Braves 9, Giants 6 (10 innings)

Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants – Box Score – April 24, 2011 – ESPN.

Despite heroic efforts to lose the game by Fredi Gonzalez — which only began by giving a start to Brandon Hicks — the Braves rallied to pull off the sweep anyway, though too late to get a win for Brandon Beachy after another terrific performance.

The Braves jumped on top in the first via a walk to Prado and back-to-back doubles by Heyward and Jones, the latter picking up both RBI. Uggla couldn’t move Chipper up and he was stranded, and it looked like Beachy would have to make the two runs stand up.

For a while, it looked like he would; he was perfect through 3 2/3. But he allowed a double to Aubrey Huff that Heyward apparently lost in the sun, and then Out Boy homered to tie the game. Neither team did much of anything else until the seventh, when all Hell broke loose.

After McLouth grounded out to start the inning, Hicks actually walked. AAG hit for Beachy, and struck out, and Prado followed with a walk. Heyward hit a long three-run homer to make it 5-2 and put the Braves in great shape to win.

Fredi had other ideas. With Moylan on the DL and Kimbrel unavailable after pitching in the last three games, he moved down the bullpen and decided to bring in Luis Valdez/Jairo Asencio to hold the lead for the seventh. After getting one out, it was single, single, single, bases-loaded walk, groundout to cut it to 5-4… and Valdez/Asencio was still out there. Finally, he gave up a two-run double, and with the lead blown Fredi finally went to Linebrink, who finished the inning. I have no idea what, or if, Gonzalez was thinking.

Uggla tied it up in the eighth with a solo homer. That was all they could get, and the bases remained empty through the ninth. In the tenth, Heyward and Chipper singled leading off and Uggla walked, but Freeman and pinch-hitter Hinske couldn’t get him home, Freeman striking out and Hinske giving up a force at home. But McLouth came through with a two-run single, and Brian McCann (whose off-day, as usual, finished with him catching) added a third run with a single. Jonny Venters struck out the first two, then allowed an infield single and a rare flyout to finish the game and get the save. Eric O’Flaherty got the win for two terrific innings of relief.

106 thoughts on “Braves 9, Giants 6 (10 innings)”

  1. “and with the lead blown Fredi finally went to Linebrink, who finished the inning.”

    At first, I read it as “and with the lead finally blown Fredi went to Linebrink,” and I found myself nodding in agreement. I’m thrilled the Braves won. But I am truly confused by the bullpen management in that 7th inning.

    Moreover, O’Flaherty then went out and pitched two innings! I mean, if he can get the go-ahead to do that in a tie game, why not in a game with a 3-run lead? Managers lose their minds with a lead, they really do.

  2. It was fine leaving Asencio after the first two singles, both of which were infield hits. After the third single, which was hit hard, he should have gone, after the walk, he DEFINITELY should have gone.

    On an unrelated note, do you think Asencio just went by Luis Valdez because he liked the way it sounded?

  3. To be fair to Asencio, if things break a bit different he has an easy 1-2-3 inning, as the firs two singles were a little seeing-eye job through the right side and a swinging bunt down the 3B line that Chipper had no play on. But after that he clearly didn’t have it any more. I’m actually okay with leaving him in until it was 5-4 (You want to give him a chance to get out of it. I get the impression this is a guy the Braves want to have as a real bullpen piece at some point in the future, and he certainly throws hard enough, so letting him try to salvage something from the outing is a reasonable goal), but letting him give up the double was too much.

    Still, great game. Very nice to see the offence put up some runs against some good starting pitching this series. Can’t really complain about how the road trip has gone after that!

  4. I wonder if maybe Freddi was saving O’Flaherty for closing so as to give Venters another off day?

    Either way, it didn’t really work, though it ended up fine in the end.

  5. I’m sure that Freddie is the best candidate right now, I was just wondering which of the pitchers is best set to challenge him. Freddie would run away with the poll.

  6. i really think kimbrel’s stuff is unreal, but the way beachy has come out of nowhere, i mean he wasn’t even expected to be with the big club even entering the last week of spring. i love that story.

  7. Gotta go with the undrafted free-agent. Extremely unlikely to make the major leagues, let alone be in ROY talks.

  8. With Kimbrel’s microscopic ERA, strikeouts, and his being on pace for 45+ saves, I don’t think Beachy would have a chance unless his ERA gets real low and he wins a ton of games. ROY voters love closers.

