Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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21 Jun

Braves 5, Mariners 4

ESPN – Mariners vs. Braves – Box Score – June 21, 2008

I am not changing my mind about this team, but a win’s a win. Chipper and Escobar were out of the starting lineup, taking away not only two of the team’s best hitters, but its two best defensive players. It showed in the first inning, in which Infante, playing short, made a pair of errors, while Francoeur, who unfortunely would be in the lineup anyway, pulled another one of his outfield Prados, dropping a ground ball allowing a second run to score on a bases-loaded since. Jair Jurrjens gave up three runs in the first, all scored unearned, more or less fairly — he only allowed two hits, both singles.

Teixeira singled home Infante in the bottom of the inning, and it stayed 3-1 for a long time. In the top of the eighth, Atrosta was in (for his second inning, again) and was lucky to get out of it with only one run scored. Bobby apparently was managing scared, what with only seven relievers. Gotay (playing third, even though he’s not a third baseman, because someone had to play there and Bobby quite rightly figures that Norton isn’t a third baseman anymore) homered, and after Blanco reached on a three-base error Chipper pinch-singled him home.

Boyer blew through the ninth. KJ led off the bottom of the inning with a walk. Norton doubled into the gap (Ichiro looking about as fast as, well, Norton, giving chase) to score him. Teixeira was walked, and Francoeur was hit by a two-strike pitch (why throw him anything inside? He’ll swing at anything.) The Mariners brought the infield in, and McCann hit a soft liner right where the second baseman should have been to end it.

The Braves struck out eleven times, two by Francoeur, who sucks. But they also had eleven hits and five walks. Have I mentioned Francoeur sucks? I would not be at all unhappy if he had to go on the DL with an injury sustained on the HBP. It’s mean, but I am so tired of him.

28 Responses to “Braves 5, Mariners 4”

  1. 1
    Rob Cope Says:

    Mac, I really have to agree that an injury to Francouer may be really good for the team. And who knows, some time off might do something for him. Of course, who do you stick out there in the meantime?

  2. 2
    Mac Thomason Says:

    How could anyone be worse?

  3. 3
    jj3bagger Says:

    Rob, anybody who can breathe would be an upgrade at this point.

  4. 4
    joesteve Says:

    well I’m glad they won, but it’s just this sort of thing that encourages Bobby to continue to do stupid things. “Hey, it worked once! Let’s try this!”

  5. 5
    Justin Parker Says:

    I know he produced, but Greg effin Norton was batting third. I know its better than Francoeur, but come on Norton? Booby and the Braves turned back the clock tonite and got a win with a lineup they should have no business winning with. Maybe a sign of good things to come. A comeback win can be a starter, so I will take it.

  6. 6
    Frank Says:

    I’m not willing to root for someone to get hurt but it’s time to get the Frenchman a bus ticket to Mississippi.

  7. 7
    Frank Says:

    @5–well the Braves were playing the Mariners–someone had to win–or maybe I should phrase it someone had to give it away

  8. 8
    Smitty Says:

    Justin,

    I agree, a win like this has gotten us going in the past. The rest of the division is playing like crap too, we really need to do something and get with in 3 games or so by the break.

    Norton should be our pinch hit captain, he always seems to get a big hit late in a game.

    I am ready for this team to go get a left fielder. Frank Wryn, it is time to pull the trigger.

  9. 9
    Ben Says:

    Mac, I wasn’t able to catch the game tonight, but I noticed that the ESPN boxscore you posted showed that Frenchy only struck out once rather than twice. Is that a typo on their part?

  10. 10
    Smitty Says:

    Oh and Skip was on his gmae tonight. I was rolling

  11. 11
    Cary Says:

    Can the manager be put on the DL?? (Bobby Cox, 15-day DL, dementia)

    I’d like to remember Bobby fondly. He needs to retire after this season if not sooner. Seriously, the needle is moving toward disgust.

    I also guarantee that there are still Francouer believers out there to whom he could be traded. Run, don’t walk to them. Too bad Bavasi is gone because he’d have been perfect.

