Marlins 4, Braves 0

Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins – Box Score – September 21, 2011 – ESPN.

Maybe I should have gone with “Low” for the game thread. Or “Everybody Hurts”.

Not that Derek Lowe was singularly to blame for the latest in this series of debacles. He didn’t pitch well, mind you, but he allowed three runs in six and a third. That’s a putative “quality start”. Run in the second, solo homer in the fifth, run in the sixth, relieved by Scott Linebrink — because why not — in the seventh.

There was just no offense. The Braves were held to three baserunners in the first seven innings by — why not — Javier Vazquez. It’s a good thing that the Marlins finally dumped Wes Smelms or he probably would have hit two three-run homers yesterday. Martin Prado had a single, Jason Heyward had a double (which should have scored Brian McCann, who had walked, but didn’t) and that’s it. They got two runners on in the ninth which should have gotten the tying run to the plate, but Anthony Varvaro gave up a solo homer in the eighth. And nobody would have scored anyway. And any Braves playoff tickets are rapidly accruing collector’s item status.

211 thoughts on “Marlins 4, Braves 0”

  1. Do Braves fans get any bonus points for Washington beating up on Philly this week? No? Well, durn.

    Here’s a good one out of the peripheral links: “Hinske attempts to rally troops with Mohawk.” how’s about “Hinske attempts to rally troops by getting on base”?

  2. Ha.

    Ha. Ha. Ha.


    So, 1 game ahead after the Cards win tomorrow. At this point, I’m changing my position: it’s not always better to be ahead. I would swap places with the Cards in a heartbeat, since they have literally forgotten how to lose.

  3. Lead should be down to 1 by the time the next game starts. Of course, considering that the Braves will get swept in the divisional series anyway, it doesn’t much matter.

  4. Fitting. Having the Cards win by two runs wouldn’t have been nearly painful enough. No, the margin had to be brought down to one by a random home run (from an ex-Brave, no less!)

    And 64.2% (-16.8% on the night).

  5. One game lead in the loss column. And LaRussa with his hateable face is the manager of the team blowing by the Braves.

  6. It will be interesting to see if Frank reacts to this during the offseason or simply takes the position that it was injuries.

  7. This is why you can’t do the CAC thing and go “98% chance. No way we don’t make it you nincompoops.”

    That’s just not how it works.

  8. It will be interesting to see if Frank reacts to this during the offseason or simply takes the position that it was injuries.

    Maybe he will do his job and put together a major league caliber offense. I won’t hold my breath.

  9. 24: I clicked on your link and – no lie, no exaggeration – my browser locked up my whole computer. I waited and waited for it to reset before I had to give up and reboot, but all the while Phil’s “Against All Odds” was staring back at me. Also, the top rated comment (sic):

    “we turn to music to express feelings that are hard to express.Then it is usally to late.”

    Oh, marekitten59, I could not have put it better myself.

  10. I just looked at the numbers and we’ve gotten Reggie Sanders 2000 numbers out of Jason Heyward this year.

    We need a Matt Kemp-like figure in the middle of our batting order to stir the drink. Otherwise, this combination of guys in the year 2011 just aren’t as good as the rest of the league’s playoff teams. We certainly don’t have the kind of manager who can help them rise above their shortcomings.

  11. 28- It will be at least as important not to have Lance Parrish around preaching random aggression to stunt the development of Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman, while damaging the entire lineup’s productivity.

  12. Jeremy, serious question, what positions do we upgrade? I could see SS as a possibility, but where else? Seems like the roster is basically already set for next year.

  13. DOB, just now on Twitter.

    “Whaddya think, #Braves fans, might be time to fly “6” up to D.C. to fire up the squad?”

    I guess DOB thinks Frediot can’t get the job done.

  14. 33,

    Get a real corner bat for LF and put Prado back in a super utility role where he belongs. Either that, or trade Prado for a LF and go find a competent caddy for Chipper.

  15. I can’t believe noone has brought up that “Dad gummit, we just gotta tip our cap to Javy Vazquez”. Also, “it’s tough to score runs with two hits”. Indeed.

