And Then There Were Two: NLDS Predictions

Filed Under (Command Center, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 04-10-2010

Tagged Under : Atlanta Braves, Bobby Cox, Chase Utley, Cincinnati Reds, Cole Hamels, Derek Lowe, Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Ryan Howard, San Francisco Giants, Tim Lincecum

While the Marlins, Mets, and Nationals hit the golf course and start to make their plans for 2011, the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves will be playing in the postseason.  The Phillies comfortably took the NL East, and it took the Braves until Day 162 to earn a playoff berth, but both will be battling to reach the World Series.

So what are their chances?  Here is my take on Round 1.

Phillies vs. Reds

The Phillies have the home field advantage against the NL Central Champion Cincinnati Reds.  The Phillies are clearly the better team, and to me, the question isn’t if the Phils will win this series, but rather how many games it will take.

The Phillies battled through injuries throughout the 2010 season.  Now they are healthy, and thanks to clinching the division title early, they were able to set up their pitching rotation.  With the Roys (Halladay & Oswalt) and Cole Hamels pitching the first three games, the Reds will have their hands full.  The Reds had the chance to set up their rotation as well, but with three righties (Volquez, Arroyo, & Cueto) facing Utley, Howard, and company, Cincinnati’s pitchers will have their hands full.

So, will the Reds take a game?  The Command Center says…

Prediction: Phillies in 3.

Braves vs. Giants

Both the Braves and Giants stamped their tickets to the playoffs on the season’s final day.  Both teams are also built on pitching.  Will one team’s staff let them down?  Will one offense catch fire at the right time?

The Giants will throw out “The Freak,”  Tim Lincecum, against Atlanta’s Derek Lowe in Game 1 on Thursday night.   Every game is important in a short series, but the winner of the first game of this showdown will have a huge leg up on their opponent.   A Giants win, and San Fran will be feeling good and looking to go on a roll with Cain & Sanchez to follow.  If the Braves can defeat San Fran’s ace, it could be a major blow to the Giants’ psyche and a big momentum swing in Atlanta’s favor.

I expect a bunch of low scoring games and teams looking to scratch and claw to put runs on the board.  Will the Braves rally behind their skipper and extend Bobby Cox’s managing career one more series?   I could see this series going either way, but the Command Center can only declare one winner.

Prediction: Giants in 5.

Did the Command Center get these right?  There’s only one way to find out.  Play Ball!

NL East Recap 9-25

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by klake13 on 25-09-2010

Tagged Under : Alberto Gonzalez, Alex Gonzalez, Bobby Cox, Braves, Brewers, Brian McCann, Chris Narveson, Chris Volstad, Derek Lowe, Derrek Lee, Dillon Gee, Gaby Sanchez, Hisanori Takahashi, Jose Reyes, Josh Thole, Kyle Kendrick, Logan Morrison, Lucas Duda, Marlins, martin prado, Mets, Mike Stanton, Nationals, osvaldo martinez, Phillies, Ryan Howard, Yunesky Maya

Braves vs. Nationals

The Braves beat Washington 5-0 Saturday, giving Bobby Cox his 2,500th win and putting Atlanta in a tie for the Wild Card. A throwing error by Washington’s third baseman Alberto Gonzalez in the 3rd inning allowed Brian McCann to reach base and Derrek Lee to score, giving Atlanta a 1-0 lead. It remained 1-0 until the 6th inning when the Braves tagged on four more runs. Derrek Lee got things started with a double to score Martin Prado. Alex Gonzalez capped off the inning with three-run home run to make it 5-0. Nationals hitters couldn’t do much against Atlanta starter Derek Lowe.  Washington left 12 men on base and were 0-10 with runners in scoring position.

Lowe got the win for Atlanta, going 5 innings and allowing just five hits while striking out four. Yunesky Maya took the loss for Washington, going 5.1 innings and giving up five runs on eight hits while striking out one.

Mets vs. Phillies

The Mets snapped the Phillies 11-game win streak, beating Philadelphia 5-2. Philadelphia struck first with two runs in the 1st inning thanks to a two-run shot off the bat of Ryan Howard. The score stayed 2-0 until the 7th when the Mets broke through to score five runs in the inning. Josh Thole drove in the first run for the Mets with a single, but the inning’s biggest hit belonged to Lucas Duda. Pinch hitting with the bases loaded, Duda hit a bases clearing double to make it 4-2 Mets. A few batters later, Jose Reyes hit an RBI double to center.

Dillon Gee got the win, going 7 innings and giving up two runs on five hits while striking out five. Kyle Kendrick took the loss, going 6.1 innings and allowing four runs on six hits while striking out four. Hisanori Takahashi recorded his 8th save for the Mets.

Marlins vs. Brewers

The Marlins shut out the Brewers 4-0 to win the third game of the four game set in Milwaukee. Logan Morrison singled home the first run of the game for Florida to make it 1-0 Marlins. It stayed that way until the 7th when Mike Stanton hit a solo shot to left field. In the 8th, Gaby Sanchez hit an RBI single to score Osvaldo Martinez. The Marlins tagged on their final run in the 9th with an RBI double by Martinez.

