Braves try to regroup in friendly confines of The Ted

(Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien today.)

Good news for the Braves today. And yes, they could use some. I didn’t type a dateline just now, so that can only mean one thing. Yep, they’re home. Turner Field, the Ted, they could use a hug and a warm fuzzy from the home crowd and something other than what was happening on the road.

The Braves’ pitching in Florida, Washington and Cincinnati was solid. Their defense had some costly momentary lapses. Their offense, no doubt, needs a bolt of something. The Braves hit only .234 over those nine games on the 3-6 trip, while their ERA was 3.78, plenty good enough.

The most starting statistic was one DOB included in his game story from yesterday, that the Braves hit only .179 (15-for-84) with runners in scoring position during the nine-game trip.

Chipper Jones said it while the team was in Washington “just get us back to Atlanta” and he had a point. The Braves are 34-13 at Turner Field this season, good for the best home record in baseball, where they win at a .723 clip. The Braves bat 21 points higher at home as a team (.271), compared to only .250 on the road. And they’re scoring 5.0 runs per game at home, compared to 4.2 on the road.

The Mets are 5-12 since the All-Star break and are coming to town off a 14-1 loss to the Diamondbacks on Sunday, featuring a pair of three-run homers by former Brave Adam LaRoche. The Mets did take two of three from the Cardinals in that stretch, to their credit.

The Phillies are off today, so a win tonight would mean a chance to go back up by three games, or a loss and drop to an even two. It’s all up to the Braves tonight.

Braves vs. the NL EastThe Braves are 19-19 against NL East opponents this season. I figured they had to be the only division leader in baseball with that kind of record within its own division. Wrong. It starts out as you’d expect: the Padres are 21-16 vs. the NL West, the Cardinals are 25-18 vs. the NL Central, and the Rangers are 20-11 vs. the AL West.

But then you see the Chicago White Sox, who are 17-20 against the AL Central. Whoa. And then you move along their W-L breakdowns and see that 15-3 in interleague play record and go aha. To finish it off, the Yankees are 23-14 against the AL East.

Newbies

Today Braves fans can get acquainted/re-acquainted with Rick Ankiel and reliever Kyle Farnsworth, who just joined the Braves Sunday in Cincinnati after the trade Saturday afternoon from Kansas City. I’m sure Farnsworth will have a few extra fans and family in the seats tonight; he grew up in Roswell.

The same might be true for Ankiel, who is a native of Ft. Pierce, Fla. and said he grew up a Braves fan.

But I’d doubt Ankiel is in the starting lineup against left-hander Johan Santana. Ankiel, who bats left, is hitting only .172 (5-for-29) against lefties this year (small sampling, though), and he’s hitting .288 (19-for-66) vs. the righties.

For his career, Ankiel has hit .239 vs. lefties (with .279 on-base, .402 slugging) and .256 vs. righties (with .322 on-base and .471 slugging).

So you put Matt Diaz in left field probably, slide Melky Cabrera back into center.

Speaking of center field, just an update…In four games since Nate McLouth was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett, he has gone 5-for-17 (.294) with homers in each of his first two games and four RBIs. He has struck out three times and scored three runs.

Reliever Scott Proctor, by the way, who is still trying to work his way back from “Tommy John” surgery gave up four runs, three earned in 1/3 inning on Sunday afternoon. He is now 0-1 with a 9.49 ERA in 10 outings for Gwinnett.

Home stand

There will be a lot going on this home stand, with the Mets coming in for three games, the Giants for four. Tom Glavine’s Hall-of-Fame luncheon and jersey retirement on Friday (hey kind of ironic, it’s just after the Mets leave town). Sara Evans is in the house on Saturday. Santana pitches tonight for the Mets. The Braves face Tim Lincecum with the Giants on Thursday.

(The Freak has apparently been tinkering with his freaky windup to improve his command. Can’t imagine he’d want to change his mechanics a ton but apparently, at least, he’s taking his hands over his head now.)

Jeff Francoeur survived the trade deadline with the Mets, for better or worse. I’m not sure which way he wanted to go there. But he’s played sparingly since the return of Carlos Beltran in center, with Angel Pagan getting much of the playing time in right field.

Since Beltran’s return on July 15, Francoeur has started only nine of 17 games (gotten into 14 of them), and hit .108 (4-for-37) with one homer and three RBIs. His season average is down to .236 with nine homers and 45 RBIs.

Santana vs. Hudson

Really nice pitching matchup tonight with Santana vs. Tim Hudson. It’s probably not the greatest of news for Braves hitters, who were shut out by Santana on Sunday July 11, the day before the All-Star break. They went scoreless in seven innings against Santana that day in New York, managing only five hits off him in a 3-0 loss.

