Braves 4, Yankees 0

After eight dominant Greg Maddux innings and some timely hitting, the Braves are up 2-0 over the Yankees in this World Series and are heading home. They just have to win two of three games in Fulton County Stadium to secure their second straight world championship. What an amazing time it is to be a Braves fan!

After winning Game 1 by a 12-1 margin, Atlanta wasted no time jumping on Jimmy Key and the Yankees. In the top of the first, Mark Lemke lined a one-out double to the left-field wall. He was driven home by Fred McGriff, who lined a single up the middle.

It was just one run, but it was all the support Maddux would need. He threw all but one Braves inning, recording two strikeouts, two flyouts, and 20 (!) groundouts.  At least five of those were of the “chopped off the plate, back to the pitcher” variety. If you’ve been watching Maddux since he signed with the Braves four winters ago, it was a familiar performance: changing speeds and locations, sawing batters off, getting a ridiculous number of weak grounders. Tim McCarver, part of FOX’s new baseball broadcast team, said Maddux “thinks with his fingers.” Phrasing, Tim. Are we still doing phrasing? But the underlying point was correct: Maddux’s control was the story of this game.

The story of the last game, Andruw Jones of the two Game 1 homers, continued to impress. Just 19, lithe, and athletic, Jones evaded a tag on a pitchout in the second and I’m still not sure how he did it. Just an impossibly athletic play. If this kid stays in shape, he could be a franchise mainstay for the next 20 years.

The Braves doubled their lead in the third, when Marquis Grissom doubled into right field, Lemke advanced him to third on a sacrifice bunt, and McGriff lined a single up the middle to drive him in. McGriff was an RBI machine this game; in the fifth, he brought Lemke in with a sac fly to make it 3-0.

The Yankees never really mounted any sort of sustained offensive rally. Paul O’Neill hit a double in the second to the delight of the fans in the right field bleachers, but that was about the best chance they had. But seriously, Yankee bleacher fans, are we not doing “phrasing” anymore?

Mark Wohlers came in to pitch the ninth and threw a filthy inning, striking out the first two Yankees he saw and pitching his seventh straight scoreless inning of these playoffs. I doubt the Yankees can touch him this series.

If there was a negative in this game. it was the FOX broadcast. Buck and McCarver are an awkward duo; Buck sounds like he’d rather be somewhere else, while McCarver talks to you like you’re six years old and watching baseball for the first time. Bob Brenly was in the booth with them, but didn’t have much room to speak. And the producers spent a lot of time on extraneous things like network TV stars in the stands and Maddux’s wife (who was for some reason split-screened with Maddux through the entire seventh inning.) But it’s the network’s first postseason, and they’re working out the kinks and learning from their mistakes. I’m sure they’ll sign up a better announcing team for future postseasons.

They did notice and point out that Bud Selig, the interim commissioner, had put his signature on the game ball; it was the first commissioner’s signature on the World Series ball since Fay Vincent’s in 1991. Since he’s just an interim commissioner, Selig won’t be in office for much longer, so it’s a nice touch to get him a World Series signature ball.

But seriously, what a great time to be a Braves fan! Assuming they can go home and win two of three in Fulton County Stadium, the Braves will go into their new Olympic digs as two-time defending world champions. (And that stadium looks like a jewel! It’s state of the art and looks like it should be the “home of the Braves” for the next 50 years or more.) The roster is a great mix of veterans (Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, McGriff) and homegrown kids (Chipper, Andruw, Javy, Dye).

The dynasty has begun, and the Braves fans of NYC doing the Tomahawk Chop in the ninth as Wohlers mowed the Yanks down knew it. Ted Turner’s only 57 years old, so presumably he’s got another 20 good years of overseeing this team in him. The only question is, how many championships will they win in that time frame? I wish I could fast forward a couple decades and find out. Suck it, Yankees!

110 thoughts on “Braves 4, Yankees 0”

  1. On the quitting topic, I thought today worked against that a bit. They were way down and clawed their way back in it.

    Then the pitching continued to be terrible.

  2. This is a fantastic recap. It also bummed me out a great deal. Even more than the Auburn thing.

  3. I had assumed it was going to be a work of the imagination, a fantasy to counteract what we had all just endured. When the penny dropped there was first the pain of recall then a shout for your bringing memory back so vividly. Thank you.

    Here are two of mine..

    Andruw Jones
    we researched the possibility of 19 year old clones
    we hit a dead end
    they sent the larger version with a contract to extend.

