Brooklyn 5, Boston 3 (12 innings)

Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – Box Score – April 21, 2011 – ESPN.

The Braves are so eager to swing at everything that they’ve brought back the possibility of a complete game. Clayton Kershaw, one of the more inefficient top starters in the game, took it to two out in the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead before falling apart and letting the Braves take a 3-2 lead. Presumably because it was a throwback jersey game, or maybe because he has no faith in his bullpen, Don Mattingly just left Kershaw out there to blow the lead. David Ross hit a bases-loaded two-out single. Because it’s the Braves, they lost the game anyway.

Before that, Kershaw had been dominant, allowing only a fifth-inning solo homer by Freddie Freeman, who’s very much a bright spot in a dim Braves firmament right now. Jair Jurrjens had worked hard but hadn’t given up a run before allowing a game-tying solo homer in the sixth. Fredi comically used George Sherrill to pitch to one batter — Kershaw — in the seventh, then brought in Scott Linebrink, who allowed a solo homer to Casey Blake that seemed to be the Dodgers’ margin of victory. Eric O’Flaherty had little trouble in the eighth.

In the ninth, the Braves were down to their last out when Chipper Jones singled and Jason Heyward ran for him. Dan Uggla singled, then went to second when they tried to get Heyward at third, and was almost thrown out. Not only was that risky, it took the bat out of Freeman’s hands, as they pitched around him. Ross made them pay.

The Braves brought in Craig Kimbrel, who walked the leadoff man then got the next two, but let the runner go to second with a wild pitch. Blake got behind 0-2, then singled to tie the game. The Braves had two on with two out in the eleventh, but Nate McLouth struck out swinging. That was it for them. In his second inning of work, Cristhian Martinez allowed a double by Andre Ethier, then a homer by Matt Kemp. Ballgame.

67 thoughts on “Brooklyn 5, Boston 3 (12 innings)”

  1. Matt Young sucks. Joe Mathher sucks. Brandon Hicks sucks. Jordan Schafer sucks. Diory Hernandez sucks. Brooks Conrad sucks.

    Christian Martinez sucks. Scott Linebrink sucks. George Sherrill sucks.

    I have no idea what to do. Frank Wren will pay too much for a rental to fill a hole, and the team will get hot for a while and tease us and then lose out in the end of the year as always.

    I hate this team. I hate our GM. I hate our manager. I hate our ownership.

  2. good god, i hope the braves put in a claim for brandon wood. i’m tired of one-dimensional bench players.

  3. We’re only 20 games into the season. We’ve got another 20-30 games left to round into form. Now if at 50 games in we’re 20-30, THEN we can start to panic.

  4. I’m going to go ahead and panic now. Just to get warmed up for the eventually despair.

  5. I’m very amused at the notion that at any point the Dogers would’ve been willing to trade Kemp. That’s like assuming that Heyward can be had from the Braves now because he hasn’t been doing well. Inanity.

    Freeman is doing GREAT right now. If anyone else wants to start hitting, the lineup should be worthy of being on the same team as the pitching staff.

    Also, Christian Martinez is no Craig Kimbrel, but he’s fine for his job. It’s Sherrill and Linebrink who are the drag on the bullpen. And until this west coast trip, Linebrink had actually looked okay. :-(

  6. We lost an extra innings game on the road–sure its frustrating–but it happens. It will not be our only extra inning loss.

    I am not quite ready to start getting excited about having one of the top picks in 2012 Draft….

  7. As long as doom is impending, Fredi via DOB:

    On Venters not pitching today

    “Jonny’s got some stuff going on with his arm. It’s nothing bad; it’s not in the elbow, it’s not in the shoulder. It’s in the muscle, biceps-triceps stuff, and we tried to stay away from him the past couple of days. He’s gotten better every day. Hopefully tomorrow [they will decide they can use him].”

  8. @13 Comparing Kemp to Heyward is even more inane. Heyward hasn’t had a complete dropoff nor significant attitude problems. Kemp was all over trading rumors last year and I have no trouble believing they would have parted with him for the right offer.

  9. @1
    I think the Lisp has been ok. He had pitched several days in a row and was worn down yesterday.

    @17
    I was blown away that Fredi pitched to him.

  10. @17 cont.

    I like how he calls out Fredi, DOB and Peanut for not questioning the call.

    These beat writters have just become tools for the Braves managment.

