Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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01 Sep

Phillies 8, Braves 5 Philles 5, Braves 4

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – August 31, 2012

Welcome back to September. Last night was a pretty good encapsulation of literally everything that we’re afraid of. On paper, when you see Roy Halladay vs. Mike Minor, you do not expect the Braves to win. But when the Braves knocked Halladay out in the fifth inning with twin two-run homers by Martin Prado and Freddie Freeman, and it was 4-1 with a cruising Minor, you felt pretty good.

Then Minor coughed it up, which has happened a lot more than you’d like to see, and that’s bad. But as JoeCraigMcMurtry pointed out in the game thread, it’s not that he was pitching terribly: the three runs he gave up in the 6th came on a serious of four singles, including a bunt single to Chipper and a bloop flare to center. (However, the first two were solid line drives.)

Then Uggla hit a deep solo shot in the bottom of the inning, and it was 5-4, and that was good. But Hibernation Mode set in for the offense after that, and the Braves only got one hit the rest of the way, and that was bad.

Durbin, Venters and O’Flaherty made the score hold up by throwing zeroes in the 6th, 7th, and 8th in relief of Minor, and that was good. Then Kimbrel came in, went to an 0-2 count on the first batter — catcher Erik Kratz — with a couple of breaking balls, switched to the fastball, and Kratz tied it up with a home run. The next inning, John Mayberry hit a three-run homer off Christian Martinez to put the game safely out of reach. That’s bad.

Obviously, when you give a 5-4 lead to Craig Kimbrel, you expect to win the game. So in one way this is a fluke. But you just can’t lose these games. Not now. Not at this point in the season. Not against a below-.500 team. Not when your offense has scored more runs than in the previous three games combined.

One final thought: what in the hell is it with us and Phillies catchers? Carlos Ruiz is on the DL and his no-name backup managed to ruin our night instead!

65 Responses to “Phillies 8, Braves 5 Philles 5, Braves 4

  1. 1
    mravery Says:

    That’s the problem with Kimbrel throwing it so hard. Sometimes when someone randomly throws their bat out there and they make contact, the ball might just fly out of the park!

  2. 2
    One Eye Says:

    8-5

  3. 3
    Dan Says:

    5-4? The Phillies hit a 3-run home run in the 10th, and the Braves didn’t score again.

  4. 4
    Coop Says:

    Thanks, AAR. Nice recap.

    Let’s win today.

  5. 5
    mikemc Says:

    Kratz is doing a good job for the Phillies. Putting up some nice stats as a backup.

  6. 6
    RobBroad4th Says:

    So let me get this straight: Kimbrel allows a solo homerun and we throw him under the bus. Martinez then promptly allows two baserunners and a massive homerun to put the game out of reach and he doesn’t even get mentioned? That hardly seems fair.

    Guys who throw hard are going to give up homeruns. It definitely sucked for Kimbrel to give up a rare homer but the home team has to win these extra inning games. Martinez and Fredi let it get out of hand.

  7. 7
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Oops on the score. Fixed.

  8. 8
    Bethany Says:

    I blame Janish.

  9. 9
    ryan c Says:

    JEFF BAKER, YUUUUESSSS! YUUUUUESSSS!

  10. 10
    John R. Says:

    Any word on Mac? Anyone in contact with him, tell him folks say hi.

  11. 11
    hap Says:

    Ryan C, I can’t tell if you are serious or sarcastic? They announced the trade last night after the game at the stadium and I didn’t really know what to think of it. I guess with Simmons coming back any day now, Janish really isn’t a good fit any more because we wouldn’t use him as a late innings defensive sub for Simmons (who has better defense) and we wouldn’t use him as a pinch hitter off the bench because he doesn’t really have a bat. Maybe this Baker guy is a bench bat who can “rest” Uggla sometimes?

  12. 12
    Dan Says:

    So let me get this straight: Kimbrel allows a solo homerun and we throw him under the bus.

    Kimbrel blew game three of the 2010 NLDS, basically ending that season. He melted down in September 2011, allowing a walk-off home run to Infante in one game, and blowing the last game of the season.

    Will it be three seasons in a row?

  13. 13
    fm Says:

    The blown save in the NLDS wasn’t exactly his fault, and if the Marlins played in an actual baseball stadium that doesn’t have football lights shining down like that, the homer to Infante would never have happened.

  14. 14
    Bob Says:

    Was anyone else surprised when Fredi brought Martinez into the game for the 10th? Their lefties were coming up and Avilan was available. Utley and Howard’s numbers vs left-handers lately seemed to make that move a no-brainer.

  15. 15
    MikeM Says:

    Ugh. Didn’t watch the end of game last night assuming a win was in the bag. Joke was on me I guess. Stupid Phillies.

