Once again, Braves turn to Hudson in season finale

And so it comes down to this. Again.

For the second year in a row, the Braves will turn to veteran Tim Hudson as they try for a win to continue their season.

For the second year in a row, the Braves will turn to veteran Tim Hudson as they try for a win to continue their season.

For the second year in a row, we come to Turner Field to watch Tim Hudson and an injury-depleted Braves team face the division-champion Phillies in the final game of the season with Atlanta’s playoff hopes in the balance.

And if they win, the Braves will have to wait around for a while to find out if they’ll need to play a tiebreaker tomorrow. Only they shouldn’t have to wait as long as they did a year ago, when they waited for the Giants to beat the Padres.

This time, the Braves should only have to wait about an hour to find out how the Cardinals fare against Houston, which will determine whether the Braves travel to St. Louis tomorrow for a one-game tiebreaker.

If the Braves win tonight and the Cardinals lose, the Braves are in the postseason. If they win and the Cardinals win, or they lose and the Cardinals lose, there’s a playoff Thursday night in St. Louis, with Brandon Beachy facing St. Lou’s Kyle Lohse.

If the Braves lose and the Cardinals win, the season’s is over for the Braves, who would have the biggest September collapse ever by a National League team that led the wild-card race by as many as 8-1/2 games on Sept. 5.

A year ago, the Braves would have hosted that tiebreaker with the Padres if San Diego had won. But the Giants won. And the Braves faced them in the division series.

The rest is history.

One other difference in this year and last: The Braves are seriously stumbling this season down the stretch. They struggled in the final month a year ago, too, going 14-16 in Sept.-Oct. (the season ended Oct. 3). But they hit .247 and had a 3.64 ERA in those 30 games, and went 4-2 with a 3.05 ERA in the last six games to clinch the wild-card.

This year? Oy.

♣ September slumber: The Braves are 9-17 with a 4.25 ERA and .235 batting average in September. The only other NL teams with fewer than 10 wins this month are the Rockies and Astros. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are a league-best 17-8 and and the Diamondbacks, a potential first-round foe, are 16-8.

The lowest winning percentage in September among any postseason team was .375 (9-15) by the ’98 Padres, and the next-lowest was .385 (10-16) by the ’08 Brewers.

Atlanta (.346) would have a lowest September winning percentage in history for a playoff team, but only if Boston (7-19, .269) doesn’t advance to the postseason.

If the Braves don't win at least one more game, the conversations between manager Fredi Gonzalez and GM Frank Wren figure to be interesting in the coming weeks.

If the Braves don't win at least one more game, the conversations between manager Fredi Gonzalez and GM Frank Wren figure to be interesting in the coming weeks.

The Braves’ .235 batting average in September ranks 15th in the NL, ahead of only the Padres, and their .660 OPS is third-lowest in the NL.

The Braves led the Cardinals by 10-1/2 games on Aug. 25 and by 8-1/2 games on Sept. 5. Since August 25, the Cardinals have gone 22-9 with a 3.17 ERA and .288 average. Beginning Aug. 26, the Braves are 10-19 with a 4.38 ERA and .238 average.

Since Sept. 5, the Cards are 15-5 with a .299 average and 2.88 ERA, with 95 runs in 20 games. The Braves are 7-14 in that period, with a .228 average, 4.22 ERA and 68 runs in 21 games.

During their current four-game losing streak, the Braves have hit .169 and posted a 4.76 ERA. They’ve scored four runs in those four games, and three of those came on solo homers.

The Braves have hit just .188 with runners in scoring position during September.

And to get to the playoffs, they’ll have to break at least one of these losing streaks: They are 0-6 with a .188 average and 7.33 ERA in their past six games against the Phillies, and 0-7 in games at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium over the past two seasons.

The Braves are 6-11 with a .219 batting average against the Phillies this season. They are 1-5 against the Cardinals this season – which is why the tiebreaker would be in St. Louis – and 3-11 with a 5.44 ERA in their past two seasons against La Russa’s boys.

