SEC picks and open thread

Home teams in Bold.

Alabama 48, North Texas 6
LSU 23, MSU 17
Georgia 52, Coastal Carolina 14
Auburn 31, Clemson 30
Vandy 26, Ole Miss 17
South Carolina 38, Navy 10
Kentucky 7, Louisville 6
Arkansas 65, Troy 12
Florida 41, Tennessee 3

158 thoughts on “SEC picks and open thread”

  1. Bad Big 10 is generous. I’d say bad Atlantic Ten.

    Just hope your LSU State prediction is right. That will make 1-2 a lot easier to cope with.

  2. I’m really looking forward to the UT v. Florida game. Tyler Bray may well be the best quarterback in college – if not now, someday very soon.

    If he can perform at the Swamp, he’ll be on everyone’s Heisman List next year.

  3. Crazy idea:

    The Broncos, I’m sure, would love for this Tebow stuff to go away.

    The Colts are looking at a lost season.

    Why not:

    ~ trade for Tebow.
    ~ tell Colts’ fans that this is a one-year stop gap measure until Peyton comes back.
    ~ tailor the offense around Tebow’s skill set.


    ~ Colts record couldn’t be worse with Tebow than it will be without.
    ~ fans will flock in droves out of curiousity.
    ~ Indy games will be picked up by NBC and ESPN night broadcasts early and often.
    ~ if it doesn’t work, not to worry because Peyton is coming back next year.

    Am I a dang genius, or what?

  4. @5

    If he has a big game and they win, it won’t be next year he is on the list.

    That is a big IF.

    However, this is the first time in a long time I have been exicted about the Vols going to Florida. Not sure we will win, but we are better than we have been in a few years.

  5. Mac
    while i’m no Vols fan i hope they show better than 41-3. Dooley has got those boys going in the right direction.


  6. Russell, the Vilenteers scored 42 on Montana and 45 on Cincinnati. That’s at least as impressive as Alabama hanging 48 on Kent State or Arky scoring 52 on New Mexico. If you think UT is as good offensively as Arkansas… well, they’re not.

  7. If anyone’s interested, The Hardball Times has an article up on players who are struggling in 2011, profiling Dunn, Crawford, Werth, Ichiro, and JHey.

    Regarding Heyward, the author concludes that his severe dropoff this season appears to be a mix of lingering effects of his shoulder injury, and plate discipline issues. Obviously these conclusions are nothing new in general, but it’s interesting to make an apples-to-apples comparison regarding the differences in JHey’s batting profile between 2010 and 2011.

  8. Maybe if they hadn’t lost Knile Davis. I don’t think Arkansas is any more proven than Tennessee, or anyone really.

  9. @13

    Pasing wise, Tennessee can move the ball. There is little to any running game.

    I think Tennessee can put up a lot of points, but they are not as complete of an offense as Arkansas. Same with Bama. Though, Tennessee’s passing attack is better than Bama’s, but Bama’s ground gmae is way better.

    They probably can play from behind and probably are a better offense than Floirda seems to be.

    On D Tennessee is young and the line is small. They have issues with a pass rush and will give up some big plays.

    This game could go in any direction and I wouldn’t be shocked. I think it will be in the high 20’s low 30’s (which favors Florida) Florida could force Bray inot early mistakes and the Vols could fold.

    History tells us that Tennessee has a hard time winning in the swamp, so the Vols problably aren’t going to blow out the Gators. Florida will get to Bray, but those small corners are going it have issues with Hunter and Rodgers.

    If they played 10 times, Florida would probably win 6 times. It really is a Strength on Strength game (UT offense vs FL D)

  10. My newest unrealistic trade target, outfield division: Logan Morrison.

    Of course, the Blue Jays would love that Bautista/Rasmus/Morrison OF.

    I don’t see Baltimore ever winning more than 81 games ever again.

