MLB Network’s Larry Bowa analyzes Braves-Cardinals

Larry Bowa, an MLB Network studio analyst who spent 40 years in Major League Baseball as a player, manager and coach, analyzes the Cardinals-Braves NL Wild Card game for the AJC. Bowa can be seen MLB Network’s ‘MLB Tonight’ before and after every postseason game.

Starting pitchers

Braves’ Kris Medlen: “Right now, Medlen might be best pitcher in National League. I’ve watched him pitch several times and not many teams are able to square up on him. He has 3-4 pitches he throws at will, whether he’s ahead or behind in the count. Pitching in his own park will be important. He’s as good as anybody.”

Cardinals’ Kyle Lohse: “He’s one of those guys who keeps you in ballgames. He throws you strikes. [But] he is the kind of guy you’re gonna get something to hit. Secondary pitches are important.”

Edge to: Medlen

Bullpen

Braves: [Craig] Kimbrel’s command’s a lot better. … Keeping that bullpen fresh has been the big thing. They went through a period of time [last season] where they used them a lot. [Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez] learned from past experiences.”

Cardinals: “They have a good bullpen but …”

Edge to: Braves

Run producers

Braves: “Michael Bourn is gonna steal more bases. They need him to get on base. Atlanta … if two guys we know they’ve had off years, [Dan] Uggla and [Brian] McCann, if those guys contribute that will make a big difference.”

Cardinals: “They have guys who can do some damage. [Carlos] Beltran is a very streaky hitter and starting to swing it again. [Catcher Yadier] Molina is one of the most valuable players in baseball and has become a very good hitter. You have to make pitches against them.”

Edge to: Braves

Managers

Fredi Gonzalez: “Fredi’s doing a great job. Anytime a manager can learn from what happened the year before and make adjustments. That’s impressive.”

Mike Matheny: “Coming in and replacing [Tony] LaRussa, that has to be the hardest thing to do. There might be some things strategy wise that are different [between Matheny and LaRussa] but [the Cardinals] seemed to make the adjustment.”

Edge to: “Fredi. If there is an edge; it’s experience, what they went through last year.”

Players to watch

Braves: “Because of what he did this year, [Freddie] Freeman … but [Jason] Heyward is the big bat in that lineup.”

Cardinals: “They have a lot of offensive weapons, but the one guy you don’t want to hurt you is [Matt] Holliday. He’s an RBI machine, the big guy in that lineup. You need to pitch to him with the bases empty.”

Edge to: Even

Game prediction

Bowa: “Everything is pretty even, but I lean a little bit toward the Braves.”

90 comments Add your comment

Sam

October 4th, 2012
11:02 am

Fredi is doing a great job? Thanks, I know not to trust Larry Bowa now.

Reid in EAV

October 4th, 2012
11:06 am

Didn’t Bowa work in the Braves organization, at least until fairly recently?

Dave

October 4th, 2012
11:11 am

Tell me how Fredi’s been doing a bad job this year.

Tumbledown

October 4th, 2012
11:15 am

So whose opinion carries greater weight: a fan named Sam OR someone who has spent 40 years in Major League Baseball as a player, manager, and coach and is now a MLB network analyist?

Tough call!

I'm the Slime

October 4th, 2012
11:29 am

I have no complaints with Fredi this season, last season maybe. He’s not a manager of the year but he has done a nice job with this team.

CFBrave Fan

October 4th, 2012
11:33 am

Fredi has done very well. He’s changed tactics after last year. Sticking with Minor and benching Uggla were good decisions. Especially backing Minor. Wren has done well too. The players have to perform now.

Offnote

October 4th, 2012
11:48 am

By all accounts, and that is a list of people who are infinitely more knowlegeable than me, the Braves turnaround season after last year’s collapse is historic. If the Braves did not perform as well as they have, Fredi would have been blamed rightly and swiflty. So how Braves fans cannot give Fredi Gonzalez the credit he deserves is baffling.

