Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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07 Oct

Giants 1, Braves 0

Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants – Box Score – October 07, 2010 – ESPN.

I came thisclose to making that “Umpires 1, Braves 0″.

Derek Lowe was brilliant, as he has been since the leaves started to turn. He picked up a loss because (a) the Braves couldn’t score at all, (b) they couldn’t field much either, and (c) the second base umpire was apparently watching another game.

In the fourth inning, Lowe allowed a leadoff single to Buster Posey. He struck out Pat Burrell, the next batter, and Posey took off. Brian McCann threw him out, but the umpire inexplicably called him safe.

Bill James defines a managerial blunder as being when a manager makes a decision that goes against “the book” and it doesn’t work. Bobby Cox made a classic managerial blunder tonight, and I have no idea what he was thinking. After Lowe got Juan Uribe for the second out of the inning, Bobby inexplicably called for an intentional walk of Pablo Sandoval, who has been awful all year. Not to set up the double play, because again there were two out. And not to get to the pitcher, because Sandoval was hitting seventh.

To get to Commando Cody Ross.

The Braves-killer.

Okay, so he got the platoon advantage, because Sandoval is a switch-hitter. But the chances that Ross wouldn’t get a hit after that were, oh, I don’t know, 100 to 1. Lowe at least held him to a single, which Omar Infante at third base maybe should have knocked down to hold to the infield variety. Anyway, 1-0, and as I said at the point, ballgame.

Tim Lincecum struck out fourteen Braves on the way to a complete game shutout tonight, and the stories will all be about how he was great. He wasn’t. His velocity was down, and he was wild, both in and out of the zone. He didn’t know where the ball was going to go. But the Braves kept on swinging. Constantly. He struck out five Braves in a row after Omar led off the game with a double and Jason Heyward followed with a flyout. He struck out the last two of the game. Again, this is all on the Braves; he really wasn’t throwing hard. Their only other hit was a McCann double with one out in the seventh. Of course, he got moved up to third base, because that helps immensely.

I don’t want to blame the umpires too much. The home plate ump was pretty good, especially considering Lincecum’s wildness. And the fact is, Bobby wouldn’t have pulled Lowe when he did if it had been a shutout, and eventually Lowe would have given up a run — he had to pitch out of a couple of jams. The bullpen — Jonny Venters, who got out of Lowe’s last jam in the sixth and then struck out the side in the seventh in particular, but also Peter Moylan, Michael Dunn, and Craig Kimbrel — was stellar. If we could get to them with a lead, we’d be in great shape. But that would require scoring at least one run.

135 Responses to “Giants 1, Braves 0”

  1. 1
    sdp Says:

    We have our flaws, but that’s flat out dirty pitching. I don’t think many realize just how difficult it is to hit a guy like Lincecum when he is on.

    Go Braves.

  2. 2
    Tony Says:

    The problem I have with tomorrow is does anyone think Hanson will be as good as Lowe was tonight?

  3. 3
    Adam M Says:

    I’m not prepared to say that Lincecum didn’t have really good stuff tonight. Maybe the velocity wasn’t there, but there was plenty of movement, and he wasn’t all that wild after the first. You would, after all, expect the league strikeout leader to strike out a bunch of guys in this lineup.

  4. 4
    csg Says:

    this is shocking, AAG is 0-9 with 4K’s against Cain. Wait, no, that’s expected

  5. 5
    Stu Says:

    Maybe he’ll hit third tomorrow.

  6. 6
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Get ‘em tomorrow, errr, today.

  7. 7
    Jeremy Says:

    Lincecum’s slider and changeup was wicked, no doubt. But it helps when you only have to worry about three hitters. Maybe.

  8. 8
    Adam M Says:

    AAG the last four weeks of the season:

    .192/.217/.309

    Our #5 hitter.

  9. 9
    csg Says:

    #2 – I dont see why he wouldnt be, I expect all three of our starters to be able to keep this Giants offense from scoring. Hanson has been dominate, he’s good on the road, and he’s pitched good against San Fran.

  10. 10
    Factory Jones Says:

    We need some magic. The Braves showed us what we already knew tonight, they can pitch. Can we get a little hitting mojo going just to send Bobby off in style?

  11. 11
    Tony Says:

    Ok here is the line-up for tomorrow:

    Infante
    Heyward
    Lee
    McCann

    Hell I tried…I don’t have a clue.

  12. 12
    bripeace Says:

    I won’t say Lincecum was wild or even terrible. Those changeups that go into the dirt look very different to batters when thrown.

    That said: I won’t feel to bad facing easily one of the best pitchers in the league in a 1-0 loss. epsically with: Horrible Bad Ump Call + Obvious Error @ 3rd + Bad Managing by Bobby = 1 run for SF.

    The stars do not align that often for those kind of outcomes.

    Tomorrow will be better, and in amazing home news, it seems as if the first home game of teh series is sold out. That’ll be a first in i dunno 8-9 years.

  13. 13
    sdp Says:

    @12: Turner was well sold out this past weekend.

  14. 14
    Stu Says:

    Umptober.

  15. 15
    Robert Says:

    Another bang up job by the umps. Turned the Twins game on a blown call, turned this game on a blown call.

