One month of strong ‘ball for Bravos

  Fort Lauderdale — I’m gonna bet most of you aren’t aware that today marks the one-month anniversary.
  One month since the Braves started playing a more consistent brand of baseball that’s made them a legitimate wild-card contender.
  On June 28, Tommy Hanson pitched six scoreless innings in a 2-1 win against Boston as the Braves avoided being swept by the Red Sox and began a 25-game stretch that’s seen them post a 17-8 record while batting .293 with 30 homers and posting a 3.06 ERA.
 That’s the second-best record in the NL during that span.
  Unfortunately for the Braves, the best record in that period belongs to NL East frontrunner (and defending World Series champion) Philadelphia, which has made a habit of second-half surgest in recent seasons.
  The Phils are 18-6 since June 28, with a .282 average, 34 homers and a 3.38 ERA.
  It’s important to note that the Braves have scored at least four runs in 17 of their past 24 games since that 2-1 win against Boston on June 28, because they obvioiusly wouldn’t be on this run if they had kept relying so heavily on pitching alone.

This started with his June 28 win vs. Boston

This started with his June 28 win vs. Boston

  They’ve averaged nearly 5.4 runs since June 28, while the Phillies have averaged 6.0 runs.
  The good news for Atlanta, of course, is that the Phillies’ performance has served as a daily reminder to the Braves that they can’t afford to take a series or even a single game off, if they’re to have any real chance of ending their three-year postseason drought.
  And as long as they keep the pedal pressed in the pursuit of the Phillies, the Braves keep gaining ground on the wild-card leaders. They’re fourth in the NL wild-card standings today, three games behind Colorado, two behind San Francisco and 1-1/2 behind St. Louis, which added Matt Holliday to its lineup, assuring that Sir Albert, aka El Hombre, should see more pitches to hit.
  It won’t be easy to overtake all three of those teams, or the Phillies, which is why it’s imperative Braves have to keep playing this level of balanced baseball and avoid serious injuries to their key guys. I know, that’s obvious. But it’s also true.
 The offense is finally clicking, and the pitching has continued to hum along, though you might want to raise an eyebrow in concern over the mounting appearance totals for the Braves’ top relievers.
  With that in mind, it was no surprise to learn that the Braves have expressed interest in Oakland right-handed reliever Michael Wuertz, who is 5-1 with a 3.23 ERA in 45 appearances, and has amassed 62 strikeouts with only 13 walks in 47-1/3 innings. The Braves’ interest was first report by Ken Rosenthal at FoxSports.com.
  They’re exploring all options in hopes of adding a reliever with a reasonable salary that won’t cost them too much in the way of young talent in return. Wuertz, 30, is making $1.1 million this year and is again eligible for arbitration after the season.
  Why an arm instead of a bat? Because, as you’ve probably noticed, the Braves’ lineup has been far more functional and productive since they moved Martin Prado into the 2-hole, dropped team Player of the Year candidate Yunel Escobar to a middle-order RBI position, and gotten steadily increasing production from the likes of Garret Anderson and Casey Kotchman.
  No longer entirely reliant upon Chipper Jones and/or Brian McCann to drive the offense in every game, these Braves are playing more relaxed and with confidence, knowing they’re capable of scoring runs late in games and no longer hanging their heads if they get behind by two or three runs early.
 They’re jumping on pitchers early and getting runs both by playing better fundamental baseball than they did early (I know, that’s not saying much) and by getting the kind of power they envisioned from a handful of guys.
 Braves officials knew they wouldn’t have a 40-homer hitter, but they believed they could make up for it by having a bunch of guys hit 15-25 homers. Lately, that’s what they’ve been seeing.
 They are 8-3 with a .304 batting average and 18 homers since the All-Star break, averaging six runs in that stretch while posting a 2.39 ERA. The’ve scored in double digits three times since the break, and totaled 7, 8 and 9 runs in three other games.
 It’s been an all-or-nothing proposition since the break for the Braves, who’ve totaled two runs in their three losses since the Braves, including outputs of one, one and no runs.
 They haven’t scored two or three runs in any of their 11 games since returning from the break, and score four runs once.

 

