Braves’ NL East title hopes end in 2-1 loss to Pirates




PITTSBURGH – The Braves’ division title hopes ended Monday night and one of their own former pitching prospects had plenty to do with it.

Rookie left-hander Jeff Locke, a second-round draft pick by the Braves in 2006 and part of the trio they gave to get Nate McLouth, limited the Braves to one run and two hits in six innings of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2-1 win on Monday night at PNC Park, clinching the National League East title for Washington.

The Braves were three games behind the first-place Nationals with only three games to play before Monday, meaning they needed to sweep the Pirates and have the Nationals get swept by Philadelphia to force a division tiebreaker. The Nats later lost 2-0, but by then it didn’t matter.

The Braves dropped the series opener against a skidding Pirates team and are now are assured of playing in Friday’s Wild Card game in Atlanta against St. Louis or the Los Angeles Dodgers, most likely the Cardinals.

“We wanted to go out and win the division,” said retiring third baseman Chipper Jones, who will make his final trip to the postseason. “It’s a little disappointing that we’re going to finish second. But we live on past Wednesday. It was going to be a tough row to hoe anyway – three down with three to play is never the situation you want to be in.

“But it is what it is now. We play Friday. Now our concentration should be getting ourselves ready for Friday night, or Friday afternoon or whatever it is.”

Game time hasn’t been set yet for the Wild Card game at Turner Field, since the American League Wild Card game will also be played that day and the teams plus other logistical factors will figure into the decision as to which games is played in the afternoon and which will get the prime time slot.

“I’m proud of the guys,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Ten days ago we were eight or nine games back, and the Nationals came in and we swept them. We just kept battling. But it was going to be difficult. We just didn’t have any games to play against them, so it would have almost had to be a perfect ending for us, and then the other way [Nationals lose all their games, too].

“It’s something we shoot for and we didn’t get it. We’ve got the Wild Card game. There’s been many teams that go through the wild card to win the World Series. So we’ll take it one game at a time.”

The Braves clinched a wild-card berth a week ago, but were holding out hope to win the East and advance directly to a division series, avoiding the do-or-die scenario of the Wild Card “play-in” game as it’s been referred to by some.

Their odds of winning the division weren’t good before Monday, and the Pirates ended the Braves’ suspense while helping Locke (1-3) collect his first major league win with his best performance in 12 career games, including 10 starts.

The rookie had been 0-6 with a 7.08 ERA in nine previous starts, including 0-3 with a 7.50 ERA in five this season. Locke was traded along with pitcher Charlie Morton and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez in the June 2009 deal for McLouth, who was a bust for Atlanta and is now playing – and playing well – for Baltimore.

Braves lefty Paul Maholm (13-11) was solid – seven innings, five hits, two runs, two walks, eight strikeouts – but got little offensive support, an area that has to be a concern for the Braves as the postseason nears.

“It’s tough to win ballgames with two hits and one run,” Gonzalez said. “Pauly was outstanding. He deserves a better fate, but we just didn’t get the bats going.”

Despite winning seven of their previous eight games and 19 of 26 before Monday, the Braves have scored two or fewer runs in 12 of their past 25 games.

“Lack of offense is always a concern,” Jones said. “But quite honestly you can’t control when you’re seeing it good, when you’re swinging it good. I can’t speak for the rest of the guys; they may feel great. I don’t feel particularly good at the plate. But it’s up to me to fix it before Friday.”

Now that the division race is over and the Braves know they’ll play the Wild Card game, Gonzalez plans to rest some players and hopes that will help revive them and the offense.

“Maybe now we give these guys a day off, maybe play some of the bench and get those guys going,” he said. “They need some at-bats too. You don’t want to give [regulars] three days off before our next game Friday, but maybe we can get a couple of guys an at-bat here or there and get them out of the game.”

Locke had five walks, including two apiece in the second and third innings. But the Braves didn’t make him pay much for those free passes. After consecutive walks in the second, Brian McCann grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The Braves took a 1-0 lead with a two-out rally in the third inning, getting a Michael Bourn single and Martin Prado walk before Jason Heyward singled up the middle to drive in a run. Jones walked to load the bases before Freddie Freeman grounded out to end the inning.

“We had some opportunities,” Gonzalez said. “We had, what, first and second with one out, and Mac rolled into a double play. And bases loaded with two out and Freeman rolled over one. It’s hard to win ballgames with two hits and one run.”

The Pirates answered quickly with a run in the bottom of the inning when Starling Marte hit a leadoff triple that bounced down the left-field line and caromed out of the corner past left-field Reed Johnson. Chas d’Arnaud followed with a grounder that drove in the tying run.

