Phillies 4, Braves 2

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – September 26, 2011 – ESPN.

Once again, a young starting pitcher did enough to keep the team in the game, only to see the offense completely shut down. I’m getting tired of this.

The Braves took an early lead when Chipper Jones hit a solo homer with two out in the first, and then Matt Diaz and Alex Gonzalez hit back-to-back doubles in the second to make it 2-0. The offense looked at this, saw that it was pretty good, and rested the rest of the night.

Randall Delgado made it hold up for a little while. In the fourth, he got into a huge jam, bases-loaded, and was lucky to escape with just one run scoring (largely because Ryan Howard is so slow he can’t score from second on a soft single with two out). Jimmy Rollins hit a solo homer in the fifth to tie it.

In the sixth, Shane “Burn In Hell” Victorino — who else — tripled off of Cristhian Martinez, who had pitched 2 1/3 the day before — and came hom on a single by Raul Ibanez against Eric O’Flaherty, who should have been in the game in the first place. In the eighth, the two teamed up again to score an insurance run against the not-right Jonny Venters.

389 thoughts on “Phillies 4, Braves 2”

  1. But, the Cards gakked in Houston. So, what’s on the playlist for tonight? I know, let’s appease the Gods of baseball karma for laughing at the Mets in ’07 with some Sinatra!

    (And even if they won’t be appeased, we get something cool to listen to as the Braves sink slowly in the standings.)

  2. Oswalt’s the best starter we’ve faced since Strasburg, right? And Strasburg was the last pitcher we beat, right? So why can’t we win tonight?

    (Sorry. You want enthusiasm, that’s the best I can do.)

  3. I think Lee is better than Oswalt. But Oswalt is the best RH started we’ve faced, so hey, at least we got that going for us.

  4. #2 – huh? Lee is much better than Oswalt.

    Oswalt is having a strange month. He completely shut down Stl, but gave up 5ER @ Houston and 6ER to Washington.

  5. csg’s right, we could clinch today!

    @1

    No way. We must go big tonight. It has to be Phil and “The Way I Walk”

  6. From the previous thread: I totally agree with #426 Adam R about the websites which provide percentages about the probability of making the playoffs.

    FWIW, I think that we will meet the Cards in a one game playoff–and we may not want to watch it….

  7. Mac, regardless of what happens the next two days, I want to thank you for another great season on Braves Journal. You and the Braves Journal gang add to my enjoyment of the Braves marathon.

    May the remainder of this season be the healthiest and happiest you’ve ever enjoyed; and may each coming season get better and better.

    Go Braves!

  8. 10- Jack Wilson batting cleanup. We’ve grown inured to the idiocy of Fredlot over the last few months, but batting a guy hitting a combined 246/ 279/ 290 cleanup in the most important game of the year… needs some additional emphasis.

  9. Offseason no-brainer (IMO): Jurrjens for Lowrie. Both lowered their trade values after injury and both are under team control for a few more years.

  10. 20—I have the same (strange) gut feeling.

    FWIW, I still like the playoffs-odds sites — they help to sharpen my sense of just how epic this collapse is. There was only a 4% chance we’d miss the playoffs as of like a week ago — that is some serious fail!

  11. Surprisingly, oddsmakers give us a 50/50 shot tonight.

    Courtesy of Pinnacle:
    Philllies -104
    Braves -102

    Over/Under total runs: 8

    FWIW, Cardinals are rather large favorites (-174 and rising) over Houston.

  12. 25- This talk about jolts reminds me of the Simpsons episode where the family is at the therapist giving each other electric shocks, and consuming Springfield’s entire power supply. “Woops, my finger slipped.” “So did mine!”

  13. Forget the Cards for right now. I mean, if they want to lose again, that would be fine, but regardless, if we win tonight, we have a chance for Tim Hudson to pitch us into the playoffs tomorrow, and we force the Cards to win two in a row.

  14. We’re really going to start Lowe tonight? Talk about the triumph of hope over experience …

    Better be a damn short leash.

  15. I’ve had a gut feeling for the last 2 months that Lowe would have a good start. This has taught me the importance of not trusting my gut feelings.

    Unless we’re up big (which I highly doubt), my hope is that Fredi pulls Lowe early. The only problem is who do you pull Lowe for? Moylan is out, Martinez is gassed, and Venters isn’t right. Vizcaino will get a chance, but I don’t trust him too much right now. We’ll probably see Medlen. I would say he has a 50/50 chance of doing well or getting shelled.

  16. What does it say that someone facetiously puts Wilson batting cleanup and someone believes it? Because it’s not out of the realm of possibility with this manager.

    For those of you old enough to remember the Cold War, dosn’t listening to Fredi’s post-game comments reminds you of reading something from Pravda? Perhaps we should start caling him Comrade Fredi.

  17. There is no lineup with Wilson batting 4th. Lineups aren’t posted until around 4 on game day.

    CSG noted that Jack Wilson’s career numbers against Oswalt are pretty terrific, while Uggla’s are pretty not terrific. So I put myself in Fredi’s shoes and suggested J-Wi “get some work in” at second and cleanup and give Uggla a day off.

    Hey, I thought it was funny when I posted it. :p

  18. Sorry, John. You’ve got to admit that it would be a very Fredlot move to keep Wilson in the lineup hitting in the spot of the guy that he replaced. (Actually, the more I think about it, the more likely it seems that Wilson could replace Chipper in the lineup if he hurts too badly.)

  19. The more I think about it the crazier it seems to start Lowe tonight. I mean, everyone knows they’re going to score early off of him. Our best hope that they don’t score in bunches.

    This just seems like Einstein’s definition of madness.

    Hell, throw the kids at them – at least they haven’t seen them. Keep them off balance long enough for them to lose interest and score off their bullpen.

  20. Well, looking at those career numbers, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to have J-Wi in the lineup if Chipper’s a walking wounded.

