Hanson’s work goes wasted

 

index_pain  Houston – In a season that’s included more excruciating late-innings meltdowns than the Braves will want to remember, last night’s ninth-inning debacle was particularly excruciating to observe.

 Because frankly, everyone in Minute Maid Park, including the Astros, thought that Tommy Hanson was probably going to throw a shutout against Houston, which would have been his 10th win and the first nine-inning complete game by a Braves pitcher this season.

 But instead, he was replaced after eight innings of five-hit, no-walk, seven-strikeout baseball, after throwing 65 strikes in 98 pitches and leaving with a 1-0 lead.

 And before Rafael Soriano could record two outs in the ninth, he gave up three hits, an intentional walk, and two runs, both of which scored on Miguel Tejada’s game-ending single up the middle to give the Astros a 2-1 win.

 If you’re Hanson, you’ve got to be sitting there going, did that really just happen?

 But the kid is a pro, and his calm demeanor and savvy, mature-beyond-his-years approach extends to everything, including his post-game interviews.

 And so, Hanson said calmly, without emotion, that it was the manager’s decision and he does what the manager says, and that he understood the decision completely, and that Soriano is “our guy” and that, hey, these things happen sometimes. He even threw in a “that’s baseball.”

 Bobby Cox said Hanson could have gone back out, wanted to go back out, but that “you have to be careful” with such a prize young pitcher, meaning the Braves and Cox don’t want to overwork Hanson. And also, Cox said, “you always want your closer to start with a clean inning.”

Eight scoreless innings, three hits ... wasted

Eight scoreless innings ... wasted

 There were certainly folks in the ballpark who were pleased to see Soriano to start the ninth inning — the Astros, and their fans, who had watched Hanson record 11 outs in the first 11 batters he faced, and retire the last seven he faced, including two strikeouts in the seventh and two strikeouts in the eighth.

 ”Not just me — everybody,” Tejada said. “The way the game was going and [the way] he had been pitching, if he had stayed in the game I don’t know if I was going to get another at-bat…. I mean, the kid is unbelievable. He had unbelievable stuff. He pitched a great game.”

 Astros starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez said: “I could see he had great pitches, he was throwing them all for strikes and they were all dominant. He had a great fastball, 90-plus and great breaking pitches. Oh, I was happy he was gone [in the ninth]… When [Hanson] left, I thought we had a chance.”

 And then there was Astros manager Cecil Cooper, who seemed to break a sort of unwritten rule when he basically admitted his team would have lost if Hanson had stayed in the game.

  “Most of the time you’re not happy to see the closer [enter the game],” Cooper said. “But the way the kid was pitching, we probably wouldn’t have gotten anything off him. We didn’t look like it. We got two chances and we didn’t really do anything off him, to be honest. The kid’s pretty impressive.”

 So what did most of you think, or do I even have to ask? I’m assuming the torrent of comments on the blog late last night and today are a representative sample of what Braves fans think of the decision to pull Hanson, or are there a bunch of you out there who thought it was the right move but don’t want to get assailed by stating as much when opinion on the blog is so strong the other way?

 Me, I thought Hanson should have been left in to see if he could get a quick ninth inning, if he could finish off the Astros with 12-15 pitches and get in a complete game with about 110.

 As for his innings, the guy’s pitched almost the exact number of innings this season in the minors and majors as he pitched last season, when he totaled 166-2/3 innings in the minors and the Arizona Fall League.

 If he 6-8 innings per start the rest of the way, he’ll finish with 25-30 more innings that last season. So I don’t think that’s really a concern.

 As for the 100-pitch limit, personally I don’t see where 110 is a significant difference on a night when a guy feels so strong and in command, as Hanson said he was and as his opponents said he was — the dude was throwing all his pitches where he wanted them.

 But I should point out, I do understand completely the desire to be particularly careful with Hanson, the soon-to-be ace of the Braves staff for many years to come. And I certainly won’t claim to be half as knowledgable about this stuff as Roger McDowell and Cox.

 However, it just seems to me that throwing a potential complete-game shutout would have done him more good than making sure he came out before 100 pitches. Not to mention what a win would have done for the Braves, whose playoff chances were already hanging by a thread.

 One last thing: His last pitch was 95 mph.

 The kid’s special. That would have been a special moment, a complete-game shutout. A special moment in a season that’s sorely lacking in that department.

  ♣ Hanson’s getting better: Ok, so that wasn’t the last thing I had about Hanson. Because I also wanted to also point out how he’s gotten better as the season has progressed.

 He gave up six runs and three homers in his major league debut against Milwaukee on June 7. Since then, Hanson has gone 9-3 with a 2.45 ERA and .229 opponents’ average, with six homers allowed in 95-2/3 innings, and 80 strikeouts with 35 walks.

