Braves face Mets, but not Johan

 

   Welcome to Atlanta, the new rain-delay capital of the National League, where we’d be ecstatic to get one series in without significant rain delay.
  The good news is that with the New York Mets in town, the Braves might actually benefit from rain. Not rain here, but rain in Philly, where the Mets were rained out yesterday, which led to them changing their rotation.
  Instead of facing Livan Hernandez and ace Johan Santana in this two-game set (I don’t like calling a two-gamer a “series”), the Braves get to face John Maine and Livan. Santana’s pushed back a day.
  Then again, the last time the Braves got help from the rain in avoidance of an ace — Houston’s Roy Oswalt left after pitching just one inning before an extended delay on Saturday — it didn’t work out so well for the Braves.
  So we’ll see how they take advantage of this opportunity.

If Brian McCann and Garret Anderson are healthy, can Braves win the NL East?

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  But anyway, tonight they get Maine (1-2, 5.40 ERA), provided we get a game in. The daily threat of rain isn’t as great tonight as it has been most home games lately, only about 30 percent last I checked, so cross fingers and all that.

  Maine is 2-3 with a 5.17 ERA in six starts against the Braves, including 1-2 in three starts last season when he gave up 19 hits, 10 runs and nine walks in 13 innings against the Braves, lasting only four innings in two of those starts.

Not Johan or Livan

Not Johan or Livan

Then there’s Livan on Tuesday. Ohh, Livo. Braves have had, as you’re probably aware, almost inexplicable success against the portly right-hander through the years, beating him up in the regular season frequently after he went 3-0 against them in three games (two starts) as a Marlin in the postseason at the beginning of his career.

 Hernandez is 1-12 with a 6.50 ERA in his past 18 starts against the Braves since May 20, 2001. Against everyone else in that span, he’s 100-85 with a 4.27 ERA.

  On the other hand, Hernandez will face Kenshin Kawakami tomorrow, and the Braves’ Japanese import is 0-3 with an 8.04 ERA in his past three starts.

 

  ♣ Chipper’s situation: He isn’t getting many pitches to hit without a big threat behind him, and Chipper Jones’ recent results are showing it.
  Jones is 3-for-17 with, nine walks, no extra-base hits and no RBI in his past six games.
  And get this: Jones doesn’t have an extra-base hit at Turner Field this season. That’s right. No extra-base hits at home.
  He is 7-for-33 (.212) with seven singles, three RBI and 11 walks in 10 home games, with a .409 OBP and a .212 slugging percentage.
  He probably couldn’t have picked a better time to face the team he’s thrived against so often over the years, and a couple of pitchers he’s handled. Jones is 5-for-9 with a homer against Maine, and 22-for-57 (.386) with 15 RBI and 11 walks (.465 OBP) against Livan.
  One other odd stat: Jones has just one homer and three strikeouts in 57 at-bats against Livan.

  ♣ Schafer’s strikeouts: There are some here on the ol’ Braves/MBI blog who don’t seem to think that rookie center fielder Jordan Schafer’s strikeouts are worth mentioning, that we should only talk about his excellent .400 OBP (and it is excellent, let’s be clear).
  So you might want to skip the rest of this note, because we’re going to say something about his strikeouts. Go ahead, skip ahead…. You gone now? OK, here we go: Schafer leads the National League with 30 strikeouts in 77 at-bats.
  That includes 21 strikeouts in 47 at-bats against right-handers, though e also has 13 walks and 12 hits (.255 avg., .417 OBP) against righties.
  The problem with strikeouts is, of course, that there are certain situations where it’s important to put the ball in play.
  With nobody on base, Schafer has been outstanding. He’s hit .357 (15-for-42) with four doubles, a homer, 10 walks, 14 strikeouts, a .481 OBP and .524 slugging. That’s a stellar 1.005 OPS for the rook.
  But with runners on base, he has hit .143 (5-for-35) with eight walks and 16 strikeouts, a .302 OBP and .286 slugging percentage. That’s 16 strikeouts in 35 at-bats with runners on.
  And with runners in scoring position, he’s 2-for-18 with six walks and eight strikeouts.
  As Chipper pointed out after Schafer’s second consecutive three-strikeout game Sunday, “Guys up here, they’re not stupid. They know how to scout hitters, and they have found his hole. His hole is just above the hands, middle up, and he’s having a hard time catching up to it. Until he shortens up and puts the ball in play more consistently, he’s going to continue to struggle.”

Yrrr out

Yrrr out

   In two-strike counts, Schafer is 6-for-48 (.125) with 30 strikeouts.
  Just to reiterate, we think Schafer’s got tremendous talent, and he’s going to be a solid player for a long time. But anyone who thinks that a guy with 30 strikeouts in 77 at-bats should be leading off or batting second, as those who insist here that Schafer should be … well, I don’t know what else to tell you.
  By the way, for whatever reason, probably just a small sample size this early, Schafer has hit .212 in nine day games, with 18 strikeouts and four walks in 33 at-bats.
  Oh, one other thing: Schafer’s giving Cody Johnson a run for the organizational strikeout lead. Big Cody (and he’s huge) has 35 strikeouts in 85 at-bats at High-A Myrtle Beach, where he’s hitting .247 with a whopping nine homers – nearly half of the team’s total fo 21 homers.
   Johnson has a .333 OBP (11 walks) and .624 slugging percentage.