    Far too easy on Infante, that play needs to be made. He somehow just whiffed on it. The infield defense is just so shitty I don’t see how they could ever win anything.

  16. 16
    mraver Says:

    I dunno. Maybe all of those strikeout pitches were filthy, dirty beyond belief, insane movement pitches. But to me, it looked like everyone was going up there with the mindset that they didn’t want to strike out looking. In the first alone, Lincecum walked Lee and McCann but instead the inning was over. And it just kept happening throughout the game. Even the color guy mentioned it in the 9th. I get that the bottom of our lineup sucks, but yeesh. Even the top of the order guys were whiffing at crappy out-of-the-zone pitches. Heyward’s swing at Ball 5 in his last AB was particularly painful. Just take the base!

    Also, forgot to say that if either the 2B ump or Infante do their job in the 4th, we might still be watching baseball. :-/

  17. 17
    CourtneyC Says:

    why not use instant replay on plays on bases? we all know within 30 seconds if the call was right or not anyway. are you gonna tell me MLB can’t afford to pay one ump to be in a booth somewhere to make sure the call gets right?

  18. 18
    brule™ Says:

    Lowe is a postseason guy. Good to know again.

    In fact, I like posey. More than McCann. I wish we had posey even though you guys blame on me.

  19. 19
    D.N. Nation Says:

    Omar- Capable of a hit.
    Heyward- Capable of a walk/hit.
    Lee/McCann- Capable, also overthinking. Pitches down the pipe should be swung at.
    Everyone else- Kardashian levels of ass.

  20. 20
    csg Says:

    Posey didnt hurt his ROY chances tonight, its already his IMO

  21. 21
    Alex Says:

    In addition to the IBB there was the 3-reliever 8th.

    Does Bobby always overmanage in the playoffs?

  22. 22
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Posey basically admitted he was out: “It’s a good thing we don’t have instant replay.”

  23. 23
    kc Says:

    Well Mac, they scored only one run, so I would put the blame on offense.

    On a brighter side, we are in a better position than the Rays and the Twins, and we did better than the Reds! We had TWO HITS!!!!

  24. 24
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    That was about as good as the Braves could have hoped to get vs Lincecum, and the umps gave the game to SF anyway. Timmy had good stuff, but he only struck out what, 7 real major league hitters? The other Ks were on Conrad, Ankiel, Diaz vs a lefty and Alex Gonzalez in a deep, deep funk. Not exactly as impressive as “14 K, complete game shut-out” will sound in the box score.

    It would be nice if, at some point in history, every possible thing in the world would not conspire against Atlanta.

  25. 25
    Tom O. Says:

    Hey gang,

    I was at the game tonight, in left field. A few observations:

    1) Even from 400 feet away, you could tell Lincecum was all over the place. When I looked up and saw all those Ks, I was shocked. He didn’t look good, and if we could’ve laid off a pitch or two, it would have been fine. (Yes, it’s tough to lay off of Lincecum’s breaking balls, but the Braves are ostensibly major league hitters.)

    2) I could see Posey was out from the bleachers. He was out even though Brooks put the tag on his shoulders. If Brooks puts that tag a little lower, if the ump sees what actually happened, instead of what he thought he saw, it’s still 0-0.

    3) Jonny Venters shut a bunch of folks up in the 6th, and it was awesome.

    4) [Pardon my language] Giants fans are pretty f***ing lame. I was a visiting fan, in my Chipper jersey, by myself, and all they could muster was “F— the Braves” and “Larry’s a bum.” Congrats, guys. Thank God we’re not playing a real team.

    5) Ratio of Giants to Braves fans was ~100:1. But we were there. Hopefully better tomorrow. Either way, Giants fans don’t really know what to do with visiting fans that aren’t LA. SF isn’t really a huge home field advantage. We win tomorrow, and we’re in a pretty good spot.

    Any suggestions for a good sign tomorrow? Trying to come up with something. Look for me in left field.

    Tom O.
    SF, CA 2003-2010
    ATL 1989 – 2003

  26. 26
    ububba Says:

    As someone from the East Bay once said, “Just win, baby.”

  27. 27
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Bellbottoms… Vaudeville… The Human League…

  28. 28
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I got it, THINGS THAT ARE LESS OUT THAN BUSTER POSEY!

  29. 29
    Tom O. Says:

    that might be tough to fit on a sign…

  30. 30
    Mac Thomason Says:

    “Outer Space” has now been renamed “Buster Space”.

  31. 31
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Bold prediction: If Chipper proves he can play next year, Infante will be traded in a package for an outfielder.

  32. 32
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Out.

    Out.

  33. 33
    Tom O. Says:

    Now THAT’s a sign. I wonder if I can get that in poster size.

  34. 34
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @32, I’m surprised there was no argument from Brooks of Bobby on that one.

    Already stole the sign. :)

  35. 35
    Tom O. Says:

    Maybe Bobby didn’t want to be the third manager thrown out today–just the first.

  36. 36
    Tom Says:

    This just in from our friends down under:

    “After collectively watching the MLB playoff game between the Atlanta Braves and the San Franisco Giants last night, the Australien government has decided to rename the Outback Busterback in order to honor the Giants 1-0 win.”

  37. 37
    RobBroad4th Says:

    It won’t be long before Ranger fans start calling Frenchy “The Buster Machine.”

