Is this really the Mets lineup?

 Welcome to Turner Field, where it’s unseasonably comfortable (temp in low 80s, low humidity) and news organizations from around the world have sent reporters to watch the surging Braves take on the worst lineup in baseball, that of the injury-depleted Mets, in a nationally televised game on Fox.
 Actually, news organizations haven’t sent reporters here for that specific purpose.
 But it is a cosmopolitan crowd in the pressbox, what with the usual Japanese contingent that covers Kenshin Kawakami’s starts, plus a nice reporter from Holland — she told me she actually lives in the Red Light District, “but there are no whorehouses on my street” — here to do a 12-page story on Jair Jurrjens and the future of baseball in her country. (By the way, Jurrjens is scheduled to face Tim Lincecum next Wednesday at Turner Field.)

Kawakami faces Santana today

Kawakami faces Santana today

Uh, yeah, about our lineup....

 She seemed pleasantly surprised at how honest and engaging Jair was in interviews. I told her he’s been that way since the first day we met him. And she was also seemed quite impressed that he spoke four languages despite no advanced education beyond high school.
  Anyway, Kawakami and the Braves (45-45) will be trying to move above .500 for the first time since the squad was 29-28 on June 9.
 The Braves have won 11 of their past 16 games, while the Mets have lost 11 of 16 and field a lineup today that includes four position players without a single homer. I am wondering when the last time a team fielded a lineup in the second half of the season that had five players (including the pitcher) without a homer.
 The Mets have a total of 19 homers from their lineup today, including five apiece from David Wright, who’s moved into the cleanup spot in place of Gary Sheffield (leg cramps last night); Jeff Francoeur, who’s hitting fifth again, behind Wright, despite a .630 OPS that’s the fourth-lowest in the NL; and Daniel Murphy.
   Francoeur is hitting .250, Murphy is hitting third despite batting .246. The only other Met in this lineup who has a homer is Omir Santos, hitting .265 with 24 RBI. Oh, my.
  The one big thing the Mets have going for them today is obviously their starting pitcher, Johan Santana, who’s 10-7 with a 3.09 ERA. But even the great Santana hasn’t been so great lately, with a 2-4 record and 4.58 ERA in his past six starts.
 The lefty is still winless (0-4) despite a 2.31 ERA in six starts against the Braves, the only team he hasn’t beaten among the 28 he’s faced. Which means he’s overdue for a win against them, right? Actually, for about five wins in a row.
  After all, you’re talking about the pitcher with the most wins (96), most strikeouts (1,301) and lowest ERA (2.84) among major league starters since 2004.
  Remarkably, Santana’s teams scored two runs or fewer while he was in all six of those Braves games, including no runs while he was in three. So he’s also overdue for an outburst of about 10 support runs.
  But from this Mets lineup? Good luck.
 By the way, Matt Diaz is 10-for-18 against Santana, the highest average against him by any active player in 10 or more plate appearances.
 Well, if all that stuff I just wrote doesn’t curse the Braves and Diaz, nothing will.
 And I’m confident that with this Mets lineup, it wouldn’t matter anyway. Braves should only require a couple of runs to win this one today.
 If they can win today, then they’d go for a four-game sweep of the Mets tomorrow, when Javier Vazquez (6-7, 2.95) is scheduled to face Mets righty Fernando Nieve (3-3, 3.03).
  Nieve is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in his past three starts, after going 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his first three. He’s had a total of one support run in the 15 innings he’s pitched in his past three starts, after getting 17 support runs in 18-2/3 innings in his first three starts.

Where do you think the Braves will finish in the NL East?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

 Did we mention, the Mets aren’t scoring many runs these days? They’ve scored two runs or fewer nine times in their past 16 games, and been shut out four times in their past nine.

  The Braves had better go for that sweep against a limping opponent, because the Phillies don’t lose anymore, apparently. Philly’s won 11 of its past 12. Yikes.

