Botched call wasn’t reason Braves lost, but sure contributed

SAN FRANCISCO – The costliest mistake by Brooks Conrad at second base last night probably was not the third-inning grounder that he booted, which gave him an error in each of the past five games.

That forced Derek Lowe to throw some extra pitches, but Lowe ultimately worked out of that jam by striking out Aubrey Huff with runners at second and third to end a scoreless third inning.

Tommy  Hanson got a scare when hit by a ball during batting practice Thursday, which left him with a small mark over his right eye. But he's good to go for his first postseason start tonight in Game 2 of the NLDS. Last night was Tim Lincecum's first postseason start for the Giants. He did well.

Tommy Hanson got a scare when hit by a ball during batting practice Thursday, which left him with a small mark over his right eye. But he's good to go for his first postseason start tonight in Game 2 of the NLDS. Last night was Tim Lincecum's first postseason start for the Giants. He did well.

No, the biggest mistake by Conrad last night was not saying anything when umpire Paul Emmel blew the call on Buster Posey’s fourth-inning stolen base, which should have been the second out of the inning on a strike-’em-out, throw-’em-out double play with Pat Burrell whiffing.

Conrad tagged Posey’s leg before the Giants’ rookie phenom from South Georgia slide into second base, as replays clearly showed. Conrad said afterward, “I definitely thought I put it on him before he got to the bag. It was just a tough call, but obviously we didn’t get the job done offensively…

“We have to do better in all aspects of the game.”

No question about that. The Braves were flummoxed by The Freak, Tim Lincecum, who struck out 14 and allowed only two hits and one walk in his first postseason start, for a 1-0 shutout win in the NLDS series opener.

But getting back to Conrad, who has made an error in each of his two games at second base since manager Bobby Cox decided to move him from third base after he’d made an error in three consecutive games at that position.

The costliest mistake he made Thursday was in being reserved, unemotional, too polite even. And here’s why: Even at 69, on artificial knees, Cox will snap out of a dugout at a moment’s notice if he sees one of his players – a hitter, pitcher, fielder, doesn’t matter – react in protest/anger/extreme disappointment to an umpire’s call.

But Cox saw no such reaction Thursday from Conrad after he made the tag and Emmel made the wrong call. No reaction from him or any other infielder, or the pitcher, or anyone else.

Conrad prepared to apply tag before Posey touches second base on the controversial play that led to the Giants' only run. Posey was called safe on the steal, though replays showed he was tagged out before touching the base.

Conrad prepared to apply tag before Posey touches second base on the controversial play that led to the Giants' only run. Posey was called safe on the steal, though replays showed he was tagged out before touching the base.

As Cox concedes, you can’t see a lot on plays like that from the bench, and he didn’t stop to watch the replay like so many of us – you, us reporters, etc. – did. The game was going on and Cox was observing the situation and thinking of the next pitch, which was already thrown before some others in the Braves dugout came back from watching it on a nearby TV monitor and let Cox know that the tag was made well before Posey slid into second base.

It was too late at that point for Cox to go charging onto the field. But if Conrad had reacted to the play by jumping up and immediately asking Emmel “are you sure?” or saying, “I got him!” – something, anything – then Cox could have come on the field, made his case, and possibly persuaded Emmel to check with the other umpires to see if any of them saw the play differently.

Replay can’t be used for such calls, unfortunately. At least not yet (with more missed calls in crucial postseason games, we just might see the use of replay expanded to include calls like last night’s). But umpires are permitted to, and often do, confer as a group and reverse a call. They probably wouldn’t, let’s be clear. I realize that. But in the past couple of years, umps have conferred on other calls like they never did in the past. They are encouraged to get it right these days, even if that means getting together and quickly discussing it.

Sure, it probably wasn’t going to be changed. Sure, the packed house at AT&T would have spilled its garlic fries and imported beer, and Bruce Bochy’s large cranium might have exploded in anger – along with Barry Bonds‘ sizeable melon, assuming the ex-Giant giant was watching somewhere – but if another ump said, “Bruce, dude, I love ya but he was out,” they just might have reversed the call.

And we might still be sitting at AT&T Park, in the 72nd inning, with Rick Ankiel working his seventh inning of relief….

The Giants didn't need closer Brian Wilson and his dyed-black beard, nor any other reliever, during Thursday's Lincecum 14-strikeout complete game.

The Giants didn't need closer Brian Wilson and his dyed-black beard, nor any other reliever, during Thursday's Lincecum 14-strikeout complete game.

No, but seriously, the Braves would’ve been locked in a scoreless game through four innings, and as absolutely dominant as Lincecum was, he wouldn’t have gone more than nine innings. And as the youth-infused Braves bullpen showed, it’s still a formidable unit that could have pitch-for-pitch with San Francisco’s mighty ‘pen for a lot of innings.

Would the Braves have ever scored? Don’t know. But they would’ve had a much better opportunity of producing a run or two once Lincecum was out of the game.

