Cardinals 3, Braves 2

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – April 30, 2011 – ESPN.

Another day of early leads, Hibernation Mode, strangely hittable relievers, and awful umpiring. I hate sequels.

The Braves blew a chance to score in the first inning when after Prado doubled he was thrown out trying to advance to third on a groundout to short by Heyward. (Now Heyward doesn’t pull the ball towards first.) Heyward then got thrown out trying to steal, so after Chipper walked they still weren’t in position to score.

Brandon Beachy was superb, getting through the order the first time with no baserunners, and through seven innings had five strikeouts, no walks, and just two hits. He finally got a lead in the fifth when Prado hit a two-out double to score Gonzalez and McLouth; Beachy was instrumental, bunting them over and showing Joe Mather how it’s done. But that was all the scoring the Braves would get.

Then in the eighth, Beachy, who was only at 89 pitches, ran out of gas, allowing a leadoff double (the first Cardinal to reach second base in the game) and walking the next batter. It was worth it, especially after extra innings last night, to try to get another inning out of Beachy, but it backfired. Venters came in and after a bunt got a strikeout, but then allowed the two-out single to tie it.

The Braves, by all rights, should have retaken the lead in the bottom of the inning. After Prado should have walked leading off but was saw ball four called a strike (again) he hit a hard groundout to third. Heyward doubled off the right field wall on a ball that for all the world looked like it would go out. Chipper was intentionally walked, and LaRussa, for once, didn’t go to a LOOGY to face McCann, who hit a bomb that just didn’t have enough powder, flying out to center, and Uggla hit a rocket right at the third baseman. Every ball in the inning was hit harder than anything the Cardinals did all game.

Then Craig Kimbrel came out, and suddenly he’s hittable. (I have decided to blame Dave Wallace.) He gave up a leadoff single, struck out the next man, then threw a pitch that McCann couldn’t handle for a passed ball. Gerald Laird, a catcher, hit a soft liner into left that rolled to the wall for a triple when Prado misplayed it. George Sherrill, of all people, had to come in to put out the fire. After Freeman and Gonzalez were called out on strikes that were out of the strike zone, AAG blew up and was ejected, followed by Fredi, who finally stood up for one of his players. Bobby might have killed an umpire by now. McLouth walked with two out (see what politicking does, Fredi?) but Hinske flew out softly to end it.

160 thoughts on “Cardinals 3, Braves 2”

  1. Why does this team year after year seemingly find new ways to lose close games. They end up with great fun differentials but lose winnable games; even in the nineties this is what happened in the playoffs. It’s just baffling.

  2. This umpiring crew led by the EVIL Tim McClelland has got to be the most arrogant and obnoxious in baseball (ok, that’s probably an exaggeration, I’m sure there are other crews that are just as bad). McClelland (along with Joe West) needs to be banned from the game.

  3. Wow. I watched yesterday’s game this morning and then I watched today’s game just now. Might as well have just watched one of ’em twice. :-/

    Brutal, brutal day, especially after things were looking so good at the end of the road trip.

    I expect a 9-3 victory tomorrow, just to make sure we’re keeping our Pythag record well ahead of the real one.

  4. @ 9 – The answer changes everyday. The braves have so many players that are pretty awful in their own distinct aspect of the game.

  5. I hope this doesn’t get JC’d, but it’s a pleasure to read an LA Times article that features quotes from JC himself. I am not really a big fan of the way that the Braves have treated KK, but I do appreciate the fact that the organization would rather pay him not to pitch in the big leagues and give Beachy the rotation spot, if they feel he gives them a better chance to win. I’m not sure there are many organizations that would do that, given how much KK is making this year.

  6. Nice write up of a frustrating game….

    #8–Good one which I will repeat to friends….

  7. Moreno certainly wasn’t any good- 234/ 276/ 351 from an outfielder in the Launching Pad is pretty pathetic, along with the barely 50% base stealing and lousy defense- but I’m sure we’ve had worse.

  8. Does anyone have any idea where it was first reported that Mike Minor added velocity due to mechanical tweaks, after coming to the Braves?

  9. MLB suspended McDowell for two weeks without pay (retroactive to Friday when Braves placed him on leave) and fined an undisclosed amount. Also required to participate in sensitivity training.

    Will Derek Lowe be driving him to class?

  10. The ’85 Braves had been a hopeless team — that was the year Eddie Haas washed out midway through the season. The offense basically consisted of Murph, Horner, and Claudell. So they hire the famous Chuck Tanner as manager and Bobby Cox as GM to turn things around. On April 1, in comes the 33-year-old Tanner charity case Omar Moreno, fresh from being released by two teams the year before. Nobody else had even brought him in for spring training. He’d ALREADY played himself out of major league baseball.

    Tanner took to the airwaves to tell everyone what an exciting ballplayer Moreno was, and how getting him was a real coup. Well, what the hell, Tanner was an excitable guy. But imagine our shock when, having given Moreno a few days to get acclimated, Tanner begins BENCHING Claudell and moving DALE MURPHY to right field in order to install Omar Moreno as his shiny new center fielder and leadoff hitter. Yes, two of our only three valuable position players were being asked to accomodate someone everyone else already knew was one of the worst players in the game.

