Phillies 6, Braves 3

Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Box Score – September 06, 2011 – ESPN.

Well, at least we scored. What a frustrating game.

The Phillies jumped on top in the first, with Chase Utley hitting a two-out solo homer and then Tim Hudson giving up three straight singles to allow a second run. After that, he pitched well — until the sixth.

The Braves clawed back into it. They had several chances, such as two on, none out, that they didn’t capitalize on, and they didn’t really do that much when they did capitalize. In the fourth, Dan Uggla hit a solo homer. They got one run out of a bases-loaded, none out situation, Alex Gonzalez scoring Uggla on a sac fly, but couldn’t get the hit to take the lead.

And then the Phillies immediately got two runs on a walk, two doubles, and a wild pitch in the bottom of the inning, getting the lead back to two runs. The Braves cut it to one in the seventh, mostly on the strength of Michael Bourn‘s legs, as he doubled, stole third, and came home on a groundout, but again that was all they got.

For some reason, Fredi went with Cristhian Martinez in the seventh and not any of the top relievers. And he allowed two runs to let the Phillies put the game away. I don’t get Fredi.

174 thoughts on “Phillies 6, Braves 3”

  1. I really didnt mind the Lisp starting the 7th, but with 2 on and 0 out with 2 of the best left-handed bats in the game coming up, it’s time to bring in one of the two best lefties in the game to face ’em. Stupid, stupid Fredi.

  2. I really mind Constanza starting. As I warned a month ago, there was a strong likelihood that the manager would still be in love with him long after he had cooled off. Well, he’s now a pumpkin, and has been for three weeks. And any chance that Heyward rediscover his swing in time for the postseason is slipping away.

  3. This game will forever be remembered as the game in which Simpson said that trying to go the other way isn’t always the best plan.

  4. There is ZERO reason why Heyward is not starting right now. Other than that Fredi’s “gut”, of course.

    It’s unfortunate because this situation makes me not like Costanza when none of it is his fault. He is what he is, a guy with speed that can do absolutely nothing else.

  5. In the last thread, Tom said a bit caustically “Where are those “we are going to catch the Phillies” posters now?”

    Perhaps there were some who said we ARE going to catch the Phils, but my memory banks don’t retain those comments. I know I was one cheerleading the possibility of catching the Phils, trying to find some enthusiasm for not just coasting in September and being content with a wild card. Our schedule looked relatively easy while the Phillies schedule looked comparatively harder.

    Yet that’s not the way it’s playing out. The Cardinals are two games closer to us in the wild card than we are to the Phillies in the NL East. We are losing games because of weak starting pitching, a rote and boring offense, and a manager who seems to be sleepwalking through key moments in ballgames. So that doesn’t make it fun. This is still a good team but clearly not in the same league as the Phillies.

    That’s not to say we can’t steal a series from them in the playoffs, but it would be nice to end the season with some balls.

  6. Hudson is struggling too. This is a game where you really need a big game from the “ace.” Of course, when you score 24 runs in 9 games, you probably aren’t going to win many. This is a bad offense, no matter how you slice it. They just do not have a difference maker on this team. Teams go through bad spells, but it’s disturbing that they are not competitive with the Phillies at this point.

    But look at it this way. At least Liberty Media is happy-they got a competitive team, will probably make money, and didn’t have to spend a lot to do it. Who cares if they fade in September again? Aren’t we all happy for Liberty Media?

  7. My prediction: Fredi will go with Constanza another week, finally realize he turned into a pumpkin, and then go with Heyward/Diaz for the final two weeks into the playoffs.

  8. “So, I banned Adam Lawson (Emma), after he resorted to the personal attack thing immediately after Mac signed off for the evening. I notified Mac of my action, and (of course) it will be totally up to him whether everyone’s favorite troll gets reinstated (and whether my moderating privileges are revoked…).”


    Good man. Appreciate your action. Now, what can you do about banning Fredi Gonzalez?

  9. Well done Stu. I have to admit that I wanted Emma to call everyone a nimrod before he got banned.

    I was afraid the Braves were peaking early. I hope that they can pull out of this soon. And as one of those guys that said we have to play our best 9, the Constanza experiment is over. Its time to get our regular lineup out there every day.

