Rockies 5, Braves 4

Atlanta Braves vs. Colorado Rockies – Box Score – August 23, 2010 – ESPN.

I have a simple rule: nothing that happens in Coors Field really counts. I mean, it counts in the standings, but if a player has a big day or a pitcher has a bad one, I blame the park. That’s just me, your views may vary.

Tim Hudson actually did pretty well — six innings, five strikeouts, one walk — but seven hits produced four runs. How many of those runs are legit and how many are the result of Coors Field are anyone’s call. He allowed a two-run homer in the fourth, making it 3-0 at the time; Hudson has hardly allowed any homers this year. But you know…

The Braves rallied back in the fifth with a homer of their own, Martin Prado driving in Jason Heyward, to make it 3-2. The Rockies pushed it back to 4-2 with a run in the sixth, then Rick Ankiel‘s first homer as a Brave make it 4-3. Alex Gonzalez tied it up in the eighth with a two-out double, scoring Prado from second, but Diory Hernandez (running for Eric Hinske) couldn’t score the go-ahead run from first.

Jonny Venters came in to pitch the eighth, and allowed a single, a stolen base, and a walk to start it. He then gave up a single up the middle to Todd Helton, tying the game giving the Rockies the lead, though the trailing runner was thrown out at third to minimize the damage. The Braves went quietly in the ninth.

62 thoughts on “Rockies 5, Braves 4”

  1. No problem with how Tim pitched. But you have to score more than four runs in Coors Field, especially given who was pitching. This one’s on the offense (other than Infante, Heyward, and Prado and, I guess, Ankiel).

    I guess Jason really got pissed at what I said about him! :)

  2. What I love most about the BP Postseason Odds report is the sense of narrative it conveys. By looking at big numbers, you get the major stories of the last day and week.

    This past week has been the week of the Reds solidifying their postseason berth.

    Yesterday was the day of the the Giants making up ground on the Phillies in the Wild Card race.

    Sure, the report isn’t good for most of the year, as their “Pct3” adjustments give them error bars the size of one of those campers on Huge. It’s getting to the point of the year where it’s actually good at storytelling, and it’s way better than most sports columnists at focusing on the teams that have made real movement in the standings.

  3. BaseballRace.com is like that for pennant races throughout history. Gives you a sense of how the races developed; the final standings are often misleading in terms of how close the race may have been.

    I agree with Joey that most of the media is totally incapable of detecting trends. They just go with the narrative that’s the most recent, whether or not it actually applies today. By the same token, most pundits, who supposedly are “experts”, often jump on the bandwagon of whatever team is hot at the moment, such as the Mets in June.

  4. @4, that is fun. Of course, I went to 1993 NL West right off the bat, and it’s pretty awesome viewing it as a horse race.

    Also, it makes the 2007 NL East race seem not quite so impressive.

  5. Coors Field is still kind to batting averages because of the sheer size of the outfield, but because of the humidor not so kind to home runs. Rockies players no longer have huge home/road splits in their home run totals. Prado’s home run would have been a home run in most ball parks.

  6. Well, there will never be another pennant race like 1993 simply because teams that good will both be in the playoffs. I’m partial to the pre-1969 races where the team that won went straight to the World Series, although that’s not a viable option anymore. That was the purest way of deciding a champion and there was no doubt you had the best teams in the WS. And, man, check out those Cubs teams in the early 1900s; they were awfully good. I can imagine if you told someone back then the Cubs would go over a century without winning another World Series, they would have thought you were crazy.

  7. You can’t really say Hudson pitched well. I mean, 99% of his pitches were excellent, but how many times was he WAY ahead in the count and left one up?

    That’s what hurt him before he was, well, hurt.

  8. “He then gave up a single up the middle to Todd Helton, tying the game”

    Wouldn’t that have been “eventual winning run” or something like that?

    I hate being close & losing (of course I hate losing blowouts too – but I can at least turn those off w/o feeling guilty)

  9. Jason Hammel: “The ball that Prado hit, he’s got to be the greatest hitter ever. It was a great pitch. I don’t know how you hit 95 at the eyes, especially when I just went there. You’ve got to be expecting curveball there, so I tip my cap. I was shocked.”

  10. Dear Marc,

    A century from now, are players allowed to use their jet packs on the field as they are athletic shoes today? If so, do the Cubs of Chicago only have access to jet packs of inferior quality, due to the penny-pinching ways of their owner? Is that why they have not yet won another World’s Championship Series?

