Braves are hoping to change the postseason script

Chipper Jones is the only remaining Brave from the last team to win a playoff round. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Chipper Jones is lone remaining Brave from the last team to win a playoff round. (Brant Sanderlin)

As much as there will be grand proclamations Friday night — because that’s just the way things function in this 24/7, hyperventilating, turbo-Tweeting sports world — let’s start with a little perspective:

If the Braves defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card game — a best-of-one? — it shouldn’t be taken as a sign that they’re absolutely destined to win 11 more postseason games and the World Series and will make people forget the ’27 Yankees, and if they lose to the Cardinals it won’t wouldn’t affirm that the Kenshin Kawakami signing has forever cursed the franchise (although that one might be worth studying for a while).

It’s just one game.

But isn’t it about time for a new script?

We’re all familiar with the mixed-emotions math of the Braves in the 1990s and 2000s: 14 divisions, 5 pennants, 1 World Series. Too small a number at the end for such a big number at the beginning.

But particularly alarming of late is where a string of miserable Octobers has gotten them. The Braves haven’t won a playoff series since 2001. Chipper Jones is the only holdover from that club, which swept Houston in the divisional playoffs but lost to Arizona in the NLCS.  Jason Heyward was 12. Kris Medlen, tonight’s starter, was a largely ignored high school shortstop and pitcher in California.

The roster has almost completely turned over. So associating this team with most of the previous 10 — save last season’s — really isn’t fair.

But a win certainly would act as some sort of spiritual cleansing for everybody else.

“We can’t worry about all that,” catcher David Ross said following Thursday’s workout. “We’re just trying to win a game. We know we’re good. We won 94 games. Everybody in here thinks we have a chance to win a World Series. But we have to win this one.”

Through the roster transition, the Braves have had a steady uptick in regular-season victories over the past five years: 72, 86, 91, 89, 94. At some point, there needs to be success in October to validate all this, certainly for general manager Frank Wren. But the question is whether we can draw many conclusions from this playoff-ette against the Cards.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez is calling it, “Game 7.” But it’s Game 7 without six games of buildup and six games of revelation about what this team is, or can be.

“I think it’s unfair, win or lose, to draw a conclusion,” Gonzalez said. “I think you judge a team over the course of 162 games, and the way they’ve battled some adversities, the critics, all the [things] that have been thrown at us for the last year, really. That’s the way you judge a team. [Friday’s] game, anything can happen – a bad hop over somebody’s head, a ball lost in the shadows, somebody gets hit with the bases loaded. Crazy stuff.”

This much is certain: Too often the story has been: They lost. Seldom has it been: Wow, look at what they did in October. Fair or unfair, one win would begin to change that perception.

Ross is correct: This is a team capable of winning it all. It’s certainly not worse than the St. Louis team that made it in as a wild card with the final spasm as the Braves were completing a 10-20 implosion, then went on to win the Series.

They have the starting pitcher (assuming this Medlen fantasy ride continues). They have enough offense, even with Brian McCann banged up and struggling. They have Craig Kimbrel in the bullpen. They have Heyward, Martin Prado, Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla playing well. They have Michael Bourn and Andrelton Simmons back from injuries.

Now they just need to win Game No. 163. It wouldn’t mean everything for the future. But it would provide at least a hint of affirmation about what they’re headed.

The Braves won six more games than the Cardinals, but they’re not going to complain about a one-game series.

“We would’ve been in this game last year,” Eric Hinske said. “So you can’t hate on it too much.”

When the Braves didn’t make it last year, we wondered what it meant. It turned out the team that came back this season was pretty good. But a loss on Friday would extend a streak that already has lasted far too long.

By Jeff Schultz

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147 comments Add your comment

Dum-Bass

October 4th, 2012
5:07 pm

Forecast for Friday, high 84degrees, gametime 82, with no chance of rain. Mostly sunny. Therein lies the one problem. Hope this one game is not decided by one lost flyball into the sun in RF.

Steve

October 4th, 2012
5:08 pm

Go Bravos!!!!!!!!!!

Stuart

October 4th, 2012
5:11 pm

Go Bravos. Get it done

T-Bone

October 4th, 2012
5:21 pm

Time to start a new streak!

Sonny Clusters

October 4th, 2012
5:30 pm

Whew! We was glad to see this considering the play-in starts tomorrow at 5:07 PM. We was wondering how they decided on 5:07 because that seems like an odd time to begin something but it may be because the play-in is as strange as the starting time. We know this, Delta is ready when you-know-who is. Let’s hope he misses the first few weeks of deer season.

Stinger2

October 4th, 2012
5:31 pm

This Braves team won 94 games. Only 3 other MLB teams won more. Quite an accomplishment which deserves kudos from all of the true Braves fans. Regardless of the outcome tomorrow, Fredi and the players can say they left it all on the field. I hope the people who have been so critical with their comical nonsense will back off now.

Sonny Clusters

October 4th, 2012
5:38 pm

Wow! A new stalking record! Only 1 minute. Congratulations, little buddy! By the way, what does leaving it all on the field mean? Is that anything like “play ‘em one at a time” and “in any other ballpark that’s a home run”? We think you maybe should be writing on here with Jeff and a bonus now is that a lot of the AJC writers work from the house so you could wear your pajamas while you’re writing.

Birdhair

October 4th, 2012
5:38 pm

Dr. Phil

October 4th, 2012
5:40 pm

The 5:07 start ensures that many out of town Braves fans (like me) will be stuck in traffic when the game starts.

Sonny Clusters

October 4th, 2012
5:48 pm

Speaking of nonsense, how do we determine who the “true” fans are? Is that the pajama wearers? We go to the games and follow the team on television and love good baseball. But, somebody says we’re not a “true” fan because we also demand excellence. Jeff pointed it out . . . in spite of all the little signs in the outfield that would make you think otherwise, the Braves haven’t won a playoff series since 2001. Now, true fans everywhere know that more of the same means more of the same results and that’s good enough if you like to say “we won more games than Houston and Miami and most everybody else – but not Washington who won our division”. Well, there are small minds and bigger minds and there are awe struck fans and fans who aren’t so much awe struck. In any case, nice pajamas.