 

  ♣ Not cleaning up: How badly do the Braves need Brian McCann (or even Garret Anderson) to come off the DL and reenergize the cleanup spot? Well, ask Chipper. Or just consider these stats.
  McCann had seven RBI and five extra-base hits in 40 cleanup at-bats, even though he hit only .200 before he went on the DL with his vision problem. Anderson went 3-for-5 with three doubles and an RBI in the cleanup spot.
  But four others have combined for 42 at-bats in the cleanup spot for the Braves, and they have a total of five extra-base hits and five RBI. And Jeff Francoeur has four of those five RBI (he’s 3-for-8 with a homer at cleanup).
  Casey Kotchman has 31 cleanup at-bats and no RBI.
  They just posted today’s lineup, and Kotchman’s batting cleanup and Kelly Johnson leading off. Brandon Jones is in left field hitting seventh, Schafer hitting eighth.
   Did I mention that Kelly is 14-for-64 (.219) with a .296 OBP in the leadoff role? Of course, if Infante’s not in the lineup, then there aren’t a whole lot of other options, since Bobby Cox obviously doesn’t want to bat Yunel Escobar in the leadoff spot this season, for whatever reason (probably because of the rest of the lineup’s composition; he feels he needs him in the 2-hole).
   Infante is 13-for-29 (.448) with a .515 OBP in the leadoff role.

  ♣ OK, we’re outta time. Running late today after clearing fallen limbs from my hard this morning and attending the Braves’ 400 Fan Club luncheon. So we’ll just close with a tune and head down to the clubhouse.

  Billy Joe Shaver had to cancel his Wednesday show at Eddie’s Attic. Something about him being in a movie or something out in California. Don’t know if I’ve used these lyrics, from Waylon Jennings‘ seminal album Honky Tonk Heroes, but they’re worth using again if I have. And here’s a great video of Shaver telling a colorful (to say the least) story of life on the road with Waylon.

“BLACK ROSE” by Billy Joe Shaver

Way down in Virginia
Amongst the tall grown sugar canes
Lived a simple man and a dominiker hen
And a rose of a different name.

Well, the first time I felt lightning
I was standing in the drizzling rain
With a trembling hand and a bottle of gin
And a rose of a different name.

Well, the devil made me do it the first time
The second time I done it on my own
Lord, put a handle on a simple headed man
And help me leave that black rose alone.

When the devil made that woman
Lord, she threw the pattern away
She was built for speed with the tools you need
To make a new fool every day.

Way down deep and dirty
On the darker side of shame
I caught a cane cuttin’ man with a bottle of gin
With a rose of a different name.

The devil made me do it the first time
The second time I done it on my own
Lord, put a handle on a simple headed man
Help me leave that black rose alone.

The devil made me do it the first time
The second time I done it on my own
Lord, put a handle on a simple headed man
Help me leave that black rose alone.

1,613 comments Add your comment

McFann Ô

May 4th, 2009
3:43 pm

McFann Ô

May 4th, 2009
3:44 pm

Oh yeah…totally… :cool:

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief!

LuisG

May 4th, 2009
3:45 pm

dogsbrekky

May 4th, 2009
3:48 pm

Billy Joe Shaver (almost put Schafer) – now that dude rocks, can he bat clean up for us ?

SCHAFER – Dobi One Knobi – maybe we should bat the kid at NOS 1, where he will get a LOT OF BATS where he just needs to get on (cut down on the Ks and work those walks), the his swing will improve in those inside cutter situations… currently he is getting pounded mid-high/IN which exploits his weakness (with a pitcher behind him he has to be more aggressive than he otherwise would be, yes/no ?)…

Anyway, if he has a 400 OBP at years end and an 800 OPS we will be very very happy, even if there is 180 Ks in between

mbatl

May 4th, 2009
3:48 pm

Still don’t like Chipper running thru Schafer’s weakness to the press. I have NO doubt that the opposition would figure it out, but just unseemly to give away the scouting report on your own players to the press. (no problem with the press reporting it, btw, just with Chipper saying it).

Darlington

May 4th, 2009
3:49 pm

Could be Chipper’s way of saying that change is necessary and trying to make it happen, but I see your point…

Piedmont Blues (formerly BravesFan InRockies)

May 4th, 2009
3:50 pm

“With nobody on base, Schafer has been outstanding. He’s hit .357 (15-for-42) with four doubles, a homer, 10 walks, 14 strikeouts, a .481 OBP and .524 slugging. That’s a stellar 1.005 OPS for the rook.”

So why shouldn’the be leading off? At least he’ll have one plate appearance a game where he’ll get to show his stuff.

flange1

May 4th, 2009
3:51 pm

mbatl,

I agree, why air dirty laundry in the press? Chipper is getting good at that!!

Macon Braves (RIP)

May 4th, 2009
3:53 pm

A double play machine in the 2 hole and a “clean up hitter” with no RBI’s in the clean up spot. Oh brother……. :-(

Tomahawkin

May 4th, 2009
3:54 pm

KJ Leading off, Kotchman Clean-up, Schafer hitting 8th…EQUALS A loss

WTF is Bobby Thinking…?

I don’t know about most on here but I’d give B. Jones a shot at leading off. If it works good move if not he can’t be worse that what we’ve been doing…

Then again KJ Leading off against the mets might be a good thing. As I recall KJ has hit the mets well throughout the coarse of his career…

The Mets will Pitch around Chipper all series, “Bank on it!” Someone needs to step up

No X-tra base hits for “Hoss” at home…That doesn’t suprise me Teams are not gonna give him much to hit with B-Macc and GA out…

Until we get a homer threat or a hot hitter in the #4 slot (When B-Macc isn’t playing) every team we face will have the addage of not giving the chance to let Chipper beat them…

DAP

May 4th, 2009
3:55 pm

it would make me very happy to absolutley destroy maine tonight, knock him out of the game in 3 innings and deepen the mets’ fans depression about thier miserable rotation….(lets do it tomorrow, too)

i still hate the mets worst.

