Defense fails Braves in wild-card playoff




Chipper Jones nailed it early on with this Braves team – they are either really good or the Bad News Bears show up. A one-game wild card playoff was the worst possible time for the worst-case scenario, but that’s what the Braves were left to face.

One false move in a one-game playoff can spell doom. The Braves made three of them in a 6-3 loss to the Cardinals. A Braves team that lead the National League in fielding percentage this season (.986) and allowed a league-low 86 errors committed three throwing errors Friday night leading to four unearned runs.

“What hurts (is) lead the league in fielding percentage all year long and today we didn’t handle the ball quite the way we’ve done,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “…We didn’t handle the baseball like we have. It’s something we’re proud of the last couple of years here defensively. And it came back and bit us.”

Jones was the reluctant ringleader, making the first of three Braves throwing errors in the game. Dan Uggla and Andrelton Simmons each made errant throws in the seventh inning – Uggla to first base and Simmons home – allowing another two unearned runs to score.

Jones made his error in the fourth inning on a ball off the bat of Matt Holliday that he was doing well to snare. But Jones threw over Uggla at second base on a ball that might have started a double play. The next three batters drove in runs for the Cardinals.

The Braves had opened the inning with a 2-0 lead behind Kris Medlen and closed it down 3-2.

“(I) made a good play on the pick, got a two-seam grip and it just sailed on me,” Jones said. “No other way to explain it. I realized later (Carlos) Beltran had to stop (off first base) because of the hold on the line drive. If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have double-clutched and made sure I got a four-seam grip and give Uggla a little more time to get to second base and give myself an opportunity to make a truer throw.”

44 comments Add your comment

Mark

October 6th, 2012
12:11 am

Choking Chipper and his Loser Team! Good Riddance Chipper!

Mark

October 6th, 2012
12:12 am

Oh yeah, 1st! Who cares this season is over! Go Falcons!

Mark

October 6th, 2012
12:13 am

Good Bye Bourn, Uggla, and Chipper and if we’re luck Fredi! Another Bobby Cox

DOB Needs To Ask Tough Questions!

October 6th, 2012
12:23 am

Folks…I am disgusted…WITH BRAVES NATION! First of all, where is the cap tipping? Sometimes, you have to tip your cap to the team that has more guys in a pinky than Braves have in their entire organization…going back 20 years! Folks, what do you think was going to happen? Folks, if you don’t tip the old capper, you are going to live a miserable life, folks. Tip your cap to the Cards and STFU! By the way, folks, STFU means Sorry Tomahawk Foamfinger Users…in case you are a retard and don’t keep up with the latest acronyms.
Welp, til next years choking job! Hope we all get to see our new 50 mil payroll team! Tip the Cap, folks. Focus on the Falcons now! And Tip the Cap to Medlen for showing what chocking is all about!

Robert

October 6th, 2012
12:49 am

When the Braves go to spring training they should work on hitting with runners in scoring position. This ugly .231 RISP didn’t allow the team an attempt to cover up 3 fielding errors. Watching this team when they are behind they seem to lack confidence. In the 4th inning when Bourne led off with a signal there was no urgency to get in scoring position. How about a straight steal or hit and run. If the Braves would have been aggressive in the inning just maybe they could have scratched another run and been able to cover up Chipper’s error. I guess we will wait and see how upper management decides if a change in the dugout needs to be made. Any thoughts?

Thomas Brown

October 6th, 2012
1:07 am

I told you so, and it does not surprise me after reading the posts on the “Braves blogs” this week, that our fans would discredit this entire city in a 3-6 loss just like Georgie tek fans too while we are on the subject. We can’t hit. You expect the next guy to hit a 3-run homer to tie it ? Get real you sorry fans. We’ll never hear the end of that. The play makes no difference. Why throw all that on the field ?

_______________________________________
Because you’re poor sports as seen on the blogs.
_______________________________________

You cannot accept the fact that Liberty Media doesn’t care.

Bud Selig and Joe Torre are Matheny and LaRussa lovers

October 6th, 2012
1:16 am

COOPER

October 6th, 2012
2:49 am

Even though the call was one of the worst ever , the reason the Braves lost was because three Braves , two of them making millions each year, can’t throw the ball 40 to 60 feet.