 ♣ More about that bullpen: Among NL relievers, the Braves have three of the top six appearance leaders, including Peter Moylan, who’s 14 months removed from Tommy John surgery and tied for the major league lead (with NYM lefty Pedro Feliciano) with 55 appearances.
  Of the eight major league relievers with 50 or more appearances, the Braves have three, including lefties Eric O’Flaherty (51) and Mike Gonzalez (50).
 To have three of the top six NL appearances leaders and three of the top eight major league appearance leaders — that’s not typical, folks. Needless to say. Not typical at all.
  Speaking of Wuertz, he’s tied for seventh in the AL with 45 appearances, and has a 4.40 ERA and .248 opponents’ average in 28 appearances since May 16, after posting a 1.45 ERA and .161 opponents’ average in his first 17 appearances.
 At first glance, it’s also alarming to note he has a 0.42 ERA in 20 home games, compared to a 5.61 ERA in 25 road games.
 However, five of 16 earned runs he’s allowed on the road, and two of four homers, have come in 1-2/3 innings of two appearances at the bandbox that is new Yankee Stadium. He gave up three runs and two homers there in his most recent appearance on Saturday.
 Wuertz has a 2.36 ERA and three homers allowed in 45-2/3 innings at all other ballparks this season, home and road.
 His .216 overall opponents’ average and .269 overall opponents’ OBP includes .191/.240 against lefties. He’s been even tougher against them this season than he has been against righties (.233/.288).
 After the sixth inning, opponents have hit .192 against him with 51 strikeouts in 130 at-bats.

 ♣ Compelling matchup tonight: Should be a good one when Jair Jurrjens faces Marlins righty Ricky Nolasco in the series opener at the tragically renamed Land Shark Stadium, the worst of the half-dozen or so names the multi-purpose stadium that’s far, far from South Beach has ever had.
Jurrjens is 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA and .152 opponents’ average in his past three starts, allowing just 10 hits in 19-2/3 innings. Hanley Ramirez is 4-for-12 with three homers against him, including two homers on May 7 that accounted for the only runs against Jurrjens in a game he won.
 Nolasco is 5-1 with a 2.75 ERA and .199 opponents’ average in his past eight starts, with 64 strikeouts and 10 walks in 52-1/3 innings. But he’s 0-4 in his past five starts against the Braves, including 0-3 with a 10.57 ERA in three last season (none in 2009). Chipper is 9-for-16 with three homers against him, McCann is 7-for-19 with two homers, and Escobar is 5-for-10 with a homer.

 ♣ Etc.
 • For the month of July, the Braves lead the majors with a 3.12 ERA and rank second with a .295 team batting average, behind the L.A. Angels (.312). The Braves lead the NL in average, OBP (.372) and slugging (.478) in July, ahead of the Dodgers (.290/.372/.478) in all three. The Braves are second in the NL in homers with 27, behind the Phillies (32)….
 • Chipper (.294) isn’t one of the eight Braves hitting over .300 in July, and McCann (.302) isn’t one of the seven hitting over .310. Kelly Johnson (.571) has only seven July at-bats, but four of the over-.310 crowd have done it in more than 60 at-bats, including Escobar (.369 with team-highs of four homers and 19 RBI in July).
 •Matt Diaz has hit .370 with a .414 OBP and .537 slugging in 54 at-bats in July.
 • McCann is second on the team in RBI for the month with 18 and tied with Jones, Anderson, Kotchman and Nate McLouth for second in homers with three apiece….

“THE DEEPER IN” by Drive-By Truckers (Patterson Hood)

By the time you were born there were four other siblings
with your Mama awaiting your Daddy in jail
Your oldest brother was away at a home
and You didn’t meet him til you was nineteen years old
Old enough to know better, old enough to know better
but you took to his jaw line and long sandy hair
How he made you feel like none off the others
and the way he looked at you touched you deep down in there.

So you jumped on his bike and rode into the sunset
but the sequel it started with the next morning sun
and the dew on the bike seat and you all a glow
from the love he put in you and a life on the run.

Now, the District Attorney said He might of forgiven
You had lots of reasons to turn out this way
But He’ll throw you in jail for them four little babies
you made and delivered along the way

Last night you had a dream about a Lord so forgiving
He might show compassion for a heathen he damned
You awoke in a jail cell, alone and so lonely
Seven years in Michigan

 

2,325 comments Add your comment

Braves Grrrl

July 28th, 2009
1:58 pm

HeywardTheFuture

July 28th, 2009
2:00 pm

Kotchman is killing us.

flange1

July 28th, 2009
2:02 pm

Thanks for the new blog DOB! And did you see Don from Ella Guru’s post?

Riaan Spanjer-

July 28th, 2009
2:02 pm

Furst… enburg?

Roman Gal

July 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

Riaan Spanjer- Furst…enburg?

Haha…that’s good.

dogsbrekky

July 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

RomanGal – to your post about Huddy signing for less than $12 to stay a Bravo… I dont think so, Yanks will be in on him for their launching pad park if he returns to near normal health…

Brightside

July 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

I hope they use Medlin more. Give Moylan more rest. Medlin is doing a very good job.

boutTHATmouf

July 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

HEY DOB

why you block me cmom man thats not right

18 Wheels of Love

July 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

“Give it up for the Stroker Ace, Mike Cooley.”

I like hearing we are in ‘hot pursuit’…makes me think of Roscoe P. Coletrane and his trusty sidekick, Flash.

