to lay down a sac bunt. He struck out his first time up and twice on Wednesday. I disliked the bunt after he got ahead in the count 2-0.

    But we scored two runs. I’ll take ’em.

  67. @121: Vivi (yo) en Atlanta entre mil novecientos novento y siete y mil novecientos noventa y nueve.

  68. Martin was right to hold up on the single in the third, but he really should have been able to get to third on that. It wasn’t hit that hard and we’re not talking about Clemente in right field.

  69. I lived in Atlanta from 1997 to 1999. Yo vivi (preterite) en Atlanta de Un mil nueve cien y noventa siete a Un mil nueve cien y noventa nueve?

    Yo viví en Atlanta desde mil novecientos noventa y siete hasta mil novecientos noventa y nueve

  70. What about asking the interviewer questions. Something like- When did you start speaking Spanish? Cuando pude hablas Espanol?

  71. @138: Cuanto tiempo hace que hablas en espanol? (Literally: How much time does it make that you speak in Spanish?) Sorry for leaving out appropriate symbols.

  72. When did you start speaking Spanish?

    Cuando comenzaste a hablar español.. or.. Donde aprediste a hablar español (Where did you learn to speak spanish)

  73. Sdp and Roberto, thanks again. One last one, and I’ll be done hijacking this game thread- I once got hit in the head. (playing baseball, in high school, actually).

  74. HAHAHA.. Mac won that one.

    something like: “En una oportunidad, una pelota me golpeo en la cabeza (jugando beisbol en High School)

  75. I don’t comment a lot, per se, but I read here a lot. And my girlfriend teases me sometimes, and I tell her about the variety of conversation that occurs here.

    I do love this blog. It’s like being a regular at a bar that’s got mostly regulars, and they’re all Braves fans.

  76. they just announced that lowe is going to pitch tomorrow night and kk on sunday. i wonder why?

  77. I’m telling you now, there are going to be some regrets after game 10.

  78. If the tomahawk is in a fist and you tomahawk it up there forcefully enough you’d get a bit of fist wedged in there too?

    It’s a disturbing image and is the product of either a linguistically challenged or supremely violent mind.

  79. Ryan, I seem to remember that KK’s pitching on Sunday to go up against Lincecum, on the grounds that he seems to pitch better against elite competition.

  80. i wonder why?

    They want Lowe to pitch on regular rest, that’s why. Furthermore, our chances against Licecum with Lowe on the mound would be below zero. With KK, they are close to 100% since he just knows how to beat the best.

  81. I think Glaus will be fine. He’s got all the physical capability you need to be a competent defensive 1b. He just needs reps to get acquainted with the complex plays.

  82. 108 — oops, looks like I missed you on the reply. Just ask questions that go with the flow of a normal conversation. Most oral exams are about your ability to communicate, even if it’s not perfect grammar.

    oh, and I don’t know any Spanish. I can read basic stuff though. Close enough to Italian and French. It’s all modern Latin.

  83. Glaus has already bailed out our fielders on some high and bad throws, and he hasn’t been bad at picking ’em out of the dirt, either. Maybe he spent so much time on defense he hasn’t gotten his swing back in working order. He’s looked okay in the field to me.

  84. Saito should get the call, but Moylan’s already up….

    I hope Moylan sits, O’Flaherty stays warm, and Saito gets up for the 8th.

  85. Glaus has made a lot of good picks to start the season. You can tell he’s still learning the position at times, but I think he’ll turn out to be a fine glove at 1B.

  86. Well, in the late innings up by one it’s more tolerable, but I still don’t like it with the #5 hitter.

  87. If I’m not mistaken, wasn’t Glaus just north of average as a 3b? Like, he was about as much above average as Chipper is below?

  88. I think you have to like the Diaz bunt better, don’t you?

    Slow guy at 1st, no way he scores on anything but a double if then, 1 run means a lot more in the 8th, etc.

  89. Jason can do EVERYTHING else like Francoeur, but if he keeps doing that, he’s gold for us.

  90. There’s a lefty on the mound and everyone on the bench except for Conrad bats left.

  91. A comparison:

    Jeff Francoeur had 130 PA before his first walk (intentional), and 138 PA before his first unintentional walk. It took him 37 games and a month and a half.

    Jason Heyward had 15 PA before his first walk. It took him four games and less than a week.

  92. I would have liked the bunt better had we pinch ran for Glaus. My thinking being Glaus isn’t scoring from second on a single.

  93. I’m with stupup there. My thinking was Conrad running for Glaus, and Hinske hitting in the 9th and staying in for 1b. But I, as seen above, wasn’t thinking about the lefty thing.