 Prado sizzling: I talked to Prado a bit this morning for a note I’m doing on his two-strike hitting. Dude has the second-highest average in two-strike counts in the NL, batting .291 (30-for-103) in those situations.
  He homered on a 12-pitch at-bat last night after getting behind 0-2 and fouling off five pitches.
Anyway, he basically said he’s just feeling good, period, and that any hitter can hit with two strikes when they’re feeling so good at the plate.
 It’s quite apparent how good he’s feeling at the plate. Prado has hit .339 (56-for-165) with 20 extra-base hits and a .907 OPS in his past 47 games, with as many walks (16) as strikeouts in that span.
  ”He’s going to be in the lineup every day, for now at least,” Bobby Cox said this morning, adding that the Braves haven’t decided what they’re going to do with Kelly Johnson, who is eligible to come off the DL at Gwinnett.
 Kelly’s hit .241 (7-for-29) with two doubles, a triple, a homer and seven RBI in eight Triple-A games before today, and has struggled in the past few after a hot start.
 Meanwhile, Prado has stayed hot, showing no signs whatsoever of the “overexposure” that some of us believed might affect him if he played every day for an extended period.
 All he’s done in his past 15 games is hit .431 (28-for-65) with nine doubles, two homers and 10 RBI, with nine multi-hit games and only six strikeouts.
 All bets are off. Prado is a player.
 The Mets can attest to that. He’s hit .424 (14-for-33) with eight extra-base hits, five walks and one strikeout in his past nine games against them going back to Sept. 14, and the Braves won seven of those nine.
 But maybe the biggest Mets-killer for the Braves of late is Yunel Escobar, who has a .344 career average (24-for-53) and .984 OPS in 28 games against the Mets, including a .453 average with 10 extra-base hits and nine RBI in his past 16 games.
 Escobar is another who’s hit the ball lately, period. Regardless of opponent.
He’s hitting .324 with three homers, 21 RBIs in his past 30 games, despite the controversy and trade rumors that swirled around him in that time.
 And by the way, I was told again yesterday that the Braves are not trying to trade him, and that it would make no sense to do so. (Then again, it’d also make no sense to let it be known if you were trying to trade a player like him, for the only reasons you’d presumably do so.)


“WAITING FOR A MIRACLE” by Leonard Cohen

Baby, I’ve been waiting,
I’ve been waiting night and day.
I didn’t see the time,
I waited half my life away.
There were lots of invitations
and I know you sent me some,
but I was waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.

I know you really loved me.
but, you see, my hands were tied.
I know it must have hurt you,
it must have hurt your pride
to have to stand beneath my window
with your bugle and your drum,
and me I’m up there waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.

Ah I don’t believe you’d like it,
You wouldn’t like it here.
There ain’t no entertainment
and the judgements are severe.
The Maestro says it’s Mozart
but it sounds like bubble gum
when you’re waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.

Waiting for the miracle
There’s nothing left to do.
I haven’t been this happy
since the end of World War II.

Nothing left to do
when you know that you’ve been taken.
Nothing left to do
when you’re begging for a crumb
Nothing left to do
when you’ve got to go on waiting
waiting for the miracle to come.

I dreamed about you, baby.
It was just the other night.
Most of you was naked
Ah but some of you was light.
The sands of time were falling
from your fingers and your thumb,
and you were waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come

Ah baby, let’s get married,
we’ve been alone too long.
Let’s be alone together.
Let’s see if we’re that strong.
Yeah let’s do something crazy,
something absolutely wrong
while we’re waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.

Nothing left to do …

When you’ve fallen on the highway
and you’re lying in the rain,
and they ask you how you’re doing
of course you’ll say you can’t complain –
If you’re squeezed for information,
that’s when you’ve got to play it dumb:
You just say you’re out there waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.

3,596 comments Add your comment

McFann ;Ô;

July 18th, 2009
4:15 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief!

Very good play by BMac on the bunt.

Heath (Cleveland)

July 18th, 2009
4:17 pm

No reason to pitch to Wright…let’s see how JF does.

Brooklyn Braves Brawler

July 18th, 2009
4:18 pm

K-Dub looking good early!

Shamus Thacker

July 18th, 2009
4:19 pm

Carlos shoulda stuck to guitar! We’re gonna kigg his azz!

Steve from OH

July 18th, 2009
4:19 pm

Oh, wow. Jim and Don pulling no punches on Francoeur…

Jeff321

July 18th, 2009
4:20 pm

Is it me or does KK seem to be overthrowing a bit?

Heath (Cleveland)

July 18th, 2009
4:20 pm

Good strategy…walk Wright, pitch to JF. Anyone can manage successfully with that strategy.

Brooklyn Braves Brawler

July 18th, 2009
4:21 pm

Bobby is managing a bit today. I’d walk Wright everytime with runners in scoring position.

Wes

July 18th, 2009
4:21 pm

I think Francoeur is my new favorite player. Anyone that can kill a Met rally like he can is A-OK in my book.

Paul Lentz

July 18th, 2009
4:21 pm

Francoeur fails to deliver again………..my 2 for 16 prediction of Jeff Francoeur for the series may seem to be a little too optimistic for Francoeur, lol. He’s 0 for 8 so far.