  16. 16
    csg Says:

    Ridiculous post Dan

  17. 17
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @12, Mariano Rivera blew Game 7 of the 2001 World Series and a few others if memory serves. I think he’ll still go down in history as the best closer the Yankees have ever had.

  18. 18
    Adam R Says:

    One great thing about being a Braves fan is that it sometimes gives you a leg up playing fantasy baseball.

    Right now, Eric Stults is getting all this love from fantasy columnists as a sneaky deep-league addition. Some poor, desperate person out there might buy the hype. Seems like somebody actually picked him up in my league. As Braves fans, though, we know better than to trust some random lefty that was fortunate enough to be facing our lineup at the right times recently.

  19. 19
    Bethany Says:

    We just suck. It’s going to be 0-2 runs from our offense from here on out.

  20. 20
    Dan Says:

    Let the ‘Fredi Fired’ headline watch commence.

  21. 21
    Marc Schneider Says:

    It’s Fredi’s fault, of course, that the Braves fold like a cardboard box down the stretch.

  22. 22
    Adam M Says:

    My amateur, slightly sports-talky analysis: as Heyward goes, the team goes. And he’s been hibernating since the series in SF.

  23. 23
    Bethany Says:

    I don’t have nearly as many complaints against Fredi this year. The Braves have been chokers since the 90’s, they just start a month earlier now.

  24. 24
    Rusty S. Says:

    Apparently, our only everyday player is Reed Johnson.

  25. 25
    Adam R Says:

    This has been happening so often to the Braves that I don’t even look to see if the pitcher is Cliff Lee or not.

  26. 26
    Bethany Says:

    @BravesAmerica
    Brian McCann has a lower OPS and WAR than Dan Uggla.

    My god.

  27. 27
    Adam R Says:

    F$#@ing Nationals.

  28. 28
    Brian J. Says:

    I’m of the opinion that it’s poor conditioning, but this happens every single year and it’s something that the Braves have to stop doing if they ever want to be taken seriously. There aren’t a lot of other common elements from the last four years.

    Ownership should also be blamed- the tone begins at the top, and Liberty Media’s tone is that they own an annuity that plays baseball.

  29. 29
    'Rissa Says:

    The FOX announcers are driving me nuts today. So far, I’ve heard that Chipper is the only player left from the beginning of the divisional title run (really, 1991?), and that Peter Moylan was a workhorse during the divisional title run. As if just watching the game wasn’t painful enough…

  30. 30
    Adam R Says:

    Seeing Moylan get 3 GB outs is no consolation at this point…

  31. 31
    Brian J. Says:

    Why couldn’t we have gotten that at a useful time in this game?

  32. 32
    Adam M Says:

    If it’s unclear why Chad Durbin keeps getting MLB jobs, then it’s unnervingly mysterious why a 40-year old Miguel Batista keeps getting them.

  33. 33
    Brian J. Says:

    Not much mystery- the front office just grabbed someone they’d heard of, without bothering with due diligence. Welcome to the Kruger Industrial Braves- “We Don’t Care, And It Shows.”

  34. 34
    Adam R Says:

    Do we want the Nats to beat the Cardinals at this point? Maybe we do.

  35. 35
    Brian J. Says:

    Time to practice tipping our caps, as we’ll be doing it for the next thirty days. Less effort than actually, you know, trying to perform at the opposition’s level.

  36. 36
    Marc Schneider Says:

    This will just make it more satisfying when the Braves pass the Nats on the last day of the season. Or not.

  37. 37
    spike Says:

    I wish the Gamecast for baseball had the highlight button the football one does. That home run pass Auburn just made was quite pleasant to wtch.

  38. 38
    Bethany Says:

    Bullcrap call by the refs, that was clearly a fumble.

  39. 39
    ububba Says:

    At this point, are we rooting for the Cards or the Nats?

  40. 40
    Bethany Says:

    I’d say we don’t have a shot at the division.

  41. 41
    braves14 Says:

    DOOOOOOOOOOOMED

  42. 42
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I will always root against the Cardinals.

  43. 43
    Marc Schneider Says:

    The Phillies may be on the verge of sweeping the Nats and Braves in back-to-back weekends. They are a very dangerous team with the Big 3 and, frankly, while I don’t think they can make the playoffs, I wouldn’t rule out them catching the Braves if the Braves have another September like last year. THAT would really suck.