  10. I approve as well Stu. This is a place of discussion and there are only three rules. Emma broke one of those rules and was just trolling.

  11. @12, He broke several I believe. Racist comments, sexist comments, the “first” bullcrap, attacking other posters, and just generally being a douche.

  12. Co-sign on the ban. I didn’t read the final comments–he got banned and they got deleted before I saw them–but if he in fact did call people “gay,” I concur 100% on the action. He varied from offensive to incoherent, added nothing to any conversation, and was just generally annoying. What a douche.

  13. Reading Fredi’s postgame quotes at the AJC, I got the impression he was ticked off. I certainly hope that he’s at least partially ticked off at himself. To revise, he made at least two embarrassing gaffes last night:

    1) Not pinch-hitting for Tim Hudson with first and third and two out in the 6th. Huddy made an out, of course. The Phils scored 2 runs and Charlie Manuel just flat out embarrassed Fredi by pinch-hitting for Worley with runners on and 2 out despite the 2-run lead. It was as if Manuel was fully aware that he’d gotten the best out of his starter and had to maximize his opportunities to score before the rains came again and potentially wash out the rest of the game.

    2) Warming up O’Flaherty and then not using him when C-Mart gave up two baserunners to start the 7th and then was facing 2 lefties in a row. I keep hearing this thing about “if you’re gonna warm up a pitcher you might as well use him, cuz it’s about the same thing”. Under those circumstances plus the whole “neutralize the lefty hitters” thing, this was just stupid.

    Someone else had brought up the notion of pinch-hitting for Georgie in the 5th before Hudson. That’s slightly more defensible, but there’s merit in such a move, too. Again, you’re dealing with the ticking time bomb of weather, and you’ve got 1st and 2nd with 1 out and a guy whose hits usually involve hitting groundballs that he beats out or the defense fumbles “under pressure.” Why not bring in Hinske or Conrad, guys that can drive the ball for a clean base hit or god forbid a home run?

    As it was, the only guy we used off our bench was Hinske much later in the game and with the bases clear. It’s September for crying out loud.

  14. DOB – •Hard to believe #Braves are starting rookies in nxt 4 consecutive games: Beachy, Minor, Teheran, Delgado (in that order) 13 mins ago

  15. @17

    It may break up some of the classic rivalries, but will be good for the conference. It will be interesting to see who comes in next, looks like West Virgina and Mizzu are the front runners.

  16. I am pretty sure there was a runner on for Hinske, but I agree

    Clemson makes the most sense for the SEC, but I guess GA/USC would try to stop that at all costs

  17. If expansion must happen, I’d rather have NC State than any of the other realistic targets I’ve heard. VU fans rarely get what we want when it comes to this conference, though…

  18. Given that College Station is by no means in the Southeastern US, it’s now the case that the ACC is the only accurately named conference left of the big six. This should surprise no one.

  19. I’m not one for overmanaging but Fredi’s minimalism goes a bit far. The other night, he let Victorino hit with a base open against Lowe with a righty (Polanco) on deck. Why?

    Having said that, Fredi is not out there leaving runners on base. Bases loaded, no one out and you get 1?

  20. Don’t think Duke and UNC would ever leave, unless the conference started crumbling, which I don’t think will happen. I’d like NC State because:

    1) New market — one that’s actually in the Southeast and actually has a sizeable, football-loving population in it;
    2) Would not be another power!;
    3) To the extent that their inclusion would hurt anyone, it would be UT, which has always recruited heavily in North Carolina.

  21. The problem with this offense is that everyone is pressing. Ive never seen a group thats so swing happy as soon as they have a chance to drive someone in. If anyone is on base they start hacking away at pitches outside the zone. Working a count with the bases loaded just puts added pressure on the pitcher and on his defense behind him.

  22. If I were managing, I would have been prepared to bat for AAG, Constanza, and Hudson in that 6th. I’d line up Conrad, Heyward, and Hinske. If Conrad came through with a 2-run hit, Contanza hits for himself and Huddy’s still taken down for Heyward.

    With Jack Wilson, you’ve got a get out of jail free card with AAG. Having him on the bench, is like being able to hit for AAG one time, and then get to send him back out there on defense with a different jersey on.