 In his past seven starts, he’s 4-1 with a 2.21 ERA and .212 opponents’ average, with 40 strikeouts and 10 swalks in 40-2/3 innings. And the one loss was the game at Philly when he only pitched two innings and gave up one run before the second long rain delay knocked him out.

 (Shouldn’t have a loss from that game, but that’s the silly rule as it currently reads. That rule should be changed, giving the scorer discretion to award a loss to a more deserving pitcher if there is one, as there was in that game).

 By the way, Hanson’s overall .230 opponents’ average includes .191 with a .244 OBP by right-handers.

 ♣ Worn out: At least that appears to be the case with Rafael Soriano, who had a 1.48 ERA and .158 opponents’ average in 41 appearances before the All-Star break, and a 5.40 ERA and .259 opponents’ average in 24 appearances since.

 He allowed a .212 slugging percentage before the break, .482 since.

 In his past 22 appearances, beginning a week after the break, Soriano is 0-4 with a 5.95 ERA and .282 opponents’ average, with three blown saves in 12 chances.

 ♣ What happened to offense? When the Braves have needed it most, for a September playoff push, they’ve spit the bit offensively. They rank dead last in the NL with a .184 batting average this month, and are also last with 21 runs and a .281 slugging percentage this month.

 Two of their best hitters, Chipper Jones and Brian McCann, rank among the league’s worst six batting averages in September, as does Omar Infante.

There's been very little for McCann (left) to celebrate lately

There's been very little for McCann (left) to celebrate lately

 Chipper is 2-for-23 (.087), McCann is 3-for-29 (.103), and Infante is 2-for-24 (.083) this month. Ouch.

 Here’s what happened to the so-called playoff drive: The Braves are 11-14 with a .245 batting average in their past 25 games, and 1-6 with a .172 average in their past seven.

 They have scored 10 runs in their past six games. Yes, ten.

 The Braves have batted .143 in their past five games, and have 4, 5, 5 and 3 hits in their past four games. Two of those 17 hits were by Javier Vazquez.

 ♣ Difference a year makes: When the Braves were last in Houston, in late-September 2008, we were asking Chipper Jones questions about how it felt to be closing in on his first batting title, to be pulling away from Albert Pujols.

 This year, Jones is being asked about one of the worst slumps of his career. He has two extra-base hits in 84 at-bats over his past 25 games, and Jones is just 8-for-73 (.110) with more strikeouts (18) than walks (17) in his past 22 games. He has a .164 slugging percentage and .275 OBP in that 22-game stretch.

 Meanwhile, four-time All-Star catcher McCann’s slump has reached six weeks. He’s hit .195 with a .246 on-base percentage in 123 at-bats over 33 games since July 31, albeit with six homers and 23 RBI.

 In his past 12 games, Mac is 5-for-46 (.109) with one double, one homer and a .106 OBP and .196 slugging percentage.

 OK, gotta get downstairs. Here’s a great tune by rising Texas talent Hayes Carll, with the same title as a great tune by our man Tom Waits.

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“BAD LIVER AND A BROKEN HEART” by Hayes Carll

Arkansas, my head hurts

I love to stick around and maybe make it worse

I got a girl out in Henrietta

Her love’s like tornado weather

 

Its Girls like this that keep me trying

She goes off like and air-raid siren

Come in clean leave torn apart

A bad liver and a broken heart

A bad liver and a broken heart

 

Indian summer Oklahoma sunset

If there’s a nicer place I haven’t been there yet

I’m standing outside of the Blue Door

Too tired to sleep

Too drunk for more

 

It’s nights like these that keep me trying

A woman always knows when a man is lying

Don’t blame me I’m just playing a part

Bad liver and a broken heart

Bad liver and a broken heart

 

I’ll get old before I’m good at this

Who’s the president? What year is it?

Doesn’t anybody care about truth anymore?

Maybe that’s what songs are for.

 

You’re the wind and I’m on fire

This line of work no one retires

Come in clean leave torn apart

A bad liver and a broken heart

 

 

 


835 comments Add your comment

Nelson S.

September 10th, 2009
5:13 pm

Steve in NC

September 10th, 2009
5:14 pm

Thank you football season…

Kevin

September 10th, 2009
5:15 pm

Artimus McDoogle

September 10th, 2009
5:17 pm

Sorry, Hanson. You deserved a shot, and your response was a lot more mature than mine was watching it on TV. Looking forward to catching more of the same kind of performance throughout your career — and hoping that it will be spent in Atlanta.

'Stro Bro

September 10th, 2009
5:17 pm

'Stro Bro

September 10th, 2009
5:17 pm

Hanson is over rated
end of story.