    Mark Wholers
    of all our air traffic controllers
    selecting the slider
    at once created the most infamous collider.

  4. On the quitting topic. Incredibly bad relief pitchers who try really hard are still bad. Not much we can do but hope a few of our starters strike oil and pitch through the 7th. After that we can turn it over to our two not incredibly bad relievers (Moylan and Viscaino).

  5. I think we should trade Dye for two older, worser players and call it a decade. I know it seems like we’ll need him after we trade David Justice, but trust me on this one.

  6. Phils 52-79 –
    Pure Evil 52-79 –
    Rockies 52-76 1.5
    Reds 53-76 2
    Our Heroes 54-76 2.5

    So, we’re still in the race!

  7. Great recap.

    Wow, does this team suck.
    I have to admit that I’ve been on the periphery this season. I check in on the scores every day but I hardly bother looking at the wrap ups except here. I’m going to admit something that will probably draw a lot of scorn, but I actually allowed myself a flicker of hope before the wheels came off back in June. I know, insanity.

    Hopefully we’ll have more SEC scouting reports. I better info here than anywhere else on college football.

  8. Thanks, y’all.

    Source material:

    If nothing else, that bleacher fan with the “Yankees Deposit Balls” sign should bring you some joy. It was a simpler time, before you’d get screenshot and mocked on Twitter for taking an oblivious double entendre of a sign to a World Series game.

    True story: the day after this game, 14-year-old me called my Yankee fan cousin to talk some crap. He responded by doubling down on our World Series bet, and thus Eden fell.

  9. Gammons is a deserving Hall of Famer, but I really don’t think he’s much of a baseball analyst anymore. He’s always had trouble writing dispassionately about the Red Sox, and these days, he doesn’t really have much incentive.

    It’s going to be hard for the Red Sox to suck with the amount of money they’ve got, and they have a lot of talented players in the system. They’re like the Dodgers in their ability to shrug off terrible contracts that might have crippled another team: they’ll probably hang onto Hanley and Sandoval until they can salary dump them, like the Dodgers did with Kemp. Dombrowski is a smart guy, and he builds very good teams.

    There are a whole lot of problems in Boston: generally, it appears to be an incredibly poisonous climate filled with cutthroat backbiters who don’t appear to have been mollified by three World Championships in a decade. Firing Don Orsillo was inexplicable, but very much of a piece with Boston’s and-the-horse-you-rode-in-on breakups with Tito Francona, Manny Ramirez, and now Ben Cherington. They love firing people, and they love insulting them on the way out. It’s a hell of a way to run an organization. They’ll probably keep winning because they have too much money not to, but they are the new Yankees, the single team in baseball that everyone has a moral obligation to hate.

  10. @19

    I don’t disagree with anything you just said in general, but the particular article Blazon linked was pretty good–and I think Gammons’ evident passion was part of what made it good. Less analysis than introduction for those of us who are laymen when it comes to the Red Sox system or Dombrowski’s career.

  11. Can anyone tell me what Andrelton’s slash line has been since the all-star break? It appears as though he is quietly having a nice second half.

  12. @17 – Something similar for me. A guy I worked with and a running partner bet me even with the Yanks being down 2-0. Thankfully he was a good enough dude to make the lunch I paid for reasonable. He had chicken fried steak, I had boiled crow.

    I hate the Red Sox. Schadenfreude.

  13. @15

    Johnny, when your team is 42-42, it’s hard not to get a little excited. After all, we’re fans.

    At the end of the day, this season has been more of a tease than disappointing. When they hit the reset button last offseason, the expectations were managed. Most agreed the team would not be very good. Then the Padres trade before Opening Day put the nail in the coffin for hope. But when the Braves were playing well well into July, anyone remotely optimistic wouldn’t help but be a little excited. But then Grilli went down, then the Dodgers trade, and EVERYONE has given up. I think Fredi has given up, the players have given up, and according to attendance figures, the fans have given up.

    I just wish we could have held onto even a couple decent bullpen arms. By my count, we have lost 15 relievers between this year and last year to injury, trade, or free agency. We’ve added two of any significance to the roster (Moylan and Vizcaino). When late inning leads are so few and far between as it is, it would just be nice to have 3 or 4 guys would could potentially keep some of these in the win column.

  14. “Sure, my ERA is 18.00, but what’s my xFIP?” – Jonny Gomes

    As reported by CJ Nitkowski on Twitter, after Friday night’s adventure. We may be sucky, but I had to laugh at that quote.