    As everyone’s mentioned, with the rain looming, you have no idea if the game is going to go 9. You want to be leading at the end of every inning, and Huddy only going 5 doesn’t NECESSARILY mean 4 innings out of your pen.

    Something that hasn’t been mentioned, though, is with a 2 hour delay, and a 9 PM start time, Hudson might have only thrown 5, might have only thrown 5 pitches, but his body thinks he flew to LA for a one-game series. He’s usually got a good lather by 9 PM and is wrapping up his work by 9:30, 10. In that 5th inning, it was already 10:45. That should have been the 8th or 9th inning.

  23. I realize baseball players are creatures of habit, but that’s a little ridiculous, if true. When you’re only playing once every five days, it really shouldn’t matter what time of day it is. That time of day thing should only matter to people playing basically every day.

  24. @27- The second number I typed should say “85 pitches.”

    @28- I’m not trying to say that we were lucky to get 3 innings out of the guy. I’m just trying to say that 5 innings isn’t just like every other 5 innings. For instance, I’d say asking him for 6 innings was as much as you could ask him for. That’s all.

  25. Why would you want Duke to come into the SEC? They suck even in the ACC, that would really only weaken the SEC. If anything the SEC should want to take someone like VT.

  26. @24

    I would like NCSt a lot. Tennessee, traditionally has recruited NC very well. However, with the recent rise of UNC and the decline in NC in state tallent, Tennessee hasn’t pulled as many kids in. Adding NCSt would help get get back in after some of the bigger NC kids. But with UNC looking like they may fall off again, Tennessee may not have any issues with NC kids.

  27. @30

    You can’t get UNC w/o Duke. It would give the conference another academic school to go with Vandy so we could say, “Hey, we aren’t all about sports!”

  28. So take a team with a good academic reputation that at least has a chance to compete. Duke could go winless in the SEC. VT, while it doesn’t have an amazing academic reputation, is still good enough if you want to bring in another academic school.

  29. Now, I’m not advocating breaking up the ACC. As a Georgia Tech student I wouldn’t really like that at all.

  30. 1) Football is not the only sport. The Duke hoops brand would definitely be worth adding.

    2) VT is of course “good enough” to add to a conference with Mississippi State, Arkansas, etc. — the point of adding Duke, as Smitty said, would be to add a *reputable* school.

  31. I imagine that if Fredi thought he had someone better than Constanza, that person would have started.

  32. When McCann slumps, this team looks really ragged. (6-36 in his last 10). Of course you would think a teammate would pick up the best catcher in baseball, but so far it has not happened. He will get it going. Big series in St. Louis this weekend.

    Re: conference realigning (SEC speaking), it is all about media markets. A&M brings Dallas and Houston into the fold. St. Louis and KC are the reasons Missouri is being bantered about. Virginia or VT would bring in the DC market, whereas a N.C. school (UNC, Duke, NC State) brings in the Charlotte TV market.

    UGA, USC-east, and UF will block Clemson, Ga Tech, Miami/FSU from coming in because they don’t want to split the state, and repeating a footprint in an existing TV market makes little to no since for the SEC. Make no mistake, the SEC has seen the deals the other conferences have gotten, and to me, the SEC deal is only the third best deal out there at the moment, at least. It needs to reopen discussions, get a network like the Big Ten got, and it needs to open up other distribution channels like the Pac 12 did. (The Pac 12’s deal is the standard right now.)

    Based on pure football, you would want UT or OU out of the not so big 12, but this is about TV dollars. Besides, how hard do you want to make the SEC West by adding OU and Texas. Texas ain’t coming, they really want to be an independent, but Pac 12 will prostitute itself for them and let them keep that network. OU is an odd fit for the Pac 12 to me, it seems they would be better off to go the Big 10 (or 12 whatever)like Nebraska, or the SEC, but you would have to take little bro. OSU to get them. Oklahoma as a state doesn’t bring enough eyeballs for TV money.

    The Pac 12 needs Texas and OU to give its football some much needed credibility. They are awful. If your marquee team keeps getting bitch slapped by the SEC, you better do something to justify that HUGE TV deal they got.

