Will Braves build off thrilling win?

  Every once in a while you get a game that feels like it could possibly have lasting impact, a game that features a galvanizing rally or dispiriting meltdown, or a single game-changing moment so dramatic that the shift in momentum seem to linger for days, or even turns the season itself.
  For instance, Kelly Johnson’s dropped popup with two outs in the ninth inning of a series opener against the Phillies last season. Shouldn’t have been such a big deal, right? Just one play, one loss. But the Braves went on to get swept that weekend, and whether logical or reasonable or not, that moment, and that weekend, seemed to set a new course for a disappointing season.
  Or take Jeff Francoeur’s homer in his first day up with the Braves as a midseason callup in 2005. It not only propelled him to a dream-like first couple of months in the majors, including a famous Sports Illustrated cover along the way, but also seemed to spark the so-called Baby Braves — man, I hated that nickname — to a postseason appearance in their first year dotting the major league roster.
  Which brings us to last night’s game. Specifically, could that thrilling ninth-inning rally and 12-inning Braves win shake this team from the mediocre malaise that’s been the overall defining characteristic of their 50 game? (Some critics might say it’s defined their past three-plus seasons, but that’s another story.)
  Or was it a couple of moments that will quickly be forgotten? Was Francoeur’s two-out, ninth-inning, game-tying homer last night a turning point for the much-maligned erstwhile Golden Boy? Or just a lucky swing on a fat pitch?

Chipper celebrates after game-ending hit

Chipper celebrates after game-ending hit in Braves' 12-inning win Tuesday.

   And what about Chipper’s game-ending hit? Is that moment, and the joyful celebration that ensued on the field, something the Braves can store away in their collective memory bank and use as a reminder for the rest of the season that late-game deficits can be overcome, and that winning really is a freakin’ blast worth doing whatever it takes to make happen more often?
  Or was it just a dumb decision by Lou Piniella to not walk Chipper, but instead pitch to a future Hall of Famer who’s got a good chance to deliver if you give him a pitch to hit with the game on the line? Or maybe a combination of both, that led to a great night at the ‘yard for the home team and its fans, but probably not much of anything more?
  We shall see. It’s always interesting to see how a team comes back the day after a particularly disappointing loss or uplifting win. But usually in baseball, unlike most other sports, so much of momentum can depend almost entirely on one person — the next day’s starting pitcher.
  Fortunately for the Braves, they have Derek Lowe going tonight, and Jair Jurrjens in the series finale Wednesday (against Carlos Zambrano, in his first start since a six-game suspension for blowing a gasket).
In other words, the Braves have a real chance to sweep the Cubs in front of relatively large crowds at Turner   Field, albeit crowds bolstered in numbers by so many Cubs followers. And a sweep would give the Braves eight wins in their past nine games, a complete turnaround from their early season home-field woes.
  By the way, even if there are thousands of Cubs fans in attendance, the atmosphere created can be electric, with that dynamic of the out-of-town fans changing “Let’s Go Cubs” inspiring the home fans to raise their own decibel level a bit and drown them out. The back-and-forth makes it a lively atmosphere, a world apart from, say, the Pirates being in town for a mid-week series.
  Just to finish on our point: Will last night’s win carry over? Will Lowe pitch like he did for most of the first two months of the season, or like Thursday at Arizona, when he gave up 10 hits in seven innings? Will the Braves provide ample run support for him, as they did for most of two months, or score one or two runs while he’s in the game, as they’ve done in two of his last three starts?
  We’ll find out soon enough. Because that’s another aspect of this great sport that makes it unique — you don’t have to wait a few days or a week for the next game. They’re back out there tonight, and tomorrow. The beautiful 162-game marathon grinds on.

 

♣ Francoeur vs. the Cubs: It’s way too early to suggest that Francoeur is about to get his season turned around, not based on one all-around outstanding game by the right fielder.
  After all, his .275 on-base percenage is tied for fifth-worst among NL regulars.
  But if you’re the Cubs, you might wondering how that’s possible. Because against them, Frenchy rakes. Or at least he has recently.
 Francoeur is 6-for-15 with three homers and seven RBI in his past four games against the Cubs, with three walks, two strikeouts, a .500 OBP and a tidy 1.000 slugging percentage.
  He has homered in three of those four games, but the Braves hadn’t won any of them until last night.
In fact, the Braves lost all six games against the Cubs last season, totaling just 18 runs while posting a 7.64 ERA in those six games.
 Including last night’s win, the Braves have hit .225 against the Cubs since the beginning of last season.

