Dodgers 4, Braves 2

Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – Box Score – April 18, 2011 – ESPN.

What a pathetic offense. I’d like to think that the Braves getting up off the mat for two runs in the ninth, getting the tying run to the plate, is a sign that they’re going to break out of this soon, but be serious. They aren’t getting on base, and you aren’t going to score many runs when you don’t get on base.

The Braves went 1-2-3 in the first, and then the Dodgers sent their entire lineup to the plate in the bottom of the inning. They only got the three runs minimum you can get in that situation, but that was enough. The Braves rarely even threatened Ted Lilly, getting only a couple of two on, two out situations in the seven innings he worked.

Tim Hudson‘s peripherals aren’t all that bad, six innings, six hits, two walks (one intentional) and four strikeouts. But bunch a whole lot of hits together in one inning, and you get this. The Dodgers got all four runs off of him, though for much of the game he was pitching well. Jairo Asencio/Luis Valdez, up to take Moylan‘s innings, or to take Linebrink‘s while Linebrink takes Moylan’s, threw two innings, a pretty good seventh and a pretty bad eighth that he got out of with the bases loaded. Gosh, remember when the Braves got lots of baserunners and had trouble driving them in? Doesn’t that sound nice now?

The Braves have sunk so low that their offensive hero was Nate McLouth, who (hitting in the eighth spot) hit a pair of doubles and drove in their second run in the ninth off of Jonathan Broxton. Brian McCann and Dan Uggla also had two hits apiece.

45 thoughts on “Dodgers 4, Braves 2”

  1. And Fredi will put Nate back in the 2 spot and say, “See? I told you I was right.” Ugh.

  2. And how long can we go without getting a pinch hit?

    Nate did sting the ball tonight, but had the most LOB as well.

    Gotta go get ’em tomorrow.

  3. This doesn’t apply to last night’s game (or maybe it does…I didn’t watch), but many of the bunting attempts by the pitchers this year have been appalling. It occurs to me that the best, or at least most prolific, sac bunter in modern history spends quite a bit of time in the announcers booth, and might be able to help in this regard. It’s a small thing, certainly, but it’s an affront to the eyes when it’s done badly.

  4. don’t look now, people, but this team’s strength of the past couple of years (OBP) is dismal. LP hasn’t been an upgrade at all. We might be in for a long year. I’m not doom and gloom at all, but just watching these guys has been, well, pretty meh so far.

  5. I’m not all bent out of shape at this point, but as someone pointed out a few days ago, the bench is horrible. We lost Diaz to get Matt Young (right now he’s looking like a poor man’s Gregor Blanco) and we lost Infante for Brandon Hicks. Additionally, it looks like we have the bad Brooks Conrad.

    If we start playing better, the bench will probably cost us several games. With our SP depth, let’s hope we can make a few deals.

  6. No.

    Matt Kemp was shouting like a jackass from the bench, and Louth tried to shoot Lilly a really mean look. Surprise, he sucks at that too.

  7. Why would you throw at Louth? However, if Louth goes to the mound against the Dodgers, he is good in my book.

  8. Nate’s angry peer to the mound was hilarious. He followed it up with a double, so who knows.

  9. Wow… I went to bed after the first inning ended, and a 4 – 2 loss is pretty much exactly what I would have expected.

    Regarding the Braves’ offensive struggles to date: first off, I think once the top of the order (Prado, JHey, Chipper, McCann, Uggla) gets going together, we’ll score plenty of runs. We scored enough to win last year, and at least on paper the 2011 Braves offense should be superior to the 2010 model. Secondly, and I’m sure we’ve had this conversation before regarding Pendleton, I don’t think hitting coaches have such a sweeping and immediate impact on the hitters – it’s just not possible that one spring training with Larry Parrish has killed the Braves’ OBP skills. In reality, LP has just become a scapegoat; the real causes are beyond his control.

    From what I’ve seen, the real cause of the Braves’ offensive struggles is a combination of slow starts (Prado, Uggla, Freeman), bad luck and poor lineup construction (McLouth). Theoretically, with the exception of AAG and McLouth, the lineup is full of good, productive hitters, and that should result in at least a top-half offense this season.

    In the meanwhile, I’m glad they’re in LA so I don’t have to watch the Braves suck.

  10. Well, Nate hit the ball hard 3 times last night and worked the count on the other at-bat. I guess that’s good.

    If you’re looking for good news from the Braves, Minor and Delgado both had good nights:
    •M. Minor 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 1.50 ERA
    •R. Delgado 6.2 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 1.62 ERA

  11. Also, I must apologize about my past obsession with Matt Young. With what I’ve seen thus far, it seems like the Braves were right to leave him in the Minors for so long. No offense to anyone height challenged, but he just seems too small.

