Phillies 5, Braves 7

ESPN Box Score

Mike Foltynewicz set the tone early with a 1-2-3 first inning with two strikeouts. He looked pretty good for the most part, overpowering several hitters with seven strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. Pitch count forced him out of the game in the 6th, and Cody Martin and Luis Avilan combined to allow two of his baserunners to score, making his final line look less impressive than it otherwise could have been. He ended the evening having surrendered 3 walks, 7 hits, and 4 runs. He’s going to be a fun pitcher to watch.

The Reason got the Braves on the board with a solo home run in the bottom of the 1st, and doubled to lead off 4th. He came around to score the Braves second run on Freddie Freeman’s first double of the night.

In the 5th, the Braves bats went a little crazy, as Jace Peterson and Cameron Maybin started the inning with back-to-back hits, and Maybin moved into scoring position with a stolen base. Foltynewicz helped his own cause by making contact and picking up his third career RBI with a sac fly. Considering he never had a single at-bat in his professional career before last Friday, he is certainly making hitting at a major league level look pretty easy. Nick Markakis and Simmons followed with another set of back-to-back singles—Nick’s was of the RBI variety—and Freddie hit his second double of the night to make it 6-1. His first was a bloop down the left field line, while his second was scorched down the right field line. Shows you how impartial he is when it comes to dominating on a baseball field.

Ryan Howard continued his Braves bashing ways with a solo homer off Foltynewicz in the 6th, and Jeff Francoeur added the newest volume in The Revenge of the Alumnus saga with an RBI single later on in that inning. We may very well singlehandedly resurrect Melvin Upton’s career June 8-10, and with the number of former Braves on the Padres roster, I fully expect that series to feature the first game in history in which a team loses 26 to -3.

Markakis brought Peterson home on a double in the 6th inning to complete the Braves scoring. Jason Grilli made things interesting in the top of the 9th, allowing the tying run to come to the plate with two outs. He allowed one of those runs to score before striking out Odubel Herrera to end the game.

The top of the lineup had an incredible night, combining to go 8-for-12 with 4 doubles, a home run, 4 runs scored, and 6 RBIs. Simmons was a triple shy of the cycle, and somehow managed not to hit into any double plays. Peterson picked up two hits and scored two runs and did a good job getting on base for the top of the lineup. Those players were so effective that Christian Bethancourt’s ongoing offensive struggles could easily be pushed into background. His 0-for-4 night included two strikeouts and a GIDP. It’s always taken him awhile to hit at each level he’s played in, but you do feel for him as he sits under the Upton line.

151 thoughts on “Phillies 5, Braves 7”

  1. @2 because any team can lose a 7 game series to any other team. We out scored them for that series, but we lost the close ones. That was the best team we’ve ever had, and I hated that they didn’t get to play in the big show.

  2. For whatever it is worth, I like Craig Counsell as a manager, as the Brewers made him their skipper earlier this week. He is a smart gamer that always contributed the small things to win a ball game. Not sure of his interpersonal skills – – which are critical – – but good hire by the Brewers.

  3. Yay, .500.

    Yeah, for some reason, the ’93 & ’98 NLCS losses bugged me almost as much as anything. Philly had a terrific lineup, some amazing platoons going on & a decent rotation. Still, we managed to cough up 2 extra-inning games (after tying them in the 9th) & lost another one 2-1.

    I’m sorry, but I find that hysterical, in a burning-car-wreck-that’s-getting-hit-with-RPGs kinda way. (Does that make me a bad person?) Get a promoter for the pay-per-view.

    I can do some here & there, but can’t commit to a particular day at the moment. You can hit me via email & we can figure out something.

  4. Great game at the plate for Simba. Still want him to switch spots with Markakis. Or let him break the record. Either way.

  5. The summer is the hardest time for me to do stuff. I feel like I should commit to picking up some slack in the offseason.

  6. Trade CB and he will be an allstar…at least against us…will the Braves pitchers ever learn that you can not beat Howard with hard stuff, I would walk hime all day every time before I let him take me deep every game! Unbelievable!!
    Otherwsie love that Folty arm….ready to see Williams tee it up next.

  7. The Jace Peterson Fan Club will have everyone know that his average has climbed to .286, with his OBP at .360.


  8. I am happy to do an occasional recap as well.

    @13. Simmons is responsible for more than 40% of the team’s positive WAR, and after last night he’s sporting the second highest oWAR. If Simmons is really a 125 OPS+ guy over the long term and Jace can manage a .360+ OBP then this team is set in the infield and might actually have a chance to compete in 2017. We only need to find 3 starting outfielders. I’d be happy to have one.