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
12:06 pm

Did they announce the game 2 starters?

BravesFanInBama

October 4th, 2012
12:08 pm

Players to watch: Martin Prado…That name should ALWAYS be on any list.

Steve

October 4th, 2012
12:12 pm

Bowa says “everything is pretty even” yet he gave almost all of the edges to the Braves. Yea that makes sense.

Steve

October 4th, 2012
12:13 pm

Bream Is My Homie that’s a joke right?

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
12:15 pm

No joke, Bream is my homie for real. He’s my favorite mustachioed player from teh early 90’s. He got us to the World Series singlehandily.

Steve

October 4th, 2012
12:16 pm

I meant about asking who the game 2 starter was.

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
12:17 pm

No. I have tickets. Curious who might be pitching. Probably Huddy but I’d love to see what Miner can do in the playoffs!

Steve

October 4th, 2012
12:19 pm

Well, this is a one game playoff tomorrow so I am not sure how you have tickets to game 2. There is however a game 1 on Sunday of the NLDS.

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
12:21 pm

The ticket says “if necessary.” They told me I’d get a full refund if the game didn’t happen.

Steve

October 4th, 2012
12:22 pm

Bream are you that slow?
Friday – Wild Card Game, 1 game only.
Sunday – Winner plays at home Sunday, Game 1, against Washington
Monday – Game 2

If the Braves win tomorrow, game 1 is at Turner Field Sunday with Hudson pitching and game 2 is Monday with Minor pitching.

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
12:24 pm

So then there is a game 2? And it would only be necessary if the Braves win tomorrow? So I was right all along? Who’s the slow one now!

Steve

October 4th, 2012
12:36 pm

There is no game 2 to the wild card game, only the NLDS.

Tami

October 4th, 2012
12:36 pm

Yes! Finally!!! Someone who is a so-called expert in MLB (and Bowa does qualify) actually gives the edge to the Braves. Thank you, Larry!

GO, BRAVES!

Fols

October 4th, 2012
12:37 pm

The way we hit and go 5 games at a time barely hitting, i’m surprised he gave us much love on that aspect.

How is Prado and Chipper not really mentioned? I know our kids Jason and Freddie are going to be great but this year, this series, it’s can Bourn, Prado, Chipper produce? Everything around that is just a gravy train cause Meds will be tough to beat.

Tami

October 4th, 2012
12:39 pm

@ Bream is my Homie…Steve is correct. The Wild Card game is a one-game play-IN game. It determines the Wild Card Winner (…stupid, I know) and advances to the NLDS. If the Braves win, they will play Washington for the NLDS, which would start in Atlanta. Games 1 & 2 in ATL, and Games 3, 4 & 5 (if necessary) in Wash.

Sid

October 4th, 2012
12:40 pm

Hudson pitching Game 2

Virginia Brave Fan

October 4th, 2012
12:43 pm

Bream is my Homie – that was some solid trolling.

Fols

October 4th, 2012
12:44 pm

You guys are concerned about all the wrong things…

Who is in line to start the final game against the Nationals when we sweep them?

JoeBravesFan

October 4th, 2012
12:52 pm

How fitting it will be to knock the Cardinals off after what they did to us last year! Then on to face the Nationals, who we swept the last time we played them. If we keep Hanson off the mound (which Fredi won’t because he’s a moron) we can at LEAST make it to the NLCS, if not the World Series. I really hope Chipper’s career doesn’t end in a one game play-in. GO BRAVES!

The Truth

October 4th, 2012
1:03 pm

The bottom of the Braves lineup will be the difference in this game. Something like Andrelton Simmons doubling to lead off the bottom of the 8th in a tie ball game, and a timely pinch hit from Reed or Hinske will bring him home. Kimbrel will come in and shut it down and the Braves will win 3-2 or 4-3.

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
1:03 pm

Thanks everyone! How great would it be to sweep the Cardinals after what happened last year tho?

