Nats 3, Braves 0

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals – Box Score – September 25, 2011 – ESPN.

You guys need a sense of history here. This is a collapse for the ages.

The Braves got four-hit today, yet still should have scored some runs. In the third inning, they loaded the bases with a hit and two walks, the latter by Mike Minor trying to sacrifice, and managed to not score. In the fifth, they had second and third and one out after Minor did get a sacrifice down, and failed to score.

Minor got into some trouble too amd pitched around it. The one run he allowed — in just 4 2/3 before he was lifted for Cristhian Martinez — was a solo homer in the fourth. There’s your loss, Mike. The Lisp did well until the seventh, when he gave up a two-run, two-out homer to put it away. Kris Medlen managed to get in a perfect eighth inning, throwing just seven pitches. Might as well.

110 thoughts on “Nats 3, Braves 0”

  1. Remember all the Cardinals’ blogs crying “doom” after they fell three back with five to play; after saying they just needed to pull within one going into the last series. But if any team could blow two games in two days, it’s the Braves.

  2. If the Cards win today things won’t be looking good. Even with the Phillies sucking, you gotta give the Cards the edge against Houston, even a game down.

  3. Seriously, I am done for the year. I really hope they miss the playoffs. That sequence in the 3rd inning was just too predictable and painful.

  4. So, a collapse of this magnitude would have to result in the dismissal of the manager, right? Right?

    Bowman: “It was injuries, gotta tip your cap, Braves determined to make up in 2012, luck factored in, Fredi will silence his critics next season.”

  5. The Braves can’t even beat the crap teams in their own division now. They’re going to get crushed by the Phillies. It’s over. Fire everybody.

  6. Terrible baseball day, but I like the Arch Enemy references in this thread. Reason No. 2384 why this is the best fan site on the web.

  7. @13

    After something like this, it should be more than just the manager. They will probably just give everyone a raise

  8. Well, even Phil has deserted us. I vote we just spend the next three days listening to GOOD music – you know, to alleviate the pain at the very least.

    So, what song was on Lowe’s radio when the cops pulled him over this past spring? I say we play that Tuesday.

  9. It’s indeed dark times, BUT we are still one game up with three to play. At least we go into the last day of the season with a meaningful game, we just need to score some runs, which as all Braves fans know seems to be our biggest problem in September and October.

  10. Yeah, it’s a one-game lead with three to play. The Braves still control their own destiny. And they’re controlling it right to the golf course in early October.

  11. Or the deer blind.

    Hey, bow season for white-tailed and mule deer begins in Texas on October 1st. Chipper is so there.

  12. The Braves and Red Sox should play a Loser’s Bowl series for charity in the offseason to see who is worse.

    What are the odds of a team not scoring at least one run with the bases loaded, no one out and 3-0 on the leadoff hitter? It has to be astronomical. But leave it to the Braves to do great things.

    I am just so tired of the Bobby Cox/Fredi Gonzalez philosophy of not even admitting when things are bad. I guess we can say the same thing for Fredi that we had Bobby saying at Pearl Harbor: “you just have to tip your cap to the Japanese.”

  13. What are the odds of a team not scoring at least one run with the bases loaded, no one out and 3-0 on the leadoff hitter? It has to be astronomical. But leave it to the Braves to do great things.

    As noted in the previous thread: what’s truly amazing is that the Braves, after that pitch to Bourn to make the count 3-1, made three outs on four pitches without a triple or double play. Guy couldn’t throw a strike, throws one and the Braves apparently decided it was time to hack.

  14. So, I caught “Moneyball” last night. Really surprised that they made a pretty effective drama out of that book.

    Obviously, the conflicts are Beane vs. the big money, Beane vs. old-school baseball thinking & Beane vs. his own failed playing career. And it was nice to see that the movie doesn’t rely completely on the action on the field to carry the story.

    I also liked that the filmmakers didn’t make the old-school scouts seem like complete clods. I kinda worried about that, but the scenes of meetings with the player-development people felt pretty real, not cartoonish. Yes, Pitt really carries the thing, and I think Jonah Hill as the fictional version of DePodesta really worked.

    Art Howe is probably the last ballplayer or manager you’d ever expect to see dramatized in a film, but somehow Philip Seymour Hoffman makes him interesting as a minor heavy. He never overplays it & does a lot with a little.

