Padres 4, Braves 3

And just like that, the losing streak is at six. It’s our third six-game losing streak of the year. Our -99 run differential is worst in baseball. And we are getting outclassed by the Padres, who are now 25-35.

The good news is that they’re essentially going in the opposite direction: they basically went all in last year, trading most of their prospects for a quixotic attempt to become division contenders, and then frantically scrambling to reverse course and sell their veterans for relative pennies on the dollar. So both their major league team and their farm system are worse for the wear, while at least our farm is in relatively good shape.

Anyway, that’s about enough of the good. Onto the bad. Aaron Blair continues to struggle with throwing strikes. He only lasted 4 1/3 innings, getting yanked for Casey Kelly with the bases loaded in the fifth inning after 86 pitches; he’s lucky that the Padres only scored one run in the frame. He had four strikeouts and three walks, literally just the second time in eight starts that he had more K than BB. He is very, very much a work in progress.

The offense was good for seven hits and three runs, which is basically our average. (We have the fewest runs per game and hits per game in the majors, of course.) They exploded for two runs in the third, but went back into Hibernation Mode after that.

Still, the bullpen managed to hold tight from the 5th through the 8th, and Snitker handed the ball to Arodys Vizcaino with a 3-2 lead in the 9th, and you’d have thought that would be that. But even he has off nights sometimes. After leadoff man Derek Norris wiped the smiles off our faces with a leadoff solo shot to tie things, Vizcaino gave up a single — which was followed by a stolen base, a wild pitch, a walk, and defensive indifference to get men on second and third — then a lineout and finally a walkoff single.

It was a cap-tipping kind of night. The Padres are clearly better than us, after all. Just like all the other 28 teams.

81 thoughts on “Padres 4, Braves 3”

  1. Good morning from München, woke up with the bases full of Padres and BJ at bat. A surprise that one did not leave the yard… Certainly wasn’t worth watching till the end.

  2. Everyone who predicted that Chase D’Arnaud would be leading the team in WAR please tell me what stocks I should invest in.

  3. Thanks Alex,

    Recap writing is SO fun.

    I have been reading some of the back and forth on your article on The Hardball Times. There are some people who are just clued out. On BOTH sides of the discussion.

    1. The Braves did not abandon the City of Atlanta. City of Atlanta (government) committed around 300 million to a Falcons project. Then said no money for Braves. Then after the Braves announced for Cobb, have since announced 150 mill for a Hawks related Phillips Arena redo and neighborhood redo.

    2. The traffic problems at I 75 and I 285 for weekday evening games are, in fact, horrendous. I do not live there, but I doubt anybody living on northside east of 400 can get to new stadium quicker than Turner. Nor anybody south of 20 on the westside. That could be good for the entertainment district (leave work at 3, get there at 4) but most people will only rarely do that.

    3. The FO HAS been extremely overly optimistic. I understand not just saying “This team will be awful for 2 or 3 years, but we think we can turn it around.” But the whole “get close to .500” in light of who they ACTUALLY signed was far off.

  4. It should be nearly impossible for an entire system to only have one or two position prospects. The same guys that let that happen are still running the show. Nobody writes articles about them though, since they are untouchables.

  5. We only have two position prospects right now: Albies and Swanson. We have more than that in general. Mallex Smith was a pretty good prospect before he was promoted. Though they’re a ways away, Austin Riley and Ronald Acuna are definite prospects, too.

  6. @5 – My perception was that the team dealt with Cobb Co. in the dark extensively before engaging Atlanta to basically tell them they were leaving. Is that incorrect? The land grab that took place around the stadium area prior to anything coming to light publicly certainly makes it seem like a foregone conclusion. The team didn’t want to be in Atlanta.

  7. I really wish we would bump Incifarte down in the lineup, but that would mean putting Mallex in the leadoff spot, which I’m not a big fan of.

    We can argue with the strategy of it all, but it’s a little unfair to criticize in May 2016 that our position player prospects are limited. It’s been the design of the FO to collect pitching prospects, so while you may disagree with the strategy, this was their design. They didn’t strike out on getting good position player prospects. Really, everyone they’ve acquired in trade, other than Jace Peterson, has worked out so far.

  8. “Really, everyone they’ve acquired in trade, other than Jace Peterson, has worked out so far.”

    Olivera, Aybar, Inciarte? There are more, but who actually HAS worked out?

  9. @13, Cameron Maybin worked out pretty well for us. He’s working out even better for the Tigers. Of course, we have Ian Krol to show for that.

  10. Pete Orr at 11,

    I have two people I know who were very inside on the Cobb County deal. The Braves had been rebuffed by City of Atlanta over and over before that negotiation started.

  11. Position player prospects. Ruiz, Mallex, Jace and Dansby are kinda my list on that, but you could include Olivera, I’d say. The prospect people weren’t considering Olivera a prospect.

