Phillies 4, Braves 0 (10 innings, recapped by coop)

Philadelphia, the cradle of our republic, rocked the Braves with four runs in the top of the tenth inning to avoid a sweep. In the process, they kept Atlanta below for .500 for the 2015 season.

There are two sides to any coin; so either the starting pitchers were very good, or the opposing offenses sucked. If you must, choose. Whatever your choice, you’re probably right.

Both teams had opportunities to score. Both teams failed, but the Phillies worked harder to do so. After neither team scored after loading the bases in the first, the pitchers settled down. Sort of.

The Phils threatened in the fifth. Odubel Herrera doubled to lead off the inning. Being a typical Philly, he strayed too far off second. A.J. Pierzynski, who hit the heck out of the ball all game long, make a good defensive play that resulted in Herrera being tagged out. Cesar Hernandez promptly singled, but Philadelphia couldn’t recover.

Neither Shelby Miller nor Cole Hamels feels sorry for the other. They both are accustomed to their team putting up nothing but goose eggs while they’re in the game. Miller exited after six and a third, and Luis Avilan closed out the seventh without incident. Hamels one-upped Miller. He went seven, gave up nothing.

Jim Johnson blanked the Phillies in the top of the eighth. Ken Giles dominated the Braves in the bottom of the frame, striking out three. Jason Grilli blew the Phils away in the top of the ninth, duplicating Giles brilliance.

And then the Braves should have won the game.

Kelly Johnson pinch hit for Secret Agent Man Chris Johnson and walked. A. J. sent Kelly to third with his third hit of the game. With runners on the corners and one out, it was time for STRATEGY.

Philadelphia moved one-time third baseman and current left fielder Cody Asche to the infield, leaving the Phillies with two outfielders.

The Braves allowed Pedro Ciriaco to face Luis Garcia. Pedro pooched a weak pop to very short center or moderately deep short, depending on your point of view. Either way, KJ could not score; and Fredi brought Juan Uribe in to pinch hit, in my opinion one batter two late; for it now would have taken a two out hit to bring Johnson home. Since Uribe looked silly striking out, it probably made no difference. Still, I would preferred seeing Uribe up with one out rather than Pedro, regardless.

The Braves rolled over in the tenth. Played dead.

Nick “White Flag” Masset gave up hits to Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez, then walked Maikel Franco to load the bases with nobody out. Dana Eveland was summoned. Eveland held Ryan Howard to the go ahead sacrifice fly. Having completed his task, he surrendered the ball to Jake Brigham.

For the first time in his major league career, Brigham was unequal to the task. First of all, he could not unscore the run already given up. Second, he gave up a two-run double to Carlos Ruiz and saw Ruiz trot home on an rbi single by Freddy Galvis.

Jonathan Papelbon did not garner the save. The game was past saving. He did, however, retire the Braves in order.

Here’s what I saw.

The Phillies should have salted the game away early. They did not.

The Braves should have won the game in the ninth. Nope.

Fredi used his bullpen wisely. I still wish he were gone, but his options beyond Avilan, Johnson and Grilli are not wonderful

I THINK — just fallible me stating my druthers — that Fredi should have used Uribe to hit for Ciriaco in the ninth. If Uribe failed with one out as he did with two, you’ve still got the final out to win the game.

Didn’t happen. Doesn’t matter. Braves lose.

94 thoughts on “Phillies 4, Braves 0 (10 innings, recapped by coop)”

  1. It kinda stinks that Eveland’s last appearance was him letting an inherited run to score on a routine fly out. He was brought it to get the lefty, he gets the lefty, then gets released after the game. Eveland should be released, but not right after getting an out from the only man he faced. I did see Fredi get frustrated as he took the ball from Eveland, so it’d make sense that they’re done with him.

    Now we have one less lefty in the pen though. I figured they’d dump Eveland when McKirahan was available. I guess having a LOOGY who can’t get lefties is no better than a righty who can’t get lefties.

  2. I like a Maybin/CJ package considering the depth on the horizon in CF. I’d hate to lose Maybin this year (especially after I mentioned how much I just happen to like him), but we’re not contending this year, and you have to make the right decisions for the future. Bring Cunningham up and see if he can be Charles Thomas for a couple months. I don’t know if I can handle two months of EYJ though. Johnson is not that valuable, and I think we need Grilli for next season more than we need Maybin. Plus, I don’t know if Braves fans can handle anymore bullpen woes.

