Giants 3, Braves 2

San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – October 10, 2010 – ESPN.

I find it hard to believe that anyone since 1919 has had a worse postseason series than Brooks Conrad. It’s hard to be worse. Anyone can go 0-for, but Conrad committed two errors that scored go-ahead runs for the Giants, including the game-winner in the top of the ninth.

The game started the way the other two have, the Giants getting an early run and the Braves getting nothing. This time, it was actually a no-hitter to the sixth, broken up by Tim Hudson himself. Hudson at least manages to not get the loss for his valiant performance, unlike Derek Lowe the other day. The Giants got one run in seven innings off of him, coming in the second, when Mike Fontenot tripled off the right field wall (Jason Heyward maybe should have caught it, and certainly should have held it to a double, but was laid out by colliding with the wall). Commando Cody Ross popped up, but Conrad dropped the ball, allowing an “unearned” run to score.

It looked like the Braves would never score, never come close to scoring, off of Jonathan Sanchez, but then Alex Gonzalez singled leading off the eighth, and after Conrad (sigh) popped up a bunt, Bobby brought in Troy Glaus to hit for Rick Ankiel. And the Giants came back with a righty reliever, and Bobby sent in Eric Hinske, who fell behind 0-2, worked it to 2-2, and then lined it down the right field line for a homer and the lead.

But the Braves don’t have Billy Wagner, and Jonny Venters had pitched the eighth. Bobby went with Craig Kimbrel, who got a popup, then allowed a walk, then got a strikeout, then got ahead of Freddy Sanchez, but couldn’t finish him off and allowed a line single. Bobby will be second-guessed for bringing in Michael Dunn to pitch to Aubrey Huff, but you’re talking about the Giants’ big lefty power hitter. Who lined a single to right field. Heyward, who has to be thankful for Conrad’s collapse saving him from being the series goat, had a play at the plate but threw short, and the game was tied. Bobby came back with Moylan, who got a grounder to second base, which Conrad let go through his legs for the game-winner.

Home plate umpire Paul “Buster” Emmel struck out Heyward leading off the ninth (two pitches well off the plate), Lee popped up, and McCann got an infield single, but Nate McLouth grounded out to end it (after Emmel put him in a hole too).

121 thoughts on “Giants 3, Braves 2”

  1. Responding to Nick Manning on the last thread- I don’t fear for Brooks’ mental health. I no longer care. After tomorrow, he’s someone else’s disgusting problem. Enjoy ten more years of bus rides and cheap hamburgers, you hack.

  2. I think this game was actually some kind of performance art tribute to Bobby’s entire career as a manager of the Braves in the postseason. Hopefully Conrad will be a mere pinch hitter tomorrow and for the rest of the playoffs (if there is any).

  3. They’ll just bring in Fredi and it will be more of the same. They’ll probably bring back Gonzalez too, because Infante is reverting back to bench player mode. And Liberty Media probably won’t let Wren sign Werth.

    I just can’t find anything to be optimistic about anymore. Even Heyward is doing his best terrible impression.

  4. Well Bobby redeemed himself a little, in my eyes.

    “Will Conrad be playing tomorrow?”

    “I’ll sleep on it.”

    Although if he’s actually planning on sleeping on it and that wasn’t just a classy way of saying no, then I may jump off a building.

  5. I couldn’t really tell how deep he was playing, but Huff’s ball hung up long enough that I expected Heyward to catch it. Did anyone have a better perspective on this?

  6. I don’t think he had a chance of catching it, but it held up enough that he thought about going for it and didn’t get in position to throw to the plate.

  7. Heyward is hitting like his thumb is hurting him again. Of course when the umpire calls strike 3 6 inches off the plate on him there isn’t much he can do.

    With Chipper and Martin back plus the additions of Freddie and hopefully some new outfielders in LF and CF (it isn’t that expensive to find players who can hit and catch better than this outfield group), this could be a pretty good offense next year. The future is still bright.

  8. Bottomline this offseason (which begins Tuesday morning, let’s be real) find a righthanded power hitter, leave Brooks Conrad by the side of the road in a box, and make damn sure Bobby stays retired.

