Since this is the last season in which I will get to gripe about Bobby Cox's tactical decisions, I need to get my licks in. Bobby has managed the last two games as if the Braves are nine games up in September as opposed to scuffling around .500 in May. When I looked at Sunday's lineup, my first thought was that Bobby was trying to insult the Pirates, maybe as a last thumb in the eye of our opponents in the '91 and '92 NLCSs. No Chipper, no McCann, no Heyward, no Hinske. The lineup included Brett Cleven, as well as Melky (.299 OBP), Yunel (.272 OBP), and McLouth (.316 OBP). I understand giving one or two guys the day off for a day game after a long night game, but the lineup resembled what I would expect from Mark Richt in the fourth quarter of a game against Tennessee-Chattanooga. Eric Hinske is f***ing torrid; why is he sitting on the bench under any circumstances? Sure enough, Hinske got one plate appearance, hit a game-tying homer, and the Braves lost in extra innings.
Then last night, the Braves were down 3-2 in the 8th against the Marlins with the top of the order around the corner in the 9th. What in G-d's name was Jesse Chavez doing in the game? It was a miracle of the first order that Chavez made it through the seventh without allowing a run. What are the odds that a reliever with a 7+ ERA is going to throw a second scoreless inning? We sent Craig Kimbrel to the minors because he wasn't getting enough work, but we keep sending Chavez to the hill? Was Rick Luecken not available?