One-Game Playoff Game Thread: Cardinals vs. Braves

I’ve been on this earth for 28 years, and the Braves have made it to the playoffs 16 times. I’m a lucky guy. Those of you who started rooting for the Braves before I was born had a much tougher row to hoe. I think I probably took the playoffs for granted in the early 2000s, when it seemed like we had the division title as our birthright but could never get past the Division Series. Now I don’t take it for granted.

Neither did these guys.

524 thoughts on “One-Game Playoff Game Thread: Cardinals vs. Braves”

  1. Who backs up Simmons? Pastornicky!?!? Maybe not Brooks Conrad 2.0, but it’s close to Brooks Conrad 1.5.

  2. That was great, AAR. Just great for us old farts. I moved up north permanently from Atlanta in 1978 and the Superstation arrived just in time. And how great to hear Skip. I was psyched before… now I’m psyched and nostalgic.

  3. Me too, Jonathan.

    In the past decade, we’ve said goodbye to so many old stalwarts.

    2002: Tom Glavine
    2003: Greg Maddux
    2005: Leo Mazzone
    2007: Andruw Jones
    2007: John Schuerholz
    2008: Skip Caray
    2008: John Smoltz
    2008: Pete Van Wieren
    2011: Bobby Cox
    2012: Mac Thomason
    2012: Chipper Jones

    Let’s win this damn game.

  4. If we win today, Game 1 of the NLDS at Turner Field (vs Washington) is Sunday at 3 pm.

    Game 2 would be Monday at 4:30 pm.

  5. Yeah… who was that guy who came back for 13 starts in 2008 claiming to be Tom Glavine? He looked some old Met castoff or something.

  6. And didn’t Cox actually leave in 2010? 2011 was the year the Braves decided to go without a manager at all… at least in September.

  7. 9- Oh, I wish. I’m sure Chipper and Tim could have put together the lineup and run the pitching staff well enough to hold on. Good thing Fredlot has a learning curve. Sort of.

  8. I was nine years old in 1982, and that Atlanta Braves team was my first true love. Sure, my heart was broken, but I don’t blame them. To this day, and for the rest of my life, I will hate, with the intensity of a thousand suns, the mother-fu@king St. Louis Cardinals.

  9. Buried in an interesting article on hitting coaches at Fangraphs is this nugget about Francoeur:

    “For Francoeur specifically, jump to about the 11-minute mark when they start discussing Francoeur. Seitzer says that once Francoeur started hitting behind Billy Butler, he got frustrated because he knew that Butler couldn’t take the extra base or whatever, so he started swinging harder to try and drive him in. That threw Francoeur’s swing off or something and just made the slump worse. I am not making this up. There is more good stuff, like something about Seitzer saying he asked Francoeur if it would help if he hit Frenchy in the head with a bat or something. I guess, deep down, Seitzer is just like every other 2012 Royals fan.”

  10. I was looking at Francoeur’s career stats earlier today. They are mind boggling. I feel so bad for Dan Ford. Everyone must think he was as bad as Frenchy.

  11. 15- I feel bad for Billy Butler. According to Baseball-Reference’s Fan EloRater, people think Francoeur is a better player than Butler, even though Butler has three more WAR (9.5 to 6.6) in a shorter career.

  12. Really trying hard to enjoy the moment.

    Nope. I’m in High Fret and will stay there ’til it’s over.

    Btw, did y’all know that when Medlen was a freshman in HS he was 5’1″ and weighed 97 pounds?

  13. Nope. I’m in High Fret and will stay there ’til it’s over.

    Relax. The Orioles are starting Nate McLouth in left for their game tonight.

  14. The depth chart at SS goes Simmons > Prado > Pastornicky. This is why Fredi went with Hinske (LF) instead of Francisco (3B.)

  15. Just glad that LaRussa isn’t there to manage circles around Fredi. He would love this game with the special one-day rosters.

  16. Doesn’t Baker play LF too? I’m pretty sure I remember seeing him out there at least. In a battle of non-hitters I think I’d honestly rather have him in left than Hinske.

