April 24, 2011

Show #144: The Braves Sweep the Giants

Looking at the significance of the sweep.  Nate improved numbers.  And MLB’s proposed expansion of the playoffs.



119 Responses to “Show #144: The Braves Sweep the Giants”

  1. 1
    Walker Says:

    –Listen, I don’t care who owns the team, just as long as it’s not a corporation or some cheap individual looking for a profit(David Glass- Royals owner). I like Arthur Blank, just as long as he moves and keeps our payroll above 100 million dollars.

    –I like the new playoff idea. The two wild card winners should play a three game series. A one game series would be way to dicey. If the MLB wants a seeding system like the NBA then the MLB needs to get rid of the unbalanced schedule. Seeding would be unfair. Everyone should get a chance to play the Pirates, Diamondbacks or Nationals the same number of times.

  2. 2
    Eric Says:


    See which team this leads you to.

  3. 3
    Leah Says:

    Hah…I landed on the Braves! It’s a calling really. Can’t wait to listen to the show!

  4. 4
    Turley Says:

    A perfect way to bounce back from a rough series in LA…Go braves,,,now just continue to play well offense.

  5. 5
    Steve Says:

    Turley – Agreed. I’ll be totally deflated and remove any significance (in my head) of the sweep if they come out flat tonight. That said, having read all of the post game quotes now, the team is obviously very, very buoyed by the sweep and their confidence is growing. What is my point? I don’t really know. But, I damn well want them to take 2 of 3 from the Pads so that I can continue to believe that this marks a significant turn around.

  6. 6
    Curt Says:

    Steve is at a 12

  7. 7
    Steve Says:

    That’s a little low. More like 16.

  8. 8
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Fair. I feel good about how McLouth is playing. However, I do NOT want to move him up in the order. I love the thought of him getting on base, letting the pitchers contribute with a bunt and giving Prado and Heyward a chance to drive in runs.

    Foul. I don’t think Larry Parrish has changed anything, I think we just got off to a bad start as a team and hitting is contagious.

    Foul. I hate the “play in” game and dislike the “play in” series. This is in direct response to the large markets in NY and Boston when they have three teams in their division with better records than the teams in the other divisions and/or “because they have to play each other” the teams in other divisions will have better records.

  9. 9
    Steve Says:

    M in M – good call on the AL East. And it may well be to cater to that division and the money in those markets. And you know what, I still don’t care. Not that I want half the teams to make it to the playoffs, but two more potential slots doesn’t feel agregious to me. And I’m a big ho-bag for the playoffs. I want the possibility.

  10. 10
    Walker Says:

    Eric I landed on the Indians. I’m actually born and raised in Atlanta.

  11. 11
    Leah Says:

    “I’m a big ho-bag for the playoffs”. Classic

  12. 12
    Leah Says:

    Can’t tell you how tired i am of this Western road trip.

  13. 13
    Steve Says:

    Leah – me too. After running around like crazy yesterday with the family for Easter, while making myself sick eating my weight in candy in the process, the last thing I need is another late night. All after running on fumes from all the late games last week. And yet …

  14. 14
    Curt Says:

    Yes, the 5 a.m. wake up call this morning seems to doom any chances I have of watching much of the game tonight.

    Bad news for Braves fans. Team collectively has 1 AB against Pads starter tonight, and that was A Gonzalez (probably a K). Guy is 0-3 and has like a 1.60 ERA. He has gotten ZERO runs of support in his 3 starts. And we thought Lowe was hard luck. Might be a 1-0 game tonight.

  15. 15
    Leah Says:

    Bring it…

  16. 16
    Nate Says:

    Please stay hot Jason. Please.

    Good show guys.

  17. 17
    Nate Says:

    That call was terrible.

  18. 18
    Nate Says:

    Bobby gets tossed in that situation. No Question.

  19. 19
    Bubdylan Says:

    Oh, Fredi…

  20. 20
    Nate Says:

    A lot of questionable relief moves thus far for Fredi, but maybe this is due to the fact that he never had a bullpen in Florida?

  21. 21
    Jo-Bu Says:

    Well, you just had to see this walk-off coming.

  22. 22
    Walker Says:

    Dear Braves,

    Please don’t have me staying up unit 2 a.m. just to watch you make Ryan Ludwick look like Jimmie Foxx. I would very much appreciate it.

