113 thoughts on “The Braves don’t DESERVE Phil Collins game thread: April 29, Horrible Team at Cardinals”

  1. So the competing early season mottos are:

    (1) “The 2010 Atlanta Braves: At least we’re not Baltimore!”

    (2) “The 2010 Atlanta Braves: Worse than Phil Collins!”

  2. I hated that we let KJ go. But the budget is the budget.

    Meteor strikes, blow up the team, trade everyone, PANIC? It’s only April, ya’ll.

  3. I think Bobby needs to bat our pitcher’s first. Pitchers are supposed to suck at hitting, so when our lead-off guys continue to hit 0-whatever it won’t be nearly as bad.

  4. Yep, it’s ‘only’ April, but at some point, you are what your record says you are. I’d guess that’s about 40 games in for a baseball season. That means we’re halfway to that deterministic point.

    If we need to win 90 games to contend for the WC, then realistically speaking, we ‘ought’ to be 22-18 or 23-17 at the 40 game point. Are you telling me this is a team that looks like it can go 15-4 (or 14-5) between now and game 40?

    And if we continue to play .380 ball until game 40, we’ll have a record of 15-25 or so. Which means we’d need to go 75-47 the rest of the year to hit 90 wins. Which is a .615 winning percentage. Doable, but by this team as constructed?

    yes, it’s early in the season, but to paraphrase Yogi, “It’s getting late earlier and earlier.”

  5. Can someone please kidnap Mr. Blanc and hold him until he buys the Braves?

    I would love to see that man apply his marketing prowess (and deep pockets) to this franchise. Seriously, this town responds well to a charismatic, “he’s a fan like us” owner.

  6. per mlbtr –

    If The Braves Become Sellers
    By Tim Dierkes [April 29 at 9:09am CST]
    A veteran sell-off of any kind of difficult to picture in Bobby Cox’s final season as Braves manager. We’ll explore the possibility anyway, even though the 8-13 Braves have 87% of their season remaining.

    Though it’d create a vacancy in next year’s rotation, you have to think the Braves would like the flexibility of ridding part of the three years and $45MM owed to Derek Lowe. Similarly, the Braves could free up cash by dealing Kenshin Kawakami, owed $13.33MM over 2010-11. What about Nate McLouth? Already forced into a platoon role, he’s owed $12.25MM this season and next.

    Billy Wagner would be an attractive trade candidate, though the Braves might prefer to have him around for 2011. Wagner has a $6.5MM club option after the season, though it’ll vest with 44 more games finished. Setup man Takashi Saito would be expendable, and decent relievers are hard to come by on the trade market in July.

    Other rentals include Troy Glaus, David Ross, and Eric Hinske, all eligible for free agency after the season……

    please Wren sale off Lowe, KK, and let Chipper retire. $35 mil can go a long way to finding some offense and Medlen/Minor cant be that bad in the rotation can they?

  7. Randy @ 10,

    Because listening to him do his voices is pleasurable rather than the grating sound of listening to Chip (and, in Mel’s Foghorn Leghorn renditions, he shows much greater knowledge of the game as well).

  8. Can anyone tell me why those great Loony Tunes creations are nowhere to be found and the drek that passes for animation these days is inescapable?

    And just where can I find the Angry Beavers?

  9. “Minor cant be that bad in the rotation can they?”

    I am not opposed to blowing this franchise up and starting over (with a new manager; batting coach; and GM), but (i) Mike Minor is getting hit hard in AA; there is nothing in his performance to date to suggest he can pitch at the MLB level right now; and (ii) if and when this season is offiically declared in the toilet, let’s not push his service time up by a year to when we have to really pay him (if he turns out to be good), by using him at the MLB level in a year that just doesn’t matter. I would say not bring him up, even if capable, until May/June of next year.

  10. As bad as things are, I think it’s silly to suggest giving up on the season and blowing the team up in April. As for selling off the players mentioned above, if they could do that, they would have already gotten rid of Lowe. If they have to eat their salaries, that money isn’t going to be available for offense anyway.