COOPER

October 6th, 2012
2:54 am

Chipper is gone , Uggla needs be gone , Bourne will be gone ,thank goodness, and Freddie Gonzelez is not a winner and needs to be gone. I would hire Bud Showalters a real manager.

Thomas Brown

October 6th, 2012
3:40 am

The Braves are not hiring any real manager. The Braves are not going out and getting any real superstars for a team who had 1 superstar and we didn’t start him at pitcher. The Braves are not taking Chipper Jones’ $ 14 million dollar contract or Dan Uggla’s $ 14 million dollar contract and spending that money on hitters like you saw tonight.

Dan Uggla took a pitch thrown directly into the mitt without a moving an inch with 2 strikes. Next batter back-up catcher was swinging wildy and struck out too, but the ump let him have a 4th strike. That is our 2-run homer. Gift.

In the decisive inning, Chipper Jones throws a routine pitch 35 feet to a short Dan Uggla who made no effort to jump for his $ 14 million. The runner was barely 10 feet from 1st base. Routine double-play for 2 outs. Then, Prado who apparently doesn’t have a position on the diamond, ahead 2 to nothing, has a ball bounce and then hit the wall directly to left field, on a routine pop-up for the 3rd out. They never score that inning.

And, you are all upset about a play, the ump ruled correctly on which does not affect the game one iota. The game was already over.

Before it started. We cannot hit and Liberty Media is who has to go.

Finished

October 6th, 2012
6:42 am

Slipper Jones should have retired in August when he still had good b.a. He has bee ann automatic otever since , joining McCant and Uggly. I am gladI won’t have to see that uggly puss in Braves lineup again!

Finished

October 6th, 2012
6:45 am

Goodbye and good riddance Chipper. Take Hinske , Uggla, Baker , Overbay and Hanson with you.

ToeMeetsLeather

October 6th, 2012
7:42 am

I kinda like this new playoff format. It got the “Chipper Era” playoff collapses over in one game instead of dragging them out for a week.

Now we can put Prado at third, and use Chip’s 13 mil and Lowe’s 10 to sign a big bopper for LF and a solid lead off hitter to play center. The Braves should be the team to beat post Chipper. Thank goodness he will be in a deer stand next fall.

fan

October 6th, 2012
7:56 am

The errors lost it but why did we not have Bourn steal? Why try a safety squeeze with the pitcher up next and runners at 1st and 3rd and 1 out? Probally didn’t matter given the way we through the ball around the yard but still questionable managing.

fan

October 6th, 2012
8:01 am

probably and threw – its early

BB

October 6th, 2012
8:31 am

Mark you are an Idot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mikey

October 6th, 2012
8:49 am

Thanks Braves for a very exciting season and 94 wins. Maybe MLB will come to their senses and realize a 1 game playoff after 162 is quite ridiculous

jw

October 6th, 2012
9:08 am

How can we be disappointed? – we redeemed ourselves for last year’s mess. Atlanta fans finally show some spunk – haven’t seen that in 30 years – and they showed that they love their team. I agree that changes have to be made – Uggla may be somewhere else next year, but that’s another thread on another day.

Look at the direction of the two teams that had their historic collapses last year.

The Braves absorbed all the negatives that came their way, apologized, didn’t over react, stayed with the formula that worked for 130 plus games last year and look at what happened – a great year and redemption this year.

Had we listened to the so called “fans” after the season last year, we would have been just like Boston. Thank goodness the management team in Atlanta is a lot more stable than that in Boston. Look at what listening to the ‘fan’ did – they cleaned house, brought in a clown for a manager and look at what happened. Probably one of the most dysfunctional franchises in baseball, right now. Who would want to be in that mess right now? Thanks for not choosing the Boston way in fixing the problems.

Thank you for not over reacting and thank you for giving the city of Atlanta a very stable baseball franchise. Fans of pre-1991 Atlanta Braves appreciate every single year of playoff baseball, even one game playoffs. Thank you very much Mr. Wren and Mr. Schuerholz for stable, level headed management.

J J

October 6th, 2012
9:39 am

I told you that the Hooters hero would do nothing. Also told you that they are a bunch of LOSERS. I sure am enjoying my $10000 that I won off of the LOSERS

jfowl

October 6th, 2012
9:42 am

Tip of the cap to the entire team. A bad day to have 3 errors and a blown call but the sun still rose today. We were still better than 11 other teams including the store bought Dodgers. To all of the Chipper bashers, what did you have to say when he was MVP. You’ll be hard pressed to ever find a player that loved the game or his team any better than he did. I remember going to the old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium and having your pick of seats, with no one other than Aaron to root for. Once again to all the Braves; thanks for the chance!

