Deep Impact: Braves 4, Nationals 6

[I thought hard about movies set in Washington. In most of them, the Washington power establishment bad people are overcome by the good people. So, to my biased way of thinking, those movies don’t fit. However, this one fits. We are experiencing “ELE” (the Extinction Level Event). Thinking on the voice of Morgan Freeman can be reassuring. Maybe it will work for you.]

President Beck: Life will go on. We will prevail.

[Not that I really believe that, but it does make me feel better.]


Jenny Lerner: We know everything.

Allen Rittenhouse: Nobody knows everything.


Our game was a continuation of frustration. Nick Markakis is actually performing pretty well. Beyond him; yennh. Braves lead in the first, but then trail later in the first. Braves lead in the 2nd and hold the lead until the 3rd. Then, behind in the 5th. Washington insurance in the 7th.

I now know and will remember a great lesson. When you trade someone at a position, don’t take back a throw in at the same position. If the other team wants your player at that position, then the one they have just may not be good. I hope the Braves FO considers this as it moves forward on trades.

The 200 foot tall wave moving at 600 miles per hour. Yep, that is what this season feels like.

110 thoughts on “Deep Impact: Braves 4, Nationals 6”

  1. It’s sad to think that today’s pitching matchup is the best pitching matchup the Braves have had this year.

  2. Fredi sitting Mallex is the exact reason why he can be fired and no one will care. The roster he’s given to use is not his fault, but he can be held accountable for how its used.

    Can someone give us the record over Fredi’s last 82 games?

  3. Sitting a lefthanded rookie against a left handed starter isn’t such a bad idea. Granted, Stubbs is a bad hitter, but Mallex battling a lefthander wouldn’t be much better.

  4. Sitting a rookie against his same-handed pitching is a great way to guarantee that he doesn’t develop.

    Fredi is all about putting young guys in their place and teaching non-sensical lessons that make him feel important. Why he’s still managing the team I love is one of life’s great mysteries. The entire leadership of this org needs to go. It should have happened long ago.

  5. #5 – True, but why start the clock on Mallex if we are bringing him up to be in a platoon until Inciarte is back healthy.

  6. Fredi is an average manager with a below average team. It’s not a surprise that things aren’t going well. I don’t know of a manager anywhere who will turn this team around so they’ll be great next year. If someone is out there, let’s get him to replace Fredi tomorrow. If not, I will just hope that the players play better. I don’t think whether or not starting Mallex against lefties is a good idea will mean too many wins or losses.

  7. Mallex is here to play. He shouldn’t sit. Neither should Olivera. Stubbs is a sub and should be used to PH. Player development is and should be the goal.

  8. Fredi is way worse when he has a good team. Then his decisions cost us actual wins instead of just worsening our defeats. I don’t even notice when he does something idiotic anymore because it’s not a major factor in why we’re getting our tails kicked. Doesn’t really matter if you left the pitcher in to hit and then yanked him when the bullpen is going to blow the whole thing up anyway.

  9. @8

    I agree. How is he going to learn to hit lefties if he sits against them?

    If he gets on base, his speed gets in a pitcher’s head. It gives Cakes and Freeman a chance to see some fast balls. He should play every day he is up.

  10. Liberty Media should be the first, last, and most dominant Braves story anyone is talking about. Now, at least, we know on the record what truly matters, although we’ve known for a while.

    Nothing gets truly fixed for the long term until Liberty is out and ownership that prioritizes winning over asset appreciation is in.

  11. One would think that winning and asset appreciation go hand in hand. I guess WFF will put that to the test.

  12. Simple assessment: Every manager gets bad teams every once in a while.* How does Fredi’s winning percentage compare to the rest of the league, minimum 5 seasons? Really, that’s your answer. Fredi had good and bad teams in Florida, he’s had good and bad teams here. How does he stack up?

    *Except for Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony LaRussa. Doesn’t it make you think when three guys who pretty much always had good teams are considered elite? Who was the HoF manager/coach who said, “It’s easy to win when you have good players?”

  13. By the way, if you knew Mallex would probably struggle against lefties, wouldn’t you want Mallex to go back to AAA in a couple weeks with some shiny stats? “Mallex, you hit .327 while you were here. Great job. You’re going to be an All-Star. Let’s build on some of the weaknesses and you’ll be back by July ::mutters under his breath::when we trade Inciarte…” And then, when he comes back in July, let him hit all the lefties his heart desires.