  9. Difference a series can make….

    Heyward before San Fran .188/.307/.422 after .250/.360/.500

    Whats even more impressive is those numbers increased that much vs two lefties and LIncecum

  10. The Braves must have appeased the ghost of Chino Cadahia with 12-dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. That’s the only explanation for this sweep.

  11. Do you guys think that the Braves make another roster move to get a fresh arm in the ‘pen? Swap Ascencio and Marek maybe?

  12. Braves, Hawks, Grizz and Vandy sweeping LSU in baseball. Good weekend for the south east sports scene.

  13. Remember, Uggla, Heyward, and Prado have all been underperforming thus far – and to lesser extent, so too has McCann. Even if we get everyone to perform at medium expectations, this should be an above-average offense. With the pitching so far, that will make this a very good team.

    But it’s still early and the offense may not perform to expectations. We’ll see.

  14. I figured Beachy was just going to be showcased and then traded, but IP not now. He’s legit and makes league min. Seems like a perfect guy to hold onto and trade one of your more experienced (Lowe or JJ) guys.

    Beachys line – 29.1IP 23H 9BB 31K 3.68ERA 1.09WHIP

  15. Not sure we have a spot for Tehearan, Minor, Beachy, Hanson, JJ, Lowe, Medlin and Hudson.

    I think JJ, Minor and Lowe would be on the block. JJ and Lowe would be off season moves, but if we need to pick up a bat, is MInor the guy we move? Looks like it at this point.

  16. Nah, I think JJ would get moved around the allstar break and Lowe in the offseason. Huddy, Hanson, Teheran, Beachy/Minor/Medlen/Delgado is a pretty impressive group. I dont see the Braves/Wren trading a young guy who is cheap.

    Medlen could go to the pen if help is needed there also.

  17. Haven’t seen any beat writers ask Fredi why he stuck with Luis Valdez/Jairo Asencio for so long.

    Scared little children…

  18. Anyone have an awful feeling that Proctor would get the next call before Marek? Marek 8.1IP 0BB 13K.

  19. Next year, I’d go with Hudson, Hanson, Minor, Beachy, and Teheran. Put Medlen in the bullpen with Kimbrel, Venters, Marek, and O’Flaherty. Trade both Jurrjens and Lowe in the offseason.

  20. I think we make a move this season and a pitcher is going to go somewhere. I think we will need another RP, a bench bat and maybe a fill in for an injury. We will probably look to add some middle infield depth too.

  21. Trade predictions:
    1. Lowe to the Yankees for Curtis Granderson
    2. Jair Jurrjens to the BoSox for Jed Lowrie

    Imagine that lineup…drooooooool.

  22. I have no problem giving a start to Hick. He is on the roster, and he is the backup ss. He is there to play.

    Fredi’s way of using the bullpen is strange…but we have been used to that for the past 20 years, so it’s not something that’s new.

    @33 There is no way the BoSox would trade Lowrie. Better look elsewhere.

  23. Sweep is great. I am tired of the “winning series is good enough” kind of attitude. Sweep more.

  24. The four active sports teams I care about — VU Baseball, the Braves, the Preds, and the Hawks — have gone a combined 10-0 since Friday. I could get used to this.

  25. Braves pitching is 4th in NL ERA (3.22) & the offense seems to be showing signs of life.

    Yes, the club remains near the bottom of NL offensive stats: 13th in slugging (.369), 15th in OBP (.302), 14th in batting average (.229) & 13th in 2Bs (30). And after an 18-run weekend, ATL is 11th in runs (87). (FWIW, they’re last in SB & 1st in CS.)

    But they’re tied for 2nd in HRs (23) & 4th (77) in BBs. I trust they’re not going to hit .229 for the entire season.

    Obviously, this was a big weekend. The offense woke up, they didn’t dig a deeper hole & they can return home feeling good with a successful trip. Let’s get some wins in that big ballpark.

    #33
    Why would the Yankees do that? Despite Hughes’ troubles, they’re not exactly desperate enough to trade their hottest slugger. (BTW, the Yanks are slugging over .500 as a team.)

  26. @38, if you’re spending $200 million on major league player salaries, I would consider it a failure if your team slugged under .500.

  27. 12 & 36- watching NHL playoffs for the first time this year and have adopted the Preds as they’re the only NHL team I’ve ever seen live. Kinda digging it.

    I don’t really care who we get back for Lowe. Obviously do the best you can, but both Prado and Heyward need to be extended, and that should be a bigger priority than hardballing for a return. Derek Lowe may be worth his salary this year, but even in a best case scenario it won’t be by very much.

