Wasted scoring opportunities undermine Braves

Say what you will about the injury-riddled Braves pitching staff’s pattern of “five-and-fly” starts in recent weeks, or the weariness and sudden vulnerability of a heretofore overwhelming bullpen, but that could be overcome if not for an anemic offense.

Playing on a balky knee, Chipper Jones has still been one of the only Braves to hit consistently with runners in scoring position this season, particularly in the second half.

Playing on a balky knee, Chipper Jones has still been one of the only Braves to hit consistently with runners in scoring position this season, particularly in the second half.

The Braves’ .239 team batting average in September is better than only the Cubs and Padres in the NL, and their .669 OPS is better than only the Astros and Padres. The Cubs, Astros and Padres, as you know, are going nowhere but home in a few days.

And that’s not even the worst of it. No, the most damning and inexplicably awful statistic about this Braves lineup is this one: They have hit .181 (32-for-177) with runners in scoring position during the month of September.

Think about that. This is a team that was the league’s second-best with RISP during the first quarter of the season, trailing only the Cardinals.

Back on May 15, when the Braves were about to beat the Phillies for the second day in a row to take a series at Philly, they were hitting .305 (87-for-285) with RISP, eight points behind the Cardinals (.313) and 54 points above the league average.

Today the Cardinals still lead the league with a .286 average with RISP, while the Braves are ninth at .249, one point below the league average. They have hit .232 with RISP since mid-May; the Nationals and Giants are the only NL teams to hit below .232 for the season.

But .232 is solid compared to the pitiful clutch hitting the Braves have done in September, when they’ve consistently wasted opportunities with runners in scoring position, particularly with less than two outs.

Other than a pitcher coughing up a lead an inning after his team stakes him to said lead, there is little in baseball more deflating for a team than getting runners at third, or second and third — or even with the bases loaded in the Braves’ case – with one or none out and failing to get any of them in. The Braves have made a habit of that lately.

In September alone, they have had games in which they’ve gone 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, 0-for-9, 0-for-10, 1-for-10, 2-for-12, and the topper, 3-for-20.

The Braves have gone 1-4 in their past five games and hit .188 with 10 runs. Four of those games were against the Marlins and Nationals. Two more teams going nowhere but home in a few days.

Seven of the Braves’ 10 runs in those games came in one game, a 7-4 win over the Nats.

They’ve lost three in a row since then and total three runs and 17 hits in those three games while being outscored 11-3 by the Nationals and Phillies.

BRAVES LINEUP

  1. Bourn CF
  2. Prado LF
  3. Jones 3B
  4. Uggla 2B
  5. Freeman 1B
  6. McCann C
  7. Gonzalez SS
  8. Heyward RF
  9. Lowe RH

♣ Tonight’s matchup: It’s become the biggest game of the season for the Braves, whose magic number to clinch the wild card over St. Louis was reduced to two when the Astros beat the Cardinals last night, keeping the Braves’ WC lead at one game.

Think about this, the Braves have reduced their magic number from six to two while winning one game.

Tonight it’s Derek Lowe (9-16, 4.92) looking for some atonement, facing the Phillies’ Roy Oswalt (8-10, 3.86).

Braves need a big start out of the struggling Lowe tonight, with magic number down to two and a one-game lead over St. Louiis in wild-card race with only two games left.

Braves need a big start out of the struggling Lowe tonight, with magic number down to two and a one-game lead over St. Louiis in wild-card race with only two games left.

Depending how you look at it, the Braves either have little chance tonight, or they and Lowe are past due to have a big game against the Phillies.

The Braves have lost five in a row to the Phillies and hit .200 with a 7.40 ERA in those games, totaling 32 hits while being outscored 36-9. The Phillies hit .324 and posted a 1.60 ERA in those five games.

Atlanta is 6-10 with a .224 BA and 4.49 ERA against the Phillies this season, and has scored two runs or fewer in seven of those 16 games.

Lowe used to thrive against the Phillies, but he’s just 2-6 with a 4.59 ERA in eight starts against them over the past two seasons, including 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA and .375 opponents’ average in the past two.