  14. The Miami Marlins remain a profitable scam, so I’m not optimistic.

    I’m here less than I used to be because I have a sense about this team akin to the prestigious university I grew up admiring being transformed into a scammy for-profit college, while retaining the brand name.

    I was a Dallas Mavericks fan in the 1990s and an Alabama fan in the Endless Coaches Named Mike Era. I’m willing to suffer honest defeats, but I’m not willing to get played for an easy buck. I like you guys, but that’s about it anymore.

  15. DOB

    Fredi mentioned Stubbs might start in CF vs. LH Gio Gonzalez. However, Stubbs is 0-for-11 with five strikeouts against him. #Braves

  16. If we’re trying out players for the future, we should be getting a sense of future managers, too. Frankly, I don’t know why we employ Bo Porter if we’re not going to see his style as a manager when there isn’t much on the line. And TP deserves the exact same chance. He ought to have been Bobby’s successor anyway.

  17. That wasn’t rhetorical. I’m honestly wondering if Fredi is any better or worse than his counterparts.

  18. How would you measure it? I honestly don’t think it’s possible. All I can go on is the number of times I yell at the TV during the season, where he does something that I wouldn’t do.

    Why bat a provably terrible hitter high in the order? Why let the pitcher bat and pull him 3 pitches into the next inning? Stuff like that. Basic stuff.

    Maybe he should get a pass for the first one, since this team is full of terrible hitters and they all have to bat somewhere. I dunno.

  19. @11 ryan c – I could not agree more. If this season is useful for one thing, it is player development and player development only.

  20. Why not just keep it simple, for now, and look at career winning percentage of active managers, minimum 3 (preferably 5) years of experience?

  21. The thing that you really can’t measure is probably the thing that managers have the most direct impact on as far as outcomes go — playing time. I would tend to think the front-office dictates that in most cases, so maybe it’s not a managerial thing, but it’s definitely huge as far as overall organizational competency goes.

    Playing your big-money negative-WAR sunk costs 140 games a year just because you can’t admit mistakes is something that directly affects W/L records. Playing the 0-WAR veteran more than the exciting and way-more-talented rookies is another classic mistake.

    Constanza/Heyward. BJ/anybody. Uggla/anybody. These types of decisions have *way* more impact on the team record than in-game tactical decisions like whether to bunt or something.

  22. One thing we discussed last year was that outperforming Pythagorean expectancy is a flawed measure because, among other things, good managing affects Pythagorean expectancy itself.

  23. On opening day, Fredi pinch hit for the pitcher with Jeff Francoeur, in the 9 hole. The inning got all the way around to the 5 hole, where Nick Markakis made the final out of the inning, with the other corner OF, Olivera on left on deck.

    Fredi then instructed the umpire that the new entering pitcher would enter in the 6-hole, the spot that was on deck, and Jeffy would enter in LF for Olivera, staying in the 9 hole, meaning he’d be forced to burn that pitcher regardless of the outcome of the inning, and he’d have to use his presumably second-best pinch hitter instead of his middle-of-the-order corner outfielder to lead off the next inning.

    Maybe it’s for defensive purposes late in the game? Sure, why not. But this is before Inciarte got hurt, so Drew Stubbs, a far better defender than Frenchy, was available. Maybe you send Frenchy to RF since Markakis made the final out? Or maybe l, since Francoeur isn’t a glove you just gotta get into the game, he’s a straight PH and you give Olivera one more chance to hit, and Stubbs takes his place on defense the NEXT inning.

    That move mystified me. He does things just to do them.

  24. @31, and a litany of similar moves. I’ll never get over watching him leave Teheran (I think it was his first ML start) to bunt in the top of an inning and then pulling him before the start of the bottom of the inning. I think Teheran only had 1 ML at-bat to that point and had no clue how to successfully bunt–he failed.

    The argument that Fredi defenders make, though, is that Fredi is merely no worse than the average manager. I admit, I don’t watch other teams closely enough to know if their managers are all as overtly oafish as Fredi. If the majority of ML managers are truly so idiotic, it would seem to be low-hanging fruit for the analytics-minded front office who wants to improve by a couple easy wins.