FEAR

July 18th, 2009
4:21 pm

nice job frenchy

Shamus Thacker

July 18th, 2009
4:22 pm

Is it me or does KK seem to be overthrowing a bit?

It’s the Muts, doesn’t matter.

Brooklyn Braves Brawler

July 18th, 2009
4:22 pm

K-Dub is awesome, and he pitches best in the big games. He dueled Halladay and Marqis i believe

JasonInFL

July 18th, 2009
4:23 pm

Steve from OH, what are they saying?

Vinings Jim

July 18th, 2009
4:23 pm

DOB – nice job with the Leonard Cohen – I introduced a young lady to a couple of his songs a few days ago.

RG in SC

July 18th, 2009
4:23 pm

Thanks for the Blog. I hope the team can keep it going!

Nate McLouth is NOT a leadoff hitter!

July 18th, 2009
4:24 pm

He really isn’t.

David O'Brien

July 18th, 2009
4:24 pm

We got Jonathan (no-hitter) Sanchez going against Hanson on Monday, Lincecum vs. Jurrjens on Wednesday.

Steve from OH

July 18th, 2009
4:24 pm

Just taking a few not-so-cleverly-disguised cheap shots at his (lack of) plate discipline. Something about “nice couple of balls by KK to Wright, now keep it up to Francoeur,” among others…

JB

July 18th, 2009
4:25 pm

Does anyone know where there might be an extended version of Maddux’s Hall of Fame luncheon yesterday? Looks like there were a lot of good moments and, although the AJC showed some nice highlights, it was abbreviated and the Braves website had nothing on it (hard to imagine). Thanks in advance.

Jeff321

July 18th, 2009
4:25 pm

Prado is a stud! #21!

Heath (Cleveland)

July 18th, 2009
4:25 pm

Prado just rakes…nicely done, sir. Nicely done.

Paul Lentz

July 18th, 2009
4:25 pm

Wes…………that is what I was saying when this trade went down. A number of “posters” cried about how Jeff Francouer will come back to haunt the Braves, since we will have to face him 18 times a year.

HELL, I hope we do face him 18 times a year. The only thing that would have been better than trading him to the Mets would have been Frank Wren had been able to trade him to the Phillies, lol. Our pitchers have seen enough of Francoeur to know how to pitch him.

Francoeur could go 0 for the series.

Meanwhile, Prado’s 21st double of the season off of Santana.

Efrim

July 18th, 2009
4:25 pm

Wow. You have to be kidding me. Sign him to an extension……

Couch Tater

July 18th, 2009
4:25 pm

Ho hum… another double for Prado.

Salamander

July 18th, 2009
4:26 pm

Time to order a Prado jersey.

FEAR

July 18th, 2009
4:26 pm

prado continues to amaze

Lamar Banks

July 18th, 2009
4:26 pm

Santana saved a run by backing up the play

Jeff321

July 18th, 2009
4:27 pm

Bad throw by Frenchy, eh?

!!!!!

July 18th, 2009
4:28 pm

WHAT IS BRIAN MCCANN’S NEW AT BAT SONG>????

Wolfman

July 18th, 2009
4:28 pm

We would lead the NL East, if Prado would have started all season at 2B and we had anyone but Schafer in CF. With the team we have and play now, we would be at the top. Schafer is back in the Minors, Franceour traded, what will happen with Johnson? Can we keep him in the Minors or is he out of options?

The Bird and Indian

July 18th, 2009
4:29 pm

Prado is just plain raking. Who said that he was just the flavor of the week? It was either Coach or Lentz.

Lamar Banks

July 18th, 2009
4:29 pm

The new Taco Bell commercial is hilarious

nick shay

July 18th, 2009
4:29 pm

The throw from Frenchy was pretty good, but Wright did a poor job fielding it. The Fox announcers would never say anything negative about Wright, though.

The Bird and Indian

July 18th, 2009
4:29 pm

Taco Bell commercial is sweet.

The Bird and Indian

July 18th, 2009
4:30 pm

!!!: I’m not sure what it is. I’ve been trying to figure out his new song too.

cabravesfan

July 18th, 2009
4:31 pm

VJ-

I hope that young lady appreciated it…

McFann :Ô:

July 18th, 2009
4:31 pm

BMac, now don’t go back to that nonsense.

David O'Brien

July 18th, 2009
4:32 pm

Lamar Banks

July 18th, 2009
4:32 pm

GG play by Esco

The Bird and Indian

July 18th, 2009
4:33 pm

JasonInFL

July 18th, 2009
4:33 pm

Thanks Steve…man, Esco has really been flashing the leather lately!