♣ Now, the good news: Hudson got the against the Phillies in the 8-7 Braves victory in last year’s season finale, and he’s 3-1 with a 3.74 ERA in his past five starts against the Phillies.

He’ll face Joe Blanton, who missed much of the season with an elbow injury and is 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA in four games (three starts) against the Braves over the past two seasons. That includes one start this season – he gave up five hits, two runs, two homers in 5 innings of a May 14 loss at Turner Field.

Now, even more positive news for Bravos fans: Do you realize how much better Huddy has been at home this season? His ERA is nearly twice as high on the road, where he’s 6-6 with a 4.57 ERA in 14 starts.

At Turner Field, Hudson is a different sort of beast: 10-4 with a 2.29 ERA in 18 starts, including 9-3 with a 1.99 ERA and .194 opponents’ average in his past 16.

In his past five home starts, Hudson is 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA and .189 OA.

Against Blanton, two slumping Braves have fared well during their careers: Brian McCann is 8-for-20 with two homers, and Martin Prado is 7-for-19 with three homers, Also, Chipper Jones is 7-for-20 with a homer, while Dan Uggla is just 3-for-21 with seven strikeouts.

Against Hudson, John Mayberry is 2-for-3 with two homers, Ryan Howard is 15-for-49 with a whopping six homers, 13 RBIs, 10 walks and .417 OBP and .694 slugging, and Carlos Ruiz is 7-for-24 with two homers. Shane Victorino is 10-for-40 with two homers.

But the Braves don’t have just Blanton to face tonight. They’re also expected to see Cole Hamels for a few innings in his tuneup appearance before the postseason. Hamels would like to get his 15th win tonight and he might follow Blanton in the middle innings.

Hamels is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA in four starts against the Braves this season. He’s 11-6 with a 3.67 ERA in 23 starts against the Braves, his most wins against any team

Against the lefty, Chipper is 10-for-32 with two homers, but while Uggla is just 7-for-49 (.143) with 15 strikeouts.

BRAVES LINEUP

  1. Bourn CF
  2. Prado LF
  3. Jones 3B
  4. Uggla 2B
  5. Freeman 1B
  6. McCann C
  7. Diaz RF
  8. Wilson SS
  9. Hudson RH

♣ Etc.

Derek Lowe was tagged with his 17th loss of the season on Tuesday, two more than his previoius high before this season. After going 5-0 with a 1.17 ERA in five September 2010 starts, Lowe is 0-5 with an 8.75 ERA in five September 2011 starts, and has the third-highest ERA among major league starts for the month behind Boston’s John Lackey (9.13) and Colorado’s Alex White (8.88)….

Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz’s past 25 games against the Braves.384 (28-for-73) with seven doubles, two homers, 11 RBIs, 12 walks, .494 OBP, .562 slugging….

Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez’s last 21 games vs. Braves: .298 (25-for-84) with five doubles, three homers, 20 RBIs….

Going into the final day of the season, Braves rookie Craig Kimbrel is tied for the NL saves lead with Milwaukee’s John Axford. They have 46, and Arizona’s J.J. Putz has 45.

♣ Let’s close with a classic from the mighty DBT, which you can hear by clicking here.

drive_by_truckers2-1

“WHEN THE PIN HITS THE SHELL” by the Drive-By Truckers

You can lie to your mama, you can lie to your race
but you cant lie to nobody with that cold steel in your face.
And the same God that you’re so afraid of
is gonna send you to hell
is the same one you’re gonna answer
to when the pin hits the shell.

Your sisters been blaming everybody.
I don’t blame her, man, I guess Id do the same
if you was my brother, man, Id probably stand you.
But you ain’t, man, so I got to go my way.

And I aint gonna crawl upon no high horse
’cause I got throuwn of one
when I was young and I ain’t no cowboy
so I ain’t going where I don’t belong.
It wouldn’t do you no good to let you know
that it damned near killed me too
so I ain’t gonna mourn for you, man,
now that you’re gone.

