LIVE BLOG: Can Braves find some offense (and defense)?

The Braves are hoping for different scene tonight in San Francisco. (AP photo)

The Braves are hoping for different scene tonight in San Francisco. (AP photo)

SAN FRANCISCO — Hello. We begin this evening with some good news, Braves fans. Tim Lincecum is not pitching. So the rest should be easy, right?

OK. Maybe not. The Braves and their depleted lineup aren’t much of a threat against most pitchers, let alone a two-time Cy Young Award winner. But if they have any hope of winning this National League Divisional Series, they’ll have to be far more patient at the plate tonight against Matt Cain than they were in Thursday’s series opener against Lincecum, who had 14 strikeouts and allowed only two hits in a complete-game shutout.

Here are the Braves taking batting practice. We'll find out if it helps.

Here are the Braves taking batting practice. We'll find out if it helps.

Hitting coach Terry Pendleton clearly believes the Braves could have done better. When the word “great” was used in a question about Lincecum, Pendleton responded: “The guy [Roy Halladay] in Philly the other night was great. That’s a no-hitter. That’s great.”

This much is certain: There’s a ton of pressure on every Braves pitcher, knowing one run can decide it. Derek Lowe and four relievers allowed the Giants only one run and five hits, but Lincecum reduced them to an afterthought.

Just a few other things about tonight:

Tommy Hanson will start for the Braves, as expected. You may have heard or read that he was hit in the eye by a batted ball in batting practice Thursday and immediately went to the clubhouse to be examined. Obviously, he’s fine. (But if he walks out to the mound with an eye patch and a parrot on his shoulder, we’ll know something is wrong). Hanson has allowed only one run in his last three starts (18 2/3 innings).

♦ Manager Bobby Cox made only one lineup change – Melky Cabrera replaces Matt Diaz in left field and will bat fifth. The batting order:

1. Omar Infante (5).
2. Jason Heyward (9).
3. Derrek Lee (3).
4. Brian McCann (2).
5. Melky Cabrera (7).
6. Brooks Conrad (4).
7. Alex Gonzalez (6).
8. Rick Ankiel (8).
9. Tommy Hanson (1).

♦ Many readers continue to wonder why Troy Glaus is not getting into the lineup. To repeat, Glaus’s knees are so shot that he can’t play in the field and there’s not much left of him at the plate, either. But here’s something else that our David O’Brien dug up. Glaus is only 13 for 80 (.163) with one homer at AT&T Park. (He’s also 1 for 10 in his career against Cain.)

Finally, as mentioned in this space last  night, I don’t believe the Braves lost the series opener because of a blown call but because they couldn’t hit or field. If they score a run off Lincecum, it doesn’t come down to one run. And if Omar Infante can knock down a ground ball in the fourth inning, Buster Posey never scores. That said– yes, baseball needs to expand its use of instant replay.

That’s it for now. I’ll check back with you shortly.

Do you believe the Braves can get out of here with a split?

Instant re-blog

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Lincecum shuts down Braves; so what’s next Plan B?

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1,958 comments Add your comment

Innocent Bystander

October 8th, 2010
8:29 pm

Go Braves!! Let’s get some runs tonight.

Mr C.

October 8th, 2010
8:32 pm

Hey Jeff, do u think the Braves will have more hits tonight or more errors??? Is Ankiel that much better than McLouth. Holy cow!!!

Terry Funk

October 8th, 2010
8:35 pm

Hoping for the split
these Braves don’t quit
but they seldom ever hit

Go Braves…

humpty

October 8th, 2010
8:38 pm

No one expected the braves to be here so what do they have to lose and I have tickets to the game Monday so Go Braves.

Dawgdad (The Original)

October 8th, 2010
8:41 pm

Terry, that is a good poem. Whatever happened to your brother, former Heavy weight Champ?

Melky is going to turn around this abysmal offense? Think Bobby needs to stick with Matty D, at least his lifetime average indicates some hope. Melky, not so much.

But in the end, it comes down to DLee and McCann. They need to have a great series for us to have a chance.

Dawggie

October 8th, 2010
8:42 pm

(((((30-24))))) hahahahahahahahahaahahahahaha!!!!