Chris Volstad went 6.2 innings to get the win. He gave up six hits while striking out two. Chris Narveson took the loss for Milwaukee, going 6.2 innings and allowing two runs on six hits while striking out five.

NL East Recap 9-17

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 18-09-2010

Tagged Under : Alex Sanabia, Alfonso Soriano, Atlanta Braves, Billy Wagner, Bobby Cox, Carlos Marmol, Carlos Ruiz, Chicago Cubs, Florida Marlins, Geovany Soto, Jason Heyward, Jason Marquis, Jayson Werth, Jonathon Niese, Melky Cabrera, New York Mets, Omar Infante, Philadelphia Phillies, Raul Ibanez, Roy Oswalt, Ryan Dempster, Ryan Zimmerman, Tommy Hanson, Washington Nationals

Phillies vs. Nationals

The first place Phillies exploded for six first inning runs, and Roy Oswalt tossed six solid innings as the Phils defeated the Nationals 9-1 in Philly.

After a Ryan Zimmerman RBI single put Washington ahead in the top of the first, the Phillies went to work against Nationals starter Jason Marquis.  Marquis (2-9) retired the first batter of the inning, but then allowed the next eight batters to reach base before being knocked out of the game.  Jayson Werth tied the game with an RBI infield single, and Raul Ibanez followed with a two run single.  Oswalt contributed to the offensive outburst with an RBI single of his own as the Phils jumped out to a 6-1 lead. 

Oswalt (13-13) allowed just one run and six hits over his six innings, striking out seven along the way.   Werth and Carlos Ruiz homered off of the Nationals bullpen to cap the scoring for the Phils.  Zimmerman finished with a 4 for 4 night at the plate in a losing cause for the Nats.

Braves vs. Mets

The Braves overcame an early three run deficit and the ejection of their manager, defeating the Mets by a score of 6-4 at Citi Field to keep pace with the Phillies in the NL East.

In the bottom of the second inning, Bobby Cox was ejected for the 158th time (a major league record) for arguing balls and strikes.  The Mets went on to score three runs in the inning against Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson, thanks to RBI singles from Lucas Duda, pitcher Jonathon Niese, and Jose Reyes.  The Braves bounced back in the fourth inning, captilizing on a David Wright throwing error to score six unearned runs off of Niese (9-9).   Melky Cabrera hit an RBI single to start the scoring, and Omar Infante delivered a two run double to tie the game.  Jason Heyward then delivered the big blow, launching a three run homer to right field to give the Braves a 6-3 lead.

Duda hit his first major league home run off of Hanson in the bottom of the fourth inning, but that would be the last run of the night for either team.  Hanson (10-11) went six innings to earn the victory, and Billy Wagner pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 34th save.

Marlins vs. Cubs

The Marlins and Cubs each received solid pitching on Friday night in Florida.  Chicago was the only team to score in the pitchers’ duel, defeating the Marlins by a score of 2-0.

Ryan Dempster (14-10) pitched seven shutout innings against his former team, allowing just four hits while striking out five.  Florida starter Alex Sanabia (4-3) pitched well, but couldn’t keep the Cubs off of the scoreboard.  Alfonso Soriano hit an RBI double in the second inning, and Geovany Soto doubled home a run in the sixth inning to deliver the only two runs of the evening.  

The Marlins had a chance in the ninth as Cubs closer Carlos Marmol walked the first two batters of the inning.  However, Marmol rebounded to retire the next three batters and earn save number 32.

NL East Recap 6-26

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 27-06-2010

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Adam Jones, Adrian Gonzalez, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Billy Wagner, Bobby Cox, Carl Pavano, Chipper Jones, Cole Hamels, Delmon Young, Detroit Tigers, Florida Marlins, Heath Bell, Ivan Rodriguez, Jason Kubel, Jerry Hairston, Joe Mauer, Joel Zumaya, Johan Santana, Johnny Damon, Jon Garland, Josh Johnson, Kenshin Kawakami, Livan Hernandez, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Stanton, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, peter moylan, Philadelphia Phillies, Roger Bernadina, Ryan Howard, San Diego Padres, Shaun Marcum, Takashi Saito, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals

Mets vs. Twins

Johan Santana faced his former team for the first time as the Mets hosted the Twins at Citi Field on Saturday afternoon.   Minnesota jumped on Santana early and the Mets couldn’t solve Carl Pavano as the Twins went on to win 6-0.

*Jun 26 - 00:05*The Twins scored four runs in the first inning off of Santana (5-5), and never looked back.  Joe Mauer started the scoring with a run-scoring single, and then with 2 outs, Jason Kubel hit an RBI double and Delmon Young doubled home two more runs to give the Twins an early 4-0 lead.  Meanwhile, Pavano (9-6) was dominant from the start.  Pavano went all nine innings, allowing just three singles and a walk to the Mets.  Kubel added a solo home run in the ninth inning to cap the scoring.



Braves vs. Tigers

The Braves got a timely home run from their longtime third baseman, and the team survived some shaky relief pitching to hold off the Tigers for a 4-3 victory in Atlanta.

braves-626Kenshin Kawakami came into the game winless, and though he pitched well over seven innings, left trailing 1-0.  However, the Braves finally gave Kawakami (1-9) some support in the bottom of the seventh when Chipper Jones belted a three-run home run off of Detroit reliever Joel Zumaya (2-1).  The Braves added another run in the eighth on an Eric Hinske RBI double and entered the ninth inning with a 4-1 lead. 