    Thank you

    P.S. Christian Martinez, I must get bunting and baserunning tips from you. How soon can we meet?

  23. 23
    Jess Says:

    How have we not DFA’ed or released Linebrink and/or Sherill we have better options in AAA and they are both miserable.

  24. 24
    Leah Says:

    Wow…bummer of a loss. We should probably talk fantasy baseball since we’re all so bummed about that loss. Ya know…take everybody’s mind off it…I’m just thinking of the masses.

  25. 25
    Turley Says:

    Man..thats disappointing. Martinez just likes to give up walk off shots…thats gotta be it..or maybe he isn’t what we thought coming out of Spring training…I know I am harsh but his stuff doesn’t even look good right now…he has to find it soon or else…Jess I agree with Sherill…not so much Linebrink(he has done ok, not great, but ok) But Sherill is flat awful…cut ties now before he costs us even more runs and games..come on!

  26. 26
    Steve Says:

    Martinez was damn good last year. Don’t know what’s going on. I don’t remember him being in such high pressure, extra inning situations last year as he’s been this year. Tough, tough loss.

  27. 27
    Pure Says:

    When we didn’t cash in on Chipper’s lead-off double I was thinking: “Uh-oh”. What do you guys think about the standard practice of bringing in the closer only when its a save situation? (especially on the road) I’d rather we use Kimbrel to extend the tie rather than save him for an inning that might never come.

  28. 28
    Nate Says:

    For me, Linebrink is the bigger disappointment. He threw 2 pitches that were nowhere close and then threw one up and in the inner third to a righty and he got crushed. I don’t know why you wouldn’t leave EOF in to face the righty. He’s about as good against the righties as he is against the lefties. If Fredi’s now going to be going for matchups, it made no sense to start doing it in that situation, imo. Hell, Gerrain just got called up and he looked better than Linebrink or Sherril have all year.

    When both Linebrink and Sherrill were warming in the 6th or 7th(the last inning Lowe pitched when A-Gon made the huge catch to end the inning with RISP) I got a sinking feeling and knew we would not be winning that game. It’s like last year when Jesse Chavez warmed up. These guys need to turn it around or be replaced.

  29. 29
    Curt Says:

    I had a similar thought about EOF last night. Why not just let him pitch to one more guy? But these relievers have got to stop walking the lead off guy. The last game in LA they did it, last night they did it. It’s just a killer.

    Right now we are really missing Moylan and Medlen.

  30. 30
    Nate Says:

    I don’t see the logic in not letting EOF finish that inning but letting the call up blow a 3 run lead in SF the day before. I would probably let the veteran get out of the mess he made. EOF looked absolutely pissed on the bench after that guy just crushed that gift from Linebrink.

  31. 31
    Eric Says:

    Game was too late for me. I fell asleep in the second inning. How did that Gearrin kid look? Is he a potential Linebrink replacement?

  32. 32
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    #22 – At least he got a bunt down. That seems to be better than a LOT of our pitchers have done. If you want to be disappointed with Larry Parrish on something, choose the lack of bunting technique by our pitchers…

    #23, 25, 28, 29 30 – While maybe not “terrible”, I think both Sherrill and Linebrink have been release-worthy so far, especially with Moylan-lite (i.e. Gearrin – thought he looked good, if he keeps the ball down…) making an appearance, so to speak

    #27 – We don’t see Kimbrel in a non-save situation for the same reason most every other manager in baseball doesn’t use their “closer” in other than a save situation – the stupid save rule combined with the second guessing the press will do if the reliever that comes in the last inning instead of the closer blows the save and/or loses the game.

    #28, 30 – If you look at the replay, the McCann was set up on the OUTSIDE for the INSIDE pitch that got “crushed”… So really, he was nowhere close on three pitches…

  33. 33
    Nate Says:

    I don’t see the point of veteran experience out of the ‘pen when it’s not very good at keeping inherited runners from scoring and has an ERA over 5. It would be one thing if they were being used in mop up duty, but they’re not. Both guys have been used in key situations with a game on the line.