Brian SC

October 8th, 2010
8:42 pm

McLouth needs to be in for Ankiel and D. Lee needs to step up. The Braves need more than an 0-4 with three K’s from Lee.

J-MAN

October 8th, 2010
8:43 pm

Will the Braves find offese,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, do we have anyone there to hit?

Tmac

October 8th, 2010
8:44 pm

The Braves can win this game, but they have to play good fundamental baseball. Move runners, work the counts and something we haven’t been able to do lately, play flawless defense. The pitching will be there. Lets get 2 or 3 early and let Tommy do his thing.

Paul Emmel

October 8th, 2010
8:44 pm

Jeff, Any word on who the Giants are going to pitch if there’s a Game 4? Surely, after 120 pitches last night, Lincecum won’t be back, right?

Dawggie

October 8th, 2010
8:45 pm

oh…. wrong blog………

Yes, Braves win tonight 6-3. Homers by McCann and Ankiel. Hanson goes 6.2, 6K, 2BB, 2ER. Wagner gets save.

patrick

October 8th, 2010
8:46 pm

I don’t want Glaus playing, but if he can’t hit or field, why is he on the roster?

I was wondering why Diaz was playing against a righty instead of Melky, or better yet, Hinske. I think we need to get Hinske 3 AB’s a game. He’s got more power than any of the platoon we’ve been playing. Is he that much worse than any of them in the outfield? I say put him in there!

Dawggie

October 8th, 2010
8:46 pm

Oops. Wrong Blog.

Thumbody Thed That's Thupid!

October 8th, 2010
8:47 pm

This is the closest I’ve ever been to “thirst”. Wouldn’t it be nice if Cin/Phil got into a beanball fracas and players on both sides got hurt. (Sorry, all’s fair in love and war, and this is war). I know Philly fans were already accusing Hudson of intentionally hurting two of their players. Need a couple from both teams since we don’t know who we will play yet.

Willy

October 8th, 2010
8:47 pm

Is it too late to sell my tickets for Sunday’s game?

Bellefay

October 8th, 2010
8:48 pm

Poems? Haikus?

So much pain last night
Braves need to score runs tonight
Win one for Bobby

kaminari

October 8th, 2010
8:48 pm

Go BRAVES!! Reds are beatin up on Philly. Could be a great day. I hope.

justin

October 8th, 2010
8:50 pm

If we win tonight we go this with hudson going in game 3 were in

John Schultz, Jeff's evil twin

October 8th, 2010
8:52 pm

That left field is spacious in San Fran. Hope Melky has those roller skates he plays on tuned up.

cheshire

October 8th, 2010
8:53 pm

Lincecum is a great pitcher, but we do need to keep his performance in some kind of perspective. This is one of the worst offenses that has ever been in the postseason. They’ve made rookie pitchers look like Cy Young since the all-star break, so while i don’t want to take anything away from Lincecum, there are a lot of pitchers who can shut down the Braves like he did. I’ll be stunned if we score a run against Cain.

FloridaStateinDC

October 8th, 2010
8:53 pm

wow..can’t wait till Bobby is gone..he has no clue how to make out a winning lineup….i am calling for a sweep by the giants

dawg4u

October 8th, 2010
8:54 pm

Enter your comments here

Terry Funk @ Bellefay

October 8th, 2010
8:57 pm

I’ve been upstaged..(that hurts) nicely done….

Katherine

October 8th, 2010
8:57 pm

Willy
October 8th, 2010
8:47 pm

Is it too late to sell my tickets for Sunday’s game?

Seriously? How much do you want for them? If you don’t want to be there don’t go.

John Schultz, Jeff's evil twin

October 8th, 2010
8:57 pm

Funk, the Braves might not quit but you did in 89 vs the Nature Boy. Whoooooooooo!!

Dawgdad (The Original)

October 8th, 2010
8:59 pm

It was the junior Dory Funk
of whom I inquired,
because last night the Braves stunk
and their play was not inspired
bet you all wish this poet fired.

Katherine

October 8th, 2010
8:59 pm

omg the reds have fallen apart

John Schultz, Jeff's evil twin

October 8th, 2010
9:00 pm

The Reds just puked on themselves, cleaned themselves up, then pooped in their pants.