Birdhair

October 4th, 2012
5:51 pm

At least cocks isn’t managing in the playoffs for us any longer. FG should be considered for manager of the year, seriously. Playing Ross tomorrow is one heck of a move that may not be popular, but it’s the right one. Ross is playing very well lately. Mac, hurt or not, hasn’t been good.

Stinger2

October 4th, 2012
5:53 pm

Someone asked about “what leaving it all on the field means”. To that person my answer is you must not be a real sports fan. To introduce them to the term it simply means they played their guts out and gave it all they had,

Stinger2

October 4th, 2012
6:03 pm

There is one little guy who post on these blogs who thinks he is being cute talking about others who simply want to give this Braves team the proper respect and congratulations for a job well done. Let this one continue to try to be funny and keep his little mind occupied. Go Braves!

"Chef" Tim Dix

October 4th, 2012
6:21 pm

I believe a close loss or win will give fans a greater insight into what our manager brings in strategy. BC was perceived by most to sit back and wait on the 3 run homer and be too loyal. They’re probably right on loyalty part but he really managed every game very carefully. So we shall see how Gonzo plays it.

Sonny Clusters

October 4th, 2012
6:30 pm

We suppose if he’s going to call us “little” we’re going to have to change and call him “tiny” :-) . Seriously, this is not much fun anymore. Every time we post something tiny tulip shows up and tries to be our mama and tell us how to think. We have to say thank you for explaining another tired old sports cliche to us like we don’t know what it means. It is the way ballplayers talk because they have no real communications skills. We can see where it would work for Tiny, too. We are going on sabbatical. Many of the bloggers on here we enjoy so much will probably understand. Stalking is creepy and stalkers even more so. The Green River Killler was a lot like this and we don’t want to find our too late that our tiny little buddy was a serial killler. So, have fun everybody. Clusters out. Stalker wins. There are some sick puppies out there.

Sonny Clusters

October 4th, 2012
6:30 pm

We suppose if he’s going to call us “little” we’re going to have to change and call him “tiny” :-) . Seriously, this is not much fun anymore. Every time we post something tiny tulip shows up and tries to be our mama and tell us how to think. We have to say thank you for explaining another tired old sports cliche to us like we don’t know what it means. It is the way ballplayers talk because they have no real communications skills. We can see where it would work for Tiny, too. We are going on sabbatical. Many of the bloggers on here we enjoy so much will probably understand. Stalking is creepy and stalkers even more so. The Green River Killler was a lot like this and we don’t want to find our too late that our tiny little buddy was a serial killler. So, have fun everybody. Clusters out. Stalker wins. There are some sick puppies out there.

Sonny Clusters

October 4th, 2012
6:32 pm

Whoa! That’s twice today. Double your Clusters for the same price. Sorry, Jeff. We are on the way out anyway. Turn off the lights for us when you leave.

Answer this

October 4th, 2012
7:31 pm

Yea you right not since 2001….well things change starting Friday! Its our turn in the ATL! The Braves set the mark! It starts with them and then it filters to the Falcons and yes to the Hawks! Its our turn! We deserve it! We are true fans who live and die with our team(s) so its our turn! Our turn to be the darlings! Our turn to be the ones talked about! Our turn to have the magic! Our turn to have a hero walk off in the sunset! Our turn to beat the odds! Our turn to say we did it! It took guts, passion and heart but we did it. ITS OUR TURN!

Rambunz

October 4th, 2012
7:35 pm

I like the Braves to deal (with) them Cards. Pretty clever for a cracker, huh?

abby normal

October 4th, 2012
7:37 pm

I still hate this one game play-in BS. The Braves won six more games than the Cards and it means nothing. If MLB wants a second wild card team, at least make it two out of three.

Chipper = HoF

October 4th, 2012
8:30 pm

Dear Atlanta Braves roster,

Among all else, remember…win one for the Chipper.

bulldogbubba

October 4th, 2012
8:35 pm

Mr Clusters – Don’t let someone else kill you “freedom” to speak your mind. We need your “real” comments about the Braves and not the fluff others spread. We should all be free to speak the truth. Don’t leave Jeff hanging he needs you to keep his blog going.We don’t want him to have to find other work!!!! GO CLUSTERS! GO BRAVES!!!

JSS

October 4th, 2012
8:55 pm

Clusters , why you call yourself “WE” ???? You are 2 or more??

Larry

October 4th, 2012
9:19 pm

“I think it’s unfair, win or lose, to draw a conclusion,” Gonzalez said….[Friday’s] game, anything can happen – a bad hop over somebody’s head, a ball lost in the shadows, somebody gets hit with the bases loaded. Crazy stuff.”

Sounds like Fredi is already prepared for his postgame interview where the liklihood of his horrific in-game, situational management skill could have the fans thinking of Spring Training tomorrow night.

Hopefully this very capable and talented team can out-hit and/or out-pitch their pinheaded manager. Just stay out of the way, Fredi!

Wilbo

October 4th, 2012
9:52 pm

October = Braves suck. Why break tradition?

Freddie is Bobby

October 4th, 2012
10:10 pm

Gonzales is a Cox twin. Both guys look at the regular season as the true measurement of success and the postseason as a crapshoot. These guys were made for each other and deserve one another’s postseason failures.

JR1967

October 4th, 2012
10:23 pm

This game is basically the Braves vs. the Cardinals and their 20,000 or so fans that will be with them at Turner Field. The rest will play itself out-either the Braves will win and move on, or the Cardinals will win and we will hear the typical “You gotta tip your cap” to the opposing winner.