JasonInFL

July 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

nothing like a fresh blog…on game day…after an off day…let’s go Braves! I will repeat that I hope that Mahay isn’t the “under the radar” reliever that the Braves are in “hot pursuit” of as reported by FoxSports…

LKS

July 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

Its really sad we now have to go out and spend money on a reliever because Bobby Cox doesn’t know how to manage the bullpen. Pretty sad.

boutTHATmouf

July 28th, 2009
2:05 pm

I dont even get an explanation
rdye826@aol.com

JasonInFL

July 28th, 2009
2:07 pm

18 Wheels of Love, that’s awesome…love the Dukes!

Nova Scotia Steve

July 28th, 2009
2:07 pm

It’s GAME DAY :) ….So happy to see this new bloggage…and a nice read!

My confidence in this team is growing day by day…but I’m a little worried can we really continue to keep hitting like this??? We need to…badly.

And yes we totally need to keep the pedal to the medal…as long as we keep winning games and series things will take care of themselves.

Is anyone else concerned with Chipper’s power numbers? Is he no longer even a 20 HR guy anymore???

And to anyone who says Kotchman is killing us…you obviously aren’t watching the games…solid average…for a 7 or 8 hitter in the line-up

TheNCBravesFan!

July 28th, 2009
2:08 pm

For all you Haters out there, I guess Bobby Cox looks per-tttttttty smart right about now, doesn’t he??????

Roman Gal

July 28th, 2009
2:08 pm

dogsbrekky-

It’s interesting to think about, though. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he were to sign for less, thus allowing the Braves to keep Javy.

But if I had to pick, I’d say keep Hudson and trade Javy. That way, you get to keep a great pitcher and get some good prospects for another great pitcher.

But hey, I have a solution…it’ll mean we can keep both! How about people start going to the games? Mmk?

Space Monkey

July 28th, 2009
2:09 pm

Medlin needs to get some innings. We’re taking a promising young starter and turning him into a mop up man.

dogsbrekky

July 28th, 2009
2:11 pm

Javier is hot and in a friendly environment for him after some tough years with Captain Ass-wipe in Chicago. We really wanted him in the offseason and gave up young Flowers (was it) for him and now he performs like we expected..

No bloody way we trade him

If we cut our profits and run the losses = Braves LOSERS… no way we ditch him, no way

Cox, Wren and I love the guy and 2 of those 3 kinda run the ship

Andrew in P-tang

July 28th, 2009
2:11 pm

12:59pm: The rays have shopped Scott Kazmir to the Mets and Rangers, according to Joel Sherman. The Rangers turned down an offer from the Rays and the Mets just had initial interest. The Rays would consider dealing Kazmir, Carlos Pena and even Carl Crawford to free up enough salary to make a blockbuster deal for Martinez and Lee.

if they are trying to free up money how much does pena make ..would we perfect fit

Fish Bisch

July 28th, 2009
2:12 pm

closeted fish fan: I’m glad I’m not alone. I was beginning to think I was the lone Marlin fan who frequents this board as well. Go Fish!

Doc Holiday

July 28th, 2009
2:12 pm

Wayne in Utah,

Thnx for the explanation. Actually I saw that play but didnt pay any attention once it ended so bad, so I didnt hear or saw anything after Diory was out at 2B. I read somewhere something about Escobars english, I thought it was related to that play or something, but for what you are saying, it looks like just a missed sign.

cbweatherman

July 28th, 2009
2:12 pm

In honor of the new Land Shark Stadium…
http://www.spike.com/video/land-shark/2802070

BossLady

July 28th, 2009
2:13 pm

The Braves lineup looks pretty good to me too.

N8

July 28th, 2009
2:13 pm

“Kotchman is killing us.”

Really?

Here are his, Chipper’s and Mac’s July stats:

Kotchman: 20 Games, 3 HR, 10 RBI, .313/.421/.469/.890

Chipper: 20 Games, 3 HR, 15 RBI, .294/.414/.500/.914

Mac: 20 Games, 3 HR, 18 RBI, .302/.333/.535/.868

It appears to me, that the ONLY category that Kotchman is lacking from the other two, is RBI. Kind of hard for him to have RBI, when the two of them are cleaning it all up, huh?

Add to that, Kotchman’s defense runs CIRCLES around what Chipper has offered this year, and what Mac will ever have to offer behind the plate.

I’m not sure that in the middle of an 18-7 run, that ANYBODY is killing the Braves right now.

TennesseePaul

July 28th, 2009
2:13 pm

DOB: Thanks for the new blog and the updates.

Loan Shark Stadium. Not a good name at all.

what’s that you say?

Shaun

July 28th, 2009
2:13 pm

They’re jumping on pitchers early and getting runs both by playing better fundamental baseball than they did early (I know, that’s not saying much) and by getting the kind of power they envisioned from a handful of guys.

The biggest difference for the Braves: They don’t have a lot of weak spots, if you take things position-by-position. Sure Kotchman isn’t great but he’s around league average on offense and his glove helps to make up for his offensive shortcomings. Garret Anderson is also a weak spot, but he’s a league average hitter.