But wait, it’s not all bad news. Santana got beat around by the Cardinals his last time out. He gave up a season-high 13 hits and 7 runs, his second-highest total this season, in 5 2/3 innings. And he seems to have some bad luck against the Braves for his career. He’s got a 2.01 ERA in 10 career starts against Atlanta but only two wins. Both of those wins have come in his past four starts against the Braves over the last two seasons.

Hudson meanwhile is coming off a gem against the Nationals (one run in 7 2/3 innings.) He’s allowed one or no runs in four of his past six starts. His 2.40 ERA is ranked fifth in the National League among qualifiers. He’s tied for fifth in wins (11).

Ok. We’ll have plenty more for the ballpark this afternoon. We’ll let you know if the Braves have decided to go on and disable Martin Prado with his fractured right pinky.

Braves to face Mets ace Johan Santana

Braves to face Mets ace Johan Santana

2,311 comments Add your comment

Shaun

August 2nd, 2010
12:26 pm

Saying the Braves are 7th in runs scored is somewhat disingenuous as a few of the teams just ahead of them play in hitter’s parks. Florida’s park favors hitters, Arizona’s park favors hitters and of course there is Philadelphia and Colorado.

Philadelphia and Colorado have scored in the neighborhood of 20-25 more runs than the Braves, so even if you consider home park they may be slightly better. But the Marlins and Arizona have only scored a handful more runs. So I think it’s reasonable to say the Braves are around the 5th-best offense in the NL, without doing any sort of in-depth statistical analysis. The OPS+ stat seems to back this up, as the Braves are 4th in the NL in OPS+. In other words, the Braves runs-scored ranking is not necessarily the same as where they rank in terms of offense.

Basically the offensive rankings can be looked at like this: Cincinnati, Colorado and Philadelphia are in the 500-run range, Milwaukee is sort of by itself in the next tier (close to 490 runs), then we have Arizona, Florida, Atlanta, St. Louis and San Francisco all bunched in the 470-480 range. So if you look at run-scoring like this, the Braves are in that 3rd tier. But again, Arizona and Florida play home games in hitters’ parks and I think we can agree San Francisco isn’t as good an offense as the Braves. So it’s Atlanta and St. Louis in that group.

I hear banjos and the horses in Covington are nervous

August 2nd, 2010
12:26 pm

Thank you, Carroll, as always for the updates and pinch hitting for DOB. Great pitching match up, tonight.

Gary O

August 2nd, 2010
12:26 pm

The Braves have to learn to win on the road. Right now, Padres have a better record, so they would have home-field in the playoffs. Plus the Giants, Reds, Cardinals are within striking distance. And if the Braves do win the wild-card, they would be on the road.

This reminds me a little bit of the Hawks. Very tough at home, but struggling on the road. And thats not a good recipe for winning a world series.

MFin04

August 2nd, 2010
12:26 pm

I don’t think the Braves can afford to DL Prado. If he really is going to be back in 7-10 days, the 15-day DL would be huge overkill and he is the team’s clear MVP.

Anders

August 2nd, 2010
12:29 pm

As for agreeing with Anders? Yeah, once or twice a year when he’s not talking about the Mets. I was agreeing with what he said about restructuring contracts as personal services deal.
If anyone posted anything else under my name then it wasn’t me.
I’m supposed to give the guy crap when he makes a sensible statement? Give me a break.
(Lew from the last blog)

Love you too big guy!

Efrim

August 2nd, 2010
12:30 pm

Cincinnati, Colorado and Philadelphia are in the 500-run range, Milwaukee is sort of by itself in the next tier (close to 490 runs), then we have Arizona, Florida, Atlanta, St. Louis and San Francisco all bunched in the 470-480 range.

Right, but wouldn’t it be great if the Braves added a player with more extra base power ability so that they could be first in that first or second tier next year? That’s all I’m saying. Is it essential to their success? Probably not, but it’d be great to cover off on all of our bases, right?

Anders

August 2nd, 2010
12:32 pm

Efrim- Did I read you right in the lasr blog? Are you afraid of my Mets this week?

Damn, they lost 5 out of 6 to the D’Backs the last two weeks. Who aren’t you afraid of? {:

Pete*

August 2nd, 2010
12:33 pm

MF, I think the Braves will DH Prado, only because these finger breaks (or whatever it is) can be painful for a long time. Bring him back too soon, and it will become much worse very quickly, which is what happened to Heyward, as I recall.
Even with a DH assignment, this can be a very tough injury to overcome. Just ask Andre Ethier, who was hitting around .340 and among the leaders in most power stats prior to his finger injury. Hes now down to .295 or so, with hardly any power. Im very concerned about Prado.

DiamondbackMac

August 2nd, 2010
12:33 pm

Lew (In case you missed on the last blog.)

A well timed single would have made all the difference in the world and not added to our SLG % at all.

