Braves say stranger things have happened….

 

 Houston … We still have a problem. Or, rather, the Braves do.
 See, last night’s 2-1 win against the Astros and subsequent result perfectly demonstrated the difficult position the Braves put themselves in by losing those five in a row before last night and falling to 7-1/2 games back in the wild-card race with under four weeks to play.
  Because the end result of last night’s win was a net gain of zero for the Bravos. They were still, at the end of the day, in fourth place in the wild-card race, and most importantly, still 7-1/2 games back of leader Colorado.

Vazquez said Braves "have to keep battling"

Last night's winner Vazquez: "We have to keep battling."

  All three teams ahead of the Braves in the WC standings won.
  That’s what can happen when you’re in a position of not just having to win almost all of your remaining games, but also hoping that other teams knock off those teams ahead of you, particularly the two (Colorado and San Francisco) that you don’t play again head-to-head.
  Oh, what a tangled web they wove, these Bravos. A sticky situation to be in. Not enviable. A week before, they had cut the deficit to 3-1/2 games (or was it three; I’ve already forgotten, it feels like so long ago) and were in legitimate position to make a run at their first postseason berth in four years.
  Now? Well, at least they say they haven’t given up hope.
  ”We have to keep battling,” Javier Vazquez said after pitching seven scoreless innings for his 12th win in a season in which he should have at least 16. “Crazier things have happened.”
  Across the clubhouse, Chipper Jones referred to one such crazy thing.
“We’re seven games out of the wild card,” the slumping 3B said. “How many games were the Phillies behind the Mets a couple of years ago? It can happen.”
  As you may recall, in 2007 the Metropolitans had a seven-game lead over Philadelphia in the National League East standings on Sept. 12. Then utterly collapsed. The Mets lost 12 of their last 17 and missed the playoffs in one of the historic meltdowns of the modern-baseball era.
  The problem, as I said last night in a comment here after the game, is that the Braves are chasing not just one team, as the Phillies were in 2007. No, they’re chasing three teams, and none of those three teams ahead of Atlanta in the wild-card standings seems quite as capable of implosion as those Mets were.
  So again, I’ll offer what I believe to be the best, and perhaps only, remotely feasible scenario that could get the Braves in the playoffs:
  1. They have to play a lot better in their remaining 24 games than they’ve played in any 24-game stretch all season. Probably at least 19-5 or 20-4.
  2. The Rockies must overtake the Dodgers in the NL West and drop L.A. into the wild-card leader position. I think this can and will happen, since the Rockies might be only 2-1/2 games behind the Dodgers at the end of today (if Colorado beats Cincy tonight, and the Dodgers loser to Arizona’s Dan Haren).
  3. The Dodgers, Giants and Marlins are all less formidable for the final four-week run than are the Rockies. And keep in mind, Tim Lincecum was scratched from a start last night for the Giants. Might not be anything more than a sore back that’ll keep him out one start. But still, it’s something. Without him, they’re a far lesser team, since they depend on him so heavily.
  4. It’s still highly unlikely the Braves would make it. Because as I said, not only would they have to play better than they have all season for the rest of the way, but all three teams ahead of them have to play worse. And the team at the top, Colorado or L.A., has to play far, far worse.
  5. If that ends up being the Dodgers, then they could go 8-14 the rest of the way and still finish 91-71. The Braves (71-67) would have to go 19-5 the rest of the way to finish 91-71.
  6. I like this list too that automatically puts the next number here after you’ve finished the previous numbered item.
  7. I could go on forever making points about the difficulty of the Braves’ task, but you get the point.
  8. Right?
  9. OK, moving on.
 10. Wait, how do I stop this list tool thing anyway….

  ♣ Rookie of the Year update: There was a development that might have gone unnoticed by Braves fans last night, one that could increase Tommy Hanson’s chances of winning the NL Rookie of the Year award.
  The Phillies announced that rookie J.A. Happ, the presumed ROY frontrunner, would miss at least one start due to an strained oblique. We in Bravesland are quite familiar with those, right? And how they can linger?
  Given how important Happ is to the Phillies’ postseason goals, don’t you think they’ll be cautious bringing him back, maybe hold him out for at least two starts?
  Happ is 10-4 with a 2.77 ERA in 31 games including 19 starts. Hanson starts tonight against the Astros, and enters with a 9-3 record and 3.07 ERA in 16 starts.
  Hanson surrendered six runs and three homers in his major league debut against Milwaukee, but in the 15 starts since then he has a 2.67 ERA with six homers allowed in 87-2/3 innings.
  Right-handers are hitting .201 with a .257 OPB against him; lefties are hitting .264 with a .364 OBP. He ranks second among NL rookies with a .233 opponents’ average, but here’s the stat that’s most impressive, for me: He’s limited opponents to a .197 average with runners in scoring position.
 Hanson mound presence and maturity have stood out since he first hit the radar. The first time I talked to him out in the Arizona Fall League last year, I thought that calm demeanor and quiet confidence were so unusual for a kid so young.