Marte put the Pirates ahead with his leadoff homer in the fifth inning, only the second homer off Maholm in his past six starts after he allowed six homers in five August starts.

“I made a couple of bad pitches to Marte and he hit a [triple] and the home run, and the one to Cutch [McCutchen] wasn’t where I wanted it.” said Maholm, who spent his first seven seasons in the majors with Pittsburgh. “For the most part I did what I wanted. Obviously I’d rather not give up the two runs, but you go seven and give up two, most of the time you’re going to come out pretty good.”

157 comments Add your comment

Miami Dave

October 1st, 2012
9:49 pm

Fudge! Fudge! Fudge!

Ken Stallings

October 1st, 2012
9:52 pm

Frankly, I’m not upset with this. Now Chipper can rest a few days, which I think he needed to do, and the Braves can get ready for the WC game. Best the Braves could have done was force a tie-breaker game for the division, and only then if the Nats lost out. By it happening now, the Braves have three days to rest those who needed it, and two games to give playing time and AB’s to those who need that.

lee maye

October 1st, 2012
9:52 pm

Braves couldn’t hit again. Manager Fredi refuses or doesn’t know how to manufacture runs. Constanza could have stolen 2nd in the 9th. Fredi doesn’t send him. Lefties of Braves can’t hit lefties. Locke looked like Sandy Koufax. Will Lohse do the same althought he is a rightie?

least of the east

October 1st, 2012
10:00 pm

the lowly mets bombed Locke in his last start 5 days ago. he gave up 9 hits and 5 runs I believe.
we can’t score more than 1 run with 5 walks handed to us !
this team is going to get anywheres in the playoffs ? I guess we’ll need a 0.00 ERA.
Garcia pitched tonight for Cards so maybe we’ll avoid a lefty Fri and have Wainright beat us. it’ll be be a double whammy by ex Braves in 1 week.

BaseballTopFan

October 1st, 2012
10:03 pm

The Atlanta Braves had a good regular season.

Baseball Top Fan wish the Braves and Chipper Jones good luck in the Wild Card game.

We hope and pray that it is not Chipper last game in a Braves uniform !!!

BaseballTopFan@Yahoo.com

ChipperisGod

October 1st, 2012
10:05 pm

Offense was anemic tonight. We got some good hits early, but after that, Locke was unhittable. Guys just weren’t taking good approaches. Some were, but Freddie in that bases loaded situation should have taken a much better approach. Instead he swung at a first pitch that simply wasn’t there.

Paul pitched great and deserved a win. We just didn’t have it tonight. Hopefully we get it out of our system and can finish strong. For the love of everything that is, rest Chipper. Need him fresh for the playoffs.

Fredi shouldn’t rest everyone though. I think everyone (sans Bourn) should get a day off during this series, but don’t let guys get too rusty. Ross should start the WC game. As much as I love Mac, he is an offensive liability right now and hasn’t been the same since July. He’s just too banged up.

I thought we were over this inability to hit minor league pitchers after the game yesterday, but I guess not.

Bad night, let’s move on and finish the season strong. DO NOT GO INTO FULL REST MODE, FREDI! Pick and choose your spots.

thomas smith

October 1st, 2012
10:11 pm

why does fredi g keep pinch hitting overbay and baker ?they are worthless

Paul

October 1st, 2012
10:11 pm

I agree the Braves can’t seem to “rise to the occasion”. There’s no there — there! Listless and pathetic performance against one of the worst teams in baseball. Where’s the heart? Where’s the soul? Lose to a pitcher who I’m not sure has won a game this season with everything on the line?? I don’t get this team except for one word. CHOKERS! This city deserves better. Try a new manager who doesn’t sleep throughout the game might be a good start. Going nowhere in the play-offs yet again…

gy6

October 1st, 2012
10:11 pm

enjoy your one game “postseason”.

Mike

October 1st, 2012
10:17 pm

Such a weird/sad/twisted sight seeing the Nats lose 2-0 and come to the dugout to celebrate haha not bashing them, the Braves would have done the same thing, it’s just odd…

Dum-Bass

October 1st, 2012
10:20 pm

Good job, Braves! Way to give it up in a “classy” manner. Rather pathetic and pitiful IMHO! Surely you are better than that, or are you? Guess we will find out for sure come Friday! If St. Louis gets smart and decides to start a lefty, the Braves are toast!

