Just got done listening to the podcast, AWESOME show. #1 — your being pumped came through at the end of the episode, and it only fueled my fire even more. You guys should’ve had “Rocky” music playing in the background throughout the whole episode, especially during Curt’s “good signs” segment. Great stuff.
When I compare this team to the teams of the last two years, this year’s team is leagues beyond the previous two. Last year’s team, the pitching was in shambles, nobody was hitting, and even if we had made the playoffs, I had no faith in us getting anywhere. Same with 2010 — Chipper and Prado were hurt at the end of the year, and even though it felt like we could’ve made some magic for Bobby’s final year, the postseason exit wasn’t a huge shocker.
This year’s team, everybody’s healthy (knock on wood). As y’all pointed out, the pitching has been phenomenal, the hitting has been good (for the most part), the bullpen has been great.
And, there’s this: whether it’s the Dodgers or the Cardinals that we play on Friday, neither team has faced Medlen as a starter this year. So we got that going for us. Which is nice.
It is possible that Bal & NYY could end up tied and have to play one game to decide who is the AL-E champ and who is #1 WC.
And is also possible for TB, Oak & LAA to have a three-way tie to see who is the #2 WC. So, I gather:
Two of the teams would play to see who would play the third to see who would play the loser of Bal – NYY to see who would host Texas in the “first round” of the playoffs…
More fun could be that Oak flies from Texas to Florida and TB flies from Baltimore to Florida to play the next day, then TB travels to California to play LAA the next day, then TB (which is all but out of it – .01% chance according to ESPN) flies back home to Florida to host Texas the next day…
it was better this way because at best we would have tied the nats, done a one game playoff, in which case if we lost, we then do a one game wildcard playoff…burning our starters in the process…now we know we just win the wildcard playoff and we go with a 3 man rotation against nats, and win it
i dunno if i am captain obvious and you said this in the podcast…havent listend yet
The best way to have lost the division would’ve been for the Nationals to have won it. I hate that we lost last night, especially the way we lost — getting owned by yet another chump lefty who had a terrible ERA coming into the game.
Oh well. As deflating as that loss last night was, seeing DOB’s tweets that Friday night’s game is sold out is bringing my spirits back up again. Can’t wait for Friday.
In the meantime, here’s my guess for what tonight’s lineup will look like:
1. Johnson, CF
2. Simmons, SS
3. Francisco, 3B
4. Overbay, 1B
5. Baker, RF
6. Pastornicky, 2B
7. Hinske, LF
8. Boscan, C
9. Hanson, P
Actually, I bet that Bourn will start in CF so that he gets some more at-bats.
It’s now 27 months since the Blue Jays made the Braves’ day by trading for the talented but troubled Yunel Escobar. Well, it seemed like a brilliant idea at the time. In fact, it even seemed like a brilliant idea as recently as 12 months ago, after Escobar had finished hitting .290 with a .782 OPS and the best on-base percentage (.369) of any shortstop in the whole darned American League. But that was last year. This year? Yikes.
Guess who has had the worst OPS (.644) of any qualifying AL shortstop? Right you are. Yunel Escobar. And guess who has had the fewest extra-base hits (32) and created the fewest runs in that group? Yep, same guy. But this is one LVP candidacy that’s bigger and uglier than any numbers. Ask the people around this club who grumble that “Yunel Escobar finds a way to do something stupid every game.” Ask the scouts who use words such as “disgusting” to describe his daily lack of focus and commitment. Ask the baseball man who says: “I think he actually enjoys ticking people off with the things he does. He knows he ticks them off, and he does it anyway.” Or ask all the people he offended when he etched a homophobic slur into his eye black — and then acted as if he hadn’t done anything particularly offensive. So what we have here is a guy who has hit the LVP daily double: He’s been a lousy baseball player — and a worse act.
Sorry, couldn’t resist. Our side of that debate just won all the internets. *spits towards Toronto*. Punk.
Well, he’s been such a Web Warrior for Kimbrel over the past month that I have to forgive those oversights. Also, not sure if I’d put Fredi on the list, though I agree he’s improved. He started from such a very low place.
Stevie, I’m very seriously contemplating picking up Waterworld on blu-ray for 12 bucks. The folks over at High Def Digest say it’s “not that bad,” and I’ve always had a thing for apocalypse flicks and also watery expanse (I might be the only person who counts the water as a top three reason to watch Jaws).
