Phillies 3, Braves 2

Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Box Score – September 07, 2011 – ESPN.

This isn’t much fun.

Brandon Beachy was great. He made one mistake, allowing a solo homer to Raul Ibanez in the second inning; it was the only baserunner he allowed before the sixth. But Roy Oswalt no-hit the Braves through five, so there.

At any rate, the Braves finally got not only a hit but two of them, and a run, in the sixth. Michael Bourn doubled leading off the inning, and after Martin Prado signally failed to get him to third with a bad bunt, Chipper Jones singled up the middle, tying the game.

Beachy got the first two in the sixth then walked Shane “Burn-in-Hell” Victorino, and then Placido Polanco hit a flare down the right field line. Jason Heyward trapped it; it was first called an out then reversed, which was the right call. Fredi was ejected arguing anyway. Eric O’Flaherty came in and hit Chase Utley in the helmet with his first pitch (Utley left the game later but apparently not because of this) then struck out Ryan Howard with the bases loaded to end the inning.

Heyward led off the seventh with a single, Alex Gonzalez bunted him to second, and Freddie Freeman, who had entered the game on a double switch, singled him home. 2-1 Braves. O’Flaherty held it in the bottom of the inning, but Jonny Venters — who is struggling with his control — could not in the eighth. (The Braves had blown a golden chance to score after getting their first two on in the top of that inning, when Dan Uggla hit into a rare 5-4 double play.) After a leadoff single and a bunt, Venters struck out Burn-in-Hell, but Polanco singled to right; a good throw by Heyward would have gotten him, but the throw was awful.

Heyward singled again leading off the ninth, and AAG bunted him over again, but he was stranded. Peter Moylan came in to pitch the bottom of the inning. He struck out Hunter Pence, but after getting ahead of Ibanez walked him, allowed a single to the next batter, and another hit ended the game. Blech.

162 thoughts on “Phillies 3, Braves 2”

  1. JC’d

    Six game lead, if they sweep us, they are in it. Our trip to St. Louis is getting a little bit more important.

  2. Hudson vs. Westbrook on Sunday looks OK for us. Delgado and Lowe have the other two games vs. Edwin Jackson and Jaime Garcia. Not crazy about those matchups.

  3. Nyjer Morgan just threw his dip at Chris Carpenter for no apparent reason. Just struck out, started swearing at Carpenter, took the dip out of his mouth, and threw it at him. Cardinals win BTW, after the fracas that ensued after that intelligent behavior died down.

  4. The Phillies are so much better than the rest of the NL that it’s starting to get amusing. We didn’t even see Halladay or Hamels this series.

  5. Chipper Jones.

    I bow before you and give you hugs/kisses.

    However, wrap wire around your mouth to keep yourself from speaking of how the Braves look forward to taking out the Phils in the playoffs.

    Seems like the 3rd year in a row…you’ve ran your yapper…and haven’t even been there in the end to see the fall.

    Braves just got spanked. Don’t give the uber-talented Phils anymore bulletin board material. Or any Braves fans pipe dreams of actually doing something in the postseason.

  6. I hate to say it but I have a dreadful feeling that this is going to get real interesting here at the end and we may even be fighting for our play-off lives. Not that it matters though. Cause playing like this we dont stand a chance against anyone. We have fully reverted back to April form…only worse cause we cant pitch as well.

  7. Bulletin board material is nonsense. The Braves didn’t lose because of anything Chipper said. They just aren’t nearly as good. The Phillies are like the Braves used to be; the Braves are poseurs to a certain extent, like the Mets were.

    What bothers me the most about the Braves is their constant inability to put together a lineup that can score runs. It seems to be an organizational issue; perhaps they focus so much on pitching that offense is shortchanged. Too many guys on this team have lousy at bats–whether that is the hitting coach’s fault or not, I don’t know, but it isn’t a new problem.

  8. Not to sound like Emma, but this team appears to be in meltdown mode, and no one seems to see the iceberg coming. Even Glavine, a member of the 2007 Mets, was talking a few games ago about how comfortable a 7.5 game lead is with 20-something left to play.