How many times have I prayed for someone to just get a single with runners in scoring position and two outs or less? Invariably someone hits into a double play or tries to hit the HR for a fly out. Heyward keeps saying that he tells himself while batting, “Don’t try to do too much.” I wish they would all learn that mantra.

RLPmetro

August 2nd, 2010
12:33 pm

Well, this slide started when Carroll took over for DOB for two series last weekend. Hopefully Carroll’s mojo can reverse the skid too! Just kidding!!!

Shaun

August 2nd, 2010
12:34 pm

Efrim, oh, yeah. A slugger in left or center would be nice this year. But I think a lot of folks commenting here are overrating the need for a power-hitter to get into the playoffs or go deep in the playoffs. As long as there are tough outs through most of the lineup, I like the Braves’ chances.

Anders

August 2nd, 2010
12:34 pm

BTW- If the Mets lose 4 out of the next 6 I don’t think Manuel makes it to the next home stand. Not after what happened with the D’Backs. If they had split the 6 games with the D’Backs he’d have some currency to play with. That’s gone now imo.

Efrim

August 2nd, 2010
12:34 pm

Did I read you right in the lasr blog? Are you afraid of my Mets this week?

I’m afraid of the guy going tonight and tomorrow night. Not so much anything else on that team. So, I guess I’m kinda afraid of the Mets taking these first two if Johan and RA pitch lights out. Dickey is making a case to be that teams fifth starter next year. Those knuckle ballers develop late, so ya just never know.

Dan's Dickau

August 2nd, 2010
12:35 pm

Just what thr doctor ordered- a series at home against the gutless choking Mutts! Fresh off of their active trade deadline!

Joe

August 2nd, 2010
12:36 pm

Yep nothing like a knuckleballer to help out a struggling offense.

Efrim

August 2nd, 2010
12:37 pm

As long as there are tough outs through most of the lineup, I like the Braves’ chances.

Oh, I think this team has a great chance to represent the NL in the playoffs. I think the opportunity to acquire a power hitter just wasn’t there for Wren, which is fine. I hope that avenue is explored this offseason, though. Would be real nice for 2011.

Chip Shot

August 2nd, 2010
12:37 pm

Why no Freeman? if they call up Diory i will lose it.

Efrim

August 2nd, 2010
12:38 pm

Anders, how many managers if Omar going to get to fire? Is this two or three? Did he fire Art Howe? or was that Duquette?

Anders

August 2nd, 2010
12:39 pm

Efrim- If I’m Manuel I know I have to go for it this week. I put Pagan back in the 2 hole behind Reyes and move Castillo down to 8th. Then I turn on the jets against your Braves. Bunting, stealing and hit and running. The Braves are old at the corners and you probably won’t have your regular 2nd baseman in. I make that infield defense have to move around all game long. Speed is one of the few strengths the Mets have so I’d maximize it. Just my opinion.

Frankie Wren

August 2nd, 2010
12:39 pm

Efrim,

I think that is right on. Sounds like Wren’s making the decision not to just find a stop gap this year and find a holding piece that can make contributions for a couple of years. I think this offseason is going to be really interesting.

Bobby Hill

August 2nd, 2010
12:41 pm

You know we can talk all day about how many games are left to be played, and how baseball isn’t like college football, yadda yadda yadda.

But momentum is a huge factor. Negative momentum contributed to the Braves losing nine straight games in April, and positive momentum almost got them to the playoffs last year. Right now the team has got some serious negative momentum. They just finished a rough road trip. Prado got hurt. Troy is slumping. Their lead is shrinking. The Phillies added Oswalt, and the Braves weren’t able to add a middle of the order bat. Like it or not, that stuff affects the teams’ confidence. You can’t pretend it doesn’t.

And seasons have turning points. (Remember a couple of years ago when KJ dropped that flyball and the team was never the same, or last year when the team added LaRoche and went on a tear.) The Braves season hit a turning point after that 9 game skid in April. They were able to turn the season around and that’s carried them to where they are right now. For better or worse, I think the team is at another turning point right now, and I think this week will tell us a lot about what we can expect from the team down the stretch.

Efrim

August 2nd, 2010
12:42 pm

And I meant represent the NL in the World Series!

JoshTown

August 2nd, 2010
12:43 pm

Muchos Gracias Carroll!

Efrim

August 2nd, 2010
12:45 pm

If I’m Manuel I know I have to go for it this week. I put Pagan back in the 2 hole behind Reyes and move Castillo down to 8th. Then I turn on the jets against your Braves.

How about letting Jeff Francoeur play left bench and play Chris Carter or Feliciano or someone else in right field? He’s awful and the easiest decision the Mets will make this offseason is to non tender him. Hitting Pagan higher in the order is a good idea, he’s had a great year.