  16. #38 – Well I guess Heyward, Prado, Lowe should all resign too for just plain sucking all year long. Yeah I get it. Manager gets undeserved credit and undeserved blame. The team is outperforming its Pythagorean W/L. Isn’t that supposed to be good?

    Even if we miraculously don’t choke big time, I am not confident that we can even compete in the post season as totally effed up as the team is right now.

    I am confused about Martin Prado right now. Is he just a super sub or can he be a regular? Is this season the outlier year or were the two previous good seasons the outliers? I wouldn’t blame the Braves for looking for a real left fielder in the off season.

  17. 34- There’s some good news; a semi-official acknowledgment that Fredlot just isn’t working out. I’m still pessimistic that it’ll come to anything, but at least the front office is aware of the problem.

  18. I would bring in a real LF. Also, Pastornicky needs more time in the minors, in all likelihood, so that’s a position that can be upgraded.

    The problem is that with the arb raises for EOF, Prado, Jurrjens, and Bourn, the payroll will be nearly what it was this year. They’re going to need to dump Lowe if they want to add payroll.

  19. Fredi quote from the AJC:

    “You still think you’re team will be better for these struggles, as you’ve said?

    “When we survive it, yes. You come out of these tough, and I think you become a better club when you get through it, win ballgames and come out of the other end.”

    If that’s the case, the Braves should be really good next Spring after they lose the rest of their games.

    Can anyone in their their right mind take this seriously? I guess the main criteria for being a manager-at least of the Atlanta Braves–is to be able to spout bullshit with a straight face.

    “They’re going to need to dump Lowe if they want to add payroll.”

    To paraphrase Jim Mora: “add payroll? You’re talking about adding payroll?” Don’t talk to me about adding payroll.”

    Really, I have been pretty relaxed about the collapse because I could see several weeks ago that this was not, without a lot of things going right, a championship team. And, as they keep losing, backing into the playoffs becomes less and less appealing.

  20. @44 Meaning: add new players. Frankly, I’m not really sure I understand the Mora reference here, as I’m talking about the offseason.

    Oh, and the problem with dumping Lowe’s salary is this: every new start makes it more difficult for the Braves to dump him without paying a team to take him. It can be done, but the more he looks like this, the more difficult it will be.

  21. Depressing stat of the day –

    Mets have won only 2 of their last 11 games. Those 2 wins of course came in Atl.

  22. @3 Thanks for the “Super Troopers” nod. It hit the spot.

    No panic here. Thought we’d lose the Lowe start.
    The Braves have a simple if difficult task. It’s the same one they always have, but Fredi, if he’s any kind of manager, should reinforce it before the game tomorrow:

    Win today’s game.

    That’s it. Too late for last game. If a game is scheduled tomorrow, we’ll try to win that one. Don’t really care what other games are scheduled anywhere else.

    Because if you win today’s game, you get to play another game, if one’s scheduled. You’ve earned it. That’s what you want to do; that’s what you’re paid for.

    And if you win today’s game, and they tell you there’s no more games scheduled this season, you’ll be World Champions.

  23. It’s starting to sink in just how much being a fan of the team that completes this collapse is going to suck.

  24. @44,

    Adam, it was meant to be a spoof on Liberty Media not wanting to spend money. It was not meant to be critical of anything you said. But I don’t see how they are going to dump Lowe’s salary. Who would take him?

  25. Good thing is, the national media is so focused on the collapse of the Red Sox that I don’t get a constant reminder of how depressing this is every time I watch ESPN. Doesn’t change the depressing part, but does mean I don’t have to hear about it too often.

    Here’s a poll idea – at what point will the Braves be eliminated from playoff contention officially? I say they are done after the first game of the Phillies series. If my math is right, that means St. Louis wins 5 in a row, and we drop 4, and we would be 3 out with 2 to play. Sounds about right…

  26. I need some advice: would it help or hurt if I went ahead and purchased divisional round playoff tickets? On the one hand, I’d be showing faith in the team which could be rewarded. On the other, my show of confidence could be construed as hubris by the baseball gods who might decide to punish me by allowing the collapse to continue. There’s no refund if they miss, right?

