Braves need infusion of power

  We can only imagine if Atlanta’s professional-sports hopes still rode entirely with the Braves, who for so many years were the city’s only real viable playoff contender in any of the major pro sports.
  While the well-managed Falcons really do appear to have turned a corner — although they still haven’t had consecutive winning seasons, which I find amazing — and the finally improved Hawks have advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs, the Braves have been out of the postseason for three consecutive years and are not off to a flying start this season, to say the least.
  Hey, we’re only 25 games into a 162-game season, and the division doesn’t look nearly as tough as we thought it would, but still, these Braves have got to hope an infusion of Garret Anderson tonight and Brian McCann’s expected return Friday can get their stagnant lineup going.
  Because it’s getting ugly.
  The Braves have gone 6-13 since their 5-1 start, and they’ve hit exactly as many homers in those past 19 games (10) as they hit in those first six. Granted, those first six included a series at Philly, which might be second only to new Yankee Stadium as a long-ball haven this season.
  But this Bravos lineup is awfully punchless as currently constituted.
  During their current 2-8 slide at home, the Braves have hit .231 with a total of just three homers (as many as the Mets hitt off Javier Vazquez last night) and only 3.1 runs per game. That’s bad.
  If not for the improved pitching staff, which even after last night has still given up by far the fewest homers in the NL this season, the Braves would be in dire straits by now (I know, some of you think they already are in such straits).
  When you consider the production they’ve gotten out of the first, fourth and fifth spots in the lineup lately, it’s pretty easy to see why the Braves have struggled so mightily to score runs.
  This is a lineup that has neither big power nor any real base-stealing threat to speak of. The Braves’ combo of 24 homers and stolen bases (20 homers, four steals) is the lowest in the league. The only teams with fewer homers are the Pirates (16 homers, 13 steals), Giants (13 homers, 16 steals) and Reds (19 homers, 12 steals).
  While I’m not one to put nearly as much importance on steals as some here on the blog do, I do think it’s a pretty good indication of the lack of speed the Braves have, which coupled with a lack of power is just not a good combo. Particularly for a team that’s not adept at doing the little things that win games, like advancing a runner, bunting, hit-and-run, etc.
  Anyway, back to the first, fourth and fifth spots.

  ♦ Leading off blues: Kelly Johnson has been the primary leadoff hitter, and he’s 6-for-47 (.128) with one extra-base hit, two RBI and a .241 OBP in his past 14 games, with no steals and three double plays grounded into in that span.
  Omar Infante has fared quite well when filling in for KJ in the leadoff/2B position, but the Braves like him too much as a “super utility” player to put him at 2B on any sort of regular basis.
   Seems to me that Martin Prado could play there more, but I think the Braves really want Johnson to hit his way out of a slump, since he’s a notoriously streaky hitter and almost always follows his skids with big surges that spark the team.
  The problem, of course, is that a player who has such highs and lows is particularly conspicuous when struggling in the leadoff position.

♦ Cleaning up: Or not, as it were. Since McCann’s been on the DL, No. 3 hitter Chipper Jones has gotten precious few pitches to hit, because pitchers would much rather take their chances on Casey Kotchman or whoever’s hitting cleanup for the Braves.
  The Braves have just three homers and 12 RBI from the cleanup spot, and two of those homers and seven RBI came from McCann, even though he hit only .200 in 40 at-bats before going on the DL for his vision problems.
  From the No. 5 spot in the order, the place where the Braves planned for Anderson to play, the team has just one homer and seven RBI.
  Jeff Francoeur had the homer and five of the RBI, while all other Braves have no homers and two RBI in 46 at-bats from the fifth spot. That’s terrible.
  For those keeping score at home, that’s four homers and 19 RBI total from the fourth and fifth spots in the lineup. In 25 games!
  That’s the fewest combined RBI from those two spots for any NL team, and only the Dodgers have as few homers from those spots as the Braves (and they have Furcal, Orlando Hudson and many in the first three spots in the order).

