V Vernacular

03/31/2008 (8:14 am)

“Mistakes Were Made”

Filed under: Chipper,Heap,Huddy

Here’s a quote from Heap in the AJC article about last night’s game:

“We made some mental mistakes on the bases early . . .”

We, Heap?

That game had a surreal feeling to it. Things went a little too perfectly for the Nationals on the night of their new stadium’s opening and in the presence of the President, and we looked like a bunch of clowns (save for Huddy, who was fantastic). And to cap it all off with a walk-off homer by Zimmerman? Psssh. I demand a full investigation!

What was Chipper doing during the national anthem? Crossing himself? Since when is he Catholic? I did enjoy his typically forthcoming therapy session with the press. “Zim put us out of our misery” is a particularly excellent Chipper quote to start the season.

09/16/2007 (4:14 pm)

Awwww . . .

Filed under: Heap,Huddy

Now that was just downright heartwarming.

Way to go, Huddy (and Heap).

05/06/2007 (9:21 am)

“Stuff-Wise”

Filed under: Davies,Frenchy,Huddy

Now that we’re back in second place, let’s check out the explanations for our loss to the Dodgers last night:

Huddy, you’re up first:

“I felt like I went out there and pitched as good as I could tonight with the kind of stuff that I had. But Derek came out there and he was throwing wiffle balls at us. He was really good.”

Reason Number One: Wiffle Balls

Frenchy, you’re always good for an ‘aw, shucks’ or two after a loss:

“That’s some of the filthiest stuff I’ve ever seen,” said Jeff Francoeur, who accounted for two of the eight strikeouts registered by Lowe. “When you’re getting behind a guy like him all night like we were, it’s not easy to score runs.”

Reason Number Two: The Filthiest Stuff Frenchy Has Ever Seen. For anyone who isn’t keeping tabs on beat quotes: he says this at least once a week.

Huddy, how about one more?

“It happened quick,” said Hudson, who has worked at least seven innings in each of his first seven starts. “I could have been better tonight. I wasn’t quite as good as I could have been, location-wise and stuff-wise.”


Reason Number Three: Stuff

Let’s hope Davies is decent this afternoon — location-wise seems to be too much to hope for with him, but “stuff-wise” . . . maybe. As long as Wolf isn’t throwing wiffle balls, we’ve got a chance.

04/26/2007 (7:35 am)

Wait . . . What?

Filed under: Heap,Huddy,Kelly,Langerhans,Smoltz

I’m so frustrated over that game last night, I’m sitting here having to tell myself to calm down. I was already in an overemotional baseball place after coming across a documentary about Cubs fans during lunch yesterday, which somehow had me in near tears for an hour. And now this happens, with no baseball tonight to erase it.

First of all, why in the fucking hell was Wilson taking up space in the lineup last night? Bobby’s really that much of a slave to lefty-righty, when Thor finally gets going and has some momentum, he sits him just in case Wilson has the slightest chance of doing anything, ever? Which he does not? Have? At all? And why did Matty come out of the game when he finally started hitting, including a homer? Why is Langerhans anywhere near the batter’s box, even when it looks like we have the game in the bag? I know these two things might not have made a difference, but we had a better chance with Thor and Matty than with Guaranteed Outs Number One and Two, and I’m just so tired of lefty-righty every night, I’m going to start blaming it for everything, even losses like this.

Not really, but God, that game was infuriating. Scooter homered in his first at-bat, which had me laughing out loud with delight — that is so Scooter, it’s like his signature move — then Chipper, and Huddy was amazing, and Cabrera was limping around uselessly, and if Huddy couldn’t do the complete game, we had three guys who could save it, no problem. Even when Bobby left Huddy in to finish it, no alarm bells really went off for me — he looked fine in the eighth. He should have come out after giving up back to back hits, but what the hell are you gonna do. That one just really hurt.

To make us all feel better, here’s the picture of Smoltz with little Heap (and his brother, on the far left), with thanks to Dave for sending it to me:

Alright, even that didn’t really cheer me up. We’d better sweep the mother ‘effin Rockies this weekend. And if I even catch sight of Wilson or Langerhans during any of the games (and, let’s face it, I definitely will: ending rallies, hitting into double plays — they’ll be around, doing their thing, no matter what), well, I’ll . . . rant at my TV. Sigh.

04/21/2007 (9:58 am)

Larry Loves NYC

Filed under: Chipper,Frenchy,Huddy

Is it just me, or was that game about ten minutes long? I had such a great time watching it, it was over too soon! But I certainly appreciated Huddy’s quick innings — he has truly blown me away so far this season. I was one of Huddy’s biggest detractors last year, and it’s so nice to finally be able to like him. I probably said “Huddy, who are you, I love you!” about eight hundred times last night.

Could that game have been any better? Chipper’s first-pitch homer, Huddy snapping David Wright’s hit streak (I was praying that would happen, even though I like Wright — it just had to be us who killed it dead, it was too perfect), Frenchy walking in a run, baby pictures of Heap (including that one with full-grown Smoltz, oh my LORD), Rent calling out a Mets fan who was fucking around with a laser pen (nice confidence in your team there, and 1995 called, it wants its lame prank back), Smoltz bullying Orr in the dugout, and Frenchy bragging that he has not been eating fruits and vegetables as his doctor ordered — man. I enjoyed the hell out of every minute.

Sic ‘em, Chuckie! Kick ‘em when they’re down!