Macon Braves (RIP)

May 4th, 2009
3:55 pm

Maybe they should swap DP Machine and Krotchman in the lineup, at least then we’d have a real “clean up” guy in the 4 hole (according to MFin04’s #2 definition of a clean up hitter)

dogsbrekky

May 4th, 2009
3:55 pm

Chipper may be voicing some tough love that Bobby is trying in private to get through to the kid……. give Kotchie a break, he will be okay by year’s end

Macon Braves (RIP)

May 4th, 2009
3:56 pm

DAP– I hate the Mutts the worst also. Only time I am forced to root for the Phillies is when they play the Mutts. Just like Boston and Yanks in the AL, I root for Boston only when they play the Yanks.

Tomahawk210

May 4th, 2009
3:57 pm

Yeah it’s all Schafer’s fault this team can’t hit and has no desire or care to win. Oh well we lost again, who cares we’ve been doing it for a few years now the fans should be used to it. Maybe instead of calling people out some of these guys should look in the mirror and call themselves out. Didn’t Chipper’s error Saturday lead to 3 runs?

mets09WSchamps

May 4th, 2009
3:59 pm

We are going to spank your miserable team. Can’t beat the Astros and you think you’re gonna beat the Mets. Yeah, good luck with that. Your team will make Hernandez and Maine look like CY Young winners! It will be a slaughter for the Braves.

Willy Wally

May 4th, 2009
4:00 pm

Still don’t like Chipper running thru Schafer’s weakness to the press. I have NO doubt that the opposition would figure it out, but just unseemly to give away the scouting report on your own players to the press. (no problem with the press reporting it, btw, just with Chipper saying it). (MBATL)

Yeah, getting really tired of Chipper running his mouth. I also didn’t appreciate him crying about being charged with an error the other day. Yeah, he took the blame for blowing the game with one error, but to then go bellyaching and forcing scoring changes because you get charged with another error in a game you blew, even if an arguably underserved error, is just all kinds of selfish and stupid statistical yuck to me. It’s like Oswald saying yeah, yeah, yeah, I did Kennedy, but Officer Tippit?, how dare you charge that one to me, or OJ going yeah I did Nicole, but Goldman?, you’ve got some nerve pinning Goldman on me.

weso1

May 4th, 2009
4:00 pm

Actually for a guy with a high OBP and lots of K’s I would think the leadoff position would be perfect. At leadoff you really don’t need to drive runners in or move runners over most of the time. The goal for the leadoff guy is to get on base. And Schafer is doing that very well. Plus he could steal 2nd before Escobar has a chance to hit into the inevitable double play.

The 8th spot in the order is the worst place to bat Schafer, imo. With the pitcher hitting behind him you aren’t able to take advantage of his dynamic speed and aggressiveness. Instead Schafer has to be conservative, especially with 2 outs. For an anemic offense it doesn’t make sense to not take advantage of Schafer’s speed.

McFann Ô

May 4th, 2009
4:02 pm

Macon Braves Only time I am forced to root for the Phillies is when they play the Mutts.

I’m sorta the opposite…can’t stand to see the Fillies win no matter who they play. I despise the Fillies with every fiber of my baseball-being!

But I don’t like to see the Mets win, either–so when they play each other I couldn’t care less. Course, if one is way ahead of us and the other is way behind us, then I might choose sides…

Andy K.

May 4th, 2009
4:03 pm

Tomahawk210 Chipper did call himself out on those errors. But clearly you didn’t read the previous blogs. He manned-up and said his play was completely un-acceptable, and disgusting…do some HW before you start bashing.

rich brave

May 4th, 2009
4:03 pm

How about some thoughts on the upcoming draft. I for one am looking forward to seeing the picks in person in DANVILLE later in the year. We have the seventh and a comp sandwich between the first and second rounds NO? So what should we go for? Have to assume the practically major league ready lefty phenom is gone. Do we go for the best available righty? Or the next superstar third baseman? How about another catcher or second baseman? Outfielder anyone?

brad

May 4th, 2009
4:05 pm

jordan is getting those walks because there is a pitcher behind him usually. if he batted in a different slot, he wouldn’t walk as much.

Aja

May 4th, 2009
4:05 pm

This team under any line-up scenario you come with for 9 players is not a team that is going to make the playoffs or contend. KJ will hit for a week and then stink for 2 weeks and he plays ‘hold your breath’ defense. Kotchman at cleanup slot? More like the custodian spot. Where’s the power going to magically come from? Surely, not from the traditional power positions of LF/CF/RF or 1B. The only thing this team can do is bring in some outside help. No mix or match of the current 13 positions players is going to get it done.

Wayne in Utah

May 4th, 2009
4:06 pm

Doc

Are you forgetting the number of games we have played without McCann and GAnderson? Let’s get a full compliment of players, then let them play for a couple of weeks, and then evaluate our offense.

You know, everbody was throwing the bullpen under the bus after the second week. Now, as somebody stated earlier, their are on a streak where they have averaged around 2 ER per 9 innings.

Like I stated last night, the season is full of wild swings, both good and bad.