  ♦ Too left-handed? Remember all the hand-wringing this winter and spring about how the Braves’ lineup was too left-handed? Well, right now only three NL teams have a lower team batting average against right-handers than the Braves (.244).
  Meanwhile, the Braves rank seventh in the NL with a .274 average against lefty pitchers, with a .349 OBP compared to their .345 OBP against righties. They have identical .401 slugging percentages against righties and lefties.
  Among Braves regulars, check some of these averages against righties: Diaz (.243), Schafer (.235), Francoeur (.231), Johnson (.157).
  Yes, the lefty Johnson is 8-for-51 against right-handers. Meanwhile, he’s hit .308 (8-for-26) with two homers and a .419 OBP against lefties. Go figure.
  Against righties, Infante has hit a team-high .357 (10-for-28) with a .419 OBP.

 ♦ Those dastardly Mets: The Braves must be thankful the Mets are only in town for two games last night and tonight. Because several of the Metropolitans are just wrecking Braves pitching lately, and some for longer than that.
  David Wright is ridiculous against them lately. The Mets 3B has hit .529 (18-for-34) with five doubles, seven homers and 13 RBI in his past nine games against the Braves. That’s not a typo, any of it.
  He also has six walks in that span against the Braves, for a .600 OBP and 1.294 slugging percentage. Yeah, a 1.894 OPS in his past nine games vs. the Braves.
  For their careers, here’s what some key Mets have done against the Braves: Beltran .314 with 17 homers, 49 RBI, .401 OBP and .605 slugging in 69 games; Delgado .304 with 19 homers, 75 RBI, .385 OBP and .566 slugging in 83 games; Wright .292 with 23 homers, 53 RBI, .371 OBP and .568 slugging in 86 games.
  Beltran and Delgado both have more homers at Turner Field than at any ballpark except their past home parks, and Wright’s hit more homers against the Braves than against any other team.
  Meanwhile, Chipper (.329, 40 homers, 124 RBI, .994 OPS in 191 games) is the only Brave with as high as a .380 OBP against the Mets, and he and Francoeur (.514 slugging) with as high as .460 slugging percentages against them.

  OK, I’m out of time. Gotta get to the ballpark. Was going to talk about three great new CDs — Athens band Bloodkin’s Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again; the Thermals’ Now We Can See; and Art Brut’s Art Brut vs. Satan. All terrific. But we’ll get to that later. For now, here’s a link to Bloodkin’s website. Patterson Hood wrote the liner notes for the new CD, and Mike Cooley plays on the album, so you might imagine it’s got a lot of DBTs Southern-rock feel to it (if the title alone wasn’t enough to indicate that).
  Let’s take it out with another Southern boy. I love Cash’s cover of this T.P. classic, so I’ll put The Man In Black’s photo here.

 

“SOUTHERN ACCENTS” by Tom Petty

There’s a southern accent, where I come from
The young’uns call it country
The yankees call it dumb
I got my own way of talkin’
But everything is done, with a southern accent
Where I come from

Now that drunk tank in Atlanta’s
Just a motel room to me
Think I might go work Orlando
If them orange groves don’t freeze
I got my own way of workin’
But everything is run, with a southern accent
Where I come from

For just a minute there I was dreaming
For just a minute it was all so real
For just a minute she was standing there, with me

There’s a dream I keep having
Where my mama comes to me
And kneels down over by the window
And says a prayer for me
I got my own way of prayin’
But everyone’s begun
With a sou thern accent
Where I come from

I got my own way of livin’
But everything gets done
With a southern accent
Where I come from

 

 

1,713 comments Add your comment

Jonathan in KY

May 5th, 2009
3:00 pm

Why not this….

Kotchman
Escobar
Chipper
McCann (when healthy)
Frenchy/LF depending on SP
Johnson
Anderson/Diaz
Schafer
SP

Kotchman doesn’t hit for power, but gets on base, so let him lead off. We never use speed anyway. Johnson hits lefties just as good, if not better than rights so three LH hitters potentially in the bottom wouldn’t hurt that bad, as Anderson can hit them as well. Lets Schafer stay at the bottom for now, and extends the lineup out. Why wouldn’t that work?

