Braves go for series win after Tuesday meltdown

  New York – Good afternoon to all you folks, especially those who were up with us Tuesday night for a strange game that had some controversy among the late-innings Braves meltdown.
   Yes, the replay showed that Carlos Beltran was out at third base. Yes, it might have been a different outcome if they right call was made.
   But as Mike Gonzalez told me while ago, if he, the Braves closer, had done his job better, there wouldn’t have been an opportunity for the umpire to miss that call on the Carlos Beltran stolen base, because Beltran wouldn’t have been on.
  Beltran doubled on a 0-and-2 slider that Gonzalez said was a bad pitch selection and poorly executed. He wanted to throw it in the dirt, but left it up too far for such a hot hitter as Beltran. If he had it to do over, he wouldn’t have thrown that pitch.
   But that was the pattern for Gonzo the whole inning, getting ahead of hitters 0-and-2 and not putting them away. He also hit Fernando Tatis on an 0-and-2 pitch afer Beltran stole third base, which set up the Luis Castillo sac fly that tied the game and sent it to extra innings.
  And we know what happened there. Jeff Bennett walk-a-thon, Braves loss.
I asked Gonzalez if being used so much lately had any effect on him, and he was adament: No way. “I fell good, man. I’m ready to get back out there today and put that behind me.”

 ♣ New lineup today: In case you missed it when I posted the lineup on the other blog, it’s a different one today as the Braves try to get a series win to cap what would then be a 6-2 trip. Bobby Cox has struggling Jeff Francoeur on the bench along with Kelly Johnson and hot-hitting Casey Kotchman.
   Cox said he just wanted to give Francoeur a day off so that he’d have two days to refresh (Braves are off Thursday). But it’s no secret that Francoeur hasn’t been hitting many balls hard lately, and Monday night he went 0-for-5 and left seven runners on base.
  ”Mentally, probably more than anything,” Francoeur said this morning, when I asked him if a day off is good for him right now. “The last two or three days I’ve been grinding, trying to do too much.
  ”So it’s good to get a day off today, then get home and hopefully get a fresh mind. I knew I was going to get one off sooner or later, with this stretch fo 43 games in 45 days.”
   His slump has gone longer than a few days, however.
  After hitting .381 (16-for-42) with a .409 OBP and .595 slugging percentage in 11 games from April 12-24, the right fielder is just 15-for-71 (.211) with three extra-base hits, a .213 OBP and a .282 slugging percentage in his past 17 games.
  He’s got a .204 OBP and .255 slugging percentage with eight strikeouts and no walks in his past 12 games.
  Francoeur’s overall average is down to .261 and his OPS has plummeted to .665, including a .277 OBP and .388 slugging percentage.
  This is not the bounce-back the Braves were looking for after his disappointing 2008 season, particularly when he showed such encouraging signs in spring training.
  Hey, it’s early. Real early. But this has got to be troubling for the Braves.
  He’s boosted his average against lefties from last year’s .210 to .356 so far this season in 45 at-bats. But against righties, Francoeur’s hit .213 (19-for-89) with six extra-base hits and a .237 OBP, third-lowest among NL qualifiers.

Today’s Braves lineup
1. Omar Infante, 2B
2. Yunel Escobar, SS
3. Chipper Jones, 3B
4. Garret Anderson, LF
5. Matt Diaz, RF
6. Martin Prado, 1B
7. David Ross, C
8. Jordan Schafer, CF
9. Jo-Jo Reyes, LHP