  21. Lowe’s actually got really good numbers against most of the Phillies hitters, except Utley and Pence who’ve owned him.

  22. Starting Lowe is very stupid. I can’t believe you don’t move Hudson up. I know that might seem like you are going all in tonight, but why not?

  23. The more I think about it, the more you simply have to go with Lowe. Maybe if our magic number was 1, I would go with Hudson, but it’s not. So not only would you be throwing Hudson on three days’ rest, you’d also be starting Beachy, who’s kind of been listing lately, on three days’ rest in the most important game of the season. (You have to assume that St. Louis is gonna win tonight if you’re Fredi.) Our chances are better with Lowe. The other choice is if Hanson or Jurrjens actually make it through a rehab game, to throw one of them on Wednesday. Again, in what will probably be the most important game of the season. You just can’t do it.

    There is one other choice, and it’s the only alternative that makes any sense whatsoever. That is to throw Teheran tonight. If you think this is a better choice than Lowe, I’m not really gonna argue with you. It’s honestly about 50-50 in my mind. But you have to remember that Teheran has exactly three Major League starts and hasn’t pitched in three weeks. I don’t really think you can argue with Fredi if he’d rather go with Lowe than that. Lowe is probably the best of a series of bad choices. Also, the added benefit is that if we somehow clinch tonight, you can save Hudson for Game 1 of the NLDS. You get no added benefit from starting Hudson tonight. Lowe has good career numbers against the Phillies and had a good start last time out. You have to throw him out there and hope for the best.

    Also, you guys are completely talking out of your ass on the Wilson thing. Bobby used to do that occasionally, but that is not at all something Fredi would do. Fredi’s always very conscious about his batting order, and though I know there’s disagreement on some decisions, he always has a reason, misguided or not. He would never stick a no-hit backup infielder in the middle of the order, much less the cleanup spot, simply because he’s replacing the guy who normally hits there. I defy you to find a batting order this year where he did that.

    EDIT: @Smitty: You could go all in tonight, win 12-0, and still need to win a game tomorrow. We cannot clinch by ourselves tonight. You have to save something for tomorrow, just in case.

  24. Tomorrow’s game recap today:

    “Jordan ‘F*@$ing Success’ Schafer went 4 for 5 with a home run, three doubles and a steal of home to help his team rout the St. Louis Cardinals 12-3, trimming the Braves magic number to a single game going into the final day of the season.”

  25. 40—Totally agree. Lowe’s the only call, apart from Teheran. Like Fredi, I’d rather see Lowe, too. Just need him to step up.

  26. You start Lowe tonight. The problem isn’t that starting Lowe is the wrong decision. The problem is that it’s the right one.

  27. Lowe was kind of not terrible in his last start right? That’s something. I can’t believe that I was actually worrying about the last three weeks being boring this time in August.

    Also, Fredi seems to place batter/pitcher matchups really high in his order of priorities when filling out lineup cards. Wilson hitting cleanup because of his record against Oswalt wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Completely plausible from Fredi.

  28. I know you were being silly, John. It was everyone else who came behind you saying that it seemed like something Fredi would actually do that I was referring to.

    Cleanup still wouldn’t make sense, though. I could see Fredi batting him second because of that, and that would be a bad idea, but I stand by my opinion that he would never bat Jack Wilson cleanup for any reason.

  29. More broadly, the problem is not that Lowe sucks. The problem is that Prado sucks. And Heyward sucks. And McCann sucks. And Diaz sucks. And Venters and Kimbrel cannot be trusted.

    Derek Lowe could go 8 innings and give up 3 runs and I would have no faith in the offense to score more than 2.

  30. Well. I guess my odd stat of the day got everyone all rattled. Wilson wont be playing, I was just notating the surprising success he’s had against Oswalt.

    Sure would be nice to win tonight and clinch. Give Huddy and Beachy some rest.

  31. Ozzie Guillen fired from White Sox, rumored to be hired by Florida – 4 years/16M total contract value.

  32. 39: Why would you push Hudson up? Even a good performance by him might be wasted if Oswalt tosses a shutout. Obviously, the Braves’ offense is woeful, but you have to feel better about their chances against the Phillies’ long relief corps than against Roy Oswalt. If you want to put yourself in the best position to get the critical one win that guarantees no worse than a one-game playoff, you match your best against their worst.

  33. Right now on SportsCenter explaining Braves recent struggles:

    They lack a veteran presence to “steer the team in the right direction”.

    But no worries about tonight: Derek Lowe knows how to win.

  34. Per Pedro Gomez: The team in the 90s “knew how to win” and had “Terry Pendleton all those years as a veteran presence”.

  35. What the hell is ESPN talking about? Does Chipper Jones not count as a veteran presence? Eric Hinske? Tim Hudson? Even Derek Lowe? No veteran presence, my ass!

  36. You can tell it’s getting closer to basketball season when Stu starts insulting his betters.

    Seriously, gonna be a great battle between Cats and Dores this winter.

    So, Stu, who ends up with Poythress?

  37. Memphis has no shot, and Florida has a nominal shot — it’s between UK and VU, and I have no idea where he’ll land. We’ve certainly been on him the longest and shown him the most love — just depends whether he decides he prefers the crazy people of BBN. Thankfully, this is a kid who doesn’t need World Wide Wes’s money and can qualify with his own test scores.

  38. @58 – Chipper’s explanation for the team’s struggles last night is just as bad:

    “I hear people talking about us and choking off a nine-game lead…We’re running three rookies in our starting rotation out there. You show up and play. Some days it’s good enough, and some days it’s not. If we lose 70 games this year, does that mean we’ve choked off the other 55 or 60 [games lost earlier this season]? No, it’s just what happens. You go through injuries.”

    Not sure how injuries had anything to do with last night. Delgado got good results through 5 innings on about 80 pitches. He wasn’t the problem, and the only guy who was actually injured (Chipper himself) provided the bulk of the offense. Sucking is the problem, and inexplicable sucking in the face of a big, soon to be squandered cushion is known as choking.