  9. #11 – Emmel sucks but Jason has missed way too many hittable pitches. He pull happy again and until he starts hitting some balls the other way he’s going to struggle.

    Again, Kimbrel faces Huff and the Braves win

  10. 1. We were not going to beat the Phillies.
    2. Conrad is a 30 year-old rookie whose career probably came to an end tonight. Have a little sympathy. I’m not saying it’s not his fault. But saying,”After tomorrow, he’s someone else’s disgusting problem. Enjoy ten more years of bus rides and cheap hamburgers, you hack.”, is a bit much
    3. Seriously, we were not going to beat the Phillies.
    4. Why not bring in Hernandez for defensive purposes in the 9th? Everyone is complaining about taking out Kimbrel, but this move seemed more obvious to me.

  11. Kimbrel’s mistake was giving Sanchez anything to hit. Sanchez swung at two pitches that were nowhere close to get himself in a hole.

  12. Eric Hinske hit the third all-time post season pinch-hit home run to give a team the lead. Remarkably, the Braves have been involved in two of them. Kirk Gibson, Ed Sprague were the previous two.

    I didn’t think I could hate an umpire more than Eric Gregg, put congrats Emmel, you have surpassed him. You are as incompetent as they come.

  13. That may be the “best” example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory ever!! Brooks Conrad absolutely sucks right now. Bobby Cox can’t retire soon enough either.

  14. @6-

    You’re nuts. I agreed with every decision Bobby made tonight save one. (Hernandez should’ve been playing 3B with Omar moving to 2B for the 9th) So best-case, it’s a tie game, we’ve used all of our good relievers, and our bench is empty. Probably not winning that one. Cox managed the pitchers correctly, using Venters in the 8th to pitch to the hear of the Giants lineup. He let a few runners get on unfortunately, which left Kimbrel with less room for error in the 9th. Still, all he had to do was get three of Cody Ross/Travis Ishikawa/Andres Torres/Freddy Sanchez and we’re home free. That’s not exactly a murderer’s row, and if he’d not lost the zone vs. Ishikawa, he’d have done just that. Once Huff was the batter, going to the only remaining lefty was clearly the right decision, especially given how wild Kimbrel had looked.

    Very disappointing loss. Hudson pitched very well after his early trouble, but the linuep was once again swinging at everything provided it wasn’t near the zone. And was I the only person wondering about Conard’s two consecutive check-swings-called strikes? From the only angle they showed, it looked like he clearly held up on both of them, but they never showed us a different angle.

    Finally, I’ll just say, “Fuck you, Paul Emmel.” It’s like he’s got a thing going against the Braves. Aside from the Posey thing and the call at 1B in game 2 and the bad 3rd strike call to Heyward and the other bad calls he made tonight, he didn’t even do his job and move the bat out of the way on that play at the plate, which nearly resulted in McCann rolling an ankle. I blame him. Well, after Melky.

    Oh well. Maybe we can get a win tomorrow and send the series back to SF for another Lincecum-delivered beatdown. Still, with a little-seen LHP with pretty good stuff going tomorrow, I’m not super optimistic about our chances.

  15. 16- The only real evidence against it is that Conrad’s f***ery has been so blatant that it’s impossible to believe that it’s not deliebrate. I mean, if he were bought off, he would cover his tracks better than this.

  16. It’s time to sit Brooks. He tried his best, but he has been playing horrible defense. I would really rather have Troy at third.

    Also, I would rather have Venters closing instead of Kimbrel.

  17. Will Emmel fuck us at 3rd tomorrow? or maybe I should say, How will Emmel fuck us at 3rd tomorrow?

  18. And one last thing. As brutal as Conrad has been in this series, I’ll never hate him or want him run out of town. He’s been a great bench player for the Braves, a great pinch hitter. But asking him to play full time is just asking him to be something he’s not. He’s a 24th or 25th man on a roster, not one of your every-day guys. So if he sucks at being an every-day guy, I don’t hold it against him, since quite frankly he’s not an every-day guy. It’d be like me hating Paul Emmel for sucking at fly fishing. I hate Paul Emmel because he sucks at his job, not because he sucks at something else.

