Braves vs. Phillies: It’s big

 It might have gone unnoticed, if a couple of reporters hadn’t been there for Tim Hudson’s rehab start last night at Gwinnett. What we’re talking about were the couple of familiar guys down front, Brian McCann and Adam LaRoche, there to watch their teammate pitch.
 Might have gone unnoticed, but fortunately it did not. Because this is the kind of thing that speaks volumes about McCann and LaRoche. It says something that the two of them, both married and with other things to do on a precious late-season Braves off day, went out to the Gwinnett ballpark to see Huddy pitch.
  Anyone who isn’t quite sure what all the Braves meant when they talked about what a great guy LaRoche was in the clubhouse after the team traded for him last month, well, this was a little example. Dude’s a great teammate. He might not even be back with the Braves next season, might just be here for a few months, but he cared enough about the team and about Hudson to go see him pitch in one of his final rehab starts.

LaRoche has brought more than big bat

LaRoche has brought more than big bat

 And you better believe that Hudson noticed, and that he appreciated it. For a guy making multiple rehab starts at the end of a long recovery from major surgery, having a couple of big-league teammates show up to support your effort is big stuff. It can buoy the spirits, remind you that you’re part of the team, that guys care about you and they want you to get back.
  As for McCann, it was another example of what Matt Diaz was talking about when he told me Wednesday that McCann has become the leader of this team. If you missed the quote, this was it:
“I don’t think anyone would deny, McCann’s the leader of this team,” Diaz said. “Even though he’s a young guy, he’s our leader. At the position he’s in, catcher, it calls for it. He commands our pitching staff, even though most of them are older than him. And all of us as hitters respect what he’s able to do, day in and day out.”
  He added: “To have a young leader like that in place, and go about his business the way he goes about his business, really helps the chemistry of our team.”
  So there they were last night, McCann and LaRoche, in the front row at a Triple-A game. Hudson gave up a couple of runs and two hits in the first inning, then pitched impressively for the rest of his four-inning stint.
  He’s got two or three more starts, probably, before he’s activated. And now that we’re in mid-August, it seems apparent the Braves are going to wait until rosters can be expanded on Sept. 1 to make the move.
  That will give Hudson time to regain some more arm strength and continue working to polish his pitches before he’s activated, and then a solid month in a pennant race to make an impact for the Braves, in whatever role they decide to use him in.
  He was reportedly touching 91-93 mph on the radar gun last night, but what I thought was even more encouraging was that he threw a bunch of biting split-finger pitches. As most of you probably know, pitchers say the split is one of the hardest pitches to throw for a guy with a sore elbow, and a pitch that many coming back from elbow surgery are reluctant to throw for fear of the stress it will put on the surgically repaired ligament.
  But Hudson is throwing his split, and throwing it well. It appears he’s largely past the mental hurdles as well as the physical ones, without any real setbacks in terms of scar-tissue tearing or any of the other situations that sometimes delay a pitcher’s return by a few weeks or months.
  Will the Braves pick up his $12 million option for 2010? Will he agree (it’s a mutal option) to it if they do exercise the option? I don’t know. I don’t know if the Braves or Hudson know just yet.   They presumably won’t make that decision until after they see what he does in major league games, I’m fairly certain of that.
  Then they’ll have to decide, can they afford to pay about $46 million for four starters in 2010: Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez, Hudson and Kenshin Kawakami. That will probably be close to half fo the total team payroll, which is why I tend to doubt the Braves would do that.
  And if they don’t, who goes? Lowe and Kawakami’s contracts, particularly Lowe’s, might be difficult to move in this economy, if the Braves wanted to part with one of them this winter. Vazquez’s contract, with one year left at $11.5 million, would be quite easy to move, and the Braves could use him to fill another need, such as a power bat, in the process.
  But I think they’ll need to feel confident that Hudson can give them something at least close to what Vazquez would give them in 2010 before they’d make the move, before they’d trade Vazquez. On the other hand, look at his career stats and tell me, how many of you believe Vazquez will repeat this year’s superb performance in 2010?
  His value might never be higher. If you hang onto him and then, for whatever reason, try to trade him at the 2010 non-waiver deadline, Vazquez will be a pending free agent and not have nearly as much value as he does not. And that’s not even taking into consideration what kind of numbers he’ll put up next season prior to the deadline.
  Decisions, decisions. They can all wait, and will have to wait.

 

 ♣ First things first: Because in the meantime, the Braves have a lot of baseball to play, including a series against the Phillies that begins tonight and might well be the biggest series the Braves have played in a few years.
  We say that because, while they’ve had some highly anticipated series in recent seasons, the Braves have never gone into one on the kind of roll they’re on now, with the confidence brimming like it is now, and for good reason.
  Their 26-14 record since June 28 is tied for best in the National League. Tied with … yes, the Phillies.