  9. Bulletin board material is not nonsense.

    When you run your yapper, your fellow pros take notice.

    Is it a bigger deal in football? probably.

    Do you really think true competitive athletes in baseball ignore it b/c of 162 games & multi-million $$ contracts?

    THAT is nonsense, you knucklehead Marc Schneider.

  10. I didn’t see meltdown mode this evening. I saw a struggling offense fail to put away a team that was begging for it. We pitched great, but couldn’t get the hits we needed. The Phillies are just a really good team.

    The Phillies might be the best team in baseball.

  11. Bulletin board material is not nonsense.
    When you run your yapper, your fellow pros take notice.

    Right, and they drill you in the ribcage in retaliation. Sometimes throw at your head. Sometimes even run to the mound and throw punches at you. And sometimes they just gear up and take a lot of extra pleasure in beating you.

    It’s a part of the natural order of things.

  12. I didn’t see meltdown mode this evening.

    I didn’t either. I saw a team trying to win. Our pitching did great. Even game management was great up until standing by Moylan too long. This was a hard fought game. We only look at it as really lousy because the first two were genuinely lousy and embarrassing. It’s those games that make this one really suck and hurt worse than it oughta, and it’s the things we did wrong in those games that we should really draw conclusions from.

  13. It needs to be pointed out how bad of an idea it was for Moylan to be pitching against two lefties in a row with men on base in the bottom of the ninth when 1 run wins it. Really bad idea. Cheryl against righties bad.

  14. @12

    And sometimes it makes superior teams even tougher to beat at home.

    the natural order of things is to let your on-field play speak for itself.

    Braves need to be mutes until postseason berth…and even then, consider what they say/claim.

  15. Nyjer Morgan is an emotional guy, but so is Chris Carpenter. Morgan doesn’t have the best filter in the world, but I think he’s the most entertaining player in baseball.

  16. I’m not terribly concerned, yet. However, it would be really, really nice to win this weekend’s series.

  17. It sucked tonight, but, as far as making the post-season goes, we’ll be fine.

    Venters didn’t get it done—doesn’t happen often. If he’s gonna be a problem in big games from here on out, we’re toast anyway. Him, I’m not worried about.

    Of course, now that I had a good late-night gym workout to Master of Puppets and Reign in Blood, it doesn’t feel quite as bad. For some reason, old-school speed metal can give a bad loss a good trampling.

    Come to think of it, Mac, another loss might call for (dare I say it)…Cannibal Corpse.

  18. Prado needs to not suck. He’s been awful lately.

    I think that was 4 times up, 4 times on for Heyward, which is nice to see.

    McCann’s really gotta not get double up to kill that rally.

    Other than that, the Phillies just got a couple more bloops to land than the Braves did tonight. Tough game.

  19. I hate that we let them off the hook. Jonny Venters is usually money in hold situations. I don’t think that the team is melting down but I do fear that they may have peaked a little early. And lets face it, the Phillies are the best team in baseball.

  20. Clutch, thy name is Phillies.

    Hate it, but it’s true.

    If McCann and Prado don’t start contributing, we’ll be embarrassed by the Brewers.

    And I really, really hate Nyjer Morgan.

  21. Prado and McCann combined in their last 10 games 11-72. That trend will not hold up.

    Rather have that now than in the NLDS, there is time to right the ship.

    Put Heyward back in the 2 hole (he has struggled, but he is not scared to take a pitch), give McCann a day off today, move Prado to 6 or 7 so he will actually swing the bat with some authority, then let’s enjoy watching the future on display the next couple of days, and get this thing rolling again.

  22. I sure hope Fredi has not given up on Vizcaino–if the Braves need a right-handed reliever to work an inning or two, he’s still a better option than Moylan or Linebrink. The former is just a specialist and the latter just sucks.

    Credit where it’s due, though. Good usage of O’Flaherty in the 6th and 7th.

  23. Ok, Tiger, now you have me riled up. It’s going to make me write harder. :)

    I agree that making comments like that is pointless and unhelpful, but what did he really say? That they want to beat the Phillies in the playoffs? What’s so controversial about that? I think stuff like that fires up the fans more than it does the players.

