Phillies 1, Braves 0

Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Box Score – September 22, 2010 – ESPN.

That could have gone better. What’s really frustrating is that as hot as the Phillies are, the Braves could easily have won any of the games with some more timely hitting. Or, tonight, with any hitting at all.

The Braves were one-hit for seven innings off of Roy Oswalt, that one hit a two-out double by Martin Prado in the fourth. The only other baserunner was Brian McCann on a two-out walk in the seventh. That apparently was the signal to go to Ryan Madson, who got them 1-2-3 in the eighth. Jason Heyward drew a two-out walk against Brad Lidge in the ninth and stole second, but Martin Prado flew out on a 3-2 pitch to end it.

Tommy Hanson, as has so often been the case this second half of the season, deserved a better fate, but at least got a no-decision. He took a no-hitter into the fifth and struck out the loathsome Shane Victorino to get out a jam that inning, then got Raul Ibanez to get out of a two-on situation in the sixth. That was it for him. Peter Moylan and Craig Kimbrel combined to get through the seventh, but Jonny Venters couldn’t get through the eighth. As he does, Chase Utley leaned into a pitch and got a call, but Venters, as so often has been the case lately after allowing the leadoff man on got the next hitter (Ryan Howard) to ground into a double play. But he walked Jayson Werth, then allowed a double to Ibanez for the game’s only run.

155 thoughts on “Phillies 1, Braves 0”

  1. Frankly, this one probably should have just been headlined “Phillies 1.” When Braves swing at everything willy-nilly, as they’ve done more and more since the ASB, the real surprise was that this wasn’t a perfect game.

  2. there is no reason for Diaz to be sitting for the likes of Ankiel, Melky, or Nate. You cant start two of those guys. Has Ankiel reached or passed Frenchy’s black hole of suckiness?

  3. the Braves started 2 OF’s with .601 and .613 OPS in September. I bet that has never happened before in Baseball history.

  4. It’s perfectly reasonable to say “chill” after getting one hit by one of the best pitchers in the league. But when you’re also making Who Whatshisname with a career 7.00 ERA look like Bob Gibson for half a season then it’s just as acceptable to not “chill” imo.

  5. 5 — Not for teams that are in playoff contention. It’s amazing what this team has done despite itself this year.

  6. Someone go look up our record when Nate F. McOut is in the lineup.

    Still, obsessing over whether Melky/Nate/Diaz/Ankiel is better is pretty much like asking whether you’d rather have gonorrhea or anal warts.

  7. 6- Playoff teams need to win at least SOME of these games, and the Braves don’t. These are the pitchers the Braves will face if they face the Phillies in the playoffs, and the other playoff rotations aren’t much worse.

  8. So we need a Padres loss tonight to keep sole possession of the Wild Card. Tomorrow is going to be a long off-day.

  9. Well they have life yet, even if they aren’t acting like it. Hopefully the Braves can actually beat the Nats this time around, though I’m skeptical.

  10. Frank Wren ought to be ashamed of himself. The fact that he thought this was a playoff caliber offense makes me question his judgment.

  11. Minor is scheduled to start Monday. Why? Bobby can go on Hanson on 4 days rest, then consider using Hudson and Lowe on 3 days rest before the next off-day.

  12. #12, not entirely true. If the Giants don’t get something working against Marmol, they will remain half a game behind.

  13. Lets end the McLouth in LF experiment. The guy is dreadful out there and has an arm that makes Johnny Damon laugh at him.

  14. What’s with McLouth in left field? He seemed to be a perfectly competent center fielder. But, put him in left field and he’s Rico Carty. (If only he could hit like Rico Carty!)

  15. We’re basically the Mets now. We know we’re losers and we eventually play the part. I almost want us not to make the playoffs, it will obviously end painfully.

  16. The Phillies have a six game lead. The Braves had a three game lead in September. So really, when you think about it: if the Braves had a nine game lead in September they would’ve just blown it tonight. Awful.

  17. My dad is convinced that McClouth’s bad mojo is the reason for the steady drop in play over the past several weeks.

    “We’ve been McClouthed”

  18. What sucks is that we have two more years of this crap until we can make any real improvements to our offense. We are going to have the all around mediocrity of zombie Chipper Jones, Derek Lowe for those years and Nate Louth plus the unconscionable services of Kenshin Kawakami of which even Bobby has no faith sucking up half of our payroll. The other 40+ million dollars can be used to keep an above average bench together so that we can have bench players that are as good as half of our starting position players and then of course to account for raises to our actual talent. Doomed.

  19. Sarg Matthews is the color guy on the Phillies TV broadcast. He spent the majority of the evening whining about Hanson’s strike zone; no mention of the 5 inches Oswalt was getting. In short, he’s a bigger loser than his son, which is sayin’ something.

  20. @ 28
    I think there’s something to that, no matter how he plays I think he’s just somehow a loser. I felt the same way about Kelly Johnson. Not only do they seem to have a knack for not coming through when it counts which of course makes them “losers” in an obvious and literal sense, but I think players (teammates as well as opponents) see a guy like Nate Louth and think to themselves “A team that includes this guy is not a team to be feared.” Don’t get me wrong, I like Nate and wish I didn’t feel this way about him, but I just think he is a cooler.