StingerSplash

May 4th, 2009
4:06 pm

I think Chipper’s already gone to Schafer to say, “Look, kid, they found the hole in your swing, so you better figure something out or they’re going to keep throwing it there” before he said anything about it to DOB or anyone else in the press.

Willy Wally

May 4th, 2009
4:06 pm

Actually for a guy with a high OBP and lots of K’s I would think the leadoff position would be perfect. At leadoff you really don’t need to drive runners in or move runners over most of the time. The goal for the leadoff guy is to get on base. And Schafer is doing that very well. The 8th spot in the order is the worst place to bat Schafer, imo. (WESO1)

You of course are making a very common mistake of ignoring that his OBP and walk totals are terribly inflated beyond his actual on base skill level because he bats 8th and is enough of a threat with the bat at 8th that they’ll just nibble and let him get on base and force the pitcher batting ninth to make the final out

Andy K.

May 4th, 2009
4:06 pm

BradMaybe in part, but Schafer is primarily getting walks due to a good eye, not to mention he really works the count, and gets into 7-8 even 9+ pitch ABs…

Joe Fan

May 4th, 2009
4:07 pm

G. Anderson is not the answer. He seems to be a liability in the outfield, combined with what appears to be a poor attitude, maybe he just misses Cailfornia and that equals a bad investment. A healthy McCann will improve the offense no doubt. However, the Braves need more than McCann to get the offense jelling on all cylinders. Hopefully the answer will be found without trading away valuable pieces for a one year rent a player. Possibly the solution lies in the minors with Heyward and/or Freeman. They ceratinly can’t strike out any more than Schafer.

lexbrave

May 4th, 2009
4:08 pm

boy it should be nice to play well over the next 10 games, seeing as how they are all against the mets, fish and phillies.

mbatl

May 4th, 2009
4:09 pm

OT, relative to the previous blog discussion… pretty good “sabre-type” comment from Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington, saying that he expects the Pirates’ top-ranked pitching to drop off because they’ve been lucky to have an unrealistically low BABIP. Just for those interested.

Tomahawk210

May 4th, 2009
4:09 pm

Andy K.

Take it easy, don’t take out your anger on me bro. I know we are all mad about how this team is playing but taking it out on me isn’t going to help them. I was making a point that instead of calling out teamates how about looking in the mirror and start to lead by example? Chipper is getting paid big money not to talk but to play great baseball we all know he can and then if his teamates see that they might follow. If they read and hear him bashing them that sure as h e l l won’t help anything with this team. It’s simple Andy K. -TIME TO SHUT UP AND SHOW UP!

Wayne in Utah

May 4th, 2009
4:10 pm

Aja

Might I suggest that help will come from Brian McCann, and maybe even Garret Anderson?

Did ya ever think we might be a tad bit better with those guys at full strength.

Heck no, lets run out and trade for someone.

DOB

When’s the last time you have seen an impact player dealt in May? I can’t remember one in recent history? But then again, my memory sucks too!

Supes

May 4th, 2009
4:10 pm

I can’t imagine the reasoning Bobby Cox uses when he makes out the lineup card.

Kelly lead off again? Hasn’t it been proven that he hits better 6th or 7th in the order. I believe DOB gave us the numbers a while ago, Kelly hitting 7th, he puts up considerably better numbers.

Yunel needs to be taken out of that number 2 slot. Hits way too many ground balls to SS and 2B and he’s earning the nickname 6-4-3…which Jeff had last year.

DOB…The Chipper Jones “struggles” are the result of the overall lineup not hitting and missing B-Mac. Joe Simpson made the comment during the Cards series last week that they probably had their team meeting before the series, saw the “scary” Braves lineup and said…Chipper Jones is not going to beat us in a close game. Pitch around him. That they did and they won the series. I expect all teams (smart ones) to take that approach until the rest of the lineup wakes up and starts hitting and producing.

Casey Kotchman is not a cleanup hitter. The audio still resonades from a game against the “mighty” Washington Nats (where the Braves showed what futility at the dish looks like), from a drunken fan laughing at a “clean up hitter” with no HR and 4 RBI at the time (of that game). The no HR thing remains, and Casey has yet to hit an RBI from that slot. Again, more of Bobby’s genious of how not to construct a lineup.

Not sure if moving Schafer every other day is good or bad. I tend to lean on bad. A rookie player needs stability in a lineup. All of this moving around (after a bad game strike out wise) can’t help Schafer’s confidence. Yes, the strikeouts are alarming, but they are necessary growing pains. I believe the more he plays, he’ll get better and start putting the ball in play more, he’ll learn how to lay off certain pitches, but that comes with experience. Jordan doesn’t have it. It is what it is:)

I think if there is a team that brings out the “best” in the Braves, it’s the Mets. Let’s hope they get win the next 2 games and start playing good fundamental ball once again.

Tomorrow’s game will be huge. Kawakami needs to show something. Need a quality start out of him 6 innings at least, no more than 3 runs. Let’s see if he can step up. He got paid, now it’s time to start delivering. Learning “month” is over. It’s May. Team needs him to produce and not get smacked around by the long ball.

Bill M.

May 4th, 2009
4:11 pm

DOB– thanks for the song by Billy Joe Shaver. He’s one of my all time favorites.

BossLady

May 4th, 2009
4:11 pm

50-50 poll results, how can that be?

LuisG

May 4th, 2009
4:12 pm

If Bobby’s going to keep Prado and Infante out of the lineup on a regular basis, then I think Escobar should hit leadoff. He’s a .317 career hitter in that spot and a .378 OBP (.286 and .358 OBP batting 2nd). This should cut down his GIDP totals. Kotchman would hit next (not behind Chipper, for God’s sake!!!!!) and Francoeur 4th, until McCann comes back.