Jurrjens says keeping resurgent Jimmy Rollins off bases is key for Braves in series

Jurrjens says keeping resurgent Jimmy Rollins off bases is key for Braves in series

  The NL East-leading Phillies have a five-game margin over the Braves (and 4-1/2 games over the Marlins), and the Braves know that there’s no better opportunity to cut into that lead than in head-to-head matchups.
  The Braves are 7-2 against the Phillies this season, after going 4-14 (and winless at home) against them in 2008. So they know they can beat them now, because they have.
 And after taking the last three games of their four-game series at Dodger Stadium last week, the Braves look and sound like an entirely different team than Braves squads of recent seasons before a big series. They look you in the eye now and say they’re ready, that they aren’t worried about the opponent, just about playing their game.
  They really believe if they do that, with their steady starting pitching, they can win a series against anyone.
  I asked McCann if the Braves were conscious of not getting too geeked up for this series, like they seemed to be for a few notable big July or August series against the Mets and Phillies in recent seasons.
  ”We’re not even looking at it like that,” he said. “We’re looking at it like, we’ve just got to keep playing good baseball, keep getting good pitching and timely hits. If we keep doing that we’re going to be there. We’re going to be there until the end.”
  On the significant of that Dodgers series, he said, “It gave us a lot of confidence. Playing the team with the [then] best record in baseball, to come out of there winning three of four, to me, so far, it’s been the biggest series of the season.”

 

  ♣ Rollin’ since break: Since the All-Star break, Braves hitters are third in the NL with a .280 average, tied for second with a .357 OBP, fourth in runs (138), and second in homers (36), one more than the Phillies (35) have since the break?
  Remember when this Braves team’s power (or lack thereof) was an embarrassment early on?
  Meanwhile, their pitchers have continued to excel, and their 3.03 team ERA since the break is far better than the NL’s next-best (Philly, 3.41; Giants, 3.52).
  For the season, the Braves rank third in the NL in ERA (3.69) behind the Giants and Dodgers, and Braves starters are second (3.64) behind the Giants (3.55).
  ”We owe them a lot for how they’ve been all season, to keep us in it like they have,” McCann said of the starters. “Now we’re starting to swing the bats, too.”
  The Phillies are 11-10 in their past 21 games, and haven’t been hitting like the Phillies we’re used to seeing. On Thursday, they completed a three-game sweep of the Cubs, immediately after being swept in three by the Marlins.
  The Phillies hit just .212 with two homers while being swept at home by Florida, and hit .235 in sweeping the Cubs at Wrigley.
  The biggest difference: Their 2.10 ERA vs. the Cubs, after a 6.67 ERA vs. the Marlins.
However, the Phillies’ bats also awakened with 24 hits and five homers in the last two games against the Cubs.
  I asked McCann about the Phillies being a team capable of an offensive explosion at any moment, regardless of how they’ve been hitting. He answered calmly, assuredly.
  ”They’ve got a great lineup,” he said. “And getting Cliff Lee makes them that much better. But, you know, we’ve got a good team as well.
  ”It’s gonna come down to the last couple weeks of the season.”
  The Braves will avoid facing Lee in this series, after he pitched a gem against the Cubs yesterday.
  Oh, by the way: The Braves’ last 19 games of the season are against NL East opponents, including three apiece against the Phillies and Marlins, six against the Mets, and seven (of the final 10) against the Nationals.

 ♣ OK, gotta go. Riding to the ballpark today on the bike, and need to move my stuff from my case to my backpack. While I’m thinking about it, listen to the new self-titled debut CD by Spinnerette, the new band fronted by heavily tattooed (and sexy) Distillers singer/guitarist Brody Dalle, with others including Jack Irons (Pearl Jam). It’s a great album, reminds me of Hole’s good album, Live Through This, before Courtney Love went completely off the tracks.
  Let’s take this out with a gem from our favorite Athens/Muscle Shoals outfit, and here’s a couple of clips from it, one a sort of cool, arty thing, and the other a blistering live performance.

