Braves 4, Phillies 1 (11 innings)

Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Box Score – July 09, 2011 – ESPN.

Another wonderful, playoff-type game between the top two teams in the league. This one was not spoiled by the mephitic presence of Scott Proctor, and this time it was the Braves who won in extra innings.

Cliff Lee and Tommy Hanson dueled, and each blinked once. Hanson actually blinked against Lee, who hit the first homer of his career in the third to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead, but they would not score again. But if Dan Uggla hadn’t turned on a Lee pitch in the fifth for a solo homer of his own, it probably wouldn’t have mattered. Neither team really threatened very much after that. The Braves didn’t get a runner into scoring position until two out in the eighth, when Jordan Schafer bunted his way on and went to second when Lee threw the ball away (he had plenty of time and arguably it should have been a two-base error). But Alex Gonzalez couldn’t get him home. Hold that thought.

It turned into a battle of the bullpens. The Braves couldn’t do anything against the Phillies pen; Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty were their usual selves. It can be hard to tell what Fredi is thinking sometimes, or indeed that he is thinking, as in the tenth, when he sent George Sherrill in to face the righthanded-hitting bottom of the Phillies’ order rather than Scott Linebrink or Cory “Milk Carton” Gearrin. Sherrill got the first two, loaded the bases on two hits and a walk, then got a groundout to end it, but the lefties were all gone and the Phillies had Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Raul Ibanez in wait for the eleventh.

But first, Eric Hinske led off the top of the inning with a walk; Schafer bunted Wilkin Ramirez, the pinch-runner, to second. AAG came through this time with a single to right-center to score Ramirez. Then Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball, fell behind 1-2 then fouled off a bunch of pitches before launching his fifteenth homer of the year to right field, making it 4-1.

All Craig Kimbrel had to do was get Utley, Howard, and Ibanez. And he did. Rubber match tomorrow. Chipper Jones went on the DL to get his knee scoped; he’ll be out about three weeks. It’s hoped that Martin Prado will be ready when the break ends.

166 thoughts on “Braves 4, Phillies 1 (11 innings)”

  1. Damnit, JC’ed-

    Sherrill should not have been in that game. Linebrink should have.

    Regardless of who came in, Fredi should have double switched Conrad in. Conrad would have led off the next inning where Hinske did, and Sherrill (Linebrink) would have come in in the 7 hole.

    As it was, once Sherrill got in 2-out trouble, Fredi couldn’t pull him because he’d waste a pitcher for 1 out. So he had to live or die with Sherrill on the hill, bases loaded, and a righty at the plate.

    Still could have double-switched THERE, but if you’re too dumb at the beginning of the inning, you’re too dumb in the middle.

    ALSO, having Conrad lead off, if he worked Hinske’s walk (obviously no guarantee) you don’t have to burn Ramirez as a pinch runner for Hinske. Conrad would walk and run for himself.

    But Mayberry grounded out and Brian McCann hit a towering home run so “Fredi look smart in blue hat weee!”

  2. Love it. That’s all I can say.

    But I’m still sober. More jibberish to come later. I’m sure you’ll all be waiting on the edge of your seat.

    Suck it Phills.

  3. “That’s the reason why you hold Kimbrel until you get the lead on the road in extra inning games.”

    So he could pitch with a 3-run lead, instead of when the game is in doubt? Huh?

  4. 5: Some dudes are just all about the results. Fredi Gonzalez could strap kc’s infant daughter to the back of a motorcycle, jump 20 flaming tires on his bike, go into an uncontrolled slide through a concrete wall and if the kid came out alive, kc would be all “And that’s the reason why you do motorcycle tricks with infants!”

  5. @5 As I said before, there is little point to talk about this. This is almost as if we are discussing whether managers should use the best relief pitcher in the ninth inning for the save situation.

  6. 8: Oh me too, definitely. Way I see it, world’s got too many infants and too few Braves wins as is.

  7. @6- Really not a fair characterization of kc, who is never combative and does his best to be even-tempered around here.