  9. I think cake has done a good job in RF.

    edit: I was looking at Maybin’s slash line and thinking that all of us would have given anything for BUpton to have hit as well.

  10. Jace is doing well. Gosh, I know that averages fluctuate a lot at this juncture of the season but if Simmons could somehow maintain somewhere near this pace he is a super duper star. Of course I sure wish he’d stop hitting into DPs too.

  11. @15-Despite a hot start Markakis has so far amassed exactly 0 WAR. I don’t see how we are going to be able to avoid negative numbers in years 3 and 4. For 2017 we might only have two open spots, but we are still going to be short 3 outfielders.

    Edit: I just realized we have a 9 million dollar team option for Maybin in 2017. If he could turn into an above average starter that would be a huge break for us.

  12. I wouldn’t worry about WAR numbers at this point in the season. Dee Gordon leads the league with a 2.1WAR, followed by Mike Trout at 2.0

  13. Maybin is a strange case. His OPS is more than a hundred points higher than his career average. He’s still striking out a ton, but while he’s drawing a few more walks the main difference is slugging. The odds are that it’s just a small sample size aberration, but his minor league numbers always suggested he could hit for decent power relative to his position and there is always that very slight chance that hitting at Petco messed him up.

  14. @20. Other than wins and losses, WAR is one of the few stats that actually has some meaning this early in the season. Dee Gordon’s 2.1 WAR is money in the bank, so to speak. And unless he can start hitting something other than singles it is hard to see how Markakis is going to provide much positive WAR going forward.

  15. The most encouraging thing to me is that Simmons has walked 9 times in 117 PA and hasn’t seen his strikeouts go up in response. If he keeps up this 8% walk rate and 4% K rate, he will be an above average offensive SS to go along with superstar defense.

    @18, Markakis has a sexy batting average, but a .340 slugging percentage is not a hot start. He has had almost no power as of yet. If he finishes the year with 25 doubles and zero HR, he will surely be a replacement level player.

  16. So the other day, Bill James wrote that “[Chipper] kept himself at third base by making an issue of it when the team tried to move him to a position he could actually play.”

    It struck me as not particularly true, but it also strikes me that I’m definitely biased and possibly ignorant.

    Can anyone shed some light one way or the other? Not on my ignorance, but on Chipper “making an issue” of moving away from 3rd.

  17. 2013 6th rounder SP Steve Janas seems to have figured something out this year. Had a (7 inning) 1-hitter yesterday and had a great start into the season at Carolina:

    Does anyone know anything about him?

  18. @24, Chipper Jones was a decent third baseman, not a major liability in the field. A lot of the stink about his defense came from untimely playoff errors, one of which unfortunately came in his final game as a Brave. He may have choked in the playoffs, or it may have just been bad timing, but during the regular season, he was fine in the field.

  19. @25, I know nothing about him, but one of my favorite things in the baseball season is the emergence of some heretofore unknown commodity in the minors. It happens every year.

    BTW, Andrew Thurman is doing pretty well at Carolina, too.

  20. @26

    Well I’m not sure whether I think he was alright or kind of bad as a third baseman, but that’s not my issue. I just don’t remember him raising a stink. My memory is that he was always a pretty team-first player–but my memory might be BS here. That’s what I’m trying to figure out.

  21. Chipper was willing to go to left field, but after a few years out there, as I recall, he was not shy in expressing his desire to return to third. Defensively, he was below-average but he certainly didn’t kill you.

  22. The Braves had probably the best pitching staff of all time in the ’90s, and it strains credulity that they could do so with a butcher playing 160 games on the infield every season.

    I sometimes wonder how much Baseball Prospectus had to do with poisoning Chipper’s defensive reputation. He certainly wasn’t a Gold Glover over there, but he wasn’t nearly as bad as their annual cry that he be moved to first or left so he’d stop killing the team would have you believe.

  23. “…a position he could actually play”? For all his problems defensively, I never looked at Chipper at third and thought to myself that he couldn’t or shouldn’t play the position. I don’t recall 30-year old Chipper being any better in left, and the numbers appear to bear that out.

    It’s a weird statement, not least because the Braves didn’t just try to move him to left field, they did it for two years and 300 games. After the move back to replace a struggling Mark Derosa, I recall it being a pretty common sentiment, for Braves fans at least, that chasing balls around the outfield led to the injuries that would hamper him for the rest of his career.

  24. Chipper was very good at bare handing slow rollers up the third-base line and making a strong, accurate throw to first.