  15. @23 and @28, and for contrast you can look at Freeman’s second half splits. Yikes! I don’t see why he’s even playing. There’s no upside and tons of downside. We’re counting on him to be an offensive cornerstone. If he’s hurt he becomes “just a guy” and that’s going to push out our rebuild even further.

  16. @30

    First, you’re assuming he’s still hurt. It’s more than possible, in fact it’s probable, that he’s no longer hurt but just hasn’t gotten his timing back.

    Second, if he’s playing slightly hurt, it’s because he wants to play. His two injuries were a bone bruise to the wrist and a strained oblique muscle. He has five months to recover before spring training starts. I really don’t think this is an extended issue.

  17. A wrist injury could end his power-hitting career. You’re probably right about the numbers being attributable to timing and rust – I’ve just been worried about the wrist thing ever since it happened.

  18. Bravesjournal trivia question of the day:

    What do Joey Votto, Jose Bautista, Michael Brantley, Andrelton Simmons, Ben Zobrist, and Nori Aoki have in common this year?

  19. Looks like Folty is scratched with a virus and Miller is pitching tonight.

    I will be at Turner Field for the first time in 10 years Tuesday and Wednesday, and we apparently don’t have a starter for either day. Should be interesting.

  20. Back to an argument from the previous thread: I like that there was an illegal man downfield call in the 2014 Georgia/Auburn game, except that it went against Georgia for doing the sort of thing Auburn does *all the time*, only this came on an awesome fake punt, and Lord knows the SEC HQ Death Star can’t have Georgia doing anything fun and thrilling. Bad Georgia, with the rippity rap and the saggy jeans and the trick play. I’m surprised no Dawg somehow got ejected on the play. I bet Rogers Redding called Roger Goodell to try to get AJ Green suspended. Not that it mattered, as the Gus Bus was on blocks for most of the night and Gus himself looked particularly out of his depth. (For those playing at home, GO GO GO NO HUDDLE NO HUDDLE GO GO GO don’t work so good when your trash defense is getting drop-kicked up and down the field, you’re getting murdered in time of possession, and you keep dialing up three-and-outs on offense. C’mon, Gus! GO GO GO! Right into a punt.)

    Muppet-voiced tool Penn Wagers being tossed to the ACC will either cost Auburn or Florida a win this season, which makes me happy. Now all we have to do is send Marc Curles to the cornfield with him.

  21. !!!!!!

    JohnWDB for the win.

    Entering play today, 335 players have come to the plate 150 or more times. Of those 335, only Votto, Bautista, Brantley, Simmons, Zobrist, and Aoki have walked more than they’ve struck out.

    Keep it up, Andrelton.

    John, your prize is you get to ask the next trivia question.

  22. @41, the Malzfense, when sputtering, is kind of hilarious.

    Because Gustav Malzahn, tactical genius, has… kind of a limited toolbox, in-game problem-solving wise.

    (working title: “When All You Have Is A Hammer”)

  23. At 41, Auburn’s mind control ability over officials is both well-known and nefarious. Once we reached the limits of what paying players could do, we had to shop around for other ways of taking unfair advantage over defenseless SEC state schools like the legal cheating referenced in the previous thread. (Twirls mustache and adjusts monocle)

  24. @46, I prefer to make all my hot takes pseudonymously, thankyouverymuch. That’s why this place is more fun.

    But I am still waiting for your rebuttal as to why turning chess into speed checkers is a long-term good for football. As Sun Tzu once said: go! go! go! go! go! go!

  25. @44…

    how come you SEC guys keep coming up with these crazy names?

    Gustav Malzahn?

    Reese Dismukes?

    are these people real? is this a prerequisite for a job/start in the SEC?

    they sound like a bunch of disorganized anarchists…

    wonder not then why some feel compelled to put pen to paper in versed comment.

    any others? !!

  26. no? enough already

    Gustav Malzahn
    in his Bentley Mulsanne
    Goodell is clearly incensed
    collegiate indulgence has become entrenched.

  27. Glimpse of the future starts tomorrow and am intrigued to see what Burawa can do at the MLB level.

  28. I flipped the game on in the bottom of the 1st, and thought my must be frozen since it showed the Braves were batting at home without being behind. I know I’m watching the right game now; this feels right.

