Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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01 Aug

Rick Ankiel

Well, he’s famous. A lot more famous than his results dictate. Ankiel was the #1 prospect in baseball at one point, a hard-throwing lefthanded pitcher. He made it up to the majors briefly with the Cardinals as a 19-year-old, and at 20 went 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA, 194 strikeouts in 175 innings. And then, he lost it. Leading 6-0 in the first game of the 2000 NLDS against the Braves, Ankiel suffered a sudden and total loss of pitching ability, throwing four walks and five wild pitches in the third inning. And he never recovered. He showed some flashes in the lower levels of the minors, but his control was utterly shot and eventually he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2003. After five games in relief in 2004, the Cardinals threw up their hands and converted him to an outfielder.

He showed some pop, slugging .515 (17 HR/21 2B) in 2005 in A and AA. The Cards planned to bring him up as a spare outfielder in 2006, but he blew out his knee and missed the season. In 2007, he led the PCL in homers with 32, slugging .568, and then hit .285/.328/.535 in a 47-game callup. In 2008, he stayed on the major league roster, hitting 25 homers, but pitchers were starting to figure him out and over the last couple of years his production has faded. He also got caught up in an HGH dragnet; he says that the drug was prescribed to him. He may have even been telling the truth, and, once again, there’s no evidence that HGH does anything to aid athletic performance. The Cards let him go after last season and he was picked up by the Royals. He’s missed much of this season with various injuries, and has really become an all-or-nothing player, a guy with poor on-base skills but some power.

Ankiel’s major league OBP is .311, .315 since he was converted from the mound. He has obvious tools, but lost too much development time as a pitcher to really learn how to hit. He’s a good defensive corner outfielder who can be stretched to center, like most of the Braves’ outfielders. The assumption is that he will play center at least part of the time with the Braves, and can’t really be any worse than Melky.

Rick Ankiel Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com.

260 Responses to “Rick Ankiel”

  1. 1
    Tiger224 Says:

    Optimism defined.

  2. 2
    sansho1 Says:

    Today’s lineup!

    1. Conrad 3B, 2. Heyward RF, 3. Infante 2B, 4. McCann C, 5. Hinske 1B, 6. Gonzalez SS, 7. Ankiel CF, 8. Cabrera LF 9. Hanson

    Yeah!!

  3. 3
    sdp Says:

    Damn.

  4. 4
    ryan c Says:

    @2
    screw that lineup. give matt diaz the bats he deserves.

  5. 5
    P. W. Hjort Says:

    I hate Melky.

    Nice write up of Ankiel. I’m very much looking forward to the Farnz write up.

  6. 6
    Bethany Says:

    What an awful lineup. Guess that whole “winning series” thing isn’t as important when you’re in first after the break.

  7. 7
    Parish Says:

    Wilkin Ramirez was a decent prospect not too long ago. Does that mean we should be worried about the PTBNL?

    My main concern would be Minor which would be a terrible trade, but would explain why it had to be PTBNL.

    I just don’t think the Tigers give away Ramirez for nothing.

  8. 8
    ryan c Says:

    seriously, what the hell is wrong with bobby. i’ve seen some stupid shit in his time, but continuously running melky out there day after day, especially after we pick up a replacement for his chubby ass, is unforgivable.

  9. 9
    braves14 Says:

    I really hope Ankiel and Melky in the outfield on the same day doesn’t become a usual thing.

  10. 10
    sam hutcheson Says:

    Resting Glaus against the RHP is a good idea.

  11. 11
    Timo Says:

    The lineup isn’t great but no surpise really except for Chipper having his day off. Of course Bobby being Bobby, having Melky in the lineup after his debacle yesterday, i guess…

  12. 12
    Parish Says:

    I see no one responded to my Minor comment and after waking up a little I realize there’s no way it’s Minor.

  13. 13
    ryan c Says:

    @10
    i agree, but not giving a hot diaz the start, righty or not, is pure madness.

  14. 14
    ryan c Says:

    here are diaz’s numbers since coming off of the dl:
    .333 BA
    1.079 OPS
    6 doubles 5 hr 14 rbi

  15. 15
    Johnny Says:

    After watching Diaz’s PA’s against the righty yesterday, I can understand the lack of confidence.

    but I agree anyone but Melky.

    edit: check out Melky’s splits over at BR. Offensively he has been excellent the last month. 2nd half performance excellent.

  16. 16
    ryan c Says:

    @15
    after watching diaz for the last 4 years, how can you read into anything concerning his at-bats? even in his good at-bats he looks awful.

  17. 17
    Johnny Says:

    Last 28 days
    .302/.375/.508 .883

    Had to make sure I was looking at the right Cabrera.

