Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

03 Sep

Braves 8, Phillies 7

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – September 2, 2012

Well, we’ve had a couple of eventful days. Let’s tick off a few of the news items first: Peter Moylan‘s back, the Braves acquired utilityman/pinch hitter Jeff Baker for a PTBNL or cash, and as September rosters expanded, the Braves called up Moylan, Lyle Overbay, J.C. Boscan, and Jose Constanza — so get ready for a tiny bit more pinch running and a few more pinch at bats from Ross or McCann. Exciting!

Last night, the game was over after the second inning. That’s when I turned the game off, and judging by the fact that there were exactly seven comments between 5:47 pm and 7:24 pm, it seems fairly likely that you did too. It’s easy to understand why. Paul Maholm came out of the gate unable to find the plate. Or, at least, he was unable to find Ed Hickox’s plate, and when you’re a finesse lefty and you’re not getting the corners, you’re going to struggle.

“Struggle” hardly begins to describe it. He faced fifteen batters; he gave up four doubles, two singles, and three walks, while recording exactly six outs. Then Cristhian Martinez came in. He shouldn’t pitch the 10th inning of a tie game, maybe, but games like this are EXACTLY what The Lisp is good for. He gave up a double to Cole Hamels and Grybo’ed a couple of runs, but he got out of that inning and then pitched two more scoreless innings after that. It was 7-1 when he got finished in the third, but it stayed 7-1 until the 6th, when he was relieved by the 41-year old Miguel Batista, who… pitched two more perfect innings. Go figure.

Of course, in the meantime, our offense was performing about as well as you’d think they’d perform against Cole Hamels. They put runners on first and third in the first inning, when Michael Bourn singled and stole second, and Chipper reached first on a throwing error by third baseman Kevin Frandsen, who was in for the gimpy Placido Polanco — remember that. But Freddie Freeman and David Ross struck out to end the threat. They got a run in the second when Jason Heyward and Reed Johnson led off the inning with back-to-back doubles — remember that. But Paul Janish grounded out, Maholm struck out, and Bourn grounded out.

The Braves finally got two runs in their half of the sixth, on another double by Heyward and a two-run single by Johnson. That made it 7-3, and that’s where it would stay until the 9th, thanks to Jonny Venters, Luis Avilan, and Moylan, who came in to get Bravekiller John Mayberry in the top of the 9th. For facing exactly one batter, Pete became the pitcher of record.

In the bottom of the 9th, the Braves loaded the bases on a Reed Johnson single — I told you to remember him — and walks by Janish and Bourn. Two outs, Jonathan Papelbon on the mound. Prado at the plate. Prado then hits an inning-ending grounder to third base. But Frandsen tried to backhand it — I told you to remember him — and it literally bounced over his glove, into left field, going for a two-run double. Now it’s 7-5, with men on second and third, and Chipper Jones at the plate. That’s when Mac took over.

It was the 9th walkoff home run of Chipper Jones’s career. Mac wrote up at least five of them, from 2002-2012. (He almost certainly wrote up the one that Chipper hit on September 17, 1999, but those 1999 posts appear to have been lost in the mists of time, except for the ones he excerpted in this Kindle Single, which I recommend as a way of reliving the Braves years of the past.

Here are the five whose recaps I can find:

August 19, 2002, May 27, 2003, September 5, 2003, May 17, 2006, May 2, 2012

Considering where we are in the race, I proclaim this to be Chipper’s clutchest walkoff home run of all time. We’ve got a long way to go before anyone can start talking about the P-word. But last night sure helps.

19 Responses to “Braves 8, Phillies 7”

  1. 1
    Smitty Says:

    I know we had this conversation the other day about Heyward, but is anyone more valuable to their team than Chipper Jones?

    Good work Mac.

  2. 2
    csg Says:

    Once again…..RIP Mac

  3. 3
    beedee Says:

    Chipper, what a man child. Can’t believe this is his last season, what are the braves gonna do when he’s gone?

  4. 4
    John R. Says:

    We keep hearing how next year we’ll at least be free from the big bucks of Chipper’s contract, which will give us more flexibility in our payroll. And I wonder, yeah, that’s nice. But how are we going to replace his productivity? When he’s in the lineup, there’s no better hitter.

  5. 5
    mravery Says:

    I’m more excited about being free from the big bucks of Lowe than Chipper. :-/

    But yea, that bat’s going to be hard to replace. OTOH, a few more ground balls will be translated into outs. Still doesn’t make it a good exchange. As awesome as it is that Chipper’s going to retire as a Brave, I don’t think anyone would’ve grudged him announcing that he was going to play DH for an American League team after the season. I could’ve see him on the Rangers or something.

  6. 6
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    They’d certainly enjoy him a lot more than they’ve been enjoying Michael Young.

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

    By the way, here’s a question for the crowd. Normally, Mac would do a writeup for all new Braves acquisitions. Would you all like a Jeff Baker writeup? Or is he too insignificant to matter?

  8. 8
    Mark Grogan Says:

    The news of Mac’s passing has hit us all hard. We didn’t hear about it until this morning. Dee and I were wondering if there were funeral arrangements announced?

  9. 9
    Stu Says:

    It sure would benefit my fantasy team if Martin’s “double” in the ninth were rightly changed to an E5 at some point.

    7—I demand a Baker write-up, as long as that’s not one of the assignments you’ll be delegating to me.

    8—There’s not going to be a funeral service, but there may yet be some sort of memorial opportunity. Think Alex R. was looking into that.

  10. 10
    Jeff K Says:

    IMHO insignificant players like Baker are the best write-ups. I would have no way of getting to know anything about him otherwise!

  11. 11
    John R. Says:

    Would you all like a Jeff Baker writeup?

    Yes.

    Or is he too insignificant to matter?

    And there’s your lede!

  12. 12
    jgrahamcpa Says:

    Nice tribute from Joe Posnanski:

    http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2012/09/mac-and-braves-journal.html

  13. 13
    thebravestway Says:

    Thanks Mac.

    Roll Tide.

  14. 14
    Parish Says:

    This seems so “baseball.”

    One of the best wins of the year, following one of the worst days of the year.

  15. 15
    andrew b Says:

    Joe Posnanski, the man, whom I believe is the best (sports) writer on the planet alive today, hits the nail on the head (which he does daily) times a million.

    http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2012/09/mac-and-braves-journal.html

  16. 16
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    If folks want to do a memorial service/evening/whatnot in Atlanta, I’m down for helping put that together. If it’s in Tuscaloosa let me know when, please. I promise not to suggest we should play Jose Constanza.

  17. 17
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    At popular request, I wrote up Jeff Baker. New thread.

  18. 18
    ryan c Says:

    Alex, threads arent showing up on home page.

  19. 19
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Yes, they are. They’re just showing up below the post on Mac, which will appear at the top of the page for a little while.

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