The turnaround is mainly because of four things: Schafer getting demoted, the acquisition of McLouth, the trade of Francoeur and Kelly Johnson going on the DL enabling Martin Prado to play second everyday.

If the Braves had their current lineup all season, it’s hard not to wonder where they would be in the standings. They would likely be right there with the Phillies. But hindsight is 20/20.

njbraves

July 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

I am so sick and tired of the bullpen pity party. Yeah, a few guys may be overworked, but come on, it’s not as bad as it sounds. EOF and Moylan have fewer innings pitched than appearances. If they have to come in for one or two batters are they really exhausted the next day?? If they are, that’s on them. I understand that Bobby gets a little crazy with these guys some times, but if you listened to most people on here, you would think these guys pitched every single game.

UNCBrave

July 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

In regards to the Hudson vs. Vasquez. Those saying Vasquez is better (monty included) is just pure crazy. Here are their CAREER numbers:

Tim Hudson- Age 34 146-77 (W-L) Career 3.48 ERA 1.25 WHIP
Javier Vazquez-Age 33 135-136 (W-L) Career 4.24 ERA 1.25 WHIP

However, I’m all for keeping BOTH of them and shopping Kawakami but I have to choose, we keep Hudson and shop Vasquez

*Btw, DOB any word on how the Braves percieved Hudson’s rehab start and when is his next one?

JasonInFL

July 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

let me be the first to mention an ‘ol blog favoriate, Carl Crawford:

“The rays have shopped Scott Kazmir to the Mets and Rangers, according to Joel Sherman. The Rangers turned down an offer from the Rays and the Mets just had initial interest. The Rays would consider dealing Kazmir, Carlos Pena and even Carl Crawford to free up enough salary to make a blockbuster deal for Martinez and Lee.”

I know we are looking at a reliever, but I couldn’t resist…

Daslied

July 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

Pena makes $8MM this year and $10MM next. Slumping a bit this year as well.

njbraves

July 28th, 2009
2:15 pm

I didn’t know any Marlin fans existed. Good for you two…

LKS

July 28th, 2009
2:15 pm

TheNCbravesfan

I wouldn’t go that far. I would assume that a lot of the reasons why this team has gotten better is b/c of Fran Wren NOT Bobby Cox. If it was Bobby’s decision, I am sure Frenchy would NEVER had been traded and kept going out there killing us day in and day out. Glavine would be a starter and we would be losing the majority of those games. Also, lets see how much we use Bennett when he gets back. Hopefully not at all, but I’m sure if Bobby has his way he will be in there a lot. Then there is Kelly Johnson…should take about one more good game before Bobby starts shoving him in there over Prado (Why? have no idea). I would say kudos to Frank Wren for making this the best team it can be.

dap01

July 28th, 2009
2:15 pm

Hey Cox, don’t pitch Moylan or Gonzo when we are up by 4-6 runs.

N8

July 28th, 2009
2:16 pm

“For all you Haters out there, I guess Bobby Cox looks per-tttttttty smart right about now, doesn’t he??????”

Why? Because he’s forcing Wren to look at relievers due to him overusing Moylan, Gonzo and Soriano for the first three months of the year?

Or is it because it only took him 2.5 months to start Prado over KJ?

Perhaps it was waiting until June to give Diaz starts in RF?

Oh wait. I got it. I bet you’re talking about him taking half the season to move Escobar down in the order to drive in runs?

You’re right. Bobby’s a genius. How could I have missed it? (eyes rolling)

njbraves

July 28th, 2009
2:16 pm

Jason inFL….I’m with you on that….I’ve wanted Crawford on the Braves for years. Not gonna happen though.

Closeted Fish Fan

July 28th, 2009
2:17 pm

Fish Bisch–you are not alone (not said in MJ lyrics style).

Taylor S

July 28th, 2009
2:17 pm

Hey DOB …. Think theres any chance the Braves would consider using Hudson in a sort of piggy back role on the days KK pitches? Kawakami goes his usual 5 then Huddy comes in for the remainder.

JasonInFL

July 28th, 2009
2:17 pm

ok, guess i wasn’t frst

Hillbilly

July 28th, 2009
2:17 pm

DOB and 18 Wheels,

Going to see the Truckers in Jackson next weekend. It will be my first DBT show, and I am pumped! “Welcome to the rock show M-Fs.”

njbraves

July 28th, 2009
2:18 pm

N8….as soon as Bobby uses someone else in a late game situation, and that guy gets bombed, guys like you will kill Cox for not having Gonzo in there. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the rest of the pen is shaky at best.

pryguy

July 28th, 2009
2:18 pm

Thanks for the new blog David. Big 3 game set for us here fellas. Let’s keep this up!

njbraves

July 28th, 2009
2:19 pm

Taylor s….I’ll answer that for ya…NO!