  17. Ross!!! Awesome! Gotta get on a plane now; time to put my trust in Medlen and the bullpen. :-)

  18. And it’s not “Fredi Gonzalez fired” which was everyone’s wish at the start of the season.

  19. If we lose this game I’m blaming it on Chipper. I mean, that’s back breaking. Double play ball turning into runners on the corners, no outs. Dammit.

  20. Anyone else experiencing weird sound on TBS? And also, that inning didn’t look right.

  21. What the heck just happened? I hope Chipper does something to get back the lead. I can’t imagine ending a career by costing your team their only chance at the playoffs.

  22. Seriously, that play is going to be a big part of Chipper’s legacy unless something happens.

  23. That is the most hilarious moment of the game. The slowest guy on the team with a bunt single.

  24. Should pinch-hit for Medlen, here.

    …if we had any half-decent left-handed hitting options, anyway.

  25. Agree with pinch hitting for Medlen here. It’s a one game playoff, you throw out everybody when you have a scoring chance.

  26. Announcers just said Fredi called that bunt with Simmons. Why? What the hell is he thinking bunting in front of the pitcher?

  27. Announcer just said Freddi called a safety squeeze on the Simmons play. Wasn’t Simmons fault.

  28. So now that I know Fredi called the safety squeeze, I am more annoyed but far less surprised

  29. The question remain: why would Simmons bunt if not for a squeeze? There isn’t even a dumb reason to bunt on your own.

  30. Why in the world would you call a squeeze here, with the pitcher coming up and Simmons having enough speed to beat out a double play !?!?! I take everything good back that I ever said about Fredi

  31. I don’t think Simmons did that on his own, but he knew he put down a bad one that Freddie couldn’t run on, so swerved into the lane hoping to make something happen.

  32. @152 Do I think a rookie kid in his first playoff game is more likely than a manager to make a dumb decision in game? Of course.

  33. @ 155 Do I think a rookie kid in his first playoff game is more likely than *Fredi Gonzales* to make a dumb decision in game? Ehhhhhhh……

  34. Bethany, this is Fredi’s first postseason game too. And he has already proven that he is an idiot.

  35. Whatever. The same lot of you were praising him less than 24 hours ago. The idea that Fredi called the bunt makes zero sense, but it does make sense for a kid to mimic the strategy of the guy who hit before him.

  36. Well… The way we have been playing all year that run signals the end of our season unless we can manage more late inning heroics.

  37. Would be a rather inglorious way for Chipper to go out, but I’d honestly feel better about getting eliminated from the playoffs if it were his fault. At least I wouldn’t have any regrets about his teammates letting him down or whatever.

  38. Lohse is great. I don’t know what they’re doing with pitchers in St. Louis but it’s impressive.

  39. The Cardinals are going to win the World Series again. To me, they are the most unlikely (and luckiest) team to ever win back-to-back championships. I mean, between the Braves collapsing last year and the rule change that even allowed their lucky asses in this game…I don’t even know what to say.

  40. @173—I had the same thought. This would be a terrible way for Chipper to go out, but at least you can pretty directly pin it on him.

  41. Medlen should have come out after five–not that he has pitched that badly or that Uggla’s error is his fault–but he never should have faced the lineup a third time. I was afraid of Fredi not understanding the optimal strategy for a single game playoff, and it’s turning out to be true.

  42. 201—Uh, crappy managing is most certainly an issue with which I’m concerned. I wasn’t assigning the blame for this game or inning to Medlen’s being on the mound, just asking what the reason to have him still on the mound would be.

  43. So THIS is the freaking game that stops Medlen’s record?

    I’ve seen this movie before, and it sucks. It got 0% on Rotten Tomatoes when viewed by Braves fans.

  44. Well, if I’d known Durbin was the backup plan, I wouldn’t have requested that Medlen come out…

  45. 208- Oh yes. Thanks for reminding me. At least we won’t ever have to see him again after today. Please, please, please.

  46. Basically, every run the Cards have scored, except the HR, is a direct result of miscue.

    Let it rip, boys…

    Can’t get a lot worse.