♣ Soriano vs. Braves: One reason for the Cubs’ recent success against the Braves is an ongoing, one-man assault on Braves pitching by Alfonso Soriano.
  Any Braves-nemesis list of recent vintage has to have Soriano at or near the top. It’s ridiculous how good the wiry slugger is against them, and it’s been that way whether he was with the Rangers, Nationals, and Cubs.
  Read ‘em and weep: Soriano has a .346 average with 16 homers, 35 RBI and 1.145 OPS in 37 career games against the Braves, including a .744 slugging percentage that’s his highest against any team.
  He’s faced all 30 teams in his career, and the only one he’s posted a higher OPS against is Pittsburgh (1.166), which is also the only team he’s slugged as high as .640 against. Again, he’s slugged .744 against the Braves in 37 games.
  And he’s not slowing down against them. If anything, he’s still getting better against Braves pitching. In his past 12 games against them, he’s hit .360 (18-for-50) with two triples, seven homers, 11 RBI, seven walks and a 1.330 OPS.
  It’s not like you can walk him to start the game. But, man, you might be tempted to pitch around him, for fear of a leadoff homer like he hit in the first inning last night against Kenshin Kawakami, the first homer off Kawakami since late April.
  Turner Field is considered either a fair park or a pitchers’ park, but certainly hit a hitters’ park. This season there have been far fewer homers hit in Atlanta than at any ballpark in the majors.
  But that doesn’t stop Soriano, whose homer last night was his eighth in 17 games at Turner Field, where he’s hit .347 with a .760 slugging percentage — his highest slugging percentage at any park where he’s played more than three games.
  In case you’re wondering how he’s done against Lowe, he’s 13-for-53 (.245) with three homers and 13 strikeouts. And not a single walk. Lowe has to hope that pitching for the Braves won’t change his fortunes against the Braves nemesis.

♣ Speaking of Sorianos: Braves reliever Rafael Soriano, who struck out three in two scoreless innings last night, appears to be past his health issues and pitching again like the dominant reliever he was for most of the 2007 season.
  In 12 appearances since May 5, he has a 0.71 ERA and .178 opponents’ average with 17 strikeouts and three walks in 12-2/3 innings. He’s allowed eight hits and just one run in that span, that on a homer.
Soriano has pitched in back-to-back days five times in that period, including three times in three days May 5-7. He’s given up no runs in any of the games involved in those five consecutive appearances.

 Etc.
 • We all know Jordan Schafer was strugging mightily before he was sent to Triple-A on Tuesday, and here’s the 1-2 combo that emphasizes just how much he struggled: He’s tied with Ryan Howard for the NL’s second-highest strikeout total (63), but Schafer also has the fourth-lowest slugging percentage (.287).
  After going 8-for-19 (.421) with two doubles, two homers and three RBI in his first five games, Schafer hit .176 (26-for-148) with six doubles, no homers, five RBI and 59 strikeouts in his last 45 games, with a .289 OBP and .216 slugging percentage.
  If you’re a rookie hitter like Schafer, is the Philly bandbox (or new Yankee Stadium) perhaps the last place you should make your debut, or what?
• And finally: Despite the terrible trip (2-5) the Braves just completed, they still have a 15-10 record since May 6 that’s only a half-game behind the Mets (16-10) and Phillies (16-10) in that span. Florida is 10-16 in that stretch.

 ♣ OK, a tune. Warning: Nothing more below this part of the blog is about baseball, so you might just want to skip to the comments now. (Seriously, if you don’t like music or BBQ or movie talk, just skip those parts. It’s not too demanding to do so. Or at least skip commenting about it. Because, well, frankly we don’t care that you hate music or BBQ or a discussion of either that intrudes on my blog space, the content of which a couple of people here, for some unknown reason, apparently feel they should be able to control.)
  Look, I know it’s hard to avert your gaze from the lyrics or BBQ talk and, well, you know, skip those parts. You’re still reading this part, huh? Despite the warning above about there being no baseball talk here? Even though you know this is about nothing but music? And you’re still going to feel compelled to say something original like “skip the silly song lyrics,” right? OK, that’s cool. Do what you’ve got to do.
  Anyway, funny thing about this great tune. I’d already decided to use these lyrics after this song popped up on my Ipod shuffle Monday while I was mowing the lawn. Had nothing to do with last night’s game, though for some it could certainly apply, or at least they hope it does.

“BRAND NEW START” by Paul Weller

I’m gonna clear out my head
I’m gonna get myself straight
I know it’s never too late
To make a brand new start

I’m gonna kick down the door
I’m gonna get myself in
I’m gonna fix up the yard
And not fall back again

I’m gonna clear up my earth
And build a heaven off the ground
Not something distant on a cloud
But something real to me
But something real to me

All that I can I can be
All that I am I can’t see
All that is mine is in my hands
So to myself I call

There’s somewhere else I should be
There’s someone else I can’t see
There’s something more I can find
There’s only love to me

I’m gonna clean up my earth
And build a heaven off the ground
Not something dsitant on a cloud
But something real to me
But something real to me

I’m gonna clean up my head
I’m gonna get myself straight
I feel it’s never too late
To make a brand new start
To make a brand new start
To make a brand new start

 

 

2,500 comments Add your comment

McPoyle

June 3rd, 2009
2:23 pm

Pierson Brave

June 3rd, 2009
2:23 pm

Flamenco the Foot

June 3rd, 2009
2:23 pm

McFann :Ô:

June 3rd, 2009
2:23 pm

First? Thanks for the new Blog, Chief!