“A GHOST TO MOST” by Drive-By Truckers (Mike Cooley)

I guess I’ll never grow a sideburn
it’s a shame with all I’ve got to go between
I hope somebody’s cause takes soon
it’s getting hard to find a place a root can sink
Mama said a lot of things and ‘be thankful’ was the one she never minded saying twice
Thanks to her I can think clear enough,
to be thankful that she died before tonight

Saving everybody takes a man on a mission
with a swagger that can set the world at ease
Some believe it’s God’s own hand on the trigger
and the other dumping water in the streets
Talking tough is easy when it’s other people’s evil
and you’re judging what they do or don’t believe
It seems to me you’d have to have a hole you’re own
to point a finger at somebody else’s sheet

Baby every bone in my body’s gone to jumping
like they’re gonna come through my skin
If they could get along without the rest of me, it wouldn’t matter if they did
But skeletons ain’t got nowhere to stick they’re money
nobody makes britches that size
and besides you’re a ghost to most before they notice,
that you ever had a hair or a hide

I don’t know how good it does a man,
to keep on telling him how good it is he’s free
free to wash his ghost down the drain,
and free for them to tell him there’s no such a thing

 

4,064 comments Add your comment

You all are Cox apologists

August 14th, 2009
2:59 pm

Does anyone agree that once and if INFANTE HEATS UP, he can move to the leadoff position so that McLouth can hit lower in the order? Sort of like this:

1. Infante
2. Prado
3. Jones
4. Escobar
5. McCann
6. McLouth
7. Laroche
8. Anderson

?????? I understand the lefty-righty concept, but Escobar is our best hitter w/ RISP, plus McCann shouldn’t bat cleanup because he gets a day off about once a week.

18 Wheels of Love

August 14th, 2009
2:59 pm

Big game! Let’s get it on!

HTF

August 14th, 2009
3:00 pm

Free Heyward

brent a.

August 14th, 2009
3:02 pm

Thanks DOB!

I hope you know how much people here have been waiting for this blog. Huge day. Huge week-end. I hope it’s fun for all of us.

Hillbilly

August 14th, 2009
3:03 pm

Here are a few pictures from the Drive-By Truckers concert I went to last weekend. (WR in one of the pics is my brother. Gutshot is me)

They didn’t play Ghost to Most but there was plenty of rock to go around. Uncle Frank has become a favorite of mine.

You all are Cox apologists

August 14th, 2009
3:05 pm

I am confident tonight’s game will set the tone for the Series. There are two National games on Fox & ESPN and Turner Field should be FILLED TO CAPACITY tonight. I hope McLouth and the bullpen are fresh from two offdays this week. Lets go Braves!

bravesgrl4life

August 14th, 2009
3:06 pm

Thanks for the new bloggage, DOB. Let’s refresh here and hope that those two Philthies fans stay off.

Bubdylan

August 14th, 2009
3:09 pm

Gooooooooo BRAVES!!!

Goose Creek Brave

August 14th, 2009
3:09 pm

Don’t post often, just looking forward to this series more than I have in any other since 2005.

First?

Goose Creek Brave

August 14th, 2009
3:09 pm

Roman Gal

August 14th, 2009
3:11 pm

Steve from OH-

I don’t know if you saw my post to you last night.

I guess I should admit that I’m terrified to attempt to talk to any player…

PWHjort

August 14th, 2009
3:11 pm

Good blog and good song.

Homer Impersonator

August 14th, 2009
3:13 pm

Nate Dogg

August 14th, 2009
3:13 pm

Let’s go Braves!!! Lets get the sweep and move within two of the division lead.

Homer Impersonator

August 14th, 2009
3:13 pm

Anders

August 14th, 2009
3:13 pm

On the other hand, look at his career stats and tell me, how many of you believe Vazquez will repeat this year’s superb performance in 2010?
His value might never be higher. If you hang onto him and then, for whatever reason, try to trade him at the 2010 non-waiver deadline, Vazquez will be a pending free agent and not have nearly as much value as he does not. (DOB)

This is the exact argument I made for weeks to trade him before this years deadline. Just saying, if Vasquez keeps pitching as well as he is and still ends up within 2 or 3 games .500 then for whatever reason – that’s what he is. Exactly what his career record says he is. About a .500 pitcher. I don’t see a lot of teams clamoring for that at $11.5 mil. Unless you take Ollie Perez back in the deal.{:

Bobby's Cox

August 14th, 2009
3:14 pm

Since the All-Star break, Braves hitters are third in the NL with a .280 average, tied for second with a .357 OBP, fourth in runs (138), and second in homers (36), one more than the Phillies (35) have since the break?

Put disciplined guys in the lineup that get on base and make pitchers work, the power numbers will show up. I’ve always been a believer in that….Pitchers will make mistakes or give in if you wait long enough, or put pressure on them by getting guys on base. No more easy outs in the lineup = more runs, more power.

Tomahawkin

August 14th, 2009
3:14 pm

I Have a feeling that the off day will kill our momentum, but at the same time the team is well rested which is good…

The Braves will at least take 2 of three “Bank On It!”