    I understand what Bobby’s trying to do. Put the best 9 out there even if it hurts the team defensively. But man o man Melky is NOT a cf.

    @16 – Good point.

  18. 18
    ryan c Says:

    that’s the emptiest .800 ops i’ve ever seen. he has 0 hrs, only 2 rbi’s, and 4 runs. i know it’s not a repeatable skill, but he’s been horrendous for us in clutch situations. for the year, he has a .569 ops with RISP and a .282 ops with a runner at 3rd. YIKES!

  19. 19
    Bethany Says:

    Most of Melky’s double are bloopers hit in just the right place. He’s been lucky, that’s all.

  20. 20
    DowneasterJC Says:

    They need to bring back Diaz’s Captain Caveman nickname, tbqh.

    Man I miss Boog. =(

  21. 21
    ryan c Says:

    might i also add that he’s been intentionally walked 4 times since the all star break.

  22. 22
    Bethany Says:

    I’ve already started hydrating and stretching.

  23. 23
    P. W. Hjort Says:

    Wilkin Ramirez was DFA’d by the Tigers a few days ago, they aren’t getting anything of value in return.

  24. 24
    Dan Says:

    Jim Bunning thinks Stephen Strasburg is a wimp

    As Strasburg started to warm up, he noticed some soreness. The National’s manager, Jim Riggleman, scratched him. The team has made no secret of its desire to coddle their rookie fireballer, who is seen as the core of a future contending team.

    Poppycock. That, in a nutshell, is Bunning’s answer to the Nationals’ decision.

    The senator told Politico he has seen Strasburg four times (Tuesday was supposed to be Strasburg’s 10th start).

    “My arm!” Bunning pretended to cry, clutching his shoulder as he spoke to a reporter in the United States Capitol.

    “Five hundred twenty starts, I never refused the ball,” Bunning said. “What a joke!”

    The new kid is rapidly losing the respect of the Hall of Famer.

    “He was in the top one percentile,” Bunning was quoted as saying, pinching his thumb and index finger together. Now, the senator huffed, he is more like the 50th percentile.

  25. 25
    Johnny Says:

    #19 all looks the same on the scoreboard.

    Shows how tight our budget is. Kearns was acquired for cash.

    The Cards trade of Ludwick is strange. I get that they wanted a starter but specifically Jake Westbrooke?

  26. 26
    Johnny Says:

    #19 – If the game was like the last 2 you’re gonna run 8 miles.

  27. 27
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I don’t know why everyone is complaining. All Hanson has to do is not give up any fly balls except to right field and he will be fine. That’s easy, isn’t it? I think it’s good they are giving Glaus a day off; he has been awful.

    It’s surprising to me that an organization that once brought in Bream and Pendleton specifically to help the defense seems to put so little weight on outfield defense. Melky may be the worst major league CF I have ever seen.

    However, to keep things in perspective, the Braves did have a winning record in July (13-11) and did stretch their lead. And the Phillies are struggling on the road as well (lost 13 of 17 on the road). But looking at the Giants, I am worried about the wild card as a safety net. I think the Braves are virtually tied with the Giants in terms of record, so it is no sure thing they would be the wild card if they lost the division. Hopefully, going home will rejuventate them.

    Considering Jim Bunning is a crazy man, I don’ think I would put much stock in his comments.

  28. 28
    Adam R Says:

    If you have Tommy on your fantasy team, are you starting him today?

    Answer and I will consider sharing my $35 worth of winnings with you ;)

  29. 29
    Mike N. Says:

    I am, but only because I’ve got all the pitching stats locked up for this week except for strikeouts. Even an exceptionally bad game from him doesn’t lose me any of the other stats.

  30. 30
    ralphdibny Says:

    Anything is better than seeing Hinske next to Melky in the outfield. I really hope to never see that again.

  31. 31
    JC Says:

    Jerome Jurenovich thinks Ankiel has been in the AL for “a couple of years.”

  32. 32
    csg Says:

    Melky can hit righties or lefties, he cant play a defensive position above average. There’s no excuse starting him over anyone.

    put Chipper at 3B, Conrad at 2B, and Infante in LF if you have no faith in Diaz against RHP.

  33. 33
    Tiger224 Says:

    Just saw both ankiel and farnsworth interviewed on pre-game. Neither seemed thrilled to be in Atlanta.

    Kinda surprised. To go from the hapless royals to a 1st place team is something I would welcome.

    Did Mac’s pessimism get to them too?

  34. 34
    sdp Says:

    @33: Don’t take those interviews so seriously. They just arrived at the park after being uprooted from their homes and families to go play baseball in a new city. They’re professionals. I wouldn’t expect them to be exactly busting out of their pants about it.

