Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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

13 Aug

Atlanta 7, San Diego 1

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Padres at Braves – 08/13/2003

Mike Hampton had another good start in a series of good ones. As has become a pattern, he was perfect through three (he’s had a no-hitter into the fourth at least five times this year) before hitting a wall in the middle innings. In this case, it was a double followed by a single (the batter was thrown out at second by Andruw) to score a run. The Braves already had a 3-0 lead, and Hampton settled down from there. The stat line shows eight innings, five Ks, just three hits, two walks, and 99 pitches. I am impressed with how he’s come along, and it’s possible he’s actually an asset. All I really hoped for was that he wouldn’t hurt the team, but he looks good.

The Braves got all their runs in the first five innings again. I’m somewhat concerned about how the Braves of late seem to hang up their bats against even mediocre relievers (Joe Roa tonight). It didn’t matter in this game, but it did last night, and could come back to haunt them. Right now, you have to hope they break through against the starter.

Chipper homered for the second day in a row, a leadoff shot in the third. Vinny broke out of a slump (no, not Vinny!) with a two-run homer to cap the scoring in the fifth. Furcal went 4-5, and he and Giles both scored twice. All the Braves’ position players had hits, including Matt Franco, who started at first for some reason, maybe just to get him playing time. Sheffield now has a 17-game hitting streak.

Kent Mercker pitched the ninth in his Atlanta return, allowing a hit and a walk, but no runs. He faced a bunch of righthanders, but if Bobby is going to use him that way I doubt he’s going to succeed. Kent’s pretty much a specialist at this stage. To make room, Jung Bong was sent to AAA. I had a suspicion that might happen, that Bobby would prefer to have the righthander he doesn’t know if can pitch yet, Cunnane, over the lefty Bong, whom he’s lost confidence in.

But the big news is that Roberto Hernandez was placed on the DL. They say it’s a “strained left hamstring”; I suggest Boom-Boom Bobby has the same thing Mark Wohlers had in August of 1998: “Inability to pitch”. Trey Hodges was activated from the DL to fight Cunnane for mopup innings.

7 Responses to “Atlanta 7, San Diego 1”

  1. 1
    Aaron Says:

    I’ve read that Matt Belise is the player to be named to Cincy. Can you believe this? What’s your thoughts Mac. Merker good in all but is he worth one of our top pitching prospects? Maby i’m wrong. Although on the Fanhome web site it says that this rumor may be untrue. Richmond’s coach is unaware of this deal and stated that Belise is still going to make his start tommorow. Shurholtz would not state the player traded but the Reds have confirmed that it is Belise.

  2. 2
    Dude Says:

    At first I was a little disappointed at the thought of Belisle being gone, which I guess may not even be true. But Chanimal has a point. Would anyone be that upset if, say, Marquis had been traded away for something a while ago? And Belisle may not even be as good as him.

  3. 3
    Rob Cope Says:

    There is no reason to think that a 35 year old reliever having half a good year is going to be the answer in the Braves’ bullpen. He hasn’t even pitched a full season; he’s pitched only a couple months in a specialist role. He’s not Mike Remlinger, he’s Ray King…

  4. 4
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Belisle is too much to give up considering what relievers were going for two weeks ago.

    It may be that the PTBNL depends upon what Mercker does, that if he does well it’s Belisle, if he doesn’t it’s someone else or cash.

  5. 5
    Robert Says:

    I love the TINSTAAPP movement. It’s BP’s way of saying: “We can’t figure out how to project pitchers so we’ll just say the whole thing is a crapshoot. Whew, that’s a load off.”

    It’s all about percentages. Adam Wainwright is a pitching prospect with (let’s say) an 80% chance of making an impact in The Show. Matt Belisle is a pitching prospect with (let’s say) a 50% chance of making an impact. Good organizations (like the Braves) draft and develop lots of the 80% guys and never run out of pitching. Organizations like the Dodgers get excited if the ever develop a 50% guy and end up having to buy most of their pitching on the open market. It’s the same with hitters but the error bars on the success percentage is much smaller for the hitters than the pitchers. But make no mistake that there are pitching prospects (See Hardin, Rich in April). Some teams can identify them and always having plenty of good young pitching, some teams can’t. If the whole thing really were random, every team would get roughly the same number of quality young pitchers and we can see that’s clearly not the case. Ask a Rangers fan.

    Concerning Hampton, I have to admit that the Mike Hampton experiment has turned out better than even my most optimistic prediction. Since the meltdown in Florida on 7/1, he’s won his last seven decisions. He does give up some runs, but eats innings and is good early in games which keeps the Braves out of the patented Maddux 5-0 hole in the second. I know that the last few years of his contract are going to hurt, but for now this has to be a feather in the cap of John S and Leo. Well done boys.

  6. 6
    Colin Says:

    I think TINSTAAPP is usually caveated into TIANSTAAP – with the first A being “almost”. They’ll always throw guys like Mark prior into a “but this guy’s special” category. But I like your take – “we can’t project them, so forget it!”

    As for Hampton – I am surprised to see he has a 4.21 ERA, only 0.15 below Maddux. There’s also a difference fo 5 unearned runs, but still, i feel like Hampton has, on the whole, pitched better than 4.21 this season. Odd

  7. 7
    Drew Says:

    AP confirms Belisle is PTBNL.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-reds-bravestrade&prov=ap&type=lgns

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