Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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

10 Apr

Philadelphia 16, Atlanta 2

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Phillies – 04/09/2003

I’ve never been one of those people who panicks whenever Greg Maddux loses a couple of games in a row or gives up four runs in six innings. The standards for Maddux have always been impossibly high; any time he gave up even two runs, you’d hear “What’s wrong with Maddux?”

Well, there’s something clearly wrong. Maddux says it’s his location, and it’s pretty clear that that’s a large portion of it. Greg threw 104 pitches — in only 5 2/3 innings — last night, and 43 of them were balls. And at times his control was even more off. He seems to be getting good movement — he had seven strikeouts — but at the same time he’s been wild in the strike zone. He gave up two homers, both to Pat Burrell. I figure eventually Greg will figure out what’s wrong, but I hope it doesn’t happen too late.

Offensively, the Braves are now 0-6 when not hitting a home run, 3-0 when they do. And for the second game in a row, they failed to draw a walk. So even with ten hits, three of them doubles, the Braves could muster only two runs. I can not emphasize this strongly enough: YOU CAN NOT WIN BASEBALL GAMES IF ALL YOU DO IS HIT SINGLES.

Six of the hits were by Fick and Sheffield, three apiece… Marcus Giles made an error Tuesday, so sure as anything there was Mark DeRosa in the lineup at second base last night. And on the very first pitch from Maddux, Mark made an error leading to a run.

Trey Hodges will start tonight’s game against Hector Mercado. I’m pretty certain Kevin Millwood is unhappy, but Bowa made the right call for once.

9 Responses to “Philadelphia 16, Atlanta 2”

  1. 1
    Creg Says:

    I heard Dave Campbell make mention of a “shoulder problem” for Maddux on SportsCenter, which would explain a lot. If not…

    I’ve seen all three of Maddux’s starts this year and he’s really getting his pitches up. Opposing hitters are either teeing off on the first pitch or waiting for that 82-mile-per-hour meatball to come with two strikes when Maddux doesn’t get the call on the inside corner (which he wasn’t on Wednesday).

    Looks like Maddux and Boras’ one-year contract gamble may blow up in their faces. Given Byrd’s impending surgery, it’s time for Atlanta to get Smoltz back in the rotation and pronto.

    Colin made mention in an earlier post of giving guys like Bong and Dawley a chance, but they got raked even worse than Maddux on Wednesday. Besides, Smoltz is a complete waste of $10 million in his current role.

    At the risk of sounding like Joe Morgan, the lack of good fundamental play by this team distresses me as well. Fick pulled his foot early on a ground “out.” Furcal covered the bag on a hit-and-run with a RIGHT-HANDED hitter at the plate (leading to the obvious single through Furcal’s normal position).

    It also looks like Andruw’s back to dogging it in the outfield. Where is that bridge again, Mac?

  2. 2
    Creg Says:

    Just read on the AJC site that the Braves signed Shane Reynolds. I don’t know if he’s got anything left, but I always liked him. If nothing else, at least the Mets don’t get him.

  3. 3
    Matt Davis Says:

    Well, he has an option (a TEAM option, not a PLAYER option) for next year, which means he has to have a major league contract, which means he takes up a roster spot no matter how good/bad he is.
    I guess they could always release him but anyway-the positives probably outweigh the negatives.

    I’ve always liked Reynolds because he has typically had terrific K/BB ratios, but I’m not so sure he’s healthy.

    Guess we’ll be finding out soon.

  4. 4
    Colin Says:

    Hey, i don’t believe I included Dawley inmy earlier suggestions! I mentioned Bong and Ramirez (whose chance was in part a result of the Byrd injury). But not Dawley *shudder*

    Last I heard Shane’s fastball was topping out around 82, which was why the ‘Stros didn’t terribly want him around. Yuck. But a low-risk deal.

    Fick’s defense sounds to be a little scary, but I’m loath to criticize any guy who’s actually drawing a walk here and there andhitting.

    Colin

  5. 5
    Matt Davis Says:

    Just looked at baseballreference.com and Reynolds (career) has 1309 Ks and 358 BBs, a ratio of 3.66 K/BB.

    Not bad.

    Then again, *I* can hit an 82 mph fastball. Well, I “usetacould” anyway before I started drinking beer :)

  6. 6
    Creg Says:

    My bad, Colin. Should have gone back and looked.

    I like Fick, too, but he’s a born DH. At least they’re not running Julio out there every day.

  7. 7
    Creg Says:

    Hey, the Braves already have a pitcher trying to get by with an 82 mph fastball. And he’s making $14.75 million…

  8. 8
    Colin Says:

    Harsh!

    I’ve been hearing mixd reports on Maddux’s velocity. I’ve seen a few reports of the 82-83 range, but other reports that he’s in the high 80’s. Since I can hardly watch any games these days, I don’t know who to believe.

  9. 9
    david chandler Says:

    I read a report somewhere that Reynolds was hitting 87 mph when he “auditioned” for those 8 teams earlier this week.

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