  8. @6 “Some dudes are just all about the results.” I thought we are all living in the same planet, ha.

    Hey, I do have an infant daughter, but your analogy isn’t quite getting your point across.

    I certainly understand you guys’ point. It’s all about using inferior options when your best weapon is still available. As I said, what Fredi is doing is conventional baseball wisdom. If managers don’t do this, baseball world will never have something call “closer”.

    Honestly, I never agree with the closer role myself, but it’s not going to change anytime soon I think.

  9. @10 Well, I have a 3 yr old boy and a 1 yr old girl and I still think the world has two too many infants.

    @11 Thanks, I TRY to be even-headed, but it depends on the mood of the day, ha.

    On a seperate subject, I am so gald Jeter got his 3k hits because I don’t have to listen about it everyday anymore.

  10. Sorry, I shouldn’t have picked on you in particular. The “closer” role is indeed a dumb one, defined as it is by a completely arbitrary statistic. And you’re right that Fredi only follows CW–few managers in baseball would have used their bullpen appropriately today. Just frustrates me to see the team performing poorly in an area where improvement would be very cheap and easy.

  11. @14 I understand, but we are foutunate to have Venters. He is actually our best relief pitcher instead of Kimbrel.

    Sometimes I don’t even know if Fredi knows the CWs. Throwing Sherrill out there in the 10th is just criminal.

  12. If managers don’t do this, baseball world will never have something call “closer”.

    I think the salient difference here is that allowing a run in the 7th doesn’t end the ball game, so the use of less than the best guy is a lot more defensible than in extra innings on the road, in which the game is over if the home team ever gets ahead.

  13. ALEX GONZALEZ

    On his clutch hit:

    “Finally. You’ve got to keep it going. Right now I’ve got a slump that’s lasted 2 ½ weeks, but for me I have to keep fighting to get my swing back

    Months Alex, not weeks, MONTHS…but nice hit.

  14. @17, At least he acknowledges that he has a problem. I got really tired of Uggla’s “slow start” and “I know what I have to do, it’s just a matter of doing it” talk.

  15. Wondering what it would have looked like if Proctor was pitching at home in extra innings? Marco Estrada just gave up 5 runs in the top of the 10th for Milwaukee, the Reds batted around.

  16. I love how our starting pitchers (not even really 1-2) matched Halladay and Lee. Both games were tied when those guys got pulled, which i think in a hypothetical NLCS would just be huge. i mean, that’s the big bad wolf, right? phillies starting pitching. if the braves can negate that advantage, i think we might have a really good team here.

  17. I still give the Phillies the advantage in the starting pitching department though because their guys go deeper into games, saving their bullpen. That’s whats really helped them with the injuries to Madsen and Lidge.

  18. Where are all the people who were complaining about Fredi using Kimbrel too much? Not using him in bottom of 9th or 10th in tied games and just for saves will reduce his appearances. Cheryl did better than last Phils releiver. Uggla is better at pitch selection. Ump called him out on a low pitch after two batters before stuck out at pitches out of zone. He has swung at two many bad pitches.

  19. 17- Totally agree. Guys like AGon that are self aware are easier to root for. Francouer’s quotes during his dark days made me dislike him that much more.

  20. @24, using a top reliever in a tied game against the division leader is the kind of usage pattern I am okay with. In fact, I’d rather see the 1-1 game usage than some of the 5-1ish affairs Venters/Kimbrel have been asked to finish.

  21. To me, the optimal strategy in an extra innings, all things being equal, seems clear: use your pitchers in descending order by effectiveness. Start with your best and work on down, and see who blinks first. Of course, things aren’t equal so you then throw in match-ups, usage information (who may be fatigued/unavailable/whathaveyou), etc. etc…But I just don’t see the logic for holding your best pitcher back when a run is the ballgame. The longer you prevent the opposing team from scoring, the better your odds of winning. The better the pitchers you use, the less likely the opponents are to score. Using worse pitchers surely early decreases the average time it will take the opposing team to score, and reduces your odds of having scored by then and thus of winning. The logic seems pretty straight-forward. What am I missing?

