Cardinals 10, Braves 4

Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Box Score – April 29, 2010 – ESPN.

I have to tell you that I’m feeling very depressed. The Cards took a 3-0 lead on a first inning homer. At the conclusion of the inning, Jair Jurrjens left the game with a leg problem. The Braves got it to 3-1 in the third, then the Cards immediately got the run back, then put up five on Jesse Chavez in innings 5-6. The last three runs were basically window dressing. One of them was a Heyward homer, which is nice, I guess.

Chipper sat, not that it mattered. Well, cosmically, what does any of this matter? Yes, I’m taking comfort in nihilism.

108 thoughts on “Cardinals 10, Braves 4”

  1. I’m actually hoping that Jurrjens goes on the DL. He hasn’t been right for most of the year and a DL stint may help him. It may also give us a chance to give Medlin a further audition as a starting pitcher. If Lowe or Kawakami don’t improve, we’ll need him again as a starter in the near future.

  2. Nice Hitchhiker’s Guide reference, Mac.

    Seriously, is it time to recall, say, Resop or Clevlen from Gwinnett to replace Jurrjens or (insert awful OF here)? Failure needs to have some consequences.

  3. From the Official Site:

    Jurrjens left after one inning due to a strained left hamstring he suffered a few days earlier. He was replaced by right-hander Kris Medlen, who was alerted before the game to be ready.

    “I was scared to put pressure on it, and I felt it a little bit in the bullpen,” Jurrjens said. “When I came in the game, I just tried to not put so much pressure on it, throw all arm, and it wasn’t working so well.”

    He should have never started the game if that was true. Especially considering his recent shoulder problems.

    @6
    Pitching talent is important, but the organization does seem a little empty right now in terms of position players who project to be even league average MLB starters.

  4. There’s not much to say really (evidenced by the steadily decreasing word count of Mac’s recaps). At least when you are losing one run games you can argue about strategy, assign blame, etc. When you just get a thorough beatdown every time out, there not much room for dialogue beyond “Man, we suck”.

    The days when everyone’s biggest complaint was that the good relievers were being overused seem pretty sweet now.

  5. In the ESPN Rumors section, there’s a bit about possible fits for Prince Fielder, and the Braves are listed. This is part of the write-up:

    …but ATL could package pitching and catcher Clint Sammons for [Fielder or Gonzalez].

    WTF?

  6. That looks like your typical package some of our useless parts for a good player rumor that’s popular internetwide. Considering ESPN’s standard of “journalism”, it’s the exact sort of thing I would expect to read from them.

  7. Congrats, Rob.

    The Brewers haven’t had a catcher in years, but Sammons?

    Ok… I guess we’ll let him go. You have to give to get. heh heh.

  8. @12 – Their catcher is having a hard time getting the ball back to the pitcher, but this does seem to be an overreaction.

  9. /broken record

    Until this team addresses offense it will continue to suck.

    /broken record

  10. And by addressing offense that doesn’t mean Troy ‘slider speed’ Glaus, Melky Cabrera, Nate ‘.262’ McClouth.

  11. So the Braves now own the second worst record in the majors. Great start there, fellas.

    Wasn’t Bobby the one that recently said you get a good idea of what you’ve got after 20+ games? Well, we ain’t got much, Bobby.

    Here’s to hoping the ‘Stros series brins so much needed relief.

  12. I’m watching the archived game now, and I’m not sure if this was addressed in the game thread, but Joe is saying some pretty boneheaded things about the game of baseball. More than normal.

    If we can’t convince this team to win via Phil Collins’ related threats, I’m not sure what’s left.

  13. From Joe, I’ve learned that walking is bad, “hacking” is good, and that Lincecum didn’t deserve the Cy Young because he won 15 games.

    Oh jeez, Chip just said “The former Yellow Jacket stings the Braves!”

    Nevermind. New winner.

  14. Not only should I apply for that job Mac, I live about an hour away from it. Intriguing, indeed.

  15. @29, Send me your script.

    For the record, I hate the word “musical.” It’s a gross word to me.

  16. It’s awesome when the grand plan the Braves put together in the offseason collapsed in the first month of the season.

    We suck.

  17. 35 — Well, they didn’t do much except:

    1. Sign a reclamation project in Glaus
    2. Sign some bench players
    3. Trade Vazquez for Smelky and prospects
    4. Promote Heyward.

    Doesn’t seem like much.

  18. Rob, you should write a musical comedy about how bad the Braves are.

    Someone could compose Benny Hill-like music.