  34. 34
    Curt Says:

    Only reason Linebrink was in there last night was because Moylan is out. I think, again, you leave EOF in there, but they are short with Moylan gone. Sad part is that if you get through one more out, you get Venters and Kimbrel to finish it off.

    Sadder part is the Pads scored 4 runs in the entire series against the Phils.

  35. 35
    Nate Says:

    David Ross is our Jason Varitek. He probably plays a bigger role than any of us will ever know.

  36. 36
    Steve Says:

    Just got back from Shrek the Musical at the Fox. Really fun, I gotta say.

    So, how was Chipper’s homer? A no doubter?

  37. 37
    Nate Says:

    Uncle Dave.

  38. 38
    Nate Says:

    Didn’t see it. Just turned on the game.

  39. 39
    Leah Says:

    Oh Rossy…have a night! Does anybody else miss hearing BC cheer on the players from the dugout? Cause I do.

  40. 40
    Bubdylan Says:

    Woo hoo! Good game!

  41. 41
    Bubdylan Says:

    The podcast mentioned our on base percentage is terrible though our walk rate is in the middle of the pack. I just noticed the Braves are 29th in MLB in BABIP (batting average on balls in play). So, some of the OBP failure is just bad luck.

    BABIP always evens out.

  42. 42
    Pure Says:

    This win almost makes me forget yesterday’s game. Congrats to JJ for a complete game — the first since 2009, which was kind of a surprise. As good as were last year, nobody had a complete game.

  43. 43
    Curt Says:

    Bub, I like it. I still think we need to work more walks. Not sure how they did last night, but I think game 1 they had 0.

  44. 44
    ham Says:

    An interesting counter point to the walk argument were Harang’s post-game comments last night mentioning the fact that the reason that the Braves did so well last night against him was because they were aggressive at the plate. I think that there is a balance there somewhere.

    Obviously JJ’s pitch count last night and the slew of recent extra inning games contributed to Fredi leaving him in for the CG. Having said that, I think we will see more CG’s under Fredi’s watch then we did under BC’s.

  45. 45
    Eric Says:

    From DOB:

    “The Braves brought [Gearrin] up because they needed an extra arm in a worn bullpen. They have 13 pitchers now, but plan to revert to 12 after the road trip. They are expected to bring up another outfielder who can back up center field, from a group of Triple-A candidates that includes Jordan Schafer, Joe Mather, Wilkin Ramirez and Jose Constanza.

    With the way that Gearrin pitched Monday, it’s not a given that he’ll be the pitcher dropped when they cut back to 12. And even if he is, there’s little doubt that Gearrin would be back at some point relatively soon.”

    So they aren’t even thinking about calling Young back up. Ramirez has the highest OPS and most homers. Also has 4 steals. Constanza has 8 steals, but no pop.

    And apparently this guy Mauro Gomez is raking at first base. OPS of 1.103.

  46. 46
    Anne Says:

    I knew making David Ross my new boyfriend (RIP Matt Diaz…in so many ways) was a good idea! #8 Jersey, you shall soon be on my back.

  47. 47
    Curt Says:

    All that, I’m betting on Mather.

    More importantly, can someone please tell me where I can find some information about the royal wedding? It’s like they are hiding that stuff. Is anyone covering it?

  48. 48
    Curt Says:

    Anne, family podcast

  49. 49
    Nate Says:

    Gomez’s stats are ridiculous.

  50. 50
    Anne Says:

    If I can get the afternoon game on my office conference room big screen…I’ll be the hit of the fellas on the floor. Again, family show, I know…

  51. 51
    Curt Says:

    Don’t know if anyone else saw this. Fascinating stuff. Thanks Barry


  52. 52
    Anne Says:

    A friend of mine is playing Ty Cobb at the Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida. Trip highlight: “Having former Major League Baseball Commissioner Faye Vincent watch the show and then talking baseball history with him afterwards.” Though the memory of playing Ty Cobb will hopefully fade soon thereafter.

  53. 53
    Walker Says:

    Actually Bonds did the right thing by not moving in. If he would have moved in that ball gets passed him and goes to the wall. The ball was hit slightly in the gap and Bonds had to run to his left to get to the ball. Since he was playing deep he was able to cut the ball off. If anything he should have been positioned more to his left. It was actually a pretty good throw considering he was throwing across his body and his momentum was going the opposite direction. This is just another attempt to make it seem like Barry Bonds was the worst person on earth. People need to get off his back.

