Braves attempt to salvage series

Asked this afternoon if he was worried about his club after losing the first two games of this series against the Phillies, Braves manager responded, “Well we’ve won three of our past five.”

The two losses during this span came when the Braves sent a pair of rookies to the mound to face two members (Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay) of the Phillies Big Three. 

On paper, the matchups were mismatches.  Still the Braves walked away from both games knowing they had a chance to win.  If Martin Prado’s ball hadn’t gone just foul Monday night, we might have seen a different outcome.  And if Brian McCann hadn’t attempted to take third base on Derrek Lee’s sacrifice fly last night the Braves might have overcome Mike Minor’s horrendous start. 

After watching Kenshin Kawakami struggle in Florida on Sept. 3, I didn’t think I’d see another start that proved to be that bad for a while.  Well Minor nearly matched it two days later when he allowed the Marlins seven extra-base hits in just four innings.

They yesterday while throwing 73 pitches in just 2 1/3 innings, Minor proved to be every bit as bad as Kawakami was in Florida.  Fatigued at the end of his first full professional season, the 22-year-old rookie hasn’t been able to use his fastball as a strikeout pitch this month.

Making matters worse, he has not been able to command his change or curve.  Thus when he gets two strikes on a hitter, he’s basically been in throw-and-pray mode. 

The Braves need to win tonight to salvage this three-game set.  In fact with Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe getting these next three starts, they need to carry a three-game winning streak into Sunday’s series finale in Washington. 

When asked if Jair Jurrjens would be able to pitch Sunday, Cox quickly responded, “He better be.” 

This club that has prided itself on pitching all year now heads into its final 10 games with what can be deemed just three reliable starters. 

Thus I’m going to ignore what I wrote two days ago about “importance” during a baseball season and deem Jurrjens’ start against the Nationals Sunday as the most important influence on what transpires over the next few days and weeks.    

33 Comments

Boy, Hanson is filthy tonite. His Curveballs have a 4 foot drop and his slider is really dancing too.

Mark, do you see Beachy taking Minor’s next start? I didn’t watch him pitch but he had a good line. Also listened to last night’s game on the radio so didn’t see Minor pitch but we all saw his line.

viva, Minor really didn’t fool anybody on anything last night. He was behind in a lot of counts and was really lucky to leave the guys on that he did. He was spent by the 3rd inning and got left out there longer than he should have been. He had nothing.

Doesn’t matter, we’re done. My hats of to the Phillies. Even on our best pitching night in a long time, we will lose because apparently everyone else just DOESN’T CARE. Our offense is like “ok guys, you go ahead and we’ll catch up.” I think we forgot them in luggae at the Philly airport. Better pray to your respective God(s) that we can even win the wild card.

Mark,

Why do you think Bobby didn’t set the rotation for this series? And don’t give me the same answer you get from guys like Leo Mazzone on the radio and say that the games against the Mets were important too. Of course they are, as are the other games that the Phils will play, yet they set their rotation and would do it again if need be for the finale in Atlanta. I argue that we would have better results had we pitched our bottom 3 in NY and the top 3 ready for Philly. Bobby insists on sticking to the norm. I love Bobby Cox, but sometimes I just don’t understand his positions and choices. Like Melky. He shouldn’t be anywhere near starting for the rest of the year.

Great play Omar.

Maybe Omar, could give McLouth sliding and catching the ball.

lessons

Heh, gotta love that patented Nate McLouth rainbow.

That “double” was foul….

Mr. Bowman. Please do me a favor and tell Bobby Cox to move Prado back into the lead-off spot and drop either Infante or Heyward into the 3 spot.

Thanks,

Loyal Fan

Speedy, I think you’re right. I’m pretty confident that “double” was a foul ball.

However, just because it was foul doesn’t mean we have any reason to worry. Because apparently we could only muster up two baserunners the entire game. It is definitely painful to watch up limp about during the final few games of the season. Let’s hope the Pads suck it up more than us over the next week.