MFin04

August 2nd, 2010
12:46 pm

Ankeil is worse than terrible against LHP. That being said as long as the Braves use some platoons in the outfield, this team has the chance to have a decent hitting outfield.

Melky CF and Diaz LF vs LHP.
Ankiel CF and Hinske LF vs RHP.

Heyward could use an occasional rest against lefties, but he really is the teams best outfielder and speed guy so he should be playing every game regardless of Lefty/Righty situations.

Anders

August 2nd, 2010
12:47 pm

Efrim- I forget on Howe. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Omar delivered teams that won in 2006 and were right there in 2007 and 2008. The failings those years have to fall on the field general when you’re that close. 2009 was all about injuries -nothing anyone could do there. The Castillo and Perez deals are all him, but every team generally has at least one of those. The jury on Bay is still out but Beltran had the same type of start to his career with the Mets in his first season so we’ll see. Plus the guys coming through the system under Omar’s watch are producing now. I don’t think he’s done as bad a job as many others do.

Look at all the bad contracts Cashman flushed down the toilet from 2001 through 2008. Yet he’s considered iconic on the other side of town.

ray k.

August 2nd, 2010
12:49 pm

Here we go again with the neverending imbecilic outfield situation. Rick Ankiel? Can’t hit lefties, Diaz can’t hit righties, Hinske can’t hit lefties, etc. etc. etc. Are we ever going to have a damn full time LF or CF? since glaus’s bat went into eclipse, we have no power from the right side, once again. And we go get an injury prone rental with average power. If you’re not past your prime or a constant DL’er, we have no interest in you. The stat DOB emblazoned on today post tells it all: ERA below 4 yet we lose 6 of 9. Why? Because we have zero thunder in the middle of the order. I know money is an issue but with a plethora of young arms in the minors, (and kris Medlen) as chips, when, if not now, will it be the right time to pony up for a real outfielder?

Arkansas Transplant

August 2nd, 2010
12:51 pm

Anders
August 2nd, 2010
12:39 pm

yeah, I’d agree with that. There’s been one weakness that’s been exploited a few times and that’s always been when the opposing team has speed. It’s burnt us a time or 2.

Anders

August 2nd, 2010
12:51 pm

Efrim- They moved Pagan to 3rd in the order to maximize his productivity but Castillo just seems to kill every rally he’s steps into. I don’t mind Pagan 3rd but not if it means Castillo at #2.

As for Frenchy – no way he can be even limtedly productive as a part time player. That was really killing him. Not sure what Manuel will do. I truly think he has to manage the next 6 games as life and death. (At least for his own job)

Efrim

August 2nd, 2010
12:52 pm

I don’t think he’s done as bad a job as many others do.

I don’t think he should be the general manager next year….I’ll leave it at that as I think we just disagree on it.

Look at all the bad contracts Cashman flushed down the toilet from 2001 through 2008. Yet he’s considered iconic on the other side of town.

I don’t think he’s iconic, but he’s been better of late. Most all GM’s have ups and downs. Can’t win every year and can’t get every move right. Just the nature of the business.

AlabamaBrave

August 2nd, 2010
12:53 pm

hoho

August 2nd, 2010
12:54 pm

I think this blog should just always be under the name DOB, whether it’s him writing or not. Evidently people can’t differentiate the writing styles, much less actual read who wrote the “blog column”. Sorry CR and CV, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Save your signatures for your novels.

David O'Brien

August 2nd, 2010
12:54 pm

Why no Freeman? if they call up Diory i will lose it. Chip Shot

Why would they replace a DL’d second baseman with a 1B prospect?

Anders

August 2nd, 2010
12:55 pm

Efrim- Go back and look at Cashmans pitching signings and trades for about 7 years. Truly horrific from Kevin Brown on out. Last off season he spent $500 million on CC, AJ and tex and all of a sudden he’s brilliant again. My point is that Omar competes in a town where the other side burns millions without blinking yet he still has to compete for customers. It’s not an easy job at all.

Arkansas Transplant

August 2nd, 2010
12:56 pm

David O’Brien, I can see your behind a little, haven’t you heard… we’re going to be playing musical positions? All depends on when the music stops.

ncscoots

August 2nd, 2010
12:56 pm

How many times have I prayed for someone to just get a single with runners in scoring position and two outs or less?

But how many times do we see posters here exalt “timely hitting”, and think that’s the magic elixir? A need for “timely hitting” says to me is that the team has fewer hits in its bats than it should, and that they have to get a little lucky to get those fewer hits at just the right time. Because they don’t have any to waste at the “wrong” time.

Give me guys who can hit, period, and the timing of those hits is a whole lot less important. Otherwise, you’re left with merely not making outs, as an offense; while that may thrill Shaun, it tends to make next year come a lot sooner than the rest of us might like.