N8's Wife

May 5th, 2009
3:00 pm

Jonathan in KY

May 5th, 2009
3:01 pm

For now, just move everyone up one spot and put Ross at the bottom or 7th above Schafer.

BravesFAN885

May 5th, 2009
3:02 pm

Gummy Bears...Bouncing here and there and everywhere....THEY ARE THE GUMMY BEARS!!!!

May 5th, 2009
3:04 pm

DOB you need to address the attendance problems in tomorrow’s blogs, that is a big problem we have right now.

Run Heap Run

May 5th, 2009
3:04 pm

N8 has a wife? Who knew!

Run Heap Run

May 5th, 2009
3:05 pm

Gummy Bears whatever…please humor me and tell me how old you are?

Aja

May 5th, 2009
3:10 pm

Daddy don’t live in that NY City no more.

Mitchie-san

May 5th, 2009
3:10 pm

“ronald” See, thats the difference. You had a thoughtful and smart post there. I am talking about the childish negativity, where there is name-calling and insults to the players and coaches. Those are the posts that have no place here.
I am pretty concerned about this season, too. But I am not going to reduce myself and act like a kid about it.

bravos2249

May 5th, 2009
3:13 pm

Schafer K’ing isn’t why we are losing. Him leaving 10 men on base adds to the fact we are. Him striking out 33 times doesn’t help the team win, but it’s not the sole cause of our loses.

Pete

May 5th, 2009
3:14 pm

From DOB: “Hey, we’re only 25 games into a 162-game season, and the division doesn’t look nearly as tough as we thought it would,……”
When they come back from road trip, 21% of games will have been played. After that, they really need to kick it in gear before All Star break or it will be very hard to make up ground. But like DOB suggests, maybe what will really help us is no one will have a commanding lead.

Hakuna

May 5th, 2009
3:14 pm

Any insight from Schafer last night, DOB?

Gummy Bears...Bouncing here and there and everywhere....THEY ARE THE GUMMY BEARS!!!!

May 5th, 2009
3:14 pm

Gummy Bears...Bouncing here and there and everywhere....THEY ARE THE GUMMY BEARS!!!!

May 5th, 2009
3:15 pm

Sadly I love the 80s, Food, Braves Baseball, Movies, and anything to do with Pop Culture.

Anyone remember Return of the Living Dead 3?

C's

May 5th, 2009
3:15 pm

Attendance is down all around the league. If you haven’t noticed, we are in a recession. And when people are losing jobs left and right while having a family to support, going to baseball games gets put on the back burner.

However once school gets out and the weather warms up, attendance will go up. Overall it may still be down, but it’ll get better as the summer gets going.

Chop Chop

May 5th, 2009
3:16 pm

Chop Chop

May 5th, 2009
3:17 pm

C's

May 5th, 2009
3:18 pm

Yes, that is where I got this idiotic quote from:

“If on-base percentage is so important, then why don’t they put it up on the scoreboard?” -Jeff Francoeur

RC

May 5th, 2009
3:18 pm

Jonathan in KY,

The biggest problem I see with that lineup is that with Kotchman leading off Yunel would blow away the record for double plays hit into in a season. You need someone with at least a little speed in front of Yunel, even if it’s just to break up the double play on occasion.

cphizzle

May 5th, 2009
3:20 pm

well im goin to do my part with the attendance…makin the long haul from north alabama in a couple of weeks and gonna take in two while im in town, no reason not to they are practically giving away tickets

Chop Chop

May 5th, 2009
3:21 pm

Well, it ain’t just about Francoeur.

That’s a great quote, C’s.

I like Chipper’s quote better:

“For me, plate discipline is being able to know what pitch you want to put in play before you step in the box and not swinging at anything else but that.”

kirkinga

May 5th, 2009
3:23 pm

No speed , no power is indeed a recipe for a stagnant offense particularly when that offense cannot get a clutch hit.

Like last year, the Braves are doing an ok job of getting men on base, but not getting them in. I think we need to get our lineup healthy and see what shakes out. As long as the Braves remain a few games off the pace, there is no reason to panic.

But you can’t teach speed or power. That means the Braves will have to get rid of some players, including some that are blog favorites, in order to make room for players who do have power and/or speed.