Next time, Conrad needs to speak up. At least a little bit, if he knows the call was missed. Or Lowe does. Or Gonzalez at shortstop. Someone has to. Right? I mean, it can’t hurt. The ump, even one capable of making a call as poor as Emmel made last night, is almost certainly not going to toss a player simply for asking about a call, particularly not in a postseason game.

As doggedly and/or blindly loyal as Cox is to his players, he’s not going to go shuffling onto the field to argue a call if he can’t see the tag from the dugout and sees no reaction from his players signaling to him that a mistake was made.

One more thing about the missed call: To the Braves’ credit, after the game they didn’t use it as an excuse or the primary reason for the loss. Not a single player I talked to said, on or off the record, that the call cost them the game.

They knew full well that when you get two hits in nine innings and move only two runners past first base, you have no leg to stand on pointing to an umpire’s missed call as the reason for the loss.

Was it one of the reasons? Sure, it was. I mean, the Giants only scored one run, and Posey scored that run after getting into scoring position via the ump’s blown call.

But he had to be driven in, and Posey was driven in when Cody Ross hit a single that should’ve been fielded by third baseman Omar Infante, who is playing third base only because Chipper Jones got hurt, then Martin Prado got hurt, then Conrad made three errors in three days to force Cox to swap positions and have him move to second base where Conrad was less likely to cause serious damage.

Infante conceded afterward that he’s not entirely comfortable at third base, where he started only 12 games during the season – 10 fewer than Conrad.

“It’s kind of hard right now,” Infante said after the game, through an interpreter. “I haven’t played third base in a long time. It’s hard to adapt. I’ll work hard tomorrow and try to be more comfortable.”

After Posey stole second, Lowe struck out Juan Uribe, then Cox had him intentionally walk Pablo Sandoval with two out and first base open. Sandoval hit barely .200 with runners in scoring position this season, and looked bad striking out against Lowe in the second inning.

But the Braves also knew Sandoval was 4-for-10 against Lowe before Thursday, and that’s the stat Cox pointed to when asked about his decision to walk him.

“We made the right move,” Cox said. “We got the groundball. We kicked it.”

He thought the Infante play had been ruled an error, but it wasn’t, probably because it didn’t touch Infante’s glove at all. But Cox’s point was made.

And you’ve gotta love Lowe, who never passes blame, always accepts responsibility, just like this entire Braves team does. Lowe was especially professional about it last night.

“It doesn’t matter if the guy is out or safe at second base,” Lowe said. “I could see that he was out. But that’s part of the game. Those things happen in the game. It’s just like we’ve all had calls go the other way, and it turns out a guy was safe.

“You’ve got to keep making quality pitches no matter what the situation is. One base hit turns out to be the game. But [Lincecum] was absolutely pounding strikes, there’s no doubt about that….”

Mostly, Lowe took blame himself for leaving a 2-0 pitch to Ross over the plate enough for him to hit it through the left side for a two-out hit.

“The 2-0 pitch to Cody Ross, we’re trying to throw it for a ball, because we had Lincecum on deck,” It gets too much of the plate and gets a base hit, turns out to be the game.”

Someone mentioned to Lowe that it looked like Infante was going to field it easily before the ball skipped over his glove.

“But that’s the beauty of being a groundball pitcher,” Lowe said. “They don’t hit it at them every single time.”

Braves lineup for Game 2

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

Not many options: Cox was asked whether defense was a concern, especially since the Braves have only one backup middle infielder, Diory Hernandez.

“A little bit,” Cox said. “Troy Glaus can play third. Hinske can play third and first. We have to watch what we do with Hernandez during the course of a game.”

In other words, they can’t, say, pinch-run Hernandez and waste him, because he has to be ready to play in case of injury.

I saw a certain national writer looking at the Braves’ lineup with a puzzled expression Thursday afternoon, four hours before the game. The guy turned to me and said something along the lines of, “Wow, is that it?” And he asked, who are their left-handed bats off the bench?

Mark Bowman and I were talking about the lineup, and how if we had seen that lineup in spring training it would’ve had to have been in a split-squad game. I commented that if Cox had used that lineup for a non-split road game in spring training, he’d have felt compelled to offer an explanation as to how the Braves weren’t skirting the rule that teams must travel with at least four lineup regulars for spring road games.

Anyway, you get my drift. It’s still hard to believe the Braves made it this far considering how decimated their lineup has been. I mean, it wasn’t the ‘27 Yankees to begin with, but now….

Oh, and as for Troy Glaus, those who are clamoring for Cox to shake things up and play the guy who carried the Braves’ offense for six weeks in May and early June, you should know this: Glaus is 13-for-80 (.163) with one homer at AT&T Park, and is 1-for-10 against tonight’s Giants starter, righty Matt Cain.

And speaking of slumping infielders, shortstop Alex Gonzalez is mired in an unsightly 2-for-40 skid and has no RBIs in 10 of his last 11 games. Oh, and he’s 0-for-9 with four strikeouts against Cain.