Anders

August 2nd, 2010
12:57 pm

Why would they replace a DL’d second baseman with a 1B prospect? (DOB)

Have you seen Freeman’s range? Dude can pick it for a full 90 feet.

terry harper

August 2nd, 2010
12:57 pm

have we not seen just how bad Melky is in center field? not just the bad throw he made – he can’t get to balls and takes many small steps when he does get close to them. time to end that experiment and let Ankiel play

Hillbilly

August 2nd, 2010
12:57 pm

Hudson versus Santana.

I remember this matchup when Santana was in his prime with Minnesota. Everybody thought he would be unbeatable. They went toe to toe and Hudson had him down 2-1, until Wickman blew it in the 9th. Bad memories.

Gary O

August 2nd, 2010
12:58 pm

MFin04,

Hinske will be needed to give Glaus some rest at 1B too.

Chip Caray's Eyebrows

August 2nd, 2010
12:59 pm

If the offensive struggles continue, I might look to move Heyward down in the order, maybe to the 5 spot against righties (we all know Chipper will continue hitting 3rd). Someone has to start knocking the guys in, and Glaus hasn’t hit a ball hard in a month it seems.

Joe

August 2nd, 2010
12:59 pm

Has DOB ever mentioned having any of that BBQ spaghetti while in Cincinatti? I see it on Food TV all the time and wonder if its any good.

BIlly Walsh

August 2nd, 2010
1:00 pm

The genuis also signed Jaret Wright to a lucrative deal as well…

Shaun

August 2nd, 2010
1:00 pm

Bobby Hill, I really think it’s hard to find much evidence of momentum in baseball. After the April 9-game losing streak they won 4 of 5. Why didn’t the negative momentum continue?

Going in to this road trip, the Braves were in command. They had just taken 2 of 3 from San Diego to build a 7-game divisional lead. Why didn’t that positive momentum continue?

For every example someone can throw out as an indication of momentum, one can throw out counter-examples. I just think it’s the nature of baseball. There are going to be streaks and there are going to be times when teams are going to go through .500 stretches. I don’t think momentum plays a huge role because baseball, as cliche as it sounds, is a day-to-day thing.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

August 2nd, 2010
1:00 pm

somebody please start hitting. this 2 1/2 game lead over the phils is getting waaaayyyy to close. need a sweep here and the phils to drop back to 5 1/2 games behind. infante to take over at 2B??

Anders

August 2nd, 2010
1:01 pm

Hey Billy Walsh – Don’t forget the $45 mil he gave Carl Pavano to never show up at a real game. There’s more – keep digging. Cashman’s a fraud!

Piedmont Blues

August 2nd, 2010
1:02 pm

Anders,

Greetings. Cashman does receive plenty of favorable pub, but you have to wonder how much of his ‘genius’ can be attributed to the reduced role The Boss took on in his final years. Much in the same way that the Braves took off when Ted Turner stopped making day-to-day decisions and let Stan Kasten (and Bobby Cox — at least in the late ’80s) handle personnel moves.

The Kevin Brown contract seemed like the classic Steinbrenner big-dollar gamble that came up snake eyes. Cashman appears to be a lot more cautious and smarter than that.

Marc in FL

August 2nd, 2010
1:02 pm

These guys will get it together, don’t forget these are sweaty men. After the game the locker room is full of young to middle-aged dirty sweaty men. All changing their clothes in tight quarters in a stinky locker room. They will turn it around, they are dirty sweaty men!

N8

August 2nd, 2010
1:03 pm

“David O’Brien, I can see your behind a little… “ Arkansas Transplant

Wow dude. I’d keep your stocking details to yourself. If you can see DOB’s behind, that means you’re a little too close.

Andy K.

August 2nd, 2010
1:03 pm

I’m not sure if we have room on the 40-Man, but perhaps if Prado goes onto the DL, Wes Timmons will finally get his call up.

ShaunC

August 2nd, 2010
1:03 pm

Infante – 4
Heyward – 9
Chipper – 5
Diaz – 7
Gonzalez – 6
Glaus – 3
Ankiel – 8
Ross – 2
Hudson -1

I like the lineup, but do McCann and Hudson not match up well?

GTSteve

August 2nd, 2010
1:04 pm

Did anyone ever read or hear if the Braves inquired about Ludwick from the Cards…Or were the Cards a little afraid to help the Braves

MFin04

August 2nd, 2010
1:05 pm

Ok in response to Freeman. I don’t think he will be called up. But I also don’t think Diory is going to get a lick of playing time at 2nd base anyways…so I think the point being made is to bring Freeman up to get him into some games, rather than bring Diory up to play in the 15th inning of some extra inning game.

Infielders: Chipper, A-Gon, Infante, Glaus, Hinske, Conrad. You have 3 guys that can play SS/2B. A little risky, but Diory isn’t going to get any playing time except in an emergency situation.