Rookie of Year candidate going for 10th win tonight

Rookie of Year candidate going for 10th win tonight

  That carries over directly to his pitching. He doesn’t get flustered, doesn’t get overexcited or intimidated by any situation.
  Don’t know if he can beat out Happ and Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen or maybe even Chicago’s Randy Wells for the top-rookie award, but a couple more wins might just do it. [Blogmeister addendum: I was reminded by one of the denizens that Garrett Jones of the Pirates is also a rookie; and he actually does have better numbers than McCutchen. I keep forgetting Jones is a rookie because I remember him playing a little bit for Minnesota in 2007).
  Tonight’s assignment isn’t an easy one, however. The Astros had won four in a row (sweep of the Phillies) at home before last night’s Braves win, and Wandy Rodriguez is going for Houston tonight. He’s a beast at Minute Maid Park.
  Rodriguez is 8-3 with a 2.35 ERA in his past 14 starts, including seven scoreless innings Friday against the Phillies. He hasn’t lost in more than three months at the ballpark originally named Enron Field.
  For the season, he’s 8-2 with a stingy 1.60 ERA in 13 starts at home, which is really saying something given the dimensions of several parts of this hitter-friendly ballpark. (He’s 5-7 with a 4.10 ERA in 15 road starts).
  Rodriguez is 2-1 with a 5.79 ERA in six games against the Braves, including 2-0 in two home starts against them. Chipper is 4-for-9 with two homers against him, and Adam LaRoche is 6-for-15.
  By the way, LaRoche would’ve had two homers at any other ballpark last night. He crushed his homer to right-center, and hit a 415-foot (at least) flyout to center that was caught at the base of the unique grass hill in front of the fence. This park is tiny to most of left field, but cavernous in center.

 ♣ Still not hitting: The Braves got a pair of homers last night from LaRoche and Nate McLouth, and two hits from Vazquez, but that’s about it. They’re still in a terrible offensive stretch in which they’ve hit .162 and scored nine runs in their past six games.
 They’ve scored six runs in their past four games and have a pitiful .139 batting average with 14 hits over their past three games.

  ♣ Chipper’s slump: Not even a return to Minute Maid Park could stop The Slump. Chipper Jones has a .400 career average with 23 extra-base hits (seven homers) and 27 RBI in 31 games at this ballpark, but he went 0-for-3 last night.
 For those keeping track at home, Chipper is 8-for-69 (.116) in his past 21 games with nine RBI, a .174 slugging percentage, and twice as many errors (four) as extra-base hits.
 He has two extra-base hits (one homer) in 80 at-bats over his past 24 games.
 But as we wrote yesterday, he’s made a bunch of spectacular plays this season, usually on bare-handed catch-and-throw plays charging in, or instant, reflexive stabs of liners screaming toward him or just to his right or left.
 He made another such play last night. It was the play of the game, everyone from Vazquez and Bobby Cox agreed.
 In the sixth inning, Vazquez struck out Lance Berkman with runners at second and third and one out. Then after he walked Carlos Lee — the third walk of the inning — Miguel Tejada hit a sharp comebacker to the mound with two out, and the ball caromed off Vazquez’s glove to Jones.
  Jones fielded it and threw in the same motion to get Tejada by a half-step.
  ”Not doing it with the bat — got to do it with the glove,” Chipper said.
  ”That play was huge,” Vazquez said.
  And speaking of slumps, Brian McCann is 5-for-42 (.119) with two extra-base hits (one homer) and four RBI in his past 11 games, with eight strikeouts, no walks and a .116 on-base percentage in that stretch.

 ♣  OK, out of time. Gotta get to ballpark. What did our group of Sons of Anarchy fans think of the season premiere last night? I thought it was terrific, and the season is going to be explosive with Henry Rollins and that bunch added to the volatile mix in Charming, Calif.

“IMAGINE HOUSTON” by Joe Ely

Imagine Houston in the middle of July
Hotter than a pistol on a saturday nite
Your baby’s on the front porch with a bamboo fan
As you pull up to the curb in your black sedan
It don’t take her long she knew you were comin
With a slam of the screen she’s off and she’s runnin
Now she’s sittin there beside you you forget about the heat
You leave your troubles at the curb and take your passion to the street

With a steam-heated love
With a burning desire and a tropical fire in your blood
With a steam-heated love
That hurricane feelin it’s got you reelin,
you can’t even wait for the flood!

You put your arm around her and you tell her the news
And the white lines and the freeways they twist like a fuse
While the Pilgrims from the East with their U-Haul trailors
Build cities out of canvas just like shipwrecked sailors
And the asphalt sweats while the welders weld
And your wheels are hotter than the hinges of hell
And you better watch your step if you’re just standing around
Because the buildings ain’t constructed they erupt from the ground

With a steam-heated love
With a burning desire and a tropical fire in your blood
With a steam-heated love
That hurricane feelin it’s got you reelin,
you can’t even wait for the flood!

The parking lots are steaming with a street sweepers mist
Just the perfect atmosphere to steal a little kiss
And you notice that the moon has been coated with chrome
As it begins to rise beside the Astrodome.

 

1,408 comments Add your comment

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

September 9th, 2009
4:25 pm

Not gonna say it …

FEAR

September 9th, 2009
4:26 pm

……….hello

Waittilnextyear

September 9th, 2009
4:26 pm

#1 isn’t going to happen, let alone items 2 and 3…

Soph

September 9th, 2009
4:28 pm

Piedmont’s uno!