McFann Ô

September 10th, 2009
5:18 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief.

Meanwhile, three-time All-Star catcher McCann’s slump has reached six weeks.

Um… Sorry…don’t like to correct the man in charge, but uh…four-time.

McFann Ô

September 10th, 2009
5:20 pm

He’s hit .195 with a .246 on-base percentage in 123 at-bats over 33 games since July 31, albeit with six homers and 23 RBI.

In his past 12 games, Mac is 5-for-46 (.109) with one double, one homer and a .106 OBP and .196 slugging percentage.

Geez…that’s just…Wussa matter, Mac? :(

O'Brien

September 10th, 2009
5:20 pm

When the Braves are Mathematically eliminated, will that change the lineup/pitchers that Bobby uses? In other words, is there anybody who he would want to give playing time to get them some big league experience?

Soph

September 10th, 2009
5:21 pm

Um… Sorry…don’t like to correct the man in charge…

8O

Thanks for adding the second n on the other blog McFann. One n just doesn’t look right from you. :-D

Daslied

September 10th, 2009
5:23 pm

A big “yay” for Hayes Carll! (And a bigger one for Tom Waits.)

VaBraveFan

September 10th, 2009
5:24 pm

Okay Braves, lets just finish out the season strong try and stay over 500. if we can. Thank god football season is here.

David O'Brien

September 10th, 2009
5:28 pm

If you missed it on last blog:

LINEUP

1. McLouth
2. Escobar
3. Chipper
4. McCann
5. Anderson
6. LaRoche
7. Church, RF
8. Johnson, 2B (Remember him?)
9. Lowe

Del

September 10th, 2009
5:28 pm

Stro Bro

Sorry Bro — You are DEAD wrong. Take it to the bank!!

'Stro Bro

September 10th, 2009
5:29 pm

Bobby did the right thing by pulling Hanson, we wouldn’t won the game if he didn’t.

TnBrian

September 10th, 2009
5:29 pm

MiltonDawg, yes to you can find Katt Williams on youtube. I have two of his DVD standups and he’s right up there with Richard Pryor, for me anyways. Eddie Murphy is funny but he did copy Pryor a lot. Williams is nasty and talks about all this pimpin BS(in a funny way) but he talks about every race, not just whites, so he’s definitely real.

Hurricane Corky

September 10th, 2009
5:29 pm

My biggest problem was not the decision to pull Hanson, but Bobby’s choice of Soriano. The previous night he picked up the save in a very messy ninth: 3 H, 1 ER. The guy needs a rest. He has also notched 64.1 innings pitched thus far in 2009. With 23 games to go, he could very well surpass his career high of 72 innings from 2007. If I’m not mistaken, his 2008 was then cut short by ligament replacement surgery…

VaBraveFan

September 10th, 2009
5:30 pm

Hmm he put Yunel back in the 2 hole…. Yunel should bat 3rd with Roachy 4th Chipper and McCann need to be benched or lowered…. but it will never happen

BraveApologist

September 10th, 2009
5:31 pm

I was pissed quite frankly. I’m not a Bobby hater but that was a dumbass move……

blogger to be named later

September 10th, 2009
5:32 pm

just got called up and thought I’d check it out in here. I thought I’d see more wierdos. I like the lounge and the community fridge.

later

steve munge

September 10th, 2009
5:33 pm

Cox costs the Braves another 1 run loss, if he was going to take Hanson out why didn”t he have Gonzo pitch against the 1st 2 lefthanded batters in the 9th, but then that would have made more sense and the Braves and Hanson would have won the game, Bobby cost Tommy a chance at rookie of the year and this Braves team of making the post-season, please retire Bobby as you have completely lost any managerial skills that you may have had years ago.

HoCoJo

September 10th, 2009
5:34 pm

DOB There’s got to be a run or two in that lineup, huh?

TnBrian

September 10th, 2009
5:34 pm

I guess Bobby sees another batting title in CJ’s swing lately to keep batting him in the most important spot in the lineup. People, it’s just like Ron Gant said last night… Bobby will be batting CJ and Mac in those same spots, especially CJ, because he doesn’t want the media thinking CJ has lost it and make a scene. Those are exact reasons, imo, that the man needs to move upstairs or retire. You can’t possibly be this stubborn, cattering to a player’s feelings and not expect a backlash?

jeffrey d

September 10th, 2009
5:35 pm

Hate to correct you, DOB, but Hanson allowed 5 hits, not 3. Wandy held the Braves to 3 hits.

