Braves must finish strong, or they’re finished

If the Braves believe they respond best with backs against the wall and after a lot of observers have written them off, well, they’ll certainly get a chance to prove it this week, won’t they?

If the Braves don't snap out of funk this week, Bobby Cox is going to be saying farewell sooner than they planned. Their postseason hopes rest on final six games.

If the Braves don't snap out of funk this week, Bobby Cox is going to be saying farewell sooner than they planned. Their postseason hopes rest on final six games.

Six games left in Bobby Cox’s final season as manager, and the Braves have played themselves into this tight spot: a half-game behind wild-card leader San Diego for what will be the last available spot in the NL postseason.

I wrote before the Phillies series finale that I still thought the Braves would win the wild card. Losing those first two games to Hamels and Halladay with rookies Beachy and Minor pitching for the Braves, to me just playing the Phillies close in both of those games was an encouraging sign.

Losing the finale, with Hanson pitching a gem but Oswalt even better, did not change my opinion that the Braves were still at least a slight favorite to win the wild card.

But in dropping two out of three in Washington, the Braves didn’t play the kind of ball they played in New York to open the series. For that matter, they didn’t play as well as they did in getting swept by the Phillies.

Red flags were raised, including fatigue that seems to have lessened the effectiveness of “Everday” Jonny Venters. And question marks about whether Jair Jurrjens or Takashi Saito will pitch again this season (when I said the Braves would still win the wild card last week, I assumed Jurrjens would be back to make his final two starts).

Also, fatigue and/or injuries seem to have taken a late-season toll on Omar Infante and Martin Prado, two of the first three hitters in a lineup Bobby Cox keeps running out there.

I still believe the Braves can win the wild card. In fact, one could argue they have have better than a 50-50 shot at making it, considering their remaining games at Turner Field, where they have the best home record in baseball (yes, Braves still do – 52-23, ahead of Minnesota’s 52-25).

Also, you must consider their only serious competitors for the wild card, either the Padres or Giants (whichever doesn’t win the West), are going to face each other in a three-game series beginning Friday.

(Forget the Rockies. As scary as their non-humidored baseballs (allegedly) and Troy Tulowitzki’s bat have been in September, the Rockies have lost six of seven games and are four out with seven to play, including four at St. Louis to finish the season. There will be no Rocktober this year in Denver.)

(Speaking of the Rockies, here’s a not-so-fun fact for Braves fans: Tulowitzki’s 40 RBIs in September are more than any Atlanta hitter has since the All-Star break. Brian McCann leads the Braves with 39 RBIs since the break, one more than Alex Gonzalez).

Wait, let’s leave parentheses mode and stick to this offensive offense thing for a moment. Because we should be clear here, the Braves’ recent struggles are about hitting at least as much as starting pitching, and the offense has struggled for far longer.

Here’s a few facts that might surprise you, and a couple that probably won’t:

Since the break, Rick Ankiel has as many home runs (two) as Troy Glaus, and his meager nine RBIs in 42 games and 108 at-bats are only four fewer than Glaus has in 41 games and 116 at-bats.

(We bring this up to point out because Glaus was the Braves’ most productive hitter from May 1 to mid-June, then fell off the face of the earth. Braves got their money’s worth from him just in that six-week span when he carried so much of the load, but what a hole it was that went unfilled later.)

– Diory Hernandez, who was mentioned by Braves officials as a reason they didn’t feel compelled to get another infielder after Chipper’s injury, has one hit and one RBI in 18 at-bats since the All-Star break. Not a big deal, just mentioning it because his name was brought up when we asked about the Braves not feeling obligated to get another infielder.

– Melky Cabrera, who actually showed signs in May-June of being capable of contributing something to the offense, has hit .249 with just one homer, 18 RBIs, 3 stolen bases and a .315 OBP in 59 games since the break. Think about those numbers.

Nate McLouth leads the Braves with three homers in September. Folks, he’s had only 47 at-bats for the month, and he leads the team in homers. The Braves only have two others with multiple homers for the month: Derrek Lee (.300 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 70 at-bats), Jason Heyward (.291 with two homers and seven RBIs in 86 at-bats), and Alex Gonzalez (.247 with two homers and a team-high 15 RBIs in 89 at-bats.

As for Prado,  he’s got no homers and a .316 slugging percentage in 98 at-bats in September. And yet he’s hit third in the lineup all month, even when Heyward was surging between the suddenly cooled bats of Omar Infante and Prado.

Infante is 7-for-43 (.163) with a .217 OBP and .496 OPS in the past 11 games, after batting .361 with a .401 OBP and .886 OPS in the previous 45. The Braves are 4-7 in those past 11 games, after going 25-20 in the previous 45.

Braves need another strong performance tonight from Tommy Hanson in series opener vs. Marlins. And this time, they need to give him some run support.

Braves need another strong performance tonight from Tommy Hanson in series opener vs. Marlins. And this time, they need to give him some run support.