Gonzalez is remembered for a big walkoff homer against the Yankees in the 2003 World Series, but in his postseason career he’s now just 11-for-71 (.155) with one homer, six RBIs, a .178 OBP and a .254 slugging percentage.

Lincecum leftovers: In his past six starts against the Braves, Tim Lincecum has 58 strikeouts with 13 walks in 43 innings.

What was stunning last night was how often the Braves failed to make contact. They swung-and-missed at 31 pitches, easily the most by any pitcher against any team this year….

Yes, there’s a reason Lincecum led the National League in strikeouts for the third consecutive season, only the third pitcher to lead for at least three years in a row in the post-World War II era. Randy Johnson led the NL four straight seasons from 1999-2002) and Warren Spahn did it four straight over 1949-52….

Lincecum is nicknamed “Freak” for a reason, and not because he looks like he should be holding a lighter in the air and shouting “Free Bird!” at a late-70s concert. It’s that quirky delivery, small frame and more velocity and pure pitching nastiness than anyone of his stature and demeanor is expected to produce….

Between Infante’s leadoff double in the first inning and McCann’s double in the seventh, Lincecum gave up no hits and only one walk, and recorded 10 strikeouts while retiring 19 of 20 batters.

He struck out Derrek Lee and McCann to finish the first inning, then mowed down the Braves with a simply overwhelming second inning that was not just three-up, three-down, but nine swings at nine strikes, with no contact.

So those who believed that the Braves should’ve had Jason Heyward bunt after Infante’s leadoff double, consider that it probably wouldn’t have mattered, as Lincecum struck out the next five batters in a row: Lee, McCann, Gonzalez, Matt Diaz and Conrad.

And just to reiterate, the Braves opened the division series with a lineup that had these three batting fifth through eighth: Gonzalez, Diaz, Conrad and Ankiel.

How ’bout laying off pitches, someone asked.

“Easier said than done,” Cox said. “Almost impossible.”

The Freak struck out 14 in his two-hit gem against the Braves on Thursday, Lincecum's first postseason start.

The Freak struck out 14 in his two-hit gem against the Braves on Thursday, Lincecum's first postseason start.

McCann: “His ball was darting everywhere. He kept us off-balance. He’d get ahead off-speed and then bury it late. Then later in the game he started using a lot more fastballs. He kept us off-balance….

“It’s hard. He throws 92-93 miles per hour and he’s got one of the better changeups in the game. Now he’s throwing a slider. And when he’s locating his fastball, he’s tough to hit.

“It’s not easy to see [his pitches]. That’s why he’s won two Cy Youngs in a row. He’s tough. Tonight was the best I’ve seen him. You just move on.”

Diaz: “The number of strikeouts was impressive, but he was giving us good pitches to hit virtually every at-bat. That’s the thing with him – with his delivery, and his ability to mix pitches, he may give you a pitch to hit, but you’re probably not going to hit it, because you might not be looking for it or it’s just funky. So you’ve got to tip your hat to him tonight.

“D-Lowe was matching him there for a while. We get one call our way and we might still be playing, it’s a battle of the bullpens.”

On not getting Lincecum’s pitch count up the way the Braves have done so many other aces, Diaz said: “Obviously the scouting report on him is he likes to get ahead so he can use his off-speed. So we were trying to get him while he was getting ahead. But he was elevating his fastballs very well today. He was making it look like it was very hittable, just having it just a little above the belt, hence when we didn’t strike out we popped it up.

“We had two hard-hit doubles. Other than that, we might have hit more hard-hit balls in the no-hitter, and got no hits. We only really had two balls hit hard at all tonight.”

♣ OK, gotta get to the ballpark. Let’s close with one from the mighty Alejandro Escovedo, who spent a lot of time in San Francisco in his hellion younger years. Here’s a video where he plays some cuts and talks about the inspiration for the terrific Real Animal album, from which this song comes:

images

“CHELSEA HOTEL ‘78″ by Alejandro Escovedo

I lived in the Chelsea once on 7th and 23rd

we came to live inside the myth of everything we heard;

the poets on their barstools, they just loved it when it rained,

they comb their hair in the mirror and grow addicted to the pain.

And it makes no sense

and it makes perfect sense;

and it makes no sense

and it makes perfect sense.

I saw Neon Leon, Spider and the boys

just before the cops arrived and took off with the noise;

it was nothing special, just another bar,

the Max’s Kansas City life makes everyone a star.

And it makes no sense

and it makes perfect sense;

and it makes no sense

and it makes perfect sense.

(Alejandro plays blazing guitar solo here)

Nancy called us to her room, said \”Come and help with Sid.\”

We went down and looked around, the dealer let us in;

we thought he was hysterical, but not that he was a joke;

don’t know if he did what he said he did, nobody really knows.

I stood out on the sidewalk when they busted through the door

and watched that Tito’s jacket caught and had him by his arm,

you know the show of that thing nobody knows for sure

because they found Nancy in her black underwear dead on the bathroom floor.

And it makes no sense

and it makes perfect sense;

and it makes no sense

and it makes perfect sense.