    Fans have reason to be upset and maybe even to panic. But GMs should not. And, let’s face it, things can turn around quickly in baseball. Ten days ago, we were all making fun of the Mets, and now they are in first place. Things can change in a few days in baseball. I’m not necessarily optimistic, but it’s equally unrealistic to say that the season is over after 21 games.

  11. @11–that write up misses the obvious–give away Melky to anyone who will assume his contract

  12. Tiffany came to campus in 2001 (part of a comeback?). She was set up for autographs from 1-3pm. I had my jean jacket ready for her to sign when I got out of class at 2.45 and she was nowhere to be found. Argh!

  13. yes, it is too early to give up on the season, but knowing when to be a buyer or a seller is a huge part of franchise success, and with the admitted benefit of hindsite, I sure wish we had been a seller instead of a buyer when the Teixera for the farm trade went down. I worry that we will try and squeeze too much out of Bobby’s last year, when it just isn’t there.

  14. Uh, c. shorter – in the words of the immortal Lewis Grizzard – “Brother, I don’t think ida told that.”

  15. guys I was being sarcastic – of course you dont give up on the season after 21 games. I dont want Minor in the rotation this year, esp if we are still within a fighting chance. However, next season Medlen and/or Minor could be possible. Who knows the braves might resign Javy if his value continues to drop. But the Braves need to find away to make room for Crawford or Werth this offseason. Crawford solves a lot of problems, but he’ll be a Yank most likely

    Frank – Im pretty sure Melky will get DFA’d at the end of the season. He isnt worth the $3 mil they are paying him now. McLouth may be DFA’d also and we’ll pay his buyout if he doesnt turn things around

  16. Mark Fox has done the best coaching job in any professional or collegiate sport in the state of Georgia this calendar year.

    Discuss.

  17. Has there ever been a worse day in Atlanta professional sports than yesterday? The Braves get shut-out (again) for their 8th straight loss; the Hawks get beat at home vs. an inferior opponent; the AAA team gets no-hit.

  18. #24… yes game 7 of the ’91 World Series and game 4 of the ’96 World Series hit me far worse than yesterday.

  19. scary, I know

    LINEUP
    1. Cabrera LF
    2. Escobar SS
    3. Prado 2B
    4. McCann C
    5. Hinske 1B
    6. Infante 3B
    7. Heyward RF
    8. McLouth CF
    9. Jurrjens P

  20. #23 – probably because he sucks swinging LH and doesnt want Wainright to make him look any worse

    Dont know why Prado isnt at 3rd with Infante at SS

  21. Ok, back from a few days of seclusion and in a better mood, I can make three predictions that I believe are 99.9% likely to be correct.

    At the end of the regular season:

    (1) The Mets will not lead the NL East,

    (2) The Braves will not be last in the NL East, and

    (3) The Braves will not be tied for the worst record in the NL.

    All of these statements are false as of today. So, it could be worse, absent the catastrophic (meteor hits team bus).

  22. I think the most alarming stat over the last eight games is zero home runs. We only have 12 as a team. Andruw and KJ have combined for 14. Seattle and Houston are they only two teams with few homers than us (both of those are kind of surprising to me)

    Of course, only the Twins have walked more than we have.

    My question is: ‘Are we taking too many pitches?’

    Discuss.

  23. “Seattle and Houston are they only two teams with few homers than us (both of those are kind of surprising to me).”

    Seattle plays in a very big stadium; Houston just got Lance Berkman back, and will pass Atlanta in HR before the season is done.

  24. They’re taking the right number of pitches but not doing enough with the ones they swing at.

  25. My question is: ‘Are we taking too many pitches?’

    No. I like that we are being patient. What we are NOT doing is hitting the hittable pitches with any authority. Of course I don’t know what the hell I am talking about since I have no idea what our team BABIP is. I’m sure someone will figure it out.

    Now Jason Heyward might be. The last time I saw him let a couple of pitches in the zone go right by, apparently looking for the perfect pitch. Down 2 strikes he then swung at a marginal fastball down and away. A strange rookie phenomon, a kid thats TOO patient. It seems that most of them swing themselves back to AAA.