  47. Making so many errors so that Chipper’s wasn’t decisive anymore was not what we meant by picking him up, guys.

  48. Chipper making the error that caused that entire inning full of fail was like Superman getting punched and bleeding after he didn’t have any powers. It just took the wind out of their sails and demoralized them.

  49. Sesame Street said that today’s game was brought to you by the letter E and the numbers 4, 5, and 6.

  50. This is awful. I have defended the braves against the “chokers” tag since 1996. I think I’m done.

  51. Seriously, If this one-game crap is all we get after 4 months, then why even have a regular season? Let’s just play a round robin with every team in the league in april and then start the playoffs in May. It would be so exciting! It would entertain the “fans”! It makes about as much sense.

  52. If that is how a HOF career ends, it has to be the most anitclamatic ending it could have after the way this season shaped up.

  53. Again, a belated display of competence. Although Uggla did try to inflate his error count.

  54. @289 He was hoping for a complete game shutout from Medlen.

    Geez, Uggla was trying very hard to throw balls away.

  55. It’s hard to imagine this game being any uglier, but it absolutely would be if we didn’t have such a great first baseman.

  56. Jeez. Can you imagine Uggla’s defensive numbers if Freeman weren’t so great? What an awful arm.

  57. @289 Agree completely. He’s not the reason they’re losing, but he is managing very poorly. Kimbrel will now pitch the 9th, the inning with the lowest leverage index in this game. Insanity.

  58. Too bad all scenarios that lead to the Braves not owing Knobluggla 13 million in 2014 result in his untimely demise. Except maybe the Mayan calendar.

  59. The problem with this new WC format is that you have the pressure of game 7 without your guys having the chance to get any playoff experience. Doesn’t excuse Chipper, but it’s true.

    The Cardinals are not beating the Braves right now. The Braves are beating the Braves.

  60. Forget Simpson, I’d throw junk on the field too. It’s not embarrassing to Atlanta fans, it’s embarrassing to baseball. “Infield fly” in left frickin’ field.

  61. The fix is on. Umpire’s hand didn’t go up until the SS bailed on the play. This is so fixed!

  62. As if this game couldn’t get worse…If this is Chipper’s last, it will be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

  63. Embarrasing my A$$ …Im surprises Fredi didn’t rip up a few bases Bobby surely would I’m so mad this is unbelievable

  64. Coca-Cola needs to reroute their production machines to just launch the bottles at the Turner Field pitcher’s mound.

  65. Awful. Just Awful. Little league umpires could do better. The replacement umpires from football are AVAILABLE!

  66. Shut the fuck up, Joe. The umps are the embarassment. If I was there I’d be throwing shit, too.

  67. I’m ashamed of Fredi for not getting ejected there.

    And I’m not saying people should throw stuff, but I’m certainly *not* upset that there are at least some people there that are fiery mad about the sum of this performance by the Braves and the umps.

  68. Braves fans have no choice. This call is ridiculous and they paid good money not to be insulted by officiating this bad.

  69. My first thought was that Fredi should have gotten himself tossed out of the game. Now, he’s earned my respect by standing up to this craptastic call.

  70. I still want to know why a pinch runner hasn’t gone in for Ross? I guess Fredi plans on leaving him in after Bmac pinch hits?

  71. Yep…at this point the only thing I will accept is for the Braves to walk off the field and let MLB figure it out.

  72. Rob, Simmons hit a single with two on. Would have been bases loaded, one out. However, the umpire in the outfield calles an INFIELD FLY, even though nobody camped under the ball AND the ball clearly left the infield. Thus two outs, runners on second and third. The Stadium erupted, fans threw whatever they had on the field, mostly cans. They had to clean up the mess, Fredi protested the game, Yet the call stands.

  73. Worst call in the history of baseball. The entire fucking history of baseball. Walk off the field and go home. There’s nothing else you can do. Finishing this game would be accepting getting skullfscked. No reason to do that.

  74. Don’t worry, this is only game one. That’s why they have playoff series, to make sure a single call doesn’t destroy an entire season.