    The original statement that I heard (on MLB Network)was that Chipper said the Braves could play with the Phillies but that if they didn’t stay focused, the Phillies would beat them. Apparently, he said something else that I didn’t read.

    If they had won all three games 12-0, I might agree that the comments got them upset, but if the Braves had gotten a couple of hits or a couple of key outs, they would have won at least if not two of the games.

    Rex Ryan has been saying lots of things in recent years, but the Jets still have won a lot of games. (Alright, I know they haven’t gotten to the Super Bowl.) I just think it’s overrated, especially in baseball.

  24. In the last four games they have played, the Phillies have outscored the Braves 32-6.

    So much for being competitive with them.

  25. Should I buy MLB.TV so that I can watch the Braves get swept by the Brewers in the NLDS? Or is there realistic hope that they won`t suck?

  26. Its probably too late to do this, but they should move the two games times to 12:10 and 4:10 today. Looks like rain is suppose to start moving in around 4-5pm sometime.

  27. About the trap call – it looked like the right call, but there was a little bit of doubt as to whether it bounced on the ground or in Heyward’s glove. The strange thing was that Bucknor had the perfect angle and was staring down the first base line at Heyward. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a call overturned by a 3rd base umpire like that who should have a much worse angle. I can understand Fredi’s frustration.

    I’ve also gotta’ say that I didn’t feel great about putting in Moylan. I still think he’s a few weeks away from being ready for prime time (if he ever gets there this year). Of course, the other options from the pen were not a whole lot more desirable – especially without Sherrill.

  28. The last few times I’ve seen Venters pitch, his arm angle/release/ball movement has looked different than before. Something happened, and I’m afraid it’s an injury, which is totally inexplicable given how carefully Braves managers have used him the last couple of years.

    Has anyone else noticed something different about Venters?

  29. I think he looks the same. He’s got the same movement and velocity. He’s still got good command also.

  30. Maybe it’s just selective memory on my part, but has Heyward ever made an accurate throw to home plate? Love that he got on base 4 times last night, so hopefully he’ll keep getting the starts, but can we not all chip in for some Emanski videos for Jason? He could really benefit from the drill where you have to throw the ball into the bucket at home plate from the outfield. As much as I hate to complain about the coaching staff, I think this is where they are the weakest (Admittedly I have no empirical evidence). It just doesn’t seem like the players are good at the fundamentals like bunting when called upon to do so or making an accurate throw or situational hitting with a runner on 3rd with less than 2 outs.

  31. All playoffs games are shown on, but I guess blackout restrictions make them unavailable to most (if not all) of the US.

  32. Am I wrong or is Bourn not being used in a way to maximize his talents? Early in the year, Fredi would send anyone and have people get thrown out all over the place, but, now, he seems reluctant to have Bourn–a real base stealer–run with Prado up. I don’t understand it; a couple of times Prado has hit into DPs with Bourn on first.

    Also, while I understand Bourn was cheaper and probably fit the Braves needs better, does it seem as if Pence is the better player overall?

  33. “He’s still got good command also.”

    I’m not so sure. But what I am certain about is that his control has been awful lately. Since the All Star Break, Jonny Venters has walked 15 batters in only 21.1 innings, which is good for a 6.33 BB/9. He has an ugly 1.87 K/BB ratio during that time as well. Compare those numbers to his first half numbers: 3.41 BB/9 and a 2.81 k/BB ratio. Perhaps this is just regression rearing its inevitable head–he has never had great control–but whatever the explanation Jonny Venters has not been hitting the strike zone enough during the past couple months.

  34. Regardless of who the better player is (probably Bourne), Bourne was definitely the better fit for Atlanta, who desperately needed a CF. As for running, I say just let him run whenever he wants to. I hate it when managers get picky with good basestealers on when they should be running. Unless you want to call a hit-and-run or something, just give Bourne a green light. (Which may be what’s happened, and he just hasn’t wanted to run.) Either way, Prado’s got to start hitting if this team is going to do much come playoff time.