A day after earning his 400th career save, Billy Wagner was unavailable due to a sore left ankle, so Takashi Saito came in to try to seal the victory.   However, Saito allowed a solo homer to Miguel Cabrera and walked two more before being pulled.  Manager Bobby Cox then called on Eric O’Flaherty, but O’Flaherty proceeded to walk the next two batters, the last one forcing in a run and cutting the lead to 4-3.  Peter Moylan then came in to face Johnny Damon with the bases loaded.  With the count 3 and 2, Moylan’s offering to Damon appeared to be outside, but the Braves got the strike three call and the victory.  Moylan earned his first save on the season.

With the victory and the Mets’ loss, the Braves extended their lead in the NL East to 1.5 games.


Phillies vs. Blue Jays

Playing the second game of their “road” series in Philadelphia against the Blue Jays, the Phillies couldn’t take advantage of their home ballpark and fell to Toronto 5-1.

phils-626The Blue Jays touched up Phillies starter Cole Hamels (5-5) for five runs in four innings.  John Buck, Aaron Hill and Alex Gonzalez each homered off of Hamels to spark the Toronto offense.  Shaun Marcum (7-3) didn’t allow the Phillies to get back into the game, allowing just one run over six innings.  The Phillies only run came courtesy of a Ryan Howard solo home run.  In an unusual site, Howard acted as the Phillies’ DH as the game was played under American League rules in the NL ballpark.  Toronto relievers combined for three scoreless innings to close out their Philly home victory.

The teams will face off on Sunday in the rubber match of their three game set. 


Nationals vs. Orioles

A day after blowing a 6-0 lead to the Orioles, the Nationals jumped out to a 5-0 lead in Baltimore.   For the second straight day, however, the Nats blew a large lead and fell in the Battle of the Beltway by a score of 6-5.

nats-626Washington scored four runs in the 3rd inning, thanks to a two-run double by Adam Dunn and RBIs from Ivan Rodriguez and Roger Bernadina.  After adding another run in the fourth, the Orioles came back against Nats’ starter Livan Hernandez.  Adam Jones homered in the fourth to get the O’s on the board, and then the Orioles scored four in the fifth.  Matt Wieters  delivered the big hit, as his two-run single tied the game at 5.

The Orioles took a 6-5 lead in the seventh.  With Ty Wigginton batting, Nationals reliver Drew Storen threw a wild pitch that allowed Luke Scott to score the go-ahead run.  Jason Berken (1-1) earned the victory for the Orioles in relief, while Sean Burnett (0-4) took the loss for the Nats.  Alfredo Simon pitched a perfect ninth to earn his eighth save.


Marlins vs. Padres

Jon Garland and Josh Johnson faced off in a pitcher’s duel Saturday night in Miami.   Johnson pitched eight solid innings, but the Marlins couldn’t solve Garland or the Padres’ pen, and the Padres defeated the Marlins by a score of 2-1.

marlins-626The Marlins scored first in the second inning thanks to a Mike Stanton sacrifice fly.  The Padres answered back in the fourth when Adrian Gonzalez doubled home David Eckstein with the tying run.   In the fifth, Jerry Hairston Jr. tripled off of Stanton’s glove, and then scored on Garland’s fly ball to right field.   Garland’s ball took Stanton into foul ground, and Marlins players tried to yell at Stanton to let the ball land foul, but his catch turned into a sacrifice fly and scored the deciding run.

Johnson (8-3) took the loss despite striking out nine and allowing just five hits.  Garland (8-5) allowed just four hits over 6.2 innings and earned the victory.  Heath Bell pitched the ninth inning and struck out two in earning his 21st save.

Command Center: Survivor – NL East

Filed Under (Command Center, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 29-05-2010

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Billy Wagner, Bobby Cox, Brad Lidge, Braves, Carlos Beltran, Chipper Jones, Command Center, Hanley Ramirez, Jason Heyward, Jimmy Rollins, Johan Santana, Josh Johnson, Marlins, Matt Capps, Mets, Mike Pelfrey, Nationals, Phillies, Roy Halladay, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Survivor, Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson

People around baseball often look at Memorial Day as the first major checkpoint of the season.   As we approach the 50 game mark, it’s a good time to take a look at the standings to see where the teams are sitting.  Is a team poised to run away with the division?  Is there a solid two-team race developing that looks looks like it may go down to the wire?  Is there a team that is already so far out of first place that they are starting to make plans for next season?

survivor-logoTake a look at the NL East standings.  Coming into Friday night’s action, 3 games separated first place from last place, and each team had a record of .500 or better.   The division is clearly up for grabs, which got me thinking of one of my favorite TV shows, Survivor.  Before a challenge, host Jeff Probst declares “immunity up for grabs.”    Instead of immunity, a division crown is at stake in the latest reality series - Survivor: NL East.  Let’s take a look at the competitors:

After back-to-back World Series appearances, the Phillies came into this season as the clear favorites.  Their everyday lineup remained mostly intact, and they added arguably the best pitcher in the majors to their rotation with the acquisition of Roy Halladay.  However, the Phils have been hurt by injuries, most notably to shortstop Jimmy Rollins and closer Brad Lidge.  They also are not clicking on all cylinders offensively, as evident by being shut out four times over the past week.  Despite all of the injuries and struggles, the Phillies still find themselves on top of the division.  They have the ability to run away with the East if they get healthy and play to form, but it hasn’t happened yet.