From the last one:

cphizzle

Oh, I know he will…the only Q is “When?” When?…if it wasn’t for the fact that, apart from April 10th, he only has three, this wouldn’t be quite as annoying…

he is like two ply toilet paper proven to be effective

Seems to me there’s something wrong with the way you put that…

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

June 3rd, 2009
2:25 pm

Thanks for the new blog, DOB.

So here’s a trade proposal: Frenchy for Soriano (Alfonso, that is). Cub killer swapped for Brave killer, LOL.

McPoyle

June 3rd, 2009
2:29 pm

haha DOB, hit the nail on the head. i was wondering the same thing when Lou decided to pitch to Chipper in that spot in the 12th. He’d just walked him a couple innings before in the same situation. Now of course you’ve got Mac waiting on deck, but that didn’t stop him the first time, and eventually got all the way down to G.A. and got out of the inning.

If the strategy worked the first time, why would a manager stray away from it the second time around. Also… Wells was tossing a gem. Not a high pitch count, D-Lee really blew the kid’s chance a complete game. But despite the HR by G.A. and the error by Lee… i don’t think you take Wells out there. I live in Chicago and Lou is notorious for poor pitcher management. We caught the Cubs at a good time, nothing is going right for them right now. Injuries are killing them (surprise surprise Milton Bradley is hurt again). A sweep would be nice vs Cubs with the hot Brewers coming in on the weekend.

Steve from OH

June 3rd, 2009
2:30 pm

Great tune, DOB.

Nick in PA

June 3rd, 2009
2:30 pm

DOB,

Escobar get his Oscar yet??

PWHjort

June 3rd, 2009
2:32 pm

Typos: series finale is Thursday and somewhere in there there’s a “hit” where there should be a “not”.

cphizzle

June 3rd, 2009
2:33 pm

nono mcfann look at it this way what had you rather go to battle with one or two ply…one ply being like greg norton gets the job done but had much rather have mccann up because he is lot more effective…use that imagination

PWHjort

June 3rd, 2009
2:35 pm

McPoyle, remember when Sweet Lou took Zambrano out after like 4 innings in game 1 of the 2007 NLDS? THAT was stupid.

cphizzle

June 3rd, 2009
2:36 pm

DOB lets hope for all of the answers we are looking for when it comes to those questions you brought forth in your piece.

bravos2249

June 3rd, 2009
2:37 pm

Nick in PA

Escobar wasn’t hit. but the way he fell he could have twinged his hip. That could have been why he took so long to get up.

cphizzle

June 3rd, 2009
2:38 pm

escobar just got his oscar for worst hair in a drama…good grief man he needs to address that issue…yikes!!!

Interested Observer

June 3rd, 2009
2:40 pm

Chipper might not even play today with a left-hander pitching. We’re looking at having Diory play 3rd or Norton playing 1st and Prado 3rd. Not to mention the left-hander is Ted “The Headhunter” Lilly. Things could get interesting.

McPoyle

June 3rd, 2009
2:41 pm

yea, you can never be too sure what’s goin on with Lou. I get mad at Bobby sometimes because I feel like he’s too “by-the-book”, but then i look at Lou and wonder what the hell book he’s using. Irrationality is his strategy most of the time.

Chop Chop

June 3rd, 2009
2:43 pm

It would be wise for the Cubs to have a lefty reliever ready for Chipper late in the game.

MFin04

June 3rd, 2009
2:43 pm

I like Esco faking like he got hit. Nothing wrong with that, if they are going to throw inside at you, no reason not to act like it hit you. That is at least the second time he has done it this year.

Anyone notice that McCann got hit in the foot last night, but didn’t react because he was hoping the ball would get away and the runner from third would score the winning run? That was interesting strategy by Brian.

"Chef" Tim Dix

June 3rd, 2009
2:48 pm

I am expecting a bench clearing brawl tonight or tomarrow due to the pitching last night and recent past from the Cubs.

If it happens, I want the Bravos to man up, kick them hard, and set a standard for the TED.

PWHjort

June 3rd, 2009
2:48 pm

Is Kotchman out? What are the details of the injury?

BJones

June 3rd, 2009
2:48 pm

I went to last nights game and had a helluva time. Got into a couple arguments with a couple drunk Cubby fans…competive banter who doesnt enjoy that?

Sitting in left field, a bunch of fans were all over Alfonso Soriano…Some comments drew a angry look from Soriano others a simple chuckle. But what really pi$$ed me off and as well as all the other Braves fans in left, was Soriano prior to the bottom of the 9th pointing to the score board taking off his camp and bowing. He also did a little dance as Frenchy stepped up to bat. After Frenchy went yard, Alfonso never looked back into the stands…I guess he underestimated the heart of the Braves and their fans.

Hopefully, the Braves can use last nights win as a source of motivation and get going on a long win streak. Go Braves.