  21. From what I’ve seen of the American League contenders the last week or two and as week as the Padres, Braves and Giants are offensively combined with Cincinnati’s mediocre pitching and the fact that the Rockies may not even make the playoffs I think there’s a pretty good chance the Phillies win it all. it’s there’s to lose at this point.

  22. I still think it was foul. Looked a little like Nate did (he was talking to the ump after the inning).

    McLouth has been one of the few guys who has exhibited a pulse offensively of late. I’ll just leave this link here. McCann has taken no stick that I’ve seen (though I don’t read everything), but he needs to pick it up and carry the offense. I know it’s just three weeks of poor stats, but it’s time.

    I almost think I would just roll the same 8 guys from here until the end. Nate in center, Matt in left. I know each have benefitted from sitting against lefties and righties respectively, but Melky and Ankiel are the alternatives, and neither have hit either all year or in September. True talent-wise, I think Nate and Matt are better than Melky and post-fluke Ankiel, or certainly the versions we see now.

    We have some pretty good matchups coming up, though, so hopefully our outfield rotation won’t play a factor.

  23. Baseball is a weird game, the Phillies are getting all the breaks now but those have a way of evening out. I don’t expect Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt and Lidge to continue pitching at subhuman levels. And their offense, outside of Utely, Howard (who can be neutralized with LHP) and Werth, is very pedestrian. They’re lucky they play in a high school ballpark.

  24. Oh darkness makes them cringe
    Perhaps caught
    Respectable impeccable
    Not taught
    The key losers

    Not to trust an instinct
    Blame them
    No wait don’t tame them
    They will let you down every time
    The key losers

    In the clutch
    Twice as much
    In the long run
    Final gun
    Down the stretch we couldn’t catch
    The part-time players
    The scrubs
    Consistently choking
    The roach coach is smoking

    They will let you down every time
    The key losers

  25. @37

    Ruiz is very solid, almost a .400 OBP, and also Ibanez and Rollins if healthy. Neither Polanco and Victorino are useless, either. Murderer’s Row of the (admittedly garbage at this point) 2010 National League easily; I think you’re selling them short.

    Still in the edit window, so I’ll add that the Phillies as currently constructed have little to no weaknesses in the playoffs. Good Lidge and Madson should be the only relievers they’ll really need with Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels starting most/all of the games. Obviously the impact of the back end of the rotation and bullpen will be reduced/negated by the nature of the playoffs, and those are the major weaknesses.

    I think it will either take a roughly equal starting pitching performance along with a little luck (Giants? Maybe Padres, maybe us? Yankees closest in the AL?) or a superpatient, superhuman offensive display (just the Yankees, then) to put the Phillies out. Easier to get lucky in the division series, I guess.

  26. Ruiz is a complete fluke, he has never been this useful; Rollins and Ibanez are injured and old. Victorino is a league average hitter and Polanco has a 730 OPS AT THIRD BASE playing half his games in a high school ballpark. I’m not impressed.

    Obviously, their top 3 is very good. But you should know that doesn’t guarantee anything in the postseason. There is also no way Lidge doesn’t blow up again at some point.

    I think they are blowing their load right now.

  27. The Good Side: The Braves kept Victorino in check, and Utley struck out twice yesterday. The one Phillie who hurt them was Werth. The Braves worked the count against Hamels and Halladay and, to a lesser extent, Oswalt, though I wish the Braves would have stepped out more to break up their rhythm.

  28. Perhaps on Ruiz, though catchers do peak later than other position players, and he’s having as good a year (or better) than McCann, though in less time. I hope it is a fluke.

    Rollins’s replacement sucks, I won’t argue that. Not sure how long he’s out for, so if he plays in the playoffs, then I think it’s another above-average spot for them (pretty much every spot is).

    Ibanez is having a hot second half, though he’s been streaky since signing with the Phils. Still a dangerous hitter in my book, even if he’s not above average for LF.

    Victorino is league average, but he’d doing it in CF, so above average for position. Polanco is a 2B playing 3B, and his defense is more than making up for his bat. Not really the type of player that would benefit from short porches, anyways.

    With a healthy Rollins, they have no holes in their lineup, and they’re patient, too. Kind of a Yankees-lite.

  29. 35- Well, from what I’ve seen, I think the AL team will win the Series, probably the Twins or Yankees. But yes, it’s hard to see anyone beating Philly in the NL.

  30. Still in the edit window, so I’ll add that the Phillies as currently constructed have little to no weaknesses in the playoffs

    Yeah the Phillies have actually gone through the trouble of finding a capable major league player for each of their starting positions. It’s a revolutionary concept.

    We do this ‘Strength In Numbers’ thing where if we have a unacceptable player at a position we fix the problem by going out a finding another one just like him. Turns out having three shitty centerfielders isn’t really any better than having just one.

  31. Yeah, i have read this site for years but don’t comment or read comments too often. I didn’t realize we were posting whole GBV songs! good stuff.

    Fueled by ‘tropical robots’ and ‘a crick uphill’, yes, Mac and all, we are more DOOMED tonight than we were last night when i took umbrage to the life-support jab.

    But even so, i gotta feel like the path is still there. we have 9 games left and each of them against beatable teams, figuring that the Phils will clinch at some point prior to the atlanta series, and we’ll get Hamels, Blanton and Kendrick or something like that.

