Looking back on a long,crazy night

Where do you start about six hours after you’ve left the scene of a 19-inning game that lasted nearly seven hours and ended with one of the most unbelievable endings you could imagine.

By now most of you have had time to express disbelief or at least attempt to convince yourself that plate umpire Jerry Meals was correct when he ruled Julio Lugo safe to end the 4-3 win the Braves claimed over the Pirates early this morning.

Understandably, the Pirates have issued a formal complaint to Major League Baseball.   My wife, a Braves fan, also issued her complaint when she said she felt cheated to watch a game like that end in that manner.   That is seemingly a belief shared by many.

Click here to see multiple angles of Lugo’s slide and to hear the television and radio calls from both the Braves and Pirates announcers.

When I talked to Meals about the call last night, he was very professional and accountable.   In case you missed it, here is his explanation:

“I saw the tag, but he looked like he oléd him and I called him safe for that.  I looked at the replays and it appeared he might have got him on the shin area.  I’m guessing he might have got him, but when I was out there when it happened I didn’t see a tag.

“I just saw the glove sweep up. I didn’t see the glove hit his leg.”

After Pirates catcher Michael McKenry made his swipe tag I looked toward first thinking the Pirates might turn an inning-ending double play, without even knowing Scott Proctor had face-planted coming out of the box.  When I saw the Braves players burst out of the dugout in celebratory fashion,  it took me a second to figure out what was happening.

I guess you could say I was as shocked as I was a few weeks earlier when a judge in Orlando said, “Not guilty.”

We’ll remember last night’s game for a variety of oddities.  Dan Uggla’s batting average sat above .200 for about four hours and then dipped below it when he finished the game 2-for-8.   Uggla had more success at the plate than Martin Prado, who managed to go hitless in nine at-bats.  He would have been coming to the plate had the game not ended on Lugo’s slide.

Nobody expected to see three scoreless innings from Proctor.  Nor was there any reason to think he was capable of recording the game-winning RBI.   He entered the night with three career plate appearances and each occurred in 2007.

Still as crazy as last night was, the key development seemed to occur in the 10th inning when Brian McCann strained his left oblique muscle, an injury that will sideline him for 2-3 weeks.  Looks like Jordan Schafer is also going to the disabled list with a chip fracture in his left middle finger.

The Braves have not made an official announcement, but Triple-A Gwinnett’s J.C. Boscan and Wilkin Ramirez have been told they have been promoted to Atlanta.   (Updated:  The first version I messed up saying it was two catchers coming up because I at first thought I heard Wilkin Castillo was coming up.  Sorry for the mistake.  Caffeine will help tonight.)

The Braves are fortunate to have a backup like Ross around to handle the catching duties while McCann is sidelined.   Still it’s obvious there will be a hole in the lineup while the six-time All-Star catcher sits the next couple of weeks.

Obviously many have asked whether this alters the Braves’ approach before Sunday’s Trade Deadline.  Well it could certainly alter the discussions about B.J. Upton or any other player who could aid their lineup.  But I don’t think Frank Wren is going to cave and do something irrational.

Now the fact that it appears the Giants will land Carlos Beltran could prove even more influential to Wren.  With one less outfielder available and uncertainty surrounding Schafer’s finger, maybe it will be more appealing to acquire Upton with the hope a change of scenery will help him maximize his great potential.


The best illustration I can come up with to describe this team right now is a twin engine boat dragging an anchor behind it. The boat is moving steadily, but is being weighed down. The anchor weight of Gonzalez, McClouth, and Schafer is weighing this team down. The ONLY way we could have won that game last night was a blown call by the umpire. Fortunately for us, that happened. If you would have told me that Martin Prado would go 0-9 while stranding important runners on base, Scott Procter would have the game winning AB, and also pitch scoreless innings to get a win – I would have punched you in the face and told you to shut your dirty whoreish mouth.
Frank Wren needs to make a long hard look at this team and make some magic happen or the second half will not be as kind as the first. Rasmus and Beltran are gone now. CF and SS are the only holes to fill. If nothing is done, the anchor will eventually weigh us down and we’ll be looking forward to March of 2012.

I think the tag was probably made, but if baseball had the same type of replay as football where the standard is that the call on the field stands unless there is conclusive video proof otherwise… this call is not overturned.

Upton is the clear target now. Good CF, has pop, lots of speed. Hell, now we don’t have to hear Rasmus BS anymore. Go get Upton, we need a bat to replace McCann and Scafer.

