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09 Sep

Washington 8, Atlanta 6

ESPN.com – MLB – Box Score – Braves at Nationals

Hey, guess what! The Braves’ bullpen sucks! I know!

Horacio Ramirez was partially at fault. He went only five innings, allowing three runs, two earned (the unearned run was his fault and LaRoche’s), because he needed a remarkable 108 pitches to get that far and left the bases loaded in the fifth. He struck out three and walked three, allowing six hits.

Ramirez blew a 2-0 lead after Andruw doubled home Chipper and was in turn doubled home by (unbelievably) LaRoche. LaRoche had another hit later in the game and hit the ball hard on another occasion.

andruwometer.PNGAfter the lead was blown, the Braves came back with a four-run fifth. Langerhans doubled, Ramirez bunted him to third, and Furcal singled him home. Giles singled, then Chipper flew out. Andruw worked the count and then hit a mammoth homer. He’s just one away from the team record now, and has a career high 118 RBI.

Then, after Ramirez allowed his third run, the bullpen. Boyer allowed a single, but the hitter was thrown out, then he stranded a runner who reached on his error. But then Davies came in to pitch the seventh, and allowed a long homer to, of all people, Vinny Castilla.

Then Bobby sent Davies out to start the eighth. I don’t get it. Sure, he’s a starter, and Reitsma was unavailable, but looking for long relief in a two-run game at this stage of the season was odd. Davies promptly walked the first two men, and Bobby brought in Foster. But Foster (who had warmed up earlier in the game) had nothing, and after a sac bunt allowed a two-run double to tie it, and then walked the next guy. Enter Kolb, who allowed another two run double then got the next two guys. It’s uncanny how much like Gryboski he is. Foster gets the loss. The Braves still can’t hit middle relief, by the way.

The Marlins were pasted by the Phillies so the Braves’ lead stays at 6. Tomorrow, Fox day game, Sosa versus Livan.

20 Responses to “Washington 8, Atlanta 6”

  1. 1
    Kirk Says:

    Definitely an infuriating loss. If Bobby was going to pitch Davies for two innings, why not have him start the 6th, then hopefully Boyer in the 8th, then Farnsworth? Then if Davies needs to be bailed out, Boyer can potentially go more than one inning. And why on earth are you still bringing in Kolb in a tie game AND with runners on? I just don’t understand.

  2. 2
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The real problem is the closer myth. Managers are reluctant to use their best pitchers before the ninth (or at earliest, two out in the eighth) even if it’s clearly a game situation. By saving Farnsworth until the “save situation” the Braves wound up with their best arrow stuck in the quiver. You have to bring in Farnsworth in that situation even if it means you have to use Lerew or McBride or even Kolb to pitch the ninth.

  3. 3
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Clarification: The situation I’m talking about is when he used Foster. But if you have a tie game and the go-ahead runs on, it still applies. Farnsworth at least gives you a chance to pull it out.

  4. 4
    Steffen Says:

    The thing is, Bobby has used Smoltz that way last season, and has been willing to bring in Farnsworth in the 8th a few times. I just don’t get it.

  5. 5
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Not usually until two out in the eighth, though. And not to preserve a tie.

  6. 6
    Kyle S Says:

    That was pretty devastating. Not sure if you could tell on TV, but there were lots of Braves fans at RFK. Our seats were incredible, and I was a few feet away from catching a Francoeur foul ball in the 8th.

    Estrada really blew the play where he dropped the ball. I suspect that there are some psychological issues remaining from the Eckstein hit he still needs to get over. Not a good sign.

  7. 7
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Erstad hit, not Eckstein. Looks like Johnny’s not the only one who still has issues he needs to get over. :-)

  8. 8
    kc Says:

    I just don’t know what Bobby is thinking, period. I am sure the Bobby supporters will bring up his 2000+ wins or whatsoever. The most polite way I can put my frustration is that I don’t know what the old man is thinking during tonight’s game.

    HOWEVER, the more I think about it, the more I agree with Bobby on his insistent of bringing in Hampton back as a starter instead of a reliever. If we can get Hampton and Thomson going again by the time playoff starts, the eighth inning belongs to Sosa, and I like that a lot.

    I am sure Bobby is managing tonight’s game with an attitude of six-game lead, the Marlins losing, need to try out Kyle Davies as a reliever to see if he fits into the playoff plan kind of mode. Otherwise, I can’t rationalize Bobby’s logic is using Davies for the seventh and eighth instead of the sixth and seventh, but using Kolb during the tied ball game is inexcusable.

    As you can see, I am trying vrey hard to calm myself down…tonight’s game sucks, Bobby sucks, Kolb sucks, Ramirez sucks…$%&’()@!

    By the way, for once, it’s not Adam or Kelly’s fault…

  9. 9
    Alex R. Says:

    We have all said it here a thousand times…IF YOU HAVE TO USE KOLB, ONLY USE HIM TO START AN INNING.