    Meanwhile, we can all acquiesce the division title. Not happening; call me back if the Phils lose 5 in a row before we see em next. Which means we are only concerned with those 3 teams out west. The thing is, none of them are the Phillies. They are all losing at a similar rate to the Braves. The Giants lost to the Cubs tonight (how different is that from us losing to the Nats) and the Rockies had their CY YOUNG CANDIDATE on the mound tonight and are currently losing 5-4 in the eighth. (*although, fuck, GameCast shows Troy Tulowitzki facing Mike Hampton. ye gods!**)

    Anyway, the point is, nobody likes to get swept. But we are still in this. It is hard to admit our division foes are the best team in baseball, esp. since we led the division for the bulk of the year. But let’s try something different. Let’s just try to care about our team winning that wild card race with a great last week. Put the Phillies in our rear-view mirror for the time being. Let’s just cheer for Bobby to get one more ticket to the dance, just for old-time’s sake!


  32. *Before you brand Kelly Johnson a loser, know that he just hit a 2-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to double the D’backs’ lead on the Rockies. The man he drove in? Ryan Church! go figure.

    Hey, Mac, there’s something good Francoeur did: his suckiness sent Church on a roundabout path to Arizona, whereupon he eventually helped the Braves by not allowing a key competitor to gain ground at our darkest hour.

  33. And both the West Coast games end with wins for the Padres and D’Backs. We’re half a game up on the Giants now.

  34. Born to lose, I’ve lived my life in vain
    Every dream I dreamed has only brought me pain
    All my life, I’ve always been so blue
    Born to lose, and now I’m losing you.

    Born to lose, it seems so hard to bear
    How I long to always have you near
    You’ve grown tired, and now you say we’re through
    Born to lose, and now I’m losing you.

    Born to lose, I’ve lived my life in vain
    Every dream I dreamed has only brought me pain
    All my life, I’ve always been so blue
    Born to lose, and now I’m losing you
    Born to lose, and now I’m losing you

  35. It’s just gotta be killin Chipper lately to not be playing. Shocking that Venters would be running out of gas, he hardly pitched at all before September.

  36. Glad that’s over!
    Nine games left.Winning 6 of them; I like our chances. Winning 5; still very possible.

    Go Braves!

    (and glad it’s finally time to yell Go Dawgs!)

  37. Someone noted the Phillies’ payroll was much larger than the Braves. Could that have anything to do with the fact that the Phillies sellout every night while the Braves draw less than 20,000 during the week? I’m not saying Liberty isn’t making money off the Braves–I’m sure they are–or that they couldn’t afford to spend more. And I understand the issues with the location of Turner Field and all. But, still, is there any reason to think fans would turn out in substantially larger numbers if the payroll was larger? The Phillies seem to have a big advantage over the Braves, both in the location of the park and the size of the fan base. As far as I can see, Robert’s point about the Braves looking at “stength in numbers” isn’t going to change in the near future. The idea the Braves will go after Carl Crawford or whomever is fantasy.

    I’m depressed; it’s no fun to be in a “pennant race” when the team is sucking down the stretch. I’m not particularly surprised the Braves got swept, but I’m afraid the Braves are always going to be the Phillies’ stepchild, similar to the way the Phillies and Mets were to the Braves in the 90s. All I want is to know the team is doing everything it can to be the best team it can be–but I know this is not the case with the Braves.

  38. I would make more games at the Ted if it didn’t cost me in the neighborhood of $2k to go to a game.

    Also, if I had a wish, it would be for Prado to get a little rest. That poor guy looks beat. Like Glaus (but in better shape).

  39. Ya. Biggest problem with losing Chipper is that it basically eliminates any useful backup at SS, 3B, and 2B. Don’t get me wrong, I love the folk hero as much as anyone. But he’s more of a 9-inning pinch hitter than a starter.

  40. Marc- the Phillies payroll is mostly the size that it is mostly because their homegrown players have become stars over the past several years and the Phillies’ FO has realized that to keep the fanbase happy, and the team winning for that matter, they need to pay the players what they are worth.

    However, the question as to why they sell out so many games (120 straight) has a simple answer- a winning ball club and a beautiful and easily accessible stadium.

  41. I think going to a baseball game is a relatively cheap deal if you compare it to other sports.

    I think that we are now in the middle of the first generation of people where the Braves have been in Atlanta all of their life. My dad isn’t as attached as I am, because he remembers them in Mil.

    Also, the Braves have a huge regional following. Look at this board for example; most of us live at least an hour or more from Turner Field.

    I think the Braves have a huge fan base, but they are so strung out, it is hard to go to a lot of games.

  42. Yeah, that’s the bulk of my expense. I have to fly across the Pacific to make a game. Although I did get to see the Yankees in Tokyo a few years ago (with Darren Bragg!). The Hanshin Tigers beat them in the exhibition game I attended. I made a few friends when they discovered I was pulling for the Tigers.

  43. Well, I’m not suggesting people travel across the globe to attend Braves games. I’m just saying that the Phillies’ attendence makes it more likely they will have a larger payroll. I agree it’s probably a problem that so much of the fan base is not in Atlanta and that, from what I understand, the ballpark is far away from the majority of the fan base that is in Atlanta. But the Braves did sellout for several years at the old stadium, so it’s not impossible.