Del

September 10th, 2009
5:35 pm

Why in blazes do we bring up our call-uos and not play them? They surely couldn’t do any worse than what we are currently running out there every night

McFann Ô

September 10th, 2009
5:36 pm

Soph

You’re welcome…yeah, it didn’t feel right when I typed it either. :P

McFann Ô

September 10th, 2009
5:37 pm

Meanwhile, four-time All-Star catcher McCann…

Thanks, Chief! :)

Brian

September 10th, 2009
5:40 pm

If you say that winning instead of losing last night would have increased our odds of making the playoffs by 2% (that’s generous) and that keeping Hanson in the game would have increased the odds of winning by 23% (win probability was 77% entering the bottom of the 9th), then taking out Hanson decreased chances of making the playoffs by about 0.5%. Not exactly a big number. Obviously Bobby Cox wasn’t using those exact numbers in the dugout, but you can bet he was using that thought process. If it was any other pitcher but Hanson, or if the Braves were four games closer to the playoffs, he would have finished the game.

Not only did the Braves try to limit Hanson last night, but I’m sure they will even more over his last four starts, if he even makes his last four starts.

Del

September 10th, 2009
5:43 pm

As critical as I am of Cox pulling Hanson last night, in truth the game was lost long before that with the absence of timely hitting by Chipper, McCann and Infante in run scoring opportunities.

jeffrey d

September 10th, 2009
5:44 pm

Yeah! KJ’s playing again!

But I’m confused…does that mean Greg Norton is hurt?

rammerjammer

September 10th, 2009
5:46 pm

The Braves front office is not a place for sentiment. It wasn’t with Smoltz. It wasn’t with Glavine. It won’t be with Cox. This is Frank’s team, isn’t that obvious? The decisions on Smoltz and Glavine…you think Cox supported that? You know he didn’t. Don’t overrate his power. He answers to a boss, too. Just my opinion, but I don’t believe this “he’ll leave when he’s ready” stuff. That’s PR pablum.

Not saying Cox is done. Just saying he doesn’t get a free pass, any more than Smoltz and Glavine did.

retired on the Lake (formerly cityofdecatur)

September 10th, 2009
5:47 pm

i have always been a big really big bobby supporter.
THAT HAS ENDED THAT WAS NOT RIGHT! at least leave him in till a man reaches base. unfair to the kid to the fans to the team.

Don

September 10th, 2009
5:47 pm

Lame, lame, lame. Protect a pitcher from throwing maybe another 15-20 pitches when he feels good, wants to go out, and is in total command!

Didn’t anyone in the Dugout want Hanson to get a dominating, complete game shutout to help bolster his chances for Rookie of the Year?

TnBrian

September 10th, 2009
5:48 pm

You know “Stro Bro” is just a bored Braves blogger trying to stir the pot around here, and if they aren’t, God Bless their ignorant soul to even come and talk smack on this blog when that Stros team damn near pitiful.

Don

September 10th, 2009
5:49 pm

Johnson, remember him? No, I would like to forget him and see him elsewhere.

Steel Bells

September 10th, 2009
5:49 pm

Still fuming!…It’s not all Bobby’s fault…just 99%. I used to get upset with all the anti Cox fans, but the more he manages the less he manages….Soriano cannot be counted on for a whole season. As a matter of fact, about half of the current lineup needs to play 75% at most…I can’t quite figure out how the Braves get all these players that tire so easily …Don’t the other teams play pretty much the same amount of games, practices, etc.? Tommy: Don’t get discouraged! You have shown MLB who you are…You are THE MAN

Brian

September 10th, 2009
5:50 pm

If Cox wasn’t fired after losing 90 games last year, why do some people think the front office would consider it after improving their win total by 10-15 games this year?

jeffrey d

September 10th, 2009
5:51 pm

retired on the lake – you are VERY late.

jeffrey d

September 10th, 2009
5:53 pm

Stro Bro? Why do all the opposing team trolls have to have rhyming names?

And what would our rhyming name be? Rave Brave?

Chop Chop

September 10th, 2009
5:55 pm

When your first comment of the day occurs immediately before the gray apparition of “NEW BLOGGAGE” appears…well, boys, it just ain’t your day to be commentin’.

cvbraves

September 10th, 2009
5:55 pm

Believe Bobby made the right call in taking Tommy out after 8. Sure, it would be a “feel good” story if he left Tommy in and Tommy managed to win the game. It would have been a heart-breaker if Tommy had gone back in the 9th and had the same results as Soriano…and it might also have shaken his confidence.

If Tommy had pitched and lost in the 9th, folks on the blog would be saying that Bobby should have pulled Tommy and put Soriano in to close the game. Anybody can second guess.

There is a reason teams have a closer…unfortunately, Soriano didn’t get his job done although I believe he has about 85 or so percent of the time.