His overall struggles have been well chronicled, and Lowe has become the favorite whipping boy of a large segment of the fan base. But so important is tonight’s game, I’m betting he could change a lot of minds with one strong performance.

Lowe is 2-5 with a 5.02 ERA in his past seven starts, and since the All-Star break he is 4-9 in 13 starts with a 5.91 ERA, .316 opponents’ average, .379 OBP and .844 OPS. Yikes.

Looking for a ray of sunshine amid all the negative-trend stats? Here’s one: Oswalt is 1-3 with a 5.15 ERA in 11 regular-season g ames (10 starts) against the Braves, his worst ERA against any team he’s face more than twice.

Also, Oswalt is 1-1 with a 5.86 ERA in seven games (six starts) at Turner Field, his highest regular-season ERA at any ballpark where he’s pitched more than once.

However, it must be noted that he’s 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA and .169 opponents’ average in four games (three starts) against the Braves over the past two seasons. The win was this season on April 9, when he allowed five hits and two runs (one earned) in six innings of his most recent start at Turner Field.

Against Oswalt, Alex Gonzalez is 12-for-29 (.414) with two homers, Jack Wilson is 25-for-69 (.362), but Dan Uggla is 3-for-24 with 10 strikeouts.

Against Lowe, Hunter Pence is 8-for-17 with a homer, Chase Utley is 15-for-36 (.417) with two homers, three walks and no strikeouts. Ryan Howard is just 11-for-46 (.239) with no homers, and Raul Ibanez is 6-for-45 (.133) albeit with two homers.

♣Venters update: After allowing another earned run in Monday’s game, Jonny Venters has now allowed as many earned runs (nine) in his past 14 appearances as he’s allowed in his previous 70 appearances.

Every Day Jonny has a 6.08 ERA and .294 opponents’ average in his past 14 appearances, with 15 hits and nine earned runs in 13-1/3 innings.

This after after allowing 38 hits and nine earned runs in 73-2/3 innings in his first 70.

He’s been scored upon in seven of his past 14 appearances since Aug. 26, after allowing no runs and a .111 OA in 23 appearances from July 4 through Aug. 25.

♣ Key bats still cold: Until this summer, Brian McCann and Martin Prado were two of the Braves’ best clutch hitters. McCann, in particularly, was one of their steadiest hitters with runners in scoring position for most of his career.

But neither has been the same, or even close, since a stint on the DL, McCann for an oblique strain and Prado for more than a month with with a staph infection.

McCann is 21-for-125 (.168) in 35 games since returning from the DL, with three doubles, six homers, 16 RBIs, 29 strikeouts, .288 OBP and .336 slugging. The Braves are 17-18 in those games.

He had a two-homer game at Chicago on Aug. 25 and said he’d found something in his swing that morning in the cage, something that clicked. Then he didn’t play for the next four days — the next night’s game at New York before the next two against the Mets got postponed by Hurricane Irene.

The Braves had three days off including their already scheduled off day for that Monday.

McCann’s next game after the two-homer game was Aug. 30 vs. Washington, and beginning with that game he’s hit .165 (14-for-85) in 24 games with two homers, nine RBIs, 14 walks, 21 strikeouts, three GIDP, a .290 OBP and .259 slugging. Did you ever think you’d see Mac hav a .549 OPS over 24 games?

Prado’s retured from the DL in mid-July and has hit .246 in 66 games with four homers, 23 RBI, .286 OBP and .333 slugging.

In his past 31 games, Prado has hit .206 (26-for-126) with 1 HR, 7 RBI, 6 walks, .242 OBP and .270 slugging, a meaguer .512 OPS.

♣ OK, gotta get down to the clubhouse. Let’s close with a great tune from the criminally underrated master songwriter, Alejandro Escovedo. You can see him sing “Always a Friend” with a friend you may recognize by clicking here.

alejandro-escovedo

“ALWAYS A FRIEND” by Alejandro Escovedo and Chuck Prophet

Wasn’t I always a friend to you?
Wasn’t I always a friend to you?
Do you wanna be my friend?
Do you wanna be my friend?