  25. My biggest Fredi complaint is described in #32. He will let pitchers bat in a tie ball game with runners in scoring position. He will then pull them after one batter in the next half inning. It happens over and over again.

    When was the last time we had a successful hit and run?

  26. Nice recap, Cliff.

    Fredi sucks. Our vets suck. Fire Fredi. Can the old folk. Let youth be served.


  27. His bullpen management is terrible. It cost us a playoff game. He has two massive collapses on his watch. His defensive positioning is very questionable.

    I’m don’t care about the talent on the team, he should have been canned years ago.

  28. Miguel Cabrera is *starting* an 8-10 year contract this season averaging $30 mil per season. Just wanted to remind everyone of that.

  29. I wonder if Fredi can make a good hot dog?

    I mean, the right way.

    On second thought, I bet he’d mess it up with ketchup and a wheat bun or something.

  30. the prestigious university I grew up admiring being transformed into a scammy for-profit college, while retaining the brand name.

    @19, This has been a decandes-long running gag in Doonesbury, in which Garry Trudeau has depicted a Yale-like college (called “Walden College”) doing exactly that.

    @25, It’s astonishing how high Fredi grades out. But I also believe that some guys need a change of scenery, and I’m tired of seeing players quit on Fredi. After a certain point, it’s time to part ways — amicably if possible, but if not, not.

  31. @42 given that a good portion of this thread has been hijacked by what I assumed to be a sarcastic statement @2, we might be the only ones stressing about this non-issue.

  32. sorry, previous post should have referenced @43.

    but, @42, thanks….I guess. From the outside of the paywall looking in, just another LHP and yet another middle infielder. Was kind of hoping for one of those, generational talents.

  33. @29, I did read it, but after I had posted my dumb question…my bad.

    I think using pythag is flawed in several areas, mostly because good teams tend to win by lots of runs and their runs-scored/allowed hit extremes where it looks like they should have won more games than they did, only because of the high number of blowouts.

    The wins-above-team-WAR idea kinda makes sense though. At least at a high level. Not sure if the whole team-WAR thing even makes sense when you drill into it, but yeah it seems like a legit way to approach the problem.

  34. So after I post @39, Francouer and beckham are batting .500 and Chacin is pitching a shutout through 4.

  35. Chacun Hasongou
    requests your attention to view
    his varietal pitches
    confounding those Capitol sons of a bitches.

  36. If we lose this game it will be a killer since we’ve played so well defensively. Of course I said losing last game would be a killer since we played so well offensively.

  37. Well FG has blown another . Our starter had only thrown 68 pitches no walks .. he turns it over to our porous bullpen .. he is the worst in game Mgr in game .. hopefully they fire him .. give Eddie Perez a shot or bring back Cox

  38. 2 on, none out for Freddie and Adonis. C’mon fellas.

    Ok…Freeman down on strikes. Yikes.

  39. Not one of those pitches was in the strike zone. Jeff Francoeur, never change.

  40. And he took out Garcia .. our only hitter batting over 300 .. and he has 2 hits tonight .. is FG trying to get fired ?? I tell you he is by far the worst in game Mgr in all of baseball .. nuts

  41. Sometimes none of this makes sense unless you look at things through the lens of “tank the next two seasons and we’ll pay you and keep you employed no matter what happens”.

  42. It’s scary how predictable it was the Frenchy and Harper would both play a part in how the Nats would win this game.

  43. All we can hope is that one day we get a Bryce Harper. And I agree with Smitty, you walk him and take your chances.

  44. Is this team going to try to win a game this season, or are we just going to keep sabotaging ourselves with incredibly obvious bad ideas?

  45. Olivera would’ve caught that after it stopped rolling.

    BTW, why isn’t he playing? Are we still doing that bizarre shit where he sits against lefties?

  46. At this point I really believe the braves should replace Fredi with the Bill Veeck system of handing out Yes and No cards to the fans and posing strategy questions for a vote. With this crazy interwb thing you kids have, very easy to implement.