:-)

McFann :Ô:

September 9th, 2009
4:29 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief.

Brian McCann is 5-for-42 (.119) with two extra-base hits (one homer) and four RBI in his past 11 games, with eight strikeouts, no walks and a .116 on-base percentage in that stretch.

Yeah…been almost a week since his last hit…

cabravesfan

September 9th, 2009
4:29 pm

DOB-

Have yet to watch the Sons of Anarchy premiere but I think the show is brilliant…

AK

September 9th, 2009
4:30 pm

“The Braves (71-67) would have to go 19-5 the rest of the way to finish 91-71.”

explain your GA math on this one for me?

Random

September 9th, 2009
4:32 pm

bronkelliott (September 9th, 2009 3:30 pm): “The Braves should put a package deal together to get a power bat. I would consider trading Brian Mcann while he still has value. . . . To me, the Braves haven’t won anything so far with the Mcann, KJ, Chipper combo.”

“To you”, the Braves haven’t won? “To YOU“?!?

Key Riced!!! It’s not UP to you as to whether the Braves have won or not. Your perceptions are NOT reality.

2005: McCann replaces Estrada.
Estrada: 105 games (357 ABs), .261/.303/.367/.667
McCann: 59 games (180 ABs), .278/.345/.400/.745

2005: KJ replaces Brian Jordan.
Jordan: 76 games (231 ABs), .247/.295/.338/.633
KJ: 87 games (290 ABs), .241/.334/.397/.731

Chipper 2005: 109 games (358 ABs), .296/.412/.556/.968

2005: Braves NL East Division Champions.

And each of those three’s performances (McCann’s, KJ’s and Chipper’s) have been BETTER in every subsequent year (2006, 2007, 2008) than they were in 2005.

“To me, the Braves haven’t won anything so far with the Mcann, KJ, Chipper combo.”

Kriced — you kids sicken me.

(JK, okay?)

McFann :Ô:

September 9th, 2009
4:32 pm

6. I like this list too that automatically puts the next number here after you’ve finished the previous numbered item.
7. I could go on forever making points about the difficulty of the Braves’ task, but you get the point.
8. Right?
9. OK, moving on.
10. Wait, how do I stop this list tool thing anyway….

:lol:

Pete

September 9th, 2009
4:34 pm

AK: “The Braves (71-67) would have to go 19-5 the rest of the way to finish 91-71.”

explain your GA math on this one for me?”

Looks like he meant Braves must go 20-4, which is even worse. Braves chances of making playoffs are the same as me having a date with Jennifer Anniston…..actually, I think my chances are better lol

bravesgrl4life

September 9th, 2009
4:37 pm

What sucks, and I know this has probably been talked about, but I was off for the last few days, is that Philly lost three over the weekend. If we had won three, how much closer we would be to them. Just seems to be the way our guys are this year – every chance they get to eat up some ground, they fast or something. Heartbreaking because we know they could be better.

Brett Esterson

September 9th, 2009
4:38 pm

The truth is, if the Braves would have swept the Marlins (which they were in position to do) and then the Reds (which they should have done), they could be fighting for the NL East (after Houston’s 4 game sweep of the Phillies) instead of the wild card, which would be a lot easier. But as we know, we picked a horrible time to go on a 5 game losing streak and Philly picked the perfect time to get swept in a 4 game series and lose no ground. It’s been like this all season so why would September be any different. Gotta win em all, 1 down and 24 more to go, who’s with me?

stamper

September 9th, 2009
4:39 pm

I’m not sure finishing the season with 90 wins is going to be enough, anyway… Or 91, for that matter.

McFann :Ô:

September 9th, 2009
4:39 pm

bravegrl4life every chance they get to eat up some ground, they fast or something.

Haha! Good one!

It would be funnier if it wasn’t so true…

Tomy Fournier

September 9th, 2009
4:39 pm

BY…BY…ATLANTA…NO CHANCE FOR W. CARD…FORGET IT…MY BE NEXT YEAR…IF…IF THE MORON COX IS FIRE…I HOPE!!!

bravesgrl4life

September 9th, 2009
4:43 pm

McFann, believe me, I know. I cann only hope that this time next year we are feasting instead of fasting. Well, at least the G-Braves are in their playoffs. They played a pretty good game on Sunday. I have the sunburned shoulder to show for it :)

Mixxo

September 9th, 2009
4:43 pm

Coldwork –

Listen to Soph! :)

You’re right though, I’d take Upton over fielder or Sheffield any day of the week. I was just a bit put off when Upton did his little “showing us up” thing earlier in the year. I jumped all over it too….with both feet and it ended labeling me as a racist on this blog. :( (I’ve since apologized and all seems well at the moment) 8)

Not at all what I am or what I intended that particular post to indicate. I just don’t have any love for thuggy types, none whatsoever, especially in sports, white, black OR latino. That’s all.

BTW…..Esco doesn’t strike me as thuggy in the least bit. A hot dog maybe and I’m fine with that, but certainly not a thug.

P. W. Hjort

September 9th, 2009
4:46 pm

”We have to keep battling,” Javier Vazquez said after pitching seven scoreless innings for his 12th win in a season in which he should have at least 16.