  75. Of course it had to be a no-power hitter coming up.

    We could’ve had Prado up there without that damn BS call.

  76. Seriously, losing a single game against an 88 win team from an incredibly weak division on a blown call is a pretty shitty way to end the year. Who thought this was a good idea?

    Then again, we’re all watching it, so they win, I guess.

  77. We would lose this game against any team. That’s who we are. But the blown call just makes it that much worse. I would wager that this might be the last ever sellout at Turner Field…but that might just be the beer talking. Fuck.

  78. Bourn sucks. Uggla sucks. Finding someone in this offense that doesn’t suck is actually pretty damn difficult. When was the last time Freeman or Heyward did anything that was clutch? Ross doesn’t suck. So we got that going for us. Which is nice.

  79. Been watching the game in a bar not able to check in on Braves Journal. I’m listening to the last inning on radio. Probably won’t have the heart to read any of the posts in this thread for a while.

  80. Best case scenario, Chipper ties this thing this inning. Worst case, he’s the last out of the season. Judging from how this game has gone, I fear I know which scenario is more likely.

  81. Yes, we will always remember Freeman’s WC clinching HR. And Heyward’s opening day. And that time they gave Chipper a surfboard.

  82. Much will be made of the ump’s monumental screw-up, but the story of the game is told in 3 unearned runs.

  83. Can’t decide if the Braves’ defense losing this game, or Prado not coming up with a two-run deficit and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning is more infuriating.

  84. @438, How is the screw-up any less real than the errors? Do you claim to know what would’ve happened if they made the obvious right call?

  85. If a protest is upheld the game is replayed from the point of the protest, if the protesting team loses.

  86. We have no shot at the protest. The only shot was to walk off the field and go home. Fredi should’ve been arrested for assault and battery, and we should’ve had 500 fans on the field. Instead we’ll just lose.

  87. Someone in the stands yelled “Infield Fly” when Heyward just popped out. Hilarious. Enough to hear it on TBS.

  88. MLB is not going to uphold the protest. They never do. Selig will give his usual half-assed explanation and go into hiding until the anger inevitably dies down.

  89. @441 – oh, it’s too real, but the defense failed to perform even close to expected norms.

  90. No, they can’t tease us like this again. Tying run at the plate? Really? What’s going to happen this time?

  91. I was worried about the offense today but that has been the least of our problems. Tying run on again.

  92. I’ve had about all of this that I can take. I say we become the world’s biggest Nationals fans for the next week.

  93. Well, it’s not the Cardinals’ fault. Nor can you blame the rules, they are what they are. The umpires blew it, and so did the Braves. Whenever it matters, we lose. Simple as that.

  94. I hope something equally shitty happens in the late game. There’s a reason playoff matchups are series.

  95. No native Atlantan really expected to win this game. But I’ll admit to being surprised as to how we lost. Wow. I think I’ve run out of give-a-shit. Go Nationals.

  96. This is 3 years in a row of crappy endings. You could argue that Braves beat themselves in 2010, 2011, 2012. This blows.

  97. I sure hope Sam Holbrook’s house doesn’t burn down tonight. Would be a real shame for someone who I’m sure is a real standup guy.

    That wasn’t sarcasm, by the way.

    Neither was that.

    OK, the third one might have been sarcasm.

  98. Evidently, MLB’s twitter account tagline used to be “We don’t understand the infield fly rule, either.”

    Now it’s gone…

  99. This team hasn’t won a playoff in 11 years. We would have been better served just sucking and piling up a decade of top draft picks.

  100. I’m rooting for the Nationals, and any other team playing the Cardinals. I will dance on their graves when they’re eliminated.

  101. Would be even worse if Dan Uggla was being hosted at the house for dinner as some form of reconciliation for a soft focus ESPN OTL special. Not that they’d have any reason to invite Dan Uggla since he had nothing to do with the play in question. Just saying it would be worse.

    Not sarcasm.