  33. “With Jack Wilson, you’ve got a get out of jail free card with AAG. ”

    Yes, absolutely. But the problem is that Fredi will never pinch hit for AAG in the 6th inning. He won’t pinch hit for him in the 9th inning. He either doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with AAG as a hitter, or isn’t creative enough to do anything about it. And that leads us to another good point made here:

    “I imagine that if Fredi thought he had someone better than Constanza, that person would have started.”

    Yep. If Fredi thought Heyward was the better option against Worley, he would have started Heyward. Heyward, remember, didn’t start Monday’s game either, so it’s not as if this was a routine day off. With that in mind, there’s no way that Fredi would have ever pinch hit Heyward for Constanza in the 6th inning. He had the guy at the plate that he wanted.

  34. I think the tv footprint argument is bit overblown. The Big East is all over the biggest markets in the country and nobody watches that junk. An SEC network would have no problem getting in any market it wanted to. They really doesn’t need to expand at all – and if they do, I am not sure why you’d bother with NC State. I can see A&M I suppose, but I seriously doubt they “bring the Dallas and Houston market”. People there watch SEC football already, and if they don’t A&M isn’t going to convert that many eyes. NC State even more so.

  35. If we’re going to 16 team “super conferences”, I’m not so sure that increasing TV footprints is the end all in determining what schools get in. If the whole system realigns to four super conferences, I’d think that entirely new TV deals would be in the works, and that it would be better to have more “star power” as far as universities go than just covering a larger area by way of lower tier schools.

    Also, I’m not so sure that conferences stay with just two divisions in a 16 team format, so there doesn’t really have to be an issue with making the west too difficult.

    I’m not aware of the rules governing the mechanics of adding a school, but Slive doesn’t seem like the type to pass on adding a good school just because UF and UGA are being crybabies. I think he could get FSU at least if he really wanted to work for it. What’s the worst that could happen, UF leaves the SEC for the ACC? Pick up Miami and watch them thrive once they get out from under whatever sanctions they’re going to get.

    RE: Spike’s point about adding eyes from TAMU, I wouldn’t mind seeing TCU brought in just to increase the hold on east Texas. Plus it can establish a new in-state conference rivalry, not to mention any digs at UT recruiting that could be had.

  36. IIRC, Baylor had to sell its soul to get into the Big XII — I imagine those folks are going to do whatever they can to keep it all from falling apart.

  37. If I had to guess, it would be against TAMU on grounds of breach of contractual obligations, or the SEC on financial loss to the school.

    I don’t think it’ll go anywhere, this is just Baylor’s last stand. Only it’s less of a stand and more of a weak and annoying little kid crying and hanging on to your ankle because he doesn’t want you to leave and take your SNES home with you.

  38. @48, Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the Big 12. Gentlemen!

  39. I think Freddie’s really ailing, but glad to see Heyward back in the lineup:

  40. Was last night the night Georgie turned into a pumpkin re: Fredi? It’s not like Heyward got any better a hitter between the time he could have pinch hit last night to the time Fredi filled out is lineup cared.

  41. Well there isnt much difference of who you put out these. Prado, Jhey, Constanza are all awful right now. Bmac has been brutal since he returned from the DL also.

  42. @39,

    And here I thought that college sports was about developing student-athletes. I guess I was wrong. :)

  43. Les Miles should always have prepared statements for the media.

    “I certainly understand adding a Texas team into the conference,” LSU coach Les Miles said Wednesday. “A&M has a great historic following and is a traditional power that certainly brings the interest of Texas.”

    Plus, he added, “Texas football is great high school football … The dynamics are significant.”

  44. I’d love to see Coach K in Rupp every year, too. Or every other year, for that matter.

    We’ve asked (“we” being UK), but K won’t agree to a home-and-home.

    I need to remember this for future reference: it really is true that you can’t be too rich, too thin or too deep in pitching.

    Can’t believe what has happened to the second-best rotation in baseball.

  45. We’ve asked (“we” being UK), but K won’t agree to a home-and-home.

    Oh, I know. That’s why I said I’d love to see it. (He won’t come to Memorial, either.)

  46. DOB says Hanson could be ready for a rehab start next week. Where does he get a rehab start in with the minors regular seasons wound down? Does he barge into some team’s playoff game?