    I’m starting to worry about Markakis. I know his OPS+ is consistent with his career numbers, but that type of production doesn’t fit on this team. We didn’t sign him to be a powerless lead-off-type hitter. We talked about this on here before that WAR can be misleading if it’s not the type of player the team needs, and Markakis falls into that category.

    So as we enter the selling season, then I guess our tradeable pieces are CJ, Uribe, Maybin, Johnson, Grilli, and AJP. Of those players, who would you trade and who do you feel has more value to us than what we’d get for them?

  3. I don’t think Ciriaco is much worse than Uribe in a situation where the infield is in and there are 2 outfielders. Most kinds of contact score a run there. (Obviously, not all kinds of contact.)

  4. Markakis’s power outage is concerning, but as long as he’s getting on base, he’s basically doing what we signed him to do. CJ’s value is so low that I don’t think he’s worth salary dumping — I’d rather eat his contract than have to give up value to get him off our hands. I’d rather just trade Maybin and Grilli and get something good back.

  5. AAR, I agree, eat CJ’s contract, don’t dump him with something valuable for a couple dollars off the books.

    I keep Maybin, this is a 500 team that could grow next year to a division winner. We are a consistent Julio Teheran away from that.
    We think we have OF depth in the minors but I could hack Maybin, Mallex and Markakis in the OF next. lots of high OBP guys, good overall defense, besides, Maybin is sadly one of our top sluggers. ):

  6. @7: I wanted Uribe before the fact because I felt he would be more likely to provide a flyball of sufficient depth to score KJ from third. The Phillies had committed to five infielders and were playing their two outfielders at little league depth.

    If Uribe fans with one out as he did with two, it doesn’t matter; but he’s still a better defender than Pedro. That didn’t matter either, of course.

  7. Mitchell Lambson looks like he’ll be able to fill the Braves soft-tossing lefty role perfectly, topping out at 85-86 mph.

  8. Thirded on the CJ thing. If you can move him for something vaguely useful, have at it. But if you have to give up anything to clear the books, no. It’s not that bad of a contract.

  9. Uber continues to expand into kooky areas…the latest being to supply boatmen in Istanbul to row you across the Bosphorous, one continent to the next…

    Is this relevant to the Braves you might ask? Yes, it is…Uber pitchers, Uber power third basemen etc etc…it’s only a matter of time…no slot fees, penalties, etc… I could go on…

    But i won’t…I’m much too excited.

    it simply seems preposterous
    now Uber’s on the Bosphorous
    an Uber pitcher next?
    (imagining the text)
    they’d light him up, like phosphorous. ??


  10. Anyone is tradable for the right return. I’d want a haul for Maybin. The old guys I don’t care so much.

    I’m not sure that what we would get for Johnson or Grilli would be worth punting over; I imagine that there is a financial cost at the box office with that. But, I’d think that out of whatever lottery tickets pan out and that we don’t flip, we could develop a closer eventually. And a setup man too, if we wanted. Dare I say go full O’Ventbrel?

  11. @DOBrienAJC: #Braves got LHR Mitchell Lambson from Astros for cash considerations. Lambson, 25 in 2 wks, had 2.60 ERA in 24g in AA-AAA, 30 K in 34.2ip

  12. If I’m Cameron Maybin, after all the ups and downs, and assuming I meant what I’ve said about Kevin Seitzer unlocking the whole mystery for me, then I’m asking my agent to find a way to leverage my expensive option year into a more affordable multi-year extension.

    This is a big pedigree guy who came damn close to busting out of the major leagues. If he’s finally comfortable, if he’s finally blossoming, he should be interested in staying around.

  13. Regarding relief pitching…. Vizcaino is on a tryout for next years club. And we should have Shae Simmons back sometime early next season, his surgery was in February.

    Not that those are sure things or anything. But I think those two enable you to move at least one of Grilli or Johnson.

  14. @DOBrienAJC: #Braves haven’t signed their No. 1 draft pick Kolby Allard, looks like legit chance LH might go to UCLA. They signed their other top picks.