  26. An 8-game losing streak and a day game called by Chip Caray — I didn’t think I’d be totally sick of baseball by April 29th.

  27. Obviously, a lot of the problem is the hitters are pressing. The longer they go without scoring runs, the harder they to kill the ball and the worse they do. Granted, this is somewhat inconsistent with taking a lot of pitches, but they might well need to relax. That’s hard to do when the whole team is struggling.

    That’s why it would be nice if they could get a pitcher to throw a shutout or a low-run game, as in days of yore. Arguably, there are several games they could have won with better than average pitching performances. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the kind of staff we have. I really thought Hudson should have been able to at least protect a three run lead or even, perish the though, pitch a shutout. I see too many pitchers (not just Braves)that seem satisfied with six innings/three runs and “giving the team a chance to win.” They need someone to go out and pitch a three-hit shutout or something–there’s no law against it although Braves pitchers seem to act as if there was. That’s one thing Vazquez gave the team last year–the ability to dominate a game for 7 or 8 innings.

  28. 3-0 in the first. Considering we’ve only scored more than 3 runs once or twice in the last 8 games (against far lesser pitchers), I don’t like our chances already.

  29. “Playing baseball is like having sex – you just have to relax, and concentrate.”

    -A. Savoy

  30. Braves have seen all of 12 pitches in 2 innings. Wainwright won’t break a sweat until the 8th at this rate!

  31. Welp, here’s another loss.

    I made this point during 2006’s Stupid Losing Streak, and as ridiculous/not all that legal as it was, I feel I must say it again: Dammit, just take a night off. Play the scrubs, have a long reliever start, whatever. Everyone swings every fourth pitch. Wear the road unis at home. Heck, everyone fakes being sick. Shut down the stadium due to a _________ outbreak. Whatever.

  32. I’ve never seen the Braves look so bad in my history of watching them (2005-present). Even during that 10-game losing streak in 2006; they looked better than this.

  33. listless; flat; confused.

    I thought that first inning last night, which featured an error at short; an error on a ground ball to CF; and a passed ball, all while our pitcher was getting hit pretty hard, just perfectly captured where we are.

  34. @60-

    Here’s the template for the Atlanta Braves, June 2006:

    – Braves get out to nice 3-0 lead
    – Starting pitcher unable to hold it long, leaves in 5th inning with the bases loaded, up 3-2 with 1 out
    – Fat middle relievers come in, give up 8 runs
    – Braves get two garbage runs in the 8th

    It was like that every single night. (Don’t check me on that.) This…is worse. Much worse. This is never being in any game or hinting about threatening to be. What’s the point?

  35. If you want to go historical, my vague memory recalls being blown out nearly every night the first few weeks of the 1990 season.

    Of course, I was ten years old, so it might just have seemed that way.

    This is nowhere close to hopeless. The team will rebound. Heck, with Medlen being awesome, they may even win this game.

  36. I think Medlin is very good. When you strip it down to 7-10 players, he is one that I keep.

  37. This is the fastest any team has ever gone from looking like a divison contender in one game to absolute train wreck 9 days later. The streak in ’06 was brutal but this is just unbearable. In ’06 at least they were in a lot of games and the bullpen blew them… Now they’re losing every way possible and just look like they have no hope at all.

    Anyone up for firing Bobby before the end of his last season? Any other situation and the manager would be gone in 2 weeks or so.

  38. Joe and Chip continuing to harp on Heyward being too patient. They are so freaking stupid.

  39. I think to save time and get to Houston early, there should be a “Braves rule” that if they are behind by three runs in the fifth, just call the game and let everyone leave. Or maybe the Braves need to play in a machine pitch league. This trying to hit off human, adult pitchers seems to be too much.