Birdhair

October 4th, 2012
10:27 pm

Nah, booby cocks would play mccann and he’d pull medlen too quickly and throw turdbin and venters

NorCal Brave

October 4th, 2012
10:46 pm

Braves got here by dominating their division, something they haven’t done maybe ever. I give them credit for winning consistently against Phils, Fish, & Mets and pretty much breaking even with Nats. Admittedly anything can happen in one game, but if the offense disappears like it’s done so often, I don’t like our chances.

j

October 5th, 2012
1:57 am

PLEASE let us win this one

Spud

October 5th, 2012
2:18 am

The AZ Cardinals lost to St. Louis last night. Let’s hope the St. Louis Card’s lose tonight!

John Leonard

October 5th, 2012
2:38 am

Its real simple,hit and score some runs and we win.

Stinger2

October 5th, 2012
3:58 am

Wilbo and Larry: Some people are considered smart when they don`t say anything.

blake

October 5th, 2012
4:00 am

“They have the starting pitcher (assuming this Medlen fantasy ride continues). They have enough offense, even with Brian McCann banged up and struggling. They have Craig Kimbrel in the bullpen. They have Heyward, Martin Prado, Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla playing well. They have Michael Bourn and Andrelton Simmons back from injuries.”

kinda questioning how you rattle off all those names for Braves fans to feel good about the teams chances and you don’t even mention Chipper.

C’mon Man!

P Rose

October 5th, 2012
5:37 am

It was, of course, the Cards who sprinted to the finish line last season, eclipsing the Braves’ seemingly insurmountable lead; and it was those same Cards who eventually won it all.

It would be sweet redemption for the Braves to exact revenge this season by knocking those same Cards out in the one-game playoff.

On the other hand, it would be exceedingly bitter to lose to them — again.

Don’t let the Cardinals own you, boys — go out there and win this one! Shut ‘em down, Medlen and Kimbrell.

And Chipper: this could be your last time to shine, boy. Whatever you do, make this one count. Be a hero. Go out a champ. You deserve it. And you can do it.

[...] Braves are hoping to change the postseason script [...]

Braves will win...i sure they will..oo

October 5th, 2012
6:30 am

Figure be 20,000 claim be cardinals fans there after all they really Braves folks but when st.louis comes they turn coats over and say we are st.louis fans then….lets hope we keep them quiet all game too….then they slowly creep out to cars n return as Nats fans of course….lol….so medlan pitch’s as been all year he win game..unless all sudden cards pitcher is Bob Gibson now….well fellow startin is close enough to his style….its goin be a Hot dog hold the mustard n onions Game at sold out Ted today….So lets all cheer wave make noise and chant..we need upset the Indian protesters again like did in 91 n 92 remember…..I still think they need remove the 2 tomahawks off sleeves and return the Smilin Face Brave on sleeves too!

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
6:38 am

The Braves cannot hit the baseball.

David

October 5th, 2012
6:45 am

Braves lose today, Chipper heads to Hooters, and fans hope Liberty Media sell this team.

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
7:09 am

Liberty Media, what a joke. Almost as much of a joke as Bulldogs fans acting like we’re going to something tomorrow night for ESPN GameDay, now that all our Bulldogs are TV Announcers and Analysts, by beating a team who plays Georgia, Clemson and LSU. And, like acting Florida is any bloody good with games to play against LSU, Georgia, FSU and South Carolina. Neither South Carolina nor Florida makes the Top 10. We will; they won’t.

If the Braves are hoping to do something about the post-season script without hitting or a manager, or owners; Georgia is trying to do something without even playing a top team all season. It sure ain’t going to be South Carolina. Oh, well, I guess we can expect another 10-42 SEC Championship Game appearance to come back on this blogs, and read the DISNEYdawgs.com say how well we played for 10 minutes to start, and brag about us making it to the SEC Championship Game like # 19 for UGA and # 9 for South Carolina who beat us, throwing our QB around like a RAGDOLL fumbling the game away twice and threw a pick-6 interception, makes us a better team than South Carolina.

And, Florida averaging # 75 in the nation at every NCAA stat except running the football, is a football team.

Yeah, right.

You’re the problem with our fans nowadays in here acting like we’ve arrived :

0-9 last 9 games against SEC teams who made winning SEC record
0-7 last 7 games against teams who made Top 10

- not beat team making Top 10 after # 9 Auburn in 2006, 7 yrs ago
- not beat SEC team made winning SEC record starting KY 2007, 6 yrs ago

Did I mention Georgie tek is # 36 national university and NCAA PROBATION FOOTBALL 2012

Robert

October 5th, 2012
7:22 am

@Thomas did you not read the article? This is a Braves article not a Georgia Football article. You must be a Cocks fan, so I understand!!!

Shug

October 5th, 2012
7:43 am

Are you out of your mind? You think a win in a play-in game will somehow purge the Braves of their nearly 2 decade history of choking underachievement in the post-season? Winning this year’s World Series will help soothe the feeling, but even that won’t change the past wasted opportunities.

jake d snake

October 5th, 2012
7:50 am

Let’s not forget the most important thing. This game is being played on a Friday, not a Monday. That gives the Braves the edge they need.

Call It Like It Is

October 5th, 2012
7:52 am

Sorry not excited. Have seen this way too many times. Years of Bobby Cox pissing it away in the post season and nothing has changed. With the talent we had, any other coach would have had 3 or 4 rings on their hand. We have 1 and something like a thousand division titles. “Kissing your sister.” Now we got Fredi, so far havent seen much change. Braves lose tonight, bank on it.

Gary Tanner

October 5th, 2012
7:55 am

In listing all the positive things they’ve “got,” Chipper Jones was not mentioned. Surely a mistake of oversight?

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
8:02 am

Robert, your post is about neither, just a Flame post.

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
8:03 am

Chipper Jones : POSITIVE

For his 14 million dollars 2012, he has 1 homer run per million.

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
8:11 am

By the way Robert, all day yesterday on a blog which said nothing about the Braves, all of us talked about the Braves. And, that post is mostly about the Braves.

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
8:12 am

The facts are NEITHER the Braves nor Georgia is going to do anything 2012, whether you like it or not.

Falcons will.