  12. Good to see Nate swinging the bat better last night. Maybe Lilly woke him up by throwing at him. Prado needs to find ways to get on base. He’ll hack at some balls outside of the zone in order to keep his AB going. Walks are ok.

    Chip rattled off a nice stat last night, this isnt accurate but its close. Anyone feel free to correct me.

    – Braves have only had multiple hits in 29 innings out of 130+
    – Braves have only scored 2+ runs in something like 13 or 15 of those innnings also

  13. I know he just got to the two hole, but it might be time to flip Heyward and Prado.

    It seems like Prado has hit the ball hard, but hs had some terrible luck, but the lack of walks is an issue. If he can get on base, we will be fine. He is the straw that stirs the drink.

  14. “Prado has one BB in 72 AB’s.”

    This is a big problem for a lead-off hitter. A .300 hitter isn’t satisfactory in the lead-off hole with this sort on OBP. Everyone loves to dump on McLouth; he has a better OBP than Prado, and McLouth can sustain that with a lower batting average, because McLouth walks at a good rate. Prado, lifetime, has an OBP 47 points above his batting average; McLouth has an OBP 85 points above his average. So even if Prado “finds his stroke” he is not a prototypical lead-off guy, and is a big reason for the Braves being the solo home-run king of the NL.

  15. What’s with Lilly and throwing at the Braves the last few years. Does he do that to everyone?

  16. I was going to wait for an off-day for this, but apparently they’re all off days for our batters … sigh.

    Anyone ever participate in those “auction” sites? (QuiBids, Iskore, etc.)

    Pleased? Displeased?

  17. He threw at us this time because Hudson threw at that rookie who all Dodgers fans decided they love because he can go 1-for-4 and successfully catch a fly ball. To be fair, Hudson claimed he didn’t mean to, but a) If he didn’t, it was the most accidentally well-placed wild pitch ever, and b) I hope it was on purpose, because it was hilarious, and an excellent time for it too, what with the crowd in the middle of a standing ovation over this guy’s latest routine putout.

  18. Good grief! I thought football was difficult.

    The SEC East has THREE of the top five teams in the country.

  19. #22 – Its a scam. I never tried it but have had some friends lose some money with them. You buy your bids and the computer sets it up where you cant win. Its about like winning big on a slot machine.

  20. @ 21

    The spat with Lilly goes back to at least 2007; he got tossed in the first inning of a game for throwing at Renteria. I think it may have had something to do with Soriano hot dogging a home run earlier in the series. Lilly was tossed before the benches could even clear; Lou was arguing his case like a madman with the ump, while the 15,000 or so cubs “fans” in attendance cheered him on. Renteria’s subsequent steal of 2nd/ninja slide into Ryan Theriot killed their buzz.

  21. 20 – Yep, I’ve been harping on this too. Prado has been awful. The truth is that he absolutely has to be going well just to justify his batting leadoff, but to this point he has been worse than 2010 Melky. Combine that with the absolutely horrible production the Braves have gotten from the 2 and 5 holes, and, well, you end up with this offense, which is among the worst now in baseball.

  22. What in Prado’s history makes anybody think he won’t improve? Was he not a starter on the All-Star team just last year?

  23. Just remember guys, it could always be worse. At least we don’t have to try to rationalize this series of events.

  24. Of course, if you’re a Braves fan who also owned Emaus in a deep, NL-only fantasy league…

  25. In case you’ve missed it, Michael Vick is now a finalist (against the legendary Peyton Hillis) in the tournament to determine the next Madden Cover Jinx victim. If he wins, which he probably will, there will be a big stink, again.

  26. 26 — I remember that game well. I’m wondering if he still harbors a dislike for the team in general. Or does he merely happen to find himself in many pay back situations to which he is amenable?

  27. SO, if the player referenced in 35 & 36 took four pitches that were off the plate, would that be The Walk to Emaus?

    (a little Easter humor, there – very little, I know)

  28. Who thought of the three back Aransas has that Peyton Hillis would have a decent shot of being the best one?

  29. @14, you know, I could tolerate Matt Young on the bench, but what I can’t tolerate is having Young AND Brandon Hicks BOTH on the bench at the same time. We don’t need 2 pinch runners, we need base runners.

  30. 34 – I think he will improve. He’s obviously not going to be Melky-ish all year. That said, Prado is still not really an ideal leadoff hitter, even when going well. ZIPS projects him to post a .339 wOBA the rest of the way, which is hardly great.

  31. Was he [Prado] not a starter on the All-Star team just last year?

    Yeah, but because of an injury to Chase Utley.

  32. I’m worried that Prado, who has outperformed what was expected of him as a minor leaguer, really does miss TP’s instruction. If that’s the case, hopefully he has the sense to bypass Parrish and talk to the first base coach.

    Verbatim Ozzie Tweet: “Is allways great to see one of the best man in baseball jeff torborg one of my favorite people ever”

    Got to go, game thread should be up at the top of the hour.

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