Atlanta Braves: Was weekend Philly series such a huge flop or do we still have a Wild Card shot?

The facts aren’t pretty: NL East-leader Philadelphia came to town and took two of three from the Braves. Philly slugger Ryan Howard dominated the series. Atlanta lost a chance to gain serious division ground.

YOU TELL US: What went so wrong this past weekend against the Phillies? Do the Braves still have a shot at the Wild Card? And what’s Atlanta got to do going forward to make the postseason?

84 comments Add your comment

Michael

August 17th, 2009
11:10 am

First…They can, but have to be more consistant.

Bill in VA

August 17th, 2009
11:11 am

Braves averaged 2.3 runs per game and 6.3 hits per game AT HOME, for the “big, important” home series!! I must get out my golf clubs.

Eric

August 17th, 2009
11:14 am

Anything can happen with 45 games to go. We are only behind 3.5 games for the wild card

Malted Falcon

August 17th, 2009
11:14 am

Ok, not one single article or blurb on Tiger Woods choking away the PGA? That’s pathetic, I guess it didn’t happen. Way to cover Dixie like the dew, AJC.

Romola Eaton

August 17th, 2009
11:14 am

The Phillies outplayed us in the outfield. We still have a chance for a wild card if they will play like they did against the Phillies.

Bat Masterson

August 17th, 2009
11:14 am

What went wrong? They hit the ball hard but to no avail.

A shot at the wild card? Well they have not been mathematically eliminated, so yes.

What do they have to do to make the post season? Win 2 out of 3 the rest of the way.

Can they? Who the hell knows, they can pitch. Can they get healthy?

Gerontius

August 17th, 2009
11:19 am

I don’t know what went wrong. I was trying to find out by visiting the AJC web site for a game summary, since the morning edition didn’t have anything.
I guess what went wrong is that the Braves showed up to play and met a better team.

Tell It Like It Is

August 17th, 2009
11:21 am

Lets get back to basics now that the Phillies have ended the far out dream the Braves had of reaching the playoffs. The need to get players who can run, throw and catch is critical. Baseball is supposed to be entertaining.

This team is boring. No speed, no controversial statements, no power, no defense(excluding Escobar), no attitude, no swagger. I have watched the Braves ever since the 70’s. I can honestly say that this team is the worst when the entertainment factor is involved.

Bring up Heyward and anyone in the farm system who can bring some excitement to Atlanta.

jimma

August 17th, 2009
11:25 am

what went wrong is WREN still dont have the hitters for playoff baseball just a 500 team

Braves are toast

August 17th, 2009
11:26 am

All the Braves have is their pitching, and it wasn’t enough…compare the Braves vs. Phillies lineups position vs. position. The only place the Braves have an advantage is at C and 3B (and Chipper is ailing). They’re not going to win the division when the Phillies are at least their equal in pitching and better in 6 of the 8 offensive positions. I’m done with the Braves now except for a little scoreboard watching online. I’m switching over to football season now where at least there is hope.

Bobby Coccyx

August 17th, 2009
11:28 am

I’ve checked out

Mark

August 17th, 2009
11:37 am

The problem is that this lineup is a team full of role players. Chipper is no longer the .320/30/100 guy. He’s a good hitter but he’s not what he used to be. At .300/20/70 (appx) McCann cannot be the best hitter in our lineup. He’s one of the best hitting catchers in the game but he cannot carry this offfense. There was plenty of big bats out there before and during the season to trade and pickup. Laroche was the biggest bat we aquired, end of story. Will we even have 1 guy that drives in 100 runs this year?

Absentclutch hitter

August 17th, 2009
11:37 am

G’night post season chances. At least they rolled over a bit earlier than normal this year.

Bingo!

August 17th, 2009
11:39 am

The biggest problem is that Chipper is not earning his superstar money, he is only a slightly above average player this year and surely does not hit in the clutch.

slow roller

August 17th, 2009
11:39 am

This series was effectively a playoff series. Escobar and Chipper choked….oh yeah, Bobby forgot to put his hottest bat in the lineup….Kelly Johnson. Coulda used a few more homers. Why hasn’t Conrad been called back up? Didn’t he hit a pinchhit homer a couple weeks back? I remember a couple years ago in the playoffs when Michael Tucker went 3-5 with a homer and Bobby pulled him for a right handed batter…we lost that playoff series too.

Dave

August 17th, 2009
11:43 am

My impression that the Braves CANNOT win the division, but the Marlins and the Phillies CAN both LOSE the division.

Logically, the Phillies should win it going away because of the improved starting pitching they will receive from Lee and Martinez, plus their overall talent in their everyday players. However, as far as the starting pitching goes, Stanton has historically been a .500 pitcher; Hamels is having a mediocre year, and Happ keeps walking people. The relief pitching is generally good, but Lidge has shown a distinct talent for imploding at the worst possible time (which is the reason the Braves won on Saturday).

If Lee does not continue to pitch lights out every start and if Martinez cannot deliver, I foresee a distinct possibility that the Phillies could have a Mets-like collapse in September where they could lose 15 of 18 and give both the Marlins and the Braves a chance to catch them.