    Jerome had to bring up Ankiel’s storied career path. What an idiot. The man’s gotta be sick of it by now.

  35. 35
    Dan Says:

    Blanco and Chavez are where they deserve to be (along with many other ex-Braves.) If only Francoeur would hurry up and join them in Royal blue.

  36. 36
    Tiger224 Says:

    Sdp

    Not taking it serious. But they aren’t entirely worthless

    As far as being uprooted goes, Farnsworth should be more than used to it.

  37. 37
    jdpeace Says:

    Wow. Just catching up and saw the lineup. I’m surprised Ross isn’t hitting clean-up.

  38. 38
    csg Says:

    I love seeing the braves leaving guys at 3rd with 1 out

  39. 39
    csg Says:

    and there you go, a batter too late

  40. 40
    Jeremy Says:

    SIGH.

  41. 41
    DowneasterJC Says:

    World Series calibre teams don’t give up chances like those.

    We’re doomed.

  42. 42
    Dan Says:

    We’re doomed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmZRDUO1wGQ

  43. 43
    Adam M Says:

    “If you have Tommy on your fantasy team, are you starting him today?”

    Sadly, yes, as it’s a weekly and I started him for his two starts. He’s a nightmare to have on your team, too. I see the singles have already started…

  44. 44
    Adam M Says:

    My issue with this lineup is that Volquez is wild. The way to get to him is to take pitches. Instead, we’ve run out there the least patient lineup we can field on the one day our ancient corner infielders should both be in there.

  45. 45
    Brian J. Says:

    Ironically, according to GameDay, it was Heyward who swung at the pitch furthest outside the strike zone and thus grounded out instead of walking.

  46. 46
    csg Says:

    Hanson has been better on the road and I like his chances today.

    15 of his 21 starts have been 2ER or less, he’s a safe play almost every week in fantasy

  47. 47
    csg Says:

    are Volquez and Cueto twins?

  48. 48
    Mike N. Says:

    AAG!

  49. 49
    csg Says:

    AAG!!

  50. 50
    Brian J. Says:

    AAG!!! (That’s a good thing.)

  51. 51
    Dan Says:

    A homerun from the starting shortstop?!

  52. 52
    Jeremy Says:

    Agony!

  53. 53
    Andrew B Says:

    finally

  54. 54
    jdpeace Says:

    AAAAAAAAAAAG!

  55. 55
    jdpeace Says:

    Who else has Ankiel fever? Just me. OK.

  56. 56
    DowneasterJC Says:

    Ankiel with the old school knee highs.

    Not a fan.

  57. 57
    Mike N. Says:

    Really? I love that look.

  58. 58
    csg Says:

    a walk… we are rubbing off already

  59. 59
    csg Says:

    I like the look

  60. 60
    jdpeace Says:

    YES! Take that statistical likelihoods!! It’s Ankiel’s world. We just live in it!

  61. 61
    Adam M Says:

    Volquez is so wild our lack of patient hitters might not matter.

  62. 62
    csg Says:

    2nd HR from the SS position this yr

  63. 63
    Adam M Says:

    Career Walk percentages:

    Prado: 7.1%
    Ankiel: 7.5%

  64. 64
    Johnny Says:

    showing my age but the flat brimmed hat thing looks stupid

  65. 65
    Grst Says:

    I don’t like the flat brims either.

  66. 66
    csg Says:

    is chad cordero the 1st guy you remember wearing that on the mound? is for me…

  67. 67
    Mike N. Says:

    I don’t like the flat brims either, but I don’t like the extreme bend that Lowe has. Gotta have a happy medium.

  68. 68
    Johnny Says:

    66 – I think you are right.

  69. 69
    Jeremy Says:

    Loving Volquez’ Jheri curl.

  70. 70
    rehabreject Says:

    at what point does management come in and say “Eddie… can I call you Eddie? .. No? OK. Edinson.. we noticed that each day you look more and more like the Predator. We can’t have that.”

  71. 71
    csg Says:

    3BB thru 2IP…gotta have more runs on the board

  72. 72
    Johnny Says:

    I like the name Edinson. Original

  73. 73
    Jeremy Says:

    McCann and now Heyward have struck out on fastballs way out of the zone.

  74. 74
    Nick H Says:

    Braves’ inability to hit (or even make productive outs) with runners in scoring position has reached and passed the point of ridiculousness. Oy vey.

  75. 75
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Ryan Howard left the Phillies game with an apparent injury to his knee.

  76. 76
    Johnny Says:

    the 2 called strikes on Heyward looked kinda low but …

  77. 77
    csg Says:

    Oswalt cant cure that, I dont believe

  78. 78
    Johnny Says:

    does anyone throw a screwball anymore?