Mike

October 1st, 2012
10:21 pm

And all the naysayers need to chill. The Braves have been playing great baseball for weeks, one game isn’t going to kill anything. If you didn’t notice, we scored one more run than the Nats did tonight. And our one game postseason is (at least) one more game than 20 other teams are playing, I’ll take 163+ over 162, no?

gy6

October 1st, 2012
10:23 pm

ChipperisGod

October 1st, 2012
10:24 pm

Please Paul and gy6. It’s not like the Nats are exactly bringing it right now. We’ve been playing much better baseball lately. We just had a bad night offensively. It happens. We should have played better, no excuse, but I’m tired of people seeing one bad performance from the Braves and writing them off then and there. What about when the Brewers swept us and then we came back and swept the Nats and have won every series since then?

Would one of the “worst teams in baseball” be able to do that? No. One of the worst teams in baseball would not have won 93 games this year and kept the division within three games during the last week of the season. Yes the offense hasn’t produced as well as it should lately, and tonight was no exception, but no one should write this team off.

It is bothersome that the Cardinals took two of three from the Nationals and are beating the Reds right now. But we have Medlen, and home field advantage. The Braves HAVE risen to the occasion at home this year overall. I use that Nats series as exhibit A. I like our chances in that game regardless of what happened tonight and what happens tomorrow and the next day.

Mike

October 1st, 2012
10:24 pm

Who peed in your cheerios? night folks

RBI

October 1st, 2012
10:28 pm

The Braves are terrible against pitchers they have never seen. Does this say something about poor scouting?

Fire Fredi

October 1st, 2012
10:34 pm

Mike this team has not been playing well against teams with records above .500. Eventhough they are assured a wildcard play in game, so much more was anticipated. The organization should think about changing chemistry and maybe a new manger.

Ranger Randy

October 1st, 2012
10:35 pm

Brian McCann is dead wood at the plate right now; laurels from the past are not going to get it done today. The guy is hitting .227. Really don’t want to see him in there on Friday!

The Brave Californian

October 1st, 2012
10:38 pm

Well, what did you expect with Koufax on the mound?

NatFanNatl

October 1st, 2012
10:41 pm

Go ALL the way Nats!

Robert

October 1st, 2012
10:41 pm

The organization is due to pick up a player option on Brian next year of 12 million. Based on his injuries in the last two years and his declining power number and average number, the Braves have a lot of decisions to make.

Who Me?

October 1st, 2012
10:43 pm

Leave it to this team to give a snot-nosed rookie his first win against a playoff-bound team. Not only does this waste a great opportunity to win the division outright but it gives the Pirates a full head of steam for the next 2 games.

The fact that we’re going to the postseason all but assures another season of listless performances against also-rans. If we were owned by anything else but a cable tv station, management would look at losses like this one and give the idiot the heave-ho.

you gotta have your team hitting on all cylinders right now, lapses like this are unforgiveable at this stage of the season. Folks we’re just not that good yet.

braveslover

October 1st, 2012
10:45 pm

I’m worried. What was Freeman thinking by swinging at the first pitch after Locke had walked two? Freeman has the second highest avg swinging at the first pitch and Prado has the second lowest avg of swinging at the first pitch. DO NOT be predictable. We have the most success by making the pitcher work and throw a lot of pitches in the early innings. Got to get back to that. Patience and there will be one really good pitch each at bat, when it comes mash it. If it’s not there let it go.

Robert

October 1st, 2012
10:47 pm

Fredi why Overbay? I would rather used Fransisco as he has power. This is just an example why you should be fired, along with Frank Wren who picks up scraps out of the garbage. Let me remind you Overbay had been released by the Diamonbacks.

jake

October 1st, 2012
10:48 pm

-Good News- Braves in Post Season again- PITCHING PITCHING PITCHING and GOOD DEFENSE
-But it was Monday plus LHP = Braves get two hits off young Pirate Pitcher with a real poor record
-Braves loaded Line up with five LHB’s – Fredi G wanted to confuse the young LHP= Two hits …..
-Maholm pitched good game again but made one mistake again-he shold know Braves Pitchers have to shut out the other Team or maybe give up ONLY ONE RUN to WIN
-Still think Medlen will shut down Cards FRIDAY BUT HE NEEDS ONE RUN– Rest Chipper-he is walking dead right now
-Go Braves – Go Deep

Semper Fi Braves Fan

October 1st, 2012
10:49 pm

McCann is killing this team, one ground ball at a time. Freddi needs to realize his best catcher is Ross.. (higher BA, BA with RISP, Higher HR per Plate appearances, oh and his defense is better. Sit the fat bum McCant.