  29. Jake Arrieta is an interesting study in pitcher development.

    His first 3 seasons (for Baltimore):

    2010: 18 starts, 4.66 era (age 24)
    2011: 22 starts, 5.05 era
    2012: 18 starts, 6.20 era
    2013: traded to cubs
    2014: 25 starts, 2.53 era
    2015: 27 starts, 2.11 era (age 29)

    I hope our young starters get good before 28

  30. Wow, didn’t think it was possible for Hart and co. to lose DOB, but he’s on the war path today. 1st his blog about how unwatchable and embarrassing the team has become in the second half, now he’s giving them hell about attendance on Twitter. Props to him. Sub-10k attendance is worth getting hell over. I wonder what the break-even attendance point is considering cost of staffing the park, unsold food, etc. Could it actually start costing the team money to play out the season if few enough people are coming?

  31. Tonight’s latest debacle involves the immortal Chris Narveson shutting out the Braves, while Shelby Miller again pitches well!

  32. Chip: “shelby miller’s 18 consecutive starts without a win is tre longest by an all star since Nolan Ryan pitched 13 starts without a win for the Astros”

    Does he know how records work?

  33. Turner Field is so empty it’s a little eerie. It’s about time DOB addressed how brutal this got so quickly. I’ll be curious to see if the new stadium opening will coax fans who jump ship this season and next to come back into the fold.

    I would absolutely hate to work in Braves ticket sales right now. You couldn’t pay me enough to tackle that challenge.

  34. Ken Rosenthal thinks Gomes has been traded to Kansas City. No word on what we got back. I doubt it’s particularly exciting.

  35. Think of the Braves who were on the team last year or this year who will be on playoff rosters.

  36. Valenzuela has slashed .339/.368/.483 at low-A ball as a 21 yr old this season. Hey, sounds good to me–sign him up

  37. Meanwhile, Shelby is getting royally screwed yet again. I know the last loss was his fault, but yeesh. Scoring two runs against the freaking Marlins doesn’t seem like a big mountain to climb or anything.

  38. Glad to see we got something for Gomes. Hopefully we can turn other crappy pitchers into prospects.

  39. All joking aside, this Gomes trade is such a slap in the face to fans at this point. They have put up a big middle finger to the last two months of the season, and they clearly don’t care if we lose every game for the rest of the season. Enough is enough.

  40. Is DOB calling out the fans for not showing up? That’d be ridiculous. This team deserves no fans. Hopefully he’s calling out the front-office…

  41. @80 If next year looks like this second-half, 2017 is going to be a hard sell. I’m not sure they can afford to stand pat this off-season.

  42. They have already tied their hands in 2016. You ready to watch a full season of Bourn and Swisher?! Well…get ready, cuz that’s what we’re getting. We might get a FA pitcher for next year. Maybe. I bet we’ve lost so much revenue from this debacle of a season that we’ll be standing pat for next season.

    2017 is all about the new mall-park. The product on the field won’t matter. We have until 2018 to get good again. If we’re still bad it’ll be back to small-market fandom.

  43. I understood why people didn’t want to trade heyward/upton/gattis/kimbrel before the season, but if you were on board with that, you kinda have to be on board with what happened after that. The trades since the season started have mostly been brilliant. Callaspo for Uribe and then Uribe/KJ for gant/Whalen was genius.

    Why we would now hold onto Gomes, I can’t fathom.

  44. @79: Remember this?

    **Gomes said he didn’t know everything about percentages of pitches that each pitcher threw, but he knew that the Braves were going to bust their tails giving 100 percent to run out every ground ball and to try to break up every double play, and that if anyone had any problem with that, they should see him.

    “I don’t think hustle and playing the game right shouldn’t be applauded, I think it should be expected,” Gomes said Monday.**

    Here’s another one:

    “What he brings to the team, you can’t quantify that,” Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons said. “You can’t put it in numbers. You can’t explain what it is.”

    Well, the Jonny Gomes ultra-no quit-hustle-leadership-can’t put it in numbers experiment didn’t even last one season. I guess the FO decided they were, in fact, able to put what he was doing in numbers enough to trade him for…who did we get again?

  45. @85, Ok, I get the overall point, but how on earth can you say that the wheeling and dealing with Uribe and KJ was “genius”. We got back two anonymous pitching prospects who likely won’t ever make it to the show. That’s more than likely going to have no impact whatsoever on the future direction of our club.

    KJ and Uribe had our offense at “below average but sometimes watchable”. Keeping them all year wouldn’t have changed a thing for 2018, but might have made this season a bit more palatable.