  19. Once Huff was the batter, going to the only remaining lefty was clearly the right decision, especially given how wild Kimbrel had looked.

    No, it really wasn’t. At best, Huff has no platoon split vs LHP. And when has Dunn ever looked better than Kimbrel?

    There was no justification for that move other than some archaic “LHB = LHP” tradition.

  20. @28 I understand the point, but Conrad is still a baseball player, and unfortunately part of that job is not misplaying 75% of the balls hit your way.

  21. Six-man crew. Emmel will be in left field, and call an obvious hit foul or obvious foul fair. He’d do a homer but we have replay now.

    Bobby really should have had Diory in for defense.

  22. Future historians will look back on this era and say, “How did they do it without our infallible, robot umpires”?

  23. What’s the over/under on Braves Ks if Bumgarner is going tomorrow? Because whatever it is, I’ll take the over.

  24. Seriously, I was mentally prepared to lose at the begining of the series, asuming that the Braves were hurt and outmatched. But to lose this way just hurts because they really haven’t been outplayed. If anything, fucking Emmel has had as much to do with giants succss as Lincecum.

  25. I’m at a loss for words.

    I love Bobby, I thank him for all the wins and the wonderful memories over the years. Many, many nights I went to bed happy. Thank you Bobby.

    That said, this organization needs a breath of fresh air. I don’t want someone from the Bobby Cox tree, I want new blood.

    I want Brooks Conrad cut from the roster.

  26. Dunn made a good pitch to Huff. A slider on the outside corner that he just poked into right field.

    #11, I wouldn’t get excited about Freeman for next season. He’s only 21, and he’s not Jason Heyward.

  27. Ya, like I say, I don’t get making the defensive subs in LF and CF but not at 2B. It’s clear that Brooks is having issues, and whether it’s mental (probably at least in part) or something else, now’s not the time to be screwing around. You get Hernandez in there.

    And I don’t care if Huff has a platoon split or not. Kimbrel was all over the place. He couldn’t even get Freddy Sanchez out. If he walks Huff and brings up Posey, what do you do then? If Huff’s liner hangs up a second longer, it’s an out and we all go home happy. It’s a shame there wasn’t a different lefty option (normally we’d have both EOF and Wagner on the roster in addition to Dunn), but they weren’t there. Dunn had been solid in previous outings. I say you use him.

  28. Why does everyone want Conrad cut from the roster? What’s wrong with having him on the roster behind two other IFs?

  29. Guys, Brooks is a great bench player, that’s who he is. It’s just a reminder that he should not be an everyday player as some of you had even thought about. It’s unfortunate that he has to play everyday, and please remember that he wouldn’t be playing everyday if not for Chipper and Martin going down at the same time. Brookes is one of the key reasons why the Braves are still playing baseball right now.

    Bobby, please use him at where he is good at, and I thought this is your strength.

  30. “Once Huff was the batter, going to the only remaining lefty was clearly the right decision, especially given how wild Kimbrel had looked.”

    Defend this with empirical evidence, because here’s mine: Huff has NO PLATOON SPLIT. None. In fact, as the not-that-stat-savvy-announcers told us, he kind of hits lefties better than he does righties. They had even marveled at it when he hit Venters the inning earlier. I have no idea whether or not Kimbrel should have been left in–I probably would have left him in, especially considering we may have needed the other guys in extras–but bringing in the lefty is stupid. If you bring someone in at all, bring in your best remaining reliever–Moylan I guess–because, again, Huff has NO PLATOON SPLITS.

    Now, the fact that Conrad was still in the game at all is also on Cox. We know, for instance, that Cox has no issue with taking guys out for defensive purposes late in a game, as he had already removed Diaz for McLouth. Yes, in an attempt to make the defense better, Cox took out the best defensive LF on the team. Meanwhile, he left in a guy that looked like he wanted to find a new profession, who was mentally imploding before our very eyes, even as there was a defensive replacement sitting on the bench.

    Both moves ended up backfiring, and more than a couple people on this board made comments that they were likely to backfire before the events came to pass. I have learned in life that there is always someone willing to take the devil’s advocate position, but seriously, it takes a spectacular leap of logic to defend Bobby Cox tonight.