Quack Quack

October 1st, 2012
10:50 pm

It’s Monday. what did everyone expect?

Tomorrow is a brand new day. Put this behind us, and get moving. “It ain’t over til it’s over”

GO BRAVES!!!

Tom

October 1st, 2012
10:50 pm

Braves struggle versus a pitcher they have not seen before, this is not a recording. did i mention today is monday? course this pitcher was in the braves minor leagues….

Robert

October 1st, 2012
10:52 pm

Let’s face it Braves country Fredi is not the one to put your trust in.

Largo

October 1st, 2012
10:53 pm

No surprise here. Soon as I found out this kid had not won a game I knew we were in trouble. The fact that he was a lefty just kinda sealed the braves’ fate. The offense shows up only a couple of times a month so there is no way these bums can beat St Louis in a playoff game.

kevkat

October 1st, 2012
10:53 pm

We had some opportunities,” Gonzalez said. “We just didn’t get the bats going.”

Hope that’s not the case on Friday

BillRGoat

October 1st, 2012
10:53 pm

Good try, Braves, considering all the things that have gone wtong this season, injuries, off seasons for key players such as McCann and Uggla for most of the year, troubles at shortstop, etc. Good try for the division title. Now rest some players and win the wild card game. I guess I wish the Braves would have lost their last chance to catch the Nats by having the Nats WIN, rather thah the Braves lose, though. GOTTA find a way to do better against lefties. Please rest Chipper. His bat has looked slow for the last several games, and the team needs him badly.

Don Gurian

October 1st, 2012
10:54 pm

Considering that McCann is batting .227 and Ross is batting considerably better, and is a better defensive catcher, why are they not AT LEAST platoonnig them? Is this really such a difficult strategy ?

BryceH

October 1st, 2012
10:55 pm

Nats win! Nats win! NL EAST CHAMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Semper Fi Braves Fan

October 1st, 2012
10:57 pm

Speaking of bums, whats Overbay’s PH stats with the braves? 0-14? Yeah that was the right call.

Robert

October 1st, 2012
10:59 pm

With Chipper gone next year where will the RBI’s come from as Fredi will wait for the big inning that won’t materialize. Fredi won’t change his philosophy and adapt.

Keith

October 1st, 2012
11:02 pm

This is totally ok with me. Now they can rest some of the banged up guys.

I like that the Nats had to sweat a little.

Braves’ pitching and somewhat sputtering offense are as dangerous as anyone in the NL. I am feeling as good as any fan does that their team is headed to the postseason. The one-game thing worries more than the series do.

Go BRAVES! :)

Robert

October 1st, 2012
11:03 pm

Semper Fi Braves Fan, Whats your thought heaven forbid the braves lose on Friday? Do you think they will make a change at the GM and management level.

Keith

October 1st, 2012
11:03 pm

DOB,

Who do you believe the Cards will throw on Friday?

I’m guessing Lohse or Wainright. Isn’t Lohse a lefty? Probably Lohse if so….

Go BRAVES! :)

Largo

October 1st, 2012
11:04 pm

We couldn’t beat a guy who had never won a game and now they are thinking about beating St Louis. Dream on. Who will knock in the winning run, McCann? If their offense wasn’t sad it would be laughable.

Keith

October 1st, 2012
11:04 pm

Re: Robert

GM, Wren was awesome this year. He did a phenomenal job actually. Maholm and Johnson were great and Sheets was an amazing find.

Bronke

October 1st, 2012
11:04 pm

Was hoping for better tonight. Chipper really looks spent thes last 2 weeks. Love McCann but he can be a liability down the stretch. Great year and time to rest some starters. Drop Overbay ASAP. Wow is he awful or what? Proud of the Braves despite a subpar manager we did all right. Get ready for Friday boys. Lots more games to win :)

Keith

October 1st, 2012
11:05 pm

Re: Largo

We’ve owned the Cards this year (7-1) and just swept the Nats not long ago. Braves can beat anybody. One game is a crap shoot though!

Robert

October 1st, 2012
11:06 pm

Keith tell me about the offense against teams over .500?

Keith

October 1st, 2012
11:09 pm

Playoff games are usually 2-1 and 3-2 games. Braves are really good in those situations.

Also, it’s a whole new season once the playoffs start. Just ask the ‘06 Champion Cardinals who fell apart in September but got hot in October.

Braves Country

October 1st, 2012
11:18 pm

If we had a manager who knew how to adapt to the game type situation we would have won more games and this last series would have not been so important. This pathetic attitude and glum look on players faces would not have occurred with Bobby managing the team. He would have had the team ready to play.