  46. I fully support the rebuild, and I completely understand and appreciate each move. But at some point, you have to be a little understanding that there’s a major league team that still has to play major league baseball games. With each deal, the 2015 team got worse and worse. But when they were above .500 or even respectable at the end of July, you can get away with it. But when the team has completely imploded and will probably have a .100 winning percentage the rest of the way, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. You still have to maintain a major league baseball budget, and less than 10K in attendance is going to kill that budget. YOU STILL HAVE TO TRY TO WIN SOME MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL GAMES! At this point, with how negatively it’s affected attendance, one has to wonder if the lost revenue will offset any gain from getting cheap prospects.

    You can only scrub so much, and I had begun to think the Braves scrubbed too far. Even though Gomes sucks, it just pushes it even further.

  47. “What he (Gomes) brings to the team, you…can’t explain what it is,” Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons said.

  48. This team is so far down the pit at this point that I don’t see anyway anyone can possibly be upset at the ramifications of trading a major leaguer for a low-level minor leaguer. Have you not been watching this team the last two weeks? What difference could this possibly make at this point?

  49. We weren’t competing this year. It’s a learning experience for the majority of this team. KJ/uribe/ and Gomes are all FA’s at the end of the year. Why not move them for potential long term pieces?

  50. Yeah I’m not complaining about Gomes. At this point it might be better to sell ticket packages that give fans a 1-day contract and 3-innings in LF.

    I think it’s kinda fair to complain about going full-tank after that Colorado sweep. None of those deals are likely to impact the next good Braves team. Playing close-to-.500 gritty ball would’ve kept some fans engaged. Going hard-core tank is tough to swallow. Especially if you already hate the front office and ownership.

  51. Also, if they didn’t know that the team was gonna tank and therefore attendance was gonna tank and didn’t work that into their plans for building the team back, then the front office has the intellect of a bunch of two year olds. I can’t imagine that they didn’t have some inkling this was gonna happen. Attendance tanking can’t possibly blow this rebuild up. Agree with how they’re going about it or don’t, but John Hart and John Scheurholz are not idiots.

  52. Only thing that could make this blow up would be Liberty cutting salary due to this years attendancd

  53. Bizarrely nobody has made the argument yet that complaining about attendance is showing concern about Liberty Media’s bottom line. I can’t keep up with when we’re supposed to go to that old gem.

  54. @87

    …it was interesting that on Monday night’s TBS broadcast of the Mets/Red Sox game Darling was doing color and I would guess he’s a respected name around these parts in that capacity. Certainly he is with me. Two thirds of the way through the game, in a reflective moment,he ended a longish silence by saying…

    ‘What has turned the Mets hitting around this year has been the acquisition of Uribe and Johnson…pause…’and Cespedes.’


  55. Think about the implications of a very willful tank season. It means you want the draft position above all else. The kids drafted next will *not* be helping the 2017 or 2018 Braves unless we get a Bryce Harper type. Maybe we will? Who knows. But your front office and ownership are flat out yelling at you in 30-point font that our system is so freaking terrible that the only thing we can do is lose on purpose. That’s not good.

  56. @102

    …hasn’t it already left the building? Don’t you think most of us, pummeled by these last few weeks, have set a low, low bar for him in an attempt to try to minimize any more pain?

  57. I may be in the minority, but I think Gomes has been good to have on the team. I think he’s been better than his average indicated for most of the year and he’s done a lot better over the last 2 months. He’s definitely not our problem and he hasn’t had too many chances. That being said, I’m happy we got something for him and wish him well.

  58. What did we expect? Of course all of this was going to happen this year.
    I think most of us would have been pissed trying to keep this team around .500 with no real chance of making the postseason anyway, and not trying to turn the Johnsons, Gomezes & co. into someting potentially useful for the future. It is very ugly at this point, unlike anything I have ever witnessed since following the Braves in ’91, but I am okay with it. Fans will return.

  59. Luis Valenzuela
    he knows nothing of failure
    he looks to the sky
    like daddy, we never could figure out why.

  60. True, I don’t really understand why the Braves held onto Pierzynski – he started out the year red hot and presumably would have returned something decent. Granted, the Braves have no great options behind AJP, but whatever.

    Also, I would strongly dispute the idea that the 2015 Braves can have “too much tanking”. It sucks this year, but wins are close to meaningless for this team. Every trade dumps more talent into the farm system (and increases our chances of a high 1st round pick in the next draft). Those prospects will turn into cheap, team-controlled talent and trade chips for the post-2016 Braves.

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