Atlanta Braves: Will wretched road trip lead to horrible homestand vs. Yankees, Red Sox?

Can anything salvage the Braves’ rapidly sinking season?

The team lost six of nine games and all three series on a trip that ended Sunday in Boston with manager Bobby Cox, third baseman Chipper Jones and reliever Eric O’Flaherty being ejected by home plate umpire Bill Hohn in the 7th after arguing a would-be strike-three call on an 0-2 fastball to ex-Brave J.D. Drew. 

Atlanta’s luck? On the next pitch, Drew singled in a run for a 5-4 Red Sox lead. Adding insult to injury, another ex-Brave — Boston’s Nick Green — nailed a 9th-inning walkoff homer off reliever Jeff Bennett for the 6-5 Red Sox win.

After a makeup game tonight with the Cubs (34-31), the Braves (32-36) finish their tough interleague schedule, hosting the AL East’s top contenders — the Yankees (38-31) and the division-leading Red Sox (42-27) — before rounding out the homestand against NL East-leading Philadelphia (36-31).

YOU TELL US: Can the Braves possibly pull off a winning homestand against the likes of New York, Boston and Philly? If so, how? At 4.5 games back in the NL East, does Atlanta still have any postseason hopes? Is it too soon to give up on the Braves or is the ‘09 season effectively over?

79 comments Add your comment

forget the curveball Ricky

June 22nd, 2009
10:55 am

Tommy

June 22nd, 2009
10:58 am

My guess this will finish our season.

yellerjacket

June 22nd, 2009
11:05 am

It could go either way, obviously, but I haven’t resigned myself to giving up on this season yet. If we stay within 5 or 6 games back, regardless of our record, as we get closer to the trade deadline, I think we’ll see Wren make a move for a slugging 2B or corner OF. This stretch will be rough but it’s all about how many games out we are.

Mrs. Chanandler Bong

June 22nd, 2009
11:09 am

I honestly have more hope than I did a week ago. Even though the Sox took the series, I was really impressed with how the Bravos played. They battled, which I haven’t seen from them in a very long time.

Joe S

June 22nd, 2009
11:13 am

Yogi Berra once said. “It ain’t over until it’s over,” I say we fans push hard on this Braves team they need a spiritual lift from us on this home stand. We shall remain loyal and positive even pass the waiver wire.

The Braves will play really really strong and will sweep the Cubs and upset the New York Yankees media and show that we aren’t fooling around.

We have done this before. From WORST to FIRST, WE CAN DO IT. Even though were in 4th place.

stew

June 22nd, 2009
11:13 am

We have the best pitching in baseball. The Phils and Mets can’t match us.

bpennington

June 22nd, 2009
11:14 am

granted we don’t drop too far out of the race there’s always a chance given the Mets penchant for choking and the Phils shaky pitching. Hope springs eternal, eh?

MMenerey

June 22nd, 2009
11:14 am

We will see. Hopefully these ejections lit a fire under the Braves. If we can replace either Frenchy, KJ or GA, or at least have one of them get hot and start raking, we can easily go on a winning streak. We can compete with the better teams, we just can’t beat the teams we should. This week will define us. Yes, we are only 4.5 games back, but there are 3 teams ahead of us. What are the chances we get hot and all 3 of those teams don’t? We have to hope they play all year how they have played and we step up our offense.

MMenerey

June 22nd, 2009
11:17 am

I’ll be there Tuesday booing all the Yanks and on Sunday also. Though I’m trying to trade my Sunday tickets for Friday night. I will be there to counter the other fans.

Livin In AL

June 22nd, 2009
11:18 am

Yes We can! Gotta play 9 innings of real baseball both on offense and defense. We have seen a spark here and there, so time to get all the plugs sparking. I can’t believe I am so optomistic!

space monkey

June 22nd, 2009
11:24 am

Not a chance in hell.

Stewie Griffin

June 22nd, 2009
11:25 am

This incarnation of the Bravos is a joke, if Bobby Cox spent as much time getting thrown out of games on strategizing wins then maybe we’d have a winning record. This team is dead in the water, another season without postseason baseball.

Cletus

June 22nd, 2009
11:34 am

I think the Braves are starting to play better. If Infante was not hurt and playing in RF or 2B, we’d be in pretty good shape if he was still hitting .300.

GA is starting to hit the ball, so I think we can stop worry so much about LF.

But with Hudson coming back, I think the Braves have a glut of starters and should package a starter for some offensive help.

Things look better now than they have in a while. We are less than 5 games out, that is NOTHING TO MAKE UP.