BMoney

June 3rd, 2009
2:49 pm

Hey McPoyle, I too am caught up here in Chicagoland, and I must say it was painful listening to Santo pronounce KK on the radio last night on my way home from work. Pat Hughes just pronunced KK’s name correctly and then asked Ron to tell us about KK, and then there goes Ronny murdering KK’s name just after it was pronounced correctly for him by Pat Hughes. I can’t see him screwing up Lowe’s name, but JJ’s might be an adventure tomorrow.

Nick in PA

June 3rd, 2009
2:52 pm

bravos:

That’s the first thing I thought of when it happened, but he was also a great seller. Him trying not to laugh while standing on first base was classic

Nick in PA

June 3rd, 2009
2:54 pm

DOB,

If the braves make the playoffs, will you rock some frosted tips like Yunel?!?

Erin

June 3rd, 2009
2:54 pm

Kotchman has a “contusion” (bruise) on his leg. I think they said out 3-4 days or something at the time. That was Sunday, I think.

MiltonDawg

June 3rd, 2009
2:56 pm

PWH: I believe Kotchman is day to day on his shin. The game last night was awesome! Francine may ( i say may) have gotten some heat off him for awhile, we’ll see how he does tonight. I’m hoping this well turn the page for the Braves…lets start winning some series and move away from .500 please!! Expect more drama for the next two games.

bravos2249

June 3rd, 2009
2:56 pm

Casey is expected to play in the Brewers series…after the Cubs leave town.

DAP

June 3rd, 2009
2:56 pm

that picture of chipper looks like hes doing a freddy kruger impression or something.

MiltonDawg

June 3rd, 2009
2:57 pm

Also loved seeing the look of the bandwagon cubs fans sitting there like what the heck just happened? priceless.

Dr. Braveslove

June 3rd, 2009
2:58 pm

I’ve read his name before on here, but I wanted to find out what the thoughts might be in trying to acquire Aaron Rowand from the Giants. I know everyone has a player they want that may or may not actually be available, and he may not be at this time, but we could likely send a Morton/Reyes with a couple of other solid minor league prospects in exchange once the Giants realize they aren’t going to catch the Dodgers.

He has an OPS of .850, has won a Gold Glove in Center, and allows us some flexibility in the outfield. We would need to Giants to pick up a chunk of his $9.6 mil salary, but I would think he would be a nice fit for us right now.

Thoughts?

McFann :Ô:

June 3rd, 2009
2:59 pm

cphizzle

Oh, I know. I was just givin’ you the business.

MFin04

Yeah, I noticed that. It would have been great if he woulda ended up getting a hit.

fat people sink faster

June 3rd, 2009
2:59 pm

we could see a pretty average at best lineup out there today from us

McPoyle

June 3rd, 2009
2:59 pm

BMoney – that’s great! haha. I could only imagine how badly he butchered that name. Santo is the absolute worst, Pat Hughes must be a saint to put up with him all these years. I bet Ron was prettttty upset at the loss last night. When Frenchy homered it was probably a big “ohhh nooooo!!!” from Ronny. Chances of him saying JJ’s name right are about as good as Soriano’s chances or hitting a slider down and in.

getmattholliday

June 3rd, 2009
3:00 pm

Let’s hope this sparks a 7-3 homestand at least. Braves seemed like they pushed the issue by stealing the base and getting the GW single in the extra innings. That’s good.

cphizzle

June 3rd, 2009
3:02 pm

see miltondawg that the problem with the expectations for frenchy everybody expects him to go 5-5 everynight and win the game for us and it is not fair for him or anybody else. if he goes 0-4 tonight everyone will forget he bascially won the game for us lastnight. he is gonna hey his good days and bad but he is still our rf so lets support and dog him when he has a 0fer

a643dp

June 3rd, 2009
3:05 pm

DOB,

Is there anyway to get the Braves stats against just starting pitchers and against just relievers. I wish I could see the splits. It seems more so than most teams we struggle against the starters 1000Xs more tham we do with relievers. I look back and see guys like Wells,Owings,The Unit 2009 2.0,Doug Davis ect…………………Kicking our A$$es. These are #3-5 starters that we consistanly make them look like Ace pitchers. I just would like to know WHY TP AND BOBBY DO NOT SEEM TO ENCOURAGE MORE PLAYERS TO WORK THE COUNT. Now I did see a little improvement last night but that was with Prado screaming to Yunel to be selective.(I love the little MP14 player). Baseball is a team sport and to me the first objective a starting lineup should have is to get the starter out of the game. Even if a pitcher is no hitting you, if you work the count he should be at 100 pitches in the 7th. We consistantly have starting pitchers we face in the 6th with 65 pitches. The first game of a series should b the biggest one to knock the starter out early and tire the opposing teams bullpen for the remaining 2-3 games. ABC baseball…….ATTACK BULLPEN CONSISTENTLY

Shaun

June 3rd, 2009
3:07 pm

I think the fact that we have no idea what will happen, that we don’t know if this was a turning point, indicates that it probably was not. If a dramatic indecent could obviously turn momentum, wouldn’t it be fairly obvious?

woogidy

June 3rd, 2009
3:07 pm

He’s right, the atmosphere at the Ted was great last night. The Cub fans are pretty good sports about losing too. But I’d guess you’d have to be if you were a Cubs fan.

eatPhillie

June 3rd, 2009
3:07 pm

DOB no more BBQ and music. gEEZ MAN, YOU WERE HIRED TO COVER YOUR BASEBALL TEAM. now stop it already!!!!