Every once in a while honey let your love show
Every once in a while honey let yourself go
Nobody gets hurt no, nah
Nobody gets hurt

We came here as two, we laid down as one
I don’t care if I’m not your only one
What I see in you, you see in me

But if I do you wrong smoke my smoke, drink my wine
Bury my snake skin boots somewhere I’ll never find
Still be your lover baby, oh oh, oh oh, oh oh

Wasn’t I always a friend to you?
Wasn’t I always a friend to you?
Do you wanna be my friend?
Do you wanna be my friend?

Every once in a while honey let yourself go
Every once in a while honey let your love show
Nobody gets hurt no, no
Nobody gets hurt

Well, I could be an astronaut on the wrong side of the moon
Or wrapped up like a baby on a bus under you
Wherever I go you go with me

But if I do you wrong, take the master suite, I’ll take the floor
Sleep in late, get your rest, I’ll catch up on mine
Still be your lover, baby, oh oh, oh oh, oh oh

Wasn’t I always a friend to you?
Wasn’t I always a friend to you?
Every once in a while honey let your love show
Every once in a while honey let yourself go, yeah
Nobody gets hurt, it’s only love, love, love
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh

David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

3,551 comments Add your comment

Ron in Vegas

September 27th, 2011
3:58 pm

TennesseePaul

September 27th, 2011
3:59 pm

Thanks for the work DOB.

GO BRAVES!!

Last 9 Starts of the Starting 9

_________AVG__OBP__SLG___OPS_wOBA_L9S9+
Bourn__ .158 .220 .184 0.404 .193 ___30
Prado__ .237 .275 .263 0.538 .247 ___72
Chipper .242 .316 .424 0.740 .344 __134
Uggla__ .257 .333 .429 0.762 .335 __141
Freeman .152 .222 .333 0.556 .223 ___75
McCann_ .133 .297 .167 0.464 .229 ___52
Seabass .455 .455 .879 1.333 .556 __315
Heyward .321 .444 .500 0.944 .393 __201
Lowe___ .077 .143 .308 0.451 .157 ___40

Feeach

September 27th, 2011
4:00 pm

Let’s take care of business tonight then crack open a Stroh’s when the Astros beat the cards!

Hillbilly

September 27th, 2011
4:03 pm

And we shall flow a river forth to thee, and teeming with souls shall it ever be…

Clayton H

September 27th, 2011
4:03 pm

Come on Braves. Get it done tonight.

Efrim

September 27th, 2011
4:04 pm

Thanks DOB. Is there any chance you can find out why Vizcaino hasn’t pitched in ten days? Thanks!

Herschel Talker

September 27th, 2011
4:04 pm

“Wasted scoring opportunities undermine Braves”

No kidding?!?

Stick a fork in these bums. Another listless performance will ensue this evening. Losers.

FIRE FREDI GONZALEZ!!!

Murph

September 27th, 2011
4:06 pm

How many outs will Lowe get?

abeeeewright: 0
Slim to None: 2
brian: 5
UKUGA: 9
Nate: 10
Murph: 11
Booger: 12
Brava: 13
Snot: 14
Ron: 15
menlo: 16
PT: 17
Jimmy: 18
AT: 19
CraZy: 20
Fish: 21
DAP: 22
Eric: 23
laura: 24
BB: 25
Brave4life: 26
bravo_fan: 27

1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 still available!

Brava

September 27th, 2011
4:06 pm

Thank you DOB.

Gotta go get ready for the game. Later, blog folk.

GO BRAVES!!!

Nittany Lion

September 27th, 2011
4:06 pm

I hope Fredi has a quick leash on Lowe tonight. We will have someone warming up in the third inning.

njbraves

September 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

Prado batting second and Lowe on the mound…the Braves are in trouble and the game hasn’t even started.

KennesawFAN

September 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

Where did Gonzo get the nickname “Seabass”? Is it from “Dumb and Dumber”?

Braves sputter

September 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

Chances not great with Lowe, DOB….would rather have a rookie going tonight.

Baby Gerald

September 27th, 2011
4:08 pm

New Wilco album is solid…

Big game tonight. Go Braves.

McCmann and Aqua Hoss

September 27th, 2011
4:08 pm

man man man man man….

McCmann: Just keep swimming, just keep swimming just keep swimming

AquaHoss: Huh? did you hear that? Just over there!