We Will Slap Heavy B (Blanton) and drop tomorrows game…

And I’m calling the Sunday Night game to be close but we overcome a deficit in the late innings and win 3-2

Gonna Be a Hell Of a Series This Weekend!

brent a.

August 14th, 2009
3:14 pm

I’m assuming we get McCarver and Buck tomorrow – yuck!

Steve from OH

August 14th, 2009
3:14 pm

RG–you know you’ve gotta get one from my dude Adam Milligan. If not, I guess I could settle for a vintage Julio Teheran…

8)

Thomas

August 14th, 2009
3:15 pm

Free Heyward

Tomahawkin

August 14th, 2009
3:16 pm

Watch Cholly and The Phillies employ the “Secondary Shift” on B-Macc all series! I’d love to See B-Macc Counter-act the shift and dunk a few “Ric Flair’s” out to Leftfeild to make Cholly and the Phillies think twice about setting up the shift!

braves4ever

August 14th, 2009
3:16 pm

I wish the Braves Venues had Small Brooms to sell tonight instead of Tomahawks. Let the sweeping began.

Tomahawkin

August 14th, 2009
3:17 pm

Peachtree TV Will be carrying the game tonight…

Tomorrow’s game will be on FOX and Sunday Night We are Prime-Time On BSPN

I will have to have the Mute Button On Deck This Weekend, especially if we get Blow Buck and McSlobber And The usual clowns on BSPN

That Sucks That Boog Will not be on the Telecasts this weekend

Steve from OH

August 14th, 2009
3:18 pm

From Keith Law’s chat:

“Ryan (Crofton, MD)

Wren says the Braves don’t plan on bringing Heyward up. He’s killing the ball in AA, but I think they rushed Schafer and now they might hold Heyward back. Does he compete for RF next spring training?

Keith Law (2:24 PM)

I agree with Wren’s decision and I think Heyward probably is the RF next spring.”

Anders

August 14th, 2009
3:19 pm

brent a – The Mets/Giants are a 4:00 game tomorrow too. Should be interesting to see whih they treat as the “A” game.

Bill in VA

August 14th, 2009
3:19 pm

Lou’s powerhouse Cubbies are leading the Pirates 11-0 after 2 innings. Where was that offensive outburst against the Philthies????????

braves4ever

August 14th, 2009
3:19 pm

O the radio is only a click away, mute does a lot when it comes to those clowns on ESPN.

Tomahawkin

August 14th, 2009
3:19 pm

Brent A

I’m hoping that Blow Buck Is Away Broadcasting the Preseason Football games…?

If so Then he will not be heard from again til October, And you can bet your bottom-dollar that he will not be missed!

Dan_in_NC

August 14th, 2009
3:20 pm

While the main goal is to win the series, I think the Braves need to really go hard and sweep the Phils. Given our success against the Phils this season, coming off a sweep in the last series and just the general momentum Atlanta has…a series sweep by Atlanta could be the breaking point.

The Phillies had this division secured two weeks ago but we made our way back into it. Another series loss and I think it starts creep into their minds that we could take this from them. Yet, given that they are 5 games ahead of us, a series win and most definitely a Philly sweep would put their worries to rest. It would destroy the Braves surge and any idea of the Braves winning the NL East.

brent a.

August 14th, 2009
3:21 pm

Anders,
It’s already decided . . . (1=A)

http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/5619630/MLB-on-FOX-TV-Listings

If they want to send McCarver and Buck to Flushing, though, that’s fine by me.

Richie

August 14th, 2009
3:22 pm

I’m upset I won’t get to see the game tomorrow because I am a Braves fan in NYC and have to get punished with Mutts Baseball on Fox tomorrow. Why do I have to get punished for being a Braves fan?!

Mid Town Joe

August 14th, 2009
3:22 pm

Sure enjoyed reading about Brian and Adam at the game. Thanks for the story.

Tomahawkin

August 14th, 2009
3:22 pm

Oh Yea!

There Will Be a Female College Stepshow tonight At Tooner Field which means “Hooters!”

Al Bundy Would be proud!

Mid Town Joe

August 14th, 2009
3:23 pm

Tiger took bogey on#1

Daslied

August 14th, 2009
3:23 pm

Anders – you can’t put much stock in a W-L record, but Vazquez has certainly pitched like a .500 pitcher most of his career. This year? Emphatically no – not his fault the team was scoring like 1/2 a run a game for him for the first part of the season.

BravesfaninWis

August 14th, 2009
3:23 pm

I honestly hope that the Braves can bring back LaRoche on a 2 year contract and let Freeman get all the seasoning he needs in the minors before bringing him up to the majors. LaRoche is a great clubhouse guy, great defender, and as we have seen since he came back, a great bat to have in our lineup..