  11. something tells me that the AU-Clemson score will be closer to 45-42…neither of those teams D’s are putting up much resistance AU defense play 97 snaps last week.

  12. I think Prado’s staph infection and Heyward’s shoulder injury took a lot out of them. Time will tell and I expect more from them next season. Getting some off days should help Heyward.

  13. I always have the same rooting interest in the Florida-Tennessee game, and it never wins. But who knows? Maybe this is Meteor that Hits the Swamp’s year!

  14. Whoever’s playing Florida.

    “What do you get when you cross a pig and Florida graduate?”

    “Nothing. There’s some things even a pig won’t do.”

    – Lewis Grizzard

  15. oh lord, don’t even get me started on those jokes…

    Know why they don’t teach sex ed and drivers ed at [SEC School] anymore?

    Seems they just had the one mule and he was wore slap out.

  16. So, I caught Metallica & Slayer at Yankee Stadium last night (plus the very end of Megadeth).

    Slayer, of course, was ridiculous—just a full onslaught, music for machine-gunning whatever’s in front you. Metallica was pretty momentous, I gotta say.

    But the people-watching might’ve been the best part. As we were going into the place, the guy in front of me was told that he couldn’t come in because of the long, thick, clunky chain attached to his wallet.

    “They won’t let me bring in my wallet!” he shouted to his friend beyond the barrier.

    The guard looked at him disgusted and just said, “Be serious. It’s not your wallet—it’s the weapon connected to your wallet.”

    And, of course, it’s always funny to see how everyone tries to “out-metal” each other at these gigs.

    So with fans doing their best by breaking out their most-offensive Cannibal Corpse or Deicide tour jerseys, I saw a guy rocking a Dolly Parton t-shirt—we have a winner!

  17. Two death row inmates awaited execution in a Tennessee prison. One was a UT fan; the other, a Bulldog fan. On the day they were to meet their Maker, the warden asked for their last requests.

    He asked the Tennessee fan: “You can have one final request; what will it be?” The UT fan replied, “I wanna hear Rocky Top one more time!” The Warden says “Alright, that’ll be fine.”

    The Warden then looks to the Georgia fan and says ” You too can have one final request; what will it be?” The UGA fan looked at the Warden and said: “Kill me first!!”

    Go Dawgs and Braves!

  18. Know why they serve Gatorade on the UGA sidelines?

    The trainer that knew the recipe for ice water graduated

  19. Got a big job interview tomorrow at a place that would reduce my drive to Turner Field by about 30%! Braves attendance will increase if I get the job, which should increase payroll, which should improve the team. So it’s in all of your best interests for me to get the job.

  20. PeteOrr,

    This is the first time I’ve wanted you near the Braves. Best of luck! You’ll do great!


    Great article on Fangraphs. You know, watching football on 9/11, I was a little angered by the continuous presence of ads by corporations about the tragedy in a clear attempt to twist public sympathy into profit for the company. Instead of a donation to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, or to the general fund for medical support of NY’s firefighters or police officers, or anything remotely helpful, these guys spent their funds hiring advertising agencies and buying airtime on networks. I’m pretty close to the widow and family of a man that was killed on 9/11; the fact that companies tried to pull this stunt has made her unbelievably angry. If you don’t care about the people whose lives were irreversibly changed (including the soldiers that will be fighting and dying for us tomorrow) by the events of 9/11, then fine. You’re not a good person, but you’re entitled to your opinion. But to somehow attempt to make a profit by using false sympathy to put on a show… these people are indeed horrible.

    Of course, you’ve got the other end of the spectrum, where the MLB doesn’t even operate under the false pretense of pretending to care for the events that occurred ten years ago. They’ll have their profits their way, and anyone that is even attempting to show an ounce of humanity can f*** off. Mets’ players weren’t selling a product, or trying to make profits, or attempting to appear noble. They were just attempting to show support of their fallen brothers and sisters. This really is pathetic, and there should be much more intense uproar from the public.

    Just pathetic.