    Lowe for Gardner straight up right now would be beautiful.

  28. FWIW, Gardner has been remarkably awful so far this year, worse than McLouth.

    #39
    Considering no team in the history of baseball has ever slugged .500, I guess they’re getting their money’s worth.

  29. Gardner’s BABIP is .194; the underlying skills are still there. I think he’ll be fine. I’d still keep McLouth as a starter (as least initially) but Gardner brings some other things as well: he’s a perfect fourth OF, a fantastic PH/PR option, and legit Chipper insurance.

    When you could (potentially) pick this up, clear 15 MM in salary, and not have a discernable drop in starting pitching, I think you have to do it. Granted, you take away a lot of the rotation depth until Medlen or Teheran are ready, and you assume Minor will be around as good as Lowe, but taking everything into consideration, I still think it’s a no-brainer.

  30. @41, crud. Even the ’27 Yankees only got up to .488. I was just thinking in my head a couple of .700, a .600, a .500, and a bunch of .400 would get you there, which seems possible with 200 million freaking dollars and an average-ish rotation. I wasn’t really thinking it would be historic, which is why I’m not a SABR guy, I guess.

  31. Ethan, there’s not much better in all of sports than playoff hockey, particularly overtime playoff hockey, IMO. Despite ububba’s favorite team’s efforts to ruin hockey in the late ’90’s-early ’00’s, playoff hockey is great even if you don’t have a dog in the fight.

    I also wrote at length this off-season about trading Lowe. The ‘drop-off’ from the other starters already in the organization would be virtually non-existent, and the $15MM off the books next year would be a huge chance to upgrade next year’s team. A straight salary dump would be fine with me.

  32. Because I was curious, top 20 team SLG in history (Baseball Databank):

    | 0.4909 | 2003 | Boston Red Sox |
    | 0.4891 | 1927 | New York Yankees |
    | 0.4877 | 1930 | New York Yankees |
    | 0.4845 | 1997 | Seattle Mariners |
    | 0.4843 | 1894 | Boston Beaneaters |
    | 0.4838 | 1994 | Cleveland Indians |
    | 0.4836 | 1996 | Seattle Mariners |
    | 0.4835 | 1936 | New York Yankees |
    | 0.4830 | 2001 | Colorado Rockies |
    | 0.4828 | 1894 | Baltimore Orioles |
    | 0.4809 | 1930 | Chicago Cubs |
    | 0.4787 | 1995 | Cleveland Indians |
    | 0.4787 | 1999 | Texas Rangers |
    | 0.4778 | 1997 | Colorado Rockies |
    | 0.4776 | 2009 | New York Yankees |
    | 0.4767 | 2000 | Houston Astros |
    | 0.4763 | 1894 | Philadelphia Phillies |
    | 0.4755 | 2003 | Atlanta Braves |
    | 0.4753 | 1996 | Cleveland Indians |
    | 0.4737 | 1953 | Brooklyn Dodgers |

  33. The fine folks over at Sports Center really did a bang up job with the Braves Giants highlights from today’s exciting game. Somehow they were able to boil the game down to just 3 critical “plays”… I know what you’re thinking, it seems like it would be tough to pick only 3, but these guys are professionals.

    1. A Giants fan proposing marriage to his girlfriend. She said yes!

    2. A potential father of the year candidate who was able to catch a foul ball with one hand, while managing not to drop the baby he was gripping onto with his other hand.

    3. Nate McLouth singling in a couple of go ahead runs in extra innings. Thankfully, this was by far the shortest of all three clips. They also met their daily bearded douche quota by finishing up with a mandatory shot of Brian Wilson.

    Nicely done, ESPN.

  34. I hate ESPN just as much as you do, but let’s not forget their perspective: It is their job to make money, and nothing else but that. You make money in the TV business by entertaining as many viewers as possible. And believe it or not, more people care about “romantic” proposals, fathers catching foul balls etc. than about the Braves or Giants. You don’t, I don’t, nobody on this blog does, but THE WORLD has already seen the crucial homerun 100.000 times, and gives a s**t about the Braves in the first place.

    What I’m trying to say is: It is no coincidence that you get to see what you get to see.

  35. Un-Braves related… this was my weekend project of note:
    http://dft.ba/-nVC

    We have a family tradition of the kids getting one layer of cake per year… and this was the 14yo’s choice for cake design. Worked out well his b-day party weekend was the premier one for the new season of Doctor Who as well.

