Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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

14 Jun

Atlanta 3, Seattle 1

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Mariners – 06/14/2003

The Braves evened the series, and moved to 3-2 on the road trip, beating Jamie Moyer to do it. Mike Hampton was terrific, pitching into the eighth with a shutout, and John Smoltz pitched two innings for the save after bailing out the useless Kevin Gryboski. Bobby had pulled Hampton after he walked the leadoff man in the eighth. It was a reasonable move, but Gryboski? To face Ichiro? That’s crazy.

Speaking of crazy… Darren Bragg had two hits, including an RBI single in the seventh. He’s all the way up to .135! Of course, the RBI single was a pathetic topspin lob that barely made it over second base (and then bounced backwards) and the other hit was on a bunt. I guess I haven’t mentioned this, but Chipper’s wrist injury keeps him from swinging left righthanded. Since the Braves just have to carry 12 pitchers, and they won’t cut Bragg, they’re actually platooning Chipper and Bragg in left — with Bragg hitting against lefties! It’s completely insane. They also have DeRosa DHing against lefties, at least when Javy’s catching. They have to make some sort of move.

The Braves left the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth innings. They actually had fourteen baserunners in the game, but once again were short on extra base hits (back-to-back doubles by Sheffield and Andruw in the eighth the only ones) and couldn’t push many across. I still say that if you keep getting on you’re going to eventually break open for big innings.

Sunday Night game tomorrow, Maddux against Gil Meche. The A’s are doing us some favors by taking the first two from the Expos. The Braves now lead the Expos by seven and the Phillies by eleven.

8 Responses to “Atlanta 3, Seattle 1”

  1. 1
    Colin Says:

    I liked the suggestion posted by someone on here (Creg?) that the Braves should snag Ron Gant if they’re going to have to go with a platoon in left. Only problem is who backs up Andruw in CF, so Bragg would have to stillbe around, or would have to be replaced by a minor league CF.

  2. 2
    JH Says:

    RE: ‘but Chipper’s wrist injury keeps him from swinging lefthanded.’
    It’s a quibble, but it’s my understanding that he can’t hit right-handed right now (which is, of course, the way he hits against lefties), which is where that extra right-handed outfielder off the bench would be extra handy (especially if he could play center to back up Andruw).

  3. 3
    Mac Thomason Says:

    D’oh! I’ll fix it.

  4. 4
    Andrew Says:

    Right handed outfielders who can play CF if necessary and might possibly be available

    Brian Jordan (gasp)
    Jay Payton
    Jose Guillen
    Danny Bautista

  5. 5
    Creg Says:

    Well, Jordan makes WAY too much money, the Rockies seem to really like Payton, and Guillen would bitch too much about playing time to get by with the Braves. Danny Bautista would be interesting, though.

    By the way, Colin, it was me who suggested Gant, but that’s just wishcasting on my part, though. I don’t have any reason to think it will happen. I’d be satisfied with Damon Hollins or Donzell McDonald at this point.

    Also, as I mentioned before, Jeffrey Hammonds is also available and can theoretically play center, but with him having made $9 million with the Brewers, I’m not sure how cheaply Atlanta could get him.

  6. 6
    Creg Says:

    Contract status of the players discussed above, courtesy of http://www.bluemanc.demon.co.uk/baseball/mlbcontracts.htm

    Jordan, $9M for ’03, with a $10.25M team option for ’04 (what idiot drew up that contract? he, he, he)

    Bautista, $3M for ’03, $4M for ’04

    Payton, $1.85M for ’03 (by the way, this is Payton’s fourth full year in the bigs, so he’s arbitration eligible after the season)

    Couldn’t find any salary data on Guillen, but since he began the season in the minors, I’m sure he’s not making much more than the minimum.

    But as I said before, Guillen has major baggage (he reportedly threw bats all over the clubhouse when he found out he wasn’t starting last Sunday) and all the other guys have contract issues that would preclude the Braves from taking them on.

    It would have to be someone who was recently released such as Gant or Hammonds. By the way, Hammonds was making $7.25 million this year, not $9M as I said above.

  7. 7
    Andrew Says:

    I can see the money problems with all the guys. But with Castilla, Fick, and Sheffield all free agents at the end of the year, maybe we could do well going into the offseason with an extra outfielder. Chip can always move back into the infield if need be.

  8. 8
    snellville jones Says:

    Did anyone notice something strange about the pitching change when Bobby brought in Grybowski?
    King was in the bullpen, and the announcers had already said the call had been made for the lefty. There was a shot of the bullpen right before the break that showed King with his arms raised and his hat off. Was there something wrong with King, or was he just wondering why Bobby didn’t bring him in?

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