G-dub

October 4th, 2012
1:04 pm

Fredi did a great job this year. Braves had a great season. How can anyone with any knowledge think different. Let’s go braves!!!!!!!!!

Larry the

October 4th, 2012
1:07 pm

JoeBravesFan
October 4th, 2012
12:52 pm

How fitting it will be to knock the Cardinals off after what they did to us last year! Then on to face the Nationals, who we swept the last time we played them. If we keep Hanson off the mound (which Fredi won’t because he’s a moron) we can at LEAST make it to the NLCS, if not the World Series. I really hope Chipper’s career doesn’t end in a one game play-in. GO BRAVES!

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

What did the Cardinals do to the Braves last year? The Braves did themselves in, not the Cardinals.

Let me ask….Do you need to wear a special helmet when you leave the house?

RogueRunr

October 4th, 2012
1:09 pm

@Steve – @Bream Is My Homie
You guys can go on the road with that show. Reminds me of ‘Who’s on First’? Hilarious.

Larry the

October 4th, 2012
1:12 pm

This blog needs a litmus test to determine baseball knowledge before anyone is allowed to post.

hunter55

October 4th, 2012
1:13 pm

I like the Braves, but hope that FG doesn’t pull a boner of a move that will cost us. (I.E. pitching)

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
1:13 pm

Yo, Larry the – Not only do you think that wanting to take out last year’s frustration on the Cardinals (since they were the team that overtook the Braves for the wildcard) is wrong. But you also think that anyone who *does* agree with that sentiment has some sort of mental or physical handicap such that they have to wear a helment outside the safety of their own home? Couple thoughts on that:
1. That’s incredibly offensive to anyone who is disabled, has suffered head trauma, etc.
2. Stop being a s/a fan and get excited for gosh sake!

Sleeze

October 4th, 2012
1:14 pm

I think Bream is My Homie is having some serious fun with his posts, and is chuckling every time someone tries to educate him.. That is.. until recess is over..

elbirdoswin

October 4th, 2012
1:15 pm

Enjoy your 1 day of fame….Cards will send you crying again

Just The Facts

October 4th, 2012
1:16 pm

I think Bream’s Homie has been hitting Nokahoma’s peace pipe. Need to work on your terminology. Now he’s calling a one game play in game a sweep? Go Braves!

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
1:17 pm

1-0 sounds like a sweep to me. That’s just the facts ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Go Braves!

Papachop

October 4th, 2012
1:18 pm

This one game sudden death playoff is so unfair. To rule like we didand be so far ahead at the end just to possibly have it end in one game is horrible! Should at least be 2 out of 3! Bad decision by MLB in my opinion.

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
1:19 pm

Also, it’s not a play-in game. This is the playoffs. The Braves have already played in by winning the wildcard. The first round consists of one game, the winner of which advances to the next round.

Larry the

October 4th, 2012
1:20 pm

Bream Is My Homie
October 4th, 2012
1:13 pm

Yo, Larry the – Not only do you think that wanting to take out last year’s frustration on the Cardinals (since they were the team that overtook the Braves for the wildcard) is wrong. But you also think that anyone who *does* agree with that sentiment has some sort of mental or physical handicap such that they have to wear a helment outside the safety of their own home? Couple thoughts on that:
1. That’s incredibly offensive to anyone who is disabled, has suffered head trauma, etc.
2. Stop being a s/a fan and get excited for gosh sake!

———————————————————————————————————————————————-

Do you need a helmet if you can\’t spell helmet?

You need to lighten up some.

You must be one of those guys that likes to cook and clean because you are scared of your wife.

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
1:22 pm

LOL, your right. I can\’t spell good. Thanks for catching that typo pal. God bless!

Chip Carey

October 4th, 2012
1:28 pm

Hiya Bream Is My Homie, Glad to have you here. Hey, you wan’t a bucket with your drool? Well, that’s great on ya. Chuckle Chuckle Snortle Guffaw. Hold On. It’s a gapper cut off by the center fielder.