  35. The postseason is blacked out on MLB.TV, however if you pay monthly, you will still be billed for October. The postseason games will be archived so I suppose that’s their rationale. Easy way to avoid this is to just cancel your subscription now and it will expire 30 days from your last billing.

  36. Sinker ball pitchers are going to live around the zone and are going to get a lot of swings at balls outside of the zone. Johnny got the benefit of guys swinging at everything he threw in the first half. He still has the same velocity and downward movement on his sinker. I guess what I should have said is he still has the same command as the first half just with some guys being able to lay off some of those outside pitches. I dont think its due to an injury at all.

  37. Can’t prove it without comparative video, but I sense that JV’s arm angle is slightly lower than before – leading to a flattening of his fastball and more sweep and less bite on his breaking pitches.

    Could be fatigue, injury or just plain needs adjustment.

  38. I missed this until just now, but we did get our “give credit/tip hat” marching orders from Fredi after last night’s loss:

    “You’ve got to give credit to [Placido] Polanco; that was a pretty nasty pitch that Venters threw to him, and he poked it out there in right field.”

    “You’ve got to tip your hat to those guys. They’re playing real well right now.”

    Okay, so we’ve got to give credit specifically to Polanco, and tip our hat generally to the Phillies. Do you think the other Phils will be put out because Polanco gets both credit and a hat tip?

  39. I’ve been an MLB.TV subscriber for several years & I’m always abroad for a little chunk of the post-season. From experience, I can tell you that the site doesn’t offer post-season games. You can listen, but not watch.

    With shut down, I’ll have to find another site for the championship series. Anybody know of any?

  40. @Jeremy, thanks for the tip. I just canceled my monthly subscription to avoid paying for October.

  41. I’m watching the Nats-Dodgers game on TV. There are maybe 1000 people in attendance. In the front row directly behind the catcher, is a guy that looks exactly like Frank Wren. He’s paying a lot of attention to Nats pitcher Wang. Check it out.

  42. Too bad we are facing a rookie making first start. I am sure we have never scouted him and will be swinging away!

  43. If Chipper gets a bunt sign, he should retire.

    If we blow this wild card lead, I think Fredi is toast.

  44. If Chipper gets a bunt sign, he should lay down the bunt. Then, in the offseason he should take Fredi hunting in the depths of his ranch and accidentally leave him there.

  45. @55

    That is a tough one. You are right that he probably wouldn’t be gone, but I wouldn’t pull for the BRaves to not make it.

  46. Yeah, there is about a 0% chance of Fredi getting canned after one season. They’ll chalk it up to untimely injuries.

  47. Fredi drives me crazy from time to time, not sure if he does any more than Bobby did (I know Bobby had other things going for him too), but how confident are you that the Braves would hire someone better if they fired him? How many managers in baseball would you rather have than him right now, honestly?

  48. Mildly amusing that people are talking about firing the manager & I just bought playoff tickets today.

    Timo, dunno about Germany, but I promise you that it doesn’t work in Amsterdam. I’ve tried every year since ’05 & ended up listening (on or watching in the middle of the night on

  49. Watching the Yankees game right now, Cervelli just had a collision at home plate for the second time in as many innings.. Got both runners. The Orioles need some Snitker.

  50. Ububba, it actually did also work in the UK and Switzerland. Not sure what is wrong with Holland… Then again, what is not wrong with Holland, hehe

  51. Wow, more runs in 2/3 of an inning than the last week. Need the good Minor to show up and shut these Mets down today.

  52. 3 pitches to get the 1st out. Somehow its going to be a 30 pitch inning. According to gamecast, every pitch to Pagan was a strike and 4 of the 5 pitches were called balls.

  53. The All-Corpse Team would wear the Braves out. Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay would bat 3rd and 4th in the order.

  54. I give up. Turning off the game. Missed the top of the inning, turned on MLB.TV in the bottom. My fault.

  55. If it makes you feel any better, the Yankees just got taken to the Proctologist.

    Wait, it doesn’t make you feel any better? Oh well.

  56. The starting lineup for the Mets had all 8 position players with an OBP of .320 or above. Braves had 4 guys with .310 or below (not counting Minor) and AAG is at .260.