Me and you, we liked our pills and our whiskey.
but you don’t want your head full of either one
when the house gets quiet and dark.
feeling good used to come so damned easy,
racing trains from 2nd Street to Avalon.
take a trip down to memory lane,
You don’t see no friendly faces,
all the houses have been painted
and nobody knows your name.
Its enough to make a man not want
to be nobody’s daddy,
when all he thinks hes got left to hand down
is guilt and shame.

And I aint gonna crawl upon no high horse
’cause I got thrown off of one
when I was young and i ain’t no cowboy
so I ain’t going where i dont belong.
It wouldn’t do you no good to let you know
that it damned near killed me too
so i ain’t gonna mourn for you, man,
now that you’re gone.

You can lie to your mama, you can lie to your race
but you cant lie to nobody with that cold steel in your face.
And the same God that you’re so afraid of
is gonna send you to hell
is the same one you’re gonna answer
to when the pin hits the shell.

– David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

12,009 comments Add your comment

southern hope

September 28th, 2011
4:07 pm

DOB, no matter what, I have truly enjoyed your writings over 162 games. You provide good offense *and* defense.

Hillbilly

September 28th, 2011
4:07 pm

Crap or get off the pot. Here we go.

TennesseePaul

September 28th, 2011
4:07 pm

Thanks for the work DOB.

GO BRAVES!!

Last 9 Starts of the Starting 9

_________AVG__OBP__SLG___OPS_wOBA_L9S9+
Bourn__ .184 .244 .211 0.454 .215 ___46
Prado__ .231 .250 .333 0.583 .278 ___83
Chipper .235 .333 .412 0.745 .354 __135
Uggla__ .250 .308 .417 0.724 .316 __127
Freeman .152 .222 .333 0.556 .223 ___73
McCann_ .167 .324 .233 0.558 .238 ___81
Diaz___ .308 .333 .346 0.679 .306 __116
Wilson_ .200 .250 .200 0.450 .271 ___45
Hudson_ .095 .136 .095 0.232 .110 __-25

Nova Scotia Steve - Braves Fan Until The End

September 28th, 2011
4:08 pm

I BELIEVE – LET’S DO THIS

Coach (2011 Fredi G. a go!)

September 28th, 2011
4:10 pm

I believe in Huddy but will he get any run support?

Only time will tell.

Darryl Chaney

September 28th, 2011
4:13 pm

Cheer up. Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in 141 days.

Jerry Willard

September 28th, 2011
4:15 pm

Dave , I have to agree with southern hope , it’s a pleasure to have you on the beat… Now maybe if you could spend some time with the Falcons beat writer and show him how a team is supposed to be covered and news is supposed to be delivered….

You are definitely the best ATL sports writer since Furman…

Coach (2011 Fredi G. a go!)

September 28th, 2011
4:16 pm

While I do believe in miracles the obvious must be said…….God is a Cubbies fan.

MS Brave

September 28th, 2011
4:19 pm

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their [team]; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

GO BRAVES!!!

bruce

September 28th, 2011
4:19 pm

exciting times!!!!!!!!!!!!

George Stein

September 28th, 2011
4:21 pm

Unreal. Fredi yanked his hottest hitter (Heyward) and continues to trot Prado out there everyday. What a complete moron. I almost hope we lose and that Fredi is terminated because of it.

Stephen

September 28th, 2011
4:21 pm

To quote Beck, “I feel just like I’m watching something die.”

This has been torturous. You can redeem yourselves tonight in one game Bravos. Do it.

jack

September 28th, 2011
4:21 pm

BFChris26

September 28th, 2011
4:21 pm

Come on Braves & Stros!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Innocent Bystander

September 28th, 2011
4:22 pm

It all comes down to tonight… Go Braves! Go Astros!

ColsOHbrave

September 28th, 2011
4:22 pm

What’s the argument for starting Diaz over Constanza? Clearly I am missing it.

Hopefully my doubt over Matt Diaz leads him to have a big night.