Floyd

June 22nd, 2009
11:40 am

You know, not to sound like a blind loyalist here, but Atlanta is just 4 1/2 games out of first. And the Mets and Phils aren’t without their fair share of big problems, too. It’s looking more and more like 86 wins could take this division….the Braves have a lot of work to do, but this season is far from over. Get past their #1 starters and the Mets and Phils wouldn’t have enough starting pitching if they combined their staffs. Just sayin’.

bravesfan27

June 22nd, 2009
11:40 am

Listen guys we are only 41/2 games out of first. If we can get a winning streak going we can be in 1st in no time. No one on our division scares us. We have the best pitching and we havent played anyone in our division in over a month.Hopefully last nights ejections can get this teams mo-jo going.LETS GO BRAVES BABY!

Tami

June 22nd, 2009
11:42 am

I’ve run out of answers for this team. I’ll continue to support them until the end of the season as usual. However, even whenever any and all vacancy spots the team has are filled by f.a. signings, trades and/or callups, nothing seems to work for very long. Maybe…just maybe….when Hudson is able to pitch again this season, it might light a fire underneath the team to give them an extended run down the stretch. But, who knows. I don’t want to cash it in too early, but it’s not looking too good right now.

jazzyk

June 22nd, 2009
11:45 am

At 4 and a half games out the season is far from over. But aside from the standings, I want to see the Braves run, run, run! Somebody, anybody, bunt for base hits, for sacrifices. Get on base. Steal. Hit and run. Do what you have to do to manufacture runs when the offense is sputtering. If they do that,
I think the Braves still have a shot at moving up in the standings.

MiltonDawg

June 22nd, 2009
11:50 am

Yesterday’s game was so horrible and tough to watch. I hope it sets off a spark in these guys and they get off their butts and start hitting and winning. Enough is enough.

Fischerking04

June 22nd, 2009
11:53 am

Is there any merit to the rumor that the Braves and Fish might have a trade in the owrks that is centered around Frenchy/KJ and Uggla/Hermida?

That would be sweet.

Ripped Again

June 22nd, 2009
12:02 pm

I’m looking forward to the Falcons season .The Braves lost me three me a month ago.

Fischerking04

June 22nd, 2009
12:04 pm

People keep mentioning that we could easily move up because our pitching is so good. But they are failing to mention that we only have two guys in our lineup that have any consistancy (Chip, Mac). Without the ablilty to get clutch hits we can’t contend with the the other two teams in the division that are able to drive in runs at key points in the game for wins despite bad pitching.

I agree with Stewie Griffin that with no offnse to speak of we are dead in the water.

macingram

June 22nd, 2009
12:05 pm

Only if they learn to play offense. Both small ball and big ball.

Larry

June 22nd, 2009
12:05 pm

This season was over before it started. Excellent starting pitching but way too little offense from critical areas of the lineup. The Braves lack power production from the corner OFs and 1B. You can cover one with a power hitting catcher but not three. It is that simple – there is just not enough pop in this lineup to score consistently and that is what it takes to be a better than .500 team. You need power hitters today because when a pitcher makes a mistake, he needs to believe he will pay dearly for it. That fear causes mediocre pitchers to make more mistakes. The Braves do not elicit that fear in anyone.

I wish the Braves would acknowledge what those of us who have been watching baseball for decades can see, we are in a rebuilding phase after 14 years of unprecedented success. That is fine, I will support them as I did during the successful years while they develop new talent. But to sit around and pretend they are going to be contenders during rebuilding is placing unfair expectations on the players.

We need to step back and let the young players develop. Jeff Francoeur will be a decent hitter someday, we just need to let him try things and work it out without putting the pressure of a failed season on HIM. Bringing Garrett Anderson was a great move, he is a mediocre player everyone likes and when young players are ready, no one is going to argue that he is far superior. Same with Casey Kotchman – he is a Keith Hernandez except there is no Busch Memorial Stadium like the 80s to build a speed team around.

In two or three years, we will have a young crop of hitters. If Frank Wren does not keep trying to make a rebuilding team into contenders, we may even have some good young pitchers left to go with Tommy Hanson. With PATIENCE (Bobby), Jo-Jo Reyes will figure out what it means to pitch in the majors – he has the stuff he is just a headcase now.

B12 JONEAL

June 22nd, 2009
12:09 pm

I DONT THINK WE NEED TO TRADE FRENCHY OR GA.MABE KJ CAUSE WE HAVE PRDO AN OMAR CUMING BACK.GA HAVE AN STILL CUMING AROUND HE IS HITTING BETTER THAN CHIPPER RITE NOW.SO WHY TRADE HIM.AN FRENCH BEEN SHOWING SIGN.