  47. I don’t get all the hate for Fredi on this site. If you give a chimpanzee a loaded gun and he kills someone, it’s not the ape’s fault.

  48. Ya know how newspapers will have pre-written obituaries for famous folk, right?

    In that spirit, if we allow the Cardinals to pass us, will this be the worst collapse in baseball history?

    (I know, I know) DOOOOOMED!!

  49. @28 I don’t know whether the start time made any difference, but this idea that pitchers just sit around 4 out of 5 days is misguided. Their bodies are getting work during that period, and a lot of it. Being in an actual game isn’t the only way to get worn down.

  50. Okay, DOB answered my question on Twitter about where Hanson would get a rehab start in:

    “Instructional League in FLA”

    One step above a simulated game, in other words. In asking my question, I made a quip about “extended spring training” being an option. Guess I was right?

  51. Well, the Yankees played in the Bronx, but the Nationals game in DC has been postponed due to rain. Anyone know how this weather continues to affect the Philly area?

  52. I live in the Philly area, and it’s not raining here right now. In fact, today, most of the heavy rain has been out to the west, along the D.C., Baltimore, York, PA corridor. My guess is, they’ll get the game in. Not sure that’s a good thing, by the way . . .

  53. I guess everyone has checked out until the postseason, assuming the Braves get there.

    Of course, it’s possible that the Braves have checked out as well, and may be assuming that they get there as well.

  54. Beachy starts have become must-see events for me. His emergence has almost made up for the Heywardian travesty.

  55. @70 Braves baseball is becoming must-not-see events for me… no-hit by Oswalt through 4? Really, guys? Dislike.

  56. I wonder how long it will be before someone associated with the organization stoops to the lowest possible point and starts blaming the weather. 10-4 before the announcement that the Saturday/Sunday games in New York were wiped out by Hurricane Irene; 3-6 (possibly 3-7 after tonight) since.

  57. @74 – Oh yeah, the baseball gods were as disgusted as the rest of us when Linebrink pitched that pathetic inning against the Mets on Friday.

  58. 74: The Braves weren’t responsible for that, as I recall. I thought the players wanted to play a double-header that day. The Mets called it, sort of had their hands forced, though, by Bloomberg shutting down mass transit in NYC.

  59. That bunt would have been terrible even if it worked.

    Bourn scored from second on a single? That’s weird. It’s almost like bunting him over to third would be a complete waste of an AB.

  60. It hurts me to watch McCann play like this. He’s lost so many points on his batting average, his defense isn’t good and he’s striking out an awful lot.

  61. The thing is, they haven’t been especially. They’ve drawn four walks, made Oswalt throw 98 pitches, and ensured that the 7th will be his last inning.

  62. So now you suddenly decide to institute de facto instant replay? Go f— yourselves, MLB umpires.

  63. Ugh indeed. That said, Heyward trapped the ball, so awarding Polanco a single is the right outcome.

  64. Ridiculous overrule by the umps, anyways, even if it’s the correct call. I think they respect Charlie Manuel a tad more.

  65. @93 Umpires have always been able to confer and overrule a call. They got it right, so I fail to see what there is to complain about.

    Except maybe that it’s not clear why Fredi was tossed, as he didn’t seem that heated. Maybe he said a “magic word”.

  66. Between the umpires clearly being on the take from the Dodgers last weekend and the Phillies getting their normal 70-30 split on 50-50 calls in this series, I’m starting to become a bit weary with umpires.

  67. @101,

    Who else had a good view of that? Anyone? Just guessing?

    ROFL, Jerry “Happy” Meals is the home plate ump. Guess we should have seen this one coming.

    I think Fredi probably asked to be ejected and tried to pretend to make a scene. I give it 1 1/2 stars, pretty unconvincing.

  68. Thank you, Eric. You did what needed doing- and that emphatically includes the HBP.

    105- You have GOT to be kidding me.

  69. Maybe he said a “magic word”.

    “Please toss me, guys. I need to get some credibility back in the clubhouse. Plus we’re losing, and this is the kind of thing that beat writers say will light a fire under a team. Help a guy out, fellas?”