If any of the pitchers leave, I hope its Kawakami.. You can’t replace the veteran presence of Vazquez and Lowe. If Hudson comes back and doesn’t look good, he will more then likely be the odd man out. Kawakami biggest asset was his command and not walking a lot of batters.. So far that hasn’t been the case in the US.. There is talk that the strike zone is smaller here then in Japan, then its Kawakami’s job as a professional to get familiar with the US strike zone and pitch accordingly.. A pitcher like that can only use a poor excuse for so long before it becomes evident that he can’t adjust to a different style of baseball..

Dan_in_NC

August 14th, 2009
3:24 pm

Another thing to add…

If you really dig deep and read into the minds of the Phillies fans, the biggest obstacle they find between here and winning the National League would be the pitching staff of the Braves. That’s why this series is as big for them as it is for us.

AGTFan

August 14th, 2009
3:24 pm

Even if the Braves don’t win the series, they still have a shot. But if they do win the series, it’s going to give them that extra dose of confidence that can carry them into the post-season, maybe deep into the post season. I WAS WRONG! I GAVE UP ON THEM TOO SOON! I WAS WRONG ABOUT THE LAROCHE TRADE, TOO!

That was me yelling at myself.

TommyP

August 14th, 2009
3:24 pm

I think it’s going to be nice to hear national announcers working our game to get a different perspective of our Braves. Not a McCarver fan but I do want to hear a new voice now and then.

TnBrian

August 14th, 2009
3:25 pm

Anders, if a GM has watched Vazquez pitch at any point this year than he will clamour for his services. Who gives a damn about his W/L record? He got very little run support early on which is why he doesn’t have at least 12-14 wins right now. Check out his ERA, KK/BB ratio, etc.

Brett Esterson

August 14th, 2009
3:25 pm

Richie, I’m with you. I’m in West Hartford, CT so I am stuck with the Mets as well. What a waste, maybe if it is a blowout they will go to the Braves game.

Anders

August 14th, 2009
3:25 pm

brent a – Thanks for the info. Nah, you can keep Buck. Can’t stand the guy. Corny mid west yokel who doesn’t have a clue what it is to be a real fan. He’s been on the inside of baseball his whole life.

McCarver at least was relevant – he just got stale like Madden did. Happens to the best of them.

Steve from OH

August 14th, 2009
3:26 pm

Just saying, if Vasquez keeps pitching as well as he is and still ends up within 2 or 3 games .500 then for whatever reason – that’s what he is. Exactly what his career record says he is. About a .500 pitcher. I don’t see a lot of teams clamoring for that at $11.5 mil

Sometimes you really reach to support your arguments. How is win/loss record for pitchers anything but bogus?

Nova Scotia Steve

August 14th, 2009
3:26 pm

Let’s rock and roll…this series is just for the big dogs…and as MLB.com put it…The Braves are barking!!!

madison man

August 14th, 2009
3:27 pm

LET’S GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL THE WAY FROM SOUTH FREAKIN’ DAKOTA!!!

Ron in Mobile

August 14th, 2009
3:27 pm

Cox Apologists?

What in the world does Mccann having a day off once a week have to do with whether or not he bats cleanup?

Yakacki

August 14th, 2009
3:28 pm

I can’t remember the last time the Braves played in so many FOX/ESPN weekend combo games than this season.. seriously, we had Boston twice, LA, Philly… pretty cool, minus the necessary use of the mute button.

And you can’t move McClouth lower… gotta have that speed up top. See- key SB in the 9th against LA to move into scoring position for GA.

I am, admittedly, a Cox apologist, though. The man is like a family member to me.

Tomahawkin

August 14th, 2009
3:30 pm

Dan In NC

Co-Sign On Your last post

If we can just win series from here on out we should be in line to get the WC if not the Division

Shamus Thacker

August 14th, 2009
3:31 pm

The past 24-hours have seemed like 64.

If ball ain’t played soon I’m gonna be in a fetal position sucking my thumb.

brent a.

August 14th, 2009
3:32 pm

Madden, Packer . . . and hopefully Vitale and McCarver are next.

Anders

August 14th, 2009
3:33 pm

Tnbrian – 11 seasons don’t lie. Plus like DOB said – you really think he can repeat this season based on his career? Sell high.

He’s had good numbers a lot of his career yet he’s at .500 or so. Not sure why, but there’s a lot of data to support it. Just saying imo a GM would be willing to risk more in season when the pressures on to upgrade your halfway to the playoffs team than during the off season.