  39. @59 I suppose you can’t say “with all the stuff I’m having to follow about the Red Sox and Yankees I really haven’t had time to learn much about the Braves so I’m just going to start talking and see what comes out.”

  40. Yeah, but what are our chances of making the postseason without a one-game playoff? Because I’m assuming that a one-game playoff means our chances will only drop to slightly less than 50 percent.

  41. Chipper’s being too nice and making excuses on behalf of his teammates. Either that or he truly believes it.

    The problem isn’t the rookie pitchers. The problem isn’t Chipper, who has the highest OPS on the team. The problem is a turgid offense and starters that simply cannot pitch routinely past the 6th inning. Those problems have been there all year long.

    67: Yeah, that sounds about right. Lack of “veteran presence” my ass.

  42. If there is a playoff, where will the game be held? I’m assuming the Braves lost the coin toss for that, just like they’re losing everything else this past month.

  43. It’s in St. Louis, but it’s not because of a coin toss, it’s because we went 1-5 against the Cardinals this year.

    Interestingly, our playoff chances have only dropped 0.7 percent in the last week on that BP thing, lest you think the Cardinals are this ruthless team that is just taking advantage of every opportunity. If they were, they’d at least be a game ahead, and probably would’ve clinched by now.

  44. No Wilson in the lineup tonight! (And they took “gullible” out of the dictionary!)

    Bourn
    Prado
    Chipper
    Uggla
    Freeman
    McCann
    AAG
    Heyward
    Lowe (briefly)

    As for Chipper, the AJC tweets, “Chipper said MRI showed no structural damage, he has a bone bruise and some fluid. Just a matter of tolerating the pain.”

  45. @63 I have an idea for a movie that satirizes Fredi, inspired by Ububba’s reference to “digging up Granny Hamner” (a Phillie’s shortstop deceased since ’93) in yesterday’s gamethread. The movie is a takeoff on “Field of Dreams” where the players who return from the cornfields are all zombies, playing a game against our current Atlanta Braves. Think Babe Ruth as a large hungry Zombie,who hits a walk-off (stagger-shuffle-off?)homerun. As he finishes circling the bases, he looks over at our dugout and sees Fredi being interviewed by Ron Gant. As Fredi lifts his cap and is saying “you have to tip your cap to those guys, we appeared to be the dead ones”, the Babe yells “Brains!!!”, and takes a huge bite off the top of Fredi’s head. The film ends with a close-up of the Babe’s face as he screams with disappointment in not finding what he assumed all Major League Managers must have—-“Brains”! We can call it “Zombieball”, produced by Ron Zombie. (O.K., putting down the coffee now, preparing for the game, beer and sunset.) Go Braves!

  46. To further illustrate how overrated fielding percentage is, the Braves have only committed one error in the last 17 games and zero in the last 12. ATL leads MLB with a .995 fielding percentage in September.

  47. I just don’t understand the Prado thing. Heyward, who’s better, gets platooned, while Prado plays every day. McCann, who’s better, gets moved down in the order, while Prado stays at #2.

    Fredi…sigh.

  48. Prado, 2011: .261/.304/.383, 88 OPS+

    Francoeur, 2006: .260/.293/.449, 87 OPS+

    Francoeur in 2006 was frequently called “the worst everyday player in the NL.” This year though, seemingly no one says anything negative about Prado. It feels as if many Braves fans don’t even notice how bad Prado has been.

  49. 82: Prado has indeed sucked for the last few months and really ought to have been pushed down in the batting order and treated more consistently with J-Hey than he has been.

    That said, the comparison with Francoeur is off base. For one thing, Prado’s 2011 is out of character. At this point, it’s an anomaly. He’s provided solid and consistent hitting output for the last three years. I think that most people feel there’s nothing wrong with him that a winter off won’t cure, since there’s nothing in his history to indicate that he’s a genuinely bad hitter.

    But Francoeur started showing noticeable hitting decline in his first year of his 2005 rookie campaign. His OPS went to sub-.800 levels in 2006 and never returned. When I first saw his “swing at anything” approach, I was charmed and despite loathing players that seemed to take pride in not taking walks, it was working and I thought, “Hey, we could have our own Vladimir Guerrero here.” I, along with the rest of Braves Country, learned quickly that there’s really only one Vladimir Guerrero, and that’s Vladimir Guerrero. Francouer spiraled downward and downward and never increased his discipline at the plate, and the rest is history.

    So I don’t feel negatively towards the Prado that I do towards Jeffy boy.

  50. @18, Yes, please. This will all feel better when we acquire Jed Lowrie and Nelson Cruz in the offseason. Yes, it will.

  51. I’d move Heyward back to the two hole. He has been hitting the ball well lately and would take some pitches for Bourn to steal.

    Really, we need Bourn to get on and go.

  52. BoogSciambi Jon Sciambi
    @
    @ajcbraves Bravos 27th in MLB September OBP…not exactly a ton of chances–Hou, SD, Sea below them…that’s baaaaaaaaad company

    kapaya1234 Chip Caray
    Unless u get no hits with all those chances

    Chip- @kapaya1234 no, that’s the point–teams don’t score by cashing in chances more efficiently, they score because they get more chances.

    BoogSciambi Jon Sciambi
    @
    @ClintonBrannen @kapaya1234. Again making MY point–u like chances to score when getting 5ABs per game w/RISP? U should go 3×5 every night?

  53. The rejoinder to Chip about “more chances” is so “no duh” but apparently there’s a lot of “I…derf” people still in baseball.

  54. I’ll post it, JoeyT style.

    So, DOB is all like the Braves waste so many opportunities. Sciambi’s all like What Opportunities they’re like 27th in OBP this month. Chip replies, “OBP don’t matter w/o big hits.” Sciambi then tries walking Chip through the logic like a third grade teacher.