    The point is, the disparity in payroll isn’t going away. The Braves dominance in the 90s was made possible by their (Ted Turner’s) willingness to keep the Big Three together; very few teams at the time could have or would have done that. And the Braves certainly would not do that today. But the Braves were drawing big crowds at the time too. Now it’s the Phillies that have a Big Three and the financial wherewithal to keep them together.

  44. They make it difficult to “just go to the game”.

    If the Parking concession folks didn’t have the city by the short ones, we might have been able to find a good use for MARTA, but NO – no train stop for you!

    Just insane. Or, rather, just corrupt.

    The tickets themselves are not that bad and now that they’ll let you bring some of your own food and drink, you can do it pretty economically. (I will not pay more for one beer than what usually gets me six.)

    It’s getting in and out of there that limits my visits.

  45. Friday’s game is huge. Not just for whether we win or not, but a blowout would help immeasurably. If that happens, we can take Hudson out early with a big lead and pitch him on short rest on Tuesday, putting him on schedule to pitch in the last game of the season.

  46. Am I right that head-to-head record would decide who hosts a wild-card play-in game in case of a tie? So we’d host SF or SD and have to go to Coors if the Rockies make a run?

    Looking at these upcoming pitching matchups, Hudson vs Nats #7 starter and Lowe v #8 starter are must-win right? And assuming that because of the rest on off days, Tommy will be able to sneak in 2 more starts. Also Beachy will make the Minor start? I hope JJ is healthy or we’ll have 2 potential spot starter issues right?

    Thu 9.23 OFF DAY

    Fri 9.24 T Hudson v J Zimmermann (0-2, 6.75)
    Sat 9.25 D Lowe v Y Maya (0-2, 6.32)
    Sun 9.26 J Jurjjens v L Hernandez (10-12, 3.75)

    Mon 9.27 T Hanson v A Sanabia (5-3, 3.99)
    Tue 9.28 B Beachy v A Sanchez (12-10, 3.46)
    Wed 9.29 T Hudson v A Miller (1-3, 8.17)

    Thu 9.30 OFF DAY

    Fri 10.1 D Lowe v C Hamels (12-10, 2.93)
    Sat 10.2 J Jurrjens v J Blanton (7-6, 5.04)
    Sun 10.3 T Hanson v K Kendrick (10-9, 4.78)

  47. I don’t go to many braves games because I am like braves kryptonite. They are 3-6 with me in attendance this year. I am 0-2 at the Mets (0-3 lifetime in NYC). 0-2 at Dodger stadium (1-4 in my lifetime in LA, 2-0 in SD though), and the braves are 3-2 with me at Turner this year. 2-2 in games I watched more than inning of.

    The Braves OPS(s)during the month of Sept.
    Infante – .643
    Prado – .600
    McCann – .643
    Ross – .650 (1-7)
    A Gon – .693
    Hinske – .411 (3-17)
    Conrad – .334 (2-12)
    Melky – .499 (that is freaking awful, but it gets worse)
    Ankiel – .476 (4-25, told you it got worse)
    Glaus – .564
    Diaz – .720
    Lee – .844
    Heyward – .927
    McLouth – .936 (That number is sort of decieving, OBP is .326, he is slugging .601 this month.)

    I don’t know what you do when you have no options.

  48. Basically, the season comes down to the Braves, Giants, and Padres now, and maybe the Rockies. Two of them will advance… here are the schedules:

    Padres have 11 games left: 1 @ LA; 3 vs. Cincy; 4 vs. Chi; and 3 @SF.
    Giants have 10 games left: 1 @ Chi; 3 @ Col; 3 vs. Ari; 3 vs. SD
    Braves have 9 games left: 3 @ Wash; 3 vs. Fla; 3 vs. Phi
    Rockies have 11 games left: 1 @ Ari; 3 vs. SF; 3 vs. LA; 4 @ Stl.

  49. 63-If that’s the case then they’d have Hudson ready for Game 1 of the NLDS–if they are lucky enough to make it.

  50. From USATODAY for Jeffyphiles:

    •Jeff Francoeur, the last of Texas’ numerous stretch-drive roster additions, doubled in the 12th inning and scored from third on a two-out passed ball by Angels catcher Jeff Mathis for a 2-1 Rangers win. That leaves Texas with the opportunity to wrap up the AL West by winning twice in its four-game series at second-place Oakland that begins tonight. That’s two big finishes for Francoeur in his six appearances for the Rangers since being acquired from the Mets. The other was driving in the winning run against the Yankees when Mariano Rivera hit him with a pitch in the ninth inning Sept. 11.

  51. #63, I’d still go with Hudson on Tuesday, Beachy plus the pen on the Wednesday before the off day, then Hanson and Hudson to finish the season.

    The NLDS will start on the Thursday (the Phillies will choose to start on the Wednesday so they only have to use 3 starters) after the end of the season so even if we finish with Hanson and Hudson, they can start games 1 and 2 in that order.

    This way for the rest of the season we get 3 starts from Hudson, 2 from Hanson, 2 from Lowe and 1 each from Beachy and Jurrjens.