The Braves ended April five games under .500, but have played much better baseball in May.  A few win streaks have them four games over .500 in Bobby Cox‘s last season at the helm.   The Braves have the pitching to hang around for the long haul, with a solid starting rotation led by Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson, and a healthy Billy Wagner closing games.  Will the Braves offense be enough?  Rookie phenom Jason Heyward has certainly showed all of the hype was warranted.  Can he keep it up?  Will the Chipper Jones of old return?  

The Mets?  Who knows what to make of the team from Flushing.  Part roller coaster and part circus act at times, the Mets have already jumped from last place to first place, and back to last place.  After their most recent hot streak, they now find themselves in the middle of the pack.  Can they hang around and find themselves playing meaningful September baseball?   It’s possible, but they have several huge question marks.  When will Carlos Beltran come back, or will he be back at all?  Will the Mets find three reliable starters to stick behind Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey? 

Then there are the Nationals.  Those pesky Nats.  All of the talk coming into the season was about Stephen Strasburg, and in major media outlets, Strasburg is still all you hear about when it comes to the team from DC.  News flash: the man with the 100 mph fastball has yet to throw a pitch in the majors, but the Nationals are showing that they are no longer the doormat of the NL East.  The Nats have received solid pitching in the early going, “capped” off by closer Matt Capps, who converted his first 16 save chances.  Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn provide a dangerous 3-4 combination to the Nats lineup.   They may not be able to hang around until the end, but their early season success is no mirage.  The Nats are a good ballclub, and their future looks bright.

Over the past two decades, what team owns the most World Series titles in the divison?  That would be the Florida Marlins.  The Marlins may have the deepest rotation in the division, led by ace Josh Johnson.   Each of the Marlins’ starters is fully capable of shutting down an opposing team.  Hanley Ramirez and company can also score enough runs to remain competitive throughout.  But will their bullpen eventually do them in?  With a new stadium on the horizon, will they be able to add payroll to try and make a run?

probstWho will Outhit, Outplay, Outlast to become the winner of Survivor: NL East?  Stay tuned to see whose torches get snuffed out.   There are likely to be some twists and surprises as this marathon of a season plays out.  You don’t want to miss it.

NL East Daily Recap from 9-23-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by mrose on 24-09-2009

Tagged Under : Adam LaRoche, Andre Ethier, Angel Pagan, Atlanta Braves, Bobby Cox, Brad Lidge, Brett Carroll, Centerfield Gate, Chad Billingsley, Cody Ross, Cole Hamels, Dan Meyer, Elijah Dukes, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Gaby Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez, James Loney, Jorge Cantu, Kelly Johnson, Los Angeles Dodgers, Luis Castillo, Mike Pelfrey, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Rafael Soriano, Raul Ibanez, Russell Martin, Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, Saul Rivera, The Braves Baseball Blog, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Tim Hudson, Washing ton Nationals

Lidge blows #11

Lidge blows #11

The Florida Marlins were looking to take two of three against the first place Phillies last night and pull closer in the wildcard and division, but were down headed to late innings.  They fought back late in the game with a Gaby Sanchez home run in the eighth, a Cody Ross RBI single in the eighth and finally a Jorge Cantu RBI single to tie it in the ninth.  That wasn’t the end of it though, as Brett Carroll singled home Hanley Ramirez with the winning run against struggling closer Brad Lidge in the bottom of the ninth to win 7-6.  Dan Meyer(3-1) got the win while working a scoreless inning in the ninth as the Marlins try to keep their playoff hopes alive, FishGuts has more.

Brad Lidge is a far cry from last year’s perfect season, now with his 11th blown save of the year.  Lidge only recorded two outs in the bottom of the ninth while allowing three hits and a walk while giving up two runs and his ERA is now 7.48 on the season.  The blown save took another win away from starter Cole Hamels and took the emphasis off a game in which both Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard homered and Howard had a total of four RBI.  Phillies Phandom will cover Lidge’s struggle.

Cox with an extension and another win

Cox with an extension and another win

On a night when it was announced that Bobby Cox would manage for another season, the Braves gave him another win.  Tim Hudson(2-1) went six innings allowing nine hits and two runs to continue a successful Tommy John comeback and the bottom of the order did the heavy lifting for the Braves.  Adam LaRoche went 3-5 with two RBI and Kelly Johnson went 1-3 with two RBI on way to the 5-2 win.  Rafael Soriano once again worked the ninth allowing just a walk to get his 26th save of the season, check out Braves Baseball Blog for more.

Mike Pelfrey absolutely can’t find the magic he had last year as he lost again.  Pelfrey(10-12) went six innings and allowed nine hits and four runs (although three earned) in taking another loss.  Luis Castillo singled home Pelfrey in the third and then Angel Pagan had an RBI on a fielders’ choice error in the fourth for their only runs.  The Real Dirty Mets Blog has more on the game and the Mets floundering season.