  36. I think Fredi’s been awful but give him a break about starting Hicks. Gonzalez is mid 30s and isn’t likely to start all 162. Gonzalez, like McCann, got in the game during late innings.

  37. @51,

    I agree. At this point I think we will make two moves beofre the trade deadline, a RH out of the pen and a RH bat to come off the bench.

    If that is all we have to do, it will be a nice season.

  38. re Gardner: While we’re talking BABIP, don’t forget that it took a .340 BABIP to rocket him all the way up to a 106 OPS+ last year, and his minor league numbers don’t indicate a likelihood that he’s got much better in him. The speed and defense are nice add-ons, and conspired to make him an acceptable starting corner OF last year, but I’m far from sold. Athletic LFs always show up at the top of defensive ratings in part because they’re being compared to a lot of borderline useless fielders. Meanwhile, his K rate is on the rise.

    Edit: I can still see the rationale for a Lowe/Gardner trade, in a financial and asset-distribution sense, but there’s a decent chance Gardner would not be much help in and of himself.

  39. @52
    Seriously, what’s the point of making a move for a RH out of the bullpen? Stephen Marek had a 1.43era last year out of the ‘pen and has yet to give up a run in 2011 through 8.1 IP. Why would we spend money or trade anything for anyone when Marek is 30 minutes away and plays for the minimum?

  40. Since there has been some hockey talk in this thread (I agree NHL playoffs are awesome)… Have any of you other puck-heads on here heard anything recently about the Coyotes moving to Winnipeg now that they have been eliminated from the playoffs? If they move then it increases the chances that my Thrashers get to stay in the ATL. Side note slightly Braves related, I read on the AJC site that Tom Glavine is “doing what he can” to help the Thrashers stay.

  41. Marek might go Resop on us, although I agree he should be given a chance to do so at some point. Still, at the moment Linebrink is our only non-closing bullpen RHP with any track record whatsoever, so they’d be foolish to not be looking.

  42. Good for Tom. I’m glad to hear that.

    Gardner’s likely to have a relatively high BABIP, because he’s a really speedy guy who hits it on the ground a lot. And he had a fantastic walk rate last year, which has just collapsed this year. Both the walks and the BABIP are likely to get considerably higher. If he can get on base, between his propensity toward a relatively high OBP and good defense, he can be a really good player. I’d rather have him than McLouth.

  43. The Marek situation is mind-boggling to me. You’d think the suits just hate him, but I can’t get past the fact that they specifically traded for him.

  44. I’m with the pro Stephen Marek crowd. The guys numbers at minimum, show he deserves to at least be given a fair chance to succeed or fail in Atlanta. It’s only late April. If we bring him up now and he’s given a real chance but fails, it’s still well before mid season to give us time to add another reliever.

    Plus, keep in mind we’ll eventually get Moylan back, too. I’m not worried about the bullpen and especially given that our two BEST relievers are in fact the 8-9 guys. I’d be a lot more scared about the pen if we were in the Phillies or Cardinals situations, as those are two contenders who can’t find a closer to save their lives.

  45. Parish,

    Am I remembering correctly that you know Grayson Garvin’s family? That kid may have made himself some money, this past weekend. Coming into the year, he was being projected by most as a sandwich/2nd-round prospect, but he was sitting at 92-93 (up 3-4 mph from his usual velocity) all afternoon against LSU, and if he can sustain that, with his control, he’ll be taken in the first round.

  46. I wonder if the front office is trying to protect Marek’s service time clock from starting? And that’s why they’re keeping him down, since they actually think that much of him.

    A stretch, but otherwise I’m mystified at his handling.

  47. I’m in the “Free Marek, Free Wilkin Ramirez, and Free Ed Lucas” campaign. It makes me sick to see Brandon Hicks on this roster, and I’m not convinced that the Lisp and Jairo Luis Ascencio Valdez arent the same person (dominating some games and getting obliviated others). My roster moves before next homestand would include:
    Wilkin R. for Asencio
    Marek for Gearrin
    Lucas for Hicks

  48. I definitely see why Gearrin was called up since he won’t be on the roster for more than a week. (No reason to send Marek up and then down.) After that, keeping Marek down doesn’t make any sense. Hopefully he’ll get the call after Asencio has another poor outing.

  49. @68,

    Some of those guys aren’t on the 40 man roster, that is probably why they are on the team.

    @69

    I’m pulling for Gearrin

  50. However, there are only 37 players on the 40 man roster and you could easily move Medlin to the 60 DL. That would give you four slots.