  Bennett’s been bad: While ERA is an important statistic for starting pitchers, it’s way down the list of crucial stats for relievers, not reflective of the inherited runners they let in, the messes they might leave for others, or the importance of almost any run allowed by those who pitch in close games.
  For example, Jeff Bennett.
  Folks, he’s been quite bad this season, and yet he has a 2.51 ERA.
  But look deeper at the number that really matter for a reliever like him. He has allowed a .393 batting average (second-worst among NL relievers) and 21.3 baserunners per nine innings pitched (third-worst).
  He’s allowed a .466 OBP, meaning nearly half of the batters he’s faced have reached base.
  And against right-handers, he’s allowed a staggering .452 average (14-for-31) and .500 OBP.
  With runners on base, he’s allowed a .417 average (15-for-36) and .489 OBP. And with runners in scoring position, he’s allowed a .333 average (8-for-24) and .455 OBP.
  In close-and-late situation (like last night), Bennett has allowed a .364 average (4-for-11) with four walks, one hit batter, and a .529 OBP.
  Granted, it’s a relatively small body of work. But can the Braves afford to let that body of work get much bigger? How long can they put him in pressure situations without getting better results?
  Last year Bennett allowed a .243 average and .339 OBP, including a .236 average by righties. He was one of the Braves’ best in crucial situations, allowing just a .200 average with runners in scoring position and two outs, and a .204 average (22-for-108) in close-and-late situations.
  And get this: Last year in two-strike counts, batters hit .142 (24-for-169) against him. This season, they’re hitting .308 (8-for-26) against him in those counts.

 ♣ OK, gotta get this filed. I’ll update you on Glavine later, but he felt good in his two simulated innings today in the bullpen. Probably will have one more session like that with more pitches, then make a couple of minor-league rehab starts before rejoining the Braves as soon as the last week of May, provided he has no more setbacks.

“60 ACRES” by James McMurtry

Turned off the TV
sat down to dinner
phone rang, we were saying grace
grand ma died
left us sixty acres
the last of the old home place

sixty acres up on the cap rock
what am I supposed to do with that
uncle Claude got a eight wheeled tractor
plow it under in nothing flat
we could plant some maize
we could plant some cotton
we could plant some oats just to see if they’d grow
but I don’t like farming
don’t like the hours
don’t like a life that goes so slow

glory glory
hallelujah
right back atcha
hope that’ll do ya
don’t look at me like theres something I shouldn’t a’said
just cause that old bird’s dead

now cousin Clifford
he got the good land
right on the highway out by Air Base road
looks like a Wal-Mart waiting to happen
I mean to tell you it’s a pot of gold
It’s in the city limits, zoned commercial
Got city water and a sewer line
What with the base expanding from consolidation
It’s worth a fortune and it oughta been mine

glory glory
hallelujah
right back atcha
don’t she look natural?
don’t look at me like there’s
something growing outa my head
just cause that old bird’s dead

 

2,698 comments Add your comment

Steve OH

May 13th, 2009
1:15 pm

Monday meltdown?

Mitchell

May 13th, 2009
1:15 pm

1st!!!!!!!!!!

David O'Brien

May 13th, 2009
1:15 pm

This just in: Chipper can still hit a baseball.

stupup74

May 13th, 2009
1:16 pm

Nice start today, chipper with a booming double

1-0 braves

cabravesfan

May 13th, 2009
1:17 pm

That first pitch to Chipper, at least according to gameday, was right down the middle for a ball?

Oh, well, I’ll take a HR-in-any-other-park double :)

stupup74

May 13th, 2009
1:17 pm

GA with a Ribbie

I’m liking this.

Steve OH

May 13th, 2009
1:18 pm

Come on, GA!

cabravesfan

May 13th, 2009
1:18 pm

Jon Niese is a rock star

Mitchell

May 13th, 2009
1:18 pm

My proudest moment on the DOB blog.

Or maybe that was when DOB showed Katy Temple my love declaration at the end of last season in Houston.

Although it was really more “like.” I’m over her. No I’m not.

Il Cattivo

May 13th, 2009
1:19 pm

Man the swing by Chipper was sweet – seemed almost effortless and still went a long way.

On another note Niese isnt getting any “on the black” kinda calls from the ump. Reyes is in a for a long day if that holds up.

Scuba Steve

May 13th, 2009
1:19 pm

Am I the only one that actually felt bad for Bennett last night? He actually looked like he was going to cry after that bases loaded walk…he pissed me off as well…but the guy definitely didn’t try to give the game away.

Steve OH

May 13th, 2009
1:19 pm

Before everyone gets too excited, remember, we got JoJo.

Jeff321

May 13th, 2009
1:19 pm

Diaz is a f’ing joke!

ncscoots

May 13th, 2009
1:19 pm

We NEED to win this game today to take this series and erase the taste of last night’s stolen game.

The clinging, smothering neediness of bloggers has little bearing on actual baseball games.