  25. Thanks. All of that squares with what I know and believe bout it.

    @29, Right, and if I were him I’d have done it too. He knew he needed to be in the line-up as often as possible for the team to win. That wasn’t going to happen if he kept sprinting after liners in left.

  26. Mac always used to say that the Baseball-Prospectus numbers for Chipper were clearly incorrect, and my recollection is that Mac said that the numbers were equally bad when Vinny Castilla and Mark DeRosa played third, which suggested that BP had an Atlanta problem. If I recall correctly, Mac thought it might have had something to do with defensive positioning, but I don’t know for sure.

  27. Alex:

    If you have my e-mail — since it is required, I assume you do — please contact me. I would love to recap once a week but currently am indisposed by a situation I think will soon be resolved. If you’re willing to delay my start, please let me know.

    Thank you for all your good work.

  28. My evening schedule is super random, so recapping is a non-starter for me. So I feel the least I can do (literally, the bare-minimum that I can do) is offer my heart-felt gratitude for those of you who keep this place chugging.

    Thank you, sincerely. This place is more fun than the games are.

  29. As Alex knows, writing is not my forte but software engineering is something I can do… so when the site is broken or needs some “enhancements” I am happy to pitch in and help. Sorry my skill set does not lend itself to helping with the recaps.

  30. I never subscribed to BP, and I don’t know whether they’ve revised their stats in the meantime, but they used to give letter grades for fielding, and I think they had him as something like a D — i.e., abysmal. Mac’s feeling, as I recall, is that he was probably more in the C- to C+ range—in other words, below average but passable.

  31. Actually, I take that back, you can basically see a good comparison here:

    B-Ref uses DRS and TotalZone, BP uses FRAA. B-Ref has Chipper at -23 fielding runs above average. BP has Chipper at -180.6 fielding runs above average — that’s a difference of 157 runs, or about 16 Wins. That’s such a vast discrepancy that there is no way to square them. One of them literally must be wrong.

  32. @42, for comparison Derek Jeter is at -246 in the BR system, and -287 in the Bpro version.

  33. A cursory examination of other 3B during the period does not appear to show discrepancies nearly as wide (though BR does appear to often be a higher number than BP).

    Matt Williams: +90 BR, +59.7 BP.
    Scott Rolen: +175 BR, +121.3 BP.
    Travis Fryman: +12 BR, +5.5 BP
    Gary Gaetti: +131 BR, +97.1 BP
    Scott Brosius: +38 BR, +29.8 BP

    I just picked those off the top of my head. The directionality is usually the same, except when it comes to the Braves.

  34. Chipper moved to LF so the Braves could sign Vinny Castilla, and moved back to 3rd when Mark DeRosa got off to a terrible start in 2004. Both moves were to help the team, so James is either mistaken or full of it.

  35. That is true, but with his constant injuries playing the outfield who could blame him?

  36. Bobby, it should be noted, backed up Chipper staying put at 3B. It wasn’t like there was a concerted push from the team to move him off the position after all the hammy tweaks/DeRosa struggles.

  37. I also remember Chipper taking less money to stay with the Braves, so I find any notion that he wasn’t a team player laughable.

  38. I think I recall Chipper taking less money but more years. He made a smart financial move for himself and it worked out for all parties involved.

  39. If David Wright hadn’t stolen Chipper’s Gold Glove in 2007, we likely wouldn’t be having this conversation. I honestly have no idea what Bill James is talking about, because Chipper did move and then got moved back because it was better for the team if he played third. Perhaps he’s referring to the calls to move him to first every time he committed an error, which got very old, but I don’t remember any noise about that coming from the team. Chipper was generally an above-average third baseman who declined into a below-average third baseman. His best defensive year was good-to-very-good. Someone who thinks he was awful did not actually watch him play.

  40. I don’t think “he kept himself at third base by making an issue of it when the team tried to move him to a position he could actually play,” really jibes with “of course, I mean, after he, you know, did that thing and it didn’t work out well.”

  41. Good, now I feel even better about having told him he was being obnoxious.

  42. I mean, for one thing, it’s factually untrue, as he didn’t, you know, keep himself at 3rd base…

  43. @57

    Ah yes…Andy Marte. That worked out well. Anyone remember what a shitstorm it was around here when he was included in the Edgar Renteria trade? Fun times.

  44. If Chipper wanted to play CF and pitched, the Braves would have and should have.

  45. That’s really cool. I’m glad that the Braves are remaining active in Latin America. We’ve had a whole lot of success with international scouting in the past, from Julio Teheran to Andruw Jones to even Damian Moss.