    Is it because the most talented players move on to other, more lucrative, physical endeavors, such as boxing or billiards? Please elucidate.

    Sincerely,

    1900s Cubs fan.

  11. @12,

    Dear 1900s Cubs fans,

    Unfortunately, Cubs decisionmaking has been flawed since the early 1900s, possibly due to their inability to use cutting edge technology, such as telephones and typewriters, to their fullest extent. The Cubs missed out on numerous wonderful players by using the telegraph to communicate between scouts and the front office; this put them at a decided disadvantage versus other teams that actually used telephones. It also forced them to hire scouts who knew Morse code, which few did by the early 1950s.

    Also, in the late 20th century, the Cubs made the startling decision to hire, as their play-by-play announcer (which you would not have heard of as they are not yet invented in your time)the grandson of their famous play-by-play announcer, who turned out to be, as you folks would likely put it, a dunce. Actually, by not having play-by-play men, you most likely benefitted from not hearing this person. The Cubs have yet to recover from that debacle.

  12. I like the divisions and the wild card. It give more teams a chance and is exciting. I love playoff baseball on a fall afternoon.

    By the way, I was walking into work this morning and there was a crispness in the air. A cool breeze was blowing off the Tennessee River. It felt like the fall. It was then I remembered football season starts next week!

    Guys, we are almost there. We just need to hold these Phillies off a few more weeks! Let’s go Braves!

  13. I loathe the wild card, even if it is the means for my team to enter the playoffs. 162 games has to count for something. I am not even sure about the idea of “divisions” but oh well.

  14. I find the Wild Card to be more offensive in the NFL than in baseball. It’s always sad to watch four .500 teams scrambling for that last wild card birth in the last few weeks.

  15. Not a fan of the WC either.

    But if we’re going to have it, we should find a better way to reward the league’s top team. We also should have balanced schedules.

    But in Bud World, the notion of fair competition takes a back seat to any & every potential money grab.

  16. Though it pains me to admit it, the view from above Neyland Stadium and the river as the mists rise and the Vol Navy disembarks is breathtaking.

    I can’t imagine a greater setting for college football.

  17. I say the more playoff team the better! There are too many teams to only have two teams decide who the best team is.

    This current set up is really the best opportunity for small market teams to make a run. Im not opposed to adding another WC team, but they would have to shorten the season some.

    It is progressive and adds to the game. It keeps peoples’ interest. If you are really the best team, then you will take care of buisness when it counts.

  18. I think a 162-game schedule is the best filter.

    A sub-.500 team, for example, can win 3/5 from the best team. I just don’t think they earn that opportunity.

  19. 17 — It’s comical in the NBA, when teams several games below .500 have made the playoffs.

  20. The WC is ok with me because the wild cards are often better than the division champions. I would like to see them seed by record so that a WC team with a better record could get home field over a weaker division champion. As romantic as I am talking about the pre-division (or pre-WC) days, there were plenty of years where the pennant race was effectively wrapped up by August and everyone else was playing out the string.

    What I would like to see eliminated is inter-league play. It exists largely to have Yankees/Mets, Cubs/White Sox. I think it takes away from the World Series.

  21. Gotta admit I enjoy inter-league play. But I could live without it if we went to a balanced schedule. If I see the Marlins one more time I’m going to hurl.

  22. The fans show up in droves for interleague play. It advances the game. You have to like things that are good for the game.

    I don’t think the playoffs should be expanded to the point where sub .500 teams are making it in. The way it is set up now is the best way to do it.

  23. Ububba,

    I agree with your concern. The problem is, the WC doesn’t create the problem nearly as much as multiple divisions. In 2006, the Cardinals won the division with 83 wins and got hot. Even in the early 70s, the Mets won with 83, beat a much better Reds team and went to the World Series. I don’t think the Wild Card really affects that. In most cases, the WC is a pretty good team and often better than one of the division champs.

    But I don’t understand the animosity toward Selig. It’s not as if baseball is the only sport that tries to make money. No one complains about Roger Goodell doing things to increase NFL revenue. Sports is a business and always has been. People complain that Selig should do something about the umpires or drug testing. But he operates in an environment where the unions are much stronger; he simply doesn’t have the power to be the czar of baseball. Roger Goodell, on the other hand, deals with part-time officials that he can pretty much get rid of at will and a weak players union. They don’t even have guaranteed contracts in football. Selig certainly has his flaws but I just don’t understand the constant animosity I see directed toward him.