    EDIT: I realize, mraver, that you already conceded the second point, but I guess my point is that this is not just “one bad decision.” It is part and parcel with the type of decisions that have given us thousands of innings from Melky Cabrera, and the like. It’s just exhausting in its wrong-headedness.

  31. I agree a breath of fresh air is needed. No one from the Bobby Cox tree.

    The offense overall has been a disgrace. A healthy Prado is a must for this line-up. He is the only one who seems to have a consistent idea of what he wants to do at the plate. The more Infante plays, the more I question him being an everyday player.

    Wren, Liberty or whomever. PLEASE GO AFTER WERTH OR CRAWFORD. PLEASE!!!

  32. I want Brooks cut from the roster because it would make me feel better. Knowing he is in the umemployment line would bring some peace and closure to my totured soul.

    I am okay playing the percentages with Huff, if it was Venters vs. Huff, but Dunn had not been in a leveraged situation like that yet. I don’t understand that.

    There is a lot of blame for Bobby and Brooks to share, maybe they will share it when they ride home together tonight.

  33. I love when the casual bandwagon fans give me, a diehard fan, a ton of shit for losing a game we should have won after the Giants completely imploded on Saturday. Did I say “love”? What I meant was “want to eat children.”

  34. What was worse: The 8th inning of Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS (Farnsworth blowing the 6-1 lead), or the 9th inning of Game 3 of this year’s NLDS?

  35. Diory Hernandez was unavailable for the ninth inning. He was the one in RF with the stilts and make-up.

    2005. Even with this loss as fresh as it is, no doubt.

  36. Just got back from the game. That went from the most exciting game I’ve ever seen at Turner Field to…well, I almost had to step in to break up a near fight between a Carolina and an Alabama fan. The Ted rocked like I’ve never seen it rock before.

  37. @51: Ditto that. Was there also. I’ve been to probably 150 games at the Ted, and no other game has come close, energy-wise. Sad to see the subsequent implosion. I would not want to be Brooks Conrad’s tires tonight.

  38. 49—’05. That team had a chance to make some noise in later rounds. And that game also ended that series.

  39. Oh my God, I’ve never been so high and then fallen so low so quickly attending a sporting event. Hinske’s homer was easily the biggest hit I’ve seen in person (I’ve never made it to any of the LCS or WS games). The place was absolutely crazy, my legs shaking the rest of that inning. And then to have that ninth happen…jesus.

    We had seats in left field so we couldn’t be 100% sure, but was the home plate umpire as bad as we thought he was?

  40. I didn’t get a chance to see the game–but upon seeing the highlights I would add that Conrad’s last error was Bucknersque….

    Conrad had a great year coming off the bench–making him a ‘folk hero’ and so this loss is even more painful to think about. A healthy Braves’ team would be ready to do battle with the Phillies or anybody else….

  41. I was at the game and after Hinske’s homer the place went nuts. Now I wasn’t there for any of the games in the ’90s but if the Braves had won the World Series it couldn’t have been louder than tonight. Definitely a good feeling.

    And, I too, was shocked when Conrad was still out there at 2b to start the 9th. I know Diory can’t hit for crap but c’mon! Bobby fell asleep at the wheel on this one.

  42. I mean what for what reason is Diory even on the team? He can’t hit so they are never going to use him to pinch hit, they didn’t even use him to pinch run for McCann, why the hell did he not go in?

  43. One of the reasons that Diory is anywhere near the team is the Braves’ lack of middle infielders in the upper minors. If J.C. Holt or Travis Jones had developed, Diory would probably still be in AAA. Brandon Hicks–who may not hit as well as Diory–is also injured….

  44. Its a good point that Conrad should have been replaced but pitching Dunn against Huff is defensible. Huff got lucky. Lunged at a good breaking ball off the plate and got the sweet spot on it. I thought Jayson was going to dive for it but the ball dove to the ground. He had no chance. I truly thought we had it when Hinske hit the HR. Yelled so loud the dog cowered upstairs for an hour.

    This team has over achieved all season long. And that was with our good players playing. What the hell do y’all expect from this bunch? Yeah, I’m just glad to be here, so shoot me. The low expectations take the sting out of the eventual outcome.

  45. If Wagner pitched the 9th and had 2 on with 2 out, would he have been lifted if a good right hander was up? Hell fucking no. Kimbrel has the best stuff on the team and it should have been his game to win or lose. Taking him out just makes no sense to me, but most of Bobby’s moves make no sense to me so there’s that.

  46. 55 — I dunno about possible success in later rounds. Smoltz was out indefinitely after Game 2 with shoulder troubles, and we were down to starting Horacio in the would-be Game 5.

  47. I feel for Conrad, though he is fortunate that he isn’t a soccer playing columbian. Not sure he would have made it home.

  48. I hear Conrad is on suicide watch, which is a good thing because lots of people want to see him commit suicide.

    Too much, too much.

  49. I was at the game, just got back to Greenville, SC. Agree with the comments 51, 57, & 67. Place just had incredible amazing energy, and was louder than I have ever heard a sporting event.

    Rob Neyer had a good blog post re: Conrad here

    Also, if you look here:
    at about the 34/35 sec mark, you can see me standing next to my brother in law (yeah, along with a few other people-but Hinske hit his homer RIGHT AT US) right by the foul pole.

    Fun game, hated the ending. Agree that Conrad really should not have been in that position, but he is a MLB ball player & you’ve got to be able to make those plays.

    Oh well – I’ve said for a while that we are playing w/ house money and still feel that way. Hope they can pull it out, but am at peace w/ it all :-)

  50. Well. shit.

    No waiting for it, I guess.

    Beating the Giants would be for Bobby. Phils would slaughter us in 4 or 5 games.

    Great to see the big crowds at the Ted. In fact, great to see Ted there, with some woman that had to know she was being compared to the incomparable Jane Fonda (although, Jane would’ve been hanging out with a Giants hat on, sucking on the Panda’s fat boy).

    Holy cow, have injuries hurt this mediocre team terribly. Officiating and Brooks Conrad running a close second. How a clutch hitter can be such a non-clutch defender is something.

    I’m a diehard Clemson and Braves fan. Have pity on my poor irrelevant soul.

  51. After many beers and much gnashing of teeth, my pal & I decided that this game was worse than a lot of things. But it still wasn’t worse than Game 4 of the ’96 series.

    But I gotta tell you, the emotions in the place were amazing. The Hinske HR was totally off the chain. After a full 7+ innings of Timmy Lupus-like ABs, that place was like an earthquake. I was in the uppers in RF & the concrete was trembling beneath me. Never had a moment like that in there.

    So-o-o-o-o, tough to come back tomorrow night. But, here’s to sending this thing back to the Left Coast. Shouldn’t this thing go 5 games? It should.

  52. If Fredi Gonzalez becomes the next manager, the inability to understand things like lefty-platoon splits will persist, and we’ll continue to lose.

  53. If J.C. Holt or Travis Jones had developed, Diory would probably still be in AAA.

    Or, for that matter, Van Pope or Eric Campbell or Lil’ Lillibridge…

    Makes you appreciate just how far from out of nowhere Martin Prado came. This team’s track record with infield prospects over the past five years — other than, well, Yunel Escobar — is about as poor as could be.

  54. The Yankee fan’s logic is the Yankees spend more because they care more. Middle market teams see baseball as a business but the Yankees see it as a game. Every team owner is too afraid to spend the money it takes to compete with the Yankees and they keep that $100 million+ to themselves like Scrooge McDuck.

    My head is ready to explode.

  55. I think the worst part about Bobby saying he didn’t want to use Diory because he was the last guy on the bench is that he was basically playing for the loss. You have to give your team the best chance to win, and being afraid to use a player because you think the other team will score some runs and then you’ll have a problem when the 7th spot in the batting order comes up in the next inning is just beyond ridiculous.

  56. Speaking of ’96, Kimbrel really pulled a Wohlers by throwing a slider to a guy who couldn’t touch his fastball. Ugh.

  57. @79

    I think that’s more true than not. Are the Steinbrenners REALLY just so much richer than every other owner that they can spend like they do?

  58. No, quite the contrary. You think Fox couldn’t have spent on the Dodgers, or the McCourts until their divorce? You think the Tribune Company couldn’t have spent on the Cubs? Hell, Huizenga got the urge to spend every few years with the Marlins, and they have two World Series banners to show for it.

    Many companies see the teams they own as loss leaders or advertisements, and the Braves have seen more of this than most (“Channel” 17?). Yankees fans know that the Steinbrenners see their team as their passion, their lives’ work. That’s one of the things that makes their dynasties almost tolerable.

  59. A third team in New York would help this a lot. It’s not a matter of the owner being wealthier. It’s a matter of the revenue stream being so much higher for the Yankees than any other team. As much as I have a distaste for the Mets, I’m glad they exist.

    New York city, one of the largest cities on the planet, has the same number of teams as Chicago.

    Meanwhile, the Marlins play in an echo chamber.

  60. i think everyone here should be put on suicide watch. I’m as upset (and puzzled) at leaving Brooks out there for the 9th defensively as anyone else. But I’m definitely gonna agree that it should have been Kimbrel’s game to lose. Closer by committee doesn’t mean you change your mind about who’s closing the game in MID INNING. I definitely second-guess taking out one of the strongest arms on the team in that situation.

    But even so, this isn’t a completely hopeless situation going forward. If they lose in the next two games, this season was much better than most people anticipated. With all of the breakout performances, there’s plenty to be excited about for next season.

  61. He assumed that teams don’t spend as much as the Yankees because don’t want to win. If it were as easy as getting owners that REALLY wanted to win, wouldn’t there be more teams with a $200 million+ payroll? They spend $50 million more than the second highest payroll in baseball (the Red Sox).

  62. Personally, I’m disgusted with the hate Brooks is receiving here. You guys realize we wouldn’t be playing now if not for him right? Does anyone remember having Norton as our primary PH? He’s being asked to do more than he is capable of yes he’s really choked this series but I’m sure no one feels worse than him about it. Here’s hoping he gets to ride the bench tomorrow and gets a clutch PH.

  63. We are all emotional, but this is what our team is right now. We have our top two infielders and our closer out, and that’s exactly the areas which are hurting us. We are what we are. Conrad, Kimbrel, and Dunn are all not supposed in the role they are playing today. Let’s be honest, we stumbled into playoff. This team is playing the best to its ability, which is why we are losing our share of close games now because we are not as good as our team in May and June.

    It sucks that we lost today, but it is nothing compared to the Ed Sprague, Kirby, and Jim Leyritz homeruns.

  64. The slider to Sanchez was definitely the killer. Kimbrel could have thrown him 20 fastballs in a row and Sanchez never would have caught up to one. But that’s McCann, he loves the off-speed stuff.

    Lefties hit .190 off of Dunn. It’s a quality move. Good hitter hit a good pitch. What can you say. Heyward played the ball about as badly as you can, continuing his choke-tastic October.

    The Bobby haters are – as always – hilarious, predictable and clueless.

  65. I don’t mind the slider to Sanchez. Maybe it could have been executed better of course. But after throwing a bunch of high 90s fastballs in a row, it makes sense to try to surprise the batter by throwing an off speed pitch. The location wasn’t good, but the thought behind it wasn’t bad.

    What I fault Kimbrel for far more is the walk to Ishikawa. If Craig wants to be the Braves’ closer of the future, he has got to stop walking crap hitters.

  66. But I gotta tell you, the emotions in the place were amazing. The Hinske HR was totally off the chain. After a full 7+ innings of Timmy Lupus-like ABs, that place was like an earthquake. I was in the uppers in RF & the concrete was trembling beneath me. Never had a moment like that in there.

    My thoughts exactly. The most exciting Braves moment I’ve ever seen in person (since I quit getting lit up at games and cheering myself hoarse at a Dion James double in the gap in mid-May). And after a night’s sleep, it’s what I’ll remember.

    I’m worried about Conrad’s mental health. The booing really sucked, but it was in the moment, so what can you do? In the light of day, you gotta feel for the guy.

  67. #76–Prado was always a good prospect–but one that simply did not get much favorable attention. Many people seemed to focus on Lillibridge, but it was unwarranted. That said, I don’t know anybody who thought that Prado would be as productive a hitter as he has been…..

    Of course, I am not even going to mention the middle infield prospect who now dons a Ranger uniform….

  68. @90 This is only Jason’s first October and he is already being labelled as a choker. Go figure.

    Well, he choked badly SO FAR, didn’t he? It should be allowed to mention that, no matter how bright his future might be.

    Personally, I’m disgusted with the hate Brooks is receiving here.

    Same with Conrad – it should be allowed to mention that 9 errors in his last 8 games are a little much. As far as I’m concerned, that has nothing to do with hatred at all.

  69. The most exciting Braves moment I’ve ever seen in person (since I quit getting lit up at games and cheering myself hoarse at a Dion James double in the gap in mid-May). And after a night’s sleep, it’s what I’ll remember.

    I really envy your ability to do that. I will NEVER be able to remember the Hinske homerun without remembering what followed.

  70. If it’s any consolation, at least we now won’t have the watch this depleted Braves roster get destroyed by the Phillies in the NLCS. I don’t think I could take watching a repeat of ’93.

  71. Well, in truth I’m still trying to talk myself into it. But it really was an ecstatic moment, and that doesn’t happen every day.

  72. Before I read through the comments here, I just want to say that a few days ago I registered on Talking Chop. I guess I’ll never post there because I’m sure I will be banned after reading some of those shitheads. In fact, I suppose there’s a good chance that Mac will ban me after I read through this thread. If so, thanks for the ride, Mac.

    So, here goes…

  73. Look, it’s a horrible loss, but this is a team playing a career minor leaguer, throwing erratic rookies out to close due to injury and no offense. Conrad had a horrible day, but it’s not like he’s Chase Utley. I knew they were in trouble when Kimbrel walked the guy after being ahead 1-2. If they have Wagner, they probably win, case closed. What can you say when a team loses their arguably best player during the last week of the season and their closer fielding a bunt?

    Aside from that, the poor defense generally was bound to doom the Braves. Look at the Phillies; the one thing they do no matter what is catch the ball. Defense needs to be a priority on this team.

  74. Okay, I think I’m going to pick a random person in my contacts list and e-mail my next comment. That should keep me from being banned.

  75. On the strike zone.

    Thrughout the night, as I watched the “magic box” (can’t remember what TBS calls theirs) I saw very few problems. In fact, it almost seemed as if the “magic box” was making the calls.

    Then, for some reason, the strike zone widened in our half of the ninth inning. That also happened in Game 1.

    Another thing with Heyward is that he REALLY DOES know the strike zone better than the umpires, but they seem to have some desire to “punish the punk.” Like, “You are a rookie and you have to swing at those pitches even though I wouldn’t call it against Chipper Jones or Chase Utley.” I think Kelly Johnson also had that problem in his Atlanta years.

  76. When I want to blame Bobby for the loss, I think of how the half inning before he baited Bochy into putting in Romo by burning Glaus, then getting the matchup he wanted with Hinske. Yet I will never forgive not making a defensive substituion in the 9th.

    When I want to blame Conrad for the loss, I remember that he really is in over his head. He tries so hard and has helped this team all year. Yet, I can’t forgive botching routine plays.

    I like what Neyer said, basically that each guy deserves one goat horn.

  77. Damn you, Conrad, you really screwed up my birthday!
    So, I went to bed when the game started at 10.40 p.m. and watched it with the excellent ipad app. my girlfriend lying next to me (with ear plugs and a sleeping shade). I was jumping up and down in bed at around 01.30 am and started swearing badly at around 1.45 am. I got away with it because, my birthday had just started. Damn you, Brooks Conrad!!! Give me my birthday back!

  78. Poor Timo, Hinske gave you a birthday present and fifteen minutes later, Bobby and Brooks took it back.

  79. billy-jay… rather the joy of my birthday. so it feels like he took my birthday. damn you, conrad.

  80. “The Bobby haters are – as always – hilarious, predictable and clueless.”

    And your substitution of ad hominem attacks for empirical evidence is–as always–hilarious, predictable, and clueless as well.