McCmann: No. NOOOOOO. It cant be. It’s, It’s the playoffs just right around the corner :0

AquaHoss: Yes YES I can almost taste it, taste of bitter defeat.

Herschel Talker

September 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

“How many outs will Lowe get?”

Can I pick a negative number?

Fish Bisch

September 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

tiger297

September 27th, 2011
4:10 pm

I know our hitting with RISP is awful.

Is there a way to look at runners at 3B with less than 2 outs (or 2nd with no outs) and see how we compare at that. So many nights a hit would be great but one or two fly balls would get in at least one

Fols

September 27th, 2011
4:10 pm

I feel sorry for the staff here……this is the same blog on repeat for a month now!

Come on Braves, turn it around for a day, give us something to look forward to!

Braveheart

September 27th, 2011
4:10 pm

Hopefully Bubba Head taught Derek Lowe how to win this too

T for Texas

September 27th, 2011
4:10 pm

Good work, David. Go Bravstros!

Lew

September 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

It was great that Constanza had that great stretch (July 29-August 22), but the reason we’re not wining right now is NOT because he’s on the bench.

During that stretch, Chipper went 18-48 (.374), Uggla hit in EVERY game and went 31-89 (.348) and Bourn went 25-83 (.300).

Compare that to their last nine (thanks Ten Paul) – Chipper .242, Uggla .257 and Bourn .158 and you might see why we’re not winning and it has nothing whatsoever to do with Constanza sitting on the bench.

Hope Georgie has a future with the Braves, but let’s get real.

richbrave

September 27th, 2011
4:12 pm

A win and the worst the CARDS can do is tie us. COME on guys, put them out of their misery.

Braveheart

September 27th, 2011
4:13 pm

Someone get Lowe smashed before this game. He’s been a little too Fun Bobby this season. Dude needs a drink or two or ten.

richbrave

September 27th, 2011
4:13 pm

LEW:

My daughter says she sent the two shots. Have you gotten any other than the first one?

Mid Town Joe

September 27th, 2011
4:14 pm

DOB You hit the nail on the head! Blown scoring opportunities have been costly. The Brewers and Phillies seem to get it done when it counts. I hope they lock up the WC tonight, but I’m not sure this team can make it past the 1st round of the playoffs.

I'm with Braves (Always)

September 27th, 2011
4:14 pm

Same guys, same lineup and the manager is hoping(????) for different result. Let’s see.

CrαZy

September 27th, 2011
4:15 pm

Something needs to be addressed this offseason… Learn to do a better job managing the bullpen or find a way to get the starters to pitch deeper in games!! Venter’s arm is gonna detach and hit a fan if Fred keeps this up. Venters 163 Appearances in 2010-2011.
MLB Relief Appearances
1. Venters (ATL) 84
2. Veras (PIT) 79
3. Motte (STL) 78
Kimbrel (ATL) 78
Bray (CIN) 78
5. O’Flaherty (ATL) 77

Efrim

September 27th, 2011
4:15 pm

Let’s go Braves!

Jimmy

September 27th, 2011
4:16 pm

Herschel Talker – “How many outs will Lowe get?”
Can I pick a negative number?”

Is that possible? I mean, you are such a positive person. :-)

Lew

September 27th, 2011
4:16 pm

richbrave – In a word, No. The one was it and I saved and printed it immediately so I was certain to have it.

Lew

September 27th, 2011
4:17 pm

And I don’t block emails.

Nova Scotia Steve

September 27th, 2011
4:17 pm

Send these f’in Cardinals packing boys.

Shaun

September 27th, 2011
4:18 pm

I’m not so sure Moneyball (the movie) has much validity when there is no mention of Hudson, Mulder or Zito. Seems to me they were responsible more than any other aspect for any success Beane had.

Lew, don’t know if you saw the MLB Network interview that Bob Costas did with Beane, Michael Lewis, Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. Beane and Lewis address those who discredit Beane for Hudson, Mulder and Zito.

First of all, all three guys were college players and drafting college players was sort of a theme, as college players aren’t as risky and were probably undervalued at the time.