The Nats win one in walk off fashion

The Nats win one in walk off fashion

The Nationals took a game from the Dodgers last night, with a final score of 5-4 and in walk off fashion on Pete Orr’s sacrifice fly in the ninth.  Ryan Zimmerman had a big blow in the sixth as he hit a three run home run off Chad Billingsley to temporarily tie the game.  The Nats would go ahead onf Elijah Dukes RBI groundout before giving it back again in the ninth.  Saul Rivera(1-3) got the win as he worked the final two outs of the top of the ninth inning on only three pitches. Check out Centerfield Gate for an in depth recap on the game.

Chad Billingsley pitched well through the first six innings but then appeared to break down in the sixth inning.  Billingsley went six innings allowing just one hit and three runs, but walking four and striking out nine, the one hit being the big three run homer.  On offense, Andre Ethier, James Loney and Russell Martin were credited with RBI’s in the game but no one had more than two hits for the Dodgers.

Chatter Up! Marlins @ Braves 8-21-09 to 8-23-09

Filed Under (Chatter Up) by mrose on 21-08-2009

Tagged Under : Alex Rodriguez, Atlanta Braves, Bobby Cox, Brett Carroll, Cal Ripken, Cameron Maybin, Chipper Jones, Chris Coghlan, Chris Volstad, Cody Ross, Dan Uggla, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Fredi Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Jair Jurrjens, Javier Vazquez, Jeff Francouer, Jeremy Hermida, John Baker, Jordan Schafer, Jorge Cantu, Josh Johnson, Kenshin Kawakami, Kris Medlen, Logan Morrison, Matt Lindstrom, Miami Marlins, Miami-Date, Mike Stanton, Nate McClouth, Nick Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Ryan Church, Ryan Howard, Sean West, Shane Victorino, The Braves Baseball Blog, Tommy Hanson, Wes Helms