  70. @105 I imagine the second base umpire had a good view, and probably even a better angle to see the ball hit the ground. Obviously someone did. I want umpires to get it right. They got it right. I can’t turn around and complain about it because my team didn’t get a cheap call in their favor. That feels dirty.

  71. My God. Heyward almost too Oswalt’s head off. Yes!!!

    110: I agree. J-Hey totally trapped it.

    UPDATE: Bunt with A-Gon. Yes. Good call.

  72. You’re right, it was the right call. My frustration stems from the fact that we haven’t gotten a call in a week. But in the end, you’re right. That was the right outcome.

  73. Wow. Anyone watching the espn broadcast? Dude just straight up called Bucknor a bad umpire. Can’t remember hearing that kind of comment before from a broadcaster.

  74. @114

    Sucknor is usually rated the worst umpire in player polls. Misses calls and instigates players. I’m a little disappointed he didn’t stand up for himself this time, though.

  75. Meals has actually had a somewhat defensible strike zone in this one. Makes me wonder if he just forgot he was behind the plate that fateful night in Pittsburgh and went on a bender before the game. Would explain a lot, and amazing if true.

  76. 118 – not a question. He’s awful. I was just surprised for something other than blind admiration from a national announcer.

  77. @114 Good, hopefully more of the bad umpires start getting called out. I hate that I’m defending any of them at all here, given how woefully incompetent I find the lot of them to be.

  78. Apparently the Phillies showed the replay of the trap while the umps were discussing? Seems about right.

  79. Excellent managing in the 6th and 7th innings by Fredi. Pull Beachy before the big inning. Bring in O’Flaherty ahead of the 7th in a high leverage situation. Double switch Freddie into the effective three hole for the next inning. Heyward gets on base, bunt with the guy likely to hit into a double play. Freddie with his classic stay-with-the-pitch single up the middle. That’s Braves baseball at its best, ladies and gentlemen.

  80. @128 – Is it coincidence that all of the good management decisions / playing occurred after Fredi was ejected from the game?

    EDIT: Crap, Uggla really hit the ball hard. Phils were fortunate to get any outs on that, much less two.

  81. 128: Agreed. Which is why comparing tonight with last night suggests our manager is afflicted with schizophrenia…

    130: …Or it’s that.

  82. @130:

    HA! I’ve been following it on my phone and just got to a TV in top of the 7th. When was he ejected? Bottom 6?

  83. Victorino did a really bad job of allowing the umps to cheat for him on that last pitch. At least make it a little believable.

    Awful throw Jason.

  84. How exactly is subbing Utley out for Francisco going for the jugular, Chip? Letting off the gas, maybe? Basically the opposite.

  85. Yeah, that crappy little short hop came back to the middle of his body and got him turned to the right a little. Bad throw.

  86. Heyward’s basically Cam Newton. Strong arm, doesn’t know where on earth the ball is headed.

  87. Heyward has the Hot Hand! And AAG has gotten down two straight bunts? What a weird, wild, wacky game.

  88. Wouldn’t be funny if the thing that gets Jason back in the lineup is that infield dribbler where Fredi goes, hmmmm, you know his speed puts pressure on the defense?

  89. What’s all this I keep hearing about putting feathers on the defense? I’m no uniform designer, but they would make it awfully hard to move around, and you’d have to spend a small fortune replacing them after every game! And the animal rights groups would be after you, and…


    Never mind. (/ Emily Litella)

  90. Which is why we can’t use him! Because that would be what the Phillies would expect us to do! No, we’re going to surprise them with a guy shaking off months of rust!

  91. Yet more proof you should pitch your best pitcher first in tie games, regardless of whether you are home or way.

  92. Frediot. Effing Frediot. Moylan has always, always sucked against lefties.

    Edit: Frediot in this case is just the title of whoever happens to be calling the shots at the moment. No idea who took over when Fredi got ejected.

  93. I just tuned in and was wondering why Moylan was facing a lefty.

    Then I had flashbacks to a game winning HR that Gload hit off of Soriano a couple of years ago.

  94. I don’t want to channel the banned stalker, but I’m mentally preparing myself for the idea of being 2.5 up coming out of the weekend. Not being pessimistic, just bracing myself for the fall.

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

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