  24. Well I hate interleague play too, because of the inherent scheduling inequity. But as far as the season being wrapped up in August, I have to say, so what? It’s inherent these days, especially in this country, that if your team doesn’t have a shot at postseason, the “fans” stop caring. It’s such a sense of entitlement. People aren’t fans of the sport, or supporters of the local side anymore – these are just mental avatars by which people can grift a little psychological lift from associating themselves with “winners”. Watching a decent NL team on grass is an enjoyment in and of itself, independent of anything else. “Everyone’s a winner!” is great for basketball, hockey, and t-ball, I suppose, but I hate the idea interposing itself in MLB. It distracts from the appreciation of the sport.

  25. Meaning 1: I actually don’t care if they’re on grass. As long as the turf doesn’t have seams, I’m fairly neutral. Domed stadia are awesome, though I know that doesn’t necessarily preclude the use of grass anymore.

    Meaning 2: That would probably make them less able to concentrate on pitches. I imagine it would be worse.

    Meaning 3: Yes, it is fun. Especially with bratwurst and nachos. Lots of nachos.

  26. People who like the DH, the Wild Card or Interleague play are morally dispicable monsters who will be among the first against the wall come the revolution.

  27. I think the eventual solution should be 32 teams in 8 divisions, with each division winner advancing. That way you at least have to win something.

    Expansion always throws the pitching/hitting balance out of whack for a while, though, as more crappy pitchers surface. We’ve just achieved a nice balance in the last couple of years, so I can wait a while.

  28. If the Phillies overtake us, I have a feeling people’s opinion of the wild card will change.

  29. My wish list:
    Balanced Schedule
    All Star game an exhibition only
    No DH
    I’ve come to accept interleague and the Wild Card. But it took a while.

  30. What do you all mean when you say “balanced schedule”? Is it that you play all the teams in the same league the same number of times?

  31. The expanded playoffs are kind of annoying, but on the other hand, having a team like the ’93 Giants fail to make the playoffs isn’t really a good thing, either. So my pipe dream proposal that would never happen is this: Both leagues go back to the balanced schedule, and we eliminate divisions entirely. Just have the two best teams in the league after a 162-game schedule play in the LCS. That way, you’re sure to get the two best teams in the league, without the divisions messing it up. The team with the best record in each league gets home-field advantage in the LCS, and the team with the best record of the two left gets home-field advantage in the World Series. Why not just have the best team in the league go straight to the World Series at that point, you ask? Well, because I like the LCS, and I think the two-tiered postseason is exactly the right length, both from a fan interest perspective, and from a weather perspective.

    EDIT: Yes, Bethany.

  32. @31,

    that would be better than the current set up because having larger divisions would probably reduce the chances of a .500 team winning the division. But it might still leave some divisions much stronger so that a weaker division winner would get in over a stronger second-place team. But I could probably live with that if you had balanced schedules so that you couldn’t win the division just by beating up on the weaklings in your own division.

  33. I think without the knowledge that one team would not make the playoffs, 93 either wouldn’t have happened or been anywhere near as interesting. I found it to be pretty much perfect.

  34. Without the Wild Card, the Florida Marlins and their long suffering fan-base would never have won even one of their two World Series.

    Interesting note: Before the institution of the Wild Card, the Marlins had never even advanced to the playoffs and had an all-time winning percentage of .395.

  35. The very reason why ’93 was so compelling was the fact that one team wouldn’t make the playoffs.

    And that Giants team isn’t the only 100-win club to lose out. In ’80, the O’s won 100, but the Yanks won 103. In ’42, the Dodgers won 104, but the Cards won 106.

  36. The WC will be with us forever. How else can we insure that the Yankees and RedSox will both go to the playoffs. (That is, when somebody down South gets the hint …)

  37. I’ve come around to the fact that the expanded eight team playoff is here to stay. I also agree with sansho that an eight-division, 32 team setup is likely – though probably not anytime soon.

    The biggest gripes I have about the current playoff setup (aside from the all-star game) are the five game division series and the scheduling. In my opinion, the DS should be seven games and the overall playoff schedule should not include so many days off. This way, it better reflects the regular season schedule.