Now, criticize me for talking about the Falcons twerp

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
8:19 am

- since 2001 wins 9 losses 15 in play-offs Braves

- since 2001 wins 3 losses 13 vs teams made Top 10

no difference, whether Robert likes it or not.

Escaped from Email Purgatory

October 5th, 2012
8:19 am

Without this silly “playoffette” the Braves record had earned them a spot in a post season series.

I don’t think a win or loss to the Cards in this game means much of anything one way or the other – as far as whether or not they’ve moved on from the choker reputation.

The Braves did a great job this season. Here’s hoping it doesn’t end tonight.

Chop (to the playoffs)

October 5th, 2012
8:48 am

Four runs and six strong innings from Medlen and I like the Braves chances to close this thing out.

Joey

October 5th, 2012
8:54 am

If I had 3 wishes, they would be:

For a Braves win tonight

For Clusters to come back and entertain

For the Clusters’ stalker to drop his laptop – from 10 stories

Good decision playing Ross, Fredi. Bet his defense alone pays off.
Go Bravos!

Supersize that order, mutt

October 5th, 2012
9:03 am

Braves win tonight, bank on it! And my money is on Tech firing Coach Johnson after a blowout loss at Clemsom. We’re just not good enough.

All I'm Saying Is....

October 5th, 2012
9:12 am

It’s a one game, all-in type of thing so block out all the distractions and do what we do!

LET’S GO BRAVES!

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
9:23 am

Supersize that order, mutt September 17th, 2012 12:46 am

“If it gets you off trashing Tech for two minor probations, then enjoy it. Sure, we would like more wins against the dwags, but it is what it is.”

Supersize that order, mutt March 10th, 2012 11:31 am

“I don’t see where any of you ignoramuses are coming up with the idea that Johnson is at fault in this case. It was DRAD who did what he was supposedly not allowed to do. Johnson wasn’t even involved at that point and was not until DRAD told him what was going on.”
__________________________________________________________________
You seem more obsessed with your NCAA PROBATIONS in FOOTBALL back-to-back including 2012 and with DEFENDING PAUL JOHNSON.

Now, you have changed your mind and the NCAA PROBATION 2012 for Georgie tek in FOOTBALL on the Major Infractions Database is important to you and you and you still defend Paul Johnson.

Now, in this post you say you want Paul Johnson fired and you are still on NCAA PROBATION in FOOTBALL 2012 back-to-back for Major Infractions Database.

In fact now you say Paul Johnson, when he found out about his players in the Major Infractions Investigation, was not at fault at all for interviewing his players when Paul Johnson has coached college football for over 30 years now as head football coach and knows that he cannot tamper with any NCAA investigation.

Sure, it is ALL PAUL JOHNSON’S FAULT for Georgie tek being on NCAA PROBATION in FOOTBALL 2012 for Major Infractions Database because Paul Johnson knew he could not talk to the players about any possible NCAA investigation and

DID IT ANYWAY.

Now, you want him fired, and think the Braves are going to do something in 2012. No. No hitting. Nothing up the middle.

Don

October 5th, 2012
9:33 am

Shug, you nailed it. Winning one game is not going to change Bobby Cox’s 1 WS Championship in 14 post season opportunities with perhaps the best overall pitching staff in the history of baseball and (for the most part) a very good to great supporting cast. Never in the history of the game has there been such a waste of talent by a manager.

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
9:35 am

Yes, there has been Don. Mark Richt at UGA 2001 to present. But, Bobby Cox was horrible at playing the wrong guys. If you gave him 25 players on the roster, the # 25 player better be great because at the most important part of the most important game, the # 25 player would be front-and-center.

PMC

October 5th, 2012
9:36 am

Well, you know, all it takes is playing better defense than they have and scoring runs.

The bane of this teams existance is failing to get runners in when they need to do so. It’s been that way for 20 years. It’s who they are as a franchise, the strikeouts are a lot worse this year, but scoring runs when they need them the most is still trouble.

I’m really confident in this bunch though as opposed to the last couple of runs. I like the defense especially with the healthy Ross over and obviously ailing Brian McCann.

I think the offense is coming around finally this year. We all know they are better against the top of the rotation guys rather than the 4th or 5th starters or guys coming out of nowhere.

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
9:40 am

Our Offense is coming around 2012 ?

Huh ?

We cannot hit to save our lives.

You watch.

Peter R.

October 5th, 2012
9:41 am

Well, I completely agree with you. The Braves typically play better after having a day off so maybe they have a shot at getting this thing rolling. If you ask me, the Nationals really don’t look so hot without Mr. Strasburg. Plus, their play down the stretch has been rather uninspiring. I could see a team like last years Cardinals winning it all, please see the Detroit Tigers. Having a team with 94 wins play a one game playoff when the Tigers only have 87 and don’t is BS to me. MLB should scrap the format and make it like basketball, where the top 4 teams advance on. So dumb, but that’s Bud Selig. All baseball really cares about is TV ratings. I’ll put my money on them choking. Next year should be better. Look at the post Griffey Reds. That 14 mil Chip’s making will be spent much better next year. We need offense and with 20 million that should hopefully cure the issue. Cut JJ and McCann and they’ll have plenty of money to move around. Just make some trades to get a decent catcher.

afan

October 5th, 2012
9:43 am

If Braves lose– it will be like last years losing to Cards in last game. Just because its called a one game play-off don’t mean crap. I know Braves won 94 games(great) but all they got for it was home field..MLB is all about money not the teams and fans. Damn game at 5:07 also sucks no respect for fans. I pray Braves win– if not its back to same old sh*t..can’t win a play-off game–if thats what you call it. Some people say win for Chipper etc–I say win for the Fans, City, State, Players, sick in hospitals, old folks homes, and those that can’t do anything else but watch and pull for the team they love_The Braves____

Tumbledown

October 5th, 2012
9:47 am

Thomas Brown – Will you be happy if the Braves win today? Or, will you be happier if they lose so you can exclaim you were right all along?