  11. Adam M — the point you made about walking Kemp in the 1st inning of a game, but not in the 12th inning with a base open is pretty mind boggling.

    I was listening as I left work, but ran out of wifi when Chipper was up with 2 outs in the 9th. Didn’t check the score until later last night. Crazy game.

    My favorite part of the game? Bringing in Sherill to face Kershaw. ha.

  12. @19

    It’s true. They’ve sold their objectivity for the chance to break an occasional story. I don’t really know enough about how the sports reporting industry works to know if it’s a good deal, but as a consumer, it feels slimy.

  13. Cory Gearrin headed in flight to San Francisco to join the Braves. Not sure the impending roster move, but I hope it’s not Venters.

  14. Shanks says Matt Young going down for the Gearrin move.

    Gearrin just pitched 2.2 innings yesterday in Gwinnett. While I’m glad he’s getting a shot, wouldn’t we be better off with someone more rested, if the goal is to help out the overworked pen?

  15. I don’t know. Probably a bad decision but how many games do managers actually lose? And he was 0-2 on the guy and made a bad pitch. If the Braves could hit, it wouldn’t have been an issue. Would the Braves have scored again anyway? If Kimbrel hadn’t blown the lead, people would be excited over the amazing comeback. Blown saves happen, but this was a bad one given the context.

    IMO, the team was built to win 85 games with the hope that things would go right and they would win more. That might still happen. But this is not an organization that tries to build a great team (or that can given its payroll limitations). If they did, they wouldn’t have Nate McLouth in CF (although he isn’t playing that badly.)

    I’m sure the team is not as bad as they are playing now. They probably aren’t as good as some thought before the season. I think they have the same record as they did at this point last year (in the midst of a 9 game losing streak). But I will say this–IMO, Heyward better get going or this team doesn’t have a ghost of a chance.

  16. So now we will have like 13 pitcher and an even weaker bench? Frank really failed to upgrade the bench this winter, but I guess that is one of the easier things to fix.

    @22,
    The 24 hour news stuff is very dirty. It is even worse on sports. DOB was very good at one point (up untill the Griffey thing) no he has become a sell out bozo who just rips people on his blog who just have an oppinion that isn’t shared by the brass.

  17. On Young going down. I’m guessing that a reliever will go back down after a couple of days (Asencio or Martinez) and Gartrel, Constanza, Schafer, or Mather will join Atlanta in San Diego.

  18. How many wins does a manager contribute over a season?

    It doesn’t matter, because Fredi’s job is to give the team the best chance to win every night, and so far he’s done the opposite. The amount of wins he contribcosts/costs may be negligible, but he’s still not doing his job.

    Fredi seems to think that because he’s the manager, he can’t let any situation go unmanaged. Anybody here could be a better manager than Fredi, because everyone here has enough sense to know when NOT to manage.

  19. Off topic, but has anyone checked out what Frenchy is doing in KC? He has hit safely in 16 of the 18 games in which he has played, including an 11 game hitting streak, 3 HRs, 16 RBIs (tied for the AL lead), .329 average (league Top 10), .363 OBP. Right now, it’s looking like he’s the best RF in the AL. He still isn’t walking very much (only 5 so far this year), but what is going on? Did Atlanta let him go too soon? Is this a fluke?

  20. #34 – Did Atlanta let him go too soon? Is this a fluke? – DG

    patience my friend

    2007 – ATL – .300/.336/.549
    2009 – NYM – .311/.338/.498
    2010 – TEX – .340/.357/.491
    2011 – KC – .333/.363/.534

    Frenchy loves fresh starts. Now go look at his stats after he settles in somewhere.

  21. I believe Jeffy could be HOF-worthy if he could just get traded every 30 games or so, the guy makes a good first impression everywhere he goes.

  22. I will be at the game tonight. I live about an 2 hours away from San Francisco in the central valley. Go Braves!!!

  23. I have no problem with Young going down–but I hope that they keep Schafer at AAA until he is really ready. His numbers at Gwinnett are promising, but I would like to see them hold up over 200 ABs or so…..

  24. I do have to say that Frenchy looks really good this year. His physique is much like it was when he came into the league (rail thin and incredibly flexible). Surely his hot start won’t last, but I’d almost be willing to bet he ends the year at least league average.

  25. You don’t know that DOB didn’t ask Fredi about the Kemp non-walk. All you know is that no response was published.

    Either way, the fans deserve to know an answer.