Shaun

July 28th, 2009
2:20 pm

The Bobby Cox bashing continues even though no one has provided an iota of convincing evidence that Cox is a horrible manager.

Daslied

July 28th, 2009
2:21 pm

DOB –
If you get a chance, check out Backyard Tire Fire’s “The Places We Lived”. Good stuff – sounds up your alley.

Doc Holiday

July 28th, 2009
2:21 pm

Wayne in Utah, with your permission………

TheNCBravesFan!.
Bobby Cox now looks more stupid than ever, since it took him forever to notice that Prado was our best option at 2B. It took him forever to get rid of JF. It took an injury sent by the baseball gods for us to get rid of Bennett. It took him more than half a season to understand that our light outs reliever is Soriano and not Gonzalez (and I think he might still be thinking about it).

I have to applaud his “not giving up” attitude on GA, yunel and CK.

Nick

July 28th, 2009
2:21 pm

Carlos Pena is hitting like .145 this month…

JasonInFL

July 28th, 2009
2:22 pm

Shaun, amen!!!

N8

July 28th, 2009
2:23 pm

“njbraves, Fair enough. How about earlier in the year, when he’d have those guys come in for the 3rd game in a row, despite there being a 4 or 5 run lead sometimes?

If Bobby was/is such a genius, he’d find guys that are suitable for mop-up duties in games like that.

We’ve got 3 of the 6 most used relievers in baseball. DESPITE having one of the best starting staffs in baseball, and acquiring two guys to “eat innings” in the offseason.

Plenty of starts early in the year when Vazquez could have gone an inning (or two) longer and Bobby chose to use BOTH Gonzo and Soriano in those games. Same for Lowe.

I said it then, and got BLASTED for it. Lowe and Vazquez are being paid a LOT of money to eat innings. In April, Bobby didn’t allow them to do so, and now his bullpen will pay for it, and Wren will have to “pay” prospects to other teams to acquire more help.

Bobby is notorious for over-using one or two horses in the pen and riding them to death. Don’t act like we’ve stumbled upon something new here.

JasonInFL

July 28th, 2009
2:23 pm

Nick, he also has as many HRs as our entire IF…almost

18 Wheels of Love

July 28th, 2009
2:23 pm

Hillbilly, you will have a blast.

Steve from OH

July 28th, 2009
2:24 pm

Careful Shaun, wouldn’t wanna get hit with a bunch of folksy wisdom from you-know-who.

Eric

July 28th, 2009
2:24 pm

DOB,

Where is Omar “the baby” Infante? Wasn’t that broken hand supposed to sideline him for about two months? It’s been just over two months and I haven’t heard much about him lately. Is he coming back any time soon?

Nova Scotia Steve

July 28th, 2009
2:25 pm

Nick

Carlos Pena has been KILLING me…Have him in my fantasy league

N8

July 28th, 2009
2:25 pm

“The Bobby Cox bashing continues even though no one has provided an iota of convincing evidence that Cox is a horrible manager.” Shaun

Uh….OK. Right back at you:

The support for Bobby (from some) continues, even though no one has provided an iota of convincing evidence that Cox is a great manager.

Doc Holiday

July 28th, 2009
2:25 pm

Chipper on a pace to play in 142 games this season………..not bad if he only misses 20 games. I think he has not started all the games he has played in………maybe as a PH once or twice. But that is still pretty good.

chc4

July 28th, 2009
2:25 pm

UNCBrave — All those numbers were -pre TJ surgery for Hudson. He’s now 34 years old and we all know that it takes most pitchers a full year to be 100% back in form. At his age, he likely will never reach that level again. Vazquez is a horse. I’d take Javy for the next 3 years over Huddy easy.

njbraves

July 28th, 2009
2:25 pm

Braves play poorly=Cox’s fault…Braves play well=Bobby has nothing to do with it and is a terrible manager?? You guys make no sense. The man is a HOF manager…that doesn’t happen by accident. And don’t give me the “he had great pitching..that’s the only reason he ever won anything” routine. Check out every great manager in history…they all had loaded teams.

Steve from OH

July 28th, 2009
2:26 pm

Yeah, RG, I do (vaguel) remember that one time you were nice to me…ah, ’twas a better time. At least we agree on Schafer and RSF, right?

Lamar Banks

July 28th, 2009
2:26 pm

Pena makes $8MM this year and $10MM next. Slumping a bit this year as well.

He may be slumping in terms of avg, but if the Rays are looking to move him the braves should be all over that. He would make a good Clean-up hitter and extended the line-up. I would be willing to move anone in the farm not Heyward or Schafer.