I still feel like the problem is obviously not starting pitching, or even relief. I believe the problem is clearly lack of offense.

jeffrey d

September 10th, 2009
5:57 pm

slave2thaBraves

wjones

September 10th, 2009
6:00 pm

“If Cox wasn’t fired after losing 90 games last year, why do some people think the front office would consider it after improving their win total by 10-15 games this year?”

The Braves won only 72 games last year. Today they are 71-67, so they PROBABLY will finish at least 10 games better than last year, but as you can see they could also tank and only do marginally better. To finsh 10 wins better than last year, they have to go 11-13 the rest of the year, which is of course very doable, but I can also see where their bats may continue to contain termites and they could have another losing streak in them. Would the Braves make a move, or would Cox “retire”, if they wound up with a losing record? Don’t know, but I do think it is interesting that nothing has been said about Cox’s contract.

Oh, and I wanted to address this earlier, but someone was talking about going “out of the system” to hire a next manager to get away from the “Cox influence”, and brought up the name of “the guy that manages the Marlins.” Well, that guy’s name is Fredi Gonzalez, and he used to coach in the Braves system, and before he became the Marlins’ manager he was Bobby’s third base coach. And the listing of reasons for hiring him included how great the Marlins scouting was. I hate to disappoint you, but the manager doesn’t have any influence over scouting.

Jeff R

September 10th, 2009
6:01 pm

Bright side is that Hanson is only now beginning to show the command he’s capable of. The kid gets any run support next year, and stays healthy, he’ll win 20.

Strange year offensively. While this Braves’ edition doesn’t have any real sluggers, they’ve shown that they can hit. Why its been so streaky is anyone’s guess.

But, yes, next year they do need to boost the offense. Heyward may do the trick, if he’s ready. But Wren needs an alternative just in case.

It would also be nice to add speed in the leadoff spot. With all the chatter about the Braves needing more power, overlooked is the need for a leadoff hitter who can make things happen on the base paths. Braves have never replaced Furcal in that regard. Be interesting to see if Wren will address the need this off-season.

Ronald Millsaps

September 10th, 2009
6:03 pm

“cv”–Yes, people would’ve questioned the move if Tommy Hanson had lost the game in the ninth. You’re right, but how many times does Bobby not go with the hot hand, which he again didn’t do last night?

Rafael Soriano didn’t pitch well. He had Kaz Matsui and then lost his aggression a little and ended up giving up a base hit, which led to the comeback.

What if Bobby had brought Hanson on and then pulled him in the ninth? Had Hanson gotten one or two outs, those outs could’ve made all the difference.

Rafael Soriano has shown better control than Mike Gonzalez this season, but both guys are out of place. The former is a set-up guy and the latter a closer.

Back to not going with the hot hand, why does Bobby pull Matt Diaz out of leadoff even though he’s batting about .500 there? Why not pull Soriano after Berkman’s double? Bobby is a smart manager, but he contradicts his intelligence by not using the hot hand and by not pulling the cold hand.

retired on the Lake (formerly cityofdecatur)

September 10th, 2009
6:03 pm

yes i am but loyal to a fault and obviously it is time to admit i have hung on tooooooo loooong.

Jeff R

September 10th, 2009
6:04 pm

Pure guess on my part, but I believe Cox is going to call it quits as a field manager. But I do think that Wren will retain him as consultant or in some front office capacity.

Hey, fans forget that Cox played a big role as GM in building the 90s Braves. At this point, Cox may be more valuable in the front office anyway.

Bobby's Cox

September 10th, 2009
6:05 pm

Steve, (from last blog)

Was your point that UZR is a BS stat? Let me bring up the “eyes are better than stats” (sometimes) debate with you again.

Martin has been a very solid defensive 2B since he’s been made a starter. He made a few errors initially, but his D has been outstanding since then. I don’t see how his UZR,150 can be -15. Most of those errors came when he played irregularly, bouncing from position to position. I’ve been more than impressed with his D lately. He’s saved many runs for us lately with his glove, making up for his 0-4’s since the headache thing. Go over to MLB’s mulitmedia page to see all the gems.

So, if you’re point was that Martin is a below avg defensive guy with little pop, then I don’t agree with it. He’s been a very good hitter except for after his headaches. He’s been a .800 OPS guy for the greater majority of the last 2 seasons, and proved he has a solid glove when playing everyday. He can hit to all fields, and when Bobby leaves, he will be a great guy to hit and run with because he can make contact when he needs to (for the life of me I cannot understand why Bobby never hits and runs with Prado & McLouth/Diaz). I’m pretty sure they’re gonna start showcasing Kelly for an offseason trade now that the season is finished (assuming Wren can find another dumb team to make an offer instead of waiting for the Braves to non-tender DFA).

jeffrey d

September 10th, 2009
6:06 pm

As my one word comment gets consumed by a wave of gigantic posts.