  51. AAR’s right. As much as anything, it was Gardner’s walk rate that was really inspiring last year. He’s in classic pressing mode right now. Batting lead-off didn’t seem to agree with him. He’s even been shaky on the basepaths.

    I never thought he was going to be a regular, but he was about as good as he can be in 2010. Was last year an aberration? Dunno. But he was really valuable, especially hitting #9 in a lineup like that.

    Re: Hockey
    Yes, the Coyotes are in an odd spot right now. There’s a local Phoenix guy who’s supposedly trying to “save the team.” If they go, yes, it could be good for the Thrash. But it certainly appears that the NHL over-expanded.

    jbag,
    Those names are still engraved on the Cup, y’know?

    FWIW and I could really care less about it because you never have to apologize for winning, but the Devils teams in 1999-2001 didn’t really use the trap. They were 3 lines deep, offensively speaking, and could beat you at any game you wanted to play.

    They also had the best puck-carrying defensive crew in modern history, including The Greatest Hockey Player Most People Never Heard Of: Scott Niedermayer.

    It’s been an odd spring not to have the Devils in the playoffs. But if I only have to endure this once every 15 years (last time they missed was 1996), I can’t complain. At least the Rangers are done.

  52. ububba,

    Those Devil teams were awesome. They almost moved to Nashville and opened the door for the city to get an expansion team.

    Nashville has really become a solid prosports town.

  53. Glavine says he is not in position to be a part of owning an NHL team, but he is actively courting new owners to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta.

    Stu – Garvin’s family are more friends of a friend, or acquaintances. I have certainly followed his success this year and hear that he is a great kid.

  54. @Tom

    So tell me, does the world at-large care who the freaking Arizona Cardinals are about to take with their sixth-round draft pick?

  55. you’d be surprised. As much as I don’t care for the NFL, they have done a tremendous job at turning their draft into an off-season event that a lot of people pay attention to. Baseball, as usual, is petrified to make the game about the players instead of the laundry, and can’t be bothered to promote theirs.

  56. For those on the Twitter, John Hollinger’s real-time complaint-fests during the two Hawks/Magic games in Atlanta have been a barrel of amusing butthurt. Did you know that Atlanta fans show up late to games? Stop the presses.

    Speaking of ESPN’s priorities, the Worldwide Leader’s NBA playoff coverage the last half-week has been this: Knicks, Knicks, Knicks? Knicks! Knicks (Knicks, Knicks); Knicks. Here, ESPN, let me save you hours:

    The Knicks
    1) Are hurt;
    2) Don’t play any defense; and
    3) Suck.

    Ta da!

  57. Josh Smith and Joe Johnson are the two most frustrating basketball players on the face of the earth.

    Wonder if the Hawks could convince that idiot Dolan that they are the last pieces of the Knicks puzzle.

  58. As I stated earlier to Mac and on Twitter, if Hawks management had Doc Brown and the Delorean and could go back in time and undo the Chris Paul-Marvin Williams draft day debacle, they’d arguably be the #1 or #2 seed in the East. Paul makes Johnson/Smith/Zaza/Horford/Collins et all significantly better.

    This current Hawks team looks good to make it to round 2 and then lose in 5 games.

  59. ESPN has also tried to DOWNPLAY that the Nuggets were in fact a better team down the stretch without Carmelo (can’t spell “MELO” without the ME!) Anthony. They have the misfortune of running into the hottest team in the NBA right now in OKC, but that Nuggets team played better without the most selfish player in the NBA – shocker!

  60. If you could apply dialogue to the non-verbal exchange between Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson at the end of last night’s game, it might read something like this:

    JC: “Hey buddy, we just won! Isn’t that great?”

    JJ: —

    JC: “Did you hear me, my friend? We just won the game! I’m happy, aren’t you?”

    JJ: —

    JC: “Joe, can you hear me? Joe? Joe! Well, whatever, I’m happy.”

    JJ: —

  61. @81:

    “Paul makes Johnson/Smith/Zaza/Horford/Collins et all significantly better.”

    One problem: If the Hawks draft Chris Paul, they don’t end up having the draft position to get Al Horford.

    That’s not an argument of support for Williams-over-Paul or anything, just the way it would be.

  62. I salute you guys for being able to sit through a pro basketball game. The blatant favoritism, flopping, lollygagging, “hard” fouls (why they couldn’t just call them cheap shots is beyond me), and non-stop whining/trash talking makes it an incredibly unpleasant experience, for me anyway.