Dr Hoo

July 28th, 2009
2:26 pm

The answer to the innings the bullpen is putting up isn’t acquiring another arm, but letting the starters go deeper into games. If you acquire Wuertz, then you have to send down Acosta or Medlen or Logan. Same as if you promote Carlyle. And the same number of relievers get the same number of innings…and Bobby will still use the same 3-4 guys in all games with a lead, no matter how large, and all games with a close deficit. If, instead, you let Kawakami and Hanson actually pitch into the 7th or 8th inning occasionally, instead of pulling them after 6 innings with 84 pitches, or after 5.2 innings if they allow a single baserunner, then the workload as a whole is reduced. We’re starting to see this with JJ and JV, which is one reason we’re winning more games…let the others guys in the rotation stretch it out those games where they are capable.

Steve from OH

July 28th, 2009
2:27 pm

See what you made me do, RG? I misspelled “vaguely.” Now my feathers are further ruffled.

8)

Max14

July 28th, 2009
2:27 pm

I read somewhere that the Rays would consider trading Crawford in the offseason to see what they could get. I have to at least make an offer.

Eric from MO

July 28th, 2009
2:29 pm

Can somebody give me a good reason why everyone hates Kotchman, other than he doesnt hit a ton of homeruns?

dogsbrekky

July 28th, 2009
2:30 pm

N8 – i FOR ONE love Bobby Cox, you want numbers, read the history books.

Who do you want instead, anyone please post who they want and then we can dump the negatives on them. Hard to fight the negatives.

We were a poor hitting team until recently and some of our “mailed it in” in certain situations. Cox, La Russa and Torre use their BP arms relentlessly and if I am correct all three are superior managers (in historical terms).

njbraves

July 28th, 2009
2:30 pm

N8…I’m not completely disagreeing with you. Moylan has been overworked, I think we can all agree on that. Lowe had a stretch of shaky starts a while back, where he didn’t get very deep into games. I think that contributed to part of this problem. I can’t kill Cox for not letting guys pitch 8 innings in April. My point is, how many times have they had a big lead and seen it evaporate at the hands of Bennett, Acosta, Carlyle, etc. Those are the other options, if he doesn’t use the other, more reliable guys.

dogsbrekky

July 28th, 2009
2:30 pm

meant our BP mailed it in sometimes

LKS

July 28th, 2009
2:31 pm

N8

Agree with you 100% on all the points you’ve made about Bobby.

Nova Scotia Steve

July 28th, 2009
2:31 pm

DOB…Do you think Smoltz is coming to the end of the line with the Red Sox???

He’s gotta have a solid outing very very soon or I think he may be pulled

RHR

July 28th, 2009
2:31 pm

Everyone hates Kotchman? Who knew!

Eric from MO

July 28th, 2009
2:31 pm

NjBraves I was kind of thinking the same thing as your 2:14 post.

DAP

July 28th, 2009
2:31 pm

piedmont in case you care, i responded to your last post on our “80% of tim hudson is tim redding” convo on the last blog.

UNCBrave

July 28th, 2009
2:32 pm

I thought about this today…

Is it possible Bobby Cox pulled starters EARLY the 1st half of the season and over-used relievers so that the starters would be MORE FRESH the 2nd half and therefore the STARTERS could go deeper into games???

Also, I’d like to see MEDLEN go into the game in a MOYLAN situation say ahead by a run or 2 in the 7th….That’s the ONLY WAY we’re gonna know if Medlen can handle the pressure. He’s been pitching well lately IMO

LKS

July 28th, 2009
2:33 pm

I’m pretty sure we have Medlen and we have hardly used him. I would trust Medlin if we were up 4 or 5 runs. But no, he ALWAYS brings in Moylan or EOF. Medlen could also go more than one inning when we have a decent lead in a game

LKS

July 28th, 2009
2:34 pm

re: hardly using Medlen….until a couple weeks ago that is.

Steve from OH

July 28th, 2009
2:35 pm

DAP–copy and paste that stuff, man, I’m too lazy to go to the last blog!

Nova Scotia Steve

July 28th, 2009
2:35 pm

By the way…does anyone realize the Phillies are 17 GAMES OVER .500….YIKES.

We are 3

Andrew in P-tang

July 28th, 2009
2:36 pm

The Twins and Braves have checked in on Freddy Sanchez, but some executives believe the Pirates will have trouble moving him without contributing to the $8.1MM option for next year that’s likely to vest.

what??

brent a.

July 28th, 2009
2:36 pm

It’s hard to prove whether a manager is good or bad. Wins and losses are the main stat to use in this analysis, but there are variables that people can bring into the discussion; however, the allowance of any one of those variables can be brought up for debate as to whether or not that is a valid piece of data to use in the discussion regarding the quality of a manager.

People can offer up plenty of evidence to support a claim that Bobby is good, or bad, and then people who stand on the other side of the argument simply say the evidence doesn’t really support the argument, or that there were other conditions present, other than the manager, that led to those results.

It’s cute, really. Watching people spin around and around feeling higher and mightier than others who clearly do not have the acute level of understanding that they possess which allows them to determine what makes someone a great manager.