SLBReb

October 1st, 2012
11:19 pm

Sad truth is that the season will come down to one playoff game. We will have to hope Kris pitches a no hitter with the bottom half of this line up. It has been this way all season but we have had incredible pitching (Hanson aside) in H2. Good job Braves for making the playoffs but hate that it will come down to one game.

Braves Country

October 1st, 2012
11:20 pm

Fredi has to go !!!. Shows lack of confidence in his demeanor and the players can see it.

David O'Brien

October 1st, 2012
11:20 pm

Who do you believe the Cards will throw on Friday?

Lohse unless they have to play wild-card tiebreaker game with Dodgers on Thursday.

Fats OKelly

October 1st, 2012
11:27 pm

Time to rest Bones Jones,Popeye Uggla so they can do their “clutch” hitting to take us to the WS
I would not be shocked if they made it to the WS

OckToba

October 1st, 2012
11:29 pm

Anything can happen in October and I gotta feeling this team just might rock out this month. Like a sleeping giant that has a bitter taste from last year and is about to annihilate folks. See you ALL there Friday. If you are not there then you can’t complain. Soooo excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#chopsyourfaceoff

Mike McDonald

October 1st, 2012
11:29 pm

Fredi Gonzalez has no feel for the nuances and bold strategies that even a journeyman MLB manger must possess. Tonight, he proved once again that he is totally inept. and clueless. With the superior pitching staff he has, he started and stayed too long with a sub-par, Maholm. This game should have been played as the seventh game of the World Series, using all the potent pitching weapons. available to him, in abundance.

I’ve never seen the likes of him in 70+ years, starting with “dem bums” in Brooklyn.

My hope is that the Braves lose the wild card on Friday for the long term good of the franchise. Perhaps, this will shock the Braves ownership/managment into a clean house from stem to stern. Their pitching assets and position player talent, including Prado, Freeman, Heyward, Ross and Yanish and their new ss sensation are a neucleous for a long run.

Replace the unready and unsteady Fredi G. with Chipper as the Skipper, evaluate McCann and Bourn critically and unload Uggla, at whatever it takes.

The total payroll is very much under control going foward to afford a David Wright and a power RH outfielder.

Trade bait includes Hanson, McCann, J.J., Uggla and free agents such as Moylan, Hinske, Diaz and rookies such as Petrowski(?) and misc others such as Maholm, Sheets, Reed Johnson, et al.

Fredi blew it in 2011. He’s blowing it in 2012. And he will continue to underperform in 2013. No matter what Bonny Cox says.

OckToba

October 1st, 2012
11:34 pm

Also when Uggla hits a game winning home run this post season all will be forgiven. I wonder if the Braves were to lose in the WS if people would still want him fired???
I’m just getting my elbow stretched out for Fridays game cause I plan on chopping

Keith

October 1st, 2012
11:40 pm

Considering last year’s debacle and a historical collapse, Fredi has done a good job this year.

Managing egos, not “standing pat” on certain things, learning from last year’s mistakes, he has improved immensely from last year! :)

Keith

October 1st, 2012
11:41 pm

Thanks, DOB, for responding. :)

Keith

October 1st, 2012
11:44 pm

Re: OckToba

Me, too. I will be there.

Hoping for a special ending to Chipper’s final year. Would be nice.

PaulG

October 1st, 2012
11:46 pm

Incredible…one loss & the whiners are back…good to see that some have special insights on managing & the psychological makeup of the players even though never having played the game with any proficiency or having PhD in psychology

ylojkt

October 2nd, 2012
12:01 am

What time will the WC game be if it is the day game?

derek k

October 2nd, 2012
12:09 am

DO’B

With Medlen pitchin hasnt Ross been his catcher most of his last starts? So why switch it up? I would say Ross and if Medlen exits then they can go to McCann or save him for a pinch hitter.
Thanks

ChipperisGod

October 2nd, 2012
12:10 am

Yeah, I hope it’s not too. Thankfully Lohse will pitch. Even though he’s good, he’s not a LHP, we’re at home, we have Medlen, the Braves will be pumped to play this game. We’ve handled the Cards this year (although it was early, doesn’t mean anything now).

We have struggled against teams over 500, especially in the second half. We swept the Mets when they were over 500, lost 2 of 3 to the Giants, split with the Nats, lost 2 of 3 to the Dodgers, 2 of 3 to the Nats, split with the Giants, and then swept the Nats.