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
9:47 am

Liberty Media is putting Chipper Jones’ $ 14 million for 14 home runs 2012 in their pockets.

They ain’t spending that on anything, and you know it.

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
9:49 am

It doesn’t matter what the Braves do this afternoon, one way or the other. There are a sorry baseball team, with sorry ownership, sorry manager, nothing up the middle where great teams are strong, and cannot hit their way out of a wet paper bag. Not only that, there isn’t any superstar on this entire roster, except for 1 pitcher – and, here we are in the 1 game play-off and he isn’t even pitching.

What does that tell ?

Joey

October 5th, 2012
9:50 am

The issue ain’t so much “the hitting” as it is the hitting with RISP.

Dead last in the NL.

Maybe Simmons, Heyward and Freeman can carry us. Lord knows the vets can’t.

Tumbledown

October 5th, 2012
9:53 am

TB – It tells me that you need to focus more attention on things that bring you a little more joy in life. Life is too short to get bogged down on matters that obviously frustrate you.

Joey

October 5th, 2012
9:53 am

Thomas, a “sorry” team soesn’t win 94 games, ever.

Granted, the Braves are a long shot to win it all, but they had the 4th best record in MLB.

jharber

October 5th, 2012
9:58 am

Question to everyone, Would Prado not be better utilized in the 5 hole and put Simmons in 2 hole? Just curious to thoughts.

Keith

October 5th, 2012
10:01 am

I wouldn’t be surprised if Ross comes up big in this role. The last couple of years he has always seemed to have a timely double or homer when he’s starting.

Braves win 3-1. Medlen pitches 7 strong with 10ks. Kimbrel strikes out the side. Turner Field is pademonium. Go BRAVES! :)

Tumbledown

October 5th, 2012
10:02 am

jharbor – Question to everyone, Would Prado not be better utilized in the 5 hole and put Simmons in 2 hole? Just curious to thoughts.

I like the idea of Bourn, Simmons, Prado, Heyward, Uggla, Freeman, Chipper, and Ross. Get some speed on base early, and may be someone down the order can come through.

Of course, how dare we talk strategy on this blog when most people are stuck cursing the past and/or proclaiming no hope for today’s game.

Keith

October 5th, 2012
10:02 am

pandemonium *

Phillisux

October 5th, 2012
10:03 am

I see morons all over this blog. They don’t even know they are morons.

Keith

October 5th, 2012
10:04 am

Re:

Is prado batting 3rd? He’s been our best hitter in September I believe…not a terrible idea.

I like Fredi’s style of managing this year. So much different from Bobby Cox….even though Bobby had some good moments at times, I like Fredi and the overall job he has done. He doesn’t stand pat with the status quo.

Go BRAVES ! :)

Bulldawg

October 5th, 2012
10:04 am

Thomas Brown,

If the Braves truly have a “superstar” pitcher and it’s not Medlen, then who is it? Anyone in their right mind would throw Medlen with the streak he has going. The guy has been lights out and an automatic win.

As far as not being strong up the middle, I’m not seeing it. The Braves have one of the best young defensive shortstops in baseball, Uggla is solid at second, and Bourn is certainly no slouch in centerfield. Ross is known as one of the game’s best defensive catchers.

I’ll give you the hitting. If we hit like we did all season, the pitching had better be off the charts.

jharber

October 5th, 2012
10:05 am

Tumbledown The only thing I would change in your lineup would be Chip and Uggla.

Keith

October 5th, 2012
10:07 am

RE: jharber

agreed. can’t have chipper that far down in the lineup in the postseason

oldfart

October 5th, 2012
10:10 am

This one game play-in, playoff, whatever is not baseball. All playoff series should be 7 games and the team with the second best record of non-divisional winners should get a hearty handshake and a see you next Spring send off.

Baseball would have a better commissioner if they dug up Kenesaw Mountain Landis and propped him up behind a desk.

jharber

October 5th, 2012
10:12 am

I believe that would be ultimate lineup for this club 1-8. I think this would get the job done. I also like Ross for Mac right now, Mac is hurting but again Ross is also.

Tumbledown

October 5th, 2012
10:14 am

Ok, you convinced me!

jharber

October 5th, 2012
10:19 am

I do not know how many follow Double AA ball but Betancourt is going to be a special player if he can fully recover from his injury. He has good make up and outlook.

Don

October 5th, 2012
10:32 am

Regardless of anything else, there are two bright spots:
(1) We will not have to see Bobby Cox managing,
(2) We will not have to see Andruw Jones at the plate.

Billy Mumphries

October 5th, 2012
10:33 am

“Shug, you nailed it. Winning one game is not going to change Bobby Cox’s 1 WS Championship in 14 post season opportunities with perhaps the best overall pitching staff in the history of baseball and (for the most part) a very good to great supporting cast. Never in the history of the game has there been such a waste of talent by a manager.”

Yeah, this is true, but don’t know why I’m dwelling on it right now. A baseball fan having watched the Braves from afar during that era, I, and most knowledgeable fans, were perplexed by the lack of success with that talent base. All talk of BC worship made no sense to me. And that includes proud talk of his record for being booted from games. How hard is that?? Go nose to nose with another fat official and then get bansished to the locker roon to eat Fritos, Dogs, and have a brew. Never understand the BC pedestal talk.

This is OUTRAGEOUS

October 5th, 2012
10:46 am

I can’t believe this game is on so early. Now I can’t watch it. WTF.

This is OUTRAGEOUS

October 5th, 2012
10:52 am

I just called the commissioner’s office and complained. No joke.

This is OUTRAGEOUS

October 5th, 2012
10:53 am

The Office of the Commissioner of Basebal
Phone: 212-931-7800

toby

October 5th, 2012
10:53 am

Fredi deserves props for makeing the right decision on starting Ross,a tuff decision a lot would not have made,but right now Ross is def playing better.As for the questions about why the 5:07 start,thats easy…TV,IT CONTROLS everything,they have another game tonight AL,remember,there not going to show them at the same time!!!!