I lived in the Chelsea once on 7th and 23rd

we came to live inside the myth of everything we heard

the poets on their barstools, they just loved it when it rained

they comb their hair in the mirror and grow addicted to the pain.

And it makes no sense

and it makes perfect sense;

and it makes no sense

and it makes perfect sense.

So we all moved out

and we all moved on;

So we all moved out

and we all moved on

and on and on…

3,793 comments Add your comment

Murph

October 8th, 2010
5:04 pm

NEW BLOGGAGE!

Ease® in Woodstock

October 8th, 2010
5:07 pm

N8, no man, you’re cool. Just a general statement, but you know better than to imply those types of things, whether you intentionally do it or not. Those less cerebral will always run with something like that….

richbrave

October 8th, 2010
5:08 pm

F*** IT, we was robbed.

Oh Nah!

October 8th, 2010
5:08 pm

The lineup stinks, but this is still my team. Go Braves!

jeffrey d

October 8th, 2010
5:08 pm

Thanks for the blog, DOB

What’s that in Wilson’s ear?

richbrave

October 8th, 2010
5:09 pm

Don’t get mad, get even. WIN!!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

October 8th, 2010
5:09 pm

When has complaining to an umpire ever actually resulted in a call being reversed?

Boonie

October 8th, 2010
5:11 pm

Has tonight’s lineup already been posted?

troymccluresf

October 8th, 2010
5:11 pm

We make plenty of good beer in the Bay Area; we don’t need to import it. :)

FEAR

October 8th, 2010
5:12 pm

i think we can get cain tonight. i would like to see a serious lineup shake up though.

JD

October 8th, 2010
5:14 pm

Must win tonight to give Huddy a chance to deal on Sunday in Game 2….

JD

October 8th, 2010
5:14 pm

Sorry – game 3….

Keith

October 8th, 2010
5:16 pm

DOB,

I like our chances in Games 2 and 3. We have our top 2 starters on the mound vs their #2 and #3. Let’s hope we get at least 2 hits with RISP tonight. THat might be enough for Hanson. :)

(One thing I noticed last night that might have helped – laying down a bunt down the line, calling time in the batter’s box, doing anything to disrupt his rhythm)

GO BRAVES! :)

Keith

October 8th, 2010
5:17 pm

Yeah, i’d like to see a lineup shakeup. Either Hinske or Glaus starting would be an option. GO BRAVES!

Stizz

October 8th, 2010
5:17 pm

Where do I have to go to find a line up around here?

reckingball

October 8th, 2010
5:17 pm

David O'Brien

October 8th, 2010
5:17 pm

Sorry, folks, no lineup’s posted yet, and I’ve gotta get in a cab and get to the ballpark

TnBrian

October 8th, 2010
5:18 pm

DOB, interesting you bringing up the fact that NOBODY sprung a leak after it was clear the ump missed that call. I hadn’t thought too much about it until now, but it shows me Conrad seems just content with having a starting role in a playoff game. Can’t blame him to a point being a career minor leaguer and now this, but he’s not really making Braves fans all that fond of him lately. Nowhere near like he did as a pinch hitter.

Gonzalez seems like a pouty little beyatch, so it’s no surprise he was stuck on his Little League type at bats during the course of that play.

I thought we traded a pouty little beyatch because of his attitude? I guess Gonzalez doesn’t annoy Bobby in the dugout or something.

Bobby's Cox

October 8th, 2010
5:18 pm

ex-Giant giant

Love it DOB

southern hope

October 8th, 2010
5:20 pm

another good column, DOB.

Cyclops Hanson, bring us home tonight!

Keith

October 8th, 2010
5:21 pm

DOB, you better hustle!!

“Taxi!!” :)

Trey

October 8th, 2010
5:22 pm

Thanks for the new bloggage, Chief! :)

reckingball

October 8th, 2010
5:22 pm

I look for the Braves to win the next three, and then sweep the Phillies in 4 to take the NLCS.

MCA

October 8th, 2010
5:23 pm

DOB: “Mark Bowman and I were talking about the lineup, and how if we had seen that lineup in spring training it would’ve had to have been in a split-squad game.”

Spot on!!

David O'Brien

October 8th, 2010
5:23 pm

Just posted new LINEUP in body of BLOG

Cabrera batting fifth

Bobby's Cox

October 8th, 2010
5:24 pm

1. Infante has to knock that ball down. Has to. Even if he doesn’t get the runner at 1st, knowing that the pitcher is up next, you have to get a glove on it. KNOCK IT DOWN!

2. I disagree about the bunt in the 1st inning. You have to bunt. In fact, the players have to put contact on Lincecum. Take a little off your swing. Choke up (whatever happened to that?) and put contact on the ball. These guys are swinging too darn hard at a guy who’s pitches are “darting” too much by their own admissions. Bunt the runner over, then hit a ground ball somewhere like you’re playing pepper (remember that too?). The SF infield probably plays back in the 1st and concedes the run.