Prado, who might be the team MVP for the season, has hit .255 with eight RBIs and a .614 OPS in 24 September games, including one RBI and a .260 on-base percentage in his past 12 games, and a .200 average in his past nine games.

♣ Chipper’s impact: This might be an appropriate time to pause, take a breath, an inform you that the Braves are 22-21 since Chipper Jones tore his anterior cruciate ligament on Aug. 10. The Braves were 65-48 prior to his knee injury.

Not saying Chipper could have made all the difference. I mean, he certainly couldn’t have done anything to prevent a few key pitchers from struggling in September.

But his absence has certainly been felt in the lineup. In his last 19 games, Jones hit .328 with three homers, 12 RBIs and a .940 OPS.

And here’s a big one: For the season, only two Braves have hit better with runners in scoring position (minimum 40 at-bats) than Jones’ .293 average in those situations.

Infante ranks among NL leaders with a .353 average in 102 at-bats with RISP, and Heyward has hit .316 in 117 at-bats. But other than them, the only Braves who’ve hit as high as .290 with RISP are bench player Brooks Conrad (.351 in 37 at-bats) and mid-August arrival Derrek Lee (.345 in 29 at-bats). By the way, Freddie Freeman started Sunday for Lee? I didn’t understand that one, unless D-Lee is hurting a lot more than he’s let on.

McCann, who leads the Braves with 137 official at-bats with RISP, has hit .245 in those situations, and Cabrera has hit just .213 in 127 at-bats with runners in scoring position, the fourth-most ABs on the team.

♣The count-them-out factor: Seemingly every time the Braves have been written off, beginning with the nine-game losing skid in April — plenty here thought they should start aiming to 2011 — they have answered skeptics.

But the problem is, the Braves are down to only six games left now, and because they’re a half-game out their fate rests not entirely in their own hands.

Then there’s the matter of teams playing free and easy when they have little to play for, like Washington last week and, potentially, Florida this week.

Remember a year ago, when the Braves fell out of serious playoff discussions with a mediocre August and early September, then ran off that late-season run to get back in the race?

They went 15-2 beginning Sept. 10, batting .298 with a 2.89 ERA over that 17-game stretch, and pulled within two games of wild-card leader Colorado with six games left in the season, all at home, two against the Marlins and four with the Nationals.

But the Braves had almost no margin for error, and when the Rockies won a game on a day the Braves lost (Sept. 29), that pretty much ended Atlanta’s hopes. The Braves didn’t win again, dropping all six of their final games.

Simple question: Are the Braves going to make it into the playoffs?

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This season, the Braves have been the antithesis of that team in September. Some of them have played as if tired and/or tight from the playoff race. After first blowing a seven-game lead in the division, the wild card was still there for the taking for the Braves.

But since Sept. 2, they’ve gone 9-14 with a .241 batting average and 3.92 ERA. That includes 3-6 in games decided by two or fewer runs.

The Braves have hit .200 while losing five of their past six games, and scored three runs or fewer in all five losses.

Now they get the Marlins. For what it’s worth, the Braves are 8-7 against Florida this season, including 3-4 in the past seven games.

The Marlins actually have a better record (11-13) in September than the Braves, and they’re 4-3 in their past seven games.

It’s come to this for the Braves, the last week of the season and potentially the last week of Bobby Cox’s managerial career. The Braves are still only a half-game off the wild-card lead, and I’ll bet they can win the thing by taking five of six from the Marlins and Phillies, who figure to be setting their rotation for the playoffs and resting some regulars by the time they roll into Atlanta for the weekend series.

It’s there for the taking for the Braves. But then, we’ve been saying that for a month.

BRAVES LINEUP

  1. Infante 2B
  2. Heyward RF
  3. Prado 3B
  4. McCann C
  5. Lee 1B
  6. McLouth LF
  7. Gonzalez SS
  8. Ankiel CF
  9. Hanson RH

♣ We saw Jamey Johnson play Saturday night at Wild Bill’s north of Atlanta, and even the clueless folks who talked (loudly) during the slow numbers couldn’t detract much from the man’s performance. He’s old-school like Waylon, Haggard and Cash.  So let’s close with some classic Hag before we head to the ballpark. You can hear it here.

Merle_Haggard_Going_Where_The_Lonely_Go

“SING ME BACK HOME” by Merle Haggard

The warden led a prisoner down the hallway to his doom

I stood up to say good-bye like all the rest

And I heard him tell the warden just before he reached my cell

‘Let my guitar playing friend do my request.’ (Let him…)

Sing me back home with a song I used to hear

Make my old memories come alive

Take me away and turn back the years

Sing Me Back Home before I die

I recall last Sunday morning a choir from ‘cross the street

Came to sing a few old gospel songs

And I heard him tell the singers ‘There’s a song my mama sang.

Can I hear once before we move along?’