  26. Shafer has a decent OBP and his K’s have been cut down, but he’s still slg .321 with a .686OPS. Currently he’s the 4th best offensive OF’r at Gwinnett. Constanza may get a look since he’s in CF and hitting at a .351/.403/.404 clip.

  27. #44 – He didnt ask him until today. He’s also surprised that so many fans are upset about him not getting walked.
    Gonzo said we had pitched him well all series and that if LISP had fallen behind he wouldve been walked. You gotta set up the DP possibility with Uribe there. Its over though.

  28. Has anyone mentioned that the freaking pitcher’s spot was up after Uribe?

    So your choices are 1) pitch to Kemp and Uribe, or 2) pitch to Uribe and a pinch hitter, (if they even had one left, and with a double play possibility set up.)

  29. Wow…hadn’t been to DOB’s blog in so long and wanted to see what everyone was talking about re: him not asking about walking Kemp.

    It’s gotten pretty bad over there. He does have to deal with some inane commenters, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone treat readers – who are in effect their customers – so disdainfully. He’s a professional….it is his job to at least ask the one question everyone wants to know the answer to, or to at least say that the question went unanswered.

  30. I don’t defend the rudeness. But we’ve been through this before on here. To do his basic job, DOB needs to maintain access to the Braves management. He doesn’t have to be a dick about it to fans, but to a large degree, he doesn’t have a choice but to tow the party line.

    Let’s face it, there’s no popular revolt ready to exert any pressure on the Braves organization if they were to kick out DOB and install an even bigger patsy, should he start to get too critical. We’re not him. We don’t know what kind of leash he has, but it’s fair to say it’s not long.

  31. For those of you saying Matt Kemp was available:

    @3: The Dodgers have probably a bottom third lineup right now, and were dead last in hitting after the all-star break last year. They were NOT about to trade away one of their only good hitters, especially considering their GM, Ned Colletti, signed a bunch of free agent pitchers in the offseason.

    @16: Kemp started the offseason by taking responsibility for his bad season, and promising to do better. The coaching staff also contributed to what may be perceived as “attitude problems.” Either way, as attitude problems go, Kemp is really not bad at all. In fact, he offered to bunt when he came up against the Cardinals down by one in the ninth on April 17th, and was told to swing, so he’s clearly putting the team ahead of himself.

    I’m a Dodger fan from the Dodger blogs, so that’s why I know all this.

  32. @55, that looks like it was after the fact (edit – csg already pointed this out), but what do I know. @53, are you kidding? That place is ONLY bearable during a losing streak. Watching the descent from groupthink to cannibalism is the only entertaining thing that ever goes on there.

  33. DOB didn’t have to put a blog up and he doesn’t have to answer his critics on there.

  34. Does that mean DOB doesn’t have to silence his critics?

    “When is it socially acceptable to yell at Larry Parrish? 50 games into the season?”

    How many hitting coaches have the Braves had over the years? How many have anyone liked? At some point, maybe it’s time to blame the hitters, not the hitting coach.

  35. @61

    Small sample size, yadda yadda, blah blah.

    What’s more plausible? That every hitter on the Braves suddenly decided that they were too patient last year and they all individually decided to turn into hack machines, or that at some systematic level they are either A) being told to be aggressive or B) aren’t being told to be patient?

    The latter is far more likely, imo, and that falls squarely in the realm of Parrish’s job. It’s even more plausible when you look at Parrish’s career and see what kind of hitter he was.

    As much as I think Fredi is the worst manager in the NL, I still voted for TP in the poll. If our hitters weren’t allowing complete games to the likes of John Garland every time you turn around, then it wouldn’t matter how much Fredi manages (pun only half intended) to redefine the term “over-managing.”

    Can Fredi/Parrish/Wren go out there and hit and make plays? No, but they can set the team up to succeed. But they’re not. Well, with the exception of Wren, unless you count the hiring of Fredi in the first place. Which I don’t, because even I, the most cynical and negative person I know, didn’t foresee Fredi being this abysmal.

  36. QOTD from AJC Blog:

    “Vince Scully has become embarrassingly bad.”

    It’s like porn movie names – you can’t even make them up better than the real thing.

  37. I’m pretty sure most fans complain about the beat writer for the same reason. The guys can’t keep criticizing people who are supposed to help them.

  38. Term limits for beat writers! After four years, they have to move to another beat, either a different sport or a different outlet. And with that, game thread time.

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