Heading into the top of the ninth inning, the Braves held a one-run lead. Conrad had been charged with two errors already, plus another in Game 1. Leaving sentiment aside, was there a good reason to not replace Conrad with Hernandez? For just one inning? And if Hernandez isn’t markedly better with the glove than Conrad, then why don’t the Braves have someone who is? It’s not like the entire baseball world doesn’t know that Conrad’s all bat and no glove.
If the Giants had lost Game 3, the goats would have been Sergio Romo and Bruce Bochy (for using Romo). But the Braves lost, so instead Brooks Conrad gets to wear the goat horns.
I can’t help thinking, though, that we should save one of those horns for Bobby Cox. Because Brooks Conrad shouldn’t have been on the field when all the bad stuff happened.
As Scott has said several times, apparently there is a reason he only made the majors when he was 30. A brutal turn of events tonight. As raucous and loud as I have ever heard a Braves game, and after the Hinske homer the place was exploding. Just so disappointed right now I can’t stand it. And all these ‘experts’ keep saying that Conrad stays in there tomorrow. Not sure how that is possible, even with the limited options we have. There has to be another option. Diory at 3rd, Infante at 2nd? Anything. I’m really just stunned. The Braves found every way they could to quiet 55k people.
Conrad really better start. He has too.
What are your other options? Glaus? Hernandez? Hinske?
Why Glaus wont work:
Glaus has had two shoulder surgeries and suffered from foot issues in 2007 and knee fatigue only a month or two ago. His body is unfit for playing the field especially at such a reaction based and lateral position like the hot corner. Not to mention he has started 2 games since Aug 17 and has not started at third regularly since 2008. You all know better than anyone that each position change takes an adjustment.
One might argue that Glaus could bring something to the plate. Well, thats not likely imao. He batted .330 in May (.210 in every other month), has hit 2 HRs since June 20th and 16 RBI since June 20th as well. Sure his postseason numbers are staggering, but he hasnt been there since 2004. He’s a different player and he would be a downgrade from Conrad.
Why Hernandez wont work:
Hernandez from a defensive standpoint is very, very athletically capable. However, hes played a mere 11 games at 2nd base since 2008 (4 in the mlb only one of them was a start which was in 2009). He also hasnt regularly played since Aug 1st.
As for Hernandez with the bat, its abismal. He has had 10 PA in the mlb this year with 1 Hit (A HR granted) but his most recent being September 9th (A strikeout). Hernandez would be an automatic out, no way around it.
Why Hinske wont work:
His bat is great. Fantastic, clutch. (see last night).
The man has played 1 inning of third base this year. You cannot put a guy with all kinds of rust at a position he might as well have not played all year and not with regularity since 2004 (his rookie year).
As an overall summary, Conrad is our best option. He is dealing with a SEVERE mental block but he has a better chance of overcoming that than glaus does physically, hernandez does at the plate or the field, and hinske at third. Conrad is the last guy I want to do this job, but hes really the only option.
Braves have hit .165 with 37 strikeouts in three games.
Giants SP ERA is 0.32
Wiley, I agree with the overall assessment, but Conrad is shot. He almost ran over Lee on a play that was certainly not his to make. He isn’t sure which base to throw it to. And if you don’t think he isn’t an automatic out at the plate, you didn’t watch him pop up a bunt last night. He’s a detriment to the team right now.
There are no great options out there, but one of them has to be better than leaving Conrad in.
Line up: 1. Infante 2B, 2. Diaz LF, 3. Lee 1B, 4. McCann C, 5. Gonzalez SS, 6. Heyward RF, 7. Glaus 3B, 8. Ankiel CF, 9. Lowe P
Well, I’m glad the Conrad question has been answered. Wiley, at the end of the day, there are no good options, but keeping Conrad out was a must. For the team, for him, for the fans, for his Mom – he just could not go out there again.
Interesting lineup from Bobby. Good to see him move Heyward down. And to keep Glaus low. Now, to start really worrying about Glaus at 3rd.
I put part of the responsibility for the loss in game 3 to McCann.
As a veteren catcher, he should have know better than to throw a breaking pitch to a batter than has shown he is late on the fastball (every fastball, that at bat). Throwing the breaking pitch doesn’t trick him, it just speeds up his bat.
You throw the fastball again, in a different place.
If Mac called for the breaking pitch, that was a mistake. If Kimbrel shook him off, that is the time to go to the mound and explain it to the rookie.
M in M – I totally agree. Sanchez looked lost and overmatched by the first 2 fastballs. Should have kept going with what was working.
Bub (#115) – My assumption was not based on a lot of logic or anything. I just thought that the stirring comeback Friday night would lead to an offensive breakout last night. Not one of my stronger feelings, clearly.
As I sit and think about Glaus at 3rd, with our ground ball pitcher on the mound tonight, we could be looking at more errors than Brooks had last night. I’m not second guessing Bobby on this, you couldn’t play Brooks and neither Glaus nor Diory are great options. I’m fine with going with the playoff experience. But, it could be exceptionally ugly.
I think Troy will be alright out there. You have to be mentally, not just physically, messed up to butcher the position as badly as Conrad. And don’t you get the feeling that the transparency, eagerness to please, and child-like passion that makes us love Conrad so much also makes him very vulnerable to mental befuddlement?
To go in there and play the infield for ATL now, with the spotlight on it so bright, you need a little icewater in your veins. That’s Glaus, at least more so than Brooks. Glaus probably also has at least a tiny chip on his shoulder, which helps.
I think Glaus will play one or zero error ball tonight. His body’s not as good, but his muscles know that position by heart and most importantly his emotions will be steadier.