  19. 4th straight shutout loss by Rome–and I thought the team they fielded last season couldn’t hit a lick

    Teheran has a 1.03 era and a 1-2 record

  20. @41 and co.

    Thanks, guys. If anyone’s in NY the first three weeks of July, hit me up at RobBroad4th@gmail.com and I can get you tickets. (It’s funny, I promise). The New York Times and Variety are going to review, so this production could very well kick-start or kill the show.

    The way things look right now, I don’t know if we’ll want to watch baseball in July anyway.

  21. Speaking of jobs, I’m soon to be an unemployed J.D. in a few weeks. Does anyone need a pool boy? Perhaps a baseball team needs a hitting coach?

    20 years of schoolin’ and they put you on the day shift.

  22. Who the hell does Frank Wren think he is?

    Jeff Schultz from the AJC has him nailed dead to right: with Schuerholz, a bad start wasn’t time to panic due to the track record. But Frank Wren is 0-for thus far in terms of even getting the Braves to the damn playoffs. It is time to drink large amounts of alcohol, scream like little school girls, and wet our britches. Cause we are farked.

  23. Alex, nice Bad Religion link. Although I no longer align theologically or philosophically with Greg Graffin and the gang, I somehow still like their music. I actually own the DVD of that concert you linked to.

    Rob, you’re the man dude. If I was in NYC, I’d totally check it out.

  24. Rob,
    That’s great news, big-time congrats. Emily & I definitely wanna check it out.

    Kyle,
    Gonna try to go. I have a request in for the 5/20 gig. Got an advance of the new record—it’s good. Quality-wise, maybe a tick below the other 2, but I got hopelessly hooked on it for awhile, nonetheless. You live around here? You going?

    Mac,
    Yes, upstate New York is nut-freezing cold in the winter, but that town is totally gorgeous in the summer.

    And, um, I don’t really have anything to offer about the Braves. Sorry. I’m in a state of numb, and not the Pink Floyd comfy kind.

  25. @54 – I have some free time after my graduation and I thought about going up and staying with a friend in the city and seeing the final night of the four night stand. My NYC friend didn’t speak very highly of Terminal 5 though.

    If I miss the NYC gigs, I might try to catch them in Chicago.

  26. A little tidbit from DOB, puts our streak in perspective..

    This 0-7 trip against the Mets and Cardinals marked the first time the Braves went winless in a trip of at least seven games since September 1949, when the Boston Braves went 0-8 at Philadelphia and Brooklyn.

    We also lost 6 in a row in 1980.

  27. Kyle,
    There are better venues in NYC, but Terminal 5’s alright.

    It’s a big, cavernous old dance club turned into a live spot. Seeing the show from upstairs, admittedly, is better than enduring what can be a crush downstairs. But you can hang in the back, if you like. The stage is pretty high.

    If you’re around & up for a brew, gimme a shout.

  28. #56–I am also thinking that the Braves are probably the only organization in baseball history to have their AAA and big league clubs no-hit in the same season. The Braves have managed to both in just one month….

    Meanwhile, Rome has been shut out for the fourth straight time….

  29. AAR–The Braves may not make such mistakes in June, but the coming Draft promises to be uninspiring once again….

  30. “Meanwhile, Rome has been shut out for the fourth straight time…”

    It is remarkable how few hitting prospects we have in our system right now. I had high hopes for Cody Johnson, but I am not sure he is going to make it. Although his poer is still impressive, his strike-out rate is going up as he gets promoted, and that rate is just not sustainable. Our highest position player pick last year is older (JC guy) and is hitting a cool .118. I cannot find anywhere in the system the heir apparent to Chipper at 3B.

  31. The Braves continue to think of themselves as an elite organization, but they aren’t. They seem to think that, because they are the Braves, their moves will work. They don’t. I thought Wren’s moves were pretty good at the time, but not one has worked out so far. That’s bad luck to an extent but, if things don’t improve, I don’t see how the GM keeps his job. But the Braves are all about not panicking and not taking precipitate action; however, the vast numbers of empty seats this summer if things don’t turn around might convince them to do otherwise.

    Part of the problem is that the team relied on a superstar in decline–as bfan notes, they have no back up plan or replacement, so if Chipper retires or continues to struggle, what do they do? Apparently, Wren is unwilling to consider the possibility that Chipper really is done. A lot of people thought he would come back, but you have to at least consider the possibility that he would not.

