Phillies 4, Braves 2

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 01, 2012 – ESPN.

Jonny Venters, who had been unscored upon this season, gave up two runs in the eighth to break a 2-2 tie, and the Phillies got a win where the Braves were in position to steal one from Cole Hamels. Maybe Durbin should have pitched.

The Phillies got two runs off of Brandon Beachy in the fourth, coming on a two-out double with two men on after Beachy retired the first ten men in order. Brian McCann cut the lead in half with a solo homer in the fourth, and Freddie Freeman scored on a Juan Francisco sac fly in the sixth to tie it.

Venters didn’t have it. After allowing a double and a single to start the eighth, the first run scored on a strikeout/wild pitch, and the next run on a single. Kris Medlen came in to put out the fire but it was too late. The Braves got two hits in the bottom of the inning but a double play was in-between them, and they didn’t do anything in the ninth.

314 thoughts on “Phillies 4, Braves 2”

  1. Venters wasn’t as bad as his line would indicate. Lots of jammed bloops and seeing-eye singles. Just bad luck. And, of course, we’re not putting much of a defense out there, other than in center.

  2. Didnt watch the game. Of course, its on DVR but when they lose I dont go back to see any of it. Sutton and crew were talking about Bmac not getting in front of Venters slider. Should he have been able to block it or was it just an awful pitch. It couldnt have been that bad if Polanco struck out on it. I dont see how a catcher could call for a slider down and in and not be able to stay in front of it. That was a huge run.

  3. It’s time for the Braves to prove that they are a “very talented team” as McCann keeps saying. They have now scored 33 runs in the last 10 games. Granted, they have seen some good pitching so I guess it’s hat tipping time.

  4. McCann definitely should’ve blocked it, but it ending up not really mattering, as the Phillies got a hit or two afterward that would’ve scored the run, anyway.

  5. Yeah, Venters’ inning was pretty much the definition of bad luck. The hardest hit ball was the infield-single comebacker that he deflected.

  6. “You’ve got to tip your cap to them.”

    Fredi actually said it and Diaz did too. Maybe the Braves should play without hats so they have the hat tipping out of the way.

    The next thing, the Braves will move off the sidewalk when the Phillies walk by.

  7. #3 – Yeah, but they’ve mostly avoided the best pitchers. They had an easy April schedule. Beating Halladay tonight could get them going again.

  8. .107/.103/.107/.211

    Yes, Jack Wilson has really been that bad. Like Stu said last night, he shouldve been PH for late in the game and we could worry about SS if the game made it that far.

  9. I hate the whole “tip your cap” crap. The only time to tip your cap is if you get no-hit.

  10. “Tip your cap” phrase should be limited to once per month. Its ok to say “we sucked tonight.”

  11. I’m ready to see Andrelton Simmons get a couple of games at 3B and 2B in Mississippi, with an eye towards bringing him up and making use of his glove around the infield. There’s no doubt — none — that he’s a better baseball player than Jack Wilson right now. And if he’s an elite defensive player in the minors, then he’s an elite defensive player in the majors, and we need that.

  12. @11,

    How about “oh Phillies, you are masters of the universe and we tremble in your presence?”

  13. If they lose tonight, which would be what 9 straight to the Phils, I would think that phrase could be correct.

  14. Simmons needs regular ABs. I would say we are stuck with Wilson for at least another month before we look for a three month rental. Back up SS are a dime a dozen, though we won’t get much more out of one than we are getting out of Wilson.

    Motions for nicknaming Jack Wilson “Castaway” after the movie. Any seconds?

  15. Yep, Venters got bitten last night by the old BABIP small sample size curse. Bloops, comebackers, and awkward inside-out swings (although Pence did do it twice, so maybe it’s not as awkward as it looks?) will bite you in the butt from time to time.

  16. Since this is Chipper’s last year, I say all hands on deck. If we have a guy who has an elite skill and we keep it on the shelf, then we’re wasting the opportunity we have right now.

  17. If Simmons comes up, he’ll be playing SS. He’s probably the best defensive SS in the minors currently. No way the Braves will use him as a utility guy.