SeaAtl

September 28th, 2011
4:22 pm

Not to “pile on” D. Orlando, because I don’t know what restrictions the AJC puts on his role as the Falcons’ beat writer – but it is true that DOB absolutely raises the bar and kinda “spoils us” with his ’round the clock reporting on the Braves. The Falcons coverage isn’t very timely, complete, or even very compelling.

I simply have a hard time believing that the Braves are even in this position! At the All Star break they were hangin’ with the Phillies; and when the obviously-superior Phillies put it in gear and put some distance between them and the Braves, the Wild Card lead seemed like a lock.

GTI in Brooklyn (nee Chicago)

September 28th, 2011
4:22 pm

I’ve had a tough time staying positive over the last week, but I’ll be pulling for the guys tonight. And hey, Houston has a good pitcher starting for them tonight – so who knows? I’m trying just to focus on this for now and not worry yet about how things might look in seven more days…

Seattle Braves

September 28th, 2011
4:22 pm

Cant wait til next year. Lowe will be gone.. Thats a win for the Braves.

Fairbrave

September 28th, 2011
4:23 pm

Oh my God 141 days without baseball and watching wife’s stupid showa. Going to be a long off season.

GO BRAVES

Stinger2

September 28th, 2011
4:23 pm

If the Braves do win tonight it will only prolong the misery. The Cardinals are also likely to win and the Braves will lose the playoff game in St. Louis. This why I say it might be easier on the fans and the team if the Braves lose and the Cardinals win.

summer of 91

September 28th, 2011
4:24 pm

really would like heyward in there vs blanton…..i love me some matty but damn, we just gave up on the kid.

Bat Masterson

September 28th, 2011
4:24 pm

Hello …….. Hello ………..

Is thing damn thing on??

well…………

free constanza

September 28th, 2011
4:25 pm

Greatjob DOB. Have an outstanding off season!

zmerk

September 28th, 2011
4:25 pm

DOB,

To echo southern hope, I really appreciate all of the work you and Carroll do for us throughout the season. Hope there are a few weeks more…or at least another day….

Jimmy

September 28th, 2011
4:25 pm

Go Braves!!
Score some early runs for Huddy and we’ll be fine.
I know that’s a tall order, but it has to be done.

And thnaks DOB for the work this season.

Astro Joe

September 28th, 2011
4:26 pm

Dang, Diaz vs. a righty?

bostonbravo

September 28th, 2011
4:26 pm

Blog has been good therapy for a bunch of us Bravofans. May do team members some good to read it every once in awhile. Wow…141 days????sad.

reckingball

September 28th, 2011
4:26 pm

“…an injury-depleted Braves team…”

Come on, Dave! Cease with the embellishment, please!

Gonzalez is out but every other starter us available to hit!

Stinger2

September 28th, 2011
4:26 pm

Seattle Braves: Where is Lowe going? Who wants him and his 14 mil. contract? To trade him the Braves would probably have to pay at least 10 mil of his salary.

Shaun

September 28th, 2011
4:27 pm

One could make a reasonable argument that Heyward is a better option to start over any of tonight’s starting outfielders, possibly even Bourn. I wouldn’t say he’s better than Bourn because of Bourn’s defensive value but it’s fairly close. Luckily the choice isn’t between Bourn and Heyward. There are two other outfield spots filled by worse players than Heyward and neither have performed as well in 2011.

Rufus

September 28th, 2011
4:28 pm

Can we please stick a fork in them tonight and not drag the agony out to the post-season (where they’ll get creamed anyway)?

rico carty

September 28th, 2011
4:28 pm

Diaz starting tonight? Maybe Fredi is a genius after all? However at 4:30 I dont get that. It must be because of Diaz’ gold glove caliber defense.

Supes

September 28th, 2011
4:28 pm

The only way the Braves win this game is…if Tim Hudson hits a 3 run HR at some point during the game!

Someone wake up the rest of the Braves “offense”….truly offensive these last few weeks!

Bat Masterson

September 28th, 2011
4:28 pm

Well, I’ll be damned

Nice blog DOB, thanks

Go Braves!!!