  38. 38
    kc Says:

    @32 Beautiful.

  39. 39
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Several of my friends from high school and college are big Giants fans and they are insufferable right now.

  40. 40
    Mac Thomason Says:

    That’s okay, Rob. Let it Buster.

  41. 41
    mraver Says:

    Nature will henceforth be known as the Great Busterdoors.

  42. 42
    Grst Says:

    Omar shouldn’t have knocked it down, he should have caught it and easily thrown the runner out at first. It went right under his glove, which he moved out of the way at the last second.

  43. 43
    RobBroad4th Says:

    I’m gonna dance it Buster, shake it Buster, and yell it Buster until the landlord comes and kicks me Buster on the street.

    Too much? (Buster of line?)

  44. 44
    Tom O. Says:

    Hopes and dreams rest on Tommy Hanson tomorrow. Here’s hoping.

    Over and Buster.

    Tom O.

  45. 45
    jdpeace Says:

    Look. Do we have a right to be busterraged? Sure. But, the truth is they buster hit us busterright 5 to 2 and busterscored us 1 to 0. If we can get more production from our busterfield we can turn this thing around. The positives. Lowe and the bullpen were busterstanding. We win tomorrow we can keep this thing from getting buster of hand. Let’s not pbuster. That’s not what this game’s abbuster.

  46. 46
    kc Says:

    It’s time for the offense to buster-up.

  47. 47
    JP Says:

    3 true bustercomes or not, I’d sure love to have Adam Dunn right now.

  48. 48
    Ron E. Says:

    It was a bad call that could have easily and quickly been overturned by instant replay, but it wouldn’t have mattered if the Braves had scored even one run. Anybody who was expecting the Braves to magically turn into the team they were back in May – July once the playoffs started now knows better.

    Has Gonzalez been sitting next to McLbusterth on the bench? He seems to have caught the same offensive virus that has plagued Nate all year.

  49. 49
    Jonathan Says:

    Love all these busterlandish comments…

  50. 50
    ryan c Says:

    we cant win when they have a Buster Posey and all we have is a Bustey Poser. yes, i’m speaking of melky.

  51. 51
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Maybe Bobby didn’t want to be the third manager thrown out today–just the first.

    In the post-game Bobby said “you can’t see from the dugouts and there wasn’t a reaction from our guy.” That pretty much sums up Bobby. He didn’t have an angle to see it, his guy didn’t make a case for it (Conrad had no idea if he was safe or out) so he didn’t come out to argue. Bobby argues obvious blown calls that he sees, but more often Bobby argues for his players.

  52. 52
    Ron E. Says:

    #50 Melky didn’t even get in the game did he? But the entire offense hit like Melky and the defense played like him too, so point well taken. I can’t wait for Wren to get Melky buster of Atlanta this offseason.

  53. 53
    Johnny Says:

    Dang that’s some funny stuff.

  54. 54
    NickC Says:

    #21, I think that was just because we were 1-0 down and had plenty of relievers left for not many outs and an off day on Saturday. If it had been tied, I think Moylan faces Huff so he can get Posey and Burrell.

    That picture is damning. Conrad’s position alone should tell the umpire it’s physically impossible for Posey to have reached the bag before the tag was applied.

  55. 55
    ryan c Says:

    funny bobby quote:
    “He was lights-out. We had two runners at second base the whole night. That was it. I don’t know how many he struck out, but it was more than fingers I have on both hands.”

  56. 56
    stupup74 Says:

    Infante has to knock down the RBI single, bottom line, sell out, just keep it on the IF and then Lincecum has to knock Buster in.

    The Umpire should be fired. He was lazy in his positioning. Why was he on the 1b side of second?

  57. 57
    MikeM Says:

    What drove me nuts watching was the clear lack of a strategy against Lincecum at the plate (unless “swing at ball four no matter where it is everytime” is a strategy).

    I have not been a fan of Terry the hitting coach for some time mow and this did not help.

    Watching the yankees games you get a chance to see what a good approach and gameplan against a pitcher does.

  58. 58
    stupup74 Says:

    http://joeposnanski.si.com/2010/10/08/bad-calls-in-baseball/?eref=sihp

    I like this aritcle about the umpiring. I have said the same thing on here, I have said the same thing on other blogs. I have said the same thing to other people.

    I will say it again. MLB for the good of its sport must fire about half the umpires. They are not good at their jobs, and most them are dicks. The average MLB umpire is a worthless human beings. Most of the umpires are basically Melky Cabera, but with authority.

    MLB nees to bring up minor league umps who want to be there, are not fat worthless scum suckers, then institute some sort of replay system. Either replay all safe/out, fair/foul or what I like best, the NFL challenge system. Heck, the little league challenge system is good. Let the manager challenge evertything until he is wrong.

    That call was garbage, that umpire was garbarge. What do you do with garbage, you take it Busterside and dump it.

  59. 59
    BFedRec Says:

    Because I don’t want the pain of searching through yesterday’s game thread to see if somebody already posted this…

    There’s a Twitter account for @FrenchTober

  60. 60
    James Says:

    Nice article about Tommy Hansen on BP today. I know I’ve heard that the Braves save pitchers working on their sliders until Double A, but does anyone know the basis behind that position? Is it really a more stressful pitch to throw than a curveball?