Wutehvah

October 5th, 2012
11:01 am

TBS has the wildcard games that will go back to back. We get the early start being on ET. Sucks, but that how it goes. Lets go Medlen and lets go Braves!!

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
11:27 am

$ 14 million Chipper Jones
$ 14 million Dan Uggla
$ 13 million Brian McCann
$ 9 million Tim Hudson
$ 7 million Michael Bourn
$ 5 million Martin Prado
$ 5 million Paul Maholm
$ 3 million Eric O’Flaherty
$ 2 million David Ross
$ 2 million Eric Hinske
$ 2 million Jeff Baker
$ 1 million Reed Johnson
$ 1 million Lyle Overbay

That’s the top dozen. Now, who is our one Superstar ? Duh.

HUH?????

October 5th, 2012
11:43 am

Braves are 5-1 against the Cards this year.

The Braves pitchers/relievers are better.

The Braves have a better Sept record than the Cards.

ESPN picked the Cards to win because……of last year.

RW-(the original)

October 5th, 2012
11:50 am

I should get this out before the game so it doesn’t sound like sour grapes if the Cards win. Bud Selig is an idiot…OK, that isn’t the point because that won’t change no matter what happens. The point is if he wants to make the last games count for something for more teams he can have this second wild card team, but only if that team is good enough to stay within say 3 games of the first wild card team. If they can’t do that then no play in game for the “second wild card” or Card in this case.

Phillisux

October 5th, 2012
11:59 am

HUH????? October 5th, 2012 11:43 am Braves are 5-1 against the Cards this year. The Braves pitchers/relievers are better. The Braves have a better Sept record than the Cards.

HUH?????: Here’s a few more: Braves have one of the best home records in 2012; Cards are below .500 on the road; Braves one of the best defensive teams in NL. GO BRAVES!

BTW: ESPN can stuff the Cardinals where the sun don’t shine (St. Louis)

Tumbledown

October 5th, 2012
12:05 pm

Colin Cowherd of ESPN just characterized the Cardinals as a step-up franchise and the Braves as a step-down franchise. This has to change, starting today.

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
12:07 pm

Braves have lost 6 consecutive series and counting in play-offs.

0-5 at Turner Field in elimination games.

We watch our opponents celebrate on our own field, every time.

So, what did the Braves do ?

CELEBRATED like there was no tomorrow to make the play-offs like 10 other teams, and us not even division champions.

Kris Medlin $ 490,000 vs St Louis Superstar Kyle Lohse at $ 13 million for 2012.

So, why will the Braves not win ?

Because we cannot hit and runs will be at a premium. If we win, do we win the Divisional Series ? No. We cannot hit. We can’t hit with runners in scoring position and we can’t get our players on-base. We have no big-bopper. We have a superstar and he ain’t playing today. It just doesn’t matter what happens with the Braves today. Georgia, too, makes no difference. We end up Top 10 and South Carolina does not, either way Saturday, because South Carolina plays Clemson, LSU and Georgia while we play only them.

dean

October 5th, 2012
12:13 pm

Go Braves. Our family needs something to smile about right now. If you don’t win today, thanks for 94 smiles this year. Who woulda thunk it? T

DIPEN PATEL

October 5th, 2012
12:13 pm

It’s time for the OUR BELOVED BRAVES to start loving WORLD SERIES TITLES instead of NL East titles or October postseason appearances like they have never before because winning 14 straight NL East titles has always been a total disappointment for the BRAVES with just 1 WORLD SERIES TITLE.As for the BRAVOS be TOTALLY ANGRY and NASTY and start winning the BIG ONES in OCTOBER EVERY YEAR starting in 2012 and TOTALLY BEYOND.GO BRAVESNATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mister Frisky

October 5th, 2012
12:18 pm

No time for a tight o-ring.Need to start some new history today.Everyone is concerned about winning one for the Chipper.I wanna see how Heyward,Simmons,Freeman, Prado do.with everything on the line.These are the cornerstones of next year and beyond.If those four crap in bed this group will be no different than playoff teams past.

Felix

October 5th, 2012
12:25 pm

Colin Cowherd is a step down sports reporter.

Tumbledown

October 5th, 2012
12:33 pm

I agree Felix

kirkinga

October 5th, 2012
12:34 pm

I think you can make an argument that the Braves never recovered from Leyritz’s smash of that hanging slider in ‘96.

Felix

October 5th, 2012
12:37 pm

I never understood why Wholers didn’t throw him a 100 mph fastball. I see that hanger falling square into the fat part of Leyritz’s bat in my nightmares.

bitman

October 5th, 2012
12:39 pm

@Thomas Brown: Put a sock in it. You’ve spouted more than enough negativity for one day.

Felix

October 5th, 2012
12:44 pm

What I’d like to see today:
1. Win or lose, that Medlen pitches well.
2. Uggla do something big for once in a critical situation in an important game.
3. No stupid errors/mental mistakes that end up costing us the game.
4. Solid performances by the young guys who are such an important part of the future–Heyward, Simmons and Freeman.

Tumbledown

October 5th, 2012
12:51 pm

kirkinga -I think you can make an argument that the Braves never recovered from Leyritz’s smash of that hanging slider in ‘96.

That was a game-changer, so to speak. Those Braves’ teams of the 90s had a chance to go down as a dynasty of sorts, much in the same vein as the Cincinnati Reds of the 70s with pitching as the calling card verses the offense of the Big Red Machine.

Instead, the Braves lost and became a psychologically damaged franchise. A win in the 1996 WS and there would have been no questions condemning the franchise as falling short of their talent level. There would be exponentially fewer Bobby Cox detractors. All this change based on one slider and the Braves’ subsequent inability the remainder of the series to get that big hit (remember they lost Games 5 and 6 by one-run each in low scoring affairs).