  27. @48: Good post, Kevin.

    What do we do now?
    Do we crap our effing pants?
    Or man up and win?

    (family version)

  28. Are postseason game times set yet? I think I’ve decided to tempt fate and order tickets to game 3. The Braves website says nothing about game times.

  29. @52 – you’ll get your money back. Happened to me before.
    Go ahead – buy them, show faith…
    @55 – Good on you, PeteOrr!

  30. @49

    I stopped being a fan about 2 weeks ago. It’s liberating. It’s a good thing I seem to have some sort of internal apathy switch that I can flip on and off whenever I want.

  31. For some positive news, BA rated Brandon Drury as the #2 prospect from the Appy League right behing Sano. JR Graham came in at #8 and Nick Ahmed at #18.

  32. #55
    You’d get a refund. It’s usually done by simply crediting your credit card.

    The dates for NLDS Games 3/4 are set (Oct 4/5) but not the times, which MLB doesn’t announce until right before the playoffs begin. Also, depending on how long the other series go, the times for any Games 4 (in ATL) and/or 5 (away) can change mid-series.

    BTW, always check the MLB site for game times/dates.

    I bought NLDS tickets a couple weeks ago, cashed in miles for Delta flights, too. Lucky for me, the Dawgs are in town that weekend and, if the disaster happens, I’ll at least have an SEC game to see.

    BTW, it’s raining in St. Louis right now. Obviously, they’ll do everything they can to get that game in today.

  33. Needless to say, that half-game is huge. A two-game lead with six to play is a long, long way from a one-game lead with six to play. In fact, at least for the psyche of the team, it would almost certainly be better that that game get rained out and they tack it to the end of the season than that the Cardinals win and pull within a game.

    EDIT: Apparently the rain is supposed to stop by mid-to-late afternoon in St. Louis.

    Another reason that a two-game lead would be huge is that the Cardinals’ next opponent is the Cubs. I may be completely talking out of my ass here, but the Cubs hate the Cardinals and will do everything they can to ruin their season. This is unlike the Mets, who don’t give a crap, and really would probably prefer to see the Cardinals in than us (though I do think they’re giving an effort, at least in the loosest sense of the word.) I think the Cubs will take at least one game from the Cards this weekend.

  34. The manager is not going to resign because his team lost two of its top three starters to injury down the stretch, kids.

  35. I can’t bear to watch or listen anymore. I tuned in the other night and one minute ONE MINUTE later Lowe tosses a double and one run scores. I turned the set back off. I think I’ll just let baseball rest until the playoffs and watch teams I don’t care about — less stress.

  36. @62

    With a ten game lead with 28 to play, it shouldn’t matter. He missuse of the pen has been terrible. He makes the same mistakes that he did with the Marlins. He hasn’t shown that he knows how to manage.

  37. I don’t think it was the pitching that has done the Braves in anyway. It’s the offense. The pitching has, except for Lowe, been passable if the offense had scored more runs, which would also have put less pressure on the bullpen. Hanson and Jurrjens at full strength would obviously have helped, but it’s not as if they were pitching complete games anyway. Eventually, the reliance on the bullpen to bail the offense out (whether or not Fredi overused them)was going to catch up. Even in games where they have scored a few runs, they should have scored more. It’s not as if there is a target that says, if you score five runs, you can stop.

    To me, the problem is that McCann stopped hitting, the outfield generally (especially Heyward)was rancid offensively, Uggla did nothing for half a season, and AAG was, for the most part, an out machine.

    I don’t know how the hell they fix this, but, unless they sign Halladay and Lee (or resuurect Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz in their primes), I don’t see how they can progress without doing something. Obviously, having Heyward play more like he did last year would be a big step.

    Also, I think the FO should watch Moneyball not just for how to save money by not going after free agents, but on how getting on base really is important.

  38. There’s no chance of game 3 being a 1 or 1:30 game, is there? It would be like 4:30 at the earliest right?

  39. #67
    Sure, there’s a great chance at a 1 pm game on Oct 4, especially if it’s Braves/D-Backs, an Eastern time zone DS matchup guaranteed to score the lowest TV ratings.