MFin04

August 2nd, 2010
1:07 pm

Ankiel won’t be playing CF tonight if Bobby reads anything about how he hits lefties.

Melky is at .300 vs Lefties.
Ankiel I believe is below .200.

Anders

August 2nd, 2010
1:07 pm

Piedmont – The Boss wasn’t nearly as involved after he was suspended in the early 90’s. Gene Micheal built the 90’s Yanks with Showwalter. Then the Boss was smart enough to leave well enough alone when he saw the succes they had. After 2001 it’s been basically Cashman with input from some others. I’m not saying the Boss was blind to what was happening but he didn’t even show up at the garish signing announcements anymore.

This is Cashmans baby now. Should be interesting to see what happens as A-Rod breaks down at $30 mil per for the next 7 years. Plus Jeter gets a new deal after this season. Can $300 mil be far off? they’re at $220 now.

ShaunC

August 2nd, 2010
1:08 pm

That’s the lineup tweeted by @Braves

Shaun

August 2nd, 2010
1:08 pm

Bobby Hill, also, look at how many of these games on that last road trip turned on one play. What if the ball doesn’t slip out of Melky’s hand? What if Heyward catches that ball? What if McCann had caught that Wagner pitch? These are not excuses. That’s just baseball. Weird things happen and ups and downs happens. I don’t think it’s so much as momentum as it is the nature of baseball.

Andy K.

August 2nd, 2010
1:14 pm

Chill guys Bobby is probably playing Ankiel so he can get fully comfortable in ATL and back in a comfy groove. Plus I want to see him so I for one am happy he is playing tonight.

Bobby Hill

August 2nd, 2010
1:16 pm

Shaun –

I really disagree completely. I think that in baseball because the teams play almost everyday that momentum is bigger is baseball than in other sports. When you’re only playing on game a week and your schedule is only 12 games total how much momentum can you really build up? A short schedule makes it easy to get pumped up for each game, but that’s not momentum.

Baseball is a game of streaks and slumps. To me that’s momentum, either positive or negative. I guess you could just write those streaks off as statistical outliers but I think there’s more to it than that. Success begets success, and failure begets failure.

Bob Horners Broken Wrist

August 2nd, 2010
1:16 pm

The Braves looked old and tired and out of gas. You can tell they know its just a matter of time before they go under. The problem is there is no REAL leadership on the team. Chipper is a leader in name only, he’s only got stroke because of his career, but he isn’t a leader on the field anymore. McCann could lead but I get that isn’t his style and everyone else is a rookie or a platoon player. Prado will be that guy when Chippa leaves but thats next year – hopefully.
They look dead in the water, I’d bring up Freddie (or Canizares at the least) and Diory Hernandez to help bring a spark of youthful excitement to shake them out of their dour state. Of course that means putting Prado and Glaus on the DL, which they need to do anyway….I don’t care what Troy says. I even wince when he runs and he has NO power left at all, so he needs to be rested or released becuase he isn’t doing anything in the lineup.
But its academic, even IF they make the playoffs, they will get run by insert team name here. We don’t hold a clear pitching advantage over anybodies 1-3 starters going to the playoffs and our lineup is just a patchwork of 8 hole hitters surrounding three doubles hitters being managed by the worst post season manager EVER….no chance.

Rick

August 2nd, 2010
1:17 pm

Why no Freeman? if they call up Diory i will lose it. Chip Shot

Why would they replace a DL’d second baseman with a 1B prospect?

I initially scoffed at that idea, too. But the more I think about it, they don’t need another middle infielder. They have both Infante and Conrad that can play 2nd base. What they need to fill Prado’s shoes is a good offensive player, someone who would be stricly used in a PH capacity. We all know, regardless of what Diory is doing in AAA, he’s no offensive threat at the major league level. I don’t think you start the clock on Freeman, but there has to be someone at AAA that Frank and Bobby can call on to help, right? If Freeman is the best offensive player at Gwinnett, then bring him up.

Shaun

August 2nd, 2010
1:19 pm

Did anyone ever read or hear if the Braves inquired about Ludwick from the Cards…Or were the Cards a little afraid to help the Braves

The Cardinals got Jake Westbrook for Ludwick. That’s a strong indication that a major reason Ludwick is not a Braves is because of the Cardinals’ asking price. Also, Ludwick is somewhat expensive. I wouldn’t really say he’s overpaid but he probably wouldn’t be a wise use of resources for a team like the Braves, especially considering that they would have had to give up a decent player or two to get him.

VaBravesFan

August 2nd, 2010
1:20 pm

Well the Braves and Mets are struggling good thing were at home. Sucks Prado could be DL’d. Infante should play 2b just about everyday until he’s back. Glaus needs a few days off in a row i think….

