Spoooooooky Braves 4, Cubs 3

I stopped watching and went to sleep when it was 3-3, so I can’t positively confirm that this is what happened, but I am fairly sure that the Braves performed an unholy ritual and summoned a demon spirit of unspeakable horror whose very existence profanes the earth by invoking each of the seven names that were lost in antiquity by a civilization that crumbled into dust the last time those words were spoken, because the 2016 Braves scored one run in the top of the ninth and another in the top of the 11th and beat the 2016 Cubs, and I’m fairly sure that’s the only way that could happen.

Want more proof?

Lucas Harrell not only pitched the game of his life, he pitched the fourteenth-best game by a Braves pitcher this year. (He had a game score of 70. The only pitchers who have exceeded that have been Teheran six times, Wisler once, Perez twice, Norris twice, and Folty once. Chacin also had a 70 game score once.) The journeyman 31-year old from the Ozarks with a 4.72 career ERA who hadn’t been in the majors in two years — and who led the majors in walks in 2013, his last full season — went 7 2/3 innings and allowed just four hits and a single run to the best team in baseball.

Mauricio Cabrera, the man who couldn’t find the plate with a map and flashlight, came in with two on and no one out in the 11th inning and induced a double play and a groundout for the first perfect inning of his major league career.

Nick Markakis hit two home runs for the second two-homer game of his 11-year career, and the first since September 14, 2008, the last year that he ever hit 20 home runs in a season.

Jeff Francoeur drew two walks for his first multiwalk game since April 18, 2015 and the 24th multiwalk game of his 12-year career.

In a few candlebreaths’ time, the Braves may have hell to pay. But for now, the Braves beat the damn Cubs in Wrigley Field. And that’s alright with me.

60 thoughts on “Spoooooooky Braves 4, Cubs 3”

  1. I didn’t watch the game. Why the heck did Lucas Harrell throw 113 pitches and pitch into the 8th?

    At any rate, I know I’m the resident “Win As Many Games As Possible In 2016” Guy, but it does have limits. I would rather lose a game with someone that has future value on the mound for us than to win with someone like Lucas Harrell on the mound. I really, really hate that we have journeymen making starts, and I’ll get over it, but any start by Harrell or De La Cruz has a net-negative effect on the rebuild. Lucas Harrell pitching well is like ice cream; I really like it right now, but I know it’s not good for me.

  2. The last place team in the north would be the first place team in the south.

  3. From previous thread:

    AdamR: Boy, are you barking up the wrong tree. I’m not aggrieved in the least — I don’t consider people disagreeing with me to be a personal insult. I’m amused. (Although the different font size would be kinda cool — ).

    If my being amused with the comparison between our right fielder and the Cubs’ right fielder offends you, I can’t help you with that. If the season continues to play out this way, I expect to continue to be amused, and likely in these pages.

  4. Dario Alvarez: 22 K’s in 9 2/3 innings. Where the heck did that come from?

  5. @9, I’d tamp down that kind of talk if I were you. If the WAR Thought Police show up, they’ll fix you good.

  6. @6, Lucas Harrell has pitched pretty well in limited action. I get what you are saying, but I think sports needs to be a meritocracy. Why is he any less fit to get starts than Aaron Blair or Williams Perez or any of the other mostly-fungible prospects?

  7. Williams Perez is on the DL. Aaron Blair has pitched so badly, some may think he’s not ready for the show, and any further exposure might hurt his confidence. You act like there is a long line of pitchers champing at the bit to start for us. The ones who have looked ready, we have brought up, and they have either imploded (Blair) or gotten hurt (Gant, Perez, Folty). Our other pitching “prospects” are still at AA, or they have gotten smoked at AAA (Ellis, Sims), or they’re still rehabbing (Manban)

  8. Matt Harvey, out for the season. The Dark Knight Shrinks. Think they’d want Lucas Harrell in a trade? I’d love to get another AA pitching prospect.

  9. @11, yeah, they don’t scare me none.

    Like Mr. Starr said, “WAR, what is it good for?”

    As I recall, he answered his own question.

    Say it, say it again.

  10. After last night’s game I haven’t given up on the Braves making the playoffs. The likelihood of Francoeur walking twice and Markakis homering twice in the same game seems about the same as us winning 60 of the next 76. :-)

  11. I went back and looked at days when Markakis had multi-homer games: On 8/22/06, he hit three (3!) homers, and on 9/14/08, he hit two homers, all for Baltimore.

    On both those days, Jeff Francouer went 0 for 4 with no walks.

  12. Last night was one of those games that, if we had any gonfalon prospect, would be taken for two months as the turnaround moment of the season by Chip Caray. Ironically, if for any reason the Cubs go into a tailspin starting (roughly) now, you can bet your last nickel that Chip will cite it as the moment the dam burst for the rest of his life.