Fish Bisch

September 28th, 2011
4:29 pm

Mark Twine

September 28th, 2011
4:29 pm

Rufus, do us Braves fans a favor and turn your computer off. Let’s go Braves, we can do this!

Freddie Freeman

September 28th, 2011
4:30 pm

Freddie is GOING DEEP TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

Let’s GO BRAVOS!!!!!

JJ

September 28th, 2011
4:30 pm

I like Matty but it would be Hinske,Constanza,OR Heyward in the line-up tonite.It is Freddi’s call,but he is screwing with Heyward’s head..GO BRAVES

Curious George

September 28th, 2011
4:31 pm

Why is Prado batting second and WHY is he playing at all? THIS IS INSANITY !!!

Supes

September 28th, 2011
4:31 pm

Seattle Braves: Where is Lowe going? Who wants him and his 14 mil. contract? To trade him the Braves would probably have to pay at least 10 mil of his salary.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Actually it’s 15 million…and if the Braves were to probably eat half of that maybe the Yankees or Sox would go for it…who knows…if not I hope Wren has the guts to tell the manager to relegate bLowe to spot starting and LONG relief in the bullpen. Seriously. If that man ever starts again for this organization…someone must be made accountable!

Take your pick…Teheran, Delgado, Minor, Medlen…I’ll take ANY OF those 4 over bLowe in 2012 as a regular season starter. They can’t do ANY worst, and at least we’ll find out if they can stick in a big league rotation for the long haul.

josh

September 28th, 2011
4:31 pm

Lowe might not be gone next yr. He’s under contract for another yr and its going to be hard to find a trade partner and they are probably not going to release him and eat $15 million.

MitchC

September 28th, 2011
4:31 pm

Dave, the numbers for the Braves are very ugly.

The pitching matchup does provide us with hope, and one would think that the law of averages says that the Braves can win one game in this series in their home park.

The problem is: The one game win only guarantees us a date with the Cards tomorrow. The way St Louis is playing, can we really expect a 100 loss team to beat them with their season on the line?

If this goes to a one game playoff, one would have to think advantage Cards with Carpenter at home.

I’m going to worry about tonight. First things first. Hopefully, we can pull this off.

SoWeGa Fanatic

September 28th, 2011
4:31 pm

Wait a minute. Blanton is a RHer. Why IS Matty D. in there? For Hamels?

space monkey

September 28th, 2011
4:32 pm

DOB: You and the staff at the AJC are great. Wish you all the best in the off season. When we lose tonight, please ask Fredi: What should you have done differently this month? I hope we see a house cleaning of this entire coaching staff. This performance has been atrocious given the talent on the team. Freddi is the worst in-game manager I have ever seen.

free constanza

September 28th, 2011
4:32 pm

My lineup tonight. Richardson, Stanza,Heyward,Ski,Conrad,Ross, Wilson, Pastronicky!!

Supes

September 28th, 2011
4:32 pm

Why is Prado batting second and WHY is he playing at all? THIS IS INSANITY !!!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Because Fredi is Bobby Cox “lite” as someone said on the blogs yesterday….he’s stubborn and will go down with the “sinking ship”. Fact is Prado hasn’t been himself for a long time now…

Brickhead in Buckhead

September 28th, 2011
4:33 pm

Maybe the Braves will take all their frustrations out on tonight’s Philly pitcher. It really is ok to get mad Braves………….It will be fine with the fans if you go out fighting mad………………..GET MAD ………GET DM MAD……………………….

CrαZy

September 28th, 2011
4:33 pm

What’s the argument for starting Diaz over Constanza? Clearly I am missing it.

This argument would be kin to arguing over who’s poop is the brownest!! Who really cares they’re both not that good!!

Shaun

September 28th, 2011
4:34 pm

Apparently it’s because of Blanton’s LH/RH splits. Right-handers are a little better against Blanton over his career but I’m not sure if that difference is worth the difference in Diaz versus Heyward, especially when you also take into account defense and baserunning.