MiltonDawg

June 3rd, 2009
3:12 pm

cphizzle, i agree with you but i think many fans were expecting the next Mickey Mantle to come through and since his rapid acceleration to the top when he first came on the scence, it’s been close to a downward spiral for him since. Hopefully that HR last night will give him a motivation boost.

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

June 3rd, 2009
3:12 pm

Dr. Braveslove,

Not a huge Rowand fan (though he would mark an improvement over any of our OF right now), but the Giants are looking to add bats not arms. So even if the Braves were interested, I don’t see it happening. Same with Randy Winn, who I’d rather see them get than Rowand.

MiltonDawg

June 3rd, 2009
3:13 pm

i feel if JF has another month like he did in May, send him to the minors for 2 weeks. He may moan and complain but whatever, it’s good for him in the long run.

Wesley Snipes

June 3rd, 2009
3:14 pm

“If you’re a rookie hitter like Schafer, is the Philly bandbox (or new Yankee Stadium) perhaps the last place you should make your debut, or what?” DOB

I’m not sure that’s fair. I don’t recall all of his hits in Philly that series. But I do recall that he was stinging the ball all spring, and the one HR he hit in Philly was to the deepest part of the park and was a very nice, level swing that was rocketed out of there.

I just think the struggles compounded on him, and big league pitchers (when given a scouting reports of recent “trends” of certain hitters), can exploit holes in a swing, like Jordan has.

But you’re right to an extent. I remember Furcal hit his first ML HR at Enron in Houston and it barely got over that LF fence. He then proceeded to start hacking.

So, imo, rather than blame the bandbox park, I think hitting a HR (no matter what park it would have been in), in Schafer’s first ML AB, was perhaps a disaster in the making.

But like I said. I don’t remember all of his hits at Philly in that series. Whether any of them were “cheap” or not. But I do remember his swings were very nice and balanced. Not sure when that changed. Wrist injury, maybe?

SP

June 3rd, 2009
3:14 pm

There’s been plenty of talk about Esco’s acting job last night, but I think the reason he was thrown at is because he was peeking in at the signs. Soto setup outside and Wells – who had pinpoint control all night – put one on Esco’s chin. The WGN broadcast (I’m in Bermuda right now so it’s all I could get) clearly pointed this out in their replays. I know it’s not the first time Esco’s peeked at the signs, and not the first time he’s faked being hit, but I hope his habit doesn’t get him actually hit where next time the pain might be a little more real.

BMoney

June 3rd, 2009
3:15 pm

McPoyle, hear ya man.

Forgot who mentioned beanings, but I could see something happening w/ Lilly tonight. Hopefully the Bravos will man up.

McPoyle

June 3rd, 2009
3:15 pm

a643dp – totally agree on the hitting approach. braves didn’t work any counts last night, and Wells doesn’t have strikeout stuff so you can afford to work counts against him. seemed like lazy fly ball after lazy fly ball early in the count last night. was glad to see him yanked for the walk-happy Marmol

bruce

June 3rd, 2009
3:16 pm

David –
Back in your previous blog, (Monday Medlin) some here briefly speculated on what might be the name of a four walk game to compliment the four strike out golden sombrero. Are you familiar with any terms? Wiki baseball terms page did not have any that I saw… Golden Watch was suggested, as was Golden Spikes, and maybe others. Any thoughts? Thanks, Bruce

DAP

June 3rd, 2009
3:16 pm

Dr. Braveslove

i think the giants are looking to add, not subtract, and they have plenty of what the braves have to offer, pitching. the giants are actually similar to the braves in that they have good pitching, and need a bat.

but, the braves sure could do worse than rowand.

by the way, we won that game last night like a championship team. im just saying, the braves looked REAL good at the end of that game last night. the clutch homer to tie it and then the SB to set up the game winning single was sweet.

Chop Chop

June 3rd, 2009
3:16 pm

If I’m Lilly, I drill Escobar in the back to make sure that he gets hit.

We need a brawl, after all.

PWHjort

June 3rd, 2009
3:17 pm

Thanks for the Kotchman news, all.
Cphizzle, we don’t expect Fewnchy to go 5-5 every night. We just expect him to not make an out at least 35% of the time and hit for some power. Neither of which he has done since 2006.

Wesley Snipes

June 3rd, 2009
3:17 pm

I see Max Headroom…..er… Shaun is back to refute any possiblity of human element, momentum and confindence “building” moments having any impact whatsoever.