  52. everyone can keep blaming McLouth for the bad throw….Im putting more of the blame on Venters. He walked Werth and fell behind 2-0 to Ibanez. Then he left a 94mph fastball up in the zone.

    The Braves played about as poorly as they could play.

  53. Ref. post #65

    It looks like we need to be Giants fans down the stretch. They get 3 vs. the Rox and the Padres. If the Giants can get hot, they are the team that can help us the most.

  54. FWIW, I don’t think a perfect relay throw from McLouth to Gonazalez definitely gets Werth out at home. We’re talking about 2 throws here. Chances less than 50/50, IMO.

    Everybody seems to be sucking wind, but… 9 games left. Gotta find a way to win at least 5, probably 6. (Those evil Marlins lurking.)

    I’m 6-12 seeing Braves in the post-season, but that never keeps me from going. If they make it into this post-season, I’m going again. I like to see big games in-person—I’m weird like that.

  55. I’m still wondering how I’m going to handle the argument with my wife about A) going to a post season game B) taking my son with me & B) getting decent seats.

    All assuming we still make it.

  56. #70,

    Venters had nothing last night. The Phils announcers mentioned multiple times that his stuff looked hittable for the first time since they’ve seen him pitch. 5 games in 6 days will do that to a relief pitcher.

  57. #69 – Cox wants Jurrjens to make Sunday start

    #68 – I like that, we can win 5 of these 9 right? (potentially only facing 2 starting LHPs in the final 9)

    Fri 9.24 T Hudson v J Zimmermann (RHP, 0-2, 6.75)
    Sat 9.25 D Lowe v Y Maya (RHP, 0-2, 6.32)
    Sun 9.26 J Jurrjens v L Hernandez (RHP, 10-12, 3.75)
    Mon 9.27 T Hanson v A Sanabia (RHP, 5-3, 3.99)
    Tue 9.28 T Hudson v A Sanchez (RHP, 12-10, 3.46)
    Wed 9.29 B Beachy v A Miller (LHP, 1-3, 8.17)
    Fri 10.1 D Lowe v C Hamels (LHP, 12-10, 2.93)
    Sat 10.2 T Hanson v J Blanton (RHP, 7-6, 5.04)
    Sun 10.3 T Hudson v K Kendrick (RHP, 10-9, 4.78)

  58. I tweeted about this a couple of nights ago, but it’s all too plausible. The timeline of Jeff Francoeur’s future career:

    2011-mid 2012: Kansas City Royals
    2012: Gwinnett Braves
    2013-14: Part-time TV broadcaster, Fox Sports South, mentored by Joe Simpson
    2015: Joins booth full time, doesn’t leave until 2045.

  59. Even if they threw the guy out at the plate, what makes you think the Braves would ever have scored? They couldn’t even manage to hit a pop fly into the left field seats.

  60. I certainly haven’t helped attendance any. I take responsibility for that. The last game I attended at Turner Field was this.

    Smoltz blew a three run lead and they wasted a rare Randall Simon homer. At least I didn’t go the next night when Rocker gave up three in the ninth to blow the game. I was on a golf getaway in Myrtle Beach and drove in for the game. I remember getting to the ballpark being somewhere between ridiculous and insane.

    Edit: And good God look at the top of the order for that first place team. Leadoff Walt Wiess (620 OPS), batting second Keith Lockhart (604 OPS). In September! No small sample size flukes there. At least in those days we had some real outfielders.

  61. Francoeur has 99 homers in his career and 600 strike outs. I’d like to be a fly on the wall of that arbitration proceeding. Better yet, I’d like to be the Rangers representative in that arbitration proceeding.

  62. Jeff “I’m Guaranteed An Arbitration Raise” Francoeur?

    Even the Rangers aren’t dumb enough to offer him arb.

  63. I wish they would. And I wish they’d televise it. The TV revenue that such a spectacle should generate would more than account for the money Francoeur will likely be awarded and/or have to pay back.

  64. Tom Boswell had a story in the Washington Post this morning speculating that Kasten would leave, in part because he feels he has not had much influence with the Nats’ owners in getting them to spend more money. Too bad. It seems like short-sighted cheapskate owners are becoming the trend in baseball.

  65. I come down from Chicago for one or two weekend serieses each season. I don’t find the transportation to Turner Field all that inconvenient. The Braves Shuttle from Five Points takes about ten minutes and usually has no line before the games (after the game is another story). If you don’t like the Shuttle and the weather is decent, the walk from the Georgia State MARTA stop to the ballpark is not bad. I do not drive to the games, but there seems to be plenty of Park-n-Ride stations on the MARTA line to relieve that problem.
    I would be interested in the makeup of the Braves fans who attend games and whether the team does enough to attract fans who live in the city, which is where they must draw from if they want to swell mid-week crowds, especially during early and late season games.
    Turner Field is a good place to watch a game and the ticket prices are reasonable. Upper level box seats are a great bargain! The downside, unlike Wrigley Field (where I have a season ticket), there’s no group of bars and restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the stadium to attract fans before and after games. Given the park’s location, I don’t know if that can be cured.