Efrim

September 28th, 2011
4:34 pm

Last blog of the regular season. Gotta win. Go Braves!

MFin04

September 28th, 2011
4:34 pm

Let’s go Braves! Let’s win this one tonight! :)

flange1

September 28th, 2011
4:34 pm

Thanks for the new blog DOB.

Come on folks, time to rally around OUR Braves!

Kick some butt tonight Huddy!

usnavyvolfaninva

September 28th, 2011
4:34 pm

Love Huddy, and there’s probably know other guy I’d put in this situation, but my brain says Braves lose and will watch the playoffs from home.

Bravofan

September 28th, 2011
4:35 pm

Diaz and Wilson starting oy

Gimpah & McError

September 28th, 2011
4:35 pm

Maybe Prado wants a trade since he lost his 2B job, eh? No shame in his game!

jtb

September 28th, 2011
4:36 pm

To continue the lovefest that’s being given to DOB and fastest woman alive Carroll Rogers, I’d like to thank you for all of the hard work and great beat reporting you both provide every season and offseason. I’ve yet to find another beat blog either locally or nationally that compares to this one, but like Skip, Ernie, Pete and Co., yall don’t get the national recognition that you deserve (probably because of the lack of respect given or earned by Atlanta sports fans). We appreciate the work though so thank you and for maybe the last time in 2011, Go Braves.

Fish Bisch

September 28th, 2011
4:36 pm

Why not Start Pastor Nicky at SS????
Wilson sucks.

Mozelle's

September 28th, 2011
4:37 pm

phil

September 28th, 2011
4:37 pm

Nicely done, DOB…all season long.

I wish I didn’t feel so gloomy about what’s coming up….it’s just depressing to go out like this in all time pitiful fashion….

I actually think we might be no hit tonight….

philly fan 4 ever

September 28th, 2011
4:37 pm

GO HOUSTON>>>GO BRAVES>>>May the best teams lose tonight.Chipper thanks for the memories…choker.

Nova Scotia Steve - Braves Fan Until The End

September 28th, 2011
4:37 pm

#Braves will be giving away foam tomahawks to first 25,000 – DOB

These are playoff tomahawks…we wouldn’t want then to go un-chopped.

Larry

September 28th, 2011
4:38 pm

Blanton is a right handed pitcher so why are we starting Diaz against a righty with both Constanza and Heyward on the bench?

And if Hamels is expected to come in in the middle innings, wouldn’t it make since to start either Constanza or Heyward and then bring in Diaz when the lefty, Hamels, takes over?

Is this too much logic and common sense to expect from Fruity?

TnBrian (calm and cool, not worried)…

September 28th, 2011
4:38 pm

Blanton looks like a fat piece of raw meat thrown against the wall. I guess that’s why McCann eats him up.

Braves R A F'N Joke

September 28th, 2011
4:38 pm

It doesn’t matter who is pitching for the Braves tonight because the offense is offensive. Why is Diaz starting instead of Constanza or Heyward against the RH Blanton? Another dumb ass move of the Cap Tippin Fredi Gonzalez.

I was all for Fredi being hired as the manager last offseason, but oh how things change so quickly. Not only am I hoping he gets fired after the season, I hope his entire staff goes with him. Parrish is a horrible hitting coach, McDowell is not a very good pitching coach, and the rest of the coaches are not that great either.

Bobby Cox did more with less last season and still got the Braves to the playoffs. That was without Gimper Jones and Prado for many games. DOB said it right here, if the Braves lose tonight and the Cards win, their season is over and it will be the biggest collapse by a NL team ever that had a 8.5 game lead in the WC on Sept. 5th. That is one hell of a horrible mark. The Braves are nothing more then a bunch of chokers at this point, and even if they somehow have a 4 leaf clover up their ass and win and get in tonight, it will be hard to support them because of what they have done over the past 4 weeks. How can a team that has that kind of lead just fall completely apart in a matter of weeks? Bad leadership and a incompetent team. The Braves have both.

dmack2027

September 28th, 2011
4:38 pm

Hopefully the Braves will make an adjustment. During the course of this series, the Phils pitchers have been pounding the Braves with inside fastballs.