DAP

June 3rd, 2009
3:18 pm

shaunI think the fact that we have no idea what will happen, that we don’t know if this was a turning point, indicates that it probably was not. If a dramatic indecent could obviously turn momentum, wouldn’t it be fairly obvious?

you must be alot of fun to be around.

jmart1951

June 3rd, 2009
3:18 pm

DOB; Thanks for the new blog.

Question? Bill Shanks has been saying that there is tension and unrest inside the Braves locker room. It sounds as if there are several cliques. In your opinion is this true? and if so, does it matter. Does a team have to have personal chemistry versus team chemistry in order to be successful? If they have tension and differences inside the club house can they still get the job done on the field?

Escobar Honey

June 3rd, 2009
3:20 pm

escobar just got his oscar for worst hair in a drama…good grief man he needs to address that issue…yikes!!!

Uh, me and most of my nonpale girlfriends luv his hair. It needs to be more blonde as it’s a nice contrast with his complexion. Blonde streaks in hair shouldn’t have any shock value or be worth comment. Is there anyone on this thing that lives in a big city?

Cyndi Lauper's Aura

June 3rd, 2009
3:20 pm

If Francoeur were the only major hole in the line-up, it wouldn’t be so bad. His occassional power and his great arm in the field would be plenty good in that sort of role.

But having him in the middle of Pitcher’s-Vacation Row is head-banging frustrating.

In other words, he could probably succeed very well in Boston.

JJ

June 3rd, 2009
3:21 pm

Blast from the past: Just looked this up from last year. The cubbies beat the crap out of Braves 5 out of 6 games, outscoring the Braves 46 – 16 over that five game stretch. But get this, the starters in those five games were Charlie Morton, Jorge Campillo, Jeff Bennett, and Glavine twice. They managed 16.1 IP and gave up 27 ER.

Gotta say I like the idea of throwing KK, Lowe, and JJ at em this year A LOT better. My how things (pitching anyway) change in just a short year.

BMoney

June 3rd, 2009
3:21 pm

By the way the Cubs announcers were raggin on Esco the whole game after his ol’ John Wayne that he pulled. I was so glad Chip drove Esco in for the winner.

By the way, they were also commenting on how players never play for one organization their whole career anymore. They went thru a bunch of names like Brett, Gwynn, Biggio, etc, even brought up Smoltz for being a Brave for 20 years, but never once did they bring up Chipper. You all should be thankful for the announcers down there. These guys just don’t seem to read anything but the Tribune or watch local Sports. I could give you a handful of more examples of things they botched last night, but I gotta get back to work. Again, be thankful for the Braves announcers.

Salamander

June 3rd, 2009
3:22 pm

eatPhillie

Someone has to be the boring a$$hole who proves that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit (in the wrong hands).

You are it sir.

It fits.

Nocho

June 3rd, 2009
3:22 pm

DOB: “In other words, the Braves have a real chance to sweep the Cubs…”

Now why you gotta go say that?

getmattholliday

June 3rd, 2009
3:23 pm

we’ll see tonight if last night’s result was a turning point. I liked, though, HOW the Braves won the game in the late innings. Escobar stole the base instead of waiting to be bunted over, and Chipper came through with the GW single.

If we’re not going to trade for a bat, and go with what we got, successful small ball is how this team is going to have to win.

BJones

June 3rd, 2009
3:24 pm

eatPhillie

June 3rd, 2009
3:24 pm

salamader my punch “fits” your ugly face

Jimmy

June 3rd, 2009
3:25 pm

“And a sweep would give the Braves eight wins in their past nine games, a complete turnaround from their early season home-field woes.”

I’m assuming you meant 8 of their last 9 HOME games?

Cyndi Lauper's Aura

June 3rd, 2009
3:25 pm

Nocho, DOB cursed the Braves so many ways in this current blog, I can only hope he’s hoping for some kind of bizarre curse-reverse from the sheer overkill.

If not, look for four injuries and two losses. I feel a karma cloud like that dark sky in Ghost Busters forming over this blog….

Thanks, David.

[...] manu wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptFlamenco the Foot. June 3rd, 2009 2:23 pm. What a win. Link; Report this comment. McFann :Ô: June 3rd, 2009 2:23 pm. First? Thanks for the new Blog, Chief! From the last one: cphizzle–. Oh, I know he will…the only Q is “When? … Read the rest of this great post here Posted in Uncategorized on June 3rd, 2009 | [...]

dmack2027

June 3rd, 2009
3:28 pm

I love to see Frenchy have a good game.

My opinion is that he is thinking too much, and his confidence is shaken. I really want to see him do well this season. Here is to hoping that happens.

DOB-How much of Schafer’s struggles can be attributed to the sore wrist? Maybe he needs some time to heal. People bang on him for not utilizing his speed, but 8 hole hitters rarely steal bases.

Nöcho

June 3rd, 2009
3:29 pm

It simply amazes me how one good game by Francoeur is supposed to erase his two year long “slump”. It was one nice game. Let’s not go overboard.