Another sloppy defensive play cost the Braves the game. How do you miss the cutoff man in that circumstance? And I thought if any of the games became a bullpen game it was lights out for the Phillies?
I want to thank the Braves for overachieving most of the season and forcing the Phillies to wake up and play to their potential. Good luck in getting the wild card.

Yeah, that one bad call didnt matter. It was either Ibanez get a gift double there, or the Phillies win it in the 9th, or 10th, or 11th… the Braves were not winning that game.

You can tell Tommy is getting really p!ssed by the lack of run support. I dont blame him. He should have close to 20 wins… not 10. Judging by his hiring of Scott Boras as his agent, I think Tommy is looking to pitch his required years in Atlanta, then skip town for a team in New England or California.

This article is hilarious! A bunch of Ifs? You should be talking about The STIFFS you have on this Braves team. Can’t even hit the cut off man. If the Phillies had been hitting all year, this would not have been a race at all. And your team president John Schuerholz should be ashamed of himself for his comments made about our ballpark prior to the series.

Ok, so was Mike Minor for a big bat midseason still a bad idea? Is this team struggling on offense? Does our batting coach s*ck? Can Nate Mclouth do anything right? Can we waste a masterful performance by Tommy? Is our owner trying to squeeze every last cent out of this team before they sell them? Can we piece together the parts of our soul and sweep Washington so we have a shot at the playoffs?

I learned a lot about this team during the series in Philly.
1) The Phils won this division on acquisitions made by their front office based on holes that needed immediate attention. The acquisition of Halladay in the off season and Oswalt before the trade deadline are what put them where they are. The Braves, on the other hand, have had glaring weaknesses for two years that have not been addressed. Our front office has tried to fill these holes by throwing a bunch of crap to a wall and seeing what sticks. Those needs – A center fielder, a lead off hitter, and a formidable clean up hitter. .
2) The Phillie fans have every right to dog on our defense. It’s atrocious. If we catch and throw like we are supposed to, this series could have been salvaged.
3) Our offense can’t drive in runs when they need to or are supposed to.
I still think we can make the play offs, and I still think we can do well… But the Phillies are better. There’s no doubting that. Hopefully we can catch lightening in a bottle and make a run.

We need to go like 7 – 2 to assure a wild card. Don’t know if I see that happening.

The one thing I noticed that was clear, the Phils wanted this more than the Braves did. There effort was better. They made plays, we didn’t. They played defense, we didn’t. They got clutch two out hits, we didn’t.

All of that said, we faced their best, and were still in every ball game. I know we will get them again on the last series. I wonder if they will have the since to try to eliminate us that weekend. They should consider that series as the beginning of their playoffs with the opportunity to knock off a contender.

On the other hand, I sure hope that we make the playoffs and get them in the NLCS. They might beat us again, but I would love the opportunity to go at them heads up – and healthy one more time. Hat’s off to you Phillies. See you soon.

barry- I agree 100%, we did not look like we wanted to win or even like we thought we could beat the phils, and that’s sad in and of itself. We’ve got the talent, but not the drive.
And for heaven’s sake, Bobby, PLEASE GIVE PRADO A DAY OFF. He’s exhausted from his first full season, just play Conrad a couple of games, please, and have Martin ready when we play Philly again.

micktheman ………..Let’s just complete the picture: better in right and better at third as well. Larry has been living off his offensive chops for years. Combine Polanco’s offense and his Gold Glove defense, edge to Phillies. Heyward versus Werth? What comparison? Braves would probably be doing better if they didn’t so overrate their talent. You know what you get when you pay bargain basement prices? You got it: bargain basement talent.

My comments on resting Prado:
Does he need it, absolutely. But guess what, there’s no time to rest now. Remember when he had the broken finger and he chose to condition his butt off everyday. I wonder if that took its toll down the road, just a thought. I admire the effort, but that was recovery time and he possibly didn’t use it correctly. I’m not going to chastize him for the decision, because many people would do it the same way. But its this simple, there is no time to be tired right now (as much of our guys look). We have absolutely no option but to play with absolute grapefruits for the rest of the season. They can be tired when the season is over. They get paid millions of dollars, therefore, they need to play. Martin needs to play (and play hard), BMac needs to clear his head and play smart baseball, Jair needs to man up and show us what he really has this week, McLouth should be playing as if he is fighting for a job (because he is), and Heyward needs to show the same patience he has all season (not trying to pull outside balls up the middle). Every game is a must win, those that give it their all (physically and mentally) should be back next year, those that do not should get their papers.

