Braves 6, Cardinals 5

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 01, 2011 – ESPN.

You have to hand it to the Braves players. Despite heroic efforts by the manager to lose the game, they managed, barely, to pull this one out and salvage at least one win in the series. Fredi’s utter contempt for what wins in baseball began with his version of Bobby‘s Sunday Surrender lineup. He did start Brian McCann — with no off-day tomorrow and a lefty going, so if you’re ever going to rest him, it’s now — but decided to give a start, at first base, to Joe Mather, who has about as much business in the major leagues as he does leading an expedition to the headwaters of the Amazon. Somehow, it worked out, and no doubt Fredi will inform us that he is a super-genius and should never be criticized or questioned.

Anyway, Derek Löwenbräu started, and after staggering out to the mound gave up two singles and two doubles to four of the first five hitters — the only guy he got was Albert Pujols on a strikeout, go figure — to be down 3-0 before the average fan, or the starting pitcher, had finished his first beer. Pujols singled in a run to make it 4-0 in the fifth, but Alex Gonzalez — the unquestionable hero of the game in my eyes — made a great play to start a GIDP to get out of the inning and keep it in reach. Not that we expected a comeback.

But Gonzalez hit a two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the inning, scoring McCann, to make it 4-2. Then Mather somehow walked, and McLouth singled. Fredi, wondering how he could screw this up, decided to send up Brandon Hicks to pinch-hit. Hicks managed to get what is, quite likely, his only major league hit, a single to left-center, to score Mather, but Prado hit into a double play.

Scott Linebrink tried to put the game out of reach by loading the bases with none out in the sixth, but the Braves turned the rarely-seen 5-2-3 GIDP to relieve most of the pressure. A desperate Fredi then brought in George Sherrill to pitch to the opposing pitcher (the second time this year this has happened), knowing that he had a tired bullpen and was shorthanded. Sherrill got the out. Eric O’Flaherty, consummate professional, pitched a 1-2-3 seventh.

Dan Uggla, who maybe will wake up now that it’s not April, doubled off the top of the wall in center, the second “How did that not get out” for the Braves in as many days. After not getting down another one of Fredi’s ridiculous bunts, Gonzalez reached on a rare Pujols error, scoring Uggla. Mather failed yet again to execute a sacrifice and AAG was erased on a fielder’s choice, and McLouth flew out. Eric Hinske pinch-hit and hit a terrible little flare that hit in no-man’s-land, and it was first-and-third, and Prado made up some for his GIDP with a single to give the Braves the lead. Heyward hit a hard grounder right at Pujols to end it.

Fredi sent out Cory Gearrin to pitch the eighth; with Kimbrel supposedly not supposed to pitch, I guess that was the right call unless you want to try for a two-inning save by Jonny Venters, which is what I would have done. Matt Holliday immediately hit a double, and after going to third on a groundout (wow, no bunt!) scored on a sac fly when Heyward made a terrible throw. Venters had no problems at all in the ninth, two grounders and a strikeout. AAG popped up to lead off the bottom of the ninth, but Ryan Theriot, playing short for mysterious LaRussian reasons, dropped it. Mather actually got the bunt down, which doesn’t make it any less stupid. McLouth walked, and Brooks Conrad hit another terrible little flare to right-center to score Gonzalez. Fredi may lodge a protest.

61 thoughts on “Braves 6, Cardinals 5”

  1. “…Joe Mather, who has about as much business in the major leagues as he does leading an expedition to the headwaters of the Amazon.”

    Mac, your analogies never fail to have me laughing out loud.

  2. I agree sdp… I found myself cracking up while reading the recap and my wife looks across the room at me like I am insane. Great job as always Mac.

  3. It struck me as odd that the Cardinals outfielders were at normal depth for the Conrad at bat, as well as for the McLouth at bat before him. It came back to haunt them. Come to think of it, if we were Cardinals fans we’d be pissed off right now about the stupid mistakes, poor player positioning, and managerial blunders that cost our team a win. I’d be especially peeved that La Russa sent Garcia to bat for himself with two men in scoring position in the top of the 6th inning.

  4. Still no power in Huntsville, so Braves Journal updates on my Blackberry constitute most of my contact with the outside world. Sounds like the last 3 games haven’t been bad ones to miss. As a matter of fact, the way it looks right now, the rest of the year may not be bad to miss.