Marlins Logo chatterup Braves Logo
Welcome to our second Chatter Up! of the day, busy weekend at NLEC!  Today we bring back Rab of FishGuts for his second appearance representing the Fish and a newcomer from The Braves Baseball Blog, Connor Tapp to discuss their respective teams.  Lets get to it.
DirtySanchez(TRDMB): Do the Marlins have any intention of bringing back Nick Johnson as he has definitely solidified that lineup?
Rab B(FG): I highly doubt it. Nick Johnson has obviously been incredible for the lineup but he’s been asking for a two-year deal and with our payroll, his injury history, and the expected arrivals of Logan Morrison next season and super-prospect Mike Stanton possibly next June, there might not be room for him.
DirtySanchez(TRDMB): Is it talent or Fredi Gonzalez that make this team work?
Rab B(FG):Well, it’s a mixture of the talent and the front office. Fredi is really just a hand of the FO. One big thing that was added last year was actually bench-bat Wes Helms. A big problem in 2007 was the lack of discipline. Coaches can only do so much, there’s a big difference when it’s a player. The younger players on the team, like Chris Coghlan and Brett Carroll, actually call him “Uncle Wes” and he’s reportedly been a huge influence on them. By adding things like that the FO is who makes this team work.
DirtySanchez(TRDMB): Do they plan on keeping Hanley at SS?
Rab B(FG): I’m going to start by saying that Hanley Ramirez is a good defensive shortstop. He actually made the turn for the better last year. He did lead all SS in errors but he was still went from -28 to +3 by The Fielding Bible’s +/- system, meaning he made 3 more plays than the league average shortstop. This year he’s had a huge cut down on errors as well, half as many as last season, and is rated +5. So I don’t think the Marlins have any thought of moving him for short, as that’s always been something discussed mostly from outside sources. Might he eventually have to make the Cal Ripken/Alex Rodriguez move to 3rd base? Possibly, but I don’t think that’s not going to happen any time soon.
DirtySanchez(TRDMB): Which players do they see still being there (besides Hanley) for their new stadium?
I really don’t know the answer to this. A few guys like 2B Chris Coghlan, CF Cameron Maybin are likely. SPs Sean West and Chris Volstad should probably also still be here. As for someone more established, I actually fully expect the Marlins to go against the grain and sign Josh Johnson to a long term deal. Ricky Nolasco has a shot at being here as well, so does John Baker. As for others, like Cody Ross, Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, Jeremy Hermida, Matt Lindstrom, et al, I don’t see there is any chance for them being here then.
Mark(CFG): The Marlins play hard, stay in contention, and build and rebuild. But no one in Miami seems to be paying attention. What happens if the Marlins’ attendance at their new ballpark stays at the same level as it is at Land Shark stadium? Are we talking Memphis Marlins?
Rab B(FG): The Marlins signed a non-relocation agreement with the Marlins and Major League Baseball as part of the Ballpark Agreement with the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County that says they can’t leave for 35 years after the stadium opens, meaning they are the Miami Marlins until at least 2047. Will attendance get better? Maybe, maybe not, but relocation won’t be an option. And as far as no one noticing, it’s worth noting that the Marlins have always had good TV ratings, last year ending up with the 7th best in all of baseball according to SportsBusiness Journal. As someone who goes to a lot of Marlins games it’s easy for me to understand why not many people go in person. If it’s not burning in plastic seats at 100° it’s raining. This year alone there have been 3 rainouts (I was at two of them) and 27% of all home games this year have been affected by rain. A new ballpark should at least give people less reason’s to consider staying home and watching the game on FSFlorida instead of showing up.
Thanks Rab, Connor Tapp of The Braves Baseball Blog is next.
DirtySanchez(TRDMB): Does church fit into the braves mold?
Connor T(BBB): To answer that question, you’d first have to define what the Braves’ “mold” is, and I don’t know if I can quite do that. But hey, we’re all just so happy to have Jeff Francoeur gone that we’ve had little time to find fault with Church’s playing style or demeanor. And according to Baseball Prospectus’ calculation of Wins Above Replacement, Church has been about half a win better than Francoeur since the swap. That works for me. Is he a long-term fixture? Absolutely not. But he makes for a cheap, workable stop-gap to carry us to the Schafer/Heyward era.
DirtySanchez(TRDMB): Is it true that although bobby cox(i believe) holds the record for the most ejections, he is one of the most supportive managers in baseball?
Connor T(BBB): It’s true. Bobby Cox became the all-time ejections leader in June of 2007 and has spent the past two seasons padding his margin. This is often cited as a reason that he’s the immaculate “player’s coach”, always sticking up for his team – getting himself ejected, rather than letting his players get ejected. But in my opinion, Cox could stand to be a little more stern. For instance, it wouldn’t hurt to have someone stand up and explain to Chipper that the past five years of attempting to play through nagging injuries hasn’t exactly worked.
DirtySanchez(TRDMB): With the success of Tommy Hanson, where does he fit into the rotation next year?
Connor T(BBB): I don’t think there’s any question that Tommy Hanson is at least the third-best starter on the Braves’ staff right now, so I don’t see any reason he doesn’t begin 2010 as the number three, behind Vazquez and Jurrjens. If I were Bobby Cox, I might think about pairing Hanson with Kris Medlen, limiting Hanson to four or five innings every third or fourth start, and then bring in Kris Medlen for long relief. This would protect Hanson from overuse and allow Cox to get more work out of Medlen, who has been absolutely nasty over the last couple of months.
DirtySanchez(TRDMB): Do you think the braves have enough to make a run this year?
Connor T(BBB): Yes. But the season is getting shorter, and the Braves are still just as far back as they were a month ago despite being one of the hottest teams in the league since the All-Star Break. They’ll need to take some calculated gambles, such as letting Vazquez go on three days rest while skipping Kawakami and not letting right-handed relievers pitch to Ryan Howard with men on base (gah!), but anything is possible.
Mark(CFG): Nate McLouth was supposed to be the second coming, now he’s hobbled. It’s clear he’s not a Mantle, or Mays — or even Victorino. Who takes his place — and what are the long term prospects of the Braves filling their outfield holes?
Connor T(BBB): Anyone that thought Nate McLouth was or is going to be the “second coming” has, quite simply, overestimated the value of Nate McLouth. His acquisition was definitely a win-now move, but I don’t think it could be said with any certainty that the Braves will win the trade in the long run. If nothing else, Gorkys Hernandez is going to be a phenomenal defensive ceterfielder for the Pirates, while McLouth ought to be eventually moved to left, where the value of his bat will be significantly diminished. That said, McLouth’s performance with the Braves has been very similiar to what it was with the Pirates. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect much more of McLouth than what he’s given so far. Besides, everybody knows Jason Heyward is the second coming. My 2011 outfield (heck, maybe even my 2010 outfield) would look like this: McLouth in left, Schafer in center, Heyward in right.

Please feel free to email any recommend questions or comments about the segment to this forum topic and post a reply.

Braves Player News: Conrad down, Johnson back from DL

Filed Under (Braves Player News) by mrose on 23-07-2009

Tagged Under : Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bobby Cox, Brooks Conrad, David O'Brien, Greg norton, Kelly Johnson

According to David O’Brien of the AJC, the Braves have sent Brooks Conrad back to AAA Gwinnett since Kelly Johnson is coming back from the DL.

Conrad had a great cup of coffee as he hit .344 and had 2 three baggers, two home runs and eight total RBI.

I don’t know about this move, but i’m not Bobby Cox…

NL East Daily Recap from 6-26-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by mrose on 27-06-2009

Tagged Under : A.J. Burnett, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Bobby Cox, Boston Red Sox, Brad Bergesen, Brad Mills, C.C. Sabathia, Chris Volstad, Cole Hamels, Florida Marlins, Gary Sheffield, Hanley Ramirez, J.A. Happ, J.P. Howell, Jair Jurrjens, Javier Vazquez, Jeremy Guthrie, Josh Beckett, Mike Pelfrey, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Renyell PInto, Ricky Romero, Ross Detwiler, Ryan Howard, Scott Kazmir, Sharon Martis, Subway Series, Tampa Bay Rays, Tim Redding, Tim Wakefield, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals

Mighty Howard Strikes out

Mighty Howard Strikes out

The Phillies traveled north of the border to Canada to play the final three games of Interleague play against the Blue Jays.  Things didn’t get much better for the struggling Phils, as the Blue Jays won again and even did it against the Phillies ace.  Cole Hamels(4-4) couldn’t get out of the fifth inning as he gave up four runs on eight total hits on the way to a 6-1 Phillies loss.  Ricky Romero(5-3) got the win with seven impressive innings while only giving up two hits in the game.  The series continues today with J.A. Happ going for the Phillies against Brad Mills for the Blue Jays at 1:07PM.