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12177

  61. 61
    Bethany Says:

    I feel ill. I feel ill over the terrible, terrible call, over everyone knowing it was a bad call and there will be absolutely nothing done about it. We’ve had a perfect game stolen away from an obviously incorrect call, countless gaffes during the season, and now the playoffs have already been marred about we’re only a few days in.

    But I’m more ill over TP ruining every hitter on this team. Have you ever see McCann look this bad at the plate in his entire career? McCann might look terrible 3 times in a month, but not in one game.

  62. 62
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Can we bribe Tim Lincecum’s pot dealer to smoke out the whole team?

  63. 63
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Umpire,shmumpire.
    Hit the damn ball!

    Go Braves!

  64. 64
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Seriously, you guys are blaming Terry Pendleton for the fact that Brooks Conrad and Rick Ankiel are not good hitters? Seriously?

    Two things happened last night, kids. Lincecum took full advantage of a bottom half of the lineup that can’t hit, cruised for easy outs, and worked hard against the top of the order. The top of the order, after the first time through when it was clear that no one after McCann was going to get a hit, much less drive in runs, got jumpy at the plate trying to hit bombs.

    That is all. The idea that Pendleton is to blame is absurd on its face.

  65. 65
    Bethany Says:

    @64 Right, obviously those two are the only trouble spots in our lineup.

  66. 66
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I thought Posey was out, but Conrad didn’t argue so I assumed that maybe I missed something. I guess not. Pathetic but I wouldn’t call umpires “worthless human beings” because they missed calls in a baseball game.

    People talk about CC Sabbathia pitching “under pressure” because he’s with the Yankees. But he can give up runs and still win. If a Braves pitcher gives up anything, there’s a good chance he will lose. This is a lousy lineup, it was mediocre before the injuries and is much worse now; it’s not anywhere close to a playoff-caliber lineup. They are doing the best they can. They are who they are. I mean, look at the debates we are having on the lineup: McLouth over Diaz or Melky over Ankiel? Alex Gonzalez hitting fith or seventh? That’s not exactly whether to bat Aaron in front of Mathews.

    The two guys you could expect to provide offense haven’t been doing much. I’m not going to get down on Heyward; he is a terrific rookie and will get much better. But he has six home runs since May and has been struggling for the last few weeks. He had a couple of bad at-bats last night and people are acting as if that’s simply unthinkable. Guys, he is not Hank Aaron right now. I think McCann is worn out; it’s hard for a catcher, especially in Atlanta to also be expected to be the primary hitter.

    And it goes without saying the defense is abominable; it was not very good early in the year and it’s atrocious now. How do you win playoff games with no offense and poor defense? I don’t think Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz could win under these circumstances.

    Frankly, I think people should be happy for the Braves to be here.

  67. 67
    Landogarner Says:

    I hope to god T.P. is fired. I don’t want him anywhere near this team at ANY coaching position…

  68. 68
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Thanks for that, Marc. Maybe now he’ll finally get another 4 hits!

  69. 69
    Ron E. Says:

    #64 I agree completely. Now somehow TP has ruined McCann? The same TP that has been his hitting coach the entire time Brian has been a major leaguer and been awesome? That’s just completely ridiculous. Brian is tired, hurt, or just in a slump. It’s not like he was the only hitter struggling last night.

  70. 70
    Bethany Says:

    So I suppose it’s completely coincidental that the entire team picks up the same bad habit, even if it’s contrary to their normal approach, at the same time. Couldn’t have anything to do with the coach. Impossible.

  71. 71
    Adam R Says:

    Re: McCann, It’s not a habit if it’s a mere three plate appearances. Against the reigning two-time NL Cy Young award winner who is also the reigning three-time NL strikeout king.

    You also neglect to mention that McCann did have a hit, a double, last night.

  72. 72
    Adam M Says:

    Also, I’m pissed at Conrad for not having the awareness to know he actually tagged the guy. Bobby would have backed him, and we’d have at least shifted the narrative a bit more.

    What a joke. Totally agree with Posnanski.

  73. 73
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @68,

    That why I did it Alex!

    The Braves have bad hitters that have bad approaches. The better hitters try to step up to compensate. It’s ridiculous to blame the hitting coach for that. People are frustrated, but, for god’s sake, look at the team you are putting out there. This isn’t the same team we had earlier in the season. Just taking Chipper out of the lineup was bound to change the dynamic even though he wasn’t having a particularly good year; he was an on-base machine. Then you take Prado out–probably the best hitter for much of the year. Then you have a worn out catcher and a 20 year old rookie probably trying to do too much to take up the slack. Then you have guys that aren’t even major league players; a career minor leaguer starting in the playoffs. What hitting coach in the history of baseball could get this team to hit.

  74. 74
    Weldon Says:

    I still don’t see why TP would tell McCann to swing at a breaking ball in the dirt or get under a fastball down the middle, but hell, what do I know?

  75. 75
    sansho1 Says:

    Conrad was probably so happy he didn’t eff the play up that he had no idea whether the guy was buster.

    I have to admit, I’m in “just happy to be here” mode with this team. Actually, since I have tickets to games 3 and 4, I’m in “just win one and I’m happy” mode.

    (Oh, and kudos to #45 and 50.)