By the way, we NEED a CF, not Hunter Pence. So lets please stop the Pence rumors, seeing as how the Braves won’t give up anyone, the Astros want the kings ransom, and they haven’t even said he’s available. Upton is pretty much the only true CF on the market. With injury(not to mention the plain lack of hitting) to Jordan Schafer, the lack of arm and numerous popups of Nate McLouth, the Braves have Wilkin Ramirez left. I know none of you want to put the season on Wilkins shoulders.

a I type this, Ken Rosenthal reports the Braves are now turning attention to Hunter Pence.

Upton or in a dream scenario Adam Jones from the orioles. I would give away minor and other prospects for Jones in a hearbeat.

MARLON BYRD!!! Why aren’t we hearing anything about MARLON BYRD>>??

Him too. I would rather have Upton due to his dynamics and potential, but Byrd would be an ok pickup.

Just in case anyone else though otherwise, Alex Anthopoulos is the best general manager in baseball.

The ump was horrible all night. I do not think he knew where “his” strike zone was.

Mark I assume you meant Wilkin CASTILLO not Ramirez? Ramirez, while athletic, is an OF not a catcher.

Definitively need to pick up a bat and RHP for bullpen. My first choice would be Upton then michael bourn. Astros have a good bullpen so that could be done in one trade. Pence is too much, i dont want to give up that much prospects. Byrd…would be ok…but nothing I’d jump for joy about.

Between all of our available prospects, I would sacrifice, Delgado, Medlin, Minor, in that order. I don’t understand why Bourne is not desired? He has the most speed, leads-off with above B.A. & plays great CF, & is the least money of all mentioned. Upton could be great, also. But, do something about CF/lead-off.!
Can Alex.G., Heyward or McClouth get straightened-out? I am so frustrated/dissapointed in Alex’s play & attitude! It just seems he is lazy, doesn’t care, is attrocious with risp, & defense has turned slow.
I would have given anyone,”the farm”, for Jose Reyes. He would/could have been the 1-game/season changer.
Wren & Fredi need to get tough(kick-a-lot-of-butt), & quit “babying these underachievers!

I know, I know. QTip will wait til all the outfield bats are gone and then he will sign Dereek Lowe to a 4 year extension for way more money than anyone else would offer.

Ludwick and an arm from the padres bullpen would be a good move. Ludwick’s numbers have gone down since being with the cards but he also left that great lineup to play for the Padres in their pitcher friendly stadium. He can play left sometimes, move prado to 3rd to give chipper days off. Also can play RF if needed.

Don’t know if anybody else thought of this idea before me but, why not move Prado to SS? I’m the sure the athlete and the competitor he is, it won’t take long before he gets accustomed to the position. It could bring in a OF from a trade regardless of position, (Ludwick, Upton, Pence). It will also get rid of GonaBeAnOutzo.
Think of it as killing two birds with 1 stone. Kind of…
Also, whenever Chipper retires, P’Nicky (or anyone else) could smoothly go into 3rd base without any problems.

Actually I have made that statement many times but I was told that martin would be defensivley a serious downgrade from gonzo.( I think its bs) but I let it go. Heck if joe mauer can go to first martin can adapt to ss in my opinion.

Are there no decent hitting SS available? I find that hard to believe. Aren’t there enough teams out there looking for pitching that would have a SS available? Maybe the Tigers would consider trading Johnny Peralta for Lowe and a prospect. Whoi knows. I find it hard to believe our hands are tied with this many top prospects and depth of pitching at our disposal.

Steve Berthiume just tweeted that Pence is out of Houston’s lineup tonight… Interesting!

False alarm. Pence getting a regular day off

Braves got Wil Nieves from Brewers, Must have needed depth in Minors

reports to Gwinnett

Bravo, honestly, at the top of my head, I don’t see any game changing SS out in the market. Peralta won’t be too big of an impact for our team being a career .268 hitter and seems like having one of those good years he has every 4-5 years. If we bring him over, it’ll be another Agon situation next year, without the defensive plus. Another SS that may be possible to get is JJ Hardy, but again, a career .264 hitter and seems like he’s benefiting from playing in small AL parks.
All the prominent SS are core guys for their team. Why not put Martin there?

There is no reason to trade one of our big time pitching prospects for a guy with a crappy attitude who we hope benefits from a change of scenery (Upton). That does not make sense to me. Maybe a deal for Ludwick and Heath Bell?