Bartholomew (Bat) Masterson

August 2nd, 2010
1:22 pm

Infante – 4
Heyward – 9
Chipper – 5
Diaz – 7
Gonzalez – 6
Glaus – 3
Ankiel – 8
Ross – 2
Hudson -1

No McCann but Ankiel plays………………………

McFann, what say you?

Let's Go Bravos!

August 2nd, 2010
1:22 pm

The Braves don’t want to bring up Freeman and then have to send him down when Prado comes back. Once they bring Freeman up, he’s going to be staying. They will probably bring him up when the rosters expand and he’ll be our starter next year.

McFann Ô Ô

August 2nd, 2010
1:24 pm

ShaunC do McCann and Hudson not match up well?

Actually, in some ways, they match up better than Ross and Hudson:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?n1=hudsoti01&year=2010&t=p#catch

Is that the for real lineup?

richbrave

August 2nd, 2010
1:25 pm

Hey CARROLL, how YOU dooin’?

McFann Ô Ô

August 2nd, 2010
1:26 pm

Bat M. McFann, what say you?

Stink. For the love of Petey, Ross just played on Thursday…But, his “good friend” Timmy is pitching… :roll: …and against a lefty…

Hopefully that’s all it is.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

August 2nd, 2010
1:27 pm

looks like a good lineup- hopefully something good will come out of it.

richbrave

August 2nd, 2010
1:28 pm

heh,heh,heh. A lot of chatter, but very little substance.

Shaun

August 2nd, 2010
1:29 pm

Bobby Hill, okay, so where’s the indication that momentum plays a huge role in baseball? For every example you may site, I can site counter-examples.

Again, the Braves left for this road trip riding high. If momentum matters, what’s your explanation for that momentum not continuing?

Immediately after that April losing streak, the Braves won 4 of 5. What’s the explanation for that negative momentum not continuing?

Seems to me momentum is just a vague word that people throw around to try and explain why a team may play better or worse for a stretch than their talent may indicate. Basically it’s a way to explain the flukiness in baseball.

Yoda

August 2nd, 2010
1:29 pm

Is Chumper playing tonight or are his toes still aching from yesterdays foulball…..seriously doubt he can get around a Santana fastball anyway.

Brian from SC

August 2nd, 2010
1:29 pm

True that Ankiel’s not a good hitter against lefties, with a career .681 OPS. But Melky’s is just .686, and the Braves probably like Ankiel’s defense better. I would anticipate him playing just about every day.

Jim

August 2nd, 2010
1:29 pm

If Prado goes on the DL I would like to see Matt Young get called up. I realize that it probably won’t happen but Matt Young has had a good season. He gets on base, he steals bases and he scores runs. He has been playing second at Gwinnett a good bit lately but he also can play all three outfield positions. I would love to see them give Matt Young a chance but he still isn’t on the 40 man roster so I guess it isn’t likely to happen.

SeaAtl

August 2nd, 2010
1:31 pm

Possible that the Braves just wanted Farnsworth and Ankiel was a “throw-in”? C’mon, Ankiel is no more a solution to a right-handed power bat than what the team already has……aside from Heyward, they’re crowded with 4th outfielders…………

Nova Scotia Steve

August 2nd, 2010
1:32 pm

These line-ups are getting awful interesting these days. At least Cox is trying something…I’ll give him that.

Is that the real line-up Bat?

FUWren

August 2nd, 2010
1:32 pm

We have one of the worst 3-4-5 combos in baseball right now. If they improve then we’ll be fine but still in a dogfight down the stretch…if not then we’ll be out of it in a month.

Bartholomew (Bat) Masterson

August 2nd, 2010
1:33 pm

Here comes the thunder storm, it’s knocked that 110 heat index down, thanks for that.

Nova Scotia Steve

August 2nd, 2010
1:35 pm

Are some banishing Ankiel after a mere game and four at-bats?????

Two of which he hit the ball extremely hard?

ShaunC

August 2nd, 2010
1:36 pm

Yeah, real lineup acc to @Braves. Just seems McCann tends to miss Hudson starts more than other pitchers. Maybe bc expected less need for runs.

Bartholomew (Bat) Masterson

August 2nd, 2010
1:36 pm

Is that the real line-up Bat? NSA

I don’t know, just copied it off the blog. Didn’t want McFann to miss it, knowing how concerned she is with the ” Hudson/ Ross BFF” affair.

P-Town Brave

August 2nd, 2010
1:36 pm

DL both Glaus and Prado…

Bring up Freeman and Hernandez…

IF Freddie performs well, then DFA Glaus after the 15 days, if not, send him back to Triple A for another few weeks…

IF Freddie performs well its a win-win, and if not, it just shows he needs a bit more time…

Freddie doesnt have to bat in the middle of the lineup, but if he were to come up and hit .275+ and drive in some runs, it’d be a plus headed to the end of the year.

