Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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

11 Jul

Atlanta 9, Chicago Cubs 5

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Cubs – 07/11/2003

Eight wins in a row, 29 games over .500, a couple more homers… Jeez, they’re hitting well right now. The Braves have scored at least five runs in seven of the eight wins, averaging 7 1/4 runs a game. If you’ve forgotten, this comes on the heels of a stretch in which they were scoring only one or two runs a game, highlighted by the 20-1 disaster in Florida.

Vinny’s in one of his hot streaks, hitting a two-run homer and later singling in two more. Andruw, hitting cleanup with Sheffield not in the lineup (I don’t know why we were exposed to the Darren Bragg Experience) had two hits, including a homer. And Mike Hampton, who hasn’t been hitting well for him, hit a triple to drive in two.

On viewing the highlights, I’ll retract the “punk”, but Mark Prior is still an idiot. He simply ignored Marcus, who was trying to field a grounder, and bowled him over. Just idiotic, bad baseball. Marcus was hit in the head by Prior’s knee and suffered a concussion. It would have served Prior right if he’d damaged that $20 million arm of his, but he seems to have shaken it off after holding his shoulder.

Bobby probably stayed with Hampton too long, and that (combined with his inexplicable dedication to Kevin Gryboski) let the Cubs make the game interesting late. Hampton was charged with all five runs, but had a good start — seven innings, three runs — going. But (maybe trying to get another CG) Hampton started the eighth and let two men reach, then Gryboski came in to give up a double to score them. The Cubs actually had the tying run at the plate but Gryboski managed to escape without further harm. In the end, Hampton allowed 11 hits and 3 walks, and two Sosa homers. For him, the homers are the problem, but who hasn’t allowed a few to Sammy in their time?

10 Responses to “Atlanta 9, Chicago Cubs 5”

  1. 1
    Dave Says:

    I think calling Prior both stupid punk and idiotic are both a bit strong. It was a mistake, that’s all.

  2. 2
    Rob Cope Says:

    Yeah, if it were a position player who did this, maybe the criticism was right. But damn, it’s a 22 year old pitcher whose a .213 career hitter and has been DHed for in the minors and college, and running the bases I’m sure is rarely taught to pitchers. Albert Belle deserved it, Mark Prior just doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  3. 3
    Joshua Says:

    Pitcher or not, im SURE Prior has atleast see a few people run the bases. It’s not rocket science…

  4. 4
    bunyon Says:

    No, it isn’t rocket science, but this type of play happens fairly often with experienced runners. It looks like it should be easy, but how many times have you almost walked into someone in a hallway or stairwell. No accelerate a bit and get some adreneline going.

    Also, I love Marcus and have high hopes for his future, but I don’t see him as the kind of guy who is likely to lighten up lest someone get hurt.

    Further, Mac, did you SEE the play before posting stupid punk? It doesn’t read like you did. I know you’re a fan and all but calling a kid a stupid punk because you read on the internet that he collided with a favorite player of yours doesn’t seem in keeping with the normal high quality analysis I read here.

    Guys will collide on the basepaths. It has always been thus, it shall always be thus. I imagine Marcus will get over it (however, I’ll grant that if I’m Prior and Marcus grounds wide of first off of me in the future, I may just concede the hit).

  5. 5
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I was working off of a description, since the game was on Turner South and nobody gets Turner South. I withdrew the “punk” because I was sure it was unintentional when I actually saw it, but it was still incredibly stupid.

  6. 6
    snellville jones Says:

    Just to reiterate; it was stupid because Prior could have seriously jeopordized his and Giles’s future by not paying attention. He’s a punk for not making any apologies to Giles or his fans.

  7. 7
    snellville jones Says:

    By “his fans” I am referring to Prior’s fans.

  8. 8
    Christian Says:

    What do you think Prior needs to apologize to his fans for, exactly? I’m one of them and I don’t think he needs to apologize for anything. I think it’s just one of those things that happens during a gamem and I’m glad he’s not hurt, and that Giles isn’t seriously hurt.

    Should Curt Schilling apologize to his fans, or to anyone else, for colliding with Jose Cruz during today’s Giants-Diamondbacks game?

  9. 9
    Rob Cope Says:

    No one should apologize to anyone. Baseball is not intended to be a contact sport, but there is always contact. I am always a Prior fan, and I don’t expect an apologize for running the bases aggressively. I didn’t see people getting pissed off when Keith Foulke couldn’t pitch for a couple days when Detroit’s and Chicago’s benched cleared a few years ago and he got cut up. There are a ton of instances where people get hurt and miss time because of the aggressiveness/stupidity of another player. Shit, if Giles wore a helmet like John Olerud, he mighta been alright.

  10. 10
    Rhett Says:

    Well, if Prior doesn’t have to apologize to the Braves or Marcus Giles, maybe he should apologize to his teammates for running himself into a bone-headed out. (You know, not only did he give a guy a concussion, he ended his team’s inning.)

    And if you mean Prior was being aggressive by not looking where he’s running, then, yeah, he was being “aggressive.” Kinda like “aggressive drivers” who swerve from lane to lane and end people’s lives.

    I like Prior, too, but don’t make it sound what he did was some virtuous “aggressiveness.” Being truly aggressive would mean recognizing what was happening and avoiding the out.

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