Sing me back home, the song my mama sang

Make my old memories come alive

Take me away and turn back the years

Sing Me Back Home before I die

Sing Me Back Home before I die

2,587 comments Add your comment

Chop Chop

September 27th, 2010
2:44 pm

Yippee.

The Braves are just fooling everybody.

World Series Beast Mode begins tonight.

David O'Brien

September 27th, 2010
2:45 pm

By the way: Hanson (10-11) is only Braves pitcher in Atlanta era (since 1966) to make at least 30 starts w/ an ERA of 3.51 or better and losing record

Hillbilly

September 27th, 2010
2:49 pm

I’ll dabble in the fortune…rub elbows with the fame, but I’ll be damned if this is where I’m going to die!

David O'Brien

September 27th, 2010
2:50 pm

Let it go: That was HILARIOUS at 12:57 p.m. Well played.

Samuel Stiles

September 27th, 2010
2:50 pm

great blog as always.
Let’s get this thing done.

wawel78

September 27th, 2010
2:53 pm

DOB – any reason why Cox stopped starting Hinske after the Florida series in late August? He was 5/11 in that series and has only started 2 times since with 19 AB’s in September.

Sonny D

September 27th, 2010
2:53 pm

I’m almost certain they’ll take the wild card outright by going 5-1. 4-2 should at worst get them into a one-game playoff and might even be enough. But 3-3 probably won’t cut it. Being home should help.
They should remember this: All but about six teams would love to be in their position. Come on, fellas: Go out and play your buns off for a week and get in there. You’ve worked hard to get to this point; don’t let it slip now.

Sonny D

September 27th, 2010
2:55 pm

It’s really lucky for ATL that the Padres and Giants have to play each other three times and that the Braves just need to finish ahead of one of them and not both. That’s the kind of good luck they needed after a so-far bad September.

George Armstrong Custer

September 27th, 2010
2:57 pm

I don’t know how the rotation sets up for the next week but there’s a rumor floating around here that Cholly might shut Halladay down after tonights start – win or lose. The guy has more innings this year than in any year since 2003. And horse that he is he has definitely shown some fatigue his last 5 starts. I think he was scheduled to pitch against you guys so……………

MattyRoss

September 27th, 2010
2:57 pm

All we gotta do is get in. Somehow, some way. Reds don’t scare me none.

Darryl Blackberry

September 27th, 2010
2:57 pm

It’s gonna happen. Believe it.

cavebird

September 27th, 2010
3:00 pm

Actually, the Braves fate is entirely in their own hands. While we are half a game out (a game out in the loss column to both San Diego and San Francisco) we only have to beat one of San Diego or San Francisco (the other will win the West), and San Diego and San Francisco finish the season with three games against each other. Because one of those teams has to lose at least two of the games in that series, the Braves are a mathematical certainty to win the wild card if they win all six of their remaining games. Going 5-1 guarantees a one-game play-off for the wild card (and that would only happen if both the Giants and the Padres sweep their midweek series’ and split their own series 2-1) and likely gives the Braves the wild card outright. Accordingly, the Braves’ fate is in their own hands.

Poor, Poor Us

September 27th, 2010
3:00 pm

Nate was on fire for a couple of weeks, then when he hit Philly, he went cold as ice with the bat and forgot how to play defense. Two weeks with a good bat doesn’t erase a full season of struggles…..especially when he’s reverted back to what he was with the struggles.

Frankie Wren

September 27th, 2010
3:01 pm

Early in the month my wish is that this team would be peaking into the playoffs. What would this blog do if they went on a 6 game win streak to close the season. There might be a better chance of Atlanta metro area getting a snow dusting tonight but can let the mind wonder a bit, yes?

PTC DAWG

September 27th, 2010
3:02 pm

no chit……

USED CARS

September 27th, 2010
3:03 pm

I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but I’m old enough to remember the 70s and 80s when were out of it in mid April after getting swept by the Reds and Dodgers every year. 1991-2005 was great even when we lost in the playoffs because we had a team to root for in October. This year has been awesome as the guys have overcome so much. I live 21/2 hours away and work till 7 every night, so I won’t be at the games, but let’s hope the park is full every night and we play like late May. it’s just great to be in the playoff hunt this late.

wawel78

September 27th, 2010
3:03 pm

Atlanta still has to win games and they’re not doing that right now.

Poor, Poor Us

September 27th, 2010
3:03 pm

If this team went on a 6 game win streak, my first question would be, “when did you call up the Gwinnett Braves and sit the Atlanta team down?”

Rock on......

September 27th, 2010
3:04 pm

The Braves fate is totally in their own hands. Destiny is not. Will the Titanic house band be playin or will Tomahawkin be swaggin. We await.

wawel78

September 27th, 2010
3:04 pm

Good point re: McLouth. This team has a guy hitting .188 as their #6 hitter.