    Maybe the Braves are trying too hard to win for Bobby in his last year. I think that sometimes happens when teams are trying to save the manager’s job. I mean, obviously this isn’t a great lineup, but it isn’t this bad.

    I never thought I’d say I wish I was a Rays fan.

  32. friday night, back at home, and we’re facing a very hittable pitcher in bret myers. it’s time to end this thing and i have a feeling the braves are going to get some momentum going in this home stand. individual players have shown a little life and there’s nothing like playing in front of a big crowd that’s cheering for you to get you going.

    yunel will probably be out of the lineup and i’m not so sure that’s a bad thing. hopefully, bobby’s slowly realizing that hinske needs more playing time. i feel a platoon is coming swiftly for glaus and hinske. hinske is just seeing the ball better and deserves an equal opportunity.
    my guess at tonight’s lineup…

    mclouth
    prado
    chipper
    mccann
    hinske
    heyward
    cabrera
    infante

    it’s been really down in here and we need a winning streak.

  33. “The Braves continue to think of themselves as an elite organization, but they aren’t. They seem to think that, because they are the Braves, their moves will work. They don’t. I thought Wren’s moves were pretty good at the time, but not one has worked out so far. That’s bad luck to an extent but, if things don’t improve, I don’t see how the GM keeps his job.”

    Very well-said. The key to me is to understand where we are in the success cycle. With hind-site, we blew it badly in 2007, betting the farm on needing one more great hitter to get us over the top. I kind of like our core, for about 2013, if half these minor league pitching prospects turn out. But we need to find some guys that can hit, and we need to find a 3B; LF; and CF, at a minimum, and we need to swap some old but servicable guys for some hitting prospects.

  34. @60 Alex, you could have said that for all teams who passed on Piazza for who knows how many rounds and the 12 teams which had a chance to draft Heyward ahead of us. You should know as well as anyone that draft is not an exact science.

  35. “in front of a big crowd that’s cheering for you to get you going.” – ryan c

    thats if anyone shows up for the game. Lets face it, Houston sucks and so does Atl right now. I dont see a big crowd coming to this series. Hopefully the weather will be okay

  36. “thats if anyone shows up for the game. Lets face it, Houston sucks and so does Atl right now. I dont see a big crowd coming to this series.”

    I didn’t think you could have a meaningless MLB series starting in April; this may be the one.

  37. I’ll be at the game on Saturday. I’m surprised FOX hasn’t dropped their coverage of the game. Really, I’m only going to have an excuse to go to Fogo de Chao.

  38. @68,

    Not to mention Portland drafting Sam Bowie ahead of Michael Jordan.

    I think the Braves have to seriously think about–which I don’t think they have–the post-Chipper Jones era. The guy is 38; even if he recovers to have a good year, his career is obviously winding down and he is now pretty much a liability at third. Granted, his decline has been more precipitous than one would expect, given that he won the batting title two years ago. Hopefully, Heyward will ultimately replace him in thd middle of the order, but you need pop from third base. I don’t see where it’s going to come from; certainly not from the farm system. The one thing that’s obvious is that this team is sorely in need of power.

  39. I looked at baseball america’s Braves 2013 team (they do it for every team, when they list the team’s top 10 prospects). They have Mycal Jones as the Braves’ 3B in 2013. 2 things:

    1. He is 5’10”, 165, and 23 years old; he will not be a power hitting 3B by prior performance and build.

    2. he is the one right now hitting .118 at Rome, after hitting .258 at Danville last year. Maybe it will happen for him, but there is a long, long way between Mycal and MLB.

  40. Mycal Jones is well on his way to being the first BUST of last year’s draft class. It does not help that he will turn 23 in a little more than a few weeks….

  41. How the hell did this team score 16 runs in one game?

    I don’t feel like they’ve scored 16 total runs since.

  42. Simmons to the Effing Hawks:

    Hang your heads in shame. You had home-court advantage, as well as six of the best eight players in the series (including the best three), and yet, you turned off your fans completely and totally and now need to win on the road to survive? You know it was a three-game bender when people from Seattle start sending me “You think we can get the Hawks?” e-mails.

  43. “martin prado will be the 3rd baseman after chipper’s gone.”