So that’s two series wins (and one against a team that is well below 500 now), two splits and three series losses going a combined 13-10 against teams that are over 500 in the second half. Or if you want to be technical, 10-10 against teams with a winning record by the end of the season. So we’ve somewhat held our own even though at times it hasn’t looked good.

Gotta be more consistent on offense if we want to win this postseason. Pitching has been fantastic, even Paul is stepping up again having three straight great starts.

Offense has to show up more. At times it’s been great, I mean that game I went to where we hit Gio was a championship caliber offense on display. We’ve seen it plenty of times this year where the offense has been able to step up. It just seems like other than the Nats series (and even during it), the bats have been relatively quiet.

derek k

October 2nd, 2012
12:12 am

Keith

we are 5-1 against the Cards this year not 7 buddy ;) i would like to make it 6-1 though

derek k

October 2nd, 2012
12:17 am

ChipperisGod,

More bunting we need to do that and of course not swing at the first pitch like freddi did tonight.. Get a runner bunt him over its a must and then just put the ball in play. Stl is going to be hard to beat they have a great offense no doubt! We just have to pitch better and bunt when we can no matter who it is…it will be tough to steal off of Yoda lol so its a must.

derek k

October 2nd, 2012
12:20 am

A bunt is a productive out…not a groundout like everyone else seems to do when they are tryin to move the runner over… I cant make it any clearer “get runners in soring posistion and cause havoc” dont set back and wait.

Robert

October 2nd, 2012
12:20 am

Fredi this was a loss at your feet. It was your responsibility to speak up when your team is not executing your plan. This was a very important series and your offense didn’t make any adjustment all night.

Robert

October 2nd, 2012
12:23 am

Fredi your decision making tonight and all season has been horrible and for that my friend you should be voted off the island

Robert

October 2nd, 2012
12:23 am

Fredi your decision making tonight and all season has been horrible and for that my friend you should be voted off the island

Frank Shab in PA

October 2nd, 2012
12:27 am

One and Done! Yep the Braves will be gone after Friday. The Curse of Brooks Conrad will haunt us again. Watch and you’ll see what I mean. The Braves wil lose because of poor fielding. As we all know, it’s been one of their strong suits all year.

Tip O' the Cap

October 2nd, 2012
12:28 am

If the Braves lose in on Friday, do we consider that another loss in the 1st round? Or is that worse because it’s a pre-playoff round loss and marginally better than last year?

derek k

October 2nd, 2012
12:30 am

We need to root for the dodgers to force a one game playoff between them! Im from MO and i hate the cards worth a passion! rather face the dodgers than cards, i dont care if we losr or what! It would benefit us to maybe idk

Presto the Clown

October 2nd, 2012
12:39 am

This is what scares me about a 1 game playoff with the Braves. They seem to have nights when they go brain dead and can’t hit a lick against inferior pitchers. I would feel more comfortable facing Gonzales of Washington or some other ace that we have faced before. Fans will be on pins & needles for this clusterf**k.

JHarber

October 2nd, 2012
12:48 am

Get ready for another letter from J.S.

Joe

October 2nd, 2012
12:50 am

As usual, a journeyman, struggling, winless pitcher with an ERA over 6 owns this weak lineup. Good luck against the Cards. They’re going to need luck, because they don’t have any intensity.

SR

October 2nd, 2012
1:48 am

Pleasantly surprised at what this team has done but still not a consistent offensive team and bats seem to be going cold just when you don’t want them to. Let’s hope they wake up by Friday.

Semper Fi Braves Fan

October 2nd, 2012
2:02 am

I don’t think Frank Wren has done a bad job this year. He has had some big money contracts go sour, and anyone that says they could have predicted Uggla’s collapse should be picking lotto numbers.

Fredi however is just clueless. LHP starter, McCant starting over Ross? Overbay PH when Francisco has actually had a couple of big PH hits this year? Overbay is 1-16 as a Brave for an average of .063. Yeah that’s the guy I want batting in the top of the 9th? Then McCann right behind him who can barely beat out line drives to right field, if he didn’t ground out to 2nd or 1st every time? McCant has a SUB .200 batting average over the past 2 months! WHY IS THIS BUM PLAYING?

Another fine example was Sundays game.. Yeah the Braves won… but Ross beat out an infield single by half a step and was called out. Ross starts to argue and the coward manager comes out and gets Ross to sit, so he can “talk” to the blind umpire? Bobby cox would have been ejected before he hit the top step defending his players on such an obvious blown call.

Fredi is clueless coward. Last year he sat Heyward over Costanza down the stretch? This year he has sent Lyle Overbay to the plate in over 50% of the games without ANY production at all, and started a catcher who is obviously hurt and killing the team over the better choice.

