Braves try to slow Ethier, Dodgers

  Los Angeles — Our man Rafael Soriano has hit a rough patch at an in inopportune time, and Andre Ethier is having a season filled with a career’s worth of late-game heroics.
  The combination spelled disaster for the Braves last night while many of you were sleeping, when Ethier hit a three-run, game-ending homer off Soriano to give the Dodgers a 5-4 win that left some Bravos (and surely most of their night owl fans) with a what-the-bleep-just-happened expression.
  ”You just don’t expect to see it — it’s more a shock than anything else,” said fellow reliever Peter Moylan, who had turned in some of his best work to get the Braves out of jams in the seventh and eighth innings.
  ”Shocking that [Soriano] gave up a home run. He’s been so good for so long, the law of averages says unless you’re Lidge, you’re going to blow a few saves.”
  He was talking about Brad Lidge circa 2008, of course, when the Phillies closer didn’t blow a save all season.
  In a span of five appearances over 10 days, Soriano has blown a couple of saves in spectacular fashion — via walk-off homers.
  He gave up a two-run shot by Florida’s Ross Gload in the bottom of the ninth on July 28, and wouldn’t talk to us reporters afterward because he didn’t like that we didn’t talk to him after all the nights when he pitched well.

Braves need good one from Jurrjens tonight

Braves need good one from Jurrjens tonight

  Soriano did address the media last night, answering our questions and insisting that he wants the ball again right away, tonight if the same situation arises.
  He said he didn’t have the “best stuff” that he’s had most of the season last night, and also had some bad luck. He was right about he luck. Before getting behind in the count 2-0 to Ethier and throwing him a fastball over the middle (with Manny Ramirez on deck, not like you want to walk Ethier, even if Manny hasn’t been nearly as scary a hitter lately as Ethier has been).
  The bad luck came via the weak bouncer of a single that Juan Pierre had to start the ninth, which Chipper Jones tried to barehand because that’s the only chance he had of throwing out Pierre. He didn’t come up with the ball, though.
  Then old friend Rafael Furcal bounced a hit-and-run single through the right side of the infield, with Adam LaRoche over toward the line in that situation.
  Up stepped Ethier, about the last guy the Braves wanted to see in this spot, as I noted in yesterday’s blog.
  It’s been a magical sort of season for him and for Los Dodgers, in general. Their majors-best record (67-42) includes 29 come-from-behind wins and a majors-leading 11 walk-off wins.
  They basically just shrugged off the 50-game ‘roid suspension for Manny a while back, kept winning while he was gone, and keep winning now when he’s not really doing a whole lot of late.
  Anyone who doesn’t believe in the notion of some good hitters being better “clutch hitters” than other, otherwise-similar good hitters, well, consider that Ethier leads the majors with five walk-off (or game-ending, if you think “walk-off” is an annoying term) hits this season.
  He’s also tied for eighth in the NL in go-ahead RBIs with 20, and tied with Albert Pujols for fifth in the NL in game-winning RBI with 12.
  ”He’s been incredible in that situation,” said Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who knows a thing or two about hitting and playing in pressure situations. “That’s incredible to have that kind of calm. It’s very, very special.”
  But against the Braves, he’s been a beast beyond reason in their limited matchups this season. Ethier is 9-for-19 with a double, triple, three homers and nine RBI in four games against Atlanta this season, with multiple hits in each.
  Not that he’s just teeing off on then. Oh, no. In his past 25 games, Ethier has hit .356 with seven homers and a 1.093 OPS.
  And forget Mannywood, how ‘bout, say, Ethieropia? No? Well, anyway, in his past 27 gmes at Dodger Stadium, Ethier has hit .363 with 11 homers, 28 RBI and a 1.195 OPS.
  Like I said, not the best time for Soriano and him to be squaring off, if you’re a Braves fan.
  As for Manny, he’s hit .216 with a homer, four RBI and 14 strikeouts in his past 13 games.