  55. “teams don’t score by cashing in chances more efficiently, they score because they get more chances.”

    The should f’ing put that on Chip’s tombstone. It sums up the extent of his grasp of the game nicely.

  56. Sciambi-Simpson was my favorite broadcast team since following the Braves.

    Turner South was quickly sold to Fox, and they gave us Rathbun and Torborg for the good part of 2006 (Rathbun was fine). Then three good seasons with Simpson and Sciambi. Not it’s the annoying Caray-Simpson duo; neither of whom would be terrible alone, but they each play on the other’s weaknesses.

  57. Powell-Sutton is fantastic. I kind of had the impression that every team has good radio guys under the theory that you just can’t get a job in radio if you aren’t actually good at it because you’re 100% (or 50% if there are two guys) of the presentation, whereas the visual component of TV broadcasts is 80% of the presentation, so there’s only 20 (or 10) left for the broadcasters to screw up. One night of Milo Hamilton on Astros radio destroyed that theory.

  58. I’m pretty sure Powell would pair well with any number of guys. I think Powell-Simpson would be fine, as would Powell-Glavine. He’s really good at his job.

  59. @99 – Agreed that Powell is the key. I have no doubt that we’ll lose him to ESPN in a few years, just like Sciambi. Maybe they’ll even be on the same broadcast team. The radio booth to end all radio booths.

  60. I like Powell for obvious reasons, but I think he really does best with Sutton. You get at least a believable exchange when scouts v sabrist stuff comes up, and Sutton’s player perspective insights are excellent condiments to the PBP style of Powell.

  61. Jim Powell, Ben Ingram, these guys are trained professionals. The field is so competitive that, typically, these kinds of polished pros bring the goods. Athletes are more hit and miss. And Chip? Well, out of respect for Skip I’ll refrain from characterizing further…

  62. So joe uses oswalt’s W-L record to downplay Oswalt’s year but raved about Derek’s success in October yet looked over his losing record during that time.

  63. Boy, those were some gorgeous pitches against Rollins. Hope that Lowe stays with us.

    Edit: He didn’t.

  64. One at-bat of hope that Lowe could pull out a rabbit from the hat. On the other hand, my dogs are happy, because they’re about to enjoy a long walk.

  65. Well, there’s your ballgame. That’s all Oswalt will need facing this lineup. It’s not fair that the Phils still get to face Lowe for at least another 4 innings until he goes the mandatory “innings eating” total of 5.

  66. Does that feel like a typical Braves first inning, or what?

    Bourn-out. Prado-out. Chipper gets on base. Uggla-out. Fin.

  67. The Rays are (a distant) second in the list of MLB teams I favor. I’m pretty happy about what’s happening in the AL.

  68. Do you think the Braves hitters could score a run off of Lowe?

    EDIT: Don’t try to answer. Your head might explode.

  69. Right now, Lowe and Linebrink would combine for a 5-1 win over the Braves if they pitched for an opposing team.

  70. @124 Don’t ever be sorry for that, Mac!

    @122 Fredi might be an upgrade.

    @123 I have had multiple shady encounters while walking at night, so no, I’m not running.

  71. If I was Chip, I’d say something like “Maybe that bloop single is the thing that’ll shake the Braves out of this season-long hitting malaise.”

  72. Chip: “So this changes Oswalt’s preparation. Instead of Alex, he gets Wilson.”

    The very next second, a head-high popup to the first-baseman.

    That’s analysis, folks.

  73. I like that the Rays are here to give some balance, allowing Braves fans to actually enjoy a monumental collapse as it happens this season.

  74. Fredlot is reminding me of Wheatley from Portal 2: he seems to exist to produce “an endless stream of terrible ideas.”

    EDIT: Ben Zobrist homers to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.

  75. Ellsbury homers, 2-1 Sawx.

    Honestly, following the AL race is much more interesting until the Cards-Astros game starts. Who needs the details of another Lowe Quality Start?

  76. Lowe should not hit here but he will because he’s a veteran and the Braves sure don’t want to piss any of those veteran leaders off.

  77. @150
    He hit it weakly to Rollins because he doesn’t care. Rollins booted it because he doesn’t care either. Chipper also hit into a double play because he doesn’t care. Rollins, deciding to care for 1 play, turned the double play. Utley wasnt covering 2nd base because he, of course, didnt care.

  78. Optimism: At least it’s only 3-0 and not 4-0 as I predicted.
    Pessimism: It doesn’t matter if it’s 1-0, this game is over.

  79. Ryan, I just saw the replay of Chipper lunging at the ball in a way that couldn’t result in anything BUT a dribbler. Utley, on the other hand, is a professional who chooses to act like one, and won’t pass up free outs and wins.

    The Phillies care, and the Braves don’t. It really is that simple.

    Oh, and look at that. Two more hits off of Lowe. Of course Fredi’s not going to pull him. Of course Lowe’s not going to adjust. See 147.

  80. Fitting the Wild Card lead dies with Lowe. Fredi’s refusal to pull him even has Simpson saying “WTF?!”.

  81. History in the making! Of course they’re going to watch it and tell their kids how they saw the end of one of the greatest collapses in the National League’s 135 years.

  82. Who cares less than Lowe? Obviously the fans (shown by the empty seats).

    Lowe pitching and the Braves playing like garbage; surprised anyone is paying to see that in person.

  83. to be honest, I appreciated Lowe last year during the playoff run. He was one bright spot as the rest of the team fell apart to injuries.
    This year however…he is done. it is a cruel game and I wish him well. perhaps resignation and acceptance have softened me.

  84. Right…Chase Utley the professional and Chipper Jones the amateur.

    By the way, Jason Heyward didn’t throw Victorino out. He obviously doesn’t care.

  85. Smitty:
    Lowe is a horse! He’s an innings eater! Why let someone else give up the runs? Notice my exclamation points and how they put emphasis on what I’m saying /snark.