  79. 79
    Bethany Says:

    This team might be susceptible to the high fastball.

  80. 80
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Bethany, run faster!!!

  81. 81
    Jeremy Says:

    Love Joe Simpson talking as if he ever robbed someone of a home run.

  82. 82
    ryan c Says:

    heyward’s being too patient again.

  83. 83
    Mac Thomason Says:

    She needs to pace herself, it’s just the second inning.

  84. 84
    csg Says:

    wow, nasty pitch.

  85. 85
    Johnny Says:

    #75 darn it.

  86. 86
    Johnny Says:

    the slider that got bruce was nastier.

  87. 87
    sam hutcheson Says:

    Heyward might be pressing to drive in runs with the big guns sitting.

  88. 88
    csg Says:

    Astros just gave Brett Myers an extension

    SUNDAY, 12:51am: The Astros and Myers have agreed to an extension that is guaranteed through 2012, per a team release. The contract includes a club option for 2013 that could vest based on Myers’ performance in 2012. The extension guarantees the right-hander at least $21MM, and could earn him up to $29.5MM, including the option and performance incentives

    another reason for their fans to be pissed

  89. 89
    Johnny Says:

    should omar infante be a regular? say next season prado 3b infante 2b? just asking?

  90. 90
    braves14 Says:

    Omar the All-Star.

  91. 91
    csg Says:

    I dont know, but Id like to see them add another year or two on his current contract

  92. 92
    csg Says:

    cmon BMac

  93. 93
    Alex R. Says:

    Just logging on now. Why in God’s name is fat, loser, Melky back in the lineup. Good lord. Is Diaz SO hopeless against righties that we couldn’t have sat Melky’s fat, useless ass on the bench today after that embarrassing smirky performance yesterday?

    This is what pisses me off so much about Cox. Melky’s fat ass should be glued to the bench.

  94. 94
    ryan c Says:

    hinske with a very audible “f*ck”.

  95. 95
    Brian J. Says:

    Suspension, please?

  96. 96
    csg Says:

    Tommy needs to pay these guys back….Medlen, Jurrjens, and now AAG

  97. 97
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Attention Braves: Stop swinging at pitches over your head. That is all.

  98. 98
    Mac Thomason Says:

    No warning, no ejection.

  99. 99
    Mike N. Says:

    That’s why I want Rage to be Hinske’s nickname.

    And the way Volquez has that hat looks so damn stupid.

  100. 100
    braves14 Says:

    Volquez doesn’t know where the ball is going. First season back from Tommy John.

  101. 101
    Alex R. Says:

    Wow, our newest Braves looks deadly up there. SIGH.

  102. 102
    csg Says:

    so a walk and a K and you’ve made up your mind?

  103. 103
    ryan c Says:

    alex, you used to not be this negative all the time.

  104. 104
    Adam M Says:

    Six runners stranded through three innings. Good to see that some things never change.

  105. 105
    csg Says:

    some others here are rubbing off on him

  106. 106
    jdpeace Says:

    Volquez up this inning. Tommy should drop him.

  107. 107
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    That HBP wasn’t intentional.

  108. 108
    John Gaines Says:

    I seem to remember things getting pretty hairy the last time someone called out Volquez on his appearance…

    http://movieclips.com/watch/predator-1987/what-the-hell-are-you/

  109. 109
    Adam M Says:

    The Reds announcers REALLY like the RBI stat.

  110. 110
    csg Says:

    cant walk the pitcher Tommy

  111. 111
    csg Says:

    I really really hate watching Melky throw balls back to the infield

  112. 112
    jdpeace Says:

    That’s an unsatisfying way to send him to first.

  113. 113
    csg Says:

    Hanson making Votto look bad

  114. 114
    Frank Says:

    @107 neither was Venters but he got ejected

  115. 115
    braves14 Says:

    Melky sucks.

  116. 116
    Alex R. Says:

    102 and 103:

    I’m negative because Ankiel is an injury prone guy who’s done next to nothing these last 2 seasons. If Ankiel starts to rake, fine, I’ll be mr. happy.

  117. 117
    csg Says:

    yeah sure am glad Diaz doesnt get any of these AB’s over Melky

  118. 118
    Alex R. Says:

    I will gladly take Ankiel in there over Melky and far angrier today to see Mekly back in the lineup. I’m developing a Lockhart-ian type of hatred anytime I see Melky’s fat, stupid face.

  119. 119
    ryan c Says:

    i dont remember melky ever getting a hit.

  120. 120
    Alex R. Says:

    csg-

    Exactly….Diaz deserves a chance to be in there. Cox is being so rigid by keeping Melky out there.