DAP

September 27th, 2010
3:06 pm

frankie wren Freeman they knew would probably be starting in 2011.

by the way, that is a move that has to work out well for the braves next season.

1B is probably the easiest place to find a powerful hitter. if we have another scott thorman over there, itll be hard to overcome.

wren had better get a backup capable of holding down first next year. (cantu? wigginton?)

thats one reason luke scott would be a great trade. he can play 1st if needed.

HuffBraves

September 27th, 2010
3:06 pm

So here’s the reality: Braves still control their own fate. Their magic number is 6 with 6 left to play.
Because the Pads and Giants play next weekend, the worst case scenario for the Braves is that one team finishes with 93 wins, and the other with 92. The Braves only have to finish ahead of one of those teams to get in.

If the Braves go 6-0, they finish with 93 wins. If they go 5-1, that’s 92 wins, which at least guarantees us a 1-game playoff.

Here’s what needs to happen for the Braves to force a 1-game playoff:

If the Braves go 4-2, they have to hope for a Padres OR Giants sweep next weekend, OR that the team who loses that series also loses ONE game before that series begins.

If the Braves go 3-3, they have to hope for:
(A) a Padres or Giants sweep AND that the team getting swept loses 1 game before Friday
(B) Either team loses TWO games before Friday AND loses the final series
(C) Both teams lose TWO games before Friday

If they go 2-4, they have to hope for:
(A) a Padres or Giants sweep AND that the team that gets swept loses 2 games before Friday AND the Rockies lose 1 of 7 remaining games
(B) The team that loses the Pads-Giants series loses THREE games before Friday AND Rockies lose 1 more game

If they go 1-5, they have to hope for:
(A) a Padres or Giants sweep AND that the team that gets swept loses 3 games before Friday AND the Rockies lose 2 of 7 remaining games

If they go 0-6, they have to hope for the Padres to lose 7 straight and the Rockies to lose 3 of 7 remaining games.

I like our chances if we win 4. Can the Braves win 4 of 6 at home against a Marlins team missing Hanley, Josh Johnson, Cody Ross and Jorge Cantu and a Phillies team with nothing to play for who will be resting up for the playoffs? I think the odds are still in our favor.

GSU Eagle 91

September 27th, 2010
3:06 pm

What concerns me the MOST is how tired this team looks…So many players have had no time off to get ready for the postseason, and so we will finish with a whimper instead of a bang.
There is no way the Phillies are going to change their ways with the way they are playing, and they will be the end of our hopes at the end of this week.
That being said..I hope I am SO wrong….
But does anyone else see this team re-capturing the magic it found in May?

Frankie Wren

September 27th, 2010
3:06 pm

Believe it to achieve it………… Yeah okay, I’m done.

jt

September 27th, 2010
3:08 pm

Bobby “the palyer’s coach” goes with the same crappy lineup. go ahead and retire now. u have been out of touch for a long time.

chillahill43

September 27th, 2010
3:08 pm

DOB Nice to see you at least addressing what everybody has been saying about the fatigue.. Best article youve written all month– What is it the 4th LOL- Carrol does great fill in work. If BC would only take a clue, See you do better work with a little rest and help from the bench.. But then You show me the lineup what do I see– NOTHING NEW 1, 2 3 4 all the same Hmmmmmm.. Stupidity– Doing the same thing OVER and OVER even when you know the results are failure… Stupidity … That line up seems to fill that definition WOW… I am dumbfounded by BCs hardheadedness….. Makes me just wantta scream…… Well good luck with that GO BRAVES!

Rock on......

September 27th, 2010
3:08 pm

Wren had an opportunity to nail down 1st base for a couple of years and decided to roll the dice. He has 6 games left on his roll. Will the baseball gods be kind?

DC Brave

September 27th, 2010
3:09 pm

I recently read the book Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer by Warren St. John. The book is about a whole lot more than Alabama football. The book is about being a die-hard fan…about using the word “we” when talking about the prospects for an upcoming game. “We are looking good.” Or for the Braves lately, “man, WE cannot buy a hit with runners in scoring position.” Pulling for my team is killing me this year. I have literally had blood pressure problems watching the past few games. The apparent lack of interest by my team’s owners is maddening. Yet for all their faults, the Braves are my team, as they have been since 1982, when Dad took me to that first game. C’mon Braves. Don’t let US down. Make us proud. Finish strong. If WE go down, WE all go down together. Go Braves.

One more note. DOB…you and Carroll hopefully know by now not to read every post when the team is losing. Make no mistake…your coverage of the Braves provides the best coverage of any team in baseball. Following this team would not be the same without you! Thank you much for your hard work!

ncscoots

September 27th, 2010
3:09 pm

DAP, is Luke Scott destined to be a “Mike Cameron” for you this offseason, LOL?

coach joe

September 27th, 2010
3:10 pm

how many more at bats does Glaus have before the next $500,000.00 kicks in ? Is that why we don’t see him anymore?/ Is it money? I know he’s had a bad stretch, but no worse than anyone else onh the team…

Chop Chop

September 27th, 2010
3:11 pm

I’m sure Ol’ Cholly will ask his players to lay down for us in that final series. After all, Bobby deserves to be in the postseason one last time. Why? Because that’s the consensus of media types and the folks in the Braves’ PR department. No reason to let those folks down.