  63. The big regret from this generation of Hawk fans is non-draftee Chris Paul.

    Mine was David Thompson & Julius Erving. Atlanta actually drafted (Thompson) & signed (Dr. J) those guys and they still never played for the Hawks.

    The Atlanta Hawks have never won 2 consecutive playoff rounds and I don’t expect it to happen this year—unless Derrick Rose remains “questionable” for awhile.

  64. Let it be known that I will be obsessed with the idea of the Braves taking Jason Esposito at #28 until the moment when it definitively fails to happen.

  65. ububba, just giving you a hard time about the Devils. It is also weird for me to not have playoff hockey featuring the Avalanche, only the second time they’ve missed since they moved to Denver. Of course, the Devils don’t have anything to apologize for with using the trap in the mid ’90’s, but I’m not sure anybody actually liked watching the Devils play, besides fans like yourself.

    As for the Coyotes, if I were a taxpaying citizen in Glendale I would want them to move back to Winnipeg. Glendale is trying to use taxpayer dollars to entice the team to stay in Arizona, and then also using taxpayer dollars to give the team a break on the lease to Jobing Arena. It’s a mess that needs a resolution one way or the other, and soon.

  66. BTW, JJ’s facing Aaron Harang tomorrow.

    I’m sure Harang loves the idea of finally pitching in a cavernous ballpark, but he’s been good home (2-0) & away (2-0) so far this year (with 1.88 ERA).

    In each game, he’s pitched 6 innings & given up 1 or 2 runs. Overall: 24 IP, 5 ER, 21 H, 21 K & 5 BB.

    Karma, baby, he had it coming to him.

  67. Harang is a very good pitcher and somehow he always put up better numbers in Cincy compared to away games. He’s a great fit in SD though.

  68. The last couple years, he’s just been bad. I’ve heard his velocity is back somewhat this year, though, and that park can make just about anyone look good. He’s not what he was a few years ago, though. That guy was filthy.

  69. Stu – What about Westlake? He’s been knocking the ball around at will. I suppose Esposito might be a better position fit for Atlanta.

    In general, I hope the Braves draft with a focus on offense this year. It seems like we need outfielders more than anything.

  70. Yeah, Westlake can really hit, but Esposito is an elite defensive third baseman who’s athletic and can hit — given the organization’s situation at that position, it seems like a natural pick.

  71. I agree with Stu. There are a few places we need minor league depth, third base being up there.

  72. In general, I hope the Braves draft with a focus on offense this year. It seems like we need outfielders more than anything.

    While I agree with the latter part of this statement, starting pitching is the most valuable commodity in baseball, and is easily converted into established OF’s. The Braves focus on pitching isn’t necessarily wrong, they just had a few years where they didn’t do a good job at choosing them.

  73. As a Hawks fan, my list of draftee regrets is long and hardly limited to Chris Paul, though that one hurts the most. The Shelden Williams pick, for example – the Hawks passed up the opportunity to take Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay, Rajon Rondo, etc. – kept me awake at night for awhile. But then the team signed Joe Johnson to a 55-year extension and decided to sell the rest of the future for Kirk Hinrich. And they’ll probably trade Smith and Teague this offseason to make room for Jamal Crawford’s contract extension. So why worry when you know they won’t matter for at least the next six or seven years?

  74. Again, the fact that the team chose poorly doesn’t negate the point. But yeah, while the trade was a race to the bottom between the principals, and Sam H.’s suggestion that it was really a trade for Vizcaino, I don’t understand why Atlanta willingly accepted Cabrera as part of any deal.

  75. #100
    Oh, I’d always go with pitching.

    Looked up Melky’s historic comparables: One made me laugh, the other made me cringe.

    No. 9 Walt “No Neck” Williams always looked freaky to me. I remember him mostly with the White Sox. When I’d visit my grandma in Chicago, she usually wouldn’t let me watch the Sox because, you see, she was a rather strident Cubs fan. (I still don’t get it.) But when I did get to see those Chuck Tanner/Dick Allen ChiSox, I always thought Williams looked like some experiment gone awry.
    http://tinyurl.com/3h8oy6f

    And No.1 RJ Reynolds sent me into LaSorda-era flashbacks. Like Melky, he was a Braves-killer, especially as a Dodger.

  76. It would appear that much of Frenchy’s success this season is in simply not swinging at the first pitch. It won’t take long until folks start to throw him a slightly better first pitch, or he slumps a bit and can’t maintain the discipline.

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