  22. The Phillies appear to have developed a good bullpen. Bastardo and Perez are tough.

  23. I think we get that the strategy of holding your closer until you get a lead is a statistically suboptimal strategy. Is it really necessary to belabor the point over and over and over again? I’m sure managers will stop doing it the current way at some point, but it ain’t gonna be this year, no matter how much you scream about it like you just witnessed the stupidest thing that’s ever happened. Can we just make it understood that Fredi isn’t going to put Kimbrel into a tie game on the road, and that nearly everyone on here disagrees with that strategy, and move on with our lives? I’m really not sure what you guys expect at this point. It isn’t going to suddenly change tomorrow, and I’m pretty sure that fewer than five managers in all of baseball would do it the way you guys want it done, so it isn’t going to change anytime soon, really.

  24. Good or bad, the closer role is here for a while and we’ll just have to accept it. I mean, lets be real here. How many of you weren’t happy that Kimbrel broke the Major league rookie save record? So while it’s an arbitrary statistic, it’s one that people seem to care about.

    As for Fredi being labeled a moron constantly, I’m not a huge Fredi fan. I question his moves on pretty much a daily basis. I’m sure he screws up reliever usage on off days. That being said, I don’t think he is as stupid as people would like to believe. I swear I’m not using an appeal to authority argument here, but I do think we need to give our front office and veteran players *some* credit here. They work with the man every day, and if he were an idiot, I would be shocked that he still had a job. I don’t care how much of a connection he has to Bobby Cox.

    He does seem to be making progress. If we ignore the moves he makes that fall within CW bounds, he is making less mistakes. He’s not bunting nearly as much. He has usually used Sherrill and Linebrink correctly. I’m not convinced there is a good place to use Proctor. And he is very good at removing starting pitchers before they completely lose it. That Schafzales line-up *has* to be scrapped, but let’s not try to make the case that lineups are really that important. The least optimal lineup vs the most optimal lineup might account for 3-4 wins over a year. And I don’t think we can argue that Fredi is using the least optimal lineup… just not the most optimal lineup. Fredi is no Bobby Cox, but the players seem to be playing for him like they did for Bobby. We forgave BC for all his shortcomings because we said the players played for him. I’m in no way suggesting we stop dissecting all his decisions, just maybe lighten up on the Frediot comments.

  25. 24 – It’s consistent to criticize Kimbrel’s over-usage and under-usage at the same time. The point is that Fredi relies upon Kimbrel a bit too much in low leverage index situations, at least when you consider how many high leverage situations demand his duties. In particular, it’s absolutely crucial for Kimbrel NOT to pitch when the Braves have a 3 or 4 run lead, or when they’re down by 2 or more runs late in a game, so that he CAN pitch when the game is effectively on the line.

    Take the past week. Kimbrel’s leverage index never went above 1 on July 4th or July 7th, which means he would have unlikely blown the game even if he was an average pitcher, and not, as it were, the awesome Craig Kimbrel. Those games were not really in doubt, and I would gladly have traded one or both of his appearances this past week for one on Friday night.

    And why is that? Because Scott Proctor, who sucks, unnecessarily came into a tied extra-inning game and thereby pitched in an extremely meaningful situation. If winning is what you’re into, consider this: the situation Proctor inherited on Friday night was well over three times more important than the situation Kimbrel inherited on Thursday, when the Braves were up by 3.

    For the season, I think we can be largely happy with the usage of Kimbrel and Venters in terms of leverage. Undoubtedly, Fredi could have (so far) used them a bit more sparingly, and in more high leverage situations, but no other relievers on the team are facing more important at bats on average. What’s been frustrating is that Scott Proctor is next on the list in gmLI; he is coming into games with the 3rd highest leverage index of any of the Braves relievers. Fredi’s lack of a double switch the other night (which would have allowed him to use Sherrill for all of the Utley/Howard/Ibanez trio), and lack of faith in Gearrin, and lack of will to use Kimbrel in a tie game on the road, combined to give us the worst Braves pitcher on the 40-man roster in a crucial moment. They lost the game as a result. Hopefully he’ll learn that Proctor sucks, or at the least, Wren will DFA the bum.