Thank you in advance for doing us a solid, Cholly.

Supes

September 27th, 2010
3:11 pm

How about just win the game tonight…and then worry about the rest of the games left.

I voted NO, I hope they prove me wrong.

Frankie Wren

September 27th, 2010
3:11 pm

DAP-

Freeman isn’t going to be anything close to Thorman(hopefully) and has the potential to be a 25 HR guy one day. With that said, the kid is going to struggle some next year. Don’t expect Heyward like numbers. I like Cantu but is he a backup? Speaking of which, he finally got his first RBI as a Ranger over the weekend? Some 75 ab’s and 25 games, pretty amazing he’s struggled so much. A trip back to the NL is probably in order.

Plate Appearance

September 27th, 2010
3:13 pm

Great summary of the Braves recent hitting woes DOB!

I do wonder — based on the seeming fatigue of the Braves “regulars” — why Hinske hasn’t been in the platoon mix in LF of late.

It also seems like a spot start from Glaus at 3B could give the lineup a boost — with the potential of shifting Infante to LF for that game or even resting him.

I saw two televised games Glaus played in his minor league rehab assignment, and he appeared to be fairly fluid at 3B, as far as the mobility of his knee is concerned.

The batters all seem tight. A lineup shake-up might loosen things up.

MattyRoss

September 27th, 2010
3:14 pm

Off-topic, but I thought this was pretty funny. Accidental Hipster

Frankie Wren

September 27th, 2010
3:14 pm

O’le Cholly deserves some consideration for manager of the year over there. Pretty solid job guiding that team regarding the injuries they had. Lidge also is a amazing story and getting back to his old form.

bravofan

September 27th, 2010
3:14 pm

Tonight is a must win!!
How much can we pay the Marlins to let us sweep them?

bobby

September 27th, 2010
3:14 pm

Someone may have answered but what was the braves record for the last 15 games of 2009?

KnightInATL

September 27th, 2010
3:15 pm

I personally have zero reason to believe we will go 5-1 or 4-2 in their last 6 games. What have they shown lately that would give anyone reason to think that? And losing the season series to the freakin Nats is downright inexcusable.

Outside Robber

September 27th, 2010
3:15 pm

The Braves are now who some of us thought they were all along. They over-achieved for much of the season, under-achieved in September and have landed themselves squarely on the trash truck scoop to finish out the 2010 campaign. Pull the lever, flush the entire deal and start looking toward 2011.

Nick n Nash

September 27th, 2010
3:16 pm

Plate APP – Are you kidding? Glaus at 3rd in AAA is ok, but in a pennant race?? You’ve got to be joking. I agree they need to insert a Brooks Conrad in there, or shake-up the line-up then the norm which obviously is not working, but Hobbles Glaus at 3rd?? No thanks!

Nova Scotia Steve

September 27th, 2010
3:18 pm

DOB – Interested to know how you cast your ballot in the blog poll this afternoon….I was peaking over the curtain but couldn’t see properly.

luangtom

September 27th, 2010
3:18 pm

It is, afterall, a game. It is entertainment. They win, they lose. Good on them all for giving us something to cheer about this year. And, good luck and best wishes, Bobby Cox. Y’all had a helluva run…………

bravofan

September 27th, 2010
3:18 pm

prediction time everyone what happens the rest of the way??

Holy man

September 27th, 2010
3:19 pm

I wish I believed, I wish I believed, etc. etc.

chillahill43

September 27th, 2010
3:19 pm

NnN betch Glaus could move as slow as prado right now and im sure his home run total would be as many- oH WAIT it is as many Zero for september- Prado in the 3rd hole right now is worse than Glaus played at anytime all year… He aint a 3 hitter yet BC is convinced that by the 5th of OCT he will be hitting again. IT aint happening this way make a change it couldnt be any worse….

heymmered

September 27th, 2010
3:20 pm

Im going to say they go 3-3 the rest of the way. I just wish we could see Hinske get a start and hopefully spark the lineup like he did earlier in the year.

Rey

September 27th, 2010
3:20 pm

Put JOHNNY VENTERS into the game when its close and we’ll lose. Johnny is gassed and needs a few days of rest.

Chop Chop

September 27th, 2010
3:20 pm

If we don’t win the World Series, it’s time to back up the truck.

I am of the opinion that the first player that has to go is Jason Heyward. He is on the far side of 20. Some team will be stupid enough to want a guy like that, so I’m thinking Wren ought to be able to fleece two or three good 17-18 year olds for him. I’m sure he’ll contact the Royals. They’re suckers for washed-up Braves.

