Phillies 3, Braves 1

Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Box Score – September 20, 2010 – ESPN.

I have already decided to blame Melky Cabrera for everything.

Brandon Beachy, given an emergency start because Jair Jurrjens‘ knee is acting up, was… okay. A little wild, walking three (two of them intentionally) and striking out just one. He gave up a lot of fly balls, but the balls weren’t carrying tonight, and he shouldn’t have been hurt by it. However…

The Braves took the lead in the second, when Derrek Lee singled and Brian McCann just missed a homer, doubling off the wall in right field. Matt Diaz followed with a single (McCann had no chance to score) to make it first-and-third, none out, and a big chance at a big inning against Cole Hamels. But Alex Gonzalez struck out, and Melky, being Melky, grounded into a double play.

The Phillies tied it up in the bottom of the inning with two doubles. Then in the fifth, the roof caved in… on the defense. Jason Heyward whiffed on a fly ball, allowing Shane “Burn In Hell” Victorino to go all the way to third. He scored on a groundout, then Beachy walked Chase Utley, prompting Bobby to go with Eric O’Flaherty. For some reason, after O’Flaherty walked Ryan Howard (Utley having stolen second and gone to third on a throwing error on McCann) Bobby left him in there to walk Jayson Werth, then get an RBI groundout by Raul Ibanez before Peter Moylan came in to put out the fire. 3-1.

Heyward walked with one out in the sixth. Martin Prado just missed a tying homer foul, then grounded into his second inning-ending double play of the night. That was it. The bullpen hung in there well, but the offense didn’t threaten at all.

59 thoughts on “Phillies 3, Braves 1”

  1. So does Melky.

    And you know what? He shouldn’t be in there against lefties. He gives away so much in the outfield that he’d have to be at least league average as a hitter, but he’s not. His .289 wOBA against lefties is awful. Why not give the red-hot McLouth a shot?

    Irritating.

  2. Aag needs more if the blame IMO. He came up with 1st and 3rd no one out and was thrown four balls, problem is he swung at three of them. They weren’t even close guys. Also he botched yet another possible play at the plate.

  3. At least there’s lots of promising new shows premiering this week. The Event was good, and there’s House and Fringe with new seasons starting up. I’m looking forward to Outsourced as well, and even though it doesn’t look great I’m going to give Undercovers a try because it’s by J. J. Abrams.

  4. bobby lost this game tonight before it even started. there’s no reason why a player with a .507 ops for the last month should play UNLESS he’s a defensive specialist. melky might have been a defensive specialist 45 lbs ago.

    stupid play bobby.

  5. Hard not to blame Heyward.

    Remember when people said Agony’s defense was just as good as Escobar? Ha ha, that was funny.

  6. They’re better. They started Cole Hamels, we started some kid. What did everyone think was going to happen?

    Just gotta try and steal one of the three and move on.

  7. #9 & #18
    Yup & yup. Let’s get at least one & get the hell outta town.

    Went to The Bronx for the Steinbrenner circle jerk tonight. Was heartened to hear some snark from the peanut gallery: “Why is his plaque twice the size of Babe Ruth’s?”

  8. @20, Is there any “lets win this one for George” sentiment floating around Yankee Nation? I’m already dreading all the Yankees and their fans waxing poetic about how they’re destined to win this year.

  9. Not really.

    Most people in YankeeLand realize what an awful tyrant he was—and a guy who didn’t know that much about the game.

    At the stadium tonight, there was more reaction to Yogi, Mattingly & Torre.

  10. Beachy kept the team in it enough where there was a chance to win (or tie) the game, I think that’s all you could really hope for with him tonight. I think at the very least we learned tonight that he has a real good chance of being the Medlen at the beginning of the year role for next year’s club. He looks like he could be the long man innings eater type who could fill in the rotation if somebody gets DL’d.

  11. How come the Phillies adjust their rotation to start their three best for this series and we did not? Why are we trying to coast into the playoffs? This sucks.

  12. If you hold the Phillies to 3 runs in their park you have to win. Cole Hamels is not an immovable object, and we’ll face far better if we make it to the playoffs.

  13. Beachy was fine but Cole Hamels is one of the best pitchers in baseball and the Braves are not one of the best hitting teams in baseball. I disagree, Bethany, that the Braves would face many far better. This guy is a hell of a pitcher. The Phillies are far sounder on offense, defense, and pitching than the Braves. They are just a better team. They were also luckier tonight.

    What’s frustrating to me is that the Phillies are going to continue to be a better team for a long time. The core of the team likely has several more years in their prime before we see significant slippage. The Braves defense isn’t going to magically become great next year; they aren’t going to add tons of speed and power. (Forget the Carl Crawford fantasy–that’s not happening.) Given the payroll, they will probably do what they did this year–add an inexpensive piece here and there (perhaps trading one of the arms), continuing to mix and match, hope that Freddie Freeman is ready, expect improvement from Jason Heyward, etc. I don’t think there is any great desire on the part of Liberty to have the Braves overtake the Phillies; in fact, I bet Liberty is very happy with this year, regardless of what happens. The team was competitive, attendence was steady if not a little better, and payroll stayed constant. I bet Liberty would be quite happy to repeat this next year.

    Pardon my pessimism but I’m not feeling too optimistic today. This is a tough, resilient team but I’ve just had this feeling all year that the Braves were paddling upstream even when they were in first place. Maybe they can still sneak into the playoffs if they can survive this series.

  14. #25 – why would we adjust our rotation just for this series? even by getting our best three out there, there isnt a pitching matchup that would be in our favor

  15. The Braves did adjust their rotation. They (finally) skipped an injured JJ and went with the wild card. Beachy did well enough. The defense sucked at the wrong time and Prado pulled the hell out of that ball.