  26. That’s a bit too much to ask for from Fredi when not even Bobby can apply his bullpen perfectly.

  27. Playing Conrad at 3B would surely increase leverage. If Kimbrel had pitched Friday would that have been overuse. FWIW Sherill ERA is similiar to Kimbrel, even better when Kimbrel has pitched too often.

  28. That’s a good post @35. And again, the lack of the double switch is a very good point.

  29. @45 That’s the way I feel about Alabama fans. You just want to tell them to take a deep breath and that it’s going to be ok. I’m sure they look at Auburn fans and feel the same way.

  30. I would bet that is the way with most fanbases. Lot of rational people with a couple of loud weirdos thrown in who live up to a stereotype.

    That said, I do think that the Braves’ fans as a group get more worked up about the Mets than the Phillies. Probably because lot of the braves’ fans I know were baseball fans in teh 80s ( when everyone hated the Mets ) or in the 90s , when apart from ’93, the Phillies sucked. Heck, there is more dodger hate on here than Phillies’ hate.

    On the other hand, the Phils had to see the Braves win for best part of 10 years, and last 5 of them with teams which should have had a very good chance of beating the Braves ( really every year from 2002-05 except 2003 ).

  31. 43 – True. But the concept of high vs. low leverage should matter to a manager, as it is one of the only areas of play where he can significantly impact a game’s result. As Sam and others have said repeatedly, lineup construction is generally overrated. I mean, it’s still wrong to put Schafer and A-Gon at the top of the order, and the logic Fredi uses to justify it (at least to the press) is dumb, but in the long run the Braves lineup order won’t have a big effect upon their winning or losing. Bullpen usage does matter, though, and anytime Fredi finds himself “forced” to use Proctor in a close game as early as the 10th inning, he has probably messed up somewhere earlier in the game.

    In a general sense, it matters greatly that Proctor is, on average, seeing more high leverage situations than Eric O’Flaherty.

  32. First of, nice post @35 and @49. And @43, I don’t care if the manager knows about Leverage Index. LI is not the be-all / end-all stat tool. It is a simplification of how we feel certain points in the game are more important than others. Someone who is a ML manager should have an intuitive grasp for this. I much rather FG scoff when LI is brought up, but say I used my best reliever here because I thought this was the turning point of the game.

    And for all the crap Bobby gets, he never failed to do this in the playoffs. He would manage the regular season in a formulaic fashion, because he believed it to be a marathon. But in the playoffs, you would see Smoltz in the 7th inning. You would see Maddux throwing a cpl of innings of relief. You would see pinch hitters early n often. Bobby the playoff manager was if anything a bit unlucky.

  33. And to add, the worst playoff game I saw. the Game 4 v Houston in 05. Farnsworth was in the 8th inning to face Berkman, because that was the turning point.

    And Moylan was in for Game 3 last year because the tying run was on , and a RH batter was up.
    Sometimes the most probable event doesn’t happen

  34. #45
    Not exactly. If you’ve ever attended a game in Philadelphia, you’d see that Phillies fans really just hate themselves.

  35. I know the reasons for this have been discussed ad nauseam, but I wish our stadium got as full and rowdy as Citizens Bank Park.

  36. @53…spot on. nobody can loathe themself like a Philadelphia fan.

    FWIW, i’ve spent 10+ years in both Philadelphia area and NY area and i hate Met fans alot more than Phillie fans.

  37. @51

    Why would you not care if your manager does or does not know about certain stats or other areas of the game?

    Most of the pro-Fredi arguments I’ve seen here and elsewhere have just been variations on “he knows what he’s doing because he’s the manager because he knows what he’s doing.”