    Only real flaw I saw was the basic failure to mention that one big advantage Beane did have: The film never mentions the words Hudson, Mulder & Zito, nor does it even try to demonstrate how much they meant to that team. (But if it had, we probably don’t have the same us-against-them dynamic.) The film certainly overstates the team’s predicament following the 2001 season, after it loses Giambi, Damon & Isringhausen, but that didn’t bother me too much. You can definitely get picky about the flick, but it’s probably not worth the bother, IMO.

    Though there are some very effective scenes with Pitt & Jonah Hill, my favorite moment comes at the very end when a voice that sounds very much like Joe Morgan’s pipes in. If you see it, you’ll know what I mean.

  15. The Braves and Red Sox should play a Loser’s Bowl series for charity in the offseason to see who is worse.

    You know what? I would watch the hell out of that.

  16. The Falcons managed to upstage the Braves today. Well done, Falcons, you are a truly stupid, terrible team.

  17. After Cliff Lee shuts us out it’ll be tied with two games to go! Unfortunately we will lose both.

  18. I think 2 wins gets us in a playoff game. I dont think we can win two. I dont think Houston can beat St Louis.

  19. Yes, absolutely fire Parrish. If things aren’t going well and you can’t realistically quit your job and sell everything and move to Idaho, then at least move out of the neighborhood and get a new apartment across town. Parrish is the roach infested place across the street from your old girlfriend of a season’s place. It might not actually make anything better to break your lease with him, but it will be cathartic and it can’t make things worse, right? Every time I see Parrish I’ll just think about this awful end to a promising relationship with a baseball season. I have to move on. He has to go.

  20. On Friday night I will probably be drinking profusely. Will it be because I’m drowning my sorrows or will it be because I am celebrating? We have three games to find out!

  21. Jacoby Ellsbury may have just saved the Red Sox’ season with a three-run homer in the top of the 14th.

    And who was the Yankees pitcher who gave it up?

    I’ll give you three guesses… but you’ll proctorly- I mean probably- need only one.

  22. And Wren definitely needs to get rid of Fredi and Larry, but he may do neither. The team has so many holes and injuries, Wren may give them an alibi. Prado is terrible, Heyward forgot how to hit, Chipper is getting old, AGon needs to be gone, Uggla got hot too late, Freddie is a bright spot, Bourn is a keeper so far, and McCann had his share of ups and downs at the plate besides being a bad defensive catcher and the slowest human ever. Not many positives in that list. Pitching can be summarized with this: get rid of Lowe. I think there’s plenty of pitching to sustain the team, even with injuries.

  23. What could Proctor possibly be doing to still have a job? Does he have really good stock tips? Maybe he gives a good neck massage. Surely it’s impossible for him to have had incriminating pictures of both Wren and Cashman.

  24. @PeteOrr: That is a good question. After talking to my good friend Wikipedia, I propose that Proctor sucks because of overuse early in his career and/or he needs a stiff drink.

  25. What a terrible end to the season–the 1964 Phillies, the 1978 Red Sox, the 2007-2008 Mets and now the 2011 Braves (and possibly the Red Sox)….

    I agree with those who think that we will have a one game playoff and lose….

    At present our AAA team would probably hit better: while I don’t think that it is all Parish’s fault, the Braves should look to get a hitting coach that actually might make a difference…..

  26. It just doesn’t matter if it’s Parrish’s fault or not. He needs to be sacrificed. Actually I suppose a faultless Parrish would make a better sacrifice than one who was actually to blame for something.

  27. I think the team has been built the last two years to be basically an 85 win team which, if everything went right, could get hot and make a run. Things haven’t gone right at the end, partly because of injuries. I’m sure as soon as the season ends, people will start talking about getting Kemp. Well, it ain’t gonna happen. Liberty isn’t going to spend that much money and is probably satisfied with how things are going. I have just sort of given up that this team will ever be more than it is now. For whatever reason, the parts on offense seem a lot better than the whole.

    Next year, I suppose they will integrate Delgado and/or Teheran into the rotation. If Beachy and Minor progress and JJ and Hanson come back (both questionable), they should have a very solid rotation. (I assume Lowe will be back because who the hell will take him?)I suspect the bullpen will not be as overpowering as it was this year; it just seems unlikely that Venters and Kimbrel can be as good as they were this year. But it should still be good.

    But that leaves the offense and I don’t know what to make of it. Obviously, they need Heyward to break out but I don’t know how likely that is. They need McCann to play well for the whole season; they need Chipper to stay healthy, they need Prado to play better, they need Uggla to not wait until the second half to hit and also to be a less one dimensional hitter. Do people think this offense can be better?

    More importantly, I don’t think the front office has a sense of urgency or, to be honest, the payroll to do much other than tinker around the edges. I’m sure they will blame injuries and talk about how unlucky the team was with runners on base and so forth.