 ♣ Soriano’s woes: He’s had a superb season, but The Scowl is slumping here in the stretch drive. He has a 10.13 ERA in his past seven appearances, with seven hits, six runs and two homers allowed in 5-1/3 innings.
  In his 43 appearances before that, Soriano converted 13 of 14 saves while posting a 1.41 ERA and allowing 23 hits, seven runs and one homer in 44-2/3 innings.
  In those past seven appearances, he has a .318 opponents’ average. In the 43 appearances before that, he had a .150 opponents’ average (with 60 strikeouts and 15 walks in 44-2/3 innings).

... still looking for Mota

... still looking for Mota

 

  ♣ Chipper resurgence? The Braves need everybody to produce from here out if they have any hope of staying in the playoff race, but getting their third baseman on a hot streak could be particularly crucial.
  They only have a few guys who can really carry the offense for a week or two at a time, and Chipper is obviously one of them. Or at least he has been.
  After a power drought before the All-Star break, Hoss has hit .307 with five homers and a .964 OPS in his past 20 games, including last night’s home run that put the Braves up 4-2 in the seventh.

 ♣ Oh, yeah, the situation: It ain’t good, folks. Braves played a sound game for most of last night, and still lost. And at this time of the season, when they had a chance to leap Florida into second in the division and, perhaps more importantly, move within 4-1/2 games of the wild-card lead, the loss stung.
  Tonight is game No. 110, and the Braves find themselves 7-1/2 games behind the NL East-leading Phillies and 5-1/2 games out in the wild-card race, with five teams ahead of them in the latter.
  They’ve got to not just win series from here on out, but sweep a few of them.
  After going 15-6 with a .294 batting average and 3.10 ERA from June 28 to July 22, the Braves have gone 6-8 while hitting .274 with a .397 ERA in their past 14 games. They’ve averaged 4.1 runs in that stretch.
  And you might want to hide your eyes when I give you their results in their last five games against the Dodgers, including the last one they played in 2008 and four games during the past seven days: 1-4 with a .189 average and 5.02 ERA.
  Yes, the Braves have hit .189 with two homers and scored a total of 10 runs in their past five games against the Dodgers, including a pair of 10-hit, four-run games. They had 13 combined hits and two runs in the other three.

  OK, I wanted to get into a little John Smoltz and other matters, but running out of time. Gotta get over to the ballpark. We’ve used this song from the brilliant Guy Clark before, but so what. And sorry, Jerry Jeff Walker fans, but he didn’t write it. He did sing a great version of the song, though.

Guy Clark many years ago

Guy Clark many years ago

“L.A. FREEWAY” by Guy Clark

Pack up all your dishes.
Make note of all good wishes.
Say goodbye to the landlord for me.
That son of a bitch has always bored me.
Throw out them LA papers
And that moldy box of vanilla wafers.
Adios to all this concrete.
Gonna get me some dirt road back street

If I can just get off of this LA freeway
Without getting killed or caught
I’d be down that road in a cloud of smoke
For some land that I ain’t bought bought bought

Here’s to you old skinny Dennis
Only one I think I will miss
I can hear that old bass singing
Sweet and low like a gift you’re bringin’
Play it for me just one more time now
Got to give it all we can now
I beleive everything your saying
Just keep on, keep on playing

If I can just get off of this LA freeway
Without getting killed or caught
I’d be down that road in a cloud of smoke
For some land that I ain’t bought bought bought

And you put the pink card in the mailbox
Leave the key in the old front door lock
They will find it likely as not
I’m sure there’s somethin’ we have forgot
Oh Susanna, don’t you cry, babe
Love’s a gift that’s surely handmade
We’ve got something to believe in
Dontcha’ think it’s time we’re leavin’

If I can just get off of this LA freeway
Without getting killed or caught
I’d be down that road in a cloud of smoke
For some land that I ain’t bought bought bought

 

2,775 comments Add your comment

Dan Kolb

August 7th, 2009
6:06 pm

LOL, I have more in the tank than Smoltz. Why would you bring him back if not for emotional feeling, and if I’m Smoltz I retire before being sent to bullpen mop-up duty.

swamproot

August 7th, 2009
6:08 pm

My first first!

unlucky charms

August 7th, 2009
6:11 pm

DOB: Will the braves bring back smoltz? I don’t think its such a good idea.