But, this is a new day, with only Chipper linked to that 1996 series. The Red Sox overcame 86 years of futility. The Broncos won a Super Bowl after four losses. Various individual athletes in all sports have triumphed after experiencing failure. Time to put the past in the past. Go Braves!

beanster

October 5th, 2012
1:34 pm

I am a 4th generation St. Louis Cardinals (going back to the Browns) fan. My blood is a mixture of hemoglobin and Anheuser-Busch products and has been since birth. I’ve seen some magical moments in my years as a Cards fan, none more exciting than last year’s heroic game 6. Even though the Cards won one in 2006, I felt like St. Louis deserved the good fortune it received in the Series last year.

This year, it’s a different story. I hope the Braves win tonight. They deserve it. This one game play-in is silly. It’s unfair to the teams who did what they needed to do during the regular season, and not just the Braves. The 5th best team in the league gets an opportunity to get to the WS with the only handicap of one fewer game at home per series? That’s reaching if you ask me. I don’t understand why MLB chooses to toy around with a beautiful thing: October baseball. The wild card seemed weird but how else do you handle 3 divisions. The playoffs don’t need anymore expansion than that.

beanster

October 5th, 2012
1:34 pm

I am a 4th generation St. Louis Cardinals (going back to the Browns) fan. My blood is a mixture of hemoglobin and Anheuser-Busch products and has been since birth. I’ve seen some magical moments in my years as a Cards fan, none more exciting than last year’s heroic game 6. Even though the Cards won one in 2006, I felt like St. Louis deserved the good fortune it received in the Series last year.

This year, it’s a different story. I hope the Braves win tonight. They deserve it. This one game play-in is silly. It’s unfair to the teams who did what they needed to do during the regular season, and not just the Braves. The 5th best team in the league gets an opportunity to get to the WS with the only handicap of one fewer game at home per series? That’s reaching if you ask me. I don’t understand why MLB chooses to toy around with a beautiful thing: October baseball. The wild card seemed weird but how else do you handle 3 divisions. The playoffs don’t need anymore expansion than that.

Najeh Davenpoop

October 5th, 2012
1:35 pm

As long as they are patient and make pitchers work, they can go pretty far. Go Braves.

Skeptic

October 5th, 2012
1:40 pm

The Braves will honor Chipper by sending him out with their patented, Grade-A, choke-a-rama home loss. He’s been a part of that for years, don’t you think it fits? Let’s see–late season surge, check; starting pitcher on a streak, check; opportunity to stink up the home field, checkity-check. Looks like W/S ‘99 to me, except we crap our pants full in only one game instead of four straight. And, then someone can give Chipper “some Yankee stuff” to put on.

This will all transpire on TBS, of all stations, which couldn’t give a squirt of pi.$$ about Braves games the last few years, choosing instead to air “Crazy about Raymond”-a-thons. Sorry, Chipper. THIS is Braves Baseball. And Atlanta sports. You’re next, Falcons.

Wilbo

October 5th, 2012
1:45 pm

Hey, Stingie, check out these October numbers, baby!

Braves in last 8 World Series games 0-8.

Braves in last 9 postseason series 1-8.

Nuff said? Yes it is, thank you!

Thomas Brown

October 5th, 2012
1:49 pm

1-8 ?

Braves are 0-6 last 6 play-off series and 0-5 at Turner Field elminination games.

Sounds like UGA trying to beat teams who make the Top 10 at 0-7 since # 9 Auburn way back in 2006, which was 7 seasons’ ago now.

Billy Mumphries

October 5th, 2012
1:57 pm

Fredi is making a rational decision…nothing more. Leaders are supposed to, at the very least, make the best decision possible for their organization. This was not a difficult decision. McCann is not the player from the past. He is on a downward career performance trajectory.

Tumbledown

October 5th, 2012
2:03 pm

beanster – Thanks for your comments. The Cardinals have been a great franchise and have great fans. They truly deserved last year’s title. The rules say they are a playoff team and so they deserve to be competing once again for a title.

As a Braves’ fan, I simply want the Braves to win, and it just so happens the Cards are in the way today. The last great playoff performance by the Braves came against the Cards in 1996. Maybe that bit of positive history can help (must forget 1982 and 2000 playoffs, though).

Billy Mumphries

October 5th, 2012
2:10 pm

Beanster, a very fair-minded view. My first 32 years spent in St Louis now living in ATL. At many important games during 70 & 80s at the Old Busch. Broke in with Busch beer at the park and still buy Busch/Inbev products 100%. Watched Brock reach milestones there and caught fouls from Ted Simmons and,perhaps you won’t remember, Mike Tyson [second base traded to the Cubs later]. Also was there for the no-hit performance of Bob Forsch against the Phillies. Anyway, I apologize for the walk down memory lane.
Yeah,last year was the most unexpected run since I’ve followed the Cards and moments that will go down as some of the best in history. BUT, this WC format sucks. Medlen very well might shut them down, but it takes him out of a possible 2 starts in the next 5-game series. Big disadvantage for the WC teams having to use up their ACE right out of the gate. It is what it is.

Tumbledown

October 5th, 2012
2:14 pm

This just in. Having been informed of the various postings of the prophet Thomas Brown, the Atlanta Braves and Georgia Bulldogs have shut down for the remainder of their respective seasons. “There is no hope” was the common theme expressed by both Braves and Bulldog players.

Wutehvah

October 5th, 2012
2:26 pm

Perhaps J J will invite Thomas Brown over to the Playboy Mansion to pontificate on how bad the Braves suck.

Go Bravos!!

M.C. Antil

October 5th, 2012
2:39 pm

Thought you might light to read my reflections of the first time I ever laid eyes on a then 19 year old Chipper Jones. http://mcantil.com/chipper-jones-a-first-but-lasting-impression/

M.C. Antil

October 5th, 2012
2:39 pm

Thought you might light to read my reflections of the first time I ever laid eyes on a then 19 year old Chipper Jones. http://mcantil.com/chipper-jones-a-first-but-lasting-impression/

evil empire

October 5th, 2012
2:42 pm

history says…braves lose today…

beanster

October 5th, 2012
3:02 pm

@ Billy Mumpries – No apology necessary. I miss baseball as it is played in St Louis. Atlanta just doesn’t compare even though I try. You may have just one decade on me of memorable Cardinal games. We used to get to one or two games a year and I had a streak of never seeing the Cards lose until I was 13, and that included games of the ‘85 and ‘87 NLCS. One of my favorites was 4/20/87, my streak was on the line when Tommy Herr hit a grand slam in the 9th to beat the defending champion Mets team with Gary Carter, Strawberry, Gooden, etc. Even was lucky enough to snag a foul ball. To this day, Willie McGee is my hero.