    Keep in mind that if both ALDS series just go 4 games, Oct 4 could have all 4 series going. Yanks, Phils & Red Sox would get the TV love.

  40. If the problem was the pitching, then the collapse was due to losing Jurrjens and Hanson in the second half. That’s not managerial incompetence. Pitchers get hurt. (The pen didn’t notably fail down the stretch, so the argument that early season overuse ruined the season is a non-starter.)

    If the problem was offensive, then the collapse is due to Jason Heyward’s Rey Ordonez impersonation and Alex Gonzalez hitting like, well, I’m going with Rey Ordonez again. Those two things, combined with McCann’s collapse in the second half are the drivers of the offensive slump. Of those three things, Fredi Gonzalez played no part in acquiring Alex Gonzalez, didn’t have a better option while Julio Lugo was the backup SS, did everything a manager could do in the first half to save his stud catcher down the stretch run (remember all of those Ross starts?) and benched Heyward to play a hotter player during the depths of his funk. None of that seemed to fix the issues, but again, that’s not the manager’s fault.

  41. Choke. Clutch.

    Not auto parts, but real, tangible (though difficult to define) attributes that are on display now in cities such as Atlanta, Boston, and St. Louis.

    Sam, the only cure is whores. Take care of that, won’t you?

  42. @69

    I would like to point out to you games played on September 9th, September 18th and 19th. All games the bullpen blew. Had we won those games our nuber would be two and we would have a 4.5 game lead.

  43. Id say pitching Kimbrel in a game where we were down 7 is a managers decision and a very poor one. How many times did we see Venters pitching late while the team was losing? Blame can be shared all around, Fredi deserves his fair share.

  44. Prado has been the rancid outfield hitter this year, not Heyward. Fredi benched the wrong outfielder back in August.

  45. Prado has been very bad, especially in the second half. He wasn’t notably worse than Heyward.

  46. Would they really do a D-backs/Braves game at 1:00 over here? Isn’t that 11 in the morning over there? I just don’t want to have to miss my Accounting class.

  47. LOL at the silly Kimbrel thing that has lasted a freaking month. He had not pitched in a week and specifically went to Fredi and asked him to put him in the game regardless of the score because he thought he was getting rusty. If you would not have put Kimbrel in the game in that situation, it is you who have the problem, not Fredi.

    Also, Fredi has obviously been trying to give Venters and Kimbrel rest the second half of the season. He closed a game the other night with Martinez and Varvaro. The fact remains that the bullpen is the best part of this team, and many nights, the options were use the bullpen or lose. And you can’t expect him to do stuff (like not using the closer in a two or three run lead) that no other manager in baseball is doing.

    Finally, I don’t think it’s at all clear that the blown games recently are due to fatigue. Kimbrel’s velocity has not fallen off at all, and his movement is just as good. Venters’ movement is just as good, as well. The problem is he never throws strikes, and hitters are finally catching on that the crazy sinking pitch they are looking at is not gonna be a strike.

    And anyway, no bullpen can continue on the streak ours was on for awhile. Sometimes teams blow three games in two weeks. This was a bad time for it, but it’s not a giant flashing warning sign.

    The number of games Fredi Gonzalez is largely responsible for losing this year can be counted on one hand, and you’d probably have some fingers left. And it’s offset by the number of games he’s largely responsible for winning. Like with any manager, I might add.

  48. Mike,
    MLB could do anything it wants. It just wants the most eyeballs nationwide.

    Still, I’m guessing you can wait until the times are set until you commit to buying tickets. School comes first, right?

    BTW, supposedly the Mets/Cards game’ll begin at 4:05.

    Edit: The main reason we’re in this freefall is our anemic offense. That oughta be obvious by now.

  49. The Mets almost traded Capuano to Boston today, just so that the Sawx could give him a start down the stretch.

    The teams just couldn’t agree on the PTBNL, so Capuano took his regular start today vs St. Louis.

  50. I still blame this on the hurricane. The Braves pretty openly didn’t show up to play that day, and ever since they have tanked. The baseball gods have turned their backs on the Braves.