Smackerel

October 6th, 2012
9:50 am

The reason Bourn did not steal is that Lohse has a very good move to first and is very quick to the plate, and because Jadier Molina was catching – the best defensive catcher in the league.

The poor hitting w/ RISP is a curiosity. It is necessarily a sports psychology issue – the anxiety of the situation is degrading their performance. Sports psych has proven techniques for dealing with that problem. In the absence of that approach, the anxiety is a team culture issue. The manager and coaching staff are mainly responsible for setting that culture, but the players and leaders on the team have to buy into that as well and their individual make-up must also be suited to the task. Setting the culture so that players are having fun and willing to risk failure as opposed to fearing failure is the true art of coaching. Compare the mental approach of Medlen to pitching vs. that of Uggla to hitting.

DaveinNEPA

October 6th, 2012
9:54 am

I Can’t say that I’m surprised by the outcome of last night’s game. Disappointed, but not surprised. This team is unable to win when faced with “must win” situations.

NickGranite

October 6th, 2012
10:20 am

I’m not sure why some of the posters keep talking about Uggla being somewhere else next year. He is owed 13 million per year for 2013, 2014 and 2015. He simply cannot be traded.

NickGranite

October 6th, 2012
10:23 am

The hitting with RISP, I think in many cases is a product of the number of strikeout hitters pitchers can find in our line-up when they need to find an out. Heyward, Bourn and Uggla and to a lesser extent Freeman simply strikeout too much. It’s what makes Bourn less than the stellar opportunity in free agency that he’s made out to be.

Tim

October 6th, 2012
10:39 am

First of all I’m a Cards fan, I’m not trying to hide that fact.

The iffy call by the Ump WAS a crucial play. If the the tables are reversed, I know Cards fans would have been out for blood as well.

Bottom line comes to converting opportunities. Cards made the most of the gifts the Braves gave them. I think at one point we had 6 runs on 4 hits (coupled with the 3 fielding errors provided by the arms of Uggla, Chipper, and Simmons). The Cards were able ‘manufacture’ those runs by the use of fundamental baseball: Yadi stroking an outside pitch into a ground ball to second that drove in the runner from 3rd and allowed the runner on second to get to 3rd base with less than two out. He was driven in by a Sac fly the next batter. Kozma’s heads up baserunning to score from 2nd on an infield single. Descalso’s Sac bunt. It just seemed like the Cards were more prepared to do the little things to get the job done in high pressure situations.

DOB Needs To Ask Tough Questions!

October 6th, 2012
10:58 am

Folks…a tip of the cap to you folks for being so honest. Refreshing.
Folks, have hope! If the As can win with a 50mil payroll so can Brave Nation! AND you can help an American Enterprise increase their bottom line, hire more Americans!! You will be directly contributing to American Economy! See? LIBERTY Media! Folks, Tip O D Cap! By the way, an entire year of the DOB drinking the Kool Aid and no real questions post game? No Tip o D Cap 4 U!

GoApps73

October 6th, 2012
11:01 am

The 4-5-6 positions absolutely smacked and contributed greatly to the defeat.

GoApps.

GoApps73

October 6th, 2012
11:01 am

The 4-5-6 positions absolutely smacked and contributed greatly to the defeat.

GoApps.

J J

October 6th, 2012
1:33 pm

Who is 4 man. Guess who? The Hooters hero. That shows how much of a loser he ios.

Dum-Bass

October 6th, 2012
2:20 pm

CJs sidearm throw from third to second is the type throw that will easily sail left or right. Ask anybody. If he had thrown straight overhand it would have been a better throw. I’ve noticed him doing this before.
Also, Uggla is one of the shorter 2nd basemen in MLB. That contributed to the throw going over his head.. Look at FF, he has saved many a throw going over his head due to being so tall. Simmons problems last night was just due to him being a rookie. Think he was tight.

John w

October 6th, 2012
3:33 pm

Chipper made the game changing error! That play was what cost us the game! As great a career as he had, he is no champion! Jeter, Mantle, DiMaggio. Those guys are champions! Chipper is not in those guys class.