N8

August 7th, 2009
6:12 pm

swamproot….. oh so close, huh?

Lew, I copied this from the other blog. Well… because I like to take up as much cyberspace as I can.

“Smoltz pitching for the Braves again? What part of that 8 something ERA is unclear to you?”” Lew

Come on Lew. You’re better than that.

As a reliever, Smoltz (or anybody) would not likely face any particular hitter more than once.

Batters against Smoltz the first time through the order, are hitting .250 (.388 the 2nd time through, and .400 the 3rd time). He has recorded 49 outs (16.1 IP) going through the order the first time, allowing 6 ER (3.30 ERA). However, since he gave up 4 ER in his first inning of the year, if you take that “first time” through the order out of consideration, he’s recorded 46 outs (15.1 IP), and allowed 2 ER (1.17 ERA).

When facing batters for the first time, he’s allowed (16) total hits, (2) doubles, (1) triple and (0) HR, he’s hit (2) batters and walked (7). Of the 25 men to reach base in the first time through the order, 6 of those people were in his very first inning of the year.

Listen. I’ve soured a bit on Smoltz. I think he’s kind of a whiner. I think Wren knew exactly what he was doing, and my guess is that Theo has a bit more respect for Wren at this point. However, Boston will move on and never look back. Meanwhile the AJC seeming has a John Smoltz “watch” on the Braves front page.

That all being said, this team needs bullpen help. They need somebody that Bobby TRUSTS to give the ball to in a 6-2 or a 9-2 game, so Gonzo, Soriano and Moylan’s arms don’t fall off, or vaporize before our eyes.

All egos left at the door (Wren’s and Smoltz’), Smoltz could be that guy. We still probably won’t make the playoffs this year. But we’ll have a much better shot at it if the bullpen’s “3-headed monster” is healthy and fresh down the stretch.

Send Medlen back down to Gwynnett and either let him start, or groom him to be next year’s closer or main setup man.

If Smoltz gets hammered in his first few outings. What have we really lost? Certainly not our playoff spot.

Bat Masterson

August 7th, 2009
6:14 pm

Pity about Smoltz, d$ck head or not I hate to see him go out this way.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:15 pm

Calling up Heyward wouldn’t erase the sting of last night’s game

Daybed Wagmoe

August 7th, 2009
6:17 pm

Enter your comments here

Nova Scotia Steve

August 7th, 2009
6:18 pm

I see Dan Kolb made his first – ahem – appearence in a while!!!

CallUpConrad

August 7th, 2009
6:20 pm

Frank Wren looks more and more like he knows what he’s doing. He was right that Smoltz wasn’t going to be reliable in the rotation after surgery. He has- for the most part- been right that the offense will score enough runs to win and that the team actually needed an arm in the bullpen. I can’t even believe that we hear whispers of “bring Smoltz back” with the way he’s gotten hammered. I just hope this team finishes strong so that they don’t have to look back at this season the same way they did last season.

TnBrian

August 7th, 2009
6:21 pm

The way Smoltz bashed Wren and the organization for the last few months, I wouldn’t think he’ll be back. Maybe he does but unlikely considering how God awful he’s been and I don’t think his pride will allow him to take ‘nickels and dimes’ to help out our pen.

I used to get so aggravated when Chipper would say, “The baseball Gods aren’t shining on us like in the past”. Well, he’s so right. Look at the Dodgers and the luck they’re getting in ‘09. Yeah, they’re good but last night was a luck win and I’m sure they’ve gotten their share of them this year. We haven’t had the slightest bit of luck aside from maybe a game or two this year. The last few years…none.

Nova Scotia Steve

August 7th, 2009
6:22 pm

I was actually waiting for DOB to bust out a MFIKY…but instead we got “The Scowl”…

He knows we’re all thinking the same.

DP

August 7th, 2009
6:22 pm

N8, so Smoltz is getting hitters out with smoke and mirrors the first time he goes through the lineup (he’s been in the AL where a lot of hitters have probably faced him few if any times) and then he’s getting shelled the second time through the order.