It should be: ”We have to keep battling,” Javier Vazquez said after pitching seven scoreless innings for his 12th win in a season in which he should have at least 16.

bravesgrl4life

September 9th, 2009
4:46 pm

the defresh is driving me crazy, too.

JZDC

September 9th, 2009
4:47 pm

Tomy Fournier –

Um, what?

timthebrave

September 9th, 2009
4:47 pm

Two points I want to make. 1. When Dave O Brien was talking about Brian Mccann having a lot of errors I think it has a lot to do with his vision since he doesn’t wear his glasses behind the plate as much. I had the same problem as a catcher because you don’t pick up the ball real clearly until it is 1/2 way to the plate. Much slower reaction time. 2. At this point the best chance we have is to win the division and sweep philly with the 3 games we have remaining with them and also win about every other game. Who are we kidding time to waive the white flag but still support our Braves. Go Braves

Steve from OH

September 9th, 2009
4:49 pm

Priority number one would be to re sign Adam LaRoche. If the Braves do not re sign LaRoche; first base will be a disaster for the 2010 season.

I disagree, in that I don’t think LaRoche is the only or even the best option in terms of overall scope to man 1B for us next season. I agree that we could certainly use a good performer there, but I’d like to see Wren get creative rather than just give Roachy 4 years or whatever he’s asking.

Daslied

September 9th, 2009
4:51 pm

BY…BY…ATLANTA…NO CHANCE FOR W. CARD…FORGET IT…MY BE NEXT YEAR…IF…IF THE MORON COX IS FIRE…I HOPE!!!

My eyes! My eyes!

Random

September 9th, 2009
4:52 pm

Rock On (September 9th, 2009 4:19 pm): “Ok he is a pretty good catcher. But if he is not helping the pitching and not hitting and leading the NL in pass balls why then keep him. Let’s just get rid of him. Not really of course but all this talk about hm being a bad catcher is just nonsense. . . .”

Never said he was a bad catcher — I think he’s a good catcher. And I think he will resume hitting (once his BABIP resuscitates).

But the Braves pitchers are as good as they are not because of McCann, but simply because they’re good. They were good before McCann, and they will be good after.

. . .

Marv Kleeman (September 9th, 2009 4:18 pm): “To generate funds the Braves could dump Kenshin Kawakami and the remainder of his 3 year 23 million dollar contract for two or three Class A prospects. If Kawakami continues to pitch well he may actually work his way up to the level of a salary dump. . . . Why trade Kawakami? It really is quite simple. He is not consistent enough or dominant enough to be a “Top Three” Rotation guy. And he is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE to be a back end of the rotation guy. The salary relief Kawakami would provide is far more important.”

Kawakami will not be traded.

PS: I do like your notion of Lowe as closer, though.

Jonas

September 9th, 2009
4:53 pm

DOB…a friend told me that another surprise in SOA this year is that JAX is the Son of Clay…wow….

HoCoJo

September 9th, 2009
4:53 pm

DOB

Your forgot #11

If your Aunt Lulu had a mustache, she’d be your Uncle Fred!

Hillbilly

September 9th, 2009
4:54 pm

SAMCRO vs. LOAN is going to be explosive, indeed. And the internal tension within SAMCRO is going to be even better. Can’t wait for the next episode.

Steve from OH

September 9th, 2009
4:55 pm

Kawakami will not be traded

I see you say this a lot, Random. Why? I mean, if Wren would release Glav and let Smoltz go, I think we both know he’d do the same thing with KK if the opportunity and circumstances presented themselves…

Oklahomabrave

September 9th, 2009
4:56 pm

Dob, congrats on your jayhawks win. To bad the huskers looked just as good. Should be a tight race in both the north and south.

Oh by the way okie st is still beating Georgia.

RC

September 9th, 2009
4:57 pm

Since the Braves actually play the teams in the division again, I wanted to see how poorly the Phillies would have to do for the Braves to have any hope of catching them. Results are not pretty.

If the Braves go 24-0 from here out: Phillies would need to go 17-9 for Braves to tie (including 3 games against the Braves).

So if Philly wins 18 out of 26, we’ve got literally no chance.

McFann :Ô:

September 9th, 2009
4:58 pm

bravesgrl4life I cann only hope that this time next year we are feasting instead of fasting.

Ditto. Just need a little more offense, I think.

the defresh is driving me crazy, too.

Yeah, it’s really annoying, ain’t it? Dunno why it does that… :roll:

Steve from OH

September 9th, 2009
4:58 pm

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I think it’s likely he’ll be a Brave in 2010…

McFann :Ô:

September 9th, 2009
5:01 pm

timthebrave When Dave O Brien was talking about Brian Mccann having a lot of errors I think it has a lot to do with his vision since he doesn’t wear his glasses behind the plate as much.

I think so, too. I have the dates of most of his errors and PBs marked down…I’ll have to see if I cann find out whether or not he was wearing his glasses to catch during those games. Course there’s also the fogging issue, which DOB did bring up in his last Blog, I think…

I had the same problem as a catcher because you don’t pick up the ball real clearly until it is 1/2 way to the plate. Much slower reaction time.