    I’ve gotta’ say if Lowe did what was alleged, I’m going to be pretty upset if all he gets is a slap on the wrist – or less.

  5. Lowenbrau for the win.

    No beef with Freeman sitting today–he’s been scuffling a bit and Garcia is LH–but wish there were a better bench option than Mather.

  6. @9–I think you should assume that Lowe will, at some point, face some sort of punishment–probably both a suspension and a fine. I’m not aware of any sort of statements saying that MLB or the Braves will not punish him.

  7. They might have to wait for the blood tests to come back before they can do anything. That said, I was shocked to turn on my tv and see him on the mound.

  8. Here’s to good friends,
    Tonight is kind of special.
    The beer we’ll pour
    must say something more, somehow.
    So tonight (tonight),
    Tonight,
    Let it be Löwenbräu (let it be Löwenbräu).
    It’s been so long.
    Hey, I’m glad to see ya.
    Raise your glass.
    Here’s to health and happiness.
    So tonight (tonight),
    Let it be all the best.

  9. Fredi trying to out-overmanage the master this series?

    I do love to see some raw dog folk hero, though.

    I’m sure the Braves will be less frustrating now that my free month of watching with the at-bat app is over.

  10. Is it crazy that the Marlins are 17-9? I’d say that’s almost as surprising as the Indians’ start.

  11. The Marlins always have a fast start (or at least it seems like it). Raw Dog gets maybe a half point for his “single” — I’m thankful for it . . . but he still owes me a world series.

  12. The use of Cheryl is actually genius. Just wait til mid-season when he’s made 27 appearances, striking out 14 per 9, with a .111 BAA and we trade him straight up for Pujols.

  13. I hate the Mets (and the Phillies)

    Im not sure why KRod wasnt brought in to face Howard.

  14. Prado is OBP is .293. Gonzo OBP is .263. Uggla OBP is .250. Freddy Freeman is at .314. Heyward is .342. (Fifty one points lower than last year, .003 behind Nate’s .345 at the moment.)

    Your roster has the following players on it: Joe Mather, Brooks Conrad, Brandon Hicks, George Sherril, Scott Linebrink, and Christian Martinez.

    What do we want Fredi to do? Tony LaRussa is a notorious over manager, but at least his front office gives him some mix and match pieces to play with.

    I don’t like Fredi’s managerial acumen, but the roster is not helping him. Alot of players are not any good, or not preforming to standard.

    BTW, Osama is dead, can we bring the boys home now?

  15. I don’t have any problem with Martinez on the roster, or even Conrad as a switch-hitting pinch hitter, but I think Stupup is right — Mather, Conrad, Hicks, Sherrill, and Linebrink are wasting 25% of the roster.

  16. Fredi is hamstrung by the crappy bench, it’s not all his fault. I’m not sure why Ross wasn’t in there today, but we all knew before the season that it would probably be a good idea to give Freddie a day off every once and awhile against a tough lefty. It’s not Fredi’s fault that the righty backup 1B options appear to be Mather & Raw Dog. The bench and 6th/7th inning middle relief are easy problems to fix. I’d rather have Uggla and worry about fixing the bench, than having a great bench and dealing with a crapfest in left field again this year. Bench guys/pinch hitters grow on trees come trade deadline time, and usually aren’t very expensive to trade for.

    I think Linebrink, Cheryl, Gearrin, and the Lisp (who I agree with AAR, I don’t have a huge problem with being on the roster) are going to have to be on the roster until Moylan comes back, Medlen comes back, and a couple of Teheran, Delgado, etc. can pitch later in the season out of the bullpen.

  17. Hell yeah.

    OBL is dead. That sonnabitch can dig fire for eternity. Piece of shit. While it took 10 years, I had no doubt that piece of shit was gonna get his due. I hope it was a long, painful death.

    Oh and Fire Fredi.

  18. I love this crowd outside the White House. Here comes Obama to make the announcement.

  19. Make no mistake, I’m glad that mofo is dead. But c’mon, like the Forever War is going to end anytime soon, regardless of your personal political bent. For reals.

    On another note, damn if that Warpaint record, The Fool, isn’t totally kick-ass.

  20. Great news!!

    I could have a very interesting (more than I would like) class in about an hour….