  12. 12
    bfan Says:

    I do not understand the Braves actions with Frenchie. If he was a pitcher, he would have an ERA above 6, and they would have no problem putting a young pitcher struggling into the bullpen or the minors, to work through their problems. Shoot, the Jays did it with Halladay early in his career (kind of worked) and the Rangers sent Volquez all the way to “A” ball last year, to get his mechanics and confidence back (kind of worked, too). Right now Frenchie is the worst RF in the league by a very comfortable margin, combining no strike-zone judgment and low OBP with weak power from a corner OF position. He needs HELP, and heaving him out there against MLB pitching to eat his lunch every day isn’t helping him in the short-term or long-term. Sending him down isn’t punishment; it is trying to fix a talented asset with some serious flaws that either need to be worked out (so he can be a good corner OF), or, if not, need to be moved into another line of work. Seriously, a guy in his 4th year playing below replacement level is not working out-are the Braves to frightened to try and fix the problem? Do they recognize there is a problem?

  13. 13
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New poll.

  14. 14
    Tomas Says:

    The crowd announced was the largest so far this year which seems pretty weird to have against this years Mariners of all teams.

    Maybe people were just waiting for the team to show a little life on the road… or something.

  15. 15
    Bethany Says:

    The odd thing is, sending Frenchy down gets the pressure off of the team’s back. If they send him down and he improves, everyone is happy. If he can’t succeed there either, then they can just say he wasn’t cut out for ht big leagues.

  16. 16
    Stephen Says:

    Its nice to get up and see that the Braves won.

    I am posting this link because it announces that Ridgway has gone back to Richmond:

    http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080621&content_id=421204&vkey=news_l117&fext=.jsp&sid=l117

    Typical quote from Bobby about how much he likes Ridgway….Of course Ridgway sucks…

  17. 17
    csg Says:

    it was a good game to go to tonight, who knows you might have been able to see me on TV. If you DVR’d the game, any ball hit to LF I should have been in the picture. I was 3 rows behind the wall in LF wearing a red shirt and white hat and looking pretty bored most of the game. Got a real nice close up of the Norton catch tonight.

    Biggest surprise – how the fans still cheer for Frenchy on every single AB. He didnt get any boos until his last grounder. Infante was garbage in the first inning and all 3 runs were because of his miscues. Jurr looked very good from what I could tell.

    Best thing that happened all night was Frenchy getting hit in the 9th. No way he would’ve gotten on in that situation otherwise. The place got pretty loud for Chipper and even louder after his hit. TP needs to go, our guys seem to all have the same problem of not being able to put the ball in play. This is the 3rd straight game that I’ve been too with a walk off win in the 9th

  18. 18
    mraver Says:

    Given how much people criticize Bobby’s cheerleading, I think I’ll say for the record that I like that we have a manager that never, ever says anything of substance to the media when it comes to player evaluations. Frankly, it’s silly to expect anything different. Anything that has to do with the players Bobby says to them directly and keeps the media out of it, which is the right way to do it.

    Frankly, I think the main-stream media, certainly including the sports media, is mostly out there trying to titillate the lowest common denominator by sensationalizing everything; it’s by idiots for idiots. So treating them like idiots (by repeating the same “Oh, he’s look really good for us, and he’s a major league calibur player” line at every chance) is fine with me.

  19. 19
    Cary Says:

    It is wrong to root for a Francouer injury (though I figure it’s mostly in jest here, mostly). It would also be the wrong move to send him to the minors.

    Trade him. Tell people that “tools play” and don’t bother with the fact that he’s slow and stiff/overmuscled. Point to the rocket arm, the 100-RBI seasons and his power, which surely will come back real soon youbetcha.

    Again, trade him before killing his trade value by demoting him. If there are no takers, which I actually think is quite unlikely, then you can consider a demotion. The upgrade to our other outfield options does not outweigh this consideration in the slightest. Our other options are not very good either.

    Sending a guy with Frenchy’s experience down says “we think he stinks too.” You won’t get much for that.

  20. 20
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Brian J., my favorite comment of the night: “They outsucked us.” Well said, sir.

  21. 21
    brule™ Says:

    This is funny…

    Manager Bobby Cox batted Norton in the No. 3 hole with Jones out again with a strained quadriceps. The moved surprised even Norton but also gave him some confidence.

    “I told Chipper after the game, hurry up and get healthy because I don’t want to hit in the 3 hole anymore.”

    People blamed Bobby put Norton in the 3 spot. You know he is not a everyday player. He was a stopgap measure. I don’t care Bobby give him some chance … Frankly, do you think he is better than Francoeur for now?

    “I’m just trying to get on ‘Web Gems’ once a week by taking bad routes,” Norton joked. “I’m 36 years old. I can barely fall down without getting hurt, so I don’t really know how to fall down gracefully.”