Really? Makes total sense…

ncscoots

September 9th, 2009
5:03 pm

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I think it’s likely {KK will] be a Brave in 2010…

Aahh, nuke ‘em all, I say, LOL. Trash the pitching and get me Harvey’s Wallbangers in here. :-) Rangers East, and no more of this slimy 2-1 stuff. Hang ‘em and bang ‘em, and try to score last, LOL. Now, THAT’S baseball!

nfieldr

September 9th, 2009
5:04 pm

Wow… only 702 comments on the last blog.

Either the Braves are done OR it’s football season in the South. :-)

NorCal

September 9th, 2009
5:04 pm

“All three teams ahead of the Braves in the WC standings won.”

Actually, the Giants did lose last night. (Not that it matters unfortunately)

Bill Heller

September 9th, 2009
5:04 pm

I really don’t have much to say anymore about the Braves.

Lew

September 9th, 2009
5:13 pm

Scoots-Hang em and bang em? Looks like MLB hasn’t passed YOU by.

Kudzu Wildcat

September 9th, 2009
5:14 pm

Hey, Braves fans, the G-Braves are playing the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees tonight in the first game of the IL Governors Cup Playoffs. This is a best of five game series and is being played at the Gwinnett Stadium. Come on out and cheer for a Braves playoff team !

bronkelliott

September 9th, 2009
5:16 pm

Random: Thanks for the passion. You didn’t read my follow up. I was reffering to the playoffs. I am not a kid. I am 49 and have been a Brave fan for over 30 years. IF you read my follow up E-mails I said that I liked McCann very much but felt like he is taking upon himself too much for the team.If he played relaxed and the team was more balanced with power & speed, McCann would be a better player. I was only kidding about the trade:) There is no question about it that the Braves lack speed and power. These are desperate needs needing to be addressed. I like you want the Braves to win.We need the right combo of players and (management to succeed) Pitching is good right now so let’s fix the speed and power problems for next year….

brian

September 9th, 2009
5:20 pm

Random – Lowe will not be a $15 million/year closer

Necromancer

September 9th, 2009
5:21 pm

The Braves look like a tired bunch.

I’m hoping for a miracle here, but they’ve gone on losing streaks one too many times this year for them to have a legitimate shot at the post season.

Asked me over a week ago and I would have said something different.

I just think the Braves have really gotten themselves up s!#$t creek without a paddle.

Oh well..like the title of the blog says…Stranger things have happened….

Couch Tater

September 9th, 2009
5:24 pm

Wow… only 702 comments on the last blog.

Either the Braves are done OR it’s football season in the South.

Grade school started.

bruce

September 9th, 2009
5:24 pm

McFann —
Fog is not necessarily the toughest issue with glasses and humidity… notice Brian wipes the top of his forehead when he takes off his helmet before going to the plate to bat and waits til the last moment to do it, to the chagrin of the ump I am sure… they stand there looking impatient. Brian is trying to prevent a drop of sweat from running down his forehad onto his eybrow then onto the glasses at the most inopportune time… instant blindness and total distraction. Not good for catching or hitting. Frightening actually (from experience in high school).

jeffrey d

September 9th, 2009
5:25 pm

Well this team certainly doesn’t look like it’s playing with any hopes to make the postseason.

I could go all Lentz and “urgency” on you, but I won’t.

Vinings Jim

September 9th, 2009
5:25 pm

DOB – saw Joe Ely a couple of years back with Lovett, Hiatt and Guy Clark in “Songwriter’s” show at the Tabernacle – great show. And, as my girl in LA is more than happy to point, since my little (shared) dog is not the fearsome creature her Pit Bull mix is, I loved Ely’s “If I Could Teach My Chihuahua to Sing.”

HoCoJo

September 9th, 2009
5:25 pm

bronkelliott

If you think today’s blogging is hard, wait ’til you post something on ‘”throw him under the bus” Thursday. It’s easier to be a closer for the Braves than it is to sneak something by the pundits in here.

MFin04

September 9th, 2009
5:32 pm

I hope we aren’t talking, Craig Wilson, Scott Thorman, Julio Franco…creative at first. More of a Fred McGriff, Andres Galaraga, Mark Teixeira creative. ;)

Mike S

September 9th, 2009
5:34 pm

DOB, wouldn’t you agree that it’d be more likely (relatively of course; since either are not very likely at all, unfortunately) that the Braves would catch the Phils for the division, rather than make up ground on 3 teams for the wild card? We’re only half a game further back of the division than we are of the wild card, but that would only take the Phils collapsing, as opposed to counting on multiple teams to collapse. (I understand we have to jump the Fish in both scenarios, but with the head-to-head games that should take care of itself, since all of this is predicated on the Braves winning most of their games down the stretch – again, not very likely unfortunately). Also, with the Phils abysmal closer situation, Happ getting skipped, and Clifford Lee getting shelled his last couple of starts (not to mention they just got Swept by the Astros), a Phils collapse doesn’t seem as unreasonable as it did a couple of weeks ago.

It’s a long shot either way for sure, but I think we’ve got a better shot at winning the division than we do the wild card at this point. (too bad we can’t have a do-over for that last week. Ugh!!)