Roy Hobbs

September 27th, 2010
3:20 pm

DOB: Great show from Pavement last night at the Tabernacle…did you make it? Drove up from Savannah and it was well worth it. Also had time to go by Decatur CD and pick up the Soft Pack cd you have been recommending as well as the new Chatham County Line album…made for good listening on the drive home last night.

Let’s get some runs for Tommy tonight!

AZBravoFan

September 27th, 2010
3:21 pm

David Justice ain’t walkin’ through that door….

Murph

September 27th, 2010
3:22 pm

Same lineup, same results. Sigh. I’m too depressed about things to even make a prediction.

Marlins 8, Braves 2

The Marlins get to the Braves early, scoring 6 runs in the first 2 innings. The Braves manage 4 hits, one of which is a Nate McLouth 2 run jack in the 7th.

After the game half of the team will run out of the locker room and duck reporters. Bobby Cox will tell the writers that the team needs to get some starting pitching going, and in a hurry. When asked about the mood in the locker room he will get angry and lash out, saying everyone is trying as hard as they can.

lexbrave

September 27th, 2010
3:23 pm

i get that the team is tired, but shouldn’t the fact that your season is over in 6 games if you don’t kick it into gear enough to give you some energy? do the playoffs not motivate anymore or is everyone just looking forward to cashing their paychecks and going on vacation?

chillahill43

September 27th, 2010
3:23 pm

Having 6 guys with warning track power aint gonna getta done. And this Major league schedule shows what happens to guys that are not prepared mentally or Physically for 182 games.. IT wears you out… We are tired both those on the field and us off the field….Lets make a change,, Sumethins gotta give. GO BRAVOS.. maybe a case of 5 hour energy would help ??

AZBravoFan

September 27th, 2010
3:23 pm

Didn’t Brooks Conrad used to be on this team too?

DAP

September 27th, 2010
3:23 pm

scoots, luke scott is a great under the radar player, and one i have been hoping the braves pickup for awhile.

frankie wren, yeah, i expect freeman to struggle some, but hopefully not like thorman did. is cantu a backup? i dont know…he has been a good RBI man in his career, because he puts the ball in play with alot of extra base hits. he might be an option, and wigginton too can play alot of positions nad has a little pop. he might be a good bench player to get starts all over the diamond.

lexbrave

September 27th, 2010
3:24 pm

plus if there was ever a time for bobby’s last every closed door team meeting, this might be it.

mcbravesgrl4lifeeeeeeeee

September 27th, 2010
3:24 pm

Believe! I sure hope the Braves can take advantage of the Turner Field magic that seems to have been this year. All in all, tho, no matter what happens, this season has been the best in quite a while. It’s been fun and exciting and my blood pressure has been up and down with the highs and lows of this team. Lets all be classy and send Bobby out on a good note regardless of the WS possibilities. He deserves it for all these years and the Dynasty years especially. GO BRAVES!!!!

Largo

September 27th, 2010
3:25 pm

I would like to see Hinske start in left tonight, then McLouth in the late innings. We need his bat and Nate has kinda lost it at the plate lately. We need a win tonight . . .big time!

O.J.

September 27th, 2010
3:25 pm

chillahill43, wow, 182 games, thats a lot!

chillahill43

September 27th, 2010
3:27 pm

yea it is for the average blogger LOL counting those games that flet like two games in the same week that felt like 2 weeks HA… told ya i was tired

onebravosfan

September 27th, 2010
3:29 pm

I have faith in Tommy tonight and I am heading to the game tomorrow. But I am a little worried about who we will have pitching tomorrow. Given that Huddy seems a little fatigued, pitching him on three days rest doesn’t seem like a great idea.

chillahill43

September 27th, 2010
3:29 pm

those xtra 20 games in Orlando you know they really wear on a player too,,,, 162 182 awwww OJ be gentle…..LOL

Kenny

September 27th, 2010
3:30 pm

Wasn’t that the stated goal two weeks ago?
Sure has worked. They are done. Even if the pads or gents choke like the braves, they will be 3 and done against whoever in the playoffs. I hope they don’t make it because I want Cox out of here last year.

Patrick

September 27th, 2010
3:30 pm

it’s great to see Bobby running the same lineup out again today…what are the hitting again? .200?

Great move Bobby.

Bob Horner

September 27th, 2010
3:30 pm

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again…I’ve invested hundreds of hours pulling for the Braves this year I’m not giving up today…we could sweep the Marlins or get swept by them…either way I’ll be rooting for the Braves..I am a Braves fan….

bascogcjs

September 27th, 2010
3:31 pm

I can’t believe Nate’s in the lineup. What spaced out play will
he be involved in tonight?
And being tired is no excuse. How many consecutive games did Gehrig and
Ripken play in?