  54. 54
    Walker Says:

    Wow I never really thought of Roger McDowell being a jerk. This story makes him seem real ignorant.


  55. 55
    Leah Says:

    Everybody alright? Nobody got blown away did they?

  56. 56
    Paul Says:

    GREAT win today.

    AWFUL story about Roger McDowell.

  57. 57
    ham Says:

    Blech . . . what a horrible story about Kobe McDowell.

    Disgusting. Everything he might say from this point on as an apology or some sort of attempt to explain it away will be total BS. It was obvious with our interview of him that he wasn’t the nicest guy around, but this takes it to a new level.

    I encourage everyone who watches a game in Atlanta to boo him lustily when he visits the mound.

  58. 58
    ham Says:

    Oh . . .. and GREAT win today.

  59. 59
    Curt Says:

    Not sure you can walk that one back. At least he picked a guy with his kids to act that way in front of.

    Do you fire him? Not to defend Kobe, but this is so much worse than what Kobe did. Not sure a $100k fine is really going to do it.

  60. 60
    Curt Says:

    He apologized for ‘responding to the heckling.’ How about just apologizing.

  61. 61
    Jo-Bu Says:

    Leo is available 🙂

  62. 62
    Eric Says:

    This isn’t even comparable to Kobe. Should be a suspension.

  63. 63
    Nate Says:

    #60, His apology was almost as pathetic as the way he chose to represent the Braves. The whole story really is quite disgusting.

  64. 64
    Nate Says:

    Mark Bradley hit the nail on the head. McDowell’s job could be in a jeopardy. Who knows, though? All we have to compare the situation to is Kobe, and what McDowell did sounds far worse. I guess it all comes down to Bud.

  65. 65
    Steve Says:

    And what Kobe did was to one guy (an adult). And one guy who’s a colleague. Roger’s stuff started with one group, went on to another, included kids and were all to paid visitors. To the people who, to some degree, pay his salary. The hecklers are one thing (because who knows what they really said – although Roger should know better), but weilding the bat at the Dad with the two kids, threatening him and then saying that kids don’t belong at the ballpark??? I think he should be fired. I don’t mean to talk about a guy’s livelihood like this and we all say and do things we regret, but this should lose him his job.

  66. 66
    Nate Says:

    Well said, Steve. I think with their salaries coaches and players are more than compensated to put up with heckling fans.

  67. 67
    Nate Says:

    I’m not saying fans should say some of things I’ve heard at ballparks and arenas, I’m just saying be the bigger man, Roger.

  68. 68
    Curt Says:

    How many times must have he been heckled over his playing career? And this set him off? What could any of these people possibly said to generate this reaction? Something he has never heard before? Crazy. Troubling. Juvenile. You name it.

  69. 69
    Steve Says:

    Eric, re #62, I don’t understand your comment. Are you saying it’s worse than the Kobe thing or not as bad as the Kobe thing?

  70. 70
    Nate Says:

    It really sucks that we’re talking about this instead of the good baseball stuff going on with the Braves right now. Gerrain looked great again. Tommy and JJ each had great starts in SD, and Chipper passed Mantle in RBIs.

    I also didn’t realize Chipper has played about 800 games less than Eddie Murray did in his career. A lot of injuries…

  71. 71
    Steve Says:

    Good point, Nate. The team may really be making their move. With Hanson settling down and JJ looking like he’s back to form and the offense taking off, it could be a great month. Can’t wait for those 6 games in 10 days with the Phillies coming up, soon. Their offense is floundering as ours is finding it’s legs. And it’s almost May, so Uggla will magically starting better (crossing fingers). It’s time to call up Marek and shore up the bullpen, btw.

  72. 72
    Anne Says:

    Just got my season tickets and I think I’ve died and gone to heaven: GOLD Lot parking. Wow. I’ve stepped way up from Orange.

  73. 73
    RON Says:

    I’ve had kids at the ballpark. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS. FIRE HIM!!

  74. 74
    RON Says:

    Braves have the pitching to compete with Philly. Will need another bat or two to show up and will need to find some pinch hitting/bench strength.