Necromancer

September 9th, 2009
5:34 pm

good grief..no one’s blogging…

how boring…

cabravesfan

September 9th, 2009
5:34 pm

VJ-

I need my fearsome Pit Bull mix to protect me from all the crazies out there… ;)

P. W. Hjort

September 9th, 2009
5:36 pm

Today could be the day. The day where the Braves secure an “at worst no worse than last year” finish.

McFann :Ô:

September 9th, 2009
5:37 pm

Bruce

Ah! That’s a good point. The sweat thing would be a pain…and the “frightening” part makes sense…if you can’t see, you don’t where the ball is going. ‘Slike BMac was saying back when this all first started to come out–he had a pitch buzz passed his face and it nearly hit him. He said it was frightening (or something) because he couldn’t pick up the ball out of the pitcher’s hand–he couldn’t see where it was going.

(from experience in high school).

Did you catch in high school?

HoCoJo

September 9th, 2009
5:44 pm

Favorite baseball movie is on: “Major League”

P. W. Hjort

September 9th, 2009
5:49 pm

Favorite baseball movie is on: “Major League”

I prefer the sequel. But a great one, nonetheless.

Random

September 9th, 2009
5:50 pm

Steve from OH (September 9th, 2009 4:55 pm): “Kawakami will not be traded

I see you say this a lot. Why? I mean, if Wren would release Glav and let Smoltz go, I think we both know he’d do the same thing with KK if the opportunity and circumstances presented themselves…”

Yes, I do say that a lot — just about every chance I get to say it to someone new.

Two reasons why — one, I firmly believe for a good number of reasons that Kawakami will not be traded. Most I’ve delineated here before.

But two, if I am wrong, I want to hear about it. (And (3) if I’m right, I won’t need to blow my own horn like some erudite and classy version of Paul Lentz — surely someone here will remember.)

8-)

PS: Sorry PL, “to blow one’s own horn” may be a bibilical reference.

. . .

bronkelliott (September 9th, 2009 5:16 pm): “You didn’t read my follow up. I was reffering to the playoffs.”

I did miss that. My bad — sorry.

“I like you . . .”

Ahhh, I like you too, little feller.

brian (September 9th, 2009 5:20 pm): “Lowe will not be a $15 million/year closer”

well, dang. Somebody better break it to Marv, I guess.

. . .

bravesgrl4life (September 9th, 2009 4:43 pm): “I can only hope that this time next year we are feasting instead of fasting.”

If by “we” you mean many of the denizens here, I think you should hope that next year we’ll be “feasting instead of festering“!

PS: about your blognomen — are you afflicted with some female version of the Peter Pan Syndrome? Just askin’.

(Also, are you dyslexic?)

keylargo

September 9th, 2009
5:50 pm

McFann

BMac needs a bottle of RainX but he ain’t fast enough to make it work. :mrgreen:

Mixxo

September 9th, 2009
5:51 pm

McFann :Ô: –

I caught before high school.

Found out you could get more chicks in bands so I went with that. :P

McFann :Ô:

September 9th, 2009
5:53 pm

Keylargo

You just love being in hot water, doncha? Don’t make me go all “McFang” on you again. ;)

CB

September 9th, 2009
5:56 pm

I can see Random at the next awards ceremony- “They like me”. I already feel a tear coming.

keylargo

September 9th, 2009
5:56 pm

McFann

Believe me, I want no part of McFang :oops:

McFann :Ô:

September 9th, 2009
5:57 pm

Mixxo Found out you could get more chicks in bands so I went with that.

Tsk tsk tsk! And you swallowed that bilgewater?

McFann :Ô:

September 9th, 2009
5:58 pm

Keylargo

No you don’t. ;)

Vinings Jim

September 9th, 2009
5:59 pm

cabravesfan – I know, (name of town deleted) Beach is such a scary place. Nala needs to keep those fearsome birds and squirrels away from you…

Jeff R

September 9th, 2009
5:59 pm

Nothing like the Braves falling behind in the wild-card chase to cull out the casual bloggers…

Well, at least so far, Hudson has been a bright spot in the last ten days. Just two starts, but if he keeps performing, he’s going to make it tough on Wren this winter – in a good way.

Better to have too many options among the starting pitchers than too few.

Hopefully, Wren finds a way of moving Kawakami – again, if Hudson continues to perform.

cabravesfan

September 9th, 2009
6:01 pm

VJ-

Hey now- Have you seen the size of some of those birds? Or squirrels? Some of them are bigger then your ca..dog ;)

Chopdawg

September 9th, 2009
6:05 pm

Go GWINNETT playoffs start tonite

Lew

September 9th, 2009
6:08 pm

Too early for the Blogpires to come out. Come to think of it, the blogpires can’t come out until after McFann’s bedtime.

keylargo

September 9th, 2009
6:08 pm

Jeff R

Agree about Hudson and his success. He looks like he did last year when he was healthy.