Even if Smoltz was in a 6th or 7th inning relief role, you couldn’t put him in a close game without having somebody already warming up behind him. Smoltz came back to pitch in big games. You really think, as proud as he is, that he’s going to come back to Atlanta to be the last guy in the bullpen for a .500 team? And then if he fails in that role the first 3 or 4 times the Braves would have to release him.

It makes no sense for Smoltz or the Braves. He’s finished.

Nova Scotia Steve

August 7th, 2009
6:23 pm

Cubs may give him a shot

Baba O'Riley

August 7th, 2009
6:25 pm

Maybe because MFIKY is LAME.

DP

August 7th, 2009
6:25 pm

Rob from SC, whether it’s too late for the Braves to make a run or not, I think it’s worthwhile to bring Heyward up to see if he’s ready to be the right fielder next year. The answer to that question would be a major factor in determining what to do with the roster for next year in terms of the corner outfield spots and first base.

NCBravesFan

August 7th, 2009
6:25 pm

You have to think the Sox would have offered Smoltz the option of retiring instead of being cut … so you have to think he’s at least thinking about trying to catch on with someone (which would appear to be pretty misguided).

That said, if the Braves drop out of it in September (which they almost surely will) – why not sign him for a farewell start in ATL a la Neikro?

PWHjort

August 7th, 2009
6:25 pm

So do the Braves retire number number 29 this year?

HTF

August 7th, 2009
6:25 pm

Free Heyward

monty

August 7th, 2009
6:25 pm

If BC pitches to Ethier with the game on the line any more this series, he’s not as smart as everyone gives him credit for.

PWHjort

August 7th, 2009
6:26 pm

why not sign him for a farewell start in ATL a la Neikro?

I hope they do. IF they’re out of contention.

Steve in OK

August 7th, 2009
6:26 pm

Smoltz is retiring and Rios sucks. ESPN had Rios’ contract as one of the top ten most unmovable not long ago.

The A Bomb

August 7th, 2009
6:26 pm

TnBrian — As much as I hate the Dodgers I will tell you this. . .

They hit up and down the lineup. Heck, Kemp was on the bench last night. They can survive innings when they fail to execute because they come back the next inning and hit again. You make your own luck. What? Is Eithier supposed to miss a fastball down the pipe? No. They hit the count, run deep counts and keep coming at you. If you put Kawakami on their team his record might be reversed. That is why they can carry a journeyman like Randy Wolf.

If we had executed (bunts, steals etc.) in the first half the way we seem to be doing it now, we might be 10 games over and right in the middle of things. That is how “luck” comes about.

monty

August 7th, 2009
6:27 pm

Anyone know how many runners we left on base last night? Had chances to stick a dagger in them early and couldn’t do it!

Baba O'Riley

August 7th, 2009
6:28 pm

monty- if you load the bases intentionally with no outs in the 9th with Manny coming up, you’re not too swift.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:28 pm

DP

I was the first one to mention calling up Heyward. I still think we should, however the excitement would not erase the misery I still feel from last night.

Daybed Wagmoe

August 7th, 2009
6:28 pm

I meant to share this earlier but forgot. Last night some friends and I went and saw the NYC stop of “The Big Surprise” tour, which is a line-up that includes Justin Townes Earle, The Felice Brothers, the Dave Rawlings Machine featuring Gillian Welch, and Old Crow Medicine Show.

It was my first time hearing Justin Townes Earle, and I thought he was great. He’s got a Hank Williams (the first) quality to his music, and I wish that he had played a bit longer. The Felice Brothers’ music was decent, but I didn’t care much for their stage presence and antics…overall though, they brought a lot of energy and lightheartedness to the stage.

The Dave Rawlings Machine was tremendous, and they were the best act out of the four. It’s David Rawlings with Gillian Welch, which is their normal act, only David was the singer and leader of it. They did some great covers, including Bright Eyes’ “Method Acting” that went straight into “Cortez the Killer” that dropped my jaw right away. They also closed their set with a cover of Dylan’s “Queen Jane Approximately.” Old Crow Medicine Show’s set was okay — good, but not nearly as strong as the DRM. All of the acts joined forces for the last several songs, which included a terrific cover of The Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait,” led by Justin Townes Earle.

