Cardinals 4, Braves 3

Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Box Score – September 10, 2011 – ESPN.

Okay, now I’m worried.

Derek Lowe gave up eight hits and four runs in the first three innings. He settled down after that, allowing just one hit from the fourth to the sixth, but the damage was done and the offense was unable to come all the way back.

In the fourth Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer to make it 4-2, and in the fifth Brian McCann singled home Michael Bourn. But after that they just couldn’t get anything going. They didn’t get another runner in scoring position until two out in the ninth, when Jason Heyward stole second and went to third on a throwing error, but Bourn popped up to end it.

Anthony Varvaro had two good innings in relief of Lowe. That’s about all we have for a bright side.

72 thoughts on “Cardinals 4, Braves 3”

  1. I look at it like this: if this scrap heap of a team goes 8-8 to finish the season, the Cards must go 14-3 to tie for the WC. I don’t think the latter is likely, and now I’m not sure about the former.

  2. Much like last year, it’s hard to imagine this mess of a team doing much even if they do reach the postseason. I suppose it’s a crapshoot, but the playoffs also reward teams that can excel in some area. The Braves just don’t excel at anything right now.

    Or maybe this is part of Fredi’s long game. He’s gonna crush La Russa’s soul by getting his hopes up.

  3. …the Cards must go 14-3 to tie for the WC. I don’t think the latter is likely…

    I don’t either. After the Braves leave town, the Cards go back to facing major league baseball teams. It’s gonna get a little tougher for them.

  4. I completely disagree. I think in the playoffs Fredi’s mistakes won’t show up as much. For instance, he can’t overuse Venters and Kimbrel in the playoffs because in any close game you HAVE to use him, and I think he will. I don’t see Chipper taking days off in the postseason, meaning Jack won’t hit 2nd. Lowe won’t make the playoff rotation. I think we see something like Beachy Hudson Hanson and Teheran in the playoffs, which gives us a solid chance to win.

    The only problem: We suck and aren’t making the playoffs

  5. Mac – Considering comment 2, I think your reinstatement of Emma may have been premature – the zero tolerance thing makes it a no-brainer.

    We will be okay, but we need McCann to catch fire and the big 3 relievers pitching like they’ve done most of the year to get beyond round 1 in the playoffs. I don’t see any way we won’t make the playoffs. The Cards would have to catch fire and we would have to go stone cold. I just don’t see both of those happening.

  6. 5.5 games ahead in the WC

    16 games left.

    Braves win on Sunday…I have a hard time thinking we are outside of the playoff picture.

    Cards win on Sunday…and one game in a 162 schedule, I know, I’m a moron…and things get very, very interesting sooner than we think.

  7. If the Braves piss away their WC lead and don’t make the playoffs (as is looking likelier all the time), does that mean we can’t make fun of the Mets anymore for their historic collapse a few years ago?

  8. Seriously, get this Emma guy out of here. I come here to read (and sometimes give) rational thought, and he’s just not capable of that.

  9. I just finished a big freelance project which means I can waste time on figuring up some baseball numbers that probably don’t mean anything.

    I looked at all the games since the All-Star Break (53) and counted the amount of innings (494, including 17 extras).

    We’ve carried a lead of four or more runs in exactly 49 innings of play over that time. That means that in almost 10% of our innings, we had the kind of lead that didn’t automatically “require” the usage of our save unit.

    I don’t know how useful this is, but that seems to me like an awful small amount of innings in which this team has given itself the liberty of “breathing easy.”

  10. How was I not rational??? Are all of our thoughts supposed to be rational all the time? I didn’t attack anybody here

    Okay, I was just trying to be puckish with that last comment in #11.

    To answer your question, I think it’s more the vulgarity than the lack of rationality. Review your post #2, as well as previous usages of the “F” word in the last comment thread. Coming off a ban, this kind of stuff doesn’t encourage people that are already inclined not to like your contribution that you’ll be cool going forward. Although I suppose choosing to be so vulgar in light of such circumstances is a bit irrational. Anyway, so that’s the answer to your question, I think.

    See ya in Myrtle Beach, Emma:

  11. Keep in mind that both the Cardinals and Brewers have to finish with a better record than us for us to not make it. The odds of that are still extremely low. The bigger concern is how we’ll be playing going in.

  12. The Braves aren’t going to miss the playoffs. I mean, if they did it would be so absurd that it almost wouldn’t even hurt–okay, maybe not–and it sure would provide a fair amount of grist (of the negative kind) for the offseason. But in all likelihood the Braves will limp into the postseason and play… well, I don’t know who they’ll play anymore, since the D’Backs passed the Brewers tonight for second-best record in the NL.

    They’ll get there. What they look like when they get there, though, is another question.

  13. It offers some comfort that the Brewers and Red Sox are skidding like the Braves. Not much, mind you, but some. Partners in misery, or something like that.