Denny Green

May 5th, 2009
3:25 pm

As we thought before the season… decent starting pitching, questionable bullpen, no offense. “THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE!”

monty

May 5th, 2009
3:26 pm

Hey, we made the last place Astros look like a winning team.

Run Heap Run

May 5th, 2009
3:27 pm

Chipper’s going in early today to work with Schafer. Said he probably wouldn’t take him to the cage but just float ideas past him and show him videos. Maybe Kelly will show up for a lesson too.

DAP

May 5th, 2009
3:27 pm

great song DOB.

BA

May 5th, 2009
3:29 pm

I think I remember reading that Tom Petty was pretty much drunk for the making of that Southern Accents record. But a decent record nonetheless- but hardly on par with say Full Moon Fever. Keep up the good work, DOB.

Supes

May 5th, 2009
3:30 pm

Braves lack speed and power as the team roster is currently constructed.

That’s on FRANK WREN. It’s on Bobby Cox how he uses the players he has available.

Bobby should give Jordan Schafer a few days off, even DL him for a couple of weeks if it requires to get him healthy and 100% with the wrist injury.

Play Omar Infante in CF. Play Martin Prado at 2B and Bench Kelly. Team needs offense right now. Not next week. When is Kelly going to “snap out his slump?”

Praying that B-Mac can get back soon and help this team, b/c Ross is a backup, nothing more.

Jason

May 5th, 2009
3:31 pm

The Bloodking cd is excellent.

Jordan Schafer needs to take the bus back to Gwinnett

cphizzle

May 5th, 2009
3:33 pm

chipper needs to find somebody to give him lessons first before he goes and gives jordan any. lastnight was the first, yes first, extra base hit he has got at turner field.

WOW

May 5th, 2009
3:33 pm

Im getting to a point where i am done watching this team they are struggling just waiting to be finished off i bet most triple A players have more pop than the braves i know schaffer doesnt belong in the bigs and hey he knows he doesnt either he cant make contact anymore this team is GARBAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve from OH

May 5th, 2009
3:34 pm

Nice song, Dave.

DAP

May 5th, 2009
3:34 pm

has anybody seen bobby abreu’s line? .367/..427/.418 …no homers but the dude has 11 SB and 0 CS. *sigh* i hate being right.

cphizzle

May 5th, 2009
3:36 pm

well thank you for your support WOW…im sure the yankees and red sox or cubs will be glad to have you so long

Steve from OH

May 5th, 2009
3:37 pm

has anybody seen bobby abreu’s line? .367/..427/.418 …no homers but the dude has 11 SB and 0 CS. *sigh* i hate being right.

Coach? Is that you? LOL.

Steve from OH

May 5th, 2009
3:38 pm

For the record, I liked Abreu too….

Bobby's Cox

May 5th, 2009
3:39 pm

Gotta love it…

Patience Grasshopper (Big picture of Francouer looking like a hungry Neanderthal on ESPN.com)

Proceeds to caption: “The most confused hitter in the game, Jeff Francoeur….”

From SI front cover, to ESPN mockery. My, what a 180.

JD

May 5th, 2009
3:39 pm

Casey Kotchman cleans up about as good as Waffle House does.

cphizzle

May 5th, 2009
3:42 pm

not a mockery…a story of redemption. frenchy does make a good point. he was put on a sinking ship and expected to carry the team at 21. what he did when he first come up was great but just like schaffer the cat was still young. he is not 25 and still learning to hit, now why dont you experts go pick up a bat and go hit a 95mph fastball or a curveball go right ahead what are you waiting for

Rock On....(the denizen formerly known as Dadgum)

May 5th, 2009
3:43 pm

My goodness. Isn’t it ironic that we are talking about doing now what we were talking about doing back in November. Still Cox sticks with what isn’t working. Maybe it is a good thing the Braves are on TV less and less. Agreed DOB this team is terrible and in trouble.

JD

May 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

“A story of redemption”? That sounds like the tagline for a cheesy movie.