    Oh, my 4-0 prediction took another inning, but it got there…

  86. The thing about baseball that makes it tolerable and fun to follow it over the long season is its unpredictability. Even very bad times sometimes get the good breaks, even the aces and stars have awful nights, and every game really is a fresh start, in a small way.

    That’s what makes a run like this so awful, leaden, depressing, and just plain difficult to watch. When a team’s offensive strand rate mysteriously spikes to 95%, when every little break (the McCann bloop, the Rollins error) is immediately followed by bleak antithesis, it starts to feel like there is literally no point in watching. The outcome appears utterly predetermined, and the life drains out of the game.

    I guess what I’m saying is: I kind of hate the Braves. They are ruining baseball.

  87. Down 4 and hacking at the 1st pitch. Remember last years team that worked the counts and actually had base runners?

  88. Chipper Jones the worn-out, the tired, the ready to retire (he’s been saying it for a year and a half now). He just doesn’t want to be out there any more, and it shows. Wish he’d told Fredi.

    Heyward’s gone from the new Willie McCovey to the new Brad Komminsk.

  89. Walter Johnson couldn’t win with this offense behind him. you’d rather lose 1-0?

  90. Brian McCann cares once again! Hurray! I wish he was caring when he told Lowe to go to 3rd on the bunt. Jack Wilson shows he doesn’t care as well.

  91. Three-run homer for Ryan Lavarnway for Boston. 5-1 Sawx. His first career home run. Having a hunger to prove yourself means something.

    Ryan, with Jack Wilson behind him, McCann knew it didn’t matter what he did. Like the Black Sox occasionally getting hits in garbage time.

  92. Mike, I’d leave him out there til his arm falls off. The game’s over. I’m at the point where I want these guys to suffer.

  93. Chipper Jones is a Hall of Famer. I understand the frustration but to accuse him of not being a professional and of not caring is absurd beyond belief. I do believe that Chase Utley has hit into a double play in his career. No wonder players have such contempt for fans.

    By the way, what is Chipper Jones OPS this year? He is still one of the better players in the league. Frustration is no excuse for slandering one of the best players in Braves history.

  94. Chipper’s a Hall of Famer, Marc. No doubt about that.

    But Babe Ruth was a Hall of Famer- hell, THE Hall of Famer- and he didn’t help the 1935 Braves (granted, nothing short of divine intervention could).

    Willie Mays was an inner-circle Hall of Famer. It didn’t make his stumbling around for the Mets any less pathetic.

    Bruce Sutter’s in the Hall of Fame. He never helped the Braves to any extent in his time here, between constant injury and talent evaporation (closely related).

    There comes a time when ability gives out, and it’s true for all of us. And the man himself is the last to know.

  95. McCann, after caring a TON in the Utley at-bat, shows his true colors on that passed ball. Then rebounds and decides to care on a fastball in the dirt.

    Arodys obviously cares the least of all Braves.

  96. It should be noted that those runs from Vizcaino were absolutely meaningless. Those should go on his Surrendered Runs Average, not his ERA.

  97. The team with nothing to play for looks more determined than the team with their season on the line.

    That, or the Braves just suck right now.

  98. Chip just said this one is looking bleak. Really, why? The Braves are only down 6. I mean theyve scored 3 runs in their last 31 innings. There’s still a chance.

  99. I’m really annoyed that we haven’t been able to agree on a good, sophomoric, insulting nickname for Derek Lowe, like Wes Smelms, or Smelky Cabrera, or Kim Jong-Il. I think we should go with Derek Blowe until we reach consensus on something else.

  100. Since Chipper said this team could play with the Phillies. The Braves are 0-6 against them and been outscored 42-8.

  101. I’m really annoyed that we haven’t been able to agree on a good, sophomoric, insulting nickname for Derek Lowe, like Wes Smelms, or Smelky Cabrera, or Kim Jong-Il. I think we should go with Derek Blowe until we reach consensus on something else.

    How about a site poll? The one here now (“Could Fredi be any dumber?”) is staler than week-old bread.

  102. The sad part is that even though pretty much *any* minor league starter would have helped the Braves more than Lowe during September (not that the offense or other pitchers are without fault), if they were to somehow miraculously pull off a playoff berth, you just know that Lowe will start one or more games.

  103. AAR, didn’t Smelky get his 200th hit on the season the other night? (I still don’t understand how it happened.)

  104. AAR, See 147.

    Seriously, John is right. The Astros don’t have a lot of talent, but they’ve got pride, and the marvelous thing about baseball is that, for a little while, that can get you by.

  105. Fredi postgame predictions – “We wanted to give Julio some rest. 9 days sounded about right. Didn’t want to put the kid in a pressure situation, so Derek started the game. Once Derek gave up five runs, Roger and I felt more comfortable. Kid pitched great. Just great.”

  106. BRETT!!

    Honestly, it’s good to feel positive again. The Braves were making me wonder if I’d lost that ability forever.

  107. @232

    “Well, I dropped my DS before the game and the batteries fell out. I spent the first four innings trying to find them. I found one under David Ross’s foot. When I couldn’t find the rest, I looked up and it was 4-0. I looked out on the field at that big pile of dirt thing and saw D-Lowe all tired looking. Then I thought of that time that he and I played tic-tac-toe. I realized that tic-tac-toe would be fun, so I went to ask him if he would like to play. He said yes. Well, after playing for over an hour with no winner, he finally beat me. Gotta tip your hat to him.”

  108. Matt Holliday hurt his hand, according to GameDay. Glad my schadenfreude is still there, too.

    EDIT: JIMMY!!

  109. If the Astros pull this shit off tonight and tomorrow they deserve to get a real prospect sent their way.

  110. Things I learned watching the Astros game: Our old friend Derek Lilliquist is filling in as Cardinals pitching coach while Duncan is on leave.