Ronald Millsaps

September 10th, 2009
6:06 pm

This decade began with a “Rafael” who was a strong first impression. The most-recent impression is of a different “Rafael” with a different impression.

Doc Holiday

September 10th, 2009
6:06 pm

Just for the record……….is going unbeaten the rest of the way and option?

Jeff R

September 10th, 2009
6:08 pm

I’d take Prado over Johnson any day, headaches and all.

njbraves

September 10th, 2009
6:08 pm

Stop blaming the ineffectiveness of Soriano and Gonzo on being tired. They just aren’t that good, plain and simple. Gonzo has been putting people on base all year long, even when he’s going good. Sori hangs his breaking ball way too much. Hanson, Gonzo, and Soriano fall in love with their breaking stuff too much. Tommy threw more fastballs last night and it paid off. I guess part of that is Mac’s fault too.

jeffrey d

September 10th, 2009
6:10 pm

I take KJ over Prado

Steve from OH

September 10th, 2009
6:11 pm

Bobby’s Cox–my point was more that if you’re gonna call Kelly streaky, then you can’t not call Prado streaky this year.

In regards to UZR, it’s not perfect by a long shot, but it measures something you don’t readily see with your eyes, and that’s a fielder’s range. In that regard, it’s pretty good–because it tells you how many balls per zone the player caught. There is value in that, because your eyes do lie to you. I don’t think he has good range, honestly. He has very good hands and rarely muffs a ball when he gets to it–but I don’t feel that he gets to as many balls as he should.

P.S.–I know you disagree with me on this one! 8)

P.P.S.–I agree Kelly is all but gone–and probably should be, all things considered, I think, unless Wren can be ultra-creative.

njbraves

September 10th, 2009
6:11 pm

Everyone wants Bobby fired, but no one has any realistic ideas on who should manage the team. And spare me LaRussa, not gonna happen. Think what the blog will be like the day TP gets the job!!

Brian

September 10th, 2009
6:11 pm

Bobby’s Cox, the while no statistic is flawless, the good thing about UZR is that it tells you things that aren’t always apparent to the naked eye. I think most baseball fans are starting to realize that committing errors or not is really a relatively insignificant factor in run prevention compared to defensive range. And some very smart people are coming up with ways of measuring range. These numbers usually check out…Ozzie Smith, Brooks Robinson, and and Andruw Jones had all-time high UZR ratings. Prado has done a decent job of not committing errors, but his range is not all that good. A lot of 2nd basemen would have gotten to that ball up the middle to end the game last night, or at least kept it from getting to the outfield.

Henry D.

September 10th, 2009
6:12 pm

Cox needs to go. His time has passed just like Glavine, Smoltz, etc. Has anyone not made the connection that when the big 3 and Leo left, Cox has turned into a crappy Manager. I think that has been the problem all along which is why with the talent we used to have we only won one world series.

Put him in the front office or wherever, but get him out of the dugout.

jeffrey d

September 10th, 2009
6:12 pm

I just read this little piece on Steve Avery

He was selected to the All-Star team and had a record of 16-4 entering the September 12, 1993 game against the San Diego Padres. Avery lost and suffered an injury to a muscle under his pitching armpit. Many blame Avery’s injury on his heavy workload as a young pitcher; he had started 135 major league games before reaching the age of 24. Avery was never again the same pitcher

First of all, pitching armpit? Isn’t there a more medical term? Second, I’m not saying I would’ve left Hanson in, but I don’t want another Steve Avery or Mark Prior.

Doc Holiday

September 10th, 2009
6:13 pm

jeffrey d

S e p t e m b e r 1 0 t h, 2 0 0 8
6:10 pm

I take KJ over Prado
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Thats more appropriate.

Jeff R

September 10th, 2009
6:13 pm

Come to think of it, the Braves will need to be in the hunt for a closer – again. Soriano’s Big Fade ain’t going to get the team to the post season. I think the team can work with Moylan and Gonzo in set up roles, though.

Medlen has some potential to close, but he’s young; may not be ready for the role at the major league level, or may be better as a starter.

And Wren does need to beef up the back end of the bullpen.

jeffrey d

September 10th, 2009
6:14 pm

should say “I’m not saying I would’ve taken Hanson OUT

Doc Holiday

September 10th, 2009
6:14 pm

Jeff R,

As you can see, the bug that infected Coxs brain, has also hit some fans

jeffrey d

September 10th, 2009
6:14 pm

Doc – yeah I know…

Jeff R

September 10th, 2009
6:16 pm

Doc, I’m with ya…

HoCoJo

September 10th, 2009
6:17 pm

Was someblogger corn-fused earlier?