    I disagree with you, Norton. You know how to fall down gracefully, HAHAHAHAHA. It was a good defense.

    It is a heartwarming story.

    Looking for a diamond in the rough~~~

    Personally, it is a pity I can’t go ballpark. My friend will visit me for 10 days before going back sweethome, London. I took it back whole things. That was a good chance, though. Why didn’t tell me earlier. :-(
    I am supporting the Braves. Win or Lose!

  22. 22
    jj3bagger Says:

    I’m home from the bar now and it’s time for another edition of pop in the old Braves VHS and remember the good times. Tonight it’s Game 6 of the 1999 NLCS, AKA the last significant postseason game the Braves won.

    Some random thoughts regarding this game so far, I hope you might find these entertaining:

    1) Kevin Millwood was such a stud. It’s hard to believe at a 24 year old, he had such poise. Now he’s balding and wasting away in the heat of Texas.
    2) It’s a borderline miracle that this team made the WS without it’s opening day catcher (Javy), first baseman (Galarraga, although it’s my opinion cancer was caused my steriod use, blasphemy I know), and closer (Ligtenberg), remember what is was like to have depth and a bench ?? Yeah, me neither.
    3) Seeing Ryan Klesko sitting in the dugout next to Don Baylor. I used to love when Klesko would hit a home run and then immediately go into the dugout and sit next to whoever the hitting coach was with a gleam in his eye saying “see I did good.”
    4) Watching Rickey Be Rickey Henderson. One of the the five most underappreciated players of all-time in my opinion. Granted this past his prime, but it made me want to not cash a check and put it up on my wall in a frame.
    5) Remembering the retarded pick off plays the Mets used to run with Bobby V, where Olerud wouldn’t hold the runner on, just dance around the base. Very annoying.
    6) Masato Yoshii !!!
    7) I have heard whispers in the past that Chipper was on ‘roids during his MVP season this year, but his body type doesn’t look the least bit different to me at all, and of course he stole third off of Piazza. Makes me wonder what an even greater career he would have had if he hadn’t tore his ACL, Chipper really used to be able to run in the minors.
    8) 10-10-321 commercials are always great.
    9) Former Braves great Bobby Bonilla just pinch hit, he evidentally hasn’t left to go play cards yet with Rickey. Can you believe that this year Bobby is STILL on the Mets payroll for another 25 YEARS for over $1 million per ???? How many people do you supposed know that ?? You can look it up, that still fascinates me to this day.

    Anyway, it’s been very theraputic for me, I’ll continue to watch the rest of the eight hours of this game.

  23. 23
    jj3bagger Says:

    The above post is what happens when you come from the bar empty handed, you watch Jose Hernandez at bat against Dennis Cook.

  24. 24
    NickC Says:

    It always amuses me that the best two hitters on the team only take hitting tips from their dad. I’m yet to see a good thing that TP has done for someone. Hell, even Bobby was down giving Frenchy tips today.

    If we had Diaz and Kotsay off the DL and a serviceable right fielder in the minors, I think he’d be sent to AA. It didn’t seem to hurt Volquez’s value that much. Completely against trading him now though as its selling low.

  25. 25
    Tom Says:

    Jair Jurrjens gave up three runs in the first, all scored unearned, more or less fairly

    Uh. Jurrjens was the game MVP easily. 6 innings of three-hit ball. Why no mention of that? And he would have gotten out of the first inning TWICE without the errors. Two extra outs, and the runs are “more or less” fairly unearned? That’s more or less unfair.

  26. 26
    Stephen Says:

    jj3bagger–Thanks for the trip down memory lane; I have often wondered what Chipper’s career would have been like without the knee injury…

  27. 27
    Ron Says:

    Aside from how wrong it is to wish somebody be injured, Francoeur going on the DL wouldn’t accomplish what you want because a few weeks later he would come back and just be plugged right back into the lineup everyday regardless of his performance. What is really needed is for management to wake up and see what a poor player he has become and send him to Richmond to get things back together or trade him to the Royals.

  28. 28
    Another Alex R. Says:

    I think Mac meant that, while many “unearned runs” are really the fault of the pitcher, and the difference between “earned” and “unearned” runs tends to be almost completely arbitrary, and in the vast majority of cases is of no use in determining how well the pitcher pitched, the runs Jair gave up in the first were truly unearned, were completely due to his defense being terrible and were not due to him.

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