04/11/2007 (8:34 am)

The Frenchy Psychoanalysis Era Continues

Filed under: Frenchy,Huddy,Non-Braves

Yesterday’s win was nice, with a few things that made me nervous early on, but seemed to right themselves by the end. At first, Huddy’s high pitch count was worrisome. He was getting his outs, but he was just throwing way too many pitches, and it’s the Nationals, so you’re going to get outs either way. But he really tightened up after the first few innings, and ended up going for seven with a relatively low pitch count overall.

Frenchy had a bad start, too, but came away with 5 RBIs in the end. Chop-n-Change has a nice comparison of his numbers so far this year with those from 2006 and 2005, which show that he’s really not being much more patient. And this quote from the AJC coverage of the game is a little concerning:

“I was very frustrated with myself after my first two at-bats,” said Francoeur, who drove in five runs twice before, including last May against the Nationals.

“Four straight balls to Andruw, I let that pitcher out of that inning real easy. I think I swung at a 51-foot pitch my second time, struck out. And really got 0-2 on some bad pitches on my third at-bat. But it took me that to really lock in and get focused.”

Does he really need to keep failing several times before he can calm down and remember how to work a pitch count? Is that what he’s saying? Did he learn nothing from his great final at-bat on Sunday? Why can’t he just keep previous “frustration” (such as most of his 2006) in mind instead of continuing to make outs until he remembers how to hit? It should be pretty exciting to see him hitting over .300 early in the season, just as a nice confidence boost to get him started, but if he’s gaining confidence without really changing anything . . . that ain’t good.

While we’re beating up the Nats, the Mets are beating up the Phillies. And they’re also, ah, well, see for yourself:

They’ve cloned him! And speaking of Frenchy, I would fear for his life if the Mets actually cloned David Wright. He tends to act like an eight-year-old superfan in the presence of Frenchy. I had a laugh about it last year during one series with the Mets, when we were sitting along the third base line. DW bounced all over Frenchy every time he got to third, talked his ear off, and practically gave him a back rub during game play. At the game on Sunday, Wright ran all the way over to Frenchy in the outfield at the start of the national anthem, and stood out there yakking away through the whole song.

He looks a little confused and nervous about this wax figure business. Like he’s really glad he’s holding a bat, just in case he sees that thing blink.

04/05/2007 (8:06 am)

Let the Wacky Races Begin!

Every now and then, the Braves play a game that comes off looking like an episode of the Wacky Races. A Wacky Races game necessarily involves extra innings, some combination of weird errors and amazing plays, and fans acting like morons. Usually, it also involves the Cubs. Like that game last year, where we hit nine homers in twelve innings, Reitsma gave up about eighty runs at some point, a crazed Cubs fan ran onto the field and got tackled, and we ended up winning because of a Cubs error that involved a ball bouncing off an infielder’s head. This was also the game where Reitsma ate part of a towel in the dugout.

So anyway, that game, last night? I can’t believe we’re pulling out the Wacky Races shit this early in the season, I love it! Not only was game play weird, there was a ton of crazy crap going on all night.

At first, it was just a great pitching duel. I hate Cole Hamels, but I have to admit he looked good, and Huddy! Where have you been all my life? But there were little pockets of weirdness even early on. I was listening to the audio from the radio, so I didn’t hear the explanation for this if there was one, but just WHAT was Chuckie doing with those cups of coffee?? Cause he certainly wasn’t drinking them, though he looked like he might have had about eight cups before the game. He was pretty constantly jumping, when he wasn’t mysteriously pouring coffee back and forth between two cups. And Heap calling time for his eyedrops was pretty bizarre, too, though I sympathize with him. My contacts drive me crazy on a regular basis, and I don’t go to work in a huge bowl of dust and dirt every day.

Is is just me, or is Chipper stepping up to coach our relief staff while McDowell naps in the dugout? He again came over to give Gonzo advice during that crazy ass 8th inning. I was starting to think Heap and Gonzo were intentionally acting like they were out of their minds to scare the hitters (it didn’t work, but the runners may have been affected). Heap chucked the ball into center while trying to throw out a runner, and Gonzo was pacing all over the field, muttering to himself. But of course, the inning ended pretty memorably, cause he wouldn’t be Heap if he didn’t instantly redeem himself, and the Frenchy-Kelly-Heap tag at the plate was just lovely.

And speaking of Pitching Coach Chipper Jones, when Chipper snuck up behind Wicky and scared the shit out of him??! Yeah, I haven’t laughed that hard in awhile, though I was also laughing hysterically after Heap’s ninth inning home run. I don’t know, there was just no way Heap was going to hit a two-run homer off of Gordon on the first pitch, but then he did, it was funny.

Of course, the Philly fans, in their typical classy fashion, immediately began throwing “debris” onto the field after Heap’s homer. And the Sports South broadcast replayed the little dip thing that Heap does with Andruw now (you’ll know if/when you’ve seen it, it’s dorky) almost as many times as they replayed him tagging Howard out at the plate.

The Philly fans were really giving Frenchy hell over there in the corner, and I hope I’m not the only one who caught the psycho-killer grins he gave them. Only Frenchy punching a drunken Philly fan in the face could have made this game more wacky. If only they let ballplayers get away with that kind of thing, I’m pretty sure he would have been up for it.

Anyway, it was a really fun, satisfying win, with Thor as the 11th inning hero. If this is the way the games are going to go this season, bring it the hell on. I’m starting to think the whole season is going to be one long Wacky Race.

On a slightly different note, thanks to reader Daniel for directing my attention to this amusing video of Andruw drinking whynatte (coffee and Jagermeister). And speaking of coffee, seriously, someone explain what was up with Chuckie and that coffee. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Jagermeister was involved somehow.