  44. 44
    csg Says:

    Not even much to say at this point. Same as last year. I believe Bmac, Uggla, Janish, and Hudson combined for 1 for 14. I include Hudson because his average is just about as good as the rest of that bunch

    Bmac .228 Uggla .208 Janish .200 Hudson .222

    We need Simmons back and we need to just sit Uggla and Bmac

  45. 45
    csg Says:

    Didnt even notice Moylans return…

    Btw, good for Fredi

    On knowing it would be tough against Halladay, Lee, Hamels:

    “You know what? Yeah, but we’re not swinging the bats. I mean it’s so easy to say ‘It’s Halladay and Cliff Lee and whoever is throwing tomorrow and the bullpen, this and that, but we’re just not swinging the bats at all.”

    On if not being patient:

    “No we’re just not scoring runs. We go to San Diego and score four runs in three games. And yesterday we scored five and just one today. It’s easy to say it’s the other pitchers, the other pitchers are better than us so tip your hats. But enough of that. we need to take care of our end of the bargain and get better at-bats, get some hits with runners in scoring position, that type of stuff.”

  46. 46
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Stting McCann is pointless because we saw what happens last year when Ross plays every day for a long stretch. I don’t see how Simmons is going to help; true, he was hitting well before he was hurt but it’s hard to believe that he would keep that up after being out for two months. Shortstop defense has not really been the problem. Uggla still has some value; he would have won the game last night ifthe bullpen didn’t implode. There are lots of holes in the lineup but I don’t see any good solutions. Heyward needs to get going again; he has disappeared this week.

  47. 47
    Bethany Says:

    Frazier is a piece of crap. Auburn’s blue chip recruits never seem to pan out.

  48. 48
    csg Says:

    I don’t see how Simmons is going to help; true, he was hitting well before he was hurt but it’s hard to believe that he would keep that up after being out for two months.

    Janish is hitting .205/.277/.258 and he’s not very good on the basepaths either. Simmons is a huge upgrade in every aspect, even defensively.

  49. 49
    csg Says:

    #47 – Coaching maybe?

  50. 50
    Bethany Says:

    @49 Could be coaching, could be that they are looking at the wrong guys. Auburn supposedly has tons of “talent” but I’m not seeing it on the field. Most of the guys in there now are from some great recruiting classes, but they don’t play like it.

  51. 51
    Coop Says:

    My Braves have sucked lately, but at least the Dawgs won.

    Tomorrow might be a better day.

    Roll Tide!

  52. 52
    csg Says:

    #50 – Pretty much has to be. Not saying poor scouting but at some point the coaches arent coaching up the talent that they are getting.

  53. 53
    Bethany Says:

    Maybe at some point they’ll start firing coordinators and get some new positional coaches.

  54. 54
    Smitty Says:

    Well Clemson is a pretty good team

  55. 55
    Smitty Says:

    The Texas National Gaurd has been called in to stop Bama.

  56. 56
    ububba Says:

    #51
    Aside from that Gurley kid, a true-freshman RB who was awesome running the ball & returning kicks, it wasn’t an overly impressive performance from UGA today.

    I know they were missing 5 starters on that side of the ball, but they gotta be way better defensively next week.

  57. 57
    csg Says:

    Didnt Auburn just bring in new offensive and defensive coordinators? I could be wrong, but outside of the NC year Chizik’s, w/Cam, record as a HC is very underwhelming. Has to start there. If Auburn goes 7-6 or 8-5 is that good enough for him to stay around? Auburn should be better than that.

  58. 58
    Bethany Says:

    @57 Tuberville was obviously a better coach. Auburn was consistently above average when he was here. Outside of the gifts of Fairley and Cam, which cam out of juco then bolted, Chizik has not developed anyone, nor have they played to their potential and I’m worried the program is going to slide if they don’t have a great season soon. Guys like Bray and Frazier were supposed to be studs and I feel like there are a lot of teams with a lesser reputation than Auburn getting better skill players. Auburn spends a ton and they are not getting results.

    Sorry, I meant “stop” firing coordinators. I do think the new guys were great hires, though.

  59. 59
    ububba Says:

    Spends a ton?

    I’d say they got their money’s worth with Cam Newton.

  60. 60
    Bethany Says:

    You know what I meant

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/recruiting/football/story/_/id/8041461/the-cost-recruiting

    Harping on the Cam situation is almost as dumb as Bama fans making jokes about trailers on campus.

  61. 61
    ububba Says:

    It’s a joke, Bethany. All our schools are open to some ridicule.

  62. 62
    oldtimer? Says:

    If the Braves lose today I want Freddi fired right after the game. I cant watch this team tank a comfy playoff position 2 years in a row without heads rolling. It may not be totally rationale feeling but I dont care.

  63. 63
    mravery Says:

    I doubt Fredi gets fired as long as the Braves are in contention for anything.

  64. 64
    oldtimer? Says:

    I know you are right but It makes me sick to watch this happen again and see nothing happen as a result.
    Deja vu all over again.

  65. 65
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    New post.

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