Bad-Hit Braves 1, Bad-News Rox 0 (Recap by ububba)

Scene 1: To the sound of ominous electronic music, punctuated by jolting thunderclaps, dark storm clouds quickly slide over a tall forest of poplar trees. A familiar voice — that of the late Don LaFontaine, “The Film Trailer Guy” — bleakly intones:

“In a world… where a baseball club…”

Shift to omniscient view of Turner Field

“…bleeds for every base, every hit, every run…”

Shift to a quick video compilation of called 3rd strikes, GIDPs and bounced batting helmets

“In a world… where a clutch hit seems as remote as a South-Pole weather station…”

A 3rd-inning compilation of Francisco striking out, Uggla hitting a weak fly and McCann popping up — all with the bases loaded, resulting in nothing; then a quick shot of Outkast’s André 3000 and Big Boi, both wearing ’70s Braves caps, saying in unison, “Ice cold!

“…Just how in this world did the Atlanta Braves win the past two games?”

Cue “Looney Tunes” Theme.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Colorado Rockies!

The owners of a division-low .412 winning percentage and a league-high 107 errors, including one of the more shocking, straight-out-Little-League miscues you’ll ever see… well, they did what they do and they did what they don’t. Again, they didn’t hit on the road (.239/.289/.376 for the year) and, again, they made a crucial mistake, trumping any attempt on Atlanta’s part to lose the game itself. Thanks, Rox!

Anatomy of a Gift: After a Francisco bunt single (!) and an Uggla oppo- double (!!), The Roadrunner stood on 3rd with no outs. During McCann’s AB, Rox catcher Wilin Rosario routinely tossed the ball back to Rox pitcher Jhoulys Chacin, who turned his head away as the ball approached and then snapped his glove at the throw. Unfortunately for him, the ball ticked off his glove and trickled toward the dead zone between the mound and 2nd base. Fortunately for the Braves, Francisco (unlike the pitcher) was paying attention, so he took off for home — best as he could, anyway. Chacin gave chase, but no luck — 1-0 Bravos.

After Big Juan Bellyflopped on the plate, Chacin briefly offered the body language of a hockey goalie who’d just given up a softie on a 40-foot wrist shot — disgusted, humiliated, wanting to disappear. If there had been a netted goal out there, he would’ve slumped into it. (Of course, this being a club that seems to be channeling September 2011, the Braves didn’t score further — credit Chacin, I suppose.)

So there you have it. When you get a gift run during a stretch where you go 0 for your last 27 with RISP, it doesn’t break your heart when the other club turns into the Bad News Bears. Luckily, for the second consecutive day, Colorado got in tune with its inner-Timmy Lupus and gave the Braves a rather unearned lead. And for the second consecutive day, Braves hurlers made it stand up.

While Mike Minor was a man-machine Wednesday night (7 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 4 BB, 7 K in 108 pitches), Tim Hudson was a little more human this afternoon (7 IP, 0 R, 2 6 H, 2 BB, 2 K in 102 pitches). But he sidestepped any trouble with his usual runners-on recipe — a grounder hit within reach of a ready infielder. So, we got another goose-egg outing from our starter.

In the 8th, Moylan easily recorded the first two outs — “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!” Then EOF smoked Tyler Colvin for Out 3. Atlanta got nothing in the bottom of the 8th — what’s new? But then we… released The Kraken… The Kimbrel Kraken.

After a lazy pop-out, Kimbrel gave up a scratch hit, but nothing else. He K’d CarGo swinging on a bitchin’ hip-to-ankle slider, then obliterated Andrew Brown on three pitches — ballgame and save #34.

And that was that, a pair of shaky 1-0 wins behind some rather outstanding mound work. Atlanta scored 8 runs (5 earned) in the 4-game series and somehow came away with 3 wins. At the moment, the Braves hold a 3½ game wild-card lead on St. Louis and they stand 7 GB in the division, as the Nasty Nats (32 games over .500) host the Crummy Cubs (34 games under .500) tonight.

Onto Queens, where The Great Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones, Jr., will make his last stop in Flushing. What Reggie Miller was to the Knicks, Chipper is to the Mets. He tortures that franchise and its fans, and that’s one of the many reasons we love him. Let’s hope he can make ’em pay again. Call him “Larry” one more time, Metfolk — I dare ya…

52 thoughts on “Bad-Hit Braves 1, Bad-News Rox 0 (Recap by ububba)”

  1. After we win the World Series this year the Rockies are going to look back on this series and think to themselves “holy crap…you mean *this* is the team that won it all?!?!”

  2. Kudos to you all. You guys are amazing. I am humble enough to realize that I will never be able to write at your level.

    These 1-0 wins are not healthy and sustainable. But it’s September, we will take any kind of win.

  3. On July 2, 1948, the Cubs beat the Pirates 5-1. In that game the Cubs scored 5 unearned runs and had no RBIs. That’s the record folks. 5 runs by a winning team with none earned and no RBIs. Gives the Braves something to shoot for.

  4. Tremendous stuff, even if it sounds like the worst movie ever. Those road splits for the Rockies should carry an NC-17 rating for excessive gore.

  5. Get ‘em on, Get ‘em over, Get ’em to make an error is still true, by ububba made my recap look silly.

  6. Excellent recap, Ububba.

    I am extremely worried about how the rest of this season is going to play out.