If the Braves make it past Friday, it will be because Kris tossed a shutout. Otherwise the line up of fat bums who swing for the fence with 0-2 counts will surely ensure chipper misses none of deer season.

Kwajbraves

October 2nd, 2012
3:33 am

We get to play game 163 with the Cardinals after all. I like this scenario becase if we win of Friday then we get redemption from last year if we lose then at least we would be eliminated by the World Champions. Let’s roast the birds on Friday.

Train Wreck Bystander

October 2nd, 2012
4:13 am

This loss leaves a bad taste in the mouth, seeing as the Nats lost too. Coulda, shoulda, woulda.

There should be no excuses for Friday though – unless Tuesday’s & Wednesday’s get rained out and there is a Braves-Pirates doubleheader Thursday.

GO BRAVES

Kevin Chop

October 2nd, 2012
4:24 am

Fredi has to be fired after the loss Friday.

RGP

October 2nd, 2012
6:30 am

I agree with Semper Fi. Why would FG start McCann over Ross against a lefty pitcher. McCann didn’t look like he had a clue at the plate.

Chas

October 2nd, 2012
6:46 am

Typical weak,sorry-assed Atlanta offense. Mail it in boys. This group always seems to do a team slump. That tiny, little Reed Johnson brings nothing. Freddie, Chipper, Heyward are all spitting it out at the same time. Brian McCan’t…LOOK AT HIS NUMBERS SINCE AUGUST 2011. He has been 13 months of lousy. Uggla, 3 weeks of decent…3 months of nothing. Bourne’s second half was sad. I’m tired of hearing Joe and Chip say “how they’re (the Braves) are playing their best baseball now…” Their best baseball now, will get them one and done on Friday. Overbay, Baker, and Hinske are the worst bench in America. They bring nothing. They are all “Wren-on-yhe-cheap-moves”. Offensively, these guys are pathetic.

LivinInAL

October 2nd, 2012
6:46 am

It is time for the Dodgers to win 2 more, the Cards drop 2, and then have an emotion draining slugfest on Thursday. Of course, even if winning, the Cards can’t celebrate until Friday… or never.

BillyD

October 2nd, 2012
6:53 am

Congrats to the Braves, I love them. But if they were going to ” MAIL THE GAME IN” on monday why in the hell did they bother to go at all. Im ashamed of the effort when they were still in the division race . Thats the second time this year it was apparent they didnt care.Leaves a bad taste just prior to the playoff game

longtimefan

October 2nd, 2012
6:58 am

Only the clueless fans on Atlanta’s blog sites could call for firing the manager who has led his team to 93-95 wins in the regular season with one of the best records in baseball. Funny how you guys know just the right moves to make in the game retrospectively. How about actually rooting for the home team to win instead of constantly harping on the deficiencies of the team. Do you guys think all the other teams in MLB are perfect? If they were they wouldn’t be trailing the Braves. And Robert, you clearly do not know what you are talking about if you even suggest firing FW. He has assembled an excellent roster of players with a middlin payroll. If he had Yankees/Dodgers/Phillies money to spend, you couldn’t beat this team. Where most of you get your eternal pessimism from as well as the Braves have played is beyond me. This is mostly the same group of trolls that predicted a September collapse. How did that work out for you?

Lee

October 2nd, 2012
7:07 am

Logic said this is how this run at the Division Title would end. Three out of three (wins for us, losses for the Nationals) was just a little more magic than we could muster. I hope to god for two things. First, that Friday Night is sold to the rafters with Braves fans and that no one with a Cardinal Jersey can get a ticket. Second, that St. Louis doesn’t have some mediocre lefty hanging around the bull pen that they can throw at us because, that seems to be all it takes to put our bats to sleep. We will be better off if they start Lohse rather than someone like Jamie Garcia. We have to fix that problem. In any case, Chipper’s excellent adventure continues and there are still games left to play. GO BRAVES!

Lee

October 2nd, 2012
7:12 am

“Overbay, Baker, and Hinske are the worst bench in America” Chas, obviously, you were not here for Corky and Norton. No bench was worse than that, ever.

john

October 2nd, 2012
7:15 am

DON;T CRY BABYS NEXT YEAR NOT TO LONG TO WAIT .

Rick in Macon

October 2nd, 2012
7:22 am

longtimefan…point is, we could have had wins of over 100 games each season if the manager had a clue. Fredi may be a nice guy, but he’s absolutely lost when it comes to managing…he’s way out of his league.