  21. @31 – oops, sorry about that.

    desert – gotta agree, though it is hard to strike just the right note when you’re buying and creating mass communications.

    Simple, reverential acknowledgement would be my choice.

    And I’m not a Selig-basher by nature, but he listened to the wrong advisors this time.

  22. 35,

    It’s true that it’s hard. I would prefer if the businesses just silently donated whatever amount of money they could to the numerous charities that exist, instead of trying to show everyone how much they’ve given or how much they care.

    Onto a less volatile topic… I would prefer two leagues, each with 14 teams in them (cut the newly minted Miami Marlins and Oakland A’s). Each would have balanced schedules (each team in each league plays each one of the other 13 teams in it’s league in 4 3-game series, 2 away and 2 home, for a total of 156 games). Top three teams in each league advance to the playoffs. The 2 and 3 seeds each play a 5 game series for the right to face the 1 seed in a 7 game series. Winners play in a 7 game WS.

    Radical? Yes. Realistic? Absolutely not. Fair? I think so. I think baseball has really reached a saturation point in this country, and soon they’ll be facing a situation like the NBA lockout. One of the few methods to correct this would be to reduce the number of teams.


    Chicago Cubs
    Tampa Bay
    NY Mets
    San Francisco
    Los Angeles
    St. Louis


    NY Yankees
    Chicago White Sox
    Kansas City
    LA Angels
    San Diego

  23. 38,

    Some surprise… Utley, Pujols, and Teixeira? I was definitely happy to see the Utley and Teixeira, as I now have factual evidence to back my misguided and irrational hatred.

  24. @34 – Thanks! This is the first time I’ve ever felt really confident about an interview.

    @33 – Five years from now I’ll be special assistant to Frank Wren, if all goes according to plan…

  25. 38- Well, we forced the #4 guy into temporary retirement. That’s something, I guess.

    Desert, on Sunday, ESPN Classic ran the Braves/ Mets game played to reopen Shea Stadium. Other than that it was nice to hear Skip’s voice again, I was struck by the caps the Mets wore as gestures of solidarity with the NYPD and FDNY, largely arranged by John Franco. I guess the Mets were lucky that Bud Selig was preoccupied at the time.

  26. Matt Holliday injured himself taking swings in the on deck circle and will be out 4-5 games. (Tee hee hee!) Cards lose a major weapon heading into their Phillies series.

  27. Bama grad, Georgia grad & an Auburn grad are on death row about to be executed in the electric chair. They’re told that if they could somehow survive the experience, they’d be set free.

    The Bama man sits in the chair & the executioner asks, “Any last words?” The Bama guy says, “Yeah, Roll Tide!” The executioner pulls the lever, but the man survives so he’s set free.

    Georgia guy sits in the chair, and the executioner asks him for any last words. He says, “Yeah, go Dawgs!” The executioner pulls the lever, but the UGA guy survives, so he’s set free.

    The Auburn guy goes to the electric chair, and again the executioner asks, “Do you have any last words?” The Auburn guy says, “Yeah, your electric chair is unplugged.”

  28. 42,

    I was talking about this weekend’s debacle, where Selig didn’t allow the Mets to wear the hats, and is now angry that the public knows about is decision. He would’ve been shot then and there had he not allowed it during that first game after 9/11/01.

  29. @49 – Well he doesn’t pick high school games either, and I say this as a tech fan.

    Edit: Ha, or what smitty said. Apparently that was an obvious joke.

  30. @34,

    At the risk of seeming unsympathetic, a lot of the problem is that the entire 9/11 has become an enterprise in wrapping oneself in the flag. It has little to do with honoring the memory of the victims. Frankly, it seems to me the entire 9/11 promotion is simply telling the terrorists, yes, you did accomplish what you wanted. Really, what difference does it make if the Mets did or did not wear those hats? Do you really think that sends a message that we don’t care about what the first responders did? How much more of a spectacle could you make it than having a huge American flag (as they did at the NFL games)?