I’m pretty sure we’re winning this thing come Friday.
Just listened to the podcast and…wowzers! I’m drinking the koolaid with one Han and mixing a batwing basilisk venom cocktail for the baseball gods with the other. Cannot wait for Friday’s game! Curt…dissin’ me twice?
As pumped as we all are about the post season I still can’t shake this “doom and gloom” feeling I have about Friday night. I don’t even want to watch it. It seems so wierd because for the state and city of Atlanta sports is such a good thing right now with UGA and the Falcons doing so well. I just can’t help to be skeptic and see the light coming down the railroad tracks….
On a different note. In the show you mentioned about Chipper’s leadership and demenor throughout the 2000’s and how it is now. Of course MOST (ha ha) of us mature as we get older, but I think it is different with Chipper. This is JUST a thought, but do you think that the recent separation from his wife has anything to do with this? I am not trying to get into his personal buisiness, but of course your home life can show up on the field. Please don’t bash me for bringing this up, but it is life. I think he has changed for the better no matter the reason and I am going to miss him.
Has anyone heard how long MLB will wait to set the time of Friday’s game? Because the AL might not be set until after a tie breaker with the O’s and Yanks that would likely be a prime time game tomorrow. Seems like they can’t wait that long.
Does anyone else think Hanson has made his last start for the Braves? I can’t imagine that many teams would be lining up to trade for him, but I don’t see him being very valuable to the Braves past this season. It’s amazing the decline we’ve seen in both him and Jurrjens, especially when it was about a season and a half ago when we were having discussions centered around which one the Braves should sign to a long-term extension.
Cannot wait for Friday. And for finding out what time the game will be.
Despite the spring training feel to it, that game today was pretty great. Sheets with his great inning to end his career, Chipper with a hit in his last regular season at bat, and Kimbrel fanning the side in his last regular season inning this year.
Maybe we should pitch 8 pitchers in all of the playoff games.
Steve, didn’t you call 94 wins? I had no idea it was that freaking many. Dude, we shouldn’t be having to risk 94 wins on a damn one-game playoff. Oh well. At least the Braves didn’t have the 2nd best record, which would make it unforgivable.
One thing I like about this, even though it’s a total illusion to place any significance on one game, is that if the Braves do only win one round, only win the one-game playoff, then having Kris Medlen be the captain of their one magic moment would be pretty great. It’d be a unique piece of Braves history, too, with this being the first year of the fifth team. The Braves definitely have the cooler narrative between them and the birds.
Not that I’m pessimistic about playing the Nats; I’m not. But I’m just saying, if it turned out that way, I wouldn’t call myself completely unsatisfied.
Now, if we lose Friday, pitchforks + torches + Bud Selig. Stupid, stupid format. Unless we win.
Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone. And yeah, this thing is nervewracking as hell but i get the sense that we’re more nervous than Medlen is which should give us great hope.
Kudos to Fredi for starting Ross tomorrow. It’s the right thing to do. And another thing Bobby would never have done. It would be Hudson and Mac tomorrow. Which really means nothing but I’m happier with the battery we’ve got penciled in.
I’m so bored I just watched two Boy George videos and enjoyed them. Bama offweek, long school weekend, and no baseball either. Loaned out my blu ray folder and my audible.com software is on the fritz. I guess I could … get out … of … the … house.
The Cardinals lineup has Holliday, Craig, Molina and Freese hitting back to back. If this group comes up in the 8th inning in a close game, I don’t want to see O’Flaherty or Venters. I want Kimbrel then and Kimbrel for the rest of the game. I hope Fredi doesn’t let the inning number determine this game.
I predict Heyward, Ross and Prado get big hits. Simmons make a huge defensive play and of course Chipper will get his walks.
The key is scoring first. Of course a blowout would be nice.
#87, I fear you’re asking Fredi to make a leap in strategy that maybe 3 of the (smartest) managers in the game would make. We just now got Fredi past the drooling-on-himself level of derp this year. It’s like “yay, Timmy can tie his shoes now. Let’s try calculus!”
But I would hope he might let Craig get four outs in the game if somebody in the 8th got into trouble. Gosh, even 5. Wouldn’t that be something?