Jim

September 10th, 2009
6:18 pm

The Braves have hit like .150 over the last week. So, when the pressure was on, our hitters came up real small. It seems like everyone that posts wants to blame Bobby Cox, but I say if anyone deserves blame then it’s the guys that make the really big bucks and that is some of the guys in this lineup.

monty

September 10th, 2009
6:18 pm

Last year BC had a good excuse for their record, all the injuries to our pitchers. This year what’s his excuse? He kept playing his 4 sure out lineup for the first 40- 50 games. Frenchy,Schafer,KJ. and pitcher. He has used only 3-4 bullpen guys on any kind of regular basis thereby taxing his key guys. He hasn’t historically recognized when his starters are gassed and he isn’t willing to make changes based on current trends like keeping Chipper in the 3 hole and BMAc at cleanup. Other than that he’s done a bang up job!

HoCoJo

September 10th, 2009
6:20 pm

sesenta y ocho

sal governale

September 10th, 2009
6:21 pm

Oh good, bench Diaz. Maybe we’ll see a no-hitter from Houston tonight. Nice work already, Cox, way to redeem yourself.

NO MORE BOBBY

September 10th, 2009
6:21 pm

That picture of McCann and Church makes me sick. We were doing great around the time of that left coast trip then Bobby started screwing with the lineups. I believe one Larry Jones was sitting back then as well.

Thanks again DOB for grilling Bobby last night. I guess that removes your name off his Christmas card list.

Brian

September 10th, 2009
6:22 pm

monty, I don’t believe BC needs an “excuse” for anything, considering the Braves have had a pretty good year. You know they’ve won more than they’ve lost, right?

Coxlover

September 10th, 2009
6:22 pm

I agree with Brian, if Cox wasnt fired after losing 90 games last year, why would he get fired after winning 10 more games this year ? Heck, he could be a candidate for Manager of the Year couldnt he ? The Braves have made great improvements since last year.

NO MORE BOBBY

September 10th, 2009
6:23 pm

Wren will kill off the 90’s this off season.

God bless you and your family for that. Wren is the chosen one!

Coxlover

September 10th, 2009
6:23 pm

I think Braves fans are just too impatient. You can’t expect to go from 90 losses one year to playoffs the next year. It takes time folks. This has been a great year for the Braves considering how much they’ve improved over last year.

NO MORE BOBBY

September 10th, 2009
6:24 pm

Coxlover <—- Dude change your name!!!

Bobby's Cox

September 10th, 2009
6:25 pm

Steve,

I love the understanding we have of each other, and I know how much you love stats, and don’t put all of your faith in them, etc…

But, for the life of me, I cannot grasp the concept that KJ has a -2.5 UZR at 2nd base this season, while Martin has a -3.3 (and -19.7 last year) at 2nd. I just don’t see the transparency in range that those who configure UZR sees. If the front office puts any emphasis on UZR, then Marin is the one who will be gone this season. Thank god the GM actually watches the games. Luckily, Martin has a more favorable contract.

And yes, Martin has been a little streaky this year, but he has still been less streaky as KJ, who typically puts up 2 good/4 bad months a year, not like Martin who does 4 good/2 bad. He’ll get even more consistent I would imagine. He was a little too pull happy when he came back from the headache thing. He needs to keep his hands back to remain effective. What i love about Martin is his will, and his blatant disgust at himself when he doesn’t perform. If you’re gonna have 2 equal players, give me the one with the fire.

NO MORE BOBBY

September 10th, 2009
6:26 pm

Brian – You know they’ve won more than they’ve lost, right?

Plenty of games left for Bobby to mess up.

Coxlover

September 10th, 2009
6:26 pm

No More Bobby, you change your name first.

Denny-70

September 10th, 2009
6:27 pm

Bottom line… Hanson’s brillant performance was flushed down the toilet, with a very strong and outstanding 8 innings and ready for the 9th here we go again. From the all-star break to last nites disaster it has been painful to watch tired arms (Florida) with 3 arms in the bullpen that havn’t thrown 1 pitch, with all due respect to mgr Cox there comes a time when we need to accept the golden watch and head out to pasture and leave with that respect we have earned. Retirement is great, Let the younger dedicated loyal Terry Pentleton head up a new leadership as the Braves move forward. As a mid-Missouri and Braves fan will see you in STL this week-end. Good Luck. Denny

Gerran McNurney

September 10th, 2009
6:28 pm

Cox has stunk it up for the last 3 years. He is now the worst manager in baseball. No, I would not have said that 4 years ago, but it is obvious to anyone with any baseball knowledge. Leaves pitchers that should come out in too long, take out pitchers who should stay in, plays Kelly Johnson??? he is a joke, should be in the minors, Brooks Conrad is better that KJ will ever be. Cox is too loyal, i’ll be glad when he is gone. He is the Al Davis of baseball. Oh yeah, I do like Chipper, he is a great team player, but its time for him to retire, or at least be man enough to say “Bobby, bat me 5th or 6th.