Tumbledown

October 4th, 2012
1:31 pm

Larry the – Do you need a helmet if you can\’t spell helmet?

You are a little harsh overall, but I gotta admit, that was a funny line. I also agree that the Braves basically did themselves in last season as they had many chances to put the Cardinals away. The Cardinals, however, deserved a ton of credit by not only passing the Braves last season but also beating the Phillies and Rangers in tight series to win the whole thing. Tomorrow night will not be easy, but let’s keep the faith.

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
1:35 pm

I agree, Tumbledown. Lettuce prey.

Papachop

October 4th, 2012
1:36 pm

elbirdobrain…who won 5 out of six this year? Have you seen Medlins ERA? You birdbrains are comin in to the chophouse, remember? Gonna be REAL loud! So get ready to fly away on vaca and eat seeds.

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
1:38 pm

Papachop –

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.\\……………|’-|–| .\\….\…..
..\ \_………..|–|—|..\\ ….\….
../ L \____,/——-\___\___
.|LOL|————-O—– —-,\..
..\ L /______,—”———–, /…
../ /………….\_________ ,/….
.//………….____//___ __\\__/.

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
1:39 pm

Aw man the stupid blog ruined my ROFLcopter

Sweet, Old Buck

October 4th, 2012
1:39 pm

DOB mentions Uggla and McCann needing to step up. Freeman has been an easy out recently. He needs to come alive.

Big Mal

October 4th, 2012
1:40 pm

Beware basing playoff predictions on a season; the second season is typically a chance for redemption. If we could just plot out the statistics of who did what and when and apply it to the next game down the road then we would not have to play games or get to watch them; we could just hand out the hardware based upon the computer model. Mistakes are the key to winning and losing and typically the best predictor of succes and failure. The team that makes the fewest mistakes on the field, the mound and in the batter’s box will win the vast majority of the time. Everything else being even, may the best team win.

elbirdoswin

October 4th, 2012
1:44 pm

Porkchop….yes I have seen Melody’s ERA it is awesome except that against the Cardinals it was almost 5 as a reliever.

Dum-Bass

October 4th, 2012
1:49 pm

Those saying FG did a “good or great” job this year are forgetting that he only started managing for about the last month or so. He still was not “great” but did enough to make a difference, especially in the pitching changes, and using Reed a lot, plus Constanza. Just think, if he had managed all year like he did near the end the Braves would have probably been at least tied with the Gnats and not playing a one game do-or-die play-in game. My biggest concern is that he will pull one of his early season moves during this game, like leaving a pitcher in too long with a lead too big to overcome. He did that several times during the year, especially with Hudson.

Scrambled eggs n Bacon

October 4th, 2012
1:57 pm

As long freddi no ask Bobby cox advice on what to do we should win..sure hope they not let bobby cox In he best suited stay at home Pick his seat and beat his wife like did……well simple after are win over cards then at 8:37 when kids are sleep Baltimore will creep into Texas and make the rangers strangers after the win there……Ole Josh Hamilton be sneakin in bar soon after lost too…..and be scrapin paint off wonder how could choke a 5-Game lead with 9 games left….well its simple they got that dumpster fellow from Cubs land you know who had a fit on bein Traded durin pirates game there……he look good vs A’s dempster be takin a dump soon anyway…as folks at arlington stadium stand stun and shock and cryin…sorry no repeat Loser of world series this time~!

older1

October 4th, 2012
1:57 pm

talk is useless now. When the pressure is on winners WIN, and that’s a fact, unless of course you’re the Packers on monday night. GO BRAVES

Dum-Bass

October 4th, 2012
1:57 pm

“Bream is my Homie”…………bet you don’t even remember who got the base hit that scored Bream. Why is it he never gets any credit? There would not even be a “Sid Slid” without that single.

JHarber

October 4th, 2012
2:00 pm

Dum-Bass I agree completely, only hope he makes good decisions. Already like Ross for McCann.

Cowbell Hell

October 4th, 2012
2:06 pm

Hey scrambled eggs! You are an idiot sir… not sure what is more moronic, your english or your crack on bobby cox.