Second, Hudson was drafted in the 6th round and was probably passed up by other teams because he was a short, right-hander. Zito slipped to 9th overall because he was essentially a soft-tossing lefty. Mulder was the one athletic guy that looked the part and was on everyone’s radar, and he went 2nd overall.

So Hudson and Zito definitely fit into the philosophy espoused in Moneyball. Mulder fits in terms of being a college guy.

PMC

September 27th, 2011
4:18 pm

At the plate, the Braves are choking dogs when it matters for the better part of 20 years.

It is what it is, this team cannot hit.

The A Bomb

September 27th, 2011
4:18 pm

Lowe: 5 2/3 innings (as usual), 4 runs (as usual), 9 hits (as usual), 3 walks (as usual)…

Going to the bank tomorrow (as usual).

Herschel Talker

September 27th, 2011
4:19 pm

Jimmy:

I aint positive, I aint negative. All I do is keep it real. We aint got nothing but a bunch of losers on this team right now (and really in the whole city – the Falcons suck, the Dawgs suck).

HT

LivinInAL

September 27th, 2011
4:19 pm

Remember during that short period of time when the Braves were fun to watch ( with Born and Georgie), bunting, moving runners over, etc. Then we moved back to that old tired no brains at the plate formula.

Efrim

September 27th, 2011
4:19 pm

Hope Georgie has a future with the Braves, but let’s get real.

Well said, Lew.

Slim Jim

September 27th, 2011
4:19 pm

Braves got a gift last night from Astros. You know Lowe will lose to Phillies.

phredd

September 27th, 2011
4:20 pm

win win win! at any cost. I’m talkin half the team just lean into pitches to get on base!

PMC

September 27th, 2011
4:20 pm

Still, nothing matters. 162 games come down to the last 2.

All they need to do is win tonight.

Pierson Brave

September 27th, 2011
4:20 pm

OK, I’ll be the downer…. 1 out!

Eric

September 27th, 2011
4:20 pm

What do you guys think about the weather today? Do you think we’ll play a game?

Nova Scotia Steve

September 27th, 2011
4:20 pm

Talk about the pressure released by a wild card (butt) clinch tonight.

DC Brave

September 27th, 2011
4:21 pm

C’MON BRAVES!!!!!!

coach

September 27th, 2011
4:21 pm

Efrim

September 27th, 2011
3:54 pm
Why no Castanza in the lineup? He is the spark we need to score some runs. He should bat second and put Freeman in the 3rd spot in the lineup!

For some reason I started to laugh out loud when I read this. Even now, typing, I am laughing.

It’s like that laugh Mayor Adam West had when he made fun of that kitten named Paul:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrK00l5xXBk&feature=related

September 27th, 2011
3:58 pm
Why no Castanza in the lineup? He is the spark we need to score some runs. He should bat second and put Freeman in the 3rd spot in the lineup!

For some reason I started to laugh out loud when I read this. Even now, typing, I am laughing.

Yeah, it’s freaking hilarious cause they’ve been playing so well since he got benched. LMAO!

September 27th, 2011
4:01 pm
Yeah, it’s freaking hilarious cause they’ve been playing so well since he got benched. LMAO!

No. Actually, that wasn’t the reason I was laughing. You see, OPS is on base plus slug…….ah, nevermind. Forget it!

How about winning = Castanza in lineup, Freeman batting 3rd
Losing = Castanza sprains ankle and never returns to starting lineup

Curious George

September 27th, 2011
4:21 pm

Why is Prado batting second and once again, why is he in the lineup at all?

Lew

September 27th, 2011
4:21 pm

Shaun – I know, but there is no mention of them in the movie. Kind of a glaring omission, don’t you think.

Linebrinks Security

September 27th, 2011
4:22 pm

This game is probably the biggest of the final two and I think their WC chances hinge on this start … only bad thing is that Lowe is pitching and he’s either 1 of two things: pounded and beaten badly or pitches ok with no offensive backing.

Snotboogie

September 27th, 2011
4:22 pm

You don’t think its a slap to the players that this guy is saying hey, they can’t win two over there…

Ptown:

Having seen the way we have been playing, would you give good odds of that happening against the team with the best record in the NL? And Lowe pitching one of those two.
I’m saying it should not be considered a slap.

