Enjoy the excitement of a meaningful regualar season finale

There is nothing you can do about the damage that has already been done.  You can sit around think about losing six of nine to the Nationals and Pirates in September or you can enjoy the excitement created by the fact that the finale of a 162-game season truly means something in Atlanta.
 
Heading into the weekend, it didn’t seem hard to believe that the Phillies would come to Atlanta and win the first two games of this weekend’s series.  But there was little reason to believe that this would happen at the same time the Padres were keeping their playoff hopes alive with a pair of victories in San Francisco. 

Regardless of what happens this afternoon, the Braves won’t know what their fate until the Giants and Padres finish their series finale at about 7:30 p.m. ET.

  • A Braves win combined with a Padres loss would clinch the Wild Card for the Braves and set them up to begin the National League Division Series in San Francisco Thursday.

  • If both the Braves and Padres realize the same result (win or loss) today, there will be  one game played Monday or Tuesday at Turner Field to determine who gets the Wild Card entry.  The game would be played Tuesday if both teams win and force the Giants and Padres to play Monday to determine who wins the NL West.   

  • A Padres win and Braves loss would mark the end of the Braves season and Bobby Cox’s legendary managerial career. 

Conrad to play 2B:  After watching Brooks Conrad commit costly throwing errors in the first two games of this series, Cox has decided to position Conrad at second base and move the ever-versatile Omar Infante to third base for this series finale.

Cox said he felt the need to give Conrad a chance to relax and distance himself from the nightmares he’s experienced at the hot corner.

“I don’t think he’s slept in two days probably,” Cox said. “I used to throw them away. I threw one away.  It cost us a ballgame in Detroit and I’ll never forget it.  I was the only left in the dugout.  I was beating bats and helmets.  (Yankees bullpen coach) Jim Hegan came out of the bullpen, put his arm around me and said, “let’s go.” 

The Braves had the option of keeping Infante at second base and positioning Troy Glaus at third base.  Those who watched Glaus play third base for a week at Triple-A Gwinnett have said “he was able to make all of the routine plays.” 

In other words, Glaus didn’t display any surprising mobility. 

Still if the Braves advance to the postseason, I have to wonder if they might not be able to benefit by having Glaus in the lineup.  (I can’t believe that sentence came off the tip of these fingertips.)

While facing the aces that they’ll see in October, the Braves won’t be able to play station-to-station ball and prove successful.  They may need to benefit from the instant offense that Glaus might be able to occasionally provide with his power potential.  

But before worrying about what they might do over the next couple weeks, the Braves have to escape today with the realization that this season includes a tomorrow.      

 

45 Comments

Billbrooks, do you even read the posts that we make?

Let me state it again. I did see the replay (Friday night). And I said that the ATLANTA telecast had a replay angle that clearly shows Infante coming to the bag IN LINE with the bag. He has to divert to his right when Conrad’s throw was made. If Conrad had thrown to the bag, Infante would have been there.

Even Joe Simpson upon seeing this angle apologized to Infante.

I just saw Brooks make his fourth error in 4 days. Made a nice play following. I think he is more comfortable at 2B, don’t you?

Nice to see someone covering second today on the steals!

BarryDumb, Omar was suppose to be on the bag to receive that throw. It was a second out force, he is supposed to be at the bag like a 1st baseman. That way he can stretch and receive the throw. He didn’t think the throw was coming to 2nd so he didn’t cover. The 1st time Brooks went to throw he was nowhere close. Then after Brooks double clutched he had to hurry the throw to a moving target and even then Omar wasn’t there. I’m sorry you lack this fundamental knowledge of the game and I really don’t have the requisite time it would take to teach you. And I find it hysterical that you are basing your analysis on the wise Joe Simpson. He fits right into the mold of clueless announcer, next you will be quoting Chip Caray.

Bill, a second baseman plays in different locations. Omar was playing a good 25 feet from the bag and got to the bag as fast as he could. He was not loafing. The replay clearly showed that. That is ANOTHER mistake Brooks made (not knowing or realizing) where Omar was at at the beginning of the play. He could have (should have) gone to first. He could have gone to first after the first crow hop after realizing Omar was not there.

Please do not try to discredit my knowledge of the game with your inaccurate statements. If you think I lack knowledge then express FACTS to back that up. You have the FACTS wrong. You obviously have not seen the third base angle camera replay I am referring to, or you wouldn’t be making such a fool out of yourself.