  21. Driving thru Times Square right now.

    A symbolic victory? I’ll take it & when I get home i’m doing a shot.

  22. Coming home in NYC. Could barely come up out of the subway for the crowd. The USA chant is echoing through the platform as soon as the doors open.

  23. Navy Seals kick ass.

    Fredi is the anti Navy Seal of MLB Managers. Our bench is the anti Navy Seal of MLB benches, except for Hinske, he kicks ass.

  24. Glad to see the population of hell increasing.

    Nice win today. However, I am not sure we will be better than a .500 team with Fredo Bozo running the show.

  25. The fact that six players in our starting lineup are underperforming on offense is very troubling. Each of them has 100 PAs now. This seems like a systemic problem, but I have no idea what it is.

    The only reason we’re sniffing .500 is that the pitching has been obscenely good.

    This offensive slump is team-wide, which points to something wrong with the coaching or managing. Uggla, Prado, and McCann are all better hitters than this.

    I guess one thing that points away from systemic failure is that McCann’s power outage is a bit of a different problem than the rest of the lineup’s batting average issues.

  26. “Without getting into politics, I could not be happier that Osama is deader than hell. I hope he burns for all eternity.”

    Yes, bin Laden was almost as evil as Melky Cabrera.

  27. What’s worse?

    a. Bin Laden
    b. Fredi’s managing
    c. Jeff Francoeur
    d. George Cheryl and Scott Linebrink

  28. It’s close, but next to Bin Laden, everything in baseball — even the Mets — is gunning for second place. That said, now that UBL is dead, I couldn’t be happier that the Mets beat the Phillies in 14 innings last night.

    Stephen, I’m fascinated to hear how this news resonates in the UAE. Please let us know.

  29. When does the Linebrink experiment end? Righties are hitting .303, lefties .308. EOF should be our only 7th inning option right now.

  30. RE: Navy Seals

    I have to relate a story a buddy of mine told me. His little brother was a lance corporal in the Marines, assigned to a platoon of recon Marines – who apparently like to think they’re the ‘best of the best’ in the USMC. Anyway, the little brother’s squad (plus a few extra-about 12-15 recon Marines) are hanging out in their local off-base watering hole when three SEALS walk into the bar.

    After the obligatory ‘squid-jarhead’ remarks, the fight breaks out, and within a minute it’s over. SEALS 12, USMC Recon – 0. And according to my friend, his little brother said it wasn’t even THAT close. Recon Marines are tough, but those SEAL guys are orders of magnitude better.

    Anyway, even though it might be bad form to celebrate someone’s death, I’m willing to make an exception in this one case for OBL.

  31. Wormer Dead! Neidermyer Dead! Bin Laden Dead!

    Revenge is a dish best served cold. Old Klingon proverb?

    Yeah its bad form to celebrate anyone’s death except Osama Bin Laden’s.

  32. I just read a quote from Clarence Darrow that seems appropriate – ‘I have never killed another man, but I have read some obituaries with great satisfaction.’

    Seems to sum up my feelings quite well.

  33. I hear it’s a hoax and all they got was his video camera. Oh well, same diff.

  34. Official Braves.com headline: “Sherrill finding groove with Braves.” I won’t be reading that article, but I can only hope it’s referring to his new role as designated pitcher to the pitcher. Would that make him a POOGY? A new nickname for Sherrill, perhaps? I’ve been referring to him as “That Fat Piece of Sh!t” when speaking with my roommate, but POOGY would be a little less vulgar.

  35. The coach apologized for the incident by saying he shouldn’t have “responded to the heckling fans in San Francisco.” Achondo said he heard no profanity, and the incident began with three fans chanting at Atlanta’s David Ross: “We like our Ross better.”

    Anyone buying that as the casus belli?

    Because that is the weakest taunt ever. Maybe those guys could go to a high school pep rally and copy down a few cheerleading chants to use next time.

  36. @57

    It really doesn’t matter at this point, but yeah.. that’s pretty weak.

    Maybe that taunt was prefaced by the San Fran fans ridiculing the size of Cheryl’s butt, and his belly itching habits.

  37. Well, like I said a couple threads ago, an entire section in that ballpark chanted “What’s wrong with Figgins? He’s a bum!” for about 30 solid minutes when I was there.

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