  121. 121
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @114

    One stupid umpiring decision does not justify another one later. He’s missed in the same spot hi hit AAG 10 times today. The other nine happened to be to LH hitters.

  122. 122
    csg Says:

    can Matt Young or Willie Cabrera play CF? just wondering

  123. 123
    ryan c Says:

    brandon phillips is a human highlight reel.

  124. 124
    braves14 Says:

    Howard has a sprained left ankle and is going for X-rays.

  125. 125
    Adam M Says:

    Yeah, Phillips is great.

  126. 126
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I hope he doesn’t lose his speed.

  127. 127
    csg Says:

    sprains can be worse than breaks

  128. 128
    Frank Says:

    @121. I didn’t say I thought it was intentional but neither was Venters plunk of big baby Fielder.

  129. 129
    Smitty Says:

    Anything hit near Phillips is an out.

  130. 130
    braves14 Says:

    Hanson is sharp today.

  131. 131
    Brian J. Says:

    Hanson’s really on the ball this afternoon, isn’t he?

  132. 132
    Trace Says:

    And he’s not nibbling!

  133. 133
    ryan c Says:

    infante is up to .345 on the year.

  134. 134
    csg Says:

    washington just tied it up 2-2

  135. 135
    Adam M Says:

    Jurrjens was sharp yesterday. None of it matters if the offense can’t get the runners on base home.

  136. 136
    Alex R. Says:

    Maybe we could, uhhh, give Tommy some runs please?

  137. 137
    csg Says:

    make him throw a strike

    3hits, 5BB and we arent thru 5…only 1 run

  138. 138
    Adam M Says:

    Right–these moments, with a couple guys on and the pitcher struggling to throw strikes, is where we need to pounce. And we haven’t for awhile.

  139. 139
    csg Says:

    this is unbelievably bad

  140. 140
    Alex R. Says:

    Good grief we can’t get runners home.

  141. 141
    oldtimer? Says:

    WTF Hinske?

  142. 142
    braves14 Says:

    At least we’re getting baserunners.

  143. 143
    Adam M Says:

    eight stranded through four.

  144. 144
    Johnny Says:

    8 runners stranded. damn

  145. 145
    Alex R. Says:

    And Volzquez is not throwing well today. Only 1 run is more a reflection on just how ineffective our offense is. I expect us to lose 3-1 today. This is just depressing.

  146. 146
    Adam M Says:

    It’s weird to see Dusty Baker protecting a young pitcher.

  147. 147
    csg Says:

    Roachy has 2 3R HR today

  148. 148
    csg Says:

    Heyward doesnt dive and the run doesnt score

  149. 149
    Adam M Says:

    Terrible defense.

    And more terrible defense.

  150. 150
    Alex R. Says:

    And now the lack of run support for Tommy and 8 runners left on base finally catches up with us. A halfway decent lineup right now would be leading 4 or 5-1.

  151. 151
    Weldon Says:

    We’re just not hitting with RISP. I tend to subscribe that to luck more than anything. It’s frustrating to watch, but it happens when you have guys avoiding outs.

    Volquez looked like an idiot and I don’t think it was a coincidence that the guy he happened to hit was the guy who hit a home run. Edinson needed to be plunked after Meds and JJ.

    And, that’s what happens when you waste opportunities.

  152. 152
    csg Says:

    garbage

  153. 153
    Dan Says:

    Yunel makes that play.

  154. 154
    Alex R. Says:

    Great defense. Just great.

  155. 155
    Brian J. Says:

    Well, that didn’t take long to fall apart, did it?

  156. 156
    Johnny Says:

    rookie mistake.

    our defensive ss blows it.

  157. 157
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Rafael Ramirez and Andres Thomas make that play. It was amazingly routine.

  158. 158
    braves14 Says:

    Ugh.

  159. 159
    Alex R. Says:

    Weldon, Volquez looks like an idiot with the stupid way he wears that hat.

  160. 160
    Adam M Says:

    Everybody makes that play.

  161. 161
    csg Says:

    Vloquez may get the win now

  162. 162
    MikeM Says:

    Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!!!

    This series has been so frustrating. And it had to happen against the Reds, who I loathe. Probably a result of living in Kentucky and having to watch two decades of crappy Reds baseball. I might actually hate reds more than Joe McCarthey.

  163. 163
    Johnny Says:

    lets hold em, maybe we rally

  164. 164
    sdp Says:

    How long until the first-place masquerade is over?

  165. 165
    Jeremy Says:

    Oh well, at least the clubhouse chemistry is solid.

  166. 166
    Adam M Says:

    Soon.

  167. 167
    putter Says:

    Well there ya go….we put tons of runners on base through 5 and get nothing out of it and give the lead away with crap defense.