  46. Anybody here anything about the Cuban OF we signed?
    What was his name? Toscano or something?

  47. We were talking about Toscano a bit earlier. He arrived in the States a month ago; he needs to “establish residence here,” though I’m not totally sure what that entails, and then he’ll go to extended spring training and then Triple-A Gwinnett. Apparently, scouts see him as a fourth-outfielder type.

  48. Glavine has been the third man in the booth several games, and he has said on numerous occasions how much more fun it is to watch this style of ball than last year’s Boom and Bust Crew.

  49. #70 – Of course they do.

    The teams expectations were to win but they also traded away almost every fan favorite. Fans expectations of this team were down. However, IMO this has been a more enjoyable bunch to watch compared to what we got last September.

  50. Boom and Bust is fine when you’re winning — April was a total blast. The problem last year is that the team sucked, a lot of players underperformed their own talent, we lost a lot of games, and a team that had won 96 games that should have been a playoff contender completely spat out the bit and went home for October.

    Winning is more fun than losing, and losing games you’re supposed to win hurts worst of all. I don’t think the style of play matters that much. But I understand that’s the narrative the team would like to push.

  51. Posted a discussion board over at TT: “What should Braves do with Jose Peraza?” What is the opinion here?

    On a personal and side note concerning Tomahawk Take: When I started writing over there, our site was ranked 26th out of 30 for FanSided’s MLB sites. We just found out last week, that we have been Numero Uno for the 2015 year to date. I’m not tooting my own horn as I’m a less frequent writer than the guys that make it happen day to day, but it’s sure been fun to see such growth over the course of a year. I feel a pride similar to the worst to first season!

    So, if you have stopped by and read sometime in the past year…Thank you very much!It’s now my 2nd favorite Braves blog, but this place will always be the best!

  52. I’d like them to keep him at Gwinnett and have no hurry to promote him. I’m concerned about the lack of power: a .047 ISO isn’t very good. As far as position, since we have a need for a starter in center field, I wouldn’t have any compunction about having him learn that position and take it over. But since I don’t think his bat is quite ready either, there’s really no hurry. We can see how he’s looking in July and go from there.

  53. @76 Agreed on all fronts. Peraza is by all accounts an excellent defender, and a high-average hitter with prolific base-stealing capabilities. On the other hand, he has shown very little power or patience in the minors to date. Had as well let Peraza get fully acclimated to AAA pitching, and bring him up to the majors mid-season (or late season, depending on how well Jace Peterson plays). Frankly, I don’t think Peraza would be an immediate upgrade over the Braves’ current 2B or CF situations anyway.

    Fangraphs projects Peraza’s upside as something like .290/.340/.410; that looks about right to me, though a .120 ISO is going to require a lot more doubles power than he’s shown thus far. That said, he’s played young at every level so far and it’s likely that he’ll develop some more pop as he matures.

    It is fun to dream on a future where Peraza and Mallex Smith are wreaking havoc at the top of the Braves lineup…

  54. After a 3-5 night, Dustin Peterson is slashing .299/.386/.460

    Sean Godfrey, last year’s 22nd round pick CF out of Ball State, also went 3-5 for the Mudcats and he is 12-21 in his last 5 games. He is slashing .309/.356/.432.

    Ozhaino Albies went 3-5 with 2 XBH last night. He is also on a tear, 10-23 in last 5 games, slashing .295/.345/.381 with 10 SB as an 18-year-old at Rome.

    Jason Hursh has been just awful thus far in his 2nd year at AA

  55. I’m not so sure we have a need for a starter in center.

    But I’d be playing him all over, including at third.

  56. Cameron Maybin compiled 7.5 WAR in 2011-2012, and he’s just 28. If he’s healthy, he’s a 3 WAR CF. We could also bring up Todd Cunningham if we need a LH bat. He’s a switch hitter and has handled RHP and LHP about equally well over the last 2 seasons (actually much better as a LH batter in this season’s tiny sample).

  57. What Alex said at @76. I would be ok with him spending 2015 in Gwinnett and getting a cup of coffee, maybe in September. He does need to walk more and develop at least a little bit of power. Since we aren’t going to compete this year I’d like to not start shuttling him back and forth between AAA and the big club.