Tennessee Braves Fan

October 2nd, 2012
7:34 am

I agree with you, Longtimefan. The epitome of these trolls is when one of them, given the choice of Braves winning Friday or going home, he chose losing. Fredi is not perfect, but has made many good moves this year including saving Medlin for the 2nd half and sitting Uggla for a few games. Some of them talk about how Bobby would have never done this or that, yet they are probably the same ones who whined on and on about how great it would be when he is gone. I am constantly amazed at the negativity here. I ignore them and hope they’ll just go away.

reality

October 2nd, 2012
7:36 am

LTF – I agree with you 100%. I don’t understand what it is that compels these blog people to come on here and congratulate each other on how smart they are after the braves lose. My opinion is that this team has over performed expectations. They were mediocre and made no changes from last year. Being competitive was all the ownership pays for and the braves were much more than that. At the ALL Star break I thought they were dead in the water, pitching was a mess, key players were slumping. But a lot of small things started to happen. Like the pitching transformed. And through it all Chipper battled on, old broken, and sore. Now I believe this could be a magical season ending, like the Cardinals last year. As a fan you have to hope for magic because thats what baseball is all about. St Louis had it. Now its our turn.

Oh Well

October 2nd, 2012
7:36 am

Nats finally backed in with a Braves loss…….

Tennessee Braves Fan

October 2nd, 2012
7:46 am

Imagine how brilliant Fredi and FW would be if they listened to all these incredible baseball minds that drone on and on on this blog. Why, they’d of won 150 games at least. Get a little cheese to go with that whine. . . Braves are in the playoffs and have given us a very entertaining season to watch; and yes, a magical season it’s been. Lets go all the way!!

Just what expected

October 2nd, 2012
7:47 am

Just what I said, in Monday’s morning’s comment, here. Braves playing on Monday night. What would end up in a Braves loss. And the Nat’s been given the division, handed, to them.

Just what expected

October 2nd, 2012
7:47 am

Just what I said, in Monday’s morning’s comment, here. Braves playing on Monday night. What would end up in a Braves loss. And the Nat’s been given the division, handed, to them.

ROTFLMFAO

October 2nd, 2012
7:54 am

Face it folks, the Braves have a very small chance of staying in the hunt for the World Series. I predict that they’ll lose the WC game against whoever opposes them. They just can’t hit the damn baseball when hitting it is needed. And if they do hit it, it’s always into a double play or an easy throw to 1st base for an out (usually the 3rd one). :( I want to see them win as much as you do, but I think they haven’t got the heart to do that. So once more we are left with saying, “Just wait until next year.” :(

yellowfever

October 2nd, 2012
8:01 am

when was the last time this Braves team put up a double digit in hit’s.

Paul In Richmond

October 2nd, 2012
8:04 am

The best team won the division.

Washington is young, enthusiastic and focused. They never even TALK about “resting” players like the old Braves. And they don’t obsess over lefties/righties or putting on shows for retiring players. They just win ball games.

Now we Braves fans are deluding ourselves because in the last series Braves are playing “better” than the Nationals. That is so funny.

It will take a weird string of luck for this Braves club to win a couple playroff series with errors, hitting and pitching all falling our way in ways it hasn’t all season.

But you can bet we will have the excuses all ready.

Alvin

October 2nd, 2012
8:16 am

“Washington is young, enthusiastic and focused. They never even TALK about “resting” players like the old Braves.”
———-
Really? You mean Strasburg is still pitching? Zimmerman threw a whole season last year? Ian Desmond didn’t take an unexplained month off to get over a minor injury?

Alvin

October 2nd, 2012
8:20 am

Oh yeah, don’t forget that Michael Morse has “rested” 60 games already and Jayson Werth took off half of the season. @Paul In Richmond, do facts matter to you?

Carl Farvman

October 2nd, 2012
8:27 am

Let’s use Sheets of Gergins Friday and save Meds for the playoffs.

northbeach Scott

October 2nd, 2012
8:59 am

Washington appears to sheepishly back into the division title, by the Braves loss. Not a way they should be proud of as the sputtered and stumbled these last several weeks. You may recall that is how the Braves won the division in 1982 after losing the final game to SD and then being saved by Joe Morgan’s late HR to beat the Dodgers. Then the Cards promptly swept the Braves.

Whichever team draws the Nats stands a good chance of beating them.

northbeach Scott

October 2nd, 2012
9:03 am

The Braves have been playing good ball down the stretch with superior pitching. The hitting has been inconsistent to say the least, yet they have been winning. A couple of days to play, rest, and set things up is ideal. I like their chances and it sure beats last year.

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