Nova Scotia Steve

August 14th, 2009
3:33 pm

Shamus Thacker…

Funny stuff man…

Nova Scotia Steve

August 14th, 2009
3:34 pm

Personally I can’t wait to start drinkin!

James is Red

August 14th, 2009
3:34 pm

Brett Esterson – I’m a WH, CT transplant here in Atlanta. How long have you been there? Did you to go high school in WH?

Paul Lentz

August 14th, 2009
3:34 pm

Bobby’s Cox………..you cant compare the Phillies to the Mets’ chokers of 2007 & 2008. The Phillies have proven that they the heart of a championship. They arent going to just lie down like the Mets did.

If anything, the Phillies have played their best baseball late in the season. Do you really think that they will have a meltdown like the Mets?

However, all is not bleak. Against good teams, the Phillies bullpen can be exploited. This bullpen is nowhere near the bullpen they had last year. However, very few teams have the pitching to hold their offense in check. We match up well with the Phillies. Knowing that, we need to take advantage of our head to head meetings with them. Do you remember how the Phillies have played since we swept them? Other than the 3 game sweep against the Marlins last weekend, then Phillies have played great baseball since we swept them.

When the Braves swept the Phillies the last time we played them, the Braves were within 2 games of first place. We have played good baseball since then, yet we are now 5 games out of first. What does that say? It says that the Phillies have played GREAT baseball since we swept them. I see no reason why the Phillies are not going to continue playing great baseball against the other teams. Because of the hole we dug for ourselves earlier in the season……we need to sweep this series if we are going to have a realistically shot at winning the division.

If you really think that we could still win this division even if we got swept this weekend, then you are out of your mind. The Phillies arent going to have a meltdown. We are going to have to take it from them. They arent going to give us the division like the Mets gave it to the Phillies the last 2 years.

Anders

August 14th, 2009
3:35 pm

Sometimes you really reach to support your arguments. How is win/loss record for pitchers anything but bogus?

Ever seen a .500 Cy Young winner? Or 2 or 3 games over? Why not?

bravesgrl4life

August 14th, 2009
3:35 pm

LOL at Shamus Thacker. I know the feeling.

Anders

August 14th, 2009
3:36 pm

Forgot to add (Steve from Ohio) to that last post – sorry.

Yakacki

August 14th, 2009
3:37 pm

SWEET– from Awful Announcing-

Saturday, August 15th:

Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves (FOX, 4:10, 60%) – Kenny Albert, Eric Karros and Ken Rosenthal

Markets Include: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Dallas, Fort Myers, Greensboro, Greenville, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Knoxville, Las Vegas, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Providence, Raleigh, Richmond, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, St. Louis, Tampa, Tulsa, Washington, West Palm Beach

NO BUCK AND MCCARVER!!!!!! SWEEEEEET

Tomahawkin

August 14th, 2009
3:38 pm

I don’t Mind when Blow Buck Calls the FOX Football games because he isn’t as blatently biased when he does the Football games…

That Thought is blown out the window when he has his slobfests for the Yankees, Mets ,and Cardinals

dunwoodybrave

August 14th, 2009
3:38 pm

Everybody talks about these as our only options: Trade Vazquez or don’t resign Hudson. How about this: Trade Lowe and agree to pay part of his salary? I know it’s not the best option, because he’s got THREE more years. But I’d think about maybe agreeing to cover $5-7 million each year, thus giving us the room to pay Hudson (and presumably at a lower salary than $12 million, say, $8 million).

That gives us Hudson, KK, Hanson, JJ and Vasquez–who I much prefer to Lowe–at a total of $32 million, or about ONE-THIRD of our payroll, instead of half.

TnBrian

August 14th, 2009
3:38 pm

Anders, nah. A team needing a frontline starter to complete their team would take on a guy like Vazquez and his $11.5M/ 1 year deal, especially if they felt they could resign him. Happens all the time and teams do get what they want on both sides.

Tomahawkin

August 14th, 2009
3:38 pm

Co-Sign

No Blow Buck And McSlobber…Lovely!

AZ Braves Fan

August 14th, 2009
3:39 pm

Wooohooo! I finally get to see a Sat afternoon Braves game!

18 Wheels of Love

August 14th, 2009
3:40 pm

HEY FREEWARD!

ssiscribe

August 14th, 2009
3:40 pm

Is it game time yet? :-)

Getting ready to head that way shortly … big one tonight, good people. Bring the noise and bring the passion.

See y’all there; talk to the rest of you later tonight (hopefully tipping a celebratory Scotch and Sprite).

The Scribe abides.