I don’t know what will happen with him, but I can’t think of a single good thing that can happen by the Braves declining his option if all his Medical Reports are positive and he keeps pitching like in his two starts. The only other thing that I see happening is them trying to negotiate a multiyear deal with Hudson.

bruce

September 9th, 2009
6:08 pm

McFann –
Yes.. I played every position except 2nd (throw to 1B was too short for me and my side arm sling throw on the run to first on ball hit to my left was not that great). Enjoyed pitching and catching the most by far. Did not play much 3B tho, playing in on the grass and having the line drives scared me a bit too much. Played too much 1B, my height made the other infielders much better (which the coach really liked) but did not like taking pickoff throws from pitchers. Much prefered throwing people out when they thought they were going to be safe, especially the caught stealing throws to second, getting them by half step or so was the most fun. A JV coach got a bit ticked one time when I held the ball to let the runner get closer to second before throwing him out by a step. But I was better at basketball and enjoyed it more. Elbow problems hindered my pitching after 10th grade, did not have trainers back then, it would sometimes take two days before I could straighten my arm without pain after pitching.

O'Brien

September 9th, 2009
6:11 pm

For the Braves to go 19-5, the offense has to get clutch hits (they’ve been struggling), the bullpen must be reliable (they’re overworked, thanks Bobby), and we have to get quality starts from our starting pitchers (very possible).

Not gonna happen (but I hope I’m wrong).

nolie

September 9th, 2009
6:13 pm

Never said he was a bad catcher — I think he’s a good catcher (Random)

uh, no he’s not. he calls a good game but is an average catcher with an average arm at best. he does a lot of mechanical things wrong.he ain’t terrible, but he ain’t good either.he is above average calling a game though

Vinings Jim

September 9th, 2009
6:14 pm

cabravesfan – it is okay to be mean to me, but Yumi – you are an evil, evil person…be back after an hour of Algebra II – have a safe drive home :)

nolie

September 9th, 2009
6:15 pm

the truth is that if the Braves had won every game we wouldn’t be sweating anything now. sigh.

P. W. Hjort

September 9th, 2009
6:15 pm

I firmly believe for a good number of reasons that Kawakami will not be traded.

Why do you believe that? I tend to agree that he probably won’t be traded for the sake of not torching the Japanese bridge, but I don’t think there’s enough evidence to say a trade involving Kawakami is out of the question.

McFann :Ô:

September 9th, 2009
6:15 pm

Bruce

Cool! I’ve never played any “real” baseball, but I like catching in the backyard while my sister pitches (the batters are invisible, but hey, she cann get that ball over the plate). I might be able to hold on to the ball better if I didn’t have to use an outfielder’s glove…

Much prefered throwing people out when they thought they were going to be safe, especially the caught stealing throws to second, getting them by half step or so was the most fun.

Ah, that’s gotta be fun. Haha, BMac’s done it a few times but the ump usually calls them safe anyway. :roll: He did get a bonus on that CS at 3rd against the Nats that one time, though…

A JV coach got a bit ticked one time when I held the ball to let the runner get closer to second before throwing him out by a step.

Dang, you musta been good…BMac could use some tips from you. ;)

Random

September 9th, 2009
6:16 pm

Jeff R (September 9th, 2009 5:59 pm): “Hopefully, Wren finds a way of moving Kawakami – again, if Hudson continues to perform”

Kawakami will not be traded.

. . .

CB (September 9th, 2009 5:56 pm) –

Funny.

(Mine was funnier, though, if you’re at all into syntactic ambiguities. As I am.)

McFann :Ô:

September 9th, 2009
6:16 pm

Uh-oh, nolie’s at it again…

monty

September 9th, 2009
6:19 pm

I realize that every bullpen has it’s go to guys but I hope next year FW can find a group of guys that BC can feel “comfortable” using rather than the same 3-4 guys over and over. If your not going to use 2-3 guys in the pen you might as well carry extra bench players, who can pinch hit at least at a .200 clip.

When this team gets heart

September 9th, 2009
6:20 pm

people will blog again.

nolie

September 9th, 2009
6:21 pm

saw Joe Ely a couple of years back with Lovett, Hiatt and Guy Clark in “Songwriter’s” show at the Tabernacle – great show. (VJ)

I like Ely a lot

nolie

September 9th, 2009
6:23 pm

I prefer the sequel. (PWH)

wow, that’s lame

P. W. Hjort

September 9th, 2009
6:26 pm

wow, that’s lame

You prefer Major League to Major League 2? I don’t know what to tell you. I guess it’s personal taste, but Major League 2 is the vastly superior movie in my opinion.

WOW

September 9th, 2009
6:27 pm

I guess people have given up on Braves

TommyP

September 9th, 2009
6:28 pm

Where to start?

Without Lincecum the Giants are a far lesser team….1 day out of 5. They’re still the same team the other 80% of the time. They have a guy named Cain throwing darts as well as Sanchez and the newly acquired Brad Penny (who’s been excellent so far).

Back to that rookie of the year column of about a week ago and now again today. Still amazes me that you overlooked Garret Jones of the Pirates then but more so now. McCutchen isn’t even having the best rookie season on his own team.

.302, 19 HRs, 38 RBIs, 9 steals, .368 OBP, .613 SLUG, .981 OPS. Hasn’t made an error at any of the spots he’s played defensively, either. All of this in only 235 at bats.