Jersey Gil

May 5th, 2009
3:45 pm

C’…Attendance is down all around the league. If you haven’t noticed…Not here in philadelphia…All the Games are sold out, I guess the stimulus Pgk is working here..

Gummy Bears...Bouncing here and there and everywhere....THEY ARE THE GUMMY BEARS!!!!

May 5th, 2009
3:46 pm

JD.

Scattered Smoothered or Covered?

McFann Ô

May 5th, 2009
3:46 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief!

Supes Praying that B-Mac can get back soon and help this team, b/c Ross is a backup, nothing more.

And we’re not the only ones–BMac’s name was in the Prayers of the Faithful at our Church on Sunday. He did get married at our Church, ya know…

DAP

May 5th, 2009
3:47 pm

steve from oh

haha, point taken…

ncscoots

May 5th, 2009
3:47 pm

Bobby’s, I believe the “confused” quote is from a scout last year (and perfectly spot on at the time). I don’t think that is what the article is implying about his current performance, so “mockery” might be a little strong.

cphizzle

May 5th, 2009
3:49 pm

hey could be the next espn original just like junction boys…talk about cheesy

JD

May 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

After reading that ESPN article, I really hope Chipper becomes a coach soon after he retires. We’ve already seen what he can do with players now…imagine what he could do if it was his full-time job. He’ll be leagues above Terry “maybe some sunflower seeds will help your swing” Pendleton.

JD

May 5th, 2009
3:51 pm

A movie about Jeff Francoeur. What would they call it? “GIDP”?

matt_T

May 5th, 2009
3:52 pm

That Frenchy quote is bad enough, but its even worse knowing that they do show OBP at Turner on the jumbotron and many other stadiums. Peachtree TV and FoxSportsSouth both display players OBP.

cphizzle

May 5th, 2009
3:52 pm

JD i sense a bit of anger built up toward frenchy

David O'Brien

May 5th, 2009
3:53 pm

Infante leading off, Garret Anderson batting cleanup

kirkinga

May 5th, 2009
3:53 pm

I think the ESPN article is an interesting one for both those who place importance on speed and those that do not.What I took from it is that there are many moving parts involved in how a major league offense is put together.There’s the make up of the player, the drafting of players, the coaching at minor and major league levels, and the philosophy of the organization.

They talked about the philosophies of the A’s, and BoSox organizations and I couldn’t help but wonder do the Braves have a philosophy? If they do is it taught through all levels? It’s been said that once players arrive in Atlanta they know “Bobby’s way”.

I don’t know that we can blame Wren for the current crop of players as most were drafted under JS.

cphizzle

May 5th, 2009
3:54 pm

yep haters all over the house

Steve from OH

May 5th, 2009
3:55 pm

Nah, I was just messin’ with ya DAP. I really wanted Abreu, too. But whaddya gonna do?

David O'Brien

May 5th, 2009
3:55 pm

Brandon Jones to Gwinnett to make room

Steve from OH

May 5th, 2009
3:56 pm

Wow, really throwin’ GA right back into it, eh?

Run Heap Run

May 5th, 2009
3:56 pm

I like Infante leading off right now, wish we could stick with it until his bat cools off. I feel like we automatically have a better chance to win when he’s leading off instead of KJ or Schafer.

So … question… how come Gonzo hasn’t been on a date in a long time but Moylan is, apparently, a dating machine?

AndyC

May 5th, 2009
3:56 pm

DOB, good point about the division not being as tough as we thought it would be. Each team has some very visible weaknesses. Just think if the Marlins had continued the streak they were on and had not nearly collapsed. The Bravos would be 7-8 games out. We are still within strking distance certainly but have many issues to address. Hopefully the return of BMac and Anderson will provide a spark and also provide some protection for Chipper in the lineup.

Still A Braves Fan

May 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

I think the Braves need a miracle more then they need a power surge. Even with the division weaker this year, the Braves are finding every possible way to blow games it seems. If you would have told me last week that Javier Vasquez would have a 3-0 lead over the Mets late in the game, I would have said game over. No way should the Mets have won that game last night. They need to do something, and quick before the other teams in this division start to get hot.