  14. According to FanGraphs, our chances of making the playoffs were 97,4% going into St. Louis. There is only one team in the world that’s capable of blowing a chance like that, and I’m afarid I know who that team is.

  15. The playoffs are still secure. We’re playing poorly now, but still have plenty of time to turn things around. I was much more negative last year when we were missing players: Prado, especially, and Medlen. If you have major league players, they either perform in the playoffs or they don’t. I can’t find it now, but several people have studied whether or not your September record predicts your playoff record. It doesn’t. Teams that limp in do about as well as teams that roar in, controlling for overall record. Barring injury, I think we can play with the Phillies, Milwaukee and Arizona. That’s all you can ask for…

  16. According to baseball reference (without looking), who do you guys think is our top player this year, in terms of WAR?

  17. According to baseball reference (without looking), who do you guys think is our top player this year, in terms of WAR?

    I don’t know anything about WAR beyond what the letters stand for or how it’s calculated, but I’m going to guess Dan Uggla?

  18. @1- I think the problem many of us have is picturing the Braves going .500 the rest of the way, based on what we’ve been seeing. We seem to be struggling in every aspect of the game.

    If Atlanta goes 4-12 over the last 16 (and facing the Marlins twice, the Mets, Nats, and Fillies… that projection isn’t absurd to consider), the Cards would only need to go 10-7 to tie.

    This team has played ulcer-ball all year and I expected a tight race at the end if we made the playoffs. If the Braves are going to turn it around as Freidi insists, today would be an ideal place to get started.

    I’m not writing them off but I definitely don’t feel they have the wildcard locked up.

  19. @20 On this day last year, the Braves were tied with Philly (82-61)for the division and WC, but had only a 2 game lead on the Giants and a 3.5 game lead on the Rockies. So, they seem to be in a bit better position this year. Having said that, if, as Mike at 26 suggests, they only go 4-12 to end the season, they’re asking for trouble.

    Speaking of trouble: Hudson’s numbers against St. Louis as a team and Pujols in particular are terrible.

  20. Mac, obviously it’s your call, but I think it’s time for less ‘instructions’ and more ‘banning.’ I, like many, many others really love this place, but comments like #2 serve zero purpose, make this place less enjoyable, and the person posting them doesn’t ‘get it.’

    I agree 100% with Rob’s comments at number 7. Prior to today, I have just ignored the commenter in question, but after the warning, it’s apparent it did no good. Can’t you just go back to bothering Jordan Schafer’s sister on Twitter ?

    It would be awfully nice to get a W today, but any lineup with Jack Wilson batting second doesn’t give me a lot of hope.

  21. If we don’t make the playoffs,then it is because we didn’t deserve to. Let them play the games, we’ll see what happens.

  22. I’ve been reading this blog for almost 10 years. I almost never write here because my english isn’t very good, but I’m going to take the risk now to say this:
    What’s the deal with this Emmastone guy. I love this blog because everybody is insightful, funny and intelligent. But all this profanity and cursing from this Emma guy is tiring.
    I want my braves blog back!

  23. 31- I had to check the mlb.com lineup twice to make sure you weren’t kidding. Wilson’s batting second? Fredlot was never brain-cramped enough to bat AAG second, and Wilson’s about equally valuable at the plate.

    And allow me to cast my vote for sending Emma into the outer darkness for good.

  24. He doesn’t add anything even when he’s not being profane.

    Also, the Falcons look so awful that even I, a pessimist about the coming season, am shocked. Mularkey’s plays are astoundingly simple.

  25. @36 – I think I remember Fredi batting AAG second earlier in the year. That was dumb, and so is this.

    DOB defends it by pointing out that Wilson had 2 hits last night. I really wish there was a way to only receive his objective, informative tweets about the lineup and other bits of news that a beat writer has first access to; and not his pissy retorts or stupid subjective thoughts.

  26. 38- You’re right. B-R has AAG batting 2nd nineteen times this year. Fredlot may not have known he hit 217/ 235/ 289, but even he figured out that he wasn’t hitting well, even by AAG standards.

  27. If Hudson has lost his command, this leaves the Braves with zero trustworthy starters for the playoffs. Presuming we get there.

  28. This game is bad enough. Not wanting to visit this site from time to time during it because of a certain poster who shall not be named is worse.

  29. What the crap? I turn away when it’s 1-0, check back in like 3 minutes, and it’s 5-0. All we had to do was not get swept, just win 1 out of the 3 games, to keep a fairly comfortable lead in the WC. This team just sucks right now.

  30. And of course, we load the bases and get no runs out of it. Guys, just let us know when you decide to give a damn again, OK? Until then, stop wasting your time and ours.

  31. @60
    What are they supposed to do? How are baseball players supposed to “look” like they’re giving a damn? Temper tantrums?

  32. We’d better have this wrapped up before the series against the Phillies to end the year.

    I hate sports.

  33. I’ll say this for the Cards, their grounds crew is one of the best in baseball. That outfield grass looks amazing.

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