    And he was hopeless from the start. Not only that, his only asset, his speed, was gone. But Tanner kept running him out there, angering Claudell to the point where we had to trade him midseason (for Ken Griffey, which actually worked out, but that’s not the point). After a while, Skip stopped bothering to hide his disgust.

    Omar wasn’t really any worse than someone who’d been reading Bill James for a few years already would have expected, but his badness combined with the fact that this evidently was emblematic of a new regime’s approach to baseball seals his fate as the worst ever.

  11. Thanks for the additional insight. I was just turning 10 in 1986, and didn’t remember Moreno well. (Seriously, we moved Murph to right for this?)

    Thanks a heap, Derek. You know just how to pour salt into our wounds.

  12. By the way, the leadoff single is an out with a real first baseman. And there may be more Cardinals fans than Braves fans.

  13. Well, that should just about do it. 3 runs in the first is way too much for this anemic offense to overcome

  14. I just turned on the game and we’re already down 3-0. Please someone give either Lowe or me a drink! And BTW, Omar was really bad, he fit into that team real well. Omar, Virgil, Obie-Wan, but at least they were on TBS every night.

  15. It’s lame to cry about how listless your team looks when they aren’t playing well, but… They look like they don’t care, and I choose to blame Fredi.

  16. A lot of fly balls from Lowe. I imagine we haven’t seen the last of the Cardinals’ extra base hits.

  17. Ah, bark in the park day.. It’s been a tough week for the Bravos, but at least we can enjoy the dog puns.

  18. I guess Lowe has taken the job of getting the team drunk at night and hungover for a day game with Melky gone.

  19. Well, could have stuck around and went to today’s game, but I decided to drive back and enjoy my last day of Spring Break at the beach.

    Good decision.

  20. The Cards have Hibernation Mode too. Does that mean the recap thread will be titled “Cardinals 3”?

  21. Was hoping alcohol would make Derek Lowe pitch better like it did Rube Waddell.

  22. Pretty much karma for throwing Lowe out there. He should not have been allowed to pitch today. What an awful week to be a Braves fan.

  23. Mather has no range. Even one armed Troy Glaus would have come up with that ball

  24. Well, it would be nice if we kept Jaime Garcia from pitching a perfect game.

  25. I was actually kind of hoping for a Garcia perfect game. I mean, you know the Braves are bad…why not make some history if you’re going to lose anyway?

  26. AAG forgot what day it is and is playing well!

    Edit: And now Mather forgot to suck!

  27. Watch us get two in this inning or the next, then go into Hibernation Mode.

    There it is.

  28. YES!!!!!!!

    The only bad thing about this is that Fredi is getting positive feedback from a terrible decision.

  29. Congrats Hicks, now the bus to Gwinnett is here to pick you up.

    I am happy for Hicks though. I am happy for anyone to get that first hit.

  30. Looks like Linebrink is doing his best to undo all the good from last inning.

  31. Huge DP to keep them in the game, although with Georgie Boy coming in that may be brief

  32. That’s the correct usage of Sherrill. Get the left handed opposing pitcher.

  33. So, seriously, Fredi has decided that the only thing he can comfortably use George Sherrill for is to pitch to the opposing pitcher. He pulled him for no reason to bring in another lefty to pitch the next inning! It makes NO sense to have him on the team. AT ALL!

    I mean, not using him one thing. But bringing him in to face the opposing pitcher, and then pulling him the next inning for a DIFFERENT LEFTY… wow.

  34. Any aspiring third base coach can watch the Brian Snitker segment here in a minute to see what not to do.

    88 — Yes, his presence is pointless. I thought the Braves were going to cut him loose at the end of the road trip.

  35. Are we ever going to catch a break? You’ve got to be kidding me.

    Now Fredi is going to save us with his managing.

  36. What’d you know, he grounded it to the right side. I guess he didn’t need to bunt. Freaking stupid manager.

  37. “You play the game the right way, and good things are bound to happen”

    Chip Caray: Saying the exact opposite of the truth.

  38. Watch Freeman come in to play defense next inning or something instead of the pinch-hitting for Mather.

  39. Maybe it’s a run if the bunt works. Or, if he doesn’t call for a bunt, maybe Mather actually manages to reach safely. It’s rarely a good idea to intentionally give away an out — but if you decide to do it, you’d damn sure better execute.

    Finally, Martin!

  40. Fredi already said Kimbrel is probably going to get the day off, so this might be interesting.

  41. I’m sure in a few years Jason will be able to parlay his many talents into a solid set of defensive skills. It just hasn’t come as naturally as his hitting ability.

  42. 132- True, but Jason’s still young enough that his physical talents are still improving.

  43. Well, Mather got the bunt down. Now Fredi will ask him to do it twenty more times.

  44. Out of Conrad, Freeman, and Ross, Conrad is the one who shouldn’t be pinch-hitting here, so of course he is.

    Glad to be wrong! Hooray for Folk Hero!

  45. With a couple of innings still to play, Vanderbilt has outscored Tennessee 39-2, this weekend.

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