We sat on here 1.5 weeks ago and listened/read while bloggers debated back and forth over whether or not 2-0 was a good count for a hit & run.
(And yes, the other issue, but that issue was much less debatable than what it was made out to be, in fact, I really think there was a side issue there that was driving people’s attempts at defending/crticizing what was clearly a mistake by a player).

Regardless of what you believe on the topic of hit&run on a 2-0 count, or any other of a myriad of other topics that can arise for analysis/discussion throughout a baseball game, you can always hold that your position/opinion is the correct one, and on something so abstract as to whether or not a manager is good or bad, you can always defer to, “I disagree with you on ‘x’ topic”, which allows you to continue to hold your position regarding a manager’s ability, and thus feel confident in claiming that the other
blogger/denizen/human/child of God is an idiot.

DOB discusses the very obvious “heavy use” of our bullpen. Is that evidence of Cox being a bad maanger? Some will say yes, others will say no, at the end of the day, two sides will disagree; but Shaun, will be right, because he’s always right, and if he isn’t, he’ll just change the argument or pretend that you’ve made an argument that you haven’t made so that he can easily refute it.

Go Braves!

Lamar Banks

July 28th, 2009
2:37 pm

Can somebody give me a good reason why everyone hates Kotchman, other than he doesnt hit a ton of homeruns?

Most fans feel power on this team is needed and 1st base should be the source. I don’t think for most its personal against Kotchman just looking for power i.e. HR

Frank Drebin

July 28th, 2009
2:37 pm

RICKY IS THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME

July 28th, 2009
2:38 pm

DOB,

RICKY DIDN”T SEE WHAT YOU MAY HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT RICKY’S HALL OF FAME INDUCTION SPEECH. RICKY THINKS YOU ARE JUST JEALOUS OF MY DELIVERY AND DON’T WANT TO COMMENT SINCE RICKY IS THE GREATEST

Wayne in Utah

July 28th, 2009
2:38 pm

I can’t imagine why the Braves would be interested in Freddy Sanchez. Yes, he is a very good hitter, but where would we play him?

Nah…

dogsbrekky

July 28th, 2009
2:39 pm

Rickey would know how to spell his name.

N8

July 28th, 2009
2:39 pm

“i FOR ONE love Bobby Cox, you want numbers, read the history books.”

I have. The recent ones that is. And recently, he has NOT been a great manager. Larry Bird was a great player in past history too. That doesnt’ mean I want him playing for my favorite NBA team NOW.

I’m not a Bobby Basher. I just don’t give him the credit that the Bobby-Lovers do. I hold him JUST AS responsible for their recent failure as I do for their past success. It HAS TO go both ways. The Bobby supporters always want to blame “poor players” or injuries on recent failed/flawed seasons. Then don’t want to give the 3 HOF pitchers (and various other all-stars who’ve been in the everyday lineup along the way), credit for the success.

It CANNOT go both ways.

njbraves, I won’t argue that. My problem, is why wait so long to make changes if you don’t have other options you trust in the bullpen? Why keep a guy like Bennett around so long? Thank god he broke his hand, or he’d STILL be out there.

If you don’t trust those guys, find people you do. If Bobby and Wren were constantly shifting guys up and down from AAA or AA with the rejects in our pen, I’d at least think they were TRYING to fix the issue. But why wast 25 man roster space on guys you are never going to use? Why have a guys like Medlen (at his age) wasting away in the bullpen, only to be used in blowouts?

So, while the arms are partially to blame for Cox only using the good ones, Cox (along with Wren) has assume some of that blame for CHOOSING to have those guys out there in the first place.

Again. It can’t go both ways.

cabravesfan

July 28th, 2009
2:39 pm

Everyone hates Kotchman?

RHR-

Not everyone!

chc4

July 28th, 2009
2:39 pm

Is Cox supposed to leave KK in when he’s thrown 100 pitches thru 5 innings? I was thrilled when he left Hanson in to close out the 7th against SF the other night after he got in trouble w/ over 100 pitches. There’s only so much Bobby can do. KK, JJ, Lowe and Hanson all tend to throw alot of pitches.

Barry (last name not Bonds)

July 28th, 2009
2:40 pm

Tonight’s lineup if Cox was GM
1. Prado (Well, he got this one right)
2. Escobar (An RBI machine, he should have been hitting lower)
3. Jones
4. McCann
5. Francoeur (Yes, Frenchie would still be starting)
6. Anderson
7. Kotchman
8. Schafer (He wouldn’t have pulled off the trade for McLouth)

Cox is loyal to a fault. He is severely inept at judging contributors to success. Why is a guy that’s currently batting .122 on the roster over a guy that was hitting .344? Why Cox? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? I don’t care what he did LAST YEAR.

Roman Gal

July 28th, 2009
2:41 pm

At least we agree on Schafer and RSF, right?