  76. 76
    Charles Strickland Says:

    My question is why did Heyward not bunt Infante to third in the first inning? Lincecum, on the road, chance to get an early run, playoffs, we can’t score runs. Don’t say because it’s Heyward at the plate, maybe he should not be in the two hole. It’s Bobby, this is the crap he does. Not being aware of the situation. On the good Bobby. I think he brought out all relievers to get them a taste of the action, get their feet wet. I think it will help us tonight and Sunday, we’ll see.

  77. 77
    AA Says:

    @20 Rookie of the Year voting and all other award voting had to have votes submitted by the final day of the regular season. So not even an umpire’s aid can boost his chances.

    I’m more upset with Infante whiffing on the grounder and Bobby’s call for an IBB than I am with the missed SB call. Panda’s been awful and he’s slow. Why are we walking him again? UGH.

  78. 78
    Bethany Says:

    If someone wants something more pleasant to think about… I wanted to diagram out some of the most famous moments in sports in scorecard form. I find it interesting because you’re distilling such an emotional moment into lines and shorthand.

    If you have a favorite play or series of events, please share and I think if I know the day and year, I can find the full breakdown online, then make a scorecard from it.

    Sid’s slide has to be the first thing done, and I’d like to do things like the 7 run 9th inning this year against the Reds as well.

  79. 79
    DowneasterJC Says:

    @69

    Doesn’t McCann, like Chipper, receive outside help with his hitting from his dad?

    The fact is, kids, that with a few exceptions (and those few exceptions usually being Chipper and McCann, kids)this team has had a problem with its offense for a few years. Prado came through this year, but is that enough to offset everyone else who has a good year offensively only to be traded to Atlanta and suddenly not be able to hit a beach ball, kids? Kids, Rick Ankiel and Brooks Conrad can’t be counted on to be competent Major League hitters, but when the entire offense struggles for multiple years barring hot streaks from one player or another carrying the team, there’s a non-zero chance that it’s a systematic problem, kids.

    BTW, I’m not being belligerent kids. I’m just kids being kids logical and reasonable.

  80. 80
    justhank Says:

    Derek Lee needs to start his swing about now to catch up with a fastball. Good grief, Fregosi.

    Kelly Johnson sure would look good out at 2B for us tonight.

  81. 81
    Dan Says:

    Lincecum didn’t look good at all. If it was the Phillies he would’ve been out of there around the fourth or fifth inning.

  82. 82
    csg Says:

    Kelly Johnson would look good at 2B, 3B, SS, LF, and CF every night for this team

    the braves got their shot at lincecum in the first. Heyward didnt get the runner over and LEE and BMAC both swung at ball 4. Quit blaming the ump for a missed call.

  83. 83
    Tony Says:

    KJ in the outfield would look HALL OF FAME caliber compared to what we have now. If Prado, his new name is Prada until he proves he is durable, could have stayed healthy we wouldn’t need KJ in the infield.

    Dan,

    I totally agree. The Braves’ offense is just pitiful right now. They are fortunate Charlie Manual didn’t let Cole Hammels pitch longer than he did on Sunday.

  84. 84
    MikeM Says:

    @64

    What I blame Terry Pendleton for is failing to make ANY of the braves hitters better, regardless of whether they were all-stars or scrubs to begin with.

    Should Terry be expected to sprinkle magic duct on Ankiel and Conrad and turn them into Bonds and Pujols? Of course not.

    Should Terry be expected to help every player on the team improve as hitters? Yes.

    If you watched the Yankee game yesterday you heard the story of how hitting coach Kevin Long took Curtis Granderson for a few days, helped him with mechanics, approach and confidence and helped turn his season around. This is what to expect out of a good hitting coach.

    I do not remember one story in the last 5 years about how Terry helped any of the Braves hitters in a similar fashion.

    Yes, a lot has to do with the talent he has to work with, but even the worst hitter will show improvement with proper coaching. I think a lot of folks around here fall into the rut of viewing the hitting coach as an overpaid cheerleader instead of an important part of the team.

    I miss Don Baylor.

  85. 85
    A.West Says:

    I didn’t enjoy seeing Heyward strike out on ball 5 in his last at bat, knowing that the ump had miscalled a pitch at least 4 inches outside earlier in the at bat.

    I saw a lot of batters taking changeups left up and hittable in the zone. Those are the sort of pitches that good hitters are supposed to take advantage of.

  86. 86
    sansho1 Says:

    @83

    Infante, Heyward, Prado, Chipper, McCann, Ross, Conrad, Diaz, LaRoche, and Betemit have all had individual years in the last five that counted as pleasant surprises compared to what we expected heading into that year.

  87. 87
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    What I blame Terry Pendleton for is failing to make ANY of the braves hitters better, regardless of whether they were all-stars or scrubs to begin with.

    From a fan of a team that’s seen both Martin Prado and Omar Infante go from fungible replacement middle infielders to All-Star calibre hitters in consecutive years, this statement is f*cking absurd.

    Jason Heyward is 20. Derek Lee is 40. Brian McCann is tired. All three were trying to do too much because they knew they had no help past the cleanup spot in the lineup. All of this against the two-time, reignin CYA winner and league leader in strikeouts three years running, and you lot want to run the hitting coach up the flagpole by his dainty bits? Absolutely f*cking absurd.