  38. You’re gonna give up some unlucky hits, and give up some hits in bunches, when you can’t strike anyone out. Lowe is awful.

  39. That U.S. win was pretty incredible. Definitely showed some resilience and the game was a pleasure to watch.

    Now I redirect your attention to Derek Lowe failing to put away hitters.

  40. Lowe has really gone back to being a mediocre pitcher after a great September and April.

  41. Haven’t been able to watch Braves-Phillies today, but it was nice to catch such an artistic and justified victory for the U.S. Women’s soccer team early this morning.

    Did anyone else see it? It was most dramatic.

  42. At least Hamels knows that he can pitch around the 8th spot when the pitcher is on deck.

  43. Id rather have Diory or Hicks over Lugo. Id also rather see Teheran/Minor/Delgado/Medlen in the rotation over Lowe.

  44. Lowe is miserable. 15 million for this crap, and he couldn’t even spare a few bucks for a cab

  45. Did anyone have any doubt that this was just the sort of start Lowe was going to turn in, today?

  46. Lowe got a DP there but Sherrill should have been brought in to face Utley then Howard.

  47. When can we trade D-Lowe??? Could’nt we just cut him? Option him? Sell him for a bag of balls and bats? Anything?

  48. Remember that rumor about someone being interested in Lowe and the Braves telling them we’d rather keep him?

  49. Lowe is a sunk cost. You can’t get the money back.

    What we can’t afford is to give starts to a bad pitcher.

    I’d DFA him.

  50. @99

    The time to jettison Lowe was after last year. He had a nice run towards the end of the year and playoffs. It will be hard to trade him after his first half.

    Just think about it, we have over 22 million tied up in KK and Dlowe. With Minor and all our arms in the minor leagues, it would be nice if we had that cash to spend on something useful

  51. @103, I think it’s one of those breathable “stay cool” undershirts. My understanding is it sops up the sweat on his arms so it doesn’t get on his hands and cause blisters.

  52. Despite some of the trade suggestions made here, no team is going to trade for the honor of paying Derek Lowe $15,000,000 in 2012.

  53. @102 – I found it surprising that we didn’t trade Lowe while the window of opportunity was available (before this season started). A golden opportunity wasted.

    That said, the Reds are starting Dontrelle Willis today, so Lowe is certainly not the worst starter among playoff contenders. The Braves just need to stop being so conservative, or stupid, or whatever it is that’s holding back a trade of Lowe.

  54. @107

    We just need to find an equally ugly contract that gives us something offensively

  55. Also, how is Brandon Hicks such a productive hitter at AAA? Dude put up an .880 OPS at Gwinnett, but he looks hopeless in every MLB at bat.

  56. So why not just let Lowe hit for himself before replacing him on the hill in the bottom of the inning? He obviously had a better shot at getting a hit then Hicks did……

  57. Why were Hernandez and Hicks so competent in Gwinnett and so awful in Atlanta? Does our Gwinnett hitting coach tell players that the secret to hitting in the majors is to flail like a landed squid?

  58. After all the arguing we did on Gearrin’s behalf, why does he have to embarrass us like this?

  59. Because he’s a righthanded SIDE-ARMER and Fredi sent him in to face 4 lefthanders.

  60. @119

    Shouldn’t Sherill be available? I mean, hes not an allstar and is about to have a week off. Even EOF. We still had an outside chance at 4-1 at the start of the inning. I guess Fredi doesn’t want to win this one, or Gearrin is having an affair with Fredi’s wife and he wants to publicly humiliate him.

    Maybe this is the last we see of proctor?

  61. The upside of this is that the conclusion is unavoidable: the Braves need another right-handed arm for the pen. I would look at a Ryan Ludwick/Heath Bell deal. That sounds like the right sort of package.

  62. The good thing about this game is that this handing of the ass still only counts as 1 loss.

  63. This is painful. Can’t believe I’m still watching when its past midnight here in Dubai. Proctor sucks. Wren and the gang better find another bullpen arm… no way O’Venbrel is going to make it til October.