Let KJ bat 6th, Ross 7th and Schafer 8th (so Chipper’s exposing the rookie’s weakness? I don’t like it, tohugh, but that sends a message to other teams that the Braves are aware of this and Schafer’s working on it to try to get more quality at-bats in those situations).

I think our No. 9 hitters should get some better work done bunting the runners over. How many sacrifice hits out of the pitchers do we have so far?

David-ATL14

May 4th, 2009
4:12 pm

Solid tune DOB by a true wordsmith.

Interesting non baseball note Season 2 of Sons of Anarchy will now have Adam Arkin gumming up the works along with Henry Rollins, both coming from the neo-nazi angle.

Should be interesting to watch unfold. Highly reccomend to anyone that like quality ttv abd the blogmaster wil attest.

On to baseball, time for a nice 15 game streak of solid baseball yielding 10+ Wins.

Anders

May 4th, 2009
4:13 pm

This certainly doesn’t sound like a very confident blog today. Perhaps you can all rally around slinging arrows at me to get your blood flowing. I mean forget that the Mets are saving Santana for the big games later this week but they also won’t throw Ollie at the Braves. What more can they do to equalize this match up?

MFin04

May 4th, 2009
4:13 pm

This team really should still be winning some of these games without McCann and Anderson. I also don’t understand why you don’t play Infante and/or Prado…when they have contributed to our winsand runs lately.

braves wild card

May 4th, 2009
4:14 pm

the braves never going to hita ton of home runs.. we all know that. at least with brain Mc and garret anderson we will have (hopefully ) a few more hits per game. we been getting 7, 8, 11 hits per game, and we if hit a 3 run shot is great, but with 1 or 2 more singles per game in the clutch, with our pitching should be good enough.

Andy K.

May 4th, 2009
4:14 pm

Tomahawk210No one was bashing Schafer. Chipper was just talking about how he’s having a hard time adjusting, all rookies do. He was just saying that as vets they need to aid Schafer in the process…but from what I can tell he definitely wasn’t bashing….

Willy Wally

May 4th, 2009
4:15 pm

BradMaybe in part, but Schafer is primarily getting walks due to a good eye, not to mention he really works the count, and gets into 7-8 even 9+ pitch ABs… (ANDY K)

11 of his walks have come in 35 PAs with 2 outs. He only has 7 walks in his other 60 PAs. That’s still a good walk rate, but is more representative of his actual on base skill level than walking like crazy and overly infalting his OBP because there are two out, and an out making machine coming up next to make the final out.

TnBrian

May 4th, 2009
4:17 pm

Mets09WC, oh boy, you’re making us sweat! You’ll be gone like a fart in the wind when the series is over!

pinkygonzales

May 4th, 2009
4:17 pm

i wonder what kind of hitter could be acquired with a package of jo-jo, who has shown signs in the last couple of starts and really no future in the organization with since we have kawakami, lowe, jurrjens, vazquez and hanson (not to mention an option on hudson), gorkys hernandez and matty diaz? We need a thumper. Preferably a young, right-handed one. I still say Ludwick for the cardinals is the best bet, being that they are crowded in the outfield (diaz would be a bench player for them). Hell, I’d even throw in KJ, and they could throw in a reliever. But we need a bat. We’re one bat short right now.

Macon Braves (RIP)

May 4th, 2009
4:17 pm

Anders–What’s the word in Mutt land on your big Free Agent pitcher signing (resigning to be completely accurate) now being moved to the bullpen? Or are you buying the “my knee’s been bothering me” bull that the front office has tried putting out.

Run Heap Run

May 4th, 2009
4:18 pm

They just posted today’s lineup, and Kotchman’s batting cleanup and Kelly Johnson leading off.

UGH. WTF. I’m not even going to watch. Maybe.

[...] Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution writes, “(Chipper Jones) is 3-for-17 with, nine walks, no extra-base hits and no RBI in his past six games. And get this: Jones doesn’t have an extra-base hit at Turner Field this season.” [...]

mbatl

May 4th, 2009
4:19 pm

I never said Chipper was bashing. Just that he’s talking too much about things that need to be addressed internally. Absolutely no reason to talk to the press about the holes in Schafer’s swing.

If Chipper was having a problem chasing sliders below the knees, early in the count (which it seems to me he is), would he appreciate Bobby Cox coming out and saying to the press, “Geez, Chipper’s a great hitter but he’s just got this huge hole in his swing when they throw him early sliders down.”

I don’t think so.

dogsbrekky

May 4th, 2009
4:19 pm

Joe – Garrett has been injured and yet we hit him as a pinchie several times when it was clear he could barely walk properly…….. yet the man has a long term track record of hitting consistently for average and okay power………… give him a break for a few months and hopefully he will play at close to 100% health and then he can show what he is made of

Run Heap Run

May 4th, 2009
4:19 pm

Running late today after clearing fallen limbs from my hard

Heh. :lol:

Jack

May 4th, 2009
4:20 pm

I think the poll today did not ask an important question. It asks “could the Braves win the NL east if the bullpen were better”, should have asked “could the Braves will the NL east if they were to start hitting”. Our offense is awful, at the very least.

jtb

May 4th, 2009
4:20 pm

Does anyone find it strange that the Rangers have been using Andruw Jones as a DH, Lf and at first instead of letting him play center? Especially when their everyday center fielder is Marlon Byrd.