    I thought the whole thing, frankly, was a bit undignified. And it’s not for the victims–they aren’t coming back. It’s for the rest of us to make us feel better that we are actually thinking about 9/11 while still watching baseball and football games. If you really wanted to make it a day of commemoration, cancel all the sporting events.

  31. The notion that we are “telling” the terrorists anything ever is pretty absurd on it’s face, not that I disagree with you generally about the idea. But I feel we are at the edge of the allowable so that’s it for me.

  32. I agree with Marc that the indignation (real or manufactured) about 9/11 symbolism can be a bit much.

    FWIW, I tried not to get too involved in the 9/11 anniversary hooplah (and that included the Mets hat episode as much as the cable-TV disaster porn on repeat). After living through it once, I just figured everyone’s entitled to remember it in their own way. Some folks tend to overdo it & want to own it in some way IMO, others reflect quietly.

    I attended that Braves/Mets game where Piazza hit the HR off Karsay. While not at all happy that he hit that HR—if you’ll remember, we were kind of choking away the division at that point—it was quite a moment to be in the building.

    Just to see that many people cheering wildly after the numbness of the previous week was pretty jarring. For those few moments, the catharsis felt real.

    Still, my inner-Braves-fan couldn’t be held down, so I acutely remember thinking, “This better not be the start of some late-season Mets Magic…” Luckily, Brian Jordan (on consecutive weekends) helped take care of that.

  33. I was in NYC on business about six weeks after it happened. The shuttle bus I was on drove past the rubble. The smoke or dust or haze was still visible against the city lights.

    I’ll never forget the sadness, silence, and fury of that moment.

  34. I was on a plane to Malaysia, and the pilot just came on and said “Somethings happened, we’re too far away to turn around – when you get on the ground call home.” The next 8 hours of flight time were, uh, interesting to say the least. Two days later I went to go see Buena Vista Social Club in the Petronas Towers, the tallest building in the world, and the subject of daily bomb threats. I was like, screw it, if I am going down, this is as good a place as any. The outpouring of real empathy (there were practically no Americans there, this was strictly just people acting like humans for a change) was exceptionally humbling.

  35. @59 Good story
    As for Sep.11, I decided that any form of remembrance of that day would be fine with me, however it might be expressed.

  36. September 11 was a signal event, and everyone who lived through it will relate to it in their own way. I just got really, really peeved by the notion of MLB sending the Mets a “thou shalt not” memo, especially if they threatened fines or sanctions. You know what, Bud? Just let ’em wear the hats. They’re New Yorkers. A lot of New Yorkers died that day. They wore those hats in their first game after September 11. Just let ’em wear the hats.

    The last time I was in New York, I went down to Ground Zero, and I went to the museum preview storefront they have set up down there. It’s basically supposed to preview what the memorial museum will look like when it opens next year… 11 years after the attacks.

    I will not go into my feelings on the subject, but suffice to say that I don’t think it should have taken that long.

  37. Hope the reasons for the recent Braves/Brewers’ decline over the Cardinals is just to get LaRussa’s hopes up before denying him.

  38. He’ll need to do it again at Pearl before I am convinced, but he was drafted as a power potential kind of guy. Most folks had him in the #15 or so range preseason 9i.e. not much of a prospect).

  39. Mitch Williams catching some flack on twitter from Braves’ players concerning his comment about Chipper. I don’t know what the actual comment was but I do know that he said Chipper isn’t a 1st ballot HOF. If Chipper isn’t a 1st ballot HOF then who is?

  40. We have lineup!

    1. Bourn CF
    2. Jones 3B
    3. Freeman 1B
    4. Uggla 2B
    5. McCann C
    6. Diaz RF
    7. Prado LF
    8. Gonzalez SS
    9. Lowe P

    I am going to put my Braves optimist hat on and say that this lineup will rip Chris Capuano into tiny little pieces. Just please don’t ask me to tip it to any Mets.