  168. 168
    braves14 Says:

    Phillies tied 2-2 in the 5th.

  169. 169
    Rob Cope Says:

    We leave 8 runners on base, and we go after the best defender on the field and the one who homered earlier. Yeah, keep those “chemistry” jokes comin’!

  170. 170
    csg Says:

    Hewyard doesnt dive and theres runners at first and third…AAG makes the routine play and we’d be thru 5 up 1-0

  171. 171
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Yunel Lovers Club of Atlanta, UNITE!!!

  172. 172
    Alex R. Says:

    Melky Rules.

  173. 173
    Adam M Says:

    Wow Chief, that’s pithy. Way to go!

  174. 174
    braves14 Says:

    Melky still sucks.

  175. 175
    csg Says:

    btw, Yunel 0-3 with an error today

  176. 176
    Alex R. Says:

    Hey, at least we didn’t leave any runners on base that inning!

  177. 177
    td Says:

    Melky haters club, UNITE!! I have a feeling that is a much bigger club than Yunel’s.

  178. 178
    Alex R. Says:

    td, I would like an officer position in the Melky haters club.

  179. 179
    Adam M Says:

    I can’t believe Melky is still out there. Also, Heyward’s diving attempt was so stupid–it was the key play in that inning.

  180. 180
    joshua Says:

    Yeah, we’ve never seen yunel make a mistake on a routine play. He probably would have forgotten how many outs there were and tried to get phillips out at home.

  181. 181
    braves14 Says:

    I’m disgusted.

  182. 182
    DowneasterJC Says:

    I want Scott Rolen just so we can call him Rawhide.

  183. 183
    Mac Thomason Says:

    You know how Lou Gehrig was the Iron Horse? Melky’s new nickname is the River Horse.

  184. 184
    braves14 Says:

    The Hippo.

  185. 185
    Alex R. Says:

    Its not right when the guy who’s been the much, much better starter today (Hanson) is losing heading to inning 7. Volquez deserves to be down 5 runs and instead still in position to get the win. Just HATE our lineup and offense right now.

  186. 186
    spike Says:

    we go after the best defender on the field and the one who homered earlier. Yeah, keep those “chemistry” jokes comin’!

    Yeah. he can hear you out there in Cincinnati, so keep it down you guys.

    .255/.321/.373 + Chemistry=Profit!

  187. 187
    csg Says:

    Heyward needs to get a good jump on this pitcher

  188. 188
    spike Says:

    Just HATE our lineup and offense right now.

    How is this possible after The Trade That Won The Division(tm)?

  189. 189
    csg Says:

    yeah Yunels numbers were much much better

  190. 190
    csg Says:

    Washington up 4-2 now

  191. 191
    Brian J. Says:

    So our only chance of scoring in any given inning is by drawing four walks.

  192. 192
    csg Says:

    Chipper has been awful from the right side lately….time to change that

  193. 193
    Adam R Says:

    Our fav Nats, Desmond and Dunn, cross the plate. 4-2 Nats.

  194. 194
    csg Says:

    missed two fastballs in the middle of the plate

  195. 195
    spike Says:

    @169, As I’ve repeated countless times, it’s when and for whom they traded him. Thinking AAG’s HR’s were going to translate to Turner was lunacy, and inserting a guy with a .296 OBP at the time into the 6 spot in our lineup was even dumber. But since you bring it up, .333/.356/.474 is Yuni’s current line. Wren has managed to take the one thing ATL could do well, get on base, and plug in a couple of guys that are terrible at that skill. The result has been, and will be quite predictable.

  196. 196
    Adam M Says:

    10 runners on base! This is fun.

  197. 197
    Jeremy Says:

    This offense is inept.

  198. 198
    Alex R. Says:

    Yunel would be Mendoza friendly right now if we hadn’t made that deal. Not that Gonzalez has done much (and right now, his defense is responsible for a loss if this score holds) but Yunel wasn’t doing anything. The trade is a non-factor.

  199. 199
    csg Says:

    its laughable to continue to think that Yunel wouldve done the same in Atl that he’s doing in TOR, but its your opinion

  200. 200
    Rob Cope Says:

    Spike, we got it, you don’t like the trade. Are you going to let us know every time Gonzalez does something wrong?

  201. 201
    Seat Painter Says:

    Feels like April again to me. If the Braves give up two runs, mark it down in the Loss column…

  202. 202
    spike Says:

    It’s not inept at all. It’s doing exactly what you would think when you run Conrad, Gonzalez, Ankiel and a pitcher out there. All 3 on the sunny side of thirty, with a clear track record of making lots and lots of outs.