B12 JONEAL

June 22nd, 2009
12:19 pm

So i think we will have a good homestand. People STOP WORRING

shadetree

June 22nd, 2009
12:22 pm

The bottom of our order is killing us. If only one person would step forward but then again you can’t step forward if you’re not any good. KJ terrible streakiness and Francouer inability to bat have cost us at least 1 run a game if not 2. Cox refusing to play small ball. I listened on the radio yesterday and toward the end the annoucer kept saying Nate looked like he wanted to steal 3rd. How many times do we see a runner get on and he’s left still standing on 1st or second. Small ball. It appears you can’t coach what you don’t know. I do know to keep Prado at 2nd full time but there again Cox won’t do it. When Infante gets back he would be my rightfielder but until then I would keep Diaz over there. Most of the time he’s pretty clutch.

Scenario. You get a runner on. Walk, error, hit whatever. It’s the 8th inning and you’re down a run. So, runner on 1st with no outs and down a run. The batter coming up is a semi fast guy with a 250 average and he is known to be able to lay down a bunt. Runner on 1st is semi fast also. How do you play it. Cox plays it like, okay if we get 2 more hits we can score a run and tie it. This must be done before they get 3 outs. With Cox we need 2 hits to get that runner in. Instead, why not let the batter take the first pitch to show he’s going to swing away and then on the next pitch he squares to bunt or drag bunts so with the sacrifice we have a runner at 2nd with 1 out. Now we need 1 key hit to score that run. You can’t get that key hit with the runner still at first because Cox is waiting for the 2 base hits. Therein lays the Braves problem. You can’t set and wait because those 2 hits may never come. So far this year they haven’t come through. In the first 6 innings we show signs of that clutch hitting but from the 7th on (when the pressures on) we don’t get that hit. Sometimes we do but percentages point to no most of the time. We are runing some fine starting pitchers work and that is a shame. I wish Lowe and Vasquez would stand up together and tell the players to get going or get gone. We have no leader, no desire, no spirit and no coaching. All we can do is hope we get those 2 hits before we get 3 outs.

MICHELLE

June 22nd, 2009
12:31 pm

I FEEL SORRY FOR THE FANS DURING THIS NEXT HOMESTAND. THE COMPANY WHO IS IN CHARGE OF CONCESSIONS, ARAMARK, HAS WORKED RELENTLESSLY TO ENTRAP THEIR MOST DEDICATED, LONG-TERM EMPLOYEES. THEY LET GO OF SOME REALLY FAST, DEDICATED, CUSTOMER FRIENDLY EMPLOYEES AFTER BLATANTLY SENDING IN THEIR OWN “SECRET SHOPPERS” WHO WENT TO EMPLOYEES, SOMETIMES SEVERAL TIMES, ASKING THEM TO “BEND” THE RULES. MOST OF THE INFRACTIONS WERE EVEN EXAGGERRATED.
AS I SAID, BE PREPARED FOR LONG LINES AND TONS OF HALF-TRAINED NEW PEOPLE WHO DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU ABOUT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
ARAMARK SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES ON THIS LEVEL OF PETTY ENTRAPMENTS THAT POLICE ARE FORBIDDEN FROM DOING BUT ARAMARK THRIVES ON.
AND REMEMBER…YOU CAN ONLY PAY FOR 2 DRINKS ON EACH TRANSACTION SO DO NOT EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO PICK UP YOUR BUDDY’S TAB!
GOOD LUCK!!!

Larry

June 22nd, 2009
12:33 pm

Our leader is Bobby Cox–its over!

Richie

June 22nd, 2009
12:38 pm

I agree 100% with Larry. The main thing that is keeping this team from winning consistently is the lack of a power bat in the middle of the lineup. People want to talk about the Braves inability to manufacture runs and move runners over. Remember though, the 95 world series team was not a run manufacturing team nor where most of the Braves teams during the 14 years of division titles. They always had the McGriff, Galaragga, Justice, etc. to scare opposing pictures because one mistake would be sent over the fence.

If this Braves team can hang in the race in the NL East and acquire a big power bat sometime before or at the trade deadline, then they most certainly have a shot. I wonder with the wealth of Braves starting pitching right now if Wren is considering dangling Tim Hudson for a power bat. Maybe Tim would not mind returning to Oakland for a guy named Matt Holliday.

Jan

June 22nd, 2009
12:41 pm

2-8 maybe 3-7. Already put a fork in the season ’cause it’s done. Nothing exciting in the next two years to look forward to. I’m depressed. Would love to see the wallet opened and above average, competitive players on our team. When I think we could have had Youk from the Red Sox I just want to shake Frank and John.

WestCoastBrave

June 22nd, 2009
12:43 pm

Only 4.5 games out. We have great starting pitching, a decent bullpen, and I still think our offense is capable of being servicible now that GA is starting to show some signs. Once Chipper gets hot again and Kotchman starts hitting massive amounts of doubles again, we will start winning.

Do not give up on this team!!!!

Cut Francouer though. . .he sucks.