  58. Per Kyle Tait @MBravesRadio:

    Tyrell Jenkins: 9 groundouts to 3 flyouts, 5 strikeouts in six shutout innings Thursday. #

  59. Very nice Jenkins. Let’s hope he can keep pitching as well as he interviews.

  60. #70,
    I spend more time watching the Braves than I do listening on the radio. But every time I turn on the radio during a game, Jim Powell is telling us how great this team is at doing the little things, and what an asset Johnny Gomes is for playing the game “the right way.” Seriously, I’ve probably listened to 20 innings of baseball this year including spring training, and I’ve heard the sentiment 15 times if I’ve heard it once. The TV guys haven’t been nearly as bad, and I’ve heard a lot more of them. It’s made me find Powell really annoying this year, even though I basically agree that this team has been easier to watch.

  61. Aren’t the radio guys team employees, technically? I thought I remembered that being the case.

  62. IF What Bill James was getting at was late career Chipper not moving to first, then I can understand that a little. Part of the reason is that was even less stress on the body to allow him to avoid the dings and hit. There was some talk of that and Chipper shot that down. Bobby backed him.

    As to his defense, he was a little below average at 3B late career overall, but not a disaster. His almost equally effective switch hitting 300 / 400 / 500 made up for a little leather.

  63. I like Jace Peterson (a lot). That said, and as a follow up to the comments about Peraza’s lack of power, take a look at Peterson’s extra base hits. He has one 3B hit. That’s it. I was surprised to see he hasn’t hit even one double. My gut feeling is that he has the capacity to hit with more power. I see him as guy that could get a lot of 2B knocks. But until now he hasn’t done it.

  64. Regarding “doing the little things” and the team being “easier to watch”, I think being 3rd in the NL (or whatever it is now) in runs scored has more to do with that than “boom or bust” frustrations. People didn’t talk about those frustrations as much when we were 4th in the NL in runs with that same sort of offense in 2013.

    Who knows, maybe there is something to contact and “putting pressure on the defense” or maybe it’s just a huge early season fluke.

    Either way, the early returns on offense deserve praise, and if you were one of the guys castigating the “3-run-homer offense”, I’m sure it’s only natural you’d be strutting when the offense is so improved after eliminating the swing-and-miss element.

  65. To me it feels like it’s been an as goes Freeman’s offense so goes the team , but I haven’t checked to see if the stats bear that out.

  66. Braves lead the league in batting average with runners in scoring position, but their BABIP is a mediocre .292. So, yes they’re a bit fluky but only when runners are in scoring position. I guess that’s when it matters, right?

  67. Simmons is batting leadoff? Wow.

    Edit: Never mind. Missed Markakis, and the TV broadcast isn’t showing there’s an out.

  68. Radio guys are claiming that Mayben is turning his back to the infield a la Andruw Jones. Does it look that way on TV?

  69. If Freddie wants to hit Simmons home every time through the lineup, I’d be okay with that.

  70. Pierzynski hasn’t looked too good against Gonzalez. Those were some ugly swings.

  71. Joe called Andrelton Andruw, then corrected it. It’s hard to tell peerless defenders apart.

  72. Maybin has more questionable strikes called against him that anyone. I wonder if that’s a stable trait over time or just a fluke.

  73. Why do we feel the need to get struggling Nationals players going? Can’t we just make them keep struggling against us?

  74. Gaaaah -I’m going to have to endure “hunting for outs” for at least another inning and a half.

  75. Hey Bryce Harper, even the “best team in the league” has to watch out for the best shortstop…

  76. There are baseball players, and then there is Andrelton Simmons. All hail the Simba!

  77. MASN just showed the game summary, and one of their announcers whited out Freddie’s stat line.

  78. Someone needs to remind the Braves offense that scoring two runs with Stults on the mound and the current state of our bullpen is just not going to cut it.

  79. Who else would pinch hit? EYJ? Bethancourt?

    Granted, gio has reverse splits but don’t expect Fredi to know that

  80. Gee, the Braves have the worst ERA in all the majors in innings 7-9. If only the team had an additional really good relief pitcher, maybe the best in baseball…

  81. I will stay to watch Andrelton and Freddie bat again, but I make no promises beyond that. Y’all win it when I’m gone.

  82. Markakis and Simmons need to switch spots. I really hope Simmons doesn’t remind us why

  83. coop, you should have bailed earlier. Andrelton back to doing typical Andrelton things with the bat.

  84. I’m still mad we got the Nationals going by letting them come back from being down 8-1. We pretty much deserve this.

  85. Maybe we shouldn’t have dumped all our relievers assuming we could easily replace them with refuse

  86. I’m REALLY going to miss Skip Caray this year. He would make games like this worth watching in the late innings.

  87. As good as it felt to plate two runs in the early-going, our pitching from the fifth on was positively stultsifying.

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