As for the Marlins, they are having both pitching and consistency problems as well when it comes to their overall performance.

BOTTOM LINE: All things being equal, it is the Phillies title to lose. If they play up to their talent level, they win the division by 10 games. If not, it will be an INTERESTING September.

Just my humble opinion…

gil hodges

August 17th, 2009
11:44 am

turn out the lights, the party’s over!!!!! start sending up the young en’s. get a little P-T in the bigs. and, just for good ole times, sign smoltzie and glavine and let them make a fairwell start or two…

see ya next year bravos…

Chris

August 17th, 2009
11:44 am

There’s still a whole lot of season left to play! Don’t count the Bravos out just yet. What went wrong…they lost two vice winning two! The next series with the Phillies will define the season for the Braves. BLUF: they need to get after it like there’s no tomorrow…90s where are you???

Stephen

August 17th, 2009
11:45 am

Ok gang, I’ve said it before and people weren’t happy, but seriously- no playoffs this year. Check out coolstandings.com if you want to see the odds that the Braves make the playoffs. Too much of the team (starting pitching excepted) basically consists of stop-gap-type players that aren’t the stuff that championships are made of. I’m coming around on Prado, but McLouth, Anderson, Church, Prado, Hernandez, Diaz, LaRoche, Anderson aren’t really players that I put much into. Kudos to that group for keeping things mildly interesting… Double kudos to those players for overacheiving and upping their trade value to hopefully make some deals and make a run next year.

@Tell It Like it Is: If you watched Jordan Schaffer come up, you wouldn’t be pleading for rapid call-up’s as a way to generate excitement…

Justafan

August 17th, 2009
11:45 am

Bobby Cox!!! Braves will never be in play-off again with Cox as Mgr.

How much more BS before Wrens and Management wake up…………its time to move on with new blood running the show.

Edward m Howard

August 17th, 2009
11:46 am

Don’t have anyone to hit in the clutch and no relief pitching.

daw

August 17th, 2009
11:46 am

Nothing went wrong. It was a great series. They won one we should have won; we won one they should have one; we just got beat by a great hitter on two bad pitches from a great pitcher. That’s baseball. Hang in there Braves, you are almost there.

PMC

August 17th, 2009
11:48 am

Well a win against the D backs and a sweep of the Mets would be nice!

Yunel Asscobar

August 17th, 2009
11:48 am

Too much Michael Vick focus and not enough focus where it needs to be – on ME!

yall are crazy

August 17th, 2009
11:59 am

The offense needs to stop going to sleep whenever the big series comes up.

Marc in FL

August 17th, 2009
12:02 pm

I agree with Daw, Ryan Howard beat us, that’s what he’s supposed to do. If we had a 40 HR guy in our line-up, maybe he would have beat the Phillies. It was actually a pretty good series. The biggest need we have is a big right-handed bat and this series just proved it even more. If Wren doesn’t get one this off-season we’ll be in trouble again next year.

Charles Justice

August 17th, 2009
12:03 pm

What happened? Why do you pitch out over the plate to Ryan Howard in critical situations? Jam him or pitch him way far away. He’ll chase or he’ll walk…a walk is much better than a three-run homer! Where is Bobby’s head?

Steven L

August 17th, 2009
12:05 pm

Geez… freak out much? A former MVP and post-season hero hit some monster homers against good pitching and won 2 of the 3 games for them. We played great both games, timely hitting didn’t happen (but it sure ALMOST happened). Had we won 2 of 3, instead of lost 2 of 3, would things really be that different?

Again, stop freaking out! A lot more baseball left.

Mama Cox

August 17th, 2009
12:10 pm

What do you mean what went wrong? Nothing went wrong, Mama’s boys were just being Mama’s boys….and they love Mama Cox and Mama Cox loves her boys.

Erskine Thompson

August 17th, 2009
12:15 pm

Certainly the Braves have a shot at the Wild Card. They even have an outside shot at the division. However, losing 2 of 3 to the Phillies didn’t help things. The next four games (one against Arizona and 3 vs. the Mets) should help the Braves get back on track. However, if they don’t go 3-1 or better, the post-season is almost certainly gone. However, after those four, the three games against the Marlins are MUST-WIN games. What the Braves really lack is a game-changing player, like Ryan Howard or Hanley Ramirez in Florida. The Braves don’t have that one guy who, every time he comes up, can turn the game around. Chipper Jones was that guy in previous years, but age has apparently caught up with him, and he isn’t the Chipper he was. As such, nobody has taken that mantle and run with it. If the Braves are to catch the other teams in the Wild Card, someone has to stand up and say, “Just get me to the plate, and I’ll get you in,” and then go out and do it.

yall are crazy

August 17th, 2009
12:18 pm

Our offense just sucks, plain and simple. Once we have Heyward and Freeman in the lineup, things should get better, but that won’t be this year, so please folks, stop crying for Heyward. Wren isn’t about to repeat the mistakes that were made with Frenchy, Schafer, and Devine. Rushing players to the bigs is never a good idea, especially if it’s just to make the playoffs one year. Just wait, we have a few good years ahead of us. Patience is a virtue.

submariner

August 17th, 2009
12:20 pm

What went so wrong this past weekend against the Phillies? No timely hitting with RISP. Do the Braves still have a shot at the Wild Card? Maybe! And what’s Atlanta got to do going forward to make the postseason? Easy, have more wins than loses and play like they want to get into the postseason instead of planning hunting trips in October!

submariner

August 17th, 2009
12:24 pm

I will say this though, it was nice to see them be a little more aggressive on the bases. Stealing bases and trying to put pressure on was nice to see for a change.