NORRIS

June 22nd, 2009
12:45 pm

pitching could win for us if we could hit. We need some pop in the lineup and sitting Mccann once a week is killing us. We have got to find a way to keep his bat in the lineup.
The problem out there is there isnt any power bats for hire. We cannot afford another rental for 2 months and give up talent from the farm system. It would have to be another deal like Mclouth where we trade for a guy that will be under contract for a few years.
These guys that will be free agents at the end of the year is a big waste of time. So forget Holiday and move on to something else.

DHD

June 22nd, 2009
12:47 pm

The Braves will win today and 4 out of 6 against the Yankees and Red Sox. We will be 2 games back when the Pillies come in. Get ready for a showdown then. Ok…I can dream, can’t I??

BravesFan

June 22nd, 2009
12:50 pm

“We need some pop in the lineup and sitting Mccann once a week is killing us.”

Would you rather have him play everyday so he gets burnt out and come mid July August his average drops 50 points???

NORRIS

June 22nd, 2009
12:53 pm

braves fan????
nobody ever heard of this sitting a catcher weekly until the last few years.
You never heard of Johnnie Bench sitting once a week. Rodriguez typically played 143 games a year at catcher and not DH. soooo
But be that as it may.
Why not start looking at Mccann at first base?

Jfreak

June 22nd, 2009
12:59 pm

So many here keep saying if the Braves get on a winning streak they can make a run at the playoffs? What? They haven’t been on a winning streak all year and there is NOTHING in this line up that has changed that would lead a reasonable person to believe anything is likely to change! Unless there is a MAJOR trade in the works the Braves will finish 3rd or 4th in the division?

However, if they stay close (less than six back) Wren may make a move with a pitcher or two to help this offense?? But we need two hitters!
Lead off and a power hitter? That seems like a lot to ask for from this organization?? And don’t forget those teams ahead of us will be trying to improve their team as well!

I’m ready for a whole new attitude starting with management!

BravesFan

June 22nd, 2009
1:01 pm

Mccann at first is the best option especially that first is one of our weaker positions with the bat considering run production

Strike Out-field

June 22nd, 2009
1:02 pm

My guess is the braves will somehow find a way to go 0-11 for this 10 game set.

NORRIS

June 22nd, 2009
1:04 pm

You know I can even see sitting a guy on occasion but when we have lost 3-4 games in a row and the next day is an off day. YOU DONT sit one of your best hitters. This was an issue that management knew of to start the season. You cant have your best hitter sitting out weekly. You have to find a way to improve the team to the point you can rest him.
another situation there is when you already have Chipper out for a day. Are you going to go ahead and sit Mccann too. NO you suck it up for the day and look for another day to rest him.
This is just some of that Boooby Cox poor decision making.

John OTC

June 22nd, 2009
1:05 pm

I believe in unicorns, mermaids and the Easter bunny. I’m still not gullible enough to believe the Braves are a .500 team this year!

NORRIS

June 22nd, 2009
1:11 pm

whats funny is that the braves have managed to hang out around the 500 mark. Just imagine if we had a little hitting. Imagine if we would have had francoeur hitting or KJ, or anyone with any production from center. )(prior to Mcclouoth)
If we would have had a little bit of hitting we could actually be in first. I know it sounds crazy but it really could be possible had we had some hitting.

Pete

June 22nd, 2009
1:18 pm

The chances of me having a date with Jennifer Anniston and/or winning the lottery are far greater than the Braves having a winning homestand.

Just Pat

June 22nd, 2009
1:20 pm

Am happy to see a “tad” more optimism than pessimism here, although when you look at the “contenders vs. pretenders” poll, it it totally different. I will NOT give up on them because I remember the year we were much further back than 4.5 games (maybe 9?????) and we STILL took it all, although it took the Giants, I think it was, losing their last game that gave it to us. No, I won’t give up on them yet.

Marc

June 22nd, 2009
1:33 pm

Drop Bennett and our chances of winning will double.

Matty

June 22nd, 2009
1:42 pm

This team is awful and would find a way to loose even if we had 3 more Chipper’s on it. Time for top to bottom change.

PHIL

June 22nd, 2009
1:43 pm

GA is so lazy he makes me sick. I wouldn’t play him if he was hitting .400. Why he plays against left handers is beyond me. Waht was the deeal with Frenchy and Kansas City they were talking about yesterday?

Randy J.

June 22nd, 2009
1:46 pm

I Believe in this Bravos!!

Randy J.

June 22nd, 2009
1:46 pm

Canadaian braves fan

June 22nd, 2009
1:51 pm

hey folks, I have started a new blog site of the Braves for school. Go on and comment if you would or vote on the poll at ww.newblogofbraves.bolgspot.com
Thanks and I think the Braves can win the divsion if they get another bat

Michael

June 22nd, 2009
2:06 pm

Frenchy, KJ,and Schafer would not be on any other Major league team but the Braves. After this season or sooner Cox need to go. The game has passed him by. He talks about KJ as if thought he is Chase Utley.