  18. If you play a lot of close games and rely on the bullpen to bail you out, sometimes it will bite you. It’s hard to win when you score two runs even against a weak Phillies lineup.

  19. Since 2005, Braves have only won the season series from the Phillies once. Time to put up.

  20. “Castaway” for Wilson?

    Well, it does describe what he does with his at bats.

  21. The fact is, the Phillies have been better than the Braves most of those years. It’s hard to put up when you are playing a better team. The Phillies seem to be starting a decline but they still have dominant pitching and, like it was with the Braves-Mets, they feel like they can beat the Braves whenever.

  22. @23 – No doubt Phillies were better those years (although one year was 4-14, nobody’s THAT much better). But a lot of people thought the talent gap was as small this year as it has been for a while and the Phills are without two very good hitters. I say we take the next two and help bury them early!

  23. Well, it is only the first game of the season between the teams. The fact is, it was a close game involving two very good pitchers and the Phillies won. And you don’t necessarily HAVE to beat the Phillies head-to-head to win the division. The Red Sox cleaned the Yankees clock last year but how did that division turn out? I’m much more concerned about the Braves overall lack of hitting the last two weeks.

  24. #27 – True. However, the Phils shouldnt be able to bring that punchless lineup into Atl and win a series. Braves really need to take care of business against this Philly team.

  25. Good points. Although, for some reason this Braves team (like those of the last few years) seems to play to the level of their opponent. I feel like they are just as likely to go 2-2 at home against the Pirates as they are to sweep the Rangers. They don;t really beat up on the dregs like lots of division winners do.

  26. Sigh. What to do with McCann.

    Great guy. Very good hitter. Calls a good game.

    One of the worst defensive catchers in the bigs.

    Despite what Simpson said, McCann made no effort to position himself to block the ball and HE KNEW WHAT WAS COMING!!

    Entering the bottom of the ninth down one instead of two is huge. Incredibly damaging play.

    Unless the NL goes to the DH (and I think it’s coming), the Braves cannot afford to sign McCann to the kind of contract he’ll be offered by some AL team.

    I will truly hate losing McCann, but we gotta face facts and get the most for him that we can. Don’t wait too long, Braves.

  27. Pastornicky has not lost the starting SS job — it is Wilson who is (presumably, tho it may not be wise to presume) in the process of losing the backup SS job, the duties of which also involve backing up other infield positions (2B more than 3B on this team, but still).

    This is how Yunel, Furcal, and Blauser (the last three SS we developed who debuted as Braves) first got onto the major league roster. They were all more or less exclusively SS in the minors until AA, then got some time at other positions, then got playing time in their early ML careers by playing those multiple positions, before eventually settling into being major league shortstops. Because we needed the help, as we do now.

  28. We were all waiting for justhank’s take on McCann’s eighth inning last night.

    The DH in the NL ain’t happening.

  29. Blauser, 1987 AA stats before his callup at age 21: .228/.310/.320. 13-year career, made two All-Star games

    Furcal, 1999 A+ stats, year before his callup at age 22: .293/.343/.375. 13-year career, ROY, made two All-Star games

    Simmons, 22 years old, 2012 AA .325/.383/.434

  30. The point being, this isn’t the Andrelton Simmons Development Club. It’s the Atlanta Braves Baseball Club. You bring up young guys to fill gaps sometimes. And when you have one who can do something important better than most other major league players right now, and when that current roster spot is being manned by a gaping maw of suckage, then what’s the question again?

  31. You guys are way too hard on justhank. He isn’t like Coach or something. But you guys act like he’s got some unreasonable vendetta against McCann.

    McCann is a huge asset, best catcher in the league on the whole.

    But his defense sucks. He can’t throw to second, on plays at the plate he waves the tag before he has the ball, and he’s got bad habits when blocking pitches in the dirt.

    He’s still a huge net asset. And when he’s right, he can carry the team. The problem is that, just like “speed doesn’t slump,” defense doesn’t really get hot. So a passed ball, a terrible throw, or a terrible tag could come at any time and turn any game.

    When you’re a bad defender, and you hit .230 for a month, you aren’t helping.

  32. McCann ranks fifth on the team in fWAR. He is most certainly helping the team.

    There’s going to come a time when we will need to consider trading him, but not yet.

