Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

I don’t want them forget Ruth; I just want them to remember me. -Hank Aaron

01 Aug

Cardinals 3, Braves 2

Retrosheet Boxscore: St. Louis Cardinals 3, Atlanta Braves 2

8/1/98: The Braves didn’t get any bullpen help. They were apparently deep into talks with the Royals over Jeff Montgomery,
but the Royals’ asking price was too high. They also made a bid, rumor (in its personification as Peter Gammons) has it, for
Randy Johnson, intending to make him a closer, but dropped out. (This is probably the trade John Scheurholz was talking
about when he told a reporter that he and Stan Kasten would need to take a paycut if they made it.) Johnson, as you probably
know, went to the Astros, meaning we get to see him hit.

I don’t have much use for Genius Larussa, but he really outmaneuvered Bobby last night. The situation: Braves trail 3-2
going into the ninth.

Due Up:
4 Galarraga
5 A Jones
6 Bautista
7 Perez
8 Weiss
9 Maddux

R Lopez
R Colbrunn
L Klesko
L Tucker
L Guillen
L Lockhart

Kent Mercker, who started and has been great, is still pitching. Galarraga singles. Larussa decides to go to the pen. But
instead of getting a righthander, he brings in his only lefthander, Lance Painter. The Sportsouth announcers have no idea why,
but it was blindingly obvious — if they bring in a righthander, Bobby’s going to loosen the bench and probably bring up
Tucker to hit, followed by Klesko. Painter gets Andruw to pop up, but John Mabry (moved to left for defense, and I don’t
know why you’d want him when Willie McGee is on the bench) can’t make the play, first and second, no one out. Bautista
bunts. At this stage I’m jumping up and down, saying “Send up Colbrunn, don’t use Javy!” but Bobby doesn’t hear me and Javy
hits for Perez. Since this means there’s no catcher on the bench (I guess Colbrunn’s the emergency catcher) Larussa is free to
bring in a righty without fear of Klesko, but instead walks Javy. Bobby sends Colbrunn to hit for Weiss. (I don’t get this
either, who’s more likely to get the run home in this situation? A single, with Andruw at second, is as good as a home run,
and Weiss is much less likely to hit into a DP and less likely to strike out.)

So anyway, Dave Duncan, the pitching coach, comes out to talk to Painter, and of course the FSS people think, “Now we’ll
see a righthander.” But of course not — if they bring in a righty, Klesko or Tucker or Lockhart will hit and the Braves will
likely tie the game. Colbrunn’s not as good of a hitter as Klesko, and as a very slow righthanded hitter (with another slow
player at first) is a better DP candidate than any lefty. Also, Painter throws a Glavine-style changeup that breaks away from a
righthander and is pretty effective against them. So Painter strikes out Colbrunn, and not only is it two out, Bobby’s out of
righthanded bats (in retrospect, he probably shouldn’t have hit for Perez at all) and sends up the slumping Tucker, who strikes
out to end the game.

Leave a Reply

© 2018 Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built | Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)

GPS Reviews and news from GPS Gazettewordpress logo