Stinger2

October 5th, 2012
3:06 pm

Wilbo: The Braves records in the past mean nothing. What happens today, not yesterday or not tomorrow is what is important. Live for today

Terry

October 5th, 2012
4:11 pm

They’ve got pitching and at times they have hitting. The playoffs these days, never reflect how good or bad a team is, rather it reflects whose hot now. They’ve got a gamblers shot, but if I were betting I’d look at Oakland, they’re hotter than a $2 pistol right now.

crackhead

October 5th, 2012
4:22 pm

who dey playin

BravesFan79

October 5th, 2012
4:52 pm

Anyone else think the TBS coverage is awful, wtf were they just talking about the last 20 minutes..? because it sure wasnt the Braves or Cardinals.

Cletus Van Damme

October 5th, 2012
6:26 pm

Chipper’s error led to 3 runs (it should have been an easy double play). Then Simmons lays a stupid bunt down with the pitcher coming up.

What is going on here?

Mitch Kumstein

October 5th, 2012
6:57 pm

Put a fork in them…they are done!

Answer this

October 5th, 2012
7:18 pm

93 wins and this? How about fudge you Chipper for opening the gates simple easynot DP andsaid all 29 plus yearsthe of experience and u cant make a play and fudge you Fredi for that same sorry silly stupid fudging managing…..a squeeze with Ross @third? You stupid piece of dog crap! These trolls get to slaughter us because they know we are not worth a sack of burning dogcrap! Why? Because we cant win a game when its gift wrapped for us!

CGD..

October 5th, 2012
7:21 pm

Can you spell the word C-H-O-K-E?

Have we not seen this B4?

Answer this

October 5th, 2012
7:34 pm

I wont celebrate a guy who can make up for blowing the game swinging at the first pitch!

Answer this

October 5th, 2012
7:34 pm

I wont celebrate a guy who can make up for blowing the game swinging at the first pitch!

Answer this

October 5th, 2012
7:34 pm

I wont celebrate a guy who can make up for blowing the game swinging at the first pitch!

dean

October 5th, 2012
7:59 pm

Wow. One of the top 5 (the other 4 can’t have been that bad.) worst calls in baseball history. Mark it. October 5th, 1 out, 2 on in the bottom of the 8th of a 6-3 game in the first wild card game ever.

Skeptic

October 5th, 2012
8:03 pm

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again, after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was

Answer this

October 5th, 2012
8:04 pm

Never seen a call that bad before and so obviously wrong! Incredible turn of events!

dean

October 5th, 2012
8:22 pm

It’s one thing to lose. It’s another thing to be stabbed in the stomach. Yes, I know there was no guarantee another run would have been scored, but you knew then the Braves were probably hosed.

Answer this

October 5th, 2012
8:33 pm

Answer this

October 5th, 2012
8:34 pm

If Uggla has done anything this year he can do something now!

Answer this

October 5th, 2012
8:37 pm

Bunch of SOB……SameOldBraves!

HUH?????

October 5th, 2012
9:31 pm

Our effing defense fell apart. Chipper, you SUCK.

HUH?????

October 5th, 2012
9:32 pm

“Chipper’s error led to 3 runs”

Yep. Medlen pitched great. Gave up 2 runs. Our bullpen was great.

Chipper, Uggla and Simmons are EFFING RETARDED.

JSS

October 5th, 2012
9:34 pm

Clusters is an oracle!!! “Live for today” and y’alls case die another ignominious post-season death!

superiorblogman

October 5th, 2012
9:51 pm

I really gained some love for my fellow Atliens tonight. Classy or not. I don’t blame them. I have never heard of a “Fly Ball Rule”. We all know the rule is name infield fly for a reason no matter what the MLB may tell you.

Hillbilly D

October 5th, 2012
9:52 pm

The Braves lost because they played poor defense and didn’t hit with runners on base. That being said, that infield fly was one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen and turned the game into a complete circus.

I’ve always wondered why when players perform poorly, they get sent to AAA. Why does the same thing never happen with umpires?

JSS

October 5th, 2012
9:54 pm

(FAKE) JSS
October 4th, 2012
8:55 pm
“Clusters , why you call yourself “WE” ???? You are 2 or more??”

You are fake user-name stealing, non writing, yelling, non-correct user of grammar and punctuation in a sentence idiot! I bet you were one of the clowns throwing debris and embarrassing Atlanta on TV!

Call It Like It Is

October 5th, 2012
10:01 pm

My post from 7:45 this morning. Once again same old Braves

“Sorry not excited. Have seen this way too many times. Years of Bobby Cox pissing it away in the post season and nothing has changed. With the talent we had, any other coach would have had 3 or 4 rings on their hand. We have 1 and something like a thousand division titles. “Kissing your sister.” Now we got Fredi, so far havent seen much change. Braves lose tonight, bank on it”.

JSS

October 5th, 2012
10:18 pm

Hey Clusters, will your stalker admit that you were right?

superiorblogman

October 5th, 2012
10:25 pm

I agree we lost because of errors and not hitting with guys in scoring position. The ladder has been a problem of ours all year but the first just was a symbol of how weak minded this team is they choke. That is why that horrible call was so maddening because we all knew that we are fragile as a team anyway. We did not need the refs chiming in.

Hillbilly D

October 5th, 2012
10:42 pm

We did not need the refs chiming in.

This is baseball. They aren’t “refs”, they’re umpires.