KC

May 13th, 2009
1:20 pm

Anyone else get the feeling that Chipper is playing pissed off today? =)

Boy… we really need to win this game today. We really need to erase the taste of that stolen game last night.

I can’t begin to understand where Bobby’s head is at in giving McCann the day off today. To me, it’s beyond asinine. I know it’s a day game after a night game and all, but there’s a scheduled off-day tomorrow… so this makes no sense at all. We need our best lineup out there to win this game and this series.

Steve OH

May 13th, 2009
1:20 pm

Time for that guy to say, “when Diaz wiffs, he wiffs ugly.”

Chop Chop

May 13th, 2009
1:20 pm

scoots,

I bet there are some players in the Braves clubhouse who believe that we “need” to win this game today. If there aren’t any players like that in our clubhouse, I want some added to the team.

David O'Brien

May 13th, 2009
1:21 pm

Can’t believe for the second time in an eight-game trip, the Braves are wearing navy jerseys and their opponent is wearing black. Just like at Florida. Looks horrible. Shouldn’t be allowed. Didn’t used to be.

P-Town Brave

May 13th, 2009
1:21 pm

Nice to see GA get nostalgic during the hockey playoffs and go 5-hole on Niese :-)

Heavy Medlen

May 13th, 2009
1:21 pm

DOB.. when you say Bennett “didn’t come out” last night and talk to reporters.. does that mean he stayed in the training room last nght? Where was this coward hiding? And if you were a betting man, what’s the over/under on his days left on the Braves? Is he gone by the homestand?

Chop Chop

May 13th, 2009
1:21 pm

I do like the KC comment immediately after yours, though. What a coincidence.

KC

May 13th, 2009
1:21 pm

ncscoots, dude… what in the world are you talking about?

Mitchell

May 13th, 2009
1:21 pm

Braves bloggers, you gotta get me a win today.

I can’t watch it and I don’t even really want to listen. We should have had this series.

I may still have some faith left in JoJo goodwill vault.

Edward

May 13th, 2009
1:23 pm

Here we go again…

P-Town Brave

May 13th, 2009
1:23 pm

DOB-

Could be worse…before a Wisconsin/Illinois basketball game both teams came out of the tunnel to begin their warmups…

Wisky was wearing their bright red alternates while Illinois was wearing their bright orange alternates…

Yeah, lets just say it wasn’t very pretty to watch…and they were told under no uncertain terms by Big Ten officials that it would never EVER happen again.

groundfog

May 13th, 2009
1:23 pm

DOB: Is Chipper done having kids? If he has another son he may name him Citi if this keeps up lol.

The Lammer

May 13th, 2009
1:23 pm

June 1st cant come any sooner…

Smyrna Jim

May 13th, 2009
1:24 pm

Not quite the beginning I was hoping for.

Jeff321

May 13th, 2009
1:24 pm

I told you people Diaz was a damn joke! WTF was that?

Chop Chop

May 13th, 2009
1:24 pm

Sweet Lord…

groundfog

May 13th, 2009
1:24 pm

don’t know how much you can blame Diaz on that-he shouldn’t be playing right field.

David O'Brien

May 13th, 2009
1:24 pm

I’m told it’s up to the home team to let the visitors know what they’re wearing, like today they should’ve told the Braves they were wearing the dark jerseys. If they don’t tell ‘em, then hey, you have this aesthetic nightmare.

OK, so it probably bothers me more than most of you, right? I’ll stop then.

Meanwhile, Jo-Jo is quickly giving back the lead, and Matt Diaz just got made to look real bad by a ball that took a strange hop because of the extreme spin it had on it when Castillo poked it to right.

Score it a triple.

SamG

May 13th, 2009
1:24 pm

The one that scores more run is going to win…

Buffalo NY Braves Fan

May 13th, 2009
1:25 pm

Ok, I’m stuck at work without access….. ANYONE want to give a little insight to whats going on….

Steve OH

May 13th, 2009
1:25 pm

Already ugly. I want Reyes off this team.

Steve from OH

May 13th, 2009
1:25 pm

That was a strange hop…

Braves20

May 13th, 2009
1:25 pm

Have we seen enough?

groundfog

May 13th, 2009
1:25 pm

It may take 12 runs to win this one.