The failure to move runners and the inability to score the leadoff double or runner on 3rd with less than 2 out has been the Braves achilles this year. You score that run in the 1st, then Infante can knock that ball down, the Braves maybe win 1-0.

We need to play smarter baseball. We’re continuing to lose to ourselves.

Versiroth

October 8th, 2010
5:24 pm

McLouth
Infante (2nd)
Heyward
Lee
McCann
Glaus (3rd)
Hinske (LF)
Gonzo

More pop and some speed at the top. If McLouth gets on, he could cauyse some havoc. And he did have a pretty decent month in September.

FEAR

October 8th, 2010
5:24 pm

reckingball – you are a positive guy, sir!

C's

October 8th, 2010
5:24 pm

Just a horrible lineup.

jeffrey d

October 8th, 2010
5:25 pm

No big surprises….1-4 is gonna be Omar, Heyward, then Lee/McCann or McCann/Lee. 5-8 is pretty much a crapshoot

FEAR

October 8th, 2010
5:25 pm

boy throw in the towel. Melky 5th?!?!?!? WHAT THE HELL!!!!!??

Kat

October 8th, 2010
5:25 pm

thanks for the lineup

Scrub

October 8th, 2010
5:26 pm

i want to claw my eyes out, after looking at that line-up

TnBrian

October 8th, 2010
5:26 pm

I’ll vomit if I see Diaz’ name in the lineup. What a moron he is. Sure, awesome guy, but boy is he one terrible ball player. Can’t hit anymore, can’t sun well, sure as heck can’t field or throw … what exactly does he bring to this team that any AAA scrub wouldn’t bring? Experience? If so, it sure isn’t showing. He always looks like a AA kid getting his first starting role in a MLB game. Both at the plate and in the field. Sorry, but he’s useless.

But so is Ankiel, Mclouth and Gonzalez on most nights, so he’s got company.

MCA

October 8th, 2010
5:27 pm

With that lineup we have a 3 inning game and they have a 9 inning game…

jeffrey d

October 8th, 2010
5:29 pm

what exactly does he bring to this team that any AAA scrub wouldn’t bring?

Hustle. He’ll ground out, but boy, he’ll run that thing out harder than anyone not named Brooks Conrad.

steve

October 8th, 2010
5:29 pm

I think all of us know that this team is not going to score many runs and against the best pitching we will be lucky to score 3, we have way too many 245 or below hitters and I can not remember another post season team that ever had so many futile hitters, Infante,Heyward,Lee and McCann are it as far as hitters which puts way too much pressure on them to deliver, where is our M.Lemke as we need soeone in the bottom of this order to produce by getting a clutch hit or two, last nights game went as expected,2hits 0 runs wasting a great pitching performance once again, the umpire did cost us the run by yet another bad call and the biggest problem I had with that call was he was once again not in position to see it, these umpires need to get a clue and get behind the base and move your lazy as- so you are in position to make the right call.

Bobby's Cox

October 8th, 2010
5:29 pm

If I can make a lineup suggestion….

1. Bat Conrad or Gonzales 2nd

2. Move Heward to #3

3. Move D Lee to 4th

4. McCann 5th.

Like last night, we need a guy in the number two hole that can bunt Infante over and not waste Heyward. If Heyward walks, then you have the Braves hottest hitter (Lee) up with 2 out. McCann shouldn’t bat 4th or 3rd either. He’s better at the 5.

jeffrey d

October 8th, 2010
5:29 pm

Or Ryan Freel

Murph

October 8th, 2010
5:30 pm

Wow, and I didn’t think the lineup from yesterday could get much worse… Ankiel AND Melky???

The team should have taken 15 pitchers with them and put them out there… they’d make better throws after missing fly balls and would be just as serviceable at the plate.

C's

October 8th, 2010
5:30 pm

Melky makes a horrible 5th place hitter. But so does Conrad. And Gonzo. And Ankel. And McLouth.

Hinske is about the only player I don’t cringe when I see batting in a run producing spot. Even in that spacious outfield, I’d have him out there.

jeffrey d

October 8th, 2010
5:31 pm

Kid Rock’s song is a little better than Bon Jovi’s last year (where he was dressed like a 16 year old), but after 3 days I’m already tired of hearing it.

TnBrian

October 8th, 2010
5:32 pm

Ok, MelkDud hits 5th, but what did our 5th hitter do yesterday, or last week, or the week before that? See my point here? NOBODY does jack in the lineup anyways, so I guess it doesn’t matter in the end.

I just can’t handle Diaz anymore. He literally makes me ill at the plate more than anybody else.

Bravesfan4life

October 8th, 2010
5:34 pm

Wow!! What a lineup? Bobby certainly doesn’t like to put the best lineup on the field. His players like to try to win for him, but he decides to not put the best hitting lineup on the field. Way to go Bobby!! You deserve to lose!! Nevertheless, I will still be watching the game because I am a Bravesfan4life, but I don’t like what I see on the field.

jeffrey d

October 8th, 2010
5:36 pm

Bobby certainly doesn’t like to put the best lineup on the field.