  64. Second good thing about this game: Scott Proctor will not be a Brave come the end of the All Star break.

  65. 129- You’d like to think so (and so would I), but how likely is it that Fredi and Frank will just shrug this off as “one of those days”?

  66. Hey look, we’re going to burn 3 relievers and lose by two touchdowns.

    Joe simpson just realized we need a righty reliever

    Cue the circus music

  67. On the good side, at least Proctor probably will never pitch in another meaningful situation. He’s likely going to find himself not in a Braves uni very much longer.

  68. #130 – That’s also my fear.

    The first two games were nice, but this rubber match should disabuse us of any notion that we match up well with the Phillies right now. Their starting pitching is marginally better and their starting offensive lineup is far better than ours.

    We’ve only got two guys that can hit the ball, and one of them is a rookie (Freeman) and the other is a catcher that isn’t a regular feature in the lineup (McCann).

    We need two righties in the bullpen better than Linebrink. I don’t think that would be too hard to find. And Prado will hopefully come back and increase the OBP at the top of the hitting order.

  69. Well, at least Chipper’s arthroscopic surgery went well (according to MLB Network). So today wasn’t a total loss.

  70. “You’d like to think so (and so would I), but how likely is it that Fredi and Frank will just shrug this off as “one of those days”?”

    Because he has now given up three home runs in a week? Because his ERA is nearly 6 and his FIP is even higher? Because he clearly is not good enough to be in a major league rotation, let alone in the rotation of a very good team?

    It’s possible that Wren is stupid and Fredi is just insane. But in all likelihood they’re not quite that incompetent. After all, the Braves did deny Proctor a spot on the 25-man roster to start the season. He’s nearing his exit, mercifully.

  71. #134 – I disagree. We just threw our #5 starter at them with Julio Lugo starting at 3B. Get Chipper and Prado back and this lineup is just as good as theirs. You can make assumptions on one game which had Lowe, Gearrin, and Proctor pitching in it.

  72. Braves can easily upgrade the pen just by swapping LISP and Proctor. Get Moylan back and trade for Mike Adams or Uehara.

  73. “Second good thing about this game: Scott Proctor will not be a Brave come the end of the All Star break.”

    Did you really hear this, or just wishful thinking?

  74. Proctor’s last 10 appearances:

    8.0 innings
    2.00 WHIP
    12.38 ERA
    1 HR/9.25 AB
    4.5 HR/9 innings
    .351/.400/.700

  75. Did the Braves convert LISP to a starter or is it their way of keeping him stretched out?

    Two starts – 11IP 11k’s

  76. This exact scenario is why I was begging the Braves to do everything possible to move Lowe in the offseason, but I was told on here over and over about the ‘value’ in his 38 year old innings. Yeah, there’s no way the Braves possibly would have been able to replace his 113 IP so far this year, and the innings aren’t going to get any prettier by the end of next year. Now there’s nobody who’s going to go near Lowe without having to eat most of the money remaining, and we know the Braves aren’t going to do that.

  77. Since the beginning of May – which I think corresponds with his arrest – Lowe has a 4.76 ERA in 79 innings. When you consider the league’s generally depressed run environment, that’s… not good.

  78. I hate to say it, but our lack of bullpen depth is going to be our undoing. We have 3 of the best relievers in baseball, then sherrill, who is average at best, then it’s “break glass in case of emergency”. And, because our offence sucks, we are always breaking the glass.

  79. Guys, we are a great team and could have easily won this series. We are just as good if not better than the Phils, and if we make a move for the righty reliever and left fielder that we need, we’re going to be a force.

    This is one of those games you just aren’t going to win. Lowe hasn’t been very good since April, but this was definitely his worst start. It’s going to be ok.

    @144 Since when is having 3 great relievers and at least one solid one a bad bullpen?

  80. Linebrink and Sherrill have been solid, if unspectacular. The only problem is our only shutdown righty is the closer.