  66. Fri 9.24 T Hudson v J Zimmermann (RHP, 0-2, 6.75)
    Sat 9.25 D Lowe v Y Maya (RHP, 0-2, 6.32)
    Wed 9.29 B Beachy v A Miller (LHP, 1-3, 8.17)

    You have to figure those 3 as losses as the Braves can’t beat rag armed pitchers with 6+ ERAs.

    Sun 9.26 J Jurjjens v L Hernandez (10-12, 3.75)

    Then that one seems like a loss as they can’t hit Hernandez.

    It’s not looking good…

  67. It looks like we’re going to a 4-man rotation so Huddy can get 3 of those 9 starts-

    Fri 9.24 T Hudson v J Zimmermann (RHP, 0-2, 6.75)
    Sat 9.25 D Lowe v Y Maya (RHP, 0-2, 6.32)
    Sun 9.26 J Jurrjens (or B Beachy) v L Hernandez (RHP, 10-12, 3.75)
    Mon 9.27 T Hanson v A Sanabia (RHP, 5-3, 3.99)
    Tue 9.28 T Hudson v A Sanchez (RHP, 12-10, 3.46)
    Wed 9.29 D Lowe v A Miller (LHP, 1-3, 8.17)
    Fri 10.1 J Jurrjens (or B Beachy) v C Hamels (LHP, 12-10, 2.93)
    Sat 10.2 T Hanson v J Blanton (RHP, 7-6, 5.04)
    Sun 10.3 T Hudson v K Kendrick (RHP, 10-9, 4.78)

  68. The Braves need one more win to improve on their record from last year. Hope they get it soon.

  69. This is an odd question, but here goes:

    Can Prado and Infante play a full season at + level?

    Both have been brilliant, but both now seem to be wheezing down the stretch.

    With the uncertainty of Chipper’s return, we probably need to know the answer. Thoughts?

  70. Can’t wait to see the Secretariat movie.

    I worked at a horse racing magazine when I was at UK and Big Red was a demigod to those who saw him run. Said even hard-bitten track regulars had tears streaming down their faces during his Belmont stretch run – just in awe.

    And Diane Lane rings my bell, too.

  71. Ryan Zimmerman is out today. So is Adam Dunn, actually. It’s possible neither will be ready for tomorrow night.

  72. Prado has been playing hurt for a couple of months. I think he will be back to his old self come spring.

  73. Prado and Infante have basically been playing a full season already, so I dont see it being an issue. I wish the Braves would trade AAG this offseason and let Infante play short, but dont see it happening

  74. I stopped paying attention to him after the Lee trade…but have you seen Zombie Manny’s CWS line?


    He was made for the first-half-of-2010 Braves.

  75. Hank, Secretariat was a beast, but my favorite horse of all-time is Seattle Slew. Only knew one way to run, out in front, whether going 4 furlongs or a Mile and a half. Crazy speed, a true champion.

  76. Might have already been posted, but The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn recorded a pretty neat song about the Twins for the Baseball Project that’s an improvement on typical Hold Steady tales of drunken debauchery. You can listen here: (MN Public Radio). I’m no great Finn fan, but he makes some entertaining (if dubious) suggestions about Ron Gant’s play in the 91 Series, and overall it’s a pretty awesome, fist-pumpable homage to what would probably be my team of choice if not for the Braves.

  77. I have a fun little game to play on the off day. Try and think of any playoff bound/contending teams that start worse outfielders than Rick FrAnkiel, Nate McOut, and the Melk Man. I came up with Dexter Fowler, and that’s about it. Commando Cody Ross looks like Babe Ruth compared to Frankiel. The Padres have started some pretty horrific outfielders, but guys like Tony Gwynn Jr at least have some value on defense.

  78. #101
    I like The Hold Steady & how they totally embrace BIG ROCK. My only thing about Finn is that he never really sings. He kind of barks at you. Good live band, too.

    Still, here’s to an opportunity to get ’91 right—Bravos vs. Twinkies (chop, chop).

  79. Giants just scored more runs in this game than they have the entire month. Thank god these west teams all play each other.

  80. ububba, I am curious what you think of the Jim Jones Revue. A lot of the guys in my guitar circle love ’em, but to me it’s just warmed over Little Richard/NY Dolls stuff. Maybe live they can drive an audience, but the videos I watched didn’t really get it for me.

  81. They’re alright. Kinda like the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion with a piano.

    To me, the great band from that genre is The Gun Club.

    BTW, caught a great show the other night: Superchunk, this ragin’ kinda poppy punk band from Chapel Hill.

    They’d been away & I hadn’t seen ’em in ages, but they rocked severely.

  82. 5-2 Arizona in the 5th. Looks like the Rockies have joined the Braves in hitting the wall.

    Edit: And now it’s 7-2.

  83. And go Dodgers, 3-1 LA over SD in the 6th. .

    FYI for next week’s series vs Florida, Hanley Ramirez has missed 5 of his last 6 games with an inflamed elbow. He may be shut down the rest of the way.

  84. so me may not see Zimmerman, Dunn, Nolasco, Josh Johnson, or Hanley? Is it asking to much not to see Halladay, Hamels, or Oswalt in the final series?