Pelf hopes his defense is awake

Pelf hopes his defense is awake

The Mets couldn’t get out of their own way while continuing the Subway Series in Queens on Friday night.  The Mets made three errors in the secocnd inning, allowing four runs to score and basically put the game out of reach.  Pelfrey(5-3) still managed to finish five innings while only allowing two earned runs in a 9-1 Mets loss.  C.C. Sabathia(7-4) went seven strong innings allowing only three hits including a solo home run to Gary Sheffield in getting the win.  Tonight A.J. Burnett goes to the mound against Tim Redding for the Mets at 7pm.

Ramirez stays hot

Ramirez stays hot

The bat of Hanley Ramirez wasn’t enough on Friday night in Tampa Bay.  The Marlins couldn’t take advantage of a chance to tie for first place with the Phillies as they fell to the Rays 7-3.  Renyell Pinto(2-1) took the loss for the Marlins bullpen which is struggling with injuries currently while giving up two runs in an inning of work.  J.P. Howell(3-2) got the win in relief for the Rays, as the series continues tonight at 7:08 in Tampa with Chris Volstad taking on newly off the disabled list Scott Kazmir.

Bobby Cox arguing?

Bobby Cox arguing?

The Atlanta Braves lost their third straight game and fifth in their last six last night to the Red Sox.  Jurrjens(5-6) went eight strong innings giving up 3 earned runs and four overall in a tough loss.  Josh Beckett(9-3) got his ninth win of the season pitching seven shut out innings for the Red Sox.  Wakefield goes up against Vazquez this afternoon at 4pm in the second game of the series.

A rough outting for Detwiller

A rough outting for Detwiller

Ross Detwiler(0-4) and the rest of the Nationals pitchers had another rough outting last night.  Detwiler couldn’t get his first win of the season and managed five innings of five run ball as the Nats lost 11-1 to the Baltimore Orioles.  Brad Bergesen(5-2) got the win for the Orioles going six innings and only giving up a single run as the offense made it easy for him.  Sharon Martis goes up against Jeremy Guthrie at 7:05 in Baltimore tonight.

NL East Weekend Recap: 6-20-09 to 6-21-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter, Weekend Recap, mrose) by mrose on 22-06-2009

Tagged Under : A.J. Burnett, Alberto Gonzalez, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Bobby Cox, Bobby Parnell, Boston Red Sox, Brad Lidge, Braves Baseball Blog, Brett Tomko, Brian Roberts, Brian Schneider, C.C. Sabathia, Centerfieldgate, Chris Volstad, Citi Field, Cole Hamels, Danys Baez, Derek Jeter, Derek Lowe, Florida Marlins, George Sherill, Greg Zaun, J.P. Howell, James Shields, Jeff Bennett, Jeremy Guthrie, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Girardi, Joe Nelson, Johan Santana, Johnny Damon, Jonathan Papelbon, Josh Beckett, Josh Johnson, Julian Tavarez, Land Shark Stadium, Lyle Overbay, Manny Acta, Mark Hendrickson, Matt Lindstrom, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Nick Green, Philadelphia Phillies, Real Dirty Mets Blog, Ricky Romero, Ryan Howard, Ryan Madson, Scott Richmond, Sharon Martis, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals, Willie Harris

Howard Hits a 3 run home run

Howard Hits a 3 run home run

6-20-09:In the 7th inning on Saturday night, Ryan Howard hit a pinch hit three run home run off Oriole reliever Danys Baez after being hospitalized with flu symptoms.  It looked like Philly may have finally found the magic they had in 2008, but this was before the 9th inning.  Still filling in as the closer for Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson(2-3) blew yet another save while giving up a solo home run to Greg Zaun and a 2 run shot to Brian Roberts which proved to be the game winner.  Mark Hendrickson(2-4) pitched the final 2 outs of the 8th and got the win while George Sherill pitched a perfect 9th for his 14th save.

Brian Roberts hurts the Phils again

Brian Roberts hurts the Phils again

6-21-09: Sunday did not bring much relief for the Phillies and their home woes.  Cole Hamels(4-3) was the victim of a lack of offense as he went 8 strong innings, giving up only 2 runs on 9 hits including 10 strike outs.  Jeremy Guthrie(5-7) was just a bit better, going 7 strong innings only giving up 3 hits, one being a solo home run and the only run he surrendered for the win.  The phaithful have resorted to booing 2007 MVP Jimmy Rollins.  The Phillies have now lost 8 of their last 9 and will be happy to travel to Tampa Bay for a World Series rematch this week.