  203. 203
    Jeremy Says:

    I don’t care if Yunel had quit in Atlanta and was boning Frank Wren’s wife, you don’t trade him for Alex freaking Gonzalez and two fringe prospects.

    What’s our record since the trade, anyway?

  204. 204
    Smitty Says:

    Tommy has inherited KK’s run support

  205. 205
    Alex R. Says:

    Spike, Yunel wasn’t doing anything and pissing off the entire clubhouse in the process. He wouldn’t have woken up in the 2nd half because if the trade never happens, he’d still be pulling the same crap.

    Gonzalez isn’t doing much, but again, the fairest argument is that neither would be worth much at SS in Atlanta. If Chipper was actually still a decent offensive player and we had a good outfield, Infante should now be the everyday SS.

  206. 206
    spike Says:

    As long as you feel the need to express dismay at impugning our clubhouse chemistry, yes. I really can’t describe how depressed and angry I am at the almost willful effort to make this team worse, at a time when they were on the cusp of really being good. It’s pretty obvious to the dullest observer that as currently constructed, there is very little chance for advancement in the postseason, should it even get that far. If you want happy talk, feel free to scroll on.

  207. 207
    Alex R. Says:

    Spike, you simply can’t argue it made this team worse because Yunel was useless. You do NOT have the #s to back that up.

  208. 208
    spike Says:

    @205, at the risk of repeating myself, I DON”T CARE THAT WE TRADED YUNEL. TRADING HIM AT THE BOTTOM OF HIS VALUE FOR AN OBVIOUS OUT MACHINE IS WHAT WAS SO STUPID.

  209. 209
    Adam M Says:

    Spike’s point isn’t that Yunel would be doing better (we can’t know that, obviously). It’s that Wren has undermined the strength of the lineup by bringing in guys who can’t get on base. Even amidst his awful season, this year, Yunel had a league-average OBP.

    By the way, speaking of Yunel: he just homered.

  210. 210
    braves14 Says:

    Chip and Joe talking stats makes me want to scream.

  211. 211
    Alex R. Says:

    Spike, THEY’RE BOTH OUT MACHINES.

  212. 212
    Jeremy Says:

    Alex R,
    Yunel was worth more than Gonzalez. That’s what this boils down to. The Rays were reportedly very interested in Yunel but the Braves were already enamored with Agony, which is just awful.

  213. 213
    Johnny Says:

    ‘Infante should now be the everyday SS.’
    Well, all the baseball professionals in Atlanta disagree with you.

    If we still had Escobar we’d still be struggling offensively. Although when he was good he was really good.

    Still no matter how you slice and dice it its just weird for a contender to trade a better player for a lesser one. Maybe it was for Yunel’s safety. Glaus is a big boy. If he wanted to kick Escobars ass it could have gotten ugly.

  214. 214
    Tiger224 Says:

    Happy talk me to death please! I need it.

    And a waffle house patty melt please.

  215. 215
    MikeM Says:

    It’s the same story we’ve seen for the last few years. This team is woefully underpowered. It has coincided with chipper’s decline at a traditional power position.

    The problem is that it’s hard to see where they can improve. Heyward might be a legitimate power threat, but he’s still only 20. Freeman, I presume, will be the firstbaseman next year and it is unrealistic to expect him to provide a true power bat as a rookie. That really only leaves left field, and we would need a Ryan Braun or Manny Ramirez type to really help things.

  216. 216
    Alex R. Says:

    No, the bottomline if Yunel was still a Brave, we’d be forced to make Infante the everyday SS. With Gonzalez, Infante should be the everyday SS when prado returns. I’m not defending Gonzalez. I don’t like either player.

  217. 217
    spike Says:

    @211, so what on earth is the point of acquiring Gonzalez?

  218. 218
    Mike N. Says:

    Woooooo Melky

  219. 219
    csg Says:

    yeah, Diaz has no shot of being better than Melky

  220. 220
    braves14 Says:

    Hopefully Melky will find a good seat on the bench from tomorrow on.

  221. 221
    Adam M Says:

    @211

    Uh, no. For their careers:

    Escobar (1907 PAs): .368 OBP
    Gonzalez (5180 PAs): .294 OBP

    They’re not both out-machines. One of them is. Just for fun, check out Francoeur’s career OBP. Ok fine, I’ll tell you. It’s .309.

  222. 222
    csg Says:

    Tommy about to have a complete game loss….second of the season

  223. 223
    Alex R. Says:

    Because at least Gonzalez was semi productive with some power in half #1 and we’re competing for a shot at the WS. Yunel got on base more but couldn’t hit and was hurting the clubhouse. What’s the point of still having this argument, Spike? You think your way and I disagree. Do I wish we could have gotten a better player? Yes. But I have no beef with trading Yunel. He wasn’t doing anything and pissing off the entire clubhouse in the process. I am glad he’s gone.