    Kolbb must die. He must be killed.

    Now I wasn’t at the game tonight but I will be there tomorrow and Sunday. I am having a ‘Reggie Jackson from The Naked Gun moment’ except I will play the part of Reggie and “I MUST KILL THE KOLBB…I MUST KILL THE KOLBB”.

    I might take out Bobby too.

    Anyway, I agree at what an infuriating loss this is. Made more infuriating by the fact that the Nats have 2 great hitters and ONE of them (Nick Johnson) was missing tonight.

    I am just sick to detah of blowing games to these freaking NATS.

  10. 10
    Kyle S Says:

    Erstad, right. Eckstein is also short, scrappy, and has a name beginning with E, but no longer plays for the Angels. Oops.

    BTW, the popup in the first inning they didn’t catch – it looked like Francoeur had a bead on it but LaRoche cut him off. Is that a good description of what happened?

  11. 11
    NMS Says:

    you forgot abot andruw getting hit last night and hitting tonight…crazy how that happens

    btw-was danny available for comment about tonights game mac?

  12. 12
    NMS Says:

    oh no, you did mention his hr…nevermind

  13. 13
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Danny is already deflecting criticism, since no runs were charged to him.

  14. 14
    50PoundHead Says:

    I’m chapter President of The Bobby Cox Bobo Society, but he’s had the vapors for the last month or so. I can’t figure out what he’s doing. Heck, it would have made more sense to go Brower, Davies, Boyer, Farnsworth, and hold Foster for a situation. I know Brower stinks worse than burnt cabbage (My 87-year-old mother was frying cabbage last week and she left it on a little too long. All I can say is “Who let the skunk in the house?”), but use him early with a three-run lead and I think the hook can get him out of there before Rome falls again.

    I digress. I agree with the comment that Bobby is managing like a guy with a 6-game lead and doing the Dr. Frankenstein thing. Trouble is, he’s getting Igor-esque results.

  15. 15
    jenny Says:

    Am I dreaming or did we just give up EIGHT RUNS to the WASHINGTON FREAKING NATIONALS? Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. And of course KolBB (standing for two bases he gives up every time he throws a pitch) ultimately gives up the game yet gets charged with nothing. I am very, very scared about this bullpen going into the playoffs, which is a feeling I’ve never had before. It’s not a good one.

    Oh, and the image of David Eckstein trucking Johnny Estrada is just totally ludicrous :-) It’s kinda like, oh, I dunno, Marcus Giles trucking Andruw Jones…oh, wait…oops.

    What an awful, awful game. I didn’t understand Bobby’s managing at all. I’m sure he has his reasons, and I wish I knew what they were!

  16. 16
    Malone Says:

    C’mon, people! It’s one game!! We’ve won three of four!

    We’re a lock for the playoffs!!

    TRUST BOBBY!!

  17. 17
    Steffen Says:

    C’mon, people! It’s one game!! We’ve won three of four!

    It’s not so much this particular game, but rather the fact that those kind of decisions can kill a team come playoff time that scares the heck out of me.

  18. 18
    Joel Barrett Says:

    Davies has spent his entire season (and indeed, his entire career) as a starter. The Braves view him as a starter long-term, and (for whatever reason) Cox apparently does not want Davies to change his work habits this late in the season.

    As a result, Cox has NEVER used Davies for only 1 inning. He has also never used Davies on less than 3 days rest (in fact, Davies has pitched every 4th day like clockwork since he was recalled September 1st).

    Even though he is not currently in the rotation, Cox and Mazzone are clearly trying to use Davies in a role that is as similar as possible to that of a starter. I suspect that they have their reasons for this.

    As it happens, the Braves needed to somehow get 4 innings out of the bullpen. You can ask why he didn’t bring Davies to pitch the 6th, but for all we know Davies takes a long time to get warmed up (or perhaps they want him to warm up like he does for a start), so perhaps Davies simply wasn’t ready for the 6th.

    I really can’t see anything wrong with trying to get more than 1 inning out of Davies under these circumstances, nor do I find it the least bit surprising.

    I’ll offer no defense for using Kolb with men on base in a tie game.

  19. 19
    phil Says:

    I wonder how life in the clubhouse is for KolBB these days. I imagine it’s pretty hard for the other players to even look at him, much less have to interact with him. It has to be a pretty bad feeling. All this guy does is hurt the team. Why hasn’t he been released yet??? He is not going to come around.

  20. 20
    JoeyT Says:

    There’s no reason to release Kolb. He’s owed his money regardless, and they might need an arm to burn when they’re up by 12 or when they’ve run out of guys in the 37th inning.

    He shouldn’t be out there in any kind of meaningful situation, though. If the Braves don’t pull the DL trick, and he’s on the playoff roster over Davies, I’ll cry.

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