P-Town Brave

May 13th, 2009
1:26 pm

Thus why I never cared to see JoJo EVER again!

This should be his last start in a Braves uniform…

He’s had his chances, trade him for scraps and move on.

H-Ram

May 13th, 2009
1:26 pm

I hope they’re preparing Jo Jo’s bags after this one…send them to Gwinnett plz..

Chop Chop

May 13th, 2009
1:26 pm

I agree, DOB. I don’t like both teams wearing dark unis. Looks strange to me.

Renegator

May 13th, 2009
1:26 pm

Ugh – I hate Jo Jo Reyes

RHR

May 13th, 2009
1:26 pm

Braves go for series win after Tuesday meltdown

Ballgame? :)

Buffalo – it would be home run derby in a lot of parks, as it is, Braves 2, Mets 1 after a leadoff double followed by a leadoff triple. No outs, bottom of the 1st.

Chop Chop

May 13th, 2009
1:27 pm

Gary Sheffield is done.

Sandlot

May 13th, 2009
1:27 pm

Yeah, I agree about the unis, too.

Chop Chop

May 13th, 2009
1:27 pm

He’s got nothing.

mbatl

May 13th, 2009
1:27 pm

That looked like a bounce that might give a guy who’s only played 2 games in RF some trouble. It’s easy to assume LF and RF are interchangeable, but not really.

Mixxo

May 13th, 2009
1:27 pm

Diaz in right huh? ;)

Maybe someone didn’t tell him there’s a natural slice coming off a right-handed hitter’s bat. Learning the hard way.

Now Jojo is killing any momentum we started with. This could be ugly. :(

JP

May 13th, 2009
1:27 pm

Paging Mr. Hanson…

Il Cattivo

May 13th, 2009
1:27 pm

Nice D by Chipper. and Prado too.

Buffalo NY Braves Fan

May 13th, 2009
1:27 pm

Thanks RHR…

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

May 13th, 2009
1:27 pm

KC….from last blog, you are kidding right? Seriously man think about that statement and chill out a bit. What about the inning before when the Mets were called out at 3rd when in fact he was safe. Certainly they would have thrown the red flag from the dugout on that one.

You just can’t go laying blame on an umps call. Chipper looks like a damn fool for doing that which is becoming his norm of late. Sure it was a bad call but there are probably a dozen examples in any game that can be contested whether it be balls/strikes, bang bang plays, you name it.

Again that stuff all comes out in the wash. My thought is to just play ball and shut the hell up. Complaining and excuse making is for losers.

vabravesfan

May 13th, 2009
1:27 pm

leadoff double followed by a leadoff triple huh?? Interesting

Steve OH

May 13th, 2009
1:28 pm

How do you go out there, with your offense getting you a 2 run lead in the 1st, and give it right back like it was nothing? I’d yank him right then and there.

Renegator

May 13th, 2009
1:28 pm

Over/Under on runs allowed by Jo Jo today – 7

cabravesfan

May 13th, 2009
1:29 pm

While I have no real objections to walking Beltran, and glad we got Sheffield to GIDP, why do I get the feeling this game will last like 4 hours and end up 14-12?

JEFF

May 13th, 2009
1:29 pm

well guys here we go again. chalk it up jojo reyes going 0-18.. he sucks and bobby cox puts a pathetic lineup out there.. Tommy Hanson truly should be in the spot.. the offense gave him 2 runs right from the get go and what does this loser do. gives the runs right back.. 16-18 is the number after today.. glad i have to work so i dont have to watch the mets destroy this joke of a pitcher..one that bobby loves even though he hasnt won a game yet in 17 starts..

WestCoastBrave

May 13th, 2009
1:29 pm

We were lucky to get out of that with only 2 runs of damage. . .

lagnamor

May 13th, 2009
1:30 pm

When was the last time Diaz played RF?

vabravesfan

May 13th, 2009
1:30 pm

Regenerator, way under. Will allow 4 at most with a good defense today. You watch

bravesphanatic004

May 13th, 2009
1:30 pm

with this line up and jo jo on the mound you really have to wonder about booby. he obviously thinks this game means nothing. the game has passed him by…. please retire. for god’s sake….you suck bobby. you just suck.