Roman Gal

September 10th, 2009
6:29 pm

LOL @ your pic. You are hilarious. RHR

Well you see, I used to have this pet pumpkin named Petey…

Coxlover

September 10th, 2009
6:29 pm

The only way Cox leaves the Braves is if he retires. He will never get fired, just like Joe Paterno or Bobby Bowden would never get fired. He’s earned the right to leave on his own terms.

Roman Gal

September 10th, 2009
6:32 pm

my native Carolinian constantly fights with my formative South Floridian. Daslied

Well, I guess if you can’t be from Georgia, South Carolina’s a good alternative.

Jake W.

September 10th, 2009
6:33 pm

“Stop blaming the ineffectiveness of Soriano and Gonzo on being tired. They just aren’t that good, plain and simple. Gonzo has been putting people on base all year long, even when he’s going good. Sori hangs his breaking ball way too much.”

Well their stats would say different but if you can find me two relievers that are cheaper and have shown that they can be both effective as a closer and a setup guy then i’ll take that.

Oh and can we please “icksnay” on the whole KJ and Prado debate. I prefer the guy who will give us the best chance to win. 2007 and at least half of 2008 it was KJ. 2009 its been more Infante early in the year before injury than Prado once given the full time job. Fact of the matter if KJ had gotten it done there would be no debate and Prado would still be a utility guy.

Gerran McNurney

September 10th, 2009
6:33 pm

Cox has Alzhiemers, he poops his pants.

Anders

September 10th, 2009
6:33 pm

Hey NJBrave – This ought to scare the crap out of you. I agee with your 6:08. Well I can’t comment on the Hanson part because I haven’t seen him pitch that much. But I certainly agree with you on Soriano and Gonzo. I’m now doubtful either guy will be back with the Braves next year. Between their inneffectiveness of late and what their contract demands will likely be -the Braves will look elsewhere imo. Wagner? Hmmm…

Jim

September 10th, 2009
6:33 pm

Wow, Gerran! You just called Bobby Cox the worst manager in baseball. Perhaps it is you that doesn’t know the game.

Gerran McNurney

September 10th, 2009
6:35 pm

pass the TP, and i don’t mean Terry Pendleton

David O'Brien

September 10th, 2009
6:35 pm

From the absurdly good department: Albert Pujols is 20-for-41 (.488) with six home runs and 16 RBIs in his past 11 games, with eight walks and only one strikeout. He has a .571 OBP and 1.049 slugging percentage in that stretch.

Gerran McNurney

September 10th, 2009
6:35 pm

he is now, doofus, read the whole blog

Gerran McNurney

September 10th, 2009
6:36 pm

Jim, you are a moron, probably a GA Bulldog fan….

Jake W.

September 10th, 2009
6:37 pm

Good stats DOB, just in time for the guy to face off against our formidable lineup. Going to be a fun series this weekend.

Jim

September 10th, 2009
6:38 pm

I say that Gerran McNurney should be fired from talking about baseball.

Gerran McNurney

September 10th, 2009
6:39 pm

shhhhhh…don’t tell anyone, but I’m really Tony LaRussa.

Mitchell

September 10th, 2009
6:39 pm

‘Stro Bro

September 10th, 2009
5:17 pm
Hanson is over rated
end of story.

Gonna have to disagree with that. He’s been pretty evenly or accurately rated.

Now, if he played for the Mets, he’d probably already be on the cover of Sports Illustrated like four times. If that were the case, then he would be overrated.

Roman Gal

September 10th, 2009
6:39 pm

8. Johnson, 2B (Remember him?)

Yay, Yay, Yay!!!! Johnson’s playing, Johnson’s playing!!! No, I don’t remember that guy. What’s he look like again?

Jim

September 10th, 2009
6:39 pm

As a matter of fact I am Gerran.

Mitchell

September 10th, 2009
6:40 pm

Gerran McNurney

September 10th, 2009
6:33 pm
Cox has Alzhiemers, he poops his pants.

That shouldn’t be funny, but it is.

Gerran McNurney

September 10th, 2009
6:43 pm

I may not know baseball as well as Boobie Cox, but Hanson would have been out there to start the ninth. I also would be using some of the other pitchers in the pen. You can not run the same 3 guys out there all the time. Moylan, Gonzo the Soriano, with a little Medlen every now and then. What happened to Acosta, O’flarehty and the pitcher they called up from the minors?? They can’t get one guy out?

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