Heath (Cleveland)

July 18th, 2009
4:33 pm

Nice play Escobar…got him easily.

!!!!!!

July 18th, 2009
4:34 pm

WHAT IS BRIAN MCCANN’S NEW AT BAT SONG>???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mccans song

July 18th, 2009
4:34 pm

All the Above By Maino

!!!!!!

July 18th, 2009
4:34 pm

Heath (Cleveland)

July 18th, 2009
4:35 pm

Fair start so far for KK. Let’s get him some runs here.

Richie

July 18th, 2009
4:35 pm

Victor Martinez for 1B? What kind of package would it take to get him? would definitely solve the power outage at 1B, plus would give protection to Chip and BMac. Also, wouldn’t block Freeman. Thoughts?

mccans song

July 18th, 2009
4:36 pm

No Worries my little brother made the beat for Maino. Mac said its his favorite song and we love that

UNCBrave

July 18th, 2009
4:37 pm

Chipper is too ANXIOUS at the plate these days…He used to WORK COUNTS…McCann and McLouth are in the same boat. When’s the last time McLouth or McCann especially WALKED?

MurphyRules

July 18th, 2009
4:38 pm

As I said last night: If we trade Escobar, I quit.

Jeff321

July 18th, 2009
4:39 pm

So, the Braves “players” have been talking smack about Escobar according to Fox, eh? Or was that Cox? I don’t guess they’ll pony up and give us the culprits!

The Bravery

July 18th, 2009
4:39 pm

UNC I feel that way too. He usually didnt mind looking for walks now it seems he is avoiding high pitch counts. Maybe he is trying to bring his power back by jumping on early fastballs

Jeffro

July 18th, 2009
4:39 pm

MurphyRules….I won’t quit…but trading him would be about the biggest bonehead move Wren could make. I don’t think he’s going anywhere.

Dean

July 18th, 2009
4:40 pm

As always, good blog – and very timely song. Thanks DOB.

I for one would be sick if the Braves traded Escobar. I think most people underestimate his value to this team – defensively and offensively. And, I think his outward attitude is just what the Braves need. All these years of ho-hum, white bread teams for Bobby has been a problem I think. They’ve lost some swagger that will hopefully come back when Bobby is gone. On many other teams Esco would be just taken into the fold I imagine. Of course, I have no clue or experience, just a gut feeling.

N9(Escobar is THE future& NOT tradable)

July 18th, 2009
4:41 pm

Frenchy 4-17 As a Met (.230)

Good thing he got his bloops early, he’s 0fer last Nine ab. That’s our Frenchy we know.

David O'Brien

July 18th, 2009
4:42 pm

career-best 10-game hitting streak for Kotchman

Heath (Cleveland)

July 18th, 2009
4:42 pm

Would be sweet to see Church knock one out here against his old team….

Heath (Cleveland)

July 18th, 2009
4:42 pm

…or pop up to the SS, either way. :roll:

The Bird and Indian

July 18th, 2009
4:43 pm

UNCBrave: Mclouth walked twce 2 nights ago and Mccann walked 3 nights ago. Chipper has walked 9 times in the last 8 games.

Jeff321

July 18th, 2009
4:43 pm

So, did Bobby Cox in fact say Escobar sits out against “good pitching” and fakes injuries? Or was it some other player or coach?

The Bravery

July 18th, 2009
4:44 pm

Vinings Jim

July 18th, 2009
4:44 pm

cabravesfan – she did. Are you familiar with him, at your tender age?

UNCBrave

July 18th, 2009
4:44 pm

The Bravery,

I think Chipper sees 1st base open and the deeper in the count, the more they pitch around him to get to left-handed McCann so he was jumping on a 1st pitch fastball…I’m just encouraged to see him go the other way. The more Chipper and McCann go the other way and walk, the better their offense and the Braves offense will be

McFann :Ô:

July 18th, 2009
4:45 pm

UNCBrave

BMac’s last walk was on July 9th. He’s only walked twice this month. That’s kinda troubling.

The Bravery

July 18th, 2009
4:45 pm

Chips walks may have been inflated lately. Think about it thats like a walk a game. That is almost the double pace prado has been on leaving an open bag to pich around

The Bird and Indian

July 18th, 2009
4:46 pm

Oh my Goodness. That was sick.

Jeff321

July 18th, 2009
4:46 pm

“What a diving stab by Prado.. MERCY!”