  111. Fredi cares the least by starting a sure loser like lowe when there were talented minor leaguers on the roster. Screw that overpaid veteran. He’s only good for mopping up games. I hope he never pitches again for the Braves, because he’s an affront to a thinking fan. And I hope Fredi watches that baseball movie with someone smart enough to tell him that he should start using his brain to win games too.

  112. Good news is Astros are actually trying.

    Bad news is, if the Braves were this could have been the night they clinched.

  113. check this out…Shuck, Altuve, Bogusevic, Lee, Wallace, Paredes, Barmes, Towles, Sosa has combined for more runs in 3 innings than our lineup has produced in its last 36 innings.

  114. There was a time when Derek Lowe was useful, and I think most people knew at the time that we overpaid to have him, instead of the scrubs that made up most of our 2008 rotation. The back end of nearly every big money contract given to a pitcher is money wasted.

    That said, we’re at that part of Lowe’s contract, and he should simply be released if we can’t trade him (and I can’t imagine Wren getting anything very useful, even eating most of Lowe’s salary).

  115. Dan, if the Braves were trying, this race would have been over a week ago! Heck, these games might have come all the way around to meaning something again (namely, the NL East title).

  116. @258 I think he will in next season. I think he was rushed a bit this year after he was moved to the bullpen to limit his innings.

  117. Well, if we aren’t gonna score we might as well make the Phillies run the bases all night. Maybe someone will pull a hammy or jam a finger.

  118. If the Astros can do the Braves’ work for them, the Braves will go into the playoffs with a ton of momentum. Lead balloons weigh at least a ton, right? And I’m not sure what’s more embarrassing…losing the last 3 games of the season to the worst team in baseball and blowing a chance at the playoffs or losing collapsing in September while losing the last 3 to the best team at home and sneaking in.

    Edit: Well, looks like the Astros can’t really close it out.

  119. 259: Just a rake? If you can’t get at least a bag of balls in that kind of a deal, you’re not really trying.

    Here’s my thinking on Boston’s former closer. At any given time, a major league team can only afford one Kawakami. Since we wipe our current Kawakami off the books this year, he can be next year’s Kawakami. Just ship him down to AA. It would be an object lesson to kids coming up through the system that one day they might get the Kawakami treatment.

  120. Going into this game, the Braves were batting .239/.306/.363. That sounds awful, but it’s actually completely in character — we’re batting .244/.309/.388 on the season.

    Overall, we’re tied for the 6th-worst average in baseball, tied for the 5th-worst OBP, and tied for the 10th-worst slugging percentage.

  121. So the Marlins are compensating the White Sox by giving them their 4th and 6th best prospects? For a manager? Doesn’t seem like the smartest business move.

  122. Yadier up with the bases loaded and 1 out. Sosa’s a little wild lately.

    UPDATE 1: Weak fly that nonetheless landed in front of the RF. Only one run scored. Let’s get a DP here, ‘stros!

    UPDATE 2: Bases clearing double. 5-4 Astros.

  123. Well, this happens when you place your hopes on a 56-104 team.

    kc, the Marlins are run by smart people; it’s just that they use baseball purely as a way to make money and don’t really care who knows it. So they make money and bad baseball decisions.

  124. Wait, so the Marlins give up two solid prospects and get the worst manager in baseball. We play them how many times a year?

    Nice.

  125. What a joke the Braves are … they get behind the fold … the Astros get up on the Cards .. the Cards fight back ,,, Braves got no guts

  126. According to twitter, Turner Field was filled with lets go Houston chants when they were up 5-0. What a pathetic team this has turned into.

  127. I think you have to tip your cap to the Phillies. They just know how to win.

    I also think you have to tip over garbage cans in frustration for the Braves. They just know how to lose.

  128. In the braves defense, the cards are playing a 100 loss team, the braves are playing a 100 win team.

    No excuse for not showing up though.

  129. yea they are pathetic … rooting for another team to get you off hook .. its over … Cards will win tonight and tommorrow and Braves get shutout tommorrow by Cole Hamels.

  130. There is no defending the Braves. They play the same against 100 win teams as they play against the Mets and Nats and Marlins. We are a terrible baseball team right now, and we do not deserve to succeed. I’m still rooting for victory, but we don’t deserve to win.

    Inning finally over in Houston, still 5-5.

  131. @127 Bethany, (since this game is no longer viewable),

    My daughter Allie is a Senior at MICA and she tries to go nowhere in Baltimore without her boyfriend and/or a group of friends. My wife and I go up there from Georgia at least twice a year. Allie was a lead in “Hair” and was Blanche Dubois in “Streetcar…” for MICA. Our favorite place is Tir Na Nog Bar at Inner Harbor out on the upper deck, people watching (and imbibing.)
    We’re proud of her grades and according to her credit card statements, she is buying lots of art supplies at artsy -named places like Jeromes, The Tavern, and Midtown where you may buy supplies as well. Stay safe and congrats on your choice of art schools!

  132. The Devil Rays got up off the mat against the Yankees. Good for them. I hope they make it so I can have a team to root for in the postseason.

    We’re facing Joe Blanton tomorrow? He’s in that category of Capuano/Randy Wells eminently beatable. We’ll have to find new ways to lose that game. I think we’re good for it.

    Chip sounded way too excited about that Prado homer. “That takes care of the shutout.” For crying out loud, why is that even worth uttering???

  133. Hey, Derek Lilliquist is acting pitching coach for the Cards! He got me some great seats behind home plate to an Indians game at the Mistake On the Lake, their last season in that park. (He’s a friend of a friend.)

  134. #292 .. cause of the leadership .. Braves have suffered all year hitting with RISP .. Parrish doesnt have the experience for that job he has .. aside from that St Louis is trying to make opportunities .. last night even though they lost the cards executed a double steal to get guys into scoring position .. we had bourn and prado on last night and they stay put and chipper hits into his DP ..

  135. On the positive side, Lowe’s ERA is over 5.00. Since the current administration only regards ERA as a metric, I deem this a positive, since seeing such a Mark Redman-like number might shake it from its multiple months of denial.