  41. It’s akin to Mark Prior calling Julio Franco ‘frail’. I’m sure Chipper really cares.

    Loving that lineup.

    I still hate it when people call him ‘Ochocinco’.

    Waffles, with cinnamon-infused pure maple syrup, are absolutely delicious.

  42. Hey, let’s not sugarcoat it: according to his game score, Capuano had the best game of any starting pitcher in baseball when he last pitched against Atlanta.

    “Loving that lineup.”

    So is every left-handed pitcher.

  43. 78,

    You could start Ross instead of McCann. But if not, that’s the best I’m ever going to expect out of Fredi.

  44. Mitch Williams did say he had been hit the head by line drives a few times. That would explain a lot.

    Roy Halladay/Chris Capuano–to the Braves, is there any difference?

    I hate to say this but: Go Phillies!

  45. @79 McCann, for whatever it’s worth, is Atlanta’s best hitter against lefties. I have no problem with the lineup; it’s probably what I would do at this point, though I think Heyward has to learn to hit lefties soon. My problem is that even a Braves team going well is a serious underdog against a left-handed starting pitcher–even against a mediocre one.

  46. Would anyone be surprised if Caray, while announcing tonight’s game, says he is rooting for the Cardinals because of the NL East race?

  47. Roy Halladay/Chris Capuano–to the Braves, is there any difference?

    Actually, yes. Both starters have faced the Braves twice this year. Their lines are as follows:



    I’ll leave it to you to guess which is the Cy Young candidate and which is Mets dreck.

  48. DOB…

    Medlen to throw batting prac. Sat. & Sun., then Instr. League Tues or Wed as #Braves rush to prep him for possible playoff ‘pen role. 58 mins ago

  49. Braves Live just made me so much more stupid. Ron Gant told us that Prado has been the Braves’ most consistent hitter this year along with Mccann, then his partner who I don’t recognize said in a very excited voice that the Braves are 8-4 in games started by Lowe at Turner Field, because he’s JUST. THAT. GOOD. Maybe he’s a believer in pitcher fWAR?

  50. Ron Gant told us that Prado has been the Braves’ most consistent hitter this year along with Mccann,

    Technically he’s correct. Prado has been extremely consistent – too bad it’s consistently mediocre.

  51. The Braves organization doesn’t know what intelligence looks like. Maybe Wren wants to feel like he’s always the smartest guy in meetings, so he only hires gumps like Gant and Fredi.

  52. Ron Gant told us that Prado has been the Braves’ most consistent hitter this year

    Well, Prado has been consistently bad this year.

  53. There was all this chatter in the pregame show about how Lowe was a solid veteran that was absolutely going to be a big part of the Braves postseason plans.


  54. It’s our postseason #2 starter, folks! He sure is number 2.

    Lowe’s 2nd half ERA is creeping towards 6.

    But trust us: there is absolutely a team that will trade for the privilege of paying Lowe $15,000,000 in 2012. Yep, you betcha.

  55. Well, teams have been known to do desperate things when they have money and holes in the rotation. Probably several million dollars less desperate than Lowe’s salary, but desperate.

  56. My eyes are telling me that Lowe stinks; thank god there are statistics that prove he’s actually very good.

  57. What’s more annoying is that Fredi will wait for this to get out of hand before yanking him even with the expanded roster.

  58. When the pitching coach comes out after you’ve gotten ONE OUT in the whole entire ballgame, you know you suck.

    Lowe is our 6th best starter, and that’s only because Hanson and JJ are hurt. At this point, I think the best case scenario (beyond actually pitching well — let’s keep things realistic) is he gives up 10 runs tonight, and 10 runs in each of his last 2 starts, and the Braves maybe, somehow just maybe, realize he sucks and don’t pitch him in the playoffs.

