Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Braves Game Notes

Notes I took at the Braves 3 – 1 win over the Phillies Tuesday night…

Was LaRoche a late scratch from the game? He was announced as a defensive starter, though Thorman took the field, and had been previously announced in the batting order. Moments later a correction was announced.

Hudson: seven shutout innings and a quality start. Then Baez comes in and walks three straight. Wayne Franklin gives up a drive to the CF fence. Yates comes in to end the inning. Summarizes the season…good outings followed by bad outings. As Baez was given the hook, Matthew said “maybe he should be an outfielder.” I once worked with a Wayne Franklin…a John Wayne Franklin.

I wondered how quickly Cox would go back to the squeeze after the first one was fouled off. The Phillies were ready for it and pitched high, but Hudson got it down.

Diaz made several good hustle plays in left, and almost lost one in the lights…like Burrell did Monday night (did this contribute to Burrell not starting Tuesday?). Diaz also hustled on his triple in his second AB, narrowly missing an opposite-field HR. He even leans way back while he’s on deck. Diaz had his name mis-pronounced by the fan in the pre-game introductions.

Burrell pinch hit…his stats this year are not as good as Francoeur’s. Question: Sunday the outfield wore their navy socks high, presumably to help stop the losing streak. Since they won, why didn’t they continue with the socks on Monday? Chipper wore his high just once to honor Steve Bedrosian, had a good game, and continued for several years.

JF appeared to take his time on Howard’s double into the corner…the ball didn’t bound out like it often does. I thought JF might’ve been goading Howard into going for third, but surely not. Giles made a great relay, quickly getting rid of the ball even though JF’s throw was a little high…and making a perfect throw to nail Howard. After the out the big screen showed Giles, then Aybar, then JF…who flashed a quick smile. A later replay showed JF checking the big screen after the putout…probably checking the screen for the replay himself.

Giles also made another great play charging in on the ball…similar to the one he had made the night before. Why did he try to stretch his 6th inning single into a double? Would’ve been a big spark, but I knew he was out the second I saw him go for it.

At one point in the game McCann had is average up to .352…it appears to go down after his 7th inning double. When he hit it, I told Matthew to watch JF hustle around the bases. I was hoping to see him score from first, but he was correctly held at third. Exciting to watch Diaz and Thorman drive in JF and McCann.

Bad call on the Phillies “double play”. The high-bouncer to third wasn’t a double-play ball, and Utley wasn’t going to throw to first. Andruw appeared to slide close enough to the bag to touch it with his hands, and then slid past the bag. Then Utley pointed to where Andruw finished, and then the ump promptly called Francoeur out at first, though there was no way Utley could’ve thrown him out. Wasn’t it Utley who did the same thing to Giles last night?

Andruw looked like there was no way the 8th inning bases-loaded fly was leaving the park. Heads up play to throw to second, keeping the tying run out of scoring position. This week he’s been wearing some retro Air Jordans with white trim and laces. Arthur Rhodes was also wearing Jordans during BP.

Francoeur was taking grounders at third during BP, with Chipper, who I didn’t see hit. JF never made it to the outfield. Chipper hung around with the Phillies, and Thorman gave fellow Canadian Scott Mathieson a big hug and long chat. It was John Lieber’s day to long toss, which he did early in the Braves BP session. As he walked unnoticed back to the dugout from left field, he spied a little girl in the third-base stands, where everyone’s attention was on the cage. He then backtracked to pick up a ball, and put it in her lap as he walked by.

With few fans in the left-field bleachers when we arrived, Matthew and I took seats on the front row. Soon McCann and Diaz come out to shag flies, and McCann tossed his first ball to me for Matthew…a big thrill for Matthew: a ball from his favorite player. Diaz tossed a ball to a little girl’s dad next to us, and her bigger sister commented that she needed one now. Later McBride tossed a ball that would pass me to get to the girl’s dad. I considered intercepting it but didn’t. The dad looked at me and said “you look familiar”. Turned out to be a guy I’d known in college, who now lived in Macon, so we had plenty to catch up on. As I was pointing out Will to him, a BP HR bounded backwards, and Will snared it barehanded. Later the friend made it to his upper deck seats…right in from of us.

When the Phillies took BP, Randy Wolf stood in centerfield, scanning the stands for someone to through the ball. He settled on us, way over in LF. He made the long throw, and I reached out and caught it, in front of Will, who was to my right. As Wolf watched, I then pointed to Matthew, then Will. Wolf pointing to his left/my right, so I handed the ball to Will. Moments later Will did something heartwarming…he gave the ball to two brothers he didn’t know, who hadn’t gotten a ball.

…Frequent attender John Parkes found me in the stands. I think he said he was singing the anthem Friday night with the JFBC choir.
…For Wild West Night the “cheerleaders” ditched their Braves “jerseys” for skimpy western attire, making them blend in to the crowd.
…Late in the game a beautiful orange full moon rose through the clouds behind the third base stands.
…Tuesday was Phillies pitcher Brian Sanches’ birthday.
…Why did the Marlins fire Joe Giraldi?
…Didn’t see Terry McGuirk is his usual box seat. Wasn’t the meeting in Toronto cancelled?

No comments: