Phillies 3, Braves 0

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – April 10, 2011 – ESPN.

Pathetic. This offense is pathetic. Held to five hits, only one for extra bases, they really didn’t even threaten. Derek Lowe was great, but had no chance of winning. Lowe allowed seven hits and didn’t walk anyone, but gave up a run in the fourth on a GIDP and a homer in the sixth to Burn In Hell, and is now 1-2 on the season despite a 1.45 ERA. I’d say he was in the nonsupport spot in the lineup if the Braves were averaging more than 3.2 runs a game.

McLouth had a double in the fourth to break up a perfect game on the part of Cole Hamels. Other than that, they got singles from Prado, Heyward, Gonzalez, and Freeman. All were spread out but the ones from Heyward and AAG, which came with two out in the seventh. Craig Kimbrel gave up a run in the ninth but it didn’t matter at all.

119 thoughts on “Phillies 3, Braves 0”

  1. You’re right Mac, it’s not McLouth’s fault. I would like to officially redirect my anger toward Larry “SWING” Parrish and be the first to get on the Bring Back TP as Hitting Coach bandwagon.

    Although I will still say that Gonzalez is terrible as long as Heyward bats sixth. Everybody except Gonzalez and Dave “Yes Sir” O’Brien knows it’s stupid to bat him that low.

  2. They didn’t hit the ball hard at all. Even McLouth’s double should have been caught by a real left fielder, but luckily Ibanez is out there for the Phillies. All in all, the first 10 games have been very discouraging: Hanson isn’t right, the middle relief inspires no confidence, and the offense looks bad. True, it’s early–very early–and everything can change quickly, but none of that takes away from just how discouraging the first week and a half has been.

  3. Hasn’t been all that discouraging. Heyward is still awesome, Chipper looks great at the plate, and 3/5 of our starters have been really good.

  4. Well, they faced a pretty damned good pitcher. The Phillies are what we thought they are. Like the 90s Braces they send out an ace every game. It is not really fair to complain about being shut down by Hamels.

    Frankly, I didn’t think the Braces were as good as routed but come on, it is Ten games.

  5. “Frankly, I didn’t think the Braces were as good as routed but come on, it is Ten games.”

    Strawman. I already said “it’s early–very early–and everything can change quickly.” The Braves also might just be slumping a bit, as Prado, Uggla, and Freeman could all soon take off. But since this is, you know, a blog, and since people come here to vent and talk about the Braves, I provided my interpretation of the season’s first 10 games: I’m discouraged at the lack of patience, Hanson’s loss of velocity, the team’s shitty middle relief, etc. It’s nothing that hasn’t been written before, and it’s all worth monitoring as we head into the next week.

  6. I fully expect offense and Hanson to rebound. Sherrill and LInebrink will continue to suck.

  7. #2 – why? the offense doesnt look anything different from TP’s. Same old crap, 15 hits one night and nothing for the next two-three days

  8. Did they show McCann yelling at Ruiz in the 9th on the Fox Sports broadcast ? I didn’t see anybody comment about it but Pimpbot 16 clearly was yelling ‘fuck you’ to Ruiz about four times in front of the dugout. They showed it on the TBS broadcast in its entirety. Just another reason to hate Carlos Ruiz.

  9. @10

    Because at least when TP was around the team could take a walk. How many times have the Braves walked so far this year? Five? Even Chipper and McCann are swinging away at the plate. Heyward is the only one showing any patience, which isn’t hard when you’re hitting in front of AAGIDP.

  10. The thing that pisses me off, Philly’s lineup isn’t that damn good! They got Howard, Rollins, and Burn-in-hell…that’s it. There’s a 98 year old corpse in left field, something called Ben Francisco, Carlos Ruiz, and Placido Polanco. Our lineup is comparable top to bottom, yet they consistently hammer us.

    They’re not that damn good

  11. I was at the game and had the worst issue with parking ever. I got m pass on line, as I usually do. They over sold my lot and told me to go out of the lot and come back in another one. The attendant told me where to go, but as soon as I tried, one of Atlanta’s finest told me I couldn’t go that way. I ended up shelling out 20 bones to park.

    However, the Avet Brothers were awesome.

  12. Smitty, next time that happens just drive back to the Capitol and park on the street for free. There are always spaces.

  13. Our manager thinks that putting our best hitter in the 6th spot gives us the best chance to win. Doesn’t seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  14. This offense will be fine. Hitting coach means nothing. It’s obvious that the Braves were trying to be agressive with the Phillies pitchers since game one and the Phillies adjusted to that.

    We will be fine. It’s a long season. I don’t like to lose, but if anything, I don’t think offense should be a problem for this team. I am more concerned about the bullpen and defense.

  15. That’s an irritating comment from Fredi from AJC:
    On if he wants more patience from hitters with two on and two out:

    “That’s tough. You and I have never hit in the major leagues, so we don’t know what that’s all about…”

  16. “I didn’t see anybody comment about it but Pimpbot 16 clearly was yelling ‘fuck you’ to Ruiz about four times in front of the dugout. They showed it on the TBS broadcast in its entirety. Just another reason to hate Carlos Ruiz.”

    I don’t understand. Why would they reflect on Ruiz rather than on McCann?

    “They’re not that damn good.” The starting pitching is.

  17. At least I can count on some exciting baseball next weekend, when #1 Vanderbilt visits probable-#2 South Carolina.

  18. “They’re not that damn good.” The starting pitching is.

    Well said.

    Philly is hot right now. Their entire lineup will not hit .333 the rest of the year. They will regress to the mean, which will still be pretty good. Pair that with that rotation and they are in good shape.

    This iteration of the phillies lineup kind of reminds me of the ’94 Expos. They are really fast and they put pressure on the D. The bullpen has a bunch of young guys who throw hard. Nothing was easy for Atlanta this weekend, even Friday night.

    The braves only scored in 3 of the 26 innings they played this weekend. I think that is Larry Parish’s fault as much as it was TP’s last year. This team is SLOW. They have to string together hits to score. If they don’t get at least 2 or more hits in an inning, they are not going to score.

    I don’t like Prado in the 1. I know he probably the only one on the roster that can hit in the leadoff spot, but I think he is wasted up there. The bottom of our order is so bad that one of our best guys at putting the ball in play is not coming up with guys one base. He will take a walk at times, but he is like Ichiro in this way, he wants to hit his way on.

    I hate AAG with a passion. He is a worse hitter than Jeff Franceour. (Harsh, I know) Rallies die when he is at the plate, and I think his D has slipped some. Freeman should not be hitting in the 8 hole, but he is not hitting so you really can’t move him up.

    Sherrill is a left handed KK. He does not own one pitch that is Major League worthy. He cannot get MLB hitters out. He needs to go, and what has Eric O’ do to be buried in the pen? Did Keith Lockhart pass pictures of Fredi onto Sherrill to use as blackmail?

    After what was an amazing Friday game, the rest of the weekend was a HUGE let down. At least the Westin in Buckhead was a great hotel and has a promo rate on Travelzoo of 115 bucks a night. Definately recomended if you are coming into town to watch the Braves pound on the Mets.

  19. As long as we’re around .500 at the AS Break, there’s no need to worry, but Freeman and Louth should be the two main longterm concerns now. Linebrink and Sherrill suck, but either they’ll get better, (unlikely) or they’ll be replaced by one of the better internal candidates. Fredi’ll give them the Bobby Cox leeway, but eventually, like Proctor, they’ll be dumped. There are really no options w/Louth and Freeman though except to keep putting them out there.

  20. I don’t have any real problem with AAG as long as he’s at the bottom of the lineup. The real issue with this lineup is that Dan Uggla is well known as a slow starter, and he has been leaving a number of runners on base in the #5 hole; Freddie Freeman has generally been a slow starter in his trip through the minor leagues, and he’s leaving runners on base too. Once Freddie starts hitting like a league-average player — which he is absolutely capable of as a rookie –and Uggla starts hitting like a guy we paid $62 million for, the team will start scoring many more runs.

    Through 10 games, the Braves are averaging 6.1 men left on base per game. In both 2009 and 2010, they averaged 7.5 LOB a game. So the problem this year isn’t so much our standard problem of people getting on base but not scoring; the problem is people not getting on base. But the team will not hit .238/.303/.346 all year. It’s not Parrish’s fault. It’s just the first week and a half of the season.

  21. Its pretty sad when your cleanup hitter, who doesnt have an XBH yet, is the only guy on the team with a SB. Yep, thanks BMAc.

    We’ve only had three SB attempts

    My biggest concern – the Braves bench minus Ross. Hinske/Conrad/Hicks/Boscan/Young are a combined 1 for 18 with 2BB and 7K’s.

  22. @30- I was thinking the same with AAG. Two wins out of a SS who can field the position and only costs 2.5MM isn’t sabotaging your team.

    I have faith that Uggla will eventually come around, and while I love Freeman’s pedigree, the fact remains that he’s never hit on the ML level. Until he does that, I think there’s got to be some concern.

  23. Why not this lineup

    Prado
    Chipper
    Heyward
    Mccann/Uggla
    Uggla/Mccann depends on RHP/LHP
    Freeman
    Gonzalez
    Mclouth

    It keeps Chipper in the top of the lineup and gets J-Hey where he eventually will be.
    As for the bullpen Sherill needs to go soon. We can live with 2 LHP in that pen for now.
    I agree we need speed at the top of our lineup.

  24. AAG isn’t my favorite player either, but I don’t get how people think he’s worse than Francoeur or McLouth. I’m still floored that he beat out Nate for 2011 Whipping Boy (though it sounds like Sherill will receive that honor soon enough). We’re batting him 7th for a reason. And as much as it kills me to see Heyward batting 6th, switching him and McLouth makes our 6-7-8-9 spots in the line-up pretty weak. No matter how you shuffle it, either Heyward or Uggla are put in a position where they can be pitched around.

    @(other) Rob, That’s a great line-up on a paper. Hopefully Fredi won’t be afraid to mix things up.

  25. Will anyone on this team hit more than 20 HRs besides (hopefully) Uggla? No power. No speed. Two extremely veteran starters who absolutely must stay healthy. JJ always hurt, Hanson losing velocity. Concerns at the corner infield positions. Worst everyday player in the majors roaming CF. Finishing above .500 will be over-achieving imho. Chipper and Uggla and Freeman must hit for us to have any sort of chance. Expect Heyward will be moved up in the order at some point, but him batting 6th is totally inexplicable.

  26. 25- Ruiz was whining to the umpire during McCann’s entire at bat, and you can even see McCann talking to Ruiz to tell him to shut up during the at bat. After the at bat, when McCann was running into the dugout from first, Ruiz yelled something to McCann and that’s when he stood outside the dugout (right in front of Fredi, who looked like he didn’t know what the hell was going on) and started yelling at Ruiz.

    I’m not saying it’s a huge deal, I just didn’t know if they even showed it during the FSS broadcast, because I was watching on TBS, and nobody commented on it. I can’t recall McCann being as heated as he was and yelling at somebody multiple times in front of the dugout, so clearly I’m going to blame Ruiz. I do hope that Ruiz gets drilled next time, I’m sorry if that makes me a bad person.

  27. jj3bagger:

    That does not make you a bad person. Hell, I’ll buy you a beer if we ever meet in person.

  28. Well, jj, if that makes you a bad person, I guess we’ll burn in Baseball Hell together.

    Drill his ass!

    Is it too soon to start fretting the Wild Card contenders?

  29. Krussell at 35, sure they will. Brian will hit around 20. Heyward will hit around 20. Prado will hit 12-15. Gonzalez will suck, but he’ll hit 12-15. Chipper will hit 15-20. Freeman will hit 15-20. Uggla will probably hit 30 again.

    And why are you complaining about speed? Speed isn’t good. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t really correlated with success on the field. (This has been demonstrated by studies.) If this team never tries to steal a base, it won’t really negatively affect their chances. If this team tries to steal and is caught stealing, it will drastically negatively affect their chances.

  30. What would you consider problem spots worse than AAG? Center field is obvious, but you seem to have more than one in mind.

  31. McLouth isn’t playing that bad. Uggla is struggling at the plate and McCann is only hitting singles. We have also seen soem good pitchers.

    I was impressed the with Phillies bullpen, they were better than I thought.

    It’s not time to panic.

  32. 39 – I don’t think McCann or Heyward will reach 20, but certainly it wouldn’t surprise if they did. Chipper no way. Freeman no way. Freeman will be lucky to stay in the majors all year. He looks completely overmatched (though of course it’s very early).

    I’m not complaining about speed directly, just saying that we have no power, and we aren’t a fast team that is set up for little ball either. I’d much rather sit back and wait for the 3 run homer…but you need hitters that can actually hit them. We have a lot of line-drive guys, but it takes 3 singles in an inning to score. Those odds suck.

  33. WARNING: Another long, self-indulgent travelogue post about my slow but steady tour of all the American ballparks.

    My dad has wanted to visit each park for years (ever since that Mastercard commercial about five years ago) so we finally planned the first leg of our tour last year. My dad, his friend from work, my friend from school, and I rented a car and drove from NY to DC to see the Nationals’ park (meh), drove back to catch games at Citi-Field and Yankee Stadium (we all loved Citi, only my buddy and I liked Yankee Stadium), and then drove to Boston to see Fenway (which is currently my favorite ballpark ever).

    This year we only had the time and resources to see three parks, but we couldn’t have picked a better three: Citizens Bank Park in Philly, Camden Yards in Baltimore, followed by PNC in Pittsburgh.

    My dad, his friend (Rich), and my friend (Dan), flew in from California on Thursday so I took Amtrak from Penn Station to Philadelphia. My older sister is an actress and she’s currently on tour with “Mary Poppins” (random, I know) but they were in Philadelphia at the same time, so we got their company discount on a hotel right across the street.

    So I’m in a cab going to the hotel, and within two minutes the cab driver, who was either stoned or REALLY off in the head, tells me how much he “f***in’ hates this city.”

    ME: Why?
    CAB: Shemales, man. Shemales.
    ME: …what?
    CAB: Yeah, your hotel is in a really bad shemale area. Them shemales look better than the actual ladies we got here.

    He then proceeded to tell me the most graphic and disturbing story I’ve ever heard. I’ll spare you the details (I wish he offered me the same courtesy), but it involved a shemale, a gun, and eighteen stitches where the sun don’t shine.

    So now I’ll always associate that story with Philadelphia. Thanks, guy.

    The Phillies were playing the Mets on a beautiful Thursday afternoon. Despite a 3:00 starting time, attendance was approximately 45,000. Dan and I were lucky enough to get seats on the third base line from a season ticket holder. The park is really nice but the left and right field porches are comically short. You don’t realize just how ridiculous those dimensions are until you’re there. It’s like a glorified AAA stadium.

    I’ve heard that Phillie fans can get pretty nasty, but everyone was in a pretty good mood considering Halladay was pitching (another treat) and the Phils whomped the AAA Mets 11-0. I got some really great pictures (which I put on my FB page if anyone is interested) and had a nice conversation with the guy sitting next to me. I’m not normally a social guy, but something about sitting at a ballpark seems to give people the balls to strike up a conversation with a stranger. It’s one of the many things I love about the game.

    The next day we saw the Liberty Bell and had philly cheese steaks for lunch at an indoor Amish/farmers market (as good as advertised) and started driving to Baltimore.

    Camden Yards is a really beautiful place to watch a game. Or at least it probably would have been had the game not been canceled due to rain. We had the famous Maryland crab sandwiches while we waited and they even put the Atlanta-Philadelphia game on the big screen for about 45 minutes before they eventually called it. It was kinda like going to a really cold and wet sports bar.

    We went back to our hotel and listened to the end of the SF-STL game on my iPhone (Dan and Rich are big Cardinals fans) and then the tail end of the ATL-PHI game (I love that At-Bat app). Not a wasted trip, but we wish we could’ve seen a game.

    We drove to Pittsburgh the next morning and saw their History Museum. There was a lot of great Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell stuff and they even had a display commemorating Sid Bream’s slide in 1992 (I have NO idea why that was there, but it made me happy).

    People on here told me that PNC is an awesome place to watch a game and man were they right. PNC closes the Clemente bridge to traffic before every game so fans can walk across it to the park. We had beers at a really cool sports bar in the area (which had a bathroom attendant for some odd reason) and got to the park early to walk around. The view of the city is breathtaking. Whenever I saw a game on TV, I assumed that the bridge in left field was fake and part of the stadium. Nope, that’s real and extremely close. If they ever get a good team in there, it will really be a magical place to watch a game.

    The Pirates had a fighting chance until the end. Charlie Morton started and got into some trouble early before settling down and going about 7. Matt Diaz pinch-hit for him in the bottom half of the inning and drove in the tying run. They were losing 6-4 in the ninth with one out and runners on first and second (after another Diaz base hit) but the next guy grounded into a double play. We saw about three homeruns and a really great play at the plate. AND there were fireworks after the game, so everyone in my party went home pretty happy.

    I still have 15-18 parks to go, but my top 3 right now are Fenway, PNC, and Pac Bell in SF (or whatever they call it now). Next spring we’re going to try and see St. Louis, both Chicago teams, and Kansas City. I’ll be in Florida this time next year, so they might come stay with me and see the new Marlins stadium and Tampa Bay later on in the year (where indoor stadiums are a blessing, not a curse).

    Sorry to take up so much cyberspace, but I’m still reeling from a really great trip.

  34. In Uggla’s case, there’s enough history to consider his offensive slump temporary.

    I can see how one could consider Freeman and McLouth to be bigger problems than AAG. We have about 60 PA on Freeman now, so I can see where there is legitimate concern. No amount of defense will make up for this kind of hitting.

  35. Why would you think that Heyward or Bmac wont hit 20? BMac has done it 4 of the last 5 seasons. Heyward hit 18 as a rookie with an injured hand.

  36. As far as team speed is concerned, to me it’s not so much the lack of stolen base threats (although it is nice to have in late and close situations) but the general lack of speed period.
    Who in the line-up can really be counted on to score from 1st on a double? Prado, Heyward & McLouth. I think the Phillies trot out five guys every night who can.

  37. 48 – BMac due to the wear and tear of catching yet another season, and Heyward because of his swing. Heyward might hit 20+ easily though – certainly wouldn’t surprise me. Those two are certainly the least of my worries. No power from 2/3 of the outfield, and no power from the corner infield is what scares me.

  38. Freeman has a long history of struggling during his initial phase at a new level and then adjusting.

    And I do not consider his MLB numbers from last year to be the least bit relevant. No one can learn how to hit MLB pitching getting one plate appearance every 3-4 days.

  39. Rob, thanks for the account. Reminded me of a west coast ballpark trip in college. Good times.

  40. FWIW, Heyward is “on pace” to hit 32 home runs. Hanson had the same problems last year. This is obviously far from a perfect team but it’s bizaar to be jumping ship after the first week of the season. If they go 8-2 the next ten games, do we start printing World Series tickets?

  41. #45 – Dang, Rob, I’m green with envy. You must not have any kids. :) I’ve always wanted to do what you are doing, but alas 2 kids in college now and twins starting in a couple of years so ……

    Love the description of PNC. I have heard that its a fabulous ballpark.

  42. It’s obviously Lowe’s fault. He has forgotten how to win.
    On a more serious note, I am more concerned of the lack of patience – even Chipper has gone into hacking mode.

  43. I think it’s safe to assume that Chipper’s issue is one of SSS, not evidence of a change in team-wide philosophy. The only Larry he listens to for hitting advice is his dad.

  44. I believe Chipper’s said before that he feels like the first pitch is often the only decent one he gets. Wasn’t that the basis for his stare back to Sciambi in the booth a while back?

  45. I don’t have any problem with any of our hitters being aggressive early in the count with runners on. The problem is that you have to get your pitch and it has to be in your spot. Freeman’s at bat yesterday with 1st and 3rd is a prime example. He tried to pull a first pitch breaking ball that was probably not even a strike. If you give him the benefit of the doubt you’d say that he was sitting breaking ball and he got it, and his eyes lit up…but it was still a pitcher’s pitch, shoulda waited for something better.

  46. Not to be flip, but that’s a question of maturity and experience as much as anything. He’s a rookie, and the season isn’t yet two weeks old. His approach will improve with experience. I’m not worried about him yet.

  47. If you get a hit on the first pitch, you’re being aggressive; if you make an out, you lack patience.

  48. RobBroad4th (No.4): I’m taking the family on a vacation this summer and plan to see games in Arizona, San Diego, SF, and DC. Question: How do you buy your tickets when you make trips like this? Direct from the clubs? or other methods?

  49. @68,

    Buying them early is key, especially if you have to book a hotel. Stubhub is a great resource and if you have family in the cities you’re visiting (we did for Philly and Pittsburgh), chances are someone knows the local methods for cheap tickets.

    Sounds like a fun trip!

  50. @67

    No doubt.

    I think a goal for a hitter is not to take pitches, it is to force the pitcher to throw “your pitch” or a pitch you can drive.

    For most guys that is a fastball. Some pitchers will throw a fastball early in the count, to get ahead. Some are forced to throw one with a fast guy on base, or when they get behind 2-1 or 3-1.

    So if Chipper, Jason, McCann so forth, go to the plate and get a fastball where they want it on the first pitch and swing, I don’t care. They may get out, but they also might hit it in the gap.

    Guys like Frenchy going up there just looking fo something close he think he can get the bat on is stupid.

  51. Wasn’t picking on Freeman alone, but he’s clearly very anxious up there. Hopefully he will settle in. I certainly don’t want him to suck! I want to be wrong and for him to be ROY.

    I think in a lot of cases so far our guys have gone up there, guessed exactly right, and just flat out missed their pitch. It happens. Today’s off day comes at a good time.

  52. 3 straight right-handers and the mets coming into town this weekend. sounds like it’s a good time to get going.

  53. Smitty,

    I think the goal for the hitter is to get on base. In general, your chances of getting on base are, I assume, higher if you take more pitches because (1) you may get a better pitch to hit, and (2) you have a chance to get a walk. But, obviously, there are times (even Ted Williams said this) when the first pitch is the best pitch you will get to hit, and if the pitcher has great control, the chances of getting a walk are much smaller. I think the other night the Braves were being very aggressive against Cliff Lee because they knew he wouldn’t get behind so you might as well swing early.

  54. Does anyone here play baseball video games? What game do you prefer? I decided to try 2K11 for PS3 this year but hated it, and just traded it in for The Show 11.

  55. @74, 2K11 is okay, but The Show looks wayyyy better. 2K11 is riddled with bugs, but 360 gamers don’t have any alternatives.

  56. #68
    Just so you know, for most MLB games, you can buy tickets right off the teams’ websites. And yes, doing it early is very helpful.

    I travel a fair amount for work & try to catch games in other cities when I can, so I can tell you that, outside of a handful of teams (Red Sox, Cubs, Cards, Yanks, Phils), you can get tickets for most regular-season games relatively easily.

    And you’ll be shocked to see the good deals that you can find on Stubhub.

    For the Yanks, as an example, you can buy way-less-than-face-value tickets on Stubhub for just about any game that’s not vs. Red Sox or Mets or that’s not on a weekend.

    Wanna sit upstairs for Yanks/Texas Thursday night? It’ll cost you all of $2. Season ticket holders dump games left & right.

  57. @73,

    I agree, for the most part. I think there are times when the goal isn’t to “just get on base” time like sac flies or when a guy like Chipper or McCann is at the plate late in a close game with a runner in scoring possition, with maybe a lesser hitter behind them in the order (like AAG or McLouth) then I want the to be more aggressvie and try and drive the ball.

    I know those times are rare, but there are certain AB’s where you have to be more agressive than others. The good hitters know when that is.

  58. wasn’t that the “book” on Maddux? supposedly the first pitch was the only good one to hit

  59. I was watching MLB Network’s replay of The Aaron Boone Game last night (2003 ALCS Game 7, Bos/NYY) & it had some interesting pitcher/hitter discussion.

    Pedro Martinez was on the show’s panel & he basically said that he got hurt a couple times in the game from guys going after first pitches. He tried to get ahead of Giambi & Jeter with first-pitch fastballs because “those guys almost never swing at the first pitch,” but he “got ambushed.”

    Giambi, for example, was obviously sitting on that particular pitch when he hit his 1st HR. The key, of course, is hitting the ball hard when you recognize that pitch.

  60. The sooner the better, I think. AAG may end up deserving WB status offensively before it’s all said and done, but most of his face time is on defense, which he does effectively and with some flair. I know some people don’t like that, because they don’t like for things to be fun, but I am consistently entertained. Sherrill, on the other hand, is a fat man who does nothing but suck.

  61. I figured McOut was pretty much the WB incumbent. Surprising to see so many other worthy candidates.

  62. Went to a Dodgers/Cubs game last summer in Chavez Ravine. I sat in the LF bleachers, right next to the Dodger bullpen.

    Sherrill got called into a high-scoring affair to face one batter, Tyler Colvin. As he left the pen, I thought, “Man, that’s one XXXL, baggy uniform.” He really looked like a big, white sack of potatoes.

    He threw one pitch, Colvin banged it off the CF wall with a very loud thump & Torre took him out.

  63. I think George Sherrill and Scott Linebrink are the new Rally Twins. (I’ve been reading The Annotated Braves Journal 1998-2003 and 2004-2005 on my phone. I just pray that we never have another Boom-Boom Bobby.) Can we make Scourge Sherbrink the collective whipping boy?

  64. I bet there are a lot of people unhappy with the way Salty is handling the Red Sox staff. He wont last much longer.

  65. Beltran, anyone?

    I know – where do you play him? The idea is to have him replace McLouth’s bat, not Prado’s.

    Beltran in LF, Prado in CF and Heyward in RF? Damn. Why is CF so hard to solve?

  66. If the Braves got desperate, Hunter Pence could be a nice piece. Surely he can play a decent CF.

  67. Jurrjens went six innings, gave up four hits (1 homer), two earned runs, 2 BB, 3 Ks. 81 pitches, 48 strikes – per twitter

  68. Sherill is close to being Whipping Boy, he needs one more bad outing in a close game. He and Linebrink do appear to be Ray King/Kevin Gryboski renacted.

  69. good game from guys to keep an eye on in AAA:

    Schafer- 2/4 1 run
    W. Ramirez- 2/4 2hr 3rbi
    Lucas- 2/3 1 double 1bb 1 run 2 rbi
    M. Gomez- 2/4 1r 1hr 3rbi
    Marek- 1ip 3k 0r
    Abreu- 1ip 1h 1bb 1k 0r

  70. @103
    Wilkin has a career .752ops in 3011 minor league at-bats. My guess is he would be worse than Nate. And truthfully, Nate hasn’t looked that bad. Sure his results are subpar right now, but I really think he’s going to have a .750-.800 ops year.

  71. I am really shocked the Player’s Assoc. hasn’t filed something about KK. Maybe he isn’t part of the union, but that usually dosen’t stop the MLBPA.

  72. I think the TV suits are awakening to advanced stats, and have asked Chip and Joe to try and work some discussion into the broadcasts. Joe has said some very un-Joe things this year, like his awkward attempt to engage Glavine in rating the Neagle staff versus the Avery staff while mumbling something about “advanced analysts”.

    I worked at a company a few years ago that underwent a change in management. The new office manager decided to incorporate Microsoft Access into the toolbox of our administrative assistant, a 60ish East German emigre who, while not at all a technophile, took a very literal, utilitarian approach to learning what computer skills were necessary to her job performance. And she was, by acclamation, the single greatest asset the company had.

    She confided in me, and I agreed, that Access was not only difficult for her to learn, but was redundant with simpler, extant methods (it’s a very small company). But the office manager was undeterred, and repeatedly suggested that the assistant “just play around” with Access whenever she got the chance. That was just not ever going to happen, because she had an utter lack of wonderment about technology. Access was soon scrapped, and wasn’t missed.

    I’ll be reminded of her whenever I hear Joe mumble with zero conviction about “advanced analysts”, or Chip using BABIP practically as a non sequitur. It’s not going to add anything to the broadcasts. I can read Fangraphs to get my stat fix — I expect team broadcasters to describe the action on the field and establish a comfortable rapport. I don’t care if Joe rolls his eyes at BABIP, because that’s who he is — a 60ish East German immigrant woman.

  73. You can’t teach an old Joe Simpson new tricks. On the other hand, though, Jim Powell does a pretty good job of explaining these concepts in simple language. (A bit like Pete used to do, a thousand years ago.) And he’s clearly conversant to a certain extent in stathead lingo, mindset, and research, like Boog Sciambi. Don Sutton isn’t, exactly, but he doesn’t get in Jim’s way and he doesn’t seem to challenge the central theses. Since the color guy is almost always a former player, it strikes me that their relationship is the kind you’d ideally want to have.

  74. 110—Agreed. As is obvious if you’ve listened to more than one minute of airtime, the problem with the TV broadcasts is Chip F. Caray.

  75. #108 – As long as the Braves are honoring the contract the MLPA hasn’t got a grievance. Teams often just part ways with a player too and not all of them get other jobs but they still get paid.

  76. Boog and Joe were able to incorporate their differing views on advanced stats into their rapport, and it worked. Who knows, maybe Joe is just being a pro and deciding to move forward on some of this stuff, but there have been a couple of times when it sounded almost like he was being fed lines.

  77. @115,

    Possibly, I think that if Belt has a solid year for the Giants and they make they playoffs, the ESPN guys won’t let him lose.

  78. Ryan, it’s very possible. That’s essentially what Andrew Bailey did for the ROY a couple years ago, beating out Andrus and Porcello. Basically depends on whether Belt (or Freeman) hits like Ike Davis, or Buster Posey.

    On the other hand, if Beachy goes nuts and wins 17 games, he could get his name in the running in a jiffy.

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