  75. 75
    Curt Says:

    I wonder what the consensus would be, having read some comments on Carroll Rodgers’ blog today, if this had been Philadelphia’s pitching coach yelling things at families at Turner Field? Or if it were the bullpen coach, or our team ERA was 5.54.

    I know we keep saying this, but it seems like this Cards series is a big one. We have struggled with them the past couple of years. They aren’t too great. Pujols is still not playing like himself. No Wainwright. Really need 2 out of this series. And to be home after that long road trip.

  76. 76
    Walker Says:

    When Kobe said the f word he didn’t mean it in an homophobic way. He just wanted to cut another man real deep. If this incident is completely true Roger seems really homophobic. This is not a good image for the braves to portray seeing how Atlanta was named the gayest city in america by some magazine last year.

  77. 77
    Eric Says:

    Steve – I meant that it is significantly worse than Kobe, but in no way related to Kobe. Kind of like when people compared the protests in Egypt to the protests in Wisconsin. Just not related. Different sport, different context, different target, and if all allegations are true, much more detrimental.

  78. 78
    Curt Says:

    Walker, i think they meant gay like happy.

  79. 79
    Walker Says:


    Sure lol

  80. 80
    ham Says:

    Exceptionally good draft pick for the Falcons, I think. I don’t know what we gave up to get Julio Jones, but I am happy we got him. AJ Green would have been better, but still pretty happy.

  81. 81
    Curt Says:

    We gave up the house. Way too much to pay. WRs don’t even get comfortable in the league until year 3, normally.

  82. 82
    ham Says:

    just to make sure we’re covering all sports . . . the hawks are starting to make me nervous. Standing around on offense, giving up easy shots, same old sh*t.

    Come on boys, don’t blow this.

  83. 83
    Nate Says:

    #75, agreed, we should take 2 of 3 from the birds, if not a sweep. Holliday is the one who worries me most.

    Steve, I would love to see Marek get a shot.

    I like Julio, but we gave up a lot of picks. Picks that could have been spent on D. I haven’t forgotten about what Aaron Rodgers did to us. I did laugh when the espn draft guys compared that trade to the Herschel Walker/Dallas trade that yielded 3 super bowl rings. I would be surprised to see Cleveland win a Super Bowl, let alone 3, Espn draft analysts.

  84. 84
    Anne Says:

    Roger McDowell sat the pitchers down on the flight home and said, “Fellas, I need to deflect this story.” DLowe raised his hand and said, “Got it, Coach!” Idiot.

  85. 85
    Steve Says:

    Good morning. So I’m listening to 790am this morning as the news update comes on, starting to brace myself for the latest chapter in the Roger saga but, not to worry, that’s old news now that D-Loaded (stolen from Twitter) was arrested for DUI last night. WTF?!?!?! I’m so pissed right now. This great, potentially season changing week (on the field) is going to hell. Arrrrgggghhhh.

    Go Hawks. Go Falcons.

  86. 86
    Anonymous Says:

    Lowe – What a goober! – nuff said…

  87. 87
    Walker Says:

    Homophobic Rants and Drunk Driving. The Braves are turning into the BAD BOYs of the South LOL. Bobby Cox would have none of this.

  88. 88
    Walker Says:

    What’s horrible is just when we start doing well on the field we have to be distracted with stuff off the field. Frustrating.

  89. 89
    Leah Says:

    You’ve got to be kidding. When’s Lowedemort’s next start? Any predictions re: consequences? I actually have more faith in how Fredi will handle this than how BC would have handled it. I hate this.

  90. 90
    Curt Says:

    suspensions. i think lowe will probably miss a start. 5 games overall. mcdowell will probably be a good one. 10 days maybe. 15. i don’t see mcdowell getting fired, despite how repugnant his actions were.

  91. 91
    Leah Says:

    This is all so revolting…we should probably change the subject. Fantasy baseball? Anyone?

  92. 92
    Steve Says:

    Racing another car? Fabulous. At least Lowe was being responsible with his drunk driving.

  93. 93
    Curt Says:

    Guess he didn’t live here when Dany Heatley killed Dan Snyder racing his Ferrari.