  47. Nice move bringing in your best reliever immediately after your worst reliever loses you the game…

  48. Sure could a used that double from.KJ when bases were loaded .. if FG gets head outta of his ass and pinch hits KJ

  49. He didn’t even go to Olivera for Smith there.. he doesn’t go with the lefty vs righty thing when we are batting .. he is a idiot .. im.telling you.. half the folks on this site knows u gotta hit KJ for Francour there in 8th .. idiot I tell u

  50. Sat Olivera
    Pulled the starter with 68 pitches and turned it over to this pen
    Let Frenchy hit with the bases loaded and KJ on the bench
    Then puts in KJ next half inning
    Doesn’t put Stubbs in for defense
    Pitches to Harper
    Doesn’t bring Viz in to pitch to Harper

    That it?!?

  51. Bad call, but probably a more humane way to end it. Gotta save the 15-inning walk-off loss for when we’re shooting for 0-12 or thereabouts.

  52. Well let’s see how FG spins this loss with his post game comments .. and what is up with Freeman .. he looks so lazy and don’t care attitude.. he don’t give a shit

  53. @93

    Yeah, I really don’t get it. Vizcaino has pitched less than 2 total innings in 7 games. We used to applaud the Bobby Cox idea that you don’t make too many observations until 45 or so games in, but I think there are some observations to be made:

    -You gave up A LOT for Olivera. He doesn’t need a day off against a lefty on game 7 when there’s been two off days already. Did we not get at least get a full-time LF back in the deal, if not a top 10 third baseman?

    -And along that vein, Jeff Francoeur sucks. He’s sucked for years. This isn’t new information. If you’re going to sit Olivera, it better be for someone better than Jeff Francoeur.

    -Jace Peterson is a bad offensive second baseman who is mediocre defensively. Why not play KJ, who is probably an equally mediocre defensive second baseman but with a much better bat? Handedness is the same.

  54. No lie, Fredi just said he’s thinking outside the box by bringing in Viz in the 8th to keep us in the game. He didn’t think about bringing in Viz to face Harper. He also said who would’ve thought KJ could get a hit like that off the wall.

    Can him…..

  55. Because Fredi is probably a good manager and does score well, I think he’ll easily find a new job, but I think you have to fire him. The team just looks absolutely lethargic. It’s hard to feel sorry for a millionaire, but I’m starting to feel sorry for Fredi.

  56. So Freddie says he felt good about Francour hitting in the 8th instead of KJ .. lol …. what a joke .. wonder if he felt good about that double play he hit into ..

  57. I was mulling over Fredi’s gaudy managing metrics and thinking that it just cannot be. There must be some explanation as to why a manager with such objectively poor in-game strategy is grading well. It occurred to me that there was an article on fangraphs recently that argued that teams with great bullpens outperform their WAR, and Fredi got to mismanage a team with the best bullpen in baseball for about 3/4 of his tenure. Maybe that’s it?

  58. Cheer up, the news isn’t all bad. At least Jason Grilli got to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day.

  59. Ownership is still the problem, but I really want to read a “Fredi Gonzalez fired” story Wednesday. Not that a replacement will be any better, but I’m sick of seeing his face in the dugout and I want someone else to make the dumb moves.

  60. He hit for the pitcher in the 7th, going for the win. I get that. But why does he send the worst hitter on the bench? Then he has another shot in the 8th to use KJ. Then he pitches to Harper, the best hitter in the NL. And when he does it, he trots out one of our worse pitchers while our best pitcher is ready in the pen.

    I’ve always thought he was too cautious and waited til it was too late to make the move. He’s not thinking ahead.

    What is his strong trait? Not in game strategy. There were the seasons the team fell apart, so au wonder about the clubhouse. Does he have appeal to these international guys we are trying to sign?

    Right now we need a guy who can develop players.

  61. @106 You have to wonder how sick Grilli is of talking about grilled cheese sandwiches. And it sums up this season nicely that that is the most interesting thing this team can find to talk about right now.

    New post is up.

  62. @108 — Smitty – my points exactly — if yo hit for a pitcher ib 7th who has only had 69 pitches and is in control yu at least come off the bench with best option .. Peterson ??? Come on …. there is NO excuse for not hitting KJ in the 8th for Francour .. he showed Francour All Star respect .. its a joke … any Mgr in the Majors would have hit KJ there and not even have to think about it …. I have been saying for a couple years on here that FG is the WORST in game MGR in baseball …. he proves it !!

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