Bravesfan4life – uhh, is there some All Star rotting on the bench I wasn’t aware of? Who would you have used that Bobby didn’t?

PMC

October 8th, 2010
5:36 pm

Wait…we TRADED for Gonzalez?

yogi2

October 8th, 2010
5:37 pm

Brooks Conrad is too awkward and slow to play second base on most high school teams. He is a career minor leaguer and it shows. Joe Thurston
(Gwinnett braves) is a much better player. Thank you Frank Wren for
nothing. Nate McLouth and Conrad are not Major league caliber players.
Thanks Brooks for the effort.

TnBrian

October 8th, 2010
5:37 pm

jeffrey d, it’s terrible to talk crap about people like I did Diaz. Especially a good Christian person who you know would sign a baseball for you in a heartbeat. But I can’t help it. The man has no business playing MLB anymore. His only value was that he could slap LHP around like nobody else could, but that seems to be a thing of the past. Hurt or not,truth is he brings absolutely nothing to a team trying to win.

PMC

October 8th, 2010
5:38 pm

That call was awful but it’s not worse than that garbage Kent Hrbeck pulled (literally) on Ron Gant in the 91 series.

I still hate that umpire for that.

South Georgia

October 8th, 2010
5:38 pm

Umpires don’t swing at pitches three inches off the plate. Braves hitters have underachieved for years with several hitting coaches and the same inflexible manager. Owners, please let the next manager know how to manufacture some runs and find a way to win a close game. It is painful to watch Cox teams ALMOST WIN!!!!

jerry royster

October 8th, 2010
5:38 pm

I think these braves hitters need to be more aggressive on first pitch fastballs. Heywards average would have been 20 points higher if he would swing at that first pitch, and so would everyone else. D. Lee should stop guessing for pitches like that at bat in the 9th because he never took the bat off his shoulder. If pendleton is teaching them to lay off that 1st pitch he should be fired on the spot, because only 1 or 2 players are good enough hitters to wait on curveballs

Bobby's Cox

October 8th, 2010
5:38 pm

Maybe we should start Diory for defensive purposes, then bring in Conrad later. If someone gets hurt, then we could shuffle the guys and let Hinske play 3rd. Conrad isn’t cutting it. Hopefully his bat wakes up. Diory at least was a good hitter in the minors.

jeffrey d

October 8th, 2010
5:39 pm

TnBrian – I completely agree…..it’s hard not to root for Diaz because he’s a great guy, a Brother in faith, and he works his butt off. But a lot of the time (especially this season), he’s really hurting the team

flatFork

October 8th, 2010
5:40 pm

Re: Folk Hero Brooks Conrad saying something maybe causing the umps to reverse the call, YEAH FRIGIN’ RIGHT. My dad used to tell me “if wishes were hoses, beggars would ride.” I don’t know what that means, but I think it might apply here.

Also, re: Glaus not in the lineup, I’m not one to throw out hypothetical lineups, but 5 errors in 5 games at 2 different positions is inexcusable. Hopefully he’ll at least see some time as a late innings def. replacement. I mean, it can’t hurt, can it?

wallypip

October 8th, 2010
5:41 pm

DOB, you really flogged this one. No way that bad call was getting overturned even if Conrad has a grand mal seizure. Bobby coming out would not have made a whit of difference. Or should I say whiff of difference? Bottom line is this: The Braves have to discover a way to hit some balls hard. I think McClouth should get a shot. He cooled off at the plate again, but he did have a couple of weeks of stroking it, and the Braves really need SOMEBODY, ANYBODY to hit some ropes. Hope they get it going tonight!

flatFork

October 8th, 2010
5:41 pm

by that I mean put Glaus at 3rd and move Infante back to 2nd. Also, GO BRAVOS!!!!!!!!!!

TnBrian

October 8th, 2010
5:41 pm

Here’s what a few of these non hitting guys we have bring to the team that a Diaz does not:

Ankiel- good defense in CF and a very good arm

Gonzalez- average to a tad above average defense at SS with a decent arm

Mclouth- speed

Lee- great defense at 1st

worried fan

October 8th, 2010
5:44 pm

At least “Whoops” Conrad isn’t in the lineup…now if Glaus can summon some May magic, and Mac gets a call for a change…and McOUTth can oomph it over the CF wall (or a sac fly, at least) and not be relied on to throw anyone out for the duration…we’ll be in good shape!

Nova Scotia Steve - At The Bar

October 8th, 2010
5:44 pm

Getting my drink on – this could get sloppy.

jeffrey d

October 8th, 2010
5:45 pm

TnBrian – Lee’s a non-hitting guy? After a slow start, he’s hitting like, .287 with the Braves

JasonInFL

October 8th, 2010
5:45 pm

Wow, my lineup may have been bad defensively (like this one is great), but man; that is one weak-Arse lineup. And Versiroth, I posted that exact lineup earlier on the previous blog…catch up already. (:

TnBrian

October 8th, 2010
5:46 pm

It was painful, yet funny to watch Cox mix and match pitchers out of the pen last night in the 8th inning as if his hitters had any hope of scoring a run in the 9th anyways.

