Monday, August 08, 2005
You gave up a game-winning homer...
to this f***ing guy?
I was all ready to throw laurels on Jorge Sosa, Jeff Francoeur, and Tim Hudson, whose decision to bring out the splitfinger pitch was likened by my wife to Derek Zoolander busting out Magnum, and then one inning of madness by Chris Reitsma ruined what would have been a 4-2 road trip, a victorious weekend in St. Louis (the Braves will beat the Cardinals as currently constituted in the playoffs, but there's no way that they'll be this unhealthy in the postseason,) and a 6.5 game lead in the division heading into the 12-game homestand against the NL West that looks for all the world like it will be the Braves' chance to put the East away. (That, for the record, is the longest sentence ever.) Now, we have to worry that if the Braves do make it to an NLCS against St. Louis (and my suspicion is that the Astros are going to vanquish both the Braves and Cardinals,) they'll do so with a set-up man who has a double-digit career ERA at Busch Stadium and a closer whose last inning there involved allowing four runs in 1/3rd of an inning against Abraham Nunez, So Taguchi, Hector Luna, Scott Seabol, and David Eckstein. You never want to read too much into one game or one appearance, but Farnsworth and Reitsma are the keys to the team now that the starting pitching and lineup are settled and they did not have a good day Sunday.
Other thoughts from the weekend:
1. A discouraging thought about a potential match-up with the Cards: the Braves didn't hit either Mark Mulder or Chris Carpenter this weekend. On the other hand, the Cards didn't hit Tim Hudson and one suspects that John Smoltz will pitch better in October, given his history in the post-season.
2. An encouraging thought: Jeff Francoeur is the new Vlad Guerrero. Seriously, are pitchers going to start throwing him nothing but balls to see if he will get himself out? Is he eventually going to be forced to take a walk?
3. In the realm of "don't read too much into one game," here's an interesting parallel: in April, I was in Charlottesville for my law school reunion when the Braves were hosting the Cardinals. On Sunday, I was driving back listening to the rubber game of the series and Dan Kolb had his finest moment as a Brave, retiring the heart of the Cards' order to protect a 2-1 lead. This past weekend, during the Braves-Cards return leg, the wife and I were in Charlottesville for a wedding party, driving home on Sunday listening to the rubber game and Chris Reitsma blew a 3-1 lead in the 9th. Conclusion: Kolb is better than Reitsma?
4. Speaking of Senor Doodie, the wife and I went to BW3 in C'ville when we got to town on Friday night and as the Braves' pen was imploding in the 8th inning, she looked at the giant TV and then excitedly told me to avert my eyes because "IT'S DAN DOODIE!!! AAAAAHH!!!" I spun it positively, saying that an 8-1 game is exactly the sort of situation that's appropriate for Dan. (BW3, by the way, has terrific spicy BBQ sauce and the one in C'ville has great local color. On Friday night, the wife and I were treated to a local proclaiming that he could drive drunk all the way home to Waynesboro and a middle-aged floozy in a turquoise get-up with a bad blonde dye job breaking down because she forgot to pay her bill and was flagged down in the parking lot by a waiter. You gotta love rural Virginia.)