    Outside of knee-jerk Cox apologists, there has been a pretty civil conversation unfolding elsewhere, primarily on non-Braves specific sites, about Cox’s two bad decisions: pulling Kimbrel and leaving Conrad in with a guy on the bench. Sure, the Braves are obviously not good enough to beat the Phillies, but they are making things harder on themselves than necessary in this round. It’s an ugly sight to behold.

  81. Okay, not naming names here.

    Brooks Conrad has brought me more joy than anyone on this board. If it’s up to me and anyone is going to spend the next ten years riding the bus and eating cheap burgers, well, it’s not going to be Brooks. Also, I don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone’s tortured soul, but again, Brooks wins that one. If someone is going to be umemployed tomorrow, well, I hope it isn’t Brooks. I’ll try not to say anything about anyone’s birthday. Shit, there will be another one next year.

  82. @95 Three games…THREE GAMES!!! This is his first postseason. I thought we are all playoff vets around here, but most of us here are acting like we are watching playoff baseball for the first time.

    Honestly, I am more pissed with the 2003 team when we had an awesome offense but they disappeared against Wood and Prior. This team overachieved, and we are short of our top two infielders and closer. I am not saying Brooks is allowed to make three errors in one game, but being shorthanded is precisely the reason why we lost.

  83. take it easy, billy-jay. I hope the Braves are playing on my next birthday and I hope Brook Conrad is not playing at 2nd or 3rd. I’d be okay with him entering as a PH. He screwed up last night. Plain and simple. And yes, he maybe won three or four games before that during the season.

  84. You know, Timo, I shouldn’t have thrown you in there. I hope you have a great birthday. Don’t let a baseball game get you down.

  85. No worries, billy-jay, but thank you! We’ll get them tonight and all will be good for another day ;-)

  86. I know that emotions play a far larger role in the stands than on the field or in the batters box. but what kind of an impact do you think Brooks reception tonight will make?

    Is this the kind of thing that can galvanize a team, will it matter if it does? I dunno, just random thoughts after a restless night.

  87. To my favorite team:
    Drink a beer
    Get some sleep

    Whatever you accompish in October, it’s been a helluva ride.

    Go Braves!

  88. My 13 year old daughter and I were watching the game, and she just finished reading “Flowers for Algernon” and after Conrad booted the pop fly she said ” Look Daddy, he just pulled a Charlie Gordon! ” I about fell out of my chair!

  89. #114 hopefully the home fans will cheer loudly when Brooks comes in to pinch hit in the 8th tonight.

  90. This has been rattling in my head all night and all morning. Last night just hurt. It hurt for no other reason that that loss had a little bit of everything that has cost the Braves in the playofover the last 20 years.

    1. Lack of offense – check
    2. Bad Defense, not just the errors, but tough plays not being made – check
    3. Bullpen mismanagement – check
    4. Incredible Highs, and depression inducing lows – check.
    5. Umpire giving the other team the corners and your guy nothing – check
    6. Star players going 0-Fer – check
    7. Bobby’s loyatly biting him in the ass – check
    8. Bobby bench mismanagement – check
    9. Home field advantage wasted – check

    If they had just lost 8-3 or something. I would be bummed, but not near as incoherent as I am this morning.

    Last night hurt, because it has happened way to often before. This is what always happens. It has happened every year except 1995. I’m sure it sucks to be a Cubs fan and all, but dang it sucks to be a Braves fan. To be there so close, so many times and to not cash in. There is a special pain to be felt for that It hurts damnit. The braves are teases, they always have been, they always will be.

    The tribute to Bobby was great and all, but a more fitting tribute would have been to have a gala that was unbelieveably fabulous and fun, and over the top, then cut it 10 mins short, because that’s what the Braves have always been under Bobby, a team that comes up short.

    It is not all Cox’s fault, the front office owns some blame, not just Wren, but J.S. The players have some blame, (I’m looking at you Terry Pendleton, Gary Sheffield, Andres Gallaraga, to name a few underachievers in the post season.)

    That is why last night hurt, because right when I started to believe something cool was possible, the braves squatted down and took a big dump on my belief. They didn’t even bother to dig the hole first.

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