The Battle of France, Sedan edition: Mets 6, Braves 0

[ My “theme” this year will be World War II. It might be a battle. It might be a character sketch of a leader. It might be a home front thing. It might even be a story from my father. I know there are a lot of fairly talented and knowledgeable World War II nuts on this site, so maybe we can have fun with this and remember some important things]

Our Allied side reasonably believed it would have a hard struggle, but the Nordic nemesis (Syndergaard) would not intimidate or overwhelm them. But Guderian had a plan. The plan was rejected at several levels several times. But finally, just on the eve of the attack, the Germans had decided to try to punch either of two holes. The first in the north of Belgium similar to their route in World War I. This our allies expected. The second attack was through a hilly rocky region so impenetrable (the Ardennes forest) that since Charlemagne, nobody had really tried to conquer it. And thus one of the last Celtic clusters in mainland Europe adopted Charlemagne’s version of French and have remained over all of these centuries.

For the first several days there was chaos with seeming victory going to one side and then the other. Kind of like 6 scoreless innings. But the British and French continued to reinforce to the north and didn’t pay attention to the “back door.” And thus, very few troops of any consequence were available where and when needed. Kind of like sending out Ian Krol, Chaz Roe, and Eric O’Flaherty to get blown away. And just as Rommel personally converted an .88 mm antiaircraft battery into an anti tank weapon at a critical moment, so the Mets pounded this set of unready relievers into submission. The consequence of this was a mad dash by the British to get out at Dunkirk as best they could. Then, a long stall. Kind of like the day off built into the schedule for tomorrow.

And despite the disaster, a young armored brigade commander found himself cut off. He had no support. His brigade dashed for Cherbourg and boarded and got to England. His name was Bernard Law Montgomery. Our Montgomery was Freddie Freeman who contributed 3 hits. He did his job. We may see this again. But just maybe a little farther into the season our Montgomery can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the desert at El Alamein (or Dodger Stadium or Chase Field).

77 thoughts on “The Battle of France, Sedan edition: Mets 6, Braves 0”

  1. Great recap Smitty, didn’t know you were a history buff, thank you.

    Meanwhile, in NYC, for this relief no thanks.

    And in LA Chacun has given up a 2 out GS in the bottom of the third having just prior consulted with his starting shortstop, Erick Aybar.

    Hansel Robles
    Panso Dobles
    he pitches in heels
    flamenco, do it strictly, just as it feels.

  2. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

    Wait till next year.

  3. The team is 0-1 in games started by Julio Teheran this year. He must suck.


  4. @8, at first, i thought he was speaking in the general as in, “why the heck is he our catcher” but after seeing the play, the statement “why was he behind the plate” is pretty much the same one everyone should be asking

  5. Peanut … Flowers says he believes standing behind the plate gives him a better chance to handle potential bad hops.

    That’s probably one of the dumbest quotes I’ve heard from a major league ball player

  6. It sounds like he’s saying that Flowers does this all the time. Looks like he says “sits behind the plate” meaning this is something he does often, not “sat behind the plate” like he did it once.

  7. I remember McCann used to come out in front of the plate all the time and it drove me crazy. I think these guys are mostly just afraid of being involved in a collision.

  8. Symmetrical shifting
    leaves Adonis at short and the rest of us bitching
    tomorrow see Dansby remaining in situ
    how thoughtful, how clever, redemptive, yousnityou.

  9. Early season off days? Why? Does it “balance” the schedule or something else arcane?

    Play ball, the old grump says.

  10. @14, And the young one. Amen.

    @12, Not that it matters much for your old McCann problem, but they’re not allowed to wait for the ball on home plate anymore. Flowers’ mistake was that he picked the wrong side, not that he was playing to avoid a collision.

  11. Teheran/Ramirez: 7.1 IP, 4H, 3BB, 6K, 0 runs
    Krol/Roe/O’Flaherty: 0.2 IP, 3H, 6BB, 0K, 6 runs

  12. @14: Same, I do not understand them. It’s built-in sightseeing for the guys in Times Square, I guess.