  57. WTF??? That pitch was almost in the dirt!!! A grand slam after a 3-0 lead, now an umpire who has money on the game. What else can go wrong?

  58. @91

    Saying “What else can go wrong?” is as bad as the Braves assuming they were in the playoffs. Something else that we haven’t conceived can ALWAYS go wrong. Look at the injury plague last year.

  59. That homer gives 4599 hits in his career, tying Steve Garvey for 77th. Good. I don’t like Steve Garvey.

    And he ties Yaz for 33rd all time in homers.

  60. Heyward and BAbip might not be dating again, but they’re at least holding hands in the park. A welcome recovery.

  61. That’s it. I just can’t stand watching AAG anymore. He sucks, sucks, sucks. From now on, I will leave the room when he comes to bat and pray to the good Lord every night that the Braves will not resign him. Never in my entire life have I hated a player even half as much as him.

  62. If Mike Minor could not get the shakes every time he goes through the middle of the Mets order, that might be helpful.

    EDIT: Also, though he got away with that one, if he could stop throwing Jason Bay two-strike pitches right over the plate, that might also be helpful.

  63. Whenever a player sucks, people praise his defense. Wilson would be more than ok at SS, and there is no way in hell AAG makes up for all of his K’s and GIDP’s with his defense.

    Having said that, I still regret my comment somewhat. He might be a nice guy and all.

  64. Wilson would not be an upgrade on offense, I’m afraid. Pinch-hitting for AAG during his second at-bat and then subbing Wilson on defense would be a pretty good idea though.

  65. Wilson is worse than AAG at the plate and probably slightly worse, certainly not any better, defensively. AAG is a perfectly reasonable eighth-place hitter, though I will admit he’s infuriating to watch sometimes.

  66. Between Chipper and Prado, our third base defense has not been good lately. Chipper’s old and Prado doesn’t play the position that often.

    Uggla is Uggla.

  67. Well, better get some runs this inning. We know Minor’s gonna load the bases after getting two outs next inning because Wright, Pagan and Bay are scary-looking.

  68. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Wilson fan in any way.

    though I will admit he’s infuriating to watch sometimes

    Make that “all times” and I’m with you. ;-)

  69. Saving Diaz for later perhaps? He’s the best RH bench bat and it’s only the sixth. That would be the logical explanation, anyway.

  70. Dan Uggla is our team leader in walks. And he only has 52. Chipper’s walk rate seems to be way down.

    /Parrish sucks

  71. If you don’t think AAG has played some stellar defense this year, I can’t imagine you’re watching too many of the games.

    Headed to Flushing for Game 2…

  72. His offense has been stellar, too… by which I mean he plays as if on the surface of the sun, with 30 times Earth’s gravity.

  73. The Braves came into today with 443 walks, compared to the league average of 441. They walked in 8.21 percent of plate appearances, compared to the NL average of 8.14. By comparison, the Braves led the NL in walks in 2010.

    This doesn’t speak well of Parrish.

    And Wren’s gotta be wondering why he bothered getting Wilson, considering this situations screams “Pinch-hit, Fredi, you moron!”

  74. It’s not as bad as you think. Uggla, Freeman, and Gonzalez are really the only regulars to play a full complement of games, so any counting stat is going to look bad for most of the team.

  75. Chipper’s walk rate is unquestionably down, though. That could be because of Parrish or because of his age, but his batting average is better this year than the last 2 years.

  76. And Wren’s gotta be wondering why he bothered getting Wilson, considering this situations screams “Pinch-hit, Fredi, you moron!”

    Was thinking the same thing.

  77. Very few managers will weaken their defense by pinch-hitting for the shortstop with a lead.

    But is Jack Wilson considered a weaker defender than A-Gon?

  78. Is there some reason why we’ve stopped getting any calls whatsoever? I’m seriously starting to wonder.

  79. And if the umpire also hadn’t blown the close call at the other end (the umpire getting two close calls right in our favor…I know, one can dream), that run wouldn’t have counted. He did not score before the play at first.

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