64 year Ct. Braves fan

October 6th, 2012
4:56 pm

Best performances: Ross (great hitting & catching) Freeman: (great hitting & fielding) Heyward (likewise) Medlin : (great pitching despite horrible defense behind him)
Worst performances: F. Gonzalez: ( Safety squeeze by Simmons with one out and pitcher up next?)
Chipper: Terrible throw on doubleplay ball probably cost the game & didn’t hit in the clutch with men on.) Uggla: (Fielded like Brooks Conrad & failed in clutch.) Simmons: (Rookie mistakes wil serve him
well in long run – he will be a player)

64 year Ct. Braves fan

October 6th, 2012
4:56 pm

Best performances: Ross (great hitting & catching) Freeman: (great hitting & fielding) Heyward (likewise) Medlin : (great pitching despite horrible defense behind him)
Worst performances: F. Gonzalez: ( Safety squeeze by Simmons with one out and pitcher up next?)
Chipper: Terrible throw on doubleplay ball probably cost the game & didn’t hit in the clutch with men on.) Uggla: (Fielded like Brooks Conrad & failed in clutch.) Simmons: (Rookie mistakes wil serve him
well in long run – he will be a player)

74bravesjersey

October 6th, 2012
5:25 pm

Now, we move on w/ new hopes, new direction, new era, hopeing, they make wise moves, the hopes to find a diamond in the rough, a thumper or 2, wish’n for 3, all the wishing, but Uncle Frank will probably die-gress, keep looking for bargains at the dollar store,hopeing he could land a big fish cheaply, keep the budget in the blue due to the economy. You think o’l Ted was there last night for a purpose, could it be? Too good to be true wish’n.

74bravesjersey

October 6th, 2012
5:34 pm

@ Tim; much respects to you, bro. & thanks for the sentiments. I know you are a true fan to the redbirds, & to baseball, & I concure, or agree w/ you’re points, the Braves were lousy, & good teams take advantage of the miscues. Other cardinal fans try to rub it in on the brave nation, & some times we rub it in against ourselves, but thank you for good points. Good level observation, anyone else passionately who want there team to progress in the heat of the momment would not reacted less different,

Leon White

October 6th, 2012
6:54 pm

It started with Bobby Cox: If you want to get to the playoffs, the Braves can get you to the playoffs; if you want to get to the World Series, the Braves can get you to the playoffs.

william in pasadena

October 6th, 2012
7:44 pm

It never ceases to amaze me at the guys that can rationalize, i.e. by saying we had a great year. At least we weren’t Boston. Why do we settle for mediocrity and justify it by finding a worse team. Why couldn’t we be like the Cards, or the Nats, or Cinci. JW and Jfowl, you guys can think what you want but, it is time out for excuses. Liberty Media is not at fault either. The Braves payroll is large enough to win. You may criticize the Dodgers and Yankees but, at least they are not just satisfied. Let’s see what Wren does with the extra money he has this offseason. Will he sign cheap retreads as usual, or will he go after a real middle-of-the lineup, professional clutch rbi player. The only things the Braves lack are a guy to solidify the middle of the lineup and a true ace. Can anyone remember Fred McGriff and Andres Galaraga? The reason they lost so many world series was because the only true ace was Smoltz. And Bobby Cox screwed that up.

william in pasadena

October 6th, 2012
7:44 pm

It never ceases to amaze me at the guys that can rationalize, i.e. by saying we had a great year. At least we weren’t Boston. Why do we settle for mediocrity and justify it by finding a worse team. Why couldn’t we be like the Cards, or the Nats, or Cinci. JW and Jfowl, you guys can think what you want but, it is time out for excuses. Liberty Media is not at fault either. The Braves payroll is large enough to win. You may criticize the Dodgers and Yankees but, at least they are not just satisfied. Let’s see what Wren does with the extra money he has this offseason. Will he sign cheap retreads as usual, or will he go after a real middle-of-the lineup, professional clutch rbi player. The only things the Braves lack are a guy to solidify the middle of the lineup and a true ace. Can anyone remember Fred McGriff and Andres Galaraga? The reason they lost so many world series was because the only true ace was Smoltz. And Bobby Cox screwed that up.