  88. 88
    Dan Says:

    I hope Wren addresses the offense in the offseason instead of just assuming Prado and Chipper Jones will be back and everything will be just fine.

  89. 89
    DowneasterJC Says:

    Yeah Sam. We all hate TP just because of last night’s game against a Tim Lincecum who only pitched like Tim Lincecum because he was facing the Braves.

    F*cking absurd, kids.

  90. 90
    Bethany Says:

    I will be very curious to see if Lowe can continue the success he’s had of late into next season. It seems McDowell has knocked some sense into him ever since Lowe visited him before that start against the Nationals.

    An example of a coach who’s actually good at his job.

  91. 91
    DougM66 Says:

    For whatever reason–probably because every hitter believes that he has to compensate for the performances of all the other hitters and win the game by himself on each at bat–the plate discipline that marked this team in the first half of the season is totally lacking now. If three of Lincecum’s 14 Ks were on pitches that would be called third strikes I’d be surprized. Does the hitting coach notice that?

    It was clear early in the game that the Giants’ starter had no control. Yet, the Braves continually swung and miss at pitches that were grossly high or in the dirt. Hitters can adjust their approaches during the game, can’t they? But, in yesterday’s game they didn’t do so. (Forget the umpire’s blown call. Eventually the Giants would have scored a run. We sure can’t say the same for the Braves offense of last night.)

    A couple of key hits and some walks tonight and we’re back in the series. Hanson is at least the equal of Matt Cain and the Giants’ offense is not a whole lot more potent that the Braves’. If they go to Atlanta one-up, with a well rested Hudson for game three, there’s a real shot of winning this thing.

  92. 92
    ryan c Says:

    just my opinion:
    with a team that is having such a difficult time scoring runs, jason heyward at the #2 spot is stupid. it looks like it’s going to take small ball to get this team going again. we need a situational hitter in the 2 hole (or at least a person that bobby can call on to bunt and not feel bad about it). making heyward, lee, and mccann move back a spot for someone such as conrad, mclouth or (swallow hard) aag might be a necessity. i’d love to see this lineup tonight:

    infante
    mclouth
    heyward
    bmac
    dlee
    hinske
    conrad
    aag

  93. 93
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    What happened last night? Braves hitters were pressing. It’s the first time they’ve been to the playoffs in five years, and some of the players even admitted they were pressing at the end of the year to try to get Bobby to the playoffs. Well, now, they’re there, and I think you can see that they didn’t have a whole lot left. They played like nervous rookies, instead of veterans, giving away at-bats and playing shoddy defense.

    Unfortunately, down one game to nothing, it won’t be easy for them to relax and approach the plate the way they did for most of the year: let the ball come to them and take a walk if the pitcher’s offering.

    That’s not Terry’s fault. It’s the fault of the guys who actually play the field. It’s not like he’s teaching them to hack at terrible pitches — the team led the league in walks. It’s the fault of the guys on the field. Yes, we do have the worst offense in the playoffs. Now we just gotta hope we can score a couple tonight and make them hold up.

  94. 94
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Was Lincecum really that bad? I find that a little hard to believe. Would he have shut out the Phillies? Maybe not, but this isn’t the Phillies. I mean, give the guy some credit. Sometimes being wild is an advantage for a pitcher. It’s not as if they were shut out by Andrew Miller.

  95. 95
    MikeM Says:

    Sam,

    For sure Infante and Prado have made strides, though I think playing time had the most to do with Prado. But can you offer me any evidence that attributes either of their recent successes to TP? But you often see articles similar to the Long/Granderson one I referenced where a hiitig coach is lauded for helping hitters. I remember more than a few when Don Baylor was given credit during Chipper’s MVP campaign. I have not seen any articles or quotes where braves hitters credit TP for their success. They may exist and I may have missed them adn would certainly be interested to see any.

    And the fact that Lincecum is a fantastic pitcher does not refute my statement that it appeared to me that the Braves hitters had a poor approach and gameplan for facing him last night.

  96. 96
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Baseball players hope for meeting with umpires, MLB – ESPN.

    It would be the first union meeting where one side’s reps were ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

  97. 97
    Stu Says:

    After sleeping on last night’s loss, I feel even worse about it. How does a professional umpire miss that call? How does Brooks Conrad not argue it? WHY IN THE WORLD DID BOBBY WALK SOMEONE TO GET TO CODY ROSS?

    I’m not really mad about the defense. It’s terrible, but we don’t have another choice. The umpiring and the managing — I expect better.

    Let’s get ‘em tonight.

  98. 98
    RobBroad4th Says:

    A lot of overreacting today, sheesh.

    McCann hit a double and just got under a pitch that he almost drove out of the park. And he technically threw out two runners at second. Against Lincecum, that’s a pretty damn good game.

    I seem to remember TP adjusting Andruw’s stance the year he hit 51 homers. When Andruw started sucking in 2007, I also remember talk of him ignoring TP’s advice.

    And Sam has a pretty solid point. If I flew back in time to 2008 and told this blog that Omar Infante and Martin Prado would be in the top ten in hitting and NL All Stars, I would have been laughed off the Journal.