    My only guess is it shrinks the pool of games giving larger television audiences overall for opening series.

  13. Thank you so much, Cliff!

    Guys, I would love more recapping help this year. We have Mondays and Saturdays covered, but I’d really love some help on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Is anyone able to pitch in? It’s just a once-a-week thing, and we can organize a pinch hitter if you’re ever not able to make it.

  14. @14, 17, I recall there being an explanation about first week off days that made sense in the kind of way things make sense when they don’t really make any sense. I forget now what it was. Probably because it didn’t make any sense.

  15. I think the off day is to protect the big opening day gate in case of a rainout.

  16. Alex,

    I’ve got a lot on my play to commit to once a week, but am here to come out of the pen if need be.

  17. Thoroughly enjoyed this. One of my favorite all-time quotes is “all men are utterly convinced they are outstanding drivers and experts on World War II.”

  18. Alex,

    I’ll be glad to try to continue the Friday recaps. Shoot me an email.


  19. One of the things that hurt us significantly last year was not knowing who was decent in the pen in the beginning of the year. We ran through so much trash before pieces got settled, and that’s part of the problem with the “spaghetti against the wall” mentality with our pen. And of course, no Mo or The Faux Paco has hurt based on fan expectations. If we’re truly trying to contend, I bet we wish we hadn’t DFA’ed Chris Withrow and traded Chevanka for a minor league pinch runner.

    If it makes you feel any better, EOF got 39 appearances with an ERA near 7 before he was released, so grab your popcorn.

  20. They aren’t trying to contend, not with this pen and bench. If they really are trying, they suck at it.

  21. We won’t fail to contend because of the pen/bench. It will be because we’re starting fringe guys at 3B, 2B, and C (and arguably RF), and we have two 45-year-olds in our rotation. I don’t think we’re close enough to contention for players like Hunter Cervenka to be the difference this year. What we received for him relative to his value was a HAUL, and I don’t expect either player received to ever play for the Braves. Coppy doesn’t either–he just steadily accumulates value for refuse. It’s impressive really. People caterwauled when we traded Uribe and KJ for useless fringe starters, Whalen/Gant, but those players were used in deals to acquire Alex Jackson (our #1 catching prospect) and Garcia (a legit MLB starting pitcher). Garcia will most likely be flipped for better stuff if his arm doesn’t break.

    We are trying to be respectable this year, not contend. That is, we’re not trying to lose on purpose anymore. That’s what acquiring 3 innings-eating starting pitchers signified. Ditto for an 8-man pen. The only thing that argues against this theory is EOF, but I’ll chalk that up as a miscalculation.

  22. Send a pitching prospect to Boston for Blake Swihart. Sooner rather than later, please.

  23. “Alex Jackson (our #1 catching prospect)” makes me want to settle for Blake Swihart.

  24. I mean, Swihart’s no Chris Withrow, but then again it takes a special kind of player to sit atop the Omaha Storm Chasers’ bullpen pecking order.

  25. I suppose the days must be over that relievers have their best years in Atlanta then, huh? It did seem for a good decade and a half there that guys pitched pretty well in the Atlanta pen (perhaps perpetuating the Atlanta pitching reputation?). The reality is that the current GM seems to think relievers grow on trees, perhaps throwing the baby out with the bath water from the Wren era.

  26. I already know of a few weeks coming up where I’ll need a pinch hitter, but I’d be happy to be the primary Tuesday recapper again if needed.

  27. That reminds me–I haven’t read “relievers are fungible” on here in some time.

  28. Braves have some bullpen aces in the waiting in the form of their surplus SP prospects, but I’ve got a feeling we’ll see some tough times out of the current bullpen until they’re ready.

  29. Who do you see from that surplus being moved to the pen?

    I would think Winkler, Cabrera, and Minter would make for nice additions to the group. I still think the Braves made the wrong call with Krol, EOF, and Paco.