Nova Scotia Steve

August 7th, 2009
6:30 pm

Baba O’Riley

August 7th, 2009
6:25 pm
Maybe because MFIKY is LAME.

…and “The Scowl” is awesome???

RHR

August 7th, 2009
6:30 pm

LOL ok the Prince pic again was funny…as was Ethieropia.

Baba O'Riley

August 7th, 2009
6:30 pm

How about….Soriano?

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:31 pm

We have a team that can hit from top to bottom. What we lack is team speed. Heyward runs well but is not a stolen base threat. the key is Jordan Schafer. He needs to refine his game and be more of a line drive hitter.

TnBrian

August 7th, 2009
6:31 pm

The A Bomb, you don’t think Pierre hitting that dribbler to Chipper at the right time was good luck. The pitch before Chipper was in on the grass and he’d have easily thrown him out. Next batter, Furcal, he hits it right to where LaRoche would’ve been playing and that would be two outs. Don’t say this game isn’t about luck…hell, that’s why they say it’s a “game of inches”. Yes, the Dodgers are a great team but you still can’t deny that luck plays a role too.

Baba O'Riley

August 7th, 2009
6:32 pm

At least the Scowl makes sense. MFIKY is funny to 5th graders because they think it has a curse word in it.

RHR

August 7th, 2009
6:32 pm

Dan Kolb!? Get off the internet and deliver my pizza!

Nova Scotia Steve

August 7th, 2009
6:33 pm

How about get lost douche????…I like that much more

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:34 pm

Think about is

Phillies
Dodgers
Angels
Red Sox

All those teams have speed. The put so much pressure on the other team that it leads to extra runs. How we were in 91 and 92 with Gant, Nixo, Sanders.

Baba O'Riley

August 7th, 2009
6:35 pm

Steve…you sound like one of those 5th graders. Nothing else to say, so you resort to calling names.

zmerk13

August 7th, 2009
6:35 pm

DOB,

Gonna be at the game tonight, in these crazy bleacher seats with free food… for 25 bucks! That is stading room price in st. louis.

Going to be there a bit early too, are u on the field much before games or just in clubhouse?

This Boat Is Real

August 7th, 2009
6:36 pm

I’m riding dolphins, doing flips and S&^T.

Space Monkey

August 7th, 2009
6:36 pm

Smoltz should be signed for the bullpen once he clears waivers. He can mop up, give the fans a thrill, and teach Soriano and Gonzo a thing or two.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:36 pm

I want the Brave to sign Chone Figgins in the offseason. Let him play LF or CF and leadoff

33 – SB
almost 1 BB for every K
.305 average

Nova Scotia Steve

August 7th, 2009
6:37 pm

hahaha Baba…which this is one of the first time’s I saw your screen name on this blog…I read everyone of your posts…and your being a complete ass…

What gives dude??

ncscoots

August 7th, 2009
6:37 pm

We have a team that can hit from top to bottom. What we lack is team speed.

Sorry, but what they lack is a thug with bad intentions in the middle of the lineup. Give me that, and I don’t care if McCann is the fastest guy on the everyday 8. You don’t need wheels to trot.

Will folks here ever understand that stealing bases and its close cousins are complementary offensive weapons, not primary?

Nova Scotia Steve

August 7th, 2009
6:37 pm

Every single post man…you got something ignorant to say…its get old pretty fast

The A Bomb

August 7th, 2009
6:39 pm

TnBrian — It’s situational baseball. We were playing no doubles.

When you hit and execute, you multiply the possible scenarios. Earlier in the game Randy Wolf executed a hit and run right where Yunel vacated. Luck? No — situational hitting. Swinging bunts are part of the game and Pierre gets his share of them with his swing.

If you’ve seen Eithier all season like I have you cannot groove him a fastball anytime.The only thing I saw last night (in person) that was luck was Lowe putting his glove in front of that Manny Ramirez line drive that probably would have ended his season and maybe his career. He got lucky there.