  51. #88 are you still running? If not, I suggest loading up the ipod with phil and get out there.

  52. Do the Cardinals take a 2-0 lead in the first inning of every game they play now?

    Where was this version of Capuano when we played them?

    He was there. He was just pitching against the Braves.

  53. Pretty much, the same way the Braves fall behind in the first inning. (Actually, the Cards were down 4-0 on Tuesday before coming back.)

  54. Westbrook walks in a run. 2-1 Cards. (Of course, Angel Pagan promptly swings at the first pitch and grounds out to end the inning.)

  55. I simply cannot follow this shit anymore. It’s bad enough when the Braves are playing, but I can’t sit here and root for this ridiculous bullshit team that could not care less as if they’re actually going to do something. I’ll look up the score tonight.

  56. It’s fitting, though, that the Cardinals are taking care of business against pitchers and teams who have beaten the Braves down the stretch.

    I too have checked out emotionally–it’s going to happen, folks. The Braves are in a lot of trouble. But I can’t help but watch as if I’m witnessing a car accident in slow motion.

  57. Team OBP:

    2011: .311 NL Rank:11
    2010: .339 NL Rank:1

    Of players with 100+ PAs this year only Nate McLouth and Brooks Conrad have a better OBP in 2011 than they had in 2010. Only McLouth, Conrad and David Ross posted better a OBP than their career OBP.

    The last time the team’s OBP was this bad? 1990. That team also put up a .311 OBP and was ranked 12th in the NL. They won 65 games.

    This can’t be all Larry Parish’s fault right? Surely hitting coaches can’t influence hitters by 28 points of OBP. None of the teams from 2010-1991 were really even close to being this bad. Alex Gonzalez was the only player I expected to be horrible at getting on base preseason. Every starter has under performed wildly. What the hell is going on?

  58. Yeah, I’ve emotionally stopped caring. This is absolutely going to happen. Just wish it was the Giants instead of the Cardinals.

    The Cardinals won’t go far in the playoffs anyway. But then, neither would the Braves.

  59. Prado has been very bad, especially in the second half. He wasn’t notably worse than Heyward.

    Depends on who’s noting. 2011 stats:

    Martin Prado: .302 wOBA, 89 wRC+ (643 OPS after AS Break)
    Jason Heyward: .318 wOBA, 100 wRC+ (710 OPS after AS Break)

    Heyward has been a league average hitter. Prado has been a below average hitter. True, both have underperformed, but Heyward has been a better second half hitter and better hitter overall.

  60. Been watching way too much baseball & seen way too many things to disengage now.

    If it happens, it happens. But giving up on a one-game lead with 6 to go just doesn’t work for me.

  61. Me neither. We’re in this one to the end, ugly as it will be.

    103- Maybe it’s not all Parrish’s fault (leaguewide offense is down), but I’m sure some of it is, and his head needs to roll. Fredlot can call it another of his beloved sacrifices.

  62. This can’t be all Larry Parish’s fault right? Surely hitting coaches can’t influence hitters by 28 points of OBP.

    NL OBP 2010 (all teams) – 324
    NL OBP 2011 (all teams) – 319

    So some of it is a drop in offense in general in 2011. Notably, the Braves are only 8 points below league average.

    In 2010 they were 15 points above average. In 2009 they were 8 points above average; In 2008 14 point above.

    As of now, I’d call it fluke luck – notably a lot of their OBP (Heyward, Prado, The Headcase Shortstop Who Shall Not Be Named) has either crashed or is playing in Canada, so there’s probably something functional going on there. But I doubt it’s a change in hitting philosophy from the organization. The Braves don’t change just because new coaches come in. Coaches come in to teach “the Braves way.”

  63. Wonder at what point the Braves players started feeling all the pressure? After being swept in St Louis, losing two to the Mets, losing two to the Marlins? Will they get more relaxed after the lead is completely gone tomorrow night?

  64. We don’t control our own fate. That’s a stupid saying. Nobody controls fate. Fate just happens

  65. You don’t win games with Salas!
    You don’t win games with Salas!
    You don’t win games with Salas!

    IBB to Pagan to get to David Wright? Did Fredlot fly to St. Louis today?