JD

May 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

cphizzle – You’d think so, but no…I actually really ilke Francoeur. He gradauted the same year as me (he’s only about 2 weeks older than me), and his school’s only about 15 minutes from mine. I’m sure I’ve played football against him at some point.

David O'Brien

May 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

1. Infante, 2B
2. Escobar, SS
3. Chipper, 3B
4. G. Anderson, LF
5. Kotchman, 1B
6. Francoeur, RF
7. Schafer, CF
8. Ross, C
9. Kawakami, RH

AZBravoFan

May 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

As good as the starting pitching has been for the most part, I think it’s a little deceiving. From what I’ve seen, it seems like we’ve just gone from having the starter melt down in the 2nd or 3rd inning to a meltdown in the 6th or 7th inning. Sure they’re giving us more innings but the result is the same: Early leads down the drain, which this team cannot weather because the offense seems to shut it down and mail it in after about the 3rd inning. And in reality, if it weren’t for a bunch of walks and one seeing eye dribbler, this team might be looking up at the Nats.

Big Easy

May 5th, 2009
3:58 pm

Guys, for all of you bashing on the Frenchy quote from that article, this is what Crasnick said (in the comments section under the story, replying to a previous comment):
Jeff Francoeur understands that he needs to develop better plate discipline, and he’s worked extremely hard at it. But he told me his main goal is to produce 200 runs this season. I think he’s a little tired of the criticism over his OBP. He knows he’s never going to be a .380 on base guy, and it’s been a challenge for him trying to learn the subtleties at the big league level. If you read his comments further down in the piece, it’s clear that he’s put a lot of thought into becoming a more well-rounded hitter. If anything, I think he cares so much that he presses at times.

For goodness sakes, people, put down the hammers, and stop crucifying the guy.

~E~

David O'Brien

May 5th, 2009
3:58 pm

McCann’s making throws to second right now wearing his hockey mask. Now throws to third.

Forwhat it’s worth, he’s making nice throws, no problems apparent.

Efrim

May 5th, 2009
3:59 pm

Doesn’t Kelly need plate appearances to snap out of his slump?

JD

May 5th, 2009
3:59 pm

And by “played football against him at some point” I mean “enjoyed seeing him beat up on my team from the bench.”

But yeah…point is – I really root for the guy.

Still A Braves Fan

May 5th, 2009
3:59 pm

Nice to see Infante leading off, but seriously Anderson in the 4th hole? Like that will make pitchers pitch to Chipper? No way. Kotchman at this point is a more feared hitter then Anderson is.

RC

May 5th, 2009
4:00 pm

Jersey Girl,

ESPN did a study on attendance figures this season, excluding the two NY teams (since they have new stadiums with different capacities). What they found is that attendance is actually almost exactly the same as last year for the month of April….it was down like 200-something people per game, which is really insignificant for the size of crowds we are talking. However, the Braves were the 3rd highest in lost attendance, while some teams have actually gained more attendance than last year.

JD

May 5th, 2009
4:00 pm

Oh good….Garret Anderson at cleanup. There’s our infusion of power.

brewdawg

May 5th, 2009
4:00 pm

It is sometimes so painful watching Kotchman run. He makes me long for the speed we had at that position when Sid Bream was here.

JD

May 5th, 2009
4:02 pm

Why not put Chipper in cleanup? The only reason I’ve heard is “he prefers the 3rd spot”

Yes, he’s an ideal 3-hole hitter. But he’s also a decent cleanup candidate (by far the best on this team. Krotchman? Anderson?) and there’s several players who can do a good job in the 3rd spot.

cphizzle

May 5th, 2009
4:02 pm

him i like the guy to…i own his shirt which is why i support him so much dont want to have to buy a new shirt…hey cant blame me for that

Desert Brave

May 5th, 2009
4:03 pm

DOB, I saw Ryan Bingham last night at a little bar in Flagstaff Arizona. Awesome show!! He is a cool guy too, he was staying at the same hotel as me and I got to hang out with him and have a few beers and even play some guitar with him. I gotta say thanks to you for turning me on to his music!

mbatl

May 5th, 2009
4:04 pm

Regarding the NL East, keep an eye on the Phillies. Their pitching has normalized a bit – a 4.16 ERA in their last 13 games. That’s not great, but with their offense, it’s good enough to win a lot of games.