  30. I don’t get EOF. Really don’t. And one game or not, this is the fourth year of a potentially crappy bullpen, and that’s why you’re not hearing “fungible relievers” anymore. We trade them all for nothing or simply make the wrong choices. The ’13 team had EIGHT guys in the pen with a FIP less than 3.50, minimum 20 appearances. You look at their SPs and position players, and there’s not a huge difference to today’s team (and they had BJ and Struggla!). No ace, no .900 OPS, 2 worst position players in the game, but a lights-out, shut-down, game-is-over-in-the-sixth bullpen. And they won 96 games.

    Wisler is running out of time. Newk and Fried may get their shots sooner rather than later, so along with Teheran and Folty, Wisler or Blair will be an odd man out at some point. I think Wisler becomes a reliever this year.

  31. @42, None of this takes away from your observations about the bullpen, which are on point, but if the 2017 starting line-up has 6 guys with an OPS+ better than 110 or 3 starting pitchers with an ERA+ better than 110, I’ll eat my hat.

    I think we’ve got 2-3 hitters and 1-2 starting pitchers in that range this year. And half of those are likely to be moved at the deadline.

  32. You have to adjust for having two of the worst players in baseball. Melvin’s OPS+ was 54. Uggla’s was 85 (with 171 K’s, effectively ending innings when a good righty was in the game). In 2016, each starter had an OPS+ of 90 or higher, except for Aybar, including 3 with 110 OPS+ or higher (and 4 if you count Dansby). You may eat that hat when Teheran, Folty, and Colon have ERA+ of 110 or higher. Folty looks great, and Colon had a 119 ERA+ just last year.

    The problem is the bench and the bullpen, which will tactically lead to losses, and that ain’t changing for a while. And once again, Coppy gave little consideration to spots 21-25 on the roster, and won’t use minor league talent to fill them.

  33. Wisler should already be a reliever. He only has 2 major league caliber pitches.

  34. Potential bullpen studs:
    Lucas Sims
    Luke Jackson
    AJ Minter
    Jacob Lindgren
    Daniel Winkler
    Jesse Biddle
    Matt Wisler (seriously…can throw 97 in spurts, 2 plus pitches)

  35. Buddy of mine just got the job as the Fire Frogs’ PA announcer. I’m gonna leverage this thing into some clubhouse passes to hang out with ole Acuna, Riley, Jackson, Gohara, and Touki! There’s a guy on the roster with the name a PA announcer can only dream of… Wigberto Nevarez!

    Yeah, Sims and Wisler have a date with the bullpen before too long, I hope. To be fair, Sims has only made 11 starts at AAA, and Wisler has made more starts at the big league level than at AAA.

    Maybe we can sign Paco…

  36. Through 14 innings of the 2017 season, the Braves’ offense has 8 hits (2 of them doubles) and 1 walk. Hard to win anything with an offense so offensive.

  37. What’s the record for most consecutive scoreless innings for an offense to start a regular season?

  38. @50 it appears to be the 1943 Saint Louis Cardinals, whose offense went 26 consecutive innings to start the season before scoring in inning #27. The 2015 Twins were really close – they had a 25 inning scoreless streak to start the year.

    Apparently, the overall record for longest scoreless inning streak is shared by two teams – the 1906 Philadelphia Athletics and 1968 Chicago Cubs both went 48 consecutive innings without scoring a run.

  39. The bench is so bad offensively; Flowers is the only option that is a legitimate major league hitter.

    Can’t they steal another 3 million from Cobb County and sign Pagan?

  40. And Ian Krol inherits a tie game in the 7th inning for the second time on the young season. Let’s hope it goes better than Monday.

  41. Meaningless but potentially fun fact just found on baseball-reference: the Braves all-time franchise record currently stands at 10438-10433. We’re a five game losing streak away from perfectly symmetrical mediocrity.

  42. Brandon Phillips has the early lead on this year’s Lonnie Smith Award for excellence in baserunning.

  43. Where’s that new rule that starts extra innings off with a runner automatically on second base when you need it?

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