Yessiree! I can’t believe so many people on here are willing to trade Schafer for just about anybody. That haven’t seen what he really has to offer. I remember on a Fox Saturday game earlier in the year, the commentator said something along the lines of, “How can a kid with a swing this pretty be hitting .220?”

Some guys have what it takes to be successful in the major leagues and some guys don’t. I think Schafer has what it takes. He has an excellent eye, a terrific arm, and has big ears that’ll help him parasail to the ball in the outfield. What’s not to love?

RHR

July 28th, 2009
2:42 pm

Not me either, cabraves.

Steve lol @ too lazy to go to the last blog. Reckon how lazy BAS is feeling today.

N8

July 28th, 2009
2:43 pm

What kills me about the Kotchman bashers (due to him not hitting a ton of HR), is that those same people don’t realize that we get a lot more power from B-Mac and the catcher position, than most teams that have a power bat at 1B. So it’s a “wash”, right?

It’s not rocket surgery.

Roman Gal

July 28th, 2009
2:43 pm

Oh, dang…I just found out the tax-free weekend starts on Thursday instead of Friday!

This is GREAT news!

David O'Brien

July 28th, 2009
2:43 pm

boutTHATmouf: How am I supposed to know who you are, your blocked identity, when you’re on here now as someone else?

dogsbrekky

July 28th, 2009
2:44 pm

N8 – there are many intangibles to the hof manager that stats cannot show. I listened up here in “evil empire city” for years about how Torre was a poor coach/manager for tactical miscues etc.

Yet everywhere Torre goes there is a little team that follows and a winning record.

When respected industry sources are asked about the “players” selection for manager it IS ALWAYS BOBBY COX, when media members are asked for best manager it is usually BOBBY COX.

When respected industry analysts are asked (I think Dobi One Knobi has done this many times) if Bobby Cox should be sacked, they laugh and imply that such bloggers are not too real smart.

So can anyone tell me who they want right now to manage the Braves (and please not Ned Bloody I got sacked just b4 playoffs Jost”

Shaun

July 28th, 2009
2:44 pm

The support for Bobby (from some) continues, even though no one has provided an iota of convincing evidence that Cox is a great manager.

Players, coaches, managers, front office personnel, media members, analysts, most fans, etc. view Cox as a fine manager. So the burden of proof would seem to be on those who think he’s not a fine manager.

Eric from MO

July 28th, 2009
2:44 pm

N8 as for taking Cox 2.5 months to start Prado over KJ needs to stop. Cox was already on record for saying he would of done that early if not for Prado having hurt his hamstring or groin.(I dont remember what it was) Also Cox had already started using Infante over KJ before he got hurt. Not Cox’s fault Prado and Infante have been hurt.

Now I will admit Cox misuses a pen, no way to deny it, but for the lineup he has done the best he could. Lets not forget that Kelly had a good May. As for Francouer, Diaz and GA were struggling early and there was no good option. He just had to play him and hope they could somehow trade him, which they did.

As for Lowe and Vazquez going longer, that is just dumb. They are both on pace for over 200 innings. If you used them both longer then they would be tired and we would need starting pitching. Plus if you pitched them another inning and they got shelled you would be one of the first blaming Cox for leaving them in too long.

Dogsbrekky good post at 2:30. Cardinal fans hate LaRussa. Braves fans hate Cox. Yankee fans hated Torre and yet all three are highly successful. Remember how bad Yankee fans wanted Torre gone. What happened? After making the playoffs 11 or 12 straight years, they suddenly miss it. Coincidence? Doubt it.

Frank from KS (now living in CO)

July 28th, 2009
2:44 pm

C. Caveman

I wouldn’t mind the Braves getting Mahay again. I was kinda sad they didn’t keep him the last time they had him.

Barry (last name not Bonds)

July 28th, 2009
2:44 pm

On Casey Kothman, he is a gold-glove caliber first baseman. He HASN’T MADE AN ERROR since joining the Braves last year. The guy is a contact hitter, nothing more. He is an above avergae hitter with little power and a plays excellent defense. I can’t point to any game where I remember him being a main emphasis for losing a game. What are you haters talking about?

Nick

July 28th, 2009
2:45 pm

Andrew in P-Tang: Sanchez has an option year that vests if he gets 600 plate appearances

boutTHATmouf

July 28th, 2009
2:46 pm

this is the same screen name i have used for the past while before that i was superman. This is my work computer… the one that is blocked is at home

dogsbrekky

July 28th, 2009
2:46 pm

N8

July 28th, 2009
2:43 pm
What kills me about the Kotchman bashers (due to him not hitting a ton of HR), is that those same people don’t realize that we get a lot more power from B-Mac and the catcher position, than most teams that have a power bat at 1B. So it’s a “wash”, right?

It’s not rocket surgery.

here here, I laughed a LOT at the last line.

BTW where is our resident liar surgeon Larry the Hater

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