Baba O'Riley

August 7th, 2009
6:39 pm

being called a douche gives. Lame nicknames gives. hahahaha, he said MF. Didn’t really understand your first sentence.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:39 pm

ncscoots

It doesn’t have to be stolen bases. We need more players that can go 1st to 3rd. I just don’t know if throwing tons of cash at Holliday or Bay is the answer. A Heyward-Jones-Escobar-McCann is a great 3-6 lineup. If we get a leadoff hitter than McLouth can hit 7th. I would love a true leadoff hitter with speed

Steve from OH

August 7th, 2009
6:40 pm

Will folks here ever understand that stealing bases and its close cousins are complementary offensive weapons, not primary?

Probably never. But it’s nice to dream…

(Agreed on lacking a big thug in the middle of the order)

Steve in OK

August 7th, 2009
6:40 pm

This team’s problem is lack of power, not lack of speed.

What this team does not need are more caught stealings.

Baba O'Riley

August 7th, 2009
6:41 pm

ABomb. I strongly disagree. Swinging bunts are nothing but luck. Swinging bunts usually means you were fooled and got just enough of the ball to hit it forward.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:42 pm

Steve from OH

Look what Victorino, Rollins, Werth do for the Phillies.
What Figgins and Aybar do for the Angels
Crawford and Upton for the Rays.

Speed is a big asset

All you do is quote other peoples stats and opinions

Steve from OK

August 7th, 2009
6:42 pm

Why in the heck would anyone want to bring Judas Smoltz back? He betrayed the sacred trust last offsason and became a Red Sox.

I’m glad him and Peavy and Furcal sucked this year.

Steve from OH

August 7th, 2009
6:43 pm

Sorry Rob, but I don’t see the ability to accrue stolen bases as a prereq to be a leadoff man.

The A Bomb

August 7th, 2009
6:43 pm

I’m just saying Pierre gets a bunch of those — it wasn’t the first of his career.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:44 pm

You need to be able to create runs. We have not made the playoff’s since we lost a real leadoff hitter

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:44 pm

Steve from OH

August 7th, 2009
6:43 pm
Sorry Rob, but I don’t see the ability to accrue stolen bases as a prereq to be a leadoff man.

We need 4 hits an inning to score 1 run. It does not need to be SB, but the threat of a stolen base.

This Boat Is Real

August 7th, 2009
6:44 pm

Wren is going to have almost as tough offseason as last years. Does he pick up Huddy’s option or trade KK for a player to be named. Sign a slugging outfielder or firstbaseman or let the kids play. IMO, I think he should trade Schafer and KK to a team like the rangers who need a starting pitcher and would give up someone like Cruz. This allows Huddy to stay with the team and allows us the option to give Laroche a 2/14 contract.

Also, He should definitely give Heyward his cup of coffee this season to see if his ready to be our starting RF next year.

Baba O'Riley

August 7th, 2009
6:44 pm

I know, I’m guessing he doesn’t practice the “skill” of hitting nubbers.

Gov. Clinton Tyree

August 7th, 2009
6:45 pm

We could use a reliever. The prorated minimum salary for the rest of the year is $150,000. Smoltz was throwing 93 in his starts. He always was a little faster in one inning stints…why not mend fences and see if we can catch lightning in a bottle?

monty

August 7th, 2009
6:45 pm

BAba O’Reilly

“If you walk the bases loaded in teh 9th inning with no one out and MAnny coming up you are not to swift.”

I beg to differ sir-mam? DId you read DOB’s stats on Ethier and especially how he hits us??? MAnny may or may not beat us, but I believe pitching to Ethier is a forgone conclusion. Not my opinion, but the facts; plus MAnny has been struggling lately. It’s called not letting the hot guy beat you. Teams used to do it to Bonds all the time.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:45 pm

It makes pitchers use the slide step or speed up their delivery. Throws them out of wack.

ncscoots

August 7th, 2009
6:46 pm

A Heyward-Jones-Escobar-McCann is a great 3-6 lineup.

No, it is not. Escobar does not hit 5 on any club that has aspirations, nor does Heyward hit 3 as a rookie on such a team. That way lies madness. And third place.

OklahomaBrave

August 7th, 2009
6:46 pm

Nice to see a fellow Okie on the blog. Sooners Fan?