2012 25-man roster - GO BRAVES!!!

September 27th, 2011
4:22 pm

C McCann
1B Freeman
2B Uggla
SS Gonzalez
3B Jones
LF Prado
CF Bourn
RF Heyward

C Ross
1B/OF Hinske
OF Diaz
SS Wilson
2B Conrad

SP Hudson
SP Jurrjens
SP Beachy
SP Minor
SP Lowe

CL Kimbrel
RP Venters
RP O’Flaherty
RP Vizcaino
RP Varvaro
RP Medlen
RP Martinez

Hanson on DL to start the year.

TennesseePaul

September 27th, 2011
4:22 pm

Payne, your 4:18pm spent 4 paragraphs responding to something Lew didn’t even say….

The key phrase you over looked was “(the movie)”… You even quoted it and then went back to discussing the book and the philosophy and not “the movie.”

Here it is again: I’m not so sure Moneyball (the movie) has much validity when there is no mention of Hudson, Mulder or Zito

CrαZy

September 27th, 2011
4:23 pm

Same guys, same lineup

What did you expect a trade??

Jimmy

September 27th, 2011
4:23 pm

“Stick a fork in these bums. Another listless performance will ensue this evening. Losers.

FIRE FREDI GONZALEZ!!!

We aint got nothing but a bunch of losers on this team right now (and really in the whole city – the Falcons suck, the Dawgs suck).”

And that’s since 4:04

Alright, I was wrong. You are just “being real”.

AB*Nation

September 27th, 2011
4:24 pm

DOB ,,Sept. 7th game for Lowe was at CBP, not Turner. Let’s hope you are right that he makes us all forget about what he did before tonight.

Mixxo

September 27th, 2011
4:24 pm

Hi

Lets Go… for cryin’ out loud.

Nova Scotia Steve

September 27th, 2011
4:25 pm

Linebrinks Security – By the looks of your last post. No matter what Lowe does we still lose.

DUE TO: No offensive backing – LOL.

Efrim

September 27th, 2011
4:25 pm

I don’t know about this Henry Sosa guy. Could be a tough night for the Stros. Gotta grab a win tonight!

oldmike

September 27th, 2011
4:25 pm

with the way they have played since getting swept in Philly why would a rational person expect them to snap out of their funk against Oswalt, and further, expect Lowe to turn it around for one night. Isn’t this the definition of insanity? Lowe has been so bad for so long it’s a wonder he’s even out there every 5th day. Has he made it to the 7th inning more than once since the All Star break? Give him a really short leash. Get him out of there if he struggles finding the plate early on. That’s the harbinger of doom. It’s absolutely incredible that the entire team has stopped hitting. Where’s the hitting coach in all this mess. Their plate discipline has vanished. And we just haven’t taken advantage of Bourne’s speed to manufacture any runs.
Please guys do something good for a change.
Thanks,
OldMike

CrαZy

September 27th, 2011
4:25 pm

C McCann
1B Freeman
2B Uggla
SS Gonzalez
3B Jones
LF Prado
CF Bourn
RF Heyward

C Ross
1B/OF Hinske
OF Diaz
SS Wilson
2B Conrad

SP Hudson
SP Jurrjens
SP Beachy
SP Minor
SP Lowe

CL Kimbrel
RP Venters
RP O’Flaherty
RP Vizcaino
RP Varvaro
RP Medlen
RP Martinez

Hanson on DL to start the year.

AB*Nation

September 27th, 2011
4:25 pm

Sorry DOB ,,I meant Oswalt, not Lowe.

Lew

September 27th, 2011
4:26 pm

Braves, Rays and Red Sox all at 89-61 with the Cards at 88-62 with two games left to play.

Guess we now know that 92wins was what would have guaranteed a Wild Card berth this year.

southern hope

September 27th, 2011
4:26 pm

Over at Boston.com, they *wish* they had Lowe pitching tonight and can’t understand why we’re complaining.

Also, I’ll say as I said yesterday….baseball is one odd game….I couldn’t predict where we (or Boston) will be on Thursday.