Don’t you find it interesting that I proposed playing Brooks at 2b last night – and what do you know, there he is today. I don’t know a thing about the game, do I?

And no, actually Joe was calling it your way, until he saw the replay (the one we are discussing).

Yes, bill, we realize Brooks hasn’t played everyday, so his defense is a bit excusable. Yes, we realize his bat is one of the biggest reasons we are winning at the moment, but I also realize that the play he dropped the ball on today was so routine, my dog could do it. That’s not a good way to recover from 3 consecutive games with errors at another position, albeit he has not played much 3B ever. Coming from a former 3rd basemen’s standpoint, it really did not matter who’s fault, Brooks or Infante, it actually was; the safe thing would have been to throw to 1B, where we have a Gold Glove already waiting on the bag to catch it. Sure, 2B was the quicker route, but the safest way was 1B. I mean, I’m not sure who the batter was running to 1B, but I’m pretty sure that the Phils didn’t sign Wally West or Usain Bolt to a minor league deal at any point this season.

Oh lovely, Tweedledumb is back to jump on board. If Omar was too far away to cover second, who was supposed to cover it, the CF?????? Somebody has that assignment or this team is more poorly coached than I thought. Somebody has to be there to cover 2nd. Omar was supposed to be there. He must have thought Brooks was gonna go to first and he loafed it. THOSE ARE THE FACTS!!

What you argue that Omar was too far away to cover the bag doesn’t even make sense. I mean the runner beat him to second. What if it’s a steal? What if Gonzalez had fielded the ball on the ground and could only make the flip? Why wouldn’t Omar have had the responsibility to be at the bag then? I watched the replays of this ad nauseam, I still have them archived through MLBN. Omar got a late jump. It’s clear on the tape.

They are facts, indeed… so why didn’t Brooks go to first? Tell us, oh wise one. Why did your boy, who apparently wasn’t at fault in any way, NOT go to first? Those are the basics, bill. Throw to first is the 3rd thing behind picking up the ball and breathing for an infielder.

Whoops, Omar makes another error. Are you guys gonna blame Conrad for that one, too?

now now,play nice boys, the braves should still win today. Bill, you’ve been very quiet on the Philly boards lately, why is that?

Brandumb, he didn’t go to 1st because he didn’t need to if Omar was paying attention. If Omar is at the bag, he has plenty of time on the 1st pump. You always take the shorter throw if you play infield. Always.

Just biding my time.

Its always nice to play an extra game at the end of the season

You admitted he double clutched going there… why not change where you are throwing it? If Infante wasn’t there, why throw it there? Nice insult, by the way. Your redundant 5th grade play on words are exactly the type of ignorance you’ve been preaching against this entire time. You better hope your boy does not make an error this inning. Just out of curiosity, since we’re blaming Infante’s error on Conrad, apparently, who are you blaming for Conrad’s 3 other errors you forget to mention?

And Gonzo grounds into another rally killing DP, no insurance provided. Guy couldn’t hit a fly ball if his life depended on it. The roids must be wearing off.

that was a strike Victorino

have to salute both wagner and cox, hope to see the braves in the lcs

14 HRs while in Canada where roids are legal before Jul15. After Jul 15- 6 HRs

Damn a civil Phillies fan, how refreshing.

I salute you sir. I just yelled at my TV because Victorino DARED act like that was a ball. We didn’t need Infante or Conrad that inning. Hell, we barely needed McCann. Wags4NLCY anyone?

Barry – why does he continually have to pi__ me off. Omar played the play perfectly, just a bad throw. He is supposed to be on the base like a 1st baseman?? – incorrect. I like the swtich. Let Infante handle the longer throws.

That was funny when Victorino started walking to 1st – are you kidding me?? I hope he looked at the replay later to see how silly he looked.

Great jobs Wags. I think he only gave up Venters’ runs. I hope they get to rest until Thursday. Any chance Chipper will be back? I am watching San Fran up 2-0 now, hopefully it will last.

Regarding the post season roster, here is what I think. I think they will keep 11 pitchers. One spot will either go to JJ or Beachy. If they decided to carry both, they may decide to carry 12 pitchers due to JJ’s uncertainty. Assuming 11 pitchers, that leaves room for 6 extra players. Here they are.

Today’s starters (Diaz and Ankiel)
Ross – no brainer
Hernandez – no brainer
Hinske
Melky
McClouth
Glaus – yes really

Any thoughts guys?? If they decide to carry 12 pitchers, Glaus, McClouth or Ankiel will be left off. My thoughts are it will be McClouth or Ankiel. They need a second back-up infielder so I think Glaus will stick.