    Was there an announcement at some point that there would be fewer days off scheduled during the playoffs this season or next? Maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part.

  38. I hear what you’re saying, but it’s just not particularly good for the game to have 100-win teams missing the playoffs while lesser teams get in, in my opinion. I also doubt San Francisco, Baltimore and Brooklyn feel nearly as romantic about those seasons as we do. There’s gotta be a way to insure that, generally speaking, 100-win teams get in while 80-win teams do not.

    EDIT: I just realized that, in ’42, it would’ve been Brooklyn, not Los Angeles.

  39. Truth is, if you were not a Brsves fan, you would hardly remember 93, not to speak of calling it the greatest pennant race ever. I like the wildcard because more teams have something to play for. The only better solution I can think of would be two leagues of 16 with four divisions each, the division champions advancing, and a balanced schedule.

    Why people dispise interleague play is beyond me. WHAT is so wrong with seeing a different team once in a while?

    I also like the idea of a meaningful – but not too meaningful – all star game. Homefield advantage in the playoffs might be too much of a reward for winning one game, granted, but SOME meaning never hurts the competition.

  40. Also, Yankees won 103 in 1954 and lost to an Indian team winning 111.

    I agree those kinds of pennant races are compelling and they are gone for good with the wild card. The problem is, as long as you have multiple divisions, with the possibility of near .500 teams making the playoffs, that’s extremely unfair. At least the Giants didn’t miss out to a team that won 83 games (although the Phillies won considerably fewer than both the Braves and Giants–and of course, got to the World Series). And, to be fair to MLB, I think the WC does create more interest in more places, especially today when baseball is more of a regional sport.

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing fewer playoffs to avoid having the season end during the winter–but I suspect Fox Sports would not agree.

  41. @46
    it says they will claim him, not that they have. big difference. there’s nothing that says he’s even been placed on waivers yet. just speculation.

  42. Ken Rosenthal thinks the White Sox — and Stu — are “crazy.”

    What we know now is this: Manny is 38. He has been on the disabled list three times this season due to leg injuries. And while he still can hit, he is not the same threat he once was, and all but useless in left field…

    I wouldn’t claim him. I wouldn’t trade for him. I wouldn’t trust him, not mentally and certainly not physically, even for five or six weeks.

    Zing!

  43. Well, if he got all the way to the White Sox, it means that we didn’t claim him and that the Phillies didn’t block us, meaning they weren’t even really concerned about us claiming him.

  44. That’s a bit surprising. It means the Rays won’t get him, and it means any NL team will have to be prepared to pay the rest of his salary this year to get him.

  45. @50, he hasn’t been on waivers long enough for the claiming period to be over unless all of the reports about him not being on waivers yesterday were wrong. It just cuts out the Rays, Yanks, RSox, etc.

  46. Yeah. What we do know is this – Ken Rosenthal has never assembled a real baseball team, and is pretty much a gossip columnist.

    Truth is, if you were not a Brsves fan, you would hardly remember 93, not to speak of calling it the greatest pennant race ever.

    This is absurd. Have you ever googled “greatest pennant races”? Plenty of non-braves fan writers cite it as one of the 5 or so greatest. I mean, perhaps casual fans don’t remember, but what is their opinion worth?

  47. I would think that if we were interested in him, and I still don’t think we are, we would probably pass on claiming him and wait to see if he cleared waivers. Then, if he did, we would see if we could work out a deal with the Dodgers where we could kick in some prospects and not have to take on his full salary, like we did with Derrek Lee. I don’t think we would claim him and risk having to play over $3 million for the rest of the season. Not saying whether that’s right or wrong, but I don’t think we’d do it.

  48. I’m probably the only person on here who thinks this, but I think Derrek Lee and Manny Ramirez are about six in one, half a dozen the other at this point. Manny’s ceiling is higher than Lee, but you can’t expect that he’s gonna hit that ceiling, and you can at least count on Lee to not cost you runs. People on here are seriously overestimating what Manny Ramirez would do the rest of the year, methinks.

  49. He couldn’t be much worse than Lee to date, and Lee isn’t remotely in Manny’s class as a hitter. Lee’s defense hasn’t looked of any particular quality either.

    /he may not cost me any runs, but it would be nice if he could produce a couple.

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