  59. Good idea, Mac. I don’t blame you for not watching this sorry shit on a Friday night.

    Sorry, I’m pissed off. I can’t believe that we’re going to depend on this scrub in the postseason.

  60. Lead-off triples are more exciting when the starting pitcher doesn’t totally crap the bed before the team’s hitters see a single pitch.

  61. I was expecting a score of 6+ from reading the comments. Not too far off I guess.

    On a side note I’ve managed to not watch a Braves game for like two weeks. I feel great.

  62. EDIT to my post @102 — I forgot about the Lisp, who I’m pretty sure could start a game if he had to and toss 5 non-terrible innings. And let’s not forget Todd Redmond, and anybody else not on the 40-man that are probably better than Lowe even though they’ve never pitched in the majors.

    Lowe is so far down our list of starting pitchers that it’s ridiculous. But I guess “experience” + high salary = playoff starter. (Unless you’re the 2010 Giants, then you can leave Zito off your playoff roster and go on to win the WS.)

  63. that body language was ‘i can’t get out of here fast enough’ from lowe. unfortunately, he was right

  64. Looking like a team that wants and deserves to be in the playoffs.

    Feels like they’re just trying to run the clock down on the season to (maybe) get in.

  65. Teheran doesn’t look especially capable of missing bats. Hopefully he’s just worn out and won’t seem so mediocre next year.

  66. Really Chip, bad luck is to blame for being down 8 to Mets?

    That one Braves’ blog is already in the midst of their new article about the unlucky Lowe and the statistics that prove he’s good.

  67. “let’s look at WAR and accept the fact that Lowe has been the second best starter in Atlanta this season.”

    Let’s also accept the fact that Kevin Orris is a f***ing idiot.

  68. First and third, no outs, and no runs. Because choking in the clutch should be something you practice, so that you have it mastered when you need it.

  69. 8- I just noticed this post, looking back at the thread. Should be a fun game. There won’t be any meows. Just lots of dogs.

    And thank you, Carlos Ruiz!

  70. Due to blackout restrictions I’m watching gameday for the first time this year. My brother noticed a giant Dharma Initiative billboard in right field in the gameday depiction of Turner Field. Can anyone explain this to me?

  71. Cardinals retake the lead in Philly, on a single by Adron Chambers (first MLB hit).

    And another run on a double by Tyler Greene.

  72. The Braves offense doesn’t show up = 2 runs.
    Start by Derek Lowe = 11 runs.
    Being forced to root for the Phillies = Pathetic.

    [/not priceless]

  73. @133

    Use the off-day and skip Lowe’s turn in the rotation. Minor and Delgado are better options as third and fourth starters than Lowe.

  74. Giants beat up on the Rockies, 9-1. Don’t look now, but the Giants are only five behind us.

    John, you are a fluke of the universe. You have no right to be here. Whether you can hear it or not, the universe is laughing behind your back. Feel better?

  75. 139- Dammit, John! There are some things I just can’t bring myself to do, and defending Fredlot is one of them. You’re going to have to deal with your depression on your own. To quote a famous movie, my advice is to start drinking heavily.

  76. And now, Hudson & Beachy to the rescue…

    From Tom Verducci’s column regarding the 2012 schedule:

    Interleague play continues to create huge inequities. Here’s one example regarding the two top teams in the NL East. The Phillies (15 games) and Braves (18) don’t even play the same number of games against AL teams. The Braves get road games against the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays; the Phillies play none of those teams on the road (they get the Orioles, which is like a home game, Blue Jays and Twins on the road). They don’t play the Yankees at all.

  77. Since this season is going down the toilet, we should concentrate on the offseason and the main task, which is getting rid of Lowe at all costs. I think the Braves should offer to pay 10 million of the 15 and trade him to a team that needs an innings eater, like Washington or Boston. If that doesn’t work give him the Kawakami treatment.

  78. Surely Derek Lowe has thrown his last pitch for the Braves.

    @ 143 – that’s ridiculous! Is that schedule final?