Paul in Richmond

September 27th, 2010
3:31 pm

A couple of points:
1. You all need to realize that a home record is not proof that the Braves are better or worse at home. Sometimes you nerds start to believe that winning the coin toss guarantees winning the game.

2. You can either go with a “team” or you can go with a “system” – If you go with a team then you set a lineup and ask the guys to give a little more when you need it. If you go with a system (like Bobby does) then you have to rely on leftie/rightie percentages to get you over the rough spots. Bobby is clueless in this regard, waiting bewildered for that home run that doesn’t come.

3. Bobby is a player’s manager who doesn’t believe in all that exercise stuff. Bobby is constantly “resting” 20 somthing year olds especially on day games. Bobby is now coaching a team that looks “tired” at the end of the season. ….Hmmm could there be a theme here???

4. The Braves traditional slow start (pathetic Aprils where we dally and take games for granted) has once again put us in dire straights in September.

I like Bobby but it is time for a different philosophy.

timthebrave

September 27th, 2010
3:32 pm

DOB, You are wrong about one thing. San Diego and S Fran play 3 games each other at end of season so it is in the Braves hand. Win out and we are in. Win 5 out of 6 and we are guaranteed at least a one game playoff

John Leonard

September 27th, 2010
3:32 pm

I think they have been run into the ground.I thank them for giving their best,enjoyed the cardiac season.

chillahill43

September 27th, 2010
3:32 pm

I AM A BRAVES FAN!

bascogcjs

September 27th, 2010
3:32 pm

Largo, are joking about Nate being a late inning replacement?

Baseball Fan

September 27th, 2010
3:32 pm

What will the column be next Monday? Will the Braves be packing up their gear for a trip to Cincinnati, or to their respective homes?

What was the column a week ago? Take two out of three in Philly and sweep the Nats?

It’s all such nonsense. This team no more belongs in the Post Season as they do playing football in the SEC. Championship teams win when they have to win, not come up with more excuses or back door paths to squeak into the Post Season.

The Phillies won when they needed to, the Braves didn’t and haven’t since. End of story.

Chop Chop

September 27th, 2010
3:33 pm

Lose out and we won’t have to deal with any more of this crap.

Frankie Wren

September 27th, 2010
3:34 pm

Huddy and Lowe are sinkerball pitchers so this series pitching on 3 days might actually help them. Huddy last pitched on 5 days rest so maybe he was a little stronger. The weekend pitching again on 3 days not feeling great about. Bullpen is going to have to be huge this week and that is saying a lot. Saito out is big. Moylan needs to pitch more and finish innings and not just facing one batter. I don’t think enough has been said about Moylan’s ability to get doubleplays and prevent big innings.

chillahill43

September 27th, 2010
3:35 pm

oh wait I AM SPARTACUS!

Nova Scotia Steve

September 27th, 2010
3:36 pm

I don’t know if I believe anymore either….that’s the scary part.

ncscoots

September 27th, 2010
3:36 pm

Lose out and we won’t have to deal with any more of this crap.

Chop has the hammer down today. :-) Sic ‘em.

Frankie Wren

September 27th, 2010
3:36 pm

I love the smell of napalm in the evening at Turner Field.

Phillistein

September 27th, 2010
3:38 pm

Frankie Wren

September 27th, 2010
3:14 pm
O’le Cholly deserves some consideration for manager of the year over there. Pretty solid job guiding that team regarding the injuries they had. Lidge also is a amazing story and getting back to his old form.

***************************************************************************************************

He won’t be.

People will look at that rotation and say that even JERRY Manual could have won with that rotation. They won’t look at the job he did prior to getting Oswalt.

However, I’m sure he appreciates your kind thoughts

CraZyTraDeMaN

September 27th, 2010
3:38 pm

Patrick
WhoTF would you start? And you can’t use anyone on other teams. Conrad? Glaus? Hinski?
At least he’s leaving Ankiel in while hes hot!!! You could take Nate out and put MattE or HinskI in but they both blow as well so who gives a $#%. Lets hear everyones line-up solutions that would be great to see!!!!!!!! Right??

Texas Frenchy

September 27th, 2010
3:39 pm

Same lineup=same result. Make your vacation plans, see ya in the spring minus Booby, hopefully with Fredi & a new outfield & the other Freddie at 1st

CraZyTraDeMaN

September 27th, 2010
3:40 pm

Chop Chop – I am of the opinion that the first player that has to go is Jason Heyward. He is on the far side of 20.

That’s what I’m talking about you and I think allot alike: Jonny Venters has to be the next man traded I mean If he can’t handle pitching everyday who needs him Dunn could be packaged with Jonny for some draft picks. You also might as well trade Freddie Freeman cuz if you trade away his best friend Jason he’s going to be an emotional nightmare…… who wants to deal with that? That would be a good start…….and by the way I think this should be done by FW no later than 2 weeks after the World Series!! Waiting any longer would give Bobby Cox time to trash them in the media….thus destroying there trade value!!!!