  12. But you’re very right. For 2016, the “established” position players have really not worked out. KJ, Aybar, Incifarte (this will catch on…) have mostly sucked.

  13. Apparently the guy we got back is in the Mets top 30 prospects and is a reliever.

  14. November, 2016:

    “Kelly, if you sign with us, I SWEAR we won’t trade you to the Mets again.”

  15. More on Morris:

    Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 40 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
    One other pitcher from the U.S. Virgin Islands made it to the big leagues before Morris made his Major League debut in June 2015. Like fellow St. Thomian Al McBean, who spent most of the 1960s pitching out of a bullpen, Morris has the chance to have an impact as a reliever at the highest level.

    Morris’ success in the Minors has come largely from his fastball-changeup combination. He’ll pitch at 92-93 mph with his fastball, sometimes reaching back for 95-96 mph, and it has some good life to it. Morris will then throw what’s best been described as a Bugs Bunny changeup, an offspeed pitch thrown at around 76 mph, with the same arm speed, causing a ton of swings and misses. Those two pitches alone, thrown with deception thanks to a funky delivery, are the reason he held Minor League hitters to a .163 batting average against through his first three summers of pro ball. Morris throws a slider, but it’s fringy and needs work.

    How much Morris’ breaking ball, along with his command, improves will ultimately determine his role. He has the ceiling of a setup man, with a seventh-inning role perhaps more realistic.

  16. Yes I wonder if Swanson or Albies time is upon us. It’s early June so the Super 2 deadline should be past.

  17. Akeel Morris has good numbers. I think this is a good deal for us.


    I don’t think so. Albies has been playing some second with Aybar rehabbing. I wonder if when Aybar comes up if Swanson goes to AAA.

  18. A guy who’s striking out nearly 13 per 9 IP? Sure, that’ll work.

    With a recent avalanche of injuries to their everyday lineup (3B, C, CF, 1B), plus some apparent nagging issues that have kept Cespedes out of the starting lineup here & there, the Mets are experiencing a tiny bit of panic these days. Scoring 2 runs in a DH-sweep in Pittsburgh yesterday didn’t help. Always nice to deal with nervous/win-now kinds of clubs.

  19. Unless you’re a Kris Bryant type, Super 2 shouldn’t come into play. If Erick Aybar not being able to say no to donuts influences how we handle our two guys whatsoever, that falls on Coppy’s shoulders. Go find someone to not be the worst SS in history. Really that simple.

  20. Anytime you get something with any kind of potential usefulness back for a 34 year old batting 215 it is a solid move.

  21. I believe the cutoff is usually 6/10 ish for super-two, you never know until the year is over when the cutoff date will be. Seems silly to call up one of those guys now just before the deadline, since we’ve already waited so long. What’s another week to 10 days?

  22. @31, exactly. I’m surprised they gave us a top-30 prospect for KJ. This is another live arm relief lottery ticket. Woot!

  23. I find it implausible that Sean Burnett wasn’t better than any of the horseflesh we currently sport in our bullpen.

  24. @31 – Agreed. Especially when we’ll probably get him back again next year. :-)

    I know Albies at age 19 with a .654 OPS in AAA is not the answer right now. He may be the greatest Braves SS or 2B ever, but calling him up now serves no purpose IMO. It also looks like Swanson needs some more time.

    I want us to call up Sean Kazmar. He is 31 and has a total of 39 major league at bats. He’s batted close to .300 at Gwinnett with an average OPS over the last 3 years of around .730. Maybe I’m sentimental, but why not give this guy another opportunity? This would let Albies play everyday and maybe let Swanson join him in Gwinnett. Between Kazmar (31), Snyder (29), and D’Arnaud (29) we can have the oldest rookies in baseball.

  25. We should trade Frenchy and Teheran before the break. We should also check on the price for Ventura

  26. Comparing the Mets and Braves top prospects is interesting. 11 of the Braves top 16 prospects are pitchers, while the Mets have only 4 of 16. I agree that the trade for Morris was good for the Braves, but I wonder where he will rank in our system.

  27. @38, It’s interesting to think why the Mets preferred KJ over d’Arnaud? Maybe they don’t believe in “Hot Hand” theory.

    @40, Totally agreed. His trade value will never be higher.*

    * This should be a mantra for the front office every day he’s on the roster.

  28. #42
    The Mets wanted a lefty-hitter with power that they could platoon with Flores at 3B.

    David Wright’s long-term prognosis is not good.

  29. I hate that for Wright. He always seemed like one of the Good Guys in MLB. I hope he does fully recover.

  30. @39, I was wondering which subliminal signal made me so antsy to send him packing, and there it was all along

  31. Mets might have seen how our Upton Brothers Reunion went and decided no on having 2 D’Arnauds.

  32. Williams Perez to DL with rotator cuff strain. John Gant called up from the minors…still waiting for word on the other callup to replace them.