    Braves gotta take advantage of this situation

  85. Arizona called on Blaine Boyer to pitch to Carlos Gonzalez with 2 outs and the bases loaded…..yes, he gave up the grand slam

    8-6 Ariz now

  86. Oops, CarGo with a grand slam. Do y’all realize the Diamondbacks are harboring Blaine Boyer AND Mike Hampton in their bullpen? Man, there are worse things than our team.

    I mean, actually i have been really impressed with the Bullpen this year. I gotta say – we have called up and acquired some real crap throughout the years, and these guys, Dunn, Kimbrel, Venters, etc. have been pretty good. We were only outscored in Philly by 5 over a three-game series. I mean, they have great pitching, but ours was not horrible. That is an offense that can score tons.

    At least we’re not sending out Reitsma and Kolb anymore?

    Psyched for this home-stretch run.

    Go Braves,

  87. Can’t complain about the late-night action.

    We remain a 1/2-game up in the WC over SD & can go up 3.5 on Colorado.

    SD gets Cincy now. Giants (with Lincecum) visit Colorado. Gotta whip up on Washington.

  88. 119- Ah, 1993. The Last Real Pennant Race. How I miss those days. This is what the NL West race would look like now, with the division as it was then (plus Arizona, presumably):

    Braves 86-67
    Reds 86-67
    Giants 86-67
    Padres 85-67 (1/2 GB)
    Rockies 82-69 (3 GB) – Goddamn Arizona bullpen

  89. #119
    It would’ve made things rather different for the Yanks, that’s for sure.

    Girardi & Cashman have essentially said that the WC is fine with them. They won’t pitch Rivera on consecutive days, they’ve been holding in-game auditions for the back of the playoff bullpen & they’ll be giving the injury-prone vets lotsa rest. There was a feeling that they needed to win tonight (to go up 1.5) in order to take the division.

    Why? One, Tampa has now won the season series and two, the sked vastly favors Tampa the rest of the way. Yanks play Boston, Toronto & Boston again. Rays get Seattle, Baltimore & KC.

  90. After all the hand wringing, and believe me, I rung my hands until they bled, the Braves are actually in an OK spot to make the playoffs. The three best players we are going to see until the Phils series are nursing injuries (Zimmerman, Dunn, Hanely). We have our best guy going tonight, and Lowe is pitching well and going against a team he owns. While the people chasing us are going to be beating up each other, or playing a division leader.

    Once you get in, anything can happen, and usually does.

  91. The Braves outfield is incredibly atrocious. AAG is average. You cannot expect guys like this to do damage at this time of the year. The stars have to step up. For the Braves, that’s McCann, Heyward (perhaps unfair at his age), and Prado (but I think he is stil hurt), and, arguably based on his history, Lee (but probably no longer capable). Maybe Infante. These are the guys that have to do it.

  92. Not sure we’re in a good spot for playoffs, but maybe OK spot?

    Pads get to play the tough Reds next, then easy Cubs, then fight SF. (their collective record against those teams is: 16-6)

    Giants get maybe-tough Rockies, should be easy D-Backs, then duke it out with the Pads, probably for 1st place in West (their collective record against those teams is: 22-23)

    Rockies get probably tough SF, relatively easy Dodgers, nothing to sneeze at Cards (Their collective record against those teams is: 18-15)

    IF we can overcome our troubles against the Fish and Nats (and Phils) we’ve got a reasonable shot… (we’re 24-25 against the guys we’re playing)

    Based on how they’ve played against the teams they’re facing, it seems like the Pads should overtake the division (though that doesn’t jive with any of the projections… probably because the Pads, like the Braves, aren’t having a good September)… and hopefully between the three teams they’ll keep the Rockies & Giants from winning enough games to pull ahead of the Braves… but I don’t have a lot of confidence right now (and won’t until I see us win a few against the FishNats… if we don’t win 4 of those 6 games I can’t imagine we’re in).

  93. No real conclusions, but the author suggests that Cox thought they were in a good position to make the playoffs anyway so no reason to tamper. Doing it this way would make it more likely our aces would line up against the lesser teams. Also, points out that Jurrjens injury forced Cox’s hand. I made a comment, which I think follows from the author’s argument that, given a three game deficit with 12 to play, the Braves would have had to sweep to make much difference and that was unlikely even if Hudson had pitched.

    The author also thinks the Braves have the easiest schedule of the teams competing for the WC,especially given that the Marlins are depleted and the Phillies will likely be playing scrubs. I pointed out, though, that the Nats play well here in DC and the Braves do not and the Marlins always give the Braves trouble.

  94. Bobby made the right decision with the rotation. Even if he had been able to line up Lowe, Huddy, and Hanson there would be no guarantees to a win in Philly. Lowe and Huddy did their job in NY, now they just need to do the same in Washington. It wouldve been far worse to drop two games to the Mets with Minor/Beachy or whoever, and then drop 3 in Philly with our best guys.

  95. Kevin,

    Hmmm. Secretariat’s loss in the Wood Memorial as a 3yo was because of his Jim Brown-like tendency to bowl over anything in his way. Thus, he was dq’d and moved to 3rd (if memory serves).

    Secretariat was the most impressive living specimen I have ever seen. Truly looked like a Rodin sculpture come to life.

  96. I was never a horse racing fan, but I remember watching Secretariat absolutely destroy his opposition in the Belmont Stakes. It was awesome, akin to what Tiger Woods did at the US Open.

