Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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

02 Jul

Atlanta 2, Florida 1 (13 innings)

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Marlins – 07/02/2003

Hey, a win! It wasn’t easy. Horacio Ramirez matched Dontrelle Willis pitch for pitch through the seventh, (Willis went eight) both teams scoring one run off the starters. Then it turned over to the bullpens, and the Braves’ old guys pitched great baseball.

Holmes went one, and struck out two with no runners. Boom-Boom had a perfect inning with one strikeout. King pitched two, allowing a walk and striking out two. And Gryboski walked one in one inning, picking up the win when the Braves finally scored again on Furcal’s solo shot in the top of the 13th. Smoltz allowed the only hit off the bullpen, and that was an infield single, then got two Ks and a popup.

Furcal scored both Braves runs, the first in the sixth on Sheffield’s bloop single. The Braves had 11 hits and three walks, which would have been a lot more impressive in nine innings. The thing about playing 13 innings is that if you have a really bad day, it’s a slump all on its own. Giles was 0-6, the only Brave not to get a hit.

The Phillies finally lost, and the Braves’ lead is back to 5 1/2. The Expos are seven back, the Marlins now eleven, and the Mets are beneath contempt. The Braves host Montreal for four starting tomorrow; I’d seriously think about making a roster move or two after what the pen’s been through the last three days.

12 Responses to “Atlanta 2, Florida 1 (13 innings)”

  1. 1
    Troy Says:

    Well, now that Byrd is out for the season, the point is almost moot, but it looks like Horacio Ramirez wont be leaving the rotation anytime soon, for what it’s worth. He has been so solid, our second-best starter during the first half. For a rookie nobody was even expecting to make the team at the top of Spring, i would have to say he’s been quite impressive.

    Keep up the good work, Horacio!

  2. 2
    Creg Says:

    There’s a story on the AJC website today saying that the Braves are in the market for pitching help,

    http://www.ajc.com/braves/content/sports/braves/0703/03notes.html

    with Jeff Weaver, Kris Benson, Javier Vazquez and Ismael Valdes among the names mentioned. No mention of Brad Penny (except in the accompanying web poll), who I think would be the best bet for the Braves.

    There’s also mention that the Braves will add at least one reliever, although they can still get Rudy Seanez for nothing right now and could have had Todd Jones or Curtis Leskanic for very little in the last week. I don’t know why they wouldn’t scoop up one of those guys; they’re bound to be as good as Hernandez or Holmes.

    Getting any of the above wouldn’t exactly be like bringing in Fred McGriff or even Jose Hernandez, but it would be a welcome change over the last two years. Unfortunately, there’s no word on whether the Braves are seeking a backup outfielder who can hit better than Rafael Belliard.

  3. 3
    Ryan Says:

    I read the bit on ajc.com about the Braves being in the market for a starter and reliever. I think the Braves should try to get LaTroy Hawkins from the Twins. He’ll be a free agent at the end of the year, and although he’s making $3 million this year, he would be a definite upgrade in the setup role over Boom Boom and Darren Holmes. He struggled as a starter in Minnesota the first part of his career, and pretty much flopped as a closer, but since he became the setup man, he’s had a lot of success.

    As for who the Braves should acquire for the rotation, Kris Benson and Brad Penny seem to be the most talked about. What prospects do you see the Braves dealing to get an arm or two? Or would Atlanta think about dealing Trey Hodges or Jason Marquis?

  4. 4
    Colin Says:

    I looked over the mentioned names in starters in a post for the Braves newsgroup. Short version:
    –All kinda suck
    –Weaver has had a bad defense behind him, but he’s also pitched 6 of his fourteen starts against some of the majors’ worst offenses, another 4 against mediocre ones, and only 4 against really good ones. Be wary.
    –Benson – weak overall, and has had a terrible June
    –Vazquez – had a 2.5 ERA in April, has been close to 5 since. Has given up 20 homers in about 100 innings. Not just a victom of Hiram Botham stadium
    –Ismael Valdes – worst ERA of the four; however, has not benefited from pitching against any really bad offenses; defensive efficiency suggests that Texas is the worst defensive team in the majors; and as a guy who gets a lot of fly balls, he’s probably been particularly hurt by the Rangers’ terrible OF defense. The 6.5 ERA is very ugly, and suggests that even if all these things were fixed he’d be at best average, but at least there’s reason to believe he’s much better than his stats suggest.

    Colin

  5. 5
    Creg Says:

    As for the names mentioned, Benson’s had serious arm trouble, Weaver’s had serious head trouble and Valdes has all kinds of problems. Penny and Vazquez are probably the best of the lot, although it would take the most to get them.

    I just don’t see Montreal dealing away their supposed ace when they’re this close to being in the race, either. Penny may be in a similar situation, given that Florida recently said it would not deal Lowell.

    As for who the Braves might give up, Marquis is a possibility, as are Adam Wainwright, Jung Bong, Wilson Betemit, Ryan Langerhans, Matt Belisle and Andy Pratt (I don’t think the Braves or anyone else consider Hodges a “tradeable” prospect, although he’s certainly a capable major league pitcher). I’d say the only “should-be” untouchables in the Braves system right now are Jeff Francouer, Kelly Johnson, Adam LaRoche and (snicker) Jonathan Schuerholz.

  6. 6
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I’d think Andy Marte would be untouchable, or close to it. And they’d be unlikely to trade Wainwright unless they got an ace out of the deal.

  7. 7
    Creg Says:

    Yeah, I missed Marte. Knew I was forgetting someone. Guess he edges out Schuerholz…

  8. 8
    Colin Says:

    Saw Johnathan Schuerholz play at a Rome Braves game last month (or as we called him, JOhnny Nepotism). His first at bat he hit a fairly hard liner to the left fielder, and that was the highlight of his day. He had a whiff and three groundouts the rest of the way, the last with the bases loaded to end the game. A veritable Keith Lockhart.

    One rather optimistic fellow held up his glove in the seats down the first base side. There was no chance Schuerholz was going to pull anything that well.

  9. 9
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I should point out that he was not named after his father, but Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Pretty horrible, huh?

  10. 10
    Creg Says:

    Since Colin brought him up, you may have seen the ESPN.com series on who is available for trade in each league (written by Sean McAdam, whom I like more than most of their mainstream-type baseball writers).

    Here’s the link to the NL story:

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/mcadam_sean/1575115.html

    Notice that one of the players’ listed as available is Lockhart! Aaaarrrggghhhhh!

    Point in his favor: He’s got a .787 OPS with the Padres this year.

    Point(s) against: 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002

    OK, no more mentions of Keith the Ancient Keystoner. The guy’s like Beetlejuice. If you say his name three times, he shows up.

  11. 11
    Colin Says:

    Creg – you’re evil. You must be destroyed.

  12. 12
    Creg Says:

    Mmwwahahaha! Sorry, that was my best evil laugh. Besides, Colin, you brought him up.

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