  224. 224
    Jeremy Says:

    The worst part about the Yunel trade is the front office’s apparent belief that Alex Gonzalez and his sub .300 OBP could help the team.

  225. 225
    braves14 Says:

    Phillies just tied the game.

  226. 226
    JC Says:

    Well, at least Bobby can’t put in Chavez.

  227. 227
    csg Says:

    just have to get Venters in there today

  228. 228
    Johnny Says:

    In that pinch at bat Chipper just looked old. I’m a huge Chipper fan but dang he looked checked out. I know its not true but…

  229. 229
    Jeremy Says:

    Poor Tommy.

  230. 230
    csg Says:

    Id have rather seen Diaz in that PH AB

  231. 231
    Adam M Says:

    Mid-market teams can’t afford to mess up the way the Braves did with Escobar. They either need to work it out and hope he gets better, or get more for him in return. It’s that simple. They have too small a margin of error to lose a guy who provided them with 8 wins above replacement over the past two years.

    For comparison’s sake, look at the guys who produced at about Escobar’s level last season. Brian McCann, Robinson Cano, Victor Martinez, Joey Votto, Kendry Morales, and so on. You all would flip had your team traded one of these guys for Alex Gonzalez and change. Sure, Escobar wasn’t producing like that this season, but it was one bad half and, again, as a mid-market team the Braves simply can’t afford to punt on a guy who projects to be one of their three or four best position players for the next few years. They sold low, and it will hurt for the next couple years.

  232. 232
    braves14 Says:

    Diaz will pinch-hit for the pitcher leading off the 9th.

  233. 233
    csg Says:

    id still rather have seen him hitting w/ RISP against the LH over Chipper

  234. 234
    Johnny Says:

    #230 – pinch hit chipper because he is a switch hitter. diaz would have brought in a righty reliever.

  235. 235
    braves14 Says:

    Hopefully Cordero’s arm will fall off today.

  236. 236
    csg Says:

    Matt Diaz 1-8 4K’s vs Cordero

  237. 237
    csg Says:

    #234 – true, good point

  238. 238
    csg Says:

    chip just crapped on himself

  239. 239
    joshua Says:

    @231 – you forget 1 thing. We are sitting in first place in the middle of a penant race. You don’t have the luxury of sitting around hoping that he will get over himself and play to expectations. He was given half a year to work things out for crying out loud. Everyone was begging for frenchy to be gone long before then.

  240. 240
    Johnny Says:

    I cannot believe that we are going to lose this game.

  241. 241
    csg Says:

    JHEY…

  242. 242
    Johnny Says:

    Jayson stop sliding head first

  243. 243
    braves14 Says:

    Don’t see that everyday.

  244. 244
    Grst Says:

    Now we just need Jesus Heyward to steal 3rd and home, so we can lose it in walk-off fashion.

  245. 245
    braves14 Says:

    Terrible.

  246. 246
    c. shorter Says:

    ugh

  247. 247
    Jeremy Says:

    Ouch.

  248. 248
    Johnny Says:

    dammit. how may runners did we leave on?

  249. 249
    Frank Says:

    blech

  250. 250
    c. shorter Says:

    what a game to lose…

  251. 251
    csg Says:

    its sad…1 defensive miscue can cost this team a game. Offense is weak back to where it was in April

  252. 252
    MikeM Says:

    Well, I’ll be rooting hard for the Cardinals the rest of the year (when not playing the braves, of course).
    Reds can bite me.

  253. 253
    csg Says:

    wonder what Bobby sees in Melky

  254. 254
    jdpeace Says:

    Braves hit .190 (16-for-84) w/ RISP while going 3-6 during this trip.

  255. 255
    DowneasterJC Says:

    But hey don’t worry guys. We’re in first place so we don’t have to be bothered with how bad we’re playing because we’re in first place.

  256. 256
    spike Says:

    I am glad he’s gone.

    You can spend the entire postseason enoying yourself while watching someone else win the WS.

    When the boat started taking on water, we grabbed a couple of anvils.

  257. 257
    MikeM Says:

    Thing is, with a collective 5 feet of luck Braves sweep that series.

    Bruce’s ground ball just a little more left yesterday gets Jair out of the inning with lead intact.

    Heyward’s arm grows by 12 inches and catches the ball today.

  258. 258
    Johnny Says:

    Heyward doesn’t dive and who knows Braves win 1-0. Its baseball.

  259. 259
    Matt Says:

    Horrid display of offensive ineptness!! Just a really crappy road trip.

  260. 260
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Recapped.

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