  97. wouldnt you think it would be in the Braves best interest to put JJ in between Huddy and Lowe? Seems like it would help Lowe out a little more being that both of them are sinker ball pitchers

  98. The Braves seem to be good at not getting hits. From The Hardball Times, this note

    “In the entirety of their history, dating to the 1870s, the now Atlanta Braves have been no-hit an astonishing 16 times. Though Braves followers in both Boston and Atlanta had to endure their team being no-hit, the team managed to avoid that fate during their time in Milwaukee.”

  99. The rather ordinary Onion defeated Secretariat in Big Red’s first try against older horses. Seattle Slew twice defeated Affirmed (another Triple Crown winner) I always felt that Secretariat was regarded as the superior horse to Slew for the following reasons. 1, 25 years since Citation had won the Triple Crown (now looks like a mere hiccup in time) 2, Racing royalty. In the previews of the movie, Diane Lane playing Penny Chenery is depicted as basically being about ready to move into Secretariat’s stall (she came from big money, the death of her father made them make some difficult business decisions, she hardly was destitute) Seattle Slew on the other hand, had very modest, new to racing connections, and was so little thought of that he was sold for a modest price.

    Slew certainly proved to be the better stud, as his bloodlines are still amongst the best in the biz, while Secretariat had limited success off the racetrack.

    They certainly were two great great horses. And I’m not begrudging Secreatariat at all, just feel that of the three Triple Crown Winners of the 70’s Slew is the most overlooked. If they could have run against each other, I don’t know how the race would have ended, but I’ll guarantee that Secretariat would have had to catch The Slew.

  100. Now back to the Braves. Just what is the scenario if the Braves and two teams from the West all TIE. I would imagine there would be a playoff for the Divison champ. Would the Braves then have to have a game against the loser, or would the loser’s extra loss mean the Braves automatically is the wild-card winner?

  101. I think this came up a couple years ago as a possibility Randy, and it was Divisional tie plays to determine who wins that, then loser plays non-divisional tied team for WC (the scenario you lined up basically).

  102. Hmm… MLBTR has Mets not in on any big name free agents… Does that mean that maybe they’ll go after Javier Vasquez? after his crappy year with the Yanks I can’t imagine he’ll be a “big name FA” still, and pitching in Citi field would probably not hurt his numbers… It would suck to come up against him if he does the good year/bad year thing and rebounds.

  103. #125
    Even though the Yanks have consistently slaughtered the Twins in recent regular seasons & post-seasons, it would be silly to think that they definitely couldn’t lose a best-of-5 this year.

    Nonetheless, if I’m the Yanks, I wouldn’t punch the pedal too hard down the stretch either. A-Rod, Pettitte, Rivera, Swisher, Teixeira, Gardner & Posada all have nagging injuries. No reason to sprint to the finish.

  104. ububba,

    I agree. I think the WC team might have an advantage if they have really good starting pitching. If you can win one of the first two, you are in the driver’s seat.

  105. @129

    Important thing there is that the NL West teams are playing each other. If one team has a strong finish, it necessarily hurts the chances of the other two teams quite a bit. If they all play pretty equal, then none of them are likely to jump up the standings (unless they sweep their games with the Central).

    I don’t know the math, but due to the games the NL West plays against each other, we should be guaranteed a spot if we go 7-2 or something like that, just due to the head-to-head matchups.

  106. Nats lineup: Espinosa–2B, Bernadina–CF, Desmond–SS, Dunn–1B, Morse–RF, Harris–LF, Rodriguez–C, Gonzalez–3B, Zimmermann–P

  107. Yeah… 7-2 would be great, but if we play the same way we’ve played against these teams all year we’ll be doing 4-5 or 5-4 and nothing will be very certain then. I don’t think we’re “Doooooomed”, but I’m not exactly comfortable.

  108. Infante – 4
    Heyward – 9
    Prado – 5
    McCann – 2
    Lee – 3
    McLouth – 8
    Gonzalez – 6
    Diaz – 7
    Hudson – 1

    Espinosa – 4
    Bernadina – 8
    Desmond – 6
    Dunn – 3
    Morse – 9
    Harris – 7
    Rodriguez – 2
    Gonzalez – 5
    Zimmermann – 1

  109. Actually 149 the worst thing that can happen for us is for the Giants and Padres to win all of their games and then one of them to take two out of three in their head to head. In that case the Pads would finish 8-2 or 9-1 and the Giants would finish 8-1 or 7-2 meaning whichever team wins that final head to head series wins the division and we would still have to go 7-2 just to tie for the w/c spot. Their are actually only two NL West H2H series left that help us: this weekend Giants at Rockies for 3 and the last weekend Pads at Giants for 3. The absolute worst thing that can happen for us, strange as it sounds is for the Rockies to get swept this weekend. We should be hoping the Rockies sweep.

  110. Great story on Bing Crosby and the 60 World Series. I can’t wait to watch that game. I was 8 years old at the time, and our teacher wouldn’t let us watch the game, I ran home, and got there just a couple of minutes after the game. My parents hated the Yankees (something I inherited) and they were really happy. The next year, I had a teacher who loved baseball, we watched the Reds/Yankees games every school day.

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