    It seems to me that the Braves talent evaluation is not great. Everyone thought McClouth was a great deal, but he is turning out to be,at best, a very ordinary player. Same with Glaus, although it’s still early. Derek Lowe is an even more obvious example. Is it just bad luck or incompetent management. They seem to bring in players that do not work out. It’s gotten to the point where I think that if Albert Pujols came to Atlanta, he would hit .260. The players they expect to perform don’t and the players they don’t expect (Prado) end up being better. Some great organizational analysis.

  40. Oh for God’s sake, Cox! Last night, you issued an ealk to Yadier Molina and then Freese hit a two-run single. Earlier today, Freese hit a three-run homer. So what does Cox do? He has Chavez ealk Molina to get to Freese. Three-run double.

    This man needs a competency evaluation.

  41. So much for the improved version of Jesse Chavez that didn’t look anything like the horrible shell of a pitcher he was in Spring Training!

  42. I still think Jurrens needs to be in better shape.

    I guess Heyward is trying to see as MANY pitches as he possible can.

  43. Considering how good Wainwright is, 3 runs in six innings is actually pretty respectable.

  44. “Is escobar hurt too? Why pull him for Glaus?”

    It is Bobby’s way of punishing Escobar for not scoring on the flyball to RF vs. the mets.

  45. I am actually taking a couple of positives out of this game.

    Heyward and Escobar both have 2 hits.

    That is all.

  46. Well, Hinske looks good at third.

    edit: Assumed sarcasm on the Esco question, but yeah. He got hurt making a play in the 7th.

  47. Four runs is the best we have done in a while. AN IMPROVEMENT!!!!!!

    Hot damn, at this rate the Braves might win again before May.

  48. Almost simultaneously with the ending of the Braves game, Kelly Johnson hits a three run dinger for the DBacks. All of this is almost comical at this point.

  49. Former Braves Kelly Johnson and Adam LaRoche have a combined 13 HR for the DBacks.
    The Braves entire team has 13 HR.

  50. Kelly Johnson is glad to have escaped Cox and Pendleton.

    Sure wish those two (Johnson and LaRoche) were still this team’s right side of the infield.

  51. So.. Tiffany didn’t work.
    We should try Michael Bolton or Starship. and if that doesn’t work … Our last hope: Kenny G.

  52. The KJ decision doesn’t bother me, if he were still here I’m sure he would suck. He’s the poster child for needing a change of scenery.

    LaRoche is a different matter. All he did when we got him last year was perform and we traded him in for Glauss who hasn’t done anything in 4 years and was in the Mitchell report.

  53. Discussing KJ is pointless only to the extent that it is too late to do anything about it. The fact is we let a kid entering his peak (age 27) year and with a long history of hitting success go. I do think KJ would be better than Prado, but more importantly, he would be better than Melky Cabrera or any other LF solution we are trotting out these days.

    KJ had 1 great year; 2 very nice ones; and a rougher one last year (but with a better OPS than what we let our beloved RF trot out with everyday).

    I also note that KJ’s walk rate went down the longer he was here, and has spiked back up in Arizona. It is hard to attribute all of that to coincidence when his batting coach had horrible pitch selection and walk rates as a player and his manager, well we know what the manager feels about pitch selectivity.

    This franchise is slipping pretty quickly here. We have 2 winning seasons in the last 4 (with this year’s results to come), and no close looks at the play-offs in that period. At what point do we step back and try and understand what is happening? At what point is there accountability? Aren’t 4 years plus with wonderful 21 game start to season 5 enough data points to come to the conclusion that what we have isn’t working well?

  54. We need Dr.Jack Kevorkian as the team doctor.
    Which comes first, Braves win a game or Armageddon?

  55. @105 – We did the same thing to Marcus Giles and it worked out just fine. You never can tell, and remember that KJ is still one of the streakiest hitters alive. This is liable to change at any moment.

  56. Hindsight pining for Kelly Johnson completely neglects how bad he sucked last year.

    He sucked. He sucked ass. And we got rid of him because we had a better player.

    I mean, do you want Francoeur back, too? His numbers have been more than acceptable in Flushing.

  57. The point is to compare KJ to Melky/Diaz/whatever else we trot out in LF, not Prado. Which is purely speculative.

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