    Speaking of ridiculous – Boise State’s offense is ridiculously good.

    Their defense can be had, however, if you don’t get too far behind. Kinda like the Colts with Manning.

    Which makes me think that if ever their coach is going to leave, this will be the year.

  79. Surely Derek Lowe has thrown his last pitch for the Braves.

    See my postgame quote referenced in #141. Based on what’s being said publicly, there’s still plenty of confidence in Derek Lowe! A confidence based merely in having made all his appointed starts, not on the results of those starts, apparently.

    I really don’t know what there is to do at this stage, though. Things get easier re: Lowe if Hanson comes back in the final week and throws lights out. Same with Jurrjens. You take either of those guys into the postseason with Huddy and Beachy, it becomes easier to say, “You know, maybe we will hand a postseason start over to Minor.”

    But all the creative options, like pushing Lowe to the bullpen and seeing if the Lisp can settle into a starters role, there doesn’t seem to be the time left to do that. If we’d have cut bait on Lowe after that All-Star break, perhaps we could have also seen if Delgado or Teheran could match stuff with confidence enough that we’d trust them with postseason starts.

    But the way Lowe has been managed this year, all you have to fall back on is what “the Book” says. And “the Book” says you have to have confidence in your veteran Lowe because you’ve played too long to not have confidence in him. Which is lame, of course, but it’s all we’ve got.

  80. Sabermetrics-boosters: “who are you going to believe about Lowe’s pitching performances: these statistics you’ve never heard of or your lying eyes?”

  81. Derek Lowe has been awful. Hanson and JJ have been injured. Uggla had an anemic first half and our 2 best offensive players of 2010 have been horrible, yet we lead the Wild Card.

    Trying to find a bright spot here.

  82. @147 – To be fair, Fangraphs’ version of WAR and FIP are the only things that like Lowe compared to the rest of the staff. Baseball Reference is much less sympathetic towards him.

  83. This season has reached the stage of a relationship in which things are obviously falling apart and you’re ready to break up, but her birthday is coming up in three weeks and you at least want to hold out for that because maybe you’ll have a party and get her something nice, and then she’ll be happy again. But in all likelihood she’ll just get drunk and hook up with some jackass and end things in spectacular fashion. Life experience says that the Braves really ought to end the season right now, delete Bud Selig’s number from their phone, and stop going to the same bars.

  84. 151- And this is the second straight season to end this way. Clearly, we need to be finding different seasons to have relationships with. Or we’re just lousy boyfriends.

  85. Collapsing would fit this team well. All season they’ve gotten runners in scoring position and failed. Might as get into scoring position (10+ game lead over Cardinals in wild card, 7.5 game lead with about twenty to play) and fail to score (make the playoffs) one last time.

  86. The main problem for the Braves is the starting pitching.

    If they were losing but still getting good starts, that’d be one thing. They were a very, very good team for 3-4 months this season based on great pitching, bad offense, and mediocre defense, and if they could still boast that resume they’d have a shot in the playoffs–anything can happen, right? But because the problem right now is the starting pitching, the team’s losing ways seem more structural, more profound, than any bad stretch seemed earlier in the season.

    This is why losing a healthy Hanson and Jurrjens was so devastating. We could handle the bad hitting so long as the pitching was there. Now that it’s gone–I don’t consider a top 3 of Hudson, Beachy, and Minor good enough for the postseason–the team is in serious trouble.

  87. No stat that says Derek Lowe was a good pitcher this year is one that I have any confidence in. I don’t think that’s an uncommon position among “stat people”, either.

  88. I like FIP a lot, and maybe Lowe has gotten a bit unlucky with men in base, but I wouldn’t trust him at all right now. Fredi’s quick hook has saved Lowe a number of times this year. So what you have, at best, is an average starter who can’t finish the 6th. If that’s your second best starter, then you suck.

    Another thing: last night he was horrible by any metric, FIP especially.

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