Morning Chop: Tomahawk Take’s Summary of Atlanta Braves News
Editorial Note: I’m reporting various news stories about last night’s disappointing loss by the Braves in game 4 of the NLDS, but my heart’s not in it! We shouldn’t, and I repeat SHOULDN’T have lost that game! That said, the season is over for the Atlanta Braves, and while we need to look forward, we’ll have MANY thoughts here at Tomahawk Take about what went wrong, what could have been, and what the future holds. The HOT STOVE season is upon us earlier than we’d hoped. Without further ado, read on young man (or woman) and weep as I do. Tomorrow is another day!
~ Chris Headrick
Co-Editor, Tomahawk Take
Uribe’s homer powers Dodgers over Braves, to NLCS
Uribe launched an eighth-inning offering by David Carpenter high into the October sky, sending the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves and to the National League Championship Series.
Dodger Stadium literally shook when Uribe’s two-run home run landed on the other side of the left-field wall and instantly reversed what was a 3-2 deficit.
On a day that started with manager Don Mattingly defending his decision to start Kershaw on three days’ rest, the Dodgers won the best-of-five series, three games to one.
The chants of the home crowd drowned out Uribe’s voice when the third baseman was interviewed over the public-address system after the game. When the champagne celebration started in the clubhouse, Uribe was in the middle of a circle of players, who sprayed him. Uribe was embraced by General Manager Ned Colletti, who was widely criticized for signing him to a $21 million contract three years ago.
“This moment, I’ll never forget,” Uribe said.
Who would have imagined?
Where’s Craig Kimbrel? Not in the game
… As the Braves hit in the ninth inning, the camera panned to Kimbrel in the bullpen, warming up. At one point he turned to the bullpen coach and said, “I’m mad because …” I’m not exactly sure what he said after that, although one person on Twitter surmised it was “I’m mad because I told him if we have the lead in the eighth, I want the ball.” We’ll see if Kimbrel confirms that, but even if he didn’t say that, his look of disgust, standing there with his hands on his hips, will haunt Braves fans all winter.
This should be covered in Managing 101. You can’t lose a game without getting your best reliever in there, especially one with Kimbrel’s credentials, at some point. Who cares if it’s the seventh inning or the eighth inning or the ninth. Just use him. Isn’t that the most important thing? I’d rather lose with Carpenter in the ninth inning or the 10th inning or whenever, at least knowing I had used Kimbrel at some juncture.
Look, managing your bullpen in a structured manner in the regular season is one thing.
October is not the regular season.
Fredi Gonzalez didn’t think the best reliever in the game can get six outs.
He ended up getting none.
Don’t blame Fredi Gonzalez for last night’s loss. Blame the Braves culture
I got a lot of emails asking me if I had a heart attack and died after last night’s game. Folks: I’ve been watching the Braves woof themselves out of the playoffs early for many-a-year now. So, yes, it sucked, but any Braves fan claiming their heart was unexpectedly ripped out last night is either very young or hasn’t been paying a lot of attention. You steel yourself for that at this point.
More specifically, people are asking about the decision to let David Carpenter pitch to Juan Uribe with a man on in the eighth last night rather than go to Craig Kimbrel. About that, my thoughts are a bit mixed.
Free agency probably splits Brian McCann and Braves
If Game 4 of the NLDS was the last for Brian McCann as a member of the Atlanta Braves, it was a rough way to go out. McCann struck out four times Monday night, finishing 0 for 13 in the series, and the Los Angeles Dodgers eliminated the Braves 4-3 after Juan Uribe hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning.
McCann did catch Yasiel Puig stealing second base in the fourth inning after Elliot Johnson pickedMcCann’s throw out of the dirt. So there’s that. Even though it long has been established that McCann would file for free agency this offseason, he and the Braves haven’t had to face the likelihood of separation until now. McCann, who turns 30 in February, went to high school in Duluth, Ga., and was drafted by the Braves in 2002. As a professional, they’re all he knows.
Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was with McCann after what might have been his last game as a Braves player:
“Man, I’m not sure,” McCann said. “It’s kind of hard to think about that right now. I’m just going to try to put it in the back of my mind and whatever happens is going to happen.”