McPoyle

June 3rd, 2009
3:33 pm

BMoney – i caught that too on the broadcast. Good ol’ len and bob. Rattled off a bunch of HOF’s who’ve played for one team their whole career and didn’t even mention the player in the very game they were watching. I guess Chipper as a hall of famer is still a question mark in some minds, but I was waiting for them to toss his name out there.

Should be a good matchup tonight, Lowe and Lilly’s numbers are pretty similar. Even if the Braves toss out the B-squad tonight against a lefty i like our chances. Between the injuries and the struggles of D-Lee, Soto, and Fontenot… this is the time to get at the Cubbies

Cyndi Lauper's Aura

June 3rd, 2009
3:33 pm

Nocho, baseball blogging rule #1: Anything that happened in today’s game is about to happen consistently for the rest of eternity. Until it doesn’t, at which point it will never happen again.

BMoney

June 3rd, 2009
3:36 pm

Nocho, he had that look that he actually had a plan in his at-bats prior to the homer, and he looked like he was on a mission tracking balls down. He’s gonna have a decent season and I’m not just saying this because of last night, but I truly think the Braves would regret trading him. He’s gonna go on a streak now. Go get some queso dip and watch.

RHR

June 3rd, 2009
3:37 pm

I hope DOB is right about this being the opposite of the Kelly Johnson dropped popup of the 08 season. Man, that was fun. I’m mad they’ve never put on a show like that for me when I’ve been in the seats of the ted.

I read somewhere a minute ago that Chipper is getting the day off, not sure how anyone would know that for sure already but that’s what I read. In any case, Go Bravos!

PS – How come cabraves, Roman Gal, McFann, and my pic wasn’t included in the “Chicks who dig the longball” pictorial? ;)

Salamander

June 3rd, 2009
3:38 pm

eatPhillie

Those were some strong words to send over the internet (I’m shaking like a leaf) – what are you 14?

Chuck James was Solid until the 6th!!!

June 3rd, 2009
3:38 pm

I’d rather have Jim Edmonds at the same salary as Gregor Blanco in CF right now, by far. Gregor = ZERO power. Edmonds hit 20 HR’s last year in limited time, is a grizzly veteran who would fit right in and bring that winning fire to the squad as well…

Also I am also an advocate of getting 1 of Derosa&Figgins and Russell Branyan to spell LF & RF and pinch hitting duties. I choose this over a “big bat” like Holliday, who would cost alot, although Beane hasn’t gotten much of anything from ATL in the past and is a rental %100. Those type of guys are gamers and especially Derosa and Figgins bring alot of versatility and speed (which the Braves need BADLY) to the team. Also, to get a Branyan/Derosa/Figgins the MOST you’ll have to give up is a Morton/Reyes/Gorkys not a Medlen/Morton/Gorkys like a Holliday would.

DFA Jeff Bennett!!!!!!!

Shaun

June 3rd, 2009
3:39 pm

MiltonDawg and cphizzle, has it really been a downward spiral for Francoeur? He had his obvious limitations in the minors with control of the strikezone (264 SO, 89 BB in 1547 PA, 365 G). He cam up in 2005 and performed well in 70 G and 274 PA but his limitations were still there (11 BB in 274 PA and 70 G). In 2006, as the sample of PA and G started to rise, his limitations became glaring (a .293 OBP in 686 PA). At some point that season, the Braves should have realized those limitations and either sent him down for more seasoning or platooned him.

What annoys me the most is that some Braves fans (and the front office) act like Francoeur all of the sudden became this out machine and bad hitter. But his limitations were very clear at some point back during the 2006 season. Everyone was just enthralled with his RBI and homer totals and his clutch hitting that they completely ignored that he was a well below-average major league hitter.

And I actually feel bad for Francoeur. Everyone was treating him like a star and when his RBI and homers dropped (even though he’s not that far off from the hitter he’s always been), they stopped.

I actually expect some casual fans to pay too much attention to homers and RBI and ignore OBP and SLG but I don’t expect it from hardcore fans and the front office. There is just no excuse for it.

lagnamor

June 3rd, 2009
3:39 pm

Great game last night and I hope its a big turn around for the team. Yes, it was a fat pitch but the kid put a blast to it. Todays a different day and we’ll wait to see which team shows up tonight. Go Braves.

David O'Brien

June 3rd, 2009
3:40 pm

Chipper’s out of lineup, Diory at 3B.