I guess you have to show you care, but it was pretty laughable watching him trot out there to yank Moylan after one pitch because the lefty Huff was due up.

PDOG

October 8th, 2010
5:47 pm

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse Cox rolls out this lineup, it has to be a joke. I have been a Brave fan for over 40 years and can say that I will find something else to do tonight, it will be the first time I have missed a playoff came but I can’t bring myself to watch this. I have admiired Cox since he came back but the game has passed him by. I wonder what the pitchers think when they see this lineup it has to put so much pressure on them.

Brava

October 8th, 2010
5:48 pm

Good gravy, what a lineup. :(

Sweet Daddy

October 8th, 2010
5:48 pm

Wait a minute. Wasn’t Ankiel put on the playoff roster for his defense? Then why is he in the lineup two days in a row. Yeah, I can see putting him in with a lead to protect center field, but in the lineup both games? He has the most spastic swing I’ve ever seen from a day-to-day baseball player. Just hideous.

Dadgum

October 8th, 2010
5:49 pm

DOB……..”flummoxed”? Just asked my local Hooters waitress if she had ever heard of that word. Nope. Thought for sure that was what the wings became after they are tossed in those mixing bowls.

TnBrian

October 8th, 2010
5:49 pm

jeffrey d, for the most part, he’s been non hitting in clutch spots. If anybody needs to step up, it’s this guy. But I’m afraid his back or whatever’s nagging him will prevent him from being the old Lee.

NO MORE BOBBY

October 8th, 2010
5:49 pm

Game 2 lineup a joke again. Thanks DOB for calling out Conrad and actually all the infielders as I thought while watching they showed no emotion after the call. Derek Jeter would have sold that big time and Conrad just hung his head.

Is there anyway DOB of asking why no Hinske or Glaus when this team needs offense so bad? They were even calling for it on Braves AM station and they always side with Bobby.

jeffrey d

October 8th, 2010
5:49 pm

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse Cox rolls out this lineup, it has to be a joke

PDOG – Who would you put in the lineup that Cox didn’t use? You’re making it sound like there’s a silver slugger just hanging out on the bench.

FEAR

October 8th, 2010
5:49 pm

Nova Scotia Steve – At The Bar – you or the braves? haha

Nova Scotia Steve - At The Bar

October 8th, 2010
5:49 pm

Holy S8it.

Just saw the line-up….time for a stiff shot of whiskey…not kidding.

Brava

October 8th, 2010
5:50 pm

I wasn’t going to drink tonight, but, after seeing that, think I’d better go to the store and round up some brewskies.

Roy Hobbs

October 8th, 2010
5:50 pm

Anyone know how many of the swinging third strikes were actually in the strike zone? Cause it looked like most of them were bouncing.

Kevin

October 8th, 2010
5:50 pm

you people are so cynical. support your team for goodness sakes.

Get the sharp objects away from me! (Hinske, Glaus, and Hernandez must play tonight!!!!

October 8th, 2010
5:50 pm

God, I’ve always tried to supports Bobby…but this is brutal. DOB—why no Glaus and Hinske again? Melky 5th. WOW,,,this lineup is terrible. I agree with earlier blogger that Bobby has little to work with due to injuries, but he must “attempt” to put the BEST LINEUP out there to win postseason games!!!! We(the fans) ask for lineup changes and what do we get? M freaking Cabrera…..GEEZZZZ. I need a beer, better yet give me scotch, the entire bottle please.

NO MORE BOBBY

October 8th, 2010
5:51 pm

jeffrey d – There are two guys on the bench that played a huge roll in Braves success May-July. Why not give them another shot? It can’t hurt the defense. Only strengthens the offense. I caught on to you coming on here defending Bobby so fast. You just want to fight with people. Kinda loserish dude.

JasonInFL

October 8th, 2010
5:51 pm

McLouth
Infante
J-Hey
Lee
Mac
Glaus
Hinske
Gonzo

Tommy Gun

Just hope there are a lot of routine grounders at someone and lazy cans or corn. (:

F Troop

October 8th, 2010
5:51 pm

An incredible playoff lineup. Roughly sixteen certified outs in this one including the pitcher’s slot. You couple this with ol’ #6’s refusal to play small ball – even in a pitcher’s park – we won’t score four runs.

Dadgum

October 8th, 2010
5:51 pm

Farnsworth is sure to make an appearance tonight. A shot or two of crown and a cold beer should get us through it.

Bravesfan4life

October 8th, 2010
5:51 pm

uhh, is there some All Star rotting on the bench I wasn’t aware of? Who would you have used that Bobby didn’t? – jeffrey d

I would have played Glaus (3B) instead of Conrad and Hinske (LF) instead of Ankiel and Cabrera in CF. When you have postseason experience on the bench, Bobby should certainly use it with the way our lineup is hitting. Plus, one of the quotes last night Bobby said Glaus can play third, so there is no excuse not to use him. I don’t care how well has he done at the park or played against the opponent pitcher, he deserves a shot with nothing to loose with the way our lineup is hitting.