  33. I’m not advocating trading him. But considering what his next contract will cost, it probably should happen.

    He’d be more valuable to a team that could DH him twice a week.

  34. Entering the bottom of the ninth down one instead of two is huge. Incredibly damaging play.

    The play ended up having no effect on how many runs scored. It wasn’t like he converted an out into a baserunner — he allowed a runner to score who would’ve scored on the subsequent hit, anyway.

  35. @42 You can’t assume everything else would play out the same way. McCann letting the ball get past might have rattled Venters and caused him to make different pitches, or to not execute them as well.

  36. @43 True, but you similarly can’t assume the next run wouldn’t have scored, as did the comment to which Stu responded.

  37. Exactly. Bad play by McCann, no one disputes that — but it’s hard to argue that it cost the Braves a run.

  38. One thing we can all agree on: if we lose this series, it’ll be Tommy’s fault.

  39. I suppose in some existential sense “the run would have scored anyway” matters.

    But he didn’t block a pitch properly, and the winning run scored.

  40. The point being, this isn’t the Andrelton Simmons Development Club. It’s the Atlanta Braves Baseball Club.

    I don’t fundamentally disagree with you. But here’s the thing. There aren’t that many ways to improve your team; player development is basically all we’ve got, and our minor leagues are thin as it is. Simmons has the talent to be a major league shortstop, but the jury’s out on whether he’ll hit. Will he turn into Rafael Belliard, or Elvis Andrus? The difference could be worth tens of millions of dollars to the Braves, whether or not they play Simmons or trade him.

    Because we are, for all intents and purposes, a lower-middle class team for the next couple of decades, signing MLB free agents is mostly out of reach for us. In fact, the Schuerholz-Wren era has been marked by the Braves’ extreme resistance to signing large free agent contracts, Greg Maddux and Derek Lowe notwithstanding.

    The Braves have gotten profoundly lucky a few times over the last decade, turning castoffs into essential pieces of the team, from Julio Franco to Eric O’Flaherty to Brandon Beachy. But that obviously won’t happen too often. Simmons is one of the only serious minor league position prospects that the Braves have.

    Also, I know that this is sort of the Braves Journal equivalent of Godwin’s Law, but the last time we called up a young, projectible, toolsy position player with questionable on-base skills from Double-A because of need at the big league level, he turned into Jeff Francoeur.

    Jack Wilson may not be able to hit at the major league level any more — he was always bad, and now he may be unplayably bad. I’d much rather that they cut him and give the job to someone replacement-level, like, say, Josh Wilson, than potentially harm the development of our top position prospect.

  41. We’ll need a miracle to get to Halladay tonight. Probably a good idea to go ahead and stretch a little so we don’t pull anything while tipping our caps.

  42. I would give anything for our hitters to be able to work counts and drive up pitch counts the way Philadelphia’s can.

  43. Tommy Hanson needs one of those themed fan clubs… They could just be a bunch of regular guys, in regular clothes, and they could be called “Tommy’s We Can’t Play Major League Baseball Eithers.”

  44. I’m still waiting for all this “talent” on the Braves to show up. We’ve been hearing for years about the great player development but it seems that all we are getting is a slightly above average team. Maybe that’s all you can expect given their inability to spend. The Braves do a great job of getting players to the majors but it doesn’t seem to amount to all that much.

  45. Not that I’m happy with the result tonight, but I think you all may be overreacting juuuust a little bit.

  46. Adam is probably right. The problem is, it’s hard to know what kind of team this is. Other than the bullpen, the team is wildly inconsistent.

  47. Like most teams, we’ll tend to lose badly when we’re facing Roy Halladay. You guys know Roy Halladay, right? He’s quite good. He does this to everybody. It really is OK to “tip your cap” to him. (But it does get infuriating when that’s the Fredi quote for, say, Jonathan Niese.)

    Also, sometimes, great pitchers pee their pants up there. Tommy’s not even a great pitcher.

    And look, here’s a little rally.

  48. All of my good feelings about the team had evaporated.

    Urge to kill…fading.