    Yeah, I’d say that’s not a good thing

  15. I like Maybin and I hope he keeps it up, BUT…

    The organization is in need of three things at this point.

    1) A third baseman with pop
    2) A left fielder with pop
    3) Probably a catcher who can hit and play defense better than a Pitch Back Net.

    Maybin is valuable in CF, but we need more power if we moved him to left for Mallex Smith next year. Maybin’s value is growing, but it may be worth it to move him in the winter. If he keeps hitting, his value will be huge this winter. If I were Hart, I would gamble on Maybin continuing to hit and move him this winter.

    That is unless someone blows us away in the next few weeks…

  16. Grilli and Johnson both signed 1 year deals correct? If so, we should move them to get back something decent or to get rid of CJ’s contract

  17. Grilli is on a 3-year deal. Cot’s says we owe him $3.5 mil in 2016, then the club buyout option in 2017 is a quarter-million. He’s pitched that contract into a decently valuable one for a club looking for some relief help.

  18. @21-That ought to make Roy Clark look like a dufus, given that in the interview he gave on draft night he stated emphatically that Allard would sign “within the week”.

  19. Maybin is one of the players I’d keep. He’s producing right now, while the other CF options are very young and have no power at all.

    Wouldn’t surpise me at all for them to talk up Peraza and Smith and eventually deal them for more pitching.

  20. @27 I concur. Smith and Peraza are far from sure things. You could argue that neither is Maybin but the team is better served by gambling that he is breaking out and holding on to him for the full season. If he continues his current pace and you are convinced that Smith is the real deal Maybin is more valuable in the off season.

  21. If the Braves can’t sign Allard, they at least get the number 15 pick in next year’s draft on top of their normal pick — as Houston showed this year, that’s not necessarily a disaster. Still, given how high they were on him (and how much they overdrafted several other players to save money), failing to get it done doesn’t speak well of them. He’s probably just posturing though.

    If the Braves are sold on Mallex Smith they need to sell high on Maybin. Neither of them has much value as a left fielder, and Smith is younger and cheaper. I’ve always been a little skeptical of low-power players, but given how much the Braves appear to be buying into that strategy as an organization, they’ll have to put their faith in younger players sooner or later.

  22. @29 ‘but given how much the Braves appear to be buying into that strategy as an organization’

    I don’t think that this is what the organization wants to do. I think that this is what they got in trade. I think that power hitting, even at the prospect level is too expensive.

    Smith has been outstanding at AA. Lets see how he does against AAA pitching before he is anointed the starting CF. Peraza isn’t exactly burning it up in Gwinette

    Before I get criticized for being pessimistic, I do understand that Smith and Peraza are young for the level. Keeping Maybin for at least the remainder of the season insures that they get time to develop.

  23. Maybin has been pretty good (he’s out-hitting Heyward and playing a tougher position, for example…), and he’s still relatively young. As mentioned, we might even have some leverage with him – e.g. sell him on his best bet being to stay here for a couple of years working with Seitzer.

    At some point shouldn’t you keep a few diamonds-in-the-rough? The sell-high mentality has become almost a reflex around here.

  24. On Allard, the largest bonus the Braves can offer is $3,379,105, based on publicly-reported deals with their other top picks. Could be lower than that, in reality, if there are guys in rounds 14 or later who signed for more than $100K, or if Liberty Media is refusing to pay tax on amounts above the slot pool.

    Have to believe this will get done, but that DOB tweet is certainly alarming.

  25. The Braves just traded Kurcz for another $167K in international slot money. They already had enough for Pache and Cruz, so those obviously aren’t the only two they’re after this year.

  26. OK, so it looks like it’s Juan Morales, a Venezuelan SS, they’re after, and it looks like they’ll be signing him for $450K. They don’t have quite enough in slot money for that, but they can do that without going more than 5% beyond their allotment, meaning that the only penalty is 100% tax on the overage, but no restrictions on future years (so no impact on The Maitan Plan for 2016).

    If ownership is willing to pay the tax for international signings, I’m guessing ownership is willing to pay it for the draft, too, meaning my second Allard-related concern @32 — “if Liberty Media is refusing to pay tax on amounts above the slot pool” — is probably moot.