Truefan96

August 17th, 2009
12:26 pm

I can’t believe we are talking about this again. Can we find a new topic for crying out loud. If our Braves win 4 or 5 out of the next seven do we have to hear this question again? We are contenders, but it will come down to the end of the season or barring any major injuries.

submariner

August 17th, 2009
12:28 pm

Mama Cox…….you funny!

Truefan96

August 17th, 2009
12:28 pm

If I’m not mistaken the games were played close by both teams this weekend. Late inning scores all the time to win games. Looked like playoff baseball to me! But if I have one criticism I would have said walk Ryan Howard over and over.

mike

August 17th, 2009
12:29 pm

It”s quite simple. The Phils have five big boppers in a row. If the two table setters get on, as was the case for Howard’s 3run shot then it’s lights out almost everytime. the braves don’t have one let alone five big bats in the lineup that can change a game in a hurry consistently.

submariner

August 17th, 2009
12:32 pm

I don’t fault them for pitching to Howard. He did what he was supposed to do, and if you look at his strike out numbers, you have to roll the dice and challenge him. He just got the better of them this time. The offense just let down the defense……..again. The Braves have great pitching. If they could just get the hitters to wake up. Where would they be if they had that one big bat spark plug?

submariner

August 17th, 2009
12:33 pm

Mike,………EXACTLY!!!!

Ralph

August 17th, 2009
12:39 pm

They still have a chance if they act immediately and fire Bobby Cox, release Norton, bring up Heywood for right field, no garantee but otherwise, NO CHANCE.

Pete

August 17th, 2009
12:43 pm

Playoffs ?? Playoffs ??
Are you serious ??
They’ll be lucky to finish 4th in the Div.
Less than mediocre. They strand so d.amn many runners on base I can’t watch them anymore.
Bring on football !!!

submariner

August 17th, 2009
12:45 pm

Ralph, although I don’t think that you are far off, making that kind of change NOW would send this team into a downward spiral. It’s taken since the all-star break to rekindle the chemistry. Francouer and Kotchman’s departures had to be jumpstarted with the arrivals of Church and La Roche. I agree it’s time for Cox to hang em up, but it probably should be in October, when they’re done.

Mark Biles

August 17th, 2009
12:50 pm

Offence, Offence, offence. That’s what went wrong. Leaving too many runners in scoring position and just not being able to muster up scoring opportunities. Injuries to McClouth, Prado and Chipper didn’t help, either.

We still have a shot at both the division and the wild card, but not if we lose 2 of 3 to the Phillies again no matter where the games are played!

James Spencer

August 17th, 2009
12:52 pm

Rest the key players so they can play healthy in the key series instead of having them on the bench during those key games.

splitfinger

August 17th, 2009
12:54 pm

It’s not rocket surgery…

The Braves lack that one big power bat in the middle of the lineup. Blame everybody and everything you want, but they don’t have a complete team without a legitimate power bat. Blame Cox, blame Norton… whoever. Casey Stengel and Manny Mota wouldn’t make a difference on an incomplete team. I think Philly showed us what a bopper in the middle of the lineup can do for a team…

Bill Heller

August 17th, 2009
1:00 pm

The lineup is disfunctional – two of our best power hitters, McLouth and LaRoche, are separated by 6 spots in the order (leadoff and 7th respectively). Chipper’s skills don’t warrant the third slot anymore, McCain’s too much of a double play threat to bat cleanup. Here’s my UNpolitically correct batting order: Church/Diaz, Prado, Escobar, Jones, McLouth, LaRoche, McCain, Anderson, Pitcher’s spot.

HAL

August 17th, 2009
1:08 pm

the phillys stars performed mcann was ok chipper non exsistent nuff said

Gabron Salome

August 17th, 2009
1:09 pm

Easiest question you’ve ever asked. Ryan Howard happened to the braves! He’s a stud, period. Remember how chipper used to dominate the Mets? A lil’ bit of deja vu should be slapping all of us braves fans in the face. We pitched very well, could’ve hit more but when its all said and done Mr. Howard single handedly ruined our chances of winning the East. the phillies will get theres soon in the name of Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman, patience peeps they’re coming.

Gary Petersen

August 17th, 2009
1:10 pm

WHY wasnt PRADO pinchhitting for CHURCH with bases loaded…..that was the ballgame….CHURCH cannot hit left hand pitchers….or if NORTON is so valuable why isnt he hitting for CHURCH….Johnson was also on the bench..he hits lefthanders very well!!!!!!!

MiltonDawg

August 17th, 2009
1:10 pm

we need to find a “miracle worker” asap!!!