Supes

September 28th, 2011
4:39 pm

Anyone see the ESPN “catching hell” documentary the other day, or DVR it? Hoping to catch a replay later this week myself.

Fatass McCann

September 28th, 2011
4:39 pm

ola amigos , got some more burritoes ??

Clifton

September 28th, 2011
4:39 pm

Diaz is starting because it is a bullpenn game and Hamels is coming in after Blanton, so Diaz will likely face Blanton just once.

philly fan 4 ever

September 28th, 2011
4:39 pm

Chipper says…we gonna beat dem phillies in da playoffs, next year.

wins-by-a-link

September 28th, 2011
4:39 pm

The Braves have lost thier confidence, They no longer believe they can win a game, They no longer believe they can advance a runner, They are relieved when they come up to bat with no one on base, FG has run out of excuses, and will soon run out of games, He has mismanaged his pitching staff all year, Two starters on DL, Moylan lost for the season, maybe for ever, Hitters who look like they are blindfolded, Tonight should wrap up a forgetale season for Braves.

Shaun

September 28th, 2011
4:40 pm

I think the basic argument for Heyward being benched that we’ve heard all season is that because the Braves entire outfield has been a big disappointment and because Heyward was a top prospect and younger than the rest of the disappointing outfielders and was supposed to be good, he should be benched, even though he is the most talented and has performed better than the rest. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

P-Town BravEEE ©

September 28th, 2011
4:41 pm

Supes-

Yeah, basically just another person who wrote something trying to blame the Cubs collapse on someone other than the Cubs themselves

coach

September 28th, 2011
4:42 pm

Unbelievable, no Castanza in lineup, WHY????????

CrαZy

September 28th, 2011
4:42 pm

If the Braves lose tonight make sure the cliff you guys jump off of is high enough!! The last thing you want to do is end up in regretful in a wheelchair!!

Larry

September 28th, 2011
4:42 pm

Clifton,

Then I’d rather have Constanza face him just once! Diaz can’t hit a RHP and Constanza is the better outfielder.

ncscoots

September 28th, 2011
4:42 pm

they are probably not going to release him and eat $15 million.

Sunk cost. They can keep him on the roster or not, but the cost of replacing his 30+ starts is only going to be another half-million, or only 3 per cent more. The roster spot itself also has currency, so there’s that return, also.

It would be out of character for the team to just release him, heck, for that matter, to even pick up a large chunk of his check, but, either way, the cost is the cost. It’s a matter of how the team wants to replace the performance.

Mixxo

September 28th, 2011
4:42 pm

“exciting times!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Yeah…….for winners. :(

philly fan 4 ever

September 28th, 2011
4:43 pm

dn brian blanton may be fat but you guys are the biggest chokers in baseball if you lose tonight..good luck.Chop that, GULP.

jtb

September 28th, 2011
4:43 pm

At least we don’t have to worry about Scott Proctor coming out of the bullpen for the Braves tonight.

Supes

September 28th, 2011
4:43 pm

Maybe Prado wants a trade since he lost his 2B job, eh? No shame in his game!

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Look for Prado to be gone in the off-season…unless he can get back to the infield I don’t see long term future in Atlanta there. He just doesn’t give you good run producing production out a typical “power spot”…or LF.

If for some reason Chipper can’t continue, 3B will be fine for him…but Chipper already said he’s coming back. Prado can’t play short, and we’ve got Uggla at 2nd.

Wren needs to bring one more impact bat here in the off-season…and I don’t believe the organization has given up on Heyward (the other OF spot), as Bourn is locked into CF.

So logic dictates, you either reduce Prado to “super utility sub role” or trade him in the off-season.

Middle of the road ave, less than ave power and ave RBI are not enough from LF as it currently stands.

Eric

September 28th, 2011
4:43 pm

I can trust Huddy with his stuff when we’re facing elimination. Lets do this boys…

Tim

September 28th, 2011
4:44 pm

I agree – DOB and CR have been incredible bloggers all year long. Thanks for all that you do.