Mr. Bowman: You just have to admit, the Phillies are better. I came To Atl in 66 with the Braves. Had a fling in /69, a brief respite from mediocrity in 82 and almost 83. Season tix 92-94 (strike left me empty). followed them since.
The Phils have better ownership, better gen mgr, better at 1st, 2nd, short, left, center and equal in right.
They pay and sign Halladay, Oswalt, we sign Lowe and KK. They pick up Ibanez and Polanco, we get Ankiel, McClouth, Cabrerra, etc. Their catcher can block a low ball and throw out a runner, ours is our best offense…no defense. Our team leads the world in crucial errors. Werth slides to catch a ball. McClouth catches it on the slide and lets it out. Don’t hit cutoff, and mostly, cannot hit most of the time in the clutch, with no power to hit a home run and cure lack of offense. Cannot win on the road in Ptts and Fla, while Phillies go west and win 6 of 7 against elite.
Result. We do not deserve to get to the playoffs. If we do, how we gonna win on the road against good pitching…with our bingle hitters?

Are the braves choking big time? Blaaaah!!!!!

Very interesting discussion on Atlanta sports talk radio today comparing the 2010 Phillies to the 1993 Braves, and the 2010 Braves to the 1993 Phillies.

To refresh your memories, the 1993 Braves were red hot to end the season and won 104 games. The comparison was more on line ups and production and starting pitching than anything else, though, although the way that the Phillies are finishing so hot was certainly a comparison to the ’93 Braves.

It can be argued that the ’93 Braves’ team was the best of the 14. And yet they were taken out by the Phillies who really didn’t “match up” on paper.

Would like to get the opportunity to return the favor.

The difference between this year and 1993 is that in 1993 both the Phillies and the Braves were division winners and there was no wildcard. Now they both have an extra hoop to jump through. And, hopefully the Phillies do not have to make a west coast trip in the first round.

The 1993 Phillies were an anomaly that will never be duplicated. A ragtag group of one hit wonders that got it all together in one magical year. They had a leadoff hitter who score more runs than anybody since Ted Williams in 1949. A catcher who led the league in RBI. The most productive outfield platoon system in anybody’s memory, and five starting pitchers who, combined, missed a TOTAL of one start. Nobody of significance got hurt for any length of time, and the only thing that kept them from winning the WS was the fact that their closer was driving on fumes at the end.
The 2010 Braves ain’t them.

I agree with you phan52. I don’t see a lot of similarities between the two teams. I think the only reason it was even discussed is because of the history between the two teams. It seems as though the Phils were the “idiots” before Boston. Blue collar guys that had it click all at the same time. A team like that defies GM’s best wishes and experts opinions. Had to take my hat off to that team that season.

However, phan, I don’t think you can say that it will never be duplicated….baseball has a way of repeating itself. Remember how Babe’s mark would never fall….

speedybream, the way they coddle pitchers today, I don’t see any way there will be another team that has four starters with over 200 innings and a fifth with over 160. Plus, the Babe’s record was an individual achievement that didn’t require the confluence of events that produced the 1993 Phillies. The Phillies went from 70 wins in 1992, to 97 wins in 1993, to 54 wins in 1994. A ridiculously freaky year.
Good luck with the wild card.

Well of course every single stat is not going to be replicated, its obviously a different era of ball. I felt that your post eluded to, “can a group of mediocre players come together and everything click for a run to the world series”. That can definitely happen. And that’s what my comment stated.

There’s no doubting that. Hopefully we can catch lightening in a bottle and make a run. Premier UK stockist of men’s Diesel clothes, view our extensive full range of Diesel clothing. Here at The Menswear Site,
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