Choppinmama

May 4th, 2009
4:20 pm

From the last blog –

McFann: I’m going to the HOF luncheon, reserved a ticket as soon as I heard about the Maddux induction and sure would like to go to the game that night too. I always run into the problem that it’s too far to go back to Woodstock after the lunch, then drive back to Turner F for the game, it’s too hot to hang around the field for 3 or 4 hours before they open the gates, plus if I leave to go anywhere, I’d lose the free parking spot in the green lot! I guess there’s always the Bullpen. But, I’ll let you know and we can meet at the Spahn statue if you go to the game. I have some Braves loot to pass along, not to mention a couple of darling photos of 4-Eyes from spring training. They’re not digital, or I’d have already sent them to you. Long live Doggie.

Hey, DOB: maybe I could come and hang in the press box, do some proofreading, ghost writing or go-fering to pass those idle hours? It IS air conditioned up there after all. Did I ever tell you I sat in your very seat to gain your perspective on one of my many tours of TF? At least you can still see the whites of the player’s eyes from that vantage point. Aren’t some of the other boxes in other parks in the upper atmosphere?

Anders

May 4th, 2009
4:20 pm

Macon- The word is Perez might be facing Kawakami in a AAA game by this time next week.

dogsbrekky

May 4th, 2009
4:21 pm

Hello Anders – dude you need to read the NY papers……….. Ollie sucks and is a goner and Maine is a girl and on and on

plus did you hear that AROD didnt pay more than 20% TO SOME bint from Hooters…

seriously the Wilpons are biatches and are getting that bad karma for the appalling way they treated Willie…….. no way you make post season in ‘09

PS Wright aint doing so well under the media glare either

weso1

May 4th, 2009
4:22 pm

You of course are making a very common mistake of ignoring that his OBP and walk totals are terribly inflated beyond his actual on base skill level because he bats 8th and is enough of a threat with the bat at 8th that they’ll just nibble and let him get on base and force the pitcher batting ninth to make the final out. (Willy Wally).

I assume you are just wanting to be argumentative because I absolutely didn’t make that mistake whatsoever, and I’m not sure how you inferred that I made that mistake. Nowhere in my post did I mention anything about the validity of Schafer’s .400 OBP. Although I would point out that his isoOBP is higher when he’s hit 7th compared to when he’s hit in the 8th spot. So while Schafer may not put up a .400 OBP in the leadoff spot I think it’s still safe to say that he’s a pretty patient hitter… especially in our lineup.

Aja

May 4th, 2009
4:23 pm

Wayne in Utah

I hope when those guys reurn to full strength they will prove to be the right mix, but I have my doubts, and it is certainly not with McCann. I just don’t see how any combination of the starting 8 that we ideally would like to run out there (McCann & Garret), can get the job done. Granted I think we have run that ideal lineup out there only 3 times, but it is a light-hitting, no speed, poor base running bunch of players.

Seriously we might hit less HR’s in the OF this year than we did last year…and less HR’s at 1B with Tex gone. And with less SB’s than last year potentially.

Those are positions you gotta get power from, and if you don’t, pick it up somewhere else…and we don’t have that somewhere except for C with McCann – and he’s out.

Our staff is tremendous IMO but not good enough to keep us in it every night. I just feel some new blood is essential and hopefully imminent.

Wes

May 4th, 2009
4:24 pm

sure is a good thing the Braves didn’t want to take a risk with Ibanez………

Anders

May 4th, 2009
4:24 pm

dogsbrekky – sometimes you post like an adult and then other times like some of the 15 year olds on here. What gives with that? You 4:21 is embarassing.

Tommy

May 4th, 2009
4:26 pm

Some of you would be better off remaining quiet unless you know the entire story. Chipper does not blast teammates in the press. You don’t know what goes on in the clubhouse and you don’t know what he may have said to the youngster already. If he’s given suggestions and has been blown off or ignored, who knows? It IS a major problem not just for him but the entire team. Their fundamentals are terrible, they cannot move runners along, and no one gives Chipper protection so he can see a decent pitch. Other managers are not stupid either, and they are not going to let Chipper beat them when there is no one behind him.

Eware

May 4th, 2009
4:26 pm

Great song, DOB. It’s definitely my favorite Waylon album too. So many good songs on there. I love when the pedal steel guitar comes in on “Honky Tonk Heroes.”

Macon Braves (RIP)

May 4th, 2009
4:27 pm

Anders–I don’t think there’s room for Kawakami at Gwinnett, that rotation is too strong for him to crack it.(Not a fan of KK, obviously) Wouldn’t mind seeing Gwinnett go against Perez though, they need to face a sucky pitcher to pick up there offensive production down there.

Run Heap Run

May 4th, 2009
4:29 pm

Maybe instead of calling people out some of these guys should look in the mirror and call themselves out. Didn’t Chipper’s error Saturday lead to 3 runs?

I guess you missed where Chipper called himself out for losing that game because of his error.

DOB and Carroll, for the love of humanity please never ever ever ask Chipper about Schafer’s strikeouts or Yunel’s temper or anything else about any other player ever again. Obviously the man can’t say anything without someone taking offense. Just get the standard reply of “Yeah well he struck out 30 times in 70 chances but he’s young, and Jamie Moyer is a helluva pitcher, he might win the Cy Young this year. we’ll get ‘em tomorrow” from Bobby and move on. :lol:

P-Town Brave(Time to Find a New Staff)

May 4th, 2009
4:31 pm

Wow, Bobby just continues to amaze me…

Then again, expecting him to have a decent lineup where the team can be put in a position to succeed and win, well, that would be asking for way too much from him.