Jo

October 4th, 2012
2:10 pm

Besides this one game series being dumb, if the Braves get past it they will at least get to the championship game because they will win the next series no matter who they play. No one is hotter than the Braves pitching right now (without Hanson of course).

Jimmy

October 4th, 2012
2:12 pm

@cowbell Hell– all of the above concerning your comments on scrambled eggs…

Jimmy

October 4th, 2012
2:12 pm

@cowbell Hell– all of the above concerning your comments on scrambled eggs…

Bream Is My Homie

October 4th, 2012
2:27 pm

Hey Dum-Bass, is that a serious question? My main man Frankie Cabrera got the big knock that drove in D. Justice and my homie Sid the Stache Bream after Skip Caray said we can dance in the streets if he hits one in the gap. A gapper woulda been less exciting don’t you think? God speed.

Ben

October 4th, 2012
2:30 pm

Looks like everyone is drinking the cool aid in Atlanta. Cards have the best offense in baseball. It may take a night or two off, but top to bottom the Brave don’t stack up.

Any by the way,since I haven’t seen the Braves in the post-season recently, are the fans still doing that girly chop thing?

Bobby

October 4th, 2012
2:32 pm

What’s Bowa smoking? He gives Braves edge in Run Producers, yet the Cardinals are heads above Braves in every offensive category other than walks. Makes me wonder where else he might be wrong.

Skokie Dog

October 4th, 2012
2:34 pm

When you’re watching the play-in game tomorrow, just keep an eye on Fredi in the dugout. If he keeps reaching for his cap, then watch out…he’s likely getting ready to tip it to the Cardinals!

FEAR

October 4th, 2012
2:44 pm

Fredi just announced he is benching Mac tomorrow in favor of Ross. I like it.

Tumbledown

October 4th, 2012
3:00 pm

While I would not characterize it as a girly-chop, I would like to see the fans at the ball park ditch the chop and chant for some good ole-fashioned load noise. Wave those tomahawks and cheer like there is no tomorrow to create some real home field atmosphere. I guess the chant reminds me of so many times the Braves have failed in the playoffs.

Sid

October 4th, 2012
3:00 pm

Confirmed Huddy to start Game 2.

Tumbledown

October 4th, 2012
3:01 pm

I mean loud noise. I am firing my proof reader!

Tumbledown

October 4th, 2012
3:02 pm

As far as I am concerned, the only game on the schedule is tomorrow. No comprende Game 2.

Dirty Dawg

October 4th, 2012
3:02 pm

One of my lasting memories of the SidSlid game was, after jumpin up and down and hugging my daughter, I turned to rag on a totally obnoxious Pirate fan sitting behind us only to see him dragging his son – who was decked out in Braves gear and trying to cheer for ‘his’ team – down the aisle to the nearest exit. Felt sorry for the kid, but hopefully over the years he’s given his Dad the ration of crap that I had intended to.

Ken Stallings

October 4th, 2012
3:12 pm

Francisco Cabrera!

Mikey

October 4th, 2012
3:12 pm

So glad that the “mighty Cards” are not starting some triple A left-hander against our mighty lineup.

McCann or Uggla will be batting in the 7th position with phenom Simmons protecting them batting 8th.
Oh, one more thing, Medlen doesn’t loose….

Brave New World

October 4th, 2012
3:13 pm

Let’s add these facts: Braves have played almost .600 baseball at home while Cardinals played .469 baseball on the road. GO BRAVES!

BravesWin

October 4th, 2012
3:19 pm

Tumbledown…you are correct about loudness. I don’t know how many remember, but the original Braves chant started by Deion Sanders became a European soccer-style, high-pitched, ear-splitting phenomenon and seemed to overwhelm opposing teams. Not like the lower-pitched, flaccid, public address-led crowd yawn of today.

Mikey

October 4th, 2012
3:24 pm

Another factoid: Ross has caught four of the last eight Medlen starts (wins) and in case any of you Cardinals get on base and think about stealing you will be out!