    Cut Proctor and make a trade for Bell/Adams/Uehara/Wood, and hope that one of Moylan/Medlen returns and is effective.

    I’ve got myself convinced that Quentin is a good idea. Temp Chipper fill-in, future sub to rest Chipper/Prado/Heyward, and a DH in the series. If he can be had for a package built around Minor, I’m in.

    I also would trade for Bourne, using Schafer and Vizcaino.

    If you can’t or won’t make BOTH of those deals, I’d make neither and instead use Schafer/Vizcaino or Minor to get Marlon Byrd and Kerry Wood. Byrd would be superfluous if you made either of those other deals.

  81. Crap game, glad I got out of the house at 3-1 to do some shopping. Score one run, tough to win.

    Still, good first half of the season. Looking forward to more meaningful baseball.

  82. This is precisely what I was expecting when I found out we were throwing Lowe out there in the Phillies series, which is why I was a but disappointed in seeing him not throwing our best three pitchers out for this season against their top three. I expected we would lose today’s game. Thank goodness for the game yesterday.

    Gearrin….I guess Fredi knows more about him than we do…Procter, please leave.

  83. @146 Yes, we could have easily won the series if we didn’t have Lowe starting today’s game.

  84. So Kimbrel is Cain’s replacement on the All Star team. Can’t believe Hanson didn’t make it. But good for Kimbrel.

  85. If you told me in April this is where we would be at the break, I would have taken it. Go Bravos!

  86. @152 Stupid all-star game. Bud Selig has successfully turn this game into a joke.

    @153 I sometimes wonder where we would be if Bobby is still in-charge.

  87. Bochy is mad because Hanson started the playoff game we won last year and Kimbrel blew game 3. That’s my story anyway. I would rather Kimbrel rest and let Hanson get to pitch an inning. I believe it would be his day to throw anyway.

  88. @155 Yes, as if Venters and Kimbrel have not thrown enough, both of them will be used by Bochy. Stupid Giants.

  89. I’m finding it hard to care about an ASG that has had something like 80 players selected through its hopelessly byzantine process.

  90. New girlfriend, trying to enjoy baseball for my sake.
    When Proctor comes in, I said here comes old “BP” Proctor.
    She said, “You mean like British Petroleum?”
    Well, no…but now that you mention it.

  91. I can appreciate that there’s no recap yet for yesterday’s game. We can all pretend that it didn’t happen.

  92. With respect to the Braves’ bullpen – even after yesterday’s game, I am still strongly against trading to shore up the back end of the bullpen. For one, we should be getting back Moylan (and hopefully Medlen) sometime in August. Secondly, if the Braves want to “go for it” this year, I would prefer that they do something like bring up Arodys Vizcaino once the rosters expand in the Neftali Feliz role instead of, say, trading Vizcaino away for Heath Bell.

    The bottom line is the Braves’ payroll been stagnant for a long time (per Cots Contracts http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/atlanta-braves_15.html, 2011 payroll is lower than our 2001 payroll, and $15M below our 2003 payroll) so we need to be smart about where we spend our money. The Braves are great at developing pitching, and cheap team-controlled arms (Hanson, JJ, Beachy, Venters, Kimbrel, O’Flaherty, et al.) are the primary reason for the Braves’ success this year. IMO, the only ‘win now’ trade which would make sense would be something which creates a significant upgrade in CF (or LF, if Chipper’s recovery does not go well). I’m tired of the Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth-style band-aid trades which may increase our chances of winning this year by 2% but decreases our chances of winning by 5% for several years to come. I’d hate to see us trade the farm for Michael Bourn, only to realize that there’s not much difference between him and Schafer.

  93. 161—Mac’s text, yesterday evening: “There is no way I will make a trip out to recap THAT.”

    Sorry, was away for most of the night and then forgot to notify you good people.

  94. Agreed that we don’t need bullpen help. Teheran and Delgado can pitch a couple innings here and there in September to take some strain off the arms we’ll need in October.

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