Steve from OH

August 7th, 2009
6:46 pm

Rob, I can’t bloody well make up my own stats, can I?

Nova Scotia Steve

August 7th, 2009
6:47 pm

Baba O’Riley

August 7th, 2009
6:41 pm
ABomb. I strongly disagree. Swinging bunts are nothing but luck. Swinging bunts usually means you were fooled and got just enough of the ball to hit it forward.

Great Analysis….whew thank God…Don’t know if anyone of us coulda done without that explanation

Johnny Quest

August 7th, 2009
6:48 pm

DOB Pretty good wave last night. Did you start it?

Steve from OH

August 7th, 2009
6:48 pm

We need 4 hits an inning to score 1 run.

Precisely why we need more XBH power. In order to move runners multiple bases on one swing, not risking an out trying to steal.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:48 pm

ncscoots

Chipper hit third his rookie year and we won the World Series. I just looked up box scores

The A Bomb

August 7th, 2009
6:48 pm

Pierre and Furcal chop down on the ball much like Nixon used to do for us. Gives them their share of infield knocks. Creates more pressure on the defense. Someone like that is exactly what we need. An igniter.

We need more athletes and more speed at the corner outfield positions. And by the way, in case you’ve been watching, Chipper doesn’t throw anyone out easily anymore. Everything’s a lob that falls about a foot short that the 1B has to stretch for.

I used to think speed never slumped until I saw Willy Tavares this season.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:48 pm

Steve from OH

How about 1st to 3rd speed

Jay212033

August 7th, 2009
6:48 pm

I said long ago we should have traded Soriano at the deadline!

Baba O'Riley

August 7th, 2009
6:49 pm

monty- there are no FACTS, just probablities. I would NOT walk the bases loaded with one out to face Manny.

Steve from OK

August 7th, 2009
6:49 pm

Nice to see a fellow Okie on the blog. Sooners Fan?

NO!

I don’t care for college football.

Steve from OH

August 7th, 2009
6:50 pm

You don’t necessarily need good speed to go 1st to 3rd, Rob. You just need to be a good baserunner. We’ve got a few of those.

OklahomaBrave

August 7th, 2009
6:50 pm

Oklahoma State is going to win the big 12 south and Nebraska is winning the north.

Sorry, I’m really just getting bored or sick of baseball with this team.

Baba O'Riley

August 7th, 2009
6:50 pm

ABomb, I agree with your last post, and it looks like I have a stalker named Nova Scotia Steve.

Steve from OK

August 7th, 2009
6:50 pm

We need 4 hits an inning to score 1 run. It does not need to be SB, but the threat of a stolen base.

Or an extra-base hit maybe?

This team is so punchless. Like the awful, awful 2008 Giants, they’ll probably not have even one single player hit 20 homeruns for them.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:51 pm

I used to think speed never slumped until I saw Willy Tavares this season.

That is true. I want Chne Figgins. He can play LF, then move to 3B when Chipper hurts himself

OklahomaBrave

August 7th, 2009
6:52 pm

Steve, I’d rather you not be a football fan than an OU fan. Which by the way are the reason I hate them.

ncscoots

August 7th, 2009
6:52 pm

It makes pitchers use the slide step or speed up their delivery. Throws them out of wack.

Then, shouldn’t every hitter have a higher BA or, at least, OBP when the situation is speedy-basestealer-on-first? Guess what? They don’t. So exactly what is the benefit of the the pitcher being out of whack if it doesn’t lead to increased offensive output?

David O'Brien

August 7th, 2009
6:52 pm

Monty, you can’t possibly be serious about walking Ethier to load the bases for Manny … with NONE OUT. The latter part of that is the key, Monty. At least if there’s one out, you could try to set up a double play. I still wouldn’t do it, not to get to Manny in that situation. But with none out? That’s insane. Then all either of the next two guys has to do is put the ball in play, basically, to drive in the tying run. Or draw a walk to bring in the tying run. That’s nonsense.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:52 pm

Steve from OH

Even Frank Wren said he wants a athletic team. Escobar, McLouth, Schafer, Heyward is a great start. I just want a true leadoff hitter to work the count and put pressure on the D.