Tumbledown

October 4th, 2012
3:24 pm

I just sense so much more energy from a raucous stadium cheering their you know what off as compared to the chant. Oh well, maybe the crowd can get the chant revved up tomorrow.

Wiki leaks

October 4th, 2012
3:25 pm

Bream is my homie probably researched Wikipedia and YouTube to see the 1992 game. Probably wasn’t even born yet.

Dum-Bass

October 4th, 2012
3:30 pm

Mikey, that’s why I’m thinking Matheny may be at least equal in managerial abilities with FG(which is not saying a lot). If he were any smarter he would be starting a lefthander against the Braves based on this year’s stats. Would be willing to bet if LaRussa were still there we would be seeing a LH. The two things I see hurting the Braves are: #1—-the Braves are dead last in pinch hitting in the NL, and that’s important in the playoffs, and the manager’s refusal to manufacture runs early by bunting, etc. In one of the Pirates games, ATL received 4 walks in the first 3 innings, yet not one of them scored. The Braves lost that game, think it was 2-0 or maybe 2-1.

Ron

October 4th, 2012
3:37 pm

I am glad to see everyone so excited for th e game tomorrow. It sure is fun when the Braves have a chance in post season play. The Braves will win if and only if everyone on the team does their job. I mean pitching, hitting and defense. If not, then Cards are moving on once again. GO BRAVOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fan

October 4th, 2012
3:54 pm

Yahoo sports reporting McCann not starting, Ross is.

Mikey

October 4th, 2012
3:57 pm

Anyone notice that Lohse has given up 19 dingers in 211 innings pitched. That’s Hanson like numbers.

FEAR

October 4th, 2012
4:01 pm

I’m glad we’re facing lohse. We shelled him earlier this year. To be realistic though the Bravos will probably beat the Cards and then get swept in the NLDS by the Nats.

Dum-Bass

October 4th, 2012
4:30 pm

In my infinite wisdom, I see the following: IF (I said IF) the Braves beat the Cards tomorrow, I see them splitting the first two games with Washington in ATL, and then taking 2 of 3 from the Gnats in WA. You ask for my prognostication credentials? I accurately predicted way back on Aug. 08 (with 50 games to go) that the Braves would finish 94-68. I also frequently stay at Holiday Inn Express and my neighbor’s name is Clare Voyant.

Mikey

October 4th, 2012
4:42 pm

Fear Not: We just swept the Nats 3 weeks ago at home. The Braves have Hudson & Minor pitching at home in the first 2 games and can come back with Medlen next Wednesday. I think the Nats opening on the road in their first playoff series ever should be the one’s swept.

JMac

October 4th, 2012
6:16 pm

Bowa does not have a clue. He calls Holliday an “RBI machine”. On TV he calls Craig, the cleanup hitter, an “RBI machine”. Craig is with the best BA in MLB with RISP. Holliday is not. He is a streak hitter. And listing Bourn as a run producer without mentioning Molina, who shuts down base stealers is another oversight. What a numbskull.

JMac

October 4th, 2012
6:27 pm

Oh, and by the way, let me toss this out to chew on. Atlanta has not WON a playoff series this century. The Cardinals are the winningest National League team this century and also have won 2 world titles in 3 attempts. (Braves only 1 in 5 attempts in the 90’s) They are also the ONLY NL team this century to win more than 1(ONE) world championship. Not to mention that most regard St. Louis as the best baseball town in MLB. Cardinals win tomorrow and send Chipper home crying to daddy.

Tumbledown

October 4th, 2012
8:39 pm

Braves beat the Astros in the 2001 divisional series. So, they did win one and only one series this century.

Norbert Sherbett

October 5th, 2012
1:36 am

One thing I did prefer about the old stadium was the noise. The old round design really held in the sound. That game that Lemke scored to win the WS game in ‘91 was pure chaos. Great times. Once in a lifetime season.

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