@87, 88 – I’m confident that Fredi will bring in Kimbrel for a 4 or 5 out save. Starting Ross over Mac is just another example of Fredi being willing to do whatever it takes for this one game monstrosity.
I know this game is a joke and anything can happen in one game, blah, blah, blah, but it’s high time the Braves won one of these games. It has been way too long since the Braves have had any postseason success. Last postseason series win was over the Astros before losing to the D-Backs in 2001. They really need to start removing some monkeys from their backs, and this would be a fine place to start.
I don’t see how the experts can make a pick, really. Baseball players, pitchers included, only do what they “normally do” about half the time. Way too much abnormality. In fact the reason baseball fans are always complaining is because on a game-by-game basis, you can’t count on anything to go like it should. Thus ace-versus-#5 starter games don’t go like they should, etc.
Blah blah blah. Just one more way to say that this one-game business is a travesty of the game of baseball.
Fortunately, Medlen might, MIGHT be the rare piece that performs so consistantly that we have an advantage today. Unless, of course, our hitters match his consistancy with their own inconsistancy. In which case, we still win via Kimbrel.
We ought to track, though, for fun, how many of the factors, let alone outcomes, predicted by the experts turn out anything like they thought.
Things I really hope don’t happen:
1. Cardinals get on base via a bunt up the 3rd base line
2. Heyward to lose a fly ball in the sun (stupid 5:07 start time!)
3. Molina catches runners stealing
4. Or, maybe even worse than 3, Molina picks a runner off!
Just getting the worries out. Braves got this. GO BRAVES!!!
1. Chipper hits GW homer: 35 points
2. Chipper hits any HR: 15 points
3. Kimbrel K’s 3: 10 points
4. Meds allows 0 runs: 10 points
5. Braves walk off in the 9th: 15 points
6. Any Brave takes lead after 6th inning via XBH: 5 points
7. Any Brave K’s a Cardinal with bases juiced, 2 outs, after 7th inning: 5 points
8. Medlen picks a runner off first: 5 points
Anything over 50 from that list would cost me an eviction from my apartment.
Please tell me Nate McLouth is not giving a fistbump of celebration on the front page of ESPN.com right now. I’m beginning to think the Braves are seriously cursed somehow. Deeply, horribly, irreversibly cursed.
Where to begin…glad I went? Great atmosphere of crazed fans. While I didn’t throw anything on the field it made me feel better when others did. Between the errors, bad calls and men left on base I feel like we had no chance. Now it’s surreal. I know we’re done but I can’t believe the season is over.
What a waste of potential. The Rev read where the Cards were chanting in field fly rule while popping champagne. #classy
Well that sucked. Terrible interpretation of the infield fly rule, but the Braves lost this game not the umpires. Typical Braves/Atlanta postseason disappointment.
Things I took away from the game:
1. Let someone else overpay Michael Bourn
2. What is Dan Uggla’s value to this team? The guy is an absolute butcher in the field, and he is not the hitter he was in Fla in 2010. I guess he runs out ground balls. I think I can do that, too, can I have 10 million dollars?
3. No way Bobby makes it to the end of that game without getting tossed, not that that means anything or makes a difference.
4. I wish Buck Showalter or some other solid, veteran manager was running this predominately young and inexperienced team. We are really going to miss Chipper next year.
The infield fly is traditionally called when a player is under the ball or within range of making a simple catch and way before the ball is about to bounce off the turf. It’s amazing what introducing a 5th and 6th umpire can do. Remember that Twins/Yanks foul/fair ball fiasco from a couple years ago?
not sure this ranks with Ron Gant getting pulled off first base and called out in th 91 WS, but insanely stupid call
shouldnt have let it get to that point, of course, the errors, the errors
i probably would have been throwing crap on the field, in fact, i know i would have. i would have thrown my iphone 4s, with its stainless steel rim, at the ups head, and i would have hit it. ive been working out alot lately.
i would have gotten 4 years for assault with a deadly weapon, but im sure id be treated well inside
Here’s what I can’t let go of. Our costly errors ended with them scoring runs. Their errors ended with Umpires calls taking our runs away. I get that Simmons was hit in the head and he was out. But after that and after the ball dropped in the infield part of the outfield they threw the ball around like little leaguers too. Which leads me to conclude once again that the baseball gods hate the Braves. We need to change the team mascot to the Unicorns or something to shake them up.