Yes, lets complain about Schafer’s lineup and then take a rag, throw gas on it, and light it on fire by putting Kelly Johnson back into the leadoff spot…

It didn’t work in 07, it didn’t in 08, it hasn’t so far this year, and it won’t for the rest of it…

Only idiot Bobby doesn’t realize that Kelly is MUCH better down in the order!

We’ll see the same old thing tonight as usual…

The only light at the end of the tunnel is the one with the pink slip inside each and every one of the coaching staff’s lockers, minus McDowell and Perez…

Oh, and Bobby…you can take that fancy nameplate on your desk and shove it right up your —!

Greg

May 4th, 2009
4:31 pm

Please tell me infante is leading off and KJ is riding the pine. Please tell me that.

P-Town Brave(Time to Find a New Staff)

May 4th, 2009
4:32 pm

And whats with Chipper blasting everyone in the media these days?

Why don’t you do what a normal superstar would do in these situations…shut up, play hard, and lead by example…

You’re not exactly doing a bang up job in that category Larry Jones Jr.

Jersey Gil

May 4th, 2009
4:32 pm

DOB…:lol: Who is the Young Lady Pic?…

PWHjort

May 4th, 2009
4:35 pm

Probably a good decision by the Mets to push Santana back. I’d rather pit Santana vs. the Phillies (Chan Ho Park is scheduled to start that game but I hear they may shuffle their rotation) than the Braves and Kenshin Kawakami. Livan Hernandez probably has a better chance to beat the Braves than the Phillies. I mean, he sucks, but there’s really no evidence that Kenshin doesn’t suck.

dogsbrekky

May 4th, 2009
4:35 pm

Oh Anders lighten up mate, did we hit a raw nerve regarding the pissants that own your franchise (and before you run off about the Wilpons, remember I run in circles that do business with that scum)

The Mets are perenial losers because they have no style, they have no gumption, they have no verve and they have no knowledge of winning….

until that changes from the top – down, they will frustrate the hell out of the queens mob !

Choppinmama

May 4th, 2009
4:36 pm

If the Ray’s Carl Crawford can steal……..6…………bases in one game, you’d think we could manage one every 3rd game or so. And, yes, I know, you have to GET on base before you can steal one….and have healthy quads, groins, toes, calves and be able to see the next base! OK, nevermind…….

dogsbrekky

May 4th, 2009
4:36 pm

even perennial

McFann Ô

May 4th, 2009
4:37 pm

Choppinmama

Sounds good! I’ll let ya know if we decide to go (hopefully we will…how often do you get to see guys get their number retired?).

not to mention a couple of darling photos of 4-Eyes from spring training.

Hmm…well, to heck with them retiring the number, that sounds way better! :P

Wes

May 4th, 2009
4:37 pm

I wish Infante was the every day at 2B. I’ve like him since he was a Tiger. He’s pretty much the only guy on that entire roster that you can call a “gamer.” He’s there to bust his ass and do what he has to, to help the team win. Everyone else, including Chipper, play like they have a tee time after the game they want to make sure they don’t miss.

Braves team motto: “Let’s see how quick we can get our asses out of here today.”

Ron Roberts

May 4th, 2009
4:38 pm

For what it’s worth, having Garrett Anderson struggle late in spring training w/his quad/hammy isues should’ve been clue enough not to trade off Josh Anderson to the Tigers. Boy do we miss him! Imagine if he were leading off ahead of Yunel, Chipper and Francoeur. I’m not saying having him would make our lineup a “Murderer’s Row, but it sure would give us options, like playing Infante instead of KJ (since he’s struggling) and pushing Schafer further down the order til he gets his RISP woes solved.

We don’t “miss” Brian McCann’s bat, right now, really. If anything, Dave Ross has been a GODSEND for us; we’re struggling like we are (and I hate to PUT it on one guy like this but…) because Kelly Johnson is just KILLING us at the leadoff spot.

I say all this while, in the back of my mind, I think “when has Bobby Cox actually TRIED small-ball/base-running, etc., to spark a struggling offense, anyhow? This rough string is starting to remind me of that rough patch we went through three seasons ago after the All-Star break.

I was thrilled to see us snag Garrett Anderson, but he’s GOT to come back healthy and stay off the DL or we’re doomed to be mediocre, again, which sucks, because I think we have the pitching to go all the way.

Lowe’s been as-advertised, JJ and JoJo have done well, Kawakami will benefit from warmer weather, and Vasquez has been pretty darn good, too. Plus, our bullpen (yesterday notwithstanding) has come together. But geez, our offense has to put up more than 3 runs-per-game, on average.

McFann Ô

May 4th, 2009
4:38 pm

Crawford stole…6 in one ga–oh my. Do we play the Rays this year…?

McFann Ô

May 4th, 2009
4:39 pm

Ron Roberts We don’t “miss” Brian McCann’s bat, right now, really.

Speak for yourself!!

Choppinmama

May 4th, 2009
4:39 pm

I do remember BMac feeling his way to a free base a week or so back though. (:-) that’s for you, McFann!)

Kentavo

May 4th, 2009
4:40 pm

I think we’re going to have to wait ’til the trade deadline for a bat unless FW pulls someone off the the scrap heap ala Julio a few years ago.