    It is not as if we have a group of guys at 2B performing well in the minors, either. Prado to third, assuming he has the bat to stay there, just opens up a hole somewhere else. Of course, there is that guy who converted to 2B who hit fabulously all through our minor league system after being a 1st round draft pick, that raked for a nearly .900 OPS in his second year in the majors, but who had an off-year; maybe he can recover to his established level of ability. Oh, wait a minute…

  44. I’ve always wanted to try Foga de Chao. I went to Fires of Brazil up in the Perimter Mall. It was good/ok but I’ve heard Foga is great. The churrascurria they had here in Columbus was a bust. Over cooked meat, poor service, expensive. The trifecta of failure.

    Going foward the team’s core will be Hanson, McCann, Heyward, Escobar, Prado. I think. Back in the good old days Chipper, Andruw, Javy, Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux represented a formidable core of players to build around.

    We could probably still win even if Glaus sucked. But 5 guys sucking…. not sure if any team could win like that. Especially without any superstars to carry the team.

  45. Ah, Kelly. In the words of Hyman Roth, “And I said to myself, This is the business we’ve chosen. I didn’t ask who gave the order. Because it had nothing to do with business.”

  46. I think the Braves have to seriously think about–which I don’t think they have–the post-Chipper Jones era.

    Yes, I’m sure you’re right that the organization doesn’t know Chipper is 38 and nearing the end. That is a good assumption.

  47. “Yes, I’m sure you’re right that the organization doesn’t know Chipper is 38 and nearing the end.”

    Well, then the next question is how this awareness has manifested itself in their actions. They sure aren’t drafting for a replacement, to have a kid ready when the time comes. They sure arent’t keeping potential infield depth around to facilitate a replacement. If they are just going to sign a high profile FA, please forgive a Braves fan who looks at our FA signings in the last 5 years and doubts the resolve; acumen; and resources in our current regime to sign a big name FA at 3B.

  48. 88—So, you think Eric Campbell’s and Van Pope’s and Andy Marte’s (and others’) failure to develop is a sign that the Braves haven’t thought about life, post-Chipper? Their plan, whatever it is, may not work out, but the notion that the organization doesn’t know it needs to figure something out — that it needs to have a plan — for when Chipper’s gone is absurd.

  49. Said it before, and I’ll say it again. This isn’t a badly constructed team (certainly some pieces are gambles, but that’s every team), it’s a team that’s PERFORMING badly (right now)… it’s like saying in January “It’s freezing out here. See, global warming is a FRAUD!” or, for that matter, in July saying “See, I’m roasting out here. Global warming must be real!”… because apparently what’s happening right here and now is all that ever has happened or will happen anywhere.

    The Atlanta Braves are not playing very good baseball right now. If they continue to play poor baseball for much longer it will be increasingly difficult to overcome the deficit and compete for a playoff spot as the season progresses. While some percentage of our team may have an off year statistically, or get hurt, the likelihood of every one of our regular starting position players not named Prado or Heyward continuing to hit well below their career numbers is very small.

    I’ll obviously concede that the problems some of our hitters have had as they got to the majors, and their subsequent relative success elsewhere (KJ & Frenchie), or the decline in hitting by guys who have come into our system (McLouth, Cabrera, Glaus), may suggest a problem with our coaching staff at the major league level. Though I think it’s far from certain (or even likely) that Pendleton is the largest factor in our current hitting woes.

    I’m pretty confident we’ll work past this and end up a better than .500 team by the end of the year (assuming Jair or other starters aren’t down for a significant amount of time). I would rather not have to rely on a 20+ game win streak at the end of the season to get into the playoffs, but we do have the pieces that if they get firing on all cylinders we could win 10+ in a row as well and up making up the lost ground. Prior to this 9 game skid it didn’t seem out of the realm of possibility for this team to go 82-58 the last 140 games of the season… and that would get us to 90 wins.

  50. So Chipper gets tired of losing and not playing up to his standards after this year (no surprise; that has been out there for a while), and our potential replacements are a 27 year old who hit .202 in AAA last year; or a 27 year old guy who hit .230 in AA last year? That is our plan? We didn’t know, going into the June 2009 draft last year, that neither Pope nor Campbell was going to make it here (we knew that going into the June 2008 draft), and that Marte was 5 years departed? It’s baseball; guys work out and guys don’t work out. You try your best to figure who will and who won’t, and adapt to fit the facts as you know them at any given moment. Our late 5th round pick at 3B from 5 years ago isn’t going to make it here, so what do we do now? Right now, our starting 3B for 2011 if not Chipper is…Brooks Conrad?