NO MORE BOBBY

October 8th, 2010
5:51 pm

Kevin – This ain’t high school football dude.

The Abs Man

October 8th, 2010
5:52 pm

Not to be out-done with a black-hole of horrid at-bats in #5 spot. Bobby goes with Melky tonight.

As they say in horse racing, “It’s official.” Cox has lost what little he had left of his mind.

Alex G bats fifth in game 1….Melk-Dud in game 2. More of this and it’s official: 3 games and out.

NO MORE BOBBY

October 8th, 2010
5:54 pm

To make things worse I bet we play in those horrible red jerseys Sunday.

Roy Hobbs

October 8th, 2010
5:54 pm

Bobby meant to put this up:

2B Infante
RF Heyward
1B Lee
C McCann
LF Hinske
3B Glaus
SS Gonzalez
CF Melky

jeffrey d

October 8th, 2010
5:54 pm

Is there anyway DOB of asking why no Hinske or Glaus when this team needs offense so bad?

Glaus – .250 average (.205 since July), has the agility of a turtle
Hinske – .256 average (.226 since July)

Some guys in our lineup are awful. But the truth is, the guys sitting on the bench are just as bad. The poor lineup isn’t Bobby’s fault (unless you believe .Don’s theory that the injuries are a reflection of Bobby’s poor conditioning routine)

JeanE

October 8th, 2010
5:55 pm

MattE D you always sound so smart and well-spoken, can you please apply it to your onfield performance?!! Kidding, kind of. Move on, over now. At least we didn’t lose 1-0 to some no name newby. Freak was gold last night. Bad call. Happens. Man up, Bravos. Hit the damn ball. Don’t make errors (easier said than done with this lovable motley crue). Go Braves!

jeffrey d

October 8th, 2010
5:56 pm

Have you guys seen Glaus? He’s nothing like he was in May. The guy’s worn out. And defensively, there’s no way I’d like to see him at third. He’d have the range of a scarecrow

Coach (2011 or Bust)

October 8th, 2010
5:56 pm

It really doesn’t matter in the big scope of our Braves post season.

They simply don’t belong here and everybody should realize this. Our 2010 Braves overachieved all season long but they are simply over matched.

PDOG

October 8th, 2010
5:56 pm

Jeffery d
Lets sart by saying unless you are going to put Doiry at third and Infante back at second then you really not concerned about defense, that being said here is my lineup
Infante 2B
McClouth CF
Heyward RF
McCann C
Lee 1B
Hinske LF
Glauss 3B
Gonzo SS
If we can get a run or two lead after 5 innings bring in Doiry to Play 3B, Ankiel to Cf, McClouth to LF.

Nova Scotia Steve - At The Bar

October 8th, 2010
5:57 pm

I don’t care what anyone says…

Roy Hobbs – decent line-up for sure

NO MORE BOBBY

October 8th, 2010
5:57 pm

jeffrey d – I hate you. Your stats are weak and your logic is that of a 5 year old kid. What is Ankiel batting smart guy? How many errors does Conrad have past 5 games? You sir are an idiot.

Kevin

October 8th, 2010
5:57 pm

who’s talking about a high school football game? just because its mlb, you can’t support your team? yeah the lineup is cruddy but i just find it funny that after one loss everyone is crying about how horrible this team is–AFTER praising it for being resilient and tough…etc etc.

all i’m saying is that a little bit of hope and naive optimism–like one would have at a high school football game–isnt a bad thing to have…it may even help some of you people sleep at night and not post complaints about bobby cox or the team late at night?

The Abs Man

October 8th, 2010
5:57 pm

Has anyone ever seen Hinske actually play 3B on other teams?

Love Eric’s aggressive at-bats…he is decent playing 1B….pretty bad in OF….what about 3B?

NO MORE BOBBY

October 8th, 2010
5:58 pm

Coach (2011 or Bust) – AGREE

jeffrey d

October 8th, 2010
5:58 pm

And really, how is Glaus (.240 AVG, .400 SLG) a better option than Conrad (.250 AVG, .487 SLG)?

FEAR

October 8th, 2010
5:58 pm

jeffrey d- I get what your saying, but why the hell not try something different. maybe something clicks in one of these guys heads and the go off.

C's

October 8th, 2010
5:59 pm

At least “Whoops” Conrad isn’t in the lineup

——————————

Might want to check that again.

The Abs Man

October 8th, 2010
5:59 pm

Hey can “Google Maps” show Melky’s unique routes to gappers….?

We’re sure to see some of those E-ride adventures tonight…..

Steve McP

October 8th, 2010
5:59 pm

If Glaus plays 3rd there will be a bunt hit available to every batter, I know he has had a rest, but his knees are still shot.

NO MORE BOBBY

October 8th, 2010
5:59 pm

Can we drug Bobby and slip in Roy Hobbs lineup instead? What the cuss! Make Roy Hobbs manager for this series!

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