Nova Scotia Steve

September 27th, 2011
4:28 pm

Some funny stuff going on here this afternoon – I must say.

meh

September 27th, 2011
4:28 pm

I think I’d flip Prado and Bourne. that way Prado could get on Bourne could bunt him over since he’s not doing a whole lot else lately. Anyway, I’m predicting that Lowe has a bounce back game and the Braves win tonight. GO BRAVES!!

ncscoots

September 27th, 2011
4:28 pm

At the plate, the Braves are choking dogs

Gutless, choking dogs. Gutless, spineless, choking dogs. With no heart. Or urgency.

Just want to make sure I get all the pejoratives in there. You know, in a fell swoop. That way, if some in-game blogger forgets one of them, he can refer to this post for a memory jog.

I try to be helpful.

Fish Bisch

September 27th, 2011
4:28 pm

SH, most people here would trade Lowe for whoever Boston is pushing out there tonight though.

Jimmy

September 27th, 2011
4:29 pm

We need this game bad. We don’t want to have to run Hudson out there tomorrow. Like someone said, I hope there is a real short leash for Lowe. Heck, get someone up after he first pitch.

The A Bomb

September 27th, 2011
4:29 pm

With Chipper’s knee publicly ailing how many bunts will the Phils lay down tonight?

Threadkiller

September 27th, 2011
4:29 pm

Why play Constanza tonight? This is a must win game, We need to approach this game with small ball in mind. Get runners on, steal, and bunting runners over. We have to put pressure on and score early. Lowe will be fine. I expect to see more sliders from him tonight.

The A Bomb

September 27th, 2011
4:30 pm

How many outs will Prado make tonight while ahead in the count?

The A Bomb

September 27th, 2011
4:30 pm

How many times will we see Chipper grimace tonight?

P-Town BravEEE ©

September 27th, 2011
4:31 pm

Braveheart-

:lol: Great one about Fun Bobby :lol:

ncscoots

September 27th, 2011
4:31 pm

why would a rational person expect them to snap out of their funk against Oswalt, and further, expect Lowe to turn it around for one night. Isn’t this the definition of insanity?

Nah. Pretty much the definition of baseball, though.

Chop Chop

September 27th, 2011
4:31 pm

The Braves are a bunch of choking dogs who will win the next three World Series.

Let’s!!! Go!!!

B!!!R!!!A!!!V!!!E!!!S!!!

It's out of here.....

September 27th, 2011
4:31 pm

It’s healthy to just admit the reality of the truth… the are DEAD and DONE.

P-Town BravEEE ©

September 27th, 2011
4:32 pm

A Bomb-

I’ll set the over/under at 7….

Everyone place your bets!

Jimmy

September 27th, 2011
4:32 pm

The A Bomb “With Chipper’s knee publicly ailing how many bunts will the Phils lay down tonight?”

At last, a very good, insightful post. Great point A Bomb.

Efrim

September 27th, 2011
4:32 pm

Over at Boston.com, they *wish* they had Lowe pitching tonight and can’t understand why we’re complaining.

Oh yeah? Want to have him?

Abnerish

September 27th, 2011
4:32 pm

I’ll be interested to see if Chipper can move at all. And I’ll be interested to see if Rollins or Victorino tries to test that knee by bunting. My gut tells me that while they don’t want to give the Braves the game, they are playing with injuries in mind. For example, Pence pulling up on Diaz’s double yesterday or Ibanez not going full speed on Uggla’s 2b in the 9th. So, I think they will avoid plays that will force them to go full speed, like a bunt.

Felix

September 27th, 2011
4:32 pm

Can’t believe that Lowe is starting. Might as well start Linderflunk. No chance, no way the Braves win when you add zero offensive skill with a zero starter. I’ll sum up tonight’s game for you before it even starts:
Start with Lowe who can’t pitch,
Then add in Braves hitters who can’t hit (except Chipper), hell can’t even bunt,
Then add in Braves runners who are too slow, like McCann (except Bourne) and prone to mistakes,
Then add in Braves courage which is zero as they are all time chokers,
Then add in Fredi who can’t manage jack s____,
When you sum it all up—you have another Braves loss.

lexbrave

September 27th, 2011
4:32 pm

should be an exciting scene at the ted tonight should the braves figure out some way to win tonight with everyone sitting around waiting for the outcome of the cards game.

lexbrave

September 27th, 2011
4:33 pm

dare I say it will be a much more interesting scene however on this board, should the braves not find a way to win.