PWHjort

May 4th, 2009
4:40 pm

Aaron Gleeman of circling the bases, rotoworld, aarongleeman.com, etc.. does an article for circling the bases on Kyle Blanks, the Padres’ stud 1B prospect. Apparently he’s taking fly balls with the AAA team and the Padres are looking at moving him to left field in order to accommodate both Blanks and Adrian Gonzalez on the MLB team. If this happens, that’d certainly put a damper on my hopes that Wren would trade for Adrian Gonzalez. Here’s the article: http://bases.newsvine.com/_news/2009/05/04/2774497-the-next-big-thing-kyle-blanks?category=sports

Run Heap Run

May 4th, 2009
4:41 pm

Gil, it’s Tina Fey. One of DOB’s many celeb crushes.

When is MadDog’s jersey retirement thing? If it’s on a week night I’m mad.

Tomahawk210

May 4th, 2009
4:41 pm

Maybe instead of calling people out some of these guys should look in the mirror and call themselves out. Didn’t Chipper’s error Saturday lead to 3 runs?

I guess you missed where Chipper called himself out for losing that game because of his error.

I’m pretty sure Schafer knows that he’s striking out too much and what pitch he keeps swinging at to do that. How about going out and playing hard and showing that you care and playing with some emotion and heart and putting it all out on the field. This team lacks heart. No one cares.

Eware

May 4th, 2009
4:41 pm

You know your offense is bad when…

…the Nationals have scored more runs than you: (102 to 98)

Up yours Mellencamp, that hurts not so good.

Anders

May 4th, 2009
4:42 pm

Oh Anders lighten up mate, did we hit a raw nerve regarding the pissants that own your franchise (and before you run off about the Wilpons, remember I run in circles that do business with that scum)
The Mets are perenial losers because they have no style, they have no gumption, they have no verve and they have no knowledge of winning…. (dogsbrekky)

So you run in circles of losers with no gumption, no verve and no knowledge of winning? How does this help your argument again?

Wes

May 4th, 2009
4:42 pm

Ron Roberts- how can you say “The Bullpen has come together.” ???

Moylan and Soriano BOTH gave up runs late in close games BOTH to the Cards and Astros.

Good to see the Astros lighting up our pitching staff. That vaunted offense juggarnaut they are…..

Macon Braves (RIP)

May 4th, 2009
4:42 pm

I was just about to warn Ron Roberts he was gonna catch it from our local lady for that not missing McCann comment, but she got there before I could… :-)

Despite Ross filling in well, I’m with you McFann, I’m missing Heap too.

beekay

May 4th, 2009
4:43 pm

DOB and Onion fans: not sure if this has been posted been out for a few days
http://www.theonion.com/content/news/nation_dumbfounded_as_to_why?utm_source=facebook_1

AGTFan

May 4th, 2009
4:45 pm

@ANDERS – I’m sure that there are a lot of 15 year olds who were offended by your comment.

Choppinmama

May 4th, 2009
4:46 pm

McFann: I thought that would pique your interest!! They’re supposed to have a nice ceremony on the field for Maddux too.

dogsbrekky

May 4th, 2009
4:46 pm

McFann – I watch the RAYS every time I get the chance, they are so much fun….. they just let it all hang out…. swiping bases, crushing home runs…… effing up like kids should, but they do ‘ave a go

Anders

May 4th, 2009
4:48 pm

Hey, the Mets have their own Schafer to deal with. Check out David Wrights SO’s. 27 this season in 88 AB’s. He hasn’t clicked at all this season.

monty

May 4th, 2009
4:48 pm

I’m curious to know how wearing glasses will affect McCann considering how much he sweats around his head and eyes. I’ve never had to wear glasses playing sports so I would like to hear some opinions from those of you who have. I seem to remember may games in the past where Brian when he would bat would almost every other pitch have to wipe his brow because of sweat running down. Will glasses fog up? Will he constantly have to defog them?

dogsbrekky

May 4th, 2009
4:48 pm

Anders 1 – dogs 0

You win,

They (Jeffy boy and co) are great people who just happen to own a ball club that cannot and will not win their way to the post-season, or is that really us ?

Wayne in Utah

May 4th, 2009
4:49 pm

Aja

I hear what your saying. I just don’t see us making any deals. I think we are stuck with what we have until at least mid June.

We need Mac back in the lineup, period. He is the ONLY player in our lineup (Frenchy is a possibility) that can give Chipper some protection.

With our current fiscal restraints, I see the Braves doing some tweeking, but primarily waiting for Heyward to arrive. Not sure at this point though, if he will be enough, with Chipper in an eventual decline.

Anders

May 4th, 2009
4:49 pm

AGTfan- I can live with that.

Anders

May 4th, 2009
4:50 pm

dogsbrekky – That is the fastest I have ever seen anyone sober up. How did you do that?

bravos2249

May 4th, 2009
4:51 pm

Maddux retirement gig is on July 17th…a Friday vs the Mets.

josh

May 4th, 2009
4:51 pm

What is the deal with glavine? I haven’t heard anything for 2 weeks now. Did I miss something?

David from NY

May 4th, 2009
4:52 pm

DOB,

Can we get the lineups for both teams if they are up which I think they are. Thanks

monty

May 4th, 2009
4:52 pm

I’d be willing to bet that Wright homers against us tonight and possibly tomorrow too. Some guys really seem to hit us well and he is one of them. I seem to remember Howard of Philly stuggling last year or the year before until the Braves came to town and we got him going.

dogsbrekky

May 4th, 2009
4:52 pm

Anders – I am going to the May 11th game at “Shea Goodbye to Hollywood II” Stadium, if you are around. I am buying a ticket in the RF area at the cut in…

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