  49. Was Brian’s eye bleeding on the way back in? Have the sound off while I study.

  50. I actually “saw” the home run on Gamecast on my phone. I couldn’t believe it. On MLB Network they showed the Phillies dugout after the homerun; they seemed in shock.

  51. I bet Chip’s call was epic. Now I have to turn this shit back on and see a few innings of high-leverage Durbin.

  52. I’m glad McCann’s OK. And I want you all to know, I couldn’t have a more smug, satisfied look on my face right now. O ye of little faith.



    McCann murdered that fifth inning rally.

  55. At Turner Field for the first time this year! The place is rocking!

    It’s nice to watch Halladay implode in person.

  56. This Halladay guy sucks. Our guy gave up four, and we called it an episode. He gave up eight. What’s that, a mini-series? I bet they’ll send him down tomorrow.

  57. @99- I bet they’re already calling Frank Wren, trying to trade him to us for Chad Durbin. Hope we turn ’em down.

  58. Time to DL EOF or get him out of the 7th inning role. The lead off walk was predictably damaging

  59. Are you kidding me? If Mayberry played against the Braves every night he would hit .420 and win a gold glove

  60. I was fine with losing this game until we came back and took the lead. Now I is sad.

  61. The bottom of the fifth and sixth innings is what screenwriting courses call a “false dawn.”

  62. I think someone needs to take out Ruiz. Just put Kimbrel in and tell him to aim for the head.

  63. What the Phillies have proven is, if you hang with them, eventually this Braves team will collapse, curl in to a ball, and wet themselves.

    Play us tough, and we’ll eventually beat ourselves.

  64. That second grounder up the middle should’ve gotten Medlen out of the inning. A major league SS makes that play. Not that it matters.

  65. I guess all those other teams we beat so far this season, including some that went to the playoffs last year, just didn’t want to hang with us badly enough.

    Tonight is not grounds for plumbing the depths of the team’s (imaginary) psyche. Three of our pitchers performed terribly on the same night — the night of MAY 2, no less. No more, no less.

    It’s you all who drove yourselves crazy turning this into the game that would or should reverse the team’s struggles against the Phillies for the past half-decade.

  66. Adam, I think it’s one of those funny things about sports, but one game can turn a team’s psyche against an opponent. Whether it’s ping-pong, lawn darts or major league baseball, a little confidence goes a long way. Just my opinion though.

  67. Quite the strawman you built there.

    And we tie the game. We are the greatest evar.

  68. Ok, so maybe CK can just get three outs and save Ruiz for later :). Please get three outs, Craig.

  69. If Kimbrel walks the leadoff hitter, I will refuse to be held accountable for my actions.

  70. So we have the lead and Freddie’s getting high fives. Awesome. I’ll watch the missing stuff later.

  71. And can we get Wags to call Kimbrel on the phone before he goes into the game?

  72. What is going on with this game?

    …And a leadoff walk by Kimbrel. Gotta be kidding. C’mon, let’s end the drama right here.

  73. Yeah, it wasnt close to being a strike. Thats a make up call on all those calls on Bourn at 2nd this year.

  74. Given the way this game has gone it will probably end after Durbin pitches 5 hitless/scoreless innings and Jack Wilson hits a monster homerun.

  75. “Chooch” Ruiz and fucking Shane Victorino.

    Words can’t describe the hate.

  76. Chip gets my heart racing with those calls and I look up and it’s a routine fly. C’mon.

  77. At this point I’m kinda rooting for 27 innings and seeing which pitcher we bring in as the emergency catcher.

  78. Typical terrible at bat by Bourn. Pitcher just walks a guy on 4 pitches so he swings at the first two pitches and pops out. Not great discipline for a lead off hittet

  79. Wonder if Fredi is contemplating forfeiting. I mean, how can you possibly play without having a backup catcher available.

  80. With the way Venters is pitching, I don’t know why they even come to the plate.

  81. I’m fully aware that its easy for me to say, since Ross K’ed in a pretty ugly at-bat… But of all nights, tonight I might have held on to Ross, what with McCann’s recent injury.

  82. My phone always wants to correct his name to “dust bin.” I’m not sure why I always fix it…

  83. What is it with us and Pennsylvania teams? There’d better not be some kid yelling, “Let’s Go Phillies…”

  84. That was so easy I fear there’s a booby trap at the end of it. Let’s score a run this inning so we don’t have to find out.