–30–

Brett Esterson

August 14th, 2009
3:41 pm

James is Red: I grew up in South Florida, went to Emory for College, lived in NY for 8 years and moved here to West Hartford in 2007. Love it here aside from the fact that we are not that close to MLB stadiums. Went to Citi to see the Braves this year but not exactly that close. We are in the Bugbee/Hall district here, did you go there or Conard?

Anders

August 14th, 2009
3:41 pm

Tnbrian- Not saying the Braves can’t move him. I’m saying his highest value was at this years deadline. And if he keeps pitching lights out but ends up 2 or 3 games above .500 that has to be taken into consideration by an acquiring team.

We’ll see.

BL

August 14th, 2009
3:42 pm

I ahte the Cubs. Really way to show up against the Phillies. What a joke…when you need em they are no where to be found!

Best throw anyone in the ballpark threw all series was the beer on Victorino.

ChipperFan

August 14th, 2009
3:44 pm

You Are All Cox Apologists,

You have Infante playing right field. Was that intentional?

Shaun

August 14th, 2009
3:45 pm

Ever seen a .500 Cy Young winner? Or 2 or 3 games over? Why not?

Two reasons: 1) It’s very hard to be the best pitcher in the league or close to the best pitcher in the league and not win a lot of games. 2) Lots of voters will still overvalue wins.

But W-L record for a pitcher can be very deceiving, obviously.

Anders

August 14th, 2009
3:45 pm

I assume a “Let’s Go Met’s ” chant will be held on here for their series against the Giants?

The Mets are throwing Bobby Parnell in his second ever career start tonight. Glad we could help!

Soph

August 14th, 2009
3:46 pm

Best throw anyone in the ballpark threw all series was the beer on Victorino.

Haaaaaa! Too funny.

Shaun

August 14th, 2009
3:46 pm

And if he keeps pitching lights out but ends up 2 or 3 games above .500 that has to be taken into consideration by an acquiring team.

I think most teams these days understand that if a guy pitches lights out, his W-L record is secondary.

Anders

August 14th, 2009
3:47 pm

But W-L record for a pitcher can be very deceiving, obviously. (Shaun)

Not over 11 seasons – sorry. Nobody has that much bad luck. And even if they do – who would want them?

brent a.

August 14th, 2009
3:47 pm

beautiful . . . Buck & McCarver get “B” Game ;)

James is Red

August 14th, 2009
3:48 pm

Brett Esterson – I grew up there (close to New Britian Ave, Westfarms Mall, etc.) Went to Conard and graduated in ‘86. It’s a beautiful place, but I don’t miss the winters (cliche, I know, but really true).

OklahomaBrave

August 14th, 2009
3:48 pm

I haven’t been this jacked up about a series since, well that little Chris Burke walkoff. Going to go play some golf and I don’t even care if I break 90. Just something to pass the time until we all see what this team is really made of.

GO BRAVES!

McFann ;Ô;

August 14th, 2009
3:48 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief! Good stuff on LaRoche and BMac…and of course I never get tired of that Matt Diaz quote! :)

ease19

Yeah, I still got about year to decide…You were a Bio major, eh? Dang…good for you. I could never do that…

Don’t worry about your bother, he is about to have the time of his life!

yeah, just gonna miss ‘im…being home-schooled all our lives, we’ve always been together.

You all are… McCann shouldn’t bat cleanup because he gets a day off about once a week.

Well, that’s not the main reason he shouldn’t be batting cleanup right now…

And actually, since the Break, he’s started all but 3 games–23 outta 26. 8O That’s a lotta playing time…and he’s feelin’ it, mann…

ChipperFan

August 14th, 2009
3:48 pm

Anders,

Yeah thanks for the Parnell start. Thanks a whole lot. Helpful.

Although, if he just pitches around that Panda guy, he should be ok. Most of the hitters in that lineup would strike out in my softball league, which is a slow-pitch beer league.

Daslied

August 14th, 2009
3:48 pm

Anders, Bartolo Colon won the 2005 Cy Young largely because he won 21 games. Santana should’ve won it – his numbers across the board were infinitely better. But he “only” won 16 games. Hell, Mark Buehrle (sp?)should’ve placed higher than Colon.

And I don’t really think anyone is arguing that Javy’s career has been spectacular. You made the comment about him being seen as a .500 pitcher this year. In reality, he’s been one of the top 10 pitchers in baseball this year.

nique

August 14th, 2009
3:49 pm

Vasquez is our best pitcher. Let’s re-sign him fo sho. Let’s see what Huddy can do when he comes back. If he’s good, it would be a great problem to have 5 legit starters and KK. My preference would be to get rid of KK, and up the payroll a few mill. If they make the post-season it’s worth it. If Huddy looks good I wouldn’t be too demanding with a trade for KK in the winter.