  99. 99
    sdp Says:

    So if we blame TP for sucking against Lincecum, do we also credit him for the offense that was sufficient to win 91 games this year?

  100. 100
    stupup74 Says:

    I’m sure a meeting with the players and umpires will do alot of good. Yeah right, unless the union is broken again and replay is implemented those bad umps will continue to suck and kill the sport because they are worthless sorry good for nothing pieces of garbage.

  101. 101
    sansho1 Says:

    I defend TP only to the point that I would defend any hitting coach — that is, it’s notoriously difficult to isolate the variable of hitting coach impact from other more determinative variables like payroll and ballpark, and individual factors like nagging injury, hitting predispositions, or personal willpower/stubbornness. Hell, for all I know it might all be TP’s fault.

  102. 102
    JoeyT Says:

    @95, that’s a pretty funny line.

  103. 103
    mraver Says:

    Ya. As frustrating as last night’s game was, the one tonight is more important at this point. Remeber, this team was bad on the road the whole year. So if we can get back to Atlanta with a tied series, there’s a decent chance we don’t have to come back to SF.

  104. 104
    Dusty Says:

    I’m probably guilty of trying to put too much blame on TP for the hitting woes, but I do think there is something to the point that he doesn’t seem to be actually helping anyone (of course how much can we know about what really happens behind the scenes). When Nate started heating up, wasn’t it work with Chipper that he credited for the turn around?

  105. 105
    BFedRec Says:

    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/keeping-score-was-lincecums-gem-more-brilliant-than-halladays/?src=twt&twt=nytimes

    OK… guy is trying to say The Freak’s 2 hitter with more Ks was more impressive than The Doc’s no-hitter… totally ignoring the fact that the Reds have more then 2-3 guys who know which end of the bat to hold right now. Sheesh.

  106. 106
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    For sure Infante and Prado have made strides, though I think playing time had the most to do with Prado. But can you offer me any evidence that attributes either of their recent successes to TP?

    I don’t think you can argue that Prado hasn’t improved as a hitter under Pendleton’s instruction. He’s clearly a much better hitter now than at any point in his minor league career. All of that improvement came with TP as his hitting coach.

    Same goes for Omar Infante, who has hit a LOT better with TP as his hitting coach than his previously established baseline.

    Now, you could theorize that that’s not TP’s doing. Maybe the Hispanic guys go to Chino Cadahia for hitting advice and he’s a superstar hitting coach without the title. Or maybe they’re just all getting together with Chipper and he’s teaching them the Secret Tao of Not Sucking. Anything could be happening in that clubhouse, ya know? Anything, including the possibility that part of those two players’ major turn arounds at the plate was working with Terry Pendleton, the team’s hitting coach.

    I’m not looking to give TP 100% credit for turning backup middle-infielders to All Stars and batting title contenders. I think that’s as silly as blaming him for a slumping offense late in a very hard, drawn out season. What I take issue with is the tendency of some folks here to selectively blame Pendleton for bad outcomes while ignoring completely good outcomes. They’re not looking at the full data set and drawing rational conclusions. They’re looking for evidence that “Terry Pendleton sucks” and cherry picking examples that support their pre-existing bias. So a 20-year old struggling late in his first 162+ game season, or a recently acquired 38 year old former All Star 3B striking out against the reigning CYA winner is “evidence” that Pendleton is horrible, while the utterly fantastic blossoming of TWO otherwise fungible players into All Stars is ignored.

    I have little patience for that sort of searching for bias confirmation, personally.

    I don’t think the lack of “Terry Pendleton turned my swing around” articles is meaningful at all. I think it means there’s not a big push to promote TP’s job performance to the media in Atlanta.

  107. 107
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    OK… guy is trying to say The Freak’s 2 hitter with more Ks was more impressive than The Doc’s no-hitter… totally ignoring the fact that the Reds have more then 2-3 guys who know which end of the bat to hold right now. Sheesh.

    Yeah. The guy goes into some first-order analysis, but in completely failing to account for the relative strengths of the lineups faced by the two pitchers, he doesn’t come up with a useful conclusion.

  108. 108
    MikeM Says:

    sansho & Dusty – Well put. I think you did a better job of making the point than I did.

    It is never 100% “on” the hitting coach. Not in one game vs a Cy Young winner and certainly not over a 162 game season (although I will argue, Sam, that the 91 wins had much more to do with excellent pitching than with a “sufficient” offense).

    Without being able to break out hitting coach effect, I look for hints and quotes. As best I can tell, the two best hitters over the last few years, McCann and Chipper, rely more on their fathers than on TP.

  109. 109
    Robert Says:

    Conrad was probably so happy he didn’t eff the play up that he had no idea whether the guy was buster.

    This is my take as well. Conrad getting over there, catching the ball and getting some kind of tag down was a miracle. Really, umpires rarely call guys out on a tag that high. I’m not too worked up about it. We were out of the inning if Omar just fields the ball hit to him.

  110. 110
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Because having your best hitter bunt is stupid.

  111. 111
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Coldplay perfectly described.

  112. 112
    kc Says:

    When was the last time we won a Game 1?

  113. 113
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @111, Genius.

  114. 114
    Robert Says:

    The DS in 2001 against the Astros. In these short series, losing Game 1 is the kiss of death.