  85. If Delgado pitches tonight, that means the Braves will call up Jurrjens to start tomorrow.


  87. 11th inning homer, and the clock behind Chipper’s head during the post-game interview read 11:11.

  88. Would’ve been a tough loss to take, but… very, very memorable that one. One of the craziest games I’ve ever experienced.

  89. That might be the craziest Braves game I’ve ever seen. The only one that might come close would be that game against the Mets long ago where Rick Camp homered in the 18th.

  90. That’s the type of game that could have derailed an entire season if we had lost after coming back and coming back.

    Got to tip your cap to Durbin.

  91. Still doesn’t touch the Rick Camp game for crazy, but the result was way better. Chippah!!!

  92. Amen on the recap. These are the kinds of games that are even better in a Mac recap.

  93. I still got the jitters, but I don’t mind so much because the Braves got the win.

    Go, Braves!

  94. Off the top of my head, regular season favorite wins:

    This game, The Otis Nixon catch game, The Justice homer game in ’91 in Cinncy, Merker’s no hitters, Chipper against the Mets in 99

  95. Too bad Chipper was so selfish that he didn’t retire so the Braves could use the money to get a productive player.

  96. So glad I didn’t dismiss the game when we were down 12-8. Just wow.

    I just changed my fantasy team’s name to ‘Larry Wayne Jones Jr’

  97. The Justice homer in Cincy is probably my favorite Braves regular season win, and there was also that game a few years ago where we came back and scored like 7 in the 9th against the Reds at home.

    This game goes right near the top for sure. I think I gave up at least 4 different times.

  98. I was listening on the radio and it was 6-0. When I got back home I really didn’t want to turn on the tv. I was completely shocked to see it 6-6 when I finally turned it on. Definitely ranks right up there with the Brooks Conrad game of two years ago, but it’s more special being against the Phillies.

  99. Gotta say, this vodka drink’s tasting pretty good right now.

    Yes, let’s break their hearts again tomorrow. Why not?

  100. For us old farts the Bob Watson homer game against the Dodgers was pretty good too back in ’83.

  101. Amazingly entertaining read, this thread.

    Helluva win. I sure do love Chipper Jones.

  102. Epic game. If it was in the playoffs, they would talk about it for years.

    By the way, what was that about the Braves psyche?

    The Phillies must be sick; a 6 run lead with Halladay and they lose? And then another 4-run lead ?

    And the Caps and Rangers are about to go into a third overtime. What a night!

  103. So, what kind of marks does Fredi receive tonight? How well did he manage the bullpen and bench?

  104. @269, I listened to that on WLW in the back of my truck, camping on the side of the road in Texas. One of my favorite Brave memories, with that faraway AM radio sound and coyotes howling.

  105. I think pinch hitting Ross was one of the hardest things Fredi has done this entire season, so I gotta give him an A+ just for that.

  106. 276: Does being 40 make me an old fart? That Bob Watson moment made me not just a Braves fan but a baseball fan.

    Hell yeah, Chipper. Greatest Atlanta Brave ever?

  107. I saw the first two innings of this game at home, then i got a text that i had a ticket at Will Call from a friend who had another buddy bail on him. I rode my bike to the stadium (picking up Gyro King on the way @ Courtland and Andrew Young) and watched in 204L until we got behind by 4 in the eight. I got offered a ride home in a car (it’s no fun biking home in the dark after a game . . .) and left. Sigh …

    We listened to the comeback in the parking lot then RAN back to the gates only to by denied by security (one dude tried to let us un but we got shut down). We watched the 9th on the Jumbo Tron in the concourse through the gates, listened to the game on the car ride home and then watched the ending back where it all started at home on the couch.

    Very crazy game. Very crazy way to take it all in! (and great Falafel Pita!).

  108. Man, do I love Chipper…

    #Braves Chipper, when asked if nights like tonight make him reconsider retirement: “No. Nights like tonight make me want to go to bed.”

  109. Good morning, slept through the whole game but reading through this thread. Man oh man! I almost felt like I was there. Best threat ever!