Regarding the poor finish, I am quite disappointed in some of the decisions that Fredi has made this past month. I truly don’t understand the decision to sit Constanza essentially for the entire month. I get that he cooled off after the injury, but they never gave him a shot to get his mojo back. The kid is fast enough to bust any slump and he puts the ball in play all the time (as opposed to the strike out kings we have been running out there). In addition, I think that he had way too short a leash on Minor, Beachy and Delgado during their last few starts, but way too long a leash on Lowe and Christian Martinez this past week. Specifically, the game against Washington when Werth got a cheap single and advanced on a ground out and came around to score. That was too much for Minor, but when Martinez got hit hard by back to back hitters for long fly ball outs and then gave up a hit and a homer in his third inning of work with multiple “fresh” arms in the pen. Just some poor managing of resources that have cost us in the long run.

I am truly hopeful that we are playing baseball on Saturday, but I am not entirely sure that my birthday wishes will come true.

philly fan 4 ever

September 28th, 2011
4:44 pm

Enter your comments here

Bat Masterson

September 28th, 2011
4:44 pm

coach

September 28th, 2011
4:44 pm

At least with Bobby Cox they waited until October to start losing!

MFin04

September 28th, 2011
4:44 pm

Where did all these new people come from!?!

DAP

September 28th, 2011
4:44 pm

i sort of agree with that fan graphs article, except if o’ventbrel each throw two innings, it might hurt them in the playoff game tomorrow, if it comes to that.

but yeah, quick hook for huddy tonight, and the bullpen arms need to be on alert. this is it guys. no holds barred.

Chop It Up All-Star

September 28th, 2011
4:44 pm

Hate that I’m traveling, but I will find the nearest sports bar with fingers crossed for tonight.

coach

September 28th, 2011
4:44 pm

Enter your comments here

Fred Macmurray

September 28th, 2011
4:45 pm

Warming up my Cap Tipping arm,,,,,,

Nova Scotia Steve - Braves Fan Until The End

September 28th, 2011
4:46 pm

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Fish Bisch

September 28th, 2011
4:46 pm

Enter you comments there

Rupert

September 28th, 2011
4:47 pm

People are whining about Heyward not being in the lineup, really? The kid has all the promise in the world, but he is not “the hottest hitter on the team” or done much to warrant any spot in the lineup over whoever the manager feels gives his team the best chance to win this must-win game. I know a lot of people love the kid, and jump at the first sign of life, but he’s had a bad year, still has holes in his swings. He runs into a few pitches, but he’s not consistent. For this game, the fact that Fredi, who has watched him all year, decides not to start him, tells you a lot.

richbrave

September 28th, 2011
4:47 pm

Enter your comments here

Fred Macmurray

September 28th, 2011
4:47 pm

Actually my Cap Tipping arm is a little sore,, may have to sit this one out

T for Texas

September 28th, 2011
4:47 pm

Thanks for the regular season 2011, David. I hope you stay “on the clock” just a few more weeks.

BravesfansinNC

September 28th, 2011
4:48 pm

Hi DOB I am curious what is your gut feeling for tonight game what do you think will happen.Thanks

VolBrave

September 28th, 2011
4:48 pm

Been saying this for the last 2 weeks and shouldn’t have to keep saying it but… I wanna see some FIRE tonight. Just some energy coming out of that dugout like last year. It’s obvious what playing for your manager can do for a team’s energy.

If someone hits a double or scores a run, I would just love to see one person (other than A Gon) smack his hands together and look at the dugout with some FIRE. We haven’t seen that all month. Forget this “stay even keeled BS” it’s not working. Let’s flip the script and look alive and excited everytime something good happens ala a little league team..

Let’s see some FIRE!

Also, thanks DOB and Carrol for another amazing year on the beat. You guys really do an outstanding job.

ncscoots

September 28th, 2011
4:48 pm

Bat, does this mean you’ve been released from purgatory?

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