Roger

October 8th, 2010
9:00 pm

Wow reds defense worst than braves. And the ump missed a call at second.

Katherine

October 8th, 2010
9:00 pm

The ump did miss the call….lucky for the phillies

Terry Funk @ John Schultz, Jeff's evil twin

October 8th, 2010
9:01 pm

You mean the shoe shine boy…Ric Flair….I used to beat him like a rag dog back in the Gordon Solie days on WTBS….(you were wrong for the Whooooooooooo!!)

GO Braves…

kaminari

October 8th, 2010
9:02 pm

Phillies got a few early Xmas presents from the Santa Reds.

cheshire

October 8th, 2010
9:02 pm

good lord… the Phillies are the luckiest team i’ve ever seen. they are becoming the Yankees of the NL.

GT Falcon

October 8th, 2010
9:03 pm

MLB Umps are the absolute WORST in sports….Shouldn’t the playoffs have the best in the business. NFL seems to good job of doing so.

cheshire

October 8th, 2010
9:03 pm

and what’s so annoying is that tomorrow the national media is going to harp on and on about what an amazing team Philly is, never mentioning the fact that they did nothing to win this game except sit back and watch the Reds hand it to them.

Katherine

October 8th, 2010
9:03 pm

I was listening to that song “right now” by van halen today… it should be the braves theme song.

Katherine

October 8th, 2010
9:05 pm

Cheshire…you are exactly right. If the series is the phillies/yankees again it will be a very low rated one….everyone is sick of both teams

Innocent Bystander

October 8th, 2010
9:05 pm

Braves will win 5-2. Someone’s going yard for us.

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

October 8th, 2010
9:06 pm

It’s evidently mandatory that MLB umps ingest magic-shrooms and LSD prior to first pitch.

dawg4u

October 8th, 2010
9:06 pm

This just has to be the most punchless Braves playoff team ever. This offense looks as bad as I’ve ever seen. We have absolutely no one that I would consider causes concern to any opposing pitcher. If the best we have to offer are McCann and Heyward then we are in a heap of trouble, like who didn’t already know that. Tim Hudson should be pitching tonight with our backs truly against the wall. Bobby is putting all the pressure on the kid Hanson when Huddy would be the best choice because of his experience in the playoffs. Bobby always managed like it was the regular season even in the playoffs which I think is the biggest reason we have only one world series championship.

Alan

October 8th, 2010
9:06 pm

Jeff fyi, on your sack schultz contest, you have michigan st as the home team but they are playing in ann arbor.

Flatsdawg1

October 8th, 2010
9:07 pm

The bravos must not be caught looking at perfect pitches like last night and then swinging at pitches 2 feet off the plate. Please score tonight guys, u can do eeeeeeet!!!

Katherine

October 8th, 2010
9:08 pm

So are they going to switch to the braves game since I don’t think this one is going to be over by the time our game starts?

RichieRich86

October 8th, 2010
9:11 pm

Lets Go Bravos!! Settling in for the night watching the end of the Reds/Phils game!! Lets Go Braves Lets start the Wave baby!!

Mr Charlie

October 8th, 2010
9:11 pm

Does anything think if the braves when any series, that it won’t go down to the last game? Or even the last inning? A split away would be fine.

Katherine

October 8th, 2010
9:11 pm

How about the chop richie….ohhhh oh ohhhhh ohhh oh ohhhhhh

Largo

October 8th, 2010
9:12 pm

Conrad makes so many errors anymore that they don’t seem to bother him now. When brought up, he usually comments on other problems shared by the braves and his errors are the least of their troubles.

RichieRich86

October 8th, 2010
9:13 pm

dawg4u,
Huddy pitched sunday night. Its Hanson’s turn and I have all the faith in Hanson. Huddy is going to go game 1 in Atlanta. If all goes to plan we should take the next two.

Katherine

October 8th, 2010
9:13 pm

rollins is a tool

RichieRich86

October 8th, 2010
9:14 pm

Katherine,

OOOOOOHHHHH OH OOOOOOOHHHHHHHH OOOHHH OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH OOOOOOOOOOOHHHH!!!! I can’t wait to see Hanson’s stuff tonight! Does anyone know what the lineup is?