    If the Braves win a game against the Phillies, I will be very surprised.

  28. I think it’s time to turn one particular sacred cow into hamburger… the Cox-Gonzalez managing style of always “taking an even strain” has outlived its usefulness.

    When applied for too long a period, it breeds complacency and apathy. When you know that failure carries no consequences, how much effort are you going to give? Yes, there’s professional pride, but the younger players don’t develop it because it clearly doesn’t apply to the older players. So the team just drifts along.

    It’s time for some Larussa-ness. Embarrass players who do stupid things or fail to display high levels of effort. Use the press to ram your points home. Put repeat offenders in the doghouse, riding the pine until they grow splinters. Heyward hits .220 again next April? Go to Gwinnett, do not pass Go, and for damn sure do not collect $20 million. Make sure he knows this ahead of time. (Of course, this approach will also outlive its usefulness some day; my point is that its time has come.)

    Marc is right in that the front office has no sense of urgency and no reason to put forth unusual effort. But the on-the-field personnel are also getting fat and lazy, and fixing that must be of a piece with fixing the front office. Otherwise, the Braves will turn into the Cubs South: a fun time to spend an afternoon, with no higher ambitions.

  29. @65 Wait, you mean we don’t really know what Wren is thinking? I just assumed–regardless of the fact that I have never spoken with him, or see him, or expect him to throw his manager under the bus with three games remaining in the season–that he had no urgency, accountability, or purpose.

    The one thing Marc said with which I agree is that this is an 85-90 win team. For part of the season the Braves played above their heads, now they’re slumping, and in the end they will finish with a record close to what many pundits, stat-guys, and fans predicted at the start of the season. The truth is, the Braves were always a long-shot to compete with the Phillies in 2011. That doesn’t mean they can’t win a world series in the next few years, or that Prado, Heyward, and Uggla can’t return to 2010 form, or that Tommy Hanson can’t have a stellar 2012 campaign, or that Teheran, Minor, and Delgado can’t blossom into solid starters, or that Freeman can’t develop more, or that Medlen, Hoover, and Vizcaino (et al) can’t keep the bullpen among the league’s best. All of those things can happen, and a few certainly will. The Braves are fine in the long run. That doesn’t make this collapse any less shitty, but it is to say that we shouldn’t read long-run disaster from what is, in the end, a crappy month of baseball.

  30. @64, Matt Diaz started in place of Heyward yesterday. Justified or not, that’s pretty damn embarrassing.

  31. Looking at this from a glasses 1/100th full perspective the Braves did play above their heads for a long stretch of the season with various guys picking up the whole team. It sucks that the right now NO ONE is doing anything worthwhile.
    If I look as objectively as a die hard fan can this team has overcome some pretty tough adversity this season.
    Heyward – hurt and sucking
    Uggla – sucking for 90 games
    Hanson – hurt
    Jurrjens – hurt
    Lowe – nuff said
    McCann – hurt and not effective after he came back.
    Prado – hurt and sucking
    Chipper – hurt.
    Beachy – hurt.

    I am very dissapointed but unlike some I think the team has a solid base to build on. It should be a very interesting off season. Too bad its coming sooner than we all planned.

  32. So, Jeff Francoeur is going to end the season with an OPS over .800. As much fun as we make of Jeffy, who wouldn’t have replaced one of our corner outfielders for that kind of production?

    On upcoming offseason: TEAM YOGA!

  33. Continuing proof that when it comes to the Braves I am a brain-damaged monkey:

    Win today.
    That puts the pressure on the Cardinals.
    Fear of failure is a mammoth motivator in baseball. A win today makes the incline a lot steeper for St. Louis.

    Say it in April; shout it in September:

    Go Braves!

  34. Jeff Schultz at the AJC said:

    In game one, the Braves will start a rookie, Randall Delgado, against Cliff Lee. In game two, it’s the struggling Derek Lowe against Roy Oswalt. In the series finale, it’s Tim Hudson against the Phils’ Cole Hamels. (Alas, a push.) This is what happens when two of the team’s top three starters (Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson) are injured and starting pitching goes from a strength to a weakness.

    Again, too much is being made of injuries and this notion that SP has gone from a “strength to a weakness” vis-a-vis Hanson and Jurrjens. It’s a distraction. The problem isn’t injuries to Jurrjens and Hanson. They were pitching some really terrible games for an extended period of time while the Braves were dominating in July and August. The problem isn’t that Delgado is a rookie. He, Minor and Teheran have outpitched all our veteran starters (and Beachy) as the malaise has set in.