  66. I’m following on Gameday at work and just saw “In Play, run(s)”. I got really damn excited about what just happened. And then I realized that I just got really excited about the Mets scoring runs. What the hell has this season come to?

  67. Mets radio announcer Howie Rose: “And you would think the entire Atlanta Braves organization is throwing a party right now!”

    I am loving the Mets Magic.

    Now about Bobby Parnell…

  68. Quick work. Ballgame!

    And what kind of gutpunch was that for the St. Louis Cardinals?

    Never thought I’d ever have to say it, but… thank you, New York Mets. That was amazin’.

  69. Just woke up with the power out and extreme enthusiasm for the Mets on braves journal. Did the world end while I slept? Willie Harris is a great man.

  70. The funny thing is, I bet some of the Met fans are unhappy with the win because they would rather keep the Braves out.

  71. Holy carpal tunnel syndrome! I left and there was no hope and I come back home to Willie Harris shitting on the Cards’ porch! God love ‘im!

  72. So I’m just now recovering from looking at the score from the Mets-Cards game about 10 minutes ago. I spent about five minutes leaning back in my chair laughing hysterically. Last I knew, the Cards were leading 6-2 in the bottom of the eighth. Needless to say, this is the most shocked I’ve been by a result that I cursorily looked up thinking I knew the answer already in a very long time.

    Such a huge result, obviously. Now let’s go to Washington and regain control over this damn thing!

  73. I spent the day traveling through the panhandle of Florida with my dad as we research our family history. I’ve missed all the excitement that took place with the Cards game.

    I’m pleased we now have a further 1/2 game lead on them. I’m disappointed in the extreme it took the Mets to do it. I’m disgusted that you people were rooting them on. I now want to eat a bag of flaming thumbtacks that I’ve said something in agreement with Sam.

    That said, it’s time for some nightmares. Goodnight everybody!

  74. Scott Proctor pitched an hilarious inning for the Yanks tonight. He’s what some people call a bad pitcher.

  75. From the AP recap:

    Ahead 6-2, the Cardinals walked three batters in helping the Mets take the lead. Willie Harris drew a walk to begin the inning and capped it with a tiebreaking, two-run single with two outs.

    Harris, who played for the Braves in 2007, said Atlanta coach Terry Pendleton texted him, “Way to go.”

  76. Strasburg is on a pretty severe pitch count. He had at least one start where they pulled him before the 5th. Hopefully we’re smart enough to make him work.

    Philly won’t push their starters either, undoubtedly. Also, I read Worley was probably going to pitch out of the bullpen this week in preparation for the playoffs, so let’s see who we see Monday.

  77. How silly is it that folks act like rooting for the Mets (which helps our beloved team hang on and make it into the playoffs) is such a incredulous, treasonous act??

    I hate the Mets. But you folks that say it is so wacked out crazy to root for the Mets when it comes down to 8 games left and a now 2-game WC lead for the Braves: you need to get your priorities reset a bit.

    Bad taste in your mouth or not…whatever it takes to get the Braves across the finish line first (in the WC standings, at least).

  78. I sure as hell hate the Mets. I wonder, though, if I actually hate them any more than I hate Tony LaRussa. I can’t definitively say yes.

  79. Love it. i don’t see it as rooting for the Mets as a team. It’s like you’re just cheering against whomever is trying to catch the Braves. I’m cheering for St. Louis to lose. I’m not happy about the Mets winning as a team, but i’m glad their current players put together that 9th inning rally. It’s not like i hate Willie Harris; he used to be a brave!

    now everyone can get behind rooting for the cubs, right? i mean come on, they’re lovable losers. and they’re trying to woo pujols, which the cards fans hate.

  80. 2 games with 6 to go is not bad at all. what a huge game, to knock it from potentially 1 to 2 in one half-inning.

    If they win all six, there’s no way i count on this braves team to pull off that kind of week. the cards will win. But we’ve got good odds. Even if they go 5-6, we’d only have to win 4 to avoid a “163rd game”. I see the Phillies resting their guys. They have been losing a lot lately, and pulling moves like putting rookie relievers in late tie games, etc.

