In the Heat of the Night…Braves 6 Treaiffic Nationals 7

The Heat.  Steiger/Poitier, Bogart/Bacall, Whalen/Lopez – it seems the most charged confrontations always occur against the backdrop of hot steamy nights. Some in Georgia, some in the African jungle, this last one tonight in the cauldron of the Nation’s Capital. Our two protagonists were each 22 and pitching their third ML start. One was to emerge with a good deal more to offer than the other and he came from the same home town as our revered Raffy Ramirez in the Dominican. Kudos to the Nats fans, 38,500 of them showed up in all this steam along with Alex who we believe had been asked to run the eye over Hursh, more later.

Going in.  Harper still absent – it’s the shoulder says Verducci, stiff neck says GM Ratso Rizzo (everbody’s talking). Our Neck, no longer stiff, embarrassed himself last night so will be fired up for this one. ‘Too much Freddy Freeman’, says Dusty, more please. Papelbon’s gone.We are at .500 over the last 52 games.

The Game.  Have had to rewrite some of  this a couple of times. For most of the evening there was an embarrassing difference in quality between the teams particularly offensively. After Freddy’s first inning homer got us the briefest of leads we were given a lesson in power hitting throughout the lineup. Five extra base hits between Turner, Murphy and Revere – 2 homers, 3 triples. After  the sixth they had 6 runs on the board to our still solitary one. Whalen had a pretty torrid time of it. He hung in but he was being consistently hit hard. Their big 3  were whupping us. (If there is a more exciting all round rookie prospect in the Majors right now than Trea Turner please tell me his name. Drafted 13th , hmmm. I’d take him now over Harper or Trout or Mochado or Arenado. Now he’s made the team his WAR will eat theirs in the remaining weeks, and then the summers,  to come. His body – the supposed fastest man in baseball- looks lean, mean. He’s bright, he thinks. Such brilliant talent. A rush to judgment? sure…anyone can pontificate after a thousand PA’s- much more fun this way-but i’m right!)

We picked up what looked like a meaningless run in the 8th- unlucky not to get more- came up in the 9th still down 7/2…and then scored 4 more with no outs till Aybar ran himself out at third as he drove in the 5th and 6th runs. And then there was no more. Mr Malancon’s pride was hurt, he mopped up. (A word here about Mr Aybar. What is going on? No Brave hit the ball harder than Erick tonight and he did it twice, in the first inning to deep center twisting and turning Revere right to the wall. Goodness, where were you? It’s not just the average now, it’s the pop.)

The rest of our pitching when Whalen left after 5, 6H 6R 6ER 1K ,would have normally been inconsequential. Roe pitched a decent 7th and 8th giving up 2 hits and a walk, no runs, but what may have been of some import was Hursh’s debut inning.  3H/1R/1W/1K. You tell me, i shall likely ask Alex.


24 thoughts on “In the Heat of the Night…Braves 6 Treaiffic Nationals 7”

  1. Just watched the Aybar replay. Dumb, dumb move, sure, but he was safe. If the umpire has called him safe on the field, he’d have stayed safe. Tough play.

  2. If we were in a pennant race, I’d have lost sleep over that Aybar play. Since we’re not, oh well.

    Hursh looked like Scott Proctor out there–that was my initial reaction. Pretty good velocity but crappy location and secondary pitches.

    Kolby Allard pitched 6 scoreless for Rome with 9 K, 2 walks, 4 h. Jonathan Morales went 5-5 in that game with 5 singles. Joey Wentz got hammered again at Danville. Hope he figures it out.

  3. Hursh isn’t even in our top 30 prospects, a list that doesn’t include people we still consider prospects like Wisler, Folty, and Blair, so I’m not too worried there. If he can be a middle reliever that one day figures it out (like Scott Proctor) then great, if not, that’s ok too.

    Really, same thing with Whalen. His K rate is fantastic, and if he can keep the ball in the park (4 HR in 14 IP), we might have something. But he’s not on anybody’s top-20 rankings for our system, and while we need someone like him to be good, it doesn’t have to be him. If he’s pitching like this 20 starts from now, then I’d be worried.

  4. Just saw the Aybar replay, and that’s just mind-bogglingly stupid. I don’t care if he actually made it (which I think he did), it had better be a stand-up triple for you to be going there. It’s a cardinal rule for a reason.

  5. Agreed. I finally saw the replay, too. The idea of trying to stretch a gapper to left-center into a triple… with no outs in the ninth inning in the middle of a four-run rally when you’re still down a run… it’s insanely dumb. Even when Aybad does something good, he does something bad.

  6. We are currently three games ahead of the pack for the #1 overall pick. The Rays are 3 games back, Minnesota 3.5, Cincy 4, and Arizona 4.5 games back. Arizona’s your darkhorse in this race. If they can catch some more freezer burn, they could make a run down the stretch. It’ll certainly be an exciting chase. Who will take the cup? Only time will tell.

    We will have all of the action here at Braves Journal.

  7. I think Aybad may have catalyzed a ten game losing streak. Hard to keep watching this group.

  8. Tyrell Jenkins is just closing his era-fip gap

    On the plus side, Julio Teheran pitched 5 innings at Gwinnett allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 0 walks, 5K

  9. Jenkins is going to have to learn to pitch more efficiently. He can’t nibble at the major league level. He’d either be doing this at AAA on a contender or at the ML level with us. Might as well figure it out up here.

  10. If Jenkins doesn’t improve, I give him a 32.33 — repeating, of course — percent chance of survival in the majors.

  11. Jenkins will stick in the majors for a while. Good velocity, movement, and makeup will buy him lots of chances. Doubtful he is a starter long-term for us though. Doesn’t miss enough bats.

  12. Jenkins and Wisler both need to acquire a third pitch. Odds are that at least one of them won’t, but young pitchers are always going to have some issue that keeps them from being productive big leaguers. Hopefully more of these guys figure it out than not. I’m glad we’re getting to look at the future instead of the present and past.

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