  13. @14

    I recognize the reason for Harrell and De La Cruz are because of a lack of better options. It’s hindsight 20/20, but I wish the Braves could have known they were going to trade Norris and kept Jenkins stretched out. There’s really no reason in a rebuilding year for Jenkins to have been in the pen for 2 1/2 weeks getting little action. With the amount of bullpen guys we could have called up, I still wonder why we called Jenkins up to bury him in the pen.

    We also could let Ryan Weber start, but I do recognize that he’s been terrible and the Braves may be done with him.

    You could also just simply let Chris Ellis or Lucas Sims make a spot start. I will trust that the Braves know their pitchers, but we’re now at 4 starts by pitchers with no long-term value. I’d hate for a situation where we have 10-12 starts being given to journeymen, but I’m confident with Teheran healthy, we’ll keep Jenkins in the rotation and let De La Cruz go down. We’re also going to come due for some of these guys killing it in the bullpen in double-A to get a shot. We were oh so close to having an entire pitching staff aged 27 or younger. In a rebuilding year, that’s one big positive.

  14. @20, oh I have always agreed with you that most of these guys will not pan out. And while I allow that your prognostication, that maybe one of them will be so much as above average, is in the realm of the possible, I think it’s just a tad pessimistic. Somebody like rob Whalen, who is nowhere on your radar could end up as a 3-4 war pitcher. But there’s a reason management drafted pitching again in 2016. They knew that the pieces to a championship rotation were not yet in our system. Maybe some of Folty, Allard, and Sims can be great, but we needed more guys with ace ceilings.

  15. After what he did with the Braves, Melky Cabrera ranks as probably my most despised player in all of baseball. He is hitting over 290 this year with 8 hrs and an 800 ops. Let’s hope he hits 150 for the rest of the year.

  16. Three consecutive terrible plays by the Braves, and the lead is gone. I’m done for the night – that was utterly frustrating and absurd. No major league team should play like that.

  17. please explain the triple play to this clueless Brit..

    first out..did the SS catch the ball, if so where was the second out..if he didn’t where was the second out?

    the third out i get, no rookie here ya know.

  18. I missed a triple play???? Just tuned in.

    How does Markakis homer thrice in 5-6 AB?

  19. @29 – The ball was not caught, the lead runner, who was therefore forced to 3rd, was tagged out, he stepped on 2nd to force the runner from first, and you saw the throw to first.

    Edit: to elaborate, even if the lead runner is standing on the base, he is out if tagged because he is forced to 3rd. However, if the fielder stepped on 2nd before the tag, then the force would have been removed and the lead runner would then been entitled to 2nd.

  20. Right and francouer with a 2-out, 2-run triple off Chris sale. What is going on?

  21. @32..

    thank you Rusty…

    Y’all be sure not to miss my recap of tomorrow afternoon’s game where you can expect shrewd explanations of the more complex happenings you will have missed.

  22. If anyone can document predicting that the Braves would score at least 8 runs off Chris Sale and Markakis would homer again, please let me know. I would like to hire you as an investment adviser.

  23. For the record, I do not think Wisler is tipping his pitches. He’s just pitching like garbage.

  24. Newcomb’s night: walk, walk, walk, walk, home-run, strike-out, strike-out, pulled.

  25. Did the two teams decide beforehand that this was gonna be a slow-pitch softball game?

  26. Did any of you predict the Braves would score 9 or more runs off Chris Sale? If so, I will give you some money to take to Vegas.

  27. If everything were the same with inciarte except he walked 20 more times and hit like 8 more homers per season, would he be worth Heyward money?

  28. Player A
    .237/.330/.325 (.656 OPS, 4 HRs)
    Player B
    .257/.333/.370 (.703 OPS, 5 HRs)
    Player C
    .262/.303/.369 (.672 OPS, 3 HRs)

    Player B is obviously the best, but player C is better than player A also. You guessed it, player C is Jeff Francouer. As usual, Heyward and Markakis are A and B.

  29. Heyward’s claim to fame is great defense and a little bit of everything. He doesn’t have a “hole” in his game other than he doesn’t do anything other than defense great. That sounds like the hypothetical Inciarte you’re describing.

  30. Inciarte is really good at grounding to second though. Never saw Heyward do that.

  31. Can I be very glad we didn’t sign Heyward to an 8-year, $184 million contract while also groaning every time someone brings this topic up? If so, I vote that.

  32. @55

    He’s suspended without pay until August 1. After that, we have to start paying him again, though we’re gonna wind up paying him less than half of what his original salary was supposed to be for this season.

  33. @56, Mmmmm….. savings….

    Speaking of savings, Player D just went 4 for 4 with 2 homers for the San Diego Padres tonight. With 16 homers, Player D would be leading the Braves in that category, in fact! With 20 steals to boot. Player D will probably be traded to a contender that needs outfield help, for a net return including a couple AA pitchers (probably). Who is Player D?

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