  81. It was nice to get up this morning and know that because the Braves had not played the night before, I would not have something to get mad about. Then I saw what the Cardinals did….Maybe we will hold on after all and a great start to the day….

  82. @182:

    About a year ago, a friend and ex-co-worker (and a die-hard Mets fan) randomly said to me, “We don’t deserve Gary and Howie.” I replied, “But you do deserve Chip Caray.” He didn’t speak to me again for a month.

  83. BTW – at 5:31 AM EDT, and having been up since 2 o’clock-ish….

    Insomnia sucks.

    (Much like Derek Lowe did in August.)

  84. Yesterday, I experienced one of the great joys of fandom, the random phone call with unexpected great news.

    Little background, as most of you I was down in the dumps over what has transpired in the last week or so. I was at Sam’s club getting things for the office, and muttering to myself (actually full blown audible conversation) about the braves mess. Anyway, I was all mad and stuff heading home after working overtime and all, and my blackberry blows up. My fellow braves fan at work calls me, and usually it is never good when he calls. Anyway I answer and he blurts out METS SCORE 6 IN THE NINTH TOBEAT THE CARDINALS. I let out a primal roar and the rest of my day turned much nicer. The flowers smelt better, the rain was a little crisper. Just a good, good day.

    That friends is how sports ropes you back in time after time.

  85. 165—Associating with a bunch of Mets fans is waaaaaaay worse than cheering for the Mets to win and help the Braves.

  86. 189- My prediction for the game: Doubleheader tomorrow. 90 percent chance of rain with thunderstorms tonight, according to TWC.

  87. “Why pitch Strassburg on a sloppy field. Tickets are already sold.”

    Because one of those is my ticket. He’s going to pitch in one of the games, no matter what.

  88. What I hope for is the Braves to score 6 runs early and a huge rain delay. Then we send in the pen and knock it out. That way we can throw Hudson again on three day rest an push Lowe back. We can clinch and let Lowe throw a game that doesn’t count.

  89. They’re gonna do everything they can to get the game in tonight–especially since tomorrow is looking ugly too. But it sure would suck if the Braves lost any rain-shortened games this week.

  90. Gotta love the Yanks…

    “I actually had dinner with the agent to pretend that we were actually involved and drive the price up,” said Cashman. “The outfield wasn’t an area of need, but everybody kept writing Crawford, Crawford, Crawford, Crawford. And I was like, ‘I feel like we’ve got Carl Crawford in Brett Gardner, except he costs more than $100 million less, with less experience.'”

  91. Guessed I missed this also…

    7:52pm: Two sources familiar with Nunez’s immigration status say the righty has been playing under an assumed name, reports Steven Wine of the Associated Press.

    The Marlins have been aware of this for months, according to Wine’s report. One of the sources says Nunez’s real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo, and he’s actually 29 years old, not 28.

  92. I hate the spector of a rain shorten game, especially since the braves don’t seem to get in gear until the 5th inning anyway. However, if the braves score early, a couple of rain shortened wins would be ideal.

  93. Is that something you want to say, if you’re Cashman? Wouldn’t agents of players being pursued by both the Yankees and one or more of their rivals now be doubtful of the Yankees’ sincerity?

  94. Is that something you want to say, if you’re Cashman? Wouldn’t agents of players being pursued by both the Yankees and one or more of their rivals now be doubtful of the Yankees’ sincerity?

    I suspect the conversation with the agent went something like, “We’re not interested, but if you want to have an expensive dinner in the City and drive up Boston’s bid a little more, drop by.”

  95. FWIW, Cashman has been on the other end plenty of times. But I agree that there’s really no good reason for him to cluck about it.

    My own take: Now that George is dead & Torre’s gone, Cashman has asserted himself publicly a whole lot more & it’s sort of become Revenge of the Nerd in YankeeLand.

    Can’t really quibble with his success—eg., he’s pushed a lot of the right buttons this year—but his public pronouncements have been a little surprising & not entirely endearing.

    Anybody gonna see “Moneyball” this weekend?

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