3 outs to go.

It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take it. I’m happy for Bobby.

The main problem with Nate is really his lollipop arm. Any OF we have will come up firing to the cutoff man or the bag, but Nate loves to do this little spin around in a circle, wait three heartbeats and then lollipop throw back to the infield. To me, that is his biggest drawback. Then again, his defense has been sputtering too, (remember that ball that popped outta his glove down the line a few games back?) His speed and power potential for his bat were the two reasons Bobby put him in. Bill, I have to say this. I love Conrad. He’s great at the plate. The one reason, only reason, most fans and posters didn’t really want him to play most of the games was his defense. Don’t get me wrong, any time that guy is in I feel good about our chances of winning a ball game, but he’s not Gold Glove caliber and that is the main reason most of the fans had hesitation. I realize you had a lot of beefs with other posters about him, but that was something that was mentioned either in ST or at the end of 09 about him. I think most people on a scale of 1-10 would rate Jones 8, Prado 8.5, Infante 8.1 and Conrad about 6.7 on defense. But having said all that, he def is someone this team needs to win. After all, this is not a time for Braves fan to split apart, we need to come into this post season UNITED! Braves have clinched the Wild Card. More Braves Baseball down the line to come, and I think everyone needs to cross their fingers for the AL to have Minnesota come out on top. This year has been such a parallel to the 91 season, it would be absolutely fantastic to have a rematch of Twins & Braves World Series. That would make this a complete dream season. Well, mostly anyway.

In grand Braves fashion, they make it into the playoffs on the last day after winning by one run. Thank you San Fran. We will see you soon.

and I see the time stamps are up to their usual tricks again.

Wooo! Braves make it to the playoffs!

And Acziffer, why would you take Melky over Nate?

Nate has better speed, defense, and pop than Melky…
If you haven’t noticed, Melky looks like he can’t sprint with the beer belly he has going on..

I like Brooksy as much as Bill but it was evident earlier that he had problems at third and should have been playing second. His throws to first when Glaus was playing were often off the mark and amazingly saved by Glaus. Even Lee had to come off the bag and try to make tags due to his throws. I made the remark then that he should be playing second, Prado third and Infante in the outfield so we could get more production from the outfield. I just hope Brooksy stays at second for the playoffs.

Jim I agree with you. I was just astounded that anyone would rag on Conrad at all after he comes in a desperate position for the Braves , wins 2 0f the 1st 3 games he starts, replaces the team MVP at a position that isn’t his natural starting position, lifts the team to sweep FL and then when he makes a couple of mistakes(1 questionable) he gets jumped on for his defense. I mean this rookie is largely responsible for this team making the playoffs and all of a sudden we are criticizing him when we do make it. His defense is not as bad as it has looked and this team has certainly been really challenged on defense long before Brooks made the lineup. Nobody is taking it harder than him. I think the negative comments here are aimed primarily at me because certain posters were shown up when he started contributing to the “everyday” lineup. But how that has manifested itself, is a diatribe about how badly this young man is playing and that just isn’t a factual representation of what he has meant to this club. I never advocated playing Brooks over Martin, unless it was to give Martin a needed break when he was so beat up. I am just glad we have Brooks ready to contribute his game winning skills now that Martin is really hurt. It could have been Glaus, Hinske or the weak hitting Hernandez in his place and we would be ruefully regretting how close we came to making the playoffs. As it is, we have a fresh start in SF on Thursday, a team which we have a winning record against. Let’s just hope it ain’t 40 degrees when we get there. We have 3 days to rest some tired legs and then the magic begins. Anything can happen in the playoffs. I would really love to leave a few phans with the regret that they came so close to eliminating us, but couldn’t quite get it done. As to those who want to criticize what the young man has done, really get a grip. You can attack me all you like but lay off of this really integral part of our team. He’s paid his dues and some kid on a blog really can’t appreciate what that means.

I would love to see D Lowe keep up his good work… Go Braves, I can’t wait until Thursday. As for the Brooksy stuff, its over, let’s move on…

By the way, I would hope the KK is left off of the postseason roster…I wonder how that will go. That stuff is so confusing at times.

It’s nice to actually care about the postseason this year. Rooting for the Bravos and whoever is playing Philly. Maybe also rooting for the Rangers since about half of their roster came up with us.