I could be mistaken, but isn’t Upton hitting around .240?? We have plenty of those guys already. Don’t give up big talent without getting big time production.

Wasn’t the catcher we picked up in our farm system a long time ago?

I’m like Bourne as a target, but there has been very little talk about him.

The Braves aren’t pursuing Bourne.

I think I read something that Atlanta had no interest in Bourne. At this point, we could benefit from anybody that can swing the stick, power or speed guy. I think the injury to Schafer makes the need for an OF bat even more important. Hinske can play LF and provide a serviceable stick. Prado can play 3rd or SS depending on Chipper’s health. The biggest wildcard will be which Jason Heyward will be present in the second half……if we don’t have him, our goose is cooked IMO. Uggla and Prado will not be able to provide enough offense on their own.

The goal is a right handed run producer than hits LHP, as that is our weakness. Our stats against LHP are atrocious. Bourne is a lefty.

Bravo, offense is our weakness. Although I do recognize that Bourne is a lefty and not a perfect solution. I did forget to add Freeman to Prado ad Uggs as the guys that need to carry the offense. But I don’t think they can get it done without Jason Heyward.

Reed Johnson in a platoon?
Bourne is batting .284 vs lefties this year, his OBP with his speed would be an welcome addition on top of the lineup w/out giving up defense. Not to mention he is more of a second half player.
Byrd bats right but is batting .230 vs lefty’s this year.
Pence will cost a lot in prospects and in future payroll. “Still best choice.”
Carlos Lee great second half player, bats right with power. Astros would have to eat at least half of his contract and I think he has a full no trade clause. But moving him would help them keep Pence.

Hey I wonder if Brooks could play SS?

I keed, I keeed.

Boy this sounds familiar.

If Braves were to trade for Pence, he’d play RF and not CF, Heyward would get optioned until Sept so he can get bat working again #TRADES

I’ve heard Jim Bowden say ridiculous things before that were never true.

No Marlon Byrd. His line against lefties looks like the rest of our hitters. Without someone who can hit lefties, we’re dead in the water.

Man, I loves me some Freddie Freeman glove. Could he win ROY and GG?

I’m pretty sure he could, winning a GG is more of a popularity contest than about a players defense.

I guess you can still hit a ball, even if you just got highlites.

Ross Cartwright, the best bench player in baseball.

Who do you pick to win ROY? Freeman or Kimbrel, I honestly can’t decide.
Thankfully this game only 10 innings, great win.

Oh man, the Giants are expected to release Pat Burrell…. Frank Wren just got a stiffy.

LOL, as soon as read that at mlbtraderumors I thought “oh crap Frank better not.”

How a about Denard Span?

Josh Willingham? Please tell us you are kidding QTip.

Both Willingham and Ludwick suck. Really hope that’s not our “move”. Looks like we’re the last ones remaining in the Pence talk. Spend it Wren!

Yeah, if it’s down to Pence, Willingham, or Ludwick, in that order please. If were that limited, go all for Pence. Hell, does Houston have a reliver to sweeten the pot with?

I don’t get what the big deal is about the “untouchable 4”. Tehran and Vizcaino I understand… But Delgado and Minor should be expendable. We’re trying to win a world series here… What Pence could do to our lineup right now would put us in a great spot.

Exactly. What are the chances that all 4 of them pan out anyway? I’m ind of keen on keeping Minor, since he is our only lefty, but Randall Delgado should be the centerpiece of any trade we make.

The more you spend the more you get. I don’t think there should be an “untouchable” list if anyone can come in and help us win a championship. Gilmartin is going to be every bit as good as Mike Minor is now in a couple of years. Both lefties and both great collegiate pitchers. That’s why I think Minor is expendable.

We just drafted a Minor clone in the first round of this most recent draft. Why say he is the only one?

I cannot see why people are so high on seeing Vizcaino coming up. He’s a Fastball – Curveball guy. He’ll probably never turn out to be a top of a rotation type of pitcher and will end up being a set-up/closer. Guess what, we have both of that, and probably for a long time. Moylan/O’Flaherty/Venters and Kimbrel. If you want to talk about expandable prospects; he’s it.
Gilmartin is a clone of Minor, but Minor has experience in the bigs and looks like a solid pitcher. Do you want to wait another 3-4 years for us to finally have a lefty in our rotation again?

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