  102. It’s not the Cardinals fault. They didn’t make a gazillion errors and leave 20 runners stranded. However, rooting for the Nationals makes some sense. I guess. I think I’m just gonna root for the A’s since I bet not 1 in 100000 people could name 5 players on their team.

  103. I would love it if they actually took this game seriously and upheld the protest.

    There has to be some kind of tipping point where MLB will start to lose fans with these playoff structure shenanigans.

  104. Fyi – the protest has already been denied as I understand it.

    I think it was ruled on before they resumed play.

  105. Reddick

    Ugh. I can picture a couple of those super young awesome starting pitchers, but …

    Crisp, there’s another…

    McCarthy, he’s hurt, but he’s one.

    And that’s it. Well played, @491

  106. I suppose the one high-profile person who’s in perfect position to air out MLB is Chipper. Here’s hoping he does.

  107. Even if the call isn’t made, do you really think this team would have gotten a key hit? They were going to figure out a way to lose regardless. And, maybe this is actually a more fitting way for Chipper to go out since the Braves spent most of his career figuring out ways to lose playoff games. If this was a series, I’m sure the Braves would have lost.

    But I hate the Cardinals. I will now go to the playoff game here and gladly root against the scumbag Cardinals.

  108. Why do people hate the Cardinals? It’s not like their fans throw batteries at the players.

    I hate this format. I hate having teams 7 games over .500 in the playoffs after playing an unbalanced schedule in a division with two 100 loss teams. I hate that one blown call can send a team home because there’s only one game. I hate that legitimate protests are never seriously considered.

    The problems here are MLB problems. I have no problem with the team that happens to benefit.

  109. I don’t know who those people are!!!

    Lol. Ah well. This is Atlanta sports. Embrace it. There’s always next year.

  110. You know, I think I might miss Mac the most this time of year. He was the perfect administrator of the Braves Journal support group.

  111. I’m tired of the Cardinals’ Red Brick Road. How lucky is this team? Braves collapse is the only reason they get into the postseason in 2011. MLB changing its rules is the only reason they get into the playoffs this year. Holbrook thinking a ball fifty feet out of the infield is on the infield. As Olney wrote on Twitter:

    “Nelson Cruz now wondering why infield fly wasn’t call on David Freese’s game-tying hit in Game 6 last year.”

    Everything on a silver platter for this team.

    Go Nationals.

  112. The Cardinals are like the NY Giants. Fuck around during the season, squeeze into the playoffs and get hot. I hate this-it’s not just that the Braves lost; it’s that the regular season means nothing. I hate it when it happens in the NCAA tournament.

    This was totally predictable when they came up with this structure. But I guess Bud is happy.

  113. Fuck this game (as in today’s game, not baseball in general). Fuck shitty umpires with massive egos and the union that protects them. And Fuck MLB and the spineless cowards in the front office that won’t stand up to them.

  114. The regular season will always mean nothing to all but one team…unless you just want them to stop playing at the end of the season and give out trophies.

    Honestly, I thought this was an 85 win team at best. And I still think that. Our offense is terrible. We overachieved for a good part of the year. But there’s lots of teams better than us. One of them will win the World Series. As long as it’s not the Yankees then I can deal with that.

  115. @506, We need a “Where do we go from here?” post, stat.

    I don’t object to losing a one-game elimination contest. It’s the umpiring that’s beyond insulting.

  116. The A’s are good–Griffin and Parker are great, and they may be getting Anderson back. The bullpen is sick. And the Carter/Cespedes/Reddick/Moss group is very good, while Smith, Crisp, and Drew are solid complementary pieces.

  117. I just have this feeling that the Cardinals are going to make another run. And I hate that. They should not even be in the playoffs.

  118. All I know is that this game sucked and that I totally despise all of our announcers. The best part of tonight was the fans throwing stuff. That was the only bright spot in an otherwise complete and total choke-fest.

  119. I just have this feeling that the Cardinals are going to make another run. And I hate that. They should not even be in the playoffs.

    Maybe Selig can expand the playoffs to eight teams per league this offseason, and the Cardinals can get in with the eighth-best record in 2013.

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