JD

May 5th, 2009
4:04 pm

It is sometimes so painful watching Kotchman run

I remember a game last year when he hit a ball deep to right. I thought “that’s a double for sure!” I’m expecting to see him standing on second, taking off his gloves. The camera cuts to Kotchman, and he’s just rounding first.

Gummy Bears...Bouncing here and there and everywhere....THEY ARE THE GUMMY BEARS!!!!

May 5th, 2009
4:04 pm

cphizzle you ever see Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2?

The Truth

May 5th, 2009
4:04 pm

CBSSports.com’s Larry Dobrow’s power rankings column(Braves are ranked 15th. Doesn’t matter, just posting the comments.):

“Listen, I’m on the same Tommy-Hanson-NOW! hunger strike as y’all. But the trio of Javier Vazquez, Jair Jurrjens and Derek Lowe have served up six homers among them — for those counting at home, that’s two fewer than Brett Myers has allowed — so there’s really no need to elevate the kid just yet … So all it takes is a 4-for-39 slump to get Kelly Johnson benched in favor of the inferior-in-every-way-that-matters-and-some-that-don’t Omar Infante? Bobby Cox, you’re better than that … Left field for the Braves = quarterback for the Vikings = drummer for Spinal Tap.”

Steve from OH

May 5th, 2009
4:05 pm

Efrim, haven’t you heard? A lousy 77-AB stretch is grounds for a lifetime ban from baseball, Pete Rose style.

Hope you Infante-heads are willing to stand up and be counted when he comes crashing back to earth…

kirkinga

May 5th, 2009
4:05 pm

If you don’t like Francouer don’t be angry with him, be angry with the Braves for drafting him. He is who he has always been and they made the decision to draft him and then call him up to the majors.

It is hard to learn some things once you reach the majors if you aren’t constituted a certain way.Players have to be willing and able to change no matter who is coaching them.Players now don’t attach as much stigma to strikeouts as they once did so it should be no surprise that there are some that don’t care about OBP. The “it’s not on the scoreboard mentality” should be a giant clue to how modern players approach the game.

JD

May 5th, 2009
4:05 pm

dont want to have to buy a new shirt…hey cant blame me for that

Guess that makes me a big Andruw and JD Drew fan then…

Mike S

May 5th, 2009
4:05 pm

I’d like to see Infante leading off, but playing in CF for a game or two here or there to give Shafer a break. Would also give Kelly a chance to hit further down in the lineup…

22oz

May 5th, 2009
4:06 pm

Kelly back on the bench? Good lord, Bobby.

bigcooterb

May 5th, 2009
4:06 pm

The truth is that the Braves are pathetic. How can a player get to the bigs and not be able to bunt? This all goes back to the Manager and Coaching staff. They are the most fundamentally deficient team in baseball.

Efrim

May 5th, 2009
4:06 pm

mbatl, if the Phillies pitch that well(4.13 ERA), then yes, they will win a lot of games. I agree with you there.

Tomahawk210

May 5th, 2009
4:07 pm

Wow what a line-up! We’ll win tonight foooo sure! I’m sooo excited. This line-up is stacked! Wooo Hoooo! Yeeessssss!

cphizzle

May 5th, 2009
4:07 pm

Gummy where are we goin with this…JD i can understand Andruw, but JD Drew??? what where you thinking?

Chop Chop

May 5th, 2009
4:07 pm

I do believe I said something along the lines of the Phils and Mets’ pitching eventually progressing to the mean. The Braves’ starting pitching was due for some regression. Jair is still due for some of that. Kawakami is a wild card.

DAP

May 5th, 2009
4:09 pm

steve from oh yeah, its just really frustrating when there were players out there that could have made this offseason even more successful as a whole, when instead we over-did the pitching. the braves could have easily offered abreu more money for one year, or even a two year deal, instead of signing kawakami and anderson. and its easy to look back and wish for something different, but i was saying it all winter, as were a few others. in the end, having abreu and one less starting pitcher probably would have been ok. we would probably have had jojo in kawakami’s spot, and someone like campillo in jojo’s, only making three starts so far, waiting for either glavine to make it back or hanson to get called up.

oh well. bygones. BUT, wren doesnt need to do this next year. i dont want to hear about blocking anyone…wren needs to get a bat. a good one. if someone ends up getting blocked, we can take care of that when it happens.

prediction: kotchman hits his first homer tonight. hes been flirting with it. its time to put one out.

TnBrian

May 5th, 2009
4:09 pm

Decent, not great lineup, but it can’t be worse than the one the last few weeks. Only thing is, I’d like to see Kotchman hitting 2nd and Esco hitting 6th or 7th. I’m worried about Kawakami and maybe his confidence after some bad starts. Can he find the zone or will he walk 7/8 guys and it’ll be a blowout?

Jersey Gil

May 5th, 2009
4:09 pm

RC …It Gil..ok, i say it again, not here in Philadelphia, I have ticket for this weekend (Friday,Sat,) not Sunday, last week My wife and my self decise to buy the Sunday game and all are sold out, The phillis sold out all of the Games this year so far.
I understand The Atlanta Number, back in the 70′ & 80′ i went to game with only 2,000 or 3,000 in Fulton Co Stadium. Few week ago i post that Liberty Media will Sell this team to another Group, i hope this group it from Atlanta to keep this franchise in Atlanta, but remember Charlotte NC it looking for a franchise in Baseball.

Steve OH

May 5th, 2009
4:10 pm

DOB – is McCann still going up to Rome tonight? Or is that tomorrow?

Steve from OH

May 5th, 2009
4:10 pm

Why is Larry Dobrow hatin’ on Mick Shrimpton and Peter “James” Bond?

RC

May 5th, 2009
4:10 pm

kirkinga,

I don’t think the “not on the scoreboard” mentality is a clue of how modern players approach the game at all. I think it’s a clue of how Jeff Francouer approaches the game. If you read the quotes from Chipper and other players in that article you’ll see that some of them have a VERY different approach to the game than that. They realize that by being selective, they give themselves a much better chance to hit the ball hard when they do swing at it. I actually think that Jeff is getting closer to that point, but dumb comments like that still make me wonder when and if he’s going to “get it”.

Chop Chop

May 5th, 2009
4:11 pm

Regarding Kelly Johnson’s slump…

We all know he’ll go on a hot streak at some point. The problem is that he’ll be back in a slump when that hot streak ends. With this club, Bobby absolutely has to go with the hot hand. There are just too many streaky hitters in the lineup. Kelly just happens to play a position that has two capable replacements on the bench. He can (and should) be the first guy to get benched when he struggles.

Gummy Bears...Bouncing here and there and everywhere....THEY ARE THE GUMMY BEARS!!!!

May 5th, 2009
4:11 pm

Just wondering cause if you have seen ANOE 2 cause shafer reminds me of Jessy from that movie.

Efrim

May 5th, 2009
4:11 pm

Steve from OH, it’s starting to bother me. I mean, I understand Infante is hot, but give me a freaking break. Ya gotta give Kelly a chance to redeem himself….and more than just one game.

The Truth, Dobrow is right on all counts. I like the Vikings QB comparison.

TnBrian

May 5th, 2009
4:12 pm

Maybe Wren wishes he’d made more trades in the offseason, like KJ and few other guys instead of the Kawa signing.

Efrim

May 5th, 2009
4:12 pm

Chop Chop, regarding your 4:07, that wouldn’t be good…..at all.

Run Heap Run

May 5th, 2009
4:12 pm

After reading that ESPN article, I really hope Chipper becomes a coach soon after he retires. We’ve already seen what he can do with players now…imagine what he could do if it was his full-time job. He’ll be leagues above Terry “maybe some sunflower seeds will help your swing” Pendleton.

I think Chipper would make an outstanding coach for sure but he’s got all those boys and they’re playing ball now, in 5 or whatever years when Chipper retires they’ll be at the age where they’re in the thick of little league and high school play. I would think he’d take several years off at that point but who knows..

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