  7. There is whoa, there is huh, there is what the hell, there is are you kidding me, there is they’re coming to take me away ha-haa, and then there is the Orioles in first place in the AL East.

    If I tried to understand what the hell is happening there I am worried that my brain would explode.

  8. I know. But I want them to make it so badly.

    I mean, logically, if they weren’t the Pirates, you might say that with McCutchen and Walker and McDonald and Alvarez and so forth, they have a chance of improving on this year’s performance in 2013.

    But they’re the Pirates. They could just suck for the next 20 years. I mean, the Indians blew their chance in 2007 and really have been atrocious ever since, and the economics of baseball in Pittsburgh aren’t that different from the economics of baseball in Cleveland.

    Also, I hate the Cardinals.

  9. Yeah, I doubt it. But still! By the way, really good looking win against Mike Leach’s Cougars last week by BYU.

    After watching a few incidences from the Cubs-Nationals game today, I have to wonder: Are the Braves this hateable when they’re winning, too? This Nats team plays with absolutely no class.

  10. #20
    Speaking of exploding heads…

    Right after the Yanks rallied for 5 runs in the top of the 8th to tie it, you should’ve heard Pinstripe radio man John Sterling during the O’s 4-run bottom of the 8th—ka-boom. Baltimore hit 3 HRs in the first 4 batters & he sounded like he was having a breakdown.

    “It just went from a tie game to 10-6 in about 5 minutes!” he cried. For the game, the O’s hit 6 HRs, including 2 more bombs from Mark “Kong” Reynolds.

    With 3 games remaining this weekend, the O’s have gone 8-7 vs. NYY this year. That’s huge because, for more than a decade, they’ve been completely owned by the Yanks.

    In fact, the Orioles haven’t beaten the Yankees in a season series since the last time they finished over .500—in 1997, when Mike Mussina fronted a division-winning staff. Since then, the Orioles have gone 87-167 vs. the Bombers, for a woeful .343 winning percentage.

    What’s happening? The Yanks have had a spate of injuries (A-Rod, Teixeira, Pettitte, Gardner, Chamberlain, Sabathia & Rivera) that have seen DL stints of varying lengths & the O’s have won a preposterous amount of close games. They’re 17 games over .500, while being outscored overall by 17 runs. Viva Showalter!

    So, here’s to an O’s/Braves World Series and—why not?—a Ravens/Falcons Super Bowl while we’re at it.

  11. Haha. Funny game. Funny recap. Funny AL East discussion. This has been a really good season for baseball, from the Pirates to the Orioles to the A’s to Mike Trout (Who I haven’t seen nearly enough of; I’m looking forward to FINALLY getting cable after I move and maybe tuning into some BBTN from time to time, see if I enjoy it… But I digress.) to Bryce Harper and the Nationals. And on top of all that you’ve got Chipper’s last year. Just a really, really good season.

    Here’s a question: From a purely Chipper-centric point of view, which season do you prefer out of 2012 and 2008 (his bid for .400/batting title year)? I think I preferred the .400 narrative when it came to Chipper, especially because that came right as I was starting to get worried he was in an irrevocable decline. 2012 has had plenty of great moments for him, too, but there’s also stuff like Kimbrel, Heyward and Simmons, all of whom have shown flashes (and in some cases more than flashes) of greatness this year.

  12. I prefer this season because a) it’s his last year & b) we sucked in 2008. More fun to watch him succeed in meaningful games. If, for example, he had any walk-offs in ’08, I sure don’t remember them.

  13. So, assuming we get there, which guy are the Cards going to start against Med Dog in the wildcard game? Lohse has been their best pitcher but I can’t seem them running anybody out there other than Wainwright. This being the Braves, the guy I fear the most is Jaime Garcia.

  14. @10

    Following the headliner?? That’s more like the plate spinner who followed The Beatles on Ed Sullivan!

    Damn fine pie, err…recap, as Agent Cooper might say.

  15. Hey, do you guys remember that time when ububba got involved and made it impossible for anyone else to ever write a good recap on Braves Journal?

  16. I think who pitches depends entirely on how the race goes the last week. If the Braves and Cards, for example, have the wild cards wrapped up, they can set up their pitching staffs to have their best pitcher in the play-in game. But, if not, you might end up with both teams’ number 3 (please, not Tommy Hanson).

  17. “The Kraken” was actually a nickname given to Jason Heyward by a popular fantasy baseball podcast a couple years ago. I’m amused its what folks here have taken to calling Kimbrel. (Frankly, it makes more sense for Kimbrel IMO.)

  18. If Release the Kraken were also a band, perhaps they could craft a good axe-grinding tune for Kimbrel when he walks out to the mound in the 9th.

  19. Kimbrel’s appearances are indeed something of a deus ex machina. The mortals struggle for a while, the issue remains in doubt, and then arrives the convenient plot device that ends the story.

  20. 24 — First half looked good! Here’s to hoping they can play well on the road. I’ve got my hopes high, but my expectations in check.

  21. If The Kraken wasn’t such a great name for Kimbrel then some sort of take on deus ex machina would be a fine second choice for a nickname.

  22. Whats the deal with Simmons? Did he travel with the team? I know the Braves said he could be ready saturday but with this series being away it would make more sense just to have him out there tonight.

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