  136. The current administration certainly does not only regard ERA. We got Vazquez based on his good peripherals, and that worked out very well.

  137. 296: You do realize that, come playoff time, D-Lo’s numbers start over at 0.00, right?

    Aw hell, Paredes beat that out. Still, we got a run there. 6-5 Astros.

    UPDATE: One thing I’ve learned about my new favorite team: I don’t like depending on Barmes. He sucks! Leaves another runner on base.

  138. Lowe’s going to lead the NL and tie for the major-league lead in losses, ONIO. I suspect the old-school stats will be at least as convincing as ERA.

    At least Paredes got one run home; that’s one run more than we usually manage.

  139. Lowe is the first Braves pitcher to lose more than 14 games in a season since Tom Glavine in 1988.

  140. @301 Yes, but I was kidding about her art supply purchases. Her Mother and I know she doesn’t buy art supplies at Jerome’s Liquors, The Tavern and Midtown Liquors. :)

    However,she’s a beachbum’s offspring so “gets it honest” as we say in the South. And, she is making her grades and happy. The decision as to what to do after graduation is huge, as with all college grads today. Good luck with your future and….GO BRAVES!!

  141. It’s more painful-looking than hilarious. He’s back at the plate, though, and …

    making an out! Seven left!

  142. I’ve come to see this as a precious gift. It’s usually so hard for me to let baseball go for the winter, but not this year. This year i’ll celebrate the arrival of 4 months devoid of Derek Lowe and Fredi.

  143. @308 I’m familiar with those places, though I don’t partake so I haven’t been getting any “supplies” there. Best of luck to her after she graduates.

  144. Tied in wild card.

    Braves finished tomorrow.

    Cardinals had two outs and no one on and have thus far scored three. They’re the opposite of the Braves.

  145. It looks like the Cardinals actually care. All the Braves can hope for is to somehow beat Philly and for Houston to somehow beat the Cards…all on the same night. Atlanta won’t win a 1-game playoff against the Cards.

  146. Oh man. We’ve experienced heartbreak in year’s past but this is going to be a tough one to forget.

  147. I told yall earlier in post what was gonna happen … Cards win tonight to get tie and Braves get shutout tommorrow by (whoever the Phils throw out there) and Cards win tommorrow .. all over … one of the worst finishes in major league history … please Bobby please come back !!!!!!

  148. After this year, the organization has a few choices. It can:

    a. Clean house (fire Fredi and Parrish at a minimum), make a couple of exciting moves, and get geared up for 2012.
    b. Don’t clean house, still manage to make a couple of exciting moves (try to dump Lowe to sign a big free agent), and get geared up for 2012.
    c. Do nothing. Maybe make a couple of lackluster moves.

    Why is it that I think “c” is what they’ll probably choose?

  149. You know, if the Braves and Cardinals tie, and so do the Rays and the Red Sox, we’ll have Bud Selig’s vision for the extra Wild Card play-in game a season or two early. I can just imagine him braying about how much added excitement the extra Wild Card game brings to baseball. That alone makes me want both races to get decided on the last day of the regular season.

  150. Why is it that I think “c” is what they’ll probably choose?

    Because the “it was all injuries” spinsters already have their articles written.

  151. @327 – It will probably be option B. That’s pretty much Wren’s MO. I hope that nobody gets the idea that the Braves weren’t built to succeed or anything. Everything was done that could be done off the field. They were well built, they just choked and blew a sure thing.

  152. Four double Gentleman Jack after th braves lose, and I’m wondering who between Carlos Lee and Prince Fielder would win the sumo celebrity deathmatch. These guys together are 600 pounds.

  153. It will be blamed on the injuries to hanson and Jurgins but the rookies pitched well enough to win .. its all on the hitting … to many lapses from Prado and McCann and Chipper … and bad first half from Uggla and bad year from Gonzalez and heyward .. Freeman gave us something .. hope we dont have to look at a Heyward 2nd year for Freeman next year.

  154. This is the same situation now as 2010. A tie going into the final day, with the Braves starting first. Though they blew a two games lead over the Padres with three to play, it wasn’t as depressing.

    The Braves will win tomorrow

    They haven’t really shown any ability lately to win. But a battle of the undeservings in game #163 would make Selig happy.

  155. While I don’t think it will happen, I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see Parrish go. Someone has to take the fall for the offensive collapse that occurred, right? RIGHT?

  156. Fielder seems like a mean asshole. I think he’d probably kick dirt in Lee’s eye and then slice him with a shiv he had up his sleeve. Drink one for me Jeff.

  157. Still cant believe in Sept we lost 2 of 3 to LA, 0-6 to Phils after tommorrow, 0-3 with Cards, 3-3 with marlins, lost 2 of 3 to Mets and lost 2 of 3 to Nats .. thats 6 wins and 18 losses … worst collapse in history .. wait to go Gonzalez … you idiot .. trying to be calm and act like Bobby … somebody should have taken leadership of this team and got in some asses !!!

  158. I believe that it is fate that Hudson gets the ball in the most important game of the season against the same team two years in a row.

  159. “The battle between the Rays and Red Sox has been far more compelling, probably because too many people in Boston have come to believe the playoffs are the Red Sox’s birthright. Atlanta would be equally compelling if Bobby Cox were still in the dugout. If He was, he’d either be thrown out of every game or the Braves would still be 8.5 games up. Probably the latter”.
    That said Fredi needs to go, house cleaning is urgent I can’t believe we still owe Lowe 15 mil. This time has absolutely no fire in them somebody needs to be thrown under the bus or something!!

  160. From the clubhouse: “It’s not what we want, obviously,” Gonzalez said of the veteran’s latest disappointing performance, and a loss that left the Braves hoping for help late Tuesday from a Houston team with the worst record in baseball. “I’m not going to mince any words.”

    Fredi then proceeded to mince all his words.