TommyP

September 9th, 2009
6:33 pm

PWHjort: It is DEFINITELY about personal taste ’cause the original Major League was a classic while the 2nd one was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. You’re the first to prefer the latter over the former. (that I’ve heard)

Rube Baker

September 9th, 2009
6:33 pm

I’ve never had a regular girlfriend like you, but I did get kicked in the balls once by a mule. Now, I thought I would be hurting for the rest of my life. But you know what happened the very next week? My momma died. Hell, after that, I didn’t care no more about my balls hurtin’. You see what I’m gettin’ at?

David O'Brien

September 9th, 2009
6:33 pm

How ’bout this: Escobar’s batting cleanup

nolie

September 9th, 2009
6:35 pm

Uh-oh, nolie’s at it again (McFann)

I didn’t bring up the subject, sorry if the truth bothers you.

jeffrey d

September 9th, 2009
6:35 pm

An astute observation, WOW.

David O'Brien

September 9th, 2009
6:35 pm

LINEUP
1. McLouth, CF
2. Prado, 2B
3. Chipper, 3B
4. Escobar, SS
5. McCann, C
6. Diaz, RF
7. LaRoche, 1B
8. Infante, LF
9. Hanson, RH

jeffrey d

September 9th, 2009
6:36 pm

Thanks DOB, for the Mitchell-friendly lineup.

Baseball Czar

September 9th, 2009
6:36 pm

First off, we can’t trade Kawakami! It would really set us back years in our efforts to increase our game attendance with the Japanese population in the Atlanta area. Isn’t it obvious that with the near capacity crowds we are seeing, that the Kawakami experiment is working?

Steve

What candidates would you see for the “creative” first base solution? In my thinking, one creative way to handle first would be to ask Chipper to move over. As bad as Chipper was this year at third, the possibility of a move to first should at least be considered.

Tim Hudson

If Huddy pitches well from here on out, what is the chance he either signs a 3 year extension with the Braves, or opts out of his current mutual option?

bruce

September 9th, 2009
6:37 pm

McFann — thanks for the backyard pitch/catch memories… I have lots of those… even used a stool as my knee-saver, but the passed balls were a hassle… my Dad had one of those real old round catchers mitts with the pocket in the middle, hurt like crazy to catch with that if you caught it dead center, but a mitt does make a huge difference. First base mit better than outfielder for catching, long as you keep it open long enough. Even built a mound and backstop, used trees I had cut down for the backstop… made the plate and pitcher’s rubber out of old plywood window shutters… the backstop trees were previously used for a lean-to fort. I was taller than my classmates for several years and had a huge advantage… in 8th grade one time I struck out 17 of the 21 outs… I could throw harder than most that we played against, so the caught stealing was easier for me. Pitching was my best position until I hurt my elbow. Back then we used wood bats and it was ok to hit batters as long as you did not hurt them, threw side arm curveballs from the stretch that started out behind the batter and would break over the plate and the batter would move to get out of the way and be standing on the plate, ball would hit him in the butt or thighs and he would be called out… it was hard not to laugh sometimes. I would frequently get hit in retaliation… it was part of the game.

jeffrey d

September 9th, 2009
6:37 pm

I think we all need to keep McFann in our thoughts and prayers. I’ll bet she just had a heart attack after seeing that lineup.

Baseball Czar

September 9th, 2009
6:38 pm

nolie

So, what do you do with the catching situation? Do you live with McCann’s positives, and overlook his deficits?

NorCal

September 9th, 2009
6:40 pm

Giants just lost again this afternoon. (Still doesn’t matter)

nolie

September 9th, 2009
6:40 pm

I don’t know what to tell you. I guess it’s personal taste, but Major League 2 is the vastly superior movie in my opinion. (PWH)

I wouldn’t put either one near the top of my list of best baseball movies, but I think One is much better than two. As do voters on any site I’ve ever visited. IMDB which is the biggest and best site around 18000 some voters gave One a rating of 6.9 while .8000 some gave Two a rating of 4.9 which is pretty bad. I don’t think it’s that bad, but I have a hard time understanding how someone would actually prefer it. But like you said, it’s all personal taste.

nolie

September 9th, 2009
6:44 pm

Do you live with McCann’s positives, and overlook his deficits? (Czar)

basically yes. he is still in the top 4 catchers in BB. Like I said he ain’t terrible-he just ain’t good- and he calls a very good game, studies the opponents hard and is a good leader already. I think that his vision is partly responsible for some of his miscues this year. Yeah. Keep him for shur!

David O'Brien

September 9th, 2009
6:44 pm

TommyP: Absolutely right about Garrett Jones. Because he played two years ago for a bit with Minnesota, I keep forgetting the dude’s a rookie. But yes, his numbers are better than McCutcheon’s — .302 with 19 homers and a .981 OPS. Only thing that would stop him from getting it is that he’ll have only a half-season in majors. Like Francoeur in 2005, when Francoeur hit .300 with 14 homers and an .884 OPS in 70 games and finished third in ROY balloting.

But Francoeur was behind Ryan Howard (.288, 22 homers, .923 OPS in 312 at-bats), who had better numbers overall (Howard even had a .356 OBP that year). Willy Tavaras also finished ahead of him that year, after playing all season for playoff-bound Astros and hitting .291 with 34 stolen bases, albeit with just a .325 OBP and .341 slugging. That full-season contribution at a key position with a winning team sways voters. (By the way, you know who was fourth in ROY that season? Garrett Atkins.)

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