Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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

07 May

Atlanta 3, Colorado 2 – MLB – Recap – Rockies at Braves – 05/06/2003

Mike Hampton deserved to get a win against the team that still pays him, going seven shutout innings. Unfortunately, the Braves blew the lead. Fortunately, Andruw was there to pick the bullpen up.

Hampton was effective in his Mike Hamptony way, going seven shutout innings with only three hits allowed. He also walked five with only one strikeout. I don’t believe in pitchers who can do that and be successful, but it seems to work for him. For now. Pitch count: 107, 60 of them strikes. His ERA for the season is now 2.52. We’ll see if he can keep this up.

Roberto Hernandez, who’s been so effective as a setup man, simply seemed overwhelmed, allowing two hits, two walks, and two runs in the eighth. Since the Braves had only scored one run, that was a major problem. Due to MLB’s asinine scoring rules, he gets the win even though he was awful and the other pitchers were good. To be fair to Hernandez, he did pretty well once he settled down and if he hadn’t kept his head about him things might have been much worse. Smoltz picked up the save, his thirteenth, getting Todd Helton to hit into a DP to end it.

Andruw saved the day in the bottom of the eighth. After Todd “Are You Looking At My Butt?” Jones got the first two hitters, Chipper walked, and Andruw (Joneses all around) homered to center to give the Braves the lead. The Braves got seven hits in all, with Robert Fick the only Brave with two.

Shane Reynolds gets another chance tonight to show why the Astros released him… I should probably point out that Ryan Langerhans was briefly with the club for two games in Arizona. He never got into a game, but was there while Gary Sheffield was on the bereavement list (which allows teams to replace players who leave the team to be with loved ones in situations like funerals).

12 Responses to “Atlanta 3, Colorado 2”

  1. 1
    Rivers Says:

    If you have a relief ace, I can think of no better time to use him than up by a run in the eighth with the opposition’s three best hitters coming to the plate. You know, you might even think about letting him pitch two innings in that situation…

  2. 2
    Daniel Says:

    “Shane Reynolds gets another chance tonight to show why the Astros released him…”?

    The guy was within innings of a no hitter and people still give him no respect..

  3. 3
    Shane Reynolds Says:

    I’m within 9 innings of a no-no whenver I start a game!

    Thanks for the props, Daniel.

  4. 4
    Robert Says:

    For once I agree with Rivers. You will never see a better example of how the popularity of the one inning closer has dumbed down Major League Baseball than last night.

    Top of the 8th, 1-0 Braves, Hampton is gassed so it’s time to go to the bullpen. The Rockies have Helton, Wilson, and Walker due up, the heart of their order. This is the time to use your best relief pitcher, but of course in comes washed up ex-closer Roberto Hernandez to blow the lead.

    Bottom of the 8th, 2-1 Rockies, and Colorado goes to their bullpen. The Braves have Giles, Sheffield and Chipper due up, essentially the heart of the order. This is the time to use your best relief pitcher, but of course in comes washed up ex-closer Todd Jones to blow the lead.

    How did we get to this point? How did the managers have it so right in the Goose Gossage days and so messed up now? Is it all due to the popularity of the save stat?

    A game like this shows that Boston definately has the right idea on bullpen usage. Unfortunately they didn’t bother to stock their pen with any good pitchers, which will hurt you no matter what usage pattern you subscribe to.

  5. 5
    Creg Says:

    For all the talk about whether or not MLB or the Rockies should have disciplined Todd Jones, I think his near-6 ERA and being humiliated in his hometown will take care of things for everyone involved…

  6. 6
    Mike Says:

    Giles, Sheffield, and Chipper aren’t the heart of the order! Andruw, Fick, and Vinn(I ****ing suck)y obviously are. No wonders you guys aren’t major league managers.

  7. 7
    Rivers Says:

    For once I agree with Rivers.


  8. 8
    Rob Cope Says:

    I never look to see who writes comments, unless they’re good ones, but maybe now I should. I keep seeing people not giving props to guys like Hernandez, who has had a good year, 8 straight appearances before that with no runs allowed, but when they have a bad game, it’s “Oh, God, he sucks! What’s Chuck LaMar’s phone number?” I wonder if this is the same “fan” doing this or there are more fair-weather fans around here that I don’t know about. I kind of noticed it with Mac too. No offense. Reynolds throws 12 1/3 shut out innings, he has a bad start, and it’s “Now we know why he was available.” Granted, he did have a bad start after that bad start, but he still pitched very well in his other starts before that.

  9. 9
    J Leeds Says:

    Well, I had no problem with Hernandez starting the eighth inning. As Rob Cope mentioned above, he has pitched well this year. My problem was that when he obviously didn’t have it, Bobby didn’t go ahead and bring Smoltz in to pitch two innings. He’d had Monday off, after all.

  10. 10
    Colin Says:

    Reynolds throws 12 1/3 shut out innings, he has a bad start

    well, as you noted later, he had a bad start, then another – allowing an aggregate 15 runs in 8 2/3 innings. That’s beyond bad, it’s brutal.

    At this point it’s just the question of “will teh real Shane Reynolds please stand up”. And one has to bear i mind that his first two starts were not exactly consistent with how he’d been pitching the last three years.


  11. 11
    Robert Says:

    The “I would have to say you are missing the point of my post Rob” post was done by me, not Rob Cobe. I don’t know how I screwed that up. Sorry Rob.

  12. 12
    Rob Cobe Says:

    I would have to say you are missing the point of my post Rob. I was more criticizing the MLB-wide closer usage strategy than any one player or manager.

    Sure I called Hernandez and washed up ex-closer, but what else would you call a guy who got ran out of Tampa and KC, the worst two franchises in baseball? But I wasn’t really saying he sucked, just that, if your really thinking, he’s not the correct choice for the 8th inning of a 1-0 game when the other team has it’s top three hitters up. If your going to pay a relief pitcher $10 million a year, this is when you should use him.

    Hernandez is a perfectly average major league reliever, nothing more. He’s got a 3.79 run average this year, coming off years of 4.55 and 5.02. This year he has been brought into 11 high leverage games where the Braves had the lead and has lost the the lead 3 times. All pretty average stuff, although the 14 walks in 19 innings this season are worrysome.

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