  94. 94
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    IF you would STILL like to get rid of McLouth…

    What do you think of the possibility of aquiring:

    Nate Schierholtz, SF (Giants have definitely told teams he is available – squeezed out by guy coming off DL)
    Andre Ethier, LAD (Team money problems may force trade)
    Grady Sizemore, CLE (Think Cleveland can keep up their run?)

    Or is there someone you want to bring someone up from the minors/off the bench?

    Some of these would probably require a move of Heyward or Prado to center…

  95. 95
    Eric Says:

    According to some sources at Baseball Prospectus, McDowell’s job is in serious jeopardy. They’re pretty reliable, and they did just put him on administrative leave. He might be out of baseball for a long time.

  96. 96
    Eric Says:

    And by the second they, I mean the Braves. I hate pronouns.

  97. 97
    Curt Says:

    those bleeping bleepers

  98. 98
    Walker Says:

    Wonder why MLB Network is ignoring the Derek Lowe and Roger McDowell situations?

  99. 99
    Walker Says:

    Nevermind just saw a story on it.

  100. 100
    ham Says:

    Alright . . . if you had to bet your house (or something else big) right now, who do you think wins this and why?

  101. 101
    ham Says:

    For my part, I hate myself for saying this, but I think it is the Cards. I think we are going to run out of pitchers, and we are going to have to bring Martinez in.

  102. 102
    RON Says:

    Can you trade a manager for one with a knack for good decisions in close games? You use minor leaguers like Gearrin to fill in some innings but not when the game is on the line.

  103. 103
    RON Says:

    LOWE is the $15 million man; can’t he afford a cab? What an idiot.

  104. 104
    RON Says:

    McDowell should be fired, period. Not necessarily for arguing back with a heckler but for the simulated sex, and verbally attacking and threatening innocent fans there to watch a game with their kids.

  105. 105
    Walker Says:

    If Mather had no experience bunting, why not bring in a pitcher to bunt. Also why didn’t Fredi put McLouth in motion. You have to make things happen. Also I know this inst his his fault but if Heyward stays at first we probably win this game because they would be able to pitch to Chipper. It’s weird how this game works.

  106. 106
    Walker Says:

    2011 season though the 1st month


    -Staring Pitching has been great


    -Managing has been bad.

    – Inconsistent offense. Seems like we only score in one inning and never score consistently throughout the game. We never add any insurance or tack on runs.

    – Lately the Bullpen staff is showing both its age and inexperience. Venters and Kimbrel really need to cut down on the walks.

    – With the exception of Hinske, the bench is very very very weak.

  107. 107
    Curt Says:

    This week is ending with a giant thud. What terrible back-to-back losses those were.

  108. 108
    Jo-Bu Says:

    This is just pathetic. Our bullpen used to be one that you could count on and now they’ve lost two in a row in nearly the same fashion. Horrible and now it’s May.

  109. 109
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    We are basically seeing what we really have at this point in the season when we come up against one of the better hitting teams in the league.

    1. Our starting pitching can hang with anybody and keep us in games.
    2. Our bullpen is young and prone to lapses
    3. Our offense is not taking advantage of what they are given (i.e. walks) and is not putting together hits enough to score enough runs to make up for the bullpen lapses

  110. 110
    Curt Says:

    Mark – see the Braves for the last 2 years. It’s like their formula.

  111. 111
    Curt Says:

    Aside from the youth of the bullpen.

  112. 112
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    And as is their custom, a Braves pitchers gives up runs in the first inning…

  113. 113
    Leah Says:

    Just tuning in…was there any mention before the game of D. Lowe’s misbehavior?

  114. 114
    Leah Says:

    Could someone in a Braves uniform PLEASE get on base? Just get on base…that’s all I ask.

  115. 115
    Curt Says:

    Leah, they haven’t mentioned in when I have been watching.

  116. 116
    Nate Says:

    At least we didn’t get swept…

    So I guess Boozy McSpeederton (Lowe) doesn’t miss a start?

  117. 117
    Leah Says:

    Wow…just wow.

  118. 118
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Well, Brooks and Hicks have a pinch hit in the same game… What is this world coming to?

  119. 119
    RON Says:

    Pinchhitting in the .065 range will not get a team in any championship race. Two hits today? Even the worst hitting pitchers get a hit now and then. Change the bench and the Manager and the Braves are contenders.

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