william in pasadena

October 6th, 2012
7:44 pm

It never ceases to amaze me at the guys that can rationalize, i.e. by saying we had a great year. At least we weren’t Boston. Why do we settle for mediocrity and justify it by finding a worse team. Why couldn’t we be like the Cards, or the Nats, or Cinci. JW and Jfowl, you guys can think what you want but, it is time out for excuses. Liberty Media is not at fault either. The Braves payroll is large enough to win. You may criticize the Dodgers and Yankees but, at least they are not just satisfied. Let’s see what Wren does with the extra money he has this offseason. Will he sign cheap retreads as usual, or will he go after a real middle-of-the lineup, professional clutch rbi player. The only things the Braves lack are a guy to solidify the middle of the lineup and a true ace. Can anyone remember Fred McGriff and Andres Galaraga? The reason they lost so many world series was because the only true ace was Smoltz. And Bobby Cox screwed that up.

william in pasadena

October 6th, 2012
7:44 pm

It never ceases to amaze me at the guys that can rationalize, i.e. by saying we had a great year. At least we weren’t Boston. Why do we settle for mediocrity and justify it by finding a worse team. Why couldn’t we be like the Cards, or the Nats, or Cinci. JW and Jfowl, you guys can think what you want but, it is time out for excuses. Liberty Media is not at fault either. The Braves payroll is large enough to win. You may criticize the Dodgers and Yankees but, at least they are not just satisfied. Let’s see what Wren does with the extra money he has this offseason. Will he sign cheap retreads as usual, or will he go after a real middle-of-the lineup, professional clutch rbi player. The only things the Braves lack are a guy to solidify the middle of the lineup and a true ace. Can anyone remember Fred McGriff and Andres Galaraga? The reason they lost so many world series was because the only true ace was Smoltz. And Bobby Cox screwed that up.

william in pasadena

October 6th, 2012
7:44 pm

It never ceases to amaze me at the guys that can rationalize, i.e. by saying we had a great year. At least we weren’t Boston. Why do we settle for mediocrity and justify it by finding a worse team. Why couldn’t we be like the Cards, or the Nats, or Cinci. JW and Jfowl, you guys can think what you want but, it is time out for excuses. Liberty Media is not at fault either. The Braves payroll is large enough to win. You may criticize the Dodgers and Yankees but, at least they are not just satisfied. Let’s see what Wren does with the extra money he has this offseason. Will he sign cheap retreads as usual, or will he go after a real middle-of-the lineup, professional clutch rbi player. The only things the Braves lack are a guy to solidify the middle of the lineup and a true ace. Can anyone remember Fred McGriff and Andres Galaraga? The reason they lost so many world series was because the only true ace was Smoltz. And Bobby Cox screwed that up.

John A.

October 7th, 2012
1:03 pm

what all of you fail to realize is….Fredi is still the same clown he was last year, and he proved it again…..didderence being he did it in front of millions this time instead of the home crowd.

McClouth has resurfaced as a ballplayer in Baltimore with the direction of Buck Showalter, and has made a strong impact on the team play. I forgot….he didn’t cost enough, perhaps if he were making $14M or better he would have still been in left field.

Did Uggly have a BA over .200 at seasons end? He was still in the lineup!!!!!!!! Not the best team on the field.

harry taylor

October 7th, 2012
4:38 pm

Braves fail to win a series in post season, again. Anything else new.

davey sprocket

October 7th, 2012
9:09 pm

Wow – some people here have crazy thoughts. “All we need is two big boppers/RBI guys, or 3″ or “the Braves will be the team to beat next year” (after ditching Jones, Bourn, the bench stiffs, Jurrjens, Hanson, maybe Mcann and hopefully Uggla, apparently), “…look at what happened, a great year – and redemption”, “glad we didn’tt do what Boston did, hire a clown manager.”.(no, they KEPT one, instead).yada, yada, yada..
These guys don’t need sports psychologists to hit with RISP – they “might” just be not as good as the hype would have you believe, eh?. I mean, next year, it is 100% certainty that Medlen and Kimbrel will NOT pitch at the same ridiculous, right? Where do the Braves replace the 14 dingers from Jones Can Prado duplicate his (supposedly monster .301 10 HR/70 RBI season at a power corner OF spot? I mean, there are going to be a LOT of questions that must be answered, and not many belive that they will be. Plus the Philthies will likely bonce back as well. Go Nats!

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