1. Johnson
2. Escobar
3. Diaz, LF
4. McCann
5. Prado, 1B
6. Francoeur
7. Hernandez, 3B
8. Blanco
9. Lowe

woogidy

June 3rd, 2009
3:40 pm

bruce, Golden Specs, or a Golden Eye, or Golden Pass or a Golden Train Or you could go with the Golden Beret, Golden Fedora or pick a hat any hat, except the Sombrero

brian

June 3rd, 2009
3:41 pm

so DOB – are you a vinegar based cole slaw or mayo based cole slaw?

ben

June 3rd, 2009
3:41 pm

Anyone else sick of these “Cub’s fans” I mean really am I supposed to think that somehow there are 10,000 fans at the game all from Chi? Or at least families are from there. I am really sick of these ppl. Anyone remember the 2004 playoff game 5 w/ their blue tomahawks? I say go back to your ATL homes, your ATL jobs and root for your ATL team.

brian

June 3rd, 2009
3:42 pm

is chipper resting or hurt? Hard to follow up last night’s dramatic win without our Hall of Fame bat in the lineup

Shane (The original)

June 3rd, 2009
3:42 pm

Ted Lilly and the Braves have a history . Could be some fireworks tonight. I know the Cubs were none too happy about Escobars performance. Guys on 790 this morning said they bet he gos down at some point in the game.

BMoney

June 3rd, 2009
3:43 pm

McPoyle- Glad I wasn’t the only one who picked up on that. Only 2 switch hitters w/ more homers than Chip: Mantle & Murray. Len and Bob better go ask somebody.

No Bradley tonight either, as he is questionable for the rest of the series.

Chop Chop

June 3rd, 2009
3:43 pm

If Kelly leads off the game with an out, I think Lilly will plunk Yunel. It’s a lot easier to see that happening with Chipper out of the lineup.

Cyndi Lauper's Aura

June 3rd, 2009
3:44 pm

Great line… up….. say, what’s on the Hallmark channel?

cabravesfan

June 3rd, 2009
3:44 pm

How come cabraves, Roman Gal, McFann, and my pic wasn’t included in the “Chicks who dig the longball” pictorial?

Must have missed that one :) Although I freely admit I get just as excited at a well executed bunt as I do a home run (but I’m kinda a sports nerd anyway…)

Mike

June 3rd, 2009
3:44 pm

DOB…great blog content AND inspired lyrics as always. The best 1-2 combo in any publication regardless of media format. Paul Weller is a hidden gem. Don’t change a thing my man.

David O'Brien

June 3rd, 2009
3:45 pm

dmack2027: If Schafer’s struggled were significantly attributed to a sore wrist, I think he’d have said it by now, and certainly team officials would have said it yesterday by way of defending the guy. He hurt the wrist the first week of the season. It was not broken. He didn’t even miss an inning because of it, and that was nearly two months ago.

MFin04

June 3rd, 2009
3:45 pm

Yep, keep hitting KJ cleanup, we all know he is a leadoff hitter and can’t drive runs in down in the order. Good thing we have so much power down in the lineup that can drive in KJ leading off.

Original Jon

June 3rd, 2009
3:46 pm

Yeah, that’s the lineup that will strike fear into any opponent. All the more reason we need someone like DeRo to fill in for Chipper when his toe is hurting, like tonight.

Fischerking04

June 3rd, 2009
3:46 pm

Any word out there as far as trades???

I wouldn’t mind seeing a Javy Vasquez for Matt Holliday trade. Maybe another player or two to even it out. Plus the log jam at pitcher is keeping our biggest prospect in the background.

I really like how JV has played. But we need to deal from our biggest area of strength and add SOMETHING to our line up.

MFin04

June 3rd, 2009
3:47 pm

whoops – cleanup=leadoff ;)

David O'Brien

June 3rd, 2009
3:47 pm

jmart1951: Why don’t you ask Bill Shanks to expound on that, because I don’t sense anything out of the ordinary. I heard a lot more tension at midseason last year than I have this season.

When teams lose, there’s generally some tension, as there is when guys struggle. When teams win, and things are going well, there’s generally a lot less tension. Not too complicated.

brent a.

June 3rd, 2009
3:48 pm

PWHjort

June 3rd, 2009
3:48 pm

Wow, not like we have any other choice, but playing Diory and Prado along with the defensively challenged KJ isn’t going to help Lowe, a ground-ball pitcher.

fat people sink faster

June 3rd, 2009
3:48 pm

that is one garbage lineup.

Cyndi Lauper's Aura

June 3rd, 2009
3:49 pm

Dadgummit. Of all days NOT to move Frenchy up to the 5 hole as a knee-jerk. This is the one game when a false perception by Cubs pitchers might give McCann some protection by having the Frenchster behind him. But nooooooo, we’ll protect him with Prado.

Lunatic Fringe

June 3rd, 2009
3:50 pm

If I were Lowe, I would plunk Soriano, first pitch for his bowing antics last night. Get both teams a warning, then let Lily be on a short leash.

Chop Chop

June 3rd, 2009
3:52 pm

If I were Lowe, I’d hit every Cubs batter until Bobby pries the ball out of my cold, dead hand.

Cyndi Lauper's Aura

June 3rd, 2009
3:52 pm

L Fringe, they might give Lowe the heave ho without warning. It’s already happened this year.

LKS

June 3rd, 2009
3:52 pm

If Esco does get hit tonight than Lowe BETTER hit a cub. Soriano preferably…and NOT with a changeup-fastball to the ribs!

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