Mets fans have that same look

Mets fans have that same look

6-20-09: Johan Santana(8-5) pitched 7.1 innings on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Citi Field, giving up only 2 runs.  The problem was that James Shields(6-5) went 7 innings while only giving up one run, including setting down his final 14 who faced him on route to the win.  The Mets can be happy that Santana had a nice bounce back start, but it is bittersweet since they still lost the game 3-1.  J.P. Howell got his 4th save in the 9th inning of the game.

Schneider with another 3 run HR

Schneider with another 3 run HR

6-21-09: On Sunday, The Mets offense came to play, the problem was that the pitching decided to stay home.  Seven Mets pitchers stumbled through the game, giving up leads two separate times en route to a 10-6 loss.  The loss gets pinned on Bobby Parnell(2-3) who looks to be worn out lately after a blazing start to the season.  The Rays relief pitching wasn’t up to par either, but the hitting bailed them out.  Joe Nelson(2-0) got the win while giving up an earned run on a 3 run home run to Schneider in the 6th with two men on.  The Mets will now welcome in the NL Central Division leading Cardinals for a four game set.  For all Mets info, visit The Real Dirty Mets Blog.

Josh Johnson stifles another NY team

Josh Johnson stifles another NY team

6-20-09: The Marlins rebounded from a loss to the empire on Friday night with a lights out performance from Josh Johnson.  Johnson(7-1) went 7 innings giving up just 3 hits in earning another victory against a team hailing from New York.  A.J. Burnett(5-4) was hurt by bad play in the field by Johnny Damon and was collared with a tough loss.  Matt Lindstrom worked the 9th inning on only 6 pitches for his 13th save of the season.

Girardi argues a double switch

Girardi argues a double switch

6-21-09: Sunday brought another 35,827 (Yankee) fans to Land Shark Stadium in Florida, hoping to see their former home town Yankees win with the ace on the mound.  They saw nothing like that, including Sabathia leaving after only 1.1 IP and giving up 1 earned run with tightness in his left biceps.  The bullpen managed to piece it together pretty well for the rest of the game, except for Brett Tomko(0-2) who gave up 3 runs in two innings to take the loss.  The Marlins and starter Chris Volstad(5-7) who got the win, took advantage of a rough day for Yankee pitching and took 2 out of 3 this weekend.  Matt Lindstrom got his 14th save of the season, but he left the tying and go ahead runs on base when Derek Jeter made the final out.  The Yankees are protesting the game though because of a lineup mixup in the 8th inning, so we will keep an eye on that, odds are nothing changes.  The Marlins will welcome in the suddenly hot Orioles to Miami this weekend, after the O’s have won 5 in a row against the Mets and Phillies.

Lowe gets a nice ovation, and a loss

Lowe gets a nice ovation, and a loss

6-20-09: Fresh off a great start by Kawakami on Friday night, the Braves hoped to have another top notch performance by their ace, Derek Lowe.  Unfortunately, they saw another masterful performance by a former NL East foe, Josh Beckett.  Josh Beckett(8-3) continued his resurgence this season with a complete game 5-hit shutout of the Braves on Saturday night while striking out 7 and giving up 11 hits.  Derek Lowe pitched into the seventh inning while being charged with all 3 runs but received a great ovation by the Boston faithful when he left the mound.

Bobby Cox gets tossed...again

Bobby Cox gets tossed...again

6-21-09: Sunday brought a common site to Brave fans, as Bobby Cox was tossed yet again.  The Boston Red Sox won in walk off fashion on a Nick Green hit an unexpected home run in the bottom of the 9th.  Jonathan Papelbon(1-1) got the win in teh back and forth game, as Braves reliever Jeff Bennett(2-4) gave up the homerun to Green for the loss.  The tough loss gave the Red Sox the series victory and the Braves missed another chance to gain ground on both the Mets and the Phillies in the NL East.  The Braves return home to face the Yankees on Tuesday night, and visit The Braves Baseball Blog for more Braves news and info

Alberto Gonzalez reacts to another walk off

Alberto Gonzalez reacts to another walk off

6-20-09: The Washington Nationals are getting used to this walk off thing and this winning thing!  The Nats won their second straight game in walk off fashion and the fourth overall.  In the bottom of the 12th inning, after failing to move Alberto Gonzalez over on a sacrifice bunt, Willie Harris decided to end the game himself.  Harris hit his 2nd home run of the year, and sent Scott Richmond(5-4) to the loss in the 12th inning.  Julian Tavarez (3-4) got the win after pitching 1.2 innings of scoreless relief for the Nationals.

Acta is still the manager!

Acta is still the manager!

6-21-09: Over a week after reports surfaced that his job was in jeopardy, Manny Acta was managing and going for a series sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays at home.  He should just be glad he still has a job, as the Blue Jays were able to manage a win and avoid the sweep of the last place Nationals.   Behind 9 runs and 5 RBI from Lyle Overbay, Ricky Romero(4-3) got the win on 7 strong innings of 2 run ball.  Nationals rookie Sharon Martis(5-2) took only his second loss of the year, despite an ERA over 5.  The Nats welcome in another big task as the Boston Red Sox come to town this Tuesday night.  Check out CenterfieldGate for more information on the Nats.

For more information on the National League East this week, stop back for the NL East Series preview later today.