-FOX

VENEZUELA

July 18th, 2009
4:46 pm

PRADO is NOOOOTTTT humannnn

Heath (Cleveland)

July 18th, 2009
4:46 pm

I thought that was a hit for sure. Nice play.

The Bird and Indian

July 18th, 2009
4:46 pm

He’s an alien.

Lamar Banks

July 18th, 2009
4:46 pm

Nice Play Prado

ray k.

July 18th, 2009
4:46 pm

Some reason to be optimistic, guys…

http://tomahawktake.com/

VENEZUELA

July 18th, 2009
4:47 pm

Prado is NOT human

RHR

July 18th, 2009
4:47 pm

Marteeeeeeeen

MurphyRules

July 18th, 2009
4:47 pm

Flash some leather boys!

The Bravery

July 18th, 2009
4:48 pm

ncscoots

July 18th, 2009
4:48 pm

OK, there is now absolutely no doubt that Prado is possessed by some spirit conjured up in a dark New Orleans cemetery.

Steve from OH

July 18th, 2009
4:48 pm

RHR, are you blogging from Turner? You’re worse than me, LOL!

Bravesfan1984

July 18th, 2009
4:49 pm

was prado the terminator?? DOB you think you can check to see if he’s actually a machine??

RHR

July 18th, 2009
4:49 pm

Our section is hilarious btw. Its like sitting in a crowd of Chop Chop’s.

Heath (Cleveland)

July 18th, 2009
4:49 pm

3 scoreless innings for KK…time to give him some run support boys.

Efrim

July 18th, 2009
4:50 pm

“OK, there is now absolutely no doubt that Prado is possessed by some spirit conjured up in a dark New Orleans cemetery.”

Agreed. So much for stats or data. I’m using my eyes from now on.

learner

July 18th, 2009
4:50 pm

Jeff321,
I cannot believe that someone let that information about Esco get out to where it would be broadcast nationwide. What a rip.

RHR

July 18th, 2009
4:52 pm

Yeah steve lol i havent missed a play either

Mitchell

July 18th, 2009
4:52 pm

Eric Karros on Martin’s play: “That’s just a reaction play.”

What the hell does that mean? Isn’t every play a reaction play?

Is that all you can say Eric? I never saw you make a play like that, jackass.

Let’s get some runs off this phony.

cabravesfan

July 18th, 2009
4:53 pm

VJ-

I am fimiliar with some of his songs. I rather like him actually :)

The Bravery

July 18th, 2009
4:54 pm

Who was the last pitcher to hit a home run for us. I remember when Smoltz did but that was a spell ago

RHR

July 18th, 2009
4:54 pm

What was that?

groundfog

July 18th, 2009
4:56 pm

Mclouth is slumping a bit.

Mitchell

July 18th, 2009
4:56 pm

Good work Nate but how ’bout you get a hit next time.

UNCBrave

July 18th, 2009
4:56 pm

WHy did Mclouth swing at that junk??

David O'Brien

July 18th, 2009
4:57 pm

Just added a poll to the original blog. Give us your opinion of where the Braves will finish in the NL East.

MurphyRules

July 18th, 2009
4:57 pm

I wouldn’t put it past Ken Rosenthal to be stretching some of what he heard about Escobar to make a juicier story. That guy’s a complete weasel.

Don’t believe everything you hear, especially from a FOX “reporter.”

I think if those things were true, Escobar would be gone. I don’t think it’s that bad, which is why the Braves are still willing to work with him.

crimedog

July 18th, 2009
4:57 pm

Yes, McLouth is slumping. But that is Johan Santana out there, not Jeff Bennett. He gets paid a lot of money to make people look silly.

UNCBrave

July 18th, 2009
4:58 pm

McLouth and Prado swing at ball 4

nick shay

July 18th, 2009
4:58 pm

Santana has a good breaking ball and change going today.

letsgetrich

July 18th, 2009
4:59 pm

DOB or somebody,

Can someone please tell me why Cox is so reluctant to say Prado is our guy? Everything we hear from him is “He’s going to be in the lineup every day, for now at least,” or “he is too hot to take out”.. When he becomes more human he will still be double the player of KJ.. Why the hesitancy?

JasonInFL

July 18th, 2009
4:59 pm

prado and natey both swung at ball 4 there. great play by prado the previous half inning though…he is playing like a man that wants to Pipp the guy he replaced!

UNCBrave

July 18th, 2009
4:59 pm

Santana threw 2 3-2 sliders to McLouth and Prado…Braves hitters need to foot note that…Also, at least liked that McLouth and Prado made Santana throw some pitches that inning

Add your comment