  51. Oh, I see. Because you don’t know what the plan is, there must not be a plan. Or at least not a valid one.

    Edward Salcedo has promise. You could shift the Glaus/Hinske platoon to third and call up Freeman. You could move Prado to third and install Infante at second, freeing up some money for a real left fielder. And those are just some internal options. Trades, free agents.

    I have no idea what the Braves would do if Chipper retired after this year, but I feel safe that they wouldn’t just say, “Oh, crap! I guess Van Pope is our third baseman, now!”

  52. It is plainly obvious that a soul was sold in return for the unprecedented run of success that the Braves enjoyed throughout the ’90s and into the ’00s. Then, the industrious fellow whose soul was sold got cold feet, and worked out a deal in which he got to keep his soul, but those of all other Braves’ fans were to be methodically crushed and cubed over the subsequent 14 year span.

    On an unrelated note…sorry

  53. Stu,

    OK, you are right. The Braves probably have thought about life post-Chipper and maybe they have a plan. But you have to admit that a lot of the optimism about this team is based on Chipper returning to form. Maybe that was unavoidable, but there really is no Plan B–at least for this year unless they make some big trade–if Chipper is really done. And there is no one on the horizon for the future. It’s not like the ghost of Eddie Mathews is out there waiting to be a free agent. My point really is that the Braves pinned a lot on Chipper and Glaus being productive and,while neither of these was (or is) beyond the realm of possibility, they were stretches to some extent.

  54. I agree that a lot of 2010’s projected success hinges on Chipper and Glaus.

    As for Chipper, I almost (but not quite) hope he retires. No, they probably won’t even be able to find 80% of Chipper’s standard production elsewhere — but they don’t have that now, either, considering how fragile he is.

  55. if someone in the braves fo glances at defensive metrics, they will see that prado is far superior at 3b than the position he currently holds. i think it’s pretty safe to say that prado is chipper’s replacement, however, the braves will probably have to go outside their own system to grab a second baseman.

    in 2012, a lot of quality 2baggers will be available so it will be a good buyers market:
    Clint Barmes (33)
    Robinson Cano (29) – $14MM club option with a $2MM buyout
    Luis Castillo (36)
    Aaron Hill (30) – $8MM club option for 2012, $8MM club option for ’13, $10MM club option for ’14
    Kelly Johnson (30)
    Jose Lopez (28)
    Augie Ojeda (37)
    Brandon Phillips (31) – $12MM club option with a $1MM buyout
    Freddy Sanchez (34)
    Dan Uggla (32)
    Rickie Weeks (29)

    if chipper decided to retire, the braves should be fine with a lineup featuring mccann, prado, escobar, schafer, freeman, heyward, outfielder, and one of the above players.

  56. It really does feel like the late 80s – a Braves team that can’t win with an aging star who’s not what he used to be. I hope it means an unbelievable stretch of success is just around the corner.

  57. IMHO the Braves biggest gambles offensively were Glaus, Heyward and Chipper at least approaching his career averages.

    Personally I don’t think Chipper is done, heck he has an .811 OPS right now. Yeah its OBP driven and he isn’t hitting for power and he has already missed games. But wanting him to retire? He can’t carry the team but he can still be a big contributor.

  58. #101 – Chipper’s OPS is fine, its his glove and defense at 3rd thats killing the team. Our two corner infielders are awful, not to mention that McCann has been brutal behind the dish. Its sad, but Martin has become one of our better defensive players.

  59. If pitcher’s don’t want to throw Chipper a strike, I’m fine with him not swinging—he has 15 BBs in 18 G. The guys behind him have to hit at some point.

  60. @91

    I tend to agree. There are bad baseball players, and bad baseball plays. There is a distinction.

    Outside of the pitching, which has had some rough moments but otherwise has been ok, the hitting, fielding and baserunning have been horrid. I’m not sure the Braves are getting much out of Cox and his group. With that said, as major league players they should pretty much know how to have good AB’s, run the bases, etc. If not, then that points to larger problems within the organization, or players just feel comfortable jaking it and collecting a paycheck. The latter has come to mind recently.

  61. i think it’s pretty safe to say that prado is chipper’s replacement

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Yesterday, for example, with Chipper out, Infante was at third, with Prado left at second. Prado to third is one option, but I doubt it’s definite.

  62. Just got back from the corner deli & saw Port Washington’s most famous rocker, Eric Bloom from Blue Oyster Cult. And what was he wearing?

    A Mets cap.

    If we’re gonna be this bad, the idea of a season with the Mets even near contention is gonna be pretty tough around here. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” indeed.

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