  161. New fan rule. No one can care more about the team’s performance than the manager and/or highest paid player.

    So I trust no one is watching tomorrow’s game unless they’re expressly paid to, right?

  162. Things like this really piss me off….

    per AJC.

    Lowe fell to 4-11 with a 6.19 ERA in his past 15 starts, and the Braves will have to decide if the 38-year-old’s big-game pedigree from years past outweighs the fact that he has been outpitched by rookies Brandon Beachy, Mike Minor and Randall Delgado.

    If they use a three-man rotation for that short series, the once-unthinkable prospect of leaving Lowe out of an already injury-depleted rotation might become a distinct possibility.

    MIGHT?????

  163. Punto just hit a home run. McGuire met him in the dugout and injected him with steroids. New hazing technique for the Cards.

  164. Leaving the league leader in losses, with an ERA over six since late July, out of the rotation is “once-unthinkable”?

    The Atlanta press is getting the finish it deserves, but why are WE getting the finish they deserve?

  165. @353

    I’m watching for one reason, and one reason only: it’ll be six months before the next game that counts.

  166. @195,

    That’s a silly analogy. Babe Ruth was awful in 1935. Chipper JOnes has been the Braves best player for most of the second half. If I recall, he hit a home run and a double off Cliff Lee. What did anyone else on the team do

    But, it’s one thing to question is skill level, it’s another to question his professionalism. I understand the frustration but it’s silly to blame Chipper Jones for the collapse. He is about 25th in line for that.

    My prediction for tomorrow is that “Huddy” gives up 3 runs in the first inning.

  167. I’m not going to mince any words. Fredi needs to be the sacrificial offering to the baseball gods to help fans believe next year will be better. I finally understand why managers get fired. Fans like to feel like ownership cares, and I can’t say I’ve felt that way since Ted left.

  168. So, in the last game of the season, Pastornicky gets a callup. I guess that means Alex won’t be playing tomorrow.

  169. Dumb Fredi is about a month late in thinking the unthinkable. A win or two from the black hole of Lowe’s past starts would have come in handy. But Fredi is unlikely to have to do much more “thinking” this season.

  170. A lot of people seem to think outcomes are the direct result of caring. I do not understand this. You can care and still suck. I understand the frustration, but I really don’t get the arguments being made here.

  171. Drewdat,
    I might watch if someone paid me 1000 bucks. I will watch the replay for free if it sounds like they actually played well. Seems unlikely.
    I must also avoid contact with espn and the Mlb channel. Its embarrassing to hear other people note how your team has humiliated itself in public.
    I decided a few weeks ago to stop watching until they started playing well. So I’ve had lots of time to pursue other interests, obviously.

  172. Ok, replace “caring” with “not sucking” or “not choking”. Now does it make sense? In Fredi’s case it’s “not caring to change his idiotic mistaken approach to managing a team”. For ownership it means “not caring enough about winning to spend as much money as those owners that care more about such things”

  173. I was trashing Fredi and Derek Lowe as much as anything. However, I don’t think I’ve paid undivided attention to a game for more than 15 minutes or so since Infante’s walkoff. Maybe that one time that we won.

  174. I think someone’s gonna get canned, and it’ll be Parrish.

    If the team underperforms heading into the ASB next year, Fredi will be out.

    I don’t think Prado will be back either.

  175. With Fredi in particular, I think one of my biggest “not caring” beefs is that he just doesn’t get thrown out very often, and Bobby used to do it a lot. I accept that Fredi’s a different human being than Bobby Cox, but he also appears to be a worse manager. Hell, join the crowd — outside of Joe McCarthy and John McGraw, most human beings are worse managers than Bobby. Still, it’s hard to shake the notion that Fredi does a lot of what Bobby was bad at, and not enough of what Bobby was good at.

    In terms of the team, I’m sure that they “care” emotionally, but it’s hard to watch their half-hearted, half-assed at-bats and feel anything other than a profound sense that they’ve given up. It sure as hell looks that way on television.

  176. The result is not surprising. Unfortunately, it would be nice to make Lowe the scapegoat, but the Braves have not been hitting either. This collapse has been a team achievement.

    That said, the only silver lining for me is that a year from now Derek Lowe will have pitched his last game.

    And, yes, Parish and Freddy should be fired, though it will probably only happen to the former.

    Thank God for college football….

  177. Fredi Lemming Gonzalez apparently started Derek Lowe because it was his turn in the rotation.

    And we pay him?

    Who didn’t know that this was going to happen?

    When Sam’s cat can do as good a job as our manager, well, we do indeed have a problem.

    What a bunch of choking bastards.

  178. @376 I thought the team will eventuall heat up by last week and we would be heading to playoff with good momentum. Unfortunately, they have gotten themselves into this mess. They have no hope in beating the Phillies, if they ever make it there.

  179. Maybe Bud paid the Braves and Red Sox to create a race for both leagues. Under this assumption, then I would imagine both the Braves and the Red Sox would return to normal tomorrow…ha…

  180. I’m past the point where I’d be excited if the Cards lost and the Braves won today. Sad. I’m already thinking about the offseason.

  181. I was genuinely excited to see what would happen if the Cardinals and Braves both lost out. With a 5-0 lead last night in the Cards/Astros game, the impossible was seeming more likely. But now that that’s over, I’ve got no enthusiasm one way or the other. If the Braves win 10-0 today and the Cards lose 10-0, I suppose that’ll be something.

    But almost more than I’m looking forward to that is that I’m dreading the resultant quotes from the clubhouse: “This team really pulled together”, “I’m proud of these guys, they’re all winners in my book”, “We really got some veteran leadership when we really needed it” and “This team’s shown a lot of character overcoming all these injuries.” Bleh.

  182. Curiosity question: I’ve never bought a Braves ticket with cash at the box office. If you bought a playoff ticket with cash, and the Braves don’t make it, how do you get your refund?

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