Heisenberg

September 27th, 2011
4:33 pm

Sometimes I swear you can see it in their faces when they come to the plate with RISP and less than 2 outs. Like they wish it were someone else up there with all the pressure. The problems are between the ears. Where is John Smoltz phycho-analysis shrink dude these days?

Henry Sosa

September 27th, 2011
4:34 pm

I am not so sure about this Efrim guy.

coach

September 27th, 2011
4:34 pm

Heyward is an automatic out in the lineup and his defense isn’t that great either. Put Castanza in the lineup for a spark!

Felix

September 27th, 2011
4:34 pm

By the way, someone call Boston quick and tell them we will trade DWI Lowe to them for a bucket of balls.

Whoop

September 27th, 2011
4:35 pm

Fredi is determined he’s going to continue trotting Prado out there, no matter how bad he sucks.

Good grief, at least get him out of the two spot.

Jimmy

September 27th, 2011
4:35 pm

The A Bomb – “With Chipper’s knee publicly ailing how many bunts will the Phils lay down tonight?”

Or they can drop it in front of the plate and let McCann throw it in right field.

Got that out of the way for the Brian haters….

Shaun

September 27th, 2011
4:36 pm

Lew, there was also no mention of Miguel Tejada or Eric Chavez in the movie. It’s been a while since I read the book but I don’t recall Tejada, Chavez, Hudson, Mulder or Zito being central figures in the book either. Probably because both the book and the movie were about finding undervalued players by using different methods than many other teams, so Lewis and the screenwriters are going to focus on the most undervalued players.

In other words, the movie is not primarily a story about the greatness of the 2002 A’s or early 2000’s A’s. It was primarily about how, through ways of looking at the game that were different from many teams at the time, the A’s were able to compete with teams like the Yankees though the A’s payroll was much lower. If the book or the movie were just a profile of the 2002 A’s, then Tejada, Chavez, Zito, Hudson, Mulder would be glaring omissions.

If someone writes a book primarily specifically about the Braves’ methods to finding undervalued players in the 1990’s and those undervalued players, do you think they would focus on Justice, Gant, McGriff and Chipper or do you think they would focus on Greg McMichael, Kerry Ligtenberg, Mike Remlinger, etc.?

ncscoots

September 27th, 2011
4:36 pm

Where is John Smoltz phycho-analysis shrink dude these days?

On this blog, defining character through body language? :-)

Blk09GT

September 27th, 2011
4:36 pm

I believe we will see “playoff” Lowe tonight. Braves win by 5.

T for Texas

September 27th, 2011
4:36 pm

Derek has a good start left in him. He’s just gonna have to dig deep to find one he left in the closet earlier in his career. It will be there, probably with some of his old Sawx memorobilia.

coach

September 27th, 2011
4:36 pm

1. Bourn CF
2. Castanza RF
3. Freeman 1B
4. Uggla 2B
5. Chipper 3B
6. Prado LF
7. McCann C
8. Gonzalos SS

Clarence

September 27th, 2011
4:37 pm

Since Chipper has a sore knee, why not let him be the DH tonight?

JRW

September 27th, 2011
4:37 pm

The A Bomb

September 27th, 2011
4:29 pm

With Chipper’s knee publicly ailing how many bunts will the Phils lay down tonight?

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

None. Not Manuel’s style. Unless it’s a pitcher batting. He still manages AL style most of the time.

Ed Glennon

September 27th, 2011
4:38 pm

I would rather watch Chipper swing the bat in pain than watch some of these other guys swing healthy.

mikey d

September 27th, 2011
4:38 pm

I’m thinking maybe it’s time to drop Prado down and stick somebody in the 2-hole that can hit……….Oh – maybe I was thinking of the Phillies

Whoop

September 27th, 2011
4:39 pm

You pretty much know how Prado’s ABs are going to go.

Take fastball straight down the middle, then swing at garbage and weakly fly out or ground out.

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