    It cracks me up to see the losing pitcher in that Astros game listed as Michael Jackson. Wasn’t he called Mike Jackson for his whole career?

    Edit: And it looks like Javy was hurt for that series so Bako started and the backup was someone named Steve Torrealba. I swear I don’t remember that guy at all. Sounds made up.

  115. 115
    Mac Thomason Says:

    About 5,240,000 results

    via About 5,240,000 results.

  116. 116
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Mac, that Twitter feed is genius.

    I think the essential feature of Steve Torrealba is his forgettability. He might, in fact, be the most forgettable backup catcher we’ve ever employed.

  117. 117
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Forget winning the first game. How many innings has it been since the Braves even scored in post-season–at least 18.

  118. 118
    Tony Says:

    I agree with Infante, Heyward, Lee and McCann pressing. I just hope Heyward is not trying to keep up with Posey, for that matter,I hope McCann isn’t either. After all he is a rookie catcher from Georgia, hitting in the clean-up spot. And let’s face it, he’s damn good.

  119. 119
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    He’s also well rested from half a year as a man amoung boys in AAA.

  120. 120
    CourtneyC Says:

    Lighten up, guys. It’s just game one. If we can squeak out a win tonight with Hanson on the mound, we go home tied. We are a different team at home, for some reason. Then, if we win at home, all we have to do is hope Halladay, Oswalt, and Hammels all get in a car accident and we’re in the World Series! Remeber, the NL has home-field advantage this year, thanks to Brian McCann’s heroics.

  121. 121
    RobBroad4th Says:

    9:30 baseball after a tough loss is torturous. :)

  122. 122
    Dusty Says:

    The last run we scored in postseason was a lead-off HR by McCann in the 8th inning of the Game 4 with Houston in 2005. So since then according to B-Ref we have, in our last 20 post season innings, zero runs, 6 hits (4 of which were doubles at least) and 28 Ks.

  123. 123
    Adam M Says:

    Chin up, I’m sure everything will go perfectly smoothly tonight against Cain.

  124. 124
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @122,

    Then we are certainly due to break out tonight! Just as the Twins will surely beat the Yankees this time . . .uh, never mind.

  125. 125
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    From a job application cover letter sent by Hunter S. Thompson to the editor of the Vancouver Sun:

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. If this is what you’re trying to get The Sun away from, then I think I’d like to work for you.

    Most of my experience has been in sports writing, but I can write everything from warmongering propaganda to learned book reviews.

    I can work 25 hours a day if necessary, live on any reasonable salary, and don’t give a black damn for job security, office politics, or adverse public relations.

    I would rather be on the dole than work for a paper I was ashamed of.

    It’s a long way from here to British Columbia, but I think I’d enjoy the trip.

    If you think you can use me, drop me a line.

    If not, good luck anyway.

    Sincerely, Hunter S. Thompson

  126. 126
    Kevin Lee Says:

    @125
    “When the going gets weird; the weird eat Cheetos.”
    Melky Cabrera

  127. 127
    BFedRec Says:

    DOB isn’t doing much for my optimism (not that I was pinning my hopes on Troy or anything… just more ungood news):
    @ajcbraves: Those asking about #Braves’ Glaus: He’s 13-for-80 (.163) with 1 HR at AT&T Park, and he’s 1-for-10 against tonight’s #Giants starter Cain

  128. 128
    Adam R Says:

    And most of that, presumably, was from when he had mobility.

  129. 129
    Tony Says:

    C’mon Ankiel and Glaus, I’m sure you have some PEDs leftover. USE THEM!!!

  130. 130
    Nick Says:

    Not that it’s particularly likely, but if we win tonight, last night’s loss really doesn’t even matter. All we have to do to give ourselves an excellent chance to win this series is win one of the first two (that is, win tonight). Losing Game 1 at home is the kiss of death, but as long as you win Game 2, losing Game 1 on the road isn’t that bad, I don’t think. It means we would have to win two-of-three with two home games.

    The call last night was terrible, but I find it difficult to get worked up about it when we couldn’t score a run. Since they hadn’t gone into their bullpen yet and we had already used most of our useful pitchers, it wouldn’t have been long before there was an inning where we were facing Javier Lopez or Santiago Casilla and the Giants would’ve been facing Kyle Farnsworth. It wasn’t setting up to work out for us anyway.

  131. 131
    Mark Graybill Says:

    God, it would be nice for the Braves to jump out to a nice little 3-0 or 4-0 lead tonight. That would relax everybody. Probably not going to happen though . . .

    I want the Braves to win, obviously, but mostly I think they’re just lucky to be in the playoffs with the injuries, the hackers who have taken the place of the injured, and the shoddy defense.

  132. 132
    justhank Says:

    Hunter S. Thompson – Kentucky fan.
    —————

    Who’s the better third baseman:

    Infante
    Hinske
    Conrad
    Melky

    Think I’d lean toward moving Infante back to 2B and putting Hinske at 3B. Brooks is clearly shook and we ain’t got time for that now.
    ————–

    I didn’t know Jimmy Buffet went to Auburn …

  133. 133
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @132,

    It’s like asking who’s the better president:

    Harding
    Coolidge
    Taylor
    Hayes

  134. 134
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Game thread is up.

  135. 135
    Tom O. Says:

    @133

    Funny.

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