  33. Kelly Johnson?
    initially they had insisted on Swanson
    Coppy told them Dansby’s PNG
    in any town ignored by Harper Lee.

  34. The Braves have now improved their record to .500 on days they trade Kelly Johnson to the Mets, so that’s nice.

  35. @47

    I really wouldn’t be surprised if KJ does better with the Mets. This must be a miserable team to play on. I think Markakis, Freeman, and Aybar would be playing better if they were on contenders. AJP would still be terrible.

  36. I would also add Grilli to that list. He’s appeared three times for the Jays throwing 1.2 scoreless innings. Good for him. He has something to play for now.

  37. Investigating today’s KJ trade led me back to last year’s trade for Juan Uribe. We acquired Uribe and Chris Withrow for four shlubs: Alberto Callaspo, Eric Stults, Juan Jaime and Ian Thomas. Of those four, only Thomas has recorded any time in organized baseball, as a reliever in the PCL.

    Meanwhile, Chris Withrow looks like an actual piece to an actual bullpen. Maybe we’ll have one of those again sometime soon. And we also turned around Uribe to acquire Gant and some other guy (Bird?) Now we’ve shipped off KJ again for a decent enough reliever.

    At least this particular example of churn and burn has produced results.

  38. Brad Hand
    has been known to give a glad hand to a bad band

    ..for me that was the first Bad Jeff Francouer sighting for a long time, all the old stuff, rushing…maybe he’s missing Kelley.

    Irony. If he’d come back up and hit half as well he was in Gwinnet we were all scared he would wind up back down because of his awful defense. Now he’s been up a good bit we worry his insipid bat will send him back down and deprive us of his arm and glove.

  39. I’m watching the Dodgers – Rockies game and noting that Trayce Thompson is currently OPSing .922 for the Dodgers and hitting cleanup. Todd Frazier is being Todd Frazier for the White Sox. The third team in the deal took back Jose Peraza, who I guess if you combine with Alex Wood is worth Hector Olivera

  40. Road Trip

    we are now toasts
    on both coasts
    the wider regions
    embracing our collegians.

  41. July 2nd.

    the envelope please
    the one we once spotted with grease
    for Kevin a gentle reminder
    what you’ve had heretofore, a token, a binder.


    a last minute scare
    you’ll have heard of buyer beware
    now Kevin’s dad’s shirty
    my son, not a day over thirty.

  42. the Friday draft
    we’d really have to be a bit daft
    if every pick was not for power
    all others tendered by the hour.

  43. I’ll be a little surprised if the Braves don’t take Lewis, Ray, or Senzel at 3. Pint’s arm is tantalizing, but he’s a high-risk pitcher a long way away…they can get one of those at 40 or 44 if they so desire.

  44. Stu, agree. I would rather have one of the three you mentioned or Groome over Pint

  45. Groome’s off-field stock has taken a recent hit. I would bet the Braves are out on him.

  46. If Lewis and Ray are off the board, I think Pint becomes a big possibility.

    I also don’t think both of those guys are off the board at three.

  47. @61, the other pitcher (other than John Gant) we received in the Uribe-KJ-Mets deal was Rob Whalen, who is pitching pretty well in AA and was the better rated of the two. But yes, this is video game type baseball player arbitrage.

  48. Keith Law is repeating the rumor I’ve heard a couple places elsewhere that the Braves might take Ian Anderson at 3 in order to save big there and have a ton to spend on guys who fall to 40 and 44 due to signability.

    That would make some sense, and I like Anderson — duh, he’s committed to Vanderbilt — but taking three high-schoolers sure wouldn’t fit with the be-good-by-2018-ish plan.

  49. Yeah, we need help sooner than later, to help speed up the rebuild. And we desperately need a power bat. That’s why Lewis (if he’s available) makes the most sense to me, but what do I know.

  50. I understand the idea of taking a sign-ability pick at three, but the guys they pick up later had better be worth it.

  51. They have $9,587,300 to spread across their first three picks. (Or more than that, if they go cheap later in the top 10 rounds; less than that if they try to go big later on, too.)

    Anyway, assuming they more or less stick with slot after their first three picks, that means they could take a guy like Braxton Garrett at 3 (whose number, I’ve heard, is $3.5 million) and still have $6 million to spend on those other two. Guys like Benson and Whitley have numbers that big, so if they fall that far, that could be the play. If they don’t fall, though, then the Braves could have more money than they need there. That money would almost certainly be spent later on, making the third-, fourth-, and fifth-round picks better, but I would be the Braves would be upset in that scenario that they didn’t go for more of a sure thing at 3.

    Gonna be interesting, for sure.

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