    And you want to complain about injuries? Part of the Braves problem is that Derek Lowe hasn’t been injured!!! A bruised knee or sore shoulder to Derek Lowe on August 30th would have meant 4-5 starts for Teheran, and does anyone think if that had been the case we wouldn’t be talking now about resting players during the Phillies series?

    Ironically, a bruised knee to Derek Lowe means the whole narrative shifts from complaining about injuries to raving about how our rookies have performed down the stretch.

    Instead, the narrative is about “injuries” to starters instead of the great malaise that has settled over our hitters.

  35. I certainly DON’T think the team doesn’t want to win. In fact, the problem is probably that they are trying too hard. I think the front office cares and, as ububba said, I’m sure it’s killing them. But the ownership doesn’t care. Does that make a difference? Would it be better to have an owner like the Boss, who would ream everyone out after something like this? Maybe, if he also put his money where his mouth was.

    I still think the organization needs to buy more into the Moneyball philosophy of emphasizing getting on base and working the count. As bad a year as Heyward has had,he and Chipper still seem like the only ones that do that consistently.

  36. @71

    I would think Lowe is on a short leash for his next start. I think the Phillie startrs go no more than 5.

  37. @72

    I agree with you that the problem has not been the injuries. I think it’s been the offense. But the injuries haven’t helped. I’d much rather have a healthy Hanson and Jurrjens pitching on Monday and Tuesday.

    Also, why are we so sure that Julio Teheran would be better than Lowe? True, Teheran had a very good season in AAA for a 20 year-old, but his strikeout rate dropped a bit more than I had hoped while his cup of coffee in the show has been awful. Maybe he would have settled down, but I’m not yet seeing a swing-and-miss offering good enough to get major league hitters out.

  38. Or if Hamels does start Tuesday, he’ll go about 3 innings, just to stay sharp. Kind of an extended bullpen session.

    For musical choices, I think Mac needs to find a youtube clip of the old hymn ‘Autumn.’

    After all, it was what the band on the RMS Titanic was playing as she sank, according to legend. (Probably were tipping their cap to the iceberg as well…)

  39. We should have a bullpen game as well, replacing Lowe:
    Martinez- 2 innings
    Medlen- 2 innings
    Vizcaino-2 innings
    Then our 3 closers.

    There’s just no way that the above setup could be worse than Lowe.

  40. Say we pull off a miracle and win tonight and some how the Astros win too, wouldn’t you move Hudson up a day and try and slam the door tomorrow?

    If we win, then Hanson could start Wednesday. If you have to start Lowe and he gets in early trouble, then you can bring out everyone but Hudson or Beachy.

    Then if we win a playoff game in St. Louis, we can start Hudson in Game one of the NLDS.

  41. 77: What we can see empirically is a whole raft of September starts by Derek Lowe that were awful to mediocre, while we have one start from Teheran that was pretty decent.

    So while we don’t know how Teheran would have performed, I wish we could have found out. We certainly couldn’t be any worse off than we are now, and I think we’d be looking at a magic number of less than 3 if we replaced those Lowe starts with Teheran or the Lisp or Arodys or anybody for that matter – including the Lemmer and his magic dancing knuckleball.

  42. 80: Too innovative/non-Bookish for Fredi, but it sounds like a good idea.

    The question is: Do we or do we not have a reasonably healthy, capable pitcher in Hanson to take some postseason starts? We only have a very short window to find out or forever hold our peace. I think it’s a pretty crucial question to answer and we’ll never be able to answer it if we take this magic number to our final game.

  43. I wonder who, if anyone takes the fall for this epic collaspe?

    I am going to burn all my braves shit if they blow this. I am literally going to buy a burn barrel, lighter fluid, and some matches and I am going to torch all my t-shirts, hats, dugout jacket, sweatshirt, and jerseys.

    I love ’em, but 20 years of constant disappointment and coming small in big spots wears on a guy.

  44. One other thing, the braves have over used O’venterable all year, yet in one of the biggest situations all year, it is Christian Martinez pitching.

    That is stupid.

  45. If you’re a Phillies fan, aren’t you kind of pulling for the Braves to make the playoffs rather than St. Louis? I’d rather play Arizona than Pujols & co.

  46. We’re still one game up, which is amazing after this shitty month. So we still have to lose this one. Especially after yesterday’s pathetic offensive showing I should not be hopeful but, what can I say, I have a good feeling that we’ll continue to see some Braves baseball on Friday.
    Tonight will be a great time to start hitting again.
    Go Braves!