That lineup:

Infante 2b
Ankiel cf
Heyward rf
McCann c
Jones 3b
Diaz lf
Freeman 1b
Gonzalez ss

Dawg'88

August 2nd, 2010
1:38 pm

No Prado…fewer runs than normal = more losses to come until he returns.
Its really simple.

Brian from SC

August 2nd, 2010
1:38 pm

I think we’ll be seeing Freeman before September 1st if Glaus doesn’t show some improvement in the next week or two. Might as well give him a shot, even though he’s another lefty. If he can provide any production over Glaus, you want to get him on the roster before September 1st so he can be on the team in the postseason.

P-Town Brave

August 2nd, 2010
1:40 pm

OR I would even go with this lineup:

Infante 2b
Ankiel cf
Diaz lf
McCann c
Heyward rf
Jones 3b
Freeman 1b
Gonzalez ss

McFann Ô Ô

August 2nd, 2010
1:41 pm

ShaunC

Curses…

Just seems McCann tends to miss Hudson starts more than other pitchers.

Yeah, I know. Bugs me, too…Timmy’s my favorite pitcher.

Bat M. Didn’t want McFann to miss it, knowing how concerned she is with the ” Hudson/ Ross BFF” affair.

Thanks loads. I lose sleep over that, ya know. It’s like a soap opera…

DAP

August 2nd, 2010
1:41 pm

shaun the braves are slugging under .400 as a team. that is a problem.

is it really? The Braves have the third-best record in the league with that slugging percentage.

it is the biggest problem this 1st place braves team has. obviously, its relative, since overall they are a very good team. but id say thats the biggest issue with this team.

Brian from SC

August 2nd, 2010
1:41 pm

Hmm…Chipper gets on base, but hasn’t been as been as good slugging. You should want him moved up in the lineup, not down. 2nd would be ideal.

DAP

August 2nd, 2010
1:41 pm

lew Slugging % be damned. With all the times we’ve had runners (or two) in scoring position and the bases left loaded, a single would make a huge difference. A well timed single would have made all the difference in the world and not added to our SLG % at all.

no, a single counts towards slg%. walks dont. a guy who singles every time up has a 1.000 slg%

singles are great, if you get enough of them.

lefty fielder

August 2nd, 2010
1:42 pm

The McLouth statistics at Gwinnett are pretty impressive 5/17, .294 . . . you sure that wasn’t during a weekend slow-pitch softball tournament?

Jeff321

August 2nd, 2010
1:42 pm

Maybe Tiny Tim wants Ross to be his personal catcher. Ya can’t really blame him, eh?

bravofan

August 2nd, 2010
1:43 pm

im going to the game tonight! excited about the pitching matchup and its mormon night hahahhaha maybe I will see mitt romney there lol

VaBravesFan

August 2nd, 2010
1:44 pm

Huddy does have 2 years remaining under contract and they just extended Ross for 2 years….. makes since.

McFann Ô Ô

August 2nd, 2010
1:45 pm

Jeff321–

Sure I cann…

VaBravesFan

Bleh…

SeaAtl

August 2nd, 2010
1:45 pm

i’m not finding any “Ankiel bashing” on the blog…..but you don’t need to base any judgment on 4 at-bats – look at his career. He is not the answer – maybe not a bad guy to have as another reserve/4th outfielder, but it seems like the Braves are loaded with them.

P-Town Brave

August 2nd, 2010
1:45 pm

Yes, but the problem lies in the fact that we can not get players to hit long flyballs with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs…

Some players apparently undervalue that extra run…

That being said, I wouldn’t mind going with this lineup either given what you said Brian:

Infante 2b
Jones 3b
McCann c
Heyward rf
Diaz lf
Ankiel cf
Freeman 1b
Gonzalez ss

ncscoots

August 2nd, 2010
1:45 pm

These line-ups are getting awful interesting these days. At least Cox is trying something…I’ll give him that.

Trying to build a jet engine with Scotch tape and bailing wire, is what it looks like to me. Lineup looks like a Thursday split-squad game in ST.

And yes, I know that this is what he has, he’s doing what he can, yada yada yada. I know all that. But, have mercy.

TnBrian

August 2nd, 2010
1:46 pm

Hey, we got guys that start the engine (Prado/Infante/Heyward), now we need some guys to press the gas pedal and get the thing movin’.

Joe

August 2nd, 2010
1:46 pm

Maybe Huddy is trying to work on some Greg Maddux/Obrien, Perez, Blanco mojo?

.567

August 2nd, 2010
1:47 pm

Bob Horners Broken Wrist @ 1:16 -

The only post on this page that tells the truth.

Thanks Mr. Wrist.

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