  110. @279

    Fredi actually managed the game pretty well. I give him an A on that one.

  111. Apparently, two things kept Papelbon out of the game: (1) this would have been his third game in a row; and (2) everyone knows you can’t use the closer in a tie game on the road. Crashburn Alley ripped Charlie Manual for not using Papelbon so it’s not only the Braves that have incompetent managing.

  112. it’s not only the Braves that have incompetent managing.

    That’s true. If you look closely enough, you can find the ammo to call any manager an idiot.

  113. What a day!
    Watched this epic game and the Kate Upton “Cat Daddy” dance video.
    Life is good.

  114. Loved this quote from Bmac after the guy.

    Female Reporter: “You guys looked like you wanted to hurt Chipper out there.”

    Bmac: “I really just wanted to punch him in the face.”

  115. Manuel sure looked like a genius when he had Pierre PH to lead off the ninth.

  116. In a game like this where reliable pitchers are getting hammered (Hanson, Halladay, Lisp, Kimbrel, O’Flaherty, Medlen) and unreliable pitchers are blanking opponents (Durbin), I think it’s fair to say that any managerial move needs be placed in the neutral category. This game was completely out of either managers hands.

  117. That was unbelievable. And to top it off, I accidentally stepped on Beth Keener’s pocketbook. It was the least I could do.

  118. I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said, but wow what a game. Just the improbability of coming back from 6-0 on Halladay, not to mention everything that came after it. I feel lucky as a sports fan to have gotten to watch it.

  119. Odd game, baseball. LH and Durbin were two of our few competent pitchers last night.

    Also, if the Phillies could phield a phull team of Ruiz’s, Victorino’s and John Mayberry’s Jr, they would beat the Braves by 20 in every meeting.

  120. @296 – I disagree. Knowing that the Braves had to play at noon today, I thought Fredi did a nice job of not really burning up any of the RP’s last night, especially with Delgado on the mound today and a road trip starting tomorrow. Fredi gets top marks from me for this game.

  121. As much as I detest the IBB, I would be okay if the Braves treated Ruiz as though he were Bonds.

  122. @296

    I thought the double switch with Heyward was a smart play and was huge. The Jack Wilson sub almost won us the ball game (the play where Victorino was safe by a step.) That was one hell of a play.

    He also wasn’t going to trott Durbin out fo another inning. Delgado was warming up.

    We are hard on Fredi and he deserves most of it, but last night he did a good job. The moves he made kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win, that’s all you can ask.

  123. Just looked at CAC and the Fangraphs chart – the braves were at a 2.3% chance to win in the top of the 5th, then zoomed up after the Heyward pinch hit only to fall back to a 2.7% chance to win in the top of the 8th.

    And they still won – wow.

  124. Almost as entertaining as watching the condensed game from last night: Reading through the game thread right afterwards. :-)

    Hell, the only reason I kept watching it was that when the Phills were up 6-whatever in the 5th, there was still a TON of video left!

    And then Weaver threw a no-no? Bad night to be hanging with friends instead of watching baseball, I guess. :-)

  125. Fredi was stellar last night. I hope it continues.

    It was a fascinating game, in that if you’re into the emotional rollercoast aspect of the game, it provided that in spades. And if you prefer to sit back and take it all as it comes, this game also rewarded that approach.

    Crashburn Alley’s comments section for this game wasn’t quite what I wanted it to be. I read something else by one of their fans that was close to nonplussed. Not winning, particularly with Doc on the mound, not beating us, and not having great offense is like this strange, almost bemusing thing to them. I wanted to see the soulcrushage.

  126. “Walkoff homer by Chipper Jones” – I can’t think of a better grouping of words.

    (Well, maybe “makeup sex with Kate Beckinsale” is better, but not by much.)

    McCann’s night reinforced my feelings about him. If the NL had the DH, we should sign him to a 10-year deal right now.

    He’s the perfect DH. Very good hitter with power that hits both lefties and righties AND he can be your backup catcher.

    My affection for McCann is such that it almost makes me wish for the DH in the NL. Pretty sure it’s coming. The talent drain is too significant to ignore.

  127. Fredi and Frank spent the night spanking Michael Bourne for his medieval celebratory measure.

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