– Seems impossible that after the Heyward catch and the Ross HR that we let the game slip away. And that Chipper error absolutely changed the fate of the game. Chipper should feel terrible, he only hurt the team last night.
– I know it’s easy sitting in your living room to judge the bottles being thrown on the field, but it felt absolutely right sitting in the stadium (for the record, I didn’t throw anything – but I was with them in spirit).
fwiw, the ESPN radio annoucers, or at least one of the two, gave the Braves fan kudos, saying “as bad as it is to do this, it’s great to see Atlanta this into a ballgame, into their team, haven’t seen that in a long time.” Of course, he was corrected by his partyline-toe-ing partner quickly, but it was too late. Something real squeaked through.
-On the Simmons bunt, I was proud that Fredi protected him. But seriously I’m worried about his baseball IQ. Somebody needs to talk to the kid.
-Wren has alot of hard work in figuring out how to replace the wins we lose without Bourn and Chipper.
– 3 years ago Uggla and McCann were the best at their position. Now they are liabilities?
-Never did I ever think an infield fly rule could be called in mid left field. You learn something new every day. The rule was designed to protect the baserunners but on that play it protected the defense.
David, we’ve been in full time ministry of the Presbyterian nature for 15 years. The last 8 my husband pastored a church in NC. Just recently we moved to GA where he now works for a non profit as Director of Stewardship. Also, being closer helps fund my addiction to the Braves. He’s still licensed and preaches on occasion. For the record Rev Nicole is not my type. Prado on the other hand…
Now back to the valley of weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The spot where the ball landed was 225 feet from home plate, according to Baseball Info Solutions. In the past three seasons, there were six infield-fly rulings in the majors on balls that were not caught, and the longest measured at 178 feet – 47 feet less than the ball Simmons hit.
It’s a shame that instead of owning up to the call, Joe Torre and MLB decide to lie and say it was the right call. I’m upset at MLB right now. Go Falcons.
“All of us at the general managers meeting when we talked about this format, it’s not a format that’s indicative of the best team,” Wren said. “When you’re playing for six months and 162 games, this is not a sport where you play 20 games. This is not a sport where you play a handful of games, and then one game is appropriate. This is a sport that’s about series, it’s about winning series. And one game is kind of a harsh reality.”
Bottom Line: There are plenty other ideas better than this one game playoff in which more than 1 game is played to determine who advances.
@241 – Follow the money. At the end of the day Selig doesn’t care about what’s best for the game, he cares about driving the biggest television ratings so that the broadcasting contracts will be as big as possible to get more money for the owners. Plain and simple. This one game playoff will never change. Get used to it.
Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez thinks Juan Francisco will get a chance to compete for the third base job next season, according to David O’Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Sure. An out of shape 3rd basemen who cant play defense, hit for average, get on base or run with any speed is perfect for 3rd base next year. Everyone knows we should just keep Prado in LF because it’s harder to find a left fielder than a 3rd baseman in this league.
@242 – Follow the money. They are probably going to extend Prado at potentially $10 million a year. Francisco is on your team making $480k. Liberty Media doesn’t care about what is best for the fans, or really for the team, they are all about doing it on the cheap and hoping for a miracle. Why pay $10 mill for a third baseman and then pay for a new left fielder too?
Braves have essentially $36.5 mill coming off of the books with Chipper, Lowe, Bourn, and JJ. If anyone out there thinks Liberty is turning that money around and dumping it back into the team, I have a bridge to sell you. They pick up options on McCann and Hudson, and then maybe add some minor pieces.
Wren offered that with this money he might be able to shop at Target instead of Wal-Mart. Doesn’t sound like we are in the market for any real players, to me.
Looking back, what it Beachy and McCann were healthy the whole season? Perhaps the Braves pass the Nationals and get to play in a 5-game series.
I know that’s a silly game to play because all teams deal with similar things. What if Strasburg has pitched the whole season, for example. But it points to the role of luck in sports (and life, not to get too serious here).
I’m still really struggling to he over the end of this season. I just KNEW we’d win. Why does Chipper rush his throw with Meds on the mound. Get 1 out and be happy. If we were able to stay in the lead guys would have relaxed and had better at bats. Can’t let it go! Need therapy!