Braves Fan in SC

August 7th, 2009
6:52 pm

Just saw where the Braves picked up Alex Rios on waivers.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:53 pm

ncscoots

It matters for some pitchers

Chop Chop

August 7th, 2009
6:53 pm

“I don’t care for college football.”

Get a rope.

njbraves

August 7th, 2009
6:53 pm

Exactly DOB!! Some people here are too dumb for their own good.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:53 pm

Braves Fan in SC

Don’t Joke

The A Bomb

August 7th, 2009
6:53 pm

Figgins would be absolutely a perfect fit for this ballclub. I can’t think of a better fit.

David O'Brien

August 7th, 2009
6:54 pm

OklahomaBrave: You picking the ‘Huskers to win the Big 12 North over my boys? Shame on you. Reesing and his receivers, and the rest of that squad, are poised for a big year, my man.

ncscoots

August 7th, 2009
6:54 pm

Rob, you might want to check the game logs for his season as a rookie and see where Chipper hit most often. A hint: not 3.

OklahomaBrave

August 7th, 2009
6:54 pm

Figgins would be great but we have about 3 platoon players. I know he has speed but we need that can trot around the bases. Seriously, Nate leeds the team in HR’s at 15 and he’s hasn’t hit one in forever.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:56 pm

ncscoots

he did in the WS

Braves Fan in SC

August 7th, 2009
6:57 pm

Sorry Rob, couldn’t resist. ;-) . Would you guys want him for RF?

Steve from OH

August 7th, 2009
6:57 pm

Even Frank Wren said he wants a athletic team. Escobar, McLouth, Schafer, Heyward is a great start.

That’s all fine and dandy. I’m a big fan of athletic baseball players, always have been. That’s why I like Schafer so much. But none of those stolen base threats address our need for power. None. Sorry, but power beats speed any day.

ncscoots

August 7th, 2009
6:57 pm

Why, yes, Chone Figgins would be the perfect impact guy to remake this team into a contender.

Sweet…sassy…molassey.

OklahomaBrave

August 7th, 2009
6:57 pm

Oh no DOB, the Huskers are on the rise!! It should come down to the Huskers and Rock Chalk Jay Hawk but whoever wins the south will dominate the north. I think ESPN picked the Huskers but had Texas, OU, and OSU ahead of them.

Daybed Wagmoe

August 7th, 2009
6:58 pm

The Angels are 2nd in baseball with 111 stolen bases, but they also own the best team batting average (.289) in baseball.

The Dodgers are 7th in baseball with 81 stolen bases, but they have the NL-best OBP at .354.

The Phillies are 10th in baseball with 79 stolen bases, but they have the NL-best slugging percentage (.447).

The Red Sox are 6th in baseball with 85 stolen bases, but they have 5 guys in their everyday starting lineup hitting .290+.

The point is that while the teams you’ve named above do have speed, they have other significant offensive strengths. Could it be that their speed helps to produce that offense? Eh. Maybe. I personally don’t think so, but I don’t know how to prove or disprove it.

On the other hand, the Mets have the 4th most SBs in baseball, and the D-Backs are 5th in the category. The Mets are 6 games under .500, the DBacks are 9. The Cubs are tied for the Central Division lead, yet they have the fewest SBs in baseball (39). The Cardinals, with whom they’re tied, have the 4th-lowest total in baseball with 47.

Steve from OK

August 7th, 2009
6:58 pm

Rios reeks. Only Vernon Wells and Barry Zito have worse contracts.

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:58 pm

Nova Scotia Steve

August 7th, 2009
6:58 pm

Having McLouth and Prado starting our team at the beginning of the year is going to make a huge difference next year.

But we still have the problem of Diaz, Church, Anderson…

Anderson has been good for us..But I doubt we’ll re-sign…and we need to do something about that platoon thing that’s been going on for the last 3 yrs.

Be nice to actually have someone who can hit 25-30 hrs and hit both Lefties and Righties…Seems likes it been forever since we’ve had that…2006 Jeff Francoeur I guess…

Rob from SC

August 7th, 2009
6:59 pm

Daybed Wagmoe

My point is that those teams have more than 1 way to score.

Add your comment