Braves 4, Marlins 3 (11 innings)

Florida Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – July 02, 2010 – ESPN.

Thank God for Venezuela.

The Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the first on a solo homer by Hanley Ramirez, and it easily could have been worse; Gaby Sanchez, hitting in front of him, just missed a two-run homer, which turned into a double play instead. After that, Kris Medlen settled down, and basically matched Josh Johnson pitch-for pitch.

But Johnson still had that one-run lead, and the Braves couldn’t cash in chances by getting a two-out hit. That is, until the fifth, when Gregor Blanco (of Caracas) tripled, and when Medlen couldn’t get him in Martin Prado (of Maracay) came through with a single to tie the game.

In the seventh, Ramirez and Uggla singled and Medlen left with one out and runners first and third. Peter Moylan came in and did exactly what he’s supposed to do, getting Commando Cody Ross, of all people, to hit into a GIDP to end the threat. In the bottom of the inning Blanco walked and went to second on a groundout, then Prado hit an impossible pitch, way outside, past first base for his second RBI of the night, giving the Braves the lead.

Saito gave up a two-out single in the eighth but otherwise was fine. Unfortunately, Billy Wagner proved to be human after all, giving up a solo homer to Sanchez leading off the ninth inning. The Braves didn’t really threaten in the first two of extras. Jonny Venters, meanwhile, was his dominating self in the tenth (a strikeout and two groundouts) but gave up a leadoff hit to Wes Smelms in the eleventh, which apparently was the signal for everyone to start playing like eight-year-olds.

Chris Coghlan bunted, and Troy Glaus threw the ball away; Prado maybe could have come off the bag for it, but you can’t expect that from a second baseman, and it was first and third. After a lineout, Bobby had Venters walk Ramirez to load the bases, and by all rights it should have gotten them out of the inning. The next batter, a pinch-hitter, tried a squeeze bunt but couldn’t get the bat on the ball, and Smelms was dead meat, but scored in the rundown when Venters dropped the ball in front of the plate. Brian McCann, admittedly, screwed up first when he threw to Chipper at third rather than running Smelms back (the runner from second was already going to third). In case you’re keeping track, that’s four different Braves who screwed up defensively in the inning. Venters then struck out the hitter, and Uggla following, to keep the game 3-2.

Then the screwups fixed things. McCann walked to lead off the inning; I wondered why Bobby didn’t run Brandon Hicks for him. Glaus doubled over the second baseman. Hicks, who would have scored, ran for him instead, and it’s a good thing, too. Omar Infante, of Puerto La Cruz, worked the count and then hit a little flare to left-center. Ballgame.

For the record, the Venezuelans were 6-10 with a walk, all four RBI, and two runs scored; the various Domincans and Norteamericanos were 4-28.

(I’m trying out this Baseball-Reference tool, what do you think?)

25 thoughts on “Braves 4, Marlins 3 (11 innings)”

  1. well Mac, I was thinking the same thing. You pinch run for McCann there if Ross can play. If he’s still hurting this bad then DL him

    doesnt matter now though

  2. Nice rally off the mat by the Bravos. Team’s got guts, boys.

    Damon Evans…LOL. He is making $550k a year. If he wants some poon on the side. Get a damn driver and get a damn room.

  3. good stuff

    David O’Brien

    July 2nd, 2010
    11:31 pm
    Funny line from Wagner as I approached his locker: “Damn knuckleballs. It didn’t knuckle.”

  4. Good composure by Venters not letting the inning blowup after his error and giving the team a chance come back.

  5. Pinch running for McCann leaves you no remaining bench players in the event the game goes on longer and we want a pinch hitter for the pitcher. I can’t imagine the uproar here had that happened.

    Good win.

  6. I’m probably the last on this blog to be prone to hyperbole (understatement), but if THIS is what Martin Prado is for the rest of his career, if you look at his career stats he’d be a HOF player, IMO. How many career .320-ish hitters are not in the HOF?

  7. Chief:

    Shoeless Joe Jackson right off the top of my head. Pete Rose hit .320 career? Or did those last years chasing the hit record drag him down?

  8. Rose isn’t close — his career average is .303.

    There are 42 players ever with a career batting average of at least .320, and the only ones who played in the last 25 years are Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, Joe Mauer, Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki, Vladimir Guerrero, and Todd Helton. It is very likely that over the next several years, Mauer or Helton will wind up their career with a few below par seasons and will thus finish with a career average below .320; it’s impossible to know what will happen with Mauer or Pujols.

    There are six career .320 hitters who are not in the Hall of Fame: Babe Herman, Bob Fothergill, Riggs Stephenson, Lefty O’Doul, Mike Donlin, and of course Shoeless Joe Jackson. Other than Jackson, they were pretty much all pretty good hitters who nonetheless didn’t have very long careers, and all of them were done before the end of World War II.

    If Prado hits .320 over his entire career — which won’t happen — he’ll be a mortal lock for the Hall.

  9. for everyone flipping out about Hanson’s struggles this year

    check out two of Lincecum’s stretches this season

    last two starts – 9IP 14H 8ER 7BB 8K
    stretch of 3 a month prior – 15.1IP 17H 14ER 15BB 14K

  10. On the pinch running: it’s a tough call given Bobby’s proclivity both to have few bench players and to use them prematurely. But you have to pinchrun for McCann holding the tying run in the 11th. Bobby used to pinchrun Jurrgens, but I can understand his reluctance to do so now, but what about Chavez or the Lisp? Neither one was going to be used later in an important situation. Or Hudson. And if you only tie, you worry about that later. Now, it all worked out, but Glaus’s run was always less important than McCann’s.
    What I suspect happened is that Bobby would have used Hicks if McCann had gotten to second. This only costs you in a couple of situations: (1) a ball is hit in which McCann is barely out at second (2) a sitation where McCann can’t go first to third on a single by Glaus or the following batter or (3) the situation that happened, where McCann can’t score on a double by Glaus — but the last situation os the least hurtful, because you still have 2nd and 3nd with two outs.

  11. I don’t know about using a long reliever to pinch-run in an extra-innings game. Seems like a great way to lose the game with Melky Cabrera on the mound or win the game with Tommy Hanson on the mound.

  12. You gotta tie the game before you can lose it with the wrong personnel. I agree you’re working yourself into a hole… but I still think it’s the best choice in the circumstances. And there’s still Hudson. And, his last performance aside, do we really know that Chavez is a better pitcher than Melky?
    Another option would have been to have the pinch runner pitch if you don’t win the game in that inning, but that gets really complicated and I assume Bobby intended to go with Venters for at least one more inning.

  13. I suspect that had Glaus walked, or singled, Hudson would have run for McCann, and Hicks for Glaus, or vice versa.

    Bobby wasn’t going to pinch run until it looked likely that he’d get a run out of it. Seems pretty reasonable considering Ross is hurt.

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