Geez, the Twins just can’t escape the Yankees in the postseason. But I think they have a better shot than ever this year.
Rangers-Rays should be a good series, but I bet the Rays take it.

Of course, all of us here will root for the Reds over the Phils.

Also, looks (tentatively) like the NLDS rotation will be Lowe, Hanson, Hudson. Thoughts?

Of course you guys will root for the reds, your team can’t beat the phillies so you need to hope someone else can.

Well, well, well, 152,046 fans show up at the Ted for a 3 games series. Imagine that? Let’s see how the Braves do with their two post season games.

Nah I just route against all Philadelphia teams because I can’t stand the city and its fanbase.
Go Redskins.

vivabeta you have two strikes against you. You live in NY and you are a Braves fan. You are a glutton for punishment. On a more serious note the Giants have 73 errors for the season and the Braves have 123 errors. The Braves are just an error machine.

pherrisphain, like viva said, we root for the Reds because we don’t like the Phillies. In the same manner, many if not most of us will root for the Twins because we don’t like the Yankees. It has nothing to do with who we’d rather face.
Also, viva’s a transplant if I remember correctly. His team loyalty was forged before he moved to NY.

Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of spending three weeks in the Philadelphia area. The only part of the city I enjoyed was, well, nothing, it pretty much sucked. Which goes a long way towards explaining why these Phillies fans feel the need to come to the Braves site. They are just trying to escape their own miserable surroundings.

Pherrisphain loves to toot his horn about game attendance, but has he ever once pointed out that the population of Philadelphia is over THREE times that of Atlanta? Yet in 2001, the Braves drew 12,000 more fans per game than the Phillies did. The Phillies only did 11,000 fans (per game) better than the Braves in 2008. The same year they won the World Series. Out of a population that is a million people stronger, they could only get 1 percent of those folks to show up to a game, in a championship season!! Throughout the years the attendance at Turner field has remained in the 30K range. The Phillies attendance has ranged from 22K-45K. That is the definition of fairweather fans. I would bet Pherrisphain falls into that category. I’m sure during the Phillies leaner years he was trolling the boards as a Yankee’s fan.

Dude you are a joke. In another week and a half you will be crying in your Wheaties, because the Reds and Braves will be playing in the NLCS. Then you can call into all your crappy sports radio shows and cry with each other and try to figure out what happened, what went wrong and just bust all out into tears. After all, misery loves company and you will find plenty of it in the the city of man on man love.

Billybrooks, sometimes I wonder if you read our posts, now I wonder if you are even watching the games. Your statement above that the runner beat Infante to the bag on Conrad’s Friday night throwing error is not true. You change history more often than a democrat.

And show me ONE post where ANYONE has “ragged” on Brooksy. We ALL love him. We all agree this team would not be in the playoffs if it weren’t for his late inning heroics.

Just because I happened to predict that Brooksy’s defense (or lack thereof) would likely jump up and bite us in the arss, and low and behold it did; and just because I suggested that perhaps if they were going to play Brooks full time over Diory that it would be best if they played him at 2B, and move Infante to 3B, and, low and behold they did, does not give you the right to go on diatribes and insult people. PLEASE especially do not insult someone’s knowledge of the game when they have made such calls.

Will be interesting to see Mr. Lowe and Mr. Hudson in San Fran. Hope we can average 3 or 4 runs for them.

GO BRAVES!

Anybody else hoping for this:

Infante
Heyward
Lee
McCann
Diaz/Hinske
Gonzalez
Conrad(at 2B)
Ankiel/McLouth(Honestly does not matter)
Lowe

?

Brandon, I don’t have a problem with your lineup, except for the fact that you say it doesn’t matter if we play Ankiel or McLouth. I honestly thought that McLouth had FINALLY come out of his slump and was ready to contribute offensively. Boy, was i wrong. Let’s be honest, Ankiel and McLouth have not hit their weight this season so their consideration as a offensive force should not be factored. That leaves us with defense, arm, and speed. I think McLouth may have a SLIGHT edge in speed but Ankiel has a great advantage in defense and arm. My nod would go to Ankiel.

BarryDumb, it figures you are part of the George Bush crowd, with your powers of perception you probably would have thought you actually found WMDs. You have been pushing for Diory to play in place of Brooks. If he had, we would have lost 2-3 in FL and I wouldn’t have to be reading your tripe by now. But as it is, you continue, on and on and on with scarcely a fact at you disposal. Oh well, when we wrap up the series then I can take a long needed break from your drivel. It will be well deserved.

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