UKUGA

September 27th, 2010
3:43 pm

Dear Matt Diaz,

Please don’t get picked off third base.

Go Braves!

CraZyTraDeMaN

September 27th, 2010
3:43 pm

minus Booby— Texas Frenchy

Doesn’t matter by the end of Spring Training you’ll hate the new manager just as much as Bobby. Some fans just like to constantly bitch about the coach. It really does get old!!!

Mitchell

September 27th, 2010
3:44 pm

BRAVES LINEUP

1.Infante 2B
2.Heyward RF
3.Prado 3B
4.McCann C
5.Lee 1B
6.McLouth LF
7.Gonzalez SS
8.Ankiel CF
9.Hanson RH

L

ncscoots

September 27th, 2010
3:44 pm

WhoTF would you start? And you can’t use anyone on other teams.

Shoot. Not using other teams’ players takes all the fun out of it, LOL.

But, go figure…Bobby fills the bottom half of the lineup with out-machines yesterday, and they proceed to get most of the few hits. :-) The game is simple in concept and complex in execution; not that most of the folks here give a rat’s-azz about that, I guess.

Dr. Whozit

September 27th, 2010
3:44 pm

All the ifs, ands and buts. If the Braves win 4 or if the Braves win 5 and if the Giants and Padres win 3 or 4…. There’s six games left. Just let the season play out and see what happens. Jeesh, everybody’s always over-analyzing. If the Braves don’t make the playoffs everybody will get up the next Monday, go to work and things will be ok. Really, they will.

Nova Scotia Steve

September 27th, 2010
3:44 pm

Someone give me support….rationale….crunch some numbers…tell me something….anything….to make me a believer

Nittany Lion

September 27th, 2010
3:45 pm

Martin can’t even run to first base. Why can’t Brooks play for one night and give him a break. Omar looks tired too. Can’t Diory play for him. Give the team some energy with people who want to play and aren’t hurt or tired or can’t score from second on a ground ball. This is sickening watching night after night.

timthebrave

September 27th, 2010
3:47 pm

Dr. Whozit, if the braves don’t make the playoffs I won’t be getting up and going to work monday. I might take the next week and go on a drinking binge. Between the Braves and the Dawgs my teams got me bummed. That being said I think the Braves still squeek in. Go Braves

ncscoots

September 27th, 2010
3:47 pm

Someone give me support….rationale….crunch some numbers…tell me something….anything….to make me a believer

That’s not the way it works, bro. If you need facts, then it ain’t faith. :-)

chillahill43

September 27th, 2010
3:48 pm

Hey Crazt Tre-
since nate is so hot put his speedy Arse at top of lineup(or sizzlin ankiel- they both got speed) put prado at 2 put Lee at 3 -jason 4 mc lardy 5 omar 6 mr october at 7 mcseabass 8 and hanson 9 is better than whats there now>>

Nittany Lion

September 27th, 2010
3:48 pm

Jason keeps getting jammed pitch after pitch. All series long. Will you make an adjustment instead of popping out. 1-3 hitters instant outs.

ChrisfromSacramento,CA

September 27th, 2010
3:48 pm

The Braves will make the playoffs if:

Anyone please move a runner over to third with one out or get a run home. JUST ONE TIME!!

Gonzalez please stop trying to hit a bomb everytime.

Prado nutts up and comes up huge, and Omar wakes up again.

Hudson, Lowe and Hanson can not lose!!!! Period if they do the Braves are done.

Dont ever let Farsnworth pitch.

Let Dunn and Kimbrel pitch more. Venters is on fumes Bobby.

Derrek and Bmac must not fail in any RBI chance.

Hit 275 or better with RISP.

The Giants have to sweep SD the last series of the year.

Other than that well…. Oh ya having Chipper and Medlen would have helped also.

The Braves have just gagged it away. 14 game swing in he standings.NICE!

Sonny Jackson

September 27th, 2010
3:48 pm

Was going to go to the game tonight but bought some BP stock instead… wonder who will continue to go south faster?

timthebrave

September 27th, 2010
3:48 pm

Nova Scotia Steve, This team has stunk all year on the road. A 4-5 road trip is what is to be expected. Turner field is another story. There’s magic down there…..I still believe..Go Braves

CraZyTraDeMaN

September 27th, 2010
3:49 pm

NSS

Support?? Stay away from guns and try to stay away from being left alone!!!

Heres something Giants and Pads play each other the final 3 games
one of those 2 teams will lose at least 2 games in that series. That helps us……….

Innocent Bystander

September 27th, 2010
3:49 pm

Would it just kill Bobby to put Heyward in the 3 hole? Just once? Prado’s SLG is gone and JHey’s SLG is on the rise.

CraZyTraDeMaN

September 27th, 2010
3:50 pm

timthebrave

Falcons look good!!

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