  16. I actually got to watch a game on television. That was kind of cool. I wish they would’ve hit better. The one thing this team was doing well was working counts so they could get into the bullpen. Hamels went deep tonight and he was the difference. That and Lidge doesn’t suck this year.

  17. Bethany, who is far better than Cole Hamels that the Braves would see in the playoffs? Halladay? Oswalt? And its only possible to see one of Latos/Lincecum/Jiminez. And right now Cole is pitching better than anyone in baseball. Sub 2.00 ERA since the ASB.

  18. The Braves actually outhit the Phils, 6-5. For me, the high point was watching Heyward work the count from 0-2 to draw a walk. I thought for sure Hamels was about to break, and it looked like the Braves had him on the ropes. The double plays killed them.

  19. I’m looking forward to Melky Cabrera not being on the team next year.

    You can’t work counts if the guy is throwing quality strikes. Right now, Hamels is pitching better than anyone, including Halladay. Yes, he had some luck last night, but that’s part of it too. And the Braves don’t hit lefties.

  20. Halladay has had two complete games in his two starts vs the Braves this year.

    April 21 – 9IP 5H 0ER 1BB 7K
    July 5th – 9IP 5H 1ER 1BB 7K

    However, he has given up at least 3ER in his past 5 starts. He’s due for a bad outing against us. Has any pitcher had 3 complete games against the same team in the same calendar season before?

  21. On the plus side, since it appears that the Phils will win the division, perhaps handily, they will be setting their rotation for the playoffs and the Braves will likely not have to face the “big three” Phillies’ starters on the final weekend series. That should be better for the Braves’ Wild Card chances, I guess.

  22. discouraging stats: the phils have won 17 of their last 20 and sport a .672 winning percentage since the break. our best case scenario is that the phils have clenched by the time that last series rolls around.

  23. Still in good shape here. Five games left with Philly, let’s say we win two. Six with the Nats and Marlins, let’s say four wins there.

    So that’s 92-70 without any real heroics, Pads would need to go 9-4 to tie, I’m not sure they are capable of that anymore. Rockies would need a 10-3 stretch to tie. They are clearly capable of that but the odds of anyone winning 10 of 13 are not that good.

    I still like our chances of postseason baseball. It would be nice if we still had a few healthy starting pitchers left when we get there.

  24. @41,

    Depending on when the Phillies first playoff game is, they might face the Big 3, but they probably would only pitch a few innings.

    It’s going to be embarrassing if the Phillies end up winning the division by five or six games after being 7 back. But the Braves used to do that; blow open a close race and win handily. On the bright side, Braves finished fourth in 2008, third last year, probably second this year. So, if the trend continues next year . . .

  25. My biggest concern from the past few weeks is that JJ is really hurting his trade value. He’s been a good pitcher so he might net a really good piece, and he’s about to get paid so the Braves could save a bunch of money by trading him and switching to Geico that could be used on the FA market, so it makes tons of sense to trade him, imo.

    But he’s sucked the past few weeks and been injured twice this year, so the former might be less true while the latter might stay the same.

    JJ needs to get healthy and be dominant for the remainder of his starts. Not only to help the Braves win, but to help them trade him in the offseason for an OF who doesn’t invent new ways to be terrible. If the Braves choose to go with another platoon or “proven veteran” (baseball speak for old yet cheap guy) in LF for yet another year, I may just jump off a bridge with a box of puppies hanging around my neck.

  26. If I was a betting man, I’d bet on the Braves to win the WC (and for some reason, Colorado to win the NL West). They are indeed still in good shape.

    The Braves’ mediocrity over the past month, however, is definitely a concern. The way they’re playing–with bad defense, shaky starting pitching, and lousy production from the middle of the order–will ultimately cost the team in a very winnable first round matchup. Obviously, getting to the postseason is what matters right now, and what happens in the playoffs has little relationship to what happened beforehand. Even still, the Braves are not playing well and need to play much, much better.

  27. I dont see the Braves moving JJ now, even if he was healthy. Braves will not be keeping KK around it seems. They would rather pay part of that $7mil and let him start elsewhere. I dont see the Braves moving both he and JJ, at least not while Medlen is out all of 2011.

    I could see him getting moved next offseason, when Meds/Teheran/Delgado all appear to be possible SP

  28. I could see them going with a rotation of Hudson/Hanson/Lowe/Minor/Beachy. Two “veterans” in Hudson and Lowe, a third year guy in Hanson, and two rookies. They still have injury replacement options in the minors with Redmond and Diamond and they could always make a deal for someone if absolutely necessary.

    I’m not saying they should trade him for nothing just to clear salary. I just think they have to trade him if they want to improve the offense in more significant manner than another Garret Anderson-esque signing. Of course it would be nice to keep him until next season when you have an embarrassing surplus of people to fill SP roles, but sometimes you have to lose something here to gain something there. I think one season of a potentially shaky back-end of the rotation (because who really doesn’t have a shaky back-end anyway?) is worth it if we can get a significant upgrade on offense.

  29. Before the Medlen injury I would have bet that Jair would be traded over the off season.

    #51 – I respectfully disagree. Minor doesn’t have enough of a track record IMHO.

  30. Ya, I don’t think JJ moves this off-season. Besides, his value probably wouldn’t be that high at this point. If you wanted to move him, the time was last off-season.

  31. Infante – 4 Heyward – 9 Prado – 5 McCann – 2 Lee – 3 McLouth – 7 Gonzalez – 6 Ankiel – 8 Minor – 1

  32. Meh I’d just put Diaz in full time. He’ll hack just as much as Ankiel, but at least he provides decent security measures as well. Better than the Phil’s own security anyway.

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