  47. One other thing, the braves have over used O’venterable all year, yet in one of the biggest situations all year, it is Christian Martinez pitching.

    Which situation are you talking about? Relieving Mike Minor in the 5th inning of a 1-0 game?

    Related trivia question: Which player among O’Ventbrel and the Lisp has the lowest WHIP for the year?

  48. there is zero reason to give Lowe a start. Tied, up one game, or up two games. Its a guaranteed loss at this point.

    5.22ERA @ home
    5.39ERA @ night
    5.91ERA since all star break
    8.24ERA in Sept

    Dont see how Fredi can hand him the ball.

    Delgado, Hudson, then Beachy/Hanson/JJ/or bullpen.

  49. 93- I thought he was pre-law.

    91- Because he’s Fredi, and in accordance to Braves managerial fiat over the years, that means doing the same thing over and over again without reference to the calendar, standings, player performance, or common sense. Lowe is in the rotation, hence Lowe will start and suck and lose. But you can’t expect Fredlot to remember that, barring actual good play, the season will end in two days.

  50. “After all, it was what the band on the RMS Titanic was playing as she sank, according to legend. (Probably were tipping their cap to the iceberg as well…)”

    That iceberg was just one of those things. It was a hell of a performance by the iceberg.

  51. @69 Just out of morbid curiosity I looked at Frenchy’s and Melky’s stat lines. Damn. Is the level of competition in the AL Central that low?

    Y’all can point fingers at Gonzalez, Wren, Liberty et al all you want but someone’s gotta hit when there are base runners on.

  52. 90, 92: It’s C-Mart. He’s got a slightly lower WHIP than Craig Kimbrel. His only negative this year has been giving up the taters at a rate of 1 every 9 innings.

  53. Running into that iceberg was just one of those things that happens. We need to get ’em tomorr..glub..glub…

  54. Regarding the offseason (whether that starts Thursday or by next Monday, Tuesday, the Braves season will be over in a week or less) unfortunately, as much as we ALL hate Fredi, the injuries to Hanson and JJ buy him a “get out of jail free” card, and plus, we never fire anyone – Fredi will be here 5 more years, minimum. I can’t imagine the Braves firing him, even though he sucks.

    But there’s NO excuse to keep Larry Parrish. I would have some sense of happiness in our crappy management if at least Parrish is cut loose. There’s no excuse – zero, zip, silch – to not hit average pitching from the non eastern playoff teams, Washington, NY and Florida. No excuse.

    And enough with the injury excuses for Jason Heyward. He becomes Francouer Part II if he fails next year – that’s his last stand. But seriously, everyone has disappeared and there is a complete malaise over this team. That’s where managing and coaching (if we flipping had any) could make a difference here late.

    I’m resigned to the Cardinals taking the WC at this point. Houston won’t even put up a fight. The scheduling Gods are not kind to the Braves, then again, had we not blown so many games to bad teams, this week shouldn’t have mattered.

    Between the Braves, the Falcons, and the Dawgs, I am pretty much ready to stop being a sports fan. (at least thank goodness for the Tide).

  55. Conversation overheard on the Tampa Bay sideline:

    Coach Morris: “Well, we’re short. The smart thing to do here is punt.”

    Tampa Bay OC: “Wait, coach. I think there’s a Kentucky player on the Falcons defensive line. They always do something incredibly stupid in key moments. Yep, there he is – let’s go for it!”

    Stadium announcer: “First down, Tampa Bay!”

  56. In game one, the Braves will start a rookie, Randall Delgado, against Cliff Lee. In game two, it’s the struggling Derek Lowe against Roy Oswalt. In the series finale, it’s Tim Hudson against the Phils’ Cole Hamels.

    Prediction: Braves finish the season two back in the wild card. Fredi is exonerated by Wren and Bowman. The Braves’ biggest offseason move is signing Infante.

  57. So would it be Beachy in STL if it gets to that point?

    I predict ATL and STL each go 2-1 giving the Braves the wildcard.

    Braves then lose 3-2 to Milwaukee in playoffs.

  58. @104

    Dan, Another prediction. The Braves will attempt to somehow (again) get Rafael Furcal back, only to (again) have him reject them for some other team or staying in St. Louis.

  59. “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”

    So cowboy up, Derek Lowe. The Cards are heartbroken and you can lead us to a victory!

    And for Fredi:
    “Keep the faith, don’t lose your perseverance and always trust your gut extinct.”
    Paula Abdul

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