  94. Go away, Melky.

    I really wish the Braves had a real left fielder. I hope they get rid of Melky, Nate, and Diaz this upcoming off season and go with Heyward in right, Schafer in center, and a power hitter in left.

  95. This, by the way, is where Jesse Chavez is going to help us this year. Last year, in a game like yesterday’s, down 2-0, two or three of Moylan, Saito, Wagner would have had to pitch in a loss, and then a close game today would be overwork. Chavez took care of business and they all got a day off.

    Hope he gives Bobby some reason to keep that faith.

  96. Prado’s not having that problem. Reaching four times today makes this a terrific day in my book.

    Edit: Getting picked off makes it slightly less so.

  97. 184 — Unless McLouth and Diaz start getting expensive (and McLouth might), they’re nice players to have. Particularly Diaz coming off the bench. I wasn’t impressed with Schafer’s defense last year.

    But yes, Melky sucks. And it would be nice to have a slugger in left if we can afford it.

  98. Melky’s career OBP is .330, but that’s skewed by his rookie season, during which it was .360. From 2007-2009, his OBP was .323. He didn’t really get on base when he was a Yankee. But the fans forgave him because he made $29,500,000 less than Alex Rodriguez.

  99. The discussion has been had on here before, but those moves by LHP are, by the letter of the rule book, a balk.

  100. I think McLouth makes 7.25 or 7.5 next year?

    His play this year will determine if he stays around.

    After that is a 10.25 option if I remember correctly . No way he’s on this club in ’12.

  101. It looks like McLouth’s contact is $6.5 million for 2011 with a bunch of incentive clauses ($300K if he’s an All-Star, $300K for a Gold Glove, $150K for a Silver Slugger) and a $10.65 million option for 2012 with a $1.25 million buyout.

  102. The thing I like better about the pen this year vs. last year is the fact that they throw strikes much more so than last year, especially Saito vs. Gonzo in the strike throwng dept.

    BTW, Tim Tchieda is giving me a migrane with his strike zone.

  103. Has Chip actually gotten dumber over the off-season, or are we noticing it more?

  104. What a terrible pitch. Renteria can’t come close to catching up to your fastball so speed up his bat by throwing a hanging slider…

  105. This place is a house of horrors for the braves.

    The braves, the last 3 years especially seem to have a knack of losing games they should win.

  106. Hey everybody, thanks for your help on my Spanish exam, I pulled a 95%! Off to celebrate! Drinks on me if we ever meet up!

  107. Infante is due for a HR one of these days… ohh wait I forgot no one in this lineup has any power

  108. Christ… Heyward is doing one damn good Jordan Schafer 2009 impression that’s for sure

  109. Mac, will that AB make the awful umpiring blog? Did any one of thos pitches have any part of the plate at any time.?

  110. I can’t listen to these close games. I’ll be looking to you Mac tomorrow to tell me how it ends. Good luck bravos!

  111. Strap in for the ride that is the 2010 Atlanta Braves. It is gonna be like this all year. This is a flawed team.

  112. This ump has no idea what his strike zone is… you could throw the same pitch and one time it would be a ball the next a strike

  113. I liked Chip Caray in 2005. That was my first season where I really followed the Braves all year and Chip Caray did so few games that I didn’t notice his flaws. Plus, at that time, I thought Pete Orr was good because he batted .300.

    I started thinking of Chip Caray as the worst announcer in all of baseball sometime in 2006 or 2007 and have ever since.

  114. how are they supposed to look? is it because they’re not yelling and throwing shit?

  115. Does anyone else think Joe Simpson is intolerably arrogant, as though he was a legendary baseball player?

  116. It seems every time we play the Giants we hit like they’re throwing croquet balls.

    Course if Medlen gets the bunt down we’re probably leading. He kept trying to offer at pitches aimed at his knee caps.

  117. Bobby threw some f bombs in there. I feel his pain right now. This is brutal.

  118. Javy’s line thus far today against the Rays:

    3.2 IP 6 H 5 ER 2 BB 3 K…at least the Ks are intact.

  119. Joe’s always criticizing, as though he was so much of a better baseball player back in the day

  120. God what a moron of an umpire.

    I guess a bat hitting you is not obstruction. Gonna be a long seriesin SF with these zeros.

  121. I really don’t feel Joe offers any false pretenses about his career; I think he’s self-deprecating. And he is probably about as positive as he is negative, both about our club and the other club. I think he’s honest in what he sees, and he’s just BARELY a homer. He pulls for us, but doesn’t whine. Catch a few games with the Marlins announcers and you’ll appreciate that.

    I think he is a stickler for the old school way of DOING THINGS, and he can often come off as “past-by,” but I wouldn’t call it arrogant.

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