McFann ;Ô;

August 14th, 2009
3:50 pm

ssiscribe Is it game time yet?

Sadly no…

Let’s go, Braves! Beat them Fillies!!

KC

August 14th, 2009
3:50 pm

I think all the “Braves rushed Schafer” talk is a little ignorant. He didn’t spend any time at AAA prior to his big league debut, but here isn’t a HUGE gap between the level of play at AA vs AAA. He tore up big league pitching in the spring something fierce.

Now we all know that you have to make adjustments to pitchers once they adjust to you. But it’s not as though opposing pitchers simply found a weakness they didn’t know about and got him out on that pitch every time. No… Schafer was even whiffing on pitches he CRUSHED in the spring.

It very well could have been his wrist that was the problem. That is a DISTINCT possibility. But even that’s not the case, why do we assume he was “rushed”?? Had the Braves waited until mid-season, if the wrist wasn’t the problem, there’s a great chance the EXACT same thing would have happened to him in July as it happened in April and May.

The Braves have always said “We’ll let the player tell us when he’s ready”. Well… EVERYTHING about Schafer’s game said “I’m ready”. He earned his shot.

lexbrave

August 14th, 2009
3:50 pm

the redsox picked up alex gonzalez.. seems like they’ve made a move every day this year.

BL

August 14th, 2009
3:51 pm

OklahomaBrave

Totally agree! I will never forget where I was for that Burke BS. Maaaaaaan what a pickup Joey was. He threw a 98 MPH barrel magnet

brent a.

August 14th, 2009
3:51 pm

BL – At least the Cubs are now in our rearview mirror. I know, I know, focus on winning the division; but still, long-term, the Phillies may have done us a favor by trouncing the Cubs.

Ebenezer Snerdberg

August 14th, 2009
3:53 pm

‘Boob’ needs the time off to get his hair re-sticked!

njbraves

August 14th, 2009
3:53 pm

DOB..do you see any chance of the Braves moving Kawakami after the season?

RC

August 14th, 2009
3:54 pm

Great post KC. I for one believe that Schafer’s wrist was a much bigger issue than anyone realized. I also think that he may never become the leadoff hitter we all thought he would be, but could be a very good #8 hitter with around 15 HR and SB a year, a .250ish avg, and Gold Glove caliber defense in center field.

Anders

August 14th, 2009
3:54 pm

So why would you guys even consider keeping Hudson over Vasquez? Wins and losses aside has Hudson ever pitched as well as Vasquez is this year?

woogidy

August 14th, 2009
3:54 pm

Trade Vazquez to the Rays for Carlos Pena in the off season. Strait up.

KC

August 14th, 2009
3:54 pm

Jason Heyward doesn’t have anything left to learn from being at AA, and he’s already hit a good bit of big league pitching back in the spring. By all accounts, he’s a remarkably mature kid, both mentally and physically, and is not the kind that is going to feel overwhelmed of have his confidence crushed if he comes up for a month and hits .200.

Also, bringing a guy up as a September call-up 5th outfielder is a MUCH different thing than handing an everyday starting job to a rookie. It’s night and day in terms of the pressure that comes with those two completely different roles.

And if he’s going to be here on opening day next year, then there’s no financial reason to keep him on the farm.

Jason Heyward WILL be in Atlanta next month. Little doubt left in my mind.

brent a.

August 14th, 2009
3:54 pm

okay, I just noticed the Cubs-Pirates score.

(At least the Pirates took 1 game from the Rockies).

Honestly, I hope the Cubs score like 30 runs.

Brett Esterson

August 14th, 2009
3:55 pm

James is Red – Yeah, winters are real tough up here, miss being in South Florida or Atlanta during the cold months. I live on the other side of town near Bishops Corner. Great place, glad to know a Braves fan was once here. Not too many of us here, just Sox or Yanks.

KC

August 14th, 2009
3:55 pm

Anders, is that a serious question (regarding Hudson)???

Anders

August 14th, 2009
3:56 pm

RC

August 14th, 2009
3:57 pm

Anders,

The question isn’t just Hudson or Vazquez. The question is Hudson + what Vazquez brings in a trade…..or Vazquez. Considering the lack of power this team has had (until recently), if Vazquez could bring the Braves a legit corner OF bat then it might be worth taking the chance on Hudson.

Daslied

August 14th, 2009
3:57 pm

Anders, that’s where the careers come into play. This year has obviously been Vazquez’ best. Hudson has had a lot of really, really good seasons – probably several as good as Vazquez’ 2009. So there’s quite a dilemma – did Javy “turn the corner”? Will Hudson get back to form? Age and cost are about the same.

Glad I only have to watch the games…

Add your comment