  27. @31

    I’m with you in on the diamonds-in-the-rough theory–but I’m still looking at the particular disconnect between the eye-test and the numbers on Maybin’s defense. Fangraphs and Defensive Runs Saved can’t stand him–but when I watch, I don’t see anything particularly poor or particularly good (for a major league center fielder, that is). In this instance, somebody’s missing something.

  28. I would hold on to Maybin until the offseason to let Mallex and Peraza develop some more at Triple A, and then reevaluate. Neither one is exactly tearing up the International League.

    If Allard is really thinking about giving up 3 million to go to UCLA and coming back out in 3 years, that’s a huge risk and he’d be a fool. Most likely he is posturing.

  29. Well, Gerrit Cole turned down $3 million from the Yankees to go to UCLA, and it worked out alright for him. It’d be a risk, for sure, but I find it hard to begrudge a kid for putting a high price on three years of college life at a premier program. Of course, as a Vanderbilt fan, I’m kind of biased on the subject.

    What’s weird to me is not that he’s demanding a ton of money, but that the Braves would spend that pick on a kid they weren’t 100% sure would sign for whatever they were planning on offering.

  30. My Gamecocks beat Gerrit Cole in the championship series of the CWS in 2010. :)

    I think the risk is too high for the kid. He had back problems this year and pitchers get hurt all the time. As a guy who has a master’s degree, I would recommend that he take the money. He can always go back to college if it doesn’t work out.

  31. He can’t go back to college as an 18-21-year-old if it doesn’t work out, though. That experience — especially contrasted against minor-league experience, riding around on buses and sleeping in hotels in crappy towns as an 18-21-year-old — has a very high value, IMO. $3 million (realistically, $1.5 million after taxes and agent fees) is a lot of money, but I have really come to appreciate the value a place like UCLA or VU can offer to a baseball player.

    I used to feel exactly the same way you do, but enough conversations with college baseball players and their families over the past few years have convinced me that kids who turn down that kind of money from places like UCLA or VU aren’t fools.

    As for Allard’s specific injury issues, the fact that the Braves were comfortable taking him with their top pick suggests that his long-term prospects are very good, so that injury probably isn’t factoring into his decision a whole lot.

  32. $3 million is an absolute no-brainer, especially if guaranteed. It’s tougher for the guys that are a lot further down in the draft. A few hundred grand vs college? … more and more are choosing college.

  33. Definitely not a no-brainer for these super-elite kids getting full rides to places like VU, UCLA, UVA, Stanford, etc. Valuable education + elite program (with coaching as good or better — and certainly more individualized — than they’ll receive in the minors) + college life as an 18-21-year-old = very valuable.

    As I’ve discussed ad nauseum with some buddies over the past couple of years, if I were a kid like Allard (read: from an affluent background and not in need of an immediate influx of cash for my family) my number would be something like $3.5 million. Enough to where I could take the bonus (net of taxes and agent fees), invest conservatively, and count on $100K or more per year for life. Anything below that, I’d probably go to school if I had an option like UCLA in front of me.

    Like I said, though, I’m biased and spoiled by Vanderbilt.

  34. College baseball at a top-50 university is a hell of a lot more attractive than riding buses in single-A with a bunch of dumbasses. I’m not saying that the 18-21 college years aren’t valuable…just saying I’d have traded mine for $3 million and not thought twice about it!

  35. Shelby Miller the lone Braves All-Star, and no Brave is in the final vote. Braves fans on Twitter breathe a sigh of relief.

  36. Given the kismet of life, the limited lifespan of a pitching arm, and the massive advantage of getting to free agency sooner, I can’t see not making a deal from Allards POV.

  37. “No harm done.”
    — Joe Simpson, after 2nd and 3rd with one out becomes 2nd and 3rd with two outs

  38. He could always hit, and back then I thought he was as pure as the driven snow, whatever that means.

  39. Is it just me, or does Eury Perez look like a young Julio Franco? When he took his helmet off I did a double take.

  40. My man Andrelton at this moment couldn’t hit water if he fell off a cruise ship.

  41. Wisler has been really good at making them hit the ball to the wall, after he got calibrated on Parra’s HR off the top of the fence.

  42. The lack of errors does not reflect the truly craptacular work from the corner OFs.

  43. Someday someone will get killed and that will be what it takes to get nets finally put up. Smh.

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