MFin04 (Time to Get Rid of Bennett and Cox!)

May 13th, 2009
1:30 pm

Diaz got unlucky on that play in the corner…wicked spin and bounce. Good job getting the DP, come on Jo-Jo we believe in you!!! You can do it!!!!

RHR

May 13th, 2009
1:30 pm

By the way, I endured stinkin wal mart, in the rain, to go buy a proper radio to listen to the game today instead of following on gameday or the crappy mlb at bat app on my phone. I win today’s fan of the day lottery.

Interested Observer

May 13th, 2009
1:30 pm

I think Bobby’s ejection record has gotten into his head. We got screwed last night in a pivotal point in the game when the umpire was clearly out of position, Chipper was arguing a little, Infante apparently got thrown out from the bench, and nothing from Cox. He seems to have lost his fire.

ncscoots

May 13th, 2009
1:31 pm

Somehow, I don’t think JoJo is going get a lot of glad-hands for his bottom of the 1st. I’m just spitballin’, here.

trueblueBravesFan

May 13th, 2009
1:31 pm

My personal opinion is I hate the blue away jerseys. I would rather see the Braves where the grey or even the reds on the road.

Just my opinion. Plus they’ve gotta be hotter than wearing the greys.

ncbravesgirl

May 13th, 2009
1:31 pm

If Jo Jo cannot calm down and pitch a decent game after the terrible first, will Cox finally stop running him out there?

JJ

May 13th, 2009
1:31 pm

So how many games do the Braves have to lose with JoJo pitching for them to do something else? I mean, is Wren really going to forfeit all his starts until either Glavine can pitch or they can save money on Hanson?

bravesphanatic004

May 13th, 2009
1:31 pm

siap…..but neise is the ugliest b*stard i have ever seen in my entire life. his nose is all jacked up!

RHR

May 13th, 2009
1:32 pm

Ross K’ed

K’fer – popped out

McFann :Ô:

May 13th, 2009
1:32 pm

The Mets didn’t tell the Braves they were wearing the dark uni’s? That figures. We give them a win, and this is the thanks we get…

This always happens with Ho-Ho: The Braves score no runs for him, and he pitches a shutout. they score a couple runs for him, and he gives them right back.

WestCoastBrave

May 13th, 2009
1:32 pm

Here we go Big Daddy Ross

Jeff321

May 13th, 2009
1:32 pm

Ha, the Mets announcers were just talking about how the Braves have talented pitching at AAA including Tommy Hanson. But, Cox insists on trotting out JoJo Reyes!

Now, I’m not saying Hanson should be up here. But, clearly we have better options at AAA.
Plus, I’d be willing to bet Parr (in our bullpen now) is more reliable than JoJo.

Smyrna Jim

May 13th, 2009
1:32 pm

Joe Simpson with a good job in discussing Jo Jo – “he’s been given a lot of opportunities, and he doesn’t have many left,” and “he has to prove to his teammates that he can keep them in the game.”

Buffalo NY Braves Fan

May 13th, 2009
1:32 pm

One thing you have to admit about Citi Field, they took the cautious approach to the dimensions and made the park play big. Unlike the new yankee stadium, this park actually resembles a baseball stadium rather than a home run derby.

I think I heard a quote from Wilpon about how it’s easier to move the fences in than it is to move them out.

JJ

May 13th, 2009
1:32 pm

MFin04 – Speak for yourself. I have ZERO confidence in JoJo

TnBrian

May 13th, 2009
1:33 pm

I’d love to have Mac in there today but Ross catching Reyes might be the best thing for Jo.

David O'Brien

May 13th, 2009
1:33 pm

trueblueBravesfan: Actually, the blue jerseys are more comfortable because of the lighter mesh material. I think that’s why the guys like wearing them, even more than appearance (though they do like how they look, too.)

I’m with you — the classic road greys look better.

RHR

May 13th, 2009
1:33 pm

JoJo K’ed

Braves are in a hurry to go home.

P-Town Brave

May 13th, 2009
1:33 pm

Man, if JoJo Reyes sucked any harder, he’d have to change his name to Dyson or Hoover!

JEFF

May 13th, 2009
1:33 pm

and because cox is an idiot .. mccann kotchman and francouer on the bench.. here we go.. chalk it up … doesnt want to take the series by that statement of a lineup and another reason cox seriously needs to go.. they have a scheduled day off and we rest 3 of the starters.. good managing bobby.. and wow way to go down 1 2 3 ….. good lineup cox.

TN Jeff

May 13th, 2009
1:34 pm

Braves Reyes – Head Case Extradonaire

Heard lots of comments last night here that Braves should plunk Mets Reyes to shut him up. D. Lowe is the only Braves Pitcher with the guts to do so – should have started him for just one batter & let him hit him.

Not getting to see the game – following on Net. Did Diaz lose the ball in the glare – what a pathetic defensive outfield we have.

Jordan has never seen a ball over his head that he didn’t think he could catch. Frenchy has never seen a ball over his head that he felt the need to hustle to try to catch. They should position all the outfielders at the edge of the warning track (especially late in games) to try to limit the damage.

Daniel

May 13th, 2009
1:35 pm

wow- everyone is so down on Bobby today. I am not sure why Kotchman isn’t in the lineup, but the rest makes sense. Calm down people.

Herschel Talker

May 13th, 2009
1:36 pm

DOB – seriously, how many times can they keep trotting Joke Joke out there? This is madness. They basically give away every fifth game. Hanson possibly couldn’t be less effective, arbitration clock be damned.

Daniel

May 13th, 2009
1:37 pm

DOB- I strongly disagree with you. I like the blue uni’s

Herschel Talker

May 13th, 2009
1:37 pm

This just in: Joke Joke still can’t pitch

braves70

May 13th, 2009
1:37 pm

It might be worth a loss today if it meant that we were free of Oh No Reyes.

P-Town Brave

May 13th, 2009
1:37 pm

TN Jeff-

Sadly I’m laughing at the comments there, but really, I agree…also you forgot about Jordan thinking he can catch a ball until he runs full speed into a wall.

bravesphanatic004

May 13th, 2009
1:37 pm

JEFF…..so true. this guy couldnt manage a high school team right now.

DOB, how many more of these pathetic seasons will you and other booby supporters have to see before you realize he cant get the job done anymore?

thats the real question, because when that finally happens he will be gone. the sad thing is its probably going to take a few more years…..

P-Town Brave

May 13th, 2009
1:38 pm

Late Breaking News:

JoJo still sucks and still shouldn’t be wearing the uniform!

Steve OH

May 13th, 2009
1:38 pm

The ball is finding Diaz out there today.

cricket

May 13th, 2009
1:38 pm

I’m in two minds but I would’ve preferred to see Parr pitch yesterday for Bennett than starting today for JO-JO.

RHR

May 13th, 2009
1:38 pm

braveshater

May 13th, 2009
1:39 pm

This has to be the worst outfield ever assembled.

mbatl

May 13th, 2009
1:39 pm

Man, that looks like one huge ballpark. I actually like it. I enjoy watching balls roll in the big gaps and runners running, and OF chasing down long flies, more than pop flies going over the fence.

Speaking of… nice grab by Schafer!

LKS

May 13th, 2009
1:39 pm

OMG…that was a heck of a catch by Schaf

David O'Brien

May 13th, 2009
1:39 pm

WOW, what a catch by Schafer. Tremendous. That’s a web gem, for certain.

Mixxo

May 13th, 2009
1:39 pm

Whoa Jordan! Nice catch buddy!

Daniel

May 13th, 2009
1:39 pm

DOB- are you going to get to catch Dylan, Nelson and Mellencamp at a minor league park this summer? Surely, the paper would love a story on that and it fits with baseball. I am going to the show is Sevierville, TN.

JEFF

May 13th, 2009
1:39 pm

very correct Jeff… its sad when another teams announcers states the facts.. we have great pitching in Gwinett and TOMMY HANSON. but cox is adimant about jojo reyes and keeps giving him starts and Keith Hernandez response is hes 0-17 and an era of 9. hes